Climate research needs redirection

• Guest post •

Governments are running huge deficits, but still spend billions on climate research, especially trying to model the effect of the atmosphere and its trace of carbon dioxide on surface temperature. Benefits are hard to find. It may have improved weather forecasts by a day or so, but official long-term predictions have not improved in the last fifty years. This is because carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is not the driver of weather or climate.

Around the world there are five official weather databases, about 14 weather satellites, 73 climate computer models and thousands of academics receiving grants and attending never-ending climate conferences. Much of this torrent of public money is now focussed on torturing a climate confession out of one normally unnoticed and totally innocent atmospheric trace gas: carbon dioxide.

The major determinants of surface weather are latitude, earth’s rotation, the seasons, the sun with its variable radiations and orbital changes, and proximity to the oceans which maintain the water cycle, moderate temperatures and house massive volcanic chains.

Earth’s mighty oceans cover 70% of the surface. Evaporation of water and convection in the atmosphere transfer large quantities of solar heat from the surface to the stratosphere. This process creates clouds, rain and snow and also forms low pressure zones which are the birthplace of cyclones and hurricanes. Wind direction and strength are related to solar-generated convection in the atmosphere, the transfer of solar heat from the equator to the poles, and the Coriolis effect of the rotation of the earth. Carbon dioxide plays no significant part in these processes.

Oceans also conceal most of the volcanic ring-of-fire and are home to huge numbers of volcanoes, many of which are active. The mighty weather-changing ENSO/El Nino starts with a pool of warm water in the eastern Pacific. Carbon dioxide plays no part in creating such hot-spots, but periodic eruptions of undersea volcanoes may. We know less about the floor of the oceans and their volcanoes than we do about the surface of Mars.

What is referred to reverently as “climate research” is mainly just grubby advocacy supporting the political war on carbon. Why are we still funding scientists who believe that “the science is settled”? If they believe that they already have the answers, what are they spending their research funds on?

The community is getting little benefit from atmospheric research and climate modelling and that money should be redirected to more productive areas.

Half of “climate research” money should be spent on improving the ability of public infrastructure to survive natural disasters.

The remaining funds should be spent on real climate research — mapping the floor of the oceans, with particular reference to locating active volcanoes, and investigating how volcanism, solar variations and cycles of the sun, moon and planets impact long-term weather forecasts and future climate. This work should preferably be done by contracting private operators and the climate models in public hands should be handed over to practising meteorologists to see if they are useful for short-term weather forecasting.

14 Thoughts on “Climate research needs redirection

  1. Alexander+K on October 28, 2014 at 9:01 am said:


  2. Richard C (NZ) on October 29, 2014 at 9:47 am said:

    >”73 climate computer models”

    >”The mighty weather-changing ENSO/El Nino”

    None of the 73 have an ENSO component.

    Roy Spencer and Danny Braswell (2014) added ENSO (MEI) to a 1D model in 2 different formats, Fortran and Excel, with the same forcings as the CMIP3 3D GCMs. Without ENSO the model mimiced the GCMs. With ENSO the model mimiced the ocean temperature that the GCMs do not mimic:

    Fig. 5. Model simulations of monthly global average 0-50 m layer
    ocean temperature variations for three cases: (a) only RCP6 radiative
    forcings; (b) RCP6 plus ENSO-related non-radiative forcing (ocean
    mixing); and (c) RCP6 plus ENSO-related radiative and non-radiative


    Predictable response from the “Climate Consensus” of course (about all that is from them these days):

    Initial reply by Spencer:

    These models, including Spencer and Braswell’s, bypass the physics of the AO interface i.e. they impute energy to the ocean by “forcing”, the largest of which is CO2. I’m looking forward to when planetary thermal lag of say 14 years or so (Abdussamatov and others) catches them all out i.e. the solar recession started at the end of 2005 using PMOD, 2005+14=2019. So by the end of this decade not only will the approx 60 year oscillation be understood as above, but the driver of the secular trend will be understood too and it’s not CO2 because the secular trend is now turning down. Known for a while by signal analysts and evidenced again recently by Macias et al (2014), article here:

    Application of the Singular Spectrum Analysis Technique to Study the Recent Hiatus on the Global Surface Temperature Record by Diego Macias, Adolf Stips, Elisa Garcia-Gorriz published in Plos One. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0107222

    Figure: HadCRUT4 Temperature Anomaly 1850-2013 (°C) (blue and red bars). Secular trend (red line), multidecadal variability (green line) and reconstructed signal from the statistical analysis (black line). Hiatus periods are indicated with grey bars in the x-axis

    >”Carbon dioxide plays no significant part in these processes.”

    If it did, the secular trend (red line in figure) would not be turning down. Thus the miss-attribution and flawed forcing methodology is exposed.

  3. Richard C (NZ) on October 29, 2014 at 10:00 am said:

    ‘Fred Singer Closing in on Fact: CO2 Doesn’t Affect Global Temperature’

    Written by Dr Pierre R Latour on 27 Oct 2014

    I write to concur with conclusions in Dr S Fred Singer’s recent essay: “The Climate Sensitivity Controversy”, by S. Fred Singer, American Thinker (October 15, 2014) and to solve the puzzles he posed.

    In particular he concludes “climate sensitivity, CS, is close to zero”. This means any effect of CO2 on Earth’s temperature and climate is vanishingly small, hence unimportant. Singer leaves his warmist camp and joins the denier camp of skeptics.


    The proper way to calculate CS is from the laws of physics, chemistry, biology and chemical engineering with correct physical properties. Relying on empiricism and data regression for large complex engineering systems is well known to be incorrect and flawed. They never represent the nonlinear world outside their domain of fit; cannot extrapolate, only interpolate. Same for stock market charting. The whole data fitting exercise to support GHGT (greenhouse gas theories) is worthless from its inception. (Except it conveniently proved CO2 lags temperature by 800 years from Al Gore’s 420,000 year trend, proving CO2 could not cause these temperature changes; the sun did it.)

    My way is physics, the Stefan Boltzmann Law of radiation intensity from all matter proportional to its temperature and emissivity. This Law works for entire planets, even when there are clouds, thermal feedbacks and hurricanes.

    I parted company with Singer with his current “Of course, the proper way to determine Climate Sensitivity (CS) is empirically — by using the climate data.” two years ago. That is wrong. He expresses misgivings himself.

    Singer and GHGT promoters are wedded to the idea of correlating temperature and CO2 data, which alone can only prove correlation, never causation. A corollary error is to account for other known causes driving temperature, like solar, and ascribe all response discrepancy actually due to unknown causes, to CO2. Another error is to statistically fit data to empirical equations and attempt to extrapolate outside the validity domain of the data. Interpolation is allowed, extrapolation of nonlinear natural world outside the domain is not. A fourth error is to deviate from the scientific method practice which uses experimental data to falsify proposed theories that don’t predict nature’s behavior well, rather than claim validity of when predictions are confirmed by luck. A fifth error is to keep data analysis methods used to support validity of hunches confidential, particularly when publically financed. (Newton’s Principia Mathematica made him famous by full disclosure.) Worst of all is filing defamation lawsuits against skeptics questioning secret GHGT methods, assumptions and scientific basis. Even smearing them and attacking their character is unacceptable. Five strikes and you are way out. These principles are well known to control systems engineers, but not UN IPCC GHGT promoters that lack credentials.


    Singer closes with two puzzles, both of which I have solved.

    If non-radiating O2 is exchanged for absorbing/emitting CO2, emissivity, e, of planet to space must increase.

    I = σ e (T/100)4

    If e increases with CO2 at constant I, T goes down. Therefore CO2 causes global cooling.

    [Calcs follow]

    If Dr S Fred Singer can just convince his colleague Dr Roy W Spencer that CS = 0 and get Spencer to disclose how he determines Earth’s emissivity vs CO2 in order to estimate its temperature from his satellite spectrometer measurements of intensity, we would learn together what Earth’s global temperature is and strengthen scientific consensus that anthropogenic CO2 is innocent. It is green plant food after all. Which is very cool.

  4. Richard C (NZ) on October 29, 2014 at 10:27 am said:

    ‘The Climate Sensitivity Controversy’

    By S. Fred Singer, October 15, 2014

    “This range of 1.5 – 4.5 degC has become canonical by now. In fact, the most recent report of the IPCC [2013] gives the same range for CS—even after 25 years and spending billions of dollars on the development of climate models. As my colleague Kenneth Haapala points out, it’s been a poor return on investment.”

  5. Richard C (NZ) on October 29, 2014 at 11:07 am said:

    ‘Analysis shows the “missing heat” has gone to space & less “heat trapping” from increased greenhouse gases’

    The Hockey Schtick, October 28, 2014

    A post today from Kiwi Thinker examines recent trends in the greenhouse effect from satellite data since 1979 and shows, opposite of warmist claims, that the greenhouse effect and “heat-trapping” of the atmosphere has steadily decreased along with the increase in greenhouse gas levels. The author concludes from this empirical NOAA data,

    1. The “missing heat” has gone back to space as it always has…via outgoing longwave infrared radiation.

    2. And more importantly, the greenhouse effect is not increasing as per IPCC dogma.

  6. Richard C (NZ) on October 29, 2014 at 11:59 am said:

    ‘IPCC Climate Scientist: Global Warming ‘Pause’ Could Last 30 Years’

    by Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller on 28 October 2014.

    “Latif told [Bavarian Radio] that temperatures would start accelerating between 2020 and 2025, meaning global warming could be on pause or slowed down for the next 6 to 11 years. This could put the total time of the pause between 24 and 29 years.”

    Loehle and Scafetta reiterate but to 2030:

    5) Cooling/flat temperatures till 2030 are likely (as also predicted by others).

    Their attribution?

    “The residuals (Fig.1B) showed an approximate linear upward trend after 1942. It is assumed that this residual upward warming has been mostly induced by anthropogenic emissions, urbanization and land use change. The warming observed before 1942 is relatively small and is assumed to have been mostly naturally induced because anthropogenic (warming + cooling) forcing would approximately compensate each other before 1950.”

    “Assumed”, except the “approximate linear upward trend after 1942” is now turning down away from CO2 (see secular trend – Macias et al upthread). Wrong assumption, same goes for Latif.

    If they could assume the driver of the secular trend is the lagged oceanic integrator of solar energy then they might all talk some sense.

  7. Richard C (NZ) on October 29, 2014 at 12:35 pm said:

    From WUWT (my emphasis):

    ‘A Comparison Of The Efficacy Of Greenhouse Gas Forcing And Solar Forcing’

    Free (open access) Paper DOI 10.2495/HT140241

    R. A. Irvine


    The efficacy (E) of a forcing is a measure of its capacity to generate a temperature response in the earth’s system. Most Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) climate models assume that the efficacy of a solar forcing is close to the efficacy of a similar sized greenhouse gas (GHG) forcing. This paper examines the possibility that a change in short wave solar forcing may more readily contribute to ocean heat content (OHC) than a similar change in long wave GHG forcing. If this hypothesis is shown to be correct, then it follows that equilibrium restoration times at the top of the atmosphere (TOA) are likely to be considerably faster, on average, for a change in GHG forcing than for a similar change in solar forcing. A crude forcings model has been developed that matches almost perfectly (R2 = 0.89) the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) temperature series from 1880 to 2010. This model is compared to and performs much better over this period than the United Kingdom Met Office’s (HadGEM2) contribution to the CMIP5 (R2 = 0.16). It is concluded, by implication that the efficacy of a GHG forcing is likely to be considerably lower than the efficacy of a similar sized solar forcing. Keywords: efficacy, forcing, greenhouse gas, solar, sensitivity, climate, model.

    The Basic Energy Model (BEM)

    Mimics the hiatus/pause/standstill

    Model vs Actual NOAA Temperature

    The inputs to the model are anthropogenic GHGs, solar, anthropogenic aerosols and internal variability.

    The aerosol input to the model is toward the lower end, but still within the IPCC’s range. Internal variability is consistent with our current knowledge and is based on a combination of the AMO and PDO indexes. The solar input assumes a solar multiplier of some sort and is consistent with our knowledge of temperature over the last millennium as graphed in the AR5 and discussed in Yu & Luo 2014.

    The physics behind the model is based on the established fact that the oceans are opaque to long wave GHG energy but are very transparent to short wave solar energy. This implies that GHG energy is returned to the atmosphere and space very quickly as latent heat of evaporation [see Kiwi Thinker/HS post upthread] while solar energy is effectively absorbed to a depth of many meters with consequent delays in equilibrium at the Top of the Atmosphere (TOA).

    # # #

    Cat among the pigeons.

  8. D o+u+g+ C+o+t t+o n+  on October 29, 2014 at 3:54 pm said:

    it sure does.

    We know the Sun affects climate because there is compelling correlation between the observed natural cycles and the 934 year and 60 year cycles in the inverted plot of the scalar sum of the angular momentum of the Sun and all the planets.

    The sensitivity to a doubling of carbon dioxide is 0.0C correct to one decimal place.

    To really understand the underlying thermodynamics we have to consider an ideal troposphere without any such wind and without a surface and with solar radiation only being absorbed near its top because such incident radiation is strongly attenuated by absorption in the atmosphere by radiating (and absorbing) molecules like water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane etc.

    The nominal troposphere of Uranus provides the best example in our Solar System of such an ideal troposphere, and its temperature is about 60K at the top and 320K at the base of that troposphere (350Km below) where there is no surface.

    We must consider the difference between night and day. At night (on the dark side) there will obviously be energy loss to space, and that is radiated from the uppermost layers of the troposphere. The whole troposphere cools by non-radiative heat transfer towards the top, and the thermal gradient in the troposphere remains the same, while the temperature profile drops a little at all altitudes. On Venus this drop is about 5 degrees.

    What actually happens during this cooling? Well there is indeed upward non-radiative heat transfer by molecular collision (and some diffusion) upwards. This causes some expansion purely because some net movement of molecules occurs upwards to less dense regions. The expansion itself is not what causes the cooling. It is the internal loss of translational kinetic energy as molecules rise and gain gravitational potential energy in lieu.

    The troposphere is “ideal” and so what happens in one location happens all over that dark hemisphere and all net molecular movement (due to kinetic energy transfers in collisions) is upwards. So the height of the troposphere must increase slightly.

    Now, by day the reverse happens. The troposphere is warmed at the top, but because the temperature gradient is the state of thermodynamic equilibrium, some thermal energy transfers downwards by non-radiative heat transfer (not forced convection) away from the new source of slightly warmed air – perhaps 61K on the sunlit side instead of 59K on the dark side, for example. The downward transfer of energy absorbed at the top is restoring thermodynamic equilibrium with its associated temperature gradient. In short, the process is the reverse of the night time process as far as non-radiative heat transfer processes are involved, and of course the height of the troposphere lowers during the day, so there is no gain or loss of mass.

    Radiation cannot transfer thermal energy from cold to hot, but non-radiative processes can do so in a gravitational field, and that is a major breakthrough in 21st century physics pertaining to our understanding of energy transfers and temperatures in planetary tropospheres, surfaces, crusts, mantles and cores throughout the Solar System and no doubt beyond.

  9. Richard C (NZ) on October 29, 2014 at 4:01 pm said:

    >”Cat among the pigeons.”

    Some urgent “after the fact” peer review of Irvine’s paper by WIT instigated by Kevin O’Neill (see below), sooo……

    — Paper removed from elibrary —

    No details supplied by WIT (possibly temporary – see article below). Reported at Retraction Watch and responded to by Irvine:

    1. The reduced conduction, mentioned by [Hot] Whopper, certainly will have some effect on ocean heat content (OHC). The point I’ve consistently tried to make in the paper and elsewhere is that there is no reason why this conduction would have the SAME effect on OHC as solar radiation that penetrates the ocean to a depth of many meters. If the people at [Hot] Whopper believe that these two mechanisms produce the same result then they should provide some evidence. They, of course, won’t be able to as Short Wave Solar Radiation is a far more efficient method of getting energy into a body of water than is conduction.

    2. The experiment outlined in the paper has a control and proves conclusively, to me at least, that nearly all the Long Wave GHG Radiation is absorbed in the first fraction of a millimetre of the surface and returned almost immediately to the atmosphere and eventually space as latent heat of evaporation. The control in the experiment, is that Long Wave Radiation DOES warm a body of water when evaporation (Test B) is restricted but DOES NOT significantly warm the same body of water when that water is free to evaporate (Test A).

    3. The model I’ve produced, based on this accepted science, reproduces the extent and profile of the earth’s measured temperature for the last 120 years extremely well (R2=0.89) and, importantly produces the current temperature hiatus. One would expect this to excite some interest instead of the knee jerk rejection it has received.

    Search “Kevin O’Neill” + “climate” and you’ll find items such as:

    ‘Kevin O’Neill’s “Fraud” Allegations’ – Steve McIntyre, Sep 24, 2014


    ‘The End of the line for Kevin O’Neill’ – Climate Sanity, July 28, 2010

  10. Richard C (NZ) on October 29, 2014 at 5:27 pm said:


    by Jeffrey A. Glassman, PhD, 3/27/10. Cor. 4/17/10.

    Solar energy as modeled over the last three centuries contains patterns that match the full 160 year instrument record of Earth’s surface temperature. Earth’s surface temperature throughout the modern record is given by

    EQ01 (1)

    Sn is the increase in Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) measured as the running percentage rise in the trend at every instance in time,
    t, for the previous n years.
    The parameters are best fits with the values m134=18.33°C/%, m46=-3.68°C/%, b=13.57(-0.43)°C, and τ=6 years.

    The value of b in parenthesis gives T(t) as a temperature anomaly. One standard deviation of the error between the equation and the HadCRUT3 data is 0.11°C (about one ordinate interval). Values for a good approximation (σ=0.13°C) with a single solar running trend are m134=17.50°C/%, m46=0, b=13.55(-0.45)°C, and τ=10 years.

    FIGURE 1: Global average surface temperature with solar formula overlay. The figure is IPCC’s AR4 Figure 3.6 from HadCRUT3, with Earth’s surface temperature from Equation (1) added in berry color. The new temperature model is a linear combination of two variables. The variables are causal, running trend lines from the solar model of Wang, et al. (2005). IPCC’s blue curve is the temperature smoothed by a backward and forward symmetric, non-causal filter.

  11. Richard C (NZ) on October 29, 2014 at 5:37 pm said:

    >”The remaining funds should be spent on real climate research — …………….. investigating how ………… variations and cycles of the sun………..impact long-term weather forecasts and future climate. This work should preferably be done by contracting private operators …………”

    Glassman and Irvine above have already done the groundwork in their leisure time. Free of charge.

  12. Richard C (NZ) on October 30, 2014 at 5:37 pm said:

    I’ve sought clarification at Kiwi Thinker:

    >”Using an average global temperature of 14C, the SB relative emissivity has been derived using E/(K*T^4) for each year and plotted on the graph”

    Bit confused by that expression. j* = εkT^4 gives ε = j*/(kT^4)

    j* is OLR
    T is absolute temperature (Kelvin)

    So for example, the step from 1997 to 1998 is approximately:
    j* 231.55 to 231.7
    T 14.03 (287.18 K) to 14.5 (287.65 K) where 0 anomaly base is 14C (287.15 Kelvin)

    Is that the calculation and values (roughly) you’ve used to arrive at ε = 0.6 for both 1997 and 1998? Doesn’t make sense to me.

  13. Richard C, in regards to your request for clarification of the equations I used at Kiwithinker, a copy of my reply there, repeated here for convenience.

    “Apologies Richard, my choice of symbols is non-standard. The equation you have presented is the same as I have used, except for my choice of symbols.
    The temperature I used for the offset was 287K, to which I added the anomaly.
    The calculation for 1997 where OLR is 231.50 W/m2 and T is 287.03,
    231.5/(5.67*10^-8*287.03^4) = 0.602
    The calculation for 1998 where OLR is 231.65 W/m2 and T is 287.49,
    231.65/(5.67*10^-8*287.49) = 0.598
    The general trend observed is that as global temperature rises so outgoing emissions rise, and it is observed to be quite closely in accordance with Stefan Boltzmann’s law.
    And as the relative emissivity is nearly constant (it is actually slightly increasing when you look very closely) an increased greenhouse effect as caused by increasing CO2 is not occurring.
    The relative emissivity is slightly increasing over this period indicating a slightly more transparent atmosphere.
    I’m happy to provide a copy of the spreadsheet if you want to take a look.”
    Kind regards,

  14. Richard C (NZ) on October 31, 2014 at 9:37 am said:

    Reply as at Kiwi Thinker.

    OK Robin, thanks for this. I thought that was your calc but I wanted to make sure I was doing same.

    1997 ε 0.602,
    1998 ε 0.598.

    >”And as the relative emissivity is nearly constant ……”

    Yes, the graph clearly shows ε around 0.6, no problem with that. But I wondered if a separate graph would be useful just to see the third decimal place since you’ve taken the exercise this far? Obviously this isn’t as precise as the values indicate but I’m referring to what the ε series looks like in profile where the y axis enables us to see the difference between 0.602 and 0.598 for example as above.

    >”The relative emissivity is slightly increasing over this period indicating a slightly more transparent atmosphere.”

    Yes this is what I’m getting at. Is it really? I’m adverse to linear trends in climate time series simply because the data is rarely linear but it might be in this case. I suspect however that given the measurement error the values are just fluctuating randomly. There might be the impression of a progressive increase but I’m doubtful at this point.

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