Refocusing the USGCRP

by David Wojick

Our goal here is to begin to articulate a research program into the role of recent long-term natural variability in climate change.

Long-term natural variability has implications for the modeling of future climate changes, on the scale of decades to centuries. It is called dec-cen variability. Dec-cen variability also relates to explaining the climate changes that have occurred over the last century or so. This is what is called the attribution problem; that is, how much of these historical changes are attributable to human activity, versus natural variability?

Our investigations indicate that the $2.5 billion a year US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is doing very little research of this sort [link]. There is a great deal of research on short-term variability, on the scale of a season to a decade or so. There is also some paleoclimate research looking at long periods of past climate, which may be useful. But there is very little research specifically on near term dec-cen variability, especially in relation to observed climate change over the last century or so.

This lack of research is unfortunate because the attribution problem is clearly the central policy-relevant question in climate change science. The National Academy of Sciences put the importance of attribution very succinctly way back in 1998, in their report titled “Natural Climate Variability on Decade-to-Century Timescales (NAP, 1995). The Preface of the 1998 Report provides a clear statement of the attribution problem:

The climate change and variability that we experience will be a commingling of the ever changing natural climate state with any anthropogenic change. While we are ultimately interested in understanding and predicting how climate will change, regardless of the cause, an ability to differentiate anthropogenic change from natural variability is fundamental to help guide policy decisions, treaty negotiations, and adaptation versus mitigation strategies. Without a clear understanding of how climate has changed naturally in the past, and the mechanisms involved, our ability to interpret any future change will be significantly confounded and our ability to predict future change severely curtailed.”

In stark contrast, the USGCRP seems to assume that human activity is all that matters and this is a great mistake. For example, semantic analysis of USGCRP annual reports indicates that their attention is heavily weighted to what is called “anthropogenic global warming” or AGW. Then too, analysis of NSF research awards under the program that arguably anchors the USGCRP indicates that the vast majority of awards are directed at short-term variability, typically on a scale from a season to a decade. Modeling makes up a great deal of climate research and it too looks to be biased toward AGW. It might even be argued that AGW-based modeling dominates climate change science.

In contrast to the above, it is entirely possible that much, perhaps most, of the climate change observed over the last century or so is natural. We simply do not know because the crucial research is not being done. This central question is the attribution problem.

Our Proposal:

The USGCRP needs to be expanded or redirected to look deeply into the attribution problem. Here is our candidate list of research topics for a research program on recent long-term natural variability.

1) Low climate sensitivity to CO2 increases. Recent research suggests that climate sensitivity is much lower than most models assume.

2) Sun-climate mechanisms, especially indirect effects. Several indirect solar effects have been proposed.

3) Natural oscillations (ENSO, AMO, PDO, etc.). The role of these natural oscillations in recent long-term climate variation should be a major USGCRP research area.

4) Ocean circulation (upwelling, Gulf Stream, conveyor belt, etc.). Changes in ocean circulation are thought to be able to produce large rapid temperature changes. What role they play in recent long-term changes needs to be determined.

5) Long-term natural variations (Little Ice Age, Medieval Warm Period, etc.). We need to know if climate oscillates naturally on the decade to millennial scale.

6) Negative feedbacks (Lindzen’s Iris, convection, etc.). The climate models generally do not include strong negative feedbacks, but these have been proposed.

7) Chaotic oscillations. Climate is known to be chaotic on relatively small time scales. Whether it is on larger scales needs to be investigated. It might explain the long-term natural variations.

8) Alternative model parameterizations and assumptions.

9) Other hypotheses and new approaches.

10) Modeling the above. (It will be important to do new modeling, to explore these various processes and hypotheses, and their potential role in recent long-term climate change.)

Congress and the USGCRP should work together to develop and fund this Dec-cen Research Program.

Moderation note:  As with all guest posts, keep your comments civil and relevant.

371 responses to “Refocusing the USGCRP

  1. Steven Mosher

    “9) Other hypotheses and new approaches.”

    Unicorns. fund my hunt now!

    • Troll. Someone ban it now!

      Andrew

    • CO2 is the real unicorn. A cargo cult.

    • dogdaddyblog

      Who cudda thunk? All physical processes can be found in the data weed patches in which Mr. Mosher wanders.

    • Seriously, Dr. Curry. If anyone else came in repeating ‘unicorns’, they’d get moderated.

      Andrew

    • Mosher ==> Still waiting to hear that you are going to write up your Unicorn Hunting Hypothesis, explaining your idea of the AGW hypothesis as a “sufficient explanation” for The Climate for all of us to see and respond to. My offer to edit it for you is still on the table (and meant constructively).

      …alternately, you could just “Keep on trollin’.”

      • Still waiting for you to write an essay on How an Explanation Can Fulfill Climate Science, Kip.

        Incidentally, a challenge similar a yours prompted the Contrarian Matrix. Comments welcome, and please beware your wishes.

      • Willard ==> I know you’ve been following the Unicorns thread. Please remember it is Mosher’s idea that there already exists a “sufficient explanation” (the AGW consensus explanation) and that any other proposed competing explanation needs to “explain the climate” to be in the same league. It is certainly not my idea at all.

        Your comment leaves out the most significant word “purpose” — I stated that “it [Mosher’s version of the AGW explanation] does not fulfill the purpose of Climate Science — it barely scratches the surface.” The purpose of Climate Science could be be something along the lines of “to discover how the Earth’s climate system actually works, what causes it to change when it changes, at whatever scales of space and time, etc.” don’t take this purpose as definitive, it just an example of how BIG the purpose is…there is a great deal more to it.

        I have clearly stated that I believe we [mankind] knows shockingly little about how the Earth’s climate really works — and thus that continued research — of all types — needs to continue.

        In my essay “Discussion: can we hit the ‘restart’ button?” I asked a series of questions that might be asked to lead Climate Science, as a discipline scientific, back in the right direction.

      • Kip,

        Thank you for your comment.

        Moshpit’s distinction between sufficient and necessary reason may not have been what I would have used. The distinction is hard to grasp even by College students, and I’m no fan of sufficiency arguments. Still, it should be good enough to defuse a common contrarian requirement. See for instance:

        > If, as you asserted below, “identifying alternative plausible hypotheses is sufficient to block AGW as the explanation” then […]

        That’s just not a valid “if” – it reduces scientific hypothesis testing as a deterministic toolkit working from one necessity to the next, and goes about everything we know about empirical matters.

        https://judithcurry.com/2016/08/23/measuring-bias-in-the-u-s-federally-funded-climate-research/#comment-806366

        I’d rather explain all this using good ol’ inference to the best explanation. The main reason is that it frames the competition between scientific theories as a tournament more than a boxing match. Another good reason is that this explanation does not presume any standard of quality that must pass a theory before it’s deemed good enough.

        AGW’s the best explanation of GW we have so far, and it’s good enough for me. If you think there’s a better one, you put it on the table. If you think it’s not good enough for you, you need to specify by which criteria you can judge that.

        Saying “but there’s so much we don’t know” doesn’t cut it. Empirical sciences may always have gaps – even Einstein theories are still flaky. If you prefer a more formal argument, any system powerful enough to contain arithmetic will contain more questions than it can answer.

        That AGW doesn’t appear as a Theory of Everything related to climate science is more a feature than a bug. No single theory can explain climate, for the simple reason that climate is still too complex for that kind of thing. Arguing that AGW doesn’t explain everything has very little bite regarding Moshpit’s point.

        I could write a post on this, but as you may guess, I’d rather make Denizens work for the answers they seek. Besides, I’m a bit busy right now with other writing gigs, which is why I’m here so often I guess. Still, the appeal to ignorance seems to me to go to the crux of the CB problem. Perhaps I’ll write a little thing before on our Man from Mexico’s confusion over the concept of evidence before that.

        If you give me a short list of the “major players” I have in mind, I may be incentized to look for their own appeals to ignorance.

        TL;DR – Mosphit’s point seems like a valid one, so please don’t presume that it’s an “hideous piece of anti-science illogic” unless you’re willing to argue your case.

      • > If you give me a short list of the “major players” I have in mind

        *You* have in mind, of course, here in particular.

      • Willard ==> I am really not interested with your disagreements with others.

        My offer to Mosh is open to you as well….if you make the attempt to explain that Unicorn Hunting idea, I’ll edit it up for publication.

      • Kip Hansen, regarding “sufficient”. We can detect the temperature swings from the solar 11-year cycle which has a forcing of only 0.2 Wm2. Now let’s say we have added 2 W/m2 of CO2 forcing, and that we see a proportionate temperature change that this forcing is sufficient to explain. Now you have to say why that is not sufficient as an explanation, and you still have to look for something else (which is where the unicorns come in). Sufficient means no need for unicorns.

      • Reply to Jim D ==> Thank you for keeping this thread on the topic of Mosher’s “sufficient explanation” topic.

        If all we wanted to know about the climate was “why has there been a step change in apparent surface air and sea surface temperature since 1974?” — and we didn’t really intend to do anything drastic with the answer — if we were only curious — then the AGW/CO2 explanation might indeed be sufficient for some folks. At the same time, proponents of the “sufficient explanation” would need to acknowledge that it also might not actually be the true cause of the step change. Since nothing drastic is to be done as a result of our sufficient explanation, this is no biggie — we can says, “Well, OK, that wasn’t it…” and try something else (similar to what my mechanic does when he fixes my car three times before replacing the right malfunctioning part.)

        Of course, the AGW explanation is not being treated as a merely “sufficient explanation” in this sense — it is being treated as the “true cause” (as always, true is “to the very best of our knowledge”) and societally drastic remedies are not only being considered, but are in the process of being rammed through and enforced by national and international governments.

        Climate Science is a young discipline concerning a complex, complicated, “wicked problem” topic — trying to figure out how the Earth’s climate, which is known to be a “coupled non-linear chaotic system”, functions.

        Under these conditions, mere “sufficient explanations” (for a tiny slice of the problem pie) suffice only to justify “no regrets” actions while serious, dedicated research continues towards a better, fuller understanding.

        As in the real world, there are no unicorns.

        [There may well be research topics that turn out to to be deadends, promising ideas that failing to pan out and interesting ideas that produce only peripheral knowledge, as is true of all fields of science and research — this is to be expected and even more so in such a young, immature field.]

        The mocking of any further efforts to understand the climate system more fully, or their peer-reviewed findings, in some cases actual attempts to prevent further research efforts through control of the funding process or through social/professional pressure, is what is known as “Paradigm Protection” — which we see clearly in such fields as the Salt Wars. In the Salt Wars, government is acting to enforce what appears to have been already repeatedly proven in huge international studies to be a “mere sufficient explanation” and not a true cause at all.

      • > [I]f you make the attempt to explain that Unicorn Hunting idea, I’ll edit it up for publication.

        Good. Let me think about it. You have been warned.

        You forgot to give me a list of “major players.”

        ***

        > I am really not interested with your disagreements with others.

        That’s too bad, for you missed my first try to explain the unicorn idea to you.

        I need more than that from my editor.

      • Reply to Willard ==> I am willing to act as editor and help you with an essay explaining your (and Mosher’s?) idea of what “unicorn hunting” is meant to communicate, along with the “sufficient explanantion” idea. Send it on…I gave my email address earlier.

        As for major players, you must be referring to my complaint that “I can’t identify any major player on the skeptical side of the Climate Divide, either by name or general viewpoint, that even resembles The Skeptic [which Mosher keeps referring to].” It’s not my list…I assume you and Mosher must be referring to someone[s] somewhere in Climate Science when you say “The Skeptic” comes along etc. Maybe either you or he will have to supply the names of those you identify with this characterization.

      • Kip Hansen, we know that the forcing change exceeds the warming response so far because the imbalance is positive. We know that the dominant forcing change in the last century or more by far is GHGs. What else do we need when what we have already is sufficient to explain not only all the warming but that more is in the pipeline?

      • Reply to Jim D ==> Maybe you can help Willard and Mosher write the Unicorn Hunting and Sufficient Explanation essay.

        I have already gave my spiel on what else there might be to know.

        Once we see your essay, and have had our thoughts straightened out about this issue by you three, we will be all relieved to know, as you seem to know, that climate science is finished and we can all move on to something more productive.

        My offer to edit your essay for publication here is open ended….send it along, with a single or multiple authors — my offer is the same.

      • Kip Hansen, I gave you the reasons for the forcing being more than sufficient. It’s like when you inject a sufficient amount of heat to warm up a kettle of water by the observed amount. We know the heat was sufficient, but there are still people looking for other as-yet-unnamed reasons that the water could have warmed up unrelated to the sufficient heat you are actually injecting. We insert “unicorns” as a space-filler until you name something specific that not only heated up that water, but why the heat we injected didn’t.

      • > As for major players, you must be referring to my complaint that “I can’t identify any major player on the skeptical side of the Climate Divide, either by name or general viewpoint, that even resembles The Skeptic […] It’s not my list…

        Come on – Moshpit’s not the one who introduced.”major player,” Kip. You are. Why wouldn’t you be able to identify any major skeptic if you had not in mind a few names?

        You already have my own list of contrarians – it’s in my Matrix:

        https://contrarianmatrix.wordpress.com

        See for instance Lots of Theories.

      • Willard ==> Now you are just playing silly games.

        If you, Jim, Mosher really want to communicate this idea about Unicorn Hunting, which you all seem to think is important enough to mention over and over again in the comments sections of climate blogs, and/or let everyone in on the news that there already exists a “sufficient explanation” for the climate, and explain what exactly a “sufficient explanation” is in the world of Science, then I am prepared to help with the editing to get your essay(s) ready for publication here at Climate Etc. or elsewhere.

        I am not, however, willing to play endless silly word games with you … you’ll have to find another victim.

      • “I am not, however, willing to play endless silly word games with you … you’ll have to find another victim.”

        You’re wasting your time anyway, Kip.

        In the immortal words of Bill Murray, “it’s hard to win an argument with a smart person, but it’s damn near impossible to win an argument with a stupid person”

      • Seems an appropriate comment, Cat. You can’t argue with a willful disrupt artist (Troll), either. They heap on piles of disjointed words, snark and pseudo intellectual tangents meant to confuse the issue.

        To me, the real issue is the disagreement of theory (mostly reflected in models) with actual temperature trends and other climatic metrics of the full period spanning the latter part of the 19th Century through the 21st Century (today). The old “temperatures rose along with CO2 levels, proving AGW theory” statement falls apart under scrutiny of the actual details.

      • Kip,

        I’m the only person so far whom you could interest with your challenge. While I’m still interested in writing something on the subject, I don’t think I’ll need an editor who refuses to acknowledge that when he’s referring to some “major sceptic,” the onus is on him to provide at least one or two examples he has in mind. Search for “prototype theory” if you want to know more why we have empirical evidence that you did have a model or two in mind.

        Furthermore, I certainly don’t intend to work with an editor who can’t even realize that it would help me tailor my presentation to his own needs. Perhaps I’ll simply take your own contributions as an example of a contrarian who appeals to ignorance. Who knows?

        Due diligence,

        W

      • > You can’t argue with […]

        That’s a very brave Daddy we got there.

      • KIP

        ““I can’t identify any major player on the skeptical side of the Climate Divide, either by name or general viewpoint, that even resembles The Skeptic [which Mosher keeps referring to].”

        So. you read my characterization of the skeptic
        Then
        you searched your memory and found that no major player matches
        that description.

        What list of major players did you use?

        Simple question really

        Your appeal to “you cant identify” actually illustrates the EXACT
        issue I am talking about.

        I will try one more time.

        In general we reason to the best evidence to explain what we know.
        Call this science if you like.

        Then there are the skeptical appeals to ignorance.. classical skepticism
        “no one can know.”.. and it’s descendants– The appeals to ignorance take many forms.. you just used one. “you cant identify”
        Another form is the appeal to “different causes” “It might be natural variation, it might be unicorns, I might be a brain in a vat. i dont know, there are many theories.” It matters little the names of people who employ these moves… At some point, in some way, every skeptic has to use them. They cannot help but use them. They are the only moves in the skeptical game. They are stupid pet tricks. I could quite literally write a bot to do climate scepticism, because it is not thinking.

        Note the science approach: reason to the best evidence.
        Note the approach of willful refusal to reason: the various appeals
        to not knowing. ( I cant identify… your words )

        Note too the difference between skepticism as a position and methodological skepticism..

        The former “cashes out” in nothing
        The latter “cashes out” in better explanations.

        So, what is your list of notable skeptics..

        How about Kip? are you notable?

        Can you do something other than appeal to ignorance?

      • Reply to Mosher ==> “So. you read my characterization of the skeptic
        Then you searched your memory and found that no major player matches
        that description. What list of major players did you use? Simple question really”

        Wouldn’t it just be simpler for everyone if you would just name a few of the exemplar Skeptics that you have in mind? I mean instead of playing these little games? It is now clear that you really mean “every single person in the world who has ever expressed doubts about the IPCC AGW hypothesis”. If that is so, if you mean every person who is skeptical of “my answer” to the question “as I pose it” is a Unicorn Hunter, then there is no use you writing an essay — or even more comments — your viewpoint is intellectually worthless — as it is a “universal generalization” — everyone but me (and a very small ‘mine’) must be wrong because “they don’t agree with me (us) and there is no other possibly correct answer”. That is logically transparent and anti-scientific.

        I suppose that you will have yet another not-analogous analogy to show how that isn’t what you mean.

        That is why I have asked you to write your ideas out in a real, comprehensive expository essay so you actually manage to accomplish the purpose of “writing words down” which to communicate your ideas to other people who read them.

        Editing offer is still open (the more you write here — the more it is obvious you will need someone to edit it into publishable shape.)

      • Steven Mosher: “In general we reason to the best evidence to explain what we know.
        Call this science if you like.”

        Evidence =/= Stuff that’s made up.

      • It is slowly dawning on the skeptics that they are backing the wrong horse in the attribution stakes. What they are backing is an imaginary horse – yes, a unicorn.

      • Jim D: “It is slowly dawning on the skeptics that they are backing the wrong horse in the attribution stakes.”

        You just keep right on telling yourself that if it makes you feel better, Jimbo.

    • “unicorn” is an anagram of “nuncio”.
      I feel sure this is important.

  2. Good. I have been waiting years for someone to bring this to the forefront. Don’t tell me about holocene climate stability, the climate has never been stable. The Anasazi know and so do the Mayans. Blackbrush knows, and so do the Joshua trees.

    Once we get this ironed out, we can start to look at what species listed under the ESA are lost causes because their climate envelope has since departed.

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

    I will just be glad that the madness is over.

  4. Steven Mosher

    Funny how you guys have no objections to the government funding unspecified “other” causes.

    Item 9 is there for reason.

    All the other items have been done.

    • David Wojick

      On the contrary, Mosh, but I suspect that if we put some real money into this quest we would get some good new ideas. Unicorns not so much but you can always submit a proposal, as the concept suits you.

    • Danny Thomas

      This comment struck me quite negatively. If all the other items have been done what is the issue with a redirection of funding away from those? Some complain that skeptics don’t do science. Well this is Mr. Wojick is suggesting some ‘other’ science be done and the first to complain Mosher.

      That’s either unfair by Mosher, completely ironic, or both.

      • catweazle666

        Mosher epitomises Upton Sinclair’s insight that “it is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”

      • Steven Mosher

        ” Well this is Mr. Wojick is suggesting some ‘other’ science be done and the first to complain Mosher.”

        No Danny. I am objecting to a program that has a goal to fund the category of unspecified “other”

        I can see the RFP, now..

      • Danny Thomas

        Steven,
        That clarification maybe kinda sorta doesn’t really help that much.

        I didn’t take it as an unquantified category. I took as more of a TBD. He did suggest ‘new approaches’ and ‘other hypothesis’.

        But an RFP is a proposal. Sometimes things surprise us and we stumble across the unexpected well outside of the original proposal.
        “The MIT researchers were trying to develop a new battery, but it didn’t work out that way. Instead, thanks to an unexpected finding in their lab tests, what they discovered was a whole new way of producing the metal antimony — and potentially a new way of smelting other metals, as well.”
        http://news.mit.edu/2016/new-method-producing-some-metals-0824

        Your skeptical response came across (at least to me) as poorly as those who suggest no funding should be provided at all.

        Is there a reason to fear the unknown unknowns?

      • David Wojick

        It is a common practice in RFPs to allow for new hypotheses and approaches, especially in new programs. Not so much in AGW-based climate science, which tends to be narrowly focused by the inflexible AGW paradigm.

    • “You guys”?

      I personally think David’s proposal is a waste of time. You are not going to change the USGCRP. Better to not fund it at all.

    • David L. Hagen

      Steven Mosher
      “Other” is a standard subsection under each category in SBIR RFPs. e.g. see:
      DOE SBIR 2017 Phase 1 Topics

      c. Other
      In addition to the specific subtopics listed above, the Department invites grant applications in other areas that fall within the scope of the topic description above.

      9) Just requires a few words to explicitly state this. e.g.,

      9) Other hypotheses and new approaches relating to quantify natural variability.

  5. > There is a great deal of research on short-term variability, on the scale of a season to a decade or so.

    Citations needed.

  6. Steven Mosher

    ) Sun-climate mechanisms, especially indirect effects. Several indirect solar effects have been proposed.

    Name one and point to the data source.

    I have 6 unicorn mechnisms.

    • The AR4 had a section on solar indirect effects https://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch2s2-7-1-3.html

      From a previous post https://judithcurry.com/2016/06/27/are-we-headed-for-a-new-solar-minimum/

      Solar indirect effects on climate remain at the knowledge frontier, and are associated with substantial uncertainty and ignorance. This uncertainty and ignorance is not a rationale for ignoring solar effects on the 21st century climate (and 22nd, 23rd centuries). And anyways, is the solar uncertainty (we understand the sign) really so much more greater than that associated with the effects of clouds on climate (see my recent post The cloud climate conundrum), where even the sign of the feedback is uncertain and the magnitude of cloud forcing swamps greenhouse gas radiative forcings.

      But we are starting to see some ideas emerge as to how these solar effects and processes could be included in climate models. Independently of climate models, the statistical forecast technique used by Sanchez-Sesma provides the basis for creating alternative scenarios of the 21st century climate. I find his arguments about lags to be particularly important as we sort out the solar-climate effects.

      Tackling the variability of solar activity and solar indirect effects seems more tractable than the cloud-climate problem and untangling the myriad of scales of ocean oscillations, so I would hope to see much more emphasis put on unraveling the solar-climate connections.

      The policy significance of this issue is clear: if we are headed to a mid-20th century solar minimum, or a Grand Solar Minimum for the next two centuries, this will offset greenhouse warming to some extent. The extent of the offset depends on whether climate sensitivity to CO2 is on the larger or smaller end of the range of estimates, and the magnitude of the solar impact. But the sign of the solar offset is becoming increasingly clear: towards cooling.

      • As I read that at most there were TWO interesting possible in direct effects

        Lets just take Svenmark.

        The hypothesis is that as GCR increase ( at solar minimum) you may get more clouds ( low clouds ) that you would have otherwise, cooling the planet.

        Basically it would be an amplification of the solar cycle, such that in addition to a small drop in TSI you would have the amplifying effect of more low clouds.

        problems with that.

        1. With this amplification it should make the solar cycle more detectable in the temperature record. Problem. there is no such signal detectable in the record.

        2. The hypothesis would also suggest that the last 6 years ( from max to now solar min ) should have a lower cloud cover that the previous years.
        Nope.

        3. Even taking the most extreme changes we have witnessed in change to GCR ( Forbush events ) the effect ( if the study holds up ) was small
        ( <2% change in CF) AND short lived.

        4. For decreases in GCR to impact CLIMATE you would have to see secular changes across long periods.. Since there is no secular change in TSI to speak of , amplification of the cycle wont explain 150 years of warming..

      • Now I really had two questions..

        A) name the effect
        B) point at the data source.

        So lets talk about svenmark.

        The hypothesis is pretty simple.
        The core lab work has already been done..

        what’s left to do?

        More data collection? we already collect GCR counts
        More cloud data collection? Its being done daily

        What additional research is there.

        Heck I can go out AGAIN and look for a GCR signal in AIRS data.
        Didnt find anything the first time.

        So write the RFP..

      • maksimovich1

        Lets just take Svenmark.

        Yes where a forbush .decrease removed 2 billion tons of liquid water.

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016JA022689/abstract

      • JC: “Tackling the variability of solar activity and solar indirect effects seems more tractable than the cloud-climate problem and untangling the myriad of scales of ocean oscillations”

        ENSO and the AMO are responding to solar indirect effects.

        “if we are headed to a mid-20th century solar minimum, or a Grand Solar Minimum for the next two centuries”

        From Sánchez-Sesma:
        “we have forecasted a grand solar minimum, with sustained low solar activity for the next 2 centuries”

        It doesn’t happen like that. There are regular solar minima on average every ten solar solar cycles, which vary in length considerably. Part of what I intended to show you was the ordering of solar cycles and of solar minima. My empirical model shows this to be a short minimum like Gleissberg and Dalton and well over by SC26.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        Steven,

        You ask what more might be researched about “indirect solar effects”.
        One approach is to recognise that parameters such as global temperature do not move in lock step with atmospheric GHG changes. There is a physical reason for the lack of match, according to GHG hypotheses there should be a match.
        So indirect solar, including the CERN work and the Svensmark wonderings, has room for further investigation to try to account for the GHG mismatch with T.
        Personally, I think it is all quite messy and it would not be needed to research why GHG hypotheses mismatch T if the fundamental GHG hypothesis was assumes to be less dominant. For example, it used to be heretic to admit that climate sensitivity be zero. More people are moving that was, informally if not in publications. It CS was zero there would be better attention to defining plausible climate effects and quantifying them.
        Clouds – not as the primary mechanism, but as a control mechanism driven by other processes, still remain hugely misunderstood or badly quantified.

        To top it off, I often rad here that the GHG hypothesis testing assumes a figure for TOA radiation imbalance. That figure has such a huge error potential that it has no credible place in the scheme of things.
        Geoff

      • JC: “I find his [Sanchez-Sesma] arguments about lags to be particularly important as we sort out the solar-climate effects.”

        Why would a 6700 year lag be particularly important?

      • JC:
        “This uncertainty and ignorance is not a rationale for ignoring solar effects on the 21st century climate (and 22nd, 23rd centuries).”

        So why when you asked to see the basis of my NAO/AO forecasts did you ignore what I had communicated?

      • Mosh I have to disagree with you….the GCR had a change around 2000… There is indications the the temp record that a change occurred around that time visible in the satelllites, radiosondes and Argo floats. There are no records of lower cloud data for the entire earth. Measuring this is almost impossible cause of the cloud variability and angle that satellites see them. The forbush events just proves that gcR does affect clouds formations….that’s it. ….another interesting aspect of this is that there are hot and cold periods over the past 500 million years….10 to 15 degree swings. These are occurring at some regular interval. These are astronomic timescales….svensmark ideas of moving in and out of galactic fingers makes sense. Co2 can not account for this. The low clouds account for 30 w/m2….so a 50 % change could account for 10c change.

        His theory needs a lot more study…..

    • David Wojick

      Svensmark’s (sp?) solar wind cosmic ray mechanism is best known, Mosh. That is why cosmic rays are in my semantic bias analysis. You have not heard of it? The Danes do a lot of this indirect solar stuff. The European Space Agency used to but I have lost track of that.

      • Svensmark’s

        yes. Its busted

        he most recent paper should show you why.

      • David Wojick

        Svensmark and others do not agree. Proponents of AGW, such of yourself, who argue that these issues do not exist, will likely have little role in designing the attribution research program. We will let the expert community do that, as is the usual practice in designing new research programs.

    • catweazle666

      Sensing a threat to your meal ticket, Mosher?

      You should be…

      • I doubt if Mosher is getting paid to troll.

        After all, if you were going to pay someone to troll, wouldn’t you hire someone who is competent at it?

      • catweazle666

        “I doubt if Mosher is getting paid to troll.”

        I think he makes a few dollars peddling his alarmist second hand temperature databases though.

        If the CAGW thing toes belly-up he’ll need to get a proper job.

    • Besides the core of our planet Earth, continuing a raise in temperature aside, Steven. If Redwoods, are viewed as just a bunch of solar powered water pumps with great capacity, they helped to create their micro climate, who knows right?

    • SM, Name one and point to the data source.

      She doubled up on that and named two. Maybe you don’t like the authors of the IPCC or the independent guy, but you sure seem to enjoy arm waving especially since she provided what you requested. No wonder people don’t trust you.

  7. “an ability to differentiate anthropogenic change from natural variability is fundamental to help guide policy decisions”

    The AMO and Arctic do that. Rising greenhouse gases increase positive NAO/AO, but AMO and Arctic warming since 1995 is negative NAO/AO driven.
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch10s10-3-5-6.html

  8. Danny Thomas

    9). Other. Regional climate as opposed to global climate and associated ‘extreme’ events.

    Currently it seems that any/all ‘extreme’ weather events are attributed to (or made extremely extremer by) something known as ‘anthropogenic climate change’. However, there have always been extreme events (regional/local) which occurred prior to that which is known as ACC. Since these historic events have created the boundaries against which current extremes are measured, lacking comprehensive understanding of ‘extreme’ events it seems that the attribution soley to man is a shortcut. It might be accurate, but how do we know?

    The current approach seems top down. Since AGW is considered a given, any extreme event (even if not unprecedented) must therefore be due to ‘ACC’ as a result of AGW. This seems short sighted in that AGW/ACC does not manifest evenly across the globe.

    This thinking may fit in your #7) above, but that seems time oriented and not location. (I.E. microclimates)

    Not sure it quite fits the Dec-Cen overview, but thought I’d toss it out. Hope you don’t mind.

  9. David

    Here is the methodology by which the Met office make decadal forecasting

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/news/decadal-forecasting

    They carry out limited research projects into long term natural variability these days as they don’t get enough bang for their buck in this area. they are interested in the topic though. Dr mc carthy at the met office is probably the one Still most involved in examining long term change. They are a pretty friendly bunch and might be able to pass you information on topics you are interested in

    Tonyb

  10. “2) Sun-climate mechanisms, especially indirect effects.
    3) Natural oscillations (ENSO, AMO, PDO, etc.).”

    The Sun visibly drives the AMO. This predicts that the solar metric responsible must be weaker around the sunspot maxima and generally stronger between them during a cold AMO. And the full reverse of that during a warm AMO, being stronger around the sunspot maxima, and weaker between. And weaker overall through a warm AMO compared to a cold AMO.

  11. If the climate is complex, nonlinear, and chaotic, this discussion of cycles is ridiculous.

    You would have no way of knowing how many unknown cycles have contributed to the cycle you’ve fooled yourself into believing you’ve discovered. The stadium wave is laughing at you.

    On the other hand, if the climate is actually relatively simple, and it appears that it is relatively simple, it’s going to get a lot hotter real fast… because mankind cranked up the control knob and mommy nature has joined the gang.

    • catweazle666

      “it’s going to get a lot hotter real fast…”

      Alarmist claptrap.

      • catweazle666:

        You wrote “Alarmist claptrap”

        No, unfortunately, JCH is correct.

        The control knob for climate change is the amount of dimming sulfur dioxide aerosol emissions in the atmosphere–the fewer there are, the warmer it gets–and we are reducing them as fast as we can, thanks to the EPA.

    • stevefitzpatrick

      JCH,
      “…. if the climate is actually relatively simple, and it appears that it is relatively simple….”

      Keep saying silly things like that and soon lots of people will be laughing……. at you.

    • Too funny…

    • JCH said:

      ….if the climate is actually relatively simple, and it appears that it is relatively simple….

      Walter Lippmann famously cautioned that, “To every human problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong“; and that is as true of intellectual as it is of practical problems.

  12. “7) Chaotic oscillations. Climate is known to be chaotic on relatively small time scales.”

    Guessed to be chaotic, indirect solar effects could be impacting atmospheric teleconnections at less than weekly scales.

    • David Wojick

      Thought by some to be chaotic? The models certainly are.

      • Well of course the models are, regarding natural variability as largely ‘internal’ at whatever scale ensures being able to attribute more of the recent warming to CO2.

  13. stevefitzpatrick

    David Wojick,
    GCM’s don’t ‘assume’ a high sensitivity. Sensitivity is emergent from the model, not assumed. There are certain parameterizations (and some kludges) which seem, if not assumed, for sure far from certain, and IMO, dubious at best. There are lots of other reasons to doubt model projections. The models don’t agree with each other very well on lots of behaviors, and cover a wide range of diagnosed sensitivity, suggesting that most of them are just wrong. The discrepancy of the ensemble with empirical estimates is glaring. But none of this is based on assumptions about sensitivity.

    • David Wojick

      High GCM sensitivity is primarily due to the assumption of one or more strong positive feedbacks. The possibility of strong negative feedbacks is largely ignored.

      • stevefitzpatrick

        Nonsense.

      • High GCM sensitivity is primarily due to the assumption of one or more strong positive feedbacks.

        This is like saying that Astronomy models are the way they are because of the “assumption” of gravity.

        In other words, the “assumptions” are not weak postulates, but extremely well-tested laws. If you want to claim that warmer air doesn’t hold more water vapor before condensing, then you need to go back to the 1800s and duke it out with scientists from back then.

        And this is why people say that the “skeptics” reject science. Because the “skeptics” protest against scientists using very well-tested physics in their models, and for no good reason.

      • This “skeptic” protests against scientists (computer programmers?) using not-so-well-tested physics (parameterizations?) in opaque, demonstratively inaccurate models.

      • “This “skeptic” protests against scientists (computer programmers?) using not-so-well-tested physics (parameterizations?) in opaque, demonstratively inaccurate models.”

        too funny.

        1. They are not opaque
        2. What makes you think they are not tested? did a unicorn tell you?
        3. the models are pretty dang accurate.

      • 1. I am aware of only one modeling team that published some of its parameterization methods.

        2. Yes, my unicorn told me that the models do not get the troposphere dynamics right.

        3. Prove it. Referring to a spread of hottest to least hottest won’t cut it.

    • “emergent from the model”

      …means it’s programmed to do that.

      Andrew

      • …means it’s programmed to do that.

        It’s programmed with rules of physics. The sensitivity emerges as the result of those rules.

      • I see. The “rules of physics” require water vapor to increase in the troposphere in response to CO2 increases?

      • I see. The “rules of physics” require water vapor to increase in the troposphere in response to CO2 increases?

        The “rules of physics” tell us that warmer air holds more water vapor, yes, and how much water is in the troposphere is mostly controlled by this rule.

      • CO2 was the question.

      • Benjamin Winchester: The “rules of physics” tell us that warmer air holds more water vapor, yes, and how much water is in the troposphere is mostly controlled by this rule.

        Simplistic little chap. aren’t you?

        The rules of physics may work under laboratory conditions, but in the real world, with a practically infinite number of conflicting influences, things are never that simple.

        Three analyses of the NASA NVAP satellite data show little or no empirical correlation between either surface temperature or atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, Solomon et al in fact shows a 10% decrease in stratospheric water vapour in the decade pre-2000.

        Vonder Haar

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2012GL052094/full

        Humlum

        http://www.climate4you.com/GreenhouseGasses.htm

        Solomon et al.

        Abstract
        Stratospheric water vapor concentrations decreased by about 10% after the year 2000. Here we show that this acted to slow the rate of increase in global surface temperature over 2000–2009 by about 25% compared to that which would have occurred due only to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. More limited data suggest that stratospheric water vapor probably increased between 1980 and 2000, which would have enhanced the decadal rate of surface warming during the 1990s by about 30% as compared to estimates neglecting this change. These findings show that stratospheric water vapor is an important driver of decadal global surface climate change.

        https://www.sciencemag.org/content/327/5970/1219.abstract

        Without that correlation, the high sensitivity water vapour feedback driven catastrophic anthropogenic global warming hypothesis is effectively dead in the water.

        And there is nothing whatsoever that we humans can do to alter that, any more than we can significantly alter the time the sun sets.

      • Cat, you spent a lot more time on Benjaman than I could justify for myself. Contrary facts just can’t penetrate Adamantium skulls. [I claim that term as a first, AFAIK.]

      • dogdaddyblog: Quite so, and I am aware it is a waste of time, as it is with all the usual suspects>. I might as well try to convert the
        Pope to paganism, they are entirely immersed in their religion..

        in the words of Bill Murray, “it’s hard to win an argument with a smart person, but it’s damn near impossible to win an argument with a stupid person”.

      • No emergent means it is not Programmed to do that.

        Here

      • CO2 was the question.

        Then “no” is the answer. The CO2 causes warming, the warming causes more water vapor. The CO2 doesn’t directly cause increase in water vapor.

        Are you disputing that CO2 causes some warming without any feedbacks? About 1.1C/doubling, if I recall correctly.

      • I agree; no is the answer. For more than 10 years (I forgot how much more), upper tropospheric water vapor has not increased in response to significant increases in CO2 atmospheric concentrations. But …… the models said it would!

        I don’t dispute what anybody says about the properties of CO2. I simply point out that the climatic response to CO2 and other net forcings differs from that calculated by the models based on their assumed “physics.”

      • “For more than 10 years (I forgot how much more), upper tropospheric water vapor has not increased in response to significant increases in CO2 atmospheric concentrations. But …… the models said it would!”

        No. The models (and physics) say that water vapor increases as a response to temperature. And over some specified time, and with some specified uncertainty.

        You’ve moved the goalposts, to saying CO2 causes more water vapor (directly), and to statistical significance in 10 years, and to upper tropospheric water vapor. But.. do the models say all those things? Do they say that 10-year linear trends in upper tropospheric water vapor will be significant as a function of CO2?

        Not that I’ve heard. The models look at longer-term trends than that.

        This is an old game. You lay out one set of arguments, and then when those get inconvenient, you switch ’em up.

        And the whole time, you’ll dodge the basic fact of physics, that warmer air holds more water vapor.

        If you actually look at the data for the last few decades… there’s evidence for rising specific humidity in the upper troposphere, but we don’t have enough data about relative humidity to say either way.
        https://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch3s3-4-2-2.html

      • Benjamin, you have managed to join the ranks of Willard and AK. A waste of my time.

      • Benjamin, you have managed to join the ranks of Willard and AK. A waste of my time

        Coincidentally, right after I posted a link to evidence showing your claims faulty.

        I suppose a blanket dismissal is easier than actually looking at the real world. But… that’s why the scientists accept global warming, and the skeptics don’t. The scientists have to actually go out and test their claims against the real world, while the “skeptics” can sit behind a computer screen and pontificate, with no need to actually check that their views are right.

        I’m reminded of how Mosher argues with people saying the temperature adjustments are bunk. Mosher went out and checked. The “skeptics” are too lazy.

        So, let me know when you can actually back up your claims with evidence.

      • all good scientists are skeptics and should be challenging every aspect
        of what we do that has plausible alternative hypotheses. I personally
        published what was wrong (with) my own original 1971 cooling hypothesis a few years later when more data and better models came along and
        further analysis showed [anthropogenic global warming] as the much
        more likely…

        In fact, for me that is a very proud event to have discovered with colleagues why our initial assumptions were unlikely and better
        ones reversed the conclusions an early example of scientific skepticism in action in climatology.
        – Stephen Schneider

  14. Great list. I would like to see a robotic mission to measure temperature and salinity variations in Thermohaline circulation. Variations could have huge impacts that we don’t fully understand.

    Also, I would like to see some real validation of models rather than backcasting and continuous adjustment.

    • +1. The continuing adjustments are more like adding epicycles to make Ptolemaic cycles fit the plants’ orbits; what we need is to discover the relevant “hyperbola” (sadly, we’ve got way too much hyperbole!).

    • I would like to see a robotic mission to measure the length and girth of unicorn horns Variations could have huge impacts that we don’t fully understand.

      Also, I would like to see some real validation of models rather than backcasting and continuous adjustment.

  15. stevefitzpatrick

    David Wojick,
    There are two areas of uncertainty which prevent GCM’s from being better constrained:
    1) uncertainty in man made aerosol influences (direct and indirect effects), and to a lesser extent,

    2) Uncertainty in deep ocean heat uptake.

    Reducing these uncertainties would go a long way toward narrowing uncertainty in climate sensitivity and constraining GCM’s. The cost to make progress on these two would be (relatively speaking) peanuts compared to the total currently being spent: $600 million for a new ‘Glory Mission’ aerosol satellite to replace the one which did not reach orbit, and an extension of the Argo diving float program to cover deeper oceans (cheaper than the Glory satellite!).

    I honestly don’t see much of interest in your list; those subjects don’t seem to me to address where the uncertainty is, and most have already received some funding anyway.

    • Geoff Sherrington

      sfp,
      What number of Argo devices do you think will be needed to measure variations in global ocean temperatures of under 0.1 deg C, or any other relevant temperature?
      Personally, I do not think that any number of devices, combined with their performance, will be considered adequate until several more decades have passed, float engineering has improved and the Argo version has been forgotten after it is overtaken by newer designs, as earlier floats were by Argo.
      Sometimes I wonder if people have actually tried to measure some of these tiny parameters adrift in a sea of noise and bias, objectively.
      Geoff.

      • stevefitzpatrick

        From this web address: http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/FAQ.html#accurate

        “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.”

        You might also look at: https://www.terrapub.co.jp/journals/JO/pdf/6002/60020253.pdf
        which states the specification for temperature accuracy in Argo floats is +/-0.005C or better.

        If you have reason to not believe the stated accuracy values, perhaps you can share that with us. In any case, lots of floats (thousands) and lots of measurements by each float help to reduce the uncertainty in measured trends.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        Sfp,
        Disappointing if you are making the same mistake as many, by using a statistical estimate of precision as the total error. This excludes estimates of bias. It is almost a given that bias exists, because of the known difficulty of achieving that claimed error range in carefully controlled lab environments. In a lab, you do not have such further factors as short range natural variability, presence of biological material, variation in salinity while you watch and other perturbing factors. The concern is raised by the mention of subjective adjustments, given the awful results of trying this approach to temperatures. Finally, there is a need for enormous care

      • Geoff Sherrington

        Sfp,
        Mistake is to use a stats measure of precision, ignore or downplay bias and call it total error.
        It is hard to get those accuracies in a carefully controlled lab. Even then, it is hard to maintain an audit trail that works back to an approved primary standard. Going from lab to open seas introduces many more perturbing variables like unmixed local environment, real time dynamic changes, biological material, currents etc some of which have been examined.
        Bias cam be nasty because multiple replications to get variance need not improve bias effects numerically and actually.
        Question – how do you confirm absence of bias in a natural deployment in ocean? Bit hard to devise an experiment. Yet, what is really sought is a bias free estimate, particularly a time dependent one, to avoid the same problem with surface air temperatures, where much of the final result, the effect sought, is created by mans’ attempts to reduce bias.
        Geoff

      • Geoff Sherrington

        Sfp,
        Apologies for 2 similar replies. Tablet is playing hide and seek with text.
        It does not have the tracking accuracy of an Argo float.
        Geoff

      • Sea Unicorns have their tiny thumbs on the scale!!!

      • Geoff Sherrington

        Come on, Josh!
        Serious matter, trying to measure a tiny, significant signal in a sea of noise.
        Two main choices, close your eyes and think of the Empire, or hop in and enjoy the blood sportbof ridicule of the tiny.
        Either way, it is rape.
        You should know enough about measurement in natural systems to be concerned about these classy accuracy claims.
        You should be questioning them for the public good, not making silly comments about them.
        Geoff

    • David Wojick

      Steve, you seem to be speaking from the position of the AGW paradigm, hence denying the issues I list and presumably the existence of the attribution problem. Needless to say I disagree.

      Yours is however a good example of AGW paradigm bias, where aerosols and hiding heat are the only major issues. This extremely narrow focus is precisely what I seek to overcome.

      • stevefitzpatrick

        David,
        Not a narrow focus at all, but one that recognizes what in climate science is technically reasonable and valid and where there are serious weaknesses and uncertainties (and there are!). Your list strikes me as pretty much irrelevant, especially since most of what you suggest has already been investigated to at least some extent. Yes, there is for certain natural variation in Earth’s climate, and this variation takes place at multiple time scales. I think there are two ways to address the uncertainty that this variability presents: you can either reduce the large and widely recognized uncertainty in things like aerosols and ocean heat accumulation, and so better constrain how Earth will likely react to rising GHG’s over the next several decades (or more), or you can try to reconstruct how natural variability has influenced the temperature record, generate rational, observable, and verifiable mechanisms to explain that variability, and so better constrain how much historical warming has been likely due to GHG forcing. I just think concentrating on the second approach is not going to be very productive. You might start by asking Steve McIntyre what he thinks about proxy based reconstructions… we can’t even get a reasonable handle on what past variability was, never mind confirm the physical mechanisms responsible for that variability. I think the best we might hope for any time soon is some reasonable constraint on centennial scale natural variability, and accept that level of uncertainty. Even if we could assign a certain fraction of warming over the past century or so to natural variation, we still would face very large uncertainty in aerosol influences… and modelers would continue to use those vastly uncertain aerosol influences as as a ‘free’ variable to ‘tune’ the models.

        As my friends in Brazil sometimes say: “You don’t hunt rabbits where there are none.” The rabbits, in this case, are uncertainty in aerosol effects and heat accumulation.

  16. David
    The idea has good merit.

    However the fundamental problem will remain where will the knowledge reside.

    Looking at the current tussle between the IPCC and skeptics, the IPCC has the upper hand. They are unified, their knowledge is one common document that is regularly reviewed. The content of the document (s) may be highly questionable and the peer review system in their favour but they are organised. Skeptics on the other hand are fragmented. Their intentions are honerable but trying to keep up with everone is saying is mind numbing.

    You talk of new research on specific topics. I think that you will find that a lot already exists. It is so scattered as to be of little value.

    A war is in progress, one side is organised (the IPCC and asociates), the other is fragmented. But when you weight the evidence of both sides, the fragmented side holds the upper hand. They are just disorganised.

    A good place to start is by documenting what is already known. Use the IPCC document as a template but use real information instead of their nonsence. Rewrite it with facts.

    There is more real information out there than you acknowledge. Start an independant peer review system for each chapter. Think outside the square or continue to come second. Get organised.

    • stevefitzpatrick

      “good merit”
      Is there such a thing as ‘bad merit’?

    • Yes, the skeptics don’t even believe each other’s ideas, so why should the mainstream scientists pay any attention until they do coalesce around something.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        Jim D,
        Evidence that warmists believe in each other’s ideas?

      • Well, AGW is generally accepted by everyone.

      • Jim D: “Well, AGW is generally accepted by everyone.”

        You’re making stuff up again Jimbo.

        It is nothing of the sort, as a quick reference to any number of poll results will clearly demonstrate.

        Oh, and for what it’s worth, I accept it too, I simply believe it is way too minuscule to be detected amongst the noise, and there is no credible scientific evidence to the contrary.

        Mankind can no more significantly alter the Earth’s climate than significantly alter the time the Sun rises and sets.

      • As you can see by the record temperatures these days it is anything but “minuscule”, but you will assert it is only a coincidence that the highest forcing for centuries leads to the highest temperatures.

      • Mankind can no more significantly alter the Earth’s climate than significantly alter the time the Sun rises and sets.

        This is pretty trivially easy, and in fact we change the sunset and sunrise time every time we switch to Daylight Savings Time or back. ;-)

        Okay, I tease. But on the subject of the Earth’s climate, there’s an overwhelming amount of evidence that shows that mankind can alter it. We started terraforming the Earth a long time ago, clearing forests and draining marshes, and with modern industrial capacity, we could cool or warm the climate significantly and quickly, if we so chose.

        And AGW is just about whether we’re accidentally changing the climate. Doing it on purpose is actually much easier. We have chemicals that are far more potent GHGs than CO2.

      • “But on the subject of the Earth’s climate, there’s an overwhelming amount of evidence that shows that mankind can alter it.”

        Bollocks.

      • “But on the subject of the Earth’s climate, there’s an overwhelming amount of evidence that shows that mankind can alter it.”

        Bollocks.

        A stunning rebuttal. With one word, you’ve refuted tens of thousands of pieces of scientific research.

        At this point, it sounds like you’re saying that no, mankind cannot alter the albedo of the Earth through aerosols or soot or changes in land use, and no, greenhouse gases don’t exist.

        …How do you think that the physics of climate works? Magic?

      • Benjamin Winchester: “…How do you think that the physics of climate works?”

        Same way they’ve worked all my career, during which I have made a very decent living by exploiting my knowledge and understanding of physics, along with thermodynamics, chemistry and latterly information technology, including modelling of non-linear systems.

        I repeat, there is zero empirical evidence that mankind is capable of significantly altering the Earth’s climate than significantly altering the time the Sun rises and sets.

        You do know what empirical means, as opposed to theoretical means, right?

        I had exactly the same disagreements with credulous self-styled “experts” like you way back in the 1960s and early 1970s when they were insisting that mankind was about to trigger an ice age, just the same level of ill-informed hubristic intransigence as you’re exhibiting.

        And before you produce the usual mendacious rubbish so beloved by you CAGW catastrophists about there being no peer reviewed papers predicting the coming Ice Age, try this:

        ATMOSPHERIC CARBON DIOXIDE AND AEROSOLS:
        Effects of Large Increases on Global Climate.

        Abstract.

        Effects on the global temperature of large increases in carbon dioxide and aerosol densities in the atmosphere of Earth have been computed. It is found that, although the addition of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does increase the surface temperature, the rate of temperature increase diminishes with increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. For aerosols, however, the net effect of increase in density is to reduce the surface temperature of Earth. Becuase of the exponential dependence of the backscattering, the rate of temperature decrease is augmented with increasing aerosol content. An increase by only a factor of 4 in global aerosol background concentration may be sufficient to reduce the surface temperature by as much as 3.5 deg.K. If sustained over a period of several years, such a temperature decrease over the whole globe is believed to be sufficient to trigger an ice age.

        The rate at which human activities may be inadvertently modifying the climate of Earth has become a problem of serious concern . In the last few decades the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere appears to have increased by 7 percent . During the same period, the aerosol content of the lower atmosphere may have been augmented by as much as 100 percent .

        How have these changes in the composition of the atmosphere affected the climate of the globe? More importantly, is it possible that a continued increase in the CO2 and dust content of the atmosphere at the present rate will produce such large-scale effects on the global temperature that the process may run away, with the planet Earth eventually becoming as hot as Venus (700 deg. K.) or as cold as Mars (230 deg. K.)?

        We report here on the first results of a calculation in which separate estimates were made of the effects on global temperature of large increases in the amount of CO2 and dust in the atmosphere. It is found that even an increase by a factor of 8 in the amount of CO2, which is highly unlikely in the next several thousand years, will produce an increase in the surface temperature of less than 2 deg. K.

        However, the effect on surface temperature of an increase in the aerosol content of the atmosphere is found to be quite significant. An increase by a factor of 4 in the equilibrium dust concentration in the global atmosphere, which cannot be ruled out as a possibility within the next century, could decrease the mean surface temperature by as much as 3.5 deg. K. If sustained over a period of several years, such a temperature decrease could be sufficient to trigger an ice age!

        Schneider S. & Rasool S., “Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Aerosols – Effects of Large Increases on Global Climate”, Science, vol.173, 9 July 1971, p.138-141

        Those results were bases on a climate model developed by none other than James Hansen, incidentally.

        Oh, and I presume you have heard of Stephen Schneider, right?

        Do you think he didn’t understand atmospheric physics when he wrote “it is found that even an increase by a factor of 8 in the amount of CO2, which is highly unlikely in the next several thousand years, will produce an increase in the surface temperature of less than 2 deg. K.“?

        Or that the scientists that peer reviewed the paper – James Hansen amongst them – didn’t understand atmospheric physics either?

        Or do you in your infinite wisdom believe you are a greater expert on the subject than those specialists?

        Then there is this:

        http://www.climatemonitor.it/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/1974.pdf

        So go away and patronise someone else.

      • You do know what empirical means, as opposed to theoretical means, right?

        Oh, sure. It means that you’ll dismiss all the evidence for it, until we actually have multiple Earths that we’ve run controlled experiments on.

        The laboratory physics? “Irrelevant”. Observations in the real world of changes in albedo or optical properties? “Irrelevant”. You’ll just brush all of it off.

        It’s a blanket excuse to dismiss evidence you don’t like, basically.

        So, basically, you cannot back up your claim that “mankind can no more significantly alter the Earth’s climate than significantly alter the time the Sun rises and sets.” It’s complete nonsense.

        You’ll just move the goalposts from “we can’t do it” to “oh, well, I have some doubts about whether we can”.

      • Now, theory tells me that if I jumped off a 100-story building, the resulting impact might be bad for my health.

        But since we don’t have any empirical evidence for that — I’ve never jumped off a building before — then we can say that it’s perfectly safe, right?

        That’s your argument, in a nutshell: that “theory” tells us nothing.

      • catweazle seems to be using the state of the science in 1971 (one paper in fact) to rebut the state of the science in 2016 (AR5 and all that). In 1971, even Exxon did not know the ramifications of CO2 emissions yet and they were early adopters. The first paper to mention the words “global warming” was Broecker in 1975.

    • ozonebust.

      Everything you say about the warmists was true of the 16th-century Catholic Church as well. It was extremely wealthy, well organized and unified with an ironclad doctrine.

      And everything you say about the skeptics was true of the multitudinous Protestant sects that sprang up to challenge it. They were scrappy, unruly and disorderly.

      And look how that turned out.

      • Yeah, anybody know how to say “what a mess” in latin?

      • afonzarelli,

        Well yes, it was quite a mess.

        But would you prefer things to still be the way they were back in the 15th and early 16th centuries?

      • Glenn
        Agreed. I was having a discussion with some younger folks on the topic of AGW. Naturally they were recipients of media sound bites, but in conlusion they asked where can we see this alternative summary. I stated that it is not in one place, but I can give you fifty websites and you can piece it together for yourselves. They declined.
        I personally enjoy the intellectual challenge, there are some very smart individuals out there doing some interesting stuff, such as the article and video on the cloud cover warming analysis last week. However the more I look list of unknowns increases. Simple things like why the Antarctic sea ice is increasing. It would be nice to go to one site and check on the progress of say the top five or ten projects that will bring scientific confidence to the community. An open book, a work in progress with the unknowns stated so that others can contribute

      • ozonebust,

        Here’s a link to a very concise and easy to understand CAGW primer:

      • “But would you prefer things to still be the way they were back in the 15th and early 16th centuries?”

        That’s a question today’s Europeans are facing more and more.

  17. Skipping much of the above comments for obvious reasons, this is still a very good call for more natural variation research. Follows logically from the research bias post. And separately since attribution is the single biggest uncertainty in (now) obviously wrong CMIP5 model parameterizations.

  18. David

    You might find this paper of interest which I think dates to the early 1970’s and explores the vast body of research into the medieval period-especially the 8th to 16th century- and lists some of the papers that contributed to the knowledge of long term variability at that time

    http://images.library.wisc.edu/WI/EFacs/transactions/WT1975/reference/wi.wt1975.rrring.pdf

    the comment here is surely the earliest reference to the ‘stadium wave’

    ‘‘…a third prominent feature of the European climate during the high middle ages was its general stability, there was none of the great storminess which characterised the period after about 1250 (lamb, Britton)

    All of these conditions occurred in various degrees in different parts of medieval Europe and it is at least possible that they occurred in regular patterns shifting from west to east and back again…”

    tonyb

  19. It is great that you can make a wish list, but Santa does not exist, and funding will continue to go to those that study AGW. There is a reason why little research is being done on natural variability during the 20th century. Research into natural variability before the 20th century is allowed even if not encouraged. If you try to study natural variability during the 20th century you won’t get funded. Period.

    The only thing that can change the current state of affairs is that climate change refuses to cooperate in a way so obvious to all as to expose the falseness of the premises. And even then after years.

    • > If you try to study natural variability during the 20th century you won’t get funded.

      Vintage 1993:

      Although virtually all climate records with annual resolution record decadal-centennial scale climate fluctuations, their origin is obscure. Three candidates have been proposed-solar variability, volcanism and internal variability in the ocean-atmosphere system. A brief review of available evidence suggests that there is some support for the influence of solar variability, that the importance of volcanism may have been overestimated and that there is at present only limited information on the thermohaline circulation that suggests perhaps at most a 10–20% variation around its mean Holocene value. It is suggested that each of the above mechanism has a different geographic signature of response in the surface temperature field. Some examples from energy balance model calculations indicate that: (1) solar variability has a near-global response, with the amplitude of response slightly larger over land; (2) volcanism has a proportionately larger amplitude of response over land than over ocean; and (3) the most oft-cited mode of internal variability, changes in the North Atlantic thermohaline circulation, has a hemispheric asymmetry in response. Preliminary comparison of solar results with observations indicates that, if the solar influence exists, it is not being manifested in terms of simple cooling; changes in the ocean-atmosphere system may be significantly modifying the response. Despite this disagreement it is proposed that climate model results can nevertheless be used to postulate key ‘centers of action’ that should be most sensitive to partitioning the effects of the above mechanisms. One example of a sampling strategy is presented.

      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277379105800034

      In the acknowledgement: “This research was supported by NSF grant ATM-9115507. We thank G. North for discussion, U. Mikolajewicz for providing the results for Figs 10 and 11, and M. Chandler and an anonymous reviewer for their comments.”

      • Another one from 2009. These are not hard to find if you know the names to search for.
        “This project is based on the idea that the climate system may be understood as a network of nonlinearly coupled structures…”
        http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=0902564

      • OK, that’s one. (And one straw man.) You need to find a few hundred more, to be significant in all the thousands of grants to study (C)AGW.

        Oh, and let’s not forget the grants from Exxon that everybody’s trying to claim some criminal tobacco-style conspiracy over. There’s another 20-30. Oops! Those weren’t from the government. They don’t count.

      • > You need to find a few hundred more, to be significant in all the thousands of grants to study [AGW].

        Actually, I need one to disprove that “If you try to study natural variability during the 20th century you won’t get funded.”

        DavidW might need to justify his claim that “[T]here is very little research specifically on near term dec-cen variability, especially in relation to observed climate change over the last century or so.”

        At the very least, he should tell us how he searched and what he found.

      • Actually, I need one to disprove that “If you try to study natural variability during the 20th century you won’t get funded.”

        Nope. He was speaking rhetorically. The occasional anecdotal exception doesn’t count.

        Anyway, you don’t even have one. Just a straw man. Jim D has one, and IIRC there’s more where that came from. But still not enough to demonstrate that the statement was wrong. Just a trifle exaggerated.

      • Over there:

        https://judithcurry.com/2016/08/29/refocusing-the-usgcrp/#comment-807675

        Another hit:

        The El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon provides an important source of climate predictability on interannual time scales. The research aims for mechanistic understanding of the processes important to the decadal modulation of ENSO and tropical Pacific decadal variability through model experiments and observational analysis. It is hypothesized that the low frequency components of stochastic atmospheric variability in the North and South Pacific, namely, the North Pacific Oscillation (NPO) and Pacific-South American (PSA) variability, independently drive tropical Pacific decadal variability. Furthermore the tropical Pacific decadal variability driven by NPO interacts with ENSO and modulates its amplitude through meridional displacement of the mean intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ). The PSA variability, on the other hand, appears to drive ENSO-like decadal variability associated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), affecting precipitation in the South Pacific convergence zone (SPCZ).

        These hypotheses will be tested through detailed analysis of climate and atmospheric model experiments. The model results will also be validated with observational analysis of various instrumental data and paleoclimate proxy records for the past 100-200 years. The observational analysis will show if the ITCZ and SPCZ vary independently on decadal-interdecadal time scales and how their decadal variability is associated with the decadal ENSO modulation. The results obtained from the project will not only shed light on the nature of tropical Pacific climate variability but also provide guidance in understanding the uncertainty of future ENSO behavior and in interpreting paleoclimate proxy records of ENSO.

        https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1302346&HistoricalAwards=false

        WebHub might be glad.

      • AK, you call it rhetorical, Trump calls it sarcasm, I call it speaking out of the other side of your mouth. How can we tell anymore?

      • How can we tell anymore?

        You could start by accepting that you don’t have a right to put whatever possible meaning happens to be convenient for you on whatever somebody says.

      • Jim D, why don’t you, JCH and Brandon, attempt to vote on the issue?

      • OK, let’s look at what the NSF asks for from climate proposals.
        https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=11699
        Do you see AGW being assumed anywhere?

      • There’s a hint at the bottom (a link) titled: “What Has Been Funded (Recent Awards Made Through This Program, with Abstracts)”
        This might derail that argument at least in part, if you’ll click through.
        I did, and the first title was innocuous enough: “Collaborative Instrumentation: COCONet (Continuously Operating Caribbean GPS Observational Network) An Infrastructure Proposal for a Multi-hazard Tectonic and Weather Observatory”. Click that and within the abstract:”The new cGPS stations will, in some cases, be co-located with existing tide gauges, thus supporting studies of sea level change in response to current global warming”.

        I’d take that as a hint. It would be interesting to go thru all 227 to see which are based on a similar foundation.

      • What I provided defeats the premise of the post. Any of the titles listed in the post would fit with this request for proposals. To pretend that this work does not fit what NSF is asking for is just misleading. Why did he not quote this highly relevant NSF synopsis in the post? Because it is not helpful to the message he wants to convey to his readers. Well, I helped out just to get some reality in there.

      • Do you see AGW being assumed anywhere?

        I’d call that another straw man. But Wilbur might object so perhaps we should call it “moving the goalposts”.

        The thesis of the main post is about what’s funded. It says nothing about the boilerplate “rules” guiding submissions.

        You know, you guys are p1ssing me off. IMO the author doesn’t know what “semantic” means, doesn’t even understand the subject of his PhD. But your arguments are so stupid I find myself defending him.

      • > I’d call that another straw man.

        And you would be wrong:

        In stark contrast, the USGCRP seems to assume that human activity is all that matters and this is a great mistake.

        Pro tip: if you’re to call things “straw man,” at least give a hint as to what you are referring. Giving reasons why you think it’s a straw man would be great. But I can live with just your opinion, man.

      • Pro tip: if you’re to call things “straw man,” at least give a hint as to what you are referring. Giving reasons why you think it’s a straw man would be great.

        Well, I could always hope that, since you already know it’s a straw man, you’ll drop it.

        But I suppose making an issue of it will waste more of my time, which means less time for substantive arguments. (Which, IMO, is your actual goal.)

        It’s simple enough: what both Javier and DavidW are talking about is the results that come out of current funding decisions. Arguments based on guidelines, decades-old decisions, etc. are straw men.

        And, while IMO Javier was speaking rhetorically, and his exaggeration was for rhetorical effect rather than intended to be taken literally, DavidW didn’t even make that exaggeration (AFAIK).

      • > [B]oth Javier and DavidW are talking about is the results that come out of current funding decisions.

        Read back the paragraph where we can read DavidW’s thesis:

        In stark contrast [to some NAP 1998 report], the USGCRP seems to assume that human activity is all that matters and this is a great mistake. For example, semantic analysis of USGCRP annual reports indicates that their attention is heavily weighted to what is called “anthropogenic global warming” or AGW. Then too, analysis of NSF research awards under the program that arguably anchors the USGCRP indicates that the vast majority of awards are directed at short-term variability, typically on a scale from a season to a decade. Modeling makes up a great deal of climate research and it too looks to be biased toward AGW. It might even be argued that AGW-based modeling dominates climate change science.

        DavidW is not “about” what’s funded – that’s one of DavidW’s argument.

        If DavidW searched teh Scholar and called it a method, or if DavidW armwaves to some undefined NSF search, it’s because he wants to show that the USGCRP seems to assume that human activity is all that matters and this is a great mistake. This is why he follows up with appealing to our ignorance the very next short paragraph.

        DavidW’s argument spans in two paragraphs. It should be easy to read. I think the theme of this thread will be negative existentials – they’re related to appeals to ignorance.

        There’s very little to say about DavidW’s point – the attribution problem simply can’t divorce natural from anthropogenic forcings.

        If you want a straw man, that’d be it.

      • If DavidW searched teh Scholar and called it a method, or if DavidW armwaves to some undefined NSF search, it’s because he wants to show that the USGCRP seems to assume that human activity is all that matters and this is a great mistake.

        Yes, he is pointing to their current decision-making actions. Thus, decades-old decisions and references to rules of submission into their decision process are straw men.

      • > Thus, decades-old decisions and references to rules of submission into their decision process are straw men.

        You keep using that word, AK.

        Jim D doesn’t need to address DavidW’s arguments directly to undermine his conclusion, i.e. his thesis. If decades-old decisions and references were irrelevant (that’s the word you’re looking for), why the hell would DavidW refer to some NAP 1998 report? Follow his breadcrumbs to see how irrelevant it is:

        Our investigations indicate that the $2.5 billion a year US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is doing very little research of this sort [link].

        Here’s the relevant bit under “link”:

        We have already observed that the National Science Foundation is ignoring the attribution problem (see NSF in Climate Denial?).

        https://judithcurry.com/2016/08/23/measuring-bias-in-the-u-s-federally-funded-climate-research/

        Here’s in turn the “NSF” link:

        This problem has been known for a long time. See for example these National Research Council reports: “Natural Climate Variability on Decade-to-Century Timescales (NAP, 1995)” and “Decade-to-Century-Scale Climate Variability and Change (NAP, 1998). The Preface of the 1998 Report provides a clear statement of the attribution problem: […]

        http://www.cato.org/blog/nsf-climate-denial

        Reading decades old general statements is more than fair ball.

        Read harder.

    • > He was speaking rhetorically. […] Just a trifle exaggerated.

      Another theory is that Javier’s buying what DavidW’s selling, and that DavidW’s selling something that would need to be substantiated.

      ***

      > Anyway, you don’t even have one. Just a straw man.

      You keep using that word, but I don’t it means what you think it means.

      • You keep using that word, but I don’t it means what you think it means.

        Well, it was an invalid counter-example, but most such can be transformed into a straw man:

        You claim to be countering the statement:

        “If you try to study natural variability during the 20th century you won’t get funded.”

        This is a future statement while the “counter-examples” are based on past performance. It might be reasonable to use one from 2009, under the assumption that “things haven’t changed that much in 7 years.”

        But 1993? (Or earlier, since the grant was presumably approved prior to the research, much less publication.)

        It’s a straw man because you modified his statement into something like:

        “If you try to study natural variability during the 20th century you won’t get funded, and wouldn’t even have 3 decades ago.”

        Or else you mis-applied his “during the 20th century” to modify “study” rather than “natural variability”. But that’s technically invalid since he said “try” not “tried”. Leaving technicalities aside, we all knew what he meant.

      • > This is a future statement […]

        I doubt it’s a prediction, AK:

        There is a reason why little research is being done on natural variability during the 20th century. Research into natural variability before the 20th century is allowed even if not encouraged. If you try to study natural variability during the 20th century you won’t get funded. Period.

        https://judithcurry.com/2016/08/29/refocusing-the-usgcrp/#comment-807638

        The future seldom justifies the past.

        An alternative reading is that, as DavidW suggests, natural variability gets no funding.

        Considering that most if not all attribution studies include natural variability, DavidW’s point rests on a very peculiar methodology, methodology which he has yet to substantiate regarding the NSF database.

      • I doubt it’s a prediction, AK

        Nope. Javier was (AFAIK) using a simple future and the present continuous to represent what DavidW represented in the simple present. That alone is enough to show he was speaking metaphorically, and therefore rhetorically.

        Both are describing the current state of an on-going process. One that has changed over the last few decades, and is changing still. DavidW is trying to influence future change.

      • > Both are describing the current state of an on-going process.

        So now Javier’s claim’s not about the future anymore.

        The word you’re looking for is counterfactual.

        That may be why you speak of metaphor.

      • Thanks, AK. I was certainly speaking rhetorically. For a scientist these days there is no more important task that ensuring funding for his/her research, because otherwise he/she is gone. And this task has become more and more competitive. Scientists usually do anything they can think of to increase their perceived chances of getting funded. One of the ways is to conduct a significant part of the proposed research before asking for the funds so the proposal is both more solid and has a higher chance of successful completion. Another way is to look at what is being funded by public agencies and published in good journals in the field of interest. This indicates what is popular and fashionable in the minds of the people that are going to decide on the funding. It generally leads to more “me too” science but a cursory look at the bibliography in any field soon leads to the conclusion that “me too” science is a tried and true path for scientists, while original, against the herd science is left to a few mavericks because although it can lead to very rewarding advances it is a very perilous path.

        Studies of published research, even if fatally flawed, like the Cook et al., 2013, 97% consensus, do show a trend of published articles to fall in line with the CO2 AGW hypothesis. A disproportionate amount of research into natural variability causes for current warming is coming from European countries, Russia or China, where the issue is not so politically divisive.

        Right now the scientific establishment on climatology fully supports the CO2 AGW hypothesis. For an unbiased climatologist, to submit a research proposal on natural causes of GW must look as a very risky strategy, and thus self censorship is exerted by most climatologists in their proposed research. This effect has the consequences described by David Wojick without being written down anywhere.

        But biases in scientific funding take place in every field, sometimes causing great delays in scientific advance. It is only in climatology that the issue is politically motivated and divisive.

      • > For an unbiased climatologist, to submit a research proposal on natural causes of GW must look as a very risky strategy, and thus self censorship is exerted by most climatologists in their proposed research.

        This rhetorical hypothesis may be corroborated by micro’s interpretation of the Stadium Wave: it *would* refute AGW were it not for the fact that it’s written to appeal to the establishment.

        Just like Galileo did.

    • Javier said:

      The only thing that can change the current state of affairs is that climate change refuses to cooperate in a way so obvious to all as to expose the falseness of the premises. And even then after years.

      John Gray argues that:

      If you’re inside a myth, it seems like fact.

      Myths of this kind are never abandoned because they are refuted. They’re never abandoned because they are obviously false. They’re only abandoned when the structures of power that sustain them in society become dislocated and then those who hold to them simply become ridiculous….

      [A] ruling myth of this kind…is not intellecutally challenged, but shaken by events.

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/audio/2011/oct/06/big-ideas-podcast-adam-smith-audio

      Another philosopher cites an historical example that is very much in accordance with Gray’s claim:

      The new vision of God that rose to prominence in the fourteenth century emphasized divine power and unpredictability rather than divine love and reason, but this new God only made sense because of the tremendous changes in the world itself. The Great Schism, the Hundred Years War, the Black Death, the development of gunpowder, the dire economic circumstances brought on throughout Europe by the advent of the Little Ice Age, and the dislocations wrought by urban development, social mobility, and the Crusades, were all of crucial importance to the formation of the anxiety and insecurity that made the nominalist vision of the world believable.

      — MICHAEL ALLEN GILLESPIE, The Theological Origins of Modernity

      • In 1611, John Donne wrote a painful lament of being forced to live in a new world in which the ruling myth had been abandoned:

        And new philosophy calls all in doubt,
        The element of fire is quite put out,
        The sun is lost, and th’earth, and no man’s wit
        Can well direct him where to look for it….

        ‘Tis all in pieces, all coherence gone,
        All just supply, and all relation;
        Prince, subject, father, son, are things forgot,
        For every man alone thinks he hath got
        To be a phoenix, and that then can be
        None of that kind, of which he is, but he.

        This is the world’s condition now….

        She, she is dead; she’s dead: when thou know’st this,
        Thou know’st how lame a cripple this world is

        https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/44092

      • “Myths of this kind are never abandoned because they are refuted.”

        They are not abandoned by the true believers. The masses will/are abandoning the CO2 AGW hypothesis/myth as polls (posted by you) consistently show. Two or three cold winters in a row and many in the media will turn around. They are famously inconstant. Confusion is not the right breeding ground for a myth, that’s why they are so insistent on the 97% meme.

        Enough cold and people will be asking for an increase in CO2 emissions. I guess we will have to burn limestone when we run out of fossil fuels.

      • There is a climate model that includes initial conditions. It makes forecasts over the immediate future. Using physics, it forecasts the next five years will be very warm. The first year in the forecast is 2016… currently 1.06 ℃ on GISTEMP. I figure at least one more warmest year after 2016 becomes the 3rd warmest year in a row, a trend for the first two decades of the 21st century of around .19℃ per decade.

        So go to church and pray for the negative phase of the AMO; pray for the stadium wave; pray for the return of the Kimikaze. Praying is about all you’ve got.

      • You are the one that should be praying, JCH, as you are the one that is worried about GW.

        I never understood the pleasure that alarmists get with all those supposed and anticipated records in high temperatures and low sea ice. Shouldn’t you be rooting just for the opposite?

    • David L. Hagen

      Benefit/$ Priorization
      Bjorn Lomborg and the Copenhagen Consensus emphasize evaluating the options, benefits and costs, and then allocate limited resources in rank order of benefit/cost.

      Making Real Impact on Policy
      Examples of Copenhagen Consensus projects changing policy makers’ decisions and philanthropists’ behavior:
      Denmark’s Overseas Development Aid strategy of $2,900 million yearly was revised after the first Copenhagen Consensus conference in 2004, to spend more on HIV/AIDS.
      Copenhagen Consensus cost-benefit analysis helped convince the United States Bush administration to launch the $1,200 million President’s Malaria Initiative.
      Copenhagen Consensus research on the benefits of investing in nutrition was cited by Prime Minister David Cameron when $4,150 million was pledged by governments at G8 meetings for Global Nutrition for Growth.
      The NGO alliance InterAction quoted Copenhagen Consensus findings when it pledged $750 million on nutrition.

      So here. How best to quantify climate sensitivity? We need to understand BOTH natural and anthropogenic causes. So it is vitally important to have an informed public discussion to explore how to prioritize the most effective improvements in understanding climate and climate sensitivity.

    • Research into natural variability before the 20th century is allowed even if not encouraged. If you try to study natural variability during the 20th century you won’t get funded. Period.

      Uhhh… weren’t there a bunch of papers about potential causes for “the slowdown” that examined natural variability? I remember seeing around a dozen in major journals, which implies probably 5x as many in lower journals.

      Your claim is flatly contradicted by the real world. People are getting funded to study modern natural variability.

  20. Put the list in terms of hypotheses and how you would test them. These things have all been studied but testable hypotheses have not been presented.

    • 9) Other hypotheses and new approaches.

      My Hypothesis and new approach.

      The anomalous warming of the 1910-1940 time period can be explained by long lost herds of unicorns. According to Joseon dynasty diaries of Shaman in Korea, the horns of the unicorn could attract and concentrate ‘sparks from the sky” which we interpret as GCRs. Finding the remains of the creatures will allow us to examine the horns and confirm or falsify our hypothesis. Records, indicate that herds were present in Bali, tahiti,
      Hong Kong and Jeju island. So, we will go there hang out and try to find the mass burial grounds.

      Please fund my hunt.

    • I wish to do a study of GCMs versus a random walk up a slope similar to the observed temperature rise. Something like comparing financial advisors returns versus the S & P 500 index. One aspect of the study would plot out graphs of GCMs and the random walk and see how many people can tell which is which?

      • You can’t get GCMs to go up that slope unless the forcing changes in the way it actually did, so what does that prove?

      • I’d think it’s important to know if my Random Walk Climate Model while having nothing to do with the climate can produce output like a GCM can. It will do a random walk, but it will be guided by some parameters which can be adjusted before each run. Think of Deep Blue versus other chess playing computers. And I am sorry, I have another idea. There should a tournament of GCMs. Single elimination. Head to head matches and may the best one win. This could go viral. Fame and fortune awaits the successful.

      • > Think of Deep Blue versus other chess playing computers.

        Not really.

      • At my second link above, the author also has a Manifesto on the side bar where he talks about models and statistics.
        “This puts modern science at a crossroads, having now exploited all the low hanging fruit of simple models of the natural world. In order to move forward, we will have to put ever more confidence in complex, uninterpretable “black box” algorithms, based solely on their power to reliably predict new observations.”

      • > New paper finds climate models offer little beyond simulating a random walk

        That 2013 paper doesn’t seem to do that, Ragnaar:

        [W]e diagnose annual-to-decadal variability and predictability, both unforced and forced, with an empirically determined linear model of the observed system.

        A pity, since I wanted a paper for the “but Random walk.”

        It also seems that LIM is being used in climate science since at least the early 90s.

      • This:
        “These results suggest that current coupled model decadal forecasts may not yet have much skill beyond that captured by multivariate red noise.”

        Does appear here:
        Journal of Climate, expedited, submitted 7/31/2012

        And also appears with a difference:
        “These results suggest that current coupled model decadal forecasts may not yet have much skill beyond that captured by multivariate, predictably linear dynamics.”
        http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00590.1?af=R

        The 2nd version seems later in time. The skeptics mostly quote the first one.

        I doubt Newman was off his meds when wrote it the first way. Please insert nefarious theories here.

        Is red noise the same as a random walk? I don’t know.

      • One aspect of the study would plot out graphs of GCMs and the random walk and see how many people can tell which is which?

        It’d be pretty easy to tell which is which. Random walks aren’t constrained, so over time their envelope of uncertainty can grow infinitely. Also, they’d be equally like to go up as to go down. A random walk model would say that the Earth could go below absolute zero, or hotter than the Sun.

        For these reasons, random walk models are physically unrealistic. You might as well say that we can model unemployment as a function of unicorn farts, and that hurricanes are just God crying.

        If the physics of your model don’t make sense, you should drop it.

  21. > [T]here is very little research specifically on near term dec-cen variability, especially in relation to observed climate change over the last century or so.

    Do you have any data on this, DavidW?

    One of the few hits for “centenial” is this one:

    https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1107662&HistoricalAwards=false

    That search engine is awful.

  22. “6) Negative feedbacks (Lindzen’s Iris, convection, etc.). The climate models generally do not include strong negative feedbacks, but these have been proposed.”

    A) Lindzen had an good idea.
    B) he could articulate a Mechanism
    c) a few years back he asked a couple of us to “cost out” how much
    it would cost to do some investigative work using a workstation
    running the Community model. Nothing came of it
    D) Recently folks did look at his idea using a GCM.. Norhing.

    So, unless you can actually NAME the feedbacks there is nothing to study. When folks DO actually propose something concrete, then it can be tested.

    What strong negative feedbacks have been proposed and NOT STUDIED?

    no fair saying unicorns.. that is my idea

    • Steven Mosher:

      A proposed negative feedback is emergent phenomena.
      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/02/07/emergent-climate-phenomena/
      A lot of are familiar with Willis Eschenbach’s general approach.
      I don’t know if it could be modeled? Say the grid size is 100 by 100 kilometers. Smaller grid sizes might be used in only key regions. If certain conditions are true as in computer logic, ‘this happens’ in the more equatorial ocean regions. Perhaps a lot of trial and error would go into what ‘this happens’ is? Do you think such a temporary modification of a GCM is first possible and then practical?

  23. David Wojick

    Thank you for your post. However, my first reaction is to the opening paragraph:

    Our goal here is to begin to articulate a research program into the role of recent long-term natural variability in climate change.

    What does it matter given that we don’t know whether climate change would be beneficial or harmful?

    Until we have persuasive evidence and broad acceptance of the damage function, it seems to me that continuing to spend huge amounts of money on climate research focused on temperatures is a massive waste of money.

    • > What does it matter given that we don’t know whether climate change would be beneficial or harmful?

      From one recent study:

      Attribution of climate change has been defined as ‘the process of evaluating the relative contributions of multiple causal factors to a change or event with an assignment of statistical confidence.’ Therefore attribution is a key aspect of the understanding of climate change risks, many of which are associated with the occurrence of extreme weather or climate events.

      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/wcc.380/full

      From the acknowledgements:

      The research leading to these results has received funding under the EUCLEIA (EUropean Climate and weather Events: Interpretation and Attribution) project under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme [FP7/2007-2013] under grant agreement no 607085 (PAS, NC, J-V, HvS, GvO, RV, PW, PY) PAS was partially supported by the UK-China Research & Innovation Partnership Fund through the Met Office Climate Science for Service Partnership (CCSP) China as part of the Newton fund. PAS and NC were partially supported by the Joint UK DECC/Defra Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme (GA01101). PY acknowledges support from ERC Grant No. 338965-A2C2. Y. Sun is supported by Chinese programs 2012CB417205 and GYHY201406020

      My favorite two-liner:

      Conflict of interest: The authors have declared no conflicts of interest for this article.
      Edited by Eduardo Zorita, Domain Editor, and Mike Hulme, Editor-in-Chief

      One of the author is Hans Von Storch.

      • Willard,

        Your comment demonstrates you did not understand the point. It seems you do not understand the damage function nor that there is little empirical evidence to calibrate the damage functions. Even the Alarmists’ Bible, AR5 WG3 Chapter 3, acknowledges it many times.

      • > It seems you do not understand the damage function nor that there is little empirical evidence to calibrate the damage functions.

        More realistic damage functions would include risks that attribution studies help estimate. If what you want is more realistic damage functions, attribution studies should matter. Besides, having a better shot at the attribution also helps reduce risks.

        Do you prefer having lower insurance premiums or aviding by the Rule of Pouting?

      • Willard,

        We’ve spent 30 years mucking around with temperatures and ECS and attributions studies. None of it is relevant if AGW is beneficial. We need to work on what is most important and relevant for policy analysis – i.e. the damage function. Without the damage function there can be no rational, valid justification for spending money on mitigation, or the huge climate industry. Without valid, rational justification, it’s being driven by ideological belief, not not rational policy analysis based on valid relevant science.

      • Peter Lang,

        Without the damage function there can be no rational, valid justification for spending money on mitigation, or the huge climate industry.

        Ah. Well then, the best way to find the damage function is to let the damage happen. I’m sure everyone would then feel much better no longer having to rely on mere — and widely differing — assumptions. There simply is no replacement for hard empirical data.

        In other news, rational people understand that they’re not omniscient and that uncertainty isn’t their friend.

      • > None of it is relevant if AGW is beneficial.

        Which, as you said earlier, we just don’t know. Going from ignorance to wishful thinking may not be best.

        How we can establish that AGW is beneficial without estimating risks that we can already witness, again?

      • brandongates, “In other news, rational people understand that they’re not omniscient and that uncertainty isn’t their friend.”

        Who are these rational people and where are they hiding?

        The North Carolina state epidemiologist recently quit because the NC DEP lifted a no drink order on wells surrounding a Duke Power coal ash storage site. The current NC administration happens to be Republican. Those wells had levels of Chromium VI that were higher than her departments safety standards but lower than EPA and WHO standards. Duke tested other wells and reviewed state wide drinking water quality and found that similar trace amounts of Chromium VI were common due to local geology.

        Who is the rational person?

        https://www.duke-energy.com/pdfs/private-well-testing-update.pdf

      • Is this a rational person? Thinkprogress seems to believe so because they help spread her “science”.

        http://floridacleanwaternetwork.org/

        She has a dot org domain and everything.

      • In case you are wondering, Ms Young has a MS in political science, communications and appears to have interpreted PPB as PPM implying a 1000 fold increase in “toxic” waste allowed in Florida Water. Other than my comments on a couple of sites, this seems to have been missed science activists opposed to fracking.

      • brandonrgates,

        There you go with your loopy, upside down “logic” again.

        °°°°°brandonrgates said:

        Ah. Well then, the best way to find the damage function is to let the damage happen.

        What’s best — unless one is deep into the politics of fear — is to be realistic in evaluating how severe a threat is.

        We’ve seen this movie you’re peddling before. We saw it, for instance, in Iraq. How well did manufacturing non-existent threats work out for us there?

        °°°°°brandonrgates said:

        There simply is no replacement for hard empirical data.

        Where’s your “hard empirical data” to back up your assessment of the damage function?

        °°°°°brandonrgates said:

        In other news, rational people understand…that uncertainty isn’t their friend.

        Rational people understand that Fortuna smiles as well as frowns. Ever heard of random mutation, as in random mutation and natural selection?

      • > be realistic in evaluating how severe a threat is.

        Or shrug and say “we just don’t know” while looking for absence of evidence.

      • Willard,

        Without damage function you cannot estimate if GHG emissions are doing more harm or more good, again! Until without evidence that the damage function is significantly damaging, then mitigation polices could be doing more harm than good.

      • Willard said:

        Or shrug and say “we just don’t know” while looking for absence of evidence.

        There you go again, turning logic on its head, invoking yet another fallacious argument: argument from ignorance.

        Argument from ignorance
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance

        Nice attempt at shifting the burden of proof, but no cigar.

        The burden of proof still lies squarely on the shoulders of those claiming that AGW causes damage.

      • > There you go again, turning logic on its head, invoking yet another fallacious argument: argument from ignorance.

        The Man from Mexico strikes again, this time by attacking my paraphrase of Tar Baby’s rhetorical question:

        What does it matter given that we don’t know whether climate change would be beneficial or harmful?

        Go Team!

      • Willard,

        This statement:

        What does it matter given that we don’t know whether climate change would be beneficial or harmful?

        conveys an entirely different meaning than this statement (your paraphrasing of the former):

        Or shrug and say “we just don’t know” while looking for absence of evidence.

        But apparently, such marked differences are lost upon you.

        Regardless, it is still incumbent upon you to produce empirical evidence to back up the claim that global warming has caused damage.

      • Notice how our Man from Mexico transforms:

        [A]ttribution is a key aspect of the understanding of climate change risks, many of which are associated with the occurrence of extreme weather or climate events.

        into

        [T]he claim that global warming has caused damage.

        But apparently such marked differences are lost upon him.

      • Willard,

        Well good then, we’re in agreement.

        There is no empirical evidence that global warming has caused damage.

      • > Well good then, we’re in agreement. There is no empirical evidence that global warming has caused damage.

        Our Man from Mexico strikes again, this time with the most classic version of the appeal to ignorance: inferring from a lack of commitment toward a proposition P a commitment toward the negation of P.

        Whether there is empirical evidence that GW caused damage or not is irrelevant to the idea that GW carries risks associated with the occurrence of extreme weather or climate events.

        The main difference is that one does not simply ask for empirical evidence of causation: as Hume once said, that’s a relation of ideas, not a matter of fact.

        One does not simply require the same burden of proof for relations of ideas and matters of fact.

        And then contrarians wonder why they’re being seen as making impossible demands.

      • Evidence? We don’t need no steenkin’ evidence!

        Willard, you just proposed turning centuries of science on its head. Unsupported speculation is not supported by pseudo intellectual argument.

      • Evidence is a thing you can see, Daddy. Can you see causality? Nah. Can you see in the future? Nah.

        That’s known since David Hume.

        Now, one can haz support for a sciencey thing without having direct evidence for it. Dinosaurs. The center of the Earth. Denizens’ team.

        Go team!

      • I agree, Willard; we do need Hume’s direct Experience (or direct Experience for each of the ideas we apply reasoning to) before we conclude CAGW, or even AGW.

        We have had minor temperature increases since the Little Ice Age, along with concomitant changes to ice formation and sea levels. Nothing unusual over the Holocene. Direct Experience.

        Since the beginning of recordkeeping, their has been no statistically significant global changes to floods, droughts, hurricanes, twisters, etc. Our currently benign climate seems to be good for us, with that nice little increase in global temperature. Direct Experience.

        One of the main ideas behind reasoning for CAGW is that climate models are an accurate representation of the physical processes determining the evolution of our climate. That fails. I can’t say why, but comparison to direct Experience shows that idea’s failure.

        I capitalize experience here to emphasize the danger of using philosophers to buttress one’s arguments.

        David Hume would not be proud of you, Willard, using misdirection and straw men in argumentation.

      • > [W]e do need Hume’s direct Experience (or direct Experience for each of the ideas we apply reasoning to) before we conclude […] AGW.

        One does not simply *conclude* AGW by direct experience. Exactly because, Hume.

        Your upside-down interpretation of the father figure of modern scepticism puts you in no position to resort on cheap ad homs, Daddy.

      • Glenn Stehle,

        What’s best — unless one is deep into the politics of fear — is to be realistic in evaluating how severe a threat is.

        Like I said, rational people understand that they’re not omniscient.

        We’ve seen this movie you’re peddling before. We saw it, for instance, in Iraq. How well did manufacturing non-existent threats work out for us there?

        Awful. Of course in this case, I have the benefit of hindsight. How well does begging questions work out for you?

        When my CO2 mitigation strategy involves invading sovereign nations on the basis of intelligence snippets scraped off the bottom of CIA waste bins, then you’ll have a point.

        PS: Why do you hate America?

      • dogdaddyblog,

        Yep. Empiricists like Hume are no friend to Willard and his fellow warmists who are so in love with theory.

        But Willard and his ilk are so caught up in an orgy of cognitive dissoance that I doubt one more internal inconsistency makes any difference.

      • brandonrgates,

        There you go with your loopy, upside down “logic” again.

        It’s you and your fellow CAGW theorists who believe themselves to be “omniscient,” what with all their speculation and ironclad predictions about the coming climate armageddon.

    • Willard said:

      How we can establish that AGW is beneficial without estimating risks that we can already witness, again?

      And where are those “risks” that “we can already witness”?

      Do paranoia much?

      • > where are those “risks” that “we can already witness”?

        Read back the quote above.

        Right under the sentence in bold.

      • willard said:

        Read back the quote above.

        Right under the sentence in bold.

        Your communications skills are so poor that I have not the slightest idea what you’re blathering on about. All this is part and parcel of your favorite rhetorical tactic: argument by gibberish.

        Is it possible for you to write in plain Enlgish, with complete thoughts that include whatever it is that you’re vague, imprecise language wishes to call reference to?

      • > I have not the slightest idea what you’re blathering on about.

        It shows.

        The expression “quote above” may have sufficed to try to track back a quote that appeared in the sub-thread. Here it is:

        Attribution of climate change has been defined as ‘the process of evaluating the relative contributions of multiple causal factors to a change or event with an assignment of statistical confidence.’ Therefore attribution is a key aspect of the understanding of climate change risks, many of which are associated with the occurrence of extreme weather or climate events.

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/wcc.380/full

        Let’s hope that Man from Mexico will be able to recognize what’s under the bold.

      • Willard,

        Ah ha. Now we’re getting somewhere. I’ve bolded what you wished to call attention to:

        Therefore attribution is a key aspect of the understanding of climate change risks, many of which are associated with the occurrence of extreme weather or climate events.

        Any empirical evidence to back up that assertion, other than Team Mosher’s “invisible unicorns” claiming it’s so.

      • > Any empirical evidence to back up that assertion […]

        Our Man from Mexico should click on the link and RTFP. Not in full – just until you find what he’s looking for, and report. Let’s hope he’ll be able to find the link and follow the citations.

        Best of luck.

      • Willard,

        Instead of telling others that they should go do the research to make your argument for you, you might try making that effort yourself.

        It’s incumbent upon you to produce the evidence necessary to validate your argument.

      • > It’s incumbent upon you to produce the evidence necessary to validate your argument.

        Our Man from Mexico strikes again, this time by burdening me with an argument that is not mine, and by begging me to scratch his own itch.

        Storch & alii backed up their claim in the paper – RTFP and report.

        Our Man from Mexico also injects a concept that may deserve due diligence: evidence necessary to validate. This concept corroborates Moshpit’s point about how contrarians conflate necessity and sufficiency, something Kip was disputing, if memory serves well.

  24. David L. Hagen

    Order(s) of magnitude more accurate satellite measurements
    Thanks David Wojick for raising the questions.
    Nigel Fox at NPL highlights the critical importance of an order of magnitude b better measurements – through the TRUTHs project (Traceable Radiometry Underpinning Terrestrial- and Helio-Studies) mission.) http://www.npl.co.uk/truths/
    See Summary Goals:

    Measure the radiation – Sun, Earth and Moon – 10 times more accurately.
    First satellite to calibrate itself – directly traceable to SI units via a primary standard – in orbit.
    Provide absolute high accuracy calibration for other EO missions.
    Diagnosis of reflection from the Earth to give details of the atmospheric chemistry (esp. in UV and near IR).

    The TRUTHS About Climate Change By Dr. Nigel Fox, the National Physical Lab

    Accurately identifying trends—for example, a 0.2 percent increase in high cloud cover per decade—requires approximately 30 years using current measurements, which limits our climate models. TRUTHS would reduce this timeframe to 12 years. This means that 12 years from launch, we would have a very clear picture of the impact of climate change. Background noise from natural variability makes measurements less than 12 years unreliable, even with greater accuracy. TRUTHS represents the best climate monitoring we can ever achieve.

    It is far more important to deploy order of magnitude more accurate instrumentation than waste money on meaningless global warming models whose 35 year predictions are 300% too hot.

  25. Here are forecasts of future climate based on the natural millennial and 60 year cycles which are trivially obvious in the temperature data and which are driven by changes in solar “activity” :
    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2016/03/the-imminent-collapse-of-cagw-delusion.html
    For more detail see
    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2014/07/climate-forecasting-methods-and-cooling.html
    Here is a comment on this approach by Freeman Dyson in 2015
    E-mail 4/7/15
    Dr Norman Page
    Houston

    Professor Dyson
    Saw your Vancouver Sun interview.
    I agree that CO2 is beneficial. This will be even more so in future because it is more likely than not that the earth has already entered a long term cooling trend following the recent temperature peak in the quasi-millennial solar driven periodicity .
    The climate models on which the entire Catastrophic Global Warming delusion rests are built without regard to the natural 60 and more importantly 1000 year periodicities so obvious in the temperature record. The modelers approach is simply a scientific disaster and lacks even average commonsense .It is exactly like taking the temperature trend from say Feb – July and projecting it ahead linearly for 20 years or so. They back tune their models for less than 100 years when the relevant time scale is millennial. This is scientific malfeasance on a grand scale. The temperature projections of the IPCC – UK Met office models and all the impact studies which derive from them have no solid foundation in empirical science being derived from inherently useless and specifically structurally flawed models. They provide no basis for the discussion of future climate trends and represent an enormous waste of time and money. As a foundation for Governmental climate and energy policy their forecasts are already seen to be grossly in error and are therefore worse than useless. A new forecasting paradigm needs to be adopted. For forecasts of the timing and extent of the coming cooling based on the natural solar activity cycles – most importantly the millennial cycle – and using the neutron count and 10Be record as the most useful proxy for solar activity check my blog-post at http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2014/07/climate-forecasting-methods-and-cooling.html

    The most important factor in climate forecasting is where earth is in regard to the quasi- millennial natural solar activity cycle which has a period in the 960 – 1020 year range. For evidence of this cycle see Figs 5-9. From Fig 9 it is obvious that the earth is just approaching ,just at or just past a peak in the millennial cycle. I suggest that more likely than not the general trends from 1000- 2000 seen in Fig 9 will likely generally repeat from 2000-3000 with the depths of the next LIA at about 2650. The best proxy for solar activity is the neutron monitor count and 10 Be data. My view ,based on the Oulu neutron count – Fig 14 is that the solar activity millennial maximum peaked in Cycle 22 in about 1991. There is a varying lag between the change in the in solar activity and the change in the different temperature metrics. There is a 12 year delay between the activity peak and the probable millennial cyclic temperature peak seen in the RSS data in 2003. http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1980.1/plot/rss/from:1980.1/to:2003.6/trend/plot/rss/from:2003.6/trend
    There has been a cooling temperature trend since then (Usually interpreted as a “pause”) There is likely to be a steepening of the cooling trend in 2017- 2018 corresponding to the very important Ap index break below all recent base values in 2005-6. Fig 13.
    The Polar excursions of the last few winters in North America are harbingers of even more extreme winters to come more frequently in the near future.

    I would be very happy to discuss this with you by E-mail or phone .It is important that you use your position and visibility to influence United States government policy and also change the perceptions of the MSM and U.S public in this matter. If my forecast cooling actually occurs the policy of CO2 emission reduction will add to the increasing stress on global food production caused by a cooling and generally more arid climate.
    Best Regards
    Norman Page

    E-Mail 4/9/15

    Dear Norman Page,
    Thank you for your message and for the blog. That all makes sense.
    I wish I knew how to get important people to listen to you. But there is
    not much that I can do. I have zero credibility as an expert on climate.
    I am just a theoretical physicist, 91 years old and obviously out of touch
    with the real world. I do what I can, writing reviews and giving talks,
    but important people are not listening to me. They will listen when the
    glaciers start growing in Kentucky, but I will not be around then. With
    all good wishes, yours ever, Freeman Dyson

  26. Spend money on measuring stuff. [A side benefit would allow us to send Mr. Mosher wandering in more and better weed patches. We could keep him busy and out of our hair for decades, hopefully!]

    Spending more money on bureaucrats producing more incomprehensible political claptrap is counter productive. Why do I think that? Read as many U.S. and UN climate documents as you can, then get back to us.

    U.S. and UN bureaucrats have been ordered to support the current political meme. I see in the reports vague sciency type assertions, omission of relevant past data, mischaracterization of weather events and dire warnings based on model speculation. My interpretation of the documents is that no real uncertainty is expressed when presenting data, calculations and conclusions.

    In dismissing atmospheric temperature data, Gavin Schmidt told us temperatures where we live are all that matter. Well, despite minor ups and downs, temperatures of the continental U.S. (CONUS) where I live have not changed for over 100 years. Other measures of climate change are likewise unchanged for the CONUS.

    Those inconvenient facts are not reflected in government climate publications. But wild model speculations certainly are hyped.

    Dave Fair

  27. Steven Mosher,

    You wrote –

    “a few years back he asked a couple of us to “cost out” how much
    it would cost to do some investigative work using a workstation
    running the Community model. Nothing came of it”

    He asked a couple of you to provide information? Using a “workstation”, even?

    Poor chap. Obviously, I hope he has recovered from his moment of madness. A temporary loss of his faculties – no doubt caused by climate stress!

    Cheers.

    • Yes. Mike. The first request went to a well known critic of climate modelling, who then emailed me and asked me what systems could possibly run the code.

      technically you could probably compile and run a couple GCMs I know on a laptop, but good luck in getting it to work.

      Much better odds on a work station.

      Bottom line.. you cant answer the attribution problem without models.

      So david is suggesting more money for models

      • Danny Thomas

        “So david is suggesting more money for models”. And you, ironically, were the first to oppose.

      • Notice that DavidW’s suggesting more money on decadal modulz, Danny, which we already expect of being of very little skill.

        Skillless modulz are perfect for DavidW’s appeals to ignorance.

      • dogdaddyblog

        What about denying one’s ignorance? Simple repetition of “consensus” fails.

      • Danny Thomas

        Willard,

        Surely you’re not suggesting Mosher is against greater funding for models due to the models being ‘skillless’ are you?

        Mosher says: “Bottom line.. you cant answer the attribution problem without models.” (Maybe it should read ‘without skilled models’?)

        Because if the models are ‘skillless’ then the attribution problem cannot be answered ‘accurately’.

      • > Surely you’re not suggesting Mosher is against greater funding for models due to the models being ‘skillless’ are you?

        Yes, I do. Moshpit’s a pragmatist, and pragmatists seek results. Delving into skillless modulz may not be the best way to get results, unless by results you mean the kind of crap DavidW’s think tanks are being paid to peddle.

      • Danny Thomas

        Very interesting. Pragmatists deny the skill level of models. Models are skillless so their results can only be used to support ‘crap’.

        Didn’t take you for a skeptic.

      • Decadal modulz, Danny. Decadal modulz.

        Why do you think you keep hearing about the 15-17 years thing?

      • Danny Thomas

        Pragmatists only have issue with the decadal modelz? What’s up with those guys or the modelz themselves?

      • Now, you’re just playing dumb, Danny.

      • Danny Thomas

        Yeah. But it was fun.

        Those more climate concerned based ‘projections’ on decadal models and support their ‘results’ all the time. Those less climate concerned perform the opposite gymnastics. And the same was done here with Mosher and David. Might as well enjoy the exercise, even if the routine winds up ‘resulting’ in a questionable score from the judges.

      • > Those more climate concerned based ‘projections’ on decadal models and support their ‘results’ all the time.

        A citation would be nice.

        Everyone and his dog would like to have decadal modulz. Even then, that’s twice five-year planning.

        What DavidW’s looking for is usually called meteorology. Calling it a new paradigm is pure fluff.

      • Danny Thomas

        What citations would you accept?

      • Any citation that helps substantiate your claim that “those more climate concerned based ‘projections’ on decadal models and support their ‘results’ all the time,” Danny.

      • Danny Thomas

        Okay. But just one: “We use numerical climate simulations” (The Modellz), “Doubling times of 10, 20 or 40 years yield multi-meter sea level rise in about 50, 100 or 200 years. Recent ice melt doubling times are near the lower end of the 10-40-year range, but the record is too short to confirm the nature of the response”http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/ha04710s.html

        Okay, maybe two: “Such decadal forecasts, while still subject to large uncertainties, have emerged as a new area of climate science.” (The fun part is this one would have forecast the pause that wasn’t). (Is forecast a new word?)
        http://www2.ucar.edu/atmosnews/just-published/12313/progress-decadal-climate-prediction

        Thank youse!

      • Thanks, Danny. Very interesting.

        From your second link:

        Although scientists are continuing to analyze all the factors that might be driving the hiatus, the new study suggests that natural decade-to-decade climate variability is largely responsible.

        The kind of thing that some alledged paradigm protection is supposed to suppress.

      • Danny Thomas

        “The kind of thing that some alledged paradigm protection is supposed to suppress.” That’s a different conversation and one in which I prefer not to engage.

      • > That’s a different conversation and one in which I prefer not to engage.

        Just ignore it, then, Danny.

        Your first like is Hansen & al 2016. I’m not sure it should count as a decadal modelling study.

        In any case, perhaps I should amend my claim (based on Ragnaar’s citation) that decadal modulz may not be doomed to decadence. So I’ll remain agnostic instead of being sceptical, not an unusual stance for me.

      • > What about denying one’s ignorance?

        Indeed, Daddy. What about it?

        You go first.

      • dogdaddyblog

        I already have. You next.

      • dogdaddyblog

        Willard, I do not know why climate models do not reflect reality. Do you?

      • I just want to say two words to you. Just two words.

        Are you listening, Daddy?

        State space.

      • dogdaddyblog

        All elements of the equations must be valid. Apparently, they aren’t.

      • Validity pertains to equations, Daddy, not elements, unless by elements you include other equations.

        Apparently, something.

      • dogdaddyblog

        Willard, you are a waste of a sincere person’s time.

        Bye, forever.

      • Dear Daddy,

        Let’s hope that this time your farewell is sincere.

        Thanks for playing.

      • catweazle666

        dogdaddyblog: “Willard, you are a waste of a sincere person’s time.

        Bye, forever.”

        What more do you expect of an entity that dwells under a bridge and whose dictum on its blog goes:

        If you can’t annoy someone, there’s little point in writing

        It is beyond me why anyone bothers to feed it.

      • dogdaddyblog

        Cat, thanks for the observation.

        I hadn’t tried to engage Willard previously. When I did, I found what you described.

        For someone trying to learn anything, it seems best to skim down thru the tag team antics played by Willard, et al and their enablers. Sometimes, however, it is fun to poke at Mr. Mosher, old Wandering in the Weeds himself. A vice of mine, one of many.

        Dave Fair

      • catweazle666

        “A vice of mine, one of many.”

        Yeah…

        Tell me about it!

      • dogdaddyblog

        Oh, gee. I’m just an electrical engineer. So, what could I know about state space?

      • > I’m just an electrical engineer.

        And I’m a ninja.

        The logic gates you should be accustomed are small enough to fit into your fridge or your TV. Your phone can run a chess engine that beats grandmasters.

        Yet one does not simply run climate modulz with a gamer PC.

        State space, I tell you.

      • > (Is forecast a new word?)

        Nope.

      • “So david is suggesting more money for models”. And you, ironically, were the first to oppose.”

        Huh?

        let me repeat for you.

        1. We know enough without model results to start policy.
        2. The attribution question does not have to answered accurately
        to begin policy.
        3. I am not a fan of technocracy, I am a fan of what works.

        Basically we know enough to start a policy. In fact we already have started a policy. Models can provide some gross boundary conditions
        for that policy but they cannot fine tune it. There is no “german engineering” of the planet.. no temperature to optimize, no cost/benefit to precisely tune.. No path forward that does not involve experimentation
        and guesswork. Messy, ugly, try and fail guesswork. Thats the game.
        You want to optimize? go do something else.

        What should we fund? I work in observation. Of course I think observation should get 100% of all the money. But I am not the king.
        The fight for funding will not be fought on purely scientific grounds, or pragmatic grounds, or purely political grounds, or “balance the debate” grounds. There is no level playing field..

        It’s a fight for money. get a grip.

        If skeptics want to fight for funding they need to level up. Its really quite simple. Let me show you how.

        Long ago I worked in R&D. there were two kids at wright patternson who I had done work for. Basically researching their ideas. They wanted me to study A. I wanted to study B. Since I was devious, All of my proposals to them offered to study A. Of course my test plans always had ‘B’ as a
        ‘baseline” option so I could show how great their idea was.duh…

        Another story. A while back I was in a meeting with a large number of well known skeptics. They complained that no one used models to study natural variability. So, the guy who ran a climate model offered the room
        of skeptics free use… all they had to do was propose a set of simulations
        to test their ideas…

        Silence.

        Which I took to mean that none of them had thought very deeply about how they would use a GCM to study attribution or natural variablity.

        The bottom line is this.

        A skeptics cant define what data they trust enough to look at
        B They cannot articulate a simple SOW.

        They might as well be asking for money to look for unicorns

      • > whose dictum on its blog goes: […]

        3333 snippets from the auditing sciences, a game framing minds and people, sustaining the curiosity, the anger, the powerlessness.

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/

        Shorter: “the audit never ends.”

        ***

        > What to expect […]

        Why would I even be surprised that our Weazle is oblivious to the delicious irony of him whining about Kingsley Amis’ quote, when he has yet to commit one single humane comment?

      • > Bye, forever.

        Can’t keep a promise for long, Daddy.

  28. It is hard to take any Global Change Research Program seriously given the systemic corruption of the land-based record due to UHI effects, which is something that have easily been addressed long before. Unfortunately, 97% of Western academia apparently does not wish to know the truth.

  29. dogdaddyblog

    It’s beginning to seem to me that it doesn’t matter what angle to climate science (anthro or natural) the various governments fund. Whatever is fed to the various climate modeling teams, outputs would ultimately have to be compared to actual temperatures, rainfall, ice, drought, etc. on a regional basis

    It is clear climate science has been unable to create models that reflect our actual climate dynamics over an appreciable period of modern time. The modeling teams all must use the same basic physics, but vary in their approaches to making the models converge to “acceptable” hindcasts.

    I am unaware, though, of any model that accurately represents the various decadal trends of the first three-quarters of the 20th Century nor the beginning of the 21st Century. That means that current climate science is unaware of real natural processes that have occurred in the past and, presumably, will continue affecting global climate in the future, although in unknown fashions.

    To me, it’s OK that those natural processes continue to be unexplained. As long as climate models continue failing, over the next five-plus years there should be some blowback from real scientists and people hurt by hysterical climate policies. The actual why there is no accelerated warming won’t matter to the politicians.

    I really have no idea of what temperatures are going to be in the future. Looking at historical temperature trend data, and comparing it to assumed anthro forcing, I’d guess flat to cooling for a decade or so. As a Las Vegas guy, I’ll be happy to hold all wagers.

    Dave Fair

  30. The theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming (aka Human Induced Climate Change) does not fit the following facts:
    (1) Modern statistical techniques show that there has been no significant change in global average temperature for the last 166 years. There is no “trend”; observed changes are the random fluctuations of a centrally biased random walk.
    (http://blackjay.net/?p=335)
    (2) The “Bomb Test Curve” of declining 14C in the atmosphere indicates that CO2 has a half-time in the atmosphere of only 10 years, not the hundreds of years of the Bern Model used in numerical climate models. This implies that at least 80 percent of the recent increases in atmospheric CO2 are naturally occurring and not due to human activity.
    (http://blackjay.net/?p=262)
    (3) The adiabatic lapse rate at which the atmosphere cools with increasing height is measured by meteorological balloon sonds many times a day. It is consistent with a convective model of heat transport in the atmosphere. It is not consistent with a radiative model of heat transport in the atmosphere.
    (http://blackjay.net/?p=313)

  31. Love the last one. Especially since “model” was one of the key words indicating AGW centric research in your study.

    So if USGRCP funded more studies on chaotic models you would rerun your word count and discover the funding is even more biased than before.

    LOL

    • This is a more cogent argument. (Jim D and Wilbur take notice.) Even Tsonis has used GCM’s in (at least some of) his studies. Of course, what else was available?

      How about this research proposal:

      We intend to develop network-centric models of climate activity based on nodes identified using principle component analysis on temperature and other meteorological data.

      Models will be run using Monte Carlo methods in assigning parameters along edges, results will be compared in a number of ways with observations and existing GCM results.

      • > This is a more cogent argument.

        Than which other ones, AK? I’ve made many, most are on the original page, e.g. there or there. You even haven’t responded to the main one I made on this page.

        Neither did DavidW.

        ***

        > I would change the keywords, because model no longer referred to AGW-centric climate models.

        Vintage 2016:

        Time Series Construction of Summer Surface Temperatures for Alabama, 1883–2014, and Comparisons with Tropospheric Temperature and Climate Model Simulations

        John R. Christy
        Alabama Office of the State Climatologist, and Earth System Science Center, The University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, Alabama

        Richard T. McNider
        Earth System Science Center, The University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, Alabama

        http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JAMC-D-15-0287.1

        I doubt we could argue that Christy & McNider are into teh AGW-centric stoopid modulz.

    • David Wojick

      No James, I would change the keywords, because model no longer referred to AGW-centric climate models.

      • Besides Christie & McNider 2016, here’s another one with “natural variability” and “climate model”:

        Since the 1950s, research stations on the Antarctic Peninsula have recorded some of the largest increases in near-surface air temperature in the Southern Hemisphere. This warming has contributed to the regional retreat of glaciers, disintegration of floating ice shelves and a ‘greening’ through the expansion in range of various flora. Several interlinked processes have been suggested as contributing to the warming, including stratospheric ozone depletion, local sea-ice loss, an increase in westerly winds, and changes in the strength and location of low–high-latitude atmospheric teleconnections. Here we use a stacked temperature record to show an absence of regional warming since the late 1990s. The annual mean temperature has decreased at a statistically significant rate, with the most rapid cooling during the Austral summer. Temperatures have decreased as a consequence of a greater frequency of cold, east-to-southeasterly winds, resulting from more cyclonic conditions in the northern Weddell Sea associated with a strengthening mid-latitude jet. These circulation changes have also increased the advection of sea ice towards the east coast of the peninsula, amplifying their effects. Our findings cover only 1% of the Antarctic continent and emphasize that decadal temperature changes in this region are not primarily associated with the drivers of global temperature change but, rather, reflect the extreme natural internal variability of the regional atmospheric circulation.

        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v535/n7612/abs/nature18645.html

        The whole idea that we need a new paradigm to study natural variability is a complete red herring [NB].

        [NB]: The concept AK is looking for.

      • David Wojick

        Willard, note that they end by explicitly saying that their work is not related to AGW: “Our findings cover only 1% of the Antarctic continent and emphasize that decadal temperature changes in this region are not primarily associated with the drivers of global temperature change but, rather, reflect the extreme natural internal variability of the regional atmospheric circulation.” This is classic paradigm protection.

        I on the contrary am explicitly talking about research on natural variability that is ‘primarily associated with the drivers of global temperature change’. In short a different paradigm.

      • > In short a different paradigm.

        You keep using that word, DavidW.

        That we can find the same words used from one paradigm to the next should tell you something about the limitations of counting hits by keyword search.

    • I did the word count.. it was too funny.

  32. You can’t distinguish low frequencies with periods much longer than the data span you have, no matter what you do. The eigenvalues of the distinguishing matrix explode, multiplying any noise in the data by 10^30 or so. In other contexts this is called the uncertainty principle.

    It’s a simple math fact that ought to make its way into climate science someday.

    Set some graduate student up with a problem of calculating eigenvalues.

    You can put it in conceptually by substituting a sine and cosine with a 1000 year period for every plot of trend lines. You’ll find the fit is identical. That means no information in the data.

  33. Whoever controls the US Federal Government purse strings has the power to direct the research budget. This is not just some insignificant musing. $Billions have been “spent” trying to prop up the CAGW theory, but they have not yet fully succeeded because Mother Nature is not cooperating.
    Daily changes in the temperature patterns at any locality vastly over shadow the detectible changes promulgated by those CAGW folks. Even seasonal changes are vastly greater…how can we possibly predict a change of, say, four degrees over the next 100 years? And even worse, how can we “prove” it? They have been after this CAGW for over 40 years – short time, but long enough to make progress.

    Hillory wants to keep it going. The Donald does not, saying it is a “scam”. The Hill is extremely well organized, while The Donald is rather helter-skelter in his approach. But, which is to prevail? It all has to do with Mother Nature.

    I am not a trained Scientist, especially in Earth Science, but I have been fairly observant….I notice that I cannot listen to my Sirius Radio while driving in the woods in the past few years because there are more (and larger) leaves on the trees (causing the signal to weaken). Is this because of increased atmosperic CO2? I think so. So, if I can observe this, why can’t I observe the resulting increased atmosperic temperature (way up this year from last)?

    I remember in the typical 1970’s winters we had an occasional day when the temperature reached -20 degrees. Not so much recently, but forecasted to get back there in the next few years. We shall see. Maybe, I will be able to detect a temperature cycle?

    Getting back to research funding – why is it that the money spent on studying natural climate is so much smaller than that spent on CAGW subjects? Could it be that an end target is forseen? When will they get there?

    • Given the crappy quality of research, it would be the right thing to do to stop collecting that money and let the tax payers spend it on themselves, something worthwhile.

  34. A couple of observations, USGCRP “GlobalChange.gov is made possible by our participating agencies:Thirteen Agencies, One Vision”. One vision, I’m cynical of that claim. Thirteen political appointees all trying to please the bosses in the Executive Branch (they only get their money from Congress, see United States Budget Process if you like confusion).
    Clarification? The raw numbers are gathered by multiple projects across all these disparate agencies and available to other government agencies, academia, and the public to use or abuse as they wish (once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down) so what projects need to be expanded to supply numbers (more, better focused maybe) for your ten point outline. The redirection plea probably won’t get much traction with the current administration or even the next. Congress and the Executive working together? We can live in hope. Remember, one vision but I’m not holding my breath.

    • Curious George

      2.5 billion a year – is it how skeptics get their money? No, that’s how “environmentalists” get “their” (taxpayer’s) money.

    • David Wojick

      The multi-agency complexity is certainly there, but we are talking about a new program, with new projects, not expanding existing projects. Which agencies would do what needs to be defined, though I suspect that NSF gets the lion’s share. Energy and NASA would also be in, maybe others. Designing new research programs like this is a well understood piece of work.

      In principle Congress can do this alone, led by the House Science Committee, plus the science appropriators. These things are usually done via staff to staff communication. If the House staffers offer NSF money for a new program it is unlikely to be refused. My understanding is that House Science staff follow Climate Etc.

      On the Executive side Trump is a skeptic so his OSTP head might well be interested in such a program. If OSTP and House Science agree then it is easy.

      • Agreed. And go for it. The House Committee route could work. Accommodations can be made for the complexity question (all will want a piece of the action). CG said above, this is a 2.5 billion dollar boondoggle. I only clicked around the USCGRP site a little but that was enough to conclude most was Public Relations buzz words. The ten data base resources, really? Sustainable assessability? Back in the old day we called these a “Program in Search of a Mission”. Maybe you can give them one.

  35. David,

    When you use the pronouns “our” and “we”, to whom are you alluding?

  36. One thing that has always bugged me about the climate models is the pinatubo event. The models show a dip at that point…..so it must have been modeled in. These large eruptions are unpredictable so there should be only a factor placed in the model that is averaged over many years…..they can’t predict the next major eruption….so what are they doing….adding in extra for the pinatubo event and a factor….that would be too much additional.

    • This thread was on the USGCRP and their Mandate to “assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.” How volcanic eruptions are handled is a question I’ve had too. So I looked around their site but didn’t see anything obvious about volcanos. If you have the time, you may have more luck, or insight, doing a look around. I found it interesting to see for myself what everyone was talking about, and besides this costs 2.5 billion of our tax dollars so I wanted to get some my money’s worth. DW has been making the case that they focus on the human-induced while neglecting the natural processes half. The web site GlobalChange.gov (sorry, I’m not good with the link thing) has a lot of PR and bureaucratic speak. There is a section on Data that included model data sets.

      • John

        You right click your mouse on the dialog box at the top of the web page you are looking at. It will turn blue. Click ‘copy’ then when you write a message right click into it where you want to insert the link then click ‘paste’ The link will appear where the flashing cursor was

        http://www.globalchange.gov/

        tonyb

    • James Ryan,

      One thing that has always bugged me about the climate models is the pinatubo event. The models show a dip at that point…..so it must have been modeled in. These large eruptions are unpredictable so there should be only a factor placed in the model that is averaged over many years…..they can’t predict the next major eruption….so what are they doing….adding in extra for the pinatubo event and a factor….that would be too much additional.

      I think that is an excellent question, and last week I happened to have stumbled on what might be the answer. The forcings used in the RCP scenarios may be found here here. Pop open any of the Excel files and look at the values under column C of the spread sheet (they label it column 2, VOLCANIC_ANNUAL_RF) and you’ll find that after 2006, the values for volcanic forcing all go to zero. At first I thought, “ok, so they’re assuming no forcing from volcanoes”. But then I noticed that for historical forcing in the longer periods between eruptions, volcanic forcing is shown as *positive* to the tune of 0.23244422 W/m^2. So I averaged all the historical values and came up with exactly zero.

      Thus the RCP scenarios assume the long-term average volcanic forcing in the future, and they hold it constant, which is reasonable because as you say we can’t predict the next eruption.

    • ‘One thing that has always bugged me about the climate models is the pinatubo event. The models show a dip at that point…..so it must have been modeled in. ”

      Modelled In?

      Simple.

      The concentrations of S02 are INPUTS ( see CMIP datastore)

      the physics calculates the rest

  37. Unicorn poo for sale……
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37220703

    “We are at a moment of real change in the energy industry. From an historic perspective we created energy in big generating organisations that sent power to houses and their businesses. Now we are producing energy in those places – mostly with solar power,” she told BBC News.

    This change was being driven by people and firms generating energy, storing it and using it flexibly through new controls and online software.

    The move toward flexible energy use is supported by the National Infrastructure Commission. And the advances in energy software are described by the World Energy Council as the biggest change in 21st Century energy – along with solar power.

    Already some firms benefit from using extra power when it is cheaper off-peak. That trend is spreading to households: a firm in Cornwall is offering a “sunshine tariff” that aims to persuading households to use cheap solar power when the sun is out, for example.

    Solar power……. in the UK……. National Grid UK executive director Nicola Shaw….. give me strength!

  38. John

    good stuff! I am not sure you would have seen the phrase ‘look squirrels’ yet, most often used by Mosh and Willard.

    If you can find a link to a scene depicting a squirrel riding a unicorn you will have done us all a great service :)

    tonyb

  39. John

    Ok, brilliant! But no one but you me and opluso must know about this link, so it can be sprung suddenly on the unicorn and squirrel fans…

    tonyb

    • OK guys and thanks for the tips. Maybe you’ll explain to me later about how to nest the images, like graphs and charts, that everybody uses. Cheers.

      • Just paste the image link on its own line in the text of your comment. It must end with a recognized image file suffix like .png, .jpg or .jpeg, .gif, etc.

      • …. like this …

        Well played, by the way.

      • Own line ah, the tip.

        If I did this right your seeing Willard’s Tree Lobster. Alive, well and thriving at the San Diego Zoo. Private joke

      • Congrats, John, you are now equipped to join the blogwar of images. It may be of interest for you to know it took me months to figure out that the secret was that image links needed to be on their own line, and to end in an image file extension for WordPress to do the right thing with them.

        ***

        Buried somewhere in my basement in a place even archaeologists might fear to tread is a backup drive containing an image I ‘shopped of a Bronco rider doing a turn on a bucking goat. It was inspired by a VP I knew at an electronics manufacturing company who frequently (and loudly) used the term “goat rodeo” in place of “goat rope” to air out his feelings when things had gone badly pear-shaped.

        I decided to leave another of his variations/combinations of the same theme, “Mongolian goat-f&#k”, to others’ own imaginations.

        Anyway, point is, I do appreciate a good image gag. Thanks for the chuckle.

      • You’re already Internet famous, John Maurice.

  40. Judith Curry writes:
    “Tackling the variability of solar activity and solar indirect effects seems more tractable than the cloud-climate problem and untangling the myriad of scales of ocean oscillations”

    Starting with the biggest scale of ocean oscillation, the AMO and solar appear to be inextricably tangled. There’s no internal reason for the phase change, it has to be of solar origin.

    • If only it were so easy.

      Different conclusion in this study.

      http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2008JCLI2561.1

      “Comparing the results to observations, it is argued that the long-term, observed, North Atlantic basin-averaged SSTs combine a forced global warming trend with a distinct, local multidecadal “oscillation” that is outside of the range of the model-simulated, forced component and most likely arose from internal variability.”

      • “If only it were so easy.”

        Often the simplest things are the hardest to spot, I don’t recall seeing that AMO-SSN chart presented anywhere before.
        Just because the variability is natural does not by any means prove or have to imply that it is ‘internal’.

        Separating it from rising GHG forcing should be obvious. AMO and Arctic warming since 1995 is negative NAO/AO driven, while rising GHG’s increase positive NAO/AO.

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

    • Steven Mosher:
      As I recall, at one time you explained the GCMs are spun up (my words). The video shows two random starting points of two ‘climates’. They then converge onto the two lobes of the butterfly. This explanation makes it not an initial conditions problem with this model. Assuming a climate equilibrium lobe (one), the GCMs would settle there to bring us to say for instance 2016, and then the real part of the run would precede forward in time. Is that correct? So that an attribute of a GCM would be the ability to settle onto a lobe, to get to a starting point. Then we could turn on the CO2. We might expect a lobe drift to the warmer then.

      • watch the lorenz on statistics

      • Further wandering in the wilderness. A Lorenz model and a GCM. The video at about 9:30 shows a cartoon of the ENSO region. ENSO neutral is when the orbits passing through the combined path are more or less equally distributed between the El Nino and the La Nina lobes. An El Nino episode would capture most orbits in its lobe, same with a La Nina. An ENSO area module in a GCM would return what I’ll call values:

        0.7 to 1.0 El Nino
        0.3 to 0.7 Neutral
        0.0 to 0.3 La Nina

        The statistical distribution of the values would approximate what is observed. The GCM module would have to fall into the two states and leave them.

        The GCMs would be adjusted to see if what I suggest can be obtained without sacrificing too much.

    • In the old days we did this with a long strip of paper and some scotch tape, the many curves used today looks trippy with some color, however in the TV show,”Dr. Kildare”, they used the sideways eight . We have come a long way…

    • Steven ==> Great illustrations — they have done a very nice job.

      • If you change the external forcing however…..

        So how would you analogize that? Changing the rate of water flow into the system?

        But what happens if you take one of the buckets, and widen the drain hole by a very small amount?

        My point is that even Lorenz’ mill can demonstrate extreme sensitivity to boundary conditions.

        Such as cutting down a tree in the Andes.

      • AK ==> The study of Dynamical Systems is huge and there are no simple, simplistic answers.

        The journal Dynamical Systems is one of publications for this field, covering such exciting topics as “Periodic Orbits of Oval Billiards on Surfaces of Constant Curvature”.

        In the case of the Lorenz Mill, the external forcing is the flow of input water. If increased enough, I suspect you would have an old fashioned water wheel, going in one direction at some regulated speed — the outlet water in each tub being overwhelmed by input — just like all the old water wheels that leaked. The Lorenz wheel has to be finely tuned to achieve the states shown in the illustration and operated within carefully chosen parameters of input and output.

      • I know that Kip, I was trying to demonstrate, intuitively, why arguments about non-linear and “chaotic” responses can’t be facilely dismissed with arm-waves to “state space”.

      • AK ==> If we were having a private conversation, I wouldn’t “presume ignorance” and [over] explain everything. I tend to use broader explanations because there are other people reading (but not commenting) here who may not be very well informed about topics like Chaos Theory.

        The third part of my WUWT Chaos series is “in press” (waiting to publish) — it does not cover the answer to this issue, but Part 4 will — the “well bounded” aspect of the climate system.

    • Something like the statistical distribution of Lorenz model outcomes converge on the limit without regard to initial conditions.

      • Yes.

        If you change the external forcing however…..

      • Ragnaar ==> With the Lorenz attractor, based on three simple equations, we see one of the features of “strange attractors” as described in Chaos Theory. What appears to be random when we look at the numerical output actually is an ordered output in three dimensions. It has bounds and repeatedly visits nearby positions — but nearby starting positions do not produce the same output — but all outputs stay within the bounds and follow similar orbits. The fact that all orbits eventually visit all realms (arbitrarily chosen areas of the attractor) is a necessary result of an “infinite” number of runs confined to an evenly distributed attractor.

        For the Lorenz attractor, note that it does not fill the entire space, even if run infinite times.

        The concept that the spheres overlaid on the attractor might represent “weather” at some location, then demonstrating that any orbit, starting at any initial conditions, eventually visits each of the spheres identically statistically often is interesting…but a bit of a stretch pragmatically. The attractor is not believed by anyone to represent the weather or the climate anywhere. It is simply a mathematical representation of how the type of dynamical system, a system of a class that must be eventually used to represent climate or weather, can behave.

        The Lorenz attractor is derived by an approximation of an approximation, simplified etc. See here for the the simplified details.

        At some values, all orbits of the Lorenz attractor devolve to single point solutions. See my essay on chaos and stability.

        Only the Lorenz formulas produce the Lorenz attractor. Other dynamcial systems have other attractors — some truly odd.

      • Kip Hansen:

        There are problems finding something in nature that behaves as in the videos. Solar systems can though. But that involves gravity and I don’t know that we are going to see much of that on Earth. In the videos, temperature and humidity orbited in nice clean ellipses and we don’t see that in our weather. So considering what to do with that, let’s make the attractor 1/4 the mass of of what is orbiting it. Let’s pack the space with numerous attractors also with ¼ the mass. Call the Temperature and Humidity values TH. TH is now more like a solar system’s Sun but it has some serious other mass to contend with in this odd solar system. TH now appears to better represent things than the Lorenz equations when we look at processes on Earth. As it captures and ejects or leaves attractors, its movements seems more natural than the tight clean Lorenz orbits.

        Closer to home. Lunar tides. Earth, Moon and Sun attractors. Still with gravity dominating. Can this be chaotic as orbits are almost all the time deterministic? We are dealing with geography and whatever causes short term regional sea level changes to arrive at a high water mark for a day.

        I’ve used the phrase, ‘basin of attraction’ for Greenland and Antarctica. What is in the basins is ice. It obviously does not orbit anything. It is an attribute of a state. This might be the best case as I look for literal examples.

        I appreciate your articles on chaos. I usually get and an idea or two from each one. Like this one. Middle of the ocean. Evaporation, climb to height, condense, rain. Attractor somewhere in the middle. Closer.

      • I do not think they do converge. The statistical properties oscillate endlessly. This is called the strange statistics of chaotic systems.

      • David Wojick:
        I didn’t mean onto a single value. A barbell distribution is more like it. I’d be interested to know if a GCM is a single lobe model?

  41. Burl Henry > Control the SO2 and you control the climate.

    And this is not being done because …….

  42. Pingback: Chaotic attractors, alternate model | Accountable Chaos

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