Sensitivity about sensitivity

by Judith Curry

. . . the IPCC’s sensitivity estimate cannot readily be reconciled with forcing estimates and observational data. – James Annan

Since the release of the AR5 SOD, there has been a flurry of blog posts on the topic of climate sensitivity.  The triggers seem to have been Nic Lewis’ analysis (discussed here), plus a press release from the Norwegians (discussed here).  Both find values of sensitivity to be significantly lower than the consensus values.

In response to this, we have been ‘reassured’ by RealClimate  and SkepticalScience that nothing has really changed with regards to the consensus on sensitivity.  Gavin Schmidt states:

In the meantime, the ‘meta-uncertainty’ across the methods remains stubbornly high with support for both relatively low numbers around 2ºC and higher ones around 4ºC, so that is likely to remain the consensus range.

The ‘consensus’ range has been 1.5 – 4.5C (centered on 3C) since the 1979 Charney Report.  With all the many different ways of calculating these numbers (empirically and from simple models and general circulation models), and different results that have been obtained from these analyses, why hasn’t this range and central value budged in over 3 decades?  Here are some reasons:

1.  The ‘experts’ are convinced.. Zickfeld et al. (2010)  conducted face-to-face interviews with 14 leading climate scientists, using formal methods of expert elicitation.  The results were not surprising.  Apparently the results of this expert elicitation have a substantial influence in the AR5 report.  Before you start criticizing the formal expert elicitation process, it is WAY better (less biased) than a consensus building process (see my paper no consensus on consensus).   You are of course allowed to criticize all of this in the context of how many, and which, experts were included in this process.

2.  Anchoring devices.  Pielke Jr reminded me of this paper by van der Sluijs et al. Anchoring devices in climate for policy: the case of consensus around climate sensitivity.   Excerpt:

We show how the maintained consensus about the quantitative estimate of a central scientific concept in the anthropogenic climate-change field – namely, climate sensitivity – operates as an `anchoring device’ in `science for policy’. In international assessments of the climate issue, the consensus-estimate of 1.5°C to 4.5°C for climate sensitivity has remained unchanged for two decades. Nevertheless, during these years climate scientific knowledge and analysis have changed dramatically. We propose that the remarkable quantitative stability of the climate sensitivity range has helped to hold together a variety of different social worlds relating to climate change, by continually translating and adapting the meaning of the `stable’ range. But this emergent stability also reflects an implicit social contract among the various scientists and policy specialists involved, which allows `the same’ concept to accommodate tacitly different local meanings.

3.  The ‘experts’ have taken into account the latest knowledge on external forcing and uncertainties, model uncertainties, methodological uncertainties, etc. in preparing their estimates.  Oops, looks like they forgot to do this (see James Annan’s comments below)

Andy Revkin

Revkin has two recent posts on this topic:

Revkin has elicited some remarkable statements from IPCC authors regard climate sensitivity, as well as some startling comments from climate bloggers.

Reto Knutti

Revkin’s post on the Norwegian press release elicited the following statement from Reto Knutti, excerpts:

If you look at the Fig. 3a in our review (red lines at the top) you see that many previous estimates based on the observed warming/ocean heat uptake had a tendency to peak at values below 3°C (that review is from 2008). The Norwegian study is just another one of these studies looking at the global energy budget. The first ones go back more than a decade, so the idea is hardly new. The idea is always the same: if you assume a distribution for the observed warming, the ocean heat uptake, and the radiative forcing, then you can derive a distribution for climate sensitivity.

What is obvious is that including the data of the past few years pushes the estimates of climate sensitivity downward, because there was little warming over the past decade despite a larger greenhouse gas forcing. Also in some datasets the ocean warming in the top 700 meters is rather small, with very small uncertainties (Levitus GRL 2012), pushing the sensitivity down further. However, in my view one should be careful in over interpreting these results for several reasons:

a) the uncertainties in the assumed radiative forcings are still very large. Recently, Solomon et al. Science (2010, 2011) raised questions about the stratospheric water vapor and aerosol, and just days ago there was another paper arguing for a larger effect of black carbon (http://www.agu.org/news/press/pr_archives/2013/2013-01.shtml, a massive 280 pages…).

b) Results are sensitive to the data used, as shown by Libardoni and Forest DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049431 and others, and particularly sensitive to how the last decade of data is treated. Very different methods (detection attribution optimal fingerprint) have also shown that the last decade makes a difference (Gillett et al. 2011, doi:10.1029/2011GL050226).

c) The uncertainties in the ocean heat uptake may be underestimated by Levitus, and there are additional uncertainties regarding the role of deep ocean heat uptake (Meehl et al. 2011 Nature Climate Change).

Even though we have many of these studies (and I am responsible for a couple of them) I’m getting more and more nervous about them, because they are so sensitive to the climate model, the prior distributions, the forcing, the ocean data, the error model, etc. The reason for this, to a large extent, is that the data constraint is weak, so the outcome (posterior) is dominated by what you put in (prior).

 

James Annan

I found the statement by Knutti to be interesting and I think it made some good points.  This post by James Annan made my jaw drop.  Excerpts:

As I said to Andy Revkin (and he published on his blog), the additional decade of temperature data from 2000 onwards (even the AR4 estimates typically ignored the post-2000 years) can only work to reduce estimates of sensitivity, and that’s before we even consider the reduction in estimates of negative aerosol forcing, and additional forcing from black carbon (the latter being very new, is not included in any calculations AIUI). It’s increasingly difficult to reconcile a high climate sensitivity (say over 4C) with the observational evidence for the planetary energy balance over the industrial era.

Note for the avoidance of any doubt I am not quoting directly from the unquotable IPCC draft, but only repeating my own comment on it. However, those who have read the second draft of Chapter 12 will realise why I previously said I thought the report was improved :-) Of course there is no guarantee as to what will remain in the final report, which for all the talk of extensive reviews, is not even seen by the proletariat, let alone opened to their comments, prior to its final publication. The paper I refer to as a “small private opinion poll” is of course the Zickfeld et al PNAS paper. The list of pollees in the Zickfeld paper are largely the self-same people responsible for the largely bogus analyses that I’ve criticised over recent years, and which even if they were valid then, are certainly outdated now. Interestingly, one of them stated quite openly in a meeting I attended a few years ago that he deliberately lied in these sort of elicitation exercises (i.e. exaggerating the probability of high sensitivity) in order to help motivate political action. Of course, there may be others who lie in the other direction, which is why it seems bizarre that the IPCC appeared to rely so heavily on this paper to justify their choice, rather than relying on published quantitative analyses of observational data. Since the IPCC can no longer defend their old analyses in any meaningful manner, it seems they have to resort to an unsupported “this is what we think, because we asked our pals”. It’s essentially the Lindzen strategy in reverse: having firmly wedded themselves to their politically convenient long tail of high values, their response to new evidence is little more than sticking their fingers in their ears and singing “la la la I can’t hear you”.

 Of course, this still leaves open the question of what the new evidence actually does mean for climate sensitivity. Irrespective of what one thinks about aerosol forcing, it would be hard to argue that the rate of net forcing increase and/or over-all radiative imbalance has actually dropped markedly in recent years, so any change in net heat uptake can only be reasonably attributed to a bit of natural variability or observational uncertainty.

 But the point stands, that the IPCC’s sensitivity estimate cannot readily be reconciled with forcing estimates and observational data. All the recent literature that approaches the question from this angle comes up with similar answers. By failing to meet this problem head-on, the IPCC authors now find themselves in a bit of a pickle. I expect them to brazen it out, on the grounds that they are the experts and are quite capable of squaring the circle before breakfast if need be. But in doing so, they risk being seen as not so much summarising scientific progress, but obstructing it.

 There’s a nice example of this in Reto Knutti’s comment featured by Revkin. While he starts out be agreeing that estimates based on the energy balance have to be coming down, he then goes on to argue that now (after a decade or more of generating and using them) he doesn’t trust the calculations because these Bayesian estimates are all too sensitive to the prior choices. That seems to me to be precisely contradicted by all the available literature, It looks rather like the IPCC authors have invented this meme as some sort of talismanic mantra to defend themselves against having to actually deal with the recent literature.

For some context on why my jaw dropped, here  are some posts by James Annan where he has been harshly critical of my criticisms of the consensus conclusions and the consensus building process.  Looks like JA has been bitten by the uncertainty monster.  The antidote is to reread my papers on the Uncertainty Monster and Reasoning About Climate Uncertainty.

Stoat

Comment from William Connolley in Revkin’s second post:

James also identifies a possible problem in the way IPCC subgroups can come to “own” a particular area, and find outside opinions — even those clearly from within Science rather than the wackosphere — unwelcome. I don’t know how serious that is: again, I’d be inclined to trust James Annan on this, but that’s all I’d be doing. Perhaps an investigative journalist might take an interest.

JC comment:  This one made me laugh. Here is how ‘outside opinions’ have been treated by Stoat (search for ‘shark jumping’). 

JC summary:  Kudos to Revkin for stimulating this blogospheric  discussion.  Whether all this heralds a ‘game change’ in the ‘consensus’ remains to be seen.

The broader issue with climate sensitivity is this.  The simplistic way in which this is defined and calculated makes the whole concept an artifact of the oversimplification.  On short time scales (decade to centuries), there is no satisfactory way of sorting out forced climate variability from natural internal climate variability unless you have a really good climate model that can adequately handle the natural internal variability on the range of time scales from years to millennia. Empirical methods have yet to do this in any sensible way, IMO.

Further, it is  misleading to think of sensitivity in terms of a pdf (see my previous post on this here).  Talking about the probability of a climate sensitivity fat tail is meaningless in my opinion.  What is meaningful is the possibility of a scenario of abrupt climate change.  While abrupt climate change is regarded as a possibility based upon paleoclimatic evidence of previous events, climate models are incapable of producing such emergent phenomena.  The concept of abrupt climate change does not figure into any estimate of equilibrium sensitivity that I am aware of.

Until we better understand natural internal climate variability, we simply don’t know how to infer sensitivity to greenhouse gas forcing. The issue of how climate will change over the 21st century is highly uncertain, and we basically don’t know whether or not different scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions will be (or not be) the primary driver on timescales of a century or less.  Oversimplification and overconfidence on this topic have acted to the detriment of climate science. As scientists, we need to embrace the uncertainty, the complexity and the messy wickedness of the problem.  We mislead policy makers with our oversimplifications and overconfidence.

1,165 responses to “Sensitivity about sensitivity

  1. Palatial coverage at the Bish’s. Andy Revkin’s all over it, and Gavin gives up catastrophes.

    But they were promised. Where are the Wild Things?
    =================

    • Thus Gavin thwacks the fat tail. But the fat tail has disrupted the world’s economy needlessly and there will be thwackback. A Phat Tale.
      ===================

      • Are you using my name in vain, perchance?

      • The catastrophes were as vain as a peacock’s tail, and as seductive.
        =============

      • Consider me seduced ;-]

      • No, the question of whether AGW is a serious danger has never depended on the fat tail.

      • Heh, hastur, so why was that fat tail defended so surreptitiously and illegitimately? Tell me it wasn’t just for grins.
        =============

      • Indeed, interestingly it is climate skeptics that have backpeddled here.

        They used to claim climate sensitivity was less than 1 degree C per doubling of CO2. Ie climate feedbacks were net negative.

        In the recent month we’ve seen climate skeptics admitting climate feedback is likely net positive, and sensitivity much higher than they’d previously acknowledged. With some climate skeptics even toying with sensitivity as high as 1.7C per doubling of CO2.

        The consequences of this haven’t yet been fully absorbed by the climate skeptic community.

        1) At 1.7C per doubling, CO2 is the dominant driver of global temperature over the 21st century.

        2) At 1.7C per doubling, CO2 is very likely to have caused most of the warming since the mid-20th century. Ie the IPCC attribution statement was right all along.

        3) At 1.7C per doubling, we can expect about twice as much warming as that under business as usual, as not only is CO2 itself going to more than double, but there are other greenhouse gases aside from CO2 that are increasing.

        Of course it is likely that climate skeptics will simultaneously claim they always accepted something like 1.7C while still refusing to accept points #1 through #3.

      • lolwot

        At a 2xCO2 ECS of 1.7C we can stop worrying about CAGW.

        At a likely CO2 level of 600 ppmv by 2100, we would see around 1.0C warming from today. Peanuts.

        And at the absolute maximum CO2 level we could ever reach from burning all the fossil fuels on Earth, we would reach 2.3C

        This is no longer scary, lolwot. The “C” has been removed from IPCC’s “CAGW”.

        Max

      • Heh, hastur, so why was that fat tail defended so surreptitiously and illegitimately? Tell me it wasn’t just for grins.

        What makes you think it was defended “surreptitiously and illegitimately”? The fat tail existed because that’s what research into climate sensitivity indicated. That doesn’t mean scientists believed that such high values were likely, just that they didn’t have enough information to rule them out. Now we have more information, which may be able to do so.

      • “And at the absolute maximum CO2 level we could ever reach from burning all the fossil fuels on Earth, we would reach 2.3C”

        How much more from methane, nitrous oxide, black carbon?

        How much more from aerosol levels falling?

        How much more from a warmer Earth emitting more greenhouse gases itself?

        Even 2.3C puts Earth far warmer than it has been for a long time.

      • Anyhow, I don’t think it makes sense to claim that “climate skeptics” have backpedaled.” There are a lot of different skeptics. You need to identify one, show what he used to say, and show that he is saying that he believes sensitivity is now 1.7 – not that he’s happy that others have come down that far.

      • Yes lolwot.

        Poor kim seems to accept this, yet is a CGC (catastrophic global cooling) alarmist.

        Trust the ‘sceptics’ to simultaneously adopt mutually exclusive positions.

      • hastur could read Annan. Joshua could connect dots.
        ===================

      • Michael could review my defense of the term ‘lukewarming cooler’ @ the Blackboard. I suspect CO2 has some warming effect, but I’m quite sure natural processes can cool to catastrophe. No alarum, though. Just listen and prepare.
        ===============

      • lolwot: “How much more from methane, nitrous oxide, black carbon? How much more from aerosol levels falling? How much more from a warmer Earth emitting more greenhouse gases itself?”

        You do realize that the first and third sentences are saying the same thing, right?

        And you do realize that things like black carbon have been ignored for decades because of the obsession with CO2, right? Finally, we are now realizing that black carbon is a significant issue which affects human health as well as the climate. And it’s an issue that can be dealt with separately and without the enormous economic disruption of trying to halt the world’s CO2 production.

        Last, aerosol level effects may well be exaggerated, just as CO2’s effect was: aerosols were how the models cancelled out “CO2” effects at inconvenient times. As the CO2 sensitivity is adjusted down, the aerosol level sensitivity may be as well.

        As you know, many skeptics in these here parts are “lukewarmers”, who agree that CO2 has some effect, but not the effect that “the consensus” has been selling us for decades. You’re simply lumping a bunch of different classes of skeptics (of the consensus) together, then taking the positions of one group as the past, and the positions of another group as the present, then claiming your hypothesized monolithic group of “skeptics” has changed.

      • “As you know, many skeptics in these here parts are “lukewarmers”, who agree that CO2 has some effect, but not the effect that “the consensus” has been selling us for decades.”

        They spin and weave. You’ll find climate skeptics can’t be pinned down on what they believe because they keep changing it.

        The problem for them is as I stated a sensitivity of 1.7C would imply CO2 is the dominant driver of global temperature over the 21st century.

        But a climate skeptic could never admit such a thing. It’s too IPCC. They want to minimize CO2 to a largely insignificant component of climate.

        So while they’ll happily promote Nic Lewis’s 1.7C figure as an argument, they don’t actually want to believe it themselves.

        They demand others believe it. They even cry to high hell that it’s being ignored by the IPCC. But they don’t want to believe it themselves.

        That’s 21st climate skepticism.

      • kim does the red queen, again.

        Annan thinks the most likely range for CS is 2.5-3. Similar to the IPCC.

        kim concedes the possibility of some CO2 forcing, but has 100% certainty that it will be cancelled out by mysterious cooling mechanisms.

        CGC alarmist!

        Love the smell of ‘scepticism’ in the morning.

      • Michael could read Annan again, and he could avoid placing ‘will’ back in my mouth when ‘can’ just came out of it.
        ===================

      • away with your climate alarmism and quibbling kim.

      • Consider the temperature rise from the Little Ice Age. We are blessed if we did it and blessed if we didn’t. We can expect future blessings.
        =======================

      • kim seems sensitive about his/her alarmism.

      • lolwot

        Deliberating about what (you think) “skeptics think” is a waste of time and puts you on a “slippery slope”.

        The skeptics concerned know full well “what they think”. You don’t

        And there is absolutely no reason that “skeptics” of a premise, dogma or hypothesis have to “march in lock step” regarding their skepticism. .

        I, personally, am probably what some would call a “lukewarmer”.

        Unlike Jim Springer, for example, I am prepared to provisionally accept the concept that increasing human-induced GH gases will result in some increase in temperature, even though this has not yet been demonstrated by actual empirical evidence.

        But I am not about to buy in on the AGW premise of IPCC, which is based on a mean ECS value of 3.2C (with a “fat tail”), which is in turn based on net positive feedback from clouds and a water vapor feedback based on essentially maintaining constant relative humidity with warming, all of which is solely based on model predictions and not on empirical evidence.

        That’s when my “BS meter” goes into alarm mode.

        And, based on the latest studies on ECS plus the failure of warming forecasts (such as Hansen 1988 or IPCC TAR and AR4) , it looks like my skepticism has been well placed.

        Max

      • lolwot

        CORRECTION: That’s Jim Cripwell (not Springer, of course)

        Sorry, Jim and David.

      • lolwot | February 4, 2013 at 5:00 pm said: ” With some climate skeptics even toying with sensitivity as high as 1.7C per doubling of CO”

        lolwot!!!! if one believes that CO2 increases the GLOBAL temp; that’s NOT a ”Skeptic” Same as: If one believes in Santa, cannot be referred as ”mature person” ”Believer” that: CO2 has anything to do with the overall global temp; calling him ”Skeptic”.is a very overloaded comment…

      • Mother Nature is currently making a statement. Look around the Northern Hemisphere right now. Mother Nature says that warm oceans are a necessary part of a well bounded cycle. Mother Nature uses warm oceans to get the moisture to rebuild the ice volume for the next cold cycle. Mother Nature uses the cold frozen oceans to cut off the moisture and allow the sun to reduce the ice volume for the next warm cycle. The sensitivity is to warm or frozen oceans. Mother Nature just uses CO2 to make the green things grow. Mother Nature uses water, in all its states, to control temperature. Mother Nature uses something that is abundant and not a fraction of a trace of something.

      • I do not know anyone who is a Climate Skeptic. We believe in Climate and we all, or most, recognize that Climate has warmed since the Little Ice Age. Just like it always has after a cold period.
        I do know a lot of people who are Alarmist Skeptics. We do not believe that increased CO2 is going to do more harm than good.

    • One hopes that scientists always strive mightily to utilize only the most accurate data, methods, and reasoning. Does anyone think that this sort of behavior serves either science or society properly: in a July 2010 comment James Annan referred to one of the ‘Zickfeld 14’ climate scientists who had urged fellow scientists to exaggerate, er… lie, about their climate sensitivity estimates, in order to ‘encourage action’….

      [emphasis added]

      James Annan 1/7/10 4:30 pm
      DC,
      Well talking of AR5, the two CLAs plus two more authors on the most relevant chapter (long term climate change) are in this set of 14 – and none of them are the sane #4…(ok I accept several of the other pdfs are not really too ridiculous either).

      Incidentally one participant in this new work is the person I think I mentioned some time ago who openly advocated exaggerating in opinion polls such as this in order to encourage “action”.

      James Annan comment thread on his blog, July 1, 2010

  2. There is an explicit, if unnamed, villain in this piece. Many implicit, one explicit. Unnamed, but well known.
    ======

  3. Concerning the views of Annan. What he writes now is very well in line of the reasoning he presented in the 2009 paper with Hargreaves: On the generation and interpretation of probabilistic estimates of climate sensitivity. He has also been fairly outspoken. Thus what he says now is not that surprising.

    • Yes, he’s been screaming since ~2006, but Revkin couldn’t hear Japan from his back porch. Nor anyone much else.
      =================

      • Yes, he did seek an alliance with Judy on such matters, but Judith rejected his overtures on the grounds that he wasn’t ‘important’ enough for her.

      • Drama critics, bah.
        ============

    • Matthew R Marler

      Pekka Pirilä

      Concerning the views of Annan. What he writes now is very well in line of the reasoning he presented in the 2009 paper with Hargreaves: On the generation and interpretation of probabilistic estimates of climate sensitivity. He has also been fairly outspoken. Thus what he says now is not that surprising.

      That’s a fair statement. Without actually using Bayes’ Theorem, Annan has incorporated the evidence of the last few years to move his personal probability distribution of the sensitivity toward 0. I put more trust in likelihood functions, where they can be justified by observations, than in posterior distributions. An interesting question is how many other climate scientists will review Annan’s article and adjust their beliefs in light of the recent evidence.

      A frequent, though not universal, occurrence is for experts to dispute new evidence and keep their beliefs totally unchanged. Clearly, Annan is not doing that.

  4. I left this comment at Dot Earth and will leave it here. Gerald North of Texas A&M has long had a sensitivity estimate of 2C, with a range of 1.75-2.25C, which is a good bit below the IPCC estimate. He remarked how the low-sensitivity folks were not eager to enter the fray realtive to those on the high-sensitivity side. Just another data point ….

    • Because lower sensitivity might result in less funding?

      • Rob Starkey | February 4, 2013 at 5:44 pm said: ”Because lower sensitivity might result in less funding?”

        I like that comment. 1] So, which one they will chose? 2] if NO sensitivity… time to start reimbursing the taxpayer,, with modest interest, on the spoils…

  5. Judith, you write “Until we better understand natural internal climate variability, we simply don’t know how to infer sensitivity to greenhouse gas forcing.”

    I could not agree with you more; this, to me, is the crux of the issue. As I put it, no-one has any idea what the climate sensitivity of CO2 is. And even more important, no-one has any idea of how accurately climate sensitivity has been estimated; estimated since it has NEVER been measured. If it had been measured we would know the accuracy.

    Yet, the SPMs that the IPCC published in the AR4, contain phrases like >90% probability and >95% probability, and I cannot, for the life of me, find out the scientific basis for these claims. The basis ought to be in the AR4, but it does not seem to be. I have never heard of a scientific report where the conclusions were not based on what was in the report itself. Further, despite people like Alex Rawls pointing out some of the uncertainties, the SOD of the AR5 still contains these claims of high probabilities for what adding CO2 to the atmosphere does.

    It seems to me that these wild claims of high probabilities in the SPMs ought to be based on some sort of knowledge for how accurately we know the value for climate sensitivity, yet they seem to be based on absolutely nothing at all, but no-one seems to want to discuss this issue.

  6. Actually, there is ambiguity in Gavin’s phraseology around giving up catastrophes(nightmares). Perfectly intelligent people are interpreting what he says backwards.
    =============

    • Sloppily, his antecedents blur.
      ==============

    • It is a tweet. Perhaps those interested in understanding his views, might consider a more comprehensive explanation. Perhaps those looking to confirm biases might attach great meaning to a tweet.

      But yes, thank you for noting the ambiguous antecedent. It all depends on what “it” means, now doesn’t it? And ironically, not much actually depends on what it means.

      • Joshua,

        Perhaps those interested in understanding his views, might consider a more comprehensive explanation.

        What makes you think that people here are actually interested in understanding what Gavin is saying?

      • Heh, I’m sure he’s hunting for the ‘comprehensive explanation’ as we speak. What a nightmare he’s in.
        ===================

      • Heh, I’m sure he’s hunting for the ‘comprehensive explanation’ as we speak.

        First, kim – I don’t speak as I type (or read). Interesting that apparently you do, though.

        Second – unfortunately, your dot-connecting/truthdevining skilz are not as mad as I thought.. So will you integrate your error and re-calibrate?

      • Heh, Joshua bends backward at the knees to find a sharp point in a cliche. And avoids conversing.
        =================

      • What a nightmare he’s in.

        Thanks for proving my point.

      • Right, it’s a hazy, crazy, lazy summer afternoon daydream. I propose you pose the question to the G-Man heself. That’s a big red ‘S’ on his shirt, right?
        ===============

      • I’m not in anyway unclear about what Gavin is saying.

        If you don’t understand then you ask him.

      • The eyes have it.
        =============

      • “Sorry that a tweet did not come with footnotes for people”

        Gavin posted that at Real Climate

      • Heh, Bob, he’s searching in the footnotes for the ‘comprehensive explanation’.

        willard’s on first, Gavin’s lost the ball in the sun, and you’re our umpire?
        =============

      • What’s fooled y’all wordsmiths is plain speech from a forked tonguester. Climate sensitivity is not negligible and not a nightmare. It’s a very inconvenient truth.
        ============

    • Perfectly intelligent people are interpreting what he says backwards.

      Lol! Same exact logic as your statement about “connecting dots” to devine Obama’s “Muslim sympathies,” eh?

    • Naw, silly, He means ‘climate sensitivity’ when he refers to ‘change in climate sensitivity’. Did you read it?
      ===============

    • Sorry, Joshua, you are giving little evidence of understanding what is going on here. Go with your gut, though.
      =================

    • I don’t have your dot-connecting skills, (i.e., your depth of insight or your parapsychological gifts), kim.

    • Here’s what I don’t think that it means. I don’t think that Gavin believes that less climate change equals a nightmare. I don’t think that he wants the climate to change drastically, to the point that it causes severe impacts to humans living today or in the future.

      Although sure, the speculators may be correct – it is possible that he is a psychopath. If only I had your mad skilz at dot-connecting….

      • Why don’t you just read what he wrote, apply the antecedent he means, and deal with it? He’s giving up nightmares, which must be nightmarish for him and others.
        ============

      • Hey, you could go ask him yourself. You won’t be the first one. Nor yet, the very last, by a long shot.
        =============

      • Josh,

        The discussion may be about uncertainty – re sensitivity – but of one thing I am certain.

        The climate will change no matter what you, me or Gavin Schmidt would like it to do.

      • The way I read it, is that a big change in climate sensitivity towards the low side is the nightmare Gavin is talking of. The nightmare of being totally wrong on the subject.

      • As I said, Bob, a lot of perfectly intelligent people read it that way. I don’t, for the reason that Joshua has laid out elsewhere, I have hope for his fundamental humanity.
        ================

      • Heaven forbids asking, but does anyway.
        =================

  7. I agree with Judith that equilibrium sensitivity is difficult to derive from the short record so far, especially recently, due to natural variability. The Norwegian study had 3.7 C sensitivity before including the last decade. I suspect that it is because the positive water vapor feedback in the equilibrium sensitivity needs the tropical oceans to warm, and this process is very delayed, when CO2 is the forcing, due to the amount of vapor shielding its effect there. The warming over the last 30 years also is affected by the PDO which is in a cold phase. Deriving sensitivities while the ocean warming is suppressed will also suppress the sensitivity. Only long-term enough studies will add sufficient tropical ocean warming for the sensitivity to be a realistic equilibrium one, but this is showing that the equilibrium will be slow to reach.
    I would also note that paleoclimate gives sensitivities in excess of 4.5 C per doubling, but that is only because the Antarctic and Greenland will melt, and (darker) forest vegetation will spread north into the tundras, so we have to define time scales even for “equilibrium”.

    • Jim D

      Paleoclimate can give you just about any 2xCO2 ECS you are hoping to find (sort of like reading tea leaves)

      Fuggidaboudit. Let’s look at actual records – these point to the lower end of the range, albeit still with guess-timates for natural factors.

      lolwot’s 1.7C is probably a good upper limit.

      Max

    • “,,,,,,, especially recently, due to natural variability. ”

      Presumably Jim in the good old days we didn’t have to worry about natural variability because temps were going up nicely and we were getting the result we wanted. I don’t think you do agree with JC, her point might be that climate scientists should ALWAYS have been worrying about natural variability not wait until something came along and bit them on the certainties..

    • “I agree with Judith that equilibrium sensitivity is difficult to derive from the short record so far, especially recently, due to natural variability.”

      Have natural variability increased recently?

      • I would say the difficulty lies in feedbacks that take some time to materialize.

      • My point exactly. How can we define equilibrium sensitivity with a global warming distribution that is transient? Have they just extrapolated past warming, or are they allowing for the tropical oceans to catch up? I suspect the former is done, because it is easier to do.

    • Has natural variability increased recently?

  8. Hank Zentgraf

    “Until we better understand climate variability………” We have certainly paid dearly for all the years since 1988 trying to force numerous models to blame just one item, man-made CO2, for modern warming. Think how different the resource allocation would have been and how much closer we would be to understanding this subject had we treated climate science in a more traditional fashion. Is it time to reduce the number of climate modeling efforts in half and reapply those resources to observational research?

    • So far the “skeptics’ haven’t come up with a single model between them, even a simple one. What does it take to get them started? They tend to be the older types who don’t know how to do it themselves. Can’t they take an existing model and change the physics? I suspect a low-sensitivity model might have trouble producing warm enough summers due to the negative cloud feedback they are forced to put into it, but that is just my prediction.

      • Jim D, here is a simple climate model from the realist skeptical scientist.
        http://www.drroyspencer.com/Simple-climate-model-v1.0.xls

      • An excel spreadsheet??

        Unfortunately Roy Spencer can’t be trusted

      • The problem(s) of CS are indeed large.
        1) The irreducibility of the spread over the last 30yrs,which suggests that it is indeed irreducible .
        2) The affixing of cardinal numbers to subjective opinions,of which some have been critical eg Zalapin and Ghil.
        3) The geometric mean of the range of experiments is bounded by the Khinchin constant,which suggests that sensitivity is indeed low,and long tails will be improbable.
        4) The spread (the range) of sensitivity ,is a constraint on future uncertainty being reduced,and even if there is increased information it will increase.

      • As far as I can tell, that is not a model. He puts sensitivity in as a variable you can choose.

      • lolwot, you say, ” Unfortunately Roy Spencer can’t be trusted”. I see, so we should trust Jones, Mann, Scheinder, Hansen, Gleick, Trenberth, the person in Annon’s piece who admitted to lying, or perhaps we should trust you. LOL.

      • Don’t think you get my point Bob. If you don’t trust the above people you mention you can’t trust Roy Spencer either.

        That’s my point.

      • Jim D, you don’t have to create a model. Some models can already recreate the current warming sans forcing changes. Just apply aerosols liberally to tune from there. Also, not all paleo studies show 4.5C or greater but what difference does that make? Do you really believe climate sensitivity is a constant and not a variable?

      • Jim D

        So far the “skeptics’ haven’t come up with a single model between them, even a simple one.

        Roy Spencer has come up with a simple model (2 years ago!)

        And, hey, the big “model in the sky” has been telling us a story since 1998 (or is it 2001?).

        Max

      • “So far the “skeptics’ haven’t come up with a single model between them, even a simple one. What does it take to get them started? ”

        I would say model are in simplest in terms a learning tool.
        Or a means of exploration.
        Or also system of validation of hypotheses.

        At that point in time, they are not a way to predict the future and
        they might not approach this for many decades.

        So the practical use of models is for models to make short term
        predictions which can within a reasonable period of time, be
        checked against reality.

        But climate models have different priorities then the above.
        One purpose could be describe as PR- selling an idea.
        As tools to sell a scary future, their value is if anyone or
        most people can trust them coupled with enough scare
        value that they get a good payoff.

        So models should predict few years in future, and
        instead 100 year prediction are preferred, and in complete
        wacko mode are claimed to be easier and to be more
        accurate [with numerous idiots blithely nodding their heads].

        Of course it’s not uncommon to make short climate predictions-
        farmers want them. And skeptics have made short terms
        prediction. This idea we suppose entering a cooling period
        in next couple decade is actually kind of widely accepted.
        It such expectation cooling is due to looking at natural
        variability.

        But I think a more comprehensive model should done-
        a global model. It should be done by skeptics or real
        scientists. But it would require money, and skeptics
        are not well funded. But perhaps something like
        crowd sourcing. Or some kind contest with prizes-
        a game model could work to help this occur.

      • Here is a game.

        Start with earth which uniform temperature of 3 C.
        Meaning entire surface is 3 C [no ice].
        Assume the atmosphere is same composition- and
        could start with same temperature as current values.
        Another option is start with just skin temperature being
        a uniform temperature- so only top foot of surface
        starts at uniform temperature of 3 C. So same world
        as present in all respects, expect the top 12 inches
        has uniform temperature of 3 C.
        What occurs in within 10 years?

      • I agree gbaikie that models are not appropriate for prediction but could assist in sorting out natural variability as distinct from anthropic influences on weather and climate.

        The extension of meteorological modelling (good for 7 to 10 days) toward regional forecasting (hopefully good for up to 30 days) and applied over interlocking areas of the Earth’s surface and stratosphere, would be most useful for humanity in its quest to ameliorate the effects of sudden climate change.

      • @LOLWitless , models only express a hypothesis, models are not scientific experiments and therefore do not provide data. Models also do not replicate reality and therefore cannot be regarded as providing science with anything other than a narrative expressing an idea.

      • @Jim D | February 4, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
        All models are parameterized to do exactly as you say.

      • Jim D”| February 4, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Reply
        So far the “skeptics’ haven’t come up with a single model between them, even a simple one.”

        I do have a simple model. See my website above. I don’t label myself as a sceptic because my model quite clearly shows there has been periods of anthrogenic global warming, but they stopped and were limited. Why were they limited? Because classical thermodynamics can’t answer that question, but Quantum can. We don’t know on wfat conditions CO2 could lose a photon of energy. So more research is necessary to justify my assumption.

        However my model has the virtue that it can provide a credible narrative of global climate during the 20th and 21st centuries and the IPCC have never even tried to do thst.

      • Some people have come up with other offerings of what they call models. I call a GCM a model. “Skeptics” have not produced GCMs so that they can evaluate its seasonal and regional variations before going on to climate change. There is a qualifying level for a model, which is current climate.

      • Well sceptics could of course produce their own model but first let’s review the “do nots” of atmospheric modelling –

        1. Do not model the “earth” as a combined land/ocean/gas “thingy”
        2. Do not model the atmosphere as a single body or layer
        3. Do not model the sun as a ¼ power constant source without diurnal cycle
        4. Do not model conductive flux to and from the surface and atmosphere based on surface Tav
        5. Do not model a static atmosphere without moving gases
        6. Do not model a moving atmosphere without Gravity

        If existing models contained any of the above, then your suggestion “Can’t they take an existing model and change the physics?” would be a very foolish suggestion would it not?

        The first question to ask in atmospheric modelling is not what happens when we add more radiative gases to the atmosphere, but what is the role of radiative gases in the atmosphere? Lets model the atmosphere with and without radiative ability with moving gases and gravity –
        http://tinypic.com/r/6zy1ky/6
        The panel on the right shows convective stagnation shortly after the radiative ability is “switched off” Amazing! The atmosphere heats! This would of course mean –

        – Those claiming a radiative GHE never modelled a moving atmosphere with depth and gravity.
        – Without convective circulation below the tropopause our atmosphere will heat.
        – radiative gases providing energy loss at altitude are critical for convective circulation below the tropopause.
        – adding radiative gases to the atmosphere will not reduce its radiative cooling ability.
        – radiative gases cool our atmosphere at all concentrations above 0.0ppm

        But of course you already knew this Jim. You knew before 2010. The actions of yourself, Nick Stokes, Joel Shore and Josh Halpern in the discussion of the M2010 paper provide clear evidence. Trashing a paper in another discipline just to defend the “Cause”? That would have to be a new low in science. For shame. Sceptics will never forgive and the Internet will never forget.

      • Konrad makes an interesting point. It is a fact indeed that what is put out on the internet will not be forgotten and it would behoove everyone to always act with fairness and in good faith.

      • Peter,
        I am well aware of the corollary to “Sceptics will never forgive and the Internet will never forget”. In light of information that has recently come to light I believe I am showing considerable restraint in my comments. They have known they were wrong for years. Pushing a failed hypothesis for financial and political profit is one thing. Trashing a scientific paper in another discipline to defend the “cause” is quite another. Sod restraint. It’s Whacking Day.

      • It’s not totally clear what would happen for the atmosphere in total absence of all radiative gases, i.e. with exactly zero emissivity/absorptivity. I have been arguing for the mostly isothermal atmosphere but others have argued that the diurnal and latitudinal variability could still maintain circulation over an altitude range comparable to the present troposphere. As I haven’t heard of any credible analysis of this case i consider the case open.

        What’s, however, certain is that the Earth surface would be almost unaffected by the atmosphere. The surface temperature would be very close to that without any atmosphere. Earth would be different from the moon due to shorter day and different albedo, not because of the atmosphere.

        Another thing that’s known fairly well is what the situation would be it the atmosphere would have a very weak nonzero emissivity/absorptivity. In that case the surface temperature would still be essentially the same as without any atmosphere, but the atmosphere would have the adiabatic lapse rate up to an altitude of about 4 km. At that altitude and above, the temperature would have a constant very low value as the surface is very cold and the tropopause about 40C colder.

      • “What’s, however, certain is that the Earth surface would be almost unaffected by the atmosphere. The surface temperature would be very close to that without any atmosphere.”

        Pekka, how would the atmosphere lose the energy to space? Thermal resistance at the TOA would be infinite. This path would be closed. The surface could only lose the energy by radiating directly to space.

      • Edim,

        You are right on what you write, but there’s more to it. I explain a little more.

        The circulation that would persist is based on

        – heating the atmosphere by the surface near the spot of maximum surface temperature. The mechanism is conduction in a very thin surface layer and convection above that.
        – cooling the the atmosphere by conduction to the surface everywhere else.
        – some circulation to distribute heat within the atmosphere
        – conduction within the atmosphere wherever convection is not much stronger

        Because conduction is so weak the whole energy flux of circulation is very weak. The Earth surface area is, however, very large and the horizontal distances also very large in comparison to the height of atmosphere excluding the altitudes of very small density. Therefore it’s not immediately clear what the stationary state would be when all these factors are taken into account.

        It’s clear that the atmosphere would be relatively warm. The determining surface temperature is that of the hottest spot, because convection is so much stronger than conduction.

      • Pekka Pirilä:
        “What’s, however, certain is that the Earth surface would be almost unaffected by the atmosphere. The surface temperature would be very close to that without any atmosphere. Earth would be different from the moon due to shorter day and different albedo, not because of the atmosphere.”

        I don’t think Earth surface is much affected by the atmosphere.
        Rather I think the surface is mostly affecting atmosphere.

        So, I think Earth with 1/2 it’s atmosphere would have a significantly
        hotter surface [skin temperature].
        So with 1/2 of Earth’s atmosphere, one could easily cook eggs on a sidewalk.
        And you get 1100 watts per square meter as compared to 1000 watts per square meter. But more difference would be total amount solar energy per day.
        A 1/2 atmosphere would not have much affect upon the temperature ocean boils or evaporates. And ocean would receive a lot more solar energy. And ocean is average global temperature.
        So ocean surface temperature in tropics because of increase in solar energy would be slightly warmer than our ocean temperature and temperate zone ocean should more significantly warmer.

        Also seems as though there were less clouds. Could be more windy in terms wind speed, but probably not much higher in terms of strength of winds. And there would be smaller troposphere sphere.
        Atmosphere mass “50% is below 5.6 km (18,000 ft)”
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmosphere_of_Earth#Density_and_mass
        Average troposphere is 17 km. So instead with 1/2 atmosphere the troposphere would be average would be about 10 km or less.

        Snow couldn’t form at as high elevation- ice caps would be lower in elevation. And some mountains could too high for snow.

        Less air pressure and therefore lower vapor pressure [partial pressure].
        So, “For example, air at sea level, and saturated with water vapor at 20 °C, has partial pressures of about 23 mbar of water, 780 mbar of nitrogen, 210 mbar of oxygen and 9 mbar of argon.”

        Becomes: H2O 11.5 mbars partial pressure at 20 C.
        So same temperature less water vapor in air.
        This factor more than increased sunlight will cause oceans to get warmer at surface.
        So higher average temperature of say, 5 C.
        And inland significantly more deserts and colder nights and winters.
        But should be wider tropical conditions- more than 1/2 surface tropical conditions.

      • gbaikie,

        Without the present atmosphere and the GHE the hottest parts of the surface would be a hotter than they are now during the day, but during the night even those parts would be cold and their average temperature over 24 hours would be moderate. The exact values depend on the assumed albedo, which depends on the type of surface we would have. (What should we assume about water?)

        Most of the Earth surface would be very cold.

      • Pekka,
        The Knights of Consensus just got routed at the battle of Radiative Ridge at the Talkshop. Proxies are no shield to computer language analysis. Also at least three lukewarmer “sleepers” lost at WUWT.

        Are you sure you want to play?

      • “gbaikie,

        Without the present atmosphere and the GHE the hottest parts of the surface would be a hotter than they are now during the day, but during the night even those parts would be cold and their average temperature over 24 hours would be moderate. The exact values depend on the assumed albedo, which depends on the type of surface we would have. (What should we assume about water?)

        Most of the Earth surface would be very cold.”

        Well if Earth has no nitrogen, oxygen, or argon.
        It could have atmosphere of H20 gas.
        But without any atmosphere one would need no water.

        So as you say it would be Moon like.
        One problem with Earth being just like the Moon is
        Earth has more volcanic and tectonic activity. The Moon hasn’t
        had volcanic activity [other than minor out gassing- which is not
        what I mean by volcanic activity] for over a billion years. And
        not much over last 3 billion years.
        So moon’s surface is ancient, and Earth surface is very
        young.
        This mean in terms of climate that Earth would not covered
        with tens of meters of regolith- Earth would be mostly bare
        rock. And with no water, drier than Mars. Mars has ice caps
        of CO2 and H2O. And it’s very dry and cold place with 210 ppm
        of H20 gas.

        If Moon was mostly bare rock, it would warmer at night.
        And if Moon had 24 hour day it would also be much warmer
        in the night.
        Also Earth has tilt which gives in seasons. And seasonal
        tilt adds a bit warmth if one has a lot heat capacity- bare rock
        would store more heat as compared to regolith.
        This tilt effect is greater when you have ocean of water,
        but with bare rock it should have a minor effect.

        So daytime temperature should reach around the moon’s
        surface temperature of 120 C. On moon if the sun is blocked
        for two hour one lose about 100 K. Or lower from 120 C to
        20 C.
        Roughly, with bare rock, I would guess two hour after sun goes down
        one should have surface temperature of around 20 C. And probably rest of nite it cool another 50 K.
        So equator being 120 C in day and and -30 C at nite.
        Going poleward it’s cooler.
        So roughly 240 K to 400 K. And that’s 47 C average at equator
        Or say around 30 C average global temperature- wider swinger
        than earth, but significant part of swings in temperature is due
        to the much hotter surface temperature. And we measuring different things- skin surface vs air temperature. Or Earth highest skin temperature is about 70 C with highest air temperature of about
        50 C [323 K].
        So with vacuum world swing is 140 C. But the skin temperature 77 C
        hotter, or about half of the temperature swing.
        With earth tropical ocean it’s about swing day/night of around 5 C and land or desert around 20 C degrees of swing in temperature.
        So no doubt a vacuum vs atmosphere has large variation in temperature. But presence of Earth ocean is also large factor reducing
        global variation in day vs night temperature.

      • Jim, how about the model of what happened the last 100 years since CO2 was at 280ppm. Even assuming that CO2 is 1005 responsible for the increase of the past 100 years CO2 is now 394ppm an increase of 41%. Temps have risen .6C. On a straightline that would mean the total rise for a doubling is just under 1.5C. With .6 already realized that means an increase of .9 more for the rest of the doubling. This does not even take into consideration a logarithmic approach which would make the first 41% more like 60% of the total warming for a doubling which would mean we could expect as little as .4C more warming for the next 166ppm of CO2. The nice thing about using what has happened in the past is it includes all forcings and feedbacks because they are built in automatically.

      • “Most of the Earth surface would be very cold.”

        I didn’t include Bond albedo.
        If mostly sold rock were snow white, what difference would make
        in surface temperature during the day.
        It surface were perfectly reflective it would probably have greater
        effect. But the white paint or white sand or snow has reflective nature- it’s
        scattering light.
        Look at max temperature of painted cars:
        Hood of black car: 160.0 F [71 C]
        Hood of Pearl White car: 87.7 F [31 C]
        http://www.tom-morrow-land.com/tests/cartemp/index.htm

        So if darkish lunar surface was 120 C what would the difference
        be if color were white? It could be as low as say 60 C.
        Or 60 K reduction in maximum day time temperature.

        Nature terrain on Earth, does not have such dramatic cooling- salt flats
        or White Sand, New Mexico aren’t noted as being very cool
        in a summer sun:
        “Daytime temperatures can range from below freezing in winter to triple digits in the summer. Average highs in July, August, and September are usually in the mid to upper 90s.”
        http://www.ohranger.com/bonneville-salt-flats

        If there is as much of 60 K daylight reduction- that by itself knocks average 24 hr temperature by 30 C. And would reduce the swing
        in high and low temperature [reducing variation by 60 K].

        But the question is how much would reduce the energy store in terms of
        heat capacity. Salt flat or white sands in vacuum are not going store
        much heat. But as black sand or regolith isn’t going store much either.
        I haven’t gone into detail about how much heat is store, other say it should be significantly more than lunar regolith.
        If lunar regolith at 120 C cools 100 K in 2 hours, the same lunar regolith which 60 C is not going to cool 100 K in 2 hours.

        Heat is conducted depending temperature difference- the hotter the surface, results in more heat being conducted.
        So difference should put in K temperature.
        So 333 K [60 C] as compared to 393 K [120 C].
        And if assume coolest is 240 K. The temperature difference 97 K compared to 153 K.
        And Thermal Conductivity – k – W/(m.K) of rock is
        Rock, solid: 2 – 7
        http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/thermal-conductivity-d_429.html
        So what kind of rock could have bigger effect than color of rock in terms amount energy absorbed.
        Btw, sand, dry [in our atmosphere] 0.15 – 0.25.

        So if you take extremes, low conductivity of rock, white reflective rocks,
        the average global temperature could be below 0 C, perhaps as cool -20 C.
        But we removed water- one should imagine snowy frozen wasteland. During the day it’s as hot [though in “normal natural conditions” much hotter] as on Earth. Open water evaporate and freezes, and once frozen continues to evaporate fairly rapidly [due it being a vacuum- more than anything to do with temperature.
        Whereas a sealed pool of water could have average temperature well above 30 C near equator. Due to water capability to absorb solar energy and it’s high heat capacity which can store energy through the night.

      • “Most of the Earth surface would be very cold.”

        More than half earth is below 40 degrees latitude
        And more than 80% below 60 degree latitude.

        About 20% of earth could be somewhat colder, as one
        removing mechanisms that transport heat.
        Ocean is the main transporter, and atmosphere also conveys
        a considerable amount of heat poleward.

        If you have a large cave in tropics and polar region
        and seal both them. Would there would not be much difference in the
        sealed caves if you removed the atmosphere and oceans?

        In present conditions the polar cave will be colder than tropical cave, and this temperature difference [tropic vs polar] and I would say this difference will be more of variation as compared the effect of removing atmosphere and oceans.
        And in the airless and waterless world, the tropical cave might be a
        bit warmer, and polar cave a bit cooler.
        But most of earth would about the same in terms of average temperature.
        Say if you measure it by putting a sealed white box 10 feet beneath the ground.

        Does anyone imagine difference would as much as 10 C +/- ?
        How about 5 C +/- ?
        Buried under sand or say, slab of concrete10′ thick – anywhere on land and any one spot on earth have greater than 10 C difference?
        If so, where on earth and when [season] would one think there would be the greatest difference in temperature?

      • Jim, I want you to read the paper I am going to link and think about the following points.

        If the oscillations are real then there is no way of knowing how much warming of the model projections are from the oscillations and how much from the forced response.

        If the oscillations aren’t real there are errors in the physics of the models and, without knowing what these errors are, there is no way of knowing if the errors are amplified or dampened by the addition of forcing calculations. This makes simply eliminating the oscillation an unexceptable answer.

        The models as they currently stand are useless for projections. They may have other uses although I am hard pressed to think of what they may be without knowing if the physics are in error or, if they are, where. So the comparison you are making is a model that is relied upon to make projections where the projections are useless or no model at all. I don’t see one being far superior to the other

        http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/~jsmerdon/papers/2012_jclim_karnauskasetal.pdf

    • gbaikie | February 5, 2013 at 6:03 pm said: ”If mostly sold rock were snow white, what difference would make in surface temperature during the day”

      ”IF” grandpa had that thing… well if he did, he wouldn’t be grandpa, he would have being grandma; fortunately, he is and always will be grandpa.

      2] Desert sands are not much different from white – is that kind of climate you prefer? What’s wrong with dark green colour surface, as a healthy forest; with regular rain AND, no dry hot winds coming from the desert…?

  9. What we may be seeing is a real time view of the re-write of climate science history.

    “We never actually believed in high climate sensitivity values, whatever are you speaking of? We’ve been nothing but consistent on this subject.”

    • The rowback is frothing the waves. What, me worry? It is a mad, mad, mad, mad world.
      =====================

    • “We never actually believed in high values for S” etc etc.

      Well, let’s have a look at the Believers’ Bible, AR4 WG1.

      What do we find? We find this:

      Since the TAR, the levels of scientific understanding and confidence in quantitative estimates of equilibrium climate sensitivity have increased substantially. Basing our assessment on a combination of several independent lines of evidence, as summarised in Box 10.2 Figures 1 and 2, including observed climate change and the strength of known feedbacks simulated in GCMs, we conclude that the global mean equilibrium warming for doubling CO2, or ‘equilibrium climate sensitivity’, is likely to lie in the range 2°C to 4.5°C, with a most likely value of about 3°C. Equilibrium climate sensitivity is very likely larger than 1.5°C.</i?

      And what is Annan's estimate again? Oh…

      Revolution, not. Storm, meet teacup, etc, etc…

      • BBD | January 12, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
        “The current best estimate for ECS to 2 x CO2 is ~3C.”

        I do seem to recall someone endlessly quoting a different section of the IPCC report to argue that 3C was the ‘best estimate’.

      • harry

        As far as many people are concerned, ~3C *is* the best estimate. There are problems with the paleo estimates that come in low. There are problems with the observational estimates that come in low. Unfortunately, ‘sceptics’ don’t follow the scientific argument closely enough to understand these problems. They just grab the lowest numbers going and start braying victory. Which is mistaken on two levels.

        First, the problems mentioned above. Second, the policy implications, or rather the lack of them. It makes no policy difference if S is ~2.5C or ~3C.

        Finally, it’s also a strawman to argue (as far too many ‘sceptics’ are now doing) that ‘the consensus’ endorsed a *higher* value for S than ~3C. It did not. And the evidence is right there, in black and white, in AR4 WG1.

      • Steven Mosher

        3C is a lousy estimate for that skewed distribution.

      • mosher

        The real issue remains unchanged: with S anywhere in the range ~2.5C – ~3C the policy implications are unchanged. It’s a bloody great ‘so what?’ Which *begs* the question: what are you doing here?

  10. I calculate the sensitivity at 3C for doubling of CO2
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/00f.htm

    • David Springer

      That’s absurd. A record busting huge amount of CO2 was poured into the atmosphere between 1998 and 2013 and temperature fell a little in response. Are you nuts?

      • Each and every little plant is wondering why its share of the ‘record busting huge amount of CO2’ is so little, but each and every one of them is bursting with gratitude it’s not less.
        ================

      • You can’t be serious. Clear & concise confirmation of the Hansen’s number. Evidently you have not read the short expose to its final (and I do mean final) statement.

      • Ah, yes, Kim
        plants do need other chemical elements such as S, P, O2 & F, as indeed I did state at the end of my short CO2 sensitivity analysis:
        http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/00f.htm

      • Steven Mosher

        not really. the forcing is log.. your talking about maybe .3 Watts. easily swamped by other factors.

    • vukcevic

      You calculate sensitivity at 3C for doubling of CO2.

      This is essentially the same as the mean value predicted by the models cited by IPCC of 3.2C

      That’s nice.

      Here are some other recent estimates.

      Schlesinger et al (2012) estimate it at 1.45C to 2.01C, based on several past temperature records

      Nic Lewis (2012 article, study not yet published) estimates it at 1.6C to 1.7C also using the past temperature record

      van Hateren (2012) estimates 1.5C to 2.5C using reconstructed record of past millennium plus actual past record

      Schmittner (2011) calculates 1.4C to 2.8C, using reconstructions of Last Glacial Maximum

      Lindzen & Choi (2011) calculate it at around 0.6C to 1.0C, using CERES satellite data..

      The average range of these recent studies is 1.3C to 2.0C, or about half of your calculation.

      Max

    • Edim, dobro jutro
      What I think is irrelevant, what matters is what is in the NOAA and the NASA data. I suggest everyone interested should carefully read above posts, and if unconvinced then reproduce the analysis as shown in the link
      http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/00f.htm

      • Dobro jutro Vuk, I understand, I was just surprised. My take from all the data and theory of thermodynamics and heat transfer is that CO2 cannot warm, radiatively active gases cool the atmosphere, the bulk of the atmosphere insulates the surface.

  11. Sensitivity suddenly pops up in three blogs – this one, WUWT and Dot Earth. It seems to be a big thing that it has turned out to be quite a bit lower than IPCC says. This seems to please lukewarmers but I am not one of them – I am a complete denier, and the importance of sensitivity to me is something of the order of discussing how many angels can fit through the eye of the needle. Nevertheless, most climate people follow it so let’s have a go at it. There is no warming now and there has not been any for the last 16 years while carbon dioxide kept increasing. No amount of talk about sensitivity can explain this. Your theory of greenhouse warming demands that increasing carbon dioxide must cause warming. For a scientist, sixteen years with no warming ought to be enough to tell him that the experiment has failed, that the attempt to cause warming by putting carbon dioxide in the air just does not work. When greenhouse warming comes up the climate scientists always cite the work or Arrhenius. You may not be aware of this but if you follow Arrhenius and calculate sensitivity you will get 1.1 degrees for doubling of CO2, not 3 degrees as IPCC tells us. The IPCC realized from the start that 1.1 degrees will not scare anyone so they decided to use the help of water vapor to jack up the Arrhenius heat. It goes like this. First, carbon dioxide warms the air. That warm air can now hold more water vapor. The greenhouse effect from that extra water vapor will then cause additional warming that gets added to the original warming from carbon dioxide. Their computers tell us that this can triple or raise even more the original warming from carbon dioxide. This is called positive water vapor feedback. And that is where all those dangerous predictions of warming come from. But this is all wrong as Miskolczi’s analysis of radiosonde measurements proves. He showed that atmospheric absorption of long-wave radiation was constant for 61 years while at the same time carbon dioxide increased by 21.6 percent. This substantial amount of carbon dioxide did not increase IR absorption by the atmosphere by one whit. And it is this absorption of radiant energy that is needed by the greenhouse gases to create their eponymous warming. No absorption means no greenhouse effect, case closed. And this settles the sensitivity issue: true sensitivity for doubling of carbon dioxide is exactly zero. It also tells us that water vapor feedback is negative, not positive, as IPCC claims. That being the case, all model predictions of dangerous warming ahead are false. And since many of them have been used to justify global warming laws and and regulations these laws and regulations have been passed under false premises. They have to be voided.

    • “There is no warming now and there has not been any for the last 16 years”

      wrong.

      • Guess I should back that up. The idea that there’s been no warming for 16 years is a myth.

      • lolwot, get used to it, your jig is up.

      • If you want to be a liar Bob, go ahead..

      • Because only a liar can look at a graph like this and still claim the warming stopped 16 years ago.

      • Maybe you could avoid words like “liar.” Whatever else you have say may or may not have merit. Your assault on character offers no matter of fact to the discussion, is insulting and is simply not justifiable from the post it rejoins.

      • David Springer

        The new denier is lolwot.

        Hard to believe isn’t it?

        Write that down.

        I love it so!

      • If disgustingly brazen false claims like “no warming for 16 years” are going to be made then the people making the claims should be rudely shouted down.

      • Sorry, but this kind of stuff loses your side credibility. Tamino may or may not be right, but there are others with other graphs and other conclusions. Calling someone liar because you found a source you like just tells the rest of us that you’re a partisan.

      • you are just a concern troll trying to shut down a threat.

        I am calling people out and you don’t like it.

      • lolwot

        Forget the sleight of hand work.

        If you are going to talk about the past 16 years, show a plot that starts in 1998 (or 2001), not one that starts in 1976.

        You’ll see that Hansen was correct to talk of a “10-year standstill” (which has actually lasted a bit longer than “10 years”.

        Max

      • Sigh. Believers in AGW have been losing credibility for as long as I’ve been following things, and this is why. Most of us aren’t climate scientists or statisticians; we aren’t going to work through the math of the technical papers. Instead, we have to decide which set of sources to believe. Roy Spencer and Steve McIntyre? Hans von Storch and Judith Curry? Gavin Schmidt and Tamino? How are we supposed to know? Pick the blog that my friends like, or those who share my politics? Well, one way to know is to see which ones look like they are honest scientists, and which ones look like they’re in some kind of battle. And I don’t know of any other way to know.
        There are loads of partisans on both sides. But people like me – and that is the vast majority of us out there who aren’t going to go through the papers ourselves – screen them all out. Sorry, but by fighting, you lose.
        Most people on the AGW side still don’t understand why Climategate is such a big deal. All those investigations! Exonerated every time! Yeah – but they were shown to be partisans, shown beyond a doubt. And that’s enough.

      • “If you are going to talk about the past 16 years, show a plot that starts in 1998 (or 2001), not one that starts in 1976.”

        The claim is that warming *stopped* 16 years ago, which is a statement both about the period prior to 1997 and after.

        To test the claim it is necessary to graph the claimed pre-1997 period of warming so we can see if it really did stop 16 years ago. The answer is no it didn’t.

        Such simple tests seem beyond climate skeptics.

        And no drawing an OLS line from 1997 only gives you a trend since 1997. It doesn’t tell you if warming *stopped* in 1997, which requires a comparison with the prior claimed rate of warming.

      • Ah it’s the old politeness fallacy that Creationists use. Those creation scientists are so polite and Richard Dawkins is so mean, so creationism must be right.

      • Miker613 @ 5:52, this is something that amazes me. Some highly trained and competent rhetoricians here look at the field and fail to see the flow. Or something obstructs their vision, what that could be, I do not say.
        ==================

      • David Springer

        Do you seriously NOT understand the difference between a 30 year trend and a 15 year trend?

        You keep putting up a 30-year trend line to prove the 15-year trend really is rising.

        Everyone but you seems to know the difference.

      • It’s not a 30 year trend line. It’s the pre-1997 warming trend-line extrapolated to present.

        If warming really had stopped in 1997, the data should fall below an extrapolation of the pre-1997 warming. But it doesn’t.

      • “Ah it’s the old politeness fallacy that Creationists use. Those creation scientists are so polite and Richard Dawkins is so mean, so creationism must be right.”

        lolwot,

        I read where K Hayhoe is a “Creationist”. Does that make her a denier too?

      • lolwot: You are confusing things. The claim is that it has not warmed in the last 16 years. You turn this into “it stopped warming 16 years ago” so that you can justify graphing back farther than 16 years in order to make an impression. Your confidence interval is similarly created to make a particular impression.

        You’re not disproving what you think you are. But in any case, even Mann has admitted that there’s been a 10-year lapse in which there’s been no warming, and other anti-skeptics have begun to get nervous and hedge their bets, so you’re simply arguing that perhaps it’s only 11 years or 14 years, rather than 16, and your graph is irrelevant.

      • “Ah it’s the old politeness fallacy that Creationists use. Those creation scientists are so polite and Richard Dawkins is so mean, so creationism must be right.” You’re not listening. Many of us are not in a position to know who’s right. All we can see is, who sounds like they’re trying to do science, and who sounds like a politician?

      • Liar is a naughty word lolwot. Please don’t use it.

      • lolwot, repeat after me, “There is no warming now and there has not been any for the last 16 years”, and do it 1000 times.

      • lolwot, repeat after me, “There is no warming now and there has not been any for the last 16 years”.

        It’s so bleeding obvious, its amazing how anyone even half numerate cannot understand it.

        It really is the CAGW Alarmists who are the true “deniers”. And more an more people are beginning to realise it. The latest Australian Opinion Poll shows that Australian’s have lost interest in Climate Change. They list it as tenth most important on a list of ten issues they were asked about (and, therefore, prompted to rank). I guess the general public is smarter than the CAGW Alarmists (i.e. the real deniers)

      • “lolwot, repeat after me, “There is no warming now and there has not been any for the last 16 years”, and do it 1000 times.”

        Why would I repeat a lie. Even the OLS trend over the last 16 years is positive and the uncertainty range covers substantial warming.

        To claim there is no warming is idiot talk.

      • Lolwot proves miker613’s point beautifully!
        Guess who I (and probably all other interested non-climate-experts lurking here) are going to believe?
        Well the guy who constantly uses words like “liar”, “lies”, “idiot”, “disgustingly brazen false claims” and “shout them down” of course!!
        /sarc

      • There is a field well fertilized for research. Articles, nay, books.
        =============

    • David Springer

      No regrets Arno if it means quickening the roll-out of energy sources that are below OPEC’s cost of production. Synthetic biology will make them cheaper. $50/bbl on the hoof in New Mexico before Obama leaves office. Made with non-potable water on non-arable land. You can’t beat that with a stick. Don’t matter the motivation so long as it lowers the cost of fuel. No regrets.

      • David,
        Please elaborate.

      • David Springer,

        Jees. You got to be joking. You argue nuclear is not cost competitive and then go spruking synthetic biology. What a joke!

      • David Springer

        @Lang

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cost_of_electricity_by_source#US_Department_of_Energy_estimates

        Levelized cost of advanced nuclear put into service in 2017 is $113/mWh.

        Same number for advanced combined cycle natural gas is $66.

        Do the math.

        Biomass, which in this case is almost literally burning sawdust and corn cobs to fire a boiler attached to a steam turbine, is $120/mWh, barely higher than nuclear.

        To most people this is illuminating. To nuclear zealots it must be untrue.

      • David Springer

        Now watch the rationalizing by Lang begin. It’ll start out by non-existent portable reactors made by super advanced Chinese science which, judging by their position in the space race, are about 50 years behind the U.S. But they’re WAY ahead of us in nuclear science. Oh yes. Real soon now we’ll have those portable thorium reactors that make energy so cheap your monthly electricity bill will be about same as a latte at Starbucks.

        Spare me, Lang.

      • David Springer

        John another,

        Go here

        http://www.jouleunlimited.com/

        and here

        http://joulefuels.com/

        Check out the funding and the names on the board of directors. Check out the patents on the GM organisms and the world class geneticists in Massuchusetts. And most of all watch the recently commissioned first commercial fuel plant being built in New Mexico in partnership with Audi and the unsubsidized price of the fuel it produces.

        Synthetic fuel from synthetic organisms is OPEC’s worst nightmare. OPEC’s second worst nightmare is coal liquifaction which comes in around $90/bbl. The cost of liquifaction sets the long-term price they can charge for a barrel of oil. If they go too much above that cost for too long then they’ll have to compete with it so they walk a tightrope of price manipulation, through blatant illegal collusion i.e. price fixing, to make sure that there’s not sufficient price motivation for anyone to invest the startup capital for large scale coal liquifaction. In reality that means they can raise the price well above $90 for short periods of time, bank the high profit margin, and lower the price when either demand falls off and/or the pain spurs active construction of a known cheaper alternative. Synfuel from nuclear energy doesn’t disturb their sleep.

      • David Springer,

        Biomass, which in this case is almost literally burning sawdust and corn cobs to fire a boiler attached to a steam turbine, is $120/mWh, barely higher than nuclear.

        To most people this is illuminating. To nuclear zealots it must be untrue.

        Your misuse of units shows you haven’t a clue. There is a factor of a billion difference between a mill-watt and a mega-watt.

        I also am fully aware of the LCOE projections of the various electricity generation technologies. The cost of electricity generated by gas is highly dependent of the cost of gas. The cost of nuclear power is hardly affected at all by a doubling in the cost of uranium.

        However, I notice instead of addressing the issue of the cost of biofuel, you avoided it and talked about the cost of gas generation. That is disengenuous.

        Biofuels are nowhere near to being cost competitive (for the quantities required) and never will be. Its impossible. This 8 minute video by Professor David Mackay, Chief Scientist to the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change, shows the problem very clearly. It just isn’t possible.

        Some other reasons will be obvious to you if you consider these questions I posed to Dr Mark Diesendorf (a lon-time renewable energy proponent):
        http://bravenewclimate.com/2012/02/27/100-renewable-electricity-for-australia-response-to-lang/#comment-152532

        Dr Diesendorf.

        I have a few questions for you regarding ‘gas turbines running on biofuels’. I don’t have access to your 2007 book, and nor do most of those following this thread, so I am not sure what your concept is. Firstly, let me provide some background to my questions.

        Grattan Institute (2012) (p 8-9) http://www.grattan.edu.au/publications/125_energy__no_easy_choices_detail.pdfstates:

        For a 30 megawatt power plant at a 70% capacity factor the land area would be around 240,000 hectares and involve nearly 500 average sized wheat farms.

        For 24 GW of power plants operating at an average of 13% capacity factor (assumed by EDM-2011), the land area would be around 35 million hectares and involve nearly 75,000 average sized wheat farms. Australia’s annual grain crop is about 20 million hectares http://www.cropscience.org.au/icsc2004/poster/0/981_walcottj.htm . The 20 million hectare figure includes Western Australia’s grain crops. Therefore, EDM’s assumptions for gas turbines running on biofuels sourced from grain crops would require twice Australia’s annual grain crop area – and that is in average years!

        I’d expect we should assume double or quadruple the 35 million hectares figure to get us through long droughts and seasons of failed crops. We can also add the cost of storage to provide reliable fuel supply through years of below average biofuel production. And we should add the cost of transport facilities used to move biomass from one location to another for seasons when the crops succeed in one region but fail in another. We’d need roads, trucks, railway lines and rolling stock, which must have sufficient capacity for the worst conditions but would be used rarely. The capital costs and the O&M costs must be included in the cost of the biofuel.

        The costs just keep on increasing the more we think about the concept of gas turbines running on biofuels.

        Since I don’t have access to your 2007 book, I wonder if you could please answer the following questions about your proposed ‘gas turbines running on biofuels’ system:

        1. Would the generators be located near the demand centres or near the source of the biomass fuel?

        2. If the generators are to be located near the demand centres:
        a. Where would the biomass to biofuels processing plants be located; i.e. near the biomass source or near the generators?
        b. Where would the fuel storage be located, near the biomass source or near the generators?
        c. How would the fuel be transported to the gas turbine generating plants?
        d. How much overbuild of biofuel production and storage capacity would be required to ensure reliable supply for extended periods of drought and to cover for regions that have crop failures?
        e. How would the biomass or biofuels would be transported from Western Australia to the eastern states’ electricity generators? How woud this be done?
        f. What would be the delivered cost of fuel from a system that can reliably deliver biofuels to the gas turbines through long periods of drought and crop failures?

        3. If the generators are to be located near the biomass source (i.e. in the grain growing areas:
        a. What is the optimum sized generator unit you envisage?
        b. How will the biomass be collected and transported to the biofuel processing plant? What are the logistics and the costs?
        c. How much biomass storage and how much biofuel storage would be required at each generator unit
        d. How much overbuild of biomass and biofuel production and storage capacity would be required to ensure reliable supply throughout extended periods of drought and to cover for regions that have crop failures?
        e. How would you propose to transport biomass between generating plants during periods when one region has crop failures and they need the biomass to be shipped in from other regions to keep the plant running?
        f. How would the biomass or biofuels be transported from Western Australia to the eastern states’ electricity generators?
        g. Or would you envisage transmitting electricity rather than transporting biofuels? If so, would you envisage the transmission lines have the capacity to transmit the maximum power that can be generated from all the generators in Western Australia at times when they have ample fuel but the Eastern states do not?
        h. If you envisage transmission lines, how would the biofuel production and generating plants that are idle in the eastern states be paid for; i.e. where does their revenue come from?
        i. What would be the delivered cost of fuel from a system that can sustainably deliver biofuels to the gas turbines through long periods of drought and crop failures?

        I recognise that many assumptions and details in these questions could be easily dismissed. However, could you please look beyond that and explain your concept and importantly what would be the cost ($/GJ) of a 100% reliable supply of the biofuels delivered to the generating units (to meet their highly variable demand for fuel).

      • David Springer,

        Sorry, I forgot to provide the link to the TED David MacKay video:
        David Mackay: “A reality check on renewables
        http://www.ted.com/talks/david_mackay_a_reality_check_on_renewables.html

      • David Springer

        “Your misuse of units shows you haven’t a clue. There is a factor of a billion difference between a mill-watt and a mega-watt.”

        Wow thanks Lang. I really thought nuclear power plants were rated in milliwatts until you corrected me. It wasn’t just a matter of careless capitalization and the assumption that context of a hundred dollars cost per unit of electricity excluded any potential confusion of milliwatt hours with megawatt hours.

        Let me return the favor. There’s no hyphen in either millwatt or megawatt. The fact that you can’t spell them correctly proves you’re as clueless as I am. According to your logic, anyhow.

      • David Springer

        By the way, TED is not a reference for established science. It’s a venue for semi-famous people to express their opinions on what the future holds. I can match you zealot for zealot. Where the rubber meets the road is called commercial reality. The commercial reality is that burning corn cobs to produce steam for a turbine is almost equal in cost to using controlled fission to heat the boiler.

        Drastically less expensive nuclear power is pie-in-the-sky. I’ll believe it when I see it. In the meantime Joule is building a commercial synthetic biology fuel plant. Let’s see what comes first – portable thorium reactors from China or biodiesel from New Mexico. I’d like to say we should then compare costs but there’d actually have to be a portable reactor producing electricity before we can figure out how much it costs to produce. I suspect we’ll never know because it will never actually materialize.

      • David Springer

        Regardless of the speculative nature of TED I began watching McKay’s diatribe but killed it almost immediately when he said that biofuel replacement of fossil fuel would require a land surface the size of the US devoted to it.

        That’s for biofuel production using corn as a feedstock. That’s not what Joule is doing. Joule is producing tens of thousands of gallons per acre using non-arable land and non-potable water. At that rate US energy requirements can be met using a land area half the size of the state of Maine, or about 10% of the Texas panhandle.

        Until you understand that fuels produced with synthetic biology is very different from using corn, beets, or sugar cane you’re not informed enough to even begin a discussion about it. And neither is McKay.

      • David Springer,

        Your misuse of units was not a spelling mistake. It was a clear sign of lack of familiarity (i.e. ignorance) of the subject matter you are pontificating about. If you were familiar with the units, you would not have made such a mistake. It is a dead give away.

        However, your spelling mistake “millwatt” is a spelling mistake.

        And yes, I should not have included the “-“. I did it to make the point. Clearly a mistake when dealing with a algae biofuel zealot.

      • David Springer,

        You really don’t have a clue what you are talking about. The biofuel productivity is best on the most fertile lands, they get less as the land, rainfall, etc get less fertile. You need more land area if you want to use land and crops that are less productive.

        You are clearly a zealot without a clue and you shut off anything that doesn’t support your beliefs.

      • David Springer

        Try this:

        http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/dod/jason/micro.pdf

        ENGINEERING MICROORGANISMS FOR ENERGY PRODUCTION

        Note the theoretical limit is 10% conversion efficiency of light to chemical bond energy or about the same as photovoltaic cells. The reaction speed is limited by CO2 availability not chemistry. Joule uses tanked CO2 obtained from industrial waste gases.

        Each square meter of ground in an ideal location receives about 5kwh per day. That’s about 15% of the energy in a gallon of ethanol. An acre is roughly 15,000 square meters. So at 100% conversion efficiency that’s 2250 gallons of ethanol per acre per day or 820,000 gallons per year per acre.

        Joule claims 20,000 per acre per year which is a conversion efficiency of 2.4%. This is reasonable especially with tanked CO2 but even with atmospheric CO2 it’s not unreasonable as it’s still well within theoretical bounds for green plants in standard atmosphere.

        US gasoline consumption is 134B gallons annually. Let’s call it 200B for pure ethanol since ethanol only has 2/3 the energy density of gasoline.

        That means we need about 10 million acres at Joules’ claimed yield per acre to replace all the gasoline. New Mexico is 77 million acres.

        This is why I killed McKay’s TED conference speech inside the first 30 seconds. If he didn’t do the math on how much land is required for advanced biofuel production from synthetic organisms there’s nothing of value to follow. Garbage in, garbage out. I mocked ethanol production from corn since the word go. That’s a non-starter. Its only practical value was in spurring the production of flexible fuel engines in automobiles which are prerequisite to switching from mostly gasoline to mostly ethanol.

        Electrical production isn’t really a problem in the US so I seldom spend much time on it. The problem is liquid fuels for the transportation sector not electricity to recharge your iPhone. The problem is both the high cost per BTU and importing it from countries that hate us, neither of which is a great concern for electricity unless you’re worried about CO2 production and I’m not concerned about CO2 production which I consider a huge net benefit to agriculture and, in the future, a handy source of carbon for the fabrication of durable goods.

      • David, I support your thoughts on non-food ethanol. There is an intermediary stage now in progress, which is cellulose ethanol. A commercial plant is being built by Poet/DSM, which should come into production, 20 million gallons per year, next year. Poet/DSM claim it is commercially viable without subsidies.

      • David Springer

        Jim,

        Yeah, I’ve been following that and even did some experimentation a decade ago. Breaking down cellulose into carbohydrates that can be further reduced to sugars and then finally fermented and distilled into ethanol is a tough row to hoe.

        Mechanical processing at the outset is required to pulverize the cellulosic material into fine particulates with a large surface area available to the biologic producers of the enzymes which break it down into carbs. In nature that’s going to be some wood-loving fungi such as mushrooms and brackets. These are very complex eukaryotes and difficult to modify. The natural ones are very slow growing and difficult to farm. The feedstock must be sterilized as well as pulverized. After that it’s pretty much the same as making moonshine from corn. Using beets or sugar cane skips the mashing step where enzymes from malted grain turn the carbs into sugars which can then be fermented into alcohol by yet another fungi yeast.

        This then requires three distinct eukaryotes in a multi-stage process. Eukaryotes are far more complex than prokaryotes and thus far more difficult to genetically engineer. Combining all of them into a single step organism seems well beyond state of the art in genetic engineering. I think you’d be much better off just drying and pelletizing the cellulosic material and using a syngas generator to produce carbon monoxide and then fuel your internal combustion engine directly from the CO which requires very little modification to the engine – about the same as the modifications required to run it from natural gas or propane. CO is far more toxic to handle than natural gas and syngas generators, while they can be made portable, are big and messy as they produce copious amounts of wood ash.

        Joule is doing it the only really practical way and that’s genetically engineering a comparatively simple prokaryote to excrete fuel in usable form directly from conversion of sunlight, CO2, and water. It may be a very long time before we develop any competence in genetic engineering of life more complex than bacteria. Fortunately we don’t need anything more complex than bacteria by the same principle that we don’t need anything more complex than a NAND gate to build a supercomputer.

      • David Springer

        Jim,

        I wouldn’t really call cellulosic “intermediate” biofuel either. It’s basically the same old thing using a marginally more available feedstock that still requires arable land to produce. It’s not really a waste product as the feedstock is usually plowed under where it decomposes and fortifies the soil. This would somehow have to be replaced otherwise the soil would no longer support productive farming.

        Joule’s feedstock is waste CO2 from industrial processes and with further improvements can be CO2 obtained directly from the air.

        It’s my position that synthetic biology has such huge potential for transforming atmospheric CO2 into durable goods that we’re going to run into a problem where we’re removing too much of it. Fuels are carbon neutral in that whatever is removed from the atmosphere is replaced when the fuel is consumed a short time later. Durable goods remove the carbon for an indefinitely long time so when the day comes that you can grow a home by innoculating the ground where you want it with a microgram of bacteria pre-programmed with the specifications for the home that removes the carbon more or less permanently and the bacteria are essentially free and so too is the home. When homes are free everyone can afford a mansion. Unfortunately the supply of carbon in the atmosphere is vast but not unbounded and a limit can quickly be reached where there’s too little left for the rest of the biosphere.

      • David, you write “It’s not really a waste product as the feedstock is usually plowed under where it decomposes and fortifies the soil. This would somehow have to be replaced otherwise the soil would no longer support productive farming.”

        I am no expert, so I can only go by the claims of people who are. Poet/DSM claim that the feedstock they use is not required to be recycled. It does not add anything to the soil. It is merely a breeding stock for the various organisms which turn it into CO2 and water.

    • lolwot

      You are quibbling here.

      There was the now famous article that proclaimed “no warming in past 16 years” based on MetOffice data.

      They should have written “no warming in past 15 years“, (i.e. since the end of 1997) to be correct.

      I’d say that there has definitely been “no warming since the end of 2000” (i.e. over the past 12 years)

      Hansen has conceded that there has been a “10-year standstill” in the 5-year average temperatures.

      However you slice it, lolwot, there is a current “pause” (or “standstill”) in the warming of the “globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature anomaly” (used by IPCC to measure “global warming”), despite unabated human GHG emissions and CO2 levels (Mauna Loa) reaching record levels. A dilemma for the supporters of the IPCC CAGW premise.

      To deny this is simply sticking the head in the sand.

      Max

      • “They should have written “no warming in past 15 years“, (i.e. since the end of 1997) to be correct.”

        Even that’s wrong.

        “I’d say that there has definitely been “no warming since the end of 2000″ (i.e. over the past 12 years)”

        And that’s wrong too.

      • Lolwhut, with his hands firmly over his ears, shouting “LIAR!! WRONG!! LIARS!!”….so funny

  12. David Springer

    maksiomovich | February 4, 2013 at 4:46 pm |

    “3) The geometric mean of the range of experiments is bounded by the Khinchin constant,which suggests that sensitivity is indeed low,and long tails will be improbable.”

    The long tails are artifacts of noise in the model. All the model have more or less sharp probability peaks under 3C. The sharp peaks are what to look at. This is deception by people who know that the peaks count and the rest is garbage.

  13. David Springer

    lolwot | February 4, 2013 at 5:10 pm |

    “Don’t think you get my point Bob. If you don’t trust the above people you mention you can’t trust Roy Spencer either. That’s my point.”

    I’ve heard of guilt by association but never guilt by disassociation. Your point is ground breaking!

    • Roy Spencer: “I view my job a little like a legislator, supported by the taxpayer, to protect the interests of the taxpayer and to minimize the role of government.”

      given that statement, explain how you can trust Roy Spencer’s science.

      Remember you are a climate skeptic so you must treat all such statements as Very Serious Matters.

      • David Springer

        lolwot | February 4, 2013 at 5:45 pm | Reply

        “given that statement, explain how you can trust Roy Spencer’s science.”

        Because Roy Spencer would rather poke himself in the eye with a sharp stick than break one of the ten commandments. In this case it would be the commandment to not bear false witness. I seen the dude swear to tell the truth to congress. To somebody like Spencer that oath means more than it does to the average bear.

        That’s how.

      • David Springer

        Plus I checked on his climate claims myself and while not agreeing with everything most of it withstands close scrutiny. I more concerned about honest mistakes than I am deliberate deceit.

      • Funny haha and peculiar, how one looks at religious faith can generate vastly different attitudes about credibility. There is a yawning cultural crevass on this, and some have ropes and picks.
        ===========

      • David Springer

        Plus I checked on his climate claims myself and while not agreeing with everything most of it withstands close scrutiny.

        Rubbish. This is a three-part article and you need to read it all. See what happens when Spencer’s stuff is subjected to close scrutiny.

      • David Springer

        Oh lovely. More blog science from BBD.

        I’m not even going to look at it. Give me a reference to a university level text on atmospheric physics or STFU.

      • Most of Spencer’s output is blog science David, but you lap it up. You appear to be more biased even than your heroes.

      • David Springer

        http://scholar.google.com/scholar?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4LENN_enUS461US461&q=roy+spencer

        Spencer has a long list of publications in relevant journals. I never use articles on his blog as a reference. I wish you’d stop making things up out of thin air.

      • Springer

        Spencer has a long list of publications in relevant journals.

        Strawman. None of which are relevant to the controversial claims he has made in recent years – on his blog and in his books, *not* in the reviewed literature. When he does try, he gets into all sorts of trouble. Let’s talk about Remote Sensing…

        Here’s a couple of rebuttals to S&B11 and Lindzen & Choi (2011) to be going on with:

        Dessler (2011)
        http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/pip/2011GL049236.shtml

        Trenberth, Fasullo & Abraham (2011)
        http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/9/2051/pdf

        Stop the time-wasting.

    • lolwot

      It is not a matter of whether or not you “trust” Roy Spencer (and his simple model).

      It’s just that you made the incorrect statement that no skeptic had come up with a model, even a simple one.

      Roy Spencer is a skeptic.

      He has come up with a simple model.

      So your statement was false.

      Sorry. No cigar.

      Max

      • Correction

        Sorry, lolwot it was Jim D who made that incorrect statement about models and skeptics, not you.

        mea culpa.

        Max

    • Spencer is suffering from confirmation bias induced by his belief system. He is probably sincere. Just wrong.

      • David Springer

        Spencer is undoubtedly sincere because his religion requires it and he’s a devout about his religion. He’s also probably right for the most part about the science. I’m not so sure about his religious beliefs but it’s within the realm of possibility he’s right about that too.

      • How can you possibly know if Spencer is correct if you *refuse* to read critiques of his methodology and tell anyone cautioning you that Spencer’s toy model is broken to ‘STFU’?

        And can you struggle to be a bit less offensive please. You are dragging the tone down.

  14. Two words:
    Milikan effect.

  15. Jim D wrote
    “The Norwegian study had 3.7 C sensitivity before including the last decade.”

    The study concerned (Skeie et al) actually estimates that climate sensitivity is most likely to be 1.7 C using data ending in 2010, or 2.0-2.1 C using data ending in 2000. See http://www.uib.no/People/ngfhd/EarthClim/Calendar/Oslo-2012/ECS_Olavsgard.pdf – slide 6, the peak of the PDF curves on panels a) and b) The estimates that the paper quotes, of 1.9 C and 3.7 K for the two cases, are means.

    The mean is not a good central estimate for a highly skewed probability distribution, which that using data only up to 2000, in particular, is. The very long tail of that distribution reflects partly poor data constraints and partly the use of a uniform prior for climate sensitivity, which biases upwards the reported probability of high climate sensitivities.

    • David Springer

      zewig | February 4, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Reply

      “The mean is not a good central estimate for a highly skewed probability distribution, which that using data only up to 2000, in particular, is. The very long tail of that distribution reflects partly poor data constraints and partly the use of a uniform prior for climate sensitivity, which biases upwards the reported probability of high climate sensitivities.”

    • Using data only up to 2000 gives results in agreement with IPCC AR4

      • Joshua

        You mean: “Using data only up to Hiding the bothersome decline after 2000 gives results in agreement with IPCC AR4″

        Right. Sound familiar?

        Max

      • Max –

        It seems oddly inconsistent (dare I say “skeptical” not skeptical) to me to selectively decide which part of their work to cross out and substitute your own words, and which part to trumpet as a “last nail” “final stake” etc., etc….

        It isn’t a matter of what “[I] believe” I quoted directly from the pdf.

        Their findings are what they are – and that includes their statement of findings excluding the last 10 years. If you don’t trust the fact that they made that qualification, then it means that you should disregard their work more generally as well.

        As someone who isn’t bright or knowledgeable enough to understand the science, I’d say that any conclusions made on analysis of long-term climate trends that looks dramatically different based on the inclusion or exclusion of only 10 years of data should be viewed as “information” – useful but certainly not dispositive..

      • Joshua. Short term extrapolation by both sides of the debate on AGW simply fails to cut the mustard as far as I am concerned. Informative yes disposive no and here, once more, I completely agree.

      • David Springer

        You mean to say using observaions from 1979 to 2000, Joshua. The CAGW theory was looking pretty good based on that data. Prior to 1979 when satellites began to measure lower troposphere temperature all over the globe we had no measure of global average temperature (GAT) only guesstimates based on fewer and fewer measurements using instruments not designed to measure decadal trends so small as a few milliKelvins per decade.

        Unfortunately for the CAGW hypothesis the data from 1979 to 2012 is not nearly so supportive. GAT failed to rise from 2000 onward despite a huge accelerating increase in anthropogenic CO2 emission during that time. Indeed, since 2010 GAT has been falling off a cliff and if the current rate of cooling continues for another decade we’ll be in a world of hurt from global cooling as growing seasons grow shorter, late spring and early fall frosts take their tolls, and colder winters requiring more fuel with a rising price per BTU attached to it.

        These are the facts, Joshua. Failing to acknowledge these facts makes you a denier. The new deniers are the warmists. Ain’t that a hoot? Probably not funny if you’re a warmists but those of who predicted what’s happening today are rolling in aisles laughing at CAGW ignoramuses and their gullible sycophants who never understood the science in the first place.

      • Dave Springer

        These are the facts, Joshua. Failing to acknowledge these facts makes you a denier. The new deniers are the warmists. Ain’t that a hoot? Probably not funny if you’re a warmists but those of who predicted what’s happening today are rolling in aisles laughing at CAGW ignoramuses and their gullible sycophants who never understood the science in the first place.

        This is evidently the new ‘sceptic’ meme. It is as wrong and as determinedly self-serving as the rest.

        All that happened (back in 2006) was that Annan demonstrated that a fat tail (S > 4.5K) was *very unlikely*.

        Many investigators – Annan among them – favour a value for S to 2 x CO2 in the range ~2.5 – 3K, which sits comfortably within the range given in AR4.

        This has no policy impact. Nothing changes. Emit enough to push CO2 well beyond 550ppmv and you will get your catastrophe in due course. Hold CO2 at ~550ppmv and watch average NH land surface temperatures increase by >3K. Call that anything you like except a ‘victory’ for ‘sceptics’.

      • I must have chalked ‘last quarter of the last century’ a hundred times @ the blackboard, and bright as she was, Teach couldna see it.
        =================

  16. Dr. Curry, this kerfuffle is fascinating. Annan’s ‘defection’ would be more significant if he focused his objections less on hot tails, and more on the sharp 1.9 mode in his 2011 paper pointed out by my previous guest post.

    You raise another important issue, ‘abrupt change’. This is surely possible theoretically, since weather and climate are nonlinear dynamic systems capable of abrupt onset of chaos (around some strange attractor). Chaos theory was discovered by Lorentz’ modeling of weather at MIT.
    Abrupt is in the eye of the beholder. The slower it is, the more adaptation rather than mitigation is a better response (of course, since my research leads me to a lukewarmist conclusion).
    But this still begs the meaning of abrupt on human time scales. I offer a practical definition. Anything less than one lifetime is ‘abrupt’ since habits and populations can be severely affected within living memories. By that definition, neither the MWP nor the LIA were abrupt, even though historically significant. There are at least two ‘certain’ abrupt events coming. Climate change is increasingly unlikely to be a third.
    One is limitations on food calory production relative to population growth, by sometime around 2050 (plus or minus a couple of uncertain decades). There are many individual contributors including arable land, irrigation, fertilizer, genetic productivity, and pest evolution. The law of diminishing marginal returns is net playing against continued compound population growth. Perhaps of less concern since food is only a soft limit.
    Second is peaking fossil energy, on which we have just learned many of your readers have strong opinions but a shaky understanding of underlying observational geophysics. Fossil energy is worrisome, since could be a hard limit. Hard means a big ouch, like Rapa Nui. Read Diamond’s Collapse.
    Both themes are worthy extensions of AGW (since focused on anthropogenic consequences) and also your interest in uncertain science, its limitations, and its communication.
    A previous guest post deconstructed alarmist AGW crop yields from a faulty paper. Most readers applauded, since consistent with their world view of no problems. We just deconstructed a single faulty paper on peak oil to get emotional reactions evocative of CAGW alarmists, except largely inverted by proponent/opponent since inconsistent with that same world view. Yet both just invoked fact observations in pursuit of uncertain truth.
    I personally advocate expanding dialog here to the etc part of climate, etc.
    Please keep this site scientifically rocking.
    Highest Regards

    • The Gods walked.
      =============

    • David Springer

      Rud, have a look at what happens when interglacial periods begin. Temperature shoots up like a rocket then hits a ceiling and bounces off of it. The ceiling temperature is the same every time.

      Explain the ceiling and why you think the ceiling is not real. Climate is only chaotic in the noise. The magnitude of the noise is bounded and you can see the bounds reached again and again and again in ice cores.

      If you think CO2 level is cause, not effect, you’ll need to explain what bounds CO2. Good luck with that because the supply of carbon in the earth and ocean is humongous.

      I say CO2 simply follows ocean outgassing/absorption as it warms and cools and temperatures are bounded by planetary albedo i.e. how much land can potentially be locked under high albedo glaciers or alternatively how much can be exposed to present a lower albedo. Reach an albedo limit either way and warming/cooling reaches a limit with it.

    • David L. Hagen

      Rudd and Judy

      Re: “What is meaningful is the possibility of a scenario of abrupt climate change. While abrupt climate change is regarded as a possibility based upon paleoclimatic evidence of previous events, climate models are incapable of producing such emergent phenomena. ”
      As Springer pointed out, far higher warming rates occur at the end of a glaciation. Similarly far faster and far more dangerous cooling occurs as we descend into a glaciation. Warming is constrained by T^4 outward black body radiation and exponential increase in latent heat by Claus Clapeyron.

      The complete Greenland ice cores show very slow melting under 8C higher temperatures.

      the NEEM ice core drilling project in northwest Greenland, led by the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen show that the climate in Greenland was around 8 degrees C warmer than today during the last interglacial period, the Eemian period, 130,000 to 115,000 thousand years ago. . . .
      despite the warm temperatures, the ice sheet did not disappear and the research team estimates that the volume of the ice sheet was not reduced by more than 25 percent during the warmest 6,000 years of the Eemian.

      There were massive amounts of solar energy stored in buried biomass (aka coal) indicating very favorable growing conditions with higher temperatures and higher CO2.

      Cooling has far greater consequences.
      Natural variability and glaciation with much colder temperatures are proven major climatic problems from the geological record.

      So where is the evidence of “abrupt” changes a problem with warming rather than cooling?

      • David Springer

        David L. Hagen | February 4, 2013 at 8:35 pm | Reply

        “Similarly far faster and far more dangerous cooling occurs as we descend into a glaciation. Warming is constrained by T^4 outward black body radiation and exponential increase in latent heat by Claus Clapeyron.”

        You’re a lot smarter than you look, Hagen. ;-)

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Crop productivity among small-scale farmers in Zambia is constantly low mainly due to poor and unsustainable farming systems. As a solution, conservation farming (CF) is being advocated to scale up crop productivity. This study was undertaken to assess the rate of adoption and ascertain the impact of this practice on crop productivity among small-scale farmers in Kapiri Mposhi District. A structured questionnaire was administered to 252 farm householders randomly selected and data collected were analyzed using SPSS. About 91% of farmers are practicing the technology at different levels depending on the component adopted out of the six, namely minimum land tillage; laying out fixed planting basins; no burning of crop residues; planting and input application in basins; and rotation with nitrogen-fixing crops for soil fertility restitution, outlined by the Conservation Farming Unit
      (CFU). Some respondents (10.3%) have adopted five to six components of the technology, 9.7% four and 40.5% practicing only the reduced tillage. Overall, the adoption rate between 2000 and 2008 stands at 98.9%. Increased maize yield after CF adoption was recorded among 65.7% of the respondents with a gain in yield amounting to 2 tons/ha on average,
      which is three times more than the yield from conventional farming. It is, therefore, oncluded that CF constitutes currently one of the major keys to increasing crop yield and productivity in Zambia.

      http://www.m.elewa.org/JAPS/2009/3.2/4.pdf

      About 70% of global agricultural land is small holdings. The productivity gains through ‘conservation farming’ are more than sufficient to secure food supplies for 10 billion people. The techniques improve water conservation, retain soils, improve the nutrient status of foods, conserve downstream environments and sequester carbon. There are a whole lot of other techniques in conservation farming that achieve similar outcomes in broad scale western agriculture – perhaps with only 70 to 100% increases in productivity. About 15% of Australian farmers are practicing conservation agriculture – and that number is rapidly growing. See as well the ‘carbon farmers of America’.

      The ‘hard limit’ of oil seems less hard and less of a limit – when there are many alternatives liquid fuels feasible at around the $100 a barrel mark. One need only look at the EIA liquid fuels projections for the US.

      By all means – let’s talk about it but let’s see where the solutions are coming from and how we might facilitate progress, economic growth and societal resilience.

      • David Springer

        I got yer societal resilience right here… [rude gesture]

      • Chief Hydrologist

        What’s the matter big dave – don’t like people feeding themsleves and having enough money to cope with natural disasters?

        ‘Energy innovation, resilience to extreme weather, and no regrets pollution reduction — each of these goals has its own diverse justifications:

        • Support for energy innovation today comes from those concerned about the high (and rising) economic costs, not to mention the foreign entanglements created by America’s dependence on oil; the need for greater energy access in poor countries; diseases and deaths caused by air pollution, oil and gas drilling, and coal mining and waste; and the
        potential for America to manufacture and export new energy technologies at a profit. All of these motivations play to America’s strengths, and each can assemble a strong coalition of support.

        • Rich and poor countries alike are vulnerable to a wide range of complex socio-technical disasters, some climate change-related, some not. Domestically, Hurricane Katrina and the recent Mississippi flooding provide compelling rationale for improving resilience to extreme weather events, whether they are exacerbated by climate change or not. Internationally, US support to build disaster resilience in developing countries is strong and longstanding, and US foreign aid remains the highest in the world. When harnessed to build resilience to extreme weather and disasters, both domestic and international efforts will be more successful.

        • And motivated by a clear desire to protect public health, the United States has long been a global leader in the development and deployment of pollution abatement technologies, from the creation of smokestack scrubbers to the invention of alternatives to ozone depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). A redoubling of such efforts can yield simultaneous progress to reduce climate forcings.’

        Now I realise that you might object to the third – but that would be an atgumentum ad ignorantiam. A specialty of yours. Now I am a bit jaundiced by interactions with you and webby – with whom you share traits – but I am sure there are Americans with something other than sh_t for brains.

  17. Matthew R Marler

    Zickfeld et al. (2010)

    Hasn’t a lot been learned since then?

  18. Matthew R Marler

    Reto Knutti: Even though we have many of these studies (and I am responsible for a couple of them) I’m getting more and more nervous about them, because they are so sensitive to the climate model, the prior distributions, the forcing, the ocean data, the error model, etc. The reason for this, to a large extent, is that the data constraint is weak, so the outcome (posterior) is dominated by what you put in (prior).

    Is that generally agreed-upon by climate experts?

    • Well, Matt, it will be when it’s their best excuse.
      =============

    • Matthew R Marler

      the outcome (posterior) is dominated by what you put in (prior).

      Is that another way of saying “GIGO”?

      (check several posts by Willis Eschenbach)

      Max

      • Matthew R Marler

        manacker: Is that another way of saying “GIGO”?

        No. The use of “GIGO” usually signals the end of thinking.

        That the posterior distribution is dominated by the prior distribution instead of by the likelihood is an assertion that more research is needed. It could be interpreted as meaning that there is not enough information in the prior distributions to justify a policy recommendation of the “experts” so modeled. Somebody other than I may call the empirical evidence gathered by researchers “garbage”.

      • or does it mean “ass backward”?

  19. David Springer

    “We mislead policy makers with our oversimplifications and overconfidence.”

    To be more precise the credibility of the science was destroyed amongst all but those with a partisan agenda who find it convenient to pretend it’s still credible.

  20. I love it when people give their opinion on what a number might be. Any time in my engineering education that we would write down any kind of a number we needed to be able to back that up to pass the course. Climate sensitivity to CO2 is simple physics. Climate sensitivity to water vapor which somehow could increase itself because CO2 goes up, that is NOT simple physics, more like voodoo.

    Climate Sensitivity lottery, anyone? Very scientific (???).

    • The 2nd law of thermodynamics doesn’t allow anything to be created out of nothing!

    • David Springer

      Climate sensitivity on a planar black body illuminated by an invariant continuous spectrum through a motionless inert gas plus the greenhouse gas in question absent a gravity well is simple. The more you vary from that ideal situation the less simple it becomes. In other words climate sensitivity in vitro is simple. In vivo not so much.

  21. Pingback: GreenGeld | Jay Currie

  22. Chief Hydrologist

    The ‘sensitivity’ is defined as the average or the range of multi-model ensembles. Each of the members of the ensemble is a non-unique solution of a set of nonlinear equations. The ‘member’ is selected on the basis of ‘a posteriori’ solution behaviour. It looks plausible so it is in. So sensitivity is based on what seems plausible – think of a number – and not an any unique, deterministic solution to an equation.
    ‘AOS models are therefore to be judged by their degree of plausibility, not whether they are correct or best. This perspective extends to the component discrete algorithms, parameterizations, and coupling breadth: There are better or worse choices (some seemingly satisfactory for their purpose or others needing repair) but not correct or best ones. The bases for judging are a priori formulation, representing the relevant natural processes and choosing the discrete algorithms, and a posteriori solution behavior.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.full
    Sounds mad I know – and certainly not made explicit in the way models are reported – which is why I persist in quoting people like James McWilliams and Tim Palmer.
    ‘Atmospheric and oceanic computational simulation models often successfully depict chaotic space–time patterns, flow phenomena, dynamical balances, and equilibrium distributions that mimic nature. This success is accomplished through necessary but nonunique choices for discrete algorithms, parameterizations, and coupled contributing processes that introduce structural instability into the model. Therefore, we should expect a degree of irreducible imprecision in quantitative correspondences with nature, even with plausibly formulated models and careful calibration (tuning) to several empirical measures. Where precision is an issue (e.g., in a climate forecast), only simulation ensembles made across systematically designed model families allow an estimate of the level of relevant irreducible imprecision…
    In each of these model–ensemble comparison studies, there are important but difficult questions: How well selected are the models for their plausibility? How much of the ensemble spread is reducible by further model improvements? How well can the spread can be explained by analysis of model differences? How much is irreducible imprecision in an AOS?
    Simplistically, despite the opportunistic assemblage of the various AOS model ensembles, we can view the spreads in their results as upper bounds on their irreducible imprecision. Optimistically, we might think this upper bound is a substantial overestimate because AOS models are evolving and improving. Pessimistically, we can worry that the ensembles contain insufficient samples of possible plausible models, so the spreads may underestimate the true level of irreducible imprecision (cf., ref. 23). Realistically, we do not yet know how to make this assessment with confidence.’ (op. cit.)
    Any change in a model can produce divergent solutions that are not predictable beforehand – it is the nature of the nonlinear Navier-Stokes equations – this extends to the range of uncertainty in climate data and to the number and breadth of couplings.
    ‘Lorenz was able to show that even for a simple set of nonlinear equations (1.1), the evolution of the solution could be changed by minute perturbations to the initial conditions, in other words, beyond a certain forecast lead time, there is no longer a single, deterministic solution and hence all forecasts must be treated as probabilistic. The fractionally dimensioned space occupied by the trajectories of the solutions of these nonlinear equations became known as the Lorenz attractor (figure 1), which suggests that nonlinear systems, such as the atmosphere, may exhibit regime-like structures that are, although fully deterministic, subject to abrupt and seemingly random change.’ http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full
    We are not at the stage of having ‘systematically designed model families’ – thus the first hurdle for precision is not cleared. Solutions are literally chosen subjectively from many possible solutions and the range of solutions remains unknown. This goes directly to the a priori expectation of modellers as to the plausible sensitivity of the system. Subjectivity rather than a deterministic solution of an equation.
    I have said this many times in many different ways – but a wider and deeper appreciation of dynamical complexity remains elusive. These models are most certainly chaotic in the sense of theoretical physics – as shown by Lorenz in the early 1960′s.
    There may be some expectation that climate as well is nonlinear. Inputs and outputs are not proportional – change is abrupt and episodic – there are multiple equilibria (Rial et al 2004) and unpredictable tipping points (NAS, 2002). Where inputs and outputs are not proportional – the question of sensitivity becomes a problem of a different order entirely.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      I should know by now that you need double spaces for paragraphs.

      • I thought you were copy-pasting the same comment over and over again, Chief.

      • Learning from your errors is clearly not one of your strengths, chief. But we love ya’ anyways.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        This was clearly germane to the discussion of climate sensitivity and something of such fundamental import to the calculation of this elusive concept of sensitivity. The fact that it the bulk of the comment appeared in response to a question by Peter Lang recently is immaterial. As I said – I have said this many times in as many different ways as i can to get this fundamental new paradigm across. Tomas has indeed wondered why I bother arguing with fools and charlatans.

        To quote again from Rial et al 2004 – it ‘is imperative that the Earth’s climate system research community embraces this nonlinear paradigm if we are to move forward in the assessment of the human influence on climate.’

        It seems as imperative that a deeper understanding of this paradigm emerge in the broader community in order that public policy be based on science rather than the eschatological musings of the neo-millennialists. Isn’t that so?

      • Great post Chief. I first thought it was Arno Arrak’s work when I stumbled on it (I rarely read threads from the top through to the bottom as it takes too long) but I still give it a +1 along with Beth below.

      • David Springer

        It was so long and lacking paragraph breaks that it was difficult to not stumble when trying to step over it. I feel your pain.

      • > The fact that it the bulk of the comment appeared in response to a question by Peter Lang recently is immaterial.

        Of course.

    • David Springer

      Chief Hydrologist | February 4, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Reply

      “The ‘sensitivity’ is defined as the average or the range of multi-model ensembles”

      No that’s how some find a value for it. It’s usually defined as the surface temperature response to a doubling in atmospheric CO2.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Jesus weeps – how the f_uck do you suppose they work that out.

      • David Springer

        They derive a value in various ways. Some by model, some by empirical observations, and some a mix of both. If you don’t understand what climate sensitivity is and various ways a value is assigned to it you probably shouldn’t be commenting on this thread unless it’s to ask questions of those who do understand.

        Both model and empirical methods are discussed here:

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

        It would behoove you to gain at least an encyclopedic knowledge of the topic before you begin bloviating.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Hi big dave – stalking again I see and with your usual perspicacity. The way that sensitivty is derived is with these models that have at their core the nonlinear Navier-Stokes equations. Thise is where the range comes from that almost always quoted. If some sort of confimation is sought from the vagaries of the paleoclimatic record – it is something I tend to take with a great deal of salt.

        ‘Now imagine that you have never seen the device and that it is hidden in a box in a dark room. You have no knowledge of the hand that occasionally sets things in motion, and you are trying to figure out the system’s behavior on the basis of some old 78-rpm recordings of the muffled sounds made by the device. Plus, the recordings are badly scratched, so some of what was recorded is lost or garbled beyond recognition. If you can imagine this, you have some appreciation of the difficulties of paleoclimate research and of predicting the results of abrupt changes in the climate system.’ http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=13

        I will remind you again of the current limitations of opportunistic ensembles of AOS.

        ‘In each of these model–ensemble comparison studies, there are important but difficult questions: How well selected are the models for their plausibility? How much of the ensemble spread is reducible by further model improvements? How well can the spread can be explained by analysis of model differences? How much is irreducible imprecision in an AOS?

        Simplistically, despite the opportunistic assemblage of the various AOS model ensembles, we can view the spreads in their results as upper bounds on their irreducible imprecision. Optimistically, we might think this upper bound is a substantial overestimate because AOS models are evolving and improving. Pessimistically, we can worry that the ensembles contain insufficient samples of possible plausible models, so the spreads may underestimate the true level of irreducible imprecision (cf., ref. 23). Realistically, we do not yet know how to make this assessment with confidence.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.full

        I suspect that one should go deeper into the literature than wikipedia to gain any depth of understanding and to move beyond the simplistic.

  23. There is little wonder that the “sensitivity” cannot be determined, because carbon dioxide has a net (albeit) minuscule cooling effect. Water vapour has a far great cooling effect, because it reduces the thermal gradient, and so the thermal plot intercepts the surface at a temperature which is about 30% lower than would be the case with a dry atmosphere.

    In other words, the “dry” gradient (which is the quotient of the force of gravity and the mean specific heat) would yield a surface temperature of about 300K if the atmosphere were 80% pure nitrogen and 20% pure oxygen. But then water vapour reduces the temperature back to 288K and carbon dioxide reduces it by less than 1% of the reduction due to water vapour. Yes, inert gases do absorb incident Solar radiation in the UV and visible spectra, so the atmosphere warms to radiative balance, and the temperature at the base of the atmosphere determines (or “supports”) the surface temperature.

    Surprised? It’s all in my paper “Planetary Surface Temperatures. A Discussion of Alternative Mechanisms” on the Principia Scientific International website in the PROM menu.

    • David Springer

      Doug Cotton | February 4, 2013 at 8:28 pm | Reply

      “There is little wonder that the “sensitivity” cannot be determined, because carbon dioxide has a net (albeit) minuscule cooling effect. Water vapour has a far great cooling effect, because it reduces the thermal gradient, and so the thermal plot intercepts the surface at a temperature which is about 30% lower than would be the case with a dry atmosphere. ”

      Utter dreck, Cotton. It’s both wetter and warmer during interglacial periods.

      • So what? Glacial cycles are thought to relate to variations in Earth’s eccentricity caused by gravitational force from Jupiter. This affects the mean distance of the Earth from the Sun, and thus the level of insolation received here. The effect of such on climate is obvious. Anything else I can help with from many thousands of hours of studying all this?

      • Without water the temperature of the Earth would be 67°C, the Water Cycle cools the Earth by 52°C.

        Carbon dioxide is fully part of the Water Cycle, all natural rain is carbonic acid.

        The thermal blanket keeping the Earth warm is the whole atmosphere which is mainly the real gases with volume weight and attraction nitrogen and oxygen under gravity, without which temperature would be -18°C.

        There is no AGWScienceFiction’s Greenhouse Effect of “greenhouse gases raising temps 33°C from -18°C to 15°C – if you can’t see that this is an illusion you’re not thinking.

        Because, without the AGWSF’s main greenhouse gas water vapour the temps would be 67°C not -18°C.

        Sensitivity? To an illusion..

        Sheesh.

      • David Springer

        Cotton, I see your knowledge of orbital mechanics is no exception to the general rule of your scientific illiteracy. I’m not sure who you’re referring to when you say it is thought that TSI has anything to do with glacial cycles.

        TSI remains unchanged in glacial cycles. The timing changes such that northern hemisphere recieves more insolation during the winter and less during the summer. Net annual insolation is unchanged. Warmer winters and cooler summers results in more snowfall during the winter and less melt during the summer allowing glaciers to advance. The high albedo of glaciers is a positive feedback that makes summers even cooler. The opposite effect happens in the southern hemisphere but because glaciers need land anchors and the northern hemisphere has twice the land mass as the southern hemisphere the northern hemisphere is the trigger.

        This isn’t rocket science but it IS science. How is it your thousands of hours of study somehow missed it?

      • David Springer

        Myrrh | February 7, 2013 at 6:01 am |

        “Without water the temperature of the Earth would be 67°C, the Water Cycle cools the Earth by 52°C.”

        No, it would be in a permanent deep freeze. The ocean is essentially black soaking up all the energy from the sun. Rocks aren’t as dark so there’d be less surface heating. The atmosphere sans water vapor would add nothing substantial in the way of greenhouse warming.

        The black of the ocean is countered by clouds forming until a balance is reached where if there are fewer clouds sunlight gets through to warm the water causing cloud formation to pick up then the increase in clouds blocks sunlight from reaching the ocean and it cools down. In effect a water world is thermostatically controlled by clouds. This is how the earth remained within a narrow temperature range suitable for life for billions of years despite a large range of major perterbations (e.g. super volcanoes, asteroid strikes, solar storms, super novae in the neighborhood) and a star that’s become 10% brighter during that time.

        The only monkey wrench is when some perterbation gives snow/ice the upper hand, slowing the water cycle dramatically, which can cause long-lived snowball epsisodes which only end after millions of years of volcanoes belching snow-darkening soot and insulating CO2 gas to tip the scale back towards domination by liquid water instead of frozen water.

        The whole enchilada revolves about the solid/liquid phase transition temperature of H2O. Solar power is not so great that it always remains unfrozen and not so little that it always remains frozen. Each state is a so-called great attractor where pseudo-stability can be found. The most recent 4 million years have been battle for dominance between the two. The arrangment of the continents has enough influence on ocean currents to allow or disallow enough heat from tropics to reach the poles to either melt or allow icecaps. No icecaps is the most stable state and accounts for about 90% of the earth’s history after the crust cooled and ocean formed.

      • David Springer

        Without water the earth would be like the moon with an average temperature near -23C (the measured unchanging temperature of lunar regolith 50 or more centimeters deep) and diurnal temperature change near 100C at the equator. Both are composed of the same minerals, after all, so would have substantially similar albedo and thermal characteristics if not for water. The earth’s wispy atmosphere would have little influence without water vapor in it. The faster rotation rate of the earth would moderate the more extreme (300C) diurnal temperature swings found on the lunar equator.

        The moon is a handy reference for what the earth would be like without a global ocean.

      • David Springer | February 7, 2013 at 9:27 am |
        Myrrh | February 7, 2013 at 6:01 am |

        “Without water the temperature of the Earth would be 67°C, the Water Cycle cools the Earth by 52°C.”

        No, it would be in a permanent deep freeze. The ocean is essentially black soaking up all the energy from the sun. Rocks aren’t as dark so there’d be less surface heating. The atmosphere sans water vapor would add nothing substantial in the way of greenhouse warming.

        The deserts are in permanent deep freeze?

        The minus 18°C figure AGWScienceFiction uses claiming the Earth would be this temperature without their “greenhouse gases”, mainly water and carbon dioxide, is the figure without the whole atmosphere – not without “AGWSF ir imbibing greenhouse gases”, but also without the real physics greenhouse gases of nitrogen and oxygen.

        Traditionally the whole atmosphere was likened to a greenhouse around the Earth, and likenened to a thermal blanket around the Earth – AGWSF has misappropriated these figures to create the fiction of “33°C warming by their definition of greenhouse gases”.

        I’m trying to point out what the sleight of hands are in this confidence trick the AGW Greenhouse Effect.

        There really isn’t any point in you continuing to give me arguments from the fictional fisics they’ve created when I’m trying to show you how and why they are fictional, at least make some effort to follow what I’m trying to tell you..

        AGWScienceFiction has given different meaning to “greenhouse” and “greenhouse gases” and “blanket” and so on, I am giving you what traditional physics teaches so you can see how they’ve manipulated this to create their fictional AGWSF Greenhouse Effect.

        From traditional science – without our heavy fluid real gas ocean under gravity which is around 98% nitrogen and oxygen, the temp would be -18°C. Go and compare this with the Moon.

        This is where the term “blanket” comes from, from traditional physics and it refers to the whole of the Earth’s atmosphere trapping heat/delaying the escape of heat from the Sun heated Earth. The Sun’s direct heat, longwave infrared aka thermal infrared, heats the land and water.

        Compare with the Moon:

        Temperatures on the moon are very hot in the daytime, about 100 degrees C. At night, the lunar surface gets very cold, as cold as minus 173 degrees C.

        This wide variation is because Earth’s moon has no atmosphere to hold in heat at night or prevent the surface from getting so hot during the day.

        http://www.space.com/14725-moon-temperature-lunar-days-night.html

        My bold. All the gases comprising our atmosphere are the real traditional greenhouse gases and real traditional blanket:

        SECURITY BLANKET

        The atmosphere also keeps us warm. It holds the surface heat on the earth and prevents it from radiating out into space. We call this the greenhouse effect. In a greenhouse people grow plants under the protection of glass or plastic which lets the light come through for the plants to grow, while protecting the plants from cold. In this way people are able to grow plants even in cold weather because the plants stay warm inside the greenhouse. That’s the way the atmosphere protects us. Without the greenhouse effect of the atmosphere holding in the heat, the Earth would be a very cold place. That same greenhouse effect also reduces the extreme temperatures between day and night. On the moon, where there is no atmosphere, the daytime temperature can be extremely hot and the nighttime temperature extremely cold. Without the blanket of the atmosphere we might freeze or fry.

        http://www.scienceterrific.com/atmosphere_function.php

        So, in traditional physics, in the real world, what does a greenhouse do? It both heats and cools to give optimum growing conditions, hence our Earth’s atmosphere was likened to it.

        The traditional Blanket of the whole atmosphere which is mainly the real gases nitrogen and oxygen under gravity keeping the real greenhouse warm, so what cools it?

        Two things. Firstly convection of the real gas Air which when heated becomes lighter than air and rises taking away heat from the surface and as it rises heavier colder air above flows beneath to take its place; these are called winds, volumes of air on the move. This is our basic wind system from the equator to the poles, hot air rises at the equator and flows to the poles and the cold air at the poles sinks beneath, flowing back to the equator. Add Earth’s spin. (As above, so below – the ocean also gets heated at the equator and flows toward the poles, add Earth’s spin and land masses.

        Magicians’ tricks are subtle if they’re any good.., and this fiction of the Greenhouse Effect is good, very clever tweaking of real physics by swapping properties around, playing with meanings, taking out whole processes and so on, if you don’t know real world physics basics and never hear the traditional physics explanations then their fictions sound quite plausible. Of course, applied scientists can spot the errors in their own fields, that there’s no gravity, etc., but might still take on trust something from a field they’re not familiar with. When you do know the real physics basics and can see how AGWSF has manipulated these you can see how utterly absurd their claims, but quite frankly, appalled as I am by their introduction into the education system, they are also very amusing because they’ve created a completely impossible world.

        Anyway, the AGWSF Greenhouse Effect is a fiction as I’ve explained, which is why no empirical proof is ever fetched, because it doesn’t exist to be fetched, it’s an illusion.

  24. David Springer, sure did. In detail. Both books show CO2 follows temp as a result of Henry’s law. That does not mean anthropogenic CO2 has no effect, because it was proven a greenhouse gas back in 1859. These are not all or nothing hypotheses. They are rates of change first differential hypotheses, or even second derivative rate of rate of change (acceleration, to alarmist) arguments. And all uncertain.
    I find it useful given uncertainty to step back and look at the big picture, which is usually less uncertain than any details. When you do that, climate change becomes trivial compared to other issues that almost no one wants to confront because so profoundly disturbing. Certainly not the UN, or developing nations. Gaia absolutely does not care about our feelings on these matters. Just is.
    Regards

    • Yes, yes, some “greenhouse effect” was claimed to have been “proven .. back in 1859 ” – but then the greenhouse effect conjecture was itself disproved back in 2003 such as in a peer-reviewed journal paper like Dr Hans Jelbring’s http://ruby.fgcu.edu/courses/twimberley/EnviroPhilo/FunctionOfMass.pdf

      Unfortunately back in 1859 physicists did not understand the ramifications of the maximum entropy thermodynamic equilibrium required by the Second Law of Thermodynamics. This was because they only had the, now outdated, Clausius statement which physicists now realise is only strictly correct for heat transfers in a horizontal plane, not for conduction, diffusion and convection in a vertical plane when subjected to the force of gravity.

      It makes a big difference, because now we don’t need to invent any multiplication of energy by back radiation to explain that extra 33 degrees. In fact, gravity explains about 50 degrees, and then intra-atmospheric radiation by water vapour reduces the thermal gradient (AKA “wet adiabatic lapse rate”) so that the surface temperature for radiative equilibrium is lowered back to just that extra 33 degrees as is observed. Carbon dioxide may lower it another 0.1 degree, but we won’t worry too much..

      • David Springer

        Unfortunately Doug this physical theory of yours does not allow for exceptions and Saturn’s moon Titan is an exception. Nice try but no cigar.

      • You’d have to do better than that, David Springer. Moons are also affected by the gravity of the planet they are orbiting. Let’ see your argument that proves the Second Law of Thermodynamics to be wrong. Let’s see your personal explanation as to how the required energy gets into the surface of Venus. Let’s see your explanation as to how the Earth’s core gets just the right amount of energy to maintain its temperature and balance energy loss, such as through volcanoes and conduction processes. Let’s see you prove my physics wrong in any way. Go and read how others agree with me on the current Roy Spencer thread. Go and read Hans Jelbring’s peer-reviewed journal article.
        http://ruby.fgcu.edu/courses/twimberley/EnviroPhilo/FunctionOfMass.pdf

    • David Springer

      Rud, the so-called greenhouse effect works in a controlled environment such as a CO2 sensor i.e. literally in vitro. Nothing has been demonstrated in vivo and the correlative evidence is looking pretty damn shaky what with CO2 increasing some 20% since 1998 and no rise in GAT in response to it.

      • You are assuming that the increase is C02 was the only change. While C02 forcing has gone up by a couple 1/10ths of a watt, youd have to show that other forcings net to zero.

      • Also, one would have to assume that all of the effective delta GAT up to 1998 had already occurred (ie equilibrium). Since we know that CO2 forcing is like compound interest and that the climate feedbacks become more positive with time, it seems quite puzzling that GAT has stopped it’s ascent.

        Throw in carbon black and ozone with associated feedback mechanisms and the uncertainty monster can swallow up CO2 into the noise.

        …or do you believe Taminino’s ENSO regulator?

      • And the effect of gravity as it produces a thermal gradient has been established with the Second Law of Thermodynamics, as well as over 800 experiments since the year 2002. All this is in my paper on Planetary Surface Temperatures on the Principia Scientific International website. Before you think you have any more objections, go and read the paper because, chances are, I’ve already answered them. Meanwhile I’ll await your proof that an isothermal gas in a gravitational field would represent a state of thermodynamic equilibrium, as required by the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

  25. Interestingly, one of them stated quite openly in a meeting I attended a few years ago that he deliberately lied in these sort of elicitation exercises (i.e. exaggerating the probability of high sensitivity) in order to help motivate political action. Of course, there may be others who lie in the other direction, which is why it seems bizarre that the IPCC appeared to rely so heavily on this paper to justify their choice, rather than relying on published quantitative analyses of observational data. Since the IPCC can no longer defend their old analyses in any meaningful manner, it seems they have to resort to an unsupported “this is what we think, because we asked our pals”.

    We skeptics have won the climate war.

    An insider is fighting for us.

    Now it is acknowledged by an insider: ‘IPCC can no longer defend their old analyses in any meaningful manner, it seems they have to resort to an unsupported “this is what we think, because we asked our pals”’

    Science will get back its integrity, purity and truthfulness.

    Congratulation skeptics: http://page.crystalcomments.com/6/26772.gif

    • Jumping to conclusions again Girma? The sensitivity battle may have been won for the moment (but only to the extent that neither side of the debate can put a handle on this issue) but the war rages on.

      • The war will “rage on” as long as the perceived vested interests of egotistical individuals over-ride their commitment to honesty, integrity and the common good. Maintain your supply lines.

  26. +1 Chief Hydrologist (9.01 pm) ter economic growth, (crop growth
    through conservation farming practices,) and societal resiliance,
    grow – baby – grow.
    Beth, friend of the forest.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Way back in my environmental science school – I would describe my religion as Sylvan Fundamentalist. We dance naked in the woodland in the Spring equinox. Now I am just hoping I don’t meet Dave Springer.

      • David Springer

        It was just an expression on my part and I didn’t think anyone in their right mind would actually do such a thing. That you actually did it doesn’t dispute my belief, if you get my drift, and I think you do.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Well big dave – really – which part of slyvan fundamentalist did you take seriously? I realise that you crack youself up – but that never translates into actual mirth for anyone else. For humour that is not just cackling to yourself in the corner like some mad crone you need to have human qualities that you sadly lack – so sad too bad.

      • I’ve got mad crone cackling all over him, and look, there’s a plum in my porridge.
        ===============

      • Chief, “We dance naked in the woodland in the Spring equinox.”

        Tequila?

      • David Springer

        “Well big dave – really – which part of slyvan fundamentalist did you take seriously?”

        Coming from a delicate flower such as yourself… pretty much all of it.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        These days my local is the Grand Western. It is one of 2 places in the world where a man can swear, drink, spit and ride bulls at the same time. The other one is in Texas. So springer – behind the bull ring any time and I will show you who’s a pansy. Texas death match rules.

        Back then – if I could get a girl to dance naked anywhere – it was a good day.

      • A greater chance of an interaction with Jerry Springer I’d say.

  27. Or meet any leprechauns. … Be careful of yer toe)

  28. Peter Davies, yer have to make a different award … I have the franchise fer plus ones. I’m sorry )

  29. Dr. Curry, with respect, as a GT alumnus I find your comment;

    “Oversimplification and overconfidence on this topic (i.e. climate sensitivity) have acted to the detriment of climate science.”

    Quite a bit refreshing. Having received a fine engineering education at GT (and elsewhere back in the 70/80’s) I was long ago humbled when my predictions of how my engineering creation would respond collided with reality.

    Frankly, the whole field of climate science has had billions of dollars and decades to make its case. The engineering community put people on the moon and brought them back with far less time and money.

    The case for “radiative forcing” is still missing……… And likely always will be.

    I do like it when GT folks try to raise the bar. Take a long step back from climate science for a while and take a good hard look at the correlation between the theory and the real empirical results. You might benefit from a more distant perspective, (look at the forest, not the fleas on the pine needles).

    Cheers, Kevin.

    • Judith is a credit to Climate Science and I appreciate your humility KevinK because that’s where the best science is practiced.

      BTW lets be sure that “humility” is by no means to be interpreted as “humble” because high self esteem is the precursor to great performance and high ideals.

    • David Springer

      KevinK | February 4, 2013 at 10:32 pm | Reply

      “The engineering community put people on the moon and brought them back with far less time and money.”

      Damn skippy!

      +1

    • Kevin,

      As the brother and uncle of 2+ GT grads (one niece graduates this coming spring), I have great respect for the institution. And I particularly liked your comment re what engineers and scientists accomplished with the space program. We just don’t get the same for our tax dollars these days.

  30. My empirical analysis of the HADCRUT3 data from 1870 to 2011 gave me a climate sensitivity estimate of 1.55 deg C for doubling of CO2 from 280 to 560 ppm.

    Folks, what is your estimate for this data?

    • sorry, you have to calculate NET forcings first.
      Then you calculate the sensitivity.
      Then you can calculate the sensitivity to doubling C02 in isolation.
      By just doing it directly you are assuming that all other forcings net to zero.
      That’s, well, wrong.

      • Mosher

        You write that “By just doing it directly you are assuming that all other forcings net to zero. That’s, well, wrong.”

        In fact you do not know the net impact of the other forcings so you do not know that it is not zero so you do not know it is wrong.

        It also does not seem wrong to summarize the forcing in the actual system based upon observations. I agree that it is probably not completely accurate, but you can’t state that definitely can you?

      • Oh, please, he states everything definitely. It’s what he knows that is so.
        ==================

      • Correction: he’s capable of waffling on attribution. I’m grateful.
        ===============

  31. Einstein said it best: ” If you cannot explain what you are doing to a 12-year-old, you do not know what you are doing.” He actually said a 12-year-old girl, but my genius sisters would not let me get away with this.

    Good science is understandable, bad science causes good minds to say, “Hmmmm, did not follow that.” Anyone not following the AGW theory other than me???”

    • I have no trouble following AGW theory even though I do not accept it. There are numerous publications explaining it to 12 year olds. What part do you not understand?

      But Einstein also said “If we knew what we were doing it would not be research.” The problem is that AGW research assumes and defends AGW rather than testing it.

  32. “By failing to meet this problem head-on, the IPCC authors now find themselves in a bit of a pickle. I expect them to brazen it out, on the grounds that they are the experts and are quite capable of squaring the circle before breakfast if need be. But in doing so, they risk being seen as not so much summarising scientific progress, but obstructing it.”

    When are the IPCC sdientists going to admit that they got it wrong? Or perhaps the politicians or economists that drove them into accepting an impossible task should publically apologise. Scientists should never let their agenda be set by such people

  33. Girma,

    That is the spirit!!! Natural variability would put error bars on that, could you finish the calculation, Student’s T-Test would be fine???

    You rock…

  34. Rud Istvan,

    Abrupt climate change has happened many times in the long ice core records. +- 5 C in ten years, more than once or twice. We never hear about this at Real Climate or Skeptical Science because they have no clue how it could have happened. I am sure, though, that YOU could explain it to us………….

    Kevin K., you rock too…

  35. Peter Davies,

    What is your deal? How do you feel about the Scientific Method? Is it important to you???

    • Welcome to the blog MM. If you are interested you can look through the Denizens’s page to find a little bit more information about some of us here, me included.

      To respond to your question – my approach to solving problems is firstly to make sure that there is indeed a problem to solve. In this respect Scientific Method (capitalised as you have) probably works well in testing hypothesis but does little to come up with the ideals and ideas which have any real impact on any field of endeavour.

      I prefer intuitive and lateral thought as an originator of solutions rather than the basic rationality of thought that underpins scientific method as I understand it. Rational thought is perceived by me to be only linear in its logical basis.

      This is off topic and if you like you (or anyone else, for that matter) may email me directly if there is anything else that you would like to discuss.

  36. It looks rather like the IPCC authors have invented this meme as some sort of talismanic mantra to defend themselves against having to actually deal with the recent literature.

    If this is true then it proves that science is self-correcting. Excellent news.

  37. The only consensus we can expect from the Al (Jazeera) Gore-StoatCRUs of the world is their opinions about scientific skeptics–e.g.,

    “…the beaten, disgraced, and perjured … [Skeptic]! the faithless, perjured, craft-loving … [Skeptic]!… –a blustering Charlatan! — such a Fellow! –a Scoundrel, with a degraded character! an Impostor! a despicable Imposter! a notorious Impostor! an hypocritical Impostor! a Wretch! a desparate Wretch! such a Wretch! a Robber! a mere Brigand! an atrocious Brigand! –a savage Adversary! –a Remorseless Ruffian! –a Criminal! such a Criminal! so infamous a Criminal! –that Traitor! that…[Skeptic]… Villain! a Fool! an imperial Robber! an infamous, bloody, execrable, audacious, atrocious, ferocious…” (Editor, ‘Cursing made Easy,’ The Times, 1815))

    • I doubt if that would pass Australia’s proposed “no-offence” anti-free speech laws, even with the (200-year-old) imprimature of The Times.

      • Stoat can still say skeptics “jumped the shark” in Australia but will the liberal fascistas continue to allow the Beatles to say “Mother Superior jumped the gun,” and, “bang, bang, shoot shoot?”

      • Well, some of them have the appalling “Imagine” as their anthem, they might be conflicted with knocking Beatles’ lyrics.

      • The carbon-hating Left gives Britania with its comparatively benign form of totalitarianism a bad rap compared to the Left’s Marxist ideal that has led many millions to poverty, despair and death. If not for the British breaking a secret China held for 5,000 years where would India be today? The Left should swoon apoplectic nirvana at the thought of 10 million people employed in India’s tea industry, many of whom still pick the leaves by hand on steep slopes where no machinery can operate.

      • Bang bang, shoot shoot foot,
        Mother Alarum pumped gun.
        Darjeeling tea leaves.
        =============

  38. Sensitivity to so-called GHGs? There is NONE that could ever be demonstrated. Just ask the 31,000+ signers of the Petition Project – degreed and practicing scientists all. How many more scientists is that who dismiss and reject the AGW bogeyman, versus those corrupt-politicians-no longer-scientists who believe in it (or say they do, to get gobs of taxpayer-funded research money)? A pretty large multiple thereof, methinks.

    And Mr. Faustino – since any criticism of official behavior or actions will inevitably be considered to be “offence” speech, how long before tyranny firmly descends upon Australia? Not long, methinks. But I’d have to ask, isn’t it also an “offence” to call honest scientists liars?

    And here in the US more and more of the CAGW scaremongers are calling for denying their arguments to be made a criminal offense (the American spelling of “offence”).

    The Petition Project website can be accessed easily through Google.

  39. We mislead policy makers with our oversimplifications and overconfidence.

    Thanks JC.

    To stop sea level rise a fools errand.

  40. I’m awarding you +! fer adaptability, Peter Davies Well done!
    BC

  41. “What is obvious is that including the data of the past few years pushes the estimates of climate sensitivity downward, because there was little warming over the past decade despite a larger greenhouse gas forcing.”

    What is obvious is that the consensus science is a fine example of ‘cargo cult’ science. I said years ago, I can’t wait for the estimates of climate sensitivity when it starts cooling.

  42. +1 fer u also Senor Faustino fer showing musical discrimination.
    ‘Imagine’ by The Beatles is a terrible song (. Yesterday was so
    much better.
    BC 2013 Franchise fr Plus Ones. Email in Working Hours Only.

    • Hi Beth,
      I see your knowledge of the Beatles is equivalent to your knowledge of climate science.
      “Imagine” is not a Beatles song.

      • OK, a Beatle song.

        What’s an s among friends?

      • Imagine is a John Lennon song recorded after the Beatles broke up.

      • ‘Imagine’ is a John Lennon song, John Lennon is(was) a Beatle, therefore ‘Imagine’ is a Beatle’s song. Beth only missed the apostrophe, not surplussed an ‘s’.
        ==========

      • I personally thought Paul did better with wings although I found Ringo’s no no song amusing.

      • tim –

        OK, a Beatle song.
        What’s an s among friends?

        You too? Say it ain’t so!

      • Joshua, I think people are only treating this discussion with the levity it deserves.

      • steven –

        Levity? You think an issue of such importance should be treated with “levity?” What’s next – diminishing the importance of Al Gore’s income? Is there no limit to what you will look past?

      • I can’t get no chakra release.
        ================

      • I suppose if you think Al is important and are disappointed or delighted by his duplicity perhaps his income may matter to you. I don’t think he’s important so it pretty much falls into the beatles or ex beatle category for me in importance level.

      • David Springer

        Actually Imagine is a Yoko Ono song and she might sue your ass if you use any part of it without permission. And you wouldn’t be the first she sued over that either.

    • ‘Imagine’ is a John Lennon song, John Lennon is(was) a Beatle, therefore Beth only missed the apostrophe, not surplussed an ‘s’.<

      Wow – and you’ve deigned to lecture me on interpreting syntax and grammar:

      Let’s look again at what Beth wrote, shall we?

      ‘Imagine’ by The Beatles is a terrible song ‘Imagine’ by The Beatles is a terrible song

      Notice how you changed “the” to “a?” It’s always the cover-up that’s more revealing, kim. Beth made an error. You changed facts as a defense – apparently projecting gullibility onto others? Errors are perfectly acceptable and not an indication of character. I’ll let you fill in the rest.

      • Heh, I’ll define John Lennon as ‘The Beatle’ and my analysis stands. Say, I could write climate models.
        ============

      • Josh,

        Impressive how you demonstrate your capability to push hair splitting on non-relevant topics to new boundries.

  43. Nuthin’ gits passed u does it PD? )

  44. Is there any experimental evidence of any net ~15 micron CO2 band IR emitted from the Earth’s surface?

  45. Still overstated by a factor of 10 — or at least 7, if you wish to be technical.

  46. Chief Hydrologist

    This is a multiple choice – and right answers will get a +1 from Beth.

    Let’s say CO2 doubles: How will “climate” change?

    1. Climate is in stable equilibrium (fixed point); if so, mean temperature will just shift gradually to its new equilibrium value.

    2. Climate is purely periodic; if so, mean temperature will (maybe) shift gradually to its new equilibrium value. But how will the period, amplitude
    and phase of the limit cycle change?

    3. And how about some “real stuff” now: chaotic + random?

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=Ghil_sensitivity_zps369d303d.jpg

    http://casts.ntu.edu.tw/Talks_detail.php?talkID=2293&i=3

    • 3. ?
      Beth, now do I get a +1?

    • Chief, you write “Let’s say CO2 doubles: How will “climate” change? ”

      You dont need three questions. The answer is simple. Any change that doubling CO2 makes to climate will be so small that it can NEVER be measured.

      • Maybe I should have added that if Anastassia is correct, doubling CO2 could cause so much growth in our forests that this could have a major impact on climate.

      • As I recall some partially credentialed physicist, hardly a climate specialist, once spoke of such trees.

        No moss grows on a rolling ent, or maybe there’s some on the north.
        ===============

      • David Springer

        Jim Cripwell | February 5, 2013 at 9:21 am |

        “Maybe I should have added that if Anastassia is correct, doubling CO2 could cause so much growth in our forests that this could have a major impact on climate.”

        That’s got a good foundation in biology to be certain for at least some effect along those lines. Terrestrial life evolved around an ocean that outgasses CO2 as it warms and takes it up as it cools. For most of the earth’s history past the Cambrian explosion 500mya when life began to take up residence on land there have been no ice caps at all and far higher CO2 levels. The current cold, CO2-starved era began only 4 million years ago which is an eyeblink in evolutionary time at even the genus level. There hasn’t been a new family of life in 10 million years.

        Therefore evolution best adapted life to the environment which persisted for the longest span of time. Following from that we find plants almost universally respond favorably to higher levels of CO2. Adaptation at the family level is very fast to conditions that have been experienced in the past. There’s a genetic memory of how to best cope in different conditions. Species are the result which are tweaked for shorter, more recent evironmental conditions. Sub-species are tweaked for even shorter periods of time. Plasticity is reduced with the tweakings with the result that sub-species and species come and go frequently. Families tend to persist for tens of millions of years and by the time you get to Phyla most of the present phyla have been around since the Cambrian explosion. Bacteria and Archaea may very well predate our solar system and are generally considered to go back at least 2.5 – 3.5 billion years on the earth. 3.5 billion years is barely time enough to form a thin crust over the molten rock. Maybe cool enough for liquid water but there are Archaea that don’t mind boiling hot water and no sunlight.

        But I digress. The point is that in the story of life when more resources become available, in this case warm temperature and higher CO2, life will jump in to take maximum advantage of it and do it quickly. Crap starts growing on lava within decades. If an old growth forest burns down plants pre-adapted to the new conditions spring up before the ashes are cold.

      • David Springer @ 11.01, this is the kind of time-scale and perspective people need to take in assessing short-term changes, but almost always ignore. Life is tenacious, its form ever-changing.

      • I agree with you David. The timescale of Earth’s climate trajectory is extremely long.

    • Chief I have 3 questions for you.
      1. What is man’s contribution to current Atmospheric CO2 (percentage)?
      2. What would it be if we could increase it 10 fold?
      3, What other way can the CO2 level be “doubled”?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        There is no simple answer – what is known in that anthropogenic carbon flux to the atmosphere is about 4% of natural flux. Economic growth could see that grow to 8%, 16%, 32%,…, as economies grow this century. It is now part of the fast cycle of carbon in the environment and increasing. A priori – unless the outcome is known with certainty it seems imprudent to emit exponentially increasing amounts of carbon. Certainty – one way or the other – only arises from arguments founded on ignorance.

        http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/CarbonCycle/

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Plants have many requirements for growth – CO2 is one of the easiest for plants to obtain. The number and size of stomota vary with CO2 – trading off carbon uptake against water loss. Water is the critial limit in land plants at most locations. This is a quaint little site called plant fossils of west virginia – but the information is standard. . – http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/stomata.html

      It is quite certain that warmth and wet go together – so the plant fecundity in warm times has something to do with warmth and wet but perhaps less to do with carbon being a limiting nutrient. Although there is never one inclusive explanation – rather a host of interacting factors.

      ‘Technically, an abrupt climate change occurs when the climate system is forced across some threshold, triggering a persistent transition to a new state at a rate determined by the climate system itself and faster than the cause (Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises, National Research Council, 2002).’

      3 is the right answer of course – but the problem of abrupt shifts in climate is not simple and predictable. There are hints of mechanisms primarily involving thermohaline circulation – and ice and snow feedbacks.

      CO2 might be one of these ’causes’ that lead to rapid and nonlinear shifts in climate.

      http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2004/05mar_arctic/

    • The third graph in Ghil 2012,is that in random dynamical systems,the oscillations produce multiple equilibria even of opposite signs,which increases the range of uncertainty.

  47. I don’t like the idea of climate sensitivity whatever its value. It seems to me to be a coarse measure that says nothing about the effect on different parts of the world and on real people’s lives. Some parts of the world are warming, others are cooling. So if average temperatures go up 2 degrees, what does that actually mean for me in the UK? Will it be warmer or cooler? Will my sheep be ok? Simplistic maybe, but that’s the reality of this arcane argument for the majority of ordinary people like me. Back to occasional lurking!

    • RobB

      So if average temperatures go up 2 degrees, what does that actually mean for me in the UK? Will it be warmer or cooler? Will my sheep be ok?

      Hard questions! Marek Kohn wrote an accessible and non-alarmist book about this, which I recommend if you haven’t already read it.

      • “Hard questions!”

        BBD,

        There are no hard questions when you can always pretend to know the answers.

        Andrew

      • You are trolling, as always. Why not contribute usefully or remain silent?

      • “Why not contribute usefully or remain silent?”

        BBD, a smarter question would be ” Why not contribute usefully and remain silent?” ;)

        But you aren’t the brightest bulb in the display now, are you.

        Andrew

      • You are still trolling.

      • “You are still trolling.”

        I disagree. I’m commenting my opinion. In fact, my first comment goes right to the heart of the matter.

        Andrew

      • Your first question is essentially a denial of scientific knowledge. As such it only illustrates the nature of your bias. This is unlikely to be of interest to RobB, who is more reasonably concerned about the welfare of his sheep.

      • “Your first question is essentially a denial of scientific knowledge.”

        No, my first question is an obvious reference to the behaviors of you and other Warmers. You have absolutely no knowledge of what is going to happen to RobB’s sheep. But you pretend like you do.

        Andrew

      • BBD –

        In reference to Kohn’s book, I would note that the Amazon description reads, in part:

        “Our parks will be arid brown fields; private automobile use unheard of; water will be severely rationed; significant stretches of our beloved coastline will have been sacrificed to the sea. Some of our flora and fauna will have vanished; exotic animals and pests will flourish. Vast numbers of marginalised human migrants will be here. Surveillance and restriction of our movements will be taken for granted. Walking in what is left of ‘nature’ will be nearly impossible. Terrible summer fires in our upland areas will be commonplace.”

        How do you this consider this ‘non-alarmist’?

      • Hier. B. too young.
        ==============

      • kch

        Ah, the joys of selective quotation. You missed out the first sentence:

        These islands will, compared with the parched Mediterranean lands, let alone a devastated Africa, be fairly benign places to live.

        That said, the blurb is sensationalist compared to the book itself.

      • BBD cries ‘Wolf’. The beast turns out to be the neighbor’s shepherd.
        =============

      • Andrew

        No, my first question is an obvious reference to the behaviors of you and other Warmers. You have absolutely no knowledge of what is going to happen to RobB’s sheep. But you pretend like you do.

        We know well enough that GHG forcing will warm the climate. So we have a good outline idea of what is likely to happen.

        You believe with certainty that nothing will happen, which is why you describe everybody else as ‘warmers’. You are rejecting scientific knowledge and setting up your own, utterly baseless opinion as certain.

        Hopefully you can see the profound illogicality in that.

      • No kim, BBD cries “troll”.

        You must be the author of about 40% of comments on this thread, all of which are insubstantial and short. It’s a miracle you aren’t in moderation yet.

      • BBD –

        Didn’t miss the first sentence at all – I just didn’t feel the need to quote the whole review.

        That being said, the addition of that first sentence strenghtens my question: if what I quoted is a description of ‘fairly benign’, just exactly what would you consider ‘non-alarmist’?

        I’ll take your word on the blurb as sensationalist, but if so, the author might think to get it toned down, if only to improve sales. The blurb screams ‘alarmist millenarian rant’ at me, and if I want to read apocalyptic fantasy I’ve already got a reasonable collection of science fiction…

      • kch

        If you were actually interested in talking about the book, you could also google for reviews. Then you could get it out of the library and read it yourself.

        Bye now.

      • Riverworld’s perty kewl.
        =================

      • I’m fond a’ the barbed barrels.
        =================

      • BBD, astonishing that you would think that such a book is helpful here. Isn’t it much more likely that a couple of degrees warming will not make all that much difference? Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

        To me, this is just another example of how people overplay their cards on this subject, and lose their audience. Most of us are going to disregard any such claim. We aren’t even going to read the book, sorry. It just sounds absurd.

      • My blogrosaryroll regularly remembers Saint J.
        ==============

      • BBD –

        You’re missing the point. I’m not necessarily interested in talking about – or reading – the book, I’m interested in why *you* think it is ‘non-alarmist’, given the description at the site *you* sent RobB to.

        The Guardian review you refer to merely reinforces my quick impression that the book is distinctly alarmist. Why do you harbour such a different view of the book? That’s the point I’m interested in.

        If you actually want someone to read a book, you might try honestly answering honest questions. Otherwise, your behaviour looks very…well, almost trollish.

      • kch; miker613

        You might need to refresh you memories about the difference between global average temperature and land surface temperature.

        What are the projections for the NH land surface temperature increase concomitant with an increase in GAT of >2C?

        kch

        What you think about this book is irrelevant since you haven’t actually read it and I have. This strand of the discussion goes no further until you crack the covers.

      • Quiz in the AM. Childhood’s End.
        ============

      • BBD –

        I am not saying, and have not said, that Kohn’s book is irrelevant. For all I know, it could very well be the great answer to life, the universe and everything…perfect and complete in all its prognostications.

        What I have said is that it has the appearance of an alarmist screed, however charmingly well written. [As such, I have no more interest in reading it than I would have in reading The Watchtower. Your misdirections have only strengthened that resolve.]

        What you have failed to answer (three times) is this: why did *you* characterize it as ‘non-alarmist’, and just exactly what would you call ‘alarmist’? I suspect you have given no answer because there is no answer – you know you overstated and dislike being caught at it.

        I think miker613 is correct – you overplayed your cards, and in refusing to backtrack on (or even defend) what appears to be an obvious overstatement you’ve lost any credibility with this part of the audience.

      • Kim –

        Fond of the classics, I see. Great reads, but I find Vinge or Stephenson more thought-provoking.

      • Heh, I struggled through ‘The Big U’, and couldn’t face any more of him, despite much recommendation.
        =============

      • What I have said is that it has the appearance of an alarmist screed

        Oh dear. The message isn’t getting through, is it?

        Let’s try one last time. First read the book, then you can talk about what it is or is not, in your view. You are insistently claiming that the book is this or that, but at the moment, unless you are prepared to accept *my* description, you are a bit stuck.

      • How to win friends and influence people to read books.
        ==============

      • BBD-

        Hmmm…I can’t really tell if you are being deliberately obtuse or just lack reading comprehension. Honest broker seems right out.

        Only you have claimed anything about Kohn’s book, and you have stated that it is of a ‘non-alarmist’ nature. I have only referred to the descriptions you referenced, and have stated that they make the book seem alarmist indeed.

        I have also only asked that you explain why you find the book ‘non-alarmist’, as well as to indicate just what you would find alarmist. All I wanted was for you to expand on, and possibly justify, your one-word description. You seem unwilling or unable to do so.

        It’s really too bad. I thought I was asking a question, but it turns out I was feeding a troll…

      • Kim-
        ‘The Big U’ is the one of his I haven’t read, and as the author himself says it was a first novel written in a hurry I probably won’t bother. ‘The Diamond Age’ or ‘Anathem’ are worth a try, though.

        And yeah, BBD is doing a good job of making me run screaming (perhaps unfairly) from Kohn’s book. Not to mention anything else he might recommend…

      • kch

        How can I be the troll here? I attempted to answer another commenter’s question by suggesting a relevant book. All you are doing is claiming this book – which you have not actually read – is an alarmist screed, a work of SF etc.

        RobB shouldn’t have any trouble working out who is acting in bad faith.

      • BBD-

        Perhaps troll is the wrong word. How about alarmist shill?

        All snark aside, this is getting nowhere. I can’t seem to find a way of getting you to defend your description; and there is no way you will convince me of anything as long as you continue misrepresenting, misdirecting and avoiding the question.

        Before I go, though, I would like to recommend you read anything by Ayn Rand. She’s really very accessible and non-right wing. (Just don’t ask me to defend those descriptions.)

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Damn yes – according to the classics the answer is 42. Now we just have to build a bigger and better computer to find out what the question is.

        ‘Marek Kohn is a British science writer on evolution, biology and society. His first two books were on drugs, their cultural history, and their politics. He is the author of seven books and hundreds of articles.[1] He holds an undergraduate degree in neurobiology from the University of Sussex, and a PhD from the University of Brighton. Kohn has been an academic fellow at both institutions, and his writing has appeared in New Statesman, The Independent, New Scientist, and Prospect.’

        Neurobiology? This might work as long as he remembers to program in the 4th law of robotics – for God’s sake do not protect us from ourselves.

      • When the phytoplankton left they thanked the sun for all the UV, and man for all the carbon dioxide.
        =================

      • kch

        Still you don’t get it. As I’ve explained several times now, I’m not going to discuss a book with you that you haven’t read.We cannot do this and there’s no point in trying. RobB will either follow the suggestion up or not – despite your strenuous (and transparent) efforts to dissuade him with your mischaracterisations of a book that you haven’t read or even heard of until now.

        What fascinates me about these exchanges is how much energy (and how little honesty) ‘sceptic’ commenters will put into attacking anything that they perceive as a threat. All this effort trying to sabotage a casual recommendation of a book… dearie me.

      • All this effort. Man, oh man, BBD, you’re a tough audience all by yourself.
        =========

      • But kim, do not sell yourself short. I am *humbled* before your mighty productivity. What are we up to now? 50% of the thread? And still not a scintilla of actual content. That takes a certain talent all by itself, no?

      • Per asperum ad
        Scintillate and titillate.
        Rate me a titter?
        ============

      • BBD-

        Is it psychological failing, overwhelming obtuseness or deliberate tactic that leads you to misrepresent everything I’ve said?

        Let’s be clear.

        I’ve never asked you to discuss the book with me. Let me repeat that: I did not, and will never ask you to discuss the book.

        My only strenuous attempt has been to get you to explain the discrepancy between your description of the book and the descriptions found at the websites you directed RobB and myself to. This you seem unwilling or incapable of doing.

        Also, I’m not attacking the book, as I really don’t perceive it as a threat. From the description it comes across as rank alarmism and no more worth spending my time and money on than, say, anything from the dragonslayers.

        I have tried to give you a chance to offer cogent reasons to read the book, but instead you’ve decided to tell me lots about yourself and nothing about the book. Too bad. I hope you don’t work in publicity, because I think you’d suck at it.

        And really, it was no effort – I think you did most of the heavy lifting by yourself.

      • kch

        What a revealingly self-contradictory statement this is:

        Also, I’m not attacking the book, as I really don’t perceive it as a threat. From the description it comes across as rank alarmism and no more worth spending my time and money on than, say, anything from the dragonslayers.

        Shall we laugh? Yes, we shall.

        If you really wanted answers then why not look for them? 30 seconds would find you this review, containing this paragraph:

        The fact is, many regions are likely to become merely pleasantly warm. Life in the Yorkshire Dales 80 years hence sounds very nice indeed. Even these gentle temperature rises might be curbed further. A counter-intuitive aspect of climate change relates to the disruption of the heating effects of Atlantic currents, notably the Gulf Stream, which we currently enjoy. This could manifest itself during the 22nd century and the resulting cooling would offset general global temperature rises.

        The truth is, you don’t want answers; you are simply attempting to discredit a book you haven’t even read. This is the na-na-na school of commentary.

        All that effort. All that *fear*. All you need to add now is a great deal more subtlety.

      • BBD –

        Why ever would you think that I didn’t look for other reviews or information? When possibly interested in a book, I always check around.

        But please try to focus here. What I’m asking is why your quick description of the book is in such stark contrast to other descriptions, including the ones you referenced.

        And speaking of such, the Independant review contains some sentences you might have missed:

        “His account of London is sobering. The best guess is that the metropolis will become as much of a meteorological as a cultural hotspot, with summer temperatures regularly in the 40s. Parks will become largely denuded of grass and all remaining green space will be zealously conserved, while vigilant thermal surveillance satellites hunt down illegal air-conditioning plants.”

        Still sounds pretty alarmist to me. But not to you? Why not?

        The truth is, I have always wanted one answer, one that you have refused to entertain: was it mendacity, error or true belief that lead to your mischaracterization of Kohn’s book.

        Sadly, in all of your strenuous efforts to avoid that question I have only been able to rule out error.

      • kch,

        You may or may not be aware- BBD has been banned at least one other site for persistently trolling, FYI.

        Andrew

      • Heh, BBD, your exemplary paragraph looks like a bunch of speculative bulloney. It was even hard to finish that paragraph.
        ====================

      • kch

        It’s very clear that *anything* other than no effect whatsoever by 2100 is going to be ‘alarmist’ as far as you are concerned. Procrustean games are boring.

        Perhaps instead of trying to evade the sense of the paragraph I quoted from the Indy review, you should just read it again a couple of times.

        It backs up my original – and casual – remark about the generally non-alarmist tenor of the book. Since you are having problems, let me help with a little emphasis:

        The fact is, many regions are likely to become merely pleasantly warm. Life in the Yorkshire Dales 80 years hence sounds very nice indeed. Even these gentle temperature rises might be curbed further.

        See it this time?

        Your trolling is getting very tedious now. Why not go and read a book?

      • BA

        Some facts: I was banned from BH because it is a hardcore denier site where ‘dissentients afflicted with the malady of thought’ are not as welcome as advertised.

        I don’t troll, here or anywhere else. You however, do. It is all that you do. I haven’t seen a substantive comment for you in as long as I can remember.

        How many sites have banned you, BA?

      • The deal here is, BBD, that I like fiction written by fiction writers better than fiction written by non-fiction writers, and am pleased to sometimes be able to tell the difference. Your pleasures seem different.
        =============

      • Enter kim; another yammering troll who hasn’t read the book.

      • blueice2hotsea

        kim –

        I appreciate your quips – poetic and otherwise.

        Regardless, while phytoplankton thrive in sunlight, increased UV can be a problem. It damages cellular DNA and worse, it can cause death by activating latent viral infections (thought to be carried by nearly all phytoplankton). One reason IMO, that phytoplankton make clouds is to help keep their viruses asleep and in a benign state which also blocks additional infections. (Each teaspoon of seawater contains ~ 1 million viruses.)

        thanks

      • Oh, yes, Blue, I thought of that when I wrote it, and almost changed it to ‘light’, but left it in case UV has something to do with variable energy input to the system. Thanks for the critique, and your UV point was new knowledge to me.
        ======================

      • Plus, Blue, it’s very intriguing to consider the various feedbacks suggested by your speculation. Here be powerful mechanisms and hippogryphs.
        =============

      • kim

        The CLAW hypothesis is now considered defunct.

      • BBD-

        At last! Between your reply to me and your reply to Manacker below you are finally starting to deal with my actual questions, not your beliefs about me.

        Unfortunately, you seem to have resorted to the twin crutches of cherry-picking (to me) and authority (to Manacker).

        WRT me, I really can’t accept that a single paragraph outweighs the rest of that review, other reviews and the Amazon description, all of which leave a rather different impression than your ‘generally non-alarmist tenor’. Particularly when that paragraph is speaking of the possible slight benefits to parts of England resulting from the shut-down of the Gulf Stream. Seems a little alarming to me.

        WRT Manacker’s far more eloquent take on the review impressions, you finally get down to simply insisting that “… I’m *telling you straight* that the excerpts quoted from the reviews above give a reasonably accurate impression.” Fair enough, you are the one who has read the book. It does seems unfortunate that the reviews and Amazon description don’t agree with your interpretation (judging by the excerpts quoted by Manacker and myself).

        Oh, and your first sentence is pretty much wrong from start to finish. I *am* concerned with GW and its causes and effects. I am also concerned, however, with the economic and political effects around this issue. I really would like to see dispassionate appraisals of all this. Alarmist advocacy from *either* side (both the hoaxers/conspiracy group and the we’re-all-gonna-die group) doesn’t cut it.

        Last note – you got banned from BH? That must have taken work – even Zed still sneaks a comment in now and then. Do you see it as a lesson or a badge of honour?

      • Steven Mosher

        BBD
        The CLAW hypothesis is now considered defunct..
        actually weak, not defunct. overplaying the hand in a science that sees
        new things every day is running through a field of rakes. Dont overstate and then link to the evidence of your overstatement. Weak, very weak, but not defunct. hence the question mark in the title

      • steven mosher

        Weak, defunct, whatever. Not on the table when it comes to significant feedbacks. Why do people nitpick so much?

      • Weak, defunct, whatever. From models asked a silly question, whatever.
        ==================

      • kch

        I really would like to see dispassionate appraisals of all this.

        No you wouldn’t. You’ve spent the last couple of days deploying clunky rhetoric in an attempt to deny the existence of a *non-alarmist* projection of C21st CC in the UK.

        It isn’t going to work because arguing against the facts never does.

      • BBD-

        My apologies for the clunky rhetoric. Hopefully you at least find it as amusing as I find your boundless talent at obfuscation and misdirection.

        I mean, really, denying “…the existence of a *non-alarmist* projection of C21st CC in the UK”? I’ve done no such thing, and I would think anyone with basic reading comprehension skills should see that.

        What I have done is to question your characterization of this particular “projection of C21st CC in the UK” as ‘non-alarmist’ when all of your references lead to reviews/descriptions giving a very different impression.

        Your latest round is no improvement – the ‘facts’ you point to are merely cherry-picked excerpts from opinion pieces whose entirety leaves a distinctly alarmist odour. Hardly ‘facts’ at all.

        I hate to do your work for you, but you could try using the ‘Make Wealth History’ review. That one, used as a counterweight to the Amazon description – and perhaps combined with some acknowledgement that you had over egged the pudding – might have led me to conclude the book was worth spending money on. Everything else you’ve pushed? Nah, just makes the book look like another ho-hum piece of alarmism of the Gore school of self-enrichment.

      • blueice2hotsea

        BBD –

        Yes CLAW may be very weak. However, the authors of the article cited have this to say: “the essence of CLAW lives on”. This is because organic particulates in sea spray amount to nearly as much particulates as from all of fossil fuel burning.

        Further, I wonder if the model that was used to predict CLAW’s minor role in warmer seas took into account that increased phytoplankton activity also must compensate for significantly increased viral activity. If not, then perhaps the model has under- estimated the response.

      • Steven Mosher

        BBD,
        Why are you nit picking me about being precise. You could just say.
        Oh, steve, you are right, they said very weak.
        That was my claim. It is a correct claim. Just agree and move on.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘We estimate a maximum decrease of up to 15–18% in the droplet radius and a mean increase in cloud cover by around 2.5% over the southern oceans during SH summer in the simulation with ocean DMS compared to when the DMS emissions are switched off. The global annual mean top of the atmosphere DMS aerosol all sky radiative forcing is −2.03 W/m2, whereas, over the southern oceans during SH summer, the mean DMS aerosol radiative forcing reaches −9.32 W/m2.’ http://www.mpimet.mpg.de/fileadmin/staff/klostersilvia/Thomas_et_al_ACP_2010.pdf

        So this is quite a significant term in the global energy budget. The question is how much this changes and the most significant changes start in the eastern Pacific. Phytoplankton abundances change in ENSO with immense blooms in La Nina fuelling global abundance for fish, birds and marine mammals. It changes decadally with patterns of upwelling the type and abundance of phytoplankton.

        A high-resolution study of calcareous phytoplankton in a box core from the Santa Barbara Basin (SBB) reveals floral assemblage fluctuations which can be related to climatic and paleoceanographic changes during the last half century (1940–1996). In particular, Gephyrocapsa oceanica production increased during El Nino periods, in response to high temperatures, silica depletion, and increased iron availability. Conversely, Helicosphaera carteri flux increases in conjunction with lower surface temperatures associated with La Nina episodes. Increasing abundances of Florisphaera profunda and Umbilicosphaera sibogae after 1970 reflect a warming trend and increased stratification within the basin associated with the warm phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). Conversely, increased abundances of Coccolithus pelagicus and Calcidiscus leptoporus before 1970 mark the cold phase of PDO. These coccolithophore production rate data are consistent with instrumental records of surface and thermocline temperatures monitored since 1950. This is the first study to document the response of calcareous phytoplankton to surface water warming occurring in SBB since 1970.’

        ‘Calcareous phytoplankton response to the half century of interannual climatic variability in Santa Barbara Basin (California) – Bianca De Bernardi,1 Patrizia Ziveri,2,3 Elisabetta Erba,1 and Robert C. Thunell4

        Increased phytoplankton abundance is a consequence of increased upwelling of cold and nutrient rich sub-surface water. The abundance feeds zooplankton and zooplankton fish and shrimp – with changes in abundance and species composition appearing all the way up the trophic chain. Anchovies instead of sardines, fat seal pups, whales chasing the anchovies in Monterrey Bay. Abundances of salmon in North American streams. Riches of fish, birds and mammals on the South American coast bordering the most productive ecosystem on the planet. All fuelled by nutrients rising from the abysmal depths.

        So DMS emissions from plankton change due to upwelling and influences the energy budget of the Earth. We know upwelling in the eastern Pacific changes on interannual to millennial timescales – so it seems a small step to infer millennial changes in the Earth’s energy budget from this cause.

      • Millenial scale capability to 20% daily viral kill. This is a versatile mechanism.
        ===============

      • steven mosher

        defunct: no longer in effect or use; not operating or functioning.

        The CLAW hypothesis is defunct:

        The CLAW hypothesis takes its name from Charlson, Lovelock, Andreae and Warren, whose 1987 paper suggested that phytoplankton could help regulate Earth’s climate.

        This is apparently not the case. Either the effect is non-existent or it is so weak as to fall below the threshold of detection. Phytoplankton do not help to regulate the Earth’s climate. So we can say that the CLAW hypothesis is defunct.

        If you are going to nit-pick you need to be more precise with your definitions.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Plankton certainly does modulate cloud cover through DMS production on cell breakdown. There are many studies in the literature. The suggestion that this does not change much with warming does nothing to discount this process. The most important changes in plankton abundance arise from upwelling.

      • That’s why I called it a silly question, Robert; the science is as unexplored as the vasty deeps, and BBD slams his mind’s door shut, lethally injuring curiosity and making truth’s morbidity chronic.
        =====================

      • That’s not what this is about. This is about the claim – now apparently falsified – that plankton plays a role in *regulating* the Earth’s climate.

      • Yikes! I only missed that slamming door because I saw it coming.
        ===============================

    • Rob B is correct
      Changes in temperature are not the major issues of concern. The concerns are based on what MIGHT happen as a result of the changes in temperature and we have very unreliable information on that. A lesser rate of warming clearly greatly reduces the amount of threat.

      BBD
      If a book is written that uses models to forecast future conditions in the UK, but those same models have been demonstrated to not be able to even reasonably accurately predict future rainfall at any specific location, what good is the analysis in the book that describes different conditions based on changes in rainfall?

    • BBD

      Let’s be honest about it.

      Before buying ANY book the wise buyer/reader checks out the reviews: What’s its message?, what is it trying to do: amuse, inform, entertain, educate, “sell” a proposition?

      There are lots of book reviews out there of Marek Kohn’s “Turned out Nice”, a sci-fi vision of how the UK will allegedly look after catastrophic AGW has ravaged it at the end of this century.

      You know, the good old scare mongering stuff we’ve heard from green lobby groups, etc.: increased vector borne diseases, migrations of unpleasant animals as well as millions of “climate refugees” escaping torrid temperatures, etc. etc.

      This review by Nicholas Lezard in The Guardian ends with: “And all this, or something like it, is going to happen. Don’t think it won’t. Buy this book for your children.”
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/jul/07/turned-out-nice-marek-kohn-review

      Peter Carty in The Independent categorizes it as “a fascinating forecast for the next 100 years”
      http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/turned-out-nice-by-marek-kohn-1984401.html

      He add this warning:

      “The scientific consensus is well rehearsed. It is easy to heat up the biosphere, but so far there is no practical technology for cooling it down. We are very likely at a tipping point, and prudence therefore dictates drastic reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions over the next 10 years.”

      So this book is not for amusement or entertainment, but supposedly to educate us (and our children) on what “is going to happen” unless we make ” drastic reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions over the next 10 years.”

      Once I’ve read a few of these reviews (plus a recommendation from BBD) my “BS meter” has hit the alarm peg.

      And I know that I do not need to waste my money and my time on this pap

      Sorry, BBD, NO SALE.

      Max

      • Actually BBD gives great clues to the ‘Extraordinary Popular Delusion and Madness of the Crowd’ that is the social mania of belief in a human-caused, climate-catastrophic future. He is so earnest about this blatantly alarmist piece of fiction. Its importance creates its own reality. Wait a minute, kim, are you spoofing yourself?
        =======================

      • Yes Max, let’s be *honest* about it. Let’s have a jolly good laugh at the view from Planet Manacker:

        There are lots of book reviews out there of Marek Kohn’s “Turned out Nice”, a sci-fi vision of how the UK will allegedly look after catastrophic AGW has ravaged it at the end of this century.

        What it says in the reviews:

        Peter Carty (Independent; same one you quote above):

        The fact is, many regions are likely to become merely pleasantly warm. Life in the Yorkshire Dales 80 years hence sounds very nice indeed. Even these gentle temperature rises might be curbed further. A counter-intuitive aspect of climate change relates to the disruption of the heating effects of Atlantic currents, notably the Gulf Stream, which we currently enjoy. This could manifest itself during the 22nd century and the resulting cooling would offset general global temperature rises.

        Nicholas Lezard (Guardian; same one you quote above):

        The climate of the British Isles will be probably the mildest in Europe, and therefore the most desirable

        Steven Yearley (Times Higher Education):

        Inhabitants of these islands are sufficiently used to disappointing weather to have developed the expression “it’s turned out nice” as a pleasant form of greeting, optimistic and bland enough to be used even with strangers. The irony, as Kohn points out, is that in the coming century it looks likely to turn out relatively nice for these islands as a whole.

        Yup, Kohn’s book is the bleakest, most terrifying post-apocalyptic dystopia imaginable, describing the horrors of life in the UK “after catastrophic AGW has ravaged it”…

      • BBD

        Don’t act like a jerk.

        You know full well that Kohn’s book is not describing a new “paradise”, which we will experience after AGW has had its effect over the coming century.

        To be sure, he mentions that a warmer UK will be less unpleasant than the torrid conditions elsewhere in the world (resulting in “climate refugees” to the UK from these regions).

        He mentions that certain ticks will also love the new, warmer climate (carrying along vector borne diseases to regions that currently do not experience them).

        All in all, BBD, the net effect of AGW, as described by Kohn (according to the reviews I have read) is strongly negative (as is the IPCC vision of CAGW.

        It is simply scare mongering BS, so not worth me wasting my time reading.

        Max

      • Max, why don’t you just say that CO2 will have no noticeable effect on climate? Instead of all this dance of the seven veils stuff?

        Because it is *very obvious* that this is what you believe…

      • All in all, BBD, the net effect of AGW, as described by Kohn (according to the reviews I have read) is strongly negative

        No it isn’t Max. The reviews make that abundantly clear. You are just being dishonest again.

        Besides, unlike any of the rest of you lot, I’ve actually read it, and I’m *telling you straight* that the excerpts quoted from the reviews above give a reasonably accurate impression. This book doesn’t present us with a vision of the UK “after catastrophic AGW has ravaged it”.

        That’s just a particularly egregious strawman.

    • David Springer

      Nothing conclusive about UV and phytoplankton I’m afraid.

      http://cmep.ca/jcullen/publications/1995/Smith_and_Cullen_1995_Rev_Geophys.pdf

      • blueice2hotsea

        David Springer –

        Thanks.

        From the paper you cite:

        Damage at the molecular, cellular, population and community levels has been demonstrated (at least at the phytoplankton level).‎ (my bold)

        I am interested in the response of phytoplankton to potential damage from UV. Descending to depths is one response. Increased DMS emission is another possibility, which may turn out to be negligible according to recent model projections.

        However, a warming ocean is claimed to be a key trigger for dramatically increased growth rate of viruses. Don’t know if the model takes that into account.

  48. What parts are cooling?

  49. Yes Peter yer do.Here, catch …+1
    Beth

  50. Reality.Check

    My computer models say there should be rapid warming.

    My data says warming is at best, very moderate.

    Gradually, the fantasy of the models will yield to the reality of actual data.

    And so it begins, the Great Climb Down, the cleansing of old quotes and blog posts in a desperate attempt to salvage a career, preserve a reputation.

    We will always remember those who chugged the Kool Aide and lead humanity down the path of bizarre and financially ruinous climate fear Mongering.

  51. It’s a good day when Andy Revkin speaks of ‘reality’ in the manner of a man from whose eyes scales have fallen, and when Gavin Schmidt admits to himself that his nightmares are just bad dreams.
    =======================

    • Dang, I could have said it’s a good day when Gavin Schmidt wakes up to the mess he’s made of his bed in his nightmare, but it’s got streaks of badenfreude in the dawning rays, so I hope he’s gonna be OK.
      =====================

  52. kim | February 5, 2013 at 12:31 pm |

    Quiz in the AM. Childhood’s End.
    Arthur C Clarke.

  53. Curry: Further, it is misleading to think of sensitivity in terms of a pdf (see my previous post on this here). Talking about the probability of a climate sensitivity fat tail is meaningless in my opinion. What is meaningful is the possibility of a scenario of abrupt climate change.

    These three sentences lead to some profound implications.

    First of, let’s be precise. Do you mean by “sensitivity” the equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) that is a change in mean global temperatures (ΔTx2). resulting from a doubling of [CO2]?

    IF the linearized model
    ΔT_global = K1*S*Δ[CO2] + Sum_(i=2,n)[K(i)*OtherFactor(i)]
    S.T. 1 = Sum_(i=1,n)[K(i)]
    Has any validity AND that the first term dominants (1 ≥ K1 ≥ 0.5), (which seems to be implicit in CAGW carbon-dioxide control studies, reports, laws, taxes and regulations)
    THEN finding better estimates of K1*S is worthwhile and therefore using science to define a pdf for values of K1*S (or just S if there are no OtherFactors) and further study to update and narrow that pdf over time is meaningful and worthwhile to a point. There is little point in knowing the pdf of S if the value of K1 is less than 0.1, so the product K1*S is what is meaningful.

    But, if it is misleading to think of sensitivity in terms of a pdf
    Then I think it follows either
    a) the linearized term K1*S*Δ[CO2] has no physical meaning,
    b) That the first term K1*S*Δ[CO2] is insignificant compared to other factors,
    c) That any significant relationship ΔT_global = f([CO2]) cannot be linearized within the range of [CO2] experienced within the span of the last 200 years.
    All three options undermine the theoretical linkage between [CO2] an Climate Change of any sort.

    Would it be over simplifying to summarize your qualms about sensitivity pdfs as being too wedded to climate modeling, inappropriate prior distributions, and unrealistic assumptions of ignorance in priors? If so, I agree that pdfs from such work are misleading. But if the linearized model has usefulness (in a predictive, non-political sense) then by keeping closer to the data than the models and successively updating the pdf with new data each year in an evolving chain of prior’s, we ought to narrow and migrate the K1*S pdf. If science is going on, that ought to happen. If the pdf remains essentially unchanged after 30+ years and $billions of research it smacks of anchoring.

    (continued to next post)

  54. (1:46 pm above asumed the linear model had usefulness. What if it doesn’t)

    What is meaningful is the possibility of a scenario of abrupt climate change.
    A theory of abrupt climate change means you discard all linearized models or admit that [CO2] is not a factor in any significant linear term involving an abrupt driver. This will only be meaningful if climate science returns to Square One and reexamine what drivers are important in a theory of abrupt climate change.

    The danger is that work done and assumptions on linearized models will infect preconceptions about new non-linear models. In this case, we are not adding precision by including non-linear terms to a working linear model. If the non-linear model is necessary it is because the linear model is becoming untenable in the face of new data.

    Collapse of the ice sheets is a viable “abrupt change scenario”, though not the only one. If [CO2] is a driver of that collapse, it certainly cannot be linear otherwise it could not be abrupt. No doubt that non-linear climate models can be created to support such scenarios… but then so can Hollywood disaster movies. What DATA do we have to base and calibrate non-linear models in preference to linear ones? It would be wrong to put [CO2] as the preconceived driver of such abrupt change. Is [CO2] the net driver or drivee in these scenarios? Hence, back to Square One and look at all driver candidates.

  55. Chief Hydrologist

    Do try to concentrate wee willie…big dave. The science is exceedingly difficult for some more than others it seems. There are a few passages from impeccable sources that I quote for the clarity of the passages. They express the core of this concept and the key computatonal implications. But by all means do read the papers.

    Just for big Dave – here is the comment again with double spaces.

    The ‘sensitivity’ is defined as the average or the range of multi-model ensembles. Each of the members of the ensemble is a non-unique solution of a set of nonlinear equations. The ‘member’ is selected on the basis of ‘a posteriori’ solution behaviour. It looks plausible so it is in. So sensitivity is based on what seems plausible – think of a number – and not an any unique, deterministic solution to an equation.

    ‘AOS models are therefore to be judged by their degree of plausibility, not whether they are correct or best. This perspective extends to the component discrete algorithms, parameterizations, and coupling breadth: There are better or worse choices (some seemingly satisfactory for their purpose or others needing repair) but not correct or best ones. The bases for judging are a priori formulation, representing the relevant natural processes and choosing the discrete algorithms, and a posteriori solution behavior.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.full

    Sounds mad I know – and certainly not made explicit in the way models are reported – which is why I persist in quoting people like James McWilliams and Tim Palmer.

    ‘Atmospheric and oceanic computational simulation models often successfully depict chaotic space–time patterns, flow phenomena, dynamical balances, and equilibrium distributions that mimic nature. This success is accomplished through necessary but nonunique choices for discrete algorithms, parameterizations, and coupled contributing processes that introduce structural instability into the model. Therefore, we should expect a degree of irreducible imprecision in quantitative correspondences with nature, even with plausibly formulated models and careful calibration (tuning) to several empirical measures. Where precision is an issue (e.g., in a climate forecast), only simulation ensembles made across systematically designed model families allow an estimate of the level of relevant irreducible imprecision…

    In each of these model–ensemble comparison studies, there are important but difficult questions: How well selected are the models for their plausibility? How much of the ensemble spread is reducible by further model improvements? How well can the spread can be explained by analysis of model differences? How much is irreducible imprecision in an AOS?

    Simplistically, despite the opportunistic assemblage of the various AOS model ensembles, we can view the spreads in their results as upper bounds on their irreducible imprecision. Optimistically, we might think this upper bound is a substantial overestimate because AOS models are evolving and improving. Pessimistically, we can worry that the ensembles contain insufficient samples of possible plausible models, so the spreads may underestimate the true level of irreducible imprecision (cf., ref. 23). Realistically, we do not yet know how to make this assessment with confidence.’ (op. cit.)

    Any change in a model can produce divergent solutions that are not predictable beforehand – it is the nature of the nonlinear Navier-Stokes equations – this extends to the range of uncertainty in climate data and to the number and breadth of couplings.

    ‘Lorenz was able to show that even for a simple set of nonlinear equations (1.1), the evolution of the solution could be changed by minute perturbations to the initial conditions, in other words, beyond a certain forecast lead time, there is no longer a single, deterministic solution and hence all forecasts must be treated as probabilistic. The fractionally dimensioned space occupied by the trajectories of the solutions of these nonlinear equations became known as the Lorenz attractor (figure 1), which suggests that nonlinear systems, such as the atmosphere, may exhibit regime-like structures that are, although fully deterministic, subject to abrupt and seemingly random change.’ http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

    We are not at the stage of having ‘systematically designed model families’ – thus the first hurdle for precision is not cleared. Solutions are literally chosen subjectively from many possible solutions and the range of solutions remains unknown. This goes directly to the a priori expectation of modellers as to the plausible sensitivity of the system. Subjectivity rather than a deterministic solution of an equation.
    I have said this many times in many different ways – but a wider and deeper appreciation of dynamical complexity remains elusive. These models are most certainly chaotic in the sense of theoretical physics – as shown by Lorenz in the early 1960′s.

    There may be some expectation that climate as well is nonlinear. Inputs and outputs are not proportional – change is abrupt and episodic – there are multiple equilibria (Rial et al 2004) and unpredictable tipping points (NAS, 2002). Where inputs and outputs are not proportional – the question of sensitivity becomes a problem of a different order entirely.

    • David Springer

      I probably should have said I wasn’t going to read it even with paragraph breaks. But you probably enjoyed rewriting it so… no harm no foul.

      • You two should book smoke lodge time.
        ================

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I got a bit sick of quibbling nitwits – and yes the hat suits suits you perfectly big dave. I chié dans votre chapeau.

        I think it is probably a bit above your pay grade anyway. Why not go off and play with the kiddies instead?

  56. “We will always remember those who chugged the Kool Aide and lead humanity down the path of bizarre and financially ruinous climate fear Mongering.”

    My personal favorite is the inimitable, always right never wrong, there’s been no pause, and even if there has it’s just as terrible, lolwot. Of course, he’s not a climate scientist. I’m not even convinced he’s over 21. But he sure has been fun, and I’m sure will continue to be well into the coming period of cooling.

  57. On a more serious note, it’s going to take a while yet for the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming scam to begin to seriously unwind at the street level (The NYT’s, NPR, lolwot’s house). I made the mistake of putting on NPR during lunch. The lead story seemed to be how badly the fish are doing off the coast of New England due to how warm it’s getting. Something like that anyway. I could barely listen.

  58. Dr Curry:

    What did you do to poor James Annan to make him so catty whenever your name comes up?

  59. Lauri Heimonen

    Judith Curry:

    ”Until we better understand natural internal climate variability, we simply don’t know how to infer sensitivity to greenhouse gas forcing. The issue of how climate will change over the 21st century is highly uncertain, and we basically don’t know whether or not different scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions will be (or not be) the primary driver on timescales of a century or less. Oversimplification and overconfidence on this topic have acted to the detriment of climate science. As scientists, we need to embrace the uncertainty, the complexity and the messy wickedness of the problem. We mislead policy makers with our oversimplifications and overconfidence.”

    Judith Curry, you have stated, too, that you are ‘willing to engage in the policy process, at the science-policy interface’. As I understand, you have an objective to make even politicians understand if a solution stated by scientists is working or not. Until now, even any one of scientists have not been able to express any proper evidence for the climate warming believed to be dominated by anthropogenic CO2 emissions. That is why even the IPCC scientists base their view of recent warming only on belief in the influence dominated by the athropogenic CO2 emissions. Thus, until now, the politicians have had only one way and this to follow the unreliable advice of scientists. Therefore it is important that even politicians can be made understand the real cause of climate warming.

    Even in discussions of this forum, there are plenty of scientists who are grand experts in their own discipline, but the expertise of whom is infrequently enough to solve multiscientific problems like climate warming and extremes of weather are. And even IPCC scientists seem belong under this group. That is why there still is prevailing the ‘deep uncertainty’ for instance concerning the climate sensitivity.

    On the basis of multi-disciplinary metallurgical problems I have learned that a working solution of any multi-disciplinary problem can often be made even laymen understand. In the comment of mine http://judithcurry.com/2013/01/16/hansen-on-the-standstill/#comment-287036 I have stated:

    ”1) The CO2 content in the atmosphere is controlled together by both all CO2 emissions from sources to atmosphere and by all CO2 absorptions from atmosphere to sinks. Nowadays when the yearly total CO2 emissions are little over 200 GtC (CO2 as carbon) and the yearly human CO2 emissions are about 8 GtC, the influence of the human CO2 emissions on the CO2 content in atmosphere is approaching 4 % at the most. For instance, when the CO2 content in the atmosphere is 390 ppm, the manmade share of it is only about 16 ppm at the most; in the reports of IPCC the human share of recent CO2 content in atmosphere is assessed to be about 100 ppm without any proper evidence.”

    In addition, in the same comment I have stated:

    ”The climate sensitivity caused by antropogenic CO2 emissions ‘is indistinguishable from zero’. That is true already on the total CO2 increase, and the human share of that is only about 4 %.”

    This should be easy enough to make even politicians as laymen understand. And there is no more any uncertainty of the insignificant influence of anthropogenic CO2 emissions on global warming.

    When synthetizing the data and other findings available in reality there seems to be one only working solution to the recent problems of climate warming and weather extremes. And that is to learn how to adapt ourselves to natural climate changes and weather events. Instead of the cuts of CO2 emissions, the resources available ought to be used for the adaptation to natural climate warming and weather extremes.

    There have been ever deepening uncertainty on the anthropogenic climate warming assumed by UN politicians. According to the duty determined by UN, IPCC has tried to assess the scientific background of the climate warming believed to be anthropogenic. The reports related to the assessments are based on climate model simulations. The results prove only what kind of assumed parameters are needed for the believed antropogenic warming. Any finding in reality is not able to prove that the recent warming could be anthropogenic. Already in the Rio conference 1992 there was expressed no full evidence for the assumed anthropogenic warming. And thereafter – as well as before that – the findings in reality prove duly that the recent increase of CO2 in atmosphere follow warming and not vice versa (e.g. see my comment above).

    • A rather long way of stating- We really do not know how more atmospheric CO2 will impact the weather but what we do know is that preparing for bad weather is the best defense against whatever occurs. Nations need to build and maintain robust infrastructure to lessen damage to humans! That has almost nothing to do with AGW and is a no regrets path.

    • “Sensitivity” is just another way of trying to abandon the language of “global warming” while still pretending there’s still a problem to be solved. Renaming global warming to a concern about climate change and adding a few adjectives when that didn’t work — like disastrous and calamitous climate change — hasn’t worked out so well for the global alarmists. Neither has referring to weather as climate wierding.

      But, we need to be more sensitive. Being sensitive means we need to look long and hard for the smallest nit in the natter–the invisible nuance–i.e., we must continue to ignore the failure of Western education and their miserable performance based on the all too easily measureable product that is coming out of the state-run dropout factories — and, rename the earnings of the productive so that now our paychecks are government revenues needed to invest in teasing out some unmeasurable human influence on a mythical 30 year average global temperature.

      Meanwhile, most of humanity lives outside Western civilization in places like China, India, Brazil, Russia and in the Third world. They’re are getting a good chuckle at our expense when in reality they have much more to fear from the sacrifice of the foundational principles of individual liberty and personal responsibility in America.

  60. I like Judith’s comment and opinion very much.

  61. Bob Droege 5/10.28am, fer the record, because records are
    important, I was incorrect, I should have said that John Lennon,
    ex Beatle wrote ‘Imagine.’ -1 ter me… It’s still a lousy song,
    though, saccharine and cliche.
    .
    Re Climate change, BD, I at least do not seek ter deny the
    pause of 15/16 years, or the, er, implications of that …..
    ……… pause
    Beth – prone – ter – error..

    • In my opinion you got the important part right. Yesterday is a better song than Imagine.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Beth me darlin’

      Something about motes and logs comes to mind.

      Cheers

    • Beth,
      You are ok, just don’t go knockin Ringo.
      Could the ephemeral pause be due to ENSO?
      Anyone been to Spenser’s lately?

      Both Yesterday and Imagine share the theme that today sucks, only Yesterday mourns for days gone by while Imagine is optimistically looking to the future. I like imagine better, but then Paul is my least favorite Beatle.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Yesterday – love was such an easy game to play – now I need a place to hideaway… Yesterday is a ballad of lost love. Poignant – quite traditional – beautifully executed as is the norm for early Beatles.

        The pause is certainly associated with a cool Pacific in the 20 to 40 cool Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation. But the IPO is best viewed as a standing wave on the underlying choatic dynamical system that is the Earth’s climate.

        To view these decadal shifts in the instrumental record as the limits of natural variability would be misguided.

      • Right, who said that ENSO was the limit to natural variability. Saying all is good because we haven’t exceeded the limits of natural variability is a false hope. Knowing where climate has gone in the past is a cornerstone of the argument for mitigation.
        We know natural variability has caused near complete melting of the ice caps and attendant sea level rise. So it would be wise to prevent the warming that would cause excessive sea level rise.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Bob – you were talking about the pause which is due to natura variability – the limits to which are far from the mere decadal variability we have seen in the instrumental record. It goes far beyond ENSO which is just one expression of a global system. A deterministically chaotic system subject to control variables – such as CO2 – multiple positive and negative feedbacks and multiple equilibria. The result is that climate shifts abruptly – inputs and outputs are not proportional – change is in principle deterministic but in practice indeterminate. There are risks at both far ends of the warming/cooling spectrum.

        I am far from opposed to carbon mitigation – although the failure over decades suggest that another approach might be warranted. It is as well the politics of a pause that seems likely to last for another decade or three that concerns me. It looks very much like you have dug a hole – and the engineer in me insists that the first action is to stop digging. This might entail a reexamination of assumptions – and adoption of the dynamical paradigm for climate.

      • Chief,
        I am not denying the dynamical nature of the climate system, nor its inherent chaotic nature.

        The thing is, we are pushing it in one direction, and positive feedbacks are in play, negative ones not so evident. Unless you can provide evidence of negative feedback.

        Humans are too good at pattern recognition, we tend to see patterns where none are there.

        The climate system could be flat right now, building energy for the next “great climatic shift”

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I am looking for natural variability in climate – and there there are many and varied mechanisms. Cloud is one – http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/09/decadal-variability-of-clouds/ – cloud cover obviously changes with changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation. Indeed – both ISCCP-FD and ERBS satellite data say that clouds were the major source of recent warming. CERES in this century shows cloud cover changes remarkedly consistent with ARGO data for the overlapping period. The other areas to keep an eye on are THC changes snow and ice cove feedbacks.

        The system is exquisitely sensitive at regions of bifurcation – but not so otherwise. The response of the system to internally driven, abrupt and noninear change is not predictable. What seems evident is that the multi-decadal warrmer and cooler modes tend to persist for 30 to 40 years. But there is centennail to millennial variability as well. Beyond the next deacade or three there be dragon-kings. (http://arxiv.org/abs/0907.4290) I don’t think we know enough about the limits of natural variability to predict anything beyond that.

    • Steven Mosher

      Better

    • David Springer

      I’m more of a Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Got To Get You Into My Life, Day Tripper, and of course Strawberry Fields Forever.

      I remember watching this live in 1964. My father called me “Beatle” because I had the same haircut which was pretty radical for the length at the time.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHuRusAlw-Y

      They were kind of innocent back then. Good times.

  62. This goddam +1 franchise is keepin’ me busy, thinkin’ of lettin’ it go.

    +1 fer this comment by Kim – the – non – pareil:

    Each and every little plant is wondering why its share of the
    record bursting huge amount of CO2 is so little, but each
    and everyone of them is bursting with gratitude it’s not less.

  63. David Springer

    kch | February 5, 2013 at 9:49 am |
    The numbering is mine.

    “Our parks will be arid brown fields(1); private automobile use unheard of(2); water will be severely rationed(3); significant stretches of our beloved coastline will have been sacrificed to the sea(4). Some of our flora and fauna will have vanished(5); exotic animals and pests will flourish(6). Vast numbers of marginalised human migrants will be here(7). Surveillance and restriction of our movements will be taken for granted(8). Walking in what is left of ‘nature’ will be nearly impossible(9). Terrible summer fires in our upland areas will be commonplace.(10)”

    Wow. Three more calamities than the bible says are coming.

    Now I’m really askeert.

  64. Yes, Steven, ‘Yesterday, Michelle ma belle, Hey Jude,
    Clown on the hill, I am the walrus,) Hard day’s night,’
    plus ones fer each of them.
    (Signing off me franchise now, whoever wants it go fer it!)
    BC

  65. Speaking of books, hope y’vall read, ‘Do Not Feed the Trolls.’
    I hear its short listed fer the Booker Prize.*

    C.Booker that is :)

  66. Leftists and liberals employed the rhetoric of ‘Holocaust denier’ to compare Wm Gray, a skeptical scientist, to a Nazi. In doing so Westerners heard clearly the Left’s consensus of opinion about the collectivists’ form of truth ‘finding,’ truth ‘making’ and ’truth’ control. The liberal fascism of the global warming Familia is our wake up call that the AGW insult dogs – Leftists in pinkshirts with Mao’sLittle Red Book – have taken over the Left’s war against individual liberty waged earlier by Germany’s National Socialist Workers Party in brownshirts.

    • Wag,

      Just wondering if you have ever discussed politics with real Nazis? If so what do you make of their claim that Bolshevism and Capitalism are just two different facets of a Zionist / Jewish world conspiracy to achieve global domination? The very wealthy like the Rothchilds are disproportionately Jewish. Marx , Engels, Trotsky were Jewish.

      They’d argue that Capitalists and Bolsheviks pretend to dislike each other but they are secretly working together to subjugate the Aryan race. Sometimes it’s not so secret like when Russia and the USA ally themselves in WW2. They’d argue that there are two Zionist states in the world: Israel and the USA. They argue that both Red Army and the US army use a star as their symbols. Lenin was a quarter Jewish. Stalin was secretly Jewish – both his wives were Jewish. The Jews promote racial mixing between Blacks and Aryans etc but are careful to keep their own race separate etc etc.

      So, what do you reckon? How would you answer someone like that?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        We should discuss politics with Anders Brevik, the Unibomber or Peter Martin? Not likely.

      • Why must we bury the AGW hypothesis, throw the money-changers out of their temples in Copenhagen and close down for good all of the margarita bars in Cancun where feckless UN-approved science authoritarians gather to vote on what is fact or fiction? Because there must no longer be a place reserved in Western science for those who only come to burn a witch or kick a Jew or hack off the limbs of the few so that the many will learn some terrible lesson we must all learn for our own good.

  67. Wag, I’d have laughed at this not long ago. Another right wing loon forgetting to take his morning medication. I’m not laughing anymore. There’s some truth to what you say.

  68. Sorry, poker, but Wag has it right – today’s left is the new fascism-Nazism, and the AGW agenda will surely cause another tens of millions of needless deaths if carried out in full – another Holocaust for sure. It’s already causing hunger and even starvation in poorer countries (the ethanol program driving up grain prices) and deaths from freezing in Europe when people can’t afford $100/MMBtu ($10/therm) natural gas and can’t burn coal during some of the coldest winters on record. These deaths are squarely at the hands of people who think like you.

    • More charity. pokerguy’s skeptical creds are impeccable, and he shows signs of remarkable political insight.
      ============

  69. Motes and logs, yes, I’d give yr observation a plus one but I’m
    no longer in that business, sweet chief. Consider moats and locks,
    they can be anathema to science and the open society. Defensive
    fear of the heretic, must lock down. What did Sun-Tsu say on seige warfare?
    BC

  70. Judith,

    “The issue of how climate will change over the 21st century is highly uncertain”

    Except for the lower estimates? When Prof Lindzen gives us his 1 degC, or lower, estimate for climate sensitivity I don’t remember seeing any comments from climate sceptics raising the ‘uncertainty’ objection. Or have I just missed all those?

    “and we basically don’t know whether or not different scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions will be (or not be) the primary driver on timescales of a century or less. ”

    So, if we “basically don’t know”, does that mean it’s OK to go ahead on a business usual scenario?

    Would emissions controls on GH gases only be justified if we ‘basically’ did know, with absolute certainty, and with no room for any doubt whatsoever, just what the effect would be otherwise?

    • Steven Mosher

      yup their science is settled

      • David Springer

        What’s consensus sensitivity estimate down to today?

        At the current rate of decline in GAT Lindzen’s estimate will be the consensus before Obama leaves office. He was just ahead of his time is all.

      • ~3C most likely value. It’s in AR5 SOD ;-)

      • “~3C” sez BBD & IPCC (at least through AR4)

        Looking more like ~half of that, based on latest data.

        But, hey, even at 1.5C IPCC can still posit that “most of observed global warming since 1950 was caused by increased human GHGs”, where:

        “most” = 67%% to 80%
        “CO2” forcing = 75% of total GH forcing

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘In each of these model–ensemble comparison studies, there are important but difficult questions: How well selected are the models for their plausibility? How much of the ensemble spread is reducible by further model improvements? How well can the spread can be explained by analysis of model differences? How much is irreducible imprecision in an AOS?

        Simplistically, despite the opportunistic assemblage of the various AOS model ensembles, we can view the spreads in their results as upper bounds on their irreducible imprecision. Optimistically, we might think this upper bound is a substantial overestimate because AOS models are evolving and improving. Pessimistically, we can worry that the ensembles contain insufficient samples of possible plausible models, so the spreads may underestimate the true level of irreducible imprecision (cf., ref. 23). Realistically, we do not yet know how to make this assessment with confidence.’ McWillims 2007

        The attentive will note that I have quoted this a number of times. The repetition however would hardly amount to repetition of claims of sensitivity in as far as they arise from numerical models. The lack of understanding of model dynamics enables a false confidence to be placed in the results of these opportunistic ensembles. The false confidence isn’t something that practitioners share – but is entirely something that is constructed socially in a reinforcing group meme.

      • “At the current rate of decline in GAT Lindzen’s estimate will be the consensus before Obama leaves office. He was just ahead of his time is all.”

        Doubtful. What you can expect is the long tail getting shorter. Slowly but surely. Lidezens off in his own tail and its harder to move the bulk of the distribution his way. mode will pretty much stay where it is.

      • David Springer

        MODTRAN pretty much perfectly agrees with Lindzen’s CO2 estimate.

        Lindzen is still too high. MODTRAN is for a perfectly dry environment. Where there’s water available to evaporatively cool the surface the primary effect is the CO2 forcing causing the cloud deck to rise about 100 meters per doubling. The higher cloud tops have less atmosphere above them to hinder radiative cooling to space so they cool faster without getting warmer. This will become evident soon as observations of global average cloud height become available. In the meantime every year the so called pause continues the observation based sensitivity estimates fall. It’s all over but the crying Mosher. Get used to it. You joined the losing team.

      • David Springer

        HOLY COLD SPELL, BATMAN!

        -0.01C per month for the past 3 years.

        Will this madness never end?

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:2010/plot/rss/from:2010/trend/detrend:-0.326

        AHAHAHAHAAHAHAAHAAHAHAHAAH!!!!!!!!111

      • Well Dave I will tell you that I used MODTRAN when it was still classified. YF23 threat analysis. Its an ok tool, but you really should use a LBL model. It will give you a good estimate of the forcing. NOT feedbacks.

        The way I view it is as follows. To a first order we know the MODTRAN number.( or pick an excellent LBL model, modtran is quick and dirty, something you might run onboard a satillite ). That number wont change.
        Last big update to the estimate was 1998, changed maybe 10%.
        That leaves the question of feedbacks.
        the balance of evidence is for positive feedbacks not negative. That’s why the lukewarmer number starts at the MODTRAN figure as the low end.
        There’s no credible evidence for negative feedbacks outweighing positive.
        Although I would be super happy to be wrong about that. Since I’m rational and open minded I can even tell you what kind of evidence it would take to change my mind.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      ‘Nevertheless, however much models improve, there will always be an irreducible level of uncertainty—‘flap of the seagull’s wings’—because of the chaotic nature of the system. Even the climate we have observed over the past century or so is only one realization of what the real system might produce.

      Figure 12 shows 2000 years of El Nino behaviour simulated by a state-of-the-art climate model forced with present day solar irradiance and greenhouse gas concentrations. The richness of the El Nino behaviour, decade by decade and century by century, testifies to the fundamentally chaotic nature of the system that we are attempting to predict. It challenges the way in which we evaluate models and emphasizes the importance of continuing to focus on observing and understanding processes and phenomena in the climate system. It is also a classic demonstration of the need for ensemble prediction systems on all time scales in order to sample the range of possible outcomes that even the real world could produce. Nothing is certain.’ http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

      Not sure what your problem is. Clearly in the Proceedings of The Royal Society – nothing is certain.

      No douby wee willie or Joshua the … will accuse me of repeating myself. But in the extreme provocation of this tedious and inane argument being dragged out for an airing yet one more time – I will do it again.

      ‘The old climate framework failed because it would have imposed substantial costs associated with climate mitigation policies on developed nations today in exchange for climate benefits far off in the future — benefits whose attributes, magnitude, timing, and distribution are not knowable with certainty. Since they risked slowing economic growth in many emerging economies, efforts to extend the Kyoto-style UNFCCC framework to developing nations predictably deadlocked as well.

      The new framework now emerging will succeed to the degree to which it prioritizes agreements that promise near-term economic, geopolitical, and environmental benefits to political economies around the world, while simultaneously reducing climate forcings, developing clean and affordable energy technologies, and improving societal resilience to climate impacts. This new approach recognizes that continually deadlocked international negotiations and failed domestic policy proposals bring no climate benefit at all. It accepts that only sustained effort to build momentum through politically feasible forms of action will lead to accelerated decarbonization.’ http://thebreakthrough.org/archive/climate_pragmatism_innovation

      So if you read the report – there are any number of ways forward that might actually work. And you will find that most sceptics – unlike obvious maniacs like big dave – will not object to these measures. Only to the huge costs with uncertain and far distant benefts bit. So why don’t you pick up your soapbox – go away and come back with something original so I don’t have to repeat myself to the annoyance of big dave and wee willie. Not that I give a rat’s arse what they think – just my cut an paste finger is suffering repetitive strain. But OK? Is it a deal? I will stop calling you a pissant progressive. Maybe.

      • David Springer

        Would you please stop repeating yourself?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘The Hartwell Paper: A new direction for climate policy after the crash of 2009 argues for a changed approach to international climate policy after the sustained failure of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The paper argues that decarbonisation will only be achieved successfully as a benefit contingent upon other goals which are politically attractive and relentlessly pragmatic.” The paper calls for “human dignity” to serve as a necessary guiding principle of climate policy and outlines three central objectives consistent with this guiding principle: (1) ensuring energy access for all, (2) developing clean and scalable energy technologies that are ultimately cost competitive with fossil fuels absent subsidy, and (3) building resilience to climate change. It also argues for vigorous action to reduce non-CO2 climate forcings and pollutants such as black carbon and ozone. The result of three months of intensive work by a group of 14 authors from Asia, Europe, and North America, the paper was published in May 2010 by the MacKinder Programme at the London School of Economics and the Institute for Science, Innovation, and Society at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.’ It can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/HartwellPaper

        If we got rid of the ideological carousel big dave – you would have nothing left but ad homs, links to Wikipedia and salacious fantasies about me (shudder). TT would not repeat the same inane argument day after day. Honesty and good cheer would prevail. All would be perfect in the best of all possible worlds.

        ‘If the protracted climate battles of the past two decades polarized the American people and their representatives in Washington, DC, they also created an opportunity for the unlikeminded to come together around the three-part framework described above. The climate wars will no doubt continue between extremes on both sides, but that should not delay a far-larger set of pragmatic Americans from embracing policies and measures that attract widespread agreement, are adjustable over time, incremental in their implementation, and provide positive feedbacks for further action. For too long, the national and international climate debate has been little more than that: a debate. There is much that people and nations can agree to disagree on, even as they agree to work together on practical actions. It is time to get started.’

        It is time to move on past the unreconstructed ideologues of both sides of the climate war.

      • David Springer

        The Hartwell paper is my cup of tea. However I need to remind you that it was you who invited me to disrobe and roll around on the floor with you. Any salaciousness is entirely yours I’m afraid. Don’t get me wrong. I’m flattered that you’d like to have a romp with me, and I’m sure there are many other men who find your offer attractive, but that’s not my cup of tea. I think Willard and Mosher might be up for a threesome with you.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Is my face red – I thought a Taxas death match was more two fisted cowboy than camp. Although I suppose after Brokeback Mountain I shouldn’t be surprised. But you might have spared everyone – not least me – the graphical description.

      • David Springer

        Brokeback Mountain is in Wyoming not Texas.

        Wyoming is a lot like the Australian outback only not as feminized.

        We fight with guns here, by the way. That’s why we’re the superpower and you’re the… ah… dorks that are afraid of bad weather is the kindest way of putting it.

      • David Springer

        The flapping is all in your jaw with this chaos crap.

        The earth’s climate has been locked in a narrow range of temperature suitable for life for BILLIONS OF YEARS. That’s the polar opposite of chaotic dufus.

      • David Springer

        But hey, keep on flappin’. The Pratt/Ellison probability calculus predicts that the more times you’re mistaken the more likely it becomes that you’ll be right. Wait long enough Ellison will get a clue.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        So hi big dave – such a pleasure to see that you are still stalking me with your schoolgirl version of a pissing contest.

        But what the hell – Texans as I explained are potentially OK – but the rest of the country is all hat and no cow. I am inclined to think that a ‘Texas death match’ is something that comes from Wyoming, Oklahoma or possibly California – and has nothing to do with Texas at all. Where did you say you come from? You want to pull a gun? What a laugh.

        Though I hate to say it – the idea of a superpower with an economy in the toilet for a decade or so more, unable to control the deficit and spending and multi-trillion dollar debts spiralling out of control – and reduced to inviting China to Pacific Ocean defence exercises is laughable. Get used to treading a lot more softly in the world because no one is going to back down – least of all us. You would be surprised at our ability to project military strength and the depth of friendships we have in our region.

        As I explained to webby recently – the larrikin and mateship are our most sacred ideals of nationhood. Forged in an unforgiving land and tempered on the battlefields of the 20th Century.

        ‘The myth of the digger and the larrikin hero is an important part of the Australian experience of pastoralism, the goldfields, bushranging, shearing and droving. In Settlers and Convicts, first published in 1847, Alexander Harris wrote of the relationship between male pastoral workers in the early days of the British colony:

        … working together in the otherwise solitary bush; habits of mutual helpfulness arise, and these elicit gratitude, and that leads on to regard. Men under these circumstances often stand by one another through thick and thin; in fact it is a universal feeling that a man ought to be able to trust his own mate in anything.

        Henry Lawson wrote in Shearers:
        They tramp in mateship side by side –
        The Protestant and Roman
        They call no biped lord or sir
        And touch their hat to no man!’
        We stand by our mates. It is the Australian larrikin who in mateship has stood side by side with America in every godforsaken battlefield for close to a century. We have sealed our mateship in blood. If you want to call that nothing – then we can call it nothing too.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I can’t keep up with your stalking big dave

        Probability –

        ‘Events A and B are independent events if the probability of Event B occurring is the same whether or not Event A occurs. Let’s take a simple example. A fair coin is tossed two times. The probability that a head comes up on the second toss is 1/2 regardless of whether or not a head came up on the first toss. The two events are (1) first toss is a head and (2) second toss is a head. So these events are independent…

        When two events are independent, the probability of both occurring is the product of the probabilities of the individual events. More formally, if events A and B are independent, then the probability of both A and B occurring is:

        P(A and B) = P(A) x P(B)

        where P(A and B) is the probability of events A and B both occurring, P(A) is the probability of event A occurring, and P(B) is the probability of event B occurring.

        If you flip a coin twice, what is the probability that it will come up heads both times? Event A is that the coin comes up heads on the first flip and Event B is that the coin comes up heads on the second flip. Since both P(A) and P(B) equal 1/2, the probability that both events occur is

        1/2 x 1/2 = 1/4’ http://onlinestatbook.com/2/probability/basic.html

        Seems simple enough even for the most dimwitted of tossers.

        I think I might be in quite good company in a legion of scientists. I should think you are in the company of webby, blah blah and TT – so sad big dave.

        The ‘conclusion that abrupt climate changes have occurred in the past is almost impossible to avoid. Their timing, however, is rather difficult to pin down, due to the inherent imprecision of geochemical dating methods (decay of radioactive elements such as carbon 14 or uranium series). Nonetheless, the analysis of annually banded records (ice cores, corals, tree-rings, or speleothems) has firmly established the rapid rate of these changes.

        The ubiquitous character of certain events further confirms their importance: “the Younger Dryas and a large number of abrupt changes during the last ice age called Dansgaard/Oeschger events (23 abrupt changes into a climate of near-modern warmth and out again, during the last glacial period) have been corroborated in multiple ice cores from Greenland, Antarctica and tropical mountains, marine sediments from the North Atlantic Ocean, the tropical Atlantic, eastern Pacific, and Indian Oceans, and from various records on land. Other, smaller abrupt changes have been linked to societal disruptions. Evidence for some of these events are more regional in nature, and points to far less dramatic changes. However, these events did occur so rapidly and unexpectedly that human or natural systems had difficulty adapting to them – the second definition of abrupt climate change.” (source: NOAA Facts Sheet)

        Thus, while we like to find evidence of large events in many distant locations, local changes can be instructive examples of abrupt climate change, if properly dated.’ http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/div/ocp/arch/main.shtml

        Global regime like changes in hydrology are immensely important. Here is a graph Tsonis’ Minoan paper – http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=ENSO11000.gif – on which as well as the big dry that may have hastened the demise of the Minoans commencing about 1500 years ago – you can see the shift from La Nina to El Nino around 5000 years ago that initiated the drying of the Sahel and changed the course of human history.

        At the very least an intensification of La Nina over the next several centuries seems possible as the world abruptly crosses the threshold of Bond Event Zero. So not only will the US be parched and likely quite cooler over a decade or three more – the centennial to millennial prospects for rain look only middlin’ to awful. The least of your problems perhaps. At the very least it emphasises the impact of decadal shifts in rainfall that real hydrologists need to plan for.

        I love grand sweeping statements that mean nothing at all. Keep up the good work dufus.

    • Temp
      In many “skeptics” eyes the argument is that we do not know that any warming will lead to “net harms” for the world overall or for their nation individually. This makes people highly reluctant to agree to higher taxes or significant changes in their chosen way of life. That does not mean that positive action cannot be taken however. There are many no regrets policies that can be taken and virtually all people would agree upon would lead to lesser future harm from an unpredictable climate.

      Imo, many people have decided to rush ahead to implement “mitigation actions” that are expensive and cannot be shown to have a positive impact worthy of the expected cost. I am skeptical that implementation of mitigation actions are a wise use of limited resources. Over time we will have better information.

    • Temp, “Except for the lower estimates? When Prof Lindzen gives us his 1 degC, or lower, estimate for climate sensitivity I don’t remember seeing any comments from climate sceptics raising the ‘uncertainty’ objection. Or have I just missed all those?”
      1 C is based on purely the radiant impact of a doubling of CO2, no assumptions of feedbacks. Anything higher requires assumptions that are frankly not proving themselves to be valid. If land use has an impact, it would be amplified by CO2 whether as an increase or decrease. So an estimate of 1C to 1.5C should be absolute normal. Anything over or under should require the proof.

    • tempterrain

      “Uncertainty” about the future has always been a part of life.

      When it comes to weather (and its integral or composite, climate) there has always been very great “uncertainty”.

      The climate models of Hansen or IPCC have not reduced this “uncertainty”.

      In fact, their failure to predict future climate is well demonstrated.

      The current “lack of warming” has further increased the “uncertainty” of how future climate will look.

      Recent studies show that there is great “uncertainty” on the postulated theoretical temperature impact of doubling atmospheric CO2 concentrations, with latest estimates running around half the previous ones.

      As a result, there is no sound basis for undertaking any actions intended to mitigate global warming when we are “uncertain” a) whether there is going to be any future warming at all, b) whether this warming will be beneficial for human society rather than harmful (which is more likely, based on history), c) whether there is anything we could do the stop this warming, even if we tried and d) what the unforeseen negative consequences of any actions we would undertake might be.

      It’s a no-brainer, TT.

      Max

  71. Tenacious life, loves light and warmth and – what – ever-
    Time fer a repeat folk:

    Root Cellar.

    Nothing would slep in that cell,
    dank as a ditch. Bulbs broke out of boxes hunting for chinks in the dark,
    Shoots dangled and drooped,
    Lolling obscenely from mildewed crates,
    Hanging down long yellow evil necks, like tropical snakes.
    And what a congress of stinks!
    Roots ripe as old bait,
    Pulpy stems, rank, silo-rich,
    Leaf mould, manure, lime, piled against slippery plaks.
    Nothing would give up life:
    Even the dirt kept breathing a small breath..

    H/t ter the divine Theodore Roethke … Oh Gaia!

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Repeating Beth? It is even betterer second time around.

    • A superbly chosen poem Beth. What else can we do but revisit these timeless works over and over again. It’s a damn miracle of word choices. “Even the dirt kept breathing a small breath.”

  72. I’m not going ter edit ‘What the … who cares!

  73. Alex Heyworth

    How to estimate climate sensitivity from first principles
    A. If we start with 1 molecule of CO2 in the atmosphere, how many times does this have to double before we reach the current situation?
    B. After we subtract the effects of H2O in warming the atmosphere, how much warming is actually due to CO2?
    C. Divide B by A and you have your answer.
    Current situation = 3.15 x 10^40 molecules of CO2 in the atmosphere. ≈ 2 ^ 134.
    Earth is 33C warmer due to GHG, of which CO2 is 20% responsible = 6.6C warming in total from CO2.
    Therefore, CO2 sensitivity
    = 6.6C / 134 doublings
    = 0.05C per doubling of CO2.
    H/T ferdberple at WUWT. Some minor corrections to his numbers.

    A bit tongue in cheek, but refute it if you can.

    • John Tofflemire

      You are stating, in effect, that the addition of the second molecule of CO2 in the atmosphere increased the total surface temperature by .05 C. That would have been one real busy molecule. To the contrary, I suspect the net effect of that second molecule was virtually zero, as were the 3rd and 4th, 5th to 8th, 9th to 16th and so on for quite some time. A sufficient level of CO2 would have finally resulted in a measureable temperature increase at some point well beyond 2^some-small-number.

      Methinks that refutes the argument.

      • John Tofflemire

        Fred’s arithmetic is correct.

        Your logic (that a single molecule of CO2 could NOT cause 0.05C warming) is also correct.

        Whether or not 280 ppmv CO2 were responsible for 6.6C out of the theoretically estimated total “natural” GH warming of 33C is a moot point; the entire concept is pure theory in any case. And besides, CO2 concentration has “naturally” been several time this value in the past.

        To paraphrase you: Methinks Fred’s calculation just shows how dicey the whole concept of a 2xCO2 “climate sensitivity” is in the first place.

        Max

      • Certainly his extending the log approximation back to one molecule is dicey, isn’t it?

    • David Springer

      “Earth is 33C warmer due to GHG, of which CO2 is 20% responsible”

      That’s an educated guess and some might quibble that educated doesn’t belong.

    • David Springer

      Even the modestly informed are aware that CO2 absorption increases linearly at low concentrations. At around 100ppm it turns into a case of diminishing returns. At 400ppm current that’s two doublings, out of 134 doublings, where it’s outside the linear response domain. The first molecule does a f*ck of a lot more absorbing than the last, in other words.

      The ignorance around here is appalling at times. Buy a clue Heyworth.

      • David Springer

        Here’s how it works in terms the proverbial 12-year old can understand.

        Imagine infrared photons are apples on a tree and that CO2 molecules are people picking apples from the tree. With just a few pickers they can each work on a portion of the tree to that two pickers can pick twice as many apples as on picker and so forth. As you add more pickers you eventually get to a point where they crowd each other out. Imagine a hundred people all crowded around the same tree.

        That’s exactly how CO2 absorption works and this has been well known since Tyndall discovered it experimentally 150 years ago.

        100ppm in the atmospheric column above the earth is where it starts getting pretty crowded.

      • David Springer

        Calculated surface temperature vs. CO2 concentration via MODTRAN

        http://vademecum.brandenberger.eu/grafiken/klima/modtran.jpg

        This is as good as any graph I found. It shows the 1.1C no-feedback warming going from 300ppm to 600ppm CO2. Note the changing response. For 10K total temperature boost from 0-300ppm the first 25ppm does half the work (5C increase) and by 100ppm the curve is well out of the linear increase domain.

      • Alex Heyworth

        You don’t seem to understand irony, David. I’m well aware that climate sensitivity is not really a constant. The point of the exercise was to illustrate, as Max Manacker picked up, “how dicey the whole concept of a 2xCO2 “climate sensitivity” is in the first place.” I like your apple picker analogy, btw. All that remains is to demonstrate it experimentally.

      • David Springer

        I understand irony. Do you understand Poe’s Law? There’s a lot of stupid around here. Use a smiley olr something so we can tell intentional stupid apart from parody.

        Tyndall experimentally demonstrated the apple picker analogy 150 years ago. See his treatise Heat: A Mode of Motion. It’s on google books in its entirety. A good read made better the quaint language of science way back then and the ingenuity of the experimenters. For instance Tyndall fashioned a calorific ray detector (thermopile) so sensitive he had to read the analog indicator with a telescope because if he got any closer his body heat messed up the reading.

      • Well, I did mention something about tongue in cheek …

    • Alex,

      A bit tongue in cheek, but refute it if you can.

      The logarithmic formula was empirically determined by Arrhenius at the start of the 20th century. Its an approximation.

      One analogy I’ve seen is painting a pane of glass. Each successive layer has a lesser effect on both the light being transmitted and the light being absorbed than the previous one and the relationship is therefore logarithmic.

      If you follow the same logic you end up “proving” that the first molecule of paint on the glass will have a huge effect on both the transmission and absorption of light.

      If you think about what’s happening, and you’re reasonably good mathematically, you’ll realise why the logarithmic formula works after a few layers but not a few molecules.

      I’ll write it all out over the weekend if anyone is interested.

      • David Springer

        I suggest you study the linked graph above. CO2 absorption increases linearly in concentrations much below 100ppm. Tyndall, not Arseholiness, discovered it.

      • David Springer

        Black pigment added to white paint is a far better analogy, by the way. Not only does it better describe the case of diminishing returns (the first few molecules of pigment do the most darkening while added pigment never quite stops making it darker) but also how just a few ounces of black pigment change the temperature of a thousand pound car body sitting in the sun from luke warm to burning hot (illustrating how a tiny percentage of adulterant can have a large effect).

        Write all that up. I’ll grade your work on Saturday and give you a cookie if it’s up to snuff.

      • Dave Springer,

        Again the linear relationship is just an approximation. The atmosphere doesn’t know to switch from one mathematical function to another at 100ppmv.

        The easiest way to think about it is that the first layer lets 95% through and absorbs 5%. Then the next layer lets 95% of the 95% through and absorbs 5% of the 95%. And so on as more layers are added. You can put these numbers in spreadsheet and create a graph. You’ll see that the plot will look linear to start with, then more logarithmic, then you’ll see a saturation region.

      • David Springer

        CO2 “knows” precisely it’s absorptive characteristics just like it “knows” its precise atomic weight. Whatever science teachers you had were abject failures in your case. Go back to school and come back when you know more.

      • Dave Springer,

        The paint, pesumably in its can, in your analogy is still opaque whether its black or white. You need to use a model which is partially transparent to be able to understand what is happening.

        Its often asked how a gas which is measured in ppm can have any significant impact on IR transparency and therefore the GH effect and cliamte. You could think about how a drop of dye in a tank full of water can give the whole water a tint which reduces its transparency at that particular wavelength. A GH gas acts on the atmosphere in exactly the same way, except of course it’s in the IR and outside of the visible spectrum.

      • David, you write “One doubling of CO2 at 300ppm produces 1.1C of warming in a perfectly controlled environment i.e. in vitro.”

        In the real world, this number has NEVER been measured. You quote it with no +/-; a real no-no in physics. I dont believe we have any idea what the value of this number is

      • The land responds to forcing faster, especially dry areas, as they have a lower thermal inertia. The land is warming faster than the oceans for this reason. Given time the oceans will warm too, but it is land first just because of inertia. You notice a similar thing with summer, or noontime heat over land versus water. This has nothing to do with water vapor feedback, obviously.

      • Above was response to below Springer.

    • Alex Heyworth

      Yes, write it up. It is still hard to fathom that 134 doublings can produce 6.6 degrees of warming, yet a mere one doubling can produce 2, 3 or even more degrees. Although I take Dave Springer’s point about the increase being linear up to a point and logarithmic thereafter, I ask “why”?

      • Alex Heyworth perhaps it’s the good ol’ law of diminishing returns? One thing to remember, though, the stratosphere is not a closed system and entrophy should follow from the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. (Thanks to David Springer I refreshed myself on these Laws)

      • David Springer

        One doubling of CO2 at 300ppm produces 1.1C of warming in a perfectly controlled environment i.e. in vitro.

        The earth is far from perfectly controlled environment. In vivo it could be more or it could be less. The warmists would have you believe the 1.1C of warming under laboratory conditions initiates a cascade of secondary effects including what’s called “water vapor amplification” where a little bit of extra warm evaporates more water and owing to water vapor being a greenhouse gas it adds another 2C-3C of warming. This has never been demonstrated, there is no evidence at all that it exists, and all the available evidence says the basic heating effect of CO2 is 1.1C per doubling is all there is and that much warming only happens in very dry environments with increasingly less surface warming where water is available to evaporate. Evaporating water cools the surface, big time, and clouds don’t negate it. So where there is water to evaporate the surface doesn’t get warmer but instead the cloud deck rises about 100 meters per doubling and where there was once dry cool air above the clouds there’s now a warm cloud occupying that layer in the atmosphere instead. The cloud top, being 100 meters higher, has less atmosphere between it and outer space and thus it cools more efficiently from the higher altitude.

        This has not been confirmed but it will be soon. We’re just beginning to collect data on global average cloud height. You’ll remember me as the first one to describe this. It’s elementary my dear Watson.

      • David Springer

        Confirming evidence for evporation negating the warming effect of CO2 is look at regional warming. The highest mean annual temperature ever recorded was from 1960 to 1966 in a salt desert close to the equator in Ethiopia. If water vapor amplification was real we should expect to see that record over an equatorial jungle instead of a desert. Evaporation and clouds negates CO2 warming. Also, northern hemisphere warming is greater than southern hemisphere. There’s twice as much land surface in the NH. Land surface is dryer than ocean surface. There’s more warming in winter than in summer. Winters are dryer because the air can’t hold as much water vapor and if it’s freezing snow doesn’t evaporate very well at all. Everything makes sense in light of evaporation negating surface heating by CO2. Everything. The grand mistake of the climate catastrophists was using an instrument network primarily located in industrialized NH locations and mistaking a natural warming trend beginning in the 1970-1980 timeframe with anthropogenic warming. The so-called pause is a category killer. It should not have happened while CO2 increased by another 20%. That’s just too much hypothetical forcing for a complete lack of warming response. Skeptics now own this space. Climate boffins are back peddling like crazy trying to figure out how to salvage their dignity and regain a measure of credibility. Ignorant sycophants of these boffins are the new deniers.

      • Modelling how clouds, of many different charateristics and associated feedbacks, affect global climate is horrendously difficult.
        Anyone who thinks ” it’s elementary my dear Watson” hasn’t the slightest clue!

      • This got in the wrong place first time.

        David, you write “One doubling of CO2 at 300ppm produces 1.1C of warming in a perfectly controlled environment i.e. in vitro.”

        In the real world, this number has NEVER been measured. You quote it with no +/-; a real no-no in physics. I dont believe we have any idea what the value of this number is.

      • blueice2hotsea

        tempterrain –

        Springer’s laser beam illuminates so many points so quickly that I am sure you can see a picture on the wall. And if it’s not also the writing on the wall spelling out an easing to CO2 alarmism, then please help out with substantive comments.

        Do not take this: “Ignorant sycophants of these boffins are the new deniers.” as a challenge to self-identify.

        Instead take it as a challenge to intelligently criticize such as this:
        “If water vapor amplification was real we should expect to see [the high temperature] record over an equatorial jungle instead of a desert. Evaporation and clouds negates CO2 warming.”

        Don’t satellites measure the temperature at the top of the jungle canopy? And isn’t the albedo of the canopy much lower than that of sand? So what the hell is going on, if not what Springer claims? Maybe it is obvious and I am too stupid to get it. Even so, I am not asking for to be cured of stupidity, just relieved of ignorance.

        Thanks.

      • Consider the disparity in night-time temperature between desert (extremely cold) and rainforest (very warm).

      • blueice2hotsea

        BBD –

        “Consider the disparity in night-time temperature between desert (extremely cold) and rain-forest (very warm).”

        ok. Each morning jungle temps begin significantly higher than the desert temps. Despite the head-start in temps, lower albedo and amplifying effects of much higher humidity, jungle highs fall short of desert high temps.

        now what? i still don’t get it. :(

      • Lots of factors as you suggest. Rainforest: high humidity and cloudiness (the rain in rainforest comes from?) means a mix of cloud albedo reflecting DSW (negative) and IR absorption and re-radiation below cloud deck from WV (positive). Hot days and nights but not as hot as deserts because cloud albedo modulates DSW.

        Deserts are dry so *full* DSW flux to the surface = very high peak T. But no cloud/WV = cold night-time temperature.

      • blueice2hotsea

        BBD –

        Thanks for your reply. I think you might have scored a bulls-eye but for hitting the wrong target.

        Springer’s point which I wanted to discuss with tempterrain had entirely to do with RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURES. (I am not yelling, but I don’t want you to miss out on this item because it is and always has been the target to aim for.)

        Also, it is important to not confuse an increase in average temperature with an increase in record high temperatures else I may once again will have to explain that I am not yelling.

        thanks.

      • blueice2hotsea

        BBD –

        To clarify. what I am asking for is an explanation as to why Springer is mistaken in his claim that cooling from increased evaporation results in a reduced likelihood of record high temperatures. NOT CONFIRMATION AS TO WHY HE IS CORRECT. ok that time I was yelling. sorry.

        you have the last word.

      • Why should you not expect record high temperatures in a desert under uninterrupted DSW (no cloud, no WV)? Bear in mind that rock and sand in the midday sun become hot enough to burn flesh. Have you ever been burned by a plant in the midday sun?

      • blueice2hotsea

        BBD –

        You have wasted your opportunity for the last word because you put it in the form of a rhetorical question. You ought to know that many are afflicted with the inability to automatically accede to non-obvious truth.

        It has already been established that deserts are hotter than jungles. The paradox to focus on is “humidity amplification of forcing at equal LATITUDES”. It seems to me that you agree with Springer. And if you cannot differentiate your claims from his, then the point of disagreement is inscrutable.

      • Deserts and rainforest at the same latitude? Do you know what a Hadley Cell is?

      • blueice2hotsea | February 7, 2013 at 4:49 pm said: ”It has already been established that deserts are hotter than jungles. The paradox to focus on is “humidity amplification of forcing at equal LATITUDES”

        blueice, you sound as a dedicated person; so let me correct you regarding establishment of desert being warmer than rainforest, on same latitude / altitude: deserts are hotter at daytime / colder at night, than in the rainforest. BUT, if you take the temp for every minute in 24h = they have SAME temp – because the ”extra heat” at daytime is canceled by ”extra” coldness at night, in the desert. It means: you have the best proof that: shoncks collecting only the hottest minute in 24h, is meaningless!!!!

        2] in the rainforest is ;;warmer” for you; but not for the rock, thermometer, or for the crocodile. I.e. sweating for cooling in rainforest is not efficient, so you feel hotter, because of your body produced heat, on the top of what’s in the air. b] your body produced heat of 12-14C, is not taken into account by you and by the ”researchers”. To know in detail, and have the most solid / undeniable evidences, please have a look at my post :http://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/water-vapor/

      • blueice2hotsea

        BBD and stephenthedenier

        I find that while I can often understand what each of you are saying, I mostly don’t understand what it has to with the topic at hand. Perhaps you two would be best to carry on with me.

        bye,
        bi2hs

      • David Springer

        BBD | February 7, 2013 at 5:08 pm |

        “Deserts and rainforest at the same latitude? Do you know what a Hadley Cell is?”

        World Geography another class you passed via social promotion?

        There are both deserts and tropical rainforests located near the equator.

        http://www.naturalhistoryonthenet.com/Continents/images/africaclimate.jpg

        However with few exceptions it’s the rainforest that’s closer to the equator. Given that smack dab on the equator is where solar power peaks it only makes my argument stronger. Dullal, Ethiopia where the mean annual temp record was set is about 8 degrees north latitude and has annual rainfall of 1-3 inches. Shouldn’t a rainforest even closer to the equator be hotter if water vapor amplification were true? Ponder that, dummy.

      • David Springer

        BBD | February 7, 2013 at 5:08 pm |

        P.S. you create a straw man with record high temperature

        I specifically said record high mean annual temperature. Do you know the difference between record high daily temperature and record high mean annual temperature?

        If you do know the difference then the straw man was intellectual dishonesty. If you don’t know the difference the straw man was intellectual deficiency. If you know the difference but simply failed to note which it was I wrote about then the straw man was sloth.

        None of the three possibilities are flattering, to say the least. Let me know if I’ve constructed a false trichotomy there. LOL

      • David Springer

        One of the biggest differences between equatorial deserts and jungles is that the lapse rate in the desert is steep because it’s close to the dry adiabatic rate. So close to the ground it’s hotter than jungle and a few thousand feet up it’s colder. Whereas in the jungle the lapse rate is close to the wet (saturated) adiabatic rate which is just a little more than half the DALR. So the same solar energy gets spread out more evenly from surface where we live to several thousand feet AGL. The unsurprising result is that mean annual SURFACE temperature is higher in the desert. Average temperature of the air column is not different. Wet air simply spreads heat vertically much better. CO2 causing more evaporation should only cause cloud height to increase by 100 meters or so per doubling i.e. the 1.1C radiative increase on a dry surface becomes clouds forming higher by the distance the dry adiabat changes by 1.1C. Or maybe it should be the wet adiabat and it would be more like 170 meters higher.

        The higher clouds have less atmosphere above them to hinder heat loss to space and more atmosphere below them to hinder radiative transport downwards.

        Dry land is a different story and in higher latitudes with freezing winters it’s like desert dryness while the land is frozen. This is where CO2 warming would be significant. But guess what. All my friends at 45 north latitude don’t want colder winters. They don’t want to deal with it. Farmers like the cold even less. That leaves skiers and Norman Rockwell lovers basically that want colder winters. Phooey. They can move farther north. The vast majority and the economy do better with milder winters.

      • David Springer

        To understand politics, follow the money.

        To understand climate, follow the water.

        Write that down.

      • However with few exceptions it’s the rainforest that’s closer to the equator.

        Because they are situatued at the descending side of the Hadley cell – as I said. Diversionary waffle.

        Shouldn’t a rainforest even closer to the equator be hotter if water vapor amplification were true? Ponder that, dummy.

        Not if low cloud prevents enough DSW from reaching the surface – as I pointed out to bluesea above, and you have ignored.

        P.S. you create a straw man with record high temperature

        Bluesea did that, not me. Again, *read* before posting one of your onanistic rants please.

        As for the rest of you stuff, the GHE is balanced at the top of the atmosphere – all this wittering about evaporation and the troposphere is *irrelevant* and demonstrates only that you haven’t got the big picture straight yet.

        Keep working on it.

      • “Because they deserts are situatued at the descending side of the Hadley cell – as I said. Diversionary waffle.”

      • blueice2hotsea

        David Springer and BBD –

        Turns out that Dollol, Ethiopia has an average humidity of 84.6. And it is below sea level, in a volcanic depression that is geothermally active with hot springs, CO2 emissions, etc. You get the idea. Dolloi isn’t a good place to demonstrate the paradox.

        Given all above, Hadley Cells were a poor way to refute it. Especially given the paradoxes associated with the HC.

      • blueice2hotsea

        BBD –

        More on Hadley Cells. (continuiing the paradox brain-storming)

        According to The Encyclopedia of Global Warming Science and Technology, increased global temperatures should cause Hadley Cell expansion, which will also cause poleward expansion of deserts.

        However, it is noted elsewhere that for the 30 millions years prior to permanent Antarctic glaciation: “the [Amazon] rainforest extended as far south as 45°“, nearly to the tip of South America. Was the Hadley Cell descending onto the Patagonian desert somewhere in the Southern Ocean?

        Even looking back 3mya at +3°C (in the range of IPCC projections), we are told the desert southwest in the US was WET, WET, WET. So, maybe the world was hotter than present, but summertimes highs in that desert would have likely been been cooler.

        And here’s a Wikipedia picture of the Amazon rainforest making its own clouds. hmmm. Shades of Makarieva!

      • blueice2hotsea | February 8, 2013 at 8:24 pm said: ”Even looking back 3mya at +3°C (in the range of IPCC projections), we are told the desert southwest in the US was WET, WET, WET. So, maybe the world was hotter than present”

        ,blueice2hotsea, here is your own proof: why the truth for you sound as ‘off topic” A] you’ve learned / memorized the propaganda crap as a song – any real proof doesn’t have place in it. B] ”southwest in the US was WET, WET, WET” 1]southwest of USA is NOT the world – 2:no need GLOBAL warmings, to get wet, or dry!

        2] here is why US was WET, WET, WET: before Gibraltar straights and the English Chanel opened – there was no ‘Gulf-stream” Now, as soon as the surface water in the Mexican gulf warms up – GOES east,, as on a convayer-belt – no time to produce enough moisture in the air.

        before the gulf-stream existed – lots more moisture was constantly produced in and around the gulf -> by the planet spinning eastwards – constantly moisture was flowing west / similar as moisture from Atlantic into Amazon basin does today.

        therefore: if you close Gibraltar straights and the Chanel between France and England = Arizona… Texas and west would have become rainforest.
        see how is different when you understand things – instead off memorizing as lyric and parroting what the propaganda says / including your / their constant ”maybes”

      • blueice2hotsea

        Thanks, Mr. Denier.

        I was paradox brain-storming, unfortunately all by myself. The way it is supposed to work is that you try to best me by coming up with superior paradoxes, not by pointing out how weak mine are. Maybe next time.

        bye

  74. It’s no wonder that climate “scientists” are a laughing stock:

    How many climate “scientists” does it take to have an argument? … just one … and about 30 years of new data.

    What the difference between climate and weather? Climate science is an investment … we grumble about the weather ..,., but we are saving up to have a good laugh about climate “science” in our old age.

    What did the actress say to the climate scientist? It looked so good … now its just so flaccid.