Cooking up warming

Among the difficult, arcane arguments entangled in the doctrine of dangerous anthropogenic global warming (DAGW), the simplest, most immediate and most understandable is that a general warming leads to dangerous climate change. First warming, then dangerous changes. Nobody seems to argue with that — not openly, anyway.

But we find lots of talk about “climate change” that has nothing to do with warming, as though we can have one without the other, which in turn means that humanity can be criticised for “damage” they have no hand in. In these ways warmists work to alarm the naive. We must keep our heads on our shoulders.

Talking only about “climate change” shouldn’t confuse us: warming is required before we can cause changes in the climate system, even when warming isn’t mentioned. Nobody predicts that reduced rainfall, for example, might lead to cooling over Ethiopia, or that accelerated sea level rise could produce a heat wave in New York. Warming must occur first. Without warming, DAGW doesn’t exist.

So if we humans do indeed alter the climate, we must first heat it up. There’s no other way. Let’s put it backwards. In order to show a human hand in climate change we must first observe warming and then demonstrate that it was caused by human activity.

There’s one further point. There are two time threads in the DAGW fracas: predictions for the future and conclusions about the past. The future holds more climate calamity, according to the DAGW theory, than we can imagine. It’s going to be terrible. But it hasn’t happened yet and it might not happen, since there are no guarantees. No matter how compelling the arguments, no proof of future events is possible. It’s all study and debate, and reasoning and trying to find a consensus on what’s likely, according to the brightest and best-informed minds of our generation. Today we leave that future to itself and consider the past.

No warming for 16 years

The past is clearer because it has actually occurred and we observed it. We’re told that climate changes are already under way and people are studying them. Great, we could learn something. So this article looks at the past, not the future. Remember the warming has to come first and it has to be caused by us.

The facts are that for about 16 years there has been no substantial warming. This is astonishing, considering that we’re told almost daily that warming is “unequivocal” and that the evidence is “overwhelming.” No substantial warming has been seen since last century, certainly not as much as predicted 25 years ago, even though atmospheric carbon dioxide (the “evil cause” of warming!) has been rising remorselessly. For example, from Dr Roy Spencer’s blog, here are GISS global temperature predictions presented to Congress by James Hansen in 1988 compared with the subsequent satellite temperature observations from UAH and RSS:

Hansen predictions wrong

This graph from Mauna Loa shows the inexorable rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide over a slightly longer period:

CO2 Feb 2013

Some senior climate scientists have acknowledged this significant stasis (fully half the standard period for judging climatology) in global warming, including James Hansen and the British Met Office.

Other senior climate scientists have remained silent or have continued to claim substantial warming. For example, Dr James Renwick, climate scientist at Victoria University of Wellington, says that there’s “probably” been a temperature hiatus this century. But he cannot stop himself from also claiming “this doesn’t mean climate change is not happening.” Which is having one’s cake while eating it. Yes, 16 years is not 30 years (the normal period) but it’s a hell of a fraction! For the previous predictions to hold up, temperature must right now take an unbelievably huge step upward. Of course, that won’t happen.

Anyway, people keen on a climate crisis have noticed the hiatus (while pretending it doesn’t exist) and have become desperate to demonstrate that it’s still warming — it really, really is. What are they to do? They can’t just abandon “the greatest challenge in human history” as though the last 20 years of their lives have been a complete waste of time, even though they were. Imagine the humiliation.

So they search, as might be expected, for secondary, even tertiary, effects of warming and cite them as evidence that it has, after all, and in defiance of the failure of the thermometers to record warming, been warming. Now they talk confidently of “many lines of evidence”, none of which is the slightest bit convincing.

If these events occurred during global warming, we might agree they are the result of warming. But they have all occurred in the almost complete absence of global warming, which kind of breaks the spell. It spoils the illusion of DAGW. Because if the globe didn’t warm while these things happened, our burning fossil fuels had nothing to do with them. They were the result of natural variability and there’s no cause for concern.

This is not to say the future holds no measurable climatic effects from our steel mills, concrete plants, thermal power stations, internal combustion engines and profligate lifestyles — in fact, it’s quite reasonable to expect some — but there have been none detected so far.

Here’s a short list of secondary effects cited by warmists as proof of warming with brief comments.

  1. Changing onset of seasons

  2. I searched Google using the following key words:

    GOOGLE SCHOLAR “season creep” 2008 – 2013: 11 results
    GOOGLE SCHOLAR “onset of seasons” 2008 – 2013: 35 results

    Since there were 415,000 results for “climate change” from 2008 to 2013, 46 seems a small number of papers for such an important topic, although there may be phrases better suited to the search.

    Is the onset of the English summer advancing? “…the onset of summer in England has been advancing since the mid 1950s. The occurrence of ‘summer’ temperatures has advanced more than early summer flowering, by eleven and three days respectively in the 1990s compared to the period 1954–1963. This may have encouraged drought or heat wave conditions by prolonging the period of warm temperatures and lower rainfall in which these events occur.”

    I’ve spent hours looking for time series of the start and duration of seasons over two centuries or so, without success. Maybe they don’t exist. Without such a comparison, I strongly doubt that variations of “eleven and three days respectively” are outside the range of natural variability or even significant — much less caused by human activity.

    Consequences of Climate Change for Ecosystems and Ecosystem Services in the Tropical Andes “While recognizing uncertainties in climate change projections, we suggest that the climatic fate of ecosystems and ecosystem services in the tropical Andean region will be largely related to a few key trends. First, there is widespread evidence of increasing air temperature across the region (+0.11°C / decade over the past 60 years), a trend that has intensified in the past 25 years (+0.34°C / decade; Vuille and Bradley 2000; see Marengo et al., Chapter 7 this volume). Recent studies have suggested that warming across the region is more evident in the minimum than maximum temperature time series (Vuille et al. 2008; see Marengo et al., Chapter 7 this volume). Second, there is some evidence of change in patterns of precipitation, but these changes vary between eastern and western slopes of the Andes and inter-Andean valleys. Third, changes in cloud cover may also be significant for ecosystems, both in terms of rising cloud levels (Foster 2001; Ruiz et al. 2008; 2009) and in terms of the sunshine to cloud ratio. Some evidence suggests a decrease in occurrence of cloudy weather in the northern Andes, a trend that leads to more hours of sun exposure (Ruiz et al. 2008; 2009; Chapter 12, this volume).”

    It’s difficult to be impressed by the magnitude of the variations in these climate metrics.

    Tropical Andes temperatures 1939-2006

    The original caption for this figure is: “Figure 1.1. Temporal and spatial changes in mean temperature and precipitation in the tropical Andes. (a) Annual temperature anomaly with respect to 1961-90 average in the tropical Andes (1°N-23°S) from 1939 and 2006. Gray shading indicates ±2standard errors of the mean. The long-term warming trend (0.10°C/decade) is also indicated (from Vuille et al., 2008).”

    I can’t see any cause for concern in these temperature anomalies, can you?

    We must take the discussion of the “creeping” seasons with a huge grain of salt, since there’s no definition of the seasons to begin with, so how can anyone say with confidence how they might be shifting?

  3. Sea level rise

  4. NASA says: “Global sea level rose about 17 cm in the last century. The rate in the last decade, however, is nearly double that of the last century.” But it speaks with forked tongue. Here’s the record from the Sea Level Research Group at the University of Colorado:

    Sea level Feb 2013

    Compare this with the New Zealand record at Auckland, 1899 to 2007:

    Sea level Auckland 1899-2007

  5. Polar bear endangerment

  6. They’re fine.

  7. North pole ice cap melting

  8. Only when winds and currents move the stuff into the North Atlantic.

  9. Antarctic ice melting

  10. Yep, every year. Details, anyone?

  11. More and stronger cyclones

  12. Nope, not happening.

NASA, that bastion of dependable astrophysical, but not climate, science, adds:

  • Warming oceans

  • Not too much, obviously, or the air would be warming, and it isn’t.

  • Shrinking ice sheets

  • Declining Arctic sea ice

  • Glacial retreat

  • For some, but by no means all glaciers.

  • Extreme events

  • Not happening.

  • Ocean acidification

  • Maybe, but it’s patchy, low magnitude and there are no historical reference points.

148 Thoughts on “Cooking up warming

  1. Richard C (NZ) on March 2, 2013 at 9:20 am said:

    Ryan Maue – February 2013 global temperature anomaly compared to 1981-2010 mean: -0.001°C or 1/1000th of a degree below avg.

    This after a January spike up.

  2. Richard C (NZ) on March 2, 2013 at 9:26 am said:

    Imagine this in your face every day on your commute (if you were in denial of it that is):-

    CFACT billboard proclaims 16 years without warming:

  3. Richard C (NZ) on March 2, 2013 at 10:19 am said:

    Steve Milloy – More like “DropReality”

    docsolstice is “1st place” in “top droppers” with this activity:-

    Received ‘Order of the Green Circle’. Check out “Megamyths I Crush Most” (spends 3/4 of his time on A and B):-

    It’s not bad
    It’s not happening (A)
    It’s not us (B)
    It’s too hard to shift to clean energy

    Strange, I don’t recall these being “crushed” or whether they are “mega” or “myths”.

    rob_honeycutt’s a “Rookie”

  4. Richard C (NZ) on March 2, 2013 at 10:52 am said:

    Had a look at their contra-argument to “It’s the sun” MYTH #22 DENIERS SAY: “The sun’s energy has increased over the last several hundred years, and that’s why Earth is getting warmer.”

    Their entire contra-argument is confined to the 11 year cycle and late 20th century, early 21st but only to 2010 i.e. they don’t address the time-span of the argument “the last several hundred years” nor are they up-to-date.

    Are they in for a shock when they catch up to what is happening right now, They are well behind the solar argument which is now along the lines of “The sun’s bicentennial energy component is decreasing rapidly in 2013 after being at elevated levels since Grand Maximum in the early 1990s and will continue to do so for decades, and that’s why earth is on the verge of getting cooler.

  5. The SkS guys seem to take this seriously. Computer assisted debunking, no thinking required

    Ranks – captain, lieutenant, order of the green circle.

    We should translate this site into German. It would look much more appropriate

  6. Andy on March 2, 2013 at 5:42 pm said:

    So now I am on my last warning at SkS. I made a polite response to a commenter (who claimed that there was a consensus that I was a troll, therefore this was true).

    My comment has been completely snipped, suggesting that I made an abusive response, which i did not. It was completely polite and no sarcasm

    Basically, they just make stuff up at SkS.

    I would advise everyone to stay well away from there. If you do leave a comment, make sure you screen cap it so it have some record of what you said.

  7. Andy on March 2, 2013 at 6:18 pm said:

    I feel slightly better reading this post from Anthony about John Cook and his antics

  8. Richard C (NZ) on March 2, 2013 at 7:06 pm said:

    Climate Etc might be a more productive meeting of minds but I find the threads impossible to negotiate.

  9. Andy on March 2, 2013 at 9:54 pm said:

    Local eco-fascist “Macro” links back to this thread from Skeptical Science here

    Comment #87

    It is really great that this site is getting so many page views from local ecofascists from Skeptical Science and Hot Topic.

    They must be really sick if they need to spend their days reading “crank” blogs written by people who believe the moon landings were faked and that 9/11 was an inside job. After all, this is settled science from Lewandowsky.

    We are all crazy here ecofascists. We will rot your brain. Go home to your semi-automated trollbots that debunk and rebut denialist memes via multiple orifices.

    Think of the children! We need top take action now! We need to DO SOMETHING! We just can’t go on living like this.


  10. Actually Macro starts his little hate speech against me at comment #87 on this thread at SkS

    Trailer trash

  11. Andy, you really are losing it. Get some dignity, man!

  12. So my cunning plan to draw them into the trap is working.

    (Evil laugh….)

  13. Andy, grow up. Seriously. I don’t care what you think. I don’t care what any of your fellow-travellers here think. I really, really don’t.

    I also don’t haunt the opposition’s pages sneering and jibing and abusing and generally trying desperately to get attention.

    But you do. It’s just sooo important to you, isn’t it? Why is that, andy?

    The fact is, you desperately needed HT, but despite Gareth’s remarkable patience you’ve blown that gig, and your behaviour is so unseemly that no-one else is likely to put up with you.

    (Well, Richard thinks you’re a champion, which is why you never get chastised for your distasteful invective. But it’s just not the same, is it?)

  14. Andy on March 3, 2013 at 8:21 am said:

    Why do I need HT?
    Do I need people like Taylor to refer to me as a Rent Boy and a Paedophile?
    Do I need people to post my contact details without my permission.?

    The fact is, bill, climate change Is falling off the radar for most people. Your science is looking increasingly dodgy.
    The main propaganda site, SkS, uses tactics that deletes on topic and relevant comments from me , yet lets others post comments directed only at me, with links to other sites.

    The main issue for people now is dealing with the riduculous policies that are coming out of climate madness, like for example in Ireland 2000 windmills 180m high built on peat bogs, to export electricity to the UK
    We now now that the lights will almost certainly go out in Britain.So the hatred that I express here towards the green movement will escalate.

  15. Andy on March 3, 2013 at 8:33 am said:

    Shub wrote a good piece on SkS and their dodgy tactics here

    Personally, I don’t trust anything that the climate spin machine puts out. I certainly don’t trust anything from the renewable energy lobby.

  16. Andy on March 3, 2013 at 9:19 am said:

    Going back to the link.

    Comment 77 snipped
    I responded that I had read Hansens paper and listed a number of concerns around aerosols listed in the paper. I suggested investment in a new satellite

    mod response
    Moderator Response: [DB] Off topic and abusive usage of html snipped.

    Comment 81 ctg, responds to a claim that I never made

    Comment 88 from Macro links to here. Gets partially snipped but he gets thanked, with this veiled threat to me by mods.

    Thank you for trying to maintain a level of civility in this discussion and to keep others apprised of the off-topic commenting tendencies of some individuals. The moderation staff here is prepared to take any needed action with alacrity and full depth of measure.”

    note to SkS. I won’t be visiting your creepy little site anymore.

  17. David on March 3, 2013 at 9:59 am said:

    “note to SkS. I won’t be visiting your creepy little site anymore”
    To be fair, not many actually do. Their visit rankings are very low. We are in the end game for warmist’s lying propaganda.
    “The heats in the ocean”-bwahahahahaha

  18. Magoo on March 3, 2013 at 10:40 am said:

    Skeptical science is a joke. They just pulled out of the bloggie awards because they were going to look like idiots when their sole pro AGW blog was going to lose to the sceptic websites whose vote was split 4 ways. Surely one pro AGW website with it’s majority consensus could beat a minority split 4 ways … apparently not:

    They’ve lost the war – there’s been no warming in 16 years (confirmed by the IPCC and the Met Office), no tropospheric hot spot, no positive feedback from water vapour, sea level rises that are slowing down instead of speeding up, an impotent renewal of Kyoto, etc.

    Most people will just move on when they’re proven to be wrong on so many levels, but those who’ve placed so much faith on such blatantly flawed science are going be exposed as the fools that they are when they have to admit they were wrong. In a vain attempt to avoid this inevitable outcome they lie, and attack those who expose their flawed science and lies. Character assassination is all that’s left for them. If they had any evidence they wouldn’t need to attack people, which just further reinforces the fact that they don’t actually have any evidence. Just personal attacks and lies. I’d be tempted to feel a touch of pity for those who will inevitably fall victim to their fictional delusions, but their personal attacks and viciousness makes it a bit hard to show any sympathy. Best to avoid their snake pit blogs and live in the real world with the empirical evidence is my philosophy – you can’t argue with a sick mind after all.

    Speaking of lies, have you seen Climate Audit’s latest on ‘Mike’s AGU Trick’? The smell of desperation by the AGW crowd is rising to the level of a rotting corpse.

  19. SkS comment deletion seems to be a real-time activity.

    #9 Foxgoose at 09:07 AM on 3 March, 2013

    Hmm …….. my earlier polite, on topic post has disappeared without trace and the remaining posts have been renumbered.

    Has SkS got a new moderation policy since I last visited?

    If so – what is it?

    Watch this one disappear too.

  20. The number of comments here is impressive, however, rather too many of them are off-topic.

    So we now have a new Open Threads | Controversy and scandal page, “Skeptical Science“, for discussion of events at that blog.


  21. Pingback: Climate change is not simple | Open Parachute

  22. Thanks to Ken Perrott who links to this comment via his profound new post Climate Change is not Simple

    Really? So why did you link to a comment about time series analysis Ken?

  23. Richard C (NZ) on March 4, 2013 at 12:16 pm said:

    Ken’s reasoning being based on the assumption that GCM’s are all realisticallly parameterized. Given the 21st century GO from them he might like to think about the possibility of GI. And the fact that one of only two institutions to actually mimic 21st century temperature so far doesn’t regard CO2 to be a major climate driver (RAS).

    He might like to check out Mike’s AGU trick too wrt “Isn’t cherry picky wonderful?”.

  24. Sorry Andy – the link was to identify you, not the blog post. I wrote:

    “So we get this sort of thing being promoted by climate change deniers (thanks to Andy for this one). Didn’t someone say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing? And isn’t cherry picking a great way of restricting knowledge?”

    Just wanted to give people a taste of your arguments.

    I have changed the link so that it is more appropriate.

  25. Oh thanks Ken. I really appreciate that link. As I have said before, I do stand by everything that I say against you and the sanctimonious semi-literates that hover around NZ “science” blogs.

    So if you wish to hover around here like a bad smell then I would be more than happy to infest your blog once again with foul and intemperate language.

    By the way Ken, have you had a word with Pachauri who seems to think that there has been a pause in global warming for 17 years. Or do you think that “deniers” having misquoted him?

    It must be hard for you Ken, having no one visit your “science” blog, then you have to come over here, run hit pieces on me to drum up support so your skinheads Richard Christie and Cedric Katesby can have a little fun

  26. So what is it Ken? Do you want me to drop by your “science” blog and litter it with profanities so you can link back to it later?

    A simple yes or no will do Ken

  27. Magoo on March 4, 2013 at 2:08 pm said:

    I’ve often wondered whether openparachute would be better off as a facebook page, that way it might have a wider audience than 2 people.

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