Is warming accelerating in the troposphere?

by Ross McKitrick

I  recently published an op-ed in the Financial Post describing the findings of the new JGR paper by NOAA’s Zou et al. NOAA’s STAR series of the MSU satellite-based tropospheric temperatures used to show more warming than UAH or RSS in the mid-troposphere. Zhou et al. recently rebuilt their dataset and now STAR has a slightly lower trend than UAH. This is a big deal because it adds to the evidence that GCMs are warming too much compared to observations, which suggests problems with their climate sensitivity (ECS) values.

In the ensuing discussion on Twitter and elsewhere, a few people criticized me for not drawing attention to Zou et al.’s observation that the warming rate appears to be accelerating, with the post-2001 trend about double that of the series as a whole. Apart from the limits of space in an op-ed, there are two reasons why I didn’t discuss that topic.

First, not too long ago many skeptics were pointing to the warming slowdown after 2001 as evidence that models were unreliable. The stock response on the part of modelers was to insist that we have to look at the whole data set to get the long-term picture right. Over short sub-intervals, so the argument goes, natural variability can cause departures above or below the trend, but this doesn’t take away from the reality of a long-term steady warming rate. Presumably the same logic still applies. It is especially the case when there was a pair of strong El Nino events after 2015 pushing the average tropospheric temperatures above trend. Of course, you will get an apparent acceleration if you compare a short sub-interval ending in 2020 with a trend using an earlier sample.

Second, if we want to test whether the warming rate has changed, it needs to be done properly. Zou et al. presented some suggestive calculations but not formal statistical tests. Suppose we have a data series Y(t) and we want to test if the trend changes after a chosen date which I’ll call g. The statistical question can be posed by using a regression model of the following form:

Y(t) = a0 + a1 x D(g) + a2 x T + a3 x D(g)T + e(t)

where a0 to a3 are regression coefficients, Y(t) is the temperature data series we are interested in, T is a time trend, and D(g) is a dummy variable, or binary indicator variable, taking the value 0 if the date is prior to the comparison point g and 1 if it is after; and e(t) are the error terms. For instance, Zou imposed a break point at 2001, so D(g) would be a vector consisting of zeroes up to December 2000 and ones thereafter. Note that D(g)T is a vector consisting of zeroes up to date g and the values of the time trend thereafter.

This form of the regression allows us to test if the trend changes after the date g. In the pre-g interval D(g) = 0 so the intercept is given by a0 and the trend is given by the coefficient a2. In the post-g interval D(g) = 1 so the intercept is given by the sum of a0 + a1 and the trend is given by the sum of a2+a3. Thus a1 measures if there was a step change and a3 measures if there was a change in trend between the pre- and post-g periods. To test if there was a significant change in the trend we use an F (or t) test of the restriction a3 =0. If the p-value on this test is above 0.05 we do not reject the null model and we can conclude there was no significant acceleration (or deceleration). Note that this allows for the alternative possibility that there was a step-change at g, but no change in the trend.

In order to do the test properly two further issues need to be addressed, only one of which I will deal with here. First, the error terms e(t) are autocorrelated, so an autocorrelation-consistent variance estimator is needed. It is common in climate applications to use an AR(1) model, but I will be using monthly data and this is likely inadequate. Instead I will use the Newey-West HAC method, which if you aren’t familiar with, think of it as being like AR(1) but more flexible so it is unbiased in large samples even if the autocorrelation process has more than just one lag.

[Digression: This further assumes that Y(t) is stationary around a deterministic trend. If this assumption is true then that raises large problems for attribution studies since GHG forcings are nonstationary and do not cointegrate. If that means nothing to you never mind. I will have much more to say on this at a later date.]

The second issue concerns how g is chosen. It is tempting to treat it as an unknown parameter and estimate it using an informal grid search. You can do that, but then you need to take account of the fact that you estimated it. It is common to experiment with values of g based on looking at the data series itself. Here is the total tropospheric temperature (TTT)-Global series from Zou et al.

Screen Shot 2023-04-19 at 8.22.07 AM

If you insert the break at various points to see what happens, this amounts to treating g as an unknown parameter to be estimated, but then inference regarding the other parameters is conditional on the value of g. I we perform the usual F test without taking account of the fact that g has been estimated, we will use incorrect critical values and overstate the significance of the test score. Tim Vogelsang and I discussed this issue in a 2014 paper in Environmetrics.

I’m going to ignore this issue for now but I’ll remark on it as we go along. I obtained from John Christy the new NOAA data showing the monthly TTT-Global and TTT-Tropics data (TTT= Total Tropospheric Temperature) from 1979:1 to 2022:12. I allowed g to vary month-by-month from 1990:1 to 2012:12, thus always allowing at least a decade before and after the break. For each placement of the break, I estimated the regression model described above and computed an F-test of the restriction a3 = 0 using the linear Hypothesis command in R with a Newey-West variance-covariance matrix.

The chart below shows the p-values of the test plotted over the assumed break date. The dotted line denotes the 5% significance level. Whenever the green or red line is below the dotted line we reject the hypothesis of no acceleration; in other words we have evidence of a significant change in the trend conditional on that break date.

Screen Shot 2023-04-19 at 8.23.24 AM

Looking at the global series (green), placing the break over most of the sample there is no evidence of acceleration but there is a brief interval in late-2005 through mid-2006 during which if you place the break there you can claim evidence of a significant acceleration in warming. But after that the tests go back into the non-rejection region, which means the apparent acceleration is temporary. Also we need to take account of the fact that we cherry-picked the date and since the p-value is so close to 0.05, any upward adjustment to the critical values will mean the rejection is no longer robust. Overall ,the TTT-global series does not support the claim of an accelerating trend. Further evidence is provided by the red line. If global warming in the troposphere was accelerating, then this presumably would also show up over the tropics. However, looking at the red line we see very clearly no evidence for acceleration regardless of the chosen break date.

The next figure shows the same results for the global LT (lower troposphere) and MT (mid troposphere) series. There is a bit more evidence of acceleration especially in the MT layer. But once again you have to cherry-pick the break date, and even then the tests move back into the non-rejection region if it is placed after mid-2011. Thus for most of the record we would conclude there is no robust evidence of a trend acceleration, even without adjusting the critical values for the fact that g is unknown.

Screen Shot 2023-04-19 at 8.24.18 AM

With regard to the mid-troposphere series we can say there is preliminary evidence of an acceleration, but the test scores reverse after 2010 so it is not yet a permanent feature of the data. Here is the time series of the global MT from NOAA v5.0. The linear trend is 0.092 degrees C per decade. Visually it looks like the record jumped in 2015 and has been returning to the trend ever since. It will take another 5 years or more of data to identify a permanent acceleration.

Screen Shot 2023-04-19 at 8.25.34 AM

In sum, based on a preliminary analysis the new NOAA data do not support a claim that warming in the troposphere has undergone a statistically-significant change in trend. The Global and Tropical TTT series show no support for the claim. The Global MT series appears to show support but only if the break data is placed in a specific interval in the early part of the last decade, and more recently the tests do not support acceleration. Finally, all of these results are biased towards finding evidence of a trend break due to the treatment of g. Robust critical values could be generated, which I might get to someday if no one else does it first.

145 responses to “Is warming accelerating in the troposphere?

  1. Ronald Havelock

    Bottom line: there is NO hockey stick! There is no evidence of any “crisis.”

  2. This new Zhou et al. 2023 paper must have made John Christy and Roy Spencer very happy, after the RSS issue of a few years ago.

    The fact that the temperature trend (and most climate change phenomena) does not show acceleration is a big issue beyond ECS determination. Since 1950 (but not before), atmospheric CO2 shows a very big acceleration in its trend. The breakpoint is very clear.

    The lack of acceleration in temperature and strong acceleration in CO2, support that a large part of the warming has not been caused by the increase in CO2, as it does not respond to it.

  3. Thanks for this post. I also read the paper with great interest because the outcome ( TLT, TMT… data) shows, that “Star” ( the new kid in town from NOAA) is very similiar to UAH, pointing to some discrepancies in RSS, which produces a trend slope (1981…2022) which is 60% (!) steeper than “Star” and UAH for the global TLT:
    with annual data. I was some kind of sceptic if this sentence would hold a significance test.” Remarkably, the total tropospheric trends during the latest half period were nearly doubled the earlier half period over the global ocean.” IMO this was some kind of aliby-conclusion for the media? Thanks for bolstering my “educated guess” that it described some kind of insignificantly noise in the data.

  4. I think we should pay more attention to a significant live-experiment just happening. A decisive component in climate sensitivity estimates is the role of the stratosphere. As CO2 does(!) cool the stratosphere, this should significantly enhance its forcing.

    The logic seems to be derived from our experience with volcanic eruptions. Sulfur and other stuff blown into the stratosphere cause heating there, and a cooling of the surface and troposphere. This inspired the idea strato- and troposphere to generally move in opposite directions climate wise.

    With the Hunga-Tonga eruption things went the opposite way. It emitted only little sulfur, but a lot of WV. WV barely absorbs solar radiation, but emits pretty well in the IR range. Being a GHG, just like CO2, the effect was stratospheric cooling, up to 10K. So Hunga Tonga had and has significant impacts.

    What is lacking however is a global, or at least SH, heat wave in the troposphere. The stratosphere cools, but the troposphere does not warm. If stratospheric WV fails to deliver, we can safely assume CO2 will as well. A general link between tropo- and stratospheric temperatures does not seem to exist.

  5. Nicely explained. Keep teaching us econometrics this way.

  6. Ross, good stuff as always. A few comments.

    First, I couldn’t find the STAR data. A link would be appreciated, thanks.

    Second, the length of the UAH MSU data is currently 532 months. However, the Hurst exponent of the UAH MSU TLT data is 0.82. This means that the “effective N”, the number of equivalent independent data points, is a pathetic 9 points … and that means that very few statistical analyses of the data will actually be significant. See the link below for how to calculate the effective N from the Hurst exponent using the method of Koutsoyiannis.

    Finally, as with many natural datasets, the MSU TLT data regularly goes from acceleration to deceleration. For example, the 30-year trailing acceleration is negative (deceleration) up until the 30-year period ending in mid-2016.

    After that it slightly accelerated for two years, slightly decelerated for a year, slightly accelerated for two years, slightly decelerated for a year, and in the most recent 30 year period is slightly accelerating.

    Given that, claiming that it “is” or it “isn’t” accelerating seems like an “angels on the head of a pin” type of argument, particularly since none of these are statistically significant.

    Finally, looking at the whole of the MSU TLT data, I find the following:

    [1] “Acceleration = 0.00012 per year^2”
    [1] “Trend = 0.013 per year”
    [1] “p-Value Acceleration = 0.27”

    Note that this is without adjusting for the high Hurst exponent …

    Thanks for all of your good work,


    • “First, I couldn’t find the STAR data. A link would be appreciated”

      Go to the Zhou et al. 2023 paper (link in second line of this article). Section 2: The Satellite Data Sets Used in This Study. Follow the link provided.

    • Willis – I appreciate your clear explanations of various things.

      So if the effective N is say, 5 data points, is there a method to determine where those data points would fall on the chart of UAH LT temps?

      Also, it appears it is OK to use a linear regression on UAH data, but must be aware that the significance will be determined by methods different than for a random set of data.

      So the data do suggest a trend, but with more uncertainty.

  7. Read this posting from down under from Jennifer Marohasy:
    We may have the same problems with our temperature measurements.

  8. Steven Mosher


  9. It’s been warming over the last 10,000 years and still is so… no change…?

    • We seem to be stuck with evanescent truths at their most profound level because most of what the witchdoctors of doom have predicted cannot actually be observed in nature by the old methods requiring obeisence to the scientific method.

    • Richard Greene

      Global cooling since the Holocene Climate Optimum (HCO) ended about 5000 years ago. Perhaps it was one degree C. warmer then.

      Coldest decade since the HCO was probably the 1690s during the Maunder Minimum. Possibly up +2 degrees C. warming since that cold decade.

      Not that one or two degrees matters much to anyone, but people generally prefer warmer climates.

      The +1 degree C. warmer than today period 5000 to 9000 years ago was called a climate optimum (optimum means good news). The UIPCC agrees with this.

      But the IPCC also claims a return to a +1 degree warmer than today climate in the future will NOT be another optimum, like a +1 degree C. warmer climate in the past was.

      +1 degree C. warmer in the FUTURE would be a “code red climate emergency”, claims the IPCC.

      Modern climate “science: is very “complicated” — it seems to contradict itself. One must eliminate reason and logic to understand modern climate “science”

  10. Pingback: Is Warming Accelerating in the Troposphere? – Watts Up With That?

  11. Maybe it’s just time to update the methods used to track such changes.

  12. Pingback: Is Warming Accelerating in the Troposphere? | ajmarciniak

  13. Richard Greene

    The historical average temperature record is not very important for climate change scaremongering. The scaremongering is not based on any prior average temperature trend.

    The scary climate predictions call for warming much faster than in the 1975 to 2014 period.

    They ignore the global cooling from 1940 y to 1975

    They ignore the flat trend from 2014 to 2023

    Historical temperature data are not important. So an analysis of those historical data do not refute the climate scaremongering. Even if the analysis is done by an expert, such as the author of this article.

    The goal of climate scaremongers is to avoid dat by making predictions. There are no data for the future climate. Just wild guess predictions. And every prediction is for the climate to get worse, never better. Climate confuser games are used to make this climate astrology seem “scientific”

    Climate confuser games try to predict the future climate with an overemphasis on CO2 emissions.

    They have three named “projections”:
    ECS in about 400 years
    TCS in about 70 years
    TCR is about 20 years

    We have about 50 years of data since the first GCM style confuser model in 1969.

    It’s too soon to judge whether ECS predictions are correct. They seem to be overstating warming by 2x, but that’s only for 50 years out of the full (imagined) 400 year process.

    TCS has 50 years of data for the 70 year prediction. The TCS predictions seems very reasonable so far, especially when made with the RCP 4.5 CO2 growth rate scenario.

    The TCR prediction for 20 years does not cover the minimum 30 years of average weather that defines climate. So it is not really a climate prediction. It’s a weather prediction. The lack of warming since 2014 (UAH data) is making the any TCR prediction made in the past ten years look bad.

    What does this mean? Does it mean the TCS prediction is accurate by design? No. … It only means the TCS prediction, so far, is accurate by chance. Because humans have no ability to make accurate long term climate predictions. Therefore, computers programmed by humans have no ability to make long term climate predictions.

    In fact, it may be impossible for anyone to ever make accurate predictions of the climate in 100 years. Just like it is impossible for anyone to predict whether or not it will rain in London 365 days from today.

    My message here is that climate confuser games are not science.

    They do not become real science simply because scientists programmed the computers.

    They are not real science because not enough is known about EVERY climate change variable to create a real model of the climate of Earth, that even had a chance of making an accurate long term climate prediction. Assuming such predictions were possible — I doubt it.

    The bottom line:
    If the historical average temperature record was perfectly accurate … the leftists would still be predicting a coming climate crisis, supported by their climate confuser games, programmed to predict whatever scary scenario they want predicted.

    And if there was no climate change / CO2 boogeyman, leftists would be using some other boogeyman to scare the general public, with the leftist goal of increasing government power and control over us.

    That has been a leftist goal for over a century: Rule by leftist “experts” who claim to know all about every subject that exists: Climate science, energy, medicine, economics, and everything other subject too.

    Leftists spend years in school studying everything, with the ultimate goal of knowing nothing about everything. Jumpin’ Joe Bidet and Kamala “the word salad queen” Harris have succeeded.

  14. I believe because of the cooling of the sun the 32-degree point in the upper atmosphere is lower. The water vapor, as it freezes is now closer to the equator. More lack of heat is now being stored on the mountain tops closer to the equator.

    • I have shown how the 28-degree saturated salt water and the shifting of the 32-degree freezing point of the water vapor in the atmosphere closer to the earth surface are how NATURE maintains a relatively constant average surface temperature of the earth!!!!!

  15. As McKitrick emphasized in his FP article, the significance is in confirming that the climate models are too hot to trust. My synopsis with charts:

    • Richard Greene

      Your chart at the link shows 40 years of UAH temperature actuals, from 1979 to 2019. You compare that to warming rates for 400 year ECS predictions. A fair comparison would have been with the 70 year TCS prediction.

  16. The surface temperature of the South Pacific is dropping. Winter in the south is approaching.

  17. I never heard of Ross McKitrick. Probably because he’s an economist and amateur climate scientist. I have heard of his two amigos — John Christy and Roy Spencer. If you want to know a little bit about the quality of their work read these articles:

    Roy Spencer believes the earth is 6000 years old and man cavorted with dinosaurs. He must have mistaken the Flintstones for reality TV when he was a child.

    John Christy has been more wrong the right and had to issue numerous revisions to his studies.

    Mr. McKitrick gives up the game in his first paragraph:

    “An important new study on climate change came out recently. I’m not talking about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Synthesis Report with its nonsensical headline “Urgent climate action can secure a liveable future for all.” No, that’s just meaningless sloganeering proving yet again how far the IPCC has departed from its original mission of providing objective scientific assessments.”

    No doubt where he stands.

    “The troposphere climate record has been heavily debated for two reasons. First, it’s where climate models say the effect of warming due to greenhouse gases (GHGs) will be the strongest, especially in the mid-troposphere. And since that layer is not affected by urbanization or other changes to the land surface it’s a good place to observe a clean signal of the effect of GHGs.”

    He makes few points in here which I would disagree with. He claims that climate models say the warming due to greenhouse gases will be the strongest in the troposphere. That may be true for the atmosphere, but the oceans absorb 90% of the warming from greenhouse gases. Water has a much higher heat capacity than air, that means small variations in the energy absorbed by the air will result in outsized variations in temperature — not a good place to draw conclusions from.

    He also concludes that since the troposphere is not affected by urbanization, etc. It a good place to see the effect of GHGs. The oceans are not affected by urbanization, etc. and are a better place to see the effect of GHGs.

    Here’s some heating data for the oceans:

    Mr. McKitrick seems to believe GHGs are heating the atmosphere. Actually, they heat the atmosphere indirectly. The GHGs heat the earth. The surface of the earth heats the atmosphere by conduction, convection, and evaporation. If GHGs heated the atmosphere, the temperature profile of the troposphere would be inverted.

    I wouldn’t get too concerned about this “revelation”. If the three amigos were really concerned about trying to access impact of GHGs, they be taking measurements of ocean heating and drawing conclusions from that.

    • Richard Greene

      Mr. Broccoli

      ARGO floats have been measuring ocean heat with decent accuracy since about 2000 — only 22 years.

      They measure down to 2,000 meters

      The average ocean depth is 3,688 meters

      That means a lot of the oceans do not have accurate average temperature data.

      With the short ARGO record, and lack of deep ocean average temperatures, what can be concluded about the long term trend of ocean heating with any accuracy?

      • They also use satellites to get surface temperatures.

        “Most of the added energy is stored at the surface, at a depth of zero to 700 meters.”
        That from the NASA Ocean Warming article that I used in my original post.

        Fun fact: More energy is stored in the first few meters of the ocean than in the entire atmosphere.

        Therein lies the rub. The troposphere is not representative of climate change. It is not warmed directly by greenhouse gases. It relies on conduction, convection, and evaporation for its energy Why would that be chosen as a point of comparison? How can data from the troposphere be used to draw conclusions about anything?

        Think about this: It’s Thanksgiving. You want to know if the turkey is cooked. Do you stick the thermometer in the turkey or in the air above the turkey? Which is going to give you a better idea if the turkey is cooked?

        This is the problem with climate denial pseudo-science. It’s always something. Yesterday a paper was used that said CO2 from fossil fuels wasn’t responsible for the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere. A joke, but I gave the paper the benefit of the doubt. I went out and checked. I found out that 80% of CO2 emissions come from fossil fuels. I also found out that our CO2 emissions are swamping the ability of the earth to remove them. What that paper claimed is impossible. I will assume his figures are right, but you can skew the data by how you formulate the analysis. Which is what I think happened.

    • Curious George

      There are many people and things JJBraccili never heard of.

    • JJ

      Just the kind of adolescent brain views that make JJ the best spokesman for skeptics. JJ is incapable of independent thought so he regurgitates the preferred propaganda of others who are even less knowledgeable about science than he is. Keep at it, champ, you are making our points even better than we can.

      • Do you have something to contribute? These ad hominem attacks have no affect on me.

    • The Guardian is not a reliable source but rather along with the New York Times a reliably far left publication whose journalists promote narratives that are often disinformation, a prime example being the Russian collusion and interference mythology. These are often based on deep state leakers. These media outlets are simply symbiotes of the security state and mimic their propaganda for example about Ukraine.

      It looks to me as if the new Star dataset adds to the credibility of the UAH dataset whose originators were Christy and Spencer. Their work looks quite sound in this light.

    • JJ I can help you here. I’ve heard of and read McKitrick, Spencer and Christie, and the Guardian, and know quite a lot about measurement and the statistical issues around making inferences about complex and poorly understood systems.

      The first observation I’d make about all this is the Guardian is generally the least qualified in this area, so don’t quote it if you want a serious conversation, quote the primary sources.

      I should add that the various IPCC summaries for policy makers are polemics, so in the same vein, stick to the actual reports.

      Second, very few who trade as “Real Climate Scientists” have much capability in these areas (they are hard), so they are generally lacking when it comes to addressing measurement and uncertainty. You can pick the amateurs by how certain they are, and the professionals by how often there work is falsified and their errors corrected. Climate Scientists like the Guardian seldom allow that level of professionalism in what they do.

      Finally, your “Mr” McKitrick has a PhD, and perhaps that little lack of awareness leaves “no doubt about where you stand”.

      • JJ

        I might have left off Soldiers Field in Chicago. Sure to draw big crowds. That is, if they haven’t been all whacked before you get there.

        How many climate science papers don’t use statistics? Not many. If you knew as much as you think you know you would already have known that, and you would know why McKitrick is perfectly qualified for this analysis. You, on the other hand…..Carry on.

      • I’m not sure if you regard the Zou et al paper as real climate science, but you’ll be mortified to find it cites Christie, Spencer and McKitrick as part of the community working in this area.

        It doesn’t mention the Guardian.

      • JJ I suspect you are enjoying your troll, but you clearly know little about mathematics, econometrics, and engineering. As someone with a modicum of experience in all those I’d say engineering as a general discipline would be the least rigorous in their use of mathematics.

      • Really?

        You have no idea what you are talking about. Engineers rely on sophisticated programs to do a lot of the grunt math work, but that’s true of most disciplines. That why God invented Mathmatica, Mathcad, and Maple.

        I worked in developing engineering programs and I can assure you the math is as sophisticated as it gets. I use math libraries like IMSL or companies like Fluent to solve CFD problems. After I left graduate school, I spent most of my time writing models, there were plenty of programs out there that solved them.

      • “You have no idea what you are talking about.”

        I thought you were probably an engineer, and aren’t surprised you think using numerical analysis is the height of sophistication in the field of mathematics.

      • I have news you, for engineers, mathematics is a tool. I use any part of it that helps me get the job done. I’m not here to advance the field of mathematics. That’s what mathematicians do.

      • JJBraccili

        So you do CFD but don’t think Navier-Stokes is important. ^_^

        I’ve worked with engineers like that. One day I had to explain to a colleague with a masters degree in EE what the base of a transistor is for. He said he knew they had one, but that they only covered what it did for one day in class. Perhaps they explained it all too well, saying that the base was just the crystal slab where Brattain at Bell Labs pressed down two gold contacts in 1947.

      • “I have news you, for engineers, mathematics is a tool.”

        No, not news, and the reason why I suggested they are the least rigorous in their use of mathematics.

        But our hostess has sensibly deleted your initial slur against McKitrick and econometrics, and with you now changing the subject to talk about yourself, let’s move on.

    • Dunno how you got your climate related education, not from science I’m afraid. You talk about different things (GMST and Troposphere temperatures) which of course have a relation. For a 1st approach I suggest reading this paper: .
      If ( and big IF) then you have more knowledge to bring the things together you can respond. For now it seems to be enough with ad homs. If you never heard of Ross McKitrick this shines a light on your limited understanding of statistics. If he is a “amateur climate scientist” who are you? A loudspeaker?

      • What I questioned is why use temperatures from the troposphere, which are indirect measurements of the greenhouse effect, and where there is little energy, and not ocean temperatures, where temperature is a direct measurement of the greenhouse gas effect and most of the earth’s energy is stored?

      • Just because the troposphere is a subject of research. And climate models estimate a “hotspot” of warming in the middle and upper tropical troposphere due to the water vapour feedback (wvf) as result of the global GHG forcing. Comparing measurements with model simulations allow the science the estimation of the real wvf which is crucical for the the sensitivity of the real world on GHG-forcing. Glad to help you, who described Ross M. as a “hobby climate scientist”. I’m afraid you know too less to make such judgements.

      • joe the non climate scientist

        JJBraccili | April 21, 2023 at 4:17 pm |
        I just wrote about McKitrick’s qualifications. Let’s just say, I’m not thrilled by an economist pretending to be a climate scientist.”

        Better than a climate scientist pretending to be a scientist!

      • The repetition of the same more and more won’t bring any progress. I tried to explain you why real scientists look also at the troposphere. If you are unable to follow: educate yourself. Nothing more to say.

      • Repeating myself: “If you are unable to follow: educate yourself.” It’s no use to expand this dialogue anymore because you are lowering the bar. Sorry to follow this from you belowground comments. Cheers!

    • JJB the classic theory of GHG warming is that it will be most easily observed in areas of the atmosphere where water vapour is sparse – i.e. the upper troposphere, and the polar regions. This study lines up with the work of two other independent satellite groups that show the expected warming is half that modelled.

      You say that GHGs warm the atmosphere ‘indirectly’ by amplifying the convective and conductive processes, and evaporation.

      This would seemingly contradict the consensus as set out by Wild et al 2017 (see figure 4) [] showing the atmosphere radiating in the IR 342 wm-2 to the surface, the surface radiating in the IR 398 wm-2 to the atmosphere; evaporation resulting in 82 wm-2 with ‘sensible’ heat, which is your convection/conduction, responsible for just 21 wm-2.

      GHGs warm the atmosphere by transferring kinetic energy. Nitrogen, oxygen and argon, that make up around 99.8% of the atmosphere, are transparent to most of the sun’s incoming radiation as well as the outgoing longwave radiation. For these molecules to be warmed, the GHGs in the atmosphere get excited by long wave IR and pass kinetic energy to these molecules by collision. The ‘natural’ greenhouse effect warms the planet by ~33C. As Wild et al 2017 show, whilst there is a role for convective, conductive and evaporative processes, they are overwhelmed by the effect of radiation in the IR.

      Skeptics have argued, as you do, for a greater role for convection, evaporative processes but without success to date.

      The importance of the effect on the atmosphere is that is where our weather comes from – wind, precipitation, heat waves etc. I agree that the effect on the ocean is important too, but it is the atmosphere that affects the weather.

      P.S. Ross McKitrick has particular skills with statistics and other mathematics used in climate modelling and has collaborated with several leading climate scientists in this regard.

      The ClimateGate emails release disclose that those at the heart of Climate Gate i.e., scientists we could describe as ‘mainstream’ at the Climatic Research Unit, acknowledged the integrity shown by Spencer and Christy who adjusted their satellite’s low trending data upwards in response to the scientific method – this should not be a matter of criticism – that the IPCC continue to use UAH should suffice to give you confidence in their work.

      This study by NOAA scientists, that lowers their trend to line up with UAH and RSS, not only validates their work but should be equally praised for having similar integrity in adopting the scientific method even where it leads to an observational conclusion that contradicts the mainstream modelling.

      On personal level, I emailed John Christy, out of the blue from New Zealand in 2016 when a student of climate change and do so from time to time. His responses are always prompt, balanced and helpful.

      • Here’s a graphic of earth’s energy balance from NASA:

        We can calculate how much greenhouse gases warm the troposphere from the graphic. It’s simply the IR absorbed by the atmosphere – the back radiation — 358.2 – 340.3 = 17.9 W/m2. Convection and conduction contribute 18.4 W/m2. Evaporation contributes 86.4 W/m2. Total energy warming the troposphere is 122.7 W/m2. Greenhouse gases provide 14.6% of that.

        “As Wild et al 2017 show, whilst there is a role for convective, conductive and evaporative processes, they are overwhelmed by the effect of radiation in the IR.
        Skeptics have argued, as you do, for a greater role for convection, evaporative processes but without success to date.”

        Not anymore! If convective, conductive, and evaporative processes are being overwhelmed, the troposphere would have an inverted temperature profile. That means the troposphere would be hotter than earth’s surface temperature. It’s not.

        What all that means is that the surface temperature of the earth — specifically the SST — controls the temperature of the troposphere. Climate scientists think that SST is being impacted by el Nino and la Nina and are lower than they should be. The earth is still absorbing IR from greenhouse gases, but the energy is being stored in the deep ocean. Lower SST temperatures mean lower troposphere temperatures and make it appear the earth is not warming as fast as expected. That means the three amigos’ conclusions are wrong. What a surprise!

        I released an early version of this post that had a few mistakes but made the same arguments. In it I criticized the three amigos. That post was censored. I have stripped all of that out, but my opinion of the three amigos hasn’t changed.

      • JJB I was going over a paper I did on water vapour in 2019, that concluded suggesting (relating to Christy’s work and the NOAA update) :
        “It will be of interest to see if other groups are able to replicate Christy and McNider 2017 and present a consistent analysis regarding ongoing trends”

        I think this has now happened with RSS and NOAA.

        In regards to the importance of radiation vs conductive/convective/evaporative processes I think Lindzen would agree with you judging by my notes. My comment says:

        “In Lindzen 1990, 1994 and 2007 the author notes that most atmospheric warming arises from tropical WV carried aloft and transported poleward, not from the direct GHE. The opacity immediately above the ground means that the surface cannot effectively cool by emission of thermal radiation. Instead heat is carried away by fluid motions that carry heat poleward to levels where it interacts with other atmospheric constituents and where it is possible for emitted thermal radiation to escape to space. This mode of heat transport by-passes the IR radiative absorption mechanism in the lower atmosphere giving greater prominence to increased GHGs, particularly WV, in the upper troposphere. It is in the upper troposphere where sensible and latent heat are released to the atmosphere from WV allowing the IR absorption mechanics of the GHE to operate.”

        Lindzen R.S. 1990. Some coolness concerning global warming. Bull. Am. Meteorol Soc. 71:288–99;
        Lindzen R.S. 1994. On the scientific basis for global warming scenarios. Environ. Pollut. 83:125 34;
        Lindzen, R. S. (2007). Taking Greenhouse Warming Seriously. Energy & Environment, 18(7), 937–950.

        I saw that Nasa’s Gavin Schmidt is less impressed noting that the ‘alignment’ is more by chance given the trends across the full data set are different. Doesn’t even mention Christy’s work.

      • l’m not a fan of Lindzen, but he’s got it basically right.

        The only way energy leaves the lower troposphere is through the atmospheric window and conduction and convection to the upper atmosphere. The upper atmosphere radiates energy into space. Increasing CO2 affects the upper atmosphere since it is saturated in the lower atmosphere.

        The earth is heated by back radiation from greenhouse gases which increases with increasing temperature. The other way is by restricting conduction and convection from the surface due to increasing temperature in the upper atmosphere.

    • R. M. provided code and data. What’s the problem with the code and/or data JJB??

      • The problem I have with the three amigos is that they never tell you the whole story until they get caught.

        In McK’s op-ed piece, he claims that climate sensitivity is too high because the heating of the mid-troposphere has slowed, that means the planet heating has slowed. I went through an analysis that I posted here that showed that tropospheric temperatures are primarily a function of SST. Then I found a paper on NOAA’s website that said SSTs were lower because of el Nino and el Nina and that made planetary temperatures appear lower. The planet was still warming because of greenhouse gases, but the response is delayed. That would explain the troposphere temperature divergence. McK never mentioned it and he should have.

      • But oceans play a role, a big one, in the determination of climate sensitivity. If a climate model didn’t properly take into account the effect of the oceans, it will probably not get the climate sensitivity right.

      • Oceans store energy. They can’t create it. They remove CO2 from the atmosphere, but CO2 emissions overwhelm their removal capacity. Oceans have negligible impact on climate sensitivity.

      • Oceans absorb and release energy. They definitely have an impact on temperature change given a forcing.

      • To expound on that, as a thought experiment, assume the oceans absorbed heat from the atmosphere very quickly. Then you could increase the CO2 concentration by a 100 ppm jump, but the ocean would absorb that extra heat from the air very quickly. In this case, the sensitivity would be low because the ocean would moderate the temperature increase of the air.

      • Let’s do a thought experiment where some thought was put in.

        Start with the Earth at steady state. Temperature is constant. There is no difference between the energy the earth absorbs from the sun and what it radiates into space. Now introduce some CO2 to the atmosphere. What happens? The CO2 absorbs some of the earth’s radiant energy. Now there is an imbalance between the energy the earth absorbs and what it radiates. Energy accumulates. The earth’s temperature rises. It radiates more energy. Eventually it comes to a new steady state at a higher temperature.

        Now let’s think about the oceans and run the same experiment. The oceans can’t impact the energy the earth absorbs. The only way it can impact earth’s temperature is by having an affect on earth’s radiant. There is no mechanism where the oceans can have a permanent impact on the earth’s radiant energy. The oceans have no permanent impact on the earth’s temperature.

        Could it have a temporary impact? Sure. That could make it seem that the earth’s warming has slowed. That will only be temporary and the earth will eventually catch up.

      • Radiation is dependent on the fourth power of temperature. If the ocean absorbs heat, the temperature goes down, and so also, only more so, does outgoing radiation.

        You should admit by now, either you don’t understand how the climate works or you are attempting to obfuscate.

      • “Radiation is dependent on the fourth power of temperature. If the ocean absorbs heat, the temperature goes down, and so also, only more so, does outgoing radiation.”

        Let, me get this straight. When the ocean absorbs energy the planet’s temperature goes down and when it radiates energy it goes down too? Then why is the planet’s temperature going up? With your reasoning the planet should be well on its way to absolute zero.

        “You should admit by now, either you don’t understand how the climate works or you are attempting to obfuscate.”

        Because you’re such an expert. Yes, I can see that. NOT!!!

  18. Richard Greene

    “it adds to the evidence that GCMs are warming too much compared to observations, which suggests problems with their climate sensitivity (ECS) values”

    The measurements of the historical average temperature tell us almost nothing about the very long term ECS of CO2.

    Those measurements, no matter how accurate, do not tell us the effect of every climate change variable. They do not tell us exactly what the CO2 emissions have done to the average temperature. So they do not prove or refute any ECS estimate.
    They do not even “suggest” problems with ECS values.

    The ECS problems were already known: No one knows what ECS is, but lots of people guess. That is the problem. Having an accurate historical average temperature record since 1979 won’t change that ECS problem.

  19. I believe the sats used by UAH measure from about a half mile up to top of troposphere. So we get a global average of that.

    How would the UAH LT temp relate to the average global surface temp?

    • Beta Blocker

      They’ve both been in a generally upward trend for the last forty years.

      • Richard Greene

        But no rising global average temperature trend in the past 8.5 years, in spite of the largest amount of manmade CO2 emissions during any 8.5 year period in history.

        Looks like other climate change variables have overwhelmed the warming influence of CO2. Big, bad CO2 … is not so big and bad after all.

      • Richard Greene – If you look at the global temp record, there have been pauses before. All of them have ended with a rise in temperature. I guess you can argue over the significance of it, but the data is what it is.

      • Richard Greene

        There was a global warming “pause” from 1940 to 1975, which had significant global cooling, as reported by NCAR in 1975.

        That global cooling was not what was supposed to happen with CO2 rising, so it was explained away as CO2 warming that was more than offset by SO2 emissions increasing.

        That excuse fell apart in 1975.

        SO2 kept rising from 1975 to 1980, but that did no cause more global cooling. A new global warming trend began in 1975 even as SO2 emissions were still rising. As if all the SO2 emissions suddenly fell out of the atmosphere!

        A better excuse was needed for why rising CO2 had no measured warming effect from 1940 to 1975.

        No one in the government could come up with a new excuse, so they gradually “REVISED AWAY” almost all the global cooling from 1940 to 1975, and they currently claim it never existed. Pure science fraud.

        The pause in the past 8 years and 9 months is unique because it was accompanied by the LARGEST quantity of CO2 emissions EVER in a period of 8 years and 9 months.

        It is also unique because this news is censored by the mass media — the Climate Howlers are also MORE hysterical than they have been in the past 50 years

        (1) No global warming for 8 years and 9 months

        (2) No publicity of this unexpected trend

        (NOTE: I expect “REVISIONS” to surface data will someday “correct” any flat trend after 2014. just like the 1940 to 1975
        “REVISIONS”, and other “REVISIONS” that were made about seven years ago to “correct” a pause that started in 1998.)

        (3) Alarmists are more hysterical than ever before.

        Do (1), (2) and (3) sound like science, or politics?

      • firstcreateyoursitedotcomaccount

        Data spanning <1000 years seems less important if the base earth age assumption is billions of years.

  20. I’m putting this here because it highlights the dangers of hydrogen. Using hydrogen in houses, from a chemist’s perspective, ranges from very unwise to downright stoop id.

    • You must be the sort of engineer that designed the Washington Tacoma bridge!! You Climate Doomers don’t care how dangerous any of your recommendations are. You don’t care how much any of it costs. You don’t care that our standard of living will nosedive. You don’t care that it will hurt the poor. You just basically don’t care about our well-being.

      ‘Hydrogen in the home would be four times more dangerous than natural gas’: government report

      Michael Liebreich, the influential energy analyst and founder of BloombergNEF, told Recharge in June: “You’re not going to have hydrogen in your home for safety reasons. It’s just not going to be a thing.”

      • That report is based on what? It doesn’t say. I suspect they are looking at using existing NG lines. If H2 is handled properly, it’s no more dangerous than NG. They’ve been handling it in large quantities in refineries for decades and I’ve never heard of an H2 reformer blowing up.

        I skimmed the report, and their conclusions seem to be based on “it leaks more.” No s**t!!!

    • Making hydrogen with renewable energy might be a good fit.
      Just do what makes sense:

  21. So now they are coming after rice. JJB – hold your breath until China stops growing rice!

    Global rice production is releasing damaging greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, doing as much harm as 1,200 average-sized coal power stations, according to the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

    The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates around 770 million tonnes of rice were produced in 2018, with China and India responsible for approximately half of that amount. The predominant method for growing the crop is to flood paddy fields, sometimes on hillsides carefully terraced to maximize growing space.

    This is yet another Climate Doomer effort which will drive up food costs when people are already starving.

    Hunger Stalks 48 Million People in West Africa Amid Supply Curbs

    Export bans on rice, grains to cap prices aggravates crisis
    Food insecurity reaches coastal nations Togo, Benin, Ghana

    When is the stoop id itty going to stop?

  22. @ jim2 | April 21, 2023 at 7:43 am in suspense.

  23. World-wide, Schumberger sees growth in oil exploration and drilling. Oil and gas are thriving, no matter what the lame stream media might be telling you.

    “Looking at the macro, we maintain our very constructive multiyear outlook as the upcycle attributes and key activity drivers continue to evolve very positively. The international and offshore markets continue to experience a strong resurgence of activity driven by resilient long-cycle development and capacity expansion projects.

  24. Over the years I have increasingly encountered the conclusion that “It is not all due to CO2 so something else is at play here.” Today, we have about 150 years of CO2 and temperature rise, sprinkled liberally with periods of cooling or temperature pause. Meanwhile the atmospheric CO2 concentration has increased relentlessly. Many people believe that the greenhouse effect is not all powerful and may have diminished logarithmically or due to band saturation. The truth is that we don’t know what will happen after the current pause. We shall probably still be in that position after the next one, too. Meanwhile, our governments will continue to spend trillions on climate change, but that is another debate.

    As I ponder the above, I know that much work is being done to look at the CO2 effect though I guess that most of it seeks to bolster its climate dominance rather than, for example, to build on the work of Happer and Wijngaarden.

    It is perhaps more fruitful to look beyond the current period to ask what caused the periods of warming and cooling over the last 2000 years when CO2 concentration was not a factor. Such an approach always immediately gets bogged down by claims that these were local, not global events. CO2 worshippers would claim that to protect its alleged climate dominance status. But there is no doubt that these events happened and they were recorded over large areas. My point is that something caused them and we should be trying to discover what it was.

    Another line of enquiry concerns known and possible climate influences. These include shifts in orbit and the like, but I’m really thinking about changes closer to home such as changes in cloud cover or major changes in ocean circulation patterns. The solar output, in terms of spectral distribution and charged particles is ever changing. The solar wind modulation of galactic cosmic particles and their influence on cloud seeding is a good example of indirect effects that would not show up in simple correlation.

    In summary, CO2 has dominated climate science for over forty years and yet we have not progressed very much. We still argue about the same things. I am simply saying that we should explain what caused warming and cooling in our history and look more closely at other factors which have the potential to make large changes to our climate. Perhaps Dr Curry might review such topics in the future.

    • I’ve long wondered if the South Atlantic Anomaly might have a strong effect on weather and cloud formation. The anomaly is kind of a short circuit between the Van Allen belt and the atmosphere, through which massive amounts of electric charge flows. It also causes problems for the ISS astronauts who fly through it every so many orbits, and is the limiting factor in an astronaut’s mission duration because it makes them hit their annual radiation limits. The atmosphere’s electric potential, in volts/meter, surely has some effect on how could formation transpires.

      But we don’t know how the SAA evolves over time. Does it strengthen, weaken, and wander around? Is it a transient phenomenon in geological terms, like many magnetic fields generated dynamically by molten iron, or baked into the rocks of the crust? Could it be another factor that has a major effect on climate?

      These are questions I don’t think anyone is even asking, much less studying.

      • @ George Turner: It’s funny – I have just come across your comment. Just today I saw a video published by a mob I hadn’t heard of and who seemed slightly “crankish”, but the video seemed absolutely fine in the way it presented evidence. The presenter was pointing to a phenomenon called “sudden atmospheric overturning” where changes in the earths magnetic field can cause ionised particles in the upper atmosphere to drop suddenly leading to a very very sudden cooling event. He showed actual evidence for it – quite a bit actually.

        The publishers of the video seem like a hysterical cult, but the actual evidence presented in the video did not. It was quite plausible to me. I wondered if anyone had heard of this or can shed some more light on it from more conventional sources?

      • I just punched in data on the strength of the SAA (which counteracts the normal magnetic field strength) from 1840 to 2020 and compared it to one of the many graphs of global temperature anomaly over the same period.

        From 17 data points I got a Pearson Correlation coefficient of -0.9351 with a p value of 0.00001, meaning there’s a strong negative correlation between the SAA and global temperatures.

        In modern science that kind of result would get published and cited, but I can get a similar correlation with a comparison of the global temperature anomalies and the number of active pirate ships in the Caribbean. In fact, I trust the SAA field strength data vastly more than the temperature record, which everybody has massaged, stretched, and mutilated.

        To actually establish a correlation I’d need data going back thousands of years so the temperature curve has some real shape to it.

        But the data did not contradict the idea of a correlation between temperature and the SAA strength, which I guess is something.

    • “My point is that something caused them and we should be trying to discover what it was.”

      We know what caused some of them. The Boreal Oscillation, the 5.2 kiloyear event, the 2.8 kiloyear event, and the Little Ice Age, among others, were caused by low solar activity, as they coincide in time with the only four Spörer-type solar grand minima during the Holocene.

      The problem is that we can’t accept a solar effect on climate because that means climate models are fundamentally wrong and there is no climate crisis, and both are unacceptable.

      • For solar radiation to be the cause of rising temperatures, solar irradiance has to be increasing. For 40 years solar irradiance has been flat to decreasing. Solar radiation cannot be the cause of climate change.

      • It doesn’t work the way you think it should work. Your way of thinking is too simplistic. Climate is complex.

      • The evidence that solar activity greatly affected climate in the past is very clear. There is no reason to think it should not affect it in the present. The Uniformitarian principle: processes in the past and the present are the same.

        If we don’t believe the evidence that solar activity greatly affected climate in the past we should be able to explain why it is invalid. Ignoring the evidence we don’t like is never a good idea in science.

        Alfred Wegener was told that his evidence didn’t matter, that continents were too heavy and there was no force operating that could move them. It was the incorrect way of thinking. Evidence can be contradictory and the subject of interpretation, but if correctly obtained it is never wrong.

        Rohling, E.J., Mayewski, P.A., Abu-Zied, R.H., Casford, J.S.L. and Hayes, A., 2002. Holocene atmosphere-ocean interactions: records from Greenland and the Aegean Sea. Climate Dynamics, 18(7).
        “In view of these findings, we call for an in-depth
        multi-disciplinary assessment of the potential for solar
        modulation of climate on centennial scales.”

        They are not anybody. Eelco Rohling is Professor of Ocean and Climate Change at the Australian National University, and Paul Mayewski is the director of the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine, and the man who directed the 200-scientists international research project GISP2 in the 1990s.

        By ignoring the evidence of the great effect solar activity has on climate on centennial timescales, climatologists are setting themselves for the shame and ridicule geologists suffered for ignoring the evidence that continents had changed their position over time for four decades.

      • Right now solar radiation isn’t impacting earth’s temperatures. Solar irradiance has been flat to down for the last 40 years.

  25. I’m watching a show on Coral Reef Bleaching. Ironically they are touting how they have replanted Coral to revive a bleached coral. The problems here should be obvious:1) If it was climate change and pollution that killed the reef, why would the new coral fair any better? Neither the climate or pollution has changed, but the new coral is doing just fine. If someone salts a field, it will kill all current and future plants.2) They accidentally discovered what was causing the bleaching and warming of the oceans and it isn’t CO2. They literally state that too much incoming sunlight bleaches the coral. That should be all the evidence one needs that there has been a change of incoming radiation reaching the oceans causing them to warm and bleach the coral. It has nothing to do with CO2.
    The answer is right in front of their eyes and they don’t see it. Evidence of fewer clouds over the oceans is abundant and increased coral bleaching is evidence of that.

  26. Pingback: 40 years of expert failure: New NOAA STAR satellite temperatures only show half the warming that climate models do - Climate-

  27. Within two days, the frigid air will reach the Great Lakes region.

  28. Bill Fabrizio

    Thanks for the post, Ross.

  29. What I said is that Navier Stokes doesn’t drive climate change.

    Believe it or not, Navier Stokes isn’t important in every problem.

  30. The concept of climate sensitivity is nonsense; since it depends on other nonsense ideas such as a greenhouse gas effect and back-radiative forcing. We know the greenhouse gas effect and back-radiative forcing are nonsense due to the behaviour of the Pirani gauge, as explained by Tom Shula here:

    • LMAO!

      I watched the video. His claim is that conduction and convection remove more energy from the earth than radiation. Really? How does conduction and convection get that energy off the planet? You can’t convect and conduct into outer space. There is nothing to conduct and convect to. The only way energy gets off the planet is by radiation.

      Let’s think about this some more. What happens if the earth had no atmosphere. The earth is absorbing energy from the sun. The only way that energy gets off the planet is by radiation. Now add an atmosphere. Why would the radiation from the planet become insignificant and suddenly conduction and convection be the main remover of heat? It wouldn’t.

      BTW radiation is proportional to temperature raised to the 4th power. Conduction and convection is only proportional to the 1st power of temperature.

      That video defines a whole new level of stupid! The guy who made the video wonders why the scientific community has not picked up on this keen insight. It’s not that hard to understand.

    • The experiment with the Pirani gauge doesn’t prove what you (or Shula) think it proves.

      The greenhouse gas effect is real and proven beyond doubt, same as the Earth not being flat. Having a more IR opaque atmosphere makes the surface warmer if a positive lapse rate is in place. The greenhouse effect theory does not say changes in atmospheric greenhouse gases is the main process by which the Earth changes its temperature. It says a change in atmospheric greenhouse gases should have an effect on temperature, but doesn’t say how much effect. Evidence from Holocene climate change, when CO2 levels barely changed, supports CO2 changes have a small effect.

      Back radiation forcing is the wrong way of looking at it. What matters in terms of temperature change is the net radiative exchange, as any engineer would tell us. If two bodies exchange the same amount of IR radiation, it doesn’t matter how much radiation they exchange. They won’t change their temperature that way.

      • What happened in the distant past has no impact on what is happening today. To try to take what happened in the Holocene era to draw conclusions about today is ridiculous. You have no idea of the conditions back then. CO2 is not always the cause of climate change.

        “What matters in terms of temperature change is the net radiative exchange, as any engineer would tell us.”

        In this case it’s the amount of radiation that the earth has to shed. Back radiation from greenhouse gases plays a major role in that. Radiative heat transfer tells us that the amount of energy a body radiates is proportional to T**4.

      • “To try to take what happened in the Holocene era to draw conclusions about today is ridiculous.”

        The uniformitarian principle establishes that the same processes that shaped the Earth in the past are taking place now. To defend the opposite is plain wrong and goes against knowledge accumulated since James Hutton.

        For solar variability to leave a mark on climate that can be recognized today, thousands of years later, it must be a very powerful forcing. And it is not going to stop being such because it is inconvenient to you.

      • “The uniformitarian principle establishes that the same processes that shaped the Earth in the past are taking place now. To defend the opposite is plain wrong and goes against knowledge accumulated since James Hutton.”

        Nonsense! The earth has no memory. Climate change is cause and effect. It doesn’t matter what happened 10 minutes ago. To the extent that changes in the earth’s orbit can cause variations in solar radiation that can have an impact, but that’s not the only thing that can impact climate. Every year as the sun loses mass, the earth moves further from the sun and that, over a long period of time, will change earth’s climate. If solar radiation started to increase and kept increasing, that would change earth’s climate and rather dramatically. Then, your uniformitarian principle goes right out the window.

        “For solar variability to leave a mark on climate that can be recognized today, thousands of years later, it must be a very powerful forcing. And it is not going to stop being such because it is inconvenient to you.”

        That’s true. Unfortunately, for you, we can measure solar irradiance. Over the last 40 years, it’s been flat or falling and cannot be the cause of earth’s warming. That not going to change because it is inconvenient for you.

      • One comment here. The climate system has a lot of memory, in the oceans and ice sheets in particular. It has been found that the deep ocean in the Pacific is still cooling, responding to the forcing of the Little Ice Age

      • That’s not what I’m talking about.

        You can’t compare something that happened in the distant past to what is occurring today. For example, it’s fashionable to compare CO2 concentrations in the distant past to today and if the temperatures back then were lower while concentrations of CO2 were higher, to claim that CO2 isn’t responsible for today’s climate change.

        Other things can impact climate and CO2 may not have been the dominant factor in the past. You can’t make comparisons and unless you know all the conditions in the past — we don’t. We have a set of conditions today that are causing temperatures to rise unique to today. What happened in the past doesn’t matter.

      • “we can measure solar irradiance. Over the last 40 years, it’s been flat or falling and cannot be the cause of earth’s warming.”

        That’s a very simplistic statement indicating a complete lack of knowledge about how the Sun affects climate. Since 1987, when Karin Labitzke demonstrated that polar stratospheric temperatures in winter were set by solar activity, we know it is not about total solar irradiance and it is not about the surface, because there is complete darkness for months in polar regions in winter, yet the invisible solar activity determines the temperature of the atmosphere.

        In the 1990s Joanna Haigh demonstrated that the dynamic (not radiative) solar signal that affects climate is due to UV changes and is mediated by ozone.

        In 2015 Tokuro Kobashi showed that the modern solar maximum of 1935-2005 had been responsible for Greenland cooling. It must follow that it has contributed to global warming outside the Arctic.

        It is not about the trend in total solar irradiance. It is about how long solar activity is above average versus below average. That ratio determines how much heat is lost in winter in polar regions.

        Most people ignore that the greenhouse effect does not have the same strength everywhere on the Earth. Poleward heat transport changes are the main climate change driver on the planet. And that is how the Sun affects climate because it affects poleward heat transport in winter. It has nothing to do with total solar irradiance changes at the surface, whose effect is negligible.

      • Hi Javier

        I’m interested in your exchanges with solar scientists or climate scientists studying the sun’s effects on climate and what their reaction to your book has been. How widespread is this concept you have laid out within that community and how much debate is there about subtle variations surrounding this theme.

        In the last year I have devoted a bit of time learning about the interrelationships of the oceanic and atmospheric circulation systems, including some solar related, and I’m struck by how much debate there is on the intricacies of the iterative processes even when there is agreement on the macro theme.

        It seems as if I read regularly about counterintuitive and paradoxical outcomes and very slight differences in interpretations of effects from those interrelationships.

        I know accounting and budgets, but my God, climate and the endless variables are mind bogglingly complex. Thanks.

      • Hi CKid,

        There hadn’t been any exchanges. Not that I expected them. I sent a copy of every chapter to every first author cited in the chapter that I could locate. I got perhaps a 10-20% response, mostly thanks with some saying they like it and a few interested.

        Most scientists are more interested in the confirmation of what they already believe than in new ideas and hypotheses, as could be expected.

        Nic Scafetta used one of my figures in one of his papers this year and he credited my article in this blog from 2016 instead of my book where the figure is too.

        Science is very slow to notice, and slow to accept. As Bill Bryson said quoting Alexander von Humboldt:
        “There are three stages in scientific discovery. First, people deny that it is true, then they deny that it is important; finally they credit the wrong person.”

        I haven’t even reached the first stage, I haven’t been noticed yet, so I am not being denied.

      • Have been following posts across threads and came to this final one.

        Javier says “I haven’t even reached the first stage, I haven’t been noticed yet, so I am not being denied.” Perhaps not were it might have mattered to him, but in my case it was ‘biblical’ revelation.


        The revelation of the Eddy cycle was profound. Eventually it was key to understanding the basis of the prehistoric period, its human relevance and its remains in ancient buildings.
        Two instances of major importance; the ~3200bce Eddy root and the ~2345bce root. The first in relation to tectonic events, the second relevant to earth dynamic events. The latter (the later 4k2 event) with extensive evidence.

        One thing is clear; it is not the sun, its the planets; it is Kepler’s Trigons.

  31. Don’t miss WUWT new failed climate predictions page. Pass it on to all your friends and politicians!

  32. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #549 – Watts Up With That?

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  34. Ignoring JJ’s position that nothing before 1960 is of any significance in the world of climate, if one looks at the history of temperature and CO2 levels, there is no correlation. Statistically, this means that CO2 levels cannot be the major driver of temperature.

    If one accepts JJ’s view that meaningful climate history began in 1960. what exactly do we have? In the first place, the correlation between temperature and CO2 is not perfect, so other factors must be involved. We also have to remind ourselves that correlation does NOT necessarily imply causation.
    The period between 1960 and today covers 63 years, it is generally agreed that for something to be considered climate, it must last at least 30 years. It then follows that that for this 63 year period we have at most two data points. With two data points, the most we can do is draw a speculative line. We certainly do not know its shape and we have absolutely no basis for extrapolating it. further, we have no basis for assuming that the relationship that JJ assumes between temperature and CO2 will continue, because as he tells us, history teaches us that history teaches us nothing.

    • Let’s see why the past is irrelevant.

      In our current situation, what would happen if the sun started putting out less energy than it currently does. Let’s say that causes the energy that the earth absorbs to be less than it radiates into space. The temperature of the earth will fall while CO2 is rising in the atmosphere. As soon as solar energy stops decreasing, the rising CO2 will cause the temperature to start rising.

      What about when in the past the temperature is lower than today ‘s with a higher CO2 ppm. That means something else drove the temperature lower. When that effect dissipates, the temperature will rise because of CO2.

      It’s true. Correlation does not mean causation. Fortunately, we have IR spectrographs of the earth’s radiant energy that show what CO2 has done and what’s it is capable of doing.

      You can’t expect perfect correlation because the earth has inertia which introduces lags. Also, temporary effects — weather — can cause temporary discrepancies.

      • JJB

        Top climatologists have been studying the past for many years and recognise that it has lessons for today and the future.

        Anything that has occurred during the Holocene could be considered highly relevant as continents were in place and co2 sufficient to warm and cool the planet and cause weather systems and extreme events.

        As Co2 increases in a logarithmic fashion its impact over 300ppm has been limited

        Prof Phil Jones reflected on this in 2005 when studying the warm 1730’s and the extreme cold of winter 1740. He realised that natural variability was far greater than had previously been recognised

      • Let me explain this again. What happens at any time depends on the conditions at that time. CO2 could be at a low or high concentration and have no significant impact on temperatures. What governs is the dominant effect. It could be CO2 or solar radiation, or something else. That’s why you can’t make comparisons and the past doesn’t matter.

        “As Co2 increases in a logarithmic fashion its impact over 300ppm has been limited”

        That’s only for a fixed radiant energy source. The earth is a variable energy source. As temperature rises the earth emits more energy that CO2 can absorb.

        Take a look at Venus. Currently it sits at 460 C when it should be 60 C. That’s due to the massive amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Put that much CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere, and you get the same result.

        “Prof Phil Jones reflected on this in 2005 when studying the warm 1730’s and the extreme cold of winter 1740. He realised that natural variability was far greater than had previously been recognised”


      • JJ

        Many top climate scientists don’t think the past is irrelevant to the present. It is the norm for scientists to compare past, present and future.

        Your constant references to Venus are utterly irrelevant. How can you point to one planet, of a different size, with no oceans at a different distance to the sun and totally different atmospheric composition and make any sort of comparison?

      • “Many top climate scientists don’t think the past is irrelevant to the present. It is the norm for scientists to compare past, present and future.”

        Climate change is all cause and effect. Whatever happened in the past was caused by conditions at that time. Since we don’t know all the conditions that existed long ago, there is no way to make a valid comparison.

        We certainly have many climate denialists that try to argue against CO2’s role in climate change by comparing today to the past. Those arguments never get traction — not because the scientific community is trying to hide something — because there is no way to verify them.

        “Your constant references to Venus are utterly irrelevant. How can you point to one planet, of a different size, with no oceans at a different distance to the sun and totally different atmospheric composition and make any sort of comparison?”

        Venus is roughly the same size and mass as the earth.,the%20size%20of%20Earth%20and%200.815%20as%20massive.

        Venus is closer to the sun but absorbs less solar energy than the earth does because of its highly reflective clouds.

        Venus shows what CO2 is capable of. Venus’s temperature should be 60 C. It’s 460 C. All due to CO2’s greenhouse effect. Put the same amount of CO2 on Venus in earth’s atmosphere and it will be at the same temperature. That proves CO2 is anything but benign when there is too much of it in the atmosphere. It also proves that CO2 is more than capable of triggering a mass extinction event.

      • Tony B – The Pope of The Church of Climate Doomers, Jim Hansen, studied Venus. Therefore, JB is simply emulating JH.

      • jj

        Records have been collected for thousands of years. They have been analysed for at least the last 250. Many hundreds of millions of Dollars have been spent in the last few decades collecting and analysing records. It is the norm.

        The IPCC to this day make references and comparisons to the Past with everything from Storms to Droughts, Rainfall to snow. Most Met offices, including the ones in the UK and Holland have dedicated departments and people whose job it is to make analysis with records for as far as they go back.

        Are you saying all this time money and expertise has been a colossal waste of time?

        Yet you continue to believe this idea of yours that Venus can be taken as a close lesson for the earth without apparent irony.

      • If your using CO2 ppm data from the past to draw conclusions about the present, it’s a waste of time. IF you can get good temperature data and the condition of the planet from the past, I can see where that would be useful in predicting conditions in the future.

      • JJ

        “ To know that we know what we know, and to know that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.”

        Nicolaus Copernicus

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  36. JJB

    Your position that the past is irrelevant to the present still means that the present is irrelevant to the future, leaving you meaningful way of predicting anything.

    • No, it doesn’t.

      Predictions are made on the current conditions remaining the same or projecting how conditions may change. If something unexpected happens, like the sun putting out 50% less radiant energy or the planet gets hit by an asteroid, the prediction changes.

      • If the current conditions remain the same then you don’t need to predict anything. That’s why nobody gives forecasts of future land mass or mountain height. Those seem to change only at geological time scales.

        If something unexpected happens, then by definition it was unexpected and thus it wasn’t predicted, so whatever was predicted is pretty meaningless.

        In science, a prediction system has to be tested on past events because future events haven’t happened yet. If a model of planetary orbits doesn’t match past observations, it is rejected because it has no predictive power. A model that can’t predict the current state of a system from the past states of a system isn’t any good at predicting system states based on existing data, and thus isn’t useful for that task.

        Without those key validations, a prediction is no better than consulting a psychic or a Greek oracle. It’s not science.

      • Here’s the thing about climate change. To draw conclusions about what impact CO2 had in the past you have to know all the conditions that existed at the time that could impact climate. The further back you go, the less we know.

      • George
        At many locations, changes in land height dwarf actual sea level changes.

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  40. JJ

    No matter how you frame it, you are expressing complete confidence in a bound to be incomplete theory based on only 63 years. In climate terms, this is not even a moment. I say incomplete because the IPCC describes climate science as non-linear, coupled and chaotic. You will have a difficult job to convince me that you have a clear understanding of chaos theory.
    If this were only an academic discussion, it wouldn’t matter much. However, based on previous conversations we have had, you seem prepared to deny the developing world access to secure supplies of affordable energy in pursuit of a renewable energy goal that we do not have the technology to implement. I find this very disturbing from an ethical point of view.

  41. @ Jay | April 27, 2023 at 8:45 pm
    said: ou seem prepared to deny the developing world access to secure supplies of affordable energy

    Is this a joke? China and India are building coal plants to beat the band and buying Russian oil. They aren’t missing out on anything. But if the id ee ots in charge here have their way, we in the West will be the ones missing out – and missing out a lot!

  42. What are you talking about?

    Let me say this again. Fossil fuels are finite. We will run out. The conversion to renewable energy is inevitable. Oil is a vital source of petrochemicals, lubricants, and asphalt. Once oil is gone, so are they. Forget About climate change. We should quit burning fossil fuels and preserve oil. Just like refineries are designed to maximize the production of fossil fuels, new smaller refineries can be designed to maximize the production of other products. You can read about it here:

    I read that by 2100 demand for energy will increase four fold. If oil is still the primary energy source, it won’t last long.

    You don’t need chaos theory to understand climate change. What happens on the planet is complex and predict. I guarantee that there will be unforeseen events because we are in uncharted territory.

    The cause behind our current situation is not complicated at all. It’s an accumulation of energy on the planet caused by an imbalance between the energy absorbed from the sun and what’s radiated into space. As long as there is an imbalance that causes the earth to accumulate energy, the temperature will continue to rise. What can cause that? Solar energy would be first on the list, but that’s been flat to down over the last 40 years. That can’t be the cause. Next is greenhouse gases. CO2 is accumulating in the atmosphere. From an IR spectrograph of earth’s radiant energy, it can be seen that CO2 is preventing a significant amount of earth’s radiant energy from escaping into space and can block a lot more. The other possible causes are too small or intermittent. Whatever is causing the warming has to be continually increasing. You can get a good idea of how far the CO2 15 mm absorption band can drive the temperature from the spectrograph.

    Once you establish what’s causing it. Then you want to know how long it will take to heat the earth to a point where it is a real problem. This is where things get complicated and difficult to predict. Other things — temperatures at different locations — will be difficult to predict as well.

    There is no ethical dilemma for me. Switching to renewables is inevitable whether you believe in climate change or not.

  43. No, it’s not a joke. Aggressively promoting Net Zero in the next two or three decades is in effect telling the developing world that it should not expect to have access to reliable affordable energy. fortunately the countries in the developing world are refusing to buy in.

    • IMO, it is commendable you are the sort of person who cares about other people.

      However, helping poor countries is very problematic. Many of them are poor because they are run by bloody dictators, corrupt governments, or governments disinterested in its people. In those cases, if you send aid it ends up in the government grifters’ pocket. In those cases, we should keep our money in our pocket. We should spend our money wisely.

      A recent case:

      Who could have predicted that if the USA and other rich donor nations drop millions of dollars of climate aid into poor countries with serious corruption problems, some of it might be stolen?

      • I meant to add, there can also be cultural issues at play that hobble the economies of some of poor nations.

    • If we rely primarily on oil, they’re not going to have reliable, affordable energy in the future because it will run out.

      To meet feature demand will require a massive investment in oil infrastructure. That’s a gigantic waste of money when our supply of oil will run out. Better to invest that money in a practically limitless supply of energy that the sun provides.

      Pay me now or pay me later. You decide.

      • The private sector won’t invest in oil and gas if it isn’t profitable. OTOH, government will put our hard-earned tax payer money into any off-the-wall failure of an idea. It has a long history of doing that. Better to leave it to the private sector where money, time, and resouces are better spent. Don’t bother trotting out some case or another where the private sector has failed. Most of the time, the private sector is the most efficient in use of time, money, and resources.

      • “Most of the time, the private sector is the most efficient in use of time, money, and resources.”

        Apparently, you have never worked in the private sector. The private sector is just as screwed up as the public sector. Politics rules in the private sector. When the private sector screws up it is either buried, the company is acquired, or the company goes out of business. When the last two are the result, management claims it was an unfortunate occurrence — not the result of their incompetence. Then they’re off to the next company to screw up.

      • JJB said: “The private sector is just as screwed up as the public sector.”

        Let’s all take a moment to reflect on that!

  44. Wind turbines have short lifetimes due to blade erosion due to low level particulates, structure failure because the Earth has violent storms, and bearing failure, possibly enhanced by imbalanced wind loads causing whirl effects. And nobody has a good solution for recycling the worn out turbine blades. Siemens, the largest manufacturer, has been taking huge losses writing them off due to pre-mature failure. And of course they kill millions of birds.

    They’ve only been competitive with government subsidies, and only in rich countries that are ideally situated to utilize wind power, which is northern coastal Europe, New England, the US West Coast, and a strip down the center of the US. We’ve already been putting all the wind farms in the best places on the planet to put wind farms. From here they’ll produce diminishing returns because Africa and Asia, where most people live, has very little wind, often a tenth the power density of the idea sites in place like Holland. So if the economic payoff is shaky in Holland, what’s it going to be in Nigeria where the energy output of the same wind turbine would only be a tenth as much, but the initial and replacement costs for the turbines are just the same?

    Viewed on a global scale, wind is a boutique solution for coastal elites in cold rich northern areas.

    Solar has a different set of fundamental problems, including short useful lifetime, toxic waste, inefficient land use in agricultural areas, and of course no convenient way to store the energy for nighttime use. In some places everyone will just steal the panels for their own use, which doesn’t diminish the energy output, but does nothing to encourage anyone to invest.

    The green movement is determined to stop developing nations from using fossil fuels, but offers no viable alternative except continued poverty. They probably view that as a plus, because they all want to live like Al Gore and Greta Thunberg, jetting around to tell poor kids to mine more cobalt because the planet is in danger.

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  47. Robert David Clark

    Three stages of the Ice Age

    Stage 1

    The oceans are at their lowest.
    The land area is retaining more radiant heat from the sun than the ocean surface is reflecting to the black sky.
    The sun flashes the surface water into vapor. As it rises in the atmosphere it condenses and drops as rain. That that drops at the poles freezes and as it lands on the frozen areas at the poles and begins to create the ICE BLOCKS.
    The land area is retaining less radiant heat than the oceans reflect to the black sky. The oceans begin to drop
    The land area is retaining radiant heat equal to that reflected to the black sky.

    Stage 2

    The land area is retaining radiant heat equal to that reflected to the black sky.
    The average surface temperature of the sun varies as nuclear actions of the sun, thus that striking the earth varies up and down.
    The 28-degree saturated salt water has been eating under the Ice Blocks which are breaking off and melting thus that heat added to the oceans.
    Nature is keeping a relatively constant average surface temperature of the earth by either removing heat from the atmosphere by rain dropping rain or adding heat to the oceans by melting the ice blocks.

    Stage 3

    At the end of the last ICE AGE nature evaporated the oceans and stored the water vapor in the atmosphere of the earth.

  48. RE: Eddy cycle

    There is actually no clear story on the internet about the Eddy cycle and where it came from and you can ask yourself: why not? Somewhere, after a lot of detours, I came across the image shown below:

    It is Fig. 16.2 of a book, see pg. 285 here and it was apparently arrived at by combining the results of a number of studies including Abreu et al,2010. It looks to me like a kind of sine function that makes you think Eddy is a pure solar cycle. In any case, it becomes clear to us from this simple schematic presentation that it is apparently warmer than normal every 1000 years or so. By the way, it is soon clear that the teachers who wrote this chapter do not 100% agree with the IPCC’s conclusions.