What would Charles Keeling think? Science in spite of politics

by Judith Curry

Perhaps my experience in studying the Earth, initially with few restrictions and later with increasingly sophisticated interaction with government sponsors and various planning committees, will provide a perspective on this great transition from science being primarily an intellectual pastime of private persons to its present status as a major contributor to the quality of human life and the prosperity of nations. – Charles Keeling

Most of you are familiar with Charles Keeling. An overview of Keeling’s accomplishments is given in this NYTimes article:

But the essence of his scientific legacy was his passion for doing things in a meticulous way. It explains why, even as challengers try to pick apart every other aspect of climate science, his half-century record of carbon dioxide measurements stands unchallenged.

By the 1950s, when Dr. Keeling was completing his scientific training, scientists had been observing the increasing use of fossil fuels and wondering whether carbon dioxide in the air was rising as a result. But nobody had been able to take accurate measurements of the gas.

As a young researcher, Dr. Keeling built instruments and developed techniques that allowed him to achieve great precision in making such measurements. Then he spent the rest of his life applying his approach.

Throughout much of his career, Dr. Keeling was cautious about interpreting his own measurements. He left that to other people while he concentrated on creating a record that would withstand scrutiny.

The motivation for this post comes from someone emailing me this autobiographical essay by Charles Keeling: Rewards and Penalties of Monitoring the Earth [Keeling_autobiography]

Abstract: When I began my professional career, the pursuit of science was in a transition from a pursuit by individuals motivated by personal curiosity to a worldwide enterprise with powerful strategic and materialistic purposes. The studies of the Earth’s environment that I have engaged in for over forty years, and describe in this essay, could not have been realized by the old kind of science. Associated with the new kind of science, however, was a loss of ease to pursue, unfettered, one’s personal approaches to scientific discovery. Human society, embracing science for its tangible benefits, inevitably has grown dependent on scientific discoveries. It now seeks direct deliverable results, often on a timetable, as compensation for public sponsorship. Perhaps my experience in studying the Earth, initially with few restrictions and later with increasingly sophisticated interaction with government sponsors and various planning committees, will provide a perspective on this great transition from science being primarily an intellectual pastime of private persons to its present status as a major contributor to the quality of human life and the prosperity of nations.

Some excerpts from Keeling’s essay:

Science in spite of politics

From the prologue:

At editorial request, the following sketch is focused on a particular aspect of my career: my desire to measure atmospheric carbon dioxide. For much of my professional career, this desire met with heavy opposition from certain agencies of the US Government that wanted such measurements to be managed principally, or even solely, as in-house programs of the federal bureaucracy. I have attempted to intertwine the portrayal of this struggle with a narrative of the concurrent gain in knowledge from my measurements which repeatedly helped me to argue for their continuance. 

In one of the summary sections, Keeling writes:

SCIENCE IN SPITE OF POLITICS Why Go On? Through the long years of my disagreement with government agencies on whether or not I should be measuring atmospheric CO2, many people wondered why I tried so hard to stay involved. I will now attempt to explain, although in some respects I’m not really sure. First, my enthusiasm to study atmospheric CO2 never slackened; it depended, however, on acquiring data that truly reflected nature. The international CO2 monitoring program of WMO, although originally organized by scientists, was soon mainly under the control of meteorological agencies.

After agency managers began to assert that the acquisition of CO2 data, like the acquisition of weather data, was to be regarded as routine rather than a pursuit of basic science, I wondered what might happen to data quality over time. I hadn’t forgotten that the CO2 measurements published in Tellus before I began my studies had been terribly wrong but were generally regarded as valid until new data proved them wrong. I wanted to remain directly involved in CO2 data gathering to be able to judge the quality of such data on my own terms. Moreover, those recruited to inaugurate NOAA’s CO2 program set about removing what I felt to be safeguards in the procedures that I had adopted to assure valid data. Then these newcomers gave out an impression that measuring atmospheric CO2 was relatively problem-free, whereas I had had difficulty sustaining high-quality measurements over long periods.

To add to my apprehensions, the official in NOAA most responsible for opposing my program had a reputation for after-the-fact apologies when data under his supervision had turned out to be less than satisfactory. The most compelling reason for my wishing to stay involved was that the data gathered in my program became more and more fascinating as the records lengthened.

A broader perspective on this issue is written in an essay at aip.org from Spencer Weart, entitled Money for Keeling: Monitoring CO2 levels.

This is a story with scary implications.  Had Keeling not stayed involved with monitoring CO2 levels, the scientific debate surrounding CO2 and climate would be substantially muddier than it is now.

When I read this saga, I see the same problems currently with the federal funding agencies.  The most analogous example to Keeling’s saga is the ISCCP saga – the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (discussed in this recent post).  There has been no ISCCP analysis of clouds since 2009, as NOAA is trying to ‘operationalize’ the production of the ISCCP analysis.  Once the logistical issues of doing this are finally ironed out, the big question is whether the overall dynamic quality (in terms of ongoing improvements and assessments) established by Bill Rossow (originator of ISCCP) will continue.

Buried in my pile of draft posts is one entitled ‘Who’s calling the shots?’, which addresses the control that federal program managers have over what science gets done not only in government labs, but also universities. For another time.

 Views on AGW

Keeling writes of his views, circa 1969:

In 1969, I spoke on invitation before the American Philosophical Society on the implications of rising atmospheric CO2. This rise was of interest, I said, because if it persisted it was likely to inhibit the escape of heat radiating upward from the Earth’s surface and bring about a warmer climate—the socalled “greenhouse effect,” although I didn’t use that expression.

The remainder of my talk  was inspired by my having helped to write a report for the President’s Science Advisory Council. Roger Revelle, the lead author of the report, was struck by the fact that the human race was returning to the air a significant part of the carbon that had been slowly extracted by plants and buried in sediments during a half billion years of Earth history. He thought that measurable, perhaps even marked, changes in climate might occur from an increasing greenhouse effect. He believed that careful measurements should be made to check such predictions.

Echoing Revelle’s concern before the American Philosophical Society, I too pondered the significance of returning a half a billion years’ accumulation of carbon to the air . I appreciated his concern because of direct personal experience, watching CO2 rise from near the oft-stated background level of approximately 300 ppm (0.03%) to over 320 ppm. I wondered what the consequences of rising CO2 would be in, say, 30 years:

“The rise in CO2 is proceeding so slowly that most of us today will, very likely, live out our lives without perceiving that a problem may exist. But CO2 is just one index of man’s rising activity today.We have rising numbers of college degrees, rising steel production, rising costs of television programming and broadcasting, high rising apartments, rising numbers of marriages, relatively more rapidly rising numbers of divorces, rising employment, and rising unemployment. At the same time we have diminishing natural resources, diminishing distract-free time, diminishing farm land around cities, diminishing virgin lands in the distant country side… .

I noted in closing my talk that people held widely divergent views concerning a possible peril attending rising CO2, but that in 30 years “if present trends are any sign, mankind’s world, I judge, will be in greater immediate danger than it is today.” As it happened I would have little leisure time to pursue such philosophical thoughts during the next 30 years.

His views 30 years later:

It has been over 30 years since I speculated before the American Philosophical Society that the world by the end of the 20th century might be in greater danger from rising CO2 than itwas in 1969. Where do we stand on this issue today?

My friend Bert Bolin, joined by others around the world, a few years ago started a political process drawing attention to possible dangers of rising CO2 and urging that the use of fossil fuels be scaled back, or at least stabilized. Governments worldwide have recently tried to initiate this stabilization process, meeting in Kyoto, Japan, to agree on thewording of an international treaty to restrict fossilfuel use. I have not been a part of this political process, but I would like to add here a few thoughts on whether rising CO2 and attending climate change, especially possible global warming, should be viewed with concern.

Not everyone agrees that there is a global-warming problem. There are probably even some who doubt that atmospheric CO2 concentrations are rising. Not long ago, while attending a scientific conference on climate, I encountered a meteorologist employed by a utility company who was examining a poster showing a curve of rising atmospheric CO2 labeled “Mauna Loa Observatory.” He was pointing out to the author of the poster that one should be cautious about interpreting this curve because of a steady increase in local automobile traffic near the observatory. I could not fault him for raising this concern, because I was at the time protesting to NOAA a lack of control over this increasing traffic, but he should have acknowledged that CO2 measurements at other sites, with no possibility of local contamination, corroborated that the rate of rise seen in the Mauna Loa record was global.

Should scientists attempt to help the public to understand better the significance of rising CO2 and the global warming issue? Understandably, many do not wish to take a position regarding a possible peril associated with these issues. Even to publish scientific findings that suggest a peril in rising CO2 or temperature can be construed as taking a prejudicial position.

A safe approach is just to remain an interested observer of the unfolding scientific evidence of man-made global change and its possible significance to future human welfare. Without risk one can comment dispassionately on sociological, political, and religious perspectives of the global warming issue, for example, as an historian might, beginning with the first hints of man-made global change and progressing toward the time, not yet arrived, when there may be convincing proof of global warming. 

I believe, however, that a more prudent attitude would be to heed the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration as serious unless proven to be benign. If scientists would make clear to the public the wisdom of this cautious approach, people would demand to be better informed about what scientists already know. The collective talent and wisdom of a species self-named Homo sapiens might then be better directed toward the issue of global warming.

Meanwhile, what about at least monitoring what is happening to our environment to prepare for possible change? It has been over 40 years since Roger Revelle and Hans Suess pointed out that the burning of fossil fuels was a large-scale geophysical experiment that “if adequately documented may yield a far-reaching insight into the processes determining weather and climate.” There was no sense of peril then, just a keen interest in gaining knowledge. Now, four decades later, there is a hint, perhaps more than a hint, of peril. Nevertheless, and despite the heightened political awareness of the greenhouse problem indicated by the Kyoto meeting last winter, most governments have shown little heightened interest in environmental monitoring.

An interesting postscript on this in the NYTimes article in 2010 (5 years after Keeling’s death):

In an interview in La Jolla, Dr. Keeling’s widow, Louise, said that if her husband had lived to see the hardening of the political battle lines over climate change, he would have been dismayed.

“He was a registered Republican,” she said. “He just didn’t think of it as a political issue at all.”

 Natural climate variability

Keeling was very interested in natural climate variability:

Following Bert Bolin’s and my analysis of a global “snapshot” of atmospheric CO2 in 1963, my interest turned to the ever lengthening time-series of CO2 observations at Mauna Loa Observatory and the South Pole. As I have already explained, these records by 1972 were long enough to see evidence that CO2 varied on a decadal time scale in a manner that couldn’t be explained by emissions from fossil fuel combustion. I wanted to acquire the most trustworthy data possible, for as long as possible, to study such subtle effects.

Meanwhile, in 1983 we experienced a partial breakthrough in understanding the relationship of El Nino events to atmospheric CO2, discovered nearly ten years earlier by Bacastow.

It was time to take a further look at variations in the atmospheric CO2 records on the decadal time scale. The gradual slowdown in the rate of rise of CO2 at Mauna Loa and the South Pole in the mid-1960s, and the subsequent more rapid rise in the early 1970s, had been followed by two more such slowdowns and rises. With our records now 30 years long, these fluctuations looked like a repeating decadal oscillation. Was the cause oceanic or terrestrial? Did El Nino events in some way contribute? Our quest to find out led us, however, well beyond our original focus, because once again we found a surprising relationship between CO2 and temperature.

Our curiosity was now drawn towards what could be causing approximately 10-year fluctuations in temperature.  We turned our attention to exploring a possible tidal connection with temperature, encouraged by a relevant discussion in the same treatise on climate where Bacastow had discovered the Southern Oscillation. Also, in an article by Loder & Garrett we found mention of a plausible mechanism: that strong tides may cause vertical mixing of stratified surface ocean water with cooler deeper water, sufficiently to cause appreciable transient cooling at the sea surface.

Periodicities abound in the astronomical forcing of oceanic tides by the Sun and the Moon, but to our surprise the only nearly decadal periodicities in tidal forcing that we found were at 9.3 and 10.3 years, very close to the spectral periods that we had found for temperature. Moreover, these two periodicities reinforced each other near 1880 and 1970 but cancelled each other out near 1920, as did the spectral oscillations in temperature. Most surprising, a 6.0 year tidal periodicity replaced the cancelled out decadal periodicity in the 1920s and 1930s; it was phased such that, by causing periodic cooling, it might explain the 6-year fluctuations in temperature seen in our decadal spline curve from about 1920 to 1940. We had perhaps found a plausible tidal mechanism that could explain all of the main features of our band-pass temperature curve. Encouraged by this success, we began to look for additional features of global temperature that might be explained by an hypothesis that strong tides cause cooling of surface sea water.

During times of this strong decadal forcing, from about 1870 to 1910, and again from about 1950 to 1980, the stiffest temperature spline showed no overall warming. In contrast, from about 1920 to 1940, when this strong forcing gaveway to weaker 6-year forcing, the stiffest spline shows pronounced warming. The coincidence of this warming trend with 6-year fluctuations in temperature was striking, as though both features were related to the weaker tidal forcing. Beginning in the late 1970s decadal fluctuations have been accompanied by overall warming, in violation of our tidal hypothesis, but this warming could reflect an enhanced greenhouse effect beginning measurably to affect global temperature.

JC note:  While the issue of tidal influences on decadal to century scale climate change remains largely unexplored, Walter Munk has done some very provocative work on this topic, perhaps a good topic for a future post.

JC reflections

I’m surprised I haven’t come across Keeling’s essay previously, it deserves to be discussed.  Keeling died in 2005, just before the hyper politicization of AGW (following Al Gore’s movie and the AR4).

I found it very refreshing to read Keeling’s essay, and I find myself wondering what would Charles Keeling have to say about the state of the climate science debate, the politicization of the science, not to mention the temperature hiatus.

Keeling regrets that he didn’t have more time for ‘philosophizing’; but he has provided us with some important insights on  this great transition from science being primarily an intellectual pastime of private persons to its present status as a major contributor to the quality of human life and the prosperity of nations.

 

466 responses to “What would Charles Keeling think? Science in spite of politics

  1. Dave Rutledge

    Hi Judy,

    Great post. Much to think about.

    Thanks,
    Dave

  2. The motivation for this post comes from someone emailing me this autobiographical essay by Charles Keeling: Rewards and Penalties of Monitoring the Earth.

    Please check the link.

  3. –Keeling regrets that he didn’t have more time for ‘philosophizing’; but he has provided us with some important insights on this great transition from science being primarily an intellectual pastime of private persons to its present status as a major contributor to the quality of human life and the prosperity of nations.–

    This could a wave vs a linear direction.
    One can support this view, when consider the importance of satellite measurement regarding science related to Earth. So satellites are expensive and require government funding.
    But it seems to me that as cost of satellite lower, one can envision a time
    where people can own satellite as people can own airplanes or cars.

    Plus in terms of social organization the internet allows better way interacting as compared to going to some office building.

  4. One wonders if the period since the 1950’s is not a very small window through which to view carbon dioxide dynamics.

    • The issues raised by Salby, etc. need to be properly investigated.

      • Steven Mosher

        He should publish.

      • Stephen, true. I did as you advised (but not precisely), now three books beyond patents and previous peer reviewed papers and book chapters. Respond to those, most saliently newest Blowing Smoke.
        Saying any questioner should publish only peer reviewed ignores two problems. One, 2009 Climategate ‘pal’ review. Two, BEST hasn’t either.

      • Steven Mosher

        Rud did I say peer reviewed?
        Read harder. Argue points made.
        Salby needs to show his work.
        Period.

      • Salby is getting jerked around in the peer review process (I reviewed one of his papers). No idea of current status tho

      • He should publish.

        Agreed. But just how can he do that with “correspondence, files, and computer equipment confiscated”?

      • Salby is getting jerked around, just like what the consensus goons did to BEST. He may end up having to settle for a pay-for-play journal-of-last-resort to get his box checked.

      • The publishing issue is a serious problem. The climategate files show that warmers have dealt with peer review in a deceitful, dishonest, deceptive, crafty and underhanded way. That “loading” peer review panels and firing independent editors was achieved.

        We need diversity and/or balance in the publishing process.

        Perhaps the answer is set up journals that have no warmers on the peer review panels and editors that are actively hostile to global warming. The Republican congress could require by statute that half the studies used for government climate policy have to come from these “realistic” journals (this would make the journals relevant) instead of the existing biased “pro-warming” journals. Existing journals that purge activists and warmers from their ranks could apply to be put on the realistic journal list.

        This would give independent and/or objective scientists an outlet for their articles currently only available to the pro-warming community.

        As far as Salby. If you just view things from a emissions and incremental atmospheric CO2 standpoint: there were 9.8 GT of carbon emitted last year. 7.8 GT was from fossil fuel/cement, 2 GT was from burning down the surface of the planet. . Only 2.2 GT of the fossil fuel/cement CO2 stayed in the atmosphere. 5.6 GT went into the ground or the water.

        Burning fossil fuels appear to be less than 30% efficient at adding CO2 to the atmosphere – the “fossil fuel emissions drive atmospheric CO2” claim is about as accurate as the “CO2 thermostat” claim.

        http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/
        December 2014: 398.78 ppm
        December 2013: 396.81 ppm

        The other issue is that now that the temperature has topped out for 14 years the CO2 rise is starting to slow (only 1.97 PPM increase in 2014) – in the face of ever increasing emissions (9.8 GT emissions in 2014 is a new all-time record). Salby might not be completely right but he is at least partly right.

        I’m seeing claims for human emissions of 40 GT of CO2 (10.8 GT carbon) in 2014 – that would make the above analysis even worse for warmers and human emissions even more trivial from an atmospheric standpoint.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Agreed. But just how can he do that with “correspondence, files, and computer equipment confiscated”?

        As judith notes he has no problem submitting papers.

        1. Skeptics dont buy peer review cause they think its pal review.
        2. Skeptics dont buy people who actually show their work, if they
        disagree with the answer.
        3. Mostly skeptics throw spit balls.
        4. When they actually make claims, most dont show their work.

        The only “skeptics” I know that have actually shown their work are
        mcintyre, Mckittrick, O donnel, and Lewis. and willis.

      • Steven Mosher:
        1. Skeptics dont buy peer review cause they think its pal review.
        2. Skeptics dont buy people who actually show their work, if they
        disagree with the answer.
        3. Mostly skeptics throw spit balls.
        4. When they actually make claims, most dont show their work.

        The only “skeptics” I know that have actually shown their work are
        mcintyre, Mckittrick, O donnel, and Lewis. and willis.

        Jim: As a scientist, I would have thought that care should be taken to not make Gross generalisations.. (they are often not very accurate).
        Are you talking about sceptics in general or scientists sceptical of the CAGW meme?
        1). I think sceptics have pointed to many instances where peer review has failed to find significant problems in published peer reviewed papers… (doesn’t this indicate that maybe that could be true??).. we also see examples from other areas of science where peer review has failed.
        2) I have seen many examples of sceptics “buying” work that does not agree with their position. (and I think Steven that you have too).
        3) maybe this applies to unknowledgeable non scientist sceptics, but pales in comparison with the sorts of thing thrown by committed warmists.
        4) Again.. are you talking about scientists or non scientists…

        As a programmer.. I am very sceptical on the reliance on models to make predictions… I agree with Oreskes on this one…
        “Finally we must admit that a model may confirm our biases and support incorrect intuitions. Therefore, models are most useful when they are used to challenge existing formulations, rather than to validate or verify them. Any scientist who is asked to use a model to verify or validate a predetermined result should be suspicious.” (Naomi Oreskes) http://www.likbez.com/AV/CS/Pre01-oreskes.pdf

        Cheers Jim

      • Concentrations of CO2 are not only rising, they are rising more quickly in recent years. The average annual rise from 1959 to 1993 was 1.45 ppm per year. Since 1994 the average rise has been 1.96 ppm per year.

        I know that this rise has not been reflected in temperature increases to date. But I am concerned about this.

      • “1. Skeptics dont buy peer review cause they think its pal review.”

        Peer review at best is a cursory exercise.

        By engineering standards it is a joke.

        Anything like a PC board or a chip that costs money to redo is reviewed to death. It is simulated, and checked, and rechecked, and design reviewed ad nauseam.

        The studies that are used for the basis of billions or trillions in spending policy are not reviewed to the standard a reasonable and intelligent person would find adequate.

        Peer review is apparently fine for studies published in journals. Any studies used for policy consumption should have to meet a vastly more rigorous standard. Peer reviewed studies that have not gotten a much tougher review, are fodder for coffee tables and online entertainment and not a lot more. They have the reliability of water cooler chats.

        The reproducibility rate of science studies – to people from other technical fields is shocking. Even an 80% reproducibility rate though inadequate would be an improvement. There is no point in publishing bad studies.

      • PA & Dr. Curry,

        I wonder if Dr. Curry would mind chiming in on the evaluation of peer review as she’s immersed in the world of academia. It’s bothersome to me that the credibility of “all” scientists that publish subject to peer review are grouped in to the heading of “pal” review. PA, I respect your opinion, but have discomfort that the characterization is as you suggest. I worry about painting with too broad a brush and might find comfort from an insiders view.

      • P.A.

        Peer review at best is a cursory exercise.

        By engineering standards it is a joke.

        I agree. What a pity the scientists don’t realise peer review is a joke And nowhere near suitable for justifying the multi-trillion dollar cost of the policies they advocate.

      • Heh, they don’t want ‘payer review’. What is that old formula? Payment without review is tyranny? Something like that.
        ==========

      • PA,

        The last thing anyone needs is Congress telling people where to publish and Congress setting standards for science journals. Just gives inroads for interference. And then each time different “teams” get into office they will feel the need to adjust things.

        The climate system seems less sensitive than the alarmists fear. We now have competing predictions for TCS, etc. So, we can rely on the data and the scientific process to eventually winnow out the truth. There are many more climate scientists with an open mind now and there are probably many who resent what has happened over the last 20 years and will speak out eventually.

      • @Steven Mosher

        As judith notes he has no problem submitting papers.

        Perhaps. I’d like to know a little more about the relative chronologies.

        But at this point, I doubt he’s still trying publications that prohibit using Arxiv. Unless there’s something wrotten going on at Cornell?

        Or unless all his submissions were prior to his dismissal and the materials he claims were confiscated were critical to submitting a well-supported paper (“showing his work”) even to Arxiv.

      • Steven Mosher | January 13, 2015 at 8:38 pm

        The only “skeptics” I know that have actually shown their work are mcintyre, Mckittrick, O donnel, and Lewis. and willis.

        Not the only one.
        You always say to publish, a fair comment. But without having to go through a (non) peer review, what do you accept as publishing?

        Please ignore the misplaced comment at the bottom.

      • curryja | January 13, 2015 at 7:17 pm |
        Salby is getting jerked around in the peer review process (I reviewed one of his papers). No idea of current status tho

        Since the studies are by and large Federally funded and bad peer review damages the public interest, there is both a reason for Federal action and several options for addressing the peer review issue, if scientists don’t. Further studies rejected for insubstantial or dubious causes should have another publishing output that is recognized as equal to peer review journals.

        The climategate emails detail pretty precisely the efforts to use peer review as a gatekeeper to block publication of articles critical of global warming.

        The activities described by the scientists in their own words are reprehensible. The dishonest and unethical behavior used harms the careers of honest scientists and misinforms the scientific community and the general public by only allowing neutral or pro-warming studies to be published. This misinformation damages the public interest.

        Anyone who participates in or defends this dishonest, unethical, and underhanded behavior should debarred from government contracts permanently since the root cause appears to be ideology or careerism and neither is amenable to easy remedy.

      • This is a replication of Salby’s work, with workings shown. But I don’t read German, so I can’t vouch for it.

        http://www.klimatupplysningen.se/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Rekonstruktion-av-Murry-Salbys-teori.pdf

    • Mosher,
      Where have you shown your work?

    • It is a mistake to focus on one person who has some ideas but nothing of any substance on carbon dioxide that I know of.

      It is clear that carbon levels vary substantially quite naturally – and that this is not captured by ice cores. We have seen both soil respiration and tropical vegetation flux increase in recent times in volumes that rival human emissions. It is a fact – and it does show up in longer term stomatal proxies.

      ‘A stomatal frequency record based on buried Tsuga heterophylla needles reveals significant centennial-scale atmospheric CO2 fluctuations during the last millennium. The record includes four
      CO2 minima of 260–275 ppmv (ca. A.D. 860 and A.D. 1150, and less prominently, ca. A.D. 1600 and 1800). Alternating CO2 maxima of 300–320 ppmv are present at A.D. 1000, A.D. 1300, and ca. A.D. 1700. These CO2 fluctuations parallel global terrestrial air temperature changes, as well as oceanic surface temperature fluctuations
      in the North Atlantic. The results obtained in this study corroborate the notion of a continuous coupling of the preindustrial atmospheric CO2 regime and climate.’

      http://www.biomind.de/realCO2/literature/Kouwenberg_2005_Geology.pdf

      Most of the warming in the past century was quite natural – some half of the 0.4K increase from 1994. A natural cooling influence seems quite likely this century – and a consequent decrease in CO2 flux to the atmosphere. We could enhance that substantially by restoring rising carbon levels in agricultural soils and ecological conservation and restoration.

      The essential point that the Keeling window on CO2 in the atmosphere is too short to capture natural fluctuation over time scales of interest. Nor does it seem to show alarming levels of CO2 in the atmosphere when compared with stomatal proxies – any number from any number of locations. Something seems clearly at odds and it is a something that latter undermines the foundations of the alarmist mantra.

    • David L. Hagen

      Judith / curryja
      Good to hear Murry Salby is trying to get published.
      A year ago Pehr Björnbom affirmed and extended Salby’s analysis.

    • @ PA

      “Anyone who participates in or defends this dishonest, unethical, and underhanded behavior should debarred from government contracts permanently since the root cause appears to be ideology or careerism and neither is amenable to easy remedy.”

      I thought for sure, based on your previous posts, that you had already noticed that those climate scientists and climate science organizations who ‘participate and/or defends this dishonest, unethical, and underhanded behavior’ are locked at the hip with the government organizations which provide essentially ALL climate science funding.

      In fact, the surest way for a climate scientist to ensure that he will receive NO government funding is to NOT participate and/or defend said dishonest, unethical, and underhanded behavior, since essentially all government funding is funneled to those who DO.

      In Climate Science, non-participation in dishonest, unethical, and underhanded behavior is a career killer.

  5. “While the issue of tidal influences on decadal to century scale climate change remains largely unexplored…”

    Perhaps this abstract may be of interest :)

    The El Nino southern oscillation (ENSO) behavior can be effectively modeled as a response to a 2nd-order Mathieu/Hill differential equation with periodic coefficients describing sloshing of a volume of water. The forcing of the equation derives from QBO, angular momentum changes synchronized with the Chandler wobble, and solar insolation variations. One regime change was identified in 1980.

    http://arxiv.org/abs/1411.0815

    • We have an equation for standing waves on an elliptical surface modulated by other things that are more or less related to ENSO – but are no more predictable – and arbitrarily fitted to the SOI using an automated learning algorithm.

      The Sun may certainly be involved in ENSO and the length of day is almost certainly related to shifting wind speeds in the Pacific. It leads nowhere interesting or fundamental with ENSO or the PDO. Webbly confuses feedbacks or co-varying phenomenon for first causes.

      The QBO is neither independent of ENSO or a cause of ENSO.

      The Mathieu equation solutions for standing waves in an elliptical bath tub look like this.

      But you could as well start with any trig function. And the freakin’ shift happened in 1976/1977 and not 1981. They happen every few decades.

      Likelwise tides are ignored for good reason – they lead nowhere in terms of very low frequency changes – decades to millennia – in these systems.

  6. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Judith Curry wonders “Who’s calling the shots?”

    The answer is sobering:

    Ted Cruz To Oversee NASA and US Science Programs

    Ted Cruz’ vociferous opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and his support of extreme budget cuts could spell trouble for NASA’s less prominent programs, such as its own climate research and sophisticated supercomputers.

    What are the prospects for a more stable, more accurate, more ambitious NASA effort to monitor the Earth’s heating oceans, melting ice-caps, rising sea-levels … and complex aerosol/cloud dynamics?

    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}

    • I find it telling that you are bothered that one of the brightest (maybe THE brightest) members of the Senate will be overseeing this field.

    • I wrote to Senator Cruz and emphasized the need to have a budget for NASA to improve their websites, keep them properly updated, and train personnel in the proper use of color palettes in maps and atmospheric cross sections. I’m very sure he will include my suggestions. If you are worried about a particular topic feel free to write me a note, I’ll review your proposal and pass it forward at the next meeting of my Illuminati chapter.

    • Wow, but when your favorite congress people are in charge of it, they are geniuses and there are no problems, EHHH??*&^ :)

      Perhaps Cruz will suggest the funding should shift to collecting better data and focus less on writing speculative papers based on speculative GCMs. That would be a welcome development.

    • Does this mean NASA will shift its focus from Meteorology to Aeronautics and Space?

      • I thought their mission was to reach out to the Muslim world?

      • I believe that already happened- depending how look at it, Or NOAA has the lead. Or you could some wanted NASA to focus more on it, and they failed.

    • Sobering? Time and past time you and your ilk had one.

  7. First thought that occurred to me involved this:

    Meanwhile, in 1983 […]

    Periodicities abound in the astronomical forcing of oceanic tides by the Sun and the Moon, but to our surprise the only nearly decadal periodicities in tidal forcing that we found were at 9.3 and 10.3 years, very close to the spectral periods that we had found for temperature.

    We understand much more today about how hyper-complex non-linear systems behave, and (hopefully) interact with periodic “forcings”. I wonder what the perspective of that improved understanding offers to those questions.

  8. –I could not fault him for raising this concern, because I was at the time protesting to NOAA a lack of control over this increasing traffic, but he should have acknowledged that CO2 measurements at other sites, with no possibility of local contamination, corroborated that the rate of rise seen in the Mauna Loa record was global.–

    I wonder if all scientists and related personnel going up the hill are driving electrical cars. And if there are plenty recharging station at the top of the hill.
    If this were the case, then it follow what I think is proper governmental response to CO2 emission. Or government employees should get their act
    together Before other government employees are demanding the general public reduce CO2.
    Of course having electrical car is mostly about not interfering with a long scientific measurement, and therefore one starts with reasonable premise to require all governmental employee use electric cars.

    Another aspect is why isn’t Hawaii like France. Or Hawaii has more reason to be like France [which has about 80% of electrical power from nuclear power].
    So rather than cars it seems burning fossil fuels to generate electrical power is a greater source CO2 effecting world’s only long term measuring station of CO2.
    Don’t the people of Hawaii care about science?”

  9. “major contributor to the quality of human life and the prosperity of nations.”

    And a major detractor as well.

    Imagine how much better science would be for all of us if it simply adopted some type of quality control.

  10. Not sure that the politicization of climate science started in 2005. It is my opinion that people become more aware of the issues about this time, and thus think it started then. However, the politicization begun earlier. For instance, ALIENS CAUSE GLOBAL WARMING by Michael Crichton, January 17, 2003. Pretty sure there are other examples as well, and even earlier examples. Unfortunately, since his death, his web site seems to have been given a good scrub of his criticisms of science. I think I heard about this as early as 1983, and am pretty sure it had started then, but will have to research to find something substantial.

    • Actually the politicization started in the early ’90’s as The Marshall Institute
      a right wing think tank started the politically motivated drum beat against the theory of AGW, under the leadership of Frederick Seitz, who was previously employed by the tobacco industry to persuade the public that second hand cigarette smoke was not harmful to health. They did the same kind of campaign against regulation of sulfur pollution and DDT.

      • I found the text of the paper by Michael Crichton, “Aliens Cause Global Warming”, Jan 17, 2003. Wiki links to a source that is still available. In it he claims that the politicization started much earlier with “nuclear warming”. It is an instructive read.

      • eadler2, “Frederick Seitz, who was previously employed by the tobacco industry to persuade the public that second hand cigarette smoke was not harmful to health.”

        After Three Mile Island, there were experts hired to persuade Judges that the leaked radiation levels were extremely harmful or not so much. In that particular cases, the not so much rent a scientists appeared to be more persuasive and also happened to be correct. There is a bit of a link to the second hand smoking case. Using linear no threshold modeling, second hand smoke and low radiation exposure appear to be a lot more harmful than using other methods.

        Emotionally, you make the evil tobacco or coal or oil industry, unscientific and merchants of doubt when they challenge parts of science that might impact their industries. Happens all the time and time generally determines the facts.

        One of the biggest second hand smoke danger “proofs” was asthma rates. Asthma has a number of confounding factors, mold, ozone, PM other VOCs, genetics etc. that might not be properly include in a linear no threshold model. Since that model makes a prediction, you give nature some time to work and see how well it performed. Athsma is still on the rise and still mainly a problem in urban areas, except now linear no threshold models are indicating it is PM and ozone that are the “primary” cause according to the EPA.

        Just for grins, compare the cancer rate between second hand smoke and Chinese Herbal Tea. Or how about pork fat versus vegetable fat in average diet. You might find that some scientific methods are not as scientific as others. Doubting a method is just part of science, not a conspiracy, time is the best judge.

      • Really, Eadler2? You don’t think it may have began many years before and then got a big jump start with Hansen’s appearance in front of congress in 1989 and the IPCC in 1990? Could the Marshall Institute a few year’s later be a reaction to those?

      • Wrong again, sweety. It rather famously started in 1988 with Jame’s Hansen’s testimony to congress where the senate sponsor opened the windows and turned off the air conditioner on June 24th so everyone was sweating up a storm.

        http://www.nytimes.com/1988/06/24/us/global-warming-has-begun-expert-tells-senate.html

        As usual eadler your reply reflects a vast information deficit regarding global warming “science” and global warming politics.

      • captian, I know you don’t like linear no threshold models but I think the problem you’re describing is not restricted to that set of models.

      • Don’t confuse ‘polarization’ and ‘politicization’. The latter preceded the former.
        ==============

      • bill__c, narrative is a weapon of mass destruction of truth.
        =================

      • Have the universities added into their climate science curriculum “The History of Skepticism” so that all graduates are able to go forth and spread the word? Well at least the alumni can all be speaking from the same talking points. There is comfort in that.

      • Bill_c, “captian, I know you don’t like linear no threshold models but I think the problem you’re describing is not restricted to that set of models.”

        No, it is “restricted” to LNT, but the general precautionary principal tends to revolve around linear extrapolation of doom to make worst case scenarios sound scientifically likely. No matter how much evidence builds that catastrophic warming is unlikely they have their fat tail trump card. What better way to fatten up a tail than with LNT?

      • Demonization is crucial both for Rules for Radicals and for federal funding. Works a charm!

      • captdallas;
        Per LNT Vitamin A is deadly, causing hair loss and death at high doses.

      • The fat soluble ones can easily get toxic, ADEK, or maybe that’s in Alaska.
        ============

    • The politicisation certainly started in the early 1990s (1991 in fact) in Australia. Labor politicised it to win the Green vote.

    • You could probably get away with claiming politicization before that.

      I’m dating myself by saying this but I had an assignment in an Elementary school class (1999) that involved a paper about, at the time, Global Warming. When I was working on it at home, my Father who was a Geologist, got involved in helping me.

      Needless to say I got an F on the paper with a big red comment that said “Global Warming is a scientific fact”. I don’t remember the paper exactly, though my poor Father still works in the field and is well respected by local Universities and his peers, so I doubt it was exactly off the wall. Basically though the debate was politicized enough even in the late 90’s that (at least in Canada) Elementary school science teachers were already beating the war drums and stifling any dissent/questions they could find.

      As a matter of fact it got worse as I went through school and generally I found that society at large lagged behind the public school system in how tribal or nasty the debate got. My High School science teachers were using terms and labels long before they were common in my local media.

  11. Well, Ralph might differ

    Keeling: Again I’m not the person to think in detail how this can work or what the constraints are. But clearly we have to wean ourselves off fossil fuels. That requires developing renewable sources of energy, and we need a marketplace that allows that to happen. As long as fossil fuels are too cheap, that’s going to be hard to see. So we need some system in which the cost of the damage caused by CO2 emissions is paid at the gas pump or at the point of extraction and not by generations living later.

    e360: Given this sobering milestone, is there anything out there that gives you hope?

    Keeling: I’m surprised at the level of attention this is getting. It’s nice to see that people are paying attention in this way. And I think that bringing about change in the first place requires people to be aware of what’s going on, and people are seemingly quite aware. So that’s hopeful.

    e360: The next step is action, but obviously that’s the hard part.

    Keeling: Yes. But if you don’t see that it’s happening, it’s hard to act on it.

    • The old climate framework failed because it would have imposed substantial costs associated with climate mitigation policies on developed nations today in exchange for climate benefits far off in the future — benefits whose attributes, magnitude, timing, and distribution are not knowable with certainty. Since they risked slowing economic growth in many emerging economies, efforts to extend the Kyoto-style UNFCCC framework to developing nations predictably deadlocked as well.

      The new framework now emerging will succeed to the degree to which it prioritizes agreements that promise near-term economic, geopolitical, and environmental benefits to political economies around the world, while simultaneously reducing climate forcings, developing clean and affordable energy technologies, and improving societal resilience to climate impacts. This new approach recognizes that continually deadlocked international negotiations and failed domestic policy proposals bring no climate benefit at all. It accepts that only sustained effort to build momentum through politically feasible forms of action will lead to accelerated decarbonization.

      http://thebreakthrough.org/archive/climate_pragmatism_innovation

      • Thanks Rob. Rationality is a beautiful thing.

      • Oh yeah, the breakdance boys somehow croc-tear for the poor as an excuse for wanting to screw them over. The original tax the guy under the tree and not me strategy. Everyone, and that includes Tol, agrees that the developing and poor countries get messed over by climate change more than anyone else

      • Eli,

        So, just for perspective, how are the “developing countries” doing wrt “climate change” not being part of the equation?

        Why are the issues those countries deal with (famine, war, disease) being tied to CC?

        Is there not much the developed countries can do now, short of injuring their own economies, to lift them up? I’m a believer in “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day, but teach him how to fish and feed him for a lifetime.” Bringing the CC issues in to that conversation brings nothing but politics. Leave CC out of the conversation and make it man’s humanity to man. My 2 cents and worth every bit of that.

      • Everyone, and that includes Tol, agrees that the developing and poor countries get messed over by climate change more than anyone else

        Everyone except for those who point out that no one is getting ‘messed over by climate change’.

      • There has been a minor warming of 0.4K since 1940. Is half of that anthropogenic? But small changes have the potential to initiate non-linear responses. This is the quandary of the plateau. Little apparent change but with the potential for more or less extreme change in the light of complexity science.

        The solution for energy is energy innovation. But this is less than half of the problem – which includes black carbon and multiple gases as well as population pressure and environmental degradation.

        What remains is extreme natural variability. The red intensity for 97/98 was 99.

        The rational response is to maximise social and economic progress while building on environmental goals.

        ‘In a world of limited resources, we can’t do everything, so which goals should we prioritize? The Copenhagen Consensus Center provides information on which targets will do the most social good (measured in dollars, but also incorporating e.g. welfare, health and environmental protection), relative to their costs.’ Copenhagen Consensus

        http://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/post-2015-consensus

      • What circular drivel. Decarbonization is 100% destructive, biologically and economically. The desire to have a Big Effect rules you and your deluded sort.

      • Energy transitions are inevitable as technology evolves relatively rapidly.

    • I agree. As an experienced engineer I find the denial about renewables’ weaknesses to be a real pain in the neck. I keep reading wonderful comments about Germany’s failing renewables program, the great success of the UK’s subsidy program to burn trees cut down elsewhere, and California’s brainy decision to force utility customers to pay for $2 billion worth of batteries.

  12. John Smith (it's my real name)

    really appreciate this post
    thanks

  13. “Roger Revelle, the lead author of the report, was struck by the fact that the human race was returning to the air a significant part of the carbon that had been slowly extracted by plants and buried in sediments during a half billion years of Earth history. ”
    snip
    “Echoing Revelle’s concern before the American Philosophical Society, I too pondered the significance of returning a half a billion years’ accumulation of carbon to the air ”

    Looks more like Mankind recycling an “insignificant” fraction of naturally sequestered carbon.

    BURNING BURIED SUNSHINE: HUMAN CONSUMPTION OF
    ANCIENT SOLAR ENERGY
    https://judithcurry.com/2014/08/02/week-in-review-21/#comment-613886

    • And barely in time to save the Plant Kingdom from slow agonizing asphyxiation.
      ==============

      • 😃

      • Kim, for a much more sophisicated analysis please read my book Gaia’s Limits. Is actually hopeful rather than purely Malthusian. But if you disagree on ‘principle’, please refute with ‘facts’.

      • Sorry Rud, my knowledge is far too sparse to acquire the density of ‘facts’. The action of the sun upon the biome inevitably virtually permanently sequesters carbon, vulcanism is inadequate to replenish.
        ==================


      • http://edgar.jrc.ec.europa.eu/news_docs/pbl-2013-trends-in-global-co2-emissions-2013-report-1148.pdf

        http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/weekly.html
        “Week beginning on January 4, 2015: 399.83 ppm
        Weekly value from 1 year ago: 398.14 ppm
        Weekly value from 10 years ago: 378.13 ppm ”

        399..83-398.14= 1.69 PPM/year

        CO2 increase 1998 2.93 PPM (all time greatest increase).
        CO2 increase 2004 1.56 PPM
        CO2 increase 2005 2.52 PPM
        CO2 increase 2014 roughly 2 PPM (NOAA says 2.32 but their own numbers show that is dubious and out-years compute correctly).

        EDGAR says 28.5 GT of CO2 or 7.77 GT carbon in 2004
        2014 – 9.8 GT carbon
        2004 – 7.77 GT carbon

        The CO2 10 year average annual increase is 2.17.PPM.

        The amount of CO2 emitted doesn’t seem to have a strong effect on the rate of atmospheric CO2 increase. Emissions and the atmospheric CO2 level both trend up and that is about all you can say. The percentage of new emissions adding to the atmospheric CO2 level is declining.

      • It’s inevitable that the biome will embellish existing feedbacks and recruit new ones in response to rising CO2. The plants have been starving.
        =========================

  14. Stephen Segrest

    Today’s post is what I love about CE — Learning something where I can at least ask a question in trying to understand this complex topic (as I’m not a climate scientist).

    I’ve always thought the recent atmospheric record of increasing CO2 levels was a pretty clear-cut linear function (explained by the increased use of fossil fuels). But in Dr. Curry’s post (above), this appears not to be the case:

    “As I have already explained, these records by 1972 were long enough to see evidence that CO2 varied on a decadal time scale in a manner that couldn’t be explained by emissions from fossil fuel combustion.”

    Could Climate Scientists here at CE discuss this with us? A big argument on “the Pause” has been (1) actual temperatures have not been (2) responding to the linear increase/forcing in CO2 levels.

    But the above quote says increases in CO2 levels are not so clear cut — with stops, starts, and pauses.

    What’s going on here?

    • Stephen Segrest

      Steven Mosher — Please weigh in on this, please.

    • Curious George

      Let’s expect new OCO-2 data breathlessly.

    • I don’t remember any discussion in the past about a relationship between El Nino and CO2 levels. His discussion on this topic is news to me. I would also like to have someone weigh in.

      Keeling sounds like the kind of person I always thought scientists were. But that is the romantic and naive side of me.

    • Stephen, who knows, except that the science is not settled. MLO clearly shows seasonal variation, which just proves land is more seasonally photosynthetically potent than oceans, with NH dominating. duh! As for all else, subtle secondary signals. You like Keeling’s accuracy, you agree. You don’t, you don’t.
      The descriptions here of his fight against bureaucratic mediocre institutionalization by big governement are at the heart of model oversensitivity/ fudged temp homogenization arguments. See many essays in Blowing Smoke.
      In essence, Judith’s post on Keeling’s experiences is a personal memoir of the reality of warnings on this very dangerous tendency delivered by President Eisenhower in 1959.

    • The correct question is how significant a feature is this 10 year cycle? A quick look at the Keeling Curve says not that important in the overall scheme of things.

      The curve follows the trend of cumulative human emissions pretty well. About 45% of human emissions remain in the atmosphere on average, but the number does fluctuate.

    • Steven Mosher

      “Could Climate Scientists here at CE discuss this with us? A big argument on “the Pause” has been (1) actual temperatures have not been (2) responding to the linear increase/forcing in CO2 levels.”

      Temperature responds ( according to theory) to the TOTAL forcing.
      not just c02. So for example if c02 forcing went up by 0.15 watts over a 15 year period and other forcings (solar aerosols ect) went down by .25 Watts
      then you would see a drop in temperatures. AND the drop would confirm the theory. The theory is that the temperature is a function of TOTAL forcing.. not just C02. And so, if C02 goes up and everything else stays equal, then temp will go up. But as we know everything else does not stay equal.

      So what has kept the temperature in check?

      1.Offsetting negative forcing..
      2. Heat hiding in the ocean
      3. heat escaping via unknown mechanisms

      lets look at the first one. Offsetting negative forcing

      The mystery is this. WHAT factors play a role here?

      Offsetting radiative forcing? ( small volcanoes for example)
      or
      Offsetting natural cycles.. Judiths Wave

      Second one, hiding in the depths of the ocean?
      its possible by theory, the issue is sketchy observations and mechanism.
      cant rule it out.

      Third one. The heat escaped? who let the dogs out and how?
      rank speculation kept alive by a pure form of skepticism that doesnt
      explain much.

      It is an exciting time to be doing science.

      • Temperature responds ( according to theory) to the TOTAL forcing. not just c02. So for example if c02 forcing went up by 0.15 watts over a 15 year period and other forcings (solar aerosols ect) went down by .25 Watts then you would see a drop in temperatures. AND the drop would confirm the theory

        The theory being testable under singularities such as significant volcanic excursions,finds that volcanic excursions counter intuitively show a decrease in CO2 growth rates following a fall in T.

        http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2004AGUFM.B33A0241A

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        Steven Mosher… thanks for addressing the question
        you say
        “So what has kept the temperature in check?
        1. Offsetting negative forcing..
        2. Heat hiding in the ocean
        3. heat escaping via unknown mechanisms”

        “hiding” and “unknown mechanisms”
        sound like major problems for the “theory” to me

        for theories to be correct, there should be fewer mysteries, no?

      • Matthew R Marler

        Steve Mosher: 3. heat escaping via unknown mechanisms

        The increases in heat transfer from surface to troposphere via increased dry and moist thermals supplement the increases in heat transfer via increased radiation. The mechanisms are not unknown, they are merely ignored. I should say mostly ignored, up till recently.

        I don’t know whether I am a skeptic, “skeptic”, “faux skeptic”, “luke warmer” or whatever, but I did present my calculations in my comments on the Romps et al paper. Pat Casson wrote a challenging series of rebuttals, but I think he missed the point that I was following the way Romps et all modeled the process that generates the lightning, from the ground to the anvil and lightning level of the clouds; he (?) focused on the energy requirements of the lightning, not the whole process of wet thermals through to rainfall — I think. My letter to the Editors of Science (I wrote a second version after Casson’s comments) has not been published.

        But back to my main point: the mechanisms are known, and estimates of their spatio-temporal average rates of energy transfer from the Earth surface to the troposphere have been published. The mechanisms are not unknown — the mechanisms are mostly ignored in calculating the increase of Earth surface necessary to restore approximate (spatio-temporally averaged) balance in response to the hypothesized increase in DWLWIR.

        My letter aside, there needs to be much more study of the known mechanism.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Steven Mosher: Third one. The heat escaped? who let the dogs out and how? rank speculation kept alive by a pure form of skepticism that doesnt explain much.

        Reread the Romps et al paper again, carefully this time, including the supporting online material, and read up on CAPE. Are they correct? They make a good case. If they are correct, is there any way for the lighting strike rate to increase by 12%, via the mechanism that they model, without the rest of the energy transfer via moist thermals and thunderstorms also increasing about 12% What is that mechanism? Pat Casson showed that the energy necessary for a 12% increase in lightning strike rate was a tiny fraction of the increase in energy transfer that I calculated; he did not however supply a mechanism whereby the former could increase, via the mechanism modeled by Romps et al, without the latter also increasing.

        Perhaps to you the speculation stinks, but it is based on solid science of non-radiative transfer of energy from surface to troposphere.

      • The pause is killing the cause.

      • It sort of amuses me to watch the efforts twain, to disappear the pause and to declare invisible the cause.
        ================

      • Matthew –

        …the mechanisms are mostly ignored…

        No, non-radiative energy transfer is not ignored. Understand the references to which you have been directed.

        …he did not however supply a mechanism whereby [the energy necessary for a 12% increase in lightning strike rate] could increase, via the mechanism modeled by Romps et al, without the [non-radiative energy transfer] also increasing.

        It does increase, but not by 12%. Does your household electricity bill increase by 12% if you’re spending 12% more time on the computer?

      • Could be more than 12% if you’re seriously into surround everything gaming, amped up, shall we say Rompsed up.
        ======================

      • Matthew R Marler

        Pat Casson: It does increase, but not by 12%. Does your household electricity bill increase by 12% if you’re spending 12% more time on the computer?

        The increase in lightning frequency results from the increased upward flow of energy via convection; the CAPE is proportional to the integral over the full height of the column (from ground to the anvil or lightning level) of the difference in temperature between the rising air and the (descending) air around it (with respect to the log of pressure.) The energy flow from which the lightning is generated is estimated as proportional to the CAPE times the rainfall rate. Neither Romps et al nor you nor anyone has proposed a mechanism by which they can be correct without a substantial increase in the overall rate of energy transport through the rise of wet thermals that generate the energy for the lightning.

        You have shown the energy increase necessary for the 12% lightning strike increase is much less than a 12% increase in the the overall energy flow rate through the thermals. However, you have not described a mechanism by which an increase in lightning rate can actually happen. According to the relationship used by Romps et al, the increased energy for an increased lightning strike rate results from an increased energy flow rate of the whole process generating the thunderclouds.

        The energy flow through the computer can be controlled independently of the energy flow through the rest of the house. But a 1C increase in surface temp can not raise the lightning strike rate independently of increasing the rate of energy flow through the whole mechanism and process of the thundercloud. So your question is irrelevant.

        Romps et al have the change in lightning discharge rate proportional to the change in CAPE times rainfall; it is the 12% increase in CAPE times rainfall that yields the 12% increase in lightning strike rate. I merely showed that a 12% increase in CAPE times rainfall implies a 12% change in total power.

        If you are correct that a 12% increase in lightning strike rate can occur with a much smaller increase in total power, then the equation used by Romps et al can’t be correct.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Pat Cassen, I apologize. I misspelled your name.

      • Matthew –

        Why do you expect that an increase of .12 (P x CAPE) demands an increase of .12 (P x L), when L is much greater than CAPE? As has been pointed out to you, the increase in (P x CAPE) comes from the increase in CAPE, not P.

        Neither Romps et al nor you nor anyone has proposed a mechanism by which they can be correct without a substantial increase in the overall rate of energy transport through the rise of wet thermals that generate the energy for the lightning.

        There is a substantial increase in the rate of energy transport: .02 x (P x L) is much greater than .12 x (P x CAPE), despite the fact that .02 < .12.

        Nowhere have you showed that a 12% increase in CAPE times rainfall implies a 12% change in total power.” It doesn’t.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Pat Cassen: Nowhere have you showed that a 12% increase in CAPE times rainfall implies a 12% change in total power.” It doesn’t.

        Considering the process that is being modeled, namely the ascent of warm moist air in moist thermals, how does the product of CAPE times rainfall increase without a corresponding increase in the total energy flow rate? As a bolus of air starts to rise (say a cubic meter or a kg), are the molecules labelled in some way that those whose energy will increase 12% more in response to a 1C rise in surface temp can be distinguished from the rest that will acquire energy only at the rate that they would have prior to the 1C rise in surface temperature? Or is it more likely that the whole bolus carries more energy upward than it would have beforehand? Except for the latter, what can be the justification for either (a) assuming that the lightning strike rate is always the same proportion of CAPE time rainfall rate or (b) the energy flow rate appropriate for modeling the lightning strike rate as a proportion of CAPE time rainfall rate?

        As I wrote, you computed that the energy increase necessary to increase the lightning strike rate by 12% is much less than the energy necessary to increase the whole energy flow rate by 12%. What you haven’t shown is any way that can actually happen given the model used by Romps et al and the mechanism that carries warm, moist air from the surface to lightning height.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Pat Cassen, thank you for your challenging and illuminating critiques. I’ll end with some questions.

        1. Why does it make sense to model the lightning strike frequency as proportional to CAPE time precipitation rate (CAPE*PR) across the full range of temperatures and humidities, throughout the year and across the whole region? CAPE is straightforward as it is the energy imparted to a rising bolus of air by being pushed up. PR approximately matches the rate at which water has been rising, hence is also proportional to the rate at which latent heat has been transferred from ground level to the lightning — if humidity were constant, it would be proportional to .to the rate at which the air was being pushed upward. But if humidity varies, that is not so — perhaps the variation in humidity contributes to the 23% of the unexplained variance of their estimated linear relationship between lightning rate and CAPE*PR. With relative humidity ranging from 20% to 80% (a factor of 4 between low and high rates of transfer of latent heat), it seems more important than 23% of variance.

        I think that the authors made an implicit assumption that I made explicit, namely that, at least approximately, CAPE*PR is a constant fraction of the total energy flow rate. Without that, or some assumption with an equivalent consequence, how does their modeling produce an accurate model?

        2. How is it possible, with the mechanisms of the wet thermals, for a 1C increase in surface temp to produce a 12% increase in CAPE*PR, without producing approximately the same size increase in the total energy flow rate. You have done the math, what is the mechanism for the selective increase?

        3. Given a 1C increase in surface temperature (observed over about 150 years, and projected in the future) how do the energy transfers carried by the dry and moist thermals change? The idea of AGW is that CO2 increase will produce an increase in DWLWIR, and the Earth surface temp will increase until that is offset by an increase in upwelling LWIR; but upwelling LWIR transfers less heat from surface to troposphere than evapotranspiration and dry thermals, and those would doubtless both increase in response to an increase in surface temp.

      • Matthew –

        There is no reason to think that a percentage increase in CAPE corresponds to that percentage increase in total energy flow rate. CAPE depends sensitively on the (usually small) deviation of the thermal structure from strict adiabaticity; the latent heat transfer depends only on the total amount of water convected. Yes, one expects one to increase when the other does, but there is no necessarily proportionate relationship. Stop thinking in terms of percentages.

        As you and I are apparently the only ones interested in this conversation (and I am losing my interest (-: ), I’ll leave you to ponder our disagreement.

      • Matthew – Above posted before I saw your latest comment.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Pat Cassen: Yes, one expects one to increase when the other does, but there is no necessarily proportionate relationship.

        I am trying to figure out why the Romps et al model works, and it has products and proportions.

        You did say to wait a few weeks. I think we have about beaten this to death.

        The main point is that, as the Earth surface increases, all three surface cooling processes should have rate increases: ignoring the wet and dry thermals leads to overestimation of the surface temperature increase necessary to balance the 4 W/m^2 increase in DWLWIR. At least that is true as far as I can tell so far.

        Would you entertain another question?

        4. I wrote that the Clausius-Clapayron relationship is not very accurate, and it is especially incaccurate during those times that the non-radiative energy transport from surface to troposphere is greatest, such as the build-up of thunder clouds and subsequent hailstorms. What do you think of that assessment?

      • Still interested, and still understand. This is illuminating, like a lightning strike; I’ll forget it tomorrow, but oh, boy, right now.
        =========================

      • You’ve both brilliantly outlined the question. Perhaps the exposure is long enough to capture the image.
        =================

      • Matthew –

        Why does it make sense to model the lightning strike frequency as proportional to CAPE time precipitation rate (CAPE*PR)…

        As far as I am concerned, the justification for their model lies in Fig. 2 and their Refs. 16 – 23.

        I think that the authors made an implicit assumption…that, at least approximately, CAPE*PR is a constant fraction of the total energy flow rate.

        No, that assumption is not implicit in their model.

        How is it possible…for a 1C increase in surface temp to produce a 12% increase in CAPE*PR, without producing approximately the same size increase in the total energy flow rate.

        Because latent heat transfer is insensitive to the details of the thermal structure that CAPE depends on.

        …how do the energy transfers carried by the dry and moist thermals change?

        Analyses consistently indicate a few (1 – 3)% increase in latent heat transfer (refs previously supplied; see also this review). You may disagree with the result, and you may disagree with the methods of deriving it, but please stop insisting that the non-radiative heat transport is being ignored. (I don’t recall what the results are for the changes in sensible heat transport; it may actually decrease because, as I recall, total vertical mass flux can decrease – see discussion at Isaac Held’s blog.)

        I wrote that the Clausius-Clapayron relationship is not very accurate… [you mean it does not accurately apply]… What do you think of that assessment?

        I don’t know – I have not examined any relevant data, but models differ in their treatment of C-C; not all assume constant RH.

        Cheers –

      • Matthew R Marler

        Pat Cassen: Analyses consistently indicate a few (1 – 3)% increase in latent heat transfer (refs previously supplied; see also this review). You may disagree with the result, and you may disagree with the methods of deriving it, but please stop insisting that the non-radiative heat transport is being ignored.

        Thanks for the extra link. I have read some of the other papers and Isaac Held’s blog. I’ll reword my “insistence” to something less absolute. I thought that the Romps et al paper was the best to date, and it cited the papers that you linked to.

        Godspeed.

      • Pat Cassen

        It’s not unreasonable to assume that twice as much lighting means twice as much thunderstorm either duration or areal coverage.. That would seem to be the null hypothesis.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Steven Mosher, Pat Cassen, Kim, and anyone else still reading.

        I began with this: The mechanisms are not unknown, they are merely ignored. I should say mostly ignored, up till recently.

        In fact, the mechanisms are mostly ignored. Held and Soden and others begin with the assumption of the Clausius-Clapayron relationship, a thermodynamic equilibrium result independent of mechanism. The mechanism modeled by the pioneering Romps et al study is the moist thermals that builds the clouds and leads to rainfall. In this, a warm column of moist air rises from ground level to the height of the cloud anvil; the rising column of warm, moist air is surrounded by a much larger toroidally shaped “column” of descending cool dry air (dry, because it left its water behind as ice in the cloud). Romps et al propose that lightning strike rate, where lightning is produced by this process, is proportional to the CAPE*PR (CAPE times precipitation rate), where CAPE is the energy acquired by the warm moist air through being pushed up by the cooler surrounding air. Pat Cassen showed that the power increase necessary for a 12% increase in lightning strike rate is much less than the power increase that I calculated for the whole process from the Romps et al modeling procedure. The question unanswered by Pat: how can there be a 12% increase in the power represented by CAPE*PR without a 12% increase in the power of the whole rising column?

        The Romps et al modeling did not use global averages, but twice per day temperature and rainfall measurements for a full year across the US east of the Rockies. Their model had a 77% R^2 value across a full range of temperatures and absolute humidities, from cold and dry winter in Denver and St Cloud, to hot and humid summer on the Gulf Coast. How can the same proportionality constant be used over such a broad range of temperature and moisture? Well, in fact their model is biased: the greatest disparities between model and reality was the underprediction of lighting strikes near New Orleans and Tallahassee.

        For their modeling of changes, they applied their empirically derived model to the outputs of simulations, which is accurate enough if the simulation results are accurate enough for the region. We don’t know that yet, but the changes modeled by the models to date have been insufficiently accurate. That is no criticism of Romps et al., which I think is a fine study, likely to inspire others.

        PR is approximately proportional to the rate at which the water enters the region generating the lightning (Romps et al do address the inaccuracy: some of the water may fall later, or in a different region, or both); it is also approximately proportional to the rate at which the latent energy enters the region. Thus Romps et al have the lightning rate proportional to an energy (CAPE) times a power (latent heat per second), or energy^2/second. The proportionality constant is estimated via least squares linear regression. Given that the same proportionality constant is applicable across such a great range of temperature and absolute humidity (caveat above), how is it possible for there to be a 12% increase in the CAPE*PR without a 12% increase in the rate of the whole energy transfer process of a rising warm, moist column surrounded by a descending cool, dry toroid?

        I look forward to reading more about this mechanism, and how it responds to a change in either CO2 (over ocean and wetlands) or surface temperature.

    • CO2 also responds a little to hotter and colder years. You can see how in the hot year 1998, CO2 rose more quickly than average, and in the early 90’s after Pinatubo, it was slower than average. This is understood as the ocean and biosphere being less efficient at taking up the emissions when it is warmer. Such signals could also be observable at decadal scales, but it is more obvious year to year. The CO2 rise is therefore a combination of the large annual emission contribution rising fairly uniformly with a subtraction of a smaller temperature-dependent signal that affects its rise rate.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: The CO2 rise is therefore a combination of the large annual emission contribution rising fairly uniformly with a subtraction of a smaller temperature-dependent signal that affects its rise rate.

        I think that you are correct. It explains Salby’s finding (I don’t know who “found” it, but Salby presents it in his lecture and textbook) that deltaCO2 is correlated with temperature.

      • you’d have to watch the land and ocean fractions though. might turn out to not be important but a crazy warm year over land, with a fairly cool ocean, might be a drag on the CO2 increase?

      • b_c, that might be a further derivative to study, such things happen, and might proof out more quickly.
        ========

      • http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/weekly.html
        Week beginning on January 4, 2015: 399.83 ppm
        Weekly value from 1 year ago: 398.14 ppm

        The 10 year average is 2.17 PPM. The current annual rate of increase is 1.69 (weekly data) and 1.97 (monthly data). The highest annual increase was 2.93 PPM in 1998. Human emissions have increased 26% in the 10 year period.

        The “emissions is driving the atmospheric CO2 level” is about as accurate as the “CO2 thermostat”.

        It appears to be a significant contributor. But there are clearly other factors. It will be interesting if the atmospheric CO2 increase is less than 2.0 in 2015.

  15. At least Roger Revelle recanted before he died, way back before Al Gore delivered the kiss of Judas, committing the first act of character assignation against the global warming alarmists’ first heretic.

  16. “I believe, however, that a more prudent attitude would be to heed the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration as serious unless proven to be benign.” ~Chas. Keeling

    What’s Wrong with the Precautionary Principle?

    The precautionary principle has at least six major weak spots. It serves us badly by:

    1.assuming worst-case scenarios

    2.distracting attention from established threats to health, especially natural risks

    3.assuming that the effects of regulation and restriction are all positive or neutral, never negative

    4.ignoring potential benefits of technology and inherently favoring nature over humanity

    5.illegitimately shifting the burden of proof and unfavorably positioning the proponent of the activity

    6.conflicting with more balanced, common-law approaches to risk and harm.

    ~Fabius Maximus

    • Curious George

      The Precautionary Principle is a guide to survival. Not living. Surviving in a fear of shadows.

    • “I believe, however, that a more prudent attitude would be to heed the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration as serious unless proven to be benign.” ~Chas. Keeling

      I believe, a more prudent attitude would be to not do corrective measures that clearly have major adverse concenquences before we know they are necessary.
      Herman A (Alex) Pope

    • –The precautionary principle has at least six major weak spots. It serves us badly by:

      1.assuming worst-case scenarios–
      What wrong with worst case?
      The worst case even after 100 years is about 2 C increase.
      Or no change anyone could notice without resorting to careful and precise measurement of global temperature.
      Of course an increase in average volumetric temperature ocean after 100 years is not possible nor are large glacial masses capable of a 2 C increase in temperature within such a short time period.
      If one has unique situation of re-distribution of surface ocean temperatures it’s within the realm of possible that average ocean surface temperature might increase by as much as 2 C. But idea of highest ocean temperature in tropical ocean could somehow exceed these highest temperature by 2 C is ludicrous, and as equally ludicrous is idea hottest air temperature in region are going to increase by 2 C [within 100 years or ever].
      Since earth is 70% covered with ocean, to get such an unlike increase of 2 C in temperature it is require that ocean surface temperature be “somehow”
      re-distributed. And such unlikely possibility could also include the ocean re-distributing it’s heat so as to lower temperature. The downside possibility of that is quite large, say -10 C [or having average global temperature go from about 15 C to 5 C].

      What is most likely is continuation of the recovery from the Little Ice Age with perhaps increase as much as 1 C over the next 100 year. Or we should see roughly the increase in global temperature in the next 100 year as we have go over the last 150 year or so.
      It is possible to get .5 C drop in global temperatures and that does not have good consequences. Or said differently the warming we have had over last 150 year has been beneficial and a welcome change- though at agian without careful measurement it was not noticeable. Or small region have gone up temperature and down in temperature by larger amount than global average temperature and such larger swings in temperature are likewise not noticeable without some kind accurate measurement. Though form of accurate measurement can the beginning of growing season- so farmers would notice change in the year of when crops can be planted.
      Since longer growing time is a good thing, generally speaking, warming a region or the world is general good news, whereas shortening growing times is bad news.
      And in terms of the tropics [non temperate zones] one could expect little change in temperature or climate within next 100 years [or ever].

      • “The worst case even after 100 years is about 2 C increase.
        Or no change anyone could notice without resorting to careful and precise measurement of global temperature.”

        2 C (3.6 F) is 20% of an inverse ice age.

        And the warming will be more over land, and more over the Northern Hemisphere. Since 1880, the NH has warmed 11% more than the globe. UAH data says that Northern Hemisphere land has warmed 64% more than the global average, since 1979. The Arctic has warmed 3.2 times faster.

      • Yeah but the warming is in the form of higher lows, in the winter, in higher northern latitudes. The people who live there want it warmer at those times. Farmers want it warmer at those times. It means fewer killer frosts and longer growing seasons. For some of them it means two growing seasons instead of one.

        What’s not to like?

      • –2 C (3.6 F) is 20% of an inverse ice age.

        And the warming will be more over land, and more over the Northern Hemisphere. Since 1880, the NH has warmed 11% more than the globe. UAH data says that Northern Hemisphere land has warmed 64% more than the global average, since 1979. The Arctic has warmed 3.2 times faster.–

        Which is what you should expect if leaving the the cooler period of the Little Ice Age [a period where glaciers in Northern Hemisphere land
        area were advancing].
        So for about 200 years the ocean has been warming [rising sea levels is mostly about a warming ocean- as compared to glaciers melting and adding to sea level]. Whereas had the ocean cooled [sea levels dropped further] then we would still be in the Little Ice age and have a serious bit of evidence that we were entering your glacial period [leaving the present interglacial period- the people in the 1970’s banging alarm bells of coming Ice Age would have been correct].

      • 2 C (3.6 F) is 20% of an inverse ice age.

        Global average temperature does not cause glacial cycles – local insolation variation does.

        It would be more accurate to say that the global average temperature varied only 6C in spite of huge accumulations of ice.

      • –“2 C (3.6 F) is 20% of an inverse ice age.”

        Global average temperature does not cause glacial cycles – local insolation variation does.

        It would be more accurate to say that the global average temperature varied only 6C in spite of huge accumulations of ice.–

        Global average temperature is directly related to ocean temperatures.
        One could also say global average temperature is related to tropical average temperatures. But currently [last 100 million year or so] tropical
        temperature has been “on average” is all about tropical ocean temperature.
        More the 70% of Earth surface is ocean. More than 80% of tropics is ocean.
        Earth for last say 1 billion years, has had about 30% of area being land.
        And currently most of the land and 90% of human population is lives in northern hemisphere.
        In terms the relation to global temperature and climate the most important chunk of dry land is the Antarctic. Which a modest size continent which comprised of mostly glacial ice. Antarctic has highest average elevation of any continent- and this is only due to it’s glacial ice- else is would lowest elevation of any continent- though if removed pf all that ice, the reduction in weigh would cause the continental land mass to spring back up- requiring thousands and millions of years to do so.
        The antarctic is a large frozen desert region- it doesn’t get much snow.
        But it’s cold so the snow stays and builds up despite it being a desert,
        It’s like a non-frost free freezer- though much colder than normal freezers. Despite how cold it is, there are still liquid lakes of water at the Antarctica [under thick layers of ice]. An interesting idea is that such water is not merely warmed by the thermal heat of Earth. Here’s fairly old paper [though I am not aware of it being “corrected”/refuted]:
        ** Report on Victoria University of Wellington Antarctic Expedition 1961-62 **
        “Lake Vanda is shown to be a natural example of the trapping and storing of solar energy by a salt water density gradient. The bottom of this lake (218 ft) is maintained at 25°C despite a mean annual air temperature of about −20°C, the solar heating being limited to the short Antarctic summer.”
        http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-VUW1961-62Anta-t1-g1-t2.html
        So that’s region of Antarctic which isn’t colder then a freezer- rather it’s warmer part of Antarctic and average air temperature is about the same as typical deep freezer. Or couple feet under that lake, ice it is exactly like a block of ice kept in deep freeze- not colder.

        The antarctic is important because of what does to the ocean circulation- the wind and ocean circulated around the continent.

        As for the northern hemisphere land mass a large chuck of it is a frozen wasteland- or number 1 and 2 of largest countries land area has average average below 0 C.
        But the cold of Canada and Russia and the larger Antarctic Continent are insgnifcant in terms of average global temperature as they are tiny part of surface area of Earth, what determines average temperature is the much larger tropical zone which is largely ocean.

    • John Smith (it's my real name)

      Wag
      isn’t there also that little thing about proving a negative

      • True, true, “Russell’s teapot, sometimes called the celestial teapot or cosmic teapot, is an analogy first coined by the philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872–1970) to illustrate that the philosophic burden of proof lies upon a person making scientifically unfalsifiable claims rather than shifting the burden of proof to others, specifically in the case of religion. Russell wrote that if he claims that a teapot orbits the Sun somewhere in space between the Earth and Mars, it is nonsensical for him to expect others to believe him on the grounds that they cannot prove him wrong. Russell’s teapot is still referred to in discussions concerning the existence of God.” (wiki)

    • I’m not quite sure what you mean by regulation and restriction in #3, but another weakness is that all systems possess stabilizing mechanisms. Eschenbach calls these emergent properties; Bejan explores them with his Constructal Theory. The Precautionary Principle fails to account for the inherent characteristic of systems to reorganize themselves so that flow is optimized and obstruction diminished.

  17. I wonder if Keeling’s change over the 30 years of worrying about global warming might seem to Michael Crichton, a bit reminiscent of his comparison of alarmists to his patient with hysterical blindness –e.g., exhibiting the characteristic that the severity of the symptoms he worried about and continued to put on parade, no longer matched by his emotional response to them, which was essentially was Trenberthian –e.g., Oh well, we at least did our saintly job of trying to save the world by raising an abstract issue — the so called “greenhouse effect”– and, now its up to those who don’t share our concerns (and who would put the future of the Earth at risk by continuing to live as I sure as hell will continue to live) to prove our beliefs are wrong.

  18. Here’s a 2000 article by Keeling on what may be causing climatic changes
    http://www.pnas.org/content/97/8/3814.full
    Quite a guy.

    • thx for the link. MIT’s Carl Wunsch with a similar tune
      http://ocean.mit.edu/~cwunsch/papersonline/wunschpaleo2000.pdf

      • Captdallas, wonderfully said.

      • To summarize, Wunch makes the 1500 year millennial cycle a beat between the tropical year and the “anomalistic” year, not quite the same since the earth is not exactly at the same point in its elliptical orbit every revolution around the sun. He references Muller et al (1997) which makes the 100,000 year ice age cycle a consequence of cyclic change in the angle of inclination of the earth’s axis with respect to the sun.

      • I can’t buy into the Wunsch paper. The beat between the tropical year and 365.0000 days gives the 1508 years that allows Wunch to claim that aliasing produces fictitious Bond events. This seems fortuitous, since the tropical year is 365.2422 days and since we account for leap years, our average calendar year is about that long. The beat between the anomalous year (365.2596 days) and the tropical year is 21,000 years, which is the short period of the Milankovitch cycle. I can’t see any justification for using an even 365 days in a calculation of this sort.

      • pochas, “I can’t buy into the Wunsch paper.”

        I wouldn’t buy into it as an end all, but as a contribution. The Keeling paper which includes the lunar tidal variation is more interesting.

        That is a reconstruction of temperature in tropical Africa instead of the typical polar ice core stuff. There is a roughly 5000 year recurrence pattern that appears strongest when ocean levels are likely higher than “normal” or NH insolation is highest, in other words when ice sheets would be the least stable. The less obvious higher frequency oscillations following a major disturbance would be like weakly damped settling responses. So the roughly 5000 year perturbation would be related to precessional cycle influence on ice sheet dynamics and the response would depend on ice sheet stability at the time of the perturbation.

        What is interesting with the Teirney et al. and other tropical reconstructions is that the range of tropical temperatures is pretty small. Since the tropical oceans produce most of the energy for the atmosphere, they correlate strongly with “global” temperature. Most of the polar variations are larger and would tend to be out of phase making the search for “pure” orbital tones pretty difficult. The Psuedo-Cyclic nature means using a more statistical method a better bet since no particular orbital frequency is going to have a consistent response.

        Another approach is a bit obscure but interesting.
        http://arxiv.org/ftp/physics/papers/0503/0503028.pdf

        Since most of the large perturbations are related to ice sheet dynamics and ice sheets tend build to unstable states, self organizing criticality ala Selvam might be the ticket. In any case, it is pretty unlikely that simple forcing models are going to give you anything other than a wild guess at what might happen.

    • That is one of the things that makes sense. I doubt there is one magic pill though. There has to be some CO2 impact, probably not more than the no-feedback estimate, black carbon/erosion has some impact, no clue how much and land use/water redistribution has some as well. It is a delightfully complex puzzle.

    • Steven Mosher

      “We propose that variations in the strength of oceanic tides cause periodic cooling of surface ocean water by modulating the intensity of vertical mixing that brings to the surface colder water from below. The tides provide more than half of the total power for vertical mixing, 3.5 terawatts (4), compared with about 2.0 terawatts from wind drag (3), making this hypothesis plausible. Moreover, the tidal mixing process is strongly nonlinear, so that vertical mixing caused by tidal forcing must vary in intensity interannually even though the annual rate of power generation is constant (3). As a consequence, periodicities in strong forcing, that we will now characterize by identifying the peak forcing events of sequences of strong tides, may so strongly modulate vertical mixing and sea-surface temperature as to explain cyclical cooling even on the millennial time-scale”

      so if excess heat is sequestered in the deep ocean.. then what?
      you’d attenuate the amplitude of the cooling cycle. eg.. warming.

      • Steven Mosher, “so if excess heat is sequestered in the deep ocean.. then what?
        you’d attenuate the amplitude of the cooling cycle. eg.. warming.”

        Think of if more in terms of mixing efficiency. The ocean surface is always warmer than the average. Changing fast ice would change the mixing efficiency at the polar heat sinks. Similar to the Stadium Wave on much longer time scales. When there is less efficient mixing or negative forcing, combined volcanic and solar which can sequence with tidal, you have changes in the rate of ocean heat uptake and pole ward currents to the ulitmate ocean sinks the polar ice edge.

        The south pole thanks to the circumpolar current is a more efficient heat sink and due to less potential fast ice. The northern pole would be the main variable with plenty of areas for fast ice and less efficient ocean mixing currents making the haline portion of the Thermo-Haline circulation a more NH dominate variable.

        If it wasn’t for the NH land fixation of some of the paleo guys, more attention would be paid to the real heat engine the Tropical SST.

        That is the correlation of Tropical SST with “Global” land and ocean.

        That is the correlation of 30N-90N land with tropical SST.

        Which one of these two do ya really think best represents “Global” temperature change for the past 1000 years?

      • Is there more heat hiding in the oceans than during the Roman and Medieval Warm periods?
        If yes, what is different?

        If this warming, over the years that CO2 has received credit, could not have warmed without the CO2, why did the Roman and Medieval periods warm without the CO2? What, in Natural Variability stopped causing warming such that the CO2 is now needed?

        Any heat that is hiding in the oceans is just the same as the heat that hid in the oceans in past warming periods and this warm period will be followed by a cold period because it always snows enough in a warm period to build ice volume that advances and cools earth later.

      • Which one of these two do ya really think best represents “Global” temperature change for the past 1000 years?

        The one that is not a hockey stick. Those are fraud.

      • “you’d attenuate the amplitude of the cooling cycle.”

        Practice what you preach, Show the math supporting your claim.

      • Give him time, he’s got other choirs to which to preach. Can I FOIA his emails with Robert Way?

        Clever enough to use live snail mail, covered or coded in Korean recipes.
        ===============

    • Wunsch and Keeling fail to agree on ‘tides’ – the notion being a catchall with so hint of mechanism. Apart from from hints at the resulting deep ocean upwelling. The quintessential upwelling region is the eastern Pacific. It results in both ENSO and the PDO – major climate drivers and major oscillating nodes in the Earth system.

      Moy et al (2002) present the record of sedimentation shown above which is strongly influenced by ENSO variability. It is based on the presence of greater and less red sediment in a lake core. More sedimentation is associated with El Niño. It has continuous high resolution coverage over 11,000 years. It shows periods of high and low ENSO activity alternating with a period of about 2,000 years. There was a shift from La Niña dominance to El Niño dominance some 5,000 years ago that was identified by Tsonis (2009) as a chaotic bifurcation – and is associated with the drying of the Sahel. There is a period around 3,500 years ago of high ENSO activity associated with the demise of the Minoan civilisation (Tsonis et al, 2010). For comparison – red intensity in the 1997/98 El Nino was 99.

      The bifurcation at around 5,000 year BP can be seen in the wavelet analysis. From 11,000 to 5,000 years BP the La Nina normal was dominant. This shifted to an El Nino dominant sate at around 5,000 years BP.

      Moy put it down to changing boreal summer insolation. An actual physical link to upwelling in the north and south Pacific gyres seems more satisfying.

      Multi-decadal variability in the Pacific is defined as the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (e.g. Folland et al,2002, Meinke et al, 2005, Parker et al, 2007, Power et al, 1999) – a proliferation of oscillations it seems. The latest Pacific Ocean climate shift in 1998/2001 is linked to increased flow in the north (Di Lorenzo et al, 2008) and the south (Roemmich et al, 2007, Qiu, Bo et al 2006) Pacific Ocean gyres. Roemmich et al (2007) suggest that mid-latitude gyres in all of the oceans are influenced by decadal variability in the Southern and Northern Annular Modes (SAM and NAM respectively) as wind driven currents in baroclinic oceans (Sverdrup, 1947).

      There is a growing literature on the potential for stratospheric influences on climate (e.g. Matthes et al 2006, Gray et al 2010, Lockwood et al 2010, Schaife et al 2012) due to warming of stratospheric ozone by solar UV emissions. Models incorporating stratospheric layers – despite differing greatly in their formulation of fundamental processes such as atmosphere-ocean coupling, clouds or gravity wave drag – show consistent responses in the troposphere. Top down modulation of SAM and NAM by solar UV has the potential to explain otherwise little understood variability at decadal to much longer scales in ENSO.

      Here’s the Tsonis reference – http://www.researchgate.net/publication/225348624_Dynamical_changes_in_the_ENSO_system_in_the_last_11000_years

      We can acromyse this post btw – WWCKS. Well he’s almost like Jesus Christ for warmists.

    • People get lots of praise for writing a lot of complicated stuff.
      If it is complicated enough, it is not questioned much because no one understands it enough to question it.

      Climate is complicated, but the temperature regulation is simple.
      IR does most of the cooling of the earth. It has always worked.
      The upper bound with only IR cooling plus clouds is much higher than now.
      The lower bound is when you try to freeze all the water and you cannot.

      Polar Ice Cycles developed when ocean currents started moving warm water into Polar Regions. Polar Ice Cycles use Albedo from Clouds and Ice to more tightly regulate temperature now. The total process is complicated but the principles are simple. It snows more when oceans are warm and thawed and it snows less when oceans are cold and frozen. This is the new normal that has been wonderful for ten thousand years.
      http://popesclimatetheory.com/page76.html

  19. Careful measurements of atmospheric CO2 include the recent satellite measurements by NASA JPL:

    http://oco2.jpl.nasa.gov/

    The Southern Hemisphere is the major CO2 producer. Notice India not being a major source. Notice that North America and Europe are not the major sources. Why is that? Speculative narrative followed from NASA JPL.

    Data may not be what the warmists want, because, like the pause, these are not on narrative talking points; i.e., not supporting the consensus view.

    Speculations galore. Stayed tuned. Stay vigilant as the CO2 numbers may start to move North by the action of adjusting by NASA scientists. There will be a lot of pressure, and billions of Democratic Eco (Tom Styer) dollars to change reality to fit their ideology.

    • I wonder if we can get Styer to be vilified as often as the left vilifies Koch ad nauseum.

      • You are uninformed about the situation.
        The Koch’s are heavily invested in fossil fuels, and it appears to the public that they are acting in their self interest in disputing the science behind climate change. Steyer has no self interest. His motive is solely based on his perception of the problem. That is the reason that there is a big difference in the way they are perceived.

      • Heh, the cattle and coal Baron for Senator Boxer’s seat.
        ===============

      • Oh it’s coal, coal, coal, that make you kinda cool,
        On the Farm,
        On the Farm,
        You can buy a Senator and also fund a fool
        On the Baron Steyer Junior Ranch.
        ==================

    • There are some time lapses of the global CO2 that show that the southern hemisphere CO2 peaks in September/October (their spring) when they are burning down rainforest for spring planting. They have to burn and plant so they get a crop in before the land erodes.

    • I think you are jumping to conclusions from looking at a map created at a certain month, and assuming it is representative of the total year’s average.
      You can find many such maps on the internet. Here is one for July 2009.

      Like other extreme global warming deniers, you are imagining a secret conspiracy to between scientists and politicians to lie about the data for some nefarious purpose. This is very satisfying to people with a paranoid mentality. Since it is secret, of course you can’t prove anything.

      In fact there is an open effort on the part of right wing politicians and big conservative contributors like the Kochs to deny the existence of AGW.

      • “In fact there is an open effort on the part of right wing politicians and big conservative contributors like the Kochs to deny the existence of AGW.”

        There are literally billions in annual Federal funding for climate change $22.4 billion for 2014, and billions more from environmental groups, and a few million dollars promoting a more balanced view – is vast right-wing conspiracy? Really? Who is really the conspiracy nut here?

        You must not be from the DC area. Beltway bandits will produce whatever you pay them for. I don’t expect much better from 90% liberal academics many of who are environmental activists, some of whom would produce global warming promoting studies for free.

        The NSF and EPA have been taken over by environmental activists – if you read the RFPs (request for proposals) for government grants the wording is extremely loaded and assumes CAGW is happening.

        Most of it is due to the composition of people attracted to government service, journalism, and academia, and the intolerance of the left to people that don’t agree with them and is not a conspiracy in the normal sense of the world. They would do dumb things if left to their own devices and don’t need coaching to do dumb things.

        Climategate, the journolist scandal, the Gamechanger Salon scandal (1000 environmental reporters loading the news) make it pretty clear where the conspiracy is. Conspiracy accusations by the left are a projection (a psychological term) of their own behavior on their ideological opponents.

      • Just what makes Lewandowsky, Cook, and the like so amusing. Yeah, Eadler, you’re a riot, too.
        ==============

      • Eadler2, in typical fashion, fails to talk about the providence of the 2009 mid-troposphere CO2 map she published. OCO2 is the first data source considered accurate enough to show regional carbon sources and sinks. It launched in July 2014. The data Eadler would have you believe is contrary is in fact not accurate enough for the purpose and is cobbled together from the AIRS instrument aboard AQUA satellites. The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) was not designed to detect CO2 level.

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

        My bold.

        The original spacecraft was lost in a launch failure on February 24, 2009, when the payload fairing of the Taurus rocket which was carrying it failed to separate during ascent.[1] The added mass of the fairing prevented the satellite from reaching orbit.[2] It subsequently re-entered the atmosphere and crashed into the Indian Ocean near Antarctica.[3][4] The replacement satellite, Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, was launched July 2, 2014 aboard a Delta II rocket, following a July 1 scrubbed launch.

        OCO’s measurements are designed to be accurate enough to show for the first time the geographic distribution of carbon dioxide sources and sinks on a regional scale.

      • ‘provenance’.

        Was Eadler’s misdirection deliberate or ignorant? Always the same question, the same question.
        ==============

      • Damn you auto-correct!

      • Heh. It wasn’t automatic; I hesitated. I like ‘providence’ too, and it fits.

        I just didn’t think it was what you meant.
        ===============

      • The poiint is that the research findings came first as a result of 188 year old physics, refinements in measurement of radiation, and improved modelling.
        . In 1988 George H W Bush campaigned on a promise to do something about global warming. He did attend the Rio DeJaneiro and signed a framework agreement on cutting global warming in 1992. It set the stage for the Kyoto Conference which came later. There were forces in his administration that opposed his environmental stance, and they came to dominate the Republican position on the environment as time went by.
        These people even altered the documents submitted to Congress by James Hansen.
        https://books.google.com/books?id=mNoW858izZcC&pg=PA147&lpg=PA147&dq=george+h+w+bush+climate+change+rio+de+janeiro&source=bl&ots=H6A0agKImr&sig=xtWpPL576dOpHdPRO8IGBbgs8LU&hl=en&sa=X&ei=wDO3VK6jKYqqggThpIPoDQ&ved=0CFkQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=george%20h%20w%20bush%20climate%20change%20rio%20de%20janeiro&f=false
        Conservative think tanks such as the Marshall institute and the Heartland Institute rather than bonafide scientific research were the forces that sowed doubt about the research which showed climate change.

      • eadler2 commented

        Conservative think tanks such as the Marshall institute and the Heartland Institute rather than bonafide scientific research were the forces that sowed doubt about the research which showed climate change.

        It is awfully presumptive of you to think I get my opinions from, well anyone.
        I responded to calls for measures that could overturn society, that led me to dig deeper. My precautionary principle is to not crash the civilized world, and you better be really sure those kinds of measures are required.
        What some don’t seem to get is our society is in violation of the 2nd law of thermodynamics, it takes energy (both literally and figuratively) to maintain it. But it’s been worth it to the lives of billions of people who live like Kings in a sci-fi future world compared to peoples from 100-200 years ago. I have always been worried that we have only two options for our collective future, and one of them has a limited window of opportunity. We either become a spacefaring race, or society crashes back down to sustenance farming with minimal power. How many billions would that transition kill? And to become spacefaring requires us to solve all of the same energy and environmental issues that they are worried about.

        So don’t try and tell me how I think.

      • We either become a spacefaring race, or society crashes back down to sustenance farming with minimal power.

        Got a ways to go, IMO.

        Terrestrial solar power, using easily projected storage technology, could easily support 100 terawatts or more, without cluttering up anything but remote oceanscape with collectors and storage systems. And with the proper economies of scale, learning curve, and exponential cost reductions in many critical fields (e.g. solar PV, carbon fiber reinforcing, etc.), it could probably reach that level by, say, 2070 without impacting the cost of energy along the way.

        Personally, I’d like to see solar power collection, much/most industry, and even farming relocated to space, but it’s not necessary, and probably won’t happen this century, even if though it’s feasible.

      • AK commented on

        Got a ways to go, IMO.

        Absolutely, but IMO we have a narrow window. We need another order of magnitude (or two) increase in our ability to create energy, that is going to have to be nuclear of some sort, we have to maintain (the increase in the rate of) the worlds manufacturing capability to do that.

        The other forms of energy have their roles, but no other one will take us to the next level in our society.

      • “but IMO we have a narrow window.”

        Why- in your opinion?

      • Rob Starkey commented

        “but IMO we have a narrow window.”
        Why- in your opinion?

        The really short answer is it will take a lot of “things”, all to be available in a space of time, with the highest skilled humans ever assembled, plus the economic engine burning so brightly we have the resources to fund such a task. And we need all of this for Energy, Environmental Management, Life Sciences, Material Science, etc.

        And we have so many things trying to tear it all apart.

      • We need another order of magnitude (or two) increase in our ability to create energy, that is going to have to be nuclear of some sort, we have to maintain (the increase in the rate of) the worlds manufacturing capability to do that.

        Yeah…

        That big nuclear reactor in the sky. Probably.

        The Continuing Exponential Growth Of Global Solar PV Production & Installation

        For the last 14 years, almost a decade and a half, global solar PV production/installation has grown faster than 41% per year (compound annual growth rate, aka CAGR). This means global solar PV production/installation has been more than doubling every two years. (I’m using predictions for 2014, but we are on track.) Predictions for 2015 already suggest a continued high rate of growth. Most predictions going forward beyond 2015 will continue to be of linear growth, as has been the case in the past. This is because humans have a psychological blind spot with respect to exponential growth. I submit this may not be the case at all. Global solar PV growth will eventually flatten out, but don’t bet on this happening in the near future.

        […]

        If this high growth rate continues for another 8 years, till 2022, then we will be already well on our way to providing most of the world’s power using solar PV.

        Growth of photovoltaics (Wiki)

        Worldwide growth of photovoltaics has been fitting an exponential curve for more than two decades. When photovoltaics—or solar PV—was recognized as a promising source for renewable energy, programs, such as feed-in tariffs, were implemented by a number of governments in order to provide economic incentives for investments in this technology. For several years, growth was mainly driven by pioneering European countries, especially during their boom period from 2006 to 2012. As a consequence, production increased and prices declined significantly, even more so when China started to ramp up its production of solar cells and panels.[2] Since then, photovoltaics is gaining momentum on a worldwide scale, mostly in Asia but also in North America and other regions, where solar PV is now increasingly competing with conventional energy sources.

        Projections for photovoltaic growth are difficult and burdened with many uncertainties. Official agencies, such as the International Energy Agency consistently increased their estimates over the years, but still fell short of actual deployment.[3][4]

        […]

        By the end of 2013, worldwide installed photovoltaic capacity reached 139 gigawatts (GW), sufficient to supply close to 1 percent of global electricity demands. In 2014, an estimated 45–50 GW will be installed, and for 2018, worldwide PV capacity is projected to double or even triple from current levels. By 2050, solar power is expected to become the world’s largest source of electricity, with solar photovoltaics and solar thermal contributing 16 and 11 percent, respectively. This will require PV capacity to grow to 4,600 GW, of which more than half will be deployed in China and India.[1][6]

        As predicted U.S. solar capacity grew more than 400% in 4 years

        This month’s eia report confirms that solar did exactly what former FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff predicted: “That’s what is happening in solar. It could double every two years.” Wellinghoff’s further prediction remains on the money: “…at its present growth rate, solar will overtake wind in about ten years. It is going to be the dominant player.” Because of exponential growth like compound interest caused by ever-falling solar PV costs, solar will win like the Internet did.

        U.S. Energy Information Administration (eia) wrote 22 April 2014, Solar-electric Generating Capacity Increases Drastically in the Last Four Years,

        U.S. solar capacity increased significantly in the last 4 years. In 2010, the total solar capacity was 2,326 MW which accounted for a comparatively small fraction (0.22%) of the total U.S. electric generating. capacity. By February 2014, this capacity increased 418% to 12,057 MW, a 9,731 MW gain, and now accounts for almost 1.13% of total U.S. capacity. Reported planned solar capacity additions indicate continued growth

      • AK commented on

        Yeah…
        That big nuclear reactor in the sky. Probably.

        Not dense enough, hard to carry a lot of capacity with you. But there will be lots of places where it’ll be a blessing.

      • Not dense enough, hard to carry a lot of capacity with you.

        It is once you’ve converted it to methane or liquid (hydrocarbon) fuel.* For that matter, a wide area synchronous grid can concentrate power as well as distribute it (AFAIK).

        At 50W/m^2 average (200W/m^2 max ÷ 4 assuming 20% efficiency for unconcentrated CV) a square kilometer can provide around 40MW (assuming 80% efficiency for pumped hydro storage). 1000 square kilometers could provide 40GW, in an area maybe 20 miles on a side. Many locations for such installations could be found in the desert hills of SE California, about as close to the LA area than Hoover Dam.

        * I once did a “back-of-envelope” calculation of the efficiency of conversion to methane, followed by burning in a combined cycle gas turbine. IIRC it came out to around 50%, starting with the PV electrodes (i.e. not including losses due to PV inefficiencies), and ending at the delivery end of the gas turbine power plants (to the grid). Not as good as inversion/grid, or even, say, 70-85% turnaround on pumped hydro, but much cheaper storage and distribution, and useful in vehicles. Of course, any such calculation is dependent on a number of challengeable assumptions.

      • Remember, the bigger the penetration, the harder your energy bill doesn’t fall.
        ==========

      • Sans storage capacity, which will also likely be a tiny little capital expenditure item on your energy bill. Yeah, right, in big red letters.
        ===========================

      • I’m not quite so pessimistic as you Mi Cro, though I agree with you about the power of the forces in array against progress. I think the vast project is inevitable, though we’ll go about it in our usual bumbling way.

        Unless the aliens impose it. We could process energy for them. We’re good at it.
        =================

      • kim commented

        I’m not quite so pessimistic as you Mi Cro,

        And here I thought I was an optimist :)

        though I agree with you about the power of the forces in array against progress. I think the vast project is inevitable, though we’ll go about it in our usual bumbling way.

        It’s one of the possible outcomes, I’d like to do what I can to get us there.

    • Your link is to a map of CO2 concentration, not CO2 emissions.

      The Northern Hemisphere has about 4 times the population of the Southern Hemisphere. So its emissions factor will be the same, at least.

    • Thank you all for your responses.

      Look at Africa: no burning of agricultural waste on the Plains. Maybe burning of Brazil’s rain forest and maybe the burning in Indonesia. Strikingly missing is burning in Vietnam and that region of Southeast Asia.

      Since the rocket that launched the satellite was in June 2014, the 2009 map is yet an altogether another sensing system, which was placed in anticipation of expected CO2 emissions. What is observed, vs modeled, of course is different. Another case of model divergence from observation.

      It is true that the rest of the year is yet to play out. What we have to date, is what we have. This reminds me of the warmists position that we have to act upon what data we have today. Very impatient I might say. Let’s see what the CO2 satellite has to offer over the course of its life. So far, CO2 emissions are in the Southern Hemisphere predominantly which of course does not fit the consensus narrative. A bit uncomfortable at the present time for the warmist position. Does anybody see the problem in the warmist’s position?

    • error

      Scheduled satellite launch June 2014

      Actual launch: July 2, 2014.

    • RiH008: You are not honestly conveying the meaning of the OCO map. It’s about CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, not CO2 emissions. CO2 is a very well-mixed greenhouse gas that mixes in ~weeks.

      • You’re wrong as usual Appell. OCO2 measures CO2 concentration at the surface and repeats every location on the earth’s surface once every 16 days,. This data allows sources and sinks to be empirically observed.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orbiting_Carbon_Observatory#Technology

        The satellite will carry a single instrument designed to take the most precise measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide ever made from space. The instrument consists of three parallel, high-resolution spectrometers, integrated into a common structure and fed by a common telescope. The spectrometers will make simultaneous measurements of the carbon dioxide and molecular oxygen absorption of sunlight reflected off the same location on Earth’s surface when viewed in the near-infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum, invisible to the human eye.

      • David Appell

        Of course you are right that the OCO satellite is assessing atmospheric CO2. The atmospheric CO2 came from emission sources including smokestack, agricultural burning, forests and grasslands and…in Southern Africa, who knows. Not likely a single emission source like cement kilns.

        As far as CO2 being a well mixed gas, the mixing at least occurring within weeks, what’s interesting about the OCO satellite images, there are no plumes; long trails following the wind direction. If the gas were commingled with particles from a fossil fuel emission source, I would have expected to see such trails like high clouds. What the lack of plumes suggests to me, that the measurement of CO2 is being made close to the ground, surface emissions. CO2 from plant’s respiration, particularly at night along with CO2’s density would tend to leave the gas commingled with the plants themselves so the concentration of atmospheric gas would be higher when, close to the ground. For the first time what the OCO satellite maybe showing, that the major sources of CO2 emissions are from plants themselves, their respiration: breath in CO2 during the day and make more plants; breath out during the night exhale CO2. More sunny days, more CO2 absorbed by plants and less exhaled at night, and, as the earth wobbles from season to season, more CO2 exhaled from plants from the hemisphere not as well lit. Kinda interesting thought; the majority of atmospheric CO2 is from plants and man’s contribution gives a bump up here and there allowing private and government dollars to become fixated on anthropogenic sources and missing the “forest for the trees” ala, tropical rain forests and grass lands.

        Maybe, the un-intended consequence of the OCO satellite will be to demonstrate that the CO2 role in the AGW story is more about the forces of diurnal and seasonal natural variation and less about my driving a SUV.

      • We’re only taking the first peeps at this data, but I think RiH008’s vision is better than Appell’s.
        ==========

  20. John Carpenter

    “He was a registered Republican,” she said….. Oh Noes! I can’t be so. They’re supposed to be only climate contrarian shills for big O and G.

    Oh the irony…. Unintentional I’m sure.

    • There are currently a number of climate scientists who have tried unsuccessfully to stem the rip tide of Republican Climate Change Denial. The list includes Kerry Emanuel, Barry Bickmore and Katherine Hayhoe. One conservative scientist, Calvin Dewitt, chalks up the reversal of opinion of Republican politicians like Mitt Romney and John McCain to big money from campaign donors like Americans for Prosperity.

      http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20120221/republicans-santorum-romney-gingrich-climate-scientists-scientific-consensus-skeptics-kerry-emanuel

      • I forgot to use the adjective “Republican” in front of “climate scientists” in my above post.

      • I doubt I could have been a skeptic in 2000 given the recent warming trend. Unfortunately during the past 14 years the projections of IPCC have fallen flat as a pancake. From warming trends flattening to no acceleration in sea level rise to no Cat 3 hurricanes hitting US mainland to no increase in tornado frequency or intensity to Antarctic Sea Level above 2 SD to Great Lakes Ice Cover records to studies inferring OHC rise not unprecedented to West Antarctica peninsula affected by Geothermal forces to Bangladesh sea level rise really a result of poor flood control measures etc etc etc. You get the picture. When the observational data begins to reflect some of what the IPCC projected then I may, in fact, take note of your advocacy and ideological bent and suggest that maybe, just maybe if more scientists stuck to the science instead of acting as political hacks, the warmers would have more allies. The Democratic National Committee is always looking for environmental consultants to torture the data for the greatest scare effect.

      • ‘It is hypothesized that persistent and consistent trends among several climate modes act to ‘kick’ the climate state, altering the pattern and magnitude of air-sea interaction between the atmosphere and the underlying ocean. Figure 1 (middle) shows that these climate mode trend phases indeed behaved anomalously three times during the 20th century, immediately following the synchronization events of the 1910s, 1940s, and 1970s. This combination of the synchronization of these dynamical modes in the climate, followed immediately afterward by significant increase in the fraction of strong trends (coupling) without exception marked shifts in the 20th century climate state. These shifts were accompanied by breaks in the global mean temperature trend with respect to time, presumably associated with either discontinuities in the global radiative budget due to the global reorganization of clouds and water vapor or dramatic changes in the uptake of heat by the deep ocean. Similar behavior has been found in coupled ocean/atmosphere models, indicating such behavior may be a hallmark of terrestrial-like climate systems [Tsonis et al., 2007].’ http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2008GL037022/full

        The newish field of complexity science and right over their pointy little heads. Getting the essential science wrong seems not calculated to convince people ready to ditch asinine policy proscriptions. Continuing to call them science deniers for noting the freakin’ obvious just keeps the laughs coming.

      • The data does not support the extreme climate alarmism.
        That makes it junk science. Actually, that makes it not even science.

        Republicans are recognizing, more and more that it is really not smart to ruin our economy and energy production based on flawed information that is passed off as science.

        Temperature has been bounded inside the same limits for ten thousand years. Those limits are very narrow. Modern temperature is not outside and not even headed out. Natural Variability has not stopped. CO2 has not caused any change that can be measured and identified beyond natural variability.

      • Matthew R Marler

        eadler2: There are currently a number of climate scientists who have tried unsuccessfully to stem the rip tide of Republican Climate Change Denial.

        What’s with the persistent conflation of “climate change” and “CO2-caused climate change”? I regularly remind my Republican Congressman that climate changes all the time, but that the theory of CO2-induced climate change is full of liabilities, which I specify with reference to specific published papers. My letters are paraphrases of what I have written here, refined after the comments that I receive. Plenty of well-trained scientists have written in support of the basic Republican position that the science does not support the claims the immediate drastic reductions in CO2 are either necessary nor useful.

        Can you not think of the Koch Brothers and Tom Steyer together? Steyer spent about $73 M in the 2014 election. His candidates mostly lost, but he certainly supported his financial interests.

      • ceresco kid | January 13, 2015 at 9:34 pm |
        “I doubt I could have been a skeptic in 2000 given the recent warming trend. Unfortunately during the past 14 years the projections of IPCC have fallen flat as a pancake. ”
        There are 2 things wrong with your post. You are taking models designed to project of a long term trend for climate and assuming that they are supposed to predict short term detailed evolution. This is a mistake. In addition you seem to assume that the GHG forcing is the only and dominant short term influence on the climate. It is clear that ocean currents and volcanic activity are dominant short term influences on the climate. In addition, there is no consensus among climate scientists that tornadoes will become more numerous or winds more powerful.
        So like many who don’t accept AGW, you are listening to straw man arguments.
        It is clear that you are politically motivated. The Democratic Party did not invent AGW. It was scientists working over a 188 year period, beginning with Joseph Fourier in 1827, who postulated that atmospheric gases are keeping the earth warm, through Gilbert Plass and Manabe who did computer modelling in the 1950’s and 1970’s, well before the politics started. In fact it was the George C Marshall think tank who started the political objections to the science, after George H W Bush expressed an interest in signing treaties on climate change after he was elected in 1988.

      • Beams in Pub’s eyes, motes in Dem’s. It’s clear, but for the tracks of my tears, that we’re all politically motivated. Hey, this is about policy, eh?

        eadler2, I thank the day for your drollery.
        ===================

      • eadler

        Did I say I didnt believe in AGW? One can believe in AGW and think CO2 represents 1% of the forcing while natural variability is the rest. Of it could be an infinite number of other combinations. Just like those who believe in the control knob analogy, it oversimplifies the real debate. What I find disturbing is the number of reputed climate scientists who forget their role on behalf of society and take an advocacy and political role and engage in ad hominem attacks against those who dont parrot exactly and to the letter, the consensus view. Even those scientists who accept the majority of the IPCC findings but question the extent of harm have come under attack. That kind of strong arm tactic not only diminishes the credibility of the scientists but harms the very cause they are championing.

        The entire spectrum of physical dimensions are more complicated than what CAGW supporters will admit. I have been around too many blocks and seen too many theories reversed over many decades to ever believe humankind has it all figured out. When you have pinned down all the unknown unknowns then we can celebrate. Since that is not in the cards anytime soon, it is best to keep the champagne on ice.

      • Stem the tide of THIS:

      • Matthew R Marler

        eadler2: You are taking models designed to project of a long term trend for climate and assuming that they are supposed to predict short term detailed evolution. This is a mistake.

        What evidence do you have that the models are more accurate for the long term than they have been for the short term? It is a theoretical argument that they will ever be accurate at all, and they were asserted by the climate scientists to be accurate through 2010, but they have not passed any tests that used out of sample data.

        The claim that the models will eventually prove accurate is frequently asserted, but what evidence is there to support the claim?

  21. I think that what Keeling said is that you gotta be really careful when you measure stuff that the stuff you are measuring is measured carefully and consistently and leaving this to bureaucracies is foolish.

    No shit!

    What we have in climate science today is endless rumination about the meaning of temperature “data” poorly collected by international bureaucracies. And we are supposed to completely turn the world economy upside down on this basis?

    I think not!

  22. Judith wrote:
    “I find myself wondering what would Charles Keeling have to say about the state of the climate science debate, the politicization of the science, not to mention the temperature hiatus.”

    I wonder what Keeling would say about your own politization of the science, not to mention the temperature hiatus.

    • The plateau shows that you have totally stuffed the critical essentials.

      e.g. https://judithcurry.com/2015/01/13/what-would-charles-keeling-think-science-in-spite-of-politics/#comment-663852

      We could depolarise pragmatic responses – but that’s not what you want.

      e.g. – http://thebreakthrough.org/archive/climate_pragmatism_innovationhttp://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/post-2015-consensus

      Sorry – you lose.

    • No, you’re reply wasn’t clear at all. All you did was offer up some links and let the reader guess what you think they meant. Try some clarity.

      • All you did was whine about Judy polarising the discussion. I said you had stuffed both ‘the science’ and the policy. Try some honesty.

      • Heh, Appell’s whimpering about politicized scientists.

        I think the two o’clock phone call’s rung in the nursery of the alarmists. Perhaps they had a nightmare about multiplication and division.
        ====================

      • Like this, Kim? Off topic but very funny
        and no, David Appell is not a contributer to this nonsense.

        “Why are they laughing? That thread at Lucia’s is, in places, venomous.” Found the quotes, 2 different articles at ATTP

        ATTP January 12, 2015 at 5:26 pm Re cartoon
        BBD, Yes, I had wondered if while Nic Lewis is happy to refer to others as “SkS activists” I should allow people here to refer to him as a “GWPF stooge”. Maybe we could even get some kind of cartoon drawn.””

        WebHubTelescope says:January 12, 2015 at 5:58 pm
        “Why are they laughing?”

        ATTP January 12, 2015 at 5:26 pm cartoons that simply mock others with whom you typically disagree is a little infantile.
        Joshua says: January 12, 2015 at 6:23 pm
        What’s juvenile about cartoons that simply mock others with whom you typically disagree?

        WebHubTelescope says: January 12, 2015 at 6:56 pm
        “It is only going to get worse:”
        IN REFERENCE TO
        “http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/01/12/monday-mirthness-more-sceptical-science-kids-scienz/”

        BBD says: January 12, 2015 at 7:29 pm
        ” NL intended the term pejoratively. Second, since he is indubitably an activist himself, he is demonstrating a remarkable lack of self-awareness.”
        BBD says: January 12, 2015 at 7:31 pm
        “And you can stuff the tone-trolling. That thread at Lucia’s is, in places, venomous.”
        Pekka Pirilä says: January 13, 2015 at 7:33 am
        When you think that something that you read is wrong, you develop eagerly counterarguments and are even ready to publicize them using arguments that are actually very weak and do not show at all what they are claimed to show is common. Trying to make the arguments simple and strong makes them actually wrong.

        russellseitz says:January 13, 2015 at 8:42 pm
        “While the Tyneside coal baron’s court jester ,Josh, has drawn a literally juvenile cartoon celebrating this gaffe,”
        BBD says: January 13, 2015 at 8:46 pm
        “Here’s Nic Lewis commenting on the error at Lucia’s. Not sure where else this has got to, but doubtless there will be much premature and inappropriate noise.”

        …and Then There’s Physics says:January 13, 2015 at 8:49 pm
        “Yes, someone on Twitter pointed out that Josh can draw but doesn’t seem very bright.”

        Victor Venema (@VariabilityBlog) January 13, 2015 at 9:03 pm
        “Was is necessary to write a reply to a paper like Loehle et al. (2014)? It is not as if such a paper could trick a real scientist into thinking it was legit, ”

        …and Then There’s Physics January 13, 2015 at 9:43 pm
        ” Picking on inconsequential mistakes and suggesting that they are important is indeed ClimateBall and is not the behavior one would expect from a scientist. Indeed.

        Richard Tol (@RichardTol) January 13, 2015 at 10:02 pm
        “Just because X made a silly mistake doesn’t invalidate the rest of their paper.”

      • I pity Pekka.
        ========

      • As in “Trying to make the arguments simple and strong makes them actually wrong.” priceless.

    • Matthew R Marler

      David Appell (@davidappell): I wonder what Keeling would say about your own politization of the science,

      Are you asserting that Prof Curry has politicized the climate science?

  23. What? Spend one’s time observing, measuring and recording? One little fraction of thin air? And after that, you’ve got the rest of the atmosphere…and then most of the earth, where nobody’s even been. And you’re supposed to keep doing that while everything is changing on you? And you just live with all those contradictions, as you observe, measure, record some more?

    Hey, that attitude won’t get you any Oslo Emmies. It mixeth no Mai Tais in Cancun.

    • And, he handed off the family business of government-sponsored data massage — CO2 readings that can vary by 600 ppm during the span of a single day — to his son.

      • +- 600 ppm in a day? Where is the proof of that?

      • Tim Ball: “Pre-industrial levels were 50 ppm higher than those used in the IPCC computer models. Models also incorrectly assume uniform atmospheric distribution and virtually no variability from year to year. Beck found, “Since 1812, the CO2 concentration in northern hemispheric air has fluctuated exhibiting three high level maxima around 1825, 1857 and 1942 the latter showing more than 400 ppm.” Here is a plot from Beck comparing 19th century readings with ice core and Mauna Loa data…

        “Elimination of data occurs with the Mauna Loa readings, which can vary up to 600 ppm in the course of a day. Beck explains how Charles Keeling established the Mauna Loa readings by using the lowest readings of the afternoon. He ignored natural sources, a practice that continues. Beck presumes Keeling decided to avoid these low level natural sources by establishing the station at 4000 meters up the volcano. As Beck notes “Mauna Loa does not represent the typical atmospheric CO2 on different global locations but is typical only for this volcano at a maritime location in about 4000 m altitude at that latitude.” (Beck, 2008, “50 Years of Continuous Measurement of CO2 on Mauna Loa” Energy and Environment, Vol 19, No.7.) Keeling’s son continues to operate the Mauna Loa facility and as Beck notes, “owns the global monopoly of calibration of all CO2 measurements.” Since Keeling is a co-author of the IPCC reports they accept Mauna Loa without question.”

        (Time to Revisit Falsified Science of CO2, December 28, 2009)

      • Wagathon,

        Thank you for the Beck reference. Not being as knowledgeable as I should be I do wonder why the decision was made to not sample at other intervals of time. It could have been as simple as not having the capability at the time but it seems Keeling elected to sample just the one time each day. As long as the same time of day was used in comparisons it seems more data could answer other questions.

      • CO2 readings that can vary by 600 ppm during the span of a single day.
        That is easy, just breathe out.

  24. Thank you, Professor Curry, for Dr. Charles Keeling’s own autobiography on opposition he encountered in his commitment to make and report the most reliable CO2 measurements.

    I was reminded of the integrity of the late Professor (and Nobel Laureate) Raymond Davis in his commitment to make and report the best possible measurements of solar neutrinos in the Homestake Gold Mine.

    His careful measurements revealed a long-standing “solar neutrino puzzle” that scientists at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory finally claim to have resolved in 2001-2002:

    http://www.bnl.gov/bnlweb/raydavis/research.htm

  25. Dr. Curry, very interesting post, thanks,

    Yes indeed meticulous data collection is always very important and potentially useful. Dr. Keeling should of course be remembered for his contribution of firm unassailable data.

    From the essay;

    “Throughout much of his career, Dr. Keeling was cautious about interpreting his own measurements.”

    Wise gentleman indeed, the easiest person to fool is always yourself.

    Also from Dr. Keeling (ca 1969);

    “I noted in closing my talk that people held widely divergent views concerning a possible peril attending rising CO2, but that in 30 years “if present trends are any sign, mankind’s world, I judge, will be in greater immediate danger than it is today.”

    Here we are in 2015 and the widely divergent views seem to have widened even further, we have the “we’re all going to FRY camp” and the “it’s still an unproven hypothesis camp” (and everything in between to boot).

    And then again (30 years later, ca 1999) Dr. Keeling wrote;

    “It has been over 30 years since I speculated before the American Philosophical Society that the world by the end of the 20th century might be in greater danger from rising CO2 than it was in 1969. Where do we stand on this issue today?”

    Good question, where exactly do we stand ? Looks to me we are “right back where we started from”, it could be the end of the world, or it might be nothing….

    Dr. Keeling again (ca 1999);

    “as an historian might, beginning with the first hints of man-made global change and progressing toward the time, NOT YET ARRIVED, when there may be convincing proof of global warming.” (bold emphasis is mine).

    When exactly might we expect this convincing proof ? Dr. Keeling’s work spanned approx 1950 – 2000, no convincing proof in those 50 years, now we are 15 years further along and there is still no convincing proof. I only ask since I own property on the “North Coast” of the USA (Lake Ontario) and need to start planning when exactly I can sell it for beach front condo’s as desirable as those in Miami Beach, purely a selfish concern I do admit.

    I do have to admire a hypothesis that has limped along for more than a whole century with no firm YES/NO resolution. I do wonder how that could happen; heck “free energy from fusion” has only limped along for 40 years or so.

    I for one would be in favor of a 100 billion dollar “shootout” where everybody that has an opinion about this hypothesis is allowed to follow the scientific method and propose hypotheses, design experiments and make observations and conclusions. Like a reality show; “Climate Apprentice”, it starts with the Null Hypothesis; the climate is too complex to make accurate future predictions, then each contestant gets 90 seconds to state an alternative hypothesis (We can give Arrhenius’s executor 180 seconds out of respect for the World’s longest lived unresolved Scientific Hypothesis). Then 90 seconds to state specifically those observations that will prove the case, 90 seconds to present the observations and another 90 seconds for the conclusions.

    And the judges will be a randomly selected slice of the American people, just the first 400 names from the Boston Telephone Directory (do those still exist ?) would work fine.

    So to summarize; “The Greenhouse Effect and warming from Human emissions of CO2 is in our future, and it always will be”….

    Cheers, KevinK

    • 100 million dollar would more than enough.
      For 100 billion, we go to Mars.

      • For only a billion, I could move to Boston and change my name to Aapple.
        Is that not a bargain?

    • If this sea level rise speeds up (it’s been so slow these past centuries) the Romans will be able to invade Britain again at Richborough. At present you’d have to tramp inland to get to Richborough. C’mon gases, Emperor Claudius hates walking.

      And you couldn’t buy a decent sea level rise around geologically stable Australia. What’s an Arctic real estate speculator to do?

    • Good question, where exactly do we stand ? Looks to me we are “right back where we started from”, it could be the end of the world, or it might be nothing….

      Model output says it is the end of the world.
      Actual data says it is nothing.
      Who you gonna believe?

    • So to summarize; “The Greenhouse Effect and warming from Human emissions of CO2 is in our future, and it always will be”….

      But the increased warming from man-made CO2 is too little to be measured and verified and separated from natural variability.

      It is harder for them to tax us for something that is not supported by real data.

      Many people know that model output is not data and many of us object to being taxed by a computer model.

    • It’s worse than we thought. In the late 950’s it was thought a doubling of CO2 might result in anywhere from 1.2C to 3.8C of warming.

      Fifty-five years of climate “science” later that range has not been narrowed.

  26. I personally hate the transition from personal to government science. The only systemic scientists who are truly free are those who have eaten shoot long enough to achieve tenure or have branched out into business sidelines.

    Whither Bell Labs? Even corporate science is preferable to government science. It incorporates the grinding results now aspect of Keeling’ concerns but will not suffer unproductive zealots as government science will.

    There are certainly aspects of modern science that are beyond what any individual could ever achieve. Particle colliders for instance, the Hubble telescope, landing on a comet. These efforts require government style regimentation. Climate science not so much…

  27. Keeling said “If scientists would make clear to the public the wisdom of this cautious approach, people would demand to be better informed about what scientists already know. ”
    Yes, this would be a reasonable view to have. But are the people demanding to be better informed about the science?
    Little did he know how scientists who advise any caution at all would be viewed in some small but vocal corners of society.

  28. One of the more civil and on point comment threads. I checked the phase of the moon looking for an explanation but couldn’t find anything: waning crescent 41%.

  29. “A more ominous finding was that each year, the peak was a little higher than the year before”.

    In light of that Dr Keeling stuck to his work insisting on precision. He stuck to observation rather than hypothesize, philosophize or politicize. His discipline shows to me the true measure of the man – pun intended.

    The quote offers a more demonstrable effect of his findings than most all of the graphs and charts we see today. It is impossible to not recognize that human fossil fuel burning increased CO2. Without reading further into this finding, cause and effect was demonstrated.

    • Steven Mosher | January 13, 2015 at 8:38 pm |
      “”1. Skeptics don’t buy peer review cause they think its pal review.
      2. Skeptics don’t buy people who actually show their work, if they
      disagree with the answer.
      3. Mostly skeptics throw spit balls.
      4. When they actually make claims, most don’t show their work.
      Now hold on, no one is attacking you.
      Most skeptics are normal people, not scientists, who like to think about things and be convinced. If your work is good enough we would not be skeptics. Those scientists who are skeptic and can get through peer review, show their work, good or bad, and get called out on it to.

      Steven Mosher | January 13, 2015 at 8:51 pm | Reply
      “Temperature responds ( according to theory) to the TOTAL forcing.
      not just c02. So what has kept the temperature in check?”

      1.”Offsetting negative forcing.. correct.

      2.”” Heat hiding in the ocean”
      No the heat in the atmosphere must reflect the CO2 level and other GHG , almost instantly. That’s why it is called the GHG effect, Steven. It doesn’t take centuries for the CO2 level to effect the atmospheric temperature, admit it and move on. Hiding out with your pals and not being a scientist otherwise.

      “”3. heat escaping via unknown mechanisms ” What could they be Steven , the science is settled.

    • “Without reading further into this finding, cause and effect was demonstrated.”

      Nope.

      Correlation does not equal causation.

      Write that down. Seriously. Write it down.

  30. Anyone scientific here who can comment on the temperature that should be present in a parcel of air at a given GHG load and how quickly it will respond to a change in temperature? Bearing in mind that the temperature can change an awful lot and very quickly when the sun comes up but more so in relation to how the Keeling curve should relate to the temperature day in day out ?
    The heat can hide in the oceans for as long as it likes, while it is hiding or not the atmosphere has to be the temperature that the insolation and GHG levels dictate at that time, surely.

  31. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Fernando Leanme advocates “for NASA to improve their websites and maps

    Your suggestion is well-conceived, Fernando!

    Needless to say, any indication that a politician is “in the pocket” of denialist special interests will incite the unanimous disapprobation of the STEAM community!

    That’s an issue regarding which scientists *CANNOT* compromise, eh Climate Etc readers?

    But heck, who ever heard of a politician in thrall to Big Carbon?

    \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}

  32. “A safe approach is just to remain an interested observer…
    I believe, however, that a more prudent attitude would be to heed the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration as serious unless proven to be benign” – Keeling.

    Keeling nicely pointing out the radical position of the delayers and the conservativeness of the precautionary principle.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Michael: “A safe approach is just to remain an interested observer…
      I believe, however, that a more prudent attitude would be to heed the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration as serious unless proven to be benign” – Keeling.

      We now have much more scientific evidence of the effects of warming, and they are mostly beneficial or benign, at least the warming of the last 150 years. We have more information on the overall biological effects of increased CO2, and those are beneficial. We have more information on the non-radiative mechanisms of heat transfer, which show that the focus on CO2 is at best incomplete. And we have better estimates of the likely time course and magnitude of CO2-induced temperature increase, should it actually occur.

      “Heeding” the rise of CO2 is somewhat ambiguous a recommendation. It does not imply a multi-trillion dollar reinvestment away from fossil fuels and toward others; a vigorous scientific investigation and vigorous public policy debate are “heeding”, and that is what we have.

      Meanwhile, with or without net CO2-induced warming, there will continue to be alternations between hot and cold, and between wet and dry years. Those alternations also should be “heeded”.

      • Matthew,

        I’m glad that you think the radical experiment of dumping gigatonnes of CO2 into atmosphere has been proven to be benign.

        I remain quite sceptical.

      • Michael

        You remaining to be skeptical that more CO2 will lead to not lead to a worstening of conditions seems reasonable. It is possible that a worstening of conditions could result.

        Doesn’t it also seem reasonable to also be skeptical that expensive CO2 mitigation activities will result is better conditions?

      • Rob,

        Not after better, just not too different from now.

        Uncertainty would suggest that Matthew’s optimism for a benign effect from our radical experiment is a risky gamble.

        I’m all for mitigating that risk.

      • Bah, what we’ve done so far has been net beneficial and will remain so into the forseeable future. The thrust of policy for the last three decades has been utterly backward, and has wasted much treasure and lives.
        ==============

      • Mitigation that would possibly make a significant difference is incredibly expensive without a cost-competitive substitute for fossil fuels.

        It’s also politically impossible. The biggest emitter is now China. Try getting them to reduce emissions instead of growing exponentially. Meanwhile the United States has reduced emissions to the point where it’s now back at same level it was in 1991. Ask how that happened without carbon taxes or windmills or nuclear power expansion.

        Do not kill the goose that lays the golden eggs until you have a replacement goose. Duh. Cheap energy drives economic expansion. Economic expansion is what pays for long term R&D. Long term R&D is where a viable replacement for fossil fuel will come from. This requires some faith in science rather than a perversion of it to drive anti-humanist progressive agendas.

      • Calamity kim entertains no uncertainity.

      • Michael

        Your position is based upon the belief that implementing CO2 mitigation action today will result in the weather being better in the future than it would have been if the CO2 mitigation action had not been enacted.

        You have this belief in spite of having no reliable information to support that belief.

      • That was quick, Mick.

        How about kimmie ‘oaxley’?
        ============

      • Matthew R Marler

        Michael: I remain quite sceptical.

        What is the evidence to date? Rainfall might be slightly increase (the best study to date supported that for the Eastern US since 1950); tropical forests grow faster; crops grow more or are more resistant to drought, or both; boreal forests grow faster; cyclonic storm intensity and frequency have changed little, if at all. The real problems, the alternation of droughts and floods, heat waves and killing frosts, remain nearly the same. Runoff of acids from shore is harmful to ocean life near the shores, but addition of CO2 itself to ocean water promotes growth (where other nutrients are not in short supply).

        Does the “precautionary principle” require us to elevate warming above all other threats and act fearful in defiance of the evidence?

  33. The ocean surface is part of the surface air temperature measurement.

    Say anomalously high trade winds in the Eastern Pacific are sequestering an elevated amount of energy in the Western Pacific. Say this goes on for around a decade. Say during this decade atmospheric CO2 goes up by around 20 ppm.

    Then the winds subside.

    Some sequestered energy will slosh back across from the Western Pacific to the Easter Pacific. I would say the vast majority of this would come from the layer 0 to 700 meters. The temperature response to this would be rapid. I would suspect you would soon here references to the warmest ocean SST seen in the instrument record. In 2014 that has been pegged for months in a row.

    There would be far less upwelling of frigid ocean water, so the surface of the ocean would instantly be warmer as far more SW would remain in the SST measurement layer. The temperature response to this would be rapid.

    The recently elevated outgoing radiation would be encountering an additional 20 ppm of atmospheric CO2. The temperature response to this would be rapid.

    The winds began subsiding as 2012 wound down. Since 2011.83 the rate of warming has been .69C per decade. 2013 was the 4th warmest year in the instrument record and 2014 was the warmest year in the instrument record. Sorry if this was not rapid enough for you to notice.

    And with no El Nino 2012 through 2014.

    Or, you could go with atmospheric CO2 has no effect.

    • This was supposed to reply to:

      xhttps://judithcurry.com/2015/01/13/what-would-charles-keeling-think-science-in-spite-of-politics/#comment-663976

    • I am not of fan of removing climate to prove climate change. ENSO is a natural part of climate and removing ENSO haphazardly is problematic.

      Starting with the warmest oceans though is something I find thermodynamically sound. I never used “averages” or “Anomalies” but the real deal temperatures like I was taught.

      When you do a simple correlation of tropical ocean temperature with “global” temperature you get a high correlation. That is exactly what you should expect.

      When you use northern hemisphere land temperatures, compared to the tropical SST, you get a weak correlation.

      When you compare modeled tropical oceans “forcing” with observed tropical SST “response”, you see some hitches in the model giddy up. Those hitches are in the volcanic forcing estimates. So if you remove ENSO, and Solar and Volcanic, just right you can hide the blemishes.

      Is the goal science or making your science look better?

    • Suggest addition of an adjective to the last sentence:
      ” Or, you could go with atmospheric CO2 has no [measurable] effect.”

    • JCH, Just in case my comment gets out of moderation, take a gander at this comparison.

      That is the rough energy change in the Tropical oceans versus the no feedback sensitivity of CO2. Using absolute temperature instead of anomaly has a few advantages especially when lots and lots of water vapor is involved.

      • That makes no sense to me.

        Anomalously high winds:

        ENSO netral winds:

      • JCH, “That makes no sense to me.”

        I am not surprised when you make comments like this, “The .69C per decade warming rate was fueled by ENSO neutral.”

        ENSO isn’t a driver, it is an oscillation that is driven. If you are looking at weather patterns in the western US or Australia, there is a correlation between ENSO,PDO, SAM and NAM, but the underlying trend in the tropics correlates with “global” temperature and “global” energy. Since ENSO is a mathematical oscillation meaning it is an anomaly relative to a selected baseline, you are excluding any longer term trend in with your ENSO “fueled” warming. That is a big assumption.

        No one seems to understand that they are assuming a “normal” condition to quantify change, when determining what is “normal” should be the first step.

        So you are assuming your buddy Mikey Mann’s “global” reconstruction is the cat’s a$$ and ignoring that the tropics and the IPWP can have longer term trends.

        Now Mosh will say something like there is ABSOLUTELY no evidence of a longer term persistent trend. Hogwash! Get rid of the Mann-O-Matic reconstructions and his clones and there is OBVIOUSLY evidence of a longer term persistent trend. It really should be enough for a paradigm change, i.e. clouds are the high temperature regulator, CO2 the lower temperature regulator and ozone the lowest temperature regulator, with solar and volcanic in the drivers seat.

        The models miss the Volcanic forcing. The ENSO wiggle is just part of the system.

      • JCH, My BS is weak compared to yours, you are a master :)

        Since you like short term trends,

        That is every 4 and 8 year trend you can pick in the ERSSTv3b tropical SST data. Notice how the trends are larger when it is cooler and smaller when it is warmer. Now the data isn’t consistent because of limited samples, but your 0.69 per decade based on a few years would be about average for the whole data set. It is warmer now than it has been at any time in the instrumental data period which is pretty short on Climate time scales, so having a cluster of “warmest” weeks, months, years and decades at a temperature peak is amazingly normal. In the 1910s there was a stretch of coldest weeks, months, years and decades that would have inspire guys like yourself to mandate some anti-colding regulations.

    • “I would suspect you would soon here references to the warmest ocean SST seen in the instrument record. In 2014 that has been pegged for months in a row.”
      ____
      Yep. Next time the IPO switches back to solidly positive, we’ll likely have a string of very warm years with many of them new records. This chart is quite illustrative of the relationship, keeping in mind that we have slower winds during the positive IPO periods:

      It’s actually quite amazing that it hasn’t actually cooled significantly during the hiatus. Lends some support to the notion that CO2 sensitivity is higher than some would posit, considering how much the trade winds increased during the hiatus.

      • In spite of Randy the video guy’s breathless narrative – the next climate shift – following the plateau – is much more likely to be to yet cooler.

        More salt is La Nina.

      • “…the next climate shift – following the plateau – is much more likely to be to yet cooler.”
        _____
        Congratulations on the Pseudoscientific Nonsense of the Day Award. I especially like the “much more likely” part of it– applying scientific sounding probability to a event based on natural variability. Nice!

      • It’s called reversion to the mean Randy the video guy. As the millennial high El Nino frequency and intensity gives way to the much more common La Nina dominant Pacific state

        Surely that obvious in the graph? Even to a video guy?

      • R. Gates, “Congratulations on the Pseudoscientific Nonsense of the Day Award. I especially like the “much more likely” part of it– applying scientific sounding probability to a event based on natural variability. Nice!”

        It isn’t all that psuedo-scientific. If you have natural variability you would expect it to revert to mean. Of course not knowing what mean it will revert to is problematic, but assuming you have a ballpark, the odds in one direction would be greater than the other, depending on the mean.

        That is why getting paleo data righter or better is pretty critical. In the longer run, climate should get warmer, but how much requires more than just a handful of decades worth of data.

        Now if you honestly believe that Mann and Marcott are statistical geniuses and that past climate is rock solid stable, then you would not expect a potential cooling adjustment. If however you are of the mind that this is an energy problem and the tropics/oceans drive climate, your opinion would be more in line with Rob’s.

        Since you are pretty well read on SSW/AWW events and their relationship with tropical SST, I am kind of surprised you balk at natural variability influences.

      • Captain

        In 2006 Phil Jones wrote a paper in which he admitted that natural variability was far greater than he had hitherto believed.

        This was after investigating the warming through the early part of the 18th century in England and further afield (Europe and East coast of America and other places) which in magnitude dwarfs that of the hockey stick. This came to a grinding halt in the bitter winter of 1740 after a decade nearly a warm as the one that ended in 2000 (CET)

        Since then the climate has cooled considerably but has started to edge up again.
        tonyb

      • Seeking understanding from those with more background, please.

        “The margin of uncertainty we achieved was remarkably small (0.05C with 95% confidence).”This was achieved this, in part, by the inclusion of data from over 30,000 temperature stations, and by the use of optiized statistical methods. Even so, the highest year could not be distinguished. That is, of course, an indication that the Earth’s average temperature for the last decade has changed very little. Note that the ten warmest years all occur since 1998.” From pg. 3
        http://static.berkeleyearth.org/memos/Global-Warming-2014-Berkeley-Earth-Newsletter.pdf?/2014

        On page 4, the land temp ranges appox. 1775 appear much higher (and broader) than now. Should one be concerned about the quality of sampling earlier vs. now? Thoughts?

        Thanks,

      • post on this coming tomorrow; awaiting nasa/noaa press release. everybody is assuming what this will say, already be asked to comment (even tho no one has the results or press release yet).

      • Thank you. Your job must be entertaining. Please be ready to comment on this, but you don’t get to know what this is!

        And thanks to Tony B for the links!

      • tonyb, “Since then the climate has cooled considerably but has started to edge up again.
        tonyb”

        Right, the edging up makes the turning down more likely. You have probably seen these, but what the heck.

        The correlation of the tropical SST with global temperature anomaly is over 90%. So attempting to base past climate on higher latitudes is pretty futile, the correlation pretty much sucks.

        Than would make Mann’s northern hemisphere tree work pretty much useless. Then if you complete the work Marcott started by focusing on the tropical temperatures and adding cap reconstructions, you would have a better indication of the real deal past climate driver, the tropical oceans.

        Not to slight your CET extension work, but the tropics is where it’s at :)

      • danny

        my series of three linked articles might help to answer your question.

        ——-

        Article: History and reliability of global temperature records. Author: Tony Brown

        This article (part 1 of a series of three) examines the period around 1850/80 when Global temperatures commence, and looks at the long history of reliable observations and records prior to the development of instrumental readings.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/14/little-ice-age-thermometers-%e2%80%93-history-and-reliability/

        Article: A look at the reliability of the temperature record. Author: Tony Brown

        This article – part two of a series of three- examines some of the inherent problems with the historic temperature record-such as methodology and instrumental error- that have been known for over a hundred years.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/23/little-ice-age-thermometers-%E2%80%93-history-and-reliability-2/

        Article: A comparison of Global Temperatures and CET. Author: Tony Brown

        This article – part three of three – examines the latest Global temperature figures from BEST and compares them to CET (Central England Temperatures). It illustrates that CET is a good – but not perfect – proxy for global temperatures and confirms the 350 year long warming trend –with numerous advances and retreats – that puts the Giss and Hadley temperature datasets into historical perspective as a staging post- and not the starting post- of increasing long term warmth.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/14/little-ice-age-thermometers-historic-variations-in-temperatures-part-3-best-confirms-extended-period-of-warming/

        tonyb

      • Danny Thomas, You should always be concerned with changes in sampling rates. Since I have a response to tonyb in moderation have a look at this.

        That is a rough reconstruction of tropical temperatures using some of the Marcott selected data. Only thing is I added some out of sample higher frequency data he didn’t use. The higher frequency reconstructions indicate much more variability. Marcott’s confidence intervals were based on roughly 200 plus year smoothing so there would not be very much variability. You can’t say his reconstruction is wrong, he made choices and documented them, but his results are misleading.

        The Berkeley situation is similar. they have a high confidence level due to infilling or kriging that decreases with the number of sampling points. Since the largest impact is in the polar regions and the worst sampling is in the polar regions their results pre-1955 are not all that fantastic mainly due to the south pole which tends to wander out of phase with the ROW. If you stick with regions that have reasonable sampling over the entire record, 45S-60N you would probably have a better idea of “global” temperature variability than using the whole “global” kriged anomaly.

        Kriging is a great tool but it is not magic.

      • Thanks Capt.!

      • Cooler refers to the Pacific state – although there are implication for the surface temperature.

      • The Berkeley News Letter was interesting and informative. The nominal amount of warming in 2014 of .08 C over 1998, is nothing in significance compared to the PR value and the hand wringing that will result once it gets into the MSM. I guarantee no mention will be made as to how much it has warmed since 1998. Who knows what the future brings, but .08 warming over 16 years, given the plateau we are on, doesn’t warrant what is about to follow by the alarmists.

      • “It’s called reversion to the mean…”
        _____
        This kind of linear thinking being applied to a nonlinear system is further testimony to your Pseudoscientific Skills of Excellence. Congratulations!

        In looking at this graph:

        One can see that the zonal wind stress was extremely negative over the “hiatus” period and negative IPO. So even a “reversion to the mean” by your simple linear expectations, would send the zonal wind stress back to positive along with the IPO, and we’d get more tropospheric warming. End result: even your own pseudoscientific analysis is not internally consistent with what the data is telling you. More likely, by actual scientific analysis, when the IPO goes back to positive, s this:

        https://tamino.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/is-earths-temperature-about-to-soar/

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        BREAKING NEWS
        Richard Muller: I Was wrong on Climate Change

        Not many skeptics have the guts to say it straight-out, 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}

      • Danny Thomas, With R, Gates and Rob Ellison promoting battling projects I created this post to give you so background info.

        http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2015/01/reversion-to-mean.html

      • Capt.!

        I cannot thank you enough for your continued patience with me and for this effort. Left you a note over there.

        Regards

      • Thanks for posting those graphs Capt. D. Just based on your first graph, Chief Hydro’s contention of “cooling ahead” as a “reversion to the mean” has no basis. All trends are upward, it just depends on what “normal” is. Also of course, no trends are going to be linear, and attempting a linear fit is about the worst approach you can take in this circumstance. Try some 4th degree polynomial fit, with likely acceleration as the 21st century progresses if you are into curve fitting.

      • R. Gates, I put a variety of charts there to show the variety of potential trajectories. The most likely trend in my opinion is neutral. That is because clouds in the tropics tend to regulate tropical SST and “global” temperature anomaly correlates most strongly with tropical SST.

        Having a slight cooling trend for 30 years are so isn’t out of the picture, but it really depends on what future versions of “global” temperature anomaly do. I am pretty sure the kriging and long range interpolation gang can find some obscure data or create their own to boost temperatures a touch. Energy wise, the tropics are in charge. That little cloud/water vapor amplification factor will become a bit more humorous as time goes on.

      • In typical propagandic fashion, JCH cherry-picks noise to make its “point.”

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/jisao-pdo/from

      • the stadium wave dissolving

        Banked on 1940 to 1975. The bermuda triangle for curve fitters.

      • FOMD

        “BREAKING NEWS”

        Thanks for that. On my first visit to Muller I was struck by the amount of
        “sceptical” talking points he had adopted.

      • Is he moving from his idee fixe about attribution?
        ===========

      • OMG! JCH, you are right!! We are all going to FRY!
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp-dts/from:2012.5/to:2012.8/plot/gistemp-dts/from:2012.5/to:2012.8/trend

        I think there are some daily data sets on climate explorer that have even worst trends!!

      • “The most likely trend in my opinion is neutral.”
        _______
        Over what time frame? There is no scientific basis to suggest a “neutral” trend in surface temperatures over the 21st century, and a strong scientific case to make for higher temperatures as the century progresses.

        Again, the fact that the zonal wind stress was so negative over the “hiatus” and yet we only got a flat trend in surface temperatures as opposed to an actual cooling indicates the underlying strength of increased GH gas forcing. When the IPO switches back to actual positive, along with the zonal wind stress over the Pacific, the probability is good that surface temperatures will once more soar.

      • Fry? No, we’re going to warm. Most likely at an average rate of round .2C per decade over the 21st century.

      • R. Gates, “Over what time frame? There is no scientific basis to suggest a “neutral” trend in surface temperatures over the 21st century, and a strong scientific case to make for higher temperatures as the century progresses.”

        That would depend on how anal you are about defining a significant trend. A neutral wandering of +/- 0.25 C is likely for several decades. As for the strong scientific case for higher temperatures, most of that revolves around cloud and water vapor feedback in only one direction with looks pretty unlikely. Tropical clouds regulating tropical climate has been a pretty scientific basis for quite a while.

    • “Since 2011.83 the rate of warming has been .69C per decade.”

    • “Since 2011.83 the rate of warming has been .69C per decade.”

  34. “Mauna Loa does not represent the typical atmospheric CO2 on different global locations but is typical only for this volcano at a maritime location in about 4000 m altitude at that latitude.” (EG Beck, 2008, “50 Years of Continuous Measurement of CO2 on Mauna Loa” Energy and Environment, Vol 19, No.7.)

  35. Steven Mosher | January 13, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    The only “skeptics” I know that have actually shown their work are mcintyre, Mckittrick, O donnel, and Lewis. and willis.

    Not the only one.
    You always say to publish, a fair comment. But without having to go through a (non) peer review, what do you accept as publishing?

    • It depends on what you mean by “skeptic.” There are many skeptics of the mathematical machinations employed by government climate scientists to push their global warming agenda –e.g., the paper b y McShane and Wyner debunked MBH98/99/08 (aka, the ‘hockey stick’ graph), which of course has been done many times by other statisticians who have shown there is no AGW-signal whatsoever in Mann’s data.

      • You are deluded. The main argument was that non centered principal components artificially induced a hockey stick when Mann processed his proxy data. It turns out that McIntyre did not know how to use centered PCA and made the mistake of using only the first principle component. Keeping the correct number of PC’s creates a Hockey Stick out of Mann’s Hockey Stick Data. A dozen other papers using different combinations of proxies and different statistical methods derived graphs that looked similar to Mann’s original graph, although with more noise and variation in the older temperature estimates.
        The paper of McShane and Wyner uses a statistical method called the LASSO method, which seems to be unsuitable to the type of data being analysed, because it discards critical data.

        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/12/responses-to-mcshane-and-wyner/

        They also appeared to be ignorant of climate science, and did not actually read the paper they criticized.
        http://klimazwiebel.blogspot.com/2010/08/mcshane-and-wyner-on-climate.html

      • As a religious leader Mann perhaps had a great deal of influence over his sycophantic followers. But as a scientist you are not supposed to teach how to produce a flood of hockey stick-shaped graphs by simply feeding white noise into a mathematical model that works like a maniacal global warming doomsday machine stuck in maximum overdrive.

        White noise, has equal power density across the entire frequency spectrum, that is, it has constant energy at all frequencies. When this is graphically represented, white noise has a flat power spectral density. In a practical example, white noise is what is used to refer to that steady, even soothing sound produced when tuning in to an unused radio or TV frequency. White noise has an equal amount of energy per frequency band in contrast to pink noise, which has an equal amount of energy per octave. Pink noise has a frequency spectrum that is flat in logarithmic space. The power density of pink noise, compared with white noise, decreases by 3 dB (decibels) per octave. It is said that pink noise is the most soothing sound to the human ear. Pink noise has the same frequency distribution as falling rain.

        Red noise is similar to pink noise, but it has relatively more energy at lower frequencies than pink noise. Red noise has a power density that decreases 6 dB per octave as the frequency increases. Of course, red noise was named after a connection with red light, which is on the low end of the visible light spectrum. Mathematically speaking, integrating white noise produces red noise. Red noise in the paleoclimatology context comes from the fact that tree rings have correlation from year to year, that is, if a tree grows well in a given year, it will store carbohydrates and will tend to have a good year of growth the following year as well. Red noise in the paleoclimatology context is modeled by a first-order autoregressive model.

        ~See, Edward J. Wegman, et al.,
        Ad Hoc Committee Report On
        The ‘Hockey Stick’ Global
        Climate Reconstruction

      • eadler2, ” It turns out that McIntyre did not know how to use centered PCA and made the mistake of using only the first principle component. Keeping the correct number of PC’s creates a Hockey Stick out of Mann’s Hockey Stick Data.”

        So that is all it was? Well, my goodness. Much ado about nothing since other people have used similar methods that look kinda like Mann’s Hockey Stick.

        I cannot believe the nerve of that Canadian hack bringing up silly things like inverted proxies, not using the full data available, unusual weighting and averaging methods and such. Heck he has dozens of posts on nothing.

        I guess Marcott is a whiz kid too?

      • It turns out that McIntyre did not know how to use centered PCA and made the mistake of using only the first principle component. Keeping the correct number of PC’s creates a Hockey Stick out of Mann’s Hockey Stick Data.

        All sorts of deliberate deceptions buried in that BS.

        First of all, McIntyre knew perfectly well how to use centered PCA, but he was duplicating Mann’s work which used uncentered PCA.

        Second, he simply duplicated Mann’s work which displayed the first two principle components. The “correct number of PC’s” to create a hockey stick was 4!. IOW, whatever the “hockey stick” represented, it wasn’t a temperature proxy. Or else, whatever the entire system of “Proxies” were proxies for, it wasn’t temperature.

        Finally, when he dug down into what was really going on, he discovered that Mann’s method (decentering) dragged the effect of Graybill strip bark chronologies and/or Yamal into the first principle component. This is the “hockey stick”, which Mann mistook for a temperature proxy. Whatever these stripbarks are proxies for, it isn’t global temperature. Whichever principle component they’re in.

      • It’s like you’re questioning the Koran when statisticians point out Mann’s statistics were either knowingly fraudulent or unwittingly crapulent.

      • @AK
        “First of all, McIntyre knew perfectly well how to use centered PCA, but he was duplicating Mann’s work which used uncentered PCA.”

        Mann was incorrect to use non centered PCA’s. In doing so he did use the criterion for the correct number of PCA’s to use in order to avoid incorporating noise into the reconstruction.

        McIntyre was doing non centered PCA’s and was trying to show that no Hockey Stick occurred when the correct method was used on Mann’s data. In doing so he used the non-centered PCA method incorrectly. That shows either he was not familiar with the correct way to use the method, or he was trying to mislead people.

        McIntyre’s code shows that the claim that an upward pointing hockey stick arises from random data when non-centered PCA is used was a fraud. He took randomly 10,000 randomly generated data sets and picked the 100 most hockey stick like data sets for his demonstration.

      • When anyone can Google there are about 167,300,000,000,000,000,000,000 atoms in a teaspoon full of water — which requires a flight of thought on a scale that Charles Darwin would surely concede is way beyond any real appreciation we should expect from mutated monkey brains like ours, and yet we deal with it — wouldn’t ‘ya think Western academics could at least get the statistics down right when it comes to global warming? And yet, Edward J. Wegman gets up there before Congress (Committee on Energy and Commerce) to let everyone know the kind of monkey business Michael Mann and his gaggle of sycophant ‘hockey stick’ fabricators were up to and no one on the Left, in academia or in the government cares because Mann says what they want to hear.

        We found that at least 43 authors have direct ties to Dr. Mann by virtue of coauthored papers with him. Our findings from this analysis suggest that authors in the area of this relatively narrow field of paleoclimate studies are closely connected. Dr. Mann has an unusually large reach in terms of influence and in particular Drs. Jones, Bradley, Hughes, Briffa, Rutherford and Osborn.

        Because of these close connections, independent studies may not be as independent as they might appear on the surface… We note that many of the proxies are shared. Using the same data also suggests a lack of independence.

        “The MBH98/99 work [aka, the ‘hockey stick’] has been sufficiently politicized that this community can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility. Overall, our committee believes that the MBH99 assessment that the decade of the 1990s was the likely the hottest decade of the millennium and that 1998 was likely the hottest year of the millennium cannot be supported by their analysis. ~Dr. Edward J. Wegman (2006)

  36. Given that the key message of the Keeling story is the vital importance of consistent and uninterrupted data of tested accuracy it is slightly puzzling to see people claiming things about CO2 levels based on the very sort of inconsistent, unreliable and unconnected data that Keeling was trying so hard to avoid.

    Is Beck, and any reliance on the early CO2 measurements which are known to be spurious not relying on a zombie argument? I thought the anthropogenic CO2 rise at least was something that even the most contrarian accepted was real.

    • It’s fun practice, and besides, nobody knows what the ocean is doing, probably even the ocean itself doesn’t know.

      Not yet.
      =====

      • Lol. They know a great deal about what the oceans are doing.

      • JCH

        They do not know enough to model the oceans activities sufficiently accurately to forecast the climate though do they???

      • They don’t have to. Your challenge is completely hollow. I would not follow you to a good bar because you get easily lost.

      • Speaking of carbonated liquids, the climatologist walks into the bar with his hockey stick and lies it flat on the bar. The bartender lifts the blade to vertical and says ‘Stick ’em up, Mann’.
        =============================

      • JCH
        they may know what the oceans are doing now but the important thing is how does that compare to what the oceans were doing 100 or 1000 years ago. Is anything really unprecedented?

      • I don’t think Mann has anything on Gordie Howe, who could bend a hockey stick in his time too. Of course that was in full view of delighted fans.

      • Lol. Anything, oh my gawd, anything but CO2.

  37. Temperature and CO2 concentrations anomaly compared beginning with the start of the Mona Loa data. http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/isolate:60/mean:12/scale:0.2/plot/hadcrut3vgl/isolate:60/mean:12/from:1959

  38. judith

    If you think I am gently scolding you , you will be correct. I think we have discussed before that the version of climate history that is taught these days would mean that I would fail any course dismally because there are large parts of the narrative I find difficult to swallow (not radiative physics per se).

    There are numerous papers out there that seem to have become unfashionable whilst the vast repertoire of work in various libraries-such as those at the met office-is largely un-digitised. So there is much work out there that has become unfashionable and lots of other excellent material lying in non digital limbo land, invisible to the modern researcher, who will not be looking for it anyway..

    Climate scientists really ought to have a much broader knowledge of the history of their subject than they appear to do. As Newton remarked, he was standing on the shoulders of giants, but unfortunately many of the former giants of climate science, let alone the lesser mortals, seem to have disappeared into the background, unless of course they are politically acceptable according to the current thinking on AGW (not suggesting conspiracy theories here, just that when everybody is heading in one direction the interesting stuff to the side or behind gets ignored in the thrill of the chase).

    co2 was one of the first major articles I ever wrote, some 5 years ago, and it referenced the very essay that is the topic of your article.

    https://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/03/06/historic-variations-in-co2-measurements/

    Keeling was a great man, but it has always struck me that he was also standing on the shoulders of giants, in as much the history of co2 measurements goes back some 180 years. Various machines were patented to measure it and the British parliament enacted a bill in the 1880’s to measure and restrict the high co2 levels found in the cotton factories. It was written about in the book ‘ North and south’.

    Was Ernst Beck the Salby of five years ago? He was thoroughly vilified for daring to put forward an alternative view. I came to know him quite well after my article was published, as he weighed in with comments. He was a very clever man, but was quite horrified by the fuss he caused and distressed at the highly personal comments made about him .

    A read of his web site will reveal various articles on the tidal periodicities mentioned here.

    Was he correct? Ferdinand Engelbeen thinks not, and I respect him greatly.

    if not though, it amply demonstrates that what was the absolutely settled co2 science of the day (1820 to 1955) practised by many famous scientists, can be found to be completely wrong, as they measured variable co2 reaching some 400ppm in the 1940’s and earlier periods. Can we be sure that the current certainties will stand the test of time?

    What always sticks in my mind about this, is how could we split the atom in 1945, yet it apparently took another 10 years before we were able to determine c02 concentrations accurately, after some 130 years of trying?

    tonyb

    • Tony

      I think the climate wars would be different today if not for the distraction of the misleading hockey stick, and I don’t understand why the discussion can’t get back to the real history of the climate. Please keep up the good work.

      Richard

    • @-climatereason
      “What always sticks in my mind about this, is how could we split the atom in 1945, yet it apparently took another 10 years before we were able to determine c02 concentrations accurately, after some 130 years of trying?”

      Rutherford is usually credited with discovering the atom could be split in 1917. The first controlled use of that was the ‘Manhattan project’ pile in 1942. The first use of atom splitting as a weapon was 1945.

      But the complexity of accurate measurement over time is a newer and harder scientific task than exploiting the gross energy of nuclear reactions.
      As Clair Patterson found when trying to measure lead levels, a story that is very similar to Keeling’s.

      I have no doubt that chemical and physical methods used in the past could be refined to a high accuracy. The technology of laser spectroscopic measurement was a more recent development than atom splitting. That provided Keeling with a better method.
      But the importance of maintaining that accuracy and maintaining control over the conditions, time position, that the measurements were made is Keeling’s contribution to the science.

      The same problem can be seen in the historical temperature data. Measurements were taken to record the extant weather. No thought was initially given to making those measurements in such a way that they would be consistent over long time periods. They were intended to record the conditions on that day, not for comparison with measurements taken by exactly the same precise method four decades later.

      That short-sightedness has plagued the historical data that our new perspective on the past as a indicator of the future desires.
      If only they had known a few generations ago how much we would value any consistent accurate records they had kept!
      I wonder what future generations will regret as our current myopia?

      • izen

        good post.

        Trying to stitch together disparate historic climate measurements of variable quality (land temperatures, sea temperatures, arctic ice etc) that were of their time and never intended to be made into one complete garment, bedevils a proper scientific knowledge of the past

        Scientifically accurate measurements to the standards we currently demand date back only a bare few decades. That period gives far too small a picture to infer anything. We need to run the data for the next fifty years before we can possibly know if anything unusual has been going on. At present it doesn’t appear that today is anything out of the ordinary in terms of what we imperfectly know of the last 2000 years and somebody needs to prove otherwise to a much higher standard than has yet come forward

        tonyb

      • Tonyb,

        OT. I’d sent post w/link re: Easter Islands that I thought might interest you on another thread. Just wondering if you got it?

        Apology for the interruption.

      • danny

        Not sure I saw it. Could you repost at the foot of this thread and I will pick it up. Thanks

        tonyb

      • Matthew R Marler

        izen: Rutherford is usually credited with discovering the atom could be split in 1917. The first controlled use of that was the ‘Manhattan project’ pile in 1942. The first use of atom splitting as a weapon was 1945.

        It was Hahn, Strassman and Meitner who collaborated on the research over more than a decade that led to “splitting” the Uranium atom. It was a paper by Meitner describing the last in the series that was widely disseminated in the US before being published in Nature that showed the feasibility of getting energy from chain reactions.

        Some of the story is here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lise_Meitner

      • Well, actually Keeling didn’t use lasers, (although today, the most accurate CO2 devices use laser cavity ring down) but a much simpler non dispersive IR instrument designed originally for medical measurements of exhaled air. This requires accurate reference standards, and creation of those standards is pretty close to witchcraft. Technique, technique, technique. The non dispersive instruments are still the ones being used at Mauna Loa.

      • Callendar and later Keeling were able to go back through the literature and identify CO2 measurements that were reliable back into the 19th century. They also were able to identify ones that were determined by local conditions (center of Paris, in the middle of a field with growing plants, etc), and to an extent tease out those made by people with good technique and those made by those who were not ready for prime time.

      • @-climatereason
        “Scientifically accurate measurements to the standards we currently demand date back only a bare few decades. That period gives far too small a picture to infer anything.”

        We may desire accurate scientific measurements to a certain standard, but to demand them when they do not actually exist seems a recipe for perpetual frustration.
        Pragmatically we have to employ all the many methods we have to provide a consilience of evidence.

        @-“We need to run the data for the next fifty years before we can possibly know if anything unusual has been going on.”

        Such a profoundly binary assertion seems unlikely. I suspect it is more probable that while the absence of 2000 years of instrumental data decreases the accuracy of our knowledge, it does not reduce it to zero. There are ways of estimating the odds in the face of incomplete information.

        @-“At present it doesn’t appear that today is anything out of the ordinary in terms of what we imperfectly know of the last 2000 years and somebody needs to prove otherwise to a much higher standard than has yet come forward”

        For many people, and apparently the vast majority of mainstream scientists working in the field, the standard required to ‘prove'(?!) to them that today IS out of the ordinary has been exceeded for some decades.
        Could you explain on what criteria you WOULD judge the evidence is sufficient to persuade you that CO2 emissions causing climate change IS a probable risk?
        Or is the evidence required to change your mind pragmatically impossible to obtain?

      • izen | January 14, 2015 at 6:13 pm |

        For many people, and apparently the vast majority of mainstream scientists working in the field, the standard required to ‘prove'(?!) to them that today IS out of the ordinary has been exceeded for some decades.
        Could you explain on what criteria you WOULD judge the evidence is sufficient to persuade you that CO2 emissions causing climate change IS a probable risk?
        Or is the evidence required to change your mind pragmatically impossible to obtain?

        Well…

        The proxies estimates have a number of problems including the fact that the tree proxies have been misbehaving since 1960. This raises questions about whether tree proxies misbehaved in the past. Other sources of evidence would seem to suggest that current warming isn’t unusual. If you could demonstrate that climate scientists believe that it is statistically certain that this is the warmest the earth has been 2000 years that would be a good starting point.

        1. We need an accurate attribution of the sources of post 1900 warming for solar, aerosols, clouds/water vapor, GHG, human surface changes, human heat emissions, etc.

        2. We need an accurate model of CO2 forcing in the global mixed atmosphere. The effect of the modeled CO2 forcing change (5.35 ln C/C0) is assumed to be linear by warmers and that isn’t necessarily true.

        3. We need an accurate modeling of the feedbacks to the forcings.

        4. We need an accurate prediction of yearly GHG increase in PPM in the atmosphere in PPM for a given amount of emissions.

        Once we reach this point we can compute what the temperature change will be during the 21st century all things being equal.

        5. At that point we can discuss whether the warming will be bad or good and do projections of the cost. Up to now warming has been good (net beneficial).

        The warmers believed the atmospheric CO2 level was going to zoom moonward. It appears to be topping out at 2 PPM. Simple math says that without a change to the trend we can’t reach the CO2 levels needed to cause significant temperature change due to GHG. If the CO2 levels don’t increase to the IPCC levels the IPCC analysis is meaningless. If the feedbacks are largely negative the IPCC analysis is meaningless. The IPCC basically projected the 1990s climate trends would continue forever and most people are aware that they haven’t. Until predictions bear some resemblance to the observed climate and atmospheric/oceanographic changes, we really don’t have a good guide as to what to prepare for other than weather as usual. Expensive mitigation of what won’t happen is a poor plan.

      • I was waiting for a change in regime since reading this in 1990.

        http://www.researchgate.net/publication/233871224_Geomorphic_Effects_of_Alternating_Flood-_and_Drought-Dominated_Regimes_on_NSW_Coastal_Rivers

        It happened in 1998/2001 and the linkage to global surface temperatures became very obvious. Complexity science says that these emergent properties of complex system derive from interactions of simple components.

        In the words of Michael Ghil (2013) 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.’

        Complexity science suggests that the system is pushed by small changes in the system past a threshold at which stage the components start to interact chaotically in multiple and changing negative and positive feedbacks – as tremendous energies cascade through powerful subsystems. Some of these changes have a regularity within broad limits and the planet responds with a broad regularity in changes of ice, cloud, Atlantic thermohaline circulation and ocean and atmospheric circulation.

        The shifts are not predictable either as to timing or magnitude and the next will happen within a decade or so.

      • PA ln

        5.35 ln(C/C0) is assumed to be linear by warmers and that isn’t necessarily true.

        ln(C/Co) is logarithmic which is sub linear. Care to try again?

    • tony
      “Can we be sure that the current certainties will stand the test of time?”

      I like your entire comment but this quote stood out for me. As I have mentioned numerous other times, if a person has lived enough decades and followed science in general they would have noticed numerous times that what had been accepted as orthodoxy was turned on it head after scientists made new discoveries and learned more about the universe of ours. There may be multiple motivations, but it seems climate science as a whole wants to hold on to the past and ignore what a robust imagination might uncover. I see the ethic of science being atrophied as a result.

      • Ceresco kid

        The book of ‘indisputable scientific facts 1815’ would bear no relationship to the same book published in 1915 which in turn would be unrecognisable in the 2015 version.

        I suspect it will turn out that our knowledge of climate is far more limited and imperfect than the current practitioners believe.
        tonyb

    • Puts things in a proper historical perspective. Read it through twice. Some political questions, though. What was the political ramifications of limiting emissions from cotton factories? I can’t imagine that they were happy about those regulations. Are there indications that it lead to or was it caused by politicization? Or Kim’s polarization? How difficult was it for them to comply?

      • ATAandB

        This was the era of a stirring social conscience as manifested by people such as Charles Dickens. The shocking conditions in mines and factories resulted in something of a battle between rampant capitalists and those who insisted the worker was better treated and in this was the genesis of the Modern British Labour party.

        This was also the time of great benefactors such as the Cadbury family and many others who significantly improved conditions and erected great public buildings and donated money to good causes.

        So politics certainly played its part, as the wealthy were the ones who controlled the political process, but better social and working conditions was an idea whose time had come and to some extent the reformers were pushing at an open door.
        tonyb

      • Like red pepper to dynamite.

        Yep, Shavian.
        ===========

  39. Much of the nonsense above falls to the existence of the other Keeling curve

    • Oxygen is measured in percent. CO2 is measured in PPM.

      Oxygen is about 21% of the atmosphere.

      The O2 level is dropping about twice as fast as CO2 is rising – so burning down rainforests is having about as much effect as fossil fuels.

      • Look at the units of the ordinate. Changes in O2 concentration are measured in units of per meg

        δO2/N2 = [(O2/N2)sample/(O2/N2)reference -1]x 10^6,

      • Lets cut to the chase.

        There are 1.2 Pt – 1,200,000 Gt of oxygen in the atmosphere.

        There are 3127 GT of CO2 (about 852 Gt of carbon).

        The burning of any conceivable amount of fossil fuel will reduce the oxygen level 1/500ths. After all the fossil fuel is gone there will be more than 1,197,000 GT of oxygen left.. Since there are only 2-3 significant digits in the computation the difference is effectively zero. 1,197,600 GT should be expressed as 1,200,000 GT. For practical purposes we will assume the level of oxygen will be reduced 2400-3000 GT. There is 3.1E17 moles of oxygen (4,960 Gt) in the ocean. Plattner et al., 2002 says the oceans will outgas 17% by 2100 or 843 Gt.

        Bottom line – the O2 level may drop due to fossil fuel- but only at the level of a scientific curiosity. Half the oxygen is being lost is due to rainforest burning or oxidation of the surface or whatever.

        As a side note: It is no longer theoretically possible to double CO2 with existing reserves. We would have to find 12% more reserves and assume it all went into the atmosphere and stayed there (only 40% adds to the atmospheric CO2 level currently).

      • PA,

        On that basis I am happy to allow markets to manage the least cost way to provide secure, reliable energy supply. Free markets have demonstrated a far better capability to foresee future demand and meet it than any bureaucrats, political parties, NGO’s or self assured cultist groups – such as the climate cultists.

        As long as the self proclaimed ‘Progressives’ continue to block progress, I take all their rantings and statements about their beliefs with a grain of salt

      • Eli would indeed be happy to cut to the chase, if you had a clue as to where it is.

        The reason to measure O2 concentrations is to use it as a tracer of other issues including the idea that hey, more CO2 more plant growth why worry. If that were the case then O2/N2 would be going up or staying constant, not fallng. BTW looking at sampling in various regions of the earth

        As to the rest of your blather start here, and then look at Pekka’s comments above. That is all

        Thank you for the opportunity to point this out:)

      • First the biological pump, which moves a lot of the phytoplankton mass into the deeper ocean, burying the carbon in a place where it cannot rapidly be recycled into the atmosphere. Kill off the phytoplankton and that goes, so the capacity of the oceans to absorb CO2 decreases and the atmospheric mixing ratio of CO2 increases quickly.

        You don’t even need to kill it off. A rapid ecological reorganization (eco-catastrophe) could easily replace a large fraction of the phytoplankton that accumulate calcium carbonate in their bodies (and therefore sink when they die) with ecologically similar types that don’t. Which could easily shut down much of the “biological pump”. And in fact, a change to the relative ratios of CO2 and organic nitrogen in the ocean could easily change the incentives for replacing calcium carbonate armor with modified cellulose.

        Second, increasing the temperature of the sea surface decreases the oxygen content of the surface waters. […] Given high enough temperature rises in tropical oceans, large areas could become oxygen poor or even anorexic [sic] (the 37 C wet bulb limit for sea life).

        I doubt you’d see more than tiny areas for short times at such temperatures, as the increase in evaporation would probably result in much higher albedo, both over sea and land. Which in turn would tend to cool things down.

      • Yep, lots of people would die rapidly when that happened as the systems which depend on the plankton follow. C;mon talking about instant replacement of a major earth system is instant idiocy. You have no clue about what would happen. No one does, but you like playing with explosives.

      • C;mon talking about instant replacement of a major earth system is instant idiocy. You have no clue about what would happen.

        Well, I have a pretty good clue what would happen if we really crash the world economy. And it isn’t pretty.

        Still, I’m in favor of methods for reducing the risk that don’t involve significantly increasing the price of energy, or imposing any sort of world-wide regulatory bureaucracy. Those, IMO, would be far more risky to the species.

    • Eli, “While oxygen depletion sounds intimidating, the reality is that it is only a small fraction of the total atmospheric oxygen and not considered consequential”. http://ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/the-keeling-curves

    • Oh please……

      Comparable to the Double Helix? or Darwin?

      Yes, measurements are good, but what ground breaking scientific landmark is the ‘Keeling Curve’? CO2 is rising – we knew that for quite some time.

      • Not according to your friends above, and you could always ask your buddy Ernst Beck

        However, at the time the measurements started, there was no consensus that CO2 was rising and what the mechanism was. The clincher was the observation of the annual cycle in the northern and not so much in the southern hemisphere. So yeah, it was not a bad thing to put on a bunny’s CV.

      • Eli said

        ‘Not according to your friends above, and you could always ask your buddy Ernst Beck’

        Eli, for someone in the business, as it were, I am surprised that you didn’t know that Ernst Beck died several years ago.

        tonyb

      • Not according to your friends above, and you could always ask your buddy Ernst Beck

        You should know that Lucifer doesn’t have friends or buddies.

        I’ve got a number of textbooks from the 1930s discussing the increase in CO2.

        What Keeling did was valuable.

        But his opinion of the impacts of rising CO2 were just that – opinions – and about as valuable ( or worthless ) as mine.

        And he doesn’t get a pass for predicting ‘danger’ in thirty years, then glossing over the fact that ‘danger’ failed to appear.

      • It’s been all to the good. Beck knew it, Keeling probably knows it, many predicted it. A warmer world sustains more total life and more diversity of life.

        I don’t think many of the early optimists predicted the tremendous greening that has been accomplished by AnthroCO2.

        Heh, if it is us.
        =====

      • Yeah, but Lucifer clearly communicates with other places

      • 1930s = Guy Callendar

      • kim | January 15, 2015 at 11:47 am |

        I”t’s been all to the good. Beck knew it, Keeling probably knows it, many predicted it. A warmer world sustains more total life and more diversity of life”

        Yes, like in the Sahara.

      • Yes, like in the Sahara.

        More likely the Congo rain forest.

      • I hop to the bunny’s beat on this Callendar.
        ==========

      • Arrhenius, the originator of the specification of CO2 and the Greenhouse effect said in 1908,
        “By the influence of the increasing percentage of carbonic acid in the atmosphere, we may hope to enjoy ages with more equable and better climates, especially as regards the colder regions of the earth, ages when the earth will bring forth much more abundant crops than at present, for the benefit of rapidly propagating mankind.”
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svante_Arrhenius#Greenhouse_effect

      • It is interesting and unexplained that the warmer countries are strongly correlated with lower GDP per capita and shorter life expectancy. Warm may be good for plants, but the trend is opposite for humans.

      • It is interesting and unexplained that the warmer countries are strongly correlated […]

        Plenty of explanations. Of course which, if any, is/are true…

  40. For TonyB and Off topic: http://phys.org/news/2015-01-history-rapa-nui-easter-island.html

    Haven’t been able to locate except behind paywall.

    Also, you’d offered a link to a discussion of yours on CO2 and I’ve not yet found it so if/when you have a moment. Thanks.

  41. Why.It's.Not.CO2

    Yes, politicians need to heed science – but only the correct science.

    A plot of the scalar sum of the angular momentum of the Sun and all the planets is shown here.

    In the above linked website (being visited by over 100 each day) you will see a plot derived from planetary orbits. There is a very strong correlation between world temperature data and the 934-year and superimposed 60-year cycles in this plot. I postulate that magnetic fields from the planets affect the Sun and cosmic ray intensities, and the latter can affect cloud formation and thus climate on Earth.

    The whole debate lies firmly within the science of physics in which I am well versed. Most people don’t understand thermodynamics, let alone radiative heat transfers. I have written about the latter in my paper “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics” published on several websites in March 2012 and easily found with Google. That paper demolishes the false conjecture by James Hansen that back radiation can be added to solar radiation when calculating surface temperatures using the Stefan Boltzmann equation. All it can do is slow that portion of surface cooling which is itself by radiation, whilst having no effect on most of the cooling, which is not by radiation.

    But the more important issue is the physics (based on the Second Law of Thermodynamics) which does explain all temperature data in tropospheres, surfaces, crusts, mantles and cores of all planets and satellite moons, and also explains the required energy flows to maintain the existing temperatures. Very, very few are aware of this physics, yet it is valid and correctly derived from the laws of physics which have stood the test of time.

    Unless we attack the false physics in the greenhouse conjecture and present valid physics that does gel with reality, we don’t have a hope of quashing the hoax.

    I believe we can present the correct physics, and such is in my book “Why It’s Not Carbon Dioxide After All” available from Amazon. If we don’t satisfy the world that the physics in the GH conjecture is false, and that other correct physics does explain everything, then there will be more of the same when the 60 year cycle rises again between about 2028 and 2059.

    Hopefully Australia can lead the world, for I believe there could be a class-action sponsored by major companies against the Government for all the costs which such companies incur because of the false claims regarding carbon dioxide. If the Government lost such a case they would be forced to act and take notice of the correct science, and it would get global attention. I am confident that I could defeat any scientist the Government might use as a witness in such a case. Many of you will know that I have argued with hundreds on climate blogs and never been proven wrong regarding the content of my book. I’ve even offered $5,000 if proven wrong.

    So, if anyone has any suggestions, or knows someone in an Australian law firm who may wish to take this on, let me know.

    • Amazing. Joseph Fourier’s hypothesis the IR absorption and reemission by gases in the atmosphere has been accepted for 185 years, by Nobel Prize winning scientists and endorsed by nearly every scientific organization on earth, except Petroleum Geologists, has been overturned by a genius with a diploma in business administration.
      This is an amazing story! It is almost unbelievable. No ! It is really unbelievable.
      I looked at your paper and it is garbage.

      • eadler2 commented

        Amazing. Joseph Fourier’s hypothesis the IR absorption and reemission by gases in the atmosphere has been accepted for 185 years, by Nobel Prize winning scientists and endorsed by nearly every scientific organization on earth

        Ignoring his paper, IMO it isn’t the absorption and emission of IR that is at question, it’s how much surface temps change.

      • 2Micro
        “Ignoring his paper, IMO it isn’t the absorption and emission of IR that is at question, it’s how much surface temps change.”
        I guess I forgot to include that in my description of what Fourier’s hypothesis explained – that the earths surface temperature was higher than it would be because of the absorption and emission of certain gases in the atmosphere.
        http://www.aip.org/history/climate/timeline.htm
        The increase in the average surface temperature is put at about 33C .
        You are right to ignore his paper.

  42. Speaking of forcing, Nicola Scafetta (‘Empirical evidence for a celestial origin of the climate oscillations and its implications’) observed, “there are many studies that have suggested a possible influence of the Moon upon climate [e.g., Keeling and Whorf]… After all, the phenomenon of lunar tides and their cycles are well known and clearly present in the ocean records. Thus, the Moon may alter climate by partially modulating the ocean currents via gravitational forces through its long-term lunar tidal cycles.”

    How many models include lunar forcing? Zero. Does that mean Keeling and others was totally or possibly wrong? We just don’t know all of the possible things that all the makers of all of the toy climate models have been left out; nor all of the possible things that have possibly been left out; nor all of the things that have been included that are only possible.

  43. in 30 years “if present trends are any sign, mankind’s world, I judge, will be in greater immediate danger than it is today.”

    Keeling, like many doomsayers, didn’t identify the “immediate danger”.
    So, in his thirty year follow-up, didn’t admit the lack of immediate danger.

    Were he here today, we could point out to him the increased wealth, increased longevity, increased education and just about every other standard of living, nearly world wide, nearly all facilitated with fossil fuel.

    • …and, now we even have clean diesel technology and yet the Left demands that the developing world must continue to trundle-around dung, water and wood on their heads and backs like oxen.

    • –in 30 years “if present trends are any sign, mankind’s world, I judge, will be in greater immediate danger than it is today.”

      Keeling, like many doomsayers, didn’t identify the “immediate danger”.
      So, in his thirty year follow-up, didn’t admit the lack of immediate danger.–

      Well statement appears prior to 2000 AD. And prior to 2000 would have agree with that statement- mostly. Though “mostly” depends on what time period you are talking about and what mean by “greater immediate danger”.
      One could say I feel safer because we have measured- we have to some extent significantly reduced the potential risk because of measurement.

      So one were to assess the great risk of mankind on the year 2000.
      What are they?
      One could degrade the soviet risk, and therefore risk related to nuclear war- though there is still long range risk, it’s just soviets were connected to a short term risk [because they were and still are idiots]. Or one say long terms risk of nuclear war [because inability of politicians] has increased a bit.
      Let’s compare Eugene Shoemaker and Charles Keeling- both who dead, btw.
      So, imagine I have provide info on Eugene Shoemaker, let’s grab something from wiki:
      “Eugene Merle Shoemaker (April 28, 1928 – July 18, 1997), also known as Gene Shoemaker, was an American geologist and one of the founders of the field of planetary science. He is best known for co-discovering the Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 with his wife Carolyn Shoemaker and David Levy.” and:
      “Coming to Caltech in 1969, he started a systematic search for Earth orbit-crossing asteroids, which resulted in the discovery of several families of such asteroids, including the Apollo asteroids. Shoemaker advanced the idea that sudden geologic changes can arise from asteroid strikes and that asteroid strikes are common over geologic time periods. Previously, astroblemes were thought to be remnants of extinct volcanoes – even on the Moon.”

      To make it brief, Shoemaker was not any way an alarmist- but he knew there was a risk from impactors.
      And let’s say that due to his effort, a large chunk of that risk of that uncertainly has been “retired”. Done by careful observation and measurement by relatively few amount of people and many more of loose association amateurs astronomers. But impactor are still what could call a
      great immediate danger. The difference no one has polluted the public
      with endless wild ideas regarding this great immediate danger.
      Or immediate in terms of mankind is not next year- even though tommorrow
      millions of people could be wipe out by asteroid strike- very low chances and made even lower by observation. And in terms of a year or decade, all mankind could be extinguished by a impactor- an even lower chance.
      Least chance in a year, a much more reasonable chance in million years.
      In terms of odds, only known death caused was to dog [maybe] and small rock crashed thru someone’s garage [no one hurt]. And chances favor
      thousands or millions dying from one, as compared to human extinction event.
      But you don’t to end all human life to be a threat to mankind. US military for example is concerned that smallish impactor could trigger a nuclear- because they can resemble a nuclear strike. Then bigger one’s which can do regional effect without any direct hit, and etc.

    • John Vonderlin

      Lucifer,
      One of my favorite techniques in dealing with pessimists, cynics or alarmists is to refer them to the website Gapminder.org. I don’t know how anyone could look at their volume of charts and graphs detailing the many wonderful trends manifested on our planet in the last few decades and not come to the conclusion I espouse: Almost everything is getting better almost every day. Don’t Worry! Be Happy! Whatever problems that it turns out CO2 is causing will be handled just as well as all the others have. Humankind will triumph, not become extinct.

      • Every day in every way things are getting to be the best of all possible worlds. In my garden anyway, ‘cept for the night, the winter and the pests.
        ===============

    • If you prefer to face the future by looking backwards go ahead. Progress was made by people who had a vision of the future that was new.

      • Progress was made by people who had a vision of the future that was new.

        Which doesn’t require punitive regulatory over-pricing of current technology.

      • When in doubt
        let’s avoid
        rash acts
        of faith,
        those costly
        long range
        plans. First
        do no harm.

      • Belinda is just as good as Beththeserf. Is that due to genetics, ESP or climate change?

  44. ” from science being primarily an intellectual pastime of private persons to its present status as a major contributor to the quality of human life and the prosperity of nations.’

    Advances in science have become so important to our lives that this change was inevitable. In climate research the absorption of IR energy by CO2 is important, so it is important to understand how CO2 absorbs energy. Some CO2 samples are richer in neutrons than others and since they ate heavy particles which have the required degrees of freedom to vibrate more readily, absorb mote IR, and heat the air. However as the CO2 rises in the colder troposphere, it loses its ability to absorb IR ( the equipartian principle mo longer applies). So heat can escape from earth without hindrance and is the probable cause of the present hiatus.

    • Why.It's.Not.CO2

      The absorption by CO2 has no effect on climate, because planetary surface temperatures are not set by direct solar radiation, let alone back radiation. They are set by thermodynamic processes as dictated by the Second Law of Thermodynamics. See my comment at 6:01pm above and the linked website. You don’t understand the physics involved and you can’t even spell the terms used in physics – and you have no idea as to what is really happening. Stop peddling the IPCC hoax that kills people and starves others.

      • Matthew R Marler

        whyit’snotco2: because planetary surface temperatures are not set by direct solar radiation,

        Really? Where then does the energy come from?

      • “Why.It’s.Not.CO2 | January 14, 2015 at 8:44 pm | Reply
        The absorption by CO2 has no effect on climate, because planetary surface temperatures are not set by direct solar radiation,

        I never said they were. It’s ok for politicians to put words into other mouths, but not in these columns. Energy arrives from the sun at short wave and is re-emited at long wave by the earth. All scientists agree on these processes. The unsolved problem is how much gets left behind in the process. That is where neutrons come in. They are heavy particles and can absorb a lot of energy when they vibrate. Thank you for your contribution. Sorry about the spelling. My eyesight is failing.

      • There is about a 1% difference in the vibrational frequency between 12CO2 and 13CO2. Goes inversely as the square root of the mass

    • Let’s see if anyone else can stop laughing long enough to explain to you why this is a load.

    • Your explanation of what is happening is even kookier than Why.It’s.Not.CO2.’s!
      It has nothing to do with the number of neutrons in the nucleus i.e. C12 vs C13. The CO2 molecule doesn’t lose its ability to absorb more IR as it rises. Less IR is absorbed because at those heights their are fewer CO2 molecules per cm3.
      The probable cause of the slowdown in surface warming is mostly colder ocean surface temperatures in the Pacific as a result of the La Nina ENSO phase.

      • eadler2:Just look up any physics book or Wikipedia on the EQUIPARTION PRINCIPlE. This shows that particles that have the necessary degrees of freedom share equally in absorbing radiation. But when temperature falls to values common in the troposphere, the principle breaks down and less radiation is absorbed. Thus 14.99 micron radiation, near the peak of earth’s radiation can escape without further heating (by CO2) and that is the probable reason for the 1940 singularity. See my website underlined above.

  45. @-Matthew R Marler
    “It was Hahn, Strassman and Meitner who collaborated on the research over more than a decade that led to “splitting” the Uranium atom.”

    This pertains to the old theoretical versus experimental physicist feud.
    Theoreticians expect the credit for stuff they predict, but the rule seems to be that unless they manage get their name on it first; Higgs Boson, Pauli exclusion principle, Bell’s inequality, then the experimenter that actually detected the predicted effect gets the credit.
    So Rutherford first split the atom because he made the observation!

    I think Keeling would be in the experimentalist camp, given that he gets his name on the curve.

  46. Hide the design
    Calamity Jam,
    Climate science,
    That’s what I am.
    =============

    • Steven,

      Read harder. I posted that hours ago! :)

      Regards,

    • Mosher

      I am going to quote you on that.

      Danny LOL

    • I’ve been tweeting this heavily. post coming tomorrow. Some apparent nasa drama, Gavin postponed his press announcement til tomorrow.

    • The annual mean is a lottery in terms of the persistence of SST in the year. A running mean seem a better idea.

      That way we don’t have to endure this charade every year.

    • We are cooling, folks; for how long even kim doesn’t know.
      =================

    • You truncated that a bit.

      • Except UAH and RSS do not cover high latitudes (70S to 82.5N for RSS).

      • MSU is reasonably well borne out by the radiosonde data:

        And the three are consistent with models with respect to
        1. stratospheric cooling and
        2. Arctic warming

        The Tropical Upper Tropospheric Hot Spot is not verifying.

        And of course, the Arctic also warmed in the early twentieth century.

      • Eli Rabett, “Except UAH and RSS do not cover high latitudes (70S to 82.5N for RSS).”

        About 3% of the globe. Prior to the satellite era that percentage and more was not covered by any other instruments either. Considering how poor the satellite coverage is, it is pretty remarkable that Cowtan and Way used UAH to krige NH areas still not covered by surface instruments.

        What happened to the good old days when folks sang the praises of RSS rescuing MSU data from the coal hands of libertarians?

      • Of all the measurements the radiosonde series are by far the worst.

    • Show of hands:

      Everybody who thinks that BEST or anyone else on the planet can determine the average global land and sea temperature to hundredths, let alone thousandths, of a degree to determine annual rankings, raise your hand.

      • I’ll hang my hat on the sat data due to the much better sampling coverage. RSS or UAH – either will do.

      • @ GaryM

        What are you? Anti-science or something?

        Its super easy to go to official government ‘climate sites’ and find that annual temperatures of the planet to precision and accuracy in the hundredths of a degree have been available since the 1880’s. At least.

        And I know that it is true. See this plot, for example, which shows official government data going back to 1880:

        http://www.weather.com/science/environment/news/last-year-2013-seventh-warmest-record-nasa-20140121

        It is obvious from the graph that it was based on data with hundredths of a degree resolution and accuracy.

        That is why that I an so confident that 2014 was the hottest year EVER, by a few hundredths of a degree.

        After all, if government wasn’t absolutely SURE of the precision and accuracy of its data it wouldn’t report it, would it?

      • The point, and it is a somewhat subtle one is that there is no way to define an average thermodynamic temperature because the Earth is not at thermodynamic equilibrium, but you can define meaningful global, regional and local temperature anomalies and you can measure energy flows into and out of the system and its sub-components.

        Differences between the various temperature anomaly series depend on how they are constructed, but they track each other pretty well and there have been some good advances in this including BEST, what Nick Stokes is up to and Cowtran-Way as well as improvements in the longer existing series bringing us HADCRUT4, metadata improvements, etc.

      • OH yeah, UAH and RSS do a lousy job with the poles because they have trouble when there is underlying ice and snow, so no, the coverage is not global.

      • You can define anything you like, the question is, is it useful.

      • The sat coverage is billions of times better than surface-based thermometers.

      • Simply false, and by their own admission. Jim2 thinks politically. Every argument is political. Which is why his opinions are right next to worthless.

        The opposite of the water chef’s anticipation is about to happen:

        Importantly, the researchers don’t expect the current pressure difference between the two ocean basins to last. When it does end, they expect to see some rapid changes, including a sudden acceleration of global average surface temperatures.

        “It will be difficult to predict when the Pacific cooling trend and its contribution to the global hiatus in surface temperatures will come to an end,” Prof England said. …

        400 ppm. It is not going to cool.

      • JCH doesn’t know logic from a hole in the ground. There was zero politics in my post about the sats. JCH is obviously nothing more than a Climate-Goebbels.

  47. Outside the parallel universe of Left-leaning Western academia that gave birth to the “greenhouse effect” of AGW Theory and sees the rest of the globe as living in the hottest world ever (and, underwater if not for Obama) — all thanks to US-capitalism and the modern age of clean water, sewage treatment, modern medicine, and etc. — it now appears that more and more scientists are willing to admit that “global warming” has gone sideways for nearly 20 years and counting, despite increases in atmospheric CO2 that is mostly being put there in ever-increasing fractions by China and other developing countries.

    • @-Wagathon
      “Outside the parallel universe of Left-leaning Western academia that gave birth to the “greenhouse effect” of AGW Theory ”

      Fourier first described the greenhouse effect in 1824. Tyndall confirmed the role of CO2 in the same year Darwin published ‘The Origin of Species’. Are you really asserting ~200 years ago there was a Left-Leaning academia?

      @-“it now appears that more and more scientists are willing to admit that “global warming” has gone sideways for nearly 20 years and counting, ”

      But not if they have looked at any graphs of sea surface, sea level, ocean heat content. All show the continued accumulation of energy in the terrestrial climate system.

      • Things do seem to be getting warmer. But they aren’t getting enough warmer fast enough.

        Much more warming and a much higher rate of atmospheric CO2 increase is needed to create a problem.

        There is enough reason to study it a little. There isn’t any reason to take drastic action. We were looking for alternative energy sources because of the limited amount of fossil fuel and we should continue. We should implement alternate energy sources when they are cheaper and make sense.

        The cost of fossil fuel and the cost of the alternative technologies should determine when we transition – not because a bunch of people are running around yelling the sky is falling.

        The worst case scenarios that would justify their concerns are highly unlikely. And 15+ years has shown us that we have time to do what prudent people would do – study the problem until we understand it before attempting to implement a solution. If it cools as some people predict – the activists demanded action would be a costly mistake.

        If the activists were willing to fund the transition out of pocket or allow us to sue them civilly to recover costs when they are proven wrong – I’d be ok with transitioning now. But the activists aren’t willing to put any skin in the game.

      • PA

        +1000

      • @-PA
        “If the activists were willing to fund the transition out of pocket or allow us to sue them civilly to recover costs when they are proven wrong – I’d be ok with transitioning now. But the activists aren’t willing to put any skin in the game.”

        Is that a reciprocal offer?
        Are the contrarians and delayists willing to be sued if AGW continues to damage the ecology and cause costs, or will they avoid their responsibility for any extra harm from climate change because of the lobbying for delay on phasing out the dangerous practise of burning fossil fuels.

      • De facto, Izen, this is what the shakedown by the BRICs of the developed West amounts to. Attribution is a difficult nut to crack, and harm cannot be shown, since warming is a net benefit, as it sustains more total life and more diversity of life.

        That’s a failure to demonstrate Damages, or Direct Cause in the four ‘D’s’ of negligence.

        Shuttlecock in your court on the offer.
        ========================

      • Keeling writes of his views, circa 1969:

        In 1969, I spoke on invitation before the American Philosophical Society on the implications of rising atmospheric CO2 This rise was of interest, I said, because if it persisted it was likely to inhibit the escape of heat radiating upward from the Earth’s surface and bring about a warmer climate—the socalled “greenhouse effect,” although I didn’t use that expression.

        The increase in global warming hasn’t changed in 100 years. The absence of warming going on 2 decades tells us climate change is not alarming. NASA’s most recent radar map also shows us warming is not alarming: the Arctic Ice Cap that’s larger than on any December 28 in the past five years (more than 4,000,000 square miles); and, at the other pole, the extent of Antarctic ice coverage has never been so great (at least since 35 years ago when radar measurement began).

      • @-kim
        ” Attribution is a difficult nut to crack,…”

        Not for the vast majority of scientists in the field, all the major scientific institutions and the majority of those who have examined the subject with any attention.
        In most nations contrarian opinion is confined to a crank (or lobby funded) fringe.

        @-“…and harm cannot be shown, since warming is a net benefit, as it sustains more total life and more diversity of life.”

        I doubt you can find any credible scientific research that could support that assertion, but would welcome any you can give.

        El Nino events are brief climate shifts that result in a warmer world than average. There is compelling evidence that for human society at least it is a net benefit. Most of the major famines in recent history are explicitly linked to strong warming from the ENSO cycle. Even more recently it is clear factor in the economic stability of the global system.

        https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2000/wp00203.pdf

      • Oh, you mean the vast majority of scientists whose work is embodied in the climate models? Those ones?

      • Sorry, Izen, attribution is not settled science, no matter how hard you want to believe it. Look into paleontology for the science supporting my second point about warmer worlds being better than cooler ones.
        ===============

  48. I posted this just above. Excuse be for repeating here – but things are not quite as simple as continuing CO2 rise and no temperature rise. Some of us predicted the plateau – and we may anticipate the next more or less extreme climate shift within a decade or so.

    I was waiting for a change in regime since reading this in 1990.

    http://www.researchgate.net/publication/233871224_Geomorphic_Effects_of_Alternating_Flood-_and_Drought-Dominated_Regimes_on_NSW_Coastal_Rivers

    It happened in 1998/2001 and the linkage to global surface temperatures became very obvious. Complexity science says that these emergent properties in a complex system derive from interactions of simple components.

    In the words of Michael Ghil (2013) 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.’

    Complexity science suggests that the system is pushed by small changes in the system past a threshold at which stage the components start to interact chaotically in multiple and changing negative and positive feedbacks – as tremendous energies cascade through powerful subsystems. Some of these changes have a regularity within broad limits and the planet responds with a broad regularity in changes of ice, cloud, Atlantic thermohaline circulation and ocean and atmospheric circulation.

    The shifts are not predictable either as to timing or magnitude and the next will happen within a decade or so. In the light of complexity science the arguments from both camps of the climate war are not remotely in the right ball park.

    • nottawa rafter

      Ghil’s description is so elegant and all encompassing, I don’t know how it could be improved on.

    • All of this is fine and good. These cycles in cycles like the stadium wave.are explanations for natural cycles. These theories are nice but only to the extent they yield testable predictions.

      From an engineering standpoint the climate is a heat engine.

      The LIA and Maunder minimum turned the “Stadium Wave” into a section wave or just a few rows around the middle. No heat engine no run. The cycles didn’t ramp up until the 1800s.

      It appears to take a peak in solar insulation to bring us into an interglacial given the current geography. The current TSI is typical of much of the ice age.

      The real issue is how long the current solar lull is going to be. An extended solar lull may pancake much of the large scale cyclical activity. Fortunately it looks like the umbral magnetic field isn’t going to go down to 1500 but it will be low levels for a while.

      The sun is going to be calm for the next couple of cycles. So for the time being we should pump out as much carbon as we can. This gives us a chance to study the relative effects of CO2 and solar activity.

      If the climate does cool between now and 2030 there should be a civil fraud action to recover funds from the global warmers and their estates.

  49. Ordvic and PA,

    Re: Ordvic’s post of 1/14 at 4:32 (Sry, don’t know how to link energy storage). Thought you’d be interested in this: http://news.discovery.com/earth/california-takes-lead-in-developing-energy-storage-150115.htm

    Regards

  50. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    BREAKING NEWS
    Sea level rise:
    Models and observations are starting to agree

    A new analysis of tide gauge data has found that oceans rose just 1.2 millimeters a year between 1901 and 1990, researchers report online today in Nature.

    The study, which relies on a sophisticated probabilistic technique that identifies patterns linking the sparse tide gauges, also found that from 1993 to 2010, sea levels rose 3 millimeters a year—in line with other tide gauge analyses.

    The jump from 20th century rates to 21st century ones supports what models have been saying all along: Sea level rise is accelerating at a frighteningly rapid rate.

    Conclusion  Strengthening science says:

    (1) James Hansen’s 1981 scientific worldview is just plain right, and

    (2) Pope Francis’ moral worldview ain’t so dumb.

    More-and-more folks appreciate these realities, eh Climate Etc readers?

    Alternative Explanation  It’s an expanding global conspiracy of scientists, mathematicians, liberals, progressives, religious leaders, Greens, military leaders, business leaders, and citizen-scientists!

    Conservative Response  Quick … stop launching satellites!

    \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}

  51. More on the low information voter …
    From the article:

    If the pictures of those towering wildfires in Colorado haven’t convinced you, or the size of your AC bill this summer, here are some hard numbers about climate change: June broke or tied 3,215 high-temperature records across the United States. That followed the warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe.

    Meteorologists reported that this spring was the warmest ever recorded for our nation – in fact, it crushed the old record by so much that it represented the “largest temperature departure from average of any season on record.” The same week, Saudi authorities reported that it had rained in Mecca despite a temperature of 109 degrees, the hottest downpour in the planet’s history.

    Not that our leaders seemed to notice. Last month the world’s nations, meeting in Rio for the 20th-anniversary reprise of a massive 1992 environmental summit, accomplished nothing. Unlike George H.W. Bush, who flew in for the first conclave, Barack Obama didn’t even attend. It was “a ghost of the glad, confident meeting 20 years ago,” the British journalist George Monbiot wrote; no one paid it much attention, footsteps echoing through the halls “once thronged by multitudes.” Since I wrote one of the first books for a general audience about global warming way back in 1989, and since I’ve spent the intervening decades working ineffectively to slow that warming, I can say with some confidence that we’re losing the fight, badly and quickly – losing it because, most of all, we remain in denial about the peril that human civilization is in.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/global-warmings-terrifying-new-math-20120719

    • “That followed the warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe.” “Sean , you know what the odds are against winning the lottery? What? Four to One?” I feel terrified. There are 327 samples, but they’re are monthly averages. A like it when samples are snapshots at a specific time. What’s the math on 327 X 30 per month samples? I am sensing someone is misusing statistics at jim2’s link.

    • Jim2,

      Re:”If the pictures of those towering wildfires in Colorado haven’t convinced you,”……….
      Those towering wildfires have something to do with fuel loads on the forest floor due to our decades of fire suppression. Guess they left that out, eh?

      • @-Danny Thomas
        “Re:”If the pictures of those towering wildfires in Colorado haven’t convinced you,”……….
        Those towering wildfires have something to do with fuel loads on the forest floor due to our decades of fire suppression. Guess they left that out, eh?”

        But a lot more to do with the extreme drought and high temperatures evaporating water from any remaining fuel load.
        It has actually been a couple of decades since fire suppression was policy, these days burning off accumulated fuel load is a regular procedure, at least in the diminishing seasonal window when it is safe to do so without risk of starting the very wildfire you are trying to prevent.

        The old, ‘more wildfires because of past fire suppression’ is an obsolete and erroneous argument nowadays.

      • Izen,

        Leaving out that information in the article seems disingenuous to me which is the basis for my comment.

        So please help me with this. My understanding of the fire science is that it’s in a state of vacillation between “let it burn” and “put it out” as of last year. Much of the decision making has to do with access. Two years ago in Colorado, there were a couple of severe fires and West Fork was remote and allowed to burn more than “typical” and much of the fuel attributed to Pine Beetles. Of course nearer to urban areas the decisions were different as more folks and structures were at risk. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_Colorado_wildfires.

        Plus, money (as always) is a limiting factor as opposed to policy set based on only preferred management practice.
        “Until around 1970, federal land managers remained obsessed with controlling large fires. But during the 1960s, scientific research increasingly demonstrated the positive role fire played in forest ecology. This led in the early 1970s to a radical change in Forest Service policy—to let fires burn when and where appropriate. It began with allowing natural-caused fires to burn in designated wilderness areas. From this the “let-burn” policy evolved, though it suffered a setback in the wake of the 1988 Yellowstone fires. Since around 1990, fire suppression efforts and policy have had to take into account exurban sprawl in what is called the wildland-urban interface. Another issue the Forest Service now faces is that fires have grown in size and ferocity over the last 25 years. The fire-fighting budget has grown to about 50 percent of the agency’s entire budget, which limits funds available for land management activities such as land restoration and forest thinning that could aid in fire suppression.” http://www.foresthistory.org/ASPNET/Policy/Fire/Suppression/Suppression.aspx

        Additionally, the forest service (when funds are available and labor not needed elsewhere) do control burns to reduce the forest fuel loads.

      • Lies by omission are still lies.

  52. Hooray, just noticed the Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly in Niño 3.4 Region – 1999 to Present at WUWT show a fall below the 0.5 degrees anomaly.
    This means no El Nino officially for 2014 and probably none for 2015.
    El Nino being defined as 3 months of consecutive 3 monthly periods above 0.5 in Nino 3/4 region.
    No comment yet from media or Bob Tisdale?
    Still caused a very warm year but should be a lot cooler from here in.

    • The lack of a 0.5degC anomaly that would signify an El Niño event is not because the 3/4 Pacfic region has cooled, but because the rest of the Pacific has also warmed. That’s why sea surface temperatures have been at a record level for the last two years.

      • The lack of an official Nino3.4 event should remind folks that there are currently 4 Nino regions and likely there will be more in the future to bandage up yet another failing “index”. Now that some of us live in the Satellite age, there will be better indexes to consider.

        From a paleo perspective, if you are a die hard Nino3.4 fan you can use the Emile-Geay 2012 reconstruction as a reference, or some of the more general ENSO, SOI and Warm Pool reconstructions to move up to climate time scales.

  53. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    gymnosperm says “I personally hate the transition from personal to government science.”

    Gymnosperm, there is good news for you and all rational climate-skeptics/government-skeptics!

    Arch-skeptic Richard Muller has published an independent, comprehensive,non-government, non-partisan review of the instrumental record …

    … and has concluded I was wrong on climate-change.”

    Conclusion  Rational climate-change skepticism has been allayed … by scientific facts.

    That’s good news, eh skeptics?

    As for irrational climate-change skepticism (aka denialism) … nothing can allay that, eh Climate Etc readers?

    Because the denialist world-view regards all of science as a global anti-carbon conspiracy of commies, Greens, progressives, and religious leaders!

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  54. Thanks for sharing this great post. I find Keeling,s words inspiring.