Measure, for measures are better

A guess is no help to knowing

A paper published in Nature on 10 February 2013 could destroy the global warming scare.

It’s called Atmospheric verification of anthropogenic CO2 emission trends and the Abstract is available on our side of the paywall, along with the Supplementary Information. However, I’ve also obtained a copy of the paper (800 KB) and it’s fascinating. There’s a larger version (3 MB), not so heavily compressed and less murky.

Until now, the only way to measure human carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions has been to calculate the theoretical amount of CO2 produced by burning various carbon-based fuels and adding them up. But this paper uses actual measurements of atmospheric CO2 levels. Then these data are compared with the calculated emissions.

What do you think it means?

151 Thoughts on “Measure, for measures are better

  1. Andy on June 6, 2013 at 4:07 pm said:

    But now, with hindsight, we can be a lot more confident about attribution of AGW to the temp trend before 1960.

    References?

    Looking at the Met Office response to Keenan, there is virtually no AGW attribution to CO2 before 1960.

  2. Magoo on June 6, 2013 at 4:13 pm said:

    Sigh. Thomas, if you read the small print under the graph you will see it is what the MODELS predict should happen – i.e. the vast majority of positive feedbacks are supposed to come from water vapour (WV). The lack of a hot spot shows that this is not happening, and there is a growing suspicion that low level clouds are having a negative feedback instead.

  3. Richard C (NZ) on June 6, 2013 at 6:01 pm said:

    >”You know, ………….significant volcanic phases, …………….as well as solar output and many more”

    Just like the last 1000 years Thomas.

    >”Oh, and don’t start again with the Temperature led CO2 mantra”

    So you’re denying “the underlying anthropogenic global warming signal” LAGS temperature by 20 – 25 years over the period 1850 – present?

    >”And perhaps once more the last history since 1880″

    Not normalized sorry Thomas. Take a look at the spreadsheet chart for the same data in normalized form:-

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/52688456/CO2%20vs%20GAT%20R2.xls

    Temperature clearly LEADS carbon dioxide 1850 – present.

    >”with the amount of confidence we have today after the warming that followed.”

    Warmist confidence only. There’s been NO warming for over a decade.

    >”But now, with hindsight, we can be a lot more confident about attribution of AGW to the temp trend before 1960.”

    Are you mad Thomas? What are you smoking? Attribution of AGW ……BEFORE…… 1960?

    >”In fact, when removing the calculated GHG forcings natural variation remains.”

    Of course it does. What GHG forcings were there before 1960 that even come close to the warming-cooliing-warming-cooling cycle 1850 – 1960?

    >”You guys are really clutching at straws. Kind of desperate really.”

    Really? I suggest you take a look at this Thomas:

    ‘Epic Fail: 73 Climate Models Vs. Observations’

    http://www.thegwpf.org/epic-fail-73-climate-models-vs-observations/

    If that’s “straws”, I for one will happily clutch at them.

  4. Thomas on June 6, 2013 at 6:19 pm said:

    Richard said: “Temperature clearly LEADS carbon dioxide 1850 – present.”
    I opened your table and had a look.
    You need to explain how you come to the conclusion that Temperature leads CO2 1850 to present.

  5. Richard C (NZ) on June 6, 2013 at 6:48 pm said:

    >”You need to explain how you come to the conclusion that Temperature leads CO2 1850 to present”

    You’ve got out of your depth very quickly Thomas, I shouldn’t need to explain this.

    Look along the y axis 60 ppm/0.4 C line.

    “The underlying anthropogenic global warming signal” (GAT, red curve) crosses y axis 60/0.4 at 1969ish.

    Carbon dioxide (CO2, blue curve) crosses y axis 60/0.4 at 1989ish.

    1969 – 1989 = -20 years.

    The temperature signal, as represented by Scafetta’s quadratic, LEADS carbon dioxide level by 20 years at the time anthropogenic forcing has (erroneously) been attributed to temperature rise.

    Conversely, carbon dioxide level LAGS the temperature signal, as represented by Scafetta’s quadratic, at the time anthropogenic forcing has (erroneously) been attributed to temperature rise.

    BTW, you might have noticed that the last decades of GAT is basically Foster and Rahmstorfs trajectory but as a curve rather than linear i.e. they could have saved themselves a lot of time and effort just by reading Scafetta’s work.

  6. Bob D on June 6, 2013 at 6:58 pm said:

    Thomas:

    “…as Hansen pointed out, back then the temp changes were not strong enough to allow making that conclusion with the amount of confidence we have today after the warming that followed.”

    Reference please? He never said that.

  7. Richard C (NZ) on June 6, 2013 at 7:36 pm said:

    Thomas, for an intro to latest Scafetta and co-author work that builds on earlier work:

    ‘Loehle and Scafetta on Climate Change Attribution’

    by Craig Loehle

    How do we detect the influence of humans on the climate system? Current methods based on climate models are unfortunately circular: their estimate of human effects is only valid if the models are correct, but the models make certain assumptions and also are fitted to the historical temperature record. A model-independent estimate of climate response is needed and is provided by this study.

    Loehle, C. and N. Scafetta. 2011. Climate Change Attribution Using Empirical Decomposition of Historical Time Series. Open Atmospheric Science Journal 5:74-86.

    The study is available free at http://benthamscience.com/open/toascj/articles/V005/74TOASCJ.htm

    Continues >>>>>>>

    http://judithcurry.com/2011/07/25/loehle-and-scafetta-on-climate-change-attribution/

    Problem with their analysis as I’ve already identified.

  8. Bob D on June 6, 2013 at 7:54 pm said:

    Thomas:
    So let’s see, warming leads to water vapour increase, which DOESN’T lead to more warming.

    Are you beginning to get the idea now?

    Water vapour feedback is zero or negative.

  9. Thomas on June 6, 2013 at 9:35 pm said:

    Bob Said: “So let’s see, warming leads to water vapor increase, which DOESN’T lead to more warming…..” but it does. Without water vapor feedback the increase in heat content would be obviously less that it has been.

    “Water vapour feedback is zero or negative.” references please!

  10. Thomas on June 6, 2013 at 10:28 pm said:

    Ah, Richard now I understand what you have done with your spreadsheet. Thanks for clarifying.

    “The underlying anthropogenic global warming signal” (GAT, red curve) crosses y axis 60/0.4 at 1969ish.

    So you looked at the shape of the curves of ppm CO2 and Temp, after shifting them so they start at zero at the same time and scaling them so both fit into the same graph and then you look where these curves cross certain horizontal lines.

    I am sure that nature takes great guidance from the scaling factors on your personal graph….or the way we humans measure temperature or concentrations, units you know, …….. 😉

    I will frame this and put it on my office wall. This is really good. Thanks!

  11. Bob D on June 6, 2013 at 10:30 pm said:

    Thomas:

    Without water vapor feedback the increase in heat content would be obviously less that it has been.

    So, let’s see. The warming has been zero, and without water vapour feedback this would be less, which makes it… Wow. So CO2 has a negative effect on global temperature. News flash!

  12. Bob D on June 6, 2013 at 10:39 pm said:

    Thomas:

    “Water vapour feedback is zero or negative.” references please!

    I don’t need a reference, I’m not quoting anyone, unlike you with your own ideas attributed to Hansen.

    I’m simply following a deductive process.
    1) The IPCC hypothesises that CO2 increases temperatures by up to 1.2°C per doubling;
    2) The warmer atmosphere from 1) hypothetically produces more water vapour in said atmosphere;
    3) The increased water vapour, it is hypothesised, introduces further warming, since it’s a GHG;
    4) This is a positive feedback mechanism, and will effectively double or even treble the original CO2-induced increase.

    Observations over the past 16-23 years show that CO2 has increased. This should therefore have caused some warming. However, observations also show that there has been no warming. Therefore the temperature increase from CO2 must have been dramatically attenuated by the water vapour, instead of being amplified.
    This is entirely consistent with the IPCC, by the way, since it acknowledges that water vapour feedback is not well understood.

  13. Magoo on June 7, 2013 at 12:25 am said:

    I think the general idea of negative feedback is that low level clouds act as a shade and cool the surface of the Earth as a result. Dr. Roy Spencer outlines some other possibilities here:

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/09/five-reasons-why-water-vapor-feedback-might-not-be-positive/

  14. Richard C (NZ) on June 7, 2013 at 3:14 am said:

    >”So you looked at the shape of the curves of ppm CO2 and Temp, after shifting them…”

    No “shift” Thomas. It’s called normalization. The series start date and timeframe is exactly the same for both sets of data (“zeroed” at the 1850 datapoints 0 and 0) and it is time (the x axis) that determines lead/lag.

    >”….so they start at zero at the same time….”

    Yes exactly, that’s what “zeroed” means. The whole point of normalization.

    >”…and scaling them so both fit into the same graph…”

    Yes but Excel calculates the scaling automatically depending on the settings, “Format Axis”, “Scale” is “Auto” for each series of that chart i.e. Excel charted the two series automatically from the “zeroed” start. But if you were to set “Maximum” for each y axis to the maximum of each respective series maximum (98.896896 and 0.75) the combined series y axis is no longer “zeroed” at 1850 when the chart is plotted (try it, you get -1.103104, -0.05 instead of 0,0) so it is impossible to compare the two series because x and y axis (for both series) have to be “zeroed” at 1850 in order to do so while retaining the original mathematical expressions.

    Each curve is a quadratic representation of the data in each respective dataset after 1850 with the respective y axis values at each end i.e. a direct apples-for-apples comparison of quadratic expressions. Why else do you think this graphing technique is available in Excel Chart?

    “….and then you look where these curves cross certain horizontal lines”

    Yes Thomas but for WHEN you need to identify lead/lag. The leading curve is readily identifiable so the time lag to the lagging curve is just the time difference from each of the leading curve datapoints to the corresponding lagging curve datapoint. That is how to determine lead/lag between two curves for any start time consideration. I’ve just happened to use 1969 as an example because it was easy to demonstrate 20 year lead/lag “along the y axis 60 ppm/0.4 C line” because that was the graduation.

    >”I am sure that nature takes great guidance from the scaling factors on your personal graph….or the way we humans measure temperature or concentrations, units you know, …….. ;-)”

    Hopelessly wrong again Thomas. If you were to “scale” CO2 to make it lead GAT, it would no longer be the original quadratic would it? There are NO units in either quadratic, they are both mathematical expressions that could represent any two time-varying datasets, not necessarily climate data. It could be two sets of economic data being compared to see what leads what.

    The only timeframe in which CO2 leads GAT is 1850 – 1906. After about 5 years or so of new data, CO2 will again lead GAT on that normalized graph at around 2015/16 but the GAT quadratic is now invalid (as revealed by the more sensitive EMD analysis – Loehle and Scafetta have yet to catch up with that) so continuing the exercise is moot.

    >”I will frame this and put it on my office wall. This is really good. Thanks!”

    Good idea. Study it well Thomas, your data analysis skills at this point leave a lot to be desired. I’m amazed I have to explain all this to you.

  15. Andy on June 7, 2013 at 11:48 am said:

    Thomas, I see that you take great exception to Dave Frame making the statement that “global warming has slowed” and that climate sensitivity has been downgraded in the Otto et al paper.

    Will you write to VUW and demand that he be sacked?

  16. Thomas on June 7, 2013 at 2:35 pm said:

    Bob, you don’t see that warming you don’t WANT to see.
    http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/heat_content2000m.png

    And remember, what we measure as surface temp changes is small fry compared to the heat accumulation in the oceans

    Your constant repetition of the mantra that there has been no warming over the last xx years is moot and not at all reflected in reality! In fact it is a blatant lie.

    And once more: Atmospheric short term variations are highly unreliable as indicators for the underlying trend!

    Looking at the temp series especially you – claiming to have a ‘solid grounding in statistics’ according to your ill fated attempt to abuse the court system to harass Niwa (what a debacle that was for you and those who listened to your advice…!!!) – should know better than to stare at the last 15 years or whatever of surface temps and hope they will prove anything.

  17. Richard C (NZ) on June 7, 2013 at 3:15 pm said:

    From Thomas’ comment:

    >”Parts of Central Europe and Eastern Germany are experiencing a 400 year flood record this year while the regions were still recovering from their 200 year floods a few years back”

    I see they had to open floodgates too in places. I wonder how old those floodgates are?

    And why would the Europeans have even bothered to install floodgates anyway?

    Begs the question – what’s either side of each gate?

    Very odd.

  18. Thomas on June 7, 2013 at 3:16 pm said:

    Carry on Richard you’r getting deeper, keep digging….

    A few things:
    a) You used a 4th order polynomial curve fit for your analysis (not quadratic, but details…). However the result is a nice curve. At least you accomplished ‘ironing out’ the noise. Now the shape of the temp curve and its underlying trend stares you in the eye. What do you see? No warming in the last 15 years…? (oops, that’s besides the point…)

    b) Using a curve fit just gives you a nice smooth representation of the data expressed. But it does not remove the physical meaning of what you are plotting. You still plot ppm in CO2 and Deg C for the temp series as a function of time. Its your choice how to scale that plot and the units involved to fit it on one paper. In effect what you have done: Dec C / cm of plot and ppm CO2 / cm of Y axis on the plot.

    c) You can look at causation only from the perspective of obvious signals on the time line, i.e. sharp changes replicated in a signal in the other curve at a different time, not by how the crossing of smoothed lines ‘look’ to you on a graph. That is the result of nothing but your personal choices of scaling to make these two data sets fit on the same paper. Clearly the temperature begins to rise in sync with the rise in CO2. So much is obvious.All other possible signals in the data which we might have been able to compare according to the time when they are imprinted in the respective data were ‘artfully’ removed by your polynomial curve fit. So much must be obvious to you.

    You say: “I’m amazed I have to explain all this to you.”… Thanks Richard…. it’s an amazing and amusing dialog indeed! 😉

    I will add this to my collection of misconceptions and useful examples in teaching.

  19. Andy on June 7, 2013 at 3:41 pm said:

    Thomas, make sure you add this “misconception” to the one where Al Gore plots CO2 vs temperature in An Inconvenient Truth from the Vostok Ice Cores.

    Is this included in your curriculum?

  20. Bob D on June 7, 2013 at 3:53 pm said:

    Thomas,
    It has been explained to you again and again that AGW heats the atmosphere (in theory), which in turn causes the ocean to retain heat in the upper 700m (Hansen, 2005). The atmosphere hasn’t warmed for 16-23 years, depending on which dataset you choose. The upper 700m hasn’t warmed either in the past decade. There is no tropospheric hot spot, implying that water vapour contribution to feedback is zero or negative.

    Deep ocean heating is time-lagged, the very slight temperature increase (hundredths of a degree) you see there comes from surface warming that happened between 10 and 1,000 years ago. It wasn’t caused by AGW, at least unless you can clearly articulate how it happens that the deep ocean heats while the upper ocean doesn’t, and bearing in mind that all the incoming solar energy is absorbed in the top 200m of ocean and there is very little mixing between the upper and lower ocean layers on short timescales.

    So until you answer our very simple questions regarding ocean mixing mechanisms (which you steadfastly refuse to do), your continual foot-stamping behaviour isn’t actually going to work.

  21. Bob D on June 7, 2013 at 3:55 pm said:

    Thomas:

    “…should know better than to stare at the last 15 years or whatever of surface temps and hope they will prove anything.”

    NOAA declared that 15 years of no warming would necessarily invalidate the models at the 95% level. Take it up with them, not us.

  22. Bob D on June 7, 2013 at 4:11 pm said:

    Thomas:
    In Hansen (2005) we read that only 15% of heat ends up in the deep ocean (0.11 W/m2). If 85% of the heat has disappeared, you have to explain where it went.

    In Hansen (2011) we learn that even that amount is too much:

    “We conclude that most climate models mix heat too efficiently into the deep ocean”

  23. Bob D on June 7, 2013 at 4:34 pm said:

    Hansen (2011), by the way, is in agreement with Douglass et al. (2006), who used real world data to calculate an effective eddy diffusion constant (mixing factor) fifty times smaller than that used in many climate models.

  24. Richard C (NZ) on June 7, 2013 at 4:45 pm said:

    >”a) You used a 4th order polynomial curve fit for your analysis (not quadratic…”

    GAT is a quadratic, CO2 is a best fit 4th order polynomial.

    >”…but details…”

    Sure. Page 2/962 Scafetta (2010)

    Fig 1: “Global Surface Temperature (gray)….quadratic fit: 0.000029*(yr – 1850)2 – 0.42”

    http://www.fel.duke.edu/~scafetta/pdf/scafetta-JSTP2.pdf

    That is what I used for GAT.

    >”What do you see? No warming in the last 15 years…?”

    The quadratic representation is invalid as I’ve shown previously. The inherent EXTRACTED signal (from EMD) has been turning down for a few years now. An externally IMPOSED polynomial trend is not sensitive enough to pick up the inflexion at this early stage.

    >”Its your choice how to scale that plot and the units involved to fit it on one paper”

    Actually it was Excel’s choice but that is immaterial because as I pointed out previously, new data added from 2010 (to an invalid curve mind you) will have the curves crossing around 2015/16 so that CO2 will actually lead GAT again in time (it did prior to 1906) i.e. the series can be continually updated. Doing that would be daft however, now that the GAT quadratic is so obviously not what the data signal is doing.

    >”…not by how the crossing of smoothed lines ‘look’ to you on a graph”

    The crossing is only part of the exercise as I’ve already described. The time lag is determined by the x axis. But consider if the series was to 2016. The two curves are obviously going to cross again then (the first in 1906).

    >”That is the result of nothing but your personal choices of scaling to make these two data sets fit on the same paper”

    Rubbish. There was no “personal choices” on my part, it is is an Excel charting “Auto” option. How else are you going to plot the curves? The object of the exercise is to determine which curve rises before the other and when. Those 2 characteristics are different over the entire series and will continue to be be different as more data is added (I’m talking in terms of 100s of years). I wont be adding any new data to an invalid data representation (GAT quadratic) however.

    >”Clearly the temperature begins to rise in sync with the rise in CO2. So much is obvious”

    Err no, that is your warmist mind filtering your perception Thomas. The GAT inflexion starts around 1880, the CO2 inflexion starts around 1940. The intersecting tangents (curve centres) are at around 1930 and 1980 respectively (GAT, CO2). Each new trajectory is in place by about 1990 and 2000 respectively (GAT, CO2).

    An aside here Thomas. The curve analogy would be road/highway/motorway design from which I earned a living (among other things) when I started work years ago. Two straights are connected by a central circular arc at the apex with two Eular spiral transition curves on either side connecting each straight to the circular arc. This is also how the road centreline is laid out on site by survey. The highway curves are symmetrical of course unlike the two polynomial curves but from that design experience I “see” (as you put it) the critical points of each curve perhaps with more clarity than others such as yourself.

    I suspect that when this all sinks in Thomas, you wont be so enthusiastic with the “big picture” anymore. And you certainly wont want to move on to EMD signal extraction either.

  25. Rob Taylor on June 7, 2013 at 10:40 pm said:

    What is happening here is that deniers, when presented with evidence of their mistakes, have to double-down on their denial, using the standard methods: cherry-picking, lies and confusion.

    All very predictable, but rather sad, really.

    A good bopok on the topic is “Mistakes were made (but not by me)”, by Tavris and Aronson.

    Renowned social psychologists Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson take a compelling look into how the brain is wired for self-justification. When we make mistakes, we must calm the cognitive dissonance that jars our feelings of self-worth. And so we create fictions that absolve us of responsibility, restoring our belief that we are smart, moral, and right— a belief that often keeps us on a course that is dumb, immoral, and wrong.

    Backed by years of research, Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) offers a fascinating explanation of self-deception—how it works, the harm it can cause, and how we can overcome it.

    http://www.amazon.com/Mistakes-Were-Made-But-Not/dp/0156033909/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1370597902&sr=1-1

  26. Thomas, you say:

    What is happening here is that deniers, when presented with evidence of their mistakes, have to double-down on their denial, using the standard methods: cherry-picking, lies and confusion.

    Perhaps you are defending Rob Taylor’s statement just above, where he says:

    “Your constant repetition of the mantra that there has been no warming over the last xx years is moot and not at all reflected in reality! In fact it is a blatant lie.”

    When the thermometers show no warming (or minor warming only) for a sizeable chunk of time, and the five main global temperature datasets agree and the head of the IPCC agrees and the UK Met Office agrees, then, when Bob (or anyone else) also agrees, you need to explain how he (and he alone) can reasonably and fairly be accused of lying. You cannot escape having to explain, because it is simply not obvious.

  27. Richard C (NZ) on June 7, 2013 at 11:51 pm said:

    >”…when presented with evidence of their mistakes”

    When was that? And what were those mistakes?

    >”..lies”

    I think you had better be VERY specific with THIS allegation Taylor. i.e. explicit documented examples of our (individual) “lies”.

    Actually, your miss-application is a classic self-deception case study in itself.

    Meanwhile:

    ‘The Unequivocal Collapse of The Global Warming Trend’

    “Despite the highest CO2 growth trend, global cooling prevails”

    http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c01910304e3f6970c-pi

    Climate science – the CO2 “control-knob” faction at least – has clearly made a mistake.

  28. Richard C (NZ) on June 8, 2013 at 12:41 am said:

    Also, uncanny juxtaposition:

    A good bopok on the topic is “Mistakes were made (but not by me)

    Freudian Slip?

  29. Rob Taylor on June 8, 2013 at 7:07 pm said:

    No, that was a typo by me, for which I apologise.

    Now, RC, admit you were wrong about your magical undersea volcanoes a year ago, apologise, and we’ll be even…

  30. Richard C (NZ) on June 9, 2013 at 4:19 pm said:

    >”…admit you were wrong about your magical undersea volcanoes a year ago”

    Quote the specific instance where I was “wrong” Rob (I have the entire thread saved to disk BTW). I didn’t bring up volcanoes – certainly not “magical” ones – you guys, immersed in your ignorance, misconstrued sea floor seismic (of the exposed magma rift kind) and hydrovent activity for something else.

    For the record (once again for dummies), here’s the distinction. First the education (Caution – learning ahead):

    ‘Deep-Sea Geysers: Hydrothermal Vents’

    Grades 6-8

    Overview:
    Hydrothermal vents are geysers located on the ocean floor in the deep sea. Students will learn about these vents by doing a simulation and viewing pictures of animals that live near the vents. They’ll conclude by writing letters pretending they’re divers requesting funding for a future trip to study hydrothermal vents.

    Connections to the Curriculum:
    Geography, earth science, life science

    Connections to the National Geography Standards:
    Standard 7: “The physical processes that shape the patterns of Earth’s surface”
    Standard 8: “The characteristics and spatial distribution of ecosystems on Earth’s surface”

    Time:
    Two to three hours

    Materials Required:

    * Computer with Internet access

    Objectives:
    Students will
    * read and answer questions about geysers;
    * predict where hydrothermal vents might be found;
    * do an online simulation to visit hydrothermal vents;
    * view and take notes on four animals that live near hydrothermal vents; and
    * write letters pretending they’re divers requesting funding for a future trip to study hydrothermal vents.

    http://education.nationalgeographic.com/archive/xpeditions/lessons/07/g68/hydrovents.html?ar_a=1

    Might take you longer than two or three hours Rob, but persevere. This, on the other hand, is what you in your present ignorance refer to:

    ‘Submarine Volcanoes’

    “Scientists estimate that at least 80% of the world’s volcanism occurs in the oceans!”

    http://www.gns.cri.nz/Home/Learning/Science-Topics/Ocean-Floor/Undersea-New-Zealand/Submarine-Volcanoes

    “Magical” Rob?

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