Week in Review 2/3/12

by Judith Curry

Some things that caught my eye this past week.

Climate Insanity

Climate insanity seems to be general theme for this past week, apparently triggered by the two dueling opinion pieces in the Wall Street Journal.

Keith Kloor follows with a piece Climate Debate Has Gone MAD, where MAD refers to mutually assured destruction.

The warring sides in the climate debate, however, are locked in a hostile embrace that threatens to destroy them both. There is one  difference to this war, though, in that it is not a conventional clash of superpowers, but more an asymmetrical conflict. Think of it like the war in Afghanistan, where climate scientists and campaigners are the U.S. military presence and Marc Morano and his like-minded band of ideologues are the Taliban.

Predictably, Marc Morano just eats this up with Osama Morano?  Warmist Keith Kloor compares Climate Depot to Taliban!

Well, at least Kloor and Morano score some points for injecting some humor into all of this.

And if all that wasn’t enough,  Andy Revkin reports on a petition to get Michael Mann disinvited as a speaker at Penn State, his home university:  A Shameful Attack on Free Speech by a Group Claiming to Speak for Coal Dependent Workers.  ClimateProgress also has a post on this.

For a dose of sanity, reread this post of several months ago: Candid Comments from Global Warming Scientists.

Ground Hogs

Since wisdom seems hard to come by this week in the climate debate, lets try ground hogs.  Bill Hooke has a charming and insightful post Ground Hog Day 2012. An excerpt:

Scientists in general, and climate scientists in particular, might be excused for following the Drumlin Woodchuck’s example. Lay low, have a couple of exits out of your burrow…obsess about that burrow…and you can lead a reasonably comfortable life. You can pretend that you and the world are friends. You can take occasion to think, to contemplate. And you can be there another day for your loved ones.

Or…stick your head up, particularly on a sunlit day where you can be readily noticed, or in a way that exposes you to the media glare (like all those scientists in yesterday’s post on both sides of the recent dust-up in the Wall Street Journal)…and risk having your head blown off.

The choice is yours.

Tamsin Edwards

The latest climate scientist to stick their head up is Tamsin Edwards, with her new climate blog All Models Are Wrong, with the subheading ” . . . but some are useful.  A grown-up discussion about how to quantify uncertainties in modelling climate change and its impacts.”  Gotta love the name of her blog, but apparently it received some major criticism from Peter Gleick and others, which is discussed on her first post.   Given her focus on uncertainty, I will obviously be following her blog closely.

Tamsin Edwards is a Research Associate in the Department of Geography at the University of Bristol. See also this interview. Tamsin, welcome to the climate blogosphere!

UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology

I just spotted this at BishopHill:

The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology has published a briefing paper on weather and climate. I’ve had a quick glance, and this caught my attention.

Natural forms of climate variability are likely to be the main influence on the UK’s climate over the next few decades.

Note, this is an uncommonly good analysis of the subject.  Who wrote this? Not the MetOffice.  Here is what it says at the end of the doc:

POST is an office of both Houses of Parliament, charged with providing independent and balanced analysis of policy issues that have a basis in science and technology. POST is grateful to Matthew Ashfold for researching this briefing, to the Natural Environment Research Council for funding his parliamentary fellowship, and to all contributors and reviewers. For further information on this subject, please contact the co-author, Dr Jonathan Wentworth. 

Thank you Matthew Ashfold and Jonathan Wentworth.  This is much better than what the dueling groups of experts provided to the WSJ.  “Independent and balanced analysis” is what is needed, and it seems impossible to get this from the ‘experts.’

260 responses to “Week in Review 2/3/12

  1. What’s surprising about the POST statement? The seldom-read SPM of the IPCC SREX of last November says as much, for the whole world.

  2. I agree with Keith, the Climate Debate Has Gone MAD and our whole society suffers the consequences.

    Society is in collapse worldwide and we are all trapped – together with our blinded leaders – like rats on a sinking ship, . . . unless we find a way to work together with the scientists whose work we have (justly) criticized.

    Thanks to the efforts of a few brave scientists like Roy Spencer and Judith Curry, world leaders know that they were wrong – but cannot admit it and abandon the scientists that manipulated data and observations for research grants.

    • What can we expect from all the brite lites of Main-Stream-Media…

      By Craig Andresen on January 26, 2012 at 9:25 am

      Given the testimony from today’s court case in Georgia, Obama has a lot of explaining to do. His attorney, Jablonski, was a NO SHOW as of course, was Obama.

      The following is a nutshell account of the proceedings.

      Promptly at 9am EST, all attorneys involved in the Obama Georgia eligibility case were called to the Judge’s chambers. This was indeed a very interesting beginning to this long awaited and important case.

      The case revolved around the Natural Born clause of the Constitution and whether or not Obama qualifies under it to serve. More to the point, if found ineligible, Obama’s name would not appear on the 2012 ballot in Georgia.

      With the small courtroom crowded, several in attendance could be seen fanning themselves with pamphlets as they waited for the return of the attorneys and the appearance of the judge.

      Obama himself, who had been subpoenaed to appear, of course was nowhere near Georgia. Instead, Obama was on a campaign swing appearing in Las Vegas and in Colorado ignoring the court in Georgia.

      Over the last several weeks, Obama’s attorney, Michael Jablonski, had attempted several tactics to keep this case from moving forward. He first tried to have it dismissed, then argued that it was irrelevant to Obama. After that, Jablonski argued that a state could not, under the law, determine who would or would not be on a ballot and later, that Obama was simply too busy with the duties of office to appear.

      After all these arguments were dispatched by the Georgia Court, Jablonski, in desperation, wrote to the Georgia Secretary of State attempting to place Obama above the law and declared that the case was not to he heard and neither he nor his client would participate.

      Secretary of State, Brian Kemp, fired back a letter hours later telling Jablonski he was free to abandon the case and not participate but that he would do so at his and his clients peril.

      Game on.

      5 minutes.

      10 minutes.

      15 minutes with the attorneys in the judge’s chambers.

      20 minutes.

      It appears Jablonski is not in attendance as the attorneys return, all go to the plaintiff table 24 minutes after meeting in the judge’s chambers.

      Has Obama’s attorney made good on his stated threat not to participate? Is he directly ignoring the court’s subpoena? Is he placing Obama above the law? It seems so. Were you or I subpoenaed to appear in court, would we or our attorney be allowed such action or, non action?

      Certainly not.

      Court is called to order.

      Obama’s birth certificate is entered into evidence.

      Obama’s father’s place of birth, Kenya East Africa is entered into evidence.

      Pages 214 and 215 from Obama’s book, “Dreams from My Father” entered into evidence. Highlighted. This is where Obama indicates that, in 1966 or 1967 that his father’s history is mentioned. It states that his father’s passport had been revoked and he was unable to leave Kenya.

      Immigration Services documents entered into evidence regarding Obama Sr.

      June 27th, 1962, is the date on those documents. Obama’s father’s status shown as a non citizen of the United States. Documents were gotten through the Freedom of Information Act.

      Testimony regarding the definition of Natural Born Citizen is given citing Minor vs Happersett opinion from a Supreme Court written opinion from 1875. The attorney points out the difference between “citizen” and “Natural Born Citizen” using charts and copies of the Minor vs Happersett opinion.

      It is also pointed out that the 14th Amendment does not alter the definition or supersede the meaning of Natural Born. It is pointed out that lower court rulings do not conflict with the Supreme Court opinion nor do they over rule the Supreme Court Minor vs Happersett opinion.

      The point is, to be a natural born citizen, one must have 2 parents who, at the time of the birth in question, be citizens of the United States. As Obama’s father was not a citizen, the argument is that Obama, constitutionally, is ineligible to serve as President.

      Judge notes that as Obama nor his attorney is present, action will be taken accordingly.

      Carl Swinson takes the stand.

      Testimony is presented that the SOS has agreed to hear this case, laws applicable, and that the DNC of Georgia will be on the ballot and the challenge to it by Swinson.

      2nd witness, a Mr. Powell, takes the stand and presents testimony regarding documents of challenge to Obama’s appearance on the Georgia ballot and his candidacy.

      Court records of Obama’s mother and father entered into evidence.

      Official certificate of nomination of Obama entered into evidence.

      RNC certificate of nomination entered into evidence.

      DNC language does NOT include language stating Obama is Qualified while the RNC document DOES. This shows a direct difference trying to establish that the DNC MAY possibly have known that Obama was not qualified.

      Jablonski letter to Kemp yesterday entered into evidence showing their desire that these proceedings not take place and that they would not participate.

      Dreams From My Father entered.

      Mr. Allen from Tuscon AZ sworn in.

      Disc received from Immigration and Naturalization Service entered into evidence. This disc contains information regarding the status of Obama’s father received through the Freedom of Information Act.

      This information states clearly that Obama’s father was NEVER a U.S. Citizen.

      At this point, the judge takes a recess.

      The judge returns.

      David Farrar takes the stand.

      Evidence showing Obama’s book of records listing his nationality as Indonesian. Deemed not relevant by the judge.

      Orly Taitz calls 2nd witness. Mr. Strump.

      Enters into evidence a portion of letter received from attorney showing a renewal form from Obama’s mother for her passport listing Obama’s last name something other than Obama.

      State Licensed PI takes the stand.

      She was hired to look into Obama’s background and found a Social Security number for him from 1979. Professional opinion given that this number was fraudulent. The number used or attached to Obama in 1979, shows that Obama was born in 1890. This shows that the number was originally assigned to someone else who was indeed born in 1890 and should never have been used by Obama.

      Same SS number came up with addresses in IL, D.C. and MA.

      Next witness takes the stand.

      This witness is an expert in information technology and photo shop. He testifies that the birth certificate Obama provided to the public is layered, multiple layered. This, he testifies, indicates that different parts of the certificate have been lifted from more than one original document.

      Linda Jordan takes the stand.

      Document entered regarding SS number assigned to Obama. SS number is not verified under E Verify. It comes back as suspected fraudulent. This is the system by which the Government verifies ones citizenship.

      Next witness.

      Mr. Gogt.

      Expert in document imaging and scanners for 18 years.

      Mr. Gogt testifies that the birth certificate, posted online by Obama, is suspicious. States white lines around all the type face is caused by “unsharp mask” in Photoshop. Testifies that any document showing this, is considered to be a fraud.

      States this is a product of layering.

      Mr. Gogt testifies that a straight scan of an original document would not show such layering.

      Also testifies that the date stamps shown on Obama documents should not be in exact same place on various documents as they are hand stamped. Obama’s documents are all even, straight and exactly the same indicating they were NOT hand stamped by layered into the document by computer.

      Next witness, Mr. Sampson a former police officer and former immigration officer specializing in immigration fraud.

      Ran Obama’s SS number through database and found that the number was issued to Obama in 1977 in the state of MA. Obama never resided in MA. At the time of issue, Obama was living in Hawaii.

      Serial number on birth certificate is out of sequence with others issued at that hospital. Also certification is different than others and different than twins born 24 hours ahead of Obama.

      Mr. Sampson also states that portion of documents regarding Mr. Sotoro, who adopted Obama have been redacted which is highly unusual with regards to immigration records.

      Suggests all records from Social Security, Immigration, Hawaii birth records be made available to see if there are criminal charges to be filed or not. Without them, nothing can be ruled out.

      Mr. Sampson indicates if Obama is shown not to be a citizen, he should be arrested and deported and until all records are released nobody can know for sure if he is or is not a U.S. Citizen.

      Taitz shows records for Barry Sotoro aka Barack Obama, showing he resides in Hawaii and in Indonesia at the same time.

      Taitz takes the stand herself.

      Testifies that records indicate Obama records have been altered and he is hiding his identity and citizenship.

      Taitz leave the stand to make her closing arguments.

      Taitz states that Obama should be found, because of the evidence presented, ineligible to serve as President.

      And with that, the judge closes the hearing.

      What can we take away from this?

      It’s interesting.

      Now, all of this has finally been entered OFFICIALLY into court records.

      One huge question is now more than ever before, unanswered.


      Without his attorney present, Obama’s identity, his Social Security number, his citizenship status, and his past are all OFFICIALLY in question.

      One thing to which there seems no doubt. He does NOT qualify, under the definition of Natural Born Citizen” provided by SCOTUS opinions, to be eligible to serve as President.

      What will the judge decide? That is yet to be known, but it seems nearly impossible to believe, without counter testimony or evidence, because Obama and his attorney chose not to participate, that Obama will be allowed on the Georgia ballot.

      It also opens the door for such cases pending or to be brought in other states as well.

      Obama is in it deep and the DNC has some…a LOT…of explaining to do unless they start looking for a new candidate for 2012.

      O & it’s Super Bowl Sunday, too!

  3. Didn’t Gore catch your attention? And this tweet from Sam Pucci, sailing with Gore:
    “Someone please inscribe something decent on my tomb. ”

    It certainly is a heck of a Summer down under:


  4. I would like to take the opportunity to continue a conversation I had with David Woijuk with respect to cellulose ehtanol. There have been significant developments with Poet. Poet has decided not to make use of the guaranteed funds from DOE which it received last November. Instead it has formed a joint partnership with Royal DSM; a large Dutch mining and other things.



    The key part of this is the following

    “The joint venture is expected to be profitable in the first full year of production (2014) and to deliver substantial revenues with above-average EBITDA contribution in the medium/longer term.”

    I have 5 quatloos that says that Poet/Royal DSM will have a profitable cellulose ethanol factory in operation in 2014. Do you have 5 quatloos that says the project will not be profitable?

    • If you have that much to say, and see the need to totally ignore your host, may I recommend starting your own blog? Then you’ll be free to direct discussion in any direction ;you like. In insisting on going off topic here, you just drag down the general level of Dr Curry’s effort.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        It is legitimate to rintroduce recent articles in the week in review.

        Corals can take the heat?

      • MarkB. Garbage. This is the Week in Review. Since David and I had our previous discussion, new things have happened. So far as I am concerned, these Reviews are precisely the time to bring into play updates on ANY subject.

      • actually, week in review is pretty much open topic, but lengthy discussions of technical issues should find the appropriate thread

      • Judith you write “actually, week in review is pretty much open topic, but lengthy discussions of technical issues should find the appropriate thread.”

        Thank you, Judith. There was no “appropiate thread”. The topic came under discussion on the previous Week in Review.

      • @MarkB,

        You’re saying Jim Cripwell may be ” drag (ging) down the general level of Dr Curry’s effort.”

        So he’s not all bad then?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        TT –

        I know Minnesota is quiet in February for a cowboy – but you ain’t quite got the knack of making a relevant comment or of being funny enough not to annoy the hell out of everyone. Try this one on for size.

        CH: Loneliness has driven you over the brink into paranoia and insanity, pardner.

        TT: Ha! I’m a cowboy. Loneliness is what I crave. Insanity is what we eat for breakfast. No, sir, solitude is a gift, Chief. We are cowboys. Lonesome is part of the iconic nature of the calling.

        I suggest that you study the lives of the cowboys – especially on unbidden vicissitudes of our soul – and come back only when you have an amusing game plan – http://prairiehome.publicradio.org/programs/2012/01/21/videos/#video-2

        Robert I Ellison
        Chief Hydrologist

    • I agree with Mark B that this post is OT

    • “[..] Royal DSM; a large Dutch mining and other things.”

      All dutch coal mines have been closed several decades ago. DSM (Dutch State Mines) has switched to other activities to provide employment in the region of the former mines. At first this was mainly chemical, but nowadays it has become broader than that.

      So please do not describe DSM as a mining company, as it has nothing to do with mining anymore.

      • Sjoerd, My mistake. I know nothing about Royal DSM; except that they seem to have enough money and expertise to build a successful production plant for cellulose ethanol.

    • Jim, I do not recall the substance of our prior discussion, except my pointing out that the US mandate will not be raised. Given the existing mandate it may well be that anything that can actually be produced can be sold at a profit. I have not looked at the text of the mandate for years. Can you point me to our prior discussion?

  5. “Natural forms of climate variability are likely to be the main influence on the UK’s climate over the next few decades.2 Then, as the century progresses, the influence of increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations is likely to be of growing importance.2”

    Reference 2 is Hawkins and Sutton, 2009.

    The first sentence is ok. The second is laughable.

  6. JC

    The following link is not working:

    A Shameful Attack on Free Speech by a Group Claiming to Speak for Coal Dependent Workers.

  7. The January data for global temperature anomaly from UAH is available for Jan 2012 ; namely -0.09 C. This means 2012 will start off with a value below the UAH average since 1979. It certainly does not give anyone any confidence that 2012 will show a marked accelaration for increasing global temperature anomalies. I would not like to bet that Smith et al Science August 2007 will benefit from the final value for average global temperature anomaly of 2012.

    • Yes, the plateau is over – now we go down.

    • No offense, but anyone who believes that anyone can measure any aspect of temperature on a global scale (including changes in temperature anomalies) to within 0.09C, should contact me about a bridge I got for sale.

      • GaryM. May I suggest you go over to drroyspencer.com, and find the latest thread on the Jan 2012 temperature anomaly. There is a space for comments. Why dont you tell Roy why his measurements are as innaccurate as you claim?

      • And here I thought appeal to authority was a CAGW advocacy thing….

      • GaryM writes “And here I thought appeal to authority was a CAGW advocacy thing…”

        I am not claiming Roy Spencer is an authority; not to be questioned. I am suggesting you go over to his blog and have a technical discussion with him as to why his numbers are being specified with too much accuracy. You could explain to him where his errors are. I am sure he would be grateful for any expert advice you could provide to him..

      • Temps on a global scale are BS figures devised for nefarious purposes!

      • Gary, -0.09C may be within the error range on the measurements (?), but it may still be a significant change compared to say, +0.4C.

      • And here I thought appeal to authority was a CAGW advocacy thing….

        Perhaps my role here at Climate Etc. is starting to draw to a close?

      • Joshua,

        No offense, but don’t strain a muscle patting yourself on the back. I criticized skeptic statements trying to turn temperature records into an argument against CAGW, when they relied on the same inflated claims of accuracy, long before I read your first comment here.

        But hey, if taking credit will get you to go away…or at least start commenting on substance…you da man.

      • GaryM –

        Is a joke, dude. I don’t actually assume that I’m the real cause behind your display of skepticism (as opposed to “skepticism”). Not at all.

        I don’t discount the remote possibility that without my presence here, you would have displayed such a characteristic on your own.

    • Chief Hydrologist


      Surface temperatures will remain subdued while the cool mode of the Pacific Decadal Variation persists – the persistence of the current La Nina especially. The solar cycle will soon peak – and begin a decline to even lower levels of activity in this decade.

      This is a political opportunity for cool dudes – one we should enjoy.

  8. Warning to those who prefer global cooling:

    Professor Dame Sally Davies said the average increase in winter deaths in England and Wales is 1,560 per week compared to non-winter months, with a “substantial” increase on top of that total expected due to extreme cold this week.


  9. The middle ground is quite scarce in this debate.

    Ultra-skepticism has its own explanation, but as far as the catastrophic warmists, I can’t separate out their anti-industrial agenda from pure science. It is as if it is the last stand of neo-Malthusianism, a theme I develop here: http://www.masterresource.org/2011/10/neo-malthusianism-halloween-crazy/.

    • Rob –

      Neo-Malthusianism it is, beyond doubt. But probably not the ‘last stand’. Neo-M’s have cropped up ever since Malthus . In the 1840s (as part of the ‘Condition of England’ question); the 1860s/70s (the ‘Coal question’); the 1900s (the ‘Balance of Trade’ question’); the 1970s (Earth Day, etc) and again now.

      The only difference is that, pre-1970s, Malthusianism inevitability was seen as unfortunate. Since the 70s the elite have grooved on it, as a guilt trip.

      It’ll always come back, however many times it’s scientifically defeated, because at core nowadays it’s psychological atonement.

    • Neo-Malthusian is excellent. May I borrow it?

      • Neo-Malthusian is as good a term as any, but I’d like to hear other suggestions. ‘Deep ecology’ is a term of nature worship, but in the climate situation the key assumption or intuition (or ‘science’ to believers) is that nature is optimal and fragile and a human influence cannot be good.

    • Anti-syntheticism could be the belief that everything man-made is bad. Much of what you describe springs from ‘deep misanthropy’ rather than any positive view of nature.

  10. “This is much better than what the dueling groups of experts provided to the WSJ.”

    And yet, not sure what your crits of the skeptical letter might be Dr. C. Or is your argument that scientists shouldn’t engage in this way? As a skeptic, I couldn’t be happier those 16 brave scientists stepped forward. I can only hope it’s the beginning of a much wider challenge to mainstream AGW…

    • They weren’t 16 scientist never mind ‘brave’

      • Louise

        There were scientists to the same degree as it was scientists that supported what the IPCC concluded

      • Yeah, the IPCC is led by such a strong climate scientist.
        Oh, wait: it’s not.
        Thanks as always, Louise.

      • hunter – did I comment on the IPCC? No. Did I comment on the 16 ‘brave’ commenters? Yes, I pointed out that they weren’t all scientists as was claimed.

        Show me where I claimed the IPCC was led by scientists……what, you can’t? That’s because I didn’t.

        Why do you insist on building strawmen to then destroy? Is it because you can’t actually knock down my own posts?

        PS – I think we all know the answer

      • What is your definition of scientist?

        We tell the students (1st thru 12th grade) who participate in our science programs and project based learning experiences that they are scientists for the day. I think I’d be more willing to take some of their opinions at face value than many of the “scientists” who seem to think they are being wronged due to some evil plot to destroy their work.

  11. Does the world actually face the greatest danger from those that only want ot help–e.g.:

    “We need to chart a new, more sustainable course for the future, one that strengthens equality and economic growth while protecting our planet,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in Addis Ababa to mark the release of the panel’s report, which outlines more than 50 policy recommendations.

    What is the real choice here? Liberal utopianism is a fantasy not shorthand for a list of great policies. As Mark Levin has observed, people must now choose between utopianism or liberty.

    • Wagathon quotes UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon: “We need to chart a new, more sustainable course for the future, one that strengthens equality and economic growth while protecting our planet….” Agreed that one should be very careful about statements such as Ki-Moon’s. He is not alone.

      Ehrlich, P.R., and A.H. Ehrlich. “The Population Bomb Revisited.” The Electronic Journal of Sustainable Development 1, no. 3 (2009): 63–71. http://www.ejsd.org/docs/The_Population_Bomb_Revisited.pdf

      On the population side, it is clear that avoiding collapse would be a lot easier if humanity could entrain a gradual population decline toward an optimal number. Our group’s analysis of what that optimum population size might be like comes up with 1.5 to 2 billion, less than one third of what it is today (2009). We attempted to find a number that would maximize human options – enough people to have large, exciting cities and still maintain substantial tracts of wilderness for the enjoyment of outdoors enthusiasts and hermits. (Pg 68, or 6 of 9)

      Ballasy, Nicholas. “White House Science Czar Says He Would Use ‘Free Market’ to ‘De-Develop the United States’ |.” News. CNSnews.com, September 16, 2010. http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/75388

      In a video interview this week, White House Office of Science and Technology Director John P. Holdren told CNSNews.com that he would use the “free market economy” to implement the “massive campaign” he advocated along with Paul Ehrlich to “de-develop the United States.”

      Russell, George. “EXCLUSIVE: EPA Ponders Expanded Regulatory Power In Name of ‘Sustainable Development’.” FoxNews.com, December 19, 2011. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/12/19/epa-ponders-expanded-regulatory-power-in-name-sustainable-development/

      The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants to change how it analyzes problems and makes decisions, in a way that would give it vastly expanded power to regulate businesses, communities and ecosystems in the name of “sustainable development,” the centerpiece of a global United Nations conference slated for Rio de Janeiro next June.

      Ehrlich, P.R., and A.H. Ehrlich. “The Population Bomb Revisited.” The Electronic Journal of Sustainable Development 1, no. 3 (2009): 63–71. http://www.ejsd.org/docs/The_Population_Bomb_Revisited.pdf

      On the population side, it is clear that avoiding collapse would be a lot easier if humanity could entrain a gradual population decline toward an optimal number. Our group’s analysis of what that optimum population size might be like comes up with 1.5 to 2 billion, less than one third of what it is today (2009). We attempted to find a number that would maximize human options – enough people to have large, exciting cities and still maintain substantial tracts of wilderness for the enjoyment of outdoors enthusiasts and hermits. (Pg 68, or 6 of 9)

      • Sorry for duplication; my bad editing. :-(

      • White House Science Czar would use free market . . .

        Obviously, Holdren doesn’t begin to comprehend the free market. Some bureaucrat/would-be-dictator doesn’t use a truly free market for anything. In a free market, individuals producing and trading among themselves create whatever they are capable of, and the resultant emergent economy is what it is (and has proven to be enormously beneficial for mankind wherever it has been allowed to operate). It is not something that a tyrant can use to produce his personally desired result by imposing upon the entire rest of mankind, whether to limit their numbers, or any other goal. A free market, if allowed to operate, produces whatever free people are capable of producing (including more people, if that is their choice).

  12. Judith, can you comment on Pat Michael’s piece covering the recent WSJ fight?


    • I bet Joshua would like to.

      • Heh. I do want to spend some time with that – and with your related comments. I have limited time right now – and in addition I fall into fallacious thinking that responding to multiple simplistic comments (not necessitating much deep thought to respond to) is less time consuming than responding to fewer comments that do require more thought. It is clearly easier, but not less time consuming.

        That said, I will say that my predisposition is to think that Nordhaus is the best judge of whether or not someone has misinterpreted his work. I’m open to persuasion that he isn’t, however (presumably due to his own partisan biases in his reasoning).

  13. Natural variability
    Natural forms of climate variability are likely to be the main influence on the UK’s climate over the next few decades.
    published: February 2012 http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/POST-PN-400.pdf

    You’ve seen it here on Climate etc first:
    vukcevic | November 3, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Reply
    Only climate change in the N. Atlantic is one governed by Law of Nature
    and suggest rapid cooling in decade to come.

    and then here and here
    The above link and its extended version
    had more than 1000 hits since the early November including number from the Met Office and the Exeter area (MetOffice home town)

  14. This is in regards to the naming of Tamsin Edwards blog.

    A pet peeve of mine is the use of quotes without having the right context in place. George Box’s quote of “All models are wrong, but some are useful” is a good case in point. The original context is from the book “Empirical Model-Building and Response Surfaces” by Box and Draper:

    “The fact that the polynomial is an approximation does not necessarily detract from its usefulness because all models are approximations. Essentially, all models are wrong but some are useful. However, the approximate nature of the model must always be borne in mind.”

    So the context is to be careful in numerical computations so that the model numbers match the observations.

    On the rest of the page, Box and Draper present a concise description of the differences between epistemic and aleatory uncertainty, which is really the scope of Edwards and Curry’s efforts. Epistemic uncertainties are the systematic errors that one can introduce in a statistical model while aleatory errors are those that are fundamental in the natural behavior itself, be it noise or some other random effect.

    So Box is essentially describing why we should be careful in numerical errors in statistical modeling, while everyone else has re-interpreted the quote to question the validity of using models in the first place. That is just plain ridiculous — all one has to consider is that all of mathematical engineering is based on models, and look at how far that has gotten us!

    That’s what happens when people take the quote and never read the original context. Might as well mangle the quote and say “Most people are idiots, some are useful.”

    I bet Box would be spinning in his grave — if he weren’t dead yet.

    • Web

      The issue is not the use of modeling and it is a silly argument to claim that skeptics do not support the use of models.

      The issue is: “have the GCMs that have been used to predict the future climate been demonstrated to accurate enough to form the conclusions written by the IPCC?”

      Most models have a process that they go through in development and validation to show within what margins of error they will perform on specific criteria BEFORE they are used for their stated purpose. GCMs have NOT.

      • The fundamental GHG model is used to explain the rise in the average temperature of the earth from 254K to 287K. This is what one would expect from steady-state energy balance arguments and well-understood physics.

        So the first question to ask, is that model wrong?

        A GCM by itself has never been able to explain the 33 degree warming, and it needs the GHG forcing to provide the fundamental baseline increase. Any of the alternate models that have been proposed do not even come close to explain the difference either.

        Assuming that we have the first-order effect explained, we need to explain the current global variational trending. This can be a combination of additional GHG forcing and the GCM randomness induced by a variety of internal and external forcing functions.

        The next question to ask is not whether the combined GHG/GCM model is wrong, but what the uncertainties are.

        Most models have a process that they go through in development and validation to show within what margins of error they will perform on specific criteria BEFORE they are used for their stated purpose. GCMs have NOT.

        It’s weird that anyone would demand validation when we all know that an experiment the size of the earth can’t be replicated in a lab.

      • Web said, “It’s weird that anyone would demand validation when we all know that an experiment the size of the earth can’t be replicated in a lab.”

        Yes and no, typically, different modeling approaches would be taken and the uncertainty between the approaches would give you some idea of the confidence of one with respect to the other. Initially, Hansen started one model and Manabe started another. Two different approaches where one or the other should at some point win.

        The group modeling effort blurred the difference between the two approaches, so the confidence in the overall range improved, but the usefulness of the results decreased. Competition is a good thing, the milquetoast group effort not so good a thing.

        Now the dark horse models, the energy models, are finally starting to get some traction, but the group think approach will delay progress.

        So Rob has a point in this case, because the normal validation, competition between modeling approaches, was circumvented with warm and fuzzy illogic :)

      • Now the dark horse models, the energy models, are finally starting to get some traction, but the group think approach will delay progress.

        So Rob has a point in this case, because the normal validation, competition between modeling approaches, was circumvented with warm and fuzzy illogic

        Andrew Lacis has posted on this blog that the GCMs don’t do anything to predict the gross behavior, which is the 33+Δ C warming. That is the role of energy balance, which is what he has clearly stated. Energy balance both gives us the 33C baseline warming, plus the incremental Δ warming due to anthropogenic GHG introduction.

        Cimate scientists do the GCM’s to get at the uncertainties in clouds, etc, which will affect the energy balance. They also do the GCMs for weather forecasting, which is also useful. But nobody believes that the GCMs will somehow explain a long-term trend upward, because they can’t be used to explain the 33C offset.

        Would you have a problem with the IPCC stating outright that GHG’s were responsible for the 33C warming, and then by logical scientific implication the Δ (delta) warming?

        So is this related to the warm and fuzzy illogic that Ringo was getting at and that you could divine?

      • The only issue I have with the GCM is that they attempt to determine sensitivity to CO2 with the ensemble results, much like the Hurricane forecast models. Some of the models are obviously lacking skill. Competition should gradually weed out the less skillful. That not weeding out, is my warm and fuzzy illogic issue.

        As for the 33C delta (I have got to make a cheat sheet so I can do nifty alt characters :) ) it is that the CO2 portion of the range is so uncertain. Manabe estimates all GHG forcing could be as high as 70C, I can see it as high as 60C with no problem. So I consider the 33C the atmospheric effect, which could range from approximately 31C to 36C depending on how you estimate the surface/atmosphere albedo split. Then using a surface frame of reference, you have a different model that produces similar results, though slightly lower sensitivity due to the greater radiant impact range.

        There are more ways to approach the problem, so more ways should be used.

      • So gains of 60-70C warming are only 33C due to the actual combined GHG effect. The best kind of model to a research scientist is one that can account for much more than the actual data presents. Then the challenge is to explain why the effect doesn’t manifest itself as much as it should. That is an ideal dialectic position to be placed in.

        Again, the basic model is not wrong, just the parameterization of the feedback effects have not been as well established as we would like. Lack of sufficient data and applicable experiments contribute to the problem.

      • Web said, “So gains of 60-70C warming are only 33C due to the actual combined GHG effect. The best kind of model to a research scientist is one that can account for much more than the actual data presents. Then the challenge is to explain why the effect doesn’t manifest itself as much as it should. That is an ideal dialectic position to be placed in.”

        Combined “atmospheric effect” Conductive and latent cooling plus the radiant warming from the surface to the tropopause. You use the surface tropopause delta T and delta F. Then compare to a surface TOA Delta F.

        This takes the 33C uncertainty out of play giving a separate model baseline. That is why I am concerned with the local emissivity variation, which gives a better estimate of cloud/water impact and the mixed-phase cloud uncertainty.

        It seems to work pretty good, for a redneck concept :)

      • Web, also, “Then the challenge is to explain why the effect doesn’t manifest itself as much as it should.”

        The 184K boundary 8-) Funny thing that, same as Venus for some reason.

      • Rob and WHT

        Let’s go back to various estimates of the CO2 greenhouse effect.

        First, let’s agree on the basics (as IPCC sees them):

        The effect of CO2 on temperature is based on the theory of Arrhenius. The simplified expression for calculating the theoretical radiative forcing due to CO2 is:

        Change in forcing = (deltaF) = (alpha)*ln(C/C0)
        where C and C0 are CO2 concentrations and (alpha) is a constant
        In other words, the relation is logarithmic.

        This leads to various estimates of the CO2 GHE using the equation:

        Change in temperature = (deltaT) = (deltaF)/4*(sigma)*T^3
        where (sigma) is the Stefan-Boltzmann constant and T=255.2°K

        Based on this equation, the estimates are:

        1. Myhre et al.
        (alpha) = 5.35
        2xCO2 GHE = 0.98°C

        2. IPCC AR4
        (alpha) = 6.3
        2xCO2 GHE = 1.2°C

        3. Charnock + Shine
        2xCO2 GHE = 1.46°C
        Natural CO2 GHE = 11.8°C (= 36% of total natural GHE)

        4. Kondretjew + Moskalenko
        2xCO2 GHE = 0.88°C
        Natural CO2 GHE = 7.2°C (= 22% of total natural GHE)

        5. Lindzen
        2xCO2 GHE = 0.65°C
        Natural CO2 GHE = 5.2°C (=16% of total natural GHE)

        The average of the above four estimates (excl. IPCC) = 0.99, say 1.0°C

        So IPCC has picked an “upper range” estimate of 1.2°C for the greenhouse temperature effect of doubling CO2.

        All the rest is model simulations on postulated feedbacks and hype.


      • “This takes the 33C uncertainty out of play giving a separate model baseline. That is why I am concerned with the local emissivity variation, which gives a better estimate of cloud/water impact and the mixed-phase cloud uncertainty.

        It seems to work pretty good, for a redneck concept :) “

        I don’t understand what you mean by taking the 33C uncertainty out of play. You can only reason down from some higher value to the 33 C number. There is no way to reason your way from a stable lower number to a stable higher number without using radiative physics as an explanation.

        So I can only conclude that you believe that the fundamental GHG effect is responsible for the entire 33C warming effect, but you can’t state that explicitly because you will get some the other ClimateEtc skeptics tearing at your flesh. Nice strategy there, Skip, being all jellyfish and all, talking elliptically and obtusely so you can keep playing both sides.

        Here is the conundrum:
        280ppm CO2 + X H20 ==> +33 degrees C
        560ppm CO2 + Y H20 ==> +33+Δ degrees C

        What is that delta? And how much does excess CO2 pull H2O along with it as the temperature starts to rise?

        As far as your claims are concerned, you think that the geographic density of the CO2 will dictate how the increase will play out. And specifically that the excess CO2 residing in say the polar regions will reduce the strength somewhat.

      • manacker, the CO2 rise from 1950-2005 without feedback accounts for 0.25 degrees of warming. Now you have to explain where the other 0.3 degrees came from without feedbacks and adding in aerosols. We keep having this conversation.

      • Web, said a lot!

        “I don’t understand what you mean by taking the 33C uncertainty out of play. You can only reason down from some higher value to the 33 C number. There is no way to reason your way from a stable lower number to a stable higher number without using radiative physics as an explanation.”

        33C would be the top of the non radiating atmosphere. Some percentage of the assumed albedo would be surface, some atmosphere. If the no GHG earth had an atmosphere, likely, there would be a differential between the surface and TOA as soon as there was any radiant cooling. N2 and O2 have little emission/absorption, but non zero. Even with thin atmosphere, 2000 meters, there would be a surface temperature different than the TOA. That is about 5C degrees of uncertainty. Why would you assume that I would ignore radiant physics? ASSume, is the third true law of thermodynamics

        “So I can only conclude that you believe that the fundamental GHG effect is responsible for the entire 33C warming effect, but you can’t state that explicitly because you will get some the other ClimateEtc skeptics tearing at your flesh. Nice strategy there, Skip, being all jellyfish and all, talking elliptically and obtusely so you can keep playing both sides.” Humorous :)

        Where have you ever gotten the idea I give a Sh$t what others think?

        “Here is the conundrum:
        280ppm CO2 + X H20 ==> +33 degrees C
        560ppm CO2 + Y H20 ==> +33+Δ degrees C”

        0ppm CO2 + X H20 ==>33 -X degrees
        190PPM CO2 + X H2o==> 33 – X – Glacial temperature depression.
        280PPM CO2 + X H2O==> ~33 degrees C
        400PPM CO2 + X1 H2O==> 33.8 degrees C
        We have another condition to consider :)

        “What is that delta?” One of the variables
        “And how much does excess CO2 pull H2O along with it as the temperature starts to rise?” H2O is fairly easy to calculate as it changes with surface temperature. The trick is what happens above the surface.

        “As far as your claims are concerned, you think that the geographic density of the CO2 will dictate how the increase will play out. And specifically that the excess CO2 residing in say the polar ares.” The southern pole is obviously not increasing in CO2 as predicted based on the satellite data. That is an anomaly. I never ignore anomalies, they are the teachers. The entire model is designed to teach, to point out the anomalies. That’s the point.

      • “33C would be the top of the non radiating atmosphere.”

        Don’t think so. What you should do is read Raymond Pierrehumbert’s Physics Today article from last year. The energy emission observed at a given photonic frequency originates in the deepest atmospheric layer that is transmissive enough for significant numbers of photons to escape. Therefore a number of infrared photons not absorbed by GHG’s actually emit from close to the surface. The ones from CO2 and H2O infrared are actually cooler than a 33C delta, so that the average comes out right. You really have to understand how to integrate the Planck distribution with respect to photon wavenumber to do the energy balance correctly. The notches from the upper atmosphere are compensated by the bulges in the lower atmosphere, so that the integrated curve stays constant. You can eyeball these curves and do a graphical integration in your head to see the rough 30C needed.

        You are also in luck because Eli Rabbett just posted something with a explanation on his blog.
        Look at the emission spectra in Eli’s post and try doing the integration by hand. Remember that this spectra is likely taken directly above the Sahara so that overall temperatures are elevated, but the averaging still works. Eyeballing this, I get an average 270K blackbody response to account for the 240K to 300K surface to TOA excursions, which is not quite 33C, but close. Top to bottom it is greater as you can see from the emission spectra.

        This is an entirely free energy kind of argument that we have here. Did you know that stretching a rubber band actually reduces the entropy of the rubber band? It does because the number of states of the system are reduced, as the only states allowed are the taut ones, and none of the relaxed states are observed. In terms of entropy and thermodynamics, a greenhouse gas acts like that stretched rubber band as it serves to limit the outgoing radiation into bands of wavelength. This reduces the space of allowable energy states and thus reduces the entropy of the subsystem. However, we still must maintain an energy balance with the external system, and so the entropic part of the Temperature*Entropy decrease in free energy is exactly compensated by a temperature increase at the surface.

        At the most elemental level, that is why greenhouse gases raise the temperature of a planet’s surface. We can talk all we want about variability in climate dynamics and atmospheric lapse rate, etc, but the energy balance is the heart of the argument.

        Stretching the rubber band is like putting notches in the emission spectrum. That decreases entropy of the photonic volume, and temperature has to compensate. Mathematically, this is calculated by rescaling the Planck response and what comes out for the energy balance is the integral of the modified curve. This is all basic physics, even though it sounds strange when stated in terms of integrals and entropy and such. All the pieces have to fit together like a glove.

        Pardon the pun, but are we even on the same wavelength in discussing this stuff?

    • randomengineer

      …while everyone else has re-interpreted the quote to question the validity of using models in the first place.

      Your lament that the benighted are abusing a quote to question model validity is amusing. At best, you’re projecting; at worst, you’re ironically condescending. Those who are well read enough to know the GEP Box quote understand it for what it is.

      • To “project” means that I am asserting my own inadequacies on others. Let me do some self-introspection to figure out what exactly I am projecting in your view.

        Look, all I do in my own modeling efforts is to maximize the parametric uncertainty before applying an analysis. This can be made in terms of a maximum entropy principle or other unbiased estimate. So my projection is exactly what? That I am ashamed that I don’t do just that uncertainty analysis, so I project that onto others?

        That is way off base. That Box quote is almost always used to cast suspicion on the entire model, not on any level of uncertainty on the parameters or the numerical resolution, which is what Box intended to convey.

        Then you claim that I am “ironically condescending”. Unfortunately, like Ms. Alanis, you may not understand the meaning of the word irony. So the irony is that I actually had the wherewithal to look up the quote from the original source and figure out the context so I can pass that along to you? And the irony would imply that I am not “well read enough”? Not even close. In fact, it would be ironic if I had tried to school you, but would have quoted the whole thing wrong because I just made the thing up without doing some basic research.

        Or is your idea of irony that I have not done the research to figure out how each individual person interprets that Box quote? That is plain loopy.

        What I find ironic, is that you are in fact projecting your own condescending attitudes onto somebody who actually gives a flip about doing the analysis right, and you sit back and don’t lift a finger and complain while not understanding the basic ideas of projection and irony.

        If somebody wants to understand these tactics, just read the works of George Lakoff. This kind of rhetoric is endemic on this blog’s commentary. Unfortunately, the problem is that rhetorical battles can never be won.

      • Capt Dallas

        Re our conversations about Russian agriculture. I was in a second hand book shop today and they had a book called ‘Russia in the age of Catherine the Great’ by Isabel de Madariaga. It had quite a bit about agricultural practices and crops in Russia during that period-18th century.

        If you want to add to your article some historical anecdotes-what we in the trade call ‘facts’-it would serve the dual purpose not only of creating a more authoritative document, but would also seriously irritate WHT. A win win situation :)

      • Chief Hydrologist

        So nothing of any substance – just the logical fallacies of ad hominem, red herring and shifting focus?

        The world is the way it is because 30 % (give or take) of the Sun’s energy is reflected back into space and 70% (ditto) is emitted back into space in IR. Most of the latter is from water vapour – I have heard. The former changes from 25% to 50% – 85 W/m2. The latter changes from – let’s assume that all of the carbon dioxide disappears but water vapour remains because there is the sun and open water surfaces (I don’t much like these climate thought experiments) – 67% to 73% being generous. About 20 W/m2 doing it in my head.

        So which is more important albedo or greenhouse gases? The energy dynamic from albedo changes more rapidly than greenhouse gases and has a larger scope to change. But it is like asking which of your children you love more.

        Deterministic chaos and dynamical complexity are terms for the same things. In terms of energy – it all balances out at the top of atmosphere.

        The very simple differential global energy equation – and forgive me if you have seen this before – exactly captures global energy dynamics.

        The change in energy stored in the earth system is equal to the energy in minus the energy out by the law of conservation of energy.

        dS/dt = Ein – Eout

        Energy in can vary by a few Watts/m2. Energy out varies in the limits above. If energy in is greater than energy out – the Earth warms and vice versa. Why do I need to explain this to Webby time and again.

        Within that there is great scope for abrupt climate change as ‘tremendous energies cascade through powerful systems’. These abrupt changes are identified in all scales from years to decades, millennia and beyond in Earth’s climate. So dynamical complexity is an obvious metatheory for climate – because climate shares specific properties of the class of dynamically complex systems. It is a way of understanding the observed behaviour and exploring ways of predicting future climate shifts.

        Shifts, and thus the real behaviour of climate, cannot be identified using simple exponential equations. The equations converge to a solution – climate diverges to the limits of natural variability. With the exception that Sornette used power functions to indentify extreme events associated with chaotic bifurcation.

        Albedo is a very simple thing. In the most accurate data – CERES – changes in Earth’s energy dynamic is dominated in the sw. In earlier ISCCP-FD and ERBE data – lw change goes in the wrong direction and all warming in the sw.

        These people have an ability to ignore any bits of science that don’t agree with a pre-conceived notions. It is little wonder that they conceived of a scientific consensus – nothing but consensus is left in their prescribed universe.

        Webby persists in something that James McWilliam says is not envisaged by any scientist – no ‘fundamentally reliable reduction of the size of the AOS dynamical system (i.e., a statistical mechanics analogous to the transition between molecular kinetics and fluid dynamics) is yet envisioned.’

        Robert I Ellison
        Chief Hydrologist

    • WHT –

      Just to go back to the last thread and Trenberth & co WSJ op-ed, he said:

      “And computer models have recently shown that during periods when there is a smaller increase of surface temperatures, warming is occurring elsewhere in the climate system, typically in the deep ocean.”

      Amazing! Treberth comes up with an idea, and models can be found to instantly confirm it.

      It has little to do with the models being an approximation of reality. It’s whether they reflect any part of the reality which exists outside the heads of a small group of scientists.

      • cui bono,
        Taht assertion of Trenberth’s was simply pulled out of his ass-
        umptions: anything needed to support his hypothesis must by divine rights exist. Since his hypothesis is proven, all evidence must therefor support it.

      • No, not even close when it comes to understanding the role of the ocean in the transient climate response. James Hansen was modeling this effect back in 1985.

        I am trying to simplify Hansen’s model in terms of thermal diffusion principles, and so far have been nodding in violent agreement to what Hansen said over 25 years ago:
        Look at the last chart in particular in my blog post. I put much more uncertainty in the amount of diffusion whereas Hansen uses a mean value.

        So, in fact Trenberth is validating what Hansen was predicting years ago. That is good news and really advances the yardstick, IMO.

      • Web, I think one problem with the “unrealized” warming is it may never be realized. The oceans have the 4C thermal layer that is very similar to the tropopause boundary layer.

        With the 4C, you have a heat sink with a millennial scale response controlled by the stable Antarctic primarily. So knowing that heat will diffuse into the deep oceans is wonderful, but figuring out how well the OHC is controlled by the millennial scale processes would be really kick butt :)

      • The 33C difference has a roughly 18C difference that goes below freezing and a 15C difference that goes above freezing. With the GHGs, the earth is not covered with ice.

        The oceans have the 4C thermal layer that is very similar to the tropopause boundary layer.

        Not that similar because the boundaries have different energy transfer mechanisms. The low-density tropopause only has radiative transfer, while aquatic layers have diffusion and convection mechanisms.

        The warming is only unrealized temporarily. The anthropogenic CO2 has a very long adjustment time that can likely wait out the ocean’s heat capacity. In the meantime, it will outgas more and more CO2 into the atmosphere, thus generating a positive feedback of GHG concentrations. This will not reverse itself quickly should the man-made forcing function of excess CO2 is removed. The problem is that the ocean’s huge thermal mass, although useful in delaying a heating trend, becomes problematic when you need it to cool down quickly. That will provide a source of persistent heat that can’t be reversed on a dime. Loads of excess CO2 will remain.

        Note that this behavior completely differs from past glaciation events. There the adjustment time of CO2 is much shorter, as the excess CO2 was quickly absorbed back in the system, since the sequestering sites for natural baseline CO2 were always available. This is the difference between a transient positive feedback (baseline CO2) and a hysteretic positive feedback (excess CO2). Anybody that has dealt with control systems that interact with a plant showing hysteresis will understand this issue.

        The long-term trends are as much of a concern as the short-term in terms of understanding the earth’s climate.

      • Web, “The low-density tropopause only has radiative transfer,” I am not so sure that is true. The stability of the Antarctic and tropopause indicates there is some other mechanism, chemical probably with thermomagnetic or thermoelectric assistance. Remember that circumstantial CO2 distribution thing?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I have quoted this before. The problem with the statistical approach – Webby’s simple models – is that they do not encompass deterministic chaos in climate. The problem with GCM is that there is an irreducible and unknown error that derives from sensitive dependence and structural instabilities – deterministic chaos – in the models themselves.

        ‘Atmospheric and oceanic forcings are strongest at global equilibrium scales of 107 m and seasons to millennia. Fluid mixing and dissipation occur at microscales of 10−3 m and 10−3 s, and cloud particulate transformations happen at 10−6 m or smaller. Observed intrinsic variability is spectrally broad band across all intermediate scales. A full representation for all dynamical degrees of freedom in different quantities and scales is uncomputable even with optimistically foreseeable computer technology. No fundamentally reliable reduction of the size of the AOS dynamical system (i.e., a statistical mechanics analogous to the transition between molecular kinetics and fluid dynamics) is yet envisioned.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.full

        To see that the ocean was heating in the ARGO period – it is enough to look at the energy data – SORCE, CERES and ARGO. Where that energy appears is more interesting.

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

        To see that the ocean was heating in the ARGO period – it is enough to look at the energy data – SORCE, CERES and ARGO. Where energy changes occur is more interesting.

      • Poor Chief, struggling to be able to explain the 33C discrepancy with his beloved chaos and complexity models. Watch him helplessly flail away, while a statistical energy balance model is available for anyone willing to learn.

        Using Chief’s reasoning, I suppose we could propose an equivalent cold fusion energy source. By claiming that a confluence of chaos and complexity could marshal together enough internal energy, we could generate a positive stable source of energy outflow. But we all know that neither gravity, nor the weak or strong nuclear forces are involved in AGW, and all we have is radiative physics. Nothing else will provide a sustainable driving force. This in fact makes it more pathetic than the cold fusion experiments that are driving some crackpots — geez, at least they can invoke nuclear chemistry to justify their windmill tilting :)

      • here? http://judithcurry.com/2012/02/03/week-in-review-2312/#comment-165476

        Sure Chief. So 30% of radiation is reflected and that is a solid number because it is easily measured via satellite radiometers. Lucky that we got 70% visible light absorbed or it would be a lot colder, and we would have more to make up than 33C to get to our current temperature. The oceans are close to maximally absorbing. So that leaves snow and clouds as variates with warming.

        So your argument then is because of chaos and complexity, we will never be able to figure out the trend of snow and cloud cover with increasing temperature?

        In my world, higher temperatures will mean less snow and more rain.
        Higher temperatures may mean more or less cloud cover, but the amount of water vapor that air can hold will increase, thus exaggerating the GHG effect. This will continue up to some possible transition point whereby clouds may start reflecting more than the increased vapor vapor acts as a GHG. And that is where the major uncertainty remains, according to most of the climate scientists.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        No Webby – it varies from 25% to 59% – and I am glad it isn’t 50%.
        Anastasios Tsonis, of the Atmospheric Sciences Group at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues used a mathematical network approach to analyse abrupt climate change on decadal timescales. Ocean and atmospheric indices – in this case the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the North Pacific Oscillation – can be thought of as chaotic oscillators that capture the major modes of climate variability. Tsonis and colleagues calculated the ‘distance’ between the indices. It was found that they would synchronise at certain times and then shift into a new state.
        It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

        I think natural variability might be the biggest uncertainty – according to at least some climate scientists. Why oh why isn’t it warming – surely it isn’t decadal. You are an idiot with no depth of understanding. This I have found is a defining feature of warmist twits. It stems from an inability toprocess conflicting data.

      • “You are an idiot with no depth of understanding. This I have found is a defining feature of warmist twits. It stems from an inability toprocess conflicting data.”

        My interest is twofold, in applying uncertainty analysis and in looking at how climate intersects with environment and energy issues.
        I don’t really comment on the concensus AGW blogs because I won’t get the kind of feedback that might benefit me. Or that could get me sufficiently motivated. I figure this is the place for me.

      • Chief Hydrologist


        I offered to be friends. But you need to drop the sceptic jibes. I – on my part – will pretend I don’t know everything and play nice. There are people here you should be very polite to. Well – Tomas and Pekka – everyone else is fair game. Eli drops by occassionally and drops a crytic remark. I read his unfair characterisation of that other guy – and saw his silly modtran graph. Most of the rest wouldn’t know an equation if they fell off it. But that’s OK – I am a great believer in visualisation. I am in good company. Einstein thought visually.

        This is what it looks like from space – http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/zFD/an2020_LWup_toa.gif – it is just a power flux and ultimately the energy must balance – with a dynamic term for the warming and cooling of the little blue/green planet. A warmer planet will increase IR emissions – when gases increase – to move it towards an elusive equilibrium.

        And as this other guy said – modelling it as emitting at a uniform temperature seems seriously to underestimate spatial variability.
        Likewise – modelling the planet without an atmosphere seems seriously to be a hypothetical case.


        Robert I Ellison
        Chief Hydrologist

    • WHT,
      That last quote of yours, “Most people are idiots, some are useful,.” describes the neo-Malthsuians so well.
      Thank you very much.

      • It’s really a shorthand for stupid, supposedly pithy, comments that get attached to blog posts. Much easier to quote “All models are wrong” and thus appear hip and informed to the complexities, than to actually lift a finger and do some of the deeper analysis yourself.

      • hunter

        WHT actually meant:

        “Most people (beside WHT, of course) are idiots, some are useful (like WHT, of course)..”

        [Apologies to Lenin who (for his own nefarious purposes) had it figured out a bit better than WHT.]


      • Manacker, We could definitely do without your documented manipulation of data. Wasted a bunch of my time. And of course you have to pull out the Commie card.

        Nice that you can’t tell the difference between healthy competitiveness and “nefarious purposes”. Don’t participate in sports much, eh?

      • “And of course you have to pull out the Commie card.”

        Why am I not surprised that a default progressive doesn’t know the etymology of the term “useful idiots?”

      • WHT

        Manacker, We could definitely do without your documented manipulation of data.

        “Documented?” By whom and when?

        Wasted a bunch of my time.

        Nobody asked you to “waste your time”, WHT – that was your call. (I’ll agree that most of what you post here is a “waste of time”, though).

        And of course you have to pull out the Commie card.

        Huh? Who started off with “useful idiots”?

        Nice that you can’t tell the difference between healthy competitiveness and “nefarious purposes”. Don’t participate in sports much, eh?

        Please translate into English.


      • Why am I not surprised that a default progressive doesn’t know the etymology of the term “useful idiots?”

        That’s the difference between a nerd like me and someone like you attached to some political agenda. When I hear a colleague talking about making an engineering product “idiot-proof”, we usually joke that first thing we have to do is “round up some idiots”, which are actually surprisingly hard to find. How exactly do you validate an idiot-proof design?

        My point is that I don’t tend to see malicious intent in climate science, whereas all I see on the opposite side is just that. All models are useless, all climate scientists are idiots, etc. etc., on and on.

        BTW, Lenin likely never wrote the “useful idiot” phrase. Somebody probably just made that up. References please. Go figure.

      • “Manacker, We could definitely do without your documented manipulation of data.”
        “Documented?” By whom and when?

        Well you asked. I learned early on that you don’t play according to scientific rules of engagement.

        The context was in trying to find correlation of atmospheric CO2 with temperature and emissions, and you provided a table with data that would definitely screw up any correlation analysis. This wasted my time because bad data (like a software bug) is hard to isolate, and I had to compare it against the original from the CO2 information center to find it.

        I ignore your arguments now because it is mainly anecdotal garbage.
        “All data is suspect, especially if Max provides it.”

      • WHT

        Sorry, Webby (hope you don’t mind me using the Chief’s name for you).

        You are not making sense with your nitpick.

        There was one data point in the series I showed which was erroneous (an entry typo).

        This was corrected.

        It did not change the overall trend showing a good correlation between the amount of emitted CO2 “remaining in the atmosphere” on a year-to-year basis with the change in average global temperature from the previous year.

        Grow up – and don’t throw out silly insults (they only make you look juvenile).


      • Once bitten, twice shy. You tell me to grow up. Well I am not some juvenile going onto this analysis naively. You store a table as a graphic, that as it turns out is exactly the same data, although manipulated, as that from the CO2 Information Analysis Center. Up are upset that people fact check your work. That was my first interaction with you on this blog’s comment section and so I doubled down after that. I am not the only one, as Moolten and JimD are also exasperated by your ways.

    • WEB,

      Run out of nits at home to pick?

    • I think Web you may be missing the point. When one speaks of approximation by polynomials one is usually speaking of discretizations of differential equations. The models are all wrong in that they introduce finite dimensional spaces when the problem is essentially infinite dimensional. Then there are subgrid model errors which arise from the fact that chaos cannot be described well in finite dimensional space. In any case, these sources of error are different from the ones you mention and may be the largest in many cases. We know they are large for massive separation and for vortex dynamics, both of which are prominent in the climate system.

      • I think you are putting words in Box’s mouth. Box was talking about something as simple as applying Ohm’s law and applying an approximation to solving the quadratic equation. If this is a Taylor’s series approximation and only one term is kept, then according to Box’s vernacular the result is wrong, yet useful (or practical) because it did not take much effort to solve. On the other hand, the Taylor series approximation won’t work when the coefficients have the wrong relative strengths. This is a wrong model and the result is useless.

        That was his context, a numerical approximation model of some relationship. If you get it right it is a useful approximation, but if you take a wrong turn, then it becomes useless.

        Everyone wants to apply Box’s quotation to something it was not intended to apply, and of course the case then is that every yahoo model in the world is wrong. There are of course more wrong models than correct ones, because the number of ways that one can formulate a wrong model is combinatorially more numerous than the ways you can concoct a correct one. But that was not Box’s context.

        I have an interest in this topic because I am working out a approximation to a Fickian parabolic growth model. One version of this, known as the Deal-Grove growth model (yes, that Grove) has been used to predict the oxide growth of silicon for at least 40 years now. It is very useful and practical, and relies on some solid physical principles. Yet there is one corner case where it really does not work well and you get anomalous results. I apply an uncertainty approximation to the disordered process of oxide growth, and can improve on the growth model. Quite amazing. Now should I consider that the original Deal-Grove model wrong? Not necessarily, because Intel has since become a multi-billion dollar company. In my opinion, the original model was still correct, but wrong according to Box’s approximation standards, and it just takes another generation of model to explain the anomaly.

        This fits into the correct application of Box’s philosophy because I am applying a probabilistic model to describe the aleatory uncertainty, just as decribed by Box in the chapter of the book that contains the quote.

        That is why it is a pet peeve of mine. The quote is being used just because it has a nice ring to it.

        Fortunate that I can write this up and then get a bunch of negative commentary, because that only helps me with my own work. Funny, this is one case where my interest in climate science intersects with my professional work :)

  15. The POST report should be a wake up call to leaders that they need to stop wasting resources of today to prevent something that may happen long after after they are dead.
    As to the WSJ report, since it is a media forum and not a government agency, why should it seek the same sort of so-called balance?
    Where was this balance for the decades wasted on AGW hype?

  16. About the Keith Floor rant, notice that alarmist invariably *fight* to save the world. Whomever happens to be in the way is an enemy by default. Be it lysenkoism, marxism, McCarthyism, na…. oooops almost got caught by godwin’s law.

    Sociologically very interesting, check for instance the mechanism of how to get yourself a great enemy to gather friends around you. Of course the more you show how brave and well prepared you are to fight that enemy, the more admiration you receive and the higher you rank in the pecking order.

    Unfortunately such a behavior is also the stage one, classification, of the sequence leading to ultimately genocide or wich-hunt.

    So human that herd instinct.

    Some backing up literature:


    And of course, more often observed:

  17. Re: Tamsin Edwards blog. I liked the reponse by Tamsin to the ghastly Gleick:

    “If we start to ‘spin’ the science, to gloss over the known unknowns, then we deserve these accusations.”

    Her whole conversation with the ever-unreasonable Gleick and the ever-reasonable Richard Betts is worth reading. An auspicious start to her blog.

    In other news, I thought the major item of the week was the (unofficial) release of the AR5 FODs. At the end of Ch 8:

    “Therefore, although carbon dioxide is the main control knob on climate, water vapour is a strong and fast feedback that amplifies any initial forcing by a factor of typically three”

    AR5 looks like being AR4 with some new citations. Same old, same old…
    Broken record. After 5 years the science is frozen in aspic.

    • Also still in the FOD, “the western Antarctic is warming by 0.1C per decade. (Stieg 2009).” Trenberth said that making data where there was none was difficult in reference to Stieg 2009. Haven’t heard too many scientists in the “IN” crowd honestly discussing Antarctica recently.

      Interestingly, Antarctic warming still seems to be a talking point among “non-scientific” masses. That nature article did have a pretty picture and inspiring PR work.

      • Cap’n:

        “Interestingly, Antarctic warming still seems to be a talking point among “non-scientific” masses. That nature article did have a pretty picture and inspiring PR work.”

        Never mind. We will soon have the full scientific analysis on the Antartic from the all-knowing ones gathered on the SS Goreblimey.

        “Inspiring PR” – outtakes from ‘March of the Penguins’ or ‘Happy Feet’?

      • http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/01/warm-reception-to-antarctic-warming-story/

        I had a neat realclimate Antarctic chronology, the thrill of victory – agony of defeat type thing as every time they thought that the Antarctic was starting to play the game, their hopes were dashed yet again. For something that means so little, they sure get excited when it looks like it is starting to warm :)

        Think they are starting to sweat things a touch?

      • Hehe. One tiny little warm spot moving around amongst the ice floes as the passengers on the SS Globtik Warming suffer non-confirmation-bias fever. :-)

      • My wife liked Happy Feet.

        Don’t think she cares a wit about Climate Change. Smart woman, my wife.

      • No wonder it’s warming down there, with all those jerks on their cruise ships sailing there to measure (wink-wink) the temperature – and then requiring the Chilean Navy to pull them out when they get stuck.

        The penguins must be laughing.


    • “Main control knob on climate?”

      “water vapour is a strong and fast feedback that amplifies any initial forcing by a factor of typically three?”

      Ya gotta love it.

  18. Dr. Curry,

    Thanks for the weekly update! I loved the groundhog reference. We had some news on the implementation side of things out here in CA this week. Our public utilities commission has been dealing with how to address some concerns about smart meters. Phil Carson, Editor-in-chief at Intelligent Utility Daily, had a few interesting posts on the process this week. I loved the title of this post- “California: mob rule on analog opt-out solution? PG&E’s, CPUC’s favored options may be discarded”


    • Mark, thanks for the link, that is an interesting blog

      • I am a bit behind in my reading hence I missed a paper from UC Berkeley on the implementation side of things that came out earlier this week-

        “Is There an Energy Efficiency Gap?”
        Hunt Allcott and Michael Greenstone

        From the abstract-

        …..”We therefore review the empirical work on the magnitude of profitable unexploited energy efficiency investments, a literature which frequently does not meet modern standards for credibly estimating the net present value of energy cost savings and often leaves other benefits and costs unmeasured. These problems notwithstanding, recent empirical work in a variety of contexts implies that on average the magnitude of profitable unexploited investment opportunities is much smaller than engineering-accounting studies suggest. Finally, there is tremendous opportunity and need for policy-relevant research that utilizes randomized controlled trials and quasi-experimental techniques to estimate the returns to energy efficiency investments and the welfare effects of energy efficiency programs…”

        Download this paper in Adobe Acrobat format: http://ei.haas.berkeley.edu/pdf/working_papers/WP228.pdf

  19. JC;
    my fave line from your “Candid Comments” posting:

    “the relative muted warming”.

    Heh. Yeah, I guess a sign reversal counts as “relative” and “muted”.

  20. leftturnandre makes a good stab at the ‘why’ of the intensity of the debate. Still though, I still can’t get my head around why there would be such a monolith of group think claiming certainty (or at least practical certainty) when the very mathematical nature of the problem precludes a meaningful degree of certainty.

  21. John Costigane


    Thanks for mentioning Tamsin’s blog and I hope you have time to join in when the science starts, very soon.

    I called for an end to point scoring by both sides to allow a good debate on all aspects of modeling. if it succeeds you could try the same here. Just imagine no more trolls!

  22. Guys and gals – nobody’s killed as many Communists as Stalin. Nobody’s killed as many Muslims as Osama bin Laden. That’s why whenever somebody wants to save me, maybe I don’t reach for a gun, but I surely prepare for self-defense against the saviors.

  23. There is always that distinct whine of “it really shouldn’t be about politics” when in fact AGW was and always will be exactly about politics from all the usual suspects Dr. Curry does such a poor job of identifing specifically within her own “science” community. The UN marches on with or without AGW;


    The blog should be renamed; “Avoid Connecting the Dots of the AGW Movement” or “Lets Say Something Good about Small Scale Central Planning”.

    JC writes;

    ”Independent and balanced analysis” is what is needed, and it seems impossible to get this from the ‘experts.’

    AGW was hyjacked by mitigation advocates (UN carbon regulators, green supporters and central planners) decades ago, until that reality is admitted by the climate nucleus of the science community (of which Dr. Curry is a card carrying member) the situation will remain the same. This is what we can call true DENIERS who can’t face what the past 25 years (really well before that) of AGW aggression politics was about to begin with.

  24. By the And Revkin’s article on the shameful atack on Mann’s free speech is a frankly lying article.
    No attack at all was made on Mann’s free speech. No government sought to censor or punish him for his speech. He was not arrested. His being hired to speak at a private forum was protested by a group that sees his record as one not deserving of support by that private group.
    No call was made to silence him, fire him or restrain him.
    What a ridiculous and deceptive article by Revkin.

    • hunter, you say “No call was made to silence him” yet the actual campaign group says “Join us in calling on the administration to disinvite the disgraced academic.”

      WTF is that if not a call for his voice not to be heard, i.e. silenced?

      Do you think us incapable of following a link? Why do you think you can get away with lying like this? Is it just such second nature to you that you don’t realise you’re doing it?

      • Louise,
        Private parties, as I stated, are free to ask for other private parties to be disinvited, uninvited or fired.
        If you bothered to read the article, you would see that Mann has been invited to speak at a forum. some people, who become informed of his activities, would like to see more reputable people speaking at this forum.
        that is not censorship.
        Additionally, since Mann does in fact use the power of the state to seek to silence his critics, I find the outrage at private groups calling for his disinvitation to be much less than sincere.

      • Luoise,
        By the way,
        I was serious about the movie, “Boxing Helena”. I think you might like it. I will repost it. Let me know.

  25. Poor Mann…surely he would never do such a thing himself ..oh wait! Didn’t he compliment himself in climategate 2.0 about having removed Steve McI’s comments from Real Climate?

    • Do you really think that if there are some mean people out there that climate science is wrong? What about all the other hundreds if not thousands of scientists e.g Nick Stokes, Isaac Held, Bart Verheggen? How come there aren’t scores of skeptics arguing their version of the ‘science’ on these blogs?

      Because they can’t

      • Louise,
        You still don’t get what the role of skeptic is. Skeptics are critics of what is being offered by the consensus.
        Skeptics are not there to offer alternate theories.
        It is enough to point out the problems that exist in the AGW consensus.
        But you are, according to your own touts, an academic, so you know this.
        So why do you persist in wandering around the internet asking for critics to offer alternate theories?
        If a supporter of a movie went to a critic of that movie and tried your argument- that unless the critic makes a better movie their ciritique is invalid, they would be though of as no more silly than you are when you repeat your call for the same irt climate science.
        AGW consensus is failing in hot spot, changes in weather patterns, divergence from scenarios, hiding the decline, historical variability, not to mention the list of policy failures. You can run from this, and you are very good at ignoring it, but it will not go away.

      • Who says “climate science is wrong?” Hell, who can even define what “climate science” is? Where do you go to get certified as a climate scientist?

        I know how to spot CAGW advocacy when I see it, and I see lots of scientists saying THAT version of “climate science” is wrong, including (not to belabor the obvious) the inimitable hostess of this blog.

      • hunter,

        I can’t speak for Louise but to me “arguing their version of the science” doesn’t necessarily mean coming up with an alternate theory as such, it just means discussing the details of the existing theories and coming up with a serious scientific explanation of why they are wrong. Similarly, to really earn that “skeptic” by being a “critic of what is offered by the consensus” does not mean just making cheap shots aimed at climate scientists and those on the other side of the argument in general, it means actually engaging with the scientific arguments – the real ones, not silly strawmen. If you actually did that then you might find people taking your “skepticism” a bit more seriously.

      • Louise, Maurizio and Hunter

        Should a “rational skeptic” of the “mainstream consensus” CAGW premise, which is being promoted by IPCC, offer alternate hypotheses?


        The skeptic should simply insist on empirical evidence to support the CAGW premise.

        “Empirical evidence” (according to the scientific method) is based on actual physical observations or reproducible experimentation. Model simulations based on theoretical deliberations do not count as empirical evidence.

        If the proponents of the CAGW premise are able to show such empirical evidence, then they are able to validate their premise and hence it becomes a corroborated hypothesis.

        If, on the other hand, the proponents of the CAGW premise are unable to show such empirical evidence, then they are unable to validate their premise and hence it remains an uncorroborated hypothesis.

        That’s where we stand today.

        The “mainstream consensus” CAGW premise being promoted by IPCC is an uncorroborated hypothesis.and the burden remains with the proponents of this premise to validate it with empirical evidence.

        Quite simple, actually.


      • Max –

        I agree.

        Feynman would have put it even more simply. He would have said, OK, that’s your guess, now where is your evidence?

        And I think he would have been quite ‘rigorous’ about what constituted evidence – knowing particularly well how human beings are incredibly prone to imagination.

        Climate models? Ha ha ha!

      • Louise

        The inclusion of Bart Verheggen reminds me that in March 2010 on Bart’s blog there was a very long discussion with VS who argued that the time temperature series 1880 to 2008 was all within natural variation. I heard a lot about lamp posts, drunks and random walks, but what I didn’t hear was a refutation of VS’s argument. Rather Bart said that VS couldn’t be correct because the time series would be “unphysical”. So yes, Bart in my mind can be lumped into the wastebasket of wrong climate scientists because he didn’t like that VS had demonstrated that the time series was within a “natural” boundary. I’m speculating now, I think Bart dissed VS because VS was about to embark on the correlation, or in this case, lack of correlation between temperature and CO2. VS never returned which I think was the purpose of Bart’s “this is unphysical” comments. So, I hold Bart in very low regard as a climate scientist and high regard as defender of the Faith.

      • Bob Fernley-Jones

        Louise, please clarify what you mean by:

        Because they can’t

      • Knowers continue to seek truth in the liars red utopia.

      • I can’t imagine of a better way to start for Tamsin than being criticized by Gleick AND Martha.

  26. Louise – your reply to me is totally totally OT. if you were in front of me I’d check you for signs of psychosis.

  27. WHT – please fix that telescope of yours. Earth isn’t the only place with an atmosphere.

  28. One of the more interesting stories ,still breaking is the Swedish investigation into the incorrect awarding of the nobel peace prize to Gore and institutions such as the IPCC in violation of Nobels will.

    The awards to the “wrong” type of people, will be the story of the week.



  29. The POST piece is fine. It is done within Parliament, and makes the sort of bow you have to make to received authority. You could not reasonably expect a throughly sceptical paper. I think it points out the uncertainties well, and is measured in its tone.

    I liked the new blog, too.I hope to have one myself soon, and I liked the way she stood up for her point of view. Good for her! I’ll keeping checking it out.

  30. The collide-a-scape article by Keith Kloor is so absurdly one-sided it is humorous. The scene is set with:

    Think of it like the war in Afghanistan, where climate scientists and campaigners are the U.S. military presence and Marc Morano and his like-minded band of ideologues are the Taliban.

    Huh? Who is trying to bamboozle the public into agreeing to trillions of dollars of new taxes, which will make a few politicians more powerful and a handful of industrialists much richer, all at the expense of the general public? [Clue: it’s NOT Morano]

    How about (just as stupid):

    Think of it like the war in Afghanistan, where a growing number of skeptical independent scientist are the U.S. military presence and Rajendra Pachauri and his like-minded band of ideologues are the Taliban.

    Then we have:

    The Taliban, like Morano, are fiercely puritanical. [replace “Morano” with “Pachauri”.]

    And, to add in some US election politics:

    Not coincidentally, global warming has become a litmus test for Republicans in this election year. [Replace “Republicans” with “Democrats”]

    The next paragraph would require some overhauling, as well:

    “Now before I go any further, let me state outright that I am not equating Marc Morano’s [Rajendra Pachauri’s] tactics with those of the Taliban. The latter is comprised of a brutal, extremist culture that terrorizes its own people in horrific ways. Morano [Pachauri] merely uses excessive rhetoric and hyperbolic language to advance his aims. He runs an operation that has a political aim: To delegitimize climate science [those who are rationally skeptical of the “mainstream consensus” claims he is promoting]. To do that, he and his allies engage in a propaganda war that goads his opponents and smears the reputations of individuals prominently associated with the climate change cause [scientific skepticism of his “mainstream consensus” claims].”

    As would the next:

    “So where does this leave the climate community? Well, like the U.S. military’s rethinking of its strategy in Afghanistan, the climate-concerned community has to reassess how it can best achieve its aims. If it wants to win hearts & minds (broaden public understanding and support for its cause), then it should probably settle in for the long haul and rethink its communication strategy.”

    “Communication strategy?”

    How about “rethinking” the “science” supporting the “mainstream consensus” in view of the Climategate exposés, the revelations of exaggerated and fabricated claims by IPCC and the latest “lack of warming” despite continuously increasing CO2 levels? [In other words, get the contents of the message right before worrying about how to communicate it to “win the hearts and minds” of the general public, who will bear the brunt of the proposed carbon tax.]

    Kloor closes off with:

    But if the climate community prefers to expend most of its energy trying to defeat its most committed enemies, then it likely will stay on the current path of Mutually Assured Destruction.

    The “destruction” of the false and exaggerated “mainstream consensus” claims of “the climate community” (as Kloor has dubbed IPCC) will inevitably come as the truth is exposed. Marc Morano is just one of many who are making sure that this will happen, but there are many others (arguably including our host here).

    And it will happen, just as sure as night follows day.

    Sorry ‘bout that, Keith, but that’s the way this is shaking out.


    • All the whining about those evil political skeptics reminds me of tactics used against some clients I have had over the years. Women who have been the victim of long standing abuse by their husbands/partners, where the man wised up after being arrested and jailed for abuse over and over. The smarter men start calling the police every time there is an argument and claiming the woman is being violent/abusive. That way they can tell the judge later in custody disputes that the violence is mutual. See? There are police reports about both of us.

      One of my favorites was a real gentleman with a history of abuse who got an order of protection (ex parte of course), and temporary custody of his daughter for his wife hitting him on the arm – which she later admitted. What he had left out of his petition was that she was hitting his arm trying to get his hands off her throat as he was sitting on top of her. As long as the judge heard only the man’s version of events, and was ignorant of history, the protective order made sense. When the guy found himself on the witness stand, confronted with photos and eye witness accounts of his history though, the moral equivalence evaporated.

      So it is with CAGW advocates and skeptics.

      There is as much equivalence between the aggressive political tactics of the CAGW advocates and skeptics as there was between the Japanese and U.S. navies beginning on December 7, 1941. When someone starts a war, you are a fool if you aren’t aggressive in fighting back.

  31. Markus Fitzhenry

    What a truly fascinating week it has been.

    We started out learning from Keith Seitter the Executive Director of the American Meteorological Society, basically telling us they now don’t believe the prognosis of the Climate PHD’s and that the whole of the theory is still evolving. Pete Ridley weighs in with a declaration that hardly any PHD’s commenting on Climate have any jurisdiction in the matter. Astonishing.

    Discussing the necessity for checks and balances on acceptable data, Joshua comes out with words to the effect “even if you show me photographs describing inconsistencies about UHI, I’m still not going to believe my eyes.” Classic.

    Moving onto the idiocy of attempting to divert natural effects of climate, my ever reasoned comrade Anteros’ comes out with: “blinkered tribalism gets tedious”. Not only tedious Anteros’, I think grievous as well.

    Dr Currys’ take on it: “I suspect that few of you would say with confidence that there is zero chance of the IPCC being correct, and zero future risk.” Hence, a reasoned perception of the parameters of future debate emerges, and it is that a growing confidence that the IPCC cannot be correct.

    Imagine being a warmest in a cooling world from 2015 – 2050 They will be caught out in the weather without a shirt on, there will be no more grants to stoke the fire.

    You have got to give some credit to Martha’, she is coming across after all.

    For me the highlight of the week was Richard Betts’ admittances they haven’t got it right for a decade. And we are destroying ourselves over it?
    Bring on next week, vaudeville has returned.

  32. The skeptics too need to recognize that decades are controlled by natural variability. Look at the last one to see an example, which they attribute to some kind of long-term effect rather than short-term natural variability. It is only longer periods that are controlled by forcing.

    • JimD writes “It is only longer periods that are controlled by forcing”

      Where on earth do you get this idea? Any natural variation that has a time constant measured in hundreds or thousands of years, will be indistinguishable from a forcing over time periods measured in decades..

      • I count solar and volcanic variations as forcing. That only leaves you with some mysterious warm ocean bubbling up effect that I suspect some skeptics think is happening, but with the land warming faster, it has scant support in observations.

      • JimD writes “That only leaves you with some mysterious warm ocean bubbling up effect ”

        On the contrary, some form of natural variation produced the ice ages, with a time constant in thousands of years. Other natural forcings produced things like the MWP and the LIA, and have time constants in hundreds of years. Precisely what causes these is in dispute, but they are natural, and they are cyclical, in that temperatures still remain within fairly small limits I am sure few people believe the linear rise in temperatures observed since 1850 or so will continue indefinitely, assuming that CO2 has a negligible effect. But this trend seems to be acting like a forcing when measured over just a few decades.

    • Markus Fitzhenry

      “”It is only longer periods that are controlled by forcing.””

      Preposterous. Laws of Physics demand mass returns to equilibrium as it is driven by entropy to do so.
      Way off course you are Jim D.

      • Forcings affect the energy balance. The slowly changing equilibrium level is precisely the point.

      • Markus Fitzhenry

        “Forcings affect the energy balance.”

        Are you really serious. The mass of Earth cannot become a Sun, if it could there would be no planets.
        It is no good reading Hans Cristian Anderson if you want to be an informed scientist.
        E=Mc2 , and I’m not going to let some misanthropist change it.
        Got It?

      • E=mc2 applies to nuclear energy and solar fusion.You seem to be putting E=mc2 into all your posts as though it is important for something related to climate.

      • Markus Fitzhenry

        “E=mc2 applies to nuclear energy and solar fusion.”
        Well now we know butterbutts. Thanks for that.

        He He He.

      • The ice ages are quite well understood and we should be in a long-term cooling phase according to that theory. This comes under the forcing category. If we had solar measurements then we might be able to understand the MWP in terms of solar activity. There are proxies that indicate it was more active then. Some say the LIA was solar forcing, but now it could be volcanoes. None of these explain what is going on now.

      • Markus Fitzhenry

        Let me show you the way Jim D.
        The earth loses atmosphere to space as an on going process. The ultimate fate of the earth, millions of years from now, is to be a barren rock, just like the moon.
        Many small meteors would leave no mark on earth surface because they would burn up before getting there. But throw enough of them at the atmosphere at once, over a period of years or even decades, and that is one hot upper and perturbed upper atmosphere with loss of atmospheric mass (I would think) to space heavily accelerated. Consider the chain of events that would follow:
        o No more flying creatures. Not just Pterodactyls, but anything, even insects, that had evolved the ability to fly based on a denser atmosphere. All gone in short order.
        o Predators dependent upon those species…gone.
        o Plants dependent upon those species for pollination…gone.
        o Plants dependent upon those species to control pests that would otherwise run rampant… gone.
        But here is the doozy. We know that plants thrive in conditions of much higher CO2 than we have today, that’s why greenhouse operators pump it into their greenhouses raising levels to many times “normal”. The plants respond with better growth and need less water and humidity to remain healthy, suggesting they evolved at a time when CO2 levels were much higher than they are now. And, based on the faint sun hypothesis…when PRESSURE was also much higher than it is now. We haven’t tested plant growth at elevated pressures to my knowledge, but it makes sense that in reduced pressure, the ability of plants to capture CO2 from the atmosphere would also be reduced, and likely other effects would occur as well.
        o The entire plant kingdom that had evolved to a given atmospheric pressure range, would have also died.
        o A sudden drop in pressure would in turn result in a sudden drop in temperature. The temperate zones would have retreated, and retreated big time, from the poles toward the tropics, triggering… if not a full blown ice age, then something like the Little Ice Age. Mass extinctions world wide even in the tropics where temperatures would have held steady. And that would be followed by….
        An earth steadily increasing in temperature commensurate with the steadily increasing insolation of the Sun for thousands of years.
        Exactly as the geological record since the last ice age shows.
        Maybe I am out on a wild goose chase on this one, but if one ties N&Z to Stephen Wilde to Faint Sun to Extinction Event….an awful lot of things start falling into place.
        Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      “Today’s debate about global warming is essentially a debate about freedom. The environmentalists would like to mastermind each and every possible (and impossible) aspect of our lives.”
      Vaclav Klaus
      Blue Planet in Green Shackles

      Jim mysterious natural variation working through the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, the Southern Annular Mode, the Artic Oscillation, the Indian Ocean Dipole and other measures of ocean and atmospheric states. These are measurements of sea surface temperature and atmospheric pressure over more than 100 years which show evidence for abrupt change to new climate conditions that persist for up to a few decades before shifting again. Global rainfall and flood records likewise show evidence for abrupt shifts and regimes that persist for decades. In Australia, less frequent flooding from early last century to the mid 1940’s, more frequent flooding to the late 1970’s and again a low rainfall regime to recent times.

      Anastasios Tsonis, of the Atmospheric Sciences Group at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues used a mathematical network approach to analyse abrupt climate change on decadal timescales. Ocean and atmospheric indices – in this case the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the North Pacific Oscillation – can be thought of as chaotic oscillators that capture the major modes of climate variability. Tsonis and colleagues calculated the ‘distance’ between the indices. It was found that they would synchronise at certain times and then shift into a new state.

      It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

      So we have identified quasi stable ocean/atmosphere coupled regimes that last for decades at least. It includes changes in cloud of course – which seems fairly obvious. We have not precluded longer term – abrupt – changes between even more divergent states. It is an absurd argument for Jim’s favourite carbon tax.

      • CH, you are probably aware that all those things you listed add and cancel randomly and indeed may add up to 0.2 degrees when averaged globally and decadally. Do they have room in a debate about several degrees. This is why I don’t give them much consideration for the long term. It is just the typical noise that the skeptics like to throw in.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Most of the recent atmospheric warming was clearly the result of extreme ENSO events in 1976/77 and 1997/1998.

        The most accurate data CERES, SORCE and ARGO show that modest ocean warming in 2003 to 2008 was entirely from changes in reflected sw.
        The state of ‘natural variability’ suugests 10 to 30 more years of subdued warming. The state of the polar vortices suggest clouds and storms pushing further into lower latitudes for decades to come.

        Longer term there is the potential for 15 degrees of change from natural variation – in as little as a decade. This is all in peer reviewed science – so what the hell is your problem?

      • CH, no one has claimed that ENSO causes global warming lasting more than a single ENSO cycle. Where is your literature on this? There are reasons of energy conservation against the ocean-atmosphere system having a self-generated unbalanced warming that is not just radiated to space almost as quickly as it appears.

      • Chief Hydrologist


        I am not really sure what you are talking about. There was a spike in the temperature record in 1976 to 1977 – from a La Nina to El Nino. There was an equally strong spike bewteen 1997/98. So substract these from the temperature record for a start to get a residual trend. It is a matter of eliminating other factors to get a representative period for determining trend. The recent rise is between 0.07 and 0.1 degrees per decade – and I think most if that was cloud.

        Here is a realclimate post – subtract the spin and read the papers – http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/07/warminginterrupted-much-ado-about-natural-variability/

        It is what I described above – seriously where are your citations. Nowhere ever to be found. You make it up as you go long like all warmist twits.

      • CH, you call it spin, but I would call it a good representation of how to interpret the data by Ray Pierrehumbert. Strong ENSO events cause spikes that decay over time, and then AGW takes over within a decade. The fact that it doesn’t and won’t decay back to pre-1998 values is all AGW.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I am not talking about anything but choosing realistic end points on which to determine trend – like in the realclimate post.

        i.e. the ‘real trend’ that Swanson posits is the real AGW trend is from 1979 to 1997 – about 0.1 degrees C/decade. I don’t believe that the trend is AGW – the data doesn’t show that – but the start and end points are valid. Eliminate extreme ENSO events from the record.

        I don’t know what you are talking about.

      • What I am talking about is that the trend looks like steps because it is a superposition of the AGW upward trend with up and down ENSO events that we know have existed for centuries without net warming. The cooling part of the events tends to cancel the AGW rise causing a fairly horizontal line. The events themselves have no trend, and can’t because they just redistribute warm and cold water over the Pacific equator without creating any new warm water. Theories that say that ENSO creates net energy by itself are not likely accepted in the oceanographer community.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        How can ENSO create energy. You are an idiot. ENSO has a significant role in energy pathways through the Earth system through feedbacks that involve ocean currents, wind, cloud, rain and biology. ENSO has existed for at least 11,000 years that we know of – and probably much longer.


        In the shorter term – decades – there are stepwise changes in the intensity and frequency of ENSO associated with the PDO.
        In a study that was widely interpreted as a demonstration of a positive global warming cloud feedback, Amy Clement and colleagues (2009) presented observational evidence of decadal change in cloud cover in surface observation of clouds from the Comprehensive Ocean Atmosphere Data Set (COADS). ‘Both COADS and adjusted ISCCP data sets show a shift toward more total cloud cover in the late 1990s, and the shift is dominated by low- level cloud cover in the adjusted ISCCP data. The longer COADS total cloud time series indicates that a similar magnitude shift toward reduced cloud cover occurred in the mid-1970s, and this earlier shift was also dominated by marine stratiform clouds. . . Our observational analysis indicates that increased SST and weaker subtropical highs will act to reduce NE Pacific cloud cover.’ As was clearly stated in the paper, the evidence was for a decadal cloud feedback. The feedbacks correspond exactly to changes in the Pacific multi-decadal pattern.

        ENSO has well known cloud effects. A number of studies have demonstrated the connection of ENSO to radiative flux and therefore to cloud. In an analysis of global warming cloud feedbacks, Dessler (2010) used short term variations in surface temperature and CERES data to determine that cloud cover was negatively correlated with temperature. Dessler also plotted ENSO against surface temperature leaving no doubt that ENSO was the primary cause of the short term temperature variations. Leaving aside anthropogenic global warming – the finding of a positive feedback here is in the first instance an ENSO feedback. As was reported, ‘the climate variations being analysed here are primarily driven by ENSO, and there has been no suggestion that ENSO is caused by cloud variations.’ The study takes a statistical approach that may gloss over the difference in processes in play in ENSO and from global warming.

        Zhu et al (2007) found that cloud formation for ENSO and for global warming have different characteristics and are the result of different physical mechanisms. The change in low cloud cover in the 1997-1998 El Niño came mainly as a decrease in optically thick stratocumulus and stratus cloud. The decrease is negatively correlated to local SST anomalies, especially in the eastern tropical Pacific, and is associated with a change in convective activity. ‘During the 1997–1998 El Niño, observations indicate that the SST increase in the eastern tropical Pacific enhances the atmospheric convection, which shifts the upward motion to further south and breaks down low stratiform clouds, leading to a decrease in low cloud amount in this region. Taking into account the obscuring effects of high cloud, it was found that thick low clouds decreased by more than 20% in the eastern tropical Pacific… In contrast, most increase in low cloud amount due to doubled CO2 simulated by the NCAR and GFDL models occurs in the subtropical subsidence regimes associated with a strong atmospheric stability.’

        Burgman et al (2008) use a variety of data sources to examine decadal variability of surface winds, water vapour (WV), outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) and clouds. They conclude that the ‘most recent climate shift, which occurred in the 1990s during a period of continuous satellite coverage, is characterized by a ‘La Niña’ SST pattern with significant signals in the central equatorial Pacific and also in the north-eastern subtropics. There is a clear westward shift in convection on the equator, and an apparent strengthening of the Walker circulation. In the north-eastern subtropics, SST cooling coinciding with atmospheric drying appears to be induced by changes in atmospheric circulation. There is no indication in the wind speed that the changes in SST or WV are a result of changes in the surface heat flux. There is also an increase in OLR which is consistent with the drying. Finally, there is evidence for an increase in cloud fraction in the stratus regions for the 1990s transition as seen in earlier studies.’

        Zhu et al (2007) found that cloud formation for ENSO and for global warming have different characteristics and are the result of different physical mechanisms. The change in low cloud cover in the 1997-1998 El Niño came mainly as a decrease in optically thick stratocumulus and stratus cloud. The decrease is negatively correlated to local SST anomalies, especially in the eastern tropical Pacific, and is associated with a change in convective activity. ‘During the 1997–1998 El Niño, observations indicate that the SST increase in the eastern tropical Pacific enhances the atmospheric convection, which shifts the upward motion to further south and breaks down low stratiform clouds, leading to a decrease in low cloud amount in this region. Taking into account the obscuring effects of high cloud, it was found that thick low clouds decreased by more than 20% in the eastern tropical Pacific… In contrast, most increase in low cloud amount due to doubled CO2 simulated by the NCAR and GFDL models occurs in the subtropical subsidence regimes associated with a strong atmospheric stability.’

        The surface observed decadal atmospheric changes have quantified support in satellite measurements of top of atmosphere radiative flux. This is what NASA/GISS says about the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project data. The ‘slow increase of global upwelling LW (infrared or heat) flux at TOA from the 1980′s to the 1990′s, which is found mostly in lower latitudes, is confirmed by the ERBS records.’ ‘The overall slow decrease of upwelling SW (visible light) flux from the mid-1980′s until the end of the 1990′s and subsequent increase from 2000 onwards appears to be caused, primarily, by changes in global cloud cover (although there is a small increase of cloud optical thickness after 2000) and is confirmed by the ERBS measurements.’

        Wong et al (2006) find that ‘comparison of decadal changes in ERB with existing satellite-based decadal radiation datasets shows very good agreement among ERBS Nonscanner WFOV Edition3_Rev1, HIRS Pathfinder OLR, and ISCCP FD datasets.’ They estimate the 15 year stability uncertainty of the radiative flux anomaly data (for all three datasets) at 0.3W/m2 to 0.4W/m2.

        I linked to this – but if you don’t want to red it and just want to make stupid comments – well that’s a surprise.

      • Chief, excellent summary

      • Chief

        What we find is that when interannual modes of variability in the climate system have what I’ll refer to as an “episode,” shifts in the multi-decadal global mean temperature trend appear to occur. I’ll leave the details of these episodes to interested readers (here and here), as things get pretty technical. It’s sufficient to note that we have an objective criteria for what defines an episode; we aren’t just eyeballing curves. The climate system appears to have had three distinct “episodes” during the 20th century (during the 1910′s, 1940′s, and 1970′s), and all three marked shifts in the trend of the global mean temperature, along with changes in the qualitative character of ENSO variability. We have also found similar types of shifts in a number of model simulations (both forced and unforced) that were run in support of the IPCC AR4 report.

        What is technical about the episodes of climate shifts?

        Is not it the case of simply detrending the whole data as shown here:


        And you have the climate shifts => [1910’s, 1940’s, 1970s & 2000’s]

      • CH, where in those studies does it say that El Ninos are causing irreversible changes to the climate? Their changes are temporary until the Planck response removes the warming, together with the next La Nina. Spencer and Lindzen have made a life’s work of studying the IR response to ENSO cycles, and yes it does respond, so they got that part right. Your picture that each El Nino causes some kind of climate step is inconsistent with the centuries of ENSO cycles that didn’t. Think about it. What changed recently? Are you 100% sure AGW doesn’t do it?

      • Chief Hydrologist


        You are quoting Kyle Swanson from realclimate – well done.

        The question is why we get these distinct breaks in the trajectory of surface temperatures. They are quasi stable regimes with expression across atmospheric and oceanic indices and in hydrology – with abrupt shifts between regimes. I can tell this not just through numbers but in observations in the landscape. Rivers change form on decadal scales – over a few years from low energy meandering to high energy braided and back again. These regimes last for decades. So I can see them – feel them – I can almost smell and taste them. There is a connection with temperature – and the temperature trajectories are exactly the period of these regimes as you note. So it is too much of a coincidence.

        From the abruptness of change in the rainfall regimes – you would suspect self organisation in complex systems. This is exactly what Swanson and colleagues look for in terms of autocorrelation and noisy bifurcation in indices capturing major modes of climate variability – ENSO, PDO, PNA and AMO – in the NH. A completely new way of looking at it – with what was suspected emerging objectively from the mathematics.

        So it provides a proof of what you suspect from the temperature – and the proof moreover shows that Earth systems are deterministically chaotic. That is – there is not a bit here and a bit there but the whole is a single dynamic system – astonishing.


      • Chief Hydrologist


        I am more talking about – and these studies were talking about – multi-decadal changes known collectively as the Pacific Decadal Variation. Nothing has changed recently – these multi-decadal shifts in regime that appear in fisheries, hydrology and global surface temperature and appear to be bifurcation in a deterministically chaotic system – continue as they always.

        ‘This study uses proxy climate records derived from paleoclimate data to investigate the long-term behaviour of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). During the past 400 years, climate shifts associated with changes in the PDO are shown to have occurred with a similar frequency to those documented in the 20th Century.

        Importantly, phase changes in the PDO have a propensity to coincide with changes in the relative frequency of ENSO events, where the positive phase of the PDO is associated with an enhanced frequency of El Niño events, while the negative phase is shown to be more favourable for the development of La Niña events.’ http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2006/2005GL025052.shtml

        We know as well that there is much greater variability in ENSO than we have seen recently – a shift 5000 year ago to El Niño conditions that caused the drying of the Sahel, El Niño in the medieval optimum, La Niña in the little ice age. It seems there is a temperature impact decadally. There is certainly an impact on hydrology. What might be the longer term implications? We know from Australian shorelines that there are periods of hundreds of years where one or other modes dominate. As well – and while significant in itself – it is linked in the global system to other modes of climate variability.

        Without understanding natural modes of climate variability – it is difficult to say anything about greenhouse gases except that they should theoretically have an impact.


    • Jim D, so your unstated assumption is that you understand natural variability. Nobel Prize to follow? I do not believe you, sorry. Your claim is preposterous.

      • It doesn’t take a Nobel Prize to figure out what natural variability can’t do to the earth’s temperature trend that forcing changes can.

      • You claim to know what natural variability can’t do. I repeat, preposterous.

      • Remember we have removed volcanoes and solar effects from natural variability because they can be forcings. What else is there as an energy source for long-term global warming? Is it the ocean depths, the glaciers melting,…? The skeptics need to get some ideas out there, but have been lacking in this department.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘The last decade is a little different. The CERES dataset is too short to say much. There doesn’t seem much of a trend in net radiation to 2010. The missing energy is no longer missing? I think that until 2008 there was shortwave warming that showed up only in the von Schuckmann ARGO analysis. But the the current super La Nina is rapidly cooling the planet.’


        That was me a year ago. I just quote it becuase I found the missing energy then. I was a nicer person then.

        It is quite clear that recent data shows changes dominated by SW. In the longer term there are changes in polar and sub-polar regions driven by UV, changes in thermohaline circulation and changes in ice and snow. These are changes that change the energy fluxes of the planet.

        You need a broader picture – how does the energy dynamic change rather than a limited and fragmentary concept of forcing.

      • Chief,


        That is a plot of the RSS TLS showing the shift which I believe started around 1994 but wasn’t obvious until after the 1998 El Nino. Looks like a natural variation to me. Hard to tell with non-linear dynamic systems though :)

      • capt.;
        Nice graph. But kinda tiny. Is there an embiggened version?

      • Chief H –

        I had a good read of your post from last year. Interesting stuff.

        What I noticed most was that the atmosphere, dialogue and ‘clientele’ at the blog of the time were a million miles away from those of today. Almost like going back a generation. Verging on quaint!!

        Of course, it was a little before I was born into this segment of the blogosphere but I see no reason for looking at correlations.

        Without wishing to cast aspersions on our gracious host, I do think sometimes weeds can grow in untended fields..

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Yes – we were very much more idealistic then.

      • capt.;
        Yes, that’s somewhat embiggered. Thx!

      • capt.;
        Hm. I wonder what the slope of the blue line would be if it was just ’75-’95. Looks like 2 different regimes, to me.

      • Brian, it does appear to be two different regimes. The start is 1979 which is all she wrote for the satellite data. I noticed the 1994 shift a while back but have not had anything solid to pin it to. Pinatubo would not have shifted everything for so long.

        BTW, the surface and mid-troposphere both have shifts at the same time, just much smaller, so the oceans are giving up more or taking in less energy as CH mentions. I am just not sure it is only SW like he mentions, seems like there is something else.

      • All up, a truly entertaining and informative section of the thread

        I’ve re-read:


        as well, and agree that ENSO oscillations are significant players in multi-decadal variation. CH’s point above that the *type* of cloud cover formed by ENSO episodes is a diagnostic for these episodes (so giving some hope of separating and estimating their influence) is understood. They swamp the “+0.7C in 150 years” influence of increasing atmospheric CO2

        And, marvellously, I now see the point of chaotic bifurcation … recognisable only in hindsight (somewhere in 1999-2002, it seems)

        Thanks, Chief, this was good karma (as was your earlier thread)

  33. As noted Dr Tamsin Edwards had a little run in with her blog name with Peter Gleick. Partly because some ‘sceptics’ liked it (me).

    Peter and Tamsin had a furter disagreement on how best to communicate climate science (published with permission)


    In Tamsin’s closing email to Peter Gleick ( that I am party to) I think she identifies exactly the feeling of many sceptics, being dismissed as a group to be ignored.

    “I would personally be infuriated if I was dismissed on account of the behaviour of a group of people I talk with. Every single person I talk with has a different viewpoint, and I learn a lot about how better to communicate climate science by listening to them. If we dismiss swathes of people by association then our attempts at communication become futile: we end up only ‘preaching to the converted from an ‘ivory tower’, as it were”. Of course, if communication of climate science is not your aim, then it is your choice if you prefer to communicate with nobody! – Tamsin Edwards

    And a public thanks to Katie Hayhoe for advicing Tamsin/Peter that I had been nothing but civil and courteous to her.

    • Shoot-from-the-lip, vacuu-pate Gleich? His name is well on the way to becoming a byword. Or even a verb.

    • But Gleick, like Tobis, Romm, Schmidt, Mooney, Monbiot, etc. etc. etc. etc. have little interest in communicating science. They are pushing a social agenda.

  34. Scientists: ‘Look, One-Third Of The Human Race Has To Die For Civilization To Be Sustainable, So How Do We Want To Do This?’ ~The ONION

  35. “Sources confirmed that if a death solution is not in place by Mar. 31, the U.N., in the interest of preserving the human race, will mobilize its peacekeeping forces and gun down as many people as necessary.” (Ibid.)

  36. While I would consider asking Dr Gleick for advice on water quality issues, I’ve pretty much concluded he is not the person to ask about how to influence people and make friends.

    On second thought, I’ll take back the influence part. He does manage that, just not in a way that advisable.

  37. Happily the MAD only destroys alarmism. In politics a draw is a loss for those who advocate radical action. The climate debate is a politically drawn game. That is good enough for me.

    • Not as long as the money continues to flow, and major nations (e.g. UK, EU, and Aus.) are legislating massive impossible decarbonization policy goals — and implementing them. And the UN and EPA insert and exploit regulatory gotchas into every process and document. And states and municipalities direct major funds towards all manner of EC (Environmentally Correct) projects and fees. And utilities are legally obliged to install and sell hyper-priced “renewable” power.

      And so on. The rot is deep and pervasive.



  39. NASA FACTS, April 1998

    …in the early 1970’s, because temperatures had been decreasing for about 25 to 30 years, people began predicting the approach of an ice age! For the last 15 to 20 years, we have been seeing a fairly steady rise in temperatures, giving some assurance that we are now in a global warming phase.

    And now the global cooling phase has stared:

    • Girma

      Looks like the last few months have pulled down the linear trend for the most recent decade to a cooling of -0.1 degC (where IPCC had projected warming of +0.2 degC per decade).

      So much for the models’ ability to forecast 10 years in advance.

      With such a lousy record, why should we believe these same models can forecast several decades (or even centuries) in advance?

      Answer: we shouldn’t.


  40. Greenland and Antarctic are almost as large as USA. On Greenland, and Antarctic are few thermometers clustered on a very small area. B] if the weather bureau was reporting the temperature for few places in Florida – as the official temperature for the WHOLE of USA, many people wouldn’t believe that is sane.

    In the evening when they report the weather for the whole of USA; remember what Stefan was saying: compare yourself if: when the temperature in Florida goes up by one, or two degrees for next day , does the temperature in all of the states goes up by EXACTLY that much. Or, some places goes up, some down. Some place by more, some by less. Therefore: not having data collected on every square kilometer on Antarctic / Greenland = is blatant misleading.

    Then see on how many places the temperature is monitored in central Pacific for IPCC? Central Pacific is 15 times larger than USA. That is for temperature on the ground. Unwritten rule is: when close to the ground is cooler than normal > upper atmosphere is warmer than normal. Q: upper atmosphere is 90% of the troposphere… occasionally they send a balloon… to monitor on 1m3…??? Or occasional infrared two-dimensional photo of the atmosphere. It’s would be an insult to a 5 year olds intelligence, but is not insult to the ‘’Fake Skeptics’’. The ‘’fake Skeptics’’ are Al’s fig leaf. KING Al IS NAKED!!!
    Q: can the Warmist realize that heat distribution on the earth is 3 dimensional? A: of course they can, but is against their theology.
    Q: can the ‘’fake Skeptics / the B/S addicts’’ notice those things? A: NO, because they are busy, busy with their buckets and wheelbarrows actively collecting IPCC’s & Al’s B/S…

  41. This just in from the “You can’t make this stuff up” department:

    “The Sierra Club disclosed Thursday that it received over $26 million from natural-gas giant Chesapeake Energy Corp. between 2007 and 2010 to help the group’s campaign against coal-fired power plants.”


    You can never believe anything the Sierra Club says again, they are in the pocket of big gas.

    • Paul Vaughan

      Tamsin’s analysis makes a lot of sense to me.

      On the left we have the “the science is settled” consensus group on top and the “there is no GHE – it’s all a scam” denier category on bottom. These two groups are dogmatists. Several of the “mainstream” scientists fall into this category..

      On the right we have those that are :convinced: by the data that exist that the IPCC “consensus” view is likely to be correct, those that are “not convinced” (and in the middle those who are “luke warmers”, i.e. they agree that there is a GHE and that this will cause some modest warming, but they do not believe that a catastrophe is looming before us. Some of the “mainstreamers” fall into the first group, while several other climate scientists fall into the second or third (sorry, Naomi, you got it wrong).

      I’d say that Tamsin has got it pretty much spot on with her analysis.


      • It has nothing to do with anything.
        Division by zero error…
        (back to work on understanding nature….)

  42. Our old friend Christopher Monckton shows no sign of retiring to the shires. He’s now come up with another cunning plan to put wrongs to right in the Australian media, and how he has similar plans for the UK too. All you need is, he says, for the super rich to buy an existing TV station or set up a new one, employ the likes of Joanna Nova and hey presto, you’ve got ” free, fair and balanced coverage” just like they do on Fox!


    What will he think of next?

    Simple really. I wonder why no-one thought of it before!

  43. Markus,

    “Come mothers and fathers
    Throughout the land
    And don’t criticize
    What you can’t understand
    Your sons and your daughters
    Are beyond your command”

    If you’d like to study Bob Dylan’s lyrics in full:

    • Markus Fitzhenry

      “Come mothers and fathers
      Throughout the land
      And don’t criticize
      What you can’t understand
      Your sons and your daughters
      Are beyond your command”

      Have a good hard think about what he was saying.

  44. Like “don’t criticize what you can’t understand” ? Global warming denialists have been doing that for years!

    • Markus Fitzhenry

      f-ing hopeless.

    • “don’t criticize what you can’t understand” ? Global warming denialists have been doing that for years!

      Yep, tempterrain.

      And so have the mainstream “the science is settled” dogmatists (like you?).


    • Latimer Alder

      I think that sceptics understand ‘global warming’ far better than committed alarmists like you. And the result of that understanding is that AGW has, at best a very flimsy case. It is no better than an untested hypothesis.

      And if you wish to advance this hypothesis a little further towards a higher standard of evidence than the pitiful shaky edifice you have constructed with so much noise and so little intellect, you’d do better to shore up the building by working on its foundations instead of criticising those who rightly point out that it is nobbut a house of cards. And the wolf is already outside the door gathering breath…….

      Yours in metaphors……

  45. tempterrain

    The takehome message (from Peter, Paul and Mary) was that “the times they are a’changing”

    And for the “mainstream consensus” group, who thought “the science is settled” and everyone would believe their story, the “times” are definitely “a’changing” since Climategate, the revelations of IPCC falsifications, the failures at Copenhagen, Cancun and Durban and (most damaging) the failure of our planet to warm over the past decade despite CO2 levels reaching record heights.

    Yep, “the times they are a’changing”.


    • John Costigane

      Great songs, great times, Max.

      The message from the song passes down generations and we too must accept that times are changing.

      The best way forward is to help the young do the science well. Tamsin could be the best focus for our support.

      • John

        ‘The times they are a changing.’

        In the context of this blog change can be equated to climate evolution. I don’t have a problem with the notion of change and evolution but perhaps warmists do?

      • John Costigane


        The blame game has been fun, but there is now a chance to move forward; no longer ‘ Us and Them’ but just ‘ Us’.

        I agree that both sides have to adapt. Tamsin offers a site for civil discourse where all are welcome.

  46. We certainly ARE going around and around in circles! Groundhog day indeed!

  47. Latimer Alder

    Regarding the lack of warming in the past decade or so, has anyone come across an Alarmist saying

    ‘Thank &deity. for that. Things aren’t as bad as we thought. We now have a lot more time to think through what, if anything, we need to do about this problem – if there really is one – and take calm and considered measures (if needed) rather than the panic knee-jerk reactions we have done in the past’

    If not, why not? If their agenda really is to save the world from heat-related harm, then the lack of warming should be Very Good News Indeed.

    • Latimer,
      At least part of the answer is that so many believers are so invested with being affirmed in their faith that vindication delayed is vindication denied.

      • Nope.
        “The answer is: massive murderous decarbonization under self-selected global bureaucrats’ control, taking advice exclusively from us.

        Now, what was the question?”

        Carnak at his most dysfunctional.

  48. How ‘magic’ made Greek debt disappear before it joined the euro

    So how did this ‘magic’ work?

    “Take the Greek state railway. It was losing a billion euros a year,” Ms Xafa remembers.

    “The Greek railway had more employees than passengers. A former minister, Stefanos Manos, had said publicly at the time that it would be cheaper to send everyone by taxi.”

    The authorities used a neat conjuring trick to make the problem vanish.

    “The [railway] company would issue shares that the government would buy. So it was counted not as expenditure, but as a financial transaction.”

    And it did not appear on the budget balance sheet.

    So Greece fulfilled the Maastricht criteria and was admitted to the eurozone on January 1, 2001 – but by 2004 the deception was becoming transparent.


    For heavens sake never let governments have any economic power, as they don’t let the inefficient be replaced by the more efficient, resulting in massive waste.

    • Girma,
      How many trillions have been in effect stolen by government accounting lies?
      Stanford and Madoff nearly got it right: They were both huge democratic party supporters. They did not take the logical step like Corzine and actually join the government.

    • Girma,
      Perhaps, “Beware Greeks bearing balance sheets”?
      Of course a corollary, “Modern government is based on a Greek innovation”, comes to mind.

    • Good to see that Girma is not a single issue poster

  49. 32 years at NOAA? a lot of work
    Another 11 years at AMS? a lot more work
    Blogging for 18 months? more work still
    Getting a mention in Judith Curry’s “week in review”? — priceless

    thanks, Judith!

    • congratulations!

    • Bill, thank YOU! I read your blog regularly, and I encourage others to do so also.

      • I don’t know what Bill’s readership is, but I seem to be almost his only commenter; though hunter has gathered with me since Bill’s post. Bill’s blog has some interesting posts, and I like his attitude.

    • William

      I enjoyed your blog and the item on Iraq snow storms-I must have been there about that time and met up with Sadaam Hussein shortly before he became President.

      Having read literally tens of thousands of contemporary weather observations dating from the 1400’s onwards, what I can say with certainty is that the unusual is the norm. THere seems no such thing as a static or calm environment for any protracted period.

      Consequently there is nothing we can face in the future that is likely to be worse than we have faced in the past. The worst extremes seem to occur during the LIA-the weather events during the MWP and the Modern warming period seem relatively mild in comarison, presumably because the extremes of atmospheric/oceanic energy gradients don’t exist

      • Tonyb –

        This very poignantly expresses the difference between knowledge and understanding. Climate scientists may accumulate vast numbers of facts about the physics of the planet and claim that this gives them some knowledge. They may also believe that this gives them an ability to make predictions about the future, and not only that, but what these predictions (if true) will mean to people who who have not yet been born.

        This is profoundly different from understanding – which has a human dimension. In fact it is the human dimension, and in the face of it supposed knowledge is just so much puffery and numberings.

        Seriously – all power to your understanding.

  50. Very nice blog BTW, I especially like the social sciences is hard :)

  51. http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/620331main1_ceres-firstlight-lw-670×378.jpg

    Pretty picture from NASA. The white is 67Wm-2. The lowest temperature measured on the surface of the Earth, I know of anyway, is -89C, or 184K at 65Wm-2. Could that be a limit? If it is, what would be the limit of warming possible for a quadrupling of CO2?

  52. While I can appreciate Tamsin is finding it important and meaningful to devote herself to personal efforts at facilitating inter-personal conflicts wherever she finds the need, it is irrelevant to the big picture; and will probably become emotionally exhausting to her.

    However, it is a fascinating study in gender dynamics:


    Touch and go there for a bit, but nice finish. Go, Tamsin! Who needs soap operas and reality t.v. ?

    And never mind all those poor people or what the rest of the public understands, wants or needs to discuss: climate change is absolute hell for well-off men and libertarians challenged with income and identity issues, so who won’t rest better at night knowing that Tam and Judy are on it? :-)

    Sigh. Tamsin and Judith simply MUST talk.

    • Martha,
      You really are trapped by your incredibly boorish dialectic.

    • I’m definitely cheering for Tamsin. I’ll undoubtedly argue with her over the esoterica of uncertainty, but she seems a voice of good sense, fairness and uncommon civility in the public dialogue on climate sense.

    • Martha

      Where can we visit your web site in order to read your particular take on life, climate and gender dynamics?

    • Much kudos to whoever really wrote this.

      You have excellently captured the vapidity of Martha’s gender/identity/income analysis while not sacrificing the exquisite sense of her own self-importance and intellectual superiority that pervades her ‘work’.

      As a piece of pastiche it is difficult to beat.

      But next time put in some jokes, lest we confuse your taking the mickey for the real thing.

  53. Martha,

    As always, I find your points of view thought-provoking and intriguing and greatly appreciate that you choose to be a part of this blog’s commentary. Thank you.

    And, as usual, the thoughts you’ve provoked in my conservative-old-white-man mind tend to be at odds with your own. Except to say, I share your desire to help the poor and women and, unlike you, even men in need.

    But there are certain programs, traditionally deployed to “help” the “poor, etc.”, that I want no part of:

    -Programs that rip-off taxpayers to fill the UN’s and other International Organizations’ coffers with monies that are first skimmed big-time (if not out-right stolen with impunity–think: “Oil for Food”) by money-bag parasites and then soaked-up by hordes of grotesquely under-challenged, under-productive, under-employed, but vastly over-paid UN/IO vulture-bureaucrats. All this, before one cent of the money collected for the “poor, etc.” actually leaves the luxuriously appointed, air-conditioned, centrally-heated, carbon-belching office-space confines of the first-tier, hypocrite-vulture exploiters of the poor (and tax-payers).

    -Programs that then dine on what little meat is left on the corpse, after the first rip of the D.O.A. “help for the poor and women”, by an additional round of carrion-gluttony in the form of interminable, carbon-piggy, per-diem friendly, excuse-for-a-party conferences where boozy, professional poverty-vultures bond and plot their future scams and hustles.

    -Programs that then sluice any portion of the tax-payers’ monies (all collected, remember, in the name of the poor and women (that last, incidentally, is a real “deal-clincher” appeal when pushing poverty scams with the many empowered, lefty lady decision-makers, employed in large numbers now-a-days to throw around whole bunches of other people’s money (and who have not the slightest interest in helping men in need)) which perchance slips by the earlier, vulture feeding-frenzies, into the itchy palms of this week’s, expendable kleptocrat-leader of the target “impoverished nation.” And, of course, said kleptocrats are always either drawn from some local aristocracy that has generationally ground it’s groaning peasantry into dust for elite profit or some stooge enjoying the aristocracy’s favor.

    – Programs that consume the last gristle of the taxpayer’s monies (again, collected for the relief of the poor and women (never leave that last, sure-fire gender-stroking sales pitch out of any poverty-scam, now that International Organizations are affirmatively bringing on-board so many lefty, women blood-suckers into executive positions) to hire an infestation of NGO’s for the target “impoverished nation”–organizations generously stocked with pedophiles and in the entrepreneurial, camp-follower company of talent-scouts for body-parts brokers and sex-slave traders–the unsavory down-side of the NGO do-gooder racket.

    -Programs that deliver the few remaining, cracked bones of the tax-payer furnished carcass, sucked clean of their marrow, in the form of a pitiful, token, self-congratulatory, photogenic, “look-at-us-helping-the-poor-and-women” project or two within the target nation. And in the process, creating a well-fed, smallish, but enthusiastic and useful cadre of professional beggars, utterly dependent on International Oranization poverty-scams and always available for testimonials as to the wonders of this, that, or another poverty-hustle atrocity that the poverty-vultures have visited on their land.

    Unfortunately, Martha, I know of no way to keep help for the “poor, etc.” out of the hands the “vultures” at present when that “help” is extracted in the form of tax-dollars. So my interest in helping the “poor, etc.” emphasizes the need to clear the lefty-vultures and their make-a-buck hive-masters out of the way of help to the “poor, etc.”. First things first. Then help in the form of a helping-hand, only. In the meantime, I’ll do my part to help the “poor, etc.” through donations to those hand-full of charities I have some confidence will actually get that donation to the needy poor and women and, even, men (the horror!) in need.

    • Chief Hydrologist


      You are a pissant leftist with utopian socialist delusions. Helping the poor amounts to sheltered workshops – more staff than bus passengers for instance – putting a 1/3 of the workforce on disability pensions and implementing feel good projects like home insulation subsidies where people die and houses burn down and it costs twice as much to dismantle it as it did to stuff it up in the first place. All the while ratcheting up government expenditure and depressing interest rates to maintain cheap funding and hyperinflate economic activity to enhance tax revenues. This inevitably ends in tears and denunciations of global capitalism.

      We have vast experience in what we call the aboriginal industry – it is very lucky we have resources (hence the lucky country) or the aboriginal industry would be the mainstay of the economy. In the 1970’s people of aboriginal descent were given vast tracts of land that no one else wanted and paid billions of dollars in ‘sit down’ money to return to a state of noble savagery. Unfortunately – they were no more noble than anyone else – a problem that we attempt to solve through the rule of law – and they returned to a state of ultra violence, pedophilia, drunkeness, drug abuse, petrol sniffing, incest, horrendous health outcomes and suicide. Despite banning journalists from the homelands – this soon became too obvious to ignore as people left because of these awful circumstances and started drinking and selling teenagers in respectable white suburbs. Hard not to notice. This neccessitated more billions and sending in the army – who these days seem more an arm of the red cross with appropriate cross cultural sensitivity training – than an effective fighting force. Otherwise we have 30 of the most highly trained and best equiped soldiers in the world and a fleet of remote controlled submarines that keep mysterioulsly blowing up. Please don’t tell your President or he might tear up the ANZUS treaty.

      Ironically the section of the constitution that allows us to send in the 3rd Regiment of Community Development Facilitators is now deemed racist. It is a section that says that we can make laws on race. But as it is a multi-billion dollar industry on which most of the people who deem it racist depend on for a living – it is to be replaced by a section saying that we can make laws for the advancement of races. Needless to say this creates a vast new industry adding greatly to employment prospects of lawyers as all laws under this section will then need to be taken to the High Court of Australia to define ‘advancement’.

      Your brand of namby pamby socialism has been instrumental in taking us down the particularly lugubrious garden path we are on.

      Robert I Ellison
      Chief Hydrologist

      • Chief,

        I take it that your last was written the “morning-after” a hard night of throwing back boiler-makers and riding the mechanical bull to glory. ‘Cuz I don’t get the namby-pamby, pissant, utopian, socialist conclusion about myself from anything either you or I wrote.

        I, personally, help the “poor” in several ways:

        One is voluntary donations to individuals in need whose circumstances I am able to judge, personally, and only when I am able to conclude that any assistance I might provide will take the form of a helping hand and not a hand-out to a leech or a con-man.

        I also make charitable donations through my church since I am reasonably confident that the missionary and charitable volunteer organizations that receive my money will pass it along with minimal over-head expense to those in need in a “helping-hand” sort of way. In particular, that the assistance will be wrapped in the redemptive, inspiring message of the Christian faith to which I subscribe, by individuals who live the precepts of that faith, and with a further message of the virtues of a strong traditional family and the protestant work-ethic. At the same time, I am mindful that even church-based charities can be corrupted and am vigilant in this area. On the other hand, whether in overcoming drug abuse or alcoholism, patching up frayed marriages, or in taking the burrs off a horse’s ass personality (be honest, Chief), as examples, I’ve not seen anything work better and more often than the Good Word.

        Finally, as my latest effort to offer a “helping-hand” to others, as, indeed, I received such help from others throughout in my life, I’ve taken to giving large tips to waiters/waitresses. My estimate is that folks in that line of work (at least in the restaurants I patronize) are mostly moms on a tight budget trying to make some extra money for their kids and newly weds working for some pin-money to spruce up their new nest. Or they’re college kids or recent high-school grads on their first job. I might add, that restaurant tips are usually shared with the bus-boys, who are also just getting a start, and I have a soft spot for that occupation since I once worked as a bus-boy, myself. I especially like that tips of 25% to 40% do not burden the recipient with a loss of pride or dignity in acceptance, are free of any over-head, and target hard-working people, busting their butts in a hard job and in a time of their life when every cent counts. Actually, I’m somewhat proud that I thought up this last form of “charity”. I’d recommend it to others.

        Otherwise, I pretty much avoid major charitable organizations–some are undoubtedly good, but too many, it seems to me, are not so good. And I can’t tell the difference. A couple of exceptions, but only where I actually know the volunteers and can assure myself, through the personal knowledge of those I can trust, of the organization’s bona fides.

        So I don’t get it, Chief, how does the above put “poor” people into workhouses? Or make me a namby-pamby, utopian socialist? Is it that I welcome the ambulance and rescue squad that shows up at a car crash? That I’m glad, if I were ever to go on a cruise in the Med (not very likely) and my ship hit a rock and sank, there are some good-souls, acting on a do-gooder impulse that would row out and save me?–or that coast guard professionals might also assist? Or is it that I would welcome a water purification team and a case of field rations to tide me over if my house were to be catastrophically lost, in a general disaster, to a tornado, hurricane, flood, or the like?

        Again, others have helped me along the way. And while not wealthy, by any means, I am able to “give-back” at this stage of my life and I do so in my own modest way. Which brings me to the last “trick” of my so-called “charity”? I always offer it as a “loan” to be paid back to others in the future who might need a helping hand themselves. In other words, I’m no big deal, just an imperfect part of a chain of decent people helping others and with an abiding desire to do my small part to keep that cycle of good works going.

        How ’bout you, Chief? What is the quality of your life that you can offer up as an example for my study and edification?

      • Chief,

        One after-thought, if I may. I’ve rather loudly proclaimed my charitable “good-deeds” in my last comment. I do so only because of the anonymity of the blogosphere. In practice, I either offer “help” to others anonymously or with an understanding between me and recipient that my “help” is strictly between the two of us and not for anyone else to know. That way, I spare the recipient any public embarrassment and save myself from being pestered by a bunch of hustlers with a “sad story” that might think me an easy-mark.

        Personally, I’ve a bit of a “bug” about publicly advertising one’s do-gooder deeds–at least outside the blogosphere and, even there, only as necessary to make a point. Hence my further comment.

      • Chief Hydrologist


        It was meant in humour. In reality – a liberal society has a role in such things as education, health, emergency services, welfare. Inevitable.


      • Chief,

        More than a little chastened, Chief, let me fess-up and say that I didn’t pick-up on the humor of your comment–but you knew that already. Moreover, yes, it’s me that’s turned out to be the horse’s ass, not you. And in the ultimate act of mortification, I see I must even thank you (no sarc) for deferring to me the privilege of announcing to everyone my new-found horse’s-butt status.

      • Mike seems to make a lot of assumptions about the people that he interacts with. eg the waitress at his fav eating house. I would actually talk to her and find out who she is and what she really is on about.

      • Peter Davies,

        Not quite sure where your last comment is coming from. In fact, I do speak with waitresses and the like, but avoid intrusive requests for biographical information. I mean, I don’t go to a restaurant to “hit” on the waitresses. When I go to restaurants, I’m not looking for a “relationship” with the folks doing the hard work making the meal happen. They don’t need that sort of thing and I don’t need to abuse a customer service situation in order to find my “companionship.” Some creepy weirdos aren’t so lucky, I guess.

        On the other hand, most often, waiters/waitresses will voluntarily choose to mention some detail of their personal life (I especially love it when they break out the pictures of their kids). And, when such things are mentioned , invariably, they confirm my “assumptions”, noted in my previous comment.

        But, Pete, let me tell you who I haven’t found working as waiters/waitresses in the restaurants I patronize: Mouthy, tenured, can’t-get-a-date wimps; carbon-piggie hypocrites with a good-deal cushy academic gig and a conviction that they’re superior to the folks who do the heavy-lifting on their behalf; and guys with a hefty, tax-payer rip-off good income stiffing the waiters/waitresses.

      • No offence intended Mike but the point I was making about you making assumptions was again illustrated by your response to me in that your reference to the snooty types who look down on everyone is based entirely on your perceptions.

      • Pete,

        Not to belabor this matter, Pete, let me just acknowledge that you intended no offense, and I take you at your word, and I convey my appreciation for your clarification. Otherwise, I made no “assumptions” about you, Pete, or anyone else. Rather, I just offered up a selection of “shoes” for the occasion and if any fit either you or anyone else, then so be it. If not, better still.

      • Yes Mike I agree. Never make assumptions about anything and you will notice that many blog flame wars can be eliminated all together!

  54. Hey all you detail people: Didn’t the Met UK office issue something similar recently? Counting the new Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology report, how many major new summaries over the last six months have come to the same conclusion…can we get a lisiting with URLs?

  55. There is a brief mention of an attempt by a group at Penn State to block a talk at Penn State by Michael Mann. Anthony Watt wrote and posted a strong defense of Mann’s right to speak and open debate.


  56. I thought my traffic had gone up! Thanks for the mention Judith.

    By the way I was one of the expert reviewers on the POST note (as was super expert Ed Hawkins). I also reviewed the others on climate (off the top of my head: sea level, uncertainty and geoengineering – can look up the numbers) Usually the POST people do their own research, including interviewing experts by phone or in person. Then they send the draft note to the same experts and to others, for checking.

    In other words, it is not an independent process from scientists.

    • Also – thanks so much for all your supportive comments. It is a bit exhausting – I originally expected around 5-10 comments per post, and I have a lot of deadlines at the moment – but the positive response and dialogue we’ve already had makes it worth it. Do join us.

  57. The CERES pictures at Watts’s Up are worth looking at (News, this week, I hope that qualifies).

    Load the Western hemisphere at max res. and look at the mouth of the Mississippi. See how the outflow is eating the cloud cover? It’s the Kriegesmarine effect.

    Told you so.


  58. Kriegesmarine? What does the Tirpitz have to do with it? It’s just oily water starving the air of moisture.

    • Google wigley “why the blip”. Then Google seawifs oil spill. Then work out how much of the ocean’s surface is covered with light oil*.

      Starved of moisture, yes, also lowered albedo of smoothed water, also reduced turnover so lower nutrient levels so less CO2 pull-down, also plankton population changes, less DMS etc etc etc.

      *All of it, every fortnight.

  59. My backyard experiment (February 5 & 6, 2012)

    I shielded a small section of my backyard with a car windscreen shade (silver on each side) which I suspended at an angle of about 45 degrees so that it would not interfere with convection loss and would reflect away upward radiation from the ground. I used a digital thermometer with a metal spike which I inserted into the ground, or held in the air just above the ground for the ambient readings. The “shielded” ground readings were taken under the shade about 20cm from where it came down to the ground, whilst the “unshielded” readings were taken in an open area about 2m away.

    Below are the results (temperatures in deg.C) …

    time unshielded shielded ambient
    21:33 23.3 23.1 22.1
    05:34 21.7 21.7 17.7

    (a) I found no evidence of “backradiation” slowing the rate of cooling.

    (b) My results agreed with those of Prof Nahle (Sept 2011) showing that the air was cooler than the surface and also cooled faster than the surface.

  60. http://www.forbes.com/sites/petergleick/2012/02/05/global-warming-has-stopped-how-to-fool-people-using-cherry-picked-climate-data/

    The usual Gleick, confusing warmth with warming. That is, he claims that just because it is warmer than before, warming has not stopped. Nonsense.