Week in review – science edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week

In the news

Small atoll islands may grow, not sink, as sea levels rise  [link]  …

“New climate stress index model challenges doomsday forecasts for world’s coral reefs [link]

Matt Ridley: Two years ago I was criticised for reporting that the Sahel was greening because of CO2 and warming. Now vindicated. [link]  …

Carbon Brief: We analyse the media coverage of new study saying #GHGs boosted rainfall in drought-stricken region of Africa [link]

How #ElNino is affecting global sea levels in some very odd ways: [link]  …

65% of typhoons now reach cat 3, warmer waters are making Pacific typhoons stronger. [link]

Deepest high-temperature hydrothermal vents discovered in Pacific Ocean — [link]  …

Good article on math of extreme events: Is India’s #heatwave a freak event? A statistician investigates [link]

Good blog post on status of satellite SST data sets [link]

Scientists develop roof covering that stays cooler than air temperature [link]

Polar regions

The latest issue of Phil Trans A is on Arctic sea ice reduction – 8 papers: [link]  …

New paper by Jennifer Francis: Arctic ice loss linked to extreme weather in Europe, US [link] Guardian article [link]

New paper finds Antarctic sea ice albedo (reflection of sunlight) has increased past 28 years,lowers sea temperatures [link]  …

New paper finds increased sea ice slows down glacier loss. [link]

Climate sensitivity

Nic Lewis has a new paper on climate sensitivity, discussed at Climate Audit [link] New paper finds equilibrium climate sensitivity to doubled CO2 of only 1.64C …

New paper published debunking Monckton et al paper [link].  Interesting list of authors.  Related blog post at [link].  I haven’t spotted a response yet from Monckton?

 

New papers

New paper finds >90% of ocean pH variability in Sargasso Sea is due to circulation changes, not atmospheric CO2  [link]  …

North Atlantic ocean circulation can be affected by volcanic eruptions for up to 20 years [link] “

Study finds forests play important role in climate by seeding cloud formation [link]

Thermal emission from #fossilfuel combustion is 1.7% of the radiative forcing from CO2 [link]  …

“From 2003 onwards, forest in Russia and China expanded and tropical deforestation declined.” [link] …

Research about science

From Canadian public radio, a 3-part series on the anti-science backlash & its consequences: Science Under Siege [link]

Roger Pielke Jr: Fooling ourselves with science: hoaxes, retractions and the public [link]

Retractions Often Due to Plagiarism: Study | The Scientist Magazine [link]  …

Author of retracted gay engagement paper: Michael LaCour’s 23-page response: Takes swings at critics, apologizes for some things. [link]

Applies also to climate science: How to restore the public’s faith in economists – [link]

Not often you see popular articles about the foundations of mathematics:  Will computers redefine the roots of math? [link]

New books

New Book: The Unsettled Science of Climate Change: A Primer for Critical Thinkers [link] The author sent me a copy, but I haven’t read it yet; looks interesting.

Michael Mann’s new book:  ‘Dire Predictions’ [link]

 

133 responses to “Week in review – science edition

  1. Here is another one found on Heartland:

    https://www.heartland.org/sites/default/files/letter_to_president_of_american_physical_society_aps_integrity_issues.pdf

    As quoted from Heartland:

    In an open letter to the president and officers of the American Physical Society (APS), three prominent members – Roger Cohen, APS fellow; Laurence I. Gould, past-chair of APS New England; and William Happer, a Princeton physicist – argue APS should shelve its 2007 statement on climate change and should not replace it. The members wrote the open letter on behalf of nearly 300 members who signed petitions against the statement in 2009 and 2010.

    Cohen, Gould, and Happer argue APS’s climate change statement places the society in the untenable position of defending arguments for human-caused climate change not supported by the best available evidence. They also charge APS’s Panel on Public Affairs (POPA) with ongoing violations of APS by-laws that require expert input and mandate the organization avoid conflicts of interests.

    Instead of securing experts’ input on climate science within the society, the three write, “a small group of firebrand” members with clear conflicts of interest and little expertise in the topic inserted themselves into the drafting process, ultimately shaping APS’s statement with the evident acquiescence of POPA and the APS council.

    So, is this true and is it significant? Is there a list of APS members who signed the original petitions in 2009 and 2010?

  2. daveandrews723

    Michael Mann is going to ride his hockey stick (financially) all the way to the bitter end. What a role model for young scientists coming up…. not!

    • russellseitz

      Cheer up- Steve Koonin isn’t doing too badly as BP’s ex chief scientist, and I hope their continuing largesse will enable many proe years of pro bono work on the nation’s energy problems.

      The same principle applies of course to Exxon Former Manager of Strategic Planning Roger Cohen, whose chairman at the George C Marshall Institute is ,by an odd coincidence, registered Exxon lobbyist as well.

      Much as I applaud efforts to de-politicize the APS, this seems a very limited bandwidth approach to the project.

  3. Pingback: The Pause has ended. Now see the rest of the story. | The Fabius Maximus website

  4. Re: heat wave analysis
    “We can use it to assess how likely the current heatwave is by analysing daily temperature maximums for Delhi over the years 1972-2013. “

    Seems far too brief a period for meaningful statistics on heatwaves since they are not every year occurrences for a given location.

  5. Prof Curry you’ve made this denizen smile. No link on this science post to the Karl et all pause-busting-bouy-uplift-adjustments. I don’t think it’s science either ;)

  6. Steven Mosher

    “Looking at our ATSR-based obs4MIPS dataset, the global mean SST trend (not including sea ice areas) over 1998 to 2012 [1] is 0.085°C, which is 0.06°C/decade [2].

    Karl et al.’s “new” value of SST change over this interval therefore fits pretty well with our independent [3] satellite data. These data featured in IPCC AR5. (They also agree well with the Hadley Centre in situ ensemble in the same figure.)”

    If satellites are the best and if they agree with Karl
    Then they must not be the best.

  7. Has anyone read the paper supposedly rebutting the Monckton et al paper? I read a few blog posts about it, but they didn’t provide enough information to check what they said, and the paper is paywalled. I’ve never been impressed by Monckton’s ability to examine problems, but the same is true for a number of the authors of that supposed rebuttal. It makes me curious to see which (if either) side is right.

    • Monckton’s assumption about the equilibrium response being equal to the transient response says that there is no imbalance. As this new paper says in the abstract this is counter to all known estimates. Even Lewis and Curry had a positive imbalance as a given. Beside that Monckton used their own heuristic engineering-based arguments for a sensitivity range, rather than observations, so that is also a correct criticism. I think Monckton’s paper was always easy to debunk on these two points, which have been mentioned before, and so it was an easy paper for them to write and publish in the same journal.

    • I read the paper, albeit not very carefully. Apparently the journal won’t allow them to even post the manuscript online. Split the difference on this one. The rebutters made some valid points (which had already been made in the blogosphere), but they did not come close to invalidating the entire paper. I’m surprised Monckton hasn’t responded yet, he is usually pretty quick off the mark.

      • Steven Mosher

        Read it again.
        Monkton model fails validation against observations.
        That is the end of the important story.
        The rest of the paper explains why that happens.
        IE. Setting parameters wrong.
        You would not accept an ipcc model that was wrong. Why the deference for soon andand monkton?

      • Steven, no it doesn’t. The results Monckton produced using his derived constants do. But that is a problem with his derivation of those constant values, not the derivation of the equation in which they are used. See my comment below and previous guest post here on this.

      • That’s definitely not the impression they give with their public messaging, but I suppose that’s inevitable. It seems nowadays* most people rush to the public to tell them everything in some piece of work they dislike is wrong, regardless of how important whatever fault they may have found is. It’s obnoxious.

        *I suspect it may have always been this way.

      • Steven Mosher

        Sorry rud

        “Steven, no it doesn’t. The results Monckton produced using his derived constants do. But that is a problem with his derivation of those constant values, not the derivation of the equation in which they are used. See my comment below and previous guest post here on this.”

        This doesnt even Parse. Take monktons model as published.
        compare it to observations.
        what do you see.

      • Mosher, you and most other people seem to have got into a muddle over the Monckton et al paper.

        It contains two separate subjects:
        1. The model
        2. The values they chose to feed into it.

        The model is extremely simplistic, but then that is the supposed point. I don’t really have any problems with it and I’ve yet to see anyone point out a flaw that doesn’t distill down to complaining it is too simple.

        The values are pretty much plucked from nowhere (and I say that as someone who broadly agrees with them). There is not enough justification for their inclusion in a scientific paper.

        So, it is not the model that fails against observations – it can only be their values.

      • JA,
        You’re correct that the major error in their paper is their choice of parameters which – as you say – are essentially plucked from nowhere. However, even this isn’t quite true

        So, it is not the model that fails against observations – it can only be their values.

        The form of the model is essentially (ignoring various terms that aren’t relevant to what I’m going to say)

        Delta T = rt Delta F

        The term rt is really the fraction of the response a time t after a change in forcing. Monckton et al. assume that it is the response as time t to a change in forcing at time t. This is incorrect. To use this basic model properly, they should really convolve rt with the incremental change in forcing. Not doing so implies that they’re assuming that the system can respond almost instantly to a change in forcing, which is physically implausible.

      • Ken,

        I read the paper to imply that the model assumes a step-change at some point in the selected time period, so that the end result at the end of that period is equivalent to whatever gradual change would actually happen in the real world. This appears to be a function of the simplicity of the model rather than an attempt to explain real-world processes.
        Perhaps.
        I haven’t read it in a while but from memory this behavior is something else the paper doesn’t explain.

      • ATTP, “Delta T = rt Delta F

        The term rt is really the fraction of the response a time t after a change in forcing. Monckton et al. assume that it is the response as time t to a change in forcing at time t. This is incorrect. To use this basic model properly, they should really convolve rt with the incremental change in forcing. Not doing so implies that they’re assuming that the system can respond almost instantly to a change in forcing, which is physically implausible.”

        I don’t have a horse in this race, but less than 10 years is instantaneous with respect to planetary time scales for all intents and purposes. Simple models require simplifying assumptions and fast response isn’t any more “physically implausible” than many of the other assumptions.

      • JA,
        The rt term came from Roe (2009) who did assume a step change and then follow how it would equilibrate. However, Monckton were not assuming a step change and so were essentially mis-applying what was determined in Roe (2009).

  8. Steven Mosher

    “New paper published debunking Monckton et al paper [link]. Interesting list of authors. Related blog post at [link]. I haven’t spotted a response yet from Monckton?”

    Since the monktopus model doesn’t match observations I would expect comments from Rud, Tisdale, Judith, and any others who have made models versus observations a key point of controversy. I don’t expect anything cogent from monktopus. Briggs has some explaining to do since he Co authored a paper that neglected the simple test

    • Monktopus? How very restrained of you.

    • Judith hosted my guest post on this, with a formal reply from Monckton, a couple of months ago. In a nutshell, his equation can be reduced to ~1.1-1.2 (the Planck response to CO2 alone) * (1/1-f)) where f is the net sum of feedbacks. Therefore the part of the paper criticizing Lindzen’s Bode feedback model of sensitivity is worse than incongruous. Second, I showed that most of Moncktons variables were just another way to compute the ~1.2Planck response. Third, I showed that with better estimates of his transience fraction r (I used TCR/ ECS) and f (Moncktons lambda sub0 times f subt, which in his paper is g subt, which is mathematicaly equivalent to Bode f) his equation outputs the same ECS as that most likely when derived from energy budget models over the past century by Lewis and Curry in 2014. About 1.75 for the Monckton equation, versus about 1.7 for L&C.
      The new paper is paywalled. Any paper with Nuccitelli and ATTP as authors is not one I am interested in paying to read.

      • Hi Rud, I just went to email to forward a copy of the paper to you, and spotted an email with Monckton’s reply (submitted to the journal). stay tuned.

      • The new paper is paywalled. Any paper with Nuccitelli and ATTP as authors is not one I am interested in paying to read.

        Oooh, ending with an ad hom. That’s a surprise. Okay, no it’s not.

        Maybe you can explain how this

        In a nutshell, his equation can be reduced to ~1.1-1.2 (the Planck response to CO2 alone) * (1/1-f)) where f is the net sum of feedbacks.

        is Monckton and co-authors’s model, rather than a model that has essentially been in use for decades. It’s essentially a basic form of an energy balance model. See Roe (2009) for example. The error in Monckton et al. isn’t the model specifically; it’s the parameters that are used. Well, there is one basic error, which is that the transient fraction should really be convolved with the forcing timeseries. Monckton et al. try to resolve that by simply setting the transient fraction to 1, but that creates another error in that it then means that their model assumes that equilibrium is attained instantly, which is clearly wrong.

      • ATTP, you just said what I said to Mosher upthread about 15 minutes ago. At least it seems so.

      • ATTP, you just said what I said to Mosher upthread about 15 minutes ago. At least it seems so.

        Maybe so, in which case I guess we agree?

      • I know this is probably pointless, but I hate how people use “ad hom” or, argument ad hominem, whenever anyone says anything negative about them. That is not what it means. Argument ad hominem is when you use an attack on a person to respond to their argument(s). If I say I don’t want to spend money to read a paper by Nuccitelli and ATTP because they’re stinkybutts, I am insulting them. I’m not using my insults to respond to their arguments though.

      • Not sure thats ad hom. More just a well earned insult. And ad hom is dismissing an argument because of an association with a disliked but unrelated group. Rud is referencing his opinion of your track record with related work.

      • Oh, I see, a discussion about whether it’s an ad hom or just an insult. I would argue that essentially dismissing a paper because of who the authors are qualifies as an ad hom, but I’m certainly not going to waste any more of my time discussing it. Keep up the good work, though. Whatever you do, don’t do anything to drag the online climate debate out of the gutter.

      • JC, thanks. Have now read the new paper on Monckton.
        ATTP, I am now certain we basically agree. I criticized r sub t in my guest post, also. You used the Argo data to show Monckton had argued for aninappropriately high value. I just used TCR/ECS. Diverting from Moncktons symbology which you kept in your paper, I also argued that “f” was too low. The argument Monckton made is silly. Bode feedback is well behaved until f>0.75. IPCC ECS of 3 inplies Bode f of 0.65 if Planck grey earth response is taken as 1.2, which Lindzen does and I adopt. No Bode problem. The Monckton paper was just wrong on that. However, I do think a better value is around 0.25-0.3. Made the arguments and physical evidence in my guest post critique. Cloud feedback near zero, water vapor feedback near halved from the consensus +0.5. Plug revised r (transience fraction) and f into Moncktons equation, and out pops ECS ~1.7, in line with all the newer energy budget papers including Lewis and Curry 2014.

      • Okay, we broadly agree. A nice change, I guess?

      • Sorry aaron, but I have to say it. Ninja’d!

        Anders, if you want to be hostile and rude and intentionally interpret people’s comments in ways that could be ad hominems rather than any other way, you can. But if you’re going to do so, you really shouldn’t say things like:

        Keep up the good work, though. Whatever you do, don’t do anything to drag the online climate debate out of the gutter.

        Because some people might take you seriously. They might think the entire goal behind your commenting style is to ensure things stay in the gutter. And I couldn’t blame them if they did. It sure seems that way at times.

      • Steven Mosher

        Nice Rud.
        You have a problem with Zeke? Spell it out.
        I have a problem with Monkton and you but I read your stuff. Some of it is good. some of it not so good. Go figure you are human. But part of the job is putting those personal things aside and reading the damn science.
        .

      • Brandon,

        Well put about ad hom

      • > Argument ad hominem is when you use an attack on a person to respond to their argument(s). If I say I don’t want to spend money to read a paper by Nuccitelli and ATTP because they’re stinkybutts, I am insulting them.

        An argument ad hominem can also be insulting, so being insulting is not a characteristic of a personal attack alone. Also, in

        [B’s counterfactual] I don’t want to spend money to read a paper by Nuccitelli and ATTP because they’re stinkybutts.

        there is the word “because” which can sometimes indicate something more than an insult. Brandon’s construction also contains more than an insult:

        [B’s construction] Both A and B are stinkybutts, and I trust neither of them, but I would still like to know who’s right on question Q.

        In that construction, only A is clearly identified: it’s the Monktopus. The tension between the interest in Q and in A’s or B’s take on Q can only be solved if we assume that Brandon would read both papers for free. What’s clearly insulting, and perhaps a bit odd, is that Brandon would pay for a paper by someone he trusts.

        If Brandon could tell us if he ever bought a paywalled paper, that would be great. If he could list some of the papers he bought, so that we can see who he really trusts, that would be even best.

        ***

        Finally, let it be noted that Brandon unduly restricted ad homs to ad him arguments. AT said “ad hom,” not “ad hom argument.” For more on the two types of ad homs:

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/tagged/BadHominem

        This is not the first time Brandon pulls that trick. If he wrote a paper on ad homs, I would not buy it. Not because it’s Brandon’s, but because what’s not free is not worth being discussed.

      • > Rud is referencing his opinion of your track record with related work.

        The “related work” seems to overinterpret a bit what Sir Rud said. It would also need to be argued by showing the relatedness in question.

        Hasty generalizations can be fallacious.

    • I have skipped over articles by Monckton for some time now.

      I’ll still read Mosher, but it is becoming more tiresome?, as he seems committed to increasing his crypticness.

      • > committed to increasing his crypticness

        The more ze Moshpit goes mainstream, the more contrarians find him cryptic. The less ze Moshpit spends time dealing with Denizen’s spit balls, the more he becomes cryptic too. Insert your favorite metaphor. Mine would involve strange attractors.

        What about strange distractors?

  9. “From 2003 onwards, forest in Russia and China expanded and tropical deforestation declined.”

    This is pretty significant. It doesn’t take much of an increase in surface vegetation to “neutralize” fossil fuel emissions. The decline in deforestation is another big win since that reduces a large CO2 source and also slows carbon sink destruction.

    • Also, as some plants get bigger, their ability to take co2 out of the seems to increase. It is like capital investment in protein and ccarbohydrate production.

  10. The story “Scientists develop roof covering that stays cooler than air temperature” is interesting because it demonstrates how science and technology outside of climate science, in this case material science, can lead to adaptive strategies. In this case, cooling while reducing energy demand for AC. Here in California, warm afternoons put a big load on the grid. It’s also good for the economy to save money on AC that can be spent elsewhere. No need for expensive, dirty, and politically corrupted PV solar. I wonder how much science is suffocated by money diverted to endless running of climate models. I would rather have a cool roof any day – it gets pretty hot around here.

    • Better building materials make more sense than square miles of white elephant renewable eye-sores.

    • Havent read the article, but makes me wonder what might be done with materials combined with a simple closed evaporative cooling.

    • justinwonder,

      I found the paper interesting. The authors supposedly depend on the “reverse greenhouse effect”. They claim the atmosphere is transparent to the IR radiation that the coating emits, and the heat loss to space is greater than the energy from the Sun absorbed at all wavelengths. Using modelling through the miracle of mathematics, of course.

      The surface therefore remains cooler than the ambient air temperature, in direct sunlight.

      Woohoo! The answer to global warming, using exactly the same type of thinking, but in reverse. Unfortunately, this proposal suffers from exactly the same flawed thinking as the greenhouse effect proponents.

      I will let others invest their money in this undoubtedly revolutionary breakthrough. I’m just too dumb to believe it.

  11. I posted this on the other tread but will repeat it here. It Concerns an email exchange between Anthony Watts and Thomas Peterson regarding the ships/buoys data that was the subject of the last thread

    http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2015/06/the-perversity-of-deniers-and-pause.html#more

    tonyb

    • Does anyone else see a problem with Tom Peterson’s comment about buoy data adding a “cooling bias”?

  12. The paper on computers and math was interesting, but the title is misleading. Its about recasting the mathematical foundations beyond Bertrand Russell’s set/type theory, so that proofs can become computer checkable.

    • Yes. But this topic is a deep one and not likely to become of wide use by mathematicians absent the finding of a serious defect in an area of important and accepted mathematics.

  13. The Sargasso Sea pH paper’s abstract is really interesting. So far as I know, the first tropical Atlantic analysis showing that most pH variation except in barren ocean is biogeochemical, and not pCO2. Previously, this had been established for the Pacific. Hofmann et. al. Multiecosystem comparison, PLoS One 6: e28983 (2011) and essay/guest post Shell Games

  14. stevenreincarnated

    Volcanoes change ocean currents. I’ll mark that in the evidence for solar driving ocean circulation column.

    • stevereincarnated,

      I’m not sure whether you can induce convection in a body of water of water deep enough to be optically opaque by heating from above.

      It can’t even be done in a solar pond of only 1.5 m depth or so, even when the bottom water reaches 80 C.

      I’m sure I’ll get jumped on by all the same sorts of experts who believed that continents don’t move, and that you can measure the global surface temperature of the Earth to within 0.01 C.

      Oh well, the disadvantages of being dumb, I s’pose!

  15. I went and listened to the assault on science radio show on CBC Radio that you linked to. I intend up until 36 minutes. There was a hug amount of what I can only call whining among government scientists about the closure of what were essentially giant archives. According to the government, all duplicates have been removed and discarded and most the collection is being digitized. Redundant services all over Canada have been consolidated and libraries that are essentially archives used by maybe 4-6 people a year are being rationalized. All data is going to be digitized and available on line. A lot of government librarians lost their jobs. One scientist interviewed complained vociferously about how he went looking for a set of 12 documents he found in the paper archives a few years ago with the help of government librarians and he could find only two under the new system. Yet the digitization process is not finished. Second he used the old data to find proof that cod spawned inland and this was a great discover for him. Yet, the program then spend an inordinate amount of time stating how you cannot do science by looking at old records, you have to go out and do your own observational studies. (Why didn’t you go out and look for cod spawning in inland waters? Could it be because the government management of cod fisheries has destroyed them?) I stopped listening when the person being interviewed brought up how science is being destroyed today solely because the oil industry (!!!) has funded clever anti science programs to stop a proper response to anthropogenic global warming, which is a great truth of science, on a par with heliocentrism, for which “there is overwhelming and incontrovertible” evidence. So it’s all about those evil oil barons ruling the world again. I will comment on how the Canadian government has been undergoing a major and very much needed pruning as we tackle our debt and eliminate our deficit. (Something the USA is going to have to do as well.) A lot of small people have lost their government jobs including many in CBC radio and among the sheltered, extremely well paid and well supplied government scientists whose positions have always been the envy of the rest of academia. The Conservative government in Canada does not accept the evidence for anthropogenic global warming. They also support big oil as a way to boost our economy and make us energy self sufficient since Canada has more oil than Saudi Arabis. Since they are in power by a very healthy majority I would submit the current Canadian backlash in science is due to public perception that the stubborn leftist in government science are clinging to the alarmist position on global warming along with an equally stubborn refusal to accept that we have been living beyond our means and we need to cut back government and get out of debt. These same people screamed bloody murder about how Harper was destroying our protection for Canadian waterways when he also got rid of a bunch of old outdated legislation having to with signage on any drainage ditch big enough to float a canoe lest a passing voyageur bump his head. Canadians also don’t want more taxes, especially carbon taxes. We are also seeing the results of leftist green energy policies in the form of skyrocketing electricity even though we have more hydro electricity than anyone else on earth because the socialist provincial government are hell bent on subsidizing wind and solar. Manitoba has just been turned into Minnesota’s back up battery for when their wind power isn’t turning so that during such times we will be selling them power at one quarter of what it will cost us and ordinary Manitobans will be paying for that with dramatically increased utility rates. The majority of Canadians do not support government tax money being used to support a far CBC, a left institution that has less than a 5% share of viewers (and that before they stopped broadcasting hockey) they are facing even more pain as Canada gets rid of its debt. CBC, being a socialist and far left organization that has also been hit with major cutbacks, is happy to join them in the scientists’ whine fest.

    • Well, I suffered through the whole first hour and third hour (haven’t hit the second, yet!) and I can vouch for the validity of your assessment of this oh-so-shallow whine-fest.

      To my ears, it sounded like the narrator’s script had been (silently) written for her by Andrew Weaver – and/or others of his oh-so-dedicated messianic green ilk.

  16. Small atoll islands may grow, not sink, as sea levels rise [link] …

    “”There is presently no evidence that these islands are going to sink,” says Virginie Duvat of the University of La Rochelle in France. She says that she and other researchers are trying to fight the widespread misconception that sea level rise will mean the end for atolls.”

    Atolls are dynamic, that is, they are constantly moving and rebuilding.

    Is there any point in the climate debate where saying “I don’t know” is so defeating, that such words cannot be said? Before, there was a video of the Counsel of the Republic of Maldives in Scuba gear under water at a council table. The was a prominent Hollywoodesque production piece to convey the immediacy of sea level rises and climate change. That visual was a deliberate fiction to try to influence people’s understanding of the fate of far off Pacific atolls. This depiction of the sea level rises is a fraud. Rather, Pacific atolls are dynamic and build and move as any dynamic living system.

    Those who support a warmist perspective and its associated agenda, seem to be comfortable in behaving badly, primarily, in support of their cause. Nobel Cause Corruption. There is little to the interaction with people who allow themselves to be corrupted and press on with their extremely narrow science focus. It seems that the bigger construct, particularly it lies, is not in the warmist’s purview, nor the veracity of colleagues stances. Much the pity.

  17. Seems someone has found a trend to do with cyclones and (nudge, nudge) warming. It’s bad!

    Of course, The Smithsonian, now deep in New Age Ted Talk mentality, really doesn’t want to go too deep or spoil the ambiance for Paris. There’s a headline where the words “warming” and “typhoon” get flashed, a graph worm that goes up on the right (or actually just from the late 70s to mid-90s, but sssh) and a big, brutal pic of Haiyan…that’s all you need. Publish!

    We know about ferocious “divine winds” in the Northwest Pacific going back to the 1200s. It would be nice to know more, but Kublai Khan’s satellites and barometers really sucked.

  18. Pielke Jr.: “As researchers, we should recognize that meaningful relationships ought to be detectable with simple methods and robust to alternative methodological approaches. If the effect you are looking for requires a complex model, data transformed away from intuitive units or sophisticated statistics to detect, then the effect that you think you have found is probably not practically significant, even if you are convinced that it truly exists. Consider that the effects of vaccines or the consequences of smoking are easily seen with understandable data and simple statistics, under a variety of experimental designs.”

    More golden words.

  19. “M15 also conclude that climate has a near-instantaneous response to forcing, implying no net energy imbalance for the Earth.”

    Why can’t various events be used to determine how far off earth atmospheric temperatures are from “equilibrium” values?

    If a strong El-Nino event occurs, atmospheric temperatures rise, then the decay tells you something about the equilibrium state. Perhaps an El-Nino changes the state of the sinks, but with enough analysis it seems one ought to be able to tell how far off form equilibrium earth is. If the equilibrium were slightly below the new peak, then not much decay, and one could say “Yes, earth has warmed so much.” If an El-Nino dumps huge heat into the atmosphere, and it decays really fast, then either the equilibrium is far off on account of heat sinks, or the El-Nino took temps far from equilibrium.

    Same for Volcanoes. If they reflect energy, then as the energy reflecting process diminishes the delta between expected and actual ought to tell you something about the cooling sinks in terms of their capacity. All that’s needed is good local and global atmospheric temperature estimates, and an understanding of the MAJOR events that cool and warm the earth.

  20. ulriclyons

    “Carbon Brief: We analyse the media coverage of new study saying #GHGs boosted rainfall in drought-stricken region of Africa”

    It is the warm AMO mode that has increased Sahel rainfall. Increased GHG forcing should increase positive NAO/AO, that will only cool the AMO. Which suggests that there has been a decline in solar forcing of the NAO/AO since the mid 1990’s that is overwhelming increases in GHG forcing.

    • Matt Ridley: Two years ago I was criticised for reporting that the Sahel was greening because of CO2 and warming. Now vindicated. [link] …

      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50563/abstract
      CSIRO found that most desert regions had greened since 1982.

      http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00528.1
      Greening to end of 21st century, then: “By analyzing three Earth system and vegetation retreats in particular in the western Sahel because the beneficial effect of CO2 fertilization is short lived compared to climate change. ”

      Several points:
      1. More ground cover is going to influence precipitation patterns. The Sahel is interesting since modeling and satellite plant growth studies indicate a CO2 effect and in study posted above AMO is credited with more rainfall.

      Hard to tell what is happening. There were 20 years of high rainfall, 20 years of low rainfall, and 20 years of average rainfall.

      2. More CO2 is unquestionably beneficial. Global warmers stick their heads in the sand every time this subject comes up, apparently because they like grit in their hair and dirt in their ears.

      3. Modelers are constantly making disaster predictions that are wrong. When modelers make disaster predictions that are wrong we should fire them. We are far too tolerant of “yelling fire in a movie theater” types.

      • ulriclyons

        “More ground cover is going to influence precipitation patterns.”

        Precipitation will effect ground cover much more than ground cover will effect precipitation.

        “Hard to tell what is happening. There were 20 years of high rainfall, 20 years of low rainfall, and 20 years of average rainfall.”

        It helps if you count the bars and see that it’s just under 30yrs of low rainfall, fairly well commensurate with the cold AMO period.

      • We are going to have to disagree.

        Up to 1967 the rainfall never went below average. There was a two year transition, for 20 years it never got more than trivially above average. The last 20 years it has been pogoing above and below average.

        The point is for over 18 years (don’t have the pre1950 data) the rainfall didn’t get close to being below average. If fact if you adjust the zero line up a little you produce two periods that are wet or dry.without interruption.

        It looks like we are in a new regime since the mid 90s where it is neither wet nor dry.

      • ulriclyons

        1967 to the mid 1990’s is as I said just under 30yrs, i.e. while the AMO was colder.

  21. “A first global scale study has estimated how forest emitted compounds affecting cloud seeds via formation of low-volatility vapours. According to the latest projections, terrestrial vegetation emits several million tons of extremely low-volatility organic compounds (ELVOCs) per year to the atmosphere. These oxidation products of compounds such as monoterpenes results in an increase of condensing vapours that can further form cloud condensation nuclei over the continents and thus has an influence on the formation of clouds.”

    Amazing. We talk about people changing the weather, but if true, it looks like evolution was here before us, perhaps helping trees to survive.

  22. maksimovich1

    There are two review papers of interest (and importance),that are under the radar at present.

    The first a brief history of long memory,with analysis of the hurst phenomena and the importance of the longue duree.

    Although in random events groups of high or low values do occur, their tendency to occur in natural events is greater. … There is no obvious periodicity, but there are long stretches when the floods are generally high, and others when they are generally low. These stretches occur without any regularity either in their time of occurrence or duration (Hurst, 1951 )

    http://arxiv.org/abs/1406.6018

    The second is on energetic electron precipitation,and the correlations between geomagnetic behaviour ,and the rise and fall of dissipative climate structures such as the NAM and SAM.

    Figure 1.10 shows the wintertime northern and southern hemisphere surface temperature dfferences for high geomagnetic activity (i.e., high Ap) { low Ap. In the northern hemisphere the fgure shows warming over Russia and Canada, and cooling over Greenland and the Bering Sea. In the southern hemisphere the figure shows warming over the AntarcticPeninsula, and cooling over the Bellingshausen Sea.

    http://www.physics.otago.ac.nz/space/OxfordUniRBChapter_accepted_Jul2014.pdf

  23. ulriclyons

    “Is India’s #heatwave a freak event?”

    Attributing it to AGW is a freak event, as being driven primarily by dessication arising during El Nino conditions, it’s simply the wrong sign to be associated with increased forcing of the climate.

  24. ulriclyons

    “New paper by Jennifer Francis: Arctic ice loss linked to extreme weather in Europe, US”

    Quote:
    “The string of massive snowstorms and bone-chilling cold on the US east coast, as well as flooding in Britain and record temperatures in Europe, are linked to rapid ice loss in the Arctic, new research appears to confirm.”

    That didn’t happen after the low sea ice of 2012 but after the partial sea ice recovery of summer 2013, and the atmospheric block was due to the unusually warm northeast Pacific sea surface temperatures.

    “The authors expect that eventually it will be possible to predict accurately which types of extreme events will be more likely to occur in certain areas but because Arctic amplification has emerged only in the past 20 years it is a challenge to pin down exactly how it affects weather patterns.”

    The real challenge is to recognise that increased forcing of the climate increases positive North Atlantic and Arctic Oscillation states, but warming of the Arctic is utterly dependent on increased negative NAO/AO, at all scales. Which should naturally lead to the position that Arctic amplification is bunkum, and that there has been a decline in solar forcing of the climate for the last 20 years that is barely being inhibited by increased GHG forcing.
    I produced solar based forecasts for every northeast US cold shot since Jan 2014, the start date within 2-3 days, and the duration in weeks. I also forecast at long range, specific periods of good UK summer weather in 2013 and 2014 (positive NAO), and predicted that it would give a relative increase in the Arctic sea ice extent within a week of the UK warm spells. Francis has it exactly backwards, the weather drives the sea ice extent, but you have to know what drives the weather first to see that.

    • The latest issue of Phil Trans A is on Arctic sea ice reduction – 8 papers: [link] …
      New paper by Jennifer Francis: Arctic ice loss linked to extreme weather in Europe, US [link] Guardian article [link]
      New paper finds Antarctic sea ice albedo (reflection of sunlight) has increased past 28 years,lowers sea temperatures [link] …
      New paper finds increased sea ice slows down glacier loss. [link]

      1. The permanent (multiyear) pack ice is increasing at the North and South poles. DMI says last year was a wash for Greenland and this year looks like a wash or net gain. If the ice sheet has to push the ice pack out of the way to get into the water the ice sheet has to slow down.

      Where are all the studies that find ice sheet loss in Greenland and Antarctica is decreasing in the last few years?

      2. If the Antarctic sea ice albedo is increasing is the cause greater thickness (due to more cold above or below) or more snow cover? It is pretty much a given more thickness will be the result.

      3. ulriclyons you seem to be claiming that Arctic sea ice growth is solar. I would submit that Chinese pollution and Iceland volcanoes (and the Dr. Curry mentioned sea currents) all have a role.

      But let’s assume solar is a primary driver, what will the Arctic sea ice volume be 10 years from now (discussing sea ice extent and area instead of volume, is the same as discussing weather instead of climate)?

      • PA wrote:
        “.. ulriclyons you seem to be claiming that Arctic sea ice growth is solar.”

        Yes solar did increase 2013-2014, and so did positive North Atlantic Oscillation along with sea ice extent. I would suggest that the AMO tends to move anti-phase with solar cycles in its warm mode, and in phase with solar cycles in its cold mode. So the AMO and Arctic should have cooled briefly around this sunspot maximum, and should warm strongly again through the next decade, driven by a sharp increase in negative NAO episodes through the weaker part of this solar minimum.
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-amo/from:1880/mean:13/plot/sidc-ssn/from:1880/normalise

      • Is the solar change what is causing the effect (and the AMO is just a proxy) or is the AMO the agent for the solar change causing the effect (IE the direct solar effect is pretty minimal)?

      • ulriclyons

        Fast solar wind has a major effect where it couples in the polar regions. Heating and powerful circulation effects in the upper atmosphere, and ozone destruction from nitric oxide production, up to 90% in large solar storms.
        The idea is that weak solar forcing of the polar regions increases negative NAO/AO, which slows the AMOC. The warm Atlantic current then spills into the north Atlantic and Arctic instead of overturning, warming the AMO index, and increasing sea ice melt in the Arctic.

      • ulriclyons

        Solar wind coupling in the polar regions is far from minimal, fast solar wind events can destroy up to 90% of ozone in the region, and has significant heating and circulation effects in the upper polar atmosphere.
        The idea is that low solar forcing increases negative NAO, slowing the AMOC, with the warm Atlantic current then spilling into the north Atlantic (warm AMO) and Arctic rather than overturning.

    • Jennifer Francis should be an embarrassment to her field.

      Young researchers like Elizabeth (last name escapes me – she’s at NCAR and destroyed an earlier Francis paper) hold out hope for the future

      • Elizabeth Barnes of CSU. The issue was not resolved as Francis had a rebuttal too.
        http://www.climatecentral.org/news/new-study-questions-arctic-warming-extreme-weather-links-16375

      • “Because Arctic amplification has emerged from the noise of natural variability only in the last 15 year or so, it is not surprising that its influence would not drive 30-year trends in a statistically significant way,” – Francis. 30 year averages. Good or bad? If we want to see breakpoints in a timely matter, not so good.

        I hope she updates the above and pushes the start time back to 1940.

      • Ragnaar, “I hope she updates the above and pushes the start time back to 1940.”

        Don’t know that she can. Arctic “amplification” is confused with SSW and Arctic Winter Warming events and the Arctic winter data is just not available. There is also polar anti-phase considerations and the Antarctic data is even worse.

        So if they push it back they would just end up with ridiculously biased data that doesn’t represent much heat anyway.

        Some one will probably have to model, Stadium Wave or such, what likely happened prior to 1950 and they need to find their best unbiased hat to wear while doing it.

      • CD:
        A proxy then. BEST data. Three stations. Seattle, Minneapolis, Boston. S and B are Cold, M is Warm. M has a jet ridge, S and B have jet troughs. Easy for me to say. Might able to see tight jets and wavy ones. I really think Francis is onto something, it just happens to be jet stream regimes.

      • Ragnaar, something like that. Not much can be done with the Antarctic though. I imagine whatever is done will be somewhat controversial.

      • ulriclyons

        Ragnaar quotes from Francis:
        “Because Arctic amplification has emerged from the noise of natural variability only in the last 15 year or so…”

        It is natural variability, it also happened as fast or faster from 1925, and was driven by an increase in negative North Atlantic Oscillation episodes, the wrong sign to be associated with an increase in forcing of the climate. Increased GHG forcing should increase positive NAO:

        http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch10s10-3-5-6.html

      • Ya Jim D,

        Francis had a rebuttal. What you fail to mention or perhaps fail to grasp is that Francis rebutted Barnes’ temerity to challenge Francis’ orthodoxy. She couldn’t rebut the paper, so she attacked Barnes.

      • ulriclyons | June 8, 2015 at 7:33 am |
        “Because Arctic amplification has emerged from the noise of natural variability only in the last 15 year or so…”
        I’d guess what she’s describing is more natural variability than not. Looking at her plot above, do the Winter meridional transport changes lead global regime changes in 1977 and 2001? Changes in the predominant NH jet stream are system reorganizations. The PETG is interesting because of what it might do:

      • ulriclyons

        The bottom line is that Arctic warming is driven by increased negative NAO/AO, while increased forcing of the climate increases positive NAO/AO. In theory AGW should cool the Arctic.

  25. Here is the rough draft of Monmckton et. als response to the rebuttal:

    http://wmbriggs.com/public/simple-refutation.docx

  26. Here are Mr. Briggs comments on the situation:

    http://wmbriggs.com/post/16156/

  27. The url says it all.

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/06/06/science-advances-one-funeral-at-a-time/

    “No one said this pithier than Max Planck: Science advances one funeral at a time. The increased and increasing longevity of our species thus partly accounts for the deceleration in scientific knowledge which many have remarked.

    Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you the New York Times. The New York Times! No publication is more progressive or as detached from reality, no group of writers more convinced of their secularly divine destiny. Yet, somehow, they brought themselves to publish the piece ‘The Unrealized Horrors of Population Explosion….’

    It is long past the point where anybody, scientist or not, can seriously consider climate models worthy of attention. They are wrong as Ehrlich was, or wronger. But it doesn’t matter. Their inaccuracy is not the root malady.”

    A bit polemical, but fun stuff.

    • From the Breitbart article:

      Now don’t make the same mistake this magazine did and call Ehrlich “insanely dangerous.” He is not. He is a harmless old man, who was wrong about, as far as I can tell, absolutely everything. It is a world class blunder to focus on Ehrlich and not on the political scum who “leveraged” Ehrlich’s preposterous predictions to push their anti-human agenda. It was the one-worlders who deserve all the discredit, not poor Ehrlich.

      Forced sterilizations! They happened. Forced population “planning.” It happened. Not because Ehrlich said they must, and not even because this deluded and delusional man desired them, but because the powerful progressives who used Ehrlich as a front-man wanted them. They were content to let Ehrlich and others create panic and then to use that panic to their benefit. Headlines shouted “Science Says…!”, “Scientists Agree…!”, “Science Science Science!”

    • It’s very well in hindsight to say Ehrlich’s predictions were wrong, but if it had turned out that it wasn’t naturally possible to increase crop yields very much, then it’s hard to imagine how Erlich’s predictions wouldn’t have come to pass. If the population bomb had occurred there would be newspaper articles today attacking people of the past for dismissing his warnings and not introducing population control and allowing world population to explode.

      So without hindsight, on what basis was Ehrlich wrong to make such predictions at the time? I think a person who dismisses such predictions at the time is more dangerous, given they rely on nothing but hope of a miracle to come along to save us.

      • Yes, if Ehrlich had been right in his incorrect assumptions, he might not have been wrong.

        “So without hindsight, on what basis was Ehrlich wrong to make such predictions at the time?”

        On the basis that his assumptions were pulled out of thin air and contradicted the sum total of human history of innovation and adaptation. As do his current assumptions.

        If the Hale Bopp cultists had been right, they wouldn’t have been wrong either.

  28. A bit polemical, but fun stuff.

    Really? The article is essentially arguing that the world will be a better place when certain people are dead. Would you say the same if you replaced the names in the article with the names of people with whom you broadly agree?

    • ATTP – you may dispense with the hysterics. Planck meant that scientists tend to fight for their closely held beliefs about science, even when there is a substantial body of evidence they are wrong. But older scientists frequently are in positions of power, so the new science sometimes doesn’t become established until the old guard dies out.

    • As Mosher likes to say, read harder Ken.

    • It is unarguably true that the world becomes a better place when some people die. This is because of the evil they do and would continue to do. But that of course is not what the author meant, He meant that only death will end the harm done by some entrenched, arrogant, misinformed ideologues.

      That is not the same as progressives like Margaret Sanger, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Ehrlich who see the deaths of millions as a positive in and of itself.

  29. The article on how “El Nino is affecting global sea levels in some very odd ways” is highly misleading when it tries to give the impression that SST, rather than wind shift, is the proximate cause of sea level changes in the Pacific.

    “The western Pacific has already dropped about 20cm below its normal height, and the eastern Pacific – because it’s warmed up, it’s expanded – is 20-30cm higher than normal,” Andrew Watkins, head of climate prediction services at the Bureau of Meteorology, said.

    Even after the article mentions the wind’s impact, they rush forward another misleading quote to make people think it is mostly due to global warming:

    Another effect of the wind shift is that cooler, deep water that would normally rise in the eastern Pacific, stays deep, leaving the surface free to warm up and store more of the sun’s energy as heat, Dr Watkins said.

    “As the water warms it expands, and it can’t go down or sideways, only up,” he said. “Hence, the sea-level rise.”

    So we have 20 to 30 cm of sea level change and the thermal expansion of sea water, it is implied, is the culprit. Yet a 10 degree C increase in the top 100 meters of sea water would only produce, what, 3 cm of increase?

    And when discussing anthro-carbon generated warming, we are really talking about an anomaly of only around 1 degree. The rest is “natural” fluctuation.

    The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.

    • This El Nino has its own quasi-unique pattern, so we’ll see what effect it has on global temp and other weather patterns.

      • “Hence, the sea-level rise.” Emphasis added to “the” (not “a little” or “some”) to clarify the inaccuracy of the quoted statement.

        When I was a child I was told that if you moved to Australia your blood would rush to your head. Perhaps that explains why the head of climate prediction services down under forgot to mention the wind.**

        ** Of course, it is entirely possible that the journalist carved up a more accurate and complete explanation in order to support his narrative. It wouldn’t be the first time.

      • Apparently, does not underline words on this site. Oops.

      • Does this underline work?:
        what you want underlined here

      • this will be underlined and this will not.

      • I’ll try old school: Hence, THE sea level rise.

  30. David Wojick

    Fred Singer has a nice informal piece that starts off with the Karl paper but then goes on to mirror my point that there is no evidence of GHG warming. He includes a nice graph showing the step warming in UAH, coincident with the giant El Nino-La Nina cycle.
    http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/06/the_climate_warming_pause_goes_awol.html

  31. The Canadian Weather Network channel has posted a glowing review of the latest NOAA paper and they quote one scientist, and only one scientist in the evaluation, Michael Mann.

  32. Read the article on increase in cat 3 pacific typhoons.

    Shouldn’t have included the graph. It completely under cuts the story line.

  33. Interesting article on computers and math.
    Usually proofs involve some sort of intuitive leap, however, that computers are helpless at.
    When I worked in flow cytometry I often referred to the works of Lord Rayleigh from the 1800’s, the guy absolutely mastered the problem sans computer. All the great work of Euler, Laplace, etc….
    I often think computers stunt the field of mathematics, as they send us off to do numerical experiments instead of picked apart the equations and finding what we can…
    Computers are hopelessly stupid.

    • Nice to “see” you nickels. I have been reading up on Lagrangians and Hamiltonians in classical physics. There is a proof I’ve come to call the Transporter Proof. It assumes that a collection of particles is displaced by a infinitesimal distance where time and velocities are frozen for the translation. This is a proof that linear momentum is conserved, a symmetry. This proof was conceived in the 1800’s. We really don’t appreciate the true geniuses of the past.

      • Sounds like a great reading project!
        “We really don’t appreciate the true geniuses of the past.”
        True that. The hubris of technology to blame, in part at least.

  34. OK, let me apologize on behalf of the profession for the Thoma piece about economics. I’m surprised Judith expresses support for it because it advocates a “speak consensus to power (the public)” approach. It turns out, not surprisingly, that the public mostly doesn’t care what economists say about anything, but ever since Adam Smith the profession has been dedicated to public explanation more than rank-pulling and sometimes some idea sinks in with a sub-group or two. Macroeconomics has been shaky from the start–it isn’t clear how stable the quantitative or even qualitative aggregate properties of the economy might be given the rapid and unceasing structural changes in advanced societies–so there’s always been plenty of room for valid doubt about the effects of macro policy unless you press the levers very hard (e.g. create hyperinflation through extreme monetary creation). But even in more clear-cut areas, there’s no desirable way to, say, stop labor union groups from finding economists who will say that an increased municipal minimum wage is good policy overall. You just have to educate yourself so you can find the pea under the thimble and read other research as well.

  35. NOAA PDO
    2014 12 1.90
    2015 01 1.73
    2015 02 1.54
    2015 03 1.33
    2015 04 0.93
    2015 05 0.37

    JISAO PDO
    12/14 2.51
    01/15 2.45
    02/15 2.30
    03/15 2.00
    04/15 1.44

  36. “The space agency announced last month that it will join forces with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to help make sense of that part of the Internet commonly referred to as the Deep or Dark Web.”
    “Some sites aren’t linked to by Google because they’re private—behind paywalls, for example, or simply not worth Google’s efforts to index, like scientific data.”
    “When NASA spacecrafts send information to Earth, it’s in a file format that Google isn’t very good at understanding. “[Those files] get in the second class of the web, that normally we call the Deep Dark Web…if you go to Google, you’re probably 10-30 clicks away from the science data—the actual information.””
    http://fusion.net/story/145885/nasa-is-indexing-the-deep-web-to-show-mankind-what-google-wont/

  37. Re How #ElNino is affecting global sea levels in some very odd ways:
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/sea-levels-in-retreat-a-sure-sign-el-nios-grip-is-tightening-20150603-ghdwix

    Was staggered to see in the last graph Antarctic ice mass decreasing.
    Have I misunderstood the graph or is it the adjusted ice mass ?