Week in review – science edition

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week

In the news

Underground Desert Aquifers Could Hold Missing Carbon [link]

On warmer earth, most of arctic may remove, not add, methane [link]  …

Climate change set to fuel more “monster” El Niños, scientists warn
[link]

Forecasting tournaments: what we learn when we start scoring forecasts accurately [link]

High emission rate of sulfuric acid from Bezymianny volcano, Kamchatka [link]

Unsettling: The global warming hiatus reexamined [link]

Tamsin Edwards:  “Seeing Antarctica’s future more clearly.” [link]

New from Nature – China’s recent emissions substantially overestimated: [link]

As pharmaceuticals taint rivers and lakes, scientists seek solutions [link]

Must-read critique of Hansen et al sea-level paper by Peter Thorne: [link]

The IPCC gives us good news debunking all the horror stories about rising #methane levels in the atmosphere. [link]  …

More walruses on land is a sign of conservation success not climate catastrophe [link]  …

Scientists say about 1/5 of California’s drought is due to climate change. [link]

The world’s forests are in major trouble, scientists report [link]

Staircase to warming. Trenberth  argues in Science that  pause was not faux. [link]  …

New papers

Impact of Fram Strait ice export on recent Arctic sea ice decline [link]

Evidence that CO2 NOT currently highest in millions of years? CO2 “levels of up to ~425 ppm about 12,750 years ago” [link]

Oceans, volcanoes, & AGW: 1,800 years of global ocean cooling halted by global warming [link]

ENSO and greenhouse warming – This Review looks at the state of knowledge on the El Niño/Southern Oscillation [link]

Robust global ocean cooling trend for the pre-industrial Common Era [link]

New paper finds the Great Lakes water levels are linked to the natural North Atlantic Oscillation [link] …

‘Fragility of reconstructed temperature patterns over the Common Era: Implications for model evaluation [link]  …

New paper by Shaun Lovejoy: Harnessing the butterfly effect [link]

As Ice Age ended, GH gas rise lead factor melting Earth’s glaciers [link]

Special issue in Science magazine: Forest Health in a Changing World [link]

“waste heat emission from AC systems increases mean nighttime 2-m air temperature up to 1C in some urban locations,” [link]  ….

Synchronicity argument with stadium wave implications: New paper finds correlation between Wolf sunspot #s & temperatures at 818 weather stations N Hemisphere 1955-2010 [link]

About science

Good Read About Psych Behind Political Correctness [link]

Rise of the citizen scientist: @NatureNews looks at the concerns around the part amateurs can now play in research.  [link]

“I have to beware of personal bias in favor of complex self-interacting dark matter, because I so want it to be true.” [link]

Brian Wynne interviewed in the Scotsman: the Scottish ban of GM crops. [link]

538: Science Isn’t Broken. It’s just a hell of a lot harder than we give it credit for [link]

The University of Chicago’s new free speech statement. This nails it.[link]

 

223 responses to “Week in review – science edition

  1. Pingback: Week in review – science edition | Enjeux énergies et environnement

  2. I have so wondered about the impacts of rejected heat from inside structures and effects on urban temperatures so appreciate that link. Also would wonder about the same impact from heat pumps in cooler season’s leading to a bit warmer cool temperatures, but abstract doesn’t seem to discuss that issue.

    • In cooler seasons heat pumps warm interiors and cool outside temperatures somewhat. But most places (US) they do not function that way on the coldest because the temperature differential is to large, and the systems no longer work as a heat pump. Then homes are heated with electrical resistive heat or backup fuel, So theoretically at least most places the make milder cool days cooler but not the colder days. Ground source heat pumps make it possible to keep the cycle on colder days, but it cools at the ground source level and such systems are much rarer. No expertise for this estimate but I’d guess the more extensive lost resistive/fuel based heat from most places would swamp the rarer effect of ground source cooling most places on sub zero days.

      • Danny Thomas

        PE,
        Thank you. My impression was that even though the heat pump brought heat in (never studied the process) during cooler times it was doing so from cooler temperatures outside than inside (say 45 out, 68 in because as you say below some temperature they no longer function) so some heat was generated mechanically. Also, due the temp. range in which they function is there as much application for heat pumps in areas which have temps which go sub-zero. Not sure why, but always thought they were used in areas with more moderate lows. Guess maybe due to the need for ‘back up’ systems.

        Thanks. Always more to study.

      • Any use of a heat pump ends up adding heat overall. Cooling the outside by warming the inside doesn’t change the fact that the heat placed inside leaks out, and the overall amount of heat is increased.

      • AK you are right over time and I don’t imagine it’s much in the short run, but if you placed a sensor by a heat pump fun ting to warm a house it would be colder there than the ambient temperature would be otherwise.

      • Functioning not fun ting. This iPad spellchecker kills me.

      • I might have misunderstood Danny’s question by thinking he was more concerned with altering localized ambient temperatures and mp acting sensors. For the net effect what I refer to is likely noise.

      • The limitation on heat pumps is that you can’t take the temperature difference that they create and use it to run an engine powering the heat pump (no perpetual motion machines).

        So the greater the temperature difference they have to create, the less efficient they have to be, so that a more powerful engine is still unable to power them.

        So in cold weather, they don’t work very well. Nature arranges it to prevent stuff from running away.

    • Steven Mosher

      Danny do you accept the results of modelling?

      “This article explores regional impacts on near-surface air temperature and air conditioning (AC) electricity consumption due to projected urban expansion in a semiarid environment. In addition to the modern-day urban landscape setting, two projected urban expansion scenarios are analyzed with the Weather Research and Forecasting Model coupled to a multilayer building energy scheme. The authors simulate a 10-day extreme heat period at high spatial resolution (1-km horizontal grid spacing) over Arizona, one of the fastest-growing regions in the United States. Results show that replacement of natural land surfaces by buildings and pavement increases the local mean near-surface air temperature considerably. Furthermore, present-day waste heat emission from AC systems increases the mean nighttime 2-m air temperature by up to 1°C in some urban locations, but projected urban development aggravates the situation, increasing nighttime air temperatures by up to 1.5°–1.75°C. The contribution of anthropogenic heating due to AC systems is computed through comparison of two different types of numerical experiments: in one case, a specific urban scenario is simulated with the AC systems turned on and expelling heat into the outdoor environment, and in the second case, the same urban development (with the AC systems turned on) is simulated but with no heat expelled into the outdoor environment. The results demonstrate that projected urban expansion significantly amplifies local cooling energy demands for the Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan regions and therefore highlight the need for sustainable future energy needs to maintain thermal comfort levels.”

      • Whether I “believe” a model or not depends on the model in question, if I personally understand the model, or if I believe someone who claims to understand it. Life is too short to understand everything every Tom, Dick, and Harry Readme puts together.

        If I do accept the results of the model in question, then what? Do we have Obama pass a law that Arizonans can’t use AC anymore? Or what.

        One comment about AC in general. It moves heat, so that heating is a zero-sum. Heat will be generated in the process of moving the heat from inside the house to the outside, so that energy would tend to heat the environment.

      • Steven Mosher

        Co2 blocks ir. That would tend to warm the planet.

        How much does ac warm a city. You use a model.
        How much co2 warm the planet. You use a model

      • Danny Thomas

        Steven,
        But……….
        If I used a model designed for the analysis of the question does ac warm a city and applied it to CO2 research would you “accept the results of modelling”?
        (I read your question verrrrryyyy carefully).

      • I have created a model that explains population variations for Unicorns in the Canadian Northwest. Do I believe it just because it’s a model?

      • Good models provide useful information, which can later be tested. The models can then be improved incrementally. It’s good to model, and it’s good to be the modeler – if you can get the gig ($).

        Anyway, I always wonder why urban planners, architects, and developers don’t include more natural cooling elements like trees, living walls, living roofs (there are problems), tree shaded parking, outside blinds on windows, higher albedo parking surfaces, and shaded water features. Such systems can even be designed to handle extreme weather events such as heat waves, via shade and water features, and flooding via permeable surfaces and water features designed as flood escape paths. For regions exposed to floods the are riparian trees, and for regions exposed to storm surge there are mangrove species. It’s all doable with simple technology, yet it is not done. What am I missing?

      • Steven Mosher

        I have created a model that explains population variations for Unicorns in the Canadian Northwest. Do I believe it just because it’s a model?

        ##############

        you probably believe it if it gives you answers you like.

      • Very creative ad hom Steve.

      • Well, these folks were looking at water use, not heating, but here’s Las Vegas temperature trends as deduced by Landsat data.
        Looks like local human effects can be complicated:

        From: http://www.aaas.org/news/aaas-pacific-division-annual-meeting-conservation-alone-cant-solve-las-vegas-water-problem

      • Danny Thomas

        Steven,
        I won’t say I accept the results of modelling. That was your question and not sufficiently detailed.

        In this case, I still do not in it’s entirety as it states “The authors simulate a 10-day extreme heat period” w/o a definition of “extreme heat”. Do they use 200 degrees F? 2000?

        I can accept: “Results show that replacement of natural land surfaces by buildings and pavement increases the local mean near-surface air temperature considerably.”

        and this follows: “The results demonstrate that projected urban expansion significantly amplifies local cooling energy demands for the Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan regions and therefore highlight the need for sustainable future energy needs to maintain thermal comfort levels.”
        I think could have been shortened to this: “projected urban expansion significantly amplifies local cooling energy demands”.
        The future energy demands might alternatively be offset by future technological improvements in efficiencies and sustainable energy seems like a given now and in the future.

        But the section in between I’d say is not reproducible with the information given so not acceptable.

    • When I click on the link it takes me to the AMS site, displays the graphic but no article. As far as AC contributing to local warming, it seems obvious it should but the question concerns the magnitude of the contribution. Consider a typical office building in Silicon Valley anytime during the long “summer” – March to November. Just the heat from all the bodies, exhalation, and the numerous machines requires AC – turning the AC off and it soon becomes hot and humid even on cool days. The AC engine typically sits outside the building. The engine has an input of electrical energy, from the grid, that is used to power the AC cycle. The heat is dumped outside of the building into the environment. Considering the 2nd law of TD, in order to do work, cooling the interior, the disorder, entropy, in the form of waste heat, must increase. So the total heat is the sum of the heat moved outside plus the waste heat ( entropy). Further, the electrical energy is generated by burning nat gas in the nearby Moss Landing power plant, so waste heat ( entropy) is generated, plus work has to be done pushing the electricity along the grid, accounting for transmission loss in the wires, more entropy. I wonder about the magnitude of all that disorder in the form of waste heat, created just to keep cool indoors. It would be nice to hear from someone expert in thermodynamics. Sorry about my amateurish analysis.

      Note that here in central California most energy is used for cooling, with peak load occurring in the afternoon. We are asked not to use energy intensive machines until after 8pm Pacific Time.

    • Danny,
      An air sourced heat pump will produce less eating of the external environment than straight electric resistance heating as it cools the outside air to provide additional heat, just as a refrigerator/freezer warms up the room it is in to cool the insides. This cooling of the outside air will counteract some of the heat leaking out of the structure – the net heat out from using the heat pump will be equal to the electricity used by the heat pump.

      Heat pumps will still function in cold climates, freezers pull heat from a very cold environment (albeit not as cold as a winter night in eastern Montana can be), but the Coefficient of Performance (ratio of heat out versus electric power in) won’t be much above 1. The supplementary heating requirements for heat pumps comes a compromise between paying for a large enough heat pump to provide all the heat needed on the coldest night, versus paying less up front and using those savings to pay for the additional power when needed. A ground sourced heat pump would be more effective, but has higher installation coss than an air sourced heat pump.

      • Heat pumps will still function in cold climates, freezers pull heat from a very cold environment ([…]), but the Coefficient of Performance ([…]) won’t be much above 1.

        Part of the problem is that when the cold side is below 0°C, the coils tend to ice up. There’s extra expense ($’s and energy) involved in the cycles to clear the ice.

      • Reminds me of the time my heat pump iced over. It would not provide any heat to the house. For some reason the resistance heat was not working. I had to run it as an air conditioner for a couple hours (making the house even colder and sending the heat we had to the outside coils). That eventually melted the ice so I as able to again run the unit as a heat pump to warm the house.

      • That’s why ground sourced heat pumps make more sense in very cold climates.

    • Danny, I think eventually all the energy we use must get dumped into the environment, even if it does work, the exception being energy used to place pianos 20 stories up in the air, as long as the piano stays up there. Or did I get it wrong?

  3. The University of Chicago’s new free speech statement. This nails it.[link]

    Someone help me. Seems good, but how can I trust anything from U. Chic?

    • David L. Hagen

      nickels
      The University of Chicago’s free speech statement is an excellent summary of the freedom of religion and speech preserved in the US Constitution’s 1st Amendment

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

      The US States required those before signing the US Constitution, drawing on the (English) Bill of Rights 1689 which corrected breaches by James II including the Trial of the Seven Bishops etc.

      By committing and prosecuting divers worthy prelates for humbly petitioning to be excused from concurring to the said assumed power; . . .
      That it is the right of the subjects to petition the king, and all commitments and prosecutions for such petitioning are illegal; . . .
      That the freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in Parliament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament;

      That codified the freedoms preserved in the Magna Carta (1215) as exercised by the 7 Bishops.
      (PS Mann v. Steyn is an egregious breach of these freedoms.)

      • Thanks. I just have little trust for u or chicago due to their past affiliation with Frankfurt schooling and their long history of pumping out anti american communist leaning radicals.

        Maybe they are being consistent. Free speech should not only go to the old school subversives (the leftists) but also to the newly subversive, i.e. the conservatives. Perhaps they are doing this, much respect if so.

        The radicals are already angry. The concept of ‘hate speech’ is the usual avenue to trying to abridge free speech privileges. The tender little sensitive diversity babies are already angry:

        “In order to forge an inclusive campus climate, the University must maintain a consistent commitment to eradicating hate speech and harassment in campus discussion. Free expression and a campus climate of inclusivity are not mutually exclusive. Rather, fostering a culture of inclusivity will serve to increase the quality and diversity of discourse on campus.”

        http://chicagomaroon.com/2015/01/09/land-of-the-free/

      • David L. Hagen

        nickels
        Good points. Banning “hate speech” is imposing fascism/communism/totalitarianism, demanding that all bow to their religious/political view with absolute intolerance for every other viewpoint.

  4. So now valuing tradition is a therapeutic slur, ambiguity intolerance. Kind if half Freudian jui jitsu and half Intellectual bolshevism:

    “However, it makes even more sense once you read the seminal research on ambiguity intolerance and learn more about other personality tendencies that tend to go hand in hand with it. For example, according to early researcher Frenkel-Brunswik, ambiguity-intolerant people tend to “like dichotomous conceptions of the sex roles…and of interpersonal relationships in general…are less permissive, and lean toward rigid categorization of cultural norms” (1948).”

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/psysociety/decoding-trump-mania-the-psychological-allure-of-hating-political-correctness-part-1/

    • The Sci Am article was pretty worthless.

      • Yet quite fascinating how psychotherapy is used as a political mechanism, yes? If you don’t agree with my political (leftist) leanings, you are sick. And I have scientific studies to show it. You need to be quarantined and therapeutically treated….

  5. Did I miss something?

    The mainstream media has been filled with articles that this July was the warmest July ever….like ever freaking ever (I think somebody at science-free Slate said in the last 4.5 billion years). I’ve also seen a few posts (e.g. JoNova) that says that according to satellite measurements this was only the warmest July since (wait for it) last July.

    What appears to be an intense public relations full court press leading up to the Nov. Paris Redistribution Festival I would think would be something discussed here.

    If I missed a post on this please direct me.

    • Where I live in Toronto the average unadulterated temperature (measured at the Greater Toronto Airport urban heat island) for July 2015 was 21.5 C, the hottest July since 2013. It was 0.3 C warmer than the 30 year average which in turn is 0.1 C warmer than the average July temperatures for the entire record 1938 to 2015. The warmest July was in 2011 at 24.4 C which beat out 1955 by 0.2 C. (For some reason the “Alt0176” functionality will not work for inserting the degrees signal)

      • Hot air going north means cold air going south somewhere nearby, continentwise. Hence there are always contrary experiences in heat/cold waves.

      • rhhardin +10. There are always countervailing regional effects that are never adequately explained by use of any global average, which is merely an artifact and of no value as a measure of climate change at the regional level.

    • In England we had our hottest ever July day, AND our coldest ever July night, all in the same month.
      And as July’s go, the month was probably cooler than average – it certainly felt it.

    • bedeverethewise

      In Minnesota, our summers typically average about 13 days where the temp exceeds 90F. This is the third year in a row where we have had total days over 90F in the low single digits.

    • I think the article meant to say there was a record amount of hot air issuing from climate scientists who are also alarmists.

  6. About the many warnings about the methane apocalypse — Here’s a question for the readers here (quoting from my post).

    Where are the climate scientists? Where are rebuttals at RealClimate? by the Climate Science Rapid Response Team? At the websites above that feature climate science?

    They’re aggressive when skeptics challenge the IPCC’s conclusions but tend to go MIA when activists declare the IPCC “too conservative” and declare the end is nigh.

      • JCH,

        Yes, I cited that RealClimate article in my post. It was 3 1/2 years ago during the Russian sinkhole hysteria. And since?

        Steve McIntyre’s articles look like The Principia compared to the scores of articles about the methane doom — and appear in mass market websites. Yet they decided that methane gets one rebuttal and McIntyre (and other well-reasoned skeptics) get many.

        The logic of that is …?

      • It comes up in the comments once in awhile. I don’t pay much attention to it.

      • JCH,

        “I don’t pay much attention to it.”

        Can you give us the same assurance about the hundreds of thousands reading Mother Jones, Salon, AlterNet, TruthOut, and the dozens of other websites featuring these articles about the methane doom?

      • “Yes, I cited that RealClimate article in my post. “
        Well, you do, but it’s incoherent. It goes like this:
        “But — where are the climate scientists? Where are rebuttals at RealClimate? by the Climate Science Rapid Response Team? At the websites above that feature climate science?

        It’s astonishing how little basis there is in the peer-reviewed literature for these claims. See these summaries at RealClimate debunking the hysteria in 2012 and in 2013 by David Archer (Prof Geophysical Sciences, U Chicago).”

        The second para answers the first, but the text just goes on as if it hadn’t. Where are the climate scientists? In the peer-reviewed literature. RealClimate? “See these summaries”. RRT? David Archer writes for RRT.

      • David Archer’s referee comment on Hansen 2015 is a thing of beauty (not saying Hansen 2015 should be published). Had he spent his entire life rebutting the free press on how the Arctic can’t out burp the cows, he might never have written the referee comment, and that would have been a travesty. So it’s the tsunami of not very smart on places like the internet, where you publish, versus him having time for a thing of beauty. How to decide? For the time being, my heart goes with the thing of beauty.

    • “Where are rebuttals at RealClimate? “
      Besides the two cited already, try these
      another 2012
      2014
      another 2014
      another 2012
      2009

      • Nick,

        The methane apocalypse shows the differential treatment by mainstream climate scientists to attacks on the IPCC by “alarmists” and “skeptics”. The examples you give as rebuttals are in fact examples demonstrating this.

        This is not a binary claim. I don’t say there are no rebuttals (although I haven’t found any). But the imbalance is massive, important in shaping the public debate, and revealing.

        (1) I asked “Where are rebuttals at RealClimate?“

        RealClimate and the Rapid Response Team give very specific rebuttals to skeptics. They cite name. They criticize and condemn. They debunk.

        The articles you cite provide technical analysis of methane emissions. They are not rebuttals to the alarmist articles in the media. They do not cite the articles giving misinformation, they don’t name names, they don’t criticize. They don’t give the kind of pushback that would have an effect.

        In fact the only popular media articles I see mentioned in the RealClimate articles you cite are “Curbing Emissions by Sealing Gas Leaks” in the NY Times and “Aerosols cloud the climate picture” in Science News. Neither is alarmist.

        So I’ll ask again: where are the rebuttals at RealClimate?

        (2) “David Archer writes for RRT.”

        The RRT “is committed to providing rapid, high-quality information to media.” So where are his articles or mentions in the media debunking the alarmist attacks on the IPCC’s analysis of methane?

        There are some mentions by Archer in the media — most about the Siberian craters, or the 25 March 2013 Nature article by Gail Whiteman et al. Quite mild.

        The “Rapid Response Team” appears to reserve its firepower for attacking skeptics.

    • Fabius,

      Where are the climate scientists? Where are rebuttals at RealClimate? by the Climate Science Rapid Response Team? At the websites above that feature climate science?

      This kind of thing is just irritating and annoying. There’s a great deal of trash written in the mainstream media. Scientists do sometimes try to rebut and clarify what’s written. However, it’s not their responsibility to do so. They’ve got plenty of other things that they have to do. If you’re going to start judging people, and scientific positions, on the basis of things they’re not obliged to do, then you’re just looking for things to criticise.

      Also, as others have already pointed out, there are plenty of examples of mainstream people rebutting such claims. You can even read – if you wish – my brief attempt at one. Presumably what you really meant to say was “where are all the rebuttals that I think should have taken place at RealClimate, by the rapid response team…”.

      • ATTP,

        “Scientists do sometimes try to rebut and clarify what’s written”

        Climate scientists seem to find the time to debunk skeptics in the media. Why don’t they find the time to debunk attacks on the IPCC from the alarmist camp?

      • Fabius,

        Climate scientists seem to find the time to debunk skeptics in the media. Why don’t they find the time to debunk attacks on the IPCC from the alarmist camp?

        As already pointed out, they do. Also, have you checked the proportions? My guess is that they rebut about the same proportion of “skeptic” nonsense as they do “alarmist” nonsense.

      • ATTP,

        As already pointed out, they do.”

        Nick’s assertions were quite false, as I showed above. A rebuttal in the media says “X” was wrong because…” In second you can find hundreds of such rebuttals to Steve McIntyre’s work. RealClimate and the Rapid Response Team do so frequently, often quite harshly (whether deservedly or so is a different question).

        Let’s see some similar examples about the alarmist attacks on the IPCC’s methane chapter.

        “have you checked the proportions? My guess is that they rebut about the same proportion of “skeptic” nonsense as they do “alarmist” nonsense.”

        Please show a few such rebuttals, then we can discuss your new assertion.

      • Oh, I see, so they’re responses, but not actually rebutals. Well, that’s just bizarre and rather confirms my view that some will never be satisfied. As far as Steve McIntyre is concerned, if he really is concerned about tone, he could start with his own blog.

        Please show a few such rebuttals, then we can discuss your new assertion.

        It wasn’t an assertion (Jeepers, and you claim to be able to tell what a rebutal is), and – no – I have no interest in continuing this discussion. You should probably stop asserting that you’re occupying some kind of sensible middle ground, as you very obviously are not.

      • ATTP,

        “Oh, I see, so they’re responses, but not actually rebutals”

        I said nothing remotely implying that. I have not even used the word “response” (except as p/o name RRT) — which is of course equivalent to “rebuttal” (in this context).

        Since the nature of your objection is not clear, let’s guess!

        (a) Perhaps you are conflating “articles about methane emissions” with “rebuttals/responses to attacks on IPCC’s findings about methane”. So everything in any journal about methane emissions becomes a “rebuttal” to articles in the popular media, even if they don’t point to or mention any attacks on the IPCC’s findings about methane! {or substitute “alarmism about methane”}

        (b) Perhaps you didn’t read the links Nick gave and just assumed that they were, as he implied, relevant rebuttals.

        The flaw in both (a) and (b) is that a “response” or “rebuttal” is made to something specific — e.g., calling out someone (or group) making errors in fact or logic. That’s the element missing in, for example, the RC posts.

        “As far as Steve McIntyre is concerned, if he really is concerned about tone…”

        Why is that relevant to this thread? Whether he’s right or wrong makes no difference here; I just point out the intensity and frequency of rebuttals to his work vs those to those attacking the IPCC as “too conservative”.

        “I have no interest in continuing.”

        Yes, that is probably for the best. But you can try again if you have actual evidence.

      • I said nothing remotely implying that. I have not even used the word “response” (except as p/o name RRT) — which is of course equivalent to “rebuttal” (in this context).

        I used response because they very obviously are. For some reason you think they aren’t, but that – IMO – is just bizarre nonsense. Try reading them with your eyes open, your blinkers off, and while reminding yourself that they’re being written by scientists, not idealogues.

        Since the nature of your objection is not clear, let’s guess!

        No need to guess. I think your position here is ridiculous.

        “As far as Steve McIntyre is concerned, if he really is concerned about tone…”

        Why is that relevant to this thread? Whether he’s right or wrong makes no difference here; I just point out the intensity and frequency of rebuttals to his work vs those to those attacking the IPCC as “too conservative”.

        It’s relevant to this thread because you brought him up. Have you forgotten already? The relevance (which based on our previous exchanges you will simply not get) is that maybe the tone of responses is somewhat influenced by the tone of the person to whom you are responding.

        Yes, that is probably for the best. But you can try again if you have actual evidence.

        Well I probably have none that you would accept, so I don’t plan to waste my time trying.

    • The alarmist articles attacking the IPCC are not just in fringe media, something that can be ignored. I cited high-profile operations like Salon, AlterNet, and TruthOut.

      These attacks have also seeped into the major media. For example, “Seven facts you need to know about the Arctic methane timebomb” by Nafeez Ahmed in The Guardian, 5 August 2013 — “Dismissals of catastrophic methane danger ignore robust science in favour of outdated mythology of climate safety”.

      These are articles of much higher impact than many by skeptics that climate scientists attack. Scientists selective response contributes to the tilt in the debate.

      The effects of this can only be guessed. I believe the tilt towards certain catastrophe contributes to the apathy and disinterest that produces public policy gridlock. We’ve heard so many confident predictions of certain doom during the last 50 years, and the smart bet has always been to ignore them. Especially now that they’ve become daily fodder in the news. World certain to end soon, details at 11:00!

      • Editor

        You quote The Guardian as being part of the Major media. They more rightly belong to the fringe media with daily sales now of only 180000 copies.

        http://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2014/oct/10/abc-figures-show-papers-efforts-to-stem-circulation-decline

        All newspaper sales have declined over the last few years but the Guardian remains influential only amongst the left wing and the BBC. To the rest of us it is irrelevant and sometimes laughable with its bias and assertions. The gatekeepers on its comments section seem to be there to rapidly close down debate on things they disagree with.

        This is a shame as in past years the Guardian campaigned on a number of different and important issues. However, now it seems to pander to the climate obsessed views of its tiny readership.

        I hope it survives but also hope it gets back to its campaigning ways on subjects other than climate.

        tonyb

      • ClimateReason,

        Paid circulation is no longer the only metric of media influence. The Guardian’s articles are read on the Internet by many across the world. As such its influence is many times that of British tabloids with larger paid circulations.

        As you note, it is almost a house organ of the Left in the English-speaking world.

        That the Left read so many doomster articles is why climate scientists’ reluctance to directly critique them is so significant.

        It is the same phenomenon as we see on the Right: epistemic closure. The tribe reads mostly a closed circle of media, in which tribal truths are unquestioned, taking their belief system far away from the mainstream.

    • David Wojick

      Politics is driving the methane issue. Obama’s EPA is proposing a big crackdown on methane emissions in the oil and gas industry, in the name of climate control. The big green orgs are of course collaborating as is the big green media. Saying the IPCC is too soft is a necessary part of the action. Science has nothing to do with it at this point. This is a media event and the warmers are not going to attack the greens, their bedfellows, and certainly not the Feds, their funders. Moreover, defending the oil and gas industry would be suicide.

  7. Regarding the Nature item: “Reduced carbon emission estimates from fossil fuel combustion and cement production in China”.

    I am not surprised the actual Chinese CO2 emissions are smaller than the forecasts. Back in the early 1990s I was developing protocols for forecasting and reporting CO2 emissions from a coal burning utility. I had a very brief encounter with some people from the IPCC because they were trying to do the same thing on a global basis. The encounter ended when I suggested their process was very simplistic and likely lead to over estimating emissions.

    I am also not surprised the estimated Chinese emissions are higher than the reported emissions. I expect China (and other countries) to game this as much as possible. One might wonder who is doing the oversight… oh it’s the U.N.

    • Speaking of China and the UN … it seems that someone, somewhere embedded deep in the heart of at least one arm, elbow, hand, finger or whatever of the UN has decided that it’s time to begin recycling the oh-so-noble (not) former chair of the IPCC.

      None other than the little railroad engineer that could, Rajendra K. Pachauri – notwithstanding the still outstanding charges against him – has received a Delhi court’s blessing to leave the country in order to …wait for it …

      deliver a lecture on a report of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) at the International Ecosystem Management Partnership (IEMP) in China from August 22-28.

      Afterwards, he said, he was also scheduled to attend a meeting in Tokyo.

      This must be a top secret meeting of the IEMP, as a search of their website for details turns up zip, nada, zilch. Then again, accuracy has never been one of the little railroad engineer’s strong points, has it?!

      But even on the off-chance that such gatherings are, in fact, scheduled to take place you’d think that the UNEP/IPCC powers-that-be could have found someone without such a cloud hanging over him to deliver this “report”!

    • Way back a coal plant my compsny owned recorded much lower emissions than its sister plant in another state. The owners of the other plant sent engineers and technicians over so they could better learn to emulate our success. For years they tinkered with various things but could not approach our performance. Eventually it turned out we had a bad meter and we were just misreading our emissions. They performed pretty much as we did, maybe a little better as we grew complacent. Moving from two sister plants to an entity as large as China with not only coal for varous electric generation units, and heat for steam systems and industry and industrial processes and all that going through a political-study-estimation process, I can only assume the estimates must need wide error bars.

    • Curious George

      The article is paywalled – I would have appreciated a warning. China is supposed to be a major CO2 producer. Would their emissions show up almost immediately in global CO2 concentration? Are there any OCO-2 data available?

  8. The art fakes of Chiang Dai-chien from the 1950s can now be worth more than the ancient originals. The Chinese, whom I like and admire, are really good at faking stuff, okay? And if fakery is good enough or useful enough, there is little shame in it for them. I’d say faking carbon reporting to the Western busybodies would be both good and useful.

    And someone somewhere has to be making all that stuff we like, right? At least China, unlike Australia, modernises its coal power because, unlike Australia, it doesn’t like wasting Australian coal. Aussies like to depend utterly on coal while wasting, ridiculing and condemning it, rather like a rich drunken lord who whacks his serfs around.

    Best keep emissions reductions and trading as an unwholesome western fetish, like twerking – lest everybody stop making stuff. Let’s not send China our intellectual opium.

  9. Greg Sheridan ‘The Australian’ 21/08/15 warns that Oz is
    becoming a risky place to do business as Carmichael Mine
    is likely to be locked up in litigation by indigenous and
    green activists until 2017.

    … Headin’ fer stagnation and another Dark Ages, unlikely
    ter be anuther Medieval Warming Period.Tsk! Bad fer serfs…

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/subscribe/news/1/index.html?sourceCode=TAWEB_WRE170_a&mode=premium&dest=http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/activists-to-delay-adanis-carmichael-mine-until-2017/story-fn59niix-1227493857111&memtype=anonymous

    • beth

      the serfs have been a bit uppity of late what with education and such, so a bit of stagnation might help to sort them out a bit.

      tonyb

      • Hey, sometimes stagnation can radicalize yer middle
        classes with untoward consequences, tony, not jest
        sort out the serfs. Satan finds mischief fer idle hands,
        y’ know.

  10. “As pharmaceuticals taint rivers and lakes, scientists seek solutions [link]”
    is a have-your-cake-and-eat-it article.

    A few sensible quotes from people pointing out it’s not a problem, except, maybe, sometimes, in special cases. …But still making sure the door to doom is left open wide enough for every environmentalist with an LC/GC/Mass-Spec to drive a coach and four through it.

    • bedeverethewise

      As an analytical chemist working in the pharmaceutical industry, I can tell you is the real story is the extraordinary increase in the capabilities of our equipment over the last few decades. We can detect something in everything. It is an environmentalists dream come true.

      • I recall that residual anti-depressants ( and other pharmaceuticals ) from human use were showing up in fish – in trace amounts but not harmful, so not enough to prevent the fish from getting depressed. But detectable so the public could freak out about it.

        At some level, global warming is similar. A very slow temperature rise will still give new record high global average temperatures, detectable, but harmful?

    • Estrogen is one of the taints which can be pharmaceutical but has lots of sources. I saw one study that estimated the pharmaceutical estrogen at about 1% of the total in rivers, lakes etc.

      One effective and fairly low cost method to remove estrogen from waste water is artificial wet lands. Great right? Well, the US has drained wetlands to fight Malaria, increase usable land, mitigate flooding etc. Restoring wetlands in general should be a high priority, since a large portion of the estrogen in lakes, rivers etc. has farming related sources. Blaming the problem, if it is actually a problem, on waste water treatment plants is a bit dumb, since wetlands are the natural water treatment plants.

      All the changes in wetlands is also a major factor in land use related climate change. Wetland restoration, tree farming and storm water retention ponds all tend to have a local climate cooling impact. In addition to that, wetlands increase the amount of ground water retained which also happens to retain CO2.

      So with this fairly obvious “limited regrets” option to actually do something productive, the geniuses are focusing on their pet mitigation projects that aren’t likely to be all that effective. Welcome to the State of Climate Scientology.

      • Wetlands are good – I vote for that. PVs, windfarms, biogas, electric cars are all climate politics, or just politics. Sure, there are true believers and there are useful I dee oughts, but the game is played by the high rollers that know how to pull the levers and gt their grubby little hands on the money.

  11. The natural cycles of lake levels in the Great Lakes is something that a colleague, who had worked in the Great Lakes Shoreline Program since the 1950s, explained to me in the 1970s. I have seen nothing since to prove him wrong since. After several years of low levels, they are now reverting to the mean.

  12. Reading some of the points in the Trenberth piece made me feel as if it was really standard, mainstream skeptics thought. Recognizing the “hiatus” of 1943-75 is something that Trenberth accepts and yet it is not accepted by some denizens here.

    • David Wojick

      Agreed. Thanks to Karl et al there is now a great debate among the warmers as to the reality of the hiatus. The pro-hiatus faction is arguing for natural variability, a term Trenberth uses repeatedly. This split is good news, as natural variability may finally get some serious scientific attention. How the climte modelers will handle it is the big question.

    • I fully accept it. It’s the skeptics who will not like what Trenberth is saying. He’s calling it a staircase, but it will little resemble a staircase. The PDO cycle of 1943 -1985 is oddly shaped, and for a reason. The PDO cycle of 1983 -present is even more oddly shaped. Its negative phase was rudely interrupted in 1952. The dip got clipped. The current cycle barely had a negative phase. The next one likely won’t have one at all.

    • Curious George

      The mainstream climate science has found a way to both accept and reject measured temperature data: ADJUSTMENTS. Nothing now prevents adjusted temperatures from matching models. As a beneficial side effect, we can always live in the warmest month ever adjusted.

  13. The Tamsin Edwards article about Antarctica and its effects on sea level rise brought out some findings that were strange indeed.

    “We looked at two scenarios of human activity – business-as-usual (called A1B) or strong reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (E1) – and the results were quite surprising. Strangely the second scenario seems to have more sea level rise.

    That’s because there’s a balancing act between the loss and gain of ice. While ice can be lost from Antarctica because the coastline retreats inland, at the same time warmer air means more snowfall. This adds ice, compensating for some of the retreat.”

    However perhaps not all that strange, since I seem to remember reading discussions about these dynamics in other studies, but referencing East Antarctica.

    • The climate is dynamic. It comes with surprises. More precipitation means more snowfall. Where does the snow fall? Well, look at where it falls today, and assume it will always fall there in even larger amounts.

      What if there is a surprise?

    • JCH

      When we have such luminaries as Trenberth and Edwards tilling the soil for us, what is left to do? Maybe kickin’ it back in the Caribbean with a Corona.

      • They’re not tilling the soil for you. Trenberth is agreeing with me that the PDO is about knock the cover off the baseball. The pause made fools of a lot of very smart people. Trenberth is not one of them.

  14. Could somebody warn Dr T. Edwards that introducing the IPCC “business as usual” case (RCP8.5) in her Antarctic glacier flow models renders her work mostly useless?

    • She has an email. You can tell her yourself.

      • As it turns out I was wrong. They used E1 and A1B Scenarios, see here:http://www.unige.ch/climate/Projects/ENSEMBLES-RT8/Workshops/Venice08/Huebener.pdf

        It’s just that RCP8.5 cornered the “Business as Usual” tag. And I really dislike that practice. Dr Edwards named the two scenarios, and I offer you this link above as a reference. E1 is incredibly unrealistic (emissions are way too low). A1B is better than RCP8.5, in the sense that it was prepared with a coherent dynamic model.

        I learned a little bit more about the models’ chaotic nature, and was happy to see they are using adaptive meshes in their model grids.

        Oh, and I contacted her using Twitter.

    • That’s an underlying dependency chain that Thorne wrote up in his review of Hansen’s Superstorm.

      If A, then B, which could cause C, perhaps leading to D.

      Starting with an extreme forcing scenario is most likely to lead to an extreme outcome. It would appear that business as usual would be somewhere in between RCP4.5 and RCP6.0, not RCP8.5.

      But even BAU obscures the changes in demographics and efficiency which are causing declining emissions rates in the developed world.

      • Starting with an extreme forcing scenario is most likely to lead to an extreme outcome.

        Yes, that’s why we should probably avoid following one.

        It would appear that business as usual would be somewhere in between RCP4.5 and RCP6.0, not RCP8.5.

        You do realise that RCP4.5 requires CCS and that RCP4.5 would require emissions peaking at about 11GtC. Any idea what they were last year?

        But even BAU obscures the changes in demographics and efficiency which are causing declining emissions rates in the developed world.

        This couldn’t be because the developed world has outsourced some of its emissions to the developing world, could it?

      • ATTP: “My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?” Sonmi 451, Cloud Atlas

      • Fernando,
        Very poetic, but your point is?

      • ATTP, I first noticed the absurd RCP8.5 projections in 2013. I proceeded to estimate the peak CO2 concentrations using what I felt were more reasonable fossil fuel emissions rates, and arrived at a peak ~ 630 ppm.

        A few months later I asked a friend who is very focused on fossil fuel resource limits to prepare his own estimates and he arrived at a figure lower than 600 ppm.

        Over time I’ve been pushing on this topic, first because I happen to know it, and second because I think it’s a pity to see so much useless work being performed by so many bright researchers. And I’m feeling encouraged because I notice I’m getting traction.

        And let’s be clear, I’m not saying I have a crystal ball, or that my model is that sophisticated. But what I have in my head is much better than what they had at the IPCC when they decided to force the issue, request the RCP8.5, and then in a somewhat unethical fashion start calling it “Business as Usual”.

        So this little drop may just turn out to (eventually) become the bucket of cold water this whole climate change issue needs.

      • The RCP8.5 scenario indicates, as the name implies, 8.5W/m^2 GHG forcing by 2100. Since forcing was around 2W/m^2 in 2000, that means a rate of forcing increase of 6.5 W/m^2 per century:

        What we’ve actually observed, for the last ten years, is a rate of increase of around 3.3 W/m^2:

        So, the RCP8.5 scenario is twice as rapid forcing increase as what we’ve actually observed.

        Further, ( and I should break down the components ), the forcing rate from CO2 appears to have peaked in 2007.

    • Similarly, anyone who claims that using RCP8.5 makes someone’s work useful can typically be ignored as just a bit of a crank.

      • Blast, that was meant to be “useless”, not “useful”.

      • I claim those who use RCP8.5 as input in their research work are rendering their work useless. I do so based on my expertise in the subject, which exceeds that of climatologists in the field by at least two orders of magnitude.

        Now that we got that over with, you will really help yourself if you avoid walking into this particular buzz saw. You are way over your head.

      • And I’m claiming that anyone who says what you’ve just said can probably be dismissed as simply a crank. Was that clear enough for you?

      • Yes, but I’m an expert in this subject….on the other hand you are just losing your temper because you see me as a barbarian at your gates.

      • Hmmm, I could point out what I think of people who tell me that they’re an expert, but I’ll stop now and leave it at that.

      • This whole sub-thread of argument seems incredibly silly. First of all, whatever the projections of human emissions, there’s a significant probability of some fraction of environmentally absorbed CO2 returning to the atmosphere due to eco-system changes. So RCP8.5 may be unrealistic, but the CO2 levels remain a worthwhile input to modeling efforts.

        More important, much more important is that according to the referenced Cornford et al. (2015) the modeled sea-level response to increasing CO2/temperature is non-linear: “dominated by the choice of initial conditions and ice shelf melt rate and mesh resolution”. Quoting Tamsin Edwards’ blog post:

        We looked at two scenarios of human activity – business-as-usual (called A1B) or strong reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (E1) – and the results were quite surprising. Strangely the second scenario seems to have more sea level rise.

        That’s because there’s a balancing act between the loss and gain of ice. While ice can be lost from Antarctica because the coastline retreats inland, at the same time warmer air means more snowfall. This adds ice, compensating for some of the retreat.

        The melting by the ocean is similar in both scenarios, so they lose about the same amount of ice from retreat. But in the cooler E1 scenario there is much less snowfall to compensate than in the warmer A1B.

        So in this study mitigation gives a couple of centimetres sea level contribution from Antarctica by 2100, and five or more by 2200; business-as-usual gives about a centimetre by 2100, and one to five by 2200.

        She acknowledges a good deal of uncertainty, as she does in the title of her blog: All Models Are Wrong.

        This means there’s no way to predict how much, or even whether any, increase in sea-level will occur from any specific addition of CO2.

        This fact is far more important than pointless quibbles over human emission scenarios.

        IMO.

      • Steven Mosher

        Forecasting tournaments: what we learn when we start scoring forecasts accurately [link]

      • ATTP, given your age, I’m pretty confident you’ll never achieve my expertise in this particular field. But that’s not really the point. I know more about it than most experts, simply because I had access to very skilled experts and a huge amount of confidential information you will never see. I toss this out simply to make sure you do realize I feel like a gorilla facing a cow.

        I read Eddie’s comment about the forcing values. But Eddie falls into the same pattern I have observed in the past. The subject I focus on is the volume of fossil fuels we can extract, and burn, in a given amount of time under a given set of economic conditions.

        The problem is hyper complex, but the forces at work are very clear. We simply can’t generate the volumes in the amount of time at the given price environment. If we try to speed up activity we consume too much, drive our internal costs up, and end in an ever rising spiral.

        Some “experts” say we will use technology to get out of it. I read a lot of garbage about horizontal wells, deep water reservoirs, “big data”, how we lower costs (we don’t), and on and on. The brutal reality is that we stopped finding oil to replace what we consume many years ago. The reserve increases come mostly from oil reservoirs enabled to produce by higher oil prices. And as I explained, as we use up what we have developed, we have to turn to more expensive sources. The system breaks down eventually. It is breaking down.

      • given your age, I’m pretty confident you’ll never achieve my expertise in this particular field. …. I know more about it than most experts

        Okay, I will tell you what I think of people who tell me how expert they are. Normally, they know far less than they think they do and are really not worth listening to. Genuine experts don’t need to tell people that they’re experts because it’s obvious from what they say. You should try sounding like an actual expert, rather than simply telling people that you’re an expert. You could also try being less unpleasant and less arrogant, but let’s go for one thing at a time.

        Anyway, this discussion has been a complete waste of time, so I shall endeavour to continue ignoring you. Reading about you telling me how wonderful and clever you are is rather boring.

      • I think you had it right the first time Ken.

    • Steven Mosher

      “Could somebody warn Dr T. Edwards that introducing the IPCC “business as usual” case (RCP8.5) in her Antarctic glacier flow models renders her work mostly useless?”

      Not really: ( first she didnt use 8.5) but even if she had it would still be meaningful.

      She is trying to bound the problem. if the upper bound is unrealistic
      ( too many emmissions) that is still useful information

      • I already corrected myself. That team (she’s only a co author) used two extreme cases. They demonstrated nothing because the model is chaotic. Their results showed me a line of inquiry I will try to follow in the future:

        I want to see the results of climate model ensembles run forward from 1950 to 2100, assuming CO2 remains stable, but using 50 different initialization grids. What I want to see is the scatter in modeled sea level change, temperatures (not temperature anomalies), and precipitation. No tweaking allowed. I’m fishing for this because I suspect those results will be all over the place.

      • I want to see the results of climate model ensembles run forward from 1950 to 2100, assuming CO2 remains stable, but using 50 different initialization grids.

        You’ve got a bit of a wait (on Moore’s Law).

  15. On warmer earth, most of arctic may remove, not add, methane [link] …

    For those not wanting to search for the entire (PDF): here. There’s also been a Corrigendum issued.

    This is very exciting news! Not so much the fact that natural factors may work to counteract methane emissions, natural or anthropogenic, but that once the organism responsible has been isolated and studied, the potential exists to insert this mechanism into plants (or bacteria symbiotic with plants) that can be grown in the vicinity of methane sources. This could allow human activities to become net non-emitters of methane without serious added costs to natural gas power use (or agriculture).

  16. From the El Nino article:
    (Jim2: We don’t understand El Nino):

    A separate comment piece in the same journal explains how scientists have been left scratching their heads over why El Niño has reemerged with such vigour after a false start last year.

    An El Niño first looked to be on the way back in Spring 2014, only for it to inexplicably fizzle out, explains the comment piece’s author, Dr Michael McPhaden from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    The scientific community was fooled for a second time when El Niño unexpectedly flared up again in 2015, says McPhaden. Calling this behaviour “doubly perplexing”, McPhaden adds:

    “[T]he much-ballyhooed El Niño, though moribund, was not completely dead. Surprisingly, it came roaring back with renewed vigour during the first half of 2015.”

    “Our crystal ball is blurry when it comes to how El Niño and its impacts may change in the future.”

    (Jim2: But we are certain it has something to do with ACO2. We can even quantify the effect of ACO2 on this thing we don’t understand? Yes, we use our religion for this part, no science required.):

    If emissions stay very high, the authors expect extreme El Niño events with impacts similar to the one in 1997/8 will almost double in frequency by the end of the century, from about once every 28 years today to once every 16 years.

    (Jim2: What a pile of disingenuous BS!)

    http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/08/climate-change-set-to-fuel-more-monster-el-ni%C3%B1os,-scientists-warn/

  17. The University of Chicago’s new free speech statement. This nails it.[link]

    “The freedom to debate and discuss the merits of competing ideas does not, of course, mean that individuals may say whatever they wish, wherever they wish. The University may restrict expression that violates the law, that falsely defames a specific individual, that constitutes a genuine threat or harassment, that unjustifiably invades substantial privacy or confidentiality interests, or that is otherwise directly incompatible with the functioning of the University.”

    And therein the rub. Who decides to let others hear: competing ideas ….. whatever they wish, whenever they wish.

  18. More walruses on land is a sign of conservation success not climate catastrophe [link] …

    A much more neutral description than the actual title of the essay: Hijacking Successful Walrus Conservation.

    Of course, looking at the main page, this is pretty clearly what CAGW alarmists would call a “denier” site: it’s founded on the book by Jim Steele: Landscapes & Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism.

    Although it is wise to think globally, all plants and animals respond locally. Always! As Jim Steele demonstrates, there have been a worrisome series of very bad scientific papers that blame global warming on a species’ decline even though the maximum temperatures locally have declined since the 1930’s. As Jim Steele’s research on bird populations discovered, it was not climate change but landscape changes that had caused the wildlife declines and by acting locally the problem was remedied by restoring the watershed. After restoration, the bird populations rebounded and the landscape has remained moist and biologically productive despite the recent droughts caused La Niñas.

    Unfortunately, for researchers looking for funding, the joke in most university biology departments is “how can I link my research to global warming?” As a result funds that should be directed towards restoring habitats and watersheds have been diverted to speculative studies about future devastation from CO2. We have the power to make a more resilient environment by acting locally, but the focus on a global average temperature has set conservation science back years. [my bold]

    Seems to me it’s the CAGW alarmists who are in denial.

  19. From the paper linked in the pharmaceuticals paper:

    Fish were exposed to metformin at concentrations relevant to wastewater effluent.

    So, they cherry picked the concentrations found in sewage effluent. This will represent the maximum concentration found in water bodies and streams. The concentration of all compounds in the effluent will be rapidly diminished from parts per trillion to much, much less. Fish don’t live in sewage effluent. The study is bogus. At most, they will be exposed to this concentration only fleetingly, and if they tarry around the discharge stream, only a small portion of all fish will be exposed.

    They should be studying the effect after dilution.

  20. Steven Mosher

    Forecasting tournaments: what we learn when we start scoring forecasts accurately [link]

  21. There has been no lack of similar efforts to account for the hiatus by considering, or reconsidering, certain factors (and conveniently ignoring others), or adjusting the data in such a way as to produce the desired result. Each new publication offers a different explanation. Few attempt to replicate any of the earlier ones. As time goes by, and carefully contrived models fail to mesh with the most recent data, new factors and adjustments are retroactively stirred into the mix, so the most up-to-date findings can be represented to the world as definitive.

    Vortex, Polar (2015-06-01). The Unsettled Science of Climate Change: A Primer for Critical Thinkers (Kindle Locations 1577-1581). . Kindle Edition.

  22. But this situation is nothing new, as so much of the considerable effort devoted to “explaining” the hiatus has been enacted independently, with little or no attempt to reconcile methods or results with anything that’s come before. If all the various explanations offered over the last 5 years or so were to be combined into one grand scheme, the upward trend would be so extreme as to break the thermometer. Any hope of establishing a correlation would be lost in the opposite direction: too much, rather than too little warming.

    Vortex, Polar (2015-06-01). The Unsettled Science of Climate Change: A Primer for Critical Thinkers (Kindle Locations 1646-1650). . Kindle Edition.

  23. The Shakun glacier paper’ CO2/temp ‘data’ in crucial figure 2 middle panel come from his 2012 paper. That is just a statisrical hash, and not true. Essay Cause and Effect deconstructs how and why. Ice cores from both hemispheres show a 400-1200 year lag between rising temp and subsequently rising CO2, with ‘best estimate’ on the order of 800 years. Simple consequence of Henry’s Law and the total circulation time for global thermohaline ocean circulation.
    Shakun has piled junk on top of junk with his CO2 caused the end of the last age thesis. Trying to disprove Henry’s Law in physical chemistry is something only a warmunist woild attempt.

    • I don’t see why people keep bringing up Henry’s Law WRT CO2/glaciation links.

      AFAIK the effects of wind-blown silt, rock flour, and clay in fertilizing otherwise barren ocean areas are likely to have had orders of magnitude more effect in modifying CO2 levels.

      Glacial activity produces rock flour, much of it finer and more easily blown than most silt. Because it’s ground from otherwise un-leached rock, it contains effectively all the nutrient present in the original rock. Thus it has the capacity to be highly fertilizing to ocean flora that, in turn, can pump atmospheric CO2 (and, depending on the species, Ca++&Mg++) out of the upper ocean.

      Falling sea levels have a similar effect through exposing areas of silt and mud, although much of this has probably already been partially leached of nutrients.

      AFAIK the effects of these factors could not be modeled without detailed understanding of the general wind patterns during any particular glacial era, but their variations are probably much more important to atmospheric pCO2 than global temperature via Henry’s Law.

      • the effects of wind-blown silt, rock flour, and clay in fertilizing

        And also,

        just the effects of wind

        Wind both:
        1. increases ocean/atmosphere mixing, especially around the tall ice sheets which engendered ‘katabatic’ winds, and
        2. increased polynyas around the polar continents to exposed the coldest waters to atmospheric CO2 wherein they would dissolve – but then that does take us back to Henry’s Law again.

  24. In the same vein, the higher CO2 at end of termination paper is suspect. Stomal proxies respond to more than just CO2–temperature and water. The end of the termination is not the beginning so not causal as claimed. The paper authors admit their results also conflict with high resolution ice core results. The only good thing is that they found climate was changing. But we already knew about the Younger Dryas and what caused it. So characterization as evidence of climate tipping points in present circumstances is just silly. Another warmunist ‘fail’ in the runup to Paris.

  25. Steven Mosher

    “Report (AR4) SRES scenarios discussed below. With these projections, the forecast for 2023 is for an increase Q6
    of 0.28 ± 0.11 K, 0.21 ± 0.11 K above 2013 (the errors come from the predicted SLIMM forecast error and the
    uncertainty in λ2CO2 ). Even if the CO2 concentrations stay in the lower range, the higher-warming value is
    relevant if the somewhat larger 20 year lagged λ2CO2 is used (see the discussion in Lovejoy [2014a]). The
    figure also shows the +1, 1, and 2 standard deviation limits. These allow us to estimate how long the
    pause can last without invalidating the anthropogenic warming hypothesis. From the graph, we see that
    if natural coolings continue until about 2020 and 2023 (respectively, for dlog2CO2/dt = 0.01/year and
    ≈ 0.007/year, the dashed vertical lines), they would be 2 standard deviations below the forecast mean (solid
    red). This implies that—depending on the emissions and future concentrations—if the temperature in,
    respectively, 2020 or 2023 is the same as in 2013, the anthropogenic warming hypothesis may be rejected
    with 97.5% confidence.”

  26. Yet another hijacking of science to make money. From the article:

    It’s not often that science intrudes into the world of ‘wellness’ fads. To become a clean eating guru, a cheery demeanour seems to matter far more than proper qualifications. Ella Woodward, Madeleine Shaw and Tess Ward all studied History of Art. The latter two then studied an online course with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. This course, based in America, claims to be a ‘movement’ working to reverse the health crisis by promoting the concept of ‘bio–individuality’ — a concept coined by its founder Joshua Rosenthal (who eats a gluten-free diet). It hinges on the idea that one person’s food is another person’s poison.

    The institute claims that the qualification it offers is ‘rooted in science’ — a claim which puzzles Dr Max Pemberton, Spectator Health editor and an eating disorders specialist. ‘The minute you scratch beneath the surface,’ he says, ‘you realise it isn’t.’

    It is certainly rooted in commercial logic: the surging demand for wellness gurus means that those brandishing credentials are welcomed by an audience often mistrustful of mainstream medicine. The institute is happy to boast about this on its website, quoting a student who says that ‘with the ability to see clients before graduation, my education was paid for before it was completed’.

    Successful gurus are cashing in: the Hemsley sisters sell their own brand of ‘spiraliser’, a gadget for turning courgettes into ‘courgetti’, a gluten-free pasta substitute. Supermarket sales of courgettes are soaring thanks to health-conscious consumers embracing the vegetable, which is presented as having near-miraculous powers.

    The sentiment underlying this new cult isn’t a bad one. Most of us would like to be healthier. But we can’t expect the supermarkets to let us know what healthy is — their job is to flog us food, and they do it very well. The overwhelming advice from the people who know a lot about nutrition and dietary health doesn’t seem to have changed much over the years: everything in moderation.

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/9612872/why-clean-eating-is-worse-than-just-a-silly-fad/

  27. My comment is in moderation … ironically enough :)

  28. IT IS VERY EVIDENT THAT CO2 DOES NOT ! LEAD THE TEMPERATURE.

    The simplistic reason being if CO2 did lead the temperature and a positive feedback is at work and if this feedback as they are claiming now is the control knob for the climate what (taken into consideration what AGW is saying now) stopped this process once it got started to not keep going? In other words what forces (which AGW theory claims apparently there are none) stopped the climate from a run a way state. In other words more CO2 warmer temperature leads to more CO2 hence an even warmer temperature.

    Why once this process got going according to AGW theory did it not keep going if CO2 positive feedbacks are the control knob for the climate? What force or process has stopped this from happening in the past?

  29. My reply to Willis as to why the 11 year so called normal sunspot cycle is not the place to look for when looking for a solar climate connection.

    Willis here is my argument as to why you fail to connect the solar/climate dots in any convincing way although you do leave the door opened.

    A quote from Willis, which is excellent.


    Any natural regulatory system has bounds on the variations it can control, and there are events that could alter or destroy the regulation.

    Second quote from Willis which is excellent.


    “Willis- The sun has no effect whatsoever on climate you are correct I apologize also to L svaalgard

    Willis says below that
    Eliza, I have never said that, nor anything even remotely resembling that. Those are YOUR WORDS, not mine.

    I have to apologize to Willis for not listening to him carefully enough because if one really listens to what he is saying he is opened to solar, while also saying there are events that can destroy or alter the natural regulatory system of the climate.

    So I have a starting point with Willis , which at one time I thought I did not have.

    Another point we agree on is if the sun varies enough it will have an impact on the climate. Everyone submits to this ,the disagreement however, is not if solar variation will change the climate but does the sun vary enough to accomplish this?

    This leads to my argument with Willis , which is the so called 11 year sunspot normal cycle is not where one is going to be able to find solar/climate connections, because the EXTREMES in solar activity are not strong enough in degree of magnitude or long enough in duration of time to have a climate effect. In addition the 11 year cycle going from weak to strong sunspot activity cancels the climate effect it may have before any significant impact could come about.

    In other words thresholds can not be reached in the climate system due to these 11 year variations in solar activity. This is the wrong place to look if one wants to find a solar climate connection.

    The place to look is when the sun enters an extreme period of prolonged minimum solar quiet and when one looks at these periods the data does show a climate/solar correlation to one degree or another.
    The problem is there are other factors superimposed upon even this extreme solar variability which although keeps the lower global average temperature trend in place there are periods of rising temperatures within the overall lower temperature trend.

    Why ? Because within any global temperature trend initiated by solar variability one has to take into account the following factors;

    1. all solar minimum differ as was the case recently with the 1996 solar minimum versus the 2008-2010 solar lull, which effects the climate in a different manner..

    2. the stage of where earth is in respect to Milankovitch Cycles is either going to work in concert or against the current trend the solar variability is exerting upon the climate. Right now I would say Milankovitch Cycles are on balance acting in concert with minimum prolonged solar activity.

    3. the geo magnetic field can enhance given solar activity effects or diminish given solar activity effects upon the climate. A weaker field compounding given solar effects.

    4. land /ocean arrangements and elevations. Right now acting in concert with reduced solar activity very favorable for cooling.

    5. the ice dynamic/snow cover which when at a critical stage can enhance or diminish the solar impacts. Right now not that favorable.

    6. the rogue terrestrial event such as a super volcanic eruption or the rogue extra terrestrial event such as an impact could turn things upside down in the climate system.

    7. this being very important which is the elusive thresholds which I think are out there but I do not know what degree of solar extremes are needed to bring them about, but there must be solar extremes that will bring them about. This is also probably tied into the initial state of the climate , for example point 5, which is to say just how far is the climate system of the earth from that inter –glacial/glacial threshold at the time the prolonged minimum solar conditions commence, which I think go a long way in the climatic effect the given solar variability will have upon the climate. .

    8. the normal earth intrinsic climate factors which superimpose themselves upon the big general climatic trend regardless if they are associated directly with given solar activity or not.

    9. Lunar input- which could possibly enhance or diminish given solar activity.

    My best guess based on the historical climatic record is the solar extremes needed to have a clear climatic impact and not one that is obscured have to be slightly less then quote so called normal 11 year sunspot minimums but more importantly the duration of time has to be longer.

    Once this is in when combined with the points in the above the climate result should come about, with the exception if point 6 were to take place.

    Possible important (some) secondary effects due to solar activity which in turn can moderate the climate.

    cosmic ray change moderates cloud coverage.

    ozone changes moderates atmospheric circulation

    geological activity moderation.

    Any natural regulatory system has bounds on the variations it can control, and there are events that could alter or destroy the regulation.

    Willis statement above one more time.

    Willis says there are events that could destroy or alter this regulation my question to him is what are the most likely events that can accomplish this? Willis what can do it?

    I am curious to know because so far on balance although he has not closed the door on anything to be fair, I have never heard Willis embrace any one particular item but that might be because it is elusive to him given the studies and research he has done.

    Nevertheless Willis, admits one thing or combination of things is out there that does have the ability to alter or destroy the climatic regulation.

    For my part I think I am on the correct path through the process of elimination if nothing else and another point which favors an extra- terrestrial event governing effect upon the climate to some degree is the semi cyclic nature of the climatic system of the earth.

    It is very hard to believe that random, chaotic earth bond intrinsic events in a system that is non linear to add insult to injury can somehow change over time in such a way to result in a semi cyclic beat to the climate. It seems highly unlikely.

    Do you understand Willis where I am coming from and if not how do earth bound random ,chaotic climate events result in a cyclicality to earth’s climatic system??

    Example being the semi cyclic 1470 year climate cycle.

    .

  30. A review of the best sampled air temperature …

    • Steven Mosher

      you realize that satellites dont measure air temperature

      • Satellites predict air temperature. That’s good ain’t it?

      • Right.
        Mercury thermometers measure molecular motion within the glass which is indirectly related to the air temperature.
        Thermistors and thermocouples measure changes in electric field which are indirectly related to the air temperature.
        And the MSU sensors measure microwave emissions from Oxygen molecules which are indirectly related to the air temperature.

        Evidently, given the tight correlation of colocated MSU measurements and RAOB measurements, the MSU data are perhaps as reliable as surface thermometer measurements are reliable.

        They’re measuring different portions of the atmosphere, of course, and there’s no physical requirement that they match.

        But according to the GCMs, the lapse rate is modeled to become less steep, not more as the observations indicate. This causes major changes to the energy budget as understood.

        Now, climate fluctuates from external forcing like CO2, and internal forcing ( heat reservoirs, mostly the ocean, both releasing and taking up heat ).
        So this maybe related. And maybe it will change for the next 40 years.

        But based on observations, global warming is neither so simple nor as extensive as modeled.

      • Mercury thermometers don’t measure air temperature either. They measure the volume of mercury in a glass tube. Thermocouples measure a voltage, not temperature. Satellites measure microwave frequencies.

        So what?

      • Slight correction. A temperature measuring device that utilizes a thermocouple contains a complex instrument that measures the voltage of the thermocouple. The model describing the voltage measuring device must itself incorporate compensation for temperature and is quite complex.

    • ENSO ONI just hit 1.0, and the worst temp series is about to send rockets to the top of its graph paper. It’s just silly to call it good.

  31. Is the El Nino waning?

    • Doesn’t look like it.

      The chart indicates maximum anomaly centered on 130W slowly moving east.

      Eyeballing it, looks like peak in four months – December, which,
      IIRC, the 97/98 peaked at ( equatorial SST, anyway ).

      The equatorial SST anomalies don’t appear to be as intense as the 97/98 event though.

      I planted trees this year firmly expecting El Nino rains, so don’t let me down, now.

      • The extent of hotter water, say demarcated by yellow, has shrunk; while the intensity of the temperature has increased. The hottest, denoted by gray, is now shrinking as is the darkest red. If the trend continues, it would seem the El Nino would be weakening.

        But, like you, I’m just eye-balling it and making some assumptions about how the surface ocean temperature correlates with the El Nino caused increase in global air temperature.

      • The strong correlations in much of the SW US, anyway, seem to persist into the Spring, even when the peak SST anomalies have passed.

        Is it a standing wave variation that causes the ENSO SST anomalies?
        Or, do the ENSO SST anomalies invoke a wave variation in the general circulation?
        Or, both?

      • The hottest water under the surface also appears to be decreasing in extent.

  32. Bad papers/peer review, from the article:

    Made-up identities assigned to fake e-mail addresses. Real identities stolen for fraudulent reviews. Study authors who write glowing reviews of their own research, then pass them off as an independent report.

    These are the tactics of peer review manipulators, an apparently growing problem in the world of academic publishing.

    Peer review is supposed to be the pride of the rigorous academic publishing process. Journals get every paper reviewed and approved by experts in the field, ensuring that problematic research doesn’t make it to print.

    But increasingly journals are finding out that those supposedly authoritative checks are being rigged.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/08/18/outbreak-of-fake-peer-reviews-widens-as-major-publisher-retracts-64-scientific-papers/

    • “Made-up identities assigned to fake e-mail addresses. Real identities stolen for fraudulent reviews. Study authors who write glowing reviews of their own research, then pass them off as an independent report.”

      John Cook should write a review of this……but as Luboš Motl.

    • That’s a great point harkin1. Where are all the socialist … oops! … sociologists and psychologists on this TRULY significant issue, a REAL bane of science??

  33. I find the new approach by Kevin Trenberth to be quite interesting, ref his perspective piece in Science: Has there been a hiatus?
    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/349/6249/691.full

    To evaluate what Trenberth has done to climate science, there are two quotes form Karl Popper i find particularly relevant:
    ( Karl Popper was the mastermind behind the modern scientific method – Popper´s empirical method. Quotes are from his book “The logic of Scientific Discovery”)

    1: “it is still impossible, for various reasons, that any theoretical system should ever be conclusively falsified. For it is always possible to find some way of evading falsification, for example by introducing ad hoc an auxiliary hypothesis, or by changing ad hoc a definition. It is even possible without logical inconsistency to adopt the position of simply refusing to acknowledge any falsifying experience whatsoever. Admittedly, scientists do not usually proceed in this way, but logically such procedure is possible”
    – Karl Popper in The Logic of Scientific Discovery

    Kevin Trenberth introduced the ad hoc hypothesis that the expected warming of the atmosphere went into the oceans:
    “Well, I have my own article on where the heck is global warming?…The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.”
    Kevin E. Trenberth

    In his paper, Trenberth and collaborators argue that the ‘missing’ heat is sequestered in the ocean, below 700 m. His paper was called:
    “Distinctive climate signals in reanalysis of global ocean heat content”
    (Geophysical research letters – first published 10 May 2013)

    In my opinion, it was very clearly an ad hoc hypothesis. The ad hoc hypothesis was to claim that the reason why the troposphere had not warmed, as anticipated by the global warming theory, was that the energy, which supposedly had been trapped trapped by CO2 in the atmosphere, had gone into the deep oceans.

    As the definitions of global warming was already very vague, there was not a very clear change of definitions following the ad hoc hypothesis.

    It is then time to look at another quote from Karl Popper:

    2: “A theory is falsifiable … if there exists at least one non-empty class of homotypic basic statements which are forbidden by it; that is, if the class of its potential falsifiers is not empty. If, as in section 23, we represent the class of all possible basic statements by a circular area, and the possible events by the radii of the circle, then we can say: At least one radius—or perhaps better, one narrow sector whose width may represent the fact that the event is to be ‘observable’—must be incompatible with the theory and ruled out by it.”

    “Thus it can be said that the amount of empirical information conveyed by a theory, or its empirical content, increases with its degree of falsifiability.”

    The point is that the power of a theory increases with the amount of possible events which are forbidden by it. The theory of velocity, distance and time predicts that if I drive for an hour at 80 km/hour I will have covered a distance of 80 km (Within quantifiable uncertainties). All other distances are forbidden by the theory. It is a very powerful theory. The empirical content is enormous.

    It is thus worth noting that the heat capacity of the oceans is about 1000 times the heat capacity of the atmosphere. Hence, a minuscule change in ocean temperature can explain any lack of warming in the atmosphere. A change within the random variation, or measurement uncertainty, of ocean temperature, can be used as an excuse of any lack of warming in the atmosphere.

    The ad hoc hypothesis may seem brilliant to some, in particular all those who searched for an explanation of the lack of warming in the atmosphere, but the consequence was that the falsifiability of the theory was reduced approximately by a factor 1000.

    So what happened with the empirical content of the theory in this process?
    It vanished – it was reduced by a factor 1000. It is not any more possible to distinguish the global warming effect on atmospheric temperature from random variation / uncertainty in ocean temperature.

    The latest piece from Trenberth reduces the empirical content of the global warming theory even more. Here is a quote from Trenberth´s latest piece:
    “Because of global warming, numerous studies have found large regional trends over the past 40 years or so, the period for which we have the best data. However, the associated changes in the atmospheric circulation are mostly not from anthropogenic climate change but rather reflect large natural variability on decadal time scales. The latter has limited predictability and may be underrepresented in many models, but needs to be recognized in adaptation planning. Natural fluctuations are big enough to overwhelm the steady background warming at any point in time.”

    Trenberth has now made the Global warming theory even less falsifiable – less scientific – almost every range of events is now allowed by the theory – it explains everything – the class of potential falsifiers is almost empty – the empirical content has vanished.

    Without knowing it, Kevin Trenberth now resembles Mihail Gorbatsjov, not in being a great statesman, but in making it very clear that the ideology he has been supposed to support does not work.

    • Re: tropospheric hot spot:



      Note that in the tropical observations portion of the left panel in Fig. 2, all three 183.3 GHz channels (corresponding to different free-tropospheric layers) suggest decreasing water vapor with warming. (I don’t know how cirrus clouds might also be affected, but Lindzen has argued as part of his Iris Effect hypothesis that vapor and cirrus cloud cover should change together, and the 183.3 GHz data are affected somewhat by thick cirrus).
      The mid-latitudes seem to be mostly in the realm of positive water vapor feedback, although maybe not constant RH (which is what the models tend to do). It would take more work to determine just what these extratropical humidity channel changes really mean in terms of broadband infrared radiative feedback.

      Comparison of these same metrics to CMIP5 climate model data has been slow, since the necessary humidity and temperature profile data have been unavailable from the CMIP5 archive for months. Nevertheless, we were able to download data for two GFDL models (from the GFDL website), and I’m showing one of those in the right panel above, where we used a radiative transfer model to compute the same satellite microwave channels from the model temperature and humidity profiles. Note that in the tropics (say, 25N to 25S) the model tends to keep approximately constant RH when all those latitude bands are taken together.
      ,,,
      http://www.drroyspencer.com/2015/08/new-evidence-regarding-tropical-water-vapor-feedback-lindzens-iris-effect-and-the-missing-hotspot/

    • Science or Fiction: The latest piece from Trenberth reduces the empirical content of the global warming theory even more.

      Good comment.

    • Before you go all Popper on everyone, you should bone up on AGW theory and what it predicts and doesn’t predict.

      It does not make short term predictions.
      It also predicts that the manifestation of warming will be found in responses other than increases in atmospheric temperatures.

      The pause, for whatever it’s worth, due to the uncertainty in the measurement of the trend, has not been able to distinguish between warming and not warming.

      • Yep. Predictions that far into the future should be taken with a few extra grains of salt. Probably more than one could tolerate.

      • From the contribution from Working group I to the fifth assessment report by IPCC:
        TS.5.4.2 Projected Near-term Changes in Temperature
        In the absence of major volcanic eruptions—which would cause significant but temporary cooling—and, assuming no significant future long-term changes in solar irradiance, it is likely that the GMST anomaly for the period 2016–2035, relative to the reference period of 1986–2005 will be in the range 0.3°C to 0.7°C (medium confidence).

        If we for a moment disregard problems related to the definition of Global Mean Surface Temperature:
        Likely means – 66 – 100 % probability (Likelihood of the outcome)

        Which means that even if the temperature anomaly for 2016-2035 is significantly outside the predicted range, this will still not falsify the theory behind the projections. Such probability statement can hardly be falsified.

        About the other manifestations I think none of the following observations will be regarded as a falsifying experiences:
        More ice, less ice, more rain, less rain, more snow, less snow, more drought, less drought, more wind, less wind. And sea level is rising anyhow.

        “TS.5.4.1 Projected Near-term Changes in Climate
        Projections of near-term climate show small sensitivity to GHG scenarios compared to model spread, but substantial sensitivity to uncertainties in aerosol emissions, especially on regional scales and for hydrological cycle variables.”

        “TS.5.4.3 Projected Near-term Changes in the Water Cycle
        Zonal mean precipitation will very likely increase in high and some of the mid latitudes, and will more likely than not decrease in the subtropics.”

        And while we wait and see – knowing that we will probably not be able to conclude on the theory – the global warming industry is estimated to be spending 1,5 trillion $ per year. 4 Billion $ per day.

        I think that those who follow a robust scientific method have no reason to dislike references to Popper. If so, it would be interesting to hear why.

      • The near term GMST is already in the range of 0.3 to 0.7 above the 1985 to 2005 reference period. I just calculated it using GISS and the 2014 value is barely in that range. I use GISS because it is easily provided in a form I can use to do calculations.

        Nothing wrong with Popper, you just have a problem using him correctly. There are many observations that would falsify AGW.
        A negative trend with a trend value higher than the uncertainty value for that trend would be awful hard to explain.
        Put that on the table and I’ll get me coat.

        By the way, where are you getting the idea we are spending almost 2% of global GDP on the global warming industry?

      • The simplest first:
        Sorry for not providing a link, and for misleading by using the word “spending” in saying: “the global warming industry is estimated to be spending 1,5 trillion $ per year”

        My point was supposed to be that a whole lot of money and resources are being used, and this was a figure I had at hand. I am not able to check the figure.

        The title of article was: “An inconvenient truth: ‘Climate change industry’ now a $1.5 trillion global business”:
        http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/aug/11/climate-change-industry-now-15-trillion-global-bus/

  34. Abstract of the paper by Shaun Lovejoy Abstract The ScaLIng Macroweather model (SLIMM) is a new class of stochastic atmospheric model. It exploits the large system memory to overcome the biases of conventional numerical climate models, it makes hindcasts and forecasts over macroweather forecast horizons (≈10 days to decades). Using the
    simplest (scalar), SLIMM model with only two parameters, we present various twentieth century hindcasts including several of the slowdown (“pause”) in the warming since 1998. The 1999–2013 hindcast is accurate
    to within ±0.11 K, with all the 2002–2013 anomalies hindcast to within ±0.02 K. In comparison, the Climate Model Intercomparison Project Phase 3 hindcasts were on average about 0.2 K too warm.

    Whole thing is available here: http://www.physics.mcgill.ca/~gang/eprints/eprintLovejoy/neweprint/GRL53311.proof.18.8.15.short.pdf

    • The approach is analogous to Vaughan Pratt’s approach, with a different model for the natural (“noise”) process (a stochastic differential equation), and with error bars on the forecasts. the author predicts that if AGW is true and his model is accurate, then the pause ought to end by 2020 (one set of parameters) or 2023 (a different set); put differently, if the pause does not end, the hypothesis of AGW can be rejected with 97.5% confidence by those dates..

      • I said the pause was dying last year, and maybe even before that. It’s all but dead now. It can fog a mirror… barely. El Nino forecast to last until May 2016. Iffy, but if true, 2016 could be a contender for warmest year. That would be three in a row. Some people are talking about back-to-back El Nino events. They’re talking 2014 and 2015. Wrong. The back-to-back possibility is 2015-2016 followed by 2016-2017. This is how the warm phase of the PDO often kicks off.

  35. I would note that the trend in the 30-year mean temperature is steady, as this graph shows, which is the 30-year temperature and the trend from the last 30 years joining almost seamlessly to it. Thirty year temperatures haven’t even seen the pause.
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/mean:120/mean:240/from:1900/plot/gistemp/from:1985/trend

  36. ‘The global warming hiatus re-examined.’ Humpty-Dumpty
    at the controls. “Hey, I will select the measurement device
    whereby ocean temperatures are measured, ergo not Argo.
    H/D et Karl et al.

    • Danny Thomas

      Beth,
      ” How much does the project cost and who pays?
      Each float costs about $15,000 USD and this cost about doubles when the cost of handling the data and running the project is taken into account. The array has roughly 3000 floats and to maintain the array, 800 floats will need to be deployed each year. Thus the approximate cost of the project is 800 x $30,000 = $24m per year. That makes the cost of each profile around $200. 28 countries have contributed floats to the array with the USA providing about half the floats.”

      and
      “* How accurate is the Argo data?
      The temperatures in the Argo profiles are accurate to ± 0.002°C and pressures are accurate to ± 2.4dbar. For salinity,there are two answers. The data delivered in real time are sometimes affected by sensor drift. For many floats this drift is small, and the uncorrected salinities are accurate to ± .01 psu. At a later stage, salinities are corrected by expert examination, comparing older floats with newly deployed instruments and with ship-based data. Corrections are made both for identified sensor drift and for a thermal lag error, which can result when the float ascends through a region of strong temperature gradients.
      Following this delayed- mode correction, salinity errors are usually reduced further and in most cases the data become good enough to detect subtle ocean change. The estimated accuracy of the delayed mode quality controlled salinity can be found in the PSAL_ADJUSTED_ERROR fields in the D profile files. If the salinity is found to be questionable even after delayed mode adjustment, there error and the qc flag are adjusted to higher than usual to make users aware of this. Therefore, users should use the *_ADJUSTED_ERROR and *_ADJUSTED_QC fields in the profile files to filter the data set to remove less accurate measurements.

      This goes for all the parameters measured. While the temperature and pressure sensors are highly accurate, they may still have errors, leading to higher adjusted error fields and qc flags.

      In general, data that are considered bad and unadjustable are marked with a qc flag of ‘3’ or ‘4’. These bad data should not be used in any scientific applications.”

      Just mark them all with ‘3’ or ‘4’!

      http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/FAQ.html

  37. re: “Scientists say about 1/5 of California’s drought is due to climate change.” The paper reference at the link is a paper in Geophysical Research Letters, abstract saying, “…Precipitation is the primary driver of drought variability but anthropogenic warming is estimated to have accounted for 8–27% of the observed drought anomaly in 2012–2014 and 5–18% in 2014. Although natural variability dominates, anthropogenic warming has substantially increased the overall likelihood of extreme California droughts.” I did not read the paper (paywall locked), but I am very curious where the “estimated anthropogenic warming.” Obviously it is models, but what assumptions, IPCC AR5 conclusions on AGW attribution and climate sensitivities?

  38. Geoff Sherrington’s request above to stick to the science prompts me to make my own request of Steven Mosher. Steven, I seem to recall you mentioning that BEST was considering a blog where only cordial behavior would be permitted. You said you would ban your current self since your current self sees blogging as “theater”. (I thought that was funny). A cordial-only site would be quite helpful to a layman like me (I do financial modeling and investment analysis) who is looking to delve deeper. I notice that when I’m presented with evidence that challenges my current beliefs, I often have an emotional response to reject the new data. Then, the theater atmosphere of the blogs further fires my emotion and entices me to band with my “tribe” and do battle. I’d think my response was embarrassing (and I do try to control it), but after reading a few articles linked by Dr. Curry (which I wish I’d saved), my current thinking is that humans naturally tend to respond with emotion and even anger when their belief systems are challenged. A site strictly regulated for cordiality could be very helpful for getting new ideas past the natural emotional barrier. I hope you will move forward on the idea. (I’m not saying I think there’s no place for theater, just that a neutralized blog would be helpful.)

    • Oops, George Sheridan’s request is over on “Industry funding: witch hunts”. I’m using an RSS reader rather than the actual web site here. Got confused….

    • jorgietom

      I commented on this subject a couple of days ago and just posted a reply to Geoff;

      —– —— ——

      Geoff

      I commented on this subject a couple of days ago.

      https://judithcurry.com/2015/08/18/industry-funding-witch-hunts/#comment-726352

      I have nothing against good natured banter, which normally happens when the thread is well advanced, nor even some of the often funny but pertinent caustic comments.

      It is the general air of merely continuing past feuds and tribalism and extreme parsing that then prevents a thorough examination of the issues at hand. A discussion that could usefully be aided by guest scientists who might feel more inclined to comment here if there wasn’t so much noise.

      —– —— ——-

      tonyb

      • Hi Toynb, Yes indeed, I agree that a more “sanitized” atmosphere would likely entice more knowledgeable people to participate here and advance our collective knowledge. It would also reduce the tendency of “students” like me to revert to tribalism. Both these aspects would also be benefits at BEST’s possible new blog. Part of me wonders though if Climate Etc. should remain unchanged. Perhaps hurling insults, indulging conspiracy theories, throwing up flak, assuming the other ‘side’ are idiots, etc. is just part of the human condition, and it needs it’s venue too. (My thinking is partly influenced by just reading “The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution.” Holy cow, what a cantankerous bunch those guys were!) Also, some of the issues discussed here are about integrity and motives, and that’s bound to get heated. Not sure, just wondering….

      • Jorgietom

        One of the often Enjoyable characteristics of CE is its rumbustious freewheeling nature.

        Whilst It tends to have been better the ladtt few months it often descends into a food fight between the various factions. There is a lot of wisdom, a lot of know ledge and many ingrained attitudes on this blog.

        It would be good therefore if denizens could cease hostilities for special guest blogs every fortnight whereby genuine leaders in their field could argue their case and be questioned.

        Many academics don’t like the cut and thrust of blogs such as this and accordingly we miss their input which could expand the knowledge of all those participating.

        So, a ceasefire once a fortnight would be good, tied to specific topics.

        Tonyb

      • In point of fact, Dr. Curry has from time to time invited experts to write a post to the blog. On such occasions, she has requested the denizens moderate their remarks in a respectful manner. The last few times CE has hosted such experts, she has moderated the comments.

        So, bring on the experts. I, for one, can’t wait.

      • Week in review is allowed to be a bit rambunctious. The topical posts (esp guest) need to be more constrained.

      • Hi ToynB, Jim2, Dr. Curry, Willard and Steven, I also enjoy the rambunctious freewheeling nature of Climate Etc. To be honest, I’ve even grown to enjoy the “gutter” posts (since I now think intensity is natural and inevitable). I often find myself bursting out laughing. The problem is that I then typically revert to tribalism. I like the idea of fortnightly cease-fires both to curb my tribalism and to entice more experts. I’m imagining something more sanitized than the current more-constrained, more-moderated topical/guest post policy. I’m thinking utter cordiality would really get the flow going, both in regards to more experts and more thought. But like I said before, all might be just right at Climate Etc. The fully sanitized approach could happen somewhere else, hopefully at BEST. I’m excited to hear the new blog is up. I tooled around the BEST site though and couldn’t find it. Steven, could you post the link?

      • Danny Thomas

        Steven,
        I too, can find no comments or responses. And, is there a way to subscribe?

    • Steven Mosher

      Ya.

      the blog is up and running.
      one cordial comment.
      one cordial answer.

      I will be posting more there, but people dont comment on blogs to learn things. they comment to be entertaining.

      • Mosh

        You base that observation on what evidence?

        Did people visit climate audit To be entertaining or to be educated?

        Why not link to the new blog?

        Tonyb

      • Steven Mosher: people dont comment on blogs to learn things. they comment to be entertaining.

        Speaking for yourself, no doubt.

      • Steven Mosher

        I base that on years of experience.
        Your comment and Matthews are both entertaining.

      • Mosh

        Only entertaining?

        So next time you do an article here on BEST perhaps you will add in a few jokes and anecdotes to increase the entertainment quotient. A little quiz would be fun as well.

        Tonyb

      • Oops, I hit the wrong Reply button. Posting again, further down…

        Hi ToynB, Jim2, Dr. Curry, Willard and Steven, I also enjoy the rambunctious freewheeling nature of Climate Etc. To be honest, I’ve even grown to enjoy the “gutter” posts (since I now think intensity is natural and inevitable). I often find myself bursting out laughing. The problem is that I then typically revert to tribalism. I like the idea of fortnightly cease-fires both to curb my tribalism and to entice more experts. I’m imagining something more sanitized than the current more-constrained, more-moderated topical/guest post policy. I’m thinking utter cordiality would really get the flow going, both in regards to more experts and more thought. But like I said before, all might be just right at Climate Etc. The fully sanitized approach could happen somewhere else, hopefully at BEST. I’m excited to hear the new blog is up. I tooled around the BEST site though and couldn’t find it. Steven, could you post the link?

      • Steven Mosher

        Only entertaining?

        So next time you do an article here on BEST perhaps you will add in a few jokes and anecdotes to increase the entertainment quotient. A little quiz would be fun as well.

        Tonyb
        ###################

        most folks who post do it to enlighten.
        comments? mostly entertain themselves or others.

      • For some years, I read almost everything on this blog, and my comments were mainly, though not always, intended to apply my expertise where appropriate. I now generally read the head posts, skim over the very long sub-threads with the usual suspects, but check on some well-regarded posters’ comment and tend to make comments which amuse me (and hopefully others), except for the increasingly rare occasions when I think I can add value. Overall, I’m a bit CAGW/climate change’d out, and give less attention to the topic and this blog, and, having been omnivorous, rarely check other climate blogs unless a link catches my fancy. As I’ve remarked elsewhere, life is change. Faustino (can I have my posting name back, please?)

      • genghiscunn/Faustino , if you are logged into WP it is very easy to change your display name. Hit the person symbol on the upper right and add a Public Display Name. It seems to accept anything.

      • JimD, thanks, I first used a computer in 1966 but am computer-illiterate in many areas. Given the opportunity, I’ll double up. As an aside, the Telegraph online sometimes puts me up as genghiscunn, no picture, sometimes Michael Cunningham with a portrait of Genghis Khan. Promoting split personalities perhaps.

      • Excuse me, that should be Jim D. I must be spaced out so to speak.

      • Steven,
        One thing I don’t ever recall being called on any blog is ‘entertaining’. :)

      • I don’t comment to learn things. I read the comments to do that.

      • Are there three blog entries, with the top one being about natural gas? I can’t see a comment or answer.

        Tonyb

  39. From the article:

    Calgary is stunned by SNOWFALL in the middle of summer
    Forecast had been for rain all of yesterday in the Canadian town
    However a sudden drop in temperature cause that to turn into snow
    Despite the unexpected flurry barely anyone batted an eyelid
    In one video a woman can be heard saying ‘Only in Alberta, eh?’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3207582/Only-Alberta-eh-Snow-falls-Calgary-despite-middle-summer-bats-eyelid.html

  40. The UK’s BBC and the UK’s Meteorological Office may be awakening to reality

    http://blog.metoffice.gov.uk/2015/08/23/met-office-in-the-news-bbc-weather-contract/

  41. re: waste heat emission from AC systems:

    Good to see some research quantifying how much air conditioning heats an urban environment, thus increasing the need for, and the cost of, air conditioning. Does the paper show how well the temperature increases correspond to electricity consumption?

    Is anyone working on centralized interior heating/cooling systems that store waste heat and use it to heat water and cook food?

    • I compared Jun-Jul_Aug mean maximum and minimum temperature records at Phoenix Int’l Airport with those at Casa Grande, 41 miles SSW.

      Phoenix has reasonably complete data from 1948 to present. Casa Grande has data from 1925, while it was a farming community, but in 2008-2009 a dense subdivision grew around the station and it closed. I limited comparison to 1948 through 2008.

      1948 was an auspicious summer for showing similarity. Mean MAX was 105.3°F at Phoenix IAP, 105.4&degF at Casa Grande. Mean MIN was 72.7&degF at Phoenix IAP, 72.8°F at Casa Grande.

      But with land use citification around the airport, low temperature trends diverged.

      Trend in mean MAX at Casa Grande is +0.21°F/decade. At Phoenix IAP it’s +0.54°F/decade.
      Trend in mean MIN at Casa Grande is +0.34°F/decade. At Phoenix IAP it’s +1.69°F/decade.

      In summer 2008, mean MIN at Casa Grande was 70.1°F. At Phoenix IAP it was 81.9°F.

      Perhaps a history of electricity usage could suggest how much of Phoenix’s summer night warming is due to AC vs “insignificant” UHI.

    • June-August mean low temperature anomalies from overall average,
      Phoenix Sky Harbor Int’l Airport vs Casa Grande, 41 miles SSE.

  42. Article claiming a “Fight Over Transparacy” removed from PLOS Biologue:

    http://blogs.plos.org/biologue/2015/08/13/the-fight-over-transparency-round-two/

    The comments leading to the removal were left and are well worth reading.

    h/t Shub N

  43. New paper finds the Great Lakes water levels are linked to the natural North Atlantic Oscillation [link] …

    There is tide gauge water levels data for Lake Huron since 1838 and the systematic recording of Great Lakes water levels began in 1860. Chart Datum reporting begins around 1915. The paper uses 95 years of data.

    The lowest Lake Huron recorded data was in 1964 and the highest water level was in 1986 a span of 22 years using all 177 years of records.

    And then they find a correlation in 95 years of data with the North Atlantic Oscillation.

    Today, the weather started out cloudy and overcast; it appeared it was going to rain. Then the sun came out and the wind died and we now have calm, the barometer has fallen and the water surface is flat. The rock at the entrance to our the little cove immediately out front is a bit more out of the water than this morning. The “measuring rock” yesterday was awash in strong seas and winds. The cove in the front three years ago was nearly completely dry and measuring rock from its base stood 2.5 feet above water level. We have had two winters where the Great Lakes were covered with ice. Lots of snow in Northern Ontario winter of 2013/2014. Rainfall for this year (January to present) within one inch of last year and both nearly 6 inches above historic norms.

    “http://www.seagrant.wisc.edu/Home/Topics/CoastalEngineering/Details.aspx?PostID=971”

    When the well-funded climate research program at University of Michigan began making forecasts about Great Lakes waters and why the water levels were so low, all sorts of answers came forth, the obvious CO2 devil was first, but, isostatic tectonic rebound (Great Lakes rising in elevation from the last glacier spilling increased water through St. Mary’s River, the Sinclair River, and over Niagara Falls) to blaming the Army Corps of Engineers for dredging the Sinclair River too deep therefore deepening the exit of Lake Huron/Michigan, to unsustainable water withdrawal by Great Lakes bordering communities, to etc etc etc.

    Note how the hysteria of Great Lakes running out of water soon, calamitous low water levels restricting Great Lakes bulk carrier ships from carrying less than 1/2 their capacity, and financial ruin for the Great Lakes surrounding cities.

    I just wish mad scientists twisting the dials on their futurewaterlevelforecast machines would do something useful. Measuring rock at this location has been around a lot longer than I have. Maybe after 60 years that I have been here, I should query what measuring rock thinks of where water levels are going.

  44. correction

    Note how the hysteria of…….Great Lakes surrounding cities IS MISSING.

  45. “Climate change set to fuel more “monster” El Niños, scientists warn”

    Ridiculous, increased forcing of the climate increases La Nina.

  46. “The upward trend has resumed in 2014, now the warmest year on record,” Kevin Trenberth

    2014 is reported as the ‘warmest year’, by just two-hundredths of a degree, 0.02C, with a margin of error of approximately 0.1C, with a 38% confidence level.

    And in “climate science” this becomes simply “2014, now the warmest year on record….”

    Not to mention that a 15 year trend that was denied by the “scientists” for 14 years, has now “ended” after a one year .02 “spike” in temps, with a 38% confidence level.

    It would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

  47. ‘I’ll be judge,
    I’ll be jury,’
    said cunning
    old Fury.
    )