Hansen on the ‘standstill’

by Judith Curry

The five-year mean global temperature has been flat for the last decade, which we interpret as a combination of natural variability and a slow down in the growth rate of net climate forcing.  – James Hansen et al.

Jim Hansen et al. have written a remarkable document titled Global Temperature Update Through 2012.  Excerpts:

An update through 2012 of our global analysis reveals 2012 as having practically the same temperature as 2011, significantly lower than the maximum reached in 2010. These short-term global fluctuations are associated principally with natural oscillations of tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures summarized in the Nino index in the lower part of the figure. 2012 is nominally the 9th warmest year, but it is indistinguishable in rank with several other years, as shown by the error estimate for comparing nearby years. Note that the 10 warmest years in the record all occurred since 1998.

The current stand-still of the 5-year running mean global temperature may be largely a consequence of the facr that the first half of the past 10 years had predominantly El Nino conditions, and the second half had predominantly La Nina conditions.

The approximate stand-still of global temperature during 1940-1975 is generally attributed to an approximate balance of aerosol cooling and greenhouse gas warming during a period of rapid growth of fossil fuel use with little control on particulate air pollution, but quantitative interpretation has been impossible because of the absence of adequate aerosol measurements.

Climate change expectations.  The continuing planetary imbalance and the rapid increase of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel  assure that global warming will continue on decadal time scales.  Moreover, our interpretation of the larger role of unforced variability in temperature change of the past decade suggests that global temperature will rise significantly in the next few years as the tropics moves inevitably to the next El Nino phase.

JC comments:  Perhaps ‘standstill’ is a euphemism for ‘pause’, but recall all the flack that David Rose received a few months ago for writing about the ‘pause’.  It is good to see Hansen paying more attention to unforced variability.

However Hansen’s simplistic reasoning about what  can be expected in the next decade is, well, simplistic.  GWPF reports on the latest decadal simulation from the UKMO, which predicts basically no warming for the next 5 years.  Should we believe the UKMO model prediction?  Well, I have more confidence in the UKMO prediction than in Hansen’s back of the envelope reasoning.

JC’s ‘forecast’ for the next 5 years:  It looks like the AMO may have peaked, and we remain in the cool phase of the PDO with a predominance of La Nina events expected (unlikely to see a return to do El Nino dominance in the next decade).  I predict we will see continuation of the ‘standstill’ in global average temperature for the next decade, with solar playing a role in this as well.

It also looks like black carbon is looming as more important than previously believed, see article at WUWT.

966 responses to “Hansen on the ‘standstill’

  1. It also looks like black carbon is looming as more important than previously believed

    That’s readily fixed. Freer energy market > remove constraints on nuclear power > low cost nuclear > replace coal electricity generation > cut CO2 emissions by 13 Gt/a by 2050 (same as Nordhaus ‘Optimal’ carbon price proposal) and cut black carbon from coal generation as well.

    Plus many more benefits.

    – Electricity 1/2 the cost of coal generated electricity by 2050.

    – avoid over 1 million fatalities per year from toxic pollution.

    • David Springer

      I wrote about black carbon not getting all the props it deserves 6 years ago. Hansen acknowledged a larger role but he was evidently outvoted when it came time to put down the numbers in the IPCC report.

      • David Springer

        2007, me:

        http://www.uncommondescent.com/science/ipcc-ignores-studies-of-soots-effect-on-global-warming/

        A must-read even if I do say so myself. :-)

      • David Springer

        JC’s ‘forecast’ for the next 5 years: It looks like the AMO may have peaked, and we remain in the cool phase of the PDO with a predominance of La Nina events expected (unlikely to see a return to do El Nino dominance in the next decade).

        Yup. Approximate 60 year cycle sticks out of the past 150 year temp record like a sore thumb. La Nina was dominant for about 10 years circa 1950. Bad news for Austin, Texas as La Nina = drought here. We haven’t yet reached the record low lake level for Travis yet set in the 1950’s but we’re set to get there this summer if we don’t get a drought busting deluge between now and then.

      • Late 1950’s – early 1960’s is a good analogue of what we can expect in the next decade.

      • RE : next several years being like the late 50’s – early 60’s.

        So I can look forward to pj’s with feet, being called to supper rather than having to cook it, black & white tv, a comeback by Elvis and in general, a care free life with little responsibility?

        Then again, it could mean a return to diapers. Not ready to go there again.

      • It could get worse than the 50s and 60s if the long term trend in OHT is solar driven.

      • Going to have to get my son to add this to my ipod.

        Any truth willard to the rumor you were the body double for the ab scenes?

      • David Springer

        Amazingly informative information about the standstill and James Hansen.

        You outdid yourself this time Willard.

  2. But what of ocean heat content? many will ask.

    There are two points here I’d like to know about:-

    (1) How robust and reliable are the OHC data?

    (2) And even if OHC is indeed rising, can this be due to AGW?
    AGW works through the atmosphere, and if the atmosphere isn’t warming, how can ocean warming be caused by a non-warming atmosphere?

    • David Springer

      The atmosphere doesn’t heat the ocean. The sun heats the ocean and the ocean heats the atmosphere.

      The answer you’re looking for is obfuscated by the usual suspects. They say ocean heat content is rising by some ungodly large number of Joules but fail to translate into an ocean temperature increase. The actual temperature increase is miniscule so they don’t give you that number.

      • David Springer

        They can’t even really measure that miniscule number (the alleged warming, that is). It is thousandths of a degree.

        First ARGO data showed cooling from 2003 (when ARGO started) to 2008 (Willis’ “speed bump”).

        The ARGO data were then “corrected” to show very slight warming.

        Let’s wait until we have the ARGO measurements fixed (with any “corrections” completely transparent to the public) and have around 30 years of data before we even talk about OHC.

        And let’s express warming in degrees C (not joules, ferchrissake), so everyone can understand the data and the threat (?) that ocean warming represents.

        Max

      • George Mullerleilli

        The critical component here is the amount of energy(J) flowing around the climate. As David S. says, the amount of temperature rise in water compared to air is miniscule.

        4.18 J will heat 1 gram of water 1 deg K(~C). 1 J will heat 1 gram of air 1 degK. But air is very low density, so it only takes 0.000127 joules to heat 1 cu.cm. of air 1 deg K. Water, even seawater, is very close to 1 gr./cu.cm. 4.2 J will heat 1 cc of water 1 deg K.

        The ratio is ~ 32,000 to 1. A deg C of temperature rise in 1 cc of water is 32,000 times the energy in a cubic centimeter of air. Overall, the energy in the top 700m of the ocean is something like 1000 times the energy in the atmosphere. Guess which one has the most effect on climate.

      • David Springer

        Actually the ARGO buoys are good down to millikelvins. Problem is they miss over half the ocean. They don’t go beneath ice and they only dive to half the average depth of the global ocean. I’d take any criticism of that data with a grain of salt if I were you nonetheless. Global average sea level is a metric independent from ARGO and tends to confirm what buoys are saying.

        The problem is neither one of those is very alarming at the measured rate.

    • (1) I would also like to know better the reliability and accuracy of the OHC estimates. The ARGO measurements are with a safe margin accurate enough as individual measurements but I’m less certain of the reliability of the calculations that extend the measurements to the full ocean volume down to 750 m or 2000 m. That involves a lot of interpolation and extrapolation that must be difficult to do accurately.

      (2) That’s not a problem. Ocean heat capacity is huge and one might invert the statement to say that oceans prevent the atmosphere from warming rapidly. It’s perfectly possible that ocean variability keeps the atmospheric temperature approximately constant for significant periods while the OHC keeps on rising. Solar radiation brings the heat to oceans. The atmosphere influences the heat loss from the ocean. Warmer atmosphere reduces the heat loss, but the heat loss may remain less than the solar heating for long even without continuous warming of the atmosphere.

      AGW means that the heat content of the whole Earth system increases, but it does not make unique predictions on the relative rates of warming of various parts of the Earth system over periods up to a couple of decades.

      David Springer posted his comment while I was writing the above. The factual contents of our answers are in agreement as far as I can see. My emphasis is, however, quite different from his.

      • Pekka

        Your (1) and (2) make sense.

        And the enormous heat capacity of the ocean undoubtedly leads to a dampening of our climate.

        But I think (like Dave) that the data should be presented in degrees C (or thousandths of a degree C, if necessary), so people can understand what ocean warming is all about. (Another record can be made in joules, for scientists who can visualize this metric better.)

        Max

      • So, whatever energy we can put into the ocean from our lockbox of fossil fuel will delay the next Ice Age, right?
        ================

      • If people are going to say “wow, that’s a small number” in that moronic Dana Tyrone Rohrabacher fashion, hey, go ahead.

      • David Springer

        It should be mentioned that due to ocean stratification and the bottom 90% being just 3C if OHC accumulation halted right now air temperature would start going down. The upper ocean warms first and that warms the atmosphere the same amount very quickly because atmosphere has no thermal inertia to speak of in comparison. Over the long haul if OHC stops rising the lower ocean will be sucking excess heat out of upper ocean as equilibrium between them is slowly reestablished.

    • Pre-argo the OHC data is very bad. It is far sparser than the surface statistical data, with no fixed stations, and it uses the same area averaging approximation methods but to assess a volume rather than a surface. I consider it highly questionable at best.

      Re your 2 yes the question is how an enhanced GE can warm the ocean without warming the air? This amounts to redefining AGW and looks very much like what is called theory saving.

    • AGW works through the atmosphere

      When I say this, I am taking the basic mechanism to be not that a warmer atmosphere actively warms the ocean, but rather that it slows the cooling of the oceans into the atmosphere.

      • David Springer

        This is where there’s a serious problem in my opinion. The majority of heat transfer from ocean to atmosphere is latent (evaporation). Downwelling radiation from a warm atmosphere doesn’t heat the water. Unlike sunlight which penetrates to many tens of meters instantaneously the mid infrared from the atmosphere is absorbed by the top few microns. All this does is raise the evaporation rate it doesn’t warm the water. The proof of that is that there’s a well known “cool skin layer” on the ocean which is about 1 millimeter deep and 1C cooler than the water below it. The ocean is being cooled like a swamp cooler and CO2 does little to nothing to slow that down. It’s a different story over land. Dry dirt, rocks, and ice don’t evaporate. They will get warmer in response to CO2. Given we live over land not over ocean it skews what to be concerned about as air temperarature will rise the most from AGW where there’s the least potential for evaporation. Predictably we see more warming over land than water and more when temperature is freezing than not freezing. That pretty much translates to more warming as latitude increases because with increasing latitude is decreasing temperature and less evaporation potential.

      • Downwelling radiation does not exist. It’s the artefact of pyrometery. These devices measure the signal reaching a point is spaces minus that which is stopped by the shielding around the detector. So they actually detect the net Poynting vectors in the view angle that comprise the Planck irradiation function in that direction. Pyrgeometers correctly use power units for this, but it’s the hypothetical flux you’d get for that emitter isolated in deep space.

        To you and me, it’s the temperature.This is why pyrgeometer manufacturers specify you need two, back to back, to measure net energy flux, the only real energy flow at that point: http://www.kippzonen.com/?product/16132/CGR+3.aspx (bottom of page).

        Of all ‘sciences’, it is only climate alchemy, from meteorology, which makes this elementary error. So.the evaporation of the oceans is because it has slightly higher temperature than the local air. The warming is from the SW energy. The claim that DLR exists is the cause of the imaginary positive feedback in the models.

        Go into them in detail and the excess warming is offset by exaggerating cooling processes in the hind casting in particular using double real low level cloud optical depth. This is unacceptable to any science. Start again with the correct experimental interpretation.

      • David Springer

        Of course downwelling radiation exists. Don’t be silly. What you’re saying is equivalent to saying a lake that doesn’t change level cannot have water entering it. Of course it can. There must simply be an equal amount leaving it to retain a constant level.

        For the ocean this is a bit trickier than a dammed river held at a constant level by adjusting the gates so inflow matches outflow. Practically all energy entering the ocean is radiation but the majority leaves via evaporation.

        A land surface will warm in response to increased CO2. It must. CO2 imposes a restriction in radiation passing from land to space. Something has to happen as a consequence of that restriction.

        Going back to our dam example if we restrict the opening in our gate the water level behind the dam will rise in response which increases the pressure differential across the gate forcing more water through the gate.

        Pretty much the same thing happens with CO2 and land surfaces. More CO2 is like restricting the gate. Pressure builds up behind the gate, in this case it isnt’ water pressure but temperature instead. The higher pressure forces more radiative energy through the restriction. It also raises conduction but even over land conduction is minimal because air doesn’t conduct well.

        Over water it’s different because there is an additional way energy can leave it. Evaporation. So when the radiative channel over the ocean is restricted instead of temperature rising in response to get the same amount of energy through the restriciton evaporation rises instead.

        How much energy leaves through evaporation and how much leaves through radiation is a function of relative ease of each path. The easier path gets proportionately more flow through it. This is just like a bucket with two differently sized holes in the bottom. Each hole will have water escaping through it with more water escaping through the larger hole. On average over the entire earth evaporation is the larger hole. Over the ocean it’s much larger.

    • (2) And even if OHC is indeed rising, can this be due to AGW?
      AGW works through the atmosphere, and if the atmosphere isn’t warming, how can ocean warming be caused by a non-warming atmosphere?

      Pekka answers this referring to the great heat capacity of the ocean, which could aborb the extra atmospheric heat due to CO2, thereby damping atmospheric increases. But doesn’t that assume the oceans are cooler than the atmosphere, which is incorrect as far as I understand it ?

      • The ocean is not supposed to absorb heat from the atmosphere. It never does (on the net), but it may release more or less heat to the atmosphere.

        Oceans release almost all the heat received from sun to the atmosphere. Four mechanisms are involved in that, IR radiation, latent heat transfer through evaporation, conduction (significant only over very short distances near the surface) and convection (not across the surface). Only latent heat transfer could go from cooler to warmer as long as the humidity of air is low enough, but all are present. Thus the assumption is that water is mostly warmer than air.

        No theory of AGW is based on the hypothesis that air would become warmer than water and heat water by that. When net the heat release from ocean to atmosphere and directly to space add up to less than heating bu sun, the ocean warms, in the opposite case it cools.

      • David Springer

        On average there’s less than a 1C difference between sea surface temperature and sea air temperature. And yes it’s the ocean that’s warmer. This is why you can pretty much ignore conductive heating of the atmosphere from the ocean. Conduction requres a temperature differential and for most purposes there is none over the ocean. The atmosphere is mostly warmed by condensing water vapor. Again, over land, things change. Land surface temperature rises quickly in response to sunlight causing a large differential between it and air temperature above it. That’s why the sand on the beach can darn near burn your feet but the air temperature is quite pleasant.

      • (2) And even if OHC is indeed rising, can this be due to AGW?
        AGW works through the atmosphere, and if the atmosphere isn’t warming, how can ocean warming be caused by a non-warming atmosphere?

        Pekka > It’s perfectly possible that ocean variability keeps the atmospheric temperature approximately constant for significant periods while the OHC keeps on rising.

        Pekka,
        For that to be happening would require the atmosphere to be warming the oceans. I think you agree though that that is not happening, the oceans on average being warmer than the atmosphere. The oceans cool into the atmosphere, not vice-versa.

        It being further agreed that AGW works by warming CO2 and hence the atmosphere, resulting in a slowing of the cooling of the oceans into the atmosphere, we are thus back to point (2) above –

        ie, if indeed oceans are warming, it must be something other than AGW that is doing this . But what?

  3. Here’s how to get rid of black carbon from electricity generation, cut GHG emissions by 13 Gt CO2/a by 2050 (same as the Nordhaus ‘Optimal’ carbon price policy) and achieve a lot more benefits as well.

    Carbon pricing is an example of a policy that would require legally binding global agreements and their maintenance for a century.

    Here is an alternative to a global carbon pricing scheme. This is an example of a policy that could achieve the same outcome as the Nordhaus ‘Optimal’ carbon tax policy but without the need for maintenance and enforcement of international agreements to control and monitor GHG emissions.

    Nordhaus (2008) does not consider options other than a global carbon price. However, he does present figures for a policy called ‘Low-cost backstop’. It assumes a low cost alternative to fossil fuels is available and can be fully implemented throughout the world in 2011. Although the assumption of full implementation in 2011 is not achievable, some of the figures Nordhaus provides for this policy can be helpful in estimating the costs and benefits of the ‘Free Market’ policy.

    Nordhaus estimates the ‘Optimal’ carbon price policy would reduce global GHG emissions by 13 Gt CO2/a in 2055 (if all the assumptions which underpin the analysis were achieved, which is highly unlikely for reasons explained here http://skepticalscience.com/news.php?f=nordhaus-sets-the-record-straight-climate-mitigation-saves-money#82373).. Therefore, in the following analysis, 13 Gt CO2/a saving in 2055 is the target we’ll aim for with a ‘Free Market’ policy. What would it take to achieve this?

    As an example of a ‘Free Market’ policy that could make a significant impact on cutting global GHG emissions and providing many other valuable benefits as well, assume the USA decides to remove the impediments to low-cost nuclear power. Let’s consider what could be achieved by 2050.

    According to EIA projections to 2035 http://www.eia.gov/oiaf/aeo/tablebrowser/#release=IEO2011&subject=4-IEO2011&table=30-IEO2011&region=0-0&cases=Reference-0504a_1630 (extended to 2055), coal will generate 18,748 TWh of electricity in 2055. Assuming average CO2 emissions intensity of 0.8 t/MWh, electricity generation with coal would contribute about 15 Gt CO2 in 2055. Recall that we need to cut emissions by 13 Gt/a in 2055.

    We’d need around 2,000 GW of nuclear capacity (at average 90% capacity factor) to avoid 13 Gt of the 15 Gt of CO2 emissions from coal fired electricity generation in 2055. This could be achieved by 2045 with a doubling of capacity every two years or by 2057 with doubling every three years, starting from 2020 – assuming small, modular nuclear plants of the size of the twin-unit ‘mPower’, 360 MWe plant. [This assumes we start from zero nuclear capacity at the start of 2020, whereas EIA projects the world will have 500 GW in operation in 2020].

    That is, 2,000 GW of nuclear capacity could reduce emissions by the amount of the Nordhaus ‘Optimal’ global carbon tax policy. The 2,000 GW of nuclear capacity could be achieved (from zero in 2020) by doubling the installed capacity every 2 to 3 years. The major underlying assumption is that this could be achieved by the USA removing the impediments to low-cost nuclear power.

    This policy would deliver many other benefits as well, so it would be, in fact, a ‘No Regrets’ policy. Some of the other benefits are:

    • Avoid increasing the cost of energy by tax
    • Avoid the compliance cost
    • Avoid cost premium caused by partial participation
    • Avoid the inevitable and ongoing domestic political interference, international cheating and dragging the chain.

    • Faster GDP growth due to lower energy prices
    • People rise out of poverty faster
    • Population growth slows faster
    • Toxic pollution and black carbon reduced (avoiding millions of fatalities per year)
    • Reduce the transporting of coal and gas – less ships, trains and gas pipelines.
    • Greater energy security.

    The value of these benefits should be subtracted from the cost of implementing the policy.

  4. We are cooling, folks; for how long even kim doesn’t know. The concatenation of cooling phases of the oceanic oscillations argue for two(2) more decades of cooling, and if the Cheshire Cat sunspots augur cooling, as they’ve done in the past, then we may cool for a century or more.

    Hansen reveals his sophistry here. He finally recognizes the Pacific oscillation, but can’t help but hope, and say, that it will cycle sooner than we, and he, believe it will. He says the ’40-75 standstill is ‘generally attributed’ but without numbers, but the ‘general attribution’ is by modelers, you know, numbers guys. And you notice he mumbles when he mentions the sun. No, that was Judy.
    ==========

  5. JC’s ‘forecast’ for the next 5 years: It looks like the AMO may have peaked, and we remain in the cool phase of the PDO with a predominance of La Nina events expected (unlikely to see a return to do El Nino dominance in the next decade).

    I really like JC’s ‘forecast’. So it must be right :)

    It means plenty of rain across Australia. We’ll all be rich! And feed the world as well.

    More of these ‘forecasts’ please JC :)

    • Here is an article by Neville Nicholls showing the correlation between SOI and Australian rain:

      http://www.amos.org.au/news/id/111

      • Don B,

        Thank you for that link. Interesting. I’d make these two comments

        the disastrous rains and floods we have seen through spring and winter 2010/11

        Some people say rain is bad. Others say rain across much of central Australia is good (fantastic, life saving, Eureka). The more it happens the better.

        The real disaster, IMO, is that for 30 years we’ve been subjected to the politically correct groups (Greens, ‘Progressives’, Left etc.) blocking construction of dams. If not for this 30 year blocking of progress we’d be in much better shape now and be able to make much more use of the rain that did fall and will fall in the future. This is another example of the ‘Progressives’ blocking progress.

        There may be a global warming signal enhancing this natural variability, but if so then this effect has been quite subtle, at least thus far.

        So, warming may mean more rain in Australia. On that basis I say: bring on the warming. :)

    • A thing that worries me is the historical record of heavy rains and crop failures at the onset of the Maunder and Dalton minimums. It appears that cold fronts wring water out of warm, moist air.
      As always, I could be wrong. I’ll leave corrections to our gracious hostess.

  6. Maybe this is a good time to emphasise the difference in opinion I have been having with oneuniverse. What I was taught in Physics 101, is that until you have actual empirical measurements of any physical quantity, such as climate sensitivity, then all you have is a hypothesis. And if all you have is a hypothesis, then you have no basis whatsoever about being confident as to what is going to happen inm the future. There are no empirical measurements of value of climate sensitivity.

    That is what has happend to James Hansen, most learend scientific societies, the MSM and our politicians. We have never had a measured value for climate sensitivity, so CAGW always was, still is, and will be into the indefinite future, a hypothesis. And if all you have is a hypothesis, then you cannot predict what is going to happen in the future.

    This is all that has happened with the pause. The confident predictions of the IPCC in the SPMs, expressions like “very likely meaning > 90% probability” have absolutely no scientific basis whatsoever, if all there is is a hypothesis. So no-one knew what was going to happen in the future, and no-one knows now. What is happening to global temperatures is what the basic physcis dictates. We do not understand this basics physics in sufficient detail to know what is going to happen in the fuutre. it was the overconfidence in the hypothesis of CAGW that has resuilted in too many people believing that the warmists could foretell the future. They cannot.

    • It doesn’t matter a damn what the climate sensitivity is if we have a ‘No Regrets’ policy. With that we are better off no matter what the climate sensitivity is.

      • Peter:

        Nuclear is radically uneconomic with gas-fired generation–that’s a lot of regret in an alleged “no regrets” policy…..

      • Rob Bradley | January 16, 2013 at 8:14 am |

        “Nuclear is radically uneconomic with gas-fired generation”

        Only in the US.

        The 200 MWe Chinese HTR-PM is being built at a cost of $431 million for a bit about $2.2 billion/GW. Fuel cost for a CCGT with natural gas at $4/MMBTU is going to be about $250 million/ GW year compared with about $80 million/GW year for the Chinese HTR-PM. $170 million/GW yr in fuel savings goes a long way towards a $2.2 billion/GW capital cost.

        I would note the ‘delivered’ price of Natural Gas to US Electric Utilities was $3.98 in October 2012.
        http://www.eia.gov/dnav/ng/hist/n3045us3m.htm

      • Rob Bradley,

        Nuclear is radically uneconomic with gas-fired generation–that’s a lot of regret in an alleged “no regrets” policy…..

        If you think nuclear is uneconomic, what do you think of the economic viability of the other low emissions alternatives, i.e renewables. They would be in the order of five times more expensive than nuclear in a configuration where they could replace fossil fuel electricity generation.

        So, what is the point of making comments that have no context like you have.

        Regarding no regrets, I maintain that removing the impediments to nuclear can be a truly ‘No regrets policy’. Electricity could be about 1/2 that of coal fired electricity in constant 2012 $. That is, even without factoring in coal prices rising faster than inflation over the next 40 years.

        I’ve provide the justification for my assertion that nuclear could be 1/2 the cost of coal by 2050 in previous comments on other threads. I can give it again if you want it.

        As I pointed out in the list, there are many other benefits of low cost electricity, especially for the poorest people on the planet. They include higher GDP growth rate, reduce population growth rate, lower peak population, better jobs, more fulfilling lives, avoid millions of fatalities per year from reduced toxic emissions. I could go on.

        Doesn’t this seem like a no regrets policy?

        I hope your comments is not inspired by nuclear phobia, is it? If so, nor rational debate can be had on this.

    • We cannot count the number and type of atoms constituting the Moon to determine the Moon’s mass. Our hypotheses about the mass of the Moon therefore remain untested,. Yet we can come up with useful (and used) estimates of the mass of the moon.

      We have little or no hope (in these coming decades or centuries) of directly measuring CS – all we can do is improve and better constrain our estimates.

      I therefore don’t agree with your statement “Until we have the empirical data which actually measures climate sentitrivity, any particular number is as good, or as bad, as any other.” – I believe the estimates of climate sensitivity can be improved to the point of usefulness – we should at least try.

      • oneuniverse, you write “I therefore don’t agree with your statement “Until we have the empirical data which actually measures climate sentitrivity, any particular number is as good, or as bad, as any other.” – I believe the estimates of climate sensitivity can be improved to the point of usefulness – we should at least try”

        Fair enough. Would you agree with the statement “Until we have the empirical data which actually measures climate sentitrivity, all we have with respect to CAGW is a hypothesis”?

      • To avoid argument about definitions of “usefulness”, I’ll modify that final sentence to “I believe the estimates of climate sensitivity can be improved – we should at least try.”

      • All propositions about the future are untested hypotheses.
        The proposition that the sun will rise tomorrow is an untested hypothesis.
        The propositions that continuing CO2 emissions will / will not lead to CAGW scenarios are both untested hypotheses.

      • oneuniverse, you write “All propositions about the future are untested hypotheses.”

        Sorry, that is nonsense. I can look up the time of sunrise, sunset, eclipses, etc. etc., and numbers are quoted to fractions of a second. If I take the trouble to go out and actually measure when the forecasts actually happen, I would, find them to be accurate to the error that is implicit. When science passes to engineering, and we can forecast the future with complete accuracy, then we call this a law. That is the progress of scientific ideas. They go from a hypothesis, when we do not have any enough empirical data, to a theory, where there is some empirical data, to a law where there is overwhelming empirical data.

        ‘CAGW is a hypothesis, with not enough empirical data to make it a theory

      • My hypothesis is that sun will rise on day N (tomorrow). The data we’ve gathered, showing that the sun rose on days N-1, N-2, N-3, etc. might be grist to my Bayesian mill, but are useless for testing the hypothesis, since none of the data can falsify it – the hypothesis remains untested until day N dawns (or doesn’t). (One may bestow upon the hypothesis the ceremonial title of “theory”, to signify the weight of the Bayesian prior from previous days’ data, but it remains an untested hypothesis.)

        In general, a proposition that’s contingent upon a future state for the determination of its truth or falsity, cannot be falsified until information from that future state is accessed. Until then, the proposition is an untested hypothesis.

        ‘CAGW is a hypothesis, with not enough empirical data to make it a theory

        The hypothesis that climate is not sensitive to CO2 is a hypothesis without enough empirical data to merit the title of theory.

      • oneuniverse

        You compare estimates (2xCO2) “equilibrium climate sensitivity” with measurements of the mass of the moon.

        There is a major difference between the two.
        See D.W. Hughes:
        http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/2002Obs…122…61H

        Various estimates of lunar mass have been made over time using different methods, from tidal impacts to “telescopic observations of astronomical positions”, plus measurements of “low-mass orbiters placed in well-known and accurately measured orbits around the moon during the Apollo era”

        “The present-day value of Me/Mm = 81.300588…is one of the more accurately-known astronomical quantities.”

        Compare this with no direct measurements and model-derived estimates of (2xCO2) ECS ranging from 0.6°C to 4.5°C.

        Ouch! (“Fat tail”, indeed!)

        [Our hostess refers to it as “UNCERTAINTY”.]

        Max

      • oneuniverse

        You write to Jim Cripwell:

        The hypothesis that climate is not sensitive to CO2 is a hypothesis without enough empirical data to merit the title of theory.

        A CO2 temperature response of “zero” is the “null” (= “zero”) hypothesis.

        Now it is up to you to falsify the “null hypothesis” with empirical scientific data, following the scientific method (Feynman).

        Isn’t that what Jim Cripwell is requesting from you?

        Makes sense to me.

        Is there something wrong with this logic?

        If so, what?

        Max

      • Bravo Max! The Null is untouched yet, at least the consensus is ignoring it. Even the standard radiative GHG effect of 33 or something K is on very shaky ground, i mean the explanation for higher than black-body temperature of the surface (the average) using only radiative ‘forcing’.

      • Max, I’m suprised you miss my point (although I agree the moon-mass example would’ve worked better in the 19th century..). I’m just saying that even if we don’t have direct measurements of a quantity, we still tend to make estimates where possible (if we care), and these estimates are often useable.

        Yet according to Jim, “Until we have the empirical data which actually measures climate sensitivity, any particular number is as good, or as bad, as any other.” ie. Jim is saying that our current estimates can all be thrown in the bin (except his).

        re: null hypothesis
        It’s the information in the data that’s important.

        However, it’s simple enough to argue (not conclusively) that the the “null” hypothesis should be a postive effect rather than zero : our understanding of atmospheric physics predicts that adding CO2 to the atmosphere increases its clear-sky opacity to certain bands of IR radiation. Measurements show that the opacity is changing much as predicted by theory. Increased opacity means that some IR energy that would otherwise have escaped to space is retained (either thermalised or re-radiated back into the Earth system). It’s possible that there are processes that act so as to fully cancel out the increased opacity or more (leading to zero or negative sensitivity), but it’s not obvious that this should be the case, nor can we show that it is from the basic physics.

      • oneuniverse, you write “Yet according to Jim, “Until we have the empirical data which actually measures climate sensitivity, any particular number is as good, or as bad, as any other.” ie. Jim is saying that our current estimates can all be thrown in the bin (except his).”

        You, as usual, misinterpret what I have said. First, I have no estimate of climate sensitiviy. All I say is that there is a strong indication it is indistinguishable from zero. This is hardly an estimate.

        Second, estimates are good things to have. I never suggest that they be “thrown in the bin”. What I say is that it wrong to rely on these estimates until one has empirical data to support them. We simply cannot rely on estimates until they are supported by empirical data. I have said over and over again, CAGW is a very plausible hypothesis. What I object to strongly, is people trying to claim that the estimates make it possible to claim that adding CO2 to the atmosphere causes global temperatures to rise with some sort of probability. I object to the IPCC giving the impression that it is very likely that some of the observed warming was caused by addiutional CO2. Estimates are never good enough to do this.

        But you are never going to agree with what I am trying to say.

      • Jim Cripwell:

        You, as usual, misinterpret what I have said. First, I have no estimate of climate sensitiviy. All I say is that there is a strong indication it is indistinguishable from zero. This is hardly an estimate.

        I guess not, since it’s backed by no quantitative analysis, as you’ve admitted. It’s merely a repeated assertion of yours, that CS is effectively zero (if not exactly zero) eg.

        I never said that the climate sensitivity of CO2 was zero, I said it was indistinguishable from zero; i.e. it is positive but has such a low numeric value that this number is indistinguishable from zero,

        (from your comment on the “Questioning the Forest et al. (2006) sensitivity study” post, my emphasis)

      • Jim, if you want to reply to this, may I suggest the Open Thread, as this is not directly on-topic. (I should’ve done the same)

      • oneuniverse

        “Null” is the German word for “zero”.

        The AGW hypotheses posits an effect that is NOT “null” – moreover, the CAGW hypothesis of IPCC posits an effect that is pronounced enough to represent a potentially catastrophic risk to humanity and our environment..

        Ergo, the “null hypothesis” is that there is NO AGW effect, and certainly that it is not so pronounced as to constitute a CAGW effect.

        Let me give you another (19thC) “moon” example.

        If I have a hypothesis that the moon is made of cheese, I have to provide some sort of evidence to support my hypothesis.

        I can’t just call it the “null hypothesis” and ask others to provide evidence to falsify it.

        Jim Cripwell is simply playing the hard line (according to Feynman) by asking those who posit the CAGW (or AGW) hypothesis to present empirical evidence to support it.

        [That’s what’s known as following the scientific method, as I understand it.].

        Max

      • Max and oneuniverse. I have remarked before that I comment on blogs mainly for my own education. If is educational to be able to put forward my ideas, and see comments from knowledgeable people. There comes a time when a respondent like oneuniverse ceases to discuss science, and merely reiterates the belief that I must be wrong, because CAGW has been proven to be correct. At this point my option is to cease continuing in the discussion. Doubtless it will come up again if our hostess fulfils her promise to have another thread devoted to climate sensitivity – I hope.

      • Max:

        I can’t just call it the “null hypothesis” and ask others to provide evidence to falsify it.

        What you *can’t* do is claim that the “null” is true until shown otherwise (which is what Jim Cripwell is effectively doing). He’s making claims that go beyond saying that the data so far has been unable to reject the null hypothesis. For example :

        As I have pointed out above, the climate sensitivity for CO2 added to the atmosphere form current levels, has been proven to be indistinguishable from zero, by observed data.

        (Jim commenting on the “Education and the Art of Uncertainty” post)

        “What would Richard Feynman do” ? I’m guessing he’d ask for the data and analysis Jim used to arrive at his conclusion. That’s what I’ve been doing, anyway.

        (Jim’s answer, that he’s carried out no analysis beyond an eyeballing of some temperature/time graphs, strikes me as inadequate, although it seems to have been enough for you.)

    • Jim: “There are no empirical measurements of value of climate sensitivity.” Some folks are working on it. Perhaps we can tell if some estimates are unsupported.
      Anonymous. “New Paper Confirms Findings of Lindzen & Spencer of Very Low Climate Sensitivity to CO2” Analysis. The Hockey Schtick, January 14, 2013. http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2013/01/new-paper-confirms-findings-of-lindzen.html
      ———. “New Paper Finds Climate Sensitivity to CO2 Is About 63% Less Than IPCC Claims” Analysis. The Hockey Schtick, January 14, 2013. http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2013/01/new-paper-finds-climate-sensitivity-to.html
      Asten, M. W. “Estimate of Climate Sensitivity from Carbonate Microfossils Dated Near the Eocene-Oligocene Global Cooling.” Climate of the Past Discussions 8, no. 5 (October 5, 2012): 4923–4939. doi:10.5194/cpd-8-4923-2012
      Björnbom, P. “Estimation of the Climate Feedback Parameter by Using Radiative Fluxes from CERES EBAF.” Earth System Dynamics Discussions 4, no. 1 (January 9, 2013): 25–47. doi:10.5194/esdd-4-25-2013
      Curry, Judith A. “Climate Sensitivity in the AR5 SOD” Scientific. Climate Etc., December 19, 2012. http://judithcurry.com/2012/12/19/climate-sensitivity-in-the-ar5-sod/
      Lewis, Nicholas. “Why Doesn’t the AR5 SOD’s Climate Sensitivity Range Reflect Its New Aerosol Estimates?” Scientific. Bishop Hill Blog, December 19, 2012. http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2012/12/19/why-doesnt-the-ar5-sods-climate-sensitivity-range-reflect-it.html

      • Pooh, Dixie

        The New Björnbom paper you cited, which “confirms findings of Lindzen & Spencer of very low climate sensitivity to CO2” could be a bombshell.

        Using satellite observations the study shows a (2xCO2) ECS of well under 1°C.

        Is this another nail in the CAGW coffin?

        How is IPCC going to handle yet another study based on actual physical observations, which shows that climate sensitivity is low?

        A dilemma.

        Max

    • Jim Cripwell wrote in
      http://judithcurry.com/2013/01/16/hansen-on-the-standstill/#comment-286174

      There are no empirical measurements of value of climate sensitivity.

      No, there aren’t. And there can’t be any, since “climate sensitivity” isn’t a physical variable. It’s an abstract, mathematical concept in climate science that helps with understanding to what degree the climate system represented by statistical variables responds to externally imposed changes of specific other, input variable.

      You don’t want to demand that mathematical concepts must be measured now before the theory could be accepted as valid, do you?

  7. ” latest decadal simulation from the UKMO, which predicts basically no warming for the next 5 years” – JC

    Isn’t that rather unfortunately sloppy language given your hectoring on uncertainty?

    How does that prediction of “no warming” look at the upper bound of the confidence range??

    Ah, I love the smell of scepticism in the morning.

    Go Team Groupthink!

    • Skeptics quantify certainty, “skeptics” don’t. (They’d have nothing to be “skeptical” about if they did.)

      • True skeptics understand that given the type and level of uncertainty (arguably most of what we deal with in climate other than direct observations), uncertainty is not ‘quantifiable’ as in a pdf or something, but should be characterized in other ways. Read my Uncertainty Monster paper. Also my paper Reasoning about Climate Uncertainty.

      • That is a fair point. I meant quantified in the sense of being estimated. Do you think that uncertainty as seen in the climate debate cannot be estimated? If so, then how do you explain your estimates of uncertainty (during those times that your uncertainty monster hasn’t walked out of the room).

    • Joshua/BBD/Michael
      You are all correct that the basic physics can still be correct and that warming may yet increase in the future. Imo, the basic physics is all that there is really a scientific consensus on. The basic physics does not cover the impact of potential additional forcings or quantify the lessening of those forcings. That is only theory.

      What the three of you seem to be missing, it that it is becoming much more clearly understood that we still have much to learn regarding how CO2 impacts the actual earth climate and that Hansen and Mann over estimated its impact upon the system in total.

      Imo, the entire debate boils down to two simple points.
      1. How much will the earth warm/cool over the next roughly 40 years.
      2. What do we reliably know about what other conditions will change and where as a result of #1 that are important to the lives of humans
      I am not at all confident that we know #1 within a reasonably tight margin of error and I can find no evidence that we have reliable information regarding #2. From a practical standpoint this would seem to lead reasonable people to try to learn more and to only implement “no regrets” policies, but people are often less than reasonable aren’t they.

      • + 1

        Unfortunately Josh is only interested in philosophical debates about tribes, BBD in trying to supplant WEB as the leading ill tempered curmudgeon and Michael – well, if anyone can enlighten us as to what Michael is looking for here, other than perfecting the role of the braying jackass, I’d be interesting in knowing.

      • tim,

        Happy to enlighten you.

        I’m just here for the laughs.

        Self-proclaimed ‘sceptics’ who are endlessly gullible, immune to reason, and with an aversion to evidence, are a bottomless pit of entertainment.

      • Michael–would you care to enlighten us and outline what policies you believe would make sense for the US to adapt and what those policies would accomplish?

      • Rob Starkey

        Finite fossil hydrocarbon reserves (note I do not limit this definition to ‘fuel’) plus robust physics of radiative transfer, plus paleoclimate evidence plus uncertainty are, together, more than sufficient grounds to justify the rapid reduction in fossil HC use.

        What is not justified is the ideologically-driven, self-interested rejectionism and obstruction characterising the contrarian stance. Hence the arguments.

      • BBD
        Unfortunately you did not answer my question(s) and I’d actually appreciate your perspective in an answer.
        If your goal was to reduce CO2 emissions in the US- what specifically would you do? Given the current relative inelasticity of demand for fossil fuel in the USA how much would you have to tax it to reduce consumption in order to meet your goal? Also and perhaps more importantly, what do you believe would result from such action?

        BBD writes-
        “Finite fossil hydrocarbon reserves (note I do not limit this definition to ‘fuel’) plus robust physics of radiative transfer, plus paleoclimate evidence plus uncertainty are, together, more than sufficient grounds to justify the rapid reduction in fossil HC use.”
        Let’s examine your points.
        Finite fossil hydrocarbon reserves- Does the fact that fossil fuel reserves are limited justify taking steps to “rapidly” reduce consumption. That goal would seem inconsistent with basic economics. What is the need to intervene in a supply and demand market that will have prices rise as supply eventually diminishes?

        Robust physics of radiative transfer, plus paleoclimate evidence plus uncertainty are, together- Neither physics nor a examination of historical records demonstrate that warming is harmful to humanity overall or for the USA specifically. The concept of warming being harmful is based on the theory that forcings will accumulate and then as a byproduct of the warming bad things will happen such as sea level rising at an alarming rate.

      • David Springer

        Michael | January 17, 2013 at 8:58 am |

        “I’m just here for the laughs.”

        I’m here for entertainment and self-enlightenment. A great way of learning is to make some statement then be forced to defend it or admit it was wrong. You must have an aversion to being wrong for this to work as a learning aid. I hate being wrong.

        “Self-proclaimed ‘sceptics’ who are endlessly gullible, immune to reason, and with an aversion to evidence, are a bottomless pit of entertainment.”

        Warmist alarmists are even more gullible and there’s more of them so the entertainment opportunities are greater from the skeptical viewpoint. The problem is mostly that warmists have no sense of humor so if you try to have some fun on say Skeptical Science or Real Climate or any of those you get censored or banned for your trouble. Curry’s site is a good alternative. She doesn’t have the time to censor, doesn’t have the inclination to ban, is a moderate who attracts both warmists and skeptics, and is a well known expert in the field of climatology and atmospheric physics. The combination leads to a diverse group in the commentary from morons (both warmist and skeptic) whose value is entertainment-only to the best and brightest who can discuss math, science, and engineering at the highest levels. A good mix if your goal is both entertainment and learning. Swaying opinion doesn’t happen much by blog comments and in polarized subjects like this precious little opinion is changed at all by any media channel except as practiced at the very highest levels – large media outlets, speeches by national leaders, and so forth.

      • Rob Starkey

        Neither physics nor a examination of historical records demonstrate that warming is harmful to humanity overall or for the USA specifically.

        This is so wrong I’m not going to waste time arguing with you. See “ideologically-driven, self-interested rejectionism and obstruction” above. Consider *only* the cost to the taxpayer of drought-induced crop failure in the US:

        WASHINGTON — The worst drought in 50 years could leave taxpayers with a record bill of nearly $16 billion in crop insurance costs because of poor yields. The staggering cost of the program has drawn renewed attention, as the Obama administration and Congressional Republicans wrangle over ways to cut the deficit. Last month, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said that reducing farm subsidies was one way that the administration could cut government spending. But Congress has resisted.

        The Agriculture Department, which runs the program, said that the total losses from crops harvested last year would not be known for weeks, but that costs from the program were estimated to be $15.8 billion, up from $9.4 billion in 2011.

        Separately, a record $11.4 billion in indemnities for crop losses has been paid out to farmers, and officials say that number could balloon to as much as $20 billion. In 2011, a then-record $10.8 billion was paid out in indemnities.

        Warming will not be good for the US. And that’s *just* a foretaste and *just* agriculture.

        What is the need to intervene in a supply and demand market that will have prices rise as supply eventually diminishes?

        Radiative physics. See above.

        I think the US should first burn its stockpiles of hard-right Republicans, libertarian ideologues and other fundamentalist obstructionists. This bridging fuel should be used to hold down FF use during the huge, national build-out of nuclear and renewable capacity and the roll-out of a comprehensive national program of energy efficiency.

        I think you are going to have to get used to a somewhat different world by mid-century. Best start now. It will lessen the shock.

      • And with html fixed:

        Rob Starkey

        Neither physics nor a examination of historical records demonstrate that warming is harmful to humanity overall or for the USA specifically.

        This is so wrong I’m not going to waste time arguing with you. See “ideologically-driven, self-interested rejectionism and obstruction” above. Consider *only* the cost to the taxpayer of drought-induced crop failure in the US:

        WASHINGTON — The worst drought in 50 years could leave taxpayers with a record bill of nearly $16 billion in crop insurance costs because of poor yields. The staggering cost of the program has drawn renewed attention, as the Obama administration and Congressional Republicans wrangle over ways to cut the deficit. Last month, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said that reducing farm subsidies was one way that the administration could cut government spending. But Congress has resisted.

        The Agriculture Department, which runs the program, said that the total losses from crops harvested last year would not be known for weeks, but that costs from the program were estimated to be $15.8 billion, up from $9.4 billion in 2011.

        Separately, a record $11.4 billion in indemnities for crop losses has been paid out to farmers, and officials say that number could balloon to as much as $20 billion. In 2011, a then-record $10.8 billion was paid out in indemnities.

        Warming will not be good for the US. And that’s *just* a foretaste and *just* agriculture.

        What is the need to intervene in a supply and demand market that will have prices rise as supply eventually diminishes?

        Radiative physics. See above.

        I think the US should first burn its stockpiles of hard-right Republicans, libertarian ideologues and other fundamentalist obstructionists. This bridging fuel should be used to hold down FF use during the huge, national build-out of nuclear and renewable capacity and the roll-out of a comprehensive national program of energy efficiency.

        I think you are going to have to get used to a somewhat different world by mid-century. Best start now. It will lessen the shock.

      • BBD

        Please try to not be emotional in responding.

        Warming does not equate to a drought. It can be warmer and rain more correct? What reliable evidence do you have that there will be more droughts in the US because of more CO2 in the atmosphere? Do you believe that if we have less atmospheric CO2 that we will not have droughts?

        With all due respect, your answer is very incomplete and does not make sense. You didn’t answer with any specifics as to what you propose to be done or what you believe it will accomplish and why.

        Please keep trying. When you look at what can actually be implemented and why it will make sense reasonably, imo there will be less disagreement on the topic.

      • BBD:

        I think the US should first burn its stockpiles of hard-right Republicans, libertarian ideologues and other fundamentalist obstructionists. This bridging fuel should be used to hold down FF use during the huge, national build-out of nuclear and renewable capacity and the roll-out of a comprehensive national program of energy efficiency.

        The kulaks are to be liquidated as a class.. into bio-fuels !

        Thanks, BBD.

      • In case it wasn’t clear, I profoundly disagree with your (“humourous” ?) call for politics-based genocide.

      • Rob Starkey

        Warming does not equate to a drought. It can be warmer and rain more correct? What reliable evidence do you have that there will be more droughts in the US because of more CO2 in the atmosphere?

        Do you know what a Hadley Cell is?

      • BBD

        You are effectively demonstrating that you do not have creditable answers to my simple reasonable questions and that you only prefer to have what you believe to be meaningless adversarial exchanges.

        Yes I know what a Hadley cell is and if you believe that is reliable evidence of future droughts in the US then there is little reason to continue this exchange.

      • So you are claiming that the Hadley Cells won’t enlarge as GAT rises? So pushing rain polewards from the temperate NH mid-latitudes?

        You deny this on what basis, exactly?

      • BBD
        From the 2nd paper:
        “Simple and comprehensive general circulation models (GCMs) indicate that the Hadley cell may widen in response to global warming”

        and
        “Here the Hadley cell widening is assessed in current GCMs from historical simulations of the twentieth century as well as future climate projections and preindustrial control runs”

        BBD- yes, I am highly skeptical of the conclusions reached based upon analysis of the output of a GCM that has been demonstrated to poorly forecast future rainfall patterns.

        Do you accept and make decisions based on the output of a model that has been shown to be inaccurate? Why?

      • Misrepresentation by selective quotation and non sequitur:

        From the 2nd paper:
        “Simple and comprehensive general circulation models (GCMs) indicate that the Hadley cell may widen in response to global warming”

        Non sequitur:

        Do you accept and make decisions based on the output of a model that has been shown to be inaccurate? Why?

        Here’s the rest of it:

        Observations show that the Hadley cell has widened by about 2°–5° since 1979. This widening and the concomitant poleward displacement of the subtropical dry zones may be accompanied by large-scale drying near 30°N and 30°S. Such drying poses a risk to inhabitants of these regions who are accustomed to established rainfall patterns.

        […]

        The authors find that observed widening cannot be explained by natural variability. This observed widening is also significantly larger than in simulations of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. These results illustrate the need for further investigation into the discrepancy between the observed and simulated widening of the Hadley cell.

        You are entirely reliant on misrepresentation and denial.

      • David Springer

        @BlahBlahDuh

        Droughts come and droughts go. Overall crop production in the US on a decadal scale has never been higher. Evidently the downside of the occasional drought is not as great as the upside of longer growing seasons, fewer early and late season killer frosts, higher growth rates by CO2 fertilization, and greater drought resistance also conferred by higher atmospheric CO2.

        Your argument is fatally flawed. Again. But thanks for playing anyway.

      • “Radiative physics. See above. ”
        This is a very weak argument, IMO. You might as well suggest that my car needs no energy input to maintain a speed of 60MPH – that is basic physics (Newton’s laws of motion). If one can demonstrate that any particular instance appears to violate these laws, it does not mean that the laws are wrong, it could also be the case that there are other factors which have not been taken into account. In the case of the car, the obvious answer is “wind resistance” (amongst others, but this would likely be the most significant in the example given if one rules out such things as hills etc). For climate, it appears that we are not yet aware of what the other factors are, let alone their strength, but we *are* aware that they *must* exist and are currently calling them “natural variability”. Only time and measurements will tell us if these are temporary or permanent factors in GMST. IMO, until we can decide these issues, we cannot assume – for the purposes of public policy at least – that these other factors are both temporary and insignificant.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Rob Starkey posts: “Imo, the entire debate boils down to two simple points.
        1. How much will the earth warm/cool over the next roughly 40 years.
        2. What do we reliably know about what other conditions will change and where as a result of #1 that are important to the lives of humans”

        Rob Starkey, thank you for a post that illustrates four fallacies of skepticism/contrarianism/denialism:

        ————————————
        Do NOT post your climate-change opinions if they contain
        ——————
        ☒  immorally short-sighted economics
        ☒  amoral market-first reasoning
        ——————
        ☐  slogan-based pseudo-mathematics
        ☐  outsider physical theories
        ——————
        ☐  personalization of issues
        ☐  personal abuse, scatology, obscenity, profanity
        ——————
        ☐  conspiracy theories
        ☐  claims of persecution
        ——————
        ☐  slogan-shouting
        ☐  appeals to ideological dogma
        ——————
        ☒  cherry-picking
        ☒  semantic quibbling
        ————————————

        Your main mistake was: Illogically restricting climate-change discourse to forty years duration, when scientific evidence suggests that forcing reaches equilibrium only on a time-scale of centuries.

        Please try to do better, Rob Starkey!

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

    • Personally I find it very interesting that when you get to discussions of:

      1. What specific harms do you believe will happen to the US as a result of it getting warmer?
      2. What reliable information leads you to your conclusions in #1
      3. What policies do you propose should be implemented
      4. What will your proposed policies cost the US taxpayer
      5. What will your proposed policies accomplish

      Those who seem to frequently throw around the “denier” label generally seem to shy away from providing coherent responses/plans.

      • Look, anybody who thinks that ~2C or more *global average* warming by late this century is going to be neutral or beneficial to the US hasn’t really been paying attention. We’ll come back to drought by and by.

        I suggested that a fast-track build-out of nuclear and renewables would be a good backbone. More gas and less coal. Also some *serious* attempt at energy efficiencies. You might want to deny it, but Americans are among the world’s most profligate users of energy. The average American consumes about 250kWh per day. The average European (and average Briton) consumes half that – 125kWH per day. There is *lots* of room for improvement (I am British, btw).

        But you… well let me guess. Pretend we ‘don’t know enough’. Make very sure this is basis for policy paralysis (aka ‘business as usual’) to keep all those vast corporations nice and fat.

        In other words, the standard right-wing/libertarian blind insistence that Götterdämmerung capitalism is the way to go, come what may and damn the evidence. Also known as the ‘I’m all right Jack’ mentality.

      • BBD
        Thanks for trying to provide a reasoned response. I suggest that you try to not to jump to conclusions so quickly about other’s perspectives since you are clearly wrong about mine, you may also be in regard to others. You are VERY prejudiced in your generalizations about other people that you classify as right-wing/libertarian. Argue the position and not the person.

        I would not deny that American’s consumption of fossil fuels per capita is among the highest in the world. That is a fact.

        Fast track building of nuclear power plants seems like a very creditable, no regrets policy. If governmental administrative regulation processes were changed these plants could be made operational far less expensively in the US and if an initiative were established to build multiple plants it would both further reduce the cost and stimulate employment in the US in the sectors of the economy that need the boost.

        What I do not see is that what you suggest would have any significant impact on changing the growth curve for CO2 emissions worldwide. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that what you have proposed would reduce US emissions by 20%. That would not really impact the emissions curve worldwide for very long. Global CO2 emissions will continue to rise regardless of US actions.
        BTW, what I thing you should consider is improved construction and maintenance of infrastructure. Greater storage capacity for water and far better maintenance of current infrastructure will most likely be the surest path to reducing harm to humans.

      • What I do not see is that what you suggest would have any significant impact on changing the growth curve for CO2 emissions worldwide. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that what you have proposed would reduce US emissions by 20%. That would not really impact the emissions curve worldwide for very long. Global CO2 emissions will continue to rise regardless of US actions.

        See – I knew you’d slip in a pitch for doing nothing.

        The more credible projections estimate about 25% nuclear and 25% renewables as being realistic by mid-century *globally*. The US doesn’t get to be a free rider any more than Europe. We all need to get on with it, now.

      • BBD

        You write- “See – I knew you’d slip in a pitch for doing nothing.”

        I did nothing of the kind. You are very defensive.

        Do you agree that we should implement proposals that make sense? Does it make sense to implement a proposal that would result in CO2 concentrations being at 450 ppm in 2050 vs. 460 ppm if the proposal also damaged employment? Do you believe it would impact the weather.

        BTW- your point on hadley cells has virtually no relationship with potential US drought. To make such a claim in and of itself is silly.

      • Rob Starkey

        I did nothing of the kind. You are very defensive.

        And you are extremely disingenuous.

        BTW- your point on hadley cells has virtually no relationship with potential US drought. To make such a claim in and of itself is silly.

        Really? See Johanson & Fu (2009) Hadley Cell Widening: Model Simulations versus Observations and Dai (2012) Increasing drought under global warming in observations and models.

      • Come on Rob, I asked you this ages ago – now let’s have an answer, not just abusive denials:

        So you are claiming that the Hadley Cells won’t enlarge as GAT rises? So pushing rain polewards from the temperate NH mid-latitudes?

        You deny this on what basis, exactly? Be specific please.

      • BBD

        From the 1st link you posted- “There are, however, large differences in the observed and model-simulated drying patterns1, 2, 6. Reconciling these differences is necessary before the model predictions can be trusted.”

        No, I have not written that it is not possible that a hadley cell could lead to periods of dryer conditions. What I wrote is that your simply writing “hadley cell” does not reliably prove anything. There is no reliable evidence that the US is heading towards drought conditions over a long term basis.

      • Argument by assertion:

        There is no reliable evidence that the US is heading towards drought conditions over a long term basis.

        Misrepresentation by selective quotation:

        From the 1st link you posted- “There are, however, large differences in the observed and model-simulated drying patterns1, 2, 6. Reconciling these differences is necessary before the model predictions can be trusted.”

        Here is the rest of it:

        Here I show that the models reproduce not only the influence of El Niño-Southern Oscillation on drought over land, but also the observed global mean aridity trend from 1923 to 2010. Regional differences in observed and model-simulated aridity changes result mainly from natural variations in tropical sea surface temperatures that are often not captured by the coupled models. The unforced natural variations vary among model runs owing to different initial conditions and thus are irreproducible. I conclude that the observed global aridity changes up to 2010 are consistent with model predictions, which suggest severe and widespread droughts in the next 30–90 years over many land areas resulting from either decreased precipitation and/or increased evaporation.

      • BBD

        You appear to believe that an increasing Hadley cell will result in drought conditions in the US Midwest. Although I accept that it is possible, I stated I do not believe the theory that it could happen necessarily means that it will or is likely to happen.

        If we look at actual data we see no evidence that it is happening. http://www.heartlandwq.iastate.edu/NR/rdonlyres/DB4F63FA-E263-4B0A-97D9-E6B314B370ED/133044/Guinan.pdf
        The US Midwest has had extended periods of droughts throughout history and probably will in the future. Construction of more and better water retention facilities to provide water during extended dry periods would be a good long term defense don’t you agree since we have no way of knowing if reducing CO2 emissions will improve conditions?

        Do you have any reliable evidence that the US will be harmed due to it getting warmer or is that your complete case?

      • Do you have any reliable evidence that the US will be harmed due to it getting warmer or is that your complete case?

        Do you have any that it won’t? Or is denial and misrepresentation your complete case? Because that’s it so far, isn’t it Rob?

        And not a word about all your misrepresentations and chicanery? Not the slightest acknowledgement? That’s called ‘bad faith’, Rob.

        I’ve given you two references already (the ones you unsuccessfully attempted to misrepresent and are now ignoring as though they never existed).

        Here’s another.

        And another.

        Why do certain people feel it necessary to deny something that most scientists agree on? Namely that global agricultural irrigation is on the edge of sustainability in many regions, including areas of the US, and that even a slight change in rainfall patterns across the temperate mid-latitudes would have extremely serious consequences?

        A slight change that many scientists agree is already starting to happen, driven by the expansion of the Hadley Cells (see references above).

        Let’s remind ourselves of the cost to the American taxpayer of just the merest foretaste of what is coming:

        WASHINGTON — The worst drought in 50 years could leave taxpayers with a record bill of nearly $16 billion in crop insurance costs because of poor yields. The staggering cost of the program has drawn renewed attention, as the Obama administration and Congressional Republicans wrangle over ways to cut the deficit. Last month, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said that reducing farm subsidies was one way that the administration could cut government spending. But Congress has resisted.

        The Agriculture Department, which runs the program, said that the total losses from crops harvested last year would not be known for weeks, but that costs from the program were estimated to be $15.8 billion, up from $9.4 billion in 2011.

        Separately, a record $11.4 billion in indemnities for crop losses has been paid out to farmers, and officials say that number could balloon to as much as $20 billion. In 2011, a then-record $10.8 billion was paid out in indemnities.

        You are very confident for someone relying on a mix of misrepresentation and denial.

      • Nearly forgot. Here are some pretty pictures updated from an earlier review paper (Dai 2010). They were updated last year to show *less* drought evolving over time than the projections in the original paper.

        I wonder if perhaps you don’t have a very clear picture of what is meant by projections of worsening mid-latitude drought over the C21st. This will help you visualise what is anticipated by many scientists who have actually studied the topic, as opposed to ‘sceptics’ who spend their time denying that there is any kind of a problem at all.

      • BBD

        I tend to get bored when dealing with stupidity, so I am getting bored with this exchange with you.
        You have not provided any reliable evidence that shows it is probable that the US will suffer any harms from it getting warmer. All you have provided is references to papers that used GCMs to theorize about what might happen in the future. These are the same GCM’s that have been demonstrated to do a very poor job of predicting future rainfall levels at any specific location or region.
        I acknowledge that it is possible that droughts will occur as they have in the past. We simply have no reliable means to predict when or how severe they will be. A fear of what might happen with little or no reliable evidence to substantiate your fear seems to be a very poor basis to ask people to experience hardships.
        Mostly what I deny is that people such as you are capable of sustaining a meaningful dialogue on this topic. The questions I initially asked remain valid questions.
        1. What specific harms do you believe will happen to the US as a result of it getting warmer? On this you stated you fear droughts in the US?
        2. What reliable information leads you to your conclusions in #1 You evidence consisted of a fear that an expanding Hadley cell would lead to these feared droughts.
        3.What policies do you propose should be implemented?- You recommended building nuclear plants (which I did not disagree with.)
        4. What will your proposed policies cost the US taxpayer- You avoided addressing this completely.

        5. What will your proposed policies accomplish? Here is what you and many others completely fail to address. The actions you suggest would not markedly reduce worldwide emissions and would not meet your goal of having an impact on the climate.

      • Robert I Ellison

        Recent research suggests that the AMO is related to the past occurrence of major droughts in the Midwest and the Southwest. When the AMO is in its warm phase, these droughts tend to be more frequent and/or severe (prolonged?). Vice-versa for negative AMO. Two of the most severe droughts of the 20th century occurred during the positive values of the AMO between 1925 and 1965: The Dust bowl of the 1930s and the 1950s drought. Florida and the Pacific Northwest tend to be the opposite – warm AMO, more rainfall. http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/oceanography-book/oceananddrought.html

        Drought over the US seems quite likely over the next decade or three with a warm AMO and cool IPO. Natual variation dominates.

      • Dr Curry

        I have now lost track of the number of occasions when you have edited my comments but allowed offensive material in others to stand.

        In this latest example, I simply *copied* the following sentence from Rob Starkey above and changed a single word:

        I tend to get bored when dealing with stupidity, so I am getting bored with this exchange with you.

        I would *deeply appreciate* a slightly more even-handed approach to moderation.

      • I have a full time job, and I am very busy during regular working hours. I have deleted about 40 comments already today (a few have been yours). When i have time to moderate, i look at most recent 40 or so comments. So I don’t catch everything. So if you are not here primarily to engage in p***ing matches, then please remove the insults from your comments, and ignore any comments that you find unacceptable even if they are addressed to you. Also, you are making a large number of comments, recent stats say 81 out of the last 1000 comments on the entire blog.

        I have just put one person onto moderation based on comments on the millikelvin thread

      • I suspect if you took a shorter time period you would get a much higher average, sort of like global warming. I only have a few minutes of time to make comments each day yet this morning BBD accused me of “trolling.” Pretty funny.

      • BBD – I think you have to realise that Dr Curry does not practise or preach unbiased science on this blog. She used to list Skeptical Science, Realclimate and Science of Doom on her blogroll but no longer does yet she still lists WUWT, Climateaudit, and Bishophill. Asking for even handedness in her blog moderation is probably a step too far.

      • louise, comments like this belong on the open thread, not here.

        My blog roll lists the blogs I actually read on a regular basis (largely a function of frequency of posting and fresh material that might provide fodder for my posts), it implies no particular endorsement or not of the view points of the blog owner. For example, i think the Science of Doom is an excellent blog, but low frequency of posting and posts that aren’t directly relevant to my posts.

      • “Science of Doom….posts…aren’t directly relevant to my posts.” – JC.

        Not even remotely.

        Sad but true.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Judith, I’m sure you’ve heard (and probably considered) this suggestion before, but I think having help with moderation would be good for you. It’d only take one or two people to keep the blog free from the over-the-top nonsense we see on here at times.

      • BBD,

        Despite your brushes with moderation, congrats on doing a fine job of advancing evidence-based reasoning (all too rare here).

        A nice counter-point to the standard argument from assertion so well demonstrated by Rob.

      • BS,

        Excellent idea.

        Yourself and Max would do a fine job and keeping the conversation on the desired track.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Michael, if “Max” is manacker, I can’t imagine why you’d group him and I together. I don’t think I’ve said a positive thing about him. Ever. In fact, I’ve criticized him a number of times and I think he draws conclusions almost as ridiculous as yours at times. He certainly behaves better than you, but beyond me saying that, I don’t know why we’d be associated.

        But for people who might feel like you do, I should point out months ago I told Curry there is a solution to avoid any volunteer moderator causing problems. Rather than delete things, the moderators would simply flag comments. Judith would then review the flagged comments and decide what to do with them. That would mean Judith would still have full control over moderation. She’d just have people to alert her to possible problems.

        I can see why she might not want to do something like that, but at least I’m trying to be constructive.

      • BBD

        You paint the specter of “~2C or more *global average* warming by late this century”.

        But how realistic is this vision?

        Not very, it turns out.

        The first decade of this century saw no warming (Hansen’s “standstill”).

        We now have 88 years left to 2100.

        2C / 8.8 = 0.227C per decade.

        But most estimates now project no warming for the next decade or so, so the 2C would have to occur over 78 years starting in 2023:

        2C / 7.8 = 0.256C per decade.

        Why is this is not reasonable to assume?

        – We have never seen such extended rates of warming in the past.

        – Several recent studies show that (2xCO2) ECS is very likely to be one-half to one-third of previous assumed range

        The reasonable guess-timate of warming to 2100 is somewhere under 1C, not much different from what we have seen over the past 150 years (without any problem, thank you).

        It’s an imaginary hobgoblin, BBD, you don’t need to be frightened out of your wits.

        Max

    • Michael

      Before you get your knickers all twisted concerning “sloppy language”, consider that UKMO has consistently predicted warming from AGW of between 0.2 and 0.3C per decade. The mere fact that even UKMO is now predicting “basically no warming for the next 5 years” is a major reality breakthrough for these guys.

      As is the fact that even James E. “coal death train” Hansen has acknowledged a 10-year “standstill”.

      The many recent studies based on observations, which all show much lower (2xCO2) ECS also provide “reality checks”.

      How IPCC will handle all this new information is still up in the air, but (no matter what IPCC does) it will undoubtedly be a “game changer”.

      Don’t you agree?

      Max

  8. First 13 days of 2013 on AMSU channel 5.

    Get used to it. ENSO neutral is now a hottie.

  9. Reblogged this on Howard Canitbe?.

  10. It’s good that “the pause” is finally being conceded among some of the cheerleaders (except for our own lolwot of course). And one can only ask, what another 5 or ten years of no more warming will do to the CAGW case.But these folks will never just roll up the tarp and go home (why do I keep using sports metaphors). The sudden switch to “climate change” a few years ago which has led to the current “extreme weather” idea, really was pretty brilliant PR. I just loved the piece in the NYT’s a few weeks ago attributing snow in Jerusalem to “clmate change” induced “extreme weather. Hot, cold, snow, rain, drought, hurricanes (or no hurricanes)…all proof of what? Of themselves? It’s going to be a long fight.

    • You’re hopelessly confused. The earth is gaining energy. It cannot cool, and it ain’t staying flat. The SAT is 2 meters above the land surface, and somewhere around and about the ocean surface. It’s like wow, man.

    • “The sudden switch to “climate change” a few years ago which has led to the current “extreme weather” idea, really was pretty brilliant PR.”
      We may wish to consider the tactics of “change agents” and their recommendation to change the words used by the target public. These operate as “meme”s. For example (where “->” = “means”):
      Sustainability -> Climate Change -> Global Warming -> Anthropogenic Global Warming -> Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming -> CO2 -> Fossil Fuels -> Bad Energy
      I wonder: why it has always been CO2 that needs to be controlled?

      • I wonder: why it has always been CO2 that needs to be controlled?

        I would expect you’re being sarcastic, but in the off chance you aren’t, or for any readers to whom it isn’t obvious, I’ll explain.

        CO2 is the natural result of burning fossil fuels, which was (and pretty much still is) essential to the ongoing Industrial Revolution. Which in turn resulted in converting part (and hopefully all eventually) of the Human race from the horrible medieval lifestyle where over 90% were in grinding poverty to a lifestyle where all people have time to become educated, entertain themselves in their free time, and generally be real people rather than hopeless serfs.

        The way so many of what Rand characterized as “industrial counterrevolutionaries” jumped on the Global Warming thing when it started up was sign enough what they’re after: to repress Humanity back to the dark ages and keep it there, with, presumably, themselves as the rare “aristocrats”.

        This is not to deny the very real risks of rising pCO2 in the atmosphere, of which “greenhouse”-induced “global warming” is only one, and IMO not the potentially worst. But the extent/impact of the risk (if any) simply cannot be evaluated, it’s certainly no more of a “species-existential” risk than that of a giant asteroid collision, and the proposed “solutions” appear much more aimed at the modern happy lifestyle than really dealing with rising pCO2. Not to mention that there are perfectly good solutions that (probably IMO) wouldn’t impact that lifestyle.

      • AK Jan 19, 2013 1:55 pm:
        True, a bit sarcastic, perhaps. Your connection to fossil fuels and the industrial revolution is correct and essential. However, I might take it a step closer to home than Ann Rand or her “industrial counterrevolutionaries”.

        Given, that the government already controls that ~20% of the energy supply that is nuclear. The next step is government control / taxation of the ~70% of the energy supply that is fossil fuel (source: Input/Output tables of the United States).

        That step is beyond “industrial”. That is to control and tax you: where you can afford to live, whether you can get to work, whether you have employment, whether you can afford to eat, whether or not you can afford to heat your home, take a bath or shower. Then, there is the capability for corruption of government: subsidies, grants and credits to favored contributors, bundlers and other supporters. Brave New World that has Agenda 21 in force.

        For one example: Garrett, Major, and AP. “Administration Warns of ‘Command-and-Control’ Regulation Over Emissions” News. FOXNews.com, December 9, 2009. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/12/09/administration-warns-command-control-regulation-emissions/

  11. Judith Curry

    Thanks for “Hansen on the standstill” (or is it a “Mexican standoff”?)

    Yep. Hansen has discovered “unforced variability” as another climate “control knob”.

    But his emphasis on the ENSO changes to explain the current “standstill” begs the question: “if a La Niña phase is now causing a lack of 21stC warming, could it have been the unusual frequency and magnitude of 20thC El Niños (rather than GHGs) that were the principal cause for the late 20thC warming?”

    I think it’s known that 1998 was so “hot” because of a big El Niño, but using NOAA temperature anomaly data for the top ten El Niño events alone, we arrive at around 30-40% of the total late 20thC warming.

    Hansen glosses over this too much IMO.

    Your “forecast” of another several years of no warming makes more sense to me than Hansen’s “back of the envelope” postulations, for the reasons you cited.

    To your other point: I would agree that “black carbon” is a real pollution (and public health) problem (in addition to any climate impacts it might have) and, therefore needs addressing. Simple technology exists for resolving this at the source without much investment.

    Just my thoughts.

    Max

    An analogy: I stop drinking 2 bottles of wine each evening and notice that my morning headaches are gone, so I tie the two together and conclude that not drinking 2 bottles of wine each evening has caused a reduction in morning headaches. Don’t I also conclude that the wine caused the headaches in the first place?

    • Hansen has not “discovered” natural variation. Lol.

    • “Don’t I also conclude that the wine caused the headaches in the first place?”

      So if you remove the wine from your house, you should get less headaches! It is not the drinking of the wine itself that causes your headaches, it is the presence of the wine in your vicinity! Get rid of it! Encourage your neighbours to get rid of it! Ban it from production and we will all suffer less morning headaches! Your basic research has “proved” it is harmful, we MUST tax this substance out of existence! Anyone who denies this is “anti-science” and should be ignored – for the greater good of the people.
      Spread the word, brothers and sisters.

      Oh wait, I might have been a little too quick off the mark there… what do mean it’s too late? Surely we can change the legislation? Surely people will understand we made a mistake? Why are these people who ran with my idea seemingly immune to reality?

  12. Judith – do you really not understand the difference between saying that global temperatures are at a standstill and saying that global warming as “paused’ or “stopped?”

    • Joshua – do you really not understand that if the globe isn’t warming, then there isn’t global warming?

      • This has to be mental illness.

      • “You might think that; I couldn’t possibly comment.”

        ;-)

      • Well of course there can be global warming even if the globe isn’t warming. Never underestimate the topsy-turvy power of climate science.

      • The “pause” cannot be a cause of optimism as it is perfectly congruent with unrelenting warming of the globe. Now, those who want to get under the covers and have a happy solo with the surface air temperature will have momentary optimism and a good time. That’s about it.

      • JCH

        The “pause” cannot be a cause of optimism as it is perfectly congruent with unrelenting warming of the globe.

        You’ve likely seen it before, but there’s a picture that captures this rather well.

      • Tomcat –

        Our methodologies for measuring global warming leave something to be desired. That considered, measurement of mean surface temperatures would not be sufficient to indicate that the globe isn’t warming – at least on any relatively short-term time scale.

      • Not that this would mean anything, of the total data that has been compiled for AGW science theory, what percentage of the total has been ‘adjusted’, Joshua?

    • Joshua, as always you leave me flummoxed. I know you’re a champion hair splitter and naval gaze par excellence, but what could you possibly mean? If it’s not warming, well then, it’s not you know, warming. That is, the warming has paused. What is confusing to you about that?

      • PG –

        If you believe that adding CO2 warms the globe, then you believe that if you add C02, you warm the globe. The warming of the globe does not “pause” or “stop” if you continue to add CO2.

        It is illogical to say that you don’t doubt the physics of AGW, and to also say that despite adding ACO2 to the climate, global warming has “stopped” or “paused.”

        It is entirely logical to say that you accept the basic physics of AGW, and that despite global warming, for a short period of time there has been no observable increasing trend in global mean temperatures.

      • Joshua,
        Do you begin to see that you’re immune to real world data? If we don’t warm for another 20 years say, will you continue to insist that global warming has not paused? What about 100? At what point…and is there such a point, will you concede that AGW is relatively unimportant with respect to its effect on climate?

      • Joshua is essentially just engaged in spin – he wants to redefine “global warming” to mean the presumed CO2 “global warming effect“.

      • Right Tomcat. So we’ll all just have to use our imaginations and pretend it’s really, really hot out, and the snow on the ground is merely a hallucination, and the failure of the seas to rise, is simply an artifact of faulty measurements. The theory is all. All hail the theory.

      • “for a short period of time there has been no observable increasing trend in global mean temperatures”

        That’s OK, Global Warming only ever existed in the mind anyway. No changes there.

        Andrew

      • Following on from what Joshua says, there are several potential explanations, some or all of which could be in play:

        – Less DSW reaching the surface (more reflective/less transparent atmosphere)

        – More energy accumulation in world oceans (more efficient mixing downward from upper ocean layer)

        – Reduced solar activity (SC24)

        – Recent La Ninas (per Hansen)

        – ‘Cool phase’ PDO

        It’s perfectly possible for the radiative physics to be spot-on and for CO2 concentrations to increase while surface and tropospheric temperatures warm only slowly – at least for a decade or two.

      • PG –

        Do you begin to see that you’re immune to real world data? If we don’t warm for another 20 years say, will you continue to insist that global warming has not paused? What about 100? At what point…and is there such a point, will you concede that AGW is relatively unimportant with respect to its effect on climate?

        I am obviously not a scientist – but I’d say that if there is no demonstrable (anomalous) increase in global mean surface temperatures, no demonstrable (anomalous) increase in ocean temperatures, no demonstrable (anomalous) increase in sea levels, no demonstrable (anomalous) acceleration in the melting of glaciers and sea ice, no (anomalous) demonstrable increase in plant and animal migrations consistent with global warming, no demonstrable (anomalous) increase in droughts, precipitation, hurricanes, etc., for on the order of 100 years, then it would be logical to say that global warming has stopped or paused – because such a development would seem to me to be proof that the theory of AGW physics is incorrect.

        As I understand the theory, you’d need a scale on the order of 100 years or so to reach that kind of conclusion. In the interim, we will have people arguing one way or the other – because their main interest is in being “right,” confirming bias, fighting proxy wars, etc.

        However, if you accept the basic physics of AGW theory, then you wouldn’t logically anticipate those developments.

        I think arguments about the estimated range of the magnitude of sensitivity are valid. As such, arguments about the magnitude of those expected anomalous increases also seem valid. But it seems to me that such arguments would be focused on a range of likely magnitude – not whether any anomalous increases will be observable. Thus – if we go back to your question – concerning whether there will be warming for 100 years – suggests to me that to logically pose that question, you must doubt the basic physics of AGW.

      • PG –

        To be more succinct, to answer your questions I will quote someone who knows something about the science (Pekka):

        AGW means that the heat content of the whole Earth system increases, but it does not make unique predictions on the relative rates of warming of various parts of the Earth system over periods up to a couple of decades.

        I think that BBD’s comment also provides an answer:

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/01/16/hansen-on-the-standstill/#comment-286283

      • BBD without the effing and blinding…wow. Perhaps he has some points worth considering after all.

      • BBD

        In your “logical explanations” you left out the most logical (Occam):

        – The (2xCO2) climate sensitivity is much lower than predicted by the IPCC climate models

        Max

      • Joshua,

        I’d like to step in here.

        There is no disconnect between believing that CO2 is a GHC and will cause warming and acknowledging that the observed rate of increased warming indicates other factors, which may or may not cancel out any net warming from CO2.

        It is entirely possible the warming from increasing concentration of CO2 leads to other factors which have a negative feedback. In fact that, in my opinion, has always been one of the sticking points in the debate. Our understanding is far too insufficient, particularly with regard to clouds. The catastrophic aspect of AGW relies heavily on the assumed positive feedback of water vapor. In this case the ass in assumed identifies where the value comes from.

      • tim –

        There is no disconnect between believing that CO2 is a GHC and will cause warming and acknowledging that the observed rate of increased warming indicates other factors, which may or may not cancel out any net warming from CO2.

        The problem there seems to me to be the same as that which runs throughout this discussion. There is a distinction between global warming and global (in particular air) surface temperatures. They are not one and the same.

        Again, I will quote Pekka:

        AGW means that the heat content of the whole Earth system increases, but it does not make unique predictions on the relative rates of warming of various parts of the Earth system over periods up to a couple of decades.

        Your second point is more interesting to me. Is it your contention that more is added to the earth’s climate (from a ACO2 emissions) and that as a result, negative feedbacks will occur that will result in a net negative to the amount of heat in the earth’s climate? How would work, exactly. Where did that added heat go? You’re saying that adding heat to the whole Earth system will subtract heat to the whole Earth system (by virtue of negative feedbacks)? Again, consider that surface air temperatures does not equal the whole Earth system.

      • “…added heat,” you say? Are you giving orders to the Sun?

      • Read Tim again, J. Nowhere does he say that negative feedbacks will do what you suggest. Why is that in your head?

        Is it poor reading comprehension or a lack of knowledge about feedbacks? Apply some ‘critical thinking’ to that question.
        ==================

      • Wags –

        “…added heat,” you say? Are you giving orders to the Sun?

        Perhaps only semantic point, or perhaps a more substantive point, but either way, point taken. Terminology (specificity) is important.

        Not “added heat,” but increase in the heat content of the whole Earth system.

      • Joshua,

        You sound as if you think the earth’s climate is a closed system. That energy comes in and stays. Now i am far from being the best person to provide an explanation, as it’s been 17+ years since graduate school and physics was never my strong suit to begin with – I struggled through it, while most other subjects were a breeze.

        The simple version – increasing CO2 leads to a slightly warmer atmosphere. Warmer air has increased water carrying capacity. Increased carrying capacity means increase in clouds (extent of cover, duration, type). The increase in clouds has its own feedback effects, both positive and negative. We don’t know what the sum is of those impacts. What if it is negative? Are you of the opinion that this is impossible?

        The models all assume the feedback is positive. While understandable due to the characteristics of water vapor, it is still an assumption. Assumptions can be in error.

    • AGW seems impuissant, and some people regret that; they would prefer catastrophes.
      ===========

      • Which strikes me as breathtakingly narcissistic. Better that we all fry than be proven wrong. You’d think the pause would be cause for cautious optimism. “Perhaps atmospheric sensitivity it not what we thought given that almost 1/3 of Co2 emitted since the start of the industrial revolution has taken place during the period when the pause has occurred.” Nothing of the kind. From the NYT”s et al, crickets.

      • If it warms the people can be convinced through narrative that it is a bad thing and their own fault, even though a warmer world sustains more total life and more diversity of life. Only if it cools, can this ‘Extraordinary Popular Delusion and Madness of the Crowd’ be halted, even though cooling would be a massive social catastrophe. The human race bears an awful burden through its dependency upon guilt crossed with susceptibility to story-telling.
        ==================

    • No Joshua I dont understand the difference. Thrill me with your acumen.

    • Yes
      there is more to the globe than the air
      but
      AGW acts on the air.

      So if the air isn’t warming, is AGW having any discernible effect?

      • Tomcat

        So if the air isn’t warming, is AGW having any discernible effect?

        A common misconception entirely attributable to the simplistic presentation of the science to the public.

        If one looks at AR4 WG1 5.2.2.3 the real picture emerges:

        The increase in ocean heat content is much larger than any other store of energy in the Earth’s heat balance over the two periods 1961 to 2003 and 1993 to 2003, and accounts for more than 90% of the possible increase in heat content of the Earth system during these periods.

        Follow the link above for detail. The associated graphic illustrates the huge disparity between OHC and everything else at a glance.

    • “paused” = “standstill” = “stopped” (temporarily)

      But, what the hell, it’s ALL “temporary”

      Max

      • Globally it did not happen, so it’s not temporary. The SAT is a region of the globe. HadCRAPPY3 is a region of that region. HadCrut4 is a slight improvement of that region of the region.

      • JCH

        “Globally it did not happen”

        Tell it to Hansen – he thinks it did (see lead post).

        Max

        And, yeah, people really did land on the moon, JCH – it was not staged on a parking lot in New Mexico.

    • David Springer

      Joshua | January 16, 2013 at 10:07 am |

      “Our methodologies for measuring global warming leave something to be desired. That considered, measurement of mean surface temperatures would not be sufficient to indicate that the globe isn’t warming – at least on any relatively short-term time scale.”

      Funny how they didn’t leave anything to be desired until the measurements became contrary to AGW dogma.

      You really don’t get how transparent it is that you embrace dogma instead of science, do you?

      • Yet another “Mommy, mommy, they did it firrrrssssttt.”

        Internet discourse has elevated juvenile pleading to a high art.

    • I prefer to look at it this way: temperatures are not rising nearly as fast as predicted. Now, where I come from, if your predictions don’t match the results, then you need to go back and adjust your models. But before you do that, it would be smart to increase your understanding, not just change parameters till you get a fit, which is fairly meaningless. You can do whatever you want, but I will wait and see.

  13. lurker passing through, laughing

    Another of the increasing and avoidable costs of AGW’s CO2 obsession is that of carbon black. Carbon black is a true pollutant. Carbon black’s ability to melt ice is ignored only by AGW extremists. Carbon black is something that could be mitigated by international treaty and technological advances. Yet the AGW faithful fixation on CO2 and deceptive characterization of it as a pollutant has cost us yet another opportunity to do something good and instead pursue the unachievable and dubious.

    • lurker

      Black carbon may cause the planet to warm a smidgen and ice to melt a nit faster (yawn!) but it’s REAL problem is that it is a pollutant, which is harmful to human health.

      It is relatively easy and inexpensive to stop at the source.

      And you are right, a small piece of the billions being wasted on the “war against CAGW” could solve the problem.

      Max

      • Plan B:- Carbon Black. So that’s why they called it a Carbon Tax.

      • Solutions for “black carbon pollution”:

        1. Carbon tax (zero effect)
        2. Carbon filters at source (100% solved)

        Solution 1. would cost humanity trillions in ongoing higher costs for everything with an energy component.

        Solution 2. would cost a number of polluters each a small amount of initial investment.

        Seems like a no-brainer to me.

        Max

    • hunter,

      you’ve touched on a theme I keep trying to draw people’s attention to. There are no shortages of real problems in the world. Worrying about one that to date is mostly make believe is truely something to be afraid of.

      Another example to black carbon are coral reefs. The threats to the health of reefs are fairly well known. “Ocean Acidification” is highly questionable as a threat and even if so, is so far down the rankings were one to list the threats as to be not worthy of mention.

      I could probably spend the rest of the afternoon listing further examples of supposed problems associated with CO2 that either don’t exist or have causitive factors of far greater impact than CO2 ever could. Until we live in a world of infinite resources, wasting those we have chasing after the boogyman CO2 is the ture crime.

    • There’s a nice irony here. Some of that black carbon is from Indian villagers still burning dung cakes to cook food. Burning firewood elsewhere in the third world is more black carbon. Yet more is from coal plants in countries to indigent for scrubbers.

      Free these people from primitive subsistence with cheap energy. Oh, and save the ice and the corals, too.
      ========================

    • Most black carbon pollution was eliminated in developed countries decades ago. The developing countries will eliminate it once their industrial revolution makes them wealthy enough. In the meantime they have better things to do which is primarily reducing poverty.

  14. David L. Hagen

    Statistically, CO2 does NOT permanently drive global warming
    Hansen expects:

    The continuing planetary imbalance and the rapid increase of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel assure that global warming will continue on decadal time scales.

    However Beenstock et al. 2012 show that statistically, CO2 is NOT a permanent driver for global warming. See:
    Beenstock, M., Reingewertz, Y., and Paldor, N.: Polynomial cointegration tests of anthropogenic impact on global warming, Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss., 3, 561-596, doi:10.5194/esdd-3-561-2012, 2012.
    http://www.earth-syst-dynam-discuss.net/3/561/2012/

    Specifically, the methodology of polynomial cointegration is used to test AGW since during the observation period (1880–2007) global temperature and solar irradiance are stationary in 1st differences whereas greenhouse gases and aerosol forcings are stationary in 2nd differences. We show that although these anthropogenic forcings share a common stochastic trend, this trend is empirically independent of the stochastic trend in temperature and solar irradiance. Therefore, greenhouse gas forcing, aerosols, solar irradiance and global temperature are not polynomially cointegrated. This implies that recent global warming is not statistically significantly related to anthropogenic forcing. On the other hand, we find that greenhouse gas forcing might have had a temporary effect on global temperature.

    Beenstock et al. results show that other papers suggesting Granger causality are due to spurious regression. Polynomial cointegration with explicit testing for significance is required.

    In the long term, it is very highly likely that Hansen will be sadly disappointed in his expectations of increasing CO2 driving global warming.

  15. Let us not forget that the record of surface temperature was corrected to lower values. The standstill may be on paper. In reality, the trend is steady warming, smaller than was suggested. If it is a standstill, then how do we justify steady temperature record breaking?

  16. Perhaps ‘standstill’ is a euphemism for ‘pause’, but recall all the flack that David Rose received a few months ago for writing about the ‘pause’.

    That’s because his piece was, and remains, dishonest garbage. Rose claims the “pause” has lasted 16 years. Hansen’s “standstill” in the five year running mean has lasted maybe half that. You can see here what has happened to the 5 year running mean during the 16 year “pause” claimed by Rose.

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/Fig.A2.gif

    • Paul Matthews

      You can see the pause clearly in Hansen’s own data here.
      http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/Fig.C.gif
      People can judge for themselves whether 16 years or half that is more accurate, and so who is talking ‘dishonest garbage’.

    • Hansen and Rose were describing different phenomena: Rose was describing global warming, Hansen was describing global mean (surface) temperatures. They are not one and the same.

      • If you take the time derivative of global surface temperature, what do you get? warming, or cooling, or a pause/standstill seem like the three choices.

      • When Hansen talks about the current decade being the warmest on record, he is talking about “global mean (surface) temperature”.

        When he talks about the current “standstill”, he is talking about “global warming”

        The second is the time derivative of the first, as Judith has explained.

        A lot of people seem to get these confused.

        Max

      • The planet Earth, has a dynamic weather system that is incapable of pausing.

      • manacker, This is so confusing and does not make sense.
        I believe that the stand still is only on paper following surface temperature correction to lower values. The trend has been and is warming, definitely.

      • Nabil Swedan

        – The trend for the past decade has been one of cooling (as Hansen correctly states)

        – The trend for the three previous decades was one of warming.

        – The trend for the next decade is ?????????

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1993/to:2003/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2003/to:2013/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1983/to:1993/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1973/to:1983/trend

        Max

      • When he talks about the current “standstill”, he is talking about “global warming”

        Seems to me that he’s talking about the trend in surface temperatures.

      • Steven Mosher

        The problem Joshua is that the global temperature has been used to stand for the whole of global warming. There’s a name for that rhetorical device, willard can help you.

      • The problem Joshua is that the global temperature has been used to stand for the whole of global warming.

        To the extent that is true – it is a problem in that it feeds the useless aspects of the debate. For those looking for proxy battles, it works out quite conveniently; people can talk past each other until the cows come home. Climate warriors get what the want.

        My sense is that the nuts and the bolts of the science makes no such conflation. The manifestations of global warming – such as global mean (surface) temperatures – are recognized as multivariate, and as such, single measures of trends such as surface temperature are not expected to be monotonic.

      • Joshua,

        I think your admittedly incomplete knowledge of the science is leading you astray (not being snarky). A pause in surface warming is the most meaningful pause there can be in the climate system because of its physical role and also because as you know it’s where the effects are felt. So take a “fuzzy” view of the surface to include the lower atmosphere and the topmost ocean. The pause/standstill/slowdown is evident throughout. It is possible that it disappears when ENSO and ice melt effects are not properly accounted for. Continued warming of the middle and deep ocean could go on for years as a delayed response to warming of the surface that has already happened, and by itself doesn’t say much about the future. So whatever the label, the apparent pause is relevant. It is certainly possible that the ocean can shift heat around in a way to change the surface energy balance, and “reverse” GW on some time scale (a la Judith, not likely to be more than 30 or 40 years at the most, and probably less).

        However, it seems to me that when you add the energy involved in the atmosphere and the energy involved in melting arctic sea ice, the surface warming trend no longer shows a pause. I am amazed that I haven’t seen AGW activists highlight this. I mean, they highlight the ice melt but fail to tie it to the “pause”.

        Sorry a bit rambl-ish.

      • Please not that in Figure 5, the units of ΔF are W/m2/Year, or it is an acceleration of forcing, which is in a standstill. In other words, the forcing is constant and global warming and surface temperature rise are still in progress.

      • Billc –

        . A pause in surface warming is the most meaningful pause there can be in the climate system because of its physical role and also because as you know it’s where the effects are felt.

        I need more explanation there. I see that it is the most meaningful in the context of the rhetorical war – but are you saying that surface warming is the most meaningful pause because theoretically it is what causes the most significant positive feedbacks? What if we take sea surface ice melting as an expression of increased heat in the whole Earth system; wouldn’t that also initiate significant positive feedbacks?

        It is possible that [the “pause” in global mean surface temps] disappears when ENSO and ice melt effects are not properly accounted for.

        Did you mean to say that it is possible that the “pause” in global mean surface temps disappears when ENSO and ice melt effects are properly accounted for?

        However, it seems to me that when you add the energy involved in the atmosphere and the energy involved in melting arctic sea ice, the surface warming trend no longer shows a pause.

        Yes – that is something that I’ve wondered about. Isn’t increased ice melt essentially an indication of increased energy in the whole Earth system (and assuming that it doesn’t correlate with increased solar radiation or increased loss of energy away from the whole Earth system, wouldn’t that be a result of increased ACO2 regardless of the trend of global surface temperatures – assuming that there is no corresponding drop in surface temperatures?)

        So again – seems to me that debates about the magnitude of sensitivity are consistent with skepticism (as opposed to “skepticism”), and debates about the physics of AGW are consistent with skepticism (as opposed to “skepticism” – and despite the attempts of some to throw those who doubt basic AGW physics under a bus) – but to say that you don’t doubt the basic physics yet assert that global warming has stopped is either illogical or the view of a “skeptic” (as opposed to a skeptic). If someone is interested in debating the magnitude of sensitivity, then there is a working assumption of the basic mechanism of increased ACO2 = global warming. Thus, there cannot be a “pause” or a “stop” in global warming to accompany increased ACO2 emissions – although there certainly could be a “standstill” in the trend of increasing surface temps (which would be consistent with AGW theory).

      • Poster Boy.
        =======

      • “but to say that you don’t doubt the basic physics yet assert that global warming has stopped is either illogical or the view of a “skeptic” (as opposed to a skeptic). ”

        Well, you are not very charitable with your interpretation. That reveals your bias. I don’t doubt the physics and global warming is at a standstill.
        That is not illogical. By global warming I mean the symbol of global warming. The difficulty you are having is that you want to let one side play fast and loose with terminology when it suits them and then refuse to grant others the same latitude when it suits them. The global temperature index has been promoted as a symbol of global warming. When people objected to this, you were not there to settle the debate for folks. Now that the symbol of global warming has a few warts, you want to draw the distinction. Maybe you should go back and agree with those of us who objected to using global temperature as a symbol for the science.

      • kim –

        Don used to enjoy humping on my leg at every opportunity. Although it’s a matter of little consequence, I can’t say that I was disappointed that he found a better way to spend his time. Just to let you know, I won’t be offended if you also take up an alternative activity. I might suggest reading poetry.

      • I can’t help myself when you murmur sweet science.
        =================

      • By global warming I mean the symbol of global warming.

        As long as you add that caveat – it seems to me that you aren’t being illogical.

        The global temperature index has been promoted as a symbol of global warming.

        That is no doubt true. However, I have also read statements to the effect of “when the (heat) energy in the Earth’s whole system increases,there will be multivariate indicators, among which are sea surface level increase, ice melt, increased precipitation or other weather extremes, etc.” It isn’t as if everyone on the “warmist” side has exclusively equated increased surface temps and global warming. While I have been pointed towards surface temps as the most telling indicator of global warming, I have also, as a non-scientific casual observer of limited intelligence, been quite aware that there are a variety of indicators and no single indicator is sufficient or expected to be monotonic.

        So let the chickens come home to roost. That seems largely insignificant to me as compared to promoting greater understanding – unless your motivation is basically political, butthurt or an inferiority complex.

      • Josh,

        A good example of why I try to stay out of technical discussions. Too easy for me to be wrong and get my knuckles wacked by the school marm (with apologies to Dr Curry on the “marm” analogy).

      • Clearly there is a difference between stopping and standing still. On can easily stand still and not stop and likewise could be stopped but not standing still. And both are clearly different from immobile and stationary.
        They all have unique meanings known only to Joshua and Michael and BBD.

      • Bill

        You are doing this. Along with all the other ‘sceptics’ here.

      • Joshua,

        are you saying that surface warming is the most meaningful pause because theoretically it is what causes the most significant positive feedbacks? What if we take sea surface ice melting as an expression of increased heat in the whole Earth system; wouldn’t that also initiate significant positive feedbacks?

        Right, the most significant positive and negative feedbacks because it’s the primary driver of the radiation balance for both absorption, reflection and emission, especially if you count the surface-lower troposphere system. Surface ice melt has albedo feedback, but it’s part of my “surface” overall, that’s why I brought it up later. As far as the increased heat in the system, since the medium to deep ocean represents the lion’s share of that and is much more globally distributed than ice, I think that’s where pure energy balances can become less relevant. The surface and lower troposphere is where most of the energy balance is determined and the oceans are just following along. If the surface isn’t warming for a century, the ocean (and thus to some extent sea ice) could still be warming that whole time just to catch up to a past surface warming.

        Did you mean to say that it is possible that the “pause” in global mean surface temps disappears when ENSO and ice melt effects are properly accounted for?

        Yes.

        If someone is interested in debating the magnitude of sensitivity, then there is a working assumption of the basic mechanism of increased ACO2 = global warming. Thus, there cannot be a “pause” or a “stop” in global warming to accompany increased ACO2 emissions

        No. Internal variability cannot keep GW at bay forever, but a strong enough external forcing could (aerosols, sun, cloud changes, all together, whatever).

  17. ursus augustus

    This may be me advertising my ignorance but if the OHC is of interest as against the SST why do we use a parameter of ‘global temperature’ which is an amalgam of SST and air temperature over land rather than a total heat content or a temperature normalised say for mass or thermal density( normalise to the properties of water say)? Surely the use of the air temperature just introduces a volatility into the assessment hence all this drivel about 15 year linear trends etc.

    • You start to assess our vast ignorance of the vasty deeps.
      ========

      • kim

        Confucius say: Nevah contemplate vast problem with half vast data.

        Max

      • Kim: Great comment!!! We ought to learn from the bard, especially about people.
        Glendower: “I can call spirits from the vasty deep.” Hotspur: “Why, so can I, or so can any man; But will they come when you do call for them?” Henry IV, Part I, Act 3

    • Because human beings, being creatures of the surface, had a semblance of a surface temperature record. The halibut did not.

      • I like ‘semblance’. And without what the halibut ain’t got, we ain’t got squat, either.
        =======

      • Joshua save, The or Y?

      • JCH

        Indeed.

        And, living in the interior or along coastlines, humans measured sea levels for centuries there where they count for humans, at various shorelines, with tide gauges.

        These measurements are still quietly going on, but the big brouhaha is about the “satellite altimetry” record (which shows faster increase in SL).

        This measures the whole ocean except areas near coastlines that satellites cannot measure, with an error range that is greater than the trend it is supposedly measuring.

        Go figure.

        Max

    • ursus augustus

      Would you calculate a meaningful operating temperature of an engine with some simple mean of the air intake, water jacket and exhaust temperatures?

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        If that was the way it was done by experts, and all authorities, then YES.
        To compare then to now you must do the same. Apples to apples.

      • ursus augustus

        I would just look at the land air record and the sea record separately ( and the upper atmosphere temperature and so on) and form a thesis around that and not combine them (just as I would look at the various operating temperatures on the engine). I gave the latter example as a reality check. I think the combined ‘temperature’ is unhelpful and tends to distort impressions, leaving aside issues such as UHI etc.

        Maybe the “experts” have it really bloody wrong technically but have a marketable product. It would not be the first time.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Yeah, well it would be an odd time to start insisting that it is NOT global temp, now.

  18. It’s not a standstill – it’s a plateau before cooling.

    • My thought, too, but Good and Gracious Heavens, I might be wrong.
      ============

      • kim

        I hope you’re wrong but fear you may not be.

        (And where I live we do NOT need a lot of cooling.)

        Max

    • Edim, you write “It’s not a standstill – it’s a plateau before cooling.”

      Something I wrote many years ago. The start of a cooling phase that follows a warming phase is at the maximum value of the warming phase.

    • If you look at Figure1 in the Hansen document cited by Judith Curry, you can find lots of mini cooling periods during the 20th Century. I believe it’s safe to predict there will be lots more in the current century. If these mini cooling periods make you happy, and you live long enough, you may look forward to many brief but happy times in the years ahead.

      • Max_OK

        Mini-cooling periods were nice, but this latest “standstill” is not a “mini”

        That’s the difference.

        And it’s also why Hansen is talking about this one.

        Max_CH

      • Max_CH, the difference is not what you may think. The difference is natural variability hasn’t pushed the 5-year temperature average down this time as it did during the 1940’s, 1960’s, and other periods (see Hansen’s Figure 1), a fact fake skeptics don’t like to acknowledge.

        BTW, the effect of a temperature level is not immediate, as you can see for yourself by doing a simple experiment at home. First, try chewing pasta after boiling it for 1 minute. Next, try chewing pasta after boiling it for 12 minutes. Do you notice a difference? If not, make an appointment with your doctor.

    • After watching “Doomsday Volcanos” the other evening on Nova, I’ve decided that climate change is sooo yesterday. Why worry about climate when Iceland is due to become some sort of super volcano?

  19. Hansen has been waiting for El Godot for a while now.

  20. Perhaps ‘standstill’ is a euphemism for ‘pause’, but recall all the flack that David Rose received a few months ago for writing about the ‘pause’. It is good to see Hansen paying more attention to unforced variability.

    Agree.

    If Hansen accepts that, there is no major argument between we sceptics and the AGW advocates. At least we agree on the observed data. But I wish they replace “the nth warmest” with a “flat trend”. What a game the AGW advocates are playing?

    If Hansen has accepted the flat trend, how about lolwot?

    • Standstill, for a warmist, is a euphemism for “I really don’t understand what is going on but I can’t admit to that”

    • nth warmest works with me. that is consistent with flat trend.
      This makes me anxious to see next year and the year after, but I don’t want to get older faster, so I will wait.

      I hope Congress makes the EPA wait. What the EPA does can and has damaged our Energy Production and Economy.

  21. Judith (or anyone else who might know)

    Do you know when the Met Office revised the model they are using to make temperature forecasts? How well has the updated model done in predicting observed conditions since it was revised? Do you know what characteristics the model is designed to forecast other that temperature and how well it has done since it was revised on reasonably accurately predicting those characteristics?

    • Rob, you write “Do you know when the Met Office revised the model they are using to make temperature forecasts? ”

      I dont think the Met Office has said anything on this issue. We know that the original forecast was based on Smith et al Science August 2007. What the Met Office seems to have done, though they dont explicitly state this, is to agree that Smith et al is wrong. But they have not issued a follow up to Smith et al, so we we do not know what the new forecast is based on.

      I think it is interesting that Smith et al was a decadal foerecast, starting in 2004. One would have thought that any replacement would have been a decadal forecast starting is 2011 or 2012; i.e a forecast to post 2020. The Met.Office seems to be hinting that maybe decadal forecasts are not much good.

      • Jim

        Somehow it doesn’t seem possible that the updated MET forecast was done without a model being used to support the assessment. They are probably right that decadal forecasts are of very limited value today becuase we currently do not understand the system well enough.

        I was very suprised that Judith made the prediction that she did for the next 5 years.

      • Rob, you write “Somehow it doesn’t seem possible that the updated MET forecast was done without a model being used to support the assessment.”

        I agree completely. The point I was trying to make is that it is difficult to work out what the Met. is getting at, until we know on what they based their new forecast. I wonder when they will tell us.

    • Steve Milesworthy

      Rob Starkey | January 16, 2013 at 9:58 am |

      The Met Office used the latest model in the new decadal forecast. The previous forecast used a model that contributed to AR3 so was released in the late 1990s. The system that initialises the model and which was a focus of the original research (Depresys) is substantially the same, I understand.

    • girma

      Over a 15-year period CO2 increased from 363 ppmv (end 2007) to 393 ppmv (end 2012) = 30 ppmv

      If we take the 12 year period (since end 2000) the increase was from 370 ppmv, or 23 ppmv.

      But, you’re right – no matter how you rationalize it, this is beginning to look like a BIG problem for the CAGW premise as outlined by IPCC.

      No wonder Hansen had to go on record to try to play it down.

      Max

  22. Pause/Standstill denialism is rife over at SkS.
    Anyone checking RC?

  23. Judith, the gif animation of the UKMO’s 2011 and 2012 predictions is also telling, because they’ve also shortened the decadal prediction to 5 years:
    http://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/figure-1.gif
    From my post here:
    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/ukmo-lowers-5-year-global-temperature-forecast-and-omits-the-second-5-years-of-the-decadal-forecast/

    Regards

  24. The Alarmist formerly known as Hydrogen

    It’s great to see a True skeptic such as Dr Curry linking to the solid scientific work of David Rose and the GWPF and WUWT.

    With skilled opinionators like those, you know you’re getting True science.

    Even better that JC includes a personal hand-waving decadal ‘prediction’.

    Solid blog-science, offered up with none of the vexing uncertainty that we sometimes read about here.

    And, “…with solar playing a role in this as well.” – is really going out on a scientific limb ‘prediction’-wise.

    Dr Curry says she trusts the UKMO prediction – but somehow fails to mention that the UKMO eviscerated Rose’s DM column on the ‘pause’.
    ( http://metofficenews.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/met-office-in-the-media-14-october-2012/ )
    Odd, that.

    Then we are told by the Georgia Tech Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences that Dr Hansen’s reasoning is “simplistic” – Even though Hansen et al actually QUANTIFY forcing changes (including solar variance) in the cited doc.

    Irony just doesn’t get any better than this.

    Hilarious. Go team!

    • The problem is of course that we cannot presently quantify these forcings. Confusing conjecture with fact is the basic fallacy of AGW and Hansen et al personify this fallacy. Dr. Curry presents a conjecture as just that. Conjecture is the soul of science but it must always be mere.

    • Your contempt and disrespect for an accomplished, courageous woman is really quite telling.

    • Steven Mosher

      “The second largest human-made forcing is probably atmospheric aerosols, although the aerosol forcing is extremely uncertain3,4. Our comparison of the various forcings (Fig. 6a) shows the aerosol forcing estimated by Hansen et al.9 up to 1990; for later dates it assumes that the aerosol forcing increment is half as large as the greenhouse gas forcing but opposite in sign. This aerosol forcing can be described as an educated guess.”

      Ya. quantified. don’t try to oversell Hansens guesswork against Curries guesswork unless you have an axe to grind. Frankly, if anybody had a definitive answer to the ‘stand still’ question they could win a nobel prize. What we have are educated guesses ( factors that hide the c02 effect ) and ignorant triumphalism on the part of some skeptics. Dont be more stupid than stupid skeptics, you make our team look bad

    • Alarmist

      It appears that James E. Hansen has just joined the “skeptic team” (as you define it).

      Hey, who’s left on the “hockey team”?

      Max

  25. Alexej Buergin

    Now that even our friend Michael from Potsdam does not deny anymore that “it” is not going up, we will have to discuss wether it is a “plateau” before cooling or a “faux plat” (Lance Armstrong would know the difference).

  26. Dr K.A. Rodgers

    ‘standstill’ has widespread currency in geological processes as does hiatus.

    • Dr K.A. Rodgers

      Other “scientific” terms that have been used to describe the current period of slight cooling:

      “speed bump”
      “lack of warming”
      “pause”
      often preceded by the word “unexplainable”, “temporary” – (or both)

      Wording (actually “wordmanship” or “framing”) has become important in climatology.

      “It ain’t what you say, it’s the way that you say it,
      That’s what gets results – Yeah!”

      Max

  27. 2012 was the ninth warmest since we started keeping track in 1880. We still have not had a year warmer than 1998. We have record snowfalls in much of the Northern Hemisphere, again this year. Earth was as warm or warmer during the Roman Warm Period and during the Medieval Warm Period and during the many warm periods of the past ten thousand years. This warm period is not different. This warm period will end with cooling just like it they all always do.

    It is clear that CO2 is not having much success in keeping the earth temperature on track with the model projections. It is time to consider alternate theories more seriously.

    We are at or near the upper boundary of temperature as shown in the ice core data for the past ten thousand years. The oceans will not cool quickly and we will see open Arctic and record snowfall for some years to come. Right now, the glaciers are still losing ice at their tails as their heads grow, and the ice fields are still losing ice at their edges as new ice falls on top.
    This warm period will turn cooler as this new ice on top of ice fields and on the heads of the glaciers gets heavy enough to cause the ice to advance again and increase albedo. This will happen on a schedule that is similar to the cooling after the peak of the Medieval Warm Period and similar to the cooling after the peak of the Roman Warm Period.

    It is easy to reverse the Albedo. When the oceans are warm and the Arctic is open, it snows more than enough to replace ice that melts in the warm season. When the oceans are cold and the Arctic is closed, it snows less than enough to replace ice that melts in the warm season. This cycle is naturally well bounded. Ice on earth can only be replenished when the oceans are warm. We are in a necessary and desirable phase of the cycle.

    Look at the actual data. Snow accumulation goes up and down as temperature does.
    http://popesclimatetheory.com/page11.html

    The major glacials worked the same way, but the amount of ice and the time it took was much longer.
    http://popesclimatetheory.com/page8.html

    Show any actual data that says this warm period has parameters outside the bounds of the past ten thousand years, other than the CO2 which appears to be powerless and unable to take us out of the normal well bounded range of the past ten thousand years. There is nothing in all the forcings with a set point, other than the temperature that Arctic Sea Ice Melts and Freezes. My “Pope’s Climate Theory”, “Tom Wysmuller Theory”, “Ewing and Donn Theory” does have a reasonable explanation for the cycles with a set point.

    • Nicely presented., sir. And greatly appreciated, But of course, much to reality based for the true believers. MIss KIm is right, it’s going to take a few year of outright and substantial cooling.

      • The snowfall has started, it will continue and the cooling will come. Look at the peak of the Roman Warm Period and the peak of the Medieval Warm Period and the cooling that followed for a time estimate.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Herman Pope said:

        “The snowfall has started, it will continue and the cooling will come.”

        _____
        Uh, what kind of nonsensical talk is this? Given that late spring/early summer NH snowpack has been showing a decline for many years, we can hardly get a cooling from that. We are getting more winter snowfall because there has been more energy in the atmosphere which allows more moisture in the winter atmosphere and more snowfall. But that greater energy then leads to warm summers that melt all that snow away. The data shows that we are headed in the exact opposite direction of any glacial advance. Sorry to burst your “skeptical” bubble…

      • Snow is good for Oklahoma’s winter wheat.

      • Skeptical

        And winter snow extent has shown an increase…..

        (Duh! That’s when there is the most snow, too. Hmmm…)

        Max

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)
        Ice extent has been decreasing from the peak of the Little Ice Age until the peak of the modern warm period. The oceans are warm and the snow is falling and the cooling will follow. You want evidence of instant cooling. The medieval warm period did not go instantly into the little ice age. It does take some years. The snow extent does melt away, now, but the snow and ice volume is piling up on top of the glaciers and ice packs. This will advance later and bring the cooling.

      • Re manacker’s comment on January 16, 2013 at 5:45 pm

        Max_CH, the same type of wheat is not grown year around. Winter wheat (there are several kinds) is planted in fall, and spring wheat is planted in spring. I know that may sound odd to you, but trust me.

        It might be a good idea for you to refrain from commenting on anything about agriculture, unless you like to showcase your ignorance.

      • Max_CH, I apologize for my previous reply to your comment on snow. I read too fast, and mistakenly thought you were talking about wheat.

      • R. Gates The snow that falls on the bare ground is melting every year. The snow that falls on the top of snowfields and glaciers does not melt and that does pile up and will collect enough weight to cause the ice to advance into the next cool period. look at the data. a cool period always follows a warm period. This happens because more snow always falls in the warm periods.

      • My skeptical bubble is alive and the snow is still falling.

    • Curious George

      “It is easy to reverse the Albedo.” Do you know where to find actual measurements of the Earth’s albedo? Of many different kinds of albedo, I am most interested in one that measures the fraction of insolation that is not being absorbed.

      Other than snow, I am sure clouds also play a role.

      • Curious

        Five to six times as much incoming solar radiation is reflected back to space from clouds as from the Earth’s surface (of which only a fraction is from snow or ice).

        Snow and ice has a higher albedo than the land (or water) that is underneath it, but if it melts, a portion of the incoming radiation is still reflected back to space.

        Clouds exist at all latitudes, especially in the tropics over the ocean, where the sun rays are most direct and intense; ice and snow only exist at higher latitudes, where the incoming solar radiation is less intense.

        So, yes, your statement is correct:

        “Other than snow, I am sure clouds also play a role.”

        Max

      • Actual measurements of Albedo are available.
        The latest earthshine report is due to be published soon.
        I was told that it does show that Albedo has been steady since 2007.

        http://www.bbso.njit.edu/

  28. It sure is interesting to watch the machinations Hansen (and many of our local activists here) go through as they slowly get painted into a corner regarding the theory of high CO2 feedbacks. They truly don’t want to look silly, but that is the the risk you take when you stick your neck out as they have.

    It is truly a character test in how one responds to this data once you put your neck on the line. If lack of warming doesn’t cause you to constrain the high end of your climate sensitivity estimates, than what will?

    You get the sense with latest draft Climate Assessment Report that the data simply doesn’t matter anymore. These reports (and AR5?) are going to say the same thing regardless of what the trends in temperature, sea level rise, and extreme events dictate.

    I’d like to be proved wrong here. SREX had given me some hope.

    • As I’ve said before, we need to be mindful about where the energy is accumulating in the climate system. And it’s not the atmosphere, nor is it significantly (yet) the land surface. Amazingly enough, it’s all in AR4.

      • That didn’t quite come out right… ;-)

      • “Amazingly enough, it’s all in AR4.”

        Could Climate Science get any amazinger? I think not. Soon it will produce squiggly lines the likes of which have not been dreamed of. They’ll be going everywhichway! ;)

        Andrew

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Save your breath BBD. Remember, according the the “skeptics” the amount of energy accumulating in the oceans is far too uncertain and we’ll need another 50 years to really get a good grasp in it. The fact that a great deal of the melt in Arctic sea ice is affected by the accumulating heat in the oceans and the fact that energy is advected to the Arctic via the oceans in much larger amounts than via the atmosphere and the extreme loss we’ve seen in Arctic sea ice volume as a result means nothing to the “skeptics”.

      • Gates

        You wrote- “The fact that a great deal of the melt in Arctic sea ice is affected by the accumulating heat in the oceans and the fact that energy is advected to the Arctic via the oceans in much larger amounts than via the atmosphere and the extreme loss we’ve seen in Arctic sea ice volume as a result means nothing to the “skeptics”.”

        What is it that this means to you? Is something happening that is clearly damaging the lives of humans as a result?

      • Skeptical gates said, Save your breath BBD. Remember, according the the “skeptics” the amount of energy accumulating in the oceans is far too uncertain and we’ll need another 50 years to really get a good grasp in it.”

        Not really, some do have a grasp on the reality of the rate of ocean heat uptake.

        Toggweiler for example estimates that the opening of the Drake Passage improve the rate of ocean mixing enough to produce roughly a 4 C magnitude “abrupt” change in “global” surface temperature. The approximately 100 Sverdrup flow of the ACC introduced with the opening of the Drake Passage would allow a complete overturning of the world oceans in roughly 400 to 2000 years. Given the current approximate rate of OH uptake, the “average” ocean temperature would increase by 1 C degrees in roughly 500 years. The current “average” temperature of the oceans is then likely due to events that happened 500 to 2000 years ago.

        Since BBD is convinced that delayed responses to forcing on the order of 500 years can have no significant impact on “global mean surface temperature”, pearls before swine pops into my head.

        BTW, the ~ 100 Sverdrup ACC can have an annual OH uptake impact on the order of 6 x 10^ 22 joules and SSW events on the order of 10^22 joules, the current rate of OH uptake is likely not unprecedented. They are really, really big numbers though.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Rob Starkey,

        The Arctic ice and general state of the cyrosphere in and around the Arctic is immensely important to everyone who lives in the NH. There is a huge influence of the Arctic on global weather patterns. Global weather patterns influence food production. If you like to eat, you probably want to pay attention to any long-term changes that are going on in the Arctic. The weather in Kansas can be influenced by how much Arctic sea ice there is. The Earth is that interconnected.

        Now, this is not meant to be alarmist about it, so don’t take it that way. It could well be that an ice-free summer Arctic might lead to greater food production. But just like upsetting a beehive, you take a chance that they’ll be inspired to make you more honey, or sting you multiple times…

      • Gates

        I would agree with what you have written about the changes in the arctic. I would disagree with the comparison to hitting a beehive however. There is no evidence of any dramatic negative impacts.

      • cap’n

        The current “average” temperature of the oceans is then likely due to events that happened 500 to 2000 years ago.

        So why the steep rise in OHC from around 1970 then? It all just kicks off forty years ago after 2ky of doing nothing? Where was the energy all that time? In the deep ocean? So why isn’t the deep ocean cooling as energy is transferred to the upper ocean layer? Why is deep ocean heat content increasing as well?

        Pigs are highly intelligent.

      • BBD wrote: “So why isn’t the deep ocean cooling as energy is transferred to the upper ocean layer”
        ———————————————————–
        For the same reason as ice floats

      • phatboy

        OHC (energy) transfer from deep ocean to upper ocean. Deep ocean OHC:

        – falls

        – increases

        – stays the same

        ?

      • BBD, “So why the steep rise in OHC from around 1970 then? It all just kicks off forty years ago after 2ky of doing nothing? ”

        First, if I knew exactly why, I wouldn’t be chatting with you. Second, it “kicked off” more likely 100 to 150 years ago. Forty years ago is just when the data quality may have improved to the point we can measure the change.

        Starting 33 years ago, we started getting even better data, but unfortunately it is in the lower troposphere. That is not such a bad thing though, since the lower troposphere data compared to the SST data makes a fair Watt meter.
        https://picasaweb.google.com/118214947668992946731/January162013#5834144062922809074

        Comparing the SH SST to the SH oceans lower troposphere, the rate of OH uptake took a turn in roughly 1995. Now you are impaled on the horns of a dilemma, do you use the lower troposphere with tons of fudge factors to explain the “pause”, the less than stellar and short term OHC data to explain there is no “pause”, or do you look at all the data objectively and say, “hey, there is a discrepancy here. Perhaps someone screwed up?”

      • What makes you think there’s transfer from deep ocean to upper ocean?

      • BBD, oops wrong data set,

        https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-hfFQyZ3TQSI/UPcabY3WutI/AAAAAAAAGtI/NRRf1tcMxAg/s731/SH%2520ocean%2520SST%2520versus%2520lower%2520troposphere.png

        The first was the SH stratosphere minus SH SST, this one is the SH lower troposphere minus the SH SST, Same shift point though.

      • phatboy

        Nothing. Read. I was just responding to your comment – I didn’t realise you were just playing games in order to derail the discussion.

      • capn

        No, you don’t get to make assertions like ‘OHC started to rise 150 years ago’ etc. It’s called ‘making it up as you go along to suit your own agenda’.

        My response: not playing. We deal with the data we have. We analyse rationally. We don’t make stuff up.

        You can respond to my comment in this spirit if you wish.

      • BBD, how you interpret the data is your own personal choice. I try to verify the data as much as possible. Steric sea level rise is a good verification of OHC. It is not perfect, none of the data sets are.

        There is a major question in my mind of the wisdom of using a “global” surface temperature to begin with and a “global” surface temperature based on a SST which is more related to Tmin averaged with a land based “Surface” temperature that is based on T Ave. So instead of blindly quoting nonsense, I actually try to verify using all the data that is available. That quirky habit of mine, not believing data, and being curious led me to the Toggweiler papers which appear to more accurately explain the role of internal variability and the time constants involved.

        Since you are quoting AR4, you obviously are either not aware or are ignoring the recent issues with the temperature data sets diverging from the models. You can continue to ignore the totality of the data and practice mushroom logic to your hearts content, but “current” best estimates indicate “sensitivty” to atmospheric forcing is in the lower end of the outdated AR4 estimates.

      • BBD, sorry, didn’t realise you were just being sarcastic – you’re the one who suggested heat transfer from the deep ocean

      • Skeptical

        You bring up some valid points on Ocean Heat Content. Bravo!

        To go into a bit more detail:

        – Data prior to ARGO (2003) are dicey and spotty – just prior to ARGO the few expendable XBT devices were known to introduce a false warming signal – before that data are even more unreliable

        – First ARGO results showed slight cooling from 2003 to 2008 (Willis’ “speed bump”); the ARGO data was then “corrected” to show slight warming instead (I have not seen a publication where the reason and extent of the “corrections” made is made transparent for all to see)

        – Ocean warming is being reported in the tiniest units possible (joules) – a unit that means nothing to the general public, but sounds “big” (because there’s a bunch of them); if it were reported in degrees C (which people can relate to), the warming would be a few thousandths of a degree per year

        So, yes, a bit more transparency, a better unit of measure and a few decades of data are required before these data mean very much (as you’ve stated).

        Max

      • Max,

        You haven’t seen it, because you haven’t looked for it.

        Isn’t avoidance of finding the answers a great way for maintaining skepticism a a good reason for putting quotation marks around correction to imply possible fraud.

        That’s exactly what you are doing time after time.

      • Oh, c’mon, Pekka; we don’t know much about OHC because we haven’t adequately observed it. You know that.
        ==================

      • As I’ve said before, I have a great deal of respect for Josh Willis, and I also feel sorry for him. I suspect him of being one of the more conflicted people in climate science.
        ============

      • When modelers are visited by the Phantom of Doubt, they can go tinker with their toy models and make the world go round again; when Josh hosts the unwelcome visitor he’s got to go herd 3,000 cats bleeping meowling cacaphony at him.
        ===============

      • phatboy

        BBD, sorry, didn’t realise you were just being sarcastic – you’re the one who suggested heat transfer from the deep ocean

        Stop the feeble attempts at framing please. It’s tiresome. A quick re-read of the thread would have informed you of the facts:

        – Cap’n proposes OHC increase is emerging ‘energy in the pipeline’ stored up to 2kya. This *requires* two things:

        – A location for the energy store, which can *only* be the deep ocean
        – A *trace* left in OHC *change* as energy emerges from the deep ocean into the upper ocean layer

        I simply point out that Cap’n must be mistaken because *if* this were happening *then* deep ocean OHC would have to fall as upper ocean OHC rises. It is basic physics. Sorry if you found it confusing.

        You will note that while Cap’n waffles, he does not ever address this fundamental disproof of his hypothesis. Nor its implications: that OHC rise is being driven from *above*, not below. This is demonstrated by the observed increase in *deep ocean* OHC as well as upper ocean OHC. Furthermore, the increase 0 – 2000m is observed in all major ocean basins (Levitus et al. 2012 supplementary information, Fig. S1 and S2). How a single overturning cirulation could be responsible for approximately simultaneous OHC increase 0 – 2000m in all major ocean basins is a mystery to me – and to oceanographers too. In short, it’s nonsense.

        There is, of course, a scientifically coherent explanation which I raised in my first comment on this mini-thread. See AR4 WG1 for the details.

        I notice that Cap’n and others were at pains to ignore this information and in haste to bury it under nonsense.

      • Careful Pekka – if you express your anger at manacker’s serial misrepresentions you might end up in moderation.

      • David Springer

        BlahBlahDuh January 16, 2013 at 3:11 pm |

        “Pigs are highly intelligent.”

        Don’t flatter yourself.

        By the way, the accumulation of energy is “all in AR4′ came out perfectly. Don’t you hate when Freudian slips like that happen?

      • For whoever it was wanted to know what the problem with Argo floats was, this is a useful paper:
        http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2008JTECHO608.1

        PDF here in case of paywall problems:
        http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/people/gjohnson/gcj_3o.pdf

        See Section 2 on Argo data errors.

      • BBD, do you ever pass up an opportunity to be obnoxious?

      • phatboy

        We both know you were trolling. You are still doing it now.

      • OK, I’ll quietly ignore you in future – kindly return the favour

  29. Where’s lolwot? He’s been denying the pause for months now. Care to comments lw?

  30. There is a glib truthlessness about everything coming from government these days. It is all we can expect.

    It’s tragic—totally immoral. And, it’s ‘kinda funny when even the weather is political.

    “I myself have killed all gods in the fourth act out of morality! What should now become of the fifth act! Whence now take the tragic solution! Must I begin to think about a comic solution?” ~Nietzsche

  31. Hansen has not been very creditable to many in the circles of people I talk to about climate. We did send a letter to the head of NASA, Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator, about our concerns to the damage to the reputation of NASA.
    When I started reading “ Global Temperature Update Through 2012”, my first thought was that he was improving. Then I read:

    A slower growth rate of the net climate forcing may have contributed to the standstill of global temperature in the past decade, but it cannot explain the standstill, because it is known that the planet has been out of energy balance, more energy coming in from the sun than energy being radiated to space.10 The planetary energy imbalance is due largely to the increase of climate forcings in prior decades and the great thermal inertia of the ocean. The more important factor in the standstill is probably unforced dynamical variability, essentially climatic “noise”.
    Earth is Out of energy balance! That is not something I believe. The rapid temperature changes between day and night and between winter and summer and just day to day tell me that earth is excellent at staying in energy balance. If Hansen has earth energy out of balance then he has errors in his work that need correcting. He has not improved. He is still not very creditable.
    We know that the albedo of earth in the peak of the Little Ice Age was higher than albedo in the peak of the Roman Warm Period and in the peak of the Medieval Warm Period and in the peak of the Current Warm Period. We know that albedo has been decreasing since the Little Ice Age into what may very well be the peak of the Current Warm Period. Hansen, and the other alarmist Consensus Climate people do ignore albedo. Of course it gets warmer in a period in which ice retreats and albedo decreases. The temperature difference between a warm period and a cold period is explained by the difference in albedo. The CO2 difference between a warm period and a cold period is explained by the basic physics that says the vapor of any gas that is in water is a strong function of temperature.

    Open a hot and a cold carbonated drink and observe the difference.

  32. The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

    JC said:

    “I predict we will see continuation of the ‘standstill’ in global average temperature for the next decade, with solar playing a role in this as well.”

    ______
    This “seems” like a reasonable prediction given the peaking of the AMO, sleepy sun, etc.– if we were dealing with a linear and non-chaotic system that was not undergoing accelerating external forcing with multiple feedbacks. In other words, this prediction would seem reasonable if the nature of nature was linear and not Extremistan and we could count on a predictable continuation of the current flat-temperature period. In the investing world, we would call the more likely future the “whipsaw”– lulling you into guessing one way, and whipping back the other. Given that we know we have an ongoing external forcing, if you think you can count on the “standstill” happening– most likely you can’t.

    With an ice-free summer Arctic looming as a real possibility in the next decade, this will only add to the nonlinear effects. The odd behavior of the NH polar vortex this winter is probably a good indication that the next decade will be quite indicative of Extremistan.

    • Well since we have already lost half the ice in this century according to the warmists, then this positive feedback has already happened and still we have not warmed at all this century.

      We have continued to pump all this CO2 into the atmosphere at an ever increasing rate,. We have had all this ‘pipeline’ warning, that was there at the start of the century according to you and your ilk and we have had all this positive feedback from ice albedo and yet not an ounce of warming.

      Still doesn’t stop you saying we are all going to burn if we lose a bit more ice though does it.

      Its amazing that we haven’t warmed frankly, given the immense amout of hot air emitted by you warmists.

      Alan

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Of course Alan,

        You seem to want to measure “warming” by troposphere only? You seem to discount the total energy of the Earth system which is more in the oceans than the atmosphere? You want to discount the large changes we’ve seen in the cryosphere? All of these show net energy increases in the Earth system. Do you even understand how we could get cooling at lower latitudes in the troposphere if the Arctic vortex is disturbed. Measure the temperature outside your freezer door (say, 6 inches away) and then open your freezer door and measure the temperature. Wow, you get cooling, but the air inside that freezer is warming, just like the Arctic warms when you disturb the circulation in the winter.

      • The Climate clique predicted a massive acceleration of the warming rate of the troposphere in this century not a trivial increase in the temperature of the oceans.

        In the absence of any troposphere warming, what are the effects of a warming of a few hundreths of a degree of the oceans?

        Alan

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Alan,

        Have no idea who the “climate clique” is, but the greater energy storage capacity and greater thermal inertia of the oceans combined with the fact that net heat flow is always from oceans to atmosphere would dictate that the oceans would show more consistent long-term warming than the atmosphere. What you seem to fail to realize though is that a few tenths of a degree of temperature spread out in the ocean equates to eventual huge temperatures in the atmosphere when that heat is released. The Arctic is already seeing the early signs of what warmer oceans can do.

      • R Gates wrote: “What you seem to fail to realize though is that a few tenths of a degree of temperature spread out in the ocean equates to eventual huge temperatures in the atmosphere when that heat is released”
        —————————————————-
        By what possible mechanism can a release of heat from the ocean warm the atmosphere to a higher temperature than that of the ocean surface, as you seem to be implying?

    • Regarding JC’s prediction of a global temperature standstill for the next decade, The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates) said on Jan 16, 2013 at 1:23 pm:

      “… this prediction would seem reasonable if the nature of nature was linear and not Extremistan and we could count on a predictable continuation of the current flat-temperature period. In the investing world, we would call the more likely future the “whipsaw”– lulling you into guessing one way, and whipping back the other.”
      ____

      Well, similar to the whipsaw, given the following definition:

      “A quick price movement followed by a sharp price change in the opposite direction. An investor expecting a continuation in the direction of a security’s price movement is likely to experience whipsaw in a volatile market. This risk is very important to short-term traders but inconsequential to long-term investors.”

      http://invest.yourdictionary.com/whipsaw

      The short-term in global temperature is also inconsequential to the long-term.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Max_OK said:

        “The short-term in global temperature is also inconsequential to the long-term.”

        ____

        Exactly. And additionally, the atmosphere is far more fickle (lower thermal inertia) than the oceans. The oceans have been showing a pretty consistent accumulation of energy over at least the past 50 years of around 0.5 x 10^22 Joules per year down to 2000 meters. Some of this is of course finding its way to the Arctic, where it is causing some pretty huge changes.

        It seems the “skeptics” love to focus on the fickle troposphere over whatever periods suit them rather than look at other (larger) areas of Earth’s energy system that are not so fickle and nor as subject to as much short-term noise.

      • R Gates wrote: “The oceans have been showing a pretty consistent accumulation of energy over at least the past 50 years of around 0.5 x 10^22 Joules per year down to 2000 meters”
        ——————————————————————-
        That would equate to an average ocean temperature increase of 0.0016C per year, or 0.08C over the past 50 years.

      • As an investor, I never put much stock in short-term market forecasts. As an observer of climate change, I never put much stock in short-term forecasts of average global temperature.

      • Skeptical and Okie

        Agree with you both that “short term blips” are meaningless.

        Come back and talk about ocean heat content when you have, say, three decades of reliable ARGO data, OK?

        Any “data” prior to 2003 is next to worthless, so all you’ve got now is a “short term blip” from 2003 to today – and the folks have had to “correct” the ARGO data to change a slight cooling trend (2003-2008) to a slight warming trend (2003-2012).

        Max

  33. Can someone help me put here? Maybe MattStat?

    Hansen etc al. use a figure labelled: “Fig.3 Frequency of occurrence of local June-July-August temperature anomalies (relative to 1951-1980
    mean) for Northern Hemisphere land” . Ignoring the issue of his using only Northern hemisphere and only summer local anomalies, does this figure statistically mean anything other than “Summers have generally been a bit warmer?”

  34. Judith Curry says “GWPF reports on the latest decadal simulation from the UKMO, which predicts basically no warming for the next 5 years. Should we believe the UKMO model prediction? Well, I have more confidence in the UKMO prediction than in Hansen’s back of the envelope reasoning.”
    _____________

    You can be even more confident in my prediction for the next 5 years: the temperature average for the next 5 years will be higher, lower, or the same as the average for the previous 5 years.

    • Max_OK

      Can I quote you on your “prediction”?

      Or was it just a “projection”?

      Or maybe an “extrapolation”?

      I’ll reword it slightly this way (to meet the specs)..

      “After a careful analysis of the Earth’s past climate fluctuations, climate specialist, Max_OK has predicted that it cannot be ruled out that the temperature average for the next five years will be higher than for the previous five.”

      OK, Max?

      Max_CH

      • Max_CH, I am offended by your mealy-mouthed rewording of my prediction Your “it cannot be ruled out” is nothing but a wishy-washy cover-your-butt cop-out, which I don’t need.

        I stand by my my prediction that the global temperature average for the next 5 years will be higher, lower, or the same as the average for the previous 5 years.

    • Max_OK your “prediction” was always perfectly clear, dunno why Max_CH would want to change anything. The way you have worded it, Its the only prediction one can make with 100% confidence (given that the Earth will continue to function as normal).

      • Thank you, Peter. Yes, my prediction is “perfectly clear.” It’s also perfectly worthless.

  35. The Met Office says there has been no statistically significant warming since 1998

    And, the Met Office has rewritten its projection history:
    http://solarcycle24com.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=globalwarming&thread=95&page=56#86769

    However, there’s little to choose between the Met Office and Hansen – this offers an explanation for Hansen: “The reason for Hansen’s periodic revision of the climate history: the data in the last two decades has not matched his predictions. It most closely matches his scenario C – reduced CO2 emissions.”

    Met Office / Hadley
    http://www.appinsys.com/globalwarming/Hansen_GlobalTemp.htm

    “Hansen removed most of the dips in the data (i.e. ca. 1910, 1923, 1947, 1965, 1975).

    “Hansen shows 2005 as the warmest year whereas Hadley shows 1998 as the warmest year.

    “Hansen’s 2-sigma error bars (green) are very misleading compared to the range exhibited in the Hadley data.”

    However, there’s little to choose between the Met Office and Hansen – this offers an explanation for Hansen: “The reason for Hansen’s periodic revision of the climate history: the data in the last two decades has not matched his predictions. It most closely matches his scenario C – reduced CO2 emissions.”

    Hold onto your hats: http://frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/global-warming-inventor-warns-that-world-will-end-in-3-days/

    ..2 days
    ..1 day

    “It also looks like black carbon is looming as more important than previously believed, see article at WUWT.”

    So what if the big ice cube at the north pole melts?

    Carbon dioxide levels not driving temperatures is what this is all about, still demonising coal.

  36. I can’t help wondering if James Hansen’s “Confessions of a Statist: the Great Warming Standstill” represents the beginning of his exit strategy. After all, he has led a NASA team of climate scientists to sing from one hymnal. Engaged in theatrics with his Senate open window stunt and his characterizing coal cars as Holocaust death trains. He has been out front into making rational CAGW skeptics keep their mouths shut. He has a lot of onlookers as he acknowledges the science screaming from various data sets.

    What do you say when you are wrong? You have carried the fate of human kind upon your broad shoulders only to awaken, as if from a mid-summer’s night dream, to realize you have mislead others. What is, is not what you thought was.

    Steve Mosher, who knows Hansen, believes Hansen is a great man and great scientists. How does Hansen turn around to Steve and say…I believed I was right.

    When one has as a legacy…”I thought I was doing the right thing” it is really really hard to go quietly into the night, but it is the preferable exit.

    • Did you read the Hansen document cited by JC ?

    • Steven Mosher

      huh, I would hardly say I know hansen. I’ve read his work. I’ve listened to him speak in person. he is a great scientist. he makes mistakes like everyone does. Oh course, he believes he is right. Dont you?

      • Define “great scientist”.

      • Steven Mosher

        define “define”

      • Bill Clinton? Is that you?

      • Oh course, he believes he is right. Dont you?

        No, I believe I am more likely to be right then wrong.

      • A great scientist? Good grief, your bar is very low..

        http://climateaudit.org/2010/07/25/the-team-defends-paleo-phrenology/

        He’s the snake oil salesman who said that the CRU emails “had no effect on science” because he is fully at ease with corruption of data in his screaming global warming doom mongering, kept in his position by his anti coal nuclear interests.

        He’s not a scientist, he’s a puppet, a stooge. And he together with the others who have provided not a jot of evidence for any of their claims with no qualms about corrupting the science process will continue to be the joke of real science.

        See: http://www.appinsys.com/globalwarming/Hansen_GlobalTemp.htm

        “NASA’s James Hansen is the United States’ leading scientific alarmist about global warming. He believes global warming is accelerating. Apparently it’s his revisions of the data that are causing the acceleration.

        “This document examines the historical revision in the global temperature change as defined by Hansen over the decades. Hansen’s global temperature graphs are examined from 1981 to 2007.”

        See also:

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/14/hansen-and-karl-to-put-on-a-worse-than-we-thought-event/#comment-1199685

        The fraudulent methods as shown by the Met in my link above.

        These snake oil salesmen have corrupted all the great science institutions.

      • I am aware that I’ve been wrong on a lot of subjects, a lot of the time.

        I have also come to the conclusion that I am not alone on this and that most people manage to be wrong a good deal of the time. Therefore I do not automatically believe someone to be right just because they are supposedly a subject matter expert.

        My goal is to be correct more often than not. Just as I try to solve more problems than I cause.

    • You wrote: “Steve Mosher, who knows Hansen, believes Hansen is a great man and great scientist”

      I do not believe that is an accurate view of Mosher’s belief

      • GREAT TIMING, ROB ! Ha Ha !

      • Max

        I admit to being suprised that Mosher would describe Hansen as a great scientist, but he didn’t state that he believed him to be a great man.

        You are correct that I was wrong to comment for Mosher

      • Steven Mosher

        of course he is a great man. he has strong beliefs. He takes actions on those beliefs. he cares for his grand children. I happen to disagree with some of his positions. But people want to make every person they disagree with into somekind of devil. That’s the mistake mann made with mcintrye.

      • Steve’s perception of a great scientist and a great man are different than mine. I acknowledge being wrong in my assessment of Steve’s views.

        I do not view a great scientist as being as biased and illogical as Hansen. It isn’t my 1st disagreement with Mosher

      • “But people want to make every person they disagree with into somekind of devil.”

        And some people want to make people they agree with “Great Men.”

        Probably more dangerous than the devil thing.

        Andrew

      • When you know someone personally, as Mosher apparently knows Hansen, and the person is one who has an age and gravitas advantage plus a pleasant, friendly personality, it is easy to become convinced that this person is a “great” person (scientist, statesman, whatever).

        It’s known as the “halo effect”.

        When you DON’T know this person personally, you can more easily judge the person more objectively by his/her actions alone (forgetting the “halo”).

        A fact of life.

        Max

      • Don’t think that the switcheroo from “great scientist” to “great man” wasn’t noticed.

      • @Mosher: The fact that Hansen has made the mistake of demonizing McIntyre — as you admit — says that Hansen is in fact not a great man. No use talking about the flaws that we all share: this demonization of McIntyre (and others like him) by Hansen (and others like him) has been highly public, vindictive, and destructive to science. It remains to be seen if Hansen is a great scientist, but it’s clear that his actions have set in motion a culture and chain of events that have done more damage to science than all of the contributions he’s made as a scientist.

      • moshe only says that Mann demonized McIntyre. I don’t know that Hansen has demonized McIntyre publicly.

        Both Mann and Hansen are wrong, but are otherwise very different.
        =================

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Would a great man not apologize for the “lights out in teapot dome” attempt to help realclimate smear Mc ?

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        how ’bout a grudgingly honest man?
        how ’bout a smart man that knows he fcked up ?
        how about a responsible and ethical scientist?

      • Thanks, tintigo, I’d forgotten that one. Then we also have Hansen’s emails, which his grandchildren may have the pleasure of reading.
        ====================

    • Where in the world are you getting the notion he’s admitting being wrong?

      What universe is this? I think I’m on earth. Is that where we are?

      Last year he said the 5-year mean was weak evidence of a slowdown of global warming, by which he means the surface air temperature, which should be clear to anybody who reads Hansen. He’s discussed this before.

      Warming of the globe called earth continues.

      • Give him time. He owes it to his grandchildren to explain why he impoverished them so unnecessarily.
        =============

      • Great scientists have always attracted the attention of gnats, buzzing around trying to garner some reflected glory by being persistantly irritating.

      • Kim the gnat?

        Sounds like a foreign word.

      • It is my understanding that gnats and flies are a common occurance in a donkey’s stall.

        Michael weighs in and provides corrobarary evidence.

  37. The head Priest has been slaughtering the first born female virgin for a quarter century, promising that this will make wheat bloom in the desert, and finally admits he cannot see green shoots.
    What should the villagers do now?

    • Doc

      Obviously the answer depends on whom the villagers ask:

      Head Priest: “Slaughter the second born female virgin.”

      Virgin: “Slaughter the Priest.”

      Max

      PS If they asked me, I’d go for slaughtering the Priest. If I got struck dead by lightning as a result, so be it.

    • Move a quarter mile south every generation.
      ============

      • It took the Israelites 40 years to get from Egypt to the land of Canaan; as an expert in Climate Science we can do some analysis.
        The distance between Cairo and Tel Aviv is 400 km, so thats 10 km per year.
        So 6 mornings out of 7, they awoke, broke camp, packed up, moved 32 meters, unpacked, set-up camp, and began the telling of epic tales of the days adventures.

  38. Hansen’s latest eructation has the distinct odor of damage control.

  39. Brandon Shollenberger

    This may be my favorite comment ever. Coming from our very own Joshua:

    If you believe that adding CO2 warms the globe, then you believe that if you add C02, you warm the globe. The warming of the globe does not “pause” or “stop” if you continue to add CO2.

    It is illogical to say that you don’t doubt the physics of AGW, and to also say that despite adding ACO2 to the climate, global warming has “stopped” or “paused.”

    That’s right folks. If you believe in the physics of the greenhouse effect, you must believe the planet is warming. You must believe the planet is warming because there are no other possibilities. You don’t even have to look at the data; you already know the answer.

    • Oh Brandon, that one is going to sting.
      Now wait until Fan writes a piece in praise of Hansen’s statistical ability and his unchallenged ability to measure the slope of a line, along with many strange symbols.

      • Doc

        Fan is curiously quiet – after all the post is all about Fan’s hero, “Death Train” Hansen.

        Max

      • Fan may now be Hydrogen.

        Not sure though because there was an absence of emoticons.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        DocMartyn, for it to sting, Joshua would have to realize how dumb that sounds. Since he keeps repeating it, I don’t think that’ll happen.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Joshua’s quote says it all.

      “If adding CO2 warms the globe there can be no “pause” or “stop” in warming.”

      Ergo:

      If there is a “stop” or “pause” in warming, and CO2 is being added, adding CO2 does NOT warm the globe.

      Seems logical to me.

      Max

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Josh
        :)

      • If there is a “stop” or “pause” in warming, and CO2 is being added, adding CO2 does NOT warm the globe.

        That’s good, manacker. Your logic in improving. If you think that there is a “stop” or a “pause” in the warming, then you reject basic AGW physics.

        That is exactly what I’ve been saying. Anyone who says that they accept the basic physics of AGW, and also says that the warming has “stopped” or “paused” is either being illogical, or is failing the basics of skepticism (i.e., is a “skeptic”).

      • joshua, ” Anyone who says that they accept the basic physics of AGW, and also says that the warming has “stopped” or “paused” is either being illogical, or is failing the basics of skepticism (i.e., is a “skeptic”).”

        Oh really?

      • He’s only a bird, in a gilded cage.
        ============

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        manacker, if we go with Joshua’s argument, that’s what we’ll have to tell people. Anyone who looks at a graph of temperatures and thinks there is a pause is deceived or a deluded science denier.

        I’m sure that’ll convince lots of folks.

      • John Carpenter

        Joshua,

        Your logical argument only makes sense with the term ‘stopped’, but does not make sense with the term ‘paused’. ‘Stopped’ means there will be no more warming and if you agree that adding more CO2 will cause more warming via radiative heat transfer physics, then by adding more CO2 you cannot ‘stop’ the warming. Agreed. However, this is not so with ‘paused’. If you ‘pause’ it means warming may resume at some time in the future (or perhaps even cooling… but let’s not go there for the sake of this argument). So it is logically possible to accept radiative heat transfer physics (AGW) that says adding more CO2 will cause more warming and still recognize the warming trend may not be uniform and may have a ‘pause’ or two as other forcings are also in play. I mean, are you really saying Hansen fits in with your definition of ‘skeptic’? Because that’s what he’s saying… isn’t it? What’s the difference between ‘pause’ and ‘standstill’?

      • John –

        Yes, I have thought about the argument you make there.

        I agree – if we assume that the term global warming = global mean (surface) temps then “pause” is not illogical (whereas “stopped” is).

        Or, in other words, if we assume that AGW necessarily implies that global mean surface temps will rise at some point in the future (although we might argue about estimated probabilities of the extent) on the assumption that mitigating natural variations will cancel out over the long term. In that sense, yes, “paused” would be fine as opposed to “stopped” – which implies that it will not continue (please note that accompanying Rose’s article that Judith defended mightily, there were numerous references to global warming having “stopped.”)

        But my argument rests upon the (what seems to me to be) unscientific conflation of global warming and increase in global mean of (surface temps). It is a fair argument that both sides use that conflation for purposes of confirming biases – but “Mommy, mommy, they do it tooooouuu” (or “…they did it fiiirrrssst”) seems to me to be an argument best left for jr. high school students.

        As such, I reject the logic of “global warming” has paused – although not the logic of “global mean (surface) temps has stagnated.

      • Joshua wrote: “As such, I reject the logic of “global warming” has paused”
        ————————————————————-
        You’re quite right.
        The surface temperatures may have stagnated, but the oceans have inexorably continued warming at a rate of 0.016C per decade.

      • phatboy –

        I like the sarcasm, but the logical problem remains.

        I think that arguments about magnitude of sensitivity and estimates of certainly are the rightful domain of a skeptic (and even, IMO, arguments about the physics of AGW) – but the “skeptical” illogic of claiming to accept the basic physic of AGW and at the same time claiming that global warming has “stopped” or “paused” remains.

        I do acknowledge that it is true that if we can measure all manifestations of increased heat content, and it amounts to as small a figure as that you site, then the question of illogic becomes effectively a question of semantics.

      • Joshua, I don’t see the illogic.
        A runaway train can slow right down or even almost stop on a gentle uphill. Doesn’t mean to say it won’t get going again.

    • I agree.

      It is an excellent one:

      If you believe that adding CO2 warms the globe, then you believe that if you add C02, you warm the globe. The warming of the globe does not “pause” or “stop” if you continue to add CO2.

      It is illogical to say that you don’t doubt the physics of AGW, and to also say that despite adding ACO2 to the climate, global warming has “stopped” or “paused.”

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Wow. Joshua is still defending this ridiculous position. I didn’t think I’d have to do this, but I’m going to show how wrong it is. Let’s consider a very simple hypothetical:

      We have a planet where the only non-constant radiative forcings are from CO2 and methane. Both of these are emitted at high rates similar to Earth, and this planet warms. One day, methane emissions are completely stopped. Over the next few decades, atmospheric methane levels plunge. What would happen?

      Nothing about radiative physics effect says emitting CO2 ensures warming. Like most things in this world, our planet’s climatic systems are far more complicated than that. It is perfectly possible to have CO2 emissions and cooling or a lack of CO2 emissions and warming. It is perfectly possible to have CO2 emissions and a “pause” or “standstill” in warming.

      In other words, Joshua is a fool.

      • > Nothing about radiative physics effect says emitting CO2 ensures warming.

        Chewbacca will find a way to make sure this sentence makes no sense.

      • By “this sentence”, I meant Joshua’s, not Chewbacca’s.

        Not that Chewbacca’s sentence can’t be interpreted as not making any sense.

      • willard –

        It is interesting how brandon amuses himself by arguing with himself:

        So he writes this,

        It is perfectly possible to have CO2 emissions and a “pause” or “standstill” in warming.

        as an argument with himself about this:

        Nothing about radiative physics effect says emitting CO2 ensures warming.

        Apparently he mistakenly thinks that he’s arguing with me about something there, but in fact, he isn’t – as earlier in this very thread I wrote:

        It is entirely logical to say that you accept the basic physics of AGW, and that despite global warming, for a short period of time there has been no observable increasing trend in global mean temperatures.

        So – despite accepting that (as Pekka says) ACO2 increases heat content to the whole Earth system, we see the argument from brandon that “there is nothing about radiative physics effect [that] says emitting CO2 ensures warming.”

        Seems to me like we’ve got a problem with definition of terms – but be that as it may, since I’m clearly not qualified to argue the science I’ll let brandon take up the technical argument with Pekka – since is is in clear disagreement with him.

        Or perhaps, brandon would just prefer to do more of this I suppose:

        http://tinyurl.com/agw6lo6

      • Brandon

        You are saying when you replace a thin blanket with a thicker one you get colder.

        How is that possible?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Wow. Just wow. Not long ago I said Joshua raised a valid point when he said a warming in the surface temperature record should not be conflated with global warming. The two are related, but not the same. Now, in response to me pointing out CO2 levels can rise while total radiative forcing decreases, Joshua says:

        It is entirely logical to say that you accept the basic physics of AGW, and that despite global warming, for a short period of time there has been no observable increasing trend in global mean temperatures.

        That’s right. To say I’m wrong, he conflated the very two things he said we shouldn’t conflate. It’s weird. It’s even more weird when one realizes his comment in no way responds to what I said. Consider:

        So – despite accepting that (as Pekka says) ACO2 increases heat content to the whole Earth system, we see the argument from brandon that “there is nothing about radiative physics effect [that] says emitting CO2 ensures warming.”

        I am certain Pekka Pirilä would agree with what I said. Anyone with any sense would. Increasing CO2 levels will tend to increase radiative forcing, but it is possible other things will counterbalance or even overwhelm that effect. This is a basic scientific fact that Joshua apparently either ignores or fails to understand.

        In other words, Joshua created a strawman in which he conflated two things (he has previously said shouldn’t be conflated) and appealed to an authority that disagrees with him… because he doesn’t understand an incredibly simple point. And then he suggests I’m humping his leg.

        As I said: Wow.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Girma, I have no idea why you’d resort to metaphor when the point I made was already quite simple. It seems to needlessly confuse matters, especially since metaphors are never precise.

        I’m not even sure I said what you claimed you said, but your question has an obvious answer. The fact a blanket is thicker doesn’t mean it will warm you more. A thicker blanket made of one material can easily warm you less than a thinner blanket made of a better material.

  40. Brandon Shollenberger

    Joshua makes a valid point:

    Hansen and Rose were describing different phenomena: Rose was describing global warming, Hansen was describing global mean (surface) temperatures. They are not one and the same.

    Of course, he only makes this point now. Where was he when, for over a decade, Hansen and other global warming proponents conflated the two? It was only when “global warming” stopped that he and others started saying global mean (surface) temperatures weren’t actually a measure of global warming.

    I’ve made the same point to R.Gates multiple times. If “global warming” shouldn’t be used to refer solely to surface temperatures, why aren’t we criticizing the people who decided to make it mean that?

    • David Springer

      Excellent point.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        It’s irrelevant to the Rose story in a way, though it is true.

        In the Rose story we are comparing apples to apples. Jones\ way of thinking of global temps, his previous way of stating it, compared to a year later.

        Apples all the way..

    • Where was he when, for over a decade, Hansen and other global warming proponents conflated the two?

      Ah. “Mommy, mommy, they did it fiiiirrrssstt.”

      Now where have I seen that before?

      • Joshua’s reasoning continues to amaze.

      • Joshua,

        You are still ducking my question about you promoting the ridiculous conspiracy theory that CAGW skeptics are massively funded by big business etc.

        I am looking forward to the evidence to support your assertions, or your retraction of your promotion of stupid conspiracy theories.

      • As I recall Josh, we usually see it from you.

        I quit complaining to my mom a long time ago.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        timg56, it’s funny you mention that. It was just last week Joshua did what he accuses me of.

        Of course, I’m not actually doing what he accuses me of. He’s attempting to insult me for excusing behavior by saying others did it first. That doesn’t make any sense. I didn’t excuse any behavior. All I did was say he should have been behaving one way from the start.

        And he talks about people being illogical? Puh-leez.

      • Steven Mosher

        Joshua, nobody is saying “they did it first” In short, those making the case for global warming conflated two concepts. They created a symbol. They promoted a symbol. That has become a part of the discourse. people in power get to do that. Now, you want to un conflate the term and in the process you are treating others with zero charity. You are letting your bias and your desire to find them in the wrong color your interpretation of their words. You dont even consider that they might be using the term differently than you use it. In fact, your conclusion ( they are illogical) SHOULD HAVE CLUED YOU IN, that your interpretation was the problem, rather than their lack of logic. the fact that you cannot see how your bias colors your reading, isnt that shocking.

    • Further –

      It was only when “global warming” stopped that he and others started saying global mean (surface) temperatures weren’t actually a measure of global warming.

      Bit of an ambiguous antecedent there (is “he” me or Hansen)?

      Assuming it meant me…

      I have only been observing the climate debate for a couple of years…so that would be your first logical error. What makes you think that you know what I was saying years ago? If I were you, I’d stick to commenting on things that I know something about.

      Second, I haven’t said that “global mean (surface) temperatures aren’t actually a measure of global warming.” Another error on your part.

      In case you’re interested in knowing what I think (as someone not smart enough or knowledgeable enough to debate the science) – I would say that global mean (surface) temperatures are an indicator (or measure) of global warming – but they are only one measure of such, but not sufficient as a complete measurement.

      • Oh, please, it’s not all about you. It’s all about Hansen. The Death Train guy, get it?
        ==========

      • Oh, please, it’s not all about you.

        Funny, considering that you have chased me around on this thread (as you have on past threads) to leave your little droppings (insults).

      • Hmmmm.

        If I were you, I’d stick to commenting on things that I know something about.

        Sometimes it’s a problem that you can’t delete comments once they’ve been posted.

      • It seemed obvious to me that it was Hansen to which Brandon was referring to but Joshua’s point about the physics of global warming and the CO2 connection used by AGW supporters being now in conflict with the data (assuming the absence of lags) seemed to be a valid one.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Joshua:

        Bit of an ambiguous antecedent there (is “he” me or Hansen)?

        Assuming it meant me…

        Yes Joshua. I was ambiguous by using a pronoun to refer to the same person three times in three sentences. It’s not like I explicitly referred to “he” and “Hansen” as different entities in those sentences.

        In case you’re interested in knowing what I think (as someone not smart enough or knowledgeable enough to debate the science) – I would say that global mean (surface) temperatures are an indicator (or measure) of global warming – but they are only one measure of such, but not sufficient as a complete measurement.

        First off, “measure” and “indicator” are not the same thing as you pretend. Second, your entire point relies on an uncharitable interpretation of what I said. Even if you were right on definitions (you aren’t), you’d still just be relying on semantic nit-picking to disagree with me.

        The meaning of my comment was perfectly clear. If you want to fail to understand it, you can, but it will only speak to your character.

        If I were you, I’d stick to commenting on things that I know something about.

        Morissette irony?

  41. As a layman, looking for sense in all this, the only conclusion I can come to is;
    Does anyone know what they are doing here? If they don’t, why is it costing us so much money on something that clearly isn’t ‘settled’? When I read stuff such as this I can only think it’s all BS.

    Science Gets The Stratosphere Wrong
    http://theresilientearth.com/?q=content/science-gets-stratosphere-wrong

    Discuss.

    • ColOldMan, The article you link shows the problem. When NASA had a mission to the moon, they developed a leadership hierarchic, delegates authority, established verification procedures, they figured out how to herd the cats.

      Scientist are cats, not natural born leaders.

  42. Good to see you changing yr name from Hydrogen to Alarmist,
    Alarmist. So less pusillanimous ter make personal attacks under
    yr real name instead of hiding behind a pseudonym.
    Beth

  43. But what should we say about the Fig 3. of this most recent paper. That’s the one that has been shown to be highly misleading as it defines extremes in relative to the local average temperatures of period 1951-1980. Emphasizing the extreme tail is just the serious error that Tamino brought up and that I have been writing about on this site.

    Steve Mosher wrote that Hansen has admitted the error. If so, then why he’s presenting faulty arguments yet again?

    The point is that comparing local averages of past with local extremes of the present selects strongly cases where the local temperatures have risen more than the average of all locations even in absence of extremes. The reason may be cold past as well as warm later years. There are always such cases irrespectively of the presence of overall warming trend as under such conditions same places cool and some warm. As the Fig. 3 is badly corrupted by the factor that’s not at all related to any worrying trend, it’s a serious matter that they keep on presenting it.

    How can they do this again?

    • Many people picked up on that error.
      Essentially, a distribution of anomalies says nothing about anything.
      Why does he continue to push the same faulty arguments? That’s anyone’s guess – I couldn’t possibly comment.

    • I have never had a problem with the climate dice analogy. What were the warmest 33% of temperatures in the base period, now occur 66% of the time, with 9% even warmer (3-sigma) events that were very rare in the base period. This is averaged over many stations. So it goes from 2 faces of the die being in that warm range to 4, plus some chance of even warmer that wasn’t there before. It is just changing probabilities defining the 33% temperature ranges by the base period.

      • I have always problems when strongly misleading presentations are used. The Fig. 3 is fundamentally wrong. The wider distributions are basically formed by combining local distributions that are probably not broadened at all or very little. The local distributions are not centered at the same value, which leads to a wider distribution for the combination. The same thing would happen without any global warming. Thus even without global warming there would be an increase in apparent extreme temperatures. Of course the whole distribution would not be shifted, but the basic phenomenon would be there.

        There has been more warming in some areas and the extremes of those areas differ more from the past average of the same areas, but there are also areas of less warming and their maximimus differ less from their past averages. That’s unavoidable whenever there are local differences in warming. The Fig. 3 does not give the slightest evidence that the cases that appear as most extreme there were at locations where that’s a particular problem. It might equally well be the case that the lesser warming at other locations has been more significant than the greater warming at those places.

        There’s far too much in that figure that’s purely an artifact of the methodology. That figure is misrepresentation of statistics. No scientist should publish that unless he can tell more about the cases where the extremes are obtained and unless the significance of that is discussed as well.

        Misleading does not belong to science.

      • This particular paper seems quite reasonable and I haven’t any other problems with it based on a rather cursory reading. Using a discredited and fundamentally misleading figure is, however, a big mistake in my view. It tells that Hansen et al do not appreciate scientific honesty enough and are willing to mislead when the message is right for them. That’s a way of loosing credibility.

        It’s, of course, also possible that they haven’t understood fully the error they have made even if they have accepted that it influenced some of their earlier conclusions. The point is that the error did influence severely most quantitative results of the previous paper, not only a minor part of them.

      • Ancient shamanic practice requires evocation of human fear and guilt about weather wierding. ‘Warming’ and ‘climate change’ are no longer evoking the desired responses. Ironically and tragically, Hansen sacrifices his own grandchildren to these ancient scruples.
        ================

      • Jim D, A 3-sigma event in eg Alaska is not the same thing as a 3-sigma event in eg Libya, not by any stretch of the imagination, yet Hansen lumps them together as if they were exactly the same animal

      • I think a lot too much is being made of the histograms. In words, what they tell us is this. For 1951-1980 and for each station define the temperatures that make the warmest 1/3 of the summers, which is a threshold temperature for each station, e.g. it might be 25 C somewhere. This would mean the summer average temperature of 25 C is exceeded 1/3 of the time. Then check how often this 25 C threshold is exceeded at that station in the current climate summer average. It turns out to be more than 2/3 of the current summers on average, which is double the frequency. Yes, this change is not globally uniform, just an average, some have more and some have less than double the frequency of warm summers defined that way. Hansen’s “dice” paper showed distributions of excedence in standard deviations, and these picked out extreme events well as 3-sigma areas. The 3-sigma area went up to 10% from about 0.5% if you look at annual maps, with a large variation between years in the locations of the extremes. It is not skewed by a few locations.

      • Jim,

        This is exactly the wrong conclusion that the figures promote by being misleading.

        Try to understand the point I and Phatboy have been trying to make understood.

        One way of stating the point is that it’s impossible to know correctly the right temperature of comparison for each locality. Using the average from the past does not work correctly but leads to all the false conclusions. The whole graph is based on that and that’s wrong.

        Two kind of variabilities are involved, the spatial variability between the changes in average temperature from the past to the later period and the variability around the mean at every location. The distribution presented is a convolution of these two distributions. It gets broader because the variability in the change of average temperature grows, but this variability can equally well be good oar bad as long as it has not been analyzed whether the warming is stronger at locations where it’s beneficial or where it’s harmful. As long as this additional analysis has not been done it’s just wrong to present that misleading graph and draw the kind of conclusion from it as you do. When the analysis is done some other more meaningful graphs can be drawn.

      • Pekka, the first part of what I said doesn’t convey whether it is good or bad that summers are now twice as likely to be “warm’ by the objective criteria of the base period. For some places, this may be better. It is just a statistical fact, not political. When it comes to 3-sigma events this can become political, because the best global examples of large 3-sigma areas recently were the Russian drought and forest fires in 2010 and the severe Texas drought of 2011. Whether these recent example mean that the formerly rare 3-sigma events are always bad is a subjective opinion. We need more to be able to tell whether they are a bad signal, but statistically they cover a twenty-times larger area now making them more frequent at many locations.

      • Pekka, I have tried to understand why you say you can’t use 30 years of temperature data to decide what is defined as warm, average and cold for each station, and then apply this same standard to the current climate and re-evaluate the percentages that were formerly 1/3 each. This looks like a completely valid statistical way to compare time periods. You could do something similar with individual stations. Take the 10th warmest of the 30-year base period, and see how frequently it is exceeded in the current period. On average 2/3 of the current years would exceed that according to the statistics. I think this would be a reasonable expectation too given the extent of climate change which is near a standard deviation at many locations.

      • Jim,

        The principal point is that probably all the broadening is just an artifact of the method from the point of view of understanding extreme temperatures. Thus every conclusion that’s affected by the wider width of the distribution at later times is false. Only such conclusion can be considered valid that don’t change when the distribution is replaced by one of the same width as the narrowest ones and located at the center of the one shown in the pictures.

        There may by additional effects, but the paper doesn’t support that possibility at all, it’s totally neutral on that. All contrary ideas are due to the misleading nature of that picture.

        As I have stated repeatedly the corresponding distributions broaden over time even in the absence of any global warming or any other general trend in the climate. That would happen because even in such case some areas warm for a while and others cool. That happens without anything that could be considered a negative (or positive) trend. That’s just an unavoidable consequence of the spatial variability in the local trends around the global average. That happens equally for warming, cooling and unchanging global climate.

        The difficulty of understanding this is perhaps the strongest reason for saying that scientists should never publish such figures. They are misleading in so subtle a way that people like you don’t easily realize, how they have been misled.

        In judging a scientific paper there’s a simple rule. When an error has been observed, don’t take seriously anything that can even remotely be affected by that error until the error is corrected and all following steps redone based on the corrected analysis. There is most certainly an error in that paper. The error is in mixing statistical properties of global (or wide area) temperature distributions with the statistical properties of those related to individual locations. The most serious error is related to the differing trends or changes in the average temperatures, but an similar error applies also to the variances. These errors affect almost all the paper as almost all the data and figures are based on similarly erroneous use of the data. It’s not that the error is done at one point, it’s prevalent to all comparisons, i.e. to the whole approach.

        It’s not clear that the analysis can really be corrected without loss of statistical significance.

      • Jim D

        The “climate dice” refers to extremes being “extremer” when the “globally and annually averaged land an sea temperature anomaly” is warmer than before.

        How much warmer – and how much “extremer”?

        “0.7C?”

        So the new record high for location X is 48.7C rather than 48.0C?

        While the new low for location Y is -45.0C rather than the record low of -45.7C.

        Big deal.

        Even if this were true, it’s hard for me to get too excited about it.

        Max

      • manacker, the climate dice refer to individual locations and individual seasons. You roll the die for a summer (June, July, August) at a given place. Defining the warmest third by 5 and 6, based on 1951-1980, the die are now loaded in such a way that 5 and 6 occur twice as often as they would when unloaded, at least on average when you consider large numbers of locations together statistically, because some would be less loaded and some more. The northern continental areas have probably warmed more than average by this measure.

      • manacker, and you have to remember this is the summer-average temperature. If that changes by one standard deviation, that is noticeable, especially at the extreme end. A 3-sigma summer would be several degrees warmer than the base-period average, and their frequency increased by about twenty on average to about a one in ten chance in the current climate.

      • Jim D, if one place has a 3-sigma summer several degrees warmer than average, it must mean that another place or places are cooler, or the same place is cooler some other time of the year, if the global average has only increased by a fraction of a degree.
        But that’s the thing about averages – they are determined by averaging data, which often varies wildly from the mean. Averages certainly do not determine the data, unless you’ve found a way to reverse the flow of time.
        Also, a 3-sigma summer in Alaska is probably not going to lead to heat-related deaths, is it?

      • phatboy, I don’t think you know what Hansen meant by the 3-sigma events. They are defined to be rare in the base period (once every few centuries in a normal distribution), but as the distribution shifted, the warm tail made it more like one in ten for that base-period-defined threshold. Therefore, no, a warm perturbation today is not canceled by a cool one some other time. A once-in-a-few-centuries warm event became once per decade, and as this happens more frequently, so do the consequences of this, like droughts. Texas becomes less comfortable as Alaska becomes more comfortable, except for the natives.

      • Jim D

        Let’s look at real US high temperature records by state
        http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/weather/wheat7.htm

        Only 6 were after 1990
        Only 1 was after 2000.

        23 were in the 1930s

        7 were before 1930

        So much for “Hansen’s dice”!

        Max

      • Jim,

        How various temperature changes cancel in estimating their significance is not known. What is, however, known is that the Hansen et al climate dice paper has not given any evidence at all for an effect that is stronger than that obtained from shifting the temperature distribution keeping its width unchanged. The most likely reason for the broadening is an artifact of the method. As long as the paper is known to be in error and the most likely is as I write above, that’s what we should think is true.

      • Pekka, I think I have mentioned before that the changing width is not a key finding of the Hansen paper. Just a shifting distribution changes the probabilities in the way he describes, or at least 90% of the effect is the shift. The width can change artificially by the current period being in a faster warming phase than the base period. Hansen realized this with his trend-removal test.

      • manacker, you are talking about daily maximum temperatures, not seasonal averages, and records not distributions. Take the warmest one third of summers at some location of your choosing and see if most of those occurred recently. Or equivalently, take the average summer temperature map of some area now versus that in 1951-1980. You would see a significant shift. Unfortunately the GISTEMP site’s mapping capability is down at the moment, otherwise I would show you.

      • Jim D, you said yourself that a 3-sigma summer “would be several degrees warmer than the base-period average”.
        The whole point is, by what possible mechanism can a fraction of a degree increase in global average lead to such a widening of the distribution curve?
        Much more likely, as Pekka points out, this widening is simply an artefact of the methodology.

      • Jim,

        The trend effect is not the point. Thus trend removal test is irrelevant.

      • phatboy, it doesn’t take widening, just a shift to illustrate the main effect. 3-sigma in the current climate is not what we are talking about. It is 3-sigma relative to the base period of 1951-1980. What was a 3-sigma summer temperature in that period is now much more common.

      • Several skeptics have said you can’t define a distribution when there is a trend. This especially applies to long base periods, otherwise we might use the 20th century as a base period.

      • The broadening is the only result that could be considered scientifically interesting. The shift alone is far too trivial and self-evident for that. The broadening is also so strong that it does affect significantly also those results that are present due to the shifting alone.

        But as said so many times the broadening is not a correct result.

      • Pekka, I dispute that because they can make the same statements about 3-sigma (base period definition) areas whether there is broadening or not. That a shift alone has the property of making the extreme areas expand faster is a thing to emphasize even though I agree it is expected from the properties of the bell function. Hansen makes his points to the public, and for them even this is not obvious, and he has good ways of illustrating the points with graphics.

      • If Hansen wants to make a valid point, he has the opportunity of using valid graphics. Using misleading graphics based on analysis known to be in error is not acceptable for a scientist.

        That’s what I wanted to say when I brought this up. To me it’s not forgivable that he continues to use misleading graphics be based on erroneous analysis known to be in error.

        Anyone who does not want to loose credibility as scientist must adhere to the principles of presenting science correctly.

        If that someone happens to be the best known scientist in his field, then his behavior affects the credibility of the whole field.

      • If Hansen has made clear how he produced his graphics, it is scientifically valid to present it because it should be independently repeatable. Others may want to calculate things differently, but I have yet to see anyone modify Hansen’s simple methodology, because anything else would make it more complicated due to making assumptions about the artifacts you want to remove, and that makes the interpretation even more difficult. What Hansen has done is the most straightforward, and therefore the easiest to understand, way of doing this.

      • He has not made it clear. He has on the contrary made wrong nad misleading statements on that.

      • The esteemed James Hansen co-operated with Tim Wirth’s chicanery of opening the Congressional hearing windows to a DC heatwave. Worse, in 1988, he claimed regional predictive skill for his climate model, claimed it had predicted this particular heat wave, and that the heat was a consequence of anthropogenic global warming.

        He’s been deceitful from early on, but the real damage came after he fooled himself.
        =========

      • I reserve judgement on that until someone re-does Hansen’s climate dice paper with different conclusions. Until then, and I doubt it will happen, this is the one that stands.

      • As I already wrote, nothing scientifically interesting is likely to be found by that approach. The analysis is powerless, when done correctly. Therefore it’s indeed likely that no-one will publish a corrected version ot that. The only thong that could be clearly done is to publish a simple refutation of the paper that would tell that the results are not justifiable.

        That kind of comments are often written, but who would write in now? The error was brought to open by Tamino, who almost certainly is not willing to do that. That he was probably the first to point out the actual error makes it less likely that anyone else will write such a comment.

        Thus we may well be stuck with the present situation.

    • “Steve Mosher wrote that Hansen has admitted the error. If so, then why he’s presenting faulty arguments yet again?”

      He’s presenting faulty arguments yet again, because he is AGAINST COAL, he is a huge supporter of the nuclear industry and the nuclear industry helped set up CRU to alter temperature records worldwide. Big Oil helped set up CRU for the same reason.

      This is an industrial scam and any scientists who can’t see through the brainwashing propaganda and think above being manipulated are hardly fit to analyse anything.

  44. “… global temperature will rise significantly in the next few years as the tropics moves inevitably to the next El Nino phase.”

    Wow, what a courageous prediction. Global average temperature will rise when a significant part of the globe warms with the next El Nino.

    What next? Northern hemisphere temps will rise significantly in the next few months as the calendar moves inevitably to April, May, June and July?

    Who says CAGWers never make falsifiable predictions?

  45. “The five-year mean global temperature has been flat for the last decade”

    At last we have an admissin of a standstill in global temperature for the last decade.The question now is – is it just a pause or is it permanebt? Probably neither.Certainly if CO2 is the main culprit we have to think again. Perhaps my theoretical model (above) is correct.

    The Hansen data leaves us in no doubt that global warming is basically a northern hemisphere problem which makes it curious why our Australian PM is so keen to lead the world in action against it. Certainly we feel the effects of Nino/Nina but that is nothing to do with CO2. Is the N/S difference due to there being more geeenhouse gases in the North or more urban heat islands?

    The fall in temperature between 1940 and 1970 remains a problem with the Hansen explanations. He blames it on unknown aerosols, yet it is perfectly natural for molecules of CO2, according to quantum theory, to change their state by losing a photon of energy under certain conditions that have never been properly explored by climate science.

    Finally, as a pioneer mathematical modeller I congratulate Hansen et al on their attempts to model global climate. Maybe in the future there will be computers powerful enough to do it.

    • Finally, as a pioneer mathematical modeller I congratulate Hansen et al on their attempts to model global climate. Maybe in the future there will be computers powerful enough to do it.

      Computer power is not the problem. Consensus Climate Theory is wrong and the wrong Theory is properly modeled and the model projections are understandably and properly wrong.

      • The theory may be wrong, but a properly validated model would expose that. Proper validation would require every single process to be validated against historical records or specific experiments. Yes, the computers lack both the spatial and temporal resolution to do the job.For example, the accuracy of the model depends on how much power is absorbed in vibration modes of the CO2 molecule, because the specific heat of CO2 at the standard temperature is no were near enough. You need quantum theory to establish which vibration modes exist and which are exicited or de-excited by photons of IR. The vibration modes are likeiy to be very sharp and pose a computation problem best solved in the laboratory.

  46. Berényi Péter

    The thing is water vapor distribution in the atmosphere is not uniform. It means optical depth in the thermal IR band is only weakly related to average specific humidity, it is mainly determined by higher moments of the distribution (a thin metal plate may be absolutely opaque, while a wire fence is almost transparent, even if it has the same amount of metal in it per unit area).

    Overall greenhouse effect is set by IR optical depth (or rather, by its relation to SW optical depth), not by average concentration of greenhouse gases (water vapor included).

    Therefore IR optical depth can either go up or down if concentration of well mixed components are increased. There is a good chance it remains pretty stable for a wide range of well mixed component concentrations (at a value of ~1.87), and what is required to have this effect is only a slight scale invariant redistribution of atmospheric humidity. Which can’t be represented in gridded computational models of course by any means other than parametrization. What is more, it is not measured either so far, so any parametrization scheme is virtually free of empirical constraints.

    It is high time to trash the current paradigm in climate science and start measuring optical depth as a function of frequency. It’s not so difficult, only needs several satellites on high orbit, wideband imaging facilities installed with good temporal resolution and lots of surface based transmitters, operating in many narrow frequency bands, emitting a unique long period pseudorandom sequence in each band and at each transmitter. Signal to noise ratio of signal intensity measurement can be made high that way, which gives an optical depth map of the atmosphere with good frequency & spatio-temporal resolution.

    I can’t see why this age old hack, developed in radar technology is not applied in climate science. Of course, it may turn out average IR optical depth is in fact more stable than projected by computational models, so what? It is the way science is supposed to work, is not it? On the other hand it may turn out average IR optical depth is proportional to well mixed GHG concentrations with a specific constant of proportionality. Or it may depend on latitude. Whatever. One will never know until it gets measured.

    The upshot is flatlining temperatures observed in the last one or two decades may be caused by a hidden, as yet unidentified homeostatic mechanism mediated by changes in fine details of water vapor distribution (never represented properly in computational models, neither measured ever). In this case any increase in carbon dioxide concentration (below a very high level) could only have a transient effect.

    Of course, scale invariant changes in water vapor distribution (like changes in its fractal dimension) can have their own (probably second order) effects on climate, but one can’t even start to identify them unil a proper framework is established.

    • Can you tell more specifically what’s wrong with the existing radiation codes. As far as know all correct and relevant details that you list are well understood and taken into account.

      • Berényi Péter

        If detailed spatio-temporal distribution of absorber is unknown, no radiation code is able to calculate anything. Specifically, relation between average absorber density and Planck weighted average optical depth is indeterminate.

      • In which ways is it unknown and how do the unknown details affect the outcome?

        Very little.

        If you disagree then tell how they could have a significant effect.

      • Pekka asserts that the unknown unknowns have little effect.
        ===========

      • kim, those are known unknowns, not unknown unknowns.

      • No. Radiative heat transfer and concentrations of all GHG’s except water vapor are understood well. They are not unknowns. Water is a more complex issue even as vapor but in particular as clouds.

      • There be hippogryphs.
        =======

      • Berényi Péter

        @Pekka Pirilä – “In which ways is it unknown and how do the unknown details affect the outcome?”

        This is how history of water vapor mixing ratio above a single site in 4 days looks like. Now, in fact the same thing is happening above each spot all the time, but it is not measured except in rare, select cases.

        You would calculate global Planck weighted average optical depth of the atmosphere in the thermal IR band how? Specify input dataset & algorithm please.

        Second question of yours. Let’s consider four equal semitransparent slabs. Let’s suppose we know they cover an area twice as large as that of a single slab and each one absorbs 60% of the light at a specific frequency as it goes through it.

        That is, optical thickness of a single slab is 0.92, two slabs on top of eachother 1.84, three 2.76.

        What we do not know is how the slabs are distributed. There can be either two stacks of two slabs or a stack of three beside a single slab. For the first case it is easy to see that average optical thickness of the setup is 1.84. But how much is it in the second case?

        I can tell you, it is about 1.47. Which means 23% of the light is let through, while in the former case it is only 16%. A huge difference, is not it?

        Radiative properties of entities involved are the same in both cases, only their distribution differs. It is the same kind of problem with water vapor, except its distribution in the atmosphere is vastly more complex.

      • kim

        It is generally known that the unknown unknowns can have no effect.

        Max

    • Optical depth is measured at a range of frequencies by some satellite instruments. High spectral resolution measurements are made at a number of different locations by the DOE ARM program, http://www.arm.gov. See also the previous thread http://judithcurry.com/2010/12/05/confidence-in-radiative-transfer-models/

      • Berényi Péter

        Lots of disparate things are measured, indeed. But the function we are interested in at the moment is the time function of Planck weighted global average optical thickness of atmosphere in the thermal IR and its trend over the last several decades. I can’t find that result at the ARM site, so if you think it is there, a pointer would be appreciated.

      • Real calculations are not done based on averages for moisture content. Nothing else varies in a way that would make any difference.

  47. JC says:-

    “Should we believe the UKMO model prediction? Well, I have more confidence in the UKMO prediction than in Hansen’s back of the envelope reasoning.”

    The following is the latest comment I have seen regarding the MO’s prediction it is from Richard Betts:-

    “(it’s not yet been shown to be useful to anyone, although we hope it will be when we’ve developed the technique further)”

    http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2013/1/10/spot-the-difference.html#comments

    “Well, I have more confidence in the UKMO prediction than in Hansen’s back of the envelope reasoning.”

    Yup, so do I!

  48. I predict Global Mean Temperature will stop being the focus of attention for the alarmists. A fairly easy prediction given that process has already happend what with ‘Extreme Weather’ becoming de rigueur for climate commentators. The Arctic and Greenland also still seem to have legs.

  49. I was right all along.

    I predicted the global warming pause as shown:

    http://orssengo.com/GlobalWarming/GmstModel.png

    • I am finishing writing the article that explains my empirical model.

    • Girma, you have put out chump bait, but the chumps aren’t biting.

      • Actually, I am predicting GMST drop to 0.2 deg C in the next ten years.

      • Girma

        Hansen predicts it will re-start warming any time now.

        Judith predicts it will be at least five years down the road.

        The “Chief” has predicted cooling for a decade or three.

        You are predicting a specific amount of cooling to occur in the next ten years.

        IPCC predicted 0.2C warming per decade.

        Let’s see who came closest.

        Max

        P.S. Doesn’t look like “chump bait” to me, Okie. Just a bunch of predictions using different crystal balls.

  50. It’s very dry here in ol’ Melbourne town.The river is down, lost
    its silver riffles and depressed because it can’t fool itself any
    longer that it’s one of the great rivers The billabongs are
    shrinking hangin’ out fer the next La Nina. Yes, Peter Lang,
    and then…
    frogs croakin’, crops growin’, and money comin’ in the door. )
    Like Walt says:
    ‘To plough land in the fall for winter-sown crops,
    To plough land in the spring for maize,
    To train orchards, to graft the trees, to gather apples in
    the fall,
    O to bathe in the swimming-bath, or in a good place along shore…’

    ,,,jest as long as we have enough carbon to keep them plants growin’.

  51. Listening to the Radio 4 feedback on the Met Office 5-year forecast makes it clear that even the Met Office don’t trust a 5-year forecast because of natural variability (it is called experimental), and this one does not change their view of climate warming in the longer term. Julia Slingo makes it clear that the BBC report confused the public with their headline because it conflated a decadal prediction with climate change.

    • Actual data does sometimes cause people to think a little. Met Office Then and Now is hugely different. the Now is getting closer to what will really occur. Look at the temperature after the Roman Warm Time and after the Medieval Warm Time and you will see what the temperature will do after the current Modern Warm time. My forecast is that what will happen is going to be just like what has happened.

  52. So…..Hansen has been argued to a standstill eh …

    (I’ll just get my coat)

  53. David Springer

    Check out Hansen’s figure 5, specifically the forcing from CO2 in the past 15 years. This forcing is flat.

    What? Atmospheric CO2 increased from ~365ppm to ~395ppm during that time. Yet the forcing from it remained flat!!!???

    Error. Does not compute.

    • David Springer

      Hansen’s Fig. 5 is very interesting. Rather than dismiss it, why not research that claim a bit? Is it wrong? Or is Hansen at least making a supported and so reasonable statement?

      Be sceptical not dismissive.

      (I think the threading may have collapsed btw.)

    • You just have not understood this figure. Look at the y-axis. The figure doesn’t show the forcing over time, it shows the forcing change over time, the first time derivative of the forcing. Thus, the “flat” curve means that the increase in the CO2 forcing has staid about the same in recent years, at about 0.028 W/m^2/year or so.

      • David Springer

        Exactly my point. Atmospheric CO2 increased from 370 to 395 ppm but there was no increase in forcing associated with the rise.

      • David Springer

        The prediction paths all follow the positive ramp in forcing growth rate established and remarkably straight from 1950 to 1990. Quite obviously the flattening of the CO2 annual forcing growth rate was not anticipated. This begs an explanation.

      • this versusthis?

    • David Springer

      I didn’t dismiss figure 5. In fact I highlighted it.

  54. Why are these the same creative quotes from the Hansen et al. essay that were posted by Anthony Watts at wattsupwiththat.com? The second, longer quote gives the impression that these three paragraphs are one sequence of statements in the essay. However, paragraph 1 comes from page 1, paragraph 2 is a fragment from page 6. Immeditiately following statements that make clear what Hansen et al. think about whether “global warming has stopped” are omitted. Paragraph 3 is from page 1 again.

    Does one just copies from the other one?

    JC comments: Perhaps ‘standstill’ is a euphemism for ‘pause’, but recall all the flack that David Rose received a few months ago for writing about the ‘pause’. It is good to see Hansen paying more attention to unforced variability.

    The repeated claim by Rose made in the Daily Mail is that “global warming has stopped” 16 years ago. The claim is combined with some creative presentation of limited temperature data. By making such a claim it is suggested that the physical process of heat accumulation in the atmosphere-ocean-land-cryosphere system due to the perturbation in the radiative balance by anthropogenic greenhouse gases has not been happening anymore for 16 years. Hansen et al. do not make such a claim. On the contrary, they explicitly say that global warming continues:

    Indeed, the current stand-still of the 5-year running mean global temperature may be largely a consequence of the fact that the first half of the past 10 years had predominately El Nino conditions, while the second half had predominately La Nina conditions (Nino index in Fig. 1). Comparing the global temperature at the time of the most recent three La Ninas (1999-2000, 2008, and 2011-2012), it is apparent that global temperature has continued to rise between recent years of comparable tropical temperature, indeed, at a rate of warming similar to that of the previous three decades. We conclude that background global warming is continuing, consistent with the known planetary energy imbalance, even though it is likely that the slowdown in climate forcing growth rate contributed to the recent apparent standstill in global temperature.
    (http://www.columbia.edu/%7Ejeh1/mailings/2013/20130115_Temperature2012.pdf, page 6)

    Judith Curry seems to suggest that something has been significantly different for the last 15 to 17 years or so, compared to the preceding decades. I just don’t know what the alleged empirical evidence is for such a claim. Lack of statistical significance of the atmospheric temperature trend over a limited time period is not sufficient. Also, it is not correct that something similar hasn’t been observed before. The period from 1980 to 1994 showed a similar lack of statistical significance of the atmospheric temperature trend. And since the temperature increase in the few years between this period and the recent period wasn’t statistically significant either, then there hasn’t been any statistically significant increase in any of the three limited periods since 1980? So, no global warming in any of the three periods since 1980? And yet, the multi-decadal temperature increase over the whole since 1980 is statistically significant, i.e., there has been global warming over the whole period. A statement and its negation can’t be both true at the same time. One of the two approaches must be wrong.

    If the recent temperature record statistically significantly deviated from the multi-decadal positive temperature trend, then this would be empirical evidence for the claim something has been different in recent years. As long as this is not the case, I do not see any scientific basis for such a claim.

    The anomaly of the ocean heat content is more important than the atmospheric temperature anomaly for the conclusion whether global warming stopped or whether it hasn’t, anyway.
    http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

    The NOAA data do not show that the heat anomaly hasn’t been increasing anymore.

    • “Judith Curry seems to suggest that something has been significantly different for the last 15 to 17 years or so, compared to the preceding decades. I just don’t know what the alleged empirical evidence is for such a claim. Lack of statistical significance of the atmospheric temperature trend over a limited time period is not sufficient. Also, it is not correct that something similar hasn’t been observed before. The period from 1980 to 1994 showed a similar lack of statistical significance of the atmospheric temperature trend. And since the temperature increase in the few years between this period and the recent period wasn’t statistically significant either, then there hasn’t been any statistically significant increase in any of the three limited periods since 1980? So, no global warming in any of the three periods since 1980? And yet, the multi-decadal temperature increase over the whole since 1980 is statistically significant, i.e., there has been global warming over the whole period. A statement and its negation can’t be both true at the same time. One of the two approaches must be wrong.”

      It seems to me that between 1980 and 94 there was little warming,
      but during the longer trend of 1980 to the present there has been a trend of about 1 C per century. But seems much of warming occurred
      in 20th century and that in 21st century, there has been little or no warming.
      The climate projection in the 20th century and in 21 century relating increasing global temperature due rising CO2, would indicate more warming should have occurred.

      If you had assume that global temperature will not rise much more than 1 C in Century and that rising temperatures have not been mostly due to global CO2 levels, than current global temperature seem normal. And that one expect various fluctuation of cooling and warming in the future.

      Personally it seems unlikely we get a spike in warming as large as super El Nino in latter part of 20th century, which could occur within next decade and with slowing of solar cycle and other factors it’s possible we could see tendency for more cooling in next decade.

  55. Hansen refuses to consider the possibility that the current pause is a result of reduced solar activity, and the final end of solar heat lag effects from the 20th century. I.e. solar activity was high in most of the 20th centiry and then peaked in about 1985, together with a 20-30 year heat lag (since it remained high until 1996 as well), and oceans take a few decades to equilbrate, (the same as summer takes about 6 weeks to reach maximum temperature after the summer solstice, and every day it takes a few hours after noon to reach maximum temperature), so the earth has taken a few decades to reach maximum temperature after the long high in solar activity during the 20th century, and will now go down in temperature over the next few decades, with now both a negative PDO, and reduced solar activity.

    C02 has little effect; late 20th century warming was largely a heat lag effect from solar activity, combined with a positive PDO; (this also fits perfectly with the pause since the late 1990s, which was not predicted using AGW); with currently a negative PDO and reduced solar activity, which means temperature will stay flat or go down to at least 2035, with the solar activitylikely remaining low. C02 might have some, small effect, but will be overwhelmed by natural variation, the same as it was in the 20th century.

    Wonder what Hansen et al will say if the temperature drops between now and 2035?, it will take Enron style accounting for alarmists to account for it, but common sense will ultimately prevail, and C02 will be shown, even by Hansen and his modelled muddle, to have little effect, about 1 degree C per doubling, not 1.5 to 6C.

    He is also wrong about the mid 20th century pause /or slight drop in temperature, this correlates well with a negative PDO, and has nothing to do with aerosols, which also have little effect. He never considers natural variation, until the last few decades, when c02 was supposed to actually have a stronger effect.

    • Concur. The question then becomes is the rise since the LIA still operative or have we turned cooler from the millenial scale seeming cycles?
      ==============

      • By 2035 I bet we will have pull all troops out of Afghanistan- maybe have left Germany, also.
        As far as weather goes, no real change.

      • Why is OHC in all major basins *increasing* below the 0-700m layer? If this is a transfer of energy from the oceans to the atmosphere, OHC should be decreasing at depth. In fact it should be decreasing at all depths. It is not. It is increasing both 0-700m and 0 – 2000m (see Levitus et al. 2012 supplementary information Fig. S1 and S2).

        Quick visual summary: combined 0-700m and 0-2000m OHC (NODC).

      • Jim Cripwell wrote in http://judithcurry.com/2013/01/16/hansen-on-the-standstill/#comment-286805

        Clearly my idea of scientific skepticism is very different from yours. I do not believe just the opinion of ANY expert, no matter how many qualifications he has, and what important position he occupies. If the supporting empirical data cannot be provided, then any opinion given is not worth the powder to blow it to hell.

        What makes you think those expert opinions are not based on empirical data? If you look in the IPCC report than you can see that the statements in the report rely on published scientific papers. Hundreds that are referenced in each chapter. And no one actually forces you to just believe what the expert opinions in the IPCC report say. No one hinders you to study the scientific papers yourself and evaluate the evidence and arguments presented in them, on which those expert opinions in the IPCC Report are formed. This is what a true skeptic would do.

        What would you do, if the the IPCC didn’t exist and the IPCC reports weren’t published? You just would claim that there was no empirical evidence for the hypotheses, because something like the IPCC and their reports didn’t exist, wouldn’t you? However, the IPCC doesn’t actually do the research. If the IPCC didn’t exist, the scientific papers would still be out there.

        It has increasingly become clear to me that your claims about the evidence that was allegedly totally missing are not based on actual knowledge of the scientific literature about the topic. Those claims are made by someone who hasn’t even bothered to check and to make himself familiar with the matter. So I suspect that your claims are not really scientifically motivated.

    • Exiting science does not represent full certainty but it represents the best information that we have. Based on that it’s very likely that the warming will continue given enough time. Scientists who agree on that may have differing views on what’s enough time. Hansen seems to think that a few years are enough while Judith predicts that the standstill continues for 10 more years.

      It’s not absolutely certain that the climate sensitivity is high enough to lead to significant warming between now and 2035 but waving a drop over that period without a specific reason like really major volcanic activity would certainly tell that the best understanding of today is found lacking.

      The previous paragraph can be rephrased to mean that it’s highly unlikely that such cooling to 2035 will occur. Therefore it’s highly unlikely that anyone is will be required to think what such cooling indicates.

      We are almost certainly heading towards warmer future and that will almost as certainly be seen in 2035.

      • Exiting -> Existing
        waving -> having
        is will be -> will be

        (Why didn’t I read the comment before posting it.)

      • Pekka, you write “We are almost certainly heading towards warmer future and that will almost as certainly be seen in 2035.”

        I must admit I admire your faith, but deplore your science. With absolutely no empirical evidence whatsoever that when you add X amount of CO2 to the atmosphere from current levels, it causes global temperatures to rise by Y degrees C, you are certain that we are “heading towards warmer future”. I am sorry. Until I see some actual measured empirical data that proves that adding CO2 to the atmopshere changes global temperatures at all, I will go on believing that no-one has the slightest idea of what is going to happen to future global temperatures – least of all me. Only if we assume that things are going to go on doing the same sort of thing that they have been doing since good temperature records began, do we have any basis for future predictions. And my guess is that at some point, the current temperature trend is going to change.

      • Steven Mosher

        But Cripwell, there is evidence and you know that there is evidence. you need to un fool yourself or tell the truth, fer crissake

      • Steven, you write “But Cripwell, there is evidence and you know that there is evidence. you need to un fool yourself or tell the truth, fer crissake”

        Of course you are correct. I have said over and over again that CAGW is an extremely plausible hypothesis. There is lots of evidence that something like CAGW could be occurring, and I cannot prove that it is wrong. We are agreed on that, and I hope you will give me credit for saying so.

        But that is not the issue. There are all sorts of examples in science where there was as much good evidence for some hypothesis as there is for CAGW, and it turned out that the hypothesis was, in fact, wrong. What we ought to accept, as physicists, is that until the final empirical data is available, there is doubt that the hypothesis is correct. The vital information in the case of CAGW, is the proof that when CO2 is added to the atmosphere from current levels, it causes global temperatures to rsie. That empirical evidence is non-existent; it does not exist; there is none. How many more ways can one find to say the same thing. And you will not admit that this vital empirical evidence does not exist.

        And until that vital empircial evidence is available, it should be impossible for anyone to be confident that CAGW is occurring. That was the point I was trying to make to Pekka. What I keep on saying, and you and ever other warmist ignore my comments, is that it ought to be impossible for anyone, leasst of all the IPCC, to be confident – “very likely >90%”, that adding CO2 to the atmopshere cause global temperatures to rise. I agree that CAGW MIGHT be happening, but there is absolutely no reason to believe that it is likely to be happening.

        Now will you address the problem of the IPCC’s confident statements about CAGW?

      • Jim Cripwell wrote in
        http://judithcurry.com/2013/01/16/hansen-on-the-standstill/#comment-286729

        What we ought to accept, as physicists, is that until the final empirical data is available, there is doubt that the hypothesis is correct.

        What are “final empirical data” supposed to be? Apparently, something that provides absolute certainty with Zero room for any doubt. I would think, as a physicist you should know that there is no absolute certainty not just about about any hypothesis, but also about any theory in nature sciences. Are you arguing that lack of 100% certainty about the validity of a theory is the same as having no evidence for the validity of the theory at all? With such a criteria you would have to claim that there is no evidence at all for any scientific theory in any scientific field, and that we didn’t know anything about anything.

        That empirical evidence is non-existent; it does not exist; there is none.

        Well, obviously you dismiss every evidence that has been presented as such in scientific publications so far for the validity of the statements in theory about the causal chain between increasing greenhouse gases and temperature increase. Why is what has been presented so far not evidence according to you? What are the specific flaws of such studies? Or is it the argument from above, where lack of 100% certainty was the same has having no evidence at all? What evidence would you accept then to not claim it wasn’t existent at all? How would the evidence have to look like, specifically, which you would not just outright dismiss again? With your statements I have seen so far here, you just keep the door open for yourself to raise the bar infinitely, as long as it is convenient for you, and to immunize yourself against anything that is being presented.

        Now will you address the problem of the IPCC’s confident statements about CAGW?

        Well, first you would have to show where “the IPCC” has made any statements about something like “Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming” before your request that someone else addresses the confidence of those statements was even a valid one.

      • “is that until the final empirical data is available, there is doubt that the hypothesis is correct. ”

        UNFOOL yourself. There is no such thing as “FINAL” empirical data. Doubt is always possible. No theory is ever proved. Given the evidence we have we reason to the best explanation given that evidence. Doubt remains in ALL SCIENCE. The issue is not the absence of doubt or the absence of some “final” evidence. There is no final evidence for anything.

      • To Steven and Jan, Of course I knows that there is no such thing as final evidence in physics. But that is different from no evidence at all. There is no empirical data that proves that when you add CO2 to the atmosphere, it causes global temperatures to rise. There I have made a claim. Is it correct or not? A simple yes or no is all that is required.

      • Jim Cripwell:

        There is no empirical data that proves that when you add CO2 to the atmosphere, it causes global temperatures to rise. There I have made a claim. Is it correct or not? A simple yes or no is all that is required.

        There are no proofs in science – so yes, your claim is trivially correct and uninformative.

      • oneuniverse, you write “your claim is trivially correct and uninformative.”

        Thank you. Now this leads to the next question. On page 8 of the IPCC SPM to AR4 of WG1, we find “Most of the observed increase in globally average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic gas concentrations”. From page 3 of the SPM “very likely” means “>90% probability”. Note I am not discussing whether the claim about most of the increase is true or not. What I am asking what is the basis for the claim that it is “very likely”, i.e. “>90% probability” that the claim about GHGs is true?

      • The well bounded temperature of the past ten thousand years is a very strong indicator that the next ten thousand years will be bounded the same way and the warmer future is not going to happen. Recent data is well inside the bounds of the past ten thousand years and, other than CO2 and crop productivity, which are both above the normal, there is no climate parameter outside the well bounded range of the past ten thousand years.

      • According to the AR4, “”Likelihood may be based on quantitative analysis or an elicitation of expert views. ”

        If I recall, our host Dr. Curry has some knowledge of this, and indicated that many of the statements of likelihood are not the result of quantitative analysis – they are merely expert opinions. I suspect that’s the case for the passage you’ve quoted. The IPCC reports generally do not reveal the basis, quantitative analysis or otherwise, of the specific likelihood statements. Maybe in AR5 ?

      • oneuniverse, you write “they are merely expert opinions. I suspect that’s the case for the passage you’ve quoted.”

        I wonder how you can write this, and not get worried. Nullius in verba. On the word of no man. I am supposed to take the word of some expert on this issue, and no basis whatsoever is provided to support the statement. And this is supposed to be science.

        You say my statement on empirical data that proves that adding CO2 to the atmopshere causes global temperatures is TRIVIALLY true and UNINFORMATIVE. Yet, with no empirical data on this one vital issue whatsoever to support the IPCC claim that something is >90% probable, I am supposed to accept this expert judgement, and not be outraged.

        Clearly my idea of scientific skepticism is very different from yours. I do not believe just the opinion of ANY expert, no matter how many qualifications he has, and what important position he occupies. If the supporting empirical data cannot be provided, then any opinion given is not worth the powder to blow it to hell. That was what my mentor, Prof. Sir Gordon Sutherland hammered into my head in Cavendish Labs, and that is the basis of how I do science. And furthermore, all the scientific experts who I have encountered in my career would agree with me. Such behaviour is completely and utterly unscientific.

      • Jan,

        While I admittedly have read (or more correctly read the abstract of) a small percentage of published papers, my impression of the evidence you refer to “in scientific publications so far for the validity of the statements in theory about the causal chain between increasing greenhouse gases and temperature increase” is that it is highly model based.

      • Jim, my exchange with Dr. Curry mentioned above, about the use of expert opinion in the IPCC, was critical on both our parts. I thought my use of the phrase “merely expert opinions” may have clued you in about my evaluation of its worth. (In general, my comments on the IPCC reports have been almost exclusively critical – I won’t recap them here).

        Jim:

        If the supporting empirical data cannot be provided, then any opinion given is not worth the powder to blow it to hell.

        Yes, which is why I asked you to provide the data and analysis to back up your repeated claims that climate senstivity to CO2 is indistinguishable from zero. Your answers have been less than straightforward. You declined to help me determine some of the specifics of your analysis. You still haven’t produced the data and analysis. The analysis you described on the ‘Goldilocks’ thread doesn’t back up your claim, as far as I can tell.

      • oneuniverse, you write “Your answers have been less than straightforward.”

        I dont know if you cannot read, but my answers have been as complete as I can make them. Let me try again. I can only operate from what I call negative data, since there is no ;positive data. I cannot find a CO2 signal in any modern temperature/time graph. Dont ask me which temperature/time graph; I have looked at as many as I can find. This does not mean that a signal does not exist, nor does it mean that a signal will not appear in the future. All that it means is that I cannot find one now. Since I have concluded that there is no CO2 signal in any modern temperature/time graph, I deduce that the total climate sensitivity is indistinguishable from zero.

        Is that clear enough, or what more can I add to make it clear?

      • “I cannot find a CO2 signal in any modern temperature/time graph”

        Its been shown to you many times.
        Scaffeta shows it.
        Pratt shows it.
        Foster shows it
        Berkeley Earth shows it.

        it’s been shown to you, but you refuse to see. There are explanations for why you cannot see it. None of them are complimentary to you.

      • So, moshe, what’s the cause(s?) of the millenial scale climate changes which bring us the climate optima and minima, and where are we on that scale?
        ==========

      • moshe, your certainty about attribution is disconcerting and uncertainly explains your concern. You would leave Nature out of the temperature rise lately? Have you checked with her lately? Beware the wrath.
        ============

      • Oh, boy, here ya go, Jim. Muller’s found the signal. And Pratt. It’s all settled now, so listen to moshe like a good boy, or he’ll think you are bad.
        =============

      • Pekka and moshe ignore the elephant in the room. They’re not gonna touch it, cuz they already know what it looks like.
        =====================

      • The problem for you moshe, and I’ve mentioned it once before, is that if your vision of attribution is correct, think where we’d be without it.
        ==================

      • Dont ask me which temperature/time graph; I have looked at as many as I can find.

        Is your analysis just consist of looking at graphs of temperature for the CO2 signal?

        Since I have concluded that there is no CO2 signal in any modern temperature/time graph, I deduce that the total climate sensitivity is indistinguishable from zero.

        Is that clear enough, or what more can I add to make it clear?

        You could provide the analysis itself : The datasets you used. What assumptions you made. The method you used to estimate CO2 sensitivty. etc.

        If you’ve done many analyses, you could share at least one, preferably the one you consider to be the strongest.

      • Is your analysis just consist of looking at graphs [..]

        Sorry, “Is” -> “Does” .. I’m not trying to impersonate Ali G.

      • Steven, you write “it’s been shown to you, but you refuse to see.”

        I was trying to tell oneuniverse my idea. I was not longwinded. I ought ot have added, when a signal is found, it is elimentary to MEASURE total climate sensitivity. That is what a signal means. It means you can quantitatively MEASURE the effect that CO2 has on global temperatures against the background on natural noise variations.

        The question you have never answered is my claim that there is no empirical data that proves that as you add more CO2 to the atmosphere from current levels, this causes global tmeperatures to rise. I asked you if this claim was true or not. You have never answered. A simlpe yes or no is all that is required. But you refuse to answer.

        ‘These two ideas are opposite sides of the samed coin. If there is a CO2 signal, then there is proof that as we add more CO2 to the atmosphere it causes global tmeperatures to rise. If there is no proof that more CO2 causes global temperatures to rise, then there is no CO2 signal;.

        Where are the measured values of total climate sensitivity from Scaffeta, Pratt, Foster, and Berkeley Earth?

      • oneuniverse, yiu write “Is your analysis just consist of looking at graphs of temperature for the CO2 signal? ”

        Yes.

        You also write “You could provide the analysis itself”

        There is no analysis. There is a simple observation that I can find no CO2 signal. That is all.

      • There is no analysis.

        Ok.. !

        What are your thoughts about this graph of the rate of change of the global surface temperature indices (land and land+ocean)

        ( I see (roughly) the rate of change increasing for the land indices since about mid-20th C. For the land+ocean indices, the rate of change seems to increase in the 2nd half of the 20th C compared to the first half, but less markedly than for the land indices, and in fact the longer HadCRUT4 record actually shows greatest acceleration in the 19th and early 20th C portion.)

        Without having good information about the nature and strength of the various forcings, and using only the mean surface temperature indices, it’s not possible to identify or rule out a CO2 signal.

      • oneuniverse, you write “Without having good information about the nature and strength of the various forcings, and using only the mean surface temperature indices, it’s not possible to identify or rule out a CO2 signal.”

        From My Fair Lady Prof. Higgins sings “She’s got it! I think she’s got it!”. I could not have expressed it better myself.

      • “Finding a CO2 signal” in the temperature record (land or land+sea or whatever) is a matter of “wanting to find a CO2 signal”.

        If, like Mosher, you truly BELIEVE there should be a “CO2 signal” and scrutinize the data long enough, you will undoubtedly FIND one.

        Max

      • Jim ;)
        I’ve been making this point to you since 23rd Dec (link and following comments ) : eg.
        CO2 hasn’t been the only climate forcing in the 20th century, and our knowledge of other processes that may have affected the Earth’s energy balance (eg. via changes in cloud cover, ice cover, atmospheric aerosols concentrations and distributions) is incomplete and contains uncertainties on the order of the estimates of the forcing changes themselves.
        ..
        How does your analysis allow you to distinguish between a climate sensitivity to changes in CO2-effected radiative forcing of 0 K/(W.M^-2) and say 0.3 K/(W.M^-2) , if there are these large uncertainties in the values of the forcings?
        [ unit typo corrected ]

      • oneuniverse

        “CO2 change is not the only climate forcing”.

        Indeed!

        Add in lots of natural forcing (or “variability”), much of which is not well understood.

        Problem is: we do not know whether or not these natural factors have been the dominant forcing factors in the late 20thC warming (as they were in the statistically indistinguishable early 20thC warming – and the 21stC standstill).

        Uncertainty writ BIG.

        Max

      • oneuniverse you write “How does your analysis allow you ”

        How many more times do I have to say it. I dont have any analysis. I observe that I cannot find a CO2 signal. I conclude that the total climate sensitivity is indistinguishable from zero. Period. That is it, and that is all there is.

      • Jim you’ve agreed with me that ““Without having good information about the nature and strength of the various forcings, and using only the mean surface temperature indices, it’s not possible to identify or rule out a CO2 signal.”

        As I see it, this means that it’s difficult to constrain the range of possible values for CS. As you see it however (afaict), this means that CS is indistinguishable from zero. Either there is a language problem, or we disagree on this basic inference.

      • oneuniverse, you write “it’s not possible to identify or rule out a CO2 signal”

        I hoped you understood what I was talking about when you wrote this. Apparently not. The first part says it is not possible to identify a CO2 signal. This is my main point. If one cannot identify a CO2 signal, then so far as I am concerned, this is a strong indication that the CS is indistinguishable from zero.

        However, I cannot prove that no CO2 signal exists; as you put it, I cannot rule out a CO2 signal. All I can say is I cannot find one. Anyone can prove me wrong by identifying a CO2 signal. But this must be a signal in the scientific sense. A measured value of how much CO2 affects global temperatures, which is identifyable above the noise of natural variations..

        So your sentence says it all so far as I am concerned. I cannot find a CO2 signal; no one has shown me one that exists. But this proves nothing as I cannot rule out that a CO2 signal could exist now, or in the future. But you are right in the sense that no-one knows what the CS is for CO2. There are all sorts of estimates, but until we actually measure it, we dont know what the value is. Please note this is my understanding of what is meant by the scientific method. It is perfectly legitimate to speculate and hypothesis on any aspect of CAGW. But until we have an actual measurement of CS, then no-one should claim anything on the subject with any sort of estimate of probability. The probability will be the error in the measurement of CS when and if this is ever done.

        You also write it is “As you see it however (afaict), this means that CS is indistinguishable from zero.” I hope I have never said that the CS is indistinguishable from zero. If I have said this I apologise, as it is dead wrong. All I claim is that there is a strong indication that the CS is indistinguishable from zero. There is a world of difference between these two statements.

    • So, Pekka, what’s the cause(s?) of the apparent millenial scale climate changes which bring us the climate optima and minima, and where are we on that scale?

      Your certainty of warming is disconcerting but it explains your concern. Now, what can explain your fear, since a warmer world sustains more total life and more diversity of life?
      ============

      • kim

        Let’s be properly objective about all this. Please, note the italicised text, which is emphasised not for shouty purposes, but because these words are crucially important to the discussion you are trying to have.

        The MWP and LIA are tentative. There’s no evidence for a global, synchronous MWP. There is no evidence for a global, synchronous LIA. The proxy evidence suggests strongly variable regional climate with no single pattern persisting on larger spatial scales.

        Possible attribution for MWP is a slight increase in TSI (increased solar luminosity and decreased volcanism/stratospheric aerosol loading). Proxy evidence suggests a strongly positive NAO and persistent La Nina mode of ENSO over the period ~1050 – 1400CE, possibly operating together as a self-reinforcing positive feedback loop (Trouet et al. 2009). Possible attribution for LIA is slight decrease in TSI (decreased solar luminosity) and a shift to a negative mode for the NAO.

        While there’s no doubt that climate is variable, there’s no conclusive evidence for persistent, global-scale climate change over the last thousand years. Note ‘persistent’ and ‘global-scale’. These are important qualifications.

        In contrast, modern warming (especially post-1970) is global in scale, and confidence in attribution to CO2 forcing has risen to a very high level.

      • Modern, Medieval, Roman, Minoan, you get the picture. See it on the wall?
        ==============

      • kim

        This is a disappointing response. You are chirruping again rather than engaging intelligently.

        Do you have any references supporting the existence of a global and synchronous ‘Roman’ or ‘Minoan’ warm period? Do you? Can we see them please?

        Do you want to try again and actually *respond to what I wrote*? I’m prepared to give it one more go.

      • BBD

        Wrong.

        There is LOTS of evidence for a global MWP (studies from all over the globe using different paleo methodologies, composite studies from several sites, historical records from all over the civilized world at the time, actual physical evidence, etc.)

        And there is NO evidence showing that the MWP was NOT global.

        The “null hypothesis” is a “global MWP slightly warmer than today”

        Show me the evidence that contradicts the “null hypothesis”.

        Max

        PS There are individual locations today, which are not warming, despite the general warming trend; no doubt this was the same during the MWP.

      • Robert I Ellison

        A high resolution Antarctic ENSO proxy show both the decadal patterns we familiar with but millennial scale variability. The MCA and LIA were most certainly global. Note the El Nino dominance in the from 1000 to 1260 AD – similar to todays.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=Vance2012-AntarticaLawDomeicecoresaltcontent.jpg

        http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00003.1?journalCode=clim

        The warming from the 70’s is mostly natural.

    • Sadly Pekka, you’ve ignored my question above @ 8:03. You’ve asserted warming, presumably on the basis of a CO2 control knob, and neglected what Nature may have in store for you.

      You have a most elegant case of the pathology.
      =========

    • wikipedia science huh

      • Rob, I know. I can’t tell you how many times he referred me to wiki. It would be funny if so sad. Poor tempt.

    • If you don’t like Wikipedia, have you tried Conservapedia? It defines itself as “a conservative, family-friendly Wiki encyclopedia” with “commandments” instead of boring old rules.

      They describe AGW as a “liberal hoax” which should appeal to the numpty contributors to this blog.

    • tempterrain

      “What standstill?”

      The 10-year standstill, which even James E. Hansen acknowledges.

      Max

    • For those who think its all a Wikipedia conspiracy I’ll just link to this NASA graph.

      http://nas-sites.org/americasclimatechoices/files/2012/10/Figure-1.png

      Whatever you want to call it , there’s nothing particularly different in the general upwards trend in the longer term temperature record.

      As recently as the early 90’s there was a definite cooling and there’s no sign of that in the graph now.

  56. As Met Office has modified its predictions as follows:
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/climate/seasonal-to-decadal/long-range/decadal-fc

    When is IPCC going to revise its prediction below?
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-ts-26.html

  57. Steve Milesworthy

    You have to remember that the 5 year forecast is derived from a large number of individual runs each with slightly different starting conditions matching the range of the observational uncertainty in the real starting conditions.

    Using the previous model it would seem that the internal variability in the model got smoothed out very quickly leaving behind only the CO2 warming.

    In the current model, it would seem that the internal variability is more sustained, and I guess they will hope it is more realistic. But a bit like the old model and maybe a lot like the real earth, the internal variability will eventually average out and you will be left with the warming signal from the rising forcings.

    I’d bet real money that when AR6 rolls around and this new model gets run for a hundred years it will demonstrate about as much warming as the last.

  58. One thing that all can probably agree upon is that if you mention Hansen in a headline, the article will get alot of attention and comments

  59. Climate activist and money manager Jeremy Grantham had these words about Jim Hansen in a November 14, 2012 article:

    “The damaging effects of climate change are accelerating. James Hansen of NASA has screamed warnings for 30 years. Although at first he was dismissed as a madman, almost all his early predictions, disturbingly, have proved conservative in relation to what has actually happened.”

    Why would Grantham say that? More of his thoughts:

    “Overstatement may generally be dangerous in science (it certainly is for careers) but for climate change, uniquely, understatement is even riskier and therefore, arguably, unethical.”

    http://www.nature.com/news/be-persuasive-be-brave-be-arrested-if-necessary-1.11796

  60. It’s no secret. It is a convenient truth that promoting the idea that Americans caused global warming has been very lucrative for many over the years who have been involved in the fear business.

    • More lucrative than the rejection, which is pomoted by the denial business, of published results from several decades of scientific research about anthropogenically caused global warming? How many are “many”? And what about you present some testable empirical data to support your inciting statement?

      • Jan,

        Any tips on how I can get a piece of this denialist money train?

        On a more serious note, there are people who have done what any good accounting professor will tell you – follow the money. The results they turned up not only fail to support the “big oil / fossil fuel” funding of folks who disagree with various aspects of the CAGW meme, they show where the money is really going. Billions of dollars of it just in the US.

      • No one can be unaware of the billions American taxpayers shelled out for filing cabinets full of junk science and the lost opportunity costs and liberal fascist stonkernomics based on anti-Americanismand anti-capitalism is robbing the productive of the fruits of their investment of sweat and sacrifice and depriving the youth of a prosperous future.

  61. Whatever one’s position on the science, it’s is indisputable that by now there are plentiful inducements for scientists to maintain an alarmist bias. Of course the usual climate mouthpieces…the MSM go-to guys like Mann and Hansen are so deeply invested they’ve have to be saints to suddenly start admitting doubts. One ignores this reality at one’s peril. Does it mean CAGW isn’t correct. No, it does not. Is it a reason for a certain amount of skepticism when these guys open their mouths? Yes it is.

  62. We use a one-dimensional radiative-convective model for the atmospheric thermal structure to compute the change in the surface temperature of the earth for large assumed increases in the trace gas concentrations; doubling the N2O, CH4, and NH3 concentrations is found to cause additive increases in the surface temperature of 0.7°, 0.3°, and 0.1°K, respectively. – Hansen 1976

  63. North Atlantic ocean heat content has rapidly declined since 2008. This is the last leg of the AGW movement. http://www.climate4you.com/index.htm
    I think we we should be concerned about the decline in SST of the southern ocean which carries the worlds largest current (ACC)). The recent drop in South Atlantic SST and the continuing drop in the East Pacific should be of more concern for the worlds climate than a small increase in co2.

  64. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Judith Curry (joining with many skeptics, contrarians, and denialists) in summarizing Hansen’s work as follows: “It is good to see Hansen paying more attention to unforced variability.”

    Eh, but that’s not Hansen’s main message, is it?

    Hansen’s main message is simpler and stronger (from the concluding paragraphs):

    ————-
    Hansen’s Key Observations

    • continuing planetary energy imbalance

    • rapid increase of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel

    ————-
    Hansen’s Key Predictions

    • global temperature will rise significantly in the next few years

    • sea-level rise rates will accelerate this decade

    ————-
    Hansen’s Key Wild Card

    • climate forcing due to aerosol changes and their effects on clouds.

    ————–

    Overall Conclusion  Hansen’s main scientific points and crisp decadal predictions are clear and logical, yet are so unpalatable to skeptics, contrarians, and denialists, that these main points are commonly minimized and/or ignored and/or denied (by Judith’s cherry-picked excerpts, for example). Nonetheless, more-and-more leaders appreciate that Hansen’s main points are just plain right.

    So Hansen’s main message isn’t complicated, eh? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • “Nonetheless, more-and-more leaders”

      How close did Hansen 1970 come to reality? How about Hansen 1988?

      To be fair Hansen has adjusted his prognostication’s downward when the evidence became overwhelming. Unfortunately…his followers somehow can’t manage to ‘unburn’ those they burned at the stake….

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Specific citations? Verbatim quotes in-context? Neither given? Then claims have little weight, eh? \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Fan

      You wouldn’t really expect Hansen to “change his position”, would you?

      He’s “locked in” to the CAGW premise (coal death trains, tipping points, Venus runaway effect, deleterious climate changes, sea level changes measured in meters, extinction of species, etc.).

      Even if he has been forced to acknowledge that there is a current standstill in warming, don’t expect him to change his “shtick”.

      No scientific evidence in this world would ever change Hansen’s viewpoint.

      Right?

      Max

  65. These are the reasons Hansen was wrong …

    It should be clear from the recent comments on Roy Spencer’s latest thread that Jeff Conlon (owner of “The Air Vent” website) was wrong in assuming that microbolometers (infra red thermometers) disproved what Prof Claes Johnson said about how one-way spontaneous radiation cannot transfer heat from a cooler source to a warmer target.

    My March 2012 paper “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics” was in large part a review of what Claes had written. He and I are in frequent communication, along with about half a dozen core members of PSI who really know their physics, and we have not been proven to be incorrect on any of this by anyone offering a valid rebuttal based on valid physics.

    The significance of what Claes proved in “Computational Blackbody Radiation” is that back radiation cannot affect the rate of cooling by non-radiative processes. The latter account for at least two-thirds of all the thermal energy transferred from the surface to the atmosphere.

    The rate of cooling by non-radiative processes is slowed, not by back radiation, but by the presence of all air molecules at a very close temperature at the surface/atmosphere boundary. These air molecules are at the temperature they are, because Loschmidt was right and his physics, nearly 150 years old, has stood the test of time, and now been proven correct empirically. A thermal gradient does develop autonomously in a gravitational field and is more than sufficient to explain that “33 degrees of warming” supposedly due to WV and GHG. So the greenhouse is demolished and falls to the ground, which it never was warming in the first place. QED.

    Doug Cotton
    http://climate-change-theory.com