The Big Question

by Dagfinn Reiersøl

The Big Question in the climate change debate, as traditionally and conventionally posed, is: “is global warming caused by humans?”

To those of us who know a little about climate science, it’s clearly an over-simplification, since climate scientists typically consider both anthropogenic and natural factors as part of the equation. The IPCC version of the Big Question is “is more than half of global warming caused by humans?” In the IPCC universe, the quest for the answer to the Big Question is known as attribution.

Even though it’s not really black and white, the big question is used as if it is, and determines who you are. Are you a “warmist” or a “skeptic”? To be properly pigeonholed, you must answer the Big Question. And to answer it, you must understand it. That, however, may not be as easy as it seems.

Relative and absolute AGW

According to the Big Question, the key variable is the relative size of the contributions from anthropogenic and natural causes. But for practical purposes, and thus for policy, what matters is not relative but absolute change. Global average temperature, in absolute terms, is assumed to have a real effect long-term on the real world, potentially affecting humans ecosystems in the form of drought, floods, storms, sea level rise, and so on. (Or alternatively, global temperature may be considered an indicator of whatever climate processes do have an impact.)

Furthermore, it’s not just the amount of change, but also the rate of change that is important; the rate of change is relevant to our ability to adapt and to the perceived urgency to act. Two degrees of warming will have the same effect whether it’s caused by people, nature or something else.

Still, it matters how large the anthropogenic component is by itself, since a key policy issue is avoiding dangerous anthropogenic climate change. In theory at least, it is possible that it might become so large or happen so fast that it would overwhelm natural climate change and cause events that could not happen if nature were left to its own ways.

This in turn means that the absolute amount of the anthropogenic warming is the most important variable. Less of it, in absolute terms, will most likely lead to lower projections for future temperatures.

It is possible for the anthropogenic contribution to be lower in absolute terms lower while the relative contribution is higher. This may be the case if the total observed rate of warming is lower.  For a simplistic example, 100% of 1 degree is twice as much (in relative terms)  as 50% of 4 degrees.

The time frame considered in each of the three most recent IPCC reports has been from around 1950 to the “present” for that report. This means that it has been extended twice. The difference is small relative to the total period. But the change caused by considering the most recent 10–15 years or so is significant because this period is the specific subject of much discussion. And since there has been little or no warming during this time, the average rate of warming over the entire time period has decreased.

The increase in certainty claimed by the IPCC applies to a fixed range of relative contribution (more than 50%). But since the average rate of total warming is successively lower, the 50% represents successively less absolute warming, and so the increased confidence concerns successively weaker hypotheses in absolute terms.

However, this is not quite the whole story. Gavin Schmidt at RealClimate points out another difference, which pulls us in the opposite direction. He claims that the IPCC AR5 (fifth assessment report) statement is stronger than the one in AR4, since the AR5 refers to the total anthropogenic contribution, while the AR4 uses the effect of greenhouse gases alone, saying: “As I discussed last time, the GHG trend is almost certainly larger than the net anthropogenic trend because of the high likelihood that anthropogenic aerosols have been a net cooling over that time.” This could be the case, but even then it’s highly uncertain, since it’s based on the cooling effect of anthropogenic aerosols.

What is certain is that 50% of less is less. “More than half” of less warming per decade is less warming per decade.

So we have two changes, one in the direction of a weaker hypothesis, and another more uncertain one in the direction of a stronger hypothesis. Whatever the balance between them, the fact is that the IPCC is presenting confidence estimates on a hypothesis that appears to be the same but is actually changing from one report to the next.

The debate between the two “sides” seems not to recognize the fact that the answer to the Big Question may depend, at least theoretically, on the time frame under consideration.

To summarize, it’s important to understand the difference between absolute and relative contribution. If not, there may be misunderstandings. Most of the world seems to act as if the relative contribution of AGW is the one thing that matters. In principle, this is the same fallacy as if I were to believe that I can drink as much beer as I want without getting drunk, since the relative alcohol content of beer is fairly low.

But that’s not all. There is also the issue of net contributions.

 The net warming model

You might think that the anthropogenic portion of global warming must be somewhere between 0 and 100%. I did until fairly recently. So, it seems, have most others, including Judith Curry: “There is general agreement that the percentages of warming each attributed to natural and anthropogenic causes is less than 100% and greater than 0%.”

But that is not necessarily the case in the IPCC universe. A contribution may be more than 100% or less than 0. This seems clear as early as the IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR) from 2001: “Anthropogenic greenhouse gases are likely to have made a significant and substantial contribution to the warming observed over the second half of the 20th century, possibly larger than the total observed warming.” In other words, AGW might represent more than 100% of the warming that has taken place.

How can this be? It’s counterintuitive but not very advanced. Let us imagine for the sake of illustration that in the absence of AGW, the world would have cooled by an amount equal to the warming that has in fact occurred. In this case, the anthropogenic contribution would be 200%, and the natural contribution would be -100%. In Gavin Schmidt’s discussion of the AR4 and AR5 attribution statements, there is a graph that illustrates how the relative anthropogenic contribution can be higher than 100% or even lower than 0 (although this is shown as having extremely low probability).

This is not generally understood. Or perhaps it’s vaguely understood, but underappreciated. But it has huge consequences for the way data is interpreted.

No one seems to have made an effort to explain the concept of net contributions. Gavin Schmidt seems to take it for granted and does not point it out explicitly. And the IPCC’s treatment of it is confusing. Strictly speaking, the AR5 attribution statement contradicts the idea of net contributions by saying: “It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together. “

Since it is not possible to cause events that never actually happen, there is no way greenhouse gases could have caused more warming than actually occurred. This means that in this instance “more than half” must be read as referring to a percentage between 50 and 100.

This is analogous to attempted murder. If I point a gun at you and fire it, but something stops the bullet in its path, I did not cause you to die. It’s a trivial and conclusive inference: you are still alive, therefore I did not kill you, nor did anyone else. Similarly, if a given amount of warming was prevented from happening by a cooling influence, the warming did not happen and was not caused by CO2 or anything else.

I will choose to assume that those who wrote the IPCC attribution statement intended it to refer to the net anthropogenic contribution and did not realize that a crucial aspect of its meaning had been “lost in translation”.

How is it crucial? The first thing we might notice is that what the IPCC is 95% certain about is not what we thought. It is a range from perhaps 50% to about 200% instead of a range from 50% to 100%. The ranges are on different variables, so there is no direct way to compare them. I have no idea how to interpret the difference in an intuitively meaningful way; it may not even be possible. But there is no doubt that they are different. Very few of those who are exposed to the 95% figure will have a full understanding of what it means.

After you get over the initial surprise about the more than 100%, the net contribution model seems like a perfectly valid mathematical algorithm. However, that does not mean you have understood its implications and interpretation. It is a theoretical abstraction that is counterintuitive in everyday terms. In this model, a million degrees of warming followed by a million degrees of cooling is just a net zero warming. But we don’t normally think of cooling as negative warming. Cooling is the opposite phenomenon of warming, not the same thing with the opposite sign. We think of zero as nothing, and “less than nothing” is just an exaggerated way of saying nothing.

It’s a basic mathematical property of the model that, although a contribution may be more than 100% or negative, the sum of the total contributions must always be 100%, which represents the total warming over the period. If the anthropogenic contribution is 200%, the natural contribution must necessarily be –100%.

Another characteristic of the model is illustrated by the bell curves in the RealClimate post. It shows two distributions centered on 80% and 100%. They both generate a 95% probability that the actual value is more than 50%. The curve that has 100% as its mean is significantly broader than the one on 80%, representing a greater uncertainty for the best estimate. If instead we imagine that the estimate’s uncertainty is equal in the two cases, the one with the higher best estimate is bound to generate a higher likelihood about the attribution. In other words, a higher best estimate implies greater confidence and less uncertainty that the contribution is more than 50%, all else being equal. So far, this may seem reasonable, but it has surprising consequences when we explore how it affects the interpretation of the so-called pause or hiatus in global warming.

What does the pause mean?

Skeptics claim that the pause indicates that the natural influence on climate is stronger than previously believed. But in the net warming model where cooling is negative warming, natural cooling implies a lower proportion of natural warming and a higher proportion of anthropogenic warming.

Let’s do some simple calculations with approximate numbers using the net warming model, just to try to understand how this works. Since the result will be relative percentages, we can use arbitrary units for the absolute numbers. We’ll pretend to know that during second half of the 20th century, we had 3 arbitrary units of anthropogenic warming and 1 unit of natural warming. This adds up to 4 units of total warming, making the relative anthropogenic contribution 75%.

Scenario 1: Continued warming. Let’s consider what would have happened if warming had continued at the same rate. Since the time from 2000 until now is about one fourth of the first period, this means 1 unit of total warming. As far as I can tell, this warming, if it had occurred, would likely have been attributed almost exclusively to anthropogenic forcing. (Unless, perhaps, there had been a clear, detectable increase in solar forcing.) So the recent period represents 1 unit of AGW and zero natural influence. Thus we get 4 units of AGW versus 1 unit from natural causes. That’s 80% AGW. A slight increase, which might seem intuitively correct since we’re exploring counterfactually the possibility that warming had continued somewhat as expected.

Scenario 2: The pause. Now consider a scenario more like what actually happened. If temperatures during the second period remained constant, the expected 1 unit of AGW would seem to have been neutralized by a similar amount of natural cooling. That adds up to 4 AGW units as before, but now the 1 unit of natural warming from the first period has been canceled out by the 1 unit of natural cooling from the second, for a total of 0. So now that there has been no rise in temperature for the second period, the calculated anthropogenic contribution for the entire period is 100%. This is more than for the temperature rise scenario. This may seem odd, but that’s what the numbers tell us.

Scenario 3: Cooling. We could do another scenario, imagining that there had been 1 unit of total cooling instead in the period since 2000. Presumably that would imply 2 units of natural cooling, –1 over the entire time frame. We still have 4 units of AGW, which works out to a relative net anthropogenic contribution of 133%.

The most remarkable thing about this is not the peculiar fact that cooling implies greater AGW dominance. It’s the fact that all these scenarios imply a higher best estimate for the AGW contribution. Now remember that a higher best estimate automatically leads to a higher degree of calculated confidence for the attribution statement. Therefore, it is hard to imagine what kind of change would have led to a conclusion of less confidence. Thus the increased confidence looks like an artifact of the methodology rather than a meaningful statement about our knowledge of the real world.

If the pause were to continue into the future, the calculated answer would become arbitrarily certain eventually. We could imagine it continuing for a century, for instance. (I haven’t tried to calculate how many nines we would need to express the certainty then.) This highlights the point that the skeptics are raising: sooner or later, there is no way to avoid asking whether some premise behind the model is flawed. The calculated confidence simply has to be questioned at some point even as it keeps growing.

I can see two explanations for this apparent absurdity. The first explanation is that the increase in confidence is less impressive than it seems. While the best estimate keeps increasing as we hypothetically lengthen the pause into the future, it still represents the same absolute amount of warming. On the other hand, half of it in relative terms (or any fixed percentage) represents a successively smaller absolute amount of warming. The hypothesis keeps getting more certain (allegedly) as it becomes weaker in absolute terms.

The second and probably more important explanation is circular reasoning or confirmation bias. The increase in certainty depends on the premise that AGW has continued (implicitly) somewhat as expected in spite of no observed warming. We are extrapolating from our current assumptions and having them strengthened by making a larger data set from them. (The “data” is the input to the algorithm, which is not just the temperature record itself, but also the assumptions about the relative AGW contribution.)

Instead of the skeptic view that the pause and the discrepancy between models and observations falsify or at least weaken AGW theory, the net warming model paradoxically generates what seems like the opposite result. It allows us to believe that “the truth is out there”, that there is a right answer, and that we are converging on it. This is based on the calculated higher confidence level and also on the general notion that the longer time frame, by providing a larger data set, increases our knowledge and understanding. We “should” be more confident because we have more knowledge. As Schmidt says in his discussion:

“It is worth asking what the higher confidence/lower error bars are associated with. First, the longer time period (an extra 5 years) makes the trends clearer relative to the noise, multiple methodologies have been used which get the same result, and fingerprints have been better constrained by the greater use of spatial information.”

On the face of it, it seems odd that the trends would become clearer when the trend changes, as the temperature curve is behaving in a way that was not expected. The opposite—that the trends would be become less clear—seems intuitively more plausible.

More generally, new knowledge and learning should increase our confidence only if the new data confirms rather than contradicts what we believed earlier. This might seem obvious, but apparently it is not obvious enough.

We could take Schmidt’s statement to mean that the additional 5 years can be considered a sample of the same population of data as the earlier period, implying that we can draw the same conclusions with greater confidence. This would imply that natural variability and natural forcings are  behaving the same way as before. If we knew that these only manifested as short-term periodic or random changes, that would be reasonable. But it is clearly not the case. According to the IPCC AR4, “Internal variability is present on all time scales”.

Since there are longer-term cycles or fluctuations, we cannot know which sections of these we are sampling unless we can characterize these cycles or fluctuations in a precise way. And when we don’t know which sections we are sampling, we have no way of guessing what their shape or trend is or how they will continue in the future.  This is a subject that has been discussed in more detail elsewhere, for instance the comments to The logic (?) of the IPCC’s attribution statement at Climate Etc.

The Big Question is the wrong question

As far as I can tell, the net warming model is a misleading statistical abstraction like many others before it. It leads us to believe that the Big Question can be answered by a mechanical, unambiguous process with quantifiable uncertainties.

It leaves the impression that our questions have been answered when they haven’t. It does not answer the question we want to ask and believe we’re asking: the intuitive question about how much of climate change we are causing. The answer we’re looking for is percentage between 0 and 100. If the answer we’re getting is something else, even potentially, it must be the answer to a different question.

The model is even further from answering the question we should be asking and need to ask: how much actual warming are we causing?

If we are told that the best estimate for the anthropogenic contribution is 100%, we may be misled into believing that internal variability plays no role whatsoever. And when the Big Question is posed in a similar way in successive IPCC reports, we get the false impression that the numbers are comparable, even though they apply to different time frames.

Focusing on the anthropogenic effect in absolute terms instead would seem to be more enlightening and useful for policy purposes. But since the estimates regarding the absolute quantities seem to be smaller and less certain (rather than the opposite) in the AR5 than in the AR4, they would be difficult to market as an increasingly strong case in favor of current climate policies. The relative net warming model may be the only defense against the assertion that IPCC AR5 weakens the case for AGW.

JC comment:  This is a guest post, submitted by email.  It is very timely, since I was thinking I needed to do a Part II to The logic(?) of IPCC’s attribution statement.  In response to that post, John Nielsen-Gammon and I exchanged several emails, discussing the some of the issues that Dagfinn raised in his post.  This is a guest post, please keep your comments civil and on topic.

556 responses to “The Big Question

  1. Politics dictate the “big question”, not the science.

    But I do agree with the possibility that AGW is accounting for over 100% of the warming. But that begs a new BIG question. If we are indeed slipping into another LIA (or even back to glaciation), do we really want to accelerate the process? By that I mean, if man is causing warming and it is maintaining temperatures, do we want to get rid of that warming just so we do not “impact” the temperature? many more people (animals, species, plants) die from cold than from heat.

    • How about if we go back to French Revolution times? The pit of the little ice age, and extend the cooling trend another two centuries?

      We are not allowed to consider the benefits of warming however; because deniers!

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      Tim,

      On the whole, up until the effects of anthropogenic activity might in fact be beneficial over the course of the Holocene. The issue is really how much the climate might be forcing into a new mode that might not be so conducive to feeding and generally providing for the care of 7+ billion humans.

      • Actually it is the opposite. How is it PREVENTING the climate from returning to a state that is not conducive to feeding and housing 7 billion.

        Since no one knows the answer, the alarmist may be destroying that which they proclaim to support.

    • There is no evidence in the long history of the planet of the existence of a dangerous ultrawarm mode that we might tip into. In fact there is evidence for a pretty solid upper bound on temperatures. Look at the following graph.

      The blue line is temperature. Notice how you could lie a ruler across the top of it. When you consider the timeframe involved that is just extraordinary. It suggests that some mechanism kicks in when the earth gets to that temperature which makes it extremely difficult for it to get any warmer.

      On the other hand there is plenty of evidence for dangerous instability in the cold direction.

  2. Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

    If you keep mixing concepts, you (or your readers) can get lost.
    This is what happened to me in:

    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4r_7eooq1u2VHpYemRBV3FQRjA/

    nobody understood what I meant.
    That is why I have sent step-by-step easy-to-read documents to Judith Curry, hoping to be hosted in her blog and discussed by the readers. (Only one idea at a time).

    • “Also, Monte Carlo Also, Monte Carlo simulations have been manipulated letting IPCC to point at who is the main responsible of climate change.”

      I can’t speak to the science in your essay, but I can point out this sentence near the end of your concluding remarks. I thought you might want to look at it and do some editing, when possible.

      My problem with modeling has to do with clouds and the resolution of climate models. I believe both of these areas are shortcomings in the area of modeling, preventing models from being accurate and entirely useful.

    • Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

      Thanks Joz. The new three documents I sent to Judith Curry avoids those small mistakes I made in the previous version:

      https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4r_7eooq1u2VHpYemRBV3FQRjA/

      The summary of the first of these new documents, titled “Anthropogenic attribution the Monte Carlo confusion”, is now: ““estimations” from a lack of knowledge are not the same as estimations from measurements of certain parameters belonging to a reliable model. Monte Carlo techniques cannot be used if uncertainty value is due to having a lack of knowledge.”
      If Judith Curry posts my 2nd new document in her blog we could clarify the main issues about reliability in climate modeling.

  3. OK at a rather quick reading, I don’t see where you’ve accounted for separately:

    That AGW > total warming if natural variation has been negative.

    That total warming due to GHGs > total warming if anthropogenic aerosol forcing is net negative and significant.

  4. If the effect of adding CO2 to the atmosphere from current levels is completely negligible, which it almost certainly is, then nothing else matters, and this paper is irrelevant.

    • If everybody AGREED that the effect is negligible, then it would be irrelevant. ;-)

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “If the effect of adding CO2 to the atmosphere from current levels is completely negligible.”
      ____
      Your opinions are always welcome, but of course have nothing to do with facts or science.

    • Dagfinn, you write “If everybody AGREED that the effect is negligible, then it would be irrelevant. ;-)”

      NO!!!!!! What people think and agree is irrelevant. The ONLY thing that counts is what the empirical data says.

    • R. Gates you write “Your opinions are always welcome, but of course have nothing to do with facts or science.”

      My opinion, as is also true of everyone else’s when discussing science, is irrelevant. The ONLY thing that matters in discussing CAGW, is the empirical data.

    • David Springer

      It’s irrevelant in any case since we can neither control the climate nor global appetite for fossil fuel. It’s all academic.

    • Jim, “What people think and agree” is NOT irrelevant – it is critical to what policies are proposed and supported. The data might suggest to you, as it does to me, that those policies are absurd and costly, with negative impact on living standards and well-being, but they are not driven by data.

      “WPTAD” might well be irrelevant to what is actually happening to climate and to understanding the complex processes of climate, but it has immense real world significance. I welcome this article for that reason.

    • Faustino, you write “What people think and agree” is NOT irrelevant”

      You are, of course, completely correct. What I wrote was written from a very limited, scientific, point of view. I apologise, but this is one of the difficulties writing things quickly on blogs. One cannot anticipate all the different ways people can have of interpreting what is written.

  5. Another question: is the effect of added CO2/GHG’s on what natural variation “would have produced” really even roughly linear? Will adding 200 ppm over some assumed time period really produce roughly twice the “global warming” that adding 100 ppm over the same period would?

  6. In a Tweet yesterday, snarky Gavin Schmidt says

    “Lindzen doesn’t know how uncertainty in attribution was derived. Perhaps he should read the report? #IPCCreview”

    pic.twitter.com/kazvU4M6f2

    Gavin points to the GHG forcing labeled “ANT” on the IPCC diagram of forcings, but conveniently ignores the other anthropogenic “OA” forcing magnitude and uncertainties

    In my reply to Gavin’s tweet, I pointed out:

    hockey schtick ‏@hockeyschtick1 @ClimateOfGavin @JPvanYpersele

    ANT & OA uncertainty bands sum to 0.9C, larger than 0.7C warming since 1850

    To which I received no reply. Perhaps Gavin is the one who “should read the report? #IPCCreview”

    Since the ANT & OA uncertainty bands do not overlap and the combined uncertainty is greater than the “signal”, the IPCC attribution statements are unjustified.

    • I’ve looked at that diagram a few times, but now I’m confused. As I understand it, ANT is the sum of GHG and OA. As I’m reading this now, the uncertainty on ANT is much smaller than the sum of the uncertainties on GHG and OA. So how was it derived? From the small uncertainty bands on NAT and internal variability?

    • “To which I received no reply. Perhaps Gavin is the one who “should read the report? #IPCCreview”

      Option A: He has an effective rebuttal but this often angry, always combative warmist scientist for some unknown and hard to understand reason decided not to use it.

      Option B: He has no effective rebuttal and so turned tail and ran.

      Maybe I’m just a cynical old man, but I know which I’d vote for.

    • Nice to see that Schmidt has joined the Michael Mann school of climatology.

    • It looks like NAT and ANT uncertainty are about the same.

      It looks to me that they are basing ANT uncertainty on the sum OBS=ANT+NAT rather than ANT=GHG+OA

    • HR, “It looks like NAT and ANT uncertainty are about the same.”

      yep, pretty close. It seems like ANT should be GHG plus OA and the uncertainty should be NAT plus INT. So I think that ANT is overstated a little and the uncertainty should be twice what is shown. Of course, the IPCC graphics never have errors so I must be wrong.

    • That figure appears to tell on a much more accurate determination of the anthropogenic contribution than the best known attribution statement. The justification given in the report includes the constraint that total warming is the sum of components, and it refers to fingerprinting studies.

      Taking all that into account I cannot understand this estimate of accuracy, more than half anthropogenic seems justifiable, this one not.

      There is the expression “attributable warming trend” in the caption, perhaps that has some hidden meaning.

    • Maybe Gavin can explain things, but that graphic appears to be wrong unless NAT and internal variability are considered one and the same.

    • Should we get Lindzen to tweak Gavin and point out the mistake? That could be comical.

    • OA of’s max is 0.1C? What a joke.
      NASA used the cloud model of their own GCM to study Jet contrails. This is damning either way you look at it. Either contrails account for up to 50% of warming, or their cloud model just plain doesn’t work.
      And then what about all of the agricultural changes to the surface, and removal of forests turning them into farms, or just plane dirt. Either way huge changes to albedo and Co2 uptake.
      Then there’s soot, that has to cause surface warming.
      Roads and Building, we know causes at least local warming.

      How many of these are humans willing to do without? I have read many who feel humans are irreversibly destroying the planet, they want billions fewer humans, but who are the lucky one who have to leave the planet, stop eating, live with no heat to stay warm or cook their food? Who decides this? I can’t imagine there are many who will accept this for their own life, but some other nameless, faceless person someplace far away? That is a lot easier, yea, that’s the ticket…..

    • OA of’s max is 0.1C?

      should be

      OA’s max is 0.1C?

  7. Next Big Question: Wha’ happen to hockey stick?

  8. Absolutely brilliant. The “trick to hide the decline” is here, me thinks:

    -the expected 1 unit of AGW would seem to have been neutralized by a similar amount of natural cooling

    The “expected” thing is not the real thing. And, if you imagine a “neutralizing” of the “expected”, then the expectation is never wrong (as the “neutralizing” can be as big as you need), of course, and you are more sure.

    Natural variability should be nothing more than a fancy name for what we don’t know. But in IPCC’s universe, is what we need to maintain the expectation as we like.

  9. An intriguing post, but I strongly disagree with one small point at least. “This in turn means that the absolute amount of the anthropogenic warming is the most important variable.” We know Nature can and will adapt to any change. Experience indicates it will adapt more or less smoothly to gradual changes but more violently to abrupt changes. Assuming we’d prefer the former, I conclude that the rate of change is probably more important than the absolute change (altho of course the two aren’t completely independent).

    It appears that many of the CAGW proponents also implicitly accept this; hence the blather about abrupt changes.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “We know Nature can and will adapt to any change.”
      ____
      What does this even mean? The entire biosphere can rearrage itself and has many times in the history of the planet. Species come and go, and most that have been here have long since gone. When the environment changes, those species that can adapt the best survive. But “any” is too big a word in your phrase above. When our sun warms and expands in the distant future, very little of living “nature” on this planet will adapt. Most will go back to the dust from whence it came.

    • “We know Nature can and will adapt to any change.”

      Your appeal to what will happen when the sun expands is once again, revealing of a bias so deep you’re not even aware of it

    • Sorry, my point was for R. Gates.

  10. Very well done. You are quite correct. Thanks for reminding us that before looking for answers we need to understand the question. You have brought up subtleties that had not occurred to me. It looks to me like it is actually extremely hard to formulate the right question.

    You could try asking people what they think the TCR to a doubling of CO2 is. However the form of that question makes many assumptions about the nature of the response with which reasonable people might take issue. For example Willis with his active thermostat hypothesis wouldn’t be able to express his beliefs as a simple answer to such a question.

    This inability to formulate the right question is very problematic in terms ofthe political dimension. Politics hinges on establishing a consensus and determining the intentions of the majority. These must be measured by some sort of question. But whoever writes the question has great power to determine the nature of the result, especially when, as seems the case here, there can be great subtleties hiding in the wording of the question.

    • “But whoever writes the question has great power to determine the nature of the result.” Indeed. My main question would not be whether AGW is or is not occurring and at what pace but, given that is one uncertain element of an always uncertain future, it makes any sense to seek to mitigate any prospective warming rather than to pursue policies which will help us to deal well with whatever unforeseeable future eventuates. With this attitude, AGW would not be policy-dominant, it would be an area which scientists could investigate without concern for politics. If that attitude had prevailed for the last 30 years, we would probably now have a far better understanding of climate than we do. And if there were policy implications, we’d have a much better basis with which to determine a response, if any.

    • It looks to me that if you allowed the effect of changing levels of CO2 to be zero the argument in this thread would be unchanged.

  11. This is illuminating I never knew how they were thinking on that. What they ought to be doing is not only attributing 1-to-1 now, but since the natural component is CYCLICAL it should change their ratios from the past too (guestimate in a proportional manner) which would change the result.
    They say they don’t think the past heating was 50% or more natural
    They say the current pause which is at least temporarily canceling the warming is natural.
    That in itself does not seem consistent, but when you further consider that they say the temperature effect of CO2 increases with time due to positive feedbacks, it is even more inconsistent.
    Which is why they are left clinging to the idea that the El Nino/La Nina’s cycles are made BIGGER now due to AGW. Buys them another 30 years.

  12. We are making this far too complex. During the past century we have greatly increased our annual energy consumption both from fossil fuels and nuclear power (almost tenfold). The heat emissions alone are more than enough to explain the changes that we are observing. They are four times the amount that can be attributed to the actual measured rise in atmospheric temperature. This is not including whatever affect that CO2 might contribute. We must include heat emissions as a prime variable. Ignoring this will lead to more models which have no real relevance to global warming.

    • David Springer

      No that’s wrong.

      Humans use 125,000 terawatt/hours/yr from fossil fuels and nuclear power. That is about the same amount of energy the earth receives from the sun every hour of every day. There are 8760 hours in a year.

      In a nutshell the earth gets about 10,000 times as much energy from the sun as is released by burning fossil fuels and generating nuclear power. It has no detectable effect on global average temperature. It may have quite significant effects in urban settings where the release is highly concentrated.

      Write that down.

    • David Springer

      You are correct that human energy consumption does not compare in magnitude to solar energy our planet receives.

      But it is roughly comparable to the increase in radiative forcing our planet receives from added CO2

      radiative forcing for 2xCO2
      5.35*ln(2) = 3.71 W/m^2
      annual increase in CO2 ~ 2ppmv
      C0 = 394 ppmv
      C1 = 396 ppmv
      C1/C0 = 1.0051
      ln(C1/C0) = 0.00506
      ln(2) = 0.6931
      rf (2ppmv dCO2) = 3.71 * (0.00506 / 0.6931) = 0.27 W/m^2

      Assume your 125,000 TWh/year is correct for energy added to the system from fossil fuels/nuclear by humans
      8760 hours/year
      equals 1.4E+13 W
      Earth surface area = 5.1E+14 m^2
      equals 1.4E+13 / 5.1E+14 = 0.028 W/m^2

      Believe this is what Philip Haddad was getting at.

      Max

    • David Springer

      There’s a typo in my last comment

      rf from added 2 ppmv CO2 equals

      3.71 * (0.00506 / 0.6931) = 0.27 0.027 W/m^2

      Sorry ’bout that.

      Max

    • David Springer

      manaker I’m not going to bother finding where your math went wrong but it most certainly did. The forcing from CO2 is 3.5W/m2. The forcing (not sure it should be called forcing but whatever) from the sun is 341W/m2. The forcing from CO2 is then around 1% that of the sun. The forcing from anthropogenic heat is only 1 part in 10,000 of that which comes from the sun. You agreed with the 1 in 10,000 calculation and that works out to only 0.01% not 1%.

      This claim that anthropogenic waste heat has a significant or even detectable effect on global average temperature is trivially shown to be wrong which is why so few people try to raise it as an issue.

    • David Springer

      @manaker

      my bold

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropogenic_heat#Environmental_impact

      Anthropogenic heat is a small influence on rural temperatures, and becomes more significant in dense urban areas.[11] It is one contributor to urban heat islands. Other human-caused effects (such as changes to albedo, or loss of evaporative cooling) that might contribute to urban heat islands are not considered to be anthropogenic heat by this definition.

      Anthropogenic heat is a much smaller contributor to global warming than are greenhouse gases.[12] In 2005, although anthropogenic waste heat flux was significantly high in certain urban areas (and can be high regionally. For example, waste heat flux was +0.39 and +0.68 W/m2 for the continental United States and western Europe, respectively) globally it accounted for only 1% of the energy flux created by anthropogenic greenhouse gases. Global forcing from waste heat was 0.028 W/m2 in 2005. This statistic is predicted to rise as urban areas become more widespread.[13]

      You boys should use an encyclopedia once in a while and trust that what you find there is generally true until proven otherwise.

    • David Springer

      @manaker

      I might also point out that my calculation of 0.01% for anthropogenic waste heat (AWH) compared to 1% for CO2 can be restated to say that AWH has 1% the warming effect of CO2.

      I independently arrived at the same figure cited in wickedpedia:

      “globally it accounted for only 1% of the energy flux created by anthropogenic greenhouse gases”

    • David Springer

      Gee you’re right Dave would be a manly thing to say at this point, Max.

    • David Springer

      To be clear I’m using CO2 forcing in the sense of total anthropogenic forcing from all sources. I double checked AR5 because I was working from memory saying 3.5W/m2.

      The official number is 1.13 – 3.33W/m2. Applying that error range to waste heat means waste heat accounts for anywhere from 1% to 3% of what AGHGs do.

      Of course the usual suspects can only find, at the moment, 0.5W/m2 of excess heat entering the system but even so that only raises waste heat to 5% of the total forcing from all AGW sources. I’d say at 5% it’s bordering on significant enough to throw it into the list of all AGW forcings.

      One should be aware of what’s in that referenced IPCC illustration. Nothing much changed from AR4.

      I looked at your math again and where you messed up is using 2ppmv as the annual forcing from CO2. That’s the annual increase in CO2 not the annual forcing from the anthropogenic component. Annual forcing is calculated from the difference between 280ppm (pre-industrial) and today 400ppm so instead of 2ppm you should have been using 120ppm and gotten a result about 100 times larger.

    • David, “Of course the usual suspects can only find, at the moment, 0.5W/m2 of excess heat entering the system but even so that only raises waste heat to 5% of the total forcing from all AGW sources. I’d say at 5% it’s bordering on significant enough to throw it into the list of all AGW forcings. ”

      While Haddad is wrong about the “global” significance, waste heat is generated locally mainly over land which surface stations tend to amplify by a factor of around two. It won’t mean squat in 100 years, but right now it is an impact worth considering.

    • David Springer

      The 0.028W/m^2 from annual use of fossil fuels/nuclear, which you cite is identical to what I just calculated.

      The 0.027W/m^2 from the annually added 2ppmv CO2 is based on the 3.71W/m^2 for 2xCO2 cited by IPCC.

      3.71 * ln (396 / 394) / ln (2) = 0.027

      Now correct Philip Haddad by telling him that the CO2 impact is cumulative, while the fuel impact is not, and explain why.

      Thanks for your input (and I mean it seriously).

      Max

    • David Springer

      Your comment #444907 (January 30, 11:59 am) answers my question.

      Thanks.

      It is a question of cumulative versus non-cumulative, as I suspected.

      Max

    • David Springer

      Max – this is far from the first time Phillip Haddad has posted that gem. He’s ineducable. At least by me. I’ve tried.

      CaptDallas – sure the first thing I wrote was it can be significant in urban settings where the release is concentrated far beyond 0.029W/m2. I don’t think anyone disputes the existence of urban heat islands they argue about whether those effect land temperature series when most of the instruments were located in the continental US and old Europe and most of those in and near cities.

    • David, ” I don’t think anyone disputes the existence of urban heat islands they argue about whether those effect land temperature series when most of the instruments were located in the continental US and old Europe and most of those in and near cities.”

      Right, UHI is pretty simple, what it looks like to me though is more of a suburban heat island effect mainly in winter when there is a greater chance of atmospheric inversions. It might not be significant at all, but the amplification in the 30N-60N land areas is more than I would have expected.

  13. R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

    “Are you a “warmist” or a “skeptic”? To be properly pigeonholed, you must answer the Big Question. And to answer it, you must understand it. That, however, may not be as easy as it seems.”
    ______
    Skepticism is a tool, not a destination. As a tool, you can use it anytime regardless of your position on the issue of anthropogenic climate change– Hence, Skeptical Warmist is a legitimate adjective/noun combination. I use skepticism as a tool everyday to decide what I think is “most likely correct”. I am a “warmist” because I think that it is most likely correct that humans are altering the climate and one of the results will be a warmer tropospheric termperatures.

    But let’s talk about “global warming”. Using tropospheric surface temperatures (sensible heat) It is the most common way for us to go about measuring the energy imbalance caused by anthropogenic forcing of the climate, but it is, in the final analysis, only a proxy (and not a particularly good one) for the change in the energy balance of the planet. There are numerous other ways that might be better, have less noise from natural variability (OHC, hydrological cycle changes, cryosphere changes, Brewer-Dobson acceleration, Indo Pacific Warm Pool expansion, etc.) and be better for judging the overall sensitivity of the system to anthropogenic alteration in the energy balance. We know that sensible tropospheric heat is highly dependent on some of these other changes and subject to much short-term natural variability. Thus the term “global warming” and only thinking about the proxy of sensible tropospheric surface heat is a bit too generic to really get at the heart of all the many ways that Earth’s energy balance is being altered by the human carbon volcano.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      David Springer,

      I’ll match you any day for knowledge of climate and weather.

    • Steven Mosher

      Skepticism is a tool, not a destination.

      + billions.

    • “Skepticism is a tool, not a destination.”

      No argument there. The funny thing is I’ve never once seen you use it. Your warmist advocacy often borders on the propagandisti (“human Co2 volcano”). and your ongoing obsession with the evil Heartland Institute entirely revealing of your deep a priori bias that you make no apparent attempt to overcome.

    • Skepticism is a tool, not a destination.

      But the climate wars are largely about identity and formation. In the climate wars, skepticism is frequently neither a tool nor a destination, but an identity – and a way to identify the “other” (as is “denialism”).

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “skepticism is frequently neither a tool nor a destination, but an identity…”
      ___
      Oh, I agree completely that some would wear the badge of “skepticism” like an identity, and in that, it becomes their psychological destination. A final resting place so to speak, for their mind.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “Your warmist advocacy often borders on the propagandisti (“human Co2 volcano”). and your ongoing obsession with the evil Heartland Institute entirely revealing of your deep a priori bias…”
      ____
      I am always willing and quite eager for any data, research or any such thing that would show that the massive human carbon emissions are not altering the energy balance of the climate system. Please, send them my way– but be warned, if you equate total cimate energy balance with tropospheric temperatures over a short time frame, I’ll consider you to be less than informed. In regards to Heartland, they are not evil any more than any paid advocacy (or shill) group is. It is good old fashioned capitalism with the rich paying to look after their interests. Why call this evil? Do you hate capitalism?

    • Joshua,

      Remember, it’s the ‘climate ward’ now.

    • Skepticism is a tool, not a destination.

      ….. and consensus is a tool for ensuring destination.

    • Skepticism is never an end in itself, only a means to an end.

      thanks to adrian, robert, tony and bill

    • Matthew R Marler

      R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist: Skepticism is a tool, not a destination.

      Humans have a nearly irresistable drive to believe. But sometimes skepticism is the desired destination. Consider the hypothesis, once seriously considered, that AIDS was caused by “lifestyle” choices of the victims. Or the strongly advocated hypothesis that commercializing aspartame would greatly increase the incidence of neurological disorders in America’s children. The list of false hypotheses that have been strongly promoted is long. You (that is, you personally and any readers) perhaps do not actually “believe in” the non-existence of Maxwell’s Luminiferous Aether, but skepticism about its existence is certainly the destination that has been arrived at by nearly everyone who has studied the science.

    • Yes Michael,
      climate ‘ward’ing off:

      w/o 1… the ‘pause’ in atmospheric warming.
      w/o 2 … the missing heat, hide the decline.
      w/o 3 … expected but absent hot-spot.
      w/o 4 … missing evidence of any CO2
      positive feedback.

      It’s a busy time fer consensus climate scientists.

    • Beth

      Yer rite. It shore nuff is a bizzy time fer them cli-muht egg-sprurts.

      Reckon thayll all be singin this song:

      Gimme dat climate change religion
      Gimme dat climate change religion
      Tho’ it’s only warmed a smidgen
      Still it’s good enough for me

      It made Al Gore lots of millions
      It made Al Gore lots of millions
      And it’s gonna cost us trillions
      And it’s good for you and me

      Gimme dat ol’ greenhouse warmin’
      Gimme dat ol’ greenhouse warmin’
      It’ll keep them ‘skeeters swarmin’
      And it’s good enough for me

      Let’s go scare dem li’l schoolchillun
      Let’s go scare dem li’l schoolchillun
      That’ll make ‘em weak and willin’
      T’say ”it’s good enough for me”

      Gimme dat ol’ greenhouse fryin’
      Gimme dat ol’ greenhouse fryin’
      Don’ mind dem polar bears a’dyin’
      ‘Cause it’s good for you and me

      ’s good for every politician
      ’s good for every politician
      So they’re really on a mission
      T’show it’s good for you and me

      Gimme dat ol’ greenhouse heatin’
      Gimme dat ol’ greenhouse heatin’
      It’ll keep dem scientists eatin’
      And it’s good for you and me

      Let’s make gas cost fifteen dollars
      Let’s make gas cost fifteen dollars
      Until everybody hollers
      “Yes, it’s good for you and me”

      What is all this pause commotion?
      What is all this pause commotion?
      It’s all goin’ to the ocean
      And that’s good enough for me

      Gimme dat climate change religion
      Gimme dat climate change religion
      Tho’ it’s only warmed a smidgen
      Still it’s good enough for me

      Amen.

      Max (yore feller serf)

    • Beth

      Should be egg-spurts

      (Nevr cood spel too good)

      YFS Max

    • Max,

      yer got a reel talent fer versi-fyin’ and a good ear fer metre
      and yer git ter the nitty gritty of an ishoe. Say, yer can even
      do arithmer-tick. Don’t worry about spellin’.

      Beth the serf.

    • R,Gates I see you as the First post at real climate and Web. I feel disappointed you had left your skepticism.

    • David Springer

      R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist | January 29, 2014 at 2:58 pm |

      David Springer,

      I’ll match you any day for knowledge of climate and weather.

      ——————————————————————————–

      Not even on your best day and my worst.

    • A cloud floated over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
      ================

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “dalyplanet | January 30, 2014 at 3:02 am |
      R,Gates I see you as the First post at real climate and Web. I feel disappointed you had left your skepticism.”
      —-
      Need to spread around the love. And just like a good Swiss Army knife, I never leave my skepticism behind.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Very poetic Kim-bot. Does that make Judith nurse Ratched?


    • dalyplanet | January 30, 2014 at 3:02 am |
      R,Gates I see you as the First post at real climate and Web. I feel disappointed you had left your skepticism.”
      —-

      As members of “The Team”, RG and I get priority and we receive advance copies of the post so that we can respond promptly.

      We are also instructed to inhabit denier blogs so that we can root out new denier arguments. As it turns out, the areas that they deny most are the best sources for substantiating AGW evidence. However, the “skeptical” readers are not that discriminating and will believe anything.
      Funny how that works out.

    • Web sez

      “As members of “The Team”, RG and I get priority and we receive advance copies of the post so that we can respond promptly.”

      It appeared to me more “guys on kneepads” than “advanced team members”.

  14. R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

    “The difference is small relative to the total period. But the change caused by considering the most recent 10–15 years or so is significant because this period is the specific subject of much discussion. And since there has been little or no warming during this time, the average rate of warming over the entire time period has decreased.”
    ______

    This is completely illogical and unscientific. The net energy increase in the system caused by anthropogenic GH gas emissions has not slowed over the past 10-15 years. Your undue focus on the highly variable and low thermal inertia tropospheric sensible heat indicates a myopic view of the big picture of Earth’s climate system and the forms of energy in that system.

    • The net energy increase in the system caused by anthropogenic GH gas emissions has not slowed over the past 10-15 years.

      THIS IS NOT SUPPORTED BY ACTUAL TEMPERATURE DATA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • HAP,

      evidence trumps exclamation marks.

    • David Springer

      Yeah, pay attention boys. When it was apparent the lower troposphere stopped warming the deep deep deep ocean was pencil whipped from cooling to warming. I schit you not. Read about it here:

      http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/OceanCooling/

    • Matthew R Marler

      R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist: The net energy increase in the system caused by anthropogenic GH gas emissions has not slowed over the past 10-15 years.

      I really can’t figure out how you can tell that.

      Your undue focus on the highly variable and low thermal inertia tropospheric sensible heat indicates a myopic view of the big picture of Earth’s climate system and the forms of energy in that system.

      two comments on that:

      1. If the low thermal inertia of the troposphere sensible heat really matters, then the temperature changes induced by the CO2 in the troposphere ought to be the greatest in the system. That’s the CO2 that, by hypothesis, is causing the heating, and that’s where the CO2 is.

      2. For our purposes, the most important things to look at are the changes in temperature and humidity in the biosphere, which is the near surface and lower troposphere. Unless there is a CO2-induced transfer of heat to those regions that raises the temperature or reduces the water availability, then the AGW isn’t happening and certainly can’t be catastrophic.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “1. If the low thermal inertia of the troposphere sensible heat really matters, then the temperature changes induced by the CO2 in the troposphere ought to be the greatest in the system.”
      ——-
      You miss the point. The biggest single factor influencing tropospheric temperatures over the short term is the rate of flow of sensible and latent heat from the ocean. This can be considered as “noise” that the low thermal inertia system picks up very easily. To see a longer term gradual forcing, such as from the slow growth in anthropogenic GH gas growth, this noise needs to be filtered out.

    • Matthew R Marler

      R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist: You miss the point.

      You and I do not agree on what “the” point is. “The” point is that if the mechanism of increased CO2 induced warming is the increased CO2 in the troposphere, then there can’t be increased accumulation of energy elsewhere in the system without the troposphere warming.

      If there can be, the mechanism has not been elucidated. You account stresses the warming of the atmosphere by the surface: ok, how does the increase in atmospheric CO2 cause increased accumulation of energy somewhere without warming the troposphere?

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      ” “The” point is that if the mechanism of increased CO2 induced warming is the increased CO2 in the troposphere, then there can’t be increased accumulation of energy elsewhere in the system without the troposphere warming.”
      _____
      This is fundamentally incorrect and displays a very basic misunderstanding of the nature of the forcing caused by GH gas increases. The forcing is one of a control valve, with greater accumulation of GH gases in effect restricting the flow of energy from the climate system to space until such time as equalibrium in the system is reached (assuming GH gases stop increasing). You don’t have to constantly get a warmer and warmer atmosphere to continually increase the rate that energy is being stored in the system. The system has not yet even fully responded to the 40% increase we’ve seen since the start of the industrial revolution, and even if we froze the CO2 levels at 400 ppm, the system would continue to accumulate energy for a few decades.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “The net energy increase in the system caused by anthropogenic GH gas emissions has not slowed over the past 10-15 years.”
      _____
      That is correct, or perhaps it has accelerated a bit in the past 5 years.

    • R Gates, who thinks he’s the smartest in the room
      ” You don’t have to constantly get a warmer and warmer atmosphere to continually increase the rate that energy is being stored in the system.”

      The atmosphere is a blanket wrapped around the earth. You claim that this blanket can raise the temperature of the earth without itself becoming warmer, but offer no explanation how this could happen. Since the blanket is in contact with the earth’s surface, it must warm by conduction as the earth warms.

      As another said above – those of us who live on the surface don’t give a rat’s if the temperature of the ocean below 700m deep is increasing, as claimed by some on “The Team”, to explain the pause. What happens down there has no effect on the surface, not now, not ever. If you think otherwise, please explain how water that has warmed from 4 deg C to 4.1 deg C is going to cause catastrophic warming of the atmosphere at 14 deg C in the event it reached the surface of the oceans?


    • then there can’t be increased accumulation of energy elsewhere in the system without the troposphere warming.

      I suggest Marler write out a free energy equation which keeps track of how temperature can be represented and potentially transformed.

      Oh wait, he doesn’t have to, I already did it.

      http://contextearth.com/2013/11/21/variational-principles-in-thermodynamics/

      The Cause of the Pause is explainable by thermodynamic Laws

    • Gates ain’t gonna like the the new Trenberth paper. Heh

    • However the IPCC has told us that increasing atmospheric CO2 will lead to a global temperature rise in excess of 2K by the end of the century. That was the catastrophe Earth faced if we continued to burn stuff.

      You are saying that we will not in fact warm up as the energy has changed tack and is now going into the deep ocean. What is the mechanism that explains this change of the direction the energy has taken that used to heat the atmosphere?

      In the, as yet unproven, event you are correct why does it matter to anybody on the Earth’s surface as that energy cannot suddenly warm the atmosphere in any meaningful way?

      I have noticed many comments here that accuse you of shifting the goalposts. It seems to me that your skepticism is skin deep as every shift in your arguments over the last few years has always been towards confirming Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change brought about by humans burning stuff. In fact your entire motivation seems to be a desire to limit humans having access to cheap, reliable and ubiquitous energy. Why is that?

      Thanks.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “You claim that this blanket can raise the temperature of the earth without itself becoming warmer, but offer no explanation how this could happen. Since the blanket is in contact with the earth’s surface, it must warm by conduction as the earth warms.”
      ——
      Very little (but certainly not zero) energy that glows from the ocean or from the rock and soil to the atmosphere is from conduction. The vast majority is from latent and sensible heat flux from the ocean.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “those of us who live on the surface don’t give a rat’s if the temperature of the ocean below 700m deep is increasing, as claimed by some on “The Team”, to explain the pause. What happens down there has no effect on the surface, not now, not ever.”
      ——
      Such simple-minded rhetoric is almost classic denialism. Everything that happens in the ocean affects we troposphere dwellers. Earth is first and foremost a water planet and the oceans dictate both the pulse of weather and life itself. Denial of the central role the oceans play on this water planet is quite a first order denialism.

    • David Springer

      Hey Gates, Ray B. offered you an opportunity to explain how the deep ocean warming from 4.0C to 4.1C is going to effect the surface if it’s your supposition that it will.

      Ray B | January 30, 2014 at 1:43 am |

      R Gates, who thinks he’s the smartest in the room

      What happens down there has no effect on the surface, not now, not ever. If you think otherwise, please explain how water that has warmed from 4 deg C to 4.1 deg C is going to cause catastrophic warming of the atmosphere at 14 deg C in the event it reached the surface of the oceans?

      Go ahead Gates. Explain. Not handwaving. No vaguaries about everything in the ocean effects the surface. How does 0.1C of ocean warming cause adverse effects to people, plants, animals, or whatever. Be specific and if you can’t just frickin’ admit you can’t. Man up, Gates.

    • David Springer

      I’ll even start you off, Gates. You just add on whatever additional things you can.

      For each 1C rise in ocean basin temperature there’s a 2.3 meter rise in sea level due to thermal expansion. Therefore in 100 years of a TOA excess of 0.5W/m2 which can raise ocean basin temperature 0.2C if it all goes there we can expect an additional 0.5 meter rise in sea level due to it. Eighteen inches of sea level rise will have some adverse effects but we have 100 years to deal with it at 0.005 meters per year.

      Now you go. What else will happen?

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “Hey Gates, Ray B. offered you an opportunity to explain how the deep ocean warming from 4.0C to 4.1C is going to effect the surface if it’s your supposition that it will.”
      _____
      Of course, we’ve already discussed this at length several times, but the notion that additional energy in the ocean will somehow diffuse out in some homogenous way throughout the ocean is erroneous and goes against what we know about the extreme heterogeneity of the ocean. Wind, currents, upwelling, and downwelling activity all lead to the concentration of heat energy in specific regions of the world ocean. By far the most important single region for global ocean heat energy being concentrated is the Indo Pacific Warm Pool. Indeed, anthropogenic changes to the GH gas concentrations in the atmosphere is causing interesting expansion of the IPWP, showing quite clearly how warmer oceans are directly affecting we troposphere dwellers:

      http://geog.ucsb.edu/~williams/publications/WilliamsAndFunk_2011_ClimateDynamics.pdf

      The upshot of this is to remember that additional heat is not just diffused harmlessly throughout the ocean as so-called “skeptics” would unscientifically state.

    • Matthew R Marler

      R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist: The forcing is one of a control valve, with greater accumulation of GH gases in effect restricting the flow of energy from the climate system to space until such time as equalibrium in the system is reached (assuming GH gases stop increasing). You don’t have to constantly get a warmer and warmer atmosphere to continually increase the rate that energy is being stored in the system.

      By what mechanism can the energy accumulate in the rest of the system, if it accumulates in the troposphere first (“restricting the flow of energy … to space” glosses over the fact that the “restriction” is the absorption of radiant energy by the CO2 molecules), unless the troposphere heats up? If somehow the radiant energy is absorbed by the CO2 molecules without the troposphere heating up, the the transfers of energy from the surface to the troposphere and from the troposphere to space will continue at the same rate.

      Your analogy of “control valve” totally ignores the actual mechanisms involved and the rates of energy transfer, as far as I can tell.

    • David Springer

      Gates – So you have nothing to say in the way of specifics about adverse effects of 0.2C ocean warming just another vague assertion that it isn’t homogenous warming so… sew buttons I guess.

      So maybe you can then explain how the well-mixed greenhouse gas CO2 with a forcing that’s the same everywhere due to being well-mixed unevenly heats the ocean surface. LOL

      Go ahead Gates. I’d advise you that when you’ve dug yourself into a hole the first thing to do is stop digging but that would spoil the fun I’m having exposing your lack of depth (pun intended).

    • Matthew R Marler

      WebHubTelescope: The Cause of the Pause is explainable by thermodynamic Laws

      I am glad that you and R. Gates agree that the pause is real, not merely imagined. And I agree that you have a good model of the temperature trends in terms of other measured variables. Now R. Gates has been claiming that the pause is due to energy accumulating where it isn’t being measured,, such as perhaps the deep oceans. My question is how can the heat be accumulating elsewhere, given the mechanism of CO2-induced global warming, if the troposphere is not warming — namely increased absorption of radiant energy in the troposphere by the increased concentration of CO2 in the troposphere.

      Would you like to take a turn explaining how R. Gates can be correct, given the known mechanisms?

    • Matthew R Marler

      R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist: “The net energy increase in the system caused by anthropogenic GH gas emissions has not slowed over the past 10-15 years.”
      _____
      That is correct, or perhaps it has accelerated a bit in the past 5 years.

      Do you want to tell us where it is, and what the evidence is that it is there, and the mechanisms by which it got there?

    • I forgot to add that joshie is tedious and was silly to insert himself into the periphery of the margins of this discussion.

    • Last comment went into the wrong discussion. Is Judith monkeying around again. Alert Springer!

  15. A brief bio or profile for guest authors would be helpful, imo. Your endorsement of Dagfinn Reiersøl is valuable, but a bit more information would be useful.

    • She didn’t endorse me. She endorsed this particular piece of writing. I could be totally obnoxious. ;)

    • Dagfinn,

      Thanks for the correction! The distinction between endorsement of the person and the articles is important. Can you tell us a little about your relevant background?

      Speaking as a layperson, I found this useful and illuminating — a clear description of a complex subject.

      I have always wondered why the IPCC did not give estimates for the absolute temperature effects of the major factors affecting the surface atmosphere temperature. Esp since it should be an output of their models. Your article raises that as an important question. Let’s hope it gets attention, and perhaps answers.

    • OK, let me try. First, I have no relevant formal qualifications.

      “PHP programmer” is not very relevant in itself, but the fact that I wrote a book about it is a bit more significant. I’ve spent a lot of time investigating complex technical and scientific subjects and explaining them in a way that hopefully makes sense to mere mortals.

      I had a lot of experience reading scientific studies when I was a health / environmental activist for a while. That included contributing to an official report from our health authorities.

      Obviously, you have to figure out for yourself whether I’m making sense or not.

    • Dagfinn,

      Thanks for the brief profile. That’s helpful context. Both in a positive sense (i.e., you’re an educated layperson), and in a not-negative sense (unlike “PR Agent for Exxon” or Vaguely Scientific Guy at ACME Advocacy).

      As a layperson myself, I read this because our host believes it useful for us. The logic in it stands by itself.

    • George Turner

      I agree that the logic was simple, yet profound. They’ve set up a method whereby they can express higher certainty no matter how badly their predictions are refuted by evidence, because they can offset the evidence with forcings they can conjure from their imaginations, letting the percentage of man’s influence on climate exceed 100% no matter if the observed effects go to zero.

      It reminds me of pretending to command a dog to do whatever the dog happens to be doing – in a mockery of command and obedience. “‘Yeah, go sniff that other dog’s b***. Now nose around the garbage. Wag your tail. Pee on the tree.’ See how obedient Rover is? He does just what I tell him!”

      It frees them from the usual scientific burden of building support for a theory by using it to make a prediction about the natural world and then seeing if the prediction is confirmed. Instead they can take post-hoc explanations of the failed predictions and count the exceptions as added knowledge. This way, if they make ten of ten failed predictions about X, they can count it as ten things they learned about X, increasing their knowledge from the prior baseline, whereas normally ten of ten failed predictions should indicate that they don’t know jack.

    • The fact that Dr. Curry posts an article here does not mean that she endorses the conclusions, the reasoning, or the sum total of the article. It means that she finds it interesting either for its own sake or because she expects interesting reactions to it.

      We covered all this ground long ago.

    • David Springer

      In other words my deleted opinions were right on the money.

    • David Springer

      A book about computer programming is relevant? Oh my. I guess that makes my patents on computer hardware and software like SUPER-relevant huh? And reading scientific studies? Wow. I’ve been doing that for 50 years. You?

    • And what exactly were the qualifications of Fermat, Huygens, or Descartes? Their skill was in seeing through the fog of confusion.

    • Theo,

      “The fact that Dr. Curry posts an article here does not mean that she endorses the conclusions, the reasoning, or the sum total of the article. It means that she finds it interesting either for its own sake or because she expects interesting reactions to it.”

      Wow. Thanks for that important information. Not what I assumed. I didn’t assume Prof Curry guaranteed every jot and tittle of the article, but did expect that she believed it was substantially correct — or she would have noted her conditional agreement, or even disagreement.

      “We covered all this ground long ago.”

      How should we — casual or new readers know that? Esp if we don’t usually read the comments?

    • David Springer: Not sure you’re interested, but let me just make it clear that I’m not asking anyone to believe me based on my background. The reason I commented on it was that someone wanted to know. Feel free to ignore it and comment on the substance of what I’ve written. So far you haven’t.

    • David Springer

      I did comment on the substance of what you wrote. It was deleted. I suspect it was deleted because you felt it necessary to mention my wife in your response and that caused me to mention your mother and sister. Is it common practice where you live to bring completely irrelevant mentions people’s female relatives into the discussion? That’ll get you cold-cocked where I live.

    • David Springer

      Editor of the Fabius Maximus website | January 30, 2014 at 12:33 am |

      “Wow. Thanks for that important information. Not what I assumed. I didn’t assume Prof Curry guaranteed every jot and tittle of the article, but did expect that she believed it was substantially correct — or she would have noted her conditional agreement, or even disagreement.

      How should we — casual or new readers know that? Esp if we don’t usually read the comments?

      I hear ya, Fabius. I bitch about it every time Curry passes through a sucky article by a no-name guest author. It’s her blog of course but the lack of discrimination in guest authors is ammunition for detractors. With friends like Dagfinn it’s no wonder Mann calls her a serial disinformer or whatever it was.

    • Unnecessary and impossible need for Judy to be THE authority.
      =====================

    • David Springer: No, you did not comment on the substance of what I wrote. You commented on my style and on your subjective reaction to it. You also said you had read only the first 1000 words; that’s one third. Your comment was deleted, and now you can pretend that you wrote some kind of reasoned, substantive critque and was censored?

      You have three, no four, red herrings, and you line them up so they seem to point in the same direction. Neither my style, your reaction, my background, nor the fact that we both had some comments deleted has relevance to what my article is about.

      I found your comment (the original one that was deleted) amusing and chose to respond with a spoof. You seem to take yourself more seriously than I take you or myself.

    • David Springer

      Your article is your opinion of how the IPCC frames the debate. The substance of it thus your opinion. I responded in kind with my opinion of your opinion, or at least as much of it as I could stand to read before deciding it was dreck. You droned on about how percentage of anthropogenic global warming cannot exceed 100% for what seemed like forever. Hypothetically if we are given anthropogenic global warming of 1C since 1950 and natural cooling due to say PDO or AMO was -0.5C it is quite fair to say that anthropogenic warming is 200% of observed warming.

      I dunno maybe your mind is pretty boxed into some fixed way of viewing percentages. Maybe you should branch out from PHP. The numerically intensive components of climate models I’m given to understand are in Fortran which is specifically designed for numerical modeling. I know Fortran. I wouldn’t say I’m expert but it was the first computer language I learned in college and I did quite a bit of programming in it along with a dozen other languages from basic to pascal to forth to C to C++ to java to javascript (which is bloody fantastic BTW and my most recent conquest). With V8 inside of Chrome and others doing a good job trying to compete with it and node.js making the same js code executable by either client or server… I love it. But I digress. Your tedious inside the box thinking about a trivial IPCC framing was too much for me to bear for long. Made worse by my thinking that expressing AGW in terms exceeding 100% of observed warming conveys more information than how you expect and desire it should be framed.

      • When someone reads ‘more than half of X’, they think of a pie that constitutes 100% or unity and that the fraction of Y is then 1-X. They do not figure that ‘more than half’ could really mean 144%. So there is an inconsistence with the use of ‘more than half’ in a statement where X could be something like 144%. That is the main gist of my concern.

    • David Springer

      Here is where Daggfinn goes off the rail:

      You might think that the anthropogenic portion of global warming must be somewhere between 0 and 100%. I did until fairly recently. So, it seems, have most others, including Judith Curry: “There is general agreement that the percentages of warming each attributed to natural and anthropogenic causes is less than 100% and greater than 0%.”

      Curry could have stated that better by saying “percentages of observed warming”. The IPCC in places chose a different way which I presume is because they wanted to convey the notion that anthropogenic warming is counteracted by natural cooling to set up a completely honest statement that absent natural cooling the full amount of anthropogenic warming would be observed.

      I have no gripe with their framing. A reasonable assumption is that anthropogenic GAT forcing is constant and growing while natural cooling is temporary. In fact I think it’s critical that be somehow conveyed because it’s true. PDO and AMO falling to the cool side is indeed masking some portion of anthropogenic warming. It’s as dishonest of skeptics to deny the effect of a temporary natural cooling as it was for the warmists to deny the effect of a temporary natural warming. Two wrongs don’t make a right and I prefer both sides be fighting to occupy the high ground where truth trumps deception.

    • David Springer

      curryja | January 30, 2014 at 1:20 pm |

      When someone reads ‘more than half of X’, they think of a pie that constitutes 100% or unity and that the fraction of Y is then 1-X. They do not figure that ‘more than half’ could really mean 144%. So there is an inconsistence with the use of ‘more than half’ in a statement where X could be something like 144%. That is the main gist of my concern.

      Who is “they” and how do you know what “they” think?

      Obviously I’m not part of “they” because I don’t have a problem with percentages greater than 100%.

      Let’s look somewhere neutral for an example by analogy of how the IPCC is framing this.

      http://www.businessinsider.com/government-spending-and-taxes-2012-12

      As we can see US gov spending was approximately 100% of tax revenue from 1947 to 1974. After 1974 it gradually to over 133% of tax revenue today.

      Do you think that’s any of unfair, untrue, or misleading to frame it that way? I don’t and in fact think it’s the most efficient way to convey the information. But that’s just me not they whoever they is.

    • David Springer

      curryja | January 30, 2014 at 1:20 pm |

      Half of 240% is what?

      Sometimes a pie chart isn’t the best or even a good way of expressing something more complex. In my example of tax revenue vs. spending how would we put that into a pie chart? What happens (in the used-to-be common happenstance) when tax revenue exceeds spending? A pie chart isn’t appropriate for that either. Perhaps this is confusing to the unwashed masses. I don’t presume that AR5 is meant to be read by people who are barely able to balance a checkbook or calculate a 15% tip in their head.

    • Wait, do we know for sure from the report what it is half of? Do they say that it is half of x%? That omission makes your question a little harder. Sure I can tell you what half of a know % is, but an undisclosed %?

    • David Springer

      re; climate models in Fortran

      Unsurprisingly I presumed correctly about climate models being written in Fortran.

      http://www.giss.nasa.gov/tools/modelE/

      F90 is shorthand (and extension filetype) for Fortran 90 which succeeded Fortran 77 as the latest ANSI standard version in 1992.

      Another teaching moment has arrived. My bold.

      Fortran (previously FORTRAN, derived from Formula Translating System) is a general-purpose, imperative programming language that is especially suited to numeric computation and scientific computing. Originally developed by IBM at their campus in south San Jose, California[1] in the 1950s for scientific and engineering applications, Fortran came to dominate this area of programming early on and has been in continual use for over half a century in computationally intensive areas such as numerical weather prediction, finite element analysis, computational fluid dynamics, computational physics and computational chemistry. It is one of the most popular languages in the area of high-performance computing[2] and is the language used for programs that benchmark and rank the world’s fastest supercomputers.

      Fortran encompasses a lineage of versions, each of which evolved to add extensions to the language while usually retaining compatibility with previous versions. Successive versions have added support for structured programming and processing of character-based data (FORTRAN 77), array programming, modular programming and generic programming (Fortran 90), high performance Fortran (Fortran 95), object-oriented programming (Fortran 2003) and concurrent programming (Fortran 2008).

      Fortran is the computer language of science.

      Write that down.

      I may have even written it down in 1980 when I took two semesters of Fortran in college but probably not because I’m 144% too arrogant to take notes. LOL

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Warming due to greenhouse gases can only be greater than total warming if there is cooling from natural variation. This is not true in some periods – say 1977 to 1998 when natural variation added to warming – and true in others – e.g. 2002 to date.

      When the IPCC suggests that more than half of recent warming – e.g. 1977 to 1998 – is anthropogenic – I at least presumed that the rest – whatever that is – of the recent warming was natural.

    • David Springer, I don’t recognize my opinion in your opinion of it. You say “You droned on about how percentage of anthropogenic global warming cannot exceed 100% for what seemed like forever.” I didn’t say that it cannot exceed 100%. I said that’s what I thought until recently. And I “droned on” about that for one short paragraph.

      In other words, you’re still not engaging the substance of my article. Unless you can do so, there really is no point in us having a discussion.

    • Springer is correct. If natural variability would have resulted in .5C of cooling, without the influence of CO2, but .5C of warming was observed, then CO2 contributed 1C of warming, period. Thus, CO2 contributed more than 100% of the observed/ net warming. What people think about pies is a whole different kettle of fish.

    • If Judith and Springer were supposed to be sharing two of my famous emapanada pies equally, and Springer ate 1.5 pies, Judith would immediately complain that Springer ate more than 100% of his share of my generously provided world famous empanadas. Shame on Springer. Clear now?

    • Don Montford: “Thus, CO2 contributed more than 100% of the observed/ net warming.”

      To rephrase somewhat what I said in the article, in isolation that is a perfectly valid way of looking at it. But it has some unexpected implications, which is what I’m trying to explore. It’s counterintuitive, so the people that are supposed to understand it won’t understand it properly. And the way it’s used at least, it seems to generate increased confidence in the dominance of AGW no matter what happens in the real world.

    • It’s only counterintuitive for those who don’t use their little noggins. There is not much you can do about people who don’t use their noggins. If the IPCC makes up unsupported excuses to explain why the ‘expected’ warming is not materializing-aerosols, deep ocean hiding, unicorns-that is another story. Criticize them for that.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      I had no idea Fortran was still in use – I have fond memories from my early days of programming on punch cards. I still use programs with a Fortran core – but I thought these were just legacy programs.

      I have just downloaded a personal version with a visual studio shell from silverfrost – what fun.

    • I cannot see any problem in the formulation AGW is more than half of the observed warming., when that is taken as a statement on the two warmings mentioned.

      I can, however, see that someone who has in mind the question What IPCC tells about the strength of natural variability? may feel dissatisfied about the formulation.

    • David Springer

      Oh look. Judy is cheating. Using her admin powers to surreptitiously insert out of order comments. See below where the time of her comments is out of order.

      I have no interest in debating you on an uneven playing field. I’m going to disqualify you from the game for that and unlaterally declare victory.

      Thanks for playing.

      Comments should appear with successively later times. This is the order they actually appear in now.

      curryja | January 30, 2014 at 2:03 pm |

      David Springer | January 30, 2014 at 1:43 pm |

      curryja | January 30, 2014 at 1:20 pm |

      curryja | January 30, 2014 at 2:02 pm |

      David Springer | January 30, 2014 at 1:57 pm |

      curryja | January 30, 2014 at 1:20 pm |

      Tsk tsk.

    • David Springer

      Dagfinn | January 30, 2014 at 3:08 pm |

      “David Springer, I don’t recognize my opinion in your opinion of it.”

      Understandable. It’s hard to recognize much of anything in your opinion.

      “You say “You droned on about how percentage of anthropogenic global warming cannot exceed 100% for what seemed like forever.” I didn’t say that it cannot exceed 100%. I said that’s what I thought until recently. And I “droned on” about that for one short paragraph.”

      Ah. So even you didn’t read it all. LOL Count how many times and where you used “half”, “50%”, or some related objection carping about a figure in excess of 100%. You droned on for 3000 frickin’ words about a simple trivial complaint that could’ve been explained in 300 words.

      “In other words, you’re still not engaging the substance of my article. Unless you can do so, there really is no point in us having a discussion.”

      There was very little substance to engage. So you don’t like expressing anthropogenic warming in anything other than a pie chart where the components sum to 100% of the area. I get it. It’s trivial.

    • That seems a little extreme, Springer. It’s not very sneaky if she didn’t alter the time stamp on the comments. Isn’t it the prerogative of the blogger to insert comments following comments they want to answer. Or could there be some other explanation for the out of order sequence? Does the sequence do Judith’s argument any good? Basically, what are you talking about? And is it that important.

    • No. You still don’t get it.

    • Judy is well know to be the ‘Napoleon of Time-Stamp manipulation’; sort of like a cuter Professor Moriarty.

    • (That was for David Springer.)

    • He does get it, Dag. What you said in 3000 words, you condensed in reply to my comments, in which I declared that Springer is correct in the IPCC vs, pie controversy :

      “that is a perfectly valid way of looking at it. But it has some unexpected implications, which is what I’m trying to explore. It’s counterintuitive, so the people that are supposed to understand it won’t understand it properly. And the way it’s used at least, it seems to generate increased confidence in the dominance of AGW no matter what happens in the real world.”

      (1)The IPCC way of looking at it is perfectly valid, (2) but it is counterintuitive, (3) so grown ups won’t understand it properly. (4)and the way it is used seems to fool people.

      We agree on number (1).

      We don’t agree on number (2). Grown up people generally will realize that if you add cold water to hot water, the hot water won’t be as hot as it would have been otherwise, whether they know this from intuition or just from having taken a bath.

      (3) see number (2).

      (4) we basically agree on that

      Number (4) is the only legitimate point you made.

    • David Springer

      I have never noted comments from ja curry appearing out of order before. It made it appear like I was ignoring you unless one noted your responses had a timestamp later than mine but appeared ahead of it.

      Maybe someone here knows why that is happening. It’s been a few years since I was an admin/author/commenter all rolled into one and it never happened to me even though I frequently engaged others in the comments. I was probably not logging in as administrator when adding my own comments and I presume you are logged in as an administrator when making comments so that you can do administrative tasks at the same time. I kept separate tabs open so I could be a regular user and a super-user merely by tabbing from one to the other.

      • @David Springer – Yes. If you select the option to receive comments via email, at the bottom of each comment is a “Reply” button. If you select that (as I just did) to reply to a poster, even if there is no “reply” option on the comment, it will be placed before other comments that use the Reply option of the original poster. Right under the post you are replying to.

        Of course if others have done that, it then goes in a Chronological order, so this one appears right after you comment, but if I were to reply again, it would go after this comment, but before other comments to the initial post in the thread.

    • David, she has often interpolated comments, mostly to put her response after the one she is responding to. It’s useful and her prerogative. What I find curious is that a few other commenters seem to have the knack.
      ==========================

    • I could be mistaken since keeping track of WordPress’s quirks is difficult, but I believe I know the reason this happens.

      A regular poster cannot respond to a comment once the maximum nesting level has been reached. An administrator can. However, without an additional level of nesting, WordPress can’t display the administrator’s response in a lower level nest. It tries to though, and the “closest” it can get is to place the administrator’s comment directly below the one it is responding to (but in the same tree).*

      Basically, our host responds to comments and WordPress does that automatically. The only way she could avoid it (while posting from her account) is to go up to the top of a nesting tree and click the Reply button where most of us see it. That’d require going out of her way though as she can’t do it from within her dashboard. She’d have to load a new page, scroll to the right comment and click Reply.

      In other words, David Springer is being incredibly unreasonable. Our host is just replying to comments via the “Reply” button given to her.

      *I can explain the technical reason for this if anyone wants.

    • Don Montfort: No, your summary does not cover what I mean. My second sentence was “And the way it’s used at least, it seems to generate increased confidence in the dominance of AGW no matter what happens in the real world.” If you’re interested in understanding it, you can. But you will have to do what David Springer admits he didn’t. Read all of what I wrote and actually try to understand it instead of getting stuck on simplistic misunderstandings.

    • David Springer

      Don Monfort | January 30, 2014 at 4:24 pm |

      “That seems a little extreme, Springer.”

      That was my intent.

      “It’s not very sneaky if she didn’t Alter the time stamp on the comments.”

      Granted. I’ve just never seen this happen on accident before and I was an admin/author/commenter on a wordpress blog for several years. Prolific one too.

      “Isn’t it the prerogative of the blogger to insert comments following comments they want to answer.”

      I made it a point when wearing my commenter hat to not do anything that other commenters couldn’t do. Sense of fair play is subjective I suppose.

      “Or could there be some other explanation for the out of order sequence?”

      Yeah I suppose but I haven’t had a good chance to unilaterally declare victory in a while and I think it’s funny when someone does that. It wasn’t 144% tongue in cheek but it was more than half.

      “Does the sequence do Judith’s argument any good?”

      I thought so. It made it look like I was totally ignoring what she’d written.

      “Basically, what are you talking about? And is it that important.”

      The climate change debate is not important. There’s nothing politically or practically feasible we can do to change the climate and the amount of money “wasted” on it is trivial compared to other things. The US military could fund all of climate science and then some for less than was wasted on the Bradley. The days when a billion here and a billion there soon add up to real money (~Senator Everett Dirksen) are long past. Now it’s a hundred billion. This is penny ante and worse it’s monopoly money printed at will not like there’s a gold standard anymore. I don’t count windmills and corn ethanol as climate science spending. For one they’re mostly privately funded with tax breaks to sweeten the pot enough to invest not dissimlar to deductable mortgage interest used to encourage private home ownership. Secondly I believe we need to be pushing these technologies to the edge of the envelope because that’s how you weed out the wheat from the chaff. I think more’s been wasted on ITER which is is as far as we’ve got with many decades of fusion power research and it’s a complete bust with pretty much no one believing it will ever be commercially viable or even exotically viable like for interstellar propulsion. Still it needs to be confirmed. In for a penny in for a pound.

    • Sorry, that should be “does not cover”, not “does cover”.

    • daggy, daggy

      What you are saying is trivial. We all know that the IPCC is pretending to me more confident than the evidence allows. But it is the evidence that is the issue, not the comparison with the % of a freaking pie BS. You took 3000 words to say essentially nothing. And you think I am going to read it again? End of story.

    • springy, springy

      I only read the first few lines of your last comment. Nuff said. You owe Judith an apology. End of story.

    • David Springer

      Brandon Shollenberger | January 30, 2014 at 5:28 pm |

      “In other words, David Springer is being incredibly unreasonable.”

      Oh come on. I explicitely made a unilateral declaration of victory. Unilateral declarations of victory hold no water. I sort of presumed everyone would recognize it for tongue-in-cheek by that. The point about being able to insert comments out of chronological order and level playing fields is still valid though. But I really don’t care. It’s not like the high point scorer here gets a superbowl ring or anything else of value. I saw it as a good opportunity for levity. I admit my attempts to be humorous are often too subtle.

      “Our host is just replying to comments via the “Reply” button given to her.”

      Yes. Brilliant analysis. You da man. Way to go. But no ring still. I didn’t have nested comments enabled on the blog I ran for double Doctor Reverend Dembski. Your explanation is a fit best described as perfectamudo. Unfortunately you jump sharks more often than the Fonz so don’t go out to buy a leather jacket and Harley just yet.

      “*I can explain the technical reason for this if anyone wants.”

      The technical reason is nobody is motivated to fix it for free and nobody is willing to pay anyone to fix it.

    • Our host pretty much confirmed my suspicion. This is just a quirk of WordPress. She can’t avoid it without loading a new page each time she wants to reply to someone. That’s far more cumbersome than just responding via the built-in dashboard WordPress provides.

      In other words, it might cause a bit of confusion at times, but nobody should be bothered by it.

    • David Springer

      Don Monfort | January 30, 2014 at 5:44 pm |

      “I only read the first few lines of your last comment. Nuff said. You owe Judith an apology. End of story”

      Love means never having to say you’re sorry. End of Love Story.

      Ha.

    • Using her admin powers to surreptitiously insert out of order comments.

      Yeah – she “surreptitiously” inserts comments out of order, and leaves in freakin’ timestamps thinking that no one could possibly figure it out.

      Never let a simple explanation suffice when a paranoid explanation might.

      Sheece.

      This has been happening for months.

      The strange thing is that there is also the occasional thread where comments from people other than Judith wind up getting posted out of linear sequence also.

    • David Springer

      I hereby revoke and make null and void my unilateral declaration of victory.

      Everyone happy now? By all means let’s now add 10,000 more words about how evil the IPCC is for taking the absolutely correct position that 144% qualifies as “more than half” and if you know anything about positive and negative forcings, natural and manmade, how this makes perfect sense. I reiterate my point that people who cannot picture things more complicated than pie charts with components summing to 100% the area of the chart aren’t the target audience for AR5.

    • David Springer

      Joshua | January 30, 2014 at 6:07 pm |

      “The strange thing is that there is also the occasional thread where comments from people other than Judith wind up getting posted out of linear sequence also.”

      No. Not sandwiched in between properly ordered comments. Brandon is right and you’re an argumentative dimwit.

    • David Springer

      Brandon Shollenberger | January 30, 2014 at 5:57 pm |

      “She can’t avoid it without loading a new page each time she wants to reply to someone. That’s far more cumbersome than just responding via the built-in dashboard WordPress provides.”

      I’m pretty sure the wordpress admin panel isn’t a single page web app so a page load is necessary in any event. I have very recent experience writing single page web apps and could write a book on the subject at this point. There’s no real reason for the admin panel to be an SPA because the number of users is so few there’s no large load placed upon the server and the page loads aren’t frequent enough or large enough in this application to noticably slow a client with a broadband connection.

      Switching between the admin panel and a non-admin login can be done using two browser tabs – one for each login. There’s a hassle to be sure but it isn’t because of page loads it’s because the two tabs won’t be synchronized. You find a comment in the tab with the admin login you want to respond to and you have to manually go to the top level comment in the subscriber login tab to click reply.

      It’s not a big deal. I was just good naturedly yanking Curry’s chain and she’s taking it with much more aplomb than any of you denizen dipthongs. I mean fercrisakes she responed by saying I give her too much credit. That’s grace under fire and I find it an endearing attribute. Maybe y’all should let her decide how offended she should be. Just sayin’.

    • No. Not sandwiched in between properly ordered comments.

      Wrong. I’ll point it out next time I see it happen.

    • What I find curious is that a few other commenters seem to have the knack.

      I see that kim has noticed it also.

      Although – I haven’t noticed that it has happened any particular commenter more than one time. I think it’s something other than some folks having a knack.

      • Although – I haven’t noticed that it has happened any particular commenter more than one time. I think it’s something other than some folks having a knack.

        I do it now and then, although usually to keep somebody else from inserting something between my comment and the one I’m answering.

        Here’s how I do it, using Firefox:

        1. Click on the date/time link of the comment I want to answer to bring its URL up in the address bar.

        2. Highlight the 6-digit number after the “#comment-” and hit ctrl-c to copy it to the clipboard.

        3. Find a base-level comment in the same thread, right-click on the “reply” link and select “Open Link in New Tab”.

        4. In the address bar of the new tab, highlight the 6-digit number after the “?replytocom=” and hit ctrl-v to delete it and replace it with the 6-digit number of the comment you want to answer.

        5. Hit “enter/return” to bring up the new URL.

        6. Enter your comment in the comment entry box and click “Post Comment”. I recommend testing your comment first to make sure it looks the way you want.

        It might be considered cheating in a way, although the same might be said of using regular HTML blockquotes, since a person’s ability to use HTML is unrelated to their ability to make interesting comments.

    • You are upset and confused, springy. Your victory was confirmed by an impartial and sage third-party observer, myself. So it was not unilaterally declared. Also, Brandon was not disputing your victory in the big pie controversy. I am pretty sure he was confirming my judgement that you are a bozo for accusing Judith of cheating. You should re-declare your pie victory and apologize to Judith, to set things straight.

      Judith should admit that the IPCC’s use of that greater than 100% concept is at least as defensible as her Arctic temperature testimony. The problem comes in when the IPCC uses excuses for cooling that don’t hold water. If there had been a couple or three big volcano eruptions in the last 15 years, they would have a plausibly legitimate excuse for the lack of warming, Anybody who is not a Skydragon should agree with that. Right, springy?

    • David Springer

      Brandon Shollenberger | January 30, 2014 at 5:57 pm |

      “This is just a quirk of WordPress”

      A quirk. What a nice way to describe a bug in a PHP sphagetti code nightmare written by kids who don’t know a linked list from a grocery list. Adding insult to injury nested comments are an afterthought added long after (v. 2.7) any top-down structured design (if any) was done at the outset of the project.

      But hey, you get what you pay for. Beggars can’t be choosers. You can’t beat it for the price. Just don’t expect it to have the quality of B-2 bomber fly-by-wire flight control software, if you get my drift, and I think you do.

    • David Springer

      Joshua | January 30, 2014 at 7:00 pm |

      “Wrong. I’ll point it out next time I see it happen.”

      Yeah, you go ahead and do that.

    • David Springer, nobody has said the WordPress admin panel (I assume you’re using that to refer to what our host and I called the dashboard) is a single page web application. It’s nice to know you believe you could write a book such a topic, but it’s also completely irrelevant.

      Promoting your knowledge while presenting a gross display of ignorance is a good way to look silly.

    • What Joshua is referring to can only happen with orphaned comments. That is, comments which were in response to a comment that is now deleted. It will never happen within nested comments. That can only happen with an administrator.

    • Not to belabor the point, but absurdly long and multifaceted commentaries such as this would be much more easily followed if the nesting limitations were relaxed, or removed altogether. I understand the intent, but it makes some awfully intricate but multifaceted discussions hard to digest, and I just dont think it accomplishes its goals anyhow. :)

      Oh, and Springer’s attempt to attach some clandestine motive to Dr. Curry’s posting methods comes off as awfully desperate. Will make a nice reminder the next time he starts belittling his opposition with accusations of “conspiracy theories”.

    • Springer -

      Wrong, yet again:

      http://judithcurry.com/2014/01/30/atlantas-2-catastrophic-snowfall/#comment-445510

      No. Not sandwiched in between properly ordered comments. Brandon is right and you’re an argumentative dimwit

      Let this serve as a test of your accountability. Will you pass, or will you fail the test?

    • @Joshua…

      See here.

    • AK -

      Interesting. So at least sometimes, it is a case of it happening with specific commenters – who “have the knack.”

      However, I still don’t think that’s always the case. For example, with the example I provided in this thread, I tend to doubt that it happened because tim went through some process to make it happen. I don’t have any opinion as to whether deleted comments are in some way, associated with the phenomenon when it occurs without deliberate efforts to make it happen. Could be. There were deleted comments in the sub-thread where it occurred – although I don’t think that tim was responding directly to a comment that had been deleted. How could he have been? Obviously, he wasn’t using Judith’s “dashboard,” and I would assume he posted his comment by “replying” to the top comment in that thread – as did the people whose comments appeared before and subsequent to where his comment appeared, even though his comment came hours afterwards.

      It might be considered cheating in a way,

      That seems kind of silly to me. Cheating implies that there is some set of well-articulated and agreed upon rules. This is a free-for-all. All’s fair in love and the climate ward.

    • AK -

      Do yo some you have some particular way that you “test” comments?

      • I copy the entire comment out of the box in the browser to a file called “test.html” I’m editing in notepad, save, then double click in in Windows Explorer to bring it up on a browser. I described the entire process step-by-step a few months ago, don’t have time right now to do it again.

    • Springer -

      No. Not sandwiched in between properly ordered comments. Brandon is right and you’re an argumentative dimwit.

      Well – I did show the evidence for how you’re wrong, but Judith keeps deleting the evidence. No matter. I’ll assume that you saw in in the interim. Anytime you want to acknowledge your error, feel free to do so.

  16. Thank you for clearing the fog behind the logic of the AR5 attribution statement !

  17. In the original AR5 attribution post on realclimate I asked the question:

    Can you explain why in figure 2(10.5) the error bar on ANT is so small? Naively I would expect this to be the sum of GHG and OA. This would then work out to be an error on ANT of sqrt(2*0.36) = 0.8C. This is also not explained in chapter 10.

    [Response: I pointed out above that these are independent analyses. Since there is some overlap in the pattern of response for aerosols only and GHGs only, there is a degeneracy in the fingerprint calculation such that it has quite a wide range of possible values for the OA and GHG contributions when calculated independently. In the attribution between ANT and NAT, there is no such degeneracy since OA and GHG (and other factors) are lumped in together, allowing for a clearer attribution to the sum, as opposed to the constituents. This actually is discussed in section 10.3.1.1.3, second paragraph, p10-20. - gavin]

    - See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/10/the-ipcc-ar5-attribution-statement/#sthash.R8ZKoxLw.dpuf

    As an experimental physicist I tried hard to understand Gavin’s logic as to why the error on ANT = GHG + OA – NAT – Int-Var could possibly be smaller than the errors on the individual components. Of course no experiment could ever make such a claim. The real reasoning behind the AR5 SPM claim of an “increase” in confidence of anthropogenic warming being responsible for “most” of the observed temperature rise is because all the errors quoted are model errors, and all these have an a priori assumption that anthropogenic effects dominate.

    It really is a circular argument perfectly explained above.

    • Because the observations are correlated. Even a physicist could understand that given enough time.

    • If the “observations” are correlated then they are the essentially same thing. What you are really saying is that the models untangle the correlation – but that assumes the models are a correct description of nature.

    • Clive – “that assumes the models are a correct description of nature.”

      Yes. The IPCC assumes that the principle factors in their models are correct descriptions of nature.

      As R. Gates suggests, the physics of the basic factors in the model are reasonably well understood. The models use our best scientific estimates of those fundamental processes and combine them into a model to understand/explore/test how they work together.

      Given confidence in the basic inputs of the models, the models as a whole are basically treated as correct descriptions of nature. There is additional energy being recycled (by GHG) into the system which is being absorbed by the system (Oceans). That energy must go somewhere and in the process it will change the variables that drive our climate.

      Now, HOW does all of that happen? Our understanding is limited, but that does not mean it is absent. We are learning more as we go. However, the HOW energy builds up in the system is not as critical to the discussion at hand as the THAT it is building up.

      Of course, one can certainly challenge the idea THAT GHG are causing more energy to be contained in the system. However, if your challenge consists of stating that “SOMETHING” is releasing the energy from the system “SOMEHOW” – and you don’t have a proposed mechanism (HOW) to describe the THING that is releasing the energy … your challenge can seem a bit weak.

      Yes?

      • and you don’t have a proposed mechanism

        The answer to this is obvious, and stone simple, it radiates to space.
        A slight change in clouds would do it, and I also think that the Arctic ice melt does it, both allow more energy escape to space. And I think the amount required is well within the error bars of TOA measurements.

        So, two plausible explanations and the reason for why we can’t tell that’s what’s happening.

        I can also show that the surface record agrees that there isn’t any additional capture of energy.

      • Mark,

        I am not disputing the physics of GHG nor that extra energy is being absorbed by the oceans. I am questioning how large the net effect is because GHG without feedbacks would result in ECS = 1.1C. The reason why there is such a spread in climate sensitivities between models is due to how they handle feedbacks and in particular how they model clouds. If now we throw in natural variability as well such as a 60 year oscillation in ocean temperatures then the uncertainty in climate sensitivity can only increase. Since the evidence is that anything up to half the warming observed from 1970 to 2000 may be due to this natural oscillation and that the hiatus is now due to a downward natural trend – how can we be more certain of the AGW contribution ?

        AR5 had to come up with one “advance” in understanding over AR4, and this “increased” confidence in attribution is it. However it seems to depend only on models and not observations. Otherwise AR5 downgrades the AGW component because 1) Aerosols are found to be less important 2) Natural Variability is more important. Of course such a statement could never have appeared in SPM. My bet is there will never be an AR6 because the hiatus will likely continue to 2030. By then it will be impossible for the IPCC to eat humble pie.

    • Having said that – I think the real discussions are to be had in the HOW and the SOMEHOW.

      HOW will the energy being absorbed into the system impact climate in terms of human thriving? How quickly will it happen? What will the initial impacts be? What are the cascading impacts? Will it be catastrophic? To whom, and how? Can we adapt? Easily? With great effort?

      The size of attribution error bars Clive is questioning certainly fall into this HOW category.

      What are the mechanisms (SOMEHOW) by which the system might release the energy and remain in balance? Is it as R. Gates asserts – that it is ONLY AFTER the system reaches equilibrium that the energy can be released through radiation (in amounts that counteract the build-up)? Or are the as yet unknown or poorly understood mechanisms that release energy to space AS the climate warms or GHG gases increase (Lindzen’s Iris, or…)?

      Thank you all for adding to these discussions. They provoke much thought in me.

    • typo – “Or are THERE as yet unknown or poorly understood mechanisms that release energy to space AS the climate warms or GHG gases increase (Lindzen’s Iris, or…)?

    • Got to use Clive’s best ideas about the possibility of tidal influences on global average temperature. The effects are there alright, but they are much smaller than the CO2 control knob influence:

      http://contextearth.com/2014/01/19/reverse-forecasting-via-the-csalt-model/

    • That is pretty cool. Note that the monthly and seasonal changes are removed from the published records but that interesting beat frequencies can develop over many years, such as the 18.6 year effect which is the beat period between the draconic and sidereal month.

      These are the ones that I include in the model.

    • The fact that these temperature responses to small forcings are detectable tells us that significant positive feedbacks apply. Another case is the clearness of the 11-year solar cycle that implies near 1 K/(W/m2) sensitivity.

    • As I said elsewhere in this post and as many have said in this string … a major problem in studying the climate is … we really don’t understand many things including aerosols, clouds… and interaction effects. A lot of the atmospheric warming models are based on theoretical constructs with insufficient direct empirical backing . There is little opportunity for conducting controlled experiments. If one could study responses over wide variations of the key climate forcings under controlled conditions we might gain deeper insights, e.g., on aerosols and aerosol cloud interactions. If only it were possible.

      The Minnesota Vikings domed stadium, a.k.a. the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, is schedule for demolition in 2014. See pictures at:

      http://finance-commerce.com/2013/01/six-firms-show-interest-in-vikings-stadium/

      http://sportsbusinessdigest.com/2012/05/vikings-stadium-bill-passed-in-house-moves-to-senate/

      In an experimental design using a controlled environment in a relatively large “apparatus” such as a domed stadium, varying GHGs and the other known factors (clouds, aerosols, particulates, …) could give insight especially into direct and interaction effects .. including even whether GHG forcing agrees with the theoretical premise. I believe measuring temperature in this case definitely would not be meaningful due to scale effects but studying IR transmissivity / absorption and physical chemical other factors would be interesting also potentially providing insights on interaction effects which is an even more difficult thing.

  18. Dagfinn Reiersøl – Thanks for your essay. Is it reasonable to sum it up as follows:
    - The climate models have built into them a certain amount of man-made warming.
    - The total of all other effects (natural factors), is calculated as the difference between observed temperature and the models’ man-made warming.
    - Therefore there is an inverse relationship between observed warming and the proportion of it that is man-made, ie:
    – The more that temperature goes up, the smaller the proportion of it that is man-made.
    – The less that temperature goes up, the larger the proportion of it that is man-made.
    - At no time is there any need to look at any natural factors to see what they actually do.

    • Mike Jonas

      To follow up on your comment to Dagfinn.

      - If there is no warming, the AGW portion is 100% (of zero).

      - If there is a LOT of warming, the AGW portion is 0% (of a LOT).

      Makes sense to me.

      Max

    • Manacker – If there is no warming, the AGW portion is (infinity)%, ie. n/0 for some +ve n.

    • Well said.

    • David Springer

      Mike Jonas | January 29, 2014 at 4:18 pm | Reply

      Dagfinn Reiersøl – Thanks for your essay. Is it reasonable to sum it up as follows:
      – The climate models have built into them a certain amount of man-made warming.

      ———————————————————————————–

      The models don’t have built-in warming. They have mathematical physical laws that may or may not result in warming.

      Suggest starting here to clear up misconceptions about basic architecture of climate models:

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

  19. Who cares so long as the seas are no longer rising?

    “Aides Advise Obama To Avoid Any Mention Of America During State Of The Union Speech” ~TheOnion (“Obama Admits U.S. Hasn’t Been The Same Since Buddy Holly Died”)

    • I haven’t been the same since Buddy Holly died. But I’ll probably get over it someday.

    • Good point Peter D, in skepticism, as in many things there’s a
      fine line. As in other categor-izay-shuns of human behavior
      skepticism has its rich nuances, from Feynmann ter the ‘no-skin
      -in-the-game-arm-chair- critic that me dad, in horse-racing
      parlance, woz wont ter call bein’ an ‘earth-rider.’

      Skepticism needn’t and shoodn’t eschew bold theories, jest be a
      behavior that tries ter avoid the perills of con-firm-may-shun bias.

      Beth the serf.

    • +1 to BTS and all the others who put a bit of work in their posts.

    • (with apologies to Wag for posting in the wrong thread)

      • No problem. “So in this great society wide lying around us, a critical analysis would find very few spontaneous actions. It is almost all custom and gross sense.” (Emerson)

  20. “Skepticism is a tool, not a destination.”

    Skepticism is a toolBOX. (with a hat tip to the late Carl Sagan.)

  21. The Next Answer: one, interpretation of the so-called pause or hiatus in global warming, is the answer to the question: where has the cold been hiding, deep in the ocean?

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Waggy, it’s usually colder the deeper you go, but maybe not as cold as last year.

    • I guess you forgot to add, naturally (or, should we simply take that for granted — or, shall we believe it’s never happened before and begin sacrificing virgins and throwing their bodies into the ocean to appease your new gods of warming?).

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Yes, it usually is naturally colder the deeper you go, unless you are talking about the water under a layer of lake ice. Obviously the water under the ice is warmer than the ice.

      BTW, stay off frozen lakes.

  22. Judith Curry

    [Reposted with corrected formatting]

    Thanks for posting this. It shows me where the CAGW debate could be heading, now that global warming appears to have stopped for a while.

    Early on Dagfinn Reiersøl writes:

    Global average temperature, in absolute terms, is assumed ASS-U-Med to have a real effect long-term on the real world, potentially affecting humans ecosystems in the form of drought, floods, storms, sea level rise, and so on.

    But how realistic is this assumption?

    Is it backed by any solid empirical evidence?

    I have seen no solid evidence to support this assumption, and even IPCC seems to be distancing itself from making this link.

    Later on Reiersøl cites the belief of Gavin Schmidt and other CAGW proponents:

    AGW might represent more than 100% of the warming that has taken place.

    This is a foolish belief.

    It is like saying, “It has not warmed, but the anthropogenic warming from greenhouse gases we know we would otherwise have, because our models tell us so, has simply been overshadowed by something else – exactly what this is, we don’t know”.

    I believe everyone can see the fallacy in that logic, except maybe those who are promoting it. (Fortunately you are not among those.)

    It is simply a statement of faith and not a logical conclusion based on scientific evidence.

    Reiersøl cites the opposing conclusion:

    Since it is not possible to cause events that never actually happen, there is no way greenhouse gases could have caused more warming than actually occurred.

    This is logical (see above) – and it should remain the “null hypothesis” until demonstrated otherwise by the scientific method.

    The “scenarios” cited by Reiersøl to show that AGW could have caused more than 100% of the observed warming (the Gavin Schmidt fallacy) seem like a bit of “sleight of hand”. The biggest problem with the whole exercise is that it covers a very short time period (from 1950). Starting the exercise in 1850 (or better in year 1000) would result in a totally different conclusion.

    While the author is not explicitly taking one or the other side of the argument, this appears like a last desperate attempt to fog up the issue in order to keep the CAGW mantra alive when Mother Nature has ceased to support it.

    Just my opinion.

    Max

    • It is like saying, “It has not warmed, but the anthropogenic warming from greenhouse gases we know we would otherwise have, because our models tell us so, has simply been overshadowed by something else – exactly what this is, we don’t know”.

      That’s the way I understand it. We know the additional energy contained in the system due to CO2 concentration increases.

      Knowing the total additional energy content, however, does not lead to knowing how it is distributed within and between the sub-systems that constitute the Earth’s climate systems. And thus the temperature response, which seems to be the metric of choice / convenience, cannot be known. The Earth’s climate systems are open wrt to radiative energy transport, and the sub-systems are not at steady state either within or between. They will never be.

      The GCMs very likely get the effects of CO2 more or less correct. It’s all the critically important parameterizations, plus in some cases the tuning of these, that determine the fidelity of the projections / predictions wrt the real systems. Tuning, however, can only be accomplished for the relatively fast responses.

      Some say that the projections / predictions of the GCMs are not in agreement with the selected temperature metric. If the CO2 contributions are known, and the tuning of the faster responses doesn’t screw this part up, it seems that the GCMs are lacking fidelity wrt to ‘natural variability’.

    • We don’t “know the additional energy contained in the system due to CO2 concentration increases”. CO2 does not directly add energy to the atmosphere. The change of energy is calculated on the basis of assumptions which model the effects of a slight change in the atmosphere’s optical characteristics on the earth’s energy balance.

      The direct effect of CO2 is small. To get an effect big enough to possibly be a problem you have to consider feedbacks. The nature of feedbacks in the climate system is poorly understood. Some of the more important ones – particular with regard to clouds – are so poorly understood they are usually omitted from the calculation. The selection of which feedbacks to consider and the assumptions that are made about their size and nature allows considerable scope for different answers to emerge from the calculation.

    • David Springer

      CO2 conserves energy.

      Strictly speaking it raises the atmosphere’s impedance to electromagnetic radiation in its absorption bands some of which happen to be significantly within the earth’s surface emission spectrum.

    • Reiersøl said: “AGW might represent more than 100% of the warming that has taken place.”

      Manacker replies: “This is a foolish belief.”

      No it isn’t. You clearly don’t understand what Reiserol said.

      It’s IS a fact that AGW might represent more than 100% of the warming.

      How do you know that isn’t the case? Burden is on you if you want to claim it’s impossible to explain why.

      How do you know for sure that natural influences didn’t have a net cooling effect since 1950 (which would logically mean humans warming was greater than 100% of the observed warming)?

    • lolwot

      Enjoyed your use of the word “might”

      Here’s another

      A bullfrog might not bump his a– every time he jumps if he had wings.

      Max

    • The word might was in the original, you had ignored it.

  23. The more the recent heating is attributed to man, the colder we would now be without it. If ‘missing heat’ has gone into the deep ocean it will stay there until the end of the Holocene, and will not be in the troposphere, making climate sensitivity immeasurably small. Warming climate change is net beneficial and cooling climate change is net detrimental. We are very lucky that CO2 warms.

    There, did I get it all in?
    ===================

    • kim

      Good summary.

      Succinct, as always.

      Max

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      It would be great going back to the cooler temperatures of the early 1990′s. My great grandpa frequently talked about the good old day of his youth. Looking at the linked graph, I can see it was much cooler around 1900 when he was a young whippersnapper.

      People who believe warmer is better may be anemic and and have poor circulation. My grandma would have recommended they eat lots of blackstrap molasses and mustard greens. I think they should seek medical attention.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp

    • You got it. Totally. Your post will cause a redefinition of both ‘haiku’ and ‘koan’.

  24. This thread like so many other recent similar posts on the climate blogs has all the the attributes of being the climate warming science version of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

    • Hey, I’ve said that several times

      Further, there are a few commenters (you can lay odds on which) who will argue about who owns the pin

  25. Dagfinn

    You hit the nail on the head with

    Thus the increased confidence looks like an artifact of the methodology rather than a meaningful statement about our knowledge of the real world.

    Thanks for this essay.

    Max

  26. Thx DR couldn’t understand the IPCC logic on the hiatus till now.

    As you say, generally ‘new knowledge and learning increase our confidence only if the new data confirms rather than contradicts
    what we believed earlier’ … except as you demonstrate above,
    where a particular methodology generates a misleading conclusion!

  27. Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

    Dagfinn Reiersøl said
    “The time frame considered in each of the three most recent IPCC reports has been from around 1950 to the “present” for that report. This means that it has been extended twice. The difference is small relative to the total period. But the change caused by considering the most recent 10–15 years or so is significant because this period is the specific subject of much discussion. And since there has been little or no warming during this time, the average rate of warming over the entire time period has decreased.”
    _________

    Dagfinn, that may not be true. The IPCC published assessment reports in 1990, 1995, 2001, 2007, and will publish one in 2104. I haven’t examined the reports, but HADCRUT 3 data suggest for each report the trend in temperature from 1950 forward to the year prior to publication should have slopped upward more than in the prior report (see graph).

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1950/to:1990/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1950/to:1995/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1950/to:2001/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1950/to:2007/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1950/to:2014/trend

    If another reader has already covered this, I apologize.

    • Max_OK, yes, you have a point. I haven’t investigated it closely. I’m making the assumption that the IPCC reports are somewhat reasonable relative to what I can see by eyeballing the temperature curve today. That is not necessarily the case.

      I’ve considered only the three last reports (TAR, AR4, AR5), since these are the only ones having somewhat comparable attribution statements.

    • Max_OK

      Working backward from today using HadCRUT4, the current period of slight cooling started in 2001.

      Since then the linear cooling trend has been around -0.02C per decade.

      Over the period 1950-2001 the linear warming trend was +0.08C per decade.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1950/to:2001/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2001/to:2013/trend

      Hope this helps give you some perspective on temperature development since 1950.

      Max_not from OK

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Max_CH, I’m sorry, but we have been over this before. Think hard and you may remember I don’t use HadCRUT4 for recent years (post 1979), preferring UAH for it’s more complete coverage.

    • Max_OK

      The key thing here is that the current cooling trend is both of shorter duration and lower slope than the previous warming trend since 1950 (one-fourth the slope and around one-third the length). So it obviously has little impact on the overall trend line so far.

      If it were to last 50 years, it would only result in cooling of 0.1C, whereas the warming of the 50 year period starting in 1950 was 0.4C.

      A more likely scenario (according to many, including our hostess) is that it might last a total of 30 years (another two decades or so).

      In this case it would put the trend line since 1950 at the same slope as the overall long term trend line since 1850 (around 0.6C per century).

      This appears to be a likely scenario.

      But maybe you have another opinion.

      But neither of us really know, do we?

      Max_CH

    • Max_OK

      You are correct.

      If you use UAH, the current cooling trend only goes back to the beginning of 2005, rather than 2001.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:2005/to:2013/trend

      And its slope is also less at around -0.01 per decade.

      But since IPCC has always been partial to HadCRUT (3 and later 4) I thought you might like that index better.

      Max_CH

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Max_CH, your UAH cooling trend goes kaput in 2008 and a 5-year warming trend starts.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:2000/plot/uah/from:2008/trend/plot/none

      Instead of having an 8-year cooling trend (2005-2013) like you thought, we have a 3-year cooling trend followed by a 5-year warming trend.

    • Max_OK

      Aw, c’mon, Okie. Don’t play silly games.

      UAH shows a cooling trend starting in 2005, as I pointed out.

      It also shows a cooling trend starting in 2009.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:2000/plot/uah/from:2009/trend

      2008 was a very cold year (like 1998 was a very hot year). Both are bad for starting a trend.

      Max

  28. Thus the increased confidence looks like an artifact of the methodology rather than a meaningful statement about our knowledge of the real world.</blockquote)

    Specifically, it is the result of the assume the conclusion fallacy upon which AGW belief ultimately rests. They are dealing with a massively multivariate system by holding one term (AGW) constant, and varying the values and uncertainty bands of the rest to force a fit. If it warms, it is all because of AGW. If it cools, then it would have been much cooler without AGW, and just you wait until the AGW isn’t compensating for this temporary cool.

    The only thing that can break this delusion is for no trend or lower to occur for a long enough period that it forces them to assert an implied natural cooling of sufficient magnitude that other people would feel that AGW had saved them from a catastrophic Ice Age, i.e. that AGW is a Good Thing. That will break the bubble, as the only other presupposition that they have, apart from the existence of AGW, is its inherent evil.

    If this sounds like AGW meets all of the clinical criteria of a religious belief, that is because it does, because it is.

  29. The Big Question in the climate change debate, as traditionally and conventionally posed, is: “is global warming caused by humans?”

    No! No! No!

    That question is irrelevant. The big question is/are:

    Does it matter?

    If so, is warming increasing CO2 concentrations not good or net bad?

    If net good, but with some downsides, haw can we make the best of the opportunities and minimise the consequences of the negatives?

    If net bad, what policies should be implemented to adapt and to limit the probabilities and consequences of warming and increasing CO2 concentrations?

    What are the probabilities the chosen policies will succeed in the real world of international politics, conflicts, diplomacy, trade liberalisation, etc.?

    The last question is the most important and least studies.

    • Peter Lang

      You make an excellent point.

      +100

      Max

    • Peter, yes, I made some similar points above (responding to Jim Cripwell and Ian H) before seeing your post.

    • Peter Lang: Yes, I agree. I did say the Big Question was the wrong question, but I was staying within the confines of what questions climate science needs to answer. But I also think that the most obvious problem with climate policy is the simple fact that it’s not working.

      • Dagfinn,

        Thank you. I agree climate policy is not working. In fact, wise policy advisers and analysists as far back ans back 1991 that the policies that eh IPCC and the climate scientists have been advocating for the past 20 years were unlikely to succeed in the real world. There are a couple of references to early work in Richard Tol’s 2012 article here: http://www.voxeu.org/article/global-climate-talks-if-17th-you-don-t-succeed .

        However, I don’t agree with “I was staying within the confines of what questions climate science needs to answer

        I think climate science needs to put much more emphasis into quantifying the ‘damage function’; i.e. the consequences per degree of warming or cooling and also per rate of warming or cooling.

        My interpretation of Richard Tol’s Figure 1 here http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165188913000092?np=y is warming is likely to be net beneficial to about 2.2 C.

        My interpretation of Richard Tol’s Figure 3 here http://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/sites/default/files/climate_change.pdf is warming is likely to be net beneficial to beyond 4 C, and, if not for the cost of energy, further still.

        Therefore, if we could substantially reduce the real cost of energy – as I believe is plausable – the consequences of rising CO2 concentrations could be become net beneficial for all this century and beyond.

        The ‘damage function’ is where I suggest climate scientist should be focusing their efforts.

  30. Berényi Péter

    The Big Question in the climate change debate, as traditionally and conventionally posed, is: “is global warming caused by humans?”

    Affirmative, no doubt about that. In the year 1977 peak-to-peak span of the mid 20th century cooling used to be 0.87K in the northern hemisphere. In 37 years, by 2014 this particular decline was tamed to 0.22K, one fourth of its previous value. To be sure, this remarkable feat was achieved by humans, not nature. If 0.65K of (temporal) cooling, commensurate to the entire purported century scale warming, can be undone by a multitude of clever adjustments, there should certainly be no limits to ingenuity.

    This kind of stance may be laudable as a form of conceptual art, as science — not so much.

    Therefore with utter junk instead of reliable data as input one can’t even begin to venture into questions about effect of changing albedo or short and long wave optical depth of the atmosphere in specific frequency bands vs. heat uptake / release of oceans. We are simply left in the dark by activist science.

    • David Springer

      Berényi Péter | January 29, 2014 at 5:50 pm | Reply

      The Big Question in the climate change debate, as traditionally and conventionally posed, is: “is global warming caused by humans?”

      Affirmative, no doubt about that.

      —————————————————————————

      That’s a moot question when there is no warming. There has been no statisitically significant warming for a whole santer (17 years) and counting. It’s got so painfully apparent to warmists (and inarguable since we have near global instrumentation for temperature sensing for past 35 years with satellite-borne microwave sounding) that they’ve been forced to redefine global warming from the temperature of the air at the earth’s surface to the dark frigid waters of the abyssal ocean.

      And even that was after two failed attempts to redefine global warming as first ‘climate change’ and thence to ‘global climate disruption’.

      The warmists are almost literally clutching at straws at this point. They been betrayed by the very instruments and definitions they created in the first place. It’s very entertaining for those of us without any vested interest in warming continuing.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “The warmists are almost literally clutching at straws at this point. They been betrayed by the very instruments and definitions they created in the first place. It’s very entertaining for those of us without any vested interest in warming continuing.”
      ——–
      Pure silliness. Not understanding how science and understanding evolve would seem to be the basis of this silly comment.

    • they understand not. Some of them think “no statistically significant warming” equals “no warming”

    • Exactly. It took me years of investigation, but I finally proved that my ex-wife was running the thermostat 0.07 degrees warmer than what I preferred over the prior 15-year period, so I divorced her. Her lawyer argued that our old Johnson Control’s thermostat wasn’t accurate to 0.07 degrees, and that no human can control their finger to that degree of accuracy, but the math was on my side and so she got nothing in the settlement. I hope she burns in he77, as that 0.07 degrees made my life intolerable. Deserts melted faster than they should have, and were softer than I like. Remoulades were a trifle too tart. Cigars burned a few milliseconds shorter than the should, diminishing my period of indulgence. Fine single-malt scotches had their flavor balance affected in ways that were perhaps imperceptible to the average man, but which greatly diminished my enjoyment. 0.07 degrees is a huge, marriage-ending no-no that no proper gentleman should have to tolerate, and my lawyer pounded that home.

      I think the big mistake we made as a society is ever letting women touch a thermostat, because their limited skills with math and second-tier hand/eye coordination almost guarantees that they won’t be able to maintain a marriage with any man who pays the remotest attention to the ambient room temperature.

      Fortunately modern data-logging temperature recorders and statistical packages like SAS are finally letting men prove that they’re married to ice queens and demons from a fiery hell who at times run the thermostat a half a degree too high or too low. We no longer need to put up with that kind of outrageous marital abuse, and I encourage all men to follow my example and monitor what their indoor temperature actually is, because if it’s not within the narrow range that gentlemen can adapt to, it’s grounds for divorce, if not excommunication and burning at the stake.

      . .

    • It took me years of investigation, but I finally proved that my ex-wife was running the thermostat 0.07 degrees warmer than what I preferred over the prior 15-year period, so I divorced her.

      That’s total BS. You were clearly looking for an excuse to divorce her or you’d never have even looked.

    • George Turner

      Actually, I made that whole thing up, but then the only reason there’s so much fascination with tenth of a degree shifts in the output of odd spatial averaging algorithms is because some people are intent on finding evidence to justify radical economic and political changes.

      In retrospect, I probably could’ve gone all “Downton Abbey” and added some bits about how my footman and valet were also complaining about the uncivilized temperatures in the library, just to push the spoof over the top on how posh one has to be to get so upset about these fractional temperature shifts.

      BTW, has anyone else noted that those Abbey folks always seem to have a fire going but nobody is ever seen carrying a load of wood down the halls? How is that?

  31. There is a small amount since 2000 that can not be explained by the solar variability as represented by the Ap index

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/Ap-NHT.htm

  32. I enjoyed this essay greatly. It is an outstanding example of analysis and reasoning. It is made more pleasurable because the author, Dagfinn Reiersøl, unravels the tortured reasoning as if he were writing a rational person’s guide to the reasoning in “Alice in Wonderland.”

    The author is very kind to Schmidt and the Alarmists. He does not suggest that the circular reasoning is intentional. I cannot buy this part. Mentally healthy, rational people could not have become so confused that they accidentally built a palace of circular reasoning and illicit assumptions. No, the main conclusions are two.

    1. The Alarmists have built into their theory the assumption that the warming effects of manmade CO2 will steadily rise.

    2. The Alarmists have created a framework of terms that is designed to obfuscate the fact that their argument is perfectly circular.

    No one takes more pleasure in obfuscation than Alarmists.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “1. The Alarmists have built into their theory the assumption that the warming effects of manmade CO2 will steadily rise.

      2. The Alarmists have created a framework of terms that is designed to obfuscate the fact that their argument is perfectly circular.”
      ——
      Untrue to both. The only thing that must rise is the total energy in the climate system. To interpret the rise in energy as purely “warming” effects misses a great deal of other ways that energy is manifested. The basic science and physics of GH gases and decades of research has helped to develop and refine the theory of anthropogenic GH gas induced energy imbalance in the climate system.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist | January 29, 2014 at 8:07 pm |

      Cool! So, you will explain how the reasoning is not circular. And you will explain that the conclusion is not found in the premises. Great. Do it.

      And none of your standard fare please. No boilerplate.

    • Theo Goodwin: Thank you. Obviously, we can’t actually know what’s intentional and what isn’t. I do think that scientists frequently mistake their mathematics for reality, climate models being a favorite example.

  33. The other missing dimension from all of this is that it matters a great deal where and when warming manifests. The global temperature could easily warm by 2 or 3 degrees without any part of the earth being subject to temperatures outside its normal range. We could warm this much by simply having mild short winters in places where winters are often long and brutally cold. This might cause some adjustments to the local ecology. But would those adjustments be ‘bad’. And is this a trillion dollar problem we should beggar ourselves to avoid.

    • Western civilization’s priests of global warming would rather hang the ‘official’ thermometers in the midst of the growing urban metropolis — at parking lots and on airport tarmacs and by air conditioner ducts — and, just let the ‘warming’ happen, naturally.

  34. Andrew’s Big Question:

    Is the Global Warming Hoax over yet?

    Andrew

  35. took me a while messing around with the SKS trend calculator until I actually found a trend for 1950 to 2004 that was more than the trend from 1950 to 2014.

    Most observed trends from 1950 to 2014 are greater than those from 1950 to 2000 or 2005 or anywhere in that ballpark.

    The pause often disappears when applying statistical tests.

    • Bob Droege

      The pause often disappears when applying statistical tests.

      Since the pause is real, that doesn’t say much for the “statistical tests”.

      Reminds me of the old saw about the three statisticians on a rabbit hunt.

      They spot a rabbit and the first statistician shoots, missing him by a foot to the right.

      The second statistician shoots almost at the same time, missing him by a foot to the left.

      The third statistician cries out, “We got ‘im!”

      Max

    • The list of what “disappears when applying statistical tests” (by warmists) is virtually endless.

    • indeed tamino has a good post today on the imaginary pause here:

      http://tamino.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/global-temperature-the-post-1998-surprise/

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Well – as scientists keep saying (as opposed to blog warminista gatekeepers like Tamino) the pause is set to continue – and even intensify – for a decade to three yet.

      Having been saying that for a decade – since 2003 when the 1998/2001 climate shift back to a cool Pacific was looking very likely confirmed – I am quite content to live or die by it.

    • Here Manacker,
      No statistical tests, just a wood for trees plot.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1950/to:2000/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1950/to:2014/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1950/to:2000/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1950/to:2014/trend

      How come the trend from 1950 to 2014 is greater than the trend from 1950 to 2000.

      Must mean that global warming has increased in the last 15 years rather than there being a pause.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      No – it means that there is a plateau at relatively high level. But the big question is what’s the trend value?

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Want a clue? It is half or less than 0.2 degrees C/decade.

    • I think many of the skeptics are surprised to find as much determinism in the outcomes as there is. The CO2 as the control knob is the big deterministic factor, but then when one considers all the factors such as SOI, TSI, volcanic aerosols, and something to represent the long term variation such as LOD, then the outcome is locked in if we know these values.

      Nice to be able to build off the ideas of Foster&Rahmstorf (Tamino)

      http://contextearth.com/2014/01/22/projection-training-intervals-for-csalt-model/


    • Having been saying that for a decade – since 2003 when the 1998/2001 climate shift back to a cool Pacific was looking very likely confirmed – I am quite content to live or die by it.”

      Ahhh, so that is the Big Question — How content he and his ego feels.

    • Bob Droege

      Aw c’mon, Bob.

      If you want to know what the current trend is you go backward from today to the point where there appears to be a shift in the trend. .

      Going back, we see that the current cooling trend started in late 2000.

      Prior to that we had a warming trend of about 30 years.

      Here’s what it looks like.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1970/to:2001/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2001/to:2013/trend

      Will the current trend of slight cooling last 30 years, like the warming trend that preceded it?

      Some folks (like our hostess and the Chief) think so, but nobody really knows for sure.

      Max

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Well webby – I keep saying that the lack of a time integrated function for Pacific processes is your downfall.

      Let me Google that for you – http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Interdecadal+Pacific+Oscillation

      Going to turn around any day now? Yeah sure – whatever you reckon.


    • Well webby – I keep saying that the lack of a time integrated function for Pacific processes is your downfall.

      A time integrated value of some characteristic is its average when divided by the running time (called the running mean). And this reverts to zero for climate indices such as SOI.

      The beauty of the CSALT approach is that it would take heroic efforts to do a better job at modeling the global surface temperature than what is already there:

      So if you want to add something, knock yourself out. So far, you are all talk and no action.

    • WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | January 30, 2014 at 8:56 am |

      “A time integrated value of some characteristic is its average when divided by the running time (called the running mean). And this reverts to zero for climate indices such as SOI”

      Duh! An average of an abstract value reverts to 0 over the long term. I would NEVER have guessed that.

      Does show a rather nice ~60, year period though on above and below the centre line though :-)

    • And those long-term fluctuations about the mean are straightforwardly modeled by the LOD measure of Stadium Wave fame.

      TallBloke pointed out that if one changes the sign on the ngLOD term — to indicate whether the earth is speeding up or slowing down — then the LOD becomes the leading indicator of all the Stadium Wave components.

      I do wonder (much like Wonderin’ Willis E does.) when this fact will get acknowledged.
      So what is exactly causing this long-term, low-level (+/- 0.1C) natural variability evidenced by LOD?

    • Oh look, an ~100 year cycle to the paleo data. Who would have thought of that?

    • RHL,

      https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/iS6F4oMrfGq0VyQdQSGI0hNA-Ig-iOXihTw3GI3_OPk=w819-h429-no

      You should overlay the UCAR with the Recon for Webster. You see SOI is only dependent on surface temperature due to the ideal gas law. I am sure he will explain how simple all that is to you and why that 100 year cycle is a figment of your imagination.

    • “I am sure he will explain how simple all that is to you and why that 100 year cycle is a figment of your imagination.”

      As that was a typo and should have read ~1000 years…..

      Now if we are on that part of the ‘downslope’ does not look good fro the immediate future does it?

      There is a small ~100 years there as well (comes and goes but there none the less). I suspect that this will be a combination of many factors that sum it the timeframes we have to nice simple peaks and troughs with, as in any other mixed cycle phenomena, periods where they cancel as well.

    • captdallas 0.8 or less | January 30, 2014 at 10:16 am |

      The problem with proxies is that the ‘real’ resolution is very suspect. Only the ‘big’ stuff is likely to be accurate. Just too many variables, which is why I am very cautious about the 100 year but fairly confident about the 1000 year.

      Needs a nice low pass filter on it to remove the ‘noise’ :-)

    • RLH, Typo? Well I guess it is pretty noisy.

      http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/oppo2009/oppo2009.html

      I wonder how it compares to the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool?

    • captdallas 0.8 or less | January 30, 2014 at 10:30 am |

      “RLH, Typo? Well I guess it is pretty noisy.”

      Which is precisely why it needs a low pass filter on it. We used to do this ‘trick’ all the time. Start at the longest period possible with the data available. Sweep a low pass filter up the band and pull out the principle components as they showed up.

      End up with a very reduced set of things to look at. Fully explains what you see in the minimum number of terms. Nothing ‘lost’ as the sum is always equal to all of the parts.

      Low pass = broadband filter (as broad as you can get – binary chop time).

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Here is a better effort – using time integrated SOI.

      http://arxiv.org/pdf/0908.1828v1.pdf

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Here is a better effort – using time integrated SOI.

      http://arxiv.org/pdf/0908.1828v1.pdf

      The problem of disentangling the influence of many unknowns in a single equation is collinearity. Scaling of parameters thus requires heroic assumptions.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Oh – in the right place. When I run CE in a window on my laptop – while running things in the background – the singe indent causes much confusion. The single indent creates a confusion of multiple discussions happening in the same thread.

      This is a failure as a format. Time to revert to at least 4 levels.

    • Generalissimo Skippy | January 30, 2014 at 12:51 pm |

      “Here is a better effort – using time integrated SOI.”

      Here’s a tip from looking for signals in noise that are more the other way round.

      Start with the longest frequencies first (that any data window will allow) , remove the longest component you find there first, rinse and repeat all the way up to the present.

      Gives the smallest number of things to work with and very rarely gives ‘false positives’. Does mean you find fundamental before wave shape but that is no bad thing.

      The sum of the parts always equals the whole so end round verifiable.

      i.e. Sweep with a low pass filter from the longest towards today, not the other way round.

      Analyse down, implement up.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Richard,

      The preferred method is to understand fundamental processes in climate and not merely signal processing. The latter gives no insight into what is actually happening in the system in terms of physical changes to the hydrosphere, atmosphere, cyrosphere and biosphere or the causes thereof. It is all deterministic albeit chaotically so.

      I suggest starting at the most complex level – http://judithcurry.com/2013/10/10/the-stadium-wave/ – and filling in the gaps.

    • Max,

      First you are assuming that the pause is real, what’s your favorite thing to do to people who assume things?

      How do you tell if it is real? By applying some kind of statistical test.

      RSS is the only data set that shows a cooling trend since 2000 and the uncertainty of that trend is over .2 so there’s still a chance that the trend is warming above the 0.2 C/decade rate.

      You didn’t answer the question, why is the rate from 1950 to 2014 greater than the rate from 1950 to 2000?

      Because it is still warming.

      Look what happens if you change the start and stop dates from your graph by one year.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1970/to:2001/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2000/to:2014/trend

      The pause is a figment of your imagination. Your cooling is an even larger hallucination.

    • This is how we do it in the USA:

      The model uses the SOI, LOD, and other factors (see the CSALT model) in a variational analysis to generate the temperature over the entire span of instrumental records.

      BTW, This does not do any of that integration junk that the few backward Aussies seem to prefer.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Yes – we will all assume it adds to zero without actually summing it.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/SOI-GHD_zpsd6f54d3d.png.html?sort=3&o=36

    • Do the integration over the entire record, like this moving average demonstrates:

      One can see that even on as short a time span of 10 years that it averages to zero. Yes, the recent pause is explained by persistent La Nina conditions, but both history and physics tell us that this can not be sustained.

      It is clear that the SOI itself reflects the natural variation in global temperature and not the integral of the value. What does the integral even mean for pressure? And what the heck, are you supposed to start the integral back in the stone ages?

      The integral is simply an artifice that the skeptics want to push in the vain hope that it can somehow substitute for a secular CO2 forcing. You see, CO2 does accumulate by an integrating mechanism. That’s why the skeptics want to apply the technique to other measures. They are desperate.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      That’s a moving average and not a cumulative index as in the graph I provided.

      I have provided you previously with proxies showing centennial variation – it is here again somewhere – millennial and decadal variability. I am not about to do it again. I’ll save my breath for something more important.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      The summation – as I keep saying – shows persistence in negative or positive states over periods – as the cumulative index for recent decades I have provided a couple of times and again somewhere here.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      And – seriously – all that a 10 (?) year moving average does is lose the peaks and troughs. Which let’s face it – are what you are looking for in the SOI.

      Looking at the raw data it is obvious that La Nina were more frequent and intense to 1977, El Nino to 1998 and La Nina again since.

      Seen more easily in Claus Wolter’s MEI.

      This is the critical point that they are oh so reluctant to admit. Because it means that they have been wrong all along and remain wrong. They can’t see it even if it is there in blue and red. Even if there are many thousands of scientific studies discussing these decadal events. Even if it is spelt out on a NASA site.

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

      Yes, the recent pause is explained by persistent La Nina conditions, but both history and physics tell us that this can not be sustained.

      Unfortunately for him – the data says it can be.

    • This is the running mean of SOI influence on T, scaled to show how insignificant it is compared to the index itself

    • JC SNIP

      It is easy enough to show that the value quickly trends to ZERO.


    • Generalissimo Skippy | January 31, 2014 at 2:49 am |

      Yes – we will all assume it adds to zero without actually summing it.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/SOI-GHD_zpsd6f54d3d.png.html?sort=3&o=36

      The SOI cumulative integration displayed as a running mean trends to zero:

      This is in direct contrast to what he says.

    • Generalissimo Skippy | January 30, 2014 at 3:23 pm |

      “The preferred method is to understand fundamental processes in climate and not merely signal processing.”

      Sure. You can model from the very tiny upwards or the very large down.

      Problems with the former are run away models. There are significantly smaller problems with the later.

      It is only an extension of the ‘filters’ of Day, Month, Year, etc. into Climate.

      • “The preferred method is to understand fundamental processes in climate and not merely signal processing.”
        Sure. You can model from the very tiny upwards or the very large down.

        GCM’s just plain suck, the only reason all they compare is global temp, is because by averaging the calculated temp of the surface it averages out all of the regionally bad calculated results.
        See this and this.

    • I’ve been “Modelling the World inside a Computer” a very long time now. (With apologise to Larry O’Brien).

      Tends to give you a very logical outlook of life. Always check your assumptions.

      Practicing Logicians know this sort of stuff.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      I am talking more about old fashioned science of hypothesis, analysis and synthesis then computer models. Observing and understanding the physical processes in play.

      And webby – smoothing the data with averages tells you less than nothing about the data. What I keep stressing is persistence – for which the proper method is adding values successively in a cumulative index. Is this so difficult?


    • And webby – smoothing the data with averages tells you less than nothing about the data. What I keep stressing is persistence – for which the proper method is adding values successively in a cumulative index. Is this so difficult?

      This is all that matters:

      This uses a measure of SOI directly, with no integration step.

      The guy has no clue.

    • Generalissimo Skippy
  36. Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

    Dagfinn Reiersøl said
    “Let us imagine for the sake of illustration that in the absence of AGW, the world would have cooled by an amount equal to the warming that has in fact occurred. In this case, the anthropogenic contribution would be 200%, and the natural contribution would be -100%.”
    ______
    I’m not sure I follow what you are saying. If there’s “absence of AGW” how can there be an “anthropogenic contribution.” Maybe the way the sentences are written is confusing me.

    If natural w long period, either

    • Max_OK

      Let me ‘splain (as I understand it)

      - It actually warmed by +X.

      - Had there been NO AGW, the world would have cooled by -X.

      - So the natural component to the actual trend was -X.

      - But it warmed by +X.

      So the anthro component to the actual trend had to be X – (-X) = 2X.

      Got it now?

      (It’s a bit of bogus circular logic, when applied to our climate, but guys like Gavin Schmidt apparently believe it, based on their models.)

      Max

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Max_CH, thanks for trying to explain. I have been away from this for hours, and I haven’t read what others are saying, but I can relate to this thing best by starting with net natural temperature change and anthropogenic temperature change.

      Net natural temperature change = (natural warming – natural cooling). The net can be a positive or a negative value

      Anthro temperature change is a positive value (i.e., warming)

      Net total temperature change = anthro warming + net natural temperature change

      The net total temperature change can be positive (warming) or negative (cooling). Net natural temperature change can enhance or diminish anthro warming. Similarly, anthro warming enhance natural warming or diminish natural cooling. It is also possible for net natural change to be zero, thus having no effect on anthro warming at all.

      I probably have left out something.

      Had actual warming been 0,

    • Max_OK

      Your logic seems sound. But you add:

      I probably have left out something.

      Yes.

      You left out the possibility that anthropogenic change is zero or even slightly negative (aerosols overwhelming GHGs, for example).

      Max_CH

    • manacker, you seem to have explained it correctly. I can see I should have explained it better. I didn’t understand my own sentences myself at first when Max_OK quoted them. ;-)

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Re post by manacker January 30, 2014 at 2:57 am

      “You left out the possibility that anthropogenic change is zero or even slightly negative (aerosols overwhelming GHGs, for example).”
      __________

      Max_CH, thanks. Yes, I should have included the possibility of anthro cooling in the formula, even though it seems unlikely. I am revising the formula as follows:

      Net natural temperature change = (natural warming – natural cooling)

      Net anthro temperature change = ( anthro warming – anthro cooling)

      Net temperature change = (net natural temperature change – net anthro temperature change)

      Example 1: Net natural temp change = + 100 warming
      Net anthro temp change = + 100 warming
      Net temp change = + 200 warming

      Example 2: Net natural temp change = – 50 cooling
      Net antro temp change = +100 warming
      Net temp change = +50 warming

      Example 3: Net natural temp change = – 100 cooling
      Net anthro temp change = + 50 warming
      Net temp change = – 50 cooling

      Example 4: Net natural temp change = – 100 cooling
      Net anthro temp change = +100 warming
      Net temp change = 0

  37. Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

    Please disregard the “If natural w long period, either.”

  38. I have just done a 361 month rate calculation on the HADCRU4 Global Land/SST data over the full range

    Peaks at 1868-1923-1990 (55 and 67 years respectively)

    The slope for the 1990 peak is 0.65 degrees per century more rapid than the 1923 peak, which is 0.75 degrees per century more rapid than the 1868 peak.

    The cyclical component is very nicely evident, it is a pity we do not know the relative amplitudes of the peaks.

    • DocMartyn

      That is an interesting chart.

      As you say, the “cyclical component is very nicely evident”.

      The C/100y curve shows peaks around
      -1870 at 0.6C/100y
      -1930 at 1.6C/100y
      -1990 at 2.1C/100y

      It also shows low points around
      -1900 at -0.7C/100y
      -1960 at -0.3C/100y

      Changes:
      1870-1900 -1.3C/100y
      1900-1930 +2.3C/100y
      1930-1960 -1.9C/100y
      1960-1990 +2.4C/100y

      So for this indicator, if we take the amplitude over the two full observed cycles:
      1870-1930 = 4.6C (or +/-0.23C)
      1930-1990 = 4.3C (or +/-0.215C)

      The underlying warming trend was around +0.5C/100y

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1850/to:2013/trend

      Does this mean that the cyclical component has an amplitude that is 9 times greater than the underlying trend?

      If so, what would that tell us about natural versus anthropogenic attribution?

      Max

    • I just had a look at the 361 monthly rates of the Global, NH and SH HADSST3 datasets. The cyclical nature of the two hemispheres is quite apparent.

      My guess is that the SH land will correlate with the SH land, same for the NH.

    • I did a quick and dirty fit to the HADCRU4 data, with 361 monthly rates.
      This was by Mk I eyeball, but what the hell, 3.8 billion years of evolution can’t be wrong.

      With a CS of 1.82 degrees for a doubling of CO2, we drop the amplitude of the present 60-ish year cycle slightly less an the last.
      I will go with my previous ‘graphology’ estimate of 1.7 degrees. Either way, cooling for the next 20 years or so.

    • Nice set of charts Doc but it doesn’t hold a candle to CSALT, which includes thermodynamic factors such as the Stadium Wave and CO2 concentration to enable us to both project trends and to understand what is happening on the global level.

      http://contextearth.com/2014/01/22/projection-training-intervals-for-csalt-model/

      and don’t forget the ocean

      http://contextearth.com/2014/01/25/what-missing-heat/

      What about the pause? What about the missing heat? These are both well understood physical behaviors that are being blown out of proportion.

      The unrelenting forcing function underlying the secular behavior is continuing.

    • DocMartyn

      To go from the HadCRUT4 graph to a 2xCO2 CS (or TCR), you have to ASS-U-ME that everything that isn’t cyclical (in the short-term sense of ~60-year cycles) is caused by CO2 (or human GHGs).

      This is a leap of faith IMO.

      But let’s do that anyway.

      The “non-cyclical” underlying warming trend has been 0.76C over the 163 year period since HadCRUT4 started.

      Over this period, CO2 increased from around 287 to 396 ppmv.

      So, if all of the underlying warming could be attributed to CO2 (and if other minor GHGs cancelled out aerosols, etc.) we have:

      2xCO2 TCR = 0.76C * ln (2) / ln (396 / 287) = 1.63C

      But, since no one knows whether or not there may have been other (natural) factors contributing to the underlying warming trend other than CO2e, this remains a leap of faith.

      Using this same leap of faith (and ignoring cyclical changes), roughly 88% of the 0.68C linear warming since 1950 could be attributed to CO2e, which increased from 311 to 396 ppmv:

      1.63C * ln (396 / 311) / ln (2) = 0.57C = 88% of observed 0.68C

      BUT, we are being told that natural variability (cyclical changes) have resulted in slight net cooling since around 2001, despite unabated GHG emissions and CO2 reaching record levels.

      CO2 increased from 370 to 396 ppmv, so using the 1.63C TCR, we should have seen warming of:

      1.63C * ln (396 / 370) / ln (2) = 0.16C

      Instead we saw cooling of 0.04C.

      And we saw from your graph that these cyclical changes were strongly positive over the second half of the 20thC with an amplitude that far exceeds the underlying warming trend, so is it reasonable to ASS-U-ME that these cyclical changes had only an impact of 12% on the warming from 1950 to 2013, while they totally overwhelmed GH warming since 2001?

      I’d say that the empirical evidence points in another direction.

      IOW the 1.63 TCR is likely to be exaggerated.

      Just my take on it, Doc.

      Max

  39. We first need answers to two little questions about quantum changes in consensus science in 1946:

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/WHY.pdf

  40. What do you do when obfuscation was your last line of defense and it fails?

    • David Springer

      Punt.

    • In some cultures fall on yer sword. )

    • Pull a new rabbit out of the hat:

      anthropogenic global warming => anthro climate change =>anthro climate disruption => increased extreme weather => ocean acidification => it’s hiding in the ocean => it’s being overshadowed by a) human aerosols, b) natural variability, c) ??? => it could count for more than 100% => etc.

  41. Pardon my grammar. “Is” not “was.”

  42. The only valid conclusion is that the anthropogenic contribution is trivially different from 0. The brief El Nino spike in the late ’90s has long been misappropriated to show a human influence in the 1979-1999 period; no other “evidence” for it exists. It is a falsehood.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “The brief El Nino spike in the late ’90s has long been misappropriated to show a human influence in the 1979-1999 period…”
      ___
      Actually most “warmists” try to filter out these short-term ENSO related spikes to find the true underlying forcing. The problem comes down to the influence of higher GH gas levels on the nature of the ENSO cycle itself.

    • Again, the R. stands for right.

      ENSO has an index called SOI which is essentially trend free and is very useful for “defluctuating” a global temperature series.

      http://contextearth.com/2014/01/11/the-cause-of-the-pause-is-due-to-thermodynamic-laws/

    • “ENSO has an index called SOI which is essentially trend free”

      No it isn’t. There are trends in both the Darwin and Tahiti pressure measurements. Moreover, as the indices is dependent on series averages and series SD, the actual SOI changes/evolves with time.

    • No Doc, the SOI is bounded and has a long term average of near zero. It has to be thus otherwise a permanent pressure gradient between two locations at sea level will exist. And that can only happen in fervent imaginations.

    • webster, ” It has to be thus otherwise a permanent pressure gradient between two locations at sea level will exist. And that can only happen in fervent imaginations.”

      I believe the correct term is “semi-permanent” where due to the rotation of the Earth there is a “semi-permanent” high pressure region at latitude 30 degrees. If the Earth were non-rotational, the surface pressures would be purely temperature drive like you assume in your simplistic model.

      After you publish your model you can start on explaining where Hadley went off course

  43. Matthew R Marler

    fwiw, I liked Dagfinn Reiersøl’s essay.

  44. Generalissimo Skippy

    You might think that the anthropogenic portion of global warming must be somewhere between 0 and 100%. I did until fairly recently. So, it seems, have most others, including Judith Curry: “There is general agreement that the percentages of warming each attributed to natural and anthropogenic causes is less than 100% and greater than 0%.”

    But that is not necessarily the case in the IPCC universe. A contribution may be more than 100% or less than 0. This seems clear as early as the IPCC Third Assessment Report (TAR) from 2001: “Anthropogenic greenhouse gases are likely to have made a significant and substantial contribution to the warming observed over the second half of the 20th century, possibly larger than the total observed warming.” In other words, AGW might represent more than 100% of the warming that has taken place.

    This is confused thinking. The warming (between 1976 and 1998) is what it is and the contribution to warming is presumably partly natural and partly anthropogenic – the 2 can’t sum to more than 100%.

    The total anthropogenic influence contain competing effects. The sum of this plus the natural variability is the warming. If there were less aerosols then the warming would be greater – although this is hardly as clear cut as commonly assumed.

    e.g http://www-ramanathan.ucsd.edu/files/pr176.pdf

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      As this seems to be a key argument – I lost interest shortly after.

    • “This is confused thinking. The warming (between 1976 and 1998) is what it is and the contribution to warming is presumably partly natural and partly anthropogenic – the 2 can’t sum to more than 100%.”

      0.4C warming between 1976 and 1998.

      Case 1: humans caused 0.4C warming and nature caused none.

      Case 2: humans caused 0.8C warming and nature caused 0.4C cooling.

      Human warming contribution in case 2 is twice that of case 1. That has to be reflected somehow.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      There was 1.158 degrees C warming between 1977 and 1998.

      The 1977/78 change was 0.481 degrees C.

      The 1997/1998 change was 0.302 degrees C.

      For a total change during ENSO dragon kings of 0.783 degrees C and a residual of 0.375 degrees C. If we assume that half of the residual was natural – a safe assumption – the anthropogenic component is 0.187 degrees C – or about 0.08 degrees C/decade which is in line with numerous attribution studies.

      If the greenhouse gas component is 0.5 and the sulphate component is negative 0.125 – it all adds up to 0.375 degrees C. Whatever the net anthropogenic sums are it all sums up to 50% of the warming at most.

      Can’t be any other way. Simple math – JC SNIP

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Oh Judy – that’s almost traditional usage. I have been calling n……. that for years. Gave me a good laugh though.

    • ENSO is not a dragon king. I don’t think you understand what that term means.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      ‘We develop the concept of “dragon-kings” corresponding to meaningful outliers, which are found to coexist with power laws in the distributions of event sizes under a broad range of conditions in a large variety of systems. These dragon-kings reveal the existence of mechanisms of self-organization that are not apparent otherwise from the distribution of their smaller siblings. We present a generic phase diagram to explain the generation of dragon-kings and document their presence in six different examples (distribution of city sizes, distribution of acoustic emissions associated with material failure, distribution of velocity increments in hydrodynamic turbulence, distribution of financial drawdowns, distribution of the energies of epileptic seizures in humans and in model animals, distribution of the earthquake energies). We emphasize the importance of understanding dragon-kings as being often associated with a neighborhood of what can be called equivalently a phase transition, a bifurcation, a catastrophe (in the sense of René Thom), or a
      tipping point.’ http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0907/0907.4290.pdf

      So we are looking for extreme events – otherwise known as noisy bifurcation – at transitions between one volume of state space to another. In this case decadal shifts in the intensity and frequency of ENSO events – which occurred in the mid to late 1970′s and the late 1990′s to early 2000′s – and which are marked by large transitions between La Nina and El Nino states. The large ENSO changes at these times meets the criteria for dragon-kings. It was in other words no random event that the so called extreme El Nino in 1998 occurred when it did and transitioned to a large La Nina. It was noisy bifurcation in a coupled non-linear system.

    • I think the “noisy outlier” is the guy who keeps writing about this implausible chaos view in the wake of strong evidence otherwise.

      In contrast, this fit contains only thermodynamic factors which impact the global temperature.

      It is entirely possible that the SOI factor is entirely driven by forcing terms that are only tangentially linked to chaos. Just like tides are not really chaotic but only appear that way do to the complex external forcing which causes their dynamics.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      ‘We construct a network of observed climate indices in the period 1900–2000 and investigate their collective behavior. The results indicate that this network synchronized several times in this period. We find that in those cases where the synchronous state was followed by a steady increase in the coupling strength between the indices, the synchronous state was destroyed, after which a new climate state emerged. These shifts are associated with significant changes in global temperature trend and in ENSO variability. The latest such event is known as the great climate shift of the 1970s.’ http://heartland.org/sites/all/modules/custom/heartland_migration/files/pdfs/21743.pdf

      A later study identified another climate shift in the late 1990′s and early 2000′s.

      The climate system is characterized at all scales by abrupt shifts between states – ENSO is a component of this multiply coupled non-linear global system. This is the essence of the stadium wave concept. It is of course driven by control variables – a different idea to forcing. Forcing is something that needs a fundamental rethink – along with climate sensitivity – given this relatively new but critical idea.

      ‘What defines a climate change as abrupt? Technically, an abrupt climate change occurs when the climate system is forced to cross some threshold, triggering a transition to a new state at a rate determined by the climate system itself and faster than the cause. Chaotic processes in the climate system may allow the cause of such an abrupt climate change to be undetectably small.’ http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=14

      At the simplest level climate change is the result of differences between incoming and outgoing energy.

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

      Energy in changes a bit – and much more substantially in UV. This is posited to result from variations in the solar magneto due to planetary orbits influencing the motion of the solar barycenter. Itself a multi-body problem that is chaotic.

      Energy out varies with internally generated abrupt changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation – in the short term with atmospheric composition and cloud changes and the longer term as dust, ice, snow and biological variability.

      The Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation is a specific manifestation – involving both the PDO and ENSO. This has decadal to millennial periodicities that seem related to solar activity – including UV/ozone interactions at the poles. A change in UV emissions from the Sun results in warming or cooling of the stratosphere and causes changes in sea level pressure at the poles. This causes changes in flows in the north and south Pacific gyres – and the difference in response between the NH and SH is a matter of geography. Thus we get decadal cool periods in the north-eastern Pacific and decadal changes in intensity and frequency of ENSO from the changes in the Humboldt Current flows.

      Thus the essence of the system is that small changes in control variables cause large changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation through internal processes which in turn result in changes in the global energy budget. Tides may indeed be analogous in that resonance occurs with some physical configurations of coastal basins – e.g. http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/1520-0485(2002)032%3C0870%3ACT%3E2.0.CO%3B2

      This is a relatively new idea as I say – but one that is critical to understanding climate. It is all deterministic through energy considerations and physical processes – but the couplings of the processes are only just beginning to be understood.

      ‘Climate is ultimately complex. Complexity begs for reductionism. With reductionism, a puzzle is studied by way of its pieces. While this approach illuminates the climate system’s components, climate’s full picture remains elusive. Understanding the pieces does not ensure understanding the collection of pieces. This conundrum motivates our study.’ Marcia Wyatt

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      W&H is work and heat in the global system.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “The large ENSO changes at these times meets the criteria for dragon-kings…”

      ____
      Maybe such shifts could be considered “baby dragon kings” at best. Better use of the word is a major change in an entire system to the level we saw that ushered in the Younger Dryas period. Usually, when a dragon king event occurs, there is no going back to the old system within a short-time frame at least. PDO shifts from cool to warm phases are not really good examples of dragon king events, but to make Skippy happy, we’ll call them “baby dragon kings”.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      ‘We present a generic phase diagram to explain the generation of dragon-kings and document their presence in six different examples (distribution of city sizes, distribution of acoustic emissions associated with material failure, distribution of velocity increments in hydrodynamic turbulence, distribution of financial drawdowns, distribution of the energies of epileptic seizures in humans and in model animals, distribution of the earthquake energies).’

      Here is a generic phase diagram for dragon-kings.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/SornetteFig20_zps6a69d62c.png.html

      Here a relevant passage from Tsonis et al 2007.

      ‘We find that in those cases where the synchronous state was followed by a
      steady increase in the coupling strength between the indices, the synchronous state was destroyed, after which a new climate state emerged. These shifts are associated with significant changes in global temperature trend and in ENSO variability. The latest such event is known as the
      great climate shift of the 1970s.’

      The transitions at 1976/1978 and 1998/2001 – are marked by especially large ENSO state transitions.

      http://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu/(Gh)/wwhlpr/eln_97.rxml?hret=/guides/mtr/eln/def.rxml

      But more than absolute ranking is the extent of the fluctuation between states that is indicative of noisy bifurcation.

      Gatesy has such a limited understanding of anything much really. Upwelling of warm water in the eastern Pacific is the latest manifestation of a severe climate knowledge deficit. No rational argument but try to substitute mockery by all means.

      If dragon-kings can be seen in epileptic seizures they can certainly be seen in ENSO. Neither of these guys has a freakin’ clue really.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Upwelling of warm water in the eastern Pacific is the latest manifestation of a severe climate knowledge deficit.”
      —–
      So Skippy, without resorting to google or other search engines, are you saying there is no upwelling of warm water in the eastern Pacific during an El Niño? C’mon now,..no cheating. I spelled it out quite clearly..thermocline deepens in the E. pacific, wind and upwelling of warm water increase, and the sensible and latent heat flux from ocean to atmosphere increase as well, causing a spike in global troposphere temperatures. What do you you say Skippy?

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Nothing more about baby dragon-kings?

      The warm water across the Pacific results from ‘accumulated west Pacific waters’ flowing eastward. Minor surface mixing at the coast in the eastern Pacific is neither here nor there in the dynamic of the system. The warm water flows north and south at the eastern boundary and the system quickly moves into the recovery phase.

      I will link it at youtube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgWVxk4kdLo

      Honestly I don’t know what you are thinking to achieve.

    • RG knows what he is talking about. The other guy not so much.

      Note how RG explains how the upwelling exposes warmer water to the atmosphere, which can then be transported to land areas. I use that knowledge to model the transport process:

      http://contextearth.com/2014/01/25/what-missing-heat/

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      So super warm water is brought to the surface in the eastern Pacific and changes global climate? It is all a bit bizarre.

      http://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu/(Gh)/wwhlpr/thermocline.rxml

      • So super warm water is brought to the surface in the eastern Pacific and changes global climate? It is all a bit bizarre.

        It doesn’t seem so odd to me, changes where ocean moisture and heat enters the continent, changes the jet stream path. All of those would make a difference.
        In fact I’ve wondered if the area north and south of the path of the jet streams have changes, since they determine the boundary between tropical and arctic air masses, if the area has changed that would change the real GAT (regardless of the mush that’s presented as GAT).

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      The point was more the mixed zone – where temps are fairly constant – beneath which there is a thermocline and below that very cold water. There is no warmer water below the surface waiting to be brought to the surface.

  45. I think the Big Question is if feedbacks will amplify the down-welling IR from CO2 and cause it to be a catastrophic phenomenon. That’s the actual BIG QUESTION.

    Another question might be if Robert Way can prove that his reconstruction of Arctic temps actually represents the reality on the ground, or reality mostly on the Arctic Ocean/Ice. I’m thinking he can’t prove that at all.

    • Just as Dr Curry has been unable to prove the 1930s in the arctic were just as warm as recent years?

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      The 1930′s and 40′s temps in the Arctic were as warm as today within the limits of data uncertainty. The big question is why.

    • The anomalies are a series of numbers that exist. One can ague about the rationale behind them, but they are in fact a real series of numbers. It is wholly accurate to say that some of them display the attributes outlined by Dr. Curry.

      But no one can prove the anomalies reflect reality on the ground/ocean/ice in the Arctic.

    • ‘Another question might be if Robert Way can prove that his reconstruction of Arctic temps actually represents the reality on the ground, or reality mostly on the Arctic Ocean/Ice. I’m thinking he can’t prove that at all.”

      there is no proof in science.

      Here is what we can say: HADCRUT underestimates the trends in the arctic.
      We know that because as we add more data (new stations) from the arctic we see that HADCRUT is biased low.

      The question is this: is there a better way than Way’s to estimate the temperatures.

      I think not. The method he uses is well understood. It harkens back o similar methods used by skeptics to attack a Steig paper. The real issue
      is this: are their better sources than UAH to use in the estimation:

      Answer? working on it. there are a couple of decades long satillite series in the process of being published. Some directly pointed at the arctic.
      They use different platforms that UAH and measure different temperatures.
      The interesting thing is the 2005 to 2010 regime. I’m using AIRS to look at that

    • Steven Mosher, “I think not. The method he uses is well understood. It harkens back o similar methods used by skeptics to attack a Steig paper. The real issue is this: are their better sources than UAH to use in the estimation:”

      There are some other issues which Tamino did a fine job of pointing out. C&W found considerable amplification in the Arctic after 2005 in a region that virtually zero coverage in 1940. That should add to the high side uncertainty for the 1930s/40s which if ignored tends to lead to dramatic leaps in conclusions that 2005-2013 “HAS” to be much warmer than 1936-1940. Unless the method works for the entire series or more realistic uncertainties are estimated based on the physics that can cause the anti-phase responses that can occur in the polar regions, it will be more misleading than it is useful.

    • There is a way to prove Way’s method works or not. Deploy thermometers on the ice. That would be proof enough after a period of time. Maybe you will find a better guesstimate, maybe not, but data from the actual Arctic is the cure for determining what guesstimates work and which don’t.

  46. Thank You. Very well written so that even my layman self understands. Very much appreciate!

  47. If the belief in anthro effects on climate is INSINCERE, it will be characterised by a desire to tax, regulate and generally redistribute and sap the wealth of the developed west. Seen that before from any international bodies?

    If the belief is SINCERE, there will already be blueprints for a low-carbon war on China, India etc – after a suddenly impoverished Australia halts its massive coal and iron exports to China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan etc.

    One other problem with the SINCERE side: you’ll still need somebody to make all that stuff you like. But on to victory!

  48. R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

    Call me skeptical, but it appears warmer is not always better:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25950906

  49. To understand this, let’s take the actual attribution statement that quantifies ranges from the SPM section D3.
    “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. The contribution from natural forcings is likely to be in the range of −0.1°C to 0.1°C,
    and from natural internal variability is likely to be in the range of −0.1°C to 0.1°C. Together these assessed contributions
    are consistent with the observed warming of approximately 0.6°C to 0.7°C over this period.”

    So anthropogenic forcings have a range by combining the GHG and aerosol effects something like 0.65 +/- 0.25 over the period (0.4-0.9 C). Note that this also has a lower end. If warming stopped, eventually the predicted range would be above the actual warming and significantly outside the 95% confidence level for anthropogenic effects. For example at a later time the range will have diverged to 0.8-1.8 C, but maybe the warming stopped at 0.6 C. This is below the range expected, and at least 0.2 C cooling is coming from somewhere else, and maybe as much as 1.2 C cooling. The average anthropogenic effect is 1.3 and the average cooling effect is -0.7, so while the warming can be attributed to the anthropogenic effect, it would have to admit an equally certain cooling effect centered on -0.7 C, which is significant in comparison. From the IPCC statement above related to the current day, the anthropogenic effect brackets the observed warming and the other effects only need be 0.1 C to stay within the bounds. There is no need to add any additional warming or cooling effects to keep the observations in the expected range. If it falls outside the expected range, the certainty in “something else” happening increases, and that would lead to less confidence in AGW as a sole explanation.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      ‘In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.’ AR4 3.4.4.1

      Not credible if the TOA data is correct – which is looking quite likely. At the very least there are large variations in the energy budget that are unaccounted for.

      Nonetheless – the warming per decade seems almost right at 0.1 to 0.12 degrees C/decade. This or a bit less seems to be what everyone is coming up with. Projecting it forward gives little warming over the next decade or three – suggesting natural variability is a little higher than suggested?

      And warming at twice the rate for a few decades after that as the warming cycle kicks in? This is what seems quite unlikely as the Sun cools and a more normal (La Nina dominant) ENSO regime kicks in.

    • This is a model of the natural variation

      The secular trend is likely all CO2, with the distinct possibility that it has an attribution over 100%

      How could it be over 100% ? … homework problem for the skeptics


    • Nonetheless – the warming per decade seems almost right at 0.1 to 0.12 degrees C/decade. This or a bit less seems to be what everyone is coming up with. Projecting it forward gives little warming over the next decade or three

      Amazing, now he says that there is a temperature increase per decade, yet he still can’t pull the trigger and has to qualify it as “little warming”.

    • Following up on what I said above. The IPCC says anthropogenic effects account for 0.4-0.9 C warming since 1950. The actual warming of 0.6-0.7 C is smack-dab in the middle of this range. This leaves room for other processes to account for 0.25 degrees if the anthropogenic warming is at its extreme ends. 0.25 out of 0.65 is less than 50%, so this also argues for most being anthropogenic. Had the error bars been wider, there would have been more room for other effects, but not in this case. The IPCC estimate accounts for a 1.5 C CO2 sensitivity with its range, and even then it is most. Skeptics dismiss that there is anything to the IPCC range being centered on the actual warming, as if it is still more likely wrong than not, and just dumb luck.

  50. This is a really insightful post, and I love the irony. I suspect most people agree, all things being equal, more CO2 increases temperatures, the less the world warms, the more certain we are that the warming we have experienced is on account of people.

    Of course, if we were headed into an ice age, what would people say then? Somehow, I suspect we would be having very similar debates.

    • Edit:

      I suspect most people agree, all things being equal, more CO2 increases temperatures. Therefore the less the world warms, the more certain we are that the warming we have experienced is on account of people.

  51. Generalissimo Skippy

    The big question is something entirely different – and Peter Lang got closest.

    Prediction of future climate states is impossible – and PDF’s from models are only theoretically possible. I have quoted a number of sources on this from the IPCC to Wally Broecker. Here is one of my favourites.

    ‘‘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)

    So the so called damage function of climate change is unresolvable. Costs and benefits of carbon mitigation beyond climate – the no regrets framework – may be more tractable. There are obviously health costs of fine particulates – but there are also implications for populations in declining productivity and GDP form more expensive energy. Appell had an estimate yesterday of US$400 per person per year as the cost of carbon based energy. The details escape me and I am not much interested. Given the cost of alternative sources of energy – including nuclear at this stage – plus economic multipliers from reduced productivity and GDP – the real cost of low carbon electricity generation substitution could exceed this by an order of magnitude.

    However – in an in principle risk assessment – low probability and extreme consequence events can determine the overall level of risk. Climate is wild after all – and it seems imprudent to change the composition of the atmosphere with little idea of consequences.

    The logical response is maximize social and economic development in a global multi-objective and multi-gas strategy in ways that build societal resilience to whatever the vagaries of climate brings. We have certainly not seen in the past century anywhere near the limits of what natural climate extremes can bring – regardless of anthropogenic influences.

    The other logical response is the accelerated technological development pathway.

    There are better questions requiring bigger answers.

    • “So the so called damage function of climate change is unresolvable.” Quite so. Which makes it a very poor basis for policy.


    • Prediction of future climate states is impossible

      Research is always about tackling difficult problems. This is much easier than predicting the stock market.

      http://contextearth.com/2014/01/22/projection-training-intervals-for-csalt-model/

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      ‘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.’ TAR 14.2.2.2

      Of course webby recognizes no such thing. He imagines that prediction is possible using linear regression by making impossible assumptions.


    • He imagines that prediction is possible using linear regression by making impossible assumptions.

      The proof is in a pudding. I have shown that it is possible to reconstruct the temperature using other thermodynamic factors other than temperature. This allows us to do projection, both reverse

      http://contextearth.com/2014/01/19/reverse-forecasting-via-the-csalt-model/

      and forward

      http://contextearth.com/2014/01/22/projection-training-intervals-for-csalt-model/

      I am just getting started on this and as other scientists pick up on it — witness groups such as J.Lean, Kosake & Xie, Foster&Rahmstorf, M.Lockwood, Cowtan&Way have showed in the past — we will be able to make even more progress in deconstructing climate science behaviors.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      “The winds change the ocean currents which in turn affect the climate. In our study, we were able to identify and realistically reproduce the key processes for the two abrupt climate shifts,” says Prof. Latif. “We have taken a major step forward in terms of short-term climate forecasting, especially with regard to the development of global warming. However, we are still miles away from any reliable answers to the question whether the coming winter in Germany will be rather warm or cold.” Prof. Latif cautions against too much optimism regarding short-term regional climate predictions: “Since the reliability of those predictions is still at about 50%, you might as well flip a coin.” http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130822105042.htm

      Reconstructing climate is one thing – I doubt that it can be done realistically without a knowledge of cloud radiative forcing which is uncertain and not known at all until 1979. Other than that variability is mostly ENSO with some volcanic forcing – so you can get reasonably good fit with a few components but that doesn’t mean that the list is complete. As I say – a time integrated index for Pacific processes which you ignore gives a different answer. I would wonder as well what role AMOC has in all this.

      Prediction however is another matter. Very little – ENSO, volcanoes, AMOC, climate shifts, etc. – is predictable with any precision at all.

  52. It would make sense to start with the lower bound–in absolute temperature terms–for the part of anthropogenic forcing that is best founded in lab-level physics–the no-feedbacks radiative forcing from all the greenhouse gases. Call that “base anthropogenic greenhouse impact (BAGI).” Then we could look at the difference between BAGI and what we observe in the temperature record and let the games begin with regard to aerosols, solar fluctuations, clouds, water vapor amplification, changing rates of heat escape from the oceans, changes in ground albedo, etc. It is only if the observed temperature goes up by less than BAGI that we can say with a high degree of certainty that there are countervailing cooling influences, because for warming above BAGI but below a climate model projection we could just be seeing less water vapor amplification or more negative cloud feedback than the model assumes.

  53. R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

    This scenario represents the closest one to reality when one considers the full Earth climate system:

    Scenario 1: Continued warming. Let’s consider what would have happened if warming had continued at the same rate. Since the time from 2000 until now is about one fourth of the first period, this means 1 unit of total warming. As far as I can tell, this warming, if it had occurred, would likely have been attributed almost exclusively to anthropogenic forcing. (Unless, perhaps, there had been a clear, detectable increase in solar forcing.) So the recent period represents 1 unit of AGW and zero natural influence. Thus we get 4 units of AGW versus 1 unit from natural causes. That’s 80% AGW. A slight increase, which might seem intuitively correct since we’re exploring counterfactually the possibility that warming had continued somewhat as expected.”
    _____
    The “warming” (as in total energy accumulation in the system) did actually continue over the period of the so-called “pause”. And this conclusion:

    “That’s 80% AGW. A slight increase”

    Is pretty much what we have seen when looking at the full Earth climate energy system. A slight increase in the rate of accumulation of energy, with the oceans now at their warmest over the period of the “pause” and the glacial mass loss from Greenland and Antarctica higher now than at the beginning of the “pause”.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      I doubt very much that energy has continued to accumulate in the system over the pause.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/CERES_Net_zps9f7faaaa.png.html?sort=3&o=2

      Available ARGO data to December 2012 shows not much change. 2013 when available should show a little cooling as the cooler net CERES implies.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/237f9f0f-7543-40dc-bec5-ead3859d7758_zpse9c0cb59.jpg.html?sort=3&o=0

      Despite TSI being near the cycle and indeed millennial peak of just under 1362 W/m2.

      It seems unlikely that the planet notably warmed at all over the past decade or so.

      There is a difference between data and narrative and there is a true hiatus that is likely to last a decade or three yet.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      And Judy’s stadium wave paper says that the loss of ice contains the seeds of decadal recovery. Shall we see?

      Yet the warministas remain seemingly unswervingly faithful to their verities. Hubris comes before a fall.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “And Judy’s stadium wave paper says that the loss of ice contains the seeds of decadal recovery. Shall we see?”
      —-
      Those of us still alive in a decade or three shall see.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “It seems unlikely that the planet notably warmed at all over the past decade or so.”
      —–
      Please be more scientific in your statements. When talking about the “planet” warming or not, it is more precise to refer to exactly which part of climate system you are referring to gaining or losing energy.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Available ARGO data to December 2012 shows not much change.”
      _____
      Hmm. OHC for the period ending December 2013 down to 2000m shows the highest level on record.

    • “Those of us still alive in a decade or three shall see.”

      R Gates takes his tin foil hat out of the closet and prances about for all to see.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Some of us will likely be around and some of us won’t likely be around to see what comes to pass. It is a simple “mostly likely” scenario. No tin foil hat required.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      I very much expect to be alive in a decade or three – but we have already seen the hiatus – it just remains for the next phases of the wave. Someday the reality deniers might catch up – right now they are way out of phase.

      I presented the ARGO data from the Global Marine Atlas program – it is what it is. It is consistent with the Lyman and Johnson paper last year – and consistent with the energy budget.

      When I say the planet I mean the planet – and I have said that before.

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

      The oceans should be a bit cooler last year consistent with the downturn in CERES net.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “When I say the planet I mean the planet – and I have said that before.”
      —-
      Since “the planet” is not a recognizable part of the climate system like ocean, atmosphere, cryosphere are, it makes it easy to make all sorts of claims. How convenient for you.

    • RG is right. Heat continues to accumulate. Most skeptics don’t understand energy budget accounting:

      http://contextearth.com/2014/01/25/what-missing-heat/

      The skeptics are still at the stage of just trying to get a basic continuity equation right.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      The data is what it is. The trend in global energy can be seen primarily is net TOA flux – up is warming down is cooling – globally of course. The ocean data is what it is as well. Annually variable and reflecting net TOA flux as it must. The large variability is all quite natural.

      Webby’s so called continuity equation presumes warmth moves from the atmosphere to the oceans as a function of an effective diffusion. The effective diffusion covers both convection and turbulent mixing and varies with wind and current speeds. Decadal variability according to his much misused LOD. This is the usual explanation for deep ocean warming.

      So we have a constant representing a physically unrealistic model in a variable process. As well done as his usual effort. But it is also misguided because the wrong physics – atmosphere to ocean heat transfer – means it can’t take into account variability in inputs from either solar variability or large changes in TOA radiant flux.

      ‘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

      They seem not very interested in complications or in data that contradicts their narratives.


    • But it is also misguided because the wrong physics – atmosphere to ocean heat transfer

      You are very strange. On my latest blog post, I schematically show that heat flows from ocean to land, in keeping with RGates’ high-quality view.

      http://contextearth.com/2014/01/25/what-missing-heat/

      Of course most of the heat does descend through the atmosphere, because solar has to make transit through this turnpike, but we are only looking at perturbations, if you care to read the blog post.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Of course most of the heat does descend through the atmosphere, because solar has to make transit through this turnpike, but we are only looking at perturbations, if you care to read the blog post.”
      —-
      The majority of the energy passing into the ocean is from solar SW. Much confusion surrounds the fact that wind and downwelling forces this solar SW warmed surface water to depth. This is NOT the atmosphere warming the ocean, but atmospheric dynamics allowing the ocean to retain more solar warmed water. During El Niño events, increased upwelling of warm water, mainly in the eastern Pacific, releases a greater quantity of this energy back to the atmosphere and we get tropospheric spikes in temperature.

    • The R in R.Gates stands for right.

      It is amazing how far we can go by building up a body of evidence and laying out logical explanations, clearing away misconceptions along the way, only to make the standard model explanation stronger and stronger.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Wow – what a confusion of concepts. Shortwave passes through the atmosphere so that justifies treat heat gain in the ocean as diffusion from the atmosphere to the oceans using a diffusion constant. Not so.

      Of course land temps are 80 to 90% forced by ocean warmth – http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2009JCLI2778.1 – a paper I introduced webby to last year.

      Although I doubt that webby’s result is anywhere near competent – let alone actual published science. I don’t know – I don’t read blog science especially his. I have wasted anough time with his nonsense. But this latter is inconsistent with diffusion of heat from the atmosphere to the oceans through the ‘continuity equation’.

      The idea of the atmosphere warming the oceans is not mine it is webby’s – that the physics are incorrect is what I explicitly said and repeating this as if it is some important insight seems less than useful. As for upwelling of warm water in the eastern Pacific – this is such a wrong idea of ENSO dynamics that I don’t know where to start.

      Maybe youtube – http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=UUoFKzAkUApv5X8u_BbclY7w

      This is before you get into the large cloud changes discussed in the Loeb quote. Getting the discussion to the level of a sophisticated discourse on the processes seems improbable – they just keep getting the basics wrong.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      Skippy erroneously said:

      “As for upwelling of warm water in the eastern Pacific – this is such a wrong idea of ENSO dynamics that I don’t know where to start.”
      ____

      Skippy, you truly don’t know where to start and it seems somewhere along the line your understanding of ENSO really seems to have gone off track. During El Nino events, the thermocline in the eastern Pacific deepens (that means goes deeper), but in fact upwelling gets stronger as the northerly winds increase along the coast of S. America. These stronger winds actually increase upwelling, but because the thermocline is deeper, the upwelling is actually pulling up warm water and not cold water as is the usual case. This increased upwelling of warm water ends up dumping increased amounts of latent and sensible heat into the troposphere, giving a spike to those temperatures globally.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Skippy, are you still confused about warm upwelling during El Niño? I’d be glad to clear it up for you.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      You back? Sometimes I imagine that honesty will prevail usually to be disappointed.

      Warm water upwelling in the Eastern Pacific simply doesn’t happen. But by all means enlighten us with reputable sources for this silly idea.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Skippy said:

      “Warm water upwelling in the Eastern Pacific simply doesn’t happen. But by all means enlighten us with reputable sources for this silly idea.”
      ____
      Alright Skippy, I will take the time to school you (once more) in the very unlikely hope that you’ll tone down your inflated ego just a notch and maybe open your mind up. Not expecting this to actually happen, we can only hope that a few of those who might actually have been fooled by your assertions, will realize they need to take you with a very small grain of salt.

      It is actually extreme irony that a video that you linked to a few days back, actually explained the warm water upwelling in the E. Pacific during El Niño very well. Here’s the explanation in very nice detail:

      With the point of increased warm water upwelling is made about 4:00 into the video. Strong winds moving from ocean to land actually increase the upwelling during El Niño, but because of the deepened thermocline, the water coming up is warmer water from above the thermocline. This dumps greater amounts of latent and sensible heat from ocean to atmosphere, spiking tropospheric temperatures.

      Again, I don’t really expect you to admit that your statement that started this post was in complete error, or to admit that I schooled you on this topic, but hopefully others can realize that you know far less than you often pretend.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      the thermocline in the eastern Pacific deepens (that means goes deeper)… Gee that’s deep.

      In El Nino years there is increased coastal mixing of the surface mixed layer. This is a minor part of the phenomenon. Upwelling refers to cold water upwelling from below the thermocline almost by definition.

      e.g. http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/upwelling.html

      The surface warming across the Pacific is results when water piled up in the western Pacific by trade winds flows eastward.

      This gives way to the recovery phase.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Sorry – recovery phase.

      But by all means look ta the entire series – http://www.youtube.com/user/taichiatduke

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      I certainly know more about ENSO and dragon-kings than you Randy – and to lecture me on videos I have linked to several times including a few recently seems a bit redundant.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      I am having trouble seeing the ‘recovery’ in the small window – it seems to work in full screen.

    • R Gates,

      Your understanding of the El Nino mechanism is completely incorrect There is no upwelling warm water in the eastern Pacific there is only cold water upwelling during the charging phase (La Nina) During La Nina the wind shifts and blows from west to east. This allows the large pool of solar warmed water pooled near Indonesia to flow back over the Pacific surface sometimes reaching the America’s. I am seriously beginning to wonder what are you thinking. This is such a basic process to the climate that its understanding is required to form some rational opinion of the climate system

    • During El Nino not La Nina the wind shifts to west to east

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Because of warm water off the Peruvian coast there are strong onshore winds which are turned north by the Andes. The causes offshore surface flow and increased mixing in the mixed layer. This is what he is referring to – but it is a minor process and the point is trivial. The source of warm water is of course the massed water with elevated water levels at the western boundary flowing eastward.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      dalyplanet said:

      “Your understanding of the El Nino mechanism is completely incorrect There is no upwelling warm water in the eastern Pacific.”
      —-
      You should probably pull yourself away from the Church of Skippy.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Just to make it clear what “Skippy” said quite clearly:

      ““Warm water upwelling in the Eastern Pacific simply doesn’t happen.”

      And unfortunately for his faithful followers, his certainty on this fact only adds to the insult and shredding of truth that he seems to frequently partake in. Here’s an excellent classic scientific study on warm water upwelling in the E. Pacific during El Niño (which Skippy is so certain “simply doesn’t happen):

      http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.42.417&rep=rep1&type=pdf

      By all means, read this full paper, but please pay attention to the information on page 4 as it discusses the upwelling of warm water in the Eastern Pacific during El Niño.

    • Warm water doesn’t upwell in an El Nino, gatesy. Do you think there is warm water under the cold water in the Pacific, off the coast of SA? Where would warm water upwell from, you dunce? The upwelling of cold water is inhibited by the sloshing back to the east of warm water that was piled up in the west by the tradewinds, but warm water does not well up. Stop watching MTV and read a book, gatesy.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Don,

      I know you love to defend the cause of Mr. Skippy, but when the thermocline lowers in the Eastern Pacific during El Niño, the water that is being upwelled is warmer water from above the thermocline. This has been observed and documented in many studies– studies which Mr. Skippy seems to have “skipped” reading.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Gatesy’s paper is incorrect – is it unpublished notes? The recovery phase shown in the Duke University animation results from flow of warm surface flowing in Kelvin waves north and south – although I think that is a bit simplified as well.

      ENSO originates in Humboldt current – which is part of the Peruvian Current and the south Pacific gyre. Flows here are critical to creating surface conditions conducive to cold water upwelling. That is warm surface water inhibits turbulent upwelling and cooler Southern Ocean water facilitates it. This takes us back to control variables for initiating both NH and SH cold upwelling and the evolution of the PDO+ENSO=IPO system. It involves sea level pressure and storms spinning off the polar fronts. The multi-decadal periodicity is too long to be the result of internal processes alone.

      This indeed gives a long term ENSO proxy in salt content in ice at the Law Dome in Antarctica with enhanced zonal winds in La Nina. More salt is La Nina and more rain in Australia.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Vance2012-AntarticaLawDomeicecoresaltcontent.jpg.html?sort=3&o=132

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Vance2012-AntarticaLawDomeicecoresaltcontent.jpg.html?sort=3&o=132

      Centennial patterns are certainly too long to be internally generated.

    • I just noticed our friend from down under commented:

      “The source of warm water is of course the massed water with elevated water levels at the western boundary flowing eastward.”

      He is as correct as you are, with your obscure point.

    • Gen, Skippy, I believe the point is correct that the thermocline in the E. Pacific is lowered when the warm water sloshes back and the water upwelling is now warmer than it was before. But as you pointed out, it’s the result of the piled up warm water sloshing back to the east and it ain’t a big deal in the grande scheme of things. Oz rocks!

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Gatesy’s paper is incorrect – is it unpublished notes?”
      —–
      Even to the very end, Mr. Skippy would assume his knowledge is superior to actual published experts with far more extensive knowledge than his own. No Mr. Skippy, it was not unpublished notes, but simply I gave you a courtesy link to the draft before it was formatted for publication so you didn’t have to get it from behind a paywall. Here is the actual published paper:

      http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/1520-0442(2000)013%3C3551:OOWWVC%3E2.0.CO%3B2

      Sorry Mr. Skippy, but sometimes your own ego really does do you in.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “He is as correct as you are, with your obscure point.”
      —-
      No, actually he was not correct at all, and rather than an obscure point, I was highlighting an important source of tropospheric heat during an El Niño. But it seems actual science is lost on you. Goodnight.

    • Everybody knows what the source of the heat is, gatesy. It be the very warm water sloshing back east that was piled up in the west. The warmth is not coming from anywhere else. Watch my lips, last time I will help you, it’s the water piled up in the west flowing back to the east. Gen. Skippy, along with everybody else, knows that. Give it a rest.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Doesn’t MTV have it’s own channel these days?

      It is a minor point in the whole dynamic – here is nice little picture from Wikipedia – http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9b/El_Ni%C3%B1o_Conditions.jpg

      What we get is mixing in the mixed zone – what a surprise – which is turbulent and not nice little arrows. And weak upwelling from deeper water. But if gatesy wants to quibble, mislead, insult, pedantically pontificate and berate – I guess that up to him.

      Here is a much better picture of what surface currents are – the subsurface is equally turbulent but dominated by buoyant warm water rising to the surface.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      ‘The transition to El Nino (La Nina) results from the wind-driven upwelling of warmer (colder) waters due to the deeper (shallower)-than-normal main thermocline.’

      It is not actually behind a paywall Randy – and it is still fundamentally wrong in any theory of ENSO. ENSO certainly starts with cold water upwelling in the region of the Humboldt current.

      http://www.goes-r.gov/users/comet/tropical/textbook_2nd_edition/navmenu.php_tab_5_page_2.1.3.htm

      My favourite theory is the linear stochastic. Certainly a better explanation for ultra low frequency modulation.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Skippy said:

      “But if gatesy wants to quibble, mislead, insult, pedantically pontificate and berate – I guess that up to him.”
      —-
      Nope, my only objective was to correct your wrong assertion that there was no warm water upwelling in the Eastern Pacific during El Niño- which you stated with much certainty and your usual inflated authority. I did that more so that others can clearly see you make claims with much authority that are completely false. Of course your ego will not allow you to admit your error, and so you turn it back on me or call my pointing out your clear falsehood “quibbling”. Sadly, it is exactly what I expected from you.

    • The illustration that G. Skippy provided tells the tale:

      When El Nino conditions are not present, the strong tradewinds cause upwelling of a lot of cold water in the E. Pacific. When El Nino conditions dominate, the tradewinds are weaker and there is a much reduced upwelling of cold water and that cold water mixes with the warm water that has sloshed in from the west. So what you have is a weak upwelling of cold water mixed with warm water. That weak upwelling of cold mixed with warm water does not contribute a whole lot to the warming of the atmosphere. The warming of the atmosphere is the result of the spreading of the W. Pacific warm pool and the weakening of the E, Pacific cold water upwelling, period.

    • Bob Tisdale has a fine challenge for Kevin Trenberth over at Watts Up. Judy might find it interesting to highlight Kevin’s dilemma; the admission that natural processes caused the pause is an admission that natural processes caused the temp rise in the last quarter of the last century.
      ===========

    • The Humbolt current is ongoing, so ENSO happens to it.

      The cause of ENSO is a “chicken and egg” thing, but without the changes in the winds, the upwelling from the Humbolt stays at home.

    • R Gates
      The paper you posted is talking about the possible “trigger” that causes a La Nina to end. Changes in temp of the cold tongue of upwelling water. That you do not understand the basic ENSO mechanism is quite instructive. ENSO is such an important key to the climate, without understanding the mechanism you are blind to the system. It is now clear why you are posting simple minded comments about hiding heat here and elsewhere.

    • I really don’t think there is a problem with modeling global temperature rise by considering all the thermodynamic factors, lead by CO2 with fluctuations attributed to SOI and others:

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      This must be the longest thread in the history of the world. Filled with gatesy’s attempts to moralise about my egotism and moral failings. It all gets a bit tedious.

      As I said – in my view the external forcing theory of ENSO clearly makes more sense in terms of the long term persistence of states.

      For instance. ‘According to Fig. 5, a series of intense El Nino events
      (high red color intensity) begins at about 1450 BC that will last for centuries. In that period normal (La Nina) conditions have all but disappeared. For comparison, the very strong 1998 El Nino event scores 89 in red color intensity. During the time when the Minoans were fading, El Nino events reach values in red color intensity over 200.’ http://www.clim-past.net/6/525/2010/cp-6-525-2010.pdf

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/ENSO11000.gif.html?sort=3&o=191

      This figure shows mega droughts ad mega floods – centennial and millennial variability – as well as an intriguing shift to El Nino conditions some 5,000 years ago.

      But ENSO starts – for whatever reason – with cold water upwelling in the eastern Pacific in the region of the Humboldt Current. This sets up feedbacks strengthening the trade winds and piling warm surface water against Australia and Indonesia. At some stage the trade winds falter and warm water sloshes back across the Pacific.

      I am not sure if Randy is imagining some source of ultra warm water surfacing in the east and propagating west to cover the Pacific – but it is simply not true.

    • Simply amazing:

      The Cause of the Pause is explainable by thermodynamic Laws

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      The cause of the pause is cloud change associated with abrupt changes in ocean and atmosphere circulation that occurred after 1998. Radiative physics rather than thermodynamics. At toa all climate is radiative physics.

    • Pure conjecture. At TOA, behavior doesn’t change on a dime, contrary to your opinion.

    • The conjecture is that “something changed” in the climate and so all bets are off. He said it was due to:


      abrupt changes in ocean and atmosphere circulation that occurred after 1998.

      OK, go do your thing and we can make progress without having to invoke a mystery event.

      • Conjecture, I like that word, all of AGW is conjecture, CS greater that about 1.1C is conjecture, but you know what isn’t conjecture is that the PDO changed because where the jet stream use to cross the coast over southern California, it now crosses the coast up near Washington.
        There mystery solved.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      I am sure I have quoted Burgman and others.

      How about Latif?

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

      How about Palle?

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/ProjectEarthshine-albedo_zps87fc3b7f.png.html?sort=3&o=55

      ‘Earthshine changes in albedo shown in blue, ISCCP-FD shown in black and CERES in red. A climatologically significant change before CERES followed by a long period of insignificant change.’

      Palle and Laken?

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandlaken2013_zps3c92a9fc.png.html?sort=3&o=78

      We pretty much understand the shift in Pacific conditions after 1998. More upwelling in both the central and north eastern Pacific. Tsonis identified it quantitatively in his network model – but the indices speak for themselves.

      This is only mysterious only to webby – and it seems to spring more from progressive groupthink science denial than anything else.

  54. John Vonderlin

    “It is possible for the anthropogenic contribution to be lower in absolute terms lower while the relative contribution is higher. This may be the case if the total observed rate of warming is lower. For a simplistic example, 100% of 1 degree is twice as much (in relative terms) as 50% of 4 degrees.”
    While I assume I understand this passage, the word choice is so poor I am not twice as much sure as 50% sure that I understand it. Could one of the nitpickers amongst the usual suspects translate this into a layman’s clear English?

  55. It seems if humans never existed, the current average global air temperature would be around +/- .5 C.

    But global climate would better measured in terms ocean temperature.
    So in terms ocean temperature it would be around +/- .0001 C

    The idea that human are having some large effect upon planet Earth,
    is human silliness. And no more valid than witches having an effect upon the weather.

    But I think human could be capable of changing global temperature
    and it seems much easier to decrease global temperature as compared to
    increase it.
    I am sure how human could increase global temperature, but I think the world better if it was say, 5 C warmer.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Some actual scientific study using the null hypothesis regarding anthropogenic influences seems to question your conjecture:

      http://www.whoi.edu/pclift/Ruddiman.pdf

    • http://www.whoi.edu/pclift/Ruddiman.pdf

      Abstract:
      ….Two lines of evidence suggest that natural explanations for the CH4 increase are falsified: (1) the absence of any sustained methane increase early in seven interglaciations prior to the Holocene; and (2) weakening emissions during the last 5000 years from the two largest global sources of CH4 – north tropical and boreal wetlands. Consistent with this interpretation, a new synthesis of archeological data from southern Asia reported in this issue indicates an exponential increase in CH4 emissions from expanding rice irrigation during the last 5000 years. Neither the anthropogenic nor the natural explanations for the CO2 increase can at this point be falsified…..”

      Having no evidence obtainable with thousands of weather stations and impressive satellites over the decades, which can prove that 7 billion people have manage Herculean task of warming the Earth’s temperature by .5 C, I suppose, one is not to laugh too much at a proposal of a lower population of industrious Chinese obtaining such mythical achievements using rice paddies tens of centuries ago.

      I am not aware of any means which could add, say 1 C, to global temperature- without requiring a lot of effort and enormous costs [trillions of dollars].
      Which is unfortunate, as it could be argued that warming the world by as much as 2 C would be beneficial.

      People, prior having central heating, and/or living in lavish homes- similar though perhaps not lavish as the numerous ones Al Gore resides in, were aware that warmer periods were preferable conditions as compared to the colder periods which may have lasted decades or many centuries.

  56. The best answer to the big question is yes and no. It depends on the historic period. The correct answer was yes, apg , between 1910 and 1940 and 1970 to 1997; No between 1940 and 1970 and No, 1997 to the preent. It is highly likely that the second ‘yes’ p4ri0d was due to the transport delay of the oceans faithfully providing a copy of the first period.However we should not assume that there are any other earlier copies waiting in the wings, although you cannot exclude short blips from the past.. Maybe the H-bomb tests post WW2 have left a print.

    The above periods are identified in my theoretical model underlined above.

  57. So a bit of cooling or pausing now indicates worse anthro warming? Silly me to doubt it! Silly non-nuanced, intuitive me!

    Really, watching this mechanistic, game console version of climate (on a hot plasticky planet with vast oceans, only a fraction of which has even been glimpsed) is like watching an episode of McGyver and wondering if he’ll get killed in the end.

    The script will vary, but it will always end thus: “We were right, especially where we were wrong. Moreover, it just proves things are worse than we thought (not that we miscalculated that either, but, you know…).”

    And, yes, Kojak will solve that case.

  58. An entertaining, well-written, and entirely valid argument, until:

    No one seems to have made an effort to explain the concept of net contributions. Gavin Schmidt seems to take it for granted and does not point it out explicitly. And the IPCC’s treatment of it is confusing. Strictly speaking, the AR5 attribution statement contradicts the idea of net contributions by saying: “It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together. “

    Since it is not possible to cause events that never actually happen, there is no way greenhouse gases could have caused more warming than actually occurred. This means that in this instance “more than half” must be read as referring to a percentage between 50 and 100.

    Really? It’s not possible to cause events that never actually happen?

    Is that why we don’t have rules of grammar to cover events that never actually happen? Wait. We do. The author even uses those cases correctly, and might I say elegantly.

    Beyond gorgeous language, is it plausible this impossibility might cause us to believe what follows the specious claim? (See what I did there?) If it were plausible, then airbags sure are wasted in all those cars. Seatbelts, too. Suspenders. Belts. Lawsuits for losses by profitable companies.

    We stop with the first error, however beautiful the writing.

    Try again.

    • Bart R, I don’t understand what you mean. But from your seatbelt metaphor, I’m guessing you might be confusing “cause something that never happened” with “cause something to not happen”. I’m not denying that you can prevent something from happening, and that this is a kind of causation. A phenomenon that can be observed in the real world can have a cause even if its a non-event like not being hit by the bullet in my attempted murder analogy. A hypothetical, theoretical phenomenon, one that cannot be observed, cannot have a cause in any normal sense of the word.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      As I said above – I lost interest sometime or other in the presentation but the wonder here – and as always – is what Bart’s incoherent ramblings actually mean.

      You would assume that more than half is greater than 50% and less than 100% – so this hardly seems a specious claim but more something so obvious it seems not worth saying.

    • David Springer

      Hey Bart your explanation was incomprehensible but I share your objection. GHGs can cause more warming than was observed if something else simultaneously caused cooling. The concept doesn’t seem difficult.

    • Is that why we don’t have rules of grammar to cover events that never actually happen? Wait. We do. The author even uses those cases correctly, and might I say elegantly.

      We have such rules of grammar because our brains are wired to think that way. That doesn’t mean the universe actually works the way our brains are wired to model it. Not, at least, beyond the mechanics of swinging from branch to branch.

    • Dagfinn | January 30, 2014 at 4:09 am |

      You have to read what I said as if what you claimed were true for it to be clearly comprehensible.

      As it is utterly incomprehensible, it proves you do not believe at any level below the mechanics of utterance your own claim.

      However, were what I wrote comprehensible, that still would not make the claim true; it would make it true that some people could contrive to so narrow their minds as to deny a norm of everyday thought.

      More simply, to a mathematician, the square root of -1 is Imaginary, and never actually happens, however the results of work by mathematicians with Imaginary numbers is real, useful, and produces sensible outcomes.

      All the parts of your argument up to the passage I cited construct to a valid premise so far as they go. Once you come to the passage, you introduce a fallacy that invalidates completely everything that follows. Now, you _might_ be able to produce a valid argument without the fallacy you’ve fallen into, but the fact remains that you have not done so.

      You’re very good at writing, and it’s not an exceptionally dim error of reasoning that bedevils your argument. Try again without the fallacious premise. Explore the cases of over half that include greater than 100%. How fatal to your conclusions are they, really?

    • Bart R: It doesn’t seem incomprehensible to me. I understand that it seems that way to you. Your response makes it no clearer to me why you find it incomprehensible. But since you ask how fatal it is to my conclusions, I will say that this passage is only to back up my claim that the IPCC’s attribution statement is confusing or misleading. The rest of my argument is not affected by that. It’s only about 4 or 5 paragraphs.

    • You are in over your head, barty. Save yourself. Shhhhhh!

  59. Solar influence on glaciation in Greenland

    In the GISP2 ice core, Greenland summit, Dansgaard – Oescheger (D-O) warm events 2 to 8 [1] are all associated with low 10Be events most likely caused by active solar magnetic activity. The simplest explanation is that warm D-O events are caused by an active Sun.

  60. JC:

    “The time frame considered in each of the three most recent IPCC reports has been from around 1950 to the “present” for that report.”

    And there in lies the rub.

    If, as your Stadium wave paper demonstrates amongst others, there are significant 60 year natural components to the overall picture, then the IPCC is using a microscope to look at the stars.

    No wonder ‘The only way is up’. Cue pop reference.

  61. Thank you, Dagfinn Reiersøl, for this interesting article. It’s perhaps worth bearing in mind that there are a lot more potential anthropogenic effects on climate than CO2 emissions, especially on land where the majority of reliable climate stations are to be found, and where most of us live. Have you read much of the work of Roger Pielke Snr and colleagues? If not, may I refer you to pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com – Pielke’s blog is no longer active but contains a massive archive concerning the human impact on weather and climate, in which recent CO2 emissions play only a relatively minor part.

    • Yes, I’m aware of it, but I haven’t studied it. I was deliberately trying to limit my focus by taking some of the IPCC’s premises for granted.

    • Dagfinn, you write ” I was deliberately trying to limit my focus by taking some of the IPCC’s premises for granted.”

      If you want your writings to be considered to be scientific, I suggest that that is not a very good idea.

    • Codfish
      Pielke Sr book Human Impacts on Weather and Climate 2nd ed around 2010 calls out UHI and ground cover changes as impacts to climate as well as carbon emissions. It is all rather complicated and far from settled science. The settled science is that the cliimate changes.
      Scott

  62. @
    R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

    “And since there has been little or no warming during this time, the average rate of warming over the entire time period has decreased.”

    “The net energy increase in the system caused by anthropogenic GH gas emissions has not slowed over the past 10-15 years.”

    “The biggest single factor influencing tropospheric temperatures over the short term is the rate of flow of sensible and latent heat from the ocean.”

    I think, however, this must be strongly to simplify (and add):
    “Warming” is a rise in temperature of the troposphere – no: “… Increase energy in the system”. Most ” … energy increase … ” “… over the past 10-15 years … ” is stored (on the hundreds, or most likely: thousands of years) in the deep ocean and chemical accumulated in organic matter (especially upwelling and coastal zones) by the” Marine Biota “(yet another very, very poorly known component of the carbon – energy cycle – a “black hole” in the theory of AGW).

    „The basic science and physics of GH gases and decades of research has helped to develop and refine the theory of anthropogenic GH gas induced energy imbalance in the climate system.”

    This is a fundamental error. “… energy imbalance in the climate system …” – this permanent state – now and in the past. Physicists atmosphere should prohibit dealing with climatology …

    For such a total skeptic like me, this discussion – „It’s all academic” – Anthropogenic warming is currently still insignificant (small) positive feedback for the natural warming.

    I agree with:

    Ian H.: “The direct effect of CO2 is small. To get an effect big enough to possibly be a problem you have to consider feedbacks.”

    Kim: “Warming climate change is net beneficial and cooling climate change is net detrimental. We are very lucky that CO2 warms.”

    Let me add:

    - An increase in natural sources of CO2 is critical for the growth of unbalanced C in the atmosphere,
    - Ice cores do not show the real changes in former atmospheric CO2 concentrations,
    - The effects of warming > 2 ° C in the vast majority will be positive,
    - The number and intensity of extreme events decreases (Equable Climate).

    Such skeptics (like us) now is “a little”, but we are convinced that we will have the right …

  63. For me the only question is why do so many people want to believe in dangerous manmade warming despite it looking exactly like a random nature walk of a very benign 0.6K/century? If we hadn’t made these ML CO2 measurements (for which I’d dearly like to see the raw, uncorrected data) we’d just have assumed that our contribution is 2% of natures natural flux therefore nothing to worry about. ie we looked for trouble and consequently found it then we funded it in a way that nobody is inclined to say it isn’t a problem or they lose their funding.

  64. Of course, I should also add:
    - Low sensitivity of climate to CO2, associated with strongly underestimated negative feedback associated especially with the biosphere (eg, adaptation etc.) and the albedo of low clouds.

  65. Dagfinn,

    Wouldn’t the phrase “observed warming” mean the net? So that they are actually referring to 0 to 100%? Even if they say they are not, you can not “observe” actual changes of +150% and -50% in the climate. Or possibly by “observe” they mean something that comes out of a model?

    • As I understand it, “observed warming” is the warming that actually happened and was observed, assuming that the temperature record is correct. It’s by definition 100% in the model.

  66. The only remaining Big Question is whether MNFTIU:

    http://contextearth.com/2014/01/22/projection-training-intervals-for-csalt-model/

    And consider the likely fact that the CSALT model will never, ever be reviewed as a lead blog post on CE. We all know why that is. And the reason I persist is to rub this fact in. Among many people, blog science is OK as long as it is only your own blog science that is under consideration — in contrast, I borrow liberally from all the skeptical blogs.

    Call it a running experiment to see how far this can go. That’s the Big Question, whether simple, straightforward explanations of GHG-based AGW can make any traction at all. I could care less about GCM’s — they are there only to help us get better with long-term weather forecasting — as the general principles are addressed much more easily by first-order physics.

    Welcome to the real world.

    • Nice.

    • WHUT,

      Can you link us to the posts on your model that have appeared at Real Climate, and/or Skeptical Science, or any other consensus blog?

      I googled CSALT climate model, and the only references I find on those sites are your comments. I’m wondering what your fellow consensus types think about it.

      Also, what peer reviewed journals have you submitted papers to about your model?

    • Webby is preaching to a choir of one: Dennis Coyne. I hope they will be happy together.

    • Dennis is also the choir’s soloist.

    • k scott denison

      That’s awesome Web! Somewhat does the future hold? Make some assumptions about emissions and show us the projections out to 2100! Do it!


    • k scott denison | January 30, 2014 at 8:38 pm |

      That’s awesome Web! Somewhat does the future hold? Make some assumptions about emissions and show us the projections out to 2100! Do it!

      I already did the hydrocarbon emissions thing. Read my book The Oil Conundrum.

      Pete Seeger died the other day. He was quoted in 2011:
      “The sociology professor said, ‘Don’t think that you can change the world. The only thing you can do is study it.”‘

    • Recently found original system diagram for the logic underpinning WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) CSALT model.

    • k scott denison

      Web, and I already told you, PICK YOUR OWN THREE HYDROCARBON EMISSION SCENARIOS, and publish your projections. You can do it!

      Then you’ll be just like James Hansen! We can track your skill over the next 10+ years!

  67. Joseph Conrad

    On January 28, Alaska’s largest newspaper, the Anchorage Daily News, ran this remarkable headline: “Record warmth, confused plants: An Alaska January to remember.” The article noted that it was 62 degrees in one town, tying the January state record, but did not allude to the long-term warming trend. In November, the newspaper did briefly invoke the possibility of climate change while expressing disbelief that strawberries were growing “In Anchorage. In November.”

    Yet just a year ago, right-wing media claimed the state was headed toward “an ice age.” The Alaska Dispatch, a prominent online news site, ran the misleading headline, “Forget global warming, Alaska is headed for an ice age.” The report was promoted by the conservative British tabloid, the Daily Mail, and the climate denial site, WattsUpWithThat, which highlighted the state’s relatively lower average temperature in 2012.

    • Meanwhile, we in the Midwest have had the most brutally cold January in decades. You are welcome to it. In fact I am sending it up to you by Federal Express this weekend. Enjoy.

    • Well, since the weather moves west to east that would be a good trick. OTOH, you could send the weather to Western Europe which has been very warm also.

    • A decade or more ago, Anchorage was so warm at the end of February that there was no dog mushing, AND they were playing golf on the municipal course.

      Then, a couple of winters later, it got down to about minus 35 F in Anchorage, probably in January.

      Not certain about a trend either way. Yet.

  68. If the premise is that AGW –
    “is assumed to have a real effect long-term on the real world, potentially affecting humans ecosystems in the form of drought, floods, storms, sea level rise, and so on.”

    The discussion/debate regarding how much it is warming and what is due to human released CO2 is interesting, but what is the even remotely reliable evidence that warming will cause a net increase in the above mentioned harms vs. benefits and to whom?

    What is the reliable evidence of an increase in the rate of sea level rise?

    What is the reliable evidence of an increase in droughts, floods, storms, etc.?
    Somehow these activities seem assumed to be true because they have been written about in many “peer reviewed” papers. These papers were based on the outputs of deeply flawed GCM’s that have demonstrated they are insufficiently accurate to be relied upon to make these conclusions valid.
    I’d really appreciate some of those who fear a warmer world- why they believe their fears to be justified based on what we know today.

  69. If our models say that we need X amount of warming because of CO2, then we can by the AR5 reasoning make natural variability to be -X so as to keep our CAGW theory and because we moved the mileposts from 0%-100% to -100%-200% we are more sure of our result? If the actual data does not constrain X, what keeps X from being whatever we need it to be? Did we not begin this whole hypothesis by saying the natural variability was not large enough to account for the warming? Now it can conveniently account for the presumed cooling, but since it is negative it will intuitively be thought of as being very small, although its magnitude is the same size as was not possible previously? How is this any different (in terms of integrity than “hiding the decline”)? Am I missing something here?

    • Tony B

      No, you are NOT “missing something” IMO.

      Your logic is impeccable.

      It exposes the circular logic behind the CAGW meme.

      Max

    • Tb, those ‘hiding the decline’ knew they were doing so; the ones responsible for this curiosity were fooled, or maybe not.
      ====================

    • A triumph of the machines, run by the Gods, laughing in the clouds.
      =====================

    • Tony

      It is the realm of Lewis Carroll. In the land of estimates squared, adjustments cubed and 4th degree derivatives. Curiouser and curiouser all the time.

    • Well you guys are kind of guilty of what you charge.

      You are the ones who are incensed that anyone dare point out natural variability may have had a cooling influence since 1950.

      I can’t even say it’s ignorance for surely you all know that’s entirely feasible.

      Butthurt it is then. You are all butthurt that your appeals to natural variability mean you have to accept it could have a cooling rather than warming influence.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      http://persephonemagazine.com/2013/01/can-we-please-stop-using-the-term-butthurt/

      We know that natural variability added to warming in the 1977/98 period and is currently cooling the surface at least from 2002. Simple n…..?

  70. Dagfinn,

    Is it possible that Michael Mann was on the “fast track” to becoming the next President of the United States National Academy of Sciences when Climategate emails were released in November 2009 ?

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/obama-destroying-science/#comment-314422

    • No, he was not nearly senior enough.

    • Hey, Obama got a Nobel prize after being in office all of 9 months. Since when does merit and experience have anything to do with awards and recognition given by progressives?

    • “Is it possible that Michael Mann was on the “fast track” to becoming the next President of the United States”

      anything’s possible when you are steven goddard.

  71. The equitotial inter tropical convergence zone strata-cumulus cloud mass havering over the oceans has been a big issue in the planets solar budget for the passed 3.5 billion years. Now it is the issue that every emissions aficionado wants to pretend is of no consequence. It becomes scientific fraud when a person or institution posing as ‘scientific’ deliberately avoids dealing with matters explicitly relevant to their remit. I had asked the students union at Imperial College London to appoint a maths or physasist doc to act as an independent witness when info was passed to ICLs Grantham Inst. this info dealt specifically with the ITCZ cloud issue. The matter was sidelined.

  72. Would Curryja like to comment on the Atlanta weather over the last few days, the forecasts and the responses to the forecasts?

  73. My heart goes out to all the kids who got stuck at school and on the busses. Nothing a parent wants to go through.

  74. I have to agree that fifty percent of less is less. But don’t you a agree that 50 percent of nothing is nothing? This is what the twenty-first century shapes up as. There is actually no reason to consider any earlier periods in our calculation. If you do that and let’s say, set your baseline to start with 1950, you come to the conclusion that 2013 is the warmest year ever. How so if there has been no warming this century? The answer is both very simple and very tricky. It is tied up with the appearance of the super El Nino and its aftermath. It carried a huge amount of warm water across the Pacific, so much so that what was not used up for an El Nino peak created a step warming immediately after it. It took the form of another El Nino at first but went higher by a third of a degree than any El Nino before 1998. And when it topped off it did not go down as an El Nino does. Instead of going down it formed a six year warm platform, the twenty-first century high. This platform was warm enough to reduce the La Nina that should have followed in 2004 into a remnant that was barely recognizable. It ended with the 2008 La Nina. You have to regard it as a step warming that permanently raised the temperature of the years that followed. This surprised me because I expected it to go down but as it turned out this warm platform was the beginning of the hiatus of the twenty-first century. Global temperature has not changed since then, and even the average of the La Nina of 2008 and the El Nino of 2010 lines up with that platform. The fact is that by creating this warm platform the step warming raised all twenty-first century values above all twentieth century values before 1998. How and why the temperature stabilized at this high point instead of returning to 1999 value is not understood. I hear there are billions of dollars of research money in warmist pockets they are just too stingy to spend on actual research. Hansen noticed that nine out of ten warmest years belonged to the twenty-first century and immediately claimed it was proof of global warming. His observation was correct but his explanation was wrong. No way can the step warming that started in 1999 be called greenhouse warming. Radiation physics rules it out. He has greenhouse warming on his brain ever since he claimed in front of the senate that greenhouse warming had arrived. He was just as wrong then as he is about the twenty-first century now. What those temperature guardians are doing now is to average in twenty-first and twentieth century periods and claim to have found one “highest” temperature after another in the twenty-first century. That is guaranteed to work as long as the hiatus lasts, which is forever. My advice would be to take off a third of a degree from any twenty-first century value if you want to make comparisons with the eighties or nineties. In the meantime, let us just enjoy the hiatus and have a snowball fight with the warmists.

  75. The big question is: ARE WE HEADED FOR ANOTHER ICE AGE?

    • Wag,
      Sure, in the next 5,500 years. Then 1000 meters of ice in New York city. According to national geographic the sea level rise of 240 meters will happen in 24,000 years at current rates of rise unless it accelerates a lot. I wrote a letter to them about the foolish front page. Not in.

      We may be looking for the missing heat in the deep ocean to warm the air by 4*C + however much is hiding in the abyss. In the meantime lets put out more argo floats and continue the science of measurement by diverting a little model funding. Lots of missing data in the arctic and deep ocean.

      Scott

      • “Nothing is left us now but death. We look to that with a grim satisfaction, saying, there at least is reality that will not dodge us.” (Emerson)

    • ‘Case of the Missing Heat’ makes me think of those mystery
      tales where the missing murder victim turns out to be a red
      herring plot and wasn’t ‘there’ in the first place.

      Was there any missing heat ter start with or was it an ad hoc
      theory necessary ter explain the build up of heat from the
      positive feedback theory which says it was supposed ter exist
      … like the missing body? An ignorant serf wunders.

      • Having done no more than simply postulate the existence of something the global warming alarmists believe they’re actually contributing something of value to society. It does not matter that they are incapable of finding or measuring it. It’s a good gig. Global warming is not leading to our doom but that school teachers figured out that 47% of the voters society really want to be lied to is a catastrophe that really will sink us all.

  76. Dagfinn,

    FWIW, I enjoyed the article it was a bit of a mental exercise but not too tedious. it seemed fairly logical as well

  77. Instead of cursing the darkness, turn on the light !

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/akhenaton-i-think-i-like-this-guy/

    “We must assume behind this force [in the atom] the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind.

    This mind is the matrix of all matter. ”

    –Max Planck, accepting the
    Nobel Prize for Physics, 1918

    When you can see the reality of matter and energy, you can see the reality of GOD.

    God is not some omnipotent dude in the clouds. GOD just IS. Physics and psychics are connected. pg

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/akhenaton-i-think-i-like-this-guy/#comment-56744

  78. I am a bit surprised that the IPCC has not explained these machinations more explicitly in the past or there have not been these kinds of discussions over the last few years. Or have there been?

  79. There have been but the comments were dismissed as the rantings of serial climate change deniers.
    Scott

  80. Judith,
    Congratulations to your article in the Nature Geoscience today:

    Climate science: Uncertain temperature trend
    Judith Curry
    Nature Geoscience 7, 83–84 (2014) doi:10.1038/ngeo2078
    Published online 30 January 2014

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v7/n2/full/ngeo2078.html

  81. I still have not had this explained to my satisfaction.

    What percentage is the total if it is not 100%? I have seen several, but none that could be supported by the document (at least in this thread).
    Was this not for policy makers and supposed to be simple?
    How do you arrive at your conclusion for the total, and why is it not explicitly declared in the document?
    What is the needed magnitude and percentage of natural variability then?

    That is just a start of the questions this brings up.

    Does anyone know the answers?

  82. On this and other climate blogs, folks who question, no matter how mildly, that ACO2 is the primary driver of the Temperature of the Earth (TOE) are routinely admonished (to put it mildly) by the CAGW faithful that they clearly don’t understand simple physics, for if they did the AGW hypothesis would no longer be controversial, ACO2 driven TOE would move firmly to ‘settled science’, and the experts could quit wasting their valuable time and get on with working with their governments to avert the looming disaster.

    So help me out here.

    When I was preparing to flunk out of college one of the techniques of approaching physics problems was to set boundary conditions and see what the limits were to the problem.

    So lets do that with the atmospheric CO2.

    Since the warming of the atmosphere is supposedly linked directly to the amount of CO2 it contains, lets set the boundary conditions and calculate the resulting ‘TOE’.

    Assume that we could somehow reduce the atmospheric CO2 to zero, instantly. What does the simple physics referred to by the Climate Experts say the TOE would be in 10 years, 50 years, and 100 years?

    Then assume that the atmosphere could be converted to 100% CO2 and calculate the TOE in 10 years, 50 years, and 100 years.

    That would establish the lower and upper limits on the TOE established by the CO2 ‘control knob’.

    Of course, 100% CO2 is fatal to animal life, and plants stop growing when CO2 drops below around 150 ppm, so lets set the max limit to a relatively safe 20,000 ppm and the min limit to 150 ppm and use our physics to recalculate the TOE for both levels at 10, 50, and 100 years after an instantaneous change.

    Once we have done the basic physics problems above, it will be easier to see the magnitude of our problem and develop realistic approaches to solving it. Simply stating that ACO2 is causing the TOE to rise and we gotta stop it right now is a weak argument unless you know of the magnitude and timing of the rise. Since it is simple physics, as the ‘skeptics’ are repeatedly reminded, I don’t really understand why these calculations weren’t done long ago, rather than adjusting the empirical data, fitting curves using a variety of smoothing techniques and carefully chosen start and stop times, plotting trend lines, and then arguing endlessly about ‘what it all proves’.

  83. Svend Ferdinandsen

    Reminds me that the answer obviously is 42.
    (Hitchikers.. i think it was)

    • I had that idea, too.

    • @ Svend

      Well, I have to admit that 42 is at least as believable as any answer that is likely to be derived by Climate Science from basic physical principles.

      Not that I expect answers, derived or not.

      But we can be certain that the consequences of inaction will be disastrous.

  84. We are not talking about the absolute energy from either the sun or due to the total CO2 “forcing”. We must be concerned with the CHANGE in those that has occurred during the past century. The 0.028 w/m2 is the change in present annual heat input from heat emissions. (The average over the last century may approximate 0.014w/m2 x 100 yrs.). Another question: How much does the increase in CO2 improve the effectiveness of the blanket to capture solar heat, and how much is due to the increase in heat released under the greenhouse blanket? How long does it take to dissipate the heat suddenly injected into the environment? How long does it take for heat injected into the atmosphere in the northern hemisphere to effect the southern hemisphere? The same question can be asked regarding heat introduced into the water; the mechanism for mixing or dispersing is different from air. I would imagine that air circulation constitutes two separate systems, whereas ocean currents circulate more readily between hemispheres. All this conjecture is give myself a better feel for what is transient vs. longer lasting.

  85. IPCC Fifth Assessment WG1 Physical Science Basis, is the key to understanding how IPCC supports their conclusions. The final draft just issued. Unfortunately is very difficult based on the organization and way it is presented (not talking about technical content, readers with technical competence can understand the content). WG2 and WG3 will issue later but I am less interested since this gets into gory details of such things the mating habits of the Northern Rockies titmouse over time. You can get your copy here. http://www.climatechange2013.org/

    A key chart to start is on page 54 of the report showing the various forcings of warming temperature and stated error bars/uncertainties.

    An issue for policy making is

    Y (observed) = f(Xij), “atmospheric variables” including direct and interaction (cross) effects + g (solar irradiance), where the observed result or independent variable of climate change Y is the measure of global or regional temperature change. This is the outcome of the sum of all inputs and their interactions Xij shown in the chart. You have to understand all of the variables in the past and then make the projection into the future to support the policy you are recommending to address in climate change mitigation.

    If your damage function is based on the discounted present value of damages over the next 100 years at a reasonable value for the social discount rate which my gut feel is probably a few percent %. Stern screwed up his Stern Review by assuming a very tiny discount rate like a few tenths of a percent (he also double counted) and was publicly flogged by William Nordhaus and Richard Tol and others.

    The STATED confidence levels in the “independent” variables / input factors greenhouse gases like CO2, methane (“very high”) and aerosol / cloud interaction (“low”) is not based on some laboratory controlled empirical evaluation but based on the theories. If you had a large amount of data which covered all of the independent variables over wide ranges you would be able to approach this by analyzing a statistical model to provide a good indication with reasonable confidence on a statistical basis. You don’t have this, so you can’t do it.

    The big fish in this list and stated confidence levels include:

    Well mixed greenhouse gases – “very high”
    Aerosol radiation interaction – “medium”
    Aerosol could interaction – “low“
    Solar irradiation – “medium”

    Question: if the observed / projected decadal and centennial frame temperature change is a function of SOME “atmospheric” variables said to be of “very high” confidence and OTHER atmospheric” variables said to be of “medium” and “low” confidence PLUS variability in solar irradiance (an elephant in the room) said to be of “medium” confidence — how can the projection of future climate be of “high” or “very high” confidence suitable for policy making. And these do not include / allow interactions between GHGs and other variables.

    • @ Danley Wolfe

      “Question: if the observed / projected decadal and centennial……..?”

      Answer: If Climate Science had come before magicians, no one would ever have heard of dismissing some dubious proposition or other by saying ‘That’s all smoke and mirrors.’.

  86. Generalissimo Skippy

    Research is always about tackling difficult problems. This is much easier than predicting the stock market.

    Predicting the future of climate is easy? Parameters such as volcanoes and ENSO explain much of the variability of climate without a doubt. Other factors such as CO2 can be scaled to reproduce residual trends. But the resultant goodness of fit of a multiple linear regression equation is no guarantee that the parameters chosen define real world climate. The parameters are merely scaled to fit. Even so – ENSO and volcanoes are not predictable.

    A better approach to natural variability is to incorporate a cumulative ENSO index to account for persistence in Pacific Ocean processes. ENSO does not sum to zero over decades or even centuries.

    e.g. http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/SOI-GHD_zpse2645883.png.html?sort=3&o=12

    Climate has multi-decadal regimes that persist for 20 to 40 years in the long proxy records. These added to warming in the 1977/1998 period and are currently cooling the surface – at the very least – for another decade to three.

    This is mainstream oceanography – e.g. http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

    I find it impossible to understand why this seems so difficult for some.

  87. Dr. Curry and Reiersøl ==> If only this problem was as easy as the sea level at the Battery in NYC, a similar + and -, with hidden/secret figures. In my little elementary school-simple example, it came out like this http://tinyurl.com/sea-level-example (scroll to the bottom of the essay but above the comments for the two posters).

    In the sea level case, we have land, up OR down — from GIA, and settling type subsidence – only down. Absolute Sea Level — up OR down — up from recovery from the LIA and up OR down — totally unknown to man.

    Alas….at least we can measure it now with GPS and satellite.

    I don’t envy you folks the complexities (nor the conflicts of personalities.)

  88. I would recast the Big Question thusly: What unequivocal evidence is available that anything outside the range of Holocene experience has–or is destined to have–happened?

  89. I think this post simply highlights the stupidity of trying to use percentages to express the anthro contribution to warming when the terms that determine the warming can be negative in some cases. That is if feedbacks don’t neutralize most of it in the first place.

  90. jim2 point. Yes and they should stick to the approach suggested by their bar chart of positive and negative contributions. That is a function built around positive and negative forcing terms. For simplicity, Output = A + B – C – D + E – F + etc + error – the last term is important. These terms are not necessarily linear or additive. There are several reasons for talking about percentages, e.g., A/output, B/output, C/output… 1) the storyline has always been to focus the ‘blame’ on manmade GHGs sticking to the storyline defined in the 1993 UNFCCC climate convention – that man is destroying the planet and therefore man has to be stopped 2) this creates an optical illusion amplifying the apparent size of the anthropogenic cause thus supporting the cause.

    • It might make more sense to sum the absolute value of each term, then express the (hypothetical) anthro warming as a percent of the total, if you are married to a percentage metric. That would make the percentage reflect a more accurate effect of anthro CO2. But all the numbers would be hypothetical, nonetheless.

    • The “framing problem” goes back to the original UNFCCC protocol was laid out, probably before. The intention was to make this mankind centric at every turn rather than look at all of the inputs affecting change in the global temperature / climate. The 1993 UNFCCC define the problem to be anthropomorphic centric.

      Front Matter
      Global warming is a problem. Manmade greenhouse gases cause global warming. Therefore stop man from destroying the planet.
      Definition: “Climate change” means … (only) directly or indirectly to human activity.
      Objective
      The ultimate objective (of UNFCC and anything following the 1993 protocol) is to prevent man from destroying the planet by restricting AGHGs in a time frame sufficient to …
      Principles
      …should take precautionary measures to anticipate and prevent and mitigate (manmade) causes of climate change. Lack of full scientific understanding is not an excuse for not acting.

      Most of this Climate Etc “The Big Question” topic discussion would be collapsed if a balanced approach had been taken for example that: there are many inputs (vectors) that affect climate / temperature some being positive others being negative. The combination of these inputs (vectors) including cross effects/interactions are the net change, the “dependent variable” – climate / mean temperature change. There’s no need, reason or justification reason to go through confusing hypotheticals like ‘suppose that only CO2 alone were acting as the only forcing of climate / global temperature change. Other than to put a focus on humans destroying the earth.

  91. The official IPCC (and wider) consensus AGW (since the mid-20th century) has always been like this:

    Change since ~1950:

    Natural forcings only: -0.1 to -0.2 deg C (slight cooling)
    Natural and anthropogenic (net): 0.5 to 0.7 deg C (warming)
    Anthropogenic only: 0.6 to 0.9 deg C

    So, more than 100% is anthropogenic (very roughly 110 – 120%). This has been and is the consensus attribution.

    You cannot make it up as you go! Is the net ‘forcing’ variability since the mid-20th century known or not? Is it science or epicycles?

    https://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/syr/en/mains2-4.html

    • Edim: Not quite, according to my info. As I quoted from the TAR, AGW is “possibly larger than the total observed warming”. And in the AR5: “The best estimate of the human-induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period”. So possibly, but not necessarily more than 100%. I haven’t checked the AR4.

    • @ Edim

      “You cannot make it up as you go! Is the net ‘forcing’ variability since the mid-20th century known or not? Is it science or epicycles?”

      Taken one at a time:

      “You cannot make it up as you go!” Au contraire. They have demonstrated repeatedly that they CAN make it up as they go. And ruin the reputation of anyone who points out that they are doing so.

      “Is the net ‘forcing’ variability since the mid 20th century known or not?” Of course it is not known. Since no one knows how climate works or has an exhaustive list of the factors that affect it, the magnitude of their effects, or, in many cases, the sign of their influence on the ‘Temperature of the Earth’ how would they go about backing out all ‘natural’ forcing?

      “Is it science or epicycles?” What did an epicycle ever do to you to deserve such slander as being compared to IPCC grade Climate Science?

    • Edim,
      “Epicycles” such as tides, days, and seasons are no longer epicycles because they have a known physical basis.

      Are you having problems coming up with your own models such as CSALT that work this well?

  92. IPCC should begin before the mid 20th century … why omit the runup and then abrupt drop in temperature around 1940… this is avoiding use of valuable information on the net output being caused by the combined effect of all possible inputs Xij. The argument is that aerosol pollution caused the 1940s cooling. If we understand this, even if we cannot quantify perfectly, it should be used in the IPCC modeling. IPCC modeling initial conditions are at 1950?

  93. Danley, the (IPCC) argument is that the divergence between natural and natural plus anthropogenic started around the mid 20th century. Or that anthropogenic forcing became significant around the middle of the century. This is plausible IF ACO2 (plus other less important anthropogenic factors) had an effect, because that’s roughly when the emissions became significant.

    We are now (2013) at ~10 GtC/year.

    • Eyeballed, since 2010 (4 years) we have emitted more CO2 than in 1750 – 1950 (200 years!).

    • @ Edim

      “This is plausible IF ACO2 (plus other less important anthropogenic factors) had an effect, because that’s roughly when the emissions became significant.”

      Well, yeah, but as Jim Cripwell and his good buddy Bill of Occam like to point out, until the climate does something that it has never done before, the MOST plausible conclusion is that it DOESN’T have an effect. At least no measurable one.

    • Bob, I agree. IMO, CO2 has no measurable effect.

      What I’m trying is to point out, is that the consensus AGW is all over the place and not even wrong. That means worse than wrong.

  94. Edim, I don’t disagree but look at it differently. My point, repeating my earlier comments, IPCC approaches the analysis and modeling with an anthropomorphic centric framing … analyzing and explaining around the story line of their “control knob” theory, i.e., the world and all factors involving in warming the atmosphere and earth land and sea explainable by framing around anthropogenic GHGs. Keeling / Scripps NOAA data begin in March 1958 but there are other records of CO2-temperature and other variables. I don’t know if IPCC backcast their models to earlier than 1950 times but they should – for the following reasons. As you suggest and as shown in the AR5 WG! 8.3, CO2 levels were lower and growth was slower in the first half of the 1900s. The measured output (warming) is caused by a combination of variables known to influence the output, and those can have interaction terms as a result of the ruling physics and chemistry. AR5 WG1 Ch 9 discusses IPCC modeling work. A great deal of effort is (deservedly) spent on “tuning” and resolution of the models. However, the backcasting is limited to 10 years. If AGW was less prevalent before 1950, it would be even more prudent / informative to extend the focus further back – you might learn more about the critical negative forcings- aerosol radiation and aerosol cloud interactions – when the AGW forcings are less prevalent. it’s a multivariate system, and the aerosol radiation and aerosol cloud interaction are the least well understood (along with solar variance).

    • @ Danley Wolfe

      “My point, repeating my earlier comments, IPCC approaches the analysis and modeling with an anthropomorphic centric framing … analyzing and explaining around the story line of their “control knob” theory, i.e., the world and all factors involving in warming the atmosphere and earth land and sea explainable by framing around anthropogenic GHGs.”

      Exactly. You have, again, pointed out ‘The Problem With Climate Science’: it treats ACO2 driven global warming as an axiom rather than a scientific theory subject to confirmation or refutation by observation:

      “An axiom, or postulate, is a premise or starting point of reasoning. A self-evident principle or one that is accepted as true without proof as the basis for argument; a postulate.”

      Within the official climate science/green/progressive_politician complex the ACO2 control knob is unchallenged and unchallengable. NO theory or data that in any way casts doubt on the ACO2 axiom, even marginally, goes unchallenged. A scientist who questions it is instantly attacked, professionally AND personally. See the evolution of Dr. Curry’s treatment by ‘The Team’ as her scientific views on the importance of ACO2 have moderated–only slightly–over the last few years. It isn’t pretty and it doesn’t inspire confidence that the IPCC and its supporting cast is the outfit that should be deciding how we should be allowed to run our lives and disposing of trillions of dollars of our money.

  95. And backcast testing for only ten years is truly meaningless to understand historical causes of variables in multivariate systems. History is the key to understanding future projections.

  96. Walt Allensworth

    Very interesting article Dr. Curry. Raised my level of thinking a bit.

    So say that there is, in all actuality, a huge relentless climate sensitivity to CO2 of something like 4K/ln(CO2)/ln(2).

    And say that this is being exactly cancelled by a non-anthropogenic negative forcing beyond our control and current comprehension, and we’re currently at a stalemate between the powerful forces of “wind and tide” in sailor parlance.

    Say that’s where we are RIGHT NOW.

    So say we somehow miraculously remove the CO2 forcing. maybe everyone goes nuke in the next 20 years, and pull all the ACO2 out of the air that we, bad us, put in.

    Where does the temperature of the earth go then, when we’ve removed the ACO2 forcing? Back to the ice-age from whence it came 11,000 years ago? We’re already overdue. A mile of ice across the breadbasket of the US and China?

    This would not keep bellies full. The complaints department would be swamped with nasty emails from the billions of people that starved to death.

    So just maybe we’d better figure this out before we do something globally rash like take the ACO2 out of the air just because we put it in…

    • “Climate change has to be broken down into three questions: ‘Is climate changing and in what direction?’ ‘Are humans influencing climate change, and to what degree?’ And: ‘Are humans able to manage climate change predictably by adjusting one or two factors out of the thousands involved?’ The most fundamental question is: ‘Can humans manipulate climate predictably?’ Or, more scientifically: ‘Will cutting carbon dioxide emissions at the margin produce a linear, predictable change in climate?’ The answer is ‘No’. In so complex a coupled, non-linear, chaotic system as climate, not doing something at the margins is as unpredictable as doing something. This is the cautious science; the rest is dogma.” ~Philip Stott

  97. He should not admit something that is not true. You are wrong.

  98. Why should one assume that the models for AGW radiative forcing that are developed in isolation are correct. The AGHGs are not operating in isolation?

  99. OK people, I wanted to know how long the pause needed to be before it is statistically significant, so I had a go.

    Here is what I did. I took the rise from 1965-2000 in the HADCRU monthly data and removed the trend from 1965-2014.
    I took the SD of 1965-2000.
    I removed the trend from 2001-2014, and calculated the SD for this period.
    I multiplied the SD’s by 0.76, giving a band of 55.4% for each of the two series.
    Where the upper CI of one series crossed the lower CI of the other, then there is (22.3%)^2=5% chance that the series are the same.
    The estimated cross over point is in January 2022; so 21 years. This will change if the SD changes much between 2001-2022.
    So is this a reasonable approach?

    • That is way too complicated Doc, and it assumes that what we are seeing is random. What happens if it isn’t random and the behavior is actually “baked in” by forcing functions and cyclical terms?

      Using the CSALT model, I can train the fit against ranges that lead up to the current time, starting from a range that runs from 1880 to 1950. In all cases what we see projected is a pause that acts to compensate the steady climb of global warming:

      http://contextearth.com/2014/01/22/projection-training-intervals-for-csalt-model/

      The pause is caused by factors such as SOI, TSI, and various other cyclic terms identified by skeptics such as Scafetta and Best.

  100. This topic post amounts to an absurd logic game. How about we attribute 0% of any change to AGW? Now the earth warms and cools according to cycles which our researchers only guess at. Or, as in the case of historical climate science, researchers can only determine forensically. Given that current climate models have demonstrated no ability whatsoever to make reliable real-time predictions, I’m pretty certain that my 0% AGW attribution is just as likely as any of the other scenarios.

    • Oh yes, and my 0% AGW hypothesis, eliminates the absolute versus relative contribution conundrum. Problem solved. Now we can go on to important questions like “If God can do anything, can he build a climate model that he can’t figure out?”

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Now the earth warms and cools according to cycles which our researchers only guess at.”

      But climate is not a random walk, and is always the sum of all forcings at any given time. Increasing GH gases is a definite forcing- and the discussion is really only about the how sensitive the system is to this forcing.

  101. Bob and R. Gates – your points of view are true as you frame them. But if all of the forcings are important it does make no sense to frame the question in terms of AGW causes a problem and everything else is a correction to the problem as stated. All of the forcings are important so try to understand all of the forcings. The IPCC has lost 20 years by taking its AGW centric view dictated by the 1993 UNFCCC protocol at Rio (my comments this page 1/31 around 11 am:
    Front Matter
    Global warming is a problem. Manmade greenhouse gases cause global warming. Therefore stop man from destroying the planet.
    Definition: “Climate change” means … (only) directly or indirectly to human activity.
    Objective
    Therefore the ultimate objective (of UNFCC and anything following the 1993 protocol) is to prevent man from destroying the planet by restricting AGHGs in a time frame sufficient to …
    Principles
    …take precautionary measures to anticipate prevent and mitigate (manmade) causes of climate change. Lack of full scientific understanding is not an excuse for not acting.

  102. Latimer Alder

    STM to me that even before the attribution question is a bigger one:

    Is climate change (however caused) likely to be a Big Problem, A Small Problem or No Problem?

    Until we know the answer, we can’t determine what we need to do about it – if anything at all.

    And so far – after 30 years and $100 billion spent on climatology, climatologists and climate model, we are precisely no further forward than we were in 1975 when the change in question seemed to be cooling not warming and people advocated burning more fossil fuels to keep us warm.

    Has there ever been a field of study where so much blood and treasure has been expended, so many careers created, so many conferences attended, so many papers written and reviewed (and occasionally read) for so few tangible results?? The models clearly don’t reflect reality, nobody has ever done much more than guess at sensitivity, and there is no prospect of that all changing even if we spend another 100 years and a further $300 billion. And did I forget to say that Gaia ain’t read the basic climo 101 texts either and stubbornly refuses to cooperate?

    If the ‘public investment’ in climatology had been a commercial venture, we’d be suing the perps for everything they’ve got. But since that’s probably not possible we’ll just have to start withdrawing funding from most of it…unless somebody can come up with a more convincing plan than throwing good money after bad.

  103. Pingback: January top climate sites & articles from uClimate.com | ScottishSceptic

  104. Lauri Heimonen

    The ‘Biggest’ Question(?)

    by Dagfinn Reiersøl
    ‘The Big Question in the climate change debate, as traditionally and conventionally posed, is: “is global warming caused by humans?”
    To those of us who know a little about climate science, it’s clearly an over-simplification, since climate scientists typically consider both anthropogenic and natural factors as part of the equation.’

    I am personally convinced of the view expressed more and more often – in a way or an other – that any impact on global warming caused by human CO2 emissions to atmosphere can not be distinguished from zero; look e.g. at my comment http://judithcurry.com/2014/01/23/the-logic-of-the-ipccs-attribution-statement/#comment-441579 ; excerpt:

    ”These should make anybody understand that an increase of CO2 content in atmosphere does not control global warming; that the recent share of anthropogenic CO2 emissions have not controlled the CO2 content in atmosphere; that the influence of recent anthropogenic CO2 emissions on global warming has been ‘indistinguishable from zero’; and that therefore there is no reason for curtailment of anthropogenic CO2 emissions.”

  105. “Scenario 2: The pause. Now consider a scenario more like what actually happened. If temperatures during the second period remained constant, the expected 1 unit of AGW would seem to have been neutralized by a similar amount of natural cooling. That adds up to 4 AGW units as before, but now the 1 unit of natural warming from the first period has been canceled out by the 1 unit of natural cooling from the second, for a total of 0.”

    That would be a bit curious that 1 one unit of natural warming took three time as long as 1 unit of natural cooling.

    “Scenario 3: Cooling. We could do another scenario, imagining that there had been 1 unit of total cooling instead in the period since 2000. Presumably that would imply 2 units of natural cooling, –1 over the entire time frame. We still have 4 units of AGW, which works out to a relative net anthropogenic contribution of 133%.”

    It would take 2 units of natural cooling since 2000 to cause 1 net unit of cooling against 1 unit of AGW warming since 2000

    Going back to:
    “We’ll pretend to know that during second half of the 20th century, we had 3 arbitrary units of anthropogenic warming and 1 unit of natural warming. This adds up to 4 units of total warming, making the relative anthropogenic contribution 75%.”

    With a ratio of 3:1 a pause is not then possible without natural cooling occurring at three times the rate of natural warming. That applies even more so to the cooling from 1950 to 1975.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1950/to:1975

    • With all respect, I suggest this boiling down to ultra simple concepts is not helpful. What’s the purpose of the link to woodfortrees.org plot of Hadcrut4 global mean temperature. Sure looks like no correlation at all. Or else the patient has severe random cardio fibrillation.

    • “That would be a bit curious that 1 one unit of natural warming took three time as long as 1 unit of natural cooling.” Well, it’s an average over the longer period, and it could vary during that time.

      Just to make sure I’ve made myself clear, this is not my theory of what actually happened. It’s just an exploration of how the algorithm that the IPCC seems to use works.

    • Danley Wolfe said:
      “I suggest this boiling down to ultra simple concepts is not helpful.”

      On the contrary, revealing the error in the maths is most helpful. Look at Scenario 3 again, for 2 units of natural cooling since 2000 (which there has to be 2 to give a net 1 unit of cooling against 1 unit of AGW warming), the rate of natural cooling has to be 6 times the rate of the 1 unit of natural warming from 1950 to 1999.

    • Dagfinn | February 2, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
      “Just to make sure I’ve made myself clear, this is not my theory of what actually happened. It’s just an exploration of how the algorithm that the IPCC seems to use works.”

      I can’t see that it does work, or where the justification for 75% AGW is derived.

  106. Gavin Schmidt:
    ” “As I discussed last time, the GHG trend is almost certainly larger than the net anthropogenic trend because of the high likelihood that anthropogenic aerosols have been a net cooling over that time.” This could be the case, but even then it’s highly uncertain, since it’s based on the cooling effect of anthropogenic aerosols.”

    A highly uncertain high likelihood, because of the warming effects of low elevation anthropogenic aerosols.

  107. “The model is even further from answering the question we should be asking and need to ask: how much actual warming are we causing?”

    That will become much more apparent the further we go into this solar minimum, as none of the models include all solar forcing metrics. A key point for regional implications of short term solar forcing is that the Arctic Oscillation, has in this solar cycle readily dropped to negative values not seen regularly since the last weak solar solar cycles (SC’s 12-14), despite a higher global average temperature.

  108. The Big Question

    The IPCC graph in “Hockey Schtick | January 29, 2014 at 2:09 pm” is a good example of how to mislead in a presentation by obfuscation(hiding important information and not saying so).

    The graph has six categories- GHG:well-mixed greenhouse gases, ANT:combined anthropogenic forcings, OA:other anthropogenic forcings, NAT:natural forcings, and internal variability plus a bar for HadCRUT4 temperature records, along with estimated ranges of error in the graphs.

    We are left to our own inclinations to decide how to asses these bars. Internal variability presumably includes random changes and unexplained variations in all the included records.

    Obfuscation:
    First off all the classes are derived second or third hand, via averages, smoothing, infilling, meta analysis and other data modifications. This means that for the most part they are not immediately suitable for trend analysis or attribution.

    Natural variation presumably is limited to the 60 years in the graph. This implies no allowance for any changes or trends longer than 60 years. Presumably they were ignored, although there is literature that identifies a number of longer term variations.

    Greenhouse Gases- a portion comes from fossil fuel usage and other human activities. A much larger portion comes from oceans with no distinction between the two and assumes equal variability both. This makes it impossible to separate effects and variability. The value for GHG is .9deg C, as is the error bar. The error bar implies a 0-100% uncertainty range(well maybe only 1.5-97%).

    Anthropogenic forcings includes anth. GHG and all other anth. forcings that are known. The total error bar is 1.1degC implying a possible range from 0.25-.95degC. No mention is made of unknowns here.

    Natural forcing is shown to be effectively zero, with a variability of -.1-+.1degC. Again, no estimate of limits on currently unknown natural forcings.

    The graph misleads by combining anth.GHG into two different bars leading one to add the GreenGHG and the OrangeANT producing a warming trend 1.6 or more degC with no hint of the actual rate of the trend.

    In another place the IPCC assigns “likely” to a range of 50-100% chance. Looking at all the error bars involved in this excercise one can likely say that the total range of possiblities is a trend(per something) of -2+ to +2+deg.C for the temperature trend between 1951 and 2010.

    That gives me a zero confidence in expecting any outcome. Presumably the trends are annual, so perhaps one can be confident the global surface air temperature will be above 0 degC in 2020, but who knows??

  109. Here is a summary of papers arguing that the Medieval Warm Period in the US was even warmer than today.

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/mwp_contiguous_us.pdf

    Natural Variability at work.

    We warmed then and we have warmed now. CO2 did not cause either one or any of the other warm periods. The Alarmists have no actual data that CO2 is any kind of major warmer. They have calculations that show that Doubling CO2 should cause a little warming, if nothing else changes. Their Problem is, everything else changes. Mainly, added heat melts more sea ice and causes more snowfall so the upper limit of temperature is still well bounded.