Fuzzy dice

by Judith Curry

Much is being made of Hansen’s ‘loaded dice’ as a metaphor for the changing climate.  I think we should be talking about ‘fuzzy dice.’

Hansen’s PNAS paper and the Washington Post have  received a huge play in the MSM and the blogosphere.  As an example of the media hype, see this article by Seth Borenstein (once again he solicited my comments, and didn’t use them).  “This is not some scientific theory. We are now experiencing scientific fact,” Hansen told The Associated Press in an interview.  The blogosphere is also rife with critiques of Hansen’s analysis; I had an earlier critical post at Climate Etc. [here].

Lets focus in on the ‘loaded dice’ metaphor used by Hansen.

‘Loaded’ dice

Here is how Hansen explains the ‘loaded dice’ in the op-ed:

Twenty-four years ago, I introduced the concept of “climate dice” to help distinguish the long-term trend of climate change from the natural variability of day-to-day weather. Some summers are hot, some cool. Some winters brutal, some mild. That’s natural variability.

But as the climate warms, natural variability is altered, too. In a normal climate without global warming, two sides of the die would represent cooler-than-normal weather, two sides would be normal weather, and two sides would be warmer-than-normal weather. Rolling the die again and again, or season after season, you would get an equal variation of weather over time.

But loading the die with a warming climate changes the odds. You end up with only one side cooler than normal, one side average, and four sides warmer than normal. Even with climate change, you will occasionally see cooler-than-normal summers or a typically cold winter. Don’t let that fool you.

When we plotted the world’s changing temperatures on a bell curve, the extremes of unusually cool and, even more, the extremes of unusually hot are being altered so they are becoming both more common and more severe.

The change is so dramatic that one face of the die must now represent extreme weather to illustrate the greater frequency of extremely hot weather events.

Rigging the dice

On the recent thread Loaded(?) dice, I argued that Hansen’s analysis of increasing probabilities of extreme heat events was ambiguous.  Apart from problems with the statistical methodology, there is an underlying assumption in Hansen’s analysis (as revealed in his op-ed) that any increase in heat waves must be due to anthropogenic global warming.  Hansen’s analysis failed to consider the 1930’s, when a very substantial number of heat wave records were set.

Cliff Mass has an interesting post entitled Climate Distortion.  Here is an excerpt:

Well, lets start with a little test.

The heat waves/droughts in the mid-section of the U.S. during past two years were caused by:

a.  90% natural variability and 10% human-induced global warming
b.  50% natural variability and 50% human-induced global warming
c.  10% natural variability and 90% human-induced global warming

Time is up!  Write down your answer.  As I will try to demonstrate, the correct answer is probably very close to (a).  90% of the temperature anomaly this and last summer is the result of natural variability with a minor assist from global warming.

Read the Mass’ post, see if you are convinced by his argument for (a).  Whether or not you are convinced by Mass’ argument for (a), I think that you will agree that there is no justification for a prima facie assumption of (c).

Kerry Emanuel has a great statement on this over at dotearth:

This is a collision between the fledgling application of the science of extremes and the inexperience we all have in conveying what we do know about this to the public. A complicating factor is the human psychological need to ascribe every unusual event to a cause. Our Puritan forebears ascribed them to sin, while in the 80’s is was fashionable to blame unusual weather on El Niño. Global warming is the latest whipping boy. But even conveying our level of ignorance is hard: Marty’s quotation of Harold Brooks makes it sound as though he is saying that the recent uptick in severe weather had nothing to do with climate change. The truth is that we do not know whether it did or did not; absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

My summary point is that in order for Hansen to draw the conclusion he did from his analysis (even assuming that it was statistically robust), he needs to assume (c), that is, he has ‘rigged the dice’ with an unsupported assumption.  I.e. our old friend circular reasoning.

Fuzzy dice

I think the appropriate ‘dice’ metaphor is ‘fuzzy dice.’  The philosophical foundations for fuzzy dice are laid out in this paper by Joel Katzav (more on this paper next week).  Excerpt:

But philosophers of science, computer scientists and  others point out that probabilities fail to represent uncertainty when ignorance is deep  enough. Assigning a probability to a prediction involves, given standard probability frameworks, specifying the space of possible outcomes as well as the chances that the predicted outcomes will obtain. These, however, are things we may well be uncertain about given sufficient ignorance. For  example, we might be trying to assess the probability that a die will land on ‘6’ when  our information about the kind and bias of the die is limited. We might have the  information that it can exhibit the numerals ‘1’, ‘6’ and ‘8’ as well as the symbol ‘*’, but  not have any information about what other symbols might be exhibited or, beyond the  information that ‘6’ has a greater chance of occurring than the other known symbols,  the chances of symbols being exhibited. The die need not be a six sided die. In such  circumstances, it appears that assigning a probability to the outcome ‘6’ will  misrepresent our uncertainty.

Assigning probability ranges and probabilities to ranges can face the same difficulties as assigning probabilities to single predictions. In the above example, uncertainty about the space of possibilities is such that it would be inappropriate to assign the outcome ‘6’ a range that is more informative than the unhelpful ‘somewhere between 0 and 1’. The same is true about assigning the range of outcomes ‘1’, ‘6’ and  ‘8’ a probability.

One might suggest that, at least when the possible states of a system are  known, we should apply the principle of indifference. According to this principle, where knowledge does not suffice to decide between possibilities in an outcome space, they should be assigned equal probabilities. Some work in climate science acknowledges that this principle is problematic, but suggests that it can be applied  with suitable caution. Most philosophers argue that the principle  should be rejected. We cannot know that the principle of indifference will yield reliable predictions when properly applied. If, for example, we aim to represent complete ignorance of what value climate sensitivity has within the range 2 to 4.5 °C, it is natural to assign equal probabilities to values in this range. Yet whether doing so is reliable across scenarios in which greenhouse gasses double depends on what climate sensitivity actually tends to be across such scenarios and it is knowledge of this tendency that is, given the assumed ignorance, lacking. Further, we can only define a probability distribution given a description of an outcome space and there is no non-arbitrary way of describing such a space under ignorance. What probability should we assign to climate sensitivity’s being between 2 and 4 °C, given complete ignorance within the range 2 to 6 °C? 50 % is the answer, when the outcome space is taken to be the given climate sensitivity range and outcomes are treated as equiprobable. But other answers are correct if alternative outcome spaces are selected, say if the outcome space is  taken to be a function not just of climate sensitivity but also of feedbacks upon which climate sensitivity depends. And in the supposed state of ignorance about climate sensitivity, we will not have a principled way of selecting a single outcome space.

Although the case of the die is artificial, our knowledge in it does share some features with our knowledge of the climate system. We are, for example, uncertain about what possible states the climate system might exhibit, as already stated in the case of climate sensitivity. 

Quick summary:  The fuzzy dice metaphor implies that we may not be dealing with a six sided dice (representing our ignorance).  How should we reason about rolling fuzzy dice to infer something about future heat waves?  Stay tuned for my post next week on Katzav’s paper.

429 responses to “Fuzzy dice

  1. Random rare events do not show a Gaussian distribution, but a Poisson distribution which is actually a bit top-heavy

    • Natural variability in the northern hemisphere is grossly underestimated
      http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/GSC1.htm

    • Solar activity modulates 6 year (z-axis LAC+LNC Earth-Moon motion envelope) IndoPacific Warm Pool tidal integration. Careful data explorers can find the evidence in LOD (annual-grain ~13-year-extent envelope) & IOD (6 year integration amplitude & phase over Hale cycles).

      One of the core assumptions in standard tidal models is wrong.

      Climate science is also blindly making false assumptions about polar motion. For evidence look carefully at spring & fall annual-grain geomagnetic aa index, Southern Ocean SST, & SouthEast Pacific SST. (More details at a later date.)

    • Paul Vaughan

      vukcevic & others,

      Opting for a different PDF just gives a different way of ignorantly getting dark wool over naive eyes.

      A cautionary note on statistical paradox:

      When differential constraints are governed universally, standard inference assumptions are untenable.

      A simpler (than climate) educational example can be constructed by capable parties using student course marks, the components of which are constrained by a+b+c+…=1. Paradox that baffles audience members is easy to illustrate. I have given such a presentation in a university lecture theater. Not a single member of the statistically-advanced audience could identify the source of the paradox. Simple educational examples can also be constructed using analogies with wheels & differentials on cars (but it’s quite a leap for the audience from a 2-wheel car axle to ~5.5-wheel climate).

      • Paul Vaughan | August 10, 2012 at 2:52 pm said: ”vukcevic & others,
        Opting for a different PDF just gives a different way of ignorantly getting dark wool over naive eyes”.

        By PDF – no right to reply, is the only way con artist can have a say; without being pointed of his lies. vukcevic knows that, he doesn’t need any other knowledge.

        When people realize that: solar activity increased or decreased; but the earth’s temperature is not changing – then he will talk, on the witness stands, under oath.

        When is a solar eclipse, lots of sunlight is reflected, not to come to the earth; but GLOBAL temp doesn’t decrease even for a millionth of a degree – not enough EXTRA coldness to cool one beer. Because O&N by INSTANTLY expanding / shrinking in change of temperature are regulating to be same temp on the planet every day of every year and millenia. Oxygen & nitrogen are 998999ppm in the troposphere = they regulate the temp – the laws of physics say that: Vukcevic’s ;;GLOBAL temperature charts” are a 101% destructive lies.

        The B/S merchant Vukcevic cannot avoid questions, when he is under oath on the witness stand. I’m looking forward, for that day; when my questions will become the most relevant. Vuk, nobody is forcing you to tell lies, but the justice will force you, to admit the truth. Justice has a long memory. Ignorance is not a crime; but avoiding the truth and persisting with molesting the truth – is a double crime!!! http://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com/climate/

    • Random rare events load both tales. For instance, randomly selecting rare IQ subjects would yield a fairly equal number of geniuses and special needs people. This would be a “dumbbell” distribution rather than a log like one.

      • And how much sense does it make to assume events are random when data indicate clearly that they are NOT – as in climate? It doesn’t make sense. It reflects laziness. It suggests climate scientists consider it way too much bother to explore spatiotemporal solar & lunisolar conditional dependencies. Randomness was a temporary placeholder. It has been overthrown. The earth orientation parameter experts are doing the climate scientists’ work for them (e.g. NASA JPL). Shameful. And rather than pay attention to the EOP experts, the climate scientists show all signs of intending to remain intransigently ignorant. This is unacceptable.

      • Extreme IQ distribution may not be exactly random due to predominant genetic factors; reason why low IQ is far more common than very high IQ.

  2. James Hansen in an earlier life was more nuanced and careful–or just more humble toward the complexity of science: http://www.masterresource.org/2012/02/james-hansen-fatal-conceit/

    F. A. Hayek would call this ‘the fatal conceit’ since imperfect science is being used by campaigners to advocate economic planning via government engineering (coercion).

  3. I think there are two issues here. It seems that the way the oceans are set up always loads the dice one way or another and this natural variability is poorly understood by climate scientists (but weather forecasters seem to have a better handle on this). The bigger issue to me is the bias in reporting by Seth Borenstein. He wants to call the numbers when the dice fits the narrative and ignores the other rolls. Is this post normal journalism?

  4. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Steven Mosher’s earlier discussion of these issues, here on Climate Etc., was excellent IMHO   :)   :)   :)

    With regard to Judith Curry’s “fuzzy” dice, a concrete example is the odds of a record-breaking ice-melt in 2012. On Intrade these odds have advanced from 30% to 60% in the last three days, largely due to Neven’s Arctic Sea Ice weblog predictions.

    So yes, the climate-change dice are fuzzy. Nature’s odds of a record ice-melt are known only to her, and our human estimate of her odds can only increase this uncertainty.

    It is natural to ask, what is the best human estimate, of Nature’s dice-odds, on the proposition: “James Hansen’s 1981 article ‘Climate impact of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide’ is essentially correct”?

    Although there is no Intrade market in this broad proposition, a reasonable estimate of the human “fuzzy” odds for this proposition is ~70+% … roughly comparable to the Intrade odds of a record ice-melt … and these odds are increasing year-by-year, for the simple reason that Nature is speaking out more-and-more plainly.

    And Nature’s plain-speaking is good, eh?   :)   :)   :)

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Oh, and in the absence of a massive CO2 increase, what are the chances that summer-after-summer, we would see record-low Arctic ice area?

      The answer is simple: less than 10%.

      In other words, Cliff Mass’ alternative “(c)” is correct.

      To speak plainly, Mass and Curry both are entirely wrong to assert “there is no justification for a prima facie assumption of (c)”.

      As the flight engineer in Dr. Strangelove says: “I’m sorry sir. Those are the numbers.”   :eek:   :sad:   :sad:

      • Fan

        I am a little surprised at your logic here. If we can only expect record low ice areas with a masive CO2 increase, what caused the record low ice area in the 1920’s,1820’s, the period from 890 to 1300AD and going back further in time the Ipatuk during the Bronze age, plus lots of other incidence of low ice recorded since the Holocene?

        Perhaps part of your excitement lies in your extremely short time span. A record low ice area sibce 1979 is but the blink of an eye in the greater context of history isn’t it?

        tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        In the last 400,000 years, what single factor has most greatly altered earth’s heat-balance physics?

        From this altered heat-balance physics, what predictions and conclusions rationally follow?

        These considerations are sobering, climatereason … but not complicated, eh?   :sad:   :sad:   :sad:

      • Look at the actual data. Much more snow falls when the oceans are warm and the Arctic is open. Much less snow falls when the oceans are cold and the Arctic is closed. The snow piles deep during the warm times. The heavy snow then advances the glaciers giving the impression that the snow is falling then. It already fell and it advances and increases ice extent and cools the earth. The earth cools and the Arctic closes and the sun causes the ice to melt and retreat and allow the earth to warm again. Ewing and Donn explained this very well in the 1950’s.
        You cannot build max ice volume 20k years ago. The snow stopped falling 100k years ago when northern water froze and there was no source for moisture. This is not complicated.

      • Fan

        Perhaps this ‘single factor’ is not as important as you believe, for we have had these record low ice areas happening through Holocene history at 280ppm. How is that possible ? Do you not consider that sobering Fan?

        Or perhaps you want to be a little more circumspect about claiming record low ice areas recorded during a period so recent that many pop groups with records in the charts at the time are still on their umpteenth comeback tour. :)
        tonyb

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Herman Pope,

        Your explanation for how glaciers grow and advance is incorrect. Warm temperatures do lead to greater snowfall in winter but that same warm weather melts all that snow in summer and there is no glacial growth. This excellent graph from ice core samples tells the story quite well:

        During cooler periods, less snow accumulates in winter, but also less melts in summer, and this is how glaciers grow.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        If the NW passage had opened as regularly in the 1820s I don’t think anyone would have ever heard of John Franklyn because navigating the passage would have been done numerous times by numerous people.

      • “what caused the record low ice area in the 1920′s,1820′s, the period from 890 to 1300AD and going back further in time the Ipatuk during the Bronze age, plus lots of other incidence of low ice recorded since the Holocene?”

        I’m not familiar with those satellite records. Links please.

        It’s always impressive the selective “skepticism” some people show for proxy records.

        In this case, as the kids say, “Pics or it didn’t happen.”

      • Robert

        That was the point I was making to Fan. Claiming record low ice areas during a period that started as recently as 1979 is surely highly selective and ignores the sweep of history.? Context is needed not pictures.
        tonyb

      • I don’t think it ignores the sweep of history; it focuses on the time in which we have good data.

        If you want to propose as a hypothetical that low ice conditions similar to the present may have occurred recently, but prior to the advent of satellite records, I think that’s a perfectly reasonable hypothesis to propose. However, you need some evidence.

        Since the ice is responding to temperatures, and temperatures globally are the warmest they have been for at least 1,300 years (and in all likelihood much longer than that) I think you need some pretty compelling evidence to make the argument that current conditions are historically routine.

      • Robert

        Warmest for 1300 years. Are you referring to tree ring and marine sediment proxies?
        Tonyb

      • Tonyb, thanks for keeping on trying to move fan back to the rails of the track. What was the ice like in the greenland settlement periods in 800-1100 AD? No one has good measures but most likely less than the short period from 1979 to 1997 to today. Thanks for inserting historical perspective in these discussions. Looking forward to your discussion of the early midieval records from the CET in Europe. Does similar data exist in Scandanavia and northern Europe?

      • SCott

        There are good records in most of Scandinavia, Northern Europe and Italy.It is said that France’s records are limited because of the revolution.Of course many records were lost during the various world wars.

        If you ever get a chance to borrow.’The Viking World’ from the library it goes into great detail on the greatly reduced ice during the period.

        http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415333153/

        There are some remarkable records that have come to light in Britain such as this extract from my forthcoming article;

        “The oldest surviving handwritten documents in Britain date back some 2000 years and were written by Roman soldiers and their families whilst serving on Hadrian’s wall;
        http://www.vindolanda.com/doorway-articles/writing-tablets

        The best-known document is said to be Tablet 291, written around AD 100 from Claudia Severa,[10] the wife of the commander of a nearby fort, to Sulpicia Lepidina, inviting her to a birthday party.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vindolanda_tablets

        History moves on, they have just discovered the remains of a large Roman Town not 5 miles from my house in an area previously thought not to have been inhabited by them. Thanks for your support
        tonyb

      • Tonyb, as a Geodie I loved walking on Hadrian’s Wall, and always visit when I’m back in Britain. I visited several forts last year, but not Vindolanda, which I’ve been to a few times.

        Less well known is Vindalooanda, where the legions went for their curries (not the Judith variety).

      • Faustino

        Plus 1

        tonyb

      • Latimer Alder

        @faustino

        But did the Romans ever get as far as the Balti?

        Perhaps our resident historian, tonyb, can help us?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Recent changes in a remote Arctic lake are unique within the past 200,000 years

        Hmmm … and so these Arctic climate-change hoof-beats sound like zebras not horses!   :)   :)   :)

        It’s not complicated, Climatereason and Scott!   :lol:   :lol:   :lol:

      • Fan

        Read the article with interest. Lots of theory and use of the wrord ‘infer’ and as one commentator pointed out, the results could be as they are because we have much better records for the last 50 years than for the previous 200,000.

        However I am afraid I do not believe in 2000 year old tree rings as an accurate proxy for temperatures much less 200000 year old muddy sediments which build up each year rather like tree rings.

        Tomyb

      • climatereason | August 10, 2012 at 12:40 pm

        WARMER = MORE ICE : http://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com/midi-ice-age-can-be-avoided/ Holocene, Crapocene are the original lies, crated by the most honesty deficient conmen; that didn’t understand the laws of physics – and thrive on the ignorant victims

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      The complete Strangelove sequence beginning with ‘those are the figures’ … is our 21st century ability to reason about climate change any better than the 20th century ability to reasona about thermonuclear warfare?

      Fortunately, we didn’t blow up the world during the 20th century. But it was a near thing.

      Will we burn up the world in the 21st century? It may be a near thing.   :eek:   :eek:   :eek:

    • 2008 – Record Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice.

      2012 – Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice well above average.

      AGW CUlt: Cricket …

    • “James Hansen’s 1981 article ‘Climate impact of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide’ is essentially correct”?

      That would seem to be a fuzzy statement of endorsement?

  5. Judith,

    You say: “Hansen’s failure to consider the 1930′s, when a very substantial number of heat wave records were set,”

    Should probably read: Hansen fails to consider …. and end with a period.

    • Why? Isn’t that a salient point?

      • No, it isn’t. Hansen looked at the whole world, and went back sixty years. Dr. Curry is complaining that he should have focused on 2% of the earth’s surface, and gone back ninety years.

        The professional way to say that would be “I think we should extend Hansen’s analysis back to the beginning of the instrumental record, and see if his findings hold up” not the frankly Wattsian “Hansen fails to consider the 1930s.”

      • GISS has some nice interactive graphics from which we see relative to its default baseline (1951-1980), the 1936 summer (JJA) was globally near the average temperature and the US had an area that was 2-4 degrees C warmer than the baseline, making it a 3-sigma event in Hansen’s terms. So indeed what we had in Texas 2011 was comparable, and after August we can tell how 2012 compares.

      • I don’t expect global synchronization in temperatures.

        According to the UK Met.

        1933 was the 5th warmest JJA in the UK.

        6 of the 12 months in the UK has a 1930s year in the top 5.

        People should be more aware that 1937 was the 16th coldest winter in the USA and that the western regions had the 3rd or 6th coldest winters.

      • “Hansen looked at the whole world, and went back sixty years”

        Did he indeed? Was there a difference in the number and location of any of the data series he collected and homogenized?

        If the answer is yes, then he is not dealing with a single population of sensors and geographical locations.
        One cannot therefore state that any change in the homogenized recordings of temperature in different decades show a difference in the underlying global temperature, or in ones ability to measure the temperature.
        It is rather like the 100 meter sprint. modern day athletes run the race far faster than those in the 50’s; however, the track surface is different, the shoes are different, the cloths are different and most of all, the training is different. Moreover, the pool of those that take part in the sport is much larger than in the past.
        There has been on change in humanities basic physiology, modern day athletes run faster than those of the past. The statistical analysis of run times, with respect to average and variance, show changes, but people have not fundamentally changed.

  6. Ah. I c. Ne’er mind. Slow on the uptake as always.

  7. “One might suggest that, at least when the possible states of a system are known, we should apply the principle of indifference. According to this principle, where knowledge does not suffice to decide between possibilities in an outcome space, they should be assigned equal probabilities. Some work in climate science acknowledges that this principle is problematic, but suggests that it can be applied with suitable caution. Most philosophers argue that the principle should be rejected. We cannot know that the principle of indifference will yield reliable predictions when properly applied.”

    The principle of indifference can be (and has been) DECISIVELY RULED OUT by sensible, capable judges via careful data exploration.

    Earth orientation experts (incl. NASA JPL) realize this. They will help climate science over a deeply fundamental (spatiotemporal solar & lunisolar) hurdle.


    Journalists:
    With absolute certainty (of the variety 1+1=2), the “loaded dice” narrative is ignorant &/or deceptive spin. You may not be able to see this directly from the data yourself, but understand that there are others who can. This is black & white. There’s no room for grey.

  8. Can someone quote where Hansen said something to support this paraphrase?

    there is an underlying assumption in Hansen’s analysis that any increase in heat waves must be due to global warming.

    • “Increase” has a couple of meanings. It can mean frequency or intensity. Hansen’s paper was about the latter being provable, not the first.

      • Thanks –

        Do you think it is true that there is an underlying assumption, in his work, that any increase in the intensity of heat waves must be due to global warming?

        My non-scientific parsing of the debate suggests to me that he is saying that because of statistical probabilities, the specific increase in intensityof heat waves that he documented, must be due to global warming (due to increased frequency).

        Do you think that Judith’s paraphrase is accurate?

      • In the sense that if you add half a degree to all temperatures, the extremes also increase by half a degree, it is hard for global warming not to result in increased intensity. Hansen seems to have shown that the warm end of the bell curve changes as fast as the mean, which is no surprise to me at least.

      • OK –

        I’m still a bit confused. I mean would anyone argue that theoretically we couldn’t create a condition whereby, say, a very localized heat wave was more intense but not because of global warming? For example, where the intensity of a heat wave might be increased by, say, a drought that was caused by a climatic pattern that was not in turn caused by global warming? Is it true that Hansen makes an underlying assumption that such occurrences would be an impossibility?

        And I’m also not clear w/r/t Judith’s paraphrase whether she meant AGW or just GW. Did she mean?:

        there is an underlying assumption in Hansen’s analysis that any increase in heat waves must be due to [anthropogenic]global warming.

      • Joshua, if such events occurred in the baseline period, their probability would be accounted for. For sure, heat waves are weather events that can occur any time, and blocking can also create droughts any time. Shifting the mean temperature does not affect the mechanism by which they occur, at least to any extent that has been demonstrated yet. Hansen’s paper was not about attributing the warming itself to anything, but of course he has done that elsewhere.

      • “Hansen’s paper was not about attributing the warming itself to anything”

        I think that is Josh’s point. Among other ill-thought-out criticism, Dr. Curry has attributed an assertion to Hansen’s paper that he completely and deliberately avoided making.

      • Joshua, there is an argument about what “on’t know”means. Some say “don’t know means don’t know”, others use methods to bound the ignorance. The problem is that of measurement versus an expert opinion. Hansen is claiming a measurement using a method that does not support this. That is the circular argument part that persons are commenting about. Or one way to look at it is that Hansen has a 10% to 30% of being correct but is claiming certainty. Since some of thsi is as much philisophical as numerical, I would not expect agreement. Though, I would expect most statisticians would conclude the conclusions of Hansen are not supportable by what was presented. This does not mean that at a later date, he will not be shown to be correct.

      • John –

        Hansen is claiming a measurement using a method that does not support this.

        Yes, I get that (I think) …. and my reflexive response is to be very skeptical about a statement of certainty.

        However, it is relevant to clarify just what he’s claiming certainty about. My sense is that Judith’s paraphrase is inaccurate. I’m still looking for some clues to finding an answer to that question.

        I seems to me that he’s stating that he is certain that a specific set of heat waves were attributable to (anthropogenic) global warming.

        Judith has paraphrased his position as operating from an assumption that “any” heatwave must be the result of global warming (and I’m wondering if she meant “anthropogenic global warming”).

        Do you think that Hansen is operating from an assumption, as Judith said:

        …that any increase in heat waves must be due to global warming.

        ….particularly considering Jim’s point that an “increase” could mean frequency or intensity?

        The reason why I ask is because while I am skeptical about a claim of certainty that any specific set of heat waves are attributable to global warming, and even more so, anthropogenic global warming (as I interpret Hansen’s assumptions), I can at least see where maybe it is an issue that statistically-literate people might feel differently about.

        On the other hand, an assumption as Judith described Hansen’s assumption seems much more of a non-starter to my limited brain with limited background knowledge.

        Is Judith’s paraphrase accurate?

      • Joshua, unfortuantely ther is such a mix a methodologies, the best I coud say for Hansen is that it is confusing. However, with frequentist approach Judith is correct. The other approach tends to be as I stated as much about “what we know or don’t” in other words philosophy. I happen to agree with Dr Curry, as expressed, it is a circular argument because of the lack of definition of what is, and what it is not.

      • Unless of course you use his arcane 3-sigma “hot extreme” definition to mean a heat wave (which he carefully doesn’t), because that frequency goes up, but no one defines it that way. It usually is defined as a departure from current climate, not a fifty-year-old baseline.

    • Joshua | August 10, 2012 at 11:45 am

      Josh, it’s even more important how Hanson is interpreted on TV, by the bias reporters; than Hansen’s original lies. Hansen is intentionally confusing ”climatic changes” with the phony GLOBAL warmings.

      Climatic changes were happening in the past – will happen in 100y, also. Same as: the moon was spinning around the earth in the past / will be spinning in 100y around the earth also.

      But confusing localized warmings as global; is SAME as confusing moon’s spinning around the earth with: the universe spinning around the earth. Localized warmings in the past were NOT GLOBAL – and will NOT be GLOBAL in 100years!!! Same as: the universe wasn’t spinning around the earth in the past, and will not be spinning around the earth in 100years!!!

      You Warmistas Gringos are riding on the Fake Skeptic’s backs – without your Geldings / the Fakes = you and Hansen would be flat on your asses!!! Be fair and occasionally give to the Fakes a carrot or two, as gratitude; to their front or back ends, irrelevant

  9. There is a100% chance that the earth has warmed since the low point during the little ice age. there is a 100% chance that there was global cooling from the Medeival Warm Period to the low point during the little ice age. There is a100% chance that the warm oceans and open Arctic will bring on another cooling. Look at the data, These patterns are repeating and we will have early and large snows this fall and winter around the northern hemisphere again.

  10. I went through this on the ‘exhaustion’ thread, but Hansen didn’t claim (c) either, but many thought he did. As I put it there, he is only quite certain that the extremeness of extreme events increased as a result of the warming since then, which is just a statement of the obvious.
    The dice part was that for 1951-1980 the top 33% warmest summers define local temperature thresholds that now have a frequency of 75%. This 75% is just a global average, some sites may have more and some less than this. Also not controversial, just statistics.

    • Hansen is trying to find a way to express uncontroversial science in a way that is also clearly understandable to lay people. The bell curve graph that comes out of this paper is, in its own way, as compelling as Mann’s hockey stick.

      I hope the paper does well in peer review, and any concerns with the statistical analysis are addressed successfully.

  11. For the pedantically-minded here, the object is a die, the plural of which is dice. “A dice” is therefore incorrect.

  12. Hansen’s analysis is meaningful only when events are independent (e.g. with a rolled die). Hansen’s analysis is meaningless when events are serially correlated in time.

    Climate is not like rolling a die.

  13. Judith Curry

    You write (of Hansen’s latest “loaded dice” statements):

    I think the appropriate ‘dice’ metaphor is ‘fuzzy dice.’

    This is good, but how about “circular dice”.

    Max

  14. What a waste of time. The dice analogy is for political purposes and its scientific value nil. We might as well discuss if electrons are smooth balls or rough..

    • Indeed, as has already been asked at CA:

      > How many here could even come up with a cogent explanation of the vertical lapse rate in the troposphere? Does anybody know what a Rossby radius is without rushing to Wikipedia? All this obsession with the global mean surface temperature and the attribution problem celebrates a tedious backwater that partakes not at all in the elegance and rigor of the geophysical fluids problems.

      http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/20468030860

      The answer to that comment might have been a bit “winged,” if someone else than Jerry North could ever use that action.

  15. lurker, passing through laughing

    Hansen’s choice of loaded dice as a metaphor is a fascinating insight on his outlook and his willingness to play with the truth.

  16. Maybe a better analogy is Mexican Jumping Beans, where the center of mass itself moves in unpredictable ways.

  17. The entire analogy with dice is misleading. All rolls of dice, no matter how configured and/or biased, are independent trials. Weather extremes, on the other hand, are not; there is persistance due to low-frequency climatic variations that results in time-clustering. Furtheremore, the extremes themselves tend to follow a Gumbel distribution, which is decidedly not bell-shaped. Hansen is once again peddling pseudoscientific snake oil, which the media all-too-irresponsibly advertises for him.

    • Regarding the Gumbel. That describes extreme values, those points that accumulate above some threshold. Of course that won’t match a Gaussian, as a Gaussian describes a probability density function, not a cumulative distribution function.

      In any event, what is important is that the threshold is moving, allowing more events to occur in the tails.

      • For every pdf, there’s a corresponding cumulative distribution. No distribution, in that pedantic sense, is.bell-shaped; it’s always monotonically non-decreasing. As for the claimed “moving” threshold of temperature, that itself is subject to sampling uncertainty. Hansen doesn’t even begin to address that issue.

  18. BTW James E. Hansen is a well-established expert at “circular reasoning”.

    The “hidden in the pipeline” paper he co-authored in 2005 is a masterpiece in this regard:

    Click to access 2005_Hansen_etal_1.pdf

    He starts out with an assumed CO2 climate sensitivity, then calculates how much warming we should have seen 1880-2003, using his model-based estimates. This calculates out at 1.2 degC. He then ascertains that the actual observed warming was only 0.65 degC. From this he does not conclude that his assumed climate sensitivity was exaggerated, but deduces that the difference of 0.55 degC is still hidden somewhere “in the pipeline”. Using his 2/3 degC per W/m^2, he calculates a net “hidden” forcing = 0.82 W/m^2, which he then rounds up to 0.85 W/m^2.

    [Follow the pea as it moves quickly under the walnut shells.]

    Max

    • lurker, passing through laughing

      manacker,
      It is the circular reasoning Hansen relies on that attracts the smiley faced obsessed.

  19. This is not some scientific theory. We are now experiencing scientific fact

    It is a scientific theory that was found to be wrong within just a decade:

    Hansen=> http://bit.ly/JPvWx1

    IPCC=> http://bit.ly/z7cOHe

    • Didn’t Hansen “adjust” the GISS tempeature record and come up with a historical record different than what is shown in the two charts you cite. Asscording to what I read, his “new” temperature curve now fits his theory.

  20. It seems to me that there are two entirely equivalent interpretations of Hansen’s analysis: 1) The chosen baseline period was representative of history, and the recent past is more volatile than the baseline period, or 2) the chosen baseline period was very less volatile than most of history.

    Certainly the 1920’s-1940’s appear considerably more volatile than the baseline period. Looking at BEST’s land temperatures (with large error margins, to be sure), it looks like Hansen’s baseline period may be less volatile than the 200 years preceding it.

  21. When we plotted the world’s changing temperatures on a bell curve, the extremes of unusually cool and, even more, the extremes of unusually hot are being altered so they are becoming both more common and more severe.

    If you select an arbitrary horizontal reference period to define the Global Mean Surface Temperature (GMST) anomaly, you will have a skewed frequency distribution in a warming globe. However, if you select the equilibrium temperature about which the GMST oscillates to be the smoothed GMST curve as follows:

    http://bit.ly/OsdxJf

    you get the following frequency distribution:

    http://bit.ly/HQO5fO

    which is unimodal and symmetric.

    Where Residual GMST = Observed GMST – Smoothed GMST

    Hansen’s statement of change in the bell curve of the GMST is not supported by the data.

  22. MattStat/MatthewRMarler

    The fuzzy dice metaphor implies that we may not be dealing with a six sided dice (representing our ignorance). How should we reason about rolling fuzzy dice to infer something about future heat waves?

    Say, perhaps, that AGW has reduced the probability of one of the cool sides to 5/36, and has raised the probability of one of the warm sides to 7/36. Then, with enough observations, we could detect a change from the previous uniformity. Or perhaps a change to two each of the warm and cool sides, or changes to 4/36 and 8/36.

    With the US experiencing drought and heat waves almost as severe as the 1930s, and with large areas of the world at below average temperature, there is not much evidence for a large change, if any, in the dice. But a slight change in the probabilities is more accurate than the large change that Hansen described.

  23. I think Hansen is looking for signs of Earth becoming more like Venus, and heatwaves fits this idea.
    A warming earth is a planet which has less glacial ice, and cooling Earth is gaining more glacial ice. If earth had no glacial ice- it’s a planet warmed. It’s got lot’s a glacial ice is a planet cooled.
    The main characteristic is warming oceans and cooling oceans.
    Anything else is weather.
    It seems quite possible during periods of cooling the have more heatwaves- it doesn’t have anything to do with global warming or cooling.

    We are no where near Earth being like Venus, rather we are in an Ice Age- so to get out this Ice Age so that we can proceed to towards our future Venus-like world- we need “big changes”. And heatwaves are these signs of sudden heating which needed- rather than weather.

    Reality is that we recently in a period called the Little Ice Age- it was a cool period in which glaciers grew, and we left this period and glaciers have retreated- we returned to a long term trend of the present interglacial warming.
    The CAGW part of this is we going to see much more then simply a return to the interglacial warming, the warming of 20th century is the tip of the ice berg of such warming. And the CAGWers are looking for signs of this occurring.

  24. If Hansen says that if the die is loaded the distribution of outcomes changes, that is obvious. If Hansen says that the distribution of outcomes has changed therefore the die is loaded, that is a far more complex and dubious statement.

  25. A fan of *MORE* discours

    Oh, and in the absence of a massive CO2 increase, what are the chances that summer-after-summer, we would see record-low Arctic ice area?

    Here is a reply to your question by NASA 14 years ago.

    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.

    NASA FACTS – Global Warming – April 1998, NF-222

    http://bit.ly/QWpXyQ

  26. When it comes to being “loaded” Hansen is all that. In the context of predicting the future it’s the same for predicting the climate as it is for predicting the stock market–i.e., your most accurate prediction for tomorrow will be what it was today.

    That is all that should be meant by “loaded” dice. You have a starting point so to that extent the system is rigged. Otherwise, even greater accuracy would be obtained by simply throwing darts from 20 paces.

  27. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    A clinical pearl of medicine is “Whenever you hear hoof-beats, think ‘horse’ not ‘zebra'”

    With regard to climate-change, ‘horse’ = ‘natural variation’ is the null hypothesis, to be rejected only if the evidence favoring ‘zebra’ = ‘AGW’ is overwhelming.

    The ice-melt seen this week in the Arctic so overwhelming that everyone is ‘seeing zebras.’

    Because if what we’re seeing is ‘horses’, they are uncommonly stripey.   :)   :)   :)

    It’s not complicated, eh?   :eek:   :eek:   :eek:

  28. We really have entered silly season; words like “hype” and “rife” are demagogics, a form of name-calling propaganda-counterpropaganda meant to poison the well, and patently used consciously in this sense and to this end, to rally the troops and identify “Us” vs. “Them.”

    How sad.

    Let’s leave behind tu-quoque fallacy. Don’t citizens of the USA have enough of this to deal with until November from the non-science crowd? (By the way, non-American denizens and lurkers, I apologize on behalf America for the insane drivel you will be hearing from the USA for the next few months; we’ll out-boor the Australians and out-conspiracy-theory the Europeans, and even the Russians and Chinese, until the election has passed. US citizens will even out-nutty the Canadians. Sorry, can’t be helped. It’s politics. I’m sure you understand.)

    Dr. Curry, you might have a point in what you say, were you technically correct (you aren’t; perhaps I’ll discuss that in a later comment), but do you have to sound like an agitpropist with nothing more to contribute than tone and attitude, opinion and doggerel? Use your training and your abilities. Be specific and detailed in your criticisms, with actual numbers and formulae, references to Statistical Methods authority and mathematical standard texts that support what you say. Or simply don’t say it, because if you can’t do that, it’s unlikely to be even remotely true.

  29. David Wojick

    Dr. Curry, re Seth B did you try “fuzzy dice” on him? You need sound bites, short sentences, etc., not careful analysis, if you want to get into his print. Like Hansen does. But maybe you do not want to make that sacrifice.

    • No, I came up with the fuzzy dice thing two days ago. My hope is that my statements influence Seth B in some way, even if they don’t get into print. I prefer not to expend too much energy on trying to get publicity from the MSM (I turned down a TV interview yesterday evening with CBS; turned down a WSJ op-ed opportunity last week), but rather to change the dialogue in more thoughtful ways in that second tier below the MSM (blogs, other scientists, etc). Lets face it, I am not as good at getting media attention as Hansen and Muller are, and frankly I don’t really want to go there in terms of actively courting media attention.

      • I will say that “fuzzy dice” is excellent (my opinion not the least influenced by the fact that I happen to have a pair hanging from my rear view mirror).

        Unfortunately, I think that the outcome of your efforts to “change the dialogue” will be limited to the extent that you continue to contribute to the status quo.

      • Dr Curry, I for one, would like to see you write op ed articles in the wall street journal and in brief sound bites on TV. It could hurt ;you with the deep believers but the mess in communicating science to the public is hard to stomach. One side shouts louder and the public perception is that they must be right, they really really think they are right. Lets turn the economy over to their theorys of climate change, carbon cutbacks and global climate driven energy restrictions without nuclear. I first found this blog after reading a Discover magazine article with you and Michael Mann discussing the controversy. Your discussion made so much sense and his seemed so flawed that I got interested and started following this blog. It has been a spectacular educational experience for me. I urge you to participate in the public debate in your restrained and professional manner. Hansens White House rock throwing and Mann’s grandiose claims are bringing discredit to scientific inquiry.

        thanks again for all you do on this blog and in your profession.

      • Well said.

      • Scott, well said. I share your esteem for DrJC. Just the same, I hope she doesn’t get into the TV/Radio part of the political mess. The written word gives so much more time for thought and consideration.

      • Dr. Curry, stand by your considerable guns. Metaphors are apt, but only metaphors. MSM is not even politician’s playpen, per events of the last week. Keep dripping truth on stone. That eventually creates a Grand Canyon. Book with 80 page chapter on this including previous posts should be available within 3 months. Will help.

  30. I took the temp. data from the 4 weather stations in Great Britain which I considered to be the most reliable: Located on small islands (offshore), or right on the coast. Thus I avoided urban heat effects, smog, albedo caused by snow etc. The data from these 4 stations was used to plot graphs which were all very consistent with each other. Then I averaged the four data sets to produce a graph going back to the start of 1931. The result showed a cooling of about half a degree between 1931 and 1970, followed by a warming of about 0.9 degrees from 1970 to 2011.
    I initially thought this could be due to random distribution, but the random number generator couldn’t produce anything like this.
    Then I set up a spreadsheet which threw an imaginary dice after each new annual average had been entered. The values on the dice varied from -1.4 degrees to +1.4 and corresponded to points on a gaussian distribution graph: For instance there was only one side with -1.4 on it, 9 sides with -0.8 and 25 with no change.
    At the end of each year, the average of the previous 5 years was taken and the dice was rolled. The number on the dice was added to the average and plotted. So basically the temperature took a random walk.
    Some of these graphs looked similar to the real temperature graph, whilst some of them showed astonishing warming or cooling trends.
    After seeing these randomly generated graphs I find it hard to believe that the current warming can be attributed to anything but random chance.
    The biggest factor affecting next years temperature average seems to be the current temperature.
    I am not a scientist, just someone who was a bit sceptical of the some of the claims in the IPCC report. I would welcome the views of anyone who knows more about this subject than me and I would like to be corrected if I am going wrong somewhere.

  31. spartacusisfree

    I have been analysing the apparently loaded dice in the IPCC climate models.

    1. The perpetual motion machine of imaginary ‘back radiation’ adding to the IR from the Earth’s surface increases IR absorbed by the lower atmosphere by a factor of 5. This is offset in hind-casting by imaginary cloud albedo to give the correct average temperature. However, non-linear evaporation in the hypothetical sunlit oceans increases water vapour. Therefore positive feedback by the water cycle is an artefact.

    2. A new deduction is that because the models add radiative forcing calculated for individual GHG concentrations, they miss the effect of mixing. This reference, a MODTRAN analysis, apparently shows different: http://notrickszone.com/2012/08/07/epic-warmist-fail-modtran-doubling-co2-will-do-nothing-to-increase-long-wave-radiation-from-sky/

    I believe MODTRAN uses the HITRAN molecular spectroscopy database and this has data for mixtures. So, it looks as if above ~10% RH, there is no CO2-AGW because of mixing effects missed by the IPCC!

    Of course, I could be wrong. However, there has never been any unambiguous experimental evidence of any CO2-AGW and last year, Hansen and Sato claimed it’s exactly offset by aerosol cooling, mostly the net AIE therefore unfalsifiable. Also Trenberth says it is incumbent on critics to prove there is no AGW! Have these people been pulling a fast one? Did they know the modelling is apparently a scam both from the basic radiative forcing and the positive feedback.

    The Public must know……….:o)

    • Word salad. I added you to the climate clown study guide. I counted at least 22 skeptics with their own counter climate theory inhabiting this commenting area .

      • David Wojick

        Have you calculated the probabilities for each being right?

      • At the same time?

        In the same world?

      • David Wojick

        Certainly not. The topic is probabilities of inconsistent hypotheses, such as different values for sensitivity. How do we partition the space of conflict? The answer is we cannot. My question was a serious joke, or perhaps a metaphor.

      • Mine too, David.

      • spartacusisfree

        My Dear WHT, you are clearly brought in as a last ditch defence against scientific logic. If you had any integrity or scientific ability you would have debated the facts with me. As I have said before, you are , in my opinion, a waste of space.

      • don’t worry spartacus his last ditch defense failed. Your noble prize is in the post.

      • Yea, I added Spartacusisfree and Myrhh recently to the clown car crew.

        As far as debating facts with Spartacusisfree, let me explain something to the poseurs out there. You don’t start a thesis by using idiomatic English, rife with ambiguities, and expect someone to jump in. Many of us didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday, and we won’t fall for that bait&switch tactic.

        My suggestion to Spartacusisfree, Myrhh, and the rest of the 20+ clowns out there proposing alternate theories — please set up a web site, blog, whatever, and at least try to create a cogent argument, starting from first principles and use equations, charts, and other artifacts to propel your thesis.

        About the only guy that does this here (at least on the skeptic side) is Cap’n Dallas, and that’s the only reason that I haven’t put the tenacious D on my list. He at least gives it the college try and documents his arguments with charts and equations, and even though I don’t agree with him, his persistence may actually lead somewhere.

        Spartacusisfree said

        “If you had any integrity or scientific ability you would have debated the facts with me. “

        I know that it is too soon to speak badly of the recently deceased, but let me reflect on another poseur, that of Martin Fleischmann, famous from the “Cold Fusion in a Bottle” debacle.

        I knew that old Martin was a problem before he got involved in cold fusion, having had a nasty run-in with him at a prior conference. He essentially disputed my research findings at an open session, trying to use an argument by assertion, much like Spartacusisfree is trying to do. Well, when all is said and done, I got my name attached to a couple of theoretical algorithms, and Fleischmann became a scientific pariah.

        These are part of my life experiences and explains why I am a real skeptic and not a fake poseur skeptic like the Spartacusisfree’s of the world.

      • David L. Hagen

        WebHubbleTelescope
        I agree sparticusisfree with his “imaginary ‘back radiation'” needs to learn basic physics and experimental methods. e.g. Roy Spencer demonstrates a simple experiment in “Help! Back Radiation has Invaded my Backyard!”
        Please update your link to Fred Haynie‘s presentation.

        Click to access climate.pdf


        I still find alot of useful insights on natural drivers from his graphs that would be a very helpful dose of reality for climate alarmists.

      • Apparently Haynie is adopting a different theory than the one he had before

        If I interpret this presentation correctly, Haynie is now asserting that increases in atmospheric CO2 as well as the periodic seasonal variations is being caused by displacement due to changes in the solubility properties in the Arctic water and ice.

        He is trying way too hard. A more parsimonious explanation for the slight seasonal variations is outgassing due to periodic SST changes:
        http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2012/03/co2-outgassing-model.html

        The rest is anthro-sourced CO2 emissions.

      • 22? Really that high. now you are going to have me counting too.

      • WEB,
        I think you should be well qualified for authoring that guide, seeing as how you are a self-developed clown of the first degree.

        Only question I see is if you plan to include clowns from both sides.

    • spartacus, your 1 and 2 contradict each other.1 says there is no back radiation, 2. says MODTRAN calculates it. It is very hard to know which you believe. You should also promote MODTRAN to Greg House who also has trouble with the concept of back radiation. MODTRAN is a good tool for finding out about radiation.

      • spartacusisfree

        MODTRAN calculates the radiative flux from an isolated body at the same temperature as the atmosphere. Engineers and Physicists are taught to subtract it from the calculation of the isolated body S-B radiative flux from another body in view of the first radiator.
        This gives an approximation to the net energy transfer flux.

        Houghton calls this the Schwarzchild approximation and it gives the right answers so long as you use the right boundary conditions. However, the Trenberth Energy Budget does not use the right boundary conditions.
        The MODTRAN flux is imaginary. It cannot do any thermodynamic work if it’s from an atmosphere cooler than the Earth’s surface.

        Only net flux does work. The idea that the Earth radiates IR as a black body in a vacuum aided by black body radiation from the lower atmosphere is absurdly wrong. Meteorologists are taught this fake physics and imagine a single pyrgeometer which measures the temperature radiation field proves ‘back radiation’. It does not.

      • MODTRAN calculates the IR flux from an atmospheric profile, and the U. Chicago online version gives you the upward and downward flux at any level you choose. This can be compared with measurements of those same fluxes, and the neat thing is it gives the IR spectrum so you can how H2O and CO2 contribute to the spectral lines. Sounds like you solidly believe 1, however, so I would advise you to compare notes with Greg House rather than read any physics texts, and look for honorary membership of the dragonslayers.

      • spartacusisfree

        They’ve already invited me to join, but for the moment, I have to be independent. Besides that, the turgid prose of some of them puts people off and I can explain it better!

        [The physics I and Claes Johnson are developing, the extension of Planck he did not produce, is the same, except I am doing it from a materials science perspective instead of pure physics, which is unintelligible for most!]

      • Spartacusisfree said:

        “[The physics I and Claes Johnson are developing, the extension of Planck he did not produce, is the same, except I am doing it from a materials science perspective instead of pure physics, which is unintelligible for most!]”

        Trying to extend Planck radiation physics by using material science concepts instead of physics is seriously delusional. When you get something in writing, filled with a set of linearly cogent arguments, get back to us.

        BTW, I hope you understand that Claes Johnson is essentially unhinged. About the only service he provides is acting like fly paper and attracting similarly delusional people so they can’t do harm elsewhere.

      • spartacusisfree

        My materials’ science seems to be about as advanced compared with youes as is my physics.

        I think in mechanistic terms just like Kirchhoff. Planck made it into physics and lost most people. You have to be able to explain things without complex maths until you assemble the final equation.

    • I also have an answer for 2 but if you believe 1, there is no point.

      • spartacusisfree

        Why is there no point? I spent may years doing practical heat transfer experiments in metallurgical plant AND developed on-line pyrometers to get temperature from IR flux in difficult situations [hence Houghton’s grey body ideas are totally simplistic – he hadn’t a clue/]

        The physicists haven’t a clue about real emissivities and absorptivities. The Meteorologists are taught incorrect physics! Care to debate further – ‘back radiation’ [normal temperature gradient] can do no thermodynamic work. It’s ‘Prevost Exchange Energy’.

      • yes, you will also say back radiation photons cannot be absorbed. I have heard it all before.

      • spartacusisfree

        You get out of this by using the concept of the quantum density of states intermediate between kinetic and EM energy.. For a GHG mixture in air it’s the GHG molecules. There are four rate equations and at equal temperatures the emissivities of the two bodies in thermal equilibrium are zero because there are no such states unoccupied for both bodies.

        At unequal temperatures, it gives the real absorptivity and emissivity, and these can differ by large amounts in non-equilibrium; it’s purely statistics. This is the thermodynamics of Kirchhoff which Planck integrated into the EM world by inventing the concept of the photon, with which he was never happy. The reality is that the ‘Prevost Exchange Energy’ is a will-o’-the wisp, a function of the materials, Real time EM communication which acts like a thermionic valve to control flux.

        A pyrgeometer on its own gives an imaginary reading. You must use two back to back so instrumental effects are nullified. The manufacturers state this [the devices can be non-linear]. Some people are using bolometers because they are absolute.

      • Looking for Prevost exchange energy, I find it is 18th century physics now invoked only by climate-change denialists on blogs.

      • “This is the thermodynamics of Kirchhoff which Planck integrated into the EM world by inventing the concept of the photon, with which he was never happy. The reality is that the ‘Prevost Exchange Energy’ is a will-o’-the wisp, a function of the materials, Real time EM communication which acts like a thermionic valve to control flux.”

        “will-o’-the wisp” ? If you want folklore, see the story of “Br’er Rabbit and Br’er Fox”
        The sticky tar in this case is Spartacusisfree wielding all sorts of provocative scientific terminology. The more you try to engage in him the more of a sticky mess he will produce.

        If Spartacusifree actually did some groundbreaking work with radiation sensors and had practical results with his theory, obviously he would either have some patents to his credit, or at least some research papers. Where is all this documented?

      • spartacusisfree

        For WHT: my PhD was 40 years’ ago. I was working on pyrometry etc. in the 1970s/early 1980s with a brilliant group of physicists and engineers. Look up ‘two colour pyrometry’, We invented it for the metallurgical industries; there’s a reasonable Wiki article,

        We also worked on using forced convection from hot surfaces, putting two vertical jets close together then ,measuring ‘wisp jests’ which were formed by interaction of the reversed flow. The solution of the N-S equations for this gives you temperature.

        The bottom line; in the real world, emissivity ~0.9 and natural convection, measured radiative energy flux doesn’t exceed convective until ~100 °C. So, there is absolutely no way the IPCC’s claim that you have black body flux as if in a vacuum can be true.

        It’s total horse-shit invented because it seemed the only way you could reconcile the imaginary emissivity of 1 at TOA, which comes from the false direct thermalisation idea, again a space filler for the lazy brains that have found a home in climate science.

        Go and check a copy of McAdams for the coupled convection and radiation and remember we did this before computers, using Carslaw and Jaeger as the manual for the maths.

      • “For WHT: my PhD was 40 years’ ago”

        So you must know how to devise a cogent thesis and be able to defend it. Maybe they have different standards in other countries.

      • spartacusisfree

        Jim D. I use the term Prevost Exchange Energy because it’s good and bad. The good bit is that you can use it to show most S-B energy from two objects in thermal equilibrium cancels out leaving the net flux to do work. The bad bit is that people imagine real energy is transferred [the S-B calculation] when this is imaginary.

        Prevost exchange is sometimes thought of by real physicists, not the amateurs here [I’m not a proper physicist myself, more an engineer] as a ‘photon gas’. I’m pushing away from photons because Planck did not like the idea. Instead I view it as the interaction of the two EM radiation fields that S-B gives, then the materials’ science gives you the quantum density of states which gives real emission and absorption of quanta.

        The former is from kinetic energy in the hotter body, the latter to kinetic energy in the cooler body. if you can get this to stick in your mind, you have just has a master class in radiation physics free of charge!

      • You shoud drop it spartacus. Radiation exchange is fine, no need for that.

      • Spartacus,

        The more complex interactions of electromagnetic fields are important in lasers. For that it’s essential that the radiation is coherent as it is in lasers. The radiation that’s important in atmosphere is not coherent and the photon-photon interaction is of extremely little significance. That makes all the considerations of the type you discuss totally irrelevant. Those who think that the effects are totally absent err, but thinking that they have some noticeable influence is even more in error.

  32. David Wojick

    Permit me to coin an aphorism. Metaphors can be used to convey a point that is already accepted. They cannot be used to win an argument.

  33. David Wojick

    I hope the upcoming post will focus on this point: “But philosophers of science, computer scientists and others point out that probabilities fail to represent uncertainty when ignorance is deep enough.”

    I have been saying just this, here, for a long time. Mathematical probabilities are based on perfect knowledge. Subjective probabilities are based on imperfect, but well bounded, knowledge. Climate satisfies neither of these conditions.

    • Yup. Read Katzav’s paper, it is a gem.

      • Does the lack of “imperfect, but well bounded, knowledge” preclude the use of Bayesian statistics to make meaningful predictions?

    • My problem on this point is that every related decision can be taken as implied judgment of these probabilities. We cannot get around basing our decisions on some related views. If we deny the existence of the probabilities we forbid the consideration of certain essential factors and we make it impossible to argue rationally on the choices.

      One view is, of course, that there’s nothing to worry, which implies that the holder of that opinion considers the probabilities very low. Some others argue the opposite implying that they consider preventable risks so likely that rather extreme actions are justified. Similarly all other conclusions imply a view on the probabilities as well.

      • David Wojick

        No Pekka, you are assuming that degrees of difference in human opinion must obey the math of probability theory. There is no reason why this should be true. Degrees of confidence are not an infinite series of coin tosses, so there is no a priori reason why the former should obey the laws of the latter.

        The question of the laws that correctly describe the logic of degrees of belief is empirical. The unfounded assumption that they are the laws of infinite series probability theory has masked this central question for centuries. For example, it is more likely to be a nonlinear weighting function, or perhaps like a neural net.

      • David,

        No, I don’t claim that. What I claim that the decision implies a preference and that the preferences are related to probabilities. I don’t claim that precise numerical relationships could be given and I don’t claim that there would be such a precise relationship even in principle. I do also think that overall judgments can be made without ability of separating multiple factors that have influence on the issue.

        I claim only that excluding the possibility of the use of probabilities is not a solution and that every decision implies many things that have not necessarily been made explicit and that an estimate of probability at some level of accuracy, possibly a really crude level, is among things that are implied.

      • Pekka, where do these probabilities come from? There are dice, nothing to compare to an ideal infinite series, and they do not come from the preferences. What do they describe or measure? What is their basis in fact? Mathematical descriptions must have an empirical basis. What is it?

      • Hear, hear. Nothing in the social sciences are Gaussian. IQ is Gaussian because they normalize the scores to fore them into that.

        I have a hunch that if you surveyed a group of people about any important climate question, you’d get a bimodal distribution. That’s a direct consequence of the fact the people would rather be certain than be close to the truth.

      • Who has been proposing that something should be Gaussian?

        It’s quite possible that the implied probabilities have a bimodal distribution.

        My view is that opening the discussion on the probabilities might be useful even when it’s not likely that anything like full agreement could be reached. Trying to make the considerations as quantitative as possible opens opportunities for communication and discussion. It’s often much easier to discuss quantitative values than bimodal alternatives as entering the discussion does not require any commitment.

      • This must be in the wrong thread.

      • I’m generally with Pekka here–we can back out implied normative prior probability beliefs if we know the decision-maker’s loss function and observe his posterior behavior–but it’s not clear if that’s meaningful in certain pathological cases. For example, suppose you see two envelopes and all you know is that one has twice as much money inside as the other. Then one of them is randomly handed to you. Should you trade for the other envelope?

        If you keep your envelope, you get x, the unknown amount of money in it. If you trade, your expected payoff is 1/2*x/2 + 1/2*2x = 5/4*x. So you should always trade, even though which envelope you got to start was completely arbitrary. (This paradox is almost as good as the Monty Hall problem for generating heated discussions.) That’s an example of how imperfect understanding of the sample space can screw up decision theory calculations.

  34. Hansen is claiming that his original predictions were much too prudent whereas the actual temperature is below all 3 of his predictions. Ridiculous, but a perfect example of the old cliche “the best defense is a good offense”.

  35. There is also the Furry Dice theory:
    Remember those big things people used to hang from rear view mirrors in the 1980s.
    Well you could be rolling those big old dice day after day and the results would just be coming out at random…Then, one day (due to human stupidity), they get dropped in a puddle… and then they don’t give normal results anymore. People would be right to be alarmed.
    Now suppose that these dice were dropped in a puddle down a dark lane with no moonlight, and the car headlights were turned off….and the driver was wearing driving gloves (as people did in the 1980s). The driver couldn’t be sure whether they had got wet or not….and, by the time he got home, the dice would have dried out. Now he might have been able to see evidence of the damage, or he may have been colour blind. Or he might have chosen not to look too closely at the condition of the dice and just kept rolling them.
    How he interprets the subsequent results depends on his mindset: He may interpret any variation from the norm as evidence that they had got wet. He may be wrong or could just as easily be right. On the other hand he may interpret “normal” looking results as evidence that nothing happened. Again, he could be right or wrong.
    To conclude: Unless you had the headlights on when you dropped the furry dice, you wouldn’t have been able to say one way or the other.

    So in relation to the climate change debate, unless you have real concrete, scientific evidence of how much CO2 impacts on the climate f(rom theory and experimentation), you can’t tell anything.
    Just fitting one curve (temperature) to another (CO2 levels) isn’t science: It’s guess work.

    • Going to go out on a limb here and guess that you don’t actually know what “curve-fitting” is.

      (Hint: it doesn’t involve “fitting one curve to another”)

    • “Fuzzy dice, known in the British Isles as furry dice or fluffy dice, are an automotive decoration consisting of two over-sized (usually six-sided) plush dice which hang from the rear-view mirror. In Britain and other parts of the world it is considered kitsch to display such items in a car.[1]”
      -Wikipedia

      Being British, I did not realize that Judith was referring to the same thing as me when she mentioned Fuzzy Dice (which I have always called Furry Dice).
      For this I apologize, I am always happy to be corrected.

  36. Am very surprised to see how many are delusionally convinced there is anything to talk about in Hansen’s piece. Anybody familiar with the creationists’ flawed reasoning knows already that a SCIENTIFIC THEORY is not a “theory” that awaits to become a FACT. A scientific theory is…a scientific theory, that is a fact-based interpretation of reality that pivots on replicability etc .

    Hansen instead spoke using the language of the creationists. That should be more than enough to show the guy is well outside science as we know it. And so his pronouncements are of zero interest.

  37. It’s not the consensus’ fuzzy dice that are the problem, it’s the statistical hydraulic shocks they use to make the temperature record bounce….

    • ClimateSciAuto: cool new dashboard display that always sez the vehicle’s acceleration is ‘unprecedented’, and the braking is ‘robust’.

      Andrew

  38. Fuzzy, furry dice
    Rolls plastic dashboard Jesus.
    St. Christopher rides.
    ===============

  39. If words are to have any meaning we must agree there isn’t really a “global warming debate” at all. We are well past that…

    After the Morality Crunch now comes the ENERGY CRUNCH and there’s no debate about that. The only thing that is up for debate is how many additional business-hating liberals and Leftists must the productive haul on their backs as they trudge up and down the mine shafts.

    All the rest is simply words that have absolutely no meaning with the only victors being 3 billion capitalists in China, India and Brazil. There is no debate–that would be absurd:

    Scientifically it is sheer absurdity to think we can get a nice climate by turning a CO2 adjustment knob. Many confuse environmental protection with climate protection. it’s impossible to protect the climate, but we can protect the environment and our drinking water. On the debate concerning alternative energies, which is sensible, it is often driven by the irrational climate debate. One has nothing to do with the other. (Meteorologist Klaus-Eckard Puls, translated by P Gosselin: The Belief That CO2 Can Regulate Climate Is “Sheer Absurdity” Says Prominent German Meteorologist)

    http://evilincandescentbulb.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/no-debate-the-left-owns-the-global-warming-energy-crunch/

  40. “Scientifically it is sheer absurdity to think we can get a nice climate by turning a CO2 adjustment knob. Many confuse environmental protection with climate protection. it’s impossible to protect the climate, but we can protect the environment and our drinking water. On the debate concerning alternative energies, which is sensible, it is often driven by the irrational climate debate. One has nothing to do with the other. (Meteorologist Klaus-Eckard Puls, translated by P Gosselin: The Belief That CO2 Can Regulate Climate Is “Sheer Absurdity” Says Prominent German Meteorologist)”

    Problem I see with is all, is we could control the climate [not using non-existence CO2 knob] but would want to do?
    How could decide whether planet should warmer or cooler. A vote and majority rules? Some panel of geniuses. Should it be up to poor and unfortunate [and we going to worry if these chumps are unduly manipulated by Big Oil or something big]. So I would say it’s unclear how one could decide whether it should warmer or cooler. It seems the fairest thing to do is allow everyone to have air conditioners:).
    But generally, if you took away our modern technological reality, planet earth is on average to cold. If everyone wants to live in tropics, it warm enough, but not everywhere else.
    Suppose Russians or Canadians wanted there region 10 C degrees on average warmer, would there be anything wrong with this. The idea just these areas were to be warmed. It changes the current climate- but question do those people have any right to choose to make their region warmer.
    The problem is altering the world. The idea is nature somehow should never be changed, despite the fact that nature is always has been changing.
    It’s religious issue.

    Of course one problem with the religious view, is it is largely the religious view of city dwellers [also know hopeless out touch with reality, dweebs] and these city dweller have done more to to change their climate [Urban Heat Island affect] than compared to the . 8 C of warming [whatever part being human caused]. The UHI has caused difference as much adding 10 C to regional environment.
    So if Canadians or Russian don’t have right to warm their region by 10 C, why do city dwellers have some unquestionable right to affect their smaller regions?
    Why whine about heatwaves when the UHI has certainly caused it to much warmer than any conceivable affect from global warming.

    • It’s strawmen all the way down.

      No-one is saying we can get a nicer climate. The issue is about avoiding a sufficiently large shift up or down in global temperature in a short space of time which would be detrimental.

      Especially so taking temperature outside typical ranges that life on earth today has spent quite a while adapting to.

      • “No-one is saying we can get a nicer climate. The issue is about avoiding a sufficiently large shift up or down in global temperature in a short space of time which would be detrimental. ”

        Ok, so say average of 5 C of UHI warming for last century is fine in terms of nicer climate, and we have not yet had this mentioned large shift in global temperature, as of yet, but rather it’s regarded as possible, particular in time period of present to year 2100.
        Is that about it? Or is this some kind strawman thing?

        “Especially so taking temperature outside typical ranges that life on earth today has spent quite a while adapting to.”

        As far as typical ranges, the issue isn’t becoming to cold, but rather getting too warm. And the warmest time on record is:
        “Highest Temperature

        The world’s highest temperature is 57.8 °C (136 °F) measured at El Azizia, Libya on September 13, 1922.
        Hottest Spot

        The mean temperature in Dallol, Ethiopia is 34.4 °C (94 °F), the highest annual average temperature on earth.”
        http://www.currentresults.com/Weather-Extremes/index.php

        “”Between 1960 and 1966, the highest average annual mean temperature in Dallol, Ethiopia was recorded at 94 °F”
        And:
        “Longest hot spell (world): Marble Bar, W. Australia, 100 °F (38 °C) (or above) for 162 consecutive days, Oct. 30, 1923 to Apr. 7, 1924.”
        http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2000/MichaelLevin.shtml

        So we have not seen such warmness recently, but we might be getting it in the future?

      • Take the climate outside of the range it’s been in the last million years and all bets are off. It’s like running a computer program in a new environment that hasn’t been tested.

      • Leftists with enough power to choke the life out of the socio-economic system have only existed in this world since… Soviet Russia?

      • lurker, passing through laughing

        lolwot,
        You make a great joke. The current President promised that if climate consensus policies were put in force the seas would stop rising and the temperatures cool.
        You guys are the strawmen.
        What a self inflicted joke this climate mania is.

      • Latimer Alder

        @lolwot

        ‘Especially so taking temperature outside typical ranges that life on earth today has spent quite a while adapting to’

        So please explain how, even in the pretty moderate UK climate, all of our natural organisms seem quite capable of withstanding an annual temperature range in their immediate environment of 35C (-10 –> +25). Such changes occur within six months from cold winter nights to hot summer days. (averaged rate of change abt 0.01C per hour)

        So how come a change in average temperature of just one or two degrees spread over a century (averaged rate of change abt 0.000002C per hour) will prove so detrimental to them.

        I guess this is even more true in more extreme climates like the Mid West or Siberia where the six monthly range is much much bigger, but the GAT effect will be similar.

        A serious answer please. Nobody has yet presented one on previous occasions I have posed this question. Lots of mockery, shedloads of attempted psuedoscientifc putdowns (failed) and many claims of denialism…but no actual answer. Perhaps you can be the first to provide it? Thanks

      • “So please explain how, even in the pretty moderate UK climate, all of our natural organisms seem quite capable of withstanding an annual temperature range in their immediate environment of 35C (-10 –> +25).”

        Life has adapted to *temporarily* withstand those changes. Species can just about survive a cold winter or a hot summer, but if you set temperature permanently at either extreme species would die out.

        A small change in mean temperature of less than 1 degree C can have huge impacts on life. Just ask all those climate skeptics who claim there were crop failures during the ~1C cooler Little Ice Age.

        We already see habitat ranges of many species shifting polewards with the modest temperature increase seen to date, so that climate change is and will have a significant impact on species cannot be in question. Not all species can tolerate change nor move at the same speed though, so even if the long cricket can move north rapidly, if it’s food source is slower it will be constrained. Inevitably in the race for the poles species that have never met before will meet and clash. If you consider ecosystems to be complex dependent networks of species the consider what may happen when you tear them apart and mix them up.

        “Nobody has yet presented one on previous occasions I have posed this question.”

        I am sure I have given this answer before. Perhaps more than once.

      • Latimer Alder

        @lolwot

        The nub of your argument is this:

        ‘If you consider ecosystems to be complex dependent networks of species the consider what may happen when you tear them apart and mix them up.’

        OK….I’ll consider them. What are the supposed consequences? What ‘may happen’? What evidence do you have that the ‘mays’ you’d postulate are real?

      • Latimer Alder

        @lolwot

        ‘Life has adapted to *temporarily* withstand those changes. Species can just about survive a cold winter or a hot summer, but if you set temperature permanently at either extreme species would die out’

        Sure. But that is not what anybody is suggesting will happen….not even the most alarmist are suggesting that the winter temperature in Scotland will be +25C. They are suggesting that the average goes up by 1 or 2 degrees only.

        ‘A small change in mean temperature of less than 1 degree C can have huge impacts on life. Just ask all those climate skeptics who claim there were crop failures during the ~1C cooler Little Ice Age’

        And are today’s crops as temperature sensitive as the ones we used 500 or so years ago? Surely we can genetically engineer varieties with a much wider tolerance? Doesn’t seem like too hard to me.

      • “And are today’s crops as temperature sensitive as the ones we used 500 or so years ago?”

        Are you finally admitting that natural crops are sensitive to a small change in the annual mean despite being able to tolerate large annual ranges? Now apply the same to the birds, insects, etc.

        As I said the fact that species are heading polewards tells us that changes to the mean of ~1C are not imperceptible and do impact species.

      • Latimer Alder

        @lolwot

        I’m not ‘admitting’ anything. I am asking a simple question.

      • Your question implicitly admits that crops 500 years ago were sensitive to a small change in annual mean, which contradicts your narrative that crops 500 years ago should have been able to withstand an annual mean of between -10C and +25C.

        Obviously that’s ridiculous. If annual mean in the UK was just -1C lots of species would be wiped out.

      • ” lolwot | August 11, 2012 at 6:29 am |

        “And are today’s crops as temperature sensitive as the ones we used 500 or so years ago?”

        Are you finally admitting that natural crops are sensitive to a small change in the annual mean despite being able to tolerate large annual ranges? Now apply the same to the birds, insects, etc.”

        Crops are domesticated plants and are different than wild species.
        Or do think birds, insects, etc when extinct because of LIA weather?

        “As I said the fact that species are heading polewards tells us that changes to the mean of ~1C are not imperceptible and do impact species.”

        Poleward advance was to much greater extent earlier in your interglacial period- there 3000 years stumps in current tundra regions.
        Polewards advance so far as been rather modest.

      • “Poleward advance was to much greater extent earlier in your interglacial period- there 3000 years stumps in current tundra regions.
        Polewards advance so far as been rather modest.”

        The change occurring now is much faster and will go much further. Species will have to march polewards much faster and much further than they had before.

      • Latimer Alder

        @lolwot

        On reflection all of your argument comes down to the rate at which chnages will occur. You seem to have convinced yourself that nay changes will be faster than those of relatively recent history.

        For the moment let us hypothetically assume that you are right (and for the sake of clarity, I am not ‘admitting’ anything about the real world by making this hypothesis).

        But so what? I have never thought of the climate or the Earth or Mother Gaia or however you wish to describe it as a static place anyway. The anticipated changes are still of the order of +0.0000022 C per hour. And even if they are ‘unprecedented in recent history’ I haven’t seem anything to wet my knickers about it.

        You keep coming up with vague doomsday sounding – but actual content free remarks…like

        ‘‘If you consider ecosystems to be complex dependent networks of species the consider what may happen when you tear them apart and mix them up.’

        I guess that some species will die out and others will evolve to occupy their niches(s). That’s been going on since the dawn of life. I can’t see any great reason to be scared witless about it continuing.

        If you have something more concrete than ‘bad things might happen because its quicker than before’, your fears do seem to be more religiously/ideologically rather than rationally based.

      • Latimer Alder

        @lolwot

        Serendipity means that I just found this quote from Andrew Orlowski in yesterday’s Register. He says it much better than I did:

        ‘This is because the most successful political movement of the past few decades, environmentalism, has relied so heavily on apocalypse: on the suspension of rational risk assessments, and the stimulation of wild, runaway fantasies. The equivalent of running into a room screaming: “We’re all going to die! So do as I say.” As a political technique it has been very effective, but it leaves proponents in something of a cul de sac.

        And it exactly sums up what you constantly tell us. But not all of us are ready to run around joining your panic, nor to suspend rational judgement of causes, effects and magnitudes.

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/08/10/geothermal_apocalypse/

      • “I guess that some species will die out and others will evolve to occupy their niches(s). That’s been going on since the dawn of life.”

        If species start to falter and die out en masse it would take millions of years before new species evolved to take their places. Meaning that for the convenience of a few generations of humans the entire foreseeable future of human civilization would be left with a far more barren world.

        Then again most of the animals and plants are just decoration and serve little or no economic purpose or utility. To some perhaps it would be preferable to kill all the elephants, coral reefs and dolphins in the world if that would make LCD screens 10% cheaper in the Christmas sales the following year..

  41. Considerate thinker

    Oh dear, this has really exposed the Hansen defending disciples, with Robert in abject denial in his tussle with Tony B and the historical record, and other Hansenite defenders echoing similar denialist positions. Feet of clay comes to mind……

  42. The choice of base period is important in any comparison of climates. Hansen et al chose 1951-1980 for their base period. The UN’s IPCC choice was such that 1940 was a base temperature, but 1940 was a temperature singularity which made their choice odd to say the least. 1951 and 1980 are equally odd because 1951 was a time of falling temperature while in 1980 global temperature was rising. Of course the choice has to be an average over several years, otherwise we can not distinguish climate from weather. So the smoothing formula is also important. The one that makes the most sense if we are looking for AGW is the 11 year central moving average. Why? Because 11 years is enough to reveal climate while correct for cancelling sun-spot anomalies. Going beyond 11 years would start to destroy climate data.It would make life easier if climatologists could agree on base periods and smoothing formulas.

  43. manacker’s comment 10th August 12.55pm :

    Hansen Doing Science
    James E Hansen calculates warming, 1880 – 2003 as 1.2 degC, ascertains only o.65 degC exists, concludes the difference of 0.55 degC is still hidden in the pipe line. Case of theory inocculation. What would Richard Feynmann say?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Beth Cooper asks: “What would Richard Feynmann say [regarding Hansen’s arXiv:1105.1140v2]?”

      Hi Beth Cooper, that’s easy!   :)   :)   :)

      Feynman might say: “If Hansen’s predicted ‘acceleration of the rate of sea level rise this decade’ comes true, then Hansen’s scientific reasoning is going to look mighty good, because Nature cannot be fooled!”   ;)   ;)   ;)

      Or a little more seriously (and literally) Feynman might say:

      Each generation that discovers something from that experience must pass that on, but it must pass that on with a delicate balance of respect and disrespect, so that the race (not that it is aware of the disease to which it is liable) does not inflict its errors too rigidly on its youth, but it does pass on the accumulated wisdom, including the wisdom that it may not be wisdom.

      It is necessary to teach both to accept and reject the past with a kind of balance that takes considerable skill.

      Sustaining balance is the main trick, isn’t it Beth Cooper?

      Beth Cooper, do you think that Feynman’s balance is sustained by personal abuse, cherry-picking, sloganeering, and enemy-listing?

      This seems like a dubious proposition to *me*, and yet some folks here on Climate Etc. sure are fond of these practices!   ;)   ;)   ;)

  44. Fuzzy mirror dice,
    Rear vision mirror distorted.
    Hockey stick ahead.

  45. Tsk, metre! make that second line
    ‘rear vision view distorted.’

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Steamy Radiator

      Fuzzy mirror dice,
      Rear vision view distorted.
      Hockey stick ahead.

          — Beth Cooper

        :)   :grin:   :lol:   :cool:   :wink:   :razz:

      That-there was a six-star haiku, Beth!   :)

  46. I’m star struck, fan :-)

    re what would Feynman say? Well he already said it. The responsibility of being a scientist requires
    ‘an extra type of integrity that is not lying but bending over backwards to show how you’re maybe wrong, that you ought to do when acting as a scientist…’

    In this regard, seems ter me that explaining ‘missing heat’ or ‘hiding the decline’ jest don’t measure up, somehow.

  47. One more round of volcanic eruptions from the Land of Fire and Ice and the Leftists’ wet dream of ruling the world from the pulpit of Climatology will have the gravitas of a wet fart.

  48. According to ice core data, earth temperature in the Arctic and the Antarctic have been well bounded within plus or minus two degrees all the time and within plus or minus one degree most of the time and we are currently inside the plus one degree boundary. Where in all this is any call for the alarmism? When the same thing happens for ten thousand years and someone tells you that because a trace of something got bigger that something different is going to happen you should grab your billfold and figure how they plan to get most or all your money.

    • Temperature in the arctic has risen about 2C in the last 100 years, and will rise far higher if CO2 continues to climb.

      The global mean might rise 3C but in the arctic the change will be far greater. 5C, 6C well above anything seen for millions of years. It will be interesting to see what impact the loss of summer sea ice will have. All the sunlight going into heating the water and atmosphere rather than melting the ice…

  49. Heatwave in Paris, 1895

    http://bit.ly/PawOmu

    There were heat waves before AGW 117 years ago!

  50. Kerry Emanuel says humans have a ‘psychological need to ascribe every unusual event to a cause.’ … hmmm, a ‘curse’ maybe?

    Does God play Dice,
    Natural variability or something more wierd?
    The lawless river’s flooded for the second time this year,
    Breaking all its bounds and encroaching on the land.
    Overhead two hawks turning in widening gyres,
    Surely a second coming is at hand …
    Or something else?

    • I think it is less of a psychological need than an artifact for how we reason. We reason by finding patterns (among other components). Sometimes that means that we find patterns where they don’t exist.

      Climate Etceterarians are particularly notable in that regard.

  51. Er …attribution … H/t WB Yeats.

  52. Pom alert (OT): Steve McIntyre will be speaking in London on Thursday, 16 August 2012, 3pm
    Where: Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, 1 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5DB

    The talk is public. It is hosted by the Global Warming Policy Foundation. Steve will be talking about events over the past year, but will mostly be talking about the increased emphasis by the climate “community” on Climate Extremes, paying particular attention to the IPCC Special Report on Extremes (SREX) published in March, which was the basis of WG2 Co-Chair Christopher Field’s recent testimony to Congress.

    These leads into tornados, hurricanes, floods, wildfires, heat waves and droughts, the latter two very topical from this year’s very hot North American summer. (Climate, of course, is not about the weather, except when it’s about the weather.)

    * Some CE denizens will be there.

  53. Oh I have a fan, a jester! How fantastic, lol.

  54. Cliff Mass Weather Blog

    Unfortunately, a very limited, but highly visible, group of scientists like Hansen are choosing to tell a story that is not supported by the facts, with a media that is happy to amplify such claims. Global warming due to greenhouse gas emissions of mankind is a very serious issue…one which our civilization is not dealing with in an effective way. But scientists must give society the straight facts and not shade or exaggerate the facts based on our personal views on what should be done.

    Thank you Cliff

  55. This post is to those who say, in Hansen et al 1988, Scenario B is the business as usual case.

    Click to access 1988_Hansen_etal.pdf

    In page 9361 & 9362, we have the following:

    Specifically, in scenario A CO2 increases as observed by Keeling for the interval 1958-1981 [Keeling et al, 1982] and subsequently with 1.5% per year growth of the annual increment.
    ….
    In scenario B the growth of the annual increment of CO2 is reduced from 1.5% per year today to 1% per year in 1990, 0.5% per year in 2000, and 0 in 2000;

    In scenario C the CO2 growth is the same as in scenarios A and B through 1985; between 1985 and 2000 the annual CO2 increment is fixed at 1.5ppm /year; after 2000, CO2 ceases to increase, its abundance remaining fixed at 368 ppmv.

    Here is the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere since 1958 from Mauna Loa

    The correlation coefficient is a nearly perfect value of 0.9995.

    As this observed data shows, the increase in CO2 concentration has been 1.61% per year, which is just above scenario A of 1.5% per year. This demonstrates those who say Scenario B is the business as usual case are wrong. Comparison of model projection for scenario A with observations shows much higher global mean temperatures. As a result, Hansen et al have exaggerated the warming effect of CO2 in their climate models.

    • CO2 Concentration Growth rate

      Increase in CO2 in ppm Per Year = 0.0161*(previous years CO2 ppm – 256.065)

      Year=>ppm=>Increase in ppm per year
      1960=>316=>0.98
      1970=>326=>1.12
      1980=>338=>1.34
      1990=>353=>1.59
      2000=>370=>1.83
      2010=>390=>2.16
      2020=>413=>2.53

      This shows the growth in CO2 in ppm per year has increased since 1980s indicating the increase is greater than Scenario A in Hansen et al 1988.

      • Girma, the growths correlate with the temperature levels. By 2020 it will be less than 1.5 ppm/year.

    • uh no girma, you’ve made a mistake. Read Hansen’s paper again. More carefully this time.

      Scenario B is closest to what happened with emissions.

      • Looks like I was slightly wrong, actual emissions were closest to scenario C.

      • In scenario C the CO2 growth is the same as in scenarios A and B through 1985; between 1985 and 2000 the annual CO2 increment is fixed at 1.5ppm /year; after 2000, CO2 ceases to increase, its abundance remaining fixed at 368 ppmv.

      • Hansen did not specify precisely emission scenarios, on emissions he presented only somewhat inaccurate text comments on them. He was more precise on the forcings and what on them the scenarios B and C were much closer than scenario A.

        Trying to interpret what Hansen wrote on the emissions the impression is definitely that he made rather bad analysis in relating forcings to emissions.

        Judging the accuracy of his paper depends essentially on whether the comparison tries to interpret the text descriptions of emissions or uses the more quantitative curves on forcings.

      • Well, no wonder you’re in such a denial if you can’t see the most obvious. Words fail…

      • Pekka, that’s another part of the problem. He thinks that human emissions and the growth in atmospheric CO2 are related, but that’s obviously wrong. Nature will demonstrate.

      • Try actually reading the link Edim, rather than presuming what it says.

      • I read it when it was posted. It was so stupid it hurt.

      • You’re a liar or a fool. You didn’t read it. If you had you wouldn’t have posted the same claim. The graph demonstrates emission reality fell between scenario B and C. Only a fool or a liar would continue to post the same claim.

      • lolwot

        actual emissions were closest to scenario C.

        HUH?

        You have apparently not checked this out, but are relying on someone else’s rehash (or are simply flat-out lying).

        Let’s do a sanity check.

        Click to access 1988_Hansen_etal.pdf

        Hansen’s 1988 study stipulated:

        Scenario A assumes that growth rates of trace gas emissions typical of the 1970s and 1980s will continue indefinitely; the assumed annual growth rate averages about 1.5% of current emissions, so that the net greenhouse forcing increases exponentially.

        Scenario B has decreasing trace gas growth rates, such that the annual increase of the greenhouse climate forcing remains approximately constant at the present level.

        Scenario C drastically reduces trace gas growth between 1990 and 2000 such that the greenhouse climate forcing ceases to increase after 2000.

        Emission over the period 1980-1988 were (according to CDIAC data): 5.41 GtC/year

        Twenty years later (2000-2008) they were: 7.73 GtC/year

        IOW, the actual CO2 emission growth rate increased from 1.5% in the 1970s and 1980s to 1.64% from 1988 to today, so the actual rate of increase was actually around 10% greater than that assumed by Hansen for Scenario A.
        http://cdiac.ornl.gov/ftp/ndp030/global.1751_2008.ems

        Obviously, Scenarios B and C are way off the mark.

        The problem is that Hansen’s Scenario A grossly overestimated the GH warming that would result, very likely because he used a climate sensitivity estimate that was high by a factor of 2 or more.

        Actual warming turned out to be the same as Hansen’s Scenario C, based on the complete shut down of GHG emissions in 2000 ” such that the greenhouse climate forcing ceases to increase after 2000”. But this did not happen, did it?

        You can wiggle and squirm all you want to lolwot, but all-in-all it was a forecast that turned out to be grossly exaggerated (like all of Hansen’s “predictions”).

        Max

      • You could do with READING too manacker
        http://www.skepticalscience.com/A-detailed-look-at-Hansens-1988-projections.html

        Actual emissions fell between scenario B and C. Repeated claims that emissions were above scenario A are simply lies.

      • Edim is the stupid that hurts, continuing to promulgate the fantasy that increases in atmospheric CO2 is caused by something other than emissions from fossil fuels.

      • WHT, the observed behaviour is what it is. It’s really simple.

      • lolwot

        You write:

        You could do with READING too manacker

        and then you post the link to a RealClimate rehash, rather than the initial Hansen study or the CDIAC published data on CO2 emissions, for which I posted links.

        Lolwot, you knucklehead, YOU COULD DO WITH READING the original Hansen claim and the actual results, rather than relying on published propaganda.

        Max

      • You are pushing lies manacker because you are too LAZY to read.

      • EDIM is aggressively and blindly stupid. Atmospheric CO2 and global temperature have a mutually reinforcing feedback that can be seen in the data. The GHG path is that increased atmospheric CO2 will increase the radiative forcing thus raising the temperature. The chemistry path is that increase in temperature will cause greater outgassing of the CO2 from the world’s waters. These two will interact in a mutually reinforcing cycle, which means that this is a positive feedback situation.

        The chemistry path of CO2 outgassing is easily seen in this WoodForTrees comparison:
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/mean:12/isolate:60/derivative/plot/hadcrut3vgl/isolate:60/from:1958/mean:12
        This uses the isolate function to only pull in temperature disturbances, mostly from ocean oscillations, which then force a transient rate increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations. When the temperature fluctuations reach a peak, the outgassing is greatest. When the temperature starts to decrease, the outgassing starts to decrease and the excess CO2 will begin to condense.

        The cross-correlation between d/dt[dCO2] and dT is shown in this figure:

        See those oscillations? Those show the in-phase relationship between d/dt[dCO2] and dT, the two excess terms isolated from the overriding signal.

        Water vapor has this same pattern but that is a condensing gas, unlike CO2, which will only condense on the the thermochemistry path. The anthropogenic part is non-condensing and that is why the overall increase in CO2 continues unabated.

        Edim is rank in his stupidity and could not do this kind of scientific analysis if his life depended on it. So he takes the alternate approach and poses as a trite contrarian, serving no other purpose than to promulgate FUD.

      • Webster, since you are into depletion predictions, what would soil carbon depletion look like? Say you take 35e+6 km^2 of virgin land and reduce the carbon retention by ~40% and 15e+6km^2 of virgin land and reduced the carbon retention by ~85%, how would that compare to releasing carbon retained a few millions of years ago?

      • lolwot

        I’m assuming that you are an intelligent individual who knows how to use Excel to analyze data.

        If so:

        Download the CDIAC published data on human CO2 emissions from 1970 to 2010.

        Plot these in Excel.

        Draw an exponential trend line for the period 1970-1987.

        Draw a second exponential trend line for more recent period 1988-2010.

        You will see that the exponential growth rate 1970-1987 was 1.73% (Hansen had stated this at 1.5% for Case A in his 1988 report).

        You will also see that the exponential growth rate 1988-2010 was 1.93% (or around 12% higher than the earlier growth rate).


        Summary:

        Hansen underestimated the CO2 growth rate after 1988 by around 12% (actual growth rate versus Hansen’s Case A)

        [Hansen’s Case B (limited growth) and Case C (no growth) are obviously even further off the mark.]

        Max

      • I am glad that you’re still denying, so everybody can see what it takes to believe the narative.

      • You are the one denying. This is climate denial to a tee. You are denying what Hansen’s 1988 paper actually said.

        You are denying links handed to you that spell out what Hansen’s 1988 paper actually said.

        And you are still pushing the lie that actual emissions were higher than scenario A.

        In reality actual emissions were between scenarios B and C. See the aforementioned material.

      • Growth in 2010 5.9%
        Average growth in 2009/10 2.2%
        In 2011 3.2%
        http://www.iea.org/newsroomandevents/news/2012/may/name,27216,en.html

    • Was James Hansen correct in his 1982 predictions? The predictions were for the whole of this century. We’re just over a tenth of the way through it so , really, it’s just too early to call it just yet.

      I’m not convinced that emissions are much different from what might have been termed a business as usual scenario. They are probably down a bit due to the demise of the USSR and the high price of oil rather than due to any concern for the climate.

      In any case the climate responds to CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. Not emissions per se and I’d have to say that concentrations don’t look like falling any time soon.

      So is there a link between CO2 concentrations and temperature anomalies? None other than our DocMartyn has shown there is. I’ve already given this link in another comment but its also relevant to this one.

      So can we say from this graph that JH is wrong? I don’t see how even though world temperatures are around 0.1 deg less than they might be on the basis of what may have been forecast a decade ago.. The sun is just emerging from its quietest period in over a hundred years which would explain most, if not all, of this. It hasn’t stopped the last decade from being the warmest on record though.

      Its probably worth noting that if the climate science consensus hadn’t been wrong about the effect of GH gases in 1940, scientists would have been forecasting much higher temperatures than were actually measured in the following decades. Climate sceptic/deniers would have gleefully been pointing this out , but it wouldn’t have made them right, anymore that it will make them right if James Hansen doesn’t get it quite right either in the short term.

      It’s not what’s likely to happen in the next couple of decades which is the problem. We’ll all be OK in our lifetimes. It’s what follows later which is the real concern.

  56. Dr. Curry, you write “I think that you will agree that there is no justification for a prima facie assumption of (c).”
    The thing that frightens me, is the speed with which this spread through the MSM, and how rapidly it was supported by scientists who ought to have known better. Here in Canada, the CBC ran the story on it’s internet news feed, with the statement that the conclusions were immediately supported by Prof. Andrew Weaver. I cannot see how Andrew could possibly have had time to look at what Hansen wrote in time for his comments, in sufficient detail. Which is why I note Judith’s comment.
    It is this unconditional support for people like Hansen who come up with highly dubious science to support the belief in CAGW, that is frightening. This is what we see from the Royal Society and the American Physical Society.
    Surely the time has come for the scientific community to wake up and realize that there is no sound science to support the religious belief of CAGW.

    • It spread because Hansen is correct. These large heatwaves are characteristic of a warmed climate. You simply didn’t see these things in the US or Europe when the climate was cooler.

      • lolwot, you write “It spread because Hansen is correct.”
        This is just another illustration of what I am talking about. There is sound science to indicate that Hansen MIGHT NOT be correct. Note, I am NOT saying Hansen is wrong. Just that there has not been sufficient time to work out whether he is right or wrong. We just dont know yet. So far as I can see, the jury is still out on the issue. How can you be so certain that Hansen is correct, when the full scientific debate on the issue has not been concluded?

  57. Cees de Valk

    There is another reason that it is impossible to assign a “non-informative” probability distribution to say climate sensitivity: it would unavoidably depend on representation (it would work out differently when considering for example the reciprocal of sensitivity). So invariance to representation is a prerequisite to using probability for describing ignorance.

  58. From the NationalPost article:
    “Skeptical scientist John Christy of the University of Alabama at Huntsville said Hansen shouldn’t have compared recent years to the 1950s-1980s time period because he said that was a quiet time for extremes.”

    So the cool 1950-1980s had few extremes.

    And the hot recent years had a lot of extremes.

    And the hot 1930 period had a lot of extremes.

    See a pattern emerging yet?

    Now lets see what happens with even more warming…

    • You won’t live that long to see more warming.

    • Christy is being a bit selective in forgetting the droughts of the 50’s, but they wouldn’t fit his narrative, so I can see why.

    • lolwot, you write “So the cool 1950-1980s had few extremes.
      And the hot recent years had a lot of extremes.
      And the hot 1930 period had a lot of extremes.
      See a pattern emerging yet?
      Now lets see what happens with even more warming…”

      Of course. We are back to the old problem. Yes, when you add CO2 to the atmopshere it will cause warming. This is not in dispute. The issue is, how much warming?
      Yes, as the climate warms, we will get more extremes of hot weather. The question is, has the recent spate of hot weather extremes shown that the warmning is already upon us? That is what is in dispute.
      You are completley misinterpreting what Christy is saying. What Hansen claims is that the lack of extremes when the climate was cool compared with the extremes we are now experiencing PROVES that CAGW is already here. Had Hansen compared a past period when the climate was warm, he would not have found as much change in extremes as he claims exists. That is the issue.
      Christy is claiming that Hansen is wrong because he comapred the recent weather pattern with a time when the climate was cool, and not with the complete climate history. If true, then this is simply unscientific.
      If all Hansen is claiming is that when the climate warms, extreme events are more likely, then he is correct. If he is claiming that the data proves that this change is already occurring, then that is what is in dispute.

    • You’ve pointed out that the period selected as Hansen’s baseline was less prone to extremes than periods after AND before the baseline. As far as I can tell, Hansen didn’t address the 1930’s because he was trying to show that extremes prove unprecedented warming. Pretty much the converse of what you’re saying.

      Considering that the 1930’s were unaffected by AGW, you’ve actually raised a problematic issue for Hansen. You can dance around it with a two-step: 1) warmer climate leads to more extremes, while cooler climate leads to fewer extremes, and 2) AGW is occurring and it is large, and thus conclude that we are in for more extremes. But that doesn’t support AGW, it assumes it.

      And it also raises an awkward question about “extremes”. Surely there can be cold extremes as well as hot extremes? And surely colder climate can lead to colder extremes? (I’m thinking miles of ice crushing my home during a real Ice Age, not just a puny Little Ice Age.) So it’s not as simple as you say that the “cool 1950-1980’s had few extremes”. What you mean is that the 1950-1980’s were “just right”, neither too hot nor too cold.

      • Wayne2 you write “You’ve pointed out”

        Correction. I did no such thing. John Christy did.

      • @Jim Cripwell: My reply was to @lolwot. It follows yours, but is at the same level of indent. (And I think we’re saying the same thing to the same person.)

  59. Hansen’s “tipping point” revisited

    We’ve heard of Hansen’s “loaded dice”. He apparently likes these expressions, which (while they don’t really mean anything in themselves) convey a perception of something exceptional.

    Another good one he has used since his 2007 congressional testimony is the “tipping point”

    When I think of Hansen’s “tipping point”, the picture of a dump truck, loaded with (bovine) manure, comes to mind.

    As the bed of the truck is slowly tilted, nothing happens at first.

    Then a critical “tipping point” is reached, and the whole load of manure comes rushing out to the ground.

    We are being inundated, not by the “meters” of water from the “demise” of the Greenland or Antarctic Ice Sheet, but from the bovine manure from Hansen’s dump truck.

    Max

    • But don’t stand behind that truck assuming nothing will happen, just because it hasn’t yet, or you could be surprised.

  60. Question: Why do climate deniers repeatedly push the lie that emissions have been greater than Hansen’s 1988 scenario A? It has been pointed out to them time and time again that actual emissions fell between scenarios B and C. It has been made easily accessible to them on the internet in clear terms.

    Yet whenever they hit google they somehow manage to avoid the truth.

    If they can’t get a simple matter of number accounting right, then what hope is there that they can ever be corrected about their general denial of AGW?

    • lolwot, if you would listen, you could get your question answered. say yes and we will try.

    • lolwot

      You ask:

      Question: Why do climate deniers repeatedly push the lie that emissions have been greater than Hansen’s 1988 scenario A? It has been pointed out to them time and time again that actual emissions fell between scenarios B and C. It has been made easily accessible to them on the internet in clear terms.

      Answer: Because CO2 emissions HAVE been greater than Hansen’s scenario A

      [See my earlier post to you.]

      Don’t rely on rehashes by RealClimate, SkepticalScience or anyone else, lolwot. Go to the original Hansen report. Then get the CO2 emission data published by CDIAC.

      Try not to be a knucklehead, lolwot.

      Max

      • Scenario A doesn’t just include CO2. Try to get a clue.

      • The biggest difference is R-11 and R-12 that would limited by the Montreal Protocol. R-11 and R-12 are damaging to Ozone which tends to negate some of their greenhouse gas effectiveness. Recently ozone damage due to the refrigerant R-718 has been noted by Solomon et al. It looks like the impact of R-718 should be addressed. Possibly, R-718 should be banned :)

    • Re: “climate deniers”. Not sure if you’re using this as a tribute to Gleick or not, but it really would help you to appear reasonable and educated to drop it. First of all, no one denies climate, so at a minimum you need to change it to AGW Deniers. Second, “denier” is obviously a cheap shot comparison to Holocaust Denier, so is nothing more than a ad hominem attack, which is not a good thing for someone who is educated. Third, “denier” lumps everyone who is skeptical of any part of your beliefs into one camp, which is known as a Straw Man.

  61. lolwot

    In the 1980s the annual growth in CO2 concentration was about 1.34 ppm.

    In the 1990s the annual growth in CO2 concentration was about 1.59 ppm.

    In the 2000s the annual growth in CO2 concentration was about 1.83 ppm.

    In the 2010s the annual growth in CO2 concentration was about 2.16 ppm.

    As a result, the annual growth in CO2 concentration has been increasing. It has never been lower than the annual growth rate for the 1980s. As a result, Hansen et al scenario A is the business as usual case.

  62. ARCTIC CLIMATE’S ALARMING CHANGE LOS ANGEL.ES.

    A mys-terious warming of the climate is slowly manifesting itself in the Arctic, and in the Antarctic ice regions and the major Greenland ice cap should reduce at the same rate as the present melting, oceanic surfaces would rise to catastrophic proportions, and people living in lowlands along the shores would be inundated, said Dr. Hans Ahlmann, noted Swedish geophysicist to-day, at tbe University of California’s Geophysical Institute. Dr. Ahlmann added that temperatures in the Arctic have increased by 10 degrees Fahrenheit since 1900. An ‘enormous’ rise from the scientific standpoint. Waters in the Spitsbergen area, in the same period, have risen from three to five degrees in temperature, and one to one and a half millimetres yearly in level. ‘The Arctic change is so serious that I hope an international agency can speedily be formed to study conditions on a global basis.’ said Dr. Ahlmann. He pointed out that in 1910 the navigable season along the western Spitsbergen lasted three months. Now it lasts eight months.

    Saturday 31 May 1947
    Townsville Daily Bulletin

    http://bit.ly/NnAWxN

  63. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    curryja recommends “Yup. Read Katzav’s paper [Katzav, Dijkstra, and de Laat, Assessing climate model projections: state of the art and philosophical reflections] it is a gem.”

    Respectfully, please let me suggest that this paper is no “gem” because:

    • The analysis is relatively deficient in mathematics and physics, and to compensate

    • The analysis is relatively top-heavy in philosophy and statistics.

    If its math/physics deficiency were remediated, and its conclusions were stated with maximal simplicity, then the conclusion to the Katzav, Dijkstra, and de Laat might read something like this:

    Assessing climate model projections: state of the art and philosophical common-sense reflections

    Climate dynamics is simplest at microscope and macroscopic scales. At microscopic scales the dynamical flows (both classical and quantum) are Hamiltonian; thus thermodynamical constraints are strictly respected at all larger scales. At a global scale accelerating changes in CO2 and albedo have imbalanced the earth’s heat budget. Necessarily associated to the growing of heat imbalance is an accelerating transition toward a new planetary climate. This transition is governed very largely by the slow response time of the earth’s thermal reservoirs, and by poorly understood climate forcings associated to cloud changes and aerosols. Understanding these mechanisms will require a combination of global observations, field measurements, and a range of modeling and analysis studies. Detailed composition-specific global aerosol measurements will be essential to interpret changing planetary energy balance. Also, global observations to determine the aerosol direct and indirect climate forcings will need to include simultaneous measurements of reflected solar and emitted thermal radiation fields. Access to this larger, higher-quality, and informatically redundant body of data is essential to the validation and verification of climate models.”

    Dr. Curry, with sincere respect, when we summarize the conclusions of the Katzav, Dijkstra, and de Laat article this way, with greater emphasis upon the fundamental role of mathematical and thermodynamical constraints, and with philosophical principles expressed in ordinary language, do the article’s conclusions differ in any substantial respect from mainstream common-sense?

    Summary  The Katzav article is OK, but perhaps it is not “gem” quality? Because its main conclusions are pure common-sense!   :)   :)   :)

  64. “Why do climate deniers repeatedly………………………?”

    Why not? Any argument will do. If its shown to be nonsense, they won’t try to defend it. They’ll simply switch to another one.

    They don’t like the political and policy implications of climate change, and so they’ve decided not to believe in it. They’ll grab any argument, no matter what, and attempt to use it to justify their denial.

    One common argument is that it is too expensive. or even impossible, to significantly reduce human CO2 emissions. They’ll cite China’s , Brazil’s and others, potentially negative attitude to any agreement on climate . Another argument is that reducing those CO2 emissions, enough to control absolute levels, isn’t going to make much, if any, difference to the future climate anyway. They’ll say the IPCC, and mainstream science, have got it all wrong. Logically, they could be right in their first argument, but wrong in their second. Or vice versa. Or, right or wrong about both.

    But deniers always imply that the one follows on from the other, when there clearly is no way the two can be linked. So, if they can’t even get the basics right , I’d have to say that there is just no hope at all for them.

  65. Relationship between CO2 in ppm with CO2 growth rate in ppm:

    {{310, 0.868354}, {312, 0.900554}, {314, 0.932754}, {316,
    0.964954}, {318, 0.997154}, {320, 1.02935}, {322, 1.06155}, {324,
    1.09375}, {326, 1.12595}, {328, 1.15815}, {330, 1.19035}, {332,
    1.22255}, {334, 1.25475}, {336, 1.28695}, {338, 1.31915}, {340,
    1.35135}, {342, 1.38355}, {344, 1.41575}, {346, 1.44795}, {348,
    1.48015}, {350, 1.51235}, {352, 1.54455}, {354, 1.57675}, {356,
    1.60895}, {358, 1.64115}, {360, 1.67335}, {362, 1.70555}, {364,
    1.73775}, {366, 1.76995}, {368, 1.80215}, {370, 1.83435}, {372,
    1.86655}, {374, 1.89875}, {376, 1.93095}, {378, 1.96315}, {380,
    1.99535}, {382, 2.02755}, {384, 2.05975}, {386, 2.09195}, {388,
    2.12415}, {390, 2.15635}, {392, 2.18855}, {394, 2.22075}, {396,
    2.25295}, {398, 2.28515}, {400, 2.31735}, {402, 2.34955}, {404,
    2.38175}, {406, 2.41395}, {408, 2.44615}, {410, 2.47835}}

    What does this mean?

    CO2 concentration growth is independent of fossil fuel use?

    • I think you need to learn how to draw a graph in Excel, load it up onto one those free photo sites like Flickr, and then you’ll be able to link to it in your comments.
      A picture is worth a 1000 words and all that.

    • Actually Doc Martyn has already done it and, credit where credit is due, I must say I was impressed!

      DM came up with a figure of 2.2 degC for climate sensitivity. This was based on land /sea temperature anomalies. If he had chosen land temperature anomalies, where most of us live, he would have calculated roughly double this figure. Then there is the problem that the Earth is not in temperature equilibrium so it’s a bit like trying to calculate the final temperature of a room when the heater has only been switched on for a few minutes.

  66. Girma’s prediction of CO2 concentration in ppm in the next couple of decades

    {{1958, 313.908}, {1959, 314.847}, {1960, 315.801}, {1961,
    316.771}, {1962, 317.756}, {1963, 318.757}, {1964, 319.775}, {1965,
    320.809}, {1966, 321.859}, {1967, 322.927}, {1968, 324.013}, {1969,
    325.115}, {1970, 326.236}, {1971, 327.375}, {1972, 328.532}, {1973,
    329.709}, {1974, 330.904}, {1975, 332.118}, {1976, 333.353}, {1977,
    334.607}, {1978, 335.882}, {1979, 337.177}, {1980, 338.494}, {1981,
    339.832}, {1982, 341.191}, {1983, 342.573}, {1984, 343.977}, {1985,
    345.404}, {1986, 346.854}, {1987, 348.327}, {1988, 349.825}, {1989,
    351.347}, {1990, 352.893}, {1991, 354.465}, {1992, 356.062}, {1993,
    357.685}, {1994, 359.334}, {1995, 361.01}, {1996, 362.713}, {1997,
    364.444}, {1998, 366.203}, {1999, 367.991}, {2000, 369.807}, {2001,
    371.653}, {2002, 373.53}, {2003, 375.436}, {2004, 377.373}, {2005,
    379.342}, {2006, 381.343}, {2007, 383.376}, {2008, 385.443}, {2009,
    387.543}, {2010, 389.676}, {2011, 391.845}, {2012, 394.049}, {2013,
    396.288}, {2014, 398.564}, {2015, 400.877}, {2016, 403.227}, {2017,
    405.616}, {2018, 408.043}, {2019, 410.51}, {2020, 413.016}, {2021,
    415.564}, {2022, 418.152}, {2023, 420.783}, {2024, 423.457}, {2025,
    426.173}, {2026, 428.934}, {2027, 431.74}, {2028, 434.591}, {2029,
    437.489}, {2030, 440.433}}

    • Hansen et al 1988:
      JGR
      (page 9341)


      observations show that CO2 is increasing gradually: its abundance was 315 parts per million by volume (ppmv) in 1958 when Keeling initiated accurate measurements and is now about 345 ppmv, with current mean annual increments of about 1.5 ppmv [Keeling et al., 1982]

      The current mean annual increment is 2.19.

      For lolwat, 2.19 ppm > 1.5 ppm

  67. lolwot has tried to spread confusion on the accuracy of Hansen’s 1988 forecast.

    Here is the link to the Hansen 1988 study:

    Click to access 1988_Hansen_etal.pdf

    It states:
    Scenario A assumes that growth rates of trace gas emissions typical of the 1970s and 1980s will continue indefinitely; the assumed annual growth rate averages about 1.5% of current emissions, so that the net greenhouse forcing increases exponentially.

    Scenario B has decreasing trace gas growth rates, such that the annual increase of the greenhouse climate forcing remains approximately constant at the present level.

    Scenario C drastically reduces trace gas growth between 1990 and 2000 such that the greenhouse climate forcing ceases to increase after 2000.

    So what actually happened in real life?

    The HadCRUT3 and GISS temperature records show a temperature increase similar to that predicted by Hansen for his Scenario C (no increase in CO2 after 2000).

    Yet CO2 emissions increased by an exponential annual growth rate of 1.9% per year since Hansen wrote his report in 1988, as compared to 1.7% per year in “the 1970s and 1980s” and Hansen’s “1.5% per year” forecast for Scenario A.
    http://cdiac.ornl.gov/ftp/ndp030/global.1751_2008.ems
    http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/prelim_2009_2010_estimates.html

    Hansen’s problem was that his model used a CO2 climate sensitivity estimate that was exaggerated by a factor of 2+

    Quite simple, actually.

    Max

    • It’s you who are spreading lies and confusion. You’ve omitted parts of the paper about methane and CFCs. Why?

      Presumably you read it. But you still push the lie that the scenarios were just about CO2.

      • How true, lolwot. Here is Figure 2 and note that by 2012 that one can barely tell the difference in CO2 forcing between Scenario A and B (top curve).

        However, the trace gases such as methane and CFC’s do start to show a divergence, see the middle curve. The fact that these have been curtailed according to the empirical data is what lolwot is suggesting.

        This is a chart of methane growth — flattening out

        These are charts of CFCs — flat or declining
        http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/otheratg/blake/graphics.html

      • Thanks for links, WHT.

        These show a divergence, but do not show that CO2 forcing has been less important than forcing from other GHGs since 1988, as lolwot claims.

        The fact is:

        Hansen overestimated the warming that would occur from GHG emissions after 1988 by a factor of 2+.

        It’s just that simple, WHT.

        Max

      • lolwot

        Baloney!

        CO2 is the principal GHG.

        If you have any real data that show that OTHER GHGs have been a more important cause of warming post 1988, then bring these data.

        Otherwise, stop your lying.

        Max

      • Fcking ridiculous.

      • manacker,

        CO2 is the most important green house gas only when arguing for decarbonization (read socialization) of the energy economy. When trying to resurrect the failed predictions of Hansen ’88, CO2 is at most marginally relevant.

        It’s situational logic.

    • No Max, the main error of the Hansen et al paper was in the estimate of the relationship between CO2-emissions and forcing. That first step was seriously in error but then that step was not really discussed practically at all in the paper.

      The actual analysis that started from the forcing scenarios presented in Fig. 2 was surprisingly close to what we have seen. This figure presents the first starting point that is presented quantitatively in the paper and is thus obviously the real starting point of the analysis. Why they erred so badly in the earlier step of connecting the sentences that you quote to forcings cannot be judged from the paper. Evidently they didn’t consider that step carefully enough as I think that it would have been possible to get more correct results from knowledge available in 1988.

      • David Springer

        So you happen to think they screwed the pooch specifically by missing the relationship between forcing growth and CO2 growth.

        Good. That’s an uncharacteristically reasonable assessment considering the source.

        This is actually prima facie evidence that the water vapor amplification hypothesis was all wet. The observed forcing increase from the observed CO2 increase is perfectly copacetic with 0% water vapor amplification. Each CO2 doubling causes 1.1C rise in average temperature of the lower troposphere. Furthermore, the maximal amount of that warming is not on the surface of the earth but the surface of the cloud layer due to the freedom of the surface to shed the additional forcing insensibly through evaporation and convection.

        Thanks for playing.

      • David,

        From the figure 2. we can see that they use the value of 1.3C as a measure of forcing for doubled CO2. I’m not sure whether this should be taken as the estimated value of no-feedback sensitivity. If that’s the right interpretation the value is a little high but perhaps not enough to explain the whole discrepancy. Another possible source of error is in estimating the concentration from emissions. They may have made a significant error in that as well.

      • Pekka

        You speak in riddles, but I take from your post that you agree that Hansen overestimated the GH warming after 1988 by a factor of 2+.

        Right?

        Max

      • I cannot say that I agree with you and agreeing with your formulation would be close to that.

        There’s something wrong in the setup part of the paper which results in the forcing scenarios. The main part of the paper where all the real work is done gives surprisingly correct results, so correct that some luck is probably involved as the science had not yet proceeded so far that this accuracy could be expected.

        That there was something wrong in the setup is of little significance from the point of view of science. It may have been of more significance when the paper has been used as reference in activities beyond the limits of science.

      • Max,

        I add that I agree with you on one point. Claiming that the emission scenario A is far too high is false but the paper did not really have any emission scenarios but only forcing scenarios justified vaguely and somewhat erroneously by emission narratives. The forcing scenario A was far too high.

      • Pekka – it is far too high for what? His purpose was to bracket the potential outcome. Scenarios A and C were intended to be impossible in terms of becoming reality. Scenario A was limited by resources. Scenario C was a political and cultural impossibility. Scenario B was straight up the middle.

      • Compared to what has been observed. I didn’t want to imply that there would be anything wrong in presenting scenarios that will not materialize. That view would forbid all scenario analyses.

        The justifications that you tell about are just the narrative that I referred to. The scenarios where not consistent with the narratives. That’s where the paper was in error. I cannot prove that but I do believe that the error could have been avoided using knowledge available in 1988.

      • Look at my annotated Figure 2:

        With CO2 alone, the forcing difference is slight between Scenario A and B at the current data.
        Adding the trace gases, it is much larger.

        I don’t know if this is part of the problem with the vague scenarios, but the CO2 part makes some sense. The accumulated CO2 over the years will take more a few years to adjust to changes in the yearly emissions. That’s a fact due to the slow sequestration properties of CO2 and its long adjustment time. The fact that very little difference exists in A and B forcing at the current date is perfectly acceptable.

        Why the trace gases show much faster divergence is a bit more mysterious. Methane has a relatively short residence time so yes that is much more sensitive to yearly changes. Methane has flattened out, so that may explain the model simulation differences.

      • “…but the paper did not really have any emission scenarios but only forcing scenarios justified vaguely and somewhat erroneously by emission narratives.”

        Pekka I agree 100%. That’s how we have got here, by conflating things without scrutiny (emissions and atmospheric concentrations for example).

      • One more comment.

        I have participated in this discussion but I think that it’s of historical interest only to study the accuracy of the Hansen et al projections. Neither successes nor errors in the projections of one paper provide much evidence on the reliability or accuracy of present climate models.

        Looking how the skill of weather predictions is studied tells very clearly that much more is required for meaningful tests of predictive skill.

      • Pekka – to what information you are referring? You’ve probably stated this in past threads and I missed it.

        The IPCC included the likely reductions due to the Montreal Protocol in their scenarios.

      • JCH,

        I made these comments without checking any specific sources. As I wrote later I don’t think that the whole issue is particularly important. Therefore I feel free to comment on such a basis.

      • David Springer

        Pekka Pirilä | August 11, 2012 at 12:51 pm |

        “I have participated in this discussion but I think that it’s of historical interest only to study the accuracy of the Hansen et al projections.”

        I’m talking about the accuracy of IPCC AR1 projections. I’m pretty sure that’s the work of a lot more scientists than just James Hansen.

        Write this down, weasel boy. IPCC == consensusView;

        It’s predictions are of utmost interest. Nothing could matter more than testing the hypothetical predictions against actual observations. I realize that’s not in the interest of anyone seeking the truth. You are not seeking the truth. I don’t what you’re seeking but I suspect it can be enumerated in personal financial terms.

    • David Springer

      +1

      The CAGW apologists can prevaricate all they want but it doesn’t change the fact the projected warming for Business As Usual growth in atmospheric was only half the IPCC projection. The IPCC screwed the pooch and until they come up with a climate models which accurately backcast the past 22 years their “consensus” is nothing but luke warm air.

      • “the fact the projected warming for Business As Usual growth in atmospheric was only half the IPCC projection.”

        Actual emissions were half of the Business as Usual growth.

      • lolwot

        Actual emissions were half of the Business as Usual growth.

        Data?

        Max

      • stairway interrupted

        If the growth rate had continued on BAU, 1960 to 1990, there would have been no interruption in the staircase.

      • This is exactly what I mean by conflating without scrutiny. Emissions JCH! The change in atmospheric CO2 is a completely different animal and is related with the global temperature level.

      • “Edim | August 11, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
        This is exactly what I mean by conflating without scrutiny. Emissions JCH! The change in atmospheric CO2 is a completely different animal and is related with the global temperature level.”

        I would suggest that you stop interrupting with this nonsense. This stuff you are peddling is always so ridiculous. Of course you won’t stop since that is your nature. For someone of your immaturity level to admit to being wrong is crushing. Instead, what you will do is assert that your are just asking questions, as you think that is what a skeptic does.

      • WHT, what is wrong? Point it.

      • David Springer

        He’s wrong.

        I provided the data straight from IPCC website archive of AR1 report.

        It was plainly shown in a graph with GtC/year on the y axis and years on the left axis what the different scenarios were. For CO2 it was 7 GtC/year at the time of the report and BAU was steady linear growth to 9 GtC/year by 2010. The actual CO2 emission growth was almost exactly that or maybe a bit more.

        Methane is a different story but methane doesn’t come from burning fossil fuels. If they kiddies want to talk about methane I can certainly do that. Methane IS a fossil fuel and the anthropogenic production is largely (by order of importance) rice farming, cattle farming, release in mining/drilling operations instead of capture and sale, and leaks in natural gas pipelines.

        The U.S. isn’t a large source of anthropogenic methane even we could certainly improve by changing what we feed to our cattle. Some feeds give them gas and some do not. High calorie grains are the big offender. The U.S. doesn’t produce much rice and keeps its natural gas pipelines in good repair. Have a chat with the major rice producers if they’re willing to talk and can afford to change cultivation techniques.

        The U.S. has already done more than any other nation to reduce black carbon emission. Again, have a chat with nations that don’t filter it out of smokestacks and exhaust pipes, those that practice slash and burn agriculture, and those in general that burn a lot of biomass without filtering the soot out of the smoke. Good luck. No one is interested in apportioning the blame where it belongs. This is all political and its all about slowing down the US juggernaut and therefore nothing but CO2 emission can be the focus.

      • David Springer

        JCH | August 11, 2012 at 12:51 pm |

        “stairway interrupted”

        That’s atmospheric concentration not emission growth. IPCC AR1 drove a stake in the ground using gigatons of anthropogenic carbon emission.

        But thanks for highlighting another area of ignorance. Annual anthropogenic production of CO2 is only a tiny fraction of natural production. Nature sucks it back out of the air (it’s plant food, for one thing) in a number of ways. We don’t understand those ways well enough to predict what they are going to do. For instance anthropogenic CO2 production has consistently been twice as great as annual increase in the atmosphere. Something in nature is sucking up half what we produce. The most interesting thing is that no matter how much our production increases nature only allows half of it to accumulate in the atmosphere. Something in nature is hungry for more CO2. Gee, I wonder what would be “hungry” for CO2. I’ll give you three chances to answer “green plants”. The earth is getting greener and its precisely because of higher atmospheric CO2. It’s plant food.

      • Springer said:

        “For instance anthropogenic CO2 production has consistently been twice as great as annual increase in the atmosphere. Something in nature is sucking up half what we produce.”

        Diffusion of CO2 to sequestering sites. Obviously you haven’t worked in the semiconductor industry, where the dynamics of diffusion is well understood. The behavior is a fast initial uptake into the carbon cycle followed by a slow random walk to deeper sequestering sites. Models of diffusion show this factor of half incorporation quite plainly. Physics is physics.

      • JCH

        Your “stairway” curve on atmospheric CO2 concentrations is nice, but your logic is flawed.

        Hansen clearly stated that his 1988 “scenario A” was based on GHG emissions continuing to increase (exponentially) at 1.5% per year, the rate observed over the 1970s and 1980s.

        In actual fact, the emissions of the principal human GHG, CO2, increased at a rate of around 1.7% per year over the period 1970-1987.

        Over the most recent period 1998-2010 the growth rate of these emissions was around 1.9%, or significantly higher than that observed over the 1970s and 1980s or projected by Hansen for all human GHG emissions.

        At the same time, the actual warming observed since Hansern made his 1988 projection has been at a rate of less than half the warming projected by Hansen.

        IOW Hansens model-based CO2 climate sensitivity was exaggerated by a factor of more than 2x.

        Pretty simple, actually.

        Max

      • WHT

        Yeah. “Physics is physics”.

        As you and I discussed ad nauseam on earlier threads, the annual CO2 increase bears little resemblance to the annual human CO2 emission, but there appears to be a correlation when incorporating annual changes in global sea temperature.

        But no one (including you) knows why the longer-term average atmospheric increase in CO2 only represents around half of the CO2 , emitted by humans, why this percentage appears to be decreasing slightly over time or exactly where the balance is going.

        Max

      • “But no one (including you) knows why the longer-term average atmospheric increase in CO2 only represents around half of the CO2 , emitted by humans, why this percentage appears to be decreasing slightly over time or exactly where the balance is going.”

        You have to be kidding me that we don’t understand this?

        The model is very simple.

        The earth (land+sea) is the substrate for incorporation of CO2. The excess CO2 starts in the atmosphere as a forcing function. The model is that of the CO2 entering the substrate through a detailed balance flow argument.

        This is solved by applying the master equation of Fokker-Planck (D set to unity)
        \frac{\partial f(x,t)}{\partial t} = \frac{1}{2} \frac{\partial^2 f(x,t)}{\partial x^2}

        I usually place an uncertainty around the diffusion coefficient, and one can solve this either analytically or through numerical compartmental slab methods. What one finds is that the time scales are such that only about 1/2 of the excess CO2 gets incorporated while the other 1/2 remains in a random-walk fat-tail limbo. This is purely an artifact on the dynamics of a diffusional random walk — nothing at all mysterious about this, no matter what your intuition tells you. Eventually, all the excess will get sequestered but it will take a long time. Some of the scientists just set this to infinity and say that a finite fractional amount stays unincorporated.

        The fact of the matter is that people do not have a good heuristic notion of how diffusion works. Classical (Fickian) diffusion shows the property of diminishing returns. Initially, diffusion can appear to occur rapidly, but the long tails persist for quite a while. This gives the illusion that around 1/2 of the concentration remains for a time scale consistent with a human’s lifetime (or attention span).

        That is why CO2 does not have a residence time, but instead has an adjustment time.

        BTW, I have all this documented on my handle link.

      • Max – if you look at all of the graphs I posted on this thread, it is very clear who is confused and who is not. There was a drop in the growth of CO2 forcing growth in the 1990s, and there is a drop in the growth of atmospheric CO2 in the 1990s. I do not know if they are connected.

        Scenario A was formulated to be impossible to maintain; it was, by the information available in 1987, resource limited. As it was, the Montreal Protocol torpedoed Scenario A almost before the ink had dried on Hansen’s 1988 paper.

        I know you understand this because you just replied to Girma with a bunch of stuff about resource limitations.

        Hansen has clearly stated he thinks BAU lies between Scenario B and Scenario A, and any reasonable person can see that had to be the case based upon 1987 estimates of resources.

      • The key is also in this graph that I think JCH posted:

        By the year 2010, it was barely possible to detect changes in CO2. Since CO2 accumulates and is non-condensing, a change in the integral between Scenarios A and B will only become readily apparent decades from now. In other words, 2012 is still too early.

        Yet, the trace GHG of methane and CFCs that Hansen modeled aren’t accumulating and have short residence times so they respond immediately to changes in yearly concentrations.

        You can see that clearly in the chart. This explains the difference between the scenarios, just as lolwot has been saying.

        It must really hurt for Team Skeptic to not get any medals this round.

      • JCH said:

        “I know you understand this because you just replied to Girma with a bunch of stuff about resource limitations.”

        To his credit, Max at least understands the importance of resource limitations. But that is really bean-counting compared to the misconceptions on how CO2 is accumulated, excess heat is sinked, Henry’s law applies, etc, that is endemic among the skeptics on this thread.

        Too many of the skeptics are clearly out of their depth when it comes to environmental science. You have to either crack the books on this stuff or learn it early on, no amount of intuition helps when it comes to quantifying diffusion and thermodynamic rate laws.

      • What do you know, it no longer looks like an exponential increase. The CO2 is non-condensing so will still contribute to a build-up, but the overall increase appears closer to Scenario B.

      • Michael Hart

        “…CO2 is non-condensing…”
        But it does dissolve in water, be that rain or oceans. You seem to invoke chemistry only when it suit you.

      • Michael, I agree and I call it quasi-condensing(condensable) becuase it disolves in water. Increased partial pressure in the atmosphere will cause a flux to the oceans to restore the equilibrium at the air/water interface.

      • WHT

        Don’t fall into the logic trap of looking at changes in atmospheric CO2 concentrations to try to rationalize why Hansen’s 1988 forecast was so wrong.

        Hansen talked about rates of increase of human GHG emissions, NOT atmospheric concentrations

        These (of the principal human GHG, CO2) were higher than his estimates for “Scenario A”, but the observed warming was less than half of his projection for “Scenario A”.

        Turn and twist it anyway you like WHT, it was a lousy projection based on flawed assumptions.

        Max

      • It’s like talking to a bunch of loudmouths that have never solved a differential equation in their lives.

        I am battling two issues of ignorance here.

        The first is on the physics of CO2 sequestration, see this detailed explanation:
        https://judithcurry.com/2012/08/11/week-in-review-81112/#comment-228269

        The second is on the vapor pressure and solubility of CO2 in water, see this detailed explanation:
        https://judithcurry.com/2012/08/10/fuzzy-dice/#comment-228288

        It is non-condensing because you can’t force (i.e. dissolve) the excess into the water unless the temperature is at its equilibrium vapor pressure or water solubility (the two related by Henry’s Law). The excess can only get incorporated into deeper sequestering sites, which take a long time to diffuse to.

        This is nothing new, just conventional climate and earth science. The only thing I bring to the table is a slew of interesting mathematical approaches to problem solving. That’s where the document in my handle link comes in.

        Cheers.

      • This whole debate is tedious, Scenario B should be the standard for comparison. The data falls closer to C right now. How much below B and for how long does it take before greater than 3 due to CO2 can be eliminated is the question.

  68. David Springer

    I keep coming back to the IPCC AR1 prediction of 0.3C/decade warming under BAU (business as usual) scenariao. Clearly as one can see from the Mauna Loa CO2 record:

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/#mlo_full

    that CO2 growth in the atmsphere went on unabated during the 22 years since the report. The BAU scenario played out.

    The observed warming during this period is 0.15C/decade.

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/last:272/mean:12/plot/rss/last:268/trend

    How am I supposed to interpret this other than as serious mistake somewhere in the climate science underlying the failed prediction?

    • The AR1 temperature prediction given the emissions that have occured was for between 0.11C/decade and 0.25C/decade warming.
      http://www.skepticalscience.com/wsj-skeptics-misrepresent-ipcc.html

      Thanks for confirming the accuracy of the AR1 projections.

      • lolwot

        AR1 may well have predicted 0.11C to 0.25C warming per decade, as you write.

        The more recent TAR and AR4 estimates of continued warming were

        TAR (0.15C to 0.3C per decade)
        AR4 (0.2C per decade)

        The actual has been flat since mid-1997 (or over the past 15 years).

        Yet CO2 emissions have continued unabated and atmospheric concentrations have increased to record levels.

        Conclusion: The IPCC projections of warming are exaggerated, because the model-derived CO2 climate sensitivity estimates were exaggerated.

        Max

      • Sorry but I have no trust that your cited numbers are correct.

        Too many skeptics on this thread pushing out false numbers.

        You’ll have to post citations to the primary source for those TAR and AR4 figures.

    • Was the 0.3 C per decade supposed to start immediately on publication of AR1 or was it supposed to be the average over the 21st century?

      • David Springer

        If it’s the average over the 21st century they’re off to a very poor start since there was no increase at all in 21st century so far.

        http://woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/last:156/mean:12/plot/rss/last:150/trend

        Here’s a clue, Jim. If you’ve found you’ve dug yourself into a hole the first thing to do is stop digging. You should stop digging right now. The facts are not on your side.

      • The land change has been 0.3 C per decade for three decades already from BEST, so it is already on schedule, and it only takes the ocean to catch up.

      • David Springer

        USHCN is a joke. Airports have warmed 0.3C/decade. Elsewhere, not so much.

        Use the satellite data. It’s far superior and actually global instead of all concentrated in the nothern hemisphere where human activity is concentrated.

        http://woodfortrees.org/plot/rss-land/last:274/mean:12/plot/rss-land/last:264/trend

        The trend since 1990 for land-only according to satellite is 0.20c/decade.

        That’s larger than land+ocean. I’ve explained why a million times. Where there’s plenty of water available for evaporation most of the temperature rise in response to increased CO2 will be at surface of the clouds not the surface of the ocean.

        I’m NOT saying what little global warming there is not due to human activity. I’m saying rather little of it is due to CO2. Land use change, black carbon, and methane do at least as much if not more. These latter three are much more practical to reduce but the U.S. has already done that so look for another scapegoat.

      • BEST is global, so the warming in northern continents dominates this, like northern Russia and Canada. UHI there since 1980, not so much.

      • JimD, there is also Rural impacts. Most Rural surface stations are not in pristine meadows but near rural airports or some other man made reason to be there. Call it the Suburban Heat Island. Irrigation is the main thermal pollutant. Satellites are your friend :)

    • David Springer

      Growth in atmospheric CO2 concentration at exactly the same rate it has been growing since 1960 isn’t “Business as Usual”?

      http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/#mlo_full

      I think you boys are guilty of redefining the english language now.

      So how is “business as usual” defined on your planet, loltwat?

  69. The last time this loaded dice thing came up here, I commented that the climate system analogy is better described as ‘an unknown number of die each with an unknown number of sides, the immediate weather outcome depending on not only the result of the current roll, but on its being the next value in a series which includes unknown number of the preceding rolls’. Of course, then climate is the cumulative effects of the immediate ‘weathers’ thus determined. We know that humanity affects the values of some of the ‘sides’ (factors that affect weather/climate) — land use, urbanization, C02, aerosols, dust, diesel particulates, etc etc but we do not know how this changes the values. I don’t believe we can effectively/practically predict the effects of those changes given the system in which they interact.

  70. David Springer

    With all due respect (none) to skeptical science as an authoritative source let’s just go straight the IPCC itself.

    Click to access ipcc_far_wg_I_annex.pdf

    The above has a graph, figure A.2(a) which shows the four emission scenarios for C02 with GtC/year (gigatons carbon per year) on the y axis and year on the x axis.

    The BAU scenario has anthropogenic CO2 at 7 GtC/year in 1990 rising to 9 GtC/year in 2010.

    How much was the actual emission you might ask? Well, you might not ask but in the interest of truth I must certainly ask.

    http://co2now.org/images/stories/graphics/carbon-budget/global-carbon-budget-2009-data-co2now.xls

    Decadal average (source: Nature Geoscience)

    1990-1999 7.88 GtC/year
    2000-2009 8.76 GtC/year

    Looks pretty damn close to IPCC “business as usual” definition to me.

    As always, thanks for playing.

    How much did CO2

    • Dave

      Hansen et al. 1988 ( http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/1988/1988_Hansen_etal.pdf ) have clearly defined what scenario A, B and C mean.

      In page 9361 & 9362, we have the following:

      Specifically, in scenario A CO2 increases as observed by Keeling for the interval 1958-1981 [Keeling et al, 1982] and subsequently with 1.5% per year growth of the annual increment. [happen to be 1.5 ppm increase per year]
      ….
      In scenario B the growth of the annual increment of CO2 is reduced from 1.5% per year today to 1% per year in 1990, 0.5% per year in 2000, and 0 in 2000;

      In scenario C the CO2 growth is the same as in scenarios A and B through 1985; between 1985 and 2000 the annual CO2 increment is fixed at 1.5ppm /year; after 2000, CO2 ceases to increase, its abundance remaining fixed at 368 ppmv.

      Note:
      Current CO2 Concentration => 391.8 ppm
      Current annual mean increase in CO2 concentration => 2.2 ppm

      Therefore, Scenario A is business as usual case.

      • “Specifically, in scenario A CO2 increases as observed by Keeling for the interval 1958-1981 [Keeling et al, 1982] and subsequently with 1.5% per year growth of the annual increment. CCl3F (F-11) and CCl2F2 (F-12) emissions are from reported rates [Chemical Manufacturers Association (CMA) 1982] and assume 3% yr-1 increased emission in the future”

        Oh what’s that? Scenario A includes a 3% per year increase in CFC emissions? Did that happen? No it didn’t. So reality doesn’t match scenario A.

        And oh look Girma deleted all mention of CFCs, methane and other gases that comprised scenario A by replacing them with ellipses (…)

      • lolwot

        Mean Annual CO2 growth rate for 1990s => 1.6 ppm per year
        Mean Annual CO2 growth rate for 2010s => 2.2 ppm per year

        The observed growth rate for CO2 is greater than in Scenario A.

        Is not the plant food CO2 that you hate?

      • David Springer

        loltwat appears to be in the process of realizing the team has let him down, big time, in demonizing CO2 and fossil fuel. He’s come to understand that CO2 emission growth has followed the business as usual path and the promised warming didn’t arrive. Worse, no substantial mitigation measures were taken and warming simply stopped of its own accord over 10 years ago.

        Reality can be a harsh wake-up call to those who hold emotionally vested cherished beliefs that happen to be provably wrong. We should probably give loltwat some time to adjust to the reality which just kicked him or her in the face like an ornery mule.

      • Girma and lolwot

        Hansen did NOT specify what the growth in atmospheric CO2 (or GHG) concentrations would be for his “Scenario A” but stated clearly (bold type by me):

        “Scenario A assumes that growth rates of trace gas emissions typical of the 1970s and 1980s will continue indefinitely; the assumed annual growth rate averages about 1.5% of current emissions, so that the net greenhouse forcing increases exponentially.”

        In actual fact the growth rate of the emissions of CO2 (the principal human GHG) was 1.9% per year from 1988 to 2010.

        This was considerably higher than Hansen’s 1988 projection for “Scenario A”, but the observed warming was only half of that projected by Hansen for “Scenario A”.

        Just to clear this up.

        Max

      • Max, you cannot win this – Hansen mindlesly conflated emissions and atmospheric concentrations. You cannot dodge this:

        emission -> concentration -> forcing

        It’s a smart bullet.

      • Edim: “Hansen did NOT specify what the growth in atmospheric CO2 (or GHG) concentrations would be for his “Scenario A””

        Yes he did. Very clearly. Didn’t you read the paper?

      • David Springer: “CO2 emission growth has followed the business as usual path and the promised warming didn’t arrive.”

        How many times do you need to be corrected on this before you stop making the same error?

        The “promised warming” in scenario A depended on scenario A happening. That scenario required a rise in CO2, methane and CFCs. CO2 rose but methane and CFCs did not. Therefore scenario A didn’t happen and so warming from scenario A (which included warming from methane and CFCs) is not expected.

      • JCH, have you ever looked at your charts and wondered why the business as usual quantities went down for other scenarios prior to the publishing of the paper? You would think those were measured data points and not subject to things like the Montreal Protocol.

    • “The above has a graph, figure A.2(a) which shows the four emission scenarios for C02”

      FFS David Springer it’s staring you in the face. What’s that figure A.2(b) depict?

      • David Springer

        A.2(b) is methane emission.

        Forgive me for failing to see your point. The EPS hasn’t called it a pollutant or attempted to regulate it. It doesn’t come from burning fossil and in fact it IS a fossil fuel.

        You seem both stupid and dishonest. I’m not which is dominant.

      • The emission scenarios include multiple greenhouse gases, not just CO2.

        When you factor in all the included greenhouse gases emissions have not followed BaU.

        You focus only on CO2 to pretend that emissions have followed BaU.

        That’s either incompetence or dishonesty.

        Given your pathetic “The EPS hasn’t called it a pollutant” attempt to wriggle out of this I am going for the latter.

      • David Springer

        No one is pursuing mitigation measures against these other gases.

        Anthropogenic methane production DID follow BAU, by the way. There were no laws or programs enacted to slow it down. Natural emissions slowed for a reason that is not understood.

      • It’s completely irrelevant whether there is “mitigation action” against gases.

        The fact is that BAU required certain increases in gases that simply did not happen. Therefore the warming that was predicted to happen given such increases is not expected to happen either.

        Claiming that we should expect warming from a rise in methane and CFCs that did not happen is pure crazy.

      • Springer said:

        “No one is pursuing mitigation measures against these other gases. “

        FYI, You may be a youngster and so may have not been aware of all the mitigation measures taken to reduce CFCs, which are known to impact the ozone layer (besides being potent GHGs).
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ozone_depletion#Public_policy

      • Curry’s post actually directly references a program to reduce the emissions of other greenhouse gases.

  71. As CO2 concentration changes as shown below:

    Why do we need scenarios?

    With a near perfect correlation coefficient of 0.9995, it can be determined using the following equation:

    CO2 Concentration in ppm = 256.065 + 96.828*Exp[0.0161*(Year-1990)]

    Valid for the data since 1958!

  72. Getting back to the subject of Fuzzy Dice (Furry Dice in the UK)…I see this as a starting point to thinking outside of the box. The rules of the game could now be entirely different to those which we thought existed with normal dice, even loaded normal dice. Judith’s concept of a dice with an having an unknown number of sides (even though the consensus refused to believe that it had any more than 6) got me thinking about circumstances in which the fairness of the dice could change due to unforseen events, such as the dice being dropped in a puddle, on a dark night without street lighting etc. I investigated the consequences in my previous post. The result was that the dice became loaded (or not loaded if they missed the puddle) and that the car driver may have been unaware of any change. etc.
    My original assumption was that the driver would pick up the dice whilst wearing driving gloves. But suppose that he was too lazy to get out of his car and decided to use an implement to reach the dice and drag them back to the car. As you probably know, fuzzy/furry dice are quite big: A golf club would not be big enough to hook over the dice and drag them back to the car.
    More likely he would use a hockey stick.
    Now there is a possibility that, as the dice are dragged along the ground, a piece of dirt (which is dark coloured, like the spots on the dice) becomes attached to the dice. For instance, a spot of dirt on the 4 side could make it appear to be a 5!
    So, to sum up:
    a) The initial dice could have more sides than we originally believed.
    b) It could become loaded, due to unforseen events (and unseen events, if they happened at night), even if it was intially “normal”.
    c)It could just have more than one side showing exactly the same number of spots, due to the use of a hockey stick.

    This third case is apparent in the IPCC report: In it there are endless pages of graphs which all look the same and are telling us the same thing. (That there has been a recent temperature increase.)
    So any one thumbing through the report, opening pages at random, will inevitably come across the same graph (in the same way that someone throwing a dice with 2 fives on it will get a five 33% of the time). The casual reader may think that he/she just happened to open the report on that page by accident, but even this event has been influenced by the use of the hockey stick.

  73. PE 10/08 6.37pm, postscript.

    Fuzzy mirror dice
    Every throw a double six.
    Settled science trix.

  74. Judith –

    I can’t get anyone else to give me a direct answer as to whether a claim you made in your post is false. Here’s the claim.

    …there is an underlying assumption in Hansen’s analysis that any increase in heat waves must be due to global warming.

    I suspect that your claim is false. Here is a quote from Hensen et. al response to criticism of their paper:

    The location and timing of weather extremes depends on many factors and to a large degree is a matter of chance.

    Click to access 20120811_DiceDataDiscussion.pdf

    Now I suppose it is true that Hansen et al are unaware of an underlying assumption in their work. That would explain how they could make that statement and yet your statement could remain true. That possibility seems unlikely to me. It is difficult for me to have faith in your interpretation of Hansen’s work if it seems that you misunderstand his assumptions.

    That does not diminish, however, my appreciation for your ability to come up with creative terms like “fuzzy dice.”

    • Joshua, I agree. Hansen’s paper is purely presenting statistics, and that is done without any underlying assumptions. Maybe some of his concluding remarks have those assumptions, but not the results shown.

      • Thanks Jim.

      • It’s really too bad that they fail even in this paper totally to answer the criticism presented Tamino and many others. Can it really be that they don’t understand although Tamino has explained in detail the mathematics of that.

        I would like to see a reversed analysis where the most recent decade is used as base period for the temperatures and the graphs would tell how the earlier temperatures have varied. My guess remains that this analysis would show equally strongly that the Bell curves were broader in the past and narrower now. It is they would tell that the variability has become less, not more. Of course this is not the right interpretation as the likely truth is that no change in variability can be seen in the data. Erroneous analysis produces a spurious result at one end of the period, but that can be done both ways.

      • Pekka, I was wondering why they didn’t address Tamino and John N-G’s critique, but the paper was in press at the time. So like happens so often a paper is published with issues, likely will be cited and the corrections will be lost in the shuffle.

        Climate science is evolving and the system for climate science should also be evolving. Papers published with data ending before 1990 should be discarded or revised, period. Publications should have corrections and/or critiques listed online where they are easily discovered.

      • The net offers clearly superior ways for scientific publishing in comparison with the printed media. Linking comments and corrections to the original paper is just one of the advantages. I hope it will not take long before full advantage is taken of these possibilities .

      • FWIW – Tamino thinks the paper should have been published.

        I would imagine they are communicating about the points Tamino has raised.

      • JCH,

        I checked a while ago Tamino’s blog and noticed the answer given to you. I’m less generous than he on the publication. In my opinion the whole scientific content is likely essentially influenced by the error and no paper so badly in error should be published – and the reviewers should have caught the error and insisted that the paper must be first corrected and decision on publication made only after that – if the authors still think that there’s something to publish in a scientific journal.

      • If post publication review is actually recorded where it is easy to locate, I think the paper should be published as well. There is some anthropgenic impact, but it is just as likely land use related as CO2ect. related. The whole point should be attempting to “properly” attribute effect to cause.

      • Pekka – after Monty Hall demonstrated a greater knowledge of probability than dozens of professors and most other human beings, I stay away from all things about probability.

      • JCH,

        I have some trust in my own understanding but I do certainly err sometimes. Combining what Tamino wrote with what I understand myself makes me rather confident.

        A separate remark: It’s quite interesting to look at the difference between winter and summer data in the new paper. That leaves one wonder what people mean by extreme warm events, summer heat waves or less cold winter nights.

      • It’s a statistical fact that for any physical variate with a mean and variance, that the variance (i.e. standard deviation) will increase as the mean increases. It is just about impossible to find a natural physical phenomena where this property does not hold. (there are many human-engineered examples involving feedback-controlled designs with variance reducing filters, but those don’t count here)

        That is clearly happening with global temperatures, so the variance in temperature is increasing as well.

        So, Hansen’s paper is pedantically correct. The only reason that it shouldn’t have been published is that it is too blindingly obvious to anyone with experience in statistics or statistical mechanics. This includes anyone with a physics degree.

      • Webster, “It is just about impossible to find a natural physical phenomena where this property does not hold.”

        Then that might be ground breaking, right?

      • “Then that might be ground breaking, right?

        http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o252/captdallas2/BESTUSAwithSD.png

        You don’t understand the difference between epistemic and aleatory uncertainty. The uncertainty in temperature from a thousand years ago was undeniably greater, but this is uncertainty in man’s ability to estimate, a form of epistemic uncertainty.
        The aleatory uncertainty, that of the underlying natural phenomena, is what I am talking about.

        Grade: C

        Typical mistake, and one that I hope you will learn from. Here is more:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncertainty_quantification

      • Webster, Actually I do. You don’t seem to understand in a bi-stable non-equilibrium system that that “noise” can be a signal.

        When I saw the stratosphere decay to a neutral trend I started looking for other changes in the “noise”. SST has a mirror image of the Stratosphere decay curve. The Aqua data is too short, but it indicates a similar decay in ocean heat uptake, Argo is too short, but it has a similar decay. Thermosteric SLR also. Circumstantial but rather interesting. It is also not all that unusual if this paleo recon is accurate..

        Time will tell.

      • “Webster, Actually I do. You don’t seem to understand in a bi-stable non-equilibrium system that that “noise” can be a signal. “

        What was the standard deviation of the temperature in Baltimore during the last 50 years?
        What was the standard deviation of the temperature in Baltimore between 1700 and 1750?

        The former is a quantified estimate, epistemic uncertainty is minimal. The latter is a guess based on relatively primitive measures, almost completely governed by epistemic uncertainty.

      • Without a doubt the quality of the data over the entire period is not consistent enough to draw any conclusions on the data alone. The data can “hint” at a change in variability. Then there are other data sets and time frames that you can look to for limited confirmation.

        That is a hint. With a bi-stable system, variability would decrease as the system approached either of the bi-stable limits and be greatest between the limits. That is the exception to the “variability increases with temperature” truism.

        To try and pick out shifts that may verify that hypothesis, I have been playing with sequential linear regressions.

        That compares the Northern, Southern and tropical regions using 42 month linear regressions. In the tropics the oscillation tends to resemble ENSO and using Pinatubo as a perturbation, you can see the difference responses of all three regions. The overall trend is toward less variability after the perturbation with a shift in increase trend to declining trend following 1995.

        Nothing Earth shattering, but with a prolonged solar minimum, possibly there could be some entertainment value :)

      • I don’t want to reopen this debate, but just refer to the dice part. He showed that temperatures of the top 33% of summers in the baseline period, 1951-1980, now occur in 75% of the summers. He showed exactly how he got those numbers. Others may have different ways of getting them, but since his method was clear and repeatable it should be publishable. I would actually be interested if someone came up with a substantially different conclusion regarding the warmest 33% of summers then and how often they occur now, but I think the debate doesn’t change this major part of the conclusion.

      • JimD, yes you do want to reopen this debate :)

        The USA since 1890. There is a difference in all the periods. I added the standard deviation just for grins. In the current yellow, you have a greater probability of one type of extreme and a lower probably for another type of extreme. There were more warm extremes, but that is reducing. If I took 5 year periods instead of 11 year period you would see the reduction. Would I be cherry picking doing that or is Hansen cherry picking using 11years?

    • Joshua,

      Following your link to Hansen’s follow-on paper, it says, “Our recent paper (1), popularly described as “The New Climate Dice” although the publishers eliminated that phrase from the paper’s title, showed that rapid global warming during the past three decades is driving a large increase in extreme heat waves with important consequences.” and “We reconfirm our conclusion that the increasing extremity of heat waves and the area covered by extreme events is caused by global warming.” That’s pretty clear.

      Perhaps you misunderstand the whole dice analogy? They admit that it’s chance, but say that global warming loads the dice and thus directly leads to increased extreme events.

    • Read Hansen’s op-ed, the underlying assumption is screaming loud and clear

      • …the underlying assumption is screaming loud and clear

        The underlying assumption that “any” increase in heat waves “must” be due to anthropogenic global warming?

        What is in their op-ed that you see as reflecting such an assumption – let alone “screaming it loud and clear”?

        Can you excerpt a quote?

      • When I testified before the Senate in the hot summer of 1988 , I warned of the kind of future that climate change would bring to us and our planet. I painted a grim picture of the consequences of steadily increasing temperatures, driven by mankind’s use of fossil fuels.

        But I have a confession to make: I was too optimistic.

      • BTW, unless English is a second language, that means CO2, black carbon and methane, not CFCs. “I was too optimistic.” That would imply “catastrophic” warming to English speaking populations.

      • Latimer Alder

        @joshua

        Even you will find it hard to come up with a way of denying this statement, nor its clear and unambiguous meaning. It starts (as all good stories should) at the beginning:

        ‘When I testified before the Senate in the hot summer of 1988 , I warned of the kind of future that climate change would bring to us and our planet. I painted a grim picture of the consequences of steadily increasing temperatures, driven by mankind’s use of fossil fuels.

        But I have a confession to make: I was too optimistic.

        My projections about increasing global temperature have been proved true. But I failed to fully explore how quickly that average rise would drive an increase in extreme weather’

      • Latimer –

        There is no doubt that Hansen believes that the recent heat waves are attributable to ACO2.

        However, once again my point is w/r/t Judith’s statement about his assumptions.

        I see no reason to think that he has an underlying assumption that “any” increase in heat waves “must” be due to ACO2 – as Judith stated

        Is Judith’s statement right or freaking wrong?

        Why does there seem to be so much difficulty for people to give a straight answer to that question?

      • Latimer Alder

        @joshua

        I really can’t be arsed to play your little games any more.

        Perhaps you can meet some other playmates in the sandpit or somewhere. Leave the grownups alone until bedtime.

      • Latimer –

        Thank you for taking the time to repeatedly respond to my posts asking a question, by insulting me.

        I’m honored. And it’s a pleasure to see how you conceptualize logic.

      • Latimer Alder

        @joshua

        If you were in the UK, your behaviour on this blog w/r/t our hostess verges on harrasment. This is a criminal offence and can lead to substantial jail time. That Judith tolerates your witterings is a tribute to her forebearance. But I want no part of it.

        Grow up.

      • Is there some law in the UK requiring you to interact with people you can’t be “arsed” to interact with?

        It would seem that a simple way of avoiding it would be to not interact with that person. But my understanding of Her Majesty’s Statutes is lacking.

      • Latimer –

        Allow me to thank you for yet again, posting a response to one of my comments to illustrate that you don’t want to “play games” with me.

        Thank you for yet again, posting yet another comment with insults to express your “concern” about my harassing behavior.

        Thank you for yet again, posting yet another comment with insults to express your disapproval of my childish behavior.

        And most of all, thank you yet again for putting on a display of your fascinating conceptualization of logic. It really is most fascinating – and I’m highly appreciative of the opportunity to look through a window into your world.

      • “Latimer Alder | August 12, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
        This is a criminal offence and can lead to substantial jail time. “

        Little Lattie pleads for a nanny. Typical skeptical hypocrite. A skepticrite.

      • Judith –

        I thought that I used cut and paste when earlier I quoted you above: I thought you said that:

        there is an underlying assumption in Hansen’s analysis that any increase in heat waves must be due to global warming.

        I now see that your post reflects something other than that. What is in there now says:

        there is an underlying assumption in Hansen’s analysis (as revealed in his op-ed) that any increase in heat waves must be due to anthropogenic global warming.

        Did you go back and correct your post, or was I mistaken, and in reality II didn’t cut and paste that excerpt (but mistakenly paraphrased it), and that what I put in bold above was in your post all along?

      • Latimer Alder

        @joshua

        When in hole, stop digging!

        Your whole approach to discourse on this blog reminds me of a teenager who mistakenly thinks he is a lot lot cleverer than anybody else does. But – like such a spotty and inexperienced youth – has not developed the judgement to shut up when appropriate.

      • Latimer –

        Thanks for your advice. BTW – I have no doubt that I am far less clever than virtually any of the commenters here – you included.

        Would you mind answering my question now?

      • The statistics don’t need this assumption, so I would not call it underlying. The statistics show ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change’. They don’t show it is anthropogenic, and he doesn’t say they prove it is anthropogenic. He of course says it is anthropogenic as most of his peers do by now, but that only shows up at the end of the op-ed when he says “This is the world we have changed”.

      • Then why was this statement in his op ed?

        When I testified before the Senate in the hot summer of 1988 , I warned of the kind of future that climate change would bring to us and our planet. I painted a grim picture of the consequences of steadily increasing temperatures, driven by mankind’s use of fossil fuels.

        But I have a confession to make: I was too optimistic.

        That is not only anthropogenic, but fossil fuel primarily. You have elevated splitting hairs to art form.

      • He could have just said that warm summers have doubled in frequency and left it at that, but being Hansen, whether he stated it or not, we know it is an underlying assumption where the warming is coming from. Again, it is not an assumption in the analysis itself, just the interpretation. Maybe Judith meant ‘interpretation’ when she said ‘analysis’, because that word can have a broader meaning, but it is a fuzzy statement.

      • “Maybe Judith meant ‘interpretation’ when she said ‘analysis’”

        Or maybe she was sloppy and made a mistake, like several others in the post.

      • David Springer

        My mom in western New York State has been complaining all summer that it’s unseasonably cold and wet. Drought and heat are in the eye of the beholder. In fact hot summers have not become more frequent and there are a multiplicity of scientific papers by non-agitprop authors demonstrating it. Hansen lost his credential as an objective scientist the first time he was arrested. Or no, hold it. I think the defining moment was when he closed the windows and turned off the air conditioning in the room where he gave his 1988 congressional testimony on global warming. The duplicity it took to do that was characteristic of the circus act he fully embodied as time and more photos of him in handcuffs came to demonstrate.

      • It’s not an assumption is it. He’s derived by other means that the warming is largely human driven.

      • Perhaps Muller dropped him a line.

        Seriously, these are basic scientific facts demonstrated in hundreds of scientific papers.

        Ignorance is not a superpower.

      • David Springer

        lolwot | August 12, 2012 at 11:29 am | Reply

        It’s not an assumption is it. He’s derived by other means that the warming is largely human driven.

        Fixed that for ya!

      • David Springer

        lolwot | August 12, 2012 at 11:29 am | Reply

        It’s not an assumption is it. He’s derived by other means that the warming is largely human driven.

        Damn. A strikeout doesn’t show up well in an italic e. Mibad.

        Fixed that for ya!

      • “Read Hansen’s op-ed, the underlying assumption is screaming loud and clear”

        You can’t attribute an belief to a scientific paper because an author expresses it in a completely different piece of writing.

        Like the outstanding scientist he is, Hansen knows the difference between the totality of science, his own beliefs, and what he demonstrates in a particular paper.

        The world has warmed and with it extremes of heat have become more common. That’s what the paper demonstrates.

        Most of that warming — and as far as we can determine, essentially all of it — has been caused by human activities, mostly burning fossil fuels. That is also well established, but was not asserted in this paper because the paper is not about attribution.

        We know (because you’ve said) that you think attribution of global warming to human activities is a potential weak point in the argument for mitigation — that perhaps a smaller portion of the observed warming than we think is attributable to human activities.

        To support this intuition scientifically, the path forward is very clear; identify the natural forcing or forcings causing additional warming. Measure it. Attribute some of the warming to it.

        So far all efforts in this direction have found that none of the natural forcings explain any significant portion of the present warming. The solar forcing is flat; the oceans are receiving, not contributing, heat; the natural world is a net sink for CO2 (so far), and so on.

        So we have a phenomenon — global warming — and we have a full and adequate explanation of that phenomenon — various human activities — and we have examined alternate explanations — and they fail to explain the observed facts.

        That’s not an “assumption.” It’s good science. And critics will only refute it with better science, which so far has not been forthcoming.

      • Right, a “completely different piece of writing” about his PNAS paper

      • The paper says what it says, and the Op-Ed says what it says. They’re different. I’m not sure why this is confusing to you.

      • David Springer

        Can you provide some credible evidence that you are in fact not James Hansen? You display the same belligerant willful ignorance so I have to ask.

      • Latimer Alder

        +1

    • Steven Mosher

      Joshua.
      I propose that people stop trying to due science by press release and editorial. That said, as you know, it is always possible for somebody to show the discrepencies between a press release and the science.
      Lets get to your question.

      I can’t get anyone else to give me a direct answer as to whether a claim you made in your post is false. Here’s the claim.

      …there is an underlying assumption in Hansen’s analysis that any increase in heat waves must be due to global warming.

      I suspect that your claim is false. Here is a quote from Hensen et. al response to criticism of their paper:

      The location and timing of weather extremes depends on many factors and to a large degree is a matter of chance.

      ##############
      technically, Judith is talking about the increase and the quote from hansen is about location and timing. two different animals.

      Is her claim false? one way to prove that is to find a sentence from hansen that says something like “80% of the increase in events is due to man” or
      ‘some of the increase’ or some qualifier like that. Pointing to text that discusses location and timing does do that.

      the other difficulty is that her claim is about assumptions. typically these go unstated, so textual support for them is going to be harder to find.. explicit support that is. Simply, you can prove it wrong, but its hard to prove it right

      • Steven –

        technically, Judith is talking about the increase and the quote from hansen is about location and timing. two different animals.

        That is a good point.

        the other difficulty is that her claim is about assumptions. typically these go unstated, so textual support for them is going to be harder to find.. explicit support that is. Simply, you can prove it wrong, but its hard to prove it right.

        Another good point. Perhaps Judith should stick to what Hansen says instead of her assumptions about his assumptions. I did ask her for a textual reference to back up her assertion as to his assumptions, but she didn’t supply any.

        I also noted this – another question that may or not be relevant, but to which I have no answer.

        https://judithcurry.com/2012/08/10/fuzzy-dice/#comment-228317

        No answer, despite the fact that she responded a couple of hours later further down the thread in response to someone else.

        I assume that she wouldn’t change the post without noting such a change, but either way, in my opinion she stepped in it, and hasn’t been willing to come clean.

        It seems implausible to me that Hansen would have an underlying assumption that “any” increase in heat waves “must” be due to [anthropogenic] global warming. If he does have that assumption (and it would be nice if Judith or anyone else could back that up with some quote or excerpt), then I think that’s important because I can’t see how such an assumption could be justified. If he doesn’t have such an underlying assumption, then Judith should woman up and acknowledge her error.

        Not a big deal, really, but it is certainly curious.

      • Nosher,

        What makes Hansen’s attribution an assumption is the fact that no attempt is made to analyse other possible causes of the change in frequency of extremes. In fact his choice of methodology (decadal based analysis) seems to encourage this assumption ruling out any of the possible short term variations (weather) that lead to these extremes.

        The scientific method demands that the theory is tested against other possible explanations. Hansen should be the first person to do this as part of the analysis.

  75. Wayne –

    Perhaps you misunderstand the whole dice analogy?

    That is certainly possible. I must always give the possible influence of my misunderstanding huge weight in these discussions.

    Yes – they say that global warming loads the dice. They also say that looking at probabilities behind how those dice have landed, the recent string of heatwaves are not a product of random distribution. They are speaking about a specific set of heatwaves and drawing a conclusion. That does not imply an assumption, as Judith stated, that “any” increase in heatwaves must be the product of global warming.

    Now perhaps if you think that the theory that global warming could affect the probabilities of heat waves is wrong, then you would disagree with their conclusion. But as understand it, their paper does not deal with that issue explicitly. It looks at the probabilities that the recent events could be random.

    Argue with their statistical analysis if you will. Argue with the physics relating global warming to heat waves. But don’t misstate their assumptions.

    • Joshua, “Now perhaps if you think that the theory that global warming could affect the probabilities of heat waves is wrong, then you would disagree with their conclusion. But as understand it, their paper does not deal with that issue explicitly. It looks at the probabilities that the recent events could be random.”

      The problem is that the paper is a statistical analysis that doesn’t properly consider the statistics. You seem to want an answer that doesn’t exist. It the method is flawed the paper is crap, period.

      60,000 years of data indicating a bimodal distribution or bi-stable system if you prefer.

      100 plus years indicating possible bimodal distribution.

      Each region has the same bimodal distribution with varying time frames. So to tease out what impact CO2 has, land use has or nature has is not addressed in the paper. The only conclusion you can draw from the paper is that the method used was simplistic :)

      • David Springer

        People who believe that the throwing of genetic dice can turn bacteria into babboons will believe dice can explain just about anything. There’s no limit to the explanatory power of dice. However, I will submit that Hansen’s mind does bear a eerie resemblance to a vast accumulation of serendipitous random errors. It’s no wonder he’s glommed onto the dice analogy, all things considered!

    • David Springer

      If global warming worsens heat waves does it not also moderate cold spells?

      We can choose and/or genetically modify crops that thrive in warmer conditions and/or have greater drought tolerance. We can rejoice at longer growing seasons that allow a wider selection of crops or even a second growing season in the comparatively vast land masses north of the 40th parallel. We can’t choose or make GM crops that grow in ice.

      Common sense doesn’t seem very common amongst the CAGW team and sycophants.

  76. Jim Hansen has just posted a new paper for discussion, on the new climate dice:

    Click to access 20120811_DiceDataDiscussion.pdf

    • There’s already some discussion on this paper a little higher in this thread.

      That discussion paper was a disappointment.

      • Pekka – looks like a response.

      • It’s a response to something but it does not discuss the issue Tamino brought up, i.e. it does not discuss how the width of the probability distributions is influenced by the non-uniformity of the warming.

        That the Arctic warms more than tropics is not an increase in variability of temperatures.

      • Thank you, Pekka. You’ve just stated in different words what I’ve been saying all along, but have been apparently unable to get people to understand.
        His use of temperature anomalies rather than absolute temperatures in his analysis does not, and cannot, say anything about the incidence of temperature extremes.
        For example, a three-sigma anomaly in summer temperatures in Siberia or Baffin Island does not mean that people are dying from the heat in those places.

      • I looked more carefully at the Fig. 3. of the new discussion paper. That tells two things:

        1) The summer time extremes since 2006 seem to come mainly from middle latitudes. Thus the stronger warming of arctic is probably not a factor for the summer months, actually the regional differences may be even in the opposite direction.

        2) The dominant extremes affect wide areas. That means that there are strong correlation between many data points. That means further that the statistical significance of the observations is greatly reduced.

        The Russian heat wave and the US heat waves are certainly very strong on those graphs. I don’t want to belittle them at all. I consider it likely that warming of climate is a significant factor, but showing that there’s a statistically significant widening in the probability distributions is a totally different matter than subjective gut feelings. Scientific papers must present their statistical analysis correctly, if they don’t their results cannot be taken seriously until they are corrected.

      • Pekka, figure 3 also appears to show that summertime temperatures over the vast majority of the northern hemisphere landmass has increased by several degrees over the period in question. But, given that the average global temperature has only increased by around half a degree over the same period, it seems to me that graphic says more about what it doesn’t show than what it does.
        However, what’s probably most pertinent is the fact that the large brown areas in the graphic are as a result of the Russian and Texas heat waves, and cannot plausibly be construed as a their cause

      • Peter,

        For science the only way forward is to do the analyses carefully getting rid of stupid errors. Speculating on the possible outcome of those analyses serves to emphasize the need of good analysis before drawing any conclusions by indicating that it’s possible that the results change substantially, possibly so much that many of the conclusions are reversed.

        In my above comment I wanted to point out that the proper analysis should include also determination of the statistical significance of the results. Even if the fat tails remain they have little statistical significance if the are produced by very few events. As a simple test one could check how much dropping the year 2010 affects the results. If dropping one year makes a major change, the statistical significance is not strong.

      • Pekka, don’t get me wrong – I agree 100%

      • David Springer

        Pekka Pirilä | August 12, 2012 at 11:44 am | Reply

        “That the Arctic warms more than tropics is not an increase in variability of temperatures.”

        The non-weasel mind would state what it is, not what it isn’t.

        That the Arctic warms faster than the tropics IS a decrease in variability.

        Given that temperature gradients are the energy source for work and that winds are work we should expect fewer and/or lesser winds as the temperature difference between the tropics and Arctic is reduced.

        Put that in your pipe and smoke it, weasel boy.

      • David Springer

        Pekka Pirilä | August 12, 2012 at 12:18 pm |

        “The Russian heat wave and the US heat waves are certainly very strong on those graphs. I don’t want to belittle them at all. I consider it likely that warming of climate is a significant factor, …”

        The climate hasn’t warmed for the past 13 years. Both of these took place years after the warming ceased. There’s also been some uncharacteristically harsh winters recently too. You’re looking for attribution in random weather extremes. You can’t find what isn’t there to begin with all you can do is pretend to find it and quite frankly your talent for pretense is sub-par.

      • David, that’s being a bit disingenuous. Pekka was not talking about the variability in global temperatures.

      • Peter,

        Don’t worry. I’m used to ignore much that David writes while I find sometimes also that his comments contain valid points.

        I don’t understand his willingness to be rude (not only to me) but I can ignore that as well.

      • David Springer

        Peter317 | August 12, 2012 at 3:27 pm |

        “David, that’s being a bit disingenuous. Pekka was not talking about the variability in global temperatures”

        Really? Explain how it’s possible to get more global in temperature comparison than comparing the tropics to the poles. I’m all ears.

      • David Springer

        Pekka Pirilä | August 12, 2012 at 3:42 pm |

        “I don’t understand his willingness to be rude (not only to me) but I can ignore that as well.”

        I was born and raised in New York. We’re rude but fair. Fairness demands if we be rude to everyone without exception. In your case the fairness requires no conscious effort as a I have a natural loathing for duplicity, obfuscation, speciousness, and all the other unsavory qualities associated with weasels.

      • David, read Pekka’s comment again before mouthing off.

        …it does not discuss how the width of the probability distributions is influenced by the non-uniformity of the warming.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Climate Etc readers can appreciate James Hansen’s reasoned, temperate, and impersonal response to criticisms that often were unreasoned, intemperate, and personal.

      This is the strategy of scientists who appreciate that “Nature cannot be fooled”, and base their work upon that most solid of all foundations.

      And more: the American people hugely appreciate athletes who win with class … and make winning look natural and easy. Good!

      This response shows James Hansen at work, as a class-act scientist, eh?   :)   :)   :)

      • David Springer

        Yeah, classy scientists usually find themselves in this position:

        https://www.google.com/images?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4LENN_enUS461US461&q=james+hansen+arrested

        The more often they’re put into handcuffs the classier they are, huh?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Thank you Dave Springer, for reminding Climate Etc. readers, yet again, of the tremendously long list of distinguished scientists, engineers, physicians, and philosphers who have been arrested and/or assaulted and/or imprisoned for freethinking beliefs. Giordano Bruno, Joseph Priestly, Linus Pauling, Andre Sakharov, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Jean-Paul Marat, and Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier all spring to mind, eh? And surely a list very much longer could be composed!

        For this reason: historically scientists often are found in the vanguard of the Enlightenment … which is seldom a safe place … given the obsessive — even murderous — hatred that reactionaries historically have demonstrated for freethinkers … eh Dave Springer?   :lol:   2¢   :lol:   2¢   :lol:

      • David Springer

        You failed to favorably compare Hansen with Copernicus, Gallileo, and Da Vinci. I’ll forgive the oversight given you compared yourself to Alexander Hamiton.

        Your intention, your schtick if you will, is appearing ridiculous, right? The colorful bow-tie, the flamboyant prose, the drama… swish, swish, and more swish. I try to avoid pigeon holing people into stereotypes but you fit the swish mold so well I simply can’t avoid it.

    • David Springer

      curryja | August 12, 2012 at 10:45 am | Reply

      Jim Hansen has just posted a new paper for discussion, on the new climate dice:

      Click to access 20120811_DiceDataDiscussion.pdf

      —————————————————————————————

      I’ll believe it when Hansen can provide photographic evidence like these photos from the 1930’s:

      https://www.google.com/images?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4LENN_enUS461US461&q=dust%20bowl&tbm=isch

      • David Springer

        The hell of it is that even if dust bowl conditions return to the US it’s only a repeat of something that happened before not a new record in weather calamity or even an increase in frequency because we do not have enough data to determine any statistical frequency for Dust-Bowl severity droughts.

      • So you’ll believe it when you get evidence of something that’s actually different than what Hansen is suggesting, and even then you won’t believe it.

        Gotcha.

  77. David Springer

    Joshua | August 12, 2012 at 11:30 am |

    “Why does there seem to be so much difficulty for people to give a straight answer to that question?”

    Because one often desires to know if the questioner can understand the answer otherwise it’s a waste of time for both of them. That’s difficult for the information provider to determine when the questioner is anonymous. Or it may merely be harassment when the anonymous poster is free to return with a different name and repeat the same question. Try using your real name if you want to get more respect. It’s not guaranteed to work but it won’t hurt to try unless you’ve got a warrant out for your arrest or you’re a known troll like John Sidles a.k.a. A fan of More Discourse. For any of us know you ARE John Sidles using a different name. Why should we believe otherwise?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Alternatively, Joshua, you might study the shining historical example of Publius Valerius Publicola, whom the Founders and Framers of America’s Constitution, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, immortalized in *THEIR* chosen pseudonym “Publius”

      And please accept this sincere appreciation, Dave Springer, of the immense value that is associated to the personal abuse and willful ignorance that your posts embody, that so vividly illuminate for Climate Etc readers the immortal virtues of the above-named “Publius”.

      Thank you, Dave Springer!   :lol:   2¢   :lol:   2¢   :lol:

      • David Springer

        Funny you should mention Publius. I was banned on Watt’s Up With That and now use a fake email addy “Publius_Maximus@gmail.com” and a handle “John Doe”. You read my mind, John Sidles, and thus it was the most intelligent thing to pass through your mind this month.

      • David Springer

        I know the Federalist Papers, John Sidles. You may rest assured that, unlike the Federalist Papers, everything you’ve written in your entire life will be forgotten before your body is cold if not sooner.

      • Not if the WayBack Machine endures

  78. Chad Wozniak

    I agree that Dr Curry and other scientists who do recognize the problems with AGW should go as public as possible. One of the biggest challenges in this is that skeptics don’t get a hearing in the news media, so when we do have the opportunity to get such a hearing we should take it. We should not be put off by the shamelessly antilibertarian attitudes of parties like the NY Times, whose definition of free speech excludes anything they don’t agree with.

    We need to keep in mind that AGW is a political, not a scientific, viewpoint, and one that goes hand in hand with other viewpoints that look to destroy our inalienable rights and impose an economically illiterate tyranny. We are already seeing signs of the kleptocratic intentions of the AGW crowd in their eager quest for more taxpayer money (“research grants”) to use in their political campaign.

    I do not hesitate to say that I would support penalties – severe penalties, including loss of broadcasting and publishing licenses, and heavy fines sufficient to reimburse the taxpayers for the monies disbursed fraudulently as “research grants” (which actually should be characterized as political campaign contributions, made by the government itself) to the politicians masquerading as scientists, on major mass media operations, like the NYT and the television networks, that work to prevent evidence contrary to their ideologically based false assertions about climate from reaching the general public. There are penalties for false advertising – isn’t that what AGW is?

    The NYT and networks and their sycophants are operating exactly the way totalitarian dictatorships operate – they take it upon themselves to tell everybody what to thiink, they do everything they can to intimidate people who have ideas differing from theirs, and they consistently support oppressive regulation and other such control freakery in government.

  79. Fuzzy die are (generally illegal) objects that hang from a rear-view mirror and obstruct vision of the future.

    • Latimer Alder

      And in the same vein, Jim Steinman had it right.

      ‘Objects In The Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are’

  80. typo: fuzzy dice.