My WSJ op-ed: Global warming statistical meltdown

by Judith Curry

I was invited to submit an op-ed regarding the recent Lewis/Curry paper on climate sensitivity.  For background, see

WSJ editorial

The full text of the op-ed is reproduced below, WSJ [link].

The Global Warming Statistical Meltdown

At the recent United Nations Climate Summit, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned that “Without significant cuts in emissions by all countries, and in key sectors, the window of opportunity to stay within less than 2 degrees [of warming] will soon close forever.” Actually, this window of opportunity may remain open for quite some time. A growing body of evidence suggests that the climate is less sensitive to increases in carbon-dioxide emissions than policy makers generally assume—and that the need for reductions in such emissions is less urgent.

According to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, preventing “dangerous human interference” with the climate is defined, rather arbitrarily, as limiting warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial temperatures. The Earth’s surface temperatures have already warmed about 0.8 degrees Celsius since 1850-1900. This leaves 1.2 degrees Celsius (about 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit) to go.

In its most optimistic projections, which assume a substantial decline in emissions, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projects that the “dangerous” level might never be reached. In its most extreme, pessimistic projections, which assume heavy use of coal and rapid population growth, the threshold could be exceeded as early as 2040. But these projections reflect the effects of rising emissions on temperatures simulated by climate models, which are being challenged by recent observations.

Human-caused warming depends not only on increases in greenhouse gases but also on how “sensitive” the climate is to these increases. Climate sensitivity is defined as the global surface warming that occurs when the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere doubles. If climate sensitivity is high, then we can expect substantial warming in the coming century as emissions continue to increase. If climate sensitivity is low, then future warming will be substantially lower, and it may be several generations before we reach what the U.N. considers a dangerous level, even with high emissions.

The IPCC’s latest report (published in 2013) concluded that the actual change in 70 years if carbon-dioxide concentrations double, called the transient climate response, is likely in the range of 1 to 2.5 degrees Celsius. Most climate models have transient climate response values exceeding 1.8 degrees Celsius. But the IPCC report notes the substantial discrepancy between recent observation-based estimates of climate sensitivity and estimates from climate models.

Nicholas Lewis and I have just published a study in Climate Dynamics that shows the best estimate for transient climate response is 1.33 degrees Celsius with a likely range of 1.05-1.80 degrees Celsius. Using an observation-based energy-balance approach, our calculations used the same data for the effects on the Earth’s energy balance of changes in greenhouse gases, aerosols and other drivers of climate change given by the IPCC’s latest report.

We also estimated what the long-term warming from a doubling of carbon-dioxide concentrations would be, once the deep ocean had warmed up. Our estimates of sensitivity, both over a 70-year time-frame and long term, are far lower than the average values of sensitivity determined from global climate models that are used for warming projections. Also our ranges are narrower, with far lower upper limits than reported by the IPCC’s latest report. Even our upper limits lie below the average values of climate models.

Our paper is not an outlier. More than a dozen other observation-based studies have found climate sensitivity values lower than those determined using global climate models, including recent papers published in Environmentrics (2012), Nature Geoscience (2013) and Earth Systems Dynamics (2014). These new climate sensitivity estimates add to the growing evidence that climate models are running “too hot.” Moreover, the estimates in these empirical studies are being borne out by the much-discussed “pause” or “hiatus” in global warming—the period since 1998 during which global average surface temperatures have not significantly increased.

This pause in warming is at odds with the 2007 IPCC report, which expected warming to increase at a rate of 0.2 degrees Celsius per decade in the early 21st century. The warming hiatus, combined with assessments that the climate-model sensitivities are too high, raises serious questions as to whether the climate-model projections of 21st century temperatures are fit for making public policy decisions.

The sensitivity of the climate to increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide is a central question in the debate on the appropriate policy response to increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Climate sensitivity and estimates of its uncertainty are key inputs into the economic models that drive cost-benefit analyses and estimates of the social cost of carbon.

Continuing to rely on climate-model warming projections based on high, model-derived values of climate sensitivity skews the cost-benefit analyses and estimates of the social cost of carbon. This can bias policy decisions. The implications of the lower values of climate sensitivity in our paper, as well as similar other recent studies, is that human-caused warming near the end of the 21st century should be less than the 2-degrees-Celsius “danger” level for all but the IPCC’s most extreme emission scenario.

This slower rate of warming—relative to climate model projections—means there is less urgency to phase out greenhouse gas emissions now, and more time to find ways to decarbonize the economy affordably. It also allows us the flexibility to revise our policies as further information becomes available.

First draft

I learned a lot about writing an op-ed through this process.  Below is my first draft.   This morphed into the final version based on input from Nic, another journalist and another person who is experienced  in writing op-eds, plus input from the WSJ editors.  All of the words in the final version have been approved by me, although the WSJ editors chose the title.

The challenge is to simplify the language, but not the argument, and keep it interesting and relevant while at the same not distorting the information.  Below is my first draft: 

Some insensitivity about climate change 

At the recent UN Climate Summit, Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon stated: “Without significant cuts in emissions by all countries, and in key sectors, the window of opportunity to stay within less than 2 degrees will soon close forever.”

In the context of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, preventing ‘dangerous human interference’ with the climate has been defined – rather arbitrarily – as limiting warming to more than 2oC above preindustrial temperatures. The Earth’s surface temperatures have already warmed about 0.8oC, leaving only 1.2oC before reaching allegedly ‘dangerous’ levels.  Based upon global climate model simulations, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 5th Assessment Report (AR5; 2013) projects a further increase in global mean surface temperatures with continued emissions to exceed 1.2oC sometime within the 21st century, with the timing and magnitude of the exceedance depending on future emissions.

If and when we reach this dangerous level of human caused warming depends not only on how quickly emissions rise, but also on the sensitivity of the climate to greenhouse gas induced warming.  If climate sensitivity is high, then we can expect substantial warming in the coming century if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase. If climate sensitivity is low, then future warming will be substantially lower.

Climate sensitivity is the global surface warming that occurs when the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere doubles. Equilibrium climate sensitivity refers to the rise in temperature once the climate system has fully warmed up, a process taking centuries due to the enormous heat capacity of the ocean. Transient climate response is a shorter-term measure of sensitivity, over a 70 year timeframe during which carbon dioxide concentrations double.

The IPCC AR5 concluded that equilibrium climate sensitivity is likely in the range 1.5°C to 4.5°C and the transient climate response is likely in the range of 1.0°C to 2.5°C.  Climate model simulations produce values in the upper region of these ranges, with most climate models having equilibrium climate sensitivity values exceeding 3.5oC and transient climate response values exceeding 1.8oC.

At the lower end of the sensitivity ranges reported by the IPCC AR5 are values of the climate sensitivity determined using an energy budget model approach that matches global surface temperatures with greenhouse gas concentrations and other forcings (such as solar variations and aerosol forcings) over the last century or so. I coauthored a paper recently published in Climate Dynamics that used this approach to determine climate sensitivity.  Our calculations used the same forcing data given by the IPCC AR5, and we included a detailed accounting of the impact of uncertainties in the forcing data on our climate sensitivity estimates.

Our results show the best (median) estimate for equilibrium climate sensitivity is 1.64oC, with a likely (17–83% probability) range of 1.25–2.45oC.  The median estimate for Transient Climate Response is 1.33oC with a likely range of 10.5-1.80oC.  Most significantly, our new results support narrower likely ranges for climate sensitivity with far lower upper limits than reported by the IPCC AR5.  Our upper limits lie below – for equilibrium climate sensitivity, substantially below – the average values of climate models used for warming projections.  The true climate sensitivity may even be lower, since the energy budget model assumes that all climate change is forced, and does not account for the effects of decadal and century scale internal variability associated with long-term ocean oscillations.

These new climate sensitivity estimates adds to the growing evidence that climate models are running ‘too hot.’ At the heart of the recent scientific debate on climate change is the ‘pause’ or ‘hiatus’ in global warming – the period since 1998 during which global average surface temperatures have not increased. This observed warming hiatus contrasts with the expectation from the 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment Report that warming would proceed at a rate of 0.2oC/per decade in the early decades of the 21st century. The warming hiatus combined with assessments that the climate model sensitivities are too high raises serious questions as to whether the climate model projections of 21st century have much utility for decision making.

The sensitivity of our climate to increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide is at the heart of the public debate on the appropriate policy response to increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Climate sensitivity and estimates of its uncertainty are key inputs into the economic models that drive cost-benefit analyses and estimates of the social cost of carbon.

Continuing to use the higher global climate model-derived values of climate sensitivity skews the cost-benefit analyses and estimates of the social cost of carbon. The implications of the lower values of climate sensitivity in our paper is that human caused warming near the end of the 21st century should be less than the 2oC ‘danger’ level for all but the most extreme emission scenario considered by the IPCC AR5. This delay in the warming – relative to climate model projections –  relaxes the phase out period for greenhouse gas emissions, allowing more time to find ways to decarbonize the economy affordably and the flexibility to revise our policies as further information becomes available.

JC reflections

I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to write this op-ed, and I am hugely thankful to Nic Lewis and others (unnamed) who helped me improve this.

The timing for all this couldn’t be worse for me, being in China, 12 hour time difference, behind the great Chinese internet firewall (thanks to all who tried to help me break through) without access to twitter, and leaving for travel this afternoon.

Let’s see how this is received.  I have a trusted colleague tweeting for me on this, should be interesting.  In any event, I see the climate policy dialogue starting to open up, with discussion of the 2 degree threshold, lower sensitivity, and the hiatus.

750 responses to “My WSJ op-ed: Global warming statistical meltdown

  1. Congratulations! I haven’t read it yet, but I’m confident it will be insightful and well-reasoned.

  2. There is no real proof that any of the warming of earth is outside the bounds of natural variability. There is no real proof that CO2 has caused any measurable warming.

    Natural Variability can and does explain all of the climate cycles of the past ten thousand years and does explain all of the climate cycles of the past 800 thousand years.

    http://popesclimatetheory.com/page56.html

    • It’s turtles all the way down.

    • Thank you, Professor Curry and Mr. Pope, for defending the scientific method in a world driven by fears.

    • does until it doesn’t….I think these people are trying to be predictive, not reactionary and waiting to see something already occured. Natural variability is caused by the same factors as the man made ones they are looking at aren’t they ? Does” contribute to” rather than caues make you feel better ?

    • You realize your comment is in complete opposition to Curry’s article, right?
      Curry believes in AGW whose magnitude will be not as high as most estimates.
      That’s not natural.

  3. Pingback: Death of the Positive Feedback Theory – Climate Sensitivity Continues to Decline | climateequilibrium

  4. Thought it was a fair and well-written piece. Will be sharing this.

  5. Judith wrote (in the op-ed):
    “…our calculations used the same data for the effects on the Earth’s energy balance of changes in greenhouse gases, aerosols and other drivers of climate change given by the IPCC’s latest report.”

    But you’re well aware improved datasets have come out since the 5AR, particularly Cowtan & Way and the recent changes in Southern Ocean heat content.

    So how can you write this op-ed, not cite them or even mention them, and pretend they don’t exist? It makes you looks biased.

    • But you’re well aware improved datasets have come out since the 5AR, particularly Cowtan & Way and the recent changes in Southern Ocean heat content.

      Because the IPCC is the “authority” most often pointed to?

      • I wonder what the Wall Street Journal would write about, say, Michael Mann, if they learned he hadn’t used the best and more recent data available….

      • I published a News and Views in Nature re the Cowtan and Way analysis, and also a blog post, as to why I don’t think it is an ‘improvement’. I think the BEST analysis of the arctic is better. In any event Cowtan and Way is within error bars of HADCRUT4.

        The story re SH upper ocean heat content is just beginning, the recently published paper is almost certainly not the last word. On twitter, Gavin Schmidt did a back of envelope calc, and the new SH numbers would change ECS about .1 to .2, if i recall (of course I don’t have access to twitter and can’t check).

        The whole point of our paper was to use datasets that have been seriously scrutinized in the AR5 (published only a year ago), not to use numbers that someone else thinks are the latest and greatest. That is the main point of an assessment.

      • Most everyone else thinks C&W is an improvement. But, by now I’m not surprised that you don’t.

        I never said the recent ocean heating papers were “the last word.” But, as Gavin wrote, if they are true — and they were published in the most prestigious journal on the planet — your climate sensitivity upper bound changes significantly. Not to even mention them is biased.

        You like to write about ethics, Judith. I wonder what you would say about her ethics if, say, an IPCCish scientist ignored the most recent data available. I’m nearly certain you would accuse her of a serious ethics violation.

      • David, my last message to you on this. All of these latest papers provide data within the error bounds of our analysis. The whole point of our paper is the analysis of uncertainty.

      • Why don’t you do your own analysis and submit it to the SkS kidz, davey? They’ll print it so fast it will make Judith’s head spin. Twerp.

      • David Appell wrote, “Most everyone else thinks C&W is an improvement.”

        That would be between 3.5 and 7 billion people. Do you have a reference for that?

      • David Appell:

        Most everyone else thinks C&W is an improvement. But, by now I’m not surprised that you don’t.

        Which “most people’? And as important, which C&W curve?

        There’s a wide range of trends, depending on the type of infilling chosen.

        I personally think it’s likely that C&W 13 hybrid (which was their preferred curve from the 2013 publication) overstated the amount of Arctic warming.

        These curves are based on their 2014 publication:

        https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/4520911/Climate/Trends/CowtanWay-10YearTrend.jpg

        Anyway, the “big” relative increase in trend they like to report was actually a minor absolute increase in trend, and it was for a cherry picked interval (1997-2012).

      • re: uncertainty

        It’s interesting to llok what you get with low-balling assumptions.

        But it’s just as interesting to see what you get with the opposite assumptions.

      • David Appell fabricates from whole cloth:

        Most everyone else thinks C&W is an improvement.

        Let me guess… 97% of the mice in your pocket?

      • David Appell,
        It is clear that the whole point of the Lewis and Curry paper is to examine the evidence selected by the IPCC itself, and see what the sensitivity is using their data and methods. It is not an attempt to define in absolute terms what the sensitivity is.

        To argue that Lewis and Curry used the wrong data isn’t to argue that their paper is flawed, it is actually to argue that they should have written a different paper altogether.

        Why not go and write that paper yourself?

        My commentary on the Lewis and Curry paper and how it fits into the ongoing CAGW narrative is here:
        http://jonathanabbott99.wordpress.com/2014/09/26/the-carrot-and-the-stick/

      • David Appell –
        If the Durack et al. estimates of OHC are used, one gets a small (~5%) increase in the median estimate of ECS. But it makes no difference to the TCR estimate, which is the focus of the op-ed.

      • Steven Mosher

        Carrick
        ‘Anyway, the “big” relative increase in trend they like to report was actually a minor absolute increase in trend, and it was for a cherry picked interval (1997-2012).”

        The interval happens to include the final period selected by Nic

      • “Most everyone else thinks C&W is an improvement. But, by now I’m not surprised that you don’t.”

        David I realize many have already ridiculed you for this unsupportable comment but just to add my own. The journal page for this paper says it has been cited twice, one of those a paper co-authored by Cowtan. How can that be considered “most everyone”?

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/qj.2297/citedby

      • If you use hadcrut4 as global then you are infilling the arctic with zeros.

        I think most people would agree C&W infill the arctic better than that.

    • “I published a News and Views in Nature re the Cowtan and Way analysis, and also a blog post, as to why I don’t think it is an ‘improvement’. I think the BEST analysis of the arctic is better. In any event Cowtan and Way is within error bars of HADCRUT4.”

      You are, of course, welcome to your opinion on the matter. If you want to prove that the approaches of BEST and CW2014 are invalid for the Arctic then you’re welcome to put out numbers that reflect that. That being said I find your commentary in Curry (2014) and the blog post to be weak on the matter. Simmons and Poli (2014) directly reference your commentary and provide convincing evidence that some of your statements were off-base.

      It is worth mentioning that Simmons and Poli (2014) and Dodd et al (2014) have examined specifically the question of how best to estimate Arctic temperature changes and whether CW2014 gets appropriate results and conclude ultimately that the kriging approach for example is valid. BEST’s numbers and our own are very very similar for the Arctic and we have had detailed looks at this. You’re also well aware from previous commentary that AVHRR, AIRS and out-of-sample data suggest that the interpretation from our data pertaining to Arctic warming is far more realistic than HadCRUTv4’s approach and that GISS likely underestimates warming due to a series of factors that we discussed in an April 2014 update.

      You’re welcome of course to make the point that you only intended to use the IPCC datasets for your analysis but it seems only reasonable to expect that in the paper itself and in communications regarding the paper that you would make the point that the approach is likely underestimating TCR due to the selection of input datasets. That there is concern of undersampling of Arctic warming in your chosen dataset and that this may have impacts on the analysis – such an omission is curious from the discussion section for example.

      • These SkS kidz are sensitive. I wonder if the little fella missed Carrick’s comment, above.

        “Anyway, the “big” relative increase in trend they like to report was actually a minor absolute increase in trend, and it was for a cherry picked interval (1997-2012).”

        Rookie cherry-picker.

      • Don,

        Good scientific papers note the limtations and alternatives in their approach.

        You might say that Robert Way is promoting Integrity (TM).

      • I’ve been looking into the subject of arctic (polar) amplification, and I have a question:

        For purposes of assessing “global warming”, wouldn’t it be appropriate to reduce the weighting for arctic temperatures by a factor equivalent to the observed/calculated/modeled “amplification”? (Compared to the rest of the world?)

        My reasoning is as follows: granted that higher temperatures in the arctic/antarctic (relative to the rest of the world) increase the supposed surface radiation to space, helping to balance the effect of “greenhouse warming”, they have either no impact, or a positive impact on human civilization. The number that matters is actually warming in the deep tropics, which is actually smaller than the “global average” due partly to “arctic amplification”.

        Thus, reducing the “global average” by down-weighting arctic temperature change would actually provide an improved measure of any real temperature effect of increased pCO2.

        Does this make sense?

      • Pierre-Normand

        “Does this make sense?”

        Yes, this makes sense if you want the stated increase in surface temperature to better reflect what will occur where people live. Few people live within the Arctic circle. But then few people live in the oceans either and the warming is much more pronounced over land than it is over oceans. So, you might want to correct for that as well. This second correction will more than offset the first one.

      • This second correction will more than offset the first one.

        I have a feeling that “second correction” is already being made (in, e.g., WG2/3) and has been all along.

      • Pierre-Normand

        “I have a feeling that ‘second correction’ is already being made (in, e.g., WG2/3) and has been all along.”

        If it has been, then go ahead, make the first one as well. You will still end up with a projected warming over densely inhabited areas that is larger than the WG1 projected warming for the global surface average temperature.

      • You will still end up with a projected warming over densely inhabited areas that is larger than the WG1 projected warming for the global surface average temperature.

        But we already are (if my “feeling” is right). This way, we’d end up with a smaller “projected warming over densely inhabited areas” than what we’re currently getting from the “projections”.

      • I have a question for you. I read Zeke Hausfathers article in RealClimate. I could see there was little difference between Best and C&W (C&W is only slightly warmer in the 2nd chart). I also read Lucia @ Blackboard 15 Nov 2013. She wondered what JC means by kriging across physical boundries. Well I goggled a little and found this:

        http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/6/2911/2006/acp-6-2911-2006.html
        “Optical and physical properties of aerosols at the surface, and the boundry layer BL and the troposphere FT during the dry season are discussed in this article”.
        Now that would appear to answer Lucia’s question for JC being that those scientists describe those boundries in that way. I don’t know what methods and data Best used but I would guess going from land surface to sst crosses a boundry? Now if you used UAH in the mix it would appear you crossed two boundries. Regardless as you pointed out there is only a very slight difference between Best and C&W. My question to you by crossing these boundries does this lead to more uncertainty when kriging and how confident are you that this is realistic for arctic temperature.

      • AK,

        My reasoning is as follows: granted that higher temperatures in the arctic/antarctic (relative to the rest of the world) increase the supposed surface radiation to space, helping to balance the effect of “greenhouse warming”, they have either no impact, or a positive impact on human civilization. The number that matters is actually warming in the deep tropics, which is actually smaller than the “global average” due partly to “arctic amplification”.

        My thoughts as well. My first comments when C&W was published were to make that point. Glad to see someone looking into this, I don’t have the resources.

        As for the land/ocean 1) Is the difference the same in satellite vs surface station data? 2) Urban, rural, undeveloped regions? 3) What is the trend in the rate of change for these environments? 4) What are the implications?

        I would suggest surface station data captures more non-greenhouse effects and that the implications of the difference in ocean and land changes are that we will see more rainfall, which is beneficial.

      • Mr. Way,

        Let us try to simplify matters. Assume that your Artic temps are used. What is the global surface temperature sensitivity to CO2 over the 70 year period discussed by Ms. Curry?

        JD

      • OK, mikey. Maybe we will start to be impressed with junior’s lectures on Integrity TM, after we see him similarly admonish his mentors and overlords in the alarmist establishment.

      • There seems to be a fod fight over Arctic temperatures.

        Whether UAH data in the arctic can be usefully applied, whether kriging across land/ocean/ice boundaries makes sense, and so forth are bones of contention.

        It would seem that there is justification to drop instrument packages in the arctic to measure air/sea temperatures and evaluate which approach is more realistic compared to real data.

        Real data would take the guess work out of comparing the methods.

      • AK, of course, the assumption that the majority of the arctic heat is a result of the GHE is absurd. So it’s not really a feedback (or, it is very slight).

        It’s likely that the vast majority of artic warming is natural. The GHE should only affect artic heating by a fraction of a percent. The melt over the first several decades of observations and the recent warming this decade are both probably the result of processes related to the stadium wave.

      • Mr. Way,

        The public appreciates your efforts to improve the artic temperature record. In time, the Lewis and Curry results can and will be adjusted. However, the main points: Climate sensitivities too high; Confidence intervals too wide, will stand.

        Luckily, the sky is not falling.

        Will

      • Steven Mosher

        Don

        “These SkS kidz are sensitive. I wonder if the little fella missed Carrick’s comment, above.

        “Anyway, the “big” relative increase in trend they like to report was actually a minor absolute increase in trend, and it was for a cherry picked interval (1997-2012).”

        Rookie cherry-picker.
        ########################

        so are you going to call me a Sks cherry picker?

        Nic picked the intervals to look at. I think he made a good argument.
        His final period includes a time where the final T would be different
        if you selected a different dataset ( either Best or C&W)

        As Robert argues, our records are very close. Given my work with AIRS
        ( out of sample testing of C&W and BEST) I can say the hadcrut is biased low. Whether we are also biased low is an open question. Maybe we are biased high.

        In any event there is a simple way to address this. get the code and put
        in different estimates ( C&W, BEST etc). Robert continues to work the
        problem. He does so in an Open and testable way. Given that ,people who criticize his work should actually show their work and not just fling spitballs.

        Im mean for chrissake Nic has provided his code. people whine about Judith’s data selection can go CALCULATE the impact of changes.
        Kinda like when you take bristlecones out of Mann’s work.

        On the question of whether Judith should mention in some manner about the sensitivity of the answer to using other data?

        I get this all the time. What happens if I only use rural stations?

        At somepoint I think Nic and Judith should run their code with alternatives.
        Put the issue on the table.

        Why? well of course because gavin told me there was nothing of scientific interest in the temperature record, so it was pointless to redo it

      • Mosher:”so are you going to call me a Sks cherry picker?” I hadn’t given it any thought. I will wait to see what Carrick says.

        I am just giving junior a little tweak, Steven. Nothing like the beatings he get’s from McIntyre.

      • If you want to prove that the approaches of BEST and CW2014 are invalid for the Arctic then you’re welcome to put out numbers that reflect that.

        The whole reason there is an ‘approach’ to the Arctic is that there are large areas without measurment. Proving is typically done with measurement, so I’m not sure that anyone is going to prove that unmeasured areas are measured correctly.

        It does appear that the Arctic temperatures are spatially incoherent ( lots of cooling areas right next to warming areas ):

        http://data.giss.nasa.gov/tmp/gistemp/NMAPS/tmp_GHCN_GISS_ERSST_250km_Trnd0112_1979_2013/nmaps.gif

      • Matthew R Marler

        Robert Way: That there is concern of undersampling of Arctic warming in your chosen dataset and that this may have impacts on the analysis – such an omission is curious from the discussion section for example.

        thank you for your comment.

        That looks like a good point for a letter to the editor. Sometimes WSJ publishes opposing views. I think that Prof Curry’s focus on the AR5 is natural, since it is highly cited and highly respected, and it was the focus of the Lewis and Curry paper. But the Cowtan and Way results certainly add to the uncertainty of the sensitivity estimates.

      • Steven Mosher

        “But the Cowtan and Way results certainly add to the uncertainty of the sensitivity estimates.”

        MAY modify the uncertainty of the sensitivity estimates.

      • Steven Mosher

        “he whole reason there is an ‘approach’ to the Arctic is that there are large areas without measurment. Proving is typically done with measurement, so I’m not sure that anyone is going to prove that unmeasured areas are measured correctly.”

        Wrong.

        The entire area is measured. AVHRR, UAH, AIRS and bouys.

        The clue is that before C&W nobody was looking at ALL the data to do the job.

      • Steven Mosher

        “I am just giving junior a little tweak, Steven. Nothing like the beatings he get’s from McIntyre.”

        Why tweak him when you can encourage the good you obviously see?
        huh? i dont get that.
        you know Don its rather embarassing when youngsters like Robert
        and Zeke show more class than us old farts. Really.

      • Michael said:

        Good scientific papers note the limtations and alternatives in their approach.

        Like, for example, your idol Michael Mann. Oh, wait, I forgot. He never does. So you now admit that his papers are not “good scientific papers?”

      • Fizzy,

        Really?

        No mention of uncertainties, or limitatons?

        Maybe have another read.

      • Michael: Really?

        No mention of uncertainties, or limitatons?

        Dismissing uncertainties and limitations with bad statistics does not count as considering them, Michael.

    • And should Judy have used these, would you now be complaining that her results should not be campared with 5AR because, well, apples and bananas?
      Besides, who’s to say what “better” means – it’s clear you feel the named info is “better”. Why?

    • Let’s see what you wrote when sander, for example, used shortened data sets..
      Let’s see what you said about hide the decline

    • No, David, it makes you look like a crank.

    • David Appell (@davidappell) “Most everyone else thinks C&W is an improvement.”

      No they don’t.

      Stop making stuff up.

    • Rather than challenge Dr. Curry on the merits, David Appell was playing gotcha when he wrote “So how can you write this op-ed, not cite (Cowtan & Way) or even mention them, and pretend they don’t exist? It makes you looks biased” If the op-ed had used Cow & Way, he would have complained that it is invalid because it can’t be compared to the IPCC and other analysis using 5AR. He also ignores the statement by Dr. Curry “In any event Cowtan and Way is within error bars of HADCRUT4.” The best thing that can be said is he is disingenuous.

    • Appell – “… makes you look biased.”

      Perfect irony!

      Have you had a chance to read this?

      http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/11/tech/web/online-trolls-sadists/

    • David,

      Try addressing the issues with GCM’s Robert Brown of Duke University raises. If you can offer cognent replies to RGB, then we might take you seriously. As it is, you run around the deck of the Titanic pointing out the new paint and talking about the revised menu in the dining room, rather than admit there are huge holes in the hull.

    • Steven Mosher: The interval happens to include the final period selected by Nic

      But this has nothing to do with this issue. If you look at the difference between the C&W result and HadCRUT4, it gets maximized by looking at that interval. So definitely a cherry picked example,

      I wouldn’t use that interval for Nic’s work either, because of the big ENSO event in circa 1998

      • Steven Mosher

        “this issue”
        which issue?
        The issue as I see it and as I have always seen it is simple.

        1. If we we want to understand the full range of uncertainty one should
        look at the range of input datasets.
        2. The numerator is deltaT
        3. There are several datasets where the dT is different during the
        periods selected for analysis.
        4. Rather than moaning about the analysis that Nic and Judith didnt do, just do it.
        5. Rather than speculating on the possible effect, just run the code.

    • Matthew R Marler

      David Appell: (@davidappell): But you’re well aware improved datasets have come out since the 5AR, particularly Cowtan & Way and the recent changes in Southern Ocean heat content.

      She made a brief reference to subsurface warming, but her focus was on the surface, as she wrote: Climate sensitivity is defined as the global surface warming that occurs when the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere doubles.

      Why Lewis and Curry referenced AR5 has already been much debated here. For writing a general audience editorial based on that paper, staying with the same focus as the paper is appropriate.

    • Cowtan & Way: The heat has gone where we don’t have observations. That isn’t science, is it?

      • Steven Mosher

        The more observations we get from that area the more it becomes
        clear that it is warmer than thought.

        Second there are new observations used to validate their approach.

      • So suddenly short trends are reliable? Make up your mind!

      • Steven Mosher

        “So suddenly short trends are reliable? Make up your mind!”

        1. it has NOTHING to do with trends.
        2. back in 2008, yes I was arguing that we can and should look at short trends.

        go soak your head.

      • The observation period is small. It’s warm now, but what was it in the past?

    • Cow tan and way are overhyped by the sks crowd. I thought it was pretty evident how Nucitelli cherry picked the data to misrepresent what it meant.

      I’d like to add the climatologist community in general needs to learn more about kriging and improve on what they did. It has a few deficiencies which can be remedied with more computing muscle.

    • cowtan & way is not a dataset . it is another interpretation of estimations,among many other interpretations of estimations.

    • What about the Tom and Jerry dataset and the Tom Dick and Harry Adjustments? Why aren’t they included?

      Calling estimates data.

    • davideisenstadt

      david why do you burden us with your effluvia?

    • curryja: I think the BEST analysis of the arctic is better.
      Robert Way: BEST’s numbers and our own are very very similar for the Arctic and we have had detailed looks at this.

      Translation: it’s not really about the science.

  6. Just flat excellent.

    • Ted Carmichael

      Yes, well done, Judy. It reads very well – simple and clear, but without misrepresenting the science.

  7. This delay in the warming – relative to climate model projections – relaxes the phase out period for greenhouse gas emissions, allowing more time to find ways to decarbonize the economy affordably and the flexibility to revise our policies as further information becomes available.

    This delay in the warming, relative to model output, relaxes the need for doing any reducing of CO2.

    Study and learn about natural variability and leave the CO2 junk science behind. They needed 5 years, then 7 years, then 12 years, then 15 years, then 17 years, now they want 30 years. How stupid do they think we are? Their model are wrong. Their Theory is wrong. The natural cycle caused warm and cold periods in the same range with the same bounds for ten thousand years. Study and understand what has happened and get an understanding of what will happen.

    • “This delay in the warming – relative to climate model projections…”

      Climate models don’t, can’t and could never predict short term (~ 2-3 decades) changes in the climate system, because they don’t know what ENSOs will occur or how big they will be, what volcanic eruptions will happen and their magnitudes, what solar changes, what air pollution changes, etc. will occur.

      How do you expect modelers to read the future?

      • I didn’t expect modelers to predict the future nor did most of the skeptic community. The models were NEVER validated and were always suspect in spite of the denials from the modelers and the rest of the alarmist community. The question is – why did YOU expect it. Don’t tell me you didn’t – that would be an obvious prevarication.

      • Since the models don’t agree, which is the model that is based on correct physics?

      • ‘How do you expect modelers to read the future?’

        With huge hubris about their abilties. And extremely badly in practice.

        And I’ve been proved right for both.

      • Ted Carmichael

        Hi, David. I think you are misrepresenting the consensus expectations of the majority climate models. For years, as the pause lengthened, the general line was, Yes temperatures haven’t kept up with the models, but it’s only temporary, the heat is “in the pipeline,” and temperatures will come roaring back even stronger once these transient effects balance out. (I can find some quotations for you, but I am sure you are familiar with the meme.)

        The thing is, the consensus modelers just didn’t believe that volcanoes, TSI, ENSO, etc., had very much effect at all. (There are some great quotes from Gavin saying essentially, we’ve looked at ALL these things, and nothing other than CO2 can explain the rise in temperatures.) Which is why sensitivity based on the 1970 – 2000 temperature increase (and discounting all these natural effects) runs too hot. And so I agree with you that these models “can’t and could never predict short term (2-3 decades) changes;” however, it is quite obvious that the modelers themselves didn’t realize this until very recently.

      • Nobody expects the models to predict the future, but if they are based on correct physics, we expect them to agree with each other, since they were all perturbed in the same way by these unpredictable events that are not based on physics, like ocean oscillations and cloud formations, for example.

        But it turns out that they are all based on correct physics! Even though they disagree widely!

      • Oh yeah, and ocean heat transport. That can also be neglected in the models because it isn’t based on physics either, I guess.

        After all, the ocean couldn’t hold that much heat for that long.

      • “Climate models don’t, can’t and could never predict short term (~ 2-3 decades) changes in the climate system, because they don’t know what ENSOs will occur or how big they will be, what volcanic eruptions will happen and their magnitudes, what solar changes, what air pollution changes, etc. will occur.”

        However, it would be easy to deposit the turn-key models in an archive and 15 years or so after deposition to run them with the known, measured, solar, AMO, PDO, volcanoes, e.t.c., and see how well they did.
        However, the problem with this is that global temperature record itself is being continually altered so that a model prepared in 1994, using the estimated global temperature from 1880-1990, could not be used now as the global temperature record of 1880-1990 prepared in 1994 is now different from that calculated in 2014. In 20 years the past has become colder, and one suspects, that every improvement will cause the past to further chill.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis

        “Climate models don’t, can’t and could never predict short term (~ 2-3 decades) changes in the climate system…”

        Climate models also don’t, can’t, and could never predict long term (100 years or more) changes in the climate system, because every one of the GCMs is a fatally flawed attempt to linearize a non-coupled chaotic dynamic system (the climate). See the following: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/10/06/real-science-debates-are-not-rare/

      • “How do you expect modelers to read the future?”

        There is so much comedy in that one line.

      • “Climate models don’t, can’t and could never predict short term (~ 2-3 decades) changes in the climate system, because they don’t know what ENSOs will occur or how big they will be, what volcanic eruptions will happen and their magnitudes, what solar changes, what air pollution changes, etc. will occur.”

        But almost none of them got the last two decades right as far as multi-decadal trend, even though they all had different evolutions. The last two decades were special with respect to ENSO? Or more likely it was not understood well and long-term ocean processes were never modelled well in the first place. Whish is one big reason why as time goes by the projections keep looking worse. It’s not that the model projections have to match the squiggles of reality, it’s that the long term trends of models (squiggles smoothed) vs. the same for observations differ SIGNIFICANTLY and the acceleration we see is in the model projections’ error. Meanwhile we see prominent climate scientists continually move the goalpoats representing how a pause must last before it matters (because it keeps getting scored on).

      • nottawa rafter

        David

        Can’t predict the future ? Unbelievable! Hello! You are right of course. But why did it take you so long to come to that conclusion? Now let’s get down to business and try to live in the real world.

      • Matthew R Marler

        David Appell: (@davidappell): Climate models don’t, can’t and could never predict short term (~ 2-3 decades) changes in the climate system, because they don’t know what ENSOs will occur or how big they will be, what volcanic eruptions will happen and their magnitudes, what solar changes, what air pollution changes, etc. will occur.

        Given their systematic bias to date, is there any reason to think that they are accurate over any time frame?

      • “How do you expect modelers to read the future?”

        Ouch. Bet he realized that was a flub the moment after he hit ‘post comment’.

      • I don’t expect modelers to misrepresent what models do.

      • David, wha is it exactly that the models can do? And how do you know they can?

      • “Given their systematic bias to date, is there any reason to think that they are accurate over any time frame?”

        They can’t ever be accurate. This in a non – linear system that is highly dependent on starting conditions, right?
        20 years ago, 20 years into an 100 year run, the simulations internal conditions are non – realistic, it would never generate an accurate 80 year prediction (all that’s remaining of the 100 year period) from that state compared to actual values. It doesn’t matter whether ENSO ‘ S average to zeros or not, timing alone changes the results.

    • Huh?

      Say what?

      The models show the 21st century as a continuation of the 90’s.

      The IPCC position is that 110% of 90’s warming was due to CO2.

      Either CO2 is the dominant driver of recent climate change (and the 21st century looks like the 90s) or the IPCC forcing estimates don’t make sense.

      • Pierre-Normand

        There is abundant evidence that CO2 has been the main driver since 1950 while its effect has been tempered by natural variability over the last 18 years. The is no contradiction there. Short term natural variability tends to average out after a few decades while the effect of CO2 is cumulative.

      • There is abundant evidence that CO2 has been the main driver since 1950 while its effect has been tempered by natural variability over the last 18 years.

        “If I hadn’t of believed it, I wouldn’t have seen it” – pithier version of the above.

        An even pithier version would be “harrumph.”

        I ask again, if the models are based on correct physics, why do they disagree?

      • Pierre-Normand

        “I ask again, if the models are based on correct physics, why do they disagree?”

        Appell explained this already above. The models can’t, nor are they expected to, predicts the phase of ENSO, solar variability of the onset of large volcanoes. All those effects are known after the fact and they fully account for the model/observation discrepancy during the last half of pause. (While skeptics often forget that models were running too cold during the first half of the pause). Further, there is no compelling reason to expect that ENSO, the Sun or volcanoes will make any relevant difference to global surface temperatures a few decades hence (just like they indeed didn’t seem to make any relevant difference to the warming that can be attributed to CO2 since 1950).

      • @pierre-normand

        Shorter version of your post:.

        ‘The models are right apart from all the things that make them wrong’.

        Wow.

        Can we poor funders have all our money back now please?

      • Oh, so they all get the physics right, they just are affected differently by natural variations that have nothing to do with physics and whose time domains are all known.

        Got it. That makes perfect sense. So if I am calculating trajectories for mortar shells, and I use several different “models” with correct physics and a wind that I wasn’t expecting comes up, they will all be wrong by different amounts and scattered?

        An ignorant layperson like myself may have been stupid enough to believe that if all of the models had correct physics, and were all affected by the same variation, then they would all predict an impact in the same wrong location, and would be wrong by the same amount. But we would also expect that if they were all correct, they would all point to the same landing spot, which would be the correct one if the weather were calm.

        What I didn’t know was that if you wave your arms enough, you could come to understand that all of the models are correct, and all contain correct physics, regardless of the scattered results!

      • Pierre-Normand

        “Got it. That makes perfect sense. So if I am calculating trajectories for mortar shells, and I use several different “models” with correct physics and a wind that I wasn’t expecting comes up, they will all be wrong by different amounts and scattered?”

        Yes, exactly. The different model runs, with different initial conditions that realize different wind patterns, will result with a scattered distribution of outcomes. If the scatter isn’t too wide, then the result will be good enough to predict that the mortar will land beyond enemy lines with very high probability, pace some break down in the mechanical laws of motion and of gravity. Likewise, different climate model runs produce a scatter of outcomes (+- about 0.15°C) for any given year, and some consequent variability in short term trends, but some likely range of average temperatures for any given future decade pace some break down of the laws of radiative physics.

      • Lorenz was able to show that even for a simple set of nonlinear equations (1.1), the evolution of the solution could be changed by minute perturbations to the initial conditions, in other words, beyond a certain forecast lead time, there is no longer a single, deterministic solution and hence all forecasts must be treated as probabilistic. http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

        The perturbations extend to feasible values for initial
        and boundary conditions and in coupling breadth.

        http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751/F2.large.jpg

        Unless you clearly understand this and the implications – babbling about models is meaningless.

      • Oh them clouds. Models jest can’t manage ter accommodate ’em …
        vhttp://www.artnet.com/artists/james-thurber/four-amusing-illustrations-for-charles-kingsleys-3zumN5YYkZ9VIsAsZjaK_Q2

      • Yes, exactly. The different model runs, with different initial conditions that realize different wind patterns, will result with a scattered distribution of outcomes. If the scatter isn’t too wide, then the result will be good enough to predict that the mortar will land beyond enemy lines with very high probability

        Maybe year to year, or over a short term, but these models appear to diverge over time into the future. Each of them is characterized with a different climate sensitivity. Aren’t these numbers just the sum of the assumptions?

      • Pierre-Normand

        “Maybe year to year, or over a short term, but these models appear to diverge over time into the future. Each of them is characterized with a different climate sensitivity. Aren’t these numbers just the sum of the assumptions?”

        I can’t say. Someone more knowledgeable about models might answer but you would have to specify what particular set of model runs you are referring to. The IPCC provides projections that correspond both to ranges of emission scenarios and also different possible climate sensitivities.

        What I do know is that model/observation divergence during the pause (and for longer periods) seem quite consistent with a TCR of 2.0°C and the combined effects of ENSO and TSI that have been observed. See for instance Kosala and Xie (2013), and Risbey et al. (2014).

      • Pierre-Normand “There is abundant evidence that CO2 has been the main driver since 1950”

        Wrong.

      • I can’t say. Someone more knowledgeable about models might answer but you would have to specify what particular set of model runs you are referring to.

        Umm, I am wondering why, if they are all based on correct physics, they diverge over time. If some of them are and some of them aren’t, surely we know which? Being that they are based on “physics” and all.

      • Pierre-Normand | October 9, 2014 at 10:32 pm |
        “There is abundant evidence that CO2 has been the main driver since 1950…”

        Can you tell us what evidence you are referring to when you say “There is abundant evidence that CO2 has been the main driver since 1950…”

      • (just like they indeed didn’t seem to make any relevant difference to the warming that can be attributed to CO2 since 1950).

        Wow. Alarmist immunity to the pangs of cognitive dissonance astound.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Pierre-Normand: There is abundant evidence that CO2 has been the main driver since 1950 while its effect has been tempered by natural variability over the last 18 years. The is no contradiction there. Short term natural variability tends to average out after a few decades while the effect of CO2 is cumulative.

        All of that abundant evidence consists of comparisons of actual data (global mean averages) to some model or another of what would have happened without the added CO2. Given that the models are conceded (by David Appell) not to be accurate, given that the entire increase occurred in one span of about 2 decades, and given that some of the models yield an estimate close to 0 C for the change due to CO2, all the conclusions depend on biases of what models of what might have been that anyone prefers.

      • Matthew R Marler

        TJA: “Got it. That makes perfect sense. So if I am calculating trajectories for mortar shells, and I use several different “models” with correct physics and a wind that I wasn’t expecting comes up, they will all be wrong by different amounts and scattered?”

        That is true. The difference is that the models for the mortar have been subjected to much testing, and the variation has been demonstrated to be small relative to an important criterion, such as the blast radius of the explosive. No such validation has been done for the climate models (or, such model to out-of-sample data comparisons to date show the models to be demonstrably too inaccurate for use.)

      • Perhaps P-N it is more correct to say the models all use correct, but incomplete, physics.

      • I don’t have a problem with the models being based on incomplete physics. I have a problem with people claiming that they are based on physics, as if the only thing that went into them were well established natural laws.

      • Pierre-Normand

        Matthew R Marler wrote: “Given that the models are conceded (by David Appell) not to be accurate, given that the entire increase occurred in one span of about 2 decades, and given that some of the models yield an estimate close to 0 C for the change due to CO2”

        First, you can’t generally attribute the warming of a long period to some single causal factor that would account for the difference in temperature between two extreme years within that period. The temperature curve can be a result of a combination of causal factors (various external forcings and the effects of internal variability) that act on different time frames.

        Second, I am unsure what models you are thinking of that are nearly insensitive to CO2 concentration. Do you mean to refer to the odd individual model run where little warming occurs in spite of the increased CO2 forcing? That would simply be a case where natural variability has cancelled most of the CO2 warming over that period. In such a case, whatever residual warming occurred would still be attributable to CO2 albeit with a share that is larger than 100%.

      • Pierre-Normand

        PMHinSC asked “Can you tell us what evidence you are referring to when you say ‘There is abundant evidence that CO2 has been the main driver since 1950…'”

        For instance Lewis and Curry 2014 provides such evidence. If we trust their lowballed value for TCR then the forcing change caused by CO2 since 1950 already accounts for more than 50% of the warming that followed.

      • L&C provide a good upper bound for response on a meaningful timeframe.

        Of course, what is important is not the global average temperature, but the affect it may have on weather regionally on decadal time scales.

      • aaron, land temperatures are rising twice as fast as the global average, so 2 C warming means a lot more for land areas. It is misleading to just talk in terms of a global mean, I agree.

      • We probably need 400 – 500 years of instrumental records to conclude anything of substance concerning climate.

      • Pierre –

        ==> “If we trust their lowballed value for TCR then the forcing change caused by CO2 since 1950 already accounts for more than 50% of the warming that followed.”

        Wait. How could that be? In Judith’s high profile interactions with the public, trying to communicate about the uncertainties in the science, she said it would be “foolish” to think that ACO2 dominates on a decadal scale.

        How could she have said that if her own paper indicates that ACO2 accounts for more than 50% of the warming on a decadal scale?

        As my friend Brandon might say, “That makes no sense.”

        Well, unless Judith wasn’t accurately communicating about uncertainties in the science in her high profile interaction with the public.

        Could that be it?

      • Sorry –

        I guess that should be Pierre-Normand?

      • Tony – so, based on the CET chart, we could be seeing about half of an ~ 1,000 year cycle?

      • Jim2

        A thousand year cycle?

        Well there is the modern warm period, the MWP, the roman warm period and the Minoan warm period all spaced roughly a thousand years apart so perhaps 500 years of CET is providing some sort of indication of the variations between one peak and another

        Tonyb

      • Pierre-Normand | October 10, 2014 at 10:32 pm |
        PMHinSC asked “Can you tell us what evidence you are referring to when you say ‘There is abundant evidence that CO2 has been the main driver since 1950…’”
        “For instance Lewis and Curry 2014 provides such evidence. If we trust their lowballed value for TCR then the forcing change caused by CO2 since 1950 already accounts for more than 50% of the warming that followed.”

        Lewis and Curry may or may not be right but citing them is not “abundant evidence that CO2 has been the main driver since 1950…” or even evidence at all in accordance with
        http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/evidence which defines evidence as
        “noun
        1. That which tends to prove or disprove something; ground for belief; proof.
        2. Something that makes plain or clear; an indication or sign
        3. Law. data presented to a court or jury in proof of the facts in issue and which may include the testimony of witnesses, records, documents, or objects.”

        “Lewis and Curry 2014” does not “prove or disprove” anything, “make plain or clear,” nor is it “data.” I guess you could squeeze them into “grounds for belief.” If Lewis and Curry is “evidence that CO2 has been the main driver since 1950…” than the GCMs are also such evidence; which is exactly what the dispute is about. Your answer could also be interpreted to mean that until “Lewis and Curry 2014” there was no proof. By default your answer is that there is no proof abundant or otherwise.

      • The last paragraph of my 6:03 comment should have read:
        If Lewis and Curry is “evidence that CO2 has been the main driver since 1950…” than the GCMs are also such evidence; which is exactly what the dispute is about. Your answer could also be interpreted to mean that until “Lewis and Curry 2014″ there was no evidence. By default your answer is that there is no evidence abundant or otherwise.

      • Pierre-Normand

        “Your answer could also be interpreted to mean that until “Lewis and Curry 2014″ there was no evidence.”

        That’s not true at all since we already had broad estimates of climate sensitivity, before L&C, that were arrived at with a variety of methods. Evidence that motivates the lower bounds of those PDFs (from models, paleoclimatology and recent observation), and the lack of plausible alternate explanations, already constituted strong evidence that the warming since 1950 (and also since 1880) was mostly anthropogenic. The fact that L&C couldn’t reduce this lower bound enough for TCR to be reasonably believed to possibly be low enough to be consistent with an anthropogenic CO2 attribution lower than 50% provides *further* evidence for the contrary attribution claim (anthro contrib >50%).

    • The modelers are going to always be expected to not get the future right. Two decades of bad model output with no corrections, even after the fact, shows they don’t understand real climate. They only understand consensus climate which is nothing like real climate.

  8. People on the different sides keep disagreeing about the amount of warming CO2 can cause.

    People need to understand the it is possible and likely that CO2 is a trace gas and only had a trace influence.

    Look at natural variability and understand what really could cause the climate cycles of the past. CO2 has not changed enough in the right cycles to have caused any of the climate cycles of the past ten thousand years.
    Something did cause the climate cycles of the past ten thousand years. Understand that and you will be better off.

  9. To the uninformed, this statement “Climate sensitivity is defined as the global surface warming that occurs when the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere doubles” means from 400 ppm to 800 ppm CO2. Why is it that the starting point is never mentioned? No wonder there is confusion among the masses and more importantly congress.

    • its for any doubling, so also from 280 to 560 ppm or 1000 to 2000 ppm

      • No, It is not for any doubling. It is not even a constant at the current CO2 ppm level. In order for it to be true for any doubling then it has to be true for any halving as well. This can be quickly shown to be false as the values tend toward infinity when CO2 ppm goes to zero. As best as I know it is an estimate of the average amount of warming that will occur within a very limited range of CO2 concentration change. As a value it can vary by variables that I have not yet seen a complete list of. Which of these change it I am not sure, but elevation, humidity, cloud cover, and temperature come to mind as being possible candidates. However, I have asked this question directly on this forum in the past, and the definitive answer I received is that climate sensitivity is not a constant.

        I am not sure that for the ranges you propose that the variations in “global” climate sensitivity are large enough to be significant, but saying that it is constant for any doubling is simply wrong.

  10. “a growing body of evidence…..”

    AKA a couple of papers that make low-balling assumptions, and come up with low-balled estimates.

    But nice rhetoric……very appropriate for the highly ideological stuff that the WSJ likes in it’s op-eds.

    • “very appropriate for the highly ideological stuff that the WSJ likes in it’s op-eds.”

      Name a single newspaper that somewhere someone couldn’t apply that same sentiment to. Inane.

    • None JC.

      But note i said “the…stuff WSJ likes….”

      Which is the kind of stuff Judith is advocating – don’t worry, it’s all OK, we don’t need to do anything much.

      That’s the message that free-market ideology wants to hear.

    • >Our paper is not an outlier. More than a dozen other observation-based studies have found climate sensitivity values lower than those determined using global climate models …

      Compared with your “AKA a couple of papers …”

      Which letter of “shameless” do you not understand, Michael old sport ?

    • Whether it is high heat or a sinking low ball Michael, you swing away and miss every time.

  11. Judith Curry,

    Congratulations upon a visible and well articulated op-ed.

    “Continuing to use the higher global climate model-derived values of climate sensitivity skews the cost-benefit analyses and estimates of the social cost of carbon.”

    It seems that EPA has choices which its nominal leader Gina McCarthy, Obama and his closest advisors actively choose to ignore.

    Business people generally understand cost/benefit relationships. As business people see that higher electricity costs, due to windmills and solar panels, are effecting their bottom lines, hiring behavior, and USA competitiveness in a global environment, political leaders, may listen since the low-employment recovery has political ramifications. Add an element of middle incomes have stagnated to this political climate, and we have political unrest directed at POTUS and the Democrats in general.

    That the WSJ is interested in publishing such an op-ed, says that the climate for change is coming.

  12. For the Nth time, the second law of thermodynamics does not apply to the atmosphere, or any subset of it, because it is not an adiabatic system.

    • Gee, David, that’s gonna coma as an awful shock to the physicists. IOW, tell me something I’ll believe.

    • Ouch. David, if you want your 2nd law comment deleted, let me know.

      • Davey must be thinking about the other second law of thermodynamics.

      • David Appell:

        For the Nth time, the second law of thermodynamics does not apply to the atmosphere, or any subset of it, because it is not an adiabatic system.

        Is this really what you meant to write???

        The second law applies to both adiabatic and non-adiabatic macroscopic systems.

      • Pierre-Normand

        The total entropy of an open system can decrease, whereas the entropy of a closed system can only increase. That was Appell’s very simple point in replying to Doug C’s now deleted comment where he was fallaciously arguing that the second law of thermodynamics is inconsistent with the greenhouse effect.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Pierre-Normand: That was Appell’s very simple point in replying to Doug C’s now deleted comment where he was fallaciously arguing that the second law of thermodynamics is inconsistent with the greenhouse effect.

        Maybe, but Appell’s statement as written is false.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Matthew R Marler obsesses “Appell’s statement as written is false”

        Climate Etc readers owe David Appell a *BIG* round of appreciation and applause!

        • David Appell didn’t push uninformed and/or nutty thermodynamical theories!

        • David Appell didn’t descend to personal abuse!

        • David Appell didn’t descend to “doxing” by the egregiously hostile Weev-like extreme-right methods of (e.g.) WUWT!

        Good on `yah for solid science *AND* solid citizenship, David Appell!

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

      • God this is tedious – FOMBS observations are obviously irrelevant, off topic and hugely prejudicial. So what’s new.

        From DA –

        Carrick: the second law’s caveat is heat loss or gain, not mass loss or gain. Photons carry energy and thus transfer heat, but they have no mass.

        Carrick was distinguishing between closed and isolated systems in thermodynamics.

        I was too colloquial in writing the SLOT does not “apply” to the atmosphere. The SLOT applies to all systems, of course, but it’s only the adiabatic ones (for heat, not mass) for which dS=0.

        The statement that the 2nd law didn’t apply in the atmosphere because it is not an isolated system is obviously incorrect and not colloguial.

        This is from Ray Pierrehumbert’s 2011 article in Physics Today:

        “The planetary warming resulting from the greenhouse effect is consistent with the second law of thermodynamics because a planet is not a closed system. It exchanges heat with a high-temperature bath by absorbing radiation from the photosphere of its star and with a cold bath by emitting IR into the essentially zero-temperature reservoir of space. It therefore reaches equilibrium at a temperature intermediate between the two.”
        — Pierrehumbert RT 2011: Infrared radiation and planetary temperature. Physics Today 64, 33-38

        http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1/papers/PhysTodayRT2011.pdf

        The Earth absorbs energy from the Sun and emits to space. The greenhouse effect occurs with photon scattering impeding surface cooling – it is certainly consistent with the 2nd law but it is not because the planet is not an isolated system – as opposed to closed system. The planet is a closed system but not an isolated one. A problem with describing physical processes as definitions is that you then have to use the same definition.

      • Rob:

        Carrick: the second law’s caveat is heat loss or gain, not mass loss or gain. Photons carry energy and thus transfer heat, but they have no mass.

        Carrick was distinguishing between closed and isolated systems in thermodynamics.

        Yes this is correct. To amplify on Rob’s accurate description:

        A closed thermodynamic system is one for which there is no mass exchange or interactions between the system and external systems, other than the exchange of heat energy. I should note that you can still consider the system closed as long as any long interactions (e.g, gravitational force of the Earth) can be considered to be constant.

        An isolated thermodynamic system is one for which there are no mass exchange or exchange of heat energy. The caveat about stationary long-range forces also applies here. Thus you can consider the thermodynamics of an isolated system that is being affected by an external gravitational force.

        There are two types of heat energy exchange that do not involve the exchange of mass: Radiative heat exchange and heat conduction. Exchange of photons does not make a system non-closed, just non-isolated.

        I think the comments about photons shows that somebody doesn’t understand this distinction between closed and isolated systems.

        There also still seems to be confusion over Clausius’s principle versus the 2LOT. Again the “real” 2LOT relates to entropy not net heat energy exchange.

        And there seems to be confusion over “heat energy exchange” versus “net heat energy exchange”. The exchange of photons between the bottom layer of the atmosphere and the stratosphere (for example) is not a violation of the 2LOT nor of Clausius’s principle, because the net exchange always involves the exchange of net heat energy from the warmer object to the cooler one.

        It is true that having the cooler layer increases the thermal isolation of the bottom layer of the atmosphere. But that is not a violation of the 2LOT.

        Increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, increases the amount of upwelling infrared radiation that is absorbed higher in the atmosphere. This is a natural consequence of radiative physics, and should be non-controversial to any except nutters like the person with the initials “DC”.

        It happens to be that you can derive the relationship for the adiabatic lapse rate without resorting to the 2LOT. This involves the first law of thermodynamics, Euler’s equation (including gravitational acceleration term) and the ideal gas law. It involves trifling amount of algebra, but there are many derivations on line.

        If you are not one of the people who are confused by any of this, then thumbs up.

      • “Photons carry energy and thus transfer heat, but they have no mass”

        Technically this is incorrect. A free electron can’t absorb a photon because it is impossible to conserve momentum from the relativistic mass of the photon.

      • Pierre-Normand

        It’s customary among particle physicists to equate mass with rest mass.

      • For the Nth time, the 2nd law can’t be used *in* *the* *silly* *way* Doug C. used it in a post, now deleted, that Appell was responding to. Since the context now is dead, so ought to be this pointless conversation.

        Doug we can count on to be utterly eccentric. It was the assertion that the 2nd law doesn’t apply in the atmosphere that was amusing.

      • So we learn that photons carry energy? The definition of photons is the quantum idea of a packet of energy. This is a confounding idea because photons appear to be waves rather than particles.

        How did we get onto particle physics? However – since we are here.

        Rest mass for instance is the intrinsic mass of an object at rest – as opposed to relativistic mass which increases with velocity.

        Photons are traditionally said to be massless. The logic is simple – and it involves relativistic mass. Mass becomes infinite at light speed – it is therefore impossible to accelerate any object with mass to light speed. Photons – which travel at the speed of light – must be massless.

        In reality the mystery of particle/wave duality is yet to be resolved. Photons may be open superstrings in 11 dimensions with mass predicted by string theory and a massless waveform described by the motion of the photon on the surface of our 4 dimensions.

        It is all, however, completely off topic with no possible connection to climate – other than generic – or to the response of the planet to increases in CO2. Puzzling.

      • But I guess it beats hell out of FOMBS incompetent fulminations.

      •  D o u g   C o t t o n  

         
        Rob Ellison.

        There is no significant “response of the planet to increases in CO2” as clearly seen since 1998 and understood with valid physics. CO2 cools by a fairly constant amount of around 0.1 degree because of its radiative properties which lower the temperature gradient in the same way that water vapour does. We can prove that water vapour cools the surface because it lowers the supporting temperature at the base of the troposphere and temperature data confirms this, as in my published study.

        There’s no reason to assume that (since we can measure the cooling effect of water vapour and find it to be about 10 to 12 degrees) carbon dioxide would then warm by 50 degrees or thereabouts. What you are overlooking is the gravito-thermal effect first discussed by physicists way back in the 19th century. Are you throwing away 150 years of physics?

        Continued here..

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        David Appell asserts [entirely correctly] Photons carry energy and thus transfer heat … “

        by Compton scattering.

        Your appreciation of thermodynamical principles and relativistic particle theory *BOTH* are impressive, David Appell.

        Take a lesson, Doug C. and DocMartyn and PA!

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

      •  D o u g   C o t t o n  

        Photons do not possess thermal (kinetic) energy. Some of the electromagnetic energy in radiation may or may not be converted to thermal energy in a given target. All of it would be converted if the temperature of the target were absolute zero (0K) but not otherwise. This is explained in my paper “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics” published on several websites in March 2012. Catch up on your reading about this 21st century understanding among physicists because I have no intention of writing it all out again here. Find it with Google..

      • Alexej Buergin

        Since you can derive any version of the 2LOT from any other version, I would not call any of them the “real” one.

      •  D o u g   C o t t o n  

         
        No you can’t “derive any version of the 2LOT from any other version” Alexej because a statement like “heat transfers are only from hot to cold” is merely a corollary which only applies with certain prerequisites, namely, in this case, that gravitational potential energy remains constant.

        You (and others) have a long way to go yet with your understanding of the Second Law and the thermodynamic equilibrium state of maximum entropy with no unbalanced energy potentials.

         

      • Doug,

        Give it a rest. Confine it to the open threads – that way we only have to ignore you once a week. As David Appell would have been well advised to it seems.

        The discussion has veered off course here – but there is still no excuse to spam everything with your high volume nonsenses as dear as they obviously are to you.

        FOMBS might be well advised to take the hint as well.

      •  D o u g   C o t t o n  

        Speak for yourself, Rob. There’s not a word of physics in your comments.. You cannot answer the questions I have asked on the Open Thread, nor respond to my criticisms there of the invalid physics you and others propagate.

      • Doug – you are in violation of even the rudiments of blogiquette – and your recent spam to the max effort should all be deleted.
        I assume the only reason it hasn’t joined your original comment is that Judy is busy with more interesting things.

        Your persistent and repetitive song and dance is off topic and that is simply unacceptable to impose in such volume on others. Keep it to the open threads – where I will ignore it.

      •  D o u g   C o t t o n  

        And what are you, Rob Ellison violating when you repeatedly call me an idjit?

        Go read what I’ve just written about your physics (not you personally, for I do have etiquette) in this comment on the Open Thread.

      • nottawa rafter

        Doug Cotton

        I’m an agnostic on the debate you and Chief are having. The reason is I’m a total scientific illiterate. But I do have a question for you. Are your views held by any prominent scientists either contemporary or historical. Are they based on any well established science that you are applying to the issue at hand. A friendly question from someone intrigued by this ongoing discussion. Thanks.

      •  D o u g   C o t t o n  

        Regarding the Second Law o fThermodynamics go back to this comment.

         

      •  D o u g   C o t t o n  

        As usual, Rob Ellison you cannot respond to my criticism of the invalid physics you present here – see this comment.

        If you or anyone writes invalid physics here or on any thread I will respond therein if I happen to read it. I am fed up with the travesties of physics which now pervade climate blogs and Wikipedia. You have no valid explanation as to what is happening in the tropospheres of Earth or any planet, because you don’t understand why “heat creep” occurs and the necessity for such.

      • I think I am starting to get into the spirit of FOMD’s “New Enlightenment.”

        Black-Hearted Flunky Anthony Watts Condemned!

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        LoL … no, FOMD must be denounced!

        Either FOMD, or the Second Law!

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

      • Ultra-Right Flunkey Climate Change Condemned

        Against the backdrop of angry shouts rocking the country, the organizing committee of the Supreme People’s Assembly announced that Climate Change will meet the serious punishment of history.

      • Matthew R Marler

        a fan of *MORE* discourse: LoL … no, FOMD must be denounced!

        Either FOMD, or the Second Law!

        Your comments are straying into the territory pathognomic for schizophrenia or other delusions. You want to refine them a bit.

      • Matthew R Marler

        a fan of *MORE* discourse: • David Appell didn’t push uninformed and/or nutty thermodynamical theories!

        David Appell: For the Nth time, the second law of thermodynamics does not apply to the atmosphere, or any subset of it, because it is not an adiabatic system.

        Do you agree with David Appell that the second law of thermodynamics does not apply to the atmosphere or any subset of it, for the reason given?

      • Matthew R Marler

        a fan of *MORE* discourse: Good on `yah for solid science *AND* solid citizenship, David Appell!

        And he admitted that what he wrote was erroneous and was not what he intended.

      • Pierre-Normand

        “The second law applies to both adiabatic and non-adiabatic macroscopic systems.” It applies to the (mereological) sum of all the interacting systems. So, in order to bring it to bear on the atmosphere, one also must consider the entropy of the Sun, oceans/surface and space, with which the atmosphere interacts.

      • I take it the threading is busted already.

        Second Law of Thermodynamics: It is not possible for heat to flow from a colder body to a warmer body without any work having been done to accomplish this flow. Energy will not flow spontaneously from a low temperature object to a higher temperature object. This precludes a perfect refrigerator. The statements about refrigerators apply to air conditioners and heat pumps, which embody the same principles.

        This is the “second form” or Clausius statement of the second law. http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/thermo/seclaw.html#c3

        The Clausius form is easiest to understand. In the context of the Earth it simply means that the heat flow is from the Sun to the surface to the atmosphere and back out to space. This occurs despite the fact that the atmosphere re-radiates in all directions in specific frequencies. Individual photons can travel in either direction between warmer and cooler bodies and must – but heat is a macro property and flow is always from the warmer to the cooler.

      • P-N

        These simple physics are not all that interesting or relevant to the post. However – since we are there. I have said to you before that the path to understanding is to visualize process – in this case energy flows. Once it can be seen and rearranged at will – the opportunity arises to categorise, apply math or describe it in words. Trying to understand by an arrangement of pre-defined categories is doomed to failure. It is knowing the name of the bird but not understanding the bird – as Feynman might say.

        You waffled about closed and open systems and entropy and the second law in relation to Sun, Earth, atmosphere and space but provided no clear description of energy flows in the system – the fundamental physical reality. Much naming of birds and zilch significance. It seemed more a justification superficially in the language of physics of an obviously silly statement. What’s that about?

      • Pierre-Normand

        “You waffled about closed and open systems and entropy”

        Did I say something false? Appell and I merely stated a simple facts that Doug C. constantly overlooks. The atmospheric layers + terrestrial surface don’t constitute a closed system, hence the second law can’t preclude that changes in the radiative properties of the atmosphere can result in the surface and lower troposphere warming. No need to provide a full account of the greenhouse effect when the goal merely is to refute a trivially invalid argument.

        In any case, Doug C. is banned here (and most everywhere) so you are correct that this conversation is irrelevant. I just wanted to corrects the misrepresentation of Appell’s now decontextualized claim.

      • You said something that had no context, no meaning and no substance. You concluded absolutely nothing in either comment. Pure bafflegab. Does it matter if the definitions are correct if it has no seeming relevance to anything?

        The statement was that the 2nd law didn’t apply in the atmosphere. It is simply not so – in any circumstance. So the obvious conclusion is that you are defending the indefensible using obfuscation. So sad.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

          deplores “[assertions] that have no context, no meaning and no substance.”

        The world is trying to help you, Rob Ellison!

        And the world is trying to help Judith Curry, too!

        Conclusion  Assertions largely devoid of “context, meaning and substance” have been deplorably common this week, both there on Cllmate Etc and in the WSJ too.

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

      • If this class of thermodynamical calculation is difficult for you, then internet bloviation about climate-science thermodynamics is not recommended as a pass-time. FOMBS

        I suggested he look at the hyperphysics link I provided to understand that work is required to reverse the heat flow. It is simply adding energy to a system. The Clausius form of the 2nd law is certainly not violated. Heat flows from a hotter to cooler body – they call it a law of nature. It would be obvious to someone who was not so astonishingly incompetent. He should really take his own advice.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Reply above, Rob Ellison!

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

      • On our planet earth, we see that the sun provides a high-energy low-entropy reservoir that cools the upper layer of the atmosphere.

        Lesson-learned David Appell’s remark was thermodynamically sound, both theoretically and experimentally.
        I>

        I don’t know what this means – but the sun doesn’t cool any layer of the atmosphere. All I know is that the second law is never violated – even in the atmosphere. Perhaps this is a 2nd law meltdown moment?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Rob Ellison knows just one thing  “All I know is that the second law is never violated – even in the atmosphere”

        The maximum-entropy state of any material is a spatially uniform temperature … so how is the atmosphere’s temperature-gradient sustained?

        Answer  Solar power plays the same thermodynamic role in sustaining the Earth-atmosphere’s temperature-gradient, that battery power plays in sustaining a thermoelectric cooler’s temperature gradient.

        David Appell’s remark (above) appreciates this geophysical/thermodynamic reality.

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

      • For the Nth time, the second law of thermodynamics does not apply to the atmosphere, or any subset of it, because it is not an adiabatic system.

        I am not going to go into energy flow through the system. Here’s a picture.

        http://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/stephens2.gif

        The atmosphere loses energy to space – it is a manifestation of the inevitable second law leading ultimately to the heat death of the universe. FOMBS is having his very own little Bose-Einstein meltdown. How nauseating.

      • Pierre-Normand

        Any conversation with Rob Ellison always has the form:
        Someone: “Snow is white.”
        Ellison: “Quite the contrary: tomatoes are red.”

      • Seems more like the 2nd law doesn’t operate in the atmosphere – and yes it does. Odd really.

      • Pierre-Normand

        Someone: The entropy of an isolated system can’t increase, but this particular statement of the 2nd law doesn’t apply to the atmosphere since the atmosphere isn’t isolated.
        Ellison: Quite the contrary, the Clausius statement of the second law applies to the atmosphere.

      • The only know exception to the Second Law is black holes. AFAIK, we don’t live on (or in) one. But I guess you never know.

      • Black holes throw off Hawking radiation to compensate.

      • Black holes increase their area to compensate for swallowing stuff. The black hole’s entropy is equal to its area (in the right units).

        Hawking radiation has entropy, and the black hole reduces its area to compensate for emitting that.

      • Chairman Mao’s Time Bomb — Quadrant Online

         

        Jul 15, 2014 – What happens if global temperatures actually decline — a possibility that must be considered, given the lack of solar activity and the mercury’s …

      • …the mercury’s refusal to rise as the warmists’ atrociously inaccurate predictions insisted? The short answer: big trouble for Beijing and everyone else…

      • nottawa rafter

        Wagathon

        If it cools there will be no change in the company line. The 468th iteration of why they blew it will be that it would have been cooler without CO2. I’m afraid we’re stuck with them. However, having Al Gore’s house covered with 1k of glacial material may dampen their enthusiasm a tad.

      • Pierre Normand, I read Cotton’s comments and Appell’s reply. I have now read what you and Rob Ellison are quibbling about. It does appear isolation/entropy are apples and oranges. I donno, maybe this helps (it did me but I’m a beginner) read Briar patch #2:

        http://entropysimple.oxy.edu/content.htm

        I also read sKs article refuting that the 2nd law contradicts the greenhouse affect and he says Oh contraire it supports it; ghg is a heat pump according to him.

        So much conflicting views from scientists, ‘what’s a simpleton like me to do’ say brer rabbit.

      • Pierre-Normand

        “So much conflicting views from scientists,”

        There aren’t conflicting views from scientists regarding the compatibility of the 2nd law of thermodynamics and standard explanations the greenhouse effect. That they are compatible is something that pretty much *all* competent scientists agree upon. This includes Roy Spencer, Judith Curry and Richard Lindzen. Cotton isn’t a scientist.

      • Pierre-Normand, why do you think the fact the atmosphere is not isolated means we can’t use the 2nd law of thermodynamics?

        It wouldn’t be much of a law if it couldn’t be applied to non-adiabatic problems.

      • Pierre-Normand

        For the Nth time, the 2nd law can’t be used *in* *the* *silly* *way* Doug C. used it in a post, now deleted, that Appell was responding to. Since the context now is dead, so ought to be this pointless conversation.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Pierre-Normand: For the Nth time, the 2nd law can’t be used *in* *the* *silly* *way* Doug C. used it in a post, now deleted, that Appell was responding to.

        that is why it is always helpful, and usually necessary, to quote exactly what is being responded to, and to comment as carefully as possible. What David Appell actually wrote must be re-interpreted into something he might have meant, instead of what he actually wrote, in order not be false.

      •  D o u g   C o t t o n  

        Matthew R Marler

        Two whole chapters of my book explain precisely how we must apply the Second Law of Thermodynamics to the troposphere. For example, it is that law which explains how and why gravity forms a density gradient, and a temperature gradient as thermodynamic equilibrium is approached. I doubt that you understand this, and I doubt that you understand how the Second Law enables us to understand what I call the “heat creep” process of downward diffusion and advection which is restoring a disturbed state of thermodynamic equilibrium – which is precisely what the Second Law of Thermodynamics is all about.

        Who’s next?

      • Matthew R Marler

        D o u g C o t t o n: Two whole chapters of my book explain precisely how we must apply the Second Law of Thermodynamics to the troposphere. For example, it is that law which explains how and why gravity forms a density gradient, and a temperature gradient as thermodynamic equilibrium is approached.

        So, you have both a temperature gradient and a thermodynamic equilibrium? How close is the approach of the Earth system to thermodynamic equilibrium? What use do you make of the temperature gradients between the climate equatorial region and the poles? What use do you make of the persistent structures in winds?

        What is the name of your book?

        Last questions: What use do you make in your derivations of the fact that deltaH for the earth system is positive? Do you posit a value for it, an estimate of some sort?

      • Matthew R Marler

        Pierre-Normand: Any conversation with Rob Ellison always has the form:
        Someone: “Snow is white.”
        Ellison: “Quite the contrary: tomatoes are red.”

        lol

        Well done.

      • The second law does not state that the entropy of each “body” (i.e. atmosphere/material) must increase. Anyway this discussion is not all that interesting, clearly David just had a brainfreeze.

      • “The maximum-entropy state of any material is a spatially uniform temperature”

        Fail. The atmosphere of planet with mass will stratify with respect to temperature, pressure and the composition of its gasses at equilibrium.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        The Zeroth Law asserts “The maximum-entropy state of any material is a spatially uniform temperature”

        DocMartyn begs to disagree “Fail. The atmosphere of planet with mass will stratify with respect to temperature, pressure and the composition of its gasses [sic] at equilibrium.”

        Background  In reference to Thermodynamic Exercises V-VI (above), consider the case of a gas-planet whose atmosphere consists of multiple molecular species (nitrogen, methane, helium, and hydrogen for example).

        Extra Credit  In the absence of (external) solar heating and (internal) radioisotope heating, show explicitly from the Sackur-Tetrode entropy (generalized to multiple gas-species) that the planet evolves toward a maximal-entropy equilibrium-state in which the chemical composition, pressure, and density all are stratified, but all thermodynamic potentials are uniform.

        Bonus question  Now turn-on solar heating and radioisotope heating. What happens?

        In other words The equilibrium temperature of the gas-planet is uniform and so are the chemical potentials of each of its the individual species. More generally, isopotential thermodynamic equilibrium is characteristic not only of ideal gases, but of all substances whether gaseous, liquid, or solid.

        It is a continuing pleasure — for all of us thoughtful science-minded folks here on Climate Etc — to assist in responsibly allaying climate-change skepticism by increasing thermodynamic understanding!

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

      • Don’t look now, but maybe a scientific consensus exists concerning global warming after all. Only 36 percent of geoscientists and engineers believe that humans are creating a global warming crisis, according to a survey reported in the peer-reviewed Organization Studies. By contrast, a strong majority of the 1,077 respondents believe that nature is the primary cause of recent global warming and/or that future global warming will not be a very serious problem.

        The survey results show geoscientists (also known as earth scientists) and engineers hold similar views as meteorologists. Two recent surveys of meteorologists (summarized here and here) revealed similar skepticism of alarmist global warming claims.

        (James Taylor, Peer-Reviewed Survey Finds Majority Of Scientists Skeptical Of Global Warming Crisis, Forbes)

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Wagathon, your unwavering advocacy of denialist market-fundamentalism is an unending source of humor to Climate Etc readers *AND* the thoughtful public. Thank you, Wagathon!

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

      • With all of the hysteria, all of the fear, all of the phony science, could it be that man-made global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people? ~James Inhofe (2003)

      • Matthew R Marler

        Wagathon: (James Taylor, Peer-Reviewed Survey Finds Majority Of Scientists Skeptical Of Global Warming Crisis, Forbes)

        Did we not discuss that here at Climate Etc when it was newly published?

      • Did we not discuss that here at Climate Etc when it was newly published?

        Nope.

      • Matthew R Marler

        a fan of *MORE* discourse: The equilibrium temperature of the gas-planet is uniform and so are the chemical potentials of each of its the individual species. More generally, isopotential thermodynamic equilibrium is characteristic not only of ideal gases, but of all substances whether gaseous, liquid, or solid.

        That is why the equilibrium concept does not apply to a rotating globe with an atmosphere, that is radiatively heated by a distant heat source.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        FOMD quotes orthodox thermodynamics  “The equilibrium temperature of a gas-planet is uniform and so are the chemical potentials of each of its individual species. More generally, isopotential thermodynamic equilibrium is characteristic not only of ideal gases, but of all substances whether gaseous, liquid, or solid.”

        Matthew R Marler concurs “That is why the equilibrium concept does not apply to a rotating globe with an atmosphere, that is radiatively heated by a distant heat source.”It’s mighty good to see Matthew R Marler and David Appell *BOTH* embracing thermodynamic orthodoxy.

        As for the remarkable assertions of DougC/DocMartyn/RobEllison … Climate Etc readers can let history be the judge of their non-standard thermodynamics!

        ——————————

        IN OTHER CLIMATE-CHANGE NEWS
        Arch-Conservative James Hansen
        calls market-fundamentalist denialism
        to Justice in the Courts

        Government’s Duty

        A petition for certiorari in the matter Alec L., et al v. Gina McCarthy et. al. was filed OCT [by Our Children’s Trust] on behalf of youth and future generations. It challenges a June 2014 decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals that there is no public trust doctrine in federal law.

        In this petition OCT is joined by a renowned constitutional attorney, Erwin Chemerinsky.

        OCT claims that government has a duty to preserve and restore the atmosphere as a fundamental natural resource […] as the Institutes of Justinian put it in the Sixth Century, the “things that are common to all mankind including the air, running water and the sea.”

        The full story is here.

        Good on `yah, James Hansen and Our Children’s Trust, for showing Climate Etc readers the face of foresighted, rational, morally-grounded, science-respecting conservatism!

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

      • “All facts go to clearly prove that Non-standard_thermodynamics_of_DougC-DocMartyn-RobEllison is a thrice-cursed traitor without an equal in the world, who had desperately worked for years to destabilize and bring down the DPRK?”

        it all sounds so reasonable…

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        DOXING DISCUSSION GUIDE
        FOR CLIMATE ETC READERS

        Lesson I  Learn about the abusive practice of doxing

        Lesson II  Study the methods and motives of arch-doxer Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer

        Lesson III  Analyze the doxing-practices and doxing-motives of Watts/WUWT/commenters in regard to Sou from Bundangawoolarangeera

        Essay Question I  Do climate-change scientists preferentially “dox” corporations, while climage-change denialists preferentially “dox” individuals? If so, why? Does WUWT dox women especially aggressively? If so, why?

        Essay Question II  Is “doxing” a gate-way practice that carries its practitioners from a “WUWT”-type worldview to a “Weev”-type worldview? If so, how rapid is this moral degeneration? Are dox-practitioners conscious of their moral slide? Do they justify it and even celebrate it (Weev-style)?

        The world wonders … and the STEM professionals of Slashdot wonder especially!

        Kudos to Slashdot/commenters, Watts/WUWT/commenters, and Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer for providing the instructive material for these exercises!

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

      • Typical– Invent silly comparisons for analysis vs. evaluating the cost vs. benefits of actual proposals being suggested for implementation.

      • True, true, I can give the silly bastards an analogy than when transformed in a mathematical model will explain everything but who would listen and if they did, what Earthly good would it do?

      • ‘FOMD quotes orthodox thermodynamics “The equilibrium temperature of a gas-planet is uniform and so are the chemical potentials of each of its individual species. More generally, isopotential thermodynamic equilibrium is characteristic not only of ideal gases, but of all substances whether gaseous, liquid, or solid.”

        Matthew R Marler concurs “That is why the equilibrium concept does not apply to a rotating globe with an atmosphere, that is radiatively heated by a distant heat source.”It’s mighty good to see Matthew R Marler and David Appell *BOTH* embracing thermodynamic orthodoxy.’

        Yeah I can see that Matthew agrees. The solar system is not in any sort of equilibrium. This seems to be a FOMBS version of a Bose-Einstein meltdown related to the brainfart of the 2nd law not applying to the atmosphere. Something that Appell has quite sensibly resiled from with a quote from Pierrehumbert.

        “The planetary warming resulting from the greenhouse effect is consistent with the second law of thermodynamics because a planet is not a closed system. It exchanges heat with a high-temperature bath by absorbing radiation from the photosphere of its star and with a cold bath by emitting IR into the essentially zero-temperature reservoir of space. It therefore reaches equilibrium at a temperature intermediate between the two.”
        — Pierrehumbert RT 2011: Infrared radiation and planetary temperature. Physics Today 64, 33-38

        It seems a little more correct to say that the planet is not an isolated system. We understand the meaning however – understanding the energy flow is what counts.

        However, we have two ideas of equilibrium it seems The zeroth law that leads to a universal equilibrium in a heat death of the universe sense and a local energy equilibrium in which energy in equals energy out. We are obviously not in a heat death scenario yet hence the persistence of both chemical and thermal potentials. And the planet is a non-equilibrium system – hence all the interesting extensive properties of warming and cooling. Energy in does not consistently equal energy out.

        I have recommended ‘The Principles of Planetary Climate’ to Doug previously. This really is the source for the textbook basics. He rejects it out of hand – Pierehumbert is wrong according to Doug. There is nothing left to say after that.

        http://cips.berkeley.edu/events/rocky-planets-class09/ClimateVol1.pdf

        I am likewise bored with FOMBS fulminations. Climate sensitivity such as he resolutely avoids discussing is not science denial in any sense. Well other than the denial of the esoteric nature of the non-equilibrium system as dynamically complex with an abruptly changing energy dynamic. Reframing the problem as Judy might say.

        The problem and the responses desperately need reframing.

      • I offered to do that above — not just explaining climate during the miserable little lifetimes of the secular, socialist, liberal fascists of global warming alarmism — but, for all time. Does anyone care? Nope.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Rob Ellison: Yeah I can see that Matthew agrees.

        I chuckled when I read that FOMD quoted my short statement that the Earth was not in equilibrium. How many times have I written that, I wonder — hundreds?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Pilgrim’s Progress
        Here on Climate Etc</b

        All right!  Rusty  Rob Ellison’s in the club!

        The club, that is, of Climate Etc readers who broadly accept orthodox thermodynamic and specifically accept the CO2-induced greenhouse effect associated with anthropogenic global warming (AGW).

        Also exciting is that TonyB and Carrick now are on-board with borehole affirmation of Michael Mann’s hockey-stick “blade”!

        Conclusion  The logical next step is to acknowledge that Hansen and Sato are right about the paleo-data’s implications for large- climate-change sensitivity!

        Take notes, Judith Curry and DougC and DocMartyn!

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

      • A return to the CAGW outcome. Didn’t science back away from this? Moreover in 100-200 years hence civilization and technology ought to be hugely changed. Will people be concerned about an AGW scenario at that time. (Possible ironies intended)

        From me, the timescale of climate change is a big deal. Society is developing and evolving rapidly. Mistake to presume we know the future

      • Unlike El Niño and La Niña, which may occur every 3 to 7 years and last from 6 to 18 months, the PDO can remain in the same phase for 20 to 30 years. The shift in the PDO can have significant implications for global climate, affecting Pacific and Atlantic hurricane activity, droughts and flooding around the Pacific basin, the productivity of marine ecosystems, and global land temperature patterns. #8220;This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool’ trend can intensify La Niña or diminish El Niño impacts around the Pacific basin,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “The persistence of this large-scale pattern [in 2008] tells us there is much more than an isolated La Niña occurring in the Pacific Ocean.”

        Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.” http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

        It remains for FOMBS to get on board with a idea of vigorous decadal to millennial variability. I am not holding my breath. We know precisely the timing of the warming and cooling regimes in the 20th century. They are delineated both in the Pacific state – the proximate cause – and the surface temperature record. Cool from 1944 to 1976 and warm from 1977 to 1998. If we assume that all of the warming – some 0.4 degrees C – over these two regimes was anthropogenic – unlikely in the extreme given centennialvariability – then the background warming attributable to greenhouse gases is 0.07 degrees C/decade. The sensitivity – as if the concept had any validity – would then be some 1 degree C.

        The calcs are very simple – but are based on understanding the dynamical mechanism for abrupt climate shifts. The results of the calcs are not terribly alarming in themselves – but dynamical complexity implies a certain risk profile that I have defined as far as it can be above.

        http://judithcurry.com/2014/10/09/my-op-ed-in-the-wall-street-journal-is-now-online/#comment-636801

        Thus we have the horns of the dilemma the world finds itself in. Implicitly of course findings of low or high sensitivity have political dimensions and it is these that come to the fore. Low sensitivity implies that BUA has low risk – and Judy comes down clearly on this side of a divide that clearly doesn’t exist in reality. It has policy implications that clearly she approves of – simply by taking this position. She takes a place in a high stakes game in which – consciously or not – her scientific objectivity is on the table. High sensitivity says that we are going to hell in a hand basket.

        In reality – neither side does justice to the policy problem. As I believe Judy is aware. It is playing a game by not challenging conventional ground rules – she is not advancing understanding of the ‘meta uncertainty’ surrounding the theoretical framing of the problem. It is a disservice not to the climate warriors – who really cares – but to the broader society and rational policy development.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Climate responds to forcing on multiple time-scales, Rob Ellison. Why do your remarks (like Judith Curry’s’s) focus exclusively on *short* time-scales … of a few decades (at most)?

        Don’t the paleo-data, and concern for our grand-kids, and the world’s religious leaders unanimously tell us “We’ve got to do better than *THAT*”!

        The world wonders … why so many folks choose short-sightedness.

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

      • You are starting to sound more like… A fan OF *GEORGE BUSH*

      • Maybe we need a little more time to get it right before throwing out the highest prosperity the human race has enjoyed for a systems to the left, like Fascism and Communism, each of which has real blood on their hands, in addition to any theoretical blood The Lancet could cook up if they were of a mind.

        Maybe a few more decades of technological advance is what we need. For a short while the govt decided we should all by those mercury filled twisty bulbs for our homes, trying to force the market. They weren’t ready. They lied about how long they would last and how they would be cheaper even though they cost more. Now, guess what? LED bulbs are available that really are better than incandescent. A little patience would have saved some credibility.

      • Climate responds to forcing on multiple time-scales, Rob Ellison. Why do your remarks (like Judith Curry’s’s) focus exclusively on *short* time-scales … of a few decades (at most)?

        Don’t the paleo-data, and concern for our grand-kids, and the world’s religious leaders unanimously tell us “We’ve got to do better than *THAT*”!

        The world wonders … why so many folks choose short-sightedness.

        The first attempt at a consensus estimate of the equilibrium sensitivity of climate to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations appeared in 1979, in the U.S. National Research Council report of J.G. Charney and associates. The result was the now famous range for an increase of 1.5–4.5 K in global temperatures, given a doubling of CO2 concentrations. Earth’s climate, however, never was and is unlikely ever to be in equilibrium. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, therefore, in addition to estimates of equilibrium sensitivity, focused on estimates of climate change in the 21st century. The latter estimates of temperature increase in the coming 100 years still range over several degrees Celsius. This difficulty in narrowing the range of estimates is clearly connected to the complexity of the climate system, the nonlinearity of the processes involved, and the obstacles to a faithful representation of these processes and feedbacks in global climate models, as described in [4].
        http://web.atmos.ucla.edu/tcd/PREPRINTS/Math-Clim_Sens-SIAM_News'11.pdf

        The global climate system is composed of a number of subsystems — atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere — each of which has distinct characteristic times, from days and weeks to centuries and millennia. Each subsystem, moreover, has its own internal variability, all other things being constant, over a fairly broad range of time scales. These ranges overlap between one subsystem and another. The interactions between the subsystems thus give rise to climate variability on all time scales.

        I focus both on the now familiar multi-decadal changes for which we have the best data as well as the nature of the system and on the broad changes on much longer terms.

        The IPCC discusses 1950 to date – the decadal regimes suggest that 1944 to 1998 is the theoretically justifiable perspective based on an understanding of the mechanisms of major climate shifts.

        e.g. https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/kswanson/www/publications/tsonis_GRL07.pdf

        This suggests that the anthropogenic contribution to recent warming is some 0.4 K at most. The paleodata – including the rock cores FOMBS likes so much – suggest some centennial cooling is possible.

        Forcing is however clearly an incomplete idea. The US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) defined abrupt climate change as a new climate paradigm as long ago as 2002. A paradigm in the scientific sense is a theory that explains observations. A new science paradigm is one that better explains data – in this case climate data – than the old theory. The new theory says that climate change occurs as discrete jumps in the system. Climate is more like a kaleidoscope – shake it up and a new pattern emerges – than a control knob with a linear gain.

        The theory of abrupt climate change in the dynamical system is the most modern – and powerful – in climate science and has profound implications for the evolution of climate this century and beyond. Changes in greenhouse gases, solar intensity or orbital eccentricity are – in this theory – control variables that push the system past thresholds. The climate response is internally generated – with changes in cloud, ice, dust and biology – and proceeds at a pace and to an extent determined by the system itself. The old theory of climate suggests that warming is inevitable. The new theory suggests that global warming is not guaranteed and that climate surprises are inevitable.

        One of these surprises – to some it seems – it the likelihood of multi-decadal to centennial cooling. Thus the dilemma – the appearance of a muted response to CO2 – but the unpredictability of the response in a dynamically complex system. This is antithetical to ideas of both low and high sensitivity alike. A pox on both their houses. And religious leaders can take a freakin’ hike for my money. Religion is hidebound – literally. Science advances one funeral at a time – but it gets there eventually.

        What is of most import is the myths of a new global civilization in the evolving zeitgeist. This advances in leaps and bounds in the new and global forums for social discourse. These forums are still in their infancy and the social norms are still to be established. Thus it is a brash and abusive medium. This is a universal problem btw and far from confined to CE. This is the new medium of social discourse – but will we ultimately get to rational responses? Not I fear anytime soon. The moderate centre is drowned out by noisy extremists – any impetus to resolution is quashed and there seems no easy solution to the internecine skirmishing. .

        Rational responses include building resilience to climate variability that will happen regardless remains a central objective of rational policy. Economic development is the core of building long term resilience. Fast mitigation is not merely possible with reductions in population pressures and emissions of black carbon, tropospheric ozone, methane, CFC’s and nitrous oxide – but are outcomes of health, education and economic development strategies. We may also reduce carbon emissions by building soil fertility on agricultural lands and conserving and restoring ecosystems. There are practical and pragmatic approaches that provide real no regrets policy options.

      • I keep forgetting that the threading is stuffed.

        If you look at websites that have been around for 10 years or 15 years, those that have communities that are actually constructive where the comment threads are interesting and the discussions are good and they are actually adding to the value of the place, are ones that tended to start very carefully. The people who founded them or who started them, the early members of the community, were all present. It was like a big company that just opened up some space and said to the world come on in and comment. Usually there was some kernel of committed individuals, people who felt that this was their place, and they were having a conversation about something that they cared about and that sort of established the initial norms of that space.

        And then over time as new people would arrive they would look around and see, oh, this is the kind of place where people are saying things that they care about or they are putting some effort into their comments or they are saying things that they want other people to hear and they are not getting into fights with each other. There is a kind of contagion to good manners and bad manners and to not just manners but to the substance of what people are talking about that applies online as well as it does in-person conversations.

        http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/futuretense/online-comments—ep/5795478#transcript

        After a long winded discussion on blog civility this morning – that’s their solution? What we have in the climate war is a community of climate extremists who move freely between encampments on both sides. The home territory is the training ground for activists who venture out to skirmish in enemy territory. This is a very different dynamic to that described above – and a vigourous defense of the home territory is required to avoid the polarized discredication effect. The tactic is very simple. Be as uncivil as possible in commentary and that creates adverse perceptions of the content.

        Uncivil discourse is a growing concern in American rhetoric, and this trend has expanded beyond traditional media to online sources, such as audience comments. Using an experiment given to a sample representative of the U.S. population, we examine the effects online incivility on perceptions toward a particular issue—namely, an emerging technology, nanotechnology. We found that exposure to uncivil blog comments can polarize risk perceptions of nanotechnology along the lines of religiosity and issue support. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jcc4.12009/abstract

        The activists self identify with groups and adopt group memes. They have negatives stereotypes of the opposition. Warmist or sceptic – and I am very commonly both at the very same time. Mind you – I am happy not to be a skydragon or one of the Borg Collective.

        We now, with the internet, have the opportunity to talk to each other and actually look at things slightly differently, go into perhaps more depth than you can fit into a newspaper article. But the problem is that with the way that comments are run at the moment, quite often what you see is antagonistic minorities shouting at each other, rather than the broader middle ground having a meaningful discussion, because those people, those moderate views get drowned out by the sort of rage and hysteria from the extremes of the spectrum.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Rob Ellison is concerned “Uncivil discourse is a growing concern in American rhetoric”

        Rob Ellison, please direct your attention to the ultimate in abusive, threatening, anti-science, anti-discourse incivility  the increasingly prevalent practice of Weev/WUWT-style “doxing”, which in climate-science has been directed preferentially against women who speak out

        Further reading  The Chinese idiom for “doxing” is Human Flesh Engines (Chinese: 人肉搜索) … a topic of great interest both to Judith Curry (as a scientist and a woman) and to her Chinese hosts!

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

      • Maybe FOMD should look up “Fifty Centers” since he seems to use their tactics so mercilessly

      • Is it politically incorrect to notice that the Left is destroying the country? “[Frank] Furedi’s memories of Canada in the 1960s are of having a nice time as a member of the Far Left — until he realized his red-raggin’ pals had no problem with state interventions in people’s lives. They couldn’t handle the notion that democracy and freedom are non-negotiable.”

      • Why is it politically incorrect to observe that Western academia has for years knowingly abetted the inciting panic about global warming?

      • Because the prat must fall, or no one gets any benefit from the exercise.
        ====================

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Wagathon’s creed  “Why is it politically incorrect to notice that the Left is destroying the country? ”

        Wagathon’s worldview  “Western academia has for years knowingly abetted the inciting panic about global warming.”

        Wagathon’s political philosophy demands exactly one kind of action, as Climate Etc readers appreciate full well.

        Question  Why would *ANY* scientist, technologist, engineer, artist, mathematician, or historian react to Wagathon’s political philosophy with anything but disgust and horror?

        The world wonders, eh Climate Etc readers?

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

      • Is paying business not to produce, purchasing French nuclear power and the elderly burning books about global warming to stay warm, all a part of the UK’s energy plan?

        …this coming winter, the gap between peak demand and peak generation will be small. By next winter, the gap will be as little as four per cent… [and] the risk of shortfalls is substantial. However, the lights are unlikely to go out in our homes thanks to a series of emergency measures, which include the ability to bring mothballed coal and gas plants back online, and paying companies to not use electricity – a facility for which National Grid will have to pay those firms fairly handsomely. Moreover, the UK government is investing in more connectors with continental Europe so that shortfalls can be made up with French nuclear power… ~Spiked

      • Fan

        With your 5.36 comment you seem to have accidentally taken a comment from the start of the discussion rather than the end where the consensus was not your comment here;

        ‘Summary Borehole data independently and striking affirm the physical reality of the climate-change “blade” of Mann’s hockey-stick … now we can focus on the “handle”!’

        but this; “I think we can agree that the Hockey stick was ultimately a dud as it failed to recognise the LIA and other climate variations. Climate was NOT virtually static for hundreds of years until Man supposedly altered it. Dr Mann rewrote ‘settled’ science when he rewrote the history books”

        http://judithcurry.com/2014/10/09/my-op-ed-in-the-wall-street-journal-is-now-online/#comment-636937

        tonyb

      • Tony, do you mean his 536th comment?

      • Faustino

        Who says satire is dead?

        tonyb

      • “The Zeroth Law asserts “The maximum-entropy state of any material is a spatially uniform temperature””

        In a gravity well? Or don’t you have to bother with gravity on your planet.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        The Zeroth Law asserts “The maximum-entropy state of any material is a spatially uniform temperature”

        DocMartyn wonders “In a gravity well?”

        Yes. Even in a gravity well.

        Even for planets with a solid core, a liquid ocean, and a gaseous atmosphere, and even for any (convex) entropy function whatsoever, and even for non-euclidean transport geometries (like thin curved-shells), all of the thermodynamic potentials evolve toward the spatial uniformity that maximizes the total entropy … including but not limited to the potential that is conventionally called the (inverse) temperature.

        Thermodynamic potentials are in fact defined so as to ensure entropy-maximization.

        Exercises I-VI (above) compose a nuts-and-bolts example that helps students to appreciate the detailed mathematical consequences of this fundamental (planetary-scale!) consequence of the Zeroth law.

        It is a pleasure to assist your thermodynamical understanding in this regard, DocMartyn.

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

      • Funny how Fan can wax eloquent on non euclidean space time geometries, but when asked to defend Mann, he falls back to “Look at that blade!” on an apples and oranges paper.

        Come on Fan, you can do it, Mann is wrong, admit it.

      • It was none other than Thermodynamics, traitor for all ages, who recklessly issued hundreds of billions of won in 2009, sparking off serious economic chaos and disturbing the people’s mind-set.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Shameless Gangster Market-Fundamentalism Condemned

        “Market-Fundamentalism is a half-baked person whose remarks often stun audience as they reveal utter ignorance.”

        Say, those new artificial intelligence engines are pretty darn savvy!

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

      • ‘If A and C are in thermal equilibrium with B, then A is in thermal equilibrium with C. Practically this means that all three are at the same temperature, and it forms the basis for comparison of temperatures. It is so named because it logically precedes the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics.

        There are underlying ideas about heat associated with the zeroth law of thermodynamics, and one of those ideas was expressed by Maxwell as “All heat is of the same kind.” If A is in thermal equilibrium with B, then every unit of internal energy that passes from A to B is balanced by the same amount of energy passing from B to A. This is true even if the atomic masses in A are different from those in B, and even if the amount of energy per unit mass in A is different because the material has a different specific heat. This implies that there is a measurable property that can be considered to be the same for A and B, a property upon which heat transfer depends. That property is called temperature.’ http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/thermo/thereq.html

        Systems evolve towards the heat death of the universe. All points at the same temperature. But we are very far from this point where entropy stops increasing. Very far from this having any relevance to climate. The Earth is very far from having a uniform temperature.

        FOMBS chains together terms that don’t mean anything in the context of the discourse. These serve no actual purpose other than rhetorical adornments. They obscure rather than reveal meaning. If you can’t describe it simply – you simply don’t know what you are talking about and are faking it. There are a lot of fakers.

        “There were lot of fools at the conference – pompous fools – and pompous fools drive me up the wall. Ordinary fools are alright; you can talk to them and try to help them out. But pompous fools – guys who are fools and covering it all over and impressing people as to how wonderful they are with all this hocus pocus – THAT, I CANNOTSTAND! An ordinary fool isn’t a faker; an honest fool is alright. But a dishonest fool is terrible!”
        ― Richard P. Feynman, Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character

        Feynman defines my ambition to be an honest fool at least

      • Oh, you little li@r.
        We can have the Magratheans build us a planet with a uranium/lead core and furnish it with a nitrogen atmosphere, in deep space, and allow the system come to a steady state whereby the surface has a temperature of 288K and one atmosphere of pressure.
        At steady state, part of the mass of uranium is emitted by the planet into deep space.
        The surface temperature is 288K and space is at 4K. There is continual emission of mass/energy into space and this flow of energy performs work by holding aloft nitrogen molecules in the atmosphere, against the gravity well. The temperature at the bottom of the atmosphere will be greater than the surface; although a ‘welsh carrot’ like yourself cannot understand this truth or why it is so.

        You Sidles misuse words like ‘Temperature’ in an effort to deliberately misinforming people with scientific mumbo-jumbo to support a ‘Thermogeddonist’ line. Which is why you jump from ‘ spatially uniform temperature’, to ‘thermodynamic potentials’, which are not at all equivalent.

        A copper rod anchored to the equatorial oceanic floor and extended 22,236 miles into geostationary orbit would have a temperature gradient, warm at the bottom and cold at the top. That is just the way it is and only a psychotic mind would insist that mathematical modeling would produce a uniformity of temperature.

        Observations are superior to theory, on our planet, warmed by short wave radiation and cooled by outgoing long wave radiation, then the temperature drops with altitude, until the heating of the thermosphere by hard solar radiation.
        The lowest energy state is not of uniform temperature.
        You do not now, nor have never ever, assisted me or anyone else in ‘thermodynamical understanding’. You inability to understand how truly ignorant you are is breath taking.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        DocMartyn is aggrieved [and no doubt D-C too] “You [sic] inability to understand how truly ignorant you are is breath taking.”

        Please forgive me, DocMartyn … `cuz Against thermodynamic ignorance, the gods themselves contend in vain!”

        Arrogant Reactionary
        Thermodynamic Ignorance Condemned

        The organizing committee of the Supreme People’s Assembly announced that Thermodynamic Ignorance will meet the serious punishment of history.

        The world public will never forget the malignant slanders uttered by Thermodynamic Ignorance!

        Climate Etc readers, let us renew our shared resolve to lift this dark veil of ignorance, which so grievously obstructs the vital cause of rational civic discourse..

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

      • Well fan,

        I doubt we will get any disagreement with noting that as the king of “Assertions largely devoid of “context, meaning and substance””, you ought to be the resident expert here.

        Yet still you strike out.

      • Testing threading — this should appear as a reply to Rob E.

      • Testing threading — through the wonderful effect of serendipity my threading test did show up immediately following a comment by Rob E. Just not the one to which I was replying. This test is a reply to my own test comment.

        confirmed == threading busted.

      • Rob Ellison

        Here I go again.

        “Individual photons can travel in either direction between warmer and cooler bodies and must – but heat is a macro property and flow is always from the warmer to the cooler.”

        Photon interaction with a gaseous molecule like CO2 would energize the molecule and either thermalize the molecule or re-radiate a photon of equal spectrum as had been absorbed. Fine.

        Question # 1: does it matter the position of the CO2 dipole matter with regards to the angle at which the photon strikes the molecule; i.e. at a tangential angle or perpendicular, etc., which may determine whether the molecule is thermalized or energized and re-radiating?

        Question # 2: Does the axial position of the molecule with regards to earth’s surface influence the direction of the re-radiated photon?

      • David L. Hagen

        For the technical equations for the 2nd Law in an open system see Granville Sewell:
        Can “Anything” happen in an open system, Appendix D, The Numerical Solution of Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations,  By Granville Sewell

        Entropy, Evolution and Open Systems, Granville Sewell, Biological Information,

      • David Springer

        David L. Hagen | October 11, 2014 at 1:29 pm | Reply

        For the technical equations for the 2nd Law in an open system see Granville Sewell:
        Can “Anything” happen in an open system, Appendix D, The Numerical Solution of Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations, By Granville Sewell

        Entropy, Evolution and Open Systems, Granville Sewell, Biological Information,

        Thanks David. Granville Sewell is my favorite lecturer on 2LoT.

        @Ellison (quoting Clausius) It’s possible for heat to flow from colder to warmer. The probability is vanishingly small but never zero. Write that down.

      • David Springer

        David L. Hagen | October 11, 2014 at 1:29 pm | Reply

        For the technical equations for the 2nd Law in an open system see Granville Sewell:
        Can “Anything” happen in an open system, Appendix D, The Numerical Solution of Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations, By Granville Sewell

        Entropy, Evolution and Open Systems, Granville Sewell, Biological Information,

        A favorite argument of mine, based on 2LoT:

        If we consider the universe to be a closed system then its order at the instant of the big bang must have been greater to or equal to its order today since total entropy in a closed system can only decrease. So every thought that every human ever had or ever will have was present in the universe at the very beginning of time.

        This raises a question: where did the order in the universe at the instant of the big bang come from?

      • David Springer

        total entropy in a closed system can only *increase*

        I do that all the time… repeat 100 times: order decreases as entropy increases

    • Scott Basinger

      LOL

    • Exit Appellations MMCXXIVVXX or whatever number we are up to now (apparently only the Nth)

      Oh, and C&W did not introduce “new data”, but rather re-kreiged existing data for an apparently warmer extrapolation

      Kreiging wars are old-hat for geologists and hold very little interest now. The *only* way of testing extrapolations is to put down another drillhole or three, or in the case of the Arctic, another satellite or three across the actual physical domain, to measure what is being extrapolated

    • David Appell own gooooooooooooooooooooooals with:

      For the Nth time, the second law of thermodynamics does not apply to the atmosphere, …

      And birthday cake doesn’t have calories, right tubby?

    • That isn’t entirely true. Updrafts of humid air undergo adiabatic expansion – that’s what drives thunderstorms and hurricanes.

    • Oh dear…

    • The Laws of Thermodynamics apply to EVERYTHING which is why they are called the LAWS and not the suggestions of Thermodynamics.
      It is true that it is easier to understand and model adiabatic systems that open steady state heterogeneous systems, the LAWS of thermodynamics still apply.

      • Doc,
        very good.
        What could they be thinking
        Scott

      • 2nd law of thermodynamics found to violate Leftist thinking.

      • Wag,
        2nd law of thermodynamics is freshman engineering if not high school.

        What are these “scientists or journalists” thinking?

        Just troll the discussions

        Scott

      • Thermodynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans, by Judith Curry and Peter Webster,
        Pg 35 and pages 52-57

        explain the 2nd law for scientifically or engineering literate denizens in with respect to the atmosphere for parties interested in actual discussions.
        Scott

      • The global warming alarmists had fantastic success creating something from nothing when they used the idea of a greenhouse one thing: a metaphor; and, saw that the idea turn into two things: an allegory and an analogy.

      • Curious George

        There is a nice Wikipedia article on the Second Law of thermodynamics. I’ll state it in a more intelligible way: The total chaos in a closed system never decreases. That’s why cleaning services thrive (they are external to my chaotic place). That also explains why the world only changes from bad to worse (old Sumerians knew that many thousand years ago, but they never formulated it mathematically). If you prefer a religious formulation, we are moving further and further away from the Paradise – not towards it, as some parties believe.

      • Curious George

        Threading broken again .. this was a reply to Scott @2:02 pm.

      • There remains considerable meta uncertainty in the determination of climate sensitivity, including how the problem is even framed. JC

        The zeroth law says something fundamental about climate or climate sensitivity? Thus the discourse strays into wildly irrelevant and irrational territory and gets lost. I think that is probably their point.

        Let’s bring it back. Let’s reframe the problem. Climate sensitivity is dynamic – γ in Ghil’s zero dimensional energy balance model.

        https://watertechbyrie.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/unstable-ebm-fig-2-jpg1.jpg

        It is the change in temperature (ΔT) divided by the change in the control variable (Δμ) – the tangent to the curve as shown above. Sensitivity increases moving down the upper curve to the left towards the bifurcation and becomes arbitrarily large at the instability. The problem in a chaotic climate then becomes not one of quantifying climate sensitivity in a smoothly evolving climate but of predicting the onset of abrupt climate shifts and their implications for climate and society. The problem of abrupt climate change on multi-decadal scales is of the most immediate significance.

        The probabilities I assume are something like a log-Pearson type III probability distribution. A preponderance of low impact high probability outcomes and a long tail of high impact low probability events.

        https://watertechbyrie.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/log-pearson.png

        It is the maths of probability – and extreme change – such as we have not seen in the 20th century will happen. It is not necessarily carbon dioxide related.

        To avoid repeating myself yet again – http://judithcurry.com/2014/09/21/an-unsettled-climate/#comment-632081

        Building resilience to climate variability that will happen regardless remains a central objective of rational policy. Economic development is the core of building long term resilience. Fast mitigation is not merely possible with reductions in population pressures and emissions of black carbon, tropospheric ozone, methane, CFC’s and nitrous oxide – but are outcomes of health, education and economic development strategies. We may also reduce carbon emissions by building soil fertility on agricultural lands and conserving and restoring ecosystems. There are practical and pragmatic approaches that provide real no regrets policy options.

      • Wagathon – “2nd law of thermodynamics found to violate Leftist thinking.”

        Not to worry, We, SBSI ( sustainable B and S) Industries have a sustainable energy device for them. It’s a compact wind turbine complete with a do-it-yourself roof mounting kit for any vehicle. With this device you can actually generate carbon-free energy at highway speeds to charge the battery that powers the electric motor for use in high traffic low speed driving situations. What? You don’t have an electric or hybrid car? No problem, we also provide a portable lead-acid battery,with it’s own carrying handle, absolutely free for only 200 $US. For only a few (7) thousand more you can get the lithium battery upgrade with free hand truck, fire extinguisher, and a full fire-resistant racing suit. Bring your fully charged battery home and use it to recharge your smart phone with free carbon-free energy. The turbine and fire suit come in any color as long as it is green. The kit comes with a free HOV lane pass, dashboard monitor for your viewing pleasure, tax credit, and smug sticker for all the people tailgating you while you admire your monitor.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Green envy … is spreading fast in many neighborhoods!

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

    • For the Nth time, the second law of thermodynamics does not apply to the atmosphere, or any subset of it, because it is not an adiabatic system.

      I’m guessing that what you’re after is a describing the process by which greenhouse gasses provide additional energy to the earth’s surface.

      This is consistent with the second law because the net exchange continues to be from the more energetic to the less energetic. The fact that the earth receives energy from the sun as well as the atmosphere does not change that fact that entropy still occurs.

    • Matthew R Marler

      David Appell (@davidappell): For the Nth time, the second law of thermodynamics does not apply to the atmosphere, or any subset of it, because it is not an adiabatic system.

      That could be better worded.

      The second law is

      deltaH + TdeltaS >= 0.

      (a) Because deltaH is positive (input of energy from the sun) and (b) because the processes in the atmosphere are non-adiabatic, exact calculation of consequences from the second law is an intractable problem. Some of the naive claims are false (e.g. there can’t be “backradiation” of LWIR from the atmosphere to the surface), but there is no good reason to believe that the law does not apply.

      Sorry about piling on.

    • David L. Hagen

      David Appell (@davidappell)
      Do we understand that you are positing a hypothesis that the 2nd law does not hold for the atmosphere?! Seeing that you have not taken up JudithCurry’s offer below, I recommend you reconsider! e.g.,

      The law that entropy always increases holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell’s equations — then so much the worse for Maxwell’s equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation — well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.

      —Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (1927)

      To date, no experiment has been conducted which violates the second law, and this should be taken as sufficient evidence of its validity.

      Cengel and Boles

      Nobody can doubt the validity of the second principle, no more than he can the validity of the fundamental laws of mechanics.

      Brillouin
      Quotes in: Challenges to The Second Law of Thermodynamics: Theory and Experiment p 328, Vladislav Cápek, Daniel Peter Sheehan, 2006

      • David L. Hagen wrote:
        “Do we understand that you are positing a hypothesis that the 2nd law does not hold for the atmosphere?”

        I could have phrased it better. Better would be, The greenhouse effect does not, as some claim, violate the SLOT, because the atmosphere is not an adiabatic system.

      • David L. Hagen

        David Appell
        Thanks that is better, but it is still not clear what you are objecting to. SLOT still rules in both adiabatic and non-adiabatic systems, closed and open systems with appropriate equations as shown by Sewell above.
        Of greater concern in Global Climate Models is that they might not even conserve mass or energy. Roy Spencer commented:

        The models are off by a factor of ~2 in global average warming rate. And I would prefer to use a model that actually conserves energy to one which can’t.

  13. “That the WSJ is interested in publishing such an op-ed, says that the climate for change is coming.”

    I wonder what the WSJ would say if they learned the authors hadn’t used the best and most recent data available. Care to guess?

    • David, didn’t Judith answer your question above?

    • I suspect they couldn’t give a toss – as long as it’s ‘on message’.

    • Maybe you should go tell on her?

    • You are badgering, davey. Is that all you got?

    • David: So, your logic is that the most recent guesses are better guesses than those of a year ago?

    • David Appell wondered, ” … what the WSJ would say if they learned the authors hadn’t used the best and most recent data available.”

      David Appell should write a letter to the WSJ informing them of this error. I’m sure that the WSJ would immediately print a correction and ask David Appell to write an Op Ed in rebuttal.

      Be sure to include that stuff about the second law of thermodynamics.

    • David, please be clear.
      Are you disputing Dr. curry when she wrote
      “In any event Cowtan and Way is within error bars of HADCRUT4?”
      Are you claiming that if Cowtan and Way had been used the conclusion would be different? If so by how much? After all the disagreement is quantitative not qualitative.

    • Steve Fitzpatrick

      David Appell,
      Good grief Appell, your politics are showing. They used the IPCC estimates. If you substitute C&W or BEST in the published code (and you can you know, the code is immediately available) you can make sensitivity estimates based on that (hint: the difference will probably be ~5% to ~10% higher estimate of both transient and equilibrium values). You can, of course, argue about estimates of ocean heat accumulation, where there is some uncertainty (just ask Carl Wunsch at MIT, if you doubt me), but Lewis and Curry applied very reasonable estimates for OHC. No mater how you slice and dice, David, the reality is that ANY reasonably done energy balance based estimate leads to a much lower value for sensitivity than the GCM’s, and that is a key piece of information for evaluating both the urgency for reductions in fossil fuel use, and the credibility of GCM projections.

      You asked earlier about using outdated data sets. Santer et al (in the dust-up over the missing ‘tropical hot spot’) stopped their analysis several years before the end of the then existent temperature records…. and based on that less than complete data, concluded that the discrepancies between tropospheric warming measurements and model calcualtions fell within the 5% to 95% uncertainty range (but just barely!). Had Santer et al used up to date data, their analysis would have shown the models are wrong about the hot spot with >95% confidence. Do you think that Santer et al’s use of out-of-date data sets to advance their argument is for some reason acceptable?

      Take a deep breath David: there is not going to be any reduction in fossil fuel use in the next decade or two, and I suspect even you recognize that reality (at least I hope you do). Lower estimates of sensitivity mean the resulting warming will be substantially lower than the GCM’s have diagnosed. This is a good thing, not a bad thing, and for lots of reasons. In the very long term, it is inevitable that fossil fuel use will decline, but you and I are unlikely to be around when it happens. Get over it.

    • I wonder what the WSJ would say if they learned the authors hadn’t used the best and most recent data available. Care to guess?

      They way they keep messing with data, the best and most recent is most likely not the best and likely is the most messed with.

      WSJ most likely did not want the most recent messed with data to be used without a lot of skeptics checking it.

  14. The OPed is a good starting point. The IPCC ranges for ECS and TCR are indefensibly broad and the means seem unreasonably high.

    Hopefully Dr. Curry’s paper and OPed are the starting point for a scientific and realistic reassessment of the CO2 climate sensitivity used as the basis for policy planning.

  15. This is called laying down the gauntlet.

    Others have made similar arguments. But Judith is more scientific mainstream than most of the others, her argument here is clearer and crisper than those of others (as she says, with the help of a journalist and op ed experts), and the WSJ, whatever its faults and biases, reaches a far larger audience than do Nature and Science.

    So think of this, if you are of both a skeptical and a literary bent, as Judith in the role of Joan of Arc.

  16. Great summary of the current sorry situation. Personally, I believe there is no net cost of carbon. In fact, we enjoy a huge profit because of fossil fuels.

    • jim2

      Good question

      do the (unknown and/or unproven) dis-benefits of Co2 outweigh the known benefits of co2? Discuss.

      tonyb

      • I have probably done too many exams. My initial urge is to tell you to get phucked.

      • Fossil fuels brought the US out of the wood-burning dark courtesy of John D. Rockefeller. He was a man of vision and creativity. He changed our world. I can’t see how anyone can dismiss the dominate role fossil fuels have had in the establishment of our great standard of living – here in the US and around the world. And this was a product of free markets and capitalism – no government waste was required. That’s what happens when an idea is a good one.

        Contrast that with the government supported solar “industry.” It’s little more than cronyism.

        From the article:

        Rockefeller founded Standard Oil as an Ohio partnership with his brother William along with Henry Flagler, Jabez A. Bostwick, chemist Samuel Andrews, and a silent partner, Stephen V. Harkness. As kerosene and gasoline grew in importance, Rockefeller’s wealth soared and he became the world’s richest man and the first American worth more than a billion dollars.[a] Adjusting for inflation, he is often regarded as the richest person in history.[4][5][6][7]

        Rockefeller spent the last 40 years of his life in retirement at his estate, Kykuit, in Westchester County, New York. His fortune was mainly used to create the modern systematic approach of targeted philanthropy. He was able to do this through the creation of foundations that had a major effect on medicine, education and scientific research.[8] His foundations pioneered the development of medical research and were instrumental in the eradication of hookworm and yellow fever.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_D._Rockefeller

  17. ” The implications of the lower values of climate sensitivity in our paper,… is that human-caused warming near the end of the 21st century should be less than the 2-degrees-Celsius “….”

    “should be’ ?!

    That’s the sound of uncertainty being thrown under the bus.

  18. Hank Zentgraf

    Thanks, Judith. Let’s hope your op-ed stimulates a thoughtful debate.

  19. What’s that I hear?

    Air raid warning….Air raid warning…climate thought police red alert…climate thought police alert…this is not a drill…this is not a drill…

    No doubt this is going to go over like a lead zeppelin.

  20. Pingback: UNFCCC emerges from five-year coma to days of hype and hoopla | The View From Here

  21. Judith has not argued against the 2 C limit, but instead argues that she is almost certain that we won’t reach 2 C by 2100 with business-as-usual emissions growth, so she implies that we almost certainly don’t need to reduce emissions. However, not to reach 2 C by 2100 requires a mean of less than 0.12 C per decade which is only 70% of the warming rate of the last 3 or 4 decades. Just linear extrapolation of the 30-year warming rate gives 1.7 C in the 21st century to add to the prior 0.8 C leaving us at 2.5 C in 2100. And this is just a linear extrapolation when most expect the rate of long-term warming to increase, possibly doubling by 2100.
    Below linked is the 30-year smoothed temperature. Its end gradient is 0.17 C per decade. Judith expects this to bend lower so that the 21st century gradient is less than 2/3 of this, rather than to bend higher which everyone else expects.
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1900/mean:240/mean:120

    • Or you can look at it in terms of forcing. Even with a low-ball sensitivity of 1.33 C per doubling, a forcing of 6 W/m2 by 2100 which is conservative in BAU terms, gives you more than 2 C. According to the IPCC we may already be over 2 W/m2 with a current rate of 0.4-0.5 W/m2 per decade coming from emissions of GHGs (70% of which is CO2) even including the aerosol effect.

    • Is Judith arguing for a slow rate of response?

      If so, then current observed warming is not due to current atmospheric CO2 levels but much earlier and lower levels.

      • They chose to take their temperature changes from 1875 and 1940 to current, which look like some kind of careful peak selection here. They may give the lowest estimates you can get out of this time series.
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:240/mean:120

      • The way you get a low sensitivity is to choose a low temperature change and a high forcing. Their forcing since 1950 is 40% more than from CO2 alone due to other GHGs. This does mean that their forcing is changing fast, and low sensitivity doesn’t help you much when that is the case.

      • Pierre-Normand

        Another way to get a lower TCR is to assume a monolithic linear feedback response (and hence tacitly assume that oceans and land are warming uniformly, which they aren’t). Judith Curry suggests that “observation-based” estimates of sensitivity might be superior to “model-based” ones.

        But one main source of distrusts of models among skeptics is their poor accounting of “decadal and century scale internal variability associated with long-term ocean oscillations”. But in this case, the Lewis-Curry method just discounts internal variability, and so provides no benefit over the use of general circulation models.

        The other main source of distrust is possibly unknown effects of non-linearities in the complex climate system. On that score, the use of general circulation models is clearly superior to the Lewis-Curry method since it at least accounts of the known inhomogeneous land/ocean response and what this entails for the water vapor feedback.

        So, there doesn’t seem to remain any reason to prefer the so called “observation-based” approach over the “model-based” one. Both approaches actually rely both on models and observation, but while “model-based” approaches embody our best understanding of the climate system, the model used by Lewis and Curry simplify things overly.

      • @pierre-normand

        You list lots of reasons for sceptics to ‘distrust’ models.

        But you forget the biggest one….that their useful predictive power is zero. We now have enough observations to compare with enough models to see this:

        http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/CMIP5-73-models-vs-obs-20N-20S-MT-5-yr-means1.png

        And until the ‘modelling community’ wakes up to the Epic Fail of their life’s work and starts to do something about fixing the problems, the ‘distrust’ will continue.

        Stamping their little feet and exclaiming ever more fiercely that they are right and it’s just Mother Gaia that is wrong is a counter-productive strategy.

        And with 20 years experience of absolutely no observable climate change – despite enormous hype of imminent catastrophe – Joe and Josephine Public aren’t buying the schtick any more.

        Climate modelling is in danger of falling into the same disrepute as phrenology or ouija-board spiritualism.

        Wake up and smell the coffee.

      • So all of those models are correct and based on physics?

      • “So, there doesn’t seem to remain any reason to prefer the so called “observation-based” approach over the “model-based” one.”

        Well there’s your problem!

        Here’s a tip: of two models, the one that more closely matches reality is the better.

        Oh wait… is that a biased test? I mean, it hardly seems fair when one of the models is based on reality, does it? Still, that’s science for ya!

      • @pierre-normand

        IPCC offers 3 possible reasons for distrusting models as:- unknown natural variability, flaws in key parameters, or model structural flaws. Key parameters (particulates etc) they can change between runs. But unknown natural variability like cloud formation or the sun’s magnetic variability doesn’t have the science to be able to improve.

      • Pierre-Normand

        Latimer Adler, this graph prepared by Roy Spencer is difficult to interpret. It begins at the start of the satellite records of lower troposphere temperature. This observation purports to be an average between UAH and MSU. Though MSU runs much colder than UAH over the last decade, for the whole duration of the record they both warm about the same: 0.4°C. But the graph makes it seem like they warmed barely half as much. Further the proper comparison with models would be surface temperature. HADCRUT4 exhibits about 0.6°C of warming over that period (while BEST and C&W show a bit more). It’s barely less than the model ensemble. On account of the cooling effect of ENSO/PDO and the decline in TSI, if the model ensemble had nevertheless warmed exactly as much as observation, that would be an indication that they aren’t sensitive *enough* to CO2 forcing.

      • @pierre-normand

        I’m sorry that you are finding it difficult to interpret Spencer’s graph.

        It seems pretty self-evident to me.

        The observed temperatures are far less than the vast majority (97%) of the models predict.

        I’d also hazard a guess that if I were in charge of fixing this sorry state of affairs I’d be looking to find structural flaws that consistently over-estimated warming. These look like fundamental flaws in the models, not just ‘bad’ luck.

        And if I were in charge of funding the models I’d be suing the arse off all the perps who have spent so long wilfully and deliberately ignoring these ‘discrepancies’. The models are clearly not fit for purpose. We’d like our money back.

      • Pierre-Normand

        “I’m sorry that you are finding it difficult to interpret Spencer’s graph. It seems pretty self-evident to me.”

        Sure, maybe it is self-evidently wrong and misleading. I raised three specific issues with it. (1) The displayed satellite records seems quite at variance with the UAH and RSS MSI data reported elsewhere (see Spencer’s own blog, or woodfortrees), and (2) the modeled surface temperature versus lower troposphere observed temperature comparison is an apple to orange comparison. I suggested HADCRUT4 as a more relevant comparison basis. And then (3) any remaining discrepancy is easily accounted for by the know effects of ENSO and the Sun. You simply ignored all three issues.

      • @pierre-normand

        Very difficult to avoid the conclusion that you are picking nits in the hope that by concentrating on those we will ignore the elephant in the bathroom…that the vast majority of models are all running consistently too warm.

        But if Spencer’s graph doesn’t convince you, perhaps the IPCC’s own words will do so:

        ‘For the next two decades, a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emission scenarios. Even if the concentrations of all greenhouse gases and aerosols had been kept constant at year 2000 levels, a further warming of about 0.1°C per decade would be expected’ (AR4).

        It hasn’t happened. The IPCC’s model-based projections/expectations have not come true. And, as even the most fervent warmist is now obliged to admit, it’s no warmer today than it was in 1998. Greenhouse gases have continued to rise unabated, and yet temperatures are static.

        And if there has indeed been any ‘warming’ at all in the last 20 years it is proving to have hidden itself in such elusive places as to be not worth our worrying about.

        I have no idea if you are a professional climate modeller or not. But if you are, I’d suggest that your time and effort is better spent on fixing the models….not on trying to shoot the messenger.

      • “it’s no warmer today than it was in 1998”

        Look at this
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadsst3gl/from:1970/to:2015

      • Oddly, if you take the 15 years before 1998, the models underestimated climate change by a similar amount to which they overestimated it afterwards. This is natural variability canceling itself out in the long term (30 years), a period over which the models were right.
        http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4fVXkJBMwJ4/U8yBXNtlf_I/AAAAAAAADlQ/js9_f4VJ0O8/s1600/Risbey1.JPG

    • Jim D: Seriously? You start by assuming linear warming from an arbitrarily selected date (why not the start of the current interglacial?) and then arm wave about how ‘most’ people expect the rate of warming to increase further from there?
      That isn’t science, that’s a child drawing a straight line on a graph and expecting to be 15 feet tall by the time they’re 21.

    • how does that linear extrapolation look if we only use the last 18 years surface temperature record ?

  22. Political Junkie

    David Appell,

    Judith’s IPCC ‘sanctioned’ data is more up-to-date than Mann’s presentations.

    Are you harassing him?

    Just askin!

  23. “That the WSJ is interested in publishing such an op-ed, says that the climate for change is coming.”

    One difficulty for the consensus is that they have to maintain settled-science and debate-over. As their cause ages, new findings and understanding have to be retro-fitted. Just for starters, check out those explanations for Antarctic ice extent. Whew. Heavy lifting there, warmies!

    To the extent that one stays skeptical, one is free to make use of any new or old thing. Why assume a continuation of the Pause or subsequent cooling, since there is no reason why this particular warming should peak now rather than much later? (There are theories, but not reasons.) Why assume much at all when experts still can’t get the weather right more than a few days in advance (if that)?

    Staying skeptical means our economies won’t be throttled in future decades by coolists demanding extravagant and expensive “solutions” on the basis of what they know for sure from studying Milankovitch Cycles, sunspots, or the odd bad grape harvest.

    • “coolists demanding extravagant and expensive “solutions” ”

      Extravagant and expensive “solutions” that solve NOTHING even if climate sensitivity is as high as the IPCC states.

      • There is just a brief period where certain potty notions can be expressed without general ridicule. Really wacko beliefs can be strong but not long.

        Even when our local butcher in Carss Park around 1960 was warning us of crazy weather being caused by Sputnik and A-bombs, nobody would have dared to talk of “tackling” climate change or of setting future temperature “targets” to a degree or even fraction of a degree. In a few years time it will again be impossible to give voice to such pottiness.

        Right now it’s possible.

  24. It would be interesting to know what happened to the first-draft statement on ocean oscillations possibly leading to even lower sensitivity which did not make the final version. My guess is that Lewis would have nixed that because you can’t say that these contribute positively or negatively to sensitivity (in his Bayesian view of unknowns).

    • Nic Lewis most definitely did not nix the statement related to ocean oscillations. That statement fell victim to WSJ editing for length and simplicity

      • Little jimmy is annoying. Ain’t he, Judith?

      • Just figuring out where that statement went. It has been one of Judith’s main themes recently, but not a peep in this article’s final version.

      • You failed to figure it out, jimmy. Your wild guess was wrong. Judith had to straighten you out. Don’t you ever feel embarrassment?

      • By stating it that way, I may get a better idea of where Nic Lewis stands on ocean oscillations, which I have not figured out yet.

      • @jim d

        ‘I may get a better idea of where Nic Lewis stands on ocean oscillations, which I have not figured out yet.’

        I’m sure that Mr Lewis has many good and admirable qualities. But standing on ocean oscillations likely ain’t one of them.

        He’d get his feet wet.

    • Nic is deeply involved in negotiations to sell the secrets of his stand on ocean oscillations to Big Oil. He ain’t gonna give anything away to a little anonymous and tediously annoying blog character. Sorry, jimmy. Just keepin it real.

  25. That doesn’t even sound like the usual Appell…material. Either he’s melting down or he’s been hacked.

  26. Thermodynamic laws, rewritten
    Out of the frying pan, into the fire. (Heat cannot transmit from a cooler to a hotter object).
    When the heat is on (No air conditioners allowed to run in California when temps reach 40 degrees due to risk of power outages).
    When it gets hotter more ice forms at the poles. (Second law specifically for Antarctica).
    An Appell a day keeps confusion at bay.

  27. 4th Law of Thermodynamics:
    Once you accidentally make that fart sound with your chair in a crowded room, it is impossible to recreate that sound.

  28. Pierre: Looks like you JimD and David are in cahoots. Sent by Podesta?

  29. John Vonderlin

    Dr. Curry,
    “If climate sensitivity is low, then future warming will be substantially lower, and it may be several generations before we reach what the U.N. considers a dangerous level, even with high emissions.” I know this statement is technically correct, but the usage of “may” and two vague terms, “several,” and “generations” bothered me.
    Wouldn’t this be better? “If climate sensitivity is low, then future warming will be substantially lower, and it almost surely will be the end of this century before we reach what the U.N. considers a dangerous level, even with high emissions.”
    By my estimation, at a Climate Sensitivity of 1.2 degree per doubling, that would seem to require almost an average increase of 5 ppm CO2 per year until 2100 to arrive at the IPCC’s “Danger Level.” ( 2 degrees/800 ppm) The last decade’s increase was only an average of 2 ppm a year and only increased by about 10% from the yearly average of the decade before. At that rate of increase we’d seemingly only reach 5 ppm increase per year by 2100, not the approximately 10 ppm needed to average 5 ppm over the next 85 years.
    If these numbers are right I can see why your low Climate Sensitivity estimates are met with such fury. If you’re right, the alarmist AGW case becomes just so much hot air.

  30. Nature wins again.

    You Tube: Hawk Attacks Drone – Drone Loses

  31. The Earth’s surface temperatures have already warmed about 0.8 degrees Celsius since 1850-1900. This leaves 1.2 degrees Celsius (about 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit) to go.

    Is that 1850 -1900 date range an error?

    • Judy wrote:

      The Earth’s surface temperatures have already warmed about 0.8 degrees Celsius since 1850-1900. This leaves 1.2 degrees Celsius (about 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit) to go.

      I wondered if this date range was in error.
      My mistake in part. The warming is “since 1850-1900”.

      Judy, FYI, as a writer I submit that is a challenging sentence to parse because it places a date range within a date range — to wit: “1850 to 1900 to the present”.

      The sentence just before quotes the IPCC and refers to “preindustrial temperatures”. But the Industrial Revolution is often said to have occurred from 1750 to 1850 which lead this reader to think preindustrial would mean “before 1750” and in no case later than 1850.

      I would suggest:

      Surface temperatures have warmed about 0.8 degrees Celsius since about 1850 when the modern network of temperature reporting stations began to be established.

  32. Pingback: Impactante artículo de Curry en el Wall Street Journal: El colapso estadístico del calentamiento global | PlazaMoyua.com

  33. Similar time zone to Australia, you are 14 hours ahead of America, not 10 hours behind.

  34. Pingback: Impactante artículo de Curry en el Wall Street Journal: El colapso estadístico del calentamiento global - Desde el exilio

  35. Second Law of Thermodynamics: It is not possible for heat to flow from a colder body to a warmer body without any work having been done to accomplish this flow. Energy will not flow spontaneously from a low temperature object to a higher temperature object. This precludes a perfect refrigerator. The statements about refrigerators apply to air conditioners and heat pumps, which embody the same principles.

    This is the “second form” or Clausius statement of the second law. http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/thermo/seclaw.html#c3

    The Clausius form is easiest to understand. In the context of the Earth it simply means that the heat flow is from the Sun to the surface to the atmosphere and back out to space. This occurs despite the fact that the atmosphere re-radiates in all directions in specific frequencies. Individual photons can travel in either direction between warmer and cooler bodies and must – but heat is a macro property and flow is always from the warmer to the cooler.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Rob Ellison claims [dogmatically and wrongly]  “Heat is a macro property and flow is always from the warmer to the cooler.”

      Question  How do thermoelectric coolers work?

      The world wonders!

      Hint  (inverse) temperature is just one of the two thermodynamical potentials in play.

      Conclusion  Considerations of energy and temperature are just the bare beginning of thermodynamics.

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

      • If you really wanted to look at the hyperphysics link you would understand that work is required to reverse the heat flow. It is simply adding energy to a system. The Clausius form of the 2nd law is certainly not violated. Heat flows from a hotter to cooler body – they call it a law of nature. It would be obvious if you were not so pathetically incompetent.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        In the laboratory, we see that a battery provides a high-energy low-entropy reservoir that cools the upper layer of a Peltier block.

        On our planet earth, we see that the sun provides a high-energy low-entropy reservoir that cools the upper layer of the atmosphere.

        Lesson-learned  David Appell’s remark was thermodynamically sound, both theoretically and experimentally.

        What is your next question, Rob Ellison?

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

      • “The world wonders!”

        The only thing the world wonders about is why you continue to insist on flaunting your remarkable lack of understanding of physics, most especially thermodynamics.

      • Fan, either you aren’t a physicist or you don’t know very much about thermodynamics if you think

        For the Nth time, the second law of thermodynamics does not apply to the atmosphere, or any subset of it, because it is not an adiabatic system.

        Is sound.

        The actual second law states dS/dt ≥ 0 for any closed system (in lay terms, which you apparently need, the total entropy of a closed system is either constant or increases with time.)

        An adiabatic system is one for which there is no net heat energy exchanged. When you have a reversible process with no heat energy exchanged, then you have an isentropic process, S=0. It is beyond silly to suggest that the 2LOT does not apply to non-adiabatic systems.

        Clausius’s principle states that a thermodynamic process cannot transfer net heat energy from an object at a lower temperature to one at a higher temperature without work being done on the system. While it’s a useful statement, it is in no way as powerful as the statement of the law in terms of entropy.

        But in all cases, including ones where there is net heat energy exchanged between any macroscopic system and its environment, the second law, and even Clausius’s principle, remain valid.

        As to your other question, Peltier devices simply impose a thermal gradient, they neither heat nor cool a device. It doesn’t matter whether the device that imposes the gradient is a classical thermodynamic heat pump, the physics is the same. The 2nd law is obeyed in all cases, and Clausius’s principle is even satisfied, because you are performing work on the system to generate the temperature gradient.

      • Typo:

        An adiabatic system is one for which there is no net heat energy exchanged. When you have a reversible process with no heat energy exchanged, then you have an isentropic process, dS/dt=0.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        THERMODYNAMIC EXERCISES

        Background  Assume [correctly] that the microscopic Hamiltonian of an ideal gas in a gravitational potential conserves two quantities: energy and mass, and that its entropy is given by the Sackur-Tetrode function.

        Exercise I  From the entropy function, derive the functional form of the potentials that are thermodynamically conjugate to (a) energy and (b) mass.

        Exercise II  State explicitly the functional relation of these two thermodynamic potentials to the traditional measures of (a) temperature and (b) pressure.

        Exercise III  Derive the ideal-gas equation of state from the entropy function.

        Exercise IV  Describe how each of temperature, pressure, and atmospheric density are measured, both ideally and in engineering practice, with explicit reference to the fundamental thermodynamical laws and to the consistency of the measures with the equation of state..

        Exercise V  Show that the maximum-entropy state of an ideal-gas in a gravitational potential is isothermal with exponentially decreasing pressure and density. Compute the scale height explicitly.

        Exercise VI  Why is the observed lapse-rate of the Earth’s atmosphere not isothermal? Answer with reference to the thermoelectric effect, in which charge-conservation replaces mass-conservation, electric-fields replace gravity-fields, and battery-power replaces solar-power.

        Give *QUANTITATIVE* answers to all questions, and show *ALL* your work!

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

      • Fan I think you need to step back a bit further.

        You claimed

        Lesson-learned David Appell’s remark was thermodynamically sound, both theoretically and experimentally.

        referring apparently to the statement by David Appel :

        For the Nth time, the second law of thermodynamics does not apply to the atmosphere, or any subset of it, because it is not an adiabatic system.

        There’s no sense in you assigning homework until you can make correct statements regarding the basic laws and definitions of thermodynamics.

        Here’s a simple yes or no question: Is David correct to assert that “the second law of thermodynamics does not apply to the atmosphere, or any subset of it, because it is not an adiabatic system?”

        Yes or no question. Attempting to assign homework as a response is a red-card offense.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        The answer to Exercise VI provides a physically realistic context in which David Appell’s point is explicitly valid.

        So the short answer is “yes”.

        As thermodynamics-minded Climate Etc readers are encouraged to verify for themselves!

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

      • Fan, “yes” is an incorrect answer. You should know better than this.

        Again, the second law states that dS/dt ≥ 0 for any closed system (or the total entropy of a closed system is either constant or increases with time.)

        And Clausius’s principle states that a thermodynamic process cannot transfer net heat energy from an object at a lower temperature to one at a higher temperature without work being done on the system.

        Both of these are valid, regardless of whether the atmosphere is adiabatic, so the correct answer is “no”.

        Since you didn’t show your work, you get an absolute zero for that response.

      • It occurred to me that David Appell may have been confused over what a closed system is in thermodynamics.

        Briefly it is a system in which no mass is transferred between the system and its environment and for which no interactions occur with the external environment other than the exchange of heat energy.

        As I said below, the 2LOT wouldn’t be very useful, if you couldn’t apply it to non-adiabatic systems.

        Also the confusion over Clausius is possibly because the statement of Clausius’s principle involves no net heat energy exchange from a colder body to a warmer one without work being done on the system.

        The key word here is “net”.

      • FOMT formerly used the moniker “A Physicist” in the days when he spammed at WUWT, so he is noted for his pretensions to expertise in physics…..

    • Carrick: the second law’s caveat is heat loss or gain, not mass loss or gain. Photons carry energy and thus transfer heat, but they have no mass.

      I was too colloquial in writing the SLOT does not “apply” to the atmosphere. The SLOT applies to all systems, of course, but it’s only the adiabatic ones (for heat, not mass) for which dS=0.

      This is from Ray Pierrehumbert’s 2011 article in Physics Today:

      “The planetary warming resulting from the greenhouse effect is consistent with the second law of thermodynamics because a planet is not a closed system. It exchanges heat with a high-temperature bath by absorbing radiation from the photosphere of its star and with a cold bath by emitting IR into the essentially zero-temperature reservoir of space. It therefore reaches equilibrium at a temperature intermediate between the two.”
      — Pierrehumbert RT 2011: Infrared radiation and planetary temperature. Physics Today 64, 33-38
      http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1/papers/PhysTodayRT2011.pdf

      • We do not know if photons have zero mass, we know that the mass of photon must be less than 1×10−18 eV/c^2 or <1.07×10−27 atomic mass units. The jury is still out on whether it is zero or very, very, small.

      • Matthew R Marler

        David Appell: I was too colloquial in writing the SLOT does not “apply” to the atmosphere.

        That should end that little tempest.

  36. John Robertson

    Mr. Appell,

    The question in my mind when I see people saying that the models were never designed to predict the future for periods of ten, twenty, or more years is to ask – how do you then validate these models? In other words if the models don’t have a predictable outcome then they are of no discernible value until they DO produce predictable results.

    What ever happened to the Hot Spot validation? No-one seems to talk about it in the model community any more.

    Surely we have better things to do than try to reading the tea leaves left by the climate model dregs.

    • Pierre-Normand

      Skeptics who ask this question never ever ask Judith Curry of Nick Lewis how their method for assessing climate sensitivity (based on a very simple model of the climate system) can be “validated” given that this method can’t either yield any predictions regarding short term variations in surface temperature.

      • P-N, all Lewis and Curry are doing is following the IPCC AR5 data and methods and seeing where it leads. Your disagreement is actually with the IPCC. Why not write them a nice letter with your concerns?

      • Pierre-Normand

        Jonathan Abott, that’s not a concern of mine. Only misinformed skeptics are concerned about the models inability to have predicted short term natural variations. I myself am aware that the models never had been expected to predict volcanoes, TSI or the ENSO phase many years in the future. I merely note that this skeptical concern is unduly selective and only targets works and methods from scientists who are perceived to belong to the warmist “consensus” camp.

      • Pierre-Normand

        Missing a “b” in your name, sorry.

      • P-N,
        I pointed out that Lewis and Curry are following the IPCC’s method, and you changed the subject and started talking about the performance of the models, which I hadn’t mentioned.

        I take it therefore that you admit that your criticism of Lewis and Curry is invalid?

      • Oh, and P-N, don’t worry about mispelling my name. I just feel sorry for that Brinden Schollenfinker kid: he gets blamed for everything.

      • Pierre-Normand

        Jonathan Abbott, C&L don’t use the “IPCC method”. Where did you get that? They merely say that they are using the IPCC *data*. Judith rather make a big point that they *aren’t* using the IPCC method, calling their own approach “observation-based”, while dubbing the IPCC estimate “model-based”. I criticized precisely this simplistic claim about L&C. But further, the IPCC merely makes an assessment based on very many sensitivity estimates in the published literature, whatever the method, including Lewis’s own earlier study.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Jonathan Abbott wonders “Why not write them [the IPCC] a nice letter with your concerns [regarding climate-science uncertainty]?”

      Many individual scientists, and scientific societies, and even religious organizations share these well-founded concerns.

      That concern being: the IPCC’s uncertainty estimates are overly conservative.

      It’s regrettable that WSJ readers will never learn even about the existence of these skeptical scientific concerns, from Judith Curry’s too-narrow one-sided uncertainty analysis.

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

  37. And people – really – give him a break – the 2nd law snafu doesn’t remotely rise to the hilarity of the infamous Bose-Einstein meltdown.

    • I’d have thought even you would understand that by ‘best estimate’ they meant the value at the mode of the distribution based only on the method they used – not by any other method.

      And if you think paleo data are useful for climate sensitivity then you are in a minority that includes your idol Hansen and almost nobody else. Most foolk involved in sensitivity analyses treat such paleo-derived sensitivities as pure guesswork, having almost zero foundation and little or no backup peer-review.

      I agree that it is mighty tricky how the thermodynamics interact and we need to make many extremely gross simplifications in the models even to get a useful result, never mind accurate. So comparisons to reality are necessary. Of course we can just go straight to reality and calculate a postulated upper bound feedback directly which is what is described here. The lower bound is of course the no-feedback 1K. So we are rather more tightly constrained than the IPCC would have us believe.

      Of course there are always extreme outlier opinions but apparently we are meant to strive for consensus! In this case the skeptics are far closer than Hansen to the mainstream POV.

      • That comment was actually aimed at ‘fan’ below. Alas the indenting seems to be flawed now.

      • I was wondering.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        JamesG agrees “by ‘best estimate’ they [Curry/Lewis] meant the value at the mode of the distribution based only on the method they used – not by any other method.”

        JamesG, it’s GOOD that you and I agree on this: scarcely any WSJ readers will correctly appreciate the ultra-narrow Curry/Lewis usage of the word “best”.

        That’s why the Curry/Lewis/WSJ usage of the word “best” was both scientifically imprecise and socially ill-advised, eh JamesG?

        JamesG advocates that we “go straight to reality”

        Kudos to (for example) Hansen and Sato [cited by 93!] for doing just that.

        *EVERYONE* appreciates *THESE* common-sense scientific considerations, eh Climate Etc readers?

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

      • AFOMD, I speculated below that you are ESL. Is my surmise correct? Looking at your comments here reinforces my view, as Judith’s use of the word “best” would be readily apparent to most native English speakers. Your view (that she means her work is better than that of anyone else) is a stretch and IMO would not be the natural interpretation of native speakers.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        FOMD’s true name is legion … because the scientific understanding and moral implications of climate-change alike are humanity’s shared heritage.

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

      • Matthew R Marler

        a fan of *MORE* discourse, cites Hansen and Sato, where we read in the abstract: Satellite gravity data, though too brief to be conclusive, are consistent with a doubling time of 10 years or less, implying the possibility of multi-meter sea level rise this century.

        That is certainly an outlier of a possibility. Being based on paleoclimate data (gravimetric measures?), its relevance to the near future is questionable.

        Given all of the data, what are the odds of a multimeter sea level rise in this century compared to a 0.4C mean temperature decline in this century?

      • I agree with waltf. Judith’s statement (“Nicholas Lewis and I have just published a study in Climate Dynamics that shows the best estimate for transient climate response is 1.33 degrees Celsius with a likely range of 1.05-1.80 degrees Celsius”) is both factually correct and naturally worded.

        Prof. Curry seems to be owed an apology – whatcha say FOMD?

    • Fan
      Ok but don’t confuse citations with agreement. We all know Hansen has been the biggest outlier from day 1. You may prefer to believe his paleo-guesswork but the herd now prefers observationally-constrained estimates.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        JamesGsays [narrowly and misleadingly]  “We all know Hansen has been the biggest outlier”

        Strictly speaking, JamesG, an objectively correct overview is this:

        Objectively correct overview  “Climate-scientists appreciate that paleo data predict substantially higher long-term CO2 sensitivity than IPCC projections,” and this is why the IPCC receives skeptical criticism for being overly conservative in its climate-change projections.

        These are objectively verifiable elements of climate-change science that Judith Curry’s WSJ editorial should have included — isn’t that right Climate Etc readers?

        Summary  For Judith Curry to publish a high-visibility WSJ editorial that inexplicably ignores well-known bodies of evidence — an editorial that self-servingly praises her own projections as “the best” — publicly embraces a rhetorical mode both ignorant and imprecise, that deplorably harms the cause of rational climate-change discourse.

        You can (and should) do better than this, Judith Curry!

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

  38. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Judith Curry opines [without reason or justification] “Nicholas Lewis and I have just published a study in Climate Dynamics that shows the best estimate for transient climate response is 1.33 degrees Celsius with a likely range of 1.05-1.80 degrees Celsius.”

    Here Judith Curry’s use of the word “best” lacks any operational or scientific meaning, isn’t that correct?

    For example, how can any study that ignores paleo data objectively claim to be “best”?

    Conclusion  The strongest claim that Lewis/Curry can objectively support is:

    Nicholas Lewis and I have just published a statistics-only study in Climate Dynamics that estimates transient climate response is 1.33 degrees Celsius with a likely range of 1.05-1.80 degrees Celsius. Our near-term sensitivity estimate is substantially lower than longer-term estimates from paleo data.

    Remarks on Thermodynamics  Even the simple case of one-dimensional ideal gas dynamics has three conserved quantities: energy, mass, and momentum; each formally associated with a different thermodynamic potential.

    It’s mighty tricky how they interact!

    Exercise  Calculate from first-principle thermodynamics the properties of ideal-gas sound-wave propagation in a gravitational potential.

    Self-grading  If this class of thermodynamical calculation is difficult for you, then internet bloviation about climate-science thermodynamics is not recommended as a pass-time.

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

    • Fan: The word “Best” has a statistical meaning, described in the Lewis Curry paper.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        It would have been cool had Judith’s Curry’s WSJ editorial not self-servingly praised her own estimates as “the best”, without any accompanying explanation that “the best” was to be understood strictly in an ultra-narrow technical sense.

        *THAT* is obvious to *ALL* scientists, eh rls?

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

    • Dear Fan,

      Your tone comes across to me as being incredibly creepy.

      Eh Fan? (Wink wink. Sidle sidle.)

      Just thought I should mention it. If you want me to pay attention to your posts then cutting the bizarre flourishes would be recommended. I mean, what are those silly graphics for? They seem designed to grab the attention of childish people.

      Eh person who writes weirdly?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        James Evans deplores “incredibly creepy” rhetoric

        Nowadays the world is filled with scientific discourse and historical discourse and even religious discourse that market-fundamentalists consider to be “incredibly creepy.”

        And all of these “creeps” are being showered — over-and-over again — with respect & honors & prizes & leadership responsibility.

        Why is this? The world wonders!

        Explanation I  Hansen’s “creepy” climate-change worldview is scientifically right; Mann’s “creepy” hockey-stick blade is historically right; Adm. Titley’s “creepy” naval worldview is strategically right; Oreskes’ “creepy” Merchants of Doubt is socially right; Pope Francis’ “creepy” sustainability worldview is morally right (etc.)

        Explanation II  A global conspiracy by “creeps”.

        Which is more likely? The world wonders!

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

      • FOMBS lives in a fantasy world where he believes trees are thermometers, Hansen made accurate predictions, Oreskes is a climate expert, and glyphs and pretty colors somehow give credibility to his dogmatic, insulting, and condescending “pronouncements” of “truth.”

      • A fan of @MORE@ discourse

        WSJ-style market-fundamentalism == no size limits?

        The world wonders!

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

      • Fan

        Either dr mann’s hockey stick blade ( pointing downwards) is correct or the borehole temperatures ( pointing upwards since 1650) which you yourself posted here, is correct.

        Which is right? And if it wasn’t the borehole temperatures why did you post them here approvingly? The world wonders.

        Tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        TonyB, the borehole temperature data are a lowpass-filter image of Mann’s hockey-stick. The lowpass-filter originates in the Green’s function of the borehole heat-transport equation.

        Mathematical exercise  Calculate the functional form of the borehole-transport Green’s function for yourself, TonyB!

        Conclusion  Borehole temperature data robustly affirm the physical reality of Mann’s climate-change hockey-stick blade.

        That’s one reason why mathematically-minded climate-scientists are *NOT* skeptical regarding the physical reality of Mann’s lengthening modern-day hockey-stick blade, eh Climate Etc readers?

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

      • AFOMD is not a “creepy” writer, just a bad one who I would guess is ESL. Trying to parse his stilted syntax is just painful. He is seriously in need of some communication lessons (and judging from his rather embarrassing interaction with Carrick above, maybe also some physics lessons).

      • “The world wonders!”

        No, Fan. The world doesn’t wonder. We don’t follow your links, no matter how prettily they’re formatted. We don’t have childish schoolgirl/boy fascination for your comments, no matter how many graphics you use. We don’t take you seriously, no matter what cunning rhetoric you use.

        Try talking to people like a grown-up. Then you might just start to have an impact on this conversation.

        Eh strange person?

        (I’ve an idea, why not reply to me with a bunch of irrelevant links that are beautifully formatted. It could work. “A thousandnth time’s the charm”, as they say.)

      • Fan

        You will be pleased to learn I have been doing a lot of research over the last few weeks concerning boreholes and the hockey stick and have been in contact with the various authors of the BH reconstructions.

        All proxies have their problems of course. The advantages of Boreholes is that they are good for the long term, multi-decadal scales. Also unlike many other proxies such as tree-rings and pollen and ice cores all seasons are represented and nearly all geographical areas.

        They undoubtedly show warming temperatures for some 350 years which closely mirrors instrumental and observational records.

        Tree rings display rather poor long-term resolution and any long term trends are somewhat lost. That could be why they point in the opposite temperature direction to borehole data.

        What is most noticeable after having looked at several thousand individual temperature profiles from tree rings and boreholes is that many of them are all over the place. Anyone wanting to prove one climate state or another could readily find say six out of 100 profiles from different proxies. that readily display the characteristics they want.

        BTW I used that spaghetti image you kindly linked to above in figure 2 of my article here;

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/16/historic-variations-in-temperature-number-four-the-hockey-stick/

        However, just because Borehole reconstructions agree with my ‘long slow thaw’ article and closely mirror CET, is not proof that they are correct.

        Hopefully I will be in a position to write an article on the effectiveness of each method, but before I do that I want to finish my temperature reconstruction to 1200AD in order to see when the LIA makes an appearance.

        tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        James Evans brags “We don’t follow your links”

        That is prudent James Evans.

        Because *EVERYONE* appreciates that near-total ignorance of mathematics, science, history, economics, and moral philosophy is necessary to the modern-day sustainment of denialist market-fundamentalism!

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

      • Fan:

        Conclusion Borehole temperature data robustly affirm the physical reality of Mann’s climate-change hockey-stick blade.

        Ugh. It’s not temperature data. It’s e.g. borehole delta O18 data, which are calibrated to temperature.

        And borehole data absolutely do not “robustly affirm the physical reality of Mann’s climate-change hockey-stick blade”: They completely contradict Mann’s hockey-stick blade. Even Mann’s newer work completely contradicts his earlier work. See this ensemble average for example:

        https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/4520911/Climate/Proxies/Proxy-Ensemble2.jpg

        The low-freuqency signals of the modern reconstructions are dominated by borehole and other low-frequency proxies. There is a discussion of this curve and how it was generated starting here.

        If you guys would agree to quit trying to resurrect an old erroneous result, obtained using bad methodology, I’ll agree to not ever discuss it again.

      • Fan,

        You have become a caricature of yourself.

        I think you’re a deeply immature individual.

        Now give me another irrelevant link. Preferably one that demonstrates the childish cartoon characters in your head that you take for evil denialisters.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        From the NOAA Paleoclimatology Borehole Data Web Page

        Borehole data are direct measurements of temperature from boreholes drilled into the Earth crust.

        Departures from the expected increase in temperature with depth (the geothermal gradient) can be interpreted in terms of changes in temperature at the surface in the past, which have slowly diffused downward, warming or cooling layers meters below the surface

        Carrick, please be aware that THIS is the data that TonyB and I are discussing … and yes it is a record of physical temperatures.

        It is a continuing pleasure — for all of us thoughtful science-minded folks here on Climate Etc — to assist in responsibly allaying climate-change skepticism by increasing scientific understanding!

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

      • Matthew R Marler

        a fan of *MORE* discourse: James Evans brags “We don’t follow your links”

        I follow lots of your links. Not all of them are vacuous, but most do not support your claims for them, and the few that do, such as Hansen and Sato op cite, are clearly outliers.

      • Thanks Fan. I just saw your comment about borehole’s confirming Mann’s original work. I erroneously assumed you were referring to higher resolution long-duration proxies.

        I guess once “knew” that they measure surface temperature using borehole temperature. Looking at a few of the papers… they seem to be very noisy. I’m not sure what we can really conclude from them.

        I’ll see if I can add that graph to other figure…. visually these borehole data seem to line up better with the modern reconstructions. Because MBH98 is so out of line with these (including Mann’s 2008 EIV), this is actually a good thing.

      • The borehole data I have seen sure doesn’t look like those propaganda graphs prepared by Mann. Some of these scientists have a very sharp way to confuse the readership playing with northern hemisphere graphs and then seamlessly jumping into a worldwide global warming discussion. Conclusion: this cuban inmigrant would rather buy a used car from a dealer in Hialeah than one from political scientists who don’t like their climatology served straightforward and without wrinkles.

      • Here’s the borehole data, which I digitized from the UM figure. It’s been shifted up vertically by +0.25°C to get it to align with 20th century temperatures.

        https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/4520911/Climate/Proxies/Proxy-Ensemble2.jpg

        Comparison to “modern” 2000-year reconstructions is decent, not so good on the earlier MBH paper.

        Notice that the “well is a bit deeper” for the borehole. As I commented on Brandon’s website, typically we expect some scaling bias (scaling bias is typically less than one) with the various reconstruction methods over the reconstruction interval (basically pre 1900).

        If this borehole data is accurately calibrated, it could be used to fix the scale of the reconstructions to absolute temperature. If so, you’d need a correction factor of about 1.4 relative to Ljungqvist.

      • Oops original link.

        Here’s the one (hopefully!) with bore hole data temperature added.

        https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/4520911/Climate/Proxies/Ensemble2%2BBorehole.jpg

      • Ok, so now we’ve got a proper lia and a 400 year old temperature increase that started prior to enhanced co2

        All we ned now is a reAlistic reappraisal of the MWP and we can get back to putting the modern temperatures into a better context to the past

        Tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Summary  Borehole data independently and striking affirm the physical reality of the climate-change “blade” of Mann’s hockey-stick … now we can focus on the “handle”!

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

      • Fan:

        Summary Borehole data independently and striking affirm the physical reality of the climate-change “blade” of Mann’s hockey-stick … now we can focus on the “handle”!

        I don’t think the blade is controversial, but it’s not actually a prediction of MBH either.

        Rather it’s a consequence of their inverse regression against a more-or-less ascending temperature series. You could put red noise into the MBH processor, and you’d more or less see the same blade.

        So that “blade” feature is fixed by the modern temperature series, and I think is non-controversial among people who are not deluded.

        The interesting part is the handle, and this is where there seems to be disagreement between the older MBH handle (which appears to be way too flat) and the more modern reconstructions. As I have commented before, the handle is the actual prediction of the MBH reconstructions, and many, including myself, have always been very wary of this, due to the lack of low-frequency variability exhibited by it.

        Since Moberg 2005, it has become accepted wisdom that MBH’s reconstruction indeed has too little low-frequency variability. While I think there is valid criticism of the principal component analysis of MBH (normalization, improper centering), which leads to low-frequency attenuation, I have suggested that the real problem with MBH (other than improper inclusion of the Gaspe series) is treating the tree ring proxies on the same footing with non-tree-ring proxies.

        Moberg 2005 and Loehle both created similar reconstructed temperatures (other than different scalings and offsets) using 11 proxies in Moberg’s case and 18 in Loehle’s (9 of which were also used in Moberg). As was pointed out by Brandon Shollenberger, there is almost no distance between Moberg’s low frequency reconstruction and Loehle + McCollough, other than a difference in the weighting of their proxy series.

        I should also add a note to this, that it is NOT the case that Loehle + McCollough show the MWP to be equal to the current plateau of modern warming! That reconstruction ends in 1935. There is confusion because Loehle appears to have made that claim previously, before people straightened him out on the meaning of BCE (Before Common Era starts in 1950 by convention).

        Again I am grateful for the observations by Fan about the borehole temperature data. It does seem to me we are seeing convergence between the various good-quality and medium-quality reconstructions.

      • Note added:

        Rather it’s a consequence of their inverse regression against a more-or-less ascending temperature series. You could put red noise into the MBH processor, and you’d more or less see the same blade as long as you regress against the same temperature series.

      • ‘The world wonders’ was a phrase used as security padding in an encrypted message sent from Admiral Nimitz to Admiral Halsey during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Halsey’s staff did not realize that it was padding, designed to make code cracking more difficult, and so Halsey assumed the message
        “Where is, repeat, where is Task Force Thirty Four? The world wonders”
        was an admonishment. The addition of “The world wonders” caused Halsey to change his plans and turn his Task force around, allowing many Japanese warships to escape.
        John Sidle uses the phrase to enrage the rational people who post here and ruin threads.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Carrick is gracious  “Again I am grateful for the observations by Fan about the borehole temperature data.”

        Tonyb too is gracious  “All we need now is a realistic reappraisal of the MWP”

        Please let me say that the rational, science-respecting, well-referenced comments of Carrick and TonyB are much-appreciated contributions to civil discourse here on Climate Etc.

        Will such comments *EVER* become the general norm? The world wonders!

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

      • Fan

        You said;

        ‘Summary Borehole data independently and striking affirm the physical reality of the climate-change “blade” of Mann’s hockey-stick … now we can focus on the “handle”!’

        I think we can agree that the Hockey stick was ultimately a dud as it failed to recognise the LIA and other climate variations. Climate was NOT virtually static for hundreds of years until Man supposedly altered it. Dr Mann rewrote ‘settled’ science when he rewrote the history books

        The borehole reconstructions show an upwards trend over the last 400 years or so, in contrast to the Hockey stick which showed a downward trend.

        My comment to you a number of times has been affirmed ‘ the Giss and Hadley temperature datasets are merely staging posts for increasing warmth and not the starting post. ‘

        The starting post was hundreds of years ago, well before enhanced co2.The 1900 uptick is a false artefact of the proxies used, supplemented by the variability we can all observe in instrumental records.

        Borehole reconstructions tend to smear older temperatures so I am not sure how useful they are prior to around 1600. They certainly can’t help in reconstructing the true warmth of the MWP which is still badly represented in paleo-proxy reconstructions as tree rings are-as I think we have now agreed- not appropriate proxies due to micro climate issues and temporal and spatial issues.

        The graphic that Carrick posted reaffirms the potential value of extended CET which closely follows the centuries long upwards temperature trend, but also shows the annual and decadal variability which is lost through the use of insensitive proxies.

        In order to understand the future we need better reconstructions of the natural variability of the past so we can know if and when we reach uncharted climatic territory. We are certainly not there yet.

        tonyb

      • This sub thread has been a gem to follow! Thanks be to FOMD, Carrick, Tonyb JamesE and Matthew for a most informative yet entertaining discourse and not one ad hom to be seen!

      • FOMT is rarely non-creepy and rarely civil. Civility includes respecting the independence of other persons to think through to their own conclusions, rather than viciously haranguing them with what *EVERYONE* must think and what *EVERYONE* agrees with (when disagreements are usually one of the notable features of this and similar critical climate blogs).

        Then FOMT occasionally has the nerve to praise civility in others.

        FOMT praising civility is like a whore praising chastity…. the hypocrisy of faux-approval which vice pays to virtue etc.

    • Matthew R Marler

      a fan of *MORE* discourse: Exercise Calculate from first-principle thermodynamics the properties of ideal-gas sound-wave propagation in a gravitational potential.

      Self-grading If this class of thermodynamical calculation is difficult for you, then internet bloviation about climate-science thermodynamics is not recommended as a pass-time.

      Are you saying that your bloviations are justified because you can solve that problem? You are not still trying to support WebHubTelescope’s misrepresentations of the K&C book, are you?

    • stevefitzpatrick

      Carrick,
      I never found the borehole reconstructions of much interest, because the practical limit of the method (due poor S/N ratio in the data, combined a typically difficult inverse problem) is right near the LIA minimum. So as you note, the interesting part of the reconstructions (the “flat handle” in MBH), back to Medieval times and earlier, isn’t impacted with borehole data. Borehole data is just not very useful.

  39. This passion of our kind
    For the process of finding out
    Is a fact one can hardly doubt,
    But I would rejoice in it more
    If I knew more clearly what
    We wanted the knowledge for,
    Felt certain still that the mind
    Is free to know or not.

    It has chosen once, it seems,
    And whether our concern
    For magnitude’s extremes
    Really become a creature
    Who comes in a median size,
    Or politicizing Nature
    Be altogether wise,
    Is something we shall learn.

    WH Auden

  40. I’m afraid most of your colleagues are more worried about the level of projected warming below which research funding will dry up.

    Quite a few of the activist-scientists also seem to think that any and all spending on renewables is justified in order to remove fossil fuels from the energy mix, however they are less forthcoming on what other services we should cut to achieve this holy grail and how many people they would tolerate to starve or freeze before we get there.

  41. ” I see the climate policy dialogue starting to open up”…

    WSJ were always skeptic.
    I’ll start to believe there is some “opening up” when NYT publishes such an op-ed.

  42. Pierre-Normand

    “You said something that had no context, no meaning and no substance.”

    I explained the context in my previous reply but you would rather ignore the context in order to better misrepresent the statement.

  43. Interesting that this Lewis & Curry paper reached at TCR close to the original Lintzen & Chow estimates. Just shows you that Lintzen may have been right all the time, but then he knows his “stuff”. I am a great admirer of JC for persisting with trying to do proper science and highlighting the uncertainty prevalent in this field of study.

  44. The op-ed is very nicely written, Judith. Well done.

  45. richard verney

    Jonathan Abbott | October 10, 2014 at 3:58 am |

    David Appell,
    It is clear that the whole point of the Lewis and Curry paper is to examine the evidence selected by the IPCC itself, and see what the sensitivity is using their data and methods. It is not an attempt to define in absolute terms what the sensitivity is.

    To argue that Lewis and Curry used the wrong data isn’t to argue that their paper is flawed, it is actually to argue that they should have written a different paper altogether.

    Why not go and write that paper yourself?
    //////////////////////

    This is precisely the point of the Lewis & Curry Paper.

    It follows from this, that this paper should have formed part of the summary/conclusion of the IPCC AR5 Report itself. There is no reason why the authors of the report could not have written it, ie., performed the analysis of their own cited data.

    No doubt the reason why it did not form part of AR5 was due to the problem with consensus, and consensus led science. For one reason or another (and it is not a scientific reason), they could not reach consensus (at least not in writing who knows what is being said in private behind the scenes) on a more probabalistic narrowing of climate sensitivity.

    This will cause problems in the Paris meeting next year, since as long as the ‘pause’ continues there will be more and more papers suggesting lower and lower ranges for climate sensitivity, such that AR5 will be out of date at that meeting, and not representive of the ‘best’ ‘science’ on the important issue of climate sensitivity (and this is the rub given that alarmism is all about high sensitivity, nothing else)..

  46. Pot luck comment placement.

    P-N

    You explained nothing but simply whined about Doug disobeying the 2nd law. Not relevant. The question concerned the 2nd law in the atmosphere – and it not applying. You obviously wont bring yourself to argue that that is the case – so simply pretend that the discussion is something else.

    I am obviously not all that impressed.

  47. If this class of thermodynamical calculation is difficult for you, then internet bloviation about climate-science thermodynamics is not recommended as a pass-time. FOMBS

    I suggested he look at the hyperphysics link I provided to understand that work is required to reverse the heat flow. It is simply adding energy to a system. The Clausius form of the 2nd law is certainly not violated. Heat flows from a hotter to cooler body – they call it a law of nature. It would be obvious to someone who was not so astonishingly incompetent. He should really take his own advice.

  48. nottawa rafter

    Outstanding, absolutely outstanding. The core audience of this piece care about the bottom line. You nailed it. The finished product read smoothly and didn’t blur the eyes with too much “climatese” jargon. Leaving out the differentiation of sensitivities was a plus for staying on message. Access to a wider audience is well deserved and long overdue. The public will welcome some sanity and the adult touch to the dialogue.

  49. Great job Dr Curry and thank you for speaking out publicly along with Koonins re: the exagerated claims and calls for urgent action. It would be even better as mentioned somewhere in this thread if such an op ed appeared in the ny times.

  50. Well I’ve never invoked the 2nd law argument (I think) because it is a statistical law that can be violated locally but has a net effect. Yet if Max Planck had trouble accepting this idea then who are we to discuss the nuances? I suspect the confusion stems from folk talking about greenhouse gases heating the Earth rather than just retarding the cooling. I hope thats an end of it!

  51. You can tell how correct and important Ms. Curry’s paper and op ed are by the vigor of the trolls

  52. Leonard Weinstein

    Judith,
    You start out implying the rise of 0.8C that already occurred since 1850 is essentially all due to AGW. However, most supporters of AGW admit that the rise to 1940 was likely mainly due to natural variation, and a recovery from the LIA. The rise from 1940 to present (the part claimed to be mostly human caused) is < 0.5C, and part of that may be natural variation. Thus the maximum human AGW contribution since 1850 is likely the order of 0.4C plus or minus a small amount. Based on this, the sensitivity has to be much lower than most claims, and likely is less than 1C per doubling of CO2, including possible negative feedback. The future trend will probably be dominated by natural variation, with a small AGW overlay. The continued use of the full 0.8C as AGW distorts the conversation.

  53. Temperature drives CO2 and water vapour concentrations and evaporative and convective cooling independently. The whole CAGW – GHG scare is based on the obvious fallacy of putting the effect before the cause. Unless the range and causes of natural variation, as seen in the natural temperature quasi-periodicities, are known within reasonably narrow limits it is simply not possible to even begin to estimate the effect of anthropogenic CO2 on climate. In fact, the IPCC recognizes this point.
    As Curry statest the key factor in making CO2 emission control policy and the basis for the WG2 and 3 sections of AR5 is the climate sensitivity to CO2. By AR5 – WG1 the IPCC itself is saying: (Section 9.7.3.3)
    “The assessed literature suggests that the range of climate sensitivities and transient responses covered by CMIP3/5 cannot be narrowed significantly by constraining the models with observations of the mean climate and variability, consistent with the difficulty of constraining the cloud feedbacks from observations ”
    In plain English, this means that the IPCC contributors have no idea what the climate sensitivity is. Therefore, there is no credible basis for the WG 2 and 3 reports, and the Government policy makers have no empirical scientific basis for the entire UNFCCC process and their economically destructive climate and energy policies.
    Because of the built in assumption in all the models that CO2 is the main driver, the actual temperature projections are relatively insensitive as to the particular IPCC climate model used, and, in fact, the range of outcomes depend almost entirely simply on the RCPs chosen. The RCPs depend on little more than fanciful speculations by economists. The principal component in the RCPs is whatever population forecast/speculation will best support the climate and energy policies of the IPCCs client Western governments.
    The IPCC model forecasts are quite useless for forecasting purposes.
    For forecasts of the future cooling based not on the inherently flawed IPCC models but on the natural 60 and 1000 year periodicities seen in the temperature record and using the neutron count and 10Be records as the best proxy for solar activity see
    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com

    Reply

  54. David Appell – You wrote

    “This delay in the warming – relative to climate model projections…”

    Climate models don’t, can’t and could never predict short term (~ 2-3 decades) changes in the climate system, because they don’t know what ENSOs will occur or how big they will be, what volcanic eruptions will happen and their magnitudes, what solar changes, what air pollution changes, etc. will occur.

    How do you expect modelers to read the future?

    I am astonished that you said this. There is a major effort by the climate modeling community to assess predictability on decadal and longer time scales. For just one example see the NSF effort – Decadal and Regional Climate Prediction using Earth System Models (EaSM)http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2013/nsf13607/nsf13607.htm.

    In retrospect (hindcast) decadal and multi-decadal predictions do know external forcings reasonably well. When the models are run in this mode (and compared to real-world observations), they do very poorly as we documented in our article.

    Preface to

    Pielke Sr, R.A., Editor in Chief., 2013: Climate Vulnerability, Understanding and Addressing Threats to Essential Resources, 1st Edition. J. Adegoke, F. Hossain, G. Kallos, D. Niyoki, T. Seastedt, K. Suding, C. Wright, Eds., Academic Press, 1570 pp.

    http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/b-18preface.pdf

    Judy’s op-ed is a very important new communication to the policy community.

    Roger Sr.

  55. They never ask me for an op-ed.

  56. How to compare versions:
    1. Copy-and-paste both versions into MS Word.
    2. Save each file.
    3. Use MS Word’s Review tab to bring up the review window.
    4. Select the first draft as “original document” and the final draft as “revised document”.
    5. Click OK.

    This results in the third displayed document with all the changes in red, with strike-outs and additions shown. The two document being compared show in small individual windows on the right.

  57. Re: Internet Access from China

    Judy, my children spent 2 months in Wuhan China in summer of 2013(I spent 2 weeks) We used a virtual private network (vpn) and had about 99% access to the full internet. I would suggest that you get one (undoubtedly there are faculty members at GT who could assist you if necessary –not really that hard though) The one I used was called Break this Wall. With it, for example, I was able to easily access Netflix while in China. I think a van would help a lot.

    Thanks for your good work in so many areas.

    JD

  58. And the hamster wheels goes round and round and round

  59. “…A growing body of evidence suggests that the climate is less sensitive to increases in carbon-dioxide emissions than policy makers generally assume—and that the need for reductions in such emissions is less urgent.”
    _____
    It is sad to read such a statement from a climate scientist. Equating sensible tropospheric heat during the so-called “hiatus” to climate (which appears to be the metric you are using) is so un-scientific as to be laughable, if it wasn’t so sad. The climate includes all spheres, and of course is driven mainly by the oceans. Mounting evidence of course shows the oceans are changing rapidly from the increases in carbon-dioxide. Controlling these emissions and reducing them remains among the most urgent of priorities.

    But the WSJ is Murdock’s paper, and you’ve made him quite happy…for now.

    • More alarmist arm-waving

      The climate includes all spheres, and of course is driven mainly by the oceans. Mounting evidence of course shows the oceans are changing rapidly from the increases in carbon-dioxide.

      Heat entering the oceans is diluted by a factor of thousands compared to the atmosphere. Little chance that a 0.001°C increase is going to matter.

      • Mayor of Venus

        Likewise, any additional carbon dioxide entering the oceans is a very small percentage increase to that already in the oceans, which of course is very necessary to support plant growth in the water.

    • John Carpenter

      Amnesia. Amnesia of the use of land surface temps as the best metric of AGW in the 90’s. Amnesia that Pielke argued the better metric was OHC years prior to the hiatus but was rebuffed by those that pointed to land temps as the metric for AGW.

      “But the WSJ is Murdock’s paper, and you’ve made him quite happy…for now.”

      The real reason Judy wrote the Op-Ed… to make Murdock happy. I see you employed Skeptical thinking for that one too Gates.

      • John –

        ==> “The real reason Judy wrote the Op-Ed… to make Murdock happy. ”

        I disagree,

        Keep in mind what Judith had to say about writing op-eds.

        curryja | August 4, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
        I was invited to write a muller/best related op-ed, not by NYT but one of approx the same impact factor. I decided not to, writing an op-ed is a political act, and I don’t really want to go there, particularly over this issue.

        It seems that Judith now either thinks that: (1) writing an Op-ed is not a political act (in which case I wonder what changed her mind) or, (2) has decided that she wants to be political about climate change (in which case I wonder why she criticizes others for being political about climate change from atop her high horse?)

      • Joshua

        Quite how you have access to a one off quote by Judith from two years ago is a puzzle to me but leaving that aside I would say that Judith has become more political over the last year so perhaps she actually intends to go into politics in the next few years?

        I don’t know how your political system works so can’t comment how, or at what level.

        Of course this is pure speculation

        Tonyb

      • Tony, she criticizes those who are political and advocate (e.g. Mann) as lacking integrity. I think it is even worse to criticize someone for doing the same thing you are doing. There is a name for that…

      • Joseph
        I may be misreading the signs but it does seem Judith is more overtly interested in politics than she was a year or so ago. Perhsap she is just moving in different circles these days and she is just more
        Politically aware, which is a different thing to advocacy

        Tonyb

      • tonyb,
        I don’t see politics beyond defending science from the science is settled meme. That is the point of voices like Dr Curry and Undersecretary for Science at US Dept of Energy writing high profile commentary in widely read institutions. Makes flat earth society comments and worse than ISIS, Ukarine or Ebola statements appear as irrational efforts to distract audiences from issues to pretend bogeymen.
        Scott

      • tony –

        I think that Judith applies her criteria selectively to distinguish her advocacy from that of others.

        I have no problem with Judith being an advocate. Advocacy is a fundamentally important act in a democracy. More power to her.

        But that is why I object to the selectivity in how she applies her criteria – because she argues against advocacy, as if it in and of itself it is harmful.

        IMO, advocacy, as an entity, is something very positive. But it can be done poorly. For example, when Judith ignores the uncertainty around trends in “global warming” by conflating short term trends in surface temps with long term trends among a number of metrics, I consider that to be poor advocacy. The same is true when SWIMCAREs ignore uncertainty, and Judith rightly, (IMO) advocates against such poor advocacy.

        Now I know that you are inclined to defend Judith, but this is what we’ve got:

        (1) Judith says that writing an op-ed is a political act, and therefore she declines an offer to write an Op-ed.
        (2) Judith criticizes other scientists for being political.
        (3) Judith write an Op-ed.

        So your explanation doesn’t work for me. Judith deciding to be more political is just fine, IMO – but in doing so, she should explain the changes in her reasoning, IMO. Otherwise, it would suggest that her reasoning is quite conditional – and that she thinks that what isn’t good for the goose (others that disagree with her about the science) is just find for the gander (herself).

        She could explain why she’s changed her mind about whether writing an Op-ed is a political act. Then we could look at her reasoning for why she changed her view and see what we think.

        She could say that she thinks that scientists acting politically is a good thing to do – and that is why she wrote an Op-ed. But then she should acknowledge that she has also changed in her perspective relative the criticism that she has leveled at others, and also explain why she has changed her mind as to the harmful outcomes of scientists being advocates.

      • Scott

        Mencken was well aware of distraction techniques

        http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/h/hlmencke101109.html

        Tonyb

      • tonyb,
        Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed.
        Abraham Lincoln

        so a little discussion from Dr Curry and Dr Koonin help open the minds of the bystanders to the “science may not quite be settled”. Plus ISIS, Ebola Ukarain, Afganistan, the economy, slavery by Boka Harim, energy to the poor in the third world, fresh water availability, sewage treatment and all the other priorities. Mencken also said democarcy is like running a circus from the monkey cage.
        Scott

      • tony b’s Mencken quote, ‘The whole aim of practical politics is
        to keep the populace alarmed and hence clamoring to be led
        to safety’. .. is the opposite to Judith Curry’s logically presented
        op ed piece.

        *Judith Curry presents IPCC claims.

        *Observes that IPCC claims depend on how sensitive is the
        climate to human caused warming.
        # If climate sensitivity is high we can expect increased warming
        in the coming century.
        # if low sensitivity it may take several generations to reach
        what the UN considers dangerous levels.

        *Judith presents the Lewis/Curry observation study.
        Judith cites other observation studies that disagree with the
        climate models.
        Notes that the Pause at odds with IPCC 2007 Report.

        Judith logically states that continuing to rely on climate models’
        warming projections can bias policy decisions.

        Judith therefore logically draws the conclusion it’s iess urgent
        to phase out GHG emmissions now and we have more time to
        find affordable ways of decarbonizing the economy.

        No political doom and gloom rant here Joshua.

      • *Judith presents the Lewis/Curry observation study.
        Judith cites other observation studies that disagree with the
        climate models.
        Notes that the Pause at odds with IPCC 2007 Report.

        *

        She can’t yet make the claim that observational studies are superior to model based measurements of sensitivity. And I don’t see how her opinion is any different from those who state that we need to take action to reduce CO2 emissions because they think the science supports the opposite conclusion.

      • Judith describes what she understand to be the science of climate sensitivity without advocating for specific policy. Vigorous discourse is advocating for a particular view of the question at hand – but in no sense amounts to science advocacy in the sense of science being used explicitly to advance policy preferences.

        The distinction escapes Joshua – which I suspect is more an attempt to marginalise views on specific scientific questions. Implicitly of course findings of low or high sensitivity have political dimensions and it is these that come to the fore. Low sensitivity implies that BUA has low risk – and Judy comes down clearly on this side of a divide that clearly doesn’t exist in reality. It has policy implications that clearly she approves of – simply by taking this position. She takes a place in a high stakes game in which – consciously or not – her scientific objectivity is on the table. High sensitivity says that we are going to hell in a hand basket.

        In reality – neither side does justice to the policy problem. As I believe Judy is aware. It is playing a game by not challenging conventional ground rules – she is not advancing understanding of the ‘meta uncertainty’ surrounding the theoretical framing of the problem. It is a disservice not to the climate warriors – who really cares – but to the broader society and rational policy development.

      • Joshua,

        I see your reasoning regarding JCs motivations with the OPeds, but I have A slightly different take. She may have opted out of the Best thing simply due to association and possibly how she would have been received. Although she pigeon holed herself in the statement at the time by saying what she really thought then. In the current case she has an opportunity to promote her views and subsequently the paper and do it to a receptive audience. If what I say is true at all it would explain her motivations and I think most people want to project a recogition of who they are. It is considered THE primary motivation ala Freud and DeJung and we all suffer from it to a degree otherwise we wouldn’t be here making donkeys of ourselves blogging.

      • Joshua, maybe I should have phrased it as ‘oh I see, the real..etc’. I don’t really believe she wrote the op-ed to make Murdock happy, I was pointing out what appears to be ‘skeptical’ thinking on Gates part.

        As for what you wrote, it’s a fair assessment.

      • John –

        ==> “I don’t really believe she wrote the op-ed to make Murdock happy, ”

        Sure. I knew that you were being sarcastic. I was pretending not to get that as an opening for my comment. I guess that didn’t come through.

    • Gates,

      the op-ed can’t be helping with sales of your Human Volcano TM

    • Matthew R Marler

      R. Gates: . The climate includes all spheres, and of course is driven mainly by the oceans. Mounting evidence of course shows the oceans are changing rapidly from the increases in carbon-dioxide.

      From the start, the focus of global warming alarmism has been the surface temperature. Prof Curry’s WSJ article clearly addresses surface warming, with a short aside mentioning the warming of the oceans.

      If global warming over the rest of this century were to consist of a slight increase in mean temp of the ocean abyss, there would not be this huge lobbying effort to direct investment away from fossil fuels at a rapid pace. It’s the surface and near surface that matter for humans and other biota.

    • R. Gates, wish to thank you for your wonderful response to my earlier question several months ago. Renewed my faith in science.

      Here you are being unfair. …

      The increase of temperature resulting from the GHG CO2 produces AGW. That is the crux of the settled science. It is also a differential, which means everything and nothing.

      The question now is the integrative outcome of aCO2 emissions over an extended interval of century scale across the whole planet. The science concerning this integrated product isn’t even close to being settled. Frankly it’s hardly known. Not only do the GCM models fail to anticipate or describe the reality (outcome), investigations are now focussed on trying to understand how the GCMs fail to model what naturally “must be so”.

      Better to use and improve the modest accomplishments, than bicker about how great the sow’s ear might otherwise be.

  60. Pingback: Global warming….WSJ « Newsbeat1

  61. Oh no… what happened to Quadrant Online? Did the Leftists take it down?

  62. If sea ice is such a powerful feedback, it’s hard to see it in the sea ice anomaly. It appears to be pretty constrained. If there were a huge feedback, we would see big swings. But, after over thirty years, it’s still close to zero.

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg

  63. John Smith (it's my real name)

    I knew it
    Kirk was right, you can ignore the laws of physics
    that Scotty guy was so negative

    in reference to JamesG above
    I’ve been confused about the 2nd law discussions
    haven’t many of the CAGW folk implied the CO2 somehow produces heat rather than just holding it in?

    “CO2 warms the earth, rather than retards the cooling”?

  64. …the mercury’s refusal to rise as the warmists’ atrociously inaccurate predictions insisted? The short answer: big trouble for Beijing and everyone else…

    China is one of the few countries taking food security seriously. Official policy is that the grain necessary to keep China’s population fed should be grown within its borders. Beijing maintains a grain reserve of 200 million to 300 million tonnes, although its exact size is a state secret…

    China can feed itself at the moment. But that achievement has to be looked at in the context that the world is currently enjoying the most benign conditions for agriculture for over 800 years. If the world cools in response to lower solar activity, a possibility…

    (See, David Archibald’s article: Chairman Mao’s Time Bomb)

  65. “[T]he world is currently enjoying the most benign conditions for agriculture for over 800 years. If the world cools in response to lower solar activity, a possibility…” (See, David Archibald’s article: Chairman Mao’s Time Bomb)

  66. Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

    An article in the WSJ with the word “Statistical” in its title but a word not menctioned in the rest of the article … so JC, if you want to improve your article the most honest way is to do statistics right:
    * Wrong: the main error in IPCC’s projections is that first they measure climate parameters during 50-70 years and then they invent projections for 90-1000 years.
    * Right: the statistically right thing to do is: 1st to measure climate paramaters for 900-1000 years and then to make predictions for the next 100 years (near the year 3000).
    This idea is widelly explained in my “Refuting …” document at docs.google.com/file/d/0B4r_7eooq1u2TWRnRVhwSnNLc0k/ please Judith or Nick, help yourselves.

    • Antonio, as is typically the case, the headline and sub-head (aka title and subtitle) of a newspaper article are chosen by the designated publication headline hatcher – not the author of the content.

      And I believe Judith mentioned this in the headpost.

      • Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

        Hilary, if Judith wants to talk about statistics in a “right way” she can use my ideas. That is all I meant.

  67. Congratulations Judith! The WSJ reaches an enormous, educated, and influential audience. People are willing to even pay for their online content and, unlike many MSM outlets, the WSJ is not at risk of going out of business. History will remember you as on the side of Copernicus and Galileo vs the awesome power of the church. Way to go!

  68. Lauri Heimonen

    Judith Curry

    The prevailing disagreement with each others on potential actions needed to control global changes of climate indicates how poorly the relevant, essential issues are known. For instance, concerning potential actions to curtail anthropogenic CO2 emissions to atmosphere, IPCC still insists on the Rio Declaration 1992 ” … lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent evironmental degradation”, even though there is not available any empiric evidence for global warming caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Vice versa the increase of CO2 content in atmosphere has followed the global warming as e.g. I have stated in my comment http://judithcurry.com/2011/08/04/carbon-cycle-questions/#comment-198992 .

    Judith Curry asks in her topic http://judithcurry.com/2012/10/03/challenging-the-2-degree-target : ”Dare we hope for the UN to move away from emissions targets and loss and damage mechanisms towards more more robust policies that reduce vulnerability in the short term, support economic development goals, and work towards cleaner energy in the long term?”

    In the present topic Judith Curry writes: ”Continuing to rely on climate-model warming projections based on high, model-derived values of climate sensitivity skews the cost-benefit analyses and estimates of the social cost of carbon. This can bias policy decisions. The implications of the lower values of climate sensitivity in our paper, as well as similar other recent studies, is that human-caused warming near the end of the 21st century should be less than the 2-degrees-Celsius “danger” level for all but the IPCC’s most extreme emission scenario.”

    What Arno Arrak writes in his comment http://judithcurry.com/2014/10/03/challenging-the-2-degree-target/#comment-6350 means that climate sensitivity is so minimal that it cannot be distinguised from zero: ”The enhanced greenhouse effect has been touted as the cause of anthropogenic global warming or AGW. Absence of the enhanced greenhouse effect tells us that AGW simply does not exist. It is nothing more than a pseudo-scientific fantasy, invented by an over-eager climate worker to justify the greenhouse hypothesis. In the absence of AGW there are no climate emergencies to fight and all the super-expensive alternate energy, emission control, and other mitigation projects should cease forthwith.”

    In order that decision-makers can be made understand what can be a working solution available for potential actions needed, the bases of solution must be expressed simply enough. For instance you can easily understand that climate sensitivity can not be distinguished from zero, as you learn to know that in the present, atmospheric CO2 content the share of anthropogenic CO2 emissions is only about 4 % at the most, and that trends of global increase of CO2 content in atmosphere follow changes of temperature and not vice versa.

  69. Dr Curry,

    That the clowns are out in full force trying to find nits to pick is just one sign of you having hit the 10 ring.

  70. Walt Allensworth

    Seems that Curry vs. Kerry made the Washington Post today.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2014/10/10/curry-and-kerry-two-wildly-contrasting-takes-on-climate-change/

    The statement that Kerry made, quoted in the post, was completely touchy/feely and information free.

    The Climagheddonist echo chamber was on full reverb in the comments, but I didn’t see a comment that refuted her scientific claims.

    • Thanks for the link, Walt Allensworth. What bothers me most about this article is the comparison between something a scientist says and something a politician says. Kerry is clearly parrotting someone else, since he is not a scientist. I take a scientist’s word more seriously because at least I know that they have worked in the field, even if their interpretation of the results is different. Yes, even if their statistics are flawed.
      Rose

  71. Someone: The entropy of an isolated system can’t increase, but this particular statement of the 2nd law doesn’t apply to the atmosphere since the atmosphere isn’t isolated.
    Ellison: Quite the contrary, the Clausius statement of the second law applies to the atmosphere.

    Nothing can quite compare to webnutcolonoscope’s famous Bose-Einstein meltdown. This is in the same vein however. A quite obviously spurious take on physics defended along the climate war ideological divides.

    However P-N’s little drama has me perplexed. It didn’t happen. What really happened was this.

    DA – ‘For the Nth time, the second law of thermodynamics does not apply to the atmosphere, or any subset of it, because it is not an adiabatic system.’

    PN – ‘Did I say something false? Appell and I merely stated a simple facts that Doug C. constantly overlooks. The atmospheric layers + terrestrial surface don’t constitute a closed system, hence the second law can’t preclude that changes in the radiative properties of the atmosphere can result in the surface and lower troposphere warming. No need to provide a full account of the greenhouse effect when the goal merely is to refute a trivially invalid argument.’

    Me – http://judithcurry.com/2014/10/09/my-op-ed-in-the-wall-street-journal-is-now-online/#comment-636512

    P-N is the type who has definitions and provides explanations in terms of the definitions. The problem is that it results in a convoluted explanation at odds with the simplicity of the system. Gobbledegook at best and usually just simply wrong.

    The Earth is of course an isolated system in thermodynamic terms. This simply means that no matter – or not much at any rate – is exchanged with the surroundings. In isolated systems entropy increases as the system spontaneously evolves towards equilibrium.

    With the Earth system we are better off thinking visually and dynamically in terms of heat flows. Heat flows from the Sun to the surface to the atmosphere and back to space. With CO2 in the atmosphere the heat flow from the surface is impeded until the system evolves to a conditional equilibrium. Conditional because everything is always changing.

    You can evoke definitions – but in the Feyman sense it is equivalent to knowing the name of the bird but not the bird itself. You would pretty much assume that the 2nd law works in the atmosphere – but it is largely irrelevant to understanding and thinking about the physical processes.

    • Alexej Buergin

      Thank you Rob Ellison for rescuing iDavid’s statement. Dr JC seems to think she needs to protect him from his own stupidity.

    • Pierre-Normand

      “The Earth is of course an isolated system in thermodynamic terms.”

      It certainly isn’t.

      “This simply means that no matter – or not much at any rate – is exchanged with the surroundings.”

      No, it’s not what it means at all. A thermodynamically isolated system exchanges neither matter, nor work, nor energy in any form, with its surrounding.

      • The Earth is a closed system. Typo.

        ‘In thermodynamics, a closed system can exchange energy (as heat or work) but not matter, with its surroundings. An isolated system cannot exchange any heat, work, or matter with the surroundings, while an open system can exchange all heat, work and matter.’

      • Using isolated instead of closed was a colloquialism.

      • ““The Earth is of course an isolated system in thermodynamic terms.”

        It certainly isn’t.”

        Hypothetically speaking, it can be either isolated or not, it would depend on how imaginative your assumptions are.

        Since it is a non-equilibrium thermodynamic system, you can define entropy to make it isolated, closed, steady state, whatever your heart desires, as long as the end result make sense under your specific set of assumptions. It is not your classic thermo101 system. The key point to all that is you always have to reevaluate your assumptions and very clearly state them before hand.

      • Pierre-Normand

        If you really meant “isolated” and typed “closed” then the following statement of yours is still false: “The Earth is of course [a closed] system in thermodynamic terms. This simply means that no matter – or not much at any rate – is exchanged with the surroundings. In [closed] systems entropy increases as the system spontaneously evolves towards equilibrium.”

        If the Earth cools down, as it does whenever an inter-glacial period ends, then its total entropy decreases quite a bunch.

      • The Earth always evolves spontaneously towards equilibrium. A conditional equilibrium because things are always changing. Complicated by being a non-equilibrium system in which the extensive properties are the most interesting and which result in warming and cooling.

        But entropy always increases – planetary warming or cooling notwithstanding – ultimately leading to the heat death of the universe.

        In a glacial what you get is an increase in albedo. It simply more energy and emits less. At any time the system evolves regardless to a state of maximum entropy give or take non-equilibrium complications.

        Better off thinking energy flow. You can even put it into math.

        d(W&H)/dt = energy in (J/s) – energy out (J/s)

        W&H is work and heat and d(W&H)/dt is the extensive property of warming or cooling. As I understand it.

      • It simply reflects more energy…

    •  D o u g   C o t t o n  

      Rob

      The process described in statements of the Second Law has huge implications for the troposphere. You, like most who have been brainwashed by the IPCC conjectures, only think of radiation, and so you write things like “Heat flows from the Sun to the surface to the atmosphere and back to space.” and “With CO2 in the atmosphere the heat flow from the surface is impeded until the system evolves to a conditional equilibrium.” If you had read my explanations as to how thermodynamic equilibrium is restored (or, preferably read the book) you would understand why that is irrelevant when considering non-radiative heat transfer towards the base of a planet’s troposphere. Try explaining how “heat flows from the Sun to the surface of Venus” accounts for the 5 degrees of warming from about 732K to 737K when the radiation reaching the surface averages less than 20W/m^2..

  72. Congratulations on this, Dr Curry. It is not easy to write an op-ed about a highly technical subject for a non-technical audience without inadvertantly misrepresenting something along the way. It is even harder to make it readable and interesting. Well done, you!

    If you ever get tired of the hard slog of doing science, a career as a writer awaits. Doing it well is hard slog too, but a change can be as good as a holiday. :)

  73. Judith –

    So does this mean that you’re abandoning your argument about how scientists acting as advocates is eroding the public’s trust in scientists?

    I mean I know that you offer a (IMO, flimsy) distinction about how your advocacy is fundamentally different than the advocacy of others (although I would argue that the only substantive difference is that you advocate for a different opinion than others) ….. but surely you’d agree that in writing a high profile op-ed such as you now have, the public would not in general see some significant distinction between your input into the debate and the input of others that you claim is creating a “crisis.” Right?

    Please don’t forget that you are on record as saying that writing an op-ed is a political act.

    I mean you didn’t forget about that, did you?

    And how have you patched it up with mosher – given that he’d prefer that scientists not write op-eds (paraphrasing)?

    • Ah yes, life in SWIRLCARE-land.

      Steven Mosher | August 12, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
      Joshua.
      I propose that people stop trying to due science by press release and editorial.

      What’s not good for the goose is just fine for the gander.

      • Joshua – one of the proprietors of the Bitter Small Beer business.

      • Steven Mosher

        Yes they should.
        Happily Judith isn’t trying to do science here.
        So I applaud her writing.
        Disagree with it but it’s good to hear new voices.
        The integrity stakeholders deserve to be heard.

      • Steven –

        About as I expected. I admire your loyalty. Of course, it ties you into hypocritical arguments, but it is quite touching.

    • Keep pickin’ those nits, Joshua. One day it might actually make a difference. But I doubt it.

    • nottawa rafter

      Joshua, put a cork in it. I beg you.

    • Steven Mosher

      Paraphrasing wrong

      • ==> “Steven Mosher | August 12, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
        Joshua.
        I propose that people stop trying to due science by press release and editorial.”

        Yeah. Right. Proposing that scientists not “due [sic] science by…editorial” is substantively different than preferring scientists not write Op-eds. Gotcha.

        You might be comfortable hanging your hat on that type of distinction w/o difference. No problem. Your arguments are still hypocritical.

        It boils down to the same kind of arbitrary (not in the sense of random but in the sense of suibjective) rationalization that Judith offers…i.e., those you disagree with, or dislike, are creating a “crisis” in public opinion by politicizing the science, but Judith as a valiant warrior with integrity? If she politicizes the science it’s just peachy keen. ‘Cause you like her.

        Well I like Judith too, and I applaud her voicing her opinion also. Advocacy plays an important role in our society. But I think that her attacking others for doing what she’s doing is, in the end, counterproductive – because it is tribal and it is exploitative of the value of advocacy. I also think her inconsistent attitude towards communicating with the public about the uncertainty in the science of climate change is counterproductive.

      • “Yeah. Right. Proposing that scientists not “due [sic] science by…editorial” is substantively different than preferring scientists not write Op-eds. Gotcha.”

        Yes in fact it is. Go back to reading comprehension 101.
        I have no problem with scientists doing Op eds.
        I have a problem when they try to do science that way.

        It’s pretty simple. Go back to where I made the comment and understand what I am talking about

    • I’m not sure that I would take Judith’s remarks as less concern or advocacy for the issue. I have followed her remarks for years through the NYT and NPR, at which times she was not blasted for remarking publicly. I applaud her independent, educated and confident stance which serves to highlight details of this complex subject.

  74. Judith Curry is a rock star now, is all I can say.

    • She has been productive lately and I suspect not without notice.

    • Judith’s opinion that we can do all the emissions we want, and the temperature won’t get to 2 C above preindustrial is out there for sure, and very popular with the WSJ types. It requires the warming rate to stay below 0.12 C per decade from here on out, and she expresses just the level of certainty they need that we should dismiss the higher warming rate of the last 40 years as an anomaly.

      • Straw man.

      • OK, AK, you explain what she means by this. “The implications of the lower values of climate sensitivity in our paper, as well as similar other recent studies, is that human-caused warming near the end of the 21st century should be less than the 2-degrees-Celsius “danger” level for all but the IPCC’s most extreme emission scenario.” The less extreme BAU scenarios have CO2eq at 650-850 ppm and she thinks, or almost asserts, that these won’t reach 2 C.

      • Jim D. She means that if the observational based studies are correct about the sensitivity, then we don’t have to worry about emissions. What is the problem here?

      • Even using her 1.33 C sensitivity, she needs the forcing in 2100 to remain below 5.5 W/m2, and that is not the path we are currently on unless measures are taken with GHGs, yet she suggests nothing needs to be done.

      • @Jim D…

        What it says: if the “lower values of climate sensitivity in our [their] paper” are correct, there’s room for a lot less drastic approaches to dealing with fossil CO2. It doesn’t say, or necessarily mean, “that we can do all the emissions we want, and the temperature won’t get to 2 C above preindustrial”.

        Your straw men are typical of alarmists who interpret anything less than their drastic socialist remedies as “doing nothing”.

        There’s plenty that can be done, especially if some of the urgency is gone.

      • Your second link is headlined by “Countries at all income levels have the opportunity to build lasting economic growth and at the same time reduce the immense risk of climate change. But action is needed now.”
        This is good, and probably far from what Judith or WSJ would promote.

      • This is good, and probably far from what Judith or WSJ would promote.

        You don’t know that. It isn’t what she says:

        This slower rate of warming—relative to climate model projections—means there is less urgency to phase out greenhouse gas emissions now, and more time to find ways to decarbonize the economy affordably. It also allows us the flexibility to revise our policies as further information becomes available. [my bold]

      • My quoted phrase from your link is the opposite of what Judith said. Perhaps she wants to starting thinking about how to decarbonize now, which is not the same thing as “action is needed now”. The reality is that action is occurring now, whether they want to stop and think more or not.

      • My quoted phrase from your link is the opposite of what Judith said.

        Doesn’t read that way to me. Perhaps I’m not taking “find ways to decarbonize the economy affordably” quite as literally as you.

        When it comes to economic and political action, the difference between “finding ways to” do something, and “setting up incentives so somebody will find ways to”do it is very vague. After all, putting a high price on (fossil) carbon won’t “decarbonize the economy”, rather it’s commonly believed that people who want to make money decarbonizing the economy will “find ways”, once there’s enough money in it.

        But other methods are available, that don’t require making energy more expensive. Unless that’s the real goal.

      • OK, put it this way. Can you ever imagine Judith saying ““Countries at all income levels have the opportunity to build lasting economic growth and at the same time reduce the immense risk of climate change. But action is needed now.”?
        I don’t think so. It is completely different from her message. Same would go for Heartland, GWPF, Cato, Marshall, Republicans, etc. Their whole point is that the risk is not proven beyond doubt so action is not needed now.

      • No action is needed now. But if we wanted to do something anyway, the streamlining of nuclear technology would be a good no regrets choice.

        What can’t you liberals go along with that idea? You are blocking action.

      • Actually I agree with Hansen and Emanuel that if nuclear is a pragmatic coal-replacement stop-gap before new energy can be adopted, do it. It is not well known that the US is already the largest nuclear energy producer in the world. They can lead on this.

      • Their whole point is that the risk is not proven beyond doubt so action is not needed now.

        NO. Their whole point is that since the risk is not proven beyond a doubt, action that substantially impacts growth or energy prices is not needed now. Beyond that, views diverge.

      • Straw man. You and some of them have invented mitigation costs that no one has suggested, and say that just because those are bad, all efforts at mitigation are wrong. All the costed proposals are a tiny fraction of GDP growth, even ten times less than the GDP growth’s natural variability.

      • All the costed proposals are a tiny fraction of GDP growth, even ten times less than the GDP growth’s natural variability.

        That’s your opinion. Others have different opinions. But just because somebody opposes some specific action you favor doesn’t mean they favor “doing nothing”

      • Not just an opinion. It comes from the economists that contributed to AR5 WG3. Even the most skeptical of economists have not disputed the small costs of mitigation. The main dispute is about how to estimate the global damage at various temperatures, and weighting by GDP isn’t the fairest way.

      • Even the most skeptical of economists have not disputed the small costs of mitigation.

        That‘s certainly just your opinion. I’ve seen plenty of people with strong economic understanding talk about how high the price is. Not necessarily just in dollars (or whatever), or to GDP.

        Rolling out cheap power and Western-type lifestyles to the undeveloped world would be seriously set back by restrictions on fossil fuels. Despite claims to the contrary, IMO coal could be strongly discouraged without serious impact, but only because it would be replaced with gas. At least, with a couple years’ buffer.

        But others have different opinions, and IMO there are certainly ways in which the world’s economy could be “decarbonized” without cutting back on coal-fired power plants during the next decade. If buy-in from those who feel an immediate need for coal-fired power could be gotten with a plan that involved switching those plants (and associated infra-structure, not including mines of course) to use some bio-fuel replacement over the course of the next decade, perhaps a well-supported plan could be implemented.

      • Judith has also been interviewed by NPR and the NYTimes. Independent, from which her position is based, always gets looks from a broad spectrum.

  75. Strategically, good move by Nic Lewis to publish with Curry – more impactful than Lewis/Crok for example. With regards to whether TCR is 1.3 or 1.5 should not matter significantly policy-wise except for messaging about the inconvenient ‘pause’ that perhaps wasn’t. However, one would think that a lower ECS (e.g. 1.65K) matters more for short-term policy e.g. over this century since it presumably implies absence of slower feedbacks and faster climate response.

  76. From the article:

    The central role of diminishing sea ice in recent Arctic temperature amplification

    Changes in cloud cover, in contrast, have not contributed strongly to recent warming. Increases in atmospheric water vapour content, partly in response to reduced sea ice cover, may have enhanced warming in the lower part of the atmosphere during summer and early autumn. We conclude that diminishing sea ice has had a leading role in recent Arctic temperature amplification. The findings reinforce suggestions that strong positive ice–temperature feedbacks have emerged in the Arctic15, increasing the chances of further rapid warming and sea ice loss, and will probably affect polar ecosystems, ice-sheet mass balance and human activities in the Arctic2.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v464/n7293/full/nature09051.html

  77. I am finding it impossible to logon to blog admin today, apologies if your comments are caught in moderation.

    I must say i MUCH prefer reading the comments with no threading

    • Matthew R Marler

      Judith Curry: I must say i MUCH prefer reading the comments with no threading

      It’s good if all the comments on a topic are in a row and it is clear what they follow. That is not the prevalent outcome.

    • Yay! I’ve been saying that for two years!

    • Threading is important – otherwise, many posts will be out of context and difficult to decode. Right now, it’s a frustrating mess.

  78. Matthew R Marler

    I thought that it was a good editorial.

  79. Wagathon – the Quadrant folks have posted at an Aussie site (Catallaxy Files) to say that they just changed ISPs, resulting in what shonky IT salespeople call “teething problems” and the rest of us call “an almighty cockup.”

    Head honcho Roger Franklin is doubly furious because he’s had to cancel his weekend fishing trip to try to get the mess fixed up. But they’ll be back, hopefully sooner rather than later.

  80. Pingback: No salen las cuentas: El deshielo estadístico del Calentamiento Global

  81. Based on SPSS-faciltated processing of data from nasa.com, decadal average global surface temperature (F) increased some 1.