Uncertainty in climate projections

by Judith Curry

My article Climate Uncertainty and Risk has now been published in the Summer 2018 edition of CLIVAR Variations.

About the U.S. CLIVAR program:

US Climate Variability and Predictability (CLIVAR) is a national research program with a mission to foster understanding and prediction of climate variability and change on intraseasonal-to-centennial timescales, through observations and modeling with emphasis on the role of the ocean and its interaction with other elements of the Earth system, and to serve the climate community and society through the coordination and facilitation of research on outstanding climate questions.  The US CLIVAR Program contributes directly to the broader US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) by coordinating and advancing research within the US to improve the documentation, understanding, modeling and prediction of variations in global and regional climate.  US CLIVAR also provides US research and organizational contributions to the International CLIVAR Program of the World Climate Research Program under United Nations auspices.

A link to the CLIVAR Variations edition on Uncertainty in climate projections  can be found [here].

The guest editor of this issue, Mona Behl, writes the following preamble:

Here are the titles of the articles included in this edition:

An early draft of my paper on Climate uncertainty and risk was discussed on this previous post [link].


On Thursday September 6 from 12:00-1:30 EDT, there will be a public webinar featuring authors from this edition (including moi). [link]


251 responses to “Uncertainty in climate projections

  1. Judy: I am not sure what to make of the preamble. I am still puzzling over the meaning of the last paragraph.

  2. Seems to me that if the uncertainty is massive, then the inherent value of the science is pretty much zero. In other words, it’s useless and a waste of time; might as well use a dart board.

    • “if the uncertainty is massive, then the inherent value of the science is pretty much zero.”

      The uncertainty varies a lot, as Feynman quote says. In some parts of science the uncertainty is quite low, leading to the argument that if not truthful it would need to be miraculous.

      A good example is launching a satellite that visits some moons of Jupiter and then continues to another moon in Saturn. If the science required wasn’t essentially true, it would require a miracle to explain how it is achieved.

      Many other parts of science are equally miraculous, but clearly not all parts of science are so certain. For example the end of the dinosaurs. We don’t know why they disappeared. We have several hypotheses, but none without contradictory evidence. Our level of certainty is very low for that. Any or all of the explanations we have could be wrong.

  3. So is there anything unusual or unprecedented about the slight warming since 1850?
    We know that the LIA was probably the coldest period over the last 10,000 years and HAD 4 shows about 0.55 c per century warming since 1850. Is this dangerous or unusual AT ALL?
    That 1 part in 10,000 ( 100ppm) increase in atmospheric co2 certainly has a lot to answer for, SARC.

    • Mike Maxwell

      Did you flunk math, or chemistry? That is not how you calculate increases (or decreases) of a solute. The change is wrt the substance’s previous concentration (in this case, the previous concentration of CO2), not wrt its solvent (in this case, air). So a 100ppm increase is on the order of a 30% increase.

  4. sheldonjwalker


    I would like to warn people to stay away from my latest 2 posts. You are NOT allowed to read them. They are:

    1) Closed Mind


    2) AndThenTheresPhizzics


  5. Victor Adams

    Ms. Judy,
    Could you please restate your arguments (logical in my opinion but contrary to Taleb’s) against applying the Precationary Principle (PP) to “solving” the AGW “crisis”? Uncertainty in the context of PP may be a god title for a future posting? Clumsy “solutions” abound just look at Germany now burning wood and lignite and CA assigning in many cases negative value to solar generated electricity: intermittent and at wrong time of the 24 hour cycle.

    • David L. Hagen (HagenDL)

      Conventional alarms are over alleged “majority anthropogenic catastrophic global warming” (aka by equivocation as “climate change”) with consequent demands for “mitigation”.
      What is generally missing from the discussion is the greater danger of NOT being able to stop “global cooling” as evidenced by the long term cooling since the Holocene Optimum to the Little Ice Age. If unchecked, the consequence is likely descent into the next glaciation – with far greater harm than the projected consequences of global warming.
      We need to address ALL the possible risks – both of cooling and warming. Correspondingly we need to address the options of adaptation as well as mitigation.

      • We need to address ALL the possible risks – both of cooling and warming. Also all the possible benefits.
        we need to address the options of adaptation as well as mitigation. Opposites of mitigation
        aggravate agitate extend increase intensify irritate provoke raise
        strengthen trouble upset worry worsen incite rouse aggrandize exacerbate.
        I like intensification, it sounds positive and beneficial.

    • The Precautionary Principle doesn’t “solve” problems, it acts in concert with certainty to help guide us to a response- which may not “solve” a problem. For example, based on the PP, we monitor the Yellowstone super volcano, but we don’t “solve” it by removing the volcano or evacuating Wyoming, Montana and Utah.
      We maintain a strong military because the threat of war is real and the PP suggests we do so. We do not “solve” the threat of war by conquering the Earth. Nor do we get rid of the military altogether and just hope for the best although some countries have done so.

      Germany isn’t just burning wood and lignite, it’s shutting down power plants that operate without CO2 emissions. Germany denies AGW, but claims it doesn’t and that’s all you need to do in the new politics.
      Australia is even funnier. They’re racking up the virtue-signaling points on AGW by denying their citizens access to coal-fired electricity while exporting the coal instead at record rates to the developing nations our science-based climate activists have happily exempted from emissions reductions. They get to burn all their coal and increase regulations and costs on their own citizens- Al Gore must be jealous.

  6. “Scientific knowledge is a body of statements…..but none is absolutely certain.”
    Given that many of the committed believe that the exam has been aced, they might want to consider channeling Feynman. For inquiring minds this statement is self evident. But for some in the flock, it’s a bridge too far. Or maybe it’s just too complicated.

    • In what category would you put the conservation of energy?

      • JimD

        Why don’t you channel him and find out.

      • That would be one of the certain ones for any physicist you would want to ask.

      • Energy conservation comes from the physical symmetry of time invariant laws of nature. This is an open question at the scale of the universe. The fact that the expansion of the universe is accelerating requires energy to be added into space itself in form of what has been named “dark energy” which if just a fancy way of saying energy added just to balance the energy budget where there seems to be none.

        From this even the conservation of energy has more uncertainty than you pretend, at least in cosmology. Although I agree that in most systems and timescales energy is conserved.

      • In classical physics which still governs weather and climate, conservation of energy is not just a theory but the First Law of Thermodynamics, making it a foundation. If you are throwing out the laws of thermodynamics, you end up with not much of any use in describing the atmosphere.

      • David Wojick

        Given that energy can be created from mass and converted to mass, energy conservation per se is false. A good example of nothing being certain in science.

      • We don’t need to worry about relativity in the weather and climate, and mass/energy is conserved there too, so this law is also central to high-energy physics.

      • Jim, Jim, Jim. Until this moment I didn’t realize how many screwy ideas you have. Other than being a recipient of a Nobel prize in Physics, Feynman has a list of accomplishments longer than failed Al Gore predictions. Until you have reached his perch of standing in the scientific community, it might be wise to engage in a little introspection of how little you have done. Or do we have a phantom award winner in our midst.

      • You are still not answering where on the certainty scale you would put energy conservation. Do you think it is true that energy in minus energy out equals the change in heat content? Because this is the relevant expression of energy conservation for the earth as a whole.

      • The category of the biggest thing wins.

      • Certain then?

      • So we have energy conservation. So we can write down the equations.
        Not much help beyond that.

      • It is used in energy balance models of the earth.

      • David L. Hagen (HagenDL)

        Jim D
        Granted conservation of energy AND mass (E=MC2). Roy Spencer found global climate models that did not conserve matter etc.
        That’s just the beginning. Now apply Feynman’s high standard of scientific integrity to quantify catastrophic majority anthropogenic global warming, addressing both Type A and Type B errors!

      • Energy conservation implies that we should care how much energy the extra CO2 adds to the heat content, and that it is sufficient to account for all the warming by itself just by using observed numbers.

      • David L. Hagen (HagenDL)

        Non sequitor. Energy and mass conservation are foundations. CO2 is a contributor. H2O is far larger. The greatest uncertainties are CLOUDS and Oceans. Until we can quantify and accurately clouds and oceans, CO2 is just “interesting”. Far more important is providing abundant fuel for our grand children and the next millenia.

      • CO2 is more than a contributor because numerically it accounts for all the warming seen just by looking at the energy budget. It has provided three times as much energy as has been seen in the gain in the ocean heat content, for example.

      • David L. Hagen (HagenDL)

        Jim D Necessary but not sufficient. A few percent change in cloud cover can cause greater warming / cooling, and we do not have sufficiently accurate data to quantify or differentiate such factors for the last 150 years. In summary, your argument is NOT PROVEN.

      • What they see is that cloud cover changes have reinforced the warming as would have been expected from a positive cloud feedback and seeming to rule out a negative cloud feedback, so this puts the sensitivity on the high side.

      • David L. Hagen (HagenDL)

        Jim D Good effort. However the magnitude of cloud change could account for ALL the warming. OR The Clean Air Act reduced aerosols. Either or both could negate the CO2 feedback meme. Need to evaluate how little we know in light of both Type A and Type B uncertainties. See BIPM GUM

      • Then you have to ask where all the CO2 forcing went. It is ten times the size of solar 11-year cycles and those are seen in the temperature record. Its added energy accounts for how much the oceans have warmed. The energy budget says it is CO2 and other GHGs because they explain the warming completely. No need for other sources. Skeptics have switched from changing clouds causing cooling to causing warming, so that’s progress I guess, but that is the expected way they would go as a positive feedback to forced warming.

      • David L. Hagen (HagenDL)

        Jim D. Examine how the Clean Air Act caused Anthropogenic Global Warming “In what must rank as the mother of all unintended consequences, and in a finding certain to have effects on international policy, NASA scientists have found that a decrease in airborne sulfates–dirty smokestack particles caused by burning coal and regulated by the Clean Air Act since the 1970s to prevent acid rain and air pollution–may account for as much as 45% of Arctic warming.” https://www.fastcompany.com/90183180/what-clean-air-act-caused-half-of-global-warming-says-nasa

      • I think most people want less acid rain and sulfate pollutants in general. The next targets are CO2 and methane. It’s all of the above not a choice of one or the other.

      • JimD: If you are throwing out the laws of thermodynamics,

        Is someone doing that? The answers to your question about category work out to: locally, it is extremely accurate and reliable, if you permit the change of meaning that comes from the convertability of mass to kinetic energy (which was a surprise when it was derived); but at far removes from Earth, there is reason for doubt.

        The label “classical” is essentially synonymous with “old”, and has little to do with truth or accuracy.

      • MM, thermodynamics is classical because it works and there is no replacement. I only see skeptics hedging on energy conservation, and I think it is because they see a slippery slope when they admit it is certain. All it then needs is for an energy budget that shows how much extra energy CO2 has provided and how much the global heat content has changed in comparison, and the energy budget sinks their attribution argument. That’s why people bring up squirrels like relativity and models instead of answering whether energy conservation is certain. It’s the First Law of Thermodynamics. It’s a given. In mathematics it would be like an axiom. You can’t derive anything without some givens. It’s an eyeopener how much the skeptics have to work backwards from conclusions they don’t like and end up feeling they have to undo basic tenets of physics.

      • Jim D: It’s an eyeopener how much the skeptics have to work backwards from conclusions they don’t like and end up feeling they have to undo basic tenets of physics.

        So who threw out the first law of thermodynamics?

        It’s a given.

        It’s a conjecture that, after some refinements such as entropy and mass equivalence, has proved accurate and useful. What makes you think “It’s a given”?

      • MM, you can read the responses. No one agreed with me that energy conservation was certain. It was just squirrels.
        It’s not a conjecture, but a Law. This makes it a given. It is one of the foundations of thermodynamics that things don’t just lose or gain energy for no reason.

      • JimD
        If conservation of energy is a given why does Gavin Smith deny it?
        “The probability density function for the fraction of warming attributable to human activity (derived from Fig. 10.5 in IPCC AR5). The bulk of the probability is far to the right of the “50%” line, and the peak is around 110%.”

      • This is you misunderstanding something.

      • JimD: No one agreed with me that energy conservation was certain.

        Who threw it out?

      • I think you are by claiming it is not certain or even a given. If you say 1+1 is not certainly 2, you are throwing out all of arithmetic.

      • JimD: If you say 1+1 is not certainly 2, you are throwing out all of arithmetic.

        Not so.

        1 + 1 = 10!

        There are variations on this and other simplicities that have been published.

        More importantly, physical laws are not like axioms. Consider for example Zermelo’s Axiom of Choice, which may be assumed or not assumed depending on what you want to derive or prove.

      • You need to see what I was responding to. The statement was a conditional logical statement starting with If. Was that person not accepting the First Law? We’ll never know because there was no response. IF you don’t accept its First Law, you are throwing out thermodynamics.

      • Jim D:
        “In what category would you put the conservation of energy?”

        In what category would you put the water vapor feedback?

        As I understand, as you slow the movement of energy down by use of insulation, you get bonus insulation, in the case of the climate, with water vapor feedback.

        I was driving my car once and I asked it to slow down. It then slowed down more than I asked it to slow down, because of the bonus slowing down. While wind resistance changes by Velocity squared, in this case conversation of energy is backwards conservation of energy. Because of backwards conservation of energy of the anti-universe, the faster I go, the faster faster faster I go.

      • If it is warmer and the surface is dominated by water, a positive water vapor feedback follows from basic thermodynamics as long as the relative humidity stays near enough the same, as it does. This is an amplifier, not a runaway effect.

      • David L. Hagen (HagenDL)

        Jim D
        Energy & Mass conservation are GIVEN & Foundational.
        Now address the real issues of WATER, CLOUDS and OCEANS & Type A and Type B Uncertainties. By physics, CO2 is a real but minor player!

      • Do the high-school calculation I posted here somewhere. It shows that even the 1 W/m2 averaged over a century that CO2 provides easily accounts for all the ocean warming seen over this period. It’s the main driver in the energy budget along with other GHGs and aerosols, all anthropogenic components. Natural drivers, the sun and volcanoes, barely register in a century average.

    • conservation of energy is in a sealed system. Earth has solar energy in and reflected light and IR energy out. Earth is not a sealed system. Why do you care what category “conservation of energy” is in?

      • No, it doesn’t have to be sealed if you know energy in, energy out and the heat content change rate. That balance is conservation of energy, also it is the principle of energy balance models.

      • That would be nice if you knew enough to figure all that out.

      • If you were really interested in energy budgets, you would know about those studies already.

      • “if you know energy in”

        That’s a good one.

        With zero direct measurements of net shortwave energy before satellites and identified uncertainty with net shortwave energy even today, how certain is one of exactly what energy is being conserved?

      • Time for my summer’s expression of ignorance. Can someone please explain to my the basis from which we consider our universe a closed system? Thanks in advance…

      • TE, the earth’s heat content has risen by ~1 GJ/m2 in the last century or so, mostly since 1950. This is provided by a forcing change, and the largest single component of that is CO2 that integrates to 3 GJ/m2 over the same period, also mostly since 1950. Now your question will be why is the energy provided by CO2 larger than the heat content change, and I will leave that for you to figure out.

      • “This is provided by a forcing change, and the largest single component of that is CO2 that integrates to 3 GJ/m2 over the same period, also mostly since 1950.”

        You don’t know that, because you don’t know what albedo has been meaning you don’t know how much incoming energy has occurred, so this is not a matter of certainty.

      • I am only talking about the CO2 part of the forcing which has nothing to do with albedo.

      • I am only talking about the CO2 part of the forcing which has nothing to do with albedo.

        You were talking about conservation of energy.

        Because you don’t know input, you don’t know how much energy there is to be conserved in the first place.

      • Let’s phrase it as a high-school physics question.
        Q: If you apply 1 W/m2 for 100 years how much does that warm a 1 km depth of water on average? [specific heat capacity of water = 4200 J/kg/K, density of water = 1000 kg/m3].

      • If you were really interested in energy budgets, you would know about those studies already.

        I do know, the studies are worse than useless, they don’t know enough to prove what they say they know.

    • Right after the laugh he would say “right on brother “

    • No he would not. You’re a spoon bender. He did not buy into it.

    • Remarkable. Either you didn’t read the Feynman quote, or you think the quote is made up or that he post-mortem, retroactively disclaimed his own words.

      I can’t wait until the Arctic Sea Ice Extent recovers and the warmists start charging that the data is doctored, all part of a vast Russian wing conspiracy.

    • When the Arctic is open is a time when there is more evaporation and the oceans are cooling more. When the Arctic is frozen is a time when there is less evaporation and the oceans are warming more.

      When the Arctic is open is a time when there is more evaporation and it is snowing more and rebuilding ice on land more. When the Arctic is frozen is a time when there is less evaporation and it is snowing less and ice on land is depleting more.

      We are in a warm period, this is when the ice on land is replenished, when there is enough more ice, cooling will return.

    • Pretty much all of computational physics is about conservation laws, and writing down the conservation equations and solving them numerically.
      But that doesn’ say anything, and certainly doesn’t mean those equations can be solved to any satisfying degree of accuracy.
      So what is conservation allows the full equations of climate to be written out. It doesn’t solve them, and it doesn’t say where the energy goes, be it heat, momentum, radiation, whatever….
      The entire problem is still unsolvable.

  7. 
    Global Warming and Natural Variation Denialism

    Scientific anosognosia is a lack of awareness that failure to reject the null hypothesis does much more than simply establish doubt: it means the hypothesis must be denied, and… since the null hypothesis of AGW theory — that that all global warming can be explained by natural variation — has never been rejected, any scientist should be skeptical of AGW theory.

    • Wagathon: Scientific anosognosia is a lack of awareness that failure to reject the null hypothesis does much more than simply establish doubt: it means the hypothesis must be denied, and

      That may be a definition of a word, but it is not the final authority on null hypothesis testing. If analysis of the data shows that the statistical power of the experiment and analysis of data was poor, then “failure to reject”, as you call it, is ambiguous. It could mean, paraphrasing Rutherford, that you need to do a better experiment next time. Only a result really close to the prediction of the null hyopthesis, as in the MIchelson-Morley experiment, should increase confidence in the accuracy of the null hypothesis.

      When there are many comparable studies on the same hypothesis, such as the hypothesis that small daily doses of aspirin are prophylactic against heart attack, a meta-analysis may clearly reject the null hypothesis of no effect. While studies are ongoing, a single or a few failures to reject don’t support any conclusion.

  8. Geoff Sherrington

    One of the poor consequences of scientific uncertainty is the growth of social policies and actions that exploit the uncertainty.
    In some ways, the more the uncertainty, the more outlandish the policy pushes, led by exploiters who pretend to know science, but are destructively ignorant.
    We need to return to the formalism of hypothesis testing and containment of failed hypotheses. The whole global warming edifice is built on failed bases, yet policies are promoted by folk who feel sly and clever that they have slid past the customary scientific prudence hurdles, with devices like pal review and dishonest number manipulations and invalid estimates of bias.
    This is not clever, for these synthetic schemes do not last. They do not have the intellectual strength to last.. It is so sad that our learned societies have joined this crass exploitation of uncertainty. Geoff

  9. David Wojick

    Your essay is excellent Dr. Curry, but I have strong doubts about US Clivar. They tend to be very alarmist. See my http://www.cfact.org/2018/04/23/the-one-word-hoax-will-versus-might/. It looks like the other essays fall into this category.

    The webinar link seems not to to be there.

  10. “Without precise probability distributions, no expected utility calculation is possible. This problem has been addressed by creating a precise probability distribution based upon the parameters provided by the IPCC assessment reports (NAS 2017). In effect, IAMs convert Knightian uncertainty in ECS into precise probabilities. Of particular concern is how the upper end of the ECS distribution is treated—typically with a fat tail. The end result is that this most important part of the distribution that drives the economic costs of carbon is based upon a statistically manufactured fat tail that has no scientific justification.”

    Summer 2018 • Vol. 16, No. 3 US Clivar

    To calculate the expected costs, we can use the expected return method. A lot of accounting can be flipped, or works both ways.

    Stock A: $500,000 invested and an expected return of 15%
    Stock B: $200,000 invested and an expected return of 6%
    Stock C: $300,000 invested and an expected return of 9%
    With a total portfolio value of $1,000,000, the weights of Stock A, B and C are 50%, 20% and 30%, respectively. Thus, the expected return of the total portfolio is:
    Expected return of portfolio = (50% x 15%) + (20% x 6%) + (30% x 9%) = 7.5% + 1.2% + 2.7% = 11.4%

    If I was doing an expected return for someone, I’d be conservative and throw out huge, Apple like returns. Home run returns that come along in one out of a thousand stocks. Because if you have a lifetime return on a stock of 10,000% that can distort things optimistically and in my opinion, blow up the calculation to point the of a severe misallocation of money. Next step, I am getting sued. The Apple like returns are like the upper end of the ECS distribution, adjusted for the fact I am talking expected returns as the mirror of expected costs.

    All it takes to do accounting is a high school education. You are as competent as I am to decide what we do with the upper end of the ECS distribution. What we do with it, will have huge consequences if we use expected cost calculations for policy. So we can just throw out the maximum warming scenarios but that means we’re throwing out part of the risk. That risk we are throwing out has attributes that are the least understood and in many cases will have a huge impact on our calculation. Things can breakdown at extremes or at mathematical limits. Infinity is a strange place to go.

    My 2 cents. A person that could illustrate this above point you made with a picture or two. Quick so it is understood with 15 seconds of looking at it.

    • Investopedia says:
      Limitations of the Expected Return
      It is quite dangerous to make investment decisions based on expected returns alone. Before making any buying decisions, investors should always review the risk characteristics of investment opportunities to determine if the investments align with their portfolio goals. For example, assume two hypothetical investments exist. Their annual performance results for the last five years are:
      Investment A: 12%, 2%, 25%, -9%, 10%
      Investment B: 7%, 6%, 9%, 12%, 6%
      Both of these investments have expected returns of exactly 8%. However, when analyzing the risk of each, as defined by the standard deviation, Investment A is approximately five times more risky than Investment B (Investment A has a standard deviation of 12.6% and Investment B has a standard deviation of 2.6%).
      Which says what I want to say. Investment A above shows the wildly varying situation compared to B. In my opinion it is similar to the chaos shudder that can lead to a collapse. If this definition applies to the subject, there is risk just from working with more variable scenarios as compared to boring ones. There is the utility risk you are after and the risk you’re wrong with your advice in that the whole exercise led to the you giving the wrong answer and there was a huge collapse that may have been avoided or you spent all this money for no reason.

      A questions is, assume we are seeing chaos on the dangerous tail of the distribution. What do we do with that? Near the limit is chaos. Where you can win or lose in a near binary fashion. It can flip your decision from no to yes. The system is then no longer defined as a near linear one, but a chaotic one. Attack the problem with linear methods?

      • Geoff Sherrington

        You can’t use analogies of investment returns for climate variables like ECS.
        The financial return on investment each year can be modified by you and other investors viewing the past data and changing their methods.
        Climate variables like past temperatures cannot be altered so that the coming year is shaped by the years that have passed.
        You need a better analogy.
        (Note: We used to think that the temperature of the coming year could not be affected by past years results, but some like Lord Monckton of Brenchley provide contrary evidence.)
        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/08/21/temperature-tampering-temper-tantrums/ Geoff

    • Still working on this problem, let’s try something else. Let’s see what people do to derive what the risk is. This is similar to asking the S & P 500 index what in the heck is going on with the economy? I’d like throw out all subsidies influencing behavior. I’d also like to throw out mandates and all the politics. Lacking all these things, what do people do with renewables or for sea level rise?

      Suppose you think I am a crazy libertarian and dismiss all this. People do spend money and that probably does outweigh government directed solutions. Is my idea bottom up or top down?

      • Geoff Sherrington

        You have another problem with financial analogies.
        The pool of money is limited in the sense that it can become a zero sum game, where for each investor who does well, another does badly and this knowledge alone can affect the level of return, hence your statistics.
        Put crudely, the investment process often has subjective feedback effects as it continues over time.
        There should not be any equivalent processes in the scientific weather records. To the extent that ECS values have tended to reduce and converge over the years, perhaps there is a feedback process that ideally should not be there, especially if it is subjective. Geoff.

      • Continuing on my above where I want to use people’s behavior to derive the costs of climate change based on what people are doing, enter the top down subsidies and mandates.

        The cost of living on a flood plain or in hurricane ally is not truly reflected. Because the government will give you money if you get hit or subsidize your insurance. This kind of thing makes it harder to see what people are doing to prepare for climate extremes. Which is simply to say the more money the government throws at something, the more difficult it is to derive the true cost from people’s behavior.

        People fly. Let’s determine from that if they care about global warming? Not enough to stop flying. Greyhound tickets are pretty cheap.

        I think there’s something to this top down deal. Science based climate policy is exactly that. The scientists don’t sit at the top of the hierarchy, but they expect the top to listen to them. And then when they don’t, the Republicans are called science deniers. Which means Republicans don’t like the scientists. They haven’t found their place in the hierarchy to the extent they are frustrated. Who elevated them? Was it me? We’ll have our own hierarchy that doesn’t include the Republicans. That didn’t work. They haven’t found their place in the hierarchy. They’ve failed. They rounded up the scientific organizations to endorse them. They’ve made climate conferences. They’ve written huge reports. They’ve got most school teachers telling their stories. And it hasn’t worked. They own Colleges and Universities. Most of peer review. I’d have to say they don’t understand our social system. How much more can they possibly be given, without providing viable solutions or even narrowing the ECS? At some point, they need to look at themselves.

      • The coal companies get what they pay for with the Republicans. It’s not even veiled. More pollution for the rest of us means more profits for coal barons. Other countries and the Dems do follow the science, which is how we got Paris and the Clean Power Plan, fuel efficiency standards. So, yes, science works for the common good elsewhere, but these Republicans aren’t guided by that. Not their priority.

      • JimD
        Time to give that old nonsense about the GOP being owned by coal companies a rest.
        Republicans backed fracking, which is eliminating coal from the energy mix. They also backed nuclear, which could do the same. Republicans back things that work.
        What they don’t do is shut down coal plants for giggles. They let the market shut them down when it makes sense. What they also do, that the warm don’t, is read. Coal is required ingredient in the making of steel and US coal is in demand for that globally.
        Good thing renewables don’t need steel. Windmills are mounted on towers built of unicorn horns and solar panels hang from rainbows by hemp ropes.

      • Good for coal companies. I think it was Minnesota Public Radio that had a guy that said, what was done recently really wasn’t much. Coal use had already complied to the Obama era rules. Makes sense. They have a long time frame. He, and he was not an ally of Trump, portrayed it more like treading water.

        “A plan to be announced in coming days would give states broad authority to determine how to restrict carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.”
        “The plan by the Environmental Protection Agency also would let states relax pollution rules for power plants that need upgrades, according to a summary of the plan and several people familiar with the full proposal who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the plan publicly.”

        So New York could continue to hate coal if it wants. And the Rednecks could continue to have cheap reliable power. When I read the headlines, yes it seems worse.

        I get to think about the electric power, hierarchy. Coal does vie for the top spot, but natural gas has it now. Stuffed into the hierarchy are wind and solar. But people like PE suggest that makes the hierarchy move vulnerable. As in Germany. Even California said Whoa a bit I saw. It’s like a supply chain using handcarts for transportation. In Germany, they fiated their hierarchy, and I see problems despite the legions of cheerleaders and their half vacant proclamations and huge amounts of spending. Competence should be rewarded. That’s key to the electric power hierarchy. And people argue the hierarchy isn’t fair. That’s original. A virtue signaling hierarchy. Odds on that working? People protest pipe lines, power lines, dams, even coal trains running through their towns, trucks hauling fracking sand through their towns. They don’t like the hierarchy. And they have nothing competent to replace it.

      • The move with coal, and other EPA regulations, is to remove pollution rules to increase profitability. That is morally corrupt.

      • “The move with coal, and other EPA regulations, is to remove pollution rules to increase profitability. That is morally corrupt.”

        Cheap reliable coal fired electricity has many benefits. The money saved can be put to other uses. Pollution is almost always a trade off. We don’t recycle as much as we should. But we do other things. Just look at the S & P 500 index since about 2009. Thanks President Obama. We truck stuff all across the nation using diesel fuel. We farm and have so much cheap food we are obese, using diesel fuel. We fly across this nation like it’s going out of style, emitting lots of CO2. People who don’t use fossil fuels much have shorter lifespans and are poorer on average. Infant mortality is worse, and the list is long. Corruption and outright cruelty can be argued to be, not allowing use of fossil fuels. And I still like huge energy corporations. They are doing a good job. They ought to be given humanitarian awards. Nobel Prizes for saving humanity from misery.

      • If they wanted energy to be cheap for the people, they would be replacing coal with natural gas. That is not the motive. It’s because of the coal lobby who want more business and more profit from what business they have.

    • “….statistically manufactured fat tail that has no scientific justification.”

      The most interesting observation of that section.

      • Yes. I’d like elaboration. How to conclude that there’s a 2% chance of everything going to Hades. Scientifically. I mean, 100 CMIP runs and the wheels fall off 2 times? Is it the model misfiring or is this science? With the first models, the wheels always fell off.

        “Then, for no reason whatsoever, it shifts into a different sort of behavior, still fluctuating but producing a different average. The people who design computer models are aware of Lorenz’s discovery, but they try at all costs to avoid almost-intransitivity. It is too unpredictable.” – Gleick, White Earth Climate

    • Temperature increases do not mean a worsening of the climate. In most locations changes in rainfall are far more important.

      Current modelling/science can’t reliably predict what locations will experience a better vs. worse climate 5 years into the future; much less decades farther. It seems the far most sensible use of limited resources is investment on good infrastructure.

  11. georg2005 replies to your tweet about this. Pretty good sarcasm.

  12. I have become an accidental futurist. My new project is writing sci-fi Hollywood blockbusters. I have a script well advanced – Galactic General – a hospital in the Perseus Arm of the Milky Way. The hospital in space idea is James White’s from the 1960’s. In my version they have bubble drive – based a solution of general relativity and under development at NASA in the 21st Century – that allows space ambulances to cross the galaxy in minutes in a super technologically advanced 25th century. Yes – I was thinking of Buck Rogers.

    I read recently that Einstein’s IQ was 160. It got me thinking. Mine is 155 – some 1 in a 100. That means that there are 10’s of millions at least of very clever people out there. The accelerating pace of the technological future depends on the freedom of native homo sapiens intelligence and diminishing hunger and want. Robust democracies, mainstream market management and environmental conservation and restoration are keys that build for themselves prosperous and resilient communities in vibrant landscapes.

    Climate goes its own way shifting to new patterns and then shifting again – not the nature of oscillations but of evolving fluid dynamics. Yes – I am a skeptic of the 97% at the paradigm level. That’s not how it works. Models go every way with uncertainties accumulating over the simulation period until uncertainty saturates out at a level determined by initial value precision and grid size. Models may project but they project onto a probabilistic multi-member model solution space – and not a single deterministic trajectory.

    “Schematic of ensemble prediction system on seasonal to decadal time scales based on figure 1, showing (a) the impact of model biases and (b) a changing climate. The uncertainty in the model forecasts arises from both initial condition uncertainty and model uncertainty.”

    The Earth system evolves with the energy input. The first law of thermo says that energy cannot be created or destroyed – just transformed. It is the ultimate in conservative parameter. Mass famously is energy – E = MC2. The energy dynamic evolves with interacting orbital factors – and our relatively stable star.


    The planet responds with large intrinsic components of intrinsic variability in top of atmosphere radiant flux (Loeb et al 2012). There is one energy to rule them all – the energy content of the planet that changes slowly in response to energy imbalances at TOA. This signal evolves with sometimes large and extreme changes in ice, cloud, biology, dust… over timeframes set by internal dynamics.

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


    Where it goes next I have not the slightest clue. We are poised in a warm epoch with an active Sun and a warm and relatively stable climate. There have been fewer of those pesky polar excursions, warmer sea surfaces in the Pacific burning off cloud to let more light in, etc. The suggestion is that a less active Sun leads to more pesky excursions. I suggest that reversion to the mean may be good odds – at least for the intrinsic component. Shorter term a climate shift – seen best in the Pacific – is odds on for now to 2028. This isn’t a switch – it doesn’t go instantly from one to another state – there are powerful fluctuations at climate shifts that are known as dragon-kings.

    I have another idea for a blockbuster – set in the same universe as Galactic General. They go ‘Downtime’ – using warp bubble – from the 25th to the 22nd century to avert an incipient glacial event. 22nd century Earth is warm, peaceful and living in an abundance for people and of nature. They are threatened by eco-fascists rolling over old, decaying Europe and their Silicon Valley buddies. Let the battle for the future begin.

  13. sheldonjwalker

    If somebody said to you, that they had a type of graph, which showed clearly how much global warming had occurred in the past, and how much global warming was occurring now, would you dismiss it as rubbish, without even looking at it?

    Global warming is a very emotional subject. Many people “know” that it is a serious problem, and they will not even look at evidence which they think might suggest otherwise. I don’t think that this is a very “scientific” attitude.

    Global warming contour maps clearly show that global warming is happening. But how fast is global warming happening, and is it getting worse?

    Perhaps I should have called my global warming contour map, a “rate of change” graph. A “rate of change” graph can be made from the data of any time series. If temperature is used, then the graph shows how fast the temperature is changing, for every possible date range.

    A global warming contour map is made from a temperature series, like GISTEMP or UAH or weather balloon data. I don’t create the temperature series myself, scientists do. I perform a mathematical procedure on the temperature series, which is based on linear regressions (lots of linear regressions, normally between 150,000 and 350,000 linear regressions). The results are colour coded, and plotted on a graph.

    I am a computer programmer. The procedure has to be automated, because it would take several lifetimes to do it manually.

    If you are willing to “risk” learning something new, then you should check out my introduction to contour maps. The introduction uses Robot-Train train trips, and makes contour maps based on Robot-Train’s speeds (the “rate of change” of distance).


    Robot-Train contour maps are easier to understand, than global warming contour maps. But they are based on exactly the same mathematical principles. Speed is the “rate of change” of distance, and the warming rate is the “rate of change” of temperature.

    One of the first steps in investigating any scientific issue, is to accurately measure what is happening. The data then needs to be organised accurately and logically, so that it can be understood. This is especially important when there is a large volume of data. A global warming contour map does these tasks efficiently, and effectively. The human eye is designed to detect colour and shape. A global warming contour map turns warming rate changes, into colours and shapes.

    A global warming contour map is not biased towards alarmism, or denial. It is as unbiased as a line graph (actually, you can bias a line graph much more easily than a contour map).

    There are many more advanced global warming contour maps on my website.


    I am happy to answer any questions that you have.


    Sheldon Walker

    • Do you assume you know how it changes?

    • sheldonjwalker | August 21, 2018 at 9:12 pm | Reply
      “Global warming contour maps clearly show that global warming is happening.”
      Blue skies show the sky is blue?
      I guess, Global cooling contour maps would clearly show that global cooling is happening. What else could it possibly show?
      Perhaps Global temperature maps would be a more politically correct and unbiased name

      • sheldonjwalker


        I understand what you are saying, but global warming contour maps don’t always show that global warming is happening.
        The “global warming” part is the theme, not the conclusion.
        The proof – global warming contour maps show that there was a recent 14 year slowdown/pause, which went from July 2000 to July 2014.
        Maybe I should call them Slowdown/Pause contour maps.

      • Sorry, being a pain on my part. Not unusual.

    • You could always speak to Tony Heller and do some contour maps for his set of figures. Global cooling contour maps would clearly show that global cooling is happening. Who knows ?
      But circular statements of causation are not helpful

    • Beta Blocker

      As a general trend, the earth has been in a warming phase for more than one-hundred fifty years. My guess is that the earth will continue to warm for another one-hundred fifty years, or longer, with some number of shorter term pauses occurring along the way.

      When in doubt, predict the existing trend will continue.

      It’s also my opinion that no one can rationally claim the earth is in a general long-term cooling trend until the list of conditions which follows has been met: The 30-year running average for GMT turns negative; the downward trend is statistically significant; and the downward trend stays negative and statistically significant for a period of another thirty to fifty years.

      This graph is taken from Javier’s February 2018 Climate Etc. article entitled ‘Nature Unbound VIII – Modern global warming’, dated February 26th, 2018:


      As you can see from Javier’s graph, the point at which: a) the 30-year running average temperature turns negative; b) is statistically significant; and c) stays negative and statistically significant for a period of another thirty to fifty years begins very roughly in the year 2200.

      How many millions of words, if not billions of words, of acrimonious debate concerning the true dangers of climate change will be written and spoken by ourselves and by our descendants between August, 2018, and August, 2230?

    • How many millions of words, if not billions of words, of acrimonious debate concerning the true dangers of climate change will be written and spoken by ourselves and by our descendants between August, 2018, and August, 2230?

      The presumption that global warming is dangerous is just nonsense. It’s belief – pre the Enlightenment type belief. Global cooling is dangerous, but global warming is not. As Javier has pointed out we are in an ice age and have been for millions of years. We cannot get out of it any time soon. And when we do, it will take tens of millions of years to warm to the optimum temperature for life on planet Earth. The last time the planet was this cold was 300 Ma ago. That ice age lasted 70 Ma. It then took 20 Ma to reach the optimum temperature for life and another 20 Ma to reach the Triassic peak temperature. There is far too much cold water in the deep oceans to warm rapidly.

      Alarmists need to get some perspective.

      • How many millions/billions words of acrimonious debate? Almost makes you celebrate your own mortality.

    • The average warming rate for GISTEMP, over the date range from 1970 to 2018, was +1.8 degrees Celsius per century. I am going to call any date range with a warming rate of +1.0 or less (degrees Celsius per century), a slowdown.

      +1.0 degrees Celsius per century, is about 55 percent of +1.8 degrees Celsius per century. … – Sheldon Walker

      Can you cite a statistician who agrees with your definition of a slowdown?

      At 2000.5, using RSS, the 30-year trend was ~.17 ℃ per decade. If there was a slowdown from 2000.5 to 2014.5, would one expect the 30-year trend to go down?

      • sheldonjwalker


        I clearly stated my assumptions, so that anybody could dispute my claim.

        Do you think that slowing down to 55 km/h, from 100 km/h, is a slowdown? Or do you think that the speed has remained constant?

        I chose the value of +1.0 or less, for a slowdown, because it was a nice round number. After I did this, I noticed that Judith Curry had used the same number. Great minds think alike :)

        Get your gang of statisticians together. I will enjoy kicking their butts.

        Do you realise that RSS and GISTEMP are measuring different things? Why should they have to be the same?

        Why does NOAA’s new ClimDiv temperature series (USA-48) also show a slowdown/pause? Have a look here:

        I look at global warming contour maps from every temperature series, that I can find. I compare them all, and find the bits that agree, and the bits that disagree. That means that I can try to make intelligent guesses, about what is happening.

        How do you make YOUR guesses?

      • It depends. If a race car driver slows enough to take a 45 mph curve at 55 mph, the racer has sped up.

      • No answer on the 30-year trends. If there was a significant slowdown in warming from 2002.5 to 2014.5, wouldn’t you expect the 30-year trend to 2002.5 to decline if there was a significant slowdown in global warming?

        But as you can see, there are 30-year trends during your slowdown that were above the 30-year trend to start of your “slowdown”.

        to 2002.5: .17 ℃ per decade
        to 2006.5 (4 yers into your slowdown;) .18 ℃ per decade
        to 2011.5 (9 years into your slowdown:) .19 ℃ per decade
        to 2014.5 (12 years into your slowdown:) .19 ℃ per decade
        to present: .2 ℃ per decade


      • sheldonjwalker

        JCH said, “If a race car driver slows enough to take a 45 mph curve at 55 mph, the racer has sped up.”

        Does that mean that if the race driver comes out of the curve at 55 mph (as you described), and speeds up, to take the next curve (an 80 mph curve), at 70 mph, then he has slowed down from 55 mph to 70 mph?

        Sorry, I can not understand your logic.

      • sheldonjwalker


        If I told you, that I had been robbed by a person who was 1.6 metres tall, would you try to catch them, by looking for people over 2 metres tall.

        I think that you are intelligent enough to know, that you wouldn’t catch them.

        Why don’t you look for 100 years trends which are not a slowdown, to prove that my slowdown never happened. If that doesn’t work, look for 1000 year trends which are not a slowdown.

        You can’t prove that my slowdown didn’t happen, by looking at temperature trends covering different periods.

        Consider this. I point to a poor person in India, and say to you, “look, there are poor people in India”.
        You say to me, “look, there is a rich person standing next to that poor person. So I have proved that there are no poor people in India”.

        In case to don’t understand the analogy, the poor person represents a slowdown. The rich person represents normal global warming.

        Proving that there was normal global warming at some time, does not prove that there wasn’t a slowdown, at some other time.

        You also have to be very careful with linear regressions. There is “inertia”, when you use longer trends. You are unlikely to detect a 10 year slowdown, when you do a 20 or 30 year linear regression.

        I have trouble following you reasoning. You said
        “If there was a significant slowdown in warming from 2002.5 to 2014.5, wouldn’t you expect the 30-year trend to 2002.5 to decline if there was a significant slowdown in global warming?”

        The 30-year trend to 2002.5, means 1972.5 to 2002.5
        That interval has NO overlap with the slowdown period, 2002.5 to 2014.5
        So I wouldn’t expect the 30-year trend to 2002.5 to decline.

        If you then started moving the 30-year trend forwards. you MIGHT detect a small slowdown, but probably NOT, because you have at least 20 years of the linear regression, covering a non-slowdown period. That dominates the slowdown part.

      • Sheldon, most people would say that the sunspot cycle would cause these slowdowns every 11 years. Have you ruled that out as a source of variability on those time scales or do you think it is a sunspot cycle superimposed on a strong background warming of ~0.2 C per decade?

  14. “The root of the most significant problem at the climate science-policy interface lies not in the climate models themselves but in the way in which they are used to guide policy making.”
    At ATTP August 13, 2018 at 11:33 am We had a lot of discussion about models. My view you can get anything you like out of a model and if you set it up with suppositions of a high ECS, you will get your high ECS. Since no current models address the prospect of a low ECS they all run to the high side.
    “You keep saying things like this, but it’s not true. Climate models are constrained by physics, so you can’t get anything you like out (without violating some fundamental conservations law). Climate sensitivity is an emergent property these models. It’s not that current models don’t address the prospect if a low ECS, it’s that low ECS values don’t emerge from these models
    I found this rebuttal to explain why climate models themselves, possibly due to suppositions need to influence policy making, are the problem
    .”This is the money quote.
    IPCC 2007
    “These studies highlight some common biases in the simulation of clouds by current models (e.g., Zhang et al., 2005). This includes the over-prediction of optically thick clouds and the under-prediction of optically thin low and middle-top clouds. However, uncertainties remain in the observational determination of the relative amounts of the different cloud types (Chang and Li, 2005). For mid-latitudes, these biases have been interpreted as the consequence of the coarse resolution of climate GCMs and their resulting inability to simulate the right strength of ageostrophic circulations (Bauer and Del Genio, 2006) and the right amount of sub-grid scale variability (Gordon et al., 2005). Although the errors in the simulation of the different cloud types may eventually compensate and lead to a prediction of the mean CRF in agreement with observations (see Section 8.3), they cast doubts on the reliability of the model cloud feedbacks. For instance, given the nonlinear dependence of cloud albedo on cloud optical depth, the overestimate of the cloud optical thickness implies that a change in cloud optical depth, even of the right sign and magnitude, would produce a too small radiative signature. Similarly, the under-prediction of low- and mid-level clouds presumably affects the magnitude of the radiative response to climate warming in the widespread regions of subsidence. Modelling assumptions controlling the cloud water phase (liquid, ice or mixed) are known to be critical for the prediction of climate sensitivity.”
    There is more. I truncate only to get a readable comment in. As I recall, possibly from Soden somewhere different models arbitrarily choose a range for absorbtion in thes clouds which can be double another model. I hope most people would agree a doubling or halving gives critically different results and quite a different but predictable emergent ECS.
    This is where the input that later forms the ECS occurs.
    Worse it implies that 2 wrong assumptions may be being made that somehow compensate each other in that they then produce the right ECS.

    • Cloud changes are all feedbacks to warming in models – some 0.18 to 1.18 W/m2 per K as quoted by the IPCC somewhere. That’s not the problem with models. The same model – in terms of processes and coupling – produce very different solutions diverging from initial differences purely from iterations of nonlinear math.


      The left is the sensitive dependence problem. Exactly the same equations – just slightly different starting points. The right is the structural instability problem – where changes to models unpredictably modify the nonlinear solution space.

      Most people seem to imagine that models produce a single deterministic solution – they do not – they produce a range of non-unique solutions.


      Models manufacture uncertainty. There are many useful and interesting applications for models – centennial climate prediction is not one. The other problem is our lack of knowledge of important geophysics.

      • “Most people seem to imagine that models produce a single deterministic solution – they do not – they produce a range of non-unique solutions.”
        I understand, I think, that due to some quirk of computing, possibly to do with random number generation of some components during the running of each reiteration of the computer program a slight variation may be introduced that in time compounds to produce results that might differ dramatically but overall fit in a range.
        Nonetheless if you choose a range for those random number or even none random number parameters used that is biased high on the scientifically valid range you will generally get what we get.
        Politically driven high ECS output.

      • Except that there is no pick a range – pick a solution within the range the modelling ‘community’ is comfortable with. Other people do the same and you have an opportunistic ensemble.

        ‘AOS models are therefore to be judged by their degree of plausibility, not whether they are correct or best. This perspective extends to the component discrete algorithms, parameterizations, and coupling breadth: There are better or worse choices (some seemingly satisfactory for their purpose or others needing repair) but not correct or best ones. The bases for judging are a priori formulation, representing the relevant natural processes and choosing the discrete algorithms, and a posteriori solution behavior. Plausibility criteria are qualitative and loosely quantitative, because there are many relevant measures of plausibility that cannot all be specified or fit precisely. Results that are clearly discrepant with measurements or between different models provide a valid basis for model rejection or modification, but moderate levels of mismatch or misfit usually cannot disqualify a model. Often, a particular misfit can be tuned away by adjusting some model parameter, but this should not be viewed as certification of model correctness.” op. cit.

        Still sensitive dependence and structural instability are ‘humbling twin properties’ for chaotic dynamical systems, indicating limits about which kinds of questions are theoretically answerable. They echo other famous limitations on scientist’s expectations, namely the undecidability of some propositions within axiomatic mathematical systems (Gödel’s theorem) and the uncomputability of some algorithms due to excessive size of the calculation’. op. cit

      • … no need to pick a range…

  15. Salvatore del Prete

    My climate scenario below.

    First I want to say mainstream climatologist do not know what they are talking about and have literally ruined the science of climatology by their deceit, and lack of knowledge . A big con job.

    The reality is AGW (that not it ever existed) is over. This is the transitional year and one can see that by looking at the trend of the overall sea surface temperatures over the past year. I had forecasted a down turn over a year ago due to very low UV light.
    On another note the geological activity (earthquakes 4.0 or higher ) has increase over 20% during the last week and I have longed believed and still do there is a connection between high galactic cosmic ray counts and an increase in geological activity, as well as global cloud coverage.
    In the meantime the geo magnetic field is weakening in concert with a weakening solar magnetic field which spells cooling. How much cooling is hard to predict because I do not know the duration and ultimate degree of magnitude changes of both the solar/geo magnetic fields. In addition I do not know what the threshold levels of change are for these fields which would result in a major climatic impact as opposed to a smaller one. Perhaps we will find out moving forward from here over the next few years.
    In any event I think at the very least things are in play to cause a climatic shift similar to 1977, but this time to cooler as opposed to warmer back then. In addition something more then a climatic shift is possible if the solar/geo magnetic fields weaken enough both in degree of magnitude change and or duration of time.

    • Salvatore I do not think it is correct to say that mainstream climatologists have a lack of knowledge and do not know what they are talking about.
      Full stop.
      Nor do most people commentating here though we do have a range that includes climatologists generally with the most knowledge, some people with similar knowledge from either their interest or dedication to this area.
      What we do have, as Judith pointedly pointed out is
      “The root of the most significant problem at the climate science-policy interface lies not in the climate models themselves but in the way in which they are used to guide policy making. Climate scientists have helped exacerbate this problem. Both climate scientists and policy makers need to accept the limits of probabilistic methods in conditions of ambiguity and deep uncertainty that characterize climate change.”
      If AGW, of whatever color and size exists, and some exists, it is certainly not over.
      No one is capable of predicting accurately how much there is, how hot or cold it it might get, how long to get there and how good or bad it will get with certainty.

      • Note CO2 is a greenhouse gas and some of the temperature rise should be due to this but there are a lot of confounding factors which you blithely choose to ignore.

    • “This is the transitional year”

      You said that many years ago. You will say it again in a few years, as the earth continues to warm.

      • Salvatore del Prete

        It is transitioning unless you are oblivious to the data.

        On the other note the field of climate science has been hi jacked by AGW theory a big waste of time. Why? Because it does not exist.

      • “It is transitioning unless you are oblivious to the data.”

        I read your papers on this. I read what you had to say a decade ago about the transition coming. Not oblivious to anything.

        “On the other note the field of climate science has been hi jacked by AGW theory a big waste of time. Why? Because it does not exist.”

        I see that you don’t think CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and/or that man’s contributions are the reason for the additional CO2 in the atmosphere. If not for our contributions, temps would be steady or cooling slightly. Instead, earth warms. Unless you are prepared to describe an alternate explanation about where this additional heat is coming from our why it is trapped, you shouldn’t wave your arms about and cry “Because it does not exist.”

        When this decade proves to the the warmest, and then next decade proves t one even warmer (something climate scientists have been projecting for more than three decades now) I suggest you step back and reevaluate your “transitional year” position.

      • Scott Koontz | August 23, 2018 at 12:20 pm |
        “I see that you don’t think CO2 is a greenhouse gas”,
        He did not say that.
        “that you don’t think man’s contributions are the reason for the additional CO2 in the atmosphere.”
        He definitely implied that.
        “If not for our contributions, temps would be steady or cooling slightly.”
        going up without the contributions is the third choice that you conveniently ignore.
        With or without CO2 the temperature is allowed to go up Scott.

      • Scott Koontz

        “going up without the contributions is the third choice that you conveniently ignore.

        Conveniently ignore? I ignored nothing. I followed the basic science.

        “With or without CO2 the temperature is allowed to go up Scott.”

        AGAIN with the non-science, hand waving. None of you ever site why the earth would warm without the additional CO2. You simply SAY it would warm.

        Why? Tell us why it would warm, because once again you go against ALL climate scientists are their list of forcings. Is the additional heat from… the sun? Kidding. Tell us why.

      • “None of you ever cite why the earth would warm without the additional CO2”
        Scott Koontz | August 23, 2018 at 12:20 pm |
        “If not for our contributions, temps would be steady or cooling slightly.”

        Simply this Scott. If you believe it can cool slightly, or stay the same without a CO2 change then the same logic that you used to say it can cool can be used to say it can warm.

        “Why? Tell us why it would warm, Tell us why.”
        Try less cloud cover [albedo lower] apparently it can cause warming at a decent rate.
        Try the heat in the oceans from previous heating events [say low albedo in the past] is finally coming out.
        You do believe in heat being trapped in the oceans, remember.
        Less volcanic activity with less aerosols in the air to dampen warming

      • angech | August 25, 2018 at 9:16 am |

        Note CO2 is a greenhouse gas and some of the temperature rise should be due to this but there are a lot of confounding factors which you blithely choose to ignore.

  16. Geoff Sherrington

    Amid this year’s political turmoil in Australia, I am reminded of the adage adopted from Bismarck that “politics is the art of compromise”.
    When science and politics interact, we should keep in mind that
    “Science is the rejection of compromise”.
    Uncertainty in science has formal meanings and they should be used. They are not a plaything of politics.
    They are above that. Geoff.

  17. Meanwhile, analysis of data allows sensible projections of what climate change evolution can be over the next months.


    The Arctic summer is over and temperature is again slightly above the average, according to DMI.

    NSDIC predicts September Arctic sea ice should be similar to the average of the last 4 years, between 4.5 and 5 million km².


    • CFAN and IRI anticipate a mild Niño over the Autumn and Winter.


      The change from ENSO neutral to Niño should take place around the time of the solar minimum.


      I just can’t see how that can happen without solar variability affecting ENSO.

      • 50% chance.
        Lot of cooling in the Southern oceans this month looks good for a cooler August worldwide.
        Not enough heat in the ocean to fake a temperature increase this month.

      • Who faked a temperature increase? LMAO. The same people who gave you the cooling information for the rest of August. Too funny.

      • Steven Mosher | August 24, 2018 at 9:30 pm |
        “since 50% of ice loss is attributed to weather variation, you better not run to ice records to prove any point about single years, 5 year period, 10 year period or 20 year period.”
        I do enjoy it when the weather variations go in the opposite direction of the warmist putsch.
        Just like I enjoy the single months when the global temperature goes down.
        I know it, the variations, are just a game in the short term.
        I know there is a possibility of long term problems.
        But I can also see there is a large possibility of no long term problems.
        And long term is far beyond our and our grand kids lifespans.

    • The New El Niño means the top 6 cooling in 70 years that is taking place should stop or pause for about a year.


      A new La Niña in late 2019 to 2020 should mean a return to cooling. There is a good chance that lower temperatures than current could be reached, meaning we would be living one of the top three cooling periods for the last 70 years, together with those of 1953 and 1973.


    • September Arctic sea ice could be greater than the average of the last 4 years [between 4.5 and 5 million km²] at 5.1 million km2

      • So what?

      • Scott Koontz

        That’s very telling. When your best effort includes picking 4 years, you can tell that the decadal loss is not something you want to talk about.

      • Steven Mosher

        since 50% of ice loss is attributed to weather variation, you better not run to ice records to prove any point about single years, 5 year period, 10 year period or 20 year period.

        the planet is warming.
        there was an LIA.
        less ice, IN GENERAL, should be expected. dont expect it to happen every year.

        1. you will have something interesting
        to discuss if and only iff we return to 1980s levels.
        2. climate science will have something interesting to add maybe afyer 2030.

        it is getting warmer.
        there is less ice.

      • “1. you will have something interesting to discuss if and only iff we return to 1980s levels.”

        That is not true. Some scientists are defending that Arctic sea-ice levels present oscillations linked to other oceanic or atmospheric oscillations, like AMO and NAO, while others defend that Arctic sea-ice levels depend primarily on Arctic temperatures and CO₂ levels.

        This is a very interesting discussion with very different predictions about the future of Arctic sea ice regardless of not returning to 1980s levels. Some shipping companies are expending significant amounts of money in preparing to exploit a shipping route that may not be commercially viable for decades if the first group of scientists is correct.

    • Ice is a funny thing.
      Believe it is going one way and like a favorite racehorse you will lose your house.
      But, If DMI does not change [fake] their algorithm again to cope with the seeming increasing ice this year.
      Or is that a slowing in the rate of loss?
      And we do have a > 5.1 million Km2 minimum.
      Judith should do a little post on it with one of our resident ice experts.
      “Warming globe causes more ice in the Arctic”

  18. Salvatore del Prete

    The cooling trend has already started . Look at the overall sea surface temperatures down .2c over the last year. As far as a possible El NINO the models through today are way off for Nino region 3.4 and Nino region 1 and 2.

    In addition the MEI index is indicting no El NINO this year.

    As I have said this year is the transitional year and I look for at the very least a climatic shift similar to that of 1977 but to cooler conditions as opposed to warmer in 1977.

    Geological activity has really picked up of late. Earthquakes of magnitude 4.0 or higher up over 20% over the last 10 days.

    As the solar/geo magnetic fields keep weakening look for more climatic impacts which will be to cooler. How much cooler I do not know because I do not know the duration or degree of magnitude weakness the solar/geo magnetic fields might attain.

  19. 4th warmest ocean temps on record so far this year, so I don’t see how this is cause for cooling alarm.

    Earth warming when you connect the El Nino dots, Earth warming when you connect La Nina dots. Of course there will be some short-term cooling when transitioning from Nino to Nina, obviously, but that what you seem to be counting on.

    If the next/current La Nina global temps dip below the last La Nina year, then we can begin to talk about a possible transition. Likewise for El Nino.


    • “4th warmest ocean temps on record so far this year, so I don’t see how this is cause for cooling alarm.”

      That the world is warming is not under discussion. The contributions to the warming by different causes is under discussion.

      The favorite hypothesis has a problem with non-warming periods, as the causative agent keeps increasing out of control. It already had a problem with the pause in warming from 2001 to 2013. The 2014-2016 Niño provided a much needed relief. However the present cooling period is already a decadal-scale event (sixth largest in 70 years).


      Going back to the 2001-2013 baseline temperature is not what should be expected. That would mean 17 years of CO₂ increase without corresponding temperature increase.

      And there is an additional issue. Climate change is supposed to be forced and the current period of cooling can only be partially explained by the end of El Niño, as there has been no strong La Niña, unlike in all the other non-volcanic forced major cooling periods of the last 70 years. For all of them a strong La Niña was a contributing factor. If a strong La Niña was to come while we are at this temperature we could easily see a record cooling within the last 70 years and go below pause temperature levels. Something like what happened after 1880:


      I seriously doubt the current favorite hypothesis could survive in its present form to something like that. And it is clearly possible.

      • Thanks javier, interesting point. If we get a La Nina on top of recent cooling, the next generation models may be forced to incorporate the hated negative water vapor feedback, which I always thought didn’t get enough attention given the stability of the “temperature ceiling” in geologic time..

      • btw there was a recent “steam world” exoplanet model that finds

      • that perhaps 35% of exoplanets have water-dominated atmosphere at 200-500 degrees. https://phys.org/news/2018-08-water-worlds-common-exoplanets-vast-amounts.html

        Apologies if this was already shared here.

      • Salvatore del Prete


        ONLY .2C ABOVE 1971-2000 MEANS.

      • Scott Koontz

        “Going back to the 2001-2013 baseline temperature is not what should be expected.”

        0.54°C to 0.9°C. Seems like an unhealthy rise to me and everyone else. Definitely CO2.

      • “0.54°C to 0.9°C. Seems like an unhealthy rise to me and everyone else.”

        That’s actually opinion. Human health indicators are unchanged.

        “Definitely CO2.”

        Rushing to predetermined conclusion. Most experts think it was just an El Niño phenomenon.

      • Scott Koontz

        “Rushing to predetermined conclusion. Most experts think it was just an El Niño phenomenon.”

        No expert thinks that the warming is because of shifted heat. None. Nada. Zilch. 2001 – 2013 or any span longer than a decade shows warming.

        Quit watching the dog when he heads south east when the man walking he dog is heading north east. The man is of greater concern even when the dog’s path is interesting. The result? North west. North. AGW.

        No expert thinks that successive El Ninos show a flat trend. They all know they show warming.

      • If with the path of the man you refer to the long term warming trend, the problem is that its increase is essentially linear since 1850 and shows essentially no response to the huge increase in CO₂ that has taken place since the 1950’s.

        The man has continued his walk before and during the huge increase in CO₂ without changing his path. The dog doesn’t show any response to CO₂ either.

      • The only way it can be an El Niño “phenomenon” would be if 2016’s record temperature anomaly goes unbroken for long enough to demonstrate something is very wrong with the theory of global warming, and that has not happened.

        So you are betting on a horse that has lost every race for over 100 years. All El Niño events prior to 15-16 added zero to the rise in GMST.

        Many of the record warmest years are associated with an El Niño event. Post 1990, they lose their winnings to ACO2 in a big hurry.


      • You are wrong, because I am not betting on the long-term warming trend ending now. But you are right, the warming has been taking place for hundreds of years, and is not responding much to the huge increase in CO₂ that has taken place since the 1950’s. ACO₂ is the wrong explanation.

      • Then it is not an El Niño phenomenon. ACO2 is the control knob of the current climate. You claim the climate is not responding to the large amount of CO2 lofted into the atmosphere since 1950 is bonkers.

      • “ACO2 is the control knob of the current climate.”

        That statement is not supported by evidence.

        Whatever controls temperature, it must have the foot on the pedal and control the temperature rate of change.

        But what the evidence shows is that the temperature rate of change has been increasing since we have data in 1850. We know it has been warming since then, as glaciers have been melting since then.


        And if we split the data in two halves, the first one contains very little ACO₂, while the second half contains most of it. However the temperature rate of change of both halves is quite similar, and not significantly different from that of the whole period.

        The conclusion is very clear. The addition of ACO₂ has had a small effect on the warming of the planet, and therefore it cannot be the control knob you claim. Something else, acting since 1850 at least, has the foot on the pedal. ACO₂ can be at best the premium high octane gasoline.

        Obviously you can pick trends to support any position, but the fact that the linear adjustment for the whole period is so similar to the linear adjustment for the first half leaves very little room for trend games in the second half that could claim a fundamental change due to CO₂.

  20. David L. Hagen (HagenDL)

    Parsimonious stochastic models with uncertainty:
    See: D. Koutsoyiannis, Generic and parsimonious stochastic modelling for hydrology and beyond, Hydrological Sciences Journal, 61 (2), 225–244, doi:10.1080/02626667.2015.1016950, 2016.
    “The old principle of parsimonious modelling of natural processes has regained its importance in the last few years. The inevitability of uncertainty and risk, and the value of stochastic modelling in dealing with them, are also again appreciated, after a period of growing hopes for radical reduction of uncertainty. Yet in stochastic modelling of natural processes several families of models are used which are often non-parsimonious, unnatural or artificial, theoretically unjustified and, eventually, unnecessary. Here we develop a general methodology for more theoretically justified stochastic processes, which evolve in continuous time and stem from maximum entropy production considerations. The discrete-time properties thereof are theoretically derived from the continuous-time ones and a general simulation methodology in discrete time is built, which explicitly handles the effects of discretization and truncation. Some additional modelling issues are discussed with focus on model identification and fitting, which are often made using inappropriate methods”

  21. Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  22. “Since “panta rhei” was pronounced by Heraclitus, hydrology and the objects it studies, such as rivers and lakes, have offered grounds to observe and understand change and flux. Change occurs on all time scales, from minute to geological, but our limited senses and life span, as well as the short time window of instrumental observations, restrict our perception to the most apparent daily to yearly variations. As a result, our typical modelling practices assume that natural changes are just a short-term “noise” superimposed on the daily and annual cycles in a scene that is static and invariant in the long run.”

    “The principle of parsimony in explaining and modelling natural phenomena is very old* but in the last three decades its importance may have been neglected. The power of computers encouraged many to seek inflationary detailed modelling approaches, hoping that these would provide exact descriptions of real-world systems by representing any detail thereof and would radically reduce uncertainty. After a period of growing hopes for dramatic reduction of uncertainty in modelling of natural, and particularly hydrological, processes, the inevitability of uncertainty and risk is again recognized.”

    Koutsoyiannis is a distinguished hydrologist thinking about ways of approaching the prediction problem – but the word uncertainty here refers to the evident spread in artificially generated multi-model ensemble results that has not diminished over decades. Models are machines for generating uncertainty in their sensitive dependent core. This is a problem not so much of models per se but of a lack of precision in measured parameters, insufficient computing power to reduce grid size and fundamental knowledge gaps in understanding complex and deterministically chaotic geophysics.

    There is little enough uncertainty on CE – mostly eccentric and simplistic hypotheses on one side and an assumption that whatever silly little ideas they have are the sum of science on the other. A cultural, tribal dynamic that plays out endlessly.

    I could discuss the realities and the possibilities of perpetual change as investigated by Koutsoyiannis and many others – but I am a little bored with you all.



    • Dimitris Poulos

      There is a gap in fundamental knowledge of the driving mechanisms, you’d better check that. IMO Koutsoyiannis insists in this outdated methodology, you’d better read my work from this same ITIA-NTUA library https://www.itia.ntua.gr/en/docinfo/1486/ There is high determinism in long scales that modelers are unaware of, consequently looking for some absurd stochastic approach.
      My resent article in this Indian journal is an epitome of the physics and mechanisms in sun and climate http://www.gpcpublishing.org/index.php/gjp/article/view/443

      • Your’re pretty dogmatic for someone who doesn’t have the slightest clue about what was actually said about uncertainties in climate models and why.

        As for climate – people have been trying to link sun and climate for hundreds of years without notable success. The problems are theoretically legion. The sun is stable and there is a need for a terrestrial amplifier to explain any link at all. Orbits introduce variability but again you need a robust internal response to explain anything.

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

        There is no long term determinism – unless you mean deterministic chaos.


        To understand the patterns of climate change you need to understand geophysics and the fundamental mode of operation of the Earth system – and not piss around with orbits and superimposing sine waves over data that is not periodic.

      • Dimitris Poulos

        btw there is no random in the Nilometer, I have a short paper on the Nilometer too, it exhibits the same mean 250 year periodicity as climate does. You can find this paper in my blog as well as links to my other papers too http://dimispoulos.wixsite.com/dimis

      • Dimitris Poulos

        I have worked for years on the chaos theory and climate haha, in fact I am between the first who introduced it to Koutsoyiannis and ITIA research team back in 1998. Here is my original thesis in Greek. You can check bibliographic references in it to have a clue. https://www.itia.ntua.gr/el/docinfo/430/
        The sun is no stable, I have some nice discoveries on that. I am not talking about deterministic chaos. There are certain long circles in the sun of planetary origin. You can have a look in my findings.

      • Random sums to zero – that was another point you missed. Nile River data changes as Hurst effects if you only knew what that
        means. To superimpose average 256 year periodicity (sic) on 1000 year plus record is cyclomania at its worst – a statistical delusion. And no – I can’t be bothered with this cyclomania nonsense.


      • Dimitris Poulos

        I have worked for years on the chaos theory and climate haha, in fact I am between the first who introduced it to Koutsoyiannis and ITIA research team back in 1998. Yes I know what Hurst is. But I have the whole physical mechanisms that back up my findings, together with the resonance they exhibit to true solar variance. (there is already a comment with some links you can’t see for moderation?? reasons)

      • Dimitris Poulos

        btw you call cyclomania nonsense some very nice science, it surely challenges your abilities to deepen in science…

      • Dimitris Poulos

        …you’d better follow the presentation I have in my blog, it will help you visualize easily the whole thing

      • Another blog another mad scientist who has made fundamental discoveries. It is not that easy to take a Jovian orbit and ascribe all climate change to that. At least not rationally. There are of course links between solar activity – including UV – and climate.

        One “mechanism for these changes is via a stratospheric pathway, a so-called ‘top-down’ mechanism, and involves altered heating of the stratosphere by solar ultraviolet irradiance. Anomalous temperatures in the region of the tropical stratopause give rise to changes in the subtropical stratospheric winds, in geostrophic balance with the modified equator-to-pole temperature gradient. This signal then propagates poleward and downward and is amplified by altered planetary wave activity8 before being communicated throughout the depth of the troposphere in the Pacific and Atlantic basins14.” https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms8535

        Solar changes evolve non-linearly – from orbits and internal fluid dynamics – and are translated nonlinearly through the Earth system. But there is no simple cause and effect.

        “Climate is ultimately complex. Complexity begs for reductionism. With reductionism, a puzzle is studied by way of its pieces. While this approach illuminates the climate system’s components, climate’s full picture remains elusive. Understanding the pieces does not ensure understanding the collection of pieces.” Marcia Wyatt

      • Dimitris Poulos

        that’s mostly wrong cause sun and its circles is the climate driver.

  23. Salvatore del Prete

    Climate cycles are made to be broken and they are.

    • How much longer do you think the additional CO2 will control the temps? Seems like every single climate scientist is forecasting unnatural warming for the next century or more.

      Very hard to know when the man-made cycle will end and natural cycles take over again.

      • “Seems like every single climate scientist is forecasting unnatural warming for the next century or more.”

        That’s only because if a scientist defends that a great deal of the warming is natural, or proposes a different forecast he/she doesn’t get published decently. Only mild carefully worded doubts are accepted, and the disclaimer that GHGs are the main responsible cause is required in any article dealing with a different factor.

      • The increase in GHGs has been the dominant forcing change in the last century, so any other explanation has an uphill battle to first explain why it isn’t GHGs, and usually they omit to do that.

      • “The top-of-atmosphere (TOA) Earth radiation budget (ERB) is determined from the difference between how much energy is absorbed and emitted by the planet. Climate forcing results in an imbalance in the TOA radiation budget that has direct implications for global climate, but the large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics complicates this picture.” https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10712-012-9175-1

        These guys don’t do complicated – or uncertain.

    • Dimitris Poulos

      solar cycles do not break that easily

      • Salvatore del Prete

        But solar cycles do to a degree such as during the Dalton and Maunder Minimum to name the two latest times. During those times the global temperatures have always cooled, but the geo magnetic field also has to be considered. When the geo magnetic field is in sync with solar (both weakening as they are now ) they compliment one another. The problem I think is thresholds. In other words there must be a given duration of time and degree of magnitude weakness in these fields which will result in a much greater climatic impact if reached. I do not know however, what they are.

        My theory in a nutshell is weak magnetic fields promote lower overall sea surface temperatures (less UV light) and a slight increase in the overall albedo through an increase in global cloud /snow coverage and major geological activity related to galactic cosmic rays. I think solar readings equal to or slightly below typical solar minimums and slightly longer in duration then are associated with typical solar minimums are sufficient to promote cooling and we have that now. This following several years of sub solar activity in general (late 2005 that started).

        Thus far this year I think is the transitional year because I feel the magnetic weakness conditions needed are now (year late 2017) being met. A big indicator to watch is overall oceanic sea surface temperatures which are now in a range from +.10c to +.20c above 1981-2010 means versus a range of +.27c to +.37c last summer.

        I expect overall oceanic sea surface temperatures to fall to less then +.10c above the 1981-2010 averages before this year ends.

        In any event I think now – moving forward the next few years will tell us much.

  24. The IPCC Models will NEVER accurately model the Climate, NEVER.
    1) CO2 and its absorption of energy aren’t linearly related.
    2) They model ground measurement temperatures which are influenced by the Urban Heat Island Effect and Water Vapor, neither of which are adequately addressed in their models.
    3) Their model is Underspecified, leaving our many significant factors.
    4) Their Model is misspecified, reversing the dependent and independent variables. CO2 leads temperatures in all ice core records.
    And the list goes on and on and on.
    Comprehensive Climate Change Beatdown; Debating Points and Graphics to Defeat the Warmists

    • “CO2 leads temperatures in all ice core records.”

      That should read:
      CO2 lags temperatures in all ice core records.

  25. I have a real problem with the use of the term “projections” in the context of most climate science. You can take any form of garbage, say it is garbage and make a projection from it.

    Serious political and economic consequences can follow from the real consequences of CO2 increases (or not depending upon what actually happens to temperatures in the future). Until people advocating for serious CO2 reductions feel comfortable making serious PREDICTIONS and specifically labeling them as such, then serious discussions about substantial CO2 reductions are not warranted.


    • It is only a prediction if you know the emissions going forwards which we don’t. The best you can do is a prediction of temperature per emissions. For example, I would predict 1 C more warming per 2000 GtCO2 emitted between now and 2100.

      • Very much more than CO2 emissions are poorly quantified – especially by Jiminy.

      • Emissions are by far the largest uncertainty factor in the climate of 2100, which is why I would factor it into a prediction.

      • “The top-of-atmosphere (TOA) Earth radiation budget (ERB) is determined from the difference between how much energy is absorbed and emitted by the planet. Climate forcing results in an imbalance in the TOA radiation budget that has direct implications for global climate, but the large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics complicates this picture.”

        Jiminy doesn’t do complicated.

      • It’s not complicated. The ocean heat content integrates the imbalance, and it remains positive despite all the warming already.
        Bottom line: the warming has not caught up to the forcing yet.

      • “The best you can do is a prediction of temperature per emissions.”

        That is fine. However, just to call everything a “projection” is an abdication of responsibility, if you are arguing for substantial CO2 reductions. A 12-year-old can make a projection. For anything to be meaningful in the public policy sphere, it has to have real substance, and the person peering into the future has to put his or her real credibility on the line.


      • They could make a prediction if you first tell them how the emissions will look over the 21st century because that part depends on policy and technology. That’s the hardest part of a prediction, and the rest is relatively easy.

      • Incredibly misguided and ideologically motivated nonsense. Prediction is in fact impossible – something known without a doubt for a very long time.

        “In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of (perturbed physics)ensembles of model solutions.” TAR 2001

      • We would have a much better idea if we knew the future forcing because we can see how the temperature has been responding to the forcing so far.

      • No – we cannot see because it is set against perpetual change. At least that’s what my experts say.

      • Your experts also tell you graphically that internal changes are ~+/-0.1 C when decadally averaged about a mean state that is dominated by external forcing changes, but you won’t quote them on those parts.

      • Internal changes are potentially minus 10 degrees C (Julia Slingo – Royal Society presentation 2018) – as I have said to you before. The very large and very obvious change in toa radiant flux due to changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation makes attribution complicated. Most late century warming on the available data was related to cloud changes in the Pacific. All mid century cooling was natural and most early century warming. This is not to do with solar intensity – but with a shift in Pacific state that may have a basis in UV variability in the Hale cycle. As I have said to you before. Whatever the underlying mechanisms for these 20 to 30 year regimes – the precise correspondence of the surface temperature trajectory with changing Pacific states is obvious to blind Freddy.

        You don’t appear to even acknowledge these
        fundamental ideas in climate science. Instead you continue to offer trite and misguided eyeballing of wood for dimwits graphs as your argument. You obviously struggle with this nuanced, complex and dynamic geophysical science and thus your credibility is zilch. Repeating wrong headed simple memes
        – with sound bites on the ignorance of outsiders – endlessly is both uninteresting and ultimately just being a serial pest for little effect. Do me a favor and learn something new. Not in blogospheric echo chambers I suggest. .

        At the end of the day a deterministically chaotic climate has behavioral oddities that suggest caution in changing fundamental such as the composition of the atmosphere. But the responses needs to be pragmatic, broad ranging and adaptive. And you are still struggling with the loss of Kyoto. .

      • -10 C is neither a global nor a decadal average and clearly you have misunderstood something she said there or you want to mislead the gullibles who sadly read your stuff. Put that in its proper context rather than doing your usual trick of out-of-context citing. Slingo turns out to be a warmist who thinks action is needed, but you won’t quote her on her reasons for that for sure.
        The heat content integrates the TOA imbalance and is steadily rising. This positive imbalance means that the forcing is still leading the warming even after all this warming – something you have not understood yet.

      • 10 degrees is the latest understanding of the difference in global temperature between glacials and interglacials. And Julia Slingo is a dynamicist – as shown in one of my favorite papers I quote again and again. Your selective blindness won’t allow that – or acknowledge the wealth of pragmatic, broad ranging responses both available and needed for many other reasons and that I have discussed in detail often – including in this post. And again you repeat your trite and erroneous meme.

      • OK, so you are talking about Ice Ages now, but why is this being brought up when you were just talking about UAH? Do you see that the Ice Ages show the kind of sensitivity to forcing changes that you don’t admit to in other contexts?

      • No I am talking the limits of natural variability over the past 800,000 years. Natural variability is not remotely a sine wave of +/- 0.1 degree C. It is more or less extreme shifts between regimes at many scales – including decadal.

        And natural variability as everyone from the NAS on keeps saying is a result of small changes pushing the Earth system past a threshold where dynamic internal variability sets the pace of change. Next you are going to tell me that it applies to CO2 FFS. But it is certainly not what you understand as forcing and feedbacks.

        And I was talking this century with surface temperatures. Your habitual misrepresentation is a little short of intellectual honesty – but par for the course for ideologically motivated progressives.

      • You’re not realizing how big the CO2 effect has been. The energy gain just from CO2 forcing in the last century is about three times the gain in ocean heat content since 1950 when most of the gain gas occurred. Let that sink in.

      • No – you deny how big toa variability in measured radiant flux is. And again with these simplistic and quite unrealistic memes you garner from blogs.

      • The ocean heat content integrates over that variability and has only changed by a third of the integrated CO2 forcing. Which part of this do you not understand?

      • This is technically incompetent as I have explained to you many times. You are wrong again not just on the detail on how the system works at this most basic of radiative transfer physics – but at the paradigm level of fundamental modes of operation of the Earth system. Something that in your selective blindness you refuse to acknowledge. I can’t help you Jimbo.

      • OK, you can read this for some background on how the ocean heat content and ERB are measuring the same imbalance and how the Argo data is more trusted over long periods because ERB drifts, as satellites do, making its long-term averages useless. They therefore have to use Argo to constrain ERB. So this is why I use the ocean heat content to compare with the CO2 forcing.

      • As I have said before – I have run the numbers.


        Personally – I’d blame the discrepancy on early Argo records. The changes in the period are all SW. The numbers change with Earth system regimes – the record is still too short to be remotely definitive and the changes are not nearly all anthropogenic. That’s three of your problem just there.

      • What you see in the shortwave is the positive albedo feedback. So much for that being negative, right? Tell your skeptic friends about that.
        The OHC has risen a lot and is rising steadily and consistently with the forcing as you show, but you still don’t have the foggiest idea of the reason for that gradient. CO2 forcing provides more than enough energy to do that. Energy conservation, remember? If CO2 provides all that energy, where else does it go other than into the heat content.

      • Cloud feedbacks are modelled at 0.18 to 1.18 W/m2 per K – as I have said to you. And what happened to surface temps? There are changes in the toa flux record far larger than even at the high end – as I have said to you.
        And net feedbacks are of course negative. Planck response remember.

        Most of the changes emerge in Rayleigh–Bénard convection over the upwelling regions of the Pacific Ocean – for which there are fundamental geophysics – not yet incorporated into numerical models – and ground and satellite observations- as I have said to you before.

        “The top-of-atmosphere (TOA) Earth radiation budget (ERB) is determined from the difference between how much energy is absorbed and emitted by the planet. Climate forcing results in an imbalance in the TOA radiation budget that has direct implications for global climate, but the large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics complicates this picture.” https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10712-012-9175-1

        Your options are:

        1. Ignore it and hope it will go away – as you seem to have fallen back on. .
        2. Dismiss it as wiggles that sum to zero – as you have tried before.

        Neither of these options amount to much at all. But I expect you to switch between narratives more or less arbitrarily as is your wont. And your habitual references to my obtuseness don’t go unnoticed. I was of course a working engineer, hydrologist and environmental scientist over 40 years – as I have said to you before. Your expertise is at about the 5th grade level at best. But let me know when you have something new to say.

      • The ocean heat content is not wiggles. Pay attention to the gradient. That’s what an imbalance looks like. The ocean has gained ~1 GJ/m2 while CO2 has provided ~3 GJ/m2. The rest goes into the Planck response (surface warming to you). No one is surprised that the energy balances long-term nor where that energy for the ocean heat content and surface warming comes from except you and a bunch of skeptics who seem a bit fuzzy on the concept. If you doubt the numbers, provide your own energy budget for the CO2 forcing era.

      • Again it is is very ignorant of basic physics to equate a ‘forcing’ to energy that remains in the global system. What matters is the much smaller amount of energy remaining in the system after planetary responses.

        Total outgoing energy is what changes most in the system – immense wiggles that co-vary with ocean heat. That was the point. Big wiggles that have no discernible connection to the glacially slow change in greenhouse gas forcing and the energy that remains after planetary responses.


        All of the warming in the 21st century record is SW with cooling in IR. As I have said before. And the cumulative net imbalance co-varies with ocean heat as expected. But the components are far from purely anthropogenic – as I have said.

        As I have said – I have done the numbers. Interesting – far from definitive – but what changes most in the data is not CO2 forcing.

        Power flux imbalances change from negative to positive on an annual basis. The average is 0.8W/m2 – consistent with rates of ocean warming. The trend over the period of record is negative. Such large swings in imbalances cannot be due to greenhouse gases.


        JC SNIP

      • Are you even aware of the elliptical orbit effect on forcing? You talk as though the annual cycle is a complete surprise. You seem to be short of a few facts to help explaining things.

      • So those annual swings have nothing to do with GHGs and you neglected to mention why. Perhaps you forgot to say what the cause was? What matters is the mean ascent, right? CO2 is by now adding a steady 2 W/m2 so you can see how dominant that would be against your wiggles, and it has averaged 1 W/m2 for a century. Lots of energy there.

      • Sorry Jiminy – the very large annual wiggle is icing on the cake for considerations of thermal inertia – but comparatively (to CO2 forcing increases) large wiggles are seen in anomalies as well. As has been discussed with you previously.



        Warming in SW and cooling in IR – dominated by cloud changes in the Pacific. As has been discussed endlessly with you.

        No – CO2 does not add 2W/m2 – it is a small fraction of that after the planetary response. A rookie error that has been discussed with you – even with reference to the IPCC – even just above – and that you refuse to acknowledge and correct but merely repeat endlessly and tediously. You need some remedial geophysics.

        The wiggles shift over millennia nodulating the global energy budget – as has been discussed with you. So if you have specific criticisms and not just generalized whines about my obtuseness and repetitive and simplistic memes I’m all ears. I of course hold no hope at all of a rational discussion that actually goes somewhere.

      • The response is to the CO2. What are you talking about? CO2 is the dominant forcing so the warming response is to that. If you have something natural that has contributed any GJ/m2 in the last century you need to point to a reference for it because the IPCC does not list it.

      • Groan – not again.

        “In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.” https://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch3s3-4-4-1.html

        Sorry to say it is very real Jiminy.

      • More recent OHC data shows a major imbalance of 0.7 W/m2 that has been sustained for a decade or more. That’s about a third of the forcing provided by CO2 alone yet that is the term you want to dismiss. Not clear why.

      • Going around in circles with you never had much appeal or interest.

        Power flux imbalances change from negative to positive on an annual basis. The average is 0.8W/m2 – consistent with rates of ocean warming. The trend over the period of record is negative. But to ascribe all this variability to purely CO2 is just such an obvious nonsense.

        But until you understand how trite your forcing meme is it is all utterly pointless. You have no data, no geoscience other than very basic notions that are misapplied, show absolutely no progress in understanding over years now, make up things on the fly and deliberately misrepresent me and everyone else for inscrutable reasons.

        It is a daily grind with multiple instances of repeating the same narrative endlessly.


      • I just use energy conservation. Energy in minus energy out is energy gained. The numbers are in. We know all the big terms.

      • But you have no data on energy in or energy out.

      • I have been showing you that. The net forcing (energy in minus energy out) is very easy because there are dominant terms in it that can be integrated over time.

      • Only by assuming that all ocean heat change is anthrpogenic. Obvious nonsense.

      • No, it is less than the anthropogenic forcing. You drew that conclusion yourself.

      • I pointed out that CO2 forcing > OHC rise.
        You can take that as it is. The numbers back it up.

      • “In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system”

        It is of course very real.

      • Every time I point you to the rising ocean heat content you don’t like it. Do you believe it could have risen as much as 1 GJ/m2 in the last century? That would be a starting point.

      • There are immense annual wiggles that have implications for thermal inertia. But the anomalies have their own variability an order of magnitude greater than the increase in CO2 forcing.

        https://watertechbyrie.com/2018/06/10/a-maximum-entropy-climate-earth-in-transient-energy-equilibrium-2/ .

        Both anomalies and absolute values are addressed – and Jimbo knows it.

      • See net forcing over the last century or even since 1950 from the IPCC. There are anthropogenic ones that can account for all the warming. What else is as large and why do you need it when the warming is already accounted for with the energy budget?

      • What did I say to deserve a snip? Can’t recall.

      • It was a personal insult to Jim D

      • The comment was rhetorical. In all this endless going around in circles with simple memes and his habitual snide deprecation – I can’t recall falling over the line and I don’t particularly care.

  26. Salvatore del Prete

    Bottom line is all the ocean warming was due to solar.

    • No it wasn’t.

    • Less solar = warmer ocean?

      Check your math.

      • Salvatore del Prete

        Solar had a warming effect on the oceans up to the end of year 2005. After that overall cooling except for the period of time of the weak solar maximum of solar cycle 24. Lag times of 10+ years have to be applied.

        I think at the end of year 2017 the two solar conditions necessary to cause oceanic cooling are in, which are 10+ years of sub solar activity in general (2005) followed by a period of time of very low average value solar parameters (end of year 2017-present) .

    • Dimitris Poulos

      yes there is a 250 year periodicity in hydroclimatic processes of solar origin. It is currently perceived as long term persistence in bibliography. This is an outdated methodology. R.Ellison and others won’t accept that.

      • No there isn’t.

      • After Hurst the Nile behavior was explained – by Mandelbrot or some
        one – look it up – as a system with infinite memory. This is of course not a Markovian property and is intrinsically most unlikely. The more modern idea is that the behavior emerges from a dynamical system.

      • Dimitris Poulos

        yes there is, and any Hurst explanation on the Nile is wrong

      • Dimitris Poulos

        …read my short paper on the Nile in my blog (and my papers on solar activity and climate too) http://dimispoulos.wixsite.com/dimis

      • This guy is plumbing new depths of absurd dogmatism. Yet another paragon and pioneer of hydrology is wrong on his say so. Good for a laugh if nothing else.


      • Dimitris Poulos

        no need to spread outdated science on me. Markovian processes take place when there are driving dynamics. The driving dynamics of long range processes in climate is from the sun. The Earth system can’t support such dynamics alone. When I have discovered this 250 year cycle dynamics it is odd that you remind us of some absurd Hurst phenomenon.

      • Dimitris Poulos

        I shall make it even easier for you. Solar activity is diminishing since 1950 yet temperatures have grown considerably since. The Earth system alone can’t support such long memory process alone. It’s only the 250 year cycle effect of solar wind variations that is supporting nowadays high temperatures. Accurately scientifically speaking there was some parameter in the Earth-Sun system that was responsible for the Hurst effect of such a long memory, the solar wind variations. Though you have forgotten to account for them.

      • The person pushing completely completely anachronistic science is Dimitris.

        “These observations of the growth of range of what is now known as the ‘Hurst’ effect stimulated much debate, because Feller showed rigorously that for a very general class of finite variance stochastic processes, the rescaled range grows asymptotically with the record length L as L1/2 4. Many explanations centered on pre-asymptotic effects, but a more mathematically elegant explanation came with the introduction by Mandelbrot, Van Ness and Wallis of fractional Gaussian noise (fGn), the first stationary model which was able to reproduce them. fGn was in itself controversial, however5,6, because it gained the desirable and tractable property of stationarity at the price of introducing infinite-ranged temporal memory or LRD. LRD implies that in order to predict the next state of a system its whole past is needed. This is different from typical dynamical systems whose next state is determined just by the current state. Such systems are called Markovian. This property appeared to many to be inconsistent with the Markovian nature of the equations of motion.” op. cit.

        The Hurst effect was discovered with a simple scaling technique and it was a remarkable discovery in the 1950’s. Confusion set in when the math seemed to suggest that an infinite memory was required. But that is clearly not a physical reality – the Earth system is a Markovian process. The explanation came later with dynamical systems theory – pioneered by Poincare but popularized by Lorenz.

        Climate evolves moment by moment with energy imbalances at TOA. The global first order differential energy equation can be written as the change in heat in oceans is approximately equal to energy in less energy out at the top of the atmosphere (TOA).

        Δ(ocean heat) ≈ Ein – Eout

        Late 20th century warming emerged with large changes in TOA energy out mostly as a result of low frequency variability in ocean and atmospheric circulation – not the non existent LRD.


        And this evolves as step changes in cloud, ice, biology, dust… in regimes and shifts. As shown by Hurst and as anticipated – at least these days by serious scientists – as regimes and climate shifts in a dynamical fluid flow problem in the globally coupled Earth flow field. The US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) defined abrupt climate change as a new climate paradigm as long ago as 2002 – and we have come a long way since then.

        A paradigm in the scientific sense is a theory that explains observations. A new science paradigm is one that better explains data – in this case climate data – than the old theory. The new theory says that climate change occurs as discrete jumps in the system. Climate is more like a kaleidoscope – shake it up and a new pattern emerges – than a control knob with a linear gain.

        Dimitris’ is a Procrustean science that brutally fits a chaotic world to an utterly incompetent model of Jovian orbits. But the pattern of outright denial of science and scientists on spurious grounds seems all too familiar. Venerable scientists are simply wrong based on the non existent authority of some mad blog scientist. Hmmm.

      • Dimitris Poulos

        haha what makes climate stationary? there should be some physics behind it, not just some absurd Hurst magic. The earth system alone cannot exhibit such long memory for any stationarity… though you fail to read my well written papers that explain the physics… in my last paper btw I have even explained the whole solar wind phenomenon and theoretically calculated all solar wind properties (temperature, velocity etc). There is too much inactivity in the part of scientific community to examine my findings and some absurd comments like yours.

      • Dimitris Poulos

        btw ALSO climate is not stationary, when solar wind stops for certain long intervals we fall in an ice age.

      • Stationarity is a statistical interpretation and not a euphemism for an unvarying climate as you seem to believe. .


        And that no one is interested “groundbreaking discoveries” is no surprise at all.

      • Dimitris Poulos

        you call this science you spread?
        btw my papers already have 900 reads at ResearchGate

      • Dimitris Poulos

        I just call the stochastic approach an outdated methodology, an inadequate explanation under the light of the new discoveries, this approach fails to attribute correctly the risk as is under the new light.

      • Robert I Ellison: Stationarity is a statistical interpretation and not a euphemism for an unvarying climate as you seem to believe.

        Stationarity (weak stationarity or strong stationarity) has a specific definition, and there is no reason to believe that the climate satisfies that definition.

        1. quantities of the distributions, aka functionals, such as mean, variance, quartiles, are unchanging;

        2. the correlations between observations depend on the time lag between them, but not on the time relative to other processes such as the start of the observation sequence.

        strong and weak stationarity are equivalent in the case of normally distributed sequences. For strong stationarity, 2 is replaced by “the joint distribution) of observations depends only on the lag between them.

        If “climate” (variously defined) is the distribution of the weather measurements, then the assumption of stationarity is the assumption that climate is not changing.

      • Dimitris Poulos

        R Ellison, Matthew is wright, you have no idea what you are talking about, instead you belch me and my discoveries.

  27. Salvatore del Prete

    What else warmed the oceans?

  28. Salvatore del Prete
  29. Belated minor quibble on a good paper: “intentionally portraying recognized ignorance incorrectly as if it was statistical uncertainty (Knightian risk) ..” should read “… as if it were …”

  30. Salvatore del Prete

    Robert I am much closer to your thinking then Jim D.

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