Climate Dialogue on Climate Sensitivity and Transient Climate Response

by Judith Curry

Climate Dialogue explores different views on climate sensitivity and transient climate response.

Climate Dialogue is a remarkable blogospheric experiment.  From the About page:

[Climate Dialogue is] an international blog where invited scientists discuss controversial topics in climate science. There are several blogs that facilitate discussions between climate experts but since the climate debate is highly polarized and politicized, blog discussions between experts with opposing views are rare.

ClimateDialogue.org is the result of a request by the Dutch parliament to facilitate the scientific discussions between climate experts representing the full range of views on the subject. It is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment.

The aim of ClimateDialogue.org is to establish what the discussants agree on, where disagreements remain and what the possible or likely reasons behind these disagreements are. The project by no means aims to solve controversies nor give an objective, scientific final judgment on the topics under discussion.

In case you missed it, I participated in the inaugural discussion on Arctic sea ice.

Climate Dialogue has just posted on the topic of Climate Sensitivity and Transient Climate Response.  Marcel Crok has given me permission to post his introductory essay that lays out the key topics of debate, some excerpts:

In AR5 it is indicated that the peer-reviewed literature provides no consensus on a formal statistical method to combine different lines of evidence. Therefore, in AR5 the range of ECS and TCR is expert-assessed, supported by, as indicated above, several different and partly independent lines of evidence, each based on multiple studies, models and data sets. Obviously, this expert judgement in AR5 has been performed deliberately, but it is not a straightforward procedure. The discussion on how to weigh the different lines of evidence is very old, not only in the scientific literature but also in the blogosphere and in reports and is still going on. For example, Nic Lewis, who takes part in this dialogue and was author/co-author of two studies mentioned in the instrumental category in figure 1, argues that instrumental or empirical approach studies with relatively low ECS values should be weighted much higher than IPCC did in AR5 (Lewis and Crok, 2014).

Others argue that the main limit on ECS is that it has to be consistent with palaeoclimatic data which point at ranges being consistent with the IPCC-range (Palaeosens, 2012, also mentioned in figure 1) and also in line with climate models likely range of about 2 to 4.5 0C (CMIP5). Some argue that palaeoclimatic data points to values in the upper part of the IPCC range (Hansen, 2013). In this dialogue we therefore want to focus first on the following two questions: 1) What are the pros and cons of the different lines of evidence? 2) What weight should be assigned to the different lines of evidence and their underlying studies? Best estimate With respect to the best estimate it was reported in AR5 that: “No best estimate for equilibrium climate sensitivity can now be given because of a lack of agreement on values across assessed lines of evidence.” Also, it was concluded that ECS is extremely unlikely less than 1°C (grey solid line in figure 1), and very unlikely greater than 6°C (grey dashed line).

So IPCC did not choose between the different lines of evidence with respect to the best estimate, but it was not discussed in much detail why. Therefore, the third question we will address is: 3) Why would a lack of agreement between the lines of evidence not allow for a best estimate for ECS? 4) What do you consider as a range and best estimate of ECS, if any? TCR range in AR5 AR5 concludes with high confidence that the TCR is likely in the range 1°C to 2.5°C, and extremely unlikely greater than 3°C (see figure 2).

The three invited experts are James Annan, John Fasullo, and Nic Lewis.  All three essays are well written and clearly lay out their positions.  Annan’s essay most closely follows the IPCC AR5 report and is arguably the ‘consensus’ position.  Nic Lews argues for relatively low sensitivity values and Fasullo argues for relatively high sensitivity values.  For my perspective, I have written numerous previous posts on the topic of climate sensitivity, including discussing papers by Annan and Lewis.  My own views on this topic most closely correspond to Nic Lewis.

Check out the comments, this is the most interesting part.  Each of the 3 authors has critiqued the other posts.  Bart Strengers has summarized the posts, focusing on areas of agreement and disagreement.

Climate Dialogue has two sets of comments:  one for the participants, and the other for the public.  Interesting public comments will be pointed out to the participants.

Check out the Climate Dialogue site, and maybe even leave a comment.

Moderation note:  This is a technical thread, keep your comments on topic – either the subject of sensitivity, or the Climate Dialogue approach.

367 responses to “Climate Dialogue on Climate Sensitivity and Transient Climate Response

  1. Steven Mosher

    weirdly they did not invite cripwell or springer.

    • Well, that’s a great start to an intelligent debate.

    • David Springer

      Weirdly, my name is the first thing Mosher feels worth mentioning on this topic.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Why would anyone invite me to write a paper, when all it would say is
      “Any numeric value of climate sensitivity, however defined, is nothing more than a guess. My guess, based on no-one having measured a CO2 signal in any modern temperature/time graph, is 0.0 C to one place of decimals”?

    • Ha, ha. I just had to come back to check if Faustino was Fasullo before I start reading the Climate Dialogue posts.

    • The Who Didn’t Get Invited Argument.

      A new high for science.

      Andrew

    • Steven Mosher

      Bad Andrew comes closest to understanding why this is the best way to start off an intelligent discussion.

      There is a climate science debate.
      if folks want to have an impact and graduate from being a keyboard jockey the path is clear.

      heres how

      By definition ClimateSensitivity = dT/dF

      You can

      1. Question the whole equation: This is what Willis does.
      generally speaking you wont be invited to the debate.
      There are a couple exceptions to this.
      2. attack dT. that is you can argue the precision and certainty of dT
      3. attack dF, that is you can argue about forcing.
      4. argue about the uncertainty analysis approach.

      So, if you want to make a difference, if you want to actually do something
      then focus on 2-4. Otherwise you are just wasting your time.
      smart people dont waste time.
      dont invite dumb people to a debate.

      • David Springer

        Mosher seems to be struggling under the mistaken idea that if science can just convincingly get ECS right that China will stop burning coal. This debate is entirely academic. No reduction in CO2 emission that’s enough to make a whit of difference in the eventual outcome has happened as a result of it and none will. For every roadblock on CO2 emission put in place in the western world it serves no more purpose than to displace the CO2 emission to a non-western nation. It’s simply redistribution of wealth from developed nations to developing nations. Let’s stop gilding the lilly, shall we?

    • Mosh

      Good analysis and advice

      tonyb

    • Sensitivity equals dT/dF is only valid for an absolute temperature and absolute forcing over a small range of change and since the current “state of the artistry” “surface temperature average” requires using anomaly from very cold locations with very little energy per degree of anomaly, what “surface” is averaged impacts the estimate of “sensitivity”. Since climate models in general screw the “sensitivity” estimating pooch and the absolute temperature, it should be pretty obvious who should never have been involved in the debate.

    • “Bad Andrew comes closest to understanding why this is the best way to start off an intelligent discussion.”

      ‘Cept I forget the /sarc tag. ;)

      Andrew

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      The global coupled atmosphere–ocean–land–cryosphere system exhibits a wide range of physical and dynamical phenomena with associated
      physical, biological, and chemical feedbacks that collectively result in a continuum of temporal and spatial variability. The traditional boundaries between weather and climate are, therefore, somewhat artificial.

      A UNIFIED MODELING APPROACH TO CLIMATE SYSTEM PREDICTION

      by James Hurrell, Gerald A. Meehl, David Bader, Thomas L. Delworth , Ben Kirtman, and Bruce Wielicki: BAMS December 2009

      Climate sensitivity is then defined mathematically as the derivative of an appropriate functional or other function of the systems state with respect to the bifurcation parameter.

      A Mathematical Theory of Climate Sensitivity or,
      How to Deal With Both Anthropogenic Forcing and Natural Variability? Michael Ghil, 2013, World Scientific Review Volume – 10

      The distinction between weather and climate is indeed artificial. Weather and climate are emergent phenomenon on scales from seconds to millennia. So let’s call it something different – the weather/climate continuum perhaps.

      Climate sensitivity is then γ is the following diagram.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Ghil_fig11_zpse58189d9.png.html?sort=3&o=89

      Clarity may eventually emerge from climate science miasma and not playing the low or high sensitivity game is the leading edge.

    • Steve Fitzpatrick

      Mosh,

      You are correct that to make a difference you need to be a bit more than a keyboard jockey.

      I think the greatest uncertainty lies in the dF part of the equation….. and that uncertainty is mainly in aerosol direct and indirect effects…. so that is where constructive analysis ought to focus. AR5 (as Nic Lewis regularly points out) concludes a most likely net aerosol offset of -0.9 watt/M^2, which is bizarrely inconsistent with the average level of aerosol offsets used by the AR5 climate model ensemble (much higher offsets in the models), and most consistent with a fairly low (<2C per doubling) climate sensitivity to forcing. Those like Fasullo who continue to insist that the higher model diagnosed average sensitivity (~3.2C per doubling) is more likely correct than the lower end of the IPCC range are implicitly saying that the AR5 best estimate of aerosol offsets is wrong, yet appear to offer no data to support that contention. Their argument seems to be little more than "it's models (with assumed high aerosol offsets!) all the way down". In fairness, there remains considerable uncertainty in aerosol effects, but if there will be real progress in narrowing the credible range for climate sensitivity, it has to come from reducing the still too wide uncertainty in aerosol effects, not from flogging climate models which assume aerosol offsets inconsistent with the best available measured effects. IMO, narrowing the uncertainty in aerosol offsets is the only clear path to better understanding of climate sensitivity.

      Once net aerosol offset is well constrained, there will be little room for disagreement on climate sensitivity. Argo provides the accurate ocean heat data which constrains plausible combinations of sensitivities and aerosol offsets. Comparable quality data for aerosols would constrain the plausible sensitivity to a very narrow range. What is missing is an Argo-like system for measuring aerosol offsets.

      • David Springer

        Steve Fitzpatrick | May 13, 2014 at 6:03 pm |

        Mosh,

        You are correct that to make a difference you need to be a bit more than a keyboard jockey.

        It takes more than being an academic blowhard too or western nations with carbon taxes. This only serves to drive consumption to non-western nations. Decades of academic and western liberal sycophants whining about greenhouse warming has not slowed down global CO2 emission one tiny bit. It has only accelerated.

        Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result.

    • k scott denison

      Steven Mosher | May 13, 2014 at 3:42 pm |

      By definition ClimateSensitivity = dT/dF
      ___________
      I like your comment.

      Some additional thoughts/questions: what is the time frame for the above? What differentiates transient from equilibrium? Can equilibrium ever be reached? If so, when was the last time it was reached and how do we know? If not, is equilibrium climate sensitivity important?

      More to examine/argue then your 2-4, no?

    • k scott denison

      Generalissimo, good post, a good reminder that the response of the climate is just a bit more complicated than dT/dF over any significant time period.

    • k scott denison

      It always helps me to think in terms of analogies. To me, thinking that the temperature responds in a simple way to a simple change in forcing is like saying the velocity of my car responds in a simple way to a change in the forcing (increase in fuel burned)… As Mosher always says, that’s true if and only if everything else is equal. (Going up hill, down hill, into wind, with wind, wet road, icy road, good tires, worn tires, …)

      My argument is we don’t know everything else well enough and cannot hold it “equal” in order to estimate dT/dF in any meaningful way over any meaningful time frame.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Steven Mosher: By definition ClimateSensitivity = dT/dF

      Ironically, the link defines it as the change per doubling of CO2 concentration. They then relate it to the change in forcing that is hypothesized to follow the change in CO2.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Generalissimo Skippy: The distinction between weather and climate is indeed artificial. Weather and climate are emergent phenomenon on scales from seconds to millennia. So let’s call it something different – the weather/climate continuum perhaps.

      Climate sensitivity is then γ is the following diagram.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Ghil_fig11_zpse58189d9.png.html?sort=3&o=89

      Clarity may eventually emerge from climate science miasma and not playing the low or high sensitivity game is the leading edge.

      Really, we do not need more than two syllables: “climate”. At this stage, I would guess that we can have a reasonable empirical estimate of the sensitivity of mean temp to a doubling of CO2 before we have an adequate model in which the gamma coefficient can be estimated.

    • Steven Mosher

      No springer we are actually working in china ti help them switch.

    • Steven Mosher

      Mathew. Read harder.
      Climate sensitivity
      Climate sensitivity to doubling co2.

    • Steven Mosher

      K scott.
      Good analogy.

      Later when a paper ive reviewed gets published
      Ill tell you the author handled the all else being equal issue.

    • Steven Mosher

      Captain is doing #1.
      Others do that better.
      Kbd jockey

      • David Springer

        Mosher you have an undergraduate degree in English/philosophy and nothing more. What are you reviewing a science paper for, correct grammar? LOL

    • Steven Mosher

      Typical springer. Doesnt get that its a tough job
      That is just begining.
      Use google dave.
      Kbd jockey

      • David Springer

        I get that it’s tough, Mosher. Tough on the order of trying to use soothing words to stop a charging rhino. Invent a cheaper source of energy than coal and give it away to the Chinese. They aren’t listening to your academic puffery about ECS.

      • Invent a cheaper source of energy than coal and give it away to the Chinese.

        No need to “give it away to the Chinese”, just let them find out about it, and they’ll take it themselves.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Steven Mosher: Mathew. Read harder.
      Climate sensitivity
      Climate sensitivity to doubling co2.

      Right. You supplied your definition as “the” definition, thereby leading away from the topic of the links.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Surely an invalid concept based on dinosaur theory is of little value – other than as entertainment – aye Matthew.

    • Gee Manacker, thank you for this summary. I’ve only read the first paragraph and wrapped (i.e. very impressed).

      One rather fundamental point need[s] to be clearly understood at the outset of the discussion: there is no “correct” pdf for the equilibrium sensitivity. Such a pdf is not a property of the climate system at all. Rather, the climate sensitivity is a value (ignoring quibbles over the details and precision of the definition) and a pdf is merely a device for summarising our uncertainty over this value.

      That is a really great fact to point out and make very clear up front.

      So all the pdf that have been produced demonstrate how enormously uncertain is our understanding of TCR and ETS.

    • Steven Mosher

      Mosh

      Good analysis and advice

      tonyb

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

      Tony Thanks.

      Let me see if I can expand a bit on what I am up to. There is a fair amount of discussion that goes on around the idea of debate and around the idea of consensus. Lets say there are two extreme positions
      A) there is no debate. the science is settled.
      B) Climate scientists wont debate with us.

      I think both of those positions actually allow people to avoid the real debate. But there is price of admission to that real debate. For folks in camp A they have to admit that there is a debate, for folks in camp B, they have to join that actual debate and not the debate they think they want.

      So I use the climate sensitivity equation to Frame the debate and to show people a way to frame their objections WITHIN that debate.

      Obviously there will always be sky dragons and others who dont wantto join this debate.. Well, the invitation is open but seats are limited.

      One happy result of joining the actual debate is that it takes away the “denier card” And yes some people want to wear that card. Sorry, there are not enough
      seats at the table for every nutjob.

      On to the equation

      lambda (climate sensitivity) = dT/dF.

      From this I see 4 types of challenges and 4 types of skeptics. Of course some people like to doubt everything. Typically, they suck.

      1. Systems Skeptics. a systems skeptic might question the whole equation.
      These attacks come in several forms. Willis, for example, is a systems skeptic as he questions the whole governing equation. Folks who argue that climate is
      chaotic might also belong here. The challenges tend to be definitional challenges.. is the function linear.. is it spatially homogenous, is it temperature
      dependent, are all forcings equal.. over what time period.. It is very hard
      for any skeptic to actually make a contribution to science here unless they
      actually come up with a different governing equation. It is not enough to question
      a simplifying governing equation, one actually has to off up alternatives. That is, IF you want to actually do something productive. Put another way it would take
      a person with enormous social power to reframe the entire debate away from this
      governing equation or it would take a alternative simplifying equation that was
      more compelling. I dont see anyone doing that kind of work.

      2. dT skeptics. dT skeptics focus on the temperature record. However, dT skeptics RARELY frame their concerns within
      the paradigm of the governing equation. I was skeptical of the temperature record. Investigating it had a goal. The goal was to improve our understanding
      of dT so that we have better answers under the governing equation. This framing
      puts one INSIDE the debate. merely nit picking the record without framing your concern is not joining the debate. Lets take a cartoon version for example.
      two people:
      A) Im interested in the temperature record because those socialists in the government have their thumb on the scales. Im interested because they are incompetent. etc.
      B) Im interested because the temperature record is important to observational estimates of climate sensitivity.

      person A has put themselves outside the debate. Person B is in the debate.
      both doubt the record, but one has joined the debate. Skeptics never frame their concerns as concerns about the governing equation. They do frame their concern as improving science, they frame their concern as an attack..
      Also, person B actually does the work of making a better estimate. Person
      A is mere critic.

      3. dF skeptics. Folks who focus on forcings. This is wide open but there are some positions that just wont fly. “trace gas” skepticism wont fly. C02 has no effect wont fly, its all natural wont fly..the c02 is not from humans wont fly.
      what will fly what will get you in the debate is arguing over the levels and evolution of forcings.

      4. Uncertainty of methods. best example of this is Nic Lewis. He accepts
      #1 as a governing equation accepts #2 and his focus is on choices in #3
      and methods for estimating.

      Here is what also doesnt fly.” Its not science.” In short there are a whole raft of folks who want to object to the whole estimating procedure, with “its not science” types of objections. Their problem is they dont realize that debate in science is socially constructed. When they shout “its not science” the folks actually doing science cant hear them and wont hear them, because they are the social group that decides what counts as science. Philosophers dont get to decide. Blog commenters dont get to decide. Those doing science have that social power.
      as long as they are being paid and producing what they do is science. This annoys people I know.

      There is a debate. Its a debate within science. people are free to join it, but the debate is already structured.

      • David Springer

        “Sorry, there are not enough seats at the table for every nutjob.”

        Yup. There’s enough self-important academic nutjobs to fill the table already arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Meanwhile real scientists and engineers doing discovery and invention leading to useful products that improve the human condition are at a different table.

      • David Springer

        We who are not invited seem to be doing a bang-up job of casting doubt on anthropogenic global warming pseudo-science.

        http://www.gallup.com/poll/167843/climate-change-not-top-worry.aspx

        Your side is losing hearts and minds, Mosher. You get that, tough guy? Denial is more than river in Egypt.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Generalissimo Skippy: Surely an invalid concept based on dinosaur theory is of little value

      What is that about?

    • Steven Mosher

      arrg

      “They do frame their concern as improving science, they frame their concern as an attack..”

      I meant
      “They do not frame their concern as improving science, they frame their concern as an attack..”

    • One thing fundamentally structured, but unknowable in detail is the glorious future unfolding of the provable net benefits of any warming man can bring about.
      ================

    • Matthew R Marler

      Steven Mosher: It is not enough to question
      a simplifying governing equation, one actually has to off up alternatives.

      Not enough for what, and what constitute alternatives?

      As to the first, it is very helpful in the debate to remind people what propositions have not been tested, despite being repeatedly asserted. Because the effects of CO2/warming are not actually known, yet have potentially important consequences, it is worth reminding people how much has been written in the peer-reviewed that these effects are unknown. And since the debate relates to public policy, there is unwarranted optimism (if you want to call it that), that reducing fossil fuel use might have any benefit whatsoever.

      A reasonable case has been made, in the peer-reviewed literature, that an increase in cloud cover will follow either warming or increased CO2, or a combination, sufficient to override the hypothesized warming effect of extra CO2. That “alternative” has been “offered” — you call it a “unicorn” for no good reason. The possibility that the future climate response to a future doubling of CO2 might be 0 can not be ruled out on current data. And if that is true, a large effort to reduce fossil fuel use rapidly might be no improvement over a very slow effort.

      As to offering up alternative “governing equations”, check out the work by Ghil offered by Generalissimo Skippy and the book “Nonlinear Climate Dynamics” by Henk A. Dijkstra, offered up by me following a related recommendation by “Chief Hyrologist” for some hints at (a) work in progress to develop such governing equations and (b) how far the laborers in the field are from having one and getting it tested. The simple models have no demonstrated accuracy and some have demonstrated liabilities and inaccuracies; creating sufficiently accurate models will take some decades more, on present evidence. Only a fool or a “cargo cultist” says we have to act on a demonstrably inadequate model because the work to develop an adequate model has not been completed.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Really, we do not need more than two syllables: “climate”. At this stage, I would guess that we can have a reasonable empirical estimate of the sensitivity of mean temp to a doubling of CO2 before we have an adequate model in which the gamma coefficient can be estimated.

      The weather/climate continuum was used in the sense of Hurrell et al 2009. Mosh seems right only in one regard. Little do I care what you think we need.

      Climate in this sense is a low frequency emergent property of a deterministically chaotic system. The temperature is determined by the state of the system – and the energy dynamic is primarily determined by patterns of ocean and atmospheric circulation.

      ‘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

      The emphasis is on very large compared to nominal greenhouse gas forcing.

      So there is no chance of a linear relationship between forcing and temperature – ever – period. It is an invalid concept based on dinosaur theory.

      Nor is science the result of sophormoronic marshaling of irrelevance. Should we take the post modern view that Mosh’s ideas have equal validity to those of Michael Ghil? Should we assume that leading edge climate science fails somehow because Mosh says it does?

      There is one real measure of science – and that is the ability to make predictions. Such as the lack of global warming for decades hence predicted more than a decade ago now.

      And because gatesy is guaranteed to chip in with his cloyingly repetitive narrative – I have shown the ARGO ‘climatologies’ that don’t amount to warming and the CERES records that currently show zilch missing energy.

    • Bob Ludwick

      @ Steven Mosher

      “By definition ClimateSensitivity = dT/dF”

      That is true if T is in fact a function of F.

      The primary bone of contention between you/Climate Science in general and Jim Cripwell and those more or less in his camp appears to be that you and Climate Science (even Dr. Curry, despite the beating that she has been taking from Climate Science recently over her perceived deficiency of ‘gung-ho-ness’) state, as an axiom, that T IS an unquestioned and unquestionable function of atmospheric CO2, while Jim claims that the functional relationship is an unverified theory. As I understand it, Jim does not reject the theory but has the opinion, based on actual, empirical data, that if the functional relationship exists it is so small that it is, so far, beyond our ability to resolve.

      To me, Jim’s argument is more persuasive simply because if T and CO2 were strongly coupled dT/dF would have been MEASURED and we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

      Your side’s position, that dT/dF HAS been measured by comparing the change in temperature to the change in CO2, and that Jim and others of his ilk should shut up and cease their public demonstrations of stupidity, is based on the ex cathedra pronouncement that the functional relationship exists and that recent changes in temperature are the direct result of changes in CO2.

      My interpretation of Jim’s argument is that since we have been keeping track of such things, CO2 has been rising monotonically while ‘climate’ has been all over the place, while remaining well within historical bounds. Given that, he sees no pressing need to postulate ACO2 driven catastrophe or to implement the massive political changes that are postulated to be required to avoid it.

      By the way, as an archetypical ‘denier’ I do NOT deny that climate is changing. It always has and, based on historical precedent, I expect that it will continue to do so.

      What I ‘deny’ is the existence of an existential ‘ACO2 problem’ demanding amelioration. I also deny that the efficacy of the amelioration policies that are being demanded (and implemented by decree) on the ‘Temperature of the Earth’, the ‘Planetary Climate’, or ‘Climate Weirding’ will be measurable. They WILL however be HIGHLY effective in transferring power and money to the government while simultaneously decreasing the personal autonomy of non-connected citizens. Which was the original point of the whole exercise.

      For Jim: If I have misstated or misinterpreted your position, I apologize and invite correction.

      • David Springer

        dT/dF is too simplified. It assumes that dT is the same for all initial temperatures so a forcing of 1 Watt raises temperature as much in the Antarctic interior as it does in the Amazon jungle. This is physically impossible as temperature change per unit measure requires more and more power as temperature rises (Planck response). The second simplification that gets this “governing equation” (hahahahaha) in trouble is the ocean is selective and this assumes the ocean is a blackbody. In point of fact the ocean is transparent to shortwave radiation from the sun and opaque to longwave back-radiated from the atmosphere. That is not a blackbody and it means that the dT response of the ocean or any frequently wetted surface is not the same as a blackbody response. Only a blackbody exhibits a Planck response across all frequencies. A selective surface like the global ocean does not.

    • @Bob Ludwick

      Thank you for that summary, it rings true to me. It also reminds me of John Christy’s recent article, “Why we argue about Climate Change?

      http://www.centredaily.com/2014/03/20/4093680/john-r-christy-climate-science.html

    • Mosher,

      Liked your 11:02 post. Informative.

      However Matthew and Bob Ludwick followed with more convincing arguments.

      My primary interest is in the impacts, so the discussion on ECS is important to follow, but one I don’t feel qualified to participate in. Perhaps my biggest question to ask those “at the table” is to explain clouds. As far as I am concerned, until they can be accurately modelled, the output of climate models and our understanding of the climatic system is extremely limited.

    • Mr. Springer, I live in China. China is trying very hard to substitute for coal. It’s a bit difficult for a variety of reasons.

  2. I understand that the ability to speak Truth is for climate scientists inversely proportional to the number of people in the audience.

    Let’s hope Climate Discourse quickly move to a Navajo-language-only policy.

  3. I’ve never understood how you get a RELIABLE estimate of sensitivity to CO2 from paleoclimate data. Everything changes in transitions around ice ages: albedo, water vapour greenhouse, CO2 greenhouse, methane greenhouse, maybe others as well.

    I’d imagine you could get any result, ranging from CO2 being little more than a spectator (maybe after a starring role in triggering some initial warmth), to CO2 being the main driver.

    • How do you get the CO2 being the main driver from paleoclimate data? I don’t think that’s possible.

    • The oceans are a huge carbonated drink. CO2 Vapor Pressure in the atmosphere goes up and down when Temperature goes up and down. Open a hot and a cold carbonated drink and compare how each one spews. People, this is extremely simple laws of nature. CO2 is sensitive to ocean water temperature, a huge amount. CO2 does not make the carbonated drinks warm or cold, it is a result. If you want to make your carbonated drinks cold, you add ice. Mother Earth does this. When the carbonated oceans get too warm, Polar Sea Ice Melts and the snowfall is turned on. When the carbonated oceans get too cold Polar Oceans Freeze and the snowfall is turned off.

      The Temperature of Earth is sensitive to the Albedo that is due to advancing and retreating ice.

    • Over very long periods of time (i.e. paleo data) there are many additional uncertainties. You can have “ringers” show up to play like comets, asteroids, Carrington type events (at larger scale). Although there are isotopic markers for these, there is seldom agreement on what caused different extinction events. Then throw in massive volcanic eruptions and huge continent wide brush fires caused by volcanoes or meteor showers (both theories I have seen in the literature) and you have many events that could cause climate disruption on a large scale. Going back in time you also have continental drift changing the size and shape of the land areas and thus the ocean currents. So the error bars from paleo have to be much bigger.

    • Steven Mosher

      http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/ha06610d.html

      Here we see 3.1C

      Buts that based on a 4W forcing for doubling c02, so, more like
      2.7C +-1C or 1.7 to 3.7

      Its a straightfoward method

  4. I just had a quick glance at “Climate Dialogue”. The topics look promising.
    When reading research papers, such as those referenced in the IPCC (chapter 1), I often have questions that remain unanswered because there is no one to ask. I hope that these papers (especially the concepts) are discussed.

    Although “Climate Dialogue” has been around since 2012, I had not seen it. There are so many blogs to choose from. I appreciate being informed about this one. Maybe I should skip trying to read the IPCC (static) and read this instead?

  5. IPCC ‘science’ is based on the concept of “Forcing’, the net energy transfer to Earth’s surface by solar SW and atmospheric LW radiation. Standard physics assesses both as the difference of ‘Radiation Fields’ from ‘Stefan-Boltzmann’ equations. The IPCC does it differently.

    The SW emitter is the Sun, 5,500 deg.K. The SW absorber, mainly the surface, is cooler but it still has a RF so net SW surface heating rate = Sigma(F1.T_sun^4 – F2.T_surface^4). Sigma is the S-B constant, F1 and F2 are parameters dependent on clouds etc.,Ts are temperatures. It comes to +160 W/m^2 (mean) ‘thermalising’. This heat transfers to the atmosphere as 97 W/m^2 convection/evapo-transpiration plus 63 W/m^2 real net IR emission, of which 40 W/m^2 goes to Space (2009 ‘Energy Budget’).

    In standard physics, net LW IR energy must be the negative of net LW surface heating = Sigma(F3.T_atmosphere^4 – F4.T_surface^4), numerically 333 W/m^2 – 396 W/m^2 = -63 W/m^2. Conservation of energy is proved by: 160 W/m^2 (SW heating) -97 W/m^2 (convection) -63 W/m^2 (LW cooling) = 0 W/m^2. As net surface IR emission in the main GHG bands is zero, there is no atmospheric heating from this cause.

    However, ‘Climate Alchemists’ assume 396 W/m^2 surface LW RF, the ‘black body’ level for 16 deg C, is a real IR flux when in reality it’s the potential energy flux to a sink at absolute zero. Only the 63 W/m^2 is real. They make up the difference by assuming 333 W/m^2 LW RF measured by ‘pyrgeometers’ pointing to the atmosphere (‘back radiation’) provides extra surface heat when standard physics shows for a normal temperature gradient, an atmospheric RF can’t transfer any energy to the surface. This failure to understand what their main instrument outputs is a serious scientific mistake.

    Adding the 97 W/m^2 convection makes 493 W/m^2, 3x the real heating rate, never proved experimentally. As it’s far too high they offset 238.5 W/m^2 by falsely applying Kirchhoff’s Law of Radiation to the semi-transparent emitter at Top of Atmosphere. The residual c. 60% more heating than reality is, with 3x real GHE, used to purport imaginary ‘positive feedback’. They then use c. 25% extra low level cloud albedo in hindcasting to pretend the extra energy doesn’t heat the atmosphere above reality.

    IPCC ‘science’ is nothing less than science fraud; manipulation of data to purport much more heating than reality. The GHG-absorbed IR component is exaggerated by a factor of 5.1. Go deeper into the physics and CO2 ‘Climate Sensitivity’ is near zero. This scam deceived all but real heat transfer experts of which I am one.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Alec M: As net surface IR emission in the main GHG bands is zero, there is no atmospheric heating from this cause.

      That is an unusual claim. Can you supply a reference?

    • David Springer

      Climate Alchemist is a tell indicating the author is a crank. Don’t waste time on AlecM, whoever that is.

    • Reply to Marler: you ask for a reference to my statement that there is no net surface IR emission in the main GHG bands. This is standard physics. The Law of Conservation of Energy between matter and electromagnetism is: qdot = – DIV Fv. qdot is the monochromatic heat generation rate per unit volume of matter, Fv the monochromatic radiation flux density.

      At a plane, qdot = – Delta(Irradiance). Because Poynting Vectors comprising self-absorbed GHG bands mutually annihilate same wavelength surface IR, there is no net IR flux in those bands. You show this using MODTRAN which automatically uses the physics Climate Alchemists fail to understand.

      This is the basis of what we process engineers call operational emissivity in coupled convection and radiation. For the 0.97 emissivity Earth’s surface, the upper bound is c. 0.4, temperate conditions. Look up data in a Heat Transfer handbook, also Chapter 3 of Perry’s Chemical Engineering Handbook.

      Reply to Springer: Climate Alchemy has messed up IR conversion to heat, and radiative physics. I have measured it and designed process plant around the World. For hot mill steel, you need c. 100 deg C before radiative heat loss exceeds natural convection. For aluminium, it’s 300 deg C. If what I write were not true, no such processes would work.

    • Sorry, Electromagnetic waves, not Electromagnetism.

    • Steven Mosher

      Note: you were not invited.

    • Pierre-Normand

      AlecM wrote: “Reply to Marler: you ask for a reference to my statement that there is no net surface IR emission in the main GHG bands. This is standard physics. The Law of Conservation of Energy between matter and electromagnetism is: qdot = – DIV Fv. qdot is the monochromatic heat generation rate per unit volume of matter, Fv the monochromatic radiation flux density.”

      The CO2 molecules in some layer above the surface certainly re-emit all the energy that they receives from the surface but they re-emit only half of this energy back towards the surface. They also receive *nearly* as much energy from the CO2 molecules in the layers above, and re-emit half of that energy towards the surface. Only if all the layers of the CO2 opaque atmosphere had the same temperature as the surface would the back radiation to the surface in the CO2 bands be the same as the upwelling radiation from the surface in those same bands. (That would be an impossible situation unless the energy emitted at the top layer was replenished from outside, or if there was a perfect IR mirror out there).

    • Note to Mosher: the enhanced GHE is a Perpetual Motion Machine of the 2nd Kind, which breaches the 1st and 2nd Laws of Thermodynamics. It is one’s professional duty to check one’s logic through all intervening steps.

      It all goes back to Sagan who was misled by mistaken aerosol optical physics. 0.9 albedo for Venusian clouds is c. 80% directly backscattered by the second optical process he missed; of the 20% that enters the lower atmosphere, half is backscattered, standard Mie theory. The same physics applies in the Earth’s atmosphere to thunderclouds, very dark underneath.

      This means he overestimated solar energy entering the lower Venusian atmosphere by a factor of about 7 so came to the conclusion that he could assume NET surface IR was much greater than reality and imagined it, rather than gravity, causes lapse rate warming.

      Then from meteorology we had the assumption that a pyrgeometer outputs a real energy flux. Not so; it’s an Irradiance. Eventually Climate Alchemy will unlearn its mistakes and become a Science, but it won’t get funded by politicians wanting a legacy of fighting an imaginary threat.

      • David Springer

        Just a quick example of the physics illiteracy of AlecM. He writes:

        “the enhanced GHE is a Perpetual Motion Machine of the 2nd Kind, which breaches the 1st and 2nd Laws of Thermodynamics”

        Perpetuum mobiles of the 2nd kind are so named because they break the law of entropy, the 2nd law of thermodynamics. A PM of the first kind violates conservation of energy, the first law of thermodynamics.

        AlecM is a crank with fundamental misunderstanding of even the basic laws of thermodynamics.

      • David Springer

        Just a quick example of the physics illiteracy of AlecM. He writes:

        “the enhanced GHE is a Perpetual Motion Machine of the 2nd Kind, which breaches the 1st and 2nd Laws of Thermodynamics”

        Perpetuum mobiles of the 2nd kind are so named because they break the law of entropy, the 2nd law of thermodynamics. A PM of the first kind violates conservation of energy, the first law of thermodynamics.

        AlecM is a crank with fundamental misunderstanding of even the basic laws of thermodynamics.

    • To Pierre-Normand. There is thermal radiation from GHGs in the atmosphere. However, for self-absorbed GHGs there is near zero net surface IR to be absorbed by the self-absorbed GHG bands.

      The only net GHG-absorbed IR is 23 W/m^2, that not going to Space through the ‘atmospheric window’. It is mainly the non self-absorbed H2O bands.

      The idea of ‘layers’ of CO2 molecules radiating to each other is correct, but it’s just thermal IR. You can prove this using MODTRAN which calculates radiative transfer by two-stream theory. At the surface the difference of Irradiances, 15 deg C, gives an operational emissivity of 0.2 – 0.4; the rest of the thermalised solar energy leaving as convection and evapo-transpiration.

      Even if there were significant self-absorbed GHG band IR from the surface, none of it could thermalise in the gas phase because the IR Activated Density of States** is solely a function of temperature so the excess energy pseudo-diffuses to thermalise at interfaces with condensed matter. There can be no ‘back radiation’.

      This is proved by the CO2 laser which uses He to transfer excess energy to cell walls. I don’t mean to be pedantic, but there has been a Century of loose thinking, including misinterpreting Tyndall’s Experiment; thermalisation is at the inner tube walls, not the gas phase and no-one has ever done an experiment without a container! You can prove this in principle by changing the cell dimensions for the photo-acoustic effect!

      **This is also from the Law of Equipartition of Energy, the statistical thermodynamics’ approach.

    • Springer does not argue any of my scientific points, just writes ad homs.

      Readers – make up your own mind and remember, I am discussing standard physics, not the mistaken physics introduced by Carl Sagan which has led to the thermodynamically-precluded ‘Enhanced GHE’.

      There is much more fun to be had by discussing the many other mistakes and the real physics by which the atmosphere controls CO2-AGW to near zero, as is being proved experimentally!

    • David Springer

      Told y’all he was a crank. Certain keywords are an indicator. Climate Alchemy is one. Using Venus as an example is another. What we have here is a genuine Sky Dragon Slayer. ROFL

    • Matthew R Marler

      AlecM: Note to Mosher: the enhanced GHE is a Perpetual Motion Machine of the 2nd Kind, which breaches the 1st and 2nd Laws of Thermodynamics.

      In response to your other response to me, in what bands does the Earth surface exhibit net upward radiative flux, if not the absorption bands of H2O and CO2?

      GHE is not a perpetual motion machine: absent input from the sun the whole system would gradually lose heat until the temperature was close to the cosmic background (a little would still come from the Earth core.) Within each region of the atmosphere that contains CO2, and within each region of the Earth surface, some molecules have above average kinetic energy and some have below average kinetic energy; the temps of the regions are proportional to the means of the kinetic energies in those regions, but the molecules are not all the same. So there are no violations of laws from having radiation in both directions, as long as the net energy transfer is from hot to cold.

    • David Springer

      AlecM just makes crap up out of thin air. Of course he has no legitimate reference. The earth’s emits close to a continuous blackbody spectrum approximately centered on 10um varying by latitude and season. GHG absorption bands are legion within that spectrum. I told you this morning to ignore anyone who uses the phrase Climate Alchemy. He’s a crank. Pure 100% unadulterated crank.

    • David Springer

      AlecM just makes crap up out of thin air. Of course he has no legitimate reference. The earth’s surface emits close to a continuous blackbody spectrum approximately centered on 10um varying by latitude and season. GHG absorption bands are legion within that spectrum. I told you this morning to ignore anyone who uses the phrase Climate Alchemy. He’s a crank. Pure 100% unadulterated crank.

    • Steven Mosher

      AlecM

      The reflective surface inside your thermos does not warm the coffee.
      It keeps the coffee warmer than it would be otherwise.

      If you scratch that sliver lining more EM will escape. the coffee will cool quicker. remove it all, it will quickly reach equillibrium.

      Think of GHGs as imperfect silver linings.

      that should help.

      When you figure that out, your seat at the debate awaits you

      • David Springer

        Suggest you google vacuum thermos. As usual you’re full of schit. The silver lining barely improves it. I already knew that of course and you, because you so ignorant, did not.

    • Reply to Springer: 1st Law breach yes because it increases the energy. 2nd Law breach from the Clausius’ Statement: “Heat can never pass from a colder to a warmer body without some other change, connected therewith, occurring at the same time.”

      Entropy follows.

      That you nitpick at this level is degrading; for you.

      • David Springer

        No first law is not breached by PM of second kind. Look it up. A PM of second kind performs work across a gradient until the gradient is zero. This does not violate conservation it violates Carnot’s Law which is based on the 2nd not the 1st. Dumbass.

      • David Springer

        Degrading? Har har har.

        This is enclopedic knowledge numbskull. Perpetual motion of second kind does not violate conservation. By definition! You don’t know the diffrerence between PM of the first and second kind.

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

        A perpetual motion machine of the second kind is a machine which spontaneously converts thermal energy into mechanical work. When the thermal energy is equivalent to the work done, this does not violate the law of conservation of energy.

        I repeat… crank. Knew it from the second paragraph where he wrote “Climate Alchemy”. I think it’s probaby the commenter formerly known as Myrrh.

      • David Springer

        Degrading? Har har har.

        This is enclopedic knowledge numbskull. Perpetual motion of second kind does not violate conservation. By definition! You don’t know the diffrerence between PM of the first and second kind.

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

        A perpetual motion machine of the second kind is a machine which spontaneously converts thermal energy into mechanical work. When the thermal energy is equivalent to the work done, this does not violate the law of conservation of energy.

        I repeat… crank. Knew it from the second paragraph where he wrote “Climate Alchemy”. I think it’s probaby the commenter formerly known as M-y-r-r-h.

    • Reply to Mosher re: vacuum flask! You have betrayed your basic lack of physics’ knowledge. A silvered coating in a vacuum flask has very low Absolute Emissivity and by Kirchhoff’s law of Radiation, Absolute Absorptivity. This means it cannot easily emit or absorb IR across the vacuum gap.

      On the other hand, the atmosphere next to the Earth’s surface comprises an IR emitter which has Absolute Emissivity between c. 0.6 and 0.7 depending on humidity and temperature (assumed to be the same as the surface) The ‘black body’ amplitude, self-absorbed GHG bands shut off the corresponding wavelength emission from the surface, making its Operational Emissivity c. 0.4 to 0.3. Therefore the effect of increased pGHG in the atmosphere is to REDUCE the radiative part of the heat transfer from the surface, whihc has to be the average solar SW surface thermalisation, a mean 160 W.m^2.

      In the 0.4 OE case, the balance of net IR emission is the 23 W/m^2 mainly in non self-absorbed H2O bands plus 40 W/m^2 in the ‘Atmospheric Window’. In the 0.2 case, it’s mainly the AW net IR. Calculate these data with MODTRAN for a range of surface temperatures and local humidity.

      You apparent assumption that the surface emits NET IR energy at the ‘black body’ level has NEVER been proved experimentally by, e.g. calorimetry. You appear to confuse the surface Irradiance (I call it the Radiation Field), detected by the ‘pyrgeometer’ instrument with a real IR flux. You can easily disprove this because the manufacturers, competent physicists, warn that you need two pyrgeometers, back to back, to measure net IR energy flux.

  6. ceresco kid

    An enjoyable read. It was ironic that Fasullo made the most comprehensive list of challenges and uncertainties
    about the processes involved and yet came up with the highest value for Climate Sensitivity. Many of his “Challenges” have been the written about by skeptics numerous times.

    I found it “interesting” how Lewis was able to summarily
    dismiss many papers due to their inadequacies. I have no idea whether he was right or wrong in his analysis, only that it was done in such a style.

    Fasullo used the steric component of sea level rise as evidence of relative constancy of OHC. Without isolating and controlling for the mass component and all its vagaries, I dont know how you make this leap so quickly.

    Fasullo referenced the steric

    • ceresco kid

      Did you check out the links, which L:ewis provided for his analyses of the various studies?

      Max

  7. Everything changes in transitions around ice ages: albedo, water vapour greenhouse, CO2 greenhouse, methane greenhouse, maybe others as well.

  8. “ClimateDialogue.org is the result of a request by the Dutch parliament to facilitate the scientific discussions between climate experts representing the full range of views on the subject.”
    What a refreshingly sensible approach.

  9. Look at the Ice Core Data, for the North and for the South.
    What happened millions of years ago is different from happened during the most recent million years. What happened during the most recent ten thousand years is different from what happened during most of the past million years.

    What has happened during the most recent ten thousand years is the new “NORMAL”

    TEMPERATURE IS BOUNDED BY THE NEW, IMPROVED, WONDERFUL, POLAR ICE CYCLE.

    It does snow much more, every time the Polar Sea Ice melts.
    It does snow much less, every time the Polar Oceans are frozen.

    Look at the actual data.

    If you Ignore the evolution of Polar Sea Ice Cycles,you will never understand Climate.

  10. David Springer

    From the introduction (my emphasis):

    Note that although ECS and TCR are defined in terms of a doubling of the CO2 content, it can be applied to whatever forcing agents, such as changes in solar radiation and volcanic dust injections (bearing in mind that different types of forcings can have a slightly different temperature response per W/m2).

    Slightly my ass. But slightly is an improvement over the dumbass assumption that a Watt is a Watt regardless of wavelength.

    • David L. Hagen

      So we need to calculate an ECS and TCR for UV and for IR?
      Has anyone tried yet?
      e.g. ~ 10% variation in UV vs ~ 0.1% variation in TSI.

    • David Springer

      I hadn’t considered UV. Liquid water becomes opaque to it at 200nm and shorter wavelengths:

      but there doesn’t seem to be much power left in UV at the surface after stratospheric ozone is done with it.

      DWLIR from the atmosphere certainly needs to be quantified with regard to heating efficacy on the ocean vs. visible shortwave and near infrared from the sun.

    • Steven Mosher

      write a paper.
      show yur work
      get invited.

      • David Springer

        I just did and I’m fine with going on record right here. You seem to be suffering under some kind of delusion that there are winners and losers in the debate and that if only the science can be more convincing China is going to stop burning coal. You’re a fool. This is entertainment and I don’t need an invitation to the church of warmology to participate at the same impotent level as anyone else.

    • But slightly is an improvement over the dumbass assumption that a Watt is a Watt regardless of wavelength.

      OK, if a Watt is not a Watt, what is it? This should be funny!

      • David Springer

        We were talking about a Watt of forcing from sunlight not being equivalent to a Watt of forcing from atmospheric back radiation in how effectively it thermalizes the ocean.

        Or at least that’s what I was talking about. Maybe you weren’t able to follow the context.

        Did you figure out yet that the electromagnetic spectrum continues both above and below the frequenices visible to the human eye? Did you figure out that adding a trace amount of black pigment to white paint alters its albedo in visible spectrum causing it to absorb and thermalize more visible light? Did you figure out that adding a trace amount of CO2 to atmosphere alters its albedo in the infrared spectrum causing it to absorb and thermalize more infrared light? Let me know which bits you don’t understand.

    • @SM: write a paper.
      show yur work
      get invited.

      If that sorites held up there would be thousands of invitees. If they all spoke at once it would be louder than Victoria Falls, let alone the 98 scientists all talking at once at the end of

    • Steven Mosher

      David

      “I just did and I’m fine with going on record right here. ”

      err just because you lower your standards to meet your behavior, doesnt mean the rest of us will accept your work.

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

      You seem to be suffering under some kind of delusion that there are winners and losers in the debate and that if only the science can be more convincing China is going to stop burning coal.
      #######################

      Funny, I don’t think in terms of winners and losers. I think in terms of getting things done and keyboard jockeys. Next, convincing China has nothing to do with Science. They are convinced on the science. The issue is politics economics and technologies. But we do recognize that no solution is possible unless the Chinese are involved. So in all the talks we have there isnt a single government official who quotes you. Not one. The issues as I said are political ( which part of the goverment will lead), economic ( renegotiating existing mineral rights agreements, and ensuring foriegn capital) and technology (transfering best practices). Ok there is a little science, mostly geology.. I dont talk to those guys much.

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

      You’re a fool. This is entertainment and I don’t need an invitation to the church of warmology to participate at the same impotent level as anyone else.

      Actually you do need an invitation. Sorry you didnt get one. I asked people to read your brilliant comments. Most said they preferred funny or die for comedy.

      maybe you could do a video game.

      • David Springer

        First of all I don’t give a rat’s ass if you accept my work. It isn’t even work it’s mental masturbation because I, unlike you, know that science isn’t the “governing equation” for global warming. It’s all politics and economics and until cheaper energy sources are available whatever fuel is the cheapest will be consumed. Get clue. You are not making a difference. None of your friends are making a difference. No global warming pseudo-scientist is making a difference. John Kerry and Barry Obama are not making a difference. The rulers of China and India and Russia and Iraq and Kuwait and Venezuela are making a difference and they’re thumbing their noses at you and doing what the phuck they want to grow their economies you stupid stupid phuck.

  11. This Rocket Engineer does bet in favor of very low Sensitivity of Actual Temperature to Man-Made CO2.

    If temperature it is Sensitive to CO2, CO2 is a trace gas and man-made CO2 is still only one molecule per ten thousand.

    Climate is Sensitive to Albedo. Ice advances after it snows more during warm periods. Ice retreats after it snows less during cold periods. Look at Actual Ice Core Data.

    • Exactly, confirmed by this Rocket Engineer**.

      **Taught aerospace materials!

    • David L. Hagen

      Rocket scientists with TheRightClimateStuff agree.
      See: BOUNDING GHG CLIMATE SENSITIVITY FOR USE IN REGULATORY DECISIONS

      . . .most of the large difference results from hypothesized changes in climate that would occur over 1000’s of years after the CO2 level was doubled! Moreover, most of the uncertainty in the ECS value results from climate model speculation about climate changes that might occur far into the future, not in the next 300 years! . . .
      To determine the TCS metric, we use actual physical
      data
      for the: 1) average surface temperature anomaly of 1850-2012, 2) atmospheric CO2 concentration history, and 3) rise in Total Solar Irradiance over the same period of time. We demonstrate how TCS is related to ECS and TCR metrics to reduce uncertainty in ECS and TCR, and prove ECS uncertainty is much less than claimed in the IPCC AR4 report consulted by the IWG. Based on a TCS upper bound of 1.6o C that we determined from actual data, we compute a 2.9o C upper bound for GHG ECS that is below the mid-point of the latest IPCC GHG ECS uncertainty range of 1.5 < ECS < 4.5o C and 71 percent lower than maximum 10o C ECS values obtained from the IWG statistical distribution for ECS.

    • David Springer

      Check out the difference in temperature between the white stripe and unpainted surface of an asphalt road. A few grams of white paint covering kilograms of dark asphault makes a huge difference. You make yourself appear stupid every time you make reference to relative number of molecules, Pope. I mean really really stupid.

    • Springer,

      What I hear Mr Pope saying is the same as your white stripe / ashpalt analogy – albedo matters.

      • David Springer

        Get your hearing checked. Pope doesn’t understand that albedo is about more than visual light frequencies. CO2, even trace amounts, makes the atmosphere “darker” to longwave infrared radiation.

        http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/phyopt/albedo.html

        The greenhouse effect, by trapping infrared radiation, can lower the albedo of the earth and cause global warming.

        This is precisely how the greenhouse effect works. My analogy to a white stripe painted on asphault is a perfect illustration about a how a tiny amount of adulterant can greaty change albedo.

    • David Springer wrote:
      The greenhouse effect, by trapping infrared radiation, can lower the albedo of the earth and cause global warming.

      Albedo has to do with reflected energy and nothing to do with the greenhouse gas.

      • David Springer

        Sorry Herman but you’re wrong. Albedo isn’t restricted to human-visible frequenices of light. CO2 changes the albedo of the atmosphere in frequencies that are visible only to snakes and infrared imaging instruments. Your obstinate denial of this is either juvenile or senile I’m not sure which.

    • David Springer wrote:
      A few grams of white paint covering kilograms of dark asphault makes a huge difference.

      That is Albedo, that is not greenhouse gas in the dark paint.

      Come on, this is simple laws of nature. You can see white paint from space. That is be cause Albedo Reflects Light before it becomes heat.

      • David Springer

        So your story is that electromagnetic radiation outside the spectrum of light visible to the human eye doesn’t exist? Are you schitting me?

    • David,

      I followed your link. It includes the unexplained statement about albedo being lowered by global warming and then goes on to talk about visual reflectivity.

      What does the green house effect have to do with reflectivity or brightness?

    • DS’s point is that it is fallacious to argue that CO2 can’t have an effect merely because there is so little of it. He illustrated this with white paint, but could have used any of a number of examples to show why that argument is fallacious, e.g. minute quantities of a deadly poison, asbestos in your lungs, etc. etc.

      • David Springer

        Thank you Vaughan at least we can agree on stuff that really is settled science. That’s something.

    • Steven Mosher

      C02 is a trace gas. It cannot promote plant growth.

    • Think before you post, Mosher.

    • Ok, this is something I have studied and it is all a matter of definition. Satellite data which measures the earth’s radiation budget is described in two wavelength ranges, visible and infrared. Albedo is a measure of scattered or reflected radiation in the visible spectrum, where visible is defined between wavelenghts (0.3–5.0 µm). Infrared is a measure of absorbed and re-emitted radiation defined within the ranges greater than 5µm. This range is constrained by the sensors on the satellites. This is electronics.

      The maximum energy that the sun emits is in the visible spectrum (think “yellow”). But the sun is really hot, that’s why it emits (not scattered) in the visible spectrum. The earth is not so hot and generally emits in the infrared spectrum (Wien’s Law).

      Clouds, aerosols, ice, anything not-black, contribute to the measured albedo. The earth’s surface contributes to the measured infrared. The presence of H2O in gasious form, CO2, methane and several other gases, absorb and re-emit infrared radiation. The most basic difference between the two is that infrared radiation is re-emitted in all directions, upwards out to space and downwards back towards lower layers in the atmosphere and the earth’s surface (the greenhouse effect). Reflected visible radiation returns to space and is intercepted only by clouds and aerosols. (This is the reason that the ice sheets are so important in climate. )

      There seem to be some websites which talk about CO2 albedo but as far as I understand, this is a misnomer. It might be easier, for engineers especially, to understand what is going on by looking at the satellite data websites.

  12. David Springer

    From Annan on paleoclimate estimates of ECS

    “model simulations suggest that there is significant nonlinearity in how the climate system responds to the multiple changes that have occurred”

    You bet. The response to a Watt of forcing not only differs by wavelength of the forcing but also by the time and place where it happens. An ice sheet teetering on the edge of melting away is going to have a huge response because just a little extra energy changes the albedo. This happens all phucking over the place. Clouds can have albedos over 90% while the ocean is generally less than 10%. A small change in forcing applied at the right time and place over the ocean can spell the difference between clouds and no clouds drastically effecting how much solar forcing actually makes its way into the ocean.

  13. Scoreboard (Annan, Fasullo, Lewis text content):

    0 thermodynamics
    0 convection
    0 turbulence
    0 dissipation
    1 lapse (rate)
    10 radiat(ive/ion)

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

    Would that TCR be defined as simply a partial derivative.

  14. Tropospheric aerosol forcing is likely not an important factor in global energy budgets. If it were there would be papers correlating trends in aerosol production with temperature trends on a regional level.

    If anything ocean heat content increases are over estimated. There is no physical explanation for the huge jump in OHC during the calibration period to ARGO.

    Uncertainty can be your friend when you are assuming worst case scenarios consistently and the only way to go is down. I suspect Nic Lewis is still too high with his estimates. This is excluding long term oscillations in ocean heat transport which could only lower the sensitivity further, perhaps substantially.

    • Just to clarify: anthropogenic tropospheric aerosol forcing.

    • David Springer

      There are about a bazzillion papers on that subject for all kinds of aerosol sources. Volcanoes and massive oil well fires in Kuwait and Iraq at the start of the first Gulf War are particularly well studied and published.

    • David, it should be relatively easy given the short atmosperic life of tropospheric aerosols to show a correlation between their source of production and trends in regional temperature. I’ve never found one that shows, for instance, eastern China warming more slowly than say the eastern US. Oil fires are fairly short lived. Volcanoes have the stratospheric component. If you have one that can show such a correlation I’d love to see it. I’ve been on the lookout for one for quite a while but it certainly may have slipped by me.

    • David Springer

      It took me less than a minute to find a paper with regional responses to Pinatubo.

      http://www.atmosp.physics.utoronto.ca/SPARC/SPARC2000_new/PosterSess3/Session3_3/Rozanov/P_3_3_13/Pinatubo.html

    • I’m suprised you could find something on anthropogenic tropospheric aerosols correlation with indistrial output so easily. Except of course, you didn’t.

    • Well, I must be tired. Anthropogenic tropospheric aerosol production trends correlating with temperature trends.

    • steven, have you heard of Global Dimming? Wasn’t that attributed to aerosols? And it turned out not be so global, but mainly downstream of sources. I am sure there have been papers on that subject. There have been at least a couple of TV documentaries on it. Other studies have detected the related dimming effect of commercial aircraft contrails.

    • Jim, I’m not arguing that sulphates don’t reflect light. I’m arguing that the effect isn’t noticable regionally but is given credit for a considerable amount globally. Don’t you think if China were cooling the world we should notice a cool China?

    • David Springer

      Climate Effects of Black Carbon Aerosols in China and India
      Science 297, 2250 (2002);
      Surabi Menon, et al.

      http://www.sciencemag.org/content/297/5590/2250.full

      Abstract

      In recent decades, there has been a tendency toward increased summer floods in south China, increased drought in north China, and moderate cooling in China and India while most of the world has been warming. We used a global climate model to investigate possible aerosol contributions to these trends. We found precipitation and temperature changes in the model that were comparable to those observed if the aerosols included a large proportion of absorbing black carbon (“soot”), similar to observed amounts. Absorbing aerosols heat the air, alter regional atmospheric stability and vertical motions, and affect the large-scale circulation and hydrologic cycle with significant regional climate effects.

      ——————————————————————————–

      You’re beginning to bore me, Steven, whoever you are.

    • I wonder why the moderate cooling doesn’t show up on GISS for the last couple of decades. What data set are they using oh great bored one or you only have access to what you linked also?

    • I can get a lack of warming with GISS if I stop the series at the year 2000 in some parts of India. That disappears if you extend it to 2013. There is no noticable difference between China and India and the rest of the world at similar latitudes. So be bored, David. Or don’t read. But you did find a paper that actually met the criteria. Do you think if there were actually moderate cooling in India and China that could offset an amount of warming of say 0.2C globally?

    • OK, found the paper. They took the linear trend from 1951 to 2000 and showed a fair amount of cooling. I compared the same years with current GISS numbers and most of the cooling has disappeared. Must have been adjusted out.

  15. David Springer

    Fasullo

    surface temperature during the hiatus has not been driven primarily by a reduction in the planetary imbalance due to negative feedbacks but rather by the vertical redistribution of where in the ocean the imbalance is stored

    If we presume ARGO is pretty accurate (priors questionable on such fine differences in the range of 0.02C/decade and barely a decade of measuring it)… apparently so.

    Specifically, the increase in storage in deeper ocean layers has led to a relative reduction in the rate of warming of the upper ocean

    The ocean is ostensibly heated from the top. So the slowdown is still a slowdown on energy entering the ocean. What we are likely seeing is prior, faster warming of the 0-700m layer making its way downward at some diffusion speed which appears to be faster than generally considered. A pulse of warming beginning at the top is making its way downward. Same thing happens in rocks. You can dig a borehole and exquisitely measure the temperate on the way down and see the historic changes in mean annual surface temperature reflected in tiny variation in rock temperature.

    When this vertical structure is averaged out, for example by considering the total ocean heat content (OHC) from the surface to 2000 meter (Figure 1) the data show remarkable constancy in the rate of warming from the 1990s through 2000s. They also show a dramatic shift in how that warming has occurred as a function of ocean depth between decades, with the uppermost layers warming little in recent years in conjunction with rapid warming at depth.

    TOA energy imbalance per ARGO is 0.50W/m2 from 2001 to 2010

    https://courses.seas.harvard.edu/climate/eli/Courses/global-change-debates/Sources/24-Net-radiative-forcing/LoebEA2012_NatureGeoscience.pdf

    This will only warm the entire ocean basin, if it’s sustained at that level, by 0.2C/century. Ultimately the ocean controls the mean continental temperatures and is by far the largest capacity reservoir for solar heat storage.

    This is not alarming. The question then becomes one of how much the TOA imbalance may vary by natural climate change and how long it takes the TOA imbalace to be evenly distributed across most of the volume of the global ocean. It would appear to be much faster than anyone expected if the 700-2000m layer is indeed warming faster than 0-700m. What we’re seeing in the deeper layer is then likely to be the rapid warming of the 1990-2000 time period making its way downward. If it only takes a decade to go from mixed layer to abyss then we have nothing at all to worry about with a 0.5W/m2 TOA imbalance as there is no adverse effect in 100 years. Technology will be very different in 100 years if history is any guide and that includes energy generation, storage, distribution, and consumption.

    • Pierre-Normand

      David Springer wrote: “The ocean is ostensibly heated from the top. So the slowdown is still a slowdown on energy entering the ocean.”

      Not so if the temporary slowdown in the warming of the upper layer is a result of more upwelling of colder water from below as a consequence of ENSO/PDO variability (mainly: more La Ninas). Then the lower temperature of the upper layer is the very reason why the TOA imbalance remains large and why the rate of increase of OHC also remains large as a direct result of that.

      “If it only takes a decade to go from mixed layer to abyss then we have nothing at all to worry about with a 0.5W/m2 TOA imbalance as there is no adverse effect in 100 years.”

      If the surface doesn’t resume warming, then the TOA imbalance will not remain 0.5W/m^2. It will grow in proportion with the increase in external forcing. If the past is any indication, ENSO/PDO related pauses are short lived.

    • We know of one direct reason that the deeper oceans are gaining heat faster than the surface, and that has to do with the increase in Antarctic sea ice. Because of the greater ice cover and freshening of the surface waters under the ice, this has created a “lid” allowing less to escape from the deeper ocean in the natural upwelling regions around Antarctica. Thus, we are seeing the deeper oceans warm, and this is also altering the deeper THC circulation of Antarctic bottom water.

    • Pierre-Normand

      “We know of one direct reason that the deeper oceans are gaining heat faster than the surface, and that has to do with the increase in Antarctic sea ice.”

      Thanks. I didn’t know this had been a significant contributor to deep ocean warming.

    • David Springer

      If cold water rises to the surface warm water from the surface must sink to displace it otherwise an empty vacuum would have to somehow form at the point of origin for the upwelling cold water. The only empty vacuum is the one between your ears.

    • Pierre-Normand

      “If cold water rises to the surface warm water from the surface must sink to displace it otherwise an empty vacuum would have to somehow form at the point of origin for the upwelling cold water.”

      Well, that’s precisely my point. I’m glad you could connect the dots. That’s how heat is transferred to the lower levels without there being any increase in the heat content of the upper layer, and without this contradicting in the least the fact that the heat source is from above. Heat is being transferred by circulation to the lower layer at the same rate as it is gained from above (owing to the surface flux imbalance) and this is why the heat content of the upper layer doesn’t increase (much).

    • It’s easier to displace water upwards than downwards, as that way you’re not trying to compress it. Cold water will sink, moving warmer water upwards, or along in a current until it reaches a position where it’s less dense than the water above, at which point it rises.

    • The point I was trying to make is that cold water doesn’t rise without being displaced by even colder water sinking somewhere else.
      Cold water sinks readily in polar regions, as the surface water tends to be closer to freezing, as well as being fresher from ice melt, and therefore less dense than the inflowing currents, which are in turn are rendered more saline by the fresh water freezing out.

    • I should clarify that water does not necessarily need to be less dense to rise if it’s being displaced by water at a greater pressure gradient, but it’s still statistically more likely for cold water to sink than warm water.

    • David Springer

      @phatboy

      Underwater geography pulls cold water up along coastlines but stupid Pierre seems to be asserting that this process moves enough water to alter the entire ocean’s heat distribution which is ludicrous in itself but still doesn’t get around the fact that the warmer water that replaces the cold upwelling water must still first be observed entering the surface because there is no other source of energy for the ocean except for the sun and solar energy is completely absorbed and well mixed into the top few hundred meters known, not surprisingly, as the mixed layer.

      http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/kits/currents/03coastal4.html

    • David Springer said:

      “If cold water rises to the surface warm water from the surface must sink to displace it otherwise an empty vacuum would have to somehow form at the point of origin for the upwelling cold water. The only empty vacuum is the one between your ears.”

      Judith, is there a reason you have to let Mr. Springer simply insert these unecessary ad homs? Hasn’t he been warned about this repeatedly?

      Now, as far as what is happening in Antarctica and the building up of warmer water under the ice: The freshening of the water down there is not allowing the warmer water the normally vents to the atmosphere to actually do so, as the less dense less salty water is putting a “cap” on the surface, preventing the warmer from venting and the colder water from falling (since it is less dense, i.e. less salty). This has been discussed quite extensively in many recent articles based on recent research:

      http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/climate-change-felt-deep-waters-antarctica-180949939/?no-ist

    • David Springer

      You boys should take your argument to Gavin who agrees with me on these points (my emphasis):

      http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/09/what-ocean-heating-reveals-about-global-warming/

      First: Roughly two thirds of the warming since 1980 occurred in the upper ocean. The heat content of the upper layer has gone up twice as much as in the lower layer (700 – 2000 m). The average temperature of the upper layer has increased more than three times as much as the lower (because the upper layer is only 700 m thick, and the lower one 1300 m). That is not surprising, as after all the ocean is heated from above and it takes time for the heat to penetrate deeper.

      Ocean heated from above. Takes time to propagate down. Check.

      That the heat absorption of the ocean as a whole (at least to 2000 m) has not significantly slowed makes it clear that the reduced warming of the upper layer is not (at least not much) due to decreasing heating from above, but rather mostly due to greater heat loss to lower down: through the 700 m level, from the upper to the lower layer.

      Heat is moving faster from upper layer to lower. As it must. Check.

      It is difficult to establish the exact mechanism for this stronger heat flux to deeper water, given the diverse internal variability in the oceans.

      He doesn’t know how this could be happening because he believes that energy flux at the surface has not changed enough to account for it. It’s easily understandable if heat is escaping faster to space in the surface layer or entering the surface layer slower.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Pierre-Normand: Not so if the temporary slowdown in the warming of the upper layer is a result of more upwelling of colder water from below as a consequence of ENSO/PDO variability (mainly: more La Ninas). Then the lower temperature of the upper layer is the very reason why the TOA imbalance remains large and why the rate of increase of OHC also remains large as a direct result of that.

      Did a complementary process produce the apparent warming of 1978-1998? Of the 30s? If yes, or if no, how is the answer known? If colder water from below is upwelling faster than before, where the is water at its source coming from to replace it, and is it warmer or cooler than before?

      TOA radiative imbalances are not in fact well measured, and the effects (like all the effects in the climate system) are specific to time and place.

    • Matthew R Marler

      David Springer: stupid

      bleh

    • Pierre-Normand

      David Springer wrote: “(Quoting Gavin Schmidt) [but rather mostly due to greater heat loss to lower down: through the 700 m level, from the upper to the lower layer.¸]

      Heat is moving faster from upper layer to lower. As it must. Check.”

      Yes, this is what I have described. Water from the 0-700m layers has been exchanged with water from the 700-2000m layer. You assume it must be diffusion but there is no reason it couldn’t be circulation.

      “He doesn’t know how this could be happening because he believes that energy flux at the surface has not changed enough to account for it. It’s easily understandable if heat is escaping faster to space in the surface layer or entering the surface layer slower.”

      This wouldn’t explain why the rate of OHC increase for the combined 0-2000m layer hasn’t decreased at all. If heat were escaping faster to space, then there would be a slowdown in the total rate of OHC increase, and not just in the 0-700m layer.

      • David Springer

        re; diffusion vs. circulation

        Semantic quibble. Call it vertical heat flux if you don’t like the term diffusion.

        Heat moves from warmer to colder not vice versa unless work is applied to oppose 2LoT. At the margins, near to continental shorelines where and when the and Coriolis forces (which performs the work) is right upwelling of cold water occurs. This doesn’t happen on the open ocean but only where there is an ascending bottom as shore is approached. Upwelling cold bottom water is the exception which proves the rule for vertical heat flux in the ocean. Diffusion forced by 2LoT is a well tested principle. Upwelling of cold water due to geography of continental shelves combined with work accomplished by winds and Coriolis force is also well known but a mechanism by which the global upwelling rate would change is not specified and hence is just one more just-so story concocted out of thin air by stupid Pierre who must invent such stories to support the larger just-so story of unabated anthropogenic global warming.

      • David Springer

        More here. See I said it was a quibble. This paper in Journal of Marine Research has nearly 500 citations and describes vertical eddies in ocean interior using diffusivity as a metric. Accelerated oceanic conveyor belt can’t be hidden because the warm side travels the surface out of the tropics and can be sounded cheaply. It would have been discovered by now. Vertical diffusivity of the mixed layer into the thermocline, one way from warm mixed layer to cold abyss because of 2LoT, is the most reasonable explanation if we discount conveyor belt speed increase.

        There is another possibility being bandied about that may be responsible entirely or additive and that’s change in flow of earth’s liquid mantle bringing up more or less internal heat and warming the ocean more or less from the bottom. But I’d bet on vertical diffusivity being the culprit.

        This is all given that ARGO data is accurate enough to depend on which is assumed only for the sake of argument.

      • David Springer

        http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/jmr/jmr/1984/00000042/00000002/art00005

        More here. See I said it was a quibble. This paper in Journal of Marine Research has nearly 500 citations and describes vertical eddies in ocean interior using diffusivity as a metric. Accelerated oceanic conveyor belt can’t be hidden because the warm side travels the surface out of the tropics and can be sounded cheaply. It would have been discovered by now. Vertical diffusivity of the mixed layer into the thermocline, one way from warm mixed layer to cold abyss because of 2LoT, is the most reasonable explanation if we discount conveyor belt speed increase.

        There is another possibility being bandied about that may be responsible entirely or additive and that’s change in flow of earth’s liquid mantle bringing up more or less internal heat and warming the ocean more or less from the bottom. But I’d bet on vertical diffusivity being the culprit.

        This is all given that ARGO data is accurate enough to depend on which is assumed only for the sake of argument.

    • Matthew Marler, the area of cold surface water is variable with ENSO and PDOs, for example. This natural internal variability of surface temperature is an interaction between ocean circulations and winds. It should be no surprise that this natural variability takes place. Long-term animations of ocean temperature anomalies show it well.

    • Pierre-Normand

      “re; diffusion vs. circulation

      Semantic quibble. Call it vertical heat flux if you don’t like the term diffusion.”

      You were suggesting that the recent increase in the flux from the upper (0m-700m) to the deeper layer (700m-2000m) merely is a delayed response to the earlier warming of the upper layer and hence doesn’t explain the slowdown in the rate of warming of the upper layer. But, I pointed out that this doesn’t account for the fact that the combined layers (0m-2000m) are warming at an undiminished rate. This means that the increased flux between the layers is compensated by an equal increase of the net (top-down) surface flux. That the fluxes be mainly diffusive or attributable to changes in circulation patterns indeed makes no difference to this simple energy balance consideration. This seems to have finally dawned on you, which is why you now seem to be walking back to your earlier suggestion and are now beginning to blame mantle convection.

      • David Springer

        ARGO wasn’t operating prior to the hiatus. Suggest you go read Hansen’s paper about TOA imbalance. According to him it varies between 1.5W/m2 ND 0.5W/2. It is my position that the imbalance was larger before Y2K and what we are seeing >700m is simply a pulse of warming well above 0.5W/m2 during the 1990’s propogating into deep water.

    • Pierre-Normand

      “…walking back [from] your earlier suggestion…”

    • Matthew R Marler

      Jim D: Matthew Marler, the area of cold surface water is variable with ENSO and PDOs, for example. This natural internal variability of surface temperature is an interaction between ocean circulations and winds. It should be no surprise that this natural variability takes place. Long-term animations of ocean temperature anomalies show it well.

      No disagreement here. Does that relate to something that I wrote? I wrote that ENSO is a multidimensional nonlinear oscillation in the mass and energy flows of a large area of the Pacific Ocean.

    • Pierre-Normand

      “It is my position that the imbalance was larger before Y2K and what we are seeing >700m is simply a pulse of warming well above 0.5W/m2 during the 1990′s propogating into deep water.”

      The imbalance varies wildly on annual and decadal time scales because of internal variability. It varies up an down around an average value that is positive because of the ever increasing external forcing and the slow intake by oceans. The recent ARGO measurements are consistent with this average value for the imbalance. The pulse from the 0m-700m layer to the 700m-2000m layer, whatever its explanation, contributes nothing at all to the rate of OHC increase. That’s because it’s just heat moving around in the ocean. So, 100% of the OHC variation in the ARGO period (for the full 0m-2000m layer) still is a reflection of the average TOA imbalance over that period (modulo the latent heat of fusion lost to melting part of the cryosphere and OHC variations below 2000m).

  16. My first-principles take is that huge cycles over aeons demonstrates that there’s no runaway instability. So the system opposes change rather than reenforcing it.

    That seems like an actual result with real climate.

    • David Springer

      Yes, the remarkable stability of the earth’s climate within tight constraints that allow life to exist despite massive insults like super-volcanoes, asteroid impacts, a variable sun that’s grown brighter by 10% over the aeons, can only be maintained by negative feedbacks which oppose changes. I submit to you that CO2 becomes the opposing force to growing cold as water vapor is frozen out of the atmosphere. The normal CO2 sinks shut down in freezing conditions but volcanoes continue belching it out into the atmosphere regardless of amount of ice cover on land & ocean. Eventually it builds up to a point where its greenhouse effect begins a runaway melt. On the other hand I submit to you that as the ocean becomes warmer more boundary layer clouds form which choke off the source of the warming (sunshine) and thus oppose warming a certain amount. Empirically that point is ~30C which is the maximum temperature we observe in the open ocean. Global warming essentially halts, regionally, at 30C over the ocean. The record mean annual temperature ever observed anywhere is 35C in an exceedingly dry salt desert at 10 degrees north latitude in Ethiopia and was recorded in the 1960’s. Interestingly atmospheric CO2 rise since 1960 has not enabled a new mean annual high temperature record.

      So what can we expect from anthopogenic global warming? If we get enough of it we can expect the greening of the earth from pole to pole. No polar ice caps is the predominant state of the earth’s climate with only rare departures during ice ages which are comparatively short-lived.

    • My first-principles take is that huge cycles over aeons demonstrates that there’s no runaway instability.

      Evidence of several snowball earth events render your confidence mis-placed. Of course, there are other possible explanations, but best evidence suggests widespread freezing of the oceans to or almost to the equator along with high levels of CO2, methane, and probably several other short-chain hydrocarbons, each with its own unique “greenhouse” signature.

      So the system opposes change rather than reenforcing it.

      Hyper-complex non-linear systems usually contain an extremely large number of feedback loops, some with positive effects and some with negative. And the magnitude and even sign of many of these loops can change in response to changing conditions.

      • David Springer

        The planet recovered from any and all snowball earth episodes. Obviously. So it wasn’t really runaway since it stopped and reversed. I put to you that the reversal was volcanic ash and CO2 accumulating to the point where the high albedo of ice was finally overcome by a coating of dark volcanic soot and CO2 level in the 10,000ppm range.

    • The planet recovered from any and all snowball earth episodes. Obviously.

      Obviously!

  17. Given the likelihood that the majority of the energy being accumulated in the climate system as a result of increased GH gases is being accumulated in the ocean (and no, not without measurable effect), I am wondering about even the relevancy of a tropospheric-centric metric for “climate” sensitivity? Warmer oceans have all sorts of extremely relevant climate effects, and in fact drive the climate, so it seems this focus on the lower energy storage troposphere, that is driven by ocean warmth anyway, is a legacy metric that ought to be examined and possible abandoned as a measure of “climate” sensitivity.

    • Don Monfort

      Yes gatesy, the tropospheric-centric for whatever needs to be retired. It can easily be resurrected again in January, when the El Nino that you all have been praying for has finally coughed up some heat. Keep up the good work, gatesy.

    • If the ocean drives the atmospheric temperature anyway then the latter is surely a good proxy that has a longer history.

    • A more appropriate term is “tropospheric sensitivity”, not climate sensitivity. The measure of sensible heat in the troposphere is not as good a proxy for what is going on in the climate as simply looking at even the IPWP. As ocean heat drives climate far more than tropospheric sensible heat, OHC, with its huge effects on atmospheric circulation and the cryosphere is a much better measure of climate sensitivity. In using OHC as a measure of climate sensitivity, we see that there has been no pause and the climate is very sensitive to changes in GH gas forcing.

    • “If the ocean drives the atmospheric temperature anyway then the latter is surely a good proxy that has a longer history.”
      ____
      Illogical. OHC is a better proxy for changes in Earth’s energy balance, but it is still just a proxy. Using tropospheric sensible heat (which is driven by ocean heat content), is like using a proxy of a proxy. This in convenient for fake-skeptics perhaps, but not for those who really want to fully understand the profound changes going on in the climate system as a result of increased GH gases.

    • Don Monfort

      Skeptics don’t make the rules on which proxy gets used for this or that, gatesy. Skeptics don’t get paid the big bucks to conjure up the climate science. They don’t get to go on all expense paid junkets to climate pep rally conventions in exotic places. When are they going to have one of their parties in Detroit? Tell your alarmist mateys about your recent discovery that it should be OHC, gatesy.

  18. It was mentioned in the comments that the observational/data method of climate sensitivity determination required the separation of the Southern and Northern hemispheres. While on first thought this might seem undesirable because we are looking for a global number, it might make sense to separate them due to the large difference in land/ocean ratio and the fact that atmospheric circulation patterns isolate them WRT shorter term changes.

  19. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    rhhardin asserts [illogically] “[A] first-principles take is that huge cycles over aeons demonstrates that there’s no runaway instability.”

    Rhardin, you will be interested to learn that this seemingly plausible reasoning is entirely wrong … in consequence of anthropic selection effects.

    Following a line of Bayesian reasoning first set forth by Brandon Carter, and then illuminated by John Barrow and Frank Tipler, we suppose that planetary climates *ARE* generically unstable with respect to “ice-ball earth” and “greenhouse earth”.

    Then *MOST* planets go unstable *BEFORE* developing civilizations. However, in a universe with trillions of planets, a few remain habitable long enough to develop civilization (like trillions of drunks balancing on a railroad-track rail; by pure luck one of them walks a long way).

    Alas, carbon-burning greenhouse instability finishes off these lucky surviving civilizations.

    Conclusion  Bayesian/anthropic reasoning naturally explains why the galaxy isn’t *already* filled with civilizations. The reason is simply “James Hansen is right about climate-change.”

    Rhardin, it has been a pleasure to help amplify your conception of Bayesian rationality (including anthropic considerations) as applied to climate-change!

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

    • The thing is, instabilities grow exponentially, so you notice them when present. They’re always set off. You see always the fastest growing mode.

      So as far as climate sensitivity goes, it opposes change.

    • Fan,
      Regarding your point about instability. The universe is actually a pretty unstable place and the probability of any intelligent species making it to a highly-civilized state is fairly small, but new discoveries of the numbers of likely stars with habitable planets makes the actual numbers of civilizations probably higher than we thought years ago using the Drake equation. But all this raises the Fermi Paradox and the Great Filter front and center. The more potentially habitable planets we discover, the more likely that the Great Filter is looming very much in front of us, and most likely very close. It is an interesting thought that perhaps since energy is what it takes to drive a great civilization, and since local entropy (waste heat) must increase as energy is used, it is possible that that waste heat actually triggers the end of the civilization that created it. I our case, our massive transfer of carbon from lithosphere to atmosphere (the HCV) creates enough warming to trigger the greater release of methane (i.e. the Clathrate Gun), much as happened during the great extinction event of the PETM. Thus, each great civilization has within it (because of the increase in local entropy), the seeds of its own destruction and that is the Great Filter. Do I think this likely? The probability is more than 0.

    • Gates,

      You have a potential SciFi story in there.

      (Good SciFi usually is rooted in some degree of fact.)

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      timg56 opines “Gates, You have a potential SciFi story in there.”

      Your advice is on-target, timg56!

      John Barrow and Frank Tipler’s Anthropic Cosmological Principle (1984) provides plenty of material SF readers/writers … including anthropic climate-sensitivities spanning the range from -100°C (iceball Earth) to +200°C (furnace Earth).

      Barrow and Tipler’s reasoning is simple and (seemingly?) common-sensical.

      It is evident that the evolution of intelligent life requires plenty of luck in the past (otherwise star-travelling species would be abundant).

      Yet humanity’s past good luck is not guaranteed to persist in the future (in particular, it may be a whole lot easier for us to destroy ourselves than we imagine).

      Conclusion  Anthropic considerations point toward a risk of extinction-level CAGW that is (hugely!) greater than the historical record suggests.

      Highly recommended to science-minded Climate Etc readers.

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

    • “Gates,

      You have a potential SciFi story in there.”
      ____
      Let’s just hope it is only SciFi. But you’re right, the best SciFi is based on some plausible science IMO.

    • Matthew R Marler

      A fan of *MORE* discourse: Conclusion Bayesian/anthropic reasoning naturally explains why the galaxy isn’t *already* filled with civilizations. The reason is simply “James Hansen is right about climate-change.”

      That’s not a knee-slapper, just a little chuckle.

    • RE: star travelling species.

      Anyone of the opinion that the vastness of the universe and the probabliity of there being millions if not billions of planets capable of supporting life equals a similar probability of there being star fareing civilizations can’t differentiate between science fact and science fiction.

      Science fiction provides numerous technological fixes to the issues NASA faces. The dibilitating effects of zero G on the human body? Artificial gravity. The distances involved? Various means to warp the time space fabric. One can assume these hurdles can be overcome. But similar to climate science, there is a lot of hypothesis with little or no underlying empirical data showing it can be done.

  20. Jim Cripwell

    Marcel Crok has done, I believe, a great disservice to science, and has blown a magnificent opportunity to return sanity to the CAGW debate. The best “expert” he could come up with, on the low climate sensitivity side, is Nic Lewis; at best a mild lukewarmer. He should have searched more thoroughly, and found a true expert denier who would write that the climate sensitivity of CO2, added to the atmosphere from recent levels, however defined, was indistinguishable from zero.

    Unfortunately, these sort of opportunities hardly occur at all, and to miss out on this one, is an enormous loss to science.

    • Jim decries the missed opportunity to poison the well.

    • I suspect JC is a bit miffed that Lewis did such an outstanding job of explaining why sensitivity determined by models suck.

    • Jim Cripwell

      jim2, you write “Jim decries the missed opportunity to poison the well.”

      Why am I trying to “poison the well”? I have give a scientific reason why I believe climate sensitivity is indistinguishable from zero, It may or may not be good science, but no-one has provided a measured value of a CO2 signal in any modern temperature/time graph. So, there is at least a small chance that I might be right scientifically.

      If someone with the right qualifications would write that climate sensitivity might be indistinguishable from zero, how can that possibly be considered “poisoning the well”?

    • Maybe the solution is to include 2 skeptics, one who believes sensitivity to be zero, and one who does not. That would be more balanced.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Jim Cripwell: The best “expert” he could come up with, on the low climate sensitivity side, is Nic Lewis; at best a mild lukewarmer. He should have searched more thoroughly, and found a true expert denier who would write that the climate sensitivity of CO2, added to the atmosphere from recent levels, however defined, was indistinguishable from zero.

      I can see the value of adding a 4th discussant who would be willing to write a substantial case that the ECS and TCS to a doubling of CO2 starting now would be indistinguishable from 0. What recognized scientist might Marcel Crok ask to write such an essay?

      One of the good things about IPCC and dialogues is that they continue. For public policy and planning purposes, I think it is sufficient for now that a solid scientist has written a solid case for low estimate of the ECS and TCS. All three of the authors highlighted some of the uncertainties deserving of research before the (inevitable?) AR6. The longer the current non-warming lasts, the stronger will be the case for a low ECS; the last non-warming lasted about 35 years or so. And the IPCC itself has warmed, so to speak, to the importance of local adaptation. The climate of climate change alarmism has changed dramatically.

    • Steven Mosher

      Jim,
      there are no such experts.
      why?
      cause there is no data and no method which suggests the value is indistinguishable from zero.

      the sun goes down. its gets colder.

    • John Carpenter

      “I have give a scientific reason why I believe climate sensitivity is indistinguishable from zero,…”

      Jim, I have not seen anything that resembles a scientific reason from you that CS is indistinguishable from zero. I have not seen anything that resembles using the scientific method to come to that conclusion. No hypothesis, no experiments with data collection, no data analysis, no discussion of results or conclusions to indicate your ‘scientific reason’ holds any weight. All in all, a total absence of science was used to reach your conclusion.

    • Jim Cripwell

      The three responses were quite telling to me.

      Neither Amman nor Fasullo answered the specific questions that were asked in the introduction.

      Both waffled a bit, although they both admitted that paleo data are suspect for estimating TCR and ECS.

      Neither of the two gave an estimate for TCR.

      Only Amman gave his estimate for ECS, however without providing the specific rationale for how he arrived at this estimate.

      On the other hand, Lewis answered all of the specific questions, pointed out why he concludes that observation-based studies (based on real live physical observations) are more meaningful that paleo data or simply GCM predictions and came up with specific (at least partially) observation-based estimates for both ECS and TCR, which were significantly lower than those in the most recent AR5 report of IPCC.

      IOW, the response by Lewis was much stronger than that of the other two.

      As an empiricist, you object that no one was there who argued that the temperature response from doubling CO2 was “indistinguishable from zero” or insisted on only real-time empirical evidence based on physical observations to arrive at an estimate for ECS and TCR.

      As you and I both know, such evidence does not exist, as a result of the many questions regarding natural factors influencing our climate, which cannot be separated out and, in some cases, are even unknown (our hostess calls this “uncertainty”).

      So, while I agree with your point that ALL estimates of ECS and TCR have neither been validated nor falsified by empirical evidence and are thus just provisional “best guesses”, I would argue that this debate has shown most interested observers that the model-derived estimates used by IPCC AR5 for both ECS and TCR are very likely exaggerated, possibly by a factor of two or more.

      This essentially removes the “C” from the “CAGW” premise, as specifically outlined in its AR4 and AR5 reports, so I believe it is very significant to the ongoing debate.

      However, IPCC has not yet acknowledged it and, as can be seen from the “mainstream” comments by Amman and Fasullo, the supporters of “CAGW” are digging in to defend the higher ECS estimates, upon which the entire “CAGW” premise (and the reason for existence of the IPCC, itself)is based.

      Max

      .

    • Mark Bofill

      Steven Mosher | May 13, 2014 at 3:56 pm |

      …cause there is no data and no method which suggests the value is indistinguishable from zero.

      the sun goes down. its gets colder.

      See, this is the type of explanation you need for dim people like me. After .all these years, I finally get what you’re saying about sensitivity, of course that’s correct. And all it took was two simple sentences. TY. BTW, think your points in general on this thread make sense.

    • So it’s the sun wot dunnit?
      Twas the clouds, I thunkit.
      =========

    • “the sun goes down. its gets colder.”

      This of course is an estimate. Everything is an estimate. An astonishing counter-intuitive result of Mosher’s extensive climate research.

      Andrew

    • Mark Bofill

      No, sorry if I was unclear. Steven famously says climate sensitivity (to changes in forcing) can’t be zero, and it’s the most obvious thing in the world when you step back from the complicated problems of feedbacks and so on and look at a simple example. The sun goes down, it gets colder, obviously climate sensitivity isn’t zero. It’s such a simple point that it’s been lost on me until now.

      • David Springer

        This proves nothing about 10um forcing from back radiation. The sun goes down it gets colder only proves that the climate is sensitive to the removal of a 5000K shortwave heating source. It says nothing about a few Watts from a 270K source.

    • Mark Bofill,

      If you are finding that Mosher is revealing profundities to you over the internet, I suggest you take a break from the computer for awhile and do something grounded in reality. Take enough time to get your feet back under you, before you come back.

      Andrew

    • Mark Bofill

      Bad Andrew,

      :>

      I don’t think it’s so much that Steven’s said something profound as that I’ve realized how thick I was being. But yeah, it’s occurred to me that maybe I’m overlooking something. It’s been known to happen.

      The term ‘radiative forcing’ has been employed in the IPCC Assessments to denote an externally imposed perturbation in the radiative energy budget of the Earth’s climate system.

      mkay.
      In our wide experience, what do we expect to happen to the temperature of an object (or system, doesn’t matter) when energy budget of that object changes? I think it’d be neat to get my hands on that mystery material that absorbs more energy than it releases (or releases more energy than it absorbs) yet doesn’t change temperature, I bet I could find some use for that.
      But the kicker is that this is not profound. It’s freakin obvious. So? What the heck’s the matter with me that I didn’t already realize that climate sensitivity can’t be zero?
      You don’t have to answer that last. :p

    • Steven Mosher

      ‘See, this is the type of explanation you need for dim people like me. After .all these years, I finally get what you’re saying about sensitivity, of course that’s correct. And all it took was two simple sentences. TY. BTW, think your points in general on this thread make sense.”

      since Sensitivity is defined as = dT/dF we can
      do the folowing

      dT since 1850 = 1C

      sensitivity = 1/dF

      What Cripwell claims is that 1/dF is close to zero

      This can only be true if dF is small.

      Now, one consistent position to hold is that we dont know dF

      dF is the sum total of all changes in forcing: solar forcing, internal forcing,
      GHG forcing. one could argue that we dont know these and we can only estimate them. and so we have no number to plug in for dF. But the only
      way you can get nearly zero is if you ARGUE for nearly zero dF or present some evidence for nearly zero dF. that means arguing that the sun hasnt changed or that GHGs have small forcings etc.

    • Mark Bofill

      This can only be true if dF is small.

      Not trying to bust your stones Steven but you said this backwards. Sensitivity is small if 1/dF is small, which happens when dF is relatively large. Small change in temp in response to large change in forcing, low sensitivity.
      But I got the concept I think. Particularly about it not being zero. Thanks.
      Not looking for any invitations to the debate but I’ve got fond hopes I might be able to at least understand what it was about if I pay close attention. :)

  21. Jim Cripwell is just stating the obvious. If stating the obvious is poisoning the well, then we have a problem.

    I’m just stating the obvious.

    Andrew

    • So, it may be obvious to you that ALL skeptics believe that sensitivity is zero. But then there is Nick Lewis – the contradiction that proves at once your hypothesis to be both sophomoric and manipulative.

    • “So, it may be obvious to you that ALL skeptics believe that sensitivity is zero.”

      I said nothing of the sort. There are a wide range of beliefs about “sensitivity.” You know why? Because climate science isn’t good enough to provide any conclusive information about it.

      So please, do go on believing your beliefs.

      Andrew

    • As I understand it, Cripwell has stated that there is no empirical scientific evidence to show that climate sensitivity from doubling CO2 is distinguishable from zero.

      This is a valid point.

      But the three scientists were asked to give their takes on what this sensitivity is most likely to be, based on whatever evidence there is at hand to estimate this.

      And Lewis did just that, specifying in detail how he came to that conclusion, while the other two did more generalized waffling, more or less supporting the IPCC AR5 view.

      As far as the “pause” is concerned, both Amman and Fasullo downplayed its importance. Fasullo played the deep ocean OHC card while Amman said that model studies show that warming will come back at an accelerated rate to outweigh the current hiatus.

      I found the “blog response debate” very informational.

      Max

  22. From AR4 6.4-2-2: (h/t Nick Stokes)
    “Freshwater influx is the likely cause for the cold events at the end of the last ice age (i.e., the Younger Dryas and the 8.2 ka event). Rather than sliding ice, it is the inflow of melt water from melting ice due to the climatic warming at this time that could have interfered with the MOC and heat transport in the Atlantic – a discharge into the Arctic Ocean of the order 0.1 Sv may have triggered the Younger Dryas (Tarasov and Peltier, 2005), while the 8.2 ka event was probably linked to one or more floods equal to 11 to 42 cm of sea level rise within a few years (Clarke et al., 2004; see Section 6.5.2).”

    Vukcevic comment:
    Arctic overflow is about 10Sv,
    Ergo: unprecedented Arctic ice melting combined with that of the Greenland glaciers may produce the required 0.1 Sv of fresh water, creating a tipping point into a new Ice Age.
    You have been warned.

  23. After a thorough read of the three positions described in Climate Dialogue, I conclude that many well meaning climate scientists are working hard to understand this complex messy system. It is however strange to me that there is so much variance in the quality of data, methods, models and results presented, especially after so many years engaged, and money spent. Climate Science is still embryonic! Not ready for the decision makers to consider.

  24. Climate sensitivity is too simple a concept to reflect the observations, on any valid inference. While some bemoan too little data is yet available, or it is too unreliable, or otherwise complain about how reality makes their theory unhappy, Science has always found that where exceptions too much abound, where assumptions lead to failure, where we cannot universally apply a formula, our explanation requires amendment.

    Reasonably, climate sensitivity isn’t only one thing. Beside being a function of multiple variables, it is a function of multiple interdependent functions. The best way to treat climate sensitivity is as a nondeterministic mapping of risk. The greater the Forcing, the greater the resultant risk. As Forcings go, CO2E has every quality of risk-increasing Forcing one could ask for, if one is seeking a villain:

    a.) Unlike H2O, CO2’s extremely long-lived in the atmosphere, and thus accumulates;
    b.) CO2 creates multiple positive feedbacks in other Forcings;
    c.) CO2 responds as a positive feedback;
    d.) CO2 has dramatic effects on biochemistry;
    e.) CO2 expands its absorbtive range as its concentration increases;
    f.) CO2 expands its absorbtive range as temperature increases;
    g.) CO2 is practically nonsaturating in terms of absorbtion;
    h.) CO2’s absorbtion spectrum complements the absorbtivity of other atmospheric gases;
    i.) CO2 has many proponents with vested interests who will use any means to preserve their stake;
    j.) CO2 is invisible;
    k.) CO2 radiative transfer is just complex enough to readily confuse people of moderate intelligence and capabilities;
    l.) There’s enough raw material in the ground to really mess up the planet through Forcings in a very short term;
    m.) Political and religious movements can readily rally to CO2 as a proxy for their complaints: burning CO2 is freedom, or independence, or thumbs its nose at authority or elites or repression or technocracy or defends their religion or proves their faith or whatever else.
    n.) CO2 is at its base levels absolutely necessary, and has benefits, that furnish half-truths with just enough substance for propaganda.
    o.) CO2’s role in warming is liable to attracting focus away from its real issue, its role in Forcing.
    p.) Short term thinking cannot deal with CO2’s long term liabilities when producing it has short term benefits.
    q.) CO2 burning can easily form a barrier to entry to the Market of competing more economical technologies through arbitrage and market manipulation.
    r.) CO2 has at extremely high levels, and in its cousin carbon monoxide, pernicious effects that can be cited as straw man arguments for propaganda to minimize the perils of increasing CO2 at current rates.
    s.) A net warmer climate does have potential benefits enough that again, half truths about it have propaganda value, overlooking the consequences of so rapid a rate of moving toward that heat level.
    t.) No one wants to be cast in the role of villain, and many depend on CO2 burning for their position, prestige and power.

    All of which might make climate sensitivity a wicked problem to solve as a deterministic single value result of multiple variables, or even moreso as a field of values across the globe as people focus on periods of time too short to reflect the lapse rate of climate. Or, we can circumvent climate sensitivity and speak instead of climate risk.

    In terms of climate risk, the calculation is quite straightforward: anthropogenic CO2 forcing incurs risk for all, at benefit to only those responsible for burning carbon or leaking carbon-based gases into the air; that trespass requires compensation by those responsible to those put at risk. It’s just that simple, and no value of climate sensitivity reduces that obligation, nor is the value of the risk dependent on climate sensitivity but on the price determined by the law of supply and demand.

    Climate sensitivity important? Give your head a shake.

    • #1) CO2 took a vacation after 1998

    • David L. Hagen

      Bart R.
      Look at the detailed CO2 evidence, not speculation.

      Tiny warming of residual anthropogenic CO2
      François Gervais, Int. J. Mod. Phys. B, 28, 1450095 (2014) [20 pages] DOI: 10.1142/S0217979214500957

      Murry Salby; e.g., Excerpts from Salby’s slide show; and
      Pehr Björnbom
      “A comparison of Gösta Pettersson’s carbon cycle model with observations”

    • Don Monfort

      Very well done, barty. But unconvincing. Your obvious talents are going to waste.

    • Now consider the risk of making energy expensive and scarce. Who benefits and who loses?

    • sunshinehours1 | May 13, 2014 at 11:09 am |
      David L. Hagen | May 13, 2014 at 11:55 am |
      Don Monfort | May 13, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
      JamesG | May 13, 2014 at 12:34 pm |

      Murray Salby’s SLIDE SHOW?!

      Oh. That’s impressive.

      Refer to points k.), i.), and m.)

      Because that’s just more kim.

      Confusing energy with carbon is simply false equivalency. They’re not the same, and expensive carbon ultimately brings down the cost of energy as economies of scale favor solar and geothermal, and overcoming false green objections to hydro, wind, tide and (where appropriate) nuclear will benefit everyone.

    • http://www.worldscientific.com/doi/abs/10.1142/S0217979214500957

      The residual fraction of anthropogenic CO2 emissions which has not been captured by carbon sinks and remains in the atmosphere, is estimated by two independent experimental methods which support each other: the 13C/12C ratio and the temperature-independent fraction of d(CO2)/dt on a yearly scale after subtraction of annual fluctuations the amplitude ratio of which reaches a factor as large as 7. The anthropogenic fraction is then used to evaluate the additional warming by analysis of its spectral contribution to the outgoing long-wavelength radiation (OLR) measured by infrared spectrometers embarked in satellites looking down. The anthropogenic CO2 additional warming extrapolated in 2100 is found lower than 0.1°C in the absence of feedbacks. The global temperature data are fitted with an oscillation of period 60 years added to a linear contribution. The data which support the 60-year cycle are summarized, in particular sea surface temperatures and sea level rise measured either by tide gauge or by satellite altimetry. The tiny anthropogenic warming appears consistent with the absence of any detectable change of slope of the 130-year-long linear contribution to the temperature data before and after the onset of large CO2 emissions.

      And this was accepted for publication?

      Assumes an unexplained 60 year cycle not supported by the data.

      Assumes an unexplained linear rising component not supported by the data.

      Rejects implicitly the notion of dynamic equilibrium.

      Faulty logic throughout the premises. A complete sham of a paper.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Bart R: http://www.worldscientific.com/doi/abs/10.1142/S0217979214500957

      Unfortunately it’s behind a paywall.

    • Don Monfort

      You are a dreamer, barty. Ultimately is going to be a long, long time. You are very confused. The cost of carbon energy vs. solar and wind energy is not a linked inverse relationship. Solar panels and wind turbines have gotten cheaper recently, due to overcapacity brought on by Chinese over-investment in manufacturing capacity. Too many wind turbines and solar panels and not enough demand. Adjustments will be made in manufacturing capacity, because even the commies eventually got to make a profit. Unless you know of some new and less costly way to make wind turbines and solar panels, the price is not going down. It’s physics and economics, barty. Tough to get around, even for a dreamer.

    • Matthew R Marler | May 13, 2014 at 4:59 pm |

      I wouldn’t call it unfortunate.

      The abstract requires us to believe seven impossible things on its face. The rest of the paper is unlikely to redeem such messy thinking.

      Simply, were CO2 so short-lived in the atmosphere as David L. Hagen | May 13, 2014 at 11:55 am | asserts, then the accumulation of CO2 from 280 ppmv to 400 ppmv would be implausible, and the lagged response would track like a square wave. No square wave, no rapid net CO2 drawdown.

    • Don Monfort | May 13, 2014 at 5:00 pm |

      Concentrated Solar PhotoVoltaic (CSPV) takes between 6% and 0.05% the area of solar cell to produce up to ten times the amount of electricity per unit of sunlight.

      Nonimaging optics allows CSPV to track the sun without costly devices to move the collectors.

      Proven microchannel cooling technology allows solar cells to operate efficiently at 2000 suns intensity.

      Novel materials from 3M are allowing light, cheap, near perfect reflectors to be built on a massive scale.

      The cost of collectors is coming down per unit as new materials and methods are developed.

      Economies of scale reduce the cost per unit dramatically.

      The ‘overproduction’ is entirely due to technology outpacing the market so rapidly that old producers are getting stuck with obsolete product faster than they can sell it.

    • David L. Hagen

      Bart R.
      Science progresses with hypotheses, models, validation etc.
      Murry L. Salby is a world expert on climate, having written the textbook:
      “Physics of the Atmosphere and Climate” 718 pages Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (January 16, 2012)

      Over the last decade, Salby has been developing the detailed equations for natural and anthropogenic CO2 fluxes and variations with temperature for current changes and in ice cores. He is now working to publish them – in the face of very strong opposition by climate alarmists. Study them.

      Salby’s equations were confirmed by Pehr Björnbom

      Natural CO2 sources/sinks are 2 orders of magnitude larger than anthropogenic, and anthropogenic is ~2x the accumulation in the atmosphere. How are you going to quantify what portion of anthropogenic causes the CO2 growth vs it being driven by ocean temperature?

    • Bart R:

      Reasonably, climate sensitivity isn’t only one thing. Beside being a function of multiple variables, it is a function of multiple interdependent functions. The best way to treat climate sensitivity is as a nondeterministic mapping of risk.

      All of which might make climate sensitivity a wicked problem to solve as a deterministic single value result of multiple variables, or even moreso as a field of values across the globe as people focus on periods of time too short to reflect the lapse rate of climate. 

      Not bad.

      I suppose it’s like searching for the holy grail. Whatever the number is, is it always that number everywhere and at all times? At times I think there’s a tendency to reduce many things into one thing such as with a bottom line number. That’s something management can understand. A take away number for what happened and for what is.

    • John Carpenter

      “anthropogenic CO2 forcing incurs risk for all, at benefit to only those responsible for burning carbon or leaking carbon-based gases into the air; that trespass requires compensation by those responsible to those put at risk.”

      Thank you for identifying 100% of the human species… as written, we all trespass and we all require compensation for the risk we are putting to each other… This idea of yours is too vague to be of any benefit to anyone anywhere as it in no way discerns any one carbon burner from another in any useful way to apply the law of supply and demand.

    • Ragnaar | May 13, 2014 at 7:06 pm |

      The one simplification we can draw around climate sensitivity is, as with all things of the future, Risk.

      Every uncertainty increases Risk. This allows us to pluck Dr. Curry’s main objection — uncertainty — from the wrong side of the equation and put it where it belongs, as a simple additional amount of Risk. If the future damage function or hazard outcome is toward the high side of the uncertainty, then we face that cost at some unknowable probability. If the future reveals we were at the low end, or even beneficial end of uncertainty, then we face the cost of hedging both futures, the loss of opportunity to invest more efficiently.

      Apart from the first type of uncertainty, there is sigmoid uncertainty: the TCR will be different by region and by timespan and so will have slower and faster rates of change associated with it, sometimes stringing together as massive spikes, and always less predictable than we would desire. A drought/deluge/drought sigmoid is much less advantageous than equipartition of an equal amount of precipitation over time, in particular if we do not know the lengths of droughts and deluges to expect.

      Both of these are entirely removed by mitigation, by reduction of the Forcing below levels we know to be tolerated by the system. We can use the Hale Cycle as a gauge of this level, as its influence was disrupted in the 1950’s after at least a century and a half of clear correlation with global temperature. If we can return to a pre-1950’s rate of CO2E emission, we ought face no uncertainty from Forcing, and in time a return to lower rates of extreme weather.

      Does it address the other issues of AGW? No, but it gives us so much more time to deal with them, and it is a goal well within reach of current technology while only benefiting the economies of nations, albeit it benefits the non-OPEC nations disproportionately.

    • John Carpenter | May 13, 2014 at 8:03 pm |

      Utter hogwash. Study after study show that very few people in any population are responsible for most CO2E emission.

      It’s the ones who exceed their share who are trespassing.

    • David L. Hagen | May 13, 2014 at 6:42 pm |

      Salby’s discredited equations and invalid arguments fool no one.

      Pretending otherwise fools no one.

      One disproof is enough, and that’s already been furnished above.

      After that, it’s beating a dead horse.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Bart R: The abstract requires us to believe seven impossible things on its face.

      Abstracts are seldom adequate to their papers.

    • Matthew R Marler | May 13, 2014 at 8:43 pm |

      This is true. There’s no telling how many more impossible claims the paper makes in its body.

    • Bart R:
      If the future damage function or hazard outcome is toward the high side of the uncertainty, then we face that cost at some unknowable probability. If the future reveals we were at the low end, or even beneficial end of uncertainty, then we face the cost of hedging both futures, the loss of opportunity to invest more efficiently.

      You raise an interesting point. Hedging both uncertainties. But if one possibility is beneficial, we’d take from that side to pay for the other side. I don’t want sound redistributionist, but it’s the way of the world.

      Another form insurance is partnerships, real ones. Say there’s two possible out comes. Minnesota farmers double their corn crops but Florida disappears under the sea. Or, Corn crops remain the same and Florida is fine. So the farmers partner with the Floridians. Splitting the costs and benefits.

    • John Carpenter

      “It’s the ones who exceed their share who are trespassing.”

      You have a value for what share we are entitled to before we are trespassing?

    • Ragnaar | May 13, 2014 at 10:35 pm |

      Or Florida sinks into the ocean while Iowa turns into a permanent dustbowl, or, or, or, or. There’s no predicting the future here, at that level of detail. We know only to a certainty that Risk rises as Forcing rises, and falls as Forcing falls. That’s all we need know to a certainty, to sustain a case for that Forcing’s remedy, the carbon cycle’s ability to dispose of CO2E waste, to be regarded as scarce.

      We have capitalizability from knowing there are those who can and will fund alternative energy, sequestration, conservation if it profits them.

      We have rivalry in that no two people can in the same generation reuse the same portion of the carbon cycle budget.

      We have from the example of BC evidence for excludability, in that the revenue neutral carbon tax act there prices carbon burning by the carbon content of commerce.

      We have likewise from the same source proof of administrability, piggybacked on their own tax system, inverting the usual order of taxes to instead sustain enterprise by ensuring the owners of the carbon cycle are paid directly, by their revenue recycling measures, and those measures cost them nothing because they actually reduce tax churn and tax administration by more than they cost to implement.

      The last element we know will work, not from the wonky and difficult to defend systems of cap-and-trade, but we know the carbon cycle to be marketable because we know the Law of Supply and Demand applies and works, because Capitalism works.

      SCREAM for Capitalism.

      John Carpenter | May 13, 2014 at 11:01 pm |

      I don’t need to know, or pretend to know, the value. All we need know is the resource of waste disposal in the carbon cycle is scarce, rivalrous, capitalizable, excludable, administrable and marketable. BC’s carbon price has proven this. The Law of Supply and Demand — not set in BC, as one of the many flaws with BC which I do not defend nor speak to, as that is the role of BC, not of me — sets the value. All we have to do is let the price of carbon float until the point of diminishing returns, to its maximum revenue, and deliver that revenue equally per capita to the shareholders: every citizen.

      Now, if some citizens want to sell that share, whoopee, good on ‘em. If they want to enterprisingly find ways to reduce their carbon emissions, well done, that’s Capitalism working. If they want to find and sell ways to reduce others’ carbon emissions, great: that’s what Capitalism stimulates: innovation and enterprise. What Capitalism doesn’t do is let some guy on the Internet tell the rest of us what value we put on what is ours.

    • Don Monfort

      I hope your dreams of competitive wind and solar power come true, barty. We will be looking for signs of success. When subsidies and mandates are no longer necessary and wind and solar account for more than 10% of world electric power production, we will start to pay attention.

    • John Carpenter

      “What Capitalism doesn’t do is let some guy on the Internet tell the rest of us what value we put on what is ours.”

      Thank you Bart, good answer!

    • Q: What effect does a large increase in man-made CO2 have after 1945?

      A: It causes the natural rate of warming to go lower than the rate of warming that occurred from 1900 to 1945.

    • David L. Hagen

      Bart R. Re: “Salby’s discredited equations”
      You provide no rebuttal nor references.
      Try the scientific method not ad hominem McCarythism.

    • David L. Hagen | May 14, 2014 at 10:28 am |

      Dude, it’s not Salby I’m talking about, but Salby’s claims. You really must look into what ad hominem means.

      No square wave profile response, no short term equilibrium CO2 level.

      Period. That’s not to do with the shape of Salby’s noggin, but with the shape of his claim.

    • sunshinehours1 | May 14, 2014 at 9:36 am |

      Yes, yes.

      You want someone to say, “Correlation is not causation,” or some variant thereof, and then you want someone to make a point about sauce for the goose or attribution or whatnot for the rising temperature periods that do correlate, blah-blah-blah.

      But see, I’m not a warmist. The issue is FORCING. Little fishtails in the correlations with the Forcing do not pertain.

  25. Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

    Crok wrote: “Nic Lewis, […], argues that instrumental or empirical approach studies with relatively low ECS values should be weighted much higher than IPCC did in AR5″.
    Well Crok, if ECS had a value of 0.2 K per doubling CO2 emissions, then climate change will not be as catastrophic as IPCC requires (because, then, the “carbon emission trading” will be a nonsense).
    Crok notice that in my “Refuting …” document:

    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4r_7eooq1u2TWRnRVhwSnNLc0k/

    I am not as polite as all you. Because I am honest. And I clearly explain (subsection 3.1, pgs. 6&7) why IPCC’s ECS is an invented value: why it is science fiction.

  26. Climate sensitivity is a metric used to characterize the response of the global climate system to a given forcing. It is broadly defined as the equilibrium global mean surface temperature change following a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration IPCC Fourth Assessment Report:
    Given that CO2 has been going up in a regular stepwise fashion for the last 30 years and there has been an initial jump in temps which was happily aligned with this with Mann like Climate sensitivity,Climate sensitivity might well have been 6.0.
    But, and it is a big but, since the pause and let’s say 17 years RSS and all, the temperature has been flat.
    Enter Jim Cripwell and Bad Andrew and Nic Lewis.
    Either the Climate Sensitivity is 0.0 or small but as the pause extends the Climate Senitivity falls.
    Even Mosher who says he knows what the Climate Sensitivity is [2 years ago] and says we can all work it out from TOA will not commit himself to a range but I bet it is a lot lower for him now as well.
    Basically this whole argument is getting a workover because the pause has destroyed catastrophic global climate sensitivity.
    Give it another 5 years and the IPCC will be saying 0.5 to 4.0.
    The Blackboard had a good discussion recently where Lucia insisted a Climate sensitivity as a change to positive forcing can only ever be positive.

    • Can you link Lucia’s post. I can’t imagine how it possible for climate sensitivity to only be positive. I would think that it is rather chaotic and often negative, and that it would vary for different types of forcing (location, type of energy…).

    • Steven Mosher

      “Even Mosher who says he knows what the Climate Sensitivity is [2 years ago] and says we can all work it out from TOA will not commit himself to a range but I bet it is a lot lower for him now as well.”

      huh I said it back in 2008. its between 1.5 and 6.
      havent changed that opinion in 6 years

    • michael hart

      aaron, the post was initially about something else.

      It was this one:

      http://rankexploits.com/musings/2014/climateonline/

    • Sorry , came into reading blogs and your comments after 2008, thank you for clearing up my misunderstanding but I only read a blog where you where telling someone else how to work it out but no figures.
      Are you going to lean more to 1.6 if the pause continues or accelerates, or go lower.
      “err neither did he invite people who doubt we landed on the moon.
      CS = dT/dF its not indistinguishable from zero.
      To make a claim that it is, you have to actually do and show math.”

      If dT is zero for 17 years would this make CS 0.00 over that 17 years [excluding all other factors]. If dT is negative would that make CS negative??

    • Aaron | May 13, 2014 at 12:01 pm Can you link Lucia’s post. I can’t imagine how it possible for climate sensitivity to only be positive. I would think that it is rather chaotic and often negative, and that it would vary for different types of forcing (location, type of energy…).
      Blackboard article labelled Climate Online: Consider registering as reviewer.
      24 April, 2014 (07:00) | politics Written by: lucia
      Robert Way (Comment #128906) started the discussion with
      April 25th, 2014 at 12:33 pm
      Its a completely new discussion regarding the GHCN issues that we’ve outlined in our update (released today). We’ve found evidence that GHCN’s algorithm for homogenization is reducing the trend of several important stations in the Arctic which are very important to GHCN based datasets because they have less coverage than CRU (by a large margin).
      The initial paper was on the impacts of coverage bias in the hadcrutv4 dataset – this new update focuses on the differences between our result and GISS’ with the evidence suggesting that GISS is underestimating Arctic warming because of using GHCNv3 as an input.
      Lucia added Feedbacks that cause the total effect to be in the opposite direction of the primary effect don’t make any sense. For what follows, assume the primary egfect of C02 is a rise. Remember the “feedback” works thise way:
      Primary effect causes temperature to rise an amount dT. Then as a function of temperature rise, the feedback does something that either causes temperature to rise more or less. Now, ‘imagine’ some feedback that is so strong it causes temperatures to drop more than primary effect caused it to rise Now: the total temperature is lower than before. So, that’s what you are “imagining”.

      But now you have a logical problem because the feedback doesn’t care what caused the temperature to be higher or lower. It’s just something that is a function of the actual temperature. So now because the temperature is lower that it started, that exact same “feedback” has to cause the temperature to rise– thereby cancelling the “drop” you imagined. If you ponder this a while, you realize that no matter what the “physics” the feedback can only be sufficiently negative to make temperature very, very stable: that is sensitivity to could at most approach 0 but it can’t go negative.

      The fact is: By their nature if they are feedbacks they can weaken the primary effect or they can enhance it, but they can’t actually reverse it. So: sensitivity to CO2 has to be strictly positive. It can’t be negative.
      I disagree sort of, Brandon disagrees elsewhere he wrote a WUWT implying a negative CS under certain circumstances
      “1. Question the whole equation: This is what Willis does.
      generally speaking you wont be invited to the debate.”

    • Steven Mosher

      “Are you going to lean more to 1.6 if the pause continues or accelerates, or go lower.”

      Of course I’d lean more toward 1.6 if the pause continues. DUH.

      Look, just do the calculations.

      1. Pick a period in the past, the further back the better. 1850-1860
      2. Pick the last ten years.
      3. Calculate dT
      4. Get the change in forcing. ( see forcing tables used by GCMs)
      5. Calculate

      Here is a hint.

      You cant use a very short period. the uncertainty will kill your estimate

    • That assumes that the temperature response is uniform globally.

  27. David Springer

    Nic Lewis presents a graph of error in cloud cover predicted by GCM’s and satellite measurements of same.

    I wasn’t aware how much error there was in cloud cover with far fewer clouds predicted by the physics models than the clouds actually observed, except in the very high latitudes where they predict far more than actually observed. Those are big frickin’ errors especially in the inter-tropical convergence zone. In the far northern latitudes there’s not much surface area so the error probably doesn’t mean much but then again when water vapor is frozen out of the atmosphere the so-called IR window gets a lot bigger and fewer clouds closing it back up means the error might be significant because radiative cooling efficiency is drastically increased in very cold clear sky.

    • Same errors in CMIP3 for AR4. The climate chapter in my book The Arts of Truth has a section detailing this, with references to a number of papers quantifying various aspects of it. IMO one of two main reasons Models run hot and Model ECS is too high. Strong support is a cited paper which ran a GCM with an addition high resolution cloud resolver and got an ECS close to 1.5 IIRC.

    • But … But!!! … those climate models are the best we have! WE MUST USE THEM!!

    • David L. Hagen

      Nigel Fox of NPL highlights that 97% of uncertainty is due to clouds. e.g. see slide 7 in Nigel Fox A “standards lab in space” 9 Dec. 2010

    • I think I’ve never heard so loud
      The quiet message in a cloud.
      =======================

    • Judith Curry ‘Reasoning about Climate Uncertainty’ August,
      2011 observes:

      ‘ Expert judgements about confidence levels are made on issues
      that are dominated by unquantifiable uncertainties. Because of the
      complexity of the issues, individual experts use different mental
      models and heuristics for evaluating the interconnected evidence.
      Biases can abound when reasoning and making judgements
      about such a complex problem.’ (p729.)

      So what has changed since this statement was made, regarding
      imperfect models based on inadequate understanding of radiation
      and the complex dynamics of the climate system?

    • Keeping the focus on a fraction of thin air saves one the effort of having to understand actual climate. Actual climate does seem a bit of a daunting subject. What with clouds and all. And the hydrosphere and the asthenosphere and the orbits and the sun and what have you.

      CO2 science is a bit like explaining things in terms of phlogiston or humours, though with less pure invention. You get controllable mechanisms to observe, lots of stuff to calculate and compile. And models, ever more intricate and de jour! Come up with something alarming (which hasn’t happened) and the Guardian is there, to spray the ill tidings across the globe.

      Everyone feels there’s some science going on. And there’s that populist monster movie element. Will the grimy particulates beat the diaphanous GHGs in the battle for climate dominance? Which naughty band of human-conjured spookies will win out?

    • “It’s the clouds, stupid” has been true for a long time.

  28. Annan’s post does represent IPCC, but is disingenuous. His 2011 paper used a variety of informed priors to constrain the high end tail in model results. But what neither the paper said then, or him now, is that the very sharp resulting mode was always below 2 (depending on informed prior, ECS between 1.8 and 1.9). They published the PDFs! That is very close to the Otto estimate arrived at via energy budget observations.
    In all this, Fasullo looks the odd man out.

  29. Stephen Segrest

    Every Commenter on this blog (supposed to be well versed in physics and chemistry) should be required to respond to Dr. Molina’s (Nobel Prize on ozone depletion) basic question:

    http://theenergycollective.com/davidhone/60610/back-basics-climate-science

    Time and time again we hear statements on this Blog like from Lennart Bengtsson that “There is not a single well educated scientist that question that greenhouse gases do affect climate.”

    But this is not what’s being said by many/most Republican members of Congress who are using terms to the American Public of hoax, junk science, and quoting the Bible (in hearings on science of all places). They use issues like Mann not how Dr. Curry does (questioning the process) but how Climate Change is just a big conspiracy theory.

    Every science based blogger should answer the question: Over the foreseeable coming decades, there is an overwhelming consensus that CO2 emissions will increase a lot (industrialization of China, India, etc.). Many say a trajectory to ~1,000 ppm.

    From a science based opinion, is this a bad idea (i.e., ~1,000 ppm)? A simple yes or no. Dr. Molina says its a bad idea.

    The problem with the Obama haters on this blog is that you’re not listening to key figures in the Republican Party (Huntsman, every EPA Administrator of Nixon, Reagan, Bush Sr. and W).

    People like the Mullers are trying to advance ideas that certainly wouldn’t wreck the economy. If Climate Change is a serious issue, then every Nation should commit to an “Apollo type Program” to find and develop “safe fracking” for natural gas. If the fate of the World is in balance, this effort should overcome things like “intellectual property rights” with Energy Companies.

    Answering this science question of Dr. Molina puts all questions (like today’s blog on sensitivity) into a correct context.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Stephen, you write “From a science based opinion, is this a bad idea (i.e., ~1,000 ppm)? A simple yes or no. Dr. Molina says its a bad idea.”

      The proper scientific answer is that nobody, and I mean nobody, knows whether it is a good or a bad idea. We cannot use The Scientific Method on the problem, so all we have are hypotheses. I don’t know on what basis Dr. Molina says it is a bad idea, but what ever basis it is, I will guarantee that it is not based on The Scientific Method.

      My guess, based on such very little evidence as we have, is that it is a very good idea.

    • David Springer

      The current rate of CO2 rise is 20ppm per decade.

      http://woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:2000/to:2010

      The rate itself is not accelerating significantly. In the year 2113 then the total would be 600ppm not 1000ppm. Given how much technology advances per century there’s little reason to presume that 22nd century technology will not have the capacity to address any undesirable consequences. Much of the earth is too cold for life to flourish at least part of the year. Sub-freezing weather presents a struggle for survival not an opportunity to flourish. Global warming regional with more of it going to higher latitudes in colder seasons. On the face of this is a good thing not a bad thing.

    • Stephen Segrest

      Dear Jim Cripwell — This week marks the 25th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol. As such, Dr. Molina has been vocal saying that in today’s politically charged environment it would be highly unlikely that CFC actions would pass in this current Congress. He cites he had many of the same problems that Climate Scientists face today (lack of data, couldn’t model very well, etc.)

      I found an article by Fred Singer (that he wrote in 2012) where he still disagreed with CFC policy actions: http://heartland.org/policy-documents/ozone-cfc-debacle-hasty-action-shaky-science

      My question to you: Did we follow a Scientific Method correctly or adequately in implementing the Montreal Protocol? On scientific method and CFCs, do you agree with Dr. Singer?

      For us laymen, could you define what you would call an appropriate scientific method as applied to the Montreal Protocol policy. Thanks

    • Rob Starkey

      Stephen
      Imo, you wrongly classify climate change as a republican vs. democratic issue. Again, imo; it is an issue of doing things that will actually accomplish something vs. doing things that will have no noticeable impact and waste a scarce resource (money). Everyone knows that the climate changes (even republicans). Some like to make others believe they know more about how, why and when it will change than the evidence supports.

      Yes, humans are emitting a lot of CO2 and it will likely warm the planet somewhat. Current science does not know ESC to CO2 and that number is probably not overly relevant to humans. What we also do not know is TCR over timescales important to humans, say the next 50 years. In all likelihood, TCR changes greatly over time as CO2 is not the most important variable to the system.

      I ask you what specifically do you think should be done in the us and what would be the impact?

      If you advocate the construction and maintenance of robust infrastructure to protect people from adverse weather, then we are in agreement. If you advocate the implementation of “CO2 mitigation actions” in order to reduce emissions in the US, I ask you what will be the benefit of the actions you propose. Since you can’t define that the actions you support will actually accomplish anything specific that will lessen harms (to those paying for them) I do not see why any reasonable person should support them.

      BTW- I am an independent politically and voted for Obama in 2008.

      • David Springer

        “I am an independent politically and voted for Obama in 2008.”

        Admitting poor judgement in voting doesn’t bolster your credibility.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Stephen Segrest: From a science based opinion, is this a bad idea (i.e., ~1,000 ppm)? A simple yes or no.

      Taken all together, the science supports an answer of “maybe”. Getting from “maybe” to “yes” or “no” requires propositions that have not been tested. Will crops, trees, grasslands and shrubs grow better? Probably, but the evidence has complications (higher cellulose content for crops, perhaps.) Will the hydrologic cycle speed up? Probably, but the effect on clouds and crops is unknown. Will large populations of rapidly reproducing organisms in the ocean be affected by a change of pH from about 8.1 to about 7.7? Evidence is mixed, and depends on what acids flow into the ocean near shore and from the seabed.

      Certainty comes from making assertions and ignoring evidence.

      If the fate of the World is in balance, this effort should overcome things like “intellectual property rights” with Energy Companies.

      Will the new technologies be invented faster if the inventors do have or don’t have intellectual property rights? My guess and vote go to the side “If the inventors do have intellectual property rights”.

    • Stephen Segrest

      Rob Starkey — There are numerous Conservative Republicans (like me) who believe AGW is occurring and don’t believe in policy actions that would wreck economies (Jon Huntsman and Republican ex-EPA Administrators):

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/02/opinion/a-republican-case-for-climate-action.html?_r=1&

      If it matters, the Mullers belief in finding a way for safe fracking (natural gas) makes sense to me.

    • Rob Starkey

      Stephen Segrest- you do not seem to get that it does not matter whether it is republicans or democrats that take dumb positions.

      Ask anyone advocating a CO2 mitigation action what will be the impact of the specific action vs. the cost of the proposed action.

      Ask what makes those highly concerned what makes them so sure that a warmer world is worse for humanity overall or the US specifically. If you exclude a rapid rise of sea level (which there is ZERO reliable data to support the concept of) why is a warmer world something to fear?

      I agree that humans are changing the atmosphere and the environment overall. That is a consequence of having so many humans on the planet. The situation (CO2 concentrations increasing) will not change for the foreseeable future. There are over 3 billion people currently without access to electricity. In order for them to get access far more CO2 will be released in the future.

      If in 50 years, if CO2 concentrations are at 450 ppm instead of 455 ppm does it matter?

      Springer- I agree that I was wrong regarding how Obama would manage the economy, but I happen to know McCain and he is an idiot about economics.

  30. Climate sensitivity is a horrible term. Global average temperature response is a little better.

  31. First, climate sensitivity is zero. There has been no warming for the last 17 years and that tells us that the greenhouse theory of Arrhenius is wrong. Doubling the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide does not cause any warming. And that is exactly what the Miskolczi greenhouse theory (MGT) does predict. It is the only theory that correctly explains the existence of the warming pause. Miskolczi theory differs from the Arrhenius theory in that it applies to the general case where more than one GHG are simultaneously absorbing in the IR. In such a case a common optimum absorption window exists which the gases present jointly maintain. In the earth atmosphere the gases that count are carbon dioxide and water vapor. Their joint optimum absorption window has an optical thickness of 1.87, derived from first principles by Miskolczi. If you now add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere it will start to absorb, just as the Arrhenius theory says. But this will increase the optical thickness and as soon as this happens, water vapor will start to diminish, rain out, and the optimum optical thickness is restored. This phenomenon explains why global temperature today is not increasing despite the fact that the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide is constantly increasing. In 2010 Miskolczi used NOAA weather balloon database going back to 1948 to study atmospheric absorption of IR. And discovered that absorption had been constant for 61 years while the amount of carbon dioxide increased by 21.6 percent at the same time. This is an exact parallel with today’s warming pause where absorption is constant while carbon dioxide increases. Miskolczi’s basic theory has been out since 2007 but it has been suppressed and bad-mouthed by the global warming establishment because it does not suit their ideology. It is pretty hard to deny it now that the warming pause is with us. That of course leaves a loose end: what about the warming before the pause? It is clear that any and all such warming that has been claimed to be greenhouse warming has to be natural warming, misidentified by over-eager “scientists” looking for proof of greenhouse warming. There is no enhanced greenhouse warming, get used to it.

    • David Springer

      What explains sea level rise?

    • “First, climate sensitivity is zero.”
      _____
      Completely incorrect. Earth’s climate system has not stopped accumulating energy over the past years, but ocean-atmosphere cycles (mainly a cool PDO) have slowed the rate of flow of latent and sensible heat from ocean to atmosphere. The oceans have very likely continued to warm quite vigorously, but fake-skeptics will never acknowledge this possibility.

    • Springer – subsidence?

    • “:David Springer | May 13, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
      What explains sea level rise?”
      I have been visiting a particular place on the Oregon coast since 1962.
      No one has had to do anything yet to adapt to the sea level rise. Absolutely nothing in 52 years. I can extrapolate that another 52 years. Sea level rise is not a threat, but yes, I can make a case that CO2 and sea level rise must be linked, as both are constant, not accelerating, and both divergent of current temperature trends.

      • David Springer

        Wow. All the money wasted on satellite altimetry when all we needed to do was ask DayHay, whoever that is, about his observation of one spot on an Oregon beach. Amazing.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Arno Arrak: There has been no warming for the last 17 years and that tells us that the greenhouse theory of Arrhenius is wrong. Doubling the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide does not cause any warming.

      The scientific evidence does not support such a conclusion. Almost all of dynamic systems theory, experiment and numerical analysis has been developed since Arrhenius (Poincare of his cohort was a leader at the time), and it is certainly possible for a steady accumulation of heat to produce a non-steady appearance in the temperature record, especially since so little of the total system has in fact ever been measured. Every theory is incomplete.

      Miskolczi’s basic theory has been out since 2007 but it has been suppressed and bad-mouthed by the global warming establishment because it does not suit their ideology.

      The theory has been published, praised, critiqued, and mostly ignored. It has not been suppressed.

    • David Springer

      A journal published Miskolczi’s Saturated Greenhouse Hypothesis?

      Link?

    • Matthew R Marler

      some of these are peer-reviewed papers. Others merely cite the work, and some only have the word “greenhouse” or “saturated” in the text.

      http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=miskolczi+saturated+greenhouse+theory&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart&sa=X&ei=HctzU7C_C8uayASci4KoCQ&ved=0CCwQgQMwAA

      Critiqued, ignored by most, and occasionally cited, but not “suppressed”.

  32. David Springer

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/05/140512-thwaites-glacier-melting-collapse-west-antarctica-ice-warming/

    Think of how many jobs will be created moving coastline infrastructure inland as the sea rises! I mean if making energy more expensive by producing it with windmills and so forth is a boon to job creation then moving our susceptable coastline infrastructure inland will be an UBER-boon to job creation. /sarc

  33. son of mulder

    Somehow I’d never seen the Climate Dialogue site. Many thank for the reference. It looks excellent.

  34. Craig Loehle

    Some things that changed in paleo times that are maybe not included in the models:
    1) during ice ages, both winds and dust (not surprisingly joined) were much higher, likely due to a stronger equator-to-pole temperature gradient. This is when the huge loess deposits of western north America, China, etc were deposited.
    2) When sea level falls sufficiently, the Alaskan islands form a barrier to water movement and other lands (e.g., SE Asia) and emergent continental shelves alter water flow. Ability to simulate ocean currents (a chaotic system) under these conditions is unknown but probably poor.
    3) Vegetation under low CO2 changed a lot, altering albedo.

    • David Springer

      Thanks Craig but if you weren’t invited to the debate on Climate Dialogue your input to tghe climate debate means nothing according to Mosherian Logic (TM, pat pending)..

    • Craig, the delivery of dust to the oceans increases the bioproductive mass of the oceans, thanks to fertilization, and also increases the rate of mineralization of biomatter at the bottom of the oceans. This means that the true sink rate of carbon increases and [CO2] levels fall, in the whole biosphere and the atmosphere.

  35. Matthew R Marler

    That was a good read. Thanks for the link.

  36. …everyone else carrying out explicitly Bayesian multidimensional climate sensitivity studies seems to have used a subjective approach. ~Nic Lewis

    “Even when the evidence shows that a particular research idea is wrong, if you have thousands of scientists who have invested their careers in it, they’ll continue to publish papers on it. It’s like an epidemic, in the sense that they’re infected with these wrong ideas, and they’re spreading it to other researchers through journals.” ~Dr. John Ioannidis

    • Pierre-Normand

      Pekka has often challenged Lewis (here and on Climate Audit) to explain how his “objective” choice of Bayesian prior is any less subjective than any other choice of a prior justified on the basis of specific theoretical assumptions. It seems to be objective just in name. Lewis never replied. It seems to connect with the naive empiricist belief in the objectivity of “raw data” and the denial that all scientific data is theory laden.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Pierre-Normand: It seems to be objective just in name. … It seems to connect with the naive empiricist belief in the objectivity of “raw data” and the denial that all scientific data is theory laden.

      I agree. For more, you might like to read the book “A Comparison of Frequentist and Bayesian Methods of Parameter Estimation” by Francisco Samaniego (of UC Davis Dept of Statistics.) He discusses conditions under which Bayesian methods are likely to be improvements over frequentist methods (according to a Bayesian criterion that he defines). In brief, the mean of the prior distribution has to be sufficiently close to the actual value of the parameter, thus passing what he calls a “threshold”. You wouldn’t want to be limited by my limited account here; if this idea appeals to you, you might want to check out his book.

      • The TSD purports to rely on IPCC work as a basis for a supposed “sensitivity” of climate to increasing atmospheric C02, but fails to mention that the most recent IPCC report completely undermines any basis for determining climate sensitivity with the following statement: “No best estimate for equilibrium climate sensitivity can now be given because of a lack of agreement on values across assessed lines of evidence and studies.” This means that the IPCC admits that it does not have a credible mean, mode or median value of the equilibrium climate sensitivity parameter. In the mathematics of Decision Theory, this situation is called Complete Ignorance Uncertainty.

        A letter to the EPA

    • Pierre-Normand

      Matthew R Marler wrote: “I agree. For more, you might like to read the book “A Comparison of Frequentist and Bayesian Methods of Parameter Estimation” by Francisco Samaniego […] You wouldn’t want to be limited by my limited account here; if this idea appeals to you, you might want to check out his book.”

      This idea most definitely appeals to me. I’d be happy to learn more. Thanks for the reference.

    • “Lewis never replied.” It seemed to me that he replied several times over at climateaudit. I thought it was an interesting discussion. Which is not to say that I thought Lewis proved his point; I think there were good rebuttals there. But saying that he never replied is a backhand way of attacking someone, and unfair.

      As for the point Pekka had been making there, as I tried to point out there: if you have things you know (as in the carbon dating case they were discussing), a completely uninformed prior is a bad idea. You are informed! – your information should go into the prior, that’s how Bayesian analysis works. But if you really don’t know, that is different. So I am not sure what Pekka will say in our case; what information does he want to bring into the prior that makes it not uninformed? What do we know about climate sensitivity? I think the whole discussion here makes it pretty clear that we know very little. The models just aren’t good enough yet to help. The paleo data… well, read the articles. What do we know and how should it affect the prior?

      • Good point–we’re talking about being highly precise about an element of something that is largely unknowable. There cannot even be an honest agreement on the “time-order” of the phenomena we are observing–e.g., we have numerous studies that show increases in atmospheric CO2 follow increases in temperature and yet, AGW theory assumes the reverse as valid information from the get-go.

    • Pierre-Normand

      “Lewis never replied.” It seemed to me that he replied several times over at climateaudit.

      He hadn’t replied to Pekka’s specific complaint last I looked.

      “As for the point Pekka had been making there,”

      Yes, that’s my topic.

      “…as I tried to point out there: if you have things you know (as in the carbon dating case they were discussing), a completely uninformed prior is a bad idea. You are informed! – your information should go into the prior, that’s how Bayesian analysis works. But if you really don’t know, that is different.”

      It is rare that we know nothing at all. But that’s not really the point. We make the most of the limited information that we have and anyone’s choice of some prior may seem “subjective” to others as long as there remains unresolvable disagreements among participants. In that case, the choice of an “objective prior” just is a blind reliance on an arbitrary mathematical convention and this choice isn’t any less subjective (at best) than any other just because some mathematician has decided to call it “objective”.

      I think it actually is worst than most other choices inasmuch as it is done under the tacit pretense (or illusion) of one’s occupying “neutral” point of view and hence exempts one from the burden of justification. I think all priors used in Bayesian thinking should be either justified or acknowledged to be arbitrary. There is no “objective” starting point merely dictated by some unique mathematical method and the even-handed inclusion of all the “raw” data sets.

      • Was the use of the Bayesian approach merely climatologists’ way of improving communication between experts and the public? Or, was it a way to undermine the public’s confidence in the usefulness of the scientific method?

        We can see very clearly that when it comes to having an intelligent discussion about global warming then, climate change then, disastrous climate disruption then, ‘global weirding,’ etc., that it is communication itself that has been the most attacked and then undermined. And, just how was it ever to be believed by anyone that simply abandoning the scientific method was ever going to further inspire humanity’s hope of overcoming fear, superstition and ignorance through knowledge?

    • ‘In that case, the choice of an “objective prior” just is a blind reliance on an arbitrary mathematical convention and this choice isn’t any less subjective (at best) than any other just because some mathematician has decided to call it “objective”.’ Sorry, but I still think this is wrong. If you don’t know anything, you should be basing your conclusions on the raw data – that is all you have! If you do know something, use it to pick a prior!
      I don’t understand why this is in dispute. Lewis’ prior (Jeffreys) is absolutely the right choice if you know nothing; there is no other possible choice. If you do know something that justifies a different prior, explain what you know, explain what prior it implies instead, and use that. You cannot get away from an uninformed prior by finding a situation where it isn’t applicable.

      • The cheerleaders of the global warming doomsday theory will continue to quote themselves and refuse to admit even simple facts and nothing will stop them from pushing their beliefs in public classrooms that America is bad for the world. So, what does that mean: the use of Bayesian statistics is a Left vs. right issue? Does that make any sense?

        It makes no sense that we can increase the precision of current information by augmenting it with prior information in a Bayesian analysis when we know that all of the information, past and present, has been corrupted. Some of the corruption is the result of the ubiquitous UHI (Urban Heat Island) effect that is pervasive across the land-based temperature record (GIGO), which is very telling of a willful and purposeful deception on the part of the climate mechanics. Moreover, some of the corruption is result of demonstrable fraud and incompetence.

        Moreover, it is the Likelihood Principle that is embodied in the Bayesian approach that flips the science of global warming on its head to begin with. “The inconvenient truth remains,” according to Philip Stott, that “climate is the most complex, coupled, nonlinear, chaotic system known.” Like flipping a coin it will not matter if we devise a mathematical model to combine the data of the last 100 flips with a dataset reflecting the 100 flips before that — or even if you want to consider how many tails you got on the previous 1,000 flips — the odds for the next flip still will be 50-50.

  37. Berényi Péter

    Radiative forcing is an ill defined concept. One immediately has two different definitions, instantaneous forcing (radiative flux change at the tropopause after the forcing agent is introduced) and adjusted forcing (the flux change at the top of the atmosphere — and throughout the stratosphere — after the stratosphere is allowed to adjust radiatively to the presence of the forcing agent). These are very different things and people are seldom accurate enough to tell us which one is meant. However, it is rather immaterial, because none of them can be measured in any reasonable sense. What is more, there is also a fudge factor called efficacy, so relation between a forcing and its effect is quite arbitrary.

    The oft quoted 3.7 W/m² radiative forcing for a doubling of CO₂ concentration is meaningless as well. The actual value depends heavily on weather conditions and the specific atmospheric model chosen.

    No wonder there is a huge uncertainty in the response of the terrestrial climate system to an ill defined &. unmeasurable input.

    Response to a CO₂ doubling is a bit better, because it is a reasonably well mixed gas and its concentration can be measured. We only have to refrain from converting it to a radiative flux change.

    That said, I wonder to what extent the climate system’s response to CO₂ concentration changes can be considered linear and time invariant. Is there an answer to this question?

    If an affirmative is assumed, there is a specific relationship between equilibrium and transient climate responses, the latter one is simply the average of the step response function over 70 years following the step change, while the former is its limit at infinity.

    It is quite boring, really. It would be much more interesting to know something about the transfer function itself (Fourier transform of derivative of the step response function). Is it a low pass filter? Is it the sum of several first order systems with different time constants? Is it something more complicated, like sum of several second order filters? Or something completely different? etc.

    • Pierre-Normand

      “Radiative forcing is an ill defined concept. One immediately has two different definitions, instantaneous forcing (radiative flux change at the tropopause after the forcing agent is introduced) and adjusted forcing (the flux change at the top of the atmosphere — and throughout the stratosphere — after the stratosphere is allowed to adjust radiatively to the presence of the forcing agent).”

      It’s always the second that is meant in most contexts since this is the forcing that must be eventually balanced by the Planck response to this forcing and its feedbacks. The former only is used for purpose of pedagogical exposition or for setting up the basic equations as a first step in the definitions of simple radiative-convective models.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Seriously? “What I am really trying to do is bring birth to clarity, which is really a half-assedly thought-out-pictorial semi-vision thing. I would see the jiggle-jiggle-jiggle or the wiggle of the path. Even now when I talk about the influence functional, I see the coupling and I take this turn – like as if there was a big bag of stuff – and try to collect it in away and to push it. It’s all visual. It’s hard to explain.” Feynman from http://www.sv.vt.edu/classes/ESM4714/methods/vizthink.html

      Clarity is born of creative visualization and language and math is an attempt to capture that. Try it sometime Pierre – else you will continue to be a slave to the limits of language.

    • Berényi Péter

      @Pierre-Normand
      It’s always the second that is meant in most contexts

      Good. So, let’s talk about adjusted forcing. This definition refers to the “stratosphere”, so one obviously needs to define it first. Trouble is the tropopause, which is supposed to separate the stratosphere from the troposphere, is not a continuous surface. Therefore it is not always clear which part of the atmosphere should be “allowed to adjust radiatively to the presence of the forcing agent” and which part is not allowed to do so.

      While we are at it, how does one allow specific parts of the atmosphere behave in a specific way while preventing the rest? It can’t be anything else but a gedankenexperiment, can it?

      Which means, adjusted forcing is not a measurable quantity.

      How can an ill defined &. unmeasurable effect ever be balanced by the Planck response to it and its feedbacks? Does it make sense?

      More importantly, what makes the stratosphere so special, that it should creep into definition of basic climate concepts?

    • Pierre-Normand

      Berényi Péter: “While we are at it, how does one allow specific parts of the atmosphere behave in a specific way while preventing the rest? It can’t be anything else but a gedankenexperiment, can it?”

      Yes, it’s just a gedankenexperiment. But it captures the much more faithfully represented behavior of the continuous process in radiative-convective models. The only significant divergence is occasioned by the idealization of applying large forcing changes all at one (e.g. one doubling of CO2). This only is done for expository purpose. When the steps in forcing change are much smaller, then the tiny lag in the surface-troposphere response introduce vanishingly small errors. It’s just like picturing derivatives and integrals of continuous functions through picturing finite ratios and product of very small “infinitesimals.” Newton’s Principia is filled up with drawings of such gedankenexperimente (as when he explains why the gravitational field generated by a hollow sphere is nil at any point within the sphere.)

      “Which means, adjusted forcing is not a measurable quantity.”

      No. It’s a conceptual tool, like the idea of a center of gravity.
      se?

      “More importantly, what makes the stratosphere so special, that it should creep into definition of basic climate concepts?”

      It’s special because there is no convective or latent heat transport at all within it and so radiative fluxes through the tropopause must exactly match the TOA flux after the troposphere has adjusted to the instantaneous forcing.

      • David Springer

        Boner of the day.

        “It’s a conceptual tool, like the idea of a center of gravity.”

        Center of gravity is just an idea. A concept.

        Who knew?

    • Berényi Péter

      @Pierre-Normand
      It’s special because there is no convective or latent heat transport at all within it and so radiative fluxes through the tropopause must exactly match the TOA flux after the troposphere has adjusted to the instantaneous forcing.

      You must mean a well behaved model stratosphere, not the real one. For there are winds there, quite strong ones, up to 100 mph, temperature differences as well within a single pressure level. What means, first of all, your exact match can only be a global average. Then, winds are turbulent, which even in a layer dominated by temperature inversion, hence stable against convection, implies vertical turbulent mixing, non radiative heat transport, that is.

      I do not think it is wise to make temperature response, either equilibrium or transient, which are supposed to be functions of an artificial quantity, a centerpiece of climate projections. Also, temperature, especially global average temperature is not the appropriate concept to make a fuss about. Enthalpy would be much better.

      I can accept IR optical depth has an effect on a system radiatively coupled to a heat sink at 2.725 K. I can also accept increased CO₂ mixing ratio increases IR optical depth in a dry atmosphere. However, it does not make much sense to convert it to a “forcing”, expressed as radiative flux.

      In the real (wet) atmosphere IR optical depth is dominated by water vapor. But it is not a simple monotonic function of average specific humidity, because water vapor is never a well mixed gas, its atmospheric lifetime (~9 days) is way too short for that.

      True, in the stratosphere there is next to no water, but there is no GHG forcing either, if not negative, because of the temperature inversion there.

      I am quite surprised IR optical depth, as a function of wavelength in the thermal range is not measured by satellites. It is the real thing to be concerned about, not some imaginary “forcing”. And it would be an easy &. cheap measurement, only wide band IR cameras are needed up there and as many ground sources emitting low energy long period pseudo random sequences at specific narrow thermal IR frequency bands as the world can afford, with built in GPS tracking and some communication abilities. The rest is computing. I am sure it could be done on a fraction of ARGO’s budget.

  38. Cloud characteristics are largely ‘parameterised’ in GCMs – calculated using semi-heuristic approximations rather than derived directly from basic physics. Key aspects of cloud feedback vary greatly between different models. GCMs have difficulty simulating clouds, let alone predicting how they will change in a warmer world, with different cloud types having diverse influences on the climate. Figure 3 shows how inaccurate CMIP5 models are in representing even average cloud extent; over much of the Earth’s surface cloudiness is too low in most models. ~Nic Lewis</blockquote

    Translation: Currently it is mathematically impossible to quantify the actual effect of clouds. To fit them into the scheme things GCMs only consider ghosts of clouds, edging in as they peep over thresholds before hitting ceilings and dissolving on the outskirts of grids.

  39. Obviously the keyword here is “feedback”. However none of the users of that word here, including those blogs, can be exposed of elaboration of the very basic principles of feedback. It’s simply seen as amplifier. That’s wrong. The key is that it comes later. It lags, because it is a reaction of the system output. Negative feedback goes against the forcings of the system a while back in time. and positive feedback enhances the forcing of a while back. This while back is never discussed but it’s essential.

    System energy forcings change all the time, on seconds to milenium time scales: sunshine, cloud overcast, day-night, summer – winter, monsoons, ENSO, PDO etc etc milankovitch cycles, Feedback is all about the while back in those cycles. It’s even possible that negative feedback becomes positive because of the delay in the cycle changing the positive/negative sign. This makes things much more complicated. But on the other hand it also makes it much more easy, because this same lags causes positive feedback to be persistent and negative feedback to be anti-persistent.

    Now with that in mind maybe reread Oavi Karner.

    http://www.aai.ee/~olavi/

    We have known for years that weather/climate feedbacks are negative due to it’s anti-persistent behavior. But who wants to know?

    Andre

  40. that was a really interesting read, thanks for the link JC.

    The surprising thing is really how close the three are on the issue. Many of the differences seem to be largely a matter of emphasis and even in some cases a mis-interpretation of the others point of view.

  41. Judith Curry

    This “blog comment debate” by three well-known climate scientists on “Climate Dialogue” was very informative for me.

    The introduction to the debate gives a general background on the various estimates for the equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) and transient climate response (TCR to a doubling of CO2 and asks these questions:

    1) What are the pros and cons of the different lines of evidence?
    2) What weight should be assigned to the different lines of evidence and their underlying studies?
    3) Why would a lack of agreement between the lines of evidence not allow for a best estimate for ECS?
    4) What do you consider as a range and best estimate of ECS, if any?
    5) What weight should be assigned to the different studies mentioned in figure 2?
    6) What is your personal range for TCR, if any?

    James Amman goes into a general discussion of the background plus methods, which have been used to estimate both transient climate response (TCR) and equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS), resulting from a doubling of atmospheric CO2. He states at the very beginning of his blog post:

    One rather fundamental point need[s] to be clearly understood at the outset of the discussion: there is no “correct” pdf for the equilibrium sensitivity. Such a pdf is not a property of the climate system at all. Rather, the climate sensitivity is a value (ignoring quibbles over the details and precision of the definition) and a pdf is merely a device for summarising our uncertainty over this value.

    Regarding recent observational evidence, Amman makes the point that some model studies show that ” the current moderate warming rate is a bit of an aberration, and so a substantial acceleration in the warming rate can be expected to occur in the near future, sufficient not only to match the modelled warming rate, but even to catch up the recent lost ground.”

    In discussing the “pros and cons of the different lines of evidence”, he questions the validity of the paleoclimate evidence (which supports the higher end of the range for equilibrium climate sensitivity):

    …it would be difficult to derive a precise estimate of the sensitivity to CO2 forcing from an analysis of the paleoclimate evidence

    adding

    overall, the paleoclimate evidence does not tightly constrain the equilibrium sensitivity.

    He adds his own personal estimate for ECS at the end:

    The recent transient warming (combined with ocean heat uptake and our knowledge of climate forcings) points towards a “moderate” value for the equilibrium sensitivity, and this is consistent with what we know from other analyses. Overall, I would find it hard to put a best estimate outside the range of 2-3°C.

    Amman’s response to the questions asked is not too strong IMO. He does not specifically answer them, although he does discuss his ideas generally related to them and he does give his “best estimate” for ECS (but not for TCR).

    John Fasullo agrees that:

    Efforts to estimate climate sensitivity from paleoclimate records…face the additional challenge of a proxy record that contains major uncertainty.

    Fasullo does not give his own estimate of what ECS and TCR are likely to be but switches to a discussion of the “pause” and its impact on IPCC lowering the low-end estimate for the ECS range from 2.0 to 1.5ºC in AR5, a move he questions, without listing specific reasons for remaining with the earlier estimate.

    He cites Levitus et al. (2012) to argue that the “hiatus” really isn’t a pause in warming, but just a shift to warming of the deep ocean.

    The picture emerging from this work is that surface temperature during the hiatus has not been driven primarily by a reduction in the planetary imbalance due to negative feedbacks but rather by the vertical redistribution of where in the ocean the imbalance is stored. Specifically, the increase in storage in deeper ocean layers has led to a relative reduction in the rate of warming of the upper ocean.

    This is all a bit too hypothetical for me, as we do not have a meaningful record of the rate of warming of the deep ocean layers, and Fasullo offers no explanation how the warming by-passed the upper ocean unnoticed, to end up in the deep ocean.

    His “path forward” is a summarization of “more of the same”, with the exception that he adds:

    Lastly, there is a need to move beyond global mean surface temperature as the main metric for quantifying climate change. Improved estimates of ocean heat content have been made possible though data from ARGO drift buoys and improved ocean reanalysis methods.

    To me it looks like this shift will be the “team’s” new tactic to keep the notion of global warming alive, especially if the pause in warming (or even slight cooling) of the “globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature” lasts another few decades.

    But Fasullo’s response to the questions is weak IMO, in that it neither addresses the specific questions that were raised, nor does it give a specific estimate for either ECS or TCR.

    Nic Lewis asks:

    Why is estimating climate sensitivity so problematical?

    He points out that the range of values for 2xCO2 ECS goes from 0.6ºC (low end of Lindzen & Choi, 2011, observation-based on CERES satellite data) and 9.2ºC (upper end of range of Knutti, 2002, based on a large ensemble of model simulations).

    [IPCC in AR5 has published an estimated range of 1.5 to 4.5ºC, without specifying a “mean value”.]

    After pointing out some problems estimating cloud impacts with UK HadCM3/SM3 GCM model, which was used for all climatological constraints ECS estimates cited in AR5, Lewis lists categories of studies, which IPCC in AR5 considers “unreliable”:

    - paleoclimate data reflecting past climate states very different from today
    – climate response to volcanic eruptions, solar changes and other non-greenhouse gas forcings
    – timescales different from those relevant for climate stabilization, such as the climate response to volcanic eruptions

    Lewis points to several studies based on observational instrumental warming estimates, which are “unsatisfactory” as a result of various “substantive faults” he lists. He provides a link to the specific details of his analyses of these studies.

    He then states:

    After setting aside all those instrumental-period-warming based studies where I find substantive faults, only three remain: Aldrin et al (2012), Lewis (2013) …and Otto et al (2013). These all constrain ECS well, with best estimates of 1.5–2.0°C.

    Ring et al (2012), cited in AR5 but not shown …as it provided no uncertainty ranges, also appears satisfactory. Its best estimates for ECS varied from 1.45°C to 2.0°C depending on the surface temperature dataset used.

    Lewis then switches to TCR.

    He cites several studies from AR5, which range from a low end of 0.8ºC to a high end of 2.6ºC for a doubling of CO2. Lewis points to faults in several of these studies, citing a link to his detailed analyses. One study, Tung et al. (2008), which is “based on the response to the 11 year solar cycle” is outside this range.

    Lewis points to faults in several of these studies, citing a link to his detailed analyses and concluding:

    On my analysis, only the Gillett et al (2013), Otto et al (2013) and Schwartz (2012) studies are satisfactory. Those studies give well-constrained best estimates for TCR of 1.3-1.45°C, averaging around 1.35°C.

    To summarise, the ECS and TCR values of CMIP5 models are not directly based on observational evidence and depend substantially on flawed simulations of clouds. Moreover, in the period since aerosol forcing stabilised ~35 years ago most models have warmed much too fast, indicating substantial oversensitivity. I therefore consider that little weight should be put on evidence from GCMs (and the related feedback analysis) as to the actual levels of ECS and TCR.
    Conclusions
    To conclude, I would summarise my answers to the questions posed in the Introduction as follows:
    1. Observational evidence is preferable to that from models, as understanding of various important climate processes and the ability to model them properly is currently limited.
    2. Little weight should be given to ECS evidence from the model range or climatological constraint studies. Of observational evidence, only that from warming over the instrumental period should be currently regarded as both reliable and able usefully to constrain ECS, in accordance with the conclusions of AR5. Studies that have serious defects should be discounted.
    3. The major disagreement between ECS best estimates based on the energy budget, of no more than about 2°C, and the average ECS value of CMIP5 models of about 3°C, seems to me the main reason why the AR5 scientists felt unable to give a best estimate for ECS. All the projections of future climate change in AR5 are based on the CMIP5 models. Giving a best estimate materially below the CMIP5 model average could have destroyed the credibility of the Working Group 2 and 3 reports. As it is still difficult, given the uncertainties, to rule out ECS being as high as the CMIP5 average, I do not criticise the lack of a best estimate in AR5. However, I think a more forthright and detailed explanation of the reasons was called for. I would have liked a clear statement that most model sensitivities lay towards the top of the uncertainty range implied by the AR5 forcing and heat uptake estimates.
    4. The soundest observational evidence seems to point to a best estimate for ECS of about 1.7°C, with a ‘likely’ (17-83%) range of circa 1.2–3.0°C.
    5. Following a detailed analysis of all studies featured in AR5, the only TCR estimates that I consider significant weight should be given to are those from the Otto, Gillett and Schwartz studies.
    6. The soundest observational evidence points to a ‘likely’ range for TCR of about 1.0–2.0°C, with a best estimate of circa 1.35°C.

    I find Lewis’ response to the questions asked much more relevant than that of the other two, for the following reasons:

    He responds to the specific questions, which were asked (the others did not) and comes up with detailed analyses of observation-based studies of both ECS and TCR, pointing out which studies were more representative of reality and why.

    Finally, he concludes on the basis of these studies, that the range for both ECS and TCR is substantially lower than the range claimed by IPCC in its AR5 report.

    Just my “take home” from going through all three blog responses with attachments.

    Max

  42. [reposted with corrected formatting]

    Judith Curry

    This “blog comment debate” by three well-known climate scientists on “Climate Dialogue” was very informative for me.

    The introduction to the debate gives a general background on the various estimates for the equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) and transient climate response (TCR to a doubling of CO2 and asks these questions:

    1) What are the pros and cons of the different lines of evidence?
    2) What weight should be assigned to the different lines of evidence and their underlying studies?
    3) Why would a lack of agreement between the lines of evidence not allow for a best estimate for ECS?
    4) What do you consider as a range and best estimate of ECS, if any?
    5) What weight should be assigned to the different studies mentioned in figure 2?
    6) What is your personal range for TCR, if any?

    James Amman goes into a general discussion of the background plus methods, which have been used to estimate both transient climate response (TCR) and equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS), resulting from a doubling of atmospheric CO2. He states at the very beginning of his blog post:

    One rather fundamental point need[s] to be clearly understood at the outset of the discussion: there is no “correct” pdf for the equilibrium sensitivity. Such a pdf is not a property of the climate system at all. Rather, the climate sensitivity is a value (ignoring quibbles over the details and precision of the definition) and a pdf is merely a device for summarising our uncertainty over this value.

    Regarding recent observational evidence, Amman makes the point that some model studies show that ” the current moderate warming rate is a bit of an aberration, and so a substantial acceleration in the warming rate can be expected to occur in the near future, sufficient not only to match the modelled warming rate, but even to catch up the recent lost ground.”

    In discussing the “pros and cons of the different lines of evidence”, he questions the validity of the paleoclimate evidence (which supports the higher end of the range for equilibrium climate sensitivity):

    …it would be difficult to derive a precise estimate of the sensitivity to CO2 forcing from an analysis of the paleoclimate evidence

    adding

    overall, the paleoclimate evidence does not tightly constrain the equilibrium sensitivity.

    He adds his own personal estimate for ECS at the end:

    The recent transient warming (combined with ocean heat uptake and our knowledge of climate forcings) points towards a “moderate” value for the equilibrium sensitivity, and this is consistent with what we know from other analyses. Overall, I would find it hard to put a best estimate outside the range of 2-3°C.

    Amman’s response to the questions asked is not too strong IMO. He does not specifically answer them, although he does discuss his ideas generally related to them and he does give his “best estimate” for ECS (but not for TCR).

    John Fasullo agrees that:

    Efforts to estimate climate sensitivity from paleoclimate records…face the additional challenge of a proxy record that contains major uncertainty.

    Fasullo does not give his own estimate of what ECS and TCR are likely to be but switches to a discussion of the “pause” and its impact on IPCC lowering the low-end estimate for the ECS range from 2.0 to 1.5ºC in AR5, a move he questions, without listing specific reasons for remaining with the earlier estimate.

    He cites Levitus et al. (2012) to argue that the “hiatus” really isn’t a pause in warming, but just a shift to warming of the deep ocean.

    The picture emerging from this work is that surface temperature during the hiatus has not been driven primarily by a reduction in the planetary imbalance due to negative feedbacks but rather by the vertical redistribution of where in the ocean the imbalance is stored. Specifically, the increase in storage in deeper ocean layers has led to a relative reduction in the rate of warming of the upper ocean.

    This is all a bit too hypothetical for me, as we do not have a meaningful record of the rate of warming of the deep ocean layers, and Fasullo offers no explanation how the warming by-passed the upper ocean unnoticed, to end up in the deep ocean.

    His “path forward” is a summarization of “more of the same”, with the exception that he adds:

    Lastly, there is a need to move beyond global mean surface temperature as the main metric for quantifying climate change. Improved estimates of ocean heat content have been made possible though data from ARGO drift buoys and improved ocean reanalysis methods.

    To me it looks like this shift will be the “team’s” new tactic to keep the notion of global warming alive, especially if the pause in warming (or even slight cooling) of the “globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature” lasts another few decades.

    But Fasullo’s response to the questions is weak IMO, in that it neither addresses the specific questions that were raised, nor does it give a specific estimate for either ECS or TCR.

    Nic Lewis asks:

    Why is estimating climate sensitivity so problematical?

    He points out that the range of values for 2xCO2 ECS goes from 0.6ºC (low end of Lindzen & Choi, 2011, observation-based on CERES satellite data) and 9.2ºC (upper end of range of Knutti, 2002, based on a large ensemble of model simulations).

    [IPCC in AR5 has published an estimated range of 1.5 to 4.5ºC, without specifying a “mean value”.]

    After pointing out some problems estimating cloud impacts with UK HadCM3/SM3 GCM model, which was used for all climatological constraints ECS estimates cited in AR5, Lewis lists categories of studies, which IPCC in AR5 considers “unreliable”:

    - paleoclimate data reflecting past climate states very different from today
    – climate response to volcanic eruptions, solar changes and other non-greenhouse gas forcings
    – timescales different from those relevant for climate stabilization, such as the climate response to volcanic eruptions

    Lewis points to several studies based on observational instrumental warming estimates, which are “unsatisfactory” as a result of various “substantive faults” he lists. He provides a link to the specific details of his analyses of these studies.

    He then states:

    After setting aside all those instrumental-period-warming based studies where I find substantive faults, only three remain: Aldrin et al (2012), Lewis (2013) …and Otto et al (2013). These all constrain ECS well, with best estimates of 1.5–2.0°C.

    Ring et al (2012), cited in AR5 but not shown …as it provided no uncertainty ranges, also appears satisfactory. Its best estimates for ECS varied from 1.45°C to 2.0°C depending on the surface temperature dataset used.

    Lewis then switches to TCR.

    He cites several studies from AR5, which range from a low end of 0.8ºC to a high end of 2.6ºC for a doubling of CO2. Lewis points to faults in several of these studies, citing a link to his detailed analyses. One study, Tung et al. (2008), which is “based on the response to the 11 year solar cycle” is outside this range.

    Lewis points to faults in several of these studies, citing a link to his detailed analyses and concluding:

    On my analysis, only the Gillett et al (2013), Otto et al (2013) and Schwartz (2012) studies are satisfactory. Those studies give well-constrained best estimates for TCR of 1.3-1.45°C, averaging around 1.35°C.

    To summarise, the ECS and TCR values of CMIP5 models are not directly based on observational evidence and depend substantially on flawed simulations of clouds. Moreover, in the period since aerosol forcing stabilised ~35 years ago most models have warmed much too fast, indicating substantial oversensitivity. I therefore consider that little weight should be put on evidence from GCMs (and the related feedback analysis) as to the actual levels of ECS and TCR.
    Conclusions
    To conclude, I would summarise my answers to the questions posed in the Introduction as follows:
    1. Observational evidence is preferable to that from models, as understanding of various important climate processes and the ability to model them properly is currently limited.
    2. Little weight should be given to ECS evidence from the model range or climatological constraint studies. Of observational evidence, only that from warming over the instrumental period should be currently regarded as both reliable and able usefully to constrain ECS, in accordance with the conclusions of AR5. Studies that have serious defects should be discounted.
    3. The major disagreement between ECS best estimates based on the energy budget, of no more than about 2°C, and the average ECS value of CMIP5 models of about 3°C, seems to me the main reason why the AR5 scientists felt unable to give a best estimate for ECS. All the projections of future climate change in AR5 are based on the CMIP5 models. Giving a best estimate materially below the CMIP5 model average could have destroyed the credibility of the Working Group 2 and 3 reports. As it is still difficult, given the uncertainties, to rule out ECS being as high as the CMIP5 average, I do not criticise the lack of a best estimate in AR5. However, I think a more forthright and detailed explanation of the reasons was called for. I would have liked a clear statement that most model sensitivities lay towards the top of the uncertainty range implied by the AR5 forcing and heat uptake estimates.
    4. The soundest observational evidence seems to point to a best estimate for ECS of about 1.7°C, with a ‘likely’ (17-83%) range of circa 1.2–3.0°C.
    5. Following a detailed analysis of all studies featured in AR5, the only TCR estimates that I consider significant weight should be given to are those from the Otto, Gillett and Schwartz studies.
    6. The soundest observational evidence points to a ‘likely’ range for TCR of about 1.0–2.0°C, with a best estimate of circa 1.35°C.

    I find Lewis’ response to the questions asked much more relevant than that of the other two, for the following reasons:

    He responds to the specific questions, which were asked (the others did not) and comes up with detailed analyses of observation-based studies of both ECS and TCR, pointing out which studies were more representative of reality and why.

    Finally, he concludes on the basis of these studies, that the range for both ECS and TCR is substantially lower than the range claimed by IPCC in its AR5 report.

    Just my “take home” from going through all three blog responses with attachments.

    Max

    • No disrespect meant, but I think you need a hobby max.

    • This is likely one of his hobbies or hobby-horses. A hobby is something people do because they get some satisfaction out of the process.

      A better question is whether they have any talent for the hobby.

      Here is a hobby for you — build yourself a mirror. Make it funhouse-style.

    • Thanks for tip.

      I’ve got other hobbies which are irrelevant here, but my secret hobby is letting the hot air out of self-proclaimed experts like Webby by puncturing their arguments.

      Fzzzzzzzzzzz….

      Max

    • [reposted in correct place]

      Gee Manacker, thank you for this summary. I’ve only read the first paragraph and I’m wrapped (Aussie slang for very pleased/excited etc.).

      One rather fundamental point need[s] to be clearly understood at the outset of the discussion: there is no “correct” pdf for the equilibrium sensitivity. Such a pdf is not a property of the climate system at all. Rather, the climate sensitivity is a value (ignoring quibbles over the details and precision of the definition) and a pdf is merely a device for summarising our uncertainty over this value.

      That is a really important point and I am really pleased to see it highlighted and made very clear up front.

      So all the pdf that have been produced demonstrate the great uncertainty in our understanding of TCR and ETS. In short, we know F-all about ETC and TCR. The figure is near useless for policy analysis. Back to robust decision analysis. :)

      (and no regrets policies!!)

    • Max. thx fer yr clear overview of the Annan, Fusillo Lewis debate, especially Lewis’ more detailed response and this:

      ‘ Observational evidence is preferable to that from models, as understanding of various important climate processes and the
      ability to model them properly is currently limited.’

      Keeps on coming up doesn’t it? Them modellers in cloud towers
      jest can’t do clouds, et AL.

      bts.

    • WEB,

      then according to your explanation, one of your hobbies must be trying to set new personal records for being arrogant and insulting every day. My comment to max had to do with the length of his post. However much you may disagree with him on the topic of climate science, there is no doubting the fact he could give you lessons on how to behave like a gentleman.

      Having lived in Minnesota, I see your are that one in a 100,000 exception. A Minnesotan who is nasty and disagreeable.

  43. Generalissimo Skippy

    The first attempt at a consensus estimate of the equilibrium sensitivity of climate to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations appeared in 1979, in the U.S. National Research Council report of J.G. Charney and associates. The result was the now famous range for an increase of 1.5–4.5 K in global temperatures, given a doubling of CO2 concentrations. Earth’s climate, however, never was and is unlikely ever to be in equilibrium. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, therefore, in addition to estimates of equilibrium sensitivity, focused on estimates of climate change in the 21st century. The latter estimates of temperature increase in the coming 100 years still range over several degrees Celsius. This difficulty in narrowing the range of estimates is clearly connected to the complexity of the climate system, the nonlinearity of the processes involved, and the obstacles to a faithful representation of these processes and feedbacks in global climate models, as described in [4]. My talk at ICIAM 2011 reflected joint work with Mickaël D. Chekroun and Dmitri Kondrashov (UCLA), Eric Simonnet (Institut Non Linéaire de Nice), Shouhong Wang (Indiana University), and Ilya Zaliapin (University of Nevada, Reno).

    The main objective of our work is to understand and explain, at a fundamental level, the causes and manifestations of climate sensitivity. This work is based on a weaving together of recent results from three mathematical disciplines: the ergodic theory of dynamical systems, stochastic processes, and the response theory of nonequilibrium dynamical systems. The cornerstone is the theory of random dynamical systems, which allows us to probe the detailed geometric structure of the random attractors associated with nonlinear, stochastically perturbed systems. These attractors extend the concept of strange attractors from autonomous dynamical systems to non-autonomous and stochastic systems. In fact, the theory of differentiable dynamical systems—as we know and love it from the work of G.D. Birkhoff, J. Hadamard, H. Poincaré, and, more recently, E.N. Lorenz, D. Ruelle, and S. Smale, among many others—applies to autonomous systems, in which neither the forcing nor the coefficients depend explicitly on time. This theory is well suited for the study of physical, chemical, biological, or social systems that are closed, i.e., can be completely isolated from their surroundings. Such is certainly not the case of the earth’s climate system, which receives energy from the sun and returns it to interplanetary space. Moreover, depending on the time scale of interest, one often wishes to study only part of the climate system. Thus, in numerical weather prediction out to a mere few days, one tends to neglect the intrinsic variability of the oceans and concentrates on the atmosphere, with sea surface temperatures prescribed as a boundary condition; the sea surface temperature field can either be kept constant in time or allowed to vary in some prescribed manner, e.g., according to a diurnal cycle. The same can be said about various coefficients that enter the atmosphere’s governing partial differential equations.

    The theoretical underpinnings of the study of the dynamical behavior of open systems—which are in contact with their surroundings and thus may exhibit time dependence in their forcing or coefficients—were laid within the last couple of decades by L. Arnold, G. Sell, and L.-S. Young, among many others. In the presence of dissipation, one still expects convergence of the phase-space flow to some lower-dimensional object. But this object, termed a pullback attractor in the deterministic context and a random attractor in the stochastic one, is now itself time dependent.

    http://web.atmos.ucla.edu/tcd//PREPRINTS/Math-Clim_Sens-SIAM_News'11.pdf

    So what is the bottom line? Weather and climate respond to time varying external forcings with spontaneous climate shifts. Climate is more like a kaleidoscope than a control knob. Shake it up and a new pattern emerges. This is a very different problem.

  44. Curious George

    Why is estimating climate sensitivity so problematical?

    Because the “climate sensitivity” can’t be measured. A science builds on measurable quantities. An edifice built on non-measurable quantities is not a science. It is a sand castle.

  45. “ECS is defined as the equilibrium change in annual mean global surface temperature following a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration , while TCR is defined as the annual mean global surface temperature change at the time of CO2 doubling following a linear increase in CO2 forcing over a period of 70 years.”

    But I thought we now knew that global surface temperature is a poor proxy for global heat content/aka global warming? Forget the question of whether climate sensitivity can be determined at all. (We wouldn’t want to be excluded from the debate just for suggesting the emperor’s wardrobe might be – lacking.)

    What use is it to determine the sensitivity of one aspect of the climate that is such a poor proxy for the climate as a whole?

    Talking about global mean surface temperature is so “pre-pause.”

    • Sorry, but the more I think about it:

      Why isn’t the thread about EGSTS – estimated global surface temperature sensitivity.

      How about WPSS – estimated Pacific surface sensitivity?

      EPDSS – estimated Pacific deep sea sensitivty?

      I think my point is that we would first have to understand what climate sensitivity is, ie. how the global heat content responds to a doubling of CO2, and how that sensitivity is dispersed throughout the various aspects of the climate, before we could even begin to estimate the effect on surface temps.

      Isn’t that really the whole argument the warmists are making about the pause? And aren’t they right – to the detriment of the political aspect of their movement?

    • Gary M.,

      For the second time in as many weeks I find myself agreeing with some parts of what you are saying. The real climate sensitivity should be how much additional energy the climate system stores for a doubling of CO2. The second step is determining which parts of the system will get what percentage of that energy. And the final step is asking what the net effect on the climate system will be. For example, let’s suppose that the Ice sheet in Antarctica really is unstoppable in terms of eventual collapse and that CO2 at 400 ppm is the cause. What actual climate effects will be triggered by CO2 at 560 ppm?

    • R.Gates,

      “For the second time in as many weeks I find myself agreeing with some parts of what you are saying.”

      Scary, isn’t it?

      But there’s are simple reasons ECS and TCR are defined by reference to global surface temperatures:

      GSTs respond much more rapidly to warming, anthropogenic or not. You get much scarier headlines with threats of 6C increases in “global average temperature” than you do in whatever the measure is of the total climate system’s heat content.

      It’s an easier sell that the change is going to be catastrophic. Joe voter gets “degrees” and his eyes glaze over at joules and watts per meter. He gets drowned polar bears and whole glaciers disappearing in 28 years.

      As sparse and dodgy as the coverage is of surface temperatures, the coverage is much better, and of longer standing, than that of the deep sea and upper atmosphere.

      The definition of ECS and TCR, like CAGW itwself, is political, not scientific.

      There, we don’t agree so much after all. Feel Better?

  46. Graph of various climate sensitivities. Nevermind the ‘Cato’ in the address, you’ll recognize the graph:

    What if each different source and answer is right? That it just depends on what state the system is in as to whether they are right.

  47. Steven Mosher

    Kscott.
    I would put your questions under #1.
    Definitional questions rather than computational.
    If you look at 1 through 4 youll see that one is definitional
    Related and the other three computational.
    Obviously related but making a contribition on number one
    Is hard. I prefer to work on #2.

    Choose one of the four

  48. Posted at Blackboared April 27th, 2014 at 5:29 am Shot down in flames by Lucia
    “De Witt CO2 makes it warmer? Nearly right.
    Exactly is increasing CO2 makes it warmer.
    All else being equal.But it is not all equal
    Making it warmer increases CO2.Could you possibly disagree with this?
    In which case sensitivity may be negative, neutral or positive depending on the feedbacks, not a fait accomplish or beyond reasonable doubt
    I would suggest your doubt is beyond reason in this specific case.
    Specifically it has been warmer in the past and CO2 has been said to follow it up. Warmer seas will release more CO2.
    But also more water vapor bigger greenhouse but more reflection greater albedo dropping temps hence possible negative sensitivity in the long run. Kicker is that life has been supported for over a billion years so CO2 , built into all our marble and limestone etc from living organisms from CO2 has never been able to break the negative feedback constraints that mean sensitivity to CO2 rises may well be negative when CO2 is going up but positive when it is low.
    Is it legal to say that climate sensitivity to CO2 is a variable that can be negative, neutral or positive depending on the actual ambient temperature?”

    • Years ago at Climate Audit I got a big laugh from the assembled crowd by claiming that not only did we not know the magnitude of water vapor feedback, but that we are not even sure of the sign of it.
      =============

    • Bob Ludwick

      @ kim

      “Years ago at Climate Audit I got a big laugh from the assembled crowd by claiming that not only did we not know the magnitude of water vapor feedback, but that we are not even sure of the sign of it.”

      They found belaboring the obvious amusing?

  49. Steven Mosher says CS varies between 1.6 to 6.0. How is this remotely possible that the most important element of Climate change can vary by such an enormous amount by such an experienced observer. As he is one of the best we have doesn’t it make the whole topic so much gushing of nonsense from other protagonists.

  50. The Lewis sensitivity of 1.35 C works out to be almost 0.1 C per decade since 1979. This is clearly rather short of the observed 0.16 C per decade or land’s 0.3 C per decade, or Arctic’s recent 1 C per decade. Why does he claim his is better when it is so far off for any observed trend?

  51. mosomoso,

    You wrote –

    “Keeping the focus on a fraction of thin air saves one the effort of having to understand actual climate. Actual climate does seem a bit of a daunting subject. What with clouds and all. And the hydrosphere and the asthenosphere and the orbits and the sun and what have you.

    CO2 science is a bit like explaining things in terms of phlogiston or humours, though with less pure invention. You get controllable mechanisms to observe, lots of stuff to calculate and compile. And models, ever more intricate and de jour! Come up with something alarming (which hasn’t happened) and the Guardian is there, to spray the ill tidings across the globe.

    Everyone feels there’s some science going on. And there’s that populist monster movie element. Will the grimy particulates beat the diaphanous GHGs in the battle for climate dominance? Which naughty band of human-conjured spookies will win out?”

    I salute you! More power to your pen!

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  52. David Young

    What I noticed was that Lewis made detailed arguments and the other two did not and didn’t really address any detailed argument made by Lewis. That was revealing.

    BTW, does anyone know how to register to post public comments? I can’t seem to do it.

    • If you get a strange request for authentication that says log in with user name and password “antagonist”, do just that – enter “antagonist” in both fields. Then you’ll get to the registration page and all should be well. It is a software fault. Climate Dialogue are trying to get it fixed.

    • Dear David,
      Can you please contact me, than I can probably solve this for you. You can call me at +31.6.50614657 or e-mail me: bart.strengers@pbl.nl. Thanks! Bart Strengers, project leader Climate Dialogue.

  53. So much for the “Moderation Note”! Mosh started the thread off with a troll, and straight into the terlet she went.

  54. Tomas Milanovic

    S.Mosher wrote :
    It is very hard for any skeptic to actually make a contribution to science here unless they actually come up with a different governing equation.
    It is not enough to question a simplifying governing equation, one actually has to off up alternatives. That is, IF you want to actually do something productive.
    Put another way it would take a person with enormous social power to reframe the entire debate away from this governing equation

    .
    It is wrong on many levels but unfortunately this kind of argument is often used in uninformed circles.
    The wrongest part isi the word governing
    Some people are under the illusion that ∆T = λ ∆F governs something. But it doesn’t.
    No need to be a skeptic to write the real and different governing equations – there are 5 of them. The first one is :
    div(V) = 0 where V is the velocity field.

    Is S.Mosher able to write the remaining 4, I omit ?
    I doubt it but claim no credit – they have been known by almost everybody but a few non scientists for 200 years.
    .
    So actually S.Moshers puts the science upside down. The real question is : As every scientist (skeptic and non skeptic alike) knows what the real governing equations are and yes they are pretty compelling , is it possible to derive meanigfully ∆T = λ ∆F from them ?
    But here the answer is known too, no it is not.
    The simplest reason is that the governing equations are believed to have a unique solution (this has not yet be proven).
    However ∆T = λ ∆F is ill posed and has an infinity of solutions due to the fact that the postulated “equilibrium” field Teq which cannot be measured because it never occurs can be defined arbitrarily among an infinity of possible choices.
    .
    So untill and unless somebody shows how the equation ∆T = λ ∆F can be derived from the governing equations, how it can have a unique solution and in which way it could be relevant for anything what happens in the real world, it will be only word games.

    S.Mosher also wrote :
    or it would take a alternative simplifying equation that was more compelling. I dont see anyone doing that kind of work.
    .
    Here my advice is to study more physics and read much more because there are thousands of scientists doing
    just this kind of work.
    I suggest to start with the following names : H.Navier, R.Poincaré, R.Temam, J.Yorke, D.Ruelle, F.Takens, A.Kolmogorov, C.Foias, M.Ghil, E.Lorenz, R.Thom.
    These are just the giants and there is more but it would be a good start.

    • “S.Moshers puts the science upside down”

      Only every day all day.

      Andrew

    • If some fool claims to have discovered some scientific truth, any person who proves that he is wrong has made a contribution to science (see e.g. McIntyre, Steve).

      Mosher has blathered on with this kind of foolishness before. I don’t think logic works for him.

    • “To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact.”
      ― Charles Darwin, More Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol 2

      I can’t say for sure but I think the first time I saw this particular quote was when Mosher posted it.

      • David Springer

        That’s a good quote for the evolution debate. Same lame claim is made that science says in order to criticize an explanation you have to come up with a better one first. It’s bullschit of course.

    • So actually S.Moshers puts the science upside down.

      Actually, he doesn’t. He puts it in the correct direction for influencing policy. He’s looking for an “alternative simplifying equation” that’s “more compelling” to the customers for policy advice. That’s where his experience lies, and that’s where the rubber meets the road for what to do (if anything) about fossil carbon.

      So all the real scientists in the field know it’s not that simple! You can say that all you want, non-scientists (in that field at least) like me can (and have) said it over and over again too. Unless you can come up with alternative simple advice for the customers for policy advice they’re going to keep listening to the equation he proposed.

      Based on the science, I can (and have) come up with simple advice (most of which has been said before):

      •   The “climate sensitivity” is a myth whose value is too uncertain even if it exists.

      •   There are many risks of climate change from increased pCO2 that don’t involve changes to the “global average temperature”.

      •   There are many systemic risks besides climate change from digging up huge amounts of fossil carbon and dumping it into the system when we don’t even know where it’s all ending up, much less what (if any) damage it’s doing along the way.

      •   None of the potential “climate risks” can be entirely ruled out of occurring as a result of natural variation.

      •   None of the risks involved are quantifiable and most of them are probably small, at least within the next century. At least compared to the risks and other costs associated with raising the price of energy.

      •   There is some risk that the cause of increasing pCO2 is some other aspect of the Industrial Revolution rather than human CO2 emissions.

      •   There is some risk that even if the cause of increasing pCO2 is human emissions, reducing (or even eliminating) those emissions won’t stop other, natural, processes from increasing the pCO2 once they’re started.

      Therefore

      •   Focus on foresight and adaptation WRT to climate risks.

      •   Focus on low-regrets medium term solutions to the fossil carbon problem, such as increased support for R&D, especially WRT technology that removes CO2 from the air and puts it to profitable use!

      •   Forget about “mitigation” efforts that raise the price of energy, or otherwise involve high-regrets policy approaches.

      Even Steven Mosher has (to some extent) admitted that my policy advice is “sensible”, even if he did it in a context of criticizing my mention of the fact that the “climate sensitivity” has some (admittedly small) probability of being negative, assuming such a creature actually exists outside of modern myth.

    • that’s pretty funny, tomas

      the divergence of the velocity field is in the first equation in modeling the sloshing dynamics of ENSO

      http://contextearth.com/2014/05/02/the-soim-substantiating-the-chandler-wobble-and-tidal-connection-to-enso/

      ha ha, so I figured out to model ENSO. It is a zero sum game and your advice is worthless.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      But surely webby’s repetition of his fringe site advertisements are getting well beyond the pale? How many times is the same thing to be said in the same obnoxiously bombastic way? And containing such egregious error.

      The change in ENSO in the mid 70′s is one of the most perplexing – and well known -phenomenon in climate. It even has a name – the “Great Pacific Climate Shift’. It can physically be seen in Claus Wolter’s MEI. It shifted again after 1998. There is no sense that ENSO ‘sums to zero’ over relevant periods of years to millennia. That it appears so to webby is a quaint cognitive distortion.

      ENSO is of course not a sloshing but at the very least a binary system involving atmospheric circulation in the central Pacific and Kelvin and Rossby waves – all stochastically forced by wind, pressure and current fields. Although I have my doubts that div V does equal zero in a system with extensive properties.

      This is what the Mathieu solutions for an elliptical bathtub look like.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Mathieuplots_zps3ec1411a.png.html?sort=3&o=1

      Webby modulates these using various dubious scalings to poorly reproduce the SOI. It is curve fitting using fractured physics and fantasy math. I have certainly said enough about this nonsense blogosphere unscience. I might just copy this whenever webby’s triple plus unscience pops up.

  55. Assuming the paleoclimatic evidence (ice core data for example) for the temperature/CO2 correlation is resonably accurate, it is apparent that climate shifts from warming to cooling at CO2 peaks (maximum ‘forcing’) and from cooling to warming at CO2 troughs (minimum ‘forcing’). I find this very remarkable.

  56. Hmmm. mpig’s gonna make me look up ‘chmess’.
    =========

  57. Other than its usefulness in deceiving the public about global warming, the Bayesian approach will never be useful in the field of climatology. It will never provide us anything more than perhaps some insight into the probability that an exceedingly unlikely event may happen. But, how much help is that? For example, while it may not seem very likely that we at this very moment are on the precipice of the next Ice Age, it nevertheless is very likely that all life on Earth will someday face just such an event. However, whether or not Bayesian statistics may help us appreciate that fact when it actually does happen, we still will be left with this conundrum: when it happens there will be nothing any living thing on Earth can likely do about it.

    • Well, RGates and I are working on a deal to store enough energy in the Earth system to at least ameliorate the descent into glaciation. So far, we’ve reached agreement on a conical thingamabob; he thinks it’s a volcano, but I insist to twist it into a cornucopia.
      ================

    • Wagathon,
      So where are we on the time line for the next ice age? I saw something saying 18,000 years ago was the last peak ice age, with 100,000, 43,000 and 22,000 year cycles, we could be getting closer to the next descent. 5,000 years is one number I saw. Ruddiman from UVa says we may have already prevented it with his plagues, plows and petroleum from 2005.
      Scott

      • Only Al Gore knows the future… because, he helped invent it! Real knowledge informs us of a different reality. “Whenever Solar Radiation has Decreased and Volcanic Activity has Increased, global temperatures Suddenly Plummet, often within weeks or months.” (See graph)

    • Kim,
      There is a chance our efforts will succeed beyond our wildest dreams, or nightmares, depending on your point of view.

  58. In its continued pushing of the global warming agenda, isn’t academia just as hypocritical as the lifetime, liberal politician Al Gore, just as complicit in dishonesty as Michael Mann with his ‘hockey stick’ graph and just as contemptuous of truth as all of the data manipulators of CRUgate?

    Every violation of truth is not only a sort of suicide in the liar, but is a stab at the health of human society. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

  59. So, according to SKS,
    dT = λ*dF

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/empirical-evidence-for-co2-enhanced-greenhouse-effect-advanced.htm

    So, first we consider the forcing due to a change of 400 – 288 ppm CO2.

    dF = 5.35 ln(C/Co)

    400/280 = 1.43

    ln(1.43) = 0.36

    0.36 * 5.35 = 1.9

    So, now we need a dT. From WoodForTrees, using HADCRUT4 from 1850, we have a dT of 0.78. CO2 is continually increasing, so it makes sense to get rid of all the wiggles in the temperature and extract only the net change of the trend.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/trend

    That leaves the sensitivity calculation:

    λ = dT/dF = 0.78/1.9 = 0.41

    Therefore, a doubling of CO2 will bring a dT of

    0.41 * 0.69 = 0.28, where 0.69 is ln(2) for a doubling of CO2 concentration.

    0.28 C, so no worries, eh?

  60. In southern California it’s hot as hell this week, there must be something to this gobal warming thing! 100 degrees plus. (I wanted to be the first to say it)

    • Yup, it’s called Summer. It’s only about a month away.

    • nottawa rafter

      Cool off by having that snow that fell yesterday in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana and Idaho sent to you.

    • It is a poor proxy to judge energy accumulation in the Earth system by sensible heat in the troposphere, especially in one geographical region of the planet. A better metric is however, recently updated by thousands of measurements taken all over the world, shows that energy in the climate system continues its un-paused march upward:

      Any discussion of “climate sensitivity” that does not take into account the increasingly clear gains in ocean heat content going on are fairly meaningless, given that this ocean heat will be driving atmospheric temperatures as it always has. A myopic tropopsheric focus on “climate” sensitivity, especially on anything less than decadal average timeframes, simply does not make sound scientific sense.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Seriously – repeating it endlessly doesn’t make it more true.

      It is a metric that has a number of wildly differing ‘climatologies’ and huge decadal variability related to large changes in TOA radiant flux.

      e.g. steric sea level rise of 0.2 +/- 0.8mm/yr.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/ARGOGRACE_Leuliette2012_zps9386d419.png.html?sort=3&o=5

      http://www.star.nesdis.noaa.gov/sod/lsa/SeaLevelRise/documents/NOAA_NESDIS_Sea_Level_Rise_Budget_Report_2012.pdf

      • David Springer

        Yes there’s no telling apart steric and ocean mass very well but the way I reckon’ it doesn’t matter if it’s glaciers going into the ocean or heat expansion. Either way something is getting warmer and ocean is rising because of it.

    • David Springer

      It was less than half that (49F) when I woke up this morning in south central Texas 100 miles from the Gulf Coast at a way lower latitude than anywhere in California (30N). Yesterday only got up to about 60F.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/vonSchuckmannampLTroan2011-fig5PG_zpsee63b772.jpg.html?sort=3&o=130

      Well steric is the result of ocean heat content and mass is the change in volume. Duh.

      ARGO and GRACE in the study I linked earlier. But ARGO also measures salinity – and in the von Schuckman and Le Troan (2011) study it seems oceans are becoming more saline – i.e a loss of freshwater content.

      GRACE or ARGO are right – but not both. In reality – both are not accurate enough to say anything much over such short periods and with such huge variability.

      ‘Comparisons of global steric height trends based on different gridded fields of Argo in situ measurements show a range of 0–1mmyr−1 which can be lead back to data handling and climatology uncertainties. Our results show that GOIs derived from the Argo measurements are ideally suitable to
      monitor the state of the global ocean, especially after November 2007, i.e. when Argo sampling was 100% complete. They also show that there is significant interannual global variability at global scale, especially for global OFC. Before the end of 2007, error bars are too large to deliver robust short-term trends of GOIs and thus an interpretation
      in terms of long-term climate signals are still questionable, especially since uncertainties due to interannual fluctuations are not included in our error estimation.’ http://www.ocean-sci-discuss.net/8/999/2011/osd-8-999-2011.pdf

      What you really need to do – to avoid superficial cr@pola – is to look at multiple lines of evidence.

      • David Springer

        Well steric is the result of ocean heat content and mass is the change in volume. Duh.
        ————————————————————————————-

        Like I didn’t know that. Duh. You’re still the same assbag I see. Pretend I didn’t write anything to you and I won’t do it again.

      • David Springer

        I hope your foot hurts. You deserve it.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Let’s just go with the idea that you’re a serial pest with not an original thought, a skerrick of intellect, any hint that overweening arrogance and abysmal ignorance is an unfortunate combination, much at all terms of modesty and civility or a modicum of well rounded edumacation – and leave it at that shall we? .

      • While I made this statement purposefully tongue and cheek, l wonder which is more willfully ignorant this or the French minister saying we only have 500 days. He probably wont be called out on it any more than me thanks to the myopic media of curren t standards

  61. Do you have any video of that? I’d care to
    find out some additional information.

  62. Fernando lean

    The Fasullo post at Climate Dialogue, on sensitivity and TCR includes a graph showing pentadal average ocean heat content, with a reference to a and b curves. My tablet is only showing one curve. This curve’s shape matches the one at the NOAA website, it sure seems to be different to the Lyman and Johnson curve for heat content from 0 to 1800 meters.

  63. Rob Starkey

    Mosher
    Does temperature sensitivity to CO2 determine whether a world warmer by some specific amount is a net negative for the world overall or for the US specifically?
    You write about arbitrary positions that people might take on sensitivity– “I think both of those positions actually allow people to avoid the real debate.” That seems to be only step one of the real debates.
    The real debate is whether specific CO2 mitigation actions make sense.
    Yes it may get warmer, but what does that mean to conditions and for whom. Certainly some nations will benefit while others will be harmed.
    What is going to happen to sea level- please don’t try to keep claiming there are reliable models to forecast sea level changes as a function of temperature change. What is going to happen to rainfall patterns.
    Let’s say hypnotically that we could agree what TCR will be over the next 100 years- how does that resolve the question of whether CO2 mitigation is an effective use of a countries resources?

    • “How does that resolve the question of whether CO2 mitigation is an effective use of a countries resources?” Well, of course, it doesn’t, as we non-climate scientists with a policy background keep reiterating. We might reach a stage where policy-makers decide that any climate/warming dangers are so remote and uncertain, particularly as to their net cost and benefits, that they will concentrate on clear and present dangers and issues, and advocate growth-promoting policies as giving us most capacity to deal with whatever the future brings. Climate scientists can then retire to academia until such time as they have resolved the many issues they face.

    • Rob Starkey

      Fausino

      Climate scientists may ultimately be able to provide reliable information on what areas of the globe will be harmed vs benefit, but that is not possible today. It seems that those who support massive mitigation activities seek to claim much more knowledge about the net results of any warming that does occur. You can see here how Mosher focuses on sensitivity (TCR) as the key, but it is only a step in the process.

    • Rob Starkey,

      It seems that those who support massive mitigation activities seek to claim much more knowledge about the net results of any warming that does occur. You can see here how Mosher focuses on sensitivity (TCR) as the key, but it is only a step in the process.

      I agree. It’s just one input. And how relevant is it at all given the climate changes suddenly, not as the lovely smooth curves Mosher and most of the orthodoxy are still focused on. Below are some of the more important inputs that need to be answered for for good policy analysis.

      Policy relevant climate questions

      These are some of the questions we need answers to. Climate scientists and CAGW believers continually avoid tackling them.

      The most important things we don’t know about human induced climate change are:

      1. What is the value of Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS) and Transient Climate Response (TCR)? [see expansion appended below]

      2. Is ECS and TCR relevant given that climate changes suddenly, not as portrayed by IPCC’s smooth projections?

      3. What effect will increasing atmospheric CO2-e concentration have on the climate – will it make the next sudden change happen sooner or later?

      • Will it make the next sudden cooling happen sooner or later?

      • Or will it cause a sudden warming event?

      • What are the probability density functions for each?

      4. Will it make the next sudden climate change less or more severe? (e.g. delay the onset of the next cooling and/or reduce its severity OR make the next sudden warming happen sooner and make it more severe)? What is the probability density function?

      5. What would be the consequences of warming? What would be the consequences of cooling? What are the probability density functions?

      6. What is the probability that the advocated mitigation policies would succeed in delivering the claimed benefits (climate damages avoided), given real world issues with implementing and maintaining such policies (e.g. carbon pricing)?

      • To answer this question we need to understand the short- and medium-term economic impacts of the proposed policies for each nation state, and consider how each will respond so as to maximise its advantage (game theory) through the situations that could occur over the next century or so.

      7. What is the probability that alternative polices are more likely to succeed (such as removing the political and regulatory impediments that are preventing the world from having low cost nuclear energy and allowing lightly regulated markets to deliver the benefits at least cost)?

  64. Berényi Péter

    Climate Dialogue — Climate Sensitivity and Transient Climate Response

    “TCR is defined as the annual mean global surface temperature change at the time of CO2 doubling following a linear increase in CO₂ forcing over a period of 70 years”

    Whoa, I have failed to spot the shell game so far, my bad.

    Listen carefully. First of all, (1 + 1/100)⁷⁰ ~ 2, that is, 1% annual CO₂ increase for 70 years is almost exactly a doubling. On the other hand we have accurate CO₂ data since 1959, which is 55 years. During this period average annual increase was 0.43%, which is less than half of the 1% used in definition of TCR. At this rate 35% of the forcing associated with a doubling is realized in 70 years.

    Now, IPCC AR5 concludes with high confidence that the TCR is likely in the range 1°C to 2.5°C, and extremely unlikely greater than 3°C. It means if CO₂ emissions were decreased right now to a level that matches natural removal rate, that is, if atmospheric CO₂ concentration flatlined from now on, in 70 years we could avoid a warming in the range of 0.35°C to 0.88°C. It is extremely unlikely to make it more than 1°C. That’s what the IPCC says. However, the observationally supported best TCR estimate is 1.35°C, which means less than 0.5°C gain by the year of 2084.

    Unfortunately it is absolutely impossible to decrease emissions instantaneously, but any gradual change makes the value of avoided warming less. Therefore, even with the most vigorous (and insanely expensive) “action” we could escape at most several tenth of a degree warming in seven decades.

    That’s the inconvenient fact the very definition of TCR is supposed to hide.

    Really, who was the guy who came up with a TCR definition referring to an overblown 1%/annum rate of CO₂ increase? I want to know his name, affiliation and DOI of publication, in that order.

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

  66. Entering the Climate Debates and disagreeing with the consensus side about the sensitivity of earth temperature to CO2 does give them creditability.

    The theory of temperature driven by CO2 does produce a Hockey Stick Temperature. Just look at their Model Output.

    Real data has a cycle. The cycle goes from warm to cold to warm to cold to warm to cold. Nothing in CO2 theory or models do that.

    The data has a set point and when the set point is exceeded, cooling is turned on and cooling stays on until the temperature always goes below the set point.

    The data has a set point and when temperature is below the set point, cooling is turned off and cooling stays off until the temperature always goes above the set point.

    Other factors can and do modify this cycle, but the other factors have not prevented this on and off cooling cycle that always has worked in the SAME BOUNDS for eleven thousand years. This is determined by simple inspection of actual real data.

    Stop arguing about Sensitivity and start saying

    CO2 Theory produces a hockey stick temperature

    REAL DATA IS NOT A HOCKEY STICK

    something different must be regulating temperature

    Something makes temperature cycle from warm to cold and back, always!

    The set point has stayed the same and the bounds have stayed the same for eleven thousand years.

    The hockey stick does not show up in actual data, only in model output.

  67. A few questions about sensitivity. It seems it could be the inverse of stability. That the higher sensitivity the more the climate can do.
    Degrees of stability
    An aircraft will have differing degrees of stability around each axis; here are a few examples:
    Totally stable
    Positively stable
    Neutrally stable
    Negatively stable

    http://www.pilotfriend.com/training/flight_training/aero/stability.htm

    A fighter will be less stable to allow is to turn more quickly. A transport or airliner will be stable, enough so that it can be quite boring during its cruise mode. It looks to me that the climate is similar to an airplane and then we would ask what would the inverse stability of the climate have to be inorder to allow it to make large changes?

    So is high climate sensitivity from many things that happens to include CO2, required to explain our climate?

    And, do the GCMs include high sensitivities as a way to match up with the observed variations in the climate?