The case of the missing heat

by Judith Curry

Sixteen years into the mysterious ‘global-warming hiatus’, scientists are piecing together an explanation. – Jeff Tollefson

Nature has a News and Views piece entitled Climate Change: The Case of the Missing Heat (complete article is available online).   Some excerpts:

Average global temperatures hit a record high in 1998 — and then the warming stalled. For several years, scientists wrote off the stall as noise in the climate system: the natural variations in the atmosphere, oceans and biosphere that drive warm or cool spells around the globe. But the pause has persisted, sparking a minor crisis of confidence in the field. Although there have been jumps and dips, average atmospheric temperatures have risen little since 1998, in seeming defiance of projections of climate models and the ever-increasing emissions of greenhouse gases.

JC comment:  My, my.  Recall David Rose’s article in Oct 2012 on the pause, claiming that global warming had stopped, and the pushback against Rose’s article.  The pause has now gone mainstream with this article in Nature, even in the IPCC did its level best to downplay it.

Climate sceptics have seized on the temperature trends as evidence that global warming has ground to a halt.  Climate scientists, meanwhile, know that heat must still be building up somewhere in the climate system, but they have struggled to explain where it is going, if not into the atmosphere. Some have begun to wonder whether there is something amiss in their models.

JC comment:  Now, no one understands the cause of the pause, but  climate scientists say the heat is hiding in the ocean.  My next post will be on ocean heat content, so I’m not getting into this here.  The competing explanation (the ‘denier’ one, I guess since I don’t hear mainstream climate scientists mentioning this) is that the heat never made it into the system, possibly related to changing cloud patterns or properties that reflected more solar radiation.

But none of the climate simulations carried out for the IPCC produced this particular hiatus at this particular time. That has led sceptics — and some scientists — to the controversial conclusion that the models might be overestimating the effect of greenhouse gases, and that future warming might not be as strong as is feared. Others say that this conclusion goes against the long-term temperature trends, as well as palaeoclimate data that are used to extend the temperature record far into the past. And many researchers caution against evaluating models on the basis of a relatively short-term blip in the climate. 

JC comment:  Size matters here, i.e. the length of the hiatus.  Depending on when you start counting, this hiatus has lasted 16 years.  Climate model simulations find that the probability of a hiatus as long as 20 years is vanishingly small.  If the 20 year threshold is reached for the pause, this will lead inescapably to the conclusion that the climate model sensitivity to CO2 is too large.  Further, 20 years is approaching the length of the warming period from 1976-2000 that is the main smoking gun for AGW.

This has led skeptics – and some scientists – . . .    Rather scary that Nature does not seem to acknowledge that skepticism is one of the norms of science, and regards ‘skeptics’ and ‘scientists’ are mutually exclusive groups.

 “If you are interested in global climate change, your main focus ought to be on timescales of 50 to 100 years,” says Susan Solomon, a climate scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

JC comment:  People are interested in climate change on all sorts of time scales, including decadal.  Solomon should have stated that if you are interested in the climate response to a long-term secular buildup of greenhouse gases, then your main focus should be timescales of 50-100 years.  I agree with this.  And if you look at the last 100 years, you have that other inconvenient pause to explain: 1940-1975.  With the reduction in sensitivity to aerosol forcing, the aerosol explanation for this earlier pause no longer holds up.  Stadium wave dynamics can explain both the 1940-1975 and the current hiatus; a further inference is that warming of 1976-2000 was enhanced by natural climate variability.

This variation in ocean temperature, known as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), may be a crucial piece of the hiatus puzzle. 

JC comment:  I certainly agree that the PDO is probably a crucial piece of the puzzle, but one of the quickest ways to get labeled as a ‘denier’ has been to argue that the PDO in its warm phase contributed to the 1976-2000 warming.

“You can’t keep piling up warm water in the western Pacific,” Trenberth says. “At some point, the water will get so high that it just sloshes back.” And when that happens, if scientists are on the right track, the missing heat will reappear and temperatures will spike once again.

JC comment: Well that is an interesting ‘forecast.’   If this is natural internal variability, e.g. the stadium wave (which includes the PDO), then you would expect warming to resume at some point (I’ve argued this might be in the 2030’s).  This would make the hiatus 30+ years (similar in length to the pevious hiatus from 1940 to 1975).  This is long enough to invalidate the utility of the current climate models for projecting future climate change.

And about the missing heat reappearing, well stay tuned for my next post on ocean heat content.

Other blog posts

Here are two relevant blog posts worth looking at.

Public Opinion

Chris Mooney has an article in Mother Jones entitled Global-Warming Denial Hits a 6-Year High.  Excerpts:

The obvious question is, what happened over the last year to produce more climate denial?

According to both Anthony Leiserowitz of Yale and Ed Maibach of George Mason, the leaders of the two research teams, the answer may well lie in the so-called global warming “pause”—the misleading idea that global warming has slowed down or stopped over the the past 15 years or so. This claim was used by climate skeptics, to great effect, in their quest to undermine the release of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report in September 2013—precisely during the time period that is in question in the latest study.

As Maibach’s colleague Anthony Leiserowitz of Yale adds, it isn’t as though those who were already convinced about global warming became less sure of themselves over the last year. Rather, the change of views “really seems to be happening among the ‘don’t knows,'” says Leiserowitz. “Those are the people who aren’t paying attention, and don’t know much about the issue. So they’re the most open-minded, and the most swayable based on recent events.”

Journalists take heed: Your coverage has consequences. All those media outlets whotrumpeted the global warming “pause” may now be partly responsible for a documented decrease in Americans’ scientific understanding.

Well, if the scientists don’t understand the cause of the pause, and the public is aware of the pause, then exactly what are we to conclude about the public understanding of climate change?  Maybe that the public is not sufficiently ‘sophisticated’ to believe climate model projections that are running much warmer than observations for the past decade?

793 responses to “The case of the missing heat

  1. Hmmm.

    Solomon should have stated that if you are interested in the climate response to a long-term secular buildup of greenhouse gases, then your main focus should be timescales of 50-100 years.

    That’s rather interesting. So a few days after testifying before the Senate, and repeatedly referring to “a hiatus in global warming” rather than “a relatively short-term pause in the long-term trend of a significantly increasing rate of surface air temps only,” Judith gets concerned that another climate scientist is using imprecise language.

    No that Judith is wrong to be concerned, however – precision is good.

    What is so interesting is the, er …….. selectivity in concern about precise language. One might expect that of an “activist,” but Judith? Say it ain’t so!

    • Joshua,

      Hiatus means pause. Sorry you were confused.

    • Bill –

      Haitus in what? Global warming? So there has been no increase in OHC? It has paused? What evidence are you using to determine that? If you have evidence of such, why didn’t Judith mention it in her testimony?

    • Joshua you’ve a lot of growing up to do. You come here challenging the words used by Professor Curry suggesting they are inaccurate, but offering no data or mechanism to support your preferred term.

      Even Trenberth’s heart no longer seems to be in his ‘ocean ate our missing heat’ hypothesis.

    • jbenton –

      Which do you think is more precise?

      1) A pause in global warming
      2) A relatively short-term flattening out of a longer-term trend of increasing surface air temperatures, only

      IMO those who are describing a “pause” are referring to surface air temps, only, so to avoid misunderstanding they should be as precise as possible.

      If someone doesn’t doubt that ACO2 warms the climate, then they can’t also believe that there has been a “hiatus in warming,” and remain logically coherent (unless by “warming” they mean only increase in surface air temps, and if that’s what they mean, that’s what they should say).

      They might believe that the warming influence of ACO2 on the climate is negligible.

      They might believe that the effects of natural variability will swamp the effect of ACO2, long-term.

      They might believe that the effectsof natural variability will swamp the effect of ACO2, short-term, and that in the long term warming from ACO2 will dominate.

      But even with those premises, it is logically incoherent to say that you believe that there has been a “hiatus in global warming” if you also believe that adding ACO2 to the climate causes warming.

      Being more precise with the language in no way prevents someone from making their opinions clear about the larger dynamics at play..

      Now some justify a lack of precision as reflected in “a hiatus in warming” by pointing out that in the past, “realists” have focused on surface air temps. I find that rationale to be weak. We all know that “two wrongs don’t make a right.” So, the only way that I can understand such a justification is if one is engaged, explicitly and deliberately, in a rhetorical battle where precision becomes secondary to other agendas.

      And even that, IMO, is not “wrong” per se. People are certainly entitled to have agendas, and they are certainly entitled to act as “activists” to pursue those agendas. That is part of what makes our country as great as it is; for all of the downsides that may result from “activism,” in the long run our acceptance of “activism” is a great strength.

      Even if some, in a very “selective” manner, criticism “activism” only when it is being conducted by those they disagree with.

    • Joshua is correct. There has been no hiatus in free energy build-up, either in Ocean Heat Content (OHC) or in Surface Energy.

    • See Bob’s Hedy Lamarr post at WattsUp re: Kevin’s heart.
      ================

    • It is obvious if you are starting the pause in or around the 1998 el nino you are doing too many things wrong to list here. Cherry picking and ignoring uncertainty are at the top of the list.

      Others consider that 2010 was the hottest year, so the pause is only 3 years. But here I make the same mistake as the skeptics.

      Since 2010, 45 nations have set all time record high temperatures, so the heat must still be accumulating.

    • I predict that joshie ,webby and the other anonymous little nitpickers will be whining mightily about your coming OHC post, Judith. I’ve got my popcorn and scotch.

    • ” Joshua
      Which do you think is more precise?

      1) A pause in global warming
      2) A relatively short-term flattening out of a longer-term trend of increasing surface air temperatures, only”

      3) The increase in Earth global surface temperature due to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 is approximately 1.7 degrees. The warming signal caused by increasing CO2 levels is present in the historical temperature, but is difficult to tease out due to internal heat movements within the oceans which give rise to surface temperature oscillations. At the moment we have not been able to completely separate out the many, varied, components that all combine to give rise to the Earths steady state global temperature.

    • Doc –

      Outside of the specific sensitivity estimate that you assert, I have seen statements similar to that you just offered (for example, at the Fabius Maximus site Judith just linked. Seems to me that which you just wrote would be a significant improvement over what Judith offered in her Senate testimony. Although I would offer a couple of suggestions:

      (1) You speak directly to uncertainty (i.e., use stronger caveats) when offering your estimate for sensitivity.

      (2) In your last sentence, replace “Earths steady state global temperature.” with “Earth’s steady state, global near surface land temperatures,.”

    • Joshua

      You ask jbenton:

      Which do you think is more precise?

      1) A pause in global warming
      2) A relatively short-term flattening out of a longer-term trend of increasing surface air temperatures, only

      Depends on how long the pause continues, Josh.

      Max

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “curryja | January 20, 2014 at 8:46 am |
      Ocean heat content coming in the next post, stay tuned . . .”
      ____
      Can’t wait!

    • In 1988, Hansen testified before Congress saying if we didn’t do anything, we could expect a certain rate of warming and if we stopped emitting CO2 in the year 2000, we could expect a lower rate of warming ( Scenario C ).

      How’d we do?

      Well, emissions were above the mid range:

      http://www.columbia.edu/~mhs119/CO2Emissions/TimeBombFig16.gif

      But the temperature trends are all lower than Scenario C!

      http://climatewatcher.webs.com/SatelliteEraTemperatures.png

      So, the warming ( in the satellite era ) is real, but the forecasts were wrong – too extreme.

      The radiative physics are sound. It is the exaggeration in the extent of the warming and wild imagination about the impacts that are the falsehoods here.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      Of course, direct measurements by Argo floats (now numbering over 3600) is only one way we know that the oceans are accumulating energy. There are several corroborating pieces of evidence, both direct and by proxy that confirm the long-term rise in ocean heat content. We can hope in Judith’s discussion of OHC, that these are discussed, along with of course, the overall level of certainty we can have in knowing the oceans are gaining energy.

    • Steven Mosher

      Joshua which is more precise?

      ‘1) A pause in global warming
      2) A relatively short-term flattening out of a longer-term trend of increasing surface air temperatures, only
      ########################################
      #1. is more precise

      #2 is flat wrong since the pause is in
      a) the global average which is comprised of air temps at 2meters
      and sea surface temps ( a weird mix of air and water temps)
      b) Tropospheric temps.

    • Adding precision is welcome – so for that I extend thanks.

      Adding precision to #2, however, does not make it less precise than #1. So, you have not actually addressed the question (although once again, your white-knighting is cute).

      It is unfortunate that you have such a repeated pattern of engaging in bad faith. It makes it very frustrating to discuss what you might have to add to a discussion.

      To make your statement precise, in fact to make it anything more valuable than handwaving, you need to do more. How do you quantify which is more precise in giving your answer? Why is the one imprecise statement more precise than the other imprecise statement? What metric are you using to measure magnitude of precision?

      Given your complete failure to correct past mistakes, however, does not make me hopeful that you will correct for your lack of precision in this case.

      All that said, let’s go with it:

      Which is more precise?:

      1) a pause in global warming.
      2) a relatively short-term flattening out of a longer-term trend of significant increase in the global average temps (which comprises air temps at 2 meters, sea surface temps, and tropospheric temps).

      Perhaps if you try to give another answer, you’ll actually address the question?

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      ““….blah blah.. focused on surface air temps. I find that rationale to be weak. We all know that “two wrongs don’t make a right.”

      Are you saying it’s “A WRONG” that IPCC focused and still focuses on surface temps?
      hmmmm?

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Did “surface temps” become “surface air temps only”, correctly ?

    • Are you saying it’s “A WRONG” that IPCC focused and still focuses on surface temps?

      I think that if the discussion is of “global warming,” than there should be care taken to identify the metrics being used to measure “global warming.”

      Reference to some of the metrics, absent others, to characterize “global warming” is imprecise and comprises an insufficient treatment of “uncertainty.”

      Failure to be sufficiently comprehensive or to insufficiently treat uncertainty on the part of person A does not seem to me to provide a reasonable justification for a failure to be sufficiently comprehensive or to insufficiently treat uncertainty on the part of person B. It might provide an explanation for person B’s action but it doesn’t suffice as a justification, IMO. I don’t understand what calculus people use to determine that two wrongs make a right.

      When talking about “global warming,” or a “hiatus in warming,” focus on surface air temps and/or global average temps should be placed in context with other measures, and with uncertainty.

      Judith is absolutely correct when she advances that position. Unfortunately, her dedication to those principles is…..er….selective in application. I welcome her coming post on OHC to help correct for that selectivity. It is unfortunate that she didn’t feel that the issue was important enough to be addressed in her Congressional testimony. I happen to feel that advocacy is fine, so I don’t fault her for being an advocate – but advocacy that is comprehensive is optimal.

    • Of course the warming trend is decelerating – the radiative forcing is decelerating:

      http://www.columbia.edu/~mhs119/GHG_Forcing/dF_GHGs.gif

    • David Springer

      Bob D,

      The lower atmosphere has warmed only 0.04C/decade in the past 16 years. It’s as indisputable as the instruments we use to take the earth’s average surface temperature. The Nature article states that is the rate. I have never distrusted satellite temperature measurement of lower troposphere. Even if the indicated TOA imbalance is diffusing through the bulk of the ocean it can never again concentrate on the surface so as far as rapid global warming potential it’s lost once diffused into the bulk of the ocean.

    • Steven Mosher

      Joshua

      ‘1) a pause in global warming.
      2) a relatively short-term flattening out of a longer-term trend of significant increase in the global average temps (which comprises air temps at 2 meters, sea surface temps, and tropospheric temps).

      which is more precise?

      #1 obviously.

      now that you’ve corrected number 2, number 2 is no longer wrong ( hard to be precise when your wrong ).

      In short, the two mean the same thing. they point to the same thing in the context of the debate we have been having for years. #1 is obviously more precise since it says the same thing in fewer words.

      If you want to think #2 is more precise, then you are welcomed to establish it. lets see, do a poll? measure something? But if you want to have semantic arguments we have all day.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “’1) a pause in global warming.
      2) a relatively short-term flattening out of a longer-term trend of significant increase in the global average temps (which comprises air temps at 2 meters, sea surface temps, and tropospheric temps).

      which is more precise?”
      ____
      Neither are great nor very scientific. The tropospheric sensible heat record has become the proxy for “global warming” simply because of the ease at which it can be measured and the direct impact it has on we troposphere dwelling creatures. The actual scientific effect caused by the rapid increase in GH gases we’ve seen over the past few centuries is to alter the energy balance of the climate system. Tropospheric sensible heat is only one proxy measurement for the energy changes in the full Earth system– and not a very good one for many very solid physical reasons. Thus, a more accurate statement is:

      3) There has been no pause in the accumulation of energy in the Earth climate system over the past 16 years.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      “I think that if the discussion is of “global warming,” than there should be care taken to identify the metrics being used to measure “global warming.”

      Surface temps have been the main metric used. So was it “A WRONG” as you previously said, or are you now going mumbling down a winding road?

      Was it “A WRONG” or not, Joshua?
      Your words signify that harm was done.
      Did IPCC and Michael Mann harm the cause ?

    • So R. Gates –

      Given that your #3 may be the only statement of the three that is precise enough to be sufficiently scientific, and to allow for a scientific discussion of uncertainty, and to be worthy of a testimony given to Congress, and to not suggest an inattention to what might prove misleading and wind up promoting an agenda, are you saying that indeed,

      3) There has been no pause in the accumulation of energy in the Earth climate system over the past 16 years.

    • tingtg –

      “Surface temps have been the main metric used. So was it “A WRONG” as you previously said, or are you now going mumbling down a winding road?”

      Wrong in a moral sense? I couldn’t say, because I’m not in a position to judge the morality of people I don’t know.

      Was it wrong in a scientific sense? I’m not really qualified to say – but I don’t think that “rightness” or “wrongness” is applicable.

      I think that was insufficiently comprehensive.. I don’t see that as the same thing as it being wrong. I don’t think it is “wrong” than for Judith to say that there has been a “hiatus in global warming,” but I think that is is insufficiently comprehensive and treats uncertainty in an insufficient manner.

      Practices that are insufficiently comprehensive should be corrected. That is the valid process of science. Analyses should grow in sophistication so as to better deal with all the variables. While I understand why “skeptics” might choose to use a development, whereby a more comprehensive analysis is becoming more commonplace, as vindicating their sense of victimhood, I don’t think that serves as a justification.

      There is little doubt that a disproportionate focus on GAT has lead to a widespread and simplistic understanding of what “global warming” (although probably not “climate change) means. That something insufficient has occurred in the past is a lame justification for continuing the process. For Judith to do so undermines her stated principles – which I support – that advance a more comprehensive treatment (and foregrounding) of uncertainties.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “So R. Gates –

      Given that your #3 may be the only statement of the three that is precise enough to be sufficiently scientific, and to allow for a scientific discussion of uncertainty, and to be worthy of a testimony given to Congress, and to not suggest an inattention to what might prove misleading and wind up promoting an agenda, are you saying that indeed,

      3) There has been no pause in the accumulation of energy in the Earth climate system over the past 16 years.”
      _____
      Yes indeed. By the very best and broadest measurements we can say with high degree of certainty that the Earth climate system has continued to accumulate energy at a fairly constant if not slightly accelerated pace over the past 16 years. Moreover, the “pause” in the rise in tropospheric sensible heat tells us very little about the overall sensitivity of the climate system to the continued buildup of GH gases.

    • “We can hope in Judith’s discussion of OHC, that these are discussed, along with of course”

      Yes, sea level especially.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Sea level rise is an especially good corroborating metric for the overall continual gain of energy in the Earth climate system and OHC in that it both relates to the direct thermal energy in the ocean as well the changes in the cryosphere with net glacial ice mass being warmed, melted, and transported to the ocean. A warmer and deeper ocean represents an incredible change in the overall energy content of the climate system, vastly exceeding anything the atmosphere could ever hold in terms of energy.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Joshua said:

      “Was it wrong in a scientific sense? I’m not really qualified to say – but I don’t think that “rightness” or “wrongness” is applicable.”

      So you want to say neither in a moral sense or in a scientific sense that IPCC committed A WRONG.

      You’re mumbling..” I don’t understand what calculus people use to determine that two wrongs make a right.”

      Yet you found it so right to say two wrongs don;t make a right – as your opposition came out on top.

      So what two wrongs were done…and who committed the first wrong, Joshua?

    • tingtg –

      Yet you found it so right to say two wrongs don;t make a right – as your opposition came out on top.

      A fair point.

      But I am using “wrong” from the perspective of “skeptics” – that using GAT was “wrong” in the past (because it didn’t sufficiently include other metrics and acknowledge uncertainty), but that saying something like there has been a “hiatus in warming,” is just find now because climates scientists did something “wrong” in the past. If was “wrong” then (which “skeptics” say but I’m not saying), then it is “wrong” now because it is, essentially, the same thing.

      I don’t think that either is wrong. I think that both are insufficiently comprehensive – and can be misleading.

      Please read again:

      Failure to be sufficiently comprehensive or to insufficiently treat uncertainty on the part of person A does not seem to me to provide a reasonable justification for a failure to be sufficiently comprehensive or to insufficiently treat uncertainty on the part of person B. It might provide an explanation for person B’s action but it doesn’t suffice as a justification, IMO. I don’t understand what calculus people use to determine that two wrongs make a right.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Joshua said

      “But I am using “wrong” from the perspective of “skeptics” – that using GAT was “wrong” in the past”

      Which skeptics are you talking about, Joshua? Who said that in the past and are now clinging to it as right, Joshua?

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      I’m accepting as true that you, Joshua, never have argued using “hottest decade” in history or any of that “realist” stuff, eh Joshua?

      None of the Hansen stuff, Joshua?

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Joshua, maybe you should have a word with Jim D who just now is saying:

      “Yes, the pause amounts to being 0.1 C below the trend line, which is small potatoes in the long-term trend of 1.5 growing to 3 C per century.”

      You “realists” sure sing a funny tune.

    • Joshua which is more precise?

      ’1) A pause in global warming
      2) A relatively short-term flattening out of a longer-term trend of increasing surface air temperatures, only

      From my perspective both are imprecise.

      Both choices suggest one hiatus when over the past 100years, there have been two (1945-1970ish and present). There have also been two periods of warming of roughly similar magnitude, 1910-1945 (no CO2 forcing) and 1975-1998 (CO2 forcing).

      All the details need to be explained within a coherent framework. And all fudge-factors need to be appropriately caveated. My own skepticism rests in some part on the failure to find an argument that keeps all those balls in the air while maintaining a strong degree of certainty.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist | January 20, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      “Sea level rise is an especially good corroborating metric for the overall continual gain of energy in the Earth climate system and OHC in that it both relates to the direct thermal energy in the ocean as well the changes in the cryosphere with net glacial ice mass being warmed, melted, and transported to the ocean. A warmer and deeper ocean represents an incredible change in the overall energy content of the climate system, vastly exceeding anything the atmosphere could ever hold in terms of energy.”

      More parroting from the useful idiots.

      Well bird brain how does this energy ever get back out and in what timescale to impact the Troposphere where we actually live?

      This energy entered the Ocean in a highly organised form and must have have become dispersed as it went to wherever it has supposed to have gone. Last time I looked at the Laws of Thermodynamics, that energy can never reorganise itself and if it was to ever actually re-emerge, to impact the Troposphere, could only do so in its disorganised form. How many centuries is that going to take and how could this extremely minimal change at the surface impact anything in a measurable way?

      Alan

    • Alan Millar, one way out is known as El Nino.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Alan M.,

      I guess Judith let your Ad Hom pass (at least for now), but relative to their body mass, birds have very large brains, and so I’ll take your comment as a compliment.

      At any rate, as has been pointed out now many times, energy does not just disperse evenly throughout the ocean like you would dissolve salt in water, but is concentrated by winds, waves, tides, currents, upwelling, and downwelling dynamics. If your view of the ocean were correct, we’d never have El Niño events at all and there would be is just a steady and constant rate of energy flowing in and out of the ocean modulated only by the seasonal cycle. But this is not the case at all. Energy does come back out of the ocean in large and concentrated periods that impact weather all over the world.

    • Matthew R Marler

      R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist: At any rate, as has been pointed out now many times, energy does not just disperse evenly throughout the ocean like you would dissolve salt in water, but is concentrated by winds, waves, tides, currents, upwelling, and downwelling dynamics.

      No argument here. My question, as before, is this: if the mechanism of CO2-induced increased surface warming is downwelling LWIR, then how has the increase in CO2 induced a deep ocean warming without warming either the troposphere (where the CO2 concentratiin is increasing) or the surface (where the downwelling LWIR impinges)?

    • Matthew R Marler

      R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist: The actual scientific effect caused by the rapid increase in GH gases we’ve seen over the past few centuries is to alter the energy balance of the climate system.

      “Centuries”? is that 3 or 4 centuries? Are you now asserting that the increase in CO2 ended the Little Ice Age?

    • Matthew R Marler

      Steven Mosher: Joshua which is more precise?

      I see you punched The Tar Baby again. Good luck with that.

    • There are only two ways CO2 can affect oceans:
      1) by reducing net heat loss from the surface
      2) indirectly through changes in cloudiness and through that in solar radiation.

      The reduction of net heat loss may be due to more DWIR or to a warmer and/or moister atmosphere.

      It’s, however, possible that other mechanisms of internal variability are in a phase that would lead to significant cooling of the atmosphere unless CO2 would simultaneously have a warming effect. Therefore all kind of combinations can occur over limited period, while the persistent background trend is a warming of both the atmosphere and the oceans.

      • Excellent – you have mentioned the possibility that reduced cloud mass may produce an upward trend in sst temp – this is exactly what is happening in the equatorial Atlantic as a result of a reduction in easterly wave strata-cumulus: nothing to do with emissions.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “if the mechanism of CO2-induced increased surface warming is downwelling LWIR, then how has the increase in CO2 induced a deep ocean warming without warming either the troposphere (where the CO2 concentratiin is increasing) or the surface (where the downwelling LWIR impinges)?”
      ____
      I am glad this statement begins with “If”. The dynamics of GH gases altering the energy balance of the planet are not a top down, but a bottom up dynamic, no different than putting a jacket on in the winter is not an outside to inside, but inside to outside dynamic. Your nice “warm” jacket, warmed by your body heat (mainly) does not send extra energy into your body, but alters the flow of that energy out of your body. In this way, your jacket and GH gases act as a “control valve”, altering the thermal gradient between the warmer region (body or ocean) and the colder region (air and outer space).

      Net energy flow is from ocean to atmosphere (by a very wide margin). Thus, on a global basis, it is never correct to talk of the warmer atmosphere warming the ocean (as in transferring heat there) anymore that it is correct to talk of your warm jacket sending energy into your body. Thermodynamically impossible in both cases.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      ““Centuries”? is that 3 or 4 centuries? Are you now asserting that the increase in CO2 ended the Little Ice Age?”
      ____
      Never said that at all. But we know that the first hints of a rise in CO2 beyond the normal background for the Holocene was somewhere around 1800 at the latest. So yes, several centuries for anthropogenic CO2 growth, though of course it is much much greater now. Of course, there are some, like Ruddiman who would posit that humans have been altering this interglacial far longer:

      http://www.whoi.edu/pclift/Ruddiman.pdf

      His charts in this study are excellent BTW, as he does a great job trying to refute the null hypothesis (that all the changes to GH gases in the Holocene were natural).

    • David Springer,
      I use the SKS trend calculator and will live and die by the numbers it provides, if you know a better source, I am all ears.

      Here are UA trends for the last 15, 16 and 17 years

      1997 to 2014 0.094 C/decade
      1998 to 2014 0.060 C/decade
      1999 to 2114 0.146 C/decade

      I would rather base my decision on whether or not a trend is real on how much changing the start year affects the results.

      At 16 years plus or minus 1 it just changes too much.

      Not to mention that I would prefer to wait until the uncertainty is less than the trend, which SKS provides. Based on the guy who likes mozart of course.

    • He who lives by the trend dies by the trend

    • The rise in sea levels is here

      http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

      and OHC is here

      http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

    • Matthew R Marler

      R Gates, skeptical warmist: The dynamics of GH gases altering the energy balance of the planet are not a top down, but a bottom up dynamic, no different than putting a jacket on in the winter is not an outside to inside, but inside to outside dynamic.

      Ignoring for a moment the differences between convection/advection and radiation, let me restate the question: How does the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere (above the surface) warm the deep ocean (below the ocean surface), without warming either the troposphere (where the CO2 is) or the surface?

      That’s a “how question” — how exactly is it occurring? People ask the same question about sunspot variation and earth climate, and a strong case for any particular mechanism has not been made (to my knowledge — if anyone has a reference for a mechanism, please link to it.)

    • Matthew R Marler

      R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist: At any rate, as has been pointed out now many times, energy does not just disperse evenly throughout the ocean like you would dissolve salt in water, but is concentrated by winds, waves, tides, currents, upwelling, and downwelling dynamics.

      I agree with that. However, the calculations of how much warming the CO2 doubling will cause assume a surface equilibrium, so that the entire surface is at the equilibrium temperature. With the disequilibrium that you describe, the calculations must be in error. But how much?

    • As I answered someone else, that would be the PDO, which is currently in a mode that brings colder upwelling water across the surface in a larger pool than normal. Warmer water occupies less of the surface as a result of this, and the locations of the regions that don’t warm tie in with this. I think many have already suggested the PDO, so I am not saying anything new here.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “I agree with that. However, the calculations of how much warming the CO2 doubling will cause assume a surface equilibrium, so that the entire surface is at the equilibrium temperature. With the disequilibrium that you describe, the calculations must be in error. But how much?”
      ____
      Here we need to combine the paleoclimate record with our models for a reasonable estimate. Fortunately, a wealth of data is now coming from the last time we had CO2 levels consistently this high– the mid-Pliocene (even though methane and N2O were nowhere near as high back then). 3C + or – 0.5 C for 560 ppm CO2 is a good estimate. More importantly, if it stays this high for a few centuries, Greenland and Antarctica will be ice free. Catastrophic? Our distant Australopithecus ancestors adapted– perhaps we’ll be fine too.

    • “Jim D
      As I answered someone else, that would be the PDO, which is currently in a mode that brings colder upwelling water across the surface in a larger pool than normal. Warmer water occupies less of the surface as a result of this, and the locations of the regions that don’t warm tie in with this.”

      So you can show the big chunk of the Keeling curve showing a dip and a big shift in the 14C/12C ratio as all that warm water goes down to Davey Jones’s locker and cold, low 14C and low [CO2] comes to the surface.
      Alas no. Hasn’t be a change in CO2 sequestration rate nor he 14C/12C ratio.
      Valiant effort trying to bluff with a pair of eights though.

    • DocMartyn, so you are saying the PDO cooling didn’t happen? Could you elaborate on that? It seems a bit contrary.

    • Ocean heat content coming in the next post, stay tuned . . .
      Isn’t it straight-forward? http://www.sciencemag.org/content/342/6158/617 claims MWP ocean temperatures .65 degrees “C” greater than today. Oceans are 500X more by mass than the atmosphere, and have nearly 4X the specific heat capacity. That means a very large amount of missing energy since the MWP. The atmosphere would need to be 2000 degrees “C” higher than today than the MWP to match the combined energy content of the oceans and the atmosphere.

      Maybe my math is wrong:

      The specific heat content of water is 3993 J/KG/degree (K), the atmosphere’s 1005J/kg/degree(K). Water on the earth has a mass of 1.4×10^21 kg. mass of the atmosphere is 5.3 × 10^18 kg.

    • Climate Alchemy’s ‘Forcing’ concept has no basis in real science. It is a ‘Radiation Field’, the potential energy flux by the atmosphere to a sink at absolute zero. You add RFs vectorally. The wavelength by wavelength atmosphere + surface RF vector sum gives real net IR energy flux. The K-T ‘Energy Budget’ adds the RFs as scalars; wrong.

      Hence net IR absorbed by GHGs in the atmosphere is the 23 W/m^2 (2009 Energy Budget), mostly non self-absorbed H2O bands near the CO2 15 micron band. Because that is self-absorbed, so appears at the surface at black body amplitude, its net flux is near zero.

      The 40 W/m^2 in the ‘Atmospheric Window’ is in radiative equilibrium with the 2.7 deg. K. cosmic microwave background. When a ~10 deg. C cloud passes, that flux falls by ~85% so the surface warms up, the origin of the ‘back radiation ‘ myth.

      Similarly, if you increase pH2O, because there are quite a few non self-absorbed H2O bands, ‘Forcing’ increases, reducing net surface IR. The surface temperature rises to increase convection/evaporation so those plus net IR is constant.

      You can experiment on ‘coupled conduction and convection’ with a beach windbreak. It’s a pity Meteorologists and Climate Alchemists aren’t made to do the practical experiments Process Engineers do.

      This is from an ancient Metallurgist who worked in the days when we created GHG physics and who measured these effects in many situations. Until they get the radiation physics right, and the mistake came from Sagan via Houghton, Climate Alchemy is Junk Science. There is no ‘missing heat’.

    • Joshua: “I don’t think that either is wrong. I think that both are insufficiently comprehensive – and can be misleading.”

      I agree with much of what you say on this post – the disagreement is on the conclusions we can draw from the data, but that’s another discussion.

      I would say, that if one side of the debate (the consensus) moves the debate into the realms of politics (and they did), then you (and they) have no cause for complaint when the opposition (the skeptics) takes the consensus lead and returns the compliment.

      Hence I agree that advocacy can be good – as long as everyone expects advocacy. It’s when one side doesn’t expect it that there’s a problem – exageration to one side distorts the process, usually for the worse.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist | January 20, 2014 at 4:57 pm |

      “At any rate, as has been pointed out now many times, energy does not just disperse evenly throughout the ocean like you would dissolve salt in water, but is concentrated by winds, waves, tides, currents, upwelling, and downwelling dynamics. If your view of the ocean were correct, we’d never have El Niño events at all and there would be is just a steady and constant rate of energy flowing in and out of the ocean modulated only by the seasonal cycle. But this is not the case at all. Energy does come back out of the ocean in large and concentrated periods that impact weather all over the world”

      This is the trouble when you just parrot, you never think things through.

      I think in your mind this highly organised energy, that enters the Oceans, somehow wanders about in its organised form in currents just waiting to pop out.

      Well it doesn’t my friend it gets totally dispersed. Take the gulf stream, yes energy entering in the tropics gets transported northwards in the form of warm water. As it travels it starts to lose this energy to the larger ocean and to the atmosphere by evaporation. Eventually this current has lost all this additional energy and more and is now colder than the surrounding ocean and it sinks continuing the ongoing current.

      That organised energy is no more, it is dispersed or lost to the atmosphere. It is not wandering about the Oceans waiting to pop up somewhere!

      The Laws of Thermodynamics means that it can never reorder itself into a more organised form without the addition of a lot more energy and can only ever emerge from the Oceans in its dispersed form and that is going to be at a very minimal surface rate and is going to take centuries.

      Alan

    • I heard from a Nobel Prize winner (for his work on climate) that the temperature at the center of the Earth was several million degrees. Maybe that’s where all this heat is building up.

    • Matthew R Marler

      R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist: The dynamics of GH gases altering the energy balance of the planet are not a top down, but a bottom up dynamic, no different than putting a jacket on in the winter is not an outside to inside, but inside to outside dynamic.

      Going with your jacket and blanket analogies, how can the jacket or blanket warm the dermis and interior without warming itself or the epidermis in the process? That’s the analogy to deep-sea heat increase without surface or troposphere temperature increase. So back to my question: how does the increase in CO2 cause an increase in deep sea temp (as hypothesized) without the CO2 causing an increase in troposphere and surface mean temp (as is acknowledged now in the “hiatus”.)

    • The jacket analog is incomplete as it does not describe internal variability that may have a simultaneous influence with the persistent one. Therefore it cannot be used to visualize the hiatus.

    • Matthew R Marler

      R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist: The tropospheric sensible heat record has become the proxy for “global warming” simply because of the ease at which it can be measured and the direct impact it has on we troposphere dwelling creatures.

      Tropospheric sensible heat is not a “proxy” but a part of the mechanism by which increased CO2 causes an increase in surface mean temperature. That’s because the troposphere is where most of the CO2 is accumulating (it is less dense at the higher altitudes.) Is there some way for the increased amount of CO2 in the troposphere to absorb more upwelling LWIR and warm the Earth surface without the tropospheric temperature increasing?

    • Matthew R Marler

      R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist: Net energy flow is from ocean to atmosphere (by a very wide margin). Thus, on a global basis, it is never correct to talk of the warmer atmosphere warming the ocean (as in transferring heat there) anymore that it is correct to talk of your warm jacket sending energy into your body. Thermodynamically impossible in both cases.

      Nor argument here, as regards “net energy flow.” With the accumulating CO2 doing its accumulating in the atmosphere, how does the increased absorption of upwelling LWIR by the CO2 in the atmosphere affect surface temperature? The surface radiates LWIR proportional to the 4th power of its temperature whether there is CO2 in the atmosphere or not. The usual explanation is that the “net energy flow” from surface to atmosphere is slightly reduced by the increased downwelling LWIR (and possible some advection) that results from the increase in CO2 concentration. (The CO2 radiates dependent on its own activation states whether the surface is/isn’t warmer than it is. But the increased downwelling LWIR, I repeat, merely reduces slightly the net rate of surface cooling.)

      This brings me back to my question: how does increased CO2 warm the ocean without warming the troposphere (where the CO2 is increasing) or the surface? Without raising mean tropospheric temp, does it somehow transfer heat to the regions of the atmosphere right above where the cold water sinks (e.g. where the thermohaline circulation carries surface energy to the deep ocean)? Has anything related to such a hypothetical process been measured?

  2. Climate science will grow out of its infancy when the Consensus scratches its head and admits it is scratching its head. A little self doubt goes a long way.

  3. John DeFayette

    Where is Jupiter Jones when you need him? He would certainly find that heat.

    The wailing and gnashing of teeth is increasing to a roar, and the best of the CAGW communicators still don’t get it. At leat Dr. Leiserowitz seems to have caught on.

    Most folks are not normally very interested in the details behind the continuous drone of scare stories, and they generally will accept the consensus position because it’s the one they hear. But, as soon as they take a look under the hood, well, most folks are sophisticated enough to know a squirrel in a cage when we see one in the new Cadillac.

    The Team thinks they’re Batman, when they’re really just the Wizard of Oz.

  4. … that demmed elusive ocean heat …

  5. Too much of the emperor has no clothes here, you are shattering the dreams of the up and coming Mann’s and Hansen’s.

  6. I roughly agree with what I think are your main points–that the pause that the climate consensus has been ‘denying’ for a decade is real and that it will start posing a problem for models if it lasts a few more years.

    I also find the previous pause(s) in the temperature record to be interesting. Perhaps others will start to look at them in greater depth now. I also believe that the pause will end at roughly the same time you do, although I think that one of the causes will be the vastly increased volumes of CO2 emitted going forward.

    If stadium waves can have such a pronounced effect over two decades, I think you need to develop the concept more and start writing about it in greater detail. It could wind up being an important part of the puzzle. If the waveform of temperatures actually starts to resemble a staircase rather than a sawtooth, there will be some recalculating going on.

    Has anybody seen Chris Mooney and Joe Romm in the same room at the same time? ‘Harken to my voice, ye journalists…’

    • The effects of the Stadium Wave are real but as the temperature anomaly continues to rise, that component of a natural temperature fluctuation will continue to diminish in relative strength.

      This is the defluctuated temperature signal, which removes the nuisance terms identified by various non-skeptical and skeptical scientists
      http://imageshack.com/a/img827/6169/1b2.gif

      The blue curve is the removed fluctuation which contains the Stadium Wave, SOI, TSI, orbital terms, etc.

      I hope that you will notice that the fluctuations will have to grow ever larger to compensate for the rising secular trend due to the CO2 control knob.

    • Generating a model which has an elephant on its trunk, whilst juggling chainsaws is all very entertaining Web, but the more components one adds to a model the greater the degrees of freedom and the worse the effect on the adjusted R-squared value

      http://facweb.cs.depaul.edu/sjost/csc423/documents/f-test-reg.htm

      With your model the SOI alone has > 36 degrees of freedom.

    • Doc, how wrong you are. The SOI contributes only one degree of freedom as the entire record is used as is, with no manipulation apart from a uniform scaling. There is also a 6 month lag attached but that is applied to other factors as well.

      Next please.

    • “The SOI contributes only one degree of freedom as the entire record is used as is, with no manipulation apart from a uniform scaling”

      There are 12 months each year, requiring an average and SD.
      When a new pair of monthly data points is generated, one has to recalculate the pair of monthly averages and SD’s, and then apply the new averages and SD’s to the whole dataset and recast a wholly new SOI.

    • Doc, degrees of freedom are another way of describing the number of ways one can manipulate the data.

      I can not manipulate it in the way you describe because I keep the entire SOI record intact and as is.

      Don’t leave your common sense at the door.

    • “There are 12 months each year, requiring an average and SD.
      When a new pair of monthly data points is generated, one has to recalculate the pair of monthly averages and SD’s, and then apply the new averages and SD’s to the whole dataset and recast a wholly new SOI.”

      The 1997/1998 el nino has to fall in 1997/1998. All the others have to line up. There is little wriggle room.

  7. Reblogged this on CACA.

  8. Concerning the “missing heat”. There can’t be missing heat because nature will not allow energy be destroyed. What can happen is that energy can transform between its different states such as between thermal, kinetic, potential, latent, etc.

    Ocean Heat Content requires precise book-keeping and although the measurements are neither noise-free or lengthy, the numbers do add up and based on my calculations, I can find no “missing” heat. The key is to consider latent heat exchange over the ocean, which I have to give Springer some credit for hammering about (although he then goes over the top, but what the hay, ideas leading to insight is what counts).

    Global Surface Temperatures is both high-resolution and lengthy. The agreement between the data and accurate book-keeping of energy terms is outstanding. This is a recap that I finished yesterday:
    http://contextearth.com/2014/01/19/reverse-forecasting-via-the-csalt-model/

    Remember the phrase:
    The Cause of the Pause is explained by thermodynamic Laws.

    • WHT –

      There can’t be missing heat because nature will not allow energy be destroyed.

      The whole expression of “missing heat” has become a rhetorical device, used by “skeptics,” to score points in the climate wars.

      Of course heat cannot be “missing,” and that’s the whole point. If you think that the heat has been generated, then it has to be somewhere. It can’t be “missing,” although it may be missing from a particular metric such as surface air temps.

      Now you might believe that the heat was never generated in the first place – and certainly there are many here who think that is the case. I respect them because even though they are regularly thrown under the bus by other “skeptics” and folks like Judith – at least their arguments are logically coherent (from that side of it. I can’t evaluate whether there arguments about why ACO2 does not warm the climate are logically coherent).

    • ” There can’t be missing heat because nature will not allow energy be destroyed”

      Nature is anthropomorphisation and not a cosmic accountant. The Earth is part of an open, dynamic, steady state system and energy influxes are capable of being transduced into many other forms of energy besides heat.

    • Do you think that increased energy resulting from ACO2 might manifest in any forms that won’t impact human civilization (which, it occurs to me, is fundamentally an anthropomorphization and not a cosmic account)?

    • Web
      You are being held back by the belief that current science is omniscient. Free your mind. Open it up to the possibility that our capability to understand earth systems is less than what we suppose. Replace your regressive thinking and focus on the infinite ways that you could be wrong. Begin by channeling the 22nd century scientists. I just dont udnerstand this conservatism of yours.

    • @Joshua…

      Now you might believe that the heat was never generated in the first place – and certainly there are many here who think that is the case. I respect them because even though they are regularly thrown under the bus by other “skeptics” and folks like Judith – at least their arguments are logically coherent (from that side of it. I can’t evaluate whether there arguments about why ACO2 does not warm the climate are logically coherent).

      I can’t tell whether you’re being ingenious here, or really don’t understand. Heat isn’t “generated” by CO2, the parameters of its retention are changed. Heat is “generated” when, for instance, solar shortwave (light) strikes a liquid or solid surface (or subsurface when transparent). All other things being equal, more heat will be retained by more CO2.

      But all other things aren’t equal, and if another effect of more CO2 is higher albedo due to more clouds, less heat is “generated” from the same solar shortwave at TOA, because more is reflected away.

      It’s possible, if very unlikely, that more CO2, on average, will produce more clouds to the extent that enough extra light is reflected away that the sensitivity (or transient response) is zero or even negative. AFAIK most models assume that the net effect of “feedback” from cloudy air is negative but not equal to the added heat retention due to the “greenhouse” effect. Thus lowering the sensitivity, but leaving it positive.

    • AK –

      Thanks, again, for an interesting response.

      I can’t tell whether you’re being ingenious here, or really don’t understand. Heat isn’t “generated” by CO2, the parameters of its retention are changed.

      Sure. I should have been more precise. I meant “generated” in a figurative sense – but obviously ACO2 does not in and of itself “generate” the heat.

      And consistent with that, yes – you raise an interesting point w/r/t logical coherency between believing that ACO2 adds warmth to the climate and believing that there has been a “hiatus in global warming” even though ACO2 in the atmosphere has increased…..

      But still, I would say that if you believe that “leaving it positive” applies, then so does a logical incoherence between “I don’t doubt that ACO2 adds warmth” and “There has been a hiatus in global warming.”

      Seems to me that if someone believes that any potential sensitivity from a GHE is negated (or reduced to zero) by a higher albedo due to ACO2 then there would be no logical problem with saying there has been a “hiatus in global warming.”

      So, then, of specific interest – outside of the more general scientific debate – it would be interesting to know whether Judith believes the “leaving it positive” conclusion – although either way I’d say that her recent testimony at the Senate hearing was insufficiently comprehensive w/r/t focusing on “uncertainty.”

    • Webby and Josh

      There can’t be missing heat because nature will not allow energy be destroyed.

      “Destroyed”: no. “Reflected out of our climate system”: yes.

      “Missing heat” can be heat that is “missing” from our climate system because it has been reflected out of the system by a higher albedo, for example by increased cloud cover so, in that sense, there can

      Max.

      Max

    • It’s a travesty the earth’s monitoring system did not detect at the time exactly how much was reflected and how much just raised the temperature of the oceans.

      Sun to space to oceans to atmosphere to space.

    • I’m not very bright or knowledgeable, manacker – but what you say seems logical to me.

      So then it seems that as with what AK wrote, it would depend on the “leaving it positive” as described by AK above.

      If you believe the “leaving it positive,” the heat is not missing but manifest in ways alternative to surface air temps – and in ways that would likely affect our climate and our civilization. That would include if the increased albedo was of a magnitude of anything less than the potential GHE effect.

      If you don’t believe the “leaving it positive,” then the heat could be “missing,” in the sense that it was energy that was radiated by the sun but that was not manifest, in any way, in the Earth’s climate system.

      I would have to wonder, though, as to whether it takes a positive energy input to create clouds and where that energy would have come from and what the follow-on effects of that energy transfer might be.

      But I suspect that here the discussion would extend far beyond my knowledge and intellect – so I’ll just sit back and watch if folks smarter and more knowledgeable might think those questions are worth answering.

    • That’s not it webby, the “missing heat” refers to the predicted heat from AGW that has not materialized. It’s supposed to be here, but it ain’t. Failed prediction, period.

      Remember the phrase: the pause is killing the cause

    • @Joshua…

      So, then, of specific interest – outside of the more general scientific debate – it would be interesting to know whether Judith believes the “leaving it positive” conclusion

      You might start with the statement above

      The competing explanation (the ‘denier’ one, I guess since I don’t hear mainstream climate scientists mentioning this) is that the heat never made it into the system, possibly related to changing cloud patterns or properties that reflected more solar radiation.

      I don’t know what she “believes”, but that statement seems to leave the door open for a lack of “missing heat”.

      In examining this subject, we have to remember that both “sensitivity” and “transient response” are myths – i.e. useful metaphors with some relationship to the truth, usually not literal. In this case they refer to averages over time, of a value itself an average over space, with lots of variation on many time-scales. The “hiatus in global warming” is well explained as the superposition of multi-decade variation on a much lower trend than observed prior to 1998. AFAIK everything she has written (and her testimony) is consistent with that explanation as plausible and most probable.

      When we add in longer-scale variation, measured in centuries, an actual trend of zero, or even negative, is not inconsistent with the evidence, although most climate scientists would probably consider it improbable in view of the “forcing” effect of CO2. I don’t see where “believes” comes into it for a scientist: just rough estimates of probability subject to change in the light of future evidence.

    • AK –

      Yes, that quote you excerpted in interesting.

      It seems that I am rather less sanguine that you w/r/t an expectation that scientists can control for “belief.”

    • Perhaps some of the complicated models are wrong but the simple ones are not.

      Funny how that works out. Thermodynamics is simple.

      The Cause of the Pause is due to thermodynamic Laws.

    • Steven Mosher

      Joshua

      ‘The whole expression of “missing heat” has become a rhetorical device, used by “skeptics,” to score points in the climate wars.”

      moron.

      http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88520025

      http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/01/ocean-cooling-and-global-warming/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

    • Read again, steven –

      Your insult is yet more evidence of your love for the non-sequitur form of white-knighting.

    • Matthew R Marler

      WebHubTelescope: There can’t be missing heat because nature will not allow energy be destroyed. What can happen is that energy can transform between its different states such as between thermal, kinetic, potential, latent, etc.

      How about “missing persons”? Would you say that a person can’t be missing because the body must exist somewhere?

      Of course the heat is “missing”, as Trenberth said, if it is there: if it is there someplace, it has not all been found.

    • “Missing heat” came up in the context of a Trenberth heat budget that was not closed due to lack of measurements (the travesty). Thanks to Argo, that gap is closing, but better satellites are still needed.

  9. The water is already sloshing back.

    When it does you get a November that is the hottest November in the instrument record.

    Therefore, as J-NG blogged, we will soon see hottest years in years that are ENSO neutral throughout, and perhaps even in years with weak La NIna.

    • Look at the cold tongues from the SO at present.

      http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2014/anomnight.1.20.2014.gif

    • The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) is the key characteristic to watch:
      http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/teleconnections/enso/indicators/soi.php

      What JCH said, as the SOI starts plummeting, the global temperature starts to rise, with roughly a 6-month average lag.

      And in the long-term, the SOI does not really matter because it has a reversion to the mean property, where the mean is zero. Meanwhile, the CO2 has no reversion to the mean and will keep climbing.

      Give up the ghost, maksimovich, you have nothing.

    • Yes, ONI dipped from -.2 to -.3, so Dec and Jan are not going to be as hot.

      That’s what slosh means. We’re hitting hottest months with negative ONI. What I called “La Nina leaning”.

      What’s going to happen when we hit .0? Lol. Fry baby, fry.

    • The SAM is moving negative,watch what happens to sst in the tasman sea over the next week.

    • Just to be clear the SOI index is anti-correlated with global temperature changes. When the index goes down, temperatures go up and vice-versa. It’s purely a definitional thing as they define the SOI as the pressure difference between Tahiti and Darwin. If the SOI was defined as the difference between Darwin and Tahiti, the correlation would be positive.

      Perhaps it was a mistake to define it the way they did, because it leads to some confusion. But as long as one is consistent there should no confusion.

    • WHUT, you write “What JCH said, as the SOI starts plummeting, the global temperature starts to rise, with roughly a 6-month average lag.”

      I know that it is foolish to rely on very short term values of SOI, but nevertheless, if values of the SOI are to start plummeting, this has to happen sometime. See http://www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au/seasonalclimateoutlook/southernoscillationindex/30daysoivalues/

      For the last few days, the values of the SOI have been at rather high values.

    • Webster, “Perhaps it was a mistake to define it the way they did, because it leads to some confusion. But as long as one is consistent there should no confusion.”

      Don’t waffle. Your model is based on your assumption that SOI can be considered a thermodynamic reality and that the average monthly standard deviation of surface pressure differential between two points in the southern equatorial Pacific teleconnect to “globally” . You have taken Mann’s path to creative thermodynamics and should stick with it.

      If the glove doesn’t fit you must quit, pushing your model.

    • I’m a dumb cowboy from the Dakotas. Web is in Minnesota. They’re really smart over there.

      I think in ONI. Today I will try to learn SOI.

      As far as I know, I coined La NIna leaning and El Nino leaning. Only the future knows which way things are actually leaning.

    • JCH

      C’mon now, JCH. You are not seriously extrapolating one month’s global temperature data into a long-term trend while ignoring a pause that has lasted well over a decade as meaningless.

      That would be silly, indeed.

      Max

    • Cappy,
      The Glove does Fit, so I won’t Quit, pushing that the Cause of the Pause is due to thermodynamic Laws.

      BTW, How’s the fishing? Still getting skunked?

    • Crip, Yes indeed SOI values go up and down, but they always average to zero in the long term.

      Yet CO2 keeps rising. You know what that means?

      Time for you to give up and stick to your needlepoint.

    • Webster, “Crip, Yes indeed SOI values go up and down, but they always average to zero in the long term.”

      And how long is that term again?

      “Yet CO2 keeps rising. You know what that means?”

      That likely means we haven’t hit peak fossil fuels yet.

      “Time for you to give up and stick to your needlepoint.”

      Actually it is fishing not needle point and it has been pretty good and fairly profitable lately.

    • WHUT, you write “Yet CO2 keeps rising. You know what that means?”

      Yes, indeed. It means that plants, particularly food crops, grow better with less water. It also adds a negligible amount to global temperatures. And I don’t do needlepoint, I do counted cross -stitch.

    • I’m saying that one month will be typical of any relaxation of wind across the surface of the equatorial Pacific.

      You seem to think the wind is going to blow strong forever. Got news for you, the equatorial Pacific ain’t South Dakota.

    • http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2014/anomnight.1.20.2014.gif

      wow the ocean is awash with warm yellow. Very hot outside an el nino.

    • sorry i meant unusual, but hot too. warning signs.

    • Bear in mind those are anomalies, not absolute temperatures.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “phatboy | January 20, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
      Bear in mind those are anomalies, not absolute temperatures.”
      ____
      Anomalies tell you more than absolute temperatures when it comes to a changing climate.

    • Anomalies magnify tiny changes – particularly in the minds of some people

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “phatboy | January 20, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
      Anomalies magnify tiny changes – particularly in the minds of some people”
      ____
      Of course, in a system exhibiting characteristics of deterministic chaos, such as the climate, it is those very tiny changes that eventually lead to big changes or even “dragon king” events as they migrate through the system.

    • In the last 15 years the Sun has plunged back to early 20th century levels.
      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/mean:60/from:1900/plot/sidc-ssn/mean:132/normalise/from:1900

      But I can’t for the life of me see the cooling that should have caused.

      I guess it must have been overwhelmed by a strong warming force! A kind of pause in solar influence.

      I would think CO2 should be attributed 0.3C warming since 2000 to explain the lack of cooling from the colder Sun.

    • The reason we use anomalies is that doing so eliminates large systemic errors inherent in absolute temperature measurements. For example, it doesn’t matter if a particular station is reading 5C too high, just as long as the change in temperature over a given period agrees with that of nearby stations.
      But the big disadvantage of anomalies is that you’ve only removed those errors at the expense of breaking the link to absolute temperatures, and any attempt to reinstate the link brings back all those errors – plus the (smaller) errors inherent in averaging anomalies.
      So, while we can say with confidence that the average global anomaly is, say, 0.5C higher, we cannot say with anything like the same amount of confidence that the global average temperature is 0.5C higher.

    • R Gates –

      Of course, in a system exhibiting characteristics of deterministic chaos, such as the climate, it is those very tiny changes that eventually lead to big changes or even “dragon king” events as they migrate through the system.

      Of course. But the same tiny, or even much larger changes, brought about by natural variation never do, do they? At least, that seems to be the way things work in the warmist world.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Of course. But the same tiny, or even much larger changes, brought about by natural variation never do, do they? At least, that seems to be the way things work in the warmist world.”
      ____
      You really need to try and step outside your political perspective on the whole “warmist” vs “skeptic” thing. Your last comment in particular seems to indicate a rather narrow viewpoint. At any rate, it doesn’t matter the reason for tiny changes if they have persistence over time and compound into larger changes. This persistence over time is something that natural variations have a problem with in that they usually fluctuate around some average over some period of time. It takes some external forcing to create that compounding persistence over time that lead to an actual change of state in the system– a “dragon king” event in which the system changes. In the case of the climate, this external forcing could be astronomical (Milankovtich cycles), volcanic, or of course atmospheric composition or GH gas concentrations.

    • Pot, kettle, black.
      But let’s draw a line under political differences for now and concentrate on the issue.
      You say that natural variation tends to fluctuate around some average – true – but the time scale is also important.
      For example, people argue that the MWP, RWP and LIA were localised phenomena. While that may have been trivially true, nobody can deny that they were long-lasting events – certainly more than long enough to be climatically significant. Whether that compares with the significance of a latter-day few tenths of a degree in global anomaly is debatable.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      phatboy,

      Regarding the MWP and LIA specifically, there seems to be at least level of external forcing involved in each of these events– namely solar and volcanic activity. Each of these have different impacts on regional versus global climate. Volcanic activity can have a more global impact, and solar can have a more regional impact– especially in the NH with the UV effects on jet stream patterns. During the MWP, we had several centuries with low volcanic activity as confirmed in both Greenland and Antarctic ice cores and we also had higher solar activity overall than the LIA. The LIA generally saw a period of increased volcanic activity and lower solar output. Thus, but the MWP and the LIA were “forced” climate periods, and that forcing was a combination of solar and volcanic, though in different directions for each. Climate is always the sum of all forcings compounded over time with associated feedbacks– it is never a random walk.

    • At any rate, it doesn’t matter the reason for tiny changes if they have persistence over time and compound into larger changes. This persistence over time is something that natural variations have a problem with in that they usually fluctuate around some average over some period of time. It takes some external forcing to create that compounding persistence over time that lead to an actual change of state in the system

      Actually it is the persistence of the anti persistence in the global temperature anomaly that is evident ( Carvalho 2007) and how T series are sensitive to fluctuations greater (lesser) then the mean.

      http://www.nonlin-processes-geophys.net/14/723/2007/npg-14-723-2007.html

    • …But still ‘natural’, as opposed to ‘A…’

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Actually it is the persistence of the anti persistence in the global temperature anomaly that is evident ( Carvalho 2007) and how T series are sensitive to fluctuations greater (lesser) then the mean.”
      ___

      What can’t be fooled is net energy in the system. It will display the persistent net forcing on the system when measured on the widest scale. What has been apparent is that tropospheric sensible heat is a very poor proxy for energy in the Earth climate system, except on the longest of time scales. There is no “anti persistence” being displayed in broader measures of energy in the system such as OHC and the closely related sea level rise. The long-term direction of the total energy imbalance does not lie and will tell you where the climate is headed.

    • lowlot –

      But I can’t for the life of me see the cooling that should have caused.

      I really hope you’re right.
      Because if the time constant of the earth system is as long as physics would suggest it is, that would mean a lag of several years between solar activity and global temps – in which case they could well be on the verge of plummeting.

    • Lolwot may I remind you that we are at Solar Maximum, so it is downhill from here. Also projections for the next Solar Maximum are for less than the present one. Before you dismiss solar effects wait to see what the Solar Minimum brings.

    • WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | January 20, 2014 at 9:09 am |
      Give up the ghost, maksimovich, you have nothing.

      maksimovich | January 20, 2014 at 9:26 am |

      The SAM is moving negative,watch what happens to sst in the tasman sea over the next week.

      http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sst_anom.gif

      And what are these Fluxions? The Velocities of evanescent Increments? And what are these same evanescent Increments? They are neither finite Quantities nor Quantities infinitely small, nor yet nothing. May we not call them the ghosts of departed quantities?”

  10. “If you are interested in global climate change, your main focus ought to be on timescales of 50 to 100 years,” says Susan Solomon, . . .

    When in the past have empirical data indicated that a state of balance between incoming and out-going radiative energy transfer for the Earth’s climate systems has been established for time periods of 50 to 100 years? Especially for conditions of increasing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere. Does not the Fundamental Theorem of Climate Science demand that such states cannot be attained so long as CO2 concentrations are increasing?

    If time periods of this scale are required in order to establish climate states, does this not also require that attribution of changes in extreme weather events to changes in climate states can only be determined after the change in climate states has been established for this time period?

  11. “Some have begun to wonder whether there is something amiss in their models.”

    Or more likely, their choice of Climate Sensitivity. The models may still be right if fed with the correct value for that.

    Which brings me to –

    Null Hypothesis = Scenario C

    A more scientific, statistical, claim that can be made about the above ‘slogan’ is

    The longer that Global Surface Temperatures track Scenario C, the more likely it is that Climate Sensitivity is ~0.0.

    There are only two questions that need answering really –

    1. Is it true that Global Surface Temperatures are tracking Scenario C (see http://snag.gy/FeWzn.jpg)?
    2. Is it fair to characterise Scenario C as having a Climate Sensitivity of ~0.0 given that greenhouse gasses did NOT track the levels after 2000 as proposed but that Global Surface Temperatures DID track Scenario C?

    Notes for http://snag.gy/FeWzn.jpg:

    1. Original image ‘http://web.archive.org/web/20010223232940/http://www.giss.nasa.gov/edu/gwdebate/’ which is Hansen’s original publication.

    2. New observations are from GISS and scaled to match the original figure.

    • David Springer

      RichardLH

      re; models may be correct if fed the correct ECS

      No they won’t. That’s been tried. No single ECS value can reproduce both rapid warming from 1975-1998 and the lack of significant warming from 1998-present.

      The CMIP5 ensemble appears broken and it’s not due to any single choice with regard to parameterization. The fly in the ointment has long been suspected by most informed parties is clouds are not being modeled well because the grid size is far too large so they are parameterized instead. New data and reanalysis is finding that some of those parameters are wrong with regard to enthalpy, lapse rate feedback, cloud height, and other hydrologic parameters.

      I have always been of the position that so-called water vapor amplification is a myth and that clouds are a negative feedback which neutralizes water vapor amplification. After all the warmest climate type is the tropical desert and not surprisingly it’s the climate type with the most insolation (tropical) and least clouds (desert).

      Absent water vapor amplification ECS is calculated from radiative transfer program for dry atmosphere called MODTRANS and is 1.1C.
      ECS of 1.1C is not a cause for concern except perhaps it’s not large enough to prevent the end of the Holocene interglacial and return of mile-thick glaciers over most of the northern hemisphere’s temperate landmasses.

    • David: The fact are that the models represent a complex equation of the form

      Greenhouse Gas Concentration * Climate Sensitivity = Temperature

      over time.

      Scenario C kept the first term constant. Observations show that not to be true. Therefore, in order for the models to continue to be accurate, as concentrations DID change, Climate Sensitivity MUST be low.

      QED

      And it uses the models themselves to prove CAWG is likely to be wrong :-)

    • David: The fuller equation is:

      Greenhouse Gas Concentration * Climate Sensitivity + Natural Variability = Temperature

      GGC * CS + NV = T

    • Steven Mosher

      ‘Or more likely, their choice of Climate Sensitivity. The models may still be right if fed with the correct value for that.”

      Models are not FED a value for ECS. ECS is an emergent metric, not an input.

    • Steve: I apologise for my improper wording.

      There are only two questions that need answering really –

      1. Is it true that Global Surface Temperatures are tracking Scenario C (see http://snag.gy/FeWzn.jpg)?
      2. Is it fair to characterise Scenario C as having a Climate Sensitivity of <1.0 given that greenhouse gasses did NOT track the levels after 2000 as proposed but that Global Surface Temperatures DID track Scenario C?

      This does assume that the Climate Model calculations are a (very) complex form of the equation

      Greenhouse Gas Concentration * Climate Sensitivity + Natural Variability = Global Surface Temperature.

      GGC * CS + NV = GST

      Scenario C held GGC = constant. As GGC DID vary as we know, then the only explanation if GST continues to track Scenario C is that CS is small (<1.0 for sure) and the rest is down to Natural Variability.

    • k scott denison

      Yes, Steven, you’ve said this before. I’m genuinely curious: how many GCMs have ever had an emergent value for ECS that is negative?

    • David Springer

      Sorry Richard you are quite wrong. Mosher is absolutely right. ECS is not a parameter it’s a result. Please don’t make crap up out of thin air.

    • David: So will you accept a set of words of the form

      “models configured so that they produce a Climate Sensitivity of”

      instead?

      Still haven’t answered the two simple question I asked I notice.

    • Steven Mosher | January 20, 2014 at 1:29 pm |

      “Models are not FED a value for ECS. ECS is an emergent metric, not an input.”

      I will change the words to


      Or more likely, their choice of Climate Sensitivity. The models may still be right if fed with parameters that derive the correct value for that.

      Happier with those words? Got an answer to the two questions I posed yet?

    • From the comparison of global temperature and Hansen’s scenarios I calculate that global temperature is tracking a climate sensitivity of about 2.2C per doubling of CO2. I consider this a minimum given the drop in solar output in recent years.

    • David Springer

      RichardLH | January 20, 2014 at 3:24 pm |

      David: So will you accept a set of words of the form

      “models configured so that they produce a Climate Sensitivity of”

      instead?

      ——————————————————————————

      Yes, that is acceptable. Paramaterized is more descriptive than configured. Because of grid cell size is far larger than cloud size and convective current size educated guesses must be made instead of running the model and letting it produce clouds as a result of fundamental physics built into the model.

      ————————————————————-
      Still haven’t answered the two simple question I asked I notice.

      ———————————————————————-

      Yes I did. You’ve asked them in more than one thread and I’m not going to get in the habit of answering the same questions over and over. Once gain yes the observed GAT is following Scenario C (no increase in CO2) while the observed partial pressure of CO2 followed Scenario A (business as usual CO2 increase ~2-3ppm/year).

      Given the observations are correct the models are then incorrect.

      CO2 forcing is, AFAIK, done via radiative transfer codes such as MODTRAN or CRE or one of several others. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is an input and the transfer code computes the forcing at each layer. The consensus narrative is that without the additional forcing from more CO2 the ensemble could not reproduce the warming from 1980 – 2000 and nothing else they could think of trying that was happening in the known world could mimic the result of CO2 forcing. Technically that’s a logical fallacy called an argument from ignorance i.e. just because you don’t what else it is doesn’t mean that it cannot be something else (i.e. ignorance of other possibilities). Be that as it may when the hiatus started going over about 5 years some notice was taken mostly among skeptics. After 10 years Trenberth famously wrote in a climategate email “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.” Another five years has passed and the lack of warming is now outside the 95% confidence bound of scenario A model prediction and the travesty grown exponentially larger because it still can’t be explained.

    • David Springer | January 20, 2014 at 5:36 pm |

      ” yes the observed GAT is following Scenario C”

      I am sorry if I missed your agreement on Q1.

      “Given the observations are correct the models are then incorrect.”

      The rather picky point I was making in this regard is that it is the parameters of the models have been set incorrectly rather than the models themselves being wrong.

      In any case. The conclusion I draw from all these observations is that Climate Sensitivity is low. Probably <1.0 which co-responds with Lindzen's figure.

      I content that the longer that GST tracks Scenario C, the more likely it is that <1.0 is the right answer.

    • Lolwot estimates TCR of 2.2C per doubling of CO2.

      I get between 2.1 and 2.2C as my estimate.

      Slice it any way you want, and this is what you will get.

    • WHT: I know what others THINK is the right answer. The problem is that whilst GST continues to track Scenario C, the models are proving them wrong.

    • Lolwot: So what is your explanation for GST tracking Scenario C so well?

    • Richard

      “1. Is it true that Global Surface Temperatures are tracking Scenario C (see http://snag.gy/FeWzn.jpg)?

      Sadly there is not enough information to even define what scenario C was. I wish that they had kept the code and data around. Next, it really beside the point. One problem that both sides have is cherry picking aspects of models that they like to emphasize or not. Let me put this differently. Models give no interesting information about sensitivity.. that cuts two ways.

      2. Is it fair to characterise Scenario C as having a Climate Sensitivity of <1.0 given that greenhouse gasses did NOT track the levels after 2000 as proposed but that Global Surface Temperatures DID track Scenario C?

      No. You'd actually have to do the math. The problem is that the temperature data underdetermines sensitivity. On short time scales you can fit the same temperature with MANY sensitivites… thats why models have a hard time giving you any info one way or the other. Here is what we do know

      1. Models with low sensitivity dont hindcast well
      2. Models with low sensitivity cant get the earth to leave an ice ball state
      3. Models with high sensitivity can't hindcast well either.

      In short models dont constrain sensitivity very well.. they can give you a HINT that low sensitivity (less than 1 ) wont work given what we know and that really high wont work– given what we know..

    • Why use GCM’s when a much simpler first-order model like CSALT is available?
      http://contextearth.com/2014/01/19/reverse-forecasting-via-the-csalt-model/

      The model fits the data according to straightforward thermodynamic forcing factors that are favored by skeptics
      http://imageshack.com/a/img89/5736/1jg.gif

    • WHT: Possibly because I don’t use this to peel potatoes.

      http://snag.gy/Sc7VL.jpg

    • Steven Mosher | January 20, 2014 at 10:31 pm |

      “Models give no interesting information about sensitivity…The problem is that the temperature data underdetermines sensitivity.”

      I know. That is what I am pointing out.

      Let me characterise this in a different way then.

      Scenario A, B and C are the outcomes of parameterising a complex set of models with three different levels of Climate Sensitivity. High, Medium and Low.

      If greenhouse gas concentrations climb, or the effects of that climb is small, is not really of any consequence. The total outcome will be that the models, in total, show different degrees of sensitivity to the greenhouse gas concentration.

      Also, it is not the calculations themselves that are of interest, it is the difference between the three sets of parameter choices that is.

      I rather suspect that all of the models hindcast so well because they are forced to do so. This is regardless of their underlying sensitivity to greenhouse gasses.

      Whilst it may be possible to claim that the models are inaccurate it is also possible to claim that they are in fact accurate when fed with the right parameters.

      Hence the conclusion that the longer the models track Scenario C, the more likely it is that that Climate Sensitivity is low, <1.0 as Lindzen suggested.

    • RichardLH is the guy who claims a crude low-pass filter on the temperature time-series will solve everything. Yup, sure.

      That one will peel potatoes for sure.

    • WHT: But a simple low pass filter never distorts the data. It only ever reports what is there. It does not make any prior assumptions or estimations.

      More like Occam’s Razor than a Swiss Arm Knife.

    • Steven Mosher, “Sadly there is not enough information to even define what scenario C was. I wish that they had kept the code and data around. Next, it really beside the point.”

      I have heard a few mentions that AGW should be tackled like the Manhattan Project. That actually had a project manager to keep the cats in line. There would be no “lost” data, convenient truncation of stubborn data or activists seeking a forum with a Manhattan Project Manger cracking the whip.

      I wonder if they really want that or if it just feels good saying it?

    • Cap’n, I think there was a manager but the atmosphere caught on fire.
      ==============

    • Using the wayback machine as a data repository is an interesting side effect of the internet age.

      I have a web page that pre-dates Google. I seem to have made less money from it though :-(

    • RichardLH, then you are incompetent if you don’t find a TCR of 2C after you apply a low pass filter to the data.

      I am after more than just that, trying to figure out the constituent factors that make up the time series.

    • WHT: Not quite so incompetent if I can figure out that temperatures following Scenario C means a low sensitivity and that natural variability seems to be responsible for the 60 and possibly even the ~100 year cycles..

      Do keep up at the back.

  12. Dr Curry, I suggest you have a look at this paper by Stephen Schwartz of of Brookhaven Laboratory.

    Heat capacity, time constant, and sensitivity of Earth’s climate system. Schwartz S. E. J. Geophys. Res., 112, D24S05 (2007). doi:10.1029/2007JD008746

    After publication Dr Schwartz was jumped on by a team of critics and adjusted his estimate for climate sensitivity.

    In this paper Dr. Schwartz estimated climate sensitivity to doubling of CO2 as 1.1 ± 0.5 K.

    He based his estimate on ocean heat content

    I am not sure whether or not this is his original estimate or the corrected estimate. Personal web page: http://www.ecd.bnl.gov/steve/schwartz.html

    The following question that comes to mind based on this paper and recent reports that the oceans have swallowed the heat.

    How many years / centuries / millennia would it take for the temperature of the ocean to rise by one degree Celsius (one degree Kelvin)? Or by 0.1 degree C / K?

    • David Springer

      Best estimate of temperature imbalance at top of atmosphere is 0.5W/m2. At that rate it would take 500 years to raise ocean basin temperature 1K.

      The calculated imbalance is so close to zero that the polarity of it can change while remaining inside the error bounds. The raw sensor data from CERES satellite instruments shows no significant net imbalance. ARGO diving buoy temperature data is used to “correct” CERES net radiative flux measurements. However ARGO in and of itself has been algorithmically “corrected” from an initial finding of ocean cooling to a finding of ocean warming.

      I don’t know what to believe anymore but I tend to trust the instrument data before it’s been messed with by ideologues in the climate change industry.

  13. David Springer

    “And about the missing heat reappearing, well stay tuned for my next post on ocean heat content.”

    I look forward to it. I hope you have better luck explaining that once higher quality heat (sunlit tropical surface) is diluted into the abyss it can never undilute due to Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    The tropical ocean surface is baked by the sun to 30C and eventually is diluted into the 10x larger volume of the abyss at 3C. You can’t unbake a cake.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “The tropical ocean surface is baked by the sun to 30C and eventually is diluted into the 10x larger volume of the abyss at 3C. You can’t unbake a cake.”
      ____
      Unfortunately this is not how energy is distributed in the ocean. There are natural ways that energy is concentrated in the ocean in specific regions and by specfic processes (i.e. wind and currents). A warmer ocean in general means the main currents advecting heat from the tropics to the poles will be warmer and advect more energy. The notion that heat is somehow evenly “diluted” throughout the ocean (with or without additional GH gas forcing) goes against what we know about ocean dynamics.

    • “The notion that heat is somehow evenly ‘diluted’ throughout the ocean (with or without additional GH gas forcing) goes against what we know about ocean dynamics.”

      Given that we are only just beginning to study “ocean dynamics”, and still know next to nothing about them (see the jumbled up explanations of the causes and effects of ENSO, and the “huh? wassat? response to Dr. Curry’s stadium wave paper), I find this comment amusing.

      It’s also a non-sequitor. I haven’t read anyone who claims heat is “evenly ‘diluted’ throughout the ocean”. And the fact that heat is not evenly diluted throughout the ocean, does not show we know anything about ocean dynamics. It just shows that there are some sparse measurements that show massive differences in temperature depending on depth.

      As little as we know about what the actual surface air and sea surface temps are, we know even less about temps and heat content in the deep ocean.

      The one good thing about our vast ignorance about the Earth’s climate (from a consensus view point), is that it leaves room for the Trenberths to “find” the “missing” heat, where ever they want to.

    • R. Gates, Diluted is an odd choice of terms but not really incorrect. You “dilute” something by mixing it with a larger volume of something else. The highest concentration of energy per unit volume in the oceans is in the tropics and that energy mixes or diffuses into the larger volume through a variety processes. The tropics will always have the highest concentration of energy e.i. warmest water and the poles will always have the lowest concentration of energy. How efficiently the energy mixes, diffuses or dilutes depends on currents, winds, bottom topography, surface topography, temperature gradients, density gradients, solar depth of absorption, biological diversity, tectonic movement, sea ice distribution and likely a few more in addition to the resistance of the atmosphere to heat loss.

      Regardless of the choice to terminology, there is a lot more going on than winds and currents and the “notion” that heat is somehow evenly distributed is the heart of the GHE.

    • Sez GaryM to R.Gates who was speaking to Springer –

      It’s also a non-sequitor. I haven’t read anyone who claims heat is “evenly ‘diluted’ throughout the ocean”.

      Sez Springer just the other day:

      David Springer | January 17, 2014 at 2:54 pm |


      It doesn’t matter in the sense of global warming. At current energy imbalance the global ocean average temperature will rise 0.2C. If that increase is evenly distributed then the surface will only be 0.2C warmer than today and if the ocean surface is only 0.2C warmer then it cannot warm the atmosphere more than 0.2C.

    • R Gates, it seems you haven’t gotten your head around the concept of added energy.
      If forcing adds 4.2J of energy to 1L of water at 4C it will warm to 5C. If the water was at 30C it will warm to 31C. In both cases, the water warmed by 1C.
      Obviously, factors like the water flowing can mean that it’s warmed by less than 1C, because it will be receiving less than 4.2J, but nothing can make it warm by greater than 1C with the same energy input.
      Yes, currents etc cause some parts of the ocean to be warmer than others, but that’s the case whether or not there’s extra forcing, not because of it.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      R Gates said:

      ““Know” is an unscientific term. We can look at “most likely” based on our knowledge:”

      Hehe

      R Gates said
      “goes against what we know about ocean dynamics.”
      Hee Hee

      R Gates said
      “Of course, direct measurements by Argo floats (now numbering over 3600) is only one way we know that the oceans are accumulating energy.”

      “knowing the oceans are gaining energy.”

      haw haw

      It really does depend on who used the word, doesn’t it, R Gates?

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Yes, currents etc cause some parts of the ocean to be warmer than others, but that’s the case whether or not there’s extra forcing, not because of it.”
      ____
      The point is that is a false assumption to think that additional energy is going to be spread out uniformly throughout the ocean, as energy is never spread uniformly throughout the ocean. Additionally, we don’t know exactly how additional energy may impact those processes (wind, currents, downwelling, upwelling) that affect how energy is being advected throughout the ocean. The ocean’s energy distribution is anything but homogenous!

    • I never said that the extra energy is spread uniformly through the ocean, but it’s a lot more uniform than the spread of existing energy.
      If a particular ocean current was previously, say, 10C, it’s not suddenly going to be 20C, much more likely 10.5C
      And as your polar oceans are also likely to have gained a similar order of temperature, the actual amount of energy advected, as you put it, is likely to be less than you imagined.

    • David Springer

      I have never claimed the 0.5W/m2 TOA imbalance is evenly distributed through the ocean. I said “if” it were it would warm the entire basin by 0.2C in 100 years. To the extent it is not evenly distributed (i.e. the diffusion rate) there may be more rapid warming in the mixed layer and hence the average temp of the lower troposphere. It would only take ten years to warm the upper 10%, approximately the mixed layer, by 0.2C if none of the energy diffused below the mixed layer. But we know it does because ARGO dives below the mixed layer and reports OHC increase there. Faster than expected diffusion out of the mixed layer and/or variable rate of diffusion that unexpectedly became faster is on offer as an explanation for the hiatus. In general the greenhouse warming due to a non-condensing well mixed greenhouse gas begins evenly distributed on the ocean’s surface so it’s really a matter of figuring out how the temperature anomaly propagates through the column from top to bottom. As it propagates the anomaly becomes smaller over a larger volume of water. It’s like putting an electric heating element in the top few inches of a 55-gallon drum. The top warms faster than the bottom but the bottom eventually does get warm. When it comes to the ocean we don’t know how fast the heat moves through the column but move it does at some rate and it eventually becomes evenly distributed because of 2LoT. You can run from increasing entropy but you can’t hide…

      • Itsseems that you look to closely upon the results that other people want you to see. The OHC is not spread evenly – it is highest off the W African coast covering latitudes 1N to 15N diminishing westward (HadiSST1 ASO 1870 to 1900 against anything thereafter). This can be further defined by the sst having the same temp gradient as cc as it passes westward across the Atlantic then moving northward. The temp of water flowing southward down the E Atlantic does not have this characteristic, but combining the two temp variables per latitude does roughly equate to the cc temp incline. The big question that is being hidden in the data is why the warming zone off the w African coast?- this is caused by increased insolation due to reduced strata-cumulus cloud mass within the easterly wave formations. I have tried continuously to get the UKs met office and DECC to deal with this issue but they both prefer to stick their head where the sun does not shine. Considering that they can grasp some of the £27,000 per minute of the taxpayers heard earned, one might surmise that their research is more dictated by their bank manager and mortgage repayments than finding a solution to the cc mess. I prefer the term fraud.

  14. ….That has led sceptics — and some scientists — to the controversial conclusion that the models might be overestimating the effect of greenhouse gases, and that future warming might not be as strong as is feared…

    The controversial conclusion among most climate scientists, that dare not speak its name.

  15. The real significance is that this got published in Nature at all. An indicator that the tide is turning against the Science is Settled Consensus. The first line of CAGW defense, that there is no pause (cherry picked start/end, statistical significance, data adjustments…) appears to have now officially crumpled. Solomon points to a second predictable line of defense, move the goalposts. But that won’t work except in lame stream media reporting, because the CAGW team delt with pause earlier by publishing repeatedly that it would take 15 or 17 years to invalidate the models. They just never imagined Mother Nature would get to that point or that Journal Nature would notice.
    Perhaps now the science can get back to fundamentals like natural variability (stadium waves, sun, …) and feedback dynamics (clouds, UTsH,…) and stop pretending that just comparing flawed finite element supercomputer models is actual science.

    • “The real significance is that this got published in Nature at all. “

      Quite right, Rud. For all my snark, this seems an important event. I’d use the word “seminal,” but that would likely be my 3 cups of morning coffee speaking.

    • Wasn’t it 15 year enso adusted trends of 0?

      Page me when you have such data.

      Currently all 15 year trends by skeptical sciences trend calculator are positive and none of them are enso adjusted.

  16. These ad hoc explanations for the “missing heat” don’t rescue the IPCC report. Even if the missing heat is hidden in the deep ocean, the models are inadequate, because they don’t reflect heat moving into the deep ocean. So, the IPCC ought to show high uncertainty.

    • David Springer

      If the “missing heat” is in the deep ocean it is still not able to effect global average temperature in any significant fashion. Once diluted into the ocean basin it can’t undilute itself to cause rapid warming at the surface. Hopefully Curry will explain this well enough to make up for my failure to convince anyone that 2LoT is alive and well and working in the ocean like everywhere else.

    • And what would cause the missing heat to come out? Mardi Gras?

      Andrew

    • at David Springer
      Just want to encourage you about the missing heat in the abyss. Your comments make sense. in the thousand year return from the deep ocean conveyor belt, when the missing heat raises the temp at -9,000 feet by 1 degree C. If the upwelling is still lower than the atmospheric temperature how in the world can it impact the world? I just see so little fairness in the papers and media discussing the impacts if the heat goes in the ocean deep.
      Scott

    • David Springer

      Scott – i.e. raising ocean basin temp 1C

      The current (best estimated) TOA imbalance is 0.5W/m2. If that is evenly mixed into the ocean basin it will take 500 years to raise the basin temp by 1C. We would need to know the diffusion speed to say how much atmosphere warming that becomes. We know about 1/10th of the ocean’s volume is well mixed over short timescales – the top 400 meters. If the excess heat could not diffuse at all past 400m, ever, then the ocean surface would rise in temperature by 1C in 100 years. If it diffuses quickly into the abyss then it takes 1000 years.

      There is no missing heat in that scenario. The only heat that needs to be accounted for is the 0.5W/m2 imbalance at TOA because if that number is accurate then the only place it can be going is in the ocean.

      TOA imbalance needs to be a larger number to be of much concern when worst case is 1C in 100 years. Given we can already see warming well below the mixed layer the worst case is probably closer to 0.5C/century. It is observed to have been as much 1.5W/m2 in the past and if there was zero diffusion and that rate was maintained we would have 3C/century warming which is probably something to be concerned about but stopping world hunger, wiping out malaria, ending brutal/corrupt political systems, and a whole raft of other things still yield far more benefit for the buck. Technology in 100 years, given the pace of technologic advance, is almost certainly going to be able to solve any global warming problems far more cheaply than today. Synthetic biology is the answer. Photosynthetic bacteria (blue-green algae, been here for billions of years) are like little self-reproducing robots that consume CO2 and piss diesel and they do it in non-potable (salt/brackish/municipal waste). Through genetic engineering we’ve already modified them to excrete ethanol or diesel as desired. If we could design and program them to perform any of the things that nature is already doing we can have them build anything we want at any scale out of any of the zillion carbon compounds nature makes and plenty that she doesn’t. Moreover materials can be produced with molecular precision and stuff gets some weird properties when you can do that like super-strong, super elastic, super conducting, and things of that nature. It’s like having a 3D printing machine that can produce anything and do it for free with sunlight, air, and water.

    • David, your arguments are noticed, and usually make complete sense to me.

  17. There’s heat missing only if you believe in AGW.

    “What if climate change appears to be just mainly a multidecadal natural fluctuation? They’ll kill us probably…”

    He probably means AGW, not climate change. Or he’s indoctrinated by the Orwellian.

    • David Springer

      The heat isn’t missing. I found it. It’s in a sphere approximately 50 light years in radius with the earth at its center.

    • There’s heat missing only if you believe in AGW.

      I applaud. We have a “skeptic” among us who cares about being logically coherent.

      There are a few others. It is fascinating to see how they are regularly thrown under the bus by Judith and many of our other much beloved “skeptical” denizens.

    • Joshua, actually if you believe in significant anthropogenic net global warming effect in the last 50 years or so. How much of the temperature change is the natural fluctuation? PDO was mostly positive, ENSO as well. Solar high. Where is the anthropogenic part? Missing?

  18. The competing explanation (the ‘denier’ one, I guess since I don’t hear mainstream climate scientists mentioning this) is that the heat never made it into the system, possibly related to changing cloud patterns or properties that reflected more solar radiation.

    The rapid response of Earth’s Temperature to day and night and to summer and winter clearly shows it stays in or nearly in balance and there is no hidden heat.

  19. “Climate model simulations find that the probability of a hiatus as long as 20 years is vanishingly small. If the 20 year threshold is reached for the pause, this will lead inescapably to the conclusion that the climate model sensitivity to CO2 is too large.”

    They’re already taking care of that, Judith. 50-100 years is the new 15-20 years. They’ll just “all go deliberate in the back room” as the OJ Simpson juror put it, and whip up a new batch of climate models that hindcast the current pause perfectly.

    • As Senator Boxer said during the hearing: The 80’s were the warmest decade on record, until the 90’s, which was the warmest decade on record, until the 2000’s. The betting is that the 2010’s will be an new warmest, and not by a small margin, as neither of these others were. The “pause” is emphasized despite these record-setting decades.

    • Jim D

      Will the 2010s be warmer than the 2000s?

      Anyone’s guess, Jim.

      But over the past 12 years (since 2002) there has been a slight linear cooling of 0.037C (HadCRUT4):

      2002: 0.492
      2003: 0.503
      2004: 0.445
      2005: 0.539
      2006: 0.495
      2007: 0.483
      2008: 0.388
      2009: 0.494
      2010: 0.547
      2011: 0.406
      2012: 0.448
      2013: 0.486
      .
      The most recent 6-year period (2008-2013) averaged 0.462C, while the preceding 6-year period (2002-2007) averaged 0.493C.

      So the most recent 6-year period was 0.03C cooler than the previous period.

      Hope this helps.

      Max

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Max_CH is ambivalent about statistical significance and doesn’t like other climate metrics. UAH and GISS , bleh !

    • manacker, the previous 6-year period started with a strong solar max, and the last 6 years ended with a weak one. I am sure that comes into it. 6-year averages alias in parts of solar cycles, so they are not much good.

    • Jim D | January 20, 2014 at 11:44 am |

      As Senator Boxer said during the hearing: The 80′s were the warmest decade on record, until the 90′s, which was the warmest decade on record, until the 2000′s. The betting is that the 2010′s will be an new warmest, and not by a small margin, as neither of these others were.

      Such “betting” is never made by people with their own money.

      When Jim D bets that 2011-2020 will be as much warmer than 2001-2010 as that decade was vs the prior, and when he puts the title to his house and the contents of his financial accounts on that line, then we will give weight to his opinion as to what “the betting is”. Ditto Barbie Boxer, and anyone else looking to empower themselves by telling scary stories.

    • For me it only needs a large El Nino like the ones in 1983 and 1998. We are about due. It would be a safe bet.

    • “For me it only needs a large El Nino like the ones in 1983 and 1998. We are about due. It would be a safe bet.”

      It’s refreshing seeing this kind of honesty from a warmist. Who cares that one El Nino ion one year will tell us precisely nothing about climate. What matters is what we can do with “climatological graphology” with an uptick in a single year.

    • Most “skeptics” who believe in the pause have also implicitly believed in the “step” just before it. The pause cannot be extrapolated back without it. Steps happen like pauses.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Re post by manacker on January 20, 2014 at 12:28 pm in which he said:

      “But over the past 12 years (since 2002) there has been a slight linear cooling of 0.037C (HadCRUT4)”

      “The most recent 6-year period (2008-2013) averaged 0.462C, while the preceding 6-year period (2002-2007) averaged 0.493C.”

      “So the most recent 6-year period was 0.03C cooler than the previous period.”
      _______

      Well, that sure isn’t what the UAH satellite-based global temperature data series shows. It shows a 2002-2013 increase in temperature, and increases in both 6-year sub periods within this 12-year period.

      It’s hard for me to remember the details, but my understanding is UAH has more complete global coverage than HadCRUT4. If that’s true, why are you using HadCRUT?

      htp://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:2001/to:2013/plot/uah/from:2001/to:2007/trend/plot/uah/from:2007/to:2013/trend

    • Jim D

      You can bend it, twist it and rationalize it any way you want, but the fact of the matter is that by the yardstick used by IPCC for global warming (HadCRUT3 and more recently HadCRUT4) it has been cooling slightly over the past 12 years or so.

      This could be the end of the late 20thC warming cycle and a repeat of the mid 20thC cycle of slight cooling.

      Who knows?

      But it does not correlate with atmospheric CO2, which has continued to increase to all-time record levels.

      Poor correlation makes the case for causation weak.

      So much for the “CO2 climate control knob”.

      Max

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Jim D | January 20, 2014 at 2:13 pm |
      For me it only needs a large El Nino like the ones in 1983 and 1998. We are about due. It would be a safe bet.”
      ____
      It is very likely that during some future El Niño event, at which time sensible and latent heat flux from ocean to atmosphere peaks, we will once more see records broken for tropospheric surface temperatures. The more honest approach is to try and filter out the “noise” from the ENSO cycle, to see what the underlying forcing is. Another approach, is to bypass the highly variable and highly dependent and low thermal inertia of the tropospheric record, and look at a more stable proxy for the buildup of energy in the Earth system. When doing this, we see that CO2 and OHC almost parallel each other in terms of the slope of their rise over the past 40+ years.

    • Max_OK

      You ask me why I am “using HadCRUT”?

      Ask IPCC why they used HadCRUT in all reports as the key indicator of AGW.

      I’m simply using this indicator because they are.

      Max_not from OK

    • R. Gates

      we see that CO2 and OHC almost parallel each other in terms of the slope of their rise over the past 40+ years.

      Past 40 years?

      Get serious, Gates. There are no meaningful OHC measurements covering “the past 40 years”.

      We have ARGO since 2003, which first showed slight cooling, then (after the readings were “corrected”) showed slight warming.

      But before that we have nothing meaningful.

      Max

    • manacker, yes, we can contemplate plots like this and wonder what they tell us about the connection between CO2 and temperature.
      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1955/mean:12/plot/gistemp/from:1955/mean:12/plot/esrl-co2/from:1955/scale:0.01/offset:-3.3

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “But before that we have nothing meaningful.”
      ___
      It is a convenient but false representation to suggest we have “nothing meaningful” regarding OHC prior to Argo. Absolutely the level of uncertainty was greater, but this higher level of uncertainty does not equate to “nothing meaningful”.

    • “Absolutely the level of uncertainty was greater, but this higher level of uncertainty does not equate to ‘nothing meaningful’.”

      meaningful
      useful
      fairness
      for the children

      All progressivese for “I’m gonna use words that mean whatever I want them to mean.”

      Measurements of OHC now, with ARGO, are not meaningful, if the question is a policy of decarbonization.

    • On the subject of correlations, never forget to bring up the appalling correlation between the Sun and global temperature.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1955/mean:12/plot/gistemp/from:1955/mean:12/plot/sidc-ssn/mean:132/from:1955/normalise

      That pretty much shoots down the Sun as a significant cause of recent warming.

    • The Sun could be a factor in the pause, however, and I think everyone agrees with that, except for a few hardened “skeptics” that only want to use the pause as an example of a model failure, and would prefer to discount the sun as just a modelers’ excuse.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “The Sun could be a factor in the pause, however, and I think everyone agrees with that, except for a few hardened “skeptics” that only want to use the pause as an example of a model failure, and would prefer to discount the sun as just a modelers’ excuse.”
      ____
      Between aerosols and lower net solar output Trenberth calculates these account for maybe 20% of the “pause”, with the rest being the lower sensible and latent heat flux form ocean to atmosphere because of the cool phase of the PDO. These estimates seem reasonable to me. Meanwhile, net energy in the system exhibited no “pause” in its growth.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      manacker said on January 20, 2014 at 2:47 pm |
      “Max_OK

      You ask me why I am “using HadCRUT”?

      Ask IPCC why they used HadCRUT in all reports as the key indicator of AGW.”
      _______

      Max_CH, the IPCC uses HadCRUT because it goes back to the year 1850, but your analysis covers only the period 2002 to 2013, a period for which UAH data are available, and since the UAH is supposed to give more complete global coverage of temperature your reason for using HadCRUT is not sound.

      I’m simply using this indicator because they are.

    • The Little Ice Age ended and the Modern Warm Period happened.
      It is supposed to be warm now. The Warmest decades occur during a Warm Period after a Cold Period. The warm decades are supposed to happen now and this is when the snow falls that brings the next cold period.

  20. Re the increase in pesky deniers: “According to both Anthony Leiserowitz of Yale and Ed Maibach of George Mason, the leaders of the two research teams, the answer may well lie in the so-called global warming “pause”—the misleading idea that global warming has slowed down or stopped over the the past 15 years or so. This claim was used by climate skeptics, to great effect, in their quest to undermine the release of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report in September 2013—precisely during the time period that is in question in the latest study.”

    Hah! Who are the climate deniers now?

  21. You can’t keep piling up warm water in the western Pacific,” Trenberth says. “At some point, the water will get so high that it just sloshes back.” And when that happens, if scientists are on the right track, the missing heat will reappear and temperatures will spike once again.
    ******
    This is completely bogus. The hot water can be forced down by currents into the deeper ocean, toward the poles, the heat of which is then directed to space. Or, it just mixes with the deeper cold water, in which case it won’t be affecting climate any time soon. Trenberth seems to think the upper ocean is in a shallow container. Maybe Santer can beat some sense into him.

    • It is shallow, it is a thousand times as wide as it is deep.

    • upper 200 meters; shallow yes, container no.

    • It is possible that the wall of warm water will move toward the poles, cooling along the way. Of course this would have impacted the size of the polar sea-ice, which would have shrunk a bit.

    • If the hotter water became dense due to salinity, could it have sunk too deep to affect the polar ice?

    • “The heat will come back to haunt us sooner or later,” says NCAR scientist Kevin Trenberth, the lead author. “The reprieve we’ve had from warming temperatures in the last few years will not continue. It is critical to track the build-up of energy in our climate system so we can understand what is happening and predict our future climate.” …

      The gigantic mistake people have made is to think what Trenberth was saying in the above is the “missing heat” itself is going to come back; as in, to reassemble itself in the deep oceans and to shoot to the surface.

      It is imbecilic to think that is what Trenberth meant.

      So try to calm down and figure out what he meant.

    • I think Trenberth means it eventually will stop hiding and resume heating the atmosphere. But not coming out of hiding. The already hidden will stay hidden.

      Am I confused?

  22. Am I ever looking forward to your post on OHC. If it is anything like this one, it will be a “barn burner”. I have always admired you, Judith, but my opinion of you has been increasing by leaps and bounds over the last few weeks. Not that my opinion matters.

    • Too modest, Jim, though I always get the same feeling when I praise her. What could she possibly care? But OTOH, support is always nice it seems to me, and we’re more than the sum of our two parts. Which is to say, there are many of us out there, frustrated climate deniers looking for a few brave highly credentials souls capable of speaking truth to power. That has to be lonely at times, Keep supporting. It all helps in some small way.

    • Jim Cripwell

      Agree 100% with you. And I am also looking forward to Judith’s post on OHC.

      Max

    • Anyone else notice that the further Dr. Curry gets from her former tribe, the clearer and more expansive her thinking becomes?

      It is amazing what you start to see once you take get clear of the ideological fog. Critical analysis is a bitch – for the “consensus”. (Which is why the discourage it starting in pre-school.)

    • The phrase used for this phenomenon when Bill Clinton, under Dick Morris’s tutelage, moved to the “center” and abandoned the liberal Democrats in Congress was “The ship is deserting the sinking rats.”

  23. This has led skeptics – and some scientists

    That statement shows a total lack of understanding of what a scientist is. If scientists were not skeptics, then they would still believe the earth is a mere 6000 years old, and that it was the center of a flat universe.

    • She’s just using the term – skeptics – in the bastardized way it has come to be used in climate science.

    • jim 2

      She’s just using the term – skeptics – in the bastardized way it has come to be used in climate science

      Is the term “scientists” also being used in a “bastardized way in climate science” (when referring to the consensus “scientists”)?

      A moot point.

      Max

    • consensus “scientists” = modern day unicorn

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      If everyone who labeled himself a global warming skeptic was a complete skeptic, it would be wrong to make the distinction (i.e., “This has led skeptics – and some scientists”). Few who identify themselves as global warming skeptics, however, are complete skeptics. They are selective in their skepticism, and some are simply deniers posing as skeptics. A scientists must be a complete skeptic.

      My grandaddy use to say some people are as stubborn as one-eyed mules. I guess a one-eyed mule is stubborn because he sees only what’s on one side of him. The global warming skeptic is like a one-eyed mule because he sees only what’s on one side. And like the mule he is very stubborn.

  24. On October 27, 2011 Roger Pielke Sr. had a blog post on the Greenwire article which interviewed a dozen climate scientists about the temperature plateau. It has taken a while for the obvious to be well known.

    “There is a news release by Paul Voosen on Greenwire titled

    “Provoked scientists try to explain lag in global warming (Tuesday, October 25, 2011)

    “There are some interesting quotes from climate scientists in this article that highlight a large degree of uncertainty with respect to the climate system, and the human role in it, even among scientists closely involved with the IPCC reports. The long article focuses on the question

    ‘Why, despite steadily accumulating greenhouse gases, did the rise of the planet’s temperature stall for the past decade?”

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/candid-comments-from-global-warming-climate-scientists/

  25. And about the missing heat reappearing, well stay tuned for my next post on ocean heat content.

    Very much looking forward to read it.

  26. Prof Curry,

    Thank you for citing my survey article. It’s an honor for an eminent climate scientist to favorably mention a work of journalism (amateur journalism, at that).

  27. Let me put forward two aspects of the pause. First, it can be extended at both ends of the calendar. If future temperatures decrease, then the years prior to the mid 1990’s could become part of the pause.

    Second, the temperature data is ergodic. What has happened in the past, is not necessarily a harbinger of what is going to happen in the future. There has to be some sort of proviso that nothing drastic will happen to make the past not a portent of the future. The difficulty with this is the sun.

    There seems to be no doubt in the minds of solar scientists that the sun is going into some form of magnetic minimum. This minimum seems to have already been officially named as the Eddy Minimum. The big question is whether it will be a Maunder or Dalton type minimum. Then the next question, will it have an effect on world climate.

    If indeed, the sun is the main driver of climate, and the sun’s magnetic effects are a major cause of changes in the earth’s climate, then surely all bets are off as to what will happen this century.

  28. Dr. Curry, I know you dislike moderating, but you should consider something like the “bore hole” for the vaporings of folks like Joshua. Makes the Comments thread instantly unusable. Bah.

    The more crap you put up with, the more crap you are going to get. — Dilbert, et al.

    • pdtillman –

      Thanks for reading. I can’t tell you how much it means to me.

    • I, on the other hand, have to admire Joshua for attacking and defending from the middle ground.

      We could use another or two of that ilk around here.

    • I’m with Bob on this. Joshua is unpopular with denialists because he points out uncomfortable truths.

  29.  
    MISSING HEAT FOUND!

    “It’s a travesty I didn’t find it sooner,” global warming guru Kevin Trenberth announced to the global warming community today as he waived a few slices of toasted bread over his head — the toast clearly showing the words “Missing Heat!”

    ”We’ve gone 17-years without any significant global warming,” opined Trenberth, “so, it’s great we finally found the heat and perhaps can figure out a way to bring it to the surface where humanity really needs it.”

    According to Leftist academicians polar bears have been suffering from second-hand humanity for nearly two decades. It’s a miracle they managed to survive this long. Rumor has it a polar bear at the San Diego Zoo had to switch its diet from seal blubber to bread and margaritas.

  30. “Climate model simulations find that the probability of a hiatus as long as 20 years is vanishingly small”

    Maybe not so much? I wondered about this.

    Using these PDF’s:
    http://www.dccc.iisc.ernet.in/hiatus_gbala.html

    Probability of 10 year pause:

    RCP4.5 = 35%
    RCP8.5 = 3%

    Probability of 20 year pause:

    RCP4.5 = 25%
    RCP8.5 = 10% (???)

    Probability of 30 year pause:

    RCP4.5 = 20%
    RCP8.5 = 0%

    The likelihood of a specific model run producing a 20 year trend of zero or less is ~25% for the RCP4.5 scenario. 75% of all model runs produce 20 year trends of 0.1C per decade or more.

    I’m just visually adding up the number of 0 and below here. The RCP8.5 results don’t make a lot of sense as it seems 20 years pauses are more likely then 10 year pauses?

    The numbers are bit confounded because the overall trends aren’t linear, so the probabilities of plateaus is different at the end of the century then it is at the start of the century for the different scenarios. The PDF’s would be more useful here if they were just for the next 30 years.

    I haven’t seen other statistics on this, would be interested in other sources.

    • Judith’s quote about “vanishingly small” appears to be wrong. I wonder where this meme came from.

    • I tracked the “vanishingly small” claim to a 2013 von Storch paper.
      http://www.academia.edu/4210419/Can_climate_models_explain_the_recent_stagnation_in_global_warming
      We now have two papers using the RCP4.5 runs and making opposite claims about the frequency of pauses. Needs further study.

    • The difference, I believe, is that the first paper’s probability is that of a pause within a whole simulation, while the second is that of a pause relative to all 15-year periods simulated. That is, because simulations contain many 15-year period, they more likely contain a pause. So they are both right.

    • When you claim that the length of finding a 10 year long flat part of the temperature, are you talking about the % number of runs which generated such a flat feature or the number of models which generate a flat feature in any number of runs?

    • From what I can tell, this PDF looks at each single run of a set of climate models, it looks at 10, 20, and 30 year time periods (2010-2020, 2011-2021, 2012-2022, etc.) and then bins the changes in temperature in 0.1C increments.

      It appears to say that for any single climate run, you would have a 25% chance of seeing a flat period of 20 years across any 20 year interval in the simulation. Obviously this is due to the noise in the runs, but this number seemed surprisingly large to me. I’m not convinced it is accurate, but it is the only data I have seen on this subject.

    • As I mentioned, the data shown is not specifically valid for the pause in the time period we are in currently (1998-2014).

      If you examine the century trend of RCP4.5. it flattens out at the end of the century. So you would likely see more pauses at the end of the century, then at the start. It is unclear how much this affects the data.

      The slopes of the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 are about the same in our current time period, and the RCP8.5 is almost linear (so the end of century changes have less effect), so it may actually be more appropriate to use the statistical data from the RCP8.5 bins for the current time period.

    • In the paper I refer to, von Storch is saying that a 15-year pause (less than .05 C per decade) has a probability of 0.75% among all 15-year simulated periods. So you can figure out that in 50 years, the probability would become quite high that one appears in it, e.g. (1-0.0075)^35=.76 leaving 24%.

    • Yeah, I think the correct number to use is the probability that any 15 year time interval would have a pause, not the probability that a single 15 year pause would occur during a 50 year segment. And restraining the time period to the intervals we are in is appropriate if the number of runs is large enough.

      I think the Storch paper you link to probably has a better statistic for the intended comparison. Of course that is probably my confirmation bias talking, ha ha.

    • If a quarter of all climate model 50-year runs up to 2050 have a 15-year pause, can we say that the probability is “vanishingly small”? That is the bottom line question.

    • 25% if not vanishingly small.

      I think Bala ran the intervals all the way out to 2100. Storch ran only over the current time period. Storch compared whether the models produced higher or lower numbers than the observational measurements over the current 15 year period and that is where he came up with the 2% / 1% probability numbers.

      It’s a bit of apples and oranges. I think Storch is the better answer if you are asking how well the models did over the recent 15 year period. Not so great. Only 2% of individual runs ran at or lower than observations.

      We shall see how they do over the next 10 years.

      • From what i understand, in the entire population of CMIP3/CMIP5 simulations, only one simulation has a hiatus exceeding 20 yrs under CO2 forcing

    • For 20 years it is hard to reconcile von Storch with your link. von Storch would show it is vanishingly small for even whole 50-year simulations, but your link shows 25%. From von Storch and using my calculation, it drops quickly from 25% at 15 years to much smaller by the time you get to 20 years. However, part of the issue here is how large the model El Ninos are because without 1998, we wouldn’t be talking about a 15-year pause at all.

    • Judith, yes, I wonder about the Bala 25% number for 20 years too.

    • Real climate posted one with a 21 year pause

      http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/12/the-global-temperature-jigsaw/

      In the right time frame for the current trends

      So much for the none of the models predicted squawk.

    • Bob Droege, “Real climate posted one with a 21 year pause”

      If that “ONE” was the ensemble mean someone might take notice. When you sell the “ensemble” mean concept then have to revert to individual models and individual runs of that model, the everything including the estimate “absolute” global and regional projections of that model have to be dead nuts on if you want to shift horses. That would also require some crow eating.

    • I used to use models all the time in my career. If I know how a model works, and I understand everything abut what the data input means, I will produce just about any answer you like. Whether under cross examination, I could justify any particular answer, is a different issue.

    • captd, climate is not an “ensemble mean” climate is a single realization, so a single model has variability features more like climate than an ensemble mean. You would not find natural variability in an ensemble mean because it is designed to average that out to get the climate-change signal minus the random noise.

    • What a mathematical load of dishwater, Judith I am sorry you had to put in an answer to the rubbish. To state it again, In a single run, all we ever get in real life, the chances of a 20 year Hiatus are vanishingly small.
      If you want to enter fantasy land and do innumerable reruns then its the old monkeys on a type writer trick . Heck why stop at 24% when you could have had 97% and be politically correct as well

    • angech, but then you would be taking away a big part of the “skeptic” argument that the models can’t simulate any pause greater than 15 years. Do you really want to remove that brick from their foundation?

    • No worries, Jim D, then I can admire the beauty of the ensemble mean.
      =========

    • I’m not so sure one model run having a pause is very convincing unless you look at that in the light of the total number of model runs. If all model runs had a very large envelope, then saying we are still in that envelope is not saying much. I’ve always thought the envelope they showed for the model runs was hopelessly optimistic, and the numerics behind the envelope didn’t make statistical sense.

      One should ask if that model run has anything unique about it that made it get this pause that maybe that should be incorporated into the rest of the models.

      You know this science has hit a wall of nonsense when you have educated people looking at these model results vs.observations and not publicly contemplating whether there is a problem in the models. Certainly they must be doing so privately.

      Producing models with a lower effective climate sensitivity is the third rail of climate science. If models of this type were already included, they would obviously be performing better against observations, and explaining that would be a bit of mess for the advocates.

  31. David Rose? Really?

    Tollefson appears at the outset to really be all about the Rose article, and yeah, he gives too much credibility to what is, after all, a nonesuch beyond the shorter term.

    The regional analyses that wrestle with the sub-climate timescale details in an attempt to better understand shorter term phenomena, that’s a great thing, and Tollefson does a worthy job. Rose’s hack and slash doesn’t compare. But at 30 years, the trend is not significantly lower than the 30 year trend before it, and not significantly different from 30 year spans on the model simulation runs, if you do valid comparisons along the entire span instead of treating the projections as volcano and solar predictions.

    If Cane is right, and there is a Western Pacific ‘mountain’ of warm water 20 cm high blocking the Pacific and turning it into a refrigerator storing a share of AGW in its depths, then Trenberth’s logic is solid too: you can’t pile water permanently without limit. At some point the Red Sea will close again, denying passage to Pharoah.

    Then what will happen? The 30-year trend is going to slightly spike up about as much above the greenhouse effect trend line as it now is below the GHE trend line, in a typical sigmoid. Over 30 year spans, not a very big rise above the projected rise. That’s no surprise, as natural phenomena generally move in erratic sigmoids not straight lines.

    Now, a 16 year drop to temperatures indistinguishable from those of a century ago that couldn’t be attributed to some cooling incident, that would be a challenge to AGW. When that happens, name it something cute. The rest is just statistical spin.

    • This would all be a little more palatable if those who are making this argument weren’t the same people who were uber-confident that the temperature run up after the 1980’s was independent of natural forces.

      IMO it is a difficult argument to make that natural forces are now suppressing temperatures (which they may very well be) while also maintaining with confidence that they did not add to the temperature rise in the 1990’s. I didn’t just fall of the turnip truck…

      So I can accept that many would expect a sharp run-up to occur over the next few decades to get warming back “in-line” with expectations. A regression to the mean, if you will.

      However, if this does not happen, I think the models, and the theory they are based on is toast, and it is back to the drawing board.

    • This would all be a little more palatable if those who are making this argument weren’t the same people who were uber-confident that the temperature run up after the 1980′s was independent of natural forces.

      What is the relationship between your findings of palatiblity and the validity of a scientific analysis?

      And please note:

      –snip–

      Just a few years ago, when Rahmstorf et al. (2007) compared climate observations to computer model projections, they noticed the faster-than-expected warming leading up to 2006. It was faster than expected and faster than projected by those dreaded “computer models” used by the IPCC. According to the data, global average surface temperature was on a “mad dash” to extreme heat.

      How did these evil denizens of global warming react? Did they use that result to push world government based on socialism, so that they could destroy our economy by taxing the super-rich out of some of their hardly-earned riches? Did they run screaming through the streets yelling about how we’re all going to suffer spontaneous combustion by the year 2100?

      No. Instead, they attempted to understand the result.

      And what explanation, some bunnies may wonder, crossed their minds first? What was their first instinct regarding how this mad dash of global warming might have come about? This:

      The first candidate reason is intrinsic variability within the climate system.

      –snip-

      http://tamino.wordpress.com/2013/09/21/double-standard/

    • Bart doesn’t get that the “piled” water can move downward into the ocean. Interesting.

    • Jim2 – how quickly we forget “but there is no mechanism!”

    • Nonsense – as Chef Bilgologist has posted dozens of times, the NASA website says natural variation can enhance and mask the AGW signal. It’s right out there in public for years and years and years.

    • This is the trend line since 1970 where we see that the current pause is within the 0.1 C natural variability around the 0.167 C/decade trend.
      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1970/mean:12/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1970/mean:12/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1970/mean:12/trend/offset:0.1/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1970/mean:12/trend/offset:-0.1
      Previous periods have dropped this far below the trend and rebounded to the opposite side of the trend line. I see no reason why this dip is different, and if you look at the monthly data, instead of 12-month averages plotted, you find that November 2013 was already back at above mid-point. It is an interesting feature that the temperature never goes parallel to the mean trend for any length of time, but bounces with a 0.1 C amplitude on either side the whole time.

    • I’m thinking that if the trade winds diminish slowly, the “piled up” water could continue to sink for a while, which would diminish in turn the resulting El Nino. If the trade winds abruptly cease to blow, there would be more warm water available to spread over the Pacific.

    • Joshua,

      I guess you missed all the “it’s worse than we thought” pronouncements during the 90’s. You can compare that to how many of those same people are now saying “it’s not as bad as we thought”. Consistency is never the strong suit of advocacy.

      As Tamino says, there is definitely a double standard here. And unsurprisingly it applies to both sides.

    • Tom –

      As Tamino says, there is definitely a double standard here. And unsurprisingly it applies to both sides.

      No doubt. As you say, it should be expected.

    • jim2 | January 20, 2014 at 11:42 am |

      Isn’t it implicit in the argument that a share of the the pile is moving downward right now?

      If it were just sitting there stalled on top, getting hotter and hotter as it piled higher and higher with the heat going nowhere, we’d certainly see something much more interesting.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5xw-1RccHk

      Is that where you suggest the heat is ending up?

    • @ Bart R | January 20, 2014 at 7:31 pm |
      Isn’t it implicit in the argument that a share of the the pile is moving downward right now?
      ****
      Yes, Bart, implicit or not, ocean currents have to make a complete circuit and one way for that to happen is for water to move downward in the Western Pacific. I suppose it could hug the surface and move sideways in the general direction of the poles. Three dimensions and all that, space-wise.

      My point, at one point, was that the first derivative of the trade wind westward speed might influence how much of the hotter water is left mostly on the surface, thus could be an influence on the magnitude of the El Nino. Speculation.

  32. ACO2 is causing the temperature of the earth (TOE) to rise rapidly. The increase in the TOE will prove catastrophic unless governments world wide unite in controlling ACO2. That control must be implemented by taxing and regulating all activities related to the production or consumption of fossil fuels.

    That is the central axiom of Climate Science. It is NOT a theory or proposition. It is unquestioned and unquestionable FACT among Climate Scientists. An axiom. Any scientist who questions the axiom, publicly, does so at the risk of their professional reputation, their livelihood, and, often, their personal reputation.

    Atmospheric temperature was cited as the critical symptom of AGW. If the annual TOE (never defined) went up by a few millidegrees over the previous year there were breathless headlines reporting the fact and demands for immediate action. Until it didn’t.

    Now, with atmospheric temperature stagnant for more than 15 years, not only is it unimportant, but anyone who cites the stagnation as a reason to re-examine the premise of ACO2 as THE primary influence on the climate is instantly tarred as a ‘science denier’. And the Anthropogenic Heat appears in the deep ocean, where we have no instrumentation to measure it. Why the ACO2, which had spent decades heating the air, should suddenly ignore the air and transfer its attention to the deep ocean is never exactly clear, but it is bad form to question whether it in fact did. See ‘How to become an anti-science sceptic and get rich off the Koch brothers.’.

    Notice that ALL of the reports cited in Dr. Curry’s post treat ACO2 warming as axiomatic. Not theory.

    “Journalists take heed: Your coverage has consequences. All those media outlets whotrumpeted the global warming “pause” may now be partly responsible for a documented decrease in Americans’ scientific understanding.”

    How is the decrease documented? By noting that a growing percentage of the public questions, however mildly, the central axiom of ACO2 driven warming. That is prima facie evidence that their understanding of science-and not just climate science-is decreasing. NEVER a suggestion that the actual data suggests that the axiom is questionable. Quite the contrary. Based on the reporting on this site, when the data doesn’t support the axiom, the DATA is adjusted. For example (again, with no personal knowledge, but reported on Dr. Curry’s site) the raw ARGO data supposedly showed a slight cooling trend, until it was adjusted. Now it shows a warming trend. The magnitude was only a few millidegrees, but it was sufficient to ‘show’ that the ACO2 warming that abandoned the atmosphere simply moved to the oceans and continued unabated. Doubtless the ocean will continue to accumulate ACO2 heat as long as the atmospheric temperature remains obstinately flat–and unimportant. As soon as the air temperature begins to rise–if it does–it will resume its role as the canary announcing climatory doom.

    • Hmmmm. This is a fact in climate science?

      “That control must be implemented by taxing and regulating all activities related to the production or consumption of fossil fuels.”

      Seems like they are bit out of their area of expertise, eh? Anyway, good luck with that. You seem to be a bit confused on facts, theories, policy, and forecasts. Forecasts and attributions studies are neither facts or evidence.

    • @ Tom Scharf

      ” Forecasts and attributions studies are neither facts or evidence.”

      Of course they are not. But if you question that they ARE, you may be a scientist and you may be studying the climate, but you are, by definition, NOT a ‘Climate Scientist’.

  33. Judith Curry

    In fully acknowledging that the “hiatus” is alive and real, it sounds like the Nature piece by Tollefson has maneuvered the IPCC position between a rock and a hard spot.

    Thanks for your commentary on this article.

    Max

  34. “Climate model simulations find that the probability of a hiatus as long as 20 years is vanishingly small.”

    I have read different. For example, NOAA has a pub just 4 years ago which states:

    “”Near-zero and even negative trends are common for intervals of a decade or less in the simulations, due to the model’s internal climate variability. The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 yr or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate.” http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/bams-sotc/climate-assessment-2008-lo-rez.pdf

    NOAA believes we now have a discrepancy which simulations had ruled out. Although, I haven’t heard them declare this discrepancy yet.

    As well from 2009:

    “Pauses as long as 15 years are rare in the simulations, and “we expect that [real-world] warming will resume in the next few years,” the Hadley Centre group write.”

    “And that resumption could come as a bit of a jolt, says Adam Scaife of the group, as the temperature catches up with the greenhouse gases added during the pause.”

    “Our prediction is that if past is prologue, the solar component will turn around and lead to rapid warming in the next 5 years.” http://eesc.columbia.edu/courses/v1003/readings/Kerr.Science.2009.pdf

  35. Dear dear dear JC
    If you take a look at ‘the Nile climate engine’ ( utube) the equitotial Atlantic provides for a near constant increase in temp yet the global mean remains stable, this is suggestive that the melting arctic ice pack is absorbing this additional energy. A similar event like this happened in the early 1970s. Where increased equatorial Atlantic SST produced an increase in warm water heading towards the arctic, resulting in increased surface cold water moving southward in the eastern Atlantic, resulting in a net surface cooling trend. Yet the main theme was warming. Many clever people may end up with egg on their face if they fail to understand the dynamics of the North Atlantic system. It is important that you do not allow yourself to fall into this category.

    • If that is the case and is as well-known as you say, then why haven’t the climate models incorporatated – then the models would be correctly reflecting the pause.

    • Conor McMenemie

      Jim2 – have to use this circutious path to respond…. Many climatologists have been presented with this info and been energised to look seariously at it: Prof Paul Hardaker – chief exec of RMetS and Dr Alan Gadian – editor of the RMetS journal. The problem is that the solutin throws out the whole CO2 nonscience, thus many wot ar dependent upon the $CO2 quicly realise that their ir revenue source dries up PDQ, thus they find any excuse to avoid confronting the matter. sad but true.

  36. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

    • It’s dead, Jim.

    • those with aspergers can only use logic and follow the truth. The complexity and insanity of normal human interaction is an aberation to them. unfortunatly the real scientists involved with climate are aflicted with the aspergers type perspective, unlike the Manns of this world that have an obscure agenda that can play fast an lose with reality.

  37. Judith Curry

    Chris Mooney seems surprised that, after a decade in which there has been no measured global warming, a larger number of Americans no longer believe that global warming is happening.

    What’s wrong with this picture?

    Clue: Who is fooled here: the American public or Chris Mooney?

    Max

  38. R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

    This is of course one of my favorite topics because ocean to atmosphere sensible and latent heat flux is one of my favorite topics as it has such a big impact on tropospheric temperatures.

    Let’s begin with what is the undenaibly two false statements:

    1. The Earth has not warmed in the past 16 years.
    2. The Earth has actually cooled in the past 16 years.

    Both of these are false, if by the term Earth, we actually mean the full Earth climate system. By the most accurate accounting of the full Earth climate system, the Earth has been accumulating energy steadily for many decades, without a “pause”. We know this from Argo, from Jason, from Topix, and from Grace satellite observations. All of which confirm, directly or indirectly, the ocean has been warming, the seas rising, net glacial mass declining. With all of these measurements corroborating each other, the uncertainty in stating that the full Earth climate system has been gaining energy over the past 16 years, without pause, is quite small. We can have a high degree of confidence there actually has been no “pause” when actually speaking about the full Earth climate system.
    What is true, and is interesting to note , is that we’ve seen this cool phase of the PDO, in which La Nina has dominated over El Nino, and less net latent and sensible heat flux has been flowing from ocean to atmosphere. At the same time, we have also seen a reduction in the total solar energy reaching the surface form modestly higher natural aerosols and our extremely “sleepy sun”. Thus, we have had a bit less energy input to the Earth system, but through the cool phase of the PDO, and the continued long-term buildup of GH gases we are continuing with even less net output, and thus, the Earth continues to gain energy. The “pause” has only existed in a flattening of the rise in tropospheric temperatures, but as t his is a relatively small quantity in the overall energy of the Earth system, to say the “Earth” has cooled or not warmed in the past 16 years is inaccurate and misleading.

    • More parts to this than a Rube Goldberg creation. Hell, I don’t know, you might after all be right with your energetically applied ad hoc band-aids to the bleeding pig known as global warming. What I don’t understand is what seems your utter certainty.

      Your “skeptical warmist” monicker gets funnier by the week.

    • R. Gates, Skeptical Warmist

      “What I don’t understand is what seems your utter certainty.”
      ____
      I never have utter certainty in anything- that would be reserved for “true believers.” I have yet to see one piece of evidence that the oceans have been losing energy (we would have to see long-term sea level decline) or that net continental glacial mass has been increasing. Argo, Jason, Topic, Grace…all give us the same picture to a high degree of certainty- net energy in the full Earth system is increasing. Thus, I have a high-degree of confidence the Earth climate system in gaining energy, but not utter certainty. Please pass information on to me to suggest otherwise. It is what we honest skeptics look for.

    • ” I never have utter certainty in anything- that would be reserved for “true believers.”

      Gates, Of course this would be your response. A person runs into trouble when they start believing their own personal press releases. Obviously you chose your name carefully, as a way to give the impression you’re “open-minded.” Funny thing is, you really think you are. It’s telling however, that you felt the need to proclaim it, as if somewhere inside you know it’s not true.

      Your recent hysterical rants about Heartland showed your true colors splendidly. Even more so your refusal to see how misguided your attempt to equate CAGW skepticism with bought and paid for propaganda courtesy of the tobacco industry.

    • R Gates –

      I have yet to see one piece of evidence that the oceans have been losing energy (we would have to see long-term sea level decline) or that net continental glacial mass has been increasing.

      What happens to the ice in a freezer if you increase the temperature to 1C? It slowly melts, that’s what, even if the temperature doesn’t increase any more.
      So you can’t say that continued melting of the glaciers is evidence of increasing temperature.

    • “We know this from Argo, from Jason, from Topix, and from Grace satellite observations. All of which confirm, directly or indirectly, the ocean has been warming, the seas rising, net glacial mass declining. With all of these measurements corroborating each other, the uncertainty in stating that the full Earth climate system has been gaining energy over the past 16 years, without pause, is quite small.” — R Gates

      In general that statement is probably indisputable, however, I believe there is some UNcertainty with regards to sea level rise:

      Update 2011: Two more papers showing no acceleration, in fact a deceleration:
      Abstract:

      A modification in the rate of change of sea level (i.e. an acceleration or nonlinear trend) is an important climate-related signal, which requires confirmation and explanation. In this study, the evidence for accelerations in regional and global average sea level on timescales of several decades and longer is reviewed by inter-comparison of the recent findings of different researchers and by inspection of original tide gauge records. Most sea-level data originate from Europe and North America, and both the sets display evidence for a positive acceleration, or inflexion, around 1920-1930 and a negative one around 1960. These inflexions are the main contributors to reported accelerations since the late 19th century, and to decelerations during the mid- to late 20th century. However, these characteristic features are not always found in records from other parts of the world. Although some aspects of the sea-level time series are consistent with changes in rates of globally averaged temperature changes, volcanic eruptions and natural climate variability, modelling undertaken so far has been unable to describe these features adequately. This emphasizes the need for a major enhancement of the sea-level data set, especially for those parts of the world without long tide gauge records, in order to obtain greater insight into the spatial dependence of accelerations. A number of complementary methods must be employed, of which salt marsh techniques offer the possibility of obtaining time series similar to those that would have been obtained from coastal tide gauges.

      J. R. Houston and R. G. Dean, Sea-Level Acceleration Based on U.S. Tide Gauges and Extensions of Previous Global-Gauge Analyses Journal of Coastal Resarch, 27, 409 – 417 (2011).

      Abstract:

      Without sea-level acceleration, the 20th-century sea-level trend of 1.7 mm/y would produce a rise of only approximately 0.15 m from 2010 to 2100; therefore, sea-level acceleration is a critical component of projected sea-level rise. To determine this acceleration, we analyze monthly-averaged records for 57 U.S. tide gauges in the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) data base that have lengths of 60–156 years. Least-squares quadratic analysis of each of the 57 records are performed to quantify accelerations, and 25 gauge records having data spanning from 1930 to 2010 are analyzed. In both cases we obtain small average sea-level decelerations. To compare these results with worldwide data, we extend the analysis of Douglas (1992) by an additional 25 years and analyze revised data of Church and White (2006) from 1930 to 2007 and also obtain small sea-level decelerations similar to those we obtain from U.S. gauge records.

      P. J. Watson, Is There Evidence Yet of Acceleration in Mean Sea Level Rise around Mainland Australia? Journal of Coastal Research, 27, 368 – 377 (2011).

      https://sites.google.com/site/globalwarmingquestions/sealevel

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      phatboy,

      Your rather simplistic “ice in a freezer” model for the melting of continental glacial ice has some flaws but let’s follow your logic here. Suppose you had a perfectly thermodynamical isolated freezer of a certain size, with a certain mass of ice in it, and you raised the air temperature inside the freezer to 1C by quickly pumping in warm air, and then shutting off that input, so no more energy was being added to the freezer. Of course heat would immediately begin flowing from the warmer air to the ice, turning some of it to liquid, but not necessarily all. How much would depend on the volume of warm air and the mass of the ice. As energy flowed from the warm air, the air would begin to cool, and thus, less and less energy would be available to flow to the remaining ice. Again, depending on how much warm air there was and the mass of the ice, you could end up with very little of the ice actually turned to water, as it would be latent heat inside the ice, or you could get all of the ice turned to water. It really depends again on the volume of air and the total mass of the ice you are talking about. This simple example of yours is of course not the way the Earth system is working, as there is a continual energy imbalance going on (i.e. warm air is continually being pumped into the freezer), and thus, with the continual rise in GH gases, eventually most of the glacial ice on the planet would be gone.

    • Gates, the Earth system is not a closed box.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “phatboy | January 20, 2014 at 2:18 pm |
      Gates, the Earth system is not a closed box.”
      ____
      Indeed! Energy constantly flowing in and out, and lately, more in than out. All the more reason why your ice in the freezer analogy breaks down.

    • No, that’s the reason your closed box analogy breaks down. When the temperature is above freezing the ice melts. The latent energy required to melt the ice comes out of the energy available, but it doesn’t change the basic premise. At other times, when the temperature falls below freezing, the water re-freezes, and in the process gives up some of the latent energy. If the temperature is above freezing for more than a certain proportion of the time then the trend is towards melting, and vice versa.
      You don’t have to continuously add energy in order for the melting trend to continue, so a melting trend does not necessarily mean increasing temperatures (or energy)

    • This is of course one of my favorite topics because ocean …

      … temp data are an incomplete shambles, and that situation leaves plenty of room for bullshitters like you to ply your trade.

      That is why it is your favorite topic. Global warming is the “god of the gaps” for leftists.

      Both of these are false, if by the term Earth, we actually mean the full Earth climate system.

      Do tell, does the “full earth” climate system actually include salty water below 2000 feet?

      Of course it doesn’t. And it wont, until the “missing heat” runs away from the error bands of the ocean measurements, as it has from the surface measurements. And then you will suddenly remember the other half of the ocean, while casting a Vernean eye on the center of the earth – just in case.

      While we wait, we will no doubt continue to be entertained by your ability to talk more or less simultaneously from both corners of your mouth. This pair was good for a derisive laugh:

      “I never have utter certainty in anything- that would be reserved for “true believers.”

      &

      “Let’s begin with what is the undenaibly two false statements:”

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “You don’t have to continuously add energy in order for the melting trend to continue.”
      ____
      It completely depends on the volume of 1C air and the mass of the ice. There is only so much energy to be spread uniformly around the system. If the amount of energy in the air can’t warm enough of the mass of ice before that air cools, then all of the ice will not melt. Think about it– if you have a 1 cubic meter freezer and 1 gram of ice and raise the temperature of that freezer to 1C, there’s more energy available to melt that ice versus if you have a 1 cubic meter freezer and a kilogram of ice. A larger volume of ice means less net heat starting out in the system.

    • You know, Gates, if you took the trouble to read what I actually wrote, rather than what you imagine I wrote, we’d argue a lot less.

  39. “’If you are interested in global climate change, your main focus ought to be on timescales of 50 to 100 years,’” says Susan Solomon, a climate scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.”

    vs.

    “…one of the quickest ways to get labeled as a ‘denier’ has been to argue that the PDO in its warm phase contributed to the 1976-2000 warming.”

    If “we” should “focus” on timescales of 50 to 100 years, why was the 24 year period of warming such proof positive of globalclimatewarmingchange?

    • @ Gary M

      “If “we” should “focus” on timescales of 50 to 100 years, why was the 24 year period of warming such proof positive of globalclimatewarmingchange?”

      Or, for that matter, why is every major storm or week long heat wave anywhere in the world headlined as proof positive of ACO2 driven AGW?

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      GaryM asks: If “we” should “focus” on timescales of 50 to 100 years, why was the 24 year period of warming such proof positive of globalclimatewarmingchange?
      _____

      Probably because it happened during a 50-year period of warming, as we can see in the linked graph.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/plot/gistemp/from:1948/to:1998/trend/plot/none

      Global warming deniers must hate woodfortrees.org

    • “Global warming deniers must hate woodfortrees.org”

      No, we just laugh at cherry pickers.

      Replot the graph with the dates Dr. Curry was actually talking about, 1940 to 1975 (no warming). Or plot 1940 to 1962 (a 12 year decline). Or…

      Yawn.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      GaryM, I plotted that graph previously (see my 11:54 AM post below) but because it was in a different thread I can understand why you didn’t see it. I’ll post it again here and add your suggestion re 1942-62 too.

      After looking at the graph, will you tell me whether you think the so-called “hiatuses” are the same or different?

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/plot/gistemp/from:1940/to:1975/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1998/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1940/to:1962/trend/plot/none

    • Nicely aimed dart, Gary. It’s called motivated reasoning, the cause of much of our troubles in the world. Likely always will be, unless and until we humans evolve into something better than we are.

    • Max_OK,

      “After looking at the graph, will you tell me whether you think the so-called ‘hiatuses’ are the same or different?”

      Nice try at changing the subject. Your claim, combining my comment with your response, was as follows:

      The previous 24 year period of warming was proof of globalclimatewarmingchange was “because it happened during a 50-year period of warming”.

      In fact, all I showed is that your WfT graph did not show a 50 year period of warming. It, like all graphs, showed that you could find periods of warming, cooling, or stasis, of all kinds of lengths. All you have to do is pick the right cherries.

      Remember, it is becoming ever more clear that we have no idea what the “global average temperature” is. (If we did, Trenberth wouldn’t be waiting for heat to “re-appear”.)

      So forgive me if I find cherry picked graphs based on krigged, inferred, teleconnected anomalies over a small portion of the climate, run through climate models designed solely by true believing warmists, as evidence of much of anything.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      GaryM, I can understand how looking at my woodfortrees graph has made you recoil and escape into fantasizing about the meaning of my comments.

      Why is showing a woodfortrees.org chart to climate contrarians like showing a crucifix to Count Dracula?

    • Max_OK,

      The only similarity between your cherry picked graphs and a crucifix is that you warmists do to data what the Romans did to Jesus.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      GaryM, the Roman boss tried to get him off. BTW, I’m with the Catholic boss on global warming.

      Your definition of “cherry-picking” seem to be me showing you anything you don’t like. So I’ll just show you the entire cherry tree, and then you won’t be able to make excuses.

      The whole tree is all the data on average global surface temperature from the major metrics (see linked chart). Try denying the chart doesn’t show long-term global warming.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      WOOPS ! GaryM, I’m sorry I forgot to add the link to the entire cherry-tree. Here it is

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from/to/plot/gistemp/from/to/plot/uah/plot/rss/plot/none

    • GaryM-
      “If “we” should “focus” on timescales of 50 to 100 years, why was the 24 year period of warming such proof positive of globalclimatewarmingchange?”

      Good question, but its worse than you think. James Hansen was dead certain of GCWC back in 1981, based on 15 years of temperature data.
      “They have found that the Earth’s average temperature rose 0.2 degrees Centigrade from the mid-1960s to 1980.”- Eleanor Randolph, in The Pittsburgh Press, August 15, 1981

      Unfortunately, thanks to endless after-the-fact adjustments, the ever-shifting temperature indices for 1965 – 1980 (GISS, HadCRUT3, HadCRUT4, HadSST2, HadSST3) give temperature changes of 0.12, 0.13, 0.04, 0.1 and -0.02 C. Even more amazing, the 1960 – 1980 changes are 0.09, 0.05, -0.03, 0.05 and -0.07 C. These are all smaller than the measurement noise.

      Hansen hung his hat on 15 years of noise.

  40. Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

    JC : Well that is an interesting ‘forecast.’ If this is natural internal variability, e.g. the stadium wave (which includes the PDO), then you would expect warming to resume at some point (I’ve argued this might be in the 2030′s). This would make the hiatus 30+ years (similar in length to the pevious hiatus from 1940 to 1975).
    __________

    What you refer to as the 1940-1975 hiatus is different than than what I believe you mean by the current hiatus, a difference that can be clearly seen in the linked graph. For the hiatuses to be similar, average temperature would have to decline between now and 2030. Are you forecasting a decline?

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/plot/gistemp/from:1940/to:1975/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1998/trend/plot/none

  41. Judith

    When doing the post on OHC, I would appreciate a quick primer on the theoretical basis (from their perspective) of some who say the heat or energy is continuing to build up. Why (again using their theoretical basis) is this period different than any other period in history. I am more interested in the theoretical underpinnings of their great certainty. Or are they simply looking at data and coming to those conclusions. Thank you.

  42. “’You can’t keep piling up warm water in the western Pacific,’ Trenberth says. ‘At some point, the water will get so high that it just sloshes back.’ And when that happens, if scientists are on the right track, the missing heat will reappear and temperatures will spike once again.”

    The case of the disappearing and reappearing heat..

    The convenient thing about this argument is that it will be used to ignore the “your main focus ought to be on timescales of 50 to 100 years” trope.

    One good El Nino, and the warmists will scream that the rise in reported temps proves that the “pause” was a chimera. It was here all along. We don’t need to wait 10, 14, 16 or 20 years. Thermageddon is upon us – NOW!

    Al this really proves is that “we” don’t have a clue what the actual global average temperature really is. There are vast swaths of the globe that we don;t even measure.

    But rather than invest the time, money and effort, in long term, real science that might actually give us more data, the time and money is spent on using statistics to measure other people’s data to produce the next “It’s Worse Than We Thought” headline.

  43. Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

    JC says “Well, if the scientists don’t understand the cause of the pause, and the public is aware of the pause, then exactly what are we to conclude about the public understanding of climate change?”
    _______

    I suspect most of public is only vaguely aware of measures of average global temperature if they are aware at all. My guess is the public pays more attention to extremes in weather and catastrophic weather events as evidence of climate change.

    • @ Max

      “My guess is the public pays more attention to extremes in weather and catastrophic weather events as evidence of climate change.”

      ….which never happened before the onslaught of the Human Carbon Volcano. Or so we would be led to believe by those who settled the science.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Why would a public adversely affected by climate extremes and catastrophes care anything about skeptics saying “it’s happened before so don’t worry” ?

  44. This is a seminal moment in the climate wars. The doubts are now surfacing in even the most purist of publications like Nature. Open the popcorn and laugh as scientists and politicians scrabble to preserve reputations built up over many years on alarmism. The cat is well and truly out of the bag, and the public will no longer accept ridiculously expensive solutions to non existent problems. Rejoice.

  45. Alchemy disguised as science.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/twice-as-many-extreme-el-ninos-say-scientists/story-e6frg8y6-1226805391186#

    GCMs are the new philosopher’s stone, turning everything they touch into CAGW gold.

  46. Regarding whether the “pause” belies CO2 sensitivity, we can look at this.
    http://chartsgraphs.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/co2_temp_scatter_regression.png
    What I see here is that the blue dots which are mostly in the “pause” period are above the line which is close to 100 ppm per degree C, or a sensitivity of over 2 C per doubling (if attributed this way). This shows complete consistency between the CO2 effect through the century and in the “pause”, perhaps even a little higher recently, so CO2 is not done yet by any measure.

  47. “The eminent Roger Pielke Sr (see Wikipedia) has long said that the focus on the surface air temperature was inappropriate, and that…

    “The spatial pattern of ocean heat content change is the appropriate metric to assess climate system heat changes including global warming.” (source)

    For this he was smeared, and called a denier by activists. Such as those at Skeptical Science (Dana Nuccitelli’s launch pad, which should be called “skeptical of science”). See this page calling him a “climate misinformer” (note that all of his quotes shown there now appear correct).

    Now that the surface temperature has paused, climate scientists have realized that he was correct. And of course activists give no retraction or apologies for their smears. Now back to the scientists …”

    • It is not one or the other. It is both surface temperature and OHC. Looking at one can be misleading for periods of time.

    • Steven Mosher

      Jim D,

      I’m just pointing out to folks that once upon a time if you talked about OHC
      and said surface temps were misleading, you were labelled a denialist.
      Now, that surface temps have stalled, if you talk about that you are labelled a denialist.

    • mosher sez:

      I’m just pointing out to folks that once upon a time if you talked about OHC and said surface temps were misleading, you were labelled a denialist.

      –snip–

      Just a few years ago, when Rahmstorf et al. (2007) compared climate observations to computer model projections, they noticed the faster-than-expected warming leading up to 2006. It was faster than expected and faster than projected by those dreaded “computer models” used by the IPCC. According to the data, global average surface temperature was on a “mad dash” to extreme heat.

      How did these evil denizens of global warming react? Did they use that result to push world government based on socialism, so that they could destroy our economy by taxing the super-rich out of some of their hardly-earned riches? Did they run screaming through the streets yelling about how we’re all going to suffer spontaneous combustion by the year 2100?

      No. Instead, they attempted to understand the result.

      And what explanation, some bunnies may wonder, crossed their minds first? What was their first instinct regarding how this mad dash of global warming might have come about? This:

      The first candidate reason is intrinsic variability within the climate system.

      Tribalists exploiting science (via motivated reasoning) so as to fit with partisan agendas.

      Same ol’ same ol.’

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Similarly, climate contrarians, who were not fans of surface temperature when it was rising fast, quickly became fans when it slowed. I expect they will do another about-face when the temperature resumes rising.

    • The problem with the change to OHS, is the question why we are not also talking about AHC? Why the focus on surface air temp averages, when it is the heat content of the climate system as a whole that is the real measure of whether the climate is retaining enough heat due to GHGs to warrant massive public policy changes?

      As science, it makes no sense. But as part of the PR arm of a political movement, it is completely rational. Here we have what appears to be an uninterrupted increase in one measure of a small part of the entire heat content of the climate. It is of a portion that in fact holds by far the least heat, but it makes for very scary graphs, particularly if you use thick red crayons to color in the Arctic.

      And where was the risk? The reported temps are consistently “adjusted” by members of the tribe. What could go wrong? Who would think the measured temps would be so low that the “scientists” couldn’t “adjust” them to keep the warming “trend” going? So what if we don’t really measure average temperature, don’t cover most of the globe, and know for a fact that surface air temps do not constitute a “global average temperature”?

      What matters is giving our political patrons the PR they need.

    • You see the same thinking when it came to the recent obsession with Arctic ice as the REAL proxy of “global average temperature”.

    • Max_OK,said

      “Similarly, climate contrarians, who were not fans of surface temperature when it was rising fast, quickly became fans when it slowed. ”

      The difference is Roger Pielke Sr is a serious scientist making a serious point that adds (or detracts) from his professional standing while blogosphere commentators (contarian or alarmist) can make contradictory, rude or plain wrong comments with little to lose. Unlike Mosher I’d be more interested in how his peers responded to his comments rather than the likes of Dana.

      The other point to make is the IPCC is still interested in surface temperature and alarm comes from future projection of these in their reports. It’s still important to critically assess whether these projections match reality. Believing OHC is important doesn’t mean you ignore everything else.

      Max_OK,said

      “I expect they will do another about-face when the temperature resumes rising.”

      Can I have a borrow of your crystal ball when you’re finished with it?

  48. FYI. Bob Tisdale has produced some very interesting animations:

    Here. http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/animations-discussed-in-who-turned-on-the-heat/

    North Atlantic SST Anomalies
    http://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/north-atlantic.gif

    Multidecadal Changes In SST Anomalies (Blog Version)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_QopFYSyGE

    Failed Argument – The East Indian-West Pacific and East Pacific Sea Surface Temperature Datasets are Inversely Related
    http://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/animation-7-1.gif

    Also:
    Tisdale, Bob. “Multidecadal Changes In Sea Surface Temperature.” Scientific. Bob Tisdale – Climate Observations, November 17, 2010. http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2010/11/17/multidecadal-changes-in-sea-surface-temperature/
    “This post presents evidence that multidecadal variations in the strength and frequency of El Niño and La Niña events are responsible for the multidecadal changes in Global Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomalies. It compares running 31-year averages of NINO3.4 SST anomalies (a widely used proxy for the frequency and magnitude of ENSO events) to the 31-year changes in global sea surface temperature anomalies. Also presented is a video that animates the maps of the changes in Global Sea Surface Temperature anomalies over 31-year periods, (maps that are available through the GISS Map-Making web page). That is, the animation begins with the map of the changes in annual SST anomalies from1880 to 1910, and it is followed by maps of the changes from 1881 to 1911, from 1882 to 1912, etc., through 1979 to 2009. The animation of the maps shows two multidecadal periods, both containing what appears to be a persistent El Niño event, one in the early 1900s and one in the late 1900s to present, and between those two epochs, there appears to be a persistent La Niña event.”

    ??? Curry, Judith A. “The Stadium Wave.” Scientific. Climate Etc., October 10, 2013. http://judithcurry.com/2013/10/10/the-stadium-wave/

    • Oh Dear, what a travisty – I appreciate there has been a massive amount of detailed info in the presentation, but the info has to be refinded further: take the relative size of each geographical grid square then multiply by 3993j/kg/’C. This provides for a level playing field instead of this confusing mish-mash. The area of the grid squares at the top of the images are about 107km2 as opposed to that at the equator of 12,100 – big differncce, so the whole presentation takes on a completely different complexion. You would also then notice that an event simmilar to ENSO takes place from the coast coast of Nabia – then ENSO becomes less relevant and the equitorial atlantic system demonstrates its relevence. These massivley distrted temperature charts are the root of the whole cc problem and should be routinley be conerted into something like KWh/day. pls excuse the bad spelling etc, I have to write some of this obscured due to the name box being in the middle of the printing are.

    • Conor McMenemie | January 20, 2014 at 3:50 pm
      Sorry, Conor, it wasn’t meant to be data. Tisdale did not mean (I think) to convey data, but rather temporal patterns of change in the data / anomalies.
      I was intrigued by two things in particular:
      1) The sloshing of the warm pool in the Pacific, which Bob attributes to reversals of trade winds.
      2) Changes in the North Atlantic lagging similar changes in the Pacific.

      Not being Feynman, but a bear of little brain, I need a preface to Feynman’s rule (Guess, Compute, Compare). Look.

  49. Pingback: The Case Of The Missing Heat | Transterrestrial Musings

  50. Steve Fitzpatrick

    Judith,
    I look forward to your post on OHC.

    “With the reduction in sensitivity to aerosol forcing, the aerosol explanation for this earlier pause no longer holds up. Stadium wave dynamics can explain both the 1940-1975 and the current hiatus; a further inference is that warming of 1976-2000 was enhanced by natural climate variability.”

    Yes, this is the most important implication of “the pause”, and what has caused all the tearing of hair and gnashing of teeth among those demanding drastic and immediate reductions in fossil fuel use. “The pause” makes the historical temperature record consistent with a fairly low sensitivity to forcing; the likelihood of relatively low sensitivity to GHG forcing is reinforced by several recent empirical studies.

    What causes all the tearing and gnashing is that lower sensitivity to forcing means less urgency (and so less chance) for draconian reductions in fossil fuel use. Those most alarmed by rising GHG forcing ought to embrace some measured policies to gradually move away from fossil fuels in the most economically practical ways. And for goodness sakes, stop shouting about ecosystem collapse, ‘eco-justice’, mass famine, certain human extinction, multi-meter sea level increases by 2100, more violent tornadoes, more violent hurricanes, more floods, more pestilence, less snow and more snow, more winter cold and less winter cold, more acne, more political unrest, more dead polar bears, etc, etc, etc, etc. The very climate concerned should end these idiotic scare stories; they were tiresome a decade ago, now they only provoke laughter and reduce the credibility of “the science” with each testable prediction that is shown to be grossly exaggerated.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “The pause” makes the historical temperature record consistent with a fairly low sensitivity to forcing…”
      ____
      Nothing could be further from the truth. A change in the rate of sensible and latent heat flux from ocean the atmosphere, which is a big part of the “pause”, tells us nothing about how the sensitive the system is overall to the increased GH gas forcing. This is a false conclusion which seems to be perpetuated even by those who should know better.

    • stevefitzpatrick

      A deus is forever.

    • Gates is not just moving the goalposts, he is absconding with them and setting them up in new county. If it were to turn out that the only effect of increased CO2 were to slightly raise the temperature of the earth’s core he would still go on about the “warming” of the “system.”

      Note 1: “Warming” refers to temperature increase, not energy accumulation. If the wind goes faster or there’s less ice or there are more plants or different minerals it would not be “warming” in any sense of the term.

      Note 2: If something big and cold absorbs a lot of heat and its temperature goes up by a little bit, that is a little bit of warming of a big object. It might be a lot of energy, but it isn’t a lot of warming.

      Note 3: The things people care about with respect to anthropogenic influences on climate are things that affect people. So any warming that occurs far enough away from the surface and that doesn’t deleteriously and significantly affect the ecosystems we care about is irrelevant to the policy debate (although of great interest to pure science).

      Note 4: It’s been explained a number of times, including by Gavin Schmidt of all people, that once the temperature of the deep ocean is raised by some amount the heat that caused it cannot quickly come back out into the (much warmer) sea surface and troposphere. This is not the heat that is “in the pipeline.”

      Note 5: The correct UM argument, conditional on your overconfident belief about what has been happening to ocean heat content (I await Judith’s next post with interest), is that recent times have been ones where the channel for dumping heat into the ocean depths has been more open than usual, but that this channel can also close under natural variability. So the climate sensitivity that we care about–the surface average temperature response to CO2 increases–can go up again as suddenly as it went down. That would be a reasonable argument and would attract scientific attention to the exact pathway for heat injection into the ocean and how that pathway shifts under natural variations as well as forcings.

    • And to preempt before we get another disquisition about the flow direction of heat from the oceans to the atmosphere: I am for simplicity of language referring to the net effect, not the literal direction of gross heat flow. Obviously, the gross flow is from the upper ocean to the atmosphere and the lower ocean.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      ““Warming” refers to temperature increase, not energy accumulation.”
      ——-
      It’s so interesting when someone wants to narrow the physical effects of a phenomenon in order to prove some pedantic point. Warming of course is a form of energy accumulation in a system, but as the effect of increased GH gases is about altering the energy balance of the whole climate system, we must consider all the forms that energy might take in that system to get the most accurate perspective of what the full range is. Thankfully, this is exactly what climate scientists are doing everyday.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “The things people care about with respect to anthropogenic influences on climate are things that affect people.”
      ——
      Well of course this is another indication of an extremely narrow perspective on the complex web of interrelationships that makes up this planet’s biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and even lithosphere. You can actually extend that beyond the planet to the magnetosphere, and heliosphere of the sun. In short, pretty much everything affects people, and we now are so large an influence on this planet that a stewardship ethic is our only viable way forward.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “If something big and cold absorbs a lot of heat and its temperature goes up by a little bit, that is a little bit of warming of a big object. It might be a lot of energy, but it isn’t a lot of warming.”

      Except that’s not the way energy accumulation works in the ocean. It does not just spread evenly out– with or without extra GH gas forcing. Energy is in fact extremely unequally distributed in the ocean.


    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist | January 20, 2014 at 11:03 pm |
      Except that’s not the way energy accumulation works in the ocean. It does not just spread evenly out– with or without extra GH gas forcing. Energy is in fact extremely unequally distributed in the ocean.

      RG is right and postrel is wrong. The surface will always contain a surplus of the thermal energy compared to the depths. That’s how a heat sink operates. It develops a surplus because of the slowness of the diffusional process.

    • The pedantry is entirely on the part of Gates who keeps insisting that “warming” hasn’t paused because (he believes) energy accumulation has continued. But whether energy accumulation causes meaningful warming in the part of the world that affects us (enough to justify expensive mitigation policy) is exactly what an important part of the debate is about. The original claim for Urgent Mitigation was based on the air around us getting a lot hotter–like living in a greenhouse. I’m sure there are tons of effects on humanity from magnetic fields and all the other diversions Gates throws out there, but if it were to continue to be the case that the net result of CO2 forcing were a trivial increase in the temperature of the deep ocean, no one would care enough to restrict burning of fossil fuels. If someone wants to argue for better “stewardship” of the magnetosphere, lithosphere, and heliosphere I’m willing to listen to their cases for those, but they have nothing to do with global warming.

    • postrel, now you are mixing science with subjective opinion on what is good for people, i.e. policy discussions.

      Can’t win the science discussion, switch to policy. How quaint.

    • It is not often understood that the OHC rise only delays the eventual surface warming and doesn’t mitigate it. In the end the surface temperature responds to the full forcing change, but it is not a linear path.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      “Energy is in fact extremely unequally distributed in the ocean.”

      So that says you have the warming surely measured, doesn’t it? :)

    • Here is the simple explanation of the “non-missing heat” in OHC, which will provide an inoculation against misleading info that will come forward in the promised next post.

      On land CO2 forcing right now is about 4 W/m^2. This leads to a temperature anomaly of 1.2C. No heat-sinking, and 4 W/m^2 in = 4 W/m^2 out.

      On water, the CO2 forcing is still 4 W/m^2. However, 1 W/m^2 is sunk in the ocean heat sink and 1 W/m^2 is returned to the atmosphere as latent heat due to the strong evaporation at the surface. The surface radiates the remainder of 2 W/m^2 leading to a temperature anomaly of 0.6C, half of what the land value is. The 1 w/m^2 latent heat essentially causes a negative feedback on the lapse rate so that the TOA remains at a stable temperature. (BTW see Curry’s textbook Thermodynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans for the lapse rate derivation).

      Overall the global temperature anomaly is about 0.8C which is derived as a 70/30 ocean/land split. That is dT = 0.7*0.6 + 0.3*1.2 ~ 0.8 C, which is the current measured temperature anomaly.

      There is no missing heat in this model, but there is an acknowledgement that the negative feedback on the lapse rate is an important factor that suppresses a high climate sensitivity over the ocean. However, the sensitivity over land remains the same as it was before, so we still have an ECS of 3C to doubling of CO2 that we have to admit is correct, based on the current observational evidence.

  51. steve –

    What causes all the tearing and gnashing is that lower sensitivity to forcing means less urgency (and so less chance) for draconian reductions in fossil fuel use. Those most alarmed by rising GHG forcing ought to embrace some measured policies to gradually move away from fossil fuels in the most economically practical ways.

    This assumes that a desire for “draconian” policies is the driving force. I know many people who are concerned about climate change. I know none who have a desire for “draconian” policies as a driver for their beliefs.

    Consider that there are many who don’t think that the evidence of reduced sensitivity is either scientifically valid, or valid with a high-enough confidence level to significantly alter the cost/benefit calculus related to low probability but high impact probabilities.

    What you just wrote seems little better to me than when “realists” buy into conspiratorial ideation that all climate “skeptics” want children to die so that oil companies can make more money.

    Same ol’ same ol in the climate wars, eh?

    • stevefitzpatrick

      Jopshua,
      “This assumes that a desire for “draconian” policies is the driving force. ”

      Your comment reminds me of this: http://whatwouldjackdo.net/2013/06/global-climate-change-do-the-right-thingbecause-its-the-right-thing-to-do.html
      I could be wrong, of course, but I suspect most people who support ‘draconian changes’ think the cartoonist got it about right. Heck, I suspect you think the cartoonist got it about right! Seems to me pretty clear there is an influence of political goals and personal values in many of the demands for large and rapid reductions in fossil fuels, as well as in much of the resistance to those demands.

      “I know none who have a desire for “draconian” policies as a driver for their beliefs.”
      I think that people tend to discount factual evidence which might lead to conflicts with their existing personal/political views, and that they are rarely even aware of their own biases. Seems most everyone, especially scientists, thinks they can overcome their biases, and so are as pure as the driven snow in weighing the factual evidence; they very rarely are. Maybe best if we just agree to disagree on this one.

    • I don’t think that we’re in much disagreement at all there (at least if you agree that the tendencies you describe are of humans and not “realists” as opposed to “skeptics.) I don’t see how your second comment was consistent with the first, however.

    • This assumes that a desire for “draconian” policies is the driving force. I know many people who are concerned about climate change. I know none who have a desire for “draconian” policies as a driver for their beliefs.

      You mean you know none who’ve admitted a “a desire for “draconian” policies as a driver for their beliefs.”The problem is, many socialists (or “leftists” of other types, I’m pretty much color blind in that part of the spectrum) don’t admit their ultimate motivation. I refer to such people as “socialists practicing taqiyya, an admittedly inflammatory designation. (But deserved, IMO.) Others here use different terms.

      There are a number of commenters here whom I suspect in that regard, although for most I have no real proof. My suspicions are especially raised when people squirm around offering specious rationalizations to avoid admitting even the desirablity of solving the fossil carbon problem without ““draconian” policies” intended to raise the price of energy, or impose some sort of world-wide regulatory bureaucracy to pick winners and losers in energy regulation.

      WRT the broader “global warming movement”, it’s been pretty clear to me since 1998 when they first came to my attention that there’s a core of committed socialists using the issue as a “stalking horse” for their own ideological/religious agenda. It could certainly be called a “conspiracy” sensu latu (i.e. in the sense that they’re acting “with similar or the same spirit”). Dark rooms and clandestine meetings aren’t necessary, although a fair number have been documented (e.g. the BBC meetings).

      Note that I’m not saying the whole “global warming” thing is a conspiracy, rather that it has been penetrated and pushed in certain directions by people with such motivations. For most scientists, I would suppose they’re more embedded in the scientific aspects, and don’t understand how it ends up being used in the political sphere.

      The whole “conspiracy nut” meme is another example (again, sensu latu). Any time somebody starts talking about deliberate efforts to use some political phenomenon as a cover for a socialist agenda, all sorts of people knee-jerk respond by calling them “conspiracy nuts”. Many of these are socialists, whether or not practicing taqiyya, most of the rest are “useful idiots”.

    • Joshua, This whole line of argument is does a disservice to the Climate Change debate, but then it was a cartoon. The question is not whether the cartoon’s goals are desirable, some of which are surely debatable – for example the chauvinism inherent in Energy Independence, but whether it makes any sense to pursue these goals by limiting CO2 production rather than addressing them directly. I am sure that you believe making fossil fuel based energy more expensive is crucial, but cheap and available energy is the sine qua non of developing a modern civilization. The etc. at the bottom might include raising the general material living standards, building infrastructure, universal education, medical care, nutrition, etc. for the poor in both developed and undeveloped nations. Given that energy production for the short to middle term cannot do without fossil fuels, who knows what is possible in the long term, you are asking us to postpone if not ultimately turn resources away from these humanitarian goals. If you honestly believe that were it is possible to power civilization purely from green energy as we know it, not something that is generally accepted, it would require an immense diversion of resources. So unless you can convince the vast majority of the world’s population that we must forgo these goals and impoverish ourselves in order to save ourselves from an even worse fate, well that is a big task and looking at say, the Warsaw Climate Change Conference, you have a long way to go.

    • AK –

      You mean you know none who’ve admitted a “a desire for “draconian” policies as a driver for their beliefs.”The problem is, many socialists (or “leftists” of other types, I’m pretty much color blind in that part of the spectrum) don’t admit their ultimate motivation.

      I find that argument no more convincing than when “realists” proclaim that “skeptics” are “deniers.” You are professing, with great confidence, to assess the motivations of others w/o sufficient evidence to do so. I am saying that in my experience, what you have determined are desires do not jibe with my experience.

      “There are a number of commenters here whom I suspect in that regard, although for most I have no real proof. “

      Well, yes, you have no real proof. So then I think you should revisit your language from above. Not only do you have no proof – I’d say that your speculation is highly improbable. This reminds me of when I was told that “liberals” were hoping for the US to be defeated in Iraq so that it would be a stain on Bush’s record, or when “liberals” were desirous of having their friends and families die in terrorist attacks so that they could achieve political objectives. I think that the picture that you are painting of those who disagree with you is a paper-thin caricature that doesn’t stand up to even a modicum of due skeptical scrutiny.

      “My suspicions are especially raised when people squirm around offering specious rationalizations to avoid admitting even the desirablity of solving the fossil carbon problem without ““draconian” policies” intended to raise the price of energy, or impose some sort of world-wide regulatory bureaucracy to pick winners and losers in energy regulation.”

      Your determination of “specious rationalization” here is subjective. As is your use of “squirm about.” People disagree with your assessment. That implies none that they are being specious, rationalizing, or squirming.

      “WRT the broader “global warming movement”, it’s been pretty clear to me since 1998 when they first came to my attention that there’s a core of committed socialists using the issue as a “stalking horse” for their own ideological/religious agenda. It could certainly be called a “conspiracy” sensu latu (i.e. in the sense that they’re acting “with similar or the same spirit”). Dark rooms and clandestine meetings aren’t necessary, although a fair number have been documented (e.g. the BBC meetings).”

      I can’t rule out that there might be some who fit that description. But your description is devoid any sort of attempt to put numbers in context or to subject your determination to any validation process. How would you conduct some sort of experiment to prove: (1) that any such people exist, (2) if some do, what are their #’s?

      It is certainly easy to make such assertions, just as it would be easy for me to say that “WRT the broader ‘skeptics of global warming movement,’ …. there’s a core of committed “denialists,” apologists for the energy industry, and right-wingers sing the issue as a ‘stalking horse’ for their own ideological/religious agenda.”

      I must say, AK, I find your comments to be curious as sometimes they seem to me to be insightful and lucid, and at times they seem to me to be poorly supported by evidence.

      “Note that I’m not saying the whole “global warming” thing is a conspiracy, rather that it has been penetrated and pushed in certain directions by people with such motivations. For most scientists, I would suppose they’re more embedded in the scientific aspects, and don’t understand how it ends up being used in the political sphere.”

      Again, I could turn that around to the diametric opposite and be no more sure of my statements (by virtue of validation in evidence) than you could be of yours.

      “The whole “conspiracy nut” meme is another example (again, sensu latu). Any time somebody starts talking about deliberate efforts to use some political phenomenon as a cover for a socialist agenda, all sorts of people knee-jerk respond by calling them “conspiracy nuts”. Many of these are socialists, whether or not practicing taqiyya, most of the rest are “useful idiots”.

      And there as well.

    • CMS –

      I am sure that you believe making fossil fuel based energy more expensive is crucial, but cheap and available energy is the sine qua non of developing a modern civilization.

      That is a simplistic, and as a result fundamentally inaccurate, portrayal of my perspective.

      I also disagree with the opinion that you expressed w/r/t your own views, as I think that there are other essential conditions for a developing modern civilization, and I also believe that simply saying that access to energy is important (which I agree with) conveniently avoids addressing the many factors that limit or provide access to energy and wrongly equates the operative variable there with the presence or lack of a carbon tax (that might be applied in any number of forms, including in a scaffolded manner so as to make it progressive to the benefit of developing countries).

      “you are asking us to postpone if not ultimately turn resources away from these humanitarian goals.”

      This is, likewise, false.

    • “…simply saying that access to energy is important (which I agree with) conveniently avoids addressing the many factors that limit or provide access to energy and wrongly equates the operative variable there with the presence or lack of a carbon tax (that might be applied in any number of forms, including in a scaffolded manner so as to make it progressive to the benefit of developing countries).”

      Do you not see the contradiction here? If you make a carbon tax “progressive to the benefit of developing countries” then you are acknowledging facts that you declare “wrong” in the first part of the sentence- cheap energy really is critical to the “developing” part of “developing nations” otherwise there is no reason to exempt them from carbon taxes*
      I put the asterix in there because your sentence is certainly vague enough to allow you to claim you didn’t write what you wrote, but anyone thinking you’re commenting in good faith would recognize that “progressive to the benefit of developing countries” means they are either exempt from it or get a check from developed nations to offset it (which is the same as being exempt from it for all practical purposes). Which raises the other problem-
      a carbon mitigation policy that isn’t applied to developing nations won’t reduce emissions and therefore couldn’t affect global warmingchangestasis even if CO2 is the predominant control knob.
      Which means we aren’t debating climate policy, just progressive policy.

    • jeffn –

      …Do you not see the contradiction here? …cheap energy really is critical to the “developing” part of “developing nations”

      I am not saying that access to energy is not critical. I am not even saying that access to cheap energy is not critical.

      I said: …I think that there are other essential conditions for a developing modern civilization,…”

    • Which raises the other problem-
      a carbon mitigation policy that isn’t applied to developing nations won’t reduce emissions and therefore couldn’t affect global warmingchangestasis even if CO2 is the predominant control knob.

      That would depend on the structure of the mitigation policy and what you mean by “isn’t applied to…” for example, carbon taxes on wealthier countries that helped to fund alternative fuels research or the provision of alternative means of energy that might be better suited to particular conditions in developing countries and that might have important ancillary benefits.

    • jeffn –

      Chances are I’m a lost cause and a poverty and starvation lovin’ “progressive” in your eyes no matter how we slice it, but my point related to CMS’ statement that cheap energy is the sine qua non of a developing modern nation…..

    • David Springer

      Joshua | January 21, 2014 at 3:03 pm |

      “That would depend on the structure of the mitigation policy and what you mean by “isn’t applied to…” for example”

      For example, China. China was exempted from Kyoto. As CO2 emissions of non-exempted nations fell China’s rose even faster. Industry simply migrated to where there were no regulatory burdens on CO2 emissions. Adding insult to injury China, unlike the western nations that reduced fossil fuel consumption, burns coal in the cheapest dirtiest manner possible so the migration actually resulted in more pollution than if Kyoto had never been inked.

    • It isn’t that you’re a “lost cause” so much, I think, in the failure to acknowledge that people can genuinely disagree with what’s hidden in the vague and wishful thinking.

      “I think that there are other essential conditions for a developing modern civilization,…”

      Sure, but I believe the topic here is energy and my point is that by exempting developing nations from carbon taxes, you underscore the fact that cheap energy isn’t just “one of many,” it is the pre-requisite. Unless you have some sort of alternate definition of “modern civilization” than the one developing nations are developing.

      “That would depend on the structure of the mitigation policy…carbon taxes on wealthier countries that helped to fund alternative fuels research or the provision of alternative means of energy…”

      This is why Europe is backpeddling on green initiatives right now. When you are the only one willing to hamstring your industry, it has a negative affect on your economy. You can’t have half the world hammering industry and half the world exempt. It simply won’t work. Industry will move to the exempt half and you won’t have any tax money to send to “developing” nations.
      This is not a new development- it is exactly why 100% of the US Senate rejected Kyoto in 1998. A child born that day will get her driver’s license this year.
      Similar is the need to be up front about what you consider acceptable “alternative fuels.” By rejecting the quixotic pursuit of unicorn solutions (James Hansen’s phrasing) the US also managed to reduce emissions by focusing instead on the alternative fuel shale gas. Meanwhile, Germany is claiming to be abandoning the alternative fuel (nuclear) for the unicorn (solar), but in reality is just increasing the use of it’s non-alternative (coal). Oddly, progressives applaud Germany and tut-tut the U.S.
      There is a huge, huge number of genuinely controversial points hiding in the vagueness of your answers.

    • China, unlike the western nations that reduced fossil fuel consumption, burns coal in the cheapest dirtiest manner possible

      Hence my mention of alternative energy sources that would have ancillary benefits.

    • @Joshua…

      It is certainly easy to make such assertions, just as it would be easy for me to say that “WRT the broader ‘skeptics of global warming movement,’ …. there’s a core of committed “denialists,” apologists for the energy industry, and right-wingers sing the issue as a ‘stalking horse’ for their own ideological/religious agenda.”

      You’re entitled to your suspicions, just as I’m entitled to mine. Personally, I never convict somebody on suspicion, even in my own mind.

      And I certainly wouldn’t rule it out. Most of them are probably (IMO) “useful idiots” or the equivalent: people who understand only a tiny part of the whole science involved and jump on the “it’s all a conspiracy” bandwagon. Quite a bit of the “science” on both sides of the debate is pretty ridiculous, here and in general. And a lot more is simplistic. (I’m looking forward to the ocean heat post, I wonder how far our hostess will go trying to educate people who don’t understand how it works.)

      The “oil company” meme is probably invalid: there may be some management teams that see the changing rules as a threat because they lack the flexibility to deal with change, but there are also probably some willing to go along with it, expecting to manipulate the situation to the benefits of the profits they’re charged with maximizing.

      I must say, AK, I find your comments to be curious as sometimes they seem to me to be insightful and lucid, and at times they seem to me to be poorly supported by evidence.

      I grew up during the Cold War, watched the “liberal” US media turn the Tet Offensive from a Communist defeat into victory for North Viet Nam, and saw the final denouement when the will went out of the Soviet Block and the Berlin Wall came down.

      From that perspective, it’s unimaginable to me that the large mass of committed socialists in the world during the ’80’s haven’t jumped on the “Global Warming” bandwagon. And given that, there’s plenty of evidence. (The “conspiracy nut” thing has been going on ever since Joe McCarthy was squelched. And I wouldn’t be too sure he wasn’t really an agent provocateur. He certainly aided and abetted the Communist cause.)

    • jeffn –

      It isn’t that you’re a “lost cause” so much, I think, in the failure to acknowledge that people can genuinely disagree with what’s hidden in the vague and wishful thinking.

      I approach these discussions with a general assumption of genuine disagreement. However, when I am not accorded that same respect, I deduce that it is not a situation of genuine disagreement but one of identity protection and other manifestations of motivated reasoning.

      Sure, but I believe the topic here is energy and my point is that by exempting developing nations from carbon taxes, you underscore the fact that cheap energy isn’t just “one of many,” it is the pre-requisite.

      There are other prerequisites also, and so as with above, I think that the the is misplaced.

      Unless you have some sort of alternate definition of “modern civilization” than the one developing nations are developing.

      See above re: genuine disagreement.

      As for the rest of your comment. I am not saying that there are not genuinely controversial aspects of these policy discussions. Of course there are. Your belief that I am “hiding” those genuine points of disagreement is a fantasy – again, see above comments about genuine disagreement.

      The basic over-riding issue for me in these energy policy debates is that I think that we are all largely arguing from a position of ignorance until there is enough knowledge to justify a comprehensive cost/benefit analysis that includes factoring in positive as well as negative externalities, and as they relate to issues such as particulates as well as the risk analysis related to the potential of ACO2 to affect our climate. When I see simplistic arguments such as that cheap energy is the sine qua non, I see a sense of certainty that is not consistent with recognizing genuine disagreements. And further, there are many obstacles and prerequisites associated with providing access to energy – wholly unrelated to the advisability of taxing carbon.

      Vagueness is a condition that is dictated by the questions we are addressing. They are complex and not adaptable to overconfidence and insufficient acknowledgement of uncertainty. Circumscribing issues so as to be unrealistically simplistic is not a way to address complexity – and it certainly is not a method for tackling genuine disagreement and/or genuinely controversial points.

    • FWIW, poor communication on my point, I don’t think you’re “hiding” so much as engaging in wishful thinking.

      “The basic over-riding issue for me in these energy policy debates is that I think that we are all largely arguing from a position of ignorance until there is enough knowledge to justify….”

      I think we have lots of data about policy proposals and their effectiveness:
      – Do developing nations show any movement toward accepting carbon limits, global mandates for “alternatives,” or the current mix of EU-approved alternatives? Answer: No.
      – Are developed nations committed to imposing and sustaining carbon taxes while subsidizing unicorn alternatives and shipping cash to developing nations in hopes that they will use the money to reduce carbon? Answer: No.
      – Do significant, sustained investments in windmills and solar panels in developed nations or developing nations reduce CO2 emissions? Answer: No.
      – Do we have any other effective alternatives that can reduce CO2 emissions? Answer: Yes, but they are not currently acceptable to the majority of the climate concerned.

    • jeffn –

      FWIW, poor communication on my point, I don’t think you’re “hiding” so much as engaging in wishful thinking.

      Fair enough. The question of whether I (or anyone else) is engaging in wishful thinking is always worth addressing.

      I think we have lots of data about policy proposals and their effectiveness:

      Policy proposals are varied beyond those you described, and their acceptance or lack thereof are not static and not conclusive as to advisability.

      – Do we have any other effective alternatives that can reduce CO2 emissions? Answer: Yes, but they are not currently acceptable to the majority of the climate concerned.

      I assume that you are referring to fracking and nuclear?

      First, I’m not sure what the direct connection is between who does or doesn’t accept policy options and the discussion of their advisability. The opinions of the “climate concerned” is not dispositive for evaluating the likelihood of outcomes.

      Second, their acceptance or lack thereof is not static.

      Third, the question of reducing emissions sufficiently to mitigate climate change is tricky – it depends on uncertain criteria. Further, the question of reducing emissions to in ways that would result in other beneficial outcomes (reduction in particulates, increases in energy dependency, addressing a variety of negative externalities, providing access to energy sources that might be suitable for people living in rural communities in developing countries that are not likely to see large-scale infrastructure development anytime soon – such as non-polluting stoves, etc.) seems to me to be very open-ended.

    • “First, I’m not sure what the direct connection is between who does or doesn’t accept policy options and the discussion of their advisability. The opinions of the “climate concerned” is not dispositive for evaluating the likelihood of outcomes.”

      Sure about that? To recap, the climate concerned are the ones using highly uncertain science to demand an 85% reduction in co2 emissions (the ultimate goal necessary to save the planet), yet insist on policies and alternatives that are now known to be unable to accomplish the stated goal.
      That tells me the group is either unserious or has a goal other than the stated goal, or is lost in wishful thinking. Whichever it is, this patently obvious disconnect is the primary driver of skepticism- ie the skepticism of the public at large and politicians the world over.
      Most days I think your motivated reasoning has you stuck in the third reason, but one and two are certainly not ruled out.

    • Joshua | January 20, 2014 at 2:00 pm “I know none who have a desire for “draconian” policies as a driver for their beliefs.”

      There may be few or none who long for “draconian” policies (except the UN and perhaps the Ehrlichs). There are many, however, who desire policies that have “draconian” results. For example:

      Cadman, Emily. “UK Sees Steep Increase in Winter Deaths.” Financial Times, November 26, 2013. http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/763fcb26-5681-11e3-ab12-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2luySfQ2W

      Nelson, Fraser. “It’s the Cold, Not Global Warming, That We Should Be Worried about.” Telegraph.co.uk, March 28, 2013, sec. elderhealth. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/elderhealth/9959856/Its-the-cold-not-global-warming-that-we-should-be-worried-about.html

      Michaels, Patrick J. “Temperature Variability And Human Mortality.” Opinion. Cato Institute: Daily Commentary, April 24, 2012. http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/current-wisdom-temperature-variability-human-mortality

      Poulter, Sean, James Chapman, Nick McDermott, and Peter Campbell. “Electricity to Be Rationed: Power Cuts in 2 Years Unless Industry Cuts Back, Warns Regulator.” News. Mail Online, June 27, 2013. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2349719/Blackout-alert-Electricity-rationed-Power-cuts-2-years-unless-industry-cuts-warns-regulator.html

  52. Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

    Explaining that pause in terms of missing heat going down the oceans, but later coming back to the atmosphere: it is science fiction.
    Present climatic sensitivity value range [1.5 to 4.5]: it is science fiction.
    And running a climate model according to the last 50 years of observed values (of temperature, CO2 concentrations, precipitations, …) and, from this, to infer the climate behavior of the next 300 or 1000 years: it is not only science fiction; it is loudly hilarious.
    More info in a near future in this blog (well, if JC agrees to post that).

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Explaining that pause in terms of missing heat going down the oceans, but later coming back to the atmosphere: it is science fiction.”
      ___
      I agree…it is completely against the known laws of thermodynamics. The net flow of energy globally is always very strongly from ocean to atmosphere, with the rate of that flow being modulated by the natural variability of sensible and latent heat flux from ocean to atmosphere. At any given time, at least 50% of the energy in the atmosphere has come directly from the ocean. The “missing heat” is energy that has never come out of the ocean as the rate of that flow from ocean to atmosphere has been reduced since the 1998 El Niño with the ensuing cool PDO period.

  53. I am not so sure about the quoted phrase. You can look at the distribution of the 1960-1970 cooling relative to earlier climate.
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/nmaps.cgi?year_last=2013&month_last=11&sat=4&sst=3&type=anoms&mean_gen=0112&year1=1961&year2=1970&base1=1931&base2=1960&radius=1200&pol=reg
    It is mostly in the eastern US and western Atlantic, and very consistent with a regional of aerosol growth related to the rapid rise of the oil industry and automobile use in that decade with US CO2 emissions doubling from 1960-70. In addition global dimming at that time is a well known phenomenon attributed to aerosols. Aerosols are not so easily dismissed for this cooling pattern.

    • The quoted phrase I referred to was “With the reduction in sensitivity to aerosol forcing, the aerosol explanation for this earlier pause no longer holds up. Stadium wave dynamics can explain both the 1940-1975 and the current hiatus; a further inference is that warming of 1976-2000 was enhanced by natural climate variability.”

    • Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

      Jim D, that “reduction in sensitivity to aerosol forcing” is another science fiction issue that I have just sent to JC in a pdf titled “Anthropogenic attribution: the Monte Carlo confusion”.
      I will wait for some weeks and then, I will contact again JC: let’s see if we can debate about all this.

    • Right JD, and if one takes into account the natural variability it describes a warming trend TCR of 2C per doubling of CO2.

      The ECS, which is what you and I will experience on land, will be about 3C per doubling.

      Nothing has changed in 30 years for the estimate. Not surprising because the physics hasn’t changed either.

    • Look at the spatial distribution of the cooling from 1960-70. It looks suggestive of being anthropogenic rather than a natural variation.

  54. In the meantime life goes on. Largely unaltered and in the same places and in the same ways it always has. The only constant is change but that other constant of trying to ascribe human activity as cause of that change still has its religious roots.

    Nothing supernatural is going on yet many exert so much effort and thought trying to prove otherwise. Humans, while being quite pathetic, try to prove themselves supernatural. The heat is missing because it doesn’t exist but it takes a hypereducated fool to believe otherwise.

  55. R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

    Of course, the most interesting part of ascribing a tropospheric cooling period or warming period to the “PDO”, “AMO”, “Stadium Wave” or any other internal variability of the system that may be quasi-periodic, is that the nature of the system itself is being altered by the rapidly changing chemical composition of the atmosphere. Thus, these internal variabilities exhibit one type of quasi-periodic mode if CO2 remains around 280 ppm, and an entirely different mode when it is 40% higher. Most importantly, these modes seem to affect mostly the flow of sensible and latent heat from ocean to atmosphere, but are not actual climate forcings, and since they are not, they don’t affect the energy balance of the planet over the long-term such as we would see from having rapidly rising GH gases.

    • I find it difficult to believe you know authoritatively that current carbon dioxide levels have measurably altered the working mechanics of the mentioned systems, let alone shifted them to “an entirely different mode” as you assert.

      I trust you have hard evidence to back the certainty of your claim. It certainly doesn’t seem to mesh well with your earlier assertion that you “never have utter certainty in anything.” So either you’ve got some mighty impressive evidence to back your claims, or you’re showing yourself to be a “true believer” by your own measuring stick.

  56. Joshua | January 20, 2014 at 2:00 pm. You say “I know many people who are concerned about climate change.”

    May I presume that you have factored out propaganda, disinformation and self interest as drivers, and are talking about only those who are convinced by studying the evidence?

    • P,D –

      A relatively tiny % of the people who have formulated beliefs about climate change have done so by a careful and thorough study of the evidence.

      Propaganda, disinformation, and self-interest as drivers exist on both sides of the debate, not only for those who are concerned about climate change.

      There are reasons why so many people have opinions despite not having studied the evidence, and it is not coincidental that in general, perspectives on climate change can be predicted by political or other ideological orientation.

    • Joshua: Since late 2008, I have tracked the CAGW issue. The database is now about 500 MB. The copies of ~6100 related files is now about 13.6 GB, tagged and cross-referenced. The major tags are scientific, economic and political.
      I believe I have done my homework.

      • Gates, tell me why if CO2 has followed temperature with a lag of 200 to 800 years does the fact that the increasing CO2 after the temperature has started falling doesn’t cause warming?

        You claim that this time is different and CO2 leads temperature. Why didn’t it lead in the past? It, CO2 , had every opportunity to cause warming as it kept rising after temperatures began falling but temperatures keot falling.

        Why?

  57. Walt Allensworth

    “The obvious question is, what happened over the last year to produce more climate denial?”

    It is simply because the fear mongering predictions are not coming to pass, and people are starting to get a bit tired of the cry of “wolf!”

    I have a list…

    * The fact that the globe has not statistically warmed in 17 years
    * The fact that there were ZERO Atlantic hurricanes in 2013 when it was predicted to be an above average season (wrong as wrong can be)
    * The fact that we have not had a CAT 3 hurricane hit the US since 2006, and YET we’re being told that they are getting more frequent and stronger
    * The fact that we have RECORD LOW tornadoes in 2013, and all the lamestream media could do was whine about how bad they were in November
    * The fact that it has snowed 5 times in Washington DC this year by mid January (almost never happens), and we’ve seen record cold in Dulles, VA during the polar sharknado, oh sorry, vortex.
    * The fact that in AR-5 the IPCC softened on everything, have not got the foggiest idea what climate sensitivity is after spending $100 BILLION and 30 years studying the problem, and yet have the foolish audacity to say they are even more certain that ACO2 is to blame for the slight rise in global temperature we’ve seen in the last 100 years.
    The fact that ALL of the climate models are WAY over estimating measured global temperatures.

    For anyone who is even half paying attention, it’s obvious that Climate scientists, politicians, and the lamestream media have egg all over their faces.

    Every time Obama or some other politician opens their mouth about Climate Change, aka Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming, I just laugh out loud.

  58. Here’s a modest proposal. Why don’t all the climate scientists agree to refund to the government all their grant money, said funds to be used to do something actually useful, like measuring temperature/heat content in a far more expansive attempt to get some real data?

    I know, it’s like asking Bernie Madoff to give back the money for his “clients” to invest in real stocks. What was I thinking?

  59. There is more heat to be considered than solar, CO2, waste heat emissions, etc when speaking of heat buildup in the oceans or elsewhere. The geothermal heat flow is 44 terawatts or 135×1016 btus per year. This heat leaves the core and passes to the surface come hell or high water. It can be transferred into the water which has a high specific heat, 1, as compared to land, ~0.25. So a one degree rise in surface temperature can store a tremendous amount of heat, depending on how deep the penetration is. (If the whole earth rose one degree F. the amount of heat stored would be~3.3x10E24 btus so obviously only a fraction of the earth has increased in temperature, but keep this in mind when determining the “missing” heat.

  60. Latimer Alder

    Right.

    So now we understand. While surface and atmospheric temperatures have been static for 15 years, the ‘missing heat’ has been skulking in the deep oceans like a teenager who refuses to come out of their room

    And its caused the ‘deep oceans’ to warm by the shocking amount of an estimated 0.1C over half a century. So the oceans are now at 277.2K not 277.1K. And in 200 years they might get to 277.5K. Or even 277.7K!

    So WTF has all the fuss been about? And why have we spent so much blood and treasure on a non-problem? Half a degree in teh deep sea in 250 years is not going to cause the End of the World.

    Perhaps the most worrying thing is that all the supposedly clever and super-educated climos whose we pay to look after these things for us didn’t notice the pause for a decade and a half. And now it is apparent to them, they are having a mini-panic and desperately trying to find some fig leaves of an explanation. One really has to wonder what they’ve been doing all this time…perhaps an upbringing in the virtual world of computer games means that they really do believe that the models are reality and that the inconvenient thing outside the office window is all a dream?

    But it’s not all bad news for climos…McDonalds are hiring! At least the one I am sitting in now is.

    • Yes, the pause amounts to being 0.1 C below the trend line, which is small potatoes in the long-term trend of 1.5 growing to 3 C per century. There is a lot of discussion about this 0.1 C which is missing the wood for the trees.

    • Latimer Alder,

      “…perhap…they really do believe that the models are reality and that the inconvenient thing outside the office window is all a dream….”

      But of course they do, and not just in climate science. That is the beauty of being a progressive. Reality is independent of facts.

      Spend $15,000 per child to teach reading, writing and arithmetic. Have half of the children drop out of school before graduating. Your education system just needs more money.

      Force insurance companies to charge healthy young adults more for coverage they do not need. Have only the already sick, and those entitled to subsidies sign up causing a death spiral the ends the insurance industry. Your healthcare system just needs more government control.

      Spend billions on climate research, to support demands for more taxes, to fund more research, and to transfer tax money to favored crony capitalists. Have the reported temps fail to reflect your predictions of imminent thremageddon. You just need more regulations of coal plants, increased taxation of energy, and more “investments” in non-existent “green jobs”.

      Spend a trillion dollars on “stimulus” for “shovel ready jobs”. Have none of those jobs appear (thought there is a huge increase in the number of government employees – imagine that), and the trillion disappears down a rat hole with no effect on unemployment. You just need more government printed money (to create a massive stock market bubble).

      And don’t worry, when it all collapses you can blame the “tea partiers”.

      Reality? We don’t need no stinkin’ reality!

    • Latimer Alder

      Trick question: How many redundant climatologists does it take to flip a burger?

      Anyone care to guess?

      Max

    • im D

      The global temperature increase is 0.7C per century, not “1.5 growing to 3 C per century”, as you write.

      You have exaggerated the observed facts by 2 to 4 times.

      Max

    • That’s the rate for the last 50 years. It’s been accelerating.

    • @jim d

      Try as I might, I cannot persuade myself that a temperature record that is essentially flat for 15 years shows any signs of ‘acceleration’ at all, even in the most obscure mathematical sense I can think of.

      And I’d suggest – with exactly the amount of respect due to climatology and climatologists – that those who claim it is warming when the temperatures hasn’t change or even more that it is ‘accelerating’ are likely to be thought of as fools by the general public.

      It does not take much more than elementary school education to look at a graph of temperature vs time and to understand it. Why so many supposedly educated climos choose to make eminently false claims about it escapes me – unless it is some semi-religious statement that shows they still belong to the tribe. A sort of climo creed?

      You’d all be better off admitting the pause and getting on with trying to explain it before we all tire of the subject and drastically withdraw our excessively generous funding for a failed subject. Being deeply involved in a subject which has swallowed $100 billion of public money for no tangible results is not a good place for any academic to be. And it sure doesn’t help when they try to treat us as idiots.

    • @jim d

      Please invest a little time in understanding the difference between what *is * happening and what *has* happened.

      Newton (and if memory serves, Leibnitz) understood this idea about 350 years ago and invented an idea they call the ‘differential calculus’ to describe instantaneous periods.

      Example1: I climb a hill to the top and descend again to my starting point. My ‘long-term’ trend in height is always positive (climbing) until the instant I return to the start. But is the long term trend a good representation of my movement? Clearly not – for half the time I am descending not climbing.

      Example2: I heat a pan of water on the stove and measure its temperature as time goes by. Initially there is a sharp increase. Then I turn off the gas and it starts to cool to room temperature. What is the long-tern trend? Increase. But mostly it is in fact cooling.

  61. charles the moderator

    I can’t wait for your next post Dr. Curry. Will it be titled Captain Trenberth and the Great White Heat?

    • David Springer

      Now that you’re here I saw you referring to Nicola Scafetta as “Nicky” on the WUWT blog. Is that his nickname or you being a disrepectful asshat?
      Scafetta is a professor at a top ten US university and you’re what, an unlettered unpaid scientifically illiterate wordpress blog admin?

      Just curious.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Is that his nickname or you being a disrepectful asshat?”

      ____
      Does Springer need a bit of a time out? He just can’t seem to contain his nastiness at times.

    • We can wait for charles to contribute something meaningful or turn Dave loose.
      Or we can vote.
      Looks to me like we have one vote each way.

    • I initially responded hours ago, and it rightfully ended up in the spam bin because of a particular word. I did not and have no interest in attacking Springer. Our host can rescue my reply or not at her discretion.

  62. We have a new theory — same as the old theory — but, different: instead of AGW –e.g., AGH (Anthropogenic Global Hiatus)

    • Shouldn’t that be CAGH?

      • The ‘hiatus’ certainly seems to be more catastrophic to the Left than the supposed ‘warming’ ever was to anyone else. What is given very little consideration, however, is the phenomenon of SGH — Satellite Global Hiatus — i.e., global warming stopped at the very moment we were first able to accurately assess global temperatures, using satellites.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “global warming stopped at the very moment we were first able to accurately assess global temperatures, using satellites.”
      ____
      Does anyone else think this is sadly absurd?

      • Oh sure, very sad and that academia remains silent about the Mann’s ‘hockey stick’ fraud and the siting of ‘official’ thermometers that results in a systemic warming bias in the data due to the UHI effect is patently absurd.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Waggy,

      If you knew your history you’d know it was major black eye to the King of Satellite temperature readings (Roy Spencer) when he first published his satellite temperature data and got it completely wrong. He initially reported that there was cooling (and the “skeptics” rejoiced greatly) when there actually was warming (and the “skeptics” were sad). In reality, the satellite data confirmed what the ground data had been telling us– the atmosphere was warming. Unfortunately, this undue focus on the atmosphere continues through today, with people mistakenly equating what goes on in the atmosphere as an accurate proxy over the short term for what is going on in the overall global climate energy system. The atmosphere is only a fairly good proxy for overall gains in Earth’s energy system over the longer time frames. OHC and sea level rise are much better proxies for energy gains/losses in the climate system over the shorter time frames given the much higher energy content and thermal inertia of the ocean.

    • And Mann’s papers were retracted and Wegman’s wasn’t.

      Do I have that right?

    • “global warming stopped at the very moment we were first able to accurately assess global temperatures, using satellites”

      Skeptics from the 1990s are calling, they want their argument back.

    • I find it weird to see people criticizing Wegman for plagiarism today, of all days. Today is a holiday named after a person who plagiarized his way into getting a PhD. Not only did he intentionally do it throughout his college career, he plagiarized a huge portion of his doctoral thesis.

      If Martin Luther King Jr. can get a holiday named after him despite rampant plagiarism, I think we can all tolerate Wegman having a student who (likely inadvertently) caused plagiarized material to slip into a paper and report.

      Or, you know, we can’t. Because consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. And if you’re willing to misquote, misrepresent and misconstrue, you can take anything as supporting your view.

    • Wegman’s report was also published in a paper and that was retracted, no?
      I am not criticizing anyone for anything, just stating facts.

      • Wegman’s testimony before congress has not been retracted. If you’re looking for the truth you don’t fall prey to these ad hom commie attack dog games of the Left — they’ve been doing everything they possibly could from the beginning to smear real scientists–i.e., those skeptical of, for example, programs that return ‘hockey sticks’ when fed white noise. As Freeman Dyson says, “I think any good scientist ought to be a skeptic.”

  63. I’m amazed on the way the relationship between the hiatus and climate models is discussed. To me it has for long appeared clear that the models cannot describe all processes essential for multidecadal variability. They cannot predict properly PDO or AMO or many other phenomena. When they cannot do that there’s no reason to expect that they could predict the likelihood of a hiatus of 10, 15, 20 or 25 year. That’s still something that we should not even expect of the models.

    To me that limitation is not enough for dismissing the great value of climate models in understanding climate, and as a useful tool in estimating the climate sensitivity. Presently I wouldn’t use the models directly to give the estimate, but rather as tools in interpreting empirical observations in a way that leads to estimates that could be described as model aided empirical estimates. That approach can be used and has been used with instrumental data as well as with paleoclimatic data.

    Every new observation that gives a temperature lower than expected from prior knowledge lowers slightly the estimate of climate sensitivity. When we get a longer series of such observation, this lowering influence gets stronger. At some point it may lead to better understanding of internal variability. That step may either rise or lower the estimate of climate sensitivity depending on the way the new understanding influences the interpretation of earlier data. If variability plays a bigger role in the hiatus the underlying warming trend well might be larger, but that’s only one possibility, and speculating on the effect of something to come is not of much value.

    • Using a climate model to get climate sensitivity is kind of like using a kangaroo as a Sun dial.

    • Pekka – imo they make absolutely no attempt to predict the timing of something like the back-to-back La Nina events in 2010 – 2112. There is no code in them that could do such a thing.

      The decadal forecast models have a code to try and do that sort of thing. They are not climate models.

      Anyway, totally agree: +100.

    • Eek, 2010 to 2112 would make it icehouse earth. 2010 to 2012.

    • That’s why we are here. I would never do GCM level simulationst to project future climate. Yet it is obvious that scientists get research dollars do that. Good for them. All they have to do when writing a research proposal is to preface it with a statement that the research could benefit weather prediction, understand renewable energy sources better, etc.

      That is the nature of modern day research. Challenging problems may not get solved completely bt they can spin off with unanticipated benefits.

      My own approach is to apply energy balance and thermodynamics to make sense of the science without resorting to a sledgehammer.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      jim2, I didn’t know you were from down under. If you are you might appreciate one I just made up.

      Trying to get a climate contrarian to be skeptical of his skepticism is as hopeless as trying to get a Kiwi to fly. The contrarian’s ideology is as much of a handicap as the Kiwi’s lack of wing power.

    • Also we have this new research on strengthening El Ninos in the 21st century. However, Trenberth is skeptical.
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/20/el-nino-patterns-climate-change_n_4631606.html

    • Jim D,

      Too many new scientific papers make the news. Each single paper has a high likelihood of being wrong in some way (while all the new science put together improves gradually the knowledge). When so many papers are picked out, the only possible outcome is that they often contradict each other and that this process only confuses people. No wonder that skepticism is so common.

      We have seen in recent past several papers that have been interpreted to indicate stronger GHE that thought previously, and many that have been interpreted to convey the opposite message. This is bad to the image of science. It’s not only that those papers seem to contradict, but also that few of them contain really much evidence in either direction, most of that evidence is invented by those who interpret the papers, not by the papers themselves – or at least by the actual new science the paper reports on.

    • Pekka, yes, I don’t know what the threshold is for papers to make the press, but HuffPost does tend to show a lot, even if it is a small percentage of actual papers coming out. These model papers should be regarded as hypotheses with mechanistic arguments to back them up, and usually some arguments by independent researchers for or against, but should the public get every hypothesis that is proposed? The climate system is large, and there are many branches for potential theories.

    • Max_OK, Citizen Scientist

      Hopping and jumping doesn’t count as flying, but at least kiwis try to overcome their limitations. I don’t see much willingness to try to do anything different among climate contrarians. If contrarians were kiwis, they would be staying as close to the ground as possible.

    • Steve Fitzpatrick

      Pekka Pirila,
      I agree with you that too many papers make the news, especially in climate science, but also other policy relevant fields. If there were never another ‘breathless press releases’ from public relations departments, then would be the exactly correct number.

      I have to disagree with you about the value of models which don’t properly simulate important natural cycles (PDO, AMO, etc.). You say that the models are sill useful to combine with observational data to “aid” in estimates of climate sensitivity. It seems to me that if you don’t know why the model fails to simulate natural variability (and clearly you don;t, or you would fix the problem!), then it is impossible to say that the models can in any meaningful way ‘aid’ in making estimates of climate sensitivity. In fact, I think it would be safer to say that applying model which diverges from reality for some unknown reasons to empirical data adds MORE uncertainty to any empirically estimate of sensitivity. I believe that models are self-contained logical constructs which must simulate all important observed behaviors (or at least fail to do so for well known and documented reasons), or the entire construct is suspect. To believe the predictions of a model over 100+ years when it clearly fails to simulate observed behaviors over 30- 60 years is IMO, nothing short of crazy.

    • @ Steve Fitzpatrick | January 20, 2014 at 5:01 pm |

      Pekka Pirila,

      It seems to me that if you don’t know why the model fails to simulate natural variability (and clearly you don;t, or you would fix the problem!), then it is impossible to say that the models can in any meaningful way ‘aid’ in making estimates of climate sensitivity.

      *****
      Not only that, it appears to be consensus that the models don’t handle clouds very well, clouds being among the chief suspects to mitigate the warming effect of CO2.

    • “Every new observation that gives a temperature lower than expected from prior knowledge lowers slightly the estimate of climate sensitivity. When we get a longer series of such observation, this lowering influence gets stronger. ”

      This is inductivism, which works fine if you know you have a stationary, correctly encompassing model of all the possibilities. Of course, you never really can say that (c.f. Hume, Popper, et al) but sometimes it seems like reasonable thing to assume. But then we get

      “At some point it may lead to better understanding of internal variability.”

      Whoa! That could only happen if you depart from the interpretive practice in the previous quote and start questioning the overall putatively encompassing model, i.e. start thinking like a critical rationalist of some sort and be willing to modify or throw out the causal structure that you previously assumed was generating the data. So when do you make this break from assuming you’re just quantitatively narrowing things down within a basically adequate structure to deciding that you need new explanatory elements to replace the old?

    • Pekka, you can bet that the articles only get a mention in the press because the scientists and press officer release a press release.

    • Pekka,

      Two good comments.

      However, for me the main game is policy. I am not impressed, and feel climate scientists have lost credibility, because they express strong opinions about what policies we should implement. The vast majority of the vocal activists climate scientists are strong advocates for policies that are economically irrational, have little chance of being implemented or sustained in the real world and are/would be a huge waste of money (the most obvious examples are carbon pricing and renewable energy). Most of these activist climate scientist haven’t the faintest clue about policy analysis, economics, or energy policy. Yet they have very strong opinions and use every opportunity to advocate their beliefs.

  64. Wow! 272 comments while I was asleep. Sorry, I haven’t read them.

    JC – you suggest that “the heat never made it into the system”. Wrong. Absolutely wrong. The heat (most of it) simply doesn’t exist. Never did. It couldn’t make it anywhere because it simply wasn’t.

    • So sea level is rising by magic is it?

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Well Mike, either you or JC are wrong about something. Since net energy in the climate system has increased, there needs to be a forcing related to that increase. Energy cannot be increasing (or decreasing) without an external forcing. Since it is increasing, as measured by multiple independent means, then please explain those dynamics. Occam’s razor says it is the increasing GH gases, but if you have a more simple explanation. please share…

    • The election of Obama stopped sea level rise.

    • lolwot, R. Gates – We’re talking about “the heat”. There’s plenty of other heat around.

    • lolwot-

      Magic and mass components, in addition to the usual suspects, like groundwater abstraction, accelerated watershed drainage and diminished groundwater recharge capability/ Then there are factors of contraction and expansion of ocean basin volumes and ocean floor compression. Whole lotta shakin goin on. The steric influence is just one of many considerations.

  65. “If you are interested in global climate change, your main focus ought to be on timescales of 50 to 100 years,” says Susan Solomon,

    When have policymakers ever considered trying to deal with problems this far in the future? (Especially when an effective response requires global action.)

  66. R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

    When Judith prepares here post on OHC, I hope she includes some thoughts about the excellent overview of this topic presented by Levitus last year:

    http://cicar.ei.columbia.edu/sitefiles/file/Levitus-Lamont-05.pdf

    Some excellent charts, data, graphs, etc, and helpful overview perspective on where we go from here (i.e. expansion of Argo). When it comes to OHC, few have a better grasp of it (including the OHC uncertainty monster) than Levitus.

  67. “I certainly agree that the PDO is probably a crucial piece of the puzzle, but one of the quickest ways to get labeled as a ‘denier’ has been to argue that the PDO in its warm phase contributed to the 1976-2000 warming.”

    In fact Kosada and Xie (2013) showed that abnormally warm waters in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific DID contribute almost as much to the 1976-2000 warming (+0.14) as abnormally cold waters in the same location contributed to the pause (-0.20). However, the abstract and the publicity didn’t mention this finding which was covered by one sentence in the paper and part of the last table in the Supplementary Material. Would Nature have published this paper if the accelerated and suppressed warming had received equal emphasis?

    “For the recent decade, the decrease in tropical Pacific SST has lowered the global temperature by about 0.15 degC compared to the 1990s (Fig. 1b), opposing the radiative forcing effect and causing the hiatus. Likewise an El-Nino-like trend in the tropics ACCELERATED the global warming from the 1970s to late 1990s (Extended Data Table 1).

  68. Abstract of a new paper starts:

    Recent downward revisions in the climate response to rising CO2 levels, and opportunities for reducing non-CO2 climate warming, have both been cited as evidence that the case for reducing CO2 emissions is less urgent than previously thought.

    Who are the scientists who accept here that a downward revision has occurred?

    They are Allen and Stocker, but their paper does not conclude that the urgency has been reduced significantly. Their conclusion is

    peak-committed warming is increasing at the same rate as cumulative CO2 emissions, about 2% per year, much faster than observed warming, independent of the climate response.

  69. When you think about it, how could it ever have been otherwise? We know that global warming is a hoax and a scare tactic but why has it only been an aberration of Western civilization?

    The West has set a lot of firsts, advances in communication being significant enough to have an ‘age’ named for it. But, with that came the age where we are now: The Misinformation Age.

  70. Pekka Pirilä – Regarding

    “peak-committed warming is increasing at the same rate as cumulative CO2 emissions, about 2% per year, much faster than observed warming, independent of the climate response.”

    This, as written, is nonsensical.

    While the radiative forcing from added CO2 continues to increase (and thus this particular positive radiative forcings is “committed” – although it is a logrithmic not a linear increasing radiative forcing), there is no “committed warming” independent of the climate response. It must be a part of the current climate system total heating response each time we sample this quantity (in Joules).See, for example, my discussion of this subject in my posts

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2009/03/05/is-there-climate-heating-in-the-pipeline/

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2010/01/05/my-view-of-the-terminolgy-heating-in-the-pipeline/

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2008/09/25/misconception-and-oversimplification-of-the-concept-of-global-warming-by-v-ramanthan-and-y-feng/

    There are no “unrealized” Joules. They may not have been sampled, but the heat contribution from the added CO2 in Joules must be either in the climate system somewhere, and/or was lost to space.

    [note if readers would like to read older weblog posts whose urls are inserted in those, or other, posts, please search by title rather than click on the url within the post, as we changed weblog servers and did not have the resources to update the earlier links].

    Roger Sr.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Roger Sr.,

      Agreed that there are either joules somewhere in the system in some form or another or not, but in addition to the actual energy in the system, is the committed ongoing imbalance in the system caused by the current level of GH gases (please don’t forget about the equally rapidly rising methane and N2O, they are far from insignificant). Additionally, we have the committed changes to the system that have already and irreversibly been set in motion by those additional joules already in the system but have not yet fully completed (glacial ice mass loss, biosphere changes, etc). These Earth system changes commit the system to future warming, for a period of decades, even if we somehow could freeze CO2 levels (and methane and N2O) at current levels.

    • R. Gates, ” is the committed ongoing imbalance in the system caused by the current level of GH gases (please don’t forget about the equally rapidly rising methane and N2O, they are far from insignificant).”

      The ongoing “committed” imbalance is approximately 0.8C to 1.2C per CO2 equivalent doubling which could take centuries to realize and by then we could easily be in a totally different climate regime. The biggest hitch in the GHE giddy-up is the lack of water vapor positive feedback and general aerosol uncertainty. The current estimated imbalance is about equal to the uncertainty of the imbalance estimate and that appears to be falling faster than the uncertainty.

      It should be pretty obvious that something was grossly over-estimated where the “missing” heat is likely a figment of an over fertile/fearful imagination.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “It should be pretty obvious that something was grossly over-estimated where the “missing” heat is likely a figment of an over fertile/fearful imagination.”
      ____
      Then we’ve got a lot of explaining to do as to how the sea level could be rising, OHC increasing, and net global glacial ice mass declining– all without “pause”. These all say the system is gaining more energy than losing. The atmosphere is a puny part of the overall energy balance, and not the part the drives this planet’s weather–which is the ocean.

    • R. Gates, “Then we’ve got a lot of explaining to do as to how the sea level could be rising, OHC increasing, and net global glacial ice mass declining– all without “pause””

      Not really, sea level is a good proxy for OHC and that indicates that the rise from the period formerly known as the Little Ice Age has been steady. Today’s temperatures and sea level appear to only be “unprecedented” with respect to the LIA. Global “net” glacial decline/increase indicates much less than the “alarming” rates used in previous climate change sales literature.

      The “pause” or more accurately the much lower than expect rise is a more appropriate focus than 0.01C per decade +/- 0.01C margin of error for ocean depths from 700 to 2000 meters.

  71. I was explaining to a co-worker today how it’s possible his teen-aged children may not know what global warming is.

    He said: ‘lolwot’?

    I said: read this

    He said: ‘lolwot’?

  72. ” And if you look at the last 100 years, you have that other inconvenient pause to explain: 1940-1975. ”

    Thank you , Judith< for bringing that up, For years I have been writing in these columns about what happened in 1940. In 1940 a singularity in climate temperature occurred, a sharp rise turned into an equally fast fall.I also said that a continuous differential equation model could not produce such behavior. Such behavior could be explained by Quantum mechanics. this theory was reinforced by a graph I picked up from the Australian BOM (see figure 2 of my theoretical paper on climate, underlined above). The graph shows almost 100% saturation of CO2 in the14 to 15 micron line, indicating that for the 1940 concentration of CO2, little further absorption of CO2 was possible. To me, this was just a consequence of Quantum theory kicking in, which predicts such behavior. The consequence: any other absorption lines of CO2 of lower IR frequency would not matter because the above graph shows that water vapour takes over as the main absorber of IR heat..

    Judith, if you look back over the years of my contributions to these columns, I think you will agree that the above explanation is correct.

    I know it is unfashionable to invoke Quantum theory in this field, but when it falls neatly into place you can,t avoid it. After all, we all believe it, Don't we?

  73. Summary

    – We’ve got a pause in the warming (between 12 and 15 years, depending how you look at it).

    – During this period CO2 emissions have continued unabated and concentrations have reached record levels (a significant fraction of all human CO2 was emitted during this period)

    – So the postulated “CO2 climate control knob” is also having a pause

    – Our models did not foresee this

    – How long this pause will continue is anyone’s guess – don’t ask our models, they already missed the existing pause.

    Max

    • Man acker::”, they already missed the existing pause.:

      And the 1940 to 1970 one. Had they bothered to analyse the first pause, they would have better understood the second..

  74. Webb Hubble earler said this:

    Ocean Heat Content requires precise book-keeping and although the measurements are neither noise-free or lengthy, the numbers do add up and based on my calculations, I can find no “missing” heat.

    Ocean Heat Content requires precise book-keeping

    I absolutely agree with that staement. Problem is, we haven’t been, and historically haven’t been able to keep OHC record for an extended amount of time. Good book-keeping of the OHC rates for depths from 0 to 700 meters has only been some 30 to 40 years, and for “good records” that might be stretching it. The big weakness is not only the very very short amount of time we’ve been able to get accurate neasures for 700 to 2000 meeters, but those measures have nowhere the total surface coverage that would be required to get anywhere near the definition of “precise”.

    Further, because the measuring capabilities for deep ocean heat measurement is so recent, and proxies for deep ocean temps are elusive to say the least, we simply don’t know how much heat was being transfered to the oceans 230 years ago, or 80, or even 30. And, if the “missing heat”, as it’s being called was now being absorbed by the oceans, causing “the pause” in surface tempurature rise…. Why did it not do that before? Why is the ocean suddenly seemingly absorbing MORE radiative heat in the last 16 years, soaking up more of the Earth’s radion budget, than it was 17 years ago? And if the ocean is capable of oscilating the abount of heat uptake from decade to decade, then how do you show that that is not the cause of the cooling period between the 1940’s and the 70’s? Wouldn’t that obliterate the “aerosol” part of the modeling equation that was supposd to have explained that?

    The idea that the ocean is now absorbing the extra heat and causing the pause leads to more questions than satisfactory answers.

    • I think the answer to that is PDO+solar slump. We haven’t seen these occur together in recent decades.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “The idea that the ocean is now absorbing the extra heat…”
      ___
      Yes, that is an absurd idea. Who ever thought of it seems to have flunked Thermodynamics 101. The oceans are retaining more net heat then letting off to the atmosphere and the net flow of energy into the ocean comes from the sun, while the net flow of energy is always strongly from ocean to atmosphere in the form of latent and sensible heat.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Jim D said
      “I think the answer to that is PDO+solar slump. We haven’t seen these occur together in recent decades.”
      Too late, Jim D.

      Coordinating lead author Overpeck already announced that the warming couldn’t be from the sun, and all natural variation has been dominated.

    • thisnot, that is not what I said. The pause is at least partially the sun is what I said. Are you disputing that?

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Jim D said:

      “thisnot, that is not what I said. The pause is at least partially the sun is what I said. Are you disputing that?”

      I don’t need to, Jim D! Jonathan of IPCC did that.

    • thisisnot, I think we all agree with him that the sun did not cause the warming in the last 30 years. He didn’t mention the pause and the possible role of the sun there, which is what I was talking about. Understand?

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      It’s what happens when you state your case so strongly that you’re in need of making things up and killing other things. :)

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Neither the sun nor any natural variation could swamp the warming of CO2, you see, Jim D!
      It’s all been dominated.
      If it wasn’t the sun and natural variability doing some warming before, it can’t be responsible now for the not warming against the COMPLETELY dominating CO2.
      Please pay closer attention to what Jonathan said.

    • thisisnot, so you are saying because the sun was flat for 30 years and did not therefore cause any of that warming, the fact that it is dipping now cannot be causing any cooling. Is that it?

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      “Flat for 30 years” does not mean it can’t warm if it’s a level to do warming.
      It doesn’t meed to ramp up an up and up to do warming, eh?

      So you need to deal with IPCC coordinating lead author Jonathan’s announcement. .
      And Jonathan was saying it’s been that way for a100-150 years, if you listen.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Hey, Jim D that was Jonathan in 2009.
      Pay attention to Jonathan, coordinating lead author.
      They got their arms around it it a decade ago.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Do the math. 2009. Pause length?

    • Flat means no change in forcing. How can that do any warming? This is what he said. Also not dominant in 100-150 years. Anyway, good to see you agree with him because I do too.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Jim D, are you saying you need to turn the forcing up higher and higher in order to warm? Ever boiled cold water on a steady heat?

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      So when did the sun change according to your theory, Jim D?
      Jonathan said that n 2009.

    • It seems he was talking about the AR4 which didn’t include anything on the pause. People weren’t talking about the pause in 2009 so much as the unexpectedly long solar minimum that hadn’t ended by then.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      “It seems he was talking about the AR4”

      No, he was talking about solar influence and natural variation, Jim D. :)

    • You say that it has been 30 years of flatness. Where do you get that. Moreover, given that the last warming cycle started about 1970 we had 30 years of warming till approximately 2000. So what does the data look like? Also note what the data looks like for the pause.
      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/sidc-ssn/from:1965

  75. Some help here please:

    Dr. Curry says:

    “JC comment: People are interested in climate change on all sorts of time scales, including decadal. Solomon should have stated that if you are interested in the climate response to a long-term secular buildup of greenhouse gases, then your main focus should be timescales of 50-100 years. I agree with this. And if you look at the last 100 years, you have that other inconvenient pause to explain: 1940-1975. With the reduction in sensitivity to aerosol forcing, the aerosol explanation for this earlier pause no longer holds up. Stadium wave dynamics can explain both the 1940-1975 and the current hiatus; a further inference is that warming of 1976-2000 was enhanced by natural climate variability.”

    Does anyone really state that Anthropogenic Global Warming started prior 1950-1960? Those of us that studied history know the Industrial revolution got started around 1890, but GHGs certainly didn’t reach levels capable of increasing global temperatures in the 1890-1920 time period or the run up 1920 to 1950? Or is it the consensus view that they did? If so, how do they explain the 1940-1975 pause Dr. Curry mentions, while CO2 really gets going?

    I’m not arguing here, I’m seeking an understanding of the general consensus viewpoint (and/or the general skeptic viewpoint).

    • 75% of the forcing has been added since 1950, but the period before is therefore not negligible. Similarly rates of change of forcing have gone up almost four times since 1950, so earlier natural variability didn’t have much of a CO2 rise rate to overcome.

    • Kip Hansen, there’s no way to believe in the greenhouse effect and not believe the effect of human GHG emissions contributed positive forcings prior to 1950. Believing in the greenhouse effect requires us say humans were doing so even before 1900. In fact, there’s an argument to be made humans have been doing so since 1600 or before.

      I think what you’re asking after isn’t when humans started having an effect, but when that effect became discernible. If so, your wording is a bit poor, and I think that’s part of the confusion. We may not be able to quantify the effect prior to, say, 1950, but we know there was one. We know there was an effect because emissions must have one. We just can’t figure out what exactly the effect was.

      An issue I’ve always seen is there is no climate sensitivity that explains pre-1950 temperatures and post-1950 temperatures well. Nothing seems to fit. People try to fix that by using fudges like aerosols or natural variability, but the results are inevitably vague and unconvincing. There’s just no clear picture.

      Still, we can’t accept the greenhouse effect and say there weren’t increased anthropogenic forcings prior to 1950.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “In fact, there’s an argument to be made humans have been doing so since 1600 or before.”
      ____
      Or even much longer:

      http://www.whoi.edu/pclift/Ruddiman.pdf

      Ruddiman is certainly nearly on his own on this strong Anthropocene approach, but it is interesting reading, none the less.

    • R. Gates, I’m not sure, “Or even much longer” follows grammatically from “since 1600 or before.” I don’t think you can be “even much longer” before “or before.”

      Which is to say, I was referring to work like Ruddiman’s when I said “or before.”

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      That’s all very good Brandon. Mentioning Ruddiman is much different than saying “1600 or before”. He stands apart from anyone in his strong Anthropocene perspective.

    • I referred to a group of arguments. Ruddiman advances one of them. Do we really need to say it is “much different” to refer to a group than a member of that group? You mentioned an example of what I was referring to. Why keep portraying it as contrary to my remark?

      In other words, why frame things as argumentative when they’re not?

    • IPCC has a chart

      chapter 8. figure 8.6

      You’ll see all the forcings for all the major and minor GHGs.

      ball park of all the anthro forcing something between 66 and 75% has happened since 1950..

  76. R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

    You wrote

    “in addition to the actual energy in the system, is the committed ongoing imbalance in the system caused by the current level of GH gases (please don’t forget about the equally rapidly rising methane and N2O, they are far from insignificant).”

    The climate system is never in balance; e.g. see

    Ellis et al. 1978: The annual variation in the global heat balance of the Earth. J. Geophys. Res., 83, 1958-1962. http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/ellis-et-al-jgr-1978.pdf

    Adding CO2, methane and N2O increases the positive radiative forcings, but these fluxes only translate into heat within the climate system if Joules accumulate over time as a result.

    A key (still incompletely understood) issue is what part of the response of the added CO2, etc results in added Joules over time, and what fraction is lost to space. Surface temperature increases is just one avenue for a climate system response to this human forcing.

    Roger Sr.

    • (please don’t forget about the equally rapidly rising methane and N2O, they are far from insignificant).”

      He overlooks the importance of other gases such as ODS,and the expected reduction in potentials eg velders.

      http://www.pnas.org/content/104/12/4814.full.pdf

    • maks, “He overlooks the importance of other gases such as ODS,and the expected reduction in potentials eg velders.”

      Yes he does. Pity, he has a very good handle on parts of the dynamics but just can’t pull more of the pieces together.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Surface temperature increases is just one avenue for a climate system response to this human forcing.”
      ____
      I think you’re preaching to the choir so to speak on that issue. GH gas increases are about changes to the energy imbalance, and that energy can be in multiple forms in the system. Measuring changes in sensible tropospheric heat is only one (and a very poor one) proxy for overall changes in Earth’s energy balance. Your 2006 paper on moist enthalpy vs. sensible heat was on the right track, but the the big fish is of course OHC.

    • From a top-of-atmosphere perspective there are only two ways to balance a forcing change; longwave and shortwave. For longwave, it really is just a surface temperature rise that can achieve this and paleo evidence indicates this is the main response. For shortwave, it is albedo, but with reduced summer Arctic ice cover and the apparent loss of low clouds with warming, that goes in the wrong direction. Rising ocean heat content is just a way to delay this motion towards balance, but it can’t stop it from happening.

  77. David Springer

    Precious! R. Gates has reframed the debate by no longer referring to it is as global warming but as (my bold) “accumulation of energy in the earth climate system”.

    That’s too long, Gatesy. It’ll never catch on! Global warming became climate change. Now that neither global warming is happening on the surface where any of us can feel it, and climate change appears to consist of a dearth of hurricanes and tornadoes along with longer growing seasons and greater agricultural yields, and polar bears are banging like it’s 1999, and a trade route plus large mineral stores made available by less Arctic ice… ya know Gatesy it’s just kind of hard to see the downside here what with all the other indisputable benefits of fossil fuels like ground transporation fleets, motorized mining and agricultural equipment, steel, cement, lights, running water, flushing toilets, refrigerators, respirators… get the picture?

    So ow you got climate change that is beneficial, no more warming, and now the new position is what… a tiny rise in temperature of the ocean so deep there’s no light or any significant amount of life, no demonstrated means of it having any ability to effect the climate…

    Phuck me, Gates. How the mighty have fallen.

    Anyhow you need a two word bullet item for “accumulation of energy in the climate system” and you can’t use global warming because that’s officially paused because it’s just too asinine (who’d of thunk it possible) to call it global warming when the only place it’s warming is reachable only by deep sea diving vessels. ROFLMAO

    You’re getting beside yourself huh Gates seeing your global warming church collapsing like a house of cards?

    R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist | January 20, 2014 at 2:51 pm |

    3) There has been no pause in the accumulation of energy in the Earth climate system over the past 16 years.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Precious! R. Gates has reframed the debate by no longer referring to it is as global warming but as (my bold) “accumulation of energy in the earth climate system”.”
      _____

      Are we trying to scientific here or act like the uneducated masses? Wait…I think you’ve answered by question.

    • He’s tried to popularize ‘energy imbalance’.
      ===============================

    • Oh, I get it. Ha ha.
      =======

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “You’re getting beside yourself huh Gates seeing your global warming church collapsing like a house of cards?

      R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist | January 20, 2014 at 2:51 pm |

      3) There has been no pause in the accumulation of energy in the Earth climate system over the past 16 years.”
      _____
      GH gas increases are ultimately about Earth’s climate energy balance. Sensible tropospheric heat is one proxy (but only a proxy) for energy in the full system. Use this proxy with caution, realizing it is bound to be wrong on shorter time frames as it is so reliant on sensible and latent heat flux from the ocean, which varies greatly year to year, and decade to decade. A better (but still not perfect) proxy for energy in the system is OHC. But Judith will be bringing us that tomorrow. Here’s a nice primer:

      http://cicar.ei.columbia.edu/sitefiles/file/Levitus-Lamont-05.pdf

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “Now that neither global warming is happening on the surface where any of us can feel it,”
      ___
      I guess you don’t consider the Australians, who’ve just had their hottest year on record and have been facing another hot dry summer as “any of us”. Tens of thousands of bats have been falling dead out of the trees from the heat proving that “warmer is NOT always better”.

    • “Tens of thousands of bats have been falling dead out of the trees from the heat proving that “warmer is NOT always better”.

      Maybe instead of the “earth has a fever,” we can start scaring the populace with “watch out for falling bats” signs.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Put up more windmills !

  78. I have a largely random question. This post is about “missing heat,” and it reminds me of a question I’ve wondered about from time to time.

    How much heat comes from the planet’s core? Earth’s core is incredibly hot, but it’s also fairly far removed from the Earth’s surface (and significantly smaller). I’ve never known how much its heat affects the surface’s temperatures. I assume other people do. Does anyone happen to know the answer? What about how much it contributes to ocean temperatures?

    I know the effect of the heat of the Earth’s core would be dwarfed by the greenhouse effect, but I don’t know by how much. Can anyone give direct me to a decent source clarifying the proportions?

    • Fyi–

      “Volcanoes and climate change

      “While the volcanoes in Canada and Alaska have erupted for more than 10 million years, emerging data suggests that the last 3 million years of glaciers growing and retreating in Alaska and British Columbia also prompted many small volcanoes to erupt, because the changing ice mass flexed the Earth. This activated the fractures and made room for more magma to rise.”

      See: http://www.nbcnews.com/science/12-new-volcanoes-found-southeast-alaska-6C10176752

    • All I know Brandon is I would not recommend touching the earth’s core with your bare hands. Use hot pads.

      The sun provides 99.998% of the energy to the Earth’s climate (the rest coming from geothermal heat sources).

    • JCH, thanks. If that post is accurate, it gives a decent answer. 99.998% coming from the sun would mean 0.002% comes from the Earth’s internal heat.

      I wish they had given a source for it though.

    • Wikipedia helps again. I’s article on Eart’s internal heat budget uses this reference

      http://www.solid-earth.net/1/5/2010/se-1-5-2010.pdf

      Value given there is 47±2 TW total flux. An earlier estimate of 30 TW appears in very many sources and may data from as far back as Gutenberg’s 1959 book Physics of the Earth’s Interior.

      That’s 0.03%, not 0.002% of the total warming flux of the surface. That’s also about three times as much as the releases from human primary energy use.

      Because the heat flux from the interior is nearly constant it has an essentially constant small influence (about 0.025C) on the temperature of the Earth, and no contribution to the warming.

    • Brandon, thanks for the question and Pekka thanks for the answer.

      I’d add that most of the heat escaping from the continental crust is from radioacitve decay of radioactive elements, U, Th and K. The radioactive materials are concentrated in the crust and especially in the continental crust.

      As a piece of trivia, about 10,000 tonnes of uranium is being concentrated in the continental crust every year as the continental crust differentiates from the oceanic crust and mantle along the subducting plate boundaries. All the above from memory from about 1965. Now I’ll go and look up some facts from my Arthur Holmes “Principles of Physical Geology“, 2nd Edition (First edition was published in 1944, and it was my geology text book at high school in the early 1960s).

      From pp 1002-1003 we find these facts (as of the early 1960s):

      Heat flow from Earth’s surface = 1.25 x 10^-6 cal/cm^2/sec (this rate would melt a 0.5 cm thick ice sheet in one year, 1 inch in 5 years)
      Average gradient = 30 C per km (but very variable from place to place)

      Heat production from radioactivity in rocks (10^-13 cal/sec/cm^3)
      Sialic = 4.34
      Basaltic = 1.2
      Ultrabasic = 0.02

      Continental crust is sialic. Lower crust and oceanic crust is basaltic. Mantle is ultra basic.

      Now, getting up to date, from Google I found this simple summary: http://www.mantleplumes.org/Energetics.html

      Excerpts: Heat flow from surface in TW
      Average of world-wide measurements: 30-32
      “Corrected” for ridge effect: 43
      Cooling halfspace model: 41-44

      Sources:
      Non radiogenic: ~16
      Radiogenic: 24-36

      That’s enough for now. Good question though, Brandon. Thanks.

    • [I’ll try that again with corrected formatting]

      Brandon, thanks for the question and Pekka thanks for the answer.

      I’d add that most of the heat escaping from the continental crust is from radioacitve decay of radioactive elements, U, Th and K. The radioactive materials are concentrated in the crust and especially in the continental crust.

      As a piece of trivia, about 10,000 tonnes of uranium is being concentrated in the continental crust every year as the continental crust differentiates from the oceanic crust and mantle along the subducting plate boundaries. All the above from memory from about 1965. Now I’ll go and look up some facts from my Arthur Holmes “Principles of Physical Geology“, 2nd Edition (First edition was published in 1944, and it was my geology text book at high school in the early 1960s).

      From pp 1002-1003 we find these facts (as of the early 1960s):

      Heat flow from Earth’s surface = 1.25 x 10^-6 cal/cm^2/sec (this rate would melt a 0.5 cm thick ice sheet in one year, 1 inch in 5 years)
      Average gradient = 30 C per km (but very variable from place to place)

      Heat production from radioactivity in rocks (10^-13 cal/sec/cm^3)
      Sialic = 4.34
      Basaltic = 1.2
      Ultrabasic = 0.02

      Continental crust is sialic. Lower crust and oceanic crust is basaltic. Mantle is ultra basic.

      From Google found this which might be of interest: http://www.mantleplumes.org/Energetics.html

      Heat flow from surface in TW
      Average of world-wide measurements: 30-32
      “Corrected” for ridge effect: 43
      Cooling halfspace model: 41-44

      Sources:
      Non radiogenic: ~16
      Radiogenic: 24-36

      That’s enough for now. Good question though, Brandon. Thanks.

    • I don’t know the answer – but it is a good question.

      I wonder if the Earth core heat – which is probably considered to be pretty constant over 10s, 100s and 1000s of years – varies as the magnetic poles flip back and forth? Could that be a cycle – say 750000 years for a 1/2 cycle? After all, the magnetic poles flipping has to do with the molten iron core swirling around and maybe during portions of that cycle the hotter spots stay in one spot for awhile and more heat is transferred out of the core than at other portions of the cycle?

  79. Unfortunately, no one of the ones who claim the presence of a “hiatus” has given any scientifically based definition what even constitutes a “hiatus”. Or I must have missed it. Judith Curry hasn’t either, although she has been a very active proponent of the “hiatus” meme.

    Is a “hiatus” a lower than medium temperature trend? Then we have a “hiatus” for 50% of all data points. Are the other 50% an “acceleration” then?

    Is it a lack of statistical significance compared to a Zero-trend as Null-hypothesis? Then we always have a “hiatus”, since one can always find a point back in time between which and now the trend is not statistically significant. One only has to choose the time period short enough.

    The pause has now gone mainstream with this article in Nature

    I guess I am the skeptic one then now (global cooling skeptic)?

    Regarding the claimed inconsistency between the observed trend since 1998 and models:

    Assuming perfect models and perfect observations (as thought experiment). The trend distribution simulated by the models and the distribution of all trends in Nature (I am not talking about the journal) for a given climate state agree perfectly then. 5% of all trends from the Nature distribution will lie outside the 95% confidence interval of the Nature distribution. Consequently, 5% of all the trends from the Nature distribution must lie outside of the 95% confidence interval, simulated by the models, i.e., 1 out of 20 observed trends must lie outside the 95% confidence interval of the model distribution on average. Those events will occur in clusters because of autocorrelation. Thus, finding such an instance by random is not sufficient to conclude an inconsistency between the observed trend and model trend distribution. Now, the period starting in 1998 isn’t even chosen by random. It is chosen with a priory knowledge that it deviates strongly from the average trend of the Nature trend distribution. It seems to me that all the claims and conclusions about the alleged inconsistency I have seen so far are seriously tainted by 1. a flaw in statistical reasoning because the inconsistency is claimed merely on the fact to have presented a trend that lies outside the 95% interval of the model distribution, and 2. a bias that comes into the statistical test regarding the observed trend versus model distribution, due to choosing a trend with the start year 1998 based on a priory knowledge about this trend.

    I am not saying that there couldn’t be any inconsistency. I am saying the arguments are flawed, based on which the case for the inconsistency is made. It could very well be that there is an inconsistency, and it will be established based on additional data and correct reasoning. I just haven’t seen any rigorous analysis yet, which, I think, is required in science to convincingly make this case. Daily Mail opinion pieces do not fulfill that.

    • Have you ever heard of the, ‘hockey stick’?

    • Jan, your well-written comment assumes that skeptics have the burden of proof, but I think it’s the reverse. Those who claim to be able to predict the climate decades and centuries out have the burden of proof IMHO. And, it wouldn’t be satisfied even if their models had worked over the last 16 years. But, with their models failing, their theories are pretty well disproved. At most, it’s possible that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, but with lower sensitivity than the IPCC asserts.

    • Fyfe’s findings are based on a study of 117 GCM simulations over a 20-year period comparing the results of model predictions to the observed rate of warming. From 1993 to 2012, the “global mean surface temperature… rose at a rate of 0.14 ± 0.06 °C per decade,” and the observed warming over the last 15 years of the period was, “not significantly different from zero.” GCMs, however, simulated a “rise in global mean surface temperature of 0.30 ± 0.02 °C per decade.” Compared to the actual rate of warming, the simulated rate was more than double.” Moreover, simulations were more than four times higher than actual over the last 15 years. Needless to say, the “null hypothesis that the observed and model mean trends are equal,” is rejected: statistically, there is but a 1 in 500 chance these GCMs are actually looking at the same planet we live on.

      [See, Fyfe, JC, et al., Overestimated global warming over the past 20 years. Nature Climate Change. V3 (Sept. 2013)]

    • @Wagathon:

      Fyfe et al. (2013) use a model to evaluate the models and to posit the conclusion “Overestimated global warming over the past 20 years”.

    • David in Cal:

      Jan, your well-written comment assumes that skeptics have the burden of proof, but I think it’s the reverse.

      Everyone who makes an assertion has the burden of proof for one’s own assertion. Especially, if it is supposed to be a scientific statement. Even though many AGW-“skeptics” seem to like it very much, if the climate scientists who say AGW was real, had the burden of proof both for their own scientific hypothesis and theories and the burden of disproof for any arbitrary claims made by the AGW-“skeptics”, about global warming, climate models or anything else.

      I make the assertion that there has been global surface warming for the last 40 years, I have the burden of providing the evidence for it. I can do this by presenting a statistical significance test with the Null-hypothesis of Zero surface warming for the recent 40-year time period. The result is that the warming trend is statistically significant with more than eight standard deviations (Note: that doesn’t say anything about causes. It’s just diagnostics at this point). When Judith Curry states that now there has been a “hiatus” in the surface warming since let’s say 1998, that something has substantially changed in the behavior of the climate system after 1998, which is the real claim here, she has in turn the burden to provide the scientific evidence for that assertion.

      But, with their models failing,

      Based on what scientific evidence presented where are you making the claim that the models were “failing”? And how do you define “failing”?

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      “Everyone who makes an assertion has the burden of proof for one’s own assertion.”

      Did you first prove that?

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Jan, are you saying that every scientist and every agency needed to prove to all everything?
      They should have to supply every detail to the public, that’s what you’re saying?.

      Niiiiiice Jan.

  80. Temperature trends for the recent 15 years:

    GISTEMP: +0.093 K/decade
    NOAA: +0.066 K/decade
    HADCRUT4: +0.074 K/decade

    Land only:
    BEST: +0.174 K/decade
    NOAA: +0.138 K/decade

    Earth surface is still warming, iisn’t it? Where is the alleged “hiatus”?

    A global cooling skeptic

    • I’ve taken the liberty of adjusting the trends upwards by 0.1C/decade to take into account the quiet Sun that many skeptics believe is a significant influence on climate. I think 0.1C/decade is reasonable given that view.

      GISTEMP: +0.193 K/decade
      NOAA: +0.166 K/decade
      HADCRUT4: +0.174 K/decade

      Land only:
      BEST: +0.274 K/decade
      NOAA: +0.238 K/decade

      Hmm looks like if we take into account the Skeptic Sun, climate sensitivity would appear to be higher than IPCC forecasts…

    • Jan — Land temperatures aren’t fully reliable, because of the urban heat island effect and because of the many adjustments in those figures. You can see the lower troposphere temperatures at http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/if-the-present-refuse-to-get-warmer-then-the-past-must-become-cooler/#comment-310712 If you start in 1998, the trend is sharply down. If you start in 1997 or 1999, the trend is pretty level (by eye).

    • lolwot
      Climate science thru adjustment. I love it. Insurance agents are known to be good adjustors. I guess that goes for climate scientists as well.

    • Convince me Dennis that the quieting Sun hasn’t caused 0.1C/decade cooling since 1998. What science do you have to show the Sun has little impact on climate? I presume you aren’t going to cite anything consensus.

    • This is silly. It’s like saying that we didn’t have a Great Depression because if you average over longer periods there’s positive economic growth. If you want to claim that the recent flat spot in the time series is due to measurement error, that would be one thing; logically valid but the statistics don’t seem to bear it out and no one is claiming that. If you want to say that there’s an underlying trend to warming and that the current flat spot doesn’t disprove that, that depends upon your theory of the strength of the postulated warming trend and the degree of variation around that trend if your trend hypothesis were correct. But if you want to deny the last 15 years of data, that’s crazy. Just because 15 coin flips in a row coming up heads wouldn’t prove that the coin is biased, it would still be data that would have to be assimilated into the theory that the coin is fair.

    • stevepostrel,

      No, it’s like saying I examine the trend for a period where the start point and the end point are put on a more equal footing, based on considerations from physics, instead of choosing the period in a way that the start point is a random wobble in one direction and the end point is a random wobble in the other direction in a physical system that alternates between opposite states. Because I want to get a trend estimate that is a bit closer to the true longer term trend, not a trend estimate that is strongly distorted by opposite random fluctuations. Why would anyone not want to do that?

      What do you mean with “deny the last 15 years” of data? The trend estimates I gave were for the last 15 years of data.

    • There is nothing arbitrary about looking at the last N years of a time series to see if it is going up, down, or sideways over that period. That’s just data, and they’re going sideways apart from any superimposed theoretical oscillations or cycles. Which is why everybody from Nature to the MET have remarked on it.

    • In the last couple of milliseconds I haven’t written a post at Climate Etc. – so that means that there is a trend showing a “pause” in my posting at Climate Etc – despite that today I’ve written more comments than I have on any other day for quite a while.

      Anyone who doesn’t think that is a meaningful “trend” for evaluating the frequency of my posting, is just denying the data, and that’s crazy.

      Of course, now with writing this post, in the last few milliseconds I have established a trend of posting that is high now as at any other time in my history of posting at Climate Etc. So, obviously, the trend is for me to continue posting at a rate as high as or higher than ever – and for that reason I know that many “denizens” will be overjoyed.

    • “Convince me Dennis that the quieting Sun hasn’t caused 0.1C/decade cooling since 1998. What science do you have to show the Sun has little impact on climate? I presume you aren’t going to cite anything consensus.

      Good point LW, they want it both ways.

  81. I certainly agree that the PDO is probably a crucial piece of the puzzle, but one of the quickest ways to get labeled as a ‘denier’ has been to argue that the PDO in its warm phase contributed to the 1976-2000 warming.

    So the PDO is supposed to have had a large influence on the temperature variability in the 20th century and present. This is also suggested in

    http://www.nature.com/news/climate-change-the-case-of-the-missing-heat-1.14525

    particularly in the figure that shows the PDO in line with the temperature anomaly.

    However, the PDO index has trended down since the 1980ies already, while the surface temperature anomaly has been going up at the same time. On the other hand, during the 1920 to early 1940, the PDO index went up in accord with the warming trend back then. So, where is the correlation? Is an increasing positive phase of the PDO pattern or a decreasing positive phase of the PDO pattern supposed to increase the temperature anomaly? I am confused.

  82. “. . .one of the quickest ways to get labeled as a ‘denier’ has been to argue that the PDO in its warm phase contributed to the 1976-2000 warming.”

    Ding, ding, ding! Yes, now that it is convenient, the alarmists are arguing for PDO. . .just, umm, for right now. Real Climate recently had a piece that assumed both that the current pause would end soon. . .and that it would never re-occur again in the future. Because that’s what it took to end up close-ish to the models. Oy.

  83. The ENSO meter on WUWT has crept a bit closer to La Nina.

    • Wolter’s Jan 9, 2014 update:

      With the overall MEI indicating neutral ENSO conditions, one can still find a handful of key anomalies in the MEI component fields that exceed or equal one standard deviation, or one sigma (compare to loadings figure). These may actually flag either El Niño or La Niña.
      Significant positive anomalies (coinciding with high negative loadings) indicate moderate southerly (V) anomalies west of Hawai’i, as well as anomalously high SST (S) and air tempeature (A) anomalies in the saem region and, especially, east of Australia. Significant negative anomalies (coinciding with high positive loadings) indicate low sea level pressure (P) west of Australia, as well as strong easterly (U) anomalies along the Equator and centered on the dateline. All of these anomalies support the diagnosis of La Niña-like conditions, even though the temperature anomalies described here are secondary compared to the better established anomalies along the Equatorial cold tongue.

      On the other hand, significant northerly wind anomalies (V) are also found south of Hawai’i, where they support the diagnosis of El Niño conditions. Similarly, reduced cloudiness (C) west of Ecuador is consistent with El Niño rather than La Niña.

      In sum, an overall ENSO-neutral assessment remains reasonable. …

      WUWT meter versus Wolter?

      What’s your money on?

    • It hasn’t hit La Nina yet, just moving in that direction.

    • The thing that is striking to me is if you look at one of the animated anomaly maps of SST. You can see the warm water area shrinking! That also would indicate more La Nina-like conditions.

    • There is evidence of both directions. Every single site that does ENSO prediction is not predicting La Nina. They’re predicting ENSO neutral, or EL Nino.

      So either WUWT is missing something, or WUWT knows more than the Australians and the Americans.

    • Sorry, not anomaly, but absolute. And the SST maps aren’t generated by WUWT, they are from other web sites. For example, an animated GIF from NOAA. It shows the shrinkage of the hot area. Notice I’m not saying we are in La Nina or will get to that point soon. I’m just saying what I’m seeing. No one can argue with that, you can click the link and see it for yourself.

      http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_update/gsstanim.gif

    • I agree that that the SST maps show cooling from November to December to January. That’s why I said I think December and January will not be record setters.

      I use those maps to help me bet on UAH. I won it twice last year, and there were a few months where I did not bet.

    • So I’m guessing you mean betting UAH on The Blackboard. Funny how so many people were too low. You have done well to win that twice in a year.

    • I think 2014 will be ENSO positive in average, after that a big fat La Nina, similar like in the 50s (~1954-57).
      http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/monitoring/nino3_4.png
      http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/ts.gif

  84. David in Cal:

    You are mistaken. What you see on this website is the CONUS data, not the global temperature data.

    The adjustments, which are applied to the CONUS data are explained here:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/ushcn/ushcn.html

    Those adjustments are backed up with scientific publications. If you want to refute the necessity of the adjustments or claim they haven’t been done properly, you will have to refute those publications by publishing the refutation in a proper specialist journal, i.e., you will have to accept that your publication is under the same scientific srutiny as any other scientific publication. Without that there isn’t even a chance to convince me.

    Adjustments needs to be made, since there are non-climatic effects in the raw data, which have to be accounted for. The urban heat island effect is being taken into account too in the global surface temperature analyses. For instance, in the GISS analysis by applying night light data from satellite measurements.

  85. A two part question on Energy imbalance .
    Can we have a TOA imbalance of -0.5 W/m2? If not, why not.

    • Yes, I am fairly sure that happens after large volcanoes. Pinatubo might have been even bigger than that.

    • Thanks Jan, Pekka and JIm D . My point is the earth is not an energy source to any important degree. Hence the heat of the surface materials depends on the composition only of the surface materials . If our atmosphere was O2 N or CO2 on an earth at 1 atmosphere of pressure adding a small amount of CO2 would only minutely effect the temperature.
      It would go to the radiative temperature of that particular composition. It could not make more energy or it would be an energy source.
      Therefore the energy must be in equilibrium and cannot be trapped.

  86. ANSWER we are neither a heat source or a heat sink

    Energy in is energy out. In other words we cannot have a TOA imbalance because the TOA is where the energy in equals the energy out.

    We can have a warmer atmosphere or ocean without having to violate that principal, but only if the input of energy [Sun] varies due to distance [Summer/Winter locally] North and south hemispheres depending on the elliptical orbit of the sun. Or due to intensity [solar Cycles]
    In effect the temperature we have is balance of the energy in the ocean, land surface and air. In a mathematical model where the air and sea remained fixed the amount of heating up, the amount of clouds, would run like