Time-varying trend in global mean surface temperature

by Judith Curry

Two key questions in the climate debate are:

  • How much of the recent warming can be attributed to natural variability versus anthropogenic forcing?
  • Is the rate of warming in the latter half of the 20th century unusual or unprecedented?

A new paper published in Climate Dynamics tackles both of these questions:

On the time-varying trend in global-mean surface temperature

Zhaohua Wu • Norden E. Huang • John M. Wallace • Brian V. Smoliak • Xianyao Chen

Abstract. The Earth has warmed at an unprecedented pace in the decades of the 1980s and 1990s . In Wu et al. (2007) we showed that the rapidity of the warming in the late twentieth century was a result of concurrence of a secular warming trend and the warming phase of a multidecadal (~65-year period) oscillatory variation and we estimated the contribution of the former to be about 0.08C per decade since ~1980. Here we demonstrate the robustness of those results and discuss their physical links, considering in particular the shape of the secular trend and the spatial patterns associated with the secular trend and the multidecadal variability.  The shape of the secular trend and rather globally-uniform spatial pattern associated with it are both suggestive of a response to the buildup of well-mixed greenhouse gases. In contrast, the multidecadal variability tends to be concentrated over the extratropical Northern Hemisphere and particularly over the North Atlantic, suggestive of a possible link to low frequency variations in the strength of the thermohaline circulation. Depending upon the assumed importance of the contributions of ocean dynamics and the time-varying aerosol emissions to the observed trends in global-mean surface temperature, we estimate that up to one third of the late twentieth century warming could have been a consequence of natural variability.

Climate Dynamics,  published online 07 July 2011   DOI 10.1007/s00382-011-1128-8 [link]  The full paper is behind paywall.

The authors have a presentation with the same title that can be viewed here, dated 24 January 2011.  The abstract reads:

The Earth has warmed at an unprecedented pace in recent decades. In assessing how much of this warming is natural and how much of it is human-induced it is useful to partition the global-mean surface temperature into the secular trend and the (oscillatory) multidecadal variability. Previously, we showed that the rapidity of the warming in recent decades was a result of concurrence of a secular warming trend and the warming phase of a multidecadal (~65-year period) oscillation and we estimated the contribution of the former to be about 0.08°C per decade since ~1980. Here we demonstrate the robustness of those results and focus on their physical interpretation, considering in particular the shape of the secular trend and the spatial patterns associated with the secular trend and the multidecadal variability. The shape of the secular trend and rather globally-uniform spatial pattern associated with it are both suggestive of a response to the buildup of well-mixed greenhouse gases. In contrast, the multidecadal variability tends to be concentrated over the extratropical Northern Hemisphere and particularly over the North Atlantic, suggestive of a possible link to low frequency variations in the strength of the thermohaline circulation. Depending upon the assumed importance of the contributions of ocean dynamics and the time-varying aerosol emissions to the observed trends in global-mean surface temperature, we estimate that up to half the late 20th century warming could have been a consequence of natural variability. In addition, we show that the long term global warming associated with the secular trend is not accelerating in recent decades.

The authors’ previous PNAS paper is available online:

On the trend, detrending, and variability of nonlinear and nonstationary time series

Zhaohua Wu, Norden Huang, Steven Long and Chung-Kang Peng

Abstract. Determining trend and implementing detrending operations are important steps in data analysis. Yet there is no precise definition of “trend” nor any logical algorithm for extracting it. As a result, various ad hoc extrinsic methods have been used to determine trend and to facilitate a detrending operation. In this article, a simple and logical definition of trend is given for any nonlinear and nonstationary time series as an intrinsically determined monotonic function within a certain temporal span (most often that of the data span), or a function in which there can be at most one extremum within that temporal span. Being intrinsic, the method to derive the trend has to be adaptive. This definition of trend also presumes the existence of a natural time scale. All these requirements suggest the Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD) method as the logical choice of algorithm for extracting various trends from a data set. Once the trend is determined, the corresponding detrending operation can be implemented. With this definition of trend, the variability of the data on various time scales also can be derived naturally. Climate data are used to illustrate the determination of the intrinsic trend and natural variability.

Ensemble empirical mode decomposition: a noise-assisted data analysis method

Zhaohua Wu and Norden Huang

Abstract. A new Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition (EEMD) is presented. This new approach consists of sifting an ensemble of white noise-added signal (data) and treats the mean as the final true result. Finite, not infinitesimal, amplitude white noise is necessary to force the ensemble to exhaust all possible solutions in the sifting process, thus making the different scale signals to collate in the proper intrinsic mode functions (IMF) dictated by the dyadic filter banks. As EEMD is a time–space analysis method, the added white noise is averaged out with sufficient number of trials; the only persistent part that survives the averaging process is the component of the signal (original data), which is then treated as the true and more physical meaningful answer. The effect of the added white noise is to provide a uniform reference frame in the time–frequency space; therefore, the added noise collates the portion of the signal of comparable scale in one IMF. With this ensemble mean, one can separate scales naturally without any a priori subjective criterion selection as in the intermittence test for the original EMD algorithm. This new approach utilizes the full advantage of the statistical characteristics of white noise to perturb the signal in its true solution neighborhood, and to cancel itself out after serving its purpose; therefore, it represents a substantial improvement over the original EMD and is a truly noise-assisted data analysis (NADA) method.

Excerpts from the Climate Dynamics article

From the Introduction:

Of particular interest is the estimation and attribution of the secular trend (ST).

Four different estimates of linear trends of observation based GST presented in Figure TS.6 of the Technical Summary of the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2007) fitted for different timescales, ranging from a warming trend of 0.045 ± 0.012C/decade for the past 150 years to 0.177 ± 0.052C/decade for the most recent 25 years (both periods ended at 2003), are shown in Fig. 1, together with a time series of the 25-year running linear trend. It is apparent from that figure that global warming has proceeded in a stepwise fashion, with relatively rapid rates of temperature increase from 1915 to 1935 and from 1980 to 1998 alternating with periods with much weaker and sometimes even negative trends centered around 1900 and 1950. These statistics serve to illustrate the sensitivity of estimates of such linear trends to the choice of start and end points upon which they are based. Short-term linear trends are an amalgamation of the ST and fluctuations with timescales too long to be resolved by conventional time series analysis techniques. The interpretation of the multidecadal variability (MDV) is particularly problematic in this respect.

The most widely used method of determining the trend in a data set is to draw the least squares best fit straight line within prescribed intervals, as was done in IPCC AR4. In reality, the rate of increase of GST in response to the cumulative buildup of long lived greenhouse gases and the changing rates of emission of aerosols is time dependent. Representing secular trends in GST in terms of linear trends is often not physically realistic. A more informative  representation is an intrinsically-determined monotonic curve, having at most one extremum within a given time span (Huang et al. 1998; Wu et al. 2007).

If the cycles and secular trend extracted from the data do reflect the physical processes operating at a given time, then they should be temporally local quantities and the corresponding physical interpretation within specified time intervals should also not change with the addition of new data, for the subsequent evolution of a physical system cannot alter the reality that has already happened. Indeed, temporal locality should be the first principle in guiding all the time series analysis. This requirement reflects the evolution of time series analysis from the Fourier transform, to the windowed Fourier transform (Gabor 1946) and on to wavelet analysis (Daubechies 1992). It can be verified that the linear trends as fitted in AR4 (IPCC 2007) do not satisfy this locality principle, while the adaptive trend defined in Wu et al. (2007) and extracted using the ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD) method (Huang and Wu 2008; Wu and Huang 2009) satisfies it qualitatively at least (as will be shown later), and hence, the ST determined adaptively by the data has a better chance of reflecting the underlying physics and resolving the ambiguity between the trend and the fluctuations superimposed upon it.

From the Summary and Discussion:

In the previous sections, we have presented the results of EEMD analysis, which indicate that the secular warming trend during the 1980s and 1990s was not as large as the linear trends of the observation-based GST estimated in AR4 (IPCC 2007); and that the unprecedented rate of warming in the late twentieth century was a consequence of the concurrence of the upward swing of the multidecadal variability, quite possibly caused at least in part by an increase in the strength of the thermohaline circulation, and a secular warming trend due to the buildup of greenhouse gases. We estimate that as much as one third the warming of the past few decades as reported in Fig. TS.6 of the Summary for Policymakers of AR4 (IPCC 2007) may have been due to the speeding up of the thermohaline circulation.

Other researchers have reached a similar conclusion: Keenlyside et al. (2008), Semenov et al. (2010) and Del-Sole et al. (2011) on the basis of numerical experiments with a climate model capable of representing the variability of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation; Wild et al. (2007) on the basis of long term trends in the character of the diurnal temperature cycle at the Earth’s surface; and Swanson et al. (2009) based on an analysis of the partitioning of the GST trends using linear discriminant analysis. Furthermore, by analyzing the temporal derivatives of ST, we have demonstrated that the secular warming trend in GST has not accelerated sharply in the past few decades.

These caveats notwithstanding, the results presented here further substantiate the reality of human-induced global warming, as evidenced by the similarity between the secular trend curve recovered from EEMD of GST and the buildup of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations and by the near-global extent of the temperature increases associated with the secular trend. Our results also serve to highlight the importance of Atlantic multidecadal variability in mediating the rate of global warming, and they suggest that these variations deserve more explicit consideration in twentieth century climate simulations and in attribution studies based on recent observations of the rate of change of GST.

JC comments: I think this paper is an important contribution to our understanding of the climate variability of the 20th century.  The paper highlights significant inadequacies in the IPCC AR4 analysis.

Note from Mike Wallace and Zhaohua Wu added 7/19:  

You portray our article that appeared recently in Climate Dynamics as arguing that up to a third of the warming in the latter half of the 20th century can be attributed to the  Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO).  The referent for this statement is the fourth column of Table 2 in our article, which presents our attribution of the trends for the past 25 years, ending in 2008.  In the third colum of that same Table, we attribute only about 15% of the 50-year trend to the AMO.  OUr intent in presenting these statistics is not to contest the IPCC’s attribution of the late 20th century (i.e., the 50-year) trend, but, rather, to question whether the acceleration in the rate of greenhouse warming has been as pronounced as implied by the graph presented in Figure TS.6 in the Technical Summary of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (AR-4), which shows linear trends for the most recent 100, 50, and 25 years ending in 2005.  The papers of Delsole and Shukla and by Semenov et al., referenced in our paper, make the same point, but based on different kinds of evidence.


446 responses to “Time-varying trend in global mean surface temperature

  1. Dr. Curry with the changes to HadSST2 to 3, could you add what temperature series was used for their studies?

    • The data used in this study include
      1. Global monthly land and sea surface temperature from
      HadCRUT3v dataset (Jones et al. 1999; Rayner et al.
      2003);
      2. Global monthly land and sea surface temperature
      analyses provided by Goddard Institute for Space
      Studies (GISTEMP) (Hansen et al. 1999);
      3. The surface atmospheric temperature (SAT) dataset,
      which covers a time span from 1900 to December
      2006, from the Global Historical Climatology Network,
      version 3 (Peterson and Vose 1997). The SST
      dataset is the NOAA ERSST by Smith et al. (2008);
      4. The International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere
      Data Set (ICOADS), which contains objectively analyzed
      in-situ observations of SST in 5 9 5 grid
      boxes (Smith and Reynolds 2005); and
      5. An estimate of the variations in global-mean surface
      temperature variability attributable to volcanic forcing
      (Thompson et al. 2009).

      • David L. Hagen

        The new HadSST3 temperature data set appears to have substantially lower temperature rise after correcting for poor WWII adjustments. McIntyre notes:

        Although the results of these series are often said to be mutually supporting, between 1975 and 2006, CRUTEM has increased substantially more than HadSST, with both HadSST versions very similar in this period: CRUTEM: 0.243 deg/decade; HadSST: 0.135 deg/decade. Over the 1940-2006 period, the difference in trends is 0.082 deg/decade, resulting in a cumulative difference of 0.41 deg C (56 years at 0.082 deg/decade).
        Over the 1940-2006 period illustrated in the above figure, the HadSST trend is reduced by 35% from 0.074 deg/decade (HadSST2) to 0.048 deg/decade (HadSST3). The decrease in 1950-2006 trend from HadSST2 to HadSST3 is 29.5%, a value that is “remarkably similar” to the figure of 30% postulated in 2008 by Pielke Jr.

        Could some of the evaluations of Wu et al. be based on data error, or an “argument from ignorance”?

    • Jeff Id posted global temperature data on Air Vent for 1880-2011 that falsify the claim of “Industrial CO2-Induced Global Warming.”

      a.) Global temperatures increased (~1880–1940)
      b.) Global temperatures decreased (~1940–1975)
      c.) Global temperatures increased (~1975–2000)
      d.) Global temperatures unchanged (~2000– now)

      Political events for 1945-2011 suggest “Industrial CO2-Induced Global
      Warming” was the “common enemy” world leaders selected to:

      a.) Unite nations
      b.) End nationalism
      c.) Avoid threat of nuclear annihilation
      d.) Level the world’s economic playing field

      See comment #10:
      http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/07/15/subsampled-confidence-intervals-zeke/

      When current world leaders are gone, we must focus on item (e)

      a.) Unite nations
      b.) End nationalism
      c.) Avoid threat of nuclear annihilation
      d.) Level the world’s economic playing field
      e.) Build a world government of the people and for the people

      With kind regards,
      Oliver K. Manuel
      Former NASA Principal
      Investigator for Apollo

  2. Bill Collinge

    “The shape of the secular trend and rather globally-uniform spatial pattern associated with it are both suggestive of a response to the buildup of well-mixed greenhouse gases. ”

    would it be more correct to append

    “or other exogenous forcing.”?

  3. I am a bit sceptical that you can answer for the global:
    How much of the recent warming can be attributed to natural variability versus anthropogenic forcing?
    unless you work it out for a particular locality or region with a reliable record.
    For the CETs, I’ve used two of my own indices (not yet fully elaborated) and one widely available, all show ther is something going on:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/1990+.htm
    CO2, UHI, bad analysis ?

  4. “The Earth has warmed at an unprecedented pace in the decades of the 1980s and 1990s”
    False argument. It has been shown time and again this is not true.
    After a sentence like this how can one take the rest of
    seriously?

    • Yes, eyal, that is the key issue.

      Instead of looking for a scientifically valid sentence or two in a document fraught with bias and deception, the UN’s IPCC and the government-paid scientists who manipulated experimental data should explain:

      Why?

      Why so much bias in documents that the public paid for?

      Anyone could see that – even me, although not a climatologist [1].

      Why do IPCC reports look so much like products of the federal “scientific-technological elite” that Eisenhower cautioned in 1961 might one day seize control of public policy?

      A new NASA video anyway undercuts any IPCC’s claim that Earth’s heat source s stable:

      http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-07-dark-fireworks-sun.html

      With kind regards,
      Oliver K. Manuel
      Former NASA Principal
      Investigator for Apollo

      1. “Earth’s Heat Source – The Sun,” E & E 20 (2009) 131
      http://arxiv.org/pdf/0905.0704

    • Indeed ….. the opening line is just garbage. How can they POSSIBLY know that ? So it makes everything that follows completely useless.

  5. “The Earth has warmed at an unprecedented pace in the decades of the 1980s and 1990s”

    The slope of the curve isn’t much different to 1915-1938, when co2 was rising much more slowly.

    That this fact wasn’t taken into consideration by these authors means an auto-fail.

    • Though it’s good to see their attribution of biggish proportions of the warming to oceanic oscillations. I wonder how much room will be left for co2 by the time reduced cloud over the tropics is accounted for too. :)

      • I suppose you have heard of “The God of the Gaps” well the CO2 hypothesis could be equated as “The Science of the Gaps”.

    • It’s completely unprecedented since the last time it happened.

    • According to the UAH satellite record the earth did not warm at all in the 1980s and 90s (prior to the big ENSO).

    • Agreed. It’s a very poor opening ‘gambit’ for the paper and (imo) acts as a priori for the whole piece….. having said that however, i quite like the ‘meat’ of the paper.

      I think their analysis is really quite interesting (given me recent statistics revision i can actually follow most of it….) and it’s really nice to see people trying to quantify the natural forcings- something i’m sure you’re all fed up of hearing my harp on about.

      I think my reasoning follows yours tallbloke- The recent ‘rise’ is mirrored post 1915 making the recent warming decidedly unexceptionaly. Additionally if the AMO accounts for up to a third (possibly more) of the recently observed warming, then i find it HIGHLY plausable that the lions share of the other 2 ‘thirds’ is also from natural sources (ones we know, ones we don’t)- the paper certainly does not as they puport, strengthen the cAGW theory (in my view it actually weakens it).

      Their conclusions are a bit wonkey and i can definitley see a priori in the way the paper was written, but the bulk of their analysis, to my simple mind, seems good. They’ve also posted their workings and formulae- so +1 for that.

      LM

  6. David L. Hagen

    Judith
    Good to see further quantitative evaluation of natural variations.
    The next key question is whether the temperature this century is “accelerating” or “cooling” – ie whether “anthropogenic” “exponentially” increasing CO2 / H2O is “accelerating” the warming – or whether the natural ~ 65 year oscillation dominates with its “cool” phase now flattening or cooling climate.

    For similar earlier articles especially on PDO variations see:

    Joseph D’Aleo and Dr. Don Easterbrook, Multidecadal Tendencies in Enso and Global Temperatures Related to Multidecadal Oscillations, Energy & Environment, Vol. 21, No. 5, pp. 437-460, Sept. 2010
    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/EE_paper_on_SPPI.pdf

    Craig Loehle 2009, Trend Analysis of Satellite Global Temperature Data, Energy & Environment, Vol. 20 No. 7, 2009, 1087-1098
    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/05-loehleNEW.pdf

    Syun-Ichi Akasofu, On the recovery from the Little Ice Age, Natural Science Vol.2, No.11, 1211-1224 (2010) doi:10.4236/ns.2010.211149
    http://klimabedrag.dk/attachments/article/395/NS20101100004_10739704.pdf

    Nils-Axel Mörner, Arctic Environment by the middle of this century, Energy and Environment, Vol. 22 No. 3 2011, 207-218.
    http://www.eike-klima-energie.eu/uploads/media/Moerner_Science_environm_sea_level_3_11_Paper_534.pdf

    Pat Frank and Lucia address some of the uncertainties involved.
    At the Blackboard, Lucia addresses Data Comparisons between global surface temperatures and global climate model projections (“predictions”???), for different time periods.
    Temperatures for this century appear to be changing at a markedly lower trend than the IPCC’s. e.g.

    Computing trends beginning in Jan 2000 when the earth was in the influence of La Nina, and ending in May 2008 when it is near the end of a La Nina, the trends associated with observations range between 0.06C/decade and the 0.12C, which are considerably lower than 0.205 C/dec associated with the multi-model mean over the same period. (The trend for the multi-model mean is not affected by the timing of Earth’s ENSO cycle.)

    • David L. Hagen

      Loehle & Singer (2010) further document:
      Holocene temperature records show millennial-scale periodicity Canadian J. Earth Sciences 47, 1327-1336 (2010)
      PDO 60 year oscillations on top of this 1470 year oscillation would appear to provide the null hypothesis of natural variability explaining the late 20th century warming as well as predicting and current cooling of global climate.

      The scientific burden remains on IPCC to quantify both natural and the anthropogenic contributions to the 20th century global warming and distinguish anthropogenic contributions from natural variations, in light of the remaining large uncertainties in indirect solar impacts and cloud variations etc.

  7. For some reason this search for the proportion of warming attributable to CO2 sometimes puts me in mind of the old nursery rhyme/political satire verse:
    “Today I met upon the stair
    A little man who wasn’t there;
    He wasn’t there again today.
    I wish, I wish, he’d go away!”

    ;)

  8. From AR4: Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.

    From Wu et al: we have presented the results of EEMD analysis, which indicate that the secular warming trend during the 1980s and 1990s was not as large as the linear trends of the observation-based GST estimated in AR4 (IPCC 2007); and that the unprecedented rate of warming in the late twentieth century was a consequence of the concurrence of the upward swing of the multidecadal variability, quite possibly caused at least in part by an increase in the strength of the thermohaline circulation, and a secular warming trend due to the buildup of greenhouse gases. We estimate that as much as one third the warming of the past few decades as reported in Fig. TS.6 of the Summary for Policymakers of AR4 (IPCC 2007) may have been due to the speeding up of the thermohaline circulation.

    At first glance, these statements may appear to be in potential conflict, but I believe they are reconcilable if one takes into account the different timeframes involved. (I won’t address here the hypothesized role of the thermohaline circulation but merely consider the constellation of factors operating outside anthropogenic GHG emissions as an entity responsible for late twentieth century warming – factors that also include other multidecadal oscillations, solar fluctuations, and changes in anthropogenic aerosols).

    The AR4 conclusions relate to the interval starting around 1950, while the cited article(s) relate to the steep warming observed to start around the mid- to late 1970s. If the latter alone is considered, at least part of the steepness reflects “global brightening” due to declining anthropogenic cooling aerosols, as described in multiple publications by Martin Wild and others. Natural oscillations (to the extent they are not anthropogenically forced) add to the steepness, and so a warming curve drawn from 1980 onward must inevitably reflect more than GHG effects. However, the late century brightening offsets earlier (1950 to about 1975 or 1980) aerosol cooling that contributed to a flat rather than rising temperature trajectory during this interval. To a partial extent, therefore, the 1950-1980 and 1980-2010 non-GHG phenomena cancel each other out by first adding and then subtracting aerosols from the trend. If we draw a line from 1950 to the present rather than 1980 to the present, the slope will more closely approximate what would be expected from the rise in CO2, methane, and other anthropogenic greenhouse gases. While this does not prove the AR4 statement to be correct, it is consistent with that statement. It also emphasizes the importance of evaluating timeframes in assigning a distribution to different factors affecting trends. Over intervals of a few decades, factors may dominate that recede into lesser importance over a larger interval, including a century.

      • Alexander Harvey

        Fred,

        The presentation with the same title linked by Judith is worth looking at. If the extracted trend and multidecadal variability as depicted are essentially the same as what is behind the payway then the contribution of the MDV to the “second half” (which may not be the same as “late” and definitely not the same as “last few decades”) is largely a wiggle down and a wiggle up with little net contribution to the temperatures since the mid 20th century.

        You can imagine how I wish people would give a start date and an end date and so ensure that we have something decidable.

        Eye-balling from the presentation the scales of the date to date increase (1950-200) in seperated trend and MDV would appear to support or even extend the strength of the WGI/AR4.

        Take a look, and others please take a look before just saying this be not the case.

        Alex

      • Maybe this data from table 2 of the paper might help (although I suspect the formatting is going to be wrong)

        Table 2 Mean slopes (C/decade) of trends over different temporal spans
        Last 150 years Last 100 years Last 50 years Last 25 years
        AR4 0.045 ± 0.012 0.074 ± 0.018 0.128 ± 0.026 0.177 ± 0.052
        ST and MDV 0.051 ± 0.040 0.086 ± 0.039 0.105 ± 0.041 0.148 ± 0.051
        ST 0.050 ± 0.014 0.067 ± 0.014 0.086 ± 0.018 0.096 ± 0.024

      • Alexander Harvey

        Thanks HR

        If I have this right!

        Taking the “last 5o years” as most comparable to the AR4 period:

        Secular Trend : 0.086 ± 0.018
        Secular Trend and Multidecadal Variation 0.105 ± 0.041

        Difference 0.019 ± (o.o45 from square root of the sum of the squares)
        Difference 0.019 ± (o.o37 from square root of the difference of the squares)

        Well the proportional contribution due to MDV does not seem as great as one might have beleived and is possibly not even statistically significant at sigma 1.

        That leaves the AR4 value 0.128 ± 0.026
        (0.128-0.086)/0.128 = 0.33 (which is a third is that what they mean?)

        That may not be comparing eggs with eggs if they have slightly differing periods and data sets, it would be helpful if they giving their total last 50 year treand or better still a period that matches the AR4 period.

        Their attribution to the MDV is small over the 50 year period which is to be expected for a variation with a period of around 65 years.

        Alex

      • You’re right for 150 years there is almost no long term effect from MDV. But what it seems to do is move the impact of the secular trend around so that if you did the analysis for the last 50 years you’d find a smaller contribution from the secular change. Of course that secular change still needs to be attributed, this paper assumes it’s from anthropogenic sources.

      • I uploaded fig 1 from the paper as well if it helps

      • HR;
        I’d say selling that assumption is the whole raison d’etre of the paper.

      • I think your wrong, the scientist are trying to look at a specific question. The assumption is for others to work on, that only seem right

      • “not even significant at sigma 1” means “not worth a second glance; fuggedaboudit”.

      • Wu also suggests that his work would imply low climate sensitivity which won’t be in line with the IPCC, although I recognise he wasn’t really prepared to speculate on that.

      • HR – I don’t think Wu used the term “sensitivity” to refer to climate sensitivity to a specific forcing, but rather to the slope of a line that might represent the resultant of multiple, and at times conflicting factors (e.g., greenhouse gases and cooling aerosols). I don’t believe he intended to draw conclusions about climate sensitivity to CO2 from the data he presented.

      • Fred the language is unclear and we’ll probably have to accept that we disagree on that. The assumption here is that the MDV warming isn’t from external forcing but internal variability so it seems fairly safe that less warming (in the past 50 years) is from forcings such as GHG so one would expect climate sensitivity to be lower unless you want to go beyond Hansen and lower the nett forcing as well.

        When I read the post I wondered whether it was possible to calculate (roughly) the climate sensitivity from this work, at least the TCR proportion. It seems like it should be possible for somebody cleverer than me. I was hoping somebody would have already done this in the discussion.

      • HR,

        Dr. Spencer tried his hand at estimating sensitivity here:

        http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/06/more-evidence-that-global-warming-is-a-false-alarm-a-model-simulation-of-the-last-40-years-of-deep-ocean-warming/

        He also explains why using the surface temperature isn’t the most useful method.

      • Is Wu ready to embrace sign reversal yet?
        >:)

    • Fred, the IPCC did not even address the issue of the increase in bright sunshine hours over the 20th century.

      That is appalling.

      The amount of energy from just a small change in sunshine is immense.

      Japan, for example, had a 10% increase in bright sunshine over the 20th century. That would dwarf the miniscule warming claimed for CO2.

  9. As soon as a climate scientist says something is unprecedented I know the precedent of saying unprecedented has been used so many times by the community. Just like the word robust.
    Defn. Unprecedented without previous instance; never before known or experienced; unexampled or unparalleled: an unprecedented event.
    L. Susan-Stebbings “When words have lost their meaning, men have lost their reason”
    What evidence is there that the “global temperature” even if known, is unprecedented.

    • I have to say I agree. The book I suggested to Judy, “Straight and Crooked thinking” makes quite a bit of that. If they were to say “unprecedented in the last 150 years” I would have no objection (or even 800 years). Leaving it as “unprecedented” in the context of the climate change debate is to imply alarm over its extent and that the precedent must require an explanation beyond the natural.

      • I actually think the word unprecedented is stronger than that. I do not think it can strictly have a time band applied to it because it means “hasn’t happened before”.

        To say something is unprecedented in the last 1000 years or is unprecedented since the end of the last ice age, whilst, arguably still giving a clear meaning, actually is just lazy and sloppy English. It would be more correct to say “hasn’t happened since the end of the last ice age”. Unprecedented is quite simply too strong a word.

        And I agree with that great quote. If you can’t even use the correct words, whats the point of trying to describe something as complex as climate science.

      • Inclined to agree, but with the qualification that if a “methodological” qualification is attached, it may make sense; e.g., “unprecedented in recorded history”. “Unprecedented since mankind left the caves.” “Unprecedented in the history of the nation.”
        “Unprecedented since I installed my new improved weather station last week.”
        ;) Or maybe not the last one. It should encompass a suitably impressive sweep of time, after all!

    • I prefer this definition of robust:

      “of, relating to, resembling, or being a relatively large, heavyset australopithecine (especially Australopithecus robustus and A. boisei) characterized especially by heavy molars and small incisors adapted to a vegetarian diet ”

      australopithecine: any of a genus (Australopithecus) of extinct southern and eastern African hominids that include gracile and robust forms with near-human dentition and a relatively small brain

      http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/robust

    • I agree very much with that!

  10. An example:

    Paleoclimatologists, using a compilation of available data from around the Northern Hemisphere, have confirmed that 20th century global warming is unprecedented relative to the last 1200 years. Jonathan Overpeck, head of NOAA’s Paleoclimatology Program in Boulder, Colo., says that research has failed to identify any known natural climate-forcing mechanism that could have generated all of the unprecedented warming that has led to 1998 being, most likely, the warmest year in at least 1200 years.

    • Bruce Cunningham

      Jonathon Overpeck, Wasn’t he the one that was identified as the person who sent Deming an email that said “we have to get rid of the Medieval warm period”? Let me research that for a bit……

      Yes! he was. Looks like he is still trying to do that.

  11. “Other researchers have reached a similar conclusion: Keenlyside et al. (2008), ”

    Let me note that Keenleyside et al is another paper where a model was calibrated by hindcasting the data, and then the model was used to predict the future. The timescale of the predicitons is such that we will start to see whether actual observations match the predictions, sometime around 2015. By that time, the predicitons of Smith et al, using a similar technique, will have been completely checked out from actual observations.

  12. “Two key questions in the climate debate are:

    How much of the recent warming can be attributed to natural variability versus anthropogenic forcing?
    Is the rate of warming in the latter half of the 20th century unusual or unprecedented?”

    These are indeed important questions?

    1) Very likely all of it natural. Of course, anthropogenic is also natural, but nevermind. There is a lot of anthropogenic local warming (urban and rural – I can feel it right now – about 3 °C hotter than the country side and it’s actually a small village!), but it has nothing to do with the latter half of the 20th century warming. There could also be anthropogenic global cooling in this period that is more than overwhelmed by strong natural forcings – we don’t know.

    2) Not even close it’s unprecedented. It’s amazing that an intelligent and educated person can believe that! It happened 1000s of times in the past.

    • There is at least one more important question:
      How much of the recent warming is real and not an artifiact of instrumentation from (UHI, changes in equipment, changes in land use, ground-truth miscallibration, and doggy statistical techniques.)

      I’m not arguing all of it is. But someone out there tell me that none of it is and back it up.

      There exists more than one historical temperature record, does there not? How can that be if these issues do not have validity?

      • ferd berple

        Agricultural land use has gone from 4% of the land in 1850 to 40% of the land today. This clearly is unprecedented, while CO2 increases are not as they have been higher for most the past 600 million years. Are we seriously suggesting that cutting down the forests and planting crops and grass has not changed the temperature of the planet?

        What about the changes in evaporation that are likely with the change in land use? H2O is a much stronger greenhouse gas than CO2, and unlike CO2 the H2O absorption bands are not saturated.

        But of course no one would be popular if they suggested we should get rid of agriculture to solve global warming, while if you say we should end pollution that will be an easier sell.

      • Albedo …

        “The same irrigation that turned California’s Central Valley from desert into productive farmland is probably also to blame for summer nights there getting noticeably warmer.

        Irrigation has turned much of the San Joaquin Valley’s dry, light-colored soil dark and damp, says Dr. John Christy, director of the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). While the valley’s light, dry desert ground couldn’t absorb or hold much heat energy, the dark, damp irrigated fields “can absorb heat like a sponge in the day and then, at night, release that heat into the atmosphere.”

        That means the region’s summer nighttime temperatures don’t get as cool as they did before irrigation came along.”

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2007/02/13/irrigation-most-likely-to-blame-for-central-california-warming/

      • Fred and Bruce, thanks for your comments fore they made me realize a crucial dimension in the argument.

        Changes in land use I thought as an instrumentation problem such as when a long sited weather station is affected by land use changes around it. I was thinking in terms outlined by Gibbs: An Investigation of Temperature Trends from weather station observations representing various locations across Utah. http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/originals/gibbas_temperature_investigation.html, h/t WUWT 2001/04/04. Here it is documented long lived temperature stations that have had their temperatures affected, not by UHI elements, but by seemingly harmless changes in land use. In particular, changing rural land to irrigated land significantly raises the minimum daily temperatures. Because I consider these reports to be contamination of a few a trustworthy “global” temperature records, I lumped this into an instrumentation problem.

        Your two comments provide excellent examples of REAL anthropomorphic climate warming. Making the desert bloom, through irrigation, might be a significant man-made contribution to real global warming that as nothing to do with CO2.

        Properly told, these could be a powerful antidotes to the CAGW doomsday monologue. “You mean, if water my lawn, I’m a contributor to global warming?” I can see the eyes rolling now.

      • Steven Mosher

        Unfortunately that researcher:

        1. Failed to provide the code for his paper
        2. misleads readers about adjustments NCDC make to the stations he looked at. Primarily the TOBs adjustment, an adjustment which skeptics themselves acknowledge is required.

        This is not to say that land use is not important to changes in tmperature readings, however, there is no study that shows the impact on a global scale. The best studies we have tend to be isolated studies on individual sites. Simply, as it stands we can cannot categorically attribute the global changes we see to changes in local land use. There might be a possibility of doing this with some new land use metadata sources (HYDE) but today all the work is anecdotal

      • We cannot categorically attribute the global changes we see to changes in CO2 either. But we do know that GLOBALLY temperature rose .7C from 1911 to 1944 before CO2 was to be blamed for any and all changes in climate, therefore we can most assuredly say CO2 is probably not the cause.

    • The space and temporal variability of the surface temperatures is quite interesting, land use and urban development both have an influence, but there were sheltered areas that existed prior to modern occupation, and then further enhanced by agriculture development.

      Coming upgrade of weather forecast map resolution to show 900X as much detail, sample redo of the 2-14-2011 Low temperature map with Alaska and Canada added, data for Australia in the mail will try to get Australia on line by next year.

      These samples are not the final product of my site upgrade but almost, extra detail shows heat islands from natural and urban development as well as snow on ground cool spots due to differences in natural terrain sheltering.

      http://research.aerology.com/p​roject-progress/map-detail/

  13. Re Global mean surface temperature 7/14/11

    The global mean or average surface temperature (GMST or GAST) over its 140 year record (HadCRUT3) is predictable from the best solar TSI model (Wang, et al. (2005)) using five parameters to an accuracy within about 10% of IPCC’s smoothed estimate of that temperature record. Representation of that temperature record likely requires over 30 parameters, depending on how successful one might in selecting an orthogonal series for the expansion (e.g., Fourier, Bessel, PCA). The accuracy is 0.11ºC. The variance reduction ratio (VRR) is 79%, while the VRR of IPCC’s smoothed estimate of that temperature record is 89.3%. However, IPCC’s smoothed estimate is unrealizable (forward looking in time), and so as a model it has no predictive value.

    A statistical improvement over 0.11ºC using anthropogenic CO2 estimates, whether valid or not, would be a certainty, but one with no significance. The major features of the GMST or GAST derive from the Sun, excluding CO2 as a cause. For details, click on my name and read the paper, SGW (Solar Global Warming).

    To the extent that AGW might exist, it is not measurable.

  14. If a short time frame ocean cycle like ENSO can move temperature up and down by .7C or more, why can’t longer cycles.

    • Exactly! There are variations and oscillations on many scales. Something like turbulence.

    • But that would leave the fear mongers with nothing to monger.
      This AGW stuff is da boss, man. If you can torture some data into the right shape, you can make a so-so career blow right up into a tenured gig or a nice spot on an NGO board or an inside deal on a windmill farm.
      You make the right sounds about CO2 and you can be jetting worldwide, living out Pink Floyd’s “Money”.
      http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1172217534500581920

  15. This paper argues that up to a third of this warming can be attributed to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. The paper did not address possible warming associated with PDO/ENSO, which could increase the fraction of the warming that can be attributed to natural internal variability associated with the ocean oscillations.
    The AMO, PDO & SOI/ENSO are indices and are response of the oceans to changing conditions. If the cause is a natural one and not the anthropogenic, than those conditions are reflection of either the solar input or possible change in the oceans’ currents circulation. Solar scientists maintain that the TSI variable part is insufficient to account for the changes. That leaves ocean currents as the main re-distributor of the absorbed.
    And this is indeed the case, as confirmed in the North Atlantic: TOPEX/Poseidon altimeter data show that the geostrophic velocity derived from altimeter data exhibits declining subpolar gyre circulation. Combining the data from earlier satellites, it was found that the subpolar circulation may have been weaker in the late 1990s than in the late 1970s and 1980s: http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/topstory/2004/0415gyre.html
    The forces affecting the oceans’ currents circulation (delta F/delta t) show a good correlation with the AMO, PDO & SOI/ENSO indices.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/A&P.htm

  16. Pooh, Dixie

    The questions above are indeed key, and consideration of aerosols and multidecadal variability is welcome. However, I am curious about the source data sets. At least two are influenced by the usual suspects.

    So here is my question. In the ancestry of the data sets, the analyses and reanalyses or the papers themselves, where are UHI and land use changes addressed? How and how much?

    There has been a slow and steady expansion of agriculture and urban areas, and the encroachment of construction on temperature observation (surface stations). At least in the U.S., their influence implies uncertainty (http://www.surfacestations.org/). I do not see how the secular trends of these can be distinguished from the secular trends of “the buildup of well-mixed greenhouse gases”.

    Despite calling for “accelerated decarbonization”, even “The Hartwell Paper” states that UHI and land use may significantly affect the observations, independent of emissions:
    Pages 22 – 23

    Land Use. After concessions to “the importance of land use change to emissions of GHGs”, the paper then states “…a growing body of evidence suggests that land use is playing a significant role in ongoing climate change through a set of biogeochemical mechanisms independent of the radiative effects of GHG emissions, ….” And
    UHI. “For example, the recent work by Stone suggests that alterations in surface fluxes of moisture and energy resulting from land use activities may contribute to regional scale climate phenomena more directly than associated changes in emissions.”

    • Yes, they can SIGNIFICANTLY affect the observations, especially when we measure in 0.1 °C!

  17. The only problem with the analysis is after you account after accounting for ENSO effects and solar activity, once you add systemic warming (i.e., add a residual constant amount attributable to recovery from the last ice age), there is no global warming is left to explain. Then the topper: the ice core data shows that increases in the levels of atmospheric CO2 lags global warming by 600-1200 years

    A study of the Earth’s albedo (project “Earthshine”) shows that the amount of reflected sunlight does not vary with increases in greenhouse gases. The “Earthshine” data shows that the Earth’s albedo fell up to 1997 and rose after 2001.

    What was learned is that climate change is related to albedo, as a result of the change in the amount of energy from the sun that is absorbed by the Earth. For example, fewer clouds means less reflectivity which results in a warmer Earth. And, this happened through about 1998. Conversely, more clouds means greater reflectivity which results in a cooler Earth. And this happened after 1998. It is logical to presume that changes in Earth’s albedo is due to increases and decreases in low cloud cover, which in turn is related to the climate change that we have observed during the 20th Century, including the present global cooling. However, we see that climate variability over the same period is not related to changes in atmospheric greenhouse gases.

    Obviously, the amount of `climate forcing’ that may be due to changes in atmospheric greenhouse gases is either overstated or countervailing forces are at work that GCMs simply ignore. GCMs fail to account for changes in the Earth’s albedo. Accordingly, GCMs do not account for the effect that the Earth’s albedo has on the amount of solar energy that is absorbed by the Earth.

  18. Judith: I find the following statment you quoted from Wu et al to misrepresent the rise in global SST anomalies over the period in question, the 1980s and 1990s. Wu et al wrote, “The shape of the secular trend and rather globally-uniform spatial pattern associated with it are both suggestive of a response to the buildup of well-mixed greenhouse gases.”

    All we need to do is divide the global SST data into two subsets, the East Pacific (90S-90N, 180-80W) and the Rest of the World (90S-90N, 80W-180), and adjust the data for the impacts of volcanic aerosols. The East Pacific SST data shows no trend since 1982, and the Rest-Of-The_World SST anomalies indicate upward steps in response to the significant El Nino events of 1986/87/88 and 1997/98:

    The graph is from this post:
    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2011/07/09/does-the-sea-surface-temperature-record-support-the-hypothesis-of-anthropogenic-global-warming/:

  19. Re Global mean surface temperature 7/14/11

    The climate system is noisy, additive, multiplicative, and every other conceivable form, and wideband. As a result, every record and every model is unusual or unprecedented. If the degree of being unusual or unprecedented were to be measured, it would be seen to decrease with increased smoothing, but never to go away.

    We fool ourselves to count events, like storms or El Niños, or regional events, whether geographic or vertical through the atmosphere, and then to use the count as an estimator for climate variability. This is a candidate for the worst possible way to measure and to estimate.

    In climate, the unprecedented decision is compounded by IPCC confusing events with observations. For example, IPCC features this conclusion:

    The present atmospheric CO2 concentration has not been exceeded during the past 420,000 years, and likely not during the past 20 million years. TAR, Ch. 3, Executive Summary, p. 185.

    The rise in CO2 seen at MLO from 1958 to 2008 is a 50 year event. The period of 420,000 years is a reference to the Vostok record, which samples CO2 about every 1,300 years. The chances it would have sampled a single 50 year event is less than 4%, which translates into a confidence level. Usually science works with confidence levels like 85%, or 90% and up. We would need to track MLO for a sizeable portion of a millennium for the usual confidence levels to apply.

    Furthermore, CO2 sits in the plume of the oceanic outgassing in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific while Vostok sits inside the sink of the polar final uptake of CO2. Keeling warned against considering such biased sources, and IPCC’s comparison is the worst possible example.

    The claim of unprecedented is what IPCC tries to convey with its complement of hockey sticks, covering temperature, CO2, SO2, CH4, and N2O. It wants its readers to believe that because these hockey stick blades turn sharply upward in the industrial era that man is the cause. Even disregarding the extreme differences in the nature of the data IPCC glued together, and the bending by secret algorithms to make proxies fit instrument records, the method is to exalt correlation as establishing causation. Unprecedented at its core is bad science.

  20. “this paper lays the groundwork for making a serious challenge against the IPCC AR4 conclusion” JC

    The scientific rationale of your conclusion leaves much to be desired, Judith. This research says that multi-decadal variability’s contribution to the trend dominated the forced component on the time scales identified; and that while it can contribute significantly to shorter trends, it doesn’t account for the warming trend we are experiencing. This is consistent with the major conclusions of AR4.

    • Martha 2.38pm

      When do you believe this warming trend commenced?
      tonyb

    • Martha, it’s further evidence that natural forcings play a SIGNIFICANT role to the shorter-term climate.

      Where is the evidence that these effects, or something akin, can affect on a longer term?? The shorter term effects siggest quite strongly that longer term effects will also exist. You’ll have to work QUITE hard to prove otherwise now.

  21. Re: “The Earth has warmed at an unprecedented pace…” etc.

    I prefer to look at the glass being half-full — if you go through their presentation slide-show (which is worthwhile), they are clearly showing the cyclical nature of recent climate-change, which seems dead-obvious to this outsider, but which I don’t recall seeing in other current CC papers, and certainly not at the IPCC reports, which all seem to be relentlessly linear.

    So there’s a ray of hope, that the short-tern cyclical nature of earth’s climate will start getting mainstream attention. Maybe even the modelers will notice.

    As always, thanks to Dr. Curry for conduction a consistently-interesting, and generally civil, forum. Keep up the good work!

  22. A whole lot of estimatin’ going on. Why do people rubber stamp “conclusions” of studies that involve a lot of SWAG? The SWAG may be right, it may be the best anyone can do, it may even by consensus SWAG. BUT …

    A little more humility would be welcome.

  23. Alan Millar

    A significant part of the AGW theory hinges on the assertion that the warming in the late 20th century is unprecedented (def. ‘without previous instance; never before known or experienced; unexampled or unparalleled: an unprecedented event’). and this leads them to be confident they can rule out that the warming is due to natural causes.

    This was clearly stated in the famous paper by Michael Mann et al. http://coast.gkss.de/staff/storch/pdf/Soon.EosForum20032.pdf

    “More specifically, a number of reconstructions of large-scale temperature changes over the past millennium support the conclusion that late-20th century warmth was unprecedented over at least the past millennium. Modeling and statistical studies indicate that such anomalous warmth cannot be explained by natural factors…………………”

    Also note the Hockey Stick graph at the end of the paper noting the very course scaling used.

    Obviously if a similar period can be shown to have a similar warming trend and can be shown to have little or no influence from strongly rising atmospheric CO2 levels then a large part of the theory is undermined. It would require the proponents to show proof, to a high level, as to what factors drove the other warming and proof that these factors were not present in the late 20th century period.

    Let us start our search for such a period in the 20th century itself

    From 1900 up to 1945 there is no significant rise in atmospheric CO2 indeed ice core records show a fall from 1935 to 1945 of about 9ppm.

    Please see the graph A from this paper by James Hansen.

    http://www.earth.columbia.edu/news/2004/images/dai.pdf

    So let us look at the 20th Century trend from 1946 to 2000. This is the period when the fast rising CO2 levels are said to have become the dominant factor in climatic trend.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1946/to:2000/trend/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1946/to:2000

    Well that looks like a strong warming trend but is it unprecedented in at least a millennium? Well let us look at the rest of the 20th century from 1900 to 1945.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1900/to:1945/trend/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1900/to:1945

    Let us compare the two trends.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1900/to:1945/trend/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1900/to:1945/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1900/to:2000/trend/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1900/to:2000/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1946/to:2000/tren

    When you look at the two trends the natural warming trend from 1900 to 1945 is significantly stronger than the later CO2 driven one.

    So the CO2 driven warming trend of the late 20th century was not even unprecedented within the 20th century itself.

    So how were Mann et al able to get away with saying that the late 20th century warming was in effect ‘without previous instance; never before known or experienced; unexampled or unparalleled: an unprecedented event’?

    Well the graph they used to illustrate the warming (see above) had a very coarse scale, probably deliberately. When you just eye ball the graph it tends to give you the impression that the very steeply rising trend at the end with just a little kick down is all due to the trend Mann et al are referring to in their paper. Mann and co. seem happy to not disabuse anyone about this and make no mention of the natural early 20th century warming trend and seem happy to have it included by implication in their trend and it is only by doing this that are they able to claim that the trend is unprecedented.

    What concerns me about this is that Mann et al had to be aware of this earlier stronger warming trend and no doubt would have loved to have included it as evidence for their AGW theory. However they are constrained to always refer to the “late 20th warming”. They know they cannot get away with including this earlier period due to the atmospheric CO2 ice core records from that period.

    So clearly the CO2 driven warming trend from 1946 is not unprecedented and is not even the strongest warming trend in the 20th century.

    However, can they subdivide the trend from 1946 and produce an ‘unprecedented’ trend for a smaller period? Well the climatic period (30 years) 1970 to 2000 has the strongest warming trend within the late 20th century trend.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1970/to:2000/trend/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1900/to:2000

    So is this ‘unprecedented’?

    Well no! All you have to do is subdivide the natural warming trend from 1900 and you can have the period 1910 to 1945 which is both a longer period and has an ever so slightly higher warming trend than 1970 to 2000.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1900/to:1945/trend/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1900/to:2000/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1970/to:2000/trend/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1910/to:1945/trend/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1946/to:2000/trend

    So clearly the warming rate of the late 20th century is not unusual or unprecedented.

    • “A significant part of the AGW theory hinges on the assertion that the warming in the late 20th century is unprecedented (def. ‘without previous instance; never before known or experienced; unexampled or unparalleled: an unprecedented event’). and this leads them to be confident they can rule out that the warming is due to natural causes.”

      Since the theory only attributes “most” of the warming to human causes I think you need to go back to square one on your assertions.

      The warming we see now need not be unprecendented for the AGW theory to hold water. C02 and other Ghgs warm the planet. That is the principle core truth of AGW. How much warming? and what portion this is of all the warming we see is the key issue: CAGW types hold to a position that requires little natural variability, a higher contribution by man, and unprecedented warmth. Lukewarmers, can accept more natural variability, a lower contributions by man, and we dont think the issue of “unprecedented” is that important

      • I think unprecedented is important. If non-CO2 warmer is stronger than CO2 claimed warming, then there is zero evidence CO2 is the cause.

        Maybe all the warming is just SST bucket/inlet anomalies.

        Or maybe it is all natural (my vote).

        If ENSO can change temp by .7C or more, why not the PDO or some other natural process?

      • Yes; especially given the sloppiness of the data pool, the Anthro signal vanishes into the standard variance if dependent variable precedents exist prior to the onset of Anthro-GHG production.

        Just one of the many confusions embraced by conciliatory luke-warmers, fearful of Warmista vengeance. >:-p

      • Alan Millar

        The undeniable factual evidence is that the alleged CO2 driven warming of the late 20th century is no different (actually less if you were to be completely accurate) than the early 20th century.

        Did you look at the graph in Hansons paper of atmospheric CO2 from the ice core records? It shows an actual slight fall in CO2 upto 1945
        How can anyone say that atmospheric CO2 has been the main driver of the temperature trend from then, unless they have proof of what drove the earlier period and proof that those factors no longer existed in any significant form post 1945?
        It is such basic science that I am amazed that any intelligent man would not recognise it.

        Alan

      • “Lukewarmers, can accept more natural variability, a lower contributions by man, and we dont think the issue of “unprecedented” is that important”

        Hi Mosh.
        The evidence as I understand it points to nearly all natural variability and a teensy weensy contribution from man.

        Does that make me a Luke Warmer too?
        Or a Doubting Thomas Warmer?

      • Cardinal Bellarmine

        But it’s safe to say that you can’t have “high” climate sensitivity (I’ll leave “High” undefined) without unprecedented warming. And you certainly can’t have tipping points and runaway greenhouse effect.

        IOW, you can have lukewarm, or stone cold, you can’t have thermogeddon.

      • “we dont think the issue of “unprecedented” is that important”

        Steve, it’s not important from a science point of view. You are correct, whether it is unprecedented or not does not confirm or falsify the CAGW hypotheses. It’s important from a PR point of view, because couched in a superficially scientific neutral sounding word, it suggests an extreme, and extremes are scary because we don’t know what will happen, but suspect the worst.

        I would prefer scientific papers to remove the politics from the science rather than asking the reader to do it. Perhaps they could phrase it “anomalous temperature trends”, or just leave it at “increase in mean global temperature” or something equally neutral and fact based and let us make up our minds as to whether or not we should be alarmed.

      • “Co2 and other Ghgs warm the planet. That is the principle core truth of AGW.”

        Then AGW is not science.

        The core “truth” and a starting point should be that the temperature is driving the atmospheric CO2. I think everybody agrees with that. Start from that point.

    • And won’t HADSST3 make the modern trend even lower when it is incoporated into a new HADCRUT?

  24. Judith, thanks for the very interesting blog and this insightful paper…

    I watched the presentation and noted that the data seemed to runout at about 2003, the authors didn’t do a forecast based on their own conflation of the mutil-decadal oscillation and the secular trend but using my patented eyeballing technique I reckon then would be predicting a pretty flat temperature response up until 2010 or so.

    Shame they didn’t do it as their results would have knocked every GCM into a cocked hat.

  25. “The Earth has warmed at an unprecedented pace in the decades of the 1980s and 1990s”
    eyal wrote in reference to above: “False argument. It has been shown time and again this is not true.After a sentence like this how can one take the rest of seriously?

    Of course it’s nice to see a willingness to bring natural drivers on board, but I couldn’t agree more.

    Unprecedented? I’m no scientist. I’m not even very bright. But a simple appreciation of the time scales involved….thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of years. Putting aside for a second all the counter-arguments concerning the relatively recent MWP, over all that time how can make such a confident assertion?

    I simply don’t get it how these guys can sleep at night.

    • Perhaps the authors should have made it clear they meant “unprecedented” in the record of instrumentally measured temperatures. If nature has in the past made global temperatures warmer than those recently recorded, then nature plus man could push temperatures to all-time unprecedented levels.

  26. Fyi—

    All things RE-considered—on July 1st EPA published an agency-survival measure that implements a Deferral for CO2 Emissions from Bioenergy and Other Biogenic Sources. Contained in the EPA’s ‘FINAL RULING’ is as follows:

    “EPA concluded that the issue of accounting for the net atmospheric impact of biogenic CO2 emissions is complex enough that further consideration of this important issue is warranted…

    “EPA recognizes that use of certain types of biomass can be part of the national strategy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, efforts are underway at the federal, state and regional level to foster the expansion of renewable resources and promote bioenergy projects when they are a way to address climate change, increasing domestic alternative energy production, enhancing forest management and creating related employment opportunities. We believe part of fostering this development is to ensure that those feedstocks with negligible net atmospheric impact not be subject to unnecessary regulation. At the same time, it is important that EPA have time to conduct its detailed examination of the science and technical issues related to accounting for biogenic CO2 emissions and therefore have finalized this deferral.”

    • Interesting, partly because of the deliberate conflation of biomass and CO2 issues. No mention of the dis-employment net consequences of pouring resources down ratholes.

  27. BRIAN M. FLYNN

    Dr. Curry:

    A CONVERSION (ONE-HALF TO ONE-THIRD) IN 6 MONTHS?

    – Presentation 1/2011
    “we estimate that up to half the late 20th century warming could have been a consequence of natural variability.”

    – Climate Dynamics – 7/2011
    “we estimate that up to one third of the late twentieth century warming could have been a consequence of natural variability.
    ….
    We estimate that as much as one third the warming of the past few decades as reported in Fig. TS.6 of the Summary for Policymakers of AR4 (IPCC 2007) may have been due to the speeding up of the thermohaline circulation.”

    • actually the presentation may have been constructed later than the article, with the time lag for publication.

      • BRIAN M FLYNN

        With a closer look, the slide presentation reads “one-third” and, with the Climate Dynamics article, appears to render the phrase “one-half” as a “typo” in the presentation abstract.

      • thanks for spotting this

  28. Some of the exchanges are evocative of a market place
    – Hot warmers will buy no less then 100%
    – Mediocre warmers would be happy with 50%
    – Lukewarmers are in the market for no more then 25%
    – No warmers are in no buying mood whatsoever.
    Science use to be about finding the facts.

  29. The concentration on surface temperature is misguided. The essential metric is changes in ocean and atmospheric heat content which is driven by radiative imbalance. Changes in thermohaline circulation – poorly measured as it is and with minimal physical understanding – changes the distribution of heat from the equator to lower latitudes. There is a ‘suggestion’ that thermohaline changes in the extratropical Atlantic may change surface temperature averages but no explanation of how that might happen or whether there is any change in the energy balance of the planet and thus lead to actual warming or cooling – that is changes in the heat content in both oceans and atmosphere.

    Warming or cooling depends only on the radiative balance at top of atmosphere. Average energy in less average energy out is equal to the rate of change of global energy storage (GES). Energy is stored mostly as heat in the oceans and atmosphere.

    Ein/s – Eout/s = d(GES)/dt – for the mathematically inclined.

    Where Ein and Eout are the average unit energy (W/m2 x 1 second) over an interval in and out respectively. If Ein is greater than Eout then d(GES)/dt is positive and the planet is warming and vice versa. Unless there is a change in the radiative balance – it is simply redistributing heat around the planet and is entirely irrelevant to questions of overall planetary warming or cooling.

    For example – the planet warmed 0.47 (HadCRUT3) degrees C in 1976/77 and 1997/98. It is most of the recent warming that all occurred between 1976 and 1998. The warming at these times is associated with ENSO ‘dragon-kings’ – which are defined as extreme events at times of chaotic bifurcation. These are the ‘Great Pacific Climate Shift’ of 1976/77 and the large El Nino of 1997/98. But unless these events change the radiative balance – there is no effect on the warming or otherwise of the planet. The attribution of recent surface temperature change to CO2 is brought into significant doubt – but the overall theory of AGW is not brought into disrepute. The heat would continue to build up in the ocean and atmosphere with a changing balance of heat storage in ocean and atmospheric over time.

    I don’t think this is the case. There are observations of cloud changes associated with the Pacific decadal variation in particular from the surface, satellites and from measurements of ‘Earthshine’. Low level cloud increases over cool seas in a cool Pacific phase and decreases over warm oceans in a warm Phase. The satellite data shows (ISCCP, ERBE and HIRS) shows cooling in the infrared and warming due to less reflected shortwave between 1985 and the late 1990’s. There are in other words decadal changes in the planetary energy balance that are not CO2 or aerosol related.

    • “…from the equator to lower latitudes. ” Chief, did you mean “higher latitudes”?

    • The “bifurcation” meme may well have validity. But it doesn’t lead where you and the Catastrophists claim. It leaves you with zero knowledge about what will and will not stimulate a swing, and moreover about what direction such a swing would be.

      Therefore no preferred choice on the basis of the model exists; inaction is equally likely to lead to disaster as action. The remaining considerations (cost and readily predictable outcomes of action/inaction on the basis of known direct effects) is what you are left with.

      And mitigation policies are mass-murderous.

  30. I don’t believe that climate scientists can accurately calculate the global average temperature, on an annual basis, to with tenths of a degree now, let alone with older data. So I am not particularly heartened by a paper which claims to be able to accurately subdivide that hyper accurate data trend and attribute it with the further precision claimed here. The fact that their conclusions seem to contradict CAGW doesn’t (or shouldn’t) make their argument any more convincing. It seems to me that to accept this paper as a valid argument against CAGW, is to concede the accuracy and precision of the historical temperature data sets, including sea surface temp data.

    • For example, “an increase average global temperatures will result, ceteris paribus, from the burning fossil by Americans.” [i.e., putting aside the possibility that the thermometers are not corrupted by urban heat island and/or tarmac effects and adjustments to the data have not been made for ideological purposes.]

    • We probably have a better understanding of the average temperature on Mars than we do of the Earth. For the Earth we just play mathematical games with huge data sets.

      • Even Phil Jones of CRUgate was forced to admit that there has been no significant global warming since 1995. After all of the shenanigans, involving data corruption and data gone missing, the global warming house of cards collapsed in the UK.

        We then learned that the raw data for New Zealand had been manipulated; and, NASA’s data is the next CRUgate: satellite data shows that all of the land-based data is corrupted by the Urban Heat Island effect.

        Manipulation of the data is so bad that the recent discovery concerning a weather station in the Antarctic where the temperature readings were actually changed from minus signs to a plus signs to show global warming almost comes as no surprise.

        And then, there was a peer-reviewed study showing the ‘tarmac effect’ of land-based data in France where only thermometers at airports–in the winter–showed any warming over the last 50 years. Since then, the problem of data corruption due to continual snow removal during the winter at airports where thermometers are located–while all of the surrounding countryside is blanketed in snow–has been shown to extend far beyond the example in France (e.g., Russia, Alaska).

        In reality, there essentially has been no significant global warming in the US since the 1940s. The only warming that can be ferreted out of the temperature records is in the coldest and most inhospitable regions on Earth, such as in the dry air of the Arctic or Siberia where going from a -50 °C to a -40 °C at one small spot on the globe is extrapolated across tens of thousands of miles and then branded as global warming.

        Warming before 1940 accounts for 70% of the warming that took place after the Little Ice Age ended in 1850. However, only 15% greenhouse gases that global warming alarmists ascribe to human emissions came before 1940. Obviously, the cause of global warming both before and after 1940 is the same: solar activity during that period was inordinately high. It’s the sun, stupid. Now we are in a period where the sun is anomalously quiet; and, now we are in a period of global cooling and have been for almost a decade.

        And what about the measurement of atmospheric CO2? We learned that the CO2 readings are based on measurements taken on the site of an active volcano (Mauna Loa) and have been completely fabricated out of whole cloth by a father and son team who have turned data manipulation into a cottage industry for years. (e.g., “Time to Revisit Falsified Science of CO2.” by Dr. Timothy Ball)

    • The area averaging statistical temperature model pioneered by Jones and Wigley in the 1980s was great science. But its instantiations in the HadCru, GISS and NOAA versions in no way have this assumed accuracy. The mean temp curve is an artifact, pure and simple, a ghost. Yet an entire scientific community is dedicated to explaining this statistical artifact. What a tragedy.

      • “The mean temp curve is an artifact, pure and simple, a ghost. Yet an entire scientific community is dedicated to explaining this statistical artifact. What a tragedy.”

        Actually, global mean temperature is used as a heuristic indicator – in the technical sense you should be able to understand given your past education in philosophy and concepts in science. The approach enables an understanding of the variables and relationships in the climate system, and the system’s response.

        To be honest with you, David, I see that Steve, and Anthony, and Jo, don’t seem to fully understand the conceptual issues, in their critiques. I thought you would. Of course, it should be critiqued: but not on the basis of not understanding the functional theoretical purpose and failing to identify both its strengths and weaknesses, as a research concept. :-(

      • This non-scientist can see the bias that leads to. Cognitive biases were identified first by Tversky and Kahneman. They said biases are artifacts of problem-solving heuristics.

    • At last, a commenter who applies scientific skepticism to all publications, even those that may support his preconceptions!

      However, dividing the issue into parts may address GaryM’s objection. Those who trust the temperature record should now recognize that there is increasing evidence that non-trivial fraction of the change in that record is non-anthropogenic, ie natural variation. Those who don’t trust the temperature record (like GaryM?), don’t need to worry about the “anthropogenicity” of a temperature rise that may not have occurred. Those who don’t know what to believe about the reliability of the temperature record, can accept either argument as a partial rebuttal of the IPCC’s attribution statement.

      The IPCC’s attribution methodology assumes that climate models accurately describe all significant modes of natural variability. Wu’s work describes a significant mode of natural variability.that isn’t found in models. If so, the methodology is invalid – and it doesn’t matter how one interprets the ambiguous word “most” or whether more or less than half of Wu’s trend is secular.

      • “The IPCC’s attribution methodology assumes that climate models accurately describe all significant modes of natural variability”

        No. The IPCC reviews the methods used in the most recent attribution and detection work.

        “Wu’s work describes a significant mode of natural variability that isn’t found in models”

        No. However, it is of course a contribution to the types of simulations and approaches to statistical inference that are being developed. Improved understanding of the effects of natural variability and developments in the simulation of natural variability is a major goal in the evolving science.
        Like the current work of some other scientists (e.g. Del Sole) Wu’s work shows that climate change has been modulated in the past century by natural climate variability. The science already suggested this. Now it is demonstrating that the IMP was strong enough to overwhelm the anthropogenic signal in the time period(s) discussed. I don’t know why that is so difficult for you to understand. Wu 2011 is a more robust finding of earlier Wu. The continuing work involves e.g. distinguishing between types of forcings, more robust identification of natural effects (and their anticipated influence on forcings), etc. Building on current knowledge, addressing these questions, and gaining new insight, is the point of ongoing research.

        So far, if you understand Wu, the results are consistent with the major findings of the most recent overall review of the science i.e., IPCC AR4. When research is inconsistent with major findings or revises major findings, that is attention-grabbing. It is just as interesting when it is consistent (unless you have a predetermined subjective interest in viewing an IPCC report as something other than what it is, namely, a report summarizing the ongoing scientific work of thousands of scientists around the world).

        cheers

      • “Improved understanding of the effects of natural variability and developments in the simulation of natural variability is a major goal in the evolving science.”

        Well, this is a far cry from the 95% likelihood of most of the late C20th warming being anthropogenic. The tune is changing. Not before time.

        Major goals will need further grants to attain of course. And the current crop of consensus scientists are no doubt the people for the job.

        Not.

        Fresh blood and fresh thinking required.

      • If one applied Wu’s methodology to the output from a GCM, would one be able to find the 60?-year oscillation Wu attributes to the AMO? Not likely! Therefore there is likely to be a long-frequency mode of natural variability that isn’t simulated by models.

        Suppose one wants to know about trends covering a single decade. Without knowledge of ENSO, the trend you obtain can be wrong.

        Suppose we had 2000 years of GST data and we applied Wu’s technique. Could we find a 700-year oscillation in the data accounting for the MWP? Why not? Wouldn’t that change the trend for the last 150 years?

      • “would one be able to find the 60?-year oscillation”

        Our investigations over at the talkshop find a complex set of mutually reinforcing/diminishing cycles around 11, 22, 45, 55-60, 75 and ~200-220 years among shorter and longer periods. These are evidenced by rising beach ridges, arctic ocean surface temperature variation, periodicities in the C14 and 10Be proxies. They all relate to well known interactions in planetary orbital cycles and when they are combined, they successfully replicate the Lean TSI proxy from before the Maunder Minimum. They also coincide with changes in Earth’s length of day and

        This is the real story behind natural variations. They have as principle drivers gravity and electro-magnetism. Orbital mechanics and solar activity can account for Earth’s climatic variation. Changes in atmospheric Co2 levels are a minor secondary effect some distance down the chain of causation.

      • maksimovich

        If one applied Wu’s methodology to the output from a GCM, would one be able to find the 60?-year oscillation Wu attributes to the AMO? Not likely! Therefore there is likely to be a long-frequency mode of natural variability that isn’t simulated by models.

        Suppose one wants to know about trends covering a single decade. Without knowledge of ENSO, the trend you obtain can be wrong.

        Wrong problem ie it is ill posed.

        The question we need to ask our selves is
        a) can we find signals in the harmonics of the satellite observations,(where the information is temporal limited) to resolve the inconsitencies in the surface record and the troposphere.
        b) can the methodology Empirical Mode Decomposition ( emd) impart sufficient information (read signal ) to ascertain various natural mode activity over various short term satellite observations such as enso,solar or qbo etc,.

        A tentative answer to both problems may well be yes, eg Ruzmaikin & Feynman.

        Satellite measurements of temperature, water vapor and other climate variables provide an excellent spatial coverage of the Earth’s surface and the multiple layers of its atmosphere. The measurements are typically taken twice per day for a satellite in sunsynchronous polar orbits. However, the climate variables are noisy,and as mentioned above, are subjected to seasonal and inter-annual variability. In principle, the trend could be separated from noise and natural variabilities by using sufficiently long time series. Standard linear trend determinations, such as the least square fit to a line require very long time series (20–30 years) to obtain the desirable
        accuracy. But satellite lifetimes are short ( 5–10 years) and long-term data records combining successive satellites have inter-calibration problems impeding the integrity and accuracy of the resulting time series.

        Here we apply the Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD) and the concept of an adaptive trend to selected satellite data to investigate the role of the time series length and noisiness of the data in determination of trends.

        …..In both cases all modes are highly statistically significant (Fig. 8). We also recover a trend, which can be interpreted as a declining
        phase of the 88-year (Gleissberg) cycle or a transition to the next Global Solar Minimum.

  31. Maybe I shouldn’t post after only reading the first sentence of the abstract, “The Earth has warmed at an unprecedented pace in recent decades.” However, what rubbish. See http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/graphs/hadley/Hadley-global-temps-1850-2010-web.jpg
    and http://i49.tinypic.com/rc93fa.jpg London.
    OK, now I’ll finish reading the abstract and the comments before rushing in again before all you angels out there.

  32. The Earth has warmed at an unprecedented pace in recent decades.

    How could scientists make such a statement when the hadcrut3 data says the recent warming is NOT unprecedented as shown in the following graph?

    http://bit.ly/iUqG8I

    1910-1940 warming => 0.7 deg C
    1970-2000 warming => 0.7 deg C

    Science deals only with the truth.

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      And yoiu don’t deal in science. Picking a local low to start your first period and to end it on a (near) local high yields a warming of .553C. Choosing a local low to end your second series yields a total warming of .35C. So both your numbers are wrong,

      But beyond that, choosing the lowest the 4rd lowest year of the 20th century (1908, 1909 and 1911 were slightly lower) as the starting point for your first period seems a little, shall we say, disingenuous?

      • disingenuous?

        Let us see whether that label of yours is deserved.

        Here is the data:

        http://bit.ly/eUXTX2

        Global warming rate for 1910-1940=>0.015 deg C per Year=>0.45 deg C

        Global warming rate for 1970-2000=>0.016 deg C per Year=>0.48 deg C

        Is the 0.48-0.45=0.03 deg C warming in 30 years that made the recent warming unprecedented?

        This one is really disingenuous!

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        Girma,

        Here’s the problem with your cherry picking:

        Both of the trends you use for the first two plots are close to .016C/year. But what happens if you move the start dates up 10 years? Moving the start date for the second series to 1980 changes the trend minimally, it remains around ~.016/year. Moving the early century start date to 1920 changes the trend to .010 about a 26% reduction in the trend.

        It’s called cherry picking, Girma.

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        1920 to 1950. Trying to maintain Girma’s 30 year periods. Same for 1980. 1980 to 2010.

      • Ok, I see what you mean. But someone dealing in science would look at Girma’s first plot (the pink GMTA time series) and wonder what is going on between 1944 and 1950. It’s almost as if they are two separate time series.

      • Rattus,
        Cherry picking works both ways and it appears that you are harvesting a bumper crop. Any selection of a start/end date other than random could in some circles be considered a cherry pick. The dates he chose do support his conclusion: “The late 20th century warming trend is not unprecedented.”

      • Rattus

        What matters is to find whether the recent warming of about 0.45 deg C had occurred AT ANY 30-year period before mid-20th century, before widespread use of fossil fuels.

        It did.

        As a result, the recent warming in NOT unprecedented.

      • And now is when they tell you: it is unprecedented because now we have all this C02 floating around.

        -Huh???

      • I’m a little confused as to your logic behind telling Girma that if he changed his trend to a decade later it would be less of a trend. Wouldn’t that require him to include a decade that has been expained as cooling because of increasing aerosols? Isn’t asking him to change his trend to include such a time period cherry picking?

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        So choose 1900 to 1930. You get .006C/year. Use 1900 to 1940. You get .010C/year. The point is that in order to get such a high trend he has to pick 1910 or thereabouts (1907 – 1911) to get it. It is not representative of the trend in that time period.

      • Try to be interested in the science for a change.

        Think of ENSO: “The accepted definition is a warming or cooling of at least 0.5 °C (0.9 °F)”

        Just because it “is not representative of the trend in that time period” does not make an El Nino uninteresting.

        We can call a warming of .7C over 3 decades an El PDO.

        A scientists would wonder why it warmed like that in pre-CO2 days.

        A propagandists would do what you are doing.

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        On you definition, close but no cigar. Please play again. Hint, this is not a global change in temperature.

        And on the rest of your post: huh?

        ENSO is a very interesting short term variation in global climate which is well worth studying in it’s own right. But ENSO is a short term oscillation with a period of from 5-7 years. Since it is an oscillation it does not contribute to the trend.

        What the hell is an El PDO? Please explain and provide links to peer reviewed papers in journals other than E&E which document this newly discovered phenomenon.

      • You lose. I thought for a second you might have a small amount of curiosity why an earth with higher Co2 has less ability to warm .7C in 33 years than the early part of the 20th century with less CO2.

        I guess not. CO2 is definitely a non-starter. Its so wimpy.

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        Bruce,

        The answers are fairly easy to find:

        1) A substantial increase in TSI from 1900 to about 1950. See here.
        2) A lull in volcanic activity from about 1920 until 1940. See here.

        The attribution has been known for some time. I’m surprised you were unaware of it.

      • Your TSI reference:

        “For the early 20th century (1910 to 1940) warming trend, the TSI influence is also very small. ”

        Do you read your references?

        As for volcanoes, not only was there a lag from 1920 to 1940, it continued (using your list) all the way to 1980. Didn’t it cool after 1944?

      • VEI4 eruptions 1911 to 1944

        1912 Novarupta
        1913 Colima
        1914 Sakurajima
        1916 Tungurahua
        1917 Agrihan
        1918 Katla
        1919 Kelud
        1919 Manam
        1924 Raikoke
        1924 Iriomotejima
        1926 Avachinsky
        1929 Komagatake
        1931 Kliuchevskoi
        1931 Aniakchak
        1932 Volcan De Fuego
        1932 Cerro Azul
        1933 Kharimkotan
        1933 Suoh
        1933 Kuchinoerabujima
        1937 Rabaul
        1943 Paricutin

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        I disagree with Wigley’s conclusions. For example he states that the effect of a Maunder minimum on global SAT would be minimal, yet there are many modeling studies which show a ~.3C or so effect on SAT. The reason I pointed you to this is because of slide 13 which shows the secular increase in TSI over the period of concern. Lean (2000) seems to be fairly well accepted (cited by 275 according to Google Scholar) and this is what is shown in that figure. So your are now a fan of the “sun could not possibly do it” club?

        The location of the volcano is important also. For example, Novarupta (VEI 6+) was so far in the north that it had little or no detectable effect on global temperatures.

        1911 -0.5735
        1912 -0.496833
        1913 -0.485917
        1914 -0.318833
        1915 -0.247167

        However, El Chichon in 1982 (VEI 5) did, since it was much closer to the equator which allowed the sulphates to spread much more widely in the stratosphere.

        Compare the effects of Novarupta with Pinatubo for an example:

        1991 0.2035
        1992 0.0709167
        1993 0.105
        1994 0.168583
        1995 0.269417

        Not all volcanoes are created equal and VEI 4 volcanic eruptions are not necessarily big enough to have a global effect.

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        And oh yeah, I didn’t want to cite this since you would immediately dismiss is, but here’s a green meatball for you!

      • Colima was a VEI5.
        Katla a 4+.
        Azul a 5+.

        “In 1932, one of the largest explosive eruptions of the 20th century occurred at Quizapu Crater and sent 9.5 cubic kilometers (2.3 cu mi) of ash into the atmosphere.”

        Kharimkotan a 5.

        Quit embarrassing yourself Rattus.

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        Bruce,

        For Katal (I’m assuming the 1918 eruption):

        1917 -0.494083
        1918 -0.387167
        1919 -0.331917
        1920 -0.326667
        1921 -0.26775
        1922 -0.377667

        Colima (1913):

        1912 -0.496833
        1913 -0.485917
        1914 -0.318833
        1915 -0.247167
        1916 -0.4335
        1917 -0.494083

        AH, Azul, that one appears to have had an effect:

        1930 -0.17
        1931 -0.13775
        1932 -0.16175
        1933 -0.282083
        1934 -0.160917
        1935 -0.184167

      • Only a dim bulb would argue 1911 to 1944 was short of volcanic eruptions.

        1911 to 1944 – natural warming of .7C. Puts recent claims of warming to shame.

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        Bruce,

        Once again, you are looking at a cherry pick. 1911 is the coldest year in the 20th century.

        Of course I can play the cherry pick game too. 1976 to 2009 is .67C warming. Your period is .675. Pretty much the same. But I could be more blatant and choose 1998.

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        Bruce,

        I took your list of VEI 5+ eruptions and showed that only one of them may have had an impact of GTA.

      • 1900 – 1940 would be 40 years. I think the argument that the recent warming is unprecedented is fairly weak if you have to argue over start and end dates. Also I don’t think nature cares too much if the dates end with a 0 since it doesn’t understand our habit of breaking things into decades. Have you checked the trend for 1905 – 1935? How about 1915 – 1945? Does anything we are talking about seem unprecedented compared to Younger-Dryas? The entire argument seems fairly silly to me. The margin of error in measurements a few hundred years ago is as large as the recent warming trend and it could have happened a hundred times without us being able to identify it.

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        Dimbulb,

        The point is that you can cherry pick an interval in the early 20th century which has a trend near to but less than (although statistically indistinguishable from the late 20th century trend). However, any 30 year trend from 1970 (or so) onwards will yield essentially the same trend. But to answer your questions:

        1905 to 1935: .011/year
        1915 to 1945: .016/year

        This hints at cherry picking.

        The Younger Dryas is an interesting question, and we, AFAIK, still do not have a good idea of what caused it. For the early 20th century we do have a good idea of what caused it.

        One of the prime facts that you and Girma seem to be forgetting is the level of the warming. Global anomalies are much higher today than they were in the first half of the century and we have no reason to believe that global anomalies will decrease for a protracted length of time in the near or even distant future (physics and that sort of stuff).

        Your point about margins of error, especially those surrounding the MCA (MWP) is correct. Those uncertainties, however, do not raise the possible GTA (global temperature anomaly) to the level observed in the late 20th/early 21st century. A first cut at this (Mann, et. al., Science 2009) shows large areas of the world at or below temperatures of the 1961-1990 mean. Some areas of the globe, notably the North Atlantic do show as warmer, but the spatial signature is in no way comparable to that seen in the late 20th century.

      • Yes, of course I’m a dimbulb. Sadly I have shown your statement to be wrong that he had to pick dates between 1907 and 1911 and thus I may be dim but at least my filiment is still in one piece. Also, he who lacks a filiment, the discussion was over rate of warming not anomalies so you carried on a bit about something we weren’t talking about. So how does it feel to constantly sit in the dark?

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        Dude,

        Whatever you say.

        In order to get your numbers you had to pick the coldest year in the 20th century (1911).

      • I see it’s difficult to read in the dark also. It has been fun. Feel free to direct your insults at me anytime.

      • Rattus,
        Your complaints about Girma cherry picking are a lot more like sour grapes on your part.
        The edifice of AGW is built on cherry picking and then torturing data.
        To complain about how a small shift in time leads to misleading results is more of a confession that AGW is not existing outside the range of historical variations.

      • Disingenuous? People interested science are interestedin what the climate can do before CO2 supposedly started its reign of terror.

        By the way, which year was that? No one on your side every claims CO2 warming started on one particular year.

        If pre-CO2 climate can cause .701C of warming from 1911 to 1944 (HADCRUT3) we are interested. How did it happen? What caused it?

        If pre-CO2 cause .701C, prove that mechanism isn’t causing todays miniscule warming of .462C -from 1977 to 2010.

        http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/hadcrut3gl.txt

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        Bruce,

        Do you understand what cherry picking is? I guess not, given your example.

      • First, when did CO2 warming occur? Do you have a year?

        Second, looking for the fastest .7C temperature climb of the 20th century is pretty damn interesting when it turns out to be before the evil CO2 is implicated in warming!!!!

        I don’t think you understand the term:

        “Cherry picking, suppressing evidence, or the fallacy of incomplete evidence is the act of pointing to individual cases or data that seem to confirm a particular position, while ignoring a significant portion of related cases or data that may contradict that position.”

        Which data contradicts my claim that 1911 to 1944 is the fastest .7C temperature climb of the 20th century?

        Isn’t it true that AGW proponents are liars when the say late 20th century warming is unprecedented?

  33. Vukcevic said- “Some of the exchanges are evocative of a market place
    – Hot warmers will buy no less then 100%
    – Mediocre warmers would be happy with 50%
    – Lukewarmers are in the market for no more then 25%
    – No warmers are in no buying mood whatsoever.
    Science use to be about finding the facts.”
    How do you find the facts in a science so complex that there are known unknowns and unknown unknowns which are probably climate forcers, where turbulance and chaos play a part, where you can’t do experimental double blind testing, where some scientists encourage journalists and the public to think that models are evidence and not just hypotheses?
    There’s only one way, and it’s not going to work in the short run folks. That’s the empirical data, the temperature record. It’s worth a blog or two (million) to speculate on attribution and climate sensitivity, but only the temperature record will in good time support or invalidate the models, and we living mortals will probably never know for sure if GHG forcing is 10%, 90% or something in between. A milestone on the way to figuring out climate sensitivity would be to find some agreement on whether or not there has been continued uneven, but century level warming, since the little ice age when the instrumental record began and whether there’s any reason to think that that trend, if we can agree it exists, is over. I contend there has been about 0.7 C warming per century which probably continues, and that any warming above that in the present is probably anthropogenic forcings (maining black carbon in the arctic, I think). Over at Skeptical Science, Real Climate, and Science of Doom I get called names or blackballed for suggesting most of present warming appears to be just a continuation of a trend and that the empirical data, the temperature record, is inconclusive on “climate sensitivity.” Someone explain to me what they refuse to at those sites- why most of the warming we are experiencing is more likely than not- Occam’s Razor HELLO- just the continuation of a temperature trend with poorly known attribution.

  34. Jack Hughes

    Does the average of a series of temperatures have any meaning at all?

    How about the average of a bunch of telephone numbers? You can calculate it and even do standard deviation and all kinds of “analysis”.

  35. Looking at the presentation, and seeing the strong local North Atlantic warming signal spreading away from the US coastline makes me think of an aerosol signal rather than an ocean one. This would plausibly correspond to a cycle of sulphate emissions increasing from 1950-1980 and decreasing after that, perhaps as US emissions decreased following the oil crisis and acid rain regulations. Have they ruled out such a cause for cooling then warming the North Atlantic off the US coast?

    • I would add that they don’t show land temperatures, but the eastern US was cooling significantly around the 1970’s compared to before that, also possibly indicating an aerosol effect upstream.

      • If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

        What a simpleton thinking!

      • The case for aerosols cooling the eastern US prior to the 70’s is stronger than for AMO. In fact, I don’t know that anyone suggested AMO did it, and if aerosols affected the eastern US in that period, why would they stop at the coast? Sounds reasonable enough to me that they affected the Atlantic SST too, but it does mess up the clockwork ocean cycle idea.

      • It was solar caused cooling. SC 20 was a long cycle. Long cycles are associated with cooling, just like SC 23.

  36. “we estimate that up to one third of the late twentieth century warming could have been a consequence of natural variability.”

    My mental ‘weasel word’ detector is buzzing away at the moment. “up to….” is a favourite of the advertising industry. Like a weight loss product which claims you can lose “up to 10kg”. There is no point complaining if you only lose, say, 1 kg, or even 10g, because the ad doesn’t actually say you’ll lose 10kg just any figure ‘up to’ it.

  37. Just like no-one ever calls the “average” phone number – no-one ever experiences the “average temperature”.

  38. The talk of ‘cherry picking’ from people who defend the Hockey Stick and its methodology is entertaining.
    After watching the nice little old lady in Australia take on the Australian PM, I think it is long past time for AGW believers to think about where they find themselves.

  39. John Robinson

    Ken Trenberth is in New Zealand for a conference of some sort and is quoted in this morning’s Dominion Post (Wellington) Newspaper as estimating that anthropogenic warming accounts for 8 to 10 percent of the climate change (presumably attributing 90-92% collectively to natural causes).

    • Trenberth, in his arrogance,really thinks citizens are just idiots who need his and his pals enlightened reign in order to prosper.

    • I guess runaway global warming is self-limiting: the warmer it gets the less energy it takes to boil water.

    • The quote I see indicates he’s saying when AGW adds 5 to 10% in the same direction as natural variability (he was discussing ENSO,) then weather records start getting broken. I don’t think he’s talking about attribution for climate change.

      For the climate scientists who stay at the H-Exoress, how does AGW go in the same direction as La Nina?

      • Pixie Dust … CO2 … both magical. And both have the same imaginary effect on weather.

  40. Little Polyp

    Judith

    I truly admire your ability to hone in on the key areas for discussion with climate science and your ability to discern relevant new pieces of information (such as Nic Lewis’s examination of the statistical approach used by the IPCC in AR4)

    I also admire your willingness to use a gentle hand on the rudder in letting debate flow here although at least I sometimes think that you might endeavour to provide some of us amateurs with further assessment.

    with that in mind I’m interested to know what your current thoughts are about sensitivity to a doubling – do you think the ranges can be tightened ? What do you think the likely all error variability (accounting for all temporal, location and instrumental uncertainties) is in the air temp and SST data sets ?

    My apologies if this is being too simplistic or too forward.

  41. Have we not grossly overestimated the role of carbon dioxide and underestimated the role of water vapour? I cannot see ~395 ppm of carbon dioxide driving the warming since the mid-20th century. The obvious source is the heat generated through human activities plus the accelerated human impact on altering the natural hydrological cycle.

    • Unless i’m mistaken, the cAGW proponents don’t suggest that CO2 is directly responsible for the warming, but that it augments the amount of water in the air leading to more warming that way.

      There’s quite a few key assumptions to this, but that’s my understanding.

      • tempterrain

        You probably are mistaken. CO2 and other GH gases are both non evaporative and non condensing, whereas water vapour does both evaporate and condense according to conditions.

        Increase GH gases and they stay in the atmosphere for decades, if not centuries and warm it. The warmer the atmosphere, the more water vapour it will hold.

        Its called a positive feedback.

      • CO2 is a greenhouse gas only to the extent that it’s used in greenhouses to increase yields.

        CO2 does not stay in the atmosphere for decades. Have some patience, soon it will start decreasing.

      • i perhaps explained poorley.

        I wasn’t trying to suggest that GHG’s do not warm the atmosphere- they do, but that they could not possibly affect the climate to the way suggested without the amplication affect of water.

        As for whether increased moisture has a net +ve or -ve effect- the jury is still very much out on that one.

      • Craig Goodrich

        Yes, your assertions are both true. But compared to the enormous amounts of heat and moisture constantly in motion upwards, downwards, and sideways for reasons that meteorologists (not to mention sailors) have long understood, the incremental effect of CO2 appears to be (as the IPCC would say) very likely to be trivial, if not unmeasurable. Otherwise why would the Little Ice Age have been so rainy and wet in Europe?

        And when the total heat capacity of the planetary atmosphere is matched by less than three meters of an ocean with an average depth of nearly 4 km, which will affect the lower tropospheric temperature more — a trace gas with radiative properties over a small segment of the IR spectrum, or the surface temperature of an ocean covering two thirds of the globe and constantly in motion from winds and currents?

        The problem for the AGW folks, Temp, is not that us skeptics don’t understand the science; the problem is that we do.

      • “Stays in atmosphere for centuries”?
        Methane:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_methane
        “Methane has a large effect for a brief period (a net lifetime of 8.4 years in the atmosphere)”
        Are you implying that you, amongst all AGW believers, understand the role of water vapor in the atmosphere?
        When humidity increases, a substantial amount of water vapor does what?
        Or are you implying, as so many other believers, that water vapor is not a ghg?

      • tempterrain

        Hunter,
        Blimey! A climate denier using Wikipedia as a reference. That must be a first!

        Yes of course you are right about methane. I was referring to GH gases in general and of course CO2 which is the most well known one has alos the longest life.

        I don’t suppose you’ll accept anything which I might think I understand about the role of water vapour. Why don’t you look what Wiki, or, perish the thought, even Realclimate have to say about it?

      • LOL, tt doesn’t know what a Wiki is.

      • CO2 5 to 200,

        Three longer than 5. Two longer than 200. Zero shorter than 5.

        http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/016.htm

      • Bruce, 7/15/11, 7:29 pm, GAST(t)

        Your citation to the TAR puts the atmospheric lifetime of CO2 at 5 to 200 years, with the note,

        No single lifetime can be defined for CO2 because of the different rates of uptake by different removal processes.

        IPCC discusses these different rates, even supplying a formula:

        The CO2 response function used in this report is based on the revised version of the Bern Carbon cycle model used in Chapter 10 of this report (Bern2.5CC; Joos et al. 2001) using a background CO2 concentration value of 378 ppm. The decay of a pulse of CO2 with time t is given by

        a0 + sum(a_j*exp(-t/tau_j}j=i,3

        Where a0 = 0.217, a1 = 0.259, a2 = 0.338, a3 = 0.186, t1 = 172.9 years, t2 = 18.51 years, and t3 = 1.186 years. AR4, Table 2.14, p. 213, fn. a.

        Spelling out the formula, the intensity, a, of a pulse IPCC claims is given by

        a = 21.7% + 25.9%*exp[-t/(172.9 yrs)] + 33.8%*exp[-t/(18.51 yrs)] + 18.6%*exp[-t/(1.186 yrs)]

        So according to IPCC’s modeling, if man were to double CO2 by emitting a pulse of, say, 400 GtC, at t = 0, 86.8 GtC (21.7%) would remain in the atmosphere forever, 103.6 GtC (25.9%) would decay with an exponential time constant of 172.9 years, 135.2 GtC (33.8%) would decay more rapidly with a time constant of 18.51 years, and the last 74.4 GtC (18.6%) would decay at the fastest rate of 1.186 years.

        IPCC discusses the carbon cycle and its uptake by three ocean pumps, the Solubility (“Solution”) Pump, and two biological pumps, the Organic Carbon Pump, and the CACO3 Counter Pump. AR4, ¶7.3.1 Overview of the Global Carbon Cycle, pp. 511 ff., and especially Figure 7.10, p. 530. IPCC leaves it to the reader to associate the 1.186 time constant with the Solubility Pump, the 18.51 years with the Organic Carbon Pump, and the 172.9 years with the slow formation of calcium carbonate in the CACO3 Counter Pump. The reader might assume that ocean dominates any sequestering, the land having a net effect of zero over the years. The Solubility Pump is instantaneous on climate scales, but the time it takes a patch of ocean to saturate with CO2 is the time it takes to travel from upwelling, mostly at the Equator, to enter the headwaters of the thermohaline circulation in north or south polar waters, which is about 1.2 years.

        IPCC provides a formula for the residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere. See AR4 or TAR Glossary, Lifetime. It is the elementary formula from first year physics for the time to remove a liquid from a bucket with a leak. It is T = M/S, where as applied here, T is the mean residence time, M is the mass in the atmosphere (762 GtC), and S is the rate of uptake (120 GtC/yr to the land + 270 GtC/yr to leaf water + 92 GtC/yr to the ocean = 482 GtC/yr), for which T = 1.6 years.

        The problem with the formula is that the solubility pump doesn’t know that it has dissolved its allocated quota of 18.6%. It just keeps going until Henry’s Law is satisfied for the entire atmosphere, cannibalizing the other allocations. In short, the formula doesn’t represent the real world. It divides the atmosphere into four sub-reservoirs, one to remain in the atmosphere, and three others for the three pumps. This is analogous to barriers or partitions in the atmosphere at the uptake of each pump.

        In the discussion, IPCC keeps CO2 from being absorbed into the ocean by the equilibrium formulas of carbonate chemistry. AR4, ¶7.3.4 Overview of the Ocean Carbon Cycle, p. 528; Box 7.3, Eqs. 7.1, 7.2, p. 529. These equations are valid for a surface layer in thermodynamic equilibrium, but not otherwise. If the surface layer were always changing slowly, say on the order of the three time constants in the formula, as it might be reaching equilibrium, then the ability for the surface to uptake CO2 would be paced by the absorption rates of the three pumps combined. This is the conjecture postulated by IPCC and by Prof. David Archer, computational ocean chemist and Chapter 7 contributing author, in his papers.

        Thermodynamic equilibrium is simultaneous mechanical equilibrium, thermal equilibrium, and chemical equilibrium, where equilibrium means the parameter values are unchanging. All dynamics have ceased under thermodynamic equilibrium. The surface layer is never in equilibrium, constantly exchanging heat with the environment and constantly being agitated by atmospheric and geological forces. Furthermore, equilibrium is a state, not a measure. Being close to or far from equilibrium has no meaning. For that concept, investigators will instead rely on the change in relative rate of change, or acceleration, of relevant parameters as a measure.

        Under the equilibrium assumption, Henry’s Law would proceed according to the state of the surface layer, which Bjerrum’s solution informs us can be designated by the pH. Dissolution though proceeds under Henry’s Law according to Henry’s Coefficient for the gas and liquid. For CO2 in water, it is well-known to be dependent primarily on pressure and temperature, and secondarily on salinity. IPCC adds a novel first magnitude parameter: Henry’s coefficient depends on the pH of the water. This was previously unknown in physics.

        IPCC uses this bottleneck of a surface layer in perpetual equilibrium to account for the bulge in CO2 estimated with the Keeling Curve from MLO data. The bottleneck explains why the CO2 build-up, which IPCC attributes entirely to ACO2, amounts to only about 45% of the total emissions.

        However, IPCC doesn’t use the bottleneck to restrict the flow of natural CO2, which is about 15 to 30 times as great as ACO2 emissions. So IPCC creates a formula that is unrealistic, assumes the surface layer is in the impossible state of equilibrium, postulates a novel sensitivity of Henry’s Law to pH, and gives to the ocean atmosphere flux the power to fractionate between natural and anthropogenic CO2. This fractionation implies the ocean has the characteristic of absorbing CO2 only in the fossil fuel combustion mix of 12CO2:13CO2:14CO2 from an atmosphere of an arbitrary mix of the natural and anthropogenic mixes.

        IPCC advances these notions in its AGW model. (1) CO2 does not have a definite lifetime. (2) CO2 has a long residence time running from several decades to several centuries or as much thousands of years. (3) CO2 is therefore well-mixed in the atmosphere. (4) The CO2 concentration estimated at MLO is therefore not local but global. (5) Henry’s Law depends on surface pH. (6) The surface layer is in equilibrium. (7) ACO2 not only warms the climate but acidifies the ocean. (8) The atmosphere and not the surface layer constitutes a buffer holding CO2 to satisfy the ocean pumps. (9) The bulge in CO2 at MLO is all ACO2. Not one of these notions is valid.

        Even having manufactured an anthropogenic bulge in CO2, the models didn’t show enough warming to create a sufficient catastrophe: too small to be immediately measurable, but urgent enough to require immediate action. So IPCC advanced the conjecture that CO2 triggers warming, which then releases water vapor, and that water vapor provides just the right amount of positive feedback. While surface warming does release more water vapor, as given by the Clausius-Clapeyron formula, it would also increase cloud cover, the dominant factor in cloud feedback. IPCC gives up at this point, confessing how dominant cloud cover is in climate, but that it has chronically been quite unable to model cloud feedback, that is, cloud cover.

        You citation to the lifetime of CO2 is just one of a dozen phony factors that reveal how perverted the AGW model is.

      • “atmospheric lifetime of CO2”

        Belongs to the family of atmospheric phantoms, such as climate sensitivity, global temperature (this is half-phantom, half real) and others.

      • tt,
        A true believer missing, once again, using allusions to holocaust denial in communicating with a skeptic.
        What is it I deny?
        At least with wiki one can get some basic facts that are mostly un-corrupted by AGW promoters.
        Why would I go to RC for anything other than propaganda?
        It is an astroturf site whose main posters are paid to promote AGW.
        Its main writers are shown to be dubious at best by climategate, and their only success is in getting the weak minded, like you, to cling to your apocalyptic claptrap pseudo faith.
        If you did understand more of the role of water in the atmosphere, you would be a skeptic. But you don’t so you are a believer.

      • Wikipedia – Lawrence Solomon, a Canadian journalist, exposed how William Connelly rewrote some 5,428 wikipedia entries and suppressed those contradicting AGW:
        http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fpcomment/archive/2009/12/19/lawrence-solomon-wikipedia-s-climate-doctor.aspx

  42. Alan Millar

    You are either clueless or deliberately disingenuous, which is it?

    It is the warmists who cherry pick out of the 20th century as it is the only way that they can get an alleged CO2 warming signal that is equal to the natural warming signal of the 20th century.

    In my post I used the whole of the 20th century when the alleged problem of CO2 driven warming arose. If you are alleging that CO2 warming started before this, you had better quote a date and some evidence to back it up.

    You wont be able to however, because Hanson et al would have loved to be able to do so, given the strong warming of the early 20th century and would have been all over it like rats on an undigested turd!

    Have you looked at the CO2 graph in the Hanson paper I linked to? It is clear that CO2 had no influence up to 1945. It actually fell between 1935 and 1945. The warmists position that things changed about 1945 with a significant and sustained rise in atmospheric CO2

    So what do you want to talk about, the un-cherrypicked 20th century just showing the natural period versus the CO2 warming period? Good! Because we can all agree that the natural warming is significantly greater than the CO2 driven warming and you can take your tin foil hat off.

    Or do you want to talk about the cherry picked periods of 1970 -2000 versus 1910-1945 for which the warming rate is statistically the same (ever so slightly higher actually for the earlier period if you wanted to be pedantic).

    Either way the statement that the late 20th century warming is unprecedented is falsified. QED!

    Alan

    • simon abingdon

      “Have you looked at the CO2 graph in the Hanson paper I linked to?” Did you notice how he spells his name?

    • tempterrain

      Alan Millar,

      Another nice example of a loaded question to start your post.
      Then you go on to say:

      “It is the warmists who cherry pick out of the 20th century as it is the only way that they can get an alleged CO2 warming signal that is equal to the natural warming signal of the 20th century.”

      Yes, I must admit that when we are looking to explain the warming of the 20th century we do look at GH emissions of, er, the 20th century as a possible cause. I guess you are arguing that we’ve cherry picked that one and should be comparing 20th century warming with something that happened in the 18th century?

      What were you saying about ‘clueless’?

      • tt,
        Can you remind of us where the human contrivance of ‘centuries’ has a physical meaning?

  43. Alan Millar

    The above comment is directed to Rattus Norvegicus and his comment……….

    Rattus Norvegicus | July 14, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Reply

    “Bruce,

    Do you understand what cherry picking is? I guess not, given your example.”

    Alan

  44. More than 200 of you have looked at the link
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/1990+.htm
    and possible wondered what the top graph ‘N. Atlantic hydro-magnetic loop’ is all about. Here are some further details:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/HmL.htm

  45. Joe Lalonde

    Judith,

    I noticed that the change in the atmosphere of ozone layer is not accounted for as well. This year Environment Canada predicted unprecedented warming this year due to 40% of this layer effected this years.
    This would no doubt heat the planet surface more.

  46. A signature of persistent natural thermohaline circulation cycles in
    observed climate

    Jeff R. Knight, Robert J. Allan, Chris K. Folland, Michael Vellinga,
    and Michael E. Mann

    http://bit.ly/nfQr92

    Analyses of global climate from measurements dating
    back to the nineteenth century show an ‘Atlantic
    Multidecadal Oscillation’ (AMO) as a leading large-scale
    pattern of multidecadal variability in surface temperature.
    Yet it is not possible to determine whether these fluctuations
    are genuinely oscillatory from the relatively short
    observational record alone. Using a 1400 year climate
    model calculation, we are able to simulate the observed
    pattern and amplitude of the AMO. The results imply the
    AMO is a genuine quasi-periodic cycle of internal climate
    variability persisting for many centuries, and is related to
    variability in the oceanic thermohaline circulation (THC).
    This relationship suggests we can attempt to reconstruct
    past THC changes, and we infer an increase in THC
    strength over the last 25 years. Potential predictability
    associated with the mode implies natural THC and
    AMO decreases over the next few decades independent
    of anthropogenic climate change. Citation: Knight, J. R.,
    R. J. Allan, C. K. Folland, M. Vellinga, and M. E. Mann
    (2005), A signature of persistent natural thermohaline
    circulation cycles in observed climate, Geophys. Res. Lett.,
    32, L20708, doi:10.1029/2005GL024233.

    ——-
    Finally, it is being acknowledged that the global mean temperature data has an oscillation component that is natural!

    http://bit.ly/ePQnJj

    By whom?

    By Mann!

    • Thanks Girma,
      the link could be very useful reference:
      The likely link between the THC (thermohaline circulation) and the AMO implies historical climate can give a guide to past THC strength. Simulated northern North Atlantic SST anomalies are a good predictor of the THC anomaly (correlation of 0.71), but leave some residual variability.

      It does not look too distant from what I wrote yesterday , except that the exactly same process is valid for PDO & ENSO.
      The AMO, PDO & SOI/ENSO are indices and are response of the oceans to changing conditions. If the cause is a natural one and not the anthropogenic, …. That leaves ocean currents as the main re-distributor of the absorbed (energy)..
      The forces affecting the oceans’ currents circulation (delta F/delta t) show a good correlation with the AMO, PDO & SOI/ENSO indices.
      http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/A&P.htm
      In my calculation the AMO correlation (1935-2005) is a bit higher 0.87. Perhaps Mr. Mann should get in touch.

    • As a result of the above paper’s finding of natural oscillating component of global mean temperature, shall the IPCC withdraw its “accelerated warming” claim that it used to WRONGLY convince policy makers of AGW?

      http://bit.ly/b9eKXz

      It appears that the alarmists are unnoticeably returning back to science. Unfortunately, we don’t hear of the corrections to the incorrect “accelerated warming” claim.

    • Paul Vaughan

      Too many misinterpret high-leverage North Atlantic variability, which arises due to ocean-continent heat-capacity-contrast and the present distribution of continents. (Bear in mind that much of the Arctic is effectively “continental” from an atmospheric point of view for much of the year.) Compare the following for insight:

      A. http://icecap.us/images/uploads/AMOTEMPS.jpg

      B. Figure 10 here:
      Carvalho, L.M.V.; Tsonis, A.A.; Jones, C.; Rocha, H.R.; & Polito, P.S. (2007). Anti-persistence in the global temperature anomaly field. Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics 14, 723-733.
      http://www.icess.ucsb.edu/gem/papers/npg-14-723-2007.pdf

      Leverage is a concept accessible to strong Stat 101 students by the end of the first month of the course. Maritime-continent heat-capacity-contrast is similarly basic.

      I encourage Stats instructors to place more emphasis on diagnostics to help in the challenging battle against such widespread misinterpretation of statistical summaries.

      Regards.

  47. If the choice of end-points affects the statistics, then what is being measured is the end-points, not the trend in the data.

    Cyclical pattern routinely give rise to predictions of disaster when analyzed using linear techniques. Imagine you drew a straight line between the average temperature in January, to the average temperature in July, then projected this 100 years into the future. The earth would be hot enough to melt lead.

    Virtually everything else in nature is cyclical. Why has climate science assumed that climate is different, that climate is linear and thus suitable for analysis using linear methods?

    Where is the science that establishes that climate is not cyclical? Given that nature is almost always always cyclical, there would appear to be no valid scientific reason to assume that climate can be analyzed by linear methods until and unless climate science first establishes that climate is linear.

    Has climate science established that climate is not like other natural systems? Has climate science established that climate is not cyclical? Don’t we know from ice cores and ocean sediments that long term climate is cyclical? Don’t we know from looking at short term events like stepped beaches, that climate is cyclical?

    • “Virtually everything else in nature is cyclical. Why has climate science assumed that climate is different, that climate is linear and thus suitable for analysis using linear methods?”

      Scientists are not predicting future warming by extrapolating a linear trend in recent decades. They are predicting future warming for physical reasons. Those physical reasons indicate that warming is going to continue.

      It’s skeptics who use the daft method of predicting the future temperatures by extrapolating the past. Their chosen method is of course the curve or sine wave fit.

      Sadly many skeptics have the false idea that their curve fitting is a great argument because they wrongly think scientists are doing the same with lines. They aren’t and it’s not a good argument. It’s an appalling argument.

      The only thing linear trends are used for is to check the rate of warming and see whether it’s in line with expectations. Linear trends are not being used to extrapolate the warming.

      • lolwot

        Scientists are not predicting future warming by extrapolating a linear trend in recent decades.

        Wrong!

        Evidence:

        For the next two decades, a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emission scenarios.(IPCC)
        http://bit.ly/caEC9b

        According to the paper (http://bit.ly/nfQr92) that Mann is a co-author, there will be no global warming until about 2030, which agrees with the skeptic’s position.

      • The quote you provide shows that the projected warming is based on emission scenarios, not extrapolating warming of recent decades.

        Also your interpretation of that Mann paper is utterly wrong.

  48. JC said “IMO this paper provides the clearest and most robust analysis to date of a substantial contribution of natural internal variability to the observed warming in the latter half of the 20th century. This paper argues that up to a third of this warming can be attributed to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation.”
    _________

    In a February 2011 Nature Communications article, Knudsen et al present a 1880-2008 AMO index developed by subtracting the global mean SST anomaly from the North Atlantic SST anomaly.

    http://www.nature.com/ncomms/journal/v2/n2/full/ncomms1186.html

    I find the AMO index doesn’t match up well with the GISTEMP global land-ocean temperature index for the 1880-2008 period. That alone doesn’t mean the estimate of “up to a third of this warming” is wrong, but it does raise doubt.

    • Well, many climate pundits misunderstand what the AMO is about.
      The AMO is not cause of anything but a consequence of something else. So that it doesn’t correlate with GISTEMP global land-ocean temperature index is not a surprise;
      – first, it is only local (North Atlantic, 0 -70N ) phenomenon, and
      – second, it is not the cause of temperature oscillation, it is a measure of it, or if you whish a kind of a thermometer with the long term trend removed.
      Here you can see how the AMO oscillations are generated:
      http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/AMO.htm

      • Yes, the measure of the AMO is temperature, so to attribute part of the global warming to the AMO is like saying warming was caused by warming. The question is what causes the warm phases of the AMO, and has AGW contributed?

      • You must first credibly demonstrate a clear understanding of natural cycles such as ENSO, PDO, NAO, AMO, IOD events before you can credibly infer that human activity causes AMO events and other ‘warm phases.’ It is the GCMs created by global warming alarmists who continue to refuse to acknowledge the influence of solar activity on global climate change that gives rise to the Left’s focus on the single variable CO2, the yellow doggerel of the Democrats, that is at odds with global climate change on any time scale throughout the historical geophysical record.

      • Maybe I better stick to warming is caused by warming, instead of probing deeper.

      • … which is near-solely determined how much sunlight actually strikes the Earth’s surface (not by CO2 concentration changes but by–see, Soon, 2009).

      • Soon 2009 doesn’t remotely support your claim. Maybe you should try accepting the science rather than trying to fight it.

      • Well, there’s warm, then there’s warmer. The sun hasn’t been doing much in recent times to make the globe warmer, but man has by adding to the greenhouse effect by burning more fossils fuels.

      • M. carey, 7/15/11, 5:08 pm, GAST(t)

        When you wrote, The sun hasn’t been doing much in recent times to make the globe warmer, but man has by adding to the greenhouse effect by burning more fossils fuels. you made two mistakes.

        Most of the Sun’s energy absorbed by Earth is absorbed directly into the surface layer of the ocean, mixed into that layer and mixed with cold up-welled water, especially where the TSI is greatest, at the Equator. From there, it is slowly circulated poleward, ignoring the gyres and regional effects, losing heat along the way to the atmosphere and through it to space, and to the deep ocean. Because of the ocean’s high heat capacity, the ocean temperature doesn’t change very much from TSI changes, and because what it loses is proportional to absolute temperature, and not to anomalies or Centigrade or Fahrenheit scales, its process of storing heat is highly efficient and slow. The Sun affects the temperature of Phoenix immediately and fleetingly. The Sun’s thermal energy affects Earth’s climate by storage in the ocean reservoir with double lags of about 50 to 150 years. You don’t want to think about the climate effects in recent times as being caused by the Sun in recent times. Earth seems to have been cooling since about 1998, and you should look for an explanation in the Sun 1 ± 0.5 centuries ago.

        Second, man is indeed continuing to add CO2 to atmosphere. The amount is between 3% and 6% per year of the natural flux. The effects have to be warming, but far too small to be measured in the natural variability.

      • “It is the GCMs created by global warming alarmists who continue to refuse to acknowledge the influence of solar activity on global climate change”

        All we are waiting for is a genius like you to point out what they aren’t including. Go on post the equations so we can add them to the models.

        Or stop talking BS

      • Long term of the Atlantic oscillations (decadal time scale) are caused by changes in the velocity and thermal composition of the North Atlantic currents, see post by Girma with refference to Mann.
        The same principle applies to the PDO and SOI/ENSO. All three, as I see it, are strictly regional events based on exactly same principle, with no AGW contribution whatsoever, if one excludes the Pacific nuclear testing (1960-1970), which might have had some effect (both the PDO and SOI correlations have an irregularity for that decade).

      • Warming of oceans has no effect on the temperature of the water and the currents?

        Now, thats’s something to ponder.

      • No that is not implication of what I am suggesting. Solar variability, according to the solar experts is not sufficient to cause observed oscillation. The PDO and AMO are not synchronised, which one would expect if the cause was the solar input. In my research I have found natural oscillations, not based on the climatic or solar parameters, which do correlate well with all of three major indices.
        http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/A&P.htm
        Here is a cartoon from the Alfred-Wegener Institute, one of the leading oceanographers, explaining it all. I think my point is clear: the decadal temperature oscillations are caused by redistribution of the thermal energy, transported by ocean currents. Could be wrong, but then again, in the climate science nothing appear to be certain.

      • Oh ! I see what you mean, but the linked cartoon was disappointing. I was expecting an animated color cartoon.

  49. Dr. Curry,
    Adrian Scaife seems to be speaking for The Met Office saying “’We now believe that [the solar cycle] accounts for 50 per cent of the variability from year to year,’” says Scaife. With solar physicists predicting a long-term reduction in the intensity of the solar cycle – and possibly its complete disappearance for a few decades, as happened during the so-called Maunder Minimum from 1645 to 1715 – this could be an ominous signal for icy winters ahead, despite global warming.”
    See http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/35145bee-9d38-11e0-997d-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1SCqDX0Yo

    So, if the solar cycle is responsible for 50% of the variability and the AMO is responsible for 30%, that does not leave much room for the PDO or CO2.

    • different timescales, you can’t just add 30% and 50% together

      • I am not convinced the timescales are that different. At least the journalist is not convinced. Scaife uses the term “variability from year to year” but the journalist is talking about a complete disappearance of the solar cycle for “a few decades” (basically the same time period as the warming we saw from 1975 to 2005). Solar changes can operate on decadal timescales and it appears the UK Met Office have become believers.

  50. In the field of global warming and the mass delusion of AGW, freedom from ignorance is simply the wisdom to know that it has been proven yet again that the society of man is too stupid to be all-powerful. It’s the sun, stupid. The secular, socialists of global warming politics are as nutty as the voters who give them power over the productive who work to pay all of the bills. As Lindzen & Choi observed back in 2009:

     The oceans, where all parties agree 80-90% of all heat held in the atmosphere by greenhouse gases must go, show no net accumulation of heat energy in 70 years and slight cooling for 6 years, demonstrating that “global warming” is not manmade (see, Douglass & Knox, 2009).

     Surface temperature is near-solely determined not by CO2 concentration changes but by how much sunlight actually strikes the Earth’s surface (see, Soon, 2009).

    • “It’s the sun stupid” is dogma.

      It’s also wrong. Not only do you have to claim GHGs have no warming effect at all, but you’d also be flying in the face of evidence that the Sun’s output has been as good as flat for about 50 years.

      • Of course it’s the sun, stupid. Nominally. Anyone who dismisses the huge fireball in the sky as the nominal source of all energy on Earth is living like a prisoner staring at shadows on the wall who is too fearful to venture outside Plato’s cave to face the true light of day.

        The oceans are changing, again. Now they’re cooling.

        Nikola Scafetta talks about climate cycles. He says, “The partial forecast indicates that climate may stabilize or cool until 2030–2040. Possible physical mechanisms are qualitatively discussed with an emphasis on the phenomenon of collective synchronization of coupled oscillators.”

        Additionally, however, Scafetta is talking about recurring global decadal, centennial and millennial climate cycles. Examples of such cycles result from ENSO events, solar activity and the interaction between the Earth, the big planets of Jupiter and Saturn, gravitational fields, cosmic radiation, undersea volcanoes, etc.

        Scafetta also is suggesting the concept of climate change resulting from coinciding periodicities and oscillations that can bring about change much like the effect of a rogue wave on a cruise ship.

        But, should anyone worry? I would say, “No.” There is nothing humans can do about what Nature will bring. That’s why we call it ‘Nature.’

        For example, Dr. Don Easterbrook and many other scientists have predicted a continuing global cooling trend that may last for decades. Their predictions are predicated on ordinary natural, secular causes that mostly can be related nominally to changes in solar activity. It’s the sun, stupid.

        “Global, cyclic, decadal, climate patterns can be traced over the past millennium in glacier fluctuations, oxygen isotope ratios in ice cores, sea surface temperatures, and historic observations. The recurring climate cycles clearly show that natural climatic warming and cooling have occurred many times, long before increases in anthropogenic atmospheric CO2 levels. The Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age are well known examples of such climate changes, but in addition, at least 23 periods of climatic warming and cooling have occurred in the past 500 years. Each period of warming or cooling lasted about 25-30 years (average 27 years). Two cycles of global warming and two of global cooling have occurred during the past century, and the global cooling that has occurred since 1998 is exactly in phase with the long term pattern. Global cooling occurred from 1880 to ~1915; global warming occurred from ~1915 to ~1945; global cooling occurred from ~1945-1977; global warming occurred from 1977 to 1998; and global cooling has occurred since 1998. All of these global climate changes show exceptionally good correlation with solar variation since the Little Ice Age 400 years ago.

        “The IPCC predicted global warming of 0.6° C (1° F) by 2011 and 1.2° C (2° F) by 2038, whereas Easterbrook (2001) predicted the beginning of global cooling by 2007 (± 3-5 yrs) and cooling of about 0.3-0.5° C until ~2035. The predicted cooling seems to have already begun. Recent measurements of global temperatures suggest a gradual cooling trend since 1998 and 2007-2008 was a year of sharp global cooling. The cooling trend will likely continue as the sun enters a cycle of lower irradiance and the Pacific Ocean changed from its warm mode to its cool mode.”

        ~Dr. Don Easterbrook

      • “Of course it’s the sun, stupid”

        That’s your dogma showing again. Your thinking is centuries behind modern science. You see a big yellow round thing in the sky and dogmatically believe all climate changes are caused by it.

      • With the greatest accuracy ever obtained in history the 3,341 floats of Argo array show that the oceans stopped warming in 2003 and that global surface temperatures are now dropping. That is what modern science has to share with all who value truth.

      • lolwot –
        That’s your dogma showing again. Your thinking is centuries behind modern science. You see a big yellow round thing in the sky and dogmatically believe all climate changes are caused by it.

        Dogma? Do you have any idea how stupid that statement is?

        With the exception of some minor warming from the radioactive core of the Earth, the Sun is the ONLY source of energy available to drive climate – or climate change. Everything else is dependent on that. Yes, lolwot, – it IS the Sun.

      • There is no climate scientist who misunderstands the role of the sun. Without assistance, the sun alone would leave this place pretty darned cold. So the sun alone gets you to essentially: iceberg earth.

        So “it’s the sun, stupid” is little else than a mirror.

      • JCH –
        And what do you have WITHOUT the Sun? It’s a very BIG, VERY COLD universe out there.

        No Sun, no climate, no climate change. The rest is details. :-)

      • Do you honestly think James Hansen et al think CO2 would warm the planet if there were no sun? Seriously?

        They study the sun to death. Every little hint of science coming from the sun section of NASA goes straight to the climate section. There is sun science. They use that. They cannot run on WA hunches about sunspots. Science about sunspots? Fine.

      • JCH –
        “One” part of what I did for nearly 40 years was – science instrument operations engineer. IOW – I was responsible for writing science instrument requirements and test programs and for knowing what the science instruments did, how they did it, what the data was and what it meant, as well as for the scheduling, operation, data acquisition and processing. Yes, I know what Hansen gets, and how he gets it. What he does with it is another story.

        Now – you’re once again changing direction on me – the discussion was about whether sceptics were dogmatic about the Sun being the source of GW. The answer is that dogmatism is not necessary because without the Sun, there is no GW – nor any humans to care. The Sun drives the whole system. Those who can’t or won’t understand that aren’t talking science but religion. lolwot in particular is being dogmatic about, for example, cloud cover. Apparently he fails to realize that without the Sun there would be no cloud cover. Your term “iceberg Earth” doesn’t begin to cover what this planet would be without the sun – and it would not be just 33 degC cooler, it would be a whole lot colder than that. We used all that “empty, cold, black” space out there to cool instruments to some really chilly temps. Basics, JCH – without the Sun, ya got nothing but REALLY cold, icy dark.

        Cloud cover – I’ve listened for years to warmists claiming that cloud cover made no difference. Now lolwot wants to claim sceptics don’t know about it? Horse puckey. We had people in the 70’s who were calculating cloud cover and and it’s extent and effects. We needed that analysis for some of the projects we worked. Now – what causes it? That’s another question, but the bottom line is that whatever the mechanism – it won’t work without the Sun.

        Are there other things to be considered? Yup, of course. But beating up on sceptics about claiming the Sun has something to do with climate or GW or life in general – is just plain stupid.

        Anyway, I’m done here – the stupidity has gotten too deep for my waders and I’ve gotta be on the road early tomorrow (or rather, today).

      • When push comes to shove your only fall back is inane defenses like “No Sun, no climate, no climate change. The rest is details.”

        But hey without the Sun the stock market wouldn’t exist either, therefore you think the economic crisis was caused by the Sun too? Supposedly to anyone who suggests it might be something man has done you would reply “no, it’s the sun stupid”.

        It’s a dogma plain and simple. A kind of Sun God cult. You see the big yeller ball in the sky and figure you don’t need to know anymore of that “science” stuff. You already know all the answers.

      • lolwot –
        But hey without the Sun the stock market wouldn’t exist either, therefore you think the economic crisis was caused by the Sun too?

        I’m beginnig to think you’re being deliberately stupid. Which is not exactly a great strategy.

        Or perhaps you’re one of those people who has been blessed with only ONE working brain cell rather than the TWO required for logical thought and scientific literacy.?

        No, the Sun didn’t cause the financial crisis – that was caused by greed and stupidity. If you really want to know about that – follow the links:

        http://www.amazon.com/dp/0805091203/?tag=powlin-20

        http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/29/books/review/book-review-reckless-endangerment-by-gretchen-morgenson-and-joshua-rosner.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

        http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304760604576423670655568418.html

        Once again – No Sun, no climate, no climate change. The rest is details.

      • All consensus scientists misunderstand the role of the sun. They wouldn’t believe in CO2GW if they did.

      • So a change in cloud cover or ice cover wouldn’t drive climate change?
        Stop acting so dumb

      • lolwot –
        So a change in cloud cover or ice cover wouldn’t drive climate change?

        So – you admit that? Keep that up and we’ll have to start calling you a heretic. :-)

        I’ve known about cloud cover change and the effect on temps since the 1970’s. Where have you been? But what drives cloud cover changes? Or ice cover changes? Or any other changes?

        It’s the Sun, stupid. Except, of course, for some of the effects of internal planetary geodynamics.

      • Ah so the dogma grows. Now you claim all cloud cover changes and ice cover changes are caused by the Sun.

        You have no basis to assert these claims but the Sun is just so big and yellow in the sky it must be true. Hence “it’s the Sun stupid”.

        Hell I guess by similar “reasoning” temperature changes in my car must be driven by the Sun too. Afterall all energy comes from the Sun, minus a small amount of heat from the Earth’s cool. So if the interior of my car cools what can we conclude? Repeat after me everyone: “it’s the sun stupid”. Can’t be because I’ve turned the air con up.

      • Ah so the dogma grows. Now you claim all cloud cover changes and ice cover changes are obviously caused by the Sun.

        How do you know this? Is it because you understand the physical processes of all these systems to know for sure that all changes are caused by the Sun?

        Or is it because you dogmatically assume all changes must be caused by the Sun because…well it’s so big and yellow in the big sky?

        What’s amazing is the whole “science isn’t settled” cry doesn’t get a look in here. Apparently “it’s the sun stupid” and that’s the science settled.

      • lolwot –
        Hell I guess by similar “reasoning” temperature changes in my car must be driven by the Sun too.

        Yup – without the Sun, your car would be encased in a thick layer of frozen oxygen, nitrogen, CO2 and other trace gases. Which would eventually outgas into space.

        In fact, the Sun provided the energy to produce the oil from which the gasoline you use to move it would have been extracted.

        Afterall all energy comes from the Sun,

        Yes – that’s what I said. What took you so long to get here?

        So if the interior of my car cools what can we conclude?

        Many possibilities including, but not limited to –
        1) that the Sun set.
        2) that your air conditioner is working
        3) that the Sun has been stolen by aliens

        Repeat after me everyone: “it’s the sun stupid”.

        So you do admit that?

        Can’t be because I’ve turned the air con up

        Covered that. But you could NOT do that if the Sun hadn’t pr0vided the energy used to make the car, the air conditioner and the gasoline to run it.

        In the beginning, there WAS the Sun, lolwot – and it’s still there.

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        Gee Jim, maybe you should argue with Bruce upthread who now claims that the sun couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the early 20th century warming.

      • The Sun is not just TSI. Bright sunshine hours are up over the 20th century. Maybe because of cleaner air, maybe something else. More than enough to warm the earth a small amount.

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        Source? You are saying that climate change results in a positive cloud feedback at this point. (BTW, the balance evidence is that cloud feedback is at least a weak positive feedback in a warming climate, although IMHO the evidence at this point is weak).

      • “In the USA, sunshine duration was lowest at the beginning of the 20th century, rose to
        a peak in the 1930’s, then declined until 1945, increased to 1958 and then decreased to
        intermediate values by the late 1960’s followed by a period of small changes until the
        end of the series in 1982. For Japan, the national average from 1890 to 2002 showed a
        steep rise in the first half of the 20th century followed by a decline between 1945 and
        1955, recovering steeply to a secondary peak by the end of measurements in 2002.
        The decadal trends of normalized anomalies of SS in Japan showed some similarity
        with those in the USA but with a somewhat greater range and a ten year lag in peaks
        and troughs. After 1960 it differed markedly from that in the USA in that it showed no
        evidence of a subsequent decrease. Both time series show a high degree of autocorrelation
        for a one year lag, presumably reflecting the sustained nature of climate patterns
        that influence global radiation. The pattern obtained for Japan most resembled that of
        surface air temperature in the Northern Hemisphere (Jones and Moburg, 2003)”

        http://meetings.copernicus.org/www.cosis.net/abstracts/EGU06/04571/EGU06-J-04571.pdf

      • The UK also shows a change in sunshine hours.

        Pick UK, Sunshine, Annual

        http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/actualmonthly/

        As does places like Ebro Spain.

        “There is an overall increasing trend in the number of
        bright sunshine hours, amounting to about 100 h in
        the last 100 years (0.96 h/year), which represents an
        increase in bright sunshine hours of about 4% in a
        century.”

        “It is noticeable, however, that over
        the 1960–1984 period there is a general decrease in
        bright sunshine hours (a surface dimming), followed
        by a recovery from the mid-1980s till the present.”

        “It is surprising that a statistically significant increase
        in cloudiness is not accompanied by a simultaneous
        decrease in sunshine at Ebro Observatory over the past
        century. The explanation may lie in a change in the
        proportions of the cloud types. We have shown how high
        clouds, less dense and optically more transparent than
        low clouds, have increased during the last part of the
        century, with perhaps little effect on the sunshine records.”

        http://www.iac.es/folleto/research/preprints/files/PP08038.pdf

      • What I’m saying is that sunshine is up in many places, and the IPCC ignored it.

      • Rattus –
        see my coments upthread.

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        A link to your comment? Hint: click on the date of the comment to get a direct reference.

      • Well, if you insist –
        https://judithcurry.com/2011/07/14/time-varying-trend-in-global-mean-surface-temperature/#comment-86643

        https://judithcurry.com/2011/07/14/time-varying-trend-in-global-mean-surface-temperature/#comment-86654

        Basics, Rattus. I answered a “dogma” accusation by a dogma believer with basics. I wonder if he understood it.

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        So what accounts for this? The only thing I could think of, offhand, is a decrease in low cloud cover. Of course if this is true, the the cloud feedback is positive.

      • Warmists can’t understand a thing about climate as long as they cling to CO2. They’re simply blinded by CO2.

      • lolwot, 7/14/11, 4:46 pm, GAST(t)

        When Wagathon wrote, It’s the sun, stupid, he was adapting a famous left-wing political punch, this time to awaken the scientifically challenged posters here who prefer to use Judith Curry’s blog as an opportunity to tweet instead of an opportunity to learn something about climate, or even to think objectively.

        You assumed, Not only do you have to claim GHGs have no warming effect at all, … . This is wrong for at least three reasons. First, the short term variability in climate caused by GHGs can be measured. Second, the long term, blanket effect of GHGs is always present in a warm climate, regardless of the source of Earth’s average temperature, even if the core of the Sun were, say, iron. Third, climate is governed by clouds, which are made of and proportional to the dominant GHG.

        You assumed incorrectly, but you’d also be flying in the face of evidence that the Sun’s output has been as good as flat for about 50 years.

        The Sun’s output is not as good as flat, but instead sufficiently varied to be amplified by cloud processes. The fact that the Sun is substantially amplified was published by Stott, et al. (2003), but discarded for AR4.

        In 1998 IPCC modified its 1988 charter to add the assumption that AGW exists, and then to assess its impact. To do so, it had to bias its models away from natural causes and to favor manmade causes. Here are just three particularly relevant examples of many biases away from natural causes. (1) IPCC zeros ongoing, natural temperature and CO2 trends at initialization of its GCMs, causing it to attribute those natural effects wrongly to man, e.g., especially to ACO2. (2) IPCC failed to cure its inability to understand and to simulate cloud feedback, causing it to omit fast, positive cloud feedback to TSI, and to omit slow, negative cloud feedback to surface temperature. (3) IPCC discarded the solar amplification reported by Stott, et al. After AR4, that solar amplification was confirmed by Tung, et al. (2008) and using different methods.

        IPCC estimates the equilibrium climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 to be 3ºC. Based on the Vostok record, Earth is currently near its fifth peak temperature anomaly in the last half million years, and should it reach that peak, it would be at 3ºC ± 1ºC. This is the natural, on-going trend IPCC deletes, and it is approximately the same as IPCC estimates from anthropogenic CO2. IPCC estimates the ACO2 radiative forcing as of 2005 to be 1.66 W/m^2, and the Sun to be 0.12 W/m^2. Deducting the wrongly zeroed on-going natural warming, anthropogenic CO2 is left with nil. Applying Stott’s upper estimate of amplification of 4.21, the solar RF becomes 0.51 W/m^2. Net, Sun 1, CO2 0. That is the lessened warming one obtains simply by not throwing away information.

        You only imagine this is dogma because when one defends dogma, everything else is dogma by default.

      • “to tweet instead of an opportunity to learn something about climate”

        You are not thinking objectively. You’ve fallen for this stupid idea that all climate changes are caused by the Sun.

        The dogmatic medieval science chants of “it’s the Sun! It’s the Sun!” are plain straight flat falsehoods.

        What about albedo huh? Or don’t you happen to believe in that?

      • lolwot,
        Oddly, astronomers who study the sun disagree with you.
        Even wiki disagrees with you:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_cycle
        and
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_variation
        “The level of solar activity during the past 70 years is exceptional”
        You guys are spinning issues faster than a politicia getting caught sending photos of himself.

      • That you think “exception activity during the past 70 years” contradicts “the Sun’s output has been as good as flat for about 50 years” is a staggering put down of your education system.

      • lolwot,
        Your inability to look at graphic information and deduce information from them says much about yours.

      • even though the graphs you post show the Suns output has been as good as flat for 50 years..

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        lolwot, it’s worse than that, the second link shows a decline in sunspots since 1975. Not good for “the sun is causing it” crowd.

      • Even worse for the “sun is unchanged for 70 years crowd”.
        You guys have already lost.
        Your just twitching now.

      • hunter why don’t you go ask to post something on WUWT? You are just the caliber of “expert” they are after. You can’t even admit what a simple graph shows.

      • hehe. Dont you know “its the sun” is settled science for skeptics

      • By definition (of scepticism), nothing is settled science for sceptics. Your statement is logical fallacy.

        However the evidence points to the sun being the “knob” at ~multidecadal time scales.

    • Lindzen is soft on tobacco. He believes there’s no proof second-hand smoke is harmful. I wouldn’t ….. COUGH…. WHEEZ…. trust the mann.

      Soon deserves some credit for figuring out the sun warms the earth. Without the sun, we would be extinct.

      • M. carey

        Can you explain what tobacco has to do with the topic here?

        You are rambling.

        Max

      • GASP….CHOKE …. that second-hand smoke has me disoriented.

      • Then you must be living swaddled in it.

      • Max –
        M. carey ALWAYS rambles.

      • Yeah, Jim. And he’s always disoriented, as well.

        Max

      • Naomi Oreskes has done a pretty good job of explaining the link in her book:

        http://www.merchantsofdoubt.org/

      • M. Carey,
        And I hear you are an atheist, and we all know atheists are lying heretics, unworthy of trust, or ability to stay on topic. /sarc
        Watch out, M. Carey! A fundamentalist may be sneaking into your room tonight!
        If you have other non-topical dissemblings, could you just list them so we can ignore them all at once?
        ,

      • You may be confusing me with Warren Buffett.

        I’m a mystic.

      • I think you are at a good happy hour. A *really* good happy hour. ;^)

      • You didn’t know Warren Buffet is an atheist?

        You didn’t know I’m a successful capitalist?

      • M. Carey,
        Your beliefs and finances are for your account. If you are a capitalist and a supporter of the AGW inspired policies like windmill and ethanol subsidies, I would say you are more of that sub-species of capitalist, the “Crony capitalist”.

        Warren Buffet, however, would beg your pardon to disagree with you regarding his beliefs:
        http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=205456
        “By the way, to say that Buffett is an “agnostic” means that he “is a
        person who feels that God’s existence can neither be proved nor
        disproved, on the basis of current evidence.”
        source: Agnosticism
        http://www.religioustolerance.org/agnostic.htm
        so apparently you don’t know Buffet is a capitalist either. ;^)

      • How can the evidence for a “leap of faith” decision change? Agnostics make no sense to me at all.

      • JCH,
        Could be, but I am not certain.;^)

      • hunter, if you had read your link before posting it, you would have seen it also said this:
        “Buffett is also listed an atheist on a web site called Celebrity
        Atheists:
        http://www.celebatheists.com/

        I’m a pragmatic capitalist, not an idealist. My interest is in making money, not extolling the virtues of an obsolete laissez-faire economic model. Anyone who advocates a return to the free-market of the 19th Century, and actually believes that will happen, is a sap.

      • randomengineer

        And he’s correct. The “evidence” is mere statistical manipulation — data mining studies of studies — of a kind that would fail to get a drug accepted, and drugs get accepted on pretty crappy studies/statistics.

  51. Judith Curry: “The paper did not address possible warming associated with PDO/ENSO, which could increase the fraction of the warming that can be attributed to natural internal variability associated with the ocean oscillations.”

    Or decrease it. Given the PDO has been falling since 1980.

  52. Given the PDO has been falling since 1980.

    Wrong!

    Evidence

    Several independent studies find evidence for just two full PDO cycles in the past century: “cool” PDO regimes prevailed from 1890–1924 and again from 1947–1976, while “warm” PDO regimes dominated from 1925–1946 and from 1977 through (at least) the mid-1990’s.

    http://bit.ly/gFDV5e

    The shift is from late 1990s, not 1980

  53. Your TSI reference:

    “For the early 20th century (1910 to 1940) warming trend, the TSI influence is also very small. ”

    Do you read your references?

    As for volcanoes, not only was there a lag from 1920 to 1940, it continued (using your list) all the way to 1980. Didn’t it cool after 1944?

    • Layman Lurker

      Rattus, IIRC the Wigley presentation you cited in support of a solar contribution to early 20th century warming actually argues against TSI contributing significantly to the trend by comparing UD EBM model sensitivity to tsi with and without a secular trend. Wigley then goes on to argue that early 20th century warming is likely due to a change in the thremohaline circulation refering to his 1987 paper.

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        I just wanted the clear presentation of the TSI data found on slide 13. As I explained about, I do not buy Wigley’s conclusions.

  54. We know what causes global warming. Nominally, it’s the sun, stupid.

    We can start, for example, with, ‘the arrival on the Earth of fronts of hydrodynamic shock waves during epochs of strong ejection of particles from Sun,’ as Adriano Mazzarella describes the solar forcing that actually changes the circulation of the atmosphere. And, that should not be hard to believe when we witness a quake/tsunami that moves the island of Japan and tips the Earth on its axis.

    The Sun does not just shine in the sky like a big flashlight. The Sun has a direct effect on ‘the Earth’s magnetosphere,’ which in turn not only effects atmospheric circulation it also effects the very speed of the Earth’s rotation.

    The oceans and lakes that comprise the largest part of the Earth’s surface accumulate heat over time. Moreover, the oceans also can transmit heat and cool over time. And, the satellite data has been telling us that the Earth has been cooling for a decade. The Oceans are in a cooling trend. And, according to Dr. Spencer, in a period when the oceans are cooling, there is no global warming during that period; and, there is no end to the cooling in sight.

    It’s happened before: global cooling. Only charlatans or very ignorant people or those with ulterior motives and a hidden agenda will deny that observable natural oscillations can explain all of 20th century climate change. Did you know, according to Dr. Don J. Easterbrook, that 9,099 of the last 10,500 years were warmer than 2010?

    • “Only charlatans or very ignorant people or those with ulterior motives and a hidden agenda will deny that observable natural oscillations can explain all of 20th century climate change.”

      Your argument is no better than “God did it”. Notice nowhere in your post there a physical explanation for how the Earth gained heat. When scientists do try to explain the changes physically the funny thing is they don’t reach your conclusion.

      “Did you know, according to Dr. Don J. Easterbrook, that 9,099 of the last 10,500 years were warmer than 2010?”

      Yes I know that Easterbrook said something like that. I also know it isn’t true:
      http://hot-topic.co.nz/easterbrooks-wrong-again/

      • Even if idiot schoolteachers like Al Gore who sow fears of global warming alarmism have contributed nothing to humanity that is deserving of a Nobel Peace Prize, they certainly has earned them the Darwin Award.

        “… Our ancestors coped with mammoth ice ages, droughts which depopulated whole countries, spreading deserts of Saharan magnitude and floods of biblical proportions. Those who sat and sacrificed their substance on fantasies such as ‘Global Warming’ perished and left no descendants. Those with the sense to adapt to the changed climates by migration, new food sources, better technology and more productive lifestyles survived.

        “None of our ancestors were led to survival by high priests in green robes with computer models chanting anti-energy and anti-food slogans.

        “Never before have we seen a whole generation of western leaders in politics, media, education, academia and big business so cushioned by prosperity, and so mesmerised by pagan nature-worship that they have lost sight of what created and maintains human existence.”

  55. Mann vindicates Easterbrook:

    Is this an irony?

    EasterBrook:

    Comparisons of historic global climate warming and cooling over the past century with PDO and NAO oscillations, glacial fluctuations, and sun spot activity show strong correlations and provide a solid data base for future climate change projections. As shown by the historic pattern of GDOs and PDOs over the past century and by corresponding global warming and cooling, the pattern is part of ongoing warm/cool cycles that last 25-30 years. The global cooling phase from 1880 to 1910, characterized by advance of glaciers worldwide, was followed by a shift to the warm-phase PDO for 30 years, global warming and rapid glacier recession. The cool-phase PDO returned in ~1945 accompanied by global cooling and glacial advance for 30 years. Shift to the warm-phase PDO in 1977 initiated global warming and recession of glaciers that persisted until 1998. Recent establishment of the PDO cool phase appeared right on target and assuming that its effect will be similar to past history, global climates can be expected to cool over the next 25-30 years. The global warming of this century is exactly in phase with the normal climatic pattern of cyclic warming and cooling and we have now switched from a warm phase to a cool phase right at the predicted time
    http://bit.ly/qkOZgW

    Mann:
    The simulated temperature changes associated with thermohaline circulation (THC) are large enough to modify estimates of the rate of anthropogenic climate change.
    http://bit.ly/nfQr92

  56. One thing I notice about Wagathon and Girma, assuming they aren’t the same person, is a tendency to badly interpret scientific papers into what they want to believe rather than what they say. So much do they convince themselves this is so that they even post the mangled interpretations as “evidence”

    • AGW is nothing but a political tool. To the extent that a popularly-elected federal majority is able to nationaliize the takeover of energy production and distribution, we have to wonder when the safety net will be removed. We know it’s just a matter of time.

      Socialism works for a while but we have no illusions: we saw the collapse of communism and the Berlin Wall. We know that when the music stops, there won’t be an enlightened capitalistic, pro-Western entity to cushion America’s decline and fall — i.e., no one to care or have an interest to be around like America was around to sustain Old Europes’ decline and slow death, morally, politically and economically.

      With this attempt by the AGW global warming alarmists to take over a bedrock factor of production, obviously the future of capitalism is in the balance — as is the future of America. Capital already has been undermined. With the attempt to nationalize the medical delivery system, we see a further takeover of the remaining factor of all production: the labor market; and, with the federal hegemony over the distribution of medical services as well, we are putting into place a circle-jerk of a governmental-educuation socio-economic complex and compound that will never voluntarily take its foot off the neck of Ayn Rand.

      So, we see socialism happening. We know that America will suffer decline and will fall because of it. We know that an inexorable decline into the moribund, liberal fascist socialist state is inevitable. We simply do know know when America will fall.

      “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of someone else’s money” — Margaret Thatcher

  57. ‘What’s our perspective on how the climate will behave in the near future? The HadCRUT3 global mean temperature to the right shows the post-1980 warming, along with the “plateau” in global mean temperature post-1998. Also shown is a linear trend using temperatures over the period 1979-1997 (no cherry picking here; pick any trend that doesn’t include the period 1998-2008). We hypothesize that the established pre-1998 trend is the true forced warming signal, and that the climate system effectively overshot this signal in response to the 1997/98 El Niño. This overshoot is in the process of radiatively dissipating, and the climate will return to its earlier defined, greenhouse gas-forced warming signal. If this hypothesis is correct, the era of consistent record-breaking global mean temperatures will not resume until roughly 2020. Of course, this contrasts sharply with other forecasts of the climate system; the purple line roughly indicates the model-based forecast of Smith et al. (2007) , suggesting a warming of roughly 0.3 deg C over the 2005-2015 period.’

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/07/warminginterrupted-much-ado-about-natural-variability/

    The 2 studies referenced in this realclimate article used the PNA, PDO, ENSO and NOA in a network analysis to examine nonlinear interactions of these global atmospheric and oceanic indices. The results show that global climate should be imagined as a single complex and dynamic system rather than reduced to one or other sub-system – to which are applied – inappropriately – linear regression methods.

    If you look at the graph at realclimate – the residual warming once periods of extreme variability (1976.77 and 1997/98) are excluded is about 0.1 degrees C/decade. That and the hypothesis that warming is to be interrupted for another decade – are significant results. You might note that the latter study notes that the warming may be interrupted for an indeterminate period.

    I think Swanson is wrong about the forced CO2 signal between 1979 and 1997. There very much appear to be associations between low level cloud cover and sea surface temperature – and the central and eastern Pacific is where the SST change most significantly. This appears in surface observations – as in Burgmann et al (2008) and Clement et al (2009) – (http://www.drroyspencer.com/Clement-et-al-cloud-feedback-Science-2009.pdf) – (http://circulaciongeneral.at.fcen.uba.ar/material/seminarios09/Burgman_etal_2008.pdf)

    Decadal cloud change appears in the ISCCP and ERCE satellite records and a climatologically significant change appears in ‘Earthshine’ data post 1998. So a number of supporting sources – and quantification that suggests that cloud cover change was the dominant mode of climate change in the satellite era.

    One potential cause of both Pacific Ocean and Northern Hemisphere variability is shown by Lockwood et al (2010). ‘During the descent into the recent exceptionally low solar minimum, observations have revealed a larger change in solar UV emissions than seen at the same phase of previous solar cycles. This is particularly true at wavelengths responsible for stratospheric ozone production and heating. This implies that ‘top-down’ solar modulation could be a larger factor in long-term tropospheric change than previously believed, many climate models allowing only for the ‘bottom-up’ effect of the less-variable visible and infrared solar emissions. We present evidence for long-term drift in solar UV irradiance, which is not found in its commonly used proxies.’

    Judith Lean (2008) commented that ‘ongoing studies are beginning to decipher the empirical Sun-climate connections as a combination of responses to direct solar heating of the surface and lower atmosphere, and indirect heating via solar UV irradiance impacts on the ozone layer and middle atmospheric, with subsequent communication to the surface and climate. The associated physical pathways appear to involve the modulation of existing dynamical and circulation atmosphere-ocean couplings, including the ENSO and the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation. Comparisons of the empirical results with model simulations suggest that models are deficient in accounting for these pathways.’

    Lockwood, M., Bell, C., Woollings, T., Harrison, R., Gray. L. and Haigh, J. (2010), Top-down solar modulation of climate: evidence for centennial-scale change, Environ. Res. Lett. 5 (July-September 2010) 034008 doi:10.1088/1748-9326/5/3/034008

    Lean, J., (2008) How Variable Is the Sun, and What Are the Links Between This Variability and Climate?, Search and Discovery Article #110055

    ‘What do our results have to do with Global Warming, i.e., the century-scale response to greenhouse gas emissions? VERY LITTLE, contrary to claims that others have made on our behalf. Nature (with hopefully some constructive input from humans) will decide the global warming question based upon climate sensitivity, net radiative forcing, and oceanic storage of heat, not on the type of multi-decadal time scale variability we are discussing here. However, this apparent impulsive behavior explicitly highlights the fact that humanity is poking a complex, nonlinear system with GHG forcing – and that there are no guarantees to how the climate may respond.’

    Again, I think that Swanson is incorrect in the first half of this paragraph – but I quote it lest I am accused of liking cherries. These changes are not merely decadal but extend over centennial to millenial timescales as can be readily seen in ENSO and PDO proxies – but he is exactly right in the last sentence.

    Both sides of the climate wars need to be much less dogmatic in the quite erroneous assertions populating this thread. Complexity and uncertainty rules – and I suggest a much more humble approach to the sacred hydrological truth is warranted.

    • Paul Vaughan

      “The results show that global climate should be imagined as a single complex and dynamic system rather than reduced to one or other sub-system – to which are applied – inappropriately – linear regression methods.”

      Well-said.

      This is THE BIGGEST bottleneck in the climate discussion.

      EOP (Earth Orientation Parameters) will be a key arbiter of hydrological “misunderstandings”.

      “Apart from all other reasons, the parameters of the geoid depend on the distribution of water over the planetary surface.” — Sidorenkov (2003).

      Most importantly:
      Hydrology is a function of absolutes, NOT anomalies.

      Regards.

  58. Skeptics & Believers now finally agree!

    Latif: “we may indeed be in a period of cooling worldwide temperatures that could last another 10-20 years.”

    Easterbrook: “The PDO cool mode has replaced the warm mode in the Pacific Ocean, virtually assuring us of about 30 years of global cooling.”

    Mann: The simulated temperature changes associated with thermohaline circulation (THC) are large enough to modify estimates of the rate of anthropogenic climate change. [Translation: AR4 is wrong]

    References:
    http://bbc.in/nUgeoN
    http://bit.ly/nfQr92

    • There is more:

      Swanson & Tsonis: “…a break in the global mean temperature trend from the consistent warming over the 1976/77–2001/02 period may have occurred.”
      http://bit.ly/qumvz9

      • Smith et al said in the first few years after their study natural variability would suppress the the AGW signal, and then it would get hot. So not everybody agrees.

        A group of scientists proposed a bet with Keenleyside et al. They did not take it.

        Then in 2009 there is this “brimming with confidence” quote:

        The contentious part of our paper is that the climate system appears to have had another “episode” around the turn of the 21st century, coinciding with the much discussed “halt” in global warming. Whether or not such a halt has really occurred is of course controversial (it appears quite marked in the HadCRUT3 data, less so in GISTEMP); only time will tell if it’s real. – Kyle Swanson of Tsonis-Swanson

      • ‘If this hypothesis is correct, the era of consistent record-breaking global mean temperatures will not resume until roughly 2020. Of course, this contrasts sharply with other forecasts of the climate system; the purple line roughly indicates the model-based forecast of Smith et al. (2007) , suggesting a warming of roughly 0.3 deg C over the 2005-2015 period.’

        The above is from the same Swanson post. Quoting selected passages without any attempt at understanding the basis of claims makes very little sense at all. It is playing games with words as distinct from a meaningful contribution.

      • You have stated with a fair degree of forcefulness that you think we are in a cooling phase. Swanson is correctly cautious.

      • We are in a cool Pacific phase – a cool PDO and increased La Nina frequency and intensity. These last 20 to 40 years in the record – and we have already 10 years of no warming. It is not a prediction at all – it is simply the current climate state.

        I reference multiple sources – including the post from which you abstract just one paragraph. Are you going to be cautious about predicting a rise of 0.2 degree C/decade in the early part of this century given the role of multidecadal variation that is the subject of this post?

    • There is still more:

      Takashi Mochizuki et al, 2009
      http://bit.ly/iGxEIY


      A negative tendency of the predicted PDO phase in the coming decade will enhance the rising trend in surface air-temperature (SAT) over east Asia and over the KOE region, and suppress it along the west coasts of North and South America and over the equatorial Pacific. This suppression will contribute to a slowing down of the global-mean SAT rise.

  59. “Let’s send the message to Washington that the politicians have to stop giving our jobs away. If they don’t, it’s the politicians that need to retrain and relocate… We don’t need a government that wants to shut down our coal mines. We don’t want a government that wants to increase our power bills. … We don’t want a government that is run by people who believe they can change the earth’s temperature when they can’t balance a budget.”

  60. Rattus Norvegicus

    You don’t arbitrarily choose the start and end years for trend calculation. You first detrend the global mean temperature data, and then read directly the “turning point” years as shown below:

    http://bit.ly/ePQnJj

    Which directly gives (without any cherry picking) the following approximate turning point years: [1880, 1910, 1940, 1970 & 2000]

  61. I believe that all readers here will have to agree that the logic of Judith Curry’s comment on the Wu et al. study is unassailable.

    If Atlantic multidecadal variability has caused up to one-third of the observed global warming of the latter half of the 20th century, as the authors suggest, then this raises serious doubts regarding the IPCC claim:

    Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.

    This is even more so, as Judith has remarked, because impacts from PDO, etc. were not included in the study.

    It should be pointed out that we are talking about the second half of the century here – and there is even greater doubt about the anthropogenic temperature impact over the statistically indistinguishable early 20th century warming period.

    Max

  62. Hang on the paper from July 2011 “estimate[s] up to one third of the late twentieth century warming could have been a consequence of natural variability” when the paper from January 2011 estimates “up to half of the late twentieth century warming could have been a consequence of natural variability”.

    What happened between January and July?

  63. Paul Vaughan

    “The paper did not address possible warming associated with PDO/ENSO, which could increase the fraction of the warming that can be attributed to natural internal variability associated with the ocean oscillations.”

    To see how PDO relates to global T, BACK-calculate from PDO to its RAW inputs and then take a simple average of them.

    It’s plain to see that even experts involved in the climate discussion lack the conceptual foundations to avoid misinterpreting multivariate stats.

  64. WB

    The exact numbers given in the presentation are a 0.096 degree C/decade trend as opposed to a 0.177 degrees C/decade trend in the IPCC. This is about 54% secular trend and the rest multidecadal variation.

    Zhaohua Wu says he is pessimistic that we may have to wait another 30 years to really find out. I call that optimistic.

    Girma,

    You quote from the Swanson and Tsonis abstract seemingly without reading and certainly not understanding the paper.

    I quote again from the realclimate post by Swanson. ‘However, this apparent impulsive behavior explicitly highlights the fact that humanity is poking a complex, nonlinear system with GHG forcing – and that there are no guarantees to how the climate may respond.’ You need to understand ‘complex and nonlinear.’

    Max,

    The cause of multidecadal variability is not at the core of the methodology – which simply decomposes signals in the surface temperature record. They suggest that thermohaline circulation might be involved but it might equally be other things that we know result in climate change. There may equally be longer term trends – such as in solar UV as suggested by Lockwood (2010) and Lean (2008) in papers I quoted earlier – or in ENSO. UV (along with other solar attributes) is rapidly declining from the 1000 year high that occurred sometime in the 90’s. The typical nonsense is that ‘ENSO is an oscillation with no effect beyond a decade at most. Truth is that ENSO is non-stationary and non-Guassian and varies over decades to millennia. There is nothing that says that the ‘secular’ trend is exclusively C02.

    So we have a trend that is perhaps half of the IPCC claims – with no certainty that all of that is CO2 related – and a planet that is cooling for a decade or three more as a result of multidecadal variability. But we have a system that is very sensitive to forcing at points of chaotic bifurcation – with responses that could be extreme but remain unpredictable.

    Does that summarise it? We have fools who insist on catastrophic global warming and fools who insist there is absolutely nothing to worry about?

    Cheers

  65. It seems that spirits are rather good this Friday night. It is clear that many are posting between rounds at a nice end of week happy hour.
    In light of that and the confluence of money, climate and politics that is backdrop to all we are experiencing these days, I offer the best song on money ever written and performed. I refer, of course to the immortal “Money” by Pink Floyd:

  66. A quote from Jeff Glassman’s post on July 15, 2011 at 7:44 pm:

    ” The Sun’s thermal energy affects Earth’s climate by storage in the ocean reservoir with double lags of about 50 to 150 years. You don’t want to think about the climate effects in recent times as being caused by the Sun in recent times. Earth seems to have been cooling since about 1998, and you should look for an explanation in the Sun 1 ± 0.5. centuries ago.”
    ______
    Your suggested explanation was lacking, since compared to sunspot activity in recent years, the activity was lower in 1900 but higher in 1950.

    Do you have evidence that none of the sun’s energy absorbed by the ocean in a given year is released until 50 years or 100 years later?

    • Oceans are heated to a 100 or so metres – depending on clarity – by shortwave (visible) radiation. Oceans lose heat from the top half millimetre – a net IR up – in the infrared. The ‘skin’ is always cooler than the water beneath but is quickly dissipated by mixing.

      There is a temperature equilibrium between the ocean surface and the atmosphere. That’s why sea surface temperature can be used in place of near surface atmospheric temperature over the oceans. Heat rises to the ocean surface by convection.

      I can’t see why there is a delay at all. Does it matter when a specific Joule entered the ocean? If you work it out let me know.

      • Joe Lalonde

        That is also not including ocean salt or it’s changes in the last 40 years.
        Ruth Currie (oceanographer) incorrectly was deducing it as from global warming as the cause.

        Hmmm…No massive evaporation…
        Planet in circular motion generating centrifugal force…
        Plant growth up mountains never before experienced…
        My bet is still on changing planetary atmospheric pressure.

      • Chief Hydrologist, 7/16/11, 2:13 am, GAST(t)

        You say ambiguously,

        The ‘skin’ is always cooler than the water beneath but is quickly dissipated by mixing.

        and then

        I can’t see why there is a delay at all. Does it matter when a specific Joule entered the ocean? If you work it out let me know.

        Did you mean the skin itself is dissipated, or its heat content? The skin will dissipate through evaporation into the atmosphere, but that is not as you say by mixing. If you mean heat dissipation, which heat might you talking about? First ought to be that in the skin, but it can’t all be dissipated. If it did the skin would be at 0K. The thermal energy in the skin is being dissipated, but constantly replenished by the surface layer below.

        The skin is a bit of a fiction. It is not a physical thing like the skin on boiled milk, but a boundary layer that is perpetually being circulated into the surface layer and refreshed, or it is being evaporated and replaced. None of these physical things is in equilibrium because the surface layer with its dynamic skin is perpetually exchanging heat with its environment and mechanically mixing with the surface layer. Equilibrium requires all flux to cease.

        When you say,

        There is a temperature equilibrium between the ocean surface and the atmosphere. That’s why sea surface temperature can be used in place of near surface atmospheric temperature over the oceans. Heat rises to the ocean surface by convection.

        you are suggesting that the surface and atmosphere are approximately isothermal. To the extent that that might be true, it would make the skin isothermal with both the surface layer and the atmosphere. If all this were valid, why bother to distinguish the skin from the rest of the surface layer at all?

        There is a delay because the short wave energy is absorbed in the three dimensional bulk of the surface layer, but the heat loss to the atmosphere and space are from the essentially two-dimensional skin. The heat in the surface layer requires time to mix, to appear as skin, and to pass by conduction or convection into the skin. Meanwhile, the surface layer is moving, with a major component of its average velocity being poleward.

        I’m surprised from your handle that you aren’t familiar with the modeling of incompressible fluid flow. It has an ancient tradition of being an analog for heat flow, as well as electricity, acoustics, translational mechanics, rotational mechanics, or anything that might be modeled with second order linear differential equations. These systems have a bulk parameter, a flux, a potential, a capacitance, and except for heat, an inductance. Heat transfer, though, inherits the inductance of the ocean currents. In each of these analogs, the independent variable in solving the system equations is time. I didn’t work it out to give to you, but you can read about it here:

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

      • ‘you are suggesting that the surface and atmosphere are approximately isothermal. To the extent that that might be true, it would make the skin isothermal with both the surface layer and the atmosphere. If all this were valid, why bother to distinguish the skin from the rest of the surface layer at all?’

        ‘Why are sea surface temperatures rather than air temperatures used over the oceans?

        Over the ocean areas the most plentiful and most consistent measurements of temperature have been taken of the sea surface. Marine air temperatures (MAT) are also taken and would, ideally, be preferable when combining with land temperatures, but they involve more complex problems with homogeneity than SSTs (Rayner et al., 2003). The problems are reduced using night only marine air temperature (NMAT) but at the expense of discarding approximately half the MAT data. Our use of SST anomalies implies that we are tacitly assuming that the anomalies of SST are in agreement with those of MAT. Many tests show that NMAT anomalies agree well with SST anomalies on seasonal and longer time scales in most open ocean areas. Globally the agreement is currently very good (Rayner et al, 2003), even better than in Folland et al. (2001b). However, some regional discrepancies in open ocean trends have recently been found in the tropics (Christy et al., 2001).’ http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/

        The ‘skin’ refers only to the top hundreds of microns where energy is lost in net IR up at the speed of light. On a somewhat longer timescale- but still very short term – processes of mixing and convection bring more warmer water into contact with the atmosphere.

        The ‘temperature equilibrium’ is with the surface water because of the constant replenishment of the ‘skin’ – mostly as a result of turbulent mixing – and is most certainly not the same thing as a radiative equilibrium. Turbulent mixing is not a process that requires a minute let alone 150 years.

        The introduction of incompressible fluid flow is a bit of pretentious and meaningless nonsense.

        ‘The electronic–hydraulic analogy (derisively referred to as the drain-pipe theory by Oliver Heaviside) is the most widely used analogy for “electron fluid” in a metal conductor. Since electric current is invisible and the processes at play in electronics are often difficult to demonstrate, the various electronic components are represented by hydraulic equivalents. Electricity (as well as heat) was originally understood to be a kind of fluid, and the names of certain electric quantities (such as current) are derived from hydraulic equivalents. Like all analogies, it demands an intuitive and competent understanding of the baseline paradigms (electronics and hydraulics).’

        There is no relevance at all in this. Indeed the processes in play might be modelled by the non-linear partial differential equations of fluid motion.

        The ‘inductance of the ocean currents’ is just crazy talk. If you are capable of discussing things sensibly please do – do not bother to try to bamboozle me with pseudo scientific claptrap.

      • Chief Hydrologist, 7/16/11, 4:51 pm, GAST(t)

        You said that you didn’t understand how lags played a role in the transfer of solar energy to Earth. I explained that by referencing the elementary representation of heat flow by linear differential equation. This model has a well-known, popular analog in your field using second order LDEs, which you now claim to be pretentious and meaningless nonsense. Clearly this was too difficult for you. You claim, There is no relevance at all in this. I hope it was a mere pretense on your part since you bill yourself as a hydrologist.

        You add, Indeed the processes in play might be modelled by the non-linear partial differential equations of fluid motion. Indeed indeed. Talk about pretentious! Have a go at modeling heat flow from the surface layer by such equations for the turbulent surface layer! Think of the difficulty posed by integrating atmospheric GCMs into ocean models. Besides, if you really understood that, then you would have known full well how time and lags enter into the physics.

        You responded by relating the complexity in measuring SST. What counts in climate is the estimation of the SST_average over the globe for assessing atmospheric humidity, and in the estimation of the Global Average Surface Temperature, the determinative variable heretofore for global warming and climate change. The difficulty in measuring instantaneous, local SST is literally lost in the noise in the estimation of those two key parameters. Estimating GAST requires weighting SST with land temperature anomalies, taking into account the differences in heat capacity. The models reported by IPCC that do such estimating have shown remarkable accuracy, confirmed by the accuracy with which GAST can be estimated from TSI. This is a great achievement for which IPCC could but won’t take credit on behalf of its climatologists. It throws a monkey wrench (spanner down there?) into the AGW works.

        You quote the opening paragraph from the citation I supplied to you, and then you have nothing to say about it. Why did you stick it in your post? Then you write, The ‘inductance of the ocean currents’ is just crazy talk. If you had read much beyond the opening paragraph you parroted, you’d have read about how modelers create hydraulic inductors with paddle wheels. If you can understand non-linear partial differential equations, you ought to be able at least to conceive of a second order linear model for the Langmuir or Ekman surface water circulations as analogous to paddle wheels. This would provide an inductive effect to fluid flow, which is then impressed on the heat flux to the skin, and on to the atmosphere and space.

        I was trying to connect you through your own field to how lags arise in modeling. I was not trying to bamboozle you, and what you call pseudo scientific claptrap is actually sound, undergraduate physics and systems science.

        If you’re not comfortable with hydraulic analogs, you might want to consider just the effects of heat capacity in general. It creates lags in the dynamics of heat transfer because it has an integrating or accumulating effect. When modeling climate as the temperature of the atmosphere at the boundary, it is energy with a exceptionally low heat capacity, readily dominated by the slow reaction of the extremely high heat capacity of the ocean and its circulations that acquire, store and distribute thermal energy.

      • Jeff,

        Conductance has very little to do with heat transfer in water – as opposed to heat in metals or indeed electrons in conductors. It is a pointless discussion that I am not going to countenance any further.

        Second order ODE’s are used in groundwater hydraulics – but I assure you that there is no application in surface hydraulics – where PDE’s in 2 or 3 dimensions are routinely used.

        My post did relate at all to SST as such – but the use of SST as proxy for surface temperature in the surface temperature record – in relation to my comment that there was SST and surface temperature were essentially the same quantum.

        The pipe analogy to heat or current flows is not relevant at all to oceanic processes.

        ‘If you had read much beyond the opening paragraph you parroted, you’d have read about how modelers create hydraulic inductors with paddle wheels.’

        ‘A heavy paddle wheel placed in the current. The mass of the wheel and the size of the blades restrict the water’s ability to rapidly change its rate of flow (current) through the wheel due to the effects of inertia, but, given time, a constant flowing stream will pass mostly unimpeded through the wheel, as it turns at the same speed as the water flow. The mass and surface area of the wheel and its blades are analogous to inductance, and friction between its axle and the axle bearings corresponds to the resistance that accompanies any non-superconducting inductor.’

        It is an analogy for an inductor – to help people visualise electrical processes. Langmuir and Ekmann flow are not even remotely analogous to paddle wheels. One is wind driven the other by Coriolis forces and the idea of inductance is a purely electromagnetic effect.

        ‘If you’re not comfortable with hydraulic analogs, you might want to consider just the effects of heat capacity in general. It creates lags in the dynamics of heat transfer because it has an integrating or accumulating effect. When modeling climate as the temperature of the atmosphere at the boundary, it is energy with a exceptionally low heat capacity, readily dominated by the slow reaction of the extremely high heat capacity of the ocean and its circulations that acquire, store and distribute thermal energy.’

        They are not analogs at all – they are hydraulic analogies for electromagnetic effects. You should really try to think and speak simply. The oceans have a 1000 times the heat storage capacity of the atmosphere. But simply talking about an ‘integrating and accumulating’ effect as a result of this is no explanation. It substitutes obscure verbiage for a plain English conceptual framework. Ideally we build complex conceptual frameworks by visualisation but must communicate with language. Your language is very convoluted – I suspect a lack of order in your creative visualisation of these physical processes. You make far too much of simple analogies – a problem in itself when dealing with complex and recursive systems. But then you compound the error by reversing the application of the analogy – that is by assuming that electromagnetic effects are an analogy for complex oceanic hydraulics. And invent terms that are absolute nonsense – such as the inductance of ocean currents.

        However, let’s do a thought experiment. We stop increasing CO2 in the atmosphere. CO2 very gradually starts to decline in the atmosphere. The atmosphere cools as a result of less IR adsorption. Net IR up from the ocean increases (because there is less back radiation) and the ocean starts to cool. Both ocean and atmosphere continue to cool as CO2 is removed from the atmosphere.

        I can’t see that there is much room for delay in the process. All global warming and cooling is practically instantaneous.

        Ein/s – Eout/s = d(GES)/dt – where Ein/s and Eout/s are the average unit energies in and out respectively and d(GES)/dt is the rate of cooling and warming. This does have an hydrological equivalent in the first order differential equation of storage. Warming or cooling depends only on radiative flux at TOA and there is no delay in radiative flux anywhere.

        There seems very little that is sound – undergraduate or otherwise – in yours comments. You apply inappropriate methods and concepts to the problem.
        .

      • Chief Hydrologist, 7/16/11, 9:49 pm, GAST(t)

        You: Conductance has very little to do with heat transfer in water – as opposed to heat in metals or indeed electrons in conductors. It is a pointless discussion that I am not going to countenance any further. Only you, and at this juncture, tried to raise a question about relative significance of conductance in different materials. It is indeed pointless, just as is your pretence of authority, and several other topics you introduce. What is on point or not depends on what transpired in the dialog.

        This discussion began when you said that you didn’t understand how lags got into the relationship between Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) and the Global Average Surface Temperature (GAST), which M. carey had partially quoted from my 7/15/11, 7:44 pm post. 12:42 am. Here’s your full response verbatim:

        Oceans are heated to a 100 or so metres – depending on clarity – by shortwave (visible) radiation. Oceans lose heat from the top half millimetre – a net IR up – in the infrared. The ‘skin’ is always cooler than the water beneath but is quickly dissipated by mixing.

        There is a temperature equilibrium between the ocean surface and the atmosphere. That’s why sea surface temperature can be used in place of near surface atmospheric temperature over the oceans. Heat rises to the ocean surface by convection.

        I can’t see why there is a delay at all. Does it matter when a specific Joule entered the ocean? If you work it out let me know. 2:13 am.

        A reasonable interpretation is that you don’t find a delay within the simplified, non-standard, and erroneous model you present in your first two paragraphs. The most relevant problem is that your model eliminates the delay in the transport of heat from within the top 100 meters to the surface. This may be related to the problem that you treat SST as being a single value rather than as a profile that varies seasonally, diurnally, with wind, and with location. The GHRSST_PP 2d and 3d workshops defined five different standard SSTs just in the top 10 meters alone.

        http://ghrsst-pp.metoffice.com/pages/sst_definitions/

        To help you understand how lag occurs in the climate system, I discussed the hydraulic analog to heat transfer. 2:11 pm. You responded,

        Second order ODE’s [sic] are used in groundwater hydraulics – but I assure you that there is no application in surface hydraulics – where PDE’s [sic] in 2 or 3 dimensions are routinely used.

        This is a non sequitur because no one was discussing the modeling of surface hydraulics. You have confused the concept of a hydraulic analog to heat transfer within the climate system, on the one hand, with modeling surface hydraulics on the other. [ODEs are Ordinary Differential Equations and PDEs are Partial Differential Equations.] A second order ODE is sufficient for heat transfer in this application, and if you realized that simple hydraulics obey the same equations, you should be able to see how time and lags enter into the solution.

        At 4:51 pm, you went off on a couple of simultaneous tangents. You repeated your statement about SST being an estimate for MAT to introduce the difficulties in estimating SST, and the correlation between SST and MAT. None of this issues and sub-issues are immediately relevant to your problem of not being able to recognize that lags occur between TSI and GAST. You then restated what I had said about the nature of the skin and its temperature, adding that The ‘temperature equilibrium’ is … most certainly not the same thing as a radiative equilibrium. This is another of your pointless distractions. No one had claimed that they were the same.

        You wrote, My post did relate at all to SST as such – but the use of SST as proxy for surface temperature in the surface temperature record – in relation to my comment that there was SST and surface temperature were essentially the same quantum. 9:49 pm. Is there a not missing in the first clause? Don’t you hate when that happens? I have to guess at what point you are trying to make here. Because SST is not a point measure, it cannot be the same quantum as surface temperature. SST is a continuously moving function with positive and negative gradients.

        You wrote, The pipe analogy to heat or current flows is not relevant at all to oceanic processes. 9:49 pm. Pointless. You now seem to accept the idea that a hydraulic analog to heat transfer exists, which you now call the pipe analogy. However, no one claimed that the pipe analogy was relevant to oceanic processes. It only comes in as a way to show you how the solution to the heat problem has time as the independent parameter, and how lags come into that solution.

        But then you write, Langmuir and Ekmann flow are not even remotely analogous to paddle wheels. I suggested only that you might be able to conceive of a second order linear model for both. Apparently not. In defense, you say, the idea of inductance is a purely electromagnetic effect. I had just finished giving you an example of how a paddle wheel serves as a hydraulic inductor, relying on a Wikipedia article.

        You object to my

        simply talking about an ‘integrating and accumulating’ effect as a result of this is no explanation. It substitutes obscure verbiage for a plain English conceptual framework. Ideally we build complex conceptual frameworks by visualisation but must communicate with language. Your language is very convoluted – I suspect a lack of order in your creative visualisation of these physical processes.

        What language is necessary in speaking to a hydrologist who doesn’t understand how natural systems come to have lags? Who doesn’t understand how lagging ocean circulations impress inductive effects on atmospheric temperature? Who can’t stay on subject? Who confuses parameters, as in SST for GAST, and radiation equilibrium for equilibrium? The real danger is talking right past you.

        You wrote,

        But then you compound the error by reversing the application of the analogy – that is by assuming that electromagnetic effects are an analogy for complex oceanic hydraulics. And invent terms that are absolute nonsense – such as the inductance of ocean currents.

        Pointless. I referred to ocean heat capacity and heat transport, not to complex oceanic hydraulics. I made no reference to electromagnetic effects. Secondly, since you give analogy a direction, which is not so bad an idea, I said that hydraulics is analogous to heat flow, not the reverse.

        You say,

        However, let’s do a thought experiment. We stop increasing CO2 in the atmosphere. CO2 very gradually starts to decline in the atmosphere.

        Whoops! First, you are assuming AGW exists. The first order causes of atmospheric CO2 are natural, and they rise or fall with GAST. They do so with a substantial lag on the order of a millennium as seen in the Vostok record. Maybe that lag will help you understand that natural processes have lags.

        Second, your thought experiment postulates no reason for CO2 to decline as you suggest. It does not follow simply from having CO2 emissions cease. Underlying this condition is a fallacious presumption that Earth’s climate and subsystems in the climate, have preferred states, or that these systems seek equilibrium. In other fields, equilibrium exists in some models, but they require invoking some principles from physics, such as least kinetic energy with friction (losses), or least torque with friction. It exists in thermodynamic systems under the Second Law, but only if the system is isolated. Earth’s climate system is not isolated.

        You continue,

        The atmosphere cools as a result of less IR adsorption. Net IR up from the ocean increases (because there is less back radiation) and the ocean starts to cool. Both ocean and atmosphere continue to cool as CO2 is removed from the atmosphere.

        I can’t see that there is much room for delay in the process. All global warming and cooling is practically instantaneous.

        Certainly removing CO2, all other things being equal, would have a cooling effect, and vice versa. But are you stopping the Coriolis effect? Are ocean currents stopped? Is the Ekman pump turned off so that cold, CO2 saturated water no longer is brought to the surface to outgas CO2?

        You see not much room for delay in the process, but why does the thought experiment stop CO2 emissions but then CO2 very gradually starts to decline? Does very gradually starts mean that the second derivative of the CO2 concentration is zero at t = 0? Regardless, the dynamics postulated in the thought experiment are protracted. Why? Doesn’t that contradict your failure to observe a delay?

        You say,

        Warming or cooling depends only on radiative flux at TOA and there is no delay in radiative flux anywhere.

        Preposterous. Modelers make radiative flux respond instantaneously to GAST, and I won’t quibble with that here. But as your thought experiment postulated, the response to changes in CO2 emissions should be very gradual. That means that the cooling or warming is very gradual, which means that the radiative flux substantially lags changes in atmospheric composition.

        Substantial delay is measurable in the correlation between GAST and TSI. Substantial delay is evident in the Vostok record. Substantial delay is evident in elementary models based on what IPCC called the simplest theoretical grounds.

        George Simpson, meteorologist and director, Met Office, 1920-1938, reviewed George Callendar’s 1938 paper in which the Callendar Effect or AGW was first conjectured. Simpson wrote,

        In the first place he thought it was not sufficiently realised by non-meteorologists who came for the first time to help the Society in its study, that it was impossible to solve the problem of the temperature distribution in the atmosphere by working out the radiation. The atmosphere was not in a state of radiative equilibrium, and it also received heat by transfer from one part to another. In the second place, one had to remember that the temperature distribution in the atmosphere was determined almost entirely by the movement of the air up and down. This forced the atmosphere into a temperature distribution which was quite out of balance with the radiation. One could not, therefore, calculate the effect of changing any one factor in the atmosphere, and he felt that the actual numerical results which Mr. Callendar had obtained could not be used to give a definite indication of the order of magnitude of the effect. Bold added.

        Adding ACO2 since Simpson’s day did not cause Earth’s climate to be in radiative equilibrium, nor did it cause the temperature distribution to correspond to the outgoing TOA radiation.

      • The term equilibrium is used far too often in describing the Earth system or some parts of it. There are cases of near equilibrium for some subsystems, but in very many cases, what’s being discussed is not equilibrium but a stationary state.

        The atmosphere is never in equilibrium or close to equilibrium, but it’s often reasonable to consider a stationary atmosphere. The difference is huge as an equilibrium atmosphere would be isothermal and not one with the high lapse rate and the large temperature difference between surface and troposphere. Similar observation are equally valid for the oceans.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Pekka,

        The simple first order differential equation describes global warming and cooling based on a radiative imbalance at TOA:

        Ein/s – Eout/s = d(GES)/dt

        Where Ein/s out Eout/s are the average unit energies in and out respectively in a period and d(GES)/dt is the rate of change in global energy storage (or heat + enthalpy) – it perfectly describes global energy dynamics in three terms by the first law of thermodynamics – energy is conserved.

        When we are talking about the ocean – I quoted the CRU method of using SST as a proxy for surface temperature to suggest that – at the interface – atmosphere and ocean are effectively at the same temperature. The ocean loses heat of course in proportion exponentially to the temperature of the surface. Heat moves to the surface by convection and turbulent mixing – commonly described by the PDE’s of fluid motion – and not by diffusion – as is modelled by a second order linear equation in, for instance, groundwater studies.

        The former are quick processes and the latter take time – but as the latter are not in play lag is not a matter of hundreds of years. Diffusion (or conduction) is not a factor in heat movement in oceans.

        My simple observation is that the loss of heat from the surface of the oceans is a result of net IR upward from the surface. If we were to stop increasing CO2 in the atmosphere – CO2 concentrations would slowly decline. The atmosphere would progressively cool – in the unlikely event of all things being equal – and radiative flux down from a cooler atmosphere would decline. As the oceans were initially warmer – net IR up increases and the oceans cool. Both oceans and atmosphere are cooler almost instantaneously – as radiative flux moves at the speed of light.

        I am of course aware of graphs that show that ‘heat is in the pipeline’. These purport to show that atmospheric temperature continues to increase with CO2 stabilisation as heat ’emerges’ from the ocean where it is ‘hiding’. I just can’t imagine a physical mechanism – and no where is any defined either in math or in plain English.

        We can assume that more heat is taken into the abyss in a warmer planet. The water in these turbulent currents emerges up to 500 years later in various areas of oceanic upwelling around the globe – primarily in the eastern Pacific. But can we assume that it takes heat 500 years to emerge? Warm water rises buoyantly to the thermocline. Cooler water sinks. Think of it like a bubble sort.

        I will limits my response to this – as Glassman’s post contains far to many eggregious errors to make a sensible reply.

        Cheers

    • lolwot,
      The talk about lag is just bs.

    • M. carey, 7/16/11, 12:42 am, GAST(t)

      You asked,

      Do you have evidence that none of the sun’s energy absorbed by the ocean in a given year is released until 50 years or 100 years later?

      Yes. Click on my name and read the article SGW (Solar Global Warming). The transfer function that best relates the Sun to GAST has two lags, a primary lag of 134 years and a secondary lag of 46 years. This transfer function is causal, and reproduces Earth’s instrument temperature record to 0.11ºC, one sigma. It is within 10% of IPCC’s smoothed estimate for this temperature record, which is not causal and so cannot predict temperature.

      You wrote,

      Your suggested explanation was lacking, since compared to sunspot activity in recent years, the activity was lower in 1900 but higher in 1950.

      The model used for the Sun in SGW is the IPCC-approved, best model of Wang, et al. (2005), one developed by several authors in cooperation over the years.

      This model combines all known, relative solar measurements, including sunspot activity, 11 and 22 year cycles, aa index, and statistical models for bipolar magnetic regions. It is the state-of-the-art in TSI modeling.

  67. If the oscillation in the global mean temperature (GMT) is now accepted by the advocates of the AGW to exist and to be natural, then my prediction of GMT would be a good approximate of the reality.

    http://bit.ly/cO94in

    Congratulation skeptics!
    http://bit.ly/qAXJ60

    • Girma, interesting that in your graph the point-to-point difference between 2000 and 2100 is 0.1. (From 0.4 to 0.5). For an “average” rise of 0.01 per year!
      ;)

  68. hardly interesting given that it’s fantasy curve fitting based on junk science. This is the same nonsense akasofu was pushing.

    The graph is based on a constant background rate of warming of the Earth, which we know is false. Forcings are not increasing linearly over time. A doubling of CO2 for example will influence the 21st century more than the 20th and the latter 20th more than the early 20th. So even if a doubling of CO2 only causes 0.5C warming it immediately falsifies the linear background trend assumption.

    Not to mention why anyone would just assume the Earth warms 0.6C/century. Implies that in 100000 years time we will be long boiled.

    • lolwot

      Not to mention why anyone would just assume the Earth warms 0.6C/century.

      This 0.6 deg C per century warming value for the last century is just the instantaneous slope in the GMTA vs time curve that traversed through the Holocene maximum, the Medieval climate optimum, & the little ice age.

      • Really the 0.6C is just the linear trend through the 20th century.

        Why do you assume all centuries will warm by 0.6C? and how does that work?

        Are you assuming solar output will increase over the 21st century by the same amount it increased over the 20th? How do you factor in greenhouse gases which have not increased linearly over the 20th century, let alone will not over the period 1900-2100?

        Really global temperature shows up, flat, up. Yes you can fit a curve to that, but like fitting curves to stock market movements it has no predictive power.

      • It is much, much, better (so far) than the 0.2 deg C per decade warming prediction of the IPCC.

        http://bit.ly/cO94in

        Note that more than 90% of the data points lie in the region shaded yellow. From this, it is more reasonable to assume its prediction would be reasonable JUST for the next couple of decades.

      • lolwot

        Why do you assume all centuries will warm by 0.6C? and how does that work?

        Yes.

        That is just an assumption on my part: The global mean temperature pattern for the 21st century is identical to the 20th century.

    • Duh. Since the last glaciation. Till the next one.
      `Bye now.

    • Please explain, when you have a chance, how something that is logarithmic in effect has a greater impact at the end than the beginning.

      • Because that something is increasing exponentially

      • Latimer Alder

        Please show your working.

      • http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-10-26.html

        You can see the increase in greenhouse gas forcing accelerates over time. It isn’t linear. This means the warming impact of greenhouse gases over the 21st century will be significantly larger than the warming impact of greenhouse gases in the early 20th century.

        This flies in the face of Girma and Akasofu’s graphs which are based on the assumption that causes of warming increase constantly and linearly over time and that early 20th century warming had the same cause as latter 20th century warming.

      • Check again on what the impact of CO2 is.
        Not the feedbacks.
        The link I nicely provided is a very pro-AGW site, just for you. Read it.

      • It doesn’t matter what the impact of CO2 is. Whether it’s 0.5C warming per doubling or 3C per doubling, either way that warming will fall mostly in the 21st century refuting the idea that you can just stick a line through the 20th century and extrapolate it into the 21st.

        It’s one thing to stick a couple of lines and curves to data. It’s another thing to explain the data mechanistically. If the latter is attempted the former will be found to fall apart. Everything we know shows that forcings have not and will not change linearly over time. Even over the 20th century the solar forcing was not linear.

      • lolwot,
        It takes more than CO2 to get to warming.
        I would say that it does matter what the impact of CO2 is. It just does not matter very much. Your denial of any importance of any impact seems a bit extreme.
        ;^)

      • Even a 0.5C warming per doubling of CO2 would be a major chunk of all the warming from 1900-2100.

        Here I am even using a ridiculously low climate sensitivity and yet still CO2 dominates.

        Those dogmatically asserting that “it’s the sun” don’t have a clue

      • lolwot,
        No, a 0.5C increase would not be significant. It is obvious, if the estimates that we have increased about 1.0C over the past ~150 years are correct, is that 1.0C is not a big deal either. We are muddling through pretty well: Crops are up worldwide. Deaths from extreme weather are down worldwide. Cyclone storm levels are down to unchanged. No great unusual changes in weather events are happening anywhere in the world, if they are honestly measured against the record.
        The sun is THE driver of climate. Period. Everything else- the land, ocean basins, the atmosphere, all just react to the sun. We can do OK with less or more of everything except the sun. If the sun varies a few small single digits in output %,we are toast or ice. We can obviously see CO2, if estimates of historic levels are correct, vary double digits in levels and do OK. Water in the atmosphere varies massively in all three forms. We do OK.
        So please re-read (or read for the first time) what Science of Doom is saying about the CO2 and its impacts.
        We have lived just fine as CO2 went from ~278 to ~390 ppm. No great changes. Nothing we could not handle.
        My advice to the dedicated AGW believer is: “Don’t panic!”, to borrow a phrase. My request to the AGW believer is to stop demanding my money to provide comfort from your beliefs.

      • That you are trying to change the topic to effects rather than the warming itself suggests to me that you’ve realized the folly of denying CO2 is a strong driver of global temperature.

        I want to stick on that though, to emphasize how stupid it is to dismiss CO2 from any predictions of global temperature. How stupid it is to say inane things like “It’s the sun, stupid” or “climate is driven by the Sun”

        When temperature is only increasing or decreasing by tenths of a degree over centuries, as you have admitted, 0.5C is very significant and means CO2 must be factored in. It simply cannot be ignored.

        Now include other greenhouse gases and the prospect of CO2 more than doubling. And do remember I am assuming an absurdly low climate sensitivity.

        It really is a eye opening that skeptics will try to away with looking at recent or future global temperatures without factoring in greenhouse gases.

      • lolwot,
        The changes in a global average is a meaningless topic.
        The question is impact.
        Weather is what people and life exist in, not climate.
        I am not changing the topic. You hijacked and are resisting returning it to something that matters.

      • Ooops-
        Have you read the SoD link yet?
        You are wandering further into the Wonderland.

      • “The changes in a global average is a meaningless topic.”

        Typical backpedaling. You only have to scroll up to see the discussion is about global temperature and whether it follows some kind of linear trend with a cycle.

        The reason you don’t want to talk about global temperature now is that you realize there’s no escaping the fact that CO2 is a significant driver of it.

      • Where will this post to?
        You say I do not like to talk about global averages.
        You would be wrong.
        I love to talk about global averages.
        They are so trivial in range of change that it takes a great deal of magical thinking to see otherwise.

      • You really are a hoot. The “logarithmic” pattern is an increase in the amount required to achieve a fixed result. Not in the result.

        But nevermind. I’ll let hunter get back to his amusement at bear-baiting and mocking you without your awareness of what’s happening.

  69. Joe Lalonde

    Judith,

    Interesting that trends to temperatures are being sought in a planet that is in constant change by physical factors.

    Motion in science is just to measure the circumference and generate a speed by the amount of time it takes to revolve. Even though the rest of the planet mass is in motion and has many different functions that are created.
    Simple observation from the radius of a circle with a solid surface can show when lines are added and motion applied, they become circles within circles with different circumference. Hence, different speeds.
    Changing the composition to a liquid brings out many new changes as now centrifugal force is a factor in the composition of motion.

  70. Why Does The Cyclic Model Give A Global Warming Of About 1 deg C For The 20th Century But Nearly None For The 21st Century?

    http://bit.ly/cO94in

    According to the data shown in the above graph, it is true that the global warming of the 20th century was large. As a result, it is true that the corresponding sea level rise, melting of sea ice or the corresponding climate change in general were also large. However, this was because the century started when the oscillating anomaly was at its minimum near 1910 with global mean temperature anomaly (GMTA) of –0.64 deg C and ended when it was at its maximum near 2000 with GMTA of 0.48 deg C, giving a large global warming of 0.48+0.64=1.12 deg C. This large warming was due to the rare events of TWO global warming phases of 0.77 deg C each but only ONE cooling phase of 0.44 deg C occurring in the 20th century, giving a global warming of 2*0.77-0.42=1.12 deg C.

    In contrast to the 20th century, from the above graph, there will be nearly no change in GMTA in the 21st century. This is because the century started when the oscillating anomaly was at its maximum near 2000 with GMTA of 0.48 deg C and will end when it is at its minimum near 2090 with GMTA of 0.41 deg C, giving a negligible change in GMTA of 0.41-0.48=-0.07 deg C. This negligible change in GMTA is due to the rare events of TWO global cooling phases of 0.42 deg C each but only ONE warming phase of 0.77 deg C occurring in the 21st century, giving the negligible change in GMTA of 0.77-2*0.42=-0.07 deg C. Note that this little change in GMTA for the 21st century is identical to that from 1880 to 1970, which makes the global warming from 1970 to 2000 by 0.77 deg C appear to be abnormally large.

    If the period for a century had been 120 years, we wouldn’t have this conundrum of nearly 1 deg C warming in the 20th century but nearly none in the next!

    • Joe Lalonde

      Girma,

      It is called playing with mathematics for a certain outcome.
      Nothing to do with science, just with statistics.

      • It is a plausible hypothesis.

        That is how I would interpret the data in my engineering work,

        Let the observed data be the judge.

  71. Joe Lalonde

    Judith,

    So far science has generated a mass of confusion due to not looking into areas deep enough. Generalizing and individualizing has only made it worse over the years with add on of new theories.
    Going back to simple measurements and starting over would be a good thing as too many “It’s been published, so it must be absolutely correct” methodology has corrupted the whole.

  72. lolwot

    This flies in the face of Girma and Akasofu’s graphs which are based on the assumption that causes of warming increase constantly and linearly over time and that early 20th century warming had the same cause as latter 20th century warming.

    Let us look at the data in DETAIL.

    http://bit.ly/q8bZxt

    I drew a trend line (GREEN) for the global mean temperature anomaly (GMTA) data from 1880 to 2010, and it has a warming rate of about 0.6 deg C per century.

    I drew a parallel line (BLUE) through the top of the extreme oscillating GMTA.

    This result shows, relative to the trend line (GREEN), the maximum oscillating GMTA for 1880s, 1940s, and for 2000s are approximately equal and have a value of 0.25 deg C (offset of 0.25 for series 3 in the woodfortrees graph).

    This result shows that there is no acceleration in global warming with increase in human emission of CO2. As a result, according to the data, the effect of human emission of CO2 in the global mean temperature is nil.

    lolwat, please tell me if and where I am wrong.

    • The cause of the early 20th century and late 20th century warming is not the same. It can’t be because factors like the Sun and greenhouse gases are not spread evenly through the century.

      • Wow.
        So we can have changes in the derived global avg. temp as great as today’s, not identify the cause but we fully understated the climate system well enough to know as well that we are experiencing great, dangerous and unprecedented warming. And we can, without knowing what caused the past variations that are as large as our current excursion, accurately predict climate to within a few o.xC degrees a hundred years (and more!) into the future.
        And you actually seems surprised people are buying less and less of what the AGW community is peddling.

      • It’s you guys who are claiming the early 20th century and late 20th century warming have the same causes.

        I am pointing out that’s an assumption that is contradicted by the facts.

      • lolwot,
        No, I am saying they are equally innocuous whatever the cause.

      • It’s the default “null hypothesis” assumption. You must robustly demonstrate that the two are distinct in size, “shape”, and origins. Not even close, so far.

      • lolwot –
        It’s you guys who are claiming the early 20th century and late 20th century warming have the same causes.

        No – AFAIK, what we’re claiming is that both have similar characteristics and “probably” have much the same causes. Once again, you fail to read and understand what’s being said.

        I am pointing out that’s an assumption that is contradicted by the facts.

        Actually, not. You fail to uncerstand that your story is as much an assumption as any other. the Oh, it must be different because the CO”2 level is greater now than it was then is an unverified assumption. If you have actual facts rather than assumptions about the cause of the early 20thC warming, trot’emout and we’ll see what they look like. I’ve seen the purported “facts” and they don’t pass even the most casual smell test.

      • “If you have actual facts rather than assumptions about the cause of the early 20thC warming, trot’emout and we’ll see what they look like.”

        Since when has blog science required facts. This is how it works, you’ll like this. Let me throw this idea out there:

        The instrumental record was too sparse and uncertain in the early 20th century to know with any confidence what temperature did.

      • lolwot –
        The instrumental record was too sparse and uncertain in the early 20th century to know with any confidence what temperature did.

        So – no facts. As usual.

      • The number of sunspots tripled between 1900 and 1950, so maybe it was the sun. I think the skeptics have ruled this out, however, since they are not talking about it in this context. It doesn’t help their argument which only invokes the sun when it helps them.

      • Latimer Alder

        OK

        So what was the cause of the early 20th century warming? Please give accessible references.

      • LA, don’t chase that tail. It’s just more of the Trenberth Switcheroo, trying to evade treating “natural variation” as the null hypothesis.

        N.B.: it is not necessary to deconstruct and understand the detail of said natural variation, simply to observe it exists as the baseline condition. H1 is that a change of process and outcome has been caused by humans.
        It suffices to show that no such change appears in the data to reject abandonment of H0.

    • lolwot,
      The article seems after a very cursory glance to show some pretty well referenced graphs.
      And the point about AGW policies hurting, not helping, the economy is unfortunately grounded in fact.
      Perhaps you can take a moment and show what is wrong with the article besides that it is published in a wicked right wing forum?

      • That you even defend the graphs speaks volumes. Did you notice the graph where he compares arctic temperature to solar activity? Can you explain why the comparison was with arctic temperature and not global temperature.

        Now tell me, is that graph evidence that arctic temperature has been driven by the Sun? No of course not, it’s junk science.

        Did you also notice the solar graph has the last 10 years missing?

        And you would defend this nonsense? What about the text in which dozens of falsehoods are made? I particularly liked the one about the temperature of 20th century temperature record of Mars.

        Supposedly the Martian 20th century instrumental record that closely follows the Earth 20th century instrumental record…they must have the same station citing issues. UHI and air con units too close to stevenson screens.

        Climate denial: It just doesn’t make sense. You defend it anyway.

      • lolwot,
        As to your lack of comprehension that the sun drives everything, I leave that you to keep demonstrating. It is good for skeptics, so please continue.
        I said I made a very cursory reading.
        I deny nothing. If there are problems with what was posted, they should be admitted to and corrected.
        Are those graphs as bad as the ones showing no glaciers in the Himalayas in 2035? Are they worse than the ones showing the Amazon drying out?
        Are you still defending the Hockey Stick?
        The article you link to is an opinion piece that will not impact policy.
        The crap the IPCC publishes not only costs us billions for them to produce, the bad policies from it are costing us billions more.
        I don’t subscribe to or read American Thinker.
        They do not seem to represent themselves as a science journal.
        When Newsweek publishes utter crap falsely claiming that we are in a ‘new normal’ of extreme weather when that is demonstrably false, are you also asking them to correct the record?

      • Ah the old “they did it!” defense.

        Even though nothing the IPCC has done comes close to the mistakes in that American Thinker article.

        You try to distance yourself from the American Thinker article but it is standard fare from the skeptics. WUWT posts and the NIPCC report are just as shoddy.

      • No,
        The IPCC mistakes lead to bad policies.
        The American Thinker mistakes lead to……
        Which is worse?
        You claim it is standard fare, but you would be wrong.
        But since you seem to need to discuss the article in depth, I wil start reading it more deeply.
        Here is a quote that states something no one who is informed can disagree with:
        “With Fox anchors and conservative bloggers arguing that those “green” jobs are simply far too few to fuel a strong recovery, the fact that they’re based on junk science, and aren’t economically viable on their own, gets little if any mention.”
        Are green jobs helping much?
        Are the AGW approved green energy programs working out?
        Do you disagree with the point of this paragraph?
        “The truth is that CO2 is a beneficial trace gas that exists in such small quantities in our atmosphere, that the idea of it playing any significant role in determining our climate is simply silly. CO2 comprises less than half of 1% of our atmosphere, and only 4% of it comes from human activity.
        That’s 16ppm, or 1 part in every 62,500 parts of our atmosphere. CO2 is plant food, and a key component in all life on earth. Plants need CO2 to grow and produce oxygen. They feed animals (including ourselves). Animals in turn consume oxygen and plant-based foods, and exhale CO2. Without CO2, nothing could be green! ”
        Can we get by with no CO2?
        Is CO2 not a key ingredient of life on Earth?
        Would cap and trade have made difference in the world climate?
        “Our primary argument against Cap & Trade and the EPA’s CO2 regulations has been that they would be bad for the economy. Of course they would be, but by attacking them on those grounds, we’re granting our sanction to the underlying premise — that CO2 is dangerous. But it’s not. And there never were any benefits to be had from Cap & Trade, regardless of its cost.”

        Believers like you cannot deal with differences of opinion except by calling those who disagree liars.

        Is their science perfect? I doubt it. But as someone who sat through Gore’s movie, I can certainly point out that AGW promotion is not about science, either.
        So you can dodge this all you want by pretending that this is about who did what.
        But the facts remain:
        The world is not experiencing a climate catastrophe, the predictions of AGW promoters have failed, AGW policies will not work as advertised, and the science supporting the claims of you extremists is marginal at best.

      • “The truth is that CO2 is a beneficial trace gas that exists in such small quantities in our atmosphere, that the idea of it playing any significant role in determining our climate is simply silly.”

        Do you understand why that claim is wrong and unscientific?

      • CO2 + H2O + Sun Light + Soil => Plant Food

        Therefore,

        CO2 => Plant food => Animal Food => Foundation of life

        Calling CO2 a pollutant => A Fraud

      • Raw Sewage is fertilizer. Therefore dumping raw sewage in rivers is not pollution. Right gotcha.

        Also notice the contradiction. The guy claims CO2 can’t have much effect because it “exists in such small quantities in our atmosphere”. Yet he also argues it is essential for life. So much for the small quantity = no effect argument. Even he doesn’t believe it.

      • Why don’t you point out the problems in the quote for us?

      • Lolwot

        Climate denial: It just doesn’t make sense. You defend it anyway.

        Climate [FRAUD]: It just doesn’t make sense. You defend it anyway.

        Why not say what I deny? => AGW denier.

        How can one deny climate change?

        Denying climate change is denying the Holocene maximum, the Medial climatic optimum, the Little Ice Age etc. I cannot deny this.

        When someone accuses me of something I don’t deny, I am sure that they are involved in FRAUD. The greatest fraud in my lifetime!

      • In my book a climate denier is someone who denies how the climate works, eg by saying “It’s the Sun” or “CO2 exists in such small quantities in our atmosphere, that the idea of it playing any significant role in determining our climate is simply silly”

        It’s denial of science

      • lolwat

        If you deny the data, you are denying the science:

        Here it is my question to you again:

        Let us look at the data in DETAIL.

        http://bit.ly/q8bZxt

        I drew a trend line (GREEN) for the global mean temperature anomaly (GMTA) data from 1880 to 2010, and it has a warming rate of about 0.6 deg C per century.

        I drew a parallel line (BLUE) through the top of the extreme oscillating GMTA.

        This result shows, relative to the trend line (GREEN), the maximum oscillating GMTA for 1880s, 1940s, and for 2000s are approximately equal and have a value of 0.25 deg C (offset of 0.25 for series 3 in the woodfortrees graph).

        This result shows that there is no acceleration in global warming with increase in human emission of CO2. As a result, according to the data, the effect of human emission of CO2 in the global mean temperature is nil.

        lolwat, please tell me if and where I am wrong.

      • It can’t be nil, that would be impossible. Go from there.

      • It takes one to know one, knowing how weather and climate works allows me to say you are one of the true deniers.
        http://research.aerology.com/natural-processes/solar-system-dynamics/
        I do not deny science, just views like yours, that are severely limited in scope of application of the total forces at work, and fixating on cow flatulence. While at the same time cannot see the moon she jumped over.

      • blah blah. I accept solar and CO2 drive the climate. Do you just think it’s just solar? What was that about limitations in scope?

      • lolwot and hunter

        Richard B. Alley is a firm believer in the premise that CO2 has been a primary driver of our climate. He has written several papers as well as given lectures on the importance of CO2 in determining climate in our geological past.

        The paper cited by the American Thinker article is:
        http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/alley2000/alley2000.html

        The primary emphasis of this paper was on the rapid warming, which occurred after the unusual cold of the Younger Dryas, around 13,000 YBP.

        The chart shown by AT is a blow-up of the last 10,000 years of the record from Alley’s chart. It shows the temperature as well as snow accumulation, as measured from Greenland ice cores, from around 10,000 YBP to the present.

        It clearly shows the longer-term cyclical nature of the temperature record. Looking at the past 10,000 years, there were three distinct earlier warm periods, all of which were a bit warmer than the present one: the Medieval Warm Period, the Roman Optimum and the Minoan Optimum. In between these warm periods there were periods of colder than normal temperatures, the last of which was the Little Ice Age.

        AT makes the arguable point that warmer periods in the past coincided with periods of growth of civilizations and general welfare, while colder periods coincided with historical periods of upheaval.

        There is nothing very controversial in this analysis. To discard it simply because it was published by a conservative journal is rather shallow-minded.

        Max

      • That may be true, but the future temperature changes expected are far higher than what’s occurred in GISP2. While the GISP2 record shows 1.5C temperature difference between the peak of the MWP and LIA, and just over 3C temperature difference between the “minoan warming” and LIA, the global temperature difference was much less. If I had to guess, the “minoan warm period” was about 1C warmer globally than the little ice age. In which case we are pretty much already there and an extra 3C global warming will take us far beyond.

  73. lolwot

    You presented your personal opinion on what a “climate denier” is:

    In my book a climate denier is someone who denies how the climate works, eg by saying “It’s the Sun” or “CO2 exists in such small quantities in our atmosphere, that the idea of it playing any significant role in determining our climate is simply silly”
    It’s denial of science

    Let’s analyze that.

    First of all to call any viewpoint that happens to differ from your own a “denial of science” is a bit presumptuous.

    One can very well believe that CO2 is not the primary driver of our climate without being in “denial of science”.

    One can even question whether or not it is “playing a significant role in determining our climate” without being in “denial of science”.

    Now to the sun. There is no scientific doubt that the source of essentially all the energy that determines our planet’s climate is the Sun. This is a given, lolwot.

    There is also no doubt whatsoever that “CO2 exists in…small quantities in our atmosphere” (after all, we all know it is a natural trace gas measured in ppm; moreover, it is essential for all life on our planet, i.e. it is not a pollutant of our atmosphere).

    What we do NOT know is how important the GH effect of atmospheric CO2 is on our climate.

    There are hypotheses, there are model-based simulations based on these hypotheses, but there are no empirical data based on actual real-life physical observations or reproducible experimentation to give us an answer to that question.

    Yet the entire premise that AGW, caused primarily by human CO2 emissions, has been the principal cause of past warming and that it thus represents a serious potential threat to humanity and our environment, is based on assumptions regarding the 2xCO2 climate sensitivity, which are not supported by empirical scientific evidence.

    This is the crux of the problem, lolwot.

    There is no “denial of science” at work here, as you surmise.

    It is simply that “science” has not yet cleared up all the many uncertainties inherent in the “dangerous AGW” premise, as stated above.

    Nobody really knows whether or not a doubling of CO2 would lead to a temperature rise of 4.5°C (the upper end of the model-derived IPCC range) or only 0.6°C (the lower end of the range observed by ERBE and CERES satellites by Lindzen and Spencer, respectively).

    My personal bet would go with the physical observations, rather than the model simulations, so I would think that a 2xCO2 CS of around 1°C or less is most likely to be the best estimate.

    Of course, I can accept that your personal opinion on this may be different.

    This does not mean, however, that either of us is in “denial of science”.

    Max

    • “Nobody really knows whether or not a doubling of CO2 would lead to a temperature rise of 4.5°C (the upper end of the model-derived IPCC range) or only 0.6°C”

      The American Thinker considers you silly for even entertaining the idea that CO2 could produce any warming at all and commenter on this thread consider you stupid for claiming something other than the Sun produces significant warming.

      Science deniers aren’t they. It’s not a matter of opinion. I don’t mince my words with people who claim the Earth might only be 6000 years old either.

      • lolwot –
        The American Thinker considers you silly for even entertaining the idea that CO2 could produce any warming at all and commenter on this thread consider you stupid for claiming something other than the Sun produces significant warming.

        The American Thinker publishes article by a number of people. Which of those people are you talking about? ANd why do you believe it to be acceptable to tar ALL of them with the same brush. Generalization is rhetorical trick that sometimes works – but only if nobody is paying attention.

        As for the Sun – if you’re gonna keep on lying about me, I’ll keep on calling you on it. Neither I nor anyone else said what you attribute to me. You apparently haven’t grown that second brain cell so you can understand what I write.

  74. ‘Near-simultaneous changes in ice-core paleoclimatic indicators of local, regional, and more-widespread climate conditions demonstrate that much of the Earth experienced abrupt climate changes synchronous with Greenland within thirty years or less.’ Richard Alley

    ‘Recent scientific evidence shows that major and widespread climate changes have occurred with startling speed. For example, roughly half the north Atlantic warming since the last ice age was achieved in only a decade, and it was accompanied by significant climatic changes across most of the globe. Similar events, including local warmings as large as 16°C, occurred repeatedly during the slide into and climb out of the last ice age. Human civilizations arose after those extreme, global ice-age climate jumps. Severe droughts and other regional climate events during the current warm period have shown similar tendencies of abrupt onset and great persistence, often with adverse effects on societies.

    Abrupt climate changes were especially common when the climate system was being forced to change most rapidly. Thus, greenhouse warming and other human alterations of the earth system may increase the possibility of large, abrupt, and unwelcome regional or global climatic events. The abrupt changes of the past are not fully explained yet, and climate models typically underestimate the size, speed, and extent of those changes. Hence, future abrupt changes cannot be predicted with confidence, and climate surprises are to be expected.

    The new paradigm of an abruptly changing climatic system has been well established by research over the last decade, but this new thinking is little known and scarcely appreciated in the wider community of natural and social scientists and policy-makers.’

    ‘Large, abrupt climate changes have repeatedly affected much or all of the earth, locally reaching as much as 10°C change in 10 years. Available evidence suggests that abrupt climate changes are not only possible but likely in the future, potentially with large impacts on ecosystems and societies.

    This report is an attempt to describe what is known about abrupt climate changes and their impacts, based on paleoclimate proxies, historical observations, and modeling. The report does not focus on large, abrupt causes—nuclear wars or giant meteorite impacts—but rather on the surprising new findings that abrupt climate change can occur when gradual causes push the earth system across a threshold. Just as the slowly increasing pressure of a finger eventually flips a switch and turns on a light, the slow effects of drifting continents or wobbling orbits or changing atmospheric composition may “switch” the climate to a new state. And, just as a moving hand is more likely than a stationary one to encounter and flip a switch, faster earth-system changes—whether natural or human-caused—are likely to increase the probability of encountering a threshold that triggers a still faster climate shift.’

    http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=12

    • Paul Vaughan

      “”And, just as a moving hand is more likely than a stationary one to encounter and flip a switch, faster earth-system changes […] are likely to increase the probability of encountering a threshold that triggers a still faster climate shift.’””

      BOTH acceleration AND deceleration matter, as this is when nearest-harmonics with dominant natural internal modes of variability (such as the terrestrial year) dial most rapidly.

      Cheif, are you able to see the generalizability? It applies even to irregular (nonstationary) periods.

      Dalton Minimum is an example of a time when there was RAPID dialing through nearest-harmonics due to both deceleration AND acceleration. In that case, the dialing was so rapid that separating the effect from effects of interannual variability is a very, very complex problem given current levels of understanding of climate.

      In more recent times, acceleration & deceleration have been slow enough to allow us to see a clear and simple multidecadal pattern despite interannual variability:
      1. http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/scl_northpacificsst.png
      2. http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/scl_0-90n.png
      3. http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/vaughn_lod_amo_sc.png
      [+SCL’ = solar cycle deceleration;
      -SCL’ = solar cycle acceleration]
      A similar graph (not yet posted on the net) shows the same temporal pattern for the whole Pacific sector from 90S to 90N.

      It’s a trivial exercise to connect the multidecadal pattern to north-south maritime-continent terrestrial asymmetry and acceleration/deceleration of the following:
      a. http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/vaughn_lod_fig1b.png
      b. http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/vaughn_lod_fig1a.png

      The Southern Ocean circumpolar flow discontinuity is key to recognizing how even weak external coupling is enough to regionally leverage (e.g. North Atlantic amplitude magnitude) global averages via heat capacity differentials.

      Many discussion participants fail to remain cognizant of the fact that we are often talking about TENTHS of a degree C in these discussions. And I am convinced beyond all shadow of a doubt that MOST participants have ABSOLUTELY NO FUNDAMENTAL GRASP WHATSOEVER on the ways in which aggregation criteria affect spatiotemporal summaries (such as “global surface averages”).

      Important:

      See technical note 5a here:

      Semi-Annual Solar-Terrestrial Power
      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/23/confirmation-of-solar-forcing-of-the-semi-annual-variation-of-length-of-day/

      This, along with interannual spatiotemporal variability of comparable magnitude, is what is tripping people up. Most, if they know wavelet methods at all, focus only on grain at a constant extent; this is a VERY serious, DEEPLY blinding conceptual deficiency. It is LITERALLY like NOT knowing that a microscope has TWO adjustments (i.e. magnification AND focal length).

      Do you understand Chief? Do you know of anyone in the climate establishment mainstream that will be ready to understand? And if so, WHO? These results are too clean & intuitive to be dismissed by anyone who takes the time to carefully understand.

      Regards.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The length of day is related elsewhere to trade winds in particular – which are an ENSO feedback in the Pacific – but we are talking about milli(?)second differences.

        The Antactic cincumpolar flows are influenced by SLP over the southern pole – which in turn are influenced by solar UV warming ozone in the middle atmosphere. UV drifts much more than visible or infrared components of TSI.

        The SAM – Southern Annular Mode – is a SLP index which rises and falls pushing storms spinning off the polar front (and cold Southern Ocean water) more or less into higher latitudes. When cold water accumulates or doesn’t of the western coast of South America – the rising of fridig and nutrient rich sub-surface water in the Humboldt Current is enhanced or not in the thermal genesis of ENSO.

        It also works in the Northern Hemisphere –
        Are cold winters in Europe associated with low solar activity? – iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/5/2/024001

        Solar UV co-varies with the magnetic index – so another and very physical way of climate change as an amplification of solar changes.

        Will they believe it? When anough scietific anomalies accumulate.

        Cheers
        Robbo the Yobbo

  75. Chief;
    That all amounts to an attempt to “back-door” a super-robust version of the execrable “Precautionary Principle”. It amounts to saying that no action or activity that has the slightest chance of tweaking the super-sensitive chaotically unstable unknown and unknowable climate system should ever be undertaken. No matter if such passivity entails the n-fold decimation of the human population, we just can’t risk it!

    Or, if you disagree, perhaps you’d be kind enough to lay out the boundaries of the potentially “upsetting” survival activities we Hoomons are to be permitted. After we make you World Emperor, that is.

    • Keeping CO2 levels in the atmosphere within the boundaries it’s been in for the past few million years for example.

      You can screw about locally, but making ubiquitous changes like elevating CO2 throughout the atmosphere to levels unprecedented for millions of years is crazy.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        lolwot,

        How to go about things is the key to success.
        The cheesboard and the grain day after day
        is swept into empty bellies and does not stay.

        We need to increase food and energy by 8 times this century if we are to emerge into a bright future. If not – the damage is unthinkable. The moral challenge extends far beyond carbon dioxide. But if you think about it – we can’t create that sort of growth on an ongoing basis with carbon based fuels as they are simply too expensive. We need new technologies.

        Cheers
        Robbo the Yobbo

      • Hm, not familiar with these cheesboard thingies. :) Descriptify one, pliz? ;)

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Brian,

      Science does not dictate policy. Here is something I wrote today for the papers.
      Wayne Swan is right about the Australian economy not losing jobs as a result of the carbon tax – at least according to Treasury modelling. Treasury assumes that wages will fall and employment will stay steady as a result. Lest I be deemed a sceptic for questioning any minor detail of proposals for saving the world from ourselves – I accept without question that we have pushed concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to levels not seen in 10 to 15 million years – and that has effects on both land vegetation and marine ecosystems. Global warming misses the point entirely but the alternative of abrupt climate change – a potential for instance of a 10 degree Centigrade cooling (at some locations) within a decade – is no improvement at all.

      The Treasury modelling was done in 2007 for Kevin Rudd. It assumes that America, China and India will go down the carbon pricing route by 2016. I will leave you to decide on the likelihood of that – but if they don’t the costs are increased substantially, wages fall further and the reduction in global carbon emissions is non-existent. I suggest that China and India would be ill advised to choose expensive energy over the economic growth that saves lives and empowers people. The other problem is that there is a big gap between $23/ tonne of carbon dioxide proposed and the $70/tonne that would be required to cause a shift to gas powered electricity generation – let alone solar or wind power.

      Carbon pricing has not worked anywhere – other than perhaps Sweden and Denmark at $140/tonne. Are there practical and pragmatic alternative responses? We know carbon in Australian agricultural soils has fallen from 20% to 5% – so there is an huge potential there to both reduce carbon in the atmosphere and improve soils for the task of providing enough food for the world in this century. Better management of fire in the landscape – not too little and not too much – has immense potential to sequester carbon and better manage ecologies. Getting rid of camels and other feral animals – or at least reducing the number – has the potential to offset the entire beef cattle industry and more. We could either eat them or sell them without difficulty. We can offset all of our emissions for the next 40 years and in the meantime invest heavily in the next generation of energy technologies.

      Offshore is the greatest potential for low cost offsets – as shown by the Hartwell 2010 Paper from the London School of Economics, the Copenhagen Consensus priorities developed by Nobel Prize winning economists and the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations. The strategy here is economic growth and development – the provision of good democratic and market regulatory models, open trade, assistance with health, education, safe water and sanitation and help with conserving and restoring agricultural soils and environments. There are several objectives here. The reduction of black carbon and ozone emissions as development proceeds – the half of the problem of human emissions that could start to be eliminated within days of emissions slowing and improve health and environmental outcomes. Conserving and restoring ecosystems – we can offset 40% of global emissions and enhance biodiversity. Managing population growth – which is half of the other half of the problem. How, you might ask, do we do this? We increase our aid budget to 0.7% of GDP as we have promised to do – and focus on programs with these multiple objectives. I would be much happier spending on this and be effective than waste time, energy and resources on something that hasn’t worked and is never likely to.

      And yes – vote 1 for Robbo the Yobbo as World President. I have policies. I have an interim Womens Policy – free motorcycle tuition. OK – it is really a policy for dykes but I’m working on it. I have an education policy. 16 hour a day 7 day a week education. Kids don’t get the vote – so suck eggs kids.

      I also discovered the most beautiful poet in the world today – http://ekleksographia.ahadadabooks.com/atherton/authors/King_Holden.html – and it’s a girl by gum.

      So it has been a good day.

      Perhaps we should call it the cautionary principle – making things better so they don’t get worse.

      • Apparently “climate science” is required to justify this policy dog’s breakfast.

        All your semi-jocular commentary still has as its hardrock base the presumption that cutting CO2 will be at least neutral, not harmful, and probably very desirable if not essential.
        All those presumptions are wrong. They certainly, at the very least, do not warrant broad consensus, much less handover of the authority to implement “mitigation”.

        Because mitigation is deadly. It is mass murder on an unprecedented scale by food and fuel poverty. (Yes, exceeding even the big 3, Hitler, Stalin, and Mao. Separately or combined.)

        So, “No, you can’t. Permission refused.”

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You accuse me of plottting world domination and genocide as a result of quoting Richard Alley from the Journal of Climate and the National Academies of Sciences?

        The question of science is relegated to the don’t care not interested – I am simply going to repeat an entrenched policy postion.

        If I say really that I don’t know – as everyone with the sense that they were born with does – what the outcome will be of the great atmospheric experiment – on global hydrology, ecologies and human societies – it is to reject the informal logical fallacy of an ‘argumentum ad ignorantum’. Something that you sadly fail to do.

        As for policy – science is not even the largest determinant. If like the Hartwell Paper or the Copenhagen Consensus – we say that there are better ways than taxing energy. Ways with multiple objectives to address this and other pressing problems of the world. Ways that increase human dignity and the resiliance of human societies and economies to change. I suggest you not get stuck in a rut of automatic nay saying and broaden your outlook.

        Failing that – I accuse you of ‘pooning’ (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pooning/42745096333) and eating babies.

      • Sorry, the “ad ignorantum” problem cuts only one way. The Precautionary Principle is used to demand action because we don’t know. The only use I (or skeptics, as opposed to lukewarmers) make of “ad ignorantum” is to say that it applies a fortiori to the consequences of hyper-expensive mitigation.

        And there are no other kinds. The scale of the changes required to make even a barely measurable impact on CO2 levels (which is losing more and more of its apparent influence as suppressed studies break through the publishing blockade) is such that even, e.g., Australia crippling itself is of trivial effect — except on the millions of Australians who will be penalized, or even ridden roughshod over by the gallumphing arbitrary bureaucracies even now flexing their muscle. The only effective way to “mitigate”, notwithstanding rhetorical bumph like, “Ways with multiple objectives to address this and other pressing problems of the world. Ways that increase human dignity and the resiliance of human societies and economies to change.”, is by slashing living standards, productivity, and (intentionally or otherwise) population.

        The appeal to hypothetical hypersensitivity of climate processes is disingenuous, bad science, and merely a disguised demand for (impossible) stand-still interactions with the environment, preferably dialed back a decade or century or few. It is telling that neither luke- nor hyper-warmists (dare) give more than sneering dismissive attention to the possibility that both CO2 and temperature increase are likely to be as beneficial as they have been throughout history and pre-history.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Climate is non-linear – and here I am in good company with the NAS and the WHOI as examples quoted in my original post. Neither side of this argument have grasped this essential fact. It is certainly not neccessarily the case that we will get warming. Climate is hyersensitive in the region of a chaotic bifurcation – and insensitve elsewhere. This is extremely cogent science.

        The policy solutions include providing models for free trade, good corporate goverance, prudential regulation and assistance in many areas including in agriculture, conservation, safe water, sanitation, health services and education. These incorporate the Millenium Development Goals, the Copenhagen Consensus priorities as outlines in the 2010 Hartwell Paper.

      • “Neither side of this argument have grasped this essential fact.” I have seen you say this a lot about the non-linear character of climate, and I wonder how true it is. I was taught rudimentary physics (A-level) in the 60s, and one of my abiding memories is of a class devoted to the climate, in which its non-linear character was made abundantly clear, even to those of us who would not go on to further scientific study. And our physics master was quick to point out the implications this had for climate forecasting. At that time a computer was something big and expensive, kept in a special room, and operated by men in white coats. Yet Moore’s Law was already perceived (certainly by my physics master), and he told us about the early attempts to use computers to predict climate. His own prediction was highly sceptical of these ambitions. He told us that even an exponential increase in computing power would not yield success in his lifetime and probably not ours. I was always sceptical of the predictive power to be had from trying to solve a non-linear equation by doing lots and lots and LOTS of little linear ones. Climategate, and the alarming spread of warmism to BOTH sides of politics led me to look deeper at the science, and see if my old physics master had been proved wrong. So far I don’t think so.

      • Tom,

        They are arguing about whether climate is more or less sensitive to CO2.
        I don’t think either is the case – and there are lots of people. Sensitivity is not a constant. As you seem to know from your teacher.

        The models are based on the partial differential equations of fluid motion. These are the equation by Edward Lorenz in his 1960’s convection model – to discover chaos theory. So the models are themselves chaotic – by definition non-linear. That is – a large response to a small perturbation or something that is sometimes called sensitive dependence to initial conditions.

        ‘Sensitive dependence and structural instability are humbling twin properties for chaotic dynamical systems, indicating limits about which kinds of questions are theoretically answerable. They echo other famous limitations on scientist’s expectations, namely the undecidability of some propositions within axiomatic mathematical systems (Gödel’s theorem) and the uncomputability of some algorithms due to excessive size of the calculation.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.long

        A common statement about climate is that weather is chaotic but climate is the average of weather. I have been able to decipher the meaning of that. That it is easier to predict climate in 100 years than weather in a week. It is not true – the ‘average of weather’ changes as climate chaotically – and unpredictably shifts.

        I say this as someone who thinks that the odds are for a cooler century – but that we still should reduce GHG emissions. One of the reasons is the unpredictability of chaotic systems and potential for tipping over into a prolonged cool episode.

        Do sceptics like chaos – because it proves warmists wrong? But then fail to take this to the logical and mathematical conclusion.

        Cheers

      • Chief;
        follow your own “logic and mathematics”. The “tipping” has no preferred direction, and the likelihood of tipping is also itself unknowable. GHG increases could cause increased stability just as easily as increased volatility.

      • Chief Hydrologist, 7/20/11, 12:17 am, SST(t)

        Climate is non-linear – and here I am in good company with the NAS and the WHOI as examples quoted in my original post. Neither side of this argument have grasped this essential fact.

        Science has zero tolerance for ambiguity. By definition, a system is linear if and only if it has this characteristic:

        Y(a_1*X_1+a_2*X_2) = a_1*Y(X_1) + a_2*Y(X_2)

        where Y is the response and X_i the forcings.

        Anything in the natural world can be modeled that way, especially if you’re not too persnickety about accuracy. Nothing in the natural world has that characteristic. The natural world has no coordinate systems, no parameters, no laws, no values, no units, no dimensions, no numbers, no infinities, no infinitesimals, no equilibrium, no equations, no binary relationships. These are all manmade. Science is manmade.

        Example: The vaunted Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity is a parameter in a linear model of climate. IPCC says T(kC) = ΔT + T(C), where T is the temperature anomaly, C is the CO2 concentration, and Δ is the climate sensitivity. This is a functional equation for which the solution is uniquely the logarithm. Thus T(C) = ECS*Log(C). IPCC goes further to define ECS for a doubling of CO2, in which case T(C)=ECS*Log_2(C). This is a linear, homogeneous equation for T in terms of Log_2(C). A linear equation can always be made nonlinear by a change of variables, and sometimes the reverse is true, and that is for the modeler’s skill to find. The conclusion is that IPCC’s ultimate model for climate, and its only testable prediction, is linear.

        Conclusion: climate is neither linear nor nonlinear. Now that IS an essential fact some have not grasped.

      • Curiouser and curiouser.

      • Alinear? Not conforming to any function or equation?

      • Chief Hydrologist, 7/21/11, 12:03 am, SST(t)

        CH: So the models are themselves chaotic.

        Excellent.

        CH: … by definition non-linear. That is – a large response to a small perturbation …

        What you describe is neither nonlinearity nor chaos, but high gain. Might you be thinking of instability?

        CH: chaotic … or something that is sometimes called sensitive dependence to initial conditions.

        Excellent. You might also have pointed out that the evolving definition for chaos often includes the observation that chaos is not random, that is, it is deterministic. Presumably, it’s state would be known if only the initial conditions were not truncated at some stage in the model.

        CH: One of the reasons is the unpredictability of chaotic systems and potential for tipping over into a prolonged cool episode.

        Whoops! (Real world) Systems v. models. Two different things. A common error even among pretty good scientists and engineers. Systems don’t inherit the characteristics of their models. One only hopes the reverse is true. Because no one has figured out how to predict some process does not mean the process is unpredictable or chaotic.

        Tipping points, like novas, occur in nature. A switch in the course of the THC is a possible tipping point that would have a profound effect on climate. Science has come along way since Descartes’ Discourse in 1637. Perhaps three to four centuries, we will be able to model tipping points.

        Climate and weather don’t have initial conditions, or numbers to be truncated. We can manufacture systems like compound pendulums that are chaotic, but having initial conditions, they are in general not found in nature. Therefore climate and weather cannot be chaotic – by definition. They cannot be chaotic any more than they can be linear or nonlinear, or equilibrated. Curiouser and curiouser and curiouser – cried CH ([]he was so much surprised, that for the moment []he quite forgot how to speak good English.)

        CH: Do sceptics like chaos – because it proves warmists wrong? But then fail to take this to the logical and mathematical conclusion.

        Climate chaos and climate nonlinearity are not claims of skeptics (scientists), but of believers, the pro AGW private consensus. Believers need to blame climate for their inability to model it. They fail to apply logic and math starting from solid definitions. Nevertheless, they are dead certain, e.g.,

        CH: … we still should reduce GHG emissions

        ACO2 is the alleged cause for whatever it is we’re observing. That is the first thing in science since 1637 to have been conclusively proved, and now beyond debate. It is the only immutable axiom.

        Go green! Emit CO2.

      • Now, Jeff; CH’s “curiouser X2” comment was a quote. From Alice in Wonderland.

        You should bone up on the classics.

      • Wups! On checking, I see you actually were steps ahead, citing (mutatis mutandi) the next line of the text, too. Apologies and abasements.

        +1

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Chaotic systems are found everywhere in nature and technology – ecologies, populations, economies, nervous systems, ant colonies, electrical systems, orbits, weather, climate and computer models. They are in principle deterministic but practically incalculable.

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

        ‘Atmospheric and oceanic computational simulation models often successfully depict chaotic space–time patterns, flow phenomena, dynamical balances, and equilibrium distributions that mimic nature. This success is accomplished through necessary but nonunique choices for discrete algorithms, parameterizations, and coupled contributing processes that introduce structural instability into the model. Therefore, we should expect a degree of irreducible imprecision in quantitative correspondences with nature, even with plausibly formulated models and careful calibration (tuning) to several empirical measures.’

        http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.long

        You are full of mad ramblings – hence the Alice allusion. A mad hatter if I have ever known one.

      • Chief Hydrologist, 7/21/11, 12:03 am, SST(t)

        CH: Chaotic systems are found everywhere in nature and technology – ecologies, populations, economies, nervous systems, ant colonies, electrical systems, orbits, weather, climate and computer models. They are in principle deterministic but practically incalculable.

        CH’s own quotations contradict his conclusion here.

        Properly linked by CH, both citations are from McWilliams, J. C., Irreducible imprecision in atmospheric and oceanic simulations , PNAS, v. 104, no. 21, 5/22/07, 8709–8713. The author is a professor of earth sciences at UCLA. Between 1972 and 2010, he published 289 papers. That period conveys a certain immunity to the failed AGW conjecture, and to the intense peer-censorship of today. IPCC cites three of his co-authored works in AR4, and 11 in TAR, plus one as lead author.

        CH’s first quotation is footnote § on p. 8713. Between incalculable and the period the original is a note, “(see ref. 26)”, which is a call to

        Penrose R (1990) in The Emperor’s New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds, and the Laws of Physics(Oxford Univ Press, Oxford, UK), p 466

        This is a work by a world class physicist for the layman. It was poorly received and sharply criticized on substantive grounds. This is evidenced by the 13 one-star reviews out of 74 compiled at Amazon, reviews well worth a tour. So, too, is the Wikipedia article on Penrose, which says of the Emperor’s New Mind,

        most of the thinkers who have appraised his work say that he has so far failed to support the claim that consciousness could not be explained by existing scientific principles.

        Having not read his book, I can form no opinion on the support. However, the claim itself does not sit well with my model of science. First, explanatory powers, like descriptive powers, depend on the receiver. That makes them subjective, placing them outside science. Second, nothing within scientific principles in any way precludes a model for consciousness, or, for that matter, anything else so long as it is measurable. If consciousness is not measurable, it is not predictable, and cannot be modeled. Success here might lie in a slightly different direction, creating a computer routine that has self-awareness. Regardless, Penrose and I part ways on the model for science, and not what he might have to say about Gödel’s Theorem and computational theory, which, being a work of entertainment, could not contradict McWilliams’ reliance.

        CH’s second quotation is McWilliams’ abstract, but omitting the last sentence:

        Where precision is an issue (e.g., in a climate forecast), only simulation ensembles made across systematically designed model families allow an estimate of the level of relevant irreducible imprecision.

        McWilliams’ title and text are clear: he is addressing the behavior of models and their predictive power, the ultimate test of science. The abstract links the inevitable failure in chaotic models to their inability to correspond to nature.

        McWilliams concludes in the last sentence CH omitted is that a way to solve this modeling limitation might be to apply an ensemble of such models. The main body of his paper is more specific. In the sentence containing the footnote CH selected, McWilliams speculates

        Similarly an appreciation of the property of structural instability ought to lead to the practice of ensemble AOS [computational atmospheric and oceanic simulation] modeling on the basis of a set of deliberately varied model formulations, to expose the reliability and precision of the simulated behaviors.§ Bold added.

        With that, the footnote can be understood in context.

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

        CH got it backwards. The chaotic dynamical systems are the models, not nature! Reinforcing this interpretation are McWilliams’ analogies to mathematical systems and algorithms, both inventions of man, and, as it happens, having similar theoretical underpinnings.

        McWilliams’ reference to Penrose is unfortunate on two counts. First, the reference is strategically placed inside the period of the second sentence, indicating that it does not extend to the preceding sentence. That fine technical point is not likely to be misunderstood by an author from UCLA, but it could easily be lost on a lay reader. Second, Penrose’s book is a poor substitute for a rigorous paper on computation theory.

        Patterned after CH’s first sentence, CH might have said correctly this time:

        Chaotic MODELS are found everywhere in SIMULATIONS OF nature and technology – [list]. Chaotic MODELS are in principle deterministic but CAN BE incalculable.

        And as McWilliams teaches, chaotic models are of marginal use in representing the real world.

        CH: You are full of mad ramblings – hence the Alice allusion. A mad hatter if I have ever known one.

        Since CH’s conclusion is false, his premise must be false. Therefore, he has never known a mad hatter. The hat is on the other head.

      • ‘AOS models are members of the broader class of deterministic chaotic dynamical systems, which provides several expectations about their properties (Fig. 1).’ McWilliam

        Chaos theory is applied in many scientific disciplines: mathematics, programming, microbiology, biology, computer science, economics,[6][7][8] engineering,[9] finance,[10][11] philosophy, physics, politics, population dynamics, psychology, robotics, and meteorology.

        Chaotic behavior has been observed in the laboratory in a variety of systems including electrical circuits, lasers, oscillating chemical reactions, fluid dynamics, and mechanical and magneto-mechanical devices, as well as computer models of chaotic processes. Observations of chaotic behavior in nature include changes in weather,[5] the dynamics of satellites in the solar system, the time evolution of the magnetic field of celestial bodies, population growth in ecology, the dynamics of the action potentials in neurons, and molecular vibrations. There is some controversy over the existence of chaotic dynamics in plate tectonics and in economics.[12][13][14]

        A successful application of chaos theory is in ecology where dynamical systems such as the Ricker model have been used to show how population growth under density dependence can lead to chaotic dynamics[citation needed].

        Chaos theory is also currently being applied to medical studies of epilepsy, specifically to the prediction of seemingly random seizures by observing initial conditions.[15]’

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

        Your mad ramblings are a waste of my time.

      • Chief Hydrologist, 7/23/11, 1:05 am, SST(t)

        CH: ‘AOS models are members of the broader class of deterministic chaotic dynamical systems, which provides several expectations about their properties (Fig. 1).’ McWilliam[s]

        Our discussion had been an attempt to awaken CH to the difference between a model, where chaos can exist, and a natural real world system, where it cannot. His citation again from McWilliams reinforces that message, except CH must realize that McWilliams is using the word system here to apply to models and not just the real world.

        Readers might be interested to know that CH’s next four paragraphs are a single, contiguous, verbatim clip from Wikipedia, which CH pasted, presumably accidentally without quotation marks, like the missing s in McWilliams. Sort of conversational chaos.

        As has been shown in this dialog, CH is challenged for his ability to reference material. Last time, he cited McWilliams, which contradicted his own claim! Once again, his latest post shows how this creates a problem for him.

        First, with regard to Wikipedia, it is a most valuable resource for starting research. It is like the entire Internet, sorted, cross-referenced and indexed. However, an objective exchange should cite Wikipedia only for what Wikipedia says and not as an authority on substance. For example, check the uneditable Wikipedia article on Global warming. It says,

        Global warming is caused by increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, resulting from human activities such as deforestation and burning of fossil fuels.[2][3] This finding is recognized by the national science academies of all the major industrialized countries and is not disputed by any scientific body of national or international standing.[4][5][A]

        The first sentence is false, yet the second sentence is true enough for government work. Here are Wikipedia’s two references for the first sentence.

        2. “Understanding and Responding to Climate Change”. United States National Academy of Sciences. 2008. http://americasclimatechoices.org/climate_change_2008_final.pdf. Retrieved 30 May 2010. “Most scientists agree that the warming in recent decades has been caused primarily by human activities that have increased the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”

        3. America’s Climate Choices: Panel on Advancing the Science of Climate Change; National Research Council (2010). Advancing the Science of Climate Change. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press. ISBN 0309145880. http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12782. “… there is a strong, credible body of evidence, based on multiple lines of research, documenting that climate is changing and that these changes are in large part caused by human activities. While much remains to be learned, the core phenomenon, scientific questions, and hypotheses have been examined thoroughly and have stood firm in the face of serious scientific debate and careful evaluation of alternative explanations.”

        The quotation from USNAS in [2] is false and worse: it is unscientific. It is IPCC-speak. No one has ever taken a poll of all scientists, or even a statistically significant sample of them, to show as implied that over half agreed with AGW. And why would anyone ever poll all scientists instead of just those who profess some familiarity with the subject? Even extensive technical knowledge in one field, like CH with ENSO, and like others with a specialty who post on Climate Etc. regularly, does not automatically convey an understanding of epistemology and the principles of science. That requires separate study.

        Secondly, even if the implied poll produced 100% for AGW, that is not how science works. Here is how science is supposed to be taught in California public schools, K-12:

        [I]n discussing a particular scientific issue, students should never be told that “many scientists” think this or that. Science is decided not by vote but by evidence. Nor should students be told that “scientists believe.” Science is not a matter of belief; rather, it is a matter of evidence that can be subjected to the tests of observation an objective reasoning. A phrase such as “Many scientists believe …” misrepresents scientific inquiry. It also obscures for students what scientists really do and how they come to their understandings. Educators should be encouraged to stretch their pedagogical vocabularies. Say instead that scientists reach conclusions based on evidence and that all conclusions are always subject to modification based on new knowledge. Students should be told about evidence and how scientists reach their conclusions, not whether scientists believe something or how many do or do not. …

        Educators should show … students that nothing in science is decided just because someone important says it is so (authority) or because that is the way it has always been done (tradition). In the free marketplace of ideas, the better new idea supersedes or absorbs the previous ones. California Science Framework, 1990, Part I – What Is Science?, p. 18.

        In other words, this is grade school stuff, even in the failing American education system. It is post-Descartes. Shame on USNAS for its abuse of these principles. Shame on IPCC, Wikipedia, and Chief Hydrologist for passing off such material, first-hand to third-hand, as if it were science. The failures in the U.S. apparently are epidemic.

        National Research Council claims that these changes are in large part caused by human activities is false. It is the conclusion of IPCC, which supports that claim with nothing more than various species of chartjunk (e.g., visual correlation, doctored ordinates, hockey sticks, spaghetti graphs, causation by correlation), and suppression of natural causes (zeroed processes at model initiation, solar amplification ignored, dynamic cloud cover unresolved). The fact that IPCC and its cohorts spent billions of dollars to come up with nothing but obvious misrepresentations instills confidence that fundamental claim is false. NRC continues with the core phenomenon, scientific questions, and hypotheses have been examined thoroughly and have stood firm in the face of serious scientific debate and careful evaluation of alternative explanations. In other words, the science is settled. This must is post modern science, where the models are settled but the method is not. Descartes is dead. Subjectivity trumps objectivity. It’s like skiing, where once the boots were soft and the skis stiff. Science mutates.

        The United States National Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council breach their duty to the public by repeating scientific claims under the names of their organizations without having independently verified those claims.

        CH omitted the opening paragraph of his Wikipedia authority. It said,

        Chaos theory is a field of study in mathematics, with applications in several disciplines including physics, economics, biology, and philosophy.

        If the word theory were deleted, would the meaning of the sentence change in any way? In science, the word theory conveys a certain attribute to a model: validation of a nontrivial prediction. It has a different meaning in mathematics, where it is a subset carved out of mathematical logic. Wikipedia provides a definition and a long list of mathematical theories, which, by the way, omits chaos theory! Sometimes scientists attach inappropriate names to things, as in string theory , of which CH’s source, Wikipedia, says, without citation,

        The theory has yet to make testable experimental predictions, leading some to claim that it cannot be considered a part of science.

        Indubitably. By the same token, theory in chaos theory may be warranted in mathematics, but not in science.

        So CH impliedly endorses Wikipedia, shooting from the hip to cite it in the blind – clip, paste, clip, paste, c… . Here’s his choice for his opening shot:

        Chaos theory is applied in many scientific disciplines: mathematics, programming, microbiology, biology, computer science, economics,[6][7][8] engineering,[9] finance,[10][11] philosophy, physics, politics, population dynamics, psychology, robotics, and meteorology.

        The passive voice is convenient for hiding both mistakes and error. CH suggests by this list that chaos is present in nature. That isn’t what even this ambiguous article says. The best interpretation is that Wikipedia wants to say that mathematicians studying chaos have applied it, without regard to success or failure, to each field in the list. We have already exhausted the fact that chaotic models applied to climate (meteorology) with less than success. McWilliams. Note that in CH’s choice, Wikipedia gives no citations for the first four fields after mathematics, nor the seven after finance. So at best supportable Wikipedia parses down to this:

        “Mathematicians specializing in chaos have applied their field to economics,[6][7][8] engineering,[9] finance,[10][11].”

        Wikipedia links only one of these six citations, [9], to an article not behind a paywall, or worse. This is a small loss considering the high percentage of subjective, social science within the fields of economics and finance. The one reference remaining is Number 9, Harney, M., Applying Chaos Theory to Embedded Applications, EE Times, 6/24/00. It begins,

        Chaotic data sequences are found in nature in everything from turbulence in the weather to tumor growth in biological systems. Chaotic sequences are the result of non-linear differential equations that govern physical systems, which for years have eluded closed form solution and therefore a coherent, mathematical explanation.

        The first sentence is over the top; it is CH’s naïve belief. Depending on the point of view adopted, the second sentence clarifies or belies the first. No equations, nonlinear or linear, differential or not, partial or ordinary are found in nature. That’s sufficient to establish, once again, that chaos does not appear in nature. By definition, it cannot because natural processes have no discernable or useful initial conditions. In the man-made part of the real world, chaos can exist because there something or someone initiates numerical processes. In any case, man can observe an on-going real world process, and with skill and luck model it as deterministic plus noise, but he can never establish without introducing Big Bang-like paradoxes that the present state was unpredictable in the past and before its initiation for lack of specificity in the initial conditions.

        The claim that climate is non-linear or chaotic is an excuse, false on its face, for the failure of some climate models.

        CH closes with another classy, loser’s taunt: Your mad ramblings are a waste of my time. I’ll bite. At least nothing of value was lost.

      • Dragon-Kings, Black Swans and the Prediction of Crises – Didier Sornette

        ‘We develop the concept of “dragon-kings” corresponding to meaningful outliers, which are found to coexist with power laws in the distributions of event sizes under a broad range of conditions in a large variety of systems. These dragon-kings reveal the existence of mechanisms of self-organization that are not apparent otherwise from the distribution of their smaller siblings. We present a generic phase diagram to explain the generation of dragon-kings and document their presence in six different examples (distribution of city sizes, distribution of acoustic emissions associated with material failure, distribution of velocity increments in hydrodynamic turbulence, distribution of financial drawdowns, distribution of the energies of epileptic seizures in humans and in model animals, distribution of the earthquake energies). We emphasize the importance of understanding dragon-kings as being often associated with a neighborhood of what can be called equivalently a phase transition, a bifurcation, a catastrophe (in the sense of Rene Thom), or a tipping point. The presence of a phase transition is crucial to learn how to diagnose in advance the symptoms associated with a coming dragon-king.’

        Can I supply references to deterministic chaos in nature and socirty endlessly? Can I be bothered?

      • Chief,
        what are the chances of the 100kyear interglacial cycle being due to deterministic chaos? Isn’t it more likely it is a mechanism that works through some kind of resonance triggered by a periodic forcing such as changes in Earth’s orbital eccentricity?

        The switch from ~40kyear interglacials to 100kyear might be more of a chaos manifestation, but it’s worth noting that relates to another periodic forcing (axial tilt). It seems possible therefore, that the switch was due to some internal variation (ocean currents/sea level/tectonics).

        I have to say I’m more inclined to the opinion that chaos is the state of our knowledge of the cosmos, rather than necessarily the state of the cosmos.

        Cheers

      • Chief Hydrologist, 7/24/11, 3:15 am, GAST(t)

        You ask, Can I supply references to deterministic chaos in nature and society endlessly? Can I be bothered?

        1. The article you cited never used the word chaos, though the author referenced his own $65 book with chaos in the title:

        D. Sornette, Critical Phenomena in Natural Sciences, Chaos, Fractals, Self-organization and Disorder: Concepts and Tools, 2nd, Springer Series in Synergetics, Heidelberg (2004).

        He referenced 37 of his own works among 75 references. He was sort of bound to hit upon the word chaos.

        2. Sornette says of his subject work,

        If events of large impacts are part of a population described by a power law distribution, the common wisdom is that there is no way to predict them because nothing distinguish them from their small siblings: their great sizes and impacts come out as surprises, beyond the realm of normal expectations. This is the view expounded for instance by Bak and co-workers in their formulation of the concept of self-organized criticality [14,15]. This is also the concept espoused by the “Black Swan Theory” [16], which views high-impact rare events as unpredictable. Sornette (2009), p. 5.

        Also explaining that by a power law distribution he was referring only to the tail of the distribution (by which he meant density):

        A probability distribution function P(x) exhibiting a power law tail is such that [equation]

        and reference [16] is

        N.N. Taleb, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, Random House (2007).

        Thus, Sornette condemned his own work by equating it to the thoroughly discredited Black Swan by Taleb. For a discussion and citations, see my post of 5/30/11, 4:06 pm, Climate Etc., Uncertainty, risk and (in)action thread. Be sure not to miss this review by Falkenstein:

        http://falkenblog.blogspot.com/2009/03/review-of-talebs-black-swan.html

        By the way, Sornette’s paper is from the International Journal of Terraspace Science and Engineering. Perhaps that journal is defunct because none of its links opened. I tried without luck to find a definition for terrapace. Perhaps I need to try harder. Or could it be a branch of science fiction populated by Sornettes, Talebs, hydrologists, and AGWers?

        Even if you consider the Black Swan conjecture to exist in nature, that is of no avail. A fat tail distribution is not the same as chaos.

        So the answer to your first question, Can I supply references to deterministic chaos in nature and society endlessly?, is No. You can’t even supply the first one.

        The answer to your second question, Can I be bothered?, the answer is No, since you seem to enjoy running fool’s errands.

  76. Temp 1850 to 2011 with trends [hadcrut3 adjusted]

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1850/to:2012/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1850/to:1880/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1880/to:1920/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1920/to:1940/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1940/to:1978/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1978/from:1998/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/to:2012/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1978/to:1998/trend

    Temp rise

    1850 – 1880 30 0.0052 0.156

    1880-1920 40 -0.004 -0.160 cooling

    1920-1940 20 0.016 0.320

    1940-1978 38 -0.00133 -0.051 cooling

    1978-1998 20 0.0122 0.244

    1998-2011 13 0.00043 0.00559

    I don’t see how anyone can claim the 1978 to 1998 warming is unprecedented or accelerating. It must be lack of knowledge of the past.

    • I don’t see how anyone can claim the world has entered a cooling phase since 1998

      • Claiming that .00559 ° C per year is warming is grasping at straws.

        [While not actually declining It looks as close to flat as it is possible to be. The PDO has gone negative and there should be more La Nina’s than El Nino’s which would cause cooling. So far 2011 is cooler so the trend will be slightly down when the year is included.]

        Anyone with an eyeball can see that the 1978 to 1998 warm up is essentially over.

      • The period since 1998 started with a strong El Nino. Then PDO went negative, more La Nina’s (we’ve already had two in the past 4 years, it’s not going to get much better than that). All in all that should have caused a cooling trend since 1998, not a flat trend.

        Factor in the solar cycle as well (the period 1998-2011 ends with a very low solar minimum) and even more cooling should have happened.

        So why did the period 1998-2011 end up flat?

      • A negative PDO does not mean 100 % La Nina’s it just means more of them tend to happen. It’s a crap-shoot with loaded dice. Not 100 % but tending toward more cooling.

        2010 was an El Nino year which caused a slight upward blip in temperature. [That explains the failure to cool nicely. ] The total “warming” since 1998 is a cat’s whisker and one or 2 cool months will cause the trend to be negative.

        So far according to GISS Jan – June
        .45 . 41 . 57 .54 .42 .50 avg = .48 2010 average was .63 that is big difference when you are dealing with .0056 degrees per year.

        2011 is a La Nina year and is much cooler than 2010 and so will 2012 be [according to the charts I have seen.]

        http://iri.columbia.edu/climate/ENSO/currentinfo/QuickLook.html

        The next 20 to 30 years should have more La Nina’s than El Nino’s [since the PDO is negative] and the trend will be down. There might be a blip like 2010 along the way.

        Time will tell, but if it cools for the next 5 to 30 years the excuses about Chinese coal will not save the alarmist bandwagon.

      • netdr | July 17, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Reply

        Time will tell, but if it cools for the next 5 to 30 years the excuses about Chinese coal will not save the alarmist bandwagon gravytrain.

        There, fixed it for you. ;)

      • Chief Hydrologist

        lolwot,

        ENSO has 20 to 40 year modes that are in phase with the PDO – have a good look at Claus Wolters MEI – you will have to google it as I am having problems accessing it You get bigger and more frequent La Nina in a cool phase – a La Nina bias to 1976, El Nino to 1998 and La Nina since. I should also note that most of the recent warming happened in 1976/77 – the ‘Great Pacific Climate Shift’ and in the 1998 ‘super El Nino. You can quite easily verify this for yourself. These are ENSO dragon-kings – defined as extreme events at times of chaotic bifurcation.

        I have a review posted here – although it is a little old now and I might have to update if I find the inclination. There are plenty of references to peer reviewed studies however.

        http://www.earthandocean.robertellison.com.au/

        We are in a cool Pacific decadal mode – so more intense and frequent La Nina for a decade or three more – it is a big part of decadal variability in surface temperature and hydrology.

        Cheers
        Robbo the Yobbo

  77. This has been added to the main post:

    Note from Mike Wallace and Zhaohua Wu added 7/18:

    Thank you for your kind words about our article in Climate Dynamics. In our Table 2 and in the discussion on the page of the article that precedes it we draw a distinction between the partitioning of the trend in the past 25 years and in the past 50 years. Our statement,

    “Therefore, the estimated global warming due to human activities over the past 25 years ranges from about 0.10 K to about 0.15 K per decade, depending on the assumed partitioning of the MDV between natural and anthropogenic aerosol-forced variability”
    refers to the past 25 years, also referred to as “the past few decades” in our article.

    Our ST component accounts for a larger component of the 50-year trend. Our intent was not to contest the IPCC’s attribution of the “late 20th century” (i.e., 50-year) trend, but, rather, to question whether the acceleration in the rate of greenhouse warming was as pronounced as implied by results presented in AR-4, and particularly by the graph showing linear trends for the most recent 100, 50, and 25 years. The papers of Delsole and Shukla and by Semenov et al., referenced in our paper, makes the same point, but based on different kinds of evidence.

    Since there are people who will read about our article on your web site who do not have direct access to our article (or are not likely to take the time to access and read it carefully), it might be worth your making this clarification on your blog.

    Mike and Zhaohua

  78. We have been in a cooling phase since the beginning of the Holocene, the LIA was just the lowest spot on the slide before we started to rebound again. When the solar system clears the spiral arm of the galaxy we are passing through, and the electromagnetic turbulence that is disrupting the solar system’s natural balance, fade away the ice will return for another 100,000 years or so. Try denying that for a while, I don’t have blinders on big enough to block that vision out, as you do.

    • New geo-engineering project for the next century or two: seed the Earth’s magnetic envelope with nano-devices which magnify the strength of the field, deflecting as many cosmic rays as possible. Then, use von Neumann self-replicating devices to do the same for the whole inner solar system.
      :)

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