Guess, meet fact

Clive Best IPCC comparison

Several readers, among them the evergreen Mike Jowsey (thanks, Mike!) have drawn my attention to Clive Best’s simple yet remarkable post from yesterday. It brings together in a most accessible way the early IPCC forecasts (or “scenarios”, actually — they were never predictions) and the latest observations of global temperature.

So, after 20 years, how well have the consensus scientists done in forecasting the climate? It could be said the results are patchy.

The cooler part of the IPCC forecast was on target until the last couple of years and still has a chance of being correct.

What the IPCC called the “Best” estimate was close to reality until about 10 years ago, with recent observations representing a major excursion from the model.

The warmest forecast, the one used by the extreme extremists, has been and remains totally out of touch. The highest temperature predictions were quite loony. Those forecasters knew little about the climate.

Clive Best includes an interesting comparison between the surface-based and satellite datasets, which show good correlation and have similar trends — which gives one confidence in the accuracy of the “new-fangled” satellite microwave thingummies.

He includes a graph of the atmospheric CO2 levels, showing a very steady, unchanging increase. I notice they are little perturbed by either the temperature fluctuations or our industrial output.

Challenge for the warmists

Now, all you who’ve predicted doom for the world for 20 years and more, when will you set up a fund, including your own personal houses as collateral, to provide for compensation to be awarded to those innocent, trusting souls who have, in great faith in your wisdom and knowledge, taken expensive yet unnecessary action against the looming climate perils?

It’s all very well to make wild and alarming predictions, to stand for a while in the limelight, to have your every word repeated around the globe and acknowledged by the highest in the land. But, when the results are plain for all to see, when everyone knows you have utterly failed, do you have the strength of your own convictions? Do you stand by the damage you’ve done with them? Will you, like honest men, make things right and repair what you yourself have broken?

Or will you take refuge in the weasel words you always used, your empty claims you never made predictions, only offered scenarios? Will you slink away, whining you’ve done nothing wrong? Will you deny all the misery you’ve caused, all the children’s nightmares you’ve brought among us? And with all of that, deny your own humanity?

Clive concludes moderately:

CO2 levels in the atmosphere have continued to rise over the last 10 years … but temperatures have not risen since 2000. This implies that CO2 is not the main driver of global temperatures on these time periods and that other natural mechanisms are at least as important. No evidence of any positive temperature feedback with increasing CO2 levels is found.

140 Thoughts on “Guess, meet fact

  1. val majkus on June 10, 2011 at 1:29 pm said:

    A nice word picture describing Mike Jowsey – evergreen like a pine forest

    Climate change seems to have been for some time a matter of faith (and probably if you’re a climate scientist continuing grants)

    But now it’s like a religion, the Church of Climatology

    and here’s the start of a nice skit (by Speedy)

    (The Repairman)

    (SCENE: Front door of BRYAN’s home. Door bell rings. BRYAN answers door. It is JOHN.)

    John: G’day. I’m here about the climate.

    Bryan: What climate?

    John: Your climate. Our climate. THE climate. I’m here to fix it.

    Bryan: What’s wrong with it?

    John: It’s buggered. Absolutely buggered.

    Bryan: No it isn’t. I was using it this morning.

    John: What for?

    Bryan: For drying the washing out the back.

    John: Spoken like a true layperson! What you have just witnessed was not the working of an healthy climate, but a clear manifestation of catastrophic global warming! Scientists warn that if current trends continue, solar drying of your clothing will cause it to be not only dried, but pressed and lightly toasted as well!

    (for the rest see http://joannenova.com.au/2011/06/im-here-to-fix-your-climate/#more-15190)

  2. Mike Jowsey on June 10, 2011 at 5:32 pm said:

    LOL – love the title RT. Very droll.

  3. Mike Jowsey on June 10, 2011 at 5:46 pm said:

    However, the CAGW advocates would assert that there is some natural variation suppressing the inexorable anthropogenic influence on the record. At some point this (as yet unidentified) influence will abate and – watch out! – we will be propelled towards calamity at a calamitous rate!

    The problem with this logic is, however, that if they cannot show and quantify and prove the natural variation then they display their ignorance and hence the entire edifice is exposed. The point must be pressed home – they made predictions, resulting in policies which are costing you and me and our families countless cumulative costs in perpetuity. Now their predictions have been falsified it is time to repeal the policies which they catalysed.

  4. val majkus on June 10, 2011 at 6:19 pm said:

    How did you guys get the ETS; was this an election promise? Just wondering. Our PM didn’t promise a carbon tax and we Aussies are up in arms. What happened there?

    • The dying, lame-duck Labour government of Helen Clark, having threatened an ETS for several years and having just lost the election, passed the legislation as their final stuff-you to the New Zealand electorate. I seem to recall.

  5. val majkus on June 10, 2011 at 7:57 pm said:

    right … so no election as to whether the people agreed … our current PM said during the election campaign ‘there will be no carbon tax under a government I lead’ … and in negotiations after our last election signed an agreement with our Greens that one would be implemented … so we have a minority govt with no mandate … and we’re a few years down the track from Copenhagen and climate change has lost political traction

    sounds like what happened in NZ … that is the people didn’t vote for a party who promised to introduce an ETS

    Is that right … was there much upheaval in NZ … and why didn’t the incoming party after Helen Clark lost the election repeal it?

    • Gary Kerkin on June 10, 2011 at 8:17 pm said:

      “our current PM said during the election campaign ‘there will be no carbon tax under a government I lead’ … ”

      And he and Smith stoutly affirm that the ETS is not a tax. However, Smith will not answer me when I ask, if it is not a tax how then can I get out of paying it. He hasn’t been so foolish as to suggest I do not drive or light or heat my home. I have commented that if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck am I not entitled to assume that it is, indeed, a duck.

      The latest fiasco came from Lindsay Tisch in an email to a friend of mine: the present government will not bring forward the inclusion of Agriculture in the ETS, as Labour has threatened, and indeed the Minister has stated that they will not now include Agriculture unless our major trading partners also do so. Where have we heard that before? And does Tisch wish us to believe that farmers do not purchase fuel and other forms of energy?

      Mind you, Labour has confirmed that the ETS is a tax by stating that its income can be diverted to other purposes.

      IMHO neither partner can extract any brownie points out of this clap trap.

  6. val majkus on June 10, 2011 at 8:48 pm said:

    Gary it’s weird; it seems politicians area the only profession where you can avoid any duty of care to your electorate
    I gather you’re a New Zealander, I’m an Aussie and here’s some scientific advice from a New Zealander
    (thanks to Malcolm Roberts from http://www.galileomovement.com.au/scientific_untruths.php#G a copy of his e mail to me)
    UN IPCC Expert Science Reviewer Dr Vincent Gray (PhD, Cambridge) reviewed all four UN IPCC reports to national governments and media: 1990, 1995, 2001, 2007.

    This internationally esteemed retired research scientist has around 60 years experience, including 21 years in climate.

    Yesterday he was interviewed on Australian radio. The podcast is here:
    http://podcasts.mrn.com.au.s3.amazonaws.com/alanjones/20110608-aj2-vincentgray.mp3

    His 575 review comments were by far the most on Chapter 9 of the UN IPCC’s 2007 report. That’s the sole chapter claiming warming and attributing it to human production of carbon dioxide.

    It’s the basis of the government’s climate policy and the Greens’ climate policy.

    On radio Dr Gray confirmed there is no real-world evidence in Chapter 9 for the UN’s claim, the government’s claim, the Greens’ claim.

    He made 1,898 review comments on the 2007 report, one-sixth of the total by all individuals and governments reviewing the report.

    For your sake, you can check his review comments on each chapter of the 2007 report and Summary for Policy Makers at: http://www.conscious.com.au.

    More on Dr Gray’s work is available at:
    http://www.galileomovement.com.au/scientific_untruths.php#G

  7. val majkus on June 10, 2011 at 9:10 pm said:

    and going back to Gary’s point about the ETS being or not a tax – well if you don’t create anthropogenic carbon dioxide no payment, if you do then you pay and your customers pay; what to call it …. if you’re a politician on the ETS proposing side then you defer ….
    but if not a tax why impose on carbon dioxide creation

  8. Alexander K on June 11, 2011 at 2:05 am said:

    Helen Clark’s parting shot, instituting the ridiculous ETS, was similar to Muldoons stupid comment to David Lange when Lange’s new government was taking over the Treasury benches – “I’ve spent the lot!” He had, too!

  9. Why do you assume that temperature increase will be linear? The actual prediction was for 2 degree increase by 2030, short term effects of other forcings will mean the temperature increase will be far from constant. There is still 20 more years (not shown on the graph) for the early IPCC prediction to be proven correct or otherwise.

    In any can you please point me to a quantifiable prediction that skeptics of AGW have made so we can compare how successful they have been?

    • Hi Nick. I didn’t assume a linear increase. As far as I know, that graph showing a straight line is from the IPCC.

      In asking for a sceptical prediction, it seems you’ve missed the point we make here repeatedly, which is that we’d like to see some evidence for the claims of those predicting thermal doom. We haven’t seen any yet and we think it’s their responsibility to provide some. Fundamental, really.

      I’m not aware of any sceptics making predictions, except for Bryan Leyland, who occasionally produces a graph based on McLean et al. That’s quite interesting. Shows more cooling to come this year.

      Cheers.

    • Nick on June 20, 2011 at 2:47 pm said:

      Clive states in his article that his calculations assume linearity.

      Bryan’s predictions while interesting can hardly be claimed to cover anything other than short term (7 month max) trends.

      As for evidence, what exactly would convince you that action should be taken? What level of confidence of catastrophic consequences would you require?

    • Nick,

      You say: “Bryan’s predictions while interesting can hardly be claimed to cover anything other than short term (7 month max) trends.”

      That’s exactly what they do, and that’s no more than is claimed. But kindly notice that what in climate terms is a short period is an extraordinarily long time in weather forecasting. Do you know of any meteorologist making forecasts so far ahead? They normally fade out around two weeks. Admittedly it’s not a complete weather forecast, but to get the temperatures reasonably correct is quite an achievement. It’s going to be helpful to vast numbers of people who depend on knowing the temperature.

      No other scientist is managing this and it’s primarily because they think temperature is dominated by levels of carbon dioxide (I’m sticking my neck out here, I know). John McLean et al. have shown global temperature appears to follow the SOI with a lag of about 6 to 8 months.

      I’m not concerned about catastrophic consequences until we have some evidence of cause and effect between humanity’s actions and dangerous global warming. There’s not a single peer-reviewed paper establishing that fact that doesn’t depend upon computer models.

    • Nick on June 20, 2011 at 4:30 pm said:

      Thanks for your reply Richard. What would you consider to be evidence “of cause and effect between humanity’s actions and dangerous global warming” and how do you define dangerous?

    • What would you consider to be evidence

      You’re the first to ask me that, Nick, thanks.

      I guess I won’t know what convinces me until I hear it. If you’re claiming that mankind is causing dangerous global warming, then you must have reason for saying so and I’d like to know what it is. That means producing some evidence, or I won’t believe you. There’s no observed evidence for it so far.

      What’s dangerous? Let’s start with Greenpeace and Hot Topic. They talk about the fourth great extinction event, or a heavy future burden on everyone on the planet. Google “dangerous global warming” and you get over 1,000,000 results. It’s mostly hype, of course, but let’s pin it down, get scientific about it. But you need to specify the level of danger, for you are asking for action.

      The point of including the word “dangerous” when asking for evidence is that if it’s not dangerous there’s no danger, and no need to do anything.

    • Andy on June 20, 2011 at 5:49 pm said:

      I would define “dangerous” as a sharp cooling period when the western economies were very compromised due to high debt levels and an obsession with CO2 induced warming.

      If we have been barking up the wrong tree, then our grandchildren will indeed have something to blame us for.

    • Richard C (NZ) on June 20, 2011 at 6:43 pm said:

      There was a sharp cold weather event in South America last winter when hundreds of people died.

      I would have thought that was “dangerous”.

      But then weather isn’t climate is it?

    • Andy on June 20, 2011 at 6:55 pm said:

      We could bang on about the Vikings (Peter Sinclair has one of his “Climate Denier Crocks videos on this).

      However…

      Which bit was dangerous?

      (a) When the Vikings inhabited Greenland and grew crops because of the warming from the MWP. or
      (b) When they were forced to abandon their settlements because of cooling?

    • Nick on June 20, 2011 at 9:02 pm said:

      For the record I would consider deviation of > 2 degrees from preindustrial levels to be dangerous because this is the point when various positive feedback are more likely to be triggered such as melting permafrost releasing methane. Also the planet hasn’t been that hot for about 5 million years so we would be in unknown territory.

      Catastrophic warming would be if a positive feedback was triggered that couldn’t be easily reversed such as the collapse of the Greenland ice sheet. Setting aside the cause of the warming for now (natural or otherwise) would you agree with this assessment of risk?

      I certainly consider that cooling could easily be as dangerous or catastrophic but we have a bit more temperature to play with on that front given that we are well above pre-industrial temperatures.

      Finally, I’m surprised that you can’t think of anything that would convince you that AGW is a real problem that needs to be addressed.

      Are you saying that you consider the theory to be unprovable under any circumstances? Please correct me if I’m wrong. I appreciate the time you take to answer my questions.

    • Nick,

      You say “would you agree with this assessment of risk?” As I said, it’s for you to state the risk and to prove it exists. Yes, cooling is more inconvenient and kills more people than warming.

      “Can’t think of anything?” I haven’t even tried. I just want some evidence to consider.

      I don’t consider the theory of dangerous AGW unprovable, but it’s still just a theory. Show me some evidence. You show some knowledge of the consequences of warming, but you haven’t shown evidence that links it with man’s activities. Nobody has.

    • Actually I do not presume to convince you of anything. I certainly don’t expect that I could provide you with evidence that you are not already aware of.

      The idea I’m interested in is that to be truly skeptical (rather than ideological) one needs to consider the possibility that one might be incorrect.

      The point of my question “what evidence would convince you” is to draw a line in the sand where you are prepared to say “oops, looks like I got it wrong.”

      I’m not talking about evidence that exists now but rather what might conceivably exist in the future.

      For example would 10 years of sustained warming, sea level rises and ice sheet loss in line with the relevant IPCC prediction be sufficient to convince you that maybe they got it right? Or the detection of the elusive troposheric hot spot?

    • Nick,
      In terms of alternative hypotheses, Peter Taylor provides a number of scenarios in his book “Chill”.

      Also, I think Svengard’s theories seem worthy of consideration, and certainly the prospect of the predicted low solar activity seem a good opportunity to give us an indication of whether CO2 is a driver of climate or not.

    • Andy what climate response to the low solar activity would convince you that “CO2 is a driver of climate”

    • We’ve had 10 years with no warming, yet emissions continue unabated. Unless the temperature record starts shooting up, it’s hard to see how CO2 is a major driver of climate.

      I don’t, however, discount the theory, but it needs to be couched in terms of falsifiable hypotheses.

    • Bob D on June 21, 2011 at 12:18 pm said:

      I’d like to add something to that, if I may. The term “low solar activity” is starting to appear more often in pro-AGW arguments. But it has no right to.
      According to Hansen, Schmidt, the IPCC, Kevin Trenberth, Grant Foster, John Cook, etc., etc., “solar activity” translates purely into total solar irradiance (TSI) which hasn’t varied much, and won’t either in this reduced sunspot phase.
      They have long discounted any relationship between sunspots (solar magnetic variation) and climate that doesn’t translate to changes in TSI. And TSI variations are tiny compared to GHGs (according to the IPCC).
      If, in fact, they start to admit that the sunspot activity is an indicator of earth’s climate, then they will have to go back to square one and re-do all their modelling.
      Remember, they claim that the models work in hindcast with high GHG forcings and relatively low solar forcings. If solar forcings are after all more important than they thought (for example through a previously unacknowledged amplification mechanism such as Svensmark’s cloud formation theories), it necessarily means GHG forcings are lower.
      It also completely invalidates all modelling performed to date, including the IPCC SRES scenarios and all predictions, projections and assessment reports.
      It effectively means starting from scratch, and issuing the world’s most embarrassing mea culpa since WWII.

    • Richard C (NZ) on June 20, 2011 at 7:24 pm said:

      “No other scientist is managing this”

      Maybe not now but Dr Theodore Landshiedt certainly has in the past. See:-

      El Niño Forecast Revisited

      http://www.john-daly.com/sun-enso/revisit.htm

      ” In the Open Review discussion a critic objected that my forecast was not precise enough, did not define El Niños and La Niñas, and did not cover the interval between 2000 and 2002. Though I thought that the scientific community had already presented sufficiently precise definitions of ENSO events, I included such a definition in an even more precise forecast published on 29 March 1999. I also closed the gap between 2000 and 2002 though none of the specialized public institutes had ever made forecasts with such a long lead time.

      The extended formulation ran as follows:

      “1999.25 – 2000.4: Prevailing La Niña interrupted by neutral conditions (85% probability). 2000.5 – 2002.3: Neutral conditions, no El Niño (85% probability). 2002.55 – 2003.25: Strong El Niño peaking within this period centered on 2002.9 (95% probability). The forecast is based on the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) published by the Department of Natural Ressources (DNR), Queensland, Australia. It measures the differences in air pressure between Tahiti and Darwin and ranges from about +30 to -30. Conditions are considered neutral when the 90-day average of the SOI stays within the range ±5. A 90-day average beyond this range indicates La Niñas and El Niños.”

      This wording generally satisfied the critic. When he objected that regarding the interruption of La Niña by neutral conditions I should give a maximum amount of time spent in the neutral range, I answered publicly “that the neutral range should not cover more than 4 months.” La Niña actually prevailed till end of June 2000, as predicted””

      Just one of Theodore’s several successful predictions using solar, celestial and oscillation bases i.e. natural climate drivers. Quoting again:-

      “There are other successful long-range climate forecasts exclusively based on solar activity: End of the Sahelian drought 3 years before the event; the last three extrema in global temperature anomalies; maximum in the Palmer Drought Index around 1999; extreme River Po discharges around 2001.1 etc. (Landscheidt 1983-2001). This is irreconcilable with IPCC’s allegation that it is unlikely that natural forcing can explain the warming in the latter half of the 20th century. In declarations for the public, IPCC representatives stress that taxpayer’s money will be used to develop better forecasts of climate change. What about making use of those that already exist, even if this means to acknowledge that anthropogenic climate forcing is not as potent as alleged.”

      Note that this is on the John Daly website (ClimateGate revealed that John was The Team’s nemesis and they were quite relieved when he passed away).

      Watts and Copeland have a Solar-Lunar Model that has been used for successful prediction too.

    • Richard C (NZ) on June 20, 2011 at 7:29 pm said:

      Also this from Landsheidt:-

      However, if the sun’s dominant role in climate change is acknowledged, the further development of the time series in Figure 23 can be predicted. The filled arrows mark SFSs. Consecutive SFSs form cycles that can be subjected to the Golden section. The 0.618 phases within the small finger cycles are indicated by open arrows. All temperature maxima coincide with the phases marked by triangles. The midpoints between the crucial phases, designated by flat triangles, go along with minima in the temperature. On the basis of this pattern I predicted a middle-range minimum in the global temperature as measured by satellites for 1997.0 and a maximum for 1998.6 [66]. As to the minimum, the forecast has proven correct. Record-breaking minus temperatures were observed worldwide. The maximum prediction, too, has a good chance to turn out to be right. El Niño will take care of it. The current ENSO event and rising temperatures are interpreted by IPCC scientists as a case for the human impact on climate. Yet if this were true, how could the El Niño and the current warming be predicted by looking at cycles of solar activity?

      http://www.john-daly.com/solar/solar.htm

    • Bob D on June 20, 2011 at 11:19 am said:

      Nick, the relationship is not exactly linear, but it’s close. See here for a graph of the A1B SRES scenario model mean.
      http://rankexploits.com/musings/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Since20011.jpg

    • Bob D on June 20, 2011 at 11:23 am said:

      Also, the short-term effects are typically volcanoes. These are obviously impossible to predict, and have a 2-3 year cooling effect (for the massive eruptions, such as El Chichón, 1982 and Pinatubo, 1991).
      According to the models, solar variations are negligible compared with GHG forcings.

  10. Nick on June 20, 2011 at 2:58 pm said:

    The relationship may well be linear but to expect the response to be linear over short time periods seems like a straw man.

    • Bob D on June 20, 2011 at 4:01 pm said:

      It’s not “short time periods”. That’s the whole point – we’re already over half-way there. The predictions were made in 1990, concerning 2030, 40 years in the future. Dr Best is examining how well we’re doing at the half-way point, after 20 years of data. It appears it’s not tracking very well. That’s not to say it can’t catch up, but for the last decade there has been little tendency in that direction.

      So in summary: For one decade out of two, global temperatures tracked slightly below the IPCC projection. For the other decade, it remained flat, and didn’t track the IPCC projection at all.

      One thing is certain: it’s not “worse than we thought”.

    • Andy on June 20, 2011 at 4:03 pm said:

      What I find puzzling is that Hansen is claiming that it will be worse then IPCC projections.

    • Nick,

      Yes, it does sound like a straw man, but I think the important point about the article is not any linearity, but that, after 20 years, the reality of global temperatures has drifted a long way from the IPCC prediction.

      That’s a long period of time. It’s reasonable to conclude that those predictions are not coming true and that therefore those doing the predicting don’t know enough of reality. No action is required.

  11. Andy,
    I believe that AGW is falsifiable, at least in my mind. Specific things that would cause me to believe that the AGW theory is false are as follows:
    – CO2 is found not to block infrared
    – A major negative feedback is identified that will overcome forcing by CO2
    – Another driver of the temperature increase that we have seen over the last century is identified with a clear mechanism rather than just a correlation
    – Finally it is not enough for someone to claim that one of the previous points has been demonstrated. It needs to be published in mainstream peer reviewed literature and remain un-refuted for several years.

    So I like to think that I’m willing to change my position given the above evidence, none of which are beyond the realms of possibility.

    Are you able to provide a similar list?

    • You first have to define what you mean by the “AGW hypothesis” before you can refute it.
      I think most people accept that humans have SOME effect on the climate. A lot of people also accept that CO2 will cause some warming.

      Whether it is dangerous or not depends on the existence of positive feedbacks from water vapour.

      I don’t accept that there is any evidence to support this theory. Judith Curry’s latest post on overconfidence in attribution makes some valid points along these lines. Essentially, the models have been forced to fit the data using kludge factors for aerosols that don’t have any physical basis.

      It would appear to me, as Bob points out, that the predicted solar low will provide some great opportunity to understand our climate system better. If sunspots do, indeed, affect our climate significantly, then the whole AGW theory will have to be revisited. Conversely, it may not, in which case the AGW case still remains plausible.

    • Bob D on June 21, 2011 at 1:40 pm said:

      An intereresting list, Nick. Some comments:
      – CO2 is found not to block infrared
      CO2 blocks infrared, in some wavelengths only. The effect is theorised to be about 1°C per doubling of CO2. However, this has never been verified in something as complex as the earth’s atmosphere.

      – A major negative feedback is identified that will overcome forcing by CO2
      Major negative feedbacks have already been identified. See here (clouds):
      http://climate.nasa.gov/uncertainties/
      As NASA admits:

      Because clouds are such powerful climate actors, even small changes in average cloud amounts, locations, and type could speed warming, slow it, or even reverse it. Current climate models do not represent cloud physics well…

      – Another driver of the temperature increase that we have seen over the last century is identified with a clear mechanism rather than just a correlation
      Svensmark’s cosmic ray theory resolves the issues, predicting that higher sunspot activity translates to higher global temperatures via cosmic ray blocking and fewer clouds. This is the “amplification” factor that relates sunspot activity to earth’s climate.

      – Finally it is not enough for someone to claim that one of the previous points has been demonstrated. It needs to be published in mainstream peer reviewed literature and remain un-refuted for several years.
      Svensmark’s theories are already being solidified, and winning sceptics over.
      http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/05/indirect-solar-forcing-of-climate-by-galactic-cosmic-rays-an-observational-estimate/
      See also here:
      http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2011GL047036.shtml
      and here:
      http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/45982
      NB: We have to wait some years, yes, but the very fact that this is occurring implies the science behind the IPCC pronouncements is not as solid as they make out. If Svensmark is right, it will nullify the IPCC. Certainly, until this very important issue of cloud formation is resolved, we cannot rush into “mitigation” solutions. And definitely not while no warming is actually happening, as is the case for the last decade.

  12. Nick on June 21, 2011 at 8:01 pm said:

    Hi Andy, I know you don’t accept the science for dangerous AGW, my question is can you imagine a situation where you would change your mind? I consider this to be the key thing that differentiates skepticism from denial. I think you know what AGW theory represents and I have defined what I consider to be dangerous previously in this thread (> 2 degrees from pre-industrial average). So what would it take to convince you that AGW will lead to dangerous warming? I think it is a fairly simple question, would you mind answering it?

    Bob, thanks for your reply, in answer to your points:

    Since we measure the infrared radiation reflected from the earth and it shows a marked reduction in the frequencies that CO2 is know to block I think that this is sufficient evidence that atmospheric CO2 behaves as expected from lab tests.

    The article that you link to from NASA does not say that cloud feedback is negative, only that it is uncertain. Latest research suggests that it is neutral or even slightly positive.

    I agree that the GCR theory is very interesting but it is only a few months old and has some challenges to overcome before it can really be considered such as lack of correlation with temperatures since the 1940s and the fact that there are so many particles in the atmosphere already it is hard to imagine that GCR could have a noticeable effect on cloudiness. I will however be watching developments with interest.

    I guess I’m a little more conservative than yourself as I would rather base my world view on theories that (i consider to) have stood the test of time rather than pinning my hopes on the latest unproven research. That said you are of course welcome to your opinions and I do not expect to change them. I would be interested to hear your answer to the question I asked Andy above however.

    • Andy on June 21, 2011 at 8:28 pm said:

      Hi Andy, I know you don’t accept the science for dangerous AGW, my question is can you imagine a situation where you would change your mind

      Every single metric that I can find shows that real world observations are under-performing the IPCC’s most conservative projections. I prefer to use real world, empirical evidence as a basis for my opinions.

      If I saw a rapid acceleration of temperature, global sea level rise, extreme weather events, etc, I would re-evaluate my views. The reality, however, is that the data doesn’t support catastrophic scenarios.

      If it does, I’d really like to see a scientifically robust discussion that avoids emotive and propagandist type arguments. T

    • Nick on June 21, 2011 at 8:32 pm said:

      Thanks for the reply Andy, can you be slightly more specific? How much sea level rise? How much temperature rise? It is hard to quantify an increase in extreme weather events so how would you measure them and which ones in particular?

    • Andy on June 21, 2011 at 8:45 pm said:

      The temperature rise over the last decade has been zero.
      Global sea level rises are not accelerating.

      As for extreme weather events, I don’t have the latest data. This is a little harder to quantify, of course.

    • Andy on June 21, 2011 at 8:30 pm said:

      I guess I’m a little more conservative than yourself as I would rather base my world view on theories that (i consider to) have stood the test of time

      Which theories are these then? I am unaware of any theories that have stood the test of time with regard to modern climate science. All projections have not been met by empirical data.

    • Nick on June 21, 2011 at 8:41 pm said:

      The theory that human produced CO2 traps heat in the atmosphere causing global warming.

    • Andy on June 21, 2011 at 8:46 pm said:

      The theory that human produced CO2 traps heat in the atmosphere causing global warming

      Define “global warming” and what would distinguish it from natural climate variability.

    • Nick,

      This conversation is getting to some fascinating areas. But you have not offered any evidence for a dangerous human influence on the climate. You’re politely asking us what evidence we might like, but I want to hear the evidence you actually have. You know: whatever it was that made you think: “He’s right, we are breaking the climate,” or however it happened for you. Just whenever you can fit it in.

      Cheers.

    • Nick on June 21, 2011 at 9:31 pm said:

      Hi Richard, I agree the conversation is very interesting and I’m pleased that you and others on this site are taking the time to respond to a newbie.

      As for why I accept the proposition that AGW will cause dangerous warming, I am generally guided by peer reviewed scientific consensus as well as the points I mentioned earlier about CO2 (and water vapor, thanks Andy) blocking IR, the lack of any adequately proven negative feedbacks, and the lack of any adequately proven alternative hypothesis . I don’t discount the possibility that this could be overturned and I certainly hope that this is the case but until then I’m convinced we should take mitigating action. Not a view that is universally shared I know but if 9-10 oncologists say I have cancer I take the chemo!

      In fact I have spent a lot of time trying to find alternative hypothesis but I tend to find they either don’t have a known mechanism, don’t really correlate with long term (multi decade) trends or have not even made it through the peer review process. This has led to my position going from a cautious belief to a strongly held one (albeit subject to review).

    • Richard C (NZ) on June 21, 2011 at 10:27 pm said:

      Nick, you say:-

      “I have spent a lot of time trying to find alternative hypothesis but I tend to find they either don’t have a known mechanism, don’t really correlate with long term (multi decade) trends or have not even made it through the peer review process”

      You’re right about the mechanisms but not about the correlations or peer reviewed papers.

      Here’s as much of the peer reviewed science as I can put together in a coherent fashion:-

      The Primary and Secondary Climate Drivers

      https://docs.google.com/document/d/1eNnA4UAEwc6gpqCC9_Rh4y9B4lcly5TtDMEG30-77uY/edit?hl=en_US&pli=1

      The mechanisms will become known once a greater proportion of the billions of dollars currently spent on just one hypothesis (AGW) is rationed out to competitors than is currently. Case in point point CERN CLOUD. This is the result of committed research.

    • Richard C (NZ) on June 21, 2011 at 9:41 pm said:

      Nick, the burden of proof is with the proponent, everyone else holds the null hypothesis.

      What AGW is experiencing is competition from other climate driver hypotheses as to what is the major climate driver, the cases for which are undeniable.

      I am currently working on a response received from the NZ Climate Change Office re 7 climate metrics, all of which are not performing as per AGW/IPCC prescription. Suffice to say that the case for AGW is becoming unsupportable and the response is easily refuted merely by pointing to the evidence against each.

      Let’s discuss sea level rise for example – no anthropogenic signature there is there? There’s even a case that the natural rise has topped out.

    • Richard C (NZ) on June 21, 2011 at 9:26 pm said:

      Nick, the Solar Wind Modulated Cosmic Ray Flux hypothesis has been around much longer than “a few months”. See:-

      Variation of cosmic ray flux and global cloud coverage–a missing link in solar-climate relationships.

      Svensmark – Fris-Christensen, 1996

      https://www.climateconversation.org.nz/open-threads/climate/climate-science/solar/#comment-26890

      The “challenges” have been “overcome” and it certainly is not “unproven research”.. It has already been proven by one experiment (Aarhus University (AU) and the National Space Institute (DTU Space)) and about to be corroborated by another (CERN CLOUD).

      This renders IPCC AR4 model simulations obsolete and the models will have to be reconfigured to accommodate it (along with the other emerging natural variations that are not currently modeled, TSI being the only one that is).

      Climate science will have to accommodate it in full now because the atmosphere is only a bit player, the major player is the ocean (ocean – atmosphere specific heat capacity ratio, approx 4000 :1 i.e. the ocean is where the heat is – not the atmosphere) and the variation in cloudiness as a result of CRF effect DOES explain ocean heat accumulation and release especially over the 90s and 00s. The empirical OHC metric supports CRFscience.

      “lack of correlation with temperatures [prior to and] since the 1940s” is a CO2 (and AGW) problem; solar, cosmic and celestial correlations with GAT and OHC leave CO2 for dead as a climate driver.

  13. Nick on June 21, 2011 at 8:59 pm said:

    Sorry if this appear obtuse but global warming is when the globe, warms 🙂

    I will tell you how to distinguish AGW from natural climate variability as soon as you define what natural climate variability is, it’s causes, mechanisms and magnitudes. I don’t think you can differentiate a signal from noise unless you have a clear definition of what noise actually is.

    • Andy on June 21, 2011 at 9:19 pm said:

      Nick, at this stage we are probably moving into the realm of the Hockey Stick graph of Mann et al.

      If you believe Mann’s graph, then the current temperatures are unprecedented in recent times.

      If the Hockey Stick is wrong, then there is no reason to assume that current temps are in any way unusual.

      Of course, the Hockey Stick graph is somewhat controversial, and is really at the foundation of the whole “climategate” affair.

      If you haven’t read it, I’d recommend Andrew Montford’s book “The Hockey Stick Illusion”

      Needless to say, there are some outspoken views on this book, and it has led Dr Judith Curry into “heretic” status by recommending it.

      However, my opinion is that it is well researched, and Andrew Montford is someone that I trust.

      Other than the “hockey stick”, there is no evidence whatsoever that current climatic conditions are in any way unusual, (in my opinion, of course)

    • Richard C (NZ) on June 21, 2011 at 10:01 pm said:

      Nick, let’s explore your observation.

      “Sorry if this appear obtuse but global warming is when the globe, warms”

      What global (climatic) substance holds the most heat?

      Ans – water.

      Where is the water situated?

      Ans – in the ocean.

      What has happened to ocean heat content over the last decade?

      Ans- there has been a point-of-inflexion 2003-2004 so that “global warming” has ceased.

      http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

      Stand by for global cooling perhaps for the next 70 years or even until 2100 according to the astrophysicists.

  14. Bob D on June 21, 2011 at 9:23 pm said:

    Nick,
    You say,

    Since we measure the infrared radiation reflected from the earth and it shows a marked reduction in the frequencies that CO2 is know to block I think that this is sufficient evidence that atmospheric CO2 behaves as expected from lab tests.

    As far as blocking some wavelengths, yes it obviously behaves as expected. However, the issue at hand is actually one of planetary energy imbalance. In other words, is the entire system gaining energy on a daily, monthly, annual basis? It’s all very well observing that certain wavelengths are blocked, but can energy escape to space via other avenues? How quickly can it do this? As the surface heats up due to GHGs, you are no doubt aware that energy radiates out at a rate based on the 4th power of the temperature? Higher temperatures imply much heightened energy fluxes. 22% of surface heat radiates directly to space from the surface. Latent heat of evaporation, combined with convection, carry enormous amounts of heat to high altitudes via water vapour, where radiation to space occurs without being blocked that easily. More water vapour implies more cloud cover, reflecting incoming SW. As I said, it’s a complex system, and not all that easily modelled.

    It’s well accepted that the metric to use when examining global warming is the ocean heat content (Hansen (2005), Levitus (2001), Pielke Snr. (2003). We know that it (like the atmosphere’s temperature) hasn’t increased very much over the past decade. This implies that the energy imbalance does not exist (Knox & Douglass (2010). Our planet is shedding heat easily. Hence Dr Trenberth’s “missing heat”.
    As Prof Pielke Snr. put it:

    Joules resulting from a positive radiative imbalance must continue to be accumulated in order for global warming to occur. In the last 7 1/2 years there has been an absence of this heating. An important research question is how many more years of this lack of agreement with the GISS model (and other model) predictions must occur before there is wide recognition that the IPCC models have failed as skillful predictions of the effect of the radiative forcing of anthropogenic inputs of greenhouse gases and aerosols.

    Latest research suggests that it is neutral or even slightly positive.

    I’d be very interested in references to this latest research.

    GCR theory is considerably older than a few months, but it’s true that it’s a youngish theory that still must prove itself. Note that the correlation may not be direct. There is an obvious correlation between sunspot cycle length and temperature. See here:
    http://friendsofscience.org/assets/files/documents/Solar%20Cycle%20-%20Friis-Chr_Lassen-.pdf
    I invite you also to explore the link I gave earlier, the one to Dr Roy Spencer’s CERES analysis. It shows a very promising correlation between GCR and reflected SW. It obviously bears further investigation, but the initial results aren’t bad at all.

    I’ll get to my own list in a separate comment.

  15. Bob D on June 21, 2011 at 10:40 pm said:

    Specific things that would cause me to believe that the AGW theory is true are as follows:
    1) The oceans must warm continuously, and show an acceleration.*
    2) The warming should consistently “correspond with” the IPCC model predictions. (ie: within say the 95% confidence limits)
    2a) I would be much happier with 1) and 2), if the models also incorporated the complexities of our climate system in ways they don’t do right now. Clouds (and in fact the whole hydro cycle) come to mind here.

    I think that would do it.

    Regarding CAGW (Catastrophic AGW) I’d need more proof. So far there is no evidence of:
    a) accelerating sea level rise
    b) increases in hurricanes/cyclones
    c) increases in floods/droughts
    d) any change in climate events
    I would need to see clear proof of any of these things occurring, then proof of the link back to a warmer environment before I accepted it.

    *Reason for acceleration: The current warming started way back in the 1800s. The CO2 forcing must increase this warming over and above the constant underlying trend. Otherwise it’s just business as usual – whatever natural forcing increased the temperatures then must be assumed to be acting now. Same for sea level rise.

  16. Nick on June 22, 2011 at 1:00 pm said:

    Hi all, I’m gratified by the level of in-depth response. I have tried to address the various points separately so I can keep it straight in my head but if I have missed anything please let me know.

    *** Alternative theories for climate drivers ***
    Richard, I agree there are also sorts of things that show a correlation with global temperatures and that these things should be researched. However I don’t agree that they can replace AGW until a mechanism is clearly understood. The fact that there are an infinite number of things that could correlate with global temperatures by coincidence suggests that it would be reckless to delay action until they have all been investigated. Particularly since that we have a theory with good long term correlation with global temperatures and a known mechanism. This is the same reason I don’t believe in astrology despite claimed correlations with behavior.

    I wish to reiterate that I’m not trying to prove anything to you, just explain what I believe so the burden of proof and null hypothesis is moot.

    *** Solar Wind Modulated Cosmic Ray Flux hypothesis ***
    My understanding is that there is no correlation between cosmic radiation and temperature since the 40s. Do you have a comparison of correlations for GHG and GCR against temperatures available? I would be interested to have a look at it.

    Numerous studies find that although GCR induce aerosol formation they do not correlate with cloud cover. Probably because a GCR aerosol must grow by 100,000 before they can form a cloud or scatter sunlight.

    So I’m happy to support more research into this and I absolutely concede that it might turn out to be a more robust theory than AGW but I don’t think it is there yet and until it is I am happy for policy to follow AGW theory.

    *** What is Natural Climate Variability ***
    Andy, I’m aware of the hockey stick controversy and I’ll read Montford’s book when I can get it from the library. I’m happy for you to choose whatever measure you like for natural climate variability so long as you can describe the causes, mechanisms and magnitude. Once you can tell me what you consider to be natural I will try to tell you how our current climate differs.

    *** Ocean Heat Content Increasing ***
    The study you quote only measures the top 700m of the ocean. There are several studies which look at data from the deep ocean, 2000m and greater that show heat content continuing to increase.

    *** Clouds give neutral or positive feedback ***
    Recent studies that show clouds to give positive feedback are as follows:
    Chang and Coakley (2007), Eitzen et al. (2008), Clement (2009) and Dessler (2010)

    *** What would it take for you to change your mind?
    Bob, thanks for your reply. Can you give some figures for the warming and acceleration that you have in mind. I assume the warming shown by von Schuckmann (2009) is insufficient. So what rate of acceleration over what period would do it?

    Andy, I doubt that you would accept any temperature rise of greater than zero as sufficient evidence (which you imply above) so can I ask that like Bob you quantify this and global sea level acceleration that you would need before you revised your views. It would be nice if we could agree on a metric for measuring extreme weather event so we could include this as well so I’ll have a bit of a think about what might be suitable.

    Richard do you have anything to add to this? I appreciate that you are busy running the blog but if you find time to give it some thought I would be interested in your perspective.

    • Andy on June 22, 2011 at 2:59 pm said:

      Nick,
      You ask questions related to the statistical significance of various metrics.
      Perhaps I can point you at Doug Keenan’s Op Ed in the WSJ in which he basically argues that 20th century warming has no statistical significance

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704615504576171863463697564.html

    • Nick on June 22, 2011 at 7:58 pm said:

      Do you have any peer reviewed sources? I generally avoid opinion pieces as it is too hard to separate the wheat from the chaff.

    • Andy on June 22, 2011 at 8:17 pm said:

      It’s not an “opinion piece”. It is a description of the mathematical fallacies used by the IPCC, which you can confirm for yourself.

      And yes I do read peer-reviewed papers, and also a lot of the choss called “grey literature” that appears in IPCC reports (approx 30% of AR4) that helps form public policy.

    • Nick on June 27, 2011 at 9:41 am said:

      The problem I have with things like Doug Keenan’s piece for the Wall Street Journal is that there is no clear avenue for rebuttal or way of assessing the quality of the work. Subsequent studies cannot cite or reference his article to build on or refute what he has done. Once you step out of the peer review process you are no longer building a body over knowledge (of which any paper is just a small part) but rather engaging in unproductive sniping. Fine for politics but not how science progresses.

      If Doug’s work is so compelling why doesn’t he publish as he has done on other topics?

    • I don’t know, maybe he will.

      However, it is possible to make objective statements about mathematical reasoning without going through the hoops of peer review.

      For example, Phil Jones’s recent statement that “warming since 1998 is now statistically significant” is not a fact that went through any peer review process, yet it was dutifully regurgitated by the media. However, Keenan and others have recently questioned this statement against the IPCC’s own definition of significance, and it seems to fall short.

      I don’t really accept that peer review is the only mechanism upon which to do science. Judith Curry, for example, has embraced the blogosphere as a vehicle for reviewing and sharing ideas

    • Incidentally, Nick, if you are going to apply these high standards on peer review then you have to do this across the board. In an audit of IPCC referencing that myself and some other commenters on this blog worked on a while back, we found that approximately 33% of IPCC was non peer-reviewed material.

      Although WG1 was primarily peer-reviewed, some chapters in WG2 and WG3 were something like 90% grey literature. Much of this comes from advocacy organisations such as WWF and Greenpeace.

      The fiasco known as “Amazongate” showed that a major claim about the Amazon had no scientific basis, and was certainly not peer-reviewed. However, the media did not accurately report this, and defended the WWF on this matter, who, incidentally, stand to make a very large amount of money out of carbon trading

      The difference between Amazongate and Keenan’s WSJ article is that the latter took a lot of digging out by blogger Richard North. Keenan’s statements, on the other hand, can be verified by consulting a textbook on statistics.

    • Richard C (NZ) on June 22, 2011 at 8:18 pm said:

      Nick, whatever are you basing this on?

      “we have a theory with good long term correlation with global temperatures”

      The ONLY CO2/temp correlation is the short-term 80s and 90s warming phase. There is no correlation over the 30s 40s and 50s warm-cool cycle (the CO2 forced models can’t hindcast that period either) and no correlation since the turn of the century.

      Re your fixation with GAT. This is only ONE climate metric, GISSTemp has lost all credibility and there are numerous issues with the land based series (UHIE, dropped stations etc) but accepting say HADCrut3 (as I do), we are just not seeing the anthropogenic signature in the series to date but we do see the natural cycles.

      Relevant metrics for the 21st century would be:-

      Atmosphere

      1) Water Vapour Levels – global NVAP data not published for over a decade,
      AGW prescribes an increase but other data shows that this is not happening this century.

      2) Global Average Temperature – not increasing this century as prescribed by AGW

      3) Tropospheric Hot Spot – not observed as prescribed by AGW

      4) Backradiation Levels – not increasing as prescribed by AGW

      Ocean

      5) Sea Surface Level – not accelerating as prescribed by AGW

      6) Sea Surface Temperature – not rising as prescribed by AGW (except
      North Atlantic)

      7) Ocean Heat Content – not increasing (since 2004) as prescribed by AGW

      (If the top 700m ain’t warming you can forget about anything below that due to the colossal amount of heat in that 700m strata and it is from there that it is released to the atmosphere).

      The time has come to call AGW to account and it fails the empirical test. So far from being “reckless to delay action” there is actually no reason to prolong it.

      The papers I have provided links to show the correlations you are seeking but I get the impression you are not looking very hard – the analogy being that I can lead a horse to water but I can’t make it drink. I have a potentially far more effective confrontation with the Prime Minister’s Science Advisory Committee (PMSAC), the NZ Chief Scientist (and PM’s adviser) and the NZ Climate Change Office to devote my argument time to and which I hope to get into post form that is acceptable here at CCG and possibly at JoNova. The reality of the divergence between 21st century AGW predictions and actual observations must be available for public scrutiny but the above mentioned are being very evasive on the issue of actually publishing these metrics on the CC website (or elsewhere) with predictions overlaid (the response so far has been deficient at best and incompetent at worst).

      Re GCR, some perspective from Svensmark’s latest paper:-

      “Averaging satellite data on the liquid-water content of clouds over the oceans, for the five strongest Forbush decreases from 2001 to 2005, the DTU team found a 7 per cent decrease, as mentioned earlier. That translates into 3 billion tonnes of liquid water vanishing from the sky. The water remains there in vapour form, but unlike cloud droplets it does not get in the way of sunlight trying to warm the ocean. After the same five Forbush decreases, satellites measuring the extent of liquid-water clouds revealed an average reduction of 4 per cent. Other satellites showed a similar 5 per cent reduction in clouds below 3200 metres over the ocean.”The effect of the solar explosions on the Earth’s cloudiness is huge,” Henrik Svensmark comments. “A loss of clouds of 4 or 5 per cent may not sound very much, but it briefly increases the sunlight reaching the oceans by about 2 watt per square metre, and that’s equivalent to all the global warming during the 20th Century.”

    • Richard C (NZ) on June 24, 2011 at 1:49 am said:

      I’ll answer my own question that was:-

      Nick, whatever are you basing this on?

      “we have a theory with good long term correlation with global temperatures”

      The “good long term correlation with global temperatures” is the Law Dome – Mauna Loa splice with the underlying trend starting at 1850 – not the underlying trend plus 60 year oscillation. There’s a blog post by Clive Best that shows the correlation and I’ll concede that it is “good” on the face of it.

      http://clivebest.com/blog/?p=2295

      The plot “Evidence of a 60 year oscillation in global temperature data” is incomplete in the blog post but searching that title in Google images gives a better view by zooming in and running the cursor over the image.

      The underlying temperature curve uses the CO2 fit of deltaT=2.5Ln(C/C0) but it does not seem to be a replica of the CO2 curve (it seems to accelerate faster).

      There’s something dodgy about the Clive Best plot because it shows temperature steeper than CO2 over1979 – 2010. This Climate4you 1979 – 2011 plot shows CO2 steeper than temperature over the same period:-

      Temperature records versus atmospheric CO2

      http://climate4you.com/

      It would be best to find the best fit trend of the CO2 data 1979 – 2011 to see if it corresponds to 2.5Ln(C/C0). Seems remote because there is two distinct monotonic slopes in the data and a kink at about 1993 as I see it, but it’s not out of the question.

      The CC Office also points to the underlying trend being consistent with AGW..It is a compelling correlation I must admit without calling on the much longer term Vostok data and the “correlation does not prove causation” argument.

      Both Nick and the CC Office score a point here I think and I will have some difficulty supporting my position with the CC Office that the GAT metric is not complying with AGW. I’d even concede that the models hindcast the underlying trend. Fortunately I have 6 other metrics to present.

    • Richard C (NZ) on June 24, 2011 at 11:59 am said:

      Scafetta 2010 Fig 1. shows a quadratic fit: 0.000029*(yr – 1850)2 – 0.42 for HadCRUT3.

      So the historic CO2 level – Global Average Temperature (GAT or GST) apparent correlation is:-

      2.5Ln(C/C0) approximately correlates to 0.000029*(yr – 1850)2 – 0.42.

      I don’t think I’ve seen this laid out anywhere before and it’s compelling to my unskilled eye.

      Although they have not stated it, this must be the CC Office (and Nick’s) position on CO2 – GAT.

      What do you maths and stats guys think of this? Andy ? Bob ?

    • Bob D on June 24, 2011 at 12:27 pm said:

      Interesting topic. I think I’ll have a look into this.

    • Nick,

      Thanks for your (once more) thoughtful comments.

      You say (my emphasis): “… there are [all] sorts of things that show a correlation with global temperatures and … these things should be researched. However I don’t agree that they can replace AGW until a mechanism is clearly understood.”

      Please provide a reference to a peer-reviewed description of the theory of what you refer to as “AGW” and supporting evidence.

      The UAH graph below is evidence that global surface temperature is not rising at an unprecedented rate. However, the GISS graph is often used as evidence that it is. The several pieces of evidence, to my unskilled eye, contradict each other, though I tend to trust the satellite series rather more than the deeply criticised and clearly defective surface station record. The gistemp graph is so different from the GISS version of allegedly the same thing that I have difficulty accepting that the two graphs are created in the same workshop. But maybe I’ve got it wrong.

      Recent UAH global surface temperatures:
      https://www.climateconversation.org.nz/pics/recent-global-temps-uah-520.jpg

      Recent GISTEMP global surface temperatures:
      https://www.climateconversation.org.nz/pics/recent-global-temps-gistemp-520.jpg

      Recent GISS global surface temperatures:
      https://www.climateconversation.org.nz/pics/recent-global-temps-giss-520.jpg

      So, there’s no clear expression of the theory of dangerous man-made global warming (therefore it cannot tested), there’s no evidence temperatures are rising without precedent and the only indication of future dangerous rise is unverified computer models which have signally failed to predict even the occasional El Nino, much less the last 15 years or so of static temperatures. So far, the available evidence doesn’t add up even to a first-year medical student asking a classmate whether this might, possibly, at a stretch, develop into pre-cancerous cells in a couple of decades, much less does it paint a picture of nine fully-experienced oncologists warning me my life is nearly over.

      Cheers.

  17. Bob D on June 22, 2011 at 2:21 pm said:

    Nick, von Schuckmann (2009) is not a robust finding, because, as Josh Willis has pointed out, they use the early ARGO float data without correcting for the pressure issues. This has produced an early cooling period that is incorrect.

    Josh Willis replying to Dr Trenberth (my emphasis):

    I’m not sure why you think that the analysis methods of recent ocean heat content estimates are not robust. Since about 2005, most any analysis method that makes use of the Argo data should get approximately the same answer, which is that there is little net warming over this period.

    In fact, I have verified that my estimate compares well with Karina’s between 2005 and the end of 2008, even though she integrates to 2000 m and I only integrate 900 m. In the early part, however, the von Schuckmann analysis is problematic because it definitely contains some Argo data that still had pressure biases, and because they relied on a climatological background field that was probably too cold. Because the early part of the Argo record (pre-2005) has large gaps, their analysis relaxes toward the cooler climatology in the early part of the record. This has the potential to make the global trend appear larger than it may actually be.

    In Knox & Douglass (2010) Table 1, they present the various estimates of ocean heat content gained from the ARGO data. It is clear that von Schuckmann is the exception. All other analyses show a decline in OHC. This is supported by the Hadley SST data (see Fig 1 of K&D).

    Basically, it’s now up to the von Schuckmann team to defend their analysis, to show the results using corrected float data. As Josh says, he expects they will end up with cooling similar to the other analyses. They also have to explain why they are different to everyone else, and why Hadley is incorrect as well.

    • Nick on June 22, 2011 at 8:12 pm said:

      I look forward to Josh publishing his findings until then I can’t take it seriously. In the mean time Lyman 2010, Trenberth 2010 and Purkey & Johnson 2010 all find robust ocean warming.

      Sorry if my attitude comes across as unwilling to consider what you obviously regard as important data. I have just found that looking at things outside of the peer reviewed literature tends to result in a lot of wasted time. If someone is prepared to make the effort to go through the rigour of peer review then I’m prepared to take them seriously, until then it is just people talking and there is no shortage of that.

    • Andy on June 22, 2011 at 8:19 pm said:

      Nick, have you read any of the UEA emails? Do you not accept that the peer review process has been corrupted?

    • Nick on June 22, 2011 at 8:30 pm said:

      No, I do not accept that the peer review process has been corrupted.

      I generally don’t subscribe to conspiracy theories. The large number of papers that have been published that question parts of AGW theory are fairly good evidence that the normal scientific process is alive and well.

    • Andy on June 22, 2011 at 8:40 pm said:

      OK, Nick, in that case, do you accept that the inquiries into the UEA “climategate” affair were fair, independent and impartial?

      BTW, I never used the word “conspiracy”, you did. I often find these conversations tend to end this way.

      What I see is collusion, corruption, financial and political self-interest. It does not require a conspiracy to enable these things.

      It doesn’t just apply to climate science, either.

    • Andy, I’m not much interested in the results of the UEA inquiries as when I read the emails in context both of their content and the broader body of evidence I do not see that there is much evidence of wrong doing. Ill considered choice of words perhaps but nothing damming.

    • Do you accept that splicing of instrumental records and proxy data to “hide the decline” is a valid scientific technique?

    • Bob D on June 27, 2011 at 10:31 am said:

      Nick,

      Andy, I’m not much interested in the results of the UEA inquiries as when I read the emails in context both of their content and the broader body of evidence I do not see that there is much evidence of wrong doing. Ill considered choice of words perhaps but nothing damming.

      I very much doubt that you read them in context, simply because you were probably unaware of the contect like we were. By ‘we’ I mean the sceptical community (which is actually very large).

      When the emails (and of course other material) were leaked, I was one of the first to download them (since I happened to be on the Air Vent at the time). I spent the entire night reading them, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. They confirmed in detail everything that the sceptics had been saying for years – about the intimidation of journal editors, the controlling of the peer-review process and what would be allowed in IPCC reports, about the refusal to comply with FOI requests, about inner doubts concerning the lack of warming, about shonky code and poor data, about manipulating data to present it in the best possible light to achieve political aims, about unprofessional behaviour regarding funding, and so on.

      You may not have understood the context, but I can assure you that others did. It’s one of the reasons Judith Curry stood up to have her say. She also understood what was going on, and she didn’t like it. The reaction across the rest of the scientific world was immediate and uncompromising: the climate science cabal of CRU/GISS was out of control. Hence the whitewash investigations – investigations that failed to address the science, that simply asked the scientists “did you do any wrong?” without reference to any sceptical inputs.

      The “nothing to see here, move along” response has been more damaging than the leak, in my opinion. The reputation of climate science has sunk very low in the minds of the general public.

    • I agree with Bob here, that the whitewash enquiries and coverups were far more damaging than the original issue.

      There was an opportunity to thrown someone under a bus over climategate, and tighten up climate science and make it more transparent.

      The fact that the so-called independent enquiries were so partisan (as readers of Bishop Hill and Climate Audit can testify) only hardens my views that the whole system is rotten to the core.

    • Do you accept that it is OK to instruct your co-workers to delete emails in advance of an FOI request?

    • I don’t see how any of the accusations made have any impact on the actual science. UEA may not have been as open as they could have been, however given the nature of the FOI requests I’m not surprised. To me it looks like a well conceived trap that the scientists fell for hook line and sinker.

      However the science remains unchallenged.

    • Mike Jowsey on June 29, 2011 at 7:41 am said:

      Nick, the ‘science’ very much remains challenged. UEA’s refusal to release their data in support of their published surface temperature findings is unscientific. Their gamesmanship evidenced in the Climategate emails reveals that they knew their ‘science’ would be found wanting if a successful challenge was made, hence their blocking FOI requests and pressuring journal editors to not publish any challenging papers. This fortress mentality is alive and well today. It is still very difficult to get papers published which, despite good science, go against the orthodoxy. Why is it that if the science is so robust, questions are forbidden, source data remains mysteriously lost or unavailable, and dissenting views are quashed?

      I invite you to read the following article on the experience of an eminent climate scientist at MIT when he recently submitted an article:

      From Dr. Lindzen…
      The following is the reproduction of the email exchanges involved in the contribution of our paper (Lindzen and Choi, “On the observational determination of climate sensitivity and its implications”) to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

      http://www.masterresource.org/2011/06/lindzen-choi-special-treatment/

    • Andy on June 29, 2011 at 9:34 am said:

      Nick, I’d suggest you read “The Hockey Stick Illusion” by Andrew Montford.

      This deals with the central issues around the UEA affair. I would agree that it does not challenge the AGW thesis as such.
      It deals with the issues around the multi-proxy tree ring etc data to produce the iconic “hockey stick” graph used in IPCC TAR

      Most of the book was written before the emails were released, and shows some very dubious professional practices.
      The key issues, in my view, are
      (1) The overreliance on Bristlecone Pine data in the hockey stick series
      (2) The short-centering PCA analysis that favoured hockey-stick graphs
      (3) The so-called “divergence problem”, which has the proxy data declining in apparent temperature whilst the instrumental record showed an incline. (“Hide the Decline”)

      There were other issues that arose in Climategate, notably the UHI issues, but the multi-proxy issues were key.

      Needless to say, there has been acrimonious debate over this ever since, and the guys at Realclimate have vigorously defended their position ever

      Having looked at this stuff for a couple of years or so, I find it hard to say objectively the “there is nothing wrong with the science”.

    • Richard C (NZ) on June 29, 2011 at 10:12 am said:

      Nick, the science is being challenged but the challengers access to station data has been blocked by UEA.

      Not any more.

      ICO Orders UEA to Produce CRUTEM Station Data

      Steve McIntyre, posted on Jun 27, 2011 at 6:24 PM

      Breaking news: Today probably marks the closing chapter of the longstanding FOI request for CRUTEM station data. The UK Information Commissioner (ICO) has rendered a decision (see here) on Jonathan Jones’ appeal of the UEA’s refusal to provide Prof J. Jones with the CRUTEM station data that they had previously provided to Georgia Tech. The decision that can only be characterized as a total thrashing of the University of East Anglia.

      Professor Jonathan Jones of Oxford University (like me, an alumnus of Corpus Christi, Oxford), is a Bishop Hill and CA reader and was one of several CA readers who requested the CRUTEM version sent to Georgia Tech earlier that year.

      http://climateaudit.org/2011/06/27/ico-orders-uea-to-produce-crutem-station-data/

      Personally i think any dodgy data is 20th century but there doesn’t seem to be the same situation this century. To create a fictitious warming trend in GAT this century requires the despicable adjustment that Dr James Hansen indulges in with GISSTemp.

      I.e if any spurious warming has been introduced, it was done last century but that cannot effect this century’s trend (no warming).

    • Richard C (NZ) on June 29, 2011 at 10:45 am said:

      More here (I posted a comment by must have hit the wrong “Reply”)

      https://www.climateconversation.org.nz/2011/06/guess-meet-fact/#comment-61723

      Basically:-

      “… CRUTEM was an almost microscopically small issue in the Climategate emails – Climategate was about the Hockey Stick and its handling by IPCC, not CRUTEM. CRUTEM was mentioned in only 25 emails and, even then, often passim,” explained McIntyre last year.

    • Mike Jowsey on June 29, 2011 at 4:10 pm said:

      What??!!! You mean [gasp] it’s NOT worse than we thought??

      Great stuff RC – thanks.

    • Richard C (NZ) on June 22, 2011 at 8:42 pm said:

      Nick, how do you reconcile “robust ocean warming” with the SSL data (including tide guages) ?

      “robust ocean warming” would be accompanied by “robust” sea level rise due to thermal expansion (steric rise), would it not?

      The two metrics must send a consistent message but there is a disconnect when the notion of continued ocean warming is introduced IN PLACE OF the key OHC metric.

      The notion that the “missing heat” is lurking in the depths of the ocean and will emerge at some future time with catastrophic results is clutching at very long straws by all concerned.

    • Richard C (NZ) on June 22, 2011 at 9:04 pm said:

      I suspect that hydrothermal vents are the source of the “robust [deep] ocean warming”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrothermal_vent

      It’s those natural factors again, this one is more plausible than the impossibility of GHG backradiation heating the ocean given that LWIR cannot penetrate the sea surface beyond 100 microns.

      How exactly does the GHG effect heat the ocean in AGW parlance?

    • Andy on June 22, 2011 at 9:51 pm said:

      BTW Nick, Douglas Keenan, author of the WSJ article above, does have peer-reviewed papers to his name, listed at this personal website

      http://www.informath.org/

      So even if it is an op-ed, it is based on sound mathematical reasoning from a qualified mathematician, who has peer-reviewed papers to his name.

      I don’t expect to see that in the NZ Herald anytime soon.

    • Bob D on June 23, 2011 at 12:37 pm said:

      I look forward to Josh publishing his findings until then I can’t take it seriously. In the mean time Lyman 2010, Trenberth 2010 and Purkey & Johnson 2010 all find robust ocean warming.

      Willis has published his findings in both Willis (2007) and Willis (2008). The peer-reviewed literature [Knox & Douglass (2010), Loehle (2009), Pielke (2008), Douglass & Knox (2009)] shows that von Schuckmann is the outlier, and shows that von Schuckmann contradicts both ARGO, NODC, and Hadley SSTs. Josh merely provided the reason.

      Now, regarding your references, they are unfortunately invalid. We are discussing the lack of ocean warming since the ARGO network was deployed in 2003. ARGO was deployed originally because all parties acknowledge that OHC is the metric to watch in order to determine the energy imbalance. It is the most extensive network ever deployed in the oceans.

      However, since ARGO was deployed it has shown no warming. This finding is corroborated by Hadley SST and NODC data, and of course implies no energy imbalance, since Ftoa=Fohc (Hansen, Pielke, Trenberth, etc.)

      Lyman (2010) deals with non-ARGO (XBT) data, extending back to 1993. Not relevant, since it includes the pre-2003 period.

      Purkey & Johnson (2010) is a modeling exercise, dealing with very deep ocean heat content, again without using ARGO. They find fluxes in the order of 0.01-0.06 W/m2 in this region over the period from the 1980s through 2006. These fluxes, as they acknowledge, are tiny.

      By Trenberth (2010) I presume you mean Trenberth & Fusallo (2010). It actually says the opposite of what you state. Trenberth acknowledges the reduction in OHC since ARGO specifically, even putting it in the first panel of their diagram. The article tries to explain (rather unsuccessfully) where the ‘missing heat’ went to.

      I’m afraid the peer-reviewed literature is clear: over the past 8 years the oceans have not warmed. Therefore, there is no energy imbalance. You can argue around this topic all you want, but the physics is solid.

    • Richard C (NZ) on June 23, 2011 at 8:15 pm said:

      Bob, you have no idea how useful this comment is to my task of putting together a rebuttal (will start drafting this tomorrow) of the Ministry for the Environment’s response to my challenge to publish the key climate metrics with AGW/IPCC prescriptions/projections overlaid for this century.

      They too cite Lyman et al 2010 to support their contention that “ocean heat data” [not OHC note – nice sidestep, see below] shows “warming that is consistent with long-term expectations of AGW” and quote the 0.65 W.m2 flux. I asked for OHC (measured in Joules) to be published so I will dispute the use of the power flux emitted from the earth’s surface to the atmosphere (measured in Watts) as a substitute for OHC [Bob, am I correct here re Fohc?] along with what you point out (Lyman irrelevant, T & F found reduced OHC etc0..

      [Aside, I’ve had my J and kJ’ specific heat capacity decimal places mixed up for air and water and have been glibly writing that the ocean : air heat capacity ratio is 4000 :1 when it is actually 4:1 – how embarrassing, and I’m glad I spotted my error now and not incorporated it in a communication to the CC Office. This is just one of the dumb things I do during a VERY intense kiwifruit season]

      Jeff Id has calculated ocean vs air heat content and demonstrates the complete insignificance of the latter here:-

      http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/04/05/234-5/#more-11484_

      I am reluctant to distribute the CC Office response until I’ve made my own to it in conjunction with my original challenge but I wonder if you would be interested in a preview if I emailed it to you along with my challenge?

      My tactic will be to try to stay simple and concise because the scope is overwhelming.

    • Bob D on June 24, 2011 at 9:59 am said:

      …but I wonder if you would be interested in a preview if I emailed it to you along with my challenge?

      Sure, send it over, and I’ll help if I can. Richard T has my email address.

    • Richard C (NZ) on June 23, 2011 at 9:27 pm said:

      Bob, I’m really confused between this from your comment:-

      Ftoa=Fohc (Hansen, Pielke, Trenberth, etc.)

      and this from Lyman:-

      a composite of several OHCA curves using different XBT bias corrections still yields a statistically significant linear warming trend for 1993–2008 of 0.64 W m-2 (calculated for the Earth’s entire surface area)

      What is the latest Fohc for the Argo era?

      Does it actually equal Ftoa ?

      How does Fohc differ from the “0.64 W m-2 (calculated for the Earth’s entire surface area)” from Lyman ?

    • Bob D on June 24, 2011 at 9:29 am said:

      Bob, I’m really confused between this from your comment:-

      Ftoa=Fohc (Hansen, Pielke, Trenberth, etc.)

      and this from Lyman:-

      a composite of several OHCA curves using different XBT bias corrections still yields a statistically significant linear warming trend for 1993–2008 of 0.64 W m-2 (calculated for the Earth’s entire surface area)

      What is the latest Fohc for the Argo era?

      Does it actually equal Ftoa ?

      How does Fohc differ from the “0.64 W m-2 (calculated for the Earth’s entire surface area)” from Lyman ?

      My apologies, I should have used the correct symbol. I’ve looked it up in the Alt-Num codes, but it doesn’t show up – it’s the “approximates” symbol, a squiggly equals sign. (I’ll try from MS Word: FTOA ≈ FOHC).
      The logic runs that since 90% of any “excess” energy entering the system (Ftoa) is stored in the upper 700m of the ocean (Pielke (2003)), then Fohc will reflect Ftoa.
      As K&D put it:

      Thus, to a good approximation, FOHC may be employed to infer the magnitude of FTOA, and the positive radiation imbalance should be directly reflected in FOHC (when adjusted for geothermal flux [9]; see Table 1 caption).
      The principal approximations involved in using this equality, which include the neglect of heat transfers to land masses and those associated with the melting and freezing of ice, estimated to be of the order of 0.04 W/m2 [14], have been discussed by the present authors [9].

      The OHC under discussion is specifically the ARGO-era data. Before that, the data was particularly sparse (hence the point of ARGO in the first place). Lyman et al examined the XBT data from 1993 to 2008 and found 0.64W/m2. All of this flux was prior to 2003, since there has been only slight cooling since (K&D (2010)). Therefore the Lyman paper has no bearing on the ARGO discussion.

      To confirm again the fact that the peer-reviewed literature finds no warming from 2003, the abstract of Katsman and van Oldenborgh (2011)reads:

      Over the period 2003–2010, the upper ocean has not gained any heat, despite the general expectation that the ocean will absorb most of the Earth’s current radiative im- balance. Answering to what extent this heat was transferred to other components of the climate system and by what process(-es) gets to the essence of understanding climate change. Direct heat flux observations are too inaccurate to assess such exchanges.

    • Given this rather compelling evidence that mother nature is not playing ball, and that empirical data is underperforming the IPCC’s most conservative estimate, why do we keep hearing that it will be worse than the IPCC’s most alarmist projection?

      Are the alarmists deliberately lying, or using some other metrics, or in a state of denial? This is what I keep hearing.

    • Bob D on June 24, 2011 at 10:57 am said:

      Andy, as far as I can work out, they base this on the only metric that is actually as bad as they said: the pre-2007 sea ice melt in the Arctic. We know of course that this was caused by winds, but it’s the only thing they have to hold onto, so they keep repeating it like a sort of mantra.
      Of course, melting sea ice doesn’t affect sea level rise, as we know, so it’s irrelevant to that. They’ve tried the permafrost methane thing to try to give it some relevance (along with polar bears) but in both cases it’s easy to show they are incorrect. The Russians measuring permafrost say it’s not melting, and the polar bear population has a far greater correlation with hunting than sea ice.

    • Richard C (NZ) on June 24, 2011 at 11:29 am said:

      Great, I’m getting a clear picture now. KD10 is one of the BIG papers that shoot AGW down in flames (and the CC Office position with Lyman10). I had missed Katsman and van Oldenborgh (2011) though.

      This from KD10 is clear – “FOHC may be employed to infer the magnitude of FTOA”.

      And the KD10 abstract sums up the difference between Lyman10 and KD10:-

      A recently published estimate of Earth’s global warming trend is 0.63 ± 0.28 W/m2, as calculated from ocean heat content anomaly data spanning 1993–2008. This value is not representative of the recent (2003–2008) warming/cooling rate because of a “flattening” that occurred around 2001–2002. Using only 2003–2008 data from Argo floats, we find by four different algorithms that the recent trend ranges from –0.010 to –0.160 W/m2 with a typical error bar of ±0.2 W/m2. These results fail to support the existence of a frequently-cited large positive computed radiative imbalance.

      KD10 also answers this for me:-

      How does Fohc differ from the “0.64 W m-2 (calculated for the Earth’s entire surface area)” from Lyman ?

      It doesn’t. From KD10 2. Data and Analysis:-

      In what follows, we make reference to FOHC, defined as the rate of change of OHC divided by Earth’s area. It has units of energy flux and is therefore convenient when discussing heating of the whole climate system. In W/m2, FOHC is given by 0.62d(OHC)/dt when the rate of change of OHC is presented in units of 1022 J/yr.

      I had never noticed before that the ocean heat flux was the flux for land also once “the rate of change of OHC” is “divided by Earth’s area”. I think this is because in my mind I see separate fluxes – ocean (70% of surface) and land (30% of surface), but I’ve never read that in papers anywhere that I recall.

      Amazing the difference little details like “divided by Earth’s area” can make.

      This underscores the importance that ocean heat has in this approximation of the Earth’s overall heat system because the surface flux proxy (FOHC) “neglects heat transfers to land masses” (KD10).

      What would be the surface flux if it were:-

      FOHC/ocean area + FLHC/land area ?

      I’ve probably missed this in papers somewhere too.

    • Bob D on June 24, 2011 at 12:24 pm said:

      According to Dr Trenberth, the land uptake is about 2E20 J/yr, and total land ice another 2-3E20 J/yr.
      http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/EnergyDiagnostics09final.pdf

    • Richard C (NZ) on June 24, 2011 at 1:38 pm said:

      The last datapoint mid 2008 KD10 Fig 1 has OHC at about 1E22 J but that’s an anomaly. Jeff Id calculates ocean heat:-

      From Wikipedia – The total mass of the hydrosphere is about 1,400,000,000,000,000,000 metric tons (1.5×1018 short tons) or 1.4×1021 kg,

      Energy content of the ocean is – 3993 *1.4×1021 =5.6×1024 Joules/Degree Kelvin

      The 1E22 J ocean anomaly is far greater than the 2E20 J land actual.

      Ocean 5.6E24 Joules/Degree Kelvin

      Land 2E20 J/yr

      Land Ice 2-3E20 J/yr.

      The total just becomes 5.8005E24. I would have lost money betting on the role of the land heat sink. Amazing that it can just be ignored (assuming Trenberth has the land value realistic of course)..

    • Bob D on June 24, 2011 at 2:28 pm said:

      Of course, that’s not the land actual total, though, just the delta (Joules per annum). But yes, the land delta is only about 2% of the total delta.

  18. Bob D on June 22, 2011 at 3:07 pm said:

    Nick:

    Can you give some figures for the warming and acceleration that you have in mind.

    Well, the first step would be to see some warming in the IPCC range. We see none. The next step would be to see an acceleration of any sort. You have to admit that there is no acceleration to be found in the past decade. OHC has flattened (deceleration) and sea level rise confirms this by decelerating as well. Global temperatures have also flattened (deceleration). So all the theories in the world about CO2 forcing, feedbacks, etc. are irrelevant. Mother Earth is simply not playing ball.

    So over the past decade the <exact opposite of the IPCC projections has happened. How much clearer can it get?
    Bear in mind that in this time we have witnessed:
    -IPCC TAR
    -An Inconvenient Truth
    -Endless media hype
    -IPCC AR4
    -Copenhagen, Cancun and a host of other talk-fests
    -This conversation

    Now it’s very difficult to claim that global warming is going on, and is leading to catastrophic conditions when it isn’t warming. I’m sorry, but I’m too conservative to accept something that clearly isn’t true. Even if it was warming, I would require acceleration before I accepted a human influence. So right now the subject is not even at Square Zero.

    If it did suddenly start to warm tomorrow, and accelerate, I’d still like an answer to why it stalled for a full decade, by the way.

    • Andy on June 22, 2011 at 3:16 pm said:

      Great question. If the forcings of CO2 are correct, then an equal and opposite effect must have taken place to EXACTLY COUNTERACT the CO2 forcing during the 21st Century

      This really seems quite implausible to me.

    • Bob D on June 22, 2011 at 3:32 pm said:

      Correct, Andy, and must have increased in magnitude (but opposite in sign) with the CO2 forcing, which we know increases with increasing CO2 concentration.

    • Nick on June 22, 2011 at 8:18 pm said:

      Certainly there may be an unknown forcing at work and I think it is very important to continue to keep this possibility in mind and fund research into plausible mechanisms. It seems more likely to me given the global radiative imbalance that the heat is there, as described in the papers above. The problem is we have only just got the instrumentation into the deep oceans to detect it.

    • Bob D on June 23, 2011 at 12:04 pm said:

      Nick, you say

      …given the global radiative imbalance…

      Yet I gave you peer-reviewed references showing the global radiative imbalance since ARGO was deployed in 2003 does not exist.

      You claim you only believe the peer-reviewed literature. I’m beginning to doubt it, frankly.

    • Nick on June 22, 2011 at 8:25 pm said:

      Bob, if you believe that temperatures are currently flat then any increase will be an acceleration and I don’t think that you would change you position after just one year of higher temperatures. So how much acceleration and for how long? 5 years? 10 years?

    • Richard C (NZ) on June 22, 2011 at 9:34 pm said:

      Nick you are sidestepping the issue that temperatures are not rising in concert with CO2 levels. Even if there is an acceleration of temperature in the future that does not mean that anthropogenic fossil fuel emissions are the cause because the previously apparent correlation is broken.

      FWIW (leaving aside natural variation and recent solar revelations) I can easily foresee an anthropogenic factor in a future return to warming (and drought) but it is NOT CO2 emissions – I think land use change and particularly deforestation will be the culprit.

      What has had the greatest anthropogenic climate change effect (including precipitation) on NZ, fossil fuel emissions or deforestation?

      The hydrological cycle is greatly different now than in pre-colonial times I suspect (dendro studies might support this but dunno).

    • Bob D on June 23, 2011 at 12:47 pm said:

      Nick, as I stated at the start, there was already an underlying slow warming trend going on since the 1800s. I said clearly that the acceleration would have to be over and above this underlying trend. At present we’re not warming at all (OHC) and hence the issue of acceleration is irrelevant. We must first regain the underlying (natural) trend before we can start to accelerate beyond it. Of course, this means we have to get back on track first, since for the past decade we’ve slipped well below the underlying trend line itself.

      But the main problem for AGW is that this decade has proven that the energy imbalance can be zero in the presence of GHG forcing. Therefore there is no warming in the pipeline, and climate sensitivity is significantly less than they (Hansen et al) guessed.

      All in all, the theory of global warming is pretty much in tatters. If it wasn’t for all the vested interests, and people wanting it to be true, it would already have sunk into obscurity.

    • Richard C (NZ) on June 23, 2011 at 2:47 pm said:

      Nick, the prospect of an acceleration due to CO2 emissions is extremely tenuous. Here’s how the Japanese see it (my emphasis):-

      Preparation for IPCC AR5 Underway, New Insights into Climate Change Projection Released

      For projection of long-term global change, simulation experiments were carried out to estimate “allowable” levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuel use under various scenarios of atmospheric CO2 concentration. In an experiment aimed at limiting the global temperature rise to within 2 degrees Celsius from 1990 level, CO2 emission rate from fossil fuel use has to be “below zero” by the second half of this century, which means that fossil-derived new CO2 emissions need to be completely captured through artificial methods by that time.

      The near-term climate prediction using data assimilation techniques demonstrated the possibility of predicting both anthropogenic (human-induced) global warming and natural climate variability. Climate scientists project that although the global warming seems to have been slowing down as a consequence from short-term climate variability over the past decade, the long-term warming trend is expected to continue and may accelerate for the next 10 years.

      http://www.japanfs.org/en/pages/031003.html

      1) If short-term climate variability has trumped CO2 emissions over the last decade (climate scientists admission) then it is reasonable to expect that it will do so over the next decade, is it not? If not, why not?

      2) “the long-term warming trend is expected to continue and may accelerate for the next 10 years“.

      This is a no-brainer. The long-term warming trend has been going on since the Ice Age and more recently since the Little Ice Age. There is not a lot of science involved in this observation.

      3) But now we have a competitor to “various scenarios of atmospheric CO2 concentration” being the major climate driver – “Sun Headed Into Hibernation, Solar Studies Predict”

      http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/06/110614-sun-hibernation-solar-cycle-sunspots-space-science/

      So have the Japanese climate scientists (and all the other AR5 participants) factored in the solar minimum prediction (and every other natural factor except TSI) that would easily trump CO2 emissions?

      If they haven’t, the prospect of a GAT acceleration due to CO2 emissions is reasonable to expect but the analysis is deficient and the conclusion flawed.

      We have yet to see an analysis (complete modeling) of this solar minimum scenario which if it plays out like the Maunder Minimum will continue for 70 years Feulner and Rahmstorf 2010 notwithstanding – they were unable to mimic the last decade in their modeling so any future conclusion by them lacks credibility. That paper is here (see Figure 2):-

      http://sciences.blogs.liberation.fr/files/un-futur-maunder.pdf

      And a response by Dr Svensmark to that paper is here:-

      http://thegwpf.org/best-of-blogs/3228-solar-minimum-and-its-possible-effect-on-climate-the-other-side.html

      Quoting:-

      Dear Marc Hendrickx,

      I have had a fast look at the paper, and as far as I can see the authors are only looking at solar irradiance changes, and effects like the one that I have been involved in, like an amplification of the solar signal caused by clouds and cosmic ray modulation, is not taken into account. We known with good confidence that the terrestrial response to the solar signal is 3-7 times larger than from solar irradiance alone (see for example the work of Nir Shaviv, attached-Using the oceans as a calorimeter to quantify the solar radiative forcing-doi:10.1029/2007JA012989). Now if such effects are taken into account the result would be very different (larger solar influence). So I do not think that the present work is the particular helpful in understanding the solar impact in near future. It is only an estimate of the impact of solar irradiance as determined from numerical modeling. In the coming years the sun will show by itself how important it is.

      Best wishes,

      Henrik (Svensmark)

      Bring it on AR5…………..Oh, the model runs have already been done……………Bring it on AR6.

      http://esg-pcmdi.llnl.gov/internal/timetables/ipcc-ar5-timetable

      Perhaps there will be an update to “What will be new in the AR5?”

      http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/press/ipcc_leaflets_2010/ipcc_ar5_leaflet.pdf

    • Bob D, you said “If it did suddenly start to warm tomorrow, and accelerate, I’d still like an answer to why it stalled for a full decade, by the way.” So I thought you might be interested in the following: wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/pnas-201102467.pdf

      Increase in particulate emissions from Asia over the last decade have masked the effects of the CO2. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the paper and how this affects your position on AGW. Would (further and more comprehensive) evidence of an effect like this be sufficient for you to change your views on how strongly CO2 affects the climate without actually witnessing additional warming?

    • Bob D on July 17, 2011 at 10:41 am said:

      The Kaufmann paper has been discussed fairly rigorously, and is less than convincing. Basically, they have noted the lack of warming and tried to come up with a human cause for it. For some reason these people simply cannot bring themselves to admit that natural variation completely swamps any tiny human-induced signal that may or may not exist.

      Judith curry has an informed posting on the subject, and I tend to agree with her. The paper doesn’t actually measure increased aerosols, it simply infers them from consumption figures. Judith actually goes in search of evidence that aerosols have increased, and finds little to back up their claims. Note that their aerosol forcing (purple line – Fig 1) increases from around the year 2000, yet the peer-reviewed literature (Remer et al.) shows that at least until 2006 there has been no detectable increase in aerosols.

      The reality (I believe) is that the blue (net anthropogenic radiative forcing) line (Kaufmann Fig 1 – see also Hansen [2005]) is too high (due to an incorrect climate sensitivity), and this necessarily results in the purple line having to compensate for the lack of observed warming.

      http://judithcurry.com/2011/07/04/an-explanation-for-lack-of-warming-since-1998/

    • Good work, Bob. My question is: what’s happened to the aerosols in warmer times, or do they appear only during cooling? I believe most large cities around the world monitor their aerosol and pollen counts; do they observe a reduction during warming? I don’t think they do. The aerosols make an appearance only during cooling, as if by magic, but it’s out of convenience and not a result of observation.

    • Bob D on July 17, 2011 at 12:22 pm said:

      The aerosols in this case refer to the increased atmospheric sulfate concentration from coal emissions. These are, as you say, fairly well monitored, and show no significant increase since 2000.
      Also, if we believe the ‘missing heat’ argument, increased aerosols should have no major effect, as there is already so much ‘warming in the pipeline’ stored in the oceans (somewhere) that even if we were to cease all emissions, the temperature would still go up for a thousand years (a la Tim Flannery).
      I like Dr Curry’s conclusion:
      “Their argument is totally unconvincing to me. However, the link between flat/cooling global temperature and increased coal burning in China is certainly an interesting argument from a political perspective. The scientific motivation for this article seems to be that that scientists understand the evolution of global temperature forcing and that the answer is forced variability (not natural internal variability), and this explanation of the recent lack of warming supports a similar argument for the cooling between 1940 and 1970. The political consequence of this article seems to be that the simplest solution to global warming is for the Chinese to burn more coal, which they intend to do anyways.”

    • Nick on July 17, 2011 at 3:40 pm said:

      Cheers for the links Bob, I always appreciate getting both sides of the argument. The Remer paper only starts in 2000-2002 and finishes in 2006 so it can hardly be considered a comprehensive rebuttal and as far as I can see does not deal with long term trends at all. That said the Kaufmann paper is very new so it will be a while before supporting or disproving papers are published. Thought you might be interested in an explanation for lack of warming given our previous discussions however.

      I’m a bit confused about the natural variability that you are talking about. You seem to use it as a catch all for any observed warming or cooling trend without any effort to quantify or measure it. I feel like you are invoking an “invisible agent” which explains everything, I sure this is not your intention so could you clarify exactly what you mean by natural variability?

      Cheers

    • Nick on July 17, 2011 at 3:48 pm said:

      The claim that the solution to AGW is to burn more coal is odd given the vastly different atmospheric lifetimes of CO2 and sulfates. It is hard to believe Dr Curry or yourself would genuinely suggest this in good faith.

    • Andy on July 17, 2011 at 4:33 pm said:

      Nick, personally I find this idea that aerosols have magically cancelled out the warming effects of CO2 a little implausible, given that they have little evidence to support the aerosol concentrations that they are suggesting.

      Also, how is this aerosol effect suddenly global? Would we not expect to see regional variations in this cooling effect?

      In terms of the suggestion that burning coal is a “solution” to AGW, I would suggest that this comment is largely rhetorical, as I don”t think either Judith Curry or Bob think the idea is plausible in the first place.

      However, given that there are some fairly crazy geo-engineering proposals knocking around, from giant mirrors in space, to cloud seeding with gigantic ships (Bill Gates) then putting more aerosols into the atmosphere should be considered a potential solution, given that the scientists are claiming that it solves the “problem” in this paper in the first place.

    • Richard C (NZ) on July 17, 2011 at 9:22 pm said:

      Natural Climate Variability on Decade-to-Century Time Scales

      http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=5142#description

      From the EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:-

      Natural climate variability on decade-to-century time scales is best defined in terms of the bio-chemical-physical system that must be studied, the principal components of that system, the mechanisms active within each component, and the interactions between components. The main components of the earth system are the atmosphere, oceans, land surface, snow and ice at the surface of both oceans and land, and biota near the interfaces of atmosphere, ocean, and land. The natural mechanisms include radiative transfer, the planetary-scale circulation of the atmosphere and oceans, photochemical processes, and biogeochemical cycles of trace-gases and nutrients. The major interactions between the components of the climate system so defined are given by the exchanges of energy, momentum, water, and trace constituents, which take a large number of specific forms. For instance, ice-albedo feedback affects radiative transfer in the atmosphere and the heat exchange between it and the underlying high-latitude surfaces, and evaporation-wind stress affects the feedback between the tropical atmosphere and oceans.

      From 5 PROXY INDICATORS OF CLIMATE:-

      Establishing a baseline of natural climate variability over decade-to-century time scales requires a perspective that can be obtained only from a better knowledge of past variability, particularly that which precedes the pre-industrial era. Information revealing these past climate conditions is contained in historical records and “proxy” indicators. The historical records of climate (other than systematic weather observations, which began in the late 1800s), while invaluable because of their scope and often uniquely relevant perspective, are usually limited to the last several hundred years (see Chapter 2). The proxy indicators represent any piece of evidence that can be used to infer climate. Typically, proxy evidence includes the characteristics and constituent compositions of annual layers in polar ice caps, trees, and corals; material stored in ocean and lake sediments (including biological, chemical, and mineral constituents); records of lake levels; and certain historical documents. Such proxy indicators can provide a wealth of information on past atmospheric compositions, tropospheric aerosol loads, volcanic eruptions, air and sea temperatures, precipitation and drought patterns, ocean chemistry and productivity, sea-level changes, former ice-sheet extent and thickness, and variations in solar activity—among other things. These records are particularly appropriate for detecting three manifestations of climate variability: Periodic or near-periodic variations (the latter are those that become evident only after examination of considerable data through which a clear statistical signal stubbornly emerges); Large and pronounced climate signals, such as severe and sustained droughts, drastically altered precipitation patterns, anomalously warm or cold periods, or floods; and Gradual trends, infrequent shifts, or other characteristics of natural variability that are difficult to recognize without the benefit of a long, continuous (or near-continuous) record. Because the bulk of these proxy indicators are recorded naturally, their time span is potentially unlimited; their resolution and accuracy are limited only by the fidelity of the recorder itself. These “natural archives” are simply there for the taking—awaiting discovery, recovery, means of extraction, and interpretation. Consequently, proxy indicators represent a potential treasure trove of unique past climate information.

    • Richard C (NZ) on July 17, 2011 at 9:43 pm said:

      Then inquisitive people (astrophysicists mainly) go in search of correlations that may provide clues as to the drivers of natural variations – and find them.

      Plenty of reading about natural climate drivers as evidenced by the correlations (then they start on causes – nuther story) here:-

      https://docs.google.com/document/d/1eNnA4UAEwc6gpqCC9_Rh4y9B4lcly5TtDMEG30-77uY/edit?hl=en_US&pli=1

    • Bob D on July 18, 2011 at 10:17 am said:

      The Remer paper is simply showing that during this decade there has been no increase in aerosols. The Kaufmann paper relies upon an increase in aerosols this decade. Dr Curry references other papers as well, for longer term trends, which all show a decrease in aerosols since the 1970s.

      The ‘burn more coal’ comment was definitely tongue-in-cheek, yes. But the underlying point is that if burning coal produces CO2, and at the same time it produces enough aerosols to exactly balance out the warming effect of that CO2, why are we panicking about global warming?

      Regarding natural variability, see Richard C’s answer above. Only when scientists have proven that the climate system is responding outside of the known history of natural variability, can we look at doing something about it. To date this has not been done – all the current change rates are well below historical levels, and when we start to look at geological histories, we realise just how stable we are at the moment.

      Another, more subtle point about natural variation should be made here too: scientists in general are quick to point out areas of uncertainty and lack of knowledge. Among the IPCC-related scientists, however, there is an appalling degree of arrogance. They claim repeatedly that they fully understand our climate, to the degree that they can isolate one variable (CO2) and ‘prove’ that the only way they can get their models to balance is if they include the influence of CO2.
      The truth is that we don’t understand our climate to this level at all. We simply don’t know what caused most of the variations in our climate history. This is true of even very recent history (MWP and LIA). So for anyone to claim that we can model the ‘normal state’ of our climate is somewhat audacious.

      We’re beginning to see the early signs of panic among the climate modellers. The Kaufmann paper is an example. In essence it admits to a lack of warming, and tries to explain it away by resorting to an undemonstrated change in aerosols. The Trenberth and Fusallo paper was similar, its approach however was to claim that aerosols weren’t blocking incoming solar radiation, instead the oceans were simply absorbing it in places we can’t find it. All of these papers, however, have finally come round to admitting that they don’t, in essence, know what’s going on.

      A bit more humility from these ‘scientists’ earlier on would have saved us all a lot of bother.

    • Good summary, Bob. It’s a simple enough message, reinforced by Judith Curry’s discussion on consensus, but one with the power to derail the IPCC’s mission. We need enough people to understand the simple point that their revered climate scientists have used unsatisfactory practices to reach agreement and to strongly promote an insecure conclusion. Regrettably there are many faithful climate scientists who will be tarred with a dark brush, but that cannot be helped and must be done.

      A lot of “bother” indeed!

    • Bob D on July 18, 2011 at 11:00 am said:

      True enough Richard. However, I think some of the honest scientists will come out of the whole affair with their reputations intact, if not enhanced, when the history of this sordid period gets written eventually.
      People like Chris de Freitas, the late Augie Auer, and Willem de Lange will stand out in the New Zealand context as battlers on the side of truth, standing against the political tide. We’ve seen the level of muck some people will wallow in to try to silence them (Chris Barton of the NZ Herald comes to mind here) but in the long term they’ll be vindicated.
      Across the ditch we have Bob Carter of course, Ian Plimer and Cliff Ollier among others.
      At the top the honest brokers will always stand out: Richard Lindzen, John Christy and Roy Spencer have taken the brunt of the assault, ably assisted by Steve McIntyre.
      So for every Wall of Shame there is a Hall of Fame.

  19. Richard C (NZ) on June 23, 2011 at 3:07 pm said:

    Note to Hot Topic fans (always good for a laugh), Gareth cited Feulner and Rahmstorf 2010 to rebut the solar minimum predictions (kindly provided by Bryan Leyland).

    This should be cautionary to anyone who get’s their science from RealClimate.to the exclusion of all other avenues – including own thought processes.

    • Richard C (NZ) on June 23, 2011 at 5:39 pm said:

      I need to correct any impression I may have given that Gareth only gets his science from RC because he linked to SS in a comment reply to Bryan Leyland in regard to the solar grand minimum and the Fuelner and Rahmstorf paper.

      Gareth June 16, 2011 at 1:22 pm

      And you might like to check your facts: a prolonged solar minimum would make precious little difference to warming over the next century.

      F & R 2010 is “facts” – apparently.

    • Andy on June 23, 2011 at 7:24 pm said:

      SS = Skeptical Science for those not in the know, was set up by former cartoonist John Cook and his wife Wendy. who had stumbled upon a niche market of Star Trek fans

      Now, they are concentrating on a different breed of Space Cadets, the Warmists

      http://wiki.sev.com.au/About-Us

  20. Bob D on June 24, 2011 at 11:06 am said:

    Of course, things might change again:

    Using available ice concentration data we found the mean yearly ice area export for 2004–2010 to be 0.888 millkm2. This value is 25 % higher than the 1979–2007 average from Kwok (2009). The high sea ice area export must have been a significant contributor to the low September sea 25 ice covers observed in recent years. The sea ice area export in 2009 and 2010 was lower than for the previous years, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, perhaps indicating that the sea ice export may return to more moderate levels again soon.

    Smedsrud et al. (2011): Recent wind driven high sea ice export in
    the Fram Strait contributes to Arctic sea
    ice decline

  21. Nick on June 24, 2011 at 9:20 pm said:

    Hi, I need to appologise because I feel like this has descended into an argument over what the peer review science says and I certainly don’t claim to be an expert in this. It was not my intention and I’m sorry to have wasted your time by letting myself get sidetracked. I am happy to concede that the latest peer reviewed science may not show statistically significant warming over the last few years.

    I also feel like I have not been been totally clear about what I’m trying to learn from you. What I want is a specific metric for what it would take for you to change you view on whether humans are causing global warming through the emission of CO2.

    I was expecting something along the lines of “5 degree temperature rise above current levels with acceleration at 0.2 degree per year^2 over ten years” you could choose any metric you like, OHC, sea level rise whatever I just want to know if you are willing to consider the possibility that you are wrong and how you would know.

    Bob is getting close with his acceleration over and above the underlying 1880s trend but it is not clear to me where you consider the 1880s trend to be relative to today’s situation and how long you would need this to continue to be convincing.

    Richard, your list of metrics are more for why you don’t believe in AGW rather that what would convince you. Are you able to reframe them with specific rates or values where applicable?

    I will have to go through and answer the specific questions you have asked me one by one over the next few days but in the mean time:

    Richard do you have a link to the peer reviewed paper that shows “the impossibility of GHG backradiation heating the ocean given that LWIR cannot penetrate the sea surface beyond 100 microns.” as I have not heard this before.

    Thanks

    • Richard C (NZ) on June 25, 2011 at 12:52 pm said:

      Nick,

      “Richard, your list of metrics are more for why you don’t believe in AGW”

      Yes, in conjunction with the flawed physics and modeling (actually I do believe in AGW to a minute degree).

      “…….rather that what would convince you. Are you able to reframe them with specific rates or values where applicable?

      I am able but I have not got the time for that right now, I’m pursuing a similar angle with the Govt Climate Change Office so my energies are concentrated on that task for the time being but hopefully the details of that will be presented in a post (or posts – there’s 7 metrics) on this blog.

      Meantime, the specific rates are those that must occur in the real world for the scenario projections to 2100 of AGW proponents and the IPCC to be credible. These are widely available and they include the modeling projections from GCM simulations. Take for example sea level rise:-

      For 0.5m, 1m and 1.5m rise by 2100, the average linear rates per year this century to reach those targets are: 5mm/yr, 10mm’yr and 15mm/yr. Clearly, those rates have not been met so far this century and they are falling away (decelerating) from the long-term 3.1mm/yr trend (TOPEX/Jason). The tide guages show even less rise.

      And the physics of AGW and climate modeling by GCM remain flawed.

      Richard do you have a link to the peer reviewed paper that shows “the impossibility of GHG backradiation heating the ocean given that LWIR cannot penetrate the sea surface beyond 100 microns.”

      “Optical Constants of Water in the 200-nm to 200-µm Wavelength Region”

      George M. Hale and Marvin R. Querry

      Applied Optics, Vol. 12, Issue 3, pp. 555-563 (1973)

      http://www.opticsinfobase.org/abstract.cfm?&id=17737 (behind paywall)

      Dr Roy Clark, whose chances of obtaining publication of a climate science paper in a peer-reviewed journal due to his AGW busting efforts has written numerous papers (with peer-reviewed references) and articles on this subject including:-

      GRAVITY RULES OVER PHOTONS IN THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT

      http://hidethedecline.eu/media/RoyGreenhouse/Gravity%20Rules%20the%20Greenhouse%20EffectV2_R.%20Clark_9.27.10.pdf

      See: Figure 1: Surface energy transfer at the air-land and air-ocean interfaces (schematic).

      Dr Clark has however been author and a contributing author in his specialty (optics and photonics) and is a regular member of the International Society for Optics and Photonicss

      http://spie.org/app/profiles/viewer.aspx?profile=XQBROR

      Note, he is independent and NOT a government scientist and came to prominence largely from his submission to the USA Congress “A Null Hypothesis for CO2” (roundly ignored). He has a comprehensive case on his website:-

      “It Is Impossible For A 100 ppm Increase In Atmospheric CO2 Concentration To Cause Global Warming”

      http://venturaphotonics.com/GlobalWarming.html

      See Figure 10: Energy transfer processes at the air-land interface

      LWIR heats land but not ocean.

      The aspect of LWIR backradiation in respect to the ocean surface (not ocean heating) is the core premise of AGW. AGW prescribes increased ocean evaporation due to an increase in GHG LWIR backradiation leading to increased atmospheric water vapour (WV, TPW) levels which leads to more trapped heat due to the heat capacity of WV.

      So here we have 3 key metrics (not one is GAT note):

      1) Backradiation levels

      2) TPW levels (not increasing over last decade)

      3) Tropospheric hot spot (not observed)

      Given that a 100ppm CO2 increase results in a downwelling 1.7 W.m2 flux (among a normal approx 400 W.m2 downwelling surface flux) and that 2) and 3) are not performing as per AGW, I think you will begin to understand why I don’t think anything catastrophic is likely to happen any time soon on the warming side.

      And now the astrophysicists are predicting a solar grand minimum which may last 70 years or more. A colder climate is already killing people (e.g. S. America last winter), so the catastrophe (crop failure included) will come from cold – not warm (give me warm any day).

      After that (if I’m still alive and I very much doubt that), we’ll talk about global warming again.

    • Richard C (NZ) on June 25, 2011 at 1:44 pm said:

      Should read:-

      “Dr Roy Clark, whose chances of obtaining publication of a climate science paper in a peer-reviewed journal [are extremely slim] due to his AGW busting efforts”

    • Nick,

      From your performance here, nobody could criticise your objectivity, your candour, your perseverance or your demeanour. It’s an absolute pleasure to encounter your point of view. There’s no need to apologise, although I can understand why you did so. It must demonstrate the uniqueness of climate science, that it could “descend” into arguing over what the peer-reviewed science says. Or at least the unique one-eyed mentality of the protagonists, who ignore papers they don’t like. In other fields the existing literature is simply their agreed starting point, then they move on.

      You say — perhaps to me, but I’m happy to make a reply anyway:

      Richard, your list of metrics are more for why you don’t believe in AGW rather than what would convince you. Are you able to reframe them with specific rates or values where applicable?

      In a word, no. As I said earlier, “I won’t know what convinces me until I hear it.” I have to stick to that and wait until you answer my request for a peer-reviewed paper describing the AGW theory and evidence for it.

      As an aside, surely there’s nothing for you to do here? You just look it up and pass it on? You must know it now by heart.

      There’s a simple reason for my sticking to my guns on this. It’s your responsibility, in proposing the AGW theory, to support the theory. Of course I mean all those who believe in it, not just your good self. It is certainly unacceptable for you to ask me, even ever so politely, what evidence I would be happy to accept for your theory, because it blatantly exposes the fact that you don’t have any evidence. When I ask why you believe the AGW theory, and you don’t tell me, your attempt to persuade me fails. Then your attempt to make me pay expensively for mitigation actions arising from your theory fails dismally. I don’t say this to be abrasive or even unkind, but to be logical.

      It’s so logical, even commonplace, to hear some evidence after a proposed theory is announced that deep suspicion sets in when it is not volunteered — and then even repeated requests specifically for evidence are refused.

      I don’t want to stymie the conversation, but neither can I let this fundamental oversight go ignored, because it is being ignored all over the world.

      What’s the evidence?

      Oh. I’m quite happy to change my mind about dangerous anthropogenic global warming. I can’t actually help it, it follows the evidence.

      Cheers.

  22. Bob D on June 25, 2011 at 10:57 am said:

    Bob is getting close with his acceleration over and above the underlying 1880s trend but it is not clear to me where you consider the 1880s trend to be relative to today’s situation and how long you would need this to continue to be convincing.

    Nick, according to Hadley, the linear trend since 1850 is about 0.045°C/decade.

    According to the IPCC, the projected trend for A1B is 0.21°C/decade. So to answer your question, if, over the next decade, we warm at say 0.42°C/decade to reach the IPCC line by the end of the next decade, then I would start to look again at the whole AGW hypothesis. But even then, I’d want a clear and reasoned explanation for the lack of warming over the past decade. Current AGW theory simply can’t account for it.

    • Andy on June 25, 2011 at 3:26 pm said:

      The whole theory seems logically inconsistent to me.
      The IPCC makes claims that most of the 20th Century warming is anthropogenic, yet at the same time, the lack of 21st Century warming is down to a natural effect masking anthropogenic warming.

      So we are expected to believe that these natural effects only cause cooling, which masks the CO2-caused warming, yet all the warming periods have no natural effects that enhance the warming. (Or maybe there is a natural effect that is masking even greater warming, which seems unlikely since the overlying trend is warming after the LIA)

      Of course, if they claim that there is a weaker anthropogenic signal overlaying a natural trend, then I find that more plausible. But for that to be true, climate sensitivity has to be low, ergo there is no problem to worry about.

    • Richard C (NZ) on June 25, 2011 at 4:20 pm said:

      Andy, MfE CC is saying that the “overlying trend is warming after the LIA” is consistent with AGW.

      “………….long term background trend on top of these variations is still one of increasing global temperature consistent with AGW”

      I brought this up in this comment

      https://www.climateconversation.org.nz/2011/06/guess-meet-fact/#comment-61429

      Basically the CO2 level – Global Average Temperature (GAT or GST) apparent correlation is:-

      2.5Ln(C/C0) approximately correlates to 0.000029*(yr – 1850)2 – 0.42.

      I haven’t plotted these against each other yet but I’m interested in your mathematical opinion of it.

    • Richard C (NZ) on June 25, 2011 at 5:45 pm said:

      We can dispense with 2.5Ln(C/C0) and to fit a quadratic to historic CO2 levels, then we are comparing quadratic to quadratic.

      Law Dome

      ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/icecore/antarctica/law/law_co2.txt

      Mauna Loa

      ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/trends/co2_annmean_mlo.txt

    • Andy on June 25, 2011 at 9:51 pm said:

      Keen to look at this Richard, but maybe you could email me with a quick update – finding it hard to follow all the threads right now.
      Cheers
      Andy

  23. Australis on June 26, 2011 at 9:49 am said:

    Nick

    The case for human-caused warming is set out in the “Detection and Attribution” chapter of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (2007).

    An even-handed assessment of the IPCC argument is set out in three parts by leading climate scientist Judith Curry at http://judithcurry.com/2010/10/19/overconfidence-in-ipccs-detection-and-attribution-part-ii/

    This is a first-class analysis of the pros and cons of the only available evidence. As you will see, Prof Curry concludes that the IPCC has been “overconfident” in using the term “very likely”

    • Richard C (NZ) on June 29, 2011 at 10:37 am said:

      More here:-

      ICO orders release of (mostly useless) weather station data

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/06/28/ico_climategate_release_this_rubbish/

      “… CRUTEM was an almost microscopically small issue in the Climategate emails – Climategate was about the Hockey Stick and its handling by IPCC, not CRUTEM. CRUTEM was mentioned in only 25 emails and, even then, often passim,” explained McIntyre last year.

      “My long-standing position on CRUTEM was that CRU’s obstruction of data requests was most likely due to its desire to conceal that it did so little work on quality control; that the CRU result could be derived so trivially that, in effect, CRU no longer served any useful function in this field.

      Also (same link),

      Dodgy science – but great literature

      McIntyre’s point about “negligiable quality control” was borne out in the famous HARRY_READ_ME.TXT file, a 90,000-word document recording attempts to update CRU’s “flagship” product. Here a few choice excerpts:……………

    • Richard C (NZ) on June 28, 2011 at 7:03 pm said:

      I’ll suggest to the MfE CC that they publish this comparison plot on their website to fulfill the need for such in the GAT category.

      Worth a try.

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