Unthreaded #29

850 Comments

  1. Jryan
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 1:15 AM | Permalink

    What I find most disturbing as I familiarize myself with this site (wonderful, BTW), and the arguments and defenses that spin off of Steve’s observations, is that with every exposed “chink” the #1 defense is “yeah, that’s wrong.. but that doesn’t really affect the overall view of AGW”.

    My question is: how many inaccuracies have to be unearthed before they start counting? You can’t simply cast off an error because it’s “small” or “only one” because eventually all the individual and small errors begin to actually add up. That only takes a 1st grade understanding of mathematics to figure out….

  2. John M.
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 6:12 AM | Permalink

    Steve McIntyre focuses primarily on issues related to the historical temperature record, Jyran #80, which has been manipulated by some climate scientists in highly questionable ways as part of an attempt to provide evidence that the recent post-1970s warming is unprecedented relative to the natural variations that have occurred over the last few thousand years. Although that is not without significance it doesn’t really go to the core of what happens when you double the atmospheric concentration of CO2 and whether we are in for irreversible cataclysmic changes as people like Al Gore have claimed. To really go after the overall view of AGW the computer modeling of that question would have to be examined in detail but that is way beyond the scope of a blog like this, in my opinion.

  3. Raven
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:05 AM | Permalink

    Jryan #80

    The IPCC could have acknowledged the error in the hockey stick, discarded the problematic tree ring series and made the argument that the exact magnitude of historical temperatures do not affect their conclusions regarding CO2 and temperature today.

    Unfortunately, they did not do that. Instead they attempted to bury Steve’s paper under a pile of dubious papers by people closely linked to Mann that claim to ‘refute’ Steve’s paper (when none of them actually refuted anything). Once the Mann et. al. created this psuedo-scientific smoke screen the IPCC continued to use the bad data in subsequent reports.

    This irrational and unscientific reaction on the part of Mann and the IPCC has undermined its credibility. I don’t think anyone should take any IPCC report conclusions seriously until the science has been reviewed by people unconnected to the IPCC.

  4. bender
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:23 AM | Permalink

    The problem, Raven, is that the whole lot of them were – and still are – in denial over the degree of imprecision on these kinds of data. They are the original “denialists” – denying the fact that these data types are subject to huge uncertainty.

  5. Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:38 AM | Permalink

    @Herny– It’s possible to have a smaller precision uncertainty interval for a trend than for individual data points — common in fact. This is similar to having smaller error bands for determining the mean of a large sample of measurements than for any individual measurements.

    But yes, the individual measurements of temperature seem to lack precision. In Hansen 1988 (the one where they report scenarios ABC) they claim 0.05K for the current measurements of GMST. Earliers ones must have greater lack of precision and of course, these uncertainties are estimated. There is no calibration standard which we would normally use to a calibration that permits one to get a decent measure of the precision uncertainty.

  6. bender
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 9:37 AM | Permalink

    Write to them and ask them. It would take less than a minute.

  7. Francois Ouellette
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 10:08 AM | Permalink

    #80

    I’ve commented earlier on how paradigms are rarely overthrown in the face of “anomalies”. The only way for this to happen is if another “paradigm” can emerge that can encompass all those anomalies and give a more coherent explanation of past, present, and even future observations. But what most people don’t realize, is that the so-called IPCC “consensus” is a very vague one. I’m not sure about how the 4AR formulated it, but the TAR said: “most likely that the majority of the warming is due to human activities”, or something like that. The expression “most likely” doesn’t mean much. They quantify it by saying it’s something like 80% chance of being true, but what does that mean? I’ve never seen anywhere scientific statements accompanied by a probability that they be true! When you start thinking about it, it’s kind of absurd. Probability works if you have a population, say of measurements or trials. There is no population here!

    The other part of the statement talks about the “majority” of the warming, but does not specify if it’s 51% or 99%. Yet it makes a huge difference. And what would be the probability that it’s 45%? Or 25%? Do we have a value for that?

    What I’m meaning to say is that this so-called consensus is in reality full of exit doors, so that the scientists can eventually escape it if their predictions turn out to be wrong.

    But back to the anomalies. The real question is not whether adverse results invalidate the AGW paradigm, but whether another paradigm can better explain them. In this case, I’m willing to argue that you could, based entirely on published results, build a picture where GHG’s do not account for the “majority” of the warming. You could, for example, reconstruct past temperatures with a weaker water vapor feedback, and a stronger solar influence. It has been done. There are a number of effects related to land use that are not proprely included in models and that can affect regional temperatures. Black carbon can explain part of the Arctic warming. And so on and so on. As a “paradigm”, AGW draws much strength from its moral appeal. It may be that ten or twenty years from now, we’ll look at this issue and wonder how stupid we were. But it’s a constant feature, not only of the history of science, but also of human history, that we rarely recognize how ignorant we really are, only how much we were!

  8. bender
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 10:22 AM | Permalink

    #90 All the more reason to write to them.

  9. Erik Ramberg
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 10:43 AM | Permalink

    #80

    I think this poster (and others like him/her) have a misunderstanding of science and climate science in particular. It seems to be assumed that finding a lot of small discrepencies in the historical climate record somehow will ‘add up’ to invalidate the entire model of anthropogenic global warming.

    The disturbing aspect of this attitude is that it dismisses the large scope of work going on in this field: radiosonde data, satellite data, surface measurements, ocean measurements, stratospheric cooling, massive arctic warming, glacier retreats, sea level rise, species migration and extinction, etc.

    There will be discrepencies in data in every one of these categories – enough, I’m sure, to keep everybody here quite busy. But the simple physical mechanism of long-wave absorption by rising carbon dioxide levels is a fantastic theory that explains this wide array of data. It is believed by the vast majority of climate scientists for this reason and even though this poster feels that a ‘1st grade mathematics’ analysis of subjects brought up in a blog will invalidate it, that is not going to happen.

  10. Neil McEvoy
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 10:52 AM | Permalink

    Erik, which species extinctions are explained by rising CO2 levels?

  11. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

    Re: #s 91 and 94

    Finding differing views on AGW well articulated in close proximity is a nice feature of blogging. My view is much closer to Francois O’s than that of Erik R’s, but I think Erik’s is a good representation of the current consensus view — and can be used to explain at least some of the actions/reactions of those with the consensus POV.

  12. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 11:08 AM | Permalink

    Erik of course makes the mistake of thinking that the “deniers” are stupid ignorant yokels who don’t understand the greenhouse effect. This is not true. Skeptics who have taken the time to familiarize themselves with it simply believe that the effect has been exaggerated. Moreover, I’m not really sure how you came to be convinced that the entire “wide array of data” completely and unequivocally supports the theory that GHG’s are the chief cause of present warming. This is simply not the case. As the models stand right now, they make predictions which conflict with the satellite and balloon data. The stratospheric cooling which you mention, by the way, can also be caused by ozone depletion, and the cooling has slowed recently, so this is actually a perfectly valid interpretation. I’m not sure what you mean by “massive arctic warming”. And of course just about everything else you said indicates that you think you need to prove to some morons that the world is warming. Well, I know the earth is warming, but I and some other people are a bit doubtful about the attribution of this warming to GHGs.

    Steve is not even trying to invalidate the theory, which you and many others make the mistake of thinking he’s doing. That includes #80. But dismissing this website as using “first grade math” is completely inaccurate. Steve uses statistical techniques that are way over my head, and I’ve taken a lot more than first grade math! I suppose it must seem easy math to you, though, given what genius you seem to think you are, understanding things way better than other people. Care to give it a shot? Care to try your own at sorting out the “discrepancies”?

  13. Duane Johnson
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 11:09 AM | Permalink

    Erik,

    There will be discrepencies in data in every one of these categories – enough, I’m sure, to keep everybody here quite busy. But the simple physical mechanism of long-wave absorption by rising carbon dioxide levels is a fantastic theory that explains this wide array of data. It is believed by the vast majority of climate scientists for this reason and even though this poster feels that a ‘1st grade mathematics’ analysis of subjects brought up in a blog will invalidate it, that is not going to happen.

    I presume your use of the word “fantastic” is in the sense of “Existing in the fancy; unreal; illusory” as definition 2 of my dictionary has it. ;-)

  14. bender
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 11:14 AM | Permalink

    Erik, how will you know what the dozens of tiny errors add up to unless you audit? But you can’t even get Lonnie Thompson’s ice core data. Are you ok with that? What if it was a drug company that had data showing that a drug was harmful? Wouldn’t you want disclosure?

  15. Larry
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 11:14 AM | Permalink

    95, and while he’s at it, which sea is rising?

  16. Larry
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 11:16 AM | Permalink

    97,

    Erik of course makes the mistake of thinking that the “deniers” are stupid ignorant yokels who don’t understand the greenhouse effect.

    Which makes me wonder about the two or three people here who accurately fit that description.

  17. Raven
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 11:17 AM | Permalink

    Erik Ramberg

    But the simple physical mechanism of long-wave absorption by rising carbon dioxide levels is a fantastic theory that explains this wide array of data.

    It is a hypothesis that has only been validated withe GCMs – GCMs which are very questionable for a number of reasons. More importantly, the entire CO2 hypothesis rests on the ASSUMPTION that we understand climate enough to exclude other factors such as solar or internal variations. Any anomolies and inconsistencies undermine demostrate that that assumption may not be reasonable.

  18. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 11:18 AM | Permalink

    Well, Larry, I can’t personally support that view, so I would suggest that if their listening, that they do more research.

  19. Pat Keating
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 11:50 AM | Permalink

    101

    stupid ignorant yokels who don’t understand the greenhouse effect.

    Hey, I don’t know of anybody who understands the GHE at the level it needs to be understood. If they did, the models would all use the same “forcing”, and there wouldn’t have to be so much desperate arm-waving over its magnitude.

  20. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 12:06 PM | Permalink

    Pat, I meant how it works generally in theory, or qualitatively. Quantifying it is a problem we are still wrestling with, though not because we don’t understand the effect itself, but because the feedbacks are a bit of a mystery.

    Rafa, I think if it was standard error they would, or at least should say so, instead of confusing people with separate terms. But your right, they need to be clearer what they meant.

  21. bender
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 12:47 PM | Permalink

    If there is something not understood in the SPM, your best bet is to check the AR4. After that, the primary literature on which AR4 is built. (Or not, in the case of Amman & Wahl. :))

  22. Pat Keating
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 12:52 PM | Permalink

    20 Andrew

    I meant how it works generally in theory

    Perhaps, then, you can steer me to a good exposition of that, because I haven’t yet seen anything that I find satisfactory.

  23. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 12:53 PM | Permalink

    Arthur Smith re:583 of Unthreaded #28

    If you have not read the science, I can understand how you would be confused. I will be happy to provide you with a few links. Others here may have their own favorites, but here are some of mine.

    (1) “the current magnitude of warming [is in] question” (Wingo, #99; Gunnar, #67, etc.) – precisely how much question is it in, and why? Let’s see the data and calculations!

    Are you not familiar with Anthony Watts? To give you a little history, there are a number of warming biases in our land surface temperature network as pointed out by the Davey and Pielke paper in 2005. Peterson and Parker both tried to claim the surface temp record was fine. Pielke and McIntyre have both shown problems with these papers. Pielke here and McIntyre here.

    The key thing you need to know is that Watts is leading an all volunteer group to photograph and document the quality of all of the surface stations in the GHCN. He started in the US and now more than 1/3 of US stations have been photographed. Watts performed an evaluation of the early data and learned 85% of the stations did not meet the minimum standards of the NOAA. Most have an obvious warm bias. Because these warm biases are not all introduced at the same time, this introduces a step-wise warming bias into the record. It is difficult to know how much of a difference this will make at this point, but my guess is that up to half of the observed warming is not real but is an artifact of these poorly sited stations. By the way, do not confuse poorly sited stations with UHI. Poorly sited stations are found in rural areas as well. Watts website is here and his presentation to UCAR is here.

    Ross McKitrick has approached this same issue from a different angle in a peer-reviewed paper and has also estimated that up to half of the observed warming may not be real. His paper is here.

    (2) “current temperatures are [not] ‘unprecedented’” (bender, #101; bender, #72) – presumably talking about the last 1000 to 2000 years. I understand this is the central point about the hockey-stick issue that’s so much the focus of this site. So where’s the key post here that clearly explains this? When was temperature likely higher than now, and what is that likelihood?

    The temperature was likely higher or at least as high during the Medieval Warm Period. There is so much information on this that I am bound to offend someone by leaving out THE key piece of evidence in their mind. Read all of the papers by McIntyre and McKitrick. Read the Wegman Report and the NAS report. BTW, don’t take RealClimate’s word on any of this. They bend the truth and make it sound like the NAS supported Mann. While the NAS was polite to Mann, they supported McIntyre on all of the key points of science.

    Loehle recently published a temperature reconstruction without tree ring data. You can read it here.

    In addition to temperature reconstructions, other evidence exists to support this point. “Organic Remains from the Istorvet Ice Cap, Liverpool Land, East Greenland: A Record of Late Holocene Climate Change” was presented at the Fall Meeting of AGU the fact Greenland has been much warmer than at present, during the Medieval Warm Period. You can read the abstract here.

    (3) “tree rings [are invalid] as a proxy thermometer” (Philip_B, #43, and many others) – ok, this sounds like something that merits a major scientific paper. Let’s see the data and analysis!

    One of the key points where the NAS panel agreed with McIntyre is that strip bark tree ring data is not a temperature proxy and should not be used. I would point you to the papers referenced by the NAS. Almost all of the older trees are strip bark trees. This is why Loehle avoided tree ring data in his reconstruction.

    (4) “current warming being attributed to CO2 emissions could be in error” (Wingo, #99, and many recent comments in “unthreaded”, “Svalgaard”, etc.) – where’s the article here that shows how IPCC and friends have gotten the radiative forcing numbers wrong for CO2 and other long-lived greenhouse gases? I’d love to see that one!

    It is not so much that they got the forcing numbers wrong as it is they got the climate sensitivity to the forcing wrong. One of the reasons for this is the negative feedbacks in the climate system. Roy Spencer and John Christy and co-authors recently published a peer-reviewed a paper about a negative feeback they observed over the tropics. They identified this as the “infrared iris effect” hypothesized by Richard Lindzen. This negative feedback is not accounted for in any of the GCMs. You can read the Spencer paper here.

    A number of people have come up with climate sensitivity numbers much lower than (or at the low end of) those reported by the IPCC. The most recent of these is the paper by Stephen E. Schwartz from Brookhaven National Laboratory. You can read the Schwartz paper here. The paper has been discussed on ClimateAudit, most recently here.

    Dr. Doug Hoyt, who also posts here, wrote a nice guest post on this you might find interesting on Warwick Hughes blog.

    Another peer-reviewed paper I think is very interesting on this point is by Petr Chylek. One of the issues is that scientists do not really understand the level of natural climate variability. As a result, any variability they see they cannot explain from solar variability is assumed to be from CO2. Any cooling they see is assumed to be from man’s pollution in the form of aerosols. Chylek’s paper shows that cooling impact of aerosols has been overestimated and that means the warming impact of CO2 has been overestimated as well. You can read Chylek’s abstract here.

    I should probably also point out that Pielke has written a number of interesting blog posts about feedbacks, one as recent as December 30, 2007. I recommend you read this and this.

  24. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 1:05 PM | Permalink

    Depends, Pat, are you willing to let met link you to a skeptics explanation? The explanations by alarmists tend to be vastly over simplified, because their goal is to get as many followers as possible, not be accurate. Which I can understand, I suppose, except that it is a religious, not a scientific tactic.

    If we make broad generalizations, we can describe how it works. CO2 absorbs certain wavelengths etc, but more of it has less effect due to the finite amount of radiation to absorb. Absorbed radiation is supposed to be spat back out at the earth, reabsorbed, then re-emitted, or something like that. Obviously we’re being vague here, it is of course more complex than that.

    If you fast forward to about 1:50, he starts to talk about it.

    For an alarmist explanation, watch Al Gore’s movie.

  25. Gunnar
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 1:05 PM | Permalink

    SteveM, when you zambonied multiple comments in the NASA thread, you deleted my response to #205. As it is, the assertion is out there that implies that I just made up the statement that NASA is actively pushing the AGW story. My response had nothing incendiary, just links to pages that demonstrate my point. May I post the response here? Alternately, perhaps deleting 205?

    Actually, I really recommend deleting the entire thread, since I don’t think it reflects well on the site. It’s out of character.

  26. Gunnar
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 1:13 PM | Permalink

    Another reason: the thread contains multiple potentially libelous statements, which, according the source I previously linked to, you could be held responsible for.

  27. bender
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 1:14 PM | Permalink

    #25 The reason it’s out of character, Gunnar, is that the commenters largely missed the point, so it spiralled out of character.

    The point was that Schmidt – as usual – is trying to have it both ways. This is NOT a legal point at all. Pointing out where alarmist pseudo-scientific advocates want to have their cake and eat it too would have been in character. Alas …

    Now don’t pick a fight with me over this. Be a stud and let it go. Let this thread be IN character.

  28. Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 1:19 PM | Permalink

    Just finished a book titled ‘Ingenious Pursuits” by Lisa Jardine. The last sentence of the book:

    “As for the rest of us, we may not be able to follow the details of the scientist’s proofs, but we are entitled to explanations we can understand. In return, scientists deserve to see us occasionally delighted by the beauty of the explanations they offer. We have been exploring the world around us scientifically for less than four centuries: we have only just started the process of understanding it. The questions have barely begun to be asked, but all of us will be implicated in the answers.”

  29. Gunnar
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 1:21 PM | Permalink

    bender, not picking a fight, just pointing out that it is out of character since it is not auditing a scientific paper. Isn’t that the point of this site? That entry was talking about the messenger. SteveM even admitted that he wrote it because he was frustrated about not being able to respond on RC. By your logic, he should have swallowed his frustration, and responded here.

  30. Pat Keating
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 1:28 PM | Permalink

    24 Andrew
    Thanks for the link. However, that is what I called arm waving (though the presentation is well done).

    It is now clear that I should have given you a better feel for where I am coming from. I am a PhD theoretical physicist, and am looking for the kind of thing I would expect to find in a good review paper on the subject in a scientific journal, and not a layman’s introduction.

    However, the fault is not yours — you had every reason to pitch it at the level you did, since you didn’t have the necessary info to do otherwise. You probably thought I was one of those ignorant yokels…:)

  31. Susann
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 1:39 PM | Permalink

    Susann, the instrumental surface temperature record is biased and the paleoclimate studies are biased, and the GCMs are methodologically biased. Let’s focus on these facts, shall we? What do all these biases add up to?

    I’m glad to focus on those facts, but I really don’t know what they add up to other than reinforcing the need to be careful when doing research, analysing data, drawing conclusions and, from my perspective, making policy.

    Bias and error are part of science, and from what I know of it, the scientific method is intended to account for it as much as is possible. The issue to me is not whether there are errors in research or papers. I expect that any close examination of research that uses large data sets in any science discipline would reveal errors. The most important question, at least to me, seems to be what the consequences are for any conclusions that have been based on the erroneous data. Are the data errors fatal to the initial conclusions ? Do they negate the original conclusions? Do they change the conclusions enough to undermine the underlying theory?

    The chaotic and non-linear nature of a phenomenon like global climate adds a further potential for error, bias and uncertainty just because it is so complex. Do we throw up our hands and say — can’t do it. Can’t capture its complexity. Can’t make any claims or draw conclusons about it? No. We try to do better, be more accurate, develop better measures, account for error in a more systematic way. As a consequence of that complexity and the difficulty in capturing and explaining it, all conclusions have to be, at least in the eary days in the development of a science, provisional, contingent and subject to revision as better data is obtained and better methods of measurement are developed.

    It is important to uncover and account for biases and errors in the data used to support theories and policies. Whatever errors there may be in the instrumental surface temperature record or satellite record, those errors do not negate the phenomena of the melting of the Arctic sea ice, Greenland ice sheet, and mountain glaciers around the world. So to me, while its important to uncover the errors in the data and correct for them, there are real phenomena to explain. So far, I have seen evidence of sloppy data collection and manipulation, improper methods to analyse data and over-reaching based on that data. Have these errors underminded the conclusions on which they were based and have they added up to enough to overturn the theory of AGW?

    That’s why I’m here. To learn the science and errors and uncertainties so I can judge. Right now, I am still looking at paleoclimate. It’s huge. There are many issues. Surface temperature records and errors in the data — I’ve only just brushed the very surface of that branch of climate science in reading threads here and elsewhere. I really have no insight into the science and its sources of error to offer, at least at this point.

  32. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 1:45 PM | Permalink

    Well in that case the problem is probably that your smarter than the average climatologist (literally, the only profession that comes close to physics IQ wise is mathematics).

    Obviously most of the explanations are on pretty low level. I think I’ve explained why already.

    The closest thing to a technical explanation I could find:

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2007/06/realclimate-saturated-confusion.html

    (scroll down or search for “ABC of greenhouse effect”

    Lubos is himself a Theoretical physicist, though the explanation, being on the internet, is necessarily still simple. He nevertheless gets into things like absorption spectra and energy budgets, etc. Despite the name, he still gets more technical than the average explanation.

    I would certainly never call you or anyone else and ignorant yokel, Pat, unless they proved worthy of the moniker. On the other hand, you seem to be an intelligent person who asks good questions. Sorry if I seemed patronizing.

  33. Peter D. Tillman
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 2:12 PM | Permalink

    Climate Engineering

    A topic that’s aways interested me, though it’s mostly taboo among warmer purists. SCIENCE has an interesting conference report and discussion at http://www.sciencemag.org/hottopics/geoengineering/ –free access, though not to the article itself, dammit. RC’s own Raypierre is quoted worrying that a successful climate-engineering program could, if interrupted by war (or whatever), lead to a catastrophic 7ºC temp rise in just 30 years… Really.

    There are a couple of new-to-me ideas here, along with the predictable handwringing by the priesthood, who worry that the public will be less likely to support their expensive social-engineering if cheap climate-engineering might work. One can almost smell the incense in the temple…

    It would be nice to see a thread discussing climate engineering here, though this may be too peripheral to SM’s interests.

    Best for 2008, Pete Tillman
    [reposted from the very end of Unthreaded #28, where it first appeared moments before comments were closed there]

  34. Erik Ramberg
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 2:22 PM | Permalink

    Re: #12 on the new thread

    This is an example of the absolute worst of this blog. Andrew has said, without any provocation whatsoever, that I think “deniers are stupid ignorant yokels” and that I “think that I need to prove to some morons that the world is warming”.

    I would ask that Andrew retract these statements. I never said, nor do I believe, either of them. I do not feel that I am a ‘genius’ and I do not believe ‘I understand things way better than other people’. I did not write any condescending text whatsoever.

    In fact, Andrew, the comment about 1st grade math disproving AGW was NOT made by me – it was made in the post I referenced!! (#1 in this thread) I repeat: someone else made the comment about 1st grade math and I don’t agree with it! READ THE TEXT!

  35. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 2:38 PM | Permalink

    I would like to apologize for accusing you of being the origin of the first grade math argument. My criticism of the comment still stands.

    As for the rest of what I thought you said, it seemed obvious to me that from your comment that is what you were trying to do, since I can’t see how talking about melting glaciers does anything other than support that the earth is warming, or something is changing. The point is that this is evidence for any theory that predicts warming, not just AGW.

    I would like to apologize for assuming that you thought you knew better. So, I suppose you don’t think so, but it seemed to me that you thought that a lot of people, particularly the one you attacked in the first place, have missed the bus. Tell me, Erik, have I missed the bus? Or am I just being reasonable? Or would you not know, not being condescending and all?

  36. Pat Keating
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 2:47 PM | Permalink

    Andrew

    You have nothing to apologize for — you had no idea of my background. Anyway, I am a newbie to the climatology area, and in an information-gathering mode. Thanks for the new link.

  37. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 2:48 PM | Permalink

    Guess my point is, Erik, that it is wrong to think that this blog does anything specifically to undermine AGW, but it is also wrong to think that the work here is worthless, and not having an impact on our understanding of AGW. You presumably don’t like this blog because it has taken away some of your favorite arguments. Well, if this blog took away a major skeptical argument, would you still have a vehement hatred of it? I think not. Would I suddenly hate it? Absolutely not. The most important thing we can do is check the facts. That way we can have a reasonable discussion. I welcome an audit of all claims, both of skeptics, and alarmists. Frankly, I think it is unfortunate that less time has been devoted to checking skeptics facts, but Steve did, after all, find errors in something used by the IPCC first, and, after all, the prevailing notions must be held up to scrutiny to ensure that they deserve to be the prevailing notions. So far, we can’t definitively say that the errors seen so far make the theory wrong, but they do make the evidence it once stood on less strong.

  38. Erik Ramberg
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 2:57 PM | Permalink

    #35:

    Andrew –

    Again with putting words in my mouth: where did I ever say anything about you ‘missing the bus’? At what point am I ‘attacking’ someone? I very much wish you would leave this kind of argument out.

    Here is a simple, very well backed statement that you can take as my default position. I have never seen it refuted on this blog and it is something that Steve M. apparently believes:

    “The undeniable anthropogenic source of rising CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere is quite likely a cause of warming of the lower atmosphere and surface, with potentially severe consequences for animal and plant species.”

    Erik

  39. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 3:06 PM | Permalink

    Very well, Erik, although I was in no way trying to argue that your personal position on the issue was wrong. But how would you like my take, huh?

    “There has been a recent rising of greenhouse gases, and this is probably of an anthropogenic origin. In theory and in practice, this should mean that the earth warms. Well, looking at the temperature records, even taking flaws into account, we find warming coinciding with CO2 etc. on the rise. However, certain inconsistencies in the precise predictions made by the theory with what has actually happened lead us to wonder if our attribution of recent warming mostly to greenhouse gas build up might be wrong. It is possible that the way we suppose the climate to work is at least partly erroneous, and that natural variations, owing to various non-anthropogenic effects, could be more powerful than is supposed. If this is the case, then Greenhouse Gas warming would not be nearly as bad as supposed, and indeed, may have some benefits.”

  40. Mike Davis
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 3:07 PM | Permalink

    Susann:
    Maybe this will make your search easier.
    Climate is regional not global.
    The greatest variations will be further from the equator or at the higher altitudes.
    You may already know these things but realizing this helped me find the answers I was looking for.

  41. Susann
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 3:20 PM | Permalink

    I’m sure an exobiologist would think there is such a thing as global climate, Mike Davis. If global climate is a misnomer, it is certainly pervasive among climate scientists. :)

  42. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 3:23 PM | Permalink

    Reading your comment again, I see in fact there is only one point on which I absolutely disagree with you, but lets look closely, shall we?

    “The undeniable anthropogenic source of rising CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere is quite likely a cause of warming of the lower atmosphere and surface, with potentially severe consequences for animal and plant species.”

    Emphasis mine.

    Fine, I agree that the attribution of the recent CO2 rise is probably (perhaps even “undeniably”, I have no reason to doubt it) due to man. This quite likely is a cause of warming. I doubt that it is the cause. I completely disagree, however with the idea that it would have “severe consequences” for plants/animals. Life is far more resilient than that.

    “something that Steve M. apparently believes”

    That is no reason for me to believe it, anymore than “the UN says so” (not that you said that, mind you.)

    But once again, you misunderstand the purpose of this blog. The reason that “argument” wasn’t refuted here is because it has nothing to do with this blog what so ever. Why don’t you take it up with real “deniers” huh?

  43. Raven
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 3:24 PM | Permalink

    “The undeniable anthropogenic source of rising CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere is quite likely a cause of warming of the lower atmosphere and surface, with potentially severe consequences for animal and plant species.”

    There are a lot of qualifiers in that sentence.

    CO2 causes some warming – the science is clear on that. However, the science cannot quantify that warming with any accuracy because it is not possible to seperate the effect of CO2 warming from the other factors that affect climate. For that reason you cannot make the claim that CO2 is ‘likely’ the cause of warming – it is one cause among many and is likely balanced by factors that cause cooling.

    There is also no evidence that warming is bad for plants and animals as a whole. Some species may lose but others may gain. Life on this planet is incredibly adaptable. The general consensus before 1990 was that warmer is better. That is why previous warm periods were called ‘optimums’.

  44. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 3:27 PM | Permalink

    Now now Raven, he said “a” cause of warming. ;)
    Though I’m sure that is closer to what he meant to say (and I’m prepared to be wrong, if Erik wants to yell at me again).

  45. Neil McEvoy
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 3:30 PM | Permalink

    Erik, can you answer the specific questions that you were posed following your initial post in this thread?

  46. eric mcfarland
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 3:30 PM | Permalink

    Steve — thanks for giving us a general forum. I hope you will not delete my comments here as you have from other forums.

    In the business world, people clearly understand the problem posed when a conflict of interest arises. For example, when information comes from a party that stands to profit from that information or the impact of that information, the recipient wisely will question and/or discount that information to account for the conflict.

    Here’s a question, then: Should all of the players involved in this debate, including Steve McIntyre, disclose (in good faith) all of their financial interests (past … present … public … private) so that the public, including journalists, can fairly assess whether or not a conflict of interest exists? For example, it is very likely that Steve McIntyre continues to have strong financial stakes in industries that depend highly upon being able to release mass amounts of CO2 in the environment – and at no cost. Would that not present a conflict of interest that we should know about in connection with this debate? If not, why?

    Thanks again for this open forum.

    Eric McFarland

    Steve: I’ve updated the FAQ statement using the Nature declaration of competing financial interests and do not have any.

  47. eric mcfarland
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 3:39 PM | Permalink

    Has anyone ever found any errors in Keeling’s Curve?

  48. Mike Davis
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 3:41 PM | Permalink

    Susann
    The way I see it is that we do not have enough accurate information on a global level to try to detrmine the global climate. However we do have regional histories so that we can study regional climate changes for shorter periods and some info to study longer periods. On the shorter time scales different regions cancle each other out.
    During the last 10,000 years there is a lot of evidence for a wide variation in temp. but by piling it into one bucket and estimating areas they did not have accurate information for it appears as if the variations were not that great.

  49. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 3:49 PM | Permalink

    Not that I know of, Eric, but what’s your point? The usual, “Oh, CO2 goes up, causes warming, which is not inconsistent with a cursory look at the data.” or something? Once again: the “goal” of this blog is the truth, and it has nothing to do with “disproving” the Keeling Curve. Why is it that people think that CO2 is the main cause of warming? Because it isn’t inconsistent with observations? Well neither is a theory that invisible elephants are causing the warming. Okay, that’s not fair. The invisible elephants only account for a small fraction of the warming ;). The reality is that you could come up with a theory that CO2 is not as strong of an influence on climate as supposed, and other factors are stronger. That to is entirely consistent with the most basic observations.

  50. John M
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

    Eric #48

    Has anyone ever found any errors in Keeling’s Curve?

    Not as far as I know. What’s your point? Who are you trying to start an argument with?

  51. eric mcfarland
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 4:00 PM | Permalink

    Andrew #50:
    Since the beginning of the IndRev., a global warming of 1.13F has ocurred on our planet, and its primary cause is an increase in atmospheric CO2 from around 3 parts per 10,000 to just under 4. See e.g. I.I. Mokhov, “Estimations of Global and Regional Climate Changes during the 19th and 20th Centuries on the Basis of the IAP RAS Model with Consideration of Anthropogenic Forcing,” Izvestiya Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics 38 (2002): 555-68.

  52. Arthur Smith
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 4:11 PM | Permalink

    Ron Cram (#23 for now) – thanks for the links (note that I did not originally post on Unthreaded #28, my comments were moved there for some reason, and all the references I made to earlier posts lost).

    However, I’m quite familiar with all the arguments. I was pointed to this site recently because I was told it (as top science blog of 2007!) would reform my opinion on AGW. I was looking for the best articles posted here that support a few of the views that seem to be repeatedly expressed by the commenters. But all but one of your links are to other websites, not this one, and the one internal link you provided (http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1718) starts off on a pretty wrong foot by claiming:

    One of the main IPCC creeds is that the urban heat island effect has a negligible impact on large-scale averages such as CRU or GISS.

    when in fact, as I hope everybody knows, GISS and CRU correct for urban heat island effects. The purpose of Parker’s paper discussed in that link was in fact to test that correction by comparing data for calm and windy days, not to test whether there was any UHI at all. Nobody disagrees that urban areas are warmer – that’s one of the things GISS studies directly! Steve’s complete premise in that post is wrong, as pointed out by Steve Milesworthy in comment #36 on that page. A comment that nobody apparently responded to! Or acknowledged in the hundreds of follow-on comments (though I haven’t read them all). If that’s typical of discussion on this site I’m not impressed!

    The other responses my questions have received (including from Steve McIntyre) have suggested just reading the archives on this site. Well, I’ve tried. I clicked on the “Surface Record” topic and saw a long list of very specific articles with nothing big-picture at all. Where’s the summary analysis of what the “audit” has come up with? You make a very strong claim:

    my guess is that up to half of the observed warming is not real but is an artifact of these poorly sited stations

    – where’s the “audit” on that claim? You make a numerical claim, you must have numbers to back it up, right? Where are they? I don’t see anything on this site that supports anything like that claim at all.

    And similarly for my other questions. I’m not interested in other non peer-reviewed articles or reports or websites, I’m interested in what this site has to say in support of these claims by people here. Or if the work that’s been done in “auditing” doesn’t support those claims, let’s be clear that it doesn’t, not make vague references that just “reading the archives” will resolve such questions.

    I’m not averse to reading – I’ve read a large fraction of the IPCC AR4 WG1 report for instance. But that’s only about 900 pages – apparently there are over 2500 web pages on this site. Point me to the ones that actually prove something interesting. Thanks.

  53. Arthur Smith
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 4:25 PM | Permalink

    Question – I have a comment I just posted (#58) – that’s shown to me as “awaiting moderation”. Did I do something wrong? Other comments have appeared after mine. Just wondering as I’m pretty new here.

    Steve: you probably triggered the filter because you are new. I manually cleared it.

  54. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 4:29 PM | Permalink

    Arthur,

    You may have neglected to type in the code requested. That happened to me once and I got the same message.

    BTW, did you see my rather lengthy response to your questions in Unthreaded #28? By the time I answered, we were into Unthreaded #29. Mine response is comment #23.

  55. John M
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 4:31 PM | Permalink

    #58

    You can start by going to the FAQ section on the left side of the this page (last item).

    Also, for more, you can look here.
    snip

  56. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 4:37 PM | Permalink

    Susann re:41,

    Global climate (global temp, global precip, etc.) is an aggregate of regional climates. Even solar variability impacts certain regions more than others. How it does so is not intuitive. If you think of global climate as a monolith, you will not be thinking with precision.

    Yes, it is possible to conceive of climate on a global scale, but one should try to understand regional climate and natural annual variability before trying to theorize on a global scale. If more scientists would do this, we would have fewer articles about how the climate is on a “record” pace like this one. The Northwest Passage opened up in 1905 and 1944. And both times the sea ice was back the next year. There is no reason to expect the arctic sea ice not to be back in 2008.

  57. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 4:39 PM | Permalink

    Susann re:41,

    You should probably also read the paper Pielke discusses here about the climate seesawing back and forth between the North and South Atlantic Oceans. It puts some regional climate issues into perspective.

  58. Arthur Smith
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 4:40 PM | Permalink

    Ron – #68 (as I see it) – yes, that’s what happened, I clicked the back button to save what I’d typed, then tried going forward again and got an error, but it’s still listed. Oh well.

    What I was trying to post was indeed a response to your #23.

  59. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 4:42 PM | Permalink

    On the other hand, if the CO2 hypothesis is proven wrong then the scientists that pushed it will be discredited and would suffer professionally and personally. A fear of humuliation is a powerful source of bias – more powerful than money in my opinion.

    Maybe. But…

    Paul Ehrlich of “Population Bomb” fame and a famous lost wager with Julian Simon didn’t seem to suffer professionally. Nor did Stephen Schneider, who was one of the scientists publishing concerns about global cooling in the 1970s. These guys aren’t warming their hands over a fire in a trashcan like the inventor of New Coke probably is. They have elite positions and roles.

  60. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 4:48 PM | Permalink

    RE #46

    Eric – Steve M is not debating global warming here, he is looking at the facts in various papers and activities – in other words – THE TRUTH. So you go ahead and prove it.
    He is also doing it on his own dime. His hobby is statistics.
    snip
    Then, you can answer the question that Steve and others have: a) Where is the detailed analysis of how the 2.5C temperature change is arrived at from a doubling of CO2.
    Then there is a second question b) Name one scientific study which MEASURES the percent or amount of warming that is caused by CO2.

  61. Gunnar
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 4:55 PM | Permalink

    >> Would that not present a conflict of interest that we should know about in connection with this debate? If not, why?

    Only if it were a pure political debate. I always point out that politics is the driving force here, but here you confirm it by logical implication.

    You see, in Science, there is no reason to debate. The argument is settled using the scientific method, ie experiments. The argument should only be over which experiment to perform, the flaws in experiments, and the meaning of the resulting data.
    And before you give the common objection “but we don’t have an earth to experiment with”, you don’t need a global experiment. If that was true, we could not study the sun, galaxy, ocean, plate tectonics etc. If AGW proponents assert a physical phenomena, they should then specify the hypothesis clearly, and design an experiment to duplicate the effect.

    Since no one has done that, the AGW argument consists of a mere correlation, like wet sidewalks cause rain. Steve M is neutral on the subject, but audits the claims of a correlation.

    As Raven explains well in #3, the behaviour of the proponents indicate strongly that they themselves understand that the essence of their argument rests squarely on the idea that the temperatures have never been this high (hence all the jokes on this site about unpreecedented in a milliooon years). This argument is very weak from a logical point of view.

    Now, if it were me, with time and money, I would have taken a different more scientifically minded approach. I would have assembled a team of scientists and engineers and constructed experiments that either prove or disprove the scientific hypothesis. However, I often dig too deep, resulting in expensive overkill, rather than exactly what is needed. When all else fails, read the error message.

    Steve M simply took aim at the only support that AGW proponents have rested their case on, and shot his statistical arrow at it, and it collapsed. A good auditor doesn’t have to prove that there really is no gold in dem dere hills, he just needs to show that the proponents didn’t show that there was.

    So, if you have some evidence, like experimental data, I’m anxious to hear about it. If you claim a physical phenomena cannot be duplicated, then it’s magic. And your appeal is for people to make a leap of faith.

  62. Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 5:00 PM | Permalink

    82: Eric, you’re not paying attention. To be honest I’ve been lurking here for awhile and I haven’t a clue as to where Steve stands on AGW and I don’t think it matters. Auditing information that’s being used to make trillion-dollar policy decisions, that matters and needs to be done.

    And you’re asking for transparency? There’s plenty of it here. Please contact Michael Mann at Penn State and ask him the very same thing. Lonnie Thompson, et. al. too.

  63. Gunnar
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 5:17 PM | Permalink

    >> What you are doing is trying to attack the person rather than dealing with the science.

    How ironic! http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2536#comment-184990

    It’s amazing that you can take opposite sides of this issue within 24 hours. The only thing different is the person being targeted. Note to self: design interview questions to root out yes men.

  64. bender
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 5:24 PM | Permalink

    You know what the irony is, Eric? Steve M saw this shiny glossy hockey stick in an IPCC report, some rather unlikely error bars, and thought “geez, looks like a slick marketing device for some risky little mining stock offering. I wonder who’s backing this and why.” Pretty funny, hunh? And now the California bristlecone pines are going to cost you a global carbon tax. Ha ha! But it’ll save the planet. Ha ha. And it’ll get the dems in office. And …

    we are the team
    we are the high priests
    we are the ones with irrefutable logic
    gonna ccol you down

  65. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 5:30 PM | Permalink

    I’ve added the following update to the FAQ:

    Do you have any competing financial interests that, through their potential influence on behavior or content or from perception of such potential influences, could undermine the objectivity, integrity or perceived value of a publication (including postings at this blog)?

    The above statement is taken from Nature here, which states:

    Competing financial interests are defined as those that, through their potential influence on behavior or content or from perception of such potential influences, could undermine the objectivity, integrity or perceived value of a publication. They may include any of the following:

    Funding: Support for a research program (including salaries, equipment, supplies, reimbursement for attending symposia, and other expenses) by organizations that may gain or lose financially through publication of this paper.

    Employment: Recent (i.e. while engaged in this research project), present or anticipated employment by any organization that may gain or lose financially through publication of this paper.

    Personal financial interests: stocks or shares in companies that may gain or lose financially through publication; consultation fees or other forms of remuneration from organizations that may gain or lose financially; patents or patent applications whose value may be affected by publication.

    The answer is that I do not.

  66. Susann
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 5:31 PM | Permalink

    Eric, I think it is important to know what interests the main players have in the outcome of the AGW debate. To do that, it would be necessary to know the financial interests the main players have on either side. Disclosure of bias is important in assessing the reliability of the research produced and the degree to which these biases might influence the outcome of research.

    That said, I do think it is possible to examine what Steve McIntyre has done in its own right aside from the politics of the debate and and personal financial interests he may have in the outcome. He (and McKittrick) did point out flaws and errors in MBH98 etc. and in the Hansen data. Even the NAS report agreed with this. His motives in doing so, whatever they may be, do not negate those errors.

    I think the task is to address those errors head-on and see if they make a difference. If not, at least they produce better science. If they do, it’s better to know that in advance. You may see this “auditing” the science as diversionary. It may well end up being that way. I’m trying to understand all of this better so I can judge that for myself.

  67. Susann
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 5:43 PM | Permalink

    it wouldn’t change the demonstrable facts one bit.
    1. The instrumental surface temperature record is warm-biased.
    2. The paleoclimatic studies are warm-biased.

    I think that’s a bit premature. A few studies do not make a sound case either way. Have those studies suggesting that the paleoclimate and instrumental surface temperature record is warm bised been rigorously audited and replicated? If it was wrong to run with MBH98 and claim anything about the 20th century warming, it’s just as wrong to run with a couple of journal articles to claim the opposite.

  68. bender
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 5:54 PM | Permalink

    I suspect what motivates Steve M, Susann, is that he has a great story to tell about climate science coverup. And every day it just gets better and better. From the censored directory to the starbucks hypothesis (Steve M will NEVER make it up that mountain. Not without his cinnamon dulce latte going cold.) to the check-kiting of manuscripts. It’s not the errors, dear. It’s the bias. It’s the guard dogs. And the flying screaming monkeys. Why are they screaming? I just want to see the equations …

  69. M. Jeff
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 5:57 PM | Permalink

    93 John M says:

    December 30th, 2007 at 5:21 pm
    #83

    Why do you keep saying people here are opposed to transparency? I responded to you and gave you some leads, and you have no comment on them. Not enough pay stubs for you?

    I believe your reference to #83 should be to #81

  70. John M
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 6:02 PM | Permalink

    M.Jeff

    Zamboni effect.

  71. Bob Tisdale
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 6:03 PM | Permalink

    Wouldn’t it be best to just ignore the likes of Eric McFarland? Tough to do, but he’s occupied the majority of this thread since he arrived. A lot of lurkers, like me,come here to learn. It’s normally a good place to do that.

    If you ignore him, he’ll go away.

  72. bender
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 6:03 PM | Permalink

    #79 I am right and you are wrong, so let’s fight.

    I said they are warm-biased. No more.

    Surface record. The Y2K error is sufficient proof. QED. Then there is the Parker UHI whoopsie. That one will be corrected soon enough. Then there is the Watts effect. That one will take a while to clear up. But the biases so far are: warm, warm, warm.

    Paleoclimate. Divergence means the past was warmer than the proxies suggest. The young dendros are still figuring this out. bender is just a few years ahead of them. Did I say MWP was warmer than CWP? No. Only that MWP is cool-biased. QED.

    Where I am vulnerable is not (1) or (2), but (3) – the GCMs.

    Your turn.

  73. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 6:05 PM | Permalink

    Re:52 (for now)

    Arthur,

    You paint a completely different picture in comment #58 than I got from your first posting. In the first post you write

    There are claims being repeatedly bandied about here that seem to rely on previous discussions on this site – but nobody ever provides links to back up their assertions.

    From this I assumed you wanted links to appropriate literature, whether on this site or others. Perhaps an adjustment of expectations is in order. Steve McIntyre has focused on temperature reconstructions. He is the expert on anything related to that literature. He has audited all of the major papers and shown that there is no independent verification of the Hockey Stick.

    Anthony Watts is a regular poster here and sometimes post guest blogs. I was shocked you did not know about him. Try using the Search function for CA on the upper right to read threads by Anthony Watts

    Other posters here have interests in other aspects of the science. Sometimes we have threads by others like Leif Svalgaard (a solar physicist) or Gerald Browning (on computer modeling) or UC or lucia (statisticians). Not all of these people are skeptics. Many of the other posters are regular visitors and may have read scientific papers you have not read. If they make a comment that you would like to see them support, ask them to support it. Someone will usually respond to you.

    Are you now saying you have read all of my links and did not learn anything? You already knew 85% of surface stations had a warm bias? You already knew the NAS had said strip bark trees were not a temperature proxy? You already knew Greenland was warmer 1,000 years ago than it is today? You had already read Schwartz’s paper showing that climate sensitivity is only 1/3 of the IPCC estimate? You had already read all of those papers and web pages? If so, I am amazed because you sounded like you wanted links to read.

    Regarding GISS adjusting for UHI, yes that is true. I am not certain if it is true for CRU or not. AFAIK, Jones has not released his data and methods, which is very unscientific of him and this almost ubiquitous practice of not archiving data methods is one of the common complaints of CA.

    The IPCC claims UHI is not significant mainly because of the Peterson paper (2006). Pielke refuted the Peterson paper here.

    Pielke blogged about IPCC bias here.

    Regarding my guess that up to half of the observed warming may not be real, it is a guess and has not been audited. However, the guess was supported by my link to the McKitrick paper. Since it is a recent paper, it has not been audited yet. If you wish to audit it, do so and provide Steve McIntyre with your comments. If it is worthy, Steve may post a thread on it here. You may also want to audit the work done by Anthony Watts. If you can find any errors in his approach or statistics, I am certain he would like to know so he could improve his work.

    Also, your expectation that every comment be supported by an audit or link inside ClimateAudit is most unrealistic. A good many of the papers I linked to were peer-reviewed papers that other posters probably had in mind when making their comments.

  74. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 6:08 PM | Permalink

    Sorry about the numbering. I’ve deleted some posts that were not about scientific matters.

  75. Susann
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 6:10 PM | Permalink

    I suspect what motivates Steve M, Susann, is that he has a great story to tell about climate science coverup. And every day it just gets better and better. From the censored directory to the starbucks hypothesis (Steve M will NEVER make it up that mountain. Not without his cinnamon dulce latte going cold.) to the check-kiting of manuscripts. It’s not the errors, dear. It’s the bias. It’s the guard dogs. And the flying screaming monkeys. Why are they screaming? I just want to see the equations …

    bender, I don’t know what motivates Steve, but you’re cooking up a great story. Sounds like something I might like to read on a warm summer weekend at the beach. That said, all those biases you report: the question is, what was being covered? Those “biases” could alternatively be innocent errors and not part of any cover-up at all. I’ll hold off judgement until you have proof that they are part of a cover-up intended to deceive about the greater issue — AGW. As an agnostic / skeptic, I have to keep open the possibiltiy that those instances may also have been mere errors or a sign of sloppy science rather than an attempt to mislead about AGW. It’s quite possible to cook up a grand conspiracy theory to explain the most innocent details. Look at the wild speculation about my own identity and motives. :)

  76. bender
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 6:11 PM | Permalink

    #72 re-number was a challenge to #67 re-number.

  77. Gunnar
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 6:12 PM | Permalink

    It’s not your fault. The blog software should be presenting a number assigned at creation time. Then, when the zamboni comes through, the comments would just show skipped numbers, 3,6,22.

  78. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 6:14 PM | Permalink

    Susann,

    Out of curiousity, have you read this paper? It is the English translation of an great article in a Dutch science magazine.

  79. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 6:17 PM | Permalink

    Wow, a lot has happened since I left, but I feel I need to correct somethings:

    In reference to the belief that half of warming may be due to biases in th record, Arthur wrote:

    “where’s the “audit” on that claim? You make a numerical claim, you must have numbers to back it up, right? Where are they? I don’t see anything on this site that supports anything like that claim at all.”

    He’s apparently suddenly become a real audit lover! But I agreed. Care to try it, Arthur? I’m not very good at this sort of thing.

    And Eric responded to me:

    “Since the beginning of the IndRev., a global warming of 1.13F has ocurred on our planet, and its primary cause is an increase in atmospheric CO2 from around 3 parts per 10,000 to just under 4. See e.g. I.I. Mokhov, “Estimations of Global and Regional Climate Changes during the 19th and 20th Centuries on the Basis of the IAP RAS Model with Consideration of Anthropogenic Forcing,” Izvestiya Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics 38 (2002): 555-68.”

    Which is a fancy way of saying “I know because so-and-so who is a big scientist at a big institution said so.” Well, I can understand that certain people (lets call them Scientismists) take every claim like this on faith. Well, that’s not scientific. What is? Looking at the evidence. I don’t believe things a priori due to religious notions of infallible scientists, I check the facts. Usually, scientists haven’t exaggerated the basis of their theories and I have no reason to doubt them. This is not the case. But the point, once again, of this blog, is not to undermine AGW theory. It is to check the claims about temperature reconstructions etc. which are used in understanding the theory.

    Incidentally, the accusations that I’m against transparency, which were directed at others also, don’t make sense. The work being done here is all about a particular kind of transparency: data and method transparency. Steve may or may not have “motives” but from what I can tell he doesn’t, and he sure doesn’t act like it. You aren’t against transparency, are you? Defending the clearly non-transparent behavior of the Team, seems to me you are.

    Actually, if Hansen wins, it doesn’t change his funding. He works for NASA not the IPCC. Also, the bills that are frequently proposed to address AGW usually include an increase in research funding, so while you are logically correct, the US government and the UN don’t operate under principles of logic. It’s called bureaucracy ever heard of it?

    Steve has addressed your motive questions, he isn’t in the pocket of Exxon Mobil. (who, incidentally, claim to “care about climate change” here you go:

    Exxon Mobil spokesman Gantt H. Walton dismissed the accusation, saying the company is concerned about climate-change issues and does not pay scientists to bash global-warming theories.

    “Recycling of that kind of discredited conspiracy theory is nothing more than a distraction from the real challenge facing society and the energy industry,” he said. “And that challenge is how are we going to provide the energy needed to support economic and social development while reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.”)

    But of course he would say that. ;)

  80. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 6:18 PM | Permalink

    Susann,

    Out of curiousity, have you read this paper? It is the English translation of an great article in a Dutch science magazine.

    Due to a computer glitch, this looks like a duplicate comment. I hope this added line makes the comment go through.

  81. Arthur Smith
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 6:22 PM | Permalink

    Ron Cram (#73), for every one of your peer-reviewed outside papers or claims I can find at least a dozen or so in the IPCC reports that disagree. How do I decide between these claims? An objective analysis would have to weigh the evidence from all the different sources, not just look at the papers supporting one particular point of view. I had assumed there were such clear analyses presented somewhere here; apparently not?

    Anyway, I guess I’ll take a look at McKitrick’s paper if nobody can come up with something better.

  82. welikerocks
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 6:26 PM | Permalink

    #75 Susann, please keep mind that you talking about fractions of temperature, less than 1C.Take a look at the Hockey Stick graph again and the numbers it’s plotting. Sloppy errors? If so the margin for error is larger then the factions they propose is the showing “warming”. That’s why the scientists I know shake their heads. Misleading: joe public not knowing this. Paleoclimate data comes from Geology and archeology, and biology etc… All well established sciences that does not argue over fractions of temperature like this. You cant know fractions of temperature from the past in time scales of a few years, or 100, even 500 yrs, that amount of time is too small to see.

  83. bender
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 6:26 PM | Permalink

    Yes, innocent errors, that must be it.

    The pseudoscientific home-baked statistics, the self-interested data protectionism, the drive to “get rid of the MWP”, the unquestioning faith in computer models – these things are not symptomatic of any larger issue in how climate science is conducted or how it is taught in graduate schools.

    Yes, um, that is possible.

  84. Susann
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 6:27 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for the paper, Ron. I’ve put it in the queue along with the others. I skimmed it, but I am skeptical of any claims that the whole of AGW is refuted based on MM’s work or that of any other single researcher.

  85. bender
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 6:31 PM | Permalink

    You haven’t been reading the blog archives at all, Susann. Otherwise you would know that it’s NOT called a “conspiracy” when it’s structured this way. It’s more like a tragedy of the commons. “It’s no skin of my nose if the truth gets nipped by a precautionary principle.” Your homework is to find the phrase that describes this kind of non-conspiratorial belief network.

    Please eat your words. They will taste better now than later.

  86. Susann
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 6:33 PM | Permalink

    Bender, I’ve read MBH, MM, Wegman, NAS and others. Haven’t come to a full conclusion yet, but I don’t see unequivocal evidence that there is a conspiracy to deceive the public about AGW. I see potential evidence that there was an attempt to hide sloppy science and I see the use of inappropriate data and methods to reconstruct paleoclimate, but that is not, in my view, evidence of some fraud or hoax. It is possibly evidence of a legitimate scientific debate about proper methods and sources of data. It happens in science.

  87. Susann
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 6:34 PM | Permalink

    Please eat your words. They will taste better now than later.

    We’ll see who eats what words, Bender. :) Now is not the time to be eating anything. The jury is out.

  88. Dan
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 6:35 PM | Permalink

    I understand the sentiment behind Jyran’s initial comment. I’m not a scientist – and I’m just beginning to understand the scope of what is talked about here (it’s like a giant Sudoku puzzle for me). But it riles me when I see Al Gore on the Today Show claiming that those who doubt AGW are on the same intellectual level as “Flat Earthers”. I’m tired of others being sneered at for their carbon consumption. And I feel bad for my children’s friends who are deeply worried about their future on this planet.

    Like Jyran, I want to find the specific data points that can topple the house of cards and move on. I realize that this is not the point of Climate Audit.

    Still, it’s been an eye-opener for me.

  89. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 6:37 PM | Permalink

    Susann,

    I gave you that paper not because it refutes AGW by itself but because it shows unethical behavior by Mann. Note specifically the UNCENSORED folder. I do not know how anyone can read the paper and not come to the same conclusion.

  90. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 6:37 PM | Permalink

    My question is: how many inaccuracies have to be unearthed before they start counting? You can’t simply cast off an error because it’s “small” or “only one” because eventually all the individual and small errors begin to actually add up. That only takes a 1st grade understanding of mathematics to figure out….

    Jyran #1

    Remember the Monte Python skit where Arthur is fighting the black knight? First he cuts of one arm, then another, then a leg, then another leg and still the black knight wants to fight.

    That is your visual.

  91. Wansbeck
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 6:38 PM | Permalink

    Factually correct statements are often dismissed by some of the more devout on the grounds that the messenger is in the pocket of large fuel companies. Have any of these people ever done an AGW cost/benefit analysis for larger companies?

    At present the output of many oil and gas producers is limited only by the bursting points of their pipelines. At the same time these are often multi-national companies with fingers in many pies. They see the marketing potential of AGW and are predicting multi-billion dollar revenues from ‘green’ products.
    Why would they want to spend money rubbishing AGW?

  92. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 6:38 PM | Permalink

    Arthur,

    Fine, start with McKitrick’s paper. I’ve only read the abstract myself, so I would not be able to answer any questions on it. But McKitrick posts here on occasion and may be available to answer any question you have on his paper.

    At a minimum, you should also read the presentation Watts gave to UCAR. Pielke has photos on his website of surface stations outside the US, so this is not just a US only problem. Come back when you have other questions.

  93. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 6:39 PM | Permalink

    Ron Cram (#73), for every one of your peer-reviewed outside papers or claims I can find at least a dozen or so in the IPCC reports that disagree. How do I decide between these claims? An objective analysis would have to weigh the evidence from all the different sources, not just look at the papers supporting one particular point of view. I had assumed there were such clear analyses presented somewhere here; apparently not?

    Anyway, I guess I’ll take a look at McKitrick’s paper if nobody can come up with something better.

    Emphasis mine.

    Ah, that’s your problem right there. However, you raise a good point. One must weigh the evidence nothing more or less. So why do you need something “better” than McKitrick’s paper? I thought you weren’t weighing sources?

    Rightfully so Susann, but the point of these individually papers is hardly ever that by themselves they show that AGW is wrong. Compounded, however they should be taken as evidence that we don’t know as much as we think we do. Which is not saying they disprove anything at all, just that they have brought us to a point were our understanding is better, even if we feel more confused than ever. After all, that the Universe is comprehensible, was said by someone once to be “incomprehensible”. ;)

  94. Arthur Smith
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 6:42 PM | Permalink

    Back to Ron Cram (#73 and earlier) – actually, I see that the paper by McKitrick and Michaels has been reviewed at realclimate. Has there been any response to the complaints there, some of which look pretty devastating? I can’t find a response when doing a search on this site just now.

    Also, I note that the McKitrick and Michaels paper rather naturally only makes the claim concerning land temperatures:

    Using the regression model to filter the extraneous, nonclimatic effects reduces the estimated 1980-2002 global average temperature trend over land by about half.

    (my emphasis).

    Since land is only 30% of Earth’s surface, the actual effect on the global average temperature trend is presumably considerably less – 15% perhaps? So even if McKitrick and Michaels are absolutely correct, unless there’s some similar significant error in the sea surface trend, it’s a really big stretch to go from that to claiming “half of the observed warming may not be real”, as you did, on this basis alone.

  95. bender
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 6:48 PM | Permalink

    Susann, stop talking and get back to reading. It is not a “conspiracy”.

    Do not underestimate the depth of human ignorance and the power of faith in creating and sustaining a such a house of cards. The world has never before seen this kind of logical structure. With AGW we are in new epistemological territory.

    Amazing what can be built from a shared unwillingness to formalize uncertainty and a precautionary principle to justify this unwillingness. You think about that in your search for a dissertation topic.

  96. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 6:53 PM | Permalink

    Arthur, they are dealing with data not that covers the entire surface, like satellite data, but with just a fraction of the thirty percent, derived from records of surface stations on land temperatures on the sea aren’t being considered here because they aren’t even a part of the warming being addressed. So yes, half of land the warming might not be real, which is the only warming they were even talking about in the first place. What makes you think there is some secret massive ocean warming that makes up for exaggerated land warming?

  97. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 6:58 PM | Permalink

    Okay, let me put it this way: the satellite data and surface station data disagree. The satellite data includes the oceans, the other doesn’t. Th surface station data warms more than the satellite data. Might it be because the land data, which the media prefer because it sets a record every year, are bias in ways that the ocean is not?

  98. Susann
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:02 PM | Permalink

    Andrew, that was Arthur Smith’s comment, not mine.

  99. Gunnar
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:02 PM | Permalink

    bender, a little less dismissiveness would make this more enjoyable for all.

  100. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:03 PM | Permalink

    Susann, Arthur and others. There’s nothing in any of my work that attempts to show one way or the other than AGW is “wrong”. I’ve examined specific studies that were said to have been reviewed by entire stadiums full of scientists for IPCC and, to my surprise, found defects. Even more to my surprise, the protagonists have failed to concede issues that, in some cases, are really incontestable and the climate science community seems unable or unwilling to come to grips with even simple things, yielding long controversies that could and should have been completely resolved long ago.

    A fallback position for IPCCers is that the HS doesn’t “matter”; that it’s the physics. I’m OK with that response. As an IPCC reviewer, I suggested that, if that were the case, then the paleoclimate section should be deleted. They didn’t so I presume that it does “matter”. But they can’t suck and blow – if it doesn’t matter, stop using it – stick to the physics arguments.

    As to the physics arguments, no one has identified a clear exposition of how doubled CO2 leads to 2.5-3 deg C. I do not interpret this as meaning that the exposition is impossible, only that the climate science community has not seen fit to provide policy makers or the public with such an exposition. Again, I suggested this to IPCC long before AR4 was scoped and they decided not to. IF you or anyone else care to identify such an exposition, I’d be happy to discuss it here.

    I’ve never suggested that there is a “conspiracy” – nor do most readers here. Such language seems to be thrown up primarily as a straw man for people to argue that there’s no conspiracy, ergo there’s no issue. However, it does seem to me that the systems of disclosure and due diligence are very inadequate. Journal peer review is a trifling form of due diligence and not comparable to an audit or engineering-quality study.

    What would be the results of such an examination of climate models by truly independent people? I don’t know. Why shouldn’t the NASA climate model be given the same scrutiny as space station design? No one’s ever given me a good reason why not.

  101. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:06 PM | Permalink

    Sorry Susann, should be clearer, I was respond to this in the second half of my post:

    Susann says:
    December 30th, 2007 at 6:27 pm

    Thanks for the paper, Ron. I’ve put it in the queue along with the others. I skimmed it, but I am skeptical of any claims that the whole of AGW is refuted based on MM’s work or that of any other single researcher.

    But not the first half. That was directed at Arthur.

  102. bender
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:07 PM | Permalink

    Sorry, Gunnar, you’re right.

  103. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:12 PM | Permalink

    #93.

    unless there’s some similar significant error in the sea surface trend,

    All the SST time series assume that all SST measurements switched to engine inlets in Dec 1941 even though the majority of measurements in 1971 for which the method is known were done by buckets. See various posts on this. Before 1941, there are wild speculations on bucket types. Hansen in 1991 was very critical of the SST adjustments.

    What is the potential impact of this? Hard to say. I don’t have any doubt that it is presently warmer than the 19th century, but the timing of the SST increases depends on bucket adjustments and surely relative attribution will be affected if these timings are incorrect for some reason.

    How much certainty would I put on the accuracy of the bucket adjustments? Not much. And any errors here would not be random but could distort the record. The SST record needs meticulous examination. Are you aware of any? Didn’t think so.

  104. bender
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:15 PM | Permalink

    As Steve says, there is NO conspiracy. What there is is widespread endemic statistical malpractice that leads to a common result. It all stems from a systematic pattern of uncertainty denial.

  105. Wansbeck
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:22 PM | Permalink

    The middle of a world war doesn’t seem the time to worry about SST measurement methods unless there was an overriding military reason.

    Steve: their theory was that every ship in the world changed to inlet measurement in Dec 1941 after PEarl Harbor even though most ships taking measurements were still using buckets in 1970.

  106. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:24 PM | Permalink

    Steve, any problems with the satellite data of the Oceans you want to mention? Because i think this will help.

    Earlier, I asked if Arthur thought there was a massive warming of the oceans that makes up for problems in the land data. Well, if we ask the satellites the answer is no.

    http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/uahncdc.lt

    The trend is greater over land than the ocean. So no, there is not enough warming in the ocean to save you.

    [snip

  107. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:24 PM | Permalink

    And of course there are individual incidents that are highly questionable – the IPCC truncation of the inconvenient portion of Briffa, Mann’s withholding of the failed verification r2 statistic, Mann’s failure to report the results of the CENSORED calculation, Mann’s unique extrapolation of the Gaspe series, Thompson’s withholding of ice core data, delayed publication of Thompson and Hughes of “bad” results (Bona-Churchill, the Ababneh update), Briffa’s switch of the Polar Urals update to Yamal, Briffa’s “adjustment” of the Tornetrask reconstruction, Jones’ refusal to release his station data or to even identify the stations used in his temperature data, … None of this proves that AGW is wrong. But it does suggest that a certain caution is required in using such results.

  108. Susann
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:30 PM | Permalink

    I gave you that paper not because it refutes AGW by itself but because it shows unethical behavior by Mann. Note specifically the UNCENSORED folder. I do not know how anyone can read the paper and not come to the same conclusion.

    I’m familiar with the censored data file. When I first saw that file, I was a bit shocked, but upon further reading, I am not so certain it is evidence of anything nefarious. I believe that the term “censored” means something different in science than in law or civilian life.

    As to looking at BCP alone, if you work with large data sets, and I have worked with a few, you often look at the data in a number of ways, and look at subsets of data to see what they look like and how their removal affects the outcome, etc. People who like data play around like this all the time. You don’t necessarily report all those results, especially if they are not part of the larger research question. I don’t know if the censored data file is all that signifcant to the question at hand or evidence of unethical behavior.

    For example, say I have a large data set on five year relative survival rates for all types of cancer for a paper I am writing. I can calculate five year relative surivial rates for all types of cancer. Maybe I take out one subset — say, pancreatic cancer. Five year relative survival rates for pancreatic cancer are very low compared to those for early stage breast cancer or prostate cancer. If I calculate the average based on the data with and without pancreatic cancer, I can expect to see different averages. I might have taken out pancreatic cancer for a reason — to see how it affects the overall relative survival rate. I write my paper and report my findings for overall survival rates. It’s not unethical for me to not report the run I did on five year relative survival rates for pancreatic cancer or five year relative survival rates without pancreatic cancer included.

    I’m not entirely sure if this applies to the Mann Censored data file. It may be. But I think the example is evidence that the existence of “censored” is not, in and of itself, proof of attempt to deceive.

  109. bender
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:30 PM | Permalink

    #106 Those are random oversights. Innocent errors that could happen in any field.

  110. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:34 PM | Permalink

    Re:107

    Susann,

    It is possible for CENSORED to mean something else, but when the contents of the folder include evidence that you tried a verification test and it failed the test and then you do not disclose that… that is nefarious.

  111. steven mosher
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:34 PM | Permalink

    Re 93. Kind of hard to look for economic correlations over the ocean.

    See the thesis is that Urbanizations effects INFECT the land record, so it wouldnt make too
    much sense to check the Urbanization effects over the sea.

    Maybe I misread it, let me check. Anyways

    Gavin schmidts devastating critique? He called the study a stastical fluke.

    Stunning own goal.

  112. bender
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:34 PM | Permalink

    #108 “Censored” is a statistical term meaning data are withheld when a test is performed. In this case, however, Mann lied about having performed said test. The naming of the folder was an inconvenient irony. The fact is the statistical results were concealed and lied about and obfuscated about at length. Nefarious. QED.

  113. Wansbeck
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:35 PM | Permalink

    re #105 Andrew

    It has been remarked upon before in these pages but there appears to be two distinct regions, pre and post 1998, each of which seem fairly flat SST wise but post 1998 shows warming over land.

  114. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:39 PM | Permalink

    True, Susann, it doesn’t prove that any deception was deliberate. But it certainly doesn’t come across as proper conduct, now does it? I surely wouldn’t care about that particular data you talked about in your hypothetical scenario, at least not personally. But maybe your not the only one who’s curious about how taking the data out effects the rate. Why not publish the results of such a thing? It actually sounds like something that might be important to know. If I asked you about the pancreatic cancer info, you’d cough it up, wouldn’t you? But Mann and others steadfastly resist these types of things. Why?

  115. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:42 PM | Permalink

    Interesting, Wansbeck! Could you direct me to the discussion in question? Love to see it.

  116. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:43 PM | Permalink

    Arthur,

    You are correct that McKitrick and Michaels only looked at the land record. I should have been more specific. Watts is also looking only at the land record.

    Regarding sea surface temps, Steve McIntyre has done some work you should read. I would recommend this.

    I am having problems with multiple links. Not sure why. You should also read

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=231

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1272

    http://climatesci.colorado.edu/2007/12/17/reality-check-2-long-term-sea-surface-temperature-trend-anomalies-and-ocean-heat-content-trends/

    In short, as much as the land record has problems, so does the sea temp record. However, due to the Argo Network, we are now getting much better data on sea temps at the surface and at depths.

  117. bender
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:43 PM | Permalink

    Susann, Malcolm Hughes knew *exactly* what he was doing giving Michael Mann the bcp series. He knew LaMarche and Graybill & Idso *intimately*. The probability that the data were withheld not knowing what impact it would have on the outcome is astronomically low.

    Steve: I agree that Hughes knew this exactly. There’s a famous email from Hughes to Mann (that turned up on the FTP site that Mann revealed in a panic after our 2003 paper) telling Mann to take out an Argentinian tree ring series as it would be “better for our purposes” if it were removed. Needless to say, they did not provide a statement of those “purposes” in their methodology.

  118. Criton
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:45 PM | Permalink

    I’m familiar with the censored data file. When I first saw that file, I was a bit shocked, but upon further reading, I am not so certain it is evidence of anything nefarious. I believe that the term “censored” means something different in science than in law or civilian life.

    Susann:

    The issue doesn’t revolve around the name of the directory “censored”. If the directory had been named “Budapest” instead but contained the exact same data files, the situation still would reflect Mann’s unprofessional failure to report an adverse outcome. The only difference is that you would then have to excuse his actions linking to a travel site instead of an irrelevant (to this discussion) site on statistically censored data.

  119. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:48 PM | Permalink

    Arthur,

    You are correct that McKitrick and Michaels only looked at the land record. I should have been more specific. Watts is also looking only at the land record.

    Regarding sea surface temps, Steve McIntyre has done some work you should read. I would recommend this.

    I am having problems with multiple links. Not sure why. You should also read

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=231

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1272

    http://climatesci.colorado.edu/2007/12/17/reality-check-2-long-term-sea-surface-temperature-trend-anomalies-and-ocean-heat-content-trends/

    In short, as much as the land record has problems, so does the sea temp record. However, due to the Argo Network, we are now getting much better data on sea temps at the surface and at depths.

    This is not a duplicate comment.

  120. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:49 PM | Permalink

    Arthur,

    You are correct that McKitrick and Michaels only looked at the land record. I should have been more specific. Watts is also looking only at the land record.

    Regarding sea surface temps, Steve McIntyre has done some work you should read. I would recommend this.

    I am having problems with multiple links. Not sure why. You should also read

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=231

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1272

    http://climatesci.colorado.edu/2007/12/17/reality-check-2-long-term-sea-surface-temperature-trend-anomalies-and-ocean-heat-content-trends/

    In short, as much as the land record has problems, so does the sea temp record. However, due to the Argo Network, we are now getting much better data on sea temps at the surface and at depths.

    This is not a duplicate comment at all.

  121. Wansbeck
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:50 PM | Permalink

    re 104

    Steve, thanks for your reply. I presume no one asked the British or the Japanese or the Russians etc.

  122. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:51 PM | Permalink

    Arthur,

    You are correct that McKitrick and Michaels only looked at the land record. I should have been more specific. Watts is also looking only at the land record.

    Regarding sea surface temps, Steve McIntyre has done some work you should read. I would recommend this.

    I am having problems with multiple links. Not sure why. You should also read these

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=231

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1272

    http://climatesci.colorado.edu/2007/12/17/reality-check-2-long-term-sea-surface-temperature-trend-anomalies-and-ocean-heat-content-trends/

    In short, as much as the land record has problems, so does the sea temp record. However, due to the Argo Network, we are now getting much better data on sea temps at the surface and at depths.

    This is not a duplicate comment at all.

  123. steven mosher
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:53 PM | Permalink

    Let’s get to the heart of the matter through radical simplification. In a Nutshell the

    AGW argument is this:

    1. The world is warming.
    2. The warming is Unprecidented.
    3. Increases in C02 explain this warming.

    #2 has to do with hockey stick studies. Now, we are alternatively told that these studies are
    important and unimportant.

    Let’s press a bit further in the AGW argument.

    4. The warming will get worse because of C02 increases and climate sensitivity
    5. Therefore, we must act.

    So, what does Gavin have to say about climate sensitivity in a 2007 paper he co
    authors with Hansen:


    One implication of the uncertainty in the net 1880–2003
    climate forcing is that it is fruitless to try to obtain an accurate
    empirical climate sensitivity from observed global temperature
    change of the past century. However, paleoclimate evidence
    of climate change between periods with well-known
    boundary conditions (forcings) provides a reasonably precise
    measure of climate sensitivity: 3±1C for doubled CO2
    (Hansen et al., 1984, 1993; Hoffert and Covey, 1992). Thus
    we conclude that our model sensitivity of 2.9C for doubled
    CO2 is reasonable.”

    there you have it.

    The paleo record is important to AGW for two reasons:

    1. It suggests that the current “warming” is beyond natural variability
    and ths requires an explanation ( C02)
    2. It provides an estimate of the climate sensitivity to C02 doubling.

    hence the importance of checking this work. hence the importance of this blog.

  124. Susann
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:53 PM | Permalink

    But maybe your not the only one who’s curious about how taking the data out effects the rate. Why not publish the results of such a thing?

    I would only publish those separate results if there was some reason to think it mattered to the overall analysis. Unless there is a reason to keep pancreatic cancer out of the analysis of overall cancer survival rates — maybe because there was some unique event that led to a temporary increase in pancreatic cancer incidence and the inclusion of it might bias the results — why would I report it even if I did a separate analysis? I might have just been playing with the data because I like to. It really depends on the case at hand.

  125. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:54 PM | Permalink

    Re: 93
    Arthur,

    You are correct that McKitrick and Michaels only looked at the land record. I should have been more specific. Watts is also looking only at the land record.

    Regarding sea surface temps, Steve McIntyre has done some work you should read. I would recommend this.

    I am having problems with multiple links. Not sure why. You should also read these

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=231

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1272

    http://climatesci.colorado.edu/2007/12/17/reality-check-2-long-term-sea-surface-temperature-trend-anomalies-and-ocean-heat-content-trends/

    In short, as much as the land record has problems, so does the sea temp record. However, due to the Argo Network, we are now getting much better data on sea temps at the surface and at depths.

  126. Arthur Smith
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:56 PM | Permalink

    Andrew says (#95):

    half of land the warming might not be real, which is the only warming they were even talking about in the first place

    I thought we were talking about the GISS and CRU global mean temperature trends? Those do indeed include sea surface temperatures:

    AR4 WG1 Ch3 sec 3.2.2.4:

    Gridded data sets combining land-surface air temperature and SST anomalies have been developed and maintained by three groups: CRU with the UKMO Hadley Centre in the UK (HadCRUT3; Brohan et al., 2006) and NCDC (Smith and Reynolds, 2005) and GISS (Hansen et al., 2001) in the USA.

    and from the GISS website:

    A global temperature index, as described by Hansen et al. (1996), is obtained by combining the meteorological station measurements with sea surface temperatures based in early years on ship measurements and in recent decades on satellite measurements.

    That seems pretty clear to me.

    Steve McIntyre says (#99):

    no one has identified a clear exposition of how doubled CO2 leads to 2.5-3 deg C.

    There’s a clear exposition of the history of that scientific result at The Discovery of Global Warming. Even the simplest one-dimensional calculations back in the 1930s and earlier give “several degrees” C of warming. Once you get the basic physics right, the pure response to doubling CO2 is about 1.5 degrees C. Then it’s a question of figuring out the feedbacks, which depends particularly on accounting for clouds. Taking all the nitty-gritty stuff into account is what the GCM’s are for, and ultimately that’s where the IPCC’s range estimate comes from. Chapter 8 of IPCC AR4 WG1 goes into the details. For example box 8.1 describes the evidence for constant relative humidity and therefore an increase in average water vapor levels with temperature increase (and hence a positive feedback from water).

    Steve says:

    the climate science community has not seen fit to provide policy makers or the public with such an exposition

    Aside from the “Discovery of Global Warming” exposition, that is what Chaper 8 of AR4 WG1 is all about. Is that somehow not provided “to policy makers” or “to the public”? There is an extremely brief and simple explanation even in the SPM (that explicitly states the water vapor feedback is important), with references to chapter 8 and others to back it up:

    [Sensitivity] is likely to be in the range 2°C to 4.5°C with a best estimate of about 3°C, and is very unlikely to be less than 1.5°C. Values substantially higher than 4.5°C cannot be excluded, but agreement of models with observations is not as good for those values. Water vapour changes represent the largest feedback affecting climate sensitivity and are now better understood than in the TAR. Cloud feedbacks remain the largest source of uncertainty.

    All three of these qualify as “exposition” and explanation of the numbers to some degree – what else are you looking for?

    Steve: I’m aware that the results have been stated on many occasions, but these short statements do not constitute an engineering-quality exposition of the type that I expect. Climate scientists seem baffled by the request. I’ll post on this some time.

  127. Wansbeck
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:57 PM | Permalink

    re #114 Andrew

    I wish I still had a memory but one of the regular posters here has mentioned several times that he sees the temperature rise more as a series of steps than a linear increase. I will try to find the remarks but maybe some of the guys here with better memories can point you.

  128. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:59 PM | Permalink

    Re: 93
    Arthur,

    You are correct that McKitrick and Michaels only looked at the land record. I should have been more specific. Watts is also looking only at the land record.

    Regarding sea surface temps, Steve McIntyre has done some work you should read. I would recommend this.

    I am having problems with multiple links. Not sure why. You should also read these

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=231

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1272

    http://climatesci.colorado.edu/2007/12/17/reality-check-2-long-term-sea-surface-temperature-trend-anomalies-and-ocean-heat-content-trends/

    In short, as much as the land record has problems, so does the sea temp record. However, due to the Argo Network, we are now getting much better data on sea temps at the surface and at depths.

    This is not a duplicate comment.

  129. bender
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 7:59 PM | Permalink

    #110
    Mosh, McKitrick already refuted the argument that the significance was exaggerated by spatial autocorrelation. As I predicted, a model that included spatial autocorrelation hardly reduced the significance at all. It would be publishable are a rebuttal in JGR if Gavin Schmidt had the nuts to submit his own critique. But he doesn’t. He hides behind the RC shield.

  130. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:01 PM | Permalink

    #107 and others – the issue is not the use of the term “CENSORED” in the directory (which Mann has now deleted) but Mann’s statement that his reconstruction was robust to the presence/absence of all dendroclimatic series – a representation that was taken seriously at the time. Obviously we know now (and Mann has admitted/Ammann comfirmed) that his AD1400 recon is not “robust” to even the presence/absence of bristlecones. Our analyses were in effect a sensitivity study on exclusion of BCPs – which caused them to screech to high heavens that we were “throwing out” data. You will never find a reconciliation of this screech with their false robustness claim.

  131. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:02 PM | Permalink

    Re: 93
    Arthur,

    You are correct that McKitrick and Michaels only looked at the land record. I should have been more specific. Watts is also looking only at the land record.

    Regarding sea surface temps, Steve McIntyre has done some work you should read. I would recommend this.

    I am having problems with multiple links. Not sure why. You should also read these

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=231

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1272

    http://climatesci.colorado.edu/2007/12/17/reality-check-2-long-term-sea-surface-temperature-trend-anomalies-and-ocean-heat-content-trends/

    In short, as much as the land record has problems, so does the sea temp record. However, with the completion of the Argo Network, we are now getting much better data on sea temps at the surface and at depths.

    This is not a duplicate comment.

  132. Susann
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:07 PM | Permalink

    Susann, Malcolm Hughes knew *exactly* what he was doing giving Michael Mann the bcp series. He knew LaMarche and Graybill & Idso *intimately*. The probability that the data were withheld not knowing what impact it would have on the outcome is astronomically low.

    Bender, I don’t know that and I can’t take your word for it. You may feel certain, but I need to see evidence that Hughes knew “what he was doing”. What was he doing? He and Mann and Bradley used BCP proxies, along with others, to do a temperature reconstruction using PC analysis. From what I understand, they did an analysis with and without BCP. They did not report the results of the analysis without the BCP. I assume they viewed BCP as a good proxy for temperature and thus used it. I know that there was debate among dendros that BCP is not a reliable proxy of temperature. NAS concluded that. But is this not possibly a scientific debate rather than something sinister? Are there not now researchers still looking into this? Is it not possible that this is the result of a legitimate scientific disagreement over the value of a particular source of data? Like I say, I am just now reading about proxies, including BCPs. I don’t know enough to feel certain either way. I’m skeptical. :) Everyone here may be certain they know the score, but I don’t. I’m not denying that you may be right. I’m not rejecting your views out of hand. Please allow me the opportunity to make up my own mind and to stumble around and think out loud as I do so.

  133. Gunnar
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:08 PM | Permalink

    >> he sees the temperature rise more as a series of steps than a linear increase

    I say that a lot. There was recently an excel tool presented that I think would show this. I downloaded it, but I haven’t had time to apply it to the temp data. I also say “a trend line is an artifact of the trend drawer and his/her presumptions”.

  134. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:10 PM | Permalink

    Re: 93
    Arthur,

    You are correct that McKitrick and Michaels only looked at the land record. I should have been more specific. Watts is also looking only at the land record.

    Regarding sea surface temps, Steve McIntyre has done some work you should read. I would recommend this.

    I am having problems with multiple links. Not sure why. You should also read these

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=231

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1272

    http://climatesci.colorado.edu/2007/12/17/reality-check-2-long-term-sea-surface-temperature-trend-anomalies-and-ocean-heat-content-trends/

    In short, as much as the land record has problems, so does the sea temp record. However, with the completion of the Argo Network, we are now getting much better data on sea temps at the surface and at depths.

    I promise this is not a duplicate comment.

  135. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:15 PM | Permalink

    Re: 93
    Arthur,

    You are correct that McKitrick and Michaels only looked at the land record. I should have been more specific. Watts is also looking only at the land record.

    Regarding sea surface temps, Steve McIntyre has done some work you should read. I am having problems with multiple links. Not sure why. You should also read these

    http://www.climateaudit.org/index.php?p=226

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=231

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1272

    http://climatesci.colorado.edu/2007/12/17/reality-check-2-long-term-sea-surface-temperature-trend-anomalies-and-ocean-heat-content-trends/

    In short, as much as the land record has problems, so does the sea temp record. However, with the completion of the Argo Network, we are now getting much better data on sea temps at the surface and at depths.

  136. bender
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:17 PM | Permalink

    #124

    I can’t take your word for it. You may feel certain, but I need to see evidence that Hughes knew “what he was doing”

    Susann, I respect that. What would you say if I told you that *if* the evidence exists you will never ever get a hold of it because of provable foot-dragging obfuscation?

  137. Wansbeck
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:17 PM | Permalink

    re #125 Thanks Gunnar,
    I thought it was you but wanted to confirm first.
    It looks like a step to me.

  138. Susann
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:19 PM | Permalink

    There’s a famous email from Hughes to Mann (that turned up on the FTP site that Mann revealed in a panic after our 2003 paper) telling Mann to take out an Argentinian tree ring series as it would be “better for our purposes” if it were removed. Needless to say, they did not provide a statement of those “purposes” in their methodology.

    Aren’t Argentinian tree ring data better measures of moisture than temperature? Is that why they would be excluded from a temperature reconstruction? I don’t know, but perhaps this could be the reason and purpose Hughes wrote about?

  139. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:22 PM | Permalink

    Re: 93
    Arthur,

    You are correct that McKitrick and Michaels only looked at the land record. I should have been more specific. Watts is also looking only at the land record.

    In short, as much as the land record has problems, so does the sea temp record. However, with the completion of the Argo Network, we are now getting much better data on sea temps at the surface and at depths.

    This is not a duplicate comment.

  140. bender
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:22 PM | Permalink

    Susann, do you understand the role that the Mann-o-matic “I’m not a statistician” algothmic precursor to RegEM played in generating “smoking gun” hockey stick shapes? bcp had the right shape. End of story. Whether or not it was a good temperature proxy was not a concern and likely never discussed in the Nature reviews. You’ll never know, however, because the reviews are not a matter of public record.

  141. Susann
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:22 PM | Permalink

    Susann, I respect that. What would you say if I told you that *if* the evidence exists you will never ever get a hold of it because of provable foot-dragging obfuscation?

    I would reply that, in the absence of the evidence, you can thus not “know” what Hughes intended; you can only assume.

  142. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:24 PM | Permalink

    Re: 93
    Arthur,

    Regarding sea surface temps, Steve McIntyre has done some work you should read. I would recommend this.

    I am having problems with multiple links. Not sure why. You should also read

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=231

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1272

    http://climatesci.colorado.edu/2007/12/17/reality-check-2-long-term-sea-surface-temperature-trend-anomalies-and-ocean-heat-content-trends/

  143. bender
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:26 PM | Permalink

    Susann, do people cover things up when they are innocent?

  144. Susann
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:27 PM | Permalink

    Bender, I understand that the way MBH centered the PC was incorrect, at least according to the NAS report and MM05 (I think I got those acronyms right :) ) Is that what you are referring to? Is this not a methodological debate? Aren’t those part of normal science and not necessarily proof of intent to deceive?

  145. Gunnar
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:33 PM | Permalink

    >> It looks like a step to me.

    Which means that we’re not looking for some small increasing factor, we’re looking for large isolated inputs of energy. Not going to repeat all that (see Svalgaard thread), but we have an obvious suspect.

    It’s like coming back to your car, and finding your windows smashed and a drunk guy passed out next to the car with a baseball bat, and your stereo in his hand.

    Then, all your PhD friends come over and start constructing theories: 1) sudden localized air pressure changes broke the window 2) something fell out of the sky 3) some internal variability of the car broke loose breaking the window.

    full disclosure: I like my rights and my freedom, including the freedom to use energy.

  146. Arthur Smith
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:33 PM | Permalink

    Steven Mosher (#118 now) says:

    The paleo record is important to AGW for two reasons: [...]
    2. It provides an estimate of the climate sensitivity to C02 doubling.
    hence the importance of checking this work. hence the importance of this blog.

    This is primarily the topic of Chapter 6 of IPCC AR4 WG1 (Paleoclimate) – but only one section (6.6) deals with the most recent 2000 years that is the subject of the “hockey stick”. Most of that discussion refers to the glacial/interglacial climate (section 6.4), and the early part of the holocene (6.5). In particular, the climate sensitivity to CO2 doubling comes from the glacial data, not the “hockey stick”: (p. 452)

    The climate sensitivity inferred from the PMIP-2 LGM simulations is 2.3°C to 3.7°C for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 (see Section 9.6.3.2).

    and chapter 9 does certainly go into this in much more detail. Temperatures from the last couple of thousand years (which have been almost flat, compared to the glacial changes) are not a very significant component of that result.

    Unless I’m missing something, I haven’t seen much discussion of the ice age data here. I don’t see an obvious “category” to look it up under, either.

  147. bender
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:34 PM | Permalink

    Oh Susann. Do some investigative sleuthing. We’re not talking about methodology. We’re talking about bristlegate.

  148. Susann
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:34 PM | Permalink

    Susann, do people cover things up when they are innocent?

    Convince me this was a cover-up with intent to deceive. What I see after a preliminary review (and not at the level of scholarly knowledge) is the use of an unreliable proxy and a questionable methodology — used improperly — by a post-grad, who may have done some side analysis that was not reported in the main paper. Sloppy science, inadequate peer review. I see that the IPCC prematurely elevated the paper to a high status that it did not deserve. Typical action of a political body trying to buttress its case. I think this bears careful consideration and reflection and that is what I am trying to do.

  149. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:35 PM | Permalink

    RE:93

    Arthur,

    I am having trouble providing links. I hope this works this time.

    Regarding sea surface temps, Steve McIntyre has done some work you should read. I would recommend read:

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1272

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=226

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=231

    You should also read:

    http://climatesci.colorado.edu/2007/12/17/reality-check-2-long-term-sea-surface-temperature-trend-anomalies-and-ocean-heat-content-trends/

  150. Gunnar
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:37 PM | Permalink

    eric, lol. The ultimate logical fallacy.

  151. Susann
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:37 PM | Permalink

    Bender, you feel comforable believing that this is all nefarious and a scandal. I don’t. I want to see evidence that convinces me. I haven’t seen it all yet and am withholding my conclusions until I do. Isn’t that proper or should I just take your word?

  152. steven mosher
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:39 PM | Permalink

    re 137. thank you arthur index. Been there read that.

    My comment is directed to the importance of paleo studies in the AGW argument.
    Nothing more. nothing less.

  153. Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:41 PM | Permalink

    Steve,

    Some times I get frustrated too. It pains me to see obvious errors which I am capable of understanding go uncleared.

    It is not like you.

    Delete at your convenience.

  154. bender
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:42 PM | Permalink

    Susann, that is indeed proper; do not take my word. But when you find the truth, just remember who told you first: a retired mining consultant from Toronto.

  155. Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:46 PM | Permalink

    Convince me this was a cover-up with intent to deceive. What I see after a preliminary review (and not at the level of scholarly knowledge) is the use of an unreliable proxy and a questionable methodology — used improperly — by a post-grad, who may have done some side analysis that was not reported in the main paper. Sloppy science, inadequate peer review.

    The proof that this was not an intent to deceive is that a correction has been made and all references have been corrected and the summaries modified accordingly with before and after texts duly noted so the correction history can be followed.

  156. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:48 PM | Permalink

    bender,

    I don’t think Susann is interested in sleuthing. She is attempting to defend Mann when she has admitted she has not even read the evidence against him.

  157. Craig Loehle
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:49 PM | Permalink

    I would like to recommend a book relevant to recent discussions: Henry H. Bauer, Scientific Literacy and the Myth of the Scientific Method. He likens the actual practice of science to puzzle solving and making a map (the map being multiple connections between things in science). The Myth is that a formal problem solving process is guaranteed to achieve reliable results in science, and that therefore the results that scientists achieve are reliable and factual. If it is a fact you can’t argue with it, and if you argue with it you clearly are not competent. Therefore you should sit down and shut up and let the reliable experts tell you what is what. Even under the best of circumstances where you can do elegant controlled experiments, progress and understanding in science are not guaranteed and mistakes are made (wasn’t it Lyndon Johnson that declared war on cancer? How long ago?). In climate science there are almost no controlled experiments or nice simple systems, so understanding is even harder to come by, but people are acting like the results of their studies are “facts” and are not open to question. It defies belief.

  158. Larry
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:49 PM | Permalink

    144, I used to believe that. But after observing the conduct of certain people, I don’t believe that any more. I believe that there are some high-leverage actors wearing more than one hat, if you get the idea.

  159. Susann
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:49 PM | Permalink

    If I asked you about the pancreatic cancer info, you’d cough it up, wouldn’t you? But Mann and others steadfastly resist these types of things. Why?

    I can’t know for certain Mann’s motives for resisting, even if he told me. I can only guess. Steve McIntyre is not a climate scientist. I might suggest that the reluctance to turn data over was because Steve was not part of the community, was not a scientist, and not a climate scientist. That may not be a valid motive, but it might be a real motive. As I’ve said before, there is considerable political interest in climate research. It is possible that someone not skilled or understanding of the ins and outs of climate data might use it improperly and draw incorrect conclusions about it. Someone who is biased might use it for political purposes (just as it is possible for scientists to do the same :) ) It is possible that he knew the horrible state of the data and was embarrased. :) There are a variety of reasons. Which reason you assume is correct depends on your initial assumptions about Mann and perhaps AGW. I am withholding judgement until I know more.

  160. steven mosher
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:51 PM | Permalink

    re 132. Agreed you cannot know Hughes intent. Hughes cannot know his own intent. Intent is a meaningless
    term. All we have to observe is his behavior. Then we must make sense of his behavior. We also
    make predictions about his behavior. Same with Dr. Mann.

    For example with Dr. Mann he was caught in one mistake. Since he would not admit the mistake
    one could explain this two ways:

    1. He was ignorant of his error, but ashamed
    2. He wanted to “shade the truth.”

    Then you make predictions about how he will handled subsequent errors. For example lat/lon errors

    At some point these two “intentions” merge and become operationally indistinguishable. because the real
    question is can you trust his work.

  161. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:51 PM | Permalink

    I’m thankful that Arthur has responded to half of my criticism of his criticism. The easy half. Okay, apparently the temperatures in question include sea temperatures. But the second half still stands: Where is the massive ocean warming that makes up for the loss of some of the land trend? It doesn’t exist. Once again:

    Which shows that land warmed more than the ocean.

    Incidentally, your claim that the basic physics (that is, no feedbacks) gives a climate sensitivity of 1.5 degrees, this wrong, it’s about 1:

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2006/05/climate-sensitivity-and-editorial.html

    As for feedbacks, it is obvious from those qoutes that the IPCC has not even considered the possibility of negative feedbacks, which is what one would expect in most physical systems. Whether these add up to more or less than the positive feedbacks, or whether these feedbacks can be known to exist, I haven’t actually seen anyone attempt to address.

  162. Phil.
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:52 PM | Permalink

    Re #106

    And of course there are individual incidents that are highly questionable – the IPCC truncation of the inconvenient portion of Briffa, Mann’s withholding of the failed verification r2 statistic, Mann’s failure to report the results of the CENSORED calculation, Mann’s unique extrapolation of the Gaspe series, Thompson’s withholding of ice core data, delayed publication of Thompson and Hughes of “bad” results (Bona-Churchill, the Ababneh update), Briffa’s switch of the Polar Urals update to Yamal, Briffa’s “adjustment” of the Tornetrask reconstruction, Jones’ refusal to release his station data or to even identify the stations used in his temperature data, … None of this proves that AGW is wrong. But it does suggest that a certain caution is required in using such results.

    Steve this is where I find you are disingenuous, you protest about Pierrehumbert not addressing faults on both sides of the question and yet here you are doing just the same! Coincidentally all of the ‘incidents’ mentioned above just happen to be on one side, to preserve credibility perhaps you should have included the dubious graphs of Friis-Christensen and Lassen (1991 & 2000), the inappropriate data (and truncation) of Svensmark and Friis-Christensen[1997] and Svensmark [1998] and the present mess of Courtillot et al. to name a few that come to mind.

  163. Pat Keating
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:52 PM | Permalink

    120 Smith

    Do you have a link for the Hulbert 1931 Phys. Rev. paper?

  164. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:55 PM | Permalink

    Incidentally, you claim that the ice core data (Vostok, I presume?) were used to obtain climate sensitivity. That seems unlikely to me, given that, using the (false) assumption that CO2 were responsible for all that variation, one would obtain a value in excess of twelve degrees. How would you turn that into 3?

  165. Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:56 PM | Permalink

    Susann, do people cover things up when they are innocent?

    Actually…. yes, sometimes people do. People cover up accidents, screw ups, or things they might find inconvenient if discovered.

  166. Susann
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 8:57 PM | Permalink

    Then, all your PhD friends come over and start constructing theories: 1) sudden localized air pressure changes broke the window 2) something fell out of the sky 3) some internal variability of the car broke loose breaking the window.

    Gunnar, lol! I needed that.

  167. Phil.
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 9:00 PM | Permalink

    Re #150

    Incidentally, your claim that the basic physics (that is, no feedbacks) gives a climate sensitivity of 1.5 degrees, this wrong, it’s about 1:

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2006/05/climate-sensitivity-and-editorial.html

    Sorry that estimate by Motl relies on his faulty arithmetic, using his logic and correct arithmetic you get 1.35.

  168. Larry
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 9:00 PM | Permalink

    155, that doesn’t sound innocent to me.

  169. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 9:01 PM | Permalink

    Susann says:
    December 30th, 2007 at 8:49 pm

    If I asked you about the pancreatic cancer info, you’d cough it up, wouldn’t you? But Mann and others steadfastly resist these types of things. Why?

    I can’t know for certain Mann’s motives for resisting, even if he told me. I can only guess. Steve McIntyre is not a climate scientist. I might suggest that the reluctance to turn data over was because Steve was not part of the community, was not a scientist, and not a climate scientist. That may not be a valid motive, but it might be a real motive. As I’ve said before, there is considerable political interest in climate research. It is possible that someone not skilled or understanding of the ins and outs of climate data might use it improperly and draw incorrect conclusions about it. Someone who is biased might use it for political purposes (just as it is possible for scientists to do the same :) ) It is possible that he knew the horrible state of the data and was embarrased. :) There are a variety of reasons. Which reason you assume is correct depends on your initial assumptions about Mann and perhaps AGW. I am withholding judgement until I know more.

    Just so we are being clear, Mann isn’t a climatologist either (not his degree, though I’m willing to accept that he taught himself climatology if you’ll admit I’ve done the same ;) )

    Your withholding of judgment is very mature, but I think that it is slightly misplaced (that is my personal opinion, not necessarily being put forth as fact) Your right that personal judgments have skewed the discussion quite a bit, which is a shame. Hopefully once all this is resolved people can get back to agreeing about what we do and don’t know again.

  170. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 9:03 PM | Permalink

    Well why don’t you take it up with him then, Phil? Better yet, why don’t you show us the proper arithmetic? And how does a value of 1.35 make 1.5 any less wrong?

  171. Larry
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 9:06 PM | Permalink

    157, show me where he actually calculated anything.

  172. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 9:07 PM | Permalink

    Oh, and don’t think that you can convince me the arithmetic is wrong by linking to realclimate. I’m allergic.

  173. Raven
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 9:17 PM | Permalink

    Convince me this was a cover-up with intent to deceive.

    Why does intent make a difference? The issue at hand is whether society should be making huge investment decisions based on recommendations by the IPCC. These errors should have been caught by the IPCC but they were not. To make matters worse, the IPCC allowed its scientists to cover up the problem when it was discovered and the IPCC is still using the bad data in its latest reports. All of this makes it clear that the IPCC cannot be trusted and that we need to have an independent body of experts review its conclusions.

    Let’s put it another way. Let’s say your mechanic screwed up so badly on a break job that the work to be redone. When you complain the mechanic denies it can calls in his buddies to prove that the work that he did was fine. What would you do if this same mechanic later tells you that you need to rebuild your transmission at great expense. Wouldn’t you ask for a second opinion from someone other than his buddies?

  174. Phil.
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 9:19 PM | Permalink

    Re #128

    As of today, increases in Antarctic sea ice are 2 to 3 times larger than decreases in Arctic sea ice (on an anomaly basis). The fact of the matter is the Antarctic is freezing much faster than the Arctic is melting. Ref Cryospehere today.

    Actually you have that backwards currently the Arctic sea ice is freezing faster than the Antarctic sea ice is melting (on an anomaly basis), on an areal basis the Antarctic is melting faster than the Arctic is freezing.

  175. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 9:24 PM | Permalink

    Larry, who, moi? No!

    Phil, what you say is probably true, at the moment, but the reason the poster your correct is confused is because his information is from the summer, when the exact opposite was true. ;)

  176. Arthur Smith
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 9:38 PM | Permalink

    Pat Keating – #153

    here you go: http://prola.aps.org/abstract/PR/v38/i10/p1876_1

    you’ll need a subscription (any university library should have it) to download, or pay per article.

    [Disclaimer: I work for "The Physical Review" in my day job.]

  177. Susann
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 9:40 PM | Permalink

    Just so we are being clear, Mann isn’t a climatologist either (not his degree, though I’m willing to accept that he taught himself climatology if you’ll admit I’ve done the same )

    Have you published over 80 climatology papers and taught dozens of climatology courses? If so, i’ll grant you the title of climatologisst. :)

    Your withholding of judgment is very mature, but I think that it is slightly misplaced (that is my personal opinion, not necessarily being put forth as fact) Your right that personal judgments have skewed the discussion quite a bit, which is a shame. Hopefully once all this is resolved people can get back to agreeing about what we do and don’t know again.

    That is the most awe-inspiring comment! First, no one has to respond to anything I write. People can skip over my posts if they desire unanimity on everything. Second, it seems you want to claim the title “skeptic” but do not want others to display it and demand evidence when presented with arguments. That hardly seems valid. It also seems that you think this place has one “view” on everything and that all should agree on what the truth is. I’m amazed.

  178. Susann
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 9:46 PM | Permalink

    Why does intent make a difference? The issue at hand is whether society should be making huge investment decisions based on recommendations by the IPCC. These errors should have been caught by the IPCC but they were not. To make matters worse, the IPCC allowed its scientists to cover up the problem when it was discovered and the IPCC is still using the bad data in its latest reports. All of this makes it clear that the IPCC cannot be trusted and that we need to have an independent body of experts review its conclusions.

    If I’m not mistaken, the issue at hand, at least on this site, is about the quality of the data. The goal is to audit the data used to support the IPCC conclusions. The debate between a few of us is about whether the data was merely flawed by errors or was deliberately falsified. Although I am more than glad to see policy discussions, I was under the impression that this site was about auditing the science. :)

  179. bender
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 9:51 PM | Permalink

    Susann, this site *is* about auditing the science. And you know what the feeling on the street was regarding Barton, don’t you? Figure that out and you will understand how it is very hard to focus on the details of audit without getting into the process by which those details are procured. You’re trying to sit on a very shaky fence. Try a different fence.

  180. Phil.
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 9:54 PM | Permalink

    Re #160

    Well why don’t you take it up with him then, Phil? Better yet, why don’t you show us the proper arithmetic? And how does a value of 1.35 make 1.5 any less wrong?

    I have no interest in correcting the many mistakes in Motl’s blog, the only time I’ve gone there is when someone has quoted him here. However when he is quoted as a reliable source I try to correct that impression. In this case you claim that 1.5 is wrong because Motl says it’s about 1.

    Incidentally, your claim that the basic physics (that is, no feedbacks) gives a climate sensitivity of 1.5 degrees, this wrong, it’s about 1:

    Just because a correct application of Motl’s method gives ~1.35 doesn’t mean that’s correct either.

    I’ve corrected the arithmetic before but here it is again:

    380/280=1.357 , ln(1.357)= 0.305, ln(2)=0.693 therefore 44% of the effect of doubling has already occurred (not 66% as Motl claimed) hence 56% remains, since Motl used 0.6ºC as the previous increase the remaining effect of doubling is 0.6*0.56/0.44 = 0.764, 0.764+0.6= 1.364.

    It’s Motl’s handwaving argument for which I hold no brief, but he should at least get the arithmetic right!

    Re#162 & #166
    Zamboni time for you Larry do you ever contribute anything useful?

  181. Raven
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 9:56 PM | Permalink

    If I’m not mistaken, the issue at hand, at least on this site, is about the quality of the data. The goal is to audit the data used to support the IPCC conclusions. The debate between a few of us is about whether the data was merely flawed by errors or was deliberately falsified. Although I am more than glad to see policy discussions, I was under the impression that this site was about auditing the science.

    This site limits itself to the science. However, if the science is flawed then the conclusions derivived from that science are likely also flawed. This means there is a need to review the policy recommendations as well even if this site does not do it.

  182. Arthur Smith
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 9:57 PM | Permalink

    Andrew – #150 – I don’t know how you get such differing trend lines when the land and ocean temperature anomaly numbers are almost on top of each other. The land numbers are more variable, but as likely to be below the ocean numbers as above. I would guess from the picture that the trend lines as plotted are essentially meaningless – put error bars on them and they would be overlapping almost completely. In any case, given that the GISS and other global average temperatures do include area-weighted numbers for ocean and land, reducing the land numbers even by 50% would have little effect on the average anomaly in any given year, because land only contributes 30% – the trend is already dominated by the ocean trend. Or do you have actual numbers that show otherwise?

    And on climate sensitivity – I suggest you follow the Discovery of Global Warming link I gave earlier. The “basic physics” I was talking about is far more sophisticated than anything described on the “motis” site you reference. Come back to me when you have a calculation that includes the effects of multiple atmospheric layers and some acknowledgement of day-night and polar-equatorial differences. That’s all basic physics that has nothing to do with feedbacks.

    As for “negative feedbacks” – tell us what they are, and where they’re to be found? Stability only requires a positive feedback less than 1 (more than 1 degree of additional increase per degree of forcing increase would lead to a runaway), not negative so there’s no a priori reason net feedbacks should not be positive, and there’s clear evidence in favor of a strong positive feedback from water (which is after all the “most important” greenhouse gas).

  183. kim
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 10:02 PM | Permalink

    Motisophistocato.
    ===============

  184. bender
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 10:02 PM | Permalink

    1. Arthur, look closely at the end points on the ocean series.
    2. For the purposes of accountability & audit, R kicks Excel’s butt. If we had a turnkey script we could all run it and verify for ourselves that Arthur’s concern is unjustified. If we wanted to change the flavor of the analysis and show it around, we could do that.

  185. Phil.
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 10:04 PM | Permalink

    Re #169

    Phil, what you say is probably true, at the moment, but the reason the poster your correct is confused is because his information is from the summer, when the exact opposite was true.

    Then he has a strange understanding of ‘as of today’. ;) It wasn’t true in the summer either.

  186. bender
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 10:05 PM | Permalink

    The differing slopes makes sense from a thermal inertia perspective. But that’s crazy thermo climate science hot talk.

  187. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 10:15 PM | Permalink

    Phil and Arthur, while I’m sure those are very sophisticated methods, I’m going to ask Lubos to respond to your critique of him.

    Also, Phil, that isn’t quite the way I remember it, but okay, your the cryosphere expert, not me.

    And Phil, my point is that if 1 is wrong, so is 1.5, if we are saying so on the basis of 1.35 being right. Pretending that your value invalidates mine but not Arthurs is completely ridiculous.

    Arthur, the trend lines I got are from a fancy program call Microsoft Excel. Ever heard of it? I didn’t just draw them on.

  188. Pat Keating
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 10:17 PM | Permalink

    170 Arthur Smith

    Thanks for the link, though I must confess I was hoping to avoid paying to see such an old paper, or taking a trip to a university library.

    It’s interesting that you work for Phys Rev.
    I used to publish there, among other places, when I was still a research physicist, before joining the ranks of research management. My most-cited paper (but not my last one)was published there in 1966 (145, 637), under P. N. Keating. It irritated the Germans, who had trouble accepting that a fine physicist like Max Born could get something wrong.

  189. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 10:17 PM | Permalink

    Additionally, I’m not going to pretend I know there are negative feedbacks, but you shouldn’t pretend you know there are positive ones. Actually, the issue is how the add up. Please prove the add up to some big positive number. I’ll believe you when you have evidence.

  190. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 10:22 PM | Permalink

    bender, I’m sure it does, but I’m just 16 and I have no income. Additionally, I live with my parents.

    Now, I know I have opened myself up to criticism by revealing my age. But you should not underestimate me. I have a pretty high IQ (don’t ask me how, my mother keeps it secret, but it is high enough that I’m taking calculus in the eleventh grade), know how to use it, and behave like I’m ninety. So if you say, “don’t listen to him, he’s a dumb kid.” your being ageist and inaccurate.

  191. Phil.
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 10:24 PM | Permalink

    Re #181

    And Phil, my point is that if 1 is wrong, so is 1.5, if we are saying so on the basis of 1.35 being right. Pretending that your value invalidates mine but not Arthurs is completely ridiculous.

    Sorry I never said that, Motl’s value of 1 is wrong because the math is wrong, as I said that doesn’t mean the ~1.35 is right just that the math behind it is done correctly.

  192. Pat Keating
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 10:36 PM | Permalink

    176 Arthur Smith

    As for “negative feedbacks” – tell us what they are, and where they’re to be found?

    The most important ones in my mind are: clouds, and the water-vapor cycle. There is little doubt that the extra atmospheric humidity which RC would tell you add positive feedback via the GHE, will also increase cloud cover and the earth’s albedo, a negative feedback. It will also cause enhanced latent-heat-transfer to aid removal of surface heat to upper levels where radiative loss takes place. This is also a negative feedback.

    Lindzen has pointed out other likely mechanisms, including the Iris Effect.

  193. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 10:38 PM | Permalink

    Arthur, actually looked at the page, and noted the mentions of feedback, and it seems pretty clear that the understanding of feedback was never good and is still problematic. For whatever reason, the possibility of negative feedbacks is neglected, as I said earlier. Incidentally, I think you said something about one degree extra not being destabilizing, yes? This is fundamentally false. Positive feedback by definition amplifies an effect, which means it also amplifies itself, and so-on-and-so-forth, which means that, yes, we get a rather unnatural destabilization. Usually, one assumes that feedbacks are negative, that the system is stable. But why is it the opposite in climatology?

  194. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 10:41 PM | Permalink

    Phil, is 1.5 right or not? Hm? You want it to be right, don’t you? Because you also insist that 1.35 is wrong, or at least could be.

  195. Pat Keating
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 10:43 PM | Permalink

    Andrew
    Good for you, there’s no shame in admitting one’s age — it is what it is.

    Have you decided what you want to do with your intelligence in your life?

    BTW, don’t act like ninety. There’s plenty of time to act like ninety when you are in your 70’s. Have fun while you have the gift of youth — it doesn’t last so long.

  196. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 10:50 PM | Permalink

    Susann says:
    December 30th, 2007 at 9:40 pm

    Just so we are being clear, Mann isn’t a climatologist either (not his degree, though I’m willing to accept that he taught himself climatology if you’ll admit I’ve done the same )

    Have you published over 80 climatology papers and taught dozens of climatology courses? If so, i’ll grant you the title of climatologisst. :)

    Your withholding of judgment is very mature, but I think that it is slightly misplaced (that is my personal opinion, not necessarily being put forth as fact) Your right that personal judgments have skewed the discussion quite a bit, which is a shame. Hopefully once all this is resolved people can get back to agreeing about what we do and don’t know again.

    That is the most awe-inspiring comment! First, no one has to respond to anything I write. People can skip over my posts if they desire unanimity on everything. Second, it seems you want to claim the title “skeptic” but do not want others to display it and demand evidence when presented with arguments. That hardly seems valid. It also seems that you think this place has one “view” on everything and that all should agree on what the truth is. I’m amazed.

    I realize this should have been responded to a while ago, but I got distracted.

    Susann, I would hope you realize that first comment was a joke. Not sure were I said you couldn’t be considered a skeptic, but I’m happy to award you the moniker “skeptic-skeptic”, which you certainly are. In no way can I vaguely imagine what I said to mean that everyone here agrees. I said their was disagreement, didn’t I? I certainly didn’t mean we have to agree, just that perhaps once we’ve resolved the reasons for the biggest disagreement, we can get back to not hating each other over these things. Somehow that got turned into something you found offensive. I apologize.

  197. Raven
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 10:51 PM | Permalink

    This is fundamentally false. Positive feedback by definition amplifies an effect, which means it also amplifies itself, and so-on-and-so-forth, which means that, yes, we get a rather unnatural destabilization.

    Arthur is talking about system with positive feedback is that less that 1 which means it is theoretically possible for the system to reach an unstable equilibrium point. The operative word in that statement is ‘unstable’ since any perturbation would cause the system to shift to a new equilibrium point. The climate system has a lot internal variation yet it is extremely stable. For that reason it cannot possibly be in an unstable equilibrium – the dominate feature must be negative feedback producing a stable equilibrium. We may not know what the exact mechanism is but it is reasonable to assume it exists.

  198. Pat Keating
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 10:53 PM | Permalink

    182 Andrew

    I’m afraid you are wrong about positive feedback, and Arthur is correct.

    If the positive feedback is small enough so that a*g is less than 1, where a is the feedback coefficient and g is the open-loop gain (i.e., the gain without feedback), then the system is stable (though it gets squiffy as a*g approaches 1).

    The closed-loop system gain is enhanced: g/(1-a*g),
    but not made unstable.

    But see post 181 re negative feedback mechanisms.

  199. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 10:54 PM | Permalink

    Thanks Pat. Personally, I’d like to be an engineer, but I really have no idea what I want to do. I certainly wouldn’t want to be a climatologist though. All this angry disagreement is off-putting. Engineers, on th other hand-well I supposed they’d have disagreements to, but I’d like to think you could still have a beer with the guy after (not that I’d be drinking, just speaking metaphorically).

  200. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 10:56 PM | Permalink

    Thanks, Pat. Guess I was wrong, common sense really is the metaphysics of savages. But, the issue is how they add up. You’ve raised a good point about those negative feedbacks. Thanks for the input.

  201. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 11:03 PM | Permalink

    Coincidentally all of the ‘incidents’ mentioned above just happen to be on one side, to preserve credibility perhaps you should have included the dubious graphs of Friis-Christensen and Lassen (1991 & 2000), the inappropriate data (and truncation) of Svensmark and Friis-Christensen[1997] and Svensmark [1998] and the present mess of Courtillot et al. to name a few that come to mind.

    None of the papers that you cite have been relied on by IPCC. My primary interest is in papers that are being used for policy purposes. If I could clone myself, I would cover more things. However, at some point, I’ll try to make some time to look at these papers.

  202. Pat Keating
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 11:03 PM | Permalink

    Arthur
    I was a research physicist, and we used to have some great arguments, without any rancor. That’s the only way to determine what is true, to bounce opposite points of view off each other (in private), but keep an open mind and don’t involve emotions. Public arguments tend to get nastier, because pride and status get involved, and that is a big part of the climatology polarization.

  203. Gunnar
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 11:04 PM | Permalink

    >> This is fundamentally false. Positive feedback by definition amplifies an effect, which means it also amplifies itself, and so-on-and-so-forth, which means that, yes, we get a rather unnatural destabilization. Usually, one assumes that feedbacks are negative, that the system is stable. But why is it the opposite in climatology?

    Andrew, you are wise beyond your years. I guess it’s because… (feeling embarassed that us older folks are not able to present our children with a reasonable world)… I guess it’s because without proposing an inherent instability (contrary to all human experience), there is no need for political action?

    How easy it is for you (along with my 16 year old) to see through our obsfucations.

  204. Arthur Smith
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 11:09 PM | Permalink

    Hi Andrew – that’s cool; I started calculus when I was 14 though (I was up to differential equations and quantum mechanics by 16) so you might want to check the ego a little.

    On #181 – Presumably you used Excel’s linear regression trend lines then – what was the R^2 value?

    On #183 – Water vapor (“the most important greenhouse gas”) has a positive feedback. The evidence for that is very strong. The various feedbacks (both positive and negative) are discussed in some detail in AR4 WG1 Chapter 8 – section 8.6.3 “Key physical processes involved in climate sensitivity”. 8.6.3.1 discusses water vapor:

    Absorption of LW radiation increases approximately with the logarithm of water vapour concentration, while the Clausius-Clapeyron equation dictates a near-exponential increase in moisture-holding capacity with temperature. Since tropospheric and surface temperatures are closely coupled (see Section 3.4.1), these constraints predict a strongly positive water vapour feedback if relative humidity (RH) is close to unchanged.

    Pat – another solid state guy! I worked on quasicrystals as a grad student a while back – my most cited paper was this one: http://prola.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v59/i12/p1365_1 but not as popular as yours…

  205. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 11:11 PM | Permalink

    Except, Gunnar, that Pat did a good job of explaining why I was wrong.

    But I’m certainly not so modest as to not accept a complement! Thanks.

  206. bender
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 11:15 PM | Permalink

    #192 thermo talk is off topic at CA.

  207. Andrew
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 11:22 PM | Permalink

    Ocean: .2959
    Land: .2554

    Not very good, but my point was that the ocean warming is clearly not large enough to make up for problems in the land data.

    As for “checking my ego” bragging about being into quantum mechanics at my age isn’t a bit egotistical? The point wasn’t that I’m smarter than anyone else, but that you should trash me because of my age, and I’m intelligent enough to discuss with this with you.

    Anyway, I’d be doing better in these things if I wasn’t a slacker who gets distracted by these internet discussions. ;)

    Water vapor as positive feedback would be a “duh” but it is self limiting, due to various factors, including that some of it becomes clouds. Also, curious as to this qualifier:

    “these constraints predict a strongly positive water vapour feedback if relative humidity (RH) is close to unchanged.”

    Well, is it so or isn’t it? Don’t just say it “should be” give me the data. I know I’m frustrating, but as I said, I don’t take these things on faith, I demand data, always.

  208. Arthur Smith
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 11:23 PM | Permalink

    Raven – #185, see Pat – #186. There is no instability – think of the process Andrew described as an infinite series:

    T = T0 + dT + dT*a + dT*a^2 + dT*a^3 + …

    where T0 is the original temperature and dT is a perturbation (caused, for instance, by additional greenhouse forcing). With a response ‘a’ that is less than 1, the series converges to the formula Pat gave. If ‘a’ is greater than 1, it runs away. If ‘a’ is negative (and greater than -1) it also converges nicely; in all these cases the final temperature is stable to any further small perturbation.

  209. Phil.
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 11:26 PM | Permalink

    Re #182

    Phil, is 1.5 right or not? Hm? You want it to be right, don’t you? Because you also insist that 1.35 is wrong, or at least could be.

    No, just that Motl’s estimate is a handwaving one with no real great theoretical insight and as shown in the original form is incorrect.

  210. Arthur Smith
    Posted Dec 30, 2007 at 11:47 PM | Permalink

    Andrew (#195) – read on in the IPCC chapter 8 report for the full discussion, here’s some of it:

    In the planetary boundary layer, humidity is controlled by strong coupling with the surface, and a broad-scale quasiunchanged RH response is uncontroversial (Wentz and Schabel, 2000; Trenberth et al., 2005; Dai, 2006). Confidence in GCMs’ water vapour feedback is also relatively high in the extratropics, because large-scale eddies, responsible for much of the moistening throughout the troposphere, are explicitly resolved, and keep much of the atmosphere at a substantial fraction of saturation throughout the year (Stocker et al., 2001). Humidity changes in the tropical middle and upper troposphere, however, are less well understood and have more TOA radiative impact than do other regions of the atmosphere (e.g., Held and Soden, 2000; Colman, 2001). Therefore, much of the research since the TAR has focused on the RH response in the tropics with emphasis on the upper troposphere (see Bony et al., 2006 for a review), and confidence in the humidity response of this region is central to confidence in modelled water vapour feedback. [...]

    By the way, if you took a little time to read through the IPCC reports (much quicker than reading everything on this site!) you’d see answers to most of your other questions too. There are two other main feedbacks they *do* account for in climate models:

    * 8.6.3.2 – Clouds (clouds both cool the Earth through albedo and heat the Earth through night-time trapping) – in current climate clouds give a net negative feedback, but there is some reason to think it might change with warming
    * 8.6.3.3 – Cryosphere – (small) positive feedback due to reduced snow and ice cover in warmer world

    There are other feedback effects that are of concern in estimates of future change but usually not included in the models: carbon cycle feedbacks (increased emissions of CO2 from natural sources as temperature rises), and methane feedbacks (from thawing permafrost), and changes in ocean circulation in response to changing temperature. These could have major impacts. Given the ice ages of not so long ago, there’s good reason to believe the climate is closer to the large-feedback instability point than we might intuitively think from the relatively stable temperatures of recent centuries.

    bender #194 – how is this thermodynamics?

  211. Raven
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 12:18 AM | Permalink

    Roy Spenser presents a counter argument to the GCM derived positive feedback process here:

    http://www.weatherquestions.com/Roy-Spencer-on-global-warming.htm

    Spenser says:

    Partly because precipitation systems cover only several percent of the Earth’s surface at any given time, even most climate researchers do not appreciate the controlling influence these systems have on the climate system. All of the humid air flowing into precipitation systems in the lower atmosphere ends up flowing out of those same systems, mostly in the middle and upper atmosphere. That air flowing out has moisture (water vapor and cloud) amounts that are directly controlled by precipitation processes within the systems.

    The IPCC’s handling of the tree ring proxy data demonstrates that the IPCC is more than willing to put claims into its reports that are not supported by the evidence. Therefore, one cannot assume that “if it is in the IPCC report then it must be true”.

    Arthur said:

    Given the ice ages of not so long ago, there’s good reason to believe the climate is closer to the large-feedback instability point than we might intuitively think from the relatively stable temperatures of recent centuries.

    The ice age data suggests that the warming process is self limiting and we really don’t understand what mechanisms were involved. There are a number of hypotheses but none can be verified.

    The catatrophic CO2 induced warming hypothesis only has 20 years of data (1978-1998) to support it (the warming from 1800-1950 is generally assumed to be the result of the sun). The last 10 years do not really support the CO2 hypothesis. Arguing that 10 years is a statistical blib makes no sense when the data supporting the theory is a mere 20 years. Fortunately, the sun is heading into a period of low activity which will allow us to test the CO2 hypothesis over the next 20 years. If we see cooling while CO2 levels rise then it is safe to assume that the sun is the major driver of climate. If we see stable or warming temps despite lower sun activity then CO2 will be confirmed as a major driver.

  212. pjm
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 12:27 AM | Permalink

    Andrew #169

    Now I am confused. After all, it is summer now, and it was 41 degrees (Celsius) earlier today. Perhaps month names might be helpful.

    What was the trend over the year, though, comparing Arctic and Antarctic melting and freezing over northern and southern winters and summers? What about last year?

    Peter

  213. Phil.
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 12:40 AM | Permalink

    Re #200

    Try this:

  214. pjm
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 4:06 AM | Permalink

    Phil #201

    Thanks for the interesting graph.

    Peter

  215. Andrey Levin
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 4:35 AM | Permalink

    Andrew:

    For WV feedback take a look at my post #43 at Unthreaded #28:

    Assume water evaporation globally equals precipitation. Average over Earth surface precipitation is 1 meter per year, which is 2.74 kg of water per square meter per day. Evaporation of 1 kg of water at room temperature requires 2260 kJ/kg.
    2.74kg/m2/day * 2260 000 J/kg / 24h/day / 3600s/h = 72 J/s/m2 = 72 W/m2
    72W/m2 of solar radiation reaching Earth surface (averaged night and day over all surface) is used to evaporate water, and this energy is lifted by convection to upper troposphere where energy is released by condensation and emitted into space by LW radiation, by-passing CO2 ‘blanket’.
    This calculation does not include higher energy required for ice sublimation, or additional energy ‘lost’ into space when ‘precipitation’ is snow. Convective heat transfer by dry air is also not included (could be reverse calculated knowing average humidity of rising air). Compare to about 170 W/m2 of solar radiation reaching Earth surface.
    P.S. Heating of air by 1 degree C roughly increases absolute humidity into the air by 10%. It means that for whatever CO2 increase to drive atmosphere temperature higher by 1 degree, 7.2W/m2 forcing should be reserved to evaporate 10% more water (other vice 1 degree heating will not be achieved).

    My number of 72 W/m2 for maintaining evaporative cooling of Earth surface is in close agreement with number of 78 W/m2 for latent heat tropospheric heat transfer estimated by Kiehl and Trenberth 1997:

    full article here:

    http://www.junkscience.com/Greenhouse/RadiationBudget.pdf

    The question is whether additional radiative forcing of 10% increase of absolute humidity (from assumed 1C warming) is higher than 7.2-7.8 W/m2 required to maintain this increase in absolute humidity. The answer is NO. Most reliable and appropriate iterations using MODTRAN were done, for example, by De Witt on his blog, but also elsewhere:

    You can see how the water vapor feedback works in MODTRAN. 1976 Standard atmosphere, 375 ppm CO2, 15 km looking down, hold water vapor pressure constant, Iout = 261.625 W m-2. Same settings except increase CO2 to 750, Iout = 258.171 W m-2. So the forcing is 3.454 W m-2. Set Ground T offset to 1.02, Iout =261.625 again. So for these conditions without any feedback, the sensitivity to doubling is 1.02 oC. The sensitivity varies with locality. It’s highest in the tropics and lowest in the subarctic winter. Now change to hold water vapor relative humidity constant. At the initial settings, it’s still the same Iout. The forcing is still the same because you haven’t changed the ground temperature offset. However, you now have to increase the ground temperature offset to 1.5 oC to get back to 261.625. For the tropical atmosphere the forcing is 4.333 W m-2 and the temperature offsets are 1.17 and 1.92 oC for constant water vapor pressure and constant relative humidity.

    So, very roughly, and closing eyes for stupidifying averaging of all parameters over Earth surface, seasons, and day/night, water vapor has strong negative feedback to any (not only CO2) external radiative forcing.

  216. bender
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 4:45 AM | Permalink

    The last 10 years do not really support the CO2 hypothesis. Arguing that 10 years is a statistical blib makes no sense when the data supporting the theory is a mere 20 years.

    1999-2007 inclusive is only 9 years. Here’s why I’m splitting hairs. Someone else here (Daniel Klein?) tried to pin Gavin Schmidt down on what time frame would constitute disproof of GHG AGW and he suggested roughly 10 years would be a suitably impressive departure to convince him something was off in the GCMs. But he was quick to assert that there’s nothing hard about “10” as a threshold. He suggested that, ceteris paribus, a failure to break the 1998 records during the next coincident solar cycle peak + El Nino (whenever that happens) would be convincing that the current trend is flat and GHG sensitivity is lower than current consensus belief.

    This seemed to me like a sober assessment. I was surprised that we was able to say this, and restrain the urge to add something else about the strength of the consensus, the cause for alarm, and the need for vigorous action etc, etc. It seemed entirely too objective and analytical.

  217. bender
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 4:50 AM | Permalink

    Andrey, Arthur, Gunnar, Andrew:
    Would it be possible to move thermo talk – defined very broadly, Art – to lucia’s blog?

    Until someone can show a single auditible derivation of the climate sensitivity number, Steve M is not interested, and you’re in zamboni country.

  218. Andrey Levin
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 5:14 AM | Permalink

    Fair warning, Bender.

    I will not continue this discussion here. I just took freedom to post on Unthreaded one aspect of WV effects (7.2 W/m2), possibly omitted from mainstream GHG theory.

  219. Raven
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 5:47 AM | Permalink

    This seemed to me like a sober assessment. I was surprised that we was able to say this, and restrain the urge to add something else about the strength of the consensus, the cause for alarm, and the need for vigorous action etc, etc. It seemed entirely too objective and analytical.

    He gave himself some wiggle room by insisting that the zero trend had to apply to all major datasets – including the dubious surface temps. That is why he starts counting from 2005 instead of 1999. He probably does not need to worry since even the lowest estimates from the sceptics suggest a minimum 0.5 degC warming from CO2 in the next 100 years. We are less than 0.05 degC from the peak records today so a solar cycle peak+el nino will likely push the temps into record territory around 2012-2013.

    In my view, the dangerous CO2 hypothesis will not be validated unless we see a warming of at least 0.2 degC during the next solar minimum in 2015-2018. Anything less suggests the skeptics estimate of CO2 sensitivity are closer to the truth.

  220. JamesG
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 6:02 AM | Permalink

    “Given the ice ages of not so long ago, there’s good reason to believe the climate is closer to the large-feedback instability point than we might intuitively think from the relatively stable temperatures of recent centuries”

    On the big scale, one can easily argue that we are clearly over the hump and on the way back down again to another ice age – as indeed Bob Carter does argue quite effectively.

  221. welikerocks
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 6:27 AM | Permalink

    My goodness!

    A classic inline comment from mike (of NASA?), re: Soylent Green

    @Real Climate, “The Forecast in the Streets”:
    #5 David R Hickey Says:
    29 December 2007 at 12:06 AM

    as far as SciFi Movies perhaps representative of future conditions go, I Highly recommend watching Soylent Green & Children of Men. They are both prophetic and right on track. They Should frighten you.

    [Response: I often tell folks that if they want a glimpse of a possible worst-case 2100ish century world, ‘Soylent Green’ may be their best bet. While the movie was indeed prophetic in recognizing anthropogenic global warming as a real potential future threat in the early 70s (responsible for the perpetual heat wave that afflicts Earth’s inhabitants), it appears that overpopulation was envisioned as the primary aggravating factor. Nonetheless, with rising sea level and environmental refugeeism compounding the increased demand on water, food, and land of a growing population (albeit one likely to level out mid 21st century), the combined impacts of climate change and global population increase could potentially yield a world that doesn’t look that different from the one portrayed in the movie–indeed, as Jim Hansen puts it, “a different planet”–by century’s end. There are a number of other 1970s distopian sci fi movies that were ahead of their time in how they looked at issues of sustainability. The one I find most disturbing of all is “Silent Running”. -mike]
    ;)

  222. bender
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 6:31 AM | Permalink

    Raven, I am enjoying your comments. You have a watchful eye and a good memory.

  223. Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 7:37 AM | Permalink

    @Arthur:

    bender #194 – how is this thermodynamics?

    Claussius – Clayperon is generally considered a topic in thermo (as opposed to electricity and magnetisms, heat transfer, fluid dynamics or pure math.) Relative humidity discussions nearly always veer off into thermo. Steve wants to avoid thermo discussions.

  224. Arthur Smith
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 7:52 AM | Permalink

    Andrey Levin (#203) and Raven (#199) – if the Spenser argument about precipitation were correct, it would apply to the entire greenhouse effect from water vapor. But it’s well-established that without water vapor’s greenhouse effect, we would have a planet at least 20 degrees C colder than now. Do you disagree with that? Unless there’s some water vapor level below which the net greenhouse forcing is negative, above which it’s positive?

    In fact, Andrey, your argument in #203 ignores conservation of energy and several other issues (ok, now we’re getting into thermodynamics – on the other hand, Steve McIntyre invited all this with his discussion of climate sensitivty in #99 here).

    When you say:

    [...] upper troposphere where energy is released by condensation and emitted into space

    the energy released by condensation doesn’t get directly emitted into space, it goes to heating the part of the atmosphere where it’s released. So the direct effect of the water vapor cycle is on upper troposphere temperature, not on the radiation budget. And the temperature distribution of atmospheric layers is an important part of any modeling of climate sensitivity and temperature response to forcing.

    Of course, all this is well understood and covered in the IPCC reports and the papers that they are based on. The issue is the water vapor flux which results in a latent heat flux at different points in the atmosphere. See FAQ 3.2 in chapter 3 of AR4-WG1 for instance, or box 7.1 in chapter 7:

    The land surface on average is heated by net radiation balanced by exchanges with the atmosphere of sensible and latent heat, known as the ‘surface energy balance’. Sensible heat is the energy carried by the atmosphere in its temperature and latent heat is the energy lost from the surface by evaporation of surface water. The latent heat of the water vapour is converted to sensible heat in the atmosphere through vapour condensation and this condensed water is returned to the surface through precipitation.

  225. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 8:15 AM | Permalink

    RE#209, yet the RC folks went ballistic over a piece of Crichton sci-fi that was anti-GW.
    It is intereting to see Mann’s interest in “1970s distopian sci fi movies that were ahead of their time.” It would be interesting to know at which point in his life he watched them. One would have to wonder if those helped shape his beliefs.

  226. Pat Keating
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 8:27 AM | Permalink

    192 Arthur Smith
    Interesting abstract.
    Some years after the 1966 article, I did a formal quantum-field-theory of phonon spectra (which was also in Phys. Rev. — 175, 1171). That didn’t get too many cites — too formal to be useful — but I enjoyed using Feynman diagrams (to ‘dress’ the bare-ion phonons with electron interactions).

  227. Andrew
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 8:35 AM | Permalink

    bender says:
    December 31st, 2007 at 4:50 am

    Andrey, Arthur, Gunnar, Andrew:
    Would it be possible to move thermo talk – defined very broadly, Art – to lucia’s blog?

    Until someone can show a single auditible derivation of the climate sensitivity number, Steve M is not interested, and you’re in zamboni country.

    Good idea, bender. Sorry to cause so much trouble. Alright, lets go everyone!

  228. Andrew
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 8:37 AM | Permalink

    Michael, I would assume, in the 70’s?

  229. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 8:42 AM | Permalink

    Arthur re:212

    You write:

    Andrey Levin (#203) and Raven (#199) – if the Spenser argument about precipitation were correct, it would apply to the entire greenhouse effect from water vapor. But it’s well-established that without water vapor’s greenhouse effect, we would have a planet at least 20 degrees C colder than now. Do you disagree with that? Unless there’s some water vapor level below which the net greenhouse forcing is negative, above which it’s positive?

    Unless I misunderstand, I think it is the opposite. (Perhaps that is what you meant to write.) At a low level of water vapor, you would have a positive greenhouse effect. As the level of water vapor increases, you eventually reach a level at which you have a net negative feedback (the clouds formed create a net cooling effect, the infrared iris effect, etc).

    In comment #23, I provided you with two links to Pielke’s blog (one of the most highly cited climatologists in the field) where he corrects the IPCC and discusses these issues.

  230. steven mosher
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 8:49 AM | Permalink

    bender, have a listen.. its long

    [video src="http://www.climateprediction.net/science/pubs/OpenDay2006/nick_f.wmv" /]

    or pdf

    http://www.climateprediction.net/science/pubs/OpenDay2006/NF_OpenDay2006.pdf

  231. Gunnar
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 9:01 AM | Permalink

    >> Except, Gunnar, that Pat did a good job of explaining why I was wrong.

    And yet the AGW proponents speak of “tipping points” and “runaway greenhouse” and depict all sorts of catastrophic climate disasters. This implies a pole in the right half plane. This is the only way to force political action. The fact that AGW scientists aren’t quite able to provide enough cover for the thrust of the political argument is irrelevant.

    (I’m a BSEE, had a great control system teacher and in my career, implemented numerous control systems. As we speak, locomotives are pulling freight all across this country using digital control systems I implemented)

    Can you imagine Al Gore standing up there saying “yes, there is a C02 effect, but the system is quite stable, so it can only produce a small temperature increase. Nothing to worry about”?

    So Andrew, your instinct and my comment #191 are right on track.

  232. Pat Keating
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 9:01 AM | Permalink

    212 Arthur Smith

    But it’s well-established that without water vapor’s greenhouse effect, we would have a planet at least 20 degrees C colder than now. Do you disagree with that? Unless there’s some water vapor level below which the net greenhouse forcing is negative, above which it’s positive?

    I can’t make sense of this. Do you mean the opposite?

    I would say that it is quite likely that the overall effect of water vapor is positive (i.e., warming) at low levels and negative at high levels. At low levels, there is little cloud formation and precipitation, so the sunshade effect and evaporative/precipitation cooling are ‘missing’, and the GHE may dominate. At higher water-vapor levels, the GHE is optically saturated (so the positive GH effect ends) and negative effects dominate: clouds form (screening the insolation) and rain falls, driving the latent-heat cycle.

    The latent heat of the water vapour is converted to sensible heat in the atmosphere through vapour condensation and this condensed water is returned to the surface through precipitation.

    It is worth noting that this precipitation is invariably quite a bit colder than the surface/lower-troposphere, and a lot of sensible heat is required to bring it up to temperature, before latent heat of evaporation is even involved.

    It seems to me that this effect is often overlooked in discussions of the cycle.

  233. Andrew
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 9:07 AM | Permalink

    Sorry, bender, I think she doesn’t want us:

    @Andrew– The difficulty is that many of the discussions here have been specifically banned! (The why are deserts hot, had too much thermo etc.)

    Even on unthreaded, SteveM doesn’t want people to advance their own theories. So, these sorts of things get deleted.

    I’ll leave them up! :)

    :(

  234. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 9:11 AM | Permalink

    I’m happy to discuss things like Lucia’s analysis of Hansen 1988 – that’s specific. If people want to create proper threads, I’ll often post them. I just want to things to stay somewhat focused recognizing the centrifugal tendency.

  235. Andrew
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 9:20 AM | Permalink

    Opps, she miss read. Everybody, could we try to move our climate sensitivity discussion to Lucia’s blog, perhaps? And anything else that doesn’t really belong here.

  236. Pat Keating
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 9:22 AM | Permalink

    Steve, I understand your frustration, but at least we’ve got past the watt-hr and hot desert thing! I suspect you must sometimes feel like the Dutch boy trying to hold back the North Sea leaking through the dyke wall.
    Much of the discussion here is related to the climate sensitivity thing, which is a critical issue, and is being discussed in a non-wacko way I think.

  237. Larry
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 9:26 AM | Permalink

    218, All Phil wants to do is trash Lubos Motl. He has no real interest in the climate issue.

  238. Larry
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 9:32 AM | Permalink

    Steve, I understand your frustration, but at least we’ve got past the watt-hr and hot desert thing!

    Don’t count on it.

  239. Wansbeck
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 9:36 AM | Permalink

    re #105 Andrew,

    Here is your graph showing the overall trend plus the trend before the 1998 warming. I done it in Open Office so don’t know the formulae used and people can argue about the start and end points but it should give the general idea. It doesn’t look like the warming expected from a monotonically rising forcing.

  240. Andrew
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 9:46 AM | Permalink

    Thanks Wansbeck, very nice graph. Probably belongs with the other discussion I’m trying to move to lucia’s blog, though.

  241. Andrew
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 9:50 AM | Permalink

    Pat, 237, Steve doesn’t like having these kinds of discussions here becuase they are beyond the scope of the blog, as I understand it. We’d probably be better discussing the issue, since it is important, at Lucia’s blog.

  242. Gunnar
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 9:52 AM | Permalink

    >> Global Climate is a misnomer. There is not such thing as global climate;

    Nasif, nonsensical semantics.

  243. Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 9:58 AM | Permalink

    # 244

    Gunnar,

    Yes, it is; however, make them understand… ;)

  244. Gunnar
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 10:00 AM | Permalink

    Andrew, actually, I don’t remember Steve M having trouble with cliamte sensitivity or feedback. It’s not radiation, thermodynamics, convection. I can’t explain why bender has labelled a discussion completely devoid of thermo, and called it thermo.

    Steve
    : I don’t object to these topics if there are proper thread references and analyses. It’s just that these have too often gone into opinions and armwaving.

  245. Andrew
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 10:00 AM | Permalink

    I don’t know Nasif, it seems to me if people want to average the weather conditions of the entire globe over thirty year periods, we should let them. ;)

    But yeah, it is a bit of a silly idea, the way it is commonly put confuses people. Because, after all, it’s not really Global Warming, but “Warming, on balance, over the entire globe” but that sounds silly when you say it, which is why they just say “climate change” to encompass local coolings.

  246. Gunnar
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 10:01 AM | Permalink

    >> Yes, it is;

    Oh, were you being sarcastic?

  247. M. Jeff
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 10:10 AM | Permalink

    #214 Phil. December 31st, 2007 at 12:40 am

    Does the cautionary note apply to the graph you presented?

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/

    NOTE: The timeseries graphs on this site are currently incorrect. We had a hardware problem corrupt the data and are currently recreating the timeseries from original data sources. Expect the correct data in 5-7 days. We apologize for the inconvenience.

  248. Andrew
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 10:17 AM | Permalink

    Jeff, hm… Think an audit is in order? Sounds a bit like that Y2K problem all over again! ;)

  249. kim
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 10:17 AM | Permalink

    s, it is not the c it is the c-u. Do you misconstrue the meaning of ‘censored’ deliberately or ingenuously?
    ==========================================================

  250. Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 10:27 AM | Permalink

    # 247

    Andrew,

    I don’t know Nasif, it seems to me if people want to average the weather conditions of the entire globe over thirty year periods, we should let them.

    Yes, let them be! ;)

    which is why they just say “climate change” to encompass local coolings.

    …and to transform it into an irrefutable hypothesis. As climate always change, they always will be right.

  251. Larry
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 10:31 AM | Permalink

    246, a subtle distinction: I think control system theory (process dynamics and stability) is an ok topic as far as it goes. You can actually talk intelligently about that without delving into mechanisms. The underlying mechanisms sometimes get into forbidden territory.

  252. Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 10:33 AM | Permalink

    Steve McIntyre,

    Why you have forsaken me? ;) I mean, why you snipped my messages? I want to make sure about the things we cannot talk about here.

  253. Johan i Kanada
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 10:39 AM | Permalink

    #248
    Probably they have been notified by the authorities that these observations don’t fit the consensus theory.
    Hence, now they have to change the data, or else risk being charged with illegal AGW denialist activities.

  254. M. Jeff
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 11:22 AM | Permalink

    re: #254 Johan i Kanada December 31st, 2007 at 10:39 am

    Is the warning facetious or real?

  255. Phil.
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

    Re #238

    218, All Phil wants to do is trash Lubos Motl. He has no real interest in the climate issue.

    Yet again Larry you bring nothing useful to the table, another Zamboni moment for you.

    I’ve posted 3 or 4 times re Motl’s misleading blogs when others have referenced them here, compared with many other posts on other climate issues. What is it with you re Motl are you his big brother?

  256. Phil.
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 11:29 AM | Permalink

    Re #248

    #214 Phil. December 31st, 2007 at 12:40 am

    Does the cautionary note apply to the graph you presented?

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/

    I don’t believe so since it has been restored to its previous state, some of the local data has still not been restored though

  257. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 11:29 AM | Permalink

    Re: #160

    I can’t know for certain Mann’s motives for resisting, even if he told me. I can only guess. Steve McIntyre is not a climate scientist. I might suggest that the reluctance to turn data over was because Steve was not part of the community, was not a scientist, and not a climate scientist. That may not be a valid motive, but it might be a real motive. As I’ve said before, there is considerable political interest in climate research. It is possible that someone not skilled or understanding of the ins and outs of climate data might use it improperly and draw incorrect conclusions about it. Someone who is biased might use it for political purposes (just as it is possible for scientists to do the same ) It is possible that he knew the horrible state of the data and was embarrased. There are a variety of reasons. Which reason you assume is correct depends on your initial assumptions about Mann and perhaps AGW. I am withholding judgement until I know more.

    Are any of these motives valid or proper ones? I am sure one can rationalize withholding judgment forever. I particularly liked your lawyerly one about the potential for a “non-scientist” abusing the data.

  258. bender
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 11:39 AM | Permalink

    Phil., FWIW I don’t see anything wrong with correcting anyone’s math or keeping them honest by exploring their use of numbers. For many, Motl is an authority. As such, he should be held to a higher standard of accountability than others. I doubt he would strongly disagree. Nobody is above audit.

    Gunnar, FWIW I have nothing against thermo, feedbacks, sensitivity, any of that stuff. But my hope for 2008 is that we get more structure around the discussions. The information that you and Nasif and Pat and many others here bring to the table will have maximum utility if it can be categorized in a way that Steve M can search it. If it is all junked up in unthreaded, it’s largely unusable. That’s all. When you comment, be mindful that you are adding something to the searchable record. How things are added matters as much as how you add bricks to a brick wall. Random tosses don’t work well.

  259. Larry
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 11:42 AM | Permalink

    259, except that if you follow the link, Dr. Motl made no such calculation. “Phil.” is simply making false claims.

  260. bender
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 11:46 AM | Permalink

    #260 Is he? I thought I read that article by Motl, but maybe I scanned too quickly. Phil. are you making false claims?

  261. Andrew
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 12:09 PM | Permalink

    After asking Lubos himself, he told me that 1.35 was within the margin of error by his method, so your correction is not necessarily in disagreement with what he said (although I’m personally not fond of error margin arguments.)

    Over there I’m known as “Werdna” (my name backwards) becuase someone else named Andrew was already there.

    LM: Dear Werdna, 1.35 is within the error margin. Schwartz writes 1.1 plus minus 0.5, for example. Other people deviate much more substantially. I don’t claim to know the value with a 1% accuracy! Happy New Year, Lubos

  262. John Lang
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 12:24 PM | Permalink

    The climate sensitivity number is the MOST important fact/conjecture in this debate.

    If the climate sensitivity is only 1.0C (or 1.5C) per doubling of CO2, then global warming will not be a problem at all.

    Sometime in this century, we will reach the first doubling level and temperatures will have increased 1.0C. Sometime in the next millenium, we will reach the next doubling (if we don’t run out of fossil fuels before then) and temperatures will have increased 2.0C. Big deal, those kind of numbers are probably a positive thing considering how much of the planet is too cold for us right now.

    If the climate sensitivity is 2.9C (or 4.5C) as Gavin and Hansen and the IPCC says, then global warming will be a very significant problem.

    But which number is right???? Its the difference between a good thing and a catastrophe. We must get this number right, not just guess at it or model it!

    The basic physics calculations show 1.0C. The history of the Earth’s climate and the history of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere indicate 1.0C to 1.5C is the right climate sensitivity number, certainly not 4.5C.

    500 million years ago, CO2 levels were 7,000 ppm (about 5 doublings from the pre-industrial level of 280 ppm). The temperature at the time was about 5.0C warmer than day.

    If Gavin and Hansen are right, the global temperature should have been about 17.0C warmer than today (which it obviously was not.)

    300 million years ago, the planet went through a significant ice age, half the land masses were under glaciers. CO2 levels were about 1,000 ppm at the time (about 2 doublings.)

    600 million years ago, nearly the entire Earth (including the tropical oceans) froze over in the Snowball Earth episode. CO2 levels might have been as high as 8,500 ppm at the time.

    Here is the history of the planet’s temperature over the past 540 million years.

    Here is the history of CO2 levels over the same 540 million years (the yellow orange line – GEOCARB III – from Berner seems to be the most accepted.)

    As you can see, if you do the math on your own, the climate sensitivity number which most closely matches the historical record is 1.0C to 1.5C of warming per doubling of CO2.

    Other geological processes must also be taken into account as well, especially the positions of the continents at the time in question.

    For example, 600 million years ago during Snowball Earth, more than half of the land masses were locked together over the South Pole (think Antarctica times 10). Glaciers built up at the pole, spread out, reflected sunlight back into space and grew bigger and reflected more sunlight and could not be stopped by warm oceans (landmasses locked together) and eventually we get Snowball Earth.

    55 million years ago, during the Eocene Thermal Maximum, no continents were near the poles (Antarctica was just a little farther north than its current position) and the planet warmed.

    The actual climate sensitivity history (versus theory or modelling) shows 1.0C to 1.5C of warming per doubling and that the global warming scare is way overblown.

  263. welikerocks
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 12:38 PM | Permalink

    @226 Michael,
    good point about Crichton, and his book has references!
    I don’t know the rest, so bizarre! I was born in ’60 and was a teenager in the 70’s. I could reference The Jetsons and Star Trek and make as much sense-maybe more. I mean why so bleak? (Balance it out dude!) I come from happier stock (great-grandma born the yr Pres. Lincoln was assassinated, and lived to witness men walk on the moon with her daughter, my grand-ma. imagine the that!)

  264. Andrew
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 12:40 PM | Permalink

    A couple of holes in your otherwise good logic, John. You presume that there are no negative forcings that made temperatures lower than today. Now, I might be stretching if I claimed there were, and I can’t think of any, but it weakens the argument. We know, however, than aerosols, or “global dimming” have the potential to mean that there has been less warming recently than there should have been, which might drive sensitivity up. But our understanding of aerosols is very poor, so I’m not making a judgment one way or the other.

  265. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 1:03 PM | Permalink

    Re#229, if so, then maybe those movies helped shape his vision of humanity and the future. I wasn’t going to assume that to be true. Maybe his interest in futuristic sci-fi/”distopia” movies is more recent. I know of a lot of people who didn’t become fascinated with kung fu and Bruce Lee movies until the 90s, Dario Argento’s giallo and supernatural flicks of the 60s-70s until recently, etc. So I wasn’t going to jump to the conclusion he viewed those movies in the 1970s. He would’ve only be 7 yrs old when “Soylent Green” was released (1973) and 6 yrs old when “Silent Running” was released. And this was pre-VCR rental, widespread cable TV movie channels, etc, so it he didn’t see them in the theater, it might have been several years before he realistically had a shot of viewing them.. So maybe his interest and introduction to such movies came at a later time.

    I was 12 yrs old when “The Day After” debuted on TV. I can’t put into words how quickly the feelings towards the nuclear arms race changed among my classmates. I have heard similar things about movies such as “The China Syndrome.” Fictional as they may be, movies and books can and do influence young minds.

    If Mann saw these movies as a boy or a young man, did they influence his views towards humanity and the environment? Did the sci-fi global warming scenario of “Soylent Green” unconsciously influence his mind into believing AGW was real with catastrophic effects?

  266. Phil.
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 1:06 PM | Permalink

    Re #261

    #260 Is he? I thought I read that article by Motl, but maybe I scanned too quickly. Phil. are you making false claims?

    No I am not and I find Larry’s false accusations offensive and I’d like Steve to have all of them deleted!

    From Motl’s site:

    In words, the greenhouse effect becomes weaker at higher values of “C”: recall that the derivative of “ln(C)” with respect to “C” equals “1/C”, a function that decreases as “C” increases, but it decreases less quickly than “exp(-AC)”. What does it mean numerically?

    The conventional quantity that usually measures the strength of the greenhouse effect is the climate sensitivity defined as the temperature increase from a doubling of CO2 from 0.028% of the volume of the atmosphere in the pre-industrial era to 0.056% of the volume expected before 2100. Currently we stand near 0.038% of the volume and the bare theoretical greenhouse effect, including the quantum-mechanical absorption rates for the relevant frequencies and the known concentration, predicts a 0.6 Celsius degrees increase of temperature between 0.028% and 0.038%, roughly in agreement with the net warming in the 20th century.
    ……..
    In terms of numbers, we have already completed 40% of the task to double the CO2 concentration from 0.028% to 0.056% in the atmosphere. However, these 40% of the task have already realized about 2/3 of the warming effect attributable to the CO2 doubling. So regardless of the sign and magnitude of the feedback effects, you can see that physics predicts that the greenhouse warming between 2007 and 2100 is predicted to be one half (1/3 over 2/3) of the warming that we have seen between the beginning of industrialization and this year. For example, if the greenhouse warming has been 0.6 Celsius degrees, we will see 0.3 Celsius degrees of extra warming before the carbon dioxide concentration doubles around 2100.

    The corrections to that handwaving and ‘calculations’ are what I posted above as anyone who goes to that site can verify (except apparently Larry!)

  267. Peter D. Tillman
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 1:07 PM | Permalink

    Re #235 (now), SM,(meta) blog topics

    Steve, I’m pleased to see you are letting the Unthreaded continue as a pretty much free-range discussion. I still think it would be a good idea to post a boilerplate disclaimer in the header of each Unthreaded ‘thread’, just for avoiding misunderstanding and/or malevolent misquoting. Anyway, looks like you’re having fun with this.

    Re #238, Larry says:
    December 31st, 2007 at 9:26 am

    “218, All Phil wants to do is trash Lubos Motl. He has no real interest in the climate issue.”

    I don’t think that’s fair. Phil’s posts (that I’ve seen) are polite & reasonable, and Motl’s sensitivity discussions look like hand-waving to me.

    Best for 2008, Pete Tillman

  268. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 1:11 PM | Permalink

    As I said on last unthreaded, there’s nothing more than guesswork and circumstantial evidence behind any idea that if x becomes x+y that it will equal z in reality.

    And don’t forget; just because you make fun of somebody’s name doesn’t mean you don’t know what gender they are….
    :)

    Happy New Year everyone! Just a little over 10 hours….

  269. welikerocks
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 1:15 PM | Permalink

    @266 Michael, whoops just noticed my first comment was snipped. (sorry SteveM)
    But yeah!

  270. Larry
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 1:16 PM | Permalink

    267, I agree that it was a handwave. Exactly my point. It wasn’t a calculation, and QED, he didn’t make an “arithmetic error”. Thanks for clearing it up, and demonstrating my point.

  271. Peter D. Tillman
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 1:22 PM | Permalink

    Re #263, John Lang, Geological evidence for climate sensitivity of 1 – 1.5ºC/doubling CO2

    John, very nice post, that you should elaborate and publish. Do you want help? I’m serious. At the very least we need to hammer this out here.

    Steve, I strongly recommend that you break this out as new thread. Very important topic, and empirical evidence beats theoretical hand-waving every time. I don’t see any real flaws with John’s analysis, and I’ve been following this topic for at least 20 years.

    Good work, John.

    Peter D. Tillman
    Consulting Geologist, Arizona and New Mexico (USA)

  272. Andrew
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 1:27 PM | Permalink

    I presume that Peter is being sarcastic. Well, obviously, as I pointed out. th problem with deriving CS in this manner is that there is some degree of uncertainty caused by non CO2 factors. Ironically, John apparently thinks we need to think of CO2 as the primary factor to obtain a low sensitivity. What do we know about aerosols over this period, John? Peter?

  273. Larry
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 1:30 PM | Permalink

    268, you obviously missed his gratuitous ad-hominem a few days ago.

  274. Andrew
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 1:39 PM | Permalink

    Larry, Phil, everyone, perhaps the reason your confused about Lubos “handwaving” is becuase, that isn’t the link in which he explains CS, but the link where he explains the GHG. Sorry, but the actual link you want on how he got the value of around one for climate sensitivity is here:

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2006/05/climate-sensitivity-and-editorial.html

    Now, I’m not saying that you’d be wrong in correcting the math there necessarily. But I am pointing out that this is th page where Lubos actually talks about Climate Sensitivity, not the earlier link.

    Also, 1.35 is within the error margin, so what’s the big deal? ;)

  275. bender
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 1:45 PM | Permalink

    Phil. are you sure you’ve got the argument square? Motl is talking about CO2 going 40% of the way from 0.028 to 0.056. That’s where he gets his 2/3 from. Therefore he is talking about *rate of increase* in warming, whereas you are talking about level of warming. That’s why you get more warming in the pipe than he does. FWIW I think your breakdown is a little closer to the way the average person phrases things, in terms of levels not rates. We should get this resolved because you and Larry are both good commenters.

  276. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 1:46 PM | Permalink

    Andrew:

    Clouds, land-use changes, water vapor, aerosols, soot.

    Carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide may help these along, but it’s fairly clear the above are the primary causes. And of course that’s assuming that the climate wouldn’t do any of this without the above on its own, and that the numbers we’re getting reflect an actual rise in energy levels since the 1880’s.

    As I’ve said before, just wait until the end of 2009. Won’t get into details, but it’s a US political event happening in 2008…. :)

    But as this is the last day of 2007, I’ll once again wish everyone a Happy New Year!

  277. Peter D. Tillman
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 1:50 PM | Permalink

    Re 265, 273, Andrew said

    You presume that there are no negative forcings that made temperatures lower than today. Now, I might be stretching if I claimed there were, and I can’t think of any, but it weakens the argument. We know, however, than aerosols, or “global dimming” have the potential to mean that there has been less warming recently than there should have been, which might drive sensitivity up. But our understanding of aerosols is very poor, so I’m not making a judgment one way or the other.

    John is arguing from parameters that can reasonably be rcovered from the geological record. I think it would be tough to do much with paleoaerosols!

    [pulls out inch-thick file of notes on planetary thermostats]

    John, basic reading material:

    RA Berner, “Atmos. CO2 levels over Phanerozoic time”,
    1990, Science 249, 1382-86

    For paleoclimate and CO2 + carbon cycle try Worsley, Nance & Moody,
    1990, “Tectonics, Carbon, Life and Climate for the last 3 billion yrs”,
    published in Proceedings of a Chapman Conference on Gaia
    Hypothesis. Summary with pretty graphics at
    Nance, R.D. ; Worsley, T.R. ; Moody, J.B., 1988, The supercontinent cycle, Sci Am 259:1;

    Plug in “Worsley, Nance & Moody” in Google Scholar & you’ll get a whole list of interesting reding matter.

    Worsley’s the guy I’d rope in to help give this thing academic respectability. He’s at Geology Dept, U of Ohio.

    Cheers — Pete Tillman

  278. Andrew
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 1:55 PM | Permalink

    To clarify, checking the statement you quoted earlier:

    In words, the greenhouse effect becomes weaker at higher values of “C”: recall that the derivative of “ln(C)” with respect to “C” equals “1/C”, a function that decreases as “C” increases, but it decreases less quickly than “exp(-AC)”. What does it mean numerically?

    The conventional quantity that usually measures the strength of the greenhouse effect is the climate sensitivity defined as the temperature increase from a doubling of CO2 from 0.028% of the volume of the atmosphere in the pre-industrial era to 0.056% of the volume expected before 2100. Currently we stand near 0.038% of the volume and the bare theoretical greenhouse effect, including the quantum-mechanical absorption rates for the relevant frequencies and the known concentration, predicts a 0.6 Celsius degrees increase of temperature between 0.028% and 0.038%, roughly in agreement with the net warming in the 20th century.
    ……..
    In terms of numbers, we have already completed 40% of the task to double the CO2 concentration from 0.028% to 0.056% in the atmosphere. However, these 40% of the task have already realized about 2/3 of the warming effect attributable to the CO2 doubling. So regardless of the sign and magnitude of the feedback effects, you can see that physics predicts that the greenhouse warming between 2007 and 2100 is predicted to be one half (1/3 over 2/3) of the warming that we have seen between the beginning of industrialization and this year. For example, if the greenhouse warming has been 0.6 Celsius degrees, we will see 0.3 Celsius degrees of extra warming before the carbon dioxide concentration doubles around 2100.

    came from this page:

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2007/06/realclimate-saturated-confusion.html

    Where climate sensitivity is mentioned, not calculated. Like I said, the page you want is:

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2006/05/climate-sensitivity-and-editorial.html

  279. Phil.
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

    Re #276

    Phil. are you sure you’ve got the argument square? Motl is talking about CO2 going 40% of the way from 0.028 to 0.056. That’s where he gets his 2/3 from. Therefore he is talking about *rate of increase* in warming, whereas you are talking about level of warming. That’s why you get more warming in the pipe than he does. FWIW I think your breakdown is a little closer to the way the average person phrases things, in terms of levels not rates. We should get this resolved because you and Larry are both good commenters.

    Yes I have it right CO2 has gone ~36% of the way to doubling but as Motl points out the effect depends on ln(C/C0) which means we’ve had 44% of the effect not 2/3 as Motl asserts. He was referring to the effect and explicitly states that there is 0.3ºC left (the 1/3 remaining), if you complete his calculation using the correct values of 44% gone and 56% to come you get ~1.36ºC total effect (rather than the 0.9ºC he calculates). As you say some people appear to regard him as an authority so it’s important that his numbers are right.

  280. Susann
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 2:00 PM | Permalink

    Are any of these motives valid or proper ones? I am sure one can rationalize withholding judgment forever. I particularly liked your lawyerly one about the potential for a “non-scientist” abusing the data.

    Kenneth, I’m not claiming they are valid or proper. I’m claiming they are possibly real. There is a difference. Forever? Please give me a break. I said it was improper for Mann to refuse to release his data and stall. It’s one thing to label an action improper; it’s another to attribute motiveation for that behavior. I’m not going to assume I know the motive for Mann’s witholding data. I refuse to attribute motives to either Steve McIntyre or Michael Mann or make judgements about their motives primarily because I can’t read minds nor does it matter to the content of the papers, which are either correct or not. I could make statements about Steve M’s motives, but I won’t. But certainly you are free to judge and speculate.

    As to the reference to “non-scientists”, to be fair to me, you’ll note I also included a reference to scientists being able to abuse data. I’m an equal opportunity basher.

  281. Andrew
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 2:01 PM | Permalink

    Sam, not sure how who the US President is will effect the truth about the climate, though I suppose it will effect our perception. I live in the US, just so you know. Florida, actually! Can’t wait for that sea level change to drown me! ;)

    You’ve definitely made an excellent point about those other explanations, and I agree. But I just wanted to make sure we were all aware that our theories aren’t infallible. Wouldn’t want to fall into that trap!

  282. bender
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 2:06 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for following up, Phil.

  283. Andrew
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 2:08 PM | Permalink

    Susann, if you’ll forgive me for posting some somewhat ambiguous and grossly misunderstood comments to you earlier, I’d like to compliment you in this way: You are a very mature and reasonable human being. We (the other posters here that have said so) just happen to disagree with some of the things that you say. :)

    As you might imagine, the regulars here aren’t fans of Mann. Well, he probably doesn’t think too highly of us either. But that’s what happens when you get into conflict over these things.

  284. Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 2:16 PM | Permalink

    Andrew December 30th, 2007 at 10:54 pm,

    Thanks Pat. Personally, I’d like to be an engineer, but I really have no idea what I want to do. I certainly wouldn’t want to be a climatologist though. All this angry disagreement is off-putting. Engineers, on th other hand-well I supposed they’d have disagreements to, but I’d like to think you could still have a beer with the guy after (not that I’d be drinking, just speaking metaphorically).

    Engineering is harder. The stuff you make has to work and sell. Science merely has to be interesting. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

    Also engineering reviews are harder to pass than peer reviews. And the final review is very public (at least within a company).

    Plus angry disagreement is very common in engineering and more severe than you find in the collegial sciences. You need to be humble in the face of Murphy and certain of where you stand to go forward. Conflicting requirements to be sure. Hard to do at all let alone well.

    The reason the discussion here is so hard is that there are a number of engineers involved. Ask Mosher. ;-)

  285. Andrew
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 2:19 PM | Permalink

    Oh well, in that case. To be honest Simon, I said that was the reason to be topical. The real reason is that I want to feel like I’m actually doing something, not just study, but designing and building things. That aspect appeals to me.

    Plus when I read The Lost World I thought Thorne was the best character. ;)

  286. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 2:20 PM | Permalink

    George,

    On another thread you wrote:

    I am trying to understand both sides of the global warming debate. The question I have is what are the papers that the IPCC uses to produce their report? In some (online) places, people claim that only AGW papers are considered. Others claim that there are no peer reviewed papers that disagree with AGW. In either case, it’s easy to claim that there is a 100% consensus of AGW. Anyway, I cannot seem to find the answer to this general question. Is there a link or an article that discusses what is included or excluded in the IPCC analysis?

    You can download WG1 AR4 report here. The IPCC lists the references at the end of each chapter. Steve McIntyre has audited a number of papers used in IPCC reports. As background I should explain that a proper audit requires full access to all of the data and methods used by the authors. Unfortunately climate science authors often do not abide by the policies of the journals and funding agencies that require them to archive their data.

    Some of the papers used by the IPCC to bolster the AGW argument have not even been published in a journal. This is important because the papers could not get through the peer-review process but they were used to form policy. Since they were not published, the authors never had to archive their data and methods. See this thread. Instead of helping Steve get the data and methods needed to audit the papers, the IPCC obstructed his efforts.

    Roger Pielke has blogged on the issue of IPCC bias. My favorites are:
    here and here.

    Of course there are a number of peer-reviewed papers contrary to the catastrophic vision proclaimed by the global warming alarmists. You may want to review some of the papers I linked to in Comment #23 above.

  287. steven mosher
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 2:21 PM | Permalink

    re 285. yup! that’s why we say there comes a point in every project where you have
    to shoot the engineers, figuratively speaking of course.

  288. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 2:23 PM | Permalink

    George,

    Quick followup. For some basic information on data archiving, I would refer you here.

  289. Peter D. Tillman
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 2:24 PM | Permalink

    Re #278, planetary thermostats (con’d)

    John, scratch the Sci Am article there, which is peripheral (but interesting).

    Instead, Worsley & Nance, 1989, Carbon redox and climate control through Earth history: a speculative reconstruction, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 75, 259-282

    Note that the phosphorus cycle is intimately involved with the carbon cycle. And the really important thing to note is that Earth’s surface temp has remained pretty near 0ºC for the past 4 by, despite the sun’s power output rising by ±40% in that time. Negative feedbacks seem likely ;-]

    Also see Ruddiman & Kutzbach, 1991, Plateau uplift and climatic change, Sci Am 3-91, 66-75 for the effect of topography, in this case the uplift of Tibet and the American West.

    Cool stuff. Must bring myself up to date.

    Best for 2008, Pete Tillman

  290. Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 2:26 PM | Permalink

    BTW Happy New year all. And again – thanks to our gracious host for putting up with this group of “cats”.

    As in as hard as herding cats.

    I make it 8:52 PM GMT or 20:52z.

  291. Wansbeck
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 2:35 PM | Permalink

    re #285 & 286

    Sometimes passing the Engineering Review is the most terrifying part because someone is then going to go away and spend large sums of money so your idea better work. This is why you need a really thorough review. Hand-waving may get you past the less capable reviewers but it won’t make the product work any better.

  292. Andrew
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 2:41 PM | Permalink

    Are you guys trying to scare me into a career change already? Well it won’t work becuase I’m not afraid of anything! ;)

    I agree with that sentiment, Simon, Happy New Year, and thanks to Steve for putting up with us!

  293. Wansbeck
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 2:48 PM | Permalink

    No, Andrew,

    It makes it all worthwhile when you see things working and it’s even better when you see them still in use years later. (not very often these days with the pace of change)

    Anyway it’s that time of year and I’m away for a few beers and I’m not speaking metaphorically.

    Disclaimer: In the above sentence the word ‘few’ does not ‘most likely’ refer to a small number.

    All the Best for 2008.

  294. Arthur Smith
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 2:53 PM | Permalink

    Andrew (#279) – if the basis for Motl’s math is this page that you referenced, then he’s making the same mistake you tweak John Lang (#263) for above (your #265). He attributes the entire (0.6 degree?) warming so far to the increase in CO2, and neglects all negative forcings (and any positive or negative feedbacks) some of which are very well known: the effect of aerosols, and the large heat capacity of the ocean in particular. Nobody thinks we’re in equilibrium right now – the glaciers are still melting! Equilibrium (really steady-state) would be where changes stop happening, all else being equal (CO2 held constant etc), and most estimates indicate at least another 0.5 to 1 degree C of “committed warming” from the increase so far.

    See section 10.7 in chapter 10 of IPCC AR4-WG1:

    The multi-model average warming for all radiative forcing agents held constant at year 2000 (reported earlier for several of the models by Meehl et al., 2005c), is about 0.6°C for the period 2090 to 2099 relative to the 1980 to 1999 reference period.

    So even ignoring the negative forcing issue, Motl’s numbers are off by a factor of 2.

    On John Lang (#263) – I find it pretty funny that on one side here we have people who claim solar irradiance or other sun-related effects are changing so rapidly they can explain 20th century warming, and on the other we have you here asserting that solar irradiance 500 million years ago must have been exactly the same as now! If skeptics could ever agree on a single set of assumptions behind their arguments then we might get somewhere, but when you have such vastly contrasting positions expressed in close proximity with no voiced disagreement, it’s hard not to just laugh!

    In fact, 500 million years ago the sun’s brightness is estimated at 6% less than at present: http://solarb.msfc.nasa.gov/science/timeline/

    — our sun has been gradually getting brighter over the past many billions of years. That’s why we had “snowball Earth” periods in the past, and why it was not so hot even with very high CO2 levels hundreds of millions of years ago. It’s rather interesting, in fact, that the planet has managed to keep itself hospitable for life even with such large changes.

  295. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 2:58 PM | Permalink

    Arthur,

    Just wondering. Are you familiar with the recent paper by Petr Chylek with abstract here?

    Chylek shows the cooling impact of aerosols is much lower than previously thought and that means climate sensitivity to rising CO2 is also much less than previously thought. You might want to read it.

  296. Philip_B
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 2:58 PM | Permalink

    I couldn’t find the Ruddiman paper in #290. Here is the abstract,

    The earth of 40 million years ago was a warm, wet place.^Forests abounded; grasslands and deserts were rare.^Then the planet began to cool.^Regional climate extremes developed.^Many causes have been postulated, including continental drift and diminishing atmospheric carbon dioxide.^The authors offer a new theory: continental uplift created huge plateaus that altered circulation of the atmosphere.^The two largest masses of high, rocky terrain in the Northern Hemisphere today are the area encompassing the Tibetan Plateau and Himalaya Mountains and the broad region of the American West centered on the Colorado Plateau.^Geologic evidence indicates that these regions rose substantially during the past 40 million years.^The authors focused their research on these plateaus.

  297. Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 3:01 PM | Permalink

    Andrew December 31st, 2007 at 2:41 pm,

    Are you guys trying to scare me into a career change already? Well it won’t work becuase I’m not afraid of anything!

    That’s the spirit! And wanting to make stuff is another good reason. In fact maybe the best of all. The fact that the company may live or die based on your say so is both powerful and humbling. You have to be very careful that you don’t let the power go to your head. Doubt is your best companion.

    “Physicists dream of Nobel prizes, engineers dream of mishaps.” Hendrik Tennekes

  298. Arthur Smith
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 3:12 PM | Permalink

    Ron (#296) – I haven’t read Chylek’s paper, but if it’s right it would be good news. The lower the sensitivity the better. But it’s just one paper, and just looking at 1 decade’s worth of data; hard to get too excited.

  299. John Lang
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 3:14 PM | Permalink

    Arthur Smith #295

    Funny how the Sun is getting brighter all the time and the planet is going through a 2.5 million year ice age period and Antarctica has been frozen over for the past 35 million years.

    Maybe CO2 levels were getting too low (and 190 ppm is too low for many plants). Maybe it is good for the planet to have a little more CO2.

  300. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 3:36 PM | Permalink

    Arthur,

    The main point is that Chylek is doing science. In the past, climatologists have not tried to understand natural climate variability. Whatever cooling seen in the temp record was assumed to be from aerosols. Even the recent paper by Hansen and Schmidt assume the impact of aerosols cannot be quantified. Chylek has shown the way forward. Schwartz is working on the aerosol issue at Brookhaven. He may approach it differently and come up with a slightly different number, but I cannot imagine Schwartz saying aerosols have a big impact. For one thing, a big impact from aerosols would not agree with Schwartz’s estimate of climate sensitivity which is even lower than Chylek’s.

  301. David Archibald
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 4:31 PM | Permalink

    Re 214, Phil, if you can, please provide the data source for this graph. I would like to create my own updateable version.

  302. steven mosher
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 5:44 PM | Permalink

    RE 302.. some fun with hadcru and C02 forced warming.

    Take Hadcru global data from 1850 to present (+2sd and -2sd from the mean)

    Take C02 data from 1850 to present.

    Calculate the rise in temp from 1850 on due to C02 increase.. Delta C = 5.35ln(Ci/Ci-1) * .75

    (I think thats a climate sensitivity of around 2.7C per doubling of C02)

    Its a rough hack but interesting.

  303. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 6:04 PM | Permalink

    Mosh,

    Your interesting graph makes the same mistake that is common in current climatology, it assumes all change is attributable to CO2. Try calculating that the PDO was in its warm phase for 70 years and in its cool phase only 30 years. If you are going to predict future temps, try calculating that in the 21st century the PDO will be in its cool phase for 65 years or so and in the warm phase only 35 years or so.

  304. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 6:06 PM | Permalink

    Susann,

    Did you not know the arctic sea ice is refreezing at a “record” pace? See news article.

  305. Keith Herbert
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 6:12 PM | Permalink

    Arthur,
    Please don’t do stuff like this:

    If skeptics could ever agree on a single set of assumptions behind their arguments then we might get somewhere, but when you have such vastly contrasting positions expressed in close proximity with no voiced disagreement, it’s hard not to just laugh!

    It’s not a consensus of skeptics against a concensus of AGW(ers). They are individuals all trying to make sense of a vast collection of disparate information.

  306. Peter D. Tillman
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 6:12 PM | Permalink

    John Lang #300

    “Maybe CO2 levels were getting too low (and 190 ppm is too low for many plants). Maybe it is good for the planet to have a little more CO2.”

    Actually, the next likely step for %CO2 is sharply downward (in geological time, that is), as the so-called C4 plants (grasses, mesquite trees etc etc) seem poised for a breakout, and they can happily grow at ambient %CO2 as low as 5-15 ppm. When they make their breakout, they will drive most less-efficient (at using CO2) plants to extinction, and the planetary thermostat will be reset for the next few hundred million years to hold life’s preferred set-point of ± 0ºC. Arguably these evolutionary events have, in the past, triggered a new set of ice-ages.

    When the C4’s can’t hold our cool, we’re in trouble… {G}

    Cheers — Pete Tillman

  307. steven mosher
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 6:20 PM | Permalink

    re 306 Ron Cram.

    I’m not asserting anything. I just wanted to see what a stupid 1 paramater “model” would produce.
    That is take the temperature at 1850 and the C02 at 1850, apply a “doubling law” and see how
    that stupid 1 parameter model compared with the observations.

    Just toying around.. to Pat’s point, in the 20th century a 2.7C doubling predicts a hotter world
    than reality hence the “need” for aerosals. Lat time I did this I didnt have the hadcru errors.

    Maybe I’ll subtract out the volcano forcing..

  308. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 6:33 PM | Permalink

    Mosh,

    While you are playing around, run one for me. Assume a climate sensitivity estimated by Schwartz (about 1/3 of the IPCC estimate), assume a cooling from aerosols of 0.4 K/Wm-2 (this number came from Chylek) and see if we can learn how much of the warming is from natural climate variation.

    I haven’t the talent to do this kind of thing, Mosh, so I appreciate it if you can find the time.

  309. Susann
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 6:36 PM | Permalink

    Ron, that article also claims that a refreeze like that is not unexpected. It also claims that “the extent of sea ice recorded in November was well shy of the median extent observed over the past quarter century.”

    NASA’s explanation:

    Record sea ice growth rates after a record low may sound surprising at first, but it is not completely unexpected. The more ice that survives the summer melt, the less open water there is for new ice to grow. When summertime ice extent hits a record low, on the other hand, large areas of open water provide room for the ice to grow once temperatures cool off enough. While summer warming of the upper ocean surface can cause wintertime sea ice regrowth to lag initially, as the fall season progresses and sunlight weakens, the rate of energy loss from the ocean increases. That heat loss coupled with a large area of open water creates ideal conditions for sea ice to form rapidly over large areas.

  310. steven mosher
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 6:41 PM | Permalink

    RE 311. The schwartz one is easy. I’ll be back in a couple hours and give you resulst

  311. Phil.
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 6:41 PM | Permalink

    Re #303

    Re 214, Phil, if you can, please provide the data source for this graph. I would like to create my own updateable version.

    No problem just scroll to the bottom of the page and it’s on the right, I find it quite informative, I asked them if they could put it on there earlier in the year.

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/

  312. Andrew
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 7:05 PM | Permalink

    Oh, Arthur, I think you misunderstood Lubos, though your still right, assuming that aerosols have a fairly significant impact. Lubos is not arguing from the results, and believe me I’ve seen people do that. He’s arguing to the results, from the basis of a calculation based not on the extent of recent warming, but on the absorption spectra etc. Lubos is over simplifying things by saying that since this matches reality it’s good enough. Obviously the impact of aerosols could force the sensitivity higher.

    Yes, the sun is constantly brightening. Which is why scientists have been some what puzzled by the fact the earth wasn’t an ice ball back when, 4.5 billion years ago, the Sun was thirty percent fainter than today. You know, the faint sun paradox? Part of the appeal of the idea that passing in and out of the galactic spiral arms influences climate is that it helps to solve this problem.

    I don’t agree that the fact that skeptics don’t have a consensus is a bad thing. There is a lot of data and we just want to make sense of as much of it as possible. In the process, you have to throw a lot of theories out there, not all of which will prove correct. So what? When you put forth only one hypothesis, it is in fact easier to point out the flaws, so I can see were you are troubled by the difficulty of addressing several alternatives to AGW theory. Some are wrong, but I happen to think that a framework will eventually emerge out of this that is much better for the discussion, regardless of who “wins”.

  313. bender
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 7:13 PM | Permalink

    #314 The Columbia River.

  314. Andrey Levin
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 7:47 PM | Permalink

    Re#309, Peter Tillman:

    Interesting prediction. One thing I want to add: maize, sugar cane, switchgrass, sweet sorgum (all already top producers or top perspective producers of biofuels), are C4 plants.

    Happy New Year to everyone!

  315. bender
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 8:04 PM | Permalink

    What feeds the Columbia River?

  316. bender
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 8:13 PM | Permalink

    10-20% of the Columbia’s annual flow is from melting ice. 50% of late summer flow.

    Potential impacts of a warming climate on water availability in snow-dominated regions

  317. Andrew
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 8:20 PM | Permalink

    Oh, Arthur? Regarding the aerosols bringing up the climate sensitivity, how can we be anywhere near sure how big the effect is? The IPCC’s “Level of Scientific Understanding” for them is low, and they have huge error bars for them. See here:

    Don’t worry about it being from Nir, though, he’s just faithfully added up the IPCC’s numbers, and it is an image so it is free of his interpretation, which you might find offensive.

  318. D. Patterson
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 8:20 PM | Permalink

    bender says:

    December 31st, 2007 at 8:04 pm
    What feeds the Columbia River?

    Canadian urinals and runoff from precipitation….

  319. Peter D. Tillman
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 8:23 PM | Permalink

    Re 320, C4 plants

    A bit more information on their metabolism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C4_plants

    Best for 2008, Pete Tillman

  320. Andrew
    Posted Dec 31, 2007 at 10:29 PM | Permalink

    Maybe you could expound on it more, Phillip? I think the we’d better understand what your saying. Because I think i see where your going with it, but I don’t really know.

  321. Andrew
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 12:42 AM | Permalink

    You know, Phil, if you want time series on precipitation rate for a certain location (if you know the lat/long), you could find it here:

    http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/Timeseries/timeseries1.pl

    Just discovered this, personally. It’s quite fun (for someone who loves data!)

  322. MarkR
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 1:33 AM | Permalink

    The run for the ice.

  323. Phil
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 4:08 AM | Permalink

    @Susann: First, Happy New Year. Second, do you know what happened to the first station the US built at the South Pole in 1957?

  324. See - owe to Rich
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 4:15 AM | Permalink

    This is a copy of an email I just sent to friends and relatives. Most of you here will know a lot of this stuff, but I hope you find it interesting anyway.
    ——————

    Six months ago I wrote about the debate on causes of global warming. (Again, delete immediately, and accept my apologies, if this subject does not interest you.) At that time I was fairly ignorant, whereas now I am – just slightly less ignorant. Here are some of the things I have learned.

    WATER

    I have learned that if you dabble in dark arts such as climate science, then a terrible flood is wrought upon you. That is, I live in Gloucestershire and we got hit by the great deluge of July 20th. In some parts of the world they are used to 5 inches in 3 hours, but we are not, and living next to a small stream – well, see the attached photo. But the water stopped rising just below our floorboards fortunately. Three days later most of the county was without running water, for 10 days, as the treatment plants were overtopped. Still, good old Gordon Brown, we have only just finished using up all the free bottled water that was offered profusely!

    At the height of the deluge, a helping neighbour muttered something about “global warming”, to which I replied “no, it’s global cooling”, which remark I shall explain further below.

    Sea levels are predicted to rise with global warming. But in fact they have been rising at 2mm per year since 1900 and there are no real signs of a substantial acceleration in this rate. Even at 3mm per year that would mean 0.3 metres in the next 100 years, which would not be disastrous – the UK may be preparing to abandon East Anglia but you can bet that the Dutch won’t give up their countryside without a fight. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_level_rise for details.

    READING

    No, I don’t mean the town, which was admittedly a bit affected by the Thames rising in the July floods. I mean the activity, and the sources of my slightly reduced ignorance. I mainly look at the blogs http://www.climateaudit.org and http://www.realclimate.org, and follow links from those, as well as Wikipedia. Those two blogs are very different vehicles, and both full of information and (mostly) intelligent discussion – you can visit them to see for yourself what slant each takes. ClimateAudit jointly won the Best Science Weblog of the Year 2007, in November.

    PREDICTIONS

    The climate world is full of predictions (to which I am going to add further down), and most of them are pretty dire. But is there any reason to believe them? We have already looked at the sea level predictions. Obviously, if the predictor or the type of prediction had a good track record of being fairly accurate in the past, then you might want to believe them. So what are the track records? About as dire as the predictions… Warwick Hughes provides a score-card for climate predictions at http://www.warwickhughes.com/hoyt/scorecard.htm, and of 14 measures, 12 were shown to be false or overestimated, 2 could not be judged owing to difficulties in assessing the data, and none were shown to be true (or underestimates). But should we believe him, or is he perhaps biased? In this field of endeavour it is hard to tell.

    Whilst on the subject of bias, is it possible that our esteemed UK Met. Office is biased? If you look at their press releases, they strongly emphasize warming and climate change and extreme weather (which is usually attributed to global warming whether correct or not – Professor Lindzen argues that global warming leads to more warming at the poles, which reduces the temperature gradient, which should reduce the intensity of non-tropical storms). The UKMO rather rarely refers to cool episodes – well, you might say there have not been any in the last decade, but take summer 2007 for example. At the end of August they issued a press release on the record wetness of the UK summer, but did not mention at all that for the mean Central England Temperature (Jun-Aug) you have to go back to 1993 to find a noticeably cooler summer – see http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcet/cetml1659on.dat . When choosing what to report, it does not take a large bias to omit the publication of a 14-year record in the “wrong” direction.

    Returning to predictions, here is the one by the Met Office for 2007: that it would be the warmest year yet in the global HadCRUT3 temperature series – see http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2007/pr20070104.html . To do this, it would have to beat the 1998 global anomaly (difference from mean 1961-1990) of 0.546C. And for the first 2 months it was doing that, even though they were not the warmest months of this millennium. But then, perhaps because of El Nino turning to La Nina, or because of solar power declining at the end of its cycle, but certainly something the Met Office did not predict, the monthly anomalies then declined to a point wherein 2007 is likely to be the 7th warmest year of the 8 this millennium. Here are the 11 monthly figures, with average 0.414:
    0.609 0.512 0.433 0.467 0.369 0.385 0.407 0.365 0.408 0.355 0.248.
    At 0.248, November was the coolest (or least warm) month since November 2000’s 0.169. Keep an eye out for December’s, at http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/hadcrut3gl.txt , which should be available by around January 20th.

    SUN

    The reason for my “global cooling” comment during the floods was that a few days earlier I had just learned two things about the Sun: the length of the roughly 11-year sunspot cycle is correlated with temperature, and the new Cycle 24 was slow in arriving. (It is now even slower in arriving, but an area of opposite polarity has now been seen, yet did not turn into a sunspot.) It was a paper by David Archibald which drew my attention to this, but I have since done my own study (see attached, to be published soon on ClimateAudit I hope) which also combines CO2 effects. As a result, I estimate that the global sensitivity to solar cycles is only about 1/3 as much as in the Armagh data studied by Archibald. Even so, two long cycles in a row would be sufficient to outweigh the effects of CO2 over that period, with a modest net cooling of 0.04C.

    Do we expect two long cycles? We certainly expect one. The solar minimum defining the current Cycle 23 was at 1996.5, so with an average 11 year cycle we should have seen the new minimum in mid-2007. Archibald predicts that the minimum will be in mid-2009, and the concomitant 13 year cycle would be the longest since 1784-1797 (which started a long series – 13.6, 12.3, 12.7 years, which coincided with a cold period known as the “Dalton Minimum”). One scientific reason for this prediction is from graphing the cumulative number of “spotless days” of the approaching minimum, and currently the graph matches very well those of the early 19th century. A second scientific reason is that minimum generally occurs 12-20 months after the first spot of the new cycle, which hasn’t been seen yet.

    Even with standard 11-year cycles, which could be expected to recur later this century, my prediction is that this century will see a non-catastrophic gain of 0.9C, well below the value projected by the IPCC. This prediction is of course dependent on the actual increase of CO2, which I have assumed to be from 370 to 570ppm during this century.

    One thing I have learned is that, as the Sun revolves around the centre of mass of the solar system (the “barycentre”), as it must, it experiences changes in torque, and these changes correlate well with low solar activity and cool climatic periods – see http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2470#comment-169708. After a long period with no severely negative torque, since 1860, 3 minima in a row are happening, around 1990, 2000, and 2020. An expert in this judges it thus: “so the Gleissberg minima around 2030 and 2200 should be of the Maunder minimum type” (referring to the grand “Maunder” minimum of 1670 and the Little Ice Age). Of course, additional greenhouse warming, depending on its magnitude, may do something to mitigate this scenario. Start blaming (or lauding) the planets!

    ICE

    The big climatic event of 2007, in September, was the retreat of the Northern ice cap to an area of 3.0m.sq.km, as detailed at “Cryosphere Today” on the WWW, compared with a 30-year mean of 6m.sq.km. This record may have been due to anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Or it may have been due to the fact that the Sun shone continuously for 45 days while warm southerly winds blew up from Siberia. When I posed the question on ClimateAudit, this was a response I received:
    “As far as the the current relative warming in the Arctic is concerned, it should be borne in mind that sea ice fluctuations are very much more the result of changes in sea surface temperatures than in air temperatures. The phenomenon is cyclical and correlates with cyclical fluctuations in ocean temperatures. Neither anomaly can be argued to somehow provide “proof” for AGW.”

    This record was of course avidly reported in the newspapers (of course, without mentioning that accurate records have only been available from satellites since 1979). What wasn’t mentioned in the papers was the curious fact that at the very end of September the Southern ice cap expanded to a record maximum (since 1979). Admittedly this record was not by such a large amount, and may not break many years pre-1979, but it is still a count against the truly global warming which greenhouse theory predicts. Time will tell whether the Southern cooling is temporary.

    The latest breaking news on the ice front is that the global ice anomaly, which reached a record minimum of -3m.sq.km in September 2007, showed a record positive gradient over 3 months, to stand at +1m.sq.km in late December 2007. In other words, the Arctic ice has been growing faster than usual, and the Antarctic ice has been melting slower than usual. The global anomaly may of course turn down again soon; if not it could be heading up towards the record (since 1979, as ever) +1.7 measured in 1989.

    When a glacier retreats, scientists have a look at its edge in an attempt to deduce how long ago it was last ice-free at that altitude. At the American Geophysical Union conference in December 2007, it was reported by Lowell et al that botanical material at the bottom end of a Greenland glacier gave a radiocarbon date of approximately 1000AD – see http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2514. This date corresponds to an early point of the “Mediaeval Warm Period (MWP)”, and seems to show that the current melting of glaciers is not unprecedented. This neither disproves nor proves that the current melting is anthropogenically induced, but should lead us to retain open minds on the subject.

    HURRICANES

    These are big scary things which, especially since Katrina in 2005, have been used by alarmists to whip up fears of catastrophic effects of global warming. Because sea surface temperatures remain relatively high, the 2006 and 2007 seasons were both predicted by NOAA to be above average in activity. But this is a case of the dog that didn’t bark, and egg on the faces of the long term forecasters. NOAA predicted 13-17 named storms, including 7-10 hurricanes, including 3-5 major hurricanes, for an above average season. In fact, the numbers of major hurricanes, 2, and hurricanes, 6, were below their forecast range and equal to long-term averages. The total count, 14, was within their range, but only by including “Tiny Tim” storms which would not, 50 years ago, have interacted with humans enough to have been reported – see http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2529 .

    The ACE (Accumulated Cyclone Energy) index is used to measure the overall destructive power of a hurricane season. NOAA were expecting this to be above average, but in fact it was below average, and the lowest since 1997. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accumulated_Cyclone_Energy#Atlantic_hurricane_seasons_1950-2007_by_ACE_index gives the following values: 248 in 2005, 79 in 2006, and 68 in 2007. The combined score for 2006 & 2007 was the lowest since 1993-94.

    It is certainly not a mainstream view, but it has been claimed that hurricanes intensify not only through warm convection, but through magnetic and electric effects from the solar wind, and if only NOAA had realized this they could have abated their predictions. But there is also another school of thought which is that it is totally random, as the counts of storms by year are very well modelled by the statistical Poisson distribution. The trouble is, long range forecasters, like gypsy fortune tellers, get paid for their troubles, and “totally random” is not helpful to their cause…

    TEMPERATURES

    The HadCRUT3 temperature series is a pretty well respected source for global temperatures. However, even this source is unable to present raw unadulterated data, because of the well-known Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect. This effect causes temperatures in urban areas, where many of the HadCRUT3 thermometers reside, to be higher than in rural areas, so some adjustments have to be made to try to remove this effect, in order that modern temperatures may be properly compared with older ones. But this is problematical, because how are these adjustments made accurately? It would seem to be a good idea to publish the raw data and the algorithms used to correct for UHI, so that the analysis can be subjected to peer review. Unfortunately, so far, Freedom Of Information Act attempts to access these items have been unsuccessful. This must tend to reduce one’s respect for the HadCRUT3 series, but unfortunately there do not seem to be good substitutes. (The US GISS figures were once a contender, but Steve McIntyre’s proof, that a computer bug had caused all the USA values for 2000-2006 to be on average 0.15C too high, blew a hole in the credibility of that series.)

    In the era of satellites, infrared measurements should put us in a good position to measure atmospheric temperatures. Unfortunately, even here the radiation data has to be subject to calibration, and opinions can differ on how this should be done. Still, at the University of Alabama at Huntsville they have done a pretty good job, and show global warming of 0.013+/-0.005C per annum over the last 30 years – see http://www.marshall.org/article.php?id=415 . This is not inconsistent with ground based thermometers which give a mean of 0.018.

    WEATHER

    The warm English spring followed by cool summer, and its natural effect on flora and fauna, has of course in the newspapers been put down to “climate change” (with “man-made” understood). But only one forecaster was brave enough to predict the extremes in advance, and that was Piers Corbyn of weatheraction.com, who does all his forecasting via solar activity and comparisons with the 22-year cycle. When I saw him at the Institute of Physics in June 2007, he was scathing about CO2 as a driver for climate.

    Weather is not of course the same as climate, but it can give us clues. Thus, although December 2007 has seemed cold in England, if it suddenly turns warm again we would have to dismiss it as a “one-off”. Still, extreme weather can give one some fun with guessing games, such as where does the second attachment, dated 17/12/2007, come from? The answer is at the end.

    CARBON

    If we fear carbon dioxide, then we need to know how sensitive global temperatures are to it, and we need to know how fast it is increasing. You would expect the latter to be fairly simple, with nice steady rates of human emissions leading to nice steady increases in atmospheric concentrations. But here are the data for annual increases of atmospheric CO2 in parts per million (leading to a 2006 value of about 380 ppm):

    1960-9: 0.50 0.98 0.62 0.73 0.25 1.02 1.25 0.70 1.06 1.34
    1970-9: 0.98 0.88 1.72 1.17 0.82 1.10 0.90 2.08 1.33 1.61
    1980-9: 1.84 1.41 0.71 2.18 1.39 1.23 1.51 2.30 2.14 1.24
    1990-9: 1.32 1.00 0.49 1.26 1.96 1.98 1.19 1.93 3.00 0.88
    2000-6: 1.73 1.63 2.55 2.31 1.58 2.54 1.72

    I have not seen any sense made of these figures. Still, it would seem wise to reckon on about 2 ppm for a while to come.

    As for sensitivity here are a few estimates for s, the temperature change for a doubling of CO2.

    0.4: Idso, “CO2-induced global warming: a skeptic’s view of potential climate change”,

    http://www.warwickhughes.com/papers/idso98.htm

    1.4+/-0.3: Me, “A solar cycle and CO2 model for temperature”
    2.1-4.4: IPCC AR4 Chapter 8, 8.6.2.2

    Unfortunately, the value s is rather crucial. If in 2007-2100 we increase CO2 by 2ppm per annum, from 380ppm to 566ppm, we should see a warming of log2(566/380)*s = 0.625*s. Idso would estimate that as a warming of 0.25C, I would estimate it as 0.87C, and IPCC would estimate it as 1.3C to 2.7C.

    Personally, I feel comfortable about Earth’s ability to withstand global warming up to 1 degree Celsius this century. That would not be especially significant compared with variations since the end of the last Ice Age. But the IPCC’s estimates are higher than this – I just don’t happen to agree with them, and I am not alone.

    CONSENSUS

    The consensus in favour of AGW is mainly down to statements prepared on behalf of the 2500 scientists contributing to the IPCC reports. However, quite a number of scientists have resigned from the IPCC in protest, and others who dissent from the published view continue to work inside it to provide reasonable argument against poorly substantiated claims. In December 2007, 100 scientists sent a letter to the UN which included the following:

    “The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued increasingly alarming conclusions about the climatic influences of human-produced carbon dioxide (CO2), a non-polluting gas that is essential to plant photosynthesis. While we understand the evidence that has led them to view CO2 emissions as harmful, the IPCC’s conclusions are quite inadequate as justification for implementing policies that will markedly diminish future prosperity. In particular, it is not established that it is possible to significantly alter global climate through cuts in human greenhouse gas emissions. On top of which, because attempts to cut emissions will slow development, the current UN approach of CO2 reduction is likely to increase human suffering from future climate change rather than to decrease it.”
    See http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=164002 for the full text.

    PSYCHOLOGY

    At the beginning of 2007, I knew very little about global warming, but I had a vague feeling that as with most alarms it would not turn out to be as bad as many were predicting (yes, I am generally phlegmatic, and at work I was ordered to prepare contingency plans for my 7 staff in anticipation of H5N1 bird flu; I did practically nothing!). Nothing I have learned during the year, with the possible exception of the 1997-2002 temperature spike, has made me think that my instinct was wrong.

    My first scientific wake-up call was “The Great Global Warming Swindle” in March on Channel 4. I have since learned that there were errors in that documentary, but also that steps were taken to remove them in the DVD version. In contrast, errors in Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” have not been removed in the DVD version. Ironically, 10 such errors were “proved” in a High Court just a few days before Gore was awarded a share of the Nobel Peace Prize. This court action was brought by a school governor who was appalled at the blatant brainwashing which the UK government had decreed by proposing to send AIT to be shown in every secondary school.

    My second scientific wake-up call was hearing Professor Lindzen speak at the Institute Of Physics in June. Since then, I’m afraid, my wife has become a global warming widow. Though I have quite enjoyed my researches, I feel annoyed at the stress which the global warming lobby is placing on humankind. I used to be able to enjoy hot weather! I want to carry on enjoying it, guiltlessly!

    In the meantime, I am learning to enjoy cold weather. And as a skier, cold Alpine weather, as this year, is devoutly to be wished for. And from my researches I do now know that there is quite a realistic prospect of a weak solar cycle #24, and maybe #25 to follow, which have the capacity to flatten or even depress global temperatures against the CO2 trend. For the rest of my life, however long, I expect to be eyeing the global temperature records to see whether this comes to pass. But I might do some other stuff as well…

    How do _you_ feel about it all? Suppose, for the sake of argument, that a little bit of global cooling takes place over the next 20 years. Will you be:
    a. pleased that it will give mankind a respite during which natural evolution of technologies reduces the CO2 output problem (however big or small that may be),
    b. angry that it might let Big Oil get away with their filthy practice of selling carbon to the world,
    c. flabbergasted as you believed all the global warming hype and never thought such a thing could happen,
    d. angry at your national meteorologists for possessing a woefully inadequate understanding of our Sun and its effect on climate,
    e. grateful to me and many many others who foresaw this possibility and gave you the glad tidings (“the end is not nigh”),
    f. totally bored with the whole issue and glad it has gone away for a while.

    Of course, it hasn’t happened yet, and if you rather enjoy a hair-shirted “I’m helping to save the planet” belief system (I nearly said religion) then don’t worry, this global cooling scenario may not actually happen! Final question: do you want it to?

    [Answer to snowy photo quiz, not Norway, but Sardinia!]

    May you have a happy 2008,
    Rich.

  325. Andrey Levin
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 7:03 AM | Permalink

    Melting glaciers drying the rivers concept could be good IQ test.

  326. Andrey Levin
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 7:41 AM | Permalink

    Additional IQ test questions could be:

    GW will increase droughts and flood simultaneously;

    GW will damage tropical ecosystems;

    Anything obviously else for IQ test?

  327. bender
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 8:49 AM | Permalink

    It is a fair question to ask what is the case for reduced riverflow from deglaciation. But the level of skepticism being voiced againt the hypothesis is, IMO, unhealthy skepticism that borders on denial.

    Susann has mentioned the case of Canada, where the Saskatchewan River system sustains roughly 5 million people (Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon), a major portion of the North American beef market, while the Athabasca and Peace River systems sustain the northern oil processing sector. The water in those rivers is not coming from “Canadian urinals and precipitation” like the Columbia (thanks for that useful fact, D. Patterson). The Bow River, the Oldman River, the North and South Saskatchewan, the Athabasca Rivers are largely glacier-fed. Try processing oil sand using muck from a dry creekbed.

    If you would like some numbers, they’re easily retrievable. But I don’t think you deserve them. I think you’re beyond convincing. And that’s not a healthy place to be. It’s another kind of IQ test, Andrey Levin.

  328. bender
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 9:11 AM | Permalink

    An impending water crisis in Canada’s western
    prairie provinces

    That “regional” problem will affect international markets for water, power, grain, and beef.

  329. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 9:28 AM | Permalink

    340. bender – what proportion of the water comes from the melt of current winter precipitation and how much from “mining” the melt of historical accumulation?

  330. John Lang
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 9:34 AM | Permalink

    To Steven Mosher #304

    What does your chart look like when you use the satellite temperature measurements rather than the biased Hadley UK data.

    I note that the Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) November 2007 temperature anomaly for the lower atmosphere (-0.014C from average) is essentially the same as the November 1979 anomaly (-0.039C from average.)

    Ie. no warming for 28 years while Hadcrut3 shows 0.5C of warming since 1979.

    Forget Hadley, NOAA and GISS – they are biased. Use the objective RSS and University of Alabama at Huntsville satellite datasets.

  331. Susann
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 9:38 AM | Permalink

    It is a fair question to ask what is the case for reduced riverflow from deglaciation. But the level of skepticism being voiced againt the hypothesis is, IMO, unhealthy skepticism that borders on denial.

    I’m willing to accept honest skepticism about the global climate models and their predictions, and I agree with the demand to carefully scrutinize the data used to support public policy. However, denying that the loss of glaciers would be of consequence smacks to me of denialism. I’m glad bender said it and not me. :) I’m willing to withhold concluding that this will be so, for only the next decade or so will tell — if warming continues and if the GCMs, as uncertain as they are, have created accurate projections. Frankly, for all the hand-wringing I see from AGW skeptics about the dangers of public policy to address GHGs, I see instead a lot of doing nothing on the part of most governments. I expect it will stay that way for I’m a political skeptic. I don’t really see much action of any consequence happening to address GHGs in the near future, regardless of what science says. I’m hoping like hell that AGW is overblown and nothing of consequence because I’m a skeptic that governments will do enough to address AGW if it is real. I see adaptation and perhaps some extreme geoengineering projects as the only probable options if the AGW proponents are correct and we are warming the climate in a dangerous way.

    And on that hopeful note, I bring in the New Year.

  332. Mike Davis
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 9:39 AM | Permalink

    DO we get more percipitation from warm seas or from cold seas

  333. Mike Davis
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 10:36 AM | Permalink

    Susann:
    See WIKI for current definition of Climate.

  334. Susann
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 10:49 AM | Permalink

    Why don’t we establish that as the null hypothesis and then you show us the numbers and see if it is disproved?

    Or am I expressing an “unhealthy skepticism?” That seems to me to be a very odd term to use when so little data is in front of anyone. Let’s try not to be so judgmental.

    Ron, there is a lot of research already in existence on this. If you are interested, a quick search of Google Scholar will reveal many sources of data and scientific papers that show glacier retreat and dsicuss the implications for water supply, many tying it to warming. Healthy skepticism is when you refuse to accept the authority of claims made about a phenomenon and demand to see the evidence before you make a conclusion about it. Unhealthy skepticism is when you reject out of hand a significant body of existing research on a phenomenon — when no amount of research is good enough. It’s out there, as Muldar says. If you reject this body of research without even examining it, you then reject science itself, leaving the world of reason.

  335. steven mosher
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

    re 350:

    “We cannot be certain that the present observed water level drop is caused by factors related
    to global climate change, or that it portends a long-term problem,” the study states.
    But the ongoing decline in water levels make it “prudent to include lower lake levels
    in future management planning,” the researchers note.”

    As a michigander I found this interesting

    http://www.greatlakes.org/field_guide/waterland_water.asp

    where the water goes:

    Nuclear Power……6.2 billion

    Fossil fuel plants…4.2 billion

    Industrial…………..1.8 billion

    Public supply……..1.7 billion

    Irrigation………….291 million

    Livestock……………28million

    Other………………436 million

    I wonter what the water use per watt difference is between Nukes and coal.

    This would make for an interesting tradeoff study..

  336. Ron Cram
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 11:11 AM | Permalink

    Susann,

    Just because data is in existence does not mean it is in front of us. For example, we have tried to get you to look at the evidence that Mann acted unethically. The evidence is in existence but you have would rather act as his defense attorney than know the facts. I thought bender was about to offer to provide a link to bring the evidence to the discussion (as I did with you) but decided the other participants were not worthy.

    Please forgive my tone. I have been under the weather for the last four days and am more than a little bit grouchy. I am going to take a break now.

  337. Paul Dennis
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 11:31 AM | Permalink

    This is a potentially very interesting discussion.

    I took the opportunity of looking at the Great Lakes water levels over the past 100 years to see what we might learn from any trends that may exist:

    I have to say my research has been cursory but I think you would be hard pushed to discern any trends. This might be because lake levels are, to an extent managed and it is difficult to extract a hydrological signal. However what is clear is that it is hard to back up the statement that water levels are as reported below:

    “Researchers in Michigan report new evidence that water levels in the Great Lakes, which are near record low levels, may be shrinking due to global warming. Their study, which examines water level data for Lakes Michigan and Huron over more than a century.”

    The water level in Michigan and Huron looks to be at a low level, but nothing beyond the range of variability recorded for the past century and certainly not part of a trend for the last century.

  338. bender
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 11:43 AM | Permalink

    #342 An excellent question, Steve M. If you are interested in the topic, perhaps it is worth a thread? The nice thing about auditing glacial melt alarmist pseudoscience is that you don’t have the equivalent of a GCM to penetrate. Although even streamflow is not all that easy to model, as Cohn and Lins will tell you.

    Mosh, Larry, yes – whether it’s nukes, tarsands, or biofuels, you ain’t gonna accomplish much without water. And most of the Russian/Canadian arctic/subarctic is currently desert.

    Susann, I thought you might want a little backing on that one. It’s interesting to consider what the reaction might have been had I posted my comments under your name. Weblog ensembles.

    Ron Cram, on ENSO, I decided to take 3 hours off last night, so I haven’t seen your question yet. Probably won’t get to it as my boys are about to take the field. Michigan is about to get spanked by Dr Tebow.

  339. Andrew
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 11:50 AM | Permalink

    Seems they specifically chose the only lakes with a trend, Paul. Nothing new, just cherry picking. Write an angry letter.
    ;)

  340. Peter D. Tillman
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 11:50 AM | Permalink

    Re 290, 297– Ruddiman, big uplifts cool climate

    I have it in front of me — subtitle is “The formation of giant plateaus in Tibet & the American West may explain why the earth’s climate has grown markedly cooler and more regionally diverse in the past 40 my”

    Which addresses one (of many) factors that affect climate besides CO2, Andrew. Worth copying at the library sometime. Your public lib likely has access to an online magazine archive that includes SciAm. Back in the good old days, when they published science, not politics :-(

    Incidentally, there’s some recent evidence that the Tibetan uplift and the weather it makes are in some sort of unexpected feedback loop: the monsoons, caused by the uplift, rapidly strip away surface rock, causing more isostatic uplift… rinse, repeat… Ref not handy, but I’m pretty sure BC Burchfiel was involved.

    Best for 2008, Pete Tillman

  341. John M
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 11:52 AM | Permalink

    #359 Paul Dennis

    Thanks. I was going to dig out my graphs, but you beat me to the punch.

    Here’s a comment I wrote on the same subject about a year and half ago, pointing out that Great Lakes water levels are a very reliable source of alarming journalism.

  342. bender
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 11:54 AM | Permalink

    Before back-pedalling, Philip_B and D. Patterson, it is customary and collegial to recognize first that you were wrong. You concede the point, and THEN you shift the argument :)

  343. Peter D. Tillman
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 11:59 AM | Permalink

    [meta] Blog mechanics

    Steve (or whoever): is there an easy way to go back to earlier “Recent Comments” — the right sidebar? The blog has gotten so active, things sink way, way off the recent radar overnight :-\

    TIA & Cheers — Pete Tillman

  344. Andrew
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 12:00 PM | Permalink

    Not sure I asked, Peter, but I’ll check it out. My public library isn’t that great about stuff like that, though. It certainly is sad that these science magazines have become so political. Enjoy your New Year, every one!

  345. Arthur Smith
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 12:09 PM | Permalink

    Wow, my off-hand comment about glaciers stirred up a storm. Do some people here seriously believe that the global system is currently balanced? I.e. that with current atmospheric composition including the higher GHG levels and current solar irradiance we are just as likely to see cooling effects (i.e. growing glaciers, increased snow cover, refreezing of Arctic tundra, later springs, animals migrating south, cooling temperatures in lakes and seas, lower humidity, etc.) as warming (the reverse) in future years, even with no more GHG changes?

    Surely you have to accept there is some time-lag between change and response – glaciers and the ocean are the most obvious things that can’t react instantly to warmer air temperatures, but reaction of biological systems is likely be equally slow. That was all I was trying to say – and the models definitely all show significant delayed effects.

    On the particular issue of glaciers and water levels, there are two points, it seems to me:
    (1) people who have relied on the increased water supply from the melting in recent decades are going to be out of luck when the glaciers are gone
    (2) changing precipitation patterns (part of the reason glaciers are in retreat) mean some areas will have less annual precipitation than in the past, or that it will be at different seasons or the water will be differently available (damming it for instance leaves more to evaporate in hotter summer weather).

    The graphs Paul Dennis links to in #359 are missing the latest data: Lake Superior broke its record low level this past September, for instance, and is still not far from the lowest range on those graphs.

  346. John M
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 12:22 PM | Permalink

    #368

    Lake Superior broke its record low level this past September, for instance,

    Which was originally set in 1926.

  347. Richard Sycamore
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 12:23 PM | Permalink

    #368
    Dr. Smith, repsectfully, there is no “warming in the pipe”. Say it three times every night before going to sleep: Temperature goes up. Solar stuff goes up and down and up and down and up and down. You can no more make a trend out of that than you can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

  348. Paul Dennis
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 12:28 PM | Permalink

    Re: 368

    It looks as though it was March that Lake Superior reached a ‘record’ low level, below that in about 1926 or thereabouts. Levels have now recovered a little and are above those recorded for the same period last year.

    It’s a brave person who would say the current pattern is a trend, and moreover, that the period say 1985-2007 is any different to the period 1905-1927.

    I would not want to interpret the levels in isolation and would want to have information on inflows, outflows, evaporation etc. as well. My point was simply, that the lake levels are not inconsistent with the pattern for the past century.

  349. See - owe to Rich
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 12:28 PM | Permalink

    Experiment 1 (extract from lost posting):
    An event which I have been looking for has just happened: positive total sea ice anomaly! It now stands at about 1m sq.km., which is close to a number of other positive peaks in the last 30 years. The gradient probably exceeds anything seen.

    Rich.

  350. See - owe to Rich
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 12:30 PM | Permalink

    Experiment 2 (extract from lost posting):

    Could recent lack of data at Cryosphere be connected with the controllers gawping incredulously and looking for errors?

    Check out Cryosphere .

    Rich.

  351. Andrew
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 12:33 PM | Permalink

    Richard, not to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, but:

    The Sun goes through many cycles, over long and short periods, trending up and down, and even beyond these cycles it is constantly brightening in the long term, having been much dimmer in the past.

  352. See - owe to Rich
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 12:36 PM | Permalink

    Experiment 3 (the whole posting)

    An event which I have been looking for has just happened: positive total sea ice anomaly! It now stands at about 1m sq.km., which is close to a number of other positive peaks in the last 30 years. The gradient probably exceeds anything seen. Could recent lack of data at Cryosphere be connected with the controllers gawping incredulously and looking for errors?

    Check out Cryosphere .

    Rich.

  353. See - owe to Rich
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 12:40 PM | Permalink

    Experiment completed – the whole thing got through spam filter this time (though as usual I did have to respond to Kinda-Captcha). Don’t know why it failed a few days ago.

    Rich.

  354. Larry
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 12:40 PM | Permalink

    353, let’s put that into perspective. The total volume of the great lakes is about 6×10^15 gallons. That means annual nuke usage is about one millionth of the volume. Not a major impact.

  355. Peter D. Tillman
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 12:53 PM | Permalink

    #377, 380: “Falsification Of Atmospheric CO2 Greenhouse Effect”

    I looked at this paper at that time, as did others here. It’s nonsense.

    Cheers — Pete Tillman

  356. John M
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 12:56 PM | Permalink

    #372 and others re: Great Lakes

    As with all things unprecedented, it depends on the reference point.

    Great Lakes levels are seasonal. The all time low for Lake Superior was in April 1926 at 182.72 m. The record low this past September was for the month of September. AFAIK, March 2007 was not a record.

    Here is the full historical record, which will be updated shortly to include 2007.

  357. Susann
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 1:21 PM | Permalink

    For example, we have tried to get you to look at the evidence that Mann acted unethically. The evidence is in existence but you have would rather act as his defense attorney than know the facts. I thought bender was about to offer to provide a link to bring the evidence to the discussion (as I did with you) but decided the other participants were not worthy.

    Why is it so important to you (and some others) to have participants on the blog agree to some creed? While I understand that Steve McIntyre has a peofessional beef with Mann and RC, this blog should not be about personality IMO. Steve McIntyre can make it such if he chooses, but then he undermines its credibility and it stops being about “auditing” the science.

    I have said it was improper to withhold data. Since people are seculating about motive, I suggest one possibility: if the request had come from a reputable climate scientist (sorry Steve) they might have been forthcoming far sooner than they were. I don’t know what their motive was, but that’s where my money might go. I think some people here have concluded that there is some design to deceive about AGW and thus they impute dark motives to the players. I don’t feel we are able to conclude that with any greater certainty than my suggestion.

  358. Pat Keating
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 1:33 PM | Permalink

    383 Susann

    So physicists in the early 1900’s would have been justified in witholding data from Albert Einstein because he was a mere patent office employee?

  359. John Lang
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 1:33 PM | Permalink

    Susann, it not dark evil motives which drive researchers like Mann to distort the data in an effort to prove global warming.

    It is simply human nature.

    Mann became a superstar after his hockey stick and he got invited to all the great global warming parties and he obtained access to millions in research dollars and got to lead one the IPCC working groups.

    If you distort the data even more and produce a movie about it ….

    … you win an Oscar!

    Then to top it all off, they give you …

    … drumroll …

    .. the Nobel Peace Prize

    and tens of millions of dollars to give speeches all over the place.

    That is enough motive to understand what is happening.

    Think about it.

  360. Andrew
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 1:34 PM | Permalink

    “Reputable Climate Scientist” of course means “Someone Mann could trust not to call him on his errors.

    But your right, Susann, the people on this site don’t have to agree. You could start a climateaudit clique of your own, the “Friends of Mann”. ;)

  361. Larry
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 1:39 PM | Permalink

    386, I second the invitation. I can’t remember anyone else who ever came waltzing into a blog, and started barking out orders about what the focus ought to be. Ask, sure. Tell? Not good netiquete.

  362. Ron Cram
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 1:49 PM | Permalink

    Susann,

    You are talking nonsense because you have not read the article. Some (including me) have tried to explain to you the issue of the CENSORED folder, but you cannot (will not) grasp it. Perhaps reading the article will help and perhaps not. It has absolutely nothing to do with a “creed” or with Mann’s opinion of Steve McIntyre’s worthiness to look at data. (BTW, just as an aside having nothing at all to do with the point I was making – Mann did provide data to McIntyre until Steve found errors and then he stopped providing data.)

  363. Andrew
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 1:59 PM | Permalink

    Ron, I think Susann’s misunderstanding is partly my fault for being to simplistic in my explanation of what happened. Hopefully, thanks to the detail (which I left out) that Mann actually became unforthcoming only after errors were found will make her see your point. Not that you have to Susann!

  364. bender
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 2:10 PM | Permalink

    What Susann fails to appreciate is that there are personalities who are dead against open audit. Therefore the issues of personality and process are coupled. To the extent that these people try to avoid audit, and even try to make an enemy of the process, their behavior is reprehensible. They make themselves a target.

  365. Ron Cram
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 2:17 PM | Permalink

    Andrew,

    Mann has committed a number of acts that could be considered unethical or pseudoscientific. Wikipedia has some good quotes on lack of openness (not sharing data). See here and here.

    The fact Mann stopped providing data after errors were found shows that he is someone who wants to be right more than he wants the science to be right. But the fact Mann made claims about the robustness of his approach that he knew were false (which we learn from the CENSORED folder) really takes the cake for me.

    Don’t get me wrong. Don’t think I am of the opinion that all scientists who believe in AGW are dishonest. There are a number of them who follow the data and report their findings honestly. I respect Chylek, Schwartz, Svalgaard, von Storch, Zorita and others. But I have a very low opinion of Mann.

  366. Andrew
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 2:24 PM | Permalink

    Yes, I’m just concerned that she based her approach to Mann’s defense mainly on my posts, from what I can tell. You know better what happened than me, so I shouldn’t be the one to explain what happened.

  367. TonyN
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 2:26 PM | Permalink

    Apologies if this has been mentioned and I missed it.

    From the UK Met Office:

    13 December 2007

    The Met Office Hadley Centre and the University of East Anglia have today released preliminary global temperature figures for 2007, which show that the top 11 warmest years all occur in the last 13 years.

    The provisional global figure, using data from January to November, currently places 2007 as the seventh warmest on record since 1850.

    The announcement comes as the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Michel Jarraud, speaks at the Conference of the Parties (COP) in Bali.

    There is a graph too:

    Is there anything odd about the step change between the 9th and 10th ranked years (1995, 1997)?

  368. bender
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 2:41 PM | Permalink

    It is worth mentioning that you expect a continual stream of record-breaking temperatures as you rebound out of the Maunder minimum and LIA – regardless of the cause. There is no reason to think these kinds of streaks did not occur during the MWP. So what’s the news?

  369. Gunnar
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 3:16 PM | Permalink

    #380 >>If the Greenhouse effect doesn’t exist, why is it that the earth isn’t really cold?

    Andrew, although the G&T paper definitely is off limits here, you shouldn’t be so quick to judge. Don’t bet, perform an experiment or look for experimental evidence. Now, I have a hunch (ala lucia) that the GHE is real, but until I see experimental evidence, I can’t say what effect it has.

    There have been attempts to duplicate the alleged affect which I think have failed. One in Chicago. Another was a kyoto house constructed by an AGW true believer. During the project, he converted into a skeptic, presumably because he couldn’t replicate the alleged affect.

    As for the 33 degrees commonly attributed to the GHE, it’s just a guess someone made a long time ago. I believe that their mistake was in assuming that radiative balance was correct. 1st law boils down to radiative balance only if internal energy is constant and work is zero.

    Why isn’t the earth really cold? How about gravity and the fact that the earth has a molten core. There is more to physics than plancks law.

    (these are just thoughts for Andrew to ponder, no reason for flames)

  370. Wansbeck
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 3:20 PM | Permalink

    re #391 TonyN,

    This is due to the step change in temperature that followed the 1997/8 spike. The previous 20 years had no major trend.

  371. Anna Lang
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 3:31 PM | Permalink

    Bill McKibbens’ Washington Post commentary is being reprinted in many local newspapers, http://www.sacbee.com/110/story/597022.html, for example. He reports on James Hansen’s remarks at the recent San Francisco AGU meeting that atmospheric carbon dioxide should be limited to 350 ppm and economies/lifestyles must change immediately.

    Steve, were you able to attend Hansen’s presentation?

  372. Larry
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 3:35 PM | Permalink

    394, that begs the question. The question is, does that kind of discontinuity seem physical? I agree with Tony that it looks suspicious.

  373. steven mosher
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 3:35 PM | Permalink

    re 391. no.

  374. Larry
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 3:37 PM | Permalink

    395, you have an extra comma at the end of that link. No worky.

  375. Phil.
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 3:37 PM | Permalink

    Re #394

    re #391 TonyN,

    This is due to the step change in temperature that followed the 1997/8 spike. The previous 20 years had no major trend.

    I think you might want to rethink this statement. ;)

  376. Andrew
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 3:42 PM | Permalink

    Yes, Wansbeck, I’m afraid the data that most closely fits your description is not this data. Your thinking of the satellite data.

    Larry, how hard is it to remove the comma manually?

  377. Larry
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 3:43 PM | Permalink

    Why isn’t the earth really cold? How about gravity and the fact that the earth has a molten core. There is more to physics than plancks law.

    1. Gravity is a force; not a source of energy.

    2. I believe the magma theory has been investigated pretty thoroughly, and you’re a couple orders of magnitude short of explaining the 33k.

  378. Anna Lang
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 3:44 PM | Permalink

    Thank you, Larry. The comma is not part of the link.

    http://www.sacbee.com/110/story/597022.html

  379. TonyN
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 3:45 PM | Permalink

    re 397. Why?

  380. Larry
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 3:45 PM | Permalink

    400, click the link, and when you get the 404 error, manually delete the comma from the url box.

  381. Gunnar
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 4:03 PM | Permalink

    #401, pah

    1. straw man. The core temperature of Jupiter is about 24,000 deg C, hotter than the surface of the sun. What causes that?

    2. based on what, measured heat flow? The heat flow is based on delta T, so if the air temp was 33 deg lower, there would be plenty of heat flow.

  382. Larry
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 4:08 PM | Permalink

    It’s no secret that fission occurs in the core, and that provides a source of heat separate from the sun (hey gaia worshipers, your mama/godess is a nuke). None of that is controversial. It’s just that when you add up all of the volcanic activity, both above and below the surface (and geothermal, etc.), it’s trivial compared to solar heat flux.

  383. Anna Lang
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 4:10 PM | Permalink

    Thanks again, Larry.

    Here is the washingtonpost.com link to McKibben’s article. Now, keeping fingers crossed that it will work ;).

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/27/AR2007122701942.html

  384. Neil McEvoy
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 4:12 PM | Permalink

    Larry, is that known for submarine geothermal activity?

  385. Gunnar
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 4:13 PM | Permalink

    Larry, I remember now that when I once pointed out that some of our sister planets are not in radiative balance, you made the substantive comment “WTF??”. This kind of well thought answer is typical of you, as I think Phil has been pointing out.

    For the record, I’ll confirm now that I was correct:

    Jupiter is still losing the heat produced when it became a planet… The compression of material produced heat. So much heat was produced when Jupiter formed that the planet still radiates about twice as much heat into space as it receives from sunlight. http://www.nasa.gov/worldbook/jupiter_worldbook.html

    As you can see, Jupiter is NOT IN RADIATIVE BALANCE!

    That such an obvious fact needed to be said at all is quite amazing.

  386. Larry
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 4:17 PM | Permalink

    Jupiter’s also a lot bigger than the earth, and when you scale things up, surface to volume ratio goes down. It has a lot more energy stored up per unit area than the earth has.

  387. Andrew
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 4:26 PM | Permalink

    I myself happen to have a hunch that attempts to prove there is no effect will hit a dead end. But I think the real question is magnitude.

    Interesting discussion about other planets. I remember being told that Jupiter’s storms require some internal heat source to power them. But guys, I feel like we might be getting into thermo territory. Don’t want to get out of hand, you know?

  388. Andrew
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 4:30 PM | Permalink

    Philip, I think I’ve heard of the idea of ice accumulation acting as a feedback to lower temperatures further. You know, the ice reflects more heat back to space, etc. But I’m not sure how well it would actually work becuase I keep thinking, why doesn’t the ice being hit with heat it reflects melt?

  389. Peter D. Tillman
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 4:31 PM | Permalink

    Re 411, Ruddiman, giant uplifts cool climate

    Here’s the citation to the original paper

    Ruddiman & Kutzbach, JGR 94, D15, pp 18409-427, 12-89

    What the followup was, I don’t know. But Ruddiman is a very sharp guy.

    Let us know if you pursue this–

    Cheers — Pete T

  390. Philip_B
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 4:43 PM | Permalink

    Before back-pedalling, Philip_B and D. Patterson, it is customary and collegial to recognize first that you were wrong. You concede the point, and THEN you shift the argument

    Susan made an obviously false claim about retreating glaciers reducing water supplies. I pointed this out. No one has countered my point or presented any evidence I am wrong. I have not shifted my argument (although I’ll note that you have, and others have descended into vague assertions about ‘it must have consequences’). Now I am being tarred with the denialist brush even though my point says nothing about whether AGW is real or not.

    I’ll rejoin this discussion if anyone responds to Steve’s question about the contribution of retreating glaciers to river flows.

  391. Jordan
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 5:02 PM | Permalink

    TonyN re 391.

    The marked change from 1995 does look rather suspicious. If it could be established that there was loss of diversity in the measurement set at the same time, your point would be worth further investigation.

    The reason for saying that is becuase I recall tales of a falling numbers of surface stations in recent times. For example, I did once see a chart showing GCHN stations dropping from about 6000 to 2000 over the 1990’s. I cannot provide a good source of data to back this up and I’m happy to be corrected if this is wrong.

    I wonder if there is somebody here who can provide more details of recent trends in the number and distribution of stations behind the chart.

  392. Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 5:05 PM | Permalink

    Re #415

    No one has countered my point or presented any evidence I am wrong.

    Just because you ignored it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

  393. Larry
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 5:07 PM | Permalink

    What didn’t happen?

  394. Mark T
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 5:25 PM | Permalink

    Just because you ignored it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

    And just because you decided to be quaint doesn’t make this comment worth anything, either.

    Mark

  395. Andrew
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 5:26 PM | Permalink

    Jordan, I think that’s an issue that has been talked about here before. After all, this is one of the places where we critically examine the data. One of the only places!

    I seem to recall Ross McKitrick having a chart like that. But there are other possible reasons for the jump. I’m reminded of a certain bug that was caught here, and the correction moved the top years in the US around.

    Something like this right?

    http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/nvst.html

  396. TonyN
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 5:40 PM | Permalink

    Re: #416 Jordan

    I wondered about a change in methodology or a splice. If the graph is based on data from CRU then I suppose anything is possible, but there will be no way of finding out.

    The late 1990s was a time when the climate community were really trying to prove something and one rarely sees graphs of rankings. Could this kind of graphic reveal a problem that was not otherwise obvious?

    Unfortunately I posted this because I didn’t understand it but hoped that someone here might; not because I have any answers.

  397. TonyN
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 5:46 PM | Permalink

    Re: 421 Andrew

    When I saw it I was reminded of the same thing, but twice in such a short time would be very surprising. Can you suggest any way to take this a little further?

  398. steven mosher
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 6:05 PM | Permalink

    re 381:

    “I have said it was improper to withhold data.
    Since people are seculating about motive, I suggest one possibility:
    if the request had come from a reputable climate scientist (sorry Steve)
    they might have been forthcoming far sooner than they were.
    I don’t know what their motive was, but that’s where my money might go.”

    That’s not a motive Susann, that’s an excuse. The question would be then, why withhold data
    from a non scientist? It’s not like they will fall with the data and poke themselves in the eye.
    You mistake excuse for motive. Were they trying to protect SteveMC from himself? Afraid that
    a non scientist could hurt them with their own data?

    I dont find it useful ( although its great fun) to motive hunt. I’d say based on passed behavior
    that Dr. Mann’s work should be treated to a extra scrunity of the double blind variety.

  399. steven mosher
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 6:05 PM | Permalink

    re 381:

    “I have said it was improper to withhold data.
    Since people are seculating about motive, I suggest one possibility:
    if the request had come from a reputable climate scientist (sorry Steve)
    they might have been forthcoming far sooner than they were.
    I don’t know what their motive was, but that’s where my money might go.”

    That’s not a motive Susann, that’s an excuse. The question would be then, why withhold data
    from a non scientist? It’s not like they will fall with the data and poke themselves in the eye.
    You mistake excuse for motive. Were they trying to protect SteveMC from himself? Afraid that
    a non scientist could hurt them with their own data?

    I dont find it useful ( although its great fun) to motive hunt. I’d say based on passed behavior
    that Dr. Mann’s work should be treated to a extra scrunity of the double blind variety.

  400. bender
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 6:11 PM | Permalink

    From the Calgary Herald Dec 02 2007

    http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/features/water/story.html?id=3c973992-4b5e-49e7-9555-31df77cf2b9b&p=2

    For a view of the impacts of climate change, University of Calgary glaciologist Shawn Marshall has climbed the heights of the Rocky Mountains, where 1,328 glaciers display some of the clearest signs of Earth’s warming. Research shows that in as little as three decades, many small glaciers may become nothing more than slivers of ice. The Peyto Glacier north of Lake Louise is already a quarter of what it used to be. The Bow Glacier, which delivers water to the Bow River, retreated 1.1 kilometres between the years 1850 and 1953. For a time, glacial melt was increasing river flows. But studies show that period is past. In its place, a potentially long-term trend of dwindling rivers is poised to take hold.

    Still, the impact of climate change is hard to pinpoint with limited data. “We are trying to get a handle on what’s happening at the higher elevations,” says Marshall, lead investigator in a project involving 320 meteorological stations examining weather patterns in the Rockies. “How much do glaciers matter to water supply? There’s lots of confusion on that issue.” For the Bow River, Marshall says glaciers don’t matter that much, contributing 4.5 per cent to the average annual flow. In years of little rain, however, southern Alberta depends a lot more on the water glaciers naturally store. Glacial melt can make up as much as half the Bow’s flow during a drought. Mountain snowpacks are a bigger worry, Marshall says. In Alberta, they’ve shrunk about 18 per cent on average since the 1950s. Their decline has reduced the amount of water streaming down hills and into rivers during the summer, when farmers and municipalities need water most. Alberta’s southwest pocket is feeling the effects of less snow. Unlike those in the Calgary region, rivers like the St. Mary, Belly and Waterton don’t have a glacier reserve to draw on.

    Farmers are worried. Cardston County declared itself a disaster area this summer, warning that some ranchers would be forced to sell their cattle early because they didn’t have enough water to grow feed. “We’ve been in a drought state for several years,” says Kirt Woolf, manager of the United Irrigation District, based in the Village of Glenwood near Waterton Lakes National Park.

  401. bender
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 6:14 PM | Permalink

    #429 Rain in January might be useful to farmers in July.

  402. Mike Davis
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 6:21 PM | Permalink

    How many years has this been going on?
    Probably since end of LIA.
    How has the population changed in the region?
    without accurate data we do not even know if we have been in a cooling trend since 98 which could exlpain the drought.
    Warmer seas more rain.

  403. Susann
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 6:23 PM | Permalink

    So physicists in the early 1900’s would have been justified in witholding data from Albert Einstein because he was a mere patent office employee?

    Where did you get the “justified” part? Did I say it was OK, that Mann was “justified” in withholding data from Steve McIntyre? No. I repeatedly said it was wrong. Please stop putting words in my mouth. Can’t people read or do they just see what they want to see?

    I said it was a reason period. Not valid, not appropriate, but a reason nonetheless.

    I can’t say what his motive was as I don’t have the ability to read his mind and I don’t know enough of the facts to make a judgement. I have repeatedly said that others here might feel comfortable about doing so. I have also said I don’t think it looks good for people on this blog to focus so much on personality. It is discreditable.

  404. Raven
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 6:42 PM | Permalink

    Susann,

    Where did you get the “justified” part? Did I say it was OK, that Mann was “justified” in withholding data from Steve McIntyre? No. I repeatedly said it was wrong. Please stop putting words in my mouth. Can’t people read or do they just see what they want to see?

    You did that when you made the ‘McIntyre is not a climate scientist’ argument. I agree that personal attacks on Mann pointless – the real problem is the fact that the IPCC and the climate science ‘establishment’ went to great lengths to defend the guy. This defense include publications of so-called rebuttles that were immediately accepted as gospel truth despite the fact that they rebutted nothing. The existance of these papers is pretty strong evidence that the peer review process is deeply flawed.

  405. Pat Keating
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 6:46 PM | Permalink

    You may not realize it, but you come across as an apologist for Mann. If it quacks….

    Why keep putting forward excuses/rationales if you don’t intend to countenance his behavior? Just let it go, instead of claiming “personality” motives to us.

  406. bender
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 6:48 PM | Permalink

    Peer review is not “flawed”. But it is a highly imperfect form of quality control when brand new science is fast-tracked through a conflicted editorial oversight process up to the highest levels of global policy.

  407. bender
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 6:50 PM | Permalink

    Pat, Susann has a valid point. It does look bad. And I am no apologist for Mann.

  408. Raven
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 7:22 PM | Permalink

    From Pieke’s blog: http://climatesci.colorado.edu/

    Comparison of MSU data with the a reduce RATPAC radiosonde dataset indicates that RSS’s method (use of climate model) of determining diurnal effects is likely overestimating the correction in the LT channel. Diurnal correction signatures still exist in the RSS LT time series and are likely affecting the long term trend with a warm bias. Our findings enhance the importance of understanding temporal changes in the atmospheric temperature trend profile and their implications on current climate studies.”

    This may be worthy of its own topic. Does this means the climate models are being used to correct RSS data and the RSS data is later used to validate the climate models? My head is spinning….

  409. Susann
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 7:26 PM | Permalink

    Mann did provide data to McIntyre until Steve found errors and then he stopped providing data.)

    So, he actually complied initially and started to provide Steve McIntyre with the data Steve requested?

    You’ll have to pardon me for I’ve stuck to reading the papers, not the whole intrigue that happened in the wings. That makes me suspect that the motive was fear of being made to look like a sloppy scientist with a flawed paper rather than anything more nefarious. It’s still wrong, but some are making it sound like Mann was out to hoodwink the world about AGW and got caught red-handed. The proper thing would have been to provide the data, admit the mistakes once they were found, and move on, etc. Of course, since the paper and graph were used in the IPCC report, there was a certain momentum behind them and admitting flaws and errors at that point would be even harder than if this had happened early on. That’s the sad fact of inadequate initial data analysis and the whole politicization of the process that occurred.

  410. Wansbeck
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 7:29 PM | Permalink

    Satellite data and UK Met Office data both appear to show a step straddling the 1998 event.
    If this is treat as an impulse settling down around the end of 2001 then according to the Met Office data 2007 is the coldest year since then.

    It looks like a step to me. Why, I don’t know. Was the El Nino so large that it had a long term effect or did it coincide with something else or is it an artifact?

    Is it a step?

  411. insider
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 7:34 PM | Permalink

    he was. problem is no one on the outside can prove it.

  412. Carl
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 7:36 PM | Permalink

    I think the first post in this thread should be restated thusly:

    For a scientific theory to be “scientific” there has to be a way to refute it. For example, negative gravitational mass would be a serious blow to general relativity (well, that’s what I heard). What would be a serious blow to AGW? What experiment, fact or whatever would it take to replace AGW consensus with oops?

  413. S. Hales
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 7:39 PM | Permalink

    Re: Measuring Climate Change — The main idea here could be used in Mckitrick’s notion of an indexed carbon tax…

    Roger Pielke, Sr. had this post on John Tierney’s blog at the NYT here

    (requires registration )

    here it is in full …

    Climate Science [http://climatesci.colorado.edu/] has weblogged on this subject.

    With respect to global warming, here is what was written on the Climate Science weblog on April 4, 2007;

    “A Litmus Test For Global Warming – A Much Overdue Requirement”
    [http://climatesci.colorado.edu/2007/04/04/a-litmus-tes t-for-global-warming-a-much-overdue-requirement/]:

    “For global warming to occur, the heat, as measured in Joules, needs to increase each year.

    The heat accumulation for the period from 2002 to the present and into the future needs to be a high priority. For example to sustain a global warming rate of 1 Watt per meter squared since 2002 for the following ten years requires the accumulation of 1.6 *10**23 Joules within the climate system.

    A figure, such as Figure 8 in Willis, J.K., D. Roemmich, and B. Cornuelle, 2004: Interannual variability in upper ocean heat content, temperature, and thermosteric expansion on global scales. J. Geophys. Res., 109, C12036, doi: 10.1029/2003JC002260.

    should be widely communicated each year (or more frequently). For example, as a requirement to NOT reject the IPCC claim for global warming, Climate Science proposes that on the scale presented in Figure 3 in Willis et al, the left axis in their Figure 8 must exceed the following values in each year

    2003 8*10**22 Joules
    2004 9*10**22 Joules
    2005 10*10**22 Joules
    2006 11*10**22 Joules
    2007 12*10**22 Joules
    2008 13*10**22 Joules
    2009 14*10**22 Joules
    2010 15*10**22 Joules
    2011 16*10**22 Joules
    2012 17*10**22 Joules

    This is actually quite a conservative test for the IPCC since the radiative imbalance (which includes all radiative forcings and feedbacks; see), and thus the actual ocean heat storage changes should be larger.

    With the expected updating of the 2003 up to the present data…, we should soon be able to present the actual values of global warming (or global cooling) to compare with the hypothesized radiative imbalances presented above.”

    Climate Science will weblog again further on this very important question that you have asked, including other climate metrics whose changes are inconsistent with the concept of global warming as reported by the IPCC.

    — Posted by Roger A. Pielke Sr

    The Willis, et.al. paper can be found here

  414. Susann
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 7:57 PM | Permalink

    You did that when you made the ‘McIntyre is not a climate scientist’ argument.

    I did not say it was acceptable, as in appropriate or ethical. I said the reason was real. Jealousy, for example, is not a valid reason for smearing someone’s name, but it is a reason people do such things regardless. You are thinking of excuse, rather than reason. There is no excuse for deliberately withholding data from other researchers. But there are reasons, some valid and some not. Fear of being made to look like a fool is a reason people do (or do not do) all manner of things.

    I’m not defending Mann. I’m trying to counter what I see are flawed arguments that shouldn’t be made in the first place on a blog about “the science”.

  415. Susann
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 8:07 PM | Permalink

    You may not realize it, but you come across as an apologist for Mann. If it quacks….

    Why keep putting forward excuses/rationales if you don’t intend to countenance his behavior? Just let it go, instead of claiming “personality” motives to us.

    I would be an apologist if I said Mann was right to withhold data. I said he was not right. I suggest that some people here are the ones with an agenda towards Mann, evidenced by the personal attacks on him and more recent attempts to write congresspersons, contact NASA etc. about his — of all things — blog activity. I’m just an outsider calling it as I see it.

  416. M. Jeff
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 8:09 PM | Permalink

    Scholastic and excessively subtle reasoning?

  417. S. Hales
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 8:09 PM | Permalink

    Raven, This debate about observations and models has raged on for quite sometime. An empiricist would say that a climate model is a theory and she would need data, real world observations, to test that theory. The climate modeler would say that observations are imperfect and can never include as many variables as a climate model, so, trying to validate a model with short time series of 10 to 20 years really says nothing about the validity or efficacy of a climate model. A person coming to this debate with a head full of common sense and an empirical nature would tend to be, well, saying something like “You sold me a dead parrot.”

  418. Steve Hemphill
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 8:12 PM | Permalink

    Re #440,

    It appears to me that the initial mistake may have just been that, a mistake, but then the IPCC glommed onto it, so they had to defend it so people wouldn’t think they were politicized (proving they were), and then they came up with Realclimate to further defend it. That’s when it went from just being a mistake to something more nefarious… the longer it goes on the worse they (and those associated, like the rest of the Wegman 43) will look when the facts become common knowledge – except those that admit what’s going on before their house of cards collapses..

  419. bender
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 8:17 PM | Permalink

    #443
    It’s not that simple, Carl. Although you make a good point. It’s a matter of retraction versus refutation.

    The first post was trying to get at the fact that the AGW “hypothesis” is contingent on hundreds of propositions, each one subject to uncertainty, or estimation error. Attribution is a modeling exercise, and the attribution tool is the GCM. Thousands of lines of code. Each discovery of a warm bias in the underlying data erodes a small part of the AGW edifice. Comment 1 asks how much erosion is required until the whole edifice collapses. i.e. What will it take before it can be concluded that the hypothesis is retracted?

    Retracting a hypothesis is not the same as refuting it. If a prediction fails to materialize (hypothesis refuted), you are still left wondering what went wrong. You are still left asking the question: what part of the edifice was not as strong as you believed?

    So your point is valid: a litmus test is badly needed to know when the hypothesis has been refuted. But this is not a rephrasing of comment #1. Comment #1 asks: when do we retract the hypothesis?

  420. John M
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 8:18 PM | Permalink

    Bender #426

    Michigan wins a bowl game and the total global sea ice anomaly nears the highest it’s been this millenium.

    Coincidence?

  421. Mike Davis
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 8:20 PM | Permalink

    bender:
    I would be hapy to toss around thoughts about the warming issue. From my side it would be from a trouble shooters point of view and a person whoo spent a lot of time out in the weather.

  422. bender
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 8:46 PM | Permalink

    #450
    You demarcate between the guy with the flawed paper and the policy agency who defended it. But you have a problem there, because there is not a clean line between the fox and the henhouse. As I said, the promotional process was conflicted. Steve M can explain more if he wants, but it’s already been said a hundred times. Read the blog.

  423. bender
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 8:53 PM | Permalink

    #452 Yep, hell’s freezin’ over. That would be your AGW litmus test.

  424. Susann
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 8:53 PM | Permalink

    Bender, back to the topic at hand, yes. From my perspective, I don’t see a lot of big chinks in the armor yet. I see — at this stage in my own personal journey into the climate science debates — some errors and mistakes, some over-reaching based on uncertain data, some dubious behavior, a lot of politicization. There is 30 years of research on global warming, a lot of it pointing to the existence of anthropgenic sources; enough so that a considerable number of individual scientists and scientific bodies have accepted the theory of AGW to be valid and for a consensus to emerge. I see some dissent among both credible and not so credible protagonists. For the scientific consensus to be overturned, the anomalies will have to become so great and the alternative hypotheses become so much more credible and convincing that scientists will turn to the alternative and abandon AGW. There are always niggling details that the theories or dominant paradigms don’t quite explain, so the existence of anomalies in itself isn’t enough to overthrow a theory or paradigm. Knowledge is always contingent. Understanding is always incomplete. That keeps scientists busy and leads to new avenues of research and new theories. When a science question has huge political, ecoonomic and social implications the way climate change has, this process becomes even more complex for it’s not just scientists working away at their puzzles. It’s big political movers and shakers sticking their noses into things and trying to influence the outcome.

  425. Pat Keating
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 8:56 PM | Permalink

    44t Susann

    The problem is you keep repeating it. Once was enough. The repetition is boring and suggests a stronger interest than you admit to. Please give it a rest.

  426. BarryW
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 8:58 PM | Permalink

    Susan,

    Given Steve’s comment #130

    #107 and others – the issue is not the use of the term “CENSORED” in the directory (which Mann has now deleted) but Mann’s statement that his reconstruction was robust to the presence/absence of all dendroclimatic series – a representation that was taken seriously at the time. Obviously we know now (and Mann has admitted/Ammann comfirmed) that his AD1400 recon is not “robust” to even the presence/absence of bristlecones. Our analyses were in effect a sensitivity study on exclusion of BCPs – which caused them to screech to high heavens that we were “throwing out” data. You will never find a reconciliation of this screech with their false robustness claim.

    Mann had run a test that did not support his contention that his reconstruction was robust. Therefore he knew his statements were not true. What common term is used for a person who would state something they knew was untrue (word begins with the letter “L”). While you may not want to impugn his motives, can you at least admit what he is, whatever his reasons? Come on Susan can you at least go that far.

  427. Peter D. Tillman
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 9:09 PM | Permalink

    Re 454 (& many upthread), Susann

    Bender said “Steve M can explain more if he wants, but it’s already been said a hundred times. Read the blog.”

    Specifically, have a look at (of all things) the FAQ, http://www.climateaudit.org/?page_id=1002

    –which will answer a good few of the Mann questions, and perhaps put this to bed (Ha!)

    Steve, I see you’re updating it. For the PCA bit, “For a slightly more technical exposition see [to be inserted]” — may I suggest, http://climateaudit101.wikispot.org/Principal_Component_Analysis
    –which is still a little rough, but gets the points across, I think.

    Best for 2008, Pete T

  428. bender
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 9:09 PM | Permalink

    Susann. There are three stands on AGW. Yes. No. We don’t know. It’ll be a cold day in hell when we’ve got the data to be certain of ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Therefore ‘don’t know’ is where we’ll be for some time. The majority and the consensus deny this. But each new chink in the armor adds weight to the view that the uncertainty position – a minority position – is the most defendable position. Action therefore requires a political precautionary principle; it is not scientifically defensible. The irony is that the science is not strong enough yet to provide direction for action. Hey you policymakers, don’t tear up those science books just yet.

  429. Raven
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 9:10 PM | Permalink

    Susann says:

    For the scientific consensus to be overturned, the anomalies will have to become so great and the alternative hypotheses become so much more credible and convincing that scientists will turn to the alternative and abandon AGW. There are always niggling details that the theories or dominant paradigms don’t quite explain, so the existence of anomalies in itself isn’t enough to overthrow a theory or paradigm.

    That makes sense if a theory has been shown to be at least partially correct. Many anomalies existed that could not be explained by Bohr’s model of the atom yet it did explain many things (i.e. it was possible to use the model to make predictions that could be verified with experiments). For that reason, Bohr’s model exists today as a useful construct even though it is technically wrong.

    However, climate science is a different kettle of fish because it is not possible to conduct experiments to verify the hypothesis. For that reason the onus of proof is still on the proponents of the CO2 hypothesis to demonstrate its validity. It is not up to the skeptics to come up with a complete alternate hypothesis that ‘overturns’ the AGW hypothesis.

  430. Ron Cram
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 9:14 PM | Permalink

    re: 446
    Susann,

    Do you know the difference between a word’s denotation and its connotation? The use of “reason” connotes that an action is justified. If one does not think an action is justified, one uses the term “excuse.” You should not be offended when people understand a term you use as having its common connotation. End of English lesson.

  431. bender
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 9:17 PM | Permalink

    #462 That’s right. It’s not an experimental science. Therefore you will never be able to get rid of the interpretive models. You will be forever adjusting them. Consequently you will never fully kill the hypothesis. Too much room for post-hoc revisionism. And for theory-rescuing.

  432. Ron Cram
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 9:18 PM | Permalink

    re: 462
    Raven,
    I agree completely.

  433. Susann
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 9:19 PM | Permalink

    It is not up to the skeptics to come up with a complete alternate hypothesis that ‘overturns’ the AGW hypothesis.

    You’re talking as a partisan laying out requirements for proof in order to be convinced. I’m describing the sociological process by which dominant theories or paradigms are overthrown and new ones adopted. There’s very little to “prove” string theory but that hasn’t prevented hundreds — thousands? — of physicists from doing PhDs in it, getting grants to study it, and professors from teaching it.

  434. paddikj
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 9:25 PM | Permalink

    Susann’s comment 440 reminded me of a family discussion from several months ago, when a teacher brother challenged us to summarize some aspect of AGW in 20 words, a technique he regularly uses on his students.

    One brother weighed in with:

    The Hockey Stick in 20 words:

    A foundational report from the AGW crowd was deliberately skewed to obscure the data to promote the AGW agenda and win lots of $$$.

    1 word:

    Chicanery

    But I was thinking more like Susann, and countered with:

    A foundational report of AGW theory – and career-making paper for its author – rests on dicey data and manipulations thereof.

    One word summary: Sloppy

    Bender’s 35-word take on Peer Review in 437 is also wonderfully concise; I’ve added it to my “Scientific Method” lexicon. I’ve taken the liberty of attempting to further compress it to 20 words (although I had to cheat a little by counting “fast-tracked” as one word).

    Peer Review in 20 words:

    Imperfect form of QC when a new science is fast-tracked through a conflicted editorial process to the highest policy levels.

    Any other takers? It’s fun, actually(but the gratuitous deletion of articles and prepositions is verboten).

    At any rate, I agree w/ Susann when she insists upon distunguishing between reporting and judging.

  435. Susann
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 9:33 PM | Permalink

    Do you know the difference between a word’s denotation and its connotation? The use of “reason” connotes that an action is justified. If one does not think an action is justified, one uses the term “excuse.” You should not be offended when people understand a term you use as having its common connotation. End of English lesson.

    Ron, English lesson:

    American Heritage Dictionary – Reason

    rea·son (rē’zən)

    n. The basis or motive for an action, decision, or conviction. See Usage Notes at because, why.
    A declaration made to explain or justify action, decision, or conviction: inquired about her reason for leaving.

    An underlying fact or cause that provides logical sense for a premise or occurrence: There is reason to believe that the accused did not commit this crime.

    One good turn deserves another.

  436. Raven
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 9:39 PM | Permalink

    Susanne says:

    You’re talking as a partisan laying out requirements for proof in order to be convinced. I’m describing the sociological process by which dominant theories or paradigms are overthrown and new ones adopted. There’s very little to “prove” string theory but that hasn’t prevented hundreds — thousands? — of physicists from doing PhDs in it, getting grants to study it, and professors from teaching it.

    ‘string’ theory advocates are not demanding that every human on the planet make huge sacrifices in the name of their theory. These kinds of policy demands mean that the CO2 hypothesis proponents must meet the expectations for proof demanded by the wider society and cannot evade this responsibility by pointing at how things work within the ivory towers of academe.

    The wider society uses two standards of proof that I think are useful for this discussion: “beyond reasonable doubt” and “balance of probabilities”. I do not feel the CO2 hypothesis comes close to meeting the “reasonable doubt” standard but you could argue for the “balance of probabilities” standard. That said, as time progresses we may find that the CO2 hypothesis does not even meet the “balance of probabilities” test. Any policy decisions made today should reflect the fact that the CO2 hypothesis only meets the “balance of probabilities” standard and that it could change in the future. In practical terms, I think this means politicians should move forward with policies that mitigate CO2 but serve other purposes (i.e. energy efficiency). Policies that do nothing other than reduce CO2 at great cost should be avoided (i.e. carbon sequestration).

  437. Susann
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 9:43 PM | Permalink

    Mann had run a test that did not support his contention that his reconstruction was robust. Therefore he knew his statements were not true. What common term is used for a person who would state something they knew was untrue (word begins with the letter “L”). While you may not want to impugn his motives, can you at least admit what he is, whatever his reasons? Come on Susan can you at least go that far.

    From Steve’s quote, it appears that Mann admitted and Ammann confirmed that the AD1400 was not robust.

    Steve’s quote:

    Obviously we know now (and Mann has admitted/Ammann comfirmed) that his AD1400 recon is not “robust” to even the presence/absence of bristlecones.

    I don’t know enough to judge whether this means he was acting unethically re: the “censored” file or whether his actions were due to some other factor. Sorry. To me it’s enough to know the data and method were flawed. Gossip away if you want.

  438. Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 9:50 PM | Permalink

    Re #463

    Do you know the difference between a word’s denotation and its connotation? The use of “reason” connotes that an action is justified. If one does not think an action is justified, one uses the term “excuse.” You should not be offended when people understand a term you use as having its common connotation. End of English lesson.

    Faulty lesson, someone may have a reason for doing something that is unjustified in someone else’s view doesn’t make that reason an excuse. An excuse is the explanation someone gives for their action to cover the real reason, and in this case only Mann can know that. Susann was using a non-judgmental term, you prefer a judgmental one.

  439. Susann
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 9:53 PM | Permalink

    ’string’ theory advocates are not demanding that every human on the planet make huge sacrifices in the name of their theory. These kinds of policy demands mean that the CO2 hypothesis proponents must meet the expectations for proof demanded by the wider society and cannot evade this responsibility by pointing at how things work within the ivory towers of academe.

    Like I say, you’re talking from the perspective of a partisan in a debate. I was talking from the perspective of an academic looking at it from that point of view. Your language (evade, ivory towers, huge sacrifices) betrays a lot of emotion. I think I can assure you that nothing much will be done beyond a lot of politicians posturing and a few token programs that will do nothing much at all, despite the concensus on AGW. Canada signed onto the Kyoto accord and look at its track record re: CO2. There are just too many very powerful players with big bucks at stake to do otherwise. That’s me speaking from the perspective of a cynical policy type.

  440. bender
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 9:55 PM | Permalink

    Susann, what do you think of the Tomassini paper?

  441. Jim
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 9:56 PM | Permalink

    From #440

    “You’ll have to pardon me for I’ve stuck to reading the papers, not the whole intrigue that happened in the wings. That makes me suspect that the motive was fear of being made to look like a sloppy scientist with a flawed paper rather than anything more nefarious. It’s still wrong, but some are making it sound like Mann was out to hoodwink the world about AGW and got caught red-handed.”

    The whole problem is that the MBH paper was used to construct the IPCC consensertight and done with meticulous care. The political imperatives
    meant that the MBH paper was siezed and promoted without undergoing
    the forensic scrutinty that is normal prior to widescale acceptance.
    This is not the way science usually functions.

    The real issue is not the behaviour of Mann. Most scientists have
    just as many personal flaws as the rest of humanity. It is the
    institutional critical examination of scientists work that keeps
    them honest. The real issue is why the self-corrective measures
    have been been in abeyance.

  442. Susann
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 9:58 PM | Permalink

    The problem is you keep repeating it. Once was enough. The repetition is boring and suggests a stronger interest than you admit to. Please give it a rest.

    I will when others do. If someone accuses me of a having certain motives, I feel I have the right to resond.

  443. bender
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 9:58 PM | Permalink

    #475 Oh Jim, you gossip you.

  444. Susann
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 10:00 PM | Permalink

    The real issue is not the behaviour of Mann. Most scientists have
    just as many personal flaws as the rest of humanity. It is the
    institutional critical examination of scientists work that keeps
    them honest. The real issue is why the self-corrective measures
    have been been in abeyance.

    Thank you. Applause.

  445. paddikj
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 10:01 PM | Permalink

    Policies that do nothing other than reduce CO2 at great cost should be avoided (i.e. carbon sequestration).

    And it may not even be in our best interest to reduce C02 levels, for any reason. Been doing some reading on human development during the Holocene, and I’m much more worried about the next glacial onslaught than what will probably be a very modest increase in global temperartures (if, as Dr Pielke Sr. suggests, that term even has any meaning).

    Almost lost in the debate, it seems, is the fact that we are the incredibly lucky tenants of a tiny deglaciated interval in a 5-million-years-and-counting ice age. If human activities were to temper our planet’s moodiness of late, this would be a bad thing? (but that means change, and to the true conservatives of the AGW Crusade, all change is bad).

  446. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 10:04 PM | Permalink

    Someone wrote:

    Mann had run a test that did not support his contention that his reconstruction was robust. Therefore he knew his statements were not true. What common term is used for a person who would state something they knew was untrue (word begins with the letter “L”). While you may not want to impugn his motives, can you at least admit what he is, whatever his reasons? Come on Susan can you at least go that far.

    Dear Susann, I don’t know whether you are being stubborn or merely provocative, but I’ll give it a try.

    Mann knew when he published his paper that his statements were not true. We have direct evidence of that, in his own work, in the “CENSORED” file.

    As you say, when Mann was caught in the L*E, he admitted it … and your point is? Sorry, I’m just a reformed cowboy, and like the song says, “that don’t impress me much”. He confessed when he was caught. Do you think that his admitting the L*E when he’s caught in it somehow makes him whole, restores his position and reputation, and makes up for all of the damage his L*E has caused?

    Perhaps you find that to be standard scientific method … I don’t. I find it despicable.

    Now perhaps it is true, as you say, that “I [Susann] don’t know enough to judge whether this means he was acting unethically …”

    If that is the case, please come back when you do know enough to judge his lack of ethics, and let us know your conclusion. To me, publishing a scientific paper that you know to be untrue is unethical … but YMMV …

    w.

    PS – If you need a clue about the ethical question, please consider: what would make a man name a folder “CENSORED”, and put into that folder the very evidence that disproves his public statements? Honesty? Scientific Ethics? A keen desire to find and reveal the truth? I await your answer to that question as well …

  447. bender
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 10:11 PM | Permalink

    #478
    Nonsense, applause. Process is governed by people. Failed process is failed people. You can not separate the personal from the process failure in this case. Go to bed, Susann. Say Pierrehumbert’s incantation 3 times.

  448. pjaco
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 10:13 PM | Permalink

    [Steve: snip - any posts mentioning evolution or creationism are automatically deleted. If you wish to re-state, please do so. However, I don't have time to re-state hundreds of posts - read for yourself. ]

  449. Susann
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 10:23 PM | Permalink

    Failed process is failed people. You can not separate the personal from the process failure in this case. Go to bed, Susann. Say Pierrehumbert’s incantation 3 times.

    Bender, a lesson from my work experience: we have what are called “critical incidents”. Something bad happens. People suffer as a result. Mistakes were made. We do not focus on the person who made the mistake. We focus on the cause of that mistake, the underlying source of the error and the environmental conditions that led to that mistake. Process not people. It’s called “root cause analysis”. Focusing on the individual who made the mistake does not provide any valuable learnings, for the mistake will surely be made again and others will be harmed. Focusing on the root cause of the error or mistake or flawed behavior will help to prevent the error from being made again and from people being hurt. People are fallible. Processes should be put in place to reduce that fallibility to as low as possible. If I seem unwilling to focus on Mann the person rather than MBH98 the paper, it may be because of that training.

  450. Ed Snack
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 10:28 PM | Permalink

    Pjaco (#37), I would suggest that your comment shows only that you have not in fact read anything significant at this site, and that you are perfectly happy NOT to be persuaded as you already know all the answers. Be happy if this is your only answer, most others are likely to be less kind to such an obvious troll.

  451. Susann
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 10:30 PM | Permalink

    Willis, I will reply in detail tomorrow. Let me ask this: There were three authors for MBH, yet I never hear a word about the other two. It’s always Mann this and Mann that. [snip] Were they not equally responsible for the paper?

  452. paddikj
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 10:30 PM | Permalink

    Umm . . . “Pierrehumbert’s Incantation.” Is that a new scientifc term? Similar to Theorem, or Priniciple?

    Occam’s Razor,
    Bohr’s Complementarity Principle,
    Shannon’s Mathematical Communication Theorem,

    Pierrehumbert’s Incantation?

  453. pjaco
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 10:34 PM | Permalink

    #38

    All of the numbered opinions were taken directly from comments on this site. Is it normal to cry “troll” at any questioning of opinion on this blog? That doesn’t seem like a helpful way to engage in learning or dialog.

    As I said, I’ve read many comments here. There doesn’t seem to be an unthreaded comment section relevant to my questions. I posted it in the most current. If that is a problem, I am happy to be advised of an alternative.

    This site seem in my opinion to champion the idea of open, non-hostile, and non-censored commenting. I did not expect such a reaction.

  454. Larry
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 10:34 PM | Permalink

    483, nonsense. For the record, I’ve done plenty of incident investigations in my time, and if fault is found in an individual, discipline most certainly is taken. As I was told the day I was hired by [fortune 100 chemical company], if I get hurt on the job, and it’s determined that it was my fault, I won’t get a second opportunity to get hurt.

  455. bender
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 10:36 PM | Permalink

    You have so heard of Hughes. You haven’t been listening.

  456. Raven
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 10:38 PM | Permalink

    I am happy to be persuaded that this is an unbiased and not self-contradictory site. Thank you for your time.

    You should start off by reading the material that is posted by following the links on the left. There is a huge amount of material but if you read through with an open mind you should realize:

    1) The IPCC is a political organization that tends seek the science that supports its views rather than forming its views on the science.

    2) The response of the climate science community to McIntyre’s review of Mann’s hockey stick demonstrates that signficant elements within the climate science community are not that interested in finding out the ‘truth’ whatever that may be.

    3) Constructing temperatures from the past using proxies is an uncertain process at best. The evidence to date suggests that the MWP is probably as global as the current CWP and at least as warm – but we can’t know for certain.

    4) The surface temperature records are likely biased by the urban heat island effect, however, we can’t know for sure because the agencies responsible for those records refuse to release the algorithms used to create the datasets.

    5) Compelling alternate explainations for GW exist but lack supporting experimental evidence at this time. However, it is not reasonable to dismiss these explainations either. Especially when you consider that there is no experimental evidence that demonstrates the CO2 hypothesis either.

    Steve: Raven, this is far from how I would express the aims and principal points of this blog.

  457. bender
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 10:38 PM | Permalink

    “Pierrehumbert’s Incantation.” Is that a new scientifc term?

    Science? More like religion!

  458. Susann
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 10:39 PM | Permalink

    PS – If you need a clue about the ethical question, please consider: what would make a man name a folder “CENSORED”, and put into that folder the very evidence that disproves his public statements? Honesty? Scientific Ethics? A keen desire to find and reveal the truth? I await your answer to that question as well …

    Before I go, — and not that I think you read all my posts — but I already posted above about “censored” being a statistical term for when a validity test is run on a part of the data and does not mean anything nefarious.

    Think of it — turning over data with the censored file intact suggests MBH didn’t think it was evidence of anything.

  459. Susann
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 10:41 PM | Permalink

    bender, I swear to God that I remember seeing his name mentioned ONCE. I couldn’t count the number of times I’ve seen Mann mentioned alone.


    Steve:
    There are lots of mentions of MBH collectively; many mentions of Hughes e.g. recently the Ababneh thesis; the failure to report the Sheep Mt update.

  460. bender
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 10:44 PM | Permalink

    Maybe Ed Snack is tired of seeing anti-skeptics being spoonfed hour after hour over the last week. Maybe he, like me, wishes people would read the damn blog before posting 8-part questions.

  461. bender
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 10:49 PM | Permalink

    Use the CA search tool. Hughes was merely an assistant engineer. He was not the head engineer, the packager or the promoter.

    You make a tacit assumption – don’t deny it – that the three authors contributed equally to those two papers. Not so. Moreover THE PAPERS WERE NOT THE PROBLEM. It was what came after. And that was not MBH. It was M. That is a fact of process.

  462. pjaco
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 10:49 PM | Permalink

    #41

    1. IPCC aside, the primary literature doesn’t differ terribly from their ARs. The SPMs are irrelevant for my purposes as I am not a politician.
    2. I’m not sure what you mean here (outside of the claims made on this site obviously). Please elaborate.
    3. If the proxy data is unreliable (claimed many times on this site) how can a LIA/MWP be championed (as has been on this site)? That doesn’t seem absurd on its face to anyone?
    4. How would UHI account for sea or polar warming?
    5. Can you articulate a coherent argument in favor of non_anthropogenic warming that also accounts for elevated GHGs? That has support (multiple references in the primary literature)? If no, how does this differ from God of the Gaps argumentation? When you say “no experimental evidence that demonstrates the CO2 hypothesis” what explicitly are you referring to? CO2’s IR absorption? Something else?

  463. Deja Vu
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 10:49 PM | Permalink

    Common Online Debate Tactics

    In honor of some of the people we’ve argued with online, I’ve compiled their list of shared tactics. Creative? No, not in the least. These are the tried and true methods of people who go out of their way to fallacy out of an argument. Linky

    Bestest

    D

  464. paddikj
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 10:50 PM | Permalink

    “Critical Incident” investigations – sounds like the touchy-feely c**p that happens in places where incidents aren’t really that critical.

    Fortunately for all of us, private-sector engineers seem bound to a higher standard.

  465. Ron Cram
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 10:51 PM | Permalink

    Susann,

    You are talking nonsense again because you have not read the article. You keep coming up with defense strategies for Mann that are contrary to the evidence. Mann did not turn over the CENSORED subdirectory. It was very nearly an accident that it was found. You are living in a dream world where you get to make up facts to fit your preferred reality. It does not work that way.

  466. bender
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 10:53 PM | Permalink

    Hey Dano! Happy New Year!

  467. pjaco
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 10:56 PM | Permalink

    #37

    Considering how that had nothing to do with the points posted, I am curious as to why you felt the need to delete the entire post rather than the preface. I assume you can insert the non-“offending” parts in this post as I don’t have access to your site’s history.

    Why would you delete a post that had relevant content because of a header when you can easily excise the part you do not want to be posted on your site. I thought you guys were against that kind of thing here? If I am coming off as someone who isn’t sincere, that isn’t my intention. I found no relevant thread and said so. I took the comments about openness and free discussion (within reason, obviously) at face value. I’m not sure- other than as a critique- what I have done wrong.

    Thanks again for your time.

    Steve: There are sometimes over 300 posts a day here – the volume is overwhelming. It takes more time to snip than to delete. Readers of this site know that creation/evolution mentions get an automatic delete. Since you’re a new poster, I was probably a little heavyhanded with you, but it’s late. Also please try to discuss some topics rather than just pick a fight.

  468. pjaco
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 11:06 PM | Permalink

    #43
    [snip- I've deleted the prior comment and this response as well only to avoid a flame war]

  469. Mike Davis
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 11:07 PM | Permalink

    Look up on the left an start with HAOLCENE OPTIMUM

  470. pjaco
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 11:18 PM | Permalink

    #46

    Assuming you mean “Holocene Optimum” (I don’t think anyone believes we’ve reached a salt optimum, bad Latin aside), which of my questions does that presume to answer? The cryosphere is not, as I presume for the majority of the posters and purveyor of the site, my specialty. The Holocene, at least regionally, has proven to be anything but optimum. I presume that you have a relevant point to make besides an allusion to a link on this site.

  471. Raven
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 11:27 PM | Permalink

    #42

    1+2) Read the material on the blog if you want to understand how the hockey stick has undermined the credibility of the climate science community. Their response to the legimate issues raised by M&M demonstrate that there are problems with the process of evaluating science. It is also a wrong to judge the accuracy of a view by the number of papers that support it. The Mann example demonstrates how bad papers are frequently followed with more bad papers that increase the number of papers without adding to the knowledge.

    3) Not many people on this site ‘champion’ the MWP – what people want to see is true science that is not subject to manipulations by people an agenda.

    4) Last time I checked the south pole ice cap is at record levels which implies that the artic melting is a purly ‘regional’ phenomena like the MWP. The UHI affect inflates the global temperature anomolies which are used to ‘prove’ that warming is taking place. If these values are wrong then the GCMs that are built using these temperature sets are also wrong.

    5) A complete red herring. The issue at had is what is causing the temperature to rise and how much of that rise can be attributed to GHGs. The AGW alarmist argument is circular because it presumes that there is no other explaination and attributes everything to GHGs. Such an argument might be reasonable if they could conduct an experiment to verify that their assumption is correct – however, they cannot do that which means we cannot put much weight on the claim that no other (currently unknown) explaination for the warming exists.

    Steve: Raven, I regularly discourage people from simply expressing opinions without references. Arguments like (5) above are very unhelpful as a representation of the blog. This may be a view that you hold, but I’ve never expressed an opinion in this form and to the extent that you’re explaining the blog as a whole to an apparent newcomer, you’re setting out arguments that I’ve not really got to yet.

  472. Ron Cram
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 11:29 PM | Permalink

    re:487

    Susann,
    I just reread your post. It is unbelievable. You are unwilling to know the facts, yet your belief in Mann is steadfast. You are willing to repeat RealClimate excuses even though these excuses are easily shown to be false.

    “Censored” is a term used in statistics for data that is partially known. Read this article. Censored data has to be analyzed carefully or wrong answers are given. All of this is true.

    The fact “censored” has this meaning does not clear Michael Mann. People have explained this to you here and you refuse to learn. You wear ignorance like an overcoat, hoping it will shield you somehow. You need to shed your ignorance and be willing to embrace the truth, even if it means you have to readjust your belief system.

  473. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 11:31 PM | Permalink

    Susann, you definitely don’t understand the long process of decoding MBH. I don’t have time to recap the process; it’s been discussed elsewhere. (BTW the CENSORED directory has been deleted). Once again, the key issue – as I’ve posted before – is not the name of the directory but the failure to candidly report the results of the CENSORED calculation and, worse, the misrepresentation of the results. When I say that Mann has “admitted” and Ammann confirmed the lack of robustness, this does not mean that they have sent in an Erratum or anything as forthright as that. It’s just that they’ve acknowledged that an MBH-style recon without the BCPs doesn’t have a HS shape. But they won’t go the next step and admit that their robustness representation was false.

  474. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 11:44 PM | Permalink

    #46-47. The purpose of this blog is to audit and verify arguments. I’ve taken no position on whether the MWP is or isn’t warmer than the modern warm period. All I’ve said is that the data and methods of the Team do not support their claims that the modern warm period can be said to be warmer than the MWP with confidence.

    As to the impact of doubling CO2 on temperature, I have, for some time, sought an engineering-quality exposition of how doubled CO2 leads to 2.5-3 deg C increase in temperature. So far I’ve been unsuccessful in having one identified for me and unfortunately IPCC has not provided such an exposition. Perhaps you can provide a reference.

    With such a reference in hand, I’m prepared to try to consider it here. Otherwise, I try to discourage what are all too often uninformative arguments on the impact of CO2 until proper references are provided.

    I’d request that people refrain from arguing until references are provided.

  475. pjaco
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 11:45 PM | Permalink

    1-2. What are the claims you are making here? Specifically. So far I have: the hockey stick has undermined the credibility of the climate science community: opinion. Their response to the legimate issues raised by M&M demonstrate that there are problems with the process of evaluating science: opinion, not backed by the community at large.

    It is also a wrong to judge the accuracy of a view by the number of papers that support it.

    Tautology and ingenuous. No, obviously the number of papers that support X don’t guarantee its truth, but the number of papers in support of X when their is no Y alternative is the norm for action.

    The Mann example demonstrates how bad papers are frequently followed with more bad papers that increase the number of papers without adding to the knowledge.

    How so, outside the claims of this blog or its purveyor? How is this not God of the Gaps, should the Hockey Stick be undermined? There is no positive proof for natural variability being offered.

    3. Many is subjective. The existence of a MWP refuted by Mann et al is a staple of the comments here. It fails on its face to a cursory logic check of where that information comes from.

    4. Wrong.

    5. Explain to me how the alternative is not God of the Gaps.

  476. pjaco
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 11:50 PM | Permalink

    #48

    The purpose of this blog is to audit and verify arguments.

    How is this process vetted? There are a number of studies and websites touted by your users that could benefit from your audits. Who and how makes the audits happen?

  477. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 11:52 PM | Permalink

    #49. One more time: as to the impact of doubling CO2 on temperature, I have, for some time, sought an engineering-quality exposition of how doubled CO2 leads to 2.5-3 deg C increase in temperature. So far I’ve been unsuccessful in having one identified for me and unfortunately IPCC has not provided such an exposition. Perhaps you can provide a reference. Could you do so before arguing a whole lot more on issues that are not on this thread.

    #50. I’m just one person and can’t do everything. I’m primarily interested in studies relied upon by IPCC.

  478. pjaco
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 11:54 PM | Permalink

    #50 should have read something much different about audits well due for a number of cited “studies”.

    I guess I can continue to enjoy the free and open discourse CA offers while no one answers the questions.

  479. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 1, 2008 at 11:58 PM | Permalink

    #52. One more time: as to the impact of doubling CO2 on temperature, I have, for some time, sought an engineering-quality exposition of how doubled CO2 leads to 2.5-3 deg C increase in temperature. So far I’ve been unsuccessful in having one identified for me and unfortunately IPCC has not provided such an exposition. Perhaps you can provide a reference. Could you do so before arguing a whole lot more on issues that are not on this thread.

    #52. I’ve primarily focussed on proxy studies and try to keep up to date on these. Are there some proxy studies that you think that I should look at that I haven’t mentioned here?

  480. pjaco
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 12:03 AM | Permalink

    #51

    One more time: as to the impact of doubling CO2 on temperature, I have, for some time, sought an engineering-quality exposition of how doubled CO2 leads to 2.5-3 deg C increase in temperature. So far I’ve been unsuccessful in having one identified for me and unfortunately IPCC has not provided such an exposition.

    You’re kidding, right?

    Email any of the guys listed in the Wiki entry on sens. They are, to my limited knowledge, not shy.

    Could you do so before arguing a whole lot more on issues that are not on this thread.

    Why should that matter? Is there a list of posting rules I can not run a foul of besides the regular one? I’ve gone out of my way to recognize that these comments could go somewhere else and we are, what 4 deep comments by same not? What am I allowed to post? I’ve never been censored on another blog like this.

    I’m primarily interested in studies relied upon by IPCC.

    Yet you give (UNAUDITED! gasp!) threads over to non-IPCC studies. You seem to make freshman mistakes when talking about the IPCC (SPM vs. AR1).

    Where can an honest skeptic go in this day and age?

  481. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 12:15 AM | Permalink

    #54. I was a WG1 reviewer and am familiar with SPMs. If I’ve made any “freshman mistakes” in my post, please draw them to my attention and I’ll correct them. One of the posting rules is to keep comments relevant to the thread. The “Unthreaded” threads are an option. One of the ongoing problems in managing the blog for all readers is how to deal with usenet-type arguments as not all readers in interested in such exchanges – hence my request to provide references and citations rather than merely exchange opinions.

    I asked a couple of questions that you seem to regard as too elementary to answer. I’ve inquired from some leading scientists on suggestions and none have provided one that fits the criteria. So indulge me and give me an answer to the following questions:

    #52. One more time: as to the impact of doubling CO2 on temperature, I have, for some time, sought an engineering-quality exposition of how doubled CO2 leads to 2.5-3 deg C increase in temperature. So far I’ve been unsuccessful in having one identified for me and unfortunately IPCC has not provided such an exposition. Perhaps you can provide a reference. Could you do so before arguing a whole lot more on issues that are not on this thread.

    #52. I’ve primarily focussed on proxy studies and try to keep up to date on these. Are there some proxy studies that you think that I should look at that I haven’t mentioned here?

  482. pjaco
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 12:35 AM | Permalink

    #55

    Then we both know what that’s worth. It can’t cut both ways. Again- the audits seem only to attack things inline with what is pretty much not controversial. Yet it’s like a who’s who of non-audited contradictory stories here. You’ve got literally dozens of commenters’ using ring proxies they don’t understand to push a MWP that the same data they us to reject.

    I don’t know what kind of ship you’re running here, but it really doesn’t see, like it’s worth sticking around for so-called “auditing”. The comment section seems like a proof for the Salem hypothesis corollary.

    You are making claims about no one giving you their sensitivity data when you haven’t even asked.

    I asked a couple of questions that you seem to regard as too elementary to answer.

    No such animal if it’s made in good faith. I apologize- what did I miss?

    I’ve inquired from some leading scientists on suggestions and none have provided one that fits the criteria. So indulge me and give me an answer to the following questions:

    Who did you ask?

    #Climate sensitivity: You can go Charney, you can go currently modeled, you can go un-GCM Tung and Camp. You already know this, I suspect. We’re discussing history, consensus, and news in turns.

    #Proxies: Loehle vs. the attacks on Mann, (or Schmidt) etc. and your treatment thereof? No. You’re actually doing exactly what I would expect. There have to be some skeptics that crosspost here and aren’t fooled by this. Where does one go to get real dissenting info?

  483. Ed Snack
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 1:56 AM | Permalink

    Pjaco, your post got a mild response compared to its tone. snip If you had read more of the entries, you might find that numerous enquiries have failed to find a reliable source for 2.5 degrees for 2 x CO2, the challenge is for you to find one and not to wave airly in the direction of people who have failed to point one out in the past.

  484. eric mcfarland
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 2:02 AM | Permalink

    512 Steve:
    Ice cores have demonstrated that to be the case historically (I’m sure you are aware of that too). And, the models have independently tracked with that conclusion/observation.

  485. Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 2:59 AM | Permalink

    Tony N

    Is there anything odd about the step change between the 9th and 10th ranked years (1995, 1997)?

    Secret step adjustment maybe (partially joking). Seriously, the sample is not iid, so statistical analysis gets difficult. If you want to try, term ‘Spacings’ might help. Or maybe more suitable term here in CA would be broken stick; take a stick and break it at n-1 random points. You can derive a distribution for lengths of resulting segments. And after that you can check if the longest segment is too long (i.e. H0: randomly broken stick)

  486. agn
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 4:42 AM | Permalink

    @ 516 eric
    …and there was me thinking ice cores showed CO2 increases being caused by temperature rises, not the other way round. And as for the GCMs, I think the implication of the word “independently” has been doubted on these pages before…

  487. JohnB UK
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 5:51 AM | Permalink

    TonyN # 391

    Interesting to see the profile of the last 10 years of the HADCRUT3 Global temp graph at http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/hadleycentre/obsdata/HadCRUT3.html

    Also take a look at the mean CET ranking at http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcet/mly_cet_mean_sort.txt

    This ranks Central England Temperature months and years from coolest to warmest, 1659 to 2007.

    Go to the bottom right of the table which is dated Jan 1 2008.

    Unless I am misreading the chart, for England at least, 1949,1959,1989 were all warmer than 2007. 1733 was the next coolest.

    Happy New Year all.

  488. TonyN
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 6:08 AM | Permalink

    Re: #517 UC

    Many thanks for your interest. I posted #319 because the step reminded me of Steve M’s work that lead to 1934 becoming the warmest year in the US instead of 1998. The hope was that someone at CA might find it interesting enough to pick up the ball and run. As a statistical illiterate I can go no further, and I’m certainly not suggesting that anyone else should waste time on an amateur’s hunch.

    Just something I noticed that seemed worth mentioning.

  489. Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 6:27 AM | Permalink

    Re #521

    bender, I’m trying hard to keep this civil. I had a serious purpose in asking Susan or anyone to name one place where glacial retreat does have ’significant negative (a word I originally omitted because I considered it was assumed) implications for water availability’ because it is arguably the strongest claim made concerning the adverse effects of GW. Statements like ‘a billion people are dependant on water from glaciers threatened by global warming’ are bandied around.

    I have yet to see any evidence I find persuasive that water avalability from a river system of any size will be negatively impacted by glacial retreat. In fact, we seem to agree that water availability impacts will be beneficial (i.e. water availability will increase), albeit temporarily (in the order of decades to centuries) in many cases.

    I already gave you one which you chose to ignore, namely the Pangani river/Kilimanjaro.

  490. TonyN
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 6:39 AM | Permalink

    Re #520

    Many thanks but this is getting very embarrassing – please see #517 for an explanation. But your post is very helpful as it has pointed me to some info that I was looking for when I stumbled on the ranking graph in the Met Office’s 13th Dec press release.

    Yesterday the BBC used another Met Office press release to spin 2007 as the second warmest year on record (since 1914) in England ans Wales, with the enthusiastic help of Philip Eden. It sounded as though there might be some cherry picking going on. This press release hasn’t turned up on their website yet.

  491. Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 6:49 AM | Permalink

    I ran across the following in a comment by jimd in this post on Motl’s Reference Frame. It is in the right-hand column on the second page of this article published by the AMS. I made the bold bold.

    The analysis by Hansen et al. (2005), as well as other recent studies (see, e.g., the reviews by Ramaswamy et al. 2001; Kopp et al. 2005b; Lean et al. 2005; Loeb and Manalo-Smith 2005; Lohmann and Feichter 2005; Pilewskie et al. 2005; Bates et al. 2006; Penner et al. 2006), indicates that the current uncertainties in the TSI and aerosol forcings are so large that they preclude meaningful climate model evaluation by comparison with observed global temperature change. These uncertainties must be reduced significantly for uncertainty in climate sensitivity to be adequately constrained (Schwartz 2004).

  492. TonyN
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 7:09 AM | Permalink

    Re #524

    Comment #517 should read #522 – sorry!

  493. welikerocks
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 7:26 AM | Permalink

    523, little bit of half-truth example there. The problem for that river has to do with rainfall numbers and other stuff (like deforesting) despite the glacial melt (or lack of) at kilimanjaro . read this too:link

    and here where it says link :
    In total, meltwater runoff from the Kilimanjaro glaciers is minimal. A headline raised by some people in 2000 (“Retreating glaciers on Kilimanjaro will lead to a severe problem in water supply for the local population”) can therefore be rejected.

  494. Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 7:29 AM | Permalink

    Re #524

    This ranks Central England Temperature months and years from coolest to warmest, 1659 to 2007.

    Go to the bottom right of the table which is dated Jan 1 2008.

    Unless I am misreading the chart, for England at least, 1949,1959,1989 were all warmer than 2007. 1733 was the next coolest.

    Geography appears to be your problem in this case.

    Many thanks but this is getting very embarrassing – please see #517 for an explanation. But your post is very helpful as it has pointed me to some info that I was looking for when I stumbled on the ranking graph in the Met Office’s 13th Dec press release.

    Yesterday the BBC used another Met Office press release to spin 2007 as the second warmest year on record (since 1914) in England ans Wales, with the enthusiastic help of Philip Eden. It sounded as though there might be some cherry picking going on. This press release hasn’t turned up on their website yet.

    Why are you embarrassed? Perhaps because if anyone is cherry-picking it is you.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/hadleycentre/obsdata/cet.html

  495. bender
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 7:30 AM | Permalink

    #521 Don’t be civil for my sake. Go ahead and explode. My advice is to admit your challenge has been met. Then this would be an example of healthy skepticism at work. Unhealthy skepticism is bad for the blog.

  496. Susann
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 7:37 AM | Permalink

    In repsonse to Ron Cram, Steve McIntyre and others: I don’t get it. From what I understand, censored data is a common term and process in statistics. That the censored file was in the data file suggests to me that MBH thought it should stay there. If they truly thought it was damming why not delete it altogether when it first was done? Simple enough if you are practicing to deceive, no? If, as you claim, it undermined their study, why would they preserve it if they were planning on being deceitful? If they turned the data over to you when you asked, wouldn’t they clean it up if they know already that they had data that undermined their findings and conclusions contained within? The fact they turned the data over when requested, and the fact the data contained what you consider to be damning evidence that the paper was flawed, makes me think they didn’t try to hide anything and thought the censored data was evidence of nothing.

    Let me ask this: when Steve McIntyre first discovered the errors in MBH data and analysis, how did he handle it? Did he write MBH and point the errors out? Is that when the data stopped being provided? I honestly have not read this material. I’ve focused on the analysis not personalities.

  497. Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 7:52 AM | Permalink

    Re #528

    523, little bit of half-truth example there. The problem for that river has to do with rainfall numbers and other stuff (like deforesting) despite the glacial melt (or lack of) at kilimanjaro

    That’s precisely the point, why do you think the glacier is receding?

    See #329

    Re #327

    “In all places glaciers are retreating (and precipitation being equal) summer river flows will be higher than were the glaciers not retreating, i.e. water availability increases. I don’t see why this is a difficult concept.”

    Because it begs the question of whether the precip is equal, which in many cases it isn’t, which is why the glaciers are retreating, for example Kilimanjaro.

  498. John Lang
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 7:56 AM | Permalink

    Some have asked about the 1997-98 El Nino above. It was the biggest El Nino ever seen. Sea surface temperatures were as much as 5.0C above normal over a huge area of the Pacific.

    Just as importantly, after the El Nino peaked in December 1997, it dumped all of its heat into the atmosphere over a period of a few months rather than ebbing away gradually. Not surprisingly 1998 became the warmest year measured.

    Here is a graphic of the approximate peak on December 13, 1997. It is clear how big it was.

    Interestingly, the current La Nina recently strengthened again and it looks to be nearly as big as the 1997-98 El Nino. Not surprisingly, global temperatures have declined by 0.4C since January when the ENSO switched to a La Nina frame. ENSO has a huge impact on global temperatures (more than CO2 in my opinion.)

    Current (December 31, 2007) SSTs

  499. bender
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 8:00 AM | Permalink

    #532 I’m glad you admit you aren’t getting it. You aren’t. Because you’re missing facts. Back up a bit. They had a damning result that refuted their claim of statistical skill in their reconstruction. They did not report it. Rather … instead of junking the manuscript, they built it up into something even BIGGER, embedded the methods deeply into a tightly compressed journal article in Nature where they knew the methods would not be scrutinized that carefully. They did not know the manuscript would be accepted, but lucky them, it was. Unlucky us, it made it into IPCC as “the smoking gun”. The damning result of the sensitivity analysis was subsequently stored in a data directory called ‘CENSORED’ and forgotten, maybe because they assumed the paper was correct, or would never be questioned. When the truth came to light, they went into denial and started trying to cover up the tracks. I will not cover the whole story or what happened after this. The point is they ignored two things: the refutation of statistical skill as well as the extreme sensitivity to one data series. Both facts were known to them prior to the writing of the paper. This is not good.

  500. Mike B
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 8:01 AM | Permalink

    In repsonse to Ron Cram, Steve McIntyre and others: I don’t get it. From what I understand, censored data is a common term and process in statistics.

    Here is one on-line definition of a type of censored data:

    In short, during studies of reliability or life testing (could be mechanical components, electrical circuits, or even clinical trials of human subjects) “censored” data refers to subjects that are still “alive” at the time a particular test statistic is calculated.

    Suppose you’re testing an electrical component. You have 30 test stations, and hook a component up to each station. After 100 hours of testing, 25 have failed (and you would have a time to failure for each of those), and 5 would have lifetimes censored at 100 hours.

    Comparing this to what Mann did is like comparing entomology to etymology.:-)

    Common term? Yes. But “censored data” in statistics is totally different than what Mann did.

  501. pjaco
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 8:04 AM | Permalink

    #514

    Why didn’t my reply to this get moved along with everything else?

    Then we both know what that’s worth. It can’t cut both ways. Again- the audits seem only to attack things inline with what is pretty much not controversial. Yet it’s like a who’s who of non-audited contradictory stories here. You’ve got literally dozens of commenters using ring proxies they don’t understand to push a MWP that the same data they are using rejects.

    I don’t know what kind of ship you’re running here, but it really doesn’t seem like it’s worth sticking around for so-called “auditing” when you are attacking one side and only one. The comment section seems like a proof for the Salem hypothesis corollary about engineers.

    You are making claims about no one giving you their sensitivity data when you haven’t even asked.

    I asked a couple of questions that you seem to regard as too elementary to answer.

    No such animal if it’s made in good faith. I apologize- what did I miss?

    I’ve inquired from some leading scientists on suggestions and none have provided one that fits the criteria. So indulge me and give me an answer to the following questions:

    Who specifically did you ask?

    #Climate sensitivity: You can go Charney, you can go currently modeled, you can go un-GCM Tung and Camp. You already know this, I suspect. We’re discussing history, consensus, and news in turns.

    #Proxies: Loehle vs. the attacks on Mann, (or Schmidt) etc. and your treatment thereof? No. You’re actually doing exactly what I would expect. There have to be some skeptics that crosspost here and aren’t fooled by this. Where does one go to get real dissenting info?

    #515

    According to the purveyor of this site (whose connection to the fossil fuel industry is no secret), any post referencing creationism will b e deleted. I am sorry that you wasted the time to post after my valid comments were deleted under the same arbitrary rules. I can empathize with any frustration you’ll have once your post is likewise deleted.

  502. Ron Cram
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 8:09 AM | Permalink

    Susann,

    Your questions are easily answered by reading the article. Why spend time here trying to defend Mann with the excuses RealClimate puts out when you can learn the truth by reading the article in Natuurwetenschap & Techniek? Once you have read the article, if you still have questions – come back and people will answer them.

    Let me ask you this – Why did Mann pull the CENSORED file off his ftp site once he learned it had been found? If he really wasn’t hiding something, why not leave it up so all could see it?

    Stop believing RealClimate.

  503. Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 8:11 AM | Permalink

    Why are you embarrassed? Perhaps because if anyone is cherry-picking it is you.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/hadleycentre/obsdata/cet.html

    There’s Waldo. Quite different ’30s wrt Northern version http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2541#comment-187858 . (Jean – Brohan style persistence padding in both (?) )

  504. Larry
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 8:24 AM | Permalink

    535, he learned the “not guilty by reason of stupidity” defense from the media.

  505. bender
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 8:25 AM | Permalink

    Anyway read: they might not be receding there as much as claimed.

    They are receding exactly as claimed. The newspapers are going straight to the scientists that are making the measurements in the field. There is no media distortion that I can detect in this area.

    And that’s what glaciers do sometimes, thank goodness.

    Except recently they’re doing it always, not just sometimes.

    Who wants them to grow?

    Ranchers across northern North America would like the glaciers to grow a little or at least not waste away.

  506. Jean S
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 8:31 AM | Permalink

    Susann:

    I honestly have not read this material

    Well, then it might be better to study the thing before making comments like the ones preceeding the quote. See, e.g., here:

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=166

    The content of the censored directory shows that Mann knew he would not get the hockey stick without bristlecones. That’s damning enough. Associating Mann’s “censored directory” with “censored data” as used in statistics makes you look very unprofessional and even silly.

    UC: Possibly

  507. Mike B
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 8:33 AM | Permalink

    Sorry for my botched link in 537

  508. L Nettles
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 8:38 AM | Permalink

    Congratulations to Kristen Byrnes for her Nuisance of the Year award from Numberwatch

  509. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 9:07 AM | Permalink

    Susann,

    Yeah, it’s pretty silly to have a directory containing the words “CENSORED” that you don’t want anyone to see. But if you go back to the original correspondance between Steve and Mann/Rutherfod, you’ll see that Mann and Rutherford were confused about both the FTP location and the datafiles it contained. It’s tough to delete something you wouldn’t realize is archived.

    Mann claims the “CENSORED” directory was related to MBH99 and not a part of MBH98. However, it was archived with MBH98. And, of course, even if it were related to MBH99 and accidentally archived with MBH98 data, that doesn’t change the fact that the “CENSORED” directory showed Mann et al knew by 1999 latest that their findings needed the bristlecones to get a hockey stick, yet maintain(ed) that their results were “robust” to the presence/absence of bristlecones.

  510. anotherjohn
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 9:19 AM | Permalink

    A question for Phil:

    Why is the url in you name ‘deleted’? Is this an innocent mistake, or are you trying to give the impression that Steve Mc is suppressing information?

  511. kim
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 9:20 AM | Permalink

    #546, L Nettles, the ‘Phenomenon of the Year’ was excellent, also, by Jove.
    =====================================

  512. Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 9:45 AM | Permalink

    Re #550

    A question for Phil:

    Why is the url in you name ‘deleted’? Is this an innocent mistake, or are you trying to give the impression that Steve Mc is suppressing information?

    I have no idea, I’ve never entered anything in that box, I assumed that what’s there is normal for someone who doesn’t enter a url.

  513. David Smith
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 10:57 AM | Permalink

    December 2007 is looking like a globally moderate-to-cool month ( link ). The link is to a map of temperature anomalies over the last 30 days. (Note that this map projection exaggerates the size of the polar regions.)

    We’ll see what the actual numbers say in the next 10 days or so.

  514. D. Patterson
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 11:36 AM | Permalink

    351 bender says:

    January 1st, 2008 at 11:54 am
    Before back-pedalling, Philip_B and D. Patterson, it is customary and collegial to recognize first that you were wrong. You concede the point, and THEN you shift the argument

    What back-pedaling, wrong about what, concede what point, and shift what argument?

  515. welikerocks
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 11:37 AM | Permalink

    re 505 Geez, SteveM, with all do respect I’d really wish you wouldn’t use “bender” as your “site meter” to delete my posts, this is twice now and honestly that he distorts/misunderstands what I say and comments on it (crazy complicated remember that?) quotes me and you only read his comment and delete my original comment from that is getting old. I am talking about the glacier in Africa, and he is talking about North America, and being unreasonable I might add.

  516. Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 12:51 PM | Permalink

    There is not a single paper developing an algorithm that conduces to 2CO2 = 3.5 °C. I found the cipher in page 460 from the book Physics of Climate, but no one has developed the complete algorithm for publishing it in a peer reviewed paper. I have found formulas that approach to the point that Steve McIntyre is looking for, but the constants have been really flawed.

    For example, in the formula delta T = alpha [Ln (2CO2/CO2std)] / 4 (sigma) (T)^3 we have to change the constant alpha up to 24.35 W/m^2 for making it matches with deltaT = 3.5 °C. However, the value is not 24.35 W/m^2, but 5.35 W/m^2 if we rely on the formula of Arrhenius, and 1.8 W m^-2 if we trust on Schwartz findings.

    Other climatologists don’t change the alpha constant, but instead they change the value delta T introducing the blackbody temperature as if the atmosphere were a blackbody (255.15 K). Making it, the factors are reduced to a minimum expression (3.76 W/m^2 K) so the outcome gets bigger, but artificially. The real product is 6.13 W/m^2 K because the standard temperature of the troposphere is not the blackbody temperature, but 300.15 K.

    Correctly applied, the formula gives the next results:

    1) If we consider the value for alpha proposed by Arrhenius:

    Delta T = 5.35 W/m^2 (Ln 2) / 6.13 W/m^2 K = 3.71 W/m^2 / 6.13 W/m^2 K = 0.6 K

    2) If we apply the correction made by several authors:

    Delta T = 5.29 W/m^2 (Ln 2) / 6.13 W/m^2 K = 0.59 K

    3) If we consider the correction made by Schwartz et al:

    Delta T = 1.8 W/m^2 (Ln 2) / 6.13 W/m^2 K = 0.2 K

    Even if we consider the Arrhenius value for alpha (5.35 W/m^2) and the blackbody temperature (255.15 K), deltaT would not be 3.5 °C, but…

    Delta T = 5.35 W/m^2 (Ln 2) / 3.76 W/m^2 K = 3.71 W/m^2 / 3.76 W/m^2 K = 0.99 K; rounding off the cipher, delta T by 2CO2 = 1 °C.

  517. Daniel Klein
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 1:17 PM | Permalink

    bender, Where is that lucia analysis?

    David Smith and others, you might be interested in this:

    ——————–
    Neil Frank disputes ‘questionable’ storm counts
    ——————–

    By Ken Kaye
    South Florida Sun-Sentinel

    January 2 2008

    A well-known name in hurricane-forecasting circles; Neil Frank; is challenging how the National Hurricane Center classifies storms. Last year, he contends, six of the 15 named systems may have been too weak to really deserve tropical storm status.

    The complete article can be viewed at:

    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/broward/sfl-flbstorms0102sbjan02,0,2624036.story

  518. Keith Herbert
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 1:46 PM | Permalink

    Susann,
    At the risk of “piling on” I do want to take exception to your forgiveness of the individual, blame the analysis attitude. I am a Professional Engineer in California. If I designed you a structure that did not perform as you expected and had paid for, you would look to my license and sue me. You would hold me personally liable.
    I understand that science is not engineering and is given a much broader realm to make mistakes so discovery is encouranged. That is fine and as it should be. But when scientists begin touting their wares as engineering as the Team has done, and continues to do, they should be held liable for the consequences just as engineers are. The Team are recommending political, financial and regulatory measures based on their work. They are representing government institutions and policy.
    If I made errors and conducted myself the way the Team did in some of their studies, I would have been hauled in front of the Engineer’s Board. Engineer’s have been cited and fined for merely not properly signing their names. So I say, if they stick to science, they can do what they want and I won’t hold them liable unless they blow someone up. If they try to pass their work as engineering, they had better be right.

  519. Eric McFarland
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 1:56 PM | Permalink

    Has anybody ever read “Climate Change in Medieval Times” by Bradley, Hughes, and Diaz, Science 302 (2003)? Any thoughts?

  520. Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 2:26 PM | Permalink

    # 520

    Eric McFarland,

    Another attempt to turn off the Sun and erase the Medieval Global Warming Period.

  521. Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 2:48 PM | Permalink

    @Daniel– I’m looking at some temperature nubers since 1984. It’s slower than bender thinks becasue I’m getting some references from Jean S, so I can do a few things correctly. :)

  522. bender
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 2:55 PM | Permalink

    I didn’t want to reply for you, lucia. Good work takes time.

  523. David Smith
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 3:40 PM | Permalink

    Re #518 Thanks Daniel for the link. Neither Frank nor Landsea is wrong – it’s just that the tools, and the use of those tools, have changed over the decades. But I do think that Neil Frank’s practice (tighter guidelines for naming storms) is healthier than the current practice, because people slowly lose their respect/fear for storms when so many “wimps” receive names. In my opinion some of the victims of Katrina were lulled into complacency by the previous “big storms” which turned out to be duds, causing people to lose some of their respect/fear of storms.

  524. Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 5:05 PM | Permalink

    The NCEP estimate for December global temperature anomaly is in. (Note that this is an initial estimate, probably not of the same quality as the standard reports like Hadley and the satellites, and subject to revision.)

    December 2007 ranked as the fourteenth (14’th) warmest of the last 40 years. This is likely due to La Nina, whose cooling effects have probably not maximized yet.

    The December time series is here .

    An interesting map is this one , which shows the 7-day global anomaly as of 31 December. Much of the Arctic has cooled while central Asia is in a cold snap. Brrr.

  525. SteveSadlov
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 5:37 PM | Permalink

    Unnnnnnnnprrrrrrrrecidennnnnnnted earrrrrrrrrly NEPAC TC:

    http://nationalhysteriacenter.blogspot.com/2008/01/ts-watch-alma.html

  526. Susann
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 6:27 PM | Permalink

    There’s so much to respond to. I’ll try to combine a few posts to save space.

    Willis:

    Dear Susann, I don’t know whether you are being stubborn or merely provocative, but I’ll give it a try. Mann knew when he published his paper that his statements were not true. We have direct evidence of that, in his own work, in the “CENSORED” file.

    Here’s my position, Willis. I don’t care one whit for the personalities involved in this whole debate. I’m interested in the science. I have tried to stick to the papers and have avoided the cult of personality I sense is rampant on the blogs. Why? Because it’s all too easy for those involved in a drama to shade their own role in it and misrepresent the role of others based on their prejudices.

    Ron Cram:

    The fact “censored” has this meaning does not clear Michael Mann. People have explained this to you here and you refuse to learn. You wear ignorance like an overcoat, hoping it will shield you somehow. You need to shed your ignorance and be willing to embrace the truth, even if it means you have to readjust your belief system.

    You sound like a preacher trying to convince me to convert. I can’t tell you how wrong that is.

    You refuse to acknowledge that it is possible to – in complete sincerity –see the events in a different light. I have no reason to suspect Mann or McIntyre of ulterior motives and I refuse to do so, despite charges that have been made against them both. The focus should be on the papers, not the men or their motives. The fact that the focus is so much on Mann suggests that people have moved beyond audit of data for the purposes of ensuring its validity to smearing a person.

    Ultimately, focus on personality and attributing motive doesn’t change the facts about the papers themselves.

    If I refused to drink your kool-aid, that’s why.

    This whole line of theorizing about motive and intent seems to be more about attacking Mann than examining the science. As I said, unlike some people here, I don’t give a tinker’s dam about Mann. Why do I say that some people here care about Mann? Because it is so important to some people here, evidenced by the continual attacks on Mann’s ethics. The fact that I am even bothering to respond to all these challenges re: Mann is because I want to comprehend why it is so important that I do so to this community. It smacks of a sub-culture, of a cult, to require people to testify, to accept some catechism about who the enemy is. Some people refer to St. Steve — Saints are usually juxtaposed to sinners in religious constructions.

    Finally, I think many people here are far too wrapped up in the personal intrigues and have identified far too much with this whole business for their own good and the good of this blog. If you aren’t Steve McIntyre, this didn’t happen to you. Why are you taking it so personally? It’s unhealthy and discreditable. As someone from the outside with an academic interest in this, I want the analysis of the science and its uncertainties, not a soap opera. But really, I am sure there are social psychologists out there who will be very interested to study this whole personalities obsession. Keep it up — you’re giving them great material.

  527. Pat Keating
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 6:53 PM | Permalink

    534

    Mann knew when he published his paper that his statements were not true.

    I don’t care one whit for the personalities involved in this whole debate. I’m interested in the science.

    I don’t think so. Scientific research is fundamentally a search for the truth, an understanding of nature as it is, not as we would like it to be. If you were interested in the science, you would be a lot more upset over lies and distortions such as those.

    You are too little upset, and too ready to excuse untruth.

  528. Larry
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 7:02 PM | Permalink

    528, but the split in the GL area may be different.

  529. bender
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 7:05 PM | Permalink

    Why are you taking it so personally?

    When scientific standards aren’t rigorously upheld, the whole field suffers a credibility hit. To keep the credibility high, a self-regulating profession must be willing to be intensely self-critical.

  530. Susann
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 7:13 PM | Permalink

    When scientific standards aren’t rigorously upheld, the whole field suffers a credibility hit. To keep the credibility high, a self-regulating profession must be willing to be intensely self-critical.

    Yes, there are examples of bad science in every field. If you were to get upset at each instance, you’d be unable to focus on what is important — the science. Besides, I could say that about several “skeptical” papers as well. Why aren’t you attacking those scientists? Bad science on their part gives the whole field a hit as well.

  531. Susann
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 7:20 PM | Permalink

    I don’t think so. Scientific research is fundamentally a search for the truth, an understanding of nature as it is, not as we would like it to be. If you were interested in the science, you would be a lot more upset over lies and distortions such as those.

    You are too little upset, and too ready to excuse untruth.

    I don’t know what the truth is. I am trying to understand the facts about the science, not the scientists. I’m not upset — perplexed, maybe but not upset. I’m trying to respond to people who are obviously upset and outraged that I’m unwilling to accept their verion of reality.

    Too much soap opera for me.

  532. bender
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 7:35 PM | Permalink

    Why aren’t you attacking those scientists?

    Attacking? I’m too busy constructing. I’m an advocate for a better appreciation of the role of scientific uncertainty in policy-making. Most denialists never get to the stage of quantifying uncertainty; they hand-wave. The warmers try it, but they’re usually quite bad at it, due to their inadequate training. So I try to help the IPCC consensus improve its science, whether they think they need the help or not. Accountability and due diligence are critical for getting data out there where qualified statisticians can look at it.

    You see me as attacking the warmers. Curious that you don’t see me as refusing to assist the denialists.

  533. Richard Sharpe
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 8:26 PM | Permalink

    From: “Skepticism” and Ignorance at Butterflies and Wheels.

    Moreover, the fact that scientific opinion does change over time is its greatest strength, not a basis for doubting or criticizing any given scientific opinion. It baffles me when people selectively fail to understand this: I have heard more than a few global warming skeptics – even some very bright people – use the argument that climate scientists were predicting the next ice age a few decades ago, and now they’re all talking about global warming, so why should we listen to them now?

    Well the first answer to such a doubter is this: You should listen to the climate science experts because they know something about climate modeling and prediction and you know nothing whatsoever about it. I could also point out that the two predictions are not contradictory because they are on completely different time scales: The next ice age is expected to descend some time in the next few thousand years, possibly in the next few hundred, whereas global warming is a current and ongoing trend expected to get much worse over the next few decades. But aside from all that, there is a deeper confusion behind this criticism, and that confusion is worth addressing.

    I guess with such pearls of wisdom we should all just quit.

  534. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 8:29 PM | Permalink

    Re: #532

    I’m trying to respond to people who are obviously upset and outraged that I’m unwilling to accept their verion of reality.

    Too much soap opera for me.

    Susann, it would be my guess that most posters here are like myself and care very little about what you think or how you go about it. They respond, not to save your soul, but merely to give and reiterate their own POVs. Although Mann gets a lot of personal attention here (and primarily because he is the major reason for the initiation of this blog) the main thrust, I judge, is with some of the factions of climate science that have perhaps let advocacy get in the way of their science. I personally do not judge that condition to be unique to climate science, but rather that the opportunity is greater there given the ongoing policy debates it involves.

    If you ever really get to the point of how this blog can be best utilized you will take your lead from some of the analytical work that Steve M does and even some of the wide ranging (in sophistication) analyses that other participants do here. There are a lot of puzzle solvers and would be puzzle solvers here and people who may lack a complete set of scientific credentials but do enjoy deconstructing scientific papers and attempting to determine whether they make sense and are at least self consistent.

  535. Jeff A
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 8:45 PM | Permalink

    Well the first answer to such a doubter is this: You should listen to the climate science experts because they know something about climate modeling and prediction and you know nothing whatsoever about it.

    Lol! If climate modelers know something about climate prediction they’re very good at hiding it!

    I don’t really know of anyone who says “Why should we believe them now” due to previous failed predictions. What I do hear is that we should wait until the preponderance of the facts are in and properly assessed before we decide to “do something” about the big global thermostat hanging on the wall. But I absolutely refuse to believe a scientist who says there aren’t any more questions to answer (i.e. “the science is settled”). I mean people are still trying to pick apart Newton and Einstein, but aren’t willing to pick apart Hansen and Mann?

  536. PaddikJ
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 9:16 PM | Permalink

    Susann says on January 2nd, 2008 at 7:20pm & previous:

    Methinks she doth protest too much, although I do admire the way she keeps the cool, calm surface, while always getting in the little snark right at the end. Very slick.

    Susann, your professed interest in Just the Facts, Ma’am, is admirable to a point, but you passed it some time ago, are starting to appear mulish, as N. Orestes likes to say, and your credibility is fading. Your attempts to (mis)characterize the debate as “Soap Opera” and other sundry disses are transparent. They may fly in your particular organization, but no one here is buying them.

    Questions:

    Are you convinced that the Hockey Stick is broken?

    If so, what further evidence would you require that The Team published a piece of sloppy research knowing full well that it was untenable?

    Finally: If convinced, do you believe that professional sanctions are in order? More generally, do you believe the scientific enterprise is valuable enough to warrant self-policing measures?

    _______________________________________________

    All: Because of Steve’s tireless efforts to keep these threads semi-civil and on-topic, the numbering gets screwed up. Might I suggest that you take 2 seconds to copy/paste the poster/date/time as above?

    Steve: I visited a newspaper blog recently and noticed that they seem to have an automated snip system, which snips the content but leaves the post/number intact(and leaves the message “Post was removed by Staff). I experiemented a little and found that it seems to auto-snip obscenties and flaming. If you find this interesting, I’d gladly make a special Tip jar contribution to help offset any cost.

  537. Susann
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 9:19 PM | Permalink

    Susann, it would be my guess that most posters here are like myself and care very little about what you think or how you go about it. They respond, not to save your soul, but merely to give and reiterate their own POVs.

    Yes, I see that when you put it that way. When I post something that contradicts their worldview, it gives them an opportunity to reiterate their own POV. All well and good but without going deeper, it can become pointless cross-talk. But surely you will admit that for some here, it is an affront for me not to accept their version of truth.

    If you ever really get to the point of how this blog can be best utilized you will take your lead from some of the analytical work that Steve M does and even some of the wide ranging (in sophistication) analyses that other participants do here. There are a lot of puzzle solvers and would be puzzle solvers here and people who may lack a complete set of scientific credentials but do enjoy deconstructing scientific papers and attempting to determine whether they make sense and are at least self consistent.

    And that is worthwhile. In my view, anything that engages ordinary people in science is a good thing. There is far too little science education and far too little engagement on the part of the average person in science issues. So I applaud the participatory aspect of this blog and others. I should just ignore the obviously-over-invested posters with denialist streaks and focus on the constructive posters and their insights. Still, when I’m trying to characterize this blog and the regulars who frequent it so I can determine its value in the whole debate, it all factors into that evaluation.

  538. Susann
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 9:29 PM | Permalink

    Attacking? I’m too busy constructing. I’m an advocate for a better appreciation of the role of scientific uncertainty in policy-making. Most denialists never get to the stage of quantifying uncertainty; they hand-wave. The warmers try it, but they’re usually quite bad at it, due to their inadequate training. So I try to help the IPCC consensus improve its science, whether they think they need the help or not. Accountability and due diligence are critical for getting data out there where qualified statisticians can look at it.

    You see me as attacking the warmers. Curious that you don’t see me as refusing to assist the denialists.

    I over-reacted. You’re right. You do try to stand tough against the denialists. FWIW, that’s admirable.

    I’ll try really hard to ignore personality references from here on. It’s futile to argue against because it’s psychological, not rational, and is a waste of bandwidth.

  539. M. Jeff
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 9:30 PM | Permalink

    re: #532, January 2nd, 2008 at 7:20 pm, Susann who says,

    I am trying to understand the facts about the science, not the scientists.

    Because validity or quality of scientific research may be related to the personal characteristics of the scientists involved in that research, why is it not valid to try to understand the scientists? Regardless of the peer review process, the quality of the work and publications by the scientists who I once worked with depended more on their nature than on, for example, whether or not they had a PhD. The work of meticulous perfectionists seemed to be especially reliable.

  540. bender
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 9:46 PM | Permalink

    #539 Look at what they’re doing on the glacial melt thread. All this hot air and wasted bandwidth to defend what? The right to conclude that glacial melt and reduced snow pack may not cause reduced streamflow & stream quality? No sense of perspective.

  541. Gerry Parker
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 9:49 PM | Permalink

    Hi Steve,

    I question many of these assumptions because they are (again) based on the idea of “the fragile Earth”, the root of which defies basic engineering observation or principles. A system which maintains stability over a long term given a wide range of input stimulus is not marginally stable.

    We have been presented with this idea in regards to planetary life for years, despite the modern proliferation and geologic record of highly varied lifeforms, and now we have been getting a variation of that pitch with respect to climate. The underlying principle seems to be that the planetary feedback system is delicate, easily broken (by man) and can be driven to some extreme point of undersirable stability (hot or cold) or set on some parabolic trend.

    I propose that a better starting position is that the long geologic history of the planet demonstrates very robust climate stability over a fairly narrow temperature range (compared with other planets, for example) given a wide range of input variables. Those variables include large impacts and volcanic eruptions (single, multiple and hemispheric scale). Those two events alone are known to generate large atmospheric changes at least on the same order as the recent CO2 increases.

    Additionally, life has thrived despite large scale land mass redistribution, a wide range planetary tilt/wobble, rotational changes, calculable orbital decay and the long term drag of a large moon. This long term stability of climate is witnessed by a geologically long record of life identical (in some cases) or very similar to life on the planet today.

    I think your question is good, but I suspect you’re not going to get analysis beyond what you’ve seen. Most of these kinds of answers sound as if the people doing the analysis don’t understand the limitations of troubleshooting a closed loop system while the loop is closed. Further, when the first order estimates don’t support the supposition, i.e. would result in a parabolic temperature increase, they don’t seem to understand that it’s likely the first order estimates that are broken and not the system.

    Gerry

  542. Tom C
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 10:04 PM | Permalink

    Seems to me that changes in ocean currents must be the dominant driver of the earth’s climate. Only these can bring about large changes in humidity, clouds, and heat flux to/from the atmosphere.

  543. bender
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 10:08 PM | Permalink

    Susann, how many times do I have to say: do not underestimate the role that faith plays in modern scientific enterprise & collaborations. Especially interdisciplinary collaborations. Integrity of the individual, the laboratory, the domain – it is everything. You can not ignore it.

  544. _Jim
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 10:22 PM | Permalink

    Which personal characters of scientists should count,

    Oh, ‘dodge and weave’ characteristics maybe …

    Or, I don’t know – maybe repeated and steadfast refusal to archive data; refusals to release publicly funded or paid-for code/data perhaps …

    Virulent non-receptiveness to any sort of audit maybe?

    I would imagine that sort of thing Suse …

  545. Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 10:25 PM | Permalink

    LANGMUIR’S CLUES (from Gratzer, Walter, The Undergrowth of Science. Oxford University Press. New York. 2000)

    Irving Langmuir (1881-1957), prize Nobel of Physics, identified the following six clues to identify pseudoscience and pseudoscientific statements or information:

    Clue No. 1: The maximum effect observed has been produced by an agent of barely detectable intensity, and the magnitude of the effect is substantially independent from the intensity of the cause.

    Clue No. 2: The magnitude (measurement) of the effect or effects remains close to undetectable limits; or many measurements are necessary because of the low statistical significance of the results.

    Clue No. 3: There are affirmations that the results were achieved with great accuracy.

    Clue No. 4: Fantastic hypothesis are suggested that are in opposition to real events.

    Clue No. 5: The disapprovals on that information or report are deciphered in the precise moment when the criticisms are offered by means of a pertinent and improvised apology.

    Clue No. 6: The number of criticisms is more than 50 percent at the opening of the statement and then it gradually falls to almost the total inattention.

    Any similarity with the AGW is not a mere coincidence.

  546. PaddikJ
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 10:49 PM | Permalink

    505 bender says on January 2nd, 2008 at 8:25 am:

    Ranchers across northern North America would like the glaciers to grow a little or at least not waste away.

    OK, I realize this horse is almost glue, and that Bender’s just accurately reporting, and this is a nit, but I think it’s a nit that shouldn’t get buried in the discussion: Glaciers are remnants of the last glaciation, yes? They’ve been advancing and retreating all through the Holocene, but the overall trend is decline, yes?

    I have nothing but good wishes for the farmers and ranchers of the west, but the cruel fact may just be that an era is ending. Jared Diamond did a thorough examination in his Collapse. OTOH, if the glaciers were to start seriously advancing, the ranchers and farmers and all the rest of us might want to start planning that southern migration . . .

    It seems like a precarious balance in those regions where they rely on glacial melt (not so here in Colorado, where we rely on stored yearly precip – actually, I believe most of our resevoirs have a 3-year capacity, and the water people are saying we should push it to 5): They’re drawing down glacial stocks, so depletion is inevitable on some time scale, but we don’t want the glaciers to seriously advance, as that could signal the start of another glaciation so ideally we want yearly deposits and withdrawals to about balance, but if that’s the case, glaciers wouldn’t matter, except maybe to smooth out decadal or multi-decadal variations, in which case, they function as huge resevoirs.

    Finally, my understanding is that generally,

    Warmer = wetter
    Colder = dryer

    So if glaciers are retreating in the face of a general warming trend, can we expect that precip will eventually increase to compensate somehwat? Or is that over-simplified, and other factors come in to play?

    Bender – are you aware of any studies?

  547. Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 10:52 PM | Permalink

    Bruce says:
    January 2nd, 2008 at 10:03 pm on the sensitivity thread:

    quote Parts of the UK are showing a 20% increase in sunshine hours in the winter since 1929. unquote

    I’m interested in sunshine hours for certain western facing UK stations. You don’t happen to know where I can get 20th century records for places like St Heliers, St Mawgan, Stornaway?

    TIA

    JF

  548. bender
    Posted Jan 2, 2008 at 11:01 PM | Permalink

    #547 PaddikJ See the glacial melt thread. AFAICT the horse is glue. The GCM used in the Schindler paper suggests precip will indeed increase ever so slightly in western Canada, but that evaporation will increase tremendously, resulting in a net major increase in drought potential. The RGCMS say the same thing. How much faith one should have in the GCMs is an open question. Most scientists claim to run on reason, not faith. But AFAICT faith plays a huge role in GCM acceptance, even in the scientific community.

  549. Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 1:00 AM | Permalink

    Nasif,

    Clue No. 3: There are affirmations that the results were achieved with great accuracy.

    See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pathological_science

    This is why I originally got interested on MBH99 uncertainties (before CA was founded). The procedure to obtain those numbers is still unknown to me (but I know that MBH98, Juckes and many more compute their uncertainties incorrectly). Next question, how Brohan gets 0.1 C for smoothed 1875 sea temperature, then 50 mm for sea level anomaly at 1875, etc.

  550. BarryW
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 9:03 AM | Permalink

    Yes, there are examples of bad science in every field. If you were to get upset at each instance, you’d be unable to focus on what is important — the science. Besides, I could say that about several “skeptical” papers as well. Why aren’t you attacking those scientists? Bad science on their part gives the whole field a hit as well.

    Susann you state that your a policy person, and that is part of the reason people are getting upset. For you, a policy person who is at least taking the time to research the subject, to take a position that suggests that professional integrity is irrelevant is troubling. People making policy have to rely to a large extent on experts and rarely is there a total consensus on a subject. That means that you have to accept information at some level based on the veracity of the experts providing your input. If you were approving a cancer treatment based on a statistical study that was provided by a drug maker and found out they lied about the results would you continue to accept their statements about the drug unconditionally? Would you trust their other studies without verification?

    The whole censored directory is not the issue. The fact that the primary author of a paper being used for policy decisions, who is also an advocate, knew that his analysis was not robust but continued to claim it was is the issue. If his work was in just some esoteric science who would care except his contemporaries? If someone like you won’t acknowledge that not just that some of the scientific analysis is suspect but the policy process itself has been corrupted how are we ever going get to those who have been co-opted by those advocates? What argument or fact would change your mind and what would be generally needed to change policy makers positions? I’m not attacking you , I’d really like to know.

  551. Larry
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 10:12 AM | Permalink

    Lucia, if you’re reading this, comments on your blog are hosed.

  552. bender
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 10:52 AM | Permalink

    #551 BarryW
    That IS the issue. This is not about Susann. It’s about the constituency she claims to represent. Is this part of the “precautionary principle” – not getting too concerned if the science and the method by which it was produced is flawed? This is not about hockey sticks. It’s about the algorithms and the people that make and run them. The hockey stick is broken. But the Mannomatic lives on.

  553. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 11:08 AM | Permalink

    Disprove the “Greenhouse Effect”? Yeah, right. Remove air, water vapor and clouds and see what happens. “Some of the infrared radiation passes through the atmosphere but most is absorbed and re-emitted in all directions by greenhouse gas molecules and clouds. The effect of this is to warm the Earth’s surface and the lower atmosphere.”

    The Sun powers Earth’s climate, radiating energy at very short wavelengths, predominately in the visible or near-visible (e.g., ultraviolet) part of the spectrum. Roughly one-third of the solar energy that reaches the top of Earth’s atmosphere is refl ected directly back to space. The remaining two-thirds is absorbed by the surface and, to a lesser extent, by the atmosphere. To balance the absorbed incoming energy, the Earth must, on average, radiate the same amount of energy back to space. Because the Earth is much colder than the Sun, it radiates at much longer wavelengths, primarily in the infrared part of the spectrum (see Figure 1). Much of this thermal radiation emitted by the land and ocean is absorbed by the atmosphere, including clouds, and reradiated back to Earth. This is called the greenhouse effect. The glass walls in a greenhouse reduce airflow and increase the temperature of the air inside. Analogously, but through a different physical process, the Earth’s greenhouse effect warms the surface of the planet. Without the natural greenhouse effect, the average temperature at Earth’s surface would be below the freezing point of water.

    AR4_WG1__CH1

    ——————–

    What is my take on the situation? The files were mistakenly placed, not noticed, and removed as soon as found out. Sloppy. No official professional public retraction. I’d chalk it up to embarassment I think. Whatever. As far as Mann’s reason, who knows, and who cares. Is the given reason an excuse? Who knows, and who cares.

    ——————

    CO2 levels, schmevels. It’s fossil fuel use. Let’s talk about causes: fossil fuel use, the effects of which are AGHG and air/ground particulates, and land-use changes, the effects of which are changes in how the Earth’s surface absorbs and reflects sunlight. Blathering on about one effect isn’t helpful, I don’t think. So what if G.S. Callendar found in 1938 that doubling CO2 would increase the “mean global temperature” by 2C. From solving a set of equations. Yawn.

    So are the G.S. Callendar 1938 equations engineering study level? :D

    ——————

    Andrew:

    How do the elections contribute? My hypothesis about is that since this subject is so uncertain, as well as tied to policy and therefore politics, as soon as the current “do-nothing environment-hating election-stealing neocon” administration has gone away, so will a lot of the noise about a lot of things, AGW included. Especially if the other party takes over the executive branch. And what happens in the legislative. Governers. Etc. Much is up for grabs. We’ll see tho, hopefully before you’re under water there in FL! :)

    The hypothesis that GW is real, has causes other than natural variability, is accelerating and is dangerous is another issue. All we know for sure is that our reading of “the global temperature” is trending up about a degree, and that what humans do affects the climate. All else regarding cause/effect, meaning and specifics (and what to do about it all) is up for debate. Partizan debate. It’s possible that “the global temperature” would be going down if it wasn’t for us, or would be going up even more (or less or the same) than it is now if it wasn’t for us. Until we can better quantify how GHG fit into the puzzle of clouds, land-use changes, water vapor, aerosols, soot et al, combined with the various other factors that create weather in the first place, all we have is an idea of what might be going on. That’s the point; we don’t know the truth about climate, just what we happen to see it doing short term (geologically speaking).

    ——————

    Knowlege is always being updated, and what we “know” now will either be added to or changed.

    In the 1950s, the greenhouse gases of concern remained CO2 and H2O, the same two identified by Tyndall a century earlier. It was not until the 1970s that other greenhouse gases – CH4, N2O and CFCs – were widely recognised as important anthropogenic greenhouse gases (Ramanathan, 1975; Wang et al., 1976; Section 2.3). By the 1970s, the importance of aerosol-cloud effects in reflecting sunlight was known (Twomey, 1977), and atmospheric aerosols (suspended small particles) were being proposed as climate-forcing constituents. Charlson and others (summarised in Charlson et al., 1990) built a consensus that sulphate aerosols were, by themselves, cooling the Earth’s surface by directly reflecting sunlight. Moreover, the increases in sulphate aerosols were anthropogenic and linked with the main source of {anthropogenic greenhose gasses}, burning of fossil fuels (Section 2.4). Thus, the current picture of the atmospheric constituents driving climate change contains a much more diverse mix of greenhouse agents.

    The WGI FAR … made a persuasive, but not quantitative, case for anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Most conclusions from the FAR were non-quantitative and remain valid today (see also Section 1.4.4). For example, in terms of the greenhouse gases, ‘emissions resulting from human activities are substantially increasing the atmospheric concentrations of the greenhouse gases: CO2, CH4, CFCs, N2O’(see Chapters 2 and 3; Section 7.1). On the other hand, the FAR did not foresee the phase-out of CFCs, missed the importance of biomass-burning aerosols and dust to climate and stated that unequivocal detection of the enhanced greenhouse effect was more than a decade away. The latter two areas highlight the advance of climate science and in particular the merging of models and observations in the new field of detection and attribution (see Section 9.1).

    Throughout their short history, coupled models have faced difficulties that have considerably impeded their development, including: (i) the initial state of the ocean is not precisely known; (ii) a surface flux imbalance (in either energy, momentum or fresh water) much smaller than the observational accuracy is enough to cause a drifting of coupled GCM simulations into unrealistic states; and (iii) there is no direct stabilising feedback that can compensate for any errors in the simulated salinity. …. {talk of flux adjustments etc} …. This considerable advance in model design has not diminished the existence of a range of model results. This is not a surprise, however, because it is known that climate predictions are intrinsically affected by uncertainty (Lorenz, 1963).

  554. Pat Keating
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 11:22 AM | Permalink

    539

    …….and is a waste of bandwidth.

    Exactly.

  555. Andrew
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 11:28 AM | Permalink

    To things from that post about the the antiskeptic cite way up there. She is mistaken becuase of hyperbolic wording. Yes, scientist are predicting and have predicted that an ice age will come eventually. But what they were predicting back then was immediate cooling.

    Second, this is just a ridiculous piece of condescension:

    You should listen to the climate science experts because they know something about climate modeling and prediction and you know nothing whatsoever about it.

    Did Andrew Dressler help here write this? Well, it is filled with false assumptions, like that the people making these predictions are all climatologists and that all climatologists are true believers. Or that skeptics no nothing about making predictions. Well, Kristen Byrnes predicted the end of a long drought in Australia didn’t she? That’s just a young skeptic, like myself, and all she had to do was look at an ENSO chart. Never underestimate what can be learned by an amateur.

  556. Larry
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

    Pat, are you able to comment on Lucia’s blog? I’ve been locked out all morning, and I’ve tried Firefox, Opera, and even IE (hurl…).

  557. Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 1:04 PM | Permalink

    Larry– people are commenting at my blog.

  558. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 1:04 PM | Permalink

    Re: #538

    I should just ignore the obviously-over-invested posters with denialist streaks and focus on the constructive posters and their insights.

    Get beyond the personalities and motivations and look for substance and clues for use in doing your own analyses of the current state of climate science. Even over-invested posters from both sides of these issues can sometimes add insights even if it may only be in understanding how they arrived at their current POV.

    Still, when I’m trying to characterize this blog and the regulars who frequent it so I can determine its value in the whole debate, it all factors into that evaluation.

    This appears to be at differences to your approach in evaluating Mann, but that might just be my generalizing too far a field here.

    What bothers me most by those who come here to comment (of which you are a relatively mild example) and then spend time evaluating the personalities and atmosphere of the debate is that I get a feeling that they are acting as those tattle-tales I experienced in grammar school who would wait for the inevitable remark or action to come their way so they could go running to the teacher. Since wherever one goes in an easy access discussion forum on the internet one will find these same noises, it becomes difficult for me to get excited about these occurrences at a single blog or from individual incidents.

  559. Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 1:35 PM | Permalink

    Larry– I added a contact me option. If you get trapped by the spamfilter, please copy any messages and send them to me so I can see what is happening.

  560. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 2:13 PM | Permalink

    Since the comments have been stopped for the glacier thread, I hope it is appropriate for me to comment on that thread here. I was hoping that some links to authoritative papers could be made coming out of that thread to attempt to shed light on the somewhat nuanced difference between the Steve M question of “However, if this is incorrect and some substantial proportion is from “mining” the meltwater (from glaciers), then isn’t this a potential problem whenever the recession (of a glacier) stops for whatever reason” and the point being made by Bender in “56%+ reduction in streamflow during the hottest, driest, riskiest months of crop growth is a problem. Especially if it coincides with increased evapotranspiration in an area such as the great plains which is already drought-prone. If it happens, it will be a big (regional-scale) economic problem”.

    I can appreciate Bender’s point in that a growing or receding glacier can supply warm weather water when it is most needed. Stopping glacier recession , but with a warm season and warm season needs continuing to be supplied by “stored” water at an optimal time or at least at an expected time to which the users have adapted, would not be problem until it becomes too cold to melt sufficient water during the needed warm seasons. I am quite certain my view would turn out to be oversimplified, but since I had never done much thinking about the timing issues of glacier water delivery or the importance of them in the overall picture of water availability, I would hope that the subject could be discussed in some detail in a future thread at CA.

  561. bender
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 2:14 PM | Permalink

    Susann, a quick note on my preoccupation with METHODS. I am concerned not by the GCMs themselves, but by the METHODS used to study their behavior. The faulty methods used in reasoning about the paleoclimate data appear to be at play in GCM world. And it’s not hard to see the link: RC – a clear voice of advocacy in defense of a particular policy. Worth noting: my concern about climate and GCM non-ergodicity predates my awareness of paleoclimate methodology problems.

  562. bender
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 2:20 PM | Permalink

    #561 KF
    The only problem is that the necessary adaptation will cost someone some money. But you had certain people in that thread claiming, or implying, that adapatation would be totally unnecessary. This is demonstrably false. But now I am repeating myself.

  563. Mhaze
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 2:27 PM | Permalink

    Species migration in response to changing temperature.

    We don’t trust land surface temperature measurements. But what temperature change since 1900 might be inferred from alleged species migration patterns?

    What is the magnitude of the temperature shift shown in the migrations northward? Is it much lower than the supposed 0.6 increase in the last century or approximately equal to that?

  564. Phil
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 3:02 PM | Permalink

    #564

    Or how far north can you grow certain crops in a given year? There should be good data on that.

  565. AndyL
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 3:57 PM | Permalink

    2007 second warmest on record in UK says Met Office

  566. AndyL
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 3:58 PM | Permalink

    here”s the link

  567. AndyL
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 4:01 PM | Permalink

    if this link doesn’t work, then just try the bbc news site

  568. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 4:11 PM | Permalink

    OOOps, that was just land anomaly. Jan land/sea this year is +.87 (still highest ever) and 2007 land/sea is tracking in at .5816 (11 months). If this Dec was same as last year, it woult be +.5784

    So if you are of the mindset that the yearly mean global temperature anomaly equals warmth, it’s not any warmer in 2007 (absolute value) than it was a decade ago.

    In fact, I trended some time periods as decades and in combination for the last 12 decades:

    1888-2007 +.66 (-.28 to +.38)

    Last 20 years: +.38 (+.2 to +.58) (Probably too short a time, perhaps….)
    Last 30 years: +.56 (+.02 to +.58) (So all but +.1 is from the last 30? Hmmm?)
    Last 40 years: +.59 (-.1 to +.58) (And only +.07 of the trend is from the first 80?)

    1888-1897 +.08 (-.3 to -.22)
    1918-1927 +.15 (-.25 to -.1)

    1968-1977 +.02 (-.015 to +.005)
    1978-1987 +.07 (+.1 to +.17)
    1988-1997 +.07 (+.25 to +.32)
    1998-2007 +.16 (+.42 to +.58)

    So the last decade trend is about the same than the trend for the decade of 1918?

    My question is if .62 (2005) is our ceiling or not, for that yearly anomaly (which is coincidentally just under the 1888-2007 trend, isn’t that odd.) Or why a -.05 trend floor drop over the decades 1888 and 1918? Or why is the trend for the last 40 years about the same as the last 120? Will it continue? Will it accelerate? Ah so many questions.

    If the truth is that the numbers are higher due to creating the numbers with more modern equipment (and/or different methods), we would imagine that the next decade would be the same and it doesn’t matter.
    If the truth is that the number is meaningless in and of itself, then it doesn’t matter anyway.
    If the truth is the number is meaningful (and not a side-effects of the instrumentation or how the data is processesed, etc) then if it’s natural variability, it doesn’t matter.
    If the truth is that the number is meaningful and not natural variability, it’s pretty clear that fossil fuel use and land-use changes would account for it. It’s all that’s left. :D

    If the last is true, then the question becomes if most or all of the effect is due to those two anthropogenic issues. If so, the question becomes what percent is what. Then the question becomes exactly how much of that is due to what components of fossil fuel use. (If the largest part is land-use, then the issue is immaterial (unless you are suggesting we reverse that, something that seems rather unlikely).)

    Let’s say it’s all fossil fuels. And that the effects of airborne and ground particulates cancel each other out, and that the non-CO2 GHG are at the low end of the error bars and CO2 at the highest. What happens when you cut fossil fuel use? How does the system react?

    Reverse that, CO2 at the low end and all the rest at the high. Or what if particulates don’t cancel? How do they affect clouds? Etc etc etc. It seems like sequestering CO2 is a very bad idea, even if it would do anything, because of the other GHG and particulates.

    So many unknowns and assumptions.

    But the anomaly trend is up +.66! :)

  569. UK John
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 4:11 PM | Permalink

    I have decided not to post on this site ever again, but will visit to “lurk”.

    The site is full of good science and well deserves its reputation, however my sceptism, or non belief, or whatever it is, does not stem from science but my observations and understanding of human nature, so I don’t quite fit in.

    I don’t have the science knowledge to fully understand and probably never will, and I seem to be in good company as even the experts get it badly, at times amazingly badly, wrong from time to time. History is littered with the wreckage of scientific consensus.

    As humans we have always believed our actions affect the planet and weather, every human civilisation has thought this, our very survival and success as a species was probably largely based on an ability to understand the climate and its natural cycles.

    The whole AGW thing just fits too comfortably into our human beliefs, things aren’t like that, we think we understand so much but actually know almost nothing.

    So goodbye and best wishes.

  570. bender
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 4:23 PM | Permalink

    #569 UK John
    FWIW I think this is a very honorable thing to so freely admit. As a science blog, the skeptical tone at CA should be climate-science driven, so this is a noble act.

  571. Pat Keating
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 4:40 PM | Permalink

    570 UK John

    As humans we have always believed our actions affect the planet and weather

    Yes. I like to think we have got past sacrificing virgins and other people to assuage the weather gods. However, if we go too enthusiastically at this issue, we may wreck our economies and sacrifice people the modern way, in large numbers instead of individuals.

    Good luck.

  572. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 5:08 PM | Permalink

    I calculated 2007 at .58 Which would put it under 2005 at .62 (The trend since 1888 is .66 and the trend since 1968 is .59)

    So that would be, back to .13 or above:
    2005 .62
    2007 .58
    1998 .57
    2002 .56
    2003 .55
    2006 .54
    2004 .49
    2001 .48
    1997 .40
    1995 .38
    2000 .33
    1999 .33
    1996 .30
    1994 .24
    1993 .14
    1973 .14
    1986 .13
    1977 .13

    Interesting. What’s the margin of error, and how do we know that’s not how we sample and/or process that in modern times. Side effect of aspirated digital thermometers and urbanization (air) satellite (water) and computers (processing) that’s left us with a bunch of years above .14 or above with the bulk of the highest anomalies (above .5 say) since 2000 ?

    Whatever the anomaly is and means is probably a combination of natural variability, land-use changes, fossil fuel use, and sampling methods and equipment. (If it’s even out of the margin of error.) I’d tend to put the bulk of it as land-use and how we sample it. The “carbon dioxide is up 110 ppmv and causing the warming because in a lab alone it absorbs IR a lot” is far less valid to me than simply explaining it’s “an unknown combination of factors giving us a trend of +.8 which may or may not even be the correct number and could be higher or lower”. I’m not saying it’s not warming, by the way. “110 ppmv = .8 C trend” is just too simplistic. If it were true though, all is correct and accurate and vaild, and it’s all CO2 (preposterous, but then again, hey), it would give us about a doubling is 2 C (using 280 to 390 to figure out the other 60% increase). Considering nothing else.

    So what would a yearly mean of 42 C versus 40 C portend if that’s the case? Or even better, what does the yearly mean represent?

  573. Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 5:10 PM | Permalink

    The RSS satellite-derived temperature anomaly for December is -0.04C. I’ve updated the time series here , which starts at January 2000.

    Later I’ll update several others, including the tropics, which was at its lowest value since the volcano year 1993.

  574. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 5:18 PM | Permalink

    -.04 plugged into my figures gives .54 which would put it tied for 5th.

  575. steven mosher
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 5:27 PM | Permalink

    re 575. what would a climate sensitivity of 3C per C02 doubling estimate
    for the the period 1977- 2007. 30 years?

    Hmm..

  576. Susann
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 6:59 PM | Permalink

    I said I wouldn’t respond to posts about personality anymore for the sake of bandwidth, but to avoid the appearance that I am skirting the issue or ignoring people (I am ignoring some people and that’s my right), let me respond:
    Bender:

    That IS the issue. This is not about Susann. It’s about the constituency she claims to represent. Is this part of the “precautionary principle” – not getting too concerned if the science and the method by which it was produced is flawed? This is not about hockey sticks. It’s about the algorithms and the people that make and run them. The hockey stick is broken. But the Mannomatic lives on.

    I don’t claim to represent any constituency but myself. How many times do I have to say that? I am not a climate policy person – I hope to be, if things work out. I am a student of this whole debate. I’ve read that the hockey stick is broken, I’ve read that it is on crutches, and I’ve read it has been cured and is now walking around happily without even so much as a limp. My goal is to determine what is the case with it and the AGW debate in general.

    Kenneth:

    This appears to be at differences to your approach in evaluating Mann, but that might just be my generalizing too far a field here.

    What bothers me most by those who come here to comment (of which you are a relatively mild example) and then spend time evaluating the personalities and atmosphere of the debate is that I get a feeling that they are acting as those tattle-tales I experienced in grammar school who would wait for the inevitable remark or action to come their way so they could go running to the teacher. Since wherever one goes in an easy access discussion forum on the internet one will find these same noises, it becomes difficult for me to get excited about these occurrences at a single blog or from individual incidents.

    I view this issue at several different levels: from the level of the science itself (hockey stick, AGW, uncertainties), at the level of the policy issues (what are the options, will the critique of the consensus policy documents and science papers affect policy makers and policy and how?), the political level (who benefits/is harmed from what policy and what players are trying to influence the outcome?) and the larger sociological level (what is this particular community, what are its values, self-image, what is its relationship to political players, what role does it play in the larger debate, who are its members, why are they involved, etc.).

    When I comment on what I see as a cult-like behavior of the part of some of the members, I am commenting on it from the latter level, looking at the community itself as a community; as a sub-culture of the larger community, etc. Steve McIntyre may have a vision and purpose for this blog, but because it is open, and because members can post relatively freely, the overall community is bigger than the sum of its parts or the wishes of its founder. Blog regulars have their own agendas and views and goals, which they voice, sometimes with the approval of the blog owner and sometimes not. When people (like me) visit, they perceive the blog based on the posts they read. If those posts display a certain POV, the visitor’s perception will be influenced by those POVs, regardless of what Steve intended. If people perceive CA to be a haven for every crackpot theorist trying to sink the scientific consensus, or every denialist out to prove AGW is the biggest lie in history, it will affect perception of the blog. I’m trying to avoid that level but it’s difficult when people keep bringing personality up and expect participants to show the colors and hand signals and use the secret handshake.

    Susann you state that your a policy person, and that is part of the reason people are getting upset. For you, a policy person who is at least taking the time to research the subject, to take a position that suggests that professional integrity is irrelevant is troubling. . . . [snip] If someone like you won’t acknowledge that not just that some of the scientific analysis is suspect but the policy process itself has been corrupted how are we ever going get to those who have been co-opted by those advocates?

    Many advocates of AGW see it as dangerous and a threat to the climate and humans, and many want to see serious policies enacted to address GHGs as soon and as intensely as possible. Some skeptics do not accept the consensus, demand to see what they consider to be conclusive proof of warming and human responsibility before any policies are enacted, and fear the economic consequences if policies are enacted. How to reconcile these two mutually exclusive positions?

    How much of each side’s argument is biased by politics and how much is valid and based on sound science? I don’t feel I can make that judgment until I have a better grasp of the science and its uncertainties. So that’s where I’m starting. Why won’t I “take a stand”? I have read personal attacks / smears on both sides of the divide. I have decided that I can’t learn much from these personal attacks / smears at this point other than this: they reflect the fact that this is not only about the science being good or bad, but also about power and who will influence policy makers. I distrust appeals to character and personality for a reason. From my education in political science, I understand that in power struggles, smears against persons often occur when a side fears they are losing the battle and have to move from attacking the substantive issues to attacking the individuals. This is precisely what happened during the tobacco and asbestos policy wars, which I take as models for understanding this war.

    The science and methods of climate change are complex. Understanding the science is one level of analysis, and ultimately, to me, the most important starting point. Understanding the politics is another level. If you think those are complex, add in the human factor, the personal factor and how they affect the science, criticisms and the policy. Complexities upon complexities and uncertainties upon uncertainties. From my perspective, the uncertainties and biases increase the further out we get from the actual science. Evaluating the character and biases of individual humans is fraught with so many sources of additional bias and error, it is to me the most unreliable of the three and the most difficult. Besides, it’s ugly.

    While I recognize that in reality, all three levels are interconnected, for the sake of analysis, I’m approaching this by looking at each separately and in sequence. I’m still at stage one – trying to get a grip on the scienc and the criticisms of the science to see what validity they have and what impact they have on the issue. After that, it’s policy issues, such as mitigation, adaptation, etc. Then, perhaps, I may move to judgment of the principal players and their biases and how they affect the issue. A final step will be a synthesis of all three. I’m a long way from that stage and I refuse, for the sake of my personal objectivity, to do the third before the first or second, in case it biases my view of the science and its criticisms. I’m not claiming to be bias free, but I’m trying to limit my bias.

    There – that’s it for me. That’s why I won’t condemn Mann or Schmidt or Hansen or McIntyre or anyone else. I’m sure someone will find something in that to object to and demand I confess or atone, but it’s my last word on personality, motives and goals and why I won’t testify.

  577. Pat Keating
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 7:15 PM | Permalink

    577

    OMG, is this Groundhog Day, or what?
    Another essay, same content…….

  578. bender
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 7:27 PM | Permalink

    For an aspiring policy wonk (the constituency that *I* claim Susann represents, based on *her* statements) this is diconcerting that she doesn’t see why it is necessary for a science to keep itself pure and not cave in to (1) advocacy, (2) sloppiness, (3) self-promotion, (4) mass-deception. If she were to maintain this line into her career, I, for one, would never hire her.

  579. Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 7:40 PM | Permalink

    The Southern Oscillation Index, which is an indicator of the pending strength of El Ninos and La Ninas, was at its highest December value since 1975. A high value favors a strong (cool) La Nina. The current La Nina is expected to continue strengthening, with a peak in the Northern spring.

    The La Nina has taken a bite out of tropical temperatures, as shown in this updated satellite-derived lower troposphere temperature anomaly plot . It is updated through December. This La Nina may ultimately be of the same magnitude of those of the late 90s.

    An interesting plot is the difference between lower and middle troposphere in the tropics . The higher the value, the more stable the tropical atmosphere (in a coarse sense). What’s odd is that, normally, the lower and middle troposphere troposphere stay somewhat in-sync with each other (perhaps lagging by as few months). That has not been the case over the last year or so. What does this mean, if anything? Dunno. Maybe the middle levels cool and catch up with the lower cooling and the spread declines to earlier levels. Or maybe something climatological has shifted. Dunno.

  580. Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 7:52 PM | Permalink

    What AGW? It’s not an AGW, but a quite natural GW:

  581. Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 7:55 PM | Permalink

    Didn’t work… Well, the picture is here:

  582. Susann
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 8:00 PM | Permalink

    this is disconcerting that she doesn’t see why it is necessary for a science to keep itself pure and not cave in to (1) advocacy, (2) sloppiness, (3) self-promotion, (4) mass-deception. If she were to maintain this line into her career, I, for one, would never hire her.

    Of course all those are necessary. Did I say otherwise? You’re over-reaching. I said I’m not at the stage yet and want to wait until I feel more comfortable with the science issues. Did you read what I wrote or do you just make stuff up?

  583. Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 8:03 PM | Permalink

    Lockwood said that the SI had decreased while the TT had increased… Sorry, Mr. Lockwood, but the tropospheric temperature also decreased. Lag? 16 months.

  584. Jonathan Schafer
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 8:27 PM | Permalink

    #580

    I am getting concerned about the strength of the La Nina. La Nina typically presents itself as hot and dry in TX. Considering we are less than 1 year removed from one of the worst droughts in TX, to move back into another one could be devastating.

  585. John Lang
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 8:47 PM | Permalink

    Absolutely shocking decline in temperatures in 2007.

    The average has declined by 0.5C this year alone (compared to the global warming increase of 0.7C from 1900 to 2006.)

    ENSO (and perhaps solar cycles) drive the climate. Case closed.

    The 1997-98 El Nino increased lower troposphere temperatures by 1.0C in 9 months. The current La Nina (now running 11 months) has lowered temperatures to (very close to) the pre-1997-98 El Nino levels.

    The current lower troposphere anomaly of -0.046C is essentially the same as the very first measurements taken in 1979. No global warming in 28 years.

  586. Larry Sheldon
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 8:50 PM | Permalink

    Non-events because, you know, they are Weather, NOT Climate…but interesting.

    Snow in Daytona Beach, worst blizzard in 10 years in Romania….

  587. bender
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 9:06 PM | Permalink

    #587 Larry Sheldon
    ENSO, PDO etc are in between weather and climate. Part of the internal variability that GCMers say is “small” compared to “large” extermallly forced variability. If it’s bigger than the modelers say, and not AR(1) but AR(17) (LTP), then GHG sensitivity coefficients may be exaggerated.

  588. Andrew
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 9:33 PM | Permalink

    Assuming, of course, that the only important influence is the direct influence of variation in total solar irradiance, you’d be correct. But there is no proof that this is the only way it effects climate. But your also right that any model that only includes solar activity is to simplistic. We don’t know if there are other ways the sun influences climate. There might be, and some suspect there are. We need to know. The argument that we don’t need to pin it down falls apart becuase it is the basis of policy. I would agree that they could be as uncertain as the want if the were just doing science. But we are very much getting into geoengineering territory with solutions to global warming.

  589. Andrew
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 9:43 PM | Permalink

    Ah yes, the fine art of fitting elephants. Give me four parameters, I can fit it, and with five I can wiggle it’s trunk. Once again: those graphs are based on assumption that there aren’t natural forcings that we don’t know about (like different, more important impacts of solar activity than just solar irradiance)

    We don’t know there aren’t other ways in which the sun influences climate, and there is reason to believe there are. Models that have been fudged until they finally fit prove nothing.

  590. Neal J. King
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 9:45 PM | Permalink

    #178, Andrew:

    It’s normal in science not to include things that you don’t believe exist.

    What else should one do?

  591. Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 9:46 PM | Permalink

    The 1979-2007 lower troposphere time series is here . It’s important to note that some/most/all (we don’t know which) of the recent cooldown is driven by La Nina. La Nina cometh and La Nina goeth away.

    Having said that, I’ll that this looks like a pretty potent La Nina. If the SST minimum occurs in about three months then the peak cooling will lag several months behind that.

    I’ve been intrigued by what seems to be a global cooldown in recent weeks ( link to 7-day anomaly plot ). There’s more blue than I’ve seen in a while. Is it simply noise? Dunno.

  592. Neal J. King
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 9:47 PM | Permalink

    #178, Andrew:

    And by the way, please show me a climate reconstruction that does NOT use AGW that fits – using any number of parameters you like.

  593. Andrew
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 9:48 PM | Permalink

    Your comments about cosmic rays are right out of realclimate. Nir Shaviv said:

    Guess what?

    There is a trend. The catch which neither you nor the proprietors of realclimate realize is that the energies relevant for low altitude ionization are way higher than the low energy records either you or they look at.

  594. bender
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 9:49 PM | Permalink

    #589 DS Maybe it’s not *simply* noise. Maybe its complex internal LTP variability. Maybe it’s Hurst.

  595. Andrew
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 9:50 PM | Permalink

    Also, I could do no such thing since I’m not a climate modeler.

  596. bender
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 10:00 PM | Permalink

    #181 Andrew do you have the link? I want to understand better the source of the data.

  597. Andrew
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 10:02 PM | Permalink

    From this page on Nir Shavis’s site:

    http://www.sciencebits.com/CO2orSolar

  598. Neal J. King
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 10:02 PM | Permalink

    #181, Andrew:

    Plenty of people have found problems with Shaviv’s work besides RealClimate. For example:

    http://www.pik-potsdam.de/~stefan/Publications/Journals/rahmstorf_etal_eos_2004.html

    While Shaviv also did a response to this, http://www.phys.huji.ac.il/~shaviv/ClimateDebate/RahmReply/RahmReply.html, I’m afraid that I could make some sense of what the critics said (basically, his method of arriving at a chronology seemed to be inconsistent and arbitrary), and very little sense of what Shaviv was saying.

    Given those alternatives, I have to go with what I can understand.

    The point is that no one has been able to come up with a credible climate reconstruction covering the last 150 years that does not include AGW. If any climate scientist could do so, he would, and hang the grants: He’d win both the Nobel Prize and the undying gratitude of major economic interests, a two-fer that can’t be beat.

  599. Pat Keating
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 10:14 PM | Permalink

    167 Neal
    Thank you for your clear response to the questions I had. The concepts you mention are useful ones.

    I gather that the 3km figure comes from some sort of IR absorption calculation. Is pressure-broadening included in that?

    I believe that there is one glitch in your exposition, which may well undermine it. You say:
    when this state of excitation ends, another photon of the same energy/frequency is emitted.

    This is highly unlikely, I think, at 3km where the mean-free-path of a molecule is very short. Most of the time, you can expect that energy to be lost to molecular collisions and thermalized before any photon re-emission can take place. The mechanism is similar to pressure-broadening. There will be additional photons produced, of course, according to the factor exp(-hv/kT), but they will be at wave-numbers different from the first one.

    It seems to me that, once a photon is absorbed in the lower troposphere, it will not be reproduced. Things are different at high enough altitudes so that the mean-free-path is long. If the pressure-broadening is small, then the new photon may be close enough in energy to ‘pass’ as the same photon for your purposes, but I would expect that it would then tend to be emitted in a direction similar to the initial photon since momentum is just as conserved as energy is.

    If you have data that disagrees with this, I will of course be interested to see it.

  600. bender
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 10:14 PM | Permalink

    #184 Andrew
    Thanks. His Fig Caption begins:

    Fig. 6: The flux of cosmic rays reaching Earth, as measured by ion chambers. Red line – annual averages, Blue line – 11 yr moving average.

    The blue line does not look like an 11-year moving average to me.

  601. Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 10:17 PM | Permalink

    Re #590 Could be, bender. Just call me “Dunno Dave” on this one

    Here’s an old time series of mine which is a few months out of date and needs to be updated. It’s full of conjecture but it does show something interesting. It’s a plot of the difference between the tropical temperature anomaly and a scaled ENSO index.

    From 1979 to the early 1990s the chart trend was sideways, which indicated to me that the tropics were neither warming nor cooling – the temperature variation was due to swinging from El Ninos and La Ninas. Then, from the early 1990s until a few years ago the temperature tended to rise independently of ENSO variation. My guess is that was related to Atlantic SST activity.

    Then, a few years ago, another change (a leveling or step-up) occurred, consistent with a slight cooling independent of ENSO. Perhaps that was a leveling of Atlantic tropical SST or perhaps it was a PDO-related event or maybe it’s meaningless variation – dunno :)

    I think that when I update the plot I’ll see even stronger movement upwards.

  602. Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 10:23 PM | Permalink

    The point is that no one has been able to come up with a credible climate reconstruction covering the last 150 years that does not include AGW.

    And no one has been able to come up with a credible climate reconstruction over the past 1500 years that includes AGW as the main driver. It is not impressive to be able to tune a model to roughly reproduce the past 150 years of surface temperature. That is not science it is playing with parameters within models.

    The radiative conception Neal presents of the earth-atmosphere-sun system is a nice starting point, but it is only that. It has to be tested, like the models, by future performance. They are only hypotheses–useful tools for testing concepts such as Neal’s. So many people seem to be satisfied with quick and easy answers without thorough testing. Fortunately Steve is not one of those people.

  603. Phil.
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 10:35 PM | Permalink

    Re

    (But this doesn’t mean that it’s “blocked”. Once the photon is absorbed, its “death” causes the excitation of an atom/molecule to a higher quantum state; when this state of excitation ends, another photon of the same energy/frequency is emitted, but likely in a different direction. Thus, the photon is “re-born”.)

    In fact the photon isn’t “re-born” it is collisionally thermalized with the rest of the atmosphere in the lower atmosphere.

    - Optical Depth (in this case) is the integral over distance of the absorption of the GHGs at the 15-micron band of IR; taken on a path from infinity towards the center of the Earth.

    Shouldn’t that be from the surface outwards?
    Also my interpretation of the satellite observations would put the OD=1 for the CO2 15 micron band at rather more than 3km.

  604. Mike B
    Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 10:36 PM | Permalink

    #538 and others of Susann:

    Yes, I see that when you put it that way. When I post something that contradicts their worldview, it gives them an opportunity to reiterate their own POV. All well and good but without going deeper, it can become pointless cross-talk. But surely you will admit that for some here, it is an affront for me not to accept their version of truth.

    Might I kindly suggest that you reflect for a moment on the slight possibility that you are easily sidetracked by “personalities” and you are prone to label people (e.g. “denialists”) in such a way that makes it easier for you to ignore their rationale/opinions/analyses. There is no doubt that there are regulars, semi-regulars, and occasional nuisances of all stripes that do the same. Lord knows I do it. There are few who don’t. But frankly, your broken-record restatements of your self-image as an above-the-fray martyr of unbiased climate science assesment has become tiresome. In general, I find your contributions valuable, and your questions pertinent. There are some here whose POV I share that I would not say that about. I hope you choose to continue to contribute.

    Having ejected that baggage, let me begin anew by posing a question. You’ve restated on multiple occasions that you want to better understand the “uncertainties” in current climate science, with particular emphasis on the Theory of Catastrophic AGW. “The Team” has made it quite clear that they are the “real climate scientists.” Yet in order to appropriately calculate “uncertainties,” one must use statistics. Surely, if there is one thing that you’ve learned since you’ve visited this website, it is that “The Team” are dreadful statisticians. In such an important endeavor, wouldn’t one want to use the best statisticians available?

  605. Posted Jan 3, 2008 at 11:34 PM | Permalink

    # 598 to # 603

    I made the same observation at Nir Shaviv’s website because someone wrote in his blog that there was no trend in the intensity of the interstellar cosmic rays when we knew that there is a positive trend detected by sensors in satellites and by the starships Voyager I and II. I had published an article, where I compared the trends of the ICR and the anomalies of the tropospheric temperatures, although I found just the contrary with respect to Shaviv’s theory, perhaps by the nature of ICR and because we found that the Cosmic Ray were accelerated by the solar wind at the bow shock and at the termination shock.

  606. Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 12:43 AM | Permalink

    UK John says:
    January 3rd, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    I have decided not to post on this site ever again, but will visit to “lurk”.

    The site is full of good science and well deserves its reputation, however my scepticism, or non belief, or whatever it is, does not stem from science but my observations and understanding of human nature, so I don’t quite fit in.

    John, you made the classic statement ‘it’s getting warmer because it’s getting sunnier’, something so obvious that I doubt that the models show it — after all, the signature of that sort of warming would be different from the predictions for CO2 forcing. Maybe you could watch the evidence and occasionally point out new research and data that confirms your view — after all, that’s essentially the GCR theory as far as I can tell. Heating from the atmosphere down or from the surface up — the evidence is bound to point to one or the other eventually. The atmosphere temperature profile is, perhaps, drifting your way. I’d feel happier if I knew someone was keeping an eye on the albedo as well. (Maybe the A train is going to be the best investment mankind ever made. Thank you, Uncle Sam.)

    Then, if the stratosphere continues to misbehave, someone will have been watching it and making sure the facts are easily accessible. Our host doesn’t seem to mind too much if we, the lunatic fringe, keep modestly on unthreaded and only make the occasional squeak.

    It’s worth hanging in, not least because — well, think what a hoot it’ll be if we turn out to be right!

    JF

  607. MarkR
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 3:41 AM | Permalink

    Dr. Oleg Sorokhtin, Merited Scientist of Russia and fellow of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, is staff researcher of the Oceanology Institute says.

    This is my point, which environmentalists hotly dispute as they cling to the hothouse theory. As we know, hothouse gases, in particular, nitrogen peroxide, warm up the atmosphere by keeping heat close to the ground. Advanced in the late 19th century by Svante A. Arrhenius, a Swedish physical chemist and Nobel Prize winner, this theory is taken for granted to this day and has not undergone any serious check.

    Link to article

    This is why thermo and CO2 keep coming up. The current status rests on work done 100 years ago. SteveMc asks for Peer reviewed references for criticism/debate, but this gentleman thinks there aren’t any available.

    Why not have a thread open to discuss this, perhaps Dr. Oleg Sorokhtin could be invited to start it, and perhaps it should only be open to qualified scientists. Physics, chemistry etc, and a parallel one for interested lay people?

    The models cannot be verified unless the underlying theory has been verified, and 100 years ago doesn’t cut it.

  608. JohnB UK
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 5:19 AM | Permalink

    AndyL #566

    Met office forecast Global Cooling………………!

    “3 January 2008

    2008 is set to be cooler globally than recent years say Met Office and University of East Anglia climate scientists”

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2008/pr20080103.html

  609. Neil McEvoy
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 5:45 AM | Permalink

    From the Met Office press release at the link in #608:

    For 2008, the development of a strong La Niña in the tropical Pacific Ocean will limit the warming trend of the global climate

    Does anyone know how a La Niña / El Niño is quantified, to allow the use of adjectives like “strong”? ISTM that the essentially flat trend in global mean temperature for the past few years has been explained away by exactly the “right” “strength” Nina/o to counteract underlying AGW in each year.

  610. STAFFAN LINDSTROEM
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 6:06 AM | Permalink

    #608 Well, John B …as Bert Bolin passed away last
    Sunday…(Dec 30 2007)…On NYE we got the more substantial snowfall
    here in Solna BTW NOT in Lappland, jokers sorry
    jesters that is;…since November! Those of you who don’t know
    who Bert Bolin was please sign up for a free AGW Introduction…
    #??? Anna Lang …Bill McKibben can’t tell Oslo from Stockholm
    [The Nobel Peace Prize handed out in Oslo...AAMOF...SIGH...]
    The day these two cities are one metropolitain area we can talk
    of some substantial UHI effect…(300 km south of the “stampeding”
    ice???) Won’t help much…)(LOL…)

  611. Gary Moran
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 6:43 AM | Permalink

    Nasif #546, subsequent comment by UC, and in respect of some of Sussan’s questions.

    Climate science seems to possess some characteristics associated with pseudoscience:

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

    Use of vague, exaggerated or untestable claims: Assertion of scientific claims that are vague rather than precise, and that lack specific measurements; Failure to make reasonable use of the principle of parsimony.

    Over-reliance on confirmation rather than refutation: Assertion of scientific claims that cannot be falsified in the event they are incorrect, inaccurate, or irrelevant; Reversed burden of proof.

    Lack of openness to testing by other experts: The science community expects authors to share data necessary to evaluate a paper.

    Personalization of issues: Tight social groups and granfalloons, authoritarian personality, suppression of dissent, and groupthink can enhance the adoption of beliefs that have no rational basis. In attempting to confirm their beliefs, the group tends to identify their critics as enemies; Attacking the motives or character of anyone who questions the claims.

    To be clear I’m not suggesting climate science is a pseudoscience; I do however believe it that too many of its contributors are idealogically driven or politically constrained; and I think it is these influences that lead to these distortions of the scientific method. I think this echoes something UK John was saying about the psychology of AGW. I suspect that without these pressures MBH98 would have been a different paper, and Mann would have been able to deal with valid criticisms.

    Sussan should think about what sort of bedfellows politics and science make.

  612. Philip_B
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 6:59 AM | Permalink

    Re; 489 Whatever link you provided to the Pangani River has been lost. From this link

    Mt. Kilimanjaro’s ice cap is relatively small in comparison to its height and surface area and its
    contribution in developing water sources must be assumed to be equally slight (Ramsay 1965)18. Very few
    streams originate in this zone and most of these have small flows.

    and,

    Therefore, contrary to the opinion expressed by Thompson et al. (2002) it is very unlikely that the
    loss of the glaciers will have a major impact on the hydrology of the mountain. Kaser et al. (under review)
    come to the same conclusion.

    Substantially reduced precipitation and deforestation on Kilimanjaro seem to be the main cause of reduced flow in the Pangani River.

  613. Susann
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 7:59 AM | Permalink

    Having ejected that baggage, let me begin anew by posing a question. You’ve restated on multiple occasions that you want to better understand the “uncertainties” in current climate science, with particular emphasis on the Theory of Catastrophic AGW. “The Team” has made it quite clear that they are the “real climate scientists.” Yet in order to appropriately calculate “uncertainties,” one must use statistics. Surely, if there is one thing that you’ve learned since you’ve visited this website, it is that “The Team” are dreadful statisticians. In such an important endeavor, wouldn’t one want to use the best statisticians available?

    I won’t comment on your first statement about my being distracted by personality other than to say you may be right, but in my defense it is because I don’t want to focus on it and it seems such a big part of why some people are here.

    That said, and in answer to your second comment, I don’t know if the “team” is dreadful at statistics. That’s an evaluation I can’t make at this time based on my limited research. I think the attempt to use PCA to do a large scale temperature reconstruction was ambitious, but was used in a flawed way. Since such reconstructions require statistical analysis, yes, it would have been a very good idea to have a competence in statistics before attempting to do so. I expect that since so much statistical work is involved in climatology, most grad students must take statistics courses to graduate, but I don’t know that. I had to take courses. But expertise in statistics comes with use, not just with study. The importance of statistical methods to paloclimate reconstrtuctions and climatology was an issue for both Wegman and North in the NAS report, so this is not unappreciated. I can’t say anything more than that for I have read only a dozen or so papers on paleoclimate reconstructions. I don’t know how bad the field was to begin with, or whether MBH was an example of a rookie using statistics poorly, or if the field is much better since the “hockey stick” debates.

  614. Larry
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 8:03 AM | Permalink

    612, right. Real scientists don’t spend their days writing rambling rants about usufruct and gorillas and jesters and conspiracies.

  615. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 8:16 AM | Permalink

    Re#614, “Real” scientists don’t, but “Real Climate” scientists might.

  616. Morggan
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 8:28 AM | Permalink

    Since Susann argues not from science but polemics, she comes across as petulant partisan journalist not someone seeking ideas or reasonable hypothesis.

  617. Craig Loehle
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 10:19 AM | Permalink

    Re: “Neal J. King says: January 3rd, 2008 at 9:45 pm
    #178, Andrew:
    It’s normal in science not to include things that you don’t believe exist.”

    Well, no, actually. In the experimental sciences one tries to control the experiment so that nothing else interferes. We use inbred white mice, shielded rooms for physics experiments, greenhouses with controlled climate, etc etc. Then we don’t have to worry about the things we don’t know about (usually). BUT: when we model natural systems (groundwater, rivers, fisheries, epidemics, endangered species populations, ecosystems) we DO need to worry about the things we don’t know about (that aren’t in our model). It is a common problem. A big problem. In these other cases the modelers acknowledge it. In ecology, a completely “realistic” model is generally viewed as not possible. Model results are viewed as indicative or supportive of some view or as a hypothesis, NOT as definitive. In the case of GCMs we have several processes (cosmic rays, clouds, aerosols) which can not be modeled well or at all but which are hypothesized to be important by some, but which are dismissed as not important a priori by the modelers without even a sensitivity analysis. This seems just remarkable to me.

  618. MattN
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 11:57 AM | Permalink

    General FYI: Solar cycle 24 has officially started.

    From http://www.solarcycle24.com:

    A new high latitude sunspot has just emerged and yes this time it is a sunspot. It also has the correct magnetic signature of a Cycle 24 spot.

  619. John G. Bell
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 12:17 PM | Permalink

    Re#619, I thought these things were always hindcast. Which official of what organization has given cycle 24 the nod? Could be right but it seems rash to me.

  620. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 12:17 PM | Permalink

    .58 or .54 or .4 or .8 as a yearly mean for 2007, whatever.

    1. Is the global mean land/sea yearly temperature anomaly an accurate proxy for Earth’s energy balance?
    2. Does CO2 cause that balance to rise?

    1. Maybe. The anomaly might just be from side effects of aspirated digital thermometers and urbanization (air), satellite (water), and computer power (processing) versus past methods.
    2. Indeterminate. It is part of the process in a positive direction, but one might as well say aerosol indirect effect is part of the process in a negative direction.

    decade_starting, anomaly_trend_C, anomaly_end_value_C, ppmv_rise
    1888, +.02, +.005, 1.2 (ice)
    1918, +.15, -.1, 3.4 (ice)
    1968, +.02, +.17, 9.8 (ice) 10.77 (air)
    1998, +.16, +.58, (est 390 2007) 27 (air)

    Now graph that, pick two or more random decades starting at 8 and see if it all fits in that graph. I know, I know, the lag and all; factor that in. Should be easy to prove a by-decade correlation and lag period between the two. Then do the same with methane, sulphates and tropospheric ozone and compare them all. Should be easy to do.

    On to happier things. Like train rides. Or Usufruct & the Gorilla.

    Susann: I don’t know what you’ve read, but based upon my research, Dr. Wegman knows what he’s talking about, and he testified improper statistics were used by folks in a groupthink situation (The short version). I’m satisfied, especially given the comments by statisticians here that have (as far as I know) nothing to gain or lose on the issue and that I believe and trust moreso than I would anyone who’s a non-statistician and/or with a professional stake in it. Especially not both.

    Mosh; the problem with me plugging in -.04 is that is the RSS 2007, the rest of my numbers are from the “GLOBAL Land-Ocean Temperature Index in .01 C base period: 1951-1980 sources: GHCN 1880-11/2007 + SST: 1880-11/1981 HadISST1 12/1981-11/2007 Reynolds v2 using elimination of outliers and homogeneity adjustments” http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt (Absolute for base is given as 14.4C btw)

    Nasif; Looks like that’s the RSS satellite troposphere mean global anomaly for 2007, yes? Interesting, from +.52 down to -.04 over a year. Brrrr. Where’s that pesky CO2 when you need it…. :)

    Larry S: Climate is weather for an area over time. I’d say the reading of the entire troposphere and getting the mean anomaly for a year off of a base period of 30 qualifies as climate (You know, the hottest year ever thing and all). Or months worth of global system functions, given the definitions:

    The wikipedia article sez:

    “The weather is the set of all extant phenomena in a given atmosphere at a given time. It also includes interactions with the hydrosphere. The term usually refers to the activity of these phenomena over short periods (hours or days)”

    The IPCC sez

    “Climate in a narrow sense is usually defined as the “average weather”, or more rigorously, as the statistical description in terms of the mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time ranging from months to thousands or millions of years.”

  621. SteveSadlov
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 12:50 PM | Permalink

    FYI:

    https://www.openeco.org/energycamp/

    I have registered and plan to attend. I hope to have a coffee or a beer with Lovins.

  622. Severian
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

    Since unthreaded has seen some recent discussions on such things as science and ethics of scientists, I thought that this article might be of interest:

    http://news.nationaljournal.com/articles/databomb/index.htm

    It is an analysis and commentary on the study done by “The Lancet” on the Iraq war civilian death toll. I hate to bring the contentious topic of Iraq up, but this deconstruction of the Lancet’s study is an excellent example, in microcosm, of the problems with climate science as practiced by some organizations and individuals which have been the subject of some of the discussions here. More specifically we see:

    – A researcher having an “epiphany” which seems to have made them slip from accurate researcher into an emotionally driven “advocate” with all the problems that produces.
    – Failure to share information on methods and raw data, lack of proper documentation, credible charges of data fraud, etc.
    – Denigration of critics.
    – Use of the “because I said so” response to questions about data and methods.
    – The use of this research to support a political cause, it’s being seized by partisan politicians and trumpeted as support for actions they want to take, and what appears to be science performed explicitly to support a position, and accuracy be damned.

    Hope you find it interesting, I thought it was quite a good example of what is wrong with advocacy science and post-modern science.

  623. Anna Lang
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 2:58 PM | Permalink

    RE #611, STAFFAN LINDSTROEM :

    You are correct, Staffan, McKibben got the cities (and countries) wrong. The Peace Prize is the only Nobel Prize awarded in Oslo, Norway, not Stockholm, Sweden per Alfred Nobel’s will. It would make for quite a UHI effect!

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

  624. Jon
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 3:31 PM | Permalink

    ‘gray-body’ earth:

    There was a bit of news recently about spectral measurements of the earthshine: http://images.spaceref.com/news/2002/shinespectrum.jpg

    Notice how strikingly inconsistent this graph is with the standard radiative model used in climate theory.

    Presuming my ignorance, can someone recify the two for me?

  625. steven mosher
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 3:59 PM | Permalink

    re 577. “I am a student of this whole debate.”

    Welcome to your final exam in Climate Science 101. You have 60 minutes to
    write your final essay. 100% of your final grade for the course will rely
    on the work produced in your blue book.

    your final question is.

    Paleoclimate reconstructions are inconsequential to estimations of
    climatic sensitivity to C02 doubling and our policy decisions with
    regard to climate change. Take a position pro or con and defend.
    When your post is complete Dr. bender will examine you.

    you can use your notes susann.

  626. Pat Keating
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 4:15 PM | Permalink

    625 Jon
    What in particular do you find surprising?

  627. Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 4:33 PM | Permalink

    Aww Stephen & bender and all: Quit giving Susann a hard time. Do we really all need an inquisition on what Susan should think or learn?

    Susann, stop justifying yourself; answering is not required. Also, maybe avoid the temptation to tell people how to behave vis-a-vis personalities.

    I’m sure you’ve noticed that when you give a little lecture about why we shouldn’t discuss personalities, you get five or six responses. Then you reply to each. Then entire thread goes off into “What should Susann think-land”.

    If you are here to learn about the science or observe the climate wars culture, “What about Susann” is ,is not a discussion you should be encouraging intentionally or unintentionally.

  628. Larry
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 4:36 PM | Permalink

    Dr. bender will examine you.

    That sounds scary.

  629. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 5:00 PM | Permalink

    I think I’ve actually found something interesting.

    The global mean temperature anomaly (GMTA) probably does not equal warming (or cooling). And that is aside from how it’s derived, which is probably makes it a meaningless number in and of itself on any sort of local level if at all.

    Look at the top anomaly years (mostly since 1990ish) and balance them against decades here and there with various rates in anomaly trends up and down (or the raw data in GLB.Ts+dSST.txt) the anomaly is all over the place up and down by month and year until you hit the period between ~1980-1990 and now, where they are almost all up. I believe we are looking at side-effects of modern measurements for the last 30 or so years. This is actually fairly easily seen if you look at the anomaly trends:

    Last 10 years: +.16
    Last 20 years: +.38
    Last 30 years: +.56
    Last 40 years: +.59
    Last 120 years: +.66

    It also rather well explains the “floor” of the trend in the period, which went from -.015 in the 1968 decade to +.1 in the 1978 decade, +.25 in the 1988 to +.42 in the 1998. (versus the -.28 floor for 1888-2007 trend)

    Now, if you ignore that CO2 (according to the IPCC forcings chart) is at most about 1/2 of the total positive forcings, and is probably more like 1/4 or 1/10th, and you ignore everything else that goes along with burning fossil fuels, and you ignore land-use changing the nature of the materials the sun reacts with, and you ignore a whole bunch of other things, the argument could be made that the ppmv jump from 1856-1940 of 35 and 1945-2007 of 70 maybe the case could be made that’s what we’re seeing.

    The only trouble with that is how much you have to ignore, and that the 4 major AGHG are all moving with each other and lagging the temperature by what seems to be about 100 years.

    So what’s changed since around the mid-80s?

    To answer the circumstantial evidence:

    Why are some glaciers melting? Wind. Sun. Rain. Natural variability and or black carbon and or the oceans.
    Why is some ice melting? Wind. Sun. Rain. Natural variability and or black carbon and or the oceans.
    Why may the oceans be “getting warmer”? Cloud cover. Sun. Rain. Natural variability, and or chemical runoff and aerosols hitting the ocean and changing its chemical composition.
    What may the sun be doing to warm the system along with the above? Maybe it’s stronger, maybe there are less clouds, maybe indirect aerosol effects are less than thought, and more is getting through.

    Yes, some of these are or could be anthropogenic.

  630. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 5:44 PM | Permalink

    So let’s say a .8 C trend. What percent, if any, does 105 ppmv of CO2 contribute, assuming the .8 C reflects a physical value?

    5% would be 100 ppmv = .04 C

    A doubling (from now, say it’s at 400) would therefore give .16C

    On the other hand, we don’t really know if going from 400 to 800 would give us 50C or -50C or 0C, now do we?

    Let’s call it 20% and and so a doubling gives .64 C

    I don’t know, make up your own numbers. I’ll get back to you when we hit either 800 ppmv or have an anomaly trend of 1 C We’ll compare notes.

  631. Susann
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 6:38 PM | Permalink

    I’m sure you’ve noticed that when you give a little lecture about why we shouldn’t discuss personalities, you get five or six responses. Then you reply to each. Then entire thread goes off into “What should Susann think-land”.

    Actually, I noticed, after re-reading the entire thread, that when I refused to toe the line on Mann’s personality and motives, I got five or ten replies attacking me as a person, my character and my motives. Which just goes to prove my point, doesn’t it?

  632. steven mosher
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 6:51 PM | Permalink

    re 629. Lucia. I just like stickin pigtails in inkwells. Hey, how’s that Hansen
    88 study coming?..

    You know that Hadley has predicted 2008 to have a low anomaly.. .37C versus 2007 anomaly
    of .41C

    2008 could be very intresting.

  633. Larry
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 7:04 PM | Permalink

    633 Nobody said you have to toe any line. But when you appoint yourself blog constable, and people don’t like your attempts at enforcement, they have a right to argue back.

  634. M. Jeff
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 7:08 PM | Permalink

    re: #633 , Susann, January 4th, 2008 at 6:38 pm,

    What about my comment #540, was that an attack on you? Thankfully your reply to my #540 and my reply to your reply were snipped almost immediately. I’ll take your side on the following – you are intelligent and articulate.

  635. John Lang
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 7:18 PM | Permalink

    Steven Mosher #626 – Paleoclimate reconstructions are inconsequential to estimations of climatic sensitivity to C02 doubling and our policy decisions with regard to climate change. Take a position pro or con and defend. When your post is complete Dr. bender will examine you.

    I’ll take a shot at this one (because I have posted about this many times.)

    First, the most important question in the global warming debate is “What is the climate sensitivity for a doubling of CO2 – GHGs?”

    A climate sensitivity figure of 1.0C per doubling indicates global warming will not be a problem at all and a figure of 4.5C per doubling indicates that global warming will be catastrophic. A small change in the ACTUAL number is the difference between a good thing and a disaster. Its the difference between doing nothing and spending trillions of dollars in an effort to avoid it. We must get this number RIGHT!

    As we have seen in the “Show me the engineering quality derivation of the climate sensitivity figures claimed by the IPCC and others” threads, nobody seems to be able to produce a quality explanation of the figures used other than citing some in paper X by YYY et al in 1979 which cites a figure of 4.5C per doubling of CO2 and this paper merely cites some other paper XX from 1964 in which a good guess was made. And so on. No one seems to have actually derived it.

    The GCMs cannot possibly answer this question because they are based on apriori assumptions and the Earth-Sun-atmosphere system is simply far far too complex to accurately model (trillions upon trillions of photons and molecular-photon interactions each second is too complex in my opinion.)

    So the theory cannot answer the question and the models cannot answer the question.

    What we need to use then is an empirical historical data-based reconstruction of the sensitivity. Real facts and empirical data always trump theory in my book anyway.

    How has Earth’s climate actually responded in the past to changes in the level of CO2? Paleoclimate reconstructions (taking into account as many other relevant variables as possible) can answer the most important question in the global warming field – “How does the Earth’s climate actually respond to a doubling of CO2 (versus the theory.)”

  636. Phil.
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 7:47 PM | Permalink

    Re

    You are correct, Staffan, McKibben got the cities (and countries) wrong. The Peace Prize is the only Nobel Prize awarded in Oslo, Norway, not Stockholm, Sweden per Alfred Nobel’s will. It would make for quite a UHI effect!

    Well they were the same country when the awards were first made.

  637. steven mosher
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 7:49 PM | Permalink

    re 637. Sorry John I’m teasing Susann and trying to goad her into to taking
    a position and stop being a “student” of the debate.

  638. Raven
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 7:59 PM | Permalink

    John Lang says:

    How has Earth’s climate actually responded in the past to changes in the level of CO2? Paleoclimate reconstructions (taking into account as many other relevant variables as possible) can answer the most important question in the global warming field – “How does the Earth’s climate actually respond to a doubling of CO2 (versus the theory.)”

    Hansen tried this and came up with 3.0 degC. However, he got this number by assuming that CO2 was the major factor driving climate (i.e. his analysis is subject to the same flaws as the GCM models have today). Climate is a system with too many unknowns and we cannot conduct a lab experiment that tests the effect of a single variable.

    That does not mean we should not try to figure out the answer but I think people who do try should stop trying to fool us by claiming that they have 95% certainty in their estimates today.

  639. bender
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 8:10 PM | Permalink

    #636 John Lang

    What we need to use then is an empirical historical data-based reconstruction of the sensitivity. Real facts and empirical data always trump theory in my book anyway.

    Instead, what you get is Haigh citing Crowley (2000) (Fig 32 Sec 6.1):
    Haigh, J. D., 2007. “The Sun and the Earth’s Climate”. Living Reviews of Solar Physics, 4, (2007), 2. [Online Article], http://www.livingreviews.org/lrsp-2007-2

    Audit, anyone?

  640. STAFFAN LINDSTROEM
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 9:02 PM | Permalink

    #637 PHIL …No in fact two countries in a personal union…
    But go ahead and mix time and events be my guest
    ….Oh you didn’t even recognise the 2 km of icecover
    you got on your head…?? [sigh again..thanks, Gavin LOL]
    btw phil you’re not by any chance THE Phil Jones?? (would
    explain the “delete” when clicking on “phil” …Just
    teasing and testing phil I’ve got “Mosher’s disease”
    and he’s got some of mine after all in Hell Swedes are
    responsible for humour…
    APARTMENT More Serious Climate Info [SLAMSCI] What
    is curious about last Jan and Feb (2007) in Central
    Europe is that they were recordbreaking below 1500 m ASL
    but not above…so the warmth was fairly thin, well
    that’s what you would expect in winter,no?
    Sam Urbinto: When looking at temps rising and reason
    for doing so compare summers of 2003 and 2007 in the
    Alps, months JJA were probably 15C colder last year
    than in 2003 that’s 1.25C on a year…Then as this
    was perhaps 40% due to Sahara air meeting central
    European urban albedo…Yesterday that still today
    for you in North America etc we had a Swedish National
    radio a science commentary about making cities
    greener…One of the researchers is a Philip Jones
    professor of architecture in Cardiff, Wales (not
    same country as England, phil…) But the word
    “vaermeoeeffekt” (I don’t use the real Swedish letters
    here as they tend to be f—ed up) is NOT used (UHIE)
    So they’re positioning themselves now: If we get colder cities
    it’s because we’ve made them greener…not because AGW is diminishing
    Clever aren’t they??

  641. Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 9:02 PM | Permalink

    @Susan 632

    Which just goes to prove my point, doesn’t it?

    Not really. I don’t toe that particular line either. I think some of what Mann has done is less than admirable, but OTOH, I think “people are human” and I’ve said so. So, you see, my POV isn’t much different from yours.

    But at a certain point, I just let the subject drop. You, OTOH, engage every one of the 6-10 replies to you causing them to turn into 36-100 replies to you. That results in 36-100 more discussions of Mann– all triggered by your admonition that people shouldn’t be arguing about Mann. And this also skews your obserations.

    In addition, it derails the thread.

    Since I don’t want the thread to be about me, me, me, I recognize that it’s possible to ignore questions, sit at home, have a glass of wine with my husband and knit for a while. The thread will go on, and not be about me.

    I’m not really telling you what to do. But, if you really want to be a student/observer as you claim, it might be wiser to drop arguments that are about “Susann, Susann, Susann”. If you want to observe what would happen naturally in circumstances where you hace not derailed the thread, then just observed, then drop arguments.

    If you want to be an advocate for a position, or spend time pressing your point, argue away.

    But, recognise that if you act like an advocate, that will interfere with you stated goal of being a student /observer. If you don’t believe me, ask your thesis advisor. I’m sure they’ll tell you the same thing.

    I happen to like your posts, and sort of see some of myself in you. Still… to achieve the goals you say you wish to achieve, you need to stand back a bit.

    In the medium run, SteveM is going to snip all this and the discussion of Susann’s motives. But if you are trying to work on a thesis, and you are trying to observe the dynamics of blogs, you really should stand back a bit, and observe rather than interacting quite so vigorously.

  642. D. Patterson
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 10:03 PM | Permalink

    STAFFAN LINDSTROEM says:

    January 4th, 2008 at 9:02 pm
    [....]
    Hell Swedes are responsible for humour…
    [....]

    Hell, Norway is a community of Norwegians….

  643. D. Patterson
    Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 11:48 PM | Permalink

    …and you should see the Skew-T from Hell. Doing so could give you a unique point of view when seeing the previous thermo discussions of radiative transfers.

  644. Posted Jan 4, 2008 at 11:55 PM | Permalink

    # 642

    Lucia,

    Do you know what’s pathological science? Perhaps some scientists are sincere but overwhelmed by their beliefs and psicological tendencies. Thus, the results may seem flawed and they are, but let’s say unintentionally. That’s the reason by which some climate scientists (not all) get angry and resource to ad hominem fallacies and hide their codes, and etc. They think they are 100% right, and their pathology impedes them to see towards the nature.

  645. STAFFAN LINDSTROEM
    Posted Jan 5, 2008 at 3:59 AM | Permalink

    #643,644 D Patterson …(Can’t wait until post #666…)
    Have you seen the Wiki english on Hell, Norway and the
    postcard “Hell Gods expedition” that is Hell railway
    station cargo handling…I’ll submit, in Hell Norwegians
    are resposible for comedy…I wonder if there’s a You
    Tube video on that…??
    In some 18 months we’ll know if the ones responsible
    for AGW were right otherwise the present “La Niña”
    has frozen in with Hell and all..?

  646. Andrey Levin
    Posted Jan 5, 2008 at 5:49 AM | Permalink

    Re:618, Craig Loehle:

    Totally agree.

    I would like to add, that under any circumstances mathematical modeling of natural systems could be used to draw qualitative conclusions. Only quantitative estimations; of the processes with already known signature derived from first principles.

    This is apparently not the case with climate science.

  647. Jon
    Posted Jan 5, 2008 at 11:14 AM | Permalink

    627,

    625 Jon
    What in particular do you find surprising?

    The ocean’s emissivity is _very low_ on the order of 1/10 the intensity of the back-scattering of the atmosphere. So if you think of this in terms of the blackbody approximation: The equilibrium temperature of the oceans is much higher than the naive JEG calculation. The properties of water make it behave as though it is well insulated. Ergo, it is suspicious that the ‘zeroth’ model of the GHE can account for the temperature of the oceans even when overestimating the ocean emissivity by 10x.

  648. Tony Edwards
    Posted Jan 5, 2008 at 11:23 AM | Permalink

    To lighten the mood and following on from the above discussion of Hell, this site is worth a quick look. It also says something about problem solving.

    http://www.grumpyoldsod.com/hell.asp

  649. Pat Keating
    Posted Jan 5, 2008 at 12:13 PM | Permalink

    648 Jon
    I’m not sure you can draw an emissivity number from that data.
    I don’t know where that chart came from, so I’m flying blind, here. However, it appears to me to be a scattering measurement, not an emissivity measurement.
    We know that blue sky appears quite a bit brighter to the naked eye than the “wine-dark sea”, so the 1/10 factor seems reasonable to me.

  650. Posted Jan 5, 2008 at 12:27 PM | Permalink

    Re comment 121: Arthur Smith

    Similarly, CO2 is responsible for between 9 and 26% of the basic GHE.

    It is easy to show why a 26% estimate (and any other very high estimates) as the precentage of warming that is attributable to CO2 is simply incorrect. We know that the total warming from greenhouse gases is 33K. If 26% of this was from CO2, then doubling CO2 would raise temperatures by 0.26*33 or 8.6K. Since this 26% estimate comes from a calculation of the total radiation absorbed, and not the amount of warming, we would have to add secondary feedback effects to this figure. This might well double the value, giving us a predicted temperature increase of up to 17° C, for a predicted global average temperature of 32°C (90°F). Even an 8.6K increase is clearly unrealistic, to say the least.

  651. Pat Keating
    Posted Jan 5, 2008 at 12:48 PM | Permalink

    325 Nelson

    Ah, but you are forgetting the aerosols…..

  652. Posted Jan 5, 2008 at 1:03 PM | Permalink

    # 648 and # 650

    Jon and Pat Keating,

    The TNE of H2Ol is 0.95-0.963 W/m^2 at 308.15 K and Pp of 0.035 atm m. The emissivity of H2Ol is:

    e = TNE/sigma (T^4) = 0.95 W/m^2/511 W/m^2 = 0.0018, and

    e = 0.963 W/m^2/511 W/m^2 = 0.0019.

    Then, the emissivity of H2Ol is 0.00185-0.00188.

    The emissivity of the atmospheric carbon dioxide at its current Pp is 0.00092. Oceans almost double the emissivity of carbon dioxide.

    On the other hand, soil (sand) has a TNE of 0.83 to 0.9 W m^-2, which causes an emissivity of 0.0016 to 0.0017.

    Both, oceans and land have emissivities higher than the carbon dioxide. Some people think that if the value of emissivity of carbon dioxide is too low, then it is ideal for storing energy, but it’s a wrong assumption because its absorptivity is also very low and its Cp is also lower than the Cp of H2Ol; thus, carbon dioxide let the energy goes by much faster than H2Ol.

  653. bender
    Posted Jan 5, 2008 at 2:41 PM | Permalink

    #618 Loehle

    when we model natural systems (groundwater, rivers, fisheries, epidemics, endangered species populations, ecosystems) we DO need to worry about the things we don’t know about (that aren’t in our model). It is a common problem. A big problem. In these other cases the modelers acknowledge it. In ecology, a completely “realistic” model is generally viewed as not possible. Model results are viewed as indicative or supportive of some view or as a hypothesis, NOT as definitive.

    This is an insightful comment. Ecology has matured to the point where it has to some degree come to accept its intractability, which has been revealed through its remarkable failures to make accurate predictions. Climate science, in contrast, is still in denial, living under the illusion that it is an experimental physical science. The climatologists have greater “physics envy” than the biologists. One wonders if they will ever get over it.

  654. Posted Jan 5, 2008 at 2:51 PM | Permalink

    # 655

    Bender,

    The climatologists have greater “physics envy” than the biologists.

    Reductionism is a crucial issue in biology. I don’t envy physicists… they have quantum theory.

  655. Phil.
    Posted Jan 5, 2008 at 3:49 PM | Permalink

    Re #641

    #637 PHIL …No in fact two countries in a personal union…
    But go ahead and mix time and events be my guest

    OK I just remember the Norwegians celebrating their independence from Sweden when I was in Bergen a long time ago!
    As Welshman myself I can appreciate the distinction of a union of two countries but people frequently tell me that Wales isn’t a country because it’s part of the UK.

    ….Oh you didn’t even recognise the 2 km of icecover
    you got on your head…?? [sigh again..thanks, Gavin LOL]

    That one I don’t get too subtle for me? By the way you referred to listening to WPRB and hearing about Oscar Peterson’s demise, the WPRB I know is a radio station in Princeton so it’s apparently not that one?

    btw phil you’re not by any chance THE Phil Jones?? (would
    explain the “delete” when clicking on “phil” …Just
    teasing and testing phil I’ve got “Mosher’s disease”

    I’m not any sort of Jones, although I have relatives who are (doesn’t every Welshman).
    The ‘delete’ I assumed to be a MAC issue of some sort and I was unaware of it until someone posted on here accusing me of trying to make Steve McI bad!? As far as I know I’ve deleted it and it no longer does that?

    One of the researchers is a Philip Jones
    professor of architecture in Cardiff, Wales (not
    same country as England, phil…)

    As you’ve probably surmised by now I do know that! Jones being by far the commonest surname in Wales I think you’ll find there’s a lot of Phil Joneses around. UCW Cardiff was actually my second choice for undergraduate school although I ended up going to my first choice.

  656. Arthur Smith
    Posted Jan 5, 2008 at 5:01 PM | Permalink

    Thomas Nelson – #651

    We know that the total warming from greenhouse gases is 33K. If 26% of this was from CO2, then doubling CO2 would raise temperatures by 0.26*33 or 8.6K.

    Well, no it wouldn’t. But it does mess up the argument on your page. Your claim that 8.6K is absurd and therefore 26% has to be wrong is a wonderful case of circular logic!

  657. Erl Happ
    Posted Jan 5, 2008 at 5:08 PM | Permalink

    259 (Pochas)
    Seems to me that the CO2 argument is untenable. It represents a misreading of the physics of the atmosphere. To suggest that a downward component in radiation can cause a rise in the temperature of the medium against the forces of convection in an environment of rapidly diminishing density with altitude one needs to be a ‘believer’ rather than a realist.
    A picture is worth a thousand words so here it is.

    Incidentally, this picture also illustrates the tendency for clouds to form over local convectional centres…..the land. Whatever the source of atmospheric heating whether it is by contact, release of the latent heat of condensation or the acquisition of energy via radiation the result is convection. Convection is the physical transfer of heat. Convection is driven by rapid change in density with elevation. Clouds are radiation shields.

    You can see that the atmosphere is exceedingly thin. Just imagine trying to keep warm at night with a blanket this thin on top of you and a temperature of minus 60°C on the other side of the blanket. Then, consider that the blanket is not wool but air that is subject to convectional movement.
    It is not the atmosphere that keeps us warm but the time it takes water and soil to lose heat against the process of energy renewal every 12 hours or so.

  658. Bob Koss
    Posted Jan 5, 2008 at 6:28 PM | Permalink

    If successive doublings of CO2 result in equal temperature increases of roughly 3C then the effect on temperature is 24C more than it would be if our atmosphere had only 1ppm of CO2. That doesn’t seem realistic to me. Yet that is what the models seem to simulate. At least according to this 2001 IPCC Chart
    The same doubling/quadrupling increases are still evident in AR4 chap.10 supplementary material PDF last page.

  659. Phil.
    Posted Jan 5, 2008 at 6:38 PM | Permalink

    Re #658

    Seems to me that the CO2 argument is untenable. It represents a misreading of the physics of the atmosphere. To suggest that a downward component in radiation can cause a rise in the temperature of the medium against the forces of convection in an environment of rapidly diminishing density with altitude one needs to be a ‘believer’ rather than a realist.
    A picture is worth a thousand words so here it is.

    Talk about misrepresenting the physics!
    Why didn’t you take the picture at the wavelength that’s relevant to the physics, 15 microns for example?

  660. Pat Keating
    Posted Jan 5, 2008 at 7:01 PM | Permalink

    659 Bob Koss

    I ran the GISS Model II with 1ppmv CO2. It eventually blew up, but before that the temperature was settling to about 12C below present-day, and the water-vapor content was down by 60% of present-day levels.

    So you are not too far off.

  661. Phil.
    Posted Jan 5, 2008 at 7:31 PM | Permalink

    Re #661

    Run MODTRAN for 1ppm CO2 with the Standard Atmosphere and you get -10ºC

  662. Pat Keating
    Posted Jan 5, 2008 at 8:10 PM | Permalink

    Yes, but Model II has a lot of other stuff in it, including variable humidity.

  663. Posted Jan 5, 2008 at 8:46 PM | Permalink

    Steve McIntyre, in case you didn’t see or hear about the the following:

    http://www.accuweather.com/global-warming/headline-earth.asp?partner=accuweather&traveler=0&video=20071227102500_earth&category=headline_earth

    Hope the link works.

  664. STAFFAN LINDSTROEM
    Posted Jan 5, 2008 at 9:17 PM | Permalink

    #664 theduke Link works but “oops …” To much traffic??

  665. STAFFAN LINDSTROEM
    Posted Jan 5, 2008 at 9:23 PM | Permalink

    #656 Phil. … Well, the 2 km icecover perhaps wasn’t
    that subtle…
    Why shouldn’t I get the news from WPRB Princeton NJ USA??
    They have streaming in MD (MiniDisc!!) quality 256 kbps…
    But the Bhutto news were a little later…Not from WPRB
    No ordinary news there…

  666. Phil.
    Posted Jan 5, 2008 at 9:33 PM | Permalink

    Re #666

    Why shouldn’t I get the news from WPRB Princeton NJ USA??
    They have streaming in MD (MiniDisc!!) quality 256 kbps…

    No reason, but when I identified WPRB on here in response to someone’s question it was greeted with some scepticism.
    It’s a good station for music matters, I’ve had several of my former students host programs on there.

  667. Larry
    Posted Jan 5, 2008 at 9:36 PM | Permalink

    Fancy meeting Staffan here….

  668. Bob Koss
    Posted Jan 5, 2008 at 10:53 PM | Permalink

    Pat Keating,

    Interesting result. Thanks for doing that.
    Am I correct in assuming your run was equivilent to an instantaneous reduction of CO2 with everything else left the same?

    Stressing the software with legal though unusual values is one way of locating defects. I don’t see why 1ppm would be an illegal value. So if it crashes you have something wrong.

    Maybe I’ll investigate downloading and running that model. Don’t know if my machine is really fast enough tho’.

  669. Ron Cram
    Posted Jan 6, 2008 at 7:06 AM | Permalink

    Steve McI,
    Thank you for your recent request (in several posts) for an engineering quality paper showing how a doubling of CO2 leads to an increase of 2.5C at the surface. The fact such a paper cannot be written shows the level of scientific uncertainty about the issue.

    bender had a comment on one of these threads that got me thinking. He mentioned that an engineering quality paper would allow people to look up any relevant issue and find a definitive discussion with references. My first thought was “Isn’t that what the IPCC is supposed to do?” But you have criticizied the IPCC for ignoring all of your review comments. And Pielke has criticized the IPCC for ignoring scientific papers contrary to the catastropic viewpoint. Any kind of summary paper has to explain why some papers are considered valid and some are not.

    I would like to propose you write a endcap post to each of the papers you have audited. In the post you summarize the strengths and weaknesses of the paper and give it a final grade (either A thru F or pass/fail). You might want to explain which of the conclusions of the paper are valid and which are not.

    Now imagine a series of papers on climate sensitivity were audited here, each of them with this endpcap post. You could then write a summary paper on the topic. It may not be “definitive” in the normal meaning of the word but it would be the first treatment to explain why some papers were considered valid and some were not. At the end of each section, you could list references to all the papers, give their audit score and provide a link to the audit on this website.

    I know what I am suggesting is a huge amount of work and you cannot clone yourself, but perhaps you can enlist other qualified people to help with certain aspects of the work. You have a large following of scientists here and they come from different perspectives. And that is a good thing because it helps keep us everyone honest.

    Think about it and talk it over with other people.

  670. kim
    Posted Jan 6, 2008 at 7:48 AM | Permalink

    As Lady Gray points out on another thread, sooner or later this has to be done right. Too bad the globe has to cool before we are stimulated to do so.
    =============

  671. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Jan 6, 2008 at 8:37 AM | Permalink

    Re671, if the globe cools, Gore et al will take credit for having brought forth AGW awareness and stimulating results, Kyoto will be praised as successful, etc.

    And we’ll always hear about “warming in the pipeline” that just hasn’t shown up yet.

  672. Pat Keating
    Posted Jan 6, 2008 at 8:45 AM | Permalink

    669 Bob Koss

    Your assumption is correct. The temperature and water-vapor drop to Ice-Age levels over about 30 years or so.

    The software runs overnight on a PC. You can dowonload it from http://edgcm.columbia.edu/

  673. Erl Happ
    Posted Jan 6, 2008 at 9:11 AM | Permalink

    660 Phil
    What is the physics as you understand it Phil? Please educate me.

  674. Phil.
    Posted Jan 6, 2008 at 10:54 AM | Permalink

    Re #674

    660 Phil
    What is the physics as you understand it Phil? Please educate me.

    That the IR radiation emitted by the earth is significantly absorbed by radiatively active gases in the atmosphere, some of the incident solar radiation (predominantly visible and near IR) is reflected by the earth. Your picture taken in the visible shows the latter to be true, you say “You can see that the atmosphere is exceedingly thin”, however had you taken the picture at 15 micron wavelength it would show that the atmosphere is actually thick, so yes you’re misrepresenting the physics!

  675. bender
    Posted Jan 6, 2008 at 12:55 PM | Permalink

    #672 MJ

    we’ll always hear about “warming in the pipeline” that just hasn’t shown up yet

    It makes sense to me that there’s “warming in the pipeline” of the deep ocean that has yet to emerge. But prove to me that the sun did not put it there. Surface warming. Downweling. Upwelling. Hurst-like variability that gets mistaken for a trend.

  676. bender
    Posted Jan 6, 2008 at 1:02 PM | Permalink

    M. Simon, one wonders if the mixing behavior of the deep ocean be likened to that of a capacitor.
    [Steve M, feel free to snip if you classify this as "personal pet theory". I'm bascially trolling for relevant literature.]

  677. Ron Cram
    Posted Jan 6, 2008 at 1:38 PM | Permalink

    bender,

    You and I have somewhat different views on this subject. I agree with Schwartz that there is little to no warming in the pipeline because climate sensitivity to rising CO2 is small. However, I can see that heat from the sun is trapped in the oceans and the amount of heat rises and falls by changes in the PDO, ENSO, etc.

    Because the PDO has phases lasting 30 to 40 years, it can look like a trend. In the 20th century, the PDO had two warm phases lasting about 70 years. The 21st century will have two cool phases lasting 65 to 70. By 2100, it could look like we are heading into a new Ice Age.

    If climate sensitivity to rising CO2 was high, you would expect ocean heat content to rise uninterrupted every year. But a recent study of ocean heat indicates no recent warming. Pielke blogs about the study here.

    You did mention you were looking for research papers.

  678. bender
    Posted Jan 6, 2008 at 1:41 PM | Permalink

    #678 RC Yes, any papers you can muster.

  679. Larry
    Posted Jan 6, 2008 at 1:43 PM | Permalink

    Bender, 677, A capacitor would be the “lumped-parameter” idealization of the deep ocean “pipeline”. It’s an oversimplified model that might or might not be good enough.

  680. bender
    Posted Jan 6, 2008 at 1:51 PM | Permalink

    #678 RC

    If climate sensitivity to rising CO2 was high, you would expect ocean heat content to rise uninterrupted every year. But a recent study of ocean heat indicates no recent warming.

    In that graphic, the OHC trend is much stronger than the SST trend from the mid 1980s onward. One wonders why and whether this is consistent with GCM predictions. I would think not. What causes the trend in OHC? Is it internal noise, or an external forcing (which may or may not be accounted for)?

  681. Craig Loehle
    Posted Jan 6, 2008 at 3:05 PM | Permalink

    I have an analogy. Consider a real greenhouse which we wish to model. We can only observe the sunlight intensity over the day and the internal temperature of the greenhouse also over the day. A certain number of the windows are open (convective storms) but we can’t observe how many or how much they are open. A certain number of panes are painted with reflective coating, but we are unsure about how many or how reflective they are (clouds). Any model we create to fit the temperature data will be nonunique and unlikely to work for any change in conditions (the reflective panes get dirty, someone closes the windows when it starts to get cool or opens them when it is too hot). The system of equations is underdetermined.

  682. Larry
    Posted Jan 6, 2008 at 3:22 PM | Permalink

    683, and some of the windows open and close at random intervals.

  683. Ron Cram
    Posted Jan 6, 2008 at 3:28 PM | Permalink

    bender,

    I don’t know. I had focused my attention on the last few years of the graph which fit my understanding. What I see here from mid 1980s on is not consistent with my understanding of how this works. I am going to have to rethink this. Perhaps Roy Spencer’s explanation of how the PDO impacts precipitation processes is the best explanation.

    I think I will go for a jog.

  684. See - owe to Rich
    Posted Jan 6, 2008 at 4:04 PM | Permalink

    #619, 620 solar cycle 24

    I think it is hard to argue against that spot 981 being from the new cycle 24. David Archibald has mentioned that the time from first spot to solar minimum is usually between 12 and 20 months, and more likely to be near the latter in the present case of a long cycle. Thes two bounds would give the length of cycle 23 as between 12.6 and 13.3 years.

    Here are some records for cycle 23 to beat:
    cycle 9 12.5 years ending 1856.0
    cycle 6 12.7 years ending 1823.3
    cycle 4 13.6 years ending 1798.3
    cycle-6 17 years ending 1691 [unlikely to beat this one]

    I think we should pre-audit the algorithms for determining when solar minimum actually is :-)

    Rich.

  685. Yorick
    Posted Jan 6, 2008 at 4:57 PM | Permalink

    Did AccuWeather contace Steve M prior to that hack job they and Hansen did on this blog at that link in 664?

  686. PaddikJ
    Posted Jan 6, 2008 at 8:06 PM | Permalink

    Bender, someone: Could you please post a short explanation of Hurst Variability? (if that is the term) Could not locate a primer; all I could glean from Wiki’s typically turgid entry is that it’s named for a British hydrologist named Hurst, and that clusters happen, which I already knew (sort of; maybe). An example related to present discussion wld be nice.

    Also, I seem to recall reading somewhere that oceans are pretty stratified – not too much mixing of various layers, so the abyssal parts at least wld not have much of a heat sink effect. Doesn’t Dr Curry specialize in this stuff? Maybe she could weigh in.

  687. John Creighton
    Posted Jan 6, 2008 at 8:37 PM | Permalink

    I’m surprised that open temperatures aren’t rising given how cold it is in the lower ocean. Maybe the ocean is in balance though because perhaps cool artic water sinks to low deaths helping to preserve the cool temperatures in the lower ocean depths.

  688. Paul Linsay
    Posted Jan 6, 2008 at 9:30 PM | Permalink

    PaddikJ, #687

    The Hurst exponent measures how correlated a random time series is. Brownian motion has an H of 1/2. Correlated time series have H larger than 1/2 and anti-correlated series have H less than 1/2. There is a discussion in Mandelbrot, “The Fractal Geometry of Nature” where he names the exponent after the engineer Hurst who observed it while trying to estimate the correct reservoir size to accommodate the periodic flooding of the Nile.

  689. Pat Keating
    Posted Jan 6, 2008 at 9:54 PM | Permalink

    682 Craig

    I think that that is a good analogy. However, some of the variability can be reduced, of course, by averaging, over time, and over an ensemble of similar greenhouses (cf. global spatial average).
    But, there’s no question that you will never get rid of all of the fluctuations, especially in the short-term view, or a local view, which I guess is the point you are making.

  690. bender
    Posted Jan 6, 2008 at 10:07 PM | Permalink

    I will not be commenting any further on any topic other than the technical and statistical aspects of tree-ring based proxies. [Lurk=ON]

  691. Erl Happ
    Posted Jan 6, 2008 at 11:56 PM | Permalink

    675 (Phil)
    How thick is it from your point of view Phil?

  692. Posted Jan 7, 2008 at 12:40 AM | Permalink

    PaddikJ: http://www.itia.ntua.gr/e/docinfo/511/

  693. Bob Koss
    Posted Jan 7, 2008 at 5:00 AM | Permalink

    Pat Keating,

    Re: 673

    Thanks for link to the model software. I’ll try it out when I get a chance.

  694. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 7, 2008 at 10:30 AM | Permalink

    anomalies

    Take a look at that, and see some interesting things.
    About 80% (ballpark) of the total anomaly over the period is in the last ~40 years.
    Pre 1975, many years have months with negative anomalies.
    From 1975-1994, only 11 years have months with negative anomalies; it looks like 1976 is the only one with more than 3.
    Since 1995, no years have months with negative anomalies.

    What happened in the mid-70s? What’s happened since 1995? What’s the cause since year X that’s reflected since one of those two periods? ????

    Again, as far as the CO2 thing, reading all the literature estimates it at a 70% chance there’s .9 to 4.5 C for a doubling. My estimate it’s at the bottom of this if not lower, due to the models/guesses/assumptions understating the effects of land-use, and overstating the effects of AGHG.

    As the IPCC sez

    likely to be in the range 2 to 4.5°C with a best estimate of about 3°C, and is very unlikely to be less than 1.5°C. Values substantially higher than 4.5°C cannot be excluded, but agreement of models with observations is not as good for those values.

    Nice way to say “we don’t really know” isn’t it?

    More:
    Frame et al (GRL, $)
    Allen et al

    ——–

    Assume the anomaly reflects something physical happening. In the last 30 years it’s .56C. If we hold everything constant, and say that those 30 years reflect the previous 90 as the lag, and ignore that everything continues happening, CO2 went up about 40 ppmv during those 90. If CO2 is 20% of the observed anomaly, then 40 ppmv = .11 C assuming that overall CO2 has any effect at all upon temperature in a cause/effect relationship in the first place, and that CO2 (and the other AGHG) aren’t drowned out as positive forcings by aresols as negative forcings, or that land-use change isn’t almost all (90%?) of the effect in the first place (putting all AGHG at 10%).

    Since under those assumptions 40 ppmv reflects .11 C, and a rise from 285 to 325, a doubling of 285 would be to 570. That means seven 40s, or another .66 C.

    That would give us .77 C for a doubling from 285.

    As you’ll notice in one of my earlier SWAGs, I gave 5% CO2 as 100 ppmv =.04 and a doubling (Actually I squared it) from 400 to 800 as .16C

    That would give us .64 C for a doubling from 400

    Hey, my ballpark guesses based upon assumptions based upon other people’s literature and the data are just as good as anyone else’s, since nobody can prove I’m not correct. Others do statistics when they’re not statisticians since they’re climate scientists and all; why can’t a computer scientist do climate science just because I’m not programming climate models?

  695. Craig Loehle
    Posted Jan 7, 2008 at 12:30 PM | Permalink

    Heads up: the correction to my E&E article on a 2000 yr reconstruction is coming out in E&E vol 19 no 1 in a couple of weeks or less. Yes, I corrected the mistakes and gaps. Believe it or not.

  696. John Creighton
    Posted Jan 7, 2008 at 12:40 PM | Permalink

    Did I miss something or did someone define a region of the earths atmosphere as the photosphere? Does anyone have a source which defines this definition. From the discussion here it sounds like it is the region of the earths atmosphere which has an optical depth as seen from space as one. With that definition the radius of this sphere would of course depend on the frequency of light which was used to measure the optical depth.

  697. bender
    Posted Jan 7, 2008 at 12:55 PM | Permalink

    #696 Good show, Dr Loehle. Will be watching for the result. (But are they really “corrections”? Or just improvements?)

  698. Peter D. Tillman
    Posted Jan 7, 2008 at 12:57 PM | Permalink

    Re 696, Loehle

    Good news, Craig. Thanks!
    Do you have URL for the corrected paper yet?

    Steve: transfer to Loehle thread.
    Slow server– like typing on a 60’s vintage timeshare!

    Cheers — Pete Tillman

  699. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 7, 2008 at 1:11 PM | Permalink

    I meant multiplied .04 by 4 (and .16 by 4) to get .16 or .64C for a doubling from 400 to 800.
    And that should have been “That would give us .64 C for a doubling from 400 if CO2 is 20% of the .8″

    Craig: A correction? Are you feeling well?

    John C: Here’s a good place to start about the layers of the atmosphere and how they interact.

    Others: this is an interesting explanation of the “heat retaining effect” aka radiation balance matters.

  700. Judith Curry
    Posted Jan 7, 2008 at 6:02 PM | Permalink

    Thermodynamic Feedbacks in the Climate System

    Not sure which thread to post this on, so I’ll put it here. I’ve posted the chapter on Thermodynamic Feedbacks in the Climate System from my text “Thermodynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans” on my website, the links can be found at

    Text: http://curry.eas.gatech.edu/climate/pdf/Ch13_GalleyC.pdf
    Figs: http://curry.eas.gatech.edu/climate/pdf/chapter13_figs.pdf

    For my more recent thoughts on the subject of climate feedbacks, I refer you to my previous post on the spencer thread, post #23

    I will have some time this week (but not alot) to respond to any comments

  701. Larry
    Posted Jan 7, 2008 at 7:09 PM | Permalink

    Judith,

    Feedback is said to exist in a system when a closed sequence of cause-and-effect relations exists between system variables.

    It’s more specific than that. Feedback is when the output influences one of the inputs.

  702. Craig Loehle
    Posted Jan 7, 2008 at 8:04 PM | Permalink

    Sam asks if I am feeling well that I issued a correction. I didn’t feel so well when data errors were pointed out, but I feel much better now. The MWP remains healthy, as does the LIA. I will post a link within 2 weeks.

  703. Mark T
    Posted Jan 7, 2008 at 9:42 PM | Permalink

    Steve: you’ve provided an analogy. The logarithmic relationship is plausible but that it holds for a speaker hardly makes it so for climate. See the new thread on logarithms please.

    This isn’t just an analogy, it is a common physical relationship. We’re talking apples and apples: the impedance of power in both cases. The logarithmic relationship of a speaker to an impedance is precisely becuase there is a limit to the amount of power delivered to the speaker. There is also a limit to the amount of power that can be “absorbed” by CO2 simply because CO2 only absorbs a certain bandwidth of the total solar spectrum. “Wings” or no, there is only a finite amount of power available to be absorbed, and if the feedbacks gains are indeed less than 1, the system is stable and the overall “gain” on that power is finite as well.

    The differences can be manifest in several physical processes, which have analogs in the electrical world, but the general concept is the same. I.e. the general concept will hold for any power transfer, where the details lie, however, is what really needs exposition (i.e. the shape of the log curve).

    Mark

  704. Mark T
    Posted Jan 7, 2008 at 9:47 PM | Permalink

    I think what should also be expanded upon is why does CO2 act as an “impedance” for outgoing power. I understand the concept of LW absorption, but it seems that how well outgoing LW radiation is absorbed, lapse rates, etc., will determine how effective it really is as an impedance, and ultimately, what scaling coefficients need to be used in the general logarithmic formula.

    Mark

    Steve:
    MArk, with respect, I think that it makes more sense to treat the climate arguments as they are presented and then seeing whether there is a structural similarity to the power impedance.

  705. Mark T
    Posted Jan 7, 2008 at 10:10 PM | Permalink

    It is an “impedance of power” simply because that’s exactly what you are talking about. There is some fixed amount of power (reasonably fixed) delivered to the earth by the sun. 1366 W +/- some small amount seems to be the number du jour. Certainly there are other inputs, but the sun is the biggest. CO2 has absorption bands over some percentage of this spectrum, incoming and outgoing. I.e. CO2 absorbs some fraction of the power, which is the precise definition of an impedance. It is not just an analogy, this is exactly what is happening.

    The physical mechanism that causes the power absorption, however, is a little less well defined – which I think is the point that you need defined. This mechanism defines the curve so to speak.

    I’m not trying to be obtuse here, but physical relationships need to be understood for what they are. No matter how hard the scientists try to explain some magical thing going on, in the end, we’re simply talking about absorption of power (which is definitely complicated by feedback mechanisms). In a resistor this is easy since there presumably are no significant feedbacks or other strange physics going on. The relationship is directly calculable through physical properties of the device/material.

    Mark

  706. Phil.
    Posted Jan 7, 2008 at 11:09 PM | Permalink

    Re #692

    675 (Phil)
    How thick is it from your point of view Phil?

    As far as the 15 micron band of CO2 is concerned I recall that it’s optically thick up to ~500mbar.

  707. Mark T
    Posted Jan 7, 2008 at 11:39 PM | Permalink

    Give me a bit and I’ll write it up (I’m still hanging out with my wife)… I haven’t worked it out yet, but I’m pretty certain the relationship is ultiimately a flat line (i.e. asymptotic to a slope of zero, such as y = 5 – 1/x as an example). In other words, the logarithmic function is only an approximation for the current relationship, and over time, it gradually decays to zero (recall that a logarithm has an infinite range, though its slope does approach zero).

    Mark

  708. Raven
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 12:04 AM | Permalink

    I thought this was amusing:

    http://www.comics.com/creators/othercoast/archive/othercoast-20080108.html

  709. Arthur Smith
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 1:49 AM | Permalink

    Mark T (#24) – there is no P_max. There is no “largest such function with a monotonically decreasing slope” (what about log(x)^2, log(x)^3, etc?). And a logarithm is unbounded. Your argument doesn’t make sense from start to finish – and I’m pretty sure it’s not what Steve is looking for anyway!

  710. Mark T
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 1:59 AM | Permalink

    Mark T (#24) – there is no P_max.

    You’re joking, right? So you think there is an infinite amount of power? Sorry man, but that just ain’t right. The upper limit on the TSI is already given at around 1366 W, which is clearly less than infinity, and since we’re only considering a fraction of that power, P_max in my breakdown is clearly less than infinity as well.

    Are you mistaking energy for power? Power is Joules per second. Duh.

    Gimme a break, let’s get back down to reality.

    what about log(x)^2, log(x)^3, etc?

    You mean, more log functions… duh.

    And a logarithm is unbounded.

    No kidding, hence my statement “The problem with the logarithm is that it has infinite range”… you can read, right?

    Your argument doesn’t make sense from start to finish

    Given that you failed to make a single valid point, I can see why you don’t understand it. Nice try.

    and I’m pretty sure it’s not what Steve is looking for anyway!

    I simply proved an upper limit on the type of function, i.e. monotonically decreasing slope, as given by a logarithm, as well as a lower limit. The logarithm function is a basic physical concept when there is a limited power to absorb.

    Mark

  711. Jan Pompe
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 6:16 AM | Permalink

    Larry says:
    January 7th, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    Re:

    Judith,

    Feedback is said to exist in a system when a closed sequence of cause-and-effect relations exists between system variables.

    It’s more specific than that. Feedback is when the output influences one of the inputs.

    I’m curious how would you characterise an adaptive control, that change the control law, that is influenced by the output for example the AGC in a wireless set or more relevant to the thread the change in albedo due to cloud formation or melting ice. It doesn’t really influence the input per se but what the climate system does with it.

  712. Erl Happ
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 8:06 AM | Permalink

    704 Phil
    So, if it’s optically thick up to 500 mb might we expect that the supposed ‘greenhouse effect’ runs to zero at that elevation? If not, where do you estimate that the density of the atmosphere is so thin that it is no longer able to support a ‘greenhouse effect’ in terms of a warming of the layer that is immediately below the excitable molecule?

  713. welikerocks
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 8:11 AM | Permalink

    Hi all, just so you know , I have received my second email reply from the NASA Earth Observatory regarding the links to RC on their Global Warming information pages. What is stunning to me is that :

    1. I think I know as much or maybe a little more about these issues then the manager emailing me seems to imply; perhaps on purpose

    2. They have deducted that I am not a fan of RC (duh) but have yet to explain to me why they are and why they must link to RC as good reading (when I have pointed out some of the pages they refer to are not up to date there) (as in NAS panel findings/Wegmen Report “M&M false claims about the HS) and there should be many other sources then a blog; and their point is that all GW questions were fully answered by their in-house “team” within the website content anyway.(besides the fact Mann and Schmidt are thanked for helping) (can I just say huh?) they see no conflict to NASA policy either

    He has now directed me to a White House page that announces the release of the 2007 IPCC WG1 and quotes:
    “This Summary for Policymakers captures and summarizes the current state of climate science research and will serve as a valuable source of information for policymakers,” said Dr. Sharon Hays, the leader of the U.S. delegation at the meeting and Associate Director/Deputy Director for Science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. “It reflects the sizeable and robust body of knowledge regarding the physical science of climate change, including the finding that the Earth is warming and that human activities have very likely caused most of the warming of the last 50 years.”

    (now they don’t know what I know about all that-and perhaps this is where their hands get tied to?)

    there’s more but I’ll spare you.

    I have forwarded all this to my district rep in Congress who is on the same page as me (us and we perhaps) regarding all the science behind AGW. I thought at first I was way in over my head here; but now I am not so sure about that.

  714. Gunnar
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 8:19 AM | Permalink

    >> Temperature is a variable used to describe an ensemble of molecules and has no useful meaning for a single particle/molecule.

    Your are wrong. Your definition not only contradicts http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temperature, but also contradicts the fact that a single molecule can and does vibrate. This vibration is kinetic energy, which causes radiation. It has a temperature.

    >> The only useful measure for one molecule is its kinetic energy

    Temperature is a measure of molecular kinetic energy.

  715. John Creighton
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 8:34 AM | Permalink

    #64, there is another definition of temperature which is derived based on the second law of thermodynamics (i.e. heat flows form hot to cold). The statistical mechanics definition looks something like:

    T=k*dS/dU

    where S is the average entropy
    U is the internal energy.

    I’m not sure of the exact equation but it is defined so that heat flows from hot to cold which doesn’t seem to happen in non equilibrium states when the temperature is defined by the average kinetic energy of the molecules.

  716. Mark T
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 8:35 AM | Permalink

    of course is isn’t the exact relationship it’s an emperical approximation of the integral of the quantummechanical absorptionfunction.

    Yeah, more than likely it will end up asymptototic simply because there is an upper limit to the amount of power available to CO2. Logarithmic is a good approximation for now as any and it makes sense physically.

    Mark

  717. Larry
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 9:11 AM | Permalink

    706, that’s a good question, but the distinction between real-time inputs and parameters is artificial. In both cases, the output is modifying something that’s used for the calculation. Maybe a better way to describe the process is recursion.

  718. Neal J. King
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 11:23 AM | Permalink

    On temperature: #66, 64, 53, 47, 39

    For a single atom/molecule, if you consider its instantaneous state, it has:
    – momentum
    – kinetic energy
    – a quantum state, which has some value of energy

    A gas of such atoms/molecules has:
    – total momentum: sum of the individual momenta.
    – total energy: sum of all energy over all a/m’s; this is evaluated in the frame in which total momentum is 0.
    – total entropy: ugh, let’s just say it’s a well-defined thermodynamic function, for now.
    – a temperature: the derivative of total energy by entropy, at constant volume.

    So temperature is generally considered to be an issue for considering large numbers of a/m’s. You can consider it for a single a/m if you think about an ensemble of possibilities for that a/m. (concept from statistical mechanics). You might do this if you are considering the kinetic energy of that a/m as changing randomly, through constant interaction with a larger system: It would be expected that its time-averaged translational KE would be (3/2) k*T , where T = absolute temperature and k = Boltzmann’s constant.

    However, a single atom traveling undisturbed in a definite trajectory is not considered statistically, and so its value of translational KE is not considered to define a temperature. If you don’t know anything about its quantum state (and this would include rotational and vibrational state), you could treat the ensemble of its quantum states like a collection of a/m’s, and arrive at a temperature which depends on the averaged population of the quantum states, but not upon the translational KE.

    #57, M. Simon:

    You can have significant occupation of a non-ground-state quantum level without a population inversion. It’s an inversion when there are MORE in a higher-energy state than in a lower-energy state.

    The negative temperature is a different concept: the probability of occupation of a state should normally depend on its energy as exp(-Energy/(k*T)). So if you can manage to force the ensemble into a distribution that is ~ exp(Energy/(k*T_n), you have a negative value of temperature. But as far as I know, it’s a concept of limited applicability: You get it when you consider only a limited aspect of the energy, such as a collection of nuclear spins in a magnetic field; or if you consider only a limited number of modes of a radiation field. It doesn’t apply to systems which have translational kinetic energy.

    An odd aspect of it is that negative values of temperature are actually “hotter” than positive values: energy will tend to go from a negative-temperature system to a positive-temperature system, because doing so will increase the total entropy.

  719. Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 11:28 AM | Permalink

    #64 John Creighton.

    It is exactly that equation when applied to a population above the ground state that gives rise to negative temperature.

    Gunnar,

    You are correct. If you apply the Boltzmann constant to a single particle (or an ensemble with all the particle energies bunched) it will have a temperature. However, the black body radiation laws are not useful in such a situation and have led any number of physicists down the path of confusion and error.

  720. Richard Sharpe
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 12:47 PM | Permalink

    No convincing evidence for decline in tropical forests

    So tell me again when the world is going to end?

  721. Arthur Smith
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 1:17 PM | Permalink

    Mark T – (your #27, responding to my #26)

    (1) TSI averaged over Earth’s surface is 1366 W/m^2 divided by 4 (because Earth’s surface area is 4 pi r^2, while solar radiation comes in a circle of area pi r^2) or 342 W/m^2. 107 of that is reflected, leaving just 235 to be absorbed by the planet. And yet radiation from the surface in the standard Kiehl-Trenberth diagram is much more than that – 390 W/m^2, and another 102 W/m^2 goes up from convection and latent heat transport. Why? How can the power levels be so much higher than what’s coming in? The answer is kind of fundamental to understanding the Greenhouse effect and energy balance on Earth in the first place.

    And the answer also explains why there’s no upper limit on those numbers. It doesn’t saturate. Think of Venus.

    (2) powers of logarithms were the only things I could think of last night (posting when tired) – but obviously there are many other functions that have the same property you describe of a monotonically decreasing slope reaching 0 at infinity – sqrt(x) for instance. Or any power law less than one.

    The reason for the logarithmic behavior is simply that that’s what it looks like when you integrate the numbers, no more no less.

  722. DAV
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 1:17 PM | Permalink

    @2,4,5

    Mark, there are many particular issues in the climate situation that you’re not addressing. “impedance of power” in the climate situation seems like an analogy to me – in any event, while the example may be helpful to you, it’s not helpful to me as I’m more familiar with the climate situation than with the impedance of power situation.

    It may not be familiar but it’s the situation under consideration. The CO2 acts to impede the flow of energy from the Earth into space. Power (measured in watts) is equal to V^2/R (or V^2/Z if you insist). Voltage is (or at least proportional to) potential energy (really, it is — this is not an analogy). That means that the energy transfer per unit time (=power) is a logarithmic relationship. Doubling the R (or Z) results in double the output power reduction. The energy retained by the Earth is (Psun-Pspace)*time. You use this retained energy to compute the resultant temperature.

    The energy loss to space obviously isn’t infinite so there must be a base thermal resistance (no CO2). That in turn means that the equation should be Pspace=V^2/(Rbase+Rco2). Note that that means that the impact of Rco2 is proportional — the equation doesn’t become V^2/Rbase-V^2/Rco2.

  723. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 1:21 PM | Permalink

    Craig, that was a bad joke. (Someone involved in climate issuing a correction must be delirious…) Although I’m glad you’re feeling better! And nice job; refreshing.

    welikerocks; I find that interesting (from a political/policy standpoint) “…finding that the Earth is warming and that human activities have very likely caused most of the warming of the last 50 years.” I would put it more accurately as

    …finding that the global mean temperature anomaly for land and sea is up about .6 degree centigrade over the last 30-40 years, with the human influences of fossil fuel burning and land-use changes, and their side effects, currently believed to have caused most of that increase. However, it is possible that the rise in the trend is due to other factors; such as a by-product of the way we measure and compute the anomaly. Much about the climate system is unknown, but efforts continue to better understand the complex and varied factors involved with climate.

    Feedback:

    Feedback is a mechanism, process and signal that is looped back to control a system within itself. This loop is called the feedback loop. A control system usually has input and output to the system; when the output of the system is fed back into the system as part of its input, it is called the “feedback.”

    Types of feedback are:
    -negative feedback: which tends to reduce output (but in amplifiers, stabilizes and linearizes operation),
    -positive feedback: which tends to increase output, or
    -bipolar feedback: which can either increase or decrease output.

    Systems which include feedback are prone to hunting, which is oscillation of output resulting from improperly tuned inputs of first positive then negative feedback. Audio feedback typifies this form of oscillation.

    Bipolar feedback is present in many natural and human systems. Feedback is usually bipolar—that is, positive and negative—in natural environments, which, in their diversity, furnish synergic and antagonistic responses to the output of any system.

  724. Andrew
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 1:29 PM | Permalink

    Arthur Smith, I don’t understand the statement that there isn’t an upper limit. Clearly Venus is very hot, but it is not infinitely hot. Do you really mean that any effective upper limit is very high, and never realistically reached? It seems to me that if you put in a finite amount of energy, that is the most that can actually hold. Some of it is lost, and presumably less and less with higher concentrations. Indeed, I would imagine that heat is always lost, no matter how high the concentration is. But clearly you can’t mean that more energy is in the system than is put in, right?

  725. Mark T.
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 1:38 PM | Permalink

    Nonsense, Arthur. There is a reason it is referred to as total solar irradiance. Regardless of what the actual amount is, it is finite, which puts an upper limit on it. You can’t create energy, and since power is energy per unit time, you likewise cannot create power. The behavior of Venus is immaterial, you simply have more trapped power. There is a limit to the amount of power going in, which puts a limit on the amount of power “trapped.” Pretty fundamental.

    Why? How can the power levels be so much higher than what’s coming in?

    Um, because your notion of dividing by 4 is nonsensical, too. The TSI is measured per unit area (m^2 in fact), and already accounts for the area of the spherical surface.

    Not surprisingly, btw, the Nth root of a variable can be expressed as 10^(log10(x)/N)… yet another logarithmic function.

    Mark

  726. Michael Smith
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 1:41 PM | Permalink

    I humbly submit two questions to the excellent statisticians and scientists that post here.

    1) In chapter 2 of the WG1 section of the 4thAR, section 2.4.5 discusses aerosol cloud albedo effect. Figure 2-14 shows graphically the cloud albedo forcing results of 28 GCM runs. See here: http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter2.pdf (page 177)

    After a lengthy discussion of the various issues involved in estimating this particular forcing, the authors summarize on page 180 as follows:

    Based on the results from all the modeling studies shown in Figure 2.14, compared to the TAR it is now possible to present a best estimate for the cloud albedo RF of –0.7 W m–2 as the median, with a 5 to 95% range of –0.3 to –1.8 W m–2.

    However, according to my Excel spreadsheet, the median of the data shown in figure 2-14 is not -.7 — the median is actually -.99. (The values that were graphed in Figure 2-14 are shown in Table 2.7, pages 174 – 176. I used the values from that table. Note that only the values shown in bold were included in Figure 2.14, so those were the ones I used.)

    Does anyone know how they came up with a median of -.7 instead of -.99? Or have I made some error here?(Most likely explanation!)

    I also don’t see how they came up with that confidence interval. According to my Excel spreadsheet, +/- 2 sigma on the data in the table is -.12 to -1.87.

    2) My second question involves the statistical methodology employed in section 2.9.2 of the same chapter. In this section, they create probability distributions using the uncertainty intervals for the various forcings. (See pages 200 – 203 at the same link above.) As best I can tell, some of those uncertainty intervals are based on calculations of standard deviations while others are a researcher’s “best estimate”.

    For instance, according to page 140, the uncertainty interval for CO2 forcing is based on “(the) +/-10% uncertainty estimate for the LLGHG RFs adopted in Ramaswamy et al. (2001) and a similar ±10% for the 90% confidence interval is adopted here”.

    I have absolutely no problem with these very smart, highly educated and highly knowledgeable individuals stating that they are 90% confident the true mean lies within +/- 10% of their estimate. However, is it an accepted statistical methodology to then treat this estimate like a statistically-calculated confidence interval and build a probability distribution around it?

  727. Gunnar
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 2:18 PM | Permalink

    >> Um, because your notion of dividing by 4 is nonsensical, too. The TSI is measured per unit area (m^2 in fact)

    Mark, the division by 4 is incorrect, but not for the reason you say. It’s 1366 as measured from space. The division by 4 only comes in when trying to do a energy balance using averaged values for inputs and outputs. In that tortured analysis, the divide by 4 comes in because the sun is only shining on one side of the earth, while the earth is radiating from all sides.

    The reason why it’s incorrect is that it’s wrong to average inputs. Someone here put it elegantly (maybe you) when they said something like “the average output of a system is not equal to the output of the system with average inputs”.

    Or put more plainly, no one should use sunscreen, since when the sun shine is averaged between night and day, the level is strong enough.

    That’s how silly the averaged radiative balance calculations are. The average temp is determined from the high and low. The high and low are determined from alternating direct exposure to the sun and space. The average temperature doesn’t drive anything in reality. I now realize that this is probably what Tom Vonk is talking about. If so, then I would agree and clarify my position to be that average temperature has meaning from an information point of view, but not as a physical attribute of reality that drives physical processes.

  728. Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 2:24 PM | Permalink

    To any an all:
    I’m tryng to teach myself more statitics, but one thing I know for sure. A person needs to use the correct data. So…
    I got some Hadley and GISS data that I think is “like compared to like.”

    If they are, both the blue and red should be trendless with time.

    Could any of you tell me what I’m misunderstanding. It’s probably obvious, but I’m clearly clueless. If you need details, read GISS compared to Hadley.

  729. Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 3:45 PM | Permalink

    Neal,

    Yes to the negative temperature being not very useful. I just thought it was interesting. In the same category as the “temperature” of a single particle. You are also correct that the particles above the ground state have to predominate. I was a little too loose with my language.

    Thanks for your stricter wording.

  730. austin
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 4:00 PM | Permalink

    GFS models are showing a very strong McFarland Signature for next weekend beginning the 19th of January. Very strong McFarland events in 1983 and 1989 broke all-time records across much of the Southwest and Eastern USA for cold and destroyed most of the citrus crop.

    Looking at severe freeze summary records for Texas it appears that McFarland events were relatively common in the 1800s, but stopped for most of the 20th Century, only to startup again in the late 20th Century.

    Southern Native vegetation is greatly susceptible to these freezes and suffers great dieoffs due to it.

    Could some parts of the pollen record in South Texas and the South be a proxy for McFarland events? Are McFarland events more closely associated with colder climates?

    Another thing that is interesting about McFarland events are that Alaska is usually way above normal in temperature during McFarland events – sometimes into the 40s. Here is a discussion by an Alaskan physics professor. These are thaw events for the Alaskan interior.

    During the ice age, large parts of Alaska were ice-free. The Granite Tors near Fairbanks are geologic evidence of this.

    Given the thaw that severe McFarland events cause, would a month-long regularly occurring McFarland event in winter be the mechanism whereby Alaska was kept ice-free during colder climates?

  731. Arthur Smith
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 4:09 PM | Permalink

    Now that we’re on “unthreaded” people feel free to make even wilder claims?

    The reason there is no limit P_max to forcing power density is simple: the radiative power transfer between atmosphere and ground increases as ground and atmosphere temperature increase, independent of what’s coming in from space. The difference between what’s coming in from space and what’s going out (radiative imbalance) can lead to as much heating as you care for until balance is restored.

    Of course there is a limit (here or on Venus) – but it’s determined by the quantity of greenhouse gases you happen to have available to keep trapping heat, and can be far far larger than the incoming solar irradiance.

    And despite Gunnar’s claims, the fact is, total power sent between Earth’s surface and the atmosphere integrated over the surface – no need to discuss meaningless “means”) is more than twice the incoming SW radiation that reaches the surface.

  732. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 4:15 PM | Permalink

    as always, I encourage people not to present their own novel theories here. The level of discussion is higher if you focus on discussion of third-party texts.

  733. Mark T.
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 4:19 PM | Permalink

    My discussion had nothing to do with heating as you suggest, Arthur, and none of my claims specifically addressed heating, only POWER. There is a finite, i.e. limited, amount of power that can be trapped. Mostly incoming radiation, some from internal work, and some from internal heat generated by the earth’s core. You can’t create energy, nor can you create power (and if you think you can, why not call the USPTO with your suggestion and when they stop laughing perhaps you’ll come to your senses). And yes, the total solar irradiance is spread over the whole surface and then divided by the total surface area to get the “mean” value of 1366 W/m^2, which necessarily requires that the factor of 4 be included. The specific heating that will occur as a result of all these factors will include feedbacks, which act as storage (hence the term “infinite impulse response”), but I also pointed out that we have a seemingly stable system, which indicates feedback gains of less than 1.

    Mark

  734. welikerocks
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 4:37 PM | Permalink

    #720 Hi Sam, yes a balanced view would be nice. Gee refreshing even. And that’s how I would put it if I could write or form a thought in any good shape or form. I may quote you ! ( yet again!) ;) All mr. welikerocks said was : bah low neeee! when he read the reply I got. And it pretty much is. And SteveM’s new topics are perfect too.

    You know that press release says this too : the President has devoted nearly $29 billion to climate-related science, technology, international assistance, and incentive programs. Since 2002, the President has spent nearly $9 billion on climate science research -leading the world with unparalleled financial commitment.

    that’s a heck of a lot of money for a “science that’s settled” I may point that out.
    here’s the link to it :
    here

  735. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 5:55 PM | Permalink

    Thanks, welikerocks. It’s interesting seeing presuppositions being put forth as facts, I suppose. I suppose we shouldn’t expect any difference. Warming! CO2! People!

    What’s also interesting is the notion that various agencies like the USDA, EPA, NASA et al, etc had their funds cut to zero (from the tons of money they got from the last administration during their glory days of course), or that anyone much in US govt was interested in things like Kyoto in the past.

    Ah, well.

    But of course you know we can’t trust the environment hating folks up there now in the Executive branch. Oh, I forgot, Congress passes the bills and provides the funding and oversight. Nevermind.

  736. Jonathan Schafer
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 5:56 PM | Permalink

    Steve Sadlov,

    I know you like to follow weather patterns, so I thought this might be of interest to you.

    Discussion…
    several more upper disturbances will move across the area over the
    next seven days…but none have any great Promise of significant
    rainfall. Thursdays system will bring another cold front through
    North Texas…and saturdays may produce some light rain as an
    invert trough moves south of the County Warning Area. The upper 500mb trough will
    amplify this weekend over the the eastern two-thirds of the
    County. There are hints in the GFS & GFS ensembles of a McFarland
    pattern
    setup first of next week. However…the this mornings European model (ecmwf)
    delays this event until after middle month.

    Now, I’ve heard of Omega blocks, Rex blocks, and other things, but never a McFarland pattern.

    I found this on the subject…McFarland pattern

    If it’s this cold this far south, I can’t imagine what it would be more to the North. Do you have any other resources I can look at on this?

  737. Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 7:51 PM | Permalink

    bender, here’s history and a prediction: chomp, roar, arf

  738. Ian McLeod
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 9:17 PM | Permalink

    John Creighton #65 & Gunnar #64

    I remember your equation a little differently. I remember it as the definition of entropy dS=dQrev/T, or rearrange for T, then we have T=dQrev/dS, where the subscript “rev” indicates that the equation is valid only for reversible cycles. By this definition of temperature, there is no physical meaning of a temperature for a single molecule. The kinetic energy of molecules is associated with the property we call temperature but that is as far as it goes. Temperature is a measure of molecular collisions due to a motion gradient at the molecular level. Where is the gradient with one molecule? Anyway, that is my two cents. It could be our equations are equivalent in some way, but I’m not seeing it.

  739. John Creighton
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 9:23 PM | Permalink

    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/thermo/temper2.html

  740. Ian McLeod
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 9:42 PM | Permalink

    Of course, thanks John.

  741. Mark T
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 9:47 PM | Permalink

    Well I’ll be damned, they really do measure it that way, and they really do set the budget that way, right or wrong… I stand corrected.

    Note carefully, Arthur, there’s no extra magical power being generated, it is simply stored heat (or internal work plus Earth’s core heat plus stored heat) being radiated back to space, and it is finite as indicated by K-T, which was my point all along. The question regarding heating, however, is as I noted, tied to the feedback question that everyone is attempting to solve…

    Mark

  742. bender
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 10:32 PM | Permalink

    #733 DS
    Very impressive. A most enjoyable performance. S-E-C. S-E-C.
    You could be right on the ‘arf’. We’ll do our best to stop that if you will. Maybe Dr Yellowjacket can help.
    Only good dawg’s a dead dawg.

  743. Mark T
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 10:37 PM | Permalink

    Ahem, Big-12. 4th ain’t too bad for a team that didn’t make the BCS bowls. ;)

    Mark

  744. Arthur Smith
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 10:52 PM | Permalink

    Mark T – #734 – thanks for acknowledging a correction on the factor of 4 (I assume that’s the issue you were referring to). I’m not sure where you got the idea I was talking about “extra magical power” – energy is conserved. But the way the greenhouse effect works is that, in effect, the incoming power bounces around a few times before being radiated away. To the extent that, for Earth, the power density between surface and atmosphere is more than double the incoming density.

    Think of a microwave oven (or any resonant cavity) – input power is about 1 kW, but the instantaneous power in the electromagnetic field easily gets to 100 times as high as it bounces around before being absorbed or leaking out. In that case the power limit is governed by a resonant Q factor.

    In the greenhouse case adding more GHG’s has the effect of increasing Q. The forcing from a GHG increment is indeed an increment to the total power level, it is not in some way pulled out of a portion of the input power.

  745. Mark T
    Posted Jan 8, 2008 at 11:13 PM | Permalink

    I fully understand the feedback concept since that really is what I do (though “bouncing around” a few times could also be indicative of a FIR relationship).

    None of this has anything to do with the argument that I was originally making, which was purely constrained to power (and why I took such an exception to your comments). I was actually attemmpting to stay on topic of the logarithmic concept, but I did not want to bark down temperature lane (the power analysis is simply easier). I should note, btw, that K-T mentions the logarithmic response for temperature… ;)

    Mark

  746. D. Patterson
    Posted Jan 9, 2008 at 1:18 AM | Permalink

    724 Gunnar says:

    January 8th, 2008 at 2:18 pm
    [...]
    That’s how silly the averaged radiative balance calculations are. The average temp is determined from the high and low. The high and low are determined from alternating direct exposure to the sun and space.

    Actually, the high and low are frequently not ” determined from alternating direct exposure to the sun and space” as you would expect with overnight lows. Quite commonly a frontal passage results in the advection of cold air from high altitudes to the surface observation station, depressing the temperature to a daily low during the daytime. This results in the coldest temperature of the 24 hour period, but is not physically representative of the true average temperature for a 24 hour period when hourly and special intra-hourly observations are averaged. Also, it is quite common for a frontal passage to bring a cold air mass to the observation station during daylight hours, an overcast to bring lower temperatures during the daylight hours, and/or nighttime clouds holding heat dissipating in the morning to clear skies with consequent colder temperatures during the daylight hours.

    The average temperature doesn’t drive anything in reality. I now realize that this is probably what Tom Vonk is talking about. If so, then I would agree and clarify my position to be that average temperature has meaning from an information point of view, but not as a physical attribute of reality that drives physical processes.

    Yes, an average temperature value derived from the average of the highest and lowest temperatures for a 24 hour period do not physically represent the actual thermal energy of the air mass located at the observation station.

  747. Posted Jan 9, 2008 at 2:16 AM | Permalink

    Michael,

    I’ve never understood IPCC (or Mannian) statistics (bad student), but note that the confidence level seems to be 0.9 instead of 0.95. Hegerl et al 2006 use 0.8, so careful when interpreting these.

    Anyway, the meaning of this 5% to 95 % range is unclear to me, so I can’t verify those values. Your median value seems to be correct.

    Bold values:

    -0.4500
    -1.3400
    -1.4300
    -1.3900
    -1.1200
    -0.8500
    -1.8500
    -1.5500
    -1.3500
    -0.5400
    -1.3000
    -0.7700
    -0.9000
    -0.5000
    -0.3000
    -0.2200
    -0.5200
    -1.3000
    -0.7500
    -0.8600
    -1.0700
    -1.1000
    -1.2900
    -1.7900
    -1.4000
    -0.6500
    -0.6800
    -0.7400

  748. Filippo Turturici
    Posted Jan 9, 2008 at 2:39 AM | Permalink

    Winter is hitting badly Middle East.
    21 to 28 people died in Iran due to frost and snow (going from frostbite to car crash), in the worst cold spell since decades, with snow reported in areas where it was not remember by living people: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7178192.stm
    Here some temperature of yesterday Tuesday the 8th:
    – Iran: Tabriz -16.5°C, Sarab -26.2°C, Ardebil and Zanjan -25.2°C, Ahar -23.0°C, Anzali (on the Caspian Sea, with 70cm of snow on the ground) -5.4°C, Teheran -10.0°C, Hemadan -26.3°C, Shahre Kord -28.4°C, Mashhad -21.0°C, Esfahan -10.4°C.
    – Iraq: Baghdad -1/+10°C, Mosul -6/+7°C, Kirkuk -2/+7°C;
    – East Turkey: Erzurum -27.5°C (about 14°C below average), Kars -22.4°C, Dyiarbakir -7.3°C;
    – Saudi Arabia: Hail -4.0°C, Arar -3.6°C, Rafha -3.0°C, Turaif -3.0°C, Gassim -2.0°C, Riyadh +2.5°C.

    Meanwhile, 8 Siberian stations were below -50°C yesterday.

    From raw NOAA data, we have that the last days of December 2007 had about 0.0°C anomaly globally, with Austral Emisphere having been below historical average (about in the range -0.4/-0.2°C) for the entire month.
    From first to last days of 2007, we then saw about 1°C of “global cooling”, and even an entire emisphere going for weeks at negative temperature anomaly.

  749. Filippo Turturici
    Posted Jan 9, 2008 at 3:07 AM | Permalink

    Global temperatures on 5th January 2008, NOAA data:

    Ice and snow cover global anomaly, first positive anomaly since 2003:

    Antarctic sea ice current extent and anomaly:

    Arctic sea ice current extent and anomaly:

  750. Michael Smith
    Posted Jan 9, 2008 at 5:32 AM | Permalink

    UC, thanks for looking at the numbers.

    I’m going to ask RealClimate if they can explain how IPCC arrived at the -.7 value.

  751. Posted Jan 9, 2008 at 6:27 AM | Permalink

    Michael,

    good idea. I have some thoughts how those limits are obtained, but I’ll skip the guesswork and let the RC pros answer.

  752. Michael Smith
    Posted Jan 9, 2008 at 7:11 AM | Permalink

    UC,

    I submitted the question to the top thread at RealClimate. That makes it an off-topic question, but I couldn’t find a more relevant thread. If I receive an answer, I’ll post it here.

  753. BarryW
    Posted Jan 9, 2008 at 9:23 AM | Permalink

    Re #750

    Quick question. Are the anomaly numbers from a mean of all dates (e.g., Jan 7th 2008 against the mean of all days from 1979 to 2000) or are they specific for each date (e.g., Jan 7th 2008 against the mean of all Jan 7ths from 1979 to 2000)?

  754. JamesG
    Posted Jan 9, 2008 at 9:30 AM | Permalink

    It’s a shame, Steve, that you’re not going back to the “where’s Waldo” analyses, now that NASA have shown us he’s clearly in Russia and Alaska. It seems most scientists feel free now to acknowledge the modeling uncertainties and skeptics now accept that the GISS US48 plot is roughly ok but we’re still not sure about the world surface temperature plot. Unfortunately nobody else is likely to be able to investigate – of course maybe it’s impossible. After the Bali farce, it seems reality is beginning to sink in and the debate seems to be moving away from draconian cuts to more sensible, win-win adaptation and alternative energy policies, so maybe our original concerns about misdirected resources and handicapped economies are at last fading away.

  755. M. Jeff
    Posted Jan 9, 2008 at 9:45 AM | Permalink

    re: #623, Severian, January 4th, 2008 at 1:53 pm, who says

    Since unthreaded has seen some recent discussions on such things as science and ethics of scientists, I thought that this article might be of interest:

    http://news.nationaljournal.com/articles/databomb/index.htm

    Today the WSJ discusses the issue and states

    Skeptics at the time (including us) pointed to the Lancet study’s manifold methodological flaws.

    Skeptics are not always wrong.

  756. austin
    Posted Jan 9, 2008 at 10:53 AM | Permalink

    Meanwhile, 8 Siberian stations were below -50°C yesterday.

    From raw NOAA data, we have that the last days of December 2007 had about 0.0°C anomaly globally, with Austral Emisphere having been below historical average (about in the range -0.4/-0.2°C) for the entire month.
    From first to last days of 2007, we then saw about 1°C of “global cooling”, and even an entire emisphere going for weeks at negative temperature anomaly.

    McFarland events are able to tap the cold air all the way into Siberia.

    The GFS today has a very well defined and strong McFarland Signature on it. At 300mb is a strong negative PNA and strong upper low near Hudson Bay. At the surface up through 700MB, there is an active corridor for cold air transport with strong surface winds from the central US all the way back into Siberia. The last panel hints at -40 C air heading into the Northern US.

    Meanwhile, interior Alaska has surface temps in the +4-6 C range with strong surface winds transporting air from the sub-tropical pacific.

  757. Posted Jan 9, 2008 at 10:53 AM | Permalink

    Michael,

    You got the answer. RC is not always a bad place ;) So, there is a mistake in median computation, and that 5-95 % range of –0.3 to –1.8 is by no means confidence interval nor tolerance interval, it’s just 2nd range of the sample.

  758. Anna Lang
    Posted Jan 9, 2008 at 12:01 PM | Permalink

    Public Invited to Provide Comments

    January 2, 2008

    The U. S. Climate Change Science Program is requesting public comments on its revised research plan. Comments received by February 26, 2008, will be considered during the preparation of the final revised research plan and the forthcoming scientific assessment. Links to the announcement and summary are

    http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2008/20080102_researchplan.html

    http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/stratplan2008/summary/default.htm

  759. Gunnar
    Posted Jan 9, 2008 at 1:29 PM | Permalink

    The global spatial temp average dropped to 0.11 for december 2007.

    http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/uahncdc.lt

  760. RomanM
    Posted Jan 9, 2008 at 2:04 PM | Permalink

    #727 Michael Smith, #748 UC.

    I like a mystery so I took a look at the original data to see if I could add to the discussion. There are some differences that I found from what UC wrote. I counted 29 bolded values, not 28. There seems to be a value of -1.37 missing from UC’s list. As well, the value .54 is listed as positive not negative. Whether this is a typo in the report, I can’t say.

    However, I can get a value of -.7 for the “median” as follows:

    Take the minimum (-1.85) and the maximum (.54) and calculate the “median” as the average of these two values rounded to one decimal place (-.655 rounded to -.7). Of course, I don’t do climate science so I might be tempted to call this the mid-range, not the “median”.

    The other numbers are a bit harder to reproduce. I calculated the 5th %-ile for the 29 values using a program called Minitab and got -1.82 (which rounds to -1.8). However, when I did the same for the 95th %-ile, the result was .16 which rounds to .2, not very close to -.3 (which seems to be the 3rd largest value). There are several ways in which people define a given percentile for a small data set so it still might be possible to duplicate their results. But that is for another day…

  761. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 9, 2008 at 2:09 PM | Permalink

    It appears tropospheric sat temps fell .5C during 2007 and ended in negative territory.

  762. Michael Smith
    Posted Jan 9, 2008 at 2:16 PM | Permalink

    UC,
    Yes, I got an answer. The median is apparently in error. The question now is whether this also means their “Total anthropogenic radiative forcing” is in error.
    The error in the median may be irrelevant because – I’ve just realized — apparently neither it nor that stated confidence interval are used to create the distributions that are eventually combined to get “Total anthropogenic radiative forcing”.

    The following is from the caption to Figure 2.20 on page 203 of chapter 2, WG1 (page 203 here: http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter2.pdf):

    For all of the contributing forcing agents, the uncertainty is assumed to be represented by a normal distribution (and 90% confidence intervals) with the following exceptions: contrails, for which a lognormal distribution is assumed to account for the fact that the uncertainty is quoted as a factor of three; and tropospheric ozone, the direct aerosol RF (sulphate, fossil fuel organic and black carbon, biomass burning aerosols) and the cloud albedo RF, for which discrete values based on Figure 2.9, Table 2.6 and Table 2.7 are randomly sampled. Additional normal distributions are included in the direct aerosol effect for nitrate and mineral dust, as these are not explicitly accounted for in Table 2.6. (emphasis added).

    So according to this, the “Total aerosol radiative forcing” probability distribution (shown by the dashed blue line in Panel B of Figure 2.20) was formed by randomly sampling the discrete values on Tables 2.6 and Table 2.7. The “aerosol direct effect” data on Table 2.6, when adjusted to include certain aerosols not listed on that table, has a mean value, according to the text, of -.5. The “cloud albedeo effect” data on Table 2.7 has a mean of -1.00. Does the distribution shown by that blue dashed line on Panel B look to you like it was formed by combining two distributions with averages of -5. and -1.00?

    It appears to me that if they used Table 2.7 as described, they must have excluded some of its larger values, thus getting a lower mean. Or perhaps I’m missing something here.

  763. Michael Smith
    Posted Jan 9, 2008 at 2:33 PM | Permalink

    RomanM:

    The text says that the median of -.7 was based on the results from the 28 model runs shown in Figure 2.14. That’s why I limited my calculations to those 28 values. The Williams et al. (2001) study listed on Table 2.7 reported two values, -1.37 and -1.43. The -1.43 value was not included in Figure 2.14 (no explanation why, that I could see), so I excluded it as well.

    The .54 value shown on Table 2.7 I believe is a typo. It is shown as -.54 in Figure 2.14 and the text says that all model runs generated negative values, so I think we can assume it is really a negative.

  764. jae
    Posted Jan 9, 2008 at 3:33 PM | Permalink

    Some very counterintuitive (to me, at least) data are presented in this Idso review. e.g., woody plants grow much better when light is diffuse due to clouds or aerosols (natural or anthroprogenic).

  765. Matthew Drabik
    Posted Jan 9, 2008 at 7:27 PM | Permalink

    Eric McFarland,

    You seem to state that Mann’s basic conclusion is that “we are in a period of unprecedented warming”.

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2578#comment-193504

    Just to be clear, this conclusion does not speak to:
    1. What the cause of the warming is, or
    2. Whether this warming is harmful

    I believe the strongest available case for “unprecedented warming” was given in the IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers (page 5):

    “The updated 100-year linear trend (1906 to 2005) of 0.74°C [0.56°C to 0.92°C] is therefore larger than the corresponding trend for 1901 to 2000 given in the TAR of 0.6°C [0.4°C to 0.8°C].”

    http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Report/AR4WG1_Print_SPM.pdf

    Is this the statement you want refuted, that 0.8C warming over one hundred years is unprecedented in the physical history of the Earth?

    *Cross-posted from Role of the IPCC, please respond here

  766. Posted Jan 9, 2008 at 11:45 PM | Permalink

    RomanM,

    Take the minimum (-1.85) and the maximum (.54) and calculate the “median” as the average of these two values rounded to one decimal place (-.655 rounded to -.7). Of course, I don’t do climate science so I might be tempted to call this the mid-range, not the “median”.

    As we are talking about IPCC math, this is very possible explanation. Two mistakes, wrong sign for one value + not knowing the difference between median and mid-range. As Michael said, that value is -0.54 in the Figure 2.14. But did they fix that before computing that ‘second range’ (-0.3 .. -1.8 ) ?

  767. Posted Jan 10, 2008 at 2:22 AM | Permalink

    In Role of the IPCC thread RichardT wrote

    Mann and others attempted to make hemispheric reconstructions, not regional ones. The success or failure of their efforts cannot be judged against regional or local climatic anomalies.

    C’mon Richard, read the paper and stop writing non-sense. Here’s the MBH99 reconstruction (*) for all 1082 grid-points:

    (image URL: http://signals.auditblogs.com/files/2008/01/all_grids.png )

    The final reconstruction is made from this by taking cos-lat weighted average of (all, NH, sparse) grid-points.

    (*) my emulation, 1400-1500, 1650 step problems are noted in many threads here

  768. Filippo Turturici
    Posted Jan 10, 2008 at 2:41 AM | Permalink

    Re #754: frankly, I do not know – but NOAA has single days data, so they could make the average of all 5th January days – being NOAA, I expect these data to be from 1880-2007 and not 1979-2000 ;-)

    Re #757: you got for reason on strong PNA, but today Siberian cold is not due to any subtropical wave on Alaska but on a strong anticyclone on West Russia, which is blocking Atlantic mild winds and making large parts of Asia cooling (in the last weeks unusual cold events even in North India, and harsh conditions to Korea and Japan) – actually, today there is no warm wave on Alaska, with today temperatures (06UTC) ranging from -2°C to -28°C on the south coast to -13/-24°C in the interior, it is not very cold I know but neither so mild: as emispheric GFS show, maybe an Aleutinic forcing will put warm air up to the Arctic Sea in the next weeks (causing maybe a strong cold wave on Europe etc.) but now Pacific anticyclone is not norther than California, and 850hPa temperatures over Alaska range from -10°C to -25°C inside an Arctic low pressure which is interesting the country. Or maybe I misunderstood your words.

    News from Middle East: In East Turkey, Erzurum -30°C and Diyarbarkir -11°C; Teheran -10/-2°C; Kirkuk and Mosul could see snow between today and tomorrow.

  769. richardT
    Posted Jan 10, 2008 at 4:58 AM | Permalink

    #768
    Key word “attempted”.
    A hemispheric reconstruction cannot be evaluated against regional or local anomalies. That surely is incontestable.
    But the local components to MBH99 could be evaluated in this way, and were your emulation to resemble the archetype, they could be found wanting.

  770. MarkW
    Posted Jan 10, 2008 at 6:19 AM | Permalink

    Not all conflicts of interest are financial.
    Some are personal.
    Some are idelogical.
    I’m sure there are others.

  771. MarkW
    Posted Jan 10, 2008 at 6:30 AM | Permalink

    One of the first things that will happen when we start limiting CO2 output, will be a switch from coal to oil and gas. To the best of my knowledge, the big oil companies have very little invested in coal.
    People are also talking about sequestering CO2 in old wells. Who owns these wells?

    Not all economic interests are as straight forward as some wish to believe.

  772. MarkW
    Posted Jan 10, 2008 at 11:43 AM | Permalink

    John Lang: #262:

    If the current CO2 doubling has a sensitivity of 1.0C, then the next doubling will have a sensitivity of 0.5C, not 1.0C. (Assuming the various feedbacks remain linear.)

  773. MarkW
    Posted Jan 10, 2008 at 11:55 AM | Permalink

    How much of the record lows for Lake Michigan are caused by increased irrigation (thanks to increased demand for corn to make alcohol.) decreasing the flow of various rivers flowing into the lake?

  774. beng
    Posted Jan 10, 2008 at 11:57 AM | Permalink

    RE 765:

    jae, that’s interesting. My guess is that leaf green surfaces reach full capacity at somewhat lower than 100% direct-sun level, and also alot of the plants’ green surfaces are in shade (but not receiving enough light to reach the above full capacity). When there’s more diffuse light (part-cloudy or, especially, hazy), that diffused light is emitted by much more of the sky than just the clear-air point-source of the sun — the blue sky is “whitened”. So much green area facing away from the sun itself (or partially shaded) can photosynthesize more.

  775. John Lang
    Posted Jan 10, 2008 at 11:58 AM | Permalink

    MarkW doubling as in 280 ppm – 560 ppm – 1,120 ppm – 2,240 ppm

    Each doubling is said to have the same (a similar) impact on temperatures.

  776. Mark T.
    Posted Jan 10, 2008 at 12:27 PM | Permalink

    Hansen’s derivation does put an upper limit of 1000 ppm on that relationship, btw. I’m guessing because the approximation does not hold above that point.

    Mark

  777. Larry
    Posted Jan 10, 2008 at 1:07 PM | Permalink

  778. Posted Jan 10, 2008 at 2:12 PM | Permalink

    Richard

    Mann and others attempted to make hemispheric reconstructions, not regional ones. The success or failure of their efforts cannot be judged against regional or local climatic anomalies.

    ..

    Key word “attempted”.

    Sorry, can’t understand. Anyway, take a look at MBH98 Figure 3, Spatial patterns of reconstruction statistics. All red, seems like this reconstruction is really capable of answering the question about regional/global/non_existing MWP! But as per my figure above, there is no MWP, regional nor global. They got rid of it.

    BTW, I’ve seen that Figure 3 here earlier,

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=488

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=319

    Re Eric How long ago someone complained CA that is focusing too much on MBH9x? ;)

  779. Posted Jan 10, 2008 at 2:23 PM | Permalink

    Oh, maybe I understand it now.. MBH98 is regional reconstruction for 1730-1980, http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/paleo/mannplot2.pl and only hemispheric/global reconstruction prior 1730! That’s why Fig 3. shows r2 only for AD1820 step. And thus we can still have regional MWP (doesn’t belong to MBH9x scope) and say that global MWP didn’t exist (belongs to MBH9x scope).

  780. Arthur Smith
    Posted Jan 10, 2008 at 4:28 PM | Permalink

    Hi guys – it’s been fun on here, but I don’t see a lot of progress in understanding going on. There seems to be a huge variety of levels of understanding among commenters – and it’s very interesting to me that the clearly most knowledgeable (Steve McIntyre, Judith Curry, Roy Spencer) also seem to be most circumspect about any counter-AGW conclusions. Those who seem least knowledgeable (for instance those who failed to grasp Willis Eschenbach’s nice “steel greenhouse” example right away) are in contrast most assertive. This blog format is clearly not conducive to reaching a better understanding of real flaws, if any, in IPCC conclusions, and I’ve decided I have much better things to spend my time on for now. Take care…

  781. Matthew Drabik
    Posted Jan 10, 2008 at 6:18 PM | Permalink

    Arthur Smith @ http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2540#comment-194232

    I think Eric Cartman said it best:

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Screw+you+Guys+I'm+Goin+Home

    In all seriousness, I freely admit that I may be the least knowledgable lurker here and fairly aggressive in countering AGW, so I fit your description above.

    However, I’ve never said that I can disprove AGW. Instead I just want the believers to make some scientific statements, in the Popperian sense of the word. On the rare occasion when a believer makes such a statement, it is usually easily refuted.

  782. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 10, 2008 at 6:42 PM | Permalink

    I don’t think Arthur understands the dynamic of discussion to increase learning with no preconceptions. And not everyone understands every aspect of this huge and confusing subject. Why does it take the IPCC years and huge documents to cover things?

    Taking the leap of faith to equate the global mean temperature anomaly to warming, and CO2 as the cause of warming (when it seems fairly obvious land-use changes would be more of the equation, as well as CO2 only being about 60% of the AGHG, if the error bars are ignored, is hardly being “anti-AGW” and wondering how radiation hitting steel acts in the absense of atmosphere hardly makes one unqualified to comment that soot on ice makes it melt even if the air isn’t warmer or that what N2O does in a lab isn’t what it does in the climate system or that the RSS satellite data for the troposphere went negative in 2007.

    How else does one learn?

  783. Gunnar
    Posted Jan 10, 2008 at 6:53 PM | Permalink

    Arthur, odd that you think Roy Spencer is not counter AGW.

    Mega dittos!

  784. MarkW
    Posted Jan 10, 2008 at 7:14 PM | Permalink

    What’s going onwith National Geographic. Tonight I was listening to a program on Alaska. In the course of half an hour they declared that the glaciation cycle was driven by changes in CO2. Then they declared that the air on Mt. McKinnely has so little oxygen because it is so far north. In fact the air has only half as much oxygen as it does at the equator.

    I turned the show off.

  785. Mike Davis
    Posted Jan 10, 2008 at 8:29 PM | Permalink

    Mark:
    Modern science!

  786. Filippo Turturici
    Posted Jan 11, 2008 at 2:57 AM | Permalink

    Snow reported in Baghdad: maybe an historical meteo event:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/01/11/2136920.htm

    http://www.gulfnews.com/region/Iraq/10181164.html

  787. Posted Jan 11, 2008 at 6:56 AM | Permalink

    Closest grid-point to Baghdad is 32.5N, 42.5E, and here is the the millennial temperature for that grid-point, by MBH99. Amazing algorithm, breaks the ice at the party.

  788. Mike B
    Posted Jan 11, 2008 at 7:41 AM | Permalink

    #782 A. Smith

    Hi guys – it’s been fun on here, but I don’t see a lot of progress in understanding going on. There seems to be a huge variety of levels of understanding among commenters – and it’s very interesting to me that the clearly most knowledgeable (Steve McIntyre, Judith Curry, Roy Spencer) also seem to be most circumspect about any counter-AGW conclusions. Those who seem least knowledgeable (for instance those who failed to grasp Willis Eschenbach’s nice “steel greenhouse” example right away) are in contrast most assertive. This blog format is clearly not conducive to reaching a better understanding of real flaws, if any, in IPCC conclusions, and I’ve decided I have much better things to spend my time on for now. Take care…

    Wow. What a grotesque misrepresentation of the discussion that followed Willis’ shell analogy. The vast majority of participants either listened quietly, or asked clarifying questions. Unless something dramatic happened overnight, there were really only one or two CA participants persistently “denied” the value of the model