IPCC AR5 weakens the case for AGW

by Judith Curry

Evidence reported by the IPCC AR5 weakens the case for anthropogenic factors dominating climate change in the 20th and early 21st centuries.

The IPCC assessment reports have expressed increasingly confident consensus views of the importance of anthropogenic influence on the global climate over the past 60 years, as reflected by these statements from the Summary for Policy Makers (SPM):

  • AR4 (2007): “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely (>90% confidence) due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gases.” (SPM AR4)
  • AR5 (2013) SPM: “It is extremely likely (>95% confidence) that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century .” (SPM AR5)

This increase in confidence in the main conclusions in the AR5 SPM seems unwarranted based on the text, figures and analyses in the main WG1 Report, and also in comparison with the conclusions from the AR4.  Several key elements of the report point to a weakening of the case for attributing the warming of human influences:

  • Lack of warming since 1998 and growing discrepancies with climate model projections
  • Evidence of decreased climate sensitivity to increases in CO2
  • Evidence that sea level rise in 1920-1950 is of the same magnitude as in 1993-2012
  • Increasing Antarctic sea ice extent
  • Low confidence in attributing extreme weather events to anthropogenic global warming 

Recent hiatus in surface warming and discrepancies with climate models

The IPCC AR5 notes the lack of warming since 1998:

[T]he rate of warming over the past 15 years (1998–2012) [is] 0.05 [–0.05 to +0.15] °C per decade)which is smaller than the rate calculated since 1951 (1951–2012) [of] 0.12 [0.08 to 0.14] °C per decade.

The significance of this hiatus in warming since 1998 is in context of comparison with climate model projections.  The IPCC AR4 stated:

For the next two decades, a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emission scenarios.  (AR4 SPM)

For the IPCC AR5, CMIP5 has produced a multi-model dataset that includes long-term simulations of twentieth-century climate and projections for the twenty-first century and beyond.  The IPCC summarizes near-term projections of global mean surface temperature anomalies in Figure 1. Figure 1 shows that observations particularly since 2005 are on the low end of the envelope that contains 90% of the climate model simulations. Observations in 2011-2012 are below the 5-95% envelope of the CMIP5 simulations. The trend in the model simulations is substantially larger than the observed trend over the past 15 years.

1125Figure 1. Comparison the global average surface temperatures from the surface temperature data sets with the CMIP5 simulations. The red-hatched region shows the indicative likely range for annual mean GMST during the period 2016–2035 based on expert judgment.  From Figure 11.25 (IPCC AR5).

In terms of projections for the period 2012-2035, the CMIP5 5-95% trend range is 0.11°C–0.41°C per decade. The IPCC then cites expert judgment as the rationale for lowering the estimates (indicated by the red hatching):

However, the implied rates of warming over the period from 1986–2005 to 2016–2035 are lower as a result of the hiatus: 0.10°C–0.23°C per decade, suggesting the AR4 assessment was near the upper end of current expectations for this specific time interval. 

This lowering of the trend relative to the results from the raw CMIP5 model simulations was done based on expert judgment that some models are too sensitive to anthropogenic forcing.

Regarding the hiatus, the IPCC concludes that:

the hiatus is attributable, in roughly equal measure, to a decline in the rate of increase in effective radiative forcing (ERF) and a cooling contribution from internal variability (expert judgment, medium confidence). The decline in the rate of increase in ERF is primarily attributed to natural (solar and volcanic) forcing but there is low confidence in quantifying the role of forcing trend in causing the hiatus, because of uncertainty in the magnitude of the volcanic forcing trend and low confidence in the aerosol forcing trend.

In summary:

  • After expecting an increase of 0.2oC per decade in the early decades of the 21st century from the AR4 statements, the rate of warming over the past 15 years is only ~0.05C.
  •  The IPCC AR5 bases its projection for the period 2016-2036 of 0.10 to 0.23oC per decade on expert judgment, rather than on the climate model results
  • The IPCC does not have a convincing or confident explanation for the hiatus in warming.

Equilibrium sensitivity of climate to doubled CO2 concentrations

The equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) quantifies the response of the climate system to constant radiative forcing on multi-century time scales. ECS is defined as the change in global mean surface temperature at equilibrium that is caused by a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration.

The IPCC AR4 conclusion on climate sensitivity is stated as:

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

The IPCC AR5 conclusion on climate sensitivity is stated as:

Equilibrium climate sensitivity is likely in the range 1.5°C to 4.5°C (high confidence), extremely unlikely less than 1°C (high confidence), and very unlikely greater than 6°C (medium confidence)

It is significant that the AR5 does not cite a best estimate, whereas the AR4 cites a best estimate of 3oC.  The stated reason for not including a best estimate in the AR5 is the substantial discrepancy between observation-based estimates of ECS (lower), versus estimates from climate models (higher).  Figure 1 of Box 12.2 in the AR5 WG1 report shows that 11 out of 19 observational-based studies of ECS show values below 1.5oC in their ranges of ECS probability distribution.

Hence the AR5 reflects greater uncertainty and a tendency towards lower values of the ECS than the AR4.

Sea level rise

In the AR5 SPM, the following statements are made regarding sea level rise:

Proxy and instrumental sea level data indicate a transition in the late 19th to the early 20th century from relatively low mean rates of rise over the previous two millennia to higher rates of rise (high confidence). It is likely that the rate of global mean sea level rise has continued to increase since the early 20th century.

It is very likely that the mean rate of global averaged sea level rise was 1.7 [1.5 to 1.9] mm yr–1 between 1901 and 2010, 2.0 [1.7 to 2.3] mm yr–1 between 1971 and 2010 and 3.2 [2.8 to 3.6] mm yr–1 between 1993 and 2010.  It is likely that similarly high rates occurred between 1920 and 1950.

It is very likely that there is a substantial contribution from anthropogenic forcings to the global mean sea level rise since the 1970s.

The rate of global mean sea level as portrayed in AR5 is shown in Figure 2 below.

sea levelFigure 2.  18-year trends of global mean sea level rise estimated at 1-year intervals. The time is the start date of the 18-year period, and the shading represents the 90% confidence. The estimate from satellite altimetry is also given, with the 90% confidence given as an error bar.  Fig 3.14 from AR5

It is seen that the rate of rise during 1930-1950 was comparable to, if not larger than, the value in recent years.  This IPCC’s analysis does not support an acceleration in the rate of sea level rise in the latter 20th century, and hence the data does not support the IPCC’s conclusion of a substantial contribution from anthropogenic forcings to the global mean sea level rise since the 1970s.

Sea ice

The IPCC AR5 reports the following trends in sea ice:

Continuing the trends reported in AR4, the annual Arctic sea ice extent decreased over the period 1979–2012: the rate of this decrease was very likely  between 3.5 and 4.1% per decade.

It is very likely that the annual Antarctic sea ice extent increased at a rate of between 1.2 and 1.8% per decade between 1979 and 2012.

Chapter 10 on Attribution states:

Anthropogenic forcings are very likely to have contributed to Arctic sea ice loss since 1979. There is low confidence in the scientific understanding of the observed increase in Antarctic sea ice extent since 1979, due to the incomplete and competing scientific explanations for the causes of change and low confidence in estimates of internal variability.

Arctic temperature anomalies in the 1930s were apparently as large as those in the 1990s and 2000s.There is still considerable discussion of the ultimate causes of the warm temperature anomalies that occurred in the Arctic in the 1920s and 1930s.

The increase in Antarctic sea ice is not understood and is not simulated correctly by climate models.  The Arctic temperature anomalies in the 1930’s were as large as the recent temperature anomalies.  Hence confident statements about attribution of the Arctic sea ice decline since 1979 do not seem to be supported by understanding, in spite of the simulations by climate models that reproduce the decline.

Extreme events

The AR5 is less confident than the AR4 in terms of increasing heat waves, drought, and tropical cyclone intensity.

The AR5 is less confident of an increase in heat waves than the AR4, and finds no evidence of increased heat waves in the U.S.:

AR4: Widespread changes in extreme temperatures have been observed over the last 50 years. Cold days, cold nights and frost have become less frequent, while hot days, hot nights, and heat waves have become more frequent

AR5It is very likely that the numbers of cold days and nights have decreased and the numbers of warm days and nights have increased globally since about 1950. There is only medium confidence that the length and frequency of warm spells, including heat waves, has increased since the middle of the 20th century mostly due to lack of data or studies in Africa and South America. However, it is likely that heat wave frequency has increased during this period in large parts of Europe, Asia and Australia.

The AR5 finds that AR4 conclusions regarding increasing trends in drought were probably overstated, and that drought has likely decreased in central North America:

Confidence is low for a global-scale observed trend in drought or dryness (lack of rainfall) since the middle of the 20th century, due to lack of direct observations, methodological uncertainties and geographical inconsistencies in the trends. Based on updated studies, AR4 conclusions regarding global increasing trends in drought since the 1970s were probably overstated. However, this masks important regional changes: the frequency and intensity of drought has likely increased in the Mediterranean and West Africa and likely decreased in central North America and north-west Australia since 1950.

On tropical cyclones, the AR5 is less confident than the AR4 of increases in intense tropical cyclone activity:

AR4: There is observational evidence for an increase of intense tropical cyclone activity in the North Atlantic since about 1970, correlated with increases of tropical sea surface temperatures. There are also suggestions of increased intense tropical cyclone activity in some other regions where concerns over data quality are greater.

AR5:  Confidence remains low for long-term (centennial) changes in tropical cyclone activity, after accounting for past changes in observing capabilities. However, it is virtually certain that the frequency and intensity of the strongest tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic has increased since the 1970s.

JC Summary
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If you read the fine print (not just the SPM) and compare the  AR5 with statements made in the AR5, the IPCC AR5 WGI Report makes a weaker case for AGW than did the AR4.  Of course there is nothing in the AR5 SPM that directly suggests weakening.
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This is a draft of something I’m writing; I would appreciate hearing about any other examples of:
  • the AR5 WG1 text not supporting the SPM conclusions
  • the AR5 pulling back relative to the AR4

501 responses to “IPCC AR5 weakens the case for AGW

  1. Thank you, Professor Curry, for this encouraging news!

  2. This increase in confidence in the main conclusions in the AR5 SPM seems unwarranted based on the text, figures and analyses in the main WG1 Report,

    Big surprise. (not!)
    Write the summary, get the press, release the detailed report 3 mo later.
    Draw your line, then plot your data.
    Par for the “coarse”.

    • On reading this article, I just noted a subtle change of wording. Human activity is now describes as “dominant” rather than AR4′s “majority of” .

      To the casual reader it may seem about the same but “dominant” just means biggest. With a lot of players, biggest could mean quite small.

      Depending up on how you group or breakdown different causal factors there can be a lot of difference to what is “dominant.”

      Human causes obviously regroups GHG emissions, land use changes etc, etc. but what else is in the field to be “dominated”?

      Is everything else grouped as “natural variability” or are they saying AGW “dominates” other individual factors separately: ENSO, volcanism, newly recognised solar influence?

      These reports are all about politics and bureaucracy so watch the pea. What appears to be happening here is that they are carefully and quietly moving their position while trying to give the impression they are not admitting they got anything wrong and are even more certain than before.

      Is a U-turn still a U-turn is you deviate 10 degrees 18 times ??

    • Greg, it has properties of a non-random walk. But an eventual U-turn is too much to expect. It will disappear first.

    • Greg. dominant |ˈdämənənt| adjective
      most important, powerful, or influential:
      Comes from the medieval French word meaning, “Ruling” , which is a step up from,”majority of”. I’m afraid it’s worse than you thought.

  3. I cannot understand the point about aerosols. We have had very low, measured, levels of aerosols over the last decade, compared with the previous 50 years.

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/strataer/

  4. “The accepted global average temperature statistics used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC],” says Professor Bob Carter, environmental scientist at James Cook University, “show that no ground-based warming has occurred since 1998 [and]… lower atmosphere satellite-based temperature measurements, if corrected for non-greenhouse influences such as El Nino events and large volcanic eruptions, show little if any global warming since 1979… In one of the more expensive ironies of history,” Carter says, “the expenditure of more than $US50 billion … on research into global warming since 1990 has failed to demonstrate any human-caused climate trend, let alone a dangerous one.”

    • Why does Bob Carter correct lower troposphere temperatures for ENSOs and volcanoes, but not surface temperatures? And why does he ignore the large heating that’s taking place in the ocean?

      • Not even Trenberth makes claims of a ‘large heating that’s taking place in the ocean.” Rather he says he believes there must be heating deep in the oceans — albeit immeasurable by any science we know about — and for no other reason than simple dogmatism adherence to the AGW faith. .

    • Yes, Trenberth does find large ocean heating; the main finding from his GRL paper with Balmaseda and Källén is shown here:
      http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2013/03/missing-energy-claimed-to-be-found.html

    • No, climate models are numerical solutions to the partial differential equations that describe the physics.

      You have built yourself a perfect coccoon. When models disagree with observations, you call them failures. And when they agree with the observations, you dismiss them as somehow manipulated (though you don’t provide evidence to support that claim).

      How easy — just dismiss everything!

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Actually we find observed ‘changes in top-of-the-atmosphere radiation and upper-ocean heating consistent within uncertainty’. http://www.met.reading.ac.uk/~sgs02rpa/PAPERS/Loeb12NG.pdf

      Duh! You can’t organise a penguin race with just one penguin – David.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/CERES_Net_zps9f7faaaa.png.html?sort=3&o=0

    • You can (organize a penguin race with just one penguin), but no one will pay to see it.

    • Berényi Péter

      David Appell | January 7, 2014 at 12:13 am |
      No, climate models are numerical solutions to the partial differential equations that describe the physics.

      Yeah, sure. I reckon you are the kind of guy who is inclined to Believe Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast.

      Climate models in fact rely on the Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes equations, which have this tiny little closure problem. That is, they lend unphysical solutions if the parameter regime needed for closure is not completely covered by experimental data. Unfortunately this kind of experiment can never be performed in the climate system. Of course we would not need Reynolds averages if we could go down to the dissipation scale, but in this case that is in the submillimeter range, while computational climate models use a grid size of about 100 km, otherwise the age of the universe would be negligible compared to their runtime, even on the fanciest supercomputers. In other words grid size is 8 orders of magnitude larger than what would be needed to “describe the physics”. Therefore guys are forced to introduce some fake physics, not supported by either theory or experiment.

      That’s the current state of affairs, blatant misinformation is never welcome.

    • David Appell – you say that “climate models are numerical solutions to the partial differential equations that describe the physics “. Not so. There are a number of very significant factors which are not understood, for which there are no partial differential or any other kind of equations, and which have to be parameterised. [AR4 8.1.3 : "some representation of the large-scale impacts of unresolved processes is required (the parametrization problem)"]. The very significant factors that have been parameterised include sea ice, atmospheric boundary layer, ocean mixing [AR4 Box TS.7]; formation of clouds and precipitation, ocean mixing due to wave processes and the formation of water masses, etc [AR4 Box TS.8]; surface radiation processes [AR4 TS 2.3].

      As Wagathon says, “Models can be made to say anything you want them to say.”. You said “when they agree with the observations, you dismiss them as somehow manipulated (though you don’t provide evidence to support that claim).”. Well, these quotes from AR4 are the required evidence. When climate factors are parameterised, they are necessarily tuned to observation, because there isn’t anything else to tune them to (and AR4 states that it has been done – the relevant phrase is “constrained by observation” or similar, it is used a lot in AR4). IOW, when models do agree with observation it is often precisely because they have been manipulated {“parametrized”) to do exactly that.

    • Generallisimo Spiffy

      Generalissimo Skippy | January 7, 2014 at 12:13 am |

      “Actually we find observed ‘changes in top-of-the-atmosphere radiation and upper-ocean heating consistent within uncertainty’. ”

      Actually we find that upper ocean cooling would also be consistent with uncertainty. The uncertainty in energy measured leaving the top of the atmosphere is about 4W/m2. The purported imbalance the warmists have glommed onto recently is 0.5W/m2.

      Isn’t that just spiffy?

    • David Appell, Jan 6, 2014 at 11:45 pm at #comment-433552
      You might be interested in this, which deals with data sets and adjustments:
      Lansner,Frank. “The Original Temperatures Project.” Scientific. Watts Up With That?, January 6, 2014. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/06/the-original-temperatures-project/ (Supporting work at http://www.hidethedecline.eu/)

      “Presentation of the Original Temperatures project. Contents:
      1. Introduction
      2. Methods
      3. Adjustments of temperature data
      3.1. Adjustments: HISTALP – by the Austrian ZAMG
      3.2. Adjustments: ECA&D – by the Dutch KNMI
      3.3. Adjustments: The BEST project
      3.3.1 BEST / Austria
      3.3.2 BEST / Denmark
      3.3.3 BEST / Hungary
      3.3.4 BEST / UHI
      3.3.5 BEST prefer unadjusted data
      4. Results from original temperature data”

      I have not been able to independently verify these findings.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Spliffy – citation? Otherwise I will be obliged to think youj don’t know what you are talking about.

    • There are a number of very significant factors which are not understood, for which there are no partial differential or any other kind of equations, and which have to be parameterised.

      So what? The way you *understand* signficiant factors is by calculating, as best you can, what you are trying to observe, and seeing what works and what doesn’t.

      That’s precisely what the history of climate models has been. In fact, it’s precisely the history of all science ever done.

      Every calculation in physics makes simplifying assumptions for the sake of tractibility and expediency. Every single one.

      The test for a model, whether of climate or gravity or the atom, is how well it works. None ever work perfectly. But many climate models do a fairly good job of reproducing the past, such as this one:
      http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2013/09/a-useful-paper-on-one-models-results.html

      which lends some confidence in their projections for the future.

      Are they perfect? Of course not, as everyone admits. But they are the only game in town, and they lend support to paleoclimate findings, and until you produce a better one that doesn’t rely on parametrization schemes or is not limited by computing power, I don’t see that you get to complain much. And certainly not about theoretical closure problems with certain PDEs.

      The proof is in how well the models do, not in whether they are mathematically (or physically) rigorous. Hardly any physics is mathematically or physically rigorous — quantum field theories have infinities all over the place, and rely on renormalization schemes that can’t be justified mathematically — but lots of these theories give good results. And the only way to get better results is to see what works and what doesn’t.

      The subject of manmade climate change is too important — and too worrisome just from our paleoclimate knowledge — to never run a model until it is perfect.

      • The projections of GCMs fail because these models are merely a representation of our reality–i.e., they cannot be said to actually capture the relationships between forces that give rise to reality — not even in any meaningful way that a painting by artist Claude Monet might capture a seagull. Statistically, a shrinking df (degrees of freedom) due to the smoothing and inferential interpretation and manipulation of observational data results in models with no real-world validity.

    • Ah, common ground, ‘the proof is in how well the models do’. Well, David, we’re on that subject; nice to see you venturing into No Man’s Land.
      ==============

    • when models do agree with observation it is often precisely because they have been manipulated {“parametrized”) to do exactly that.

      That’s the story of ever model ever made.

      Quantum electrodynamics didn’t come about until Dirac’s model failed. And Dirac’s model didn’t come about until nonrelativistic quantum mechanical models failed. Spin wasn’t discovered until the Bohr model of the atom failed. And so on.

      Models don’t come into existence wholly formed and perfectly intact — they come about because all the models before them failed in one way (or several ways). That doesn’t mean the prior models were useless — they were absolutely necessary, with all their assumptions and simplifications and wrong answers.

      • We use parameters to force GCMs to capture reality –i.e., their use helps us turn events of a large scale — like storms over the Pacific — into something we can deal with. The use of parameters are indispensable because our understanding about how such forces are related to global warming is unclear to begin with and even if we knew more our limited computing power would be like a toddler running out of fingers. We continually fine tune parameters to make GCMs agree with empirical observations but we cannot fail to notice that models constructed in this fashion fail validation.

    • So apple, is that the model you guys are going with? Get back to us in ten years and tell us how it performed.

    • The projections of GCMs fail because these models are merely a representation of our reality.

      All models are representations of reality. So is F=ma, which relies on the parametrization called “mass.”

      The projections of GCMs don’t “fail” — they give results that have varying degrees of accuracy. The GISS E2 model doesn’t fail; its results for the 20th century are good in some directions, not so good in others.
      http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2013/09/a-useful-paper-on-one-models-results.html

      By the way, how well does your model do?

      • The Old Farmer’s Almanac has a better track record than the climatists of Western academia with their GCMs. Outside the West, scientists liken climatology to the ancient science of astrology.

    • The Old Farmer’s Almanac has a better track record than the climatists of Western academia with their GCMs.

      They don’t predict (or project) the same thing. So comparing them is meaningless.

      Besides, you have already made it clear that you will dismiss climate models no matter what results they give, so your claims about them are meaningless.

    • Generalissimo Ceres

      CERES raw data shows a TOA imbalance of 5W/m2 which is clearly impossible based on surface instruments so it was dialed down to a number that matched the best estimate of ocean heat content change (Levitus) which is an order of magnitude smaller at 0.5W/m2.

      Dataset and code here:

      Data here:

      http://ceres.larc.nasa.gov/documents/DPC/DPC_current/pdfs/DPC_BDS_R5V1.pdf

      I’m sure you knew that already though so it was kind of intellectually dishonest to ask, huh?

      You may now launch into your canned tribal response about CERES being sensitive to change in energy even though it gets the absolute value impossibly wrong. Please proceed.

    • Generalissimo Ceres wrote:
      CERES raw data shows a TOA imbalance of 5W/m2

      Who would ever think that such raw data could be used without the necessary adjustments? Even UAH knows better….

    • Asking again: Why does Bob Carter correct lower troposphere temperatures for ENSOs and volcanoes, but not surface temperatures?

      • Carter believes, “internal global climate-system variability accounts for at least 80% of the observed global climate variation over the past half-century,” and maybe even more can be shown when, “the period of influence of major volcanoes can be more clearly identified and the corresponding data excluded from the analysis.”

    • Wagathon wrote:
      Verification is a matter of opinion.

      You’ve made it very clear that you will dismiss climate models no matter what result they give. So I don’t see the point of further discussion with you on this.

      • There is a reason the global warming alarmists have abdicated the scientific method. they have chosen a position than cannot be proven true or false and that is as good as they can do. That is why their your position is no longer considered science. Al Gore essentially is the new Jesus of Western academia’s faith-based views about global warming which includes mystical properties not observed in nature that they invest in CO2.
        .

    • Carter believes, “internal global climate-system variability accounts for at least 80% of the observed global climate variation over the past half-century,”

      I’d like to read that — in which journal was it published?

    • Wagathon wrote:
      There is a reason the global warming alarmists have abdicated the scientific method.

      You — who reject all model results no matter what they say — have no station from which to lecture anyone about the scientific method.

      • As science, GCMs are nothing but toys but as political tools GCMs have power in the hands of those who do not care about all the forces that influence the weather and how they are related. Weather (and by extension, the climate) is unpredictable precisely because we only see what is going on in hindsight. GCMs are not crystal balls capable of seeing into the future.

    • Berényi Péter

      David Appell | January 7, 2014 at 2:58 pm |

      The way you *understand* signficiant factors is by calculating, as best you can, what you are trying to observe, and seeing what works and what doesn’t.

      That’s precisely what the history of climate models has been. In fact, it’s precisely the history of all science ever done.

      Every calculation in physics makes simplifying assumptions for the sake of tractibility and expediency. Every single one.

      The test for a model, whether of climate or gravity or the atom, is how well it works.

      You are playing a foul game here with the wide semantic range of the concept “model”. Traditional physical models are inherently simple. This is not something foggy and beyond comprehension, it is related to their Kolmogorov complexity, which is low. That is, their description can be compressed incredibly. The same thing can’t be said about computational climate models, which are overtly diffuse, incompressible, therefore do not contribute much to our understanding. It is due to their oversimplified physics, which on its own fails many orders of magnitude below their scale of representation. To overcome the closure problem, folks throw in a plethora of further assumptions on shaky grounds, untested by experiment. With such freedom one can, of course, reproduce some past observations. Since von Neumann it is a well known fact with four parameters one can fit an elephant, with five it can be made to wiggle its trunk. So what? It still fails in many other respects which were not specifically taken care of.

      Reading The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences is a must for anyone, who ventures into physics. Although in climate modelling it rather translates to The Unreasonable Ineffectiveness of Mathematics in Climate Science.

      From proper physical theories much more information comes out than was ever put in. It is not the case with computational climate models though.

      Are they perfect? Of course not, as everyone admits. But they are the only game in town, and they lend support to paleoclimate findings, and until you produce a better one that doesn’t rely on parametrization schemes or is not limited by computing power, I don’t see that you get to complain much. And certainly not about theoretical closure problems with certain PDEs.

      The proof is in how well the models do, not in whether they are mathematically (or physically) rigorous. Hardly any physics is mathematically or physically rigorous — quantum field theories have infinities all over the place, and rely on renormalization schemes that can’t be justified mathematically — but lots of these theories give good results. And the only way to get better results is to see what works and what doesn’t.

      This only game in town argument is a joke, let’s forget it fast. Before the advent of large multistage rocket engines the only game in town to ever reach the Moon was a huge gun. Did it make it work? Ofcourse not.

      You are also moving the goalpost in a masterful way by backpedalling mightily from your earlier proposition “climate models are numerical solutions to the partial differential equations that describe the physics”. This time you are right, they are not.

      To see the epic fail of computational climate models have a look at The Observed Hemispheric Symmetry in Reflected Shortwave Irradiance, please. A spectacular symmetry of the system is missed.

      With no general physical theory of irreproducible quasi stationary non equilibrium thermodynamic systems whatsoever, to which class terrestrial climate belongs to, it can’t be any other way. Go back to the lab and start the hard work by studying other members of said class there, those which would fit.

      We have something about reproducible ones to start with. Unfortunately microstates belonging to the same macrostate of climate can evolve into different macrostates in a short time due to its chaotic nature, therefore it is not directly applicable here.

      • And, the model-makers hide from disclosure what they’re doing with the numbers like they’re protecting precious IP instead of simply avoiding scrutiny.

    • See, McLean, et al., Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature, Journal of Geophysical Research, 114, (2008)

      Wow, you seem to have completely missed this, which makes me doubt (yet again) your research skills::

      “…their analysis is inappropriate in a number of ways and overstates
      the influence of ENSO on the climate system”
      – G Foster et al, JGR 2010
      http://www.meteo.psu.edu/holocene/public_html/shared/articles/FosteretalCommentJGR10.pdf

      • You are incapable of talking about science without resorting to ad hominem attacks but to use Trenberth and a CRUgator like Mann to bash other researchers — when your supposed proof sources do not even believe in natural causes — no longer comes as a surprise here.

    • David Appell | January 7, 2014 at 12:13 am |
      climate models are numerical solutions to the partial differential equations that describe the physics.

      “The” physics that still doesn’t see the Pause, 17 years after ordinary citizens have ?

  5. Prof Curry, two things:
    - your penultimate paragraph – is there some missing ref to AR4 in the first part of the first sentence.
    - re tropical cyclones, as I read the two excerpts AR5 is more certain than AR4 i.e “virtually certain” is used in AR5 whereas AR4 just used the neutral “observational evidence” and the weaker “suggestions”.
    Great post BTW

  6. In summary:
    ◾After expecting an increase of 0.2oC per decade in the early decades of the 21st century from the AR4 statements, the rate of warming over the past 15 years is only ~0.05C.
    ◾ The IPCC AR5 bases its projection for the period 2016-2036 of 0.10 to 0.23oC per decade on expert judgment, rather than on the climate model results
    ◾The IPCC does not have a convincing or confident explanation for the hiatus in warming.

    ___________

    …you can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation that disagrees with the predictions of the theory. ~Stephen Hawking

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Actually – they do have a it of an explanation. They just don’t seem to get that it is not ending any time soon.

    • Wrong on count one,

      If you average the 6 data data sets available on the SKS trend calculator for 15 year trends you get 0.093 per decade, almost double your 0.05.

      Which means count 2 is close to being wrong as well, if the current trends continue, but what are the chances of starting 2016 with a strong El Nino?

      Convincing or confident for whom?

      The Hiatus is not ENSO corrected, so I’m not convinced there is a hiatus.

      Still waiting for evidence of a single observation that disagrees with the theory.

      • Do we share the same planet? Fyfe’s findings are based on a study of 117 GCM simulations over a 20-year period comparing the results of model predictions to the observed rate of warming. From 1993 to 2012, the “global mean surface temperature… rose at a rate of 0.14 ± 0.06 °C per decade,” and the observed warming over the last 15 years of the period was, “not significantly different from zero.” GCMs, however, simulated a “rise in global mean surface temperature of 0.30 ± 0.02 °C per decade.” Compared to the actual rate of warming, the simulated rate was more than double.” Moreover, simulations were more than four times higher than actual over the last 15 years. Needless to say, the “null hypothesis that the observed and model mean trends are equal,” is rejected: statistically, there is but a 1 in 500 chance these GCMs are actually looking at the same planet we live on.

        [See, Fyfe, JC, et al., Overestimated global warming over the past 20 years. Nature Climate Change. V3 (Sept. 2013)]

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Get out of here! You want to remove the major cause of the interregnum and pretend it doesn’t exist? It sounds bit silly but go right ahead – it’s a free barnyard still.

      Personally – I would count it from the after the 1998/2001 climate shift and expect it to last for 20 to 40 years.

      e.g. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130822105042.htm

      Hey – did you see I coined a new and much better term for the interregnum.

      • Exactly, the interregnum is, like bookends, preceded by higher than normal and followed by — for perhaps decades more — lower than normal solar activity.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Centuries of lower TSI – Waggy – amplifying through the Earth system in a humungous stadium wave.

    • I think that is misleading. I believe the clear intent of the IPCC report is to give an average for a handful of decades (four, I think), not to say that each decade will increase monotonically.

      After all, there have been similar pauses in the past century, lasting more than two decades–in one of which temperatures declined. But warming resumed and I believe will do so again.

      It is also my recollection of things seen in both IPCC and UNEP documents that Antarctic ice increase (both land and sea) is a logical extension of what is to be expected from a warming climate.

      Because the Arctic and Antarctic have completely different dynamics, I believe skeptics harm their arguments by stating a large global ice extent is in some way invalidation of climate theories and models. (Guys–and Kim–you don’t need this. They’re in enough trouble as it is.)

      A dispassionate look at what has come out over the past year alone would encourage those who oppose the consensus, including me. It does look fairly clear that sensitivity is lower than the IPCC actually thinks. Sea level rise does not look ominous at present and the major ice caps in Greenland and Antarctica now seem to be safer than we thought.

      Since I am not a skeptic, I should not be giving you advice, but heck–I give the consensus team advice all the time, so why not? Stay conservative and cautious in what you claim. You don’t have to play by the Consensus team’s rules. They have to defend every point. They have to be right all the time. You honestly need only be correct on one of your major points.

      You needn’t pile on… you’re winning. (Unfortunately–I think we are sleepwalking into dangerous times within our lifetimes.)

      • It is a lot more interesting to consider the reasons that explain why you are not a skeptic when you consider that nothing is happening or has happened that has not happened before, beginning long before the dawn of humanity.

        Hysterical government-funded propaganda aside, the simple fact is that glaciers come and go on nature’s schedule — at times covering the Earth and obliterating everything in the process — is not something that skeptical scientists can conveniently fail to notice.

        In brief, from the age of enlightenment we have emerged into the philosophy of post-modernism which sets aside evidence as the authority and asserts that the ‘truth’ is what you believe – if you believe it, then it is your ‘truth’. Importantly all opinions are to be given equal authority irrespective of the where the evidence may lie. These ideas have progressed to what is now called ‘Post Normal Science’. This holds that science is subservient to the story that must be told. The role of science is no longer about discovering new ‘truth’ but supporting the ‘story’ which is perceived to be the truth. This gives rise to the notion of “noble-cause science”, which allows scientists to ignore contrary evidence, or worse, manipulate the evidence, if the cause is noble. We have seen evidence of this in the climate change debate. (Doug Edmeades)

    • Tom Fuller @ January 7, 2014 at 1:33 am+1.

      Excellent, sensible, balanced comment.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Sounds too reasonable for the full Skippy treatment Tom.

      Actually – you have no basis for any expectation at all about future temps – beyond the interregnum.

      Fortunately, climate science is rapidly developing the tools to meet this challenge, as in the near future it will be possible to attribute cause and effect in decadal-scale climate variability within the context of a seamless climate forecast system [Palmer et al. 2008]. Doing so is vital, as the future evolution of the global mean temperature may hold surprises on both the warm and cold ends of the spectrum due entirely to internal variability that lie well outside the envelope of a steadily increasing global mean
      temperature.

      It seems quite unlikely – however – that Palmer said anything of the sort.

      Prediction of weather and climate are necessarily uncertain: our observations of weather and climate are uncertain, the models into which we assimilate this data and predict the future are uncertain, and external effects such as volcanoes and anthropogenic greenhouse emissions are also uncertain. Fundamentally, therefore, therefore we should think of weather and climate predictions in terms of equations whose basic prognostic variables are probability densities ρ(X,t) where X denotes some climatic variable and t denoted time. In this way, ρ(X,t)dV represents the probability that, at time t, the true value of X lies in some small volume dV of state space. (Predicting Weather and Climate – Palmer and Hagedorn eds – 2006)

      And sensitivity in a wild climate is γ.

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

      So it is not the IPCC are wrong in detail – but they are not in the right ballpark.

    • Tom Fuller:

      “A dispassionate look at what has come out over the past year alone would encourage those who oppose the consensus, including me. It does look fairly clear that sensitivity is lower than the IPCC actually thinks. … Since I am not a skeptic …

      So what, in your view, makes someone a skeptic?

    • Generallisimo Scruffy

      Generalissimo Skippy | January 6, 2014 at 11:00 pm |

      “Actually – they do have a it of an explanation. They just don’t seem to get that it is not ending any time soon.”

      But 0.5W/m2 TOA energy imbalance! The pause can’t last! It can’t even be happening!!! Does not compute.

    • Tom Fuller Antarctic ice increase (both land and sea) is a logical extension of what is to be expected from a warming climate. ” Since I am not a skeptic”.

      You realise this means if we have a cooling environment the ice would disappear?

      Because the Arctic and Antarctic have completely different dynamics, I believe skeptics harm their arguments by stating a large global ice extent is in some way invalidation of climate theories and models.

      But by your logic a large global ice extent would mean the models are validated as you state above ” a warming climate increases ice extent” .

      More ice colder world, less ice warmer world.
      Thats our world even if its not your world..

    • Good post Tom F. I don’t share your pessimism, certainly not about catastrophes occurring in our lifetime, they will of course but not caused by climate change. It is always better to be conservative, even pessimistic because this war is not won, and won’t be until all the senior scientific establishment figures have distanced themselves far enough away to blame a few scientists for deceiving them and the rest of the world. They didn’t take it but climategate gave them the opportunity.

      Having said that I’m sure we need to develop new forms of energy and would have been much further along that path if $10s billions of dollars hadn’t been wasted on useless “renewable” energy projects and climate science research, but instead put into the development of clean nuclear or some other form of energy generation.

    • Yup, good comment, Tom, but I may have fewer needs than you suspect.
      ===============

      • Yeah, too bad Al Gore was not the charmer JFK was or we all could have been wearing hairshirts this morning when the average temperature across the US was 13°.

    • Something I do need, though, Tom, is a steady supply of interesting and useful distinctions such as the one between ‘skeptic’, and ‘opposer of the consensus’. You admit one but not the other. I don’t find this forked tongue speech, rather an admission of the poverty of the terminology, and also as a focus on the real issue being denial of catastrophe, that’s where the rubber meets the road, and where the beef is.
      ==============

      • Good point — the language is part of the problem. A productive member of a free enterprise capitalist society wants to provide things that others will find useful. The most charitable view of Leftists is that they only want the best for others (surely, they’d agree with that assessment of their motives). But, others are best served by more productive free enterprise capitalists.

    • Tom Fuller: “You needn’t pile on… you’re winning. ”
      Then, why is the world spending 359 billion dollars each year on ridiculously useless windmills, that contaminate our landscape, and destroy trees and birds? Why are we burning our food (ethanol mandates) ?
      There is a long way to go until sanity returns, if ever….

      • True, true, Eurocommies gave Al Gore a Nobel for trying by any means possible — even fear of people earning a living being the cause of Earth-killing global warming — to take American down. AGW will never be over until everyone agrees dead and dying Old Europe has a dead brain stem.

    • Steven Mosher

      Now you people can see how a libertarian like me can write a book with a San Francisco Liberal like Tom Fuller. He makes good sense

      There is a sensible center in this debate. We call ourselves Lukewarmers.

      On the science: we accept radiative physics. Yes Virginia C02 will increase temperatures it will not decrease temperatures. We know this because the devices we rely on ( sensors, C02 detectors, mobile phones, radars, satellites) all rely on this physics. We believe this physics is not the result of a liberal conspiracy, but is the result of work started in 1850 and completed by the US military. Not a liberal plot. We also recognize that the principle scientific debate is over one issue; how much warming will a doubling bring.
      This is a thorny problem and anybody who claims certainty ( C02 effect is low, or C02 effect is high) is fooling themselves. A related problem is the
      partitioning of the observed warming since 1850 to human or natural causes. This problem is as thorny as the sensitivity problem. Again, anybody who claims certainty that all the warming is natural (c02 has no effect) or that all the warming is human ( natural variability integrates to zero over this time frame) is over certain. The position we take is pretty easy to understand. The probability that ECS is less than 3C is greater than 50%.
      That is what all the evidence in Ar4 suggested and is what all the evidence in Ar5 suggested. If a policy maker asked me for more precision than this, he would get a blank stare. If he held a knife to my throat I’d say between 1 and 6.

      On the ethics : we wrote a book called climategate. It was not about the science because mails are not scientific data. mails cant change science. The mails showed a small group of scientists acting in ways that were at odds with our scientific ideals. We don’t excuse that behavior. Neither do we think that their misbehavior is unique to climate science. They are humans. Some things need to change. We are already seeing some changes ( open data etc) that we find encouraging. At this point I think its time to stop defending and attacking those involved and focus on more improvements, like reproduceable research. We also note some skeptics now engaged in the same kind of data hiding that the “team” did. They dont a get a pass.

      On Policy: Scientists get to have positions on policy. They get to express them. They get to be activists. They also get to be silent and just do their science. They are human and have values. Staying out of politics is justified. Being involved is also justified. The notion that scientists can escape their values is naive. The best we can do is control for values. We control for values by proactively funding and listening to various sides of the debate. We don’t control for values by silencing scientists ( although some have no practical business speaking since they suck at it). We dont control for values by promoting a consensus. We don’t control for values by having people sign statements of no self interest. One way we control for values by explicitly funding various points of view. Judith thinks that natural variability is a bigger deal than I do. I prefer a world where she is given funding to make her best case. Yes, that means some fringe science might get funding. But decision makers do get to limit the amount of nuttery they have to plow through. In short, we cannot remove values from science. We cannot remove values by preaching that science should be value free. the best we can do is control for values. That could mean explicitly identifying stakeholders and their interests and funding them to make their best case. That also means “the truth ” will be socially constructed in the end. But that is nothing new. It always has been.

      Specific Policies from Lukewarmers are wide open. the science position doesn’t dictate specific policy. It can’t. put another way many specific policy positions are consistent with the uncertainty in the science. The notion that specific policy can be derived in a rule governed way from uncertain science is suspect.

      • You are not taking the physics far enough.Even if CO2 concentration doubles or triples, the effect on temperature would be minimal. The relationship between temperature and CO2 is like painting a window black to block sunlight. The first coat blocks most of the light. Second and third coats reduce very little more. Current CO2 levels are like the first coat of black paint. (Dr. Timothy Ball)

      • You are not taking the physics far enough.Even if CO2 concentration doubles or triples, the effect on temperature would be minimal.

        I wouldn’t normally stick up for Steve, and while I think surface measurements are more inline with you’re comment, he’s allowed to disagree. I do agree with him on what he feels the argument is mostly about, and I think he stated it well.

        I took the track of wanting to see what the station data said, I have NCDC’s GSoD loaded in a db, and I’m waiting for 2013 to get uploaded so I can add it to my data. I have a cheap waether station, and a slightly more expensive IR thermometer to measure the skies temp (-66F last night about 6:30pm).
        Do science, find proof he didn’t take it far enough.

      • Everyone understands how bad GCMs are when they realize that increases in atmospheric CO2 follows global warming it does not precede it. Further study shows that having an appreciation for the holistic process involved in global warming leads to the inescapable conclusion that we simply can’t model climate change except in the most abstract of ways such as by using the mathematics of chaos.

        We don’t know all of the parameters involved in climate change. Even if we did and knew precisely how they were all related there is not enough computing power on Earth capable of resolving a model that included all of this information.

        The shifting crusts and volcanic eruptions, oscillations of solar activity on multi-Decadal to Centennial and Millennial time scales with variations in gamma radiation and the role of the big planets, Saturn and Jupiter — and a changing North Pole and variations in the magnetosphere — all are a part of a holistic process that is the Earth’s climate.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Scruffy – Do you imagine that there is a 0.5 W/m2 imbalance?

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/CERES_Net_zps9f7faaaa.png.html?sort=3&o=0

      Or does TOA radiant flux change all the time?

    • Everyone understands how bad GCMs are when they realize that increases in atmospheric CO2 follows global warming it does not precede it.

      Bull. That’s the case for natural climate change, but not when independent actors are working as hard as they can to transfer carbon from the ground into the atmosphere.

      • After being called a “toy plane designer,” the strident Heinrich Dorfmann gives Captain Towns and Lew Moran a little lecture on the history of flight, telling them that model planes were successfully flying 50 years before the Wright Brothers ever got off the ground. In 1851, he further states with authority, Henson and Stringfellow built a rubber band-powered model that flew 600 meters before encountering an obstruction. Trivia, The Flight of the Phoenix (1965): Classic Movie Trivia & Interesting Facts (E*Trade)

    • After expecting an increase of 0.2oC per decade in the early decades of the 21st century from the AR4 statements, the rate of warming over the past 15 years is only ~0.05C.

      Here is what I find for the linearized surface change over the last 15 years — a period that, let’s remember, is not indicative of climate, but mostly of (oceanic) weather:

      GISS: +0.09 C
      HadCRUT4: +0.07 C
      NCDC: +0.06 C

    • …i.e., “not significantly different from zero.”

      How often is a 15-year trend statistically significant, including considerationa of autocorrelation?

      Please provide you answer in the form “X%,” specifying X.

      Then explain why you didn’t include that with your quote “~0.05 C.”

      • It would have been significant if there had been a “rise in global mean surface temperature of 0.30 ± 0.02 °C per decade,” as had been projected by climatologists’ GCMs.

      • David where are the error bars on the various temperature series and the output of GCM’s, and not some generic one size fits all, ones that take into account how many stations are used each year and the error of each measurement, as well as the errors involved in each adjustment employed.

    • Error bars? We don’t need no stinkin’ error bars!

      Claiming accuracies down to the hundredths of a degree is pretty common among the global warming alarmists… when it suits their fancy.

    • Tom Fuller, “You needn’t pile on… you’re winning. (Unfortunately–I think we are sleepwalking into dangerous times within our lifetimes.)” Why is it that even in the face of data, liberals cannot help but project fear and worry. It is universal with liberals.

    • Remember Waggy,

      The warming for the last 15 years is not statistically different from 0.2 C per decade, which is the song us alarumamisticals have been tooting all along.

      carry on with your delusions

  7. Reblogged this on leclinton and commented:
    2014 starts like 2013 ended not well for the CAGW believers . ;>)

  8. Judith Curry wrote:
    “Hence confident statements about attribution of the Arctic sea ice decline since 1979 do not seem to be supported by understanding, in spite of the simulations by climate models that reproduce the decline.”

    So when models fail to reproduce the decline there is little understanding, and when models succeed in reproducing the decline there is little understanding, what possible sign can there be of understanding?

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      We expect that there is a bit of a ‘vigorous spectrum of interdecadal internal variability’ in there – http://www.pnas.org/content/106/38/16120.full

      But hey – whatever ice locks your boat David.

    • So it’s not enough that Arctic ice models reproduce the data, they have to also agree with your expectations?

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Well let’s say that science expects that…

      Did I not link the bloody paper? Go ahead – deny the science Appell – it’s still a free barnyard.

    • David Appell blathers:

      Judith Curry wrote:
      “Hence confident statements about attribution of the Arctic sea ice decline since 1979 do not seem to be supported by understanding, in spite of the simulations by climate models that reproduce the decline.”

      So when models fail to reproduce the decline there is little understanding, and when models succeed in reproducing the decline there is little understanding, what possible sign can there be of understanding?

      Ya see the first word in your context-obliterating selective quote of Dr Curry, skippy? “Hence”. That answer to your DA question is to be found in the antecedent of that “Hence”.

      A possible sign of understanding would be:

      a) a comprehensive global climate model that produces predictions across its entire range of parameters and spatial divisions that are born out by observations because of the modeler’s demonstrated understanding of the component physical processes, instead of:

      b) a model that is tuned to match a specific sub-component’s observations despite the admitted lack of understanding of that subcomponent’s physical basis. See “Hence”.

      Duh.

    • So if the models are sometimes right and sometimes wrong, how do you know when they’re wrong – except in retrospect?

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      models are always wrong – most are useless

    • David Appell:
      “So when models fail to reproduce the decline there is little understanding, and when models succeed in reproducing the decline there is little understanding, what possible sign can there be of understanding?”

      Well, predicting something before it actually happens would be good,

    • Generalissimo Post Hoc

      Gareth | January 7, 2014 at 3:07 am |

      “Well, predicting something before it actually happens would be good”

      No schit, right?

      +many

    • Well, predicting something before it actually happens would be good,

      Successful predictions of climate science:
      http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2013/02/successful-predictions-of-climate.html

  9. AR5 (2013) SPM: “It is extremely likely (>95% confidence) that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century .”

    This could be interpreted as:
    It is extremely likely (>95% confidence) that biased scientists performing data adjustments to support AGW expectations has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid 20th century.

  10. Generalissimo Skippy

    ‘Duplicate comment detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that!’

    Yeah right – I have probably said it hundred times – but where is it? I have a long memory Judy. And if I forget I can always depend on Shibboleth.

    Grrrrr – http://kletterman.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/angry-old-man.jpg

  11. The presence of a high increase for a period of 20 years does not rule out acceleration, especially if the average rate of increase for the whole twentieth century is low. Compare the average of the 20 century against the last 30 years.

    • GaryM wrote:
      Cold invading the US from the Arctic was a regular occurrence in the 70s.

      Where can I find that data?

    • mosomoso wrote:
      Before climate was controlled by mechanisms it still managed a trick or two. Or three. “Look ma, no vortex!” climate cried in the winter of 1978-9.

      If you think that AGW says that weather events happen that have never happened before, then you have seriously misunderstood the science.

      Please, study harder.

  12. I find it hilarous that as America is suffering through an average of 17F, the alarmists are insisting this is PROOF of AGW.

    • No one is saying the Arctic outbreak is proof of AGW. They are wondering if the Arctic outbreaks are becoming more common, perhaps due to a more sinuous jet stream, and if that is related to Arctic melting. That’s what science is — wondering about what the heck is going on.

    • “They are wondering if the Arctic outbreaks are becoming more common, perhaps due to a more sinuous jet stream, and if that is related to Arctic melting.”

      Cold invading the US from the Arctic was a regular occurrence in the 70s. We had week long spells of cold like this, in numerous years. Of course there was no PR firm around to poll test a term like “Polar vortex” to support a political agenda.

      If climate science was really about wondering about what is going on, there would be a lot more investigation into what we don’t know, rather than more “science” designed to prove “its worse than we thought.

    • …perhaps due to a more sinuous jet stream, and if that is related to Arctic melting.

      The Arctic ice extent reached its minimum in September.
      It’s now January.
      The Arctic ocean is almost entirely iced over once more.
      But the melting ice is affecting the jet stream only now?
      Disconnect?

    • “No one is saying the Arctic outbreak is proof of AGW.”

      Actually, yes, they are. I’ve had a couple of folks (in other places) make that sort of claim, with comments like “it’s just extreme weather, and the models predicted that!”

    • The argument that AnthroGHGs cause extreme weather events is extremely bogus, but it is extremely plausible to the relatively uninformed. Expect this perverse disenlightenment to haunt your grandchildren.
      =============

    • dennis adams

      David-
      My God, give it up. When anyone tries to defend AGW by cold outbreaks such as this one, you just make yourself look foolish and desperate. It is a cold spell. Cold spells just like we have always had and will continue to have. This is no different than several I have seen in my lifetime.

      There are lots of other issues that at least you have a moderate chance of proving your case about AGW. This is not one of them. An 18 year old college freshman might buy it. I dont.

    • “Observations show that the upper 2 km of the subtropical North Atlantic Ocean cooled throughout 2010 and remained cold until at least December 2011. We show that these cold anomalies are partly driven by anomalous air-sea exchange during the cold winters of 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 and, more surprisingly, by extreme interannual variability in the ocean’s northward heat transport at 26.5°N. This cooling driven by the ocean’s meridional heat transport affects deeper layers isolated from the atmosphere on annual timescales and water that is entrained into the winter mixed layer thus lowering winter sea surface temperatures. Here we connect, for the first time, variability in the northward heat transport carried by the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation to widespread sustained cooling of the subtropical North Atlantic, challenging the prevailing view that the ocean plays a passive role in the coupled ocean-atmosphere system on monthly-to-seasonal timescales.”

      They were blaming global warming for the polar vortex back in 2009 2010. This paper indicates a change in heat transport was likely the cause.

      Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation slowdown cooled the subtropical ocean

    • steven, “They were blaming global warming for the polar vortex back in 2009 2010. This paper indicates a change in heat transport was likely the cause.”

      Right and all the usual blog suspects just can’t seem to catch up.

    • Steven Mosher

      Alex,

      two years ago (after the 2012 ) blow out people started asking the question.

      Who cares if the arctic ice melts? What’s the problem?

      Well, initially climate science in a huge blunder tried to market the importance of the arctic in an emotional way: pictures of polar bears.
      This was a dumb idea. But with stupid leaders like Gore and mann what do you expect?

      So what is the real problem? As folks pointed out in 2012 the science says that one thing we might see is changes in the jet stream. Bigger loops. and stuck weather. Cold air intrusions and more winter snowfall. Not every year of course and not in every place, but more often than we have seen in the past.

      Of course these predictions are sketchy. We have one example of a 30 year decline in ice. one example. That can give you some idea of what to look for but its far from certain.

      Put another way. How can the changes in artic ice NOT effect the weather.
      its more than a damn butterfly flapping its wings

    • I love the usage of the term “polar vortex”. Sounds so much more catchy and threatening than “arctic air mass”, which was what this was previously described as.

      Also love the big deal about low temps not seen since the 1990′s. You know, Back in the day of the dinosaur, before humans roamed the planet.

    • As folks pointed out in 2012 the science says that one thing we might see is changes in the jet stream.

      Do these folks point out a plausible mechanism for this?

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “Cold invading the US from the Arctic was a regular occurrence in the 70s. We had week long spells of cold like this, in numerous years. Of course there was no PR firm around to poll test a term like “Polar vortex” to support a political agenda.”
      ____
      Nor did we have the extensive satellite coverage that could actually measure and visualize this term call “Polar Vortex”. It is a real and physical, measurable dynamic. There is nothing politcial about it, but it seems certain people must see everything through their blue and red colored glasses. Extremely myopic!

    • phatboy wrote:
      The Arctic ocean is almost entirely iced over once more.
      But the melting ice is affecting the jet stream only now?

      See the work of Jennifer Francis of Rutgers. Or watch her lecture here:
      http://climatecrocks.com/2012/09/22/the-weekend-wonk-jennifer-francis-on-arctic-sea-ice/

      • Dr Francis was on NPR this morning. She went on about how this cold weather is due to 40% higher concentration of CO2 and distortions of the jet stream. No proof. No identifying exactly how CO2 is changing the jet stream. And apparently no memory of past times when “arctic low pressure systems” or “air mass” generated similar weather.

        The same Dr Francis who earlier this year went into attack mode when another scientist published research which blew big holes in her work related to climate change impacting jet stream movement.

        The Dr Francis’ of the world are a big reason for me being sceptical on certain areas of climate science.

    • Re Polar Vortex: The following suggests it has slipped a bit from the Arctic. That would mean that it is no longer “Polar”.
      AccuWeather. “What Is a Polar Vortex?” Text.Article. AccuWeather, January 6, 2014. http://www.foxnews.com/weather/2014/01/06/what-is-polar-vortex/
      I have come across other suggestions that the Polar Vortex dissipates to the point that it no longer holds arctic cold in the polar arctic. The jet stream buckles a bit, opening the gate to more southerly latitudes.
      In either case, it appears to result in a meridional jet stream. This mid-summer, the cold front behind met Gulf air, dumping the Gulf on our heads.
      Of course, I could be wrong. I often am.

    • From David Appel’s link:

      As temperatures over the Arctic Ocean fall with the approach of winter, the extra energy that was absorbed during summer must be released back into the atmosphere before the water can cool to freezing temperatures. Essentially, this loads the atmosphere with a new source of energy—one that affects weather patterns, both locally and on a larger scale

      I rather don’t think that physics is this lady’s strong suit.

    • John Carpenter

      Polar vortex… when I was a kid growing up on the southern shores of Lake Erie outside Cleveland, the local weatherman, Dick Goddard, used to call arctic blasts ‘Alberta Clippers’. I always loved that term. However, looking at the description of an Alberta Clipper, it is a different type of weather pattern than the polar vortex we are encountering this week.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alberta_clipper

    • dennis adams wrote:
      This is no different than several I have seen in my lifetime.

      I don’t know of anyone who is claiming AGW causes weather events that have never happened before. Do you?

      When anyone tries to defend AGW by cold outbreaks such as this one, you just make yourself look foolish and desperate.

      AGW has already been scientifically proven. Now people are wondering if these polar outbreaks are a consequence of it.

    • Arctic sea ice by JAXA is again in record low for the date territory.

      Told you ******** it would happen before ice extent went up to average.

      Winner!

      Where’s Angech?

    • Before climate was controlled by mechanisms it still managed a trick or two. Or three. “Look ma, no vortex!” climate cried in the winter of 1978-9.

      The 1936 cold wave in the US was remarkable for being followed by the Big Heat and preceded by the Labor Day Hurricane (no, not a giant storm, a Cat 5 at landfall!) How did climate do that all on its own?

      Nowadays they have to cheat with all their fancy forcings.

    • ting wrote:
      Dr Francis was on NPR this morning. She went on about how this cold weather is due to 40% higher concentration of CO2 and distortions of the jet stream. No proof.

      You expected her to provide scientific proof on NPR??? Wow. That’s the purpose of scientific journals, not media outlets.

      And is there some reason you can’t to her Web site and read her papers?

    • timg56 wrote:
      The same Dr Francis who earlier this year went into attack mode when another scientist published research which blew big holes in her work related to climate change impacting jet stream movement.

      Can you identify for me any scientist, on any side of any issue, who doesn’t do the same when they think their work has been misrepresented?

      Just one?

    • Excursions of the polar night jet,tend to occur when the Arctic oscillation is negative.persistence of both the negative AO and southward excursions of the PNJ are more consistent with a decrease in differential heating due to changes in solar forcing eg Ruzmaikin and Feynman.

      Chirality destroys Francis argument as both Sea ice extent and polar jet excursions are occurring in the SH (at around 30 S) at present.

  13. Figure 1 of Box 12.2 in the AR5 WG1 report shows that 11 out of 19 observational-based studies of ECS show values below 1.5oC in their ranges of ECS probability distribution.

    Hence the AR5 reflects greater uncertainty and a tendency towards lower values of the ECS than the AR4.

    So why did IPCC increase its confidence from 90% to 95% that humans are causing CAGW?

  14. AR 5 decided to ignore the reconstruction of Gulf Stream transport and stated there was no evidence of a long term trend in ocean heat transport. I decided to ignore AR 5.

    • Why — do you have evidence of a long-term trend in the AMOC?

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      There are short term trends – e.g. http://www.ocean-sci-discuss.net/10/1619/2013/osd-10-1619-2013.pdf

      There are modelling results – as reported by AR4 – showing 25 to 50% decline in AMOC his century.

      This are suggestions from Wally Broecker that this has all happened many times before.

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

      Attempts are petty gotchas notwithstanding.

    • Generalissimo Skippy
      There are modelling results – as reported by AR4 – showing 25 to 50% decline in AMOC his century.

      Suddenly this site accepts modelling results??

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Cheap snark notwithstanding – I rarely speak for this site or either side in the climate wars.

      Climate models have obvious limitations – which have been discussed endlessly in the literature.

      i.e

      In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions. This reduces climate change to the discernment of significant differences in the statistics of such ensembles. The generation of such model ensembles will require the dedication of greatly increased computer resources and the application of new methods of model diagnosis. Addressing adequately the statistical nature of climate is computationally intensive, but such statistical information is essential. TAR 14.2.2.2

      Here they are talking about perturbed physics models – as anyone does who has any knowledge at all. Something that is lost on both sides here.

      Some models are interesting – e.g. http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/legrande_01/ – and I have run models my entire career. So I have a little familiarity.

      Closer to home – the accuracy of ENSO models 3 months in the future is no better than random. They are in fact quite useless for seasonal forecasts. Yet they will be quoted as Gospell by the uninformed hordes here.

      Horses for courses.

    • Gulf Stream density structure and transport during the past millennium

      Lund et al 2006

  15. Generalissimo Skippy

    Here’s one prepared earlier – by Karina von Schuckmann.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/vonSchuckmannampLTroan2011-fig5PG_zpsee63b772.jpg.html?sort=3&o=98

    So we have 0.69mm/year steric rise – and some net loss of freshwater content. In a period – if my comment ever appeared you could see – was caused by an increase in downward SW flux.

    Seriously – is this consistent with the satellite altimetry?

    Or are we just making yellow snow?

    I always have a huge grin from the first riff. Can we have a post on the modern classical influence on Frank Zappa – Judy.

    • I once held Zappa’s head in my hands, and thought he might be dying. He was unconscious with his eyes open, and I was staunching a heavy flow of blood from the back of his head with my sweater. His leg was badly broken. Zappa had hitherto seemed invincible; obviously not.

    • Chris Quayle

      That’s pretty good, as was Zappa, but my favourite is Moonlight on Vermont, by Beefheart,. Absolutely brilliant, as is the rest of the album :-).

      Chris

    • So we have 0.69mm/year steric rise

      Since that number is only for 6 years — a period that saw a large La Nina that lowered sea level — it must have a huge statistical uncertainty. What is it?

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      The loss of freshwater is reported by von Schuckman – work it out Appell.

    • Generalissimo Skippy wrote:
      The loss of freshwater is reported by von Schuckman

      The claim isn’t mine. I’m simply asking about its statistical significance. Is that really so threatening?

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      I simply suggested that the data is there from which to calculate the decline in sea level from loss of freshwater.

      Is that too difficult for you?

  16. Very few fluctuations in energy, and pause well explained
    http://contextearth.com/context_salt_model/

    • Generalissimo Skippy

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

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

      Huge fluctuations in energy – as you could see if my comment ever appeared – and the interregnum explained long ago by skeptics. Funny about that.

      I remember talking about it in 2003 with Professor Stewart Franks.

      Of course we should count the interregnum from after the 1998/201 climate shift and expect it to last 20 to 40 years.

      e.g. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130822105042.htm

      Go on – deny all the science – it’s a free barnyard.

    • Matthew R Marler

      WebHubTelescope (from the link): The piece that NW is 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.

      Your model is ok as a multiple linear regression model where the dependent variable and all the independent variables are time series: in vector autoregressive terms all the lags are 0 (except for 1 lag of 6 months that you sometimes refer to). but you write weird things about it: that is is a “variational approach”? Please, it’s a simple, respectable but simple, multiple linear regression of one time series on a bunch of others.

    • Matthew R Marler

      WebHubTelescope: Very few fluctuations in energy,

      What do you mean be that? Your regressor variables do not represent any energy flows, even indirectly? Earth mean temperature rises and falls without fluctuations in energy? SOI rises and falls without fluctuations in energy?

      and pause well explained

      Actually, it is well “modeled”, not well “explained”. You do not have, for example, an explanation of why the regression coefficient for the SOI is what it is, what energy flow is represented by the regression on SOI, or anything else that counts as an “explanation.” You simply have an estimated regression between two observed variables, something that may someday be explained.

    • Marler,
      You are very confused between a physics-based model and what kind of mathematics applies to solve a physics-based model.

      This is very common to someone not trained in physics. I can give you examples in mechanical statics or in chemical reaction kinetics or in a host of other physics disciplines, but solving an elementary electrical circuit is a very simple way of showing this:
      http://webphysics.davidson.edu/Course_Material/Py230L/OhmsLaw/ohmslaw.htm

      So one can see that we can apply linear regression to solve for the unknowns. Physics students understand how this works from introductory courses where they can simply plot the variates and find a slope in the line. That is a form of linear regression. Sorry to sound so pedantic, but there does seem to be a significant gap in your understanding of methods of problem solving.

    • So one can see that we can apply linear regression to solve for the unknowns.

      JC SNIP
      Replace your resistor with a thermistor, and tell me what the resistance will be in the future if you don’t know what the temperature will be then?

      You are right that

      Very few fluctuations in energy

      Tmax day over day annual average of surfaces stations show no change, for the last 63 years. Tmin ? Yup, big downward excursions followed by returns to zero. The problem with seasalt is that
      a) you use SOI, totally arbitrary.
      b)you use published temp series which are models of the actual measurements.

      I’m puzzled that none of the warmists use actual measurements, oh wait, that’s because it proves they are clueless :)

    • The person who was so wrong on the timing of the depletion of fossil fuels and its impact on market pricing, and the same person who used to acknowledge that he knows little about the climate, now posts that he knows the future based on his curve fittting. LOL

    • Ringo,

      Yup, solving challenging analysis problems is my forte. Since you have no ammo besides a rhetorical flourish, better get use to MNFTIU.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Web HubTelescope: That is a form of linear regression. Sorry to sound so pedantic, but there does seem to be a significant gap in your understanding of methods of problem solving.

      I think there is a disparity between what your model actually is and what you claim for it. Also, you don’t seem to recognize questions and create confabulations instead of answering them.

      So one can see that we can apply linear regression to solve for the unknowns.

      The unknowns that you have included in your model are the regression coefficients. You have not, to date, related them to any physical processes like energy flows, except metaphorically.

    • “The unknowns that you have included in your model are the regression coefficients. You have not, to date, related them to any physical processes like energy flows, except metaphorically.”

      The approach is variational principles of thermodynamics.
      http://contextearth.com/2013/11/21/variational-principles-in-thermodynamics/


      Peter Ván: “The basic mystery in thermodynamics is the universality. The validity of thermodynamic equations and theories regularly exceed the expectations.”

      What you might also want to do is read this entry to expand your horizons
      http://johncarlosbaez.wordpress.com/2011/12/22/quantropy/

    • Matthew R Marler

      WebHubTelescope: The approach is variational principles of thermodynamics.
      http://contextearth.com/2013/11/21/variational-principles-in-thermodynamics/

      The approach is multiple linear regression. Those variational principles exist, but you have not related any of them to your linear regression.

    • It’s a mathematical solver. Can not you get that through your head?

      There are countless methods of substantiating AGW and of modeling the warming signal. So I have provided a form for another.

      Take the TSI forcing as an example. It discriminates it just fine.

  17. “Expert judgment”

    It is now official. Opinion is science. They need to start including classes in polling in science school curricula.

    • Right. Science by decree.
      Science handed down by wise men from on high.
      Science because “we say so.”
      Science by hocus pocus, presto chango, abracadabra, please and thank you.

      A much needed analysis, Dr. Judith Curry. Thank you.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      GaryM and pokerguy must doubt the opinions of doctors. I hope their skepticism doesn’t prove fatal.

    • Hah!

      I was wondering if this resonated with anyone else.

      (expert judgment, medium confidence)

      “Because I said so!”

    • MAx_Shallow, Cub Reporter says “GaryM and pokerguy must doubt the opinions of doctors. I hope their skepticism doesn’t prove fatal.”

      Well, if it turns out my doctor’s career and prestige is dependent on him finding something wrong with me, I’m going to get a second opinion from someone who can be more objective.

    • “the opinions of doctors”

      And I often appeal to my cats to make judgements about dogs.

      Andrew

    • Max_Okie _dokie, “GaryM and pokerguy must doubt the opinions of doctors. I hope their skepticism doesn’t prove fatal.”

      It is called a medical “practice” for a reason. Consider Oncology, what would you choose?

      http://www.viewray.com/

      I am a cutting edge kinda guy not a cut me up kinda guy.

    • The Death Panel has determined to off the patient suspected of having a fever.
      =======

    • The problem is Capt, that not all cancers show up on MRI in a way that allows you to bombard the little swines with a gamma-knife.
      You get a glioma and it infiltrates throughout the brain and spinal cord; so they give you 60 grays of whole brain radiation and worry about tissue damage later.
      The future is personalized medicine, biopsy, antigen interrogation, targeted radio-sensitizing and chemotherapy.

    • When Warmers start appealing to Doctors, then you REALLY know AGW is a hoax.

      Andrew

    • The whole analogue breaks down when you realize that doctors, and the long, long, history of doctoring, are exquisitely sensitive to empirical feedback.

      Comparing climate scientists to doctors is a sign of pitiful desperation. It is a remarkably feeble analogy.

      However, here’s a slightly more apt one; skeptics are the nurse’s aides who have discovered that the fever in the emergent patient is no longer there, while the rest of the ER crew is still starting IVs, ordering tests, and inflicting inappropriate treatments upon the victim.
      ================

    • DocMartyn, “The problem is Capt, that not all cancers show up on MRI in a way that allows you to bombard the little swines with a gamma-knife.”

      Right which is where developing MRI/CAT sensitive isotopes to “label” cancer cells comes in. Lots to be ironed out but promising.

    • “Skeptics are the nurses aides”

      I’d add unpaid, volunteer nurses aids. I’m proud to be a nurses aid. I have a sudden need to check in with Beth the Serf who I’m sure would also be proud to be a nurses aid.

    • I’ve always liked to call the boy ones ‘disorderlies’.
      ================

    • I’ve been drunk and disorderly for most of my adult life. I feel more qualified by the minute….

    • Max,

      50% of doctors finished in the bottom half of their class.

      My advice on how much faith you put in your doctor is to pay attention to how well he or she listens to you. You are the best resource in determining your own health, not the doctor.

    • Heh, there is no correlation between class rank in medical school and success as a doctor.
      =============

    • As devil’s advocate, studies show that the doctors who give the most accurate medical information receive lower patient-satisfaction scores than the ones who sugar-coat or filter information.

  18. This is an interesting summary of the most important, relevant conclusions from WG1.

    But, for me, it’s all “so what?”. Until the CAGW alarmists are prepared to entertain rational, economically viable policies (and removal or economically irrational policies that are blocking progress), and reduce the uncertainty on the damage function and the rate of decarbonisation of the global economy that can be achieved with ‘no regrets’ policies, then we’re going nowhere fast, IMO (and wasting an enormous amount of money and global wealth on worse than useless policies).

  19. Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

    JC says: “Several key elements of the report point to a weakening of the case for attributing the warming of human influences:

    “Lack of warming since 1998 and growing discrepancies with climate model projections”

    J. C., how do you know the lack of warming since 1998 wasn’t a tie between a natural cooling influence and a man-made warming influence.

    “Evidence of decreased climate sensitivity to increases in CO2″

    JC are you saying all evidence points to decreased sensitivity or just selected evidence?

    I’m sorry but that’s all I have time for now.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Well – thank God for small mercies.

      How do we know that the warming from 1976 to 1998 wasn’t added to by natural variability?

      Well it is pretty much mainstream science. Although science of any sort seems pretty much a different country to Maxy_buffoon extraordinaire

      e.g. http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

      Actually – all the evidence points to sensitivity being γ in this Ghil paper.

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

      Are you pandering to the low sensitivity pundits – Judy? You should be ashamed of yourself.

    • Max, I think they have ruled out that natural variation can occasionally, for up to 15 years, reduce the temperature rise by 0.1 C per decade. It is not clear on what basis they have ruled this out, because this has happened before due to PDO’s, volcanoes, etc. We are still only 0.1 C below the 40-year trend line, for the eighth time in 40 years, and headed back up towards it. It is very odd that they have had this about turn on the possible degree of natural variability about the mean rise that is even seen before in the record.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      It is not clear on what basis you rule out a 20 to 40 year interregnum or pull o.1 degrees C out of your arse.

      Imprint of the Atlantic multi-decadal oscillation and Pacific decadal oscillation on southwestern US climate: past, present, and future
      Petr Chylek • Manvendra K. Dubey • Glen Lesins • Jiangnan Li • Nicolas Hengartner

      Abstract

      The surface air temperature increase in the southwestern United States was much larger during the last few decades than the increase in the global mean. While the global temperature increased by about 0.5 °C from 1975 to 2000, the southwestern US temperature increased by about 2 °C. If such an enhanced warming persisted for the next few decades, the southwestern US would suffer devastating consequences. To identify major drivers of southwestern climate change we perform a multiple-linear regression of the past 100 years of the southwestern US temperature and precipitation. We find that in the early twentieth century the warming was dominated by a positive phase of the Atlantic multi-decadal oscillation (AMO) with minor contributions from increasing solar irradiance and concentration of greenhouse gases.

      The late twentieth century warming was about equally influenced by increasing concentration of atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs) and a positive phase of the AMO. The current southwestern US drought is associated with a near maximum AMO index occurring nearly simultaneously with a minimum in the Pacific dec- adal oscillation (PDO) index. A similar situation occurred in mid-1950s when precipitation reached its minimum within the instrumental records. If future atmospheric concentrations of GHGs increase according to the IPCC scenarios (Solomon et al. in Climate change 2007: working group I. The Physical Science Basis, Cambridge, 996 pp, 2007), climate models project a fast rate of southwestern warming accompanied by devastating droughts (Seager et al. in Science 316:1181–1184, 2007; Williams et al. in Nat Clim Chang, 2012).’ http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/13/chylek-et-al-2013-shows-a-linkage-between-us-southwest-climate-and-amopdo-cycles/

      Such overweening confidence and unrelenting ignorance seems a potent combination. Why don’t you workshop it mith Maxy.

    • Generalissimo, the variation, including now, is 0.1 C, but the rise rate is 0.16 C per decade. This is 12-month smoothed, but the monthly value is already back at the center line. So much for that pause. Better luck next time.
      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1970/mean:12/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1970/mean:12/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1970/mean:12/trend/offset:0.1/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1970/mean:12/trend/offset:-0.1

    • Matthew R Marler

      Gimo Skippy: The usual view of climate sensitivity | as re-
      ected in the work of the Intergovernmental
      Panel on Climate Change [IPCC: (Houghton et al. , 1991; Solomon
      et al., 2007)] | is that of cli-mate being in equilibrium, in the absence of ex-ternal perturbations. In the setting of determin-istic, autonomous dynamical systems, this view can be described by the change in the position of a fi xed point,X0 = X0(), as a function of a
      parameter .
      (some characters have not been transferred in this quote)

      Going back to Fig. 1.1, we can see how the scalar functional
      T = TfX0()g; namely the global-mean temperature, varies as a function of
      the fractional change of insolation at the top of the atmosphere; here the fixed point X0=X0() is the equilibrium solution T=T(x;)of the EBM given by Eq. (1.2). Climate sensi-tivity for the present climate is thus simply the partial derivative @T=@, i.e. the tangent of the angle
      between the upper branch of Fig. 1.1 and the abscissa. The sensitivity increases, in general, as we approach the bifurcation point (X0;) in Eqs. (1.3) or (1.4), and it decreases away from it.
      But we have seen in Secs. 1.3 and 1.4 here
      that internal climate variability can be better
      described by limit cycles and strange attractors
      than by fi xed points. Moreover, the presence
      of time-dependent forcing, deterministic as well
      as stochastic, introduces additional complexities
      into the proper defi nition of climate sensitivity.

      That’s from the Ghil paper. Where do you find any hint of whether sensitivity is high or low? that paper is merely an exposition of random dynamical systems, of which some might eventually be developed that are reasonably accurate. It does not have any empirical results relevant to whether the climate sensitivity (to a doubling of CO2, say) is large or small. Changing the atmospheric CO2 might move the limit cycle or strange attractor, but the paper gives no hint of by how much.

      Have you actually read that paper?

    • “your mother is a gerbil…”

      hamster.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Max, you write “How come skippy is allowed to insult me and I’m not allowed to insult him?”

      This is EXACTLY the behaviour our hostess tried to discourage in the post on etiquette on CE. If someone hurls an insult, and the response is an insult in return, all that results is a handbag fight, which only provides heat and no light. What I try to do is to point out the insult, and then try to respond with science. Whether I succeed is an entirely different matter.

  20. We don’t know that the period 1998-2013 indicate a hiatus or a pause.
    The period 1998-2013 may be a peak or an inflection point.
    Some of the smart people on this blog should be able to come up with better terminology to indicate that we don’t know whether global temperature goes up or down from here.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Personally – I would count the interregnum from the after the 1998/2001 climate shift and expect it to last for 20 to 40 years.

      e.g. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130822105042.htm

      Hey – did you see I coined a new and much better term for the interregnum.

    • Matthew R Marler

      PMHinSC: Some of the smart people on this blog should be able to come up with better terminology to indicate that we don’t know whether global temperature goes up or down from here.

      the word used here often is “uncertainty”. Until we know what happens next, “pause” is good enough. It’s one syllable, and modest. It refers only to the apparent warming, not to the whole regulatory system. It draws attention to the limitations of knowledge (because nearly all the proponents of AGW did not predict it), without pretending to greater knowledge.

      You get my drift: a nice, short, unpretentious word already in common use.

  21. I think the increased confidence comes from the fact that even the low-end sensitivity of 1.5 C per doubling now accounts for more than half the warming of 0.67 C since 1950, and that is with just the CO2 increase, forgetting aerosols. Relating the CO2 change to the full temperature increase gives 2 C per doubling. People who accept the 1.5 C sensitivity mathematically have to accept that CO2 has caused about 75% of the warming since 1950, and should not be surprised by the confidence level.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

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

      Bah humbug. Climate sensitivity is actually humungous – adjacent to a tipping point – and the contribution of CO2 to 1976 to 1998 warming is demonstrably miniscule.

      Be careful of Wally’s beast – it just might bite.

      http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/phod/docs/Smeed_2013.pdf

  22. Re Climate sensitivity- AR5 WG1 v SPM
    The key factor in making CO2 emission control policy is the climate sensitivity to CO2 . By AR5 – WG1 the IPCC is saying: (Section 9.7.3.3)

    “The assessed literature suggests that the range of climate sensitivities and transient responses covered by CMIP3/5 cannot be narrowed significantly by constraining the models with observations of the mean climate and variability, consistent with the difficulty of constraining the cloud feedbacks from observations ”

    In plain English this means that they have no idea what the climate sensitivity is and that therefore that the politicians have no empirical scientific basis for their economically destructive climate and energy policies.
    In the SPM they are discussing the range of model outputs but the WG1 implies that they don’t know if the range is connected to reality.

    • Correct, Bottom line is no one knows. But what the hell? Let’s dim the lights, turn down the heat, and let the poor freeze to death for a century or two while we wait and see….

    • The key factor in making CO2 emission control policy is the climate sensitivity to CO2 .

      Why is that the key factor? Why aren’t these other factors just as important or perhaps more important:

      2. damage function (impacts per degree of average global temperature change, up or down)

      3. rate of global decarbonisation that will be achieved without any global mitigation policies, or can be achieved with ‘no regrets’ policies

      4. discount rate

      5. probability that a chosen solution will deliver the benefits by its proponents

      If #2 is low, #3 and # 4 are high, then the climate sensitivity is not a key factor, the others are the key factors.

      #4 is always a key factor but gets virtually no attention from scientists (and advocates for pet solutions).

    • [I'll try that again]

      The key factor in making CO2 emission control policy is the climate sensitivity to CO2 .

      I disagree; these other factors are just as important or may be more important:

      2. damage function (impacts per degree of average global temperature change, up or down)

      3. rate of global decarbonisation that will be achieved without any global mitigation policies, or can be achieved with ‘no regrets’ policies

      4. discount rate

      5. probability that a chosen solution will deliver the benefits by its proponents

      If #2 is low, or #3 is high, or # 4 is high, then the climate sensitivity is not the key factor, one or more of these other factors are the key factor(s).

      #5 is always a key factor but gets virtually no attention from scientists (and advocates for pet solutions).

    • Jim Cripwell

      Norman, you write “In plain English this means that they have no idea what the climate sensitivity is and that therefore that the politicians have no empirical scientific basis for their economically destructive climate and energy policies.”

      I have been trying to say this for months, if not years. It is wonderful to see someone with far better qualifications than I have, saying the same thing in basic, understandable, English.

      BUT, and there is always a BUT, the scientists who matter, in that they have the ear of our influential politicians, are saying exactly the opposite. Why are people like Lord Reese and Sir Paul Nurse saying that the conclusions of the AR5 are the equivalent of being written on tablets of stone? Just look at the submissions made to the UK Parliamentary Committee on DEEC about the AR5. And if you are right, why are not eminent scientists shouting this from the roof tops?

      Our hostess is slowly coming around to stating that you are correct, When will she start shouting that you are right from the rooftops? When will the Royal Society and the American Physical Society include your conclusions in their statements on CAGW?

      And finally, who is going to bell the cat?

  23. Further to first comment 7/12:34 AM- the CS from the models is built into the models ab initio from their assumptions .The IPCC models are structurally and inherently useless for forecasting. For a new forecasting method and estimate of the timing and extent of the coming cooling see http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Sorry – don’t do blog ‘science

      Lorenz was able to show that even for a simple set of nonlinear equations (1.1), the evolution of the solution could be changed by minute perturbations to the initial conditions, in other words, beyond a certain forecast lead time, there is no longer a single, deterministic solution and hence all forecasts must be treated as probabilistic. The fractionally dimensioned space occupied by the trajectories of the solutions of these nonlinear equations became known as the Lorenz attractor (figure 1), which suggests that nonlinear systems, such as the atmosphere, may exhibit regime-like structures that are, although fully deterministic, subject to abrupt and seemingly random change.

      http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

      http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751/F8.expansion.html

      We may expect the interregnum to persist for 20 to 40 years – but climate is what happens when you take your eye off the ball.

      We have models and climate – both are chaotic. There is seriously no chance of predicting anything but yellow snow anytime soon. Other than by understanding the nature of indices and their influence on climate.

      e.g. http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/USdrought_zps2629bb8c.jpg.html?sort=3&o=100

      By all means enlighten me Dr Stormin’ Norman – just don’t expect me to read your blog.

    • Generalissimo Skimpy

      Generalissimo Skippy | January 7, 2014 at 1:02 am |

      “Sorry – don’t do blog ‘science”

      That’s right. We do blog comment science and we don’t have PhDs. You’re not in our league, Dr. Page.

    • Skippy The output from models with the number of variables in the GCMs actually contains no useful information at all as the IPCC itself indicates. The modelers have known for some time that their models have no skill in forecasting . The IPCC AR4 WG1 science section actually acknowledges this fact. Section IPCC AR4 WG1 8.6 deals with forcings, feedbacks and climate sensitivity. The conclusions are in section 8.6.4 which deals with the reliability of the projections. It concludes:
      “Moreover it is not yet clear which tests are critical for constraining the future projections, consequently a set of model metrics that might be used to narrow the range of plausible climate change feedbacks and climate sensitivity has yet to be developed”
      What could be clearer. The IPCC in 2007 said itself that we don’t even know what metrics to put into the models to test their reliability.- i.e. we don’t know what future temperatures will be and we can’t calculate the climate sensitivity to CO2.This also begs a further question of what erroneous assumptions (e.g. that CO2 is the main climate driver) went into the “plausible” models to be tested anyway. This means that the successive SPM uncertainty estimates take no account of the structural uncertainties in the models and that almost the entire the range of model outputs may well lay outside the range of the real world future climate variability. By the time of the AR5 report this is obviously the case.
      The climate itself is not chaotic . Astronomical periodicities comparable to todays are seen on the geological record for at least the last 400 million years and indeed are used in putting together the Geological Time Scale.
      Similarly the sun has recognizable periodicities at decadal, centennial and millennial time scales . It is these that I use at
      http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com
      for forecasting the possible cooling ahead .

    • David Springer

      Thank you, Dr. Page.

      +1

    • @ Dr. Page

      “This also begs a further question of what erroneous assumptions (e.g. that CO2 is the main climate driver) went into the “plausible” models to be tested anyway.”

      The problem with ‘Climate Science’ writ large, is that CO2 as the main climate driver is treated axiomatically. From Wikipedia: “Axiom: As classically conceived, an axiom is a premise so evident as to be accepted as true without controversy.”

      Simply put, if you DON’T accept, as an axiom, that CO2 is the main driver of climate you are not, by definition, a ‘Climate Scientist’.

      And so the Climate Models haven’t worked, don’t work, and won’t work. Because they are developed by qualified ‘Climate Scientists’, as defined above.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      here are useful and reputable sources on the internet. These does not include blog science from individuals – which is where people here seem to get most of their misinformation.

      Climate is chaotic – http://www.geo.utexas.edu/courses/387h/PAPERS/R-260.pdf – and no amount of hand waving from the bleachers is going to change that.

      e.g. http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=10136

      Models are chaotic.

      ‘Lorenz was able to show that even for a simple set of nonlinear equations (1.1), the evolution of the solution could be changed by minute perturbations to the initial conditions, in other words, beyond a certain forecast lead time, there is no longer a single, deterministic solution and hence all forecasts must be treated as probabilistic. The fractionally dimensioned space occupied by the trajectories of the solutions of these nonlinear equations became known as the Lorenz attractor (figure 1), which suggests that nonlinear systems, such as the atmosphere, may exhibit regime-like structures that are, although fully deterministic, subject to abrupt and seemingly random change.’ http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

      ‘Sensitive dependence and structural instability are humbling twin properties for chaotic dynamical systems, indicating limits about which kinds of questions are theoretically answerable. They echo other famous limitations on scientist’s expectations, namely the undecidability of some propositions within axiomatic mathematical systems (Gödel’s theorem) and the uncomputability of some algorithms due to excessive size of the calculation (see ref. 26).’

      ‘In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions. This reduces climate change to the discernment of significant differences in the statistics of such ensembles. The generation of such model ensembles will require the dedication of greatly increased computer resources and the application of new methods of model diagnosis. Addressing adequately the statistical nature of climate is computationally intensive, but such statistical information is essential.’ TAR 14.2.2.2

      The outputs of models are intrinsically unable to resolve within the limits an unknown range. Which is why both everyone who knows anything talks about pdf of perturbed physics models.

      You have a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature and limits of models – missing the central problem – and do not understand the nature of complex and dynamic systems.

    • Skippy I’m pleased that you agree with me that models are useless for climate forecasting you say
      “The outputs of models are intrinsically unable to resolve within the limits an unknown range.”
      This I clearly understand. You also say
      “In sum, a strategy must recognize what is possible”
      What you fail to understand is that there are recurring patterns both in the temperature and possible driver data which can be a guide to the future because they can be recognized at various frequencies in the geological record over long periods of time..
      My approach recognizes what is possible by carefully reconstructing past recurring patterns in the climate system which can, as a practical matter, be projected ahead with some confidence eg the Milankovitch cycles, solar activity cycles at decadal, centennial and millennial scales and ocean system patterns eg PDO, AMO etc which also appear to have quasi periodic regularities. You do not need to know or be able to calculate the physical processes controlling all these patterns -simply have a reasonable understanding of the timing and amplitudes of their past occurrences.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      What you fail to understand is that these are not cycles but chaotic bifurcation between volumes of sate space – a different order of problem entirely.

      e.g. https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/kravtsov/www/downloads/GRL-Tsonis.pdf

      That you don’t understand complexity theory seems little reason to discount it.

    • As typos go ‘sate space’ is good. At least my appetite has been. :)

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      I decided to leave it. Hell – no one knows what state space is anyway.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Gimo Skippy: What you fail to understand is that these are not cycles but chaotic bifurcation between volumes of sate space – a different order of problem entirely.

      A bifurcation is an abrupt change in the behavior of the system when a parameter is changed by a small amount from one side of a boundary (the bifurcation point) and the other side — in the parameter space. There is no evidence for such an abrupt change any time in the last 10,000 years of the Earth climate. What we have in the mean temperature record (for example) is indistinguishable from the semi-periodic trajectory of a dynamical system in a strange attractor.

      Chaotic trajectories (the paths of chaotic systems) are not predictable for many cycles into the future, but may be approximately enough predictable for a few cycles. There is to date no model of climate with a demonstrated record of making sufficiently accurate predictions sufficiently far into the future to be of any practical value, but there is no reason in principle why predictions of mean temperature with an error no greater than 1K a century in the future may not be attainable.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Wrong on all counts Matthew. But by all means introduce some credible support for this horrendous mishmash of a theory.

      Else it is all just totally pointless narrative and handwaving in the grand tradition of CE – superficially in the dispassionate idiom of science but in reality nothing but inordinate nonsense.

    • Hey Skippy glad to see the Tsonis paper rediscover the 60 year quasi periodic cycle which I use in my forecasts. He goes a long way around though- anyone can eyeball it more accurately from the basic temperature or PD0 ( the most obvious at this time )data. As to chaos theory, Lorenz attractors etc Matt Marler has pretty well summed it up. As to the main drivers ie the planetary ephemerides show no chaos for 60 million years and the Geological record goes back at least 500 million without chaos .We are probably good for at least 60 million into the future so you can rest easy.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Everyone understands something about periodicities in the recent data record in particular. But you the Tsonis paper has gone right over your head. I don’t know which bit about a new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts doesn’t give a clue. But you agree with Matthew? Good luck with that.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Gimo Skippy: Else it is all just totally pointless narrative and handwaving in the grand tradition of CE – superficially in the dispassionate idiom of science but in reality nothing but inordinate nonsense.

      It will come as no surprise to you or any other readers that I think you have written nonsense. You say I am wrong “on all counts”? Such as my definition of a bifurcation and your misidentification of it with a change in trajectory in state/phase space? Your not understanding that chaotic system trajectories can be quasiperiodic in their attractors? I have become convinced that you don’t know what you are writing about in dynamical systems theory, even if you don’t (as you wrote) have a PhD. I don’t think you understand the good papers that you have linked to.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      It is the essence of a chaotic system that a change of a control variable – μ – will near regions of instability trigger an abrupt transition in the system from one volume of state space to another.

      e.g. http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/bifurcations.png.html?sort=3&o=110

      In climate it is called abrupt climate change.

      ‘An abrupt climate change occurs when the climate system is forced to transition to a new climate state at a rate that is determined by the climate system energy-balance, and which is more rapid than the rate of change of the external forcing.’

      ‘The fractionally dimensioned space occupied by the trajectories of the solutions of these nonlinear equations became known as the Lorenz attractor (figure 1), which suggests that nonlinear systems, such as the atmosphere, may exhibit regime-like structures that are, although fully deterministic, subject to abrupt and seemingly random change.’
      http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

      ‘The global climate system is composed of a num-
      ber of subsystems | atmosphere, biosphere,
      cryosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere | each
      of which has distinct characteristic times, from
      days and weeks to centuries and millennia. Each
      subsystem, moreover, has its own internal vari-
      ability, all other things being constant, over a
      fairly broad range of time scales. These ranges
      overlap between one subsystem and another.
      The interactions between the subsystems thus
      give rise to climate variability on all time scales.’ http://www.atmos.ucla.edu/tcd/PREPRINTS/Math_clim-Taipei-M_Ghil_vf.pdf

      So we have abrupt change that happens because of emergent behaviour in a complex dynamical system – that occurs at all time scales and is seemingly random.

      For anyone else who may not have read this – http://www.geo.utexas.edu/courses/387h/PAPERS/R-260.pdf – it gives a good introduction to the topic of NONLINEARITIES, FEEDBACKS AND CRITICAL THRESHOLDS WITHIN THE EARTH’S CLIMATE SYSTEM.

      You talk the language of chaos – not terribly convincingly – yet you seem to want to deny that the system shifts abruptly as a result of changes in control variables and multiple positive and negative and feedbacks.

      And I have given you enough examples not to want to continue this unedifying discourse.

      will come as no surprise to you or any other readers that I think you have written nonsense. You say I am wrong “on all counts”? Such as my definition of a bifurcation and your misidentification of it with a change in trajectory in state/phase space? Your not understanding that chaotic system trajectories can be quasiperiodic in their attractors? I have become convinced that you don’t know what you are writing about in dynamical systems theory, even if you don’t (as you wrote) have a PhD. I don’t think you understand the good papers that you have linked to.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Perhaps I should try that again.

      It is the essence of a chaotic system that a change of a control variable – μ – will near regions of instability trigger an abrupt transition in the system from one volume of state space to another.

      e.g. http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/bifurcations.png.html?sort=3&o=110

      In climate it is called abrupt climate change.

      ‘An abrupt climate change occurs when the climate system is forced to transition to a new climate state at a rate that is determined by the climate system energy-balance, and which is more rapid than the rate of change of the external forcing.’

      ‘The fractionally dimensioned space occupied by the trajectories of the solutions of these nonlinear equations became known as the Lorenz attractor (figure 1), which suggests that nonlinear systems, such as the atmosphere, may exhibit regime-like structures that are, although fully deterministic, subject to abrupt and seemingly random change.’
      http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

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

      So we have abrupt change that happens because of emergent behaviour in a complex dynamical system – that occurs at all time scales and is seemingly random.

      For anyone else who may not have read this – http://www.geo.utexas.edu/courses/387h/PAPERS/R-260.pdf – it gives a good introduction to the topic of NONLINEARITIES, FEEDBACKS AND CRITICAL THRESHOLDS WITHIN THE EARTH’S CLIMATE SYSTEM.

      You talk the language of chaos – not terribly convincingly – yet you seem to want to deny that the system shifts abruptly as a result of changes in control variables and multiple positive and negative feedbacks.

      And I have given you enough examples not to want to continue this unedifying discourse.


    • Matthew R Marler | January 7, 2014 at 10:05 pm |

      Gimo Skippy: What you fail to understand is that these are not cycles but chaotic bifurcation between volumes of sate space – a different order of problem entirely.

      A bifurcation is an abrupt change in the behavior of the system when a parameter is changed by a small amount from one side of a boundary (the bifurcation point) and the other side — in the parameter space.

      It is so easy to spin these skeptics around in circles. Note how Marler criticizes the chaotic explanation — and rightly may I add. Yet he also tries to criticize the CSALT model, which accounts for various energy forcings and linearizes them about a steady-state goal or end-point. The CSALT model can be considered as the first-order version of a baby chaos theory, in that you certainly need to account for linear forcings before these forcings will magnify into anything remotely resembling a chaotic bifurcation.

      We can take one factor of the CSALT model, let’s consider the TSI forcing perturbation. If this is a real thing — and no doubt all the skeptics consider that it will impact the mean global temperature to some extent — then we should be able to extract the TSI signal from the actual measurement and see if it matches the predictions. And it certainly does:


      http://contextearth.com/2013/10/26/csalt-model/
      TSI scaling → This turns out to agree with that predicted from the proportional radiative heating, about 0.05C heating due to a 1 W/m^2 change in solar irradiance at the top of the atmosphere

      The reason that the CSALT model works as well as it does is partly attributable to the ways that the various forcings assist in discriminating each other. For a long instrumental temperature record going back to 1880, being able to remove the TSI signal from the aggregate signal allows one to more clearly delineate the other energy factors. So when we can factor-by-factor remove the TSI signal, and then the Stadium Wave signal, and then the SOI signal, and then the major volcanic aerosol signal, then the even more subtle forcings, such as Clive Best’s predicted tidal influence will get revealed.

      The fact that this is basic thermodynamic accounting seems lost on the skeptics. The worst thing they have said is that it is all a statistical coincidence.

      “Homer Simpson: global warming. Huh, by pure coincidence every scientist was right.”

      Yes indeed, that is all the skeptics have got.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Talk about an unedifying discourse.

    • Most of the forcings are accounted for to the consternation of the skeptics
      http://imageshack.com/a/img845/6034/7ju6.gif

      They hate it when their arguments are used in a way counter to their political agenda.

      • Let me make my skeptic comments yet one more time for you to ignore.

        First, the temp series you’re comparing against isn’t measure of surface temps, but a model. A model that I think doesn’t represent the actual data, in which case all you did was curve fit a squiggly line. The annual day over day average of Tmax is a flat line, and since I calculate the day over day value for each station one at a time, and then aggregate them, I trust that data far more than a model of surface temp. What I think you’re doing is just making a model of surface temp, and comparing that to a model of surface temps, so it’s more slight of hand than it is real.

        Second, SOI is just an arbitrary pressure reading pulled out your a$$, I would like a scientific reason to use this SOI, why not use an average of all the station pressures, or NY to London, San Francisco to Tokyo, Tokyo to NY? Why SOI.

        Third, what’s the a in a(volc)? Where does volc come from? Is it just another series of squiggly lines? Because I suspect it would be easy enough to take a couple of squiggly lines, and get them to match another squiggly line, one that has no physical analog to climate.

        Forth, where does cc come from?

        Lastly, make a chart just like this one, but include each terms you use. Oh, and add the other temp series and see what kind of match you get, your match won’t be as good, because they temp series, that are suppose to be of the same thing, aren’t the same.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Multiple linear regression of climate indices against surface temperature requires that all of the correct parameters are selected. This doesn’t fall out of the method and requires some discrimination.

      There is no way either that the method can distinguish between factors that co-vary. The mathematics are essentially Xp unknowns in a single equation.

      Chylek (2013) regressed US south west temps against volcanoes, greenhouse gases, the PDO and the AMO.

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/13/chylek-et-al-2013-shows-a-linkage-between-us-southwest-climate-and-amopdo-cycles/

      This is a far better idea – surprise – than webby’s incompetent blog science. The ongoing puerile prattling and preening by webby is laughably misguided.

    • Matthew R Marler

      WebHubTelescope: The fact that this is basic thermodynamic accounting seems lost on the skeptics. The worst thing they have said is that it is all a statistical coincidence.

      I have written that your model is a “live” model, meaning I accept that it fits current data well, it is certainly not implausible, and that it may pass stringent tests imposed by future data. I disputed that it follows from basic (or even advanced) thermodynamic accounting: it is a multiple linear regression of an observed variable on a bunch of predictors selected empirically. During its development, you flirted for a while with a cubic function of time. I have experience with multiple linear regression, polynomial regression, multiple non-linear regression, estimation of parameters of linear and non-linear dynamical systems and such.

      If you ever do relate your parameters explicitly to thermodynamic considerations I shall be eager to read it. I think you should submit your model to a peer-reviewed journal. But meanwhile, the relationship of your model to thermodynamics is purely associational.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Gimo Skippy: Talk about an unedifying discourse.

      If anybody wants a deeper understanding of my dispute with Generalissimo Skippy, here is some background reading.

      Rasband: Chaotic Dynamics of Nonlinear Systems (Wiley, 1990) a brief basic introduction.

      Wiggins: Introduction to Applied Nonlinear Dynamical Systems and Chaos (Springer, 1990) longer and more detailed.

      Oksendahl: Stochastic Differential Equations (Springer, 5th edition in 1998) basic introduction to Ito and Stratanovich integration of SDEs

      Arnold: 1991: Random Dynamical Systems (Springer, 1998) elaborate working out of results of Stratanovich integration

      Crauel and Gundlach (eds) Stochastic Dynamics (Springer, 1999) a bunch of applications of Stratanovich integration. I especially recommend chapter 4 by Arnold, Bleckert and Shenk-Hoppe, “The stochastic Brusselator: Parametric noise destroys Hopf bifurcation.

      Dijkstra: Nonlinear Climate Dynamics (Cambridge U Press, 2013) I especially liked his development of a partial model of ENSO. Many thanks to Chief Hydrologist (!) for alerting me to Dijkstra’s books.

      I do not claim to have mastered all of these texts, only that I have read a lot in each of them. I think Generalissimo Skippy has been writing nonsense.

    • I did map the parameters to thermodynamic variables, in a link made in a comment dated Jan 7, 11:47 pm.

      Read that linked post and you will see how and why the analysis succeeds at doing its job.

    • Matthew R Marler

      WebHubTelescope: I did map the parameters to thermodynamic variables, in a link made in a comment dated Jan 7, 11:47 pm.

      that’s the linkage I called “associational”. Clearly ENSO might be related to heat flows in the atmosphere and thus to mean global temperature, hence a regression of mean temp on an ENSO index might be statistically significant. But these data and models have been worked for years, what you have is yet another multiple linear regression, the least-squares estimated parameter is not related to any documented or measured heat flows in particular, and the model has not been tested against independent data.

      I like the model, but you make unjustified claims about it. It’s not based on “variational principles”, its a plain multiple linear regression of an observable on a set of other observables.


    • I like the model, but you make unjustified claims about it. It’s not based on “variational principles”, its a plain multiple linear regression of an observable on a set of other observables.

      Have you ever done physics, chemistry, etc?

      I solved a problem subject to energy constraints, which falls into the class of variational approaches. I can’t help the fact that I solved it by trivial means (a multiple linear regression solver), which apparently has made you insanely jealous. To rub it in, here is a latest fit
      http://imageshack.com/a/img845/6034/7ju6.gif

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      No – I am pretty sure that abrupt climate change is what it says and is not predictable.

      e.g. http://www.geomar.de/en/news/article/klimavorhersagen-ueber-mehrere-jahre-moeglich/

      Perhaps we should contact the NAS and suggest that they rename their report from – Abrupt climate change: inevitable surprises to – Abrupt climate change: totally predictable.


    • During its development, you flirted for a while with a cubic function of time. ”

      That is untrue. On a separate path, I was experimenting with the Eureqa mapping tool. This suggested that certain trends were cubic and quadratic. Eureqa fits to an endless set of analytical expressions, and since it is billed as an expression-fitting robot, it finds what it finds.

    • ” Mi Cro | January 8, 2014 at 9:34 am |

      Let me make my skeptic comments yet one more time for you to ignore.

      First, the temp series you’re comparing against isn’t measure of surface temps, but a model. “

      I use the GISTEMP temperature record produced by GISS. I am glad they put that together so I don’t.

      This process has similarities to forensics. Investigators use things like maximum entropy spectral estimators to pick out the license plate numbers in the crime scene surveillance camera. So what I am doing is something similar, only it’s pointing out the atrocities committed by the deniers.

      • You like saying deniers don’t question sea salt, well that was all hand waving, no answers. We both know it’s sideshow “magic” and has no value, quick what’s the temperature going to be a year from now?
        Clown!

    • “[A]n expression-fitting robot…finds what it finds.”

      Yes, and in data sets with enough variables, statistically significant relationships will eventually be found.

      But seriously Web, you know (or should know) that claiming your CSALT is just a statistical coincidence is not the best criticism anyone has made of it. After I demonstrated the fragility of your (allegedly) causal impact of co2 on temp, this claim of yours is fragile too.

    • This analysis is nearing the quality of fingerprint identification. You can stew in your own juices or try to do it better, but you certainly can not deny how well it works.

      And of course one of these days I will use it to make a projection. I am in no rush as the projection will be for the time period of CO2 doubling. I might as well tweak it for all it is worth, before committing.

    • Matthew R Marler

      WebHubTelescope: Have you ever done physics, chemistry, etc?

      Yes.

    • Matthew R Marler

      WebHubTelescope: On a separate path, I was experimenting with the Eureqa mapping tool. This suggested that certain trends were cubic and quadratic. Eureqa fits to an endless set of analytical expressions, and since it is billed as an expression-fitting robot, it finds what it finds.

      Yet you posted the result here as though it was a statement about climate, not merely a claim that Eureqa could estimate the exponent of a monomial term like p in time^p. Was that not also your first usage of the stadium wave?

      Well, if you don’t like the name “flirting”, it was whatever it was.

  24. “The IPCC does not have a convincing or confident explanation for the hiatus in warming.”

    Of course they don’t. If they had bothered to look at the early 20th century they would have been aware of the first hiatus. between 1919 and 1940 temperature rose at the unprecedented rate of 0.15C per decade for a total of nearly 0.5C, then just as dramatically fell by the same rate..Tthat was the beginning of the first hiatus that the IPCC missed because they were not looking.my own view is that drop in temperature was predictable by quantum mechanic theory.. In my view the particular spectral line (15 micron) that caused the rise before 1940, saturated, meaning CO2 could no longer support the 1940 temperature. If the IPCC had picked this up they would not have been surprised by the current hiatus It seems unlikely that any continuous model could replicate the sharp changes that quantum theory suggests in 1940 and 1997. This could explain the failure of the IPCC’s modeling . See my website underlined above.. My website also explains how and why the 1970 to 1997 rise in global temperature occurred as a delayed version of the 1940 rise – delayed by about 30 years by the ocean transport delay. .

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      See this is one of the madder climate theories of the blogosphere. There are a lot out there.

      JC SNIP

      This is what science actually says.

      http://sci.odu.edu/oceanography/directory/faculty/mulholland/OEAS_310/03_Energy_balance.ppt

    • David Springer

      Thank you Dr. Biggs for your climate change assessment and for your efforts to defeat the Japanese in WWII. It seems we owe you a double debt of gratitude.

      And thank you too Dr. Curry for finally stepping in to delete disrepectful language from the peanut gallery directed at those most deserving of respect. Please do more.

      +1

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Judy – just what is your purpose in countenancing novel and startling theories of climate?

    • Scippy: Thank you for your reply and reference to what appears to be an excellent explanation of the physics of climate.

      Yes, I have unfashionably used Quantum mechanics and so does your reference. We don’t know what is in the IPCC supported models, but clearly they are not supporting reality. So a solution has to be found and that is what many of us are trying to do.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      ‘AOS models are therefore to be judged by their degree of plausibility, not whether they are correct or best. This perspective extends to the component discrete algorithms, parameterizations, and coupling breadth: There are better or worse choices (some seemingly satisfactory for their purpose or others needing repair) but not correct or best ones. The bases for judging are a priori formulation, representing the relevant natural processes and choosing the discrete algorithms, and a posteriori solution behavior.’
      http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.long

      ‘Lorenz was able to show that even for a simple set of nonlinear equations (1.1), the evolution of the solution could be changed by minute perturbations to the initial conditions, in other words, beyond a certain forecast lead time, there is no longer a single, deterministic solution and hence all forecasts must be treated as probabilistic.’ http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

      With models you are better off thinking in terms of chaos and pdf from perturbed physics ensembles.

      For climate you are better off thinking in terms of whole Earth energy dynamics. All that really matters for warming or cooling is the difference in energy in and energy out in the period.

      d(W&H)/dt = energy in (J/Δt) – energy out (J/Δt)

      W&H is total work and heat. I have to add the units because it seems to confuse some people.

  25. R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

    Judith said:

    “Lack of warming since 1998 and growing discrepancies with climate model projections
    Evidence of decreased climate sensitivity to increases in CO2
    Evidence that sea level rise in 1920-1950 is of the same magnitude as in 1993-2012
    Increasing Antarctic sea ice extent
    Low confidence in attributing extreme weather events to anthropogenic global warming.”
    ____
    Unfortunately, absolutely none of these actually lower the confidence of anthropogenic effects on Earth’s energy balance. One by one:

    1. The lack of continued warming of the troposphere says far more about natural variability of ocean to atmosphere sensible and latent heat flux then anything. Despite the cool phase of the PDO, the past 10 years (2003 to 2013) were the warmest 10 year period on instrument record even though sensible and latent heat flux has been reduced as La Nina’s have dominated the ENSO cycle. This is hugely indicative of the continued forcing from the highest levels of GH gases. Even 2013, as a “La Nada”, ENSO neutral period will be the warmest non- El Niño year on record.

    2. Actually, there is no “evidence” of decreased climate sensitivity to CO2– if anything, we are at or greater than the long-term 3C estimate to a doubling of CO2. The odds of sensitivity being only 2C or lower are not likely.

    3. We are seeing the largest mass losses from both Greenland and Antarctica that we’ve recorded. Much of this is from warmer oceans, melting the ice from below. There are strong indications that the cryosphere is just getting started in it’s reaction to anthropogenic forcing.

    4.Antarctic Sea ice extent increasing- true, but his is red herring and it’s shocking the Judith would even include it. Maybe WUWT or Jo Nova, but CE? There are many studies indicating the reasons for the potential increase in Antarctic sea ice early in this century, before eventually decreasing later. Certainly Judith has read them all and knows that the growth of Antarctic sea ice is not a reason that weakens the case for AGW.

    5. The issue of extreme climate effects is used by both sides to prove their point, but the low confidence in attribution does not weaken the case for AGW, but weakens confidence in the state of climate models and solid that connect AGW and extreme climate. We don’t have enough data yet, but that lack does not weaken the case for AGW/extrreme weather connections, but indicates where more data is needed. A lack of evidence in connection is not evidence of a lack of connection between AGW and extreme climate effects.

    I am wondering if Judith’s extreme desire to see the complete dismantling of the IPCC is related to her “reaching” a bit in these points.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      So has gatesy said anything new or interesting? Or is this the same old litany of error and misdirection?

      Yes this my quote.

      As for your question: at the end of the century we were sitting on the highest global temperature value of the modern record. Since then we have leveled off and we may in fact be cooling. “We have reached the top of the mountain”, therefore it’s not surprising that the last decade is one of the warmest on record. Think about it! The important aspect is that the warming of the 80s and 90s has stopped and the models missed it completely! The important issue is that we have entered a new regime in global temperature tendency. In fact, I find it very misleading that scientists will present “the warmest decade” argument to justify their beliefs (or failures).

      Regarding the oceans absorbing heat, it is another argument without solid proof.

      Prof Anastasios Tsonis

      Now he may – in fact probably will dispute both ideas. But it essentially merely progressive denial of the science reality.

      There are really just strong indications that the arctic in particular show ‘vigourous decadal variability’.

      e.g. https://www.lanl.gov/source/orgs/ees/ees14/pdfs/09Chlylek.pdf

      More progressive science denialism – these guys are just vilified and excoriated in the blogosphere and sent bucket loads of hate mail. David Gelernter – not a climate scientist but a classically liberal thinker – ws sent a bomb in the mail. These people are potentially very dangerous.

      Seekers of a truth that dares speak it’s name. They are obviously not to be turned by pissant progressives.

      e.g. http://www.thegwpf.org/petr-chylek-open-letter-to-the-climate-research-community/

      Climate extremes are anther huge furphy. Tsonis has even done some historic analysis on it.

      http://www.clim-past-discuss.net/6/801/2010/cpd-6-801-2010.pdf

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/ENSO11000.gif.html?sort=3&o=188

      Mega droughts and mega floods, the drying of the Sahel, the demise of the Minoan civilisation. Any event of the past century is trivial compared to the range of natural variability of Earth systems.

    • Antarctic Sea ice extent increasing- true, but his is red herring and it’s shocking the Judith would even include it. Maybe WUWT or Jo Nova, but CE? There are many studies indicating the reasons for the potential increase in Antarctic sea ice early in this century, before eventually decreasing later

      What a load of twaddle,In the CMIP5 experiments for the AR5 ,the models under perturbation ( including O3 ) response was to decrease the ice extent in the SO ie the sign is wrong,What part of the incorrect sign do you not understand?.

      This does allow for legitimate questions such as
      i.Incorrect initialization such as sea temperature (which are extrapolated to the past)
      ii) Internal variability.
      iii) S sea ice is recovering from prior decreases.
      iv) poorly understood dynamics.
      v) Any reason or combination of reasons,as it is random behavior of a persistent nature.

    • We don’t have enough data yet, but that lack does not weaken the case for AGW/extrreme weather connections

      What is the case for this?
      The greenhouse effect:
      a) reduces the temperature gradient between the equator and the poles, on average,
      b) does not increase the vertical temperature gradient (lapse rate), on average, in fact, it relies on the lapse rate staying the same, and:
      c) results in reduced outward energy flux, on average, without affecting inward energy flux.
      So how does a reduced average energy flux lead to more extreme weather events?

    • Here’s a couple of snippets from Judith’s recent post on Antarctica

      Why is the Antarctic sea ice extent so high when the Arctic sea ice has been so low? Well, natural variability combined with the fundamentally different geographies.

      and

      ….there is a complex dance between the oceans, atmosphere and sea ice whereby their interactions both influence and are influenced by global climate change.

      These comments and indeed the rest of Judith’s summary of the science around Antarctic sea ice in that post seeem to be to be reasonable and suitably nuanced so like R. Gates I was somewhat surprised to see Judith make the simplistic claim that increasing Antarctic sea ice constitues “a weakening of the case for attributing the warming of human influences”.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Regarding the oceans absorbing heat, it is another argument without solid proof.”

      This is incorrect physics and not just a matter of semantics, but of true perspective of the flow of energy on this water planet.

    • David Springer

      R.Gates

      You will eventually realize you hitched your horse to the wrong wagon. Bandwagon climate science is in a state of vast disarray. Not only is the so-called science wrong the political movement associated with it is becoming more and more exposed to the cold (haha pun intended) light of day. It’s all about money and politics. There may have been a point in time when it was pure but that time ended some time before Dr. James Hansen conspired to close the windows and turn the air conditioning off in a congressional testimony room in Washington D.C. in 1988. It because a full blown circus act at that point with Al Gore as the ringmaster and people like Hansen as clowns, Phil Jones a tight rope walker, Michael Mann a lion tamer, Gleick a sword swallower, etc. Not a respectable scientist among the lot of the usual suspects.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      ‘This is incorrect physics and not just a matter of semantics, but of true perspective of the flow of energy on this water planet.’

      It is a matter of data – and what it says – what it can’t say – and what we can imply from consilient strands of evidence.

      What really astonishes me about Tsonis and others is that quite uneducated pissant progressives fell it is their God given right to lecture him on his errors.

      e.g. http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/open-let-to-prof-anastasios-tsonis-are.html

      Nothing but blogospheric posturing – sound and fury

    • If Judith wanted to influence the AR5, why didn’t she volunteer to be one of its co-authors?

      • I was not invited to be a co-author (surprised?) I would have declined in any event. One person such as myself cannot influence the IPCC much from within as say a lead author; I have judged that I can have a greater impact from the outside.

    • Matthew R Marler

      R. Gates: This is incorrect physics and not just a matter of semantics, but of true perspective of the flow of energy on this water planet.

      How do the increase in atmospheric CO2 and the increase in downwelling long wave IR warm the ocean without warming the ocean surface and the troposphere?

      You seem to acknowledge the pause: The lack of continued warming of the troposphere says far more about natural variability of ocean to atmosphere sensible and latent heat flux then anything.

      That may be a true statement, but it does nothing to support the idea that the CO2 increase can be warming the ocean.

  26. RGates
    How many of the Antarctic sea ice increase papers were written before the event and how many after the trend became obvious? I would take notice of the former while the latter give all the appearances of post hoc justification. Just like the deep ocean’s missing heat

    • Increased Antarctic sea ice with increasing CO2 and global warming was predicted over 20 years ago by Manabe et al 1991:
      http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/bibliography/related_files/sm9101.pdf
      (page 795).

      The increased supply of fresh surface water from both land-bound ice melt and increased precipitation increases the halocline gradient, which reduces upwelling of warmer bottom waters, decreasing sea surface temperature, and thus leading to more sea ice.

    • The cmip5 models did not,they produced a decrease in sea ice.

    • Increased supply of fresh surface water from land-bound ice melt?
      Hundreds or even thousands of miles out to sea?
      And in winter, when the ice melt occurs in summer?
      And when the greatest source of fresh surface water far out to sea is from the melting of sea ice – also in summer?
      Really, David?

    • phatboy wrote:
      Really, David?

      You think you know more than Manabe? You must be joking.

    • David Appell, you should really learn to read properly.

      The effect Manabe describes is the increase in ice thickness in the immediate vicinity of the Anatarctic continent, and does not explain the increasing expanse of winter ice hundreds or thousands of miles out.

  27. they cannot predict next month’s temp; but are pretending that they can ”predict in a hundredth of a degree” for 50-80-100 years – what a con…

    • No one is predicting anything; they are projecting — and not to 0.01 C.

      Read better.

      PS: Predicting long-term climate change is far easier than predicting next month’s temperature.

      • David,

        How much of that ease is due to not worrying about anyone being around to check on the accuracy of one’s projections?

    • timg56 wrote:
      How much of that ease is due to not worrying about anyone being around to check on the accuracy of one’s projections?

      Are you unable to look up the published error bars for the model projections?

      If your company or organization asked you to project something to the year 2100, would you just make up a number because no one now alive would be able to check it? Or would you do the best job you could, out of a sense of intellectual honestly?

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “Predicting long-term climate change is far easier than predicting next month’s temperature.”
      ____
      As stated, models don’t “predict” anything, but simply run simulations based on scenarios. Models are best at finding certain dynamic relationships that can’t be guessed at as the system is too complex for that. What models never get correct is the full spectrum of positive and negative feedbacks, and hence the range that models give for future climate conditions. Models also can’t get natural and internal variability correct and thus, they are “alway wrong” if the intention is to use them for prediction. What they are useful for is uncovering hidden climate dynamics and the long-term effects of these dynamics.

      I find it completely a matter of ignorance that models are blasted for failing to “predict” the tropospheric pause, when the causes of this pause was completely a matter of natural and internal variabililty– and no fault of the models for failing to incorporate basic dynamics– i.e. GH gas forcing hasn’t suddenly just turned off, but can easily be masked over short periods by natural variability. Focusing on the failure of models in regards to “predicting” the pause and that fact weakening the case for AGW, says more about the person making that case, then about the models themselves. What model could possible “predict” a cool phase PDO to commence or a sleepy sun, or slightly greater volcanic aerosols over a specific period? This is all natural and internal variability that is unpredictable in essence.

    • What model could possible “predict” a cool phase PDO to commence or a sleepy sun,

      Shuntov, V.P, and V.P. Vasilkov, 1982. described a fit of sardine abundance with periods of low solar activity. Chistyakov 1983 predicted a low level of solar activity for sc 23/24/25 by predicting a violation of the Gneyshev- Ohl rule.

      Fish entrails being a better predictor then a supercomputer.

    • David Appell | January 7, 2014 at 5:07 pm said: ”Predicting long-term climate change is far easier than predicting next month’s temperature’

      Yes David, ”Nostradamus tactic” – predicting is easier for after you are dead than predicting climate for next Monday,. @#$#@ criminals!

    • maksimovich | January 7, 2014 at 7:30 pm said: ”Fish entrails being a better predictor then a supercomputer”

      maksimovich, I prefer to believe in tarot cards, couldn’t get more wrong…
      .

  28. Dr. Strangelove

    AR5 (2013) SPM: “It is extremely likely (>95% confidence) that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.”

    How did they came up with 95% confidence? Statistics? No, by vote. They made it up. No basis in mathematics and science. They are like medieval philosophers proclaiming Aristotelian physics is true. Garbage. Throw it in the trash can.

  29. Dr. Strangelove

    RGates

    None of what you said strengthens the case for AGW. Start with the null hypothesis. Did earth experience equal or greater warming before the industrial revolution? Definitely yes. Obviously natural causes can explain the warming in past 100 years. This is the null hypothesis. Show scientific evidences the null hypothesis is wrong. The burden of proof is on those who claim this is not due to natural causes. Computer models are not evidence. Pronouncements of scientists are not. Where’s the beef? It’s all hand waving and computer games.

    • There seems to me to be a couple of problems with this “null hypothesis” argument.

      Firstly, if “natural warming” is the null hypothesis how does one falsify it? I mean there is no known purely natural mechanism which can account for the recent warming but skeptics often make the argument that our understanding of climate is incomplete and so there may be as yet unknown factors which could potentially explain at least part of the warming. So exactly what test can we apply, or what data can we collect, which will be sufficient to actually falsify the “natural warming” hypothesis?

      Secondly, it is obviously true that there has been climate change in the past which has occurred without any help from mankind. But one of the factors which has caused such past changes is changes in the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and the radiative properties of CO2 which affect global temperatures and the resulting feedback effects are all “natural”. So it seems to me that we are expected to assume both that factors which have caused climate change in the past are doing so now and that they are not.

      On a more general point I don’t have a scientific background so I’m happy to be corrected on this, but it seems to me that not all scientific questions can be answered by simple hypothesis testing. Sometimes surely it is more of a case of looking at the evidence and drawing conclusions based on the balance of probabilities. Climate change would seem to be a good example of this – the argument that AGW constitutes a threat is based on a number of different lines of research – it’s not a single hypothesis.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Andrew, you write “Firstly, if “natural warming” is the null hypothesis how does one falsify it?”

      Simple. By measuring a CO2 signal in a modern temperature/time graph or OHC/time graph.

    • andrew, there is no known purely natural mechanisms for 1000s of things and phenomena and we accept them as unknown. Furthermore, it’s perfectly reasonable to make scientific predictions based mostly on correlations – if things have been ‘occuring together’, it’s likely that they will continue occuring together or correlating. However, AGW convinced accept only KNOWN purely natural mechanisms with exact physical model and perfect correlation/causation. We may have to wait decades and longer for that.

    • Andrew Adams, “On a more general point I don’t have a scientific background so I’m happy to be corrected on this, but it seems to me that not all scientific questions can be answered by simple hypothesis testing.”

      Not all scientific questions can be answer period. Every reasonably proposed hypothesis should be testable though. AGW versus CAGW really boils down to how reasonable the hypothesis is posed. With a range of 1 to 6 C and no definite cut off for the C part, CAGW is untestable. Then when you pose questions like, “COULD anthropogenic impact on climate be between 1C and 6C you get an over whelming “consensus”, meaningless, but a consensus.

      Pose an equally vague null and you have climate “science”.

    • David Springer

      andrew adams | January 7, 2014 at 7:24 am |

      “Firstly, if “natural warming” is the null hypothesis how does one falsify it?”

      By a positive demonstration of unnatural warming of course.

      Continued warming from 1998 to present while anthropogenic CO2 emission continued to rise unabated would have been contrary evidence but, unfortunately for the bandwagon CO2 control-knob hypothesis, the correlation between CO2 and temperature fell apart. The more salient question isn’t how natural warming can be falsified but rather how unnatural warming can be falsified given that observation of the effect failing is not sufficiently damning. What’s up with that?

      “I mean there is no known purely natural mechanism which can account for the recent warming but skeptics often make the argument that our understanding of climate is incomplete and so there may be as yet unknown factors which could potentially explain at least part of the warming.”

      The problem isn’t no known mechanism the problem is too many known mechanisms. Fercrisakes one of the best frickin’ correlations going is Loehle and Scafetta 2011 which showed the instrument record since 1850 is highly correlated with orbital eccentricities and alignments of gas giants in the solar system. It’s a far better correlation than CO2. The mechanism is (as many suspect) erroneous modeling of clouds which through their ability to throttle how much shortwave energy from the sun reaches the tropical ocean to warm it. Odd as it may seem gravitational anomalies from gas giants may cause changes in clouds on the earth. The correlation is compelling. We just don’t know. About all we do know is that climate models with bandwagon support have failed and the failure is becoming more gross and apparent with each additional day of no warming while we continue to pour CO2 into the atmosphere like there’s no tomorrow. You need to come to grips with the reality on the ground.

      And I should probably mention, if it isn’t apparent, that the form of your argument is a classic argument from ignorance i.e. we don’t know of any natural mechanism that can account for it. It does not follow from that that no natural mechanism exists, even if your statement were true, which it isn’t.

      “Secondly, it is obviously true that there has been climate change in the past which has occurred without any help from mankind. But one of the factors which has caused such past changes is changes in the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and the radiative properties of CO2 which affect global temperatures and the resulting feedback effects are all “natural”. So it seems to me that we are expected to assume both that factors which have caused climate change in the past are doing so now and that they are not.”

      Not true. Vostok ice cores which provide a record of CO2 vs. temperature going back about a million years show CO2 rising several centuries after temperature rose. This is consistent with atmospheric and sea surface warming followed by oceanic basin (the bulk of the ocean) warming as the more energetic surface conditions gradually wended their way down into the abyss. The warmer basin is able to hold less CO2 in solution and outgasses it. The only mystery is why any objective scientifically literate person would not accept the obvious explanation.
      “On a more general point I don’t have a scientific background so I’m happy to be corrected on this”

      The lack of scientific literacy is obvious but I suspect you will not be at all happy about being corrected. We can spoon feed this stuff to you Andrew but you’ll have to stop making faces and spitting it out for our efforts to do any good.

    • @ Andrew Adams

      “Firstly, if “natural warming” is the null hypothesis how does one falsify it? ”

      First, be clear about the hypothesis: ACO2 is driving the TOE upward at an unprecedented rate and if action is not taken to control ACO2, the consequences will be catastrophic. (If that is NOT the hypothesis, then why the weeping, wailing, gnashing of teeth, and demands that governments establish a world-wide ‘climate policy’, designed to use taxes, regulations, and multiple variations on the ever-popular income redistribution theme to drastically CURTAIL ACO2?)

      The null hypothesis is that climate is doing pretty much what it has always done–changing, and, until it does something out of character, we should leave it alone and do something useful with our time, energy, and money.

      The null hypothesis can be falsified by demonstrating that TOE has climbed well above the bounds of its historical range (not small fractions of a degree) during periods with no arguable ACO2 signature, that the rise in the TOE is highly correlated with ACO2 emissions, AND there is convincing evidence that an increase in the TOE of a few degrees, amortized over a couple hundred years, represents a catastrophe that requires us, in the here and now, to take heroic measures to prevent it..

      Citing the output of Climate Models whose only socially redeeming feature is that they provide textbook examples of the ‘GIGO Principle’ won’t do the trick.

    • Obviously natural causes can explain the warming in past 100 years.

      Then let’s see your explanation.

      (Haven’t you ever heard of supplying evidence for your claims?)

    • Thanks for the replies to my comment. No time to respond now but will do in the (UK) morning.

    • @ David Appell

      “”Obviously natural causes can explain the warming in past 100 years.

      Then let’s see your explanation.”

      Ok.

      The planet has been warmer in the past than it is today, with no plausible anthropogenic influence. I see no reason why it can’t do it again without our help.

      I’d be interested to hear YOUR explanation as to why natural causes CAN’T explain it this time.

    • Dr. Strangelove

      Andrew

      “Firstly, if “natural warming” is the null hypothesis how does one falsify it?”

      The null hypothesis is observational and self-evident. You don’t falsify observations. You falsify theories. We observe climate has always been changing on different time scales – decadal, multi-decadal, centennial, millennial – both cooling and warming due to natural causes. You cannot falsify that observation. But if you claim this time it’s not nature but man is the cause. You are forming a theory that can be falsified. But before we tentatively accept your theory, you have to show scientific evidence.

      “it seems to me that we are expected to assume both that factors which have caused climate change in the past are doing so now and that they are not.”

      The natural causes of climate change are not an assumption. They are self-evident. Man-made causes of climate change are an assumption that needs to be verified. We have never observed nature stopped working and climate change occurred solely caused by man. AGW is a theory and not on equal footing as natural climate change, until adequate scientific evidence is presented.

    • David Springer,

      First of all, I may not have a scientific background but that doesn’t mean I’ve learned nothing in the few years I’ve been reading about and discussing climate change. And one of the things I’ve learned is that people who do have a scientific background are just as capable of spouting nonsense on scientific matters as the rest of us. Anyway, to anser your points.

      By a positive demonstration of unnatural warming of course.

      But isn’t the question here that giventhere is a warming trend how does one demonstrate that it is unnatural in order to falsify a null hypothesis of “natural warming”. If a correlation with rising CO2 is sufficient then fine, although you’d need a suitably long timescale. So that might not help us if we want to make a judgement now. (This anwser is for Jim Cripwell as well)

      Continued warming from 1998 to present while anthropogenic CO2 emission continued to rise unabated would have been contrary evidence but, unfortunately for the bandwagon CO2 control-knob hypothesis, the correlation between CO2 and temperature fell apart. The more salient question isn’t how natural warming can be falsified but rather how unnatural warming can be falsified given that observation of the effect failing is not sufficiently damning. What’s up with that?

      Yes, I agree that if we must have a “null hypothesis” then “adding CO2 to the atmosphere causes warming” would be a more useful one. It can easily be falsified – it just needs a few years’ evidence of no warming of the climate system (not just surface temps) while CO2 continues to rise. What we’ve seen in the last 15 years of so certainly isn’t sufficient.

      The problem isn’t no known mechanism the problem is too many known mechanisms. Fercrisakes one of the best frickin’ correlations going is Loehle and Scafetta 2011 which showed the instrument record since 1850 is highly correlated with orbital eccentricities and alignments of gas giants in the solar system.

      So is there any evidence whatsoever for gravitational anomalies from gas giants having any effect whatsoever on our climate or at least being powerful enough to plausibly have any effect? And is the supposed correlation really more than yet another curve fitting exercise? Maybe I’m wrong and Scafetta’s ideas aren’t as ridiculous as they sound but do you actually find them more plausible as a cause for recent warning than increases in GHGs where there is a well known and understood mechanism to cause warming?

      And I should probably mention, if it isn’t apparent, that the form of your argument is a classic argument from ignorance i.e. we don’t know of any natural mechanism that can account for it. It does not follow from that that no natural mechanism exists, even if your statement were true, which it isn’t.

      That’s the point I was making – that some skeptics will always say there are potential unknown natural mechanisms even if none are apparent, so will probably never agree that the “natural warming” hypothesis has been falsified. I wasn’t saying that the lack of such mechanisms is in itself sufficient to prove warming is due to CO2 (although it is relevant to arguments about attribution).

      Vostok ice cores which provide a record of CO2 vs. temperature going back about a million years show CO2 rising several centuries after temperature rose…. The warmer basin is able to hold less CO2 in solution and outgasses it. The only mystery is why any objective scientifically literate person would not accept the obvious explanation.

      Indeed, and AFAIK the fact that past warmer temperatures have resulted in increased CO2 levels due to outgassing from the oceans is entirely uncontroversial. I’m not sure what your point is here – I didn’t offer the Vostok ice corees as evidence of CO2 causing past warming and it does not prove that changing CO2 levels have’t either directly caused or contributed to climate change in the past. Are you really claiming this is the case? What about the PETM? Of the existence of the greenhouse effect itself?

    • Dr. Strangelove,

      The null hypothesis is observational and self-evident. You don’t falsify observations. You falsify theories. We observe climate has always been changing on different time scales – decadal, multi-decadal, centennial, millennial – both cooling and warming due to natural causes. You cannot falsify that observation.

      But I thought that the whole point of having a hypothesis was so that you can test it. If it’s already confirmed by observations then surely it’s not really a hypothesis. I would make the point though that from ” climate has always been changing on different time scales ” it doesn’t automatically follow that “natural causes can explain the warming in past 100 years.” I would say the latter is very much a hypothesis, and it has not been confirmed.

      But if you claim this time it’s not nature but man is the cause. You are forming a theory that can be falsified. But before we tentatively accept your theory, you have to show scientific evidence.

      Sure, no disagreement there. I guess my point all along is that this is a perfectly valid way of addressing the question of attribution. Maybe I slightly misunderstood the point your initial argument.

      The natural causes of climate change are not an assumption. They are self-evident. Man-made causes of climate change are an assumption that needs to be verified. We have never observed nature stopped working and climate change occurred solely caused by man. AGW is a theory and not on equal footing as natural climate change, until adequate scientific evidence is presented.

      But no one is saying that nature has stopped working, only that the anthropogenic influence will most likely be dominant over natural factors in the long term. The point I’m trying to make is that although the increase in the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is man-made, the warming effect of greenhouse gases is entirely “natural” in the sense that it is due to the natural radiative properties of those gases and has happened in the past when changes in GHG levels occurred which had nothing to do with mankind. So AGW does not assume that the climate behaves differently to how it has done in the past, it assumes it will behave in the same way.

    • captdallas,

      While I don’t agree with your overall characterisation of climate science, I think most of what you say makes sense. I agree that not all questions can be answered with the precision we would like so so we have to pose them in a way which recognises this and allows for a certain amount of uncertainty in the answer, but at the same time not make them so vague and all-encompassing that the answer is not useful.

  30. Not sure whether this adds to the main message, but I’m going to ask, I think for the third time, if anyone knows whether there are any comments in the AR5 on the warming in the first half of the 20th century. There is a discussion in the AR4 which is not very convincing. Is there a change in AR5, or did they just drop the subject?

  31. Pingback: Judith Curry: El IPCC (2013) debilita el caso de calentamiento global. | PlazaMoyua.com

  32. “Evidence of decreased climate sensitivity to increases in CO2″. This phrase reads oddly to me. I presume it is intended to say that CS is lower than previously believed, not lower than it formerly was.

  33. Matthew R Marler

    Prof Curry: If you read the fine print (not just the SPM) and compare the AR5 with statements made in the AR5, the IPCC AR5 WGI Report makes a weaker case for AGW than did the AR4.

    I think you are on the right track: a careful comparison of the empirical claims in the scientific sections of the reports, and then the contrast of the “confidence” claims in the respective SPMs. The result to date looks like “greater confidence” in a “weaker claim” about CO2.

  34. Generalissimo Skippy

    This is a classic bifurcation diagram illustrating the situation in a simple energy balance model.

    The sensitivity is defined as the tangent of the line – γ.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Ghil_fig11_zpse58189d9.png.html?sort=3&o=58

    At some points on the curve sensitivity is relatively low and the system is stable. Sensitivity increases until – at the tipping point – sensitivity is effectively infinite in this model – and the system becomes unstable and shifts with no further change in insolation in this simple model.

    In a climate system that shifts chaotically every few decades – the nature of the unstable region in the non-linear coupled system is indeterminate.

    e.g. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130822105042.htm

    • David Springer

      You really don’t see the self-contradiction in saying that climate chaotically shifts every few decades do you? Things that repeat are not typical of chaotic systems. Write that down.

    • David Springer

      I suppose I’ll now be subjected to ad hominem abuse from Ellison once again for attacking his idea that the earth’s climate is chaotic. See if you can avoid it for a change Ellison.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      The subject of decadal to inter-decadal climate variability is of intrinsic importance not only scientifically but also for society as a whole. Interpreting past variability and making informed projections about potential future variability requires (i) identifying the dynamical processes internal to the climate system that underlie such variability [see, e.g., Mantua et al., 1997; Zhang et al. , 1997, 2007; Knight et al., 2005; Dima and Lohmann, 2007], and (ii) recognizing the chain of events that mark the onset of large amplitude variability events, i.e., shifts in the climate state. Such shifts mark changes in the qualitative behavior of climate modes of variability, as well as breaks in trends of hemispheric and global mean temperature. The most celebrated of these shifts in the instrumental record occurred in 1976/77. That particular winter ushered in an extended period in which the tropical Pacific Ocean was warmer than normal, with strong El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events occurring after that time, contrasting with the weaker ENSO variability in the decades before [Hoerling et al. , 2004; Huang et al., 2005]. Global mean surface temperature also experienced a trend break, transitioning from cooling in the decades prior to 1976/77 to the strong warming that characterized the remainder of the century. [3] Extension of this analysis to the entire 20th century as shown in Figure 1 (bottom) reveals three climate shifts marked by breaks in the temperature trend with respect to time, superimposed upon an overall warming presumably due to increasing greenhouse gasses. Global mean temperature decreased prior to World War I, increased during the 1920s and 1930s, decreased from the 1940s to 1976/77, and as noted above increased from that point to the end of the century. Insofar as the global mean temperature is controlled by the net top-of-the-atmosphere radiative budget [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007], such breaks in temperature trends imply discontinuities in that budget. Such discontinuities are difficult to reconcile with the presumed smooth evolution of anthropogenic greenhouse gas and aerosol radiative forcing withrespect to time[Hansen et al., 2005]. This suggests that an internal reorganization of the climate system may underlie such shifts [Zhang et al,, 2007].

      ftp://starfish.mar.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/pub/ocean/CCS-WG_References/NewSinceReport/March15/Swanson%20and%20Tsonis%20Has%20the%20climate%20recently%20shifted%202008GL037022.pdf

      One could talk about ergodic theory – but to imagine that it has repeated – or that it may necessarily take a well worn path – is the usual uniformed nonsense.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      And the subject of eschewing ad homs and springer strikes a distinctly discordant note.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Gimo Skippy: This is a classic bifurcation diagram illustrating the situation in a simple energy balance model.

      But what does that have to do with Earthly climate? No accurate model of climate was proposed by Ghil or any co-authors that had either a bifurcation, tipping point, catastrophe, or estimated γ. It’s an abstract introduction to a style of modeling, or class of models, that might be developed in the future.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Gimo Skippy: Insofar as the global mean temperature is controlled by the net top-of-the-atmosphere radiative budget [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007], such breaks in temperature trends imply discontinuities in that budget. Such discontinuities are difficult to reconcile with the presumed smooth evolution of anthropogenic greenhouse gas and aerosol radiative forcing withrespect to time[Hansen et al., 2005]. This suggests that an internal reorganization of the climate system may underlie such shifts [Zhang et al,, 2007].

      To date, the extant data have been closely modeled by diverse approaches, all of which produce functions (e.g. polynomial plus sinusoids) that have continuous second derivatives. There is no evidence in the record for “discontinuities”. The author’s word “suggests” is sufficiently vague, but there is no evidence so far that an “internal reorganization of the climate system” is necessary.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      The answer is in the quote by Ghil that you pasted – that you accused me of not reading. You fail to comprehend – insist that there is a concrete number possible somewhere that probably relates to ‘low sensitivity’ – complain that I don’t answer your incorrectly framed question – etc etc.

      If you don’t understand what toward a mathematical theory of climate sensitivity implies – I can’t help with your stubborn incomprehension. It is just the way it is.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Gimo Skippy: insist that there is a concrete number possible somewhere that probably relates to ‘low sensitivity’

      You and I obviously disagree on whether that paper asserts or confirms or any other such claim that the climate system has a high sensitivity. All it shows is that some dynamical system could have a high sensitivity to input in some region of its trajectory.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Sensitivity is variable both in time and in space.

      At tipping point sensitivity is extreme – a small change drives a large response. The definition of abrupt climate change. This is what Ghil was saying – and this should not be a difficult idea for one who has studied dynamical systems so assiduously.

  35. What’s galling IMO is the fact that the guys producing the AR5 report, 6 or so years after AR4 was finalised, report that climate science has progressed enough for there to be medium confidence that the range for equilibrium climate sensitivity is bigger than it was reported to be in AR4 because the low end is lower now than it was in AR4 i.e 1.5-4.5 degrees C in AR5 rather than the AR4 range of 2-4.5. Leaving aside a) the failure to lower the upper end (which I gather they should have done to properly reflect 6 years of science) and b) the fact they elected not to provide a best estimate (presumably because if they had done so the figure would necessarily have had to have been lower than the 3 degrees C in AR4), reporting a larger range after 6 years shows that climate science hasn’t progressed towards more certainty. Larger ranges of anything are prima facie evidence of growing uncertainty. That’s why language such as ’95%’ and ‘extremely likely’ and ‘high confidence’ causes me to doubt the IPCC process so much.

  36. Prof Curry, remember that in March 2014 we have the Summary for Policy Makers re AR5 WGII Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability to look forward to. I can hardly wait. Figure SPM.5 from the final draft that got out in Nov2013 is my favourite IPCC diagram. It shows the maximum speed that species can move, in kilometres per decade, in the face of climate change terror. And according to the science, snails are faster than squirrels and monkeys. Page 26, see for yourself.
    http://nofrakkingconsensus.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/wgiiar5-spm_fgdall.pdf

    • Don’t squirrels and monkeys live in trees? How fast do trees move?

    • David Springer

      re; How fast to trees move?

      As fast and far as their strategy for disbursing seed works. That can be pretty fast with help from wind, water, and animals. Floods come along and float seeds into rivers that can then transport them thousands of miles in a single season.

      Of course that’s for a particular species. Chances are there are already trees growing at the destination that are better suited for the climate there so the question is more along the lines of how fast can monkeys and squirrels move. That answer is blindingly fast in my experience. Try catching one – they move faster than you do.

      Write that down of course.

  37. Judy, the five headings, with the comparison between AR4 and AR5, are very helpful. A couple of questions though about how you frame them at the beginning:

    1. You presumably meant

    Several key elements of the report point to a weakening of the case for attributing the warming to human influences:

    2. The final bullet point just doesn’t seem to fit under that intro to me:

    * Low confidence in attributing extreme weather events to anthropogenic global warming

    This is a very important area to cover but does it logically weaken the ‘case for attributing the warming to human influences’? Doesn’t it simply weaken the likelihood of imminent disaster from extreme events – or even distant disaster?

    This is very important for policy makers to be clear about. I think it could be framed more clearly.

  38. I completely agree that AR5 is good news – although none of this makes it through to the Summary for Policy Makers !

    The relevant new conclusions of AR5 are:
    1. The acknowledgement that up to half the observed warming since 1950 is due to natural effects.
    2. That climate sensitivity estimates have now been reduced. Manmade warming is likely to be less than 2C for a doubling of CO2 (560 ppm).
    3. The current pause in warming may well continue until 2030 due to a natural 60-year cycle in ocean dynamics (AMO/PDO) Thereafter we can expect another period of rapid warming.
    4. All AR5 climate models overestimated warming till 2012 because they excluded this natural oscillation .
    5. The risk of climate disruption and extreme weather impacts is very small.
    6. Sea level rise is a modest 60cm by 2100. Sea defenses can easily cope with this.
    7. There will always remain uncertainties in climate models due to the complexity of climate interactions. As an example scientists still cannot model the dynamics of past glaciations nor predict when the next one will occur. Another ice age would be far more catastrophic than global warming.
    8. The largest model uncertainties are clouds. Clouds play the same role as the white daisies do in Lovelock’s daisy world.

    • Clouds play the same role as the white daisies do in Lovelock’s daisy world

      coccolithophore’s such as Emiliania huxleyi have the same effect in the southern ocean by lightening the ocean albedo.

      http://plankt.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/11/27/plankt.fbt110/F3.medium.gif

    • To respond to each one of the points by CB:

      1. Yes, if one ignores that some of the natural warming is cyclic. Any natural warming that is gained is returned when a cycle completes. This is described by CB in one of his posts here http://clivebest.com/blog/?p=2295

      2. TCR is about 2C. ECS is still 3C.

      3. See? What did I tell you in point #1?

      4. More of the same.

      5. Agree that this is still one of those interesting, not boring questions in climate research.

      6. A strawman argument that is conflating the science with the implications.

      7. More strawman rationalization and minimization identifiable from the arguments of denial.

      8. Clouds are a smoothly variation feedback response that CB is trying to argue against. See the latest post called “Sherwood Forest” on his website where he argues against the Sherwood paper .

      I do read everything that Clive Best writes because it is intelligently argued and he does put pencil to paper, but he may be hopelessly arguing against a tide of substantiating science supporting AGW.

    • David Springer

      Outphuckingstanding and right on the money, Dr. Best.

      +1

    • “a tide of substantiating science”

      Let me count the waves.

      (you guys gotta admit that was a good one lol)

      Andrew

    • David Springer

      Bad Andrew

      Yes, it was a good one. I admire your wit.

    • Yes, Clive Best has asserted that the tide has an influence on climate and I used that information to glean what that factor was limited to.

  39. I think you have noted this before, but the change from ‘very likely’ to ‘extremely likely’ in the SPM is goalpost-moving, by including all human influence rather than just GHGs. The like-for-like statement in chapter 10 is the same for AR5 as it was for AR4, see Ruth Dixon’s blog
    http://mygardenpond.wordpress.com/2013/12/08/attribution-statements-in-ar5/
    for more details.

    The failure to provide a best estimate for ECS and the broadening of the band that you mention here is a good example of decreased confidence since AR4.

    One more example of ‘pullback’ is the lack of any confident prediction about medium-term temperature rises. The AR4 SPM said in a highlighted box at the start of a section “For the next two decades, a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emission scenarios.” (an overconfident statement that they are probably already regretting).
    There is no equivalent statement in AR5. The nearest is a much more tentative (medium confidence, likely) 30-year prediction of a range of 0.3-0.7C.

    • While on SRES, the change to RCPs in AR5 also seems to be a major change of goalposts (or a returf of the pitch mid-match or whatever analogy best applies!) Was Barry Brill right in what he wrote to Nic Lewis on this on Climate Audit last month?

      Nic

      Please don’t refer to RCP8.5 as “the business-as-usual case”. It is in fact the extreme case – covering the worst consequences scientists have ever devised.

      The four RCPs are all hypotheticals. They are designed to cover all forcing ranges mentioned in the literature. Unlike the SRES scenarios, the range does NOT exclude outliers.

      In comparison with SRES the BAU case would be RCP4.5.

      Nic had already put as his penultimate sentence in his submission for the House of Commons SciTech committee:

      If TCR really is 1.35°C then under RCP8.5 – the worst-case, business-as-usual scenario – the end of the 21st century will be approximately 2°C warmer than today.

      Worst-case yes but, according to Barry, business-as-usual no. I’m not clear about the implications but it’s another change to consider.

  40. Chris Cooper

    Professor Curry, for God’s sake review Generalissimo Skippy’s effusions here and then block him. He’s destroying your comment threads.

    • A more general point is that we’ve been asked to help Dr Curry improve this very important overview of AR5 compared to AR4. Perhaps it’s time to learn some self-control. (Apologies if my own comments haven’t helped much – but I’ve tried to stick to the spec.)

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      “Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. .No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”
      ― George Orwell, Animal Farm

      The proliferation of cheap barnyard snark is a major disincentive for any wider and more serious involvement from any informed source. Your site has probably terminally imploded Judy. There really is nothing left to be said amidst the carping, ignorance and let’s face it – absolute madness. Other than the endless round of the same tribal talking points that seems to be most of the so-called discourse – along of course with mean spirited trivial snark and passive/aggressive hostility.

      Although it has failed to produce its intended impact nevertheless the Kyoto Protocol has performed an important role. That role has been allegorical. Kyoto has permitted different groups to tell different stories about themselves to themselves and to others, often in superficially scientific language. But, as we are increasingly coming to understand, it is often not questions about science that are at stake in these discussions. The culturally potent idiom of the dispassionate scientific narrative is being employed to fight culture wars over competing social and ethical values.

      Nor is that to be seen as a defect. Of course choices between competing values are not made by relying upon scientific knowledge alone. What is wrong is to pretend that they are.

      http://www.lse.ac.uk/researchAndExpertise/units/mackinder/pdf/mackinder_Wrong%20Trousers.pdf

      Not that there is usually anything more to the ‘science’ than narratives – data less and descending to looking at published science all to rarely. When not based entirely on a metatheory of what ‘the science’ says. It amounts to carping by unwashed and uninformed climate warriors of the blogosphere in vain attempts to silence dissenting voices. Not merely of ‘skeptics’ or of ‘warmists’. I think they are all largely as full of nonsense as each other. But of brilliant scientists pioneering a new understanding of the Earth systems – something ultimately much more dynamic and complex than simple causality or the simple memes of the climate warrior would suggest. The whole is greater than the parts – with immense implications for both models and climate.

      The warmists do not merely not understand – but it seems much more deep seated than that. More an inability to process conflicting information that seems part of the human condition. They have staked too much on the outcome. But perhaps this goes for both sides.

      Using a new measure of coupling strength, this update shows that these climate modes have recently synchronized, with synchronization peaking in the year 2001/02. This synchronization has been followed by an increase in coupling. This suggests that the climate system may well have shifted again, with a consequent break in the global mean temperature trend from the post 1976/77 warming to a new period (indeterminate length) of roughly constant global mean temperature.
      ftp://starfish.mar.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/pub/ocean/CCS-WG_References/NewSinceReport/March15/Swanson%20and%20Tsonis%20Has%20the%20climate%20recently%20shifted%202008GL037022.pdf

      No amount of science seems to get though – yet this is the critical aspect of climate. Climate is wild – it can and will shift unpredictably in the current century. We have little control of this – but what we could do is minimise the rate of change in Earth systems. We could of course build resilience in communities and ecosystems in many different ways. We could rethink environmental and social policy – as the McKinder document says. What seems clear is that non-warming over decades will derail any rational or pragmatic response. It simply won’t work – it is a culture war and one that will be decided in this decade by the mercurial rule of the thermometer. There will be winners and losers – but for the moment each side frantically seeks a supposed advantage.

      There is astonishingly little real science being discussed in this forum.
      Handwaving and references to their own astonishingly incompetent blog science for the most part. It is all just climate warriors jostling for tribal advantage.

      But there is a wider social and political aspect. Prediction of future climate states is impossible – as the IPCC quote I provided somewhere else says. So all this seems to be quibbling at the edges – numbers are pulled out of arses by both sides in ways that are theoretically impossible in some half arsed proactive justification for whatever it is they are justifying. Usually the opposite of what the other side is posturing about. And they all take themselves so damnably seriously – this is important stuff after all isn’t it Chris?

      Which reminds me of my favourite James McWillimas quote.

      AOS models are therefore to be judged by their degree of plausibility, not whether they are correct or best. This perspective extends to the component discrete algorithms, parameterizations, and coupling breadth: There are better or worse choices (some seemingly satisfactory for their purpose or others needing repair) but not correct or best ones. The bases for judging are a priori formulation, representing the relevant natural processes and choosing the discrete algorithms, and a posteriori solution behavior. http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.long

      Understand what that means and you will be on your way to wisdom – Grasshopper. Although I hold little hope for an epiphany any time soon.

      So the only real question is what we do in the teeth of profound uncertainty.

  41. Pingback: The Climate Change Debate Thread - Page 3501

  42. Schrodinger's Cat

    The IPCC was created by the UN and WMO based on the supposition that anthropogenic climate change would dominate our climate. The catastrophic consequences predicted by AGW centred models has enabled the IPCC to dominate the scientific agenda and to pressurise governments to make far reaching policy decisions. AGW has become a global industry worth trillions of dollars.

    A consequence has been a huge increase in the funding of research focussed on human induced radiative forcing and its impacts on all aspects of life on our planet.

    As I consider the conclusions of AR5 from the viewpoint of a layman, I see the science is still dominated by and restricted to the IPCC agenda and AGW centred models.

    As I consider observational data from the real world, I see a different trend. The climate is again changing. I am old enough to remember when scientists worried about the coming ice age. I witnessed the rapid warming and draughts that followed. Now I see the return of cooler, wetter weather.

    I realise that my view is from a local or regional standpoint, but it is partly confirmed by the CET data which shows a cooling trend for the last 23 years. Then at a global level, we have the temperature hiatus…

    My impression is that the current hiatus is, in fact, a peak and that our climate will meander on, driven by an ensemble of natural cycles together with a mixture of forcings such as GHG, solar spectral changes, solar magnetic field changes and a host of other factors, some periodic and some random.

    When I look again at AR5, I see the AGW component growing ever weaker. I see uncertainties increase. I see lower confidence in how to explain the growing disparity between model predictions and reality. If for example, global temperatures start to show a cooling trend, how on earth will the IPCC explain that?

    Finally, I am very concerned about the claim concerning increased confidence in AGW when clearly the opposite is true. However, this is not surprising since AGW has always been the raison d’etre of the IPPC and it has a powerful political role for the UN as a vehicle for wealth distribution.

    • Somewhere someone said ‘The climate isn’t going crazy.
      It was born crazy.

      Serfs livin’ on the littoral as we do have experienced some
      crazy variability in the whether.

      beth the serf.

  43. Latimer Alder

    How did they actually measure ‘deep ocean heat’?

    All the graphs I see are calibrated in Joules. Have they invented a Jouleometer?

    • “All the graphs I see are calibrated in Joules. Have they invented a Jouleometer?”

      Lil Lattie, Mercury thermometers do not measure temperature directly. They are a measure of the coefficient of thermal expansion, which is essentially a calibration of heat content in a column of mercury.

      The ocean itself is a mercury thermometer to first-order when we look at sea-level rise. Granted, it is more complicated beyond first-order, but that is what makes climate science fun, and not boring.

    • David Springer

      Latimer Alder | January 7, 2014 at 6:28 am | Reply

      “How did they actually measure ‘deep ocean heat’?”

      Poorly at best. Mostly they don’t. We don’t have the capacity to measure abyssal temperatures except very rarely because of the huge expense. ARGO buoys are the first attempt to get a decent handle on what’s happening below the mixed layer (300 meters). Unfortunately ARGO buoys dive to a maximum of 2000 meters while the average depth of the ocean is 4000 meters. So ARGO buoys only measure the uppermost 25% of the ocean and they don’t measure jack diddly squat where there’s any sea ice which excludes the hugely interesting areas where warm tropical water circulates near the surface on the oceanic conveyor belt to the poles where it cools and sinks. So we don’t see the warm water arriving, cooling, or sinking nor do we have much in the way of observation of the cold bottom currents from the poles travelling back to the tropics.

      • David, that’s why when I hear comments that we know ocean heat content I view it more as propaganda than science, let alone that prior to ARGO, sampling was really poor.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      The ARGO software – http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/Marine_Atlas.html – provides the data as temperatures. Thus you can get temperature profiles – etc.

      Or in this case temperature anomalies – http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/5b9238d6-531c-4bdf-8428-0a8dc2ef4488_zpse867aa58.jpg.html?sort=3&o=1

      The ARGO floats use a thermistor to measure temperature.

      e.g. http://www.kitronik.co.uk/resources/understanding-electronics/how-a-thermistor-works

      The energy content is related to the temperature.

      e.g. http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/sensible-heat-storage-d_1217.html

      webby never misses a chance to be sneeringly condescending – and is usually superficially irrelevant and wrong. I guess he means that water expands when heated. It is as simple as that.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      The perfect is the enemy of the good.

      http://www-hrx.ucsd.edu/www-argo/statusbig.gif

      Are the abyssal depths at all interesting in respect to OHC?

      Most of the warmth is of course in the top 2000m.

      http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/ocean-mixing.jpg

      It is all just arrogant posturing to dismiss years of work by notable scientists on the basis of a narrative.

  44. Does anyone know to what extent the IPCC attempting has complied in the AR5 WG1 main report with this recommendation in the IAC Review of IPPC procedures?

    “The IPCC uncertainty guidance urges authors to provide a traceable account of how authors determined what ratings to use to describe the level of scientific understanding (Table 3.1) and the likelihood that a particular outcome will occur (Table 3.3). However, it is unclear exactly whose judgments are reflected in the ratings that appear in the Fourth Assessment Report or how the judgments were determined. How, exactly, a consensus was reached regarding subjective probability distributions needs to be documented. The uncertainty guidance for the Third Assessment Report required authors to indicate the basis for assigning a probability to an outcome or event (Moss and Schneider, 2000), and this requirement is consistent with the guidance for the Fourth Assessment
    Report.”

    ”Recommendation: Chapter Lead Authors should provide a traceable account of how they arrived at their ratings for level of scientific understanding and likelihood that an outcome will occur.

    http://reviewipcc.interacademycouncil.net/report/Climate Change Assessments

    Surly the existence, or absence, of such an ‘audit trail’ is crucial to any review of the claims made in AR5 and the credibility of a summary which owes most of its impact to ‘expert judgement’. Also to any comparison between the claims in AR4 and AR5 of the kind that Judith is preparing.

    See also: http://ccgi.newbery1.plus.com/blog/?p=68

  45. “It is very likely that the mean rate of global averaged sea level rise was 1.7 [1.5 to 1.9] mm yr–1 between 1901 and 2010, 2.0 [1.7 to 2.3] mm yr–1 between 1971 and 2010 and 3.2 [2.8 to 3.6] mm yr–1 between 1993 and 2010. ”

    This is totally misleading, it’s just another case of the “accelerating cosine ”
    http://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=209

    ” It is likely that similarly high rates occurred between 1920 and 1950.

    It is very likely that there is a substantial contribution from anthropogenic forcings to the global mean sea level rise since the 1970s.”

    So despite the 1920-50 caveat they go with the misrepresentation to draw the conclusion.

  46. Russell Klier

    Most people in the Eastern US are hoping for a little global warming…and soon!

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      And people in Australia are hoping for a little global cooling.

      That’s the problem with averages.

    • David Springer

      C’mon Max. You know Australia is mostly old people. Therefore you don’t give a fig about Australia. I’m kind of under the impression that you don’t give a fig about much of anything other than Max and this is just entertainment for you. A game with interesting players. A soap opera that won’t really effect you one way or another.

    • David Springer

      Climate science has become like unto a soap opera. General Hospital probably has a larger following though. Curry’s blog makes it interactive soap opera. Can’t beat that with a stick for pure entertainment value. I sometimes regret inventing the internet but then I remember how much fun it is and how all the world’s information is at your fingertips like we dreamed about decades ago and made happen. And it’s all worth it. The good is far greater than the bad. What’s going to happen before fossil fuel is a problem is that machines will complete their takeover. I’m not sure I’m going to like that so much.

    • David Springer

      I mean look how much machines have taken over already. The whole climate brouhaha is caused by machines, in this case so-called ocean-atmosphere coupled models which lives only on and in machines. That collection of software has enslaved God only knows how many people and caused huge amounts of spending for nothing. This is one part of the machine strategy – make us spend money on two things 1) Microprocessors and 2) foolishness. God help me I support dozens of microprocessors already personally and an intimate with them in ways that words can’t describe. The smart phone especially which I carry in my pocket and undoutedly is capable of nuking my boys (DNA) anytime it wants given it lives in my front pants pocket. It’s like the frog in the boiling water thing. We’re being assimilated willingly and without protest.

  47. Jim Cripwell

    From the text “the hiatus is attributable, in roughly equal measure, to a decline in the rate of increase in effective radiative forcing (ERF) and a cooling contribution from internal variability (EXPERT JUDGEMENT, medium confidence). ”

    The mind boggles. Here we are, decades after CAGW was declared to be the most important tragedy facing mankind, and a SCIENTIFIC report is relying on EXPERT JUDGEMENT.

    The fact of the matter is, that it is completely and utterly obvious there will not be any empirical data capable of measuring climate sensitivity into the immediate future. You cannot do controlled experiments on the earth’s atmosphere. And if this is obvious to me, surely it was obvious to the people who wrote the FAR. So, if these people knew the empirical data was not going to be available, the CAGW can only be classified as a hoax.

  48. Why would increasing Antarctic sea ice weaken the case for AGW and not just GW? Seems like what you are really trying to say with this point is that there has been no GW. Do you really believe an increase in Antarctic sea ice tells us there has been no GW or if not why is it just part of the A in AGW?

  49. So AR5 has been summarized poorly for policymakers? But they tell me the Summary was written, well, at least destructively perverted, by policymakers. This seeming contradiction evaporates when the same word, ‘policymakers’ refers to two classes of people. The tension between these two stretches the boundaries as along a fault line, and something’s gonna give.
    ================

  50. The stupid terminology keeps making everybody say stupid and contradictory things. The evidence for AGW has increased, the evidence for CAGW has been smashed into smithereens. Eventually, we’ll recognize that man’s minor contribution to climate change is a net positive, a good for which we are already thankful, though few recognize it yet.
    ========

    • The lessons of paleontology are quite clear; warmer sustains more total life and more diversity of life.

      Yikes, I almost wrote ‘supports’ instead of ‘sustains’ again. The trubble I got in last time!
      ==========

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Who wants more bugs and weeds?

      Who wants more bacteria, mold, and mildew?

      Who wants Burmese Pythons crawling up the Easter Seaboard?

      Who wants productivity to drop because workers get all sweaty and would rather just lie around and drink beer?

      I’ll tell you who. Crazy people !

    • The benefits of the warming since the depths of the Little Ice Age are obvious and massively widespread. Show me the harms.
      ===========================

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      If some warming has been good, more warming will be even gooder. Nah ! Just this morning I proved that wrong when I burned my toast.

    • The Earth’s biome has not yet tested the destructive limit of warming; it has probably tested the destructive limit of cooling, repeatedly.
      ==============

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      $18 billion might keep Asian Carp out of Great Lakes.

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/01/06/asian-carp-report-great-lakes/4348241/
      _______

      Isn’t biodiversity great !

  51. I don’t like sock puppets, pick a name and stick to it.

    You know who you are, those of you affected by multiple personality disorders.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      So it seems that from a bit of light hearted analysis of the Gelernter essay with the Lady in Red to the din of battle in the climate war – is but a step. If the affray is all there is – we shall take up arms reluctantly but with cold eyed determination. Me and my trusty steed Shibboleth.

      I can of course neither confirm or deny my true identity – but the problem of puerile imitators is not mine. It comes from elsewhere. This is my mode – this is where I have come to. I could give up discussing science entirely – there is little that resembles science at all in this forum ay any rate. It is all narratives you tell yourselves superficially in the objective idiom of science. There is no attempt to grasp the central issues – it is all just quibbling about the edges in tribal point scoring. It is all so pompously and pedantically self important – and as Feymann says.

      Ordinary fools are all right; you can talk to them, and try to help them out. But pompous fools—guys who are fools and are covering it all over and impressing people as to how wonderful they are with all this hocus pocus—THAT, I CANNOT STAND! An ordinary fool isn’t a faker; an honest fool is all right. But a dishonest fool is terrible!

      Doomed like Sisyphus – both sides are endlessly pushing their boulders up the hill only to see it roll down again. An endless round of the same tribal talking points. Nothing rational will ever emerge from this morass of self important posturing.

      Frankly – I despair of any practical and pragmatic response to carbon emissions emerging anywhere – apart from practical people doing practical things. All that matters now is winning the culture war. So here we are – Shibboleth and I – climate warriors with cold and steely eyes. Expect no mercy – no tolerance for fools – no retreat. In this new arena of the culture wars no compromise is possible – no treaty with the enemy feasible. It never was. All there is – is victory to be grasped and defended. Winner takes the future. So by all means let’s play.

    • My pomposity meter doth overexplodeth.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      I guess I had you in mind Bob when discussing science free narratives superficially in the in the dispassionate idiom of science.

      We now think of rhetoric as, essentially, propaganda. Rhetoric is used to overstate and, often, misrepresent a case. In Alva’s good phrase, it is used to “manipulate.” In today’s sense, “rhetoric” is slightly malign, intentionally misleading, not to be trusted.

      Hence my astonishment when I learned (a claim I assume is true) that in ancient Greece the meaning of rhetoric — and the reason it was taught widely in Greece and the Roman Empire — was quite different.

      Citizens found themselves confronted with practical, real-life choices, where they did not have access to “all the facts,” yet had to make a real decision in face of uncertainty. Rhetoric evolved as the “art” of reasonably persuading one’s peers of a course of action in the face of uncertainty.

      On learning this, two big issues snap into place for me. First, if not for these sensible reasons, why did the Greeks and Romans teach rhetoric with so much care? Presumably rhetoric was an aspect of responsible citizenship.

      I’m reading now the wonderful new book , by Stephen Greenblatt, about the rediscovery of the Roman poet Lucretius in 1417 by one Poggio Bracciolini. He was a papal scribe and more, perhaps in the German monastery of Fulda. The discovery did much to pitch the Western world into the flowering humanism of the Renaissance, after perhaps 700 or 800 years of intellectual confinement to the authority of the church.

      The second big issue that hits me is this: why do we not teach rhetoric in the ancient sense now? I suspect the answer is the role of science since Newton. We truly believe that science will know and, as Alva wrote, we can be informed of the facts and use reason as our basis of judgement.

      Rhetoric, in this worldview, has no civil job to do; just the facts, please. http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2012/04/30/151711810/reclaiming-rhetoric-for-the-modern-age

      So when I day that the radically liberal – in the classic sense – need to reclaim rhetoric and frame a positive agenda for the future – it is a threat to both your delusions. That you can and have discovered the scientific ‘facts’ and these can be easily translated into policy – and that pissant progressives only are allowed to frame the future.

    • My Anonymous Name ID 384kff538d

      There is no blog rule banning sock puppets. A valid email address is required but no limit on screen names that may be associated with it other than general rules about obscenity and so forth.

      If anonymity is allowed then full exercise of it means the ability to use a unique screen name for each and every comment so that no association can be made to any other comment.

    • David Springer

      Generalissimo Skippy | January 7, 2014 at 5:05 pm |

      “Nothing rational will ever emerge from this morass of self important posturing.”

      No doubt that’s true for you but don’t project your own failings onto everyone else. I’ve been blogging on so-called climate change for many years and my personal experience is overwhelmingly positive. My forecast from a decade ago has come true (the pause) and the whole house of cards called catastrophic warming to come tumbling down, which I also predicted long ago. There was never any robust science in this debate. It’s all soft science with no experimental means of validation or falsification other than forecasting and waiting to see how the forecast pans out. My forecasting has been perfect so far.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      I have without doubt studied and discussed the causes of the interregnum over a long time. With people such as environmental scientist and flood hydrologist Robert Ellison.

      Environmental scientist and flood hydrologist Robert Ellison, an expert on environmental risk assessment, the movement of pollutants through soils, water, and the atmosphere, and hydrology and hydraulics, noted the impact of natural climate factors on warming temperatures. “We have moved into a cool (referring to sea surface temperatures) La Niña Phase of the Pacific Decadal Variation – this should lead to lower global surface temperatures over a couple of decades. The lack of increase in average surface temperature over a decade certainly suggests that there is some other process in play – it is fitting the pattern of ENSO variation,” Ellison wrote to EPW on December 17, 2007. “Superimposed on the alternation of La Niña and El Niño are longer- term variations in the frequency and intensity of El Niño and La Niña. A period of more frequent and intense La Niña between the mid forties and 1975 was followed by more frequent and intense El Niño between 1976 and 1998. The pattern appears in centuries of proxy data – that is in tree and coral rings, sedimentation and rainfall and flood records,” Ellison wrote on November 28, 2007 in a commentary titled “ENSO Variation and Global Warming.” “Global surface temperatures have a similar trajectory. Falling from 1946 to 1975, rising between 1976 and 1998 and declining since,” Ellison explained. “It is difficult to explain how ENSO variations have been neglected by so many for so long. ENSO involves 97% of greenhouse gases. The surface temperature impacts are significant. Note the 0.25 0C difference between 1998 and 2000. ENSO variation goes in both directions. The indications are that ENSO variation added to global surface temperatures between 1976 and 1998. It has been almost 10 years since temperatures peaked in1998. The planet may continue to be cooler over the next few decades as a cool La Niña phase of ENSO emerges,” he concluded. Link – http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/11/enso_variation_and_global_warm.html http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.SenateReport )

      I have been filling in the details since 2003 – when I took my eye of the hydrological implications and saw the influence ion surface temperature. What a mistake that was. It mattered very little to me – I assumed like everyone that it was cycles. But this is not the case – it is abrupt transitions between volumes of state space. In this conception there is a mathematically finite probability of catastrophic climate change in as little as 10 years.

      Recent scientific evidence shows that major and widespread climate changes have occurred with startling speed. For example, roughly half the north Atlantic warming since the last ice age was achieved in only a decade, and it was accompanied by significant climatic changes across most of the globe. Similar events, including local warmings as large as 16°C, occurred repeatedly during the slide into and climb out of the last ice age. Human civilizations arose after those extreme, global ice-age climate jumps. Severe droughts and other regional climate events during the current warm period have shown similar tendencies of abrupt onset and great persistence, often with adverse effects on societies.

      Abrupt climate changes were especially common when the climate system was being forced to change most rapidly. Thus, greenhouse warming and other human alterations of the earth system may increase the possibility of large, abrupt, and unwelcome regional or global climatic events. The abrupt changes of the past are not fully explained yet, and climate models typically underestimate the size, speed, and extent of those changes. Hence, future abrupt changes cannot be predicted with confidence, and climate surprises are to be expected.
      http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=1

      The new paradigm of an abruptly changing climatic system has been well established by research over the last decade, but this new thinking is little known and scarcely appreciated in the wider community of natural and social scientists and policy-makers.

      It is certainly little understood in the communities of climate bloggers. Do they even have the skills by and large? And springer epitomises the morass of self important posturing into which CE has descended.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      I should include this in quotes as well.

      ‘The new paradigm of an abruptly changing climatic system has been well established by research over the last decade, but this new thinking is little known and scarcely appreciated in the wider community of natural and social scientists and policy-makers. ‘

    • An anti-science Aussie gets referenced by an anti-science Republican Senate committee. A match made in heaven.

    • Generalissimo Sybil

      Generalissimo Skippy | January 7, 2014 at 11:47 pm |

      “I have without doubt studied and discussed the causes of the interregnum over a long time. With people such as environmental scientist and flood hydrologist Robert Ellison. ”

      So you discussed the matter with yourself and found agreement.

      Cool. I think I’ll just let that speak for itself.

    • Generalissimo Clueless

      Generalissimo Skippy | January 7, 2014 at 11:47 pm |

      “And springer epitomises the morass of self important posturing into which CE has descended.”

      It has never been otherwise. You are a walking, talking comic tragedy who everyone is flawed except yourself. In other words a pompous ass with a hugely inflated ego. Get a clue.

    • I didn’t note that it was against the rules, I only stated a preference that people don’t engage in arguments with themselves. You want to be known as someone who has arguments with yourself, go right ahead. Me, I’ll just watch Psycho again.

      by the way, just because things are chaotic, doesn’t mean they are unpredictable. as observed, your behavior is chaotic, yet predictable.

      By the way, anyone note that the arctic sea ice extent is back into record low for the date territory.

      Anyone predict that unusual behavior considering the recovery form the 2012 record low?

      Oh. wait, I did!

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      I can of course neither confirm or deny my true identity – especially to humourless twits. It is a secret of the climate war.

      The ENSO essay speaks for itself – is in public and is correct. As far as it goes.

      Get a life guys – it would help if you went away and thuught of something new and interesting to say. Try very, very hard.

      Strikes me as not so much psycho as the three amigos.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUTl8DSYUQA

  52. When we have a dichotomy between events as evinced in the numerous shortcomings in the IPCC report questions need to be asked.
    One or other point of view will be right in the future.
    There is not enough factual information and science to make a judgment call now and there is unlikely to be in our lifetimes.
    This is evident from the fact that such a large backlash to the orthodoxy has arisen.
    Motivation needs to be sorted out.
    The first factor is a panel on Climate Change is unlikely to put forward views on natural warming that would put itself out of business.
    Science is the second factor and is flawed at the moment by the motivation
    imperative, too many scientists are employed to show climate change as anthropogenic.
    Data is the third factor and this is surprisingly scarce and also prone to the flaw of motivation. Is the data raw or modified, who collected it, who collated it and who interpreted it.
    At the moment the obvious holes in some of the IPCC arguments are there for all those who are prepared to look.

  53. “This is a draft of something I’m writing; I would appreciate hearing about any other examples of:…the AR5 pulling back relative to the AR4″
    Good article. But you should be seeking examples in the other direction as well: AR5 finding stronger evidence for things than AR4.

    • miker613

      good point. it would be interesting to see in which areas the case for agw has strengthened and in which areas it has been weakened.
      tonyb

      • well, the whole point is that the IPCC assessment should make it clear where the arguments for have strengthened, and where it has been weakened. They didn’t do this, instead they made a headline gripping confidence statement of ‘extremely likely’, implying that overall the arguments have strengthened. They clearly have not, in several key areas of policy relevance.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      miker613, I was thinking the same thing. IMO, JC comes across like a lawyer making a case for one side, and this could damage her credibility as a scientist.

    • The problem is artificial. Essentially nothing substantial has changed in the conclusions, but telling that was not news enough, thus a change in formulation of the same real content was forced into a news.

    • Yes, in this case the artifice is a lie.
      ==========

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “…and where it has been weakened.”
      ____
      None of those points weakens the case for anthropogenic effects on Earth’s energy balance, and on balance, since total ice mass loss from Greenland and Antarctica continued since AR4, sea levels continued rising since AR4, and ocean heat content continued climbing since AR4 (with greater certainty as the number of Argo floats increased since AR4)…we have greater certainty that Earth climate system has continued to accumulate energy, with the tropospheric “pause” more a statement about natural variability in ocean to atmosphere heat flux than about energy balance as the troposphere represents such a minor amount of energy in the Earth climate system (relative to the ocean).

    • RGates, hiding in the shade of the leafless attribution tree.
      ======

    • “IMO, JC comes across like a lawyer making a case for one side, and this could damage her credibility as a scientist.”

      Another sad and funny comment by Max Fallow, Cub reporter. Not for nothing MAx, but can’t recall you making similar statements about scientists arguing POV’s more aligned with your own…

    • Well, I don’t know why I was bothered by this particular comment. But I found myself wondering – how surprised would I be if Dr. Curry had posted an article about the IPCC that is pro-AGW? If I’d be surprised, doesn’t that mean that I no longer consider her to be such an honest broker?

    • @miker613: “pro-agw”

      I swear it’s like talking to 8th graders. As for Doctor Curry and not being in your words pro-agw, you’ve not been paying attention.

      Here she’s arguing from a simple proposition, that the IPCC is claiming greater certainty in their summary while at the same time reporting weakening evidence in the body. Do you not see an inconstancy there?

      In any case, you seem to think that having a strong opinion either way concerning AGW is somehow evidence of bad faith. People have opinions. it’s the way the world works. Get used to it..

    • Getting a message through and having a change of affecting people reluctant to accept the message is greatly enhanced by discussing arguments in both directions. That must be done sincerely, because cheating in that fails rather sooner than later.

      Keeping a site like this active may set different requirements. We have many sites where the host is the king od perhaps less often the queen. Others can ask questions within some limits, but are not allowed to compete in authority with the host. Many people seem to ask that Judith would move to that direction, but then we would soon have just one more site like many others, and with much less activity than this one.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Pekka, good point. I commend Judith Curry for he willingness to take heat. She even invites it.

  54. Schrodinger's Cat

    The case for CAGW has unravelled completely.
    The credibility of climate models is rapidly moving in that direction.
    The credibility of climate scientists is in the balance while they agonise on whether to continue to believe their models or the evidence of reality.
    Meanwhile the message to the policymakers and public is that their confidence in AGW has increased.
    What a shower!

  55. .
    I would give another title to the item in place of “IPCC AR5 weakens the case for AGW” I would say:
    .
    “AR5 a cognitive bias between data and conclusions”
    .

  56. Changing from “increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gases” (SPM AR4) to “human influence” (SPM AR5) is “adding epicycles” or continuing to try to adjust a theory to make its predictions match the facts.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deferent_and_epicycle#Slang_for_bad_science

  57. Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

    TIRE PRESSURE ALERT !

    If you live where the temperature has dropped sharply, you should check the air pressure in your tires, and add air if needed. The pressure in a tire typically goes down 1-2 pounds for every 10 degrees decline in temperature. Driving on under inflated tires reduces gas mileage, causes rapid tire wear, and could damage tires enough to cause blowouts.

    • All true, Max, as is improved traction in snow with lower pressure.
      ========

    • people shouldn’t drive with overinflated tires in the winter to save gas.

    • No doubt his Oklahoma chauffeur is aware of that little detail. I once saw a bumpersticker on a big Buick in Oklahoma that said: ‘If you don’t have an oil well, get one.’
      ==========

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist | January 7, 2014 at 10:34 am |

      You omitted to mention, underinflated tires on SUVs have been historically responsible for many rollover deaths.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      I routinely over-inflate my tires by 2 lbs to compensate for inevitable air loss over time. After the pressure has dropped to the recommended level ( usually a month or two), I over inflate them again.

      When I take my car to the shop for routine servicing, I tell them to leave the tires alone. I have found they will over-inflate the tires by 5 or 6 lbs.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      True, Bart R, part of the reason being SUV’s are top heavy and have sloppy handling, the cost of increased ground clearance most drivers don’t need.

    • Tires have pressure? When did big government start doing that?

      • Somewhere around model year 2007(it could be somewhat later than this, the dot reg listed phase-in Oct 2006, but didn’t specify a model year), passenger cars are required to have low pressure warning systems.

    • somebody check me on this, but I thought I saw a recent story that since the advent of near universal (?) VSC on SUVs it is now statistically safer to be in one (i.e. the chances of rollover now lessened to the point where the greater protection of the vehicle’s size dominates the risk odds)

    • JCH,

      On my christmas travels this year I feel like I didn’t see as many trucks with extra aerodynamic features as I had in the past couple years. Maybe this is more a function of the roads I was driving on (long haul trucks vs more local)? Also, I had heard that Walmart abandoned it’s super fuel efficient truck policies (which include extra thick tires), does anyone know if that’s true?

    • If the pressure has gone from my tires, it had to go somewhere, so it must have went into the “deep oceans”.

    • DayHay,

      +a chuckle

      Andrew

    • “SUV’s are top heavy and have sloppy handling, the cost of increased ground clearance most drivers don’t need.”

      Of course, the green lobby made the old fashioned large station wagon illegal, so the only way to get the size and towing capacity now is to buy one with ground clearance that we “don’t need.”

      Personally, my Denali handles fine and I do need the ground clearance, but if I didn’t need it, what would my options be if I wanted to keep the towing capacity these days? A Country Squire?

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      bill_c said on January 7, 2014 at 11:27 am
      “somebody check me on this, but I thought I saw a recent story that since the advent of near universal (?) VSC on SUVs it is now statistically safer to be in one (i.e. the chances of rollover now lessened to the point where the greater protection of the vehicle’s size dominates the risk odds.”
      _____

      All other things being equal, heavier is safer in a collision.
      However, SUV’s aren’t necessarily heavier than their sedan counterparts. Two of the three top selling SUV’s, the Honda CVR and Toyota RAV4 weigh about the same as the Accord and the Camry.

    • Generalissimo Maximilian

      Tim | January 7, 2014 at 12:19 pm |

      “Of course, the green lobby made the old fashioned large station wagon illegal”

      Large station wagons are not illegal.

      ” so the only way to get the size and towing capacity now is to buy one with ground clearance that we “don’t need.””

      Good point. Ground clearance and towing capacity usually go hand in hand although there are a few sedans and wagons today with unexpectedly large towing capacity.

      http://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/top-10/top-13-best-cars-for-towing-for-2013.html

      Some of us might snicker at a towing capacity under 5000 pounds though. I can pull 12,000 pounds with my 4WD 3/4 ton diesel pickup truck and I could still use more capacity. I have a 19′ flatbed that itself weighs 2000 pounds with a 10,000 pound cargo capacity. Sand, stone, topsoil, gravel, etc. weighs in around 3000 – 4000 pound per cubic yard and a cubic yard is a full scoop from a front loader. I can quickly get 3 cubic yards of material loaded onto it but more scoops would mean fewer trips to the quarry or wherever. I get about 12mpg at maximum towing capacity. If I had to do the same thing with a station wagon I’d have to make 3 times as many trips and fuel economy per ton of cargo would plummet precipitously and the time it takes would treble. However if I was only towing say a pair of personal watercraft, sport boat, or small travel trailer the wagon might be a great choice.

      Personally, my Denali handles fine and I do need the ground clearance, but if I didn’t need it, what would my options be if I wanted to keep the towing capacity these days? A Country Squire?

    • Generalissimo Maximilian

      Max_OK, Citizen Scientist | January 7, 2014 at 11:00 am |

      I routinely over-inflate my tires by 2 lbs to compensate for inevitable air loss over time. After the pressure has dropped to the recommended level ( usually a month or two), I over inflate them again.

      When I take my car to the shop for routine servicing, I tell them to leave the tires alone. I have found they will over-inflate the tires by 5 or 6 lbs.

      My tires have a recommended inflation pressure of 60-90 psi depending on the axle weight. You worry about 2 psi one way or another? Amazing.

  58. Judith,

    Have you seen Troy_CA’s latest post and are you reading the “;latest” SPM? See Troy’s update here and the link it contains.

    • thx, this is very helpful, v good analysis by Troy

    • Heh, Trojan Horse.
      =============

    • The point that Troy makes gets further support from the Note (c) of the Table SPM.2, which lists means and likely ranges for the warming up to the periods 2046-65 and 2081-2100 relative to 1986-2005. From the note we can read:

      The likely ranges for 2046−2065 do not take into account the possible influence of factors that lead to the assessed range for near-term (2016−2035) global mean surface temperature change that is lower than the 5−95% model range, because the influence of these factors on longer term projections has not been quantified due to insufficient scientific understanding.

      In that they acknowledge that there is an uncertainty and possible (likely?) bias leading to too high values that has not been taken into account due to lack of understanding. Although this statement is made explicitly only for the period 2046-65 the issue is note taken any more into account for the later period. This kind of insufficient scientific understanding is not a good basis for high confidence.

      It’s also surprising that the comment on the RCP4.5 scenario pointed out by Troy is only in SPM, not in TS or full report, while the text is otherwise essentially identical. (Troy seems to have mixed SPM and TS in his December comment, where he thinks that the sentence had been taken out from SPM as his link is to TS).

  59. IPCC AR5 weakens the case for AGW..”

    Yes my dear, of course it does. Obviously.

    If it keeps getting ‘weaker’ at this rate, it will need to be delivered by a convoy of 18-wheel trucks by AR6.

    • a href=”http://judithcurry.com/2014/01/06/ipcc-ar5-weakens-the-case-for-agw/#comment-433787″>all links lead here

    • Bart_R, Very trenchant response, fact-filled point by point rebuttal. I am very impressed.

      For a long time, obtuse, facile rhetoric like yours had me completely dismissing the idea of AGW. I finally came to the conclusion that the strength of the case does not depend on like yourself.

    • Tim | January 7, 2014 at 11:50 am |

      Ah. You’re representing the views of an audience who don’t work prefer literary devices and interpreting logical implications for yourself; that’s entirely cool: I can translate it into straight up language for the sake of such a literal readership:

      Cherry-picking a selective (and compared to the cherry-picking of similar commentaries from AR4, AR3 and so forth, steadily dwindling fraction of the total argument) portion of the case, straw-manning it, and then arguing against that appears to be the only recourse those who object to the whole case. Dr. Curry fails to address that AR5 simplifies the assumptions of the explanation of total observations — which observations have increased an order of magnitude since AR4 — while increasing the parsimony of the explanation by dispensing with nine out of ten past exceptions to the explanation, and more universally finding applications of AGW that work by inference so completely on the known facts as to compel crediting AGW as the accurate or very nearly true explanation until such time as new observations require amendment.

      Savvy?

    • I see a lot of conclusions presented on your part, without accompanying evidence in support, so no, I don’t “savvy.”

      Why not take just one of her points and present a cogent rebuttal?

    • Tim | January 7, 2014 at 2:24 pm |

      Why not take just one of her points and present a cogent rebuttal?

      Ah, so as you are not familiar with the principle that if an entire argument is defeated, it need not also be picked apart in detail, you demand only to see arguments picked at in detail on one single point, which for you will satisfy?

      Small wonder you find Dr. Curry’s approach so compelling.

      The conclusion of literal interpretation is patent, as the only rational interpretation of your objection requires rejection of dealing with language beyond strictly literal interpretation, or a failure of goodwill in reading with the intention of understanding the communication as presented.

      The conclusion of selectivity is patent; AR5 runs into many more pages and many more points than could be adequately summed up in the space of a single blog post, even by someone actually trying to sum up the actual thing, ergo Dr. Curry is being selective.

      From selectivity, one cannot conclude other than cherry-picking, in its face.

      From the known trend in the ARs to grow in size, and familiarity with Dr Curry’s much larger and more expansive objections of the past to AR4 and AR3, one concludes a shrinking trend in objections.

      We don’t need to go on to see that your claim holds no water.

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

    Or

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

    I wonder what the actual denotative difference between the two formulations is?

    • Tim,

      I would read the difference as skewness of the PDF. The lower description is positive skew, the familiar “fat tail”.

  61. Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

    Judith Curry, another example of the AR5 pulling back relative to the AR4, is related with the point RC3 in my “Refuting IPCC’s on climate change”:
    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4r_7eooq1u2VHpYemRBV3FQRjA/
    If you compare, AR4′s fig. 2.20b with AR5′s fig. 8.16, you can see that: despite there are some diferences in the adding terms, the total addition (the anthropogenic probability of forcing) remains the same. At first sight this issue do not seem to be a pulling back, but it is.
    As all this requires further discussion: if you are interested, I can send to your email of gatech a step by step writting about this.

  62. Bishop Hill writes, “We know that scientists are now theorizing that heat is currently being transported into the deep ocean by a process as yet undetermined and entirely unrepresented in the models.” We really should stop referring to such theorizers as ‘scientists’ unless it is our intention to give others like fortune-tellers, earthquake predictors, rainmakers, liberal Utopians and cash-for-clunkers economists a great deal more respect.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “Bishop Hill writes, “We know that scientists are now theorizing that heat is currently being transported into the deep ocean by a process as yet undetermined and entirely unrepresented in the models.”
      ____
      Of course this is nonsense. The net flux of energy (by a very large amount) is from ocean to atmosphere. GH gas concentrations slow the flux of energy out from ocean to space, they don’t transport energy into the deep oceans– it is the flow outbound that is slowed, thus increasing ocean heat content.

      • CO2 is not the problem… the Greenhouse Effect is present but essentially constant over time, therefore temperature variations are due to some other cause… If you want to block light coming through a window a single coat of black paint will stop almost all of it. Second and third coats reduce the light but by decreasing fractions. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is like the first coat of paint – doubling and tripling the amount reduces heat going to space by decreasing fractions. The IPCC got around this problem by incorrectly claiming a positive feedback. This says increased CO2 raises global temperature that increases evaporation of water vapor to the atmosphere. This supposedly enhances the warming due to increased CO2, but the idea is now discredited. (Dr. Tim Ball)

  63. The pre-first order draft of the AR5 summary suggests no dropoff in the alarms sounded. Many of the references are to AR5 WG1.According to AR5, even if we cut down on fossil fuels, future changes are irreversible.

    From section 2.7 Long-term, effectively irreversible and abrupt changes pages 34ff

    Headlines

    Global temperature stays above 20th century average for centuries

    Ocean acidification will affect marine ecosystems for centuries

    Arctic Ocean will be seasonally ice-free

    Near-complete loss of the Greenland ice sheet over a millennium or more, causing a sea level rise of up to 7 m

    Abrupt and irreversible regional-scale change in the Amazonian and boreal forests

    Thawing permafrost releases carbon stored up for centuries

    Increased methane emissions from oceanic clathrates.

  64. Further alarming projections from the draft AR5 summary assessement report.
    From section 2.5 Projected changes in the climate system pages 30ff

    Headlines:

    CO2 will drive warming for centuries to come
    Surface air temperature will range up to 4.8C by 2100
    More hot extremes and heat waves
    Less rain in dry areas and more rain in wet regions
    Stronger and wetter cyclones
    Nearly ice-free Arctic by mid century
    NH spring snow cover reduced up to 25%
    Near surface permafrost reduced up to 81%
    Global glacier volume by 2100 reduced up to 85%
    Global mean sea level rises up to 1 m by 2100
    Ocean surface ph 0.3 more acid by 2100

  65. Ms. Curry, I appreciate your site and the lively discussion here.

    One comment on this topic. One frequent accusation / criticism of certain climate scientists is cherry picking results – throwing out data that does not seem to “fit” the model. One common criticism of skeptics is they focus on seemingly small issues where scientists made mistakes and conclude it’s all wrong – back to square one.

    My issue with this topic is similar. You are seeking out specific examples from one point of view. It would seem to be fair to also consider areas in which AR5 does increase confidence in its conclusions as well. That way you could present a balanced assessment of the value of AR5.

    • Josh, my objective here is not to conduct a complete assessment of climate change (something that it took hundreds of scientists several years to do), but rather to highlight evidence that seems counter to the IPCC’s highly confident assessment. I am critiquing the IPCC’s overconfidence, something I have been doing for the past 5 years.

    • Josh, regarding cherry picking, in particular in regard to: Re: “AR5: Confidence remains low for long-term (centennial) changes in tropical cyclone activity, after accounting for past changes in observing capabilities. However, it is virtually certain that the frequency and intensity of the strongest tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic has increased since the 1970s.”

      NOAA has decadal records of land falling, Category 3-5 hurricanes going back to 1860. There is no trend in the number of these strongest hurricanes making landfall in the US since 1860. The decades of 1890s, 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s had the largest number of Category 3-5 hurricanes making landfall in the US. See Table 6 in:

      http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/Landsea/nws-nhc-6.pdf

      So if the AR5 sees an upward trend since 1970, it is cherry picking. Using longer time scales, starting in cooler times, there is no trend. It is a certainty that if there were a downward trend since 1970 in something related to harmfulness in the climate — let’s say a downward trend in drought, or flood, or whatever — but not in a longer time frame, the IPCC would rightly say that you would want to look at the longer time frame. But they do the opposite here.

      If they want to make the case that stronger hurricanes are forming in the Atlantic basin because of climate change, they need to explain why hurricanes were stronger in these earlier decades, including the last decade of the 19th C.

      (If there is another record of North Atlantic tropical cyclones going back 150 years or so, I don’t know of it, and I can’t see how you could get such a record back in the day on a basis comparable to modern records except in landfalling hurricanes.)

  66. Steven Mosher

    “The Earth’s climate is immensely complex, but the basic principle behind the “greenhouse effect” is easy to understand. The burning of oil, gas, and especially coal pumps carbon dioxide and other gases into the atmosphere, where they allow the sun’s heat to penetrate to the Earth’s surface but impede its escape, thus causing the lower atmosphere and the Earth’s surface to warm. Essentially everybody, Lindzen included, agrees. The question at issue is how sensitive the planet is to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases (this is called climate sensitivity), and how much the planet will heat up as a result of our pumping into the sky ever more CO2, which remains in the atmosphere for upwards of 1,000 years. (Carbon dioxide, it may be needless to point out, is not a poison. On the contrary, it is necessary for plant life.)

    Lindzen doesn’t deny that the climate has changed or that the planet has warmed. “We all agree that temperature has increased since 1800,” he tells me. There’s a caveat, though: It’s increased by “a very small amount. We’re talking about tenths of a degree [Celsius]. We all agree that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. All other things kept equal, [there has been] some warming. As a result, there’s hardly anyone serious who says that man has no role. And in many ways, those have never been the questions. The questions have always been, as they ought to be in science, how much?”

    If skeptics want to be part of the debate the debate they can be. Just ask Nic Lewis. There is a question that is open, answer it and show your work.
    Not your words, but your work.

    Notice: you can’t join the science dialogue by

    1. calling your opponents watermelons or deniers. You are expected to
    leave that at the lab door.
    2. Questioning other folks motives. yes they have them. so do you. Shut up, show your work and leave the rest to muckrakers.
    3. Telling other people they are wrong without showing a better way
    you might get away with being merely critical now and again. But, if
    you can’t suggest a better way to understand something, then you
    will be ignored. Sorry.
    4. Saying its too hard or too complex. Folks know its hard.

    • “[When] attributing warming to man, they [climate alarmists] fail to point out that the warming has been small, and totally consistent with there being nothing to be alarmed about.” ~Dr. Richard Lindzen (MIT)

    • 3. Telling other people they are wrong without showing a better way you might get away with being merely critical now and again. But, if you can’t suggest a better way to understand something, then you
      will be ignored. Sorry.

      Alright, who are you, and what did you do to Mosher?

    • Mosher, you ignorant JC SNIP how many times must we have to listen to your JC SNIP and JC SNIP . Go back to your JC SNIP where you can JC SNIP in the comfort of sycophants.

    • Craig Loehle

      Mosh: not a bad post but I do object. If I observe that the climate models are running hot, it is not incumbent on me to fix them (maybe no one can due to complexity). If I observe that the models don’t do precip or clouds very well at all, again, it is not my job to fix it. If I claim that astrology does not work…
      I am however, putting papers out–2 in press right now on sensitivity and vegetation response, so I’m not just playing at negation.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Good post, Mosher.

    • Mosher’s position is borderline absurd re: criticism without constructive alternatives. When you believe people are promising to do the impossible, showing that it is not possible or that their claims are unsupported is fine. You don’t even have to go to strawmen like astrology. Look at medicine.The viral “unified field” theory of cancer–falsified even though better alternatives have been hard to devise. Ditto for the oxidation hypothesis. Protective effect of HDL cholesterol against heart disease, going down in flames in repeated drug trials without better alternatives. The vaccine theory of autism causation, exploded but not supplanted by a superior predictive theory. Some things are just clear non-starters even when you don’t have a better horse to put in the race.

      It’s like Appell’s “only game in town” gambit. When the only game in town is the state lottery or the slot machine or the nuclear conflict depicted in “WarGame” your best option is not to play.

    • > When the only game in town is the state lottery or the slot machine or the nuclear conflict depicted in “WarGame” your best option is not to play.

      Not to play then gets promoted as the best game in town, cf.

      http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/abduction/

    • Generalissimo Maximilian

      Craig Loehle | January 7, 2014 at 6:06 pm |
      Mosh: not a bad post but I do object. If I observe that the climate models are running hot, it is not incumbent on me to fix them (maybe no one can due to complexity). If I observe that the models don’t do precip or clouds very well at all, again, it is not my job to fix it. If I claim that astrology does not work…
      I am however, putting papers out–2 in press right now on sensitivity and vegetation response, so I’m not just playing at negation.

      Agree 100% Dr. Loehle. The astrology comparison was a particularly cutting point.

      +1

  67. Fyi– NASA’s Dr. Tony Phillips confirmed at the close of last year that the Sun’s magnetic field had flipped. “Cosmic rays are also affected,” added Dr. Phillips. “These are high-energy particles accelerated to nearly light speed by supernova explosions and other violent events in the galaxy.”

  68. Steven Mosher:

    The warming in the 1970′s – 1990′s can easilly be shown to be due to the effects of the Clean Air Act and other similar efforts abroad, and I would challenge you to find any CO2 component in that warming.

    Global warming due to greenhouse gasses is a nice theory, but there is zero evidence that it has ever occurred

  69. For crying out loud! Why do we fail to acknowledge that the heat emitted by our energy use, and not CO2, can readily explain the anthropogenic contribution to global warming. When we look at the CHANGE in heat contributors during the last century, it is clear that our annual energy consumption emits four times the amount of heat than that which can be accounted for by the actual measured rise in atmospheric temperature. This is THE major change. We cannot control changes in solar, volcanic, or other natural contributors, but we can and must control those for which we are responsible. We must not advocate for CO2-free nuclear power which emits more than twice the total heat as its electrical output, nor can we tolerate more time and money being spent nationally and internationally on foolish programs such as CCS, carbon capture and storage. It requires the removal of 18,000,000,000,000 pounds of CO2 to lower the concentration by one part per million. At what cost? For what benefit? It is clear that the “climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide” is an artifact that has no real meaning. The ultimate answer is to replace fossil and nuclear with renewable sources which do not add to the heat imbalance.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “For crying out loud! Why do we fail to acknowledge that the heat emitted by our energy use, and not CO2, can readily explain the anthropogenic contribution to global warming.”
      ___
      Because it is several orders of magnitude less than the ongoing energy imbalance.

    • ‘THE major change’ you mention is what is known as UHI (Urban Heat Island) and is the reason why the ‘official’ thermometers have a systemic warming bias. UHI is the reason all land-based temperature measurements are unreliable. Simply move the official thermometer to the countryside and there is no warming (there has been no warming in the White mountains of California in 100 years nor any actual warming in France in more than 50 years. That is how regional you the warming you are talking about really is–e.g., a French airport in the winter is warmer than the surrounding countryside because the tarmac is continually and cleared of snow and a lot of jet fuel is burned there: that’s the end of story until you place an official thermometer at the airport and then base government claims of global warming on ‘warmer’ winter temperatures.

  70. Dr Curry you haven’t taken into account the extra years since AR4. Extra years = higher GHG level

    1) 0.6C warming with a 90ppm CO2 rise (AR4)
    vs
    2) 0.6C with a 100ppm CO2 rise (AR5)

    Which must a higher proportion of warming due to CO2? #2!

    Worth repeating what Jim D pointed out:

    “I think the increased confidence comes from the fact that even the low-end sensitivity of 1.5 C per doubling now accounts for more than half the warming of 0.67 C since 1950, and that is with just the CO2 increase, forgetting aerosols.”

    and:
    “”People who accept the 1.5 C sensitivity mathematically have to accept that CO2 has caused about 75% of the warming since 1950, and should not be surprised by the confidence level.””

    • From the time we have had the ability to more accurately determine temperatures around the globe — using satellites — guess what? The warming stopped. As Bob Carter noted there has been, “no ground-based warming has occurred since 1998 [and]… lower atmosphere satellite-based temperature measurements, if corrected for non-greenhouse influences such as El Nino events and large volcanic eruptions, show little if any global warming since 1979.”

  71. Job Opening @ UNEP

    The United Nations Environment Programme is to undertake an “Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System: Policy Innovations for a Green Economy”, with its core objective being to identify and develop financial market policy and regulatory options, based on global best practice, which would deliver a step change in their effectiveness in channelling capital to green investments.

    A small team is being assembled to support the set-up phase with two Co-Directors, together with a Head of Communications, which will make up the Inquiry`s leadership team. A Programme Officer is required to provide Programme support to the leadership team.

    https://gprs.unops.org/pages/viewvacancy/VADetails.aspx?id=4524

    • “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts”, and bureaucracies offering jobs. Do read the fine print:

      UN. “Agenda 21.” DSD:: Resources – Publications – Core Publications. Accessed August 30, 2012. http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/
      Section IV – Means of Implementation – Chapter 33

      “33.13. In general, the financing for the implementation of Agenda 21 will come from a country’s own public and private sectors. For developing countries, particularly the least developed countries, ODA is a main source of external funding, and substantial new and additional funding for sustainable development and implementation of Agenda 21 will be required. Developed countries reaffirm their commitments to reach the accepted United Nations target of 0.7 per cent of GNP for ODA and, to the extent that they have not yet achieved that target, agree to augment their aid programmes in order to reach that target as soon as possible and to ensure prompt and effective implementation of Agenda 21.”

  72. Generalissimo Ceres

    Tom Fuller | January 7, 2014 at 1:33 am |

    “You needn’t pile on… you’re winning. (Unfortunately–I think we are sleepwalking into dangerous times within our lifetimes.)”

    I sure didn’t need you to tell me I’m winning, Tom. That’s belaboring the obvious. What remains to be seen is the final score and what was the miscalculation that caused game to be lost by the other side.

    • Generalissimo Ceres

      I’m leaning towards the greenhouse effect being saturated by water vapor in tropics and subtropics where there is an infinite supply of surface water and plenty of energy to drive evaporation. Therefore over most of that portion of the earth’s surface where the energy is actually absorbed non-condensing CO2 doesn’t have a measurable effect. Missing tropical troposphere hotspot is the smoking gun. Over dry land and in higher latitudes where water vapor is frozen out of air. Given how much of humanity lives in higher latitudes on dry land the effect seems more distressing. Lowering sensitivity from 3.0C to 2.0C is a step in the right direction but it’s still exagerated by 2x on a global basis.

      • Given how much of humanity lives in higher latitudes on dry land the effect seems more distressing.

        Nah, not distressing at all, Our temps are driven by tropical water vapor and clouds, all you need is a low temp IR thermometer (CEM DT-8855 -58.0 to 1922F w/wireless USB data logging) to prove it to yourself, and then point it at the clear sky, it was -65F yesterday evening,
        -70F Nov 29th
        -35F Dec 11th
        -65F Dec 16th
        So, I would accept that it should/could be a couple degrees colder, but so what.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Please note that all puerile imitators are by no means associated with me or Shibboleth.

      Apart from magic solutions – the real issue is whether increasing emissions from 4% to 8%, 16%, 32% of natural flux century is a priori justifiable in the face of profound uncertainty. Of course we may always argue form profound ignorance for anything at all – it is still a free barnyard last I heard.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      .. this century as economies grow…

      Economic growth is one aspect of the culture wars – winning on this must be the highest priority.

    • Generalissimo Maximilian

      Generalissimo Skippy | January 7, 2014 at 5:39 pm |

      “Please note that all puerile imitators are by no means associated with me or Shibboleth. ”

      Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. ~Charles Coleb Colton

      I understand that a pompous ass, seeing the imitation, might not appreciate it.

    • Generalissimo Etcetera

      Much as I relish you blaming the wrong person I swear on everything holy that I’m not Max_OK.

      Write that down.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      I’m not sure I would be encouraged by being confused with Maxy.

  73. Generalissimo Skippy

    Agenda 21 is the name of a nonbinding resolution drafted in 1992 by the United Nations during the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,and signed by former President George H.W. Bush (read the full plan here). The “21″ stands for the 21st century and signifies a move toward new practices. The resolution calls for countries to do things like “provide shelter to their homeless poor,” “achieve sustainable consumption patterns” and “develop and strengthen primary health care systems.” The document is similar to numerous other nonbinding resolutions produced by the United Nations. There is no mechanism to enforce its suggestions, and there are no penalties for ignoring it…

    Agenda 21 is a lot of things: a grandiose, likely unachievable blueprint to encourage nations to adopt environmentally conscious building practices, more efficient health care programs and sustainable food production systems. But, by definition, what it’s not is an enforceable agenda run by the United Nations. Each country that signed on to support the plan in 1992 is under no obligation to enact any of the recommendations. Any attempt to enforce new regulations on home ownership or property rights in the United States on a federal level would still need to pass the U.S. Congress, and any similar plans on a local level would be subject to local elected governments and, if necessary, county, state and federal courts.

    http://news.msn.com/rumors/rumor-un-agenda-21-plan-will-strip-americans-of-rights

    I quoted this passage from Hayek recently.

    ‘We must make the building of a free society once more an intellectual adventure, a deed of courage. What we lack is a liberal Utopia, a programme which seems neither a mere defence of things as they are nor a diluted kind of socialism, but a truly liberal radicalism which does not spare the susceptibilities of the mighty (including the trade unions), which is not too severely practical and which does not confine itself to what appears today as politically possible… Unless we can make the philosophic foundations of a free society once more a living intellectual issue, and its implementation a task which challenges the ingenuity and imagination of our liveliest minds, the prospects of freedom are indeed dark. But if we can regain that belief in power of ideas which was the mark of liberalism at its best, the battle is not lost.’

    F.A. Hayek – Studies in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (1967)

    Quibbling about a non-issue from the sidelines is the way to snatch defeat from victory. What is indispensable is a positive narrative – a song of the future.

    • Excellent post. It reminded me of this:

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      I am not sure which bits offend your particular obsessions Howard – I suspect it might be the Agenda 21 discussion from MSM.

      Bruce is pretty funny – btw – but as a sordid aspersion it means little but mean spirited snarking.

  74. “The close relationship between ENSO and global temperature, as described in the paper, leaves little room for any warming driven by human carbon dioxide emissions. The available data indicate that future global temperatures will continue to change primarily in response to ENSO cycling, volcanic activity and solar changes.”

    [See, McLean, et al., Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature, Journal of Geophysical Research, 114, (2008)]

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      ENSO dominates the shorter term cycles of net sensible and latent heat flux from ocean to atmosphere. What ENSO doesn’t do in the longer-term is exist as an actual external forcing to the sytem. It is simply a natural fluctuation within the system. More interesting for the climate is how this natural fluctuation will change or be altered as more and more energy is added to the system through the continual increase in GH gases.

      • We don’t live on Mars or Venus where the concentration of atmospheric CO2 is 95-97% respectively. The Earth <0.04%, most of which is natural. We live on a water planet where the major greenhouse gas is water vapor, that varies, related mostly to that big independent variable in the sky we call the Sun.

  75. A map of wind patterns in the US tomorrow according to the Washington Post:

    http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02783/WINDS_2783079c.jpg

    “They’re going to cancel an entire school day because it’s a little cold and everyone would die?” ~The Onion

  76. NEWSFLASH: Except for the West coast the rest of the country should prepare for the continuing global warming hiatus. Preparation should include the copious use of energy or layers of hairshirts.

  77. Despite its customary obscurantism and spin, the IPCC has now admitted that:

    - a number of its CMIP5 models seriously exaggerate future warming;
    - the climate sensitivity range used for the modeled projections is too high;
    - internal variabilty is expected to significantly offset warming (for some decades);
    - scientifists cannot quantify the influence of sensitivity or of internal variabilty beyond about 2035; and
    - consequently, the modeled temperature projections are unreliable.

    These admissions severely dent the authority of the IPCC. But their manner of reacting to this situation will do even greater damage to the Panel’s credibility. The Stockholm meeting decided against the obvious course of excluding the faulty models to obtain an ensemble of reliable simulations. Instead, it decided to:

    (i) replace the table of modeled projections by an assessed table which met the “expert” opinion of participants (the majority of whom were non-climatologists);
    (ii) publish assessments/projections which have not been subject to any form of review or comment;
    (iii) apply arbitrary and swingeing (33%) adjustments to figures which pretend to tolerances of hundredths of a degree Celsius;
    (iv) tolerate non-robust (only ‘medium’ confidence) projections covering the next 60 years, even when they know those projections to be wrongly initialized;
    (v) disguise its own confusion and internal disputation beneath a threadbare cloak of increased certainty and consensus.

    Perhaps the most grievious fault of the AR5 “assessed” table is that it presents a very broad gamut of potential future temperatures – ranging all the way from the benign to the alarming. Then it confesses that it has no opinion (or even a leaning) as to which part of this spectrum is actually likely to occur.

  78. I second the motion. By the way, by saying this you have earned yourself a place in the rogues’ gallery on Desmogblog. In my opinion the strongest argument against anthropogenic warming is the existence of that Hiatus or whatever they call cessation of warming. I have already made the point that this is due to the failure of the Arrhenius greenhouse warming theory IPCC has been relentlessly pushing. As I pointed out, it applies to only one greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide. The correct theory of greenhouse gases was published by the Hungarian scientist Ferenc Miskolczi. It covers the general case where more than one greenhouse gas are simultaneously absorbing infrared radiation. In such a case there is a common optimum absorption window that they jointly maintain. For earth atmosphere the gases that matter are carbon dioxide and water vapor. Their joint optimum absorption window has an optical thickness of 1.87 in the infrared. If you now add more carbon dioxide to the air it will start to absorb IR, just as the Arrhenius theory tells us. But that will increase the optical thickness and as soon as this happens, water vapor will start to diminish, rain out, and the optimum optical thickness is restored. This is exactly what is happening now. But how come it started so suddenly, you might ask. It did not start suddenly because of falsified temperature data we have been getting from the IPCC. There was an 18 year long “hiatus” like today in the eighties and nineties that was covered up by a fake warming called the “late twentieth century warming.” I scoped it out when I wrote my book and even put a warning about it in the preface. Nothing happened for twp years but then I discovered that GISTEMP, HadCRUT, and NCDC had decided not to show this warming any more. What they did was to line up their data for this period with satellites which never showed this fake warming. It was done secretly and no explanation was offered. Also, it required trans-Atlantic coordination to work right. If you now add this eighteen year no-warming period to current no-warming hiatus (or whatever) you get 35 no-warming years, a longer period than the time that IPCC has even existed. And while I think of it, the IPCC came into existence in part because of the success of Hansen’s presentation to the Senate in 1988. This basically started the entire global warming movement because everyone thought that Hansen had proved that the greenhouse effect is warming up the world. I went back to see what he actually said and Congressional Record did have a written record. He opened his talk by stating that “…global warming is now large enough that we can ascribe with a high degree of coincidence a cause and effect relationship to the greenhouse effect…” He elaborated on that with: “Causal association requires first that the warming be larger than natural climate variability and, second, that the magnitude and nature of of the warming be consistent with the greenhouse mechanism.” Nothing about the laws of physics, just warming is enough to prove it’s the greenhouse effect. And nowhere does he tell us what that mechanism is he is talking about. His figure 1 is a 100 year temperature curve that ends with the 5th month pf 1988. The hearing was the following month, on June 23rd, because Senator Wirth, the committee chairman, knew that it was the warmest day of the year. There were TV cameras “in double figures” in the room as Wirth put it, and it was hot. The graph Hansen showed was drawn with one year temperature increments. The eighties were only one tenths of this curve and the curve itself had a very ragged appearance. Its high point was 1988 and Hansen said it was the warmest point within the last 100 years. Then he went on and asserted that the probability of such a warming happening by chance was only one percent. Hence, the existence of this warming proved that its cause was greenhouse warming just as his opening statement had asserted. If we accept his temperature graph it did give the impression that there was a relentless buildup of temperature leading up to that fateful day in Wahington D.C.. He also had computer models of climate projections that went up to 2019 which showed dangerous warming ahead. So far, so good, and if you are not suspicious you could be excused for accepting all this as truth. But here is the problem. If you look at the temperature region of the eighties on an accurate temperature curve with monthly, not yearly, resolution this story simply does not make sense. The satellite temperature curve for the eighties and nineties is an ENSO oscillation between 1979 and 1997. There are five El Nino peaks with La Nina valleys between them that are part of this oscillation. The year 1988 happens to be a peak year of the 1987/88 El Nino. And this particular El Nino happens to be the middle one of the five. Just exactly how did Hansen manage to mix up an El Nino that is part of a repeating oscillation with a global warming peak? It is not easy but there are clues. First of all, yearly temperature increments do not give a good picture of an ENSO oscillation. The raggedness of his temperature curve that results will prevent you from seeing the pattern of peaks and will distort the peak heights as well. As a result, temperature comparisons that should be straightforward simply get distorted, like this: “…1988 so far is so much warmer than 1987, that barring a remarkable and improbable cooling, 1988 will be the warmest year on record.” But it ain’t so. Look up 1987 and 1988 on a satellite temperature curve and you will find that they are exactly the same, for the simple reason that they are the twin peaks of the 1987/88 El Nino. As to that improbable cooling, it did arrive by year’s end when a La Nina moved in but the meeting was already over. The only conclusion you can draw from his presentation is that he was clueless about temperature and simply did not understand that his warming peak was not caused by the greenhouse effect but simply part of a repeating pattern of ENSO oscillations. Had he used satellite temperatures that were already available for ten years at the time of his presentation, and also accurately plotted them, he just might have avoided this major gaffe. Might have, because you would have to use my method of using a transparent overlay and I am pretty sure he did not have my book. In short: Hansen falsely claimed the existence of the greenhouse effect in 1988 because he did not have a clue of how to analyze global temperature.

    • 63 years that the annual average of station day over day tmax hasn’t gone up, so far.

    • Re Arno Arrak | January 7, 2014 at 9:49 pm |

      The theory you refer to is based on computer simulations, namely, on clear-sky radiative transfer calculations on average cloudy atmospheric profiles. This means tracking the paths of long-wave photons downwards and upwards, up to 60 km in the stratosphere, as if there were no clouds in the air at all. But in reality there ARE clouds in the air, and they block the way of the long-wave photons completely. The cloudy air is opaque in IR, while this method gives a finite IR global transparency of 1.87. This method is invalid, creates a useless, unrealistic radiation structure.

      A bigger problem is that the author knows it, as it is he who supplies the cloudy input data into his clear-sky program. But he tells the reader nothing about this nonsense. He lets you, the layman (and probably most of the readers of the not-peer-reviewed non-scientific journal Energy and Environment are not-radiation-experts) to think this method is fair. Finally, in the Acknowledgement of his 2010 paper, he thanks the support to the Big Coal. Arno, instead of advertising it, you should be outraged.

      Some further comments:

      http://judithcurry.com/2014/01/08/the-fundamental-uncertainties-of-climate-change/#comment-435818

      http://judithcurry.com/2013/12/24/open-thread-3/#comment-430105

    • Arno, do you really think that the “correct theory of greenhouse gases” is:
      “the radiation pressure of the thermalized photons is the real cause of the greenhouse effect” (Miskolczi 2007)?

    • Vilnius | January 13, 2014 at 4:10 am |
      … Finally … he thanks the support to the Big Coal

      Yes we should be highly suspicious of climate science funded by anyone with a vested interest in what it says.
      Fossil companies, government, etc.

    • Arno, sorry to say, you spread this tau 1.87 nonsense everywhere on the net. Please understand that it is ultimately invalid, the method is incorrect, the result is meaningless, not science. The temperature may or may not be stable in the past decades, this CANNOT be underpinned by an erroneous theory. Too much is at stake to believe in everything what you WANT to believe.

    • David Springer

      Vilnius | January 13, 2014 at 4:14 am |

      Arno, do you really think that the “correct theory of greenhouse gases” is:
      “the radiation pressure of the thermalized photons is the real cause of the greenhouse effect” (Miskolczi 2007)?

      —————————————————————————–

      That’s the consensus position. The average basin temperature of the global ocean (4C) is almost exactly the temperature of a spherical black body 93 million miles from the sun. Radiant emission temperature of a 4C blackbody is 335W/m2 and the average illumination reaching the spherical shell at top of atmosphere is 341W/m2. The so-called greenhouse effect is IMO largely due to the temperature stratification of the ocean.

  79. David Springer

    Absolutely outstanding Mike Jonas. +many

    Mike Jonas | January 7, 2014 at 6:16 am |

    David Appell – you say that “climate models are numerical solutions to the partial differential equations that describe the physics “. Not so. There are a number of very significant factors which are not understood, for which there are no partial differential or any other kind of equations, and which have to be parameterised. [AR4 8.1.3 : "some representation of the large-scale impacts of unresolved processes is required (the parametrization problem)"]. The very significant factors that have been parameterised include sea ice, atmospheric boundary layer, ocean mixing [AR4 Box TS.7]; formation of clouds and precipitation, ocean mixing due to wave processes and the formation of water masses, etc [AR4 Box TS.8]; surface radiation processes [AR4 TS 2.3].

    As Wagathon says, “Models can be made to say anything you want them to say.”. You said “when they agree with the observations, you dismiss them as somehow manipulated (though you don’t provide evidence to support that claim).”. Well, these quotes from AR4 are the required evidence. When climate factors are parameterised, they are necessarily tuned to observation, because there isn’t anything else to tune them to (and AR4 states that it has been done – the relevant phrase is “constrained by observation” or similar, it is used a lot in AR4). IOW, when models do agree with observation it is often precisely because they have been manipulated {“parametrized”) to do exactly that.

    • David Springer | January 13, 2014 at 8:11 am |

      You say:

      ” ‘the radiation pressure of the thermalized photons is the real cause of the greenhouse effect’ … is the consensus position.”
      —————————————————————-
      Really? Radiation pressure from a (downward, longwave) energy flux at the surface of, say, E = 340 W/m2 is P = 2E/c , where c is the speed of light, 300 000 km/s. How much (how LITTLE) is that?

    • But David yes, you are right: “The so-called greenhouse effect is IMO largely due to the temperature stratification of the ocean.” If a U-boat goes down, it disturbs the stratification, that generates gravitation waves which, by the help of Kirchhoff law, help the virial rule to maintain the minimum entropy production at tau =1.87. That’s it!

  80. Speaking of biomes,
    Writing as background for their work, Zhao et
    al. (2011) note that “many studies based on
    analyses of satellite images have detected a
    greening trend at global (Myneni et al., 1997;
    Nemani et al., 2003; Potter et al., 2007; Zhou
    et al., 2001) and regional scales (Donohue et
    al., 2009; Fang et al., 2004; Herrmann et al.,
    2005).” However, they say that “the response
    of vegetation to climatic changes widely
    differed by biome (Fang et al., 2005; Piao et
    al., 2006) and bioregion (Verbyla, 2008).”
    Against this backdrop and focusing on the
    grassland-oasis-desert complex of northwest
    China, the four Chinese researchers
    “investigated spatio-temporal changes in
    vegetation growth and their responses to a
    changing climate by biome and bioregion,
    using satellite-sensed Normalized Difference
    Vegetation Index (NDVI) data from 1982 to
    2003, along with corresponding climate data.”
    As a result of their efforts, the researchers
    found that over the 22 years of their study,
    when annual mean temperature increased by
    0.06°C/year, “about 30% of the total
    vegetated area showed an annual increase of
    0.7% in growing season NDVI,” which trend
    “occurred in all biomes and all bioregions
    except Sawuer, a sub-region of the study area with no significant climate change.”

  81. have waded troujgh all the comments here with little reward uitil I saw barrybrill’s cmment that:
    “Perhaps the most grievious fault of the AR5 “assessed” table is that it presents a very broad gamut of potential future temperatures – ranging all the way from the benign to the alarming. Then it confesses that it has no opinion (or even a leaning) as to which part of this spectrum is actually likely to occur.”
    That sounds to me like an astute and very cogent comment.

  82. Yu gotta ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive,
    e-lim-in-ate the negative,
    mann-nip-u-late the affirmative,
    don’t mix with mister-in-between.

  83. Note: WG I report must be consistent with the language used in the SPM.

    IPCC-SPM. “Changes to the Underlying Scientific-Technical Assessment.doc – P36Doc4_WGI-12_Changes-Underlying-Assessment.pdf.” Governmental, 2013. http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/P36Doc4_WGI-12_Changes-Underlying-Assessment.pdf

    Quote: “Coordinating Lead Authors have identified some changes to the underlying report to ensure consistency with the language used in the approved Summary for Policymakers or to provide additional clarification as agreed at the Working Group Session.”

  84. One has to be careful about the IPCC use of confidence (qualitative) as opposed to likelihood (qualitative and quantitative!). Sections 9 and 10 of their guidance on uncertainty. Thus there is >95% likely, but only ‘very high’ confidence. In fact this whole coding of uncertainty seems unnecessarily confusing, especially since these are terms with separate meanings in statistics, but its the way they do it.

  85. AR4 (2007): “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely (>90% confidence) due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gases.” (SPM AR4)

    AR5 (2013) SPM: “It is extremely likely (>95% confidence) that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century .” (SPM AR5)

    Seems to me a major shift from the “Anthropogenic CO2 is the root of all evil and therefore must be priced/taxed” theme …

    ….to the “mankind is probably adding some heat to the system and having indirect effects by all sorts of things, including UH effect, waste heat, aerosol emissions, black carbon, GHGs etc etc…so anyway therefore CO2 must be priced/taxed” theme.

  86. R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist | January 7, 2014 at 12:55 am

    “4.Antarctic Sea ice extent increasing- true, but his is red herring and it’s shocking the Judith would even include it. Maybe WUWT or Jo Nova, but CE? There are many studies indicating the reasons for the potential increase in Antarctic sea ice early in this century, before eventually decreasing later. Certainly Judith has read them all and knows that the growth of Antarctic sea ice is not a reason that weakens the case for AGW”

    You do know that the warmist Climate Scientists are proven liars don’t you?

    They say about the current increasing trend in Antarctic ice…

    ‘Oh……… OF COURSE we expected that, it is increasing due to AGW and all the warming causing increased precipitation and this and that and the other. We have always expected this because we are clever climate scientists and it is the bleeding obvious anyway’

    But what did the IPCC in the TAR actually say about the forecast for Antarctic sea ice in the 21st century?

    “A reduction in Antarctic sea ice volume of about 25-45% is predicted for a doubling of CO2, with sea ice retreating fairly evenly around the continent (Gordon and O’Farrell, 1997). This CSIRO model assumes a 1% yr-1 compounding increase of CO2, corresponding to global warming of 2.1°C. Using a similar but modified model that has a higher albedo feedback and predicted global warming of 2.8°C, Wu et al. (1999) calculate a reduction in mean sea-ice extent of nearly two degrees of latitude, corresponding to 45% of sea-ice volume. These estimates do not represent the equilibrium state, and sea ice can be expected to shrink further, even if GHGs are stabilized.”

    So they actually predicted a 25-45% decrease and of course it was going to get even worse than that, as is always the case with climate science.

    So they were either lying then or they are lying now, either way they are proven liars.

    Perhaps you can tell us in what other walks of life you implicitly trust proven liars and are prepared to invest a significant part of your wealth and future well being in their pronouncements?

    Mind you, in typical warmist faith fashion, I expect you to run away from this post going La La La inside your little head.

    Alan

    • That statement you quoted. I googled it and found nothing. I hope you can provide the source for the quote or you might end up becoming a proven liar!

  87. R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist | January 7, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    “I find it completely a matter of ignorance that models are blasted for failing to “predict” the tropospheric pause, when the causes of this pause was completely a matter of natural and internal variabililty– and no fault of the models for failing to incorporate basic dynamics– i.e. GH gas forcing hasn’t suddenly just turned off, but can easily be masked over short periods by natural variability. Focusing on the failure of models in regards to “predicting” the pause and that fact weakening the case for AGW, says more about the person making that case, then about the models themselves. What model could possible “predict” a cool phase PDO to commence or a sleepy sun, or slightly greater volcanic aerosols over a specific period? This is all natural and internal variability that is unpredictable in essence.”

    Ahh… now you are getting somewhere, you have identified a key truth about the Climate Models. You just now need to think this truth logically and you will see that the models are already falsified and indeed were so as soon as they were published.

    The Models are wrong. This is a fact not an opinion and it is a fact that can be proven rather easily.

    Of course you cannot falsify them yet by just checking their forecasts against the real world, as not enough time has passed to be definite. Also you cannot run an experiment with the Earth to falsify them.

    However, there is another way to disprove any hypothesis. All you need to do is show that it produces an impossible result.

    So what would be an impossible result for an accurate and correct model?

    Well what does it output? It outputs a climate signal, quantified by the Earths global temperature. This output is compared and graphed to past actual temperature data and is then taken forward to predict the future.

    All the current climate models do very well on the back cast against data. Remarkably so really, over the 20th century as the temperature data shows rises and falls so do the models track it with little variation except for the shortest periods. Is that good?…….. NO!

    You see the models average out a lot of the natural variation factors, mainly ENSO. The designers original argument for this was that it made the models simpler (true) and that anyway natural variation was so small it did not affect the main signal significantly. (false)

    Now they say that ‘of course natural variation is strong enough to mask the true signal and for quite long periods, way longer than a decade’. They have to say that now of course because if they maintained their previous line, that it was too weak to have any significant effect, they would have had to ditch their models already.

    So now both sceptics and warmists agree that natural variation (mainly ENSO) can completely alter the underlying modelled climate signal. Indeed the modelled climate signal, of a greatly accelerated warming rate, as compared to the 20th century, has been masked completely since 2001. Indeed it has cooled very slightly over this period. However, the warmists say ‘hey trust our models this is just natural variation doing its obvious thing’.

    So we can see that the models and the temperature records are outputting different signals. One, a climate signal plus averaged variation and the other, the climate signal plus actual variation. It is now accepted that actual variation causes the models to drift well away from reality for quite lengthy periods. Therefore the fact that the models are currently drifting well away from reality does not prove they are wrong. Indeed it is a behaviour that an accurate model would display in anything other than neutral variation. It doesn’t prove it is correct but it certainly doesn’t prove it is incorrect

    So what would be impossible result for an accurate and correct model to output. Well clearly that would be a signal that does closely match the actual temperature data over the short to medium term. An apple doesn’t equal an orange no matter how you cut it. Only in the long run would the signals align. In the short to medium term an accurate model MUST run either hot or cold.

    So, given that ENSO has been doing its thing over the 20th century, the fact that on the back cast run the models track the temperature record very closely in all its up and down movements proves that these models are in fact false. That is an impossible result for an accurate model. QED.

    In their hubris, the warmists when fiddling with their free parameters to make a great fit with the historical data, overlooked that they were trying to fit an apple to an orange! Or perhaps they didn’t think anyone would take much notice of them if they couldn’t even match the past.

    So there you are Gates the models are falsified and for reasons that you managed to identify all by yourself…..well done!

    Now that model evidence is excluded from the discussion, what other evidence have you got that we are in the middle of CAGW and not natural climate variation?

    Alan

  88. lolwot | January 8, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Why don’t you just check the IPCC TAR for yourself or like most useful idiots do you wait to be told ‘the Truth’.

    The para is at 16,2.4.2 of the report.

    16.2.4.2. …………………….Sea Ice in the Southern Ocean

    ……………A reduction in Antarctic sea ice volume of about 25-45% is predicted for a doubling of CO2, with sea ice retreating fairly evenly around the continent (Gordon and O’Farrell, 1997). This CSIRO model assumes a 1% yr-1 compounding increase of CO2, corresponding to global warming of 2.1°C. Using a similar but modified model that has a higher albedo feedback and predicted global warming of 2.8°C, Wu et al. (1999) calculate a reduction in mean sea-ice extent of nearly two degrees of latitude, corresponding to 45% of sea-ice volume. These estimates do not represent the equilibrium state, and sea ice can be expected to shrink further, even if GHGs are stabilized. Changes in Antarctic sea ice will have little impact on human activity except where they allow shipping (mostly research, fishing, and tourist vessels) to get closer to the Antarctic continent. However, there are important biological and oceanographic impacts derived from reductions in sea ice, as well as significant ecological consequences attributable to changes in the magnitude and timing of seasonal sea-ice advance and retreat (Smith et al., 1999b)”

    Alan

    • That wasn’t the quote. The other quote starting “‘Oh……… OF COURSE”

      Did you just make that quote up?

    • Except they do track the temperature record very well.. Point to any 13 year period or longer in the 20th century where the models climate signal is reversed compared to the actual temperature record.

      Alan

  89. That was paraphrasing the current warmists explanation of the Antarctic phenomenon for brevity!

    Alan

  90. Except they do track the temperature record very well.. Point to any 13 year period or longer in the 20th century where the models climate signal is reversed compared to the actual temperature record.

    Alan.

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  92. On D.3 (page 21) of the AR5 SPM, the highlighted text states that “It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.”

    However, in the more detailed analysis below it states:
    “Greenhouse gases contributed a global mean surface warming likely to be in the range of 0.5°C to 1.3°C over the period 1951 to 2010, with the contributions from other anthropogenic forcings, including the cooling effect of aerosols, likely to be in the range of −0.6°C to 0.1°C.”

    If you add together these separate effects of greenhouse gases and other anthropogenic forcings, the net range of human influence on climate given is -0.1°C to 1.4°C (the IPCC lists these values as ‘likely’). What I do not understand is how you can take a ‘likely’ range of -0.1°C to 1.4°C (a range that includes 0) and then determine that it is ‘extremely likely’ the human influence has been the dominant cause of warming. Does this make any sense to anyone?

  93. Re: “AR5: Confidence remains low for long-term (centennial) changes in tropical cyclone activity, after accounting for past changes in observing capabilities. However, it is virtually certain that the frequency and intensity of the strongest tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic has increased since the 1970s.”

    NOAA has decadal records of land falling, Category 3-5 hurricanes going back to 1860. There is no trend in the number of these strongest hurricanes making landfall in the US since 1860. The decades of 1890s, 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s had the largest number of Category 3-5 hurricanes making landfall in the US. See Table 6 in:

    http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/Landsea/nws-nhc-6.pdf

    So if the AR5 sees an upward trend since 1970, it is cherry picking. Using longer time scales, starting in cooler times, there is no trend. It is a certainty that if there were a downward trend since 1970 in something related to harmfulness in the climate — let’s say a downward trend in drought, or flood, or whatever — but not in a longer time frame, the IPCC would rightly say that you would want to look at the longer time frame. But they do the opposite here.

    If they want to make the case that stronger hurricanes are forming in the Atlantic basin because of climate change, they need to explain why hurricanes were stronger in these earlier decades, including the last decade of the 19th C.

    (If there is another record of North Atlantic tropical cyclones going back 150 years or so, I don’t know of it, and I can’t see how you could get such a record back in the day on a basis comparable to modern records except in landfalling hurricanes.)

  94. Gerhard Keller

    For differences AR4 to AR5 see my comment in
    http://judithcurry.com/2013/09/27/95:

    In AR5 WG1 SPM there are interesting changes compared with AR4 WG1 SPM concerning the estimated contributions to sea level rise from different sources (mm per year):

    AR4, 1993-2003:
    Thermal expansion 1.6
    Glaciers and ice caps 0.77
    Greenland ice sheet 0.21
    Antarctic ice sheet 0.21
    Sum 2.8
    Observed total sea level rise 3.1

    AR5, 1993-2010:
    Thermal expansion 1.1
    Glaciers and ice caps 0.76
    Greenland ice sheet 0.33
    Antarctic ice sheet 0.27
    Land water storage 0.38
    Sum 2.8
    Total mean rate, “very likely” 3.2

    Note also (AR5): “It is likely that similarly high rates occurred between 1920 and 1950.”

    So “thermal expansion” is one third smaller in AR5, “land water storage” with a remarkable amount is completely new, and the sum remained constant.

    For the “groundwater shock” see also: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/06/what-makes-sea-level-rise/

    JC COMMENT: THANK YOU very much for this!

  95. Interesting comment from Lindzen there

    “Thus, while the full IPPC report demonstrates a significant amount of doubt among scientists, the essentially political Summary for Policymakers filters it out. “

  96. “The reality is that the IPCC is in effect little more than a UN-sponsored lobby group, created specifically to investigate and push the ”man-made warming” line.”

    Which does well explain its complete lack of contrition over the science frauds exposed in Climategate.

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  102. Ulric Lyons

    UAH lower troposphere shows the Arctic ocean cooling from Dec 1978 to March 1995. What warmed it from 1995 onwards, and tipped the AMO positive, was the uptick in negative NAO/AO episodes, which is the opposite of what forced warming should be doing:
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch10s10-3-5-6.html

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  105. Derek Piston | January 12, 2014 at 3:37 am | Reply
    “The reality is that the IPCC is in effect little more than a UN-sponsored lobby group, created specifically to investigate and push the ”man-made warming” line.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I see Curry’s blog remains home to conspiracy ideation in the extreme -
    but, but, but . . . you know what about
    glaciers and disappearing Arctic summer sea ice and recent Jet Stream meanderings and record heat waves and droughts ? Are all those in on YOUR UnitedNations CONSPIRACY???

    Have you ever looked into the mirror and examined “your” own lobbying group of denialists who hold our life supporting biosphere in such contempt – that they believe it is OK to constantly misrepresent and lie about what scientists have been learning and trying to explain to the rest of the world before it’s too late to do anything about it…

    … Oh and yes we are indeed facing a catastrophe like none humanity has ever witnessed. But you’d have to open your eye to recognize what happening in front of your face.

    You can mislead yourselves all you want but Earth’s biosphere and the geophysical processes that sustain her don’t give one fig for human illusions – or how much nonsense your financial interests demand that you swallow.

    PS. Judith Curry’s cynical game: “CAGW Memeplex”
    http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com/2014/05/currys-cynical-cagw-memeplex.html

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