Unthreaded #30

Continuation of Unthreaded #29

Can I recommend however, that instead of using this thread, commenters should register and use the new CA Forum under the relevant headings. The same rules of conduct and topic apply on the forum of course, but it should be a lot quicker and easier to follow individual discussions than on a single thread of a multi-purpose blog post.

User registration is now e-mail activation rather than Steve or I having to activate new users every few hours, as is password recovery.

I have also installed LaTeX on the board, so that the brilliance of your mathematical reasoning is not obscured by poor formatting. ;-)

I think it’s likely that Unthreaded might be retired in the future in favour of the more elegant message board solution, but we shall see.

John A

PS I’m still retired. I just temporarily had some time on my hands. Really.


712 Comments

  1. Posted Jan 15, 2008 at 11:42 AM | Permalink

    I’ve been looking for a couple of related graphs on greenhouse gas radiation absorption and I was wondering if anybody here can help me out. Since H2O is far more prevalent in the lower atmosphere and it absorbs more bands of radiation than CO2, I’d like to see a graph of radiation absorption vs. humidity. Actually, humidity can be a bit problematic to quantify, so H2O in PPM would probably be a better measure. This graph would include the other greenhouse gases at realistic concentrations.

    The second graph would be the same, but with CO2 at preindustrial levels.

    I have been trying to point out just how important H2O is as a greenhouse gas to some of my friends, and having a couple of charts like I describe above would be very convincing.

    Thanks for any help you folks can send my way.

  2. Phil.
    Posted Jan 15, 2008 at 11:48 AM | Permalink

    Re #1

    Why not try running MODTRAN then you should be able to generate exactly what you want?

  3. Posted Jan 15, 2008 at 12:42 PM | Permalink

    To the best of my knowledge, a MODTRAN license costs some serious money. In addition, I suspect that learning how to use MODTRAN is non-trivial. Please correct me if I am wrong.

  4. Tony Edwards
    Posted Jan 15, 2008 at 1:35 PM | Permalink

    Wayne, over on the new forum, see above, there is a link to a MODTRAN model
    http://forecast.uchicago.edu/Projects/modtran.html.
    Looks pretty easy to kick the tyres on.

  5. Anna Lang
    Posted Jan 15, 2008 at 1:40 PM | Permalink

    John A.–Help!!

    I have registered for the BB and received the e-mail activation link, but when I login at that page I receive a message that my username is inactive. When I attempt to follow the direction to contact an Administrator, I am presented with another login, and when I use it I am told my username is inactive. Things getting circular, lol!! Any suggestions??

  6. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 15, 2008 at 1:43 PM | Permalink

    Michael Smith: Last unthreaded I was simply listing the various things land use changes would impact, since you asked. (Doesn’t hurt to bring it up of course!) :)

    As far as the IPCC, the TAR had some discussion from WGI; See chapter 7 on physical climate processes and feedbacks, specifically 7.3 (Oceanic) 7.4 (land-surface, although mostly in the context of Land-Surface Parametrization) 7.5 (Cryosphere), and 7.6 (the coupled system).

    Also, chapter 5 on Aerosols and 6 on Radiative Forcings.

    The stuff is also covered somewhat in part C of the Technical Summary.

    But you’re correct if you’re talking about the SPM; it focuses on greenhouse gasses and temperature, and basically only covers aerosols as they pertain to emissions, and land-use in the context of releasing/uptaking AGHG. The only real mention I see is this sentence in the caption under the forcing in the SPM: “These radiative forcings arise from changes in the atmospheric composition, alteration of surface reflectance by land use, and variation in the output of the sun.” Hardly any more than you’d expect from an op/ed and certainly insufficient coverage of land-use.

    But in the main reports and technical summary, they do cover land-use and various aspects related to that; perhaps not well enough, but they do discuss it in a few chapters worth. (Which I why even if there is a cause-effect relationship between AGHG and the GMTAT, CO2 is perhaps 10% of it. (And again, what the trend is actually telling us is a different matter altogether…))

  7. Christopher
    Posted Jan 15, 2008 at 1:52 PM | Permalink

    May I suggest that links to the forum and wiki be placed under “Links” along the left of page.

  8. Philip_B
    Posted Jan 15, 2008 at 3:14 PM | Permalink

    While albedo is usually referred to as the main effect from land use changes, I suspect humidity from evaporation/transpiration has a bigger effect (on temperatures). Runoff from farmland is higher than from natural forest/ wetlands etc. In natural environments that water has to end up in the air as water vapour (a small amount may go into aquifers). I’d be interested in seeing any quantification of this effect. I know where I live in a warm, generally low humidity area (SW Australia), an increase in humidity (especially humidity near the surface with clear skies above) has a large effect on temperatures (much warmer).

  9. MarkW
    Posted Jan 15, 2008 at 3:25 PM | Permalink

    Many years ago, when vacationing in Palm Springs. We visited a small nature reserve. On one of the signs they detailed how the increased humidity from all of the lawns and golf courses was starting to influence the type and number of vegetation in the area.

  10. AK
    Posted Jan 15, 2008 at 3:45 PM | Permalink

    Re: #4

    You had me scared there for a moment, Tony. I was afraid he’d moved the model or something. The right link is at http://forecast.uchicago.edu/Projects/modtran.html.

    The BB can be read without signing in, the thread with the link is at http://www.climateaudit.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=6.

    A period had found its way into the URL.

  11. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 15, 2008 at 3:52 PM | Permalink

    My point exactly Phillip; runoff certainly affects the chemical composition of the ocean. And that’s only one aspect of it all. There’s more to this then is usually delved into.

    Some of the factors/variables related to land

    PS I’ve found that links don’t work if you leave in the ” quote marks the link button dealy puts around the URL.

  12. John A
    Posted Jan 15, 2008 at 4:08 PM | Permalink

    Anna Lang: I have sent a reminder e-mail to activate the account. Please check that your e-mail server is not blocking gmail or has put the activation e-mail in your spam folder.

  13. Raven
    Posted Jan 15, 2008 at 7:03 PM | Permalink

    Here is an odd thought:

    Fuel cells emit water vapour
    Water vapour is a greenhouse gas
    Does that mean that widespread use of fuel cells would cause global warming?

    It reminds me of a story from the early 1900s about how cars were going to result in cleaner cities because they did not leave clods of manure on the ground.

    I think it may be worth asking what the downside of these alternate technologies would be if adopted on a massive scale and weigh that against the downside of CO2 emissions.

  14. Anna Lang
    Posted Jan 15, 2008 at 10:05 PM | Permalink

    Thanks, John. It’s activated now.

  15. eric mcfarland
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 12:14 AM | Permalink

    I guess all of you will be reading the following book:
    http://www.mark-bowen.com/book_cs.html

    Also, remember, methylmurcury is good for you.

    All the best …

  16. J. Marshall Lancaster
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 1:31 AM | Permalink

    #13 Reguarding cars, weather you believe co2 is causing GW or not everyone must admit our cities are becomming unlivible from exhaust. I question a strong GW link but hybrids should be promoted before it becomes worse. I don’t see why anyone should object to it.

  17. MarkW
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 5:28 AM | Permalink

    Cities are becoming unlivable from exhaust??? On what continent?
    Here in the US of A, the air has become much, much cleaner over the last 30 years or so. I’ve read that in cities such as LA, cars have become so clean, that the air coming out of the exhaust can at times be cleaner than the air entering the carbuerator. (this is because their are many sources of pollution, most of which aren’t car related, and because the catalytic converter is so good at breaking down hydrocarbons and other pollutants)

  18. MarkW
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 5:30 AM | Permalink

    Ah yes, the old claim that a man who gives 10 to 15 interviews a week is being censored.

    And nobody has ever claimed that methylmercury is good for you. The claim is that it isn’t harmfull in the extremely small quantities encountered.

    Can’t you be honest in any of your arguments?

  19. Reference
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 6:06 AM | Permalink

    Another well written summary of a new paper on tree ring proxies to reconstruct climate.

    Raining on the Drought Parade – 11 January 2008

    Yin et al. remind us that tree growth in that part of the world is sensitive to changes in soil moisture, and they identified Qilian junipers in their study area that are over 1,400 years old. They extracted 1050 increment cores from 493 trees (the trees are not harmed), and they carefully measured characteristics of each ring width (there is one ring per year). The tree ring widths are highly statistically significantly related to the soil moisture levels, and just like magic, they could reconstruct soil moisture levels a long way back in time. They further note “We developed tree-ring chronologies over 1400 years long, which included several important climatic events, such as the medieval warming, Little Ice Age, and the post-industrial period warming.”

  20. tj
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 8:35 AM | Permalink

    Has anybody heard about the “shrinking Anarctic ice” study to be published in Nature?

  21. AK
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 9:05 AM | Permalink

    Re: #20

    Recent Antarctic ice mass loss from radar interferometry and regional climate modelling

  22. AK
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 9:10 AM | Permalink

    Here’s the press release for those without subscriptions.

  23. Mike Davis
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 9:22 AM | Permalink

    Another narrow minded article that does not use all the facts.

  24. Peter
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 9:24 AM | Permalink

    Reposting from unthresded 29:

    It would be interesting if somebody could dig into this. Antarctica has been a case for local cooling, as one can see in some instrumental records and by the stable/increasing see ice. Obviously, land ice area may be stable, but is only part of the story and if it looses mass, that seems contradictory to the observed cooling/see ice area recent patterns.

    It’s all over the newspapers now,

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/13/AR2008011302753.html?hpid=topnews

    and this is what they refer to:

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/ngeo102.html

  25. Ron Cram
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

    re: 13

    Raven,

    You are right to consider down sides of proposed technologies. Regarding water vapor, I think most people would agree that it is less problematic because the water cycle is much shorter than the carbon cycle.

  26. S. Hales
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 9:43 AM | Permalink

    #15

    Eric,

    I am shocked, politics in DC? Oh, my! What are you going to do about Roger Pielke’s plight here:

    “When I resigned from the CCSP Committee, I wrote in my Public Comment,

    “The process that produced the report was highly political, with the Editor taking the lead in suppressing my perspectives, most egregiously demonstrated by the last-minute substitution of a new Chapter 6 for the one I had carefully led preparation of and on which I was close to reaching a final consensus. Anyone interested in the production of comprehensive assessments of climate science should be troubled by the process which I document below in great detail that led to the replacement of the Chapter that I was serving as Convening Lead Author.””

    Speak up Eric, Science must not be supressed.

  27. Matthew Drabik
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 9:47 AM | Permalink

    RE: http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2600#comment-198164

    Eric,

    I will buy you a copy of Bowen’s book if you can state “Mann’s basic conclusion” and then defend it. Yes, I am still stuck on that topic.
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2578#comment-194138

    Also, in re censoring Hansen – there is a difference between being a bureaucrat and an academic. A bureaucrat takes on the responibility of representing an entire organization and must abide by the rules of that organization. To be a bureaucrat within the US Government, as Hansen is when working for NASA, one must avoid making unverifiable sciency-sounding statements.

    For example:
    “We have presented evidence (Hansen et al. 2006b) that the dangerous level of CO2 can be no more than approximately 450 ppm.”
    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2007/2007_Hansen_etal_2.pdf

    The paper cited in the quotation does no such thing.

    This sort of alarmism is fine for an academic, but dangerous in a representative of the state.

  28. Reference
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 9:55 AM | Permalink

    http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/208422main_global_temp_change.jpg
    2007 Was Tied as Earth’s Second Warmest Year

    Climatologists at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City have found that 2007 tied with 1998 for Earth’s second warmest year in a century.

    “It is unlikely that 2008 will be a year with truly exceptional global mean temperature,” said Hansen. “Barring a large volcanic eruption, a record global temperature clearly exceeding that of 2005 can be expected within the next few years, at the time of the next El Nino, because of the background warming trend attributable to continuing increases of greenhouse gases.”

    The eight warmest years in the GISS record have all occurred since 1998, and the 14 warmest years in the record have all occurred since 1990.

  29. Raven
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 10:01 AM | Permalink

    Ron Cram says:

    Regarding water vapor, I think most people would agree that it is less problematic because the water cycle is much shorter than the carbon cycle.

    I agree but the potential for irony makes it much more interesting. I read somewhere that the total CO2 emissions from a prius is greater than a hummer if you include the manufacturing of the batteries. Also, it takes solar cells 4 years of operation before the produce enough energy to replace the energy used to make them. I think it is naive to assume that the problems created by the widespread use of ‘low carbon’ technologies will be less of a concern than the problem of carbon emissions.

  30. Raven
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 10:05 AM | Permalink

    Climatologists at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City have found that 2007 tied with 1998 for Earth’s second warmest year in a century.

    Has Steve done an audit of the GISS algorithm for including polar temperatures in the data?

  31. BillBodell
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 10:45 AM | Permalink

    Peter #24

    Here’s a link from icecap

  32. BillBodell
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 10:49 AM | Permalink

    Well, that didn’t go well.

    I’ll just type it in: http://globalwarming.org/node/1512

  33. Jon Pemberton
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 1:52 PM | Permalink

    I have some questions on atmospheric CO2 measurement and hope I picked the right place to ask…

    Today atmospheric CO2 concentrations are measure at Mauna Loa ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/ccg/co2/trends/co2_annmean_mlo.txt

    Are there other locations this is done at?

    For past CO2 concentrations I understand they are calculated via ice core analysis. Can this process be used on ice cores from 1959 on (Mauna Loa available data) and compared to the data in the above link? I am curious if this has been done and if there is a difference in the CO2 concentrations.

    I guess I am wondering if ice core data would match Mauna Loa.

    Thanks

    Jon P

  34. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 2:12 PM | Permalink

    Jon; the ice cores from Law Dome are very close to the air sampling at Mauna Loa in the period they overlap, something like 1956 to 1980ish. I have posted links before, not sure where, I’ve forgetten.

    Bunches of stuff here tho. http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/documentlibrary/surface-doc.html or here http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/metadata/noaa-icecore-2455.html

    But just like there’s not 1 temperature on Earth, there is no 1 level of CO2. It depends on where you are and what altitude you’re measuring at.

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/slides/slideset/15/15_304_bslide.html

    This hides the fact that we’re talking about going from ~285 to ~340 ppmv over the last ~125 years.

    Yawn.

  35. Paddy L
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 3:02 PM | Permalink

    I seem to recall peer reviewed research concluding that the CO2 level in ice cores decreases over time from degradation. If my recollection is correct, the correlation between Mauna Loa and ice core data for the last 50 + years may not be significant.

    I hope the commentators at this site will enlighten me on this subject

  36. Jon Pemberton
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 3:09 PM | Permalink

    Sam,

    Thank you. It seems they are in close agreement from the links you provided.

    Did not mean to bore you…

    Jon P

  37. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 4:00 PM | Permalink

    (oops, I had 340..)

    No, no, no, Jon, going from 285 to 395 bores me, not you. :) But the questions still remain if a 33% or 100 ppmv rise causes a rise in the anomaly, and if the anomaly reflects a physical reality. And what percent of the CO2 rise is reflected in the rise if a cause that impacts anomaly=temperature. So many questions. Anyway, forget that. Back to ice versus air.

    I don’t have the chart handy, but I did graph the linear trends for the period of overlap, and there’s like around a 1% or so difference over 40ish years. So they’re pretty close. The other stuff is a different subject.

    Extrapolating modern results of ice core vs atmosphere over a period of a few decades tends to show that ice cores may be a good proxy for CO2 levels tens or hundreds of thousands of years ago, but doesn’t really prove it or tell us anything in and of itself. Tends to most likely probably maybe possibly sorta kinda like and stuff and things.

  38. Jon Pemberton
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 5:09 PM | Permalink

    Sam,

    “Extrapolating modern results of ice core vs atmosphere over a period of a few decades tends to show that ice cores may be a good proxy for CO2 levels tens or hundreds of thousands of years ago, but doesn’t really prove it or tell us anything in and of itself…”

    That is exactly what I was looking for and being so new to this it is sometimes easier to ask where the info is.

    I was narrowly focused on how close the datasets were to each other. As far as the effect, lots of opinions on that I’m just trying to learn, because I am one of the public that will need to understand this before I will support any major changes in my lifestyle and/or pocketbook :-)

    Thanks

    and Sam, You are the Man..

  39. Larry
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 5:25 PM | Permalink

    This is probably sniping material, but I just came across a Groucho Marx quote that I think is apropos:

    Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.

    If he’d only lived to see what’s going on now…

  40. Eric McFarland
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 5:49 PM | Permalink

    Ice core junkies and other assorted nuts should read “Thin Ice” by Mark Bowen.

  41. Bob Weber
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 6:28 PM | Permalink

    The International Tree-Ring Data Bank forum (ITRDBFOR) has a list server service that I subscribe to. The following item shows that Steve McIntyre is not the only person that has problems with M. Manns software code.

    The following series was from Paul Krusis at LDEO.Columbia.Edu:

    Dear Jeannine,
    I am so sorry about that program, it really is a mess and to tell
    you the truth I am going to remove it from our website because it is
    too unstable. If you are really interested in exploring Spectral
    Analyses go to this site http://www.atmos.ucla.edu/tcd/ssa/ and read
    about the SSA-MTM Toolkit. The SSA-MTM Toolkit is very robust and the
    supporting documentation is also quite educational. The software runs
    native on Macs and many flavors of unix, and It installs easily.

    Sincerely,
    pjk

    On Jan 15, 2008, at 10:53 AM, J M Cheval wrote:

    > Dear All
    >
    > Does anyone have an Idiot’s Guide to Michael Mann’s Multitaper code
    > mtm at the Lamont Tree Ring Laboratory website? Any more
    > documentation would be greatly appreiciated.
    >
    > Thank you, Jeannine St. Jacques

    Bob

  42. Eric McFarland
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 7:07 PM | Permalink

    Thanks …

  43. Larry
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 7:11 PM | Permalink

    http://www.ilovebacon.com/022604/perfect.jpg

  44. John Baltutis
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 7:49 PM | Permalink

    Re: #16 (J. Marshall Lancaster, Jan 16th, 2008 at 12:14 am)

    Which cities? Compared to thirty or forty years ago, when smokestacks were more prevalent and catalytic converters weren’t? Is it CO2 that’s causing what you perceive as unlivable? As for objecting, have you done the detailed cost-benefit analysis for hybrids vs. reciprocating engines?

  45. SteveSadlov
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 8:38 PM | Permalink

    RE: #16 and 17 – I guess in some of the hell holes in NICs, the pollution is indeed pretty nasty. All those 2 stroke engines, people cooking food on open fires out on the street, coal fired power plants with no scrubbers, etc. People starting up bonfires using zot sticks. But in Europe and No Am? Paradise.

  46. Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 8:58 PM | Permalink

    The US Climate Extremes Index looks ripe for a closer examination, which I’ll try to get to this weekend.

  47. Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 9:36 PM | Permalink

    Re #48 It looks to me like the CEI rises whenever the mean of the data changes, regardless of whether the change is cooler or warmer or wetter or drier.

    The way it seems to work is that, when the variable (say temperature) is at its long-term mean then 10% of the temperatures are much above normal and 10% of the temperatures are much below normal. The CEI adds these two together, stating that 20% of the temperature is “extreme” (much above or much below normal).

    Now, suppose that the mean shifts up. The percent of much-below normal will fall a little while the percent of much-above normal will rise a lot, due to the shape of the distribution curve. Since “extreme” is defined as the sum of much-above plus much-below, the “extreme” will increase simply due to this shift in the mean.

    That’s how I read it – maybe I’m missing something in the text. However, if my read is correct, then it seems like a pecular way to define “extreme”.

  48. Bruce
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 9:40 PM | Permalink

    The CRU shows Souther Hemisphere temperatures falling like a rock, and GISS claims the Southern Hemisphere is warming.

    CRU – November 2007 = .065C above mean
    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/hadcrut3sh.txt

    GISS – November 2007 = .34C above mean
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata/SH.Ts.txt

    Isn’t that 400% more?

    CRU – 1961-1990 as the mean.
    GISS – 1951-1980 as the mean.

    I guess if you pick the coldest 30 years in the last 75 it looks more dramatic.

  49. Andrey Levin
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 11:04 PM | Permalink

    Jon Pemberton:

    We had long and interesting discussion about CO2 in atmosphere before:

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2469#comments

    And yes, the blog host is trying to discourage discussion of this controversial issue on CA.

  50. Andrey Levin
    Posted Jan 16, 2008 at 11:09 PM | Permalink

    Anyone interesting in hybrids take a look at GCC here:

    http://www.greencarcongress.com/hybrids/index.html

    They have truckload of new hybrids from ongoing Detroit Auto Show.

    I won’t participate in further discussion on hybrids, because Steve McI repeatedly asked not to discuss it on CA.

  51. Jim B
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 12:12 AM | Permalink

    Speaking of not being perfect. I was recently reading some news reports and came across a new Antarctica study stating a loss of ice mass. Now having just read Davis, C. H., et al., 2005. Snowfall-driven growth in East Antarctic ice sheet mitigates recent sea-level rise, I was intrigued.

    Here’s the link:
    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/ngeo102.html

    Now this line bothers me in the summary “In East Antarctica, small glacier losses in Wilkes Land and glacier gains at the mouths of the Filchner and Ross ice shelves combine to a near-zero loss of 4plusminus61 Gt yr-1.”

    Now the problem is both Filchner and Ross ice shelves are on the west of Antarctica. Now, I’m not a climatologist but redrawing a map of Antarctica wouldn’t that require at least one cartographer of the team? Or can Climatologists do that now too?

    Just found it interesting.

  52. Mike Davis
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 12:41 AM | Permalink

    Next month they will move them to the North Pole.

  53. Bob Koss
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 2:52 AM | Permalink

    David Smith,

    re: 46 CEI

    Looks like some chartsmanship going on. They crop the moving average by two years on the left side, but retain it on the right side. Skews the perspective. 1997 should be shown the highest. Doesn’t seem right to me.

  54. Bob Koss
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 3:02 AM | Permalink

    Re: 53
    I looked at the Jan-Dec and Mar-May graphs without TC indicator.

  55. Yorick
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 4:35 AM | Permalink

    Look at this alarmist billing himself as a nobel prize winning scientist. Steven W. Running I was only sort of kidding when I said that Steve should have a Nobel Prize bug on his site, but this guy is using his share totally without irony. I hope that they give skeptics the same billing.

  56. Phil.
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 8:50 AM | Permalink

    Re #55

    Look at this alarmist billing himself as a nobel prize winning scientist

    He describes himself as follows:

    Testimony of
    Dr. Steven W. Running
    Before the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming
    Hearing on Wildfires and the Climate Crisis
    November 1, 2007

    Chairman Markey, Ranking Member Sensenbrenner, and Members of this Select
    Committee, I thank you for the opportunity to testify on matters of wildfires and climate
    change today. My name is Steven W. Running, Professor of Ecology at the University of
    Montana in Missoula, MT. I have lived in Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Montana,
    so have high familiarity with forests of the West. My research for nearly forty years has
    been on forest stress, terrestrial carbon and water cycles, and satellite monitoring of
    global ecosystem health. Most important to this committee, I recently served as a Lead
    Author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 4th Assessment that was co-
    recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. My responsibility was in the Working Group II
    Chapter 14 on North American impacts, and my text specifically concerned trends in
    North American wildfire.

  57. yorick
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 9:24 AM | Permalink

    He is described in the New York Times as a Nobel Prize winner and a scientist. Lot of people are now Nobel Prize winners and they have cheapened the brand considerably, no offense Steve.

  58. SteveSadlov
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

    Over on the tropopause energy balance thread, I had noted a “dagger” of very cold air pointed at the SW USA. Well, it does look like we may be in for somewhat of a repeat of last year’s late Jan – early Feb cold disaster, which cost agriculture dearly. This time around, there may be more moisture available, and a low elevation snow event grows ever more likely:

    AT THE SAME TIME THE BLOCK RETROGRADES A BIT
    WHILE THE SYSTEM ALIGNS WITH A LONGWAVE TROUGH THAT WILL STRETCH FROM
    HUDSON BAY CANADA DOWN TO CENTRAL CALIFORNIA ON SUNDAY. STILL NO
    SIGNS OF ANY MOISTURE TAP TO BE UTILIZED WITH THIS EVENT…SO
    PRECIPITATION LOOKS TO BE LIGHT. HOWEVER…THE MAIN STORY WILL BE THE
    TEMPERATURES. GFS 700 TEMPS SHOW ANYWHERE FROM MINUS 16 TO MINUS 18C
    OVERHEAD WHILE THE EUROPEAN IS A COUPLE OF DEGREES WARMER. USING A
    BLEND OF BOTH DROPS SNOW LEVELS DOWN TO AROUND 1500 FEET. HOWEVER…
    CURRENTLY AM CONCERNED THAT THIS MAY NOT BE LOW ENOUGH. DUE TO THE
    FACT THAT THE GFS TEMPERATURES AT 850 MB ARE PROGGED TO BE AT LEAST 3
    STANDARD DEVIATIONS BELOW NORMAL WHILE THE 700 MB TEMPERATURE
    ANOMALIES ARE BETWEEN MINUS 4 AND MINUS 5 STANDARD DEVIATIONS WHICH
    WOULD TRANSLATE INTO A VERY SIGNIFICANT COLD POOL OF AIR ALOFT.
    DEFINITELY WORTH KEEPING A VERY CLOSE EYE ON THE SNOW LEVEL FORECAST
    AS THE SYSTEM GETS CLOSER.

  59. Phil.
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 9:33 AM | Permalink

    Re #57

    He is described in the New York Times as a Nobel Prize winner and a scientist.

    True and if you had said that I wouldn’t have commented but you criticized him for being an “alarmist billing himself as a nobel prize winning scientist”.

  60. Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 9:45 AM | Permalink

    THis curious comment from Edward Hanna on the ever melting Greenland Ice Sheet–

    “Our work shows that global warming is beginning to take its toll on the Greenland ice sheet which, as a relic feature of the last Ice Age, has already been living on borrowed time and seems now to be in inexorable decline,” Dr Hanna said. “The question is: Can we reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in time to make enough of a difference to curb this decay?”

    Can anyone comment on his statement above, that the ice sheet has “already been living on borrowed time”—–doesn’t this mean that the ice sheet should already be gone?

  61. Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 9:46 AM | Permalink

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,323251,00.html

    link to article

  62. yorick
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 9:47 AM | Permalink

    Use scientist and Nobel Prize winner in the same sentence, then expect the reader to separate the two. He shares his prize with yassir Arafat and Henry Kissinger, I hope he is proud.

  63. woodentop
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 9:53 AM | Permalink

    #61 your link ends with:

    However, its report acknowledged that temperatures in southern Greenland during the 1930s and 1940s were at least as warm as in recent years.

    So what’s all the handwringing for? At least there is an admission that Greenland isn’t really much warmer than it was 70 years ago. I wonder what caused that warming?

  64. Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 10:00 AM | Permalink

    #63–And, most important of all, the scientist in question is flatly stating that the ice sheet shouldn’t be here now anyway. Am I off base in this interpretation of his words?

  65. woodentop
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 10:07 AM | Permalink

    #64 – I think it’s just a figure of speech, but it’s certainly confusing. They admit that the temperatures were at least as warm 70 years ago, but have only been monitoring the ice sheet for 50… then draw the conclusion that the latest “inexorable” decline is caused by AGW? WTF?

  66. george h.
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 10:18 AM | Permalink

    Is Gore visiting Greenland?

    “While the rest of Europe is debating the prospects of global warming during an unseasonably mild winter, a brutal cold snap is raging across the semi-autonomous nation of Greenland.
    On Disko Bay in western Greenland, where a number of prominent world leaders have visited in recent years to get a first-hand impression of climate change, temperatures have dropped so drastically that the water has frozen over for the first time in a decade.

    ‘The ice is up to 50cm thick,’ said Henrik Matthiesen, an employee at Denmark’s Meteorological Institute who has also sailed the Greenlandic coastline for the Royal Arctic Line. ‘We’ve had loads of northerly winds since Christmas which has made the area miserably cold.’

    http://www.cphpost.dk/get/105114.html

    Matthiesen suggested the cold weather marked a return to the frigid temperatures common a decade ago.

    Temperatures plunged to -25°C earlier this month, clogging the bay with ice and making shipping impossible for small crafts, according to Anthon Frederiksen, the mayor of the town of Ilulissat, where Disko Bay is located.

    ‘On the other hand, it’s an advantage for fishermen who rely on dogsleds for transportation,’ Frederiksen said. “

  67. bender
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 10:23 AM | Permalink

    #25
    I believe you’ve got it. It’s that bozo simple. That’s why I want to understand where why their “estimate” of “internal variability” is “small” relative to external forcing. I dispute that it is as “small” as they say (if only they would actually give a number!). I assert that there is LTP variability in the time series that the GCMs aren’t accounting for. As a non-expert I question how much of it is ENSO/PDO vs the poorly understood deeper oceans. ENSO/PDO are post hoc statistical constructs that do not impress me one bit. Strange flows happen and the GCMs aren’t accounting for it. The model ensemble runs can’t “span the range” of weather noise initial conditions because they don’t even know what the full range of initial conditions is … because they don’t understand ENSO-like and PDO-like fluid flows to model them correctly. I hypothesize that this is why they think internal variability is “small” – because they’re so deeply immersed in defending a consensus-driving toy that they’ve actually confused their toy with reality.

    Hypothesis: GHG/AGW may be happening, but the effect is far weaker than what these partisan pseudoscientists claim.

  68. Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 10:33 AM | Permalink

    I assert that there is LTP variability in the time series that the GCMs aren’t accounting for.

    No LTP, they say, only statistics

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/01/new-rule-for-high-profile-papers/

    #150

    yet you hold great store by the first period and not the later because you say 15 years is long term climatic variation and 7 years is short term weather variation!!!!

    thst’s surely silly.

    [Response: No. It's statistics. - gavin]

  69. James Bailey
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 10:39 AM | Permalink

    Of course it takes me so long to write that others have already said what I was thinking.

    But the point about the Multi-decadal oscillations becomes even more curious. He testified at the warmest end of one, using that upswing to create A. Now he claims a downswing is hiding how much real warming is going on. Is there any confirmation if he is correct?

    I am now starting to understand why IPCC 3 and 4 have been reducing the worst case scenarios such as seal level rise.

  70. Phil.
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 10:42 AM | Permalink

    Re #66

    Some cherry picking going on here, the W coast has a slightly +ve anomaly and the E coast has a slightly -ve anomaly!

  71. JohnB
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 10:44 AM | Permalink

    Is seal level rise a similar problem to polar bear decline?

  72. MarkW
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 10:48 AM | Permalink

    Fewer polar bears, more seals. Makes sense to me.

  73. JohnB
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 10:51 AM | Permalink

    Yup, got it….

  74. bender
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 10:52 AM | Permalink

    Not just similar. Cause-and-effect. Bears go down, seals go up. :)

  75. Glacierman
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 10:53 AM | Permalink

    #29

    You just reminded me of something that happened the summer of 1998 (at the very beginning of all of this). We had just hired an intern who was graduating in Natural Resource Management who told us all about how sea level was going to rise 20 feet in the next 20 years due to AGW and New York City was going to be under water. Upon my laughter and jeers she said, no it’s true, my professor showed us the models…..

    Can the change in sea level from 1998 to 2008 even be measured? Just asking.

  76. bender
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 11:16 AM | Permalink

    #68 UC
    Ah, there’s Dr Schmidt parsing words again. His critics must be wrong because he can appeal to things that are true by definition.

    Gavin, we understand that there is a legitimate distinction between weather (short-term anomalies) and climate (long-term averages), and that this has some* grounds in statistical analysis of roughly ten decades’ worth of data. But splitting hairs over 7 vs 15 years as a threshold is indeed very, very silly. Ten decades is one subset realization of an infinite array of decades. What is the threshold observed in that other realm – the one you can’t model because you’ve never observed it?

    *One might argue that the solar cycle, at 11 years, acts as a powerful separatrix of time-scales. But this external forcing would then obscure the time-scale of internal climate variability – which is what the argument is about. I’m not sure how Gavin can invoke “statistics” when the object of discussion is hidden from view and can only be inferred from process models such as GCMs.

    I would want some very long time-series – far longer than ten decades – before I started dismissing LTP.

    So much for one word replies and simple appeal to definitions. The earth’s climate system is a little more complex and more subtle than that.

  77. JP
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

    #58

    A building ridge of high pressure across the Gulf of Alaska, coupled with a deepening polar vortex over Canada could spell some pretty cold weather for much of North America these next few weeks. The West Coast could feel the brunt of it. but it also looks like much of Middle America will go frigid. Forecast highs for Chicago this week-end are around 8-12 deg F.

  78. Gunnar
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 12:50 PM | Permalink

    Speaking of weather, ice returns as Greenland faces ‘brutal cold’…

    http://weather.noaa.gov/weather/current/BGSF.html

  79. Mark T.
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 1:15 PM | Permalink

    Colder’n a witch’s body part here in the Springs lately. Though we have not had a ton of snow here, probably only a few feet total, we’ve had snow on the ground for 8 weeks or so non-stop. More forecasted in the coming days, too. Brrr…

    Mark

  80. Bill
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 3:31 PM | Permalink

    So… is Greenland ice breaking up or reconsolidating? A case for Smilla!

  81. SteveSadlov
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 3:57 PM | Permalink

    RE: #77 – “Icehouse: It Will Happen in 2008!” by Lakota Flames.

    Maybe a sort of 1976 replay:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:CrestmoorSnow.jpg

  82. Michael Smith
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 4:51 PM | Permalink

    Bernie, in 80 wrote:

    The underlying assertion of all these models is a strong AGW –

    That may have been true in 1988, but it is not true now. Some current models predict trivial heating of less than a degree per century and actually predict tropospheric cooling at some altitudes.

  83. Phil.
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 5:05 PM | Permalink

    Re #80

    So… is Greenland ice breaking up or reconsolidating? A case for Smilla!

    Looking at the sea ice it looks like a fairly ordinary winter so far. I thought Smilla lived in Copenhagen?

  84. Michael Smith
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 5:13 PM | Permalink

    Bender, regarding 76, what is LTP?

  85. Mark T.
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 5:25 PM | Permalink

    In my current world it means “local tangent plane”, but that’s only because I’m doing some geolocation with a few coordinate transformations. I’m guessing long-term prediction in the context bender’s speaking to, but I could easily be wrong.

    Mark

  86. jae
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 5:32 PM | Permalink

    Long Term Persistence, as here.

  87. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 6:46 PM | Permalink

    Regarding a decade. Jan 1998 to Dec 2007? Dec 1997 to Nov 2007? Mar 1936 to Feb 1945? Want to start breaking down by day? Second? Which 10 arbitrary years?

  88. Bill
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 9:17 PM | Permalink

    I thought Smilla lived in Copenhagen

    She got around. She starts out in Denmark living as a disillusioned half-Dane half-Inuit, gets wrapped up in the mysterious death of a young boy whom she has befriended. The leads take her back to the west coast of her native Greenland where she ends up walking out onto the frozen sea ice, and so demonstrates her EXquisite “feeling for snow” – or “sense of snow”.
    This contributes little to your discussion, which I’ve been enjoying as much as fiction. Still, it’s very cold outside, and a good winter read.

  89. Philip_B
    Posted Jan 17, 2008 at 9:31 PM | Permalink

    Our work shows that global warming is beginning to take its toll on the Greenland ice sheet which, as a relic feature of the last Ice Age, has already been living on borrowed time and seems now to be in inexorable decline,” Dr Hanna said. “The question is: Can we reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in time to make enough of a difference to curb this decay?”

    Dr. Hanna as a professor (of Geography) at a reputable university should really tone down his rhetoric. The Greenland icesheet is not a ‘relic’ of the last ice age, by which I assume he means a relic of the last glacial (advance) in the current ice age. The Greenland icesheet (in more or less its current extent) is generally considered to be around 5 million years old. Whereas the current interglacial has lasted 12,000 to 14,000 years.

    The Arctic Report Card 2007, which seems to have resulted in this quote (Hanna is the lead author), says in its summary,

    Recent relatively high summer temperatures (1995-2005) are associated with increased net ice loss over Greenland. Recent warm events are about the same magnitude, if not smaller, than those of the early 20th century warm period (1918-1947). 2006 was not as warm as other recent years such as 2003 or 2005. Physical response mechanisms, such as hydraulic acceleration of the ice sheet from continued warming, remain incompletely understood.

    So all we can say is Greenland glaciers are accelerating for reasons that are poorly understood. The cause might be 20th C warming or it might not. And AGW is believed to be a component of 20th C warming.

  90. Michael Smith
    Posted Jan 18, 2008 at 5:21 AM | Permalink

    jae, thanks for the response in 86. Can you provide a different link? That one tells me “access forbidden”.

  91. John Finn
    Posted Jan 18, 2008 at 8:18 AM | Permalink

    I’m not sure why but I’ve been following the Hansen model for some time. I don’t know if it’s me JamesG is referring to in #6, but I did ask Gavin on RC if more up-to-date observations were available.

    The thing I’ve never understood is the general acceptance of the model’s skill. For a start you could stick a straight line from 1960 to 1988 and then extrapolate to get as good – if not better – fit than any of the scenarios. But a big factor over the short term was the 1995 volcanic eruption in the model as compared to the real world Pinatubo eruption in 1991. Although not so significant now, over a decade or so this created a sort of see-saw effect in the trend – which made the model trend closer to the observed trend than should have been the case.

    According to NASA, the effects of Pinatubo lasted for up to 3 years during which there was up to “0.5 degrees” of cooling (whatever that means). It would be interesting to run JH’s model again without the 1995 modeled eruption while including the earlier Pinatubo eruption. I’m fairly sure the trend will diverge even more from reality. It should be easy enough for JH as he (and Gavin) has always claimed that the models predicted the Pinatubo cooling with considerable accuracy.

    Alternatively if someone could massage the temperature data so that the 1991 eruption was ‘moved’ to 1995 the same comparison could be made. Though it probably is a bit late to bother with now – but I reckon the effect could have been significant up to about 2002.

    I apologise if somebody has already made the points I’ve covered.

    PS I think “modeled” is the correct UK spelling.

  92. John Finn
    Posted Jan 18, 2008 at 8:30 AM | Permalink

    John A / Steve

    Sorry guys I think I might have posted a commnent to the wrong thread, i.e. unthreaded rather than
    the Hansen model thread.

    Scrub it if it’s any trouble.

  93. Mark T.
    Posted Jan 18, 2008 at 9:34 AM | Permalink

    Long Term Persistence, as here.

    Aye, that was my other thought.

    Mark

  94. Gunnar
    Posted Jan 18, 2008 at 9:55 AM | Permalink

    Speaking of weather, you know it’s cold when siberians start closing schools:

    http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7009739004

    And btw, the lake that froze for the first time in 50 years is about the latitude of Boston.

  95. Another Larry
    Posted Jan 18, 2008 at 1:55 PM | Permalink

    “PS I’m still retired. I just temporarily had some time on my hands. Really.”

    I have been meaning to comment on that since I saw it and keep getting distracted.

    “retired:. Means a new set of skins, and now ready for the next 300,000 miles, right.

    Tnaks, John A. In case nobody else has said it lately either.

  96. See - owe to Rich
    Posted Jan 19, 2008 at 5:36 AM | Permalink

    #94 Gunnar

    Well, I know you like to keep things balanced on this site, so here’s a report of warm weather. There is an anticyclone over Spain sweeping African air towards us, and in Pershore England last night it was 14C for 12 consecutive hours, including midnight.

    Weather maps suggest it staying unseasonably warm until Monday at least.

    Rich.

  97. Jos
    Posted Jan 19, 2008 at 12:07 PM | Permalink

    Steve, maybe off-topic, but I could not find a reference to this on ClimateAudit. Jim Hansen talks about last summers controversy about the warmest year in the US. It is from about three weeks ago, 28 December 2007. It starts about halfway the video.

    http://global-warming.accuweather.com/2007/12/the_mcintyrehansen_controversy.html

  98. bender
    Posted Jan 19, 2008 at 1:14 PM | Permalink

    #21 Jos, that is OT and Steve M has warned once already on this. I will post a reply in unthreaded.

  99. eric mcfarland
    Posted Jan 19, 2008 at 1:17 PM | Permalink

    This may help clear the air while you are thinking about these issues:

    It’s a harmless and funny bit about the fuss over the hockey stick.

    Steve: It’s pretty dishonest. Mann’s HS was used all over the place to say that 1998 was the warmest year in a millennium. He can’t say that with his data and methods. BTW I’m probably one of the few readers who can identify the singer of this ditty: Stomping Tom Connors.

  100. bender
    Posted Jan 19, 2008 at 1:18 PM | Permalink

    Jos asks:

    Steve, maybe off-topic, but I could not find a reference to this on ClimateAudit. Jim Hansen talks about last summers controversy about the warmest year in the US. It is from about three weeks ago, 28 December 2007.

    Start here:
    Change in temperature rankings

  101. eric mcfarland
    Posted Jan 19, 2008 at 1:35 PM | Permalink

    These are some really good spots:

  102. bender
    Posted Jan 19, 2008 at 1:51 PM | Permalink

    #24 OT

  103. Richard Sharpe
    Posted Jan 19, 2008 at 4:36 PM | Permalink

    Consider also that in a typical greenhouse, plant growth ceases by mid-morning as the CO2 content of the air has fallen to 150ppm/v or so. Commercial growers combat this by pumping up the level to 1200ppm, not to increase the greenhouse effect but to feed the plants. As long as the plants have those three basic things, water energy and CO2, and enough of the nutrients they need they will keep growing, (and pumping out oxygen).

    A budding AGW denialist denialist (aka one of my offspring) tells me that too much CO2 is bad for young plants.

    Is this so? At what level?

  104. Raven
    Posted Jan 19, 2008 at 6:01 PM | Permalink

    Richard Sharpe says:

    A budding AGW denialist denialist (aka one of my offspring) tells me that too much CO2 is bad for young plants.

    I recommend the Idsos blog for any questions on CO2 and plants: http://www.co2science.org/scripts/CO2ScienceB2C/Index.jsp
    I have only read a few of their reviews on the effect of CO2 on plants but it appears that the topic is quite complex that a good cherry picker could make whatever assertion they want and be able to find some study that will back it up. That said, I get the impression that the balance of the evidence seems to fall on the ‘higher CO2 is good for plants’ side of the argument.

  105. PaddikJ
    Posted Jan 19, 2008 at 6:04 PM | Permalink

    A budding AGW denialist denialist (aka one of my offspring) tells me that too much CO2 is bad for young plants.

    My suggestion would be to check with a greenhouse operator, whose livelyhoods must depend on knowing exactly how much CO2 plants need at various stages of life.

    Perhaps your budding denialist denier could take this on as a school research project.

  106. Andrew
    Posted Jan 19, 2008 at 6:32 PM | Permalink

    Richard Sharpe, you should probably remind him/her that double negatives aren’t allowed in English ;)

    More seriously, I seem to recall that the “consensus” was that CO2 sticks around a while. But just how much CO2 in the air is “new” and how much is “old” and why/how should it matter? I have no clue. I can only offer a tautology. There is long lived CO2 in the air becuase there is. Apparently.

    Kevin B it doesn’t seem impossible to me. Preindustrial ~280 ppm present ~380 ppm. We are already over a third of the way there. But as you can already see, whether we will, and when, is a rather thorny question. We’ve gotten all the other gases wrong already!

  107. David Archibald
    Posted Jan 19, 2008 at 9:18 PM | Permalink

    Re 324 revisited, Bender here’s a bizarre one for you: Porcupine Feeding Scars and Climatic Data Show
    Ecosystem Effects of the Solar Cycle

    with the link: http://wer.uqar.uquebec.ca/chaires/chairedb/Articles/2004%20Klvana%20et%20al.%20Am%20Nat.pdf

    Snowshoe hares in Alaska are also in sync with the solar cycle. The lowly forest creatures are trying to tell us with their scratchings! Note that no correlation between animals and volcanoes has been found.

  108. Bruce
    Posted Jan 19, 2008 at 9:29 PM | Permalink

    #18

    When it comes to land area, rememeber that the SH is not half the world. Most of the land is in the NH.

    Not a good explanation. The ocean isn’t warming either.

    NH Land = +.98C
    NH Ocean = +.25C
    SH Land = +.27C
    SH Ocean = +.21C

    The only real anomaly is NH land.

    Something like 80% of the earth is around +.24C above normal. Within the margin of error, especially considering that the baseline of the coolest time in the last 75 years.

    For the whole year its the same. Only the 1.19C NH land skews the average from .35C or so for the rest of the whole planet.

    The PLANET is NOT warming. Only the NH land mass is.

  109. Gunnar
    Posted Jan 19, 2008 at 10:08 PM | Permalink

    >> Well, I know you like to keep things balanced on this site, so here’s a report of warm weather.

    Thanks for the update, and for seeing the pattern. Last summer, we had some very nice weather with 5 perfect days in a row, so I went out on a limb and predicted on CA that perfect weather would soon engulf the globe turning the whole earth into one big san diego.

    Even though the negative consequences were extreme, I didn’t get any response. Personally, I don’t see the difference between what I did and predicting an inferno based on some minor hot weather during summer/solar maximum, or predicting an ice age during winter time/solar minimum.

  110. VG
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 12:05 AM | Permalink

    #14
    The point was that they are “ranking” the UAH data for december 2007 as 19th warmest since these records began
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/2007/dec/global.html#current-month-midtrop
    but then the link to the graph:
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/research/2007/dec/uahncdc-dec-mt-global-land-and-ocean-pg.gif
    How could anyone rank data like this? You may as well say 13th coolest! (which it is!). As a scientist this makes a mockery of data presentation.

  111. VG
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 12:09 AM | Permalink

    #14 th3en #28
    Also no trend or does anyone see one?

  112. bender
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 12:24 AM | Permalink

    #107 I cited that one a few months back:
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2422#comment-166460
    And Francois Ouellette cited it before then:
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=429#comment-51023

  113. bender
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 1:34 AM | Permalink

    Gavin Schmidt on Uncertainty, noise and the art of model-data comparison

    Or, as JEG might say: Uncertainty, noise and the pseudo-science of model-data comparison

  114. Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 2:58 AM | Permalink

    Not a good explanation. The ocean isn’t warming either.

    NH Land = +.98C
    NH Ocean = +.25C
    SH Land = +.27C
    SH Ocean = +.21C

    sea temperature is EXPECTED to rise more slowly!

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2007/2006GL028164.shtml

  115. Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 3:14 AM | Permalink

    Re 25

    Stable isotope ratio mass spectrometry in global
    climate change research
    Prosenjit Ghosh, Willi A. Brand∗
    Isotopen- und Gaslabor, Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie, Postfach 100164, Jena 07701, Germany

    In spite of the experimental achievements measurement
    precision is still a limiting factor for more
    rigorous data interpretation: current fossil fuel emissions
    of about 6Gt C per year result in a long term
    change of the CO2 mixing ratio in the atmosphere of
    about 1.5 ppm per year. _13C of CO2 changes about
    0.02‰ per year. While CO2 mixing ratio analyses can
    be made with a typical precision of 0.1 ppm (which is
    less than 1/15th of the annual change), demonstrated
    precisions for _13C are at best near 0.01‰, i.e., approximately
    half the annual trend. For a reasonable
    partitioning of net oceanic versus terrestrial fluxes
    from a time series analysis of 13CO2 in air samples
    Keeling et al. [8] and Francey et al. [57] have formulated
    an inter-laboratory precision goal of 0.01‰
    for _13C.
    The role of data uncertainty, both in concentration
    measurement and isotope ratios of CO2 in air samples
    for deriving global carbon fluxes has been discussed
    in further details in Rayner et al. [58].

    The most interesting bit of the paper is figure 8(a). Could someone into the numbers check my eyeball impression, that the Mauna Loa delta C13 figures have more-or-less levelled off since 1988? Maybe I’m mis-reading it.

    JF
    (who likes to think of the statisticians wincing when they see ‘more-or-less’.)

  116. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 5:06 AM | Permalink

    Re # 33 sod

    So how do you interpret temperature trends from coastal lighthouses given the land-sea differences in your reference

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2007/2006GL028164.shtml

  117. paminator
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 8:13 AM | Permalink

    There was an interesting letter to the editor of Physics Today magazine in January 2008 issue.

    The author, Madhav Khandekar, says in part-

    In a 2002 report on extreme weather trends, prepared for the government of Alberta, Canada,2 I documented that the 1930s had the hottest summers in Canada and possibly in the conterminous US. In a recent reanalysis prompted by Steve McIntyre, weblogger at http://www.climateaudit.org, NASA has now designated 1934 as the hottest year in the US and not 1998 as previously claimed.

    The reference is given as M. L. Khandekar, Trends and Changes in Extreme Weather Events: An Assessment with Focus on Alberta and Canadian Prairies, with a link

    http://ptonline.aip.org/journals/doc/PHTOAD-ft/vol_61/iss_1/14_1.shtml

  118. Larry
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

    A good example of abuse of statistics:

    http://iowahawk.typepad.com/iowahawk/2008/01/notepads-of-sha.html

    (yes, Iowahawk is satire).

  119. Bruce
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 10:28 AM | Permalink

    sod

    sea temperature is EXPECTED to rise more slowly!

    But, in reality, the sea temperature is rising about the same as the SH land temperature.

    What theory explains SH ocean, NH ocean and SH land rising a small amount and NH land rising a lot more?

    Not CO2.

    I’d guess that since there has been more sunshine since 1990, that explains all the small warming in everything except NH land.

    And NH land is explained by UHI.

  120. Hasse@Norway
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

    #Re 37 Bruce
    Can you give me a poitner to an artcile or something, documenting that there have been more sunshine since 1990??

  121. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 10:48 AM | Permalink

    This may be NFL conference championship day and Australian Open 4th round, but the big event for me today was the finals of the Ontario Squash Doubles – 60 and over. Lost in the finals – argggh.

    Speaking of which, I watched the first set of Federer-Tipsarevic, saw Federer atypically miss a couple of kill shots in the first set. The first set ended about 1.30 am and that’s all I watched; had I stayed up and watched it through – it ended at 5:15 am eastern, 10-8 Federer in the fifth. Would have loved to have watched it real time.

  122. Jim Arndt
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 11:11 AM | Permalink

    Hi,

    My concern is with feedback or lack there of. The CO2 has to have interaction with other GHG to amplify is effect. So you need an increase in the main GHG’s to have CO2 actually increase global temperatures. The main GHG is water vapor and this must increase for CO2 to be effective as the agent of temperature rise. Unfortunately this is not happening. I also see that CO2 is increasing in a very steady manner. Why is it that this increase is always assumed to be all man made when we have been in a positive cycle for both the AMO and PDO. With warmer waters come more CO2 out gassing at a very steady rate. Man does have a part in it but when the oceans can out gas several hundred giga tons of CO2 I think that is a aspect not mentioned here. Please see Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. link about water vapor feedback and radiative forcing.

  123. Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 11:30 AM | Permalink

    re: #110

    I also found GISS/NASA’s Gavin’s use of art a bit odd.

    In the engineering fields that I work we use the science of Validation.

  124. bender
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 11:42 AM | Permalink

    #114
    Thanks for commenting, Dan. It’s more than a bit odd to me. I find it disturbing.

    But notice how Gavin now complains about RPJ “reflexively assuming some imagined agenda”. The guy is just too slippery. Model validation is not an art, it is a science! To suggest it is art implies some weird non-scientific approach to modeling that makes me uneasy. I won’t use the terms “icky” and “mealy mouthed” because I could care less about personality. What concerns me is modeling malpractice.

  125. RomanM
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 11:46 AM | Permalink

    #38 Hasse

    A graph that I noticed last summer has gotten me interested in the topic of clouds and their effect. If you go to this NASA site:

    http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/climanal1.html and click on the graph labelled Cloud Amount:

    http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/zD2BASICS/B8glbp.anomdevs.jpg ,

    you will see that the global total cloud cover dropped from about 70% in 1987 to a low of 64% in 2001. Since then, it has risen to about 66%. Presumably, this would mean more sunshine although the overall effect is complicated by the difference in effect of the lack of cloud during the various seasons of the year. From a brief analysis that I have done on temperature and hours of sun data for the UK, it appears that more sun goes along with higher temperatures in the summer and lower temperatures in winter. I suspect the seasonal relationship could be quite different at other latitudes, but I have not been able to find a great deal in the literature estimating the effect of fewer clouds on the global temperature record.

  126. Mike Davis
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 11:54 AM | Permalink

    bender:
    New line of defense for RC: Show that you are in league with the blind art critics.

  127. Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 12:26 PM | Permalink

    Request for assistance.

    I have been trying to determine what is used in GCMs for the friction velocity. A standard definition for friction velocity; generally called U_star. I expect this to be the basis of calculating momentum transfer between fluids and the stationary surfaces bounding the fluids. And mass and energy transfer analogies can sometimes be used to get transfer coefficients for these processes.

    I have not been successful after doing several Googles, both Scholar and non, and looking through some GCM code listings, and a couple of text books. Specifically what I’m looking for is the equation for the shear stress that appears in the friction velocity. Pointers to source code listings in which the calculations appear will be especially useful.

    Thanks for any assistance.

  128. Stephen Richards
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 12:55 PM | Permalink

    Full story at accuweather.com

    2007 was Second Warmest, according to NASA

    Image courtesy of NASA.

    Last week, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) announced that 2007 tied 1998 for the Earth’s second warmest year in a century. If you remember, I recently blogged about NOAA’s annual temperature report, which stated that 2007 was the 5th warmest on record globally.

    The research team, led by Dr. James Hansen, who was recently interviewed by AccuWeather.com, used temperature data from weather stations on land, satellite measurements of sea ice temperature since 1982 and for earlier years ship data.

    GISS Global temperature anomaly graph compared to the 1951-1980 mean temperature.

    Image courtesy of NASA

    According to the GISS report, the greatest warming in 2007 occurred in the Arctic, and neighboring high latitude regions as the loss of snow and ice leads to more open water, which absorbs more sunlight and warmth (positive feedback).

    James Hansen on 2008……..

    “It is unlikely that 2008 will be a year with truly exceptional global mean temperature,” said Hansen. “Barring a large volcanic eruption, a record global temperature clearly exceeding that of 2005 can be expected within the next few years, at the time of the next El Nino, because of the background warming trend attributable to continuing increases of greenhouse gases.”

    Dr. Hansen notes on his website that the Southern Oscillation and the solar cycle have significant effects on year-to-year global temperature change. Since both of these natural effects were in their cool phases in 2007, the unusual warmth of 2007 is all the more notable.

    The report also notes that the data processing error found in the GISS temperature analysis in early 2007 does not affect the present analysis.

    2007 global and U.S. temperature anomalies with and without the data processing flaw.

    Here is the link to a more detailed breakdown of the 2007 GISS temperature analysis.

    Here is the link to the GISS history and analysis method.

  129. Jim Arndt
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 12:56 PM | Permalink

    Hi

    Sorry
    Here are the links.
    http://climatesci.org/2007/12/18/climate-metric-reality-check-3-evidence-for-a-lack-of-water-vapor-feedback-on-the-regional-scale/
    http://climatesci.org/2008/01/04/why-we-need-estimates-of-the-current-global-average-radiative-forcing/
    http://climatesci.org/2007/11/30/climate-metric-reality-check-1-the-sum-of-climate-forcings-and-feedbacks-is-less-than-the-2007-ipcc-best-estimate-of-human-climate-forcings/

  130. Jim Arndt
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 1:12 PM | Permalink

    Hi,

    #38 see these links they might help.

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/Solar_Changes_and_the_Climate.pdf
    http://spacecenter.dk/research/sun-climate/cosmoclimatology/a-brief-summary-on-cosmoclimatology

  131. Tony Edwards
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 1:46 PM | Permalink

    One aspect of rising OCO and sea temperatures that hasn’t been covered at all as far as I can see, is a measure of dissolved OCO in sea water over time. Given all of the conflicting claims that OCO is dissolving in the ocean and decreasing the ph or that it is out-gassing due to the rise in temperature, I would have thought that this would be a must-see number.

  132. Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 2:03 PM | Permalink

    Re 40:

    GEOPHYSICS Jun 2005
    The effect of smoke, dust, and pollution aerosol on shallow cloud development over the Atlantic Ocean
    Yoram J. Lorraine A. Remer , Daniel Rosenfeld , and Yinon Rudich
    Figure 1(2) shows the cloud distribution over the Atlantic with the southern hemisphere bit covered almost completely with stratocu, the NH bit with a mix of stratocu and convective cloud. Stratocu cools. Here’s what it says in the text:

    “Shallow water clouds have a critical role in the climate system; an increase in shallow cloud cover by only 0.04 is enough to offset 2–3 K of greenhouse warming. By reflecting sunlight back to space, stratiform clouds are “the vast climate refrigerator of the tropics and subtropics”. They are difficult to model because they are only a few hundred meters thick, capped by a strong temperature inversion, and controlled by small-scale physical processes. Using state-of-the-art satellite data, we show that the aerosol concentration is linked to the development, microphysics, and coverage of shallow clouds, thereby generating a large radiative forcing of climate.”

    So what might be reducing the amount of low level cloud?

    JF

  133. Bruce
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 3:28 PM | Permalink

    #38

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/308/5723/847

    Newly available surface observations from 1990 to the present, primarily from the Northern Hemisphere, show that the dimming did not persist into the 1990s. Instead, a widespread brightening has been observed since the late 1980s. This reversal is reconcilable with changes in cloudiness and atmospheric transmission and may substantially affect surface climate, the hydrological cycle, glaciers, and ecosystems.

  134. Andrew
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 4:28 PM | Permalink

    VG, the page you linked to says 19th warmest in the mid-troposphere. Interesting in and of itself, but not what they were thinking you were talking about. Careful to check your source, and get your interpretation correct.

  135. Andrew
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 4:34 PM | Permalink

    Julian Flood, take your pick, is it:

    A. Changes in the amount of Cosmic Rays hitting the earth due to solar magnetic activity etc.

    B. Changes in water vapor content of the atmosphere, no doubt due to Anthropogenic Global Warming.

    or is it:

    C. Clouds are to complicated to provide any simple answer to this question

    I pick C, for two hundred Alex.

  136. Andrew
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 4:37 PM | Permalink

    Sorry for posting AGAIN, but…

    Jim Arndt, any idea where I can get the data from figure 2 at that first link?

  137. Philip Mulholland
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 4:55 PM | Permalink

    Dan #118

    Have you also looked at variations in the Period of Day?
    See for example:
    Topographic Forcing of the Atmosphere and a Rapid Change in the Length of Day
    David A. Salstein 1 and Richard D. Rosen 1
    1 Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc., 840 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.

    During June to September 1992, a special campaign was held to measure rapid changes in Earth’s rotation rate and to relate these measurements to variations in the atmosphere’s angular momentum, due principally to changes in zonal winds. A strong rise in both length of day and atmospheric momentum during a particular 6-day subperiod is documented, and this example of a short-period perturbation is identified with a specific regional coupling mechanism. Mountain torques within the southern tropics appear to account for most of the rapid momentum transfer between the solid Earth and atmosphere, with those across South America especially important.

    Submitted on November 22, 1993

  138. eric mcfarland
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 6:35 PM | Permalink

    On the chemical signature of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/how-do-we-know-that-recent-cosub2sub-increases-are-due-to-human-activities-updated/

    There are other sources as well if this source is too heretical for most of you.

  139. Bruce
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 7:06 PM | Permalink

    eric, the CO2 “signature” explanation from realclimate says:

    “Since the industrial revolution, we have been burning fossil fuels and clearing and burning forested land at an unprecedented rate, and these processes convert organic carbon into CO2″

    How do we differentiate between CO2 produced by natural burning of plant material and man-made burning of plant material.

    For example, in 1 fire in 1997:

    Extrapolating these estimates to Indonesia as a whole, we estimate that between 0.81 and 2.57 Gt of carbon were released to the atmosphere in 1997 as a result of burning peat and vegetation in Indonesia. This is equivalent to 13-40% of the mean annual global carbon emissions from fossil fuels, and contributed greatly to the largest annual increase in atmospheric CO(2) concentration detected since records began in 1957 (ref. 1).

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?db=pubmed&uid=12422213&cmd=showdetailview&indexed=google

    RealClimate claims 500Gt of CO2 for the whole history of mankind, and 1 natural fire in 1997 may have produced 2.57Gt.

    How much has all the forest fires introduced?

    How doe RealCLimate know which is which?

  140. J. Marshall Lancaster
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 7:12 PM | Permalink

    #44 I was not refering to all cities, what I observe with my senses is all the large and mid-size cities I have been in have a major problem with car exaust. I believe hybreds are the answer. Electric cars are not viable as of now for fire engines,police, ambulance and long haul trucks. There are however great strides in electric car tecnology http://www.teslamotors.com/
    Weather one believes the problem of air quality is simply air pollution or AGW, hybreds make sense now for stopping air pollution in our large cities.

  141. Bruce
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 7:19 PM | Permalink

    By the way, in 1998 similar fires in Russia, North America and elsewhere generated huge amounts of CO2, CO and CH4.

    Simultaneous in situ measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2) and the principal gases linked to biomass burning at the Mace Head Observatory, Ireland, reveal a strong correlation in 1998–99 and 2002–03, both periods with intense global fires. CO2, carbon monoxide (CO), methane (CH4), hydrogen (H2), ozone (O3) and methyl chloride (CH3Cl), all have similar rates of accumulation during these time frames. These perturbations imply a causal relationship between large-scale biomass burning events and the interannual variability of these gases.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VH3-4FWKMHF-1&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=6e878e1bad40d2aa1fc0c38ba179cfba

    And do remember, that before humans started to fight forest fires, these “biomass burning events” were left unchecked.

  142. Raven
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 7:31 PM | Permalink

    Don’t forget the coal fires which are sometimes started by forest fires:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/sci_tech/2003/denver_2003/2759983.stm

  143. Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 8:32 PM | Permalink

    And NH land is explained by UHI.

    I think it could also be explained by black carbon emissions (e.g., from diesels in Europe, and coke ovens in China). Black carbon emissions wouldn’t travel very far from their source…especially if the source is transportation. Therefore, it wouldn’t get out over the ocean. (Especially with the wind in Europe blowing into Eastern Europe and Russia.)

  144. eric mcfarland
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 8:41 PM | Permalink

    So, forest fires explain the Keeling curve? Or just some mystery source (of course) …

  145. eric mcfarland
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 8:48 PM | Permalink

    Besides … we know what the carbon cycle has looked like for many thousands of years going back, and we are now outside of those known bounds … forest fires? I don’t think so … I think you have moved from being skeptical to being a contrarian. Big difference.

  146. eric mcfarland
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 8:56 PM | Permalink

    99:
    Steve: I think you get the point in all events.

  147. Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 9:05 PM | Permalink

    So what might be reducing the amount of low level cloud?

    Not to sound like a broken record, but as I understand it, black carbon may destroy clouds, leaving them as infrared-absorbing water vapor:

    More recently, model studies [Hansen et al., 1997; Kiehl et
    al., 1999; Ackerman et al., 2000] have indicated that the solar
    heating by absorbing aerosols (biomass burning or fossil fuel
    combustion related soot) can evaporate low clouds (e.g.,
    stratocumulus and trade cumulus); the resulting decrease in
    cloud cover and albedo can lead to a net warming whose
    magnitude can exceed the cooling from the direct effect [Ack-
    erman et al., 2000]

    Indian Ocean experiment

  148. bender
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 9:07 PM | Permalink

    The point that untruths are ok if it helps advance a “precautionary principle”?
    Keep posting your junk and dodging serious questions. You’re making a great and lasting impression.

  149. Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 9:11 PM | Permalink

    RealClimate claims 500Gt of CO2 for the whole history of mankind, and 1 natural fire in 1997 may have produced 2.57Gt.

    That value is the upper end of the range of between “0.81 and 2.57 Gt” for all of Indonesia in 1997 (not just one fire).

  150. Pat Keating
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 9:14 PM | Permalink

    121
    Spelling “whether” as ‘weather’ is pretty cute considering the context. But is ‘hybred’ a new term for an aristocrat?

  151. eric mcfarland
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 9:25 PM | Permalink

    And … what allowed such a large fire? Feedback … ?

  152. eric mcfarland
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 9:28 PM | Permalink

    Any thoughts?

    124 — which part — specifically untrue? If you can specifically ID the offending part … I will eat my left sock … the one I had on my foot all day.

  153. J. Marshall Lancaster
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 9:45 PM | Permalink

    #44 I was not refering to all cities, what I observe with my senses is all the large and mid-size cities I have been in have a major problem with car exaust. I believe hybreds are the answer. Electric cars are not viable as of now for fire engines,police, ambulance and long haul trucks. There are however great strides in electric car tecnology
    The only reason I am advancing a principle is because it may be the future. The cutting edge of which may be found here http://www.teslamotors.com/
    The question I may be said to be dodging is on this website. I will admit that the statement about all major and mid-size cities was subjective,however from my expierence it’s true. I live on the coast and last time I drove into Portland and got out downtown, I could not breathe well and wanted a mask.
    You may be interested to know I am a long time skeptic though I believe some AGW may be taking place. I want to see the hard science and the dialog that follows it. I just understand we are probably limited to peak oil and will eventually have to replace oil. Trucks and airplanes need another source of cheap energy.

  154. Bruce
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 9:50 PM | Permalink

    Anyone want to guess how much CO2 from these fires:

    http://www.idahoforests.org/fires3.htm

    1825 – The Miramichi fire in Maine and New Brunswick; three million acres burned; 160 people killed.

    1846 – The Yaquina fire in Oregon; 450,000 acres burned.

    1853 – The Nestucca fire in Oregon; 320,000 acres burned.

    1865 – The Silverton fire in Oregon, one million acres burned.

    1868 – The Coos fire in Oregon; 300,000 acres burned.

    1871 – The Peshtigo fire in Wisconsin; the most deadly in U.S. history; 1,500 killed; 1.2 million acres burned.

    1876 – The Bighorn fire in Wyoming; 500,000 acres burned.

    Parts of this chronology are taken from The Big Blowup

    1881 -A Michigan forest fire destroyed a million acres of timber and killed 138 people.

    1894 – The Hinckley fire in Minnesota; 160,000 acres burned; twelve towns wiped out; 418 lives lost.

    1903 – The Adirondack fire in New York; 450,000 acres burned.

    1910 – The great fire of 1910, Idaho and Montana; more than three million acres burned; 86 lives lost.

    1918 – The Cloquet fire in Minnesota. Cloquet, a thriving sawmill town of 12,000 was gutted; timber land and property losses estimated at $30 million; 400 perished.

    1932 – The Matilija Canyon fire in California’s Santa Barbara National Forest; 256 square miles burned; 2,500 fire?fighters on the lines; no lives lost

    1933 – The first of four Tillamook burns, in the Oregon coast range; subsequent fires burned in 1939, 1945 and 1951. In all, 355,000 acres of some of the finest timber in America were destroyed.

    1947 – Texas; in September and October, 900 man?caused fires burned 55,000 acres of timber in eastern Texas; losses exceeded $ 1 million.

    1947 – Maine; series of disastrous fires raged for ten days; 16 died; nearly 10,000 required first aid; 175,000 acres burned; Red Cross spent $2.4 million on disaster relief.

    1988 – Yellowstone National Park, Montana and Wyoming; a fire that was being allowed to burn broke out of the park. In all, more than one million acres of national park, national forest and private forest land were burned.

    Steve: So what? There were forest fires before there were people. I think that this is a non-issue; let’s not spend any time on it.

  155. Raven
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 10:09 PM | Permalink

    eric mcfarland says:

    124 — which part — specifically untrue? If you can specifically ID the offending part … I will eat my left sock … the one I had on my foot all day.

    The claim in the clip that the stratosphere is cooling is false (or at least out of date):

    Exhibit A:
    http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap1-1/public-review-draft/sap1-1prd-chap3figs.pdf

    Data up to 2004 shows that there is no significant cooling trend in the lower stratosphere since 1995.
    I could not find a good graph of the MSU stratosphere data up until today but I am pretty sure that the zero trend has continued.

    The clip is also using the AGW alarmist bait and switch technique where accurate statements are used to imply that numerous unproven statements are also true. For example, even if the GHGs are causing the warming that does not mean that this warming is a problem yet that is was the piece was trying to imply even it was not stated.

  156. J. Marshall Lancaster
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 10:58 PM | Permalink

    I have a question about the 24th cycle. With the continued delay of the 24th,what happens if it doesn’t come all through this winter,and the next.

    It will be colder but will there be enough correlation with the Sun to show a smoking gun ? Can the Sun be revealed as the culprit ? It seems to me that two years of no Sunspots will have to show directly the true nature of warming.

    I see the TSI is continuing to drop steadily from the 8,000 year high it was during the last part of the 20th centuary. Maybe these two events will coincide leaving no doubt about this issue at last.

  157. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 11:16 PM | Permalink

    #153. Eric, I agree that stratospheric cooling combined with tropospheric warming is evidence of GHG effect. However that doesn’t show that the surface impact is 2.5-3 deg C as opposed to 0.5 deg C. IN your opinion, what text or article best sets out this calculation clearly with a trail in which the steps can be verified?

  158. PaddikJ
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 11:21 PM | Permalink

    Ca. 138 Philip Mulholland says on January 20th, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    Have you also looked at variations in the Period of Day?

    My first thought was that Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc. must be one of those pseudo-scientific beyond-the-fringe groups, based on statements like “rapid changes in Earth’s rotation rate” and “Mountain torques within the southern tropics”, but a few minutes Googling revealed that they have published in journals like the AAAS & AMS, so now I’m thinking that I’m either not getting some very basic physics, or the mainstream orgs have gone completely off the rails:

    Rapid changes in the Earth’s rotation rate? As in, a several tera-ton rotating sphere can accelerate or decelerate just like that? On a daily basis? Based on – do I surmise this correctly? – friction between the sphere and its paper-thin gas jacket?

    Could one of you Physicist/Engineering people explain this to me? Hard numbers would be nice – the mass of the sphere x rotational speed, and how much energy that represents; and how much energy a deceleration of say, 1/1,000 sec, would represent (of course, I assume that in order to have any climatic effect, the day-length change would need to be much more than 1/1000 sec, which raises another issue: What change of day length would be required to produce any measurable climatic effect, and how much “rotational inertia” would that represent?).

    Or maybe it has something to do w/the earth not being completely solid, and there is some slippage between the solid shell & the viscous core & mantle? So you don’t have to account for the total mass/energy of the sphere, but various parts of it. But wait: the shell isn’t really solid either – a bunch of loosely interlocking plates jostling and crunching around. Wow. This gets complicated.

    thx,

    PJ

  159. eric mcfarland
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 11:23 PM | Permalink

    153:
    I’ll take you up on that. Based on my reading to date … I will be looking to Hansen. So far, his predictions have been pretty damn good. Are you reading Bowen’s new book?

  160. eric mcfarland
    Posted Jan 20, 2008 at 11:25 PM | Permalink

    Steve — I meant 158.

  161. eric mcfarland
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 12:02 AM | Permalink

    158:
    Here is a start:
    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2005/2005_Hansen_etal_1.pdf

    or are you well past that?

    Steve: I’m interested in a detailed exposition from A to B. I know what model outputs are – that’s not the same thing. I want a step-by-step exposition. BTW no one’s ever been able to provide one, so I’m of the opinion that no such exposition exists.

  162. eric mcfarland
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 12:22 AM | Permalink

    158:
    I think you may also be approaching this issue with the wrong question. There will be no static analysis. It’s feedback that makes the whole thing get tricky and less than “step in” in nature.

  163. Raven
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 12:35 AM | Permalink

    #162 I am not sure what you point is.

    You asked if there were factual errors in the clip you linked to.

    I pointed out that stratospheric temperatures have been stable for a number of years which contradicts the claim made in the clip. I could not find a good graph of stratosphere temps up until 2008 but I have no reason to believe the trend has changed since 2004. Here is a better graph: http://www.junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/Stratosphere1278-1204.gif

    Can you provide any evidence that stratosphere has cooled in proportion to the CO2 increase the last 10-15 years? If not then you cannot say that the stratospheric temps “prove” GHG caused warming.

  164. Raven
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 12:47 AM | Permalink

    Sorry Eric – I got confused. I thought you were responding to my post instead of Steve’s.

  165. Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 1:13 AM | Permalink

    Re 136

    I would also pick C, but do not share your pessimism about it. See
    The effect of smoke, dust, and pollution aerosol on shallow cloud development over the Atlantic Ocean

    Yoram J. Kaufman, Ilan Koren, Lorraine A. Remer , Daniel Rosenfeld, and Yinon Rudich

    These may well be the people who are going to hit the truth — I’d like to see them look into the effects of pollution on cloud droplet formation and coalescence. Double gins and Nobels all round.

    Knowing the voracity and general greed of US lawyers, I sometimes wonder who they’re going to sue if the theory of global warming is shown to contain major holes.

    JF

  166. MarkW
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 5:18 AM | Permalink

    PaddikJ,

    Rapid depends on your frame of reference.

    If you are used to changes in the parts per billion, and it suddenly jumps to parts per million. That looks rapid.

  167. Phil.
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 8:00 AM | Permalink

    Re #164

    Can you provide any evidence that stratosphere has cooled in proportion to the CO2 increase the last 10-15 years? If not then you cannot say that the stratospheric temps “prove” GHG caused warming.

    Here’s some RSS data, the stratosphere is represented by the TLS channel, you’ll see it’s decreasing at -0.315º/decade.

    http://www.remss.com/msu/msu_data_description.html#msu_decadal_trends

  168. PaddikJ
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 8:41 AM | Permalink

    If you are used to changes in the parts per billion, and it suddenly jumps to parts per million. That looks rapid.

    Yes, I get that part. What I’m interested in at the moment is – thousandths, millionths, billionths – what energies? What i still doubt is that rapid changes in the spin rate of something as big as the earth are possible on any scale that can be measured (but as alrady stated, maybe i’m not getting something).

  169. S. Hales
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 9:25 AM | Permalink

    168

    Assumptions about stratospheric cooling should acknowledge stratospheric ozone depletion as a major contributor not rising tropospheric CO2. Stratospheric temp has largely stabilized since 1995. The montreal protocol went into force in 1989. CFC’s have also stabilized starting their downward stmospheric concentration about 1995. Seems to be a clear correlation with a sound physical basis as ozone is trivalent.

  170. Bruce
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 10:08 AM | Permalink

    Steve

    There were forest fires before there were people.

    And no one fought the fires. Now they do. Every million acre fire prevented is megatons of CO2 not entered into the atmosphere. The assumption that humans put CO2 into the atmosphere and never take it out or prevent it is wrong.

  171. Phil.
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 10:12 AM | Permalink

    Re #170

    Assumptions about stratospheric cooling should acknowledge stratospheric ozone depletion as a major contributor not rising tropospheric CO2. Stratospheric temp has largely stabilized since 1995. The montreal protocol went into force in 1989. CFC’s have also stabilized starting their downward stmospheric concentration about 1995. Seems to be a clear correlation with a sound physical basis as ozone is trivalent.

    Ozone influence is mainly in the lower stratosphere the cooling in the upper stratosphere is due to CO2 (see Clough & Iacono)

    Cooling by CO2 is from 100mb upwards (max ~1mb) warming effect by O3 is from 400mb to 20mb.

  172. jae
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 10:22 AM | Permalink

    All I gotta say is that that OCO must be really powerful stuff, since there is only about 4.7 kg of it in a 1 m^2 air column (out of a total of about 10,000 kg).

  173. Bruce
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 10:24 AM | Permalink

    Hadley Sea Surface Temperatures are in for December.

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/
    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/hadsst2sh.txt

    Southern Hemisphere. -.010C below normal.

    Now we can spend a trillion dollars to warm up the planet.

  174. Phil.
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 10:56 AM | Permalink

    Re #173

    All I gotta say is that that OCO must be really powerful stuff, since there is only about 4.7 kg of it in a 1 m^2 air column (out of a total of about 10,000 kg).

    Glad to see that you’re finally catching on!

  175. eric mcfarland
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 11:08 AM | Permalink

    Steve: # 162
    Most of the exposition at this time is based on feedback analysis … based largely on physics, chemistry, etc., and the direct analysis of the Vostok ice cores. Thus, there is no simple, linear equation that will take you functionally from x to y. Bowen talks about this in his new book at about p. 249. Read it.

  176. eric mcfarland
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 11:11 AM | Permalink

    In short, Steve, you may be looking for something in such a way that it does not exist. Like looking for cheese on the moon. You need to go to the fridge and look in the cheese bin instead.

  177. Raven
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 11:29 AM | Permalink

    Phil. says:

    Here’s some RSS data, the stratosphere is represented by the TLS channel, you’ll see it’s decreasing at -0.315º/decade.

    Look at the graph: http://www.remss.com/msu/msu_data_description.html#msu_amsu_time_series

    You should see a step change around the pinatubo eruptions and a flat trend since 1995. The 29 year trend is deceptive because it includes the step change. I see nothing in this record that supports the GHG warming hypothesis over the last 14 years.

  178. Peter D. Tillman
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 11:59 AM | Permalink

    Re Forest (etc) fires, effect on %CO2

    Anthropogenic forest/brush/grass fires in general, which were very widely used by tribal people as a game-mgmt & land-clearing tool, are a big part of Ruddiman’s argument for early AGW, summarized in his fine book, _Plows, plagues, and petroleum : how humans took control of climate_ (2005). A very cool book, highly recommended. Some of his conclusions are speculative (even highly speculative), but the tide is running in his direction, I think.

    Happy reading–
    Pete Tillman

  179. Bob Koss
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 12:35 PM | Permalink

    Here’s some interesting information on the antarctic.

    ScienceDaily (Jan. 20, 2008) — The first evidence of a volcanic eruption from beneath Antarctica’s most rapidly changing ice sheet has been reported. The volcano on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet erupted 2000 years ago (325BC) and remains active.

    Article

    The volcano is located beneath the West Antarctic ice sheet in the Hudson Mountains at latitude 74.6°South, longitude 97°West.

    According to google earth that would be about 150mi from the coast and about 500mi from the mouth of the antarctic peninsula.

  180. Phil.
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 1:33 PM | Permalink

    Re #178

    You should see a step change around the pinatubo eruptions and a flat trend since 1995. The 29 year trend is deceptive because it includes the step change. I see nothing in this record that supports the GHG warming hypothesis over the last 14 years.

    Well it was already on the way down before Pinatubo but in any case the decline higher in the atmosphere is more dramatic (as much as 15º/decade), enough to affect the orbits of satellites. The lower stratosphere T is strongly affected by O3 depletion whereas higher up it’s GHGs.

    upper stratosphere

  181. J. Marshall Lancaster
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

    http://www.scapesite.com/ARTISTS/eastman-landscapes/sunspots.jpg Sunspots in there natural glory.

    We are still waiting for the 24th cycle and it could be another whole year. At the same time the 8,000 year high in TSI is going down,are we seeing the end of the bell curve and the start of a minimum ?

  182. See - owe to Rich
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

    #174 Bruce

    Also note that the December 2007 monthly global SST anomaly is the lowest since January 1997. So the solar minimum is kicking a good La Nina along, among other cooling. It’s going to be fascinating to see as this minimum progresses, how far things cool before turning upward again.

    Rich.

  183. yorick
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 2:38 PM | Permalink

    Peter Tillman, thanks. Next stop, Amazon.

  184. Raven
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 2:44 PM | Permalink

    Phil. says:

    Well it was already on the way down before Pinatubo but in any case the decline higher in the atmosphere is more dramatic (as much as 15º/decade), enough to affect the orbits of satellites. The lower stratosphere T is strongly affected by O3 depletion whereas higher up it’s GHGs.

    The graph is dominated by the volcanic events. Between the events we see a flat trend. Prior to 1982 we see a slight downward trend. There may be effects of O3 depletion involved but the original clip did not define what they meant by the stratosphere – the lack of any cooling trend in the lower stratosphere could mean that the GHG effect is much weaker than claimed.

    I could not see your link so I could not check to see if the upper stratophere trends show the same characterics as the lower stratosphere (i.e. step changes after volcanic events instead of a continuous downward trend as one would expect from GHGs).

  185. S. Hales
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 3:15 PM | Permalink

    Phil, Thanks for the clarification. Can you point me to the dataset that is shown here in graphical form. BTW it does show that “stratified” nature of the cooling from 70hpa to 1hpa. But I would like to look at the raw data. Since you are well informed on this you must have looked at the data. Thanks.

  186. Philip Mulholland
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 3:35 PM | Permalink

    Hi PaddikJ #159

    Did you find the following NASA article with your Google search?
    All Days Are Not Created Equal
    Isn’t Geoscience fun?

  187. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 4:51 PM | Permalink

    1. Forest fires and volcanos put soot and dust and etc into the air.
    2. Some stays in the air and blocks sun, helps create clouds, etc.
    3. Other falls into the oceans and change their chemical composition.
    4. Other falls onto ice and glaciers and causes them to melt faster.

    Our urbanization and fuel use due to increased population no doubt adds to these, but they happen on their own regardless. It’s possible we are also adding to the fires by refusing to clear brush. But in what ratio compared to when we put out fires artifically?

    More questions with no answers… Quick, somebody find me a modeler!!!

  188. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 6:04 PM | Permalink

    Bender said:

    Why do you expect the temperature trend over time to look any different from the anomaly trend? As long sa we’re talking about long-term trends, does your distinction really matter?

    No, I’m saying that I’m not taking for granted that ‘the anomaly’ = ‘the temperature’, and am skeptical there is a “the temperature” in the first place anyway. But regardless, the “global mean temperature anomaly trend” is just that, a derived number that can be assumed to be “the temperature trend”. I am trying to get out of the mindset of assuming that, since maybe it’s not. That clouds thinking about what’s going on.

    Do I expect the trend (whatever it is, not important) to continue? Sure. Looking at the last 3 years, they each match the trend for the whole 125 year, which is about +.6 C I expect this to stay around +.6 C for the near future. This is because I have come to the (not unreasonable) conclusion that the anomaly trend is an artifact of producing it, and is now in some kind of equilibrium.

    There’s some stuff here on the BB where I plotted some yearly charts for 1998, 2005, 2006 and 2007 (I plotted 1998 to see if the yearly anomaly and anomaly trend was higher than 2005 or not):

    http://www.climateaudit.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=40

    I could be wrong, and if it turns out I am, that still leaves the question on what it’s telling us and if it will continue. I would guess if we’re not “at equilibrium” that the number will continue to either fall; we’ll need to see next year (where it may trend up, but about the same).

    Quite a long explanation to tell you what everyone is: I don’t know! :)

  189. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 6:24 PM | Permalink

    I meant that essentially everyone is saying “We don’t know”. Sometimes it just takes a few years and a huge report to say it…. :D

  190. Philip_B
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 7:34 PM | Permalink

    the anomaly trend is an artifact of producing it, and is now in some kind of equilibrium

    If you look at the noon – midnight trend or the 3pm – 3am trend both are substantially less than the max – min trend (in the Australian data). So the trend is substantially an artifact of using max – min as the mean temperature. And you are right, the artifact (ie whatever is causing the disproportionate change in max/min/both) has reached a limit and is now reversing. See graph below.

    http://www.gustofhotair.com/australiaminvs36am.gif

  191. eric mcfarland
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 7:38 PM | Permalink

    Steve: have you gone back and looked at how Charney got its numbers in 1979 on climate sensitivity? That’s a good place for you to start … and those numbers have essentially stood the test of time — e.g. observations with Vostok, etc.

    Steve
    : I am familiar with the Charney Report and its sources. It relies on Ramanathan’s 1970s articles, which, although very dated, are closer to doing the job than later articles. I presume that someone in the subsequent 20 years and 4 Assessment Reports has improved or at least updated them.

  192. eric mcfarland
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 7:43 PM | Permalink

    BTW – the hockey stick has its own music video:

    Which is more than most can say.

  193. John Lang
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 8:53 PM | Permalink

    Philip_B in #191 – If you look at the noon – midnight trend or the 3pm – 3am trend …

    One thing we have never seen plotted or published is the average daily maximum or minimums from the GISS or Hadley sites.

    It seems to me that Hansen could easily prove his case if he just showed the average daily maximum is growing or the average daily minimum is increasing.

    With all the databases they have access to, it should be an easy thing for GISS to do and it would make their case easily.

    But I’ve never seen them show it. They continue to rely on the just the average temperature for the day which have been adjusted 10 different times (for time of observation bias etc. etc.) which sound perfectly normal when they explain what they are trying to do but are subject to all kinds of arbitrary rule-making (subtle errors that conveniently increase the trends).

    It seems that record daily maximums or average daily maximums are not as easy to manipulate after the fact (because anyone can just to point to the raw temperature records for any particular location and note that GISS’s are way off.)

    Let’s see the average daily or record maximums and skip these average temperatures which are subject to data manipulation.

  194. Alan Woods
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 9:32 PM | Permalink

    Speaking of anomalies, December’s HadSST results are in and we have the first SH SST negative anomaly since Dec 1995:

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/hadsst2sh.txt

    And the fact that December 1995 was near the last solar minimum ain’t got nothin’ to do with it.

  195. eric mcfarland
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 10:20 PM | Permalink

    192:
    “Almost 30 years ago, Jule Charney made the first modern estimate of the range of climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2. He took the average from two climate models (2ºC from Suki Manabe at GFDL, 4ºC from Jim Hansen at GISS) to get a mean of 3ºC, added half a degree on either side for the error and produced the canonical 1.5-4.5ºC range which survived unscathed even up to the IPCC TAR (2001) report.”

    Got this over at real climate. Aside from this “exposition” … it’s all models, feedbacks, observations, physics, chemistry, etc., at this juncture. In short, in the last 30 years … it has been improved upon. However, there are no clean, linear answers … which appear to be what you are seeking.

    Steve: People interested in climate science don’t seem to understand what an engineering report looks like or tries to do. The Charney Report doesn’t remotely look like an engineering report. (And by an engineering report, I have something different in mind than properly documented software -w hich is what the computer readers always try to assimilate the request to. It’s not a matter of “linear answers” if they don’t exist; it’s a matter of setting out our knowledge of the parameters in a coherent way – the knowledge that does exist. Details, parameters, .. Instead, we have a field driven by little 4-page articles in Nature and Science that are barely above abstracts.

  196. Gunnar
    Posted Jan 21, 2008 at 10:50 PM | Permalink

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/01/20/europe/climate.php

    Well, imagine that. Next thing you know, they will come out with an article, “rain causes wetness”. Of course, warm ocean water is causing the glacier thinning, which of course can not be heated from below.

  197. Michael Smith
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 6:11 AM | Permalink

    Steve:

    Could you post a link to a proper engineering study, so we can see what one looks like?

    Thanks.

  198. beng
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 9:05 AM | Permalink

    One aspect of the current La Nino that seems unusual is that the typical “dipole” characteristic — warmer waters in the western Pacific — is sporadic or even absent much of the time. The “tongue” of cold equatorial water even stretches west almost to Indonesia at times.

    Also, Australia typically gets at least average or above average rainfall during La Ninos, but, Aussies please correct if wrong, SE Austalian is continuing to see drought.

  199. jae
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 10:06 AM | Permalink

    Looks like maybe the use of ethanol may exacerbate the AGW problem.

  200. MarkW
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 10:15 AM | Permalink

    beng,

    Are you refering to “El Nino” or “La Nina”? The plural forms should be “Los Ninos” and Las Ninas”.

  201. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 10:20 AM | Permalink

    I have an observation to make about Jim Hansen based on the 60 Minutes interview of him (with his government bosses present) and their exposition on CBS last Sunday evening of Hansen being muzzled by the government in commenting about his government work in climate science. It turns out that Hansen has been at least implicitly or explicitly been requested by his government bosses to tone down his judgments on a climate crises from the Bush administration and at the same time admitting that the Clinton administration asked him to tone them up. Hansen appeared to have pretty much a free reign in his comments to the 60 Minutes interviewer and made clear his warnings of a fast approaching tilting point from which there was no return.

    Hansen comes across as very committed in his advocacy and he presents it in a very calm, collected and sincere manner. That nearly all governments tend to attempt to influence how government employed scientists word their statements about policy (unless the scientist and administration are in complete policy agreement) is rather obvious.

    My question then becomes this:

    If Hansen is as committed and concerned as he says he is for all mankind and the future of mankind and the consequences of going with current policy will be as quickly detrimental as he says it will be and, further, that he is being prevented by the government from freely communicating his advocacy and concerns, why does and has he remain working for the government? Would not he have a freer hand outside of his science job with government to advocate and freer even if a future administration might be more in line with his policy views?

  202. SteveSadlov
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 12:26 PM | Permalink

    We’re having a pretty good low elevation snow event here in California. Here in the northern third of the state, many places had snow down to near sea level. Flurries at my place (just under 1000 ft.) this AM. Up on the local ridges, a serious dump – Sierra like – over a foot up around 3 thou.

  203. SteveSadlov
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 12:30 PM | Permalink

    Waxing up the skis … here’s what’s coming next. Feb – Mar 2005 redux:

    THE THURSDAY NIGHT AND FRIDAY MORNING SYSTEM BEARS WATCHING. WILL
    TRY AND AVOID HYPERBOLE BUT ALL THE MODELS HAVE VERY GOOD AGREEMENT
    ON TIMING…STRENGTH AND MAGNITUDE OF THIS EVENT. IT LOOKS MUCH
    WETTER AND COLDER THAN THE CURRENT SYSTEM. THE NAM…GFS AND ECMWF
    ALL BRING SIGNIFICANT PRECIP FROM NORTH TO SOUTH THURSDAY NIGHT
    INTO FRIDAY MORNING WITH 850 MB TEMPS -4 TO -5 AND 1000/500 MB
    THICKNESS AS LOW AS 525-527 DM. WITH AN OVERNIGHT/EARLY MORNING
    TIMING SNOW FLAKES NEAR SEA LEVEL AND SIGNIFICANT SNOW ACCUMULATION
    AT 1000 FEET WOULD BE VERY PLAUSIBLE GIVEN THE CURRENT SOLUTIONS.

  204. Richard Sharpe
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 12:46 PM | Permalink

    Hansen comes across as very committed in his advocacy and he presents it in a very calm, collected and sincere manner.

    And was he just as committed in his past advocacy that rising CO2 would lead to a new ice age?

  205. SteveSadlov
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 1:04 PM | Permalink

    RE: #205 – He talked the CBS affiliate in the San Francisco-San Jose-Oakland metroplex (4th largest media market in the US) into airing a special that was essentially his standard speech plus the usual oooh ah graphics and special effects – taking a page from AIT. It aired Saturday evening.

  206. Eric McFarland
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 1:29 PM | Permalink

    205:
    That’s grossly inaccurate.

    As for Jim’s appraoch, he is very much about the facts. Having said that, he sees the growing and imminent threat of global warming and is rightly warning his boss (We The People) about it. How people get on here and apologize for the Sovietization of science (the Bush approach) is beyond me.

  207. Eric McFarland
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 1:34 PM | Permalink

    205:
    read this:
    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/distro_Grandfather_70924.pdf

  208. MarkW
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 1:37 PM | Permalink

    207:

    That would only be true if one treated the output of models as facts.

  209. eric mcfarland
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 2:14 PM | Permalink

    209:
    He follows the science is more accurate. As for models, you should read Mark Bowen’s new book “Censoring Science.” It has a lot on how Jim’s prediction/observation record is very good. And, he meshes his models with the observed sciences … and observed climatic events. Besides … model bashing is way over rated and not in accord with how good the models actually are working.

  210. Severian
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

    Wow! Apparently if you’re a big enough sycophant, you get to people by their first name.

  211. Severian
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 2:33 PM | Permalink

    Apparently if you’re a big enough sycophant, you get to call people by their first name.

  212. Philip_B
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 2:49 PM | Permalink

    Re#199 Eastern Australia has had widespread, well above average rainfall over recent weeks/months.

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/weeklyrain.shtml

  213. eric mcfarland
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 2:50 PM | Permalink

    196:
    Steve: Climate science is not unique in that regard — i.e., short articles. In fact, it’s pretty much standard across the board. I guess it’s a historical thing in science … and, it largely serves the purpose of science in general, which is to put other scientists on notice … who are then free to go after the conclusions. I think climate science is now unique because it has become so politicized … with people like you seeking to audit the traditional scientific process. Don’t get me wrong … I appreciate what you do … if you keep it honest. I think at the end of the day, you will aid the process more than hinder it. However, people like Sen. Inhofe, et al., really have no interest in honest science, and they use people like you to manipulate public opinion. I certainly wish there was some way for you to correct that portion of what you do. Any suggestions?

  214. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 3:01 PM | Permalink

    Eric, I have no problem with Jim, the scientist, except for issues such as his hestitancy to post the GISS code and to be more forthcoming in general. In fact on reading his papers I often see much implicit and explicit reservations and uncertainties attached to his projections (as outlined in my previous posts here).

    What I do not understand is the leap from the science and its uncertanties to the certainty on policy and Jim’s steady predictions of reaching a titlting point of no return in the very near future. There is a disconnect there that is obvious in my view and much like his remaining in what he surely judges and has described as a restrictive environment. He does have more choices and options than a scientist did in the Soviet Union.

  215. SteveSadlov
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 3:01 PM | Permalink

    Eric, I wish I could censor you.

  216. Larry
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 3:08 PM | Permalink

    Hansen comes across as very committed in his advocacy and he presents it in a very calm, collected and sincere manner.

    Sincere in his claims (on the record) that Steve and others are “jesters” working in some fantastic conspiracy with ExxonMobil to destroy creation (yes, he used the word “creation”). I for one don’t have any use for that kind of sincerity. The 20th century is littered with millions of dead bodies caused by sincere people, and we don’t need to add to that in the 21st.

  217. Raven
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 3:20 PM | Permalink

    eric mcfarland says:

    However, people like Sen. Inhofe, et al., really have no interest in honest science, and they use people like you to manipulate public opinion.

    Take a look at this link: http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2598
    Do you really believe that Al Gore is interested in honest science?
    Do you direct the same comment to Lonnie Thompson who lets his science be misrepresented because it ‘serves the cause’?

    I also feel that Hansen is more interest in advocacy than science and he uses science as a way to support his advocacy efforts rather than doing science for the sake of finding the truth. I am very concerned that a person who has no objectivity on the topic is allowed to be in change of one of the major datasets used to determine if warming is happening or not.

  218. David Smith
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 3:30 PM | Permalink

    Re #199 beng there are some interesting ocean maps available from ECMWF ( link ). The meridional sections, especially 165E , give a good subsurface view away from the equator. If you can get the animation feature to work (it’s sometimes a clunker) you can get a good view of subsurface activity.

  219. MarkW
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 3:33 PM | Permalink

    “Jim’s” predictions are only “very good”, if you are willing to ignore all of the problems and shortcomings with them.

  220. Eric McFarland
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 3:57 PM | Permalink

    215:
    I think where Jim is getting most alarmed is that in the 80s, he thought that the feedbacks (e.g., ice melt) were moving slowly, taking 000s of years to unfold. Now, however, the feedbacks (particularly ice melt, reversal of the carbon cycle, etc.) are moving and unfolding quickly … within decades … as we all know all too well. In short, the climate engine appears to be getting really fired up. And, that is why, I think, Jim has been so visible and concerned as of late … that and the fact that no one seems to be taking the message seriously.

    As for his use of the term jester … I think that Jim may have the likes of Deutsch (the NASA tattle tale who sought to tell NASA scientists how to write about science)and Inhofe (who would not know “sound science” if it hit him in the head) in mind when he used that term.

    As for the Soviet Union and science, what has been going on in this country (sorry the US) as of late is much worst. That is because everybody knew BS when they saw it in the Soviet Union because the USSR’s BS was so transparent and laughable. Not so in the US today because you have the likes of ExxonMobile funding a “debate” that really does not exist … e.g., going after the science unfairly and making false and misleading claims that the public simply cannot untwist … all aided and abetted by the likes of FOX and the WallStreet Journal.

    Which leads me to a recurring thought. Where is the hard research from the deniers and the contrarians … research showing empirically that global warming is a hoax? There is none. Does not exist. We know that ExxonMobile, et al., have millions to toss around on this issue … and if it was such a hoax … they would surely be able to produce hard scientific evidence to show as much. However, they have not and cannot … so they stick to fibbing instead … like claiming that there was a scientific consensus 30 years ago that the earth was heading for a freeze … or that Steve’s work shattered the hockey stick. All rubbish. Don’t take my word for it though. Ask Steve to produce an article wherein he shows clearly and beyond a doubt that he has disproved or otherwise refuted Mann’s basic conclusion. He cannot produce it. It does not exist. (Sorry Steve!) At any rate, the proof is in the pudding on this one.

    Anywho, I am probably talking to a brick wall around here.

  221. Eric McFarland
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 3:59 PM | Permalink

    220:
    Please list the shortcomings with sources.

  222. SteveSadlov
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 4:53 PM | Permalink

    Eric, zip it.

  223. Philip_B
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 5:02 PM | Permalink

    Eric McF, you are really doing yourself no favours piling rhetorical strawman on top of rhetorical strawman. You may not be interested in the truth, but most of those here are.

    And as for your claim that “unfairly and making false and misleading claims that the public simply cannot untwist.” I could level the same claim against the AGW alarmists and I’d cite you as an example.

    In reference to the predictive accuracy of Hansen’s (and others GCMs): On the face of it Hansen’s model has done a poor job of predicting climate, substantially worse than for example a straightline extrapolation of the 30 year trend. Having said that, Hansen made assumptions, particularly about non-CO2 GHGs, which didn’t eventuate, notably methane. It’s unclear the extent to which these invalid assumptions affected his model predictions. This issue could be resolved quite easily by re-running the model using actual data rather than the invalid predictions. As long as he doesn’t, the suspicion will be that the poor predictive ability of the models results not from flawed assumptions, but from a flawed model.

  224. Eric McFarland
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 5:05 PM | Permalink

    224:
    I don’t believe that you actually said anything.

  225. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 5:21 PM | Permalink

    Enough said Eric. Perhaps we could have reasonable scientific discussions on climate, but like Jim’s reactions to his GISS problems and imposition of jesters I think the discussions of policy and the policy environment will be impossible.

  226. Larry
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 6:14 PM | Permalink

    He’s dead, Jim.

  227. bender
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 6:17 PM | Permalink

    Eric McFarland is scoring points somewhere for his rhetorical junk. I say let him run with it. Give him a thread where he can make up factoids, sound his alarm, defend his beliefs, and push his religious tracts. It will be easier that way to enumerate his errors.

  228. steven mosher
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 6:31 PM | Permalink

    re 228. Let the fish run with it. Hook line and sinker, bobber on the lips.

  229. Eric McFarland
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 6:40 PM | Permalink

    228-229:
    yea – that’ll show him.

  230. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 6:50 PM | Permalink

    Re: #217

    Sincere in his claims (on the record) that Steve and others are “jesters” working in some fantastic conspiracy with ExxonMobil to destroy creation (yes, he used the word “creation”).

    Larry, I was simply describing how Jim comes off in his public appearances and particularly on the recent “60 Minutes” appearance. I agree that had he done his jesters-controlled-by-fossil fuel executives routine at least some of his sympathetic audience would have had a view of a different persona – somewhat like my changing views of Eric on this thread.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4D6z67SYxs8

  231. bender
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 7:12 PM | Permalink

    yea – that’ll show him

    you think you are worthy of attention? that’s a joke. your comments are worthless junk. you are a gadfly. but don’t let that stop you from commenting. go right ahead and tell the world about big tobacco and big oil and whatever other misanthropic junk you’ve decided to let infect your head. fire away.

  232. poid
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 7:27 PM | Permalink

    I would love to know how it was decided that the energy companies would lose money if the AGW theories were true?

    If i was an energy exec i would love to be able to charge higher prices for “green” energy, and have the market help me move into producing more expensive forms of energy. But maybe that is just me…i guess its easy to convince the sheeple of a problem if you throw emotive arguments about big, bad energy companies at them!

    Easier than producing convincing science, at any rate :)

  233. Larry
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 7:35 PM | Permalink

    234, even more bizarre are the AGW/peak oil crowd, who not only believe that the energy companies are going to make money off of business as usual, but will continue to make money after we run out of oil.

  234. jae
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 7:40 PM | Permalink

    234, even more bizarre are the AGW/peak oil crowd, who not only believe that the energy companies are going to make money off of business as usual, but will continue to make money after we run out of oil.

    This is typical of those who don’t have a clue about our economic system. And I’m very worried that the majority of the young folk are in that camp.

  235. Eric McFarland
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 7:49 PM | Permalink

    235:
    Even more bizarre is the amount of documented money that the likes of ExxonMobile and Western Fuels have spent to mislead the public about global warming when they stand to make so much more from fazing out oil and coal … er, something does not add up here. Welcome to the rumpus room!

  236. Larry
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 7:55 PM | Permalink

    Is Eric Susann in reverse drag?

  237. Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 8:03 PM | Permalink

    I am reminded of a story about a gentleman who wrote a book on sport that was a very poor book, badly written, badly researched and highly inaccurate.
    At a sports dinner he was asked to speak and said: “I have just finished my first book”, to which some wag from the audience responed, “Well done, now go read another one”.

  238. Mark T.
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 8:12 PM | Permalink

    Don’t worry Eric, we all expect to get a check sooner or later. We’ll be sure to mention your name as one of those “in the know” when the checks begin to arrive.

    Mark

  239. Eric McFarland
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 8:24 PM | Permalink

    Short but important film:

  240. Larry
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 8:24 PM | Permalink

    And for the record, there is no such company as “ExxonMobile”. Don’t ask me how I know that.

  241. bender
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 8:26 PM | Permalink

    Eric, you are almost as much fun as Dano. Those are called “linkies”. Keep ‘em coming.

  242. Eric McFarland
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 8:34 PM | Permalink

    Mobil … http://www.exxonmobil.com/corporate/

  243. Alan Woods
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 8:44 PM | Permalink

    “Fazing out oil and coal”. What’s that, a bad trip?

  244. Raven
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 9:17 PM | Permalink

    Susann says:

    We still have to answer the question of what is causing the current warming. If we rule out known natural forcers (let alone unknown natural forcers), such as solar or volcanoes, we appear to be left with known non-natural forcers — anthropgenic forcers, such as AGHGs, land use, UHIs, etc.

    Why does the current warming have to have a cause? Random autocorrelated processes like the climate can produce trends over short periods of time and 20-30 years is pretty short when it comes to the climate. The IPCC used the hockey stick as part of its claim that random trends cannot explain the current warming. If the MWP, Roman WP, Minoan WP are shown to exist then random variation argument is much more plausible and CO2 cannot be assumed to be the major driver because ‘there is no other plausible explaination’.

  245. Andrew
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 9:21 PM | Permalink

    Alan, any word on whether the price of bread was correlated with solar activity? You know a la Sir William Herschel? Sounds right around the time of ‘zee Dalton Minimum to me. Susann, when I look at this image:

    http://home.earthlink.net/~ponderthemaundercf/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/c14graph.gif
    Might I be forgiven for concluding that solar activity was the cause of the MWP if I compared it to Loehle, and at least part of recent warming, too? Maybe not, that would after all not make me popular.

  246. Philip_B
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 9:24 PM | Permalink

    #240, Hilarious. Moronic actor parodying GWB parodying moronic actor. Funniest thing Ive seen in years.

  247. bender
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 9:35 PM | Permalink

    Hmm, maybe there is something to Eric’s POV. I mean, that’s some pretty compelling stuff. I wonder what else he’s got.

  248. poid
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 9:47 PM | Permalink

    “documented money”…interesting.

    I think this could lead to some interesting research, documenting the amount of money ‘skeptics’ receive from the energy industry versus the amount of money ‘believers’ receive from environmental groups and ‘green’ companies?

  249. eric mcfarland
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 9:57 PM | Permalink

    Sound science — just for fun:

  250. bender
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 10:00 PM | Permalink

    Wow that is fun. And harmless. Fun like summer kool-aid.

  251. Roger Dueck
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 10:44 PM | Permalink

    Eric needs to read this.
    http://www.climate-resistance.org/2008/01/well-funded-well-funded-denial-machine.html
    You can read, can’t you?

  252. PaddikJ
    Posted Jan 22, 2008 at 11:53 PM | Permalink

    179; Peter D. Tillman says on January 21st, 2008 at 11:59 am, Re Forest (etc) fires, effect on %CO2:

    Anthropogenic forest/brush/grass fires in general, which were very widely used by tribal people. . . part of Ruddiman’s. . . Plows, plagues, and petroleum : how humans took control of climate, (2005).

    And it’s off to Amazon I go also (or is it I go Pogo?). Anyway, thx for the tip. See also Charles Mann’s “1491 – New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus.”

  253. PaddikJ
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Permalink

    ca. 223, SteveSadlov says on January 22nd, 2008 at 4:53 pm:

    Eric, zip it.

    Steve, ignore him.

    Too much wasted bandwidth.

    Confucius say, “Argue with a fool and there are two fools arguing.”

  254. Andrey Levin
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 4:15 AM | Permalink

    We are saved:

    http://www.regjeringen.no/en/dep/smk/Press-Center/Press-releases/2008/Broad-agreement-to-boost-national-climat.html?id=496872

    Norway decided to be carbon-neutral at 2030. “This is the result of an agreement between the government of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and the three large opposition parties”, so no jokes about left/right wing governments, it is broad consensus among politicians.

    “The government will set aside an additional NOK 70 million (US$12.8 million) for research on renewable energy and carbon capture and storage”, so all our problems with renewable energy and carbon capture are history.

    “The plan also relies on large annual purchases (approaching US$550 million) of carbon offsets through international emission trading systems”, so Al Gore carbon-trading enterprise is on solid footing.

    It would be tough, especially considering that from the base year for Kyoto treaty (1990) Norway CO2 emissions increased 2.7-fold, and now stands higher than US emissions on per capita basis; and that with almost 100% of electricity generated from hydro.

    Almost forgot: “The diesel fuel tax will be increased by NOK 0.10 per liter ($0.07 per gallon US), and the gasoline tax will correspondingly be increased by NOK 0.05 ($0.035 per gallon US).”

  255. MarkW
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 5:03 AM | Permalink

    I know that jousting with trolls is a waste of time. So this is my last response in this round.

    1) Inhofe knows science. It’s just that the science he produces disagrees with Hansen’s.
    2) Ah the old, ExxonMobile is funding everyone who disagrees with me gambit. Is that truely the best you can do?
    3) Nobody has ever claimed that global warming is a hoax. Obviously increased CO2 is going to cause some changes. The debate is how much.
    The alarmists want us to believe that life on earth is threatened if we don’t do something. (One guy in Britain made the claim that by the end of the century, the only life left on the planet will be living on Antarctica.)
    4) The shortcomings of Hansen’s models are the fact that when compared to historical records, their predictions are awfull.

  256. MarkW
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 5:04 AM | Permalink

    When I say produces, I mean it in the publishing, revealing sense. Not that he does the studies himself.

  257. MarkW
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 5:24 AM | Permalink

    Raven: #110: Additionally, we can’t rule out natural causes. At least not yet. Research into how the sun affects climate is continuing.

    Even if we are able to rule out all natural causes, not all un-natural causes have been fully accounted for. For example a recent paper came to the conclusion that at least half of the warming of the last 100 years was caused by UHI contamination.

    Finally, there are some who seem to believe that we need one explanation that provides 100% of the answer. In all likelihood there are a number of factors that account for the current warming, one of which is CO2.

    If half of the warming is UHI, and 30% is sun/cosmic ray induced, and 10% is the result of PDO/AMO/ENSO oscillations. That doesn’t leave much for CO2 to account for.

  258. Peter Thompson
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 5:35 AM | Permalink

    Susann #107

    When you say “We still have to answer the question of what is causing the current warming. If we rule out known natural forcers (let alone unknown natural forcers), such as solar or volcanoes, we appear to be left with known non-natural forcers — anthropgenic forcers, such as AGHGs, land use, UHIs, etc”. I agree. However, that is a question and a mission for scientists, and if my memory serves your examination of this issue is from a policy perspective. Two glaring implications for policymakers come from work like this.

    1. This study and others which serve to reinforce the fact that we dont know nearly enough about what is happening, are very instructive for policymakers. Not knowing means firstly that governments must actively support research into the matter, it appears that is already happening. Secondly, any attempts at mitigation of a problem, which we neither know its cause or indeed if it is even a problem are nothing more than foolhardy sops to uninformed opinion.

    2. Any policy driven by the “precautionary principle” must focus on adaptation. It appears that it has recently been at least this warm and that natural variation of the climate is normal. Whether this CWP is human-aided or not does not matter from a policy perspective as it has been warm before, so it will almost certainly be so again, we need to adapt, not spend our money on Dutch boys to stand by the dyke in case a hole shows up.

  259. MarkW
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 5:40 AM | Permalink

    Here’s another possible “un-natural” cause.

    http://www.physorg.com/news120247992.html

    The study finds that increased dust from urban and rural development is darkening the snow, causing it to melt faster.

  260. kim
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 6:06 AM | Permalink

    Much gracious, Eric, for the Ferrell clip; it might prove instructive for you to compare and contrast the greeniosity of the Gore and Shrub cribs.
    =========================

  261. Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 6:34 AM | Permalink

    Additionally, we can’t rule out natural causes.

    this approach can only be taken by:

    a) ignoring every effect of CO2 on climate.

    b) attributing the current temperature development to an unknown source.

  262. henry
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 6:39 AM | Permalink

    Kenneth Fritsch said (January 22nd, 2008 at 10:20 am)

    Hansen comes across as very committed in his advocacy and he presents it in a very calm, collected and sincere manner. That nearly all governments tend to attempt to influence how government employed scientists word their statements about policy (unless the scientist and administration are in complete policy agreement) is rather obvious.

    My question then becomes this:

    If Hansen is as committed and concerned as he says he is for all mankind and the future of mankind and the consequences of going with current policy will be as quickly detrimental as he says it will be and, further, that he is being prevented by the government from freely communicating his advocacy and concerns, why does and has he remain working for the government? Would not he have a freer hand outside of his science job with government to advocate and freer even if a future administration might be more in line with his policy views?

    Yes and no. Gore found a bigger audience by speaking from outside the govt, by effective use of the media machine.

    But consider that Hansen controls the GISS network. This is the most widely used “view” of the “temperature” of the globe. By selected use of reporting stations, undocumented computer code, selection of averaging period, etc, GISS consistently reports the highest “anomaly”, thereby supporting the “unprecedented” rise in temp.

    If he left the govt, his replacement takes control, and may start to release data, re-do the code, change the look of the charts – all of which may make the anomalies appear less severe.

    They could still argue AGW, but wouldn’t control the creation of reports and graphs.

  263. MarkW
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 7:56 AM | Permalink

    sod,

    We know that CO2 warms the climate, but anyone who tells you that we know what the magnitude of that warming is, is lying.

  264. Lance
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

    sod,

    Accepting that Craig’s study does show warming at least similar to, if not greater than, the present warming during medieval times, why do you insist that the current warming MUST be due predominantly to CO2?

    Can you not even consider that perhaps at least a significant portion of the recent warming can be explained by natural forces that cannot be easily quantified or predicted?

    Your intransigence is beginning to appear dogmatic.

  265. bender
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 9:43 AM | Permalink

    sod is simply retreating to the tactic used by RC gatekeepers like Hank Roberts: turn GHG/AGW into a yes/no debate. They do that because it’s the winnable argument. They don’t won’t to talk about estimating the effect of CO2 because that leads to confusing talk about statistical uncertainty. They don’t want the public or policy makers to be confused by that kind of talk, so they spin this lie that anyone that talks about uncertainty is a shill for big oil.

    Newsflash: uncertainty is the currency of science.

  266. Andrew
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 10:06 AM | Permalink

    Bender, I know what you mean, now, about the whole making it a yes no debate. I got into a heated discussion with some people over this. They insisted that just the fact that A CO2 is a GHG that cuases warming and B the concentration has gone up in the atmosphere due to human activity, that that automatically makes them right. Why can’t they be quantitative? I demand to know how huge uncertainties around aerosols correspond to 90% certainty. They claim I want the models to be “perfect” when all I want is to limnit them to first principles and what makes historical sense,, the ususal nonsense about how claims that these things will hurt economies are also based on models (guess what, they aren’t) even though I never brought it up. I demanded to see how they derived sensitivity. Lots of “denialist” went around. I’m sorry to say I lost my temper and patience when they kept trying to distarct from the issues with nonsense about sea level (and from Gavin, about his photographer days, which I kept telling him I didn’t care about, but I suspect he enjoyed that it got on my nerves) I finally broke down and rather rudely gave them a peice of my mind, calling them members of a certain Italian political party. I find that over exposure to unreasonable people cuases me to have nervous breakdowns. I try to avoid that sort of thing, now.

    I’m not sure I agree that mother nature is “babbling” or that changes don’t necessarily have to have a cuase. I find it difficult to imagine, although I could picture a sort of periodicity, I would imagine there was some underlying reason for it.

  267. Andrew
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 10:11 AM | Permalink

    Phil, I think he meant to say just the predicted part. Of course you can quantify natural forcings about as well as anthropogenic ones (ie not very well). The tricky thing is to decide whether history justifies qualitatively large natural forcings. If the Hockey Stick were correct: apparently not. If Loehle is correct, then there are large natural forcings.

  268. Craig Loehle
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 10:13 AM | Permalink

    Phil says:
    “You’re begging the question, however by definition if you can’t quantify the ‘natural forces’ or use them for prediction they can’t explain anything, it’s just handwaving!
    However the increase in CO2 and other radiatively active gases does change the heat transfer through the atmosphere in quantifiable and predictable ways so why can’t you accept that ‘a significant portion of the recent warming can be explained by’ that? Why do you feel that it’s necessary to deny that and seek other ‘natural forces’ that you can’t quantify instead?”

    The fact that we are unable to quantify something (yet) does not mean that any explanation will be complete without that piece of the puzzle. That is, in attempting to make predictions we can’t just leave out the things we don’t understand and then assert that they “don’t matter” because they are not quantifiable (which has been done with the cosmic ray theory and the infrared iris theory). One must demonstrate that the things we know are sufficient and that the things we don’t know don’t matter by doing experiments, whereas we currently have models with only very limited testing and only “good” not excellent match to that limited test data.

  269. steven mosher
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 10:15 AM | Permalink

    RE 134. Yes. One quarter in graduate school I posted Poems written by an NLG program
    I had written. Very rudimentary rules ( to keep it from being utter Noise ) It skipped
    between nonsense, mystical truth and dada. Timothy leary would have enjoyed them. What astounded
    me was the speed with which people could make “sense” of this author. Ascribe intentions to
    him. It was just code, picking words with some rudimentary knowledge of grammar. Weird.
    People could not look at the “appearence” of order WITHOUT imputing a cause, an intellegent cause.

    I pointed to the stars. They saw patterns. It’s in our biology.

    “I had not a dispute but a disquisition, with Dilke on various subjects; several things dove-tailed in my mind, and at once it struck me what quality went to form a Man of Achievement, especially in Literature, and which Shakespeare possessed so enormously – I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason-Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. This pursued through volumes would perhaps take us no further than this, that with a great poet the sense of Beauty overcomes every other consideration, or rather obliterates all consideration.”

  270. bender
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 10:18 AM | Permalink

    I’m not sure I agree that mother nature is “babbling” or that changes don’t necessarily have to have a cuase. I find it difficult to imagine, although I could picture a sort of periodicity, I would imagine there was some underlying reason for it.

    What’s kim’s poem about hearing loud the quiet message in a cloud? Are clouds periodic? Are ocean currents? Or do they babble? Why? Do they have underlying reasons? Is nonlinear fluid dynamics and exponential growth in physical systems enough cause for you? Open your mind to the quiet message in a cloud.

  271. bender
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 10:27 AM | Permalink

    if you can’t quantify the ‘natural forces’ or use them for prediction they can’t explain anything, it’s just handwaving!

    “Just handwaving”. Sort of like the precautionary principle? The fact is hand-waving sometimes serves a purpose in science. It’s not always just hand-waving. It can suggest cautious interpretation, for example, as opposed to what we usually see in GCM world: reckless interpretation.

  272. Andrew
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 10:29 AM | Permalink

    Um…That’s very….surreal, I suppose. I live in a world of rock hard cuasality, but every now and then I find myself perplexed by something it can’t explain. Like clouds, actually. And perhaps even random pseudo-periodic climactic variations. Hey, that’s a cool phrase: Random Pseudo-Periodic Climactic Variations.

  273. Peter Thompson
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 10:29 AM | Permalink

    Phil #136,

    “However the increase in CO2 and other radiatively active gases does change the heat transfer through the atmosphere in quantifiable and predictable ways”.

    Ummmm, no. The IPCC can’t explain the temperature sensitivity to CO2, but try to bracket it with their latest 1.5-4.5 C. They give themselves 300% leeway, peek at observed data and ad hoc tune (read: plug in numbers) to the GCM’s and get not only the magnitude but the sign wrong in their forecasts. Chimpanzees flipping coins have a 50% chance of at least getting that right.

    Steve has asked all the leading actors for an exposition of temperature sensitivity to doubled CO2, and they not only can’t provide it, but can’t decide how the current 300% envelope was arrived at, not to mention that envelope moves with every new IPCC report as observed reality blows up their last one.

  274. Phil.
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 10:31 AM | Permalink

    Re #138

    Phil, I think he meant to say just the predicted part. Of course you can quantify natural forcings about as well as anthropogenic ones (ie not very well). The tricky thing is to decide whether history justifies qualitatively large natural forcings. If the Hockey Stick were correct: apparently not. If Loehle is correct, then there are large natural forcings.

    Of course there are large natural forcings, volcanoes and Milankovich cycles for example, but they’re not mysteries, we can investigate which processes were responsible for past events and then look to see if they’re active in the present. For example the ‘year without a summer’ due to volcanoes, we can quantify the effect of such a natural forcing and predict what their effect would be. But you can’t say the drop in temperature during the middle of the 20th century was do to ‘natural causes’ because of what happened in 1816 because the triggering event didn’t occur. And certainly there’s no reason to invoke mysterious ‘natural causes’ when there are already known drivers in existence.

  275. Phil.
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 10:36 AM | Permalink

    Re #145

    Read what I said, don’t make up some strawman of your own.

  276. Tom Gray
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 10:58 AM | Permalink

    re 138

    However the increase in CO2 and other radiatively active gases does change the heat transfer through the atmosphere in quantifiable and predictable ways so why can’t you accept that ‘a significant portion of the recent warming can be explained by’ that?

    This is a real question from a layman. From what I have read, it is my understanding that feedback effects are posited to play a major role in AGW warming and that these feedbacks are not well understood. Doesn’t this argue against the current scientific predictability of the effects of any specific change in CO2 concentration?

  277. Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 10:58 AM | Permalink

    145 (Peter T):

    Ummmm, no. The IPCC can’t explain the temperature sensitivity to CO2, but try to bracket it with their latest 1.5-4.5 C. They give themselves 300% leeway

    Be careful with calculating percentages on something like this. The correct phrase would have been ‘3 degrees leeway’. Suppose the range had been 0-3 C, what would be the percentage leeway?

  278. Phil.
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

    Re #150

    We can’t quantify natural forces or use them for predictions. However we do know with great certainty exactly how CO2 will affect climate.

    Can’t anyone read around here? Lance in #130 proposed that “at least a significant portion of the recent warming can be explained by natural forces that cannot be easily quantified or predicted”, I pointed out that such mysterious forces aren’t useful for explaining anything! Other natural forces can be quantified and can be used for prediction and explanation as I also pointed out.

    Funny thing is that Phil accuses other people of being dogmatic.

    No I pointed out that Lance was guilty of the same dogmatic view that he attributed to sod.

  279. Tilo Reber
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 11:01 AM | Permalink

    I want to try to encapsulate this debate a little. The positions of Sod and Phil seems to be that if we have a perfectly good candidate for explaining contemporary warming, then why should we use some mysterious unknown. As I see it, the problem with that approach is this: We had temperature forcing in the past that gave us similar temperature movement to what we have today. Assuming that the movement in the past was caused by something other than CO2 increases, then what can we say about it? I think we have to say that we don’t understand all of the factors that played into those forcings, but, we know that they are real – that they exist. So how can we exclude those same factors from the contemporary equation and claim that everything we are seeing is AGW. We can’t. I don’t think that means that anyone wants to deny a component of man made CO2 forcing. At least I don’t want to do this. But the question reamains, and many here have tried to say it, what is the magnitude of that forcing.

    To continue a little further, let’s say all of the temp change is due to man made CO2 (this I doubt). Then what have we got. 280 to 390 ppm CO2 change. This is about 40% of a doubling. And what has it given us? About .6C. So if 40% of a doubling gives us .6C, how is the other 60% going to give us 2.4C. Doesn’t seem realistic, especially since CO2 forcing is logarithmic, so that we can expect more effect from the first part of the doubling than from the last. And if you look at the solar cycles, solar forcing, if anything, has been contributing to creating that .6C, even if it is only a small part.

  280. Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 11:02 AM | Permalink

    273 (Peter T):

    Ummmm, no. The IPCC can’t explain the temperature sensitivity to CO2, but try to bracket it with their latest 1.5-4.5 C. They give themselves 300% leeway

    Be careful with calculating percentages on something like this. The correct phrase would have been ‘3 degrees leeway’. Suppose the range had been 0-3 C, what would be the percentage leeway?

  281. kim
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 11:03 AM | Permalink

    I think I’ve never heard so loud
    The quiet message in a cloud.
    ==================

  282. Tony Edwards
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 11:18 AM | Permalink

    Tilo Reber says:
    January 23rd, 2008 at 11:01 am

    This is related to a point that doen’t get enough exposure. The rise in temperature so far over the past 150 years is due to, let us say, unknown forcings, CO2 and feedbacks, of whatever magnitude or sign. Any further increase, say to double the 280 ppm we started from(?), in the one factor, CO2, will produce an increase, given an exponentially reducing forcing, let us say, another 0.6 degrees K. But the big claim is that, now, feedbacks will take over and increase the rise. However, the very same feedbacks have already been operating and have resulted in the aforementioned rise. Given that a rise from 288 degrees K to 288.6 degrees K to 289.2 degrees K is only a 0.41% rise in total, I can’t see any reason why any feedback should change significantly in either magnitude or sign.

  283. bender
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 11:19 AM | Permalink

    Phil, I hope you are not asking for an argument just because of the “handwaving” remark? If you stick to physics and I stick to time-series and we’ll get along great. On the areas of overlap – sun, ocean, cloud nonlinear dynamics – I can agree to collegiality if you can.

  284. jae
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 11:23 AM | Permalink

    275:

    And certainly there’s no reason to invoke mysterious ‘natural causes’ when there are already known drivers in existence.

    The problem I see with that argument is that there is yet no real proof that those “known drivers” are driving anything. There are demonstrations, via models, but no empirical evidence that I know of. You can’t use the fact that temperatures are increasing as empirical evidence that CO2 is causing it, because other things could be causing it. What caused the MWP and LIA?

  285. bender
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 11:34 AM | Permalink

    And certainly there’s no reason to invoke mysterious ‘natural causes’ when there are already known drivers in existence.

    Sounds like the standard RC line. Fact is there is a reason. The reason is that attribution is not a yes/no exercise. It is a quantititative estimation exercise. Which means the unknown is always a factor. The unexplained variation is not zero. And I have a legitimate concern about the estimates of internal cliamte variability. Where are they? How do they get these estimates (internal variability is small compared to external forcing) when they are using GCMs that do not reproduce things like ENSO? How stable are circulatory modes like ENSO anyways? Where’s the engineering report that would describe things like internal heat engine size vs. responsiveness to external forces.

    These questions get asked at RC. Never answered. Instead, you get the standard RC line from the gatekeepers. In fact I think I’ll go ask now about raypierre’s most recent comment that it is not known how much heat was lost to space during the last super El Nino. No kidding?

  286. Larry
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 11:41 AM | Permalink

    And to make things even more interesting, there’s no way to be sure that we’ve identified all of the natural forcings. This makes the process of elimination meaningless.

  287. Phil.
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 11:45 AM | Permalink

    Re #269

    Phil says:
    “You’re begging the question, however by definition if you can’t quantify the ‘natural forces’ or use them for prediction they can’t explain anything, it’s just handwaving!
    However the increase in CO2 and other radiatively active gases does change the heat transfer through the atmosphere in quantifiable and predictable ways so why can’t you accept that ‘a significant portion of the recent warming can be explained by’ that? Why do you feel that it’s necessary to deny that and seek other ‘natural forces’ that you can’t quantify instead?”

    The fact that we are unable to quantify something (yet) does not mean that any explanation will be complete without that piece of the puzzle. That is, in attempting to make predictions we can’t just leave out the things we don’t understand and then assert that they “don’t matter” because they are not quantifiable (which has been done with the cosmic ray theory and the infrared iris theory). One must demonstrate that the things we know are sufficient and that the things we don’t know don’t matter by doing experiments, whereas we currently have models with only very limited testing and only “good” not excellent match to that limited test data.

    Quite I agree, but the point I was arguing was that we don’t throw away what we know about now in favor of some yet to be determined ‘natural cause’. The position that ‘it’s happened before’ and therefore nothing we’re doing now can be a cause of what’s happening now is absurd.

  288. jae
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

    The position that ‘it’s happened before’ and therefore nothing we’re doing now can be a cause of what’s happening now is absurd.

    I don’t see anyone here taking that position. It could be A cause or THE cause, but who knows for sure?

  289. Phil.
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 11:57 AM | Permalink

    Re #284

    Phil, I hope you are not asking for an argument just because of the “handwaving” remark? If you stick to physics and I stick to time-series and we’ll get along great. On the areas of overlap – sun, ocean, cloud nonlinear dynamics – I can agree to collegiality if you can.

    I’m not sure what this is about (possibly because of the moving around of posts) I’m certainly not reacting to any ‘handwaving’ comment.

  290. bender
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 12:22 PM | Permalink

    ok, Phil, sorry

  291. Eric McFarland
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 12:57 PM | Permalink

    This should make for some good reading:
    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/20080122_DearChancellor.pdf

  292. steven mosher
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 2:51 PM | Permalink

    wow. this thread got way messed up

  293. bender
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 3:37 PM | Permalink

    #265 onward were snipped this am from ‘Loehle correction’

  294. Phil.
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 3:56 PM | Permalink

    Re #280

    I want to try to encapsulate this debate a little. The positions of Sod and Phil seems to be that if we have a perfectly good candidate for explaining contemporary warming, then why should we use some mysterious unknown. As I see it, the problem with that approach is this: We had temperature forcing in the past that gave us similar temperature movement to what we have today. Assuming that the movement in the past was caused by something other than CO2 increases, then what can we say about it? I think we have to say that we don’t understand all of the factors that played into those forcings, but, we know that they are real – that they exist.

    Good so go out and track down those forcings and see if they’re still acting today, don’t just assume that they must be.

  295. Richard Sharpe
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 4:29 PM | Permalink

    The position that ‘it’s happened before’ and therefore nothing we’re doing now can be a cause of what’s happening now is absurd.

    I don’t see anyone here taking that position. It could be A cause or THE cause, but who knows for sure?

    Indeed. However, the fact that human agency was not the cause of event GW in the past means that we need very good reasons for arguing that human activity is the cause of event GW today.

  296. Susann
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 6:15 PM | Permalink

    “uncertainties notwithstanding” is what drives me nuts about policymakers! They want to dispense with the uncertainty – pretend it doesn’t exist – and then argue to invoke a “precautionary principle”. The degree of uncertainty serves to condition the appropriate level of precaution. That’s why they want to get rid of it.

    To be clear, my argument is not with Phil, it is with the POV of the uncertainty denialist.

    Bender, if I may speak as a policy analyst for a moment: we don’t want to dispense with uncertainty. The issue is that ultimately public policy is a political undertaking, not scientific.

    Policy analysts are tasked with developing a policy on issue X by the policy makers (politicians), who generally don’t have a lot of background in the issue at hand. It is us flunkee policy analysts who do the research on issue X and come up with background that is comprehensible to the policy maker (politician) that includes what the research says about issue X. It can’t be too complex, and that is why documents like the IPCC summary and FAQs are pretty simplistic. I have had so many graphs and tables and charts excised because it was too much for the policy makers to consider. Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.

    We then have to summarize the options regarding issue X and the costs/benefits and risks of each option. We may have to come up with a policy recommendation (on the advice of the politicos who do policy advising) but as I said, it is largely political vs. scientific. In other words, because the policy maker has to get re-elected and balance competing interests, they decide not based necessarily on the best evidence or science, but on what works best overall, when politics, economics, public opinion, stakeholder response, etc. are considered. That may mean they go with an option that contradicts the science, whatver the state of that science is, because of economics, or stakeholder influence, or the fact that an election is coming up and the public want policy Y. If the policy advisors and makers don’t want policy Y, they can hype the uncertainties in the research, or if they do want Policy Y and the data is uncertain, they can ignore it, claiming economic precedence or other considerations.

    Policy makers should know the true degree of uncertainty in any science that underpins policy, but they can just as easily reject sound science or accept unsound science, depending on the issue at hand and the political nature of the issue.

    In other words, as Prime Minister, I might have access to science that says today’s warming is no big deal, but the public and the stakeholders want a cap and trade system for CO2. So, while the science may say no mitigation policy is necessary, the politics of the matter say it is. Guess what option the politician goes with?

  297. bender
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 6:23 PM | Permalink

    if I may speak as a policy analyst for a moment: we don’t want to dispense with uncertainty

    First, are you a policy analyst? Or just speaking as one?

    Second, to suggest that policy analysts do not want to dispense with uncertainty is to strain credulity. I knew a policy analyst once. He wanted to dispense with uncertainty.

    Oh, right. You started your sentence with “if”. Therefore you did not acutually assert the things that came after. Ah, you lawyers.

    Depending on your answer above I will decide if I grant you permisison to speak as a policy analyst. Until then I won’t read the rest of what you wrote.

  298. bender
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 6:31 PM | Permalink

    while the science may say no mitigation policy is necessary, the politics of the matter say it is. Guess what option the politician goes with?

    If a politician chooses to ignore his scientists, guess what sort of options are available to the scientist.

  299. Susann
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 6:33 PM | Permalink

    S, your parenthetical ‘let alone unknown natural forcers’ makes no sense. Prove that you are thinking clearly here. Your intelligence is manifest; what is causing your apparent blindness to the meaning of the existence of the MWP and the LIA?
    ==============================

    I have read quite a bit about the P-E Thermal Maximum. Apparently, it was caused by either a methane clathrate “burp” or some other GHG excursion and had very rapid warming and cooling, in geological time frames. The existence of a P-E Thermal Maximum does not negate the possibility that the current warming might be largely anthropogenic. Nor does the existence of a MWP or LIA. They are episodes of temperature variance with different causes. All natural, in the sense of non-anthropogenic. The fact of a natural temperature excursion in the past does not preclude an anthropogenic one today.

    And the folks who say there need not be any “cause” of a warming period? Pardon my incredulity. Might as well give up on science altogether if that’s your view.

  300. Susann
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 6:35 PM | Permalink

    If a politician chooses to ignore his scientists, guess what sort of options are available to the scientist.

    They can go to the press and testify before congress? :)

  301. Susann
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 6:42 PM | Permalink

    First, are you a policy analyst? Or just speaking as one?

    Second, to suggest that policy analysts do not want to dispense with uncertainty is to strain credulity. I knew a policy analyst once. He wanted to dispense with uncertainty.

    Oh, right. You started your sentence with “if”. Therefore you did not acutually assert the things that came after. Ah, you lawyers.

    Depending on your answer above I will decide if I grant you permisison to speak as a policy analyst. Until then I won’t read the rest of what you wrote.

    It’s not policy analysts who want to dispense with it; it’s the politicians because uncertainty can be too messy if it gets in the way of their desired course of action. When it suits them of course they’ll take uncertainty and ignore it if it doesn’t suit them.

    Don’t shoot the messenger. I’m just telling it like it is — in my experience as a policy analyst for the past 5 years.

    Public policy is political. It should be based on sound science, but it isn’t always, and that’s largely because of the competing interests policy makers must balance. You may not like that reality, but stomping your feet and refusing to accept that reality is futile.

  302. bender
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 7:03 PM | Permalink

    Don’t shoot the messenger.

    You are the one shooting the messenger. I tell you the data aren’t good enough to say the things you want to say, and you ignore me. Guess what? You just picked a fight. Follow your policy regardless what the science says. Just know that there will be consequences.

    I’m just telling it like it is — in my experience as a policy analyst for the past 5 years

    I am also telling it like it is — from my experience as a scientist for the past five years. The difference is you’re telling me to quit with the message; that I’ve had my say already. I’m telling you I haven’t.

  303. bender
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 7:08 PM | Permalink

    And the folks who say there need not be any “cause” of a warming period? Pardon my incredulity. Might as well give up on science altogether if that’s your view.

    There goes another ‘yes/no’ alarmist. Anthrogogenic cause? Check. Next step: carbon taxes for everyone.
    Hold your horses. You need to know the magnitude of the effect before you can design a suitable policy that is going to solve the problem it was designed to address. Or is the messenger also telling me it’s ok for politicians to pursue policies that don’t work?

  304. Susann
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 7:11 PM | Permalink

    Bender, I don’t see what the disagreement is here. I agree that the best science should be used as the basis for public policy, but I’m telling you it ain’t so! I’m not saying I want it to be that way. I’m saying that public policy is a political not a scientifi endeavor, regardless of what either of us want.

    It’s not that policy makers want to dispense with uncertainty altogether — the issue of scientific uncertainty can be useful when they want to ignore the push for a policy on an issue. It can be a hindrance if they want to push a policy and the science is not with them. It all depends on the issue at hand.

    I’m not telling you to quit with the message. I’m offering my point of view. Why do you feel that means I am trying to shut you up?

  305. bender
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 7:12 PM | Permalink

    stomping your feet and refusing to accept that reality is futile

    This is brilliant. Resisting political flavors of the day is futile? You can tell your cohort by that statement. Good luck in your career. I’m sure you’ll do well for yourself. At others’ expense.

  306. bender
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 7:14 PM | Permalink

    policy makers want to dispense with uncertainty altogether

    I amend the remark, made in haste: SOME policy makers want to dispense with uncertainty altogether.

  307. MrPete
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 7:16 PM | Permalink

    S — I read your reality check… and am chagrined but not surprised. What you are saying is that public policy has completely lost almost any connection to serving either real needs or the truth. The expedience of serving power and comfort has trumped just about everything else. Winning is more important than anything else.

    Wilberforce would have no better luck today than in his day.
    :(

  308. Susann
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 7:17 PM | Permalink

    There goes another ‘yes/no’ alarmist. Anthrogogenic cause? Check. Next step: carbon taxes for everyone.
    Hold your horses. You need to know the magnitude of the effect before you can design a suitable policy that is going to solve the problem it was designed to address. Or is the messenger also telling me it’s ok for politicians to pursue policies that don’t work?

    You are really going way beyond my post’s intent. Science is all about “cause and effect”, or did I miss something when I studied the scientific method?

    I’m not saying it’s OK for politicians to develop policies that don’t work. I’m saying they do it all the time because public policy is not about truth or facts. It’s about power and the exercise of it.

    I’m here because I do care about the science and the uncertainties. Sheesh.

  309. bender
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 7:17 PM | Permalink

    Why do you feel that means I am trying to shut you up?

    You say “resistance is futile”, suggesting there is no way to reform the political process so that it is science-based and inclusively democratic. The most powerful lobbyist gets his way, and that’s it.

  310. bender
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 7:18 PM | Permalink

    #308 That is precisely what she is saying and I am sickened. Good night.

  311. bender
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 7:20 PM | Permalink

    You are really going way beyond my post’s intent.

    #309 That is because you are so young you do not realize what you are effectively saying.

  312. Susann
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 7:26 PM | Permalink

    You say “resistance is futile”, suggesting there is no way to reform the political process so that it is science-based and inclusively democratic. The most powerful lobbyist gets his way, and that’s it.

    Resistance is not futile, but covering your eyes and plugging your ears will not solve the problem. You have to see the thing for what it is before you can hope to change it. I’m not saying you have to accept this reality, but you have to acknowledge that it is the reality before you can hope to change it.

    The only way to change this reality is to change the policy process itself such that there is some means of independent review of policy decisions, but you’ll get one heck of a lot of resistance to that. Policy is seen as the proper purview of elected officials. As it is now, pretty much the only way to change policy is to change governments or be the most powerful stakeholder and raise a stink.

  313. Peter Thompson
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 7:43 PM | Permalink

    Susann #300,

    “And the folks who say there need not be any “cause” of a warming period? Pardon my incredulity. Might as well give up on science altogether if that’s your view”.

    Just wow. What else could one say? In High School science, one thing a Ph d. drilled through my head was that nature is capricious; understanding that is merely a maturation process. In university, that uncertainty was reinforced.

    Please consider a hopefully illustrative example. Life on earth started as some very basic bits of hydrocarbon type stuff which evolved and evolved into the diversity we see today. The theory of evolution explains what happened, but not why. Since there is no “cause” for evolution, should we give up on science? I hope not.

  314. bender
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 7:53 PM | Permalink

    covering your eyes and plugging your ears will not solve the problem

    Of course not. Are you playing games, sorta like Phil, suggesting someone here is doing that?

    I’m trying to get climatologists focused on the estimation problem. You’re saying what? That the science is settled enough to move forward with ideas that are inevitable because the powerful are unstoppable? You want a policy. I’m trying to give you one that will work.

    And the folks who say there need not be any “cause” of a warming period? Pardon my incredulity. Might as well give up on science altogether if that’s your view.

    Your incredulity is unpardonable. What is the internal variability of earth’s climate system, Susann? Show me the numbers and how you got them. The unknown is always a legitimate alternative for deeply uncertain systems. Sun, ocean, clouds. How did the oceans get so warm as to cause the 1997/98 El Nino? Where did all that heat go? Why don’t the GCMs simulate ENSOs correctly? Is ENSO, in reality, a “texas sharpshooter” problem? What’s your assurance that the past trend will continue? That some negative feedback won’t kick in and cap the alarmingly dangerous Hansen-driven democratic power tool called AGW?

    Answer me these things and maybe I will support your scheme.

  315. Susann
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 8:02 PM | Permalink

    Just wow. What else could one say? In High School science, one thing a Ph d. drilled through my head was that nature is capricious; understanding that is merely a maturation process. In university, that uncertainty was reinforced.

    snip

    So, you really believe that science is not about understanding the cause of phenomenon in nature? A quick search of scientific literature will show that scietific papers involve searches for “causes” for phenomenon all the time — here is a link to a page in Google Scholar that shows the notion of a cause of a phenomenon is present in many scientific papers. I don’t get it.

    Why do black holes form? What causes their formation? Who cares! They just do!

  316. Susann
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 8:10 PM | Permalink

    I’m trying to get climatologists focused on the estimation problem. You’re saying what? That the science is settled enough to move forward with ideas that are inevitable because the powerful are unstoppable? You want a policy. I’m trying to give you one that will work.

    Where on Earth did I say the science was settled?

    I don’t want a policy. I’m still hacking away at the pile of research papers I have on proxy data.

    I am saying that if a politician doesn’t see a policy as in the best interests of whatever motivates him or her to act, all the science in the world won’t force him or her to make one. And if the policy maker does want a policy, and the science isn’t ripe or the uncertainties are too large, there may be other more compelling (to the policy maker) reasons to go ahead and make a policy, science be damned.

    I don’t like that one bit. That’s not the way it should be. But that’s the way it is. Don’t bite my head off or assume that I like that it’s that way.

  317. TAC
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 8:11 PM | Permalink

    Susann:

    And the folks who say there need not be any “cause” of a warming period? Pardon my incredulity. Might as well give up on science altogether if that’s your view.

    Well, here’s some advice: Before drafting any policy analyses on the subject of “cause,” you might want to read up on the butterfly effect — stretch your mind a bit. I know the idea of butterflies causing hurricanes sounds bizarre, but there’s more: Many natural systems — including, it seems, the weather and the climate — exhibit chaotic dynamics, like wandering off on long excursions for no apparent reason (Lorenz fingers the butterflies, but they’re just the fall guys). Ice ages? Thousand-year droughts? 100-meter sea level changes? Perfectly normal behavior.

    Of course, this in no way implies that the recent warming is not due to GHGs. I just wouldn’t be too sure…

  318. Susann
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 8:20 PM | Permalink

    So those scientists studying ice ages were foolish to try to discover the causes?

  319. Justin
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 8:21 PM | Permalink

    Re: 119

    NH land explained by UHI.

    Really? NH temps, including the poles, are explained by UHI? Eeven when the “urban” is igloos and hunting shacks?

  320. Raven
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 8:33 PM | Permalink

    Susann says:

    So those scientists studying ice ages were foolish to try to discover the causes?

    Of course not. But it means they cannot argue that their hypothesis must be true because no other hypothesis explains the observations since the observations could always be the result of random variations in a chaotic system. You can call internal variations the ‘placebo effect’ of climate science. Drug makers can’t point to a correlation between their drug and health outcomes unless they demonstrate thay the effect is greater than the placebo effect. Similarily, climate scientists cannot claim that they are ‘very certain’ that CO2 is the cause of the current warming unless they demonstrate that random variations cannot be the cause.

  321. steven mosher
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 8:41 PM | Permalink

    psst Bender. The kid may actually be 3 letter material. She’s not wicked smart like Lucia or Judith,
    but the kid has spunk like JEG had snark. Just sayin.

  322. TAC
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 9:01 PM | Permalink

    So those scientists studying ice ages were foolish to try to discover the causes?

    Not at all! First, some “events” (big meteor impacts, for example) occur that do overwhelm the natural dynamics. Second, our planet is complex, it is constantly exposed to diverse external forces (orbital variabiility; solar variability; NEO impacts; etc.; etc.), and almost everything that happens is due to a combination of causal factors and internal dynamics. Third, we need to understand deterministic factors in order to understand natural dynamics. Fourth, and most important, studying geophysical phenomena is immensely rewarding in itself; how could you call it “foolish”?

    I will repeat my advice, which I hope you’ll accept in the spirit in which it is being offered. Set aside some time and read about the butterfly effect. It is fascinating. Then look into chaos theory, and try to imagine how it might apply to the world we inhabit. After a while, you may begin to notice that nearly every sufficiently complex natural system (biological; geological; hydrological; etc.) borders on chaos. Then you might want to reflect on what this implies about predictability and uncertainty.

    Or maybe not. ;-)

  323. TAC
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 9:06 PM | Permalink

    Susann, Bender, Raven;

    Sorry about the recent cross-posts. You guys are way too quick for me.

  324. bender
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 9:20 PM | Permalink

    #324 TAC: not at all. Your comments are fairly orthogonal and complementary.
    I wanted to tell Susann to read Lorenz (1963), but you basically did that for me.
    She also needs to understand better how to choose approporiate null models.

  325. bender
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 9:23 PM | Permalink

    I am coming to re-learn that nonlinear dynamics is not something the whole world is intimately familiar with. I forget that. I assume everyone has thought seriously about the climate problem.

  326. bender
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 9:43 PM | Permalink

    raypierre today: However you slice it, it starts to look like the Eocene and Cretaceous are tugging at our sleeve, whispering to us “There are things going on with climate you don’t begin to understand. Proceed with caution.”

    Uncertainty denialism was used to get the precautionary principle invoked. But now that that has happened, uncertainty can be admitted because it can be used as a tool to scare people. (That’s AGW double-standard #3, by the way.) So now we are going to have to live with it, largely because of attitudes like Susann’s: resisting the powerful is futile. Pity there is such a weak scientific basis for judging whether her policy schemes are going to operate as advertised. Raypierre implies as much in his comment quoted here.

  327. TAC
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 9:43 PM | Permalink

    I am coming to re-learn that nonlinear dynamics is not something the whole world is intimately familiar with.

    How true!

    And sad. The science of linear systems is the study of things that are dead.

  328. Mike B
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 9:51 PM | Permalink

    Susann #300

    And the folks who say there need not be any “cause” of a warming period? Pardon my incredulity. Might as well give up on science altogether if that’s your view.

    Who is saying there is no “cause”? Refer me to one post by a credible regular on this blog that states that there is “no cause” for warming. Heck, cite a non-credible irregular. There are those who are skeptical of the degree to which anthropogenic forcings contribute to the current perod of modest warming.

    Funny how Gavin Schmidt can say that moderation in global warming over the past 10 years is from “weather noise” not “climate signal” and the warmers all genuflect. But when skeptics bring up signal and noise on longer time scales that may interfere with accurate assesment of current effects, we’re labeled unscientific.

    I always had you pegged for a bit naive, Susann. But pardon my incredulity at discovering that I had over-estimated you.

  329. Mike B
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 9:57 PM | Permalink

    #320

    NH land explained by UHI.

    Really? NH temps, including the poles, are explained by UHI? Eeven when the “urban” is igloos and hunting shacks?

    No, it’s probably mostly an artifact of sparse, crappy data north of the Arctic Circle and hopelessly corrupted data from stations in Siberia nobody gives a damn about following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

  330. bender
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 10:02 PM | Permalink

    Funny how Gavin Schmidt can say that moderation in global warming over the past 10 years is from “weather noise” not “climate signal”

    Is ENSO weather noise or climate noise? Is it chaotic?
    Susann, is inferring circulatory modes such as ENSO a texas sharpshooter’s foolish game? You clearly are ready to rule out the internal unknown and accept the external known, therefore you must think the internal is small and readily quantifiable?

  331. Phil.
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 10:19 PM | Permalink

    Re #329

    Who is saying there is no “cause”? Refer me to one post by a credible regular on this blog that states that there is “no cause” for warming. Heck, cite a non-credible irregular.

    That would be Raven and PaulM in the Loehle thread today.

  332. Mike B
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 10:31 PM | Permalink

    That would be Raven and PaulM in the Loehle thread today.

    Please link the posts so that I can judge the context for myself. Raven refered to “random variation of internal factors”, which is very different than “no cause”. I couldn’t find anything posted by PaulM.

  333. MrPete
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 10:35 PM | Permalink

    Susann — re: science and ’cause’… I have a personal life example that illustrates both the power and limits of science. I’m not saying science doesn’t _care_ about cause but it is not necessary:

    Two statements of fact:

    * I have a sleep disorder that has not been seen before by my medical providers nor at any level of the chain up to an appropriate specialist who is senior in the AMA.

    * The primary symptom of my disorder is treated by a medication whose method of action is completely unlike any other medication and is also completely unknown, even now, five years in.

    Both of the above facts are testable and provable scientifically.

    Both of the above ALSO are based on completely unknown causes.

    Bottom line, personal: I have a medical condition that the doctors do not understand, which is treated by a medication whose method of operation is completely unknown. Yet all of this is scientifically testable.

    Bottom line, general: We can know quite a lot, and benefit from it, without understanding causes in the least.
    :-D

  334. bender
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 10:37 PM | Permalink

    Anyone suggesting random internal variability (weather noise, ocean noise) equals “no cause” she is straining credulity.

  335. Ron Cram
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 11:19 PM | Permalink

    Susann,

    I just read a number of posts both from you and directed to you. In one of them you write that you are here because you care about the science and the uncertainty. If that is true, why do all of your discussions seem to gravitate back to policy? Why not stick to discussing the science and methods of quantifying and communicating the uncertainty?

    Just speaking for myself, I do not want this to become a policy blog. I do not mind discussing the best way to communicate the science and uncertainty to policymakers, because commmunication of findings is part of science. Auditing the communications is just as important as auditing the science. But let’s get the science right before we start recommending policy.

  336. Phil.
    Posted Jan 23, 2008 at 11:56 PM | Permalink

    Re #333

    “Why does the current warming have to have a cause?”

    Raven is quite right. This is really important and needs to be said again and again. Complicated nonlinear systems fluctuate in an apparently irregular way, even with constant forcing. We don’t ask what ’caused’ it to rain today or what ’causes’ a gas fire flame to flicker. The time-scale of the fluctuations is longer in the case of climate, simply because the space-scale is larger and the processes (eg variation in ice-cover) are slower. Craig Loehle and others have found all sorts of past wiggles similar in magnitude to the present one, and it would be absurd to attempt to argue a ’cause’ for all of these. It is disappointing that so few people appreciate this simple point.

  337. Raven
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 12:17 AM | Permalink

    This discussion of cause has become a discuss of semantics. When I said no cause I meant that the observed trends do not have to have an external cause such as anthropogenic CO2 or solar forcings. Random internal various can easly explain a warming trend that is within historic norms. Obviously that means that the temperature trend still has a cause but it is not one that can be easily understood by scientists who assume that the climate would be completely static if there are no changes in outside forcings.

  338. conard
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 2:09 AM | Permalink

    Raven,

    Causality may not be what it seems to be and has been poked and prodded by philosophers for millennia and yet remains elusive. Parenthetically, as a young student I recall being floored by a statement by Bertrand Russell humorously intimating that causality was a harmful concept. It may help to consider Newton, gravity, and associated equations: nowhere will you find a causal agent or a description of gravity’s cause. Susann’s linking of science and causality is not well thought out– nothing that time and careful reflection can’t cure.

    In any event I do not see that a close parsing of your words will lead to anything significant and I believe that most people understood your comments in the context given. Now as far as your assumptions about what scientists assume and cannot understand … time and careful reflection will cure this too :-)

  339. bender
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 3:32 AM | Permalink

    When I said no cause I meant that the observed trends do not have to have an external cause such as anthropogenic CO2 or solar forcings.

    That’s what happens when critics seek to parse words instead of understand messages. I fully understood what you meant, Raven, and my subsequent comments indicate as much. Word parsing leads to the erection of straw men – something tendentious Phil is prone to doing. That’s ok I suppose. He serves a purpose. Only wish that he wouldn’t make stuff up. (Of course he will in turn accuse me of playing at mind-reading, making stuff up, supposing people meant things they didn’t say. Whatever. I think he just doesn’t like it when I defend people who chose their words a little hastily. It denies him the opportunity to smash them. I bet he drives his wife crazy with his lawyerism. Oops, there I go making stuff up again. Whatever.)

  340. MarkW
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 6:51 AM | Permalink

    Good so go out and track down those forcings and see if they’re still acting today, don’t just assume that they must be.

    Why do you assume that they aren’t working today? On what basis do you assume that today is different from the past?

  341. MarkW
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 6:54 AM | Permalink

    In other words, we’ve settled on the policy that we want, we just have to invent a reason to con enough people into supporting it.

  342. MarkW
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 7:01 AM | Permalink

    #330:

    A study in Barrow AL found a UHI affect of as much as 5C.

    So the idea that arctic stations can’t possibly have a UHI component is not supported by science.
    But then Susann has already admitted that she is not interested in the science, just in getting her policies adopted.

  343. Susann
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 7:45 AM | Permalink

    I just read a number of posts both from you and directed to you. In one of them you write that you are here because you care about the science and the uncertainty. If that is true, why do all of your discussions seem to gravitate back to policy? Why not stick to discussing the science and methods of quantifying and communicating the uncertainty?

    IIRC, and if you go back to the start, it was bender who brought up policy by making an questionable statement about how policymakers want to get rid of uncertainty. I offered an alternate view. Am I to take it that it’s OK for bender to slam policy makers, but not for me to discuss them?

  344. Mike B
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 7:50 AM | Permalink

    #337

    Thanks for the reference, Phil. I know it isn’t easy to wade through the posts, especially late at night.

    From the context of the discussion, it is pretty clear to me what Raven meant, and what Paul’s reply meant.

    I also realize that scientists (you) and green policy makers (Susann) have little use for such capitalist oriented disciplines such as industrial engineering, but the distinction discussed here bears a great deal on the issues regarding “cause”.

  345. Susann
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 7:52 AM | Permalink

    So the idea that arctic stations can’t possibly have a UHI component is not supported by science.
    But then Susann has already admitted that she is not interested in the science, just in getting her policies adopted.

    This is getting back into the “attacking Susann/Susann defends herself” territory that stopped me from posting a while back at Lucia’s urging. Where did I indicate I was not interested in the science, but just getting my policies adopted?

    No, stop. This isn’t and shouldn’t be about me, and wouldn’t be if people didn’t resort to ad hominems with such ease. In case you are literacy challenged, go back and actually read my posts — slowly. Use your finger if you need it.

  346. STAFFAN LINDSTROEM
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 8:13 AM | Permalink

    # Barrow Alabama???????????? MarkW I assume you’re referring
    to Kenneth M Hinkel’s study of Barrow AK regarding ITS UHIE…
    5-6 C was the highest temperature difference between “downtown”
    Barrow and the hinterland some mile to the ESE or so. Max average
    temp difference was 2.2C if I recall correctly not bad for a town
    of 4-5000 people having most houses on legs that is pilings…
    In August 2005 I called John Christy in Huntsville and told him
    about this…He didn’t say he had heard of it but perhaps he was
    just polite to an odd Swedish climate analyst We still wait to
    see the word “värmeöeffekt” in a Swedish DAILY paper…”HIE”
    Architects aged 30,40 or 60 don’t know the word and at least
    one TV meteorologist, untill I told her…
    My experience of Barrow is from the late 1970’s when we Stockholm
    area DX-ers made DX-peditions to small villages far north to possibly
    hear Hawaii AM stations with real beaver antennae…(Not that “beaver”
    actually, after some googling I realize the term is beverage antenna…
    But we called it “bäver” because it was very effective for weak, very
    distant AM signals…And up there in Northern part of Swedish Lappland
    KBRW-680 AM was a house station heard 24h as I remember it
    If you WIKI Barrow, you’ll find out that the Barrow Whalers fotball team
    played their first game on the new artificial turf on Aug 17 2007
    (Elvis 30 year dead and my cat Bull’s first hours in eternity…)
    It was the first sporting event broadcast from N of the Arctic circle
    on the internet if we are to believe the WIKI author…Mosh, Dick
    Butkus was there!!

  347. PaulM
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 8:28 AM | Permalink

    Susann, if you are interested in the science, please read my post (only one, quoted by Phil in 337 above), and those by bender, Peter Thompson and TAC, and try to learn something about nonlinear dynamics and chaos. A good introduction is the book ‘chaos’ by James Gleick. Let me try again to summarize the main point in one sentence: nonlinear systems (such as weather and climate), that are perfectly deterministic, with no randomness, illustrate irregular fluctuations, even with constant forcing.

  348. Mike B
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 8:28 AM | Permalink

    Susann –

    To clarify my earlier remark, misunderstanding Raven and others regarding causes of past and present climate variations is certainly forgivable, especially (as Lucia often points out) withing the context of a blog.

    Using that misunderstanding, even in the heat of battle, to paint skeptics with the broad “unscientific” brush is the sign not of an inquiring mind, but of a hardened advocate more interested in opposition research than in enhancing the scientific depth of your own position.

    I had you pegged for the former, but you seem to be more of the latter.

    If you consider that an ad hominem, then maybe there is still hope. :-)

  349. Phil.
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 8:45 AM | Permalink

    Re #345

    Thanks for the reference, Phil. I know it isn’t easy to wade through the posts, especially late at night.

    From the context of the discussion, it is pretty clear to me what Raven meant, and what Paul’s reply meant.

    No problem, I recalled seeing such a statement and assumed that’s what Susann was referring to. Despite bender’s fantasies I made no comment on it at all.

  350. stan palmer
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 8:59 AM | Permalink

    Policy and the Precautionary Principle

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/22/business/worldbusiness/22biofuels.html?em&ex=1201323600&en=551e341882be397d&ei=5087

    I believe that the story at the URL above indicates why it is unsafe and unwise to conclude that one can justify policy actions under the precautionary principle in cases in which the science is unclear. European governments took actions to subsidize bio-fuels under the belief that they would reduce emissions. It is unclear that it is the case that bio-fuels produce less emissions. However, more importantly for this discussion, the hast and ill-thought-out subsidies have to been found to encourage the production of bio-fuels that are the worst in terms of emissions.

    The governments having conducted the necessary audit after they enacted these policies are now having to act in equal haste to rescind them. The European carbon market collapsed for essentially the same reasons.

    Perhaps careful analysis and auditing of both science and policies is a good idea after all despite what some noted climate scientists feel.

  351. M. Jeff
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 9:01 AM | Permalink

    re: #346, January 24th, 2008 at 7:52 am, Susann who says:

    In case you are literacy challenged, go back and actually read my posts — slowly.

    One of your more virulent partisan posts was snipped so rapidly that a slow reader would not have had time to analyze it.

  352. kim
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 10:11 AM | Permalink

    sp, the contrarian play against anthropogenic global warming is huge. There will be Hell to pay in the markets if we are cooling. By the way, I expect your eponymic thread on Pharyngula to be classic, one day.
    ===================================

  353. Jeremy Ayrton
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 10:12 AM | Permalink

    Somewhere in this thread I observed a view expressed that politicians were reacting to the public’s concerns about Climate Change. If that is true, then given the antics of a variety of bankers (not the rhyming slang) I suspect that the public’s concerns are becoming more mundane – you know, ability to meet the monthly bills, chances of a pension, chances of savings still being there, food on the table, will the house be reposessed… trivial stuff when there’s a planet to save I know.

    But who was it said “It’s the economy, stupid”? I very much doubt that any politician who is in government will worrying about the planet right now. I suspect that we are going to discover what really caring means. Just what we little people knew all the time.

  354. SteveSadlov
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 10:55 AM | Permalink

    Here’s some more weather noise I will note (while also noting that NoCal has not had a warm winter since the winter of 97 – 98). The second Siberia Express / Tonopah Low is now upon us. It’s retrograded out over the Pacific. Even though I am in the “warm” SE quadrant, there were flurries at my place this AM (~ 1000 FT) with temps in the 30s (15 F below normal). Road closures and problems are just beginning. Records for local snow cover persistence in the highlands of a number of coastal and near coastal counties are being broken.

  355. welikerocks
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 11:05 AM | Permalink

    355, SteveSadlov, right now 30 miles north of Los Angeles, above Santa Clarita IOW, there are motorists stuck on the I5 in a gridlock because of snow. The Red Cross is bringing them food and drink! My local temp is 45•F.

  356. welikerocks
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 11:11 AM | Permalink

    whoops I had a picture too here

  357. steven mosher
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 11:16 AM | Permalink

    re 346. “use your finger if you need to”

    Moshpit approved.

    There are times to be quick with the kill and times to drag it out..

    In the articles too, which you say have been extracted from my books, the case with me is the same as with that author of happy memory. As the malevolent were aware, that this doctrine was not popular, they with the design of aggravating the dislike of it, flung about passages, partly mutilated, partly distorted, so that it was impossible for the uninformed, to come to any but an unfavorable judgment. But though at first sight many supposed them extracted from his writings, yet he complains that they were falsely imputed to him; inasmuch as they had either industriously heaped together broken sentences or by changing a few words, had artfully corrupted pious and sound doctrine, in order to create offense in the minds of the simple. That those articles which you boast of propounding from my books, are precisely of the same kind, wise and honest readers will easily discover, even though I were silent; and to such it will not be troublesome, to compare my doctrine with your foul calumnies. And this I maintain, first of all, that you set neither a manly nor an ingenious part, when you specify no passages, to show intelligent readers, that I write what you allege. For what can be more unjust, when I have published so many books, than vaguely to declare, that out of about fifty volumes, fourteen articles have been gathered. It had unquestionably been better, were a drop of honesty in you, either to quote my sentences word for word; or if you perceived anything dangerous to have warned your readers of what passages to beware. Whereas, by branding all my works promiscuously, you would destroy the remembrance of them; and what in my books, might be read without any offense, you malignantly corrupt for your own convenience, and so render hateful. Now while I do not blame the prudence of Augustine, in so tempering his replies as to avoid odium, when he met the unprincipled craft of his adversaries, yet I think it better frankly to repel your slanders, than to give the smallest symptom of turning my back.

  358. MarkW
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

    Susann,

    Which is worse, to not know what one is reading, or to not know what one is writting.

    you wrote:

    but as I said, it is largely political vs. scientific. In other words, because the policy maker has to get re-elected and balance competing interests, they decide not based necessarily on the best evidence or science, but on what works best overall, when politics, economics, public opinion, stakeholder response, etc. are considered. That may mean they go with an option that contradicts the science, whatver the state of that science is, because of economics, or stakeholder influence, or the fact that an election is coming up and the public want policy Y. If the policy advisors and makers don’t want policy Y, they can hype the uncertainties in the research, or if they do want Policy Y and the data is uncertain, they can ignore it, claiming economic precedence or other considerations.

    Quite clearly you are stating that science is irrelevant, the only thing that matters are the political considerations.

    Since you are involved in politics, I will be very surprised if you are mature enough to apologize.

  359. SteveSadlov
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 12:09 PM | Permalink

    RE: #356/7 – Above 2000 ft here, there is now an actual snow pack. This is highly abnormal. Normally, at elevations up to 3500, any sticking snow will subsequently melt over the following 24 – 36 hours. Not this time. This morning, a spotter 4 miles SW of Campbell, CA, at 3000 ft, reported 4 inches of new snow on top of a one foot snow pack. Unnnnnnnnnprecedennnnnnnnted (in 10K years?).

  360. MarkW
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 12:12 PM | Permalink

    According to some, the precautionary principle requires us to do whatever it takes to avoid future calamities, regardless of how likely, or unlikely those calamities might be.

    I would like to know how much those who advocate the PP vis a vis AGW recommend we spend on a space shield to protect the earth from comets and asteroids?
    We wouldn’t want to go the way of the dinosaurs now, would we?

    Maybe we should start building some kind of breakwater off the east coast so that when that volcanoe in the Canary Islands collapses we will be prepared for that 100 foot tidal wave everyone is predicting?

    Some people think that the Yellowstone volcanoe is rumbling back to life. If it goes, it will cover most of N. America in many feet of volcanic ash? How much should we start investing on ash removal equipment? Just in case.

    Those who advocate the PP seem to be very selective in just where that principle should apply.

    Maybe this issue should be added to bender’s list of AGW hypocrisies?

  361. SteveSadlov
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 12:14 PM | Permalink

    RE: #360 – slight correction – geopolitical PP would say nuke Iran, plus the entire SCO, plus a few scattered others, with a total embargo of several additional ones. I don’t see anyone signing up for that!

  362. henry
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 12:17 PM | Permalink

    Susann said:

    “In other words, because the policy maker has to get re-elected and balance competing interests, they decide not based necessarily on the best evidence or science, but on what works best overall, when politics, economics, public opinion, stakeholder response, etc. are considered.”

    I see her point. Many times policy makers and politicians will bend to the will of the polls, despite the information given to them by their advisors.

    If the public opinion swings to things other than AGW, the policies will change, despite what the science says.

  363. conard
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 12:17 PM | Permalink

    Larry
    You know perfectly well there is no such thing as a “correct” application of the principle.

  364. Gunnar
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 12:23 PM | Permalink

    >> Quite clearly you are stating that science is irrelevant, the only thing that matters are the political considerations.

    Keeping in mind that I’ve only read #359, I would say that Susann has nothing to apologize for. It’s absolutely true that only political calculations matter. In the AGW issue, science is completely irrelevant.

    To underscore the point, we have Steve M reduced to auditing the 20 year old work of Hansen. The impotence of the AGW loyal opposition is only exceeded by the non rigorous nature of the AGW argument. Their task was simply to provide loose cover for the AGW politicians. Their task has been accomplished, and nothing said here affects that.

  365. DW
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 12:31 PM | Permalink

    Apologies if this has been commented on already, but I have not seen it….. Emphasis below is mine.

    PhD topic at UEA CRU: “The spatial ordering of climate change knowledge and the IPCC
    Primary Supervisor(s): Professor Mike Hulme; Dr Peter Simmons
    Description:

    During its 20 year history, the UN Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been examined critically from a number of different standpoints: its origins, norms, practices and self-governance, characterizations of uncertainty, and relationship of its institutional function and knowledge claims to emerging ideas of global environmental governance. But other questions about the status of climate change knowledge synthesized by the IPCC remain un-investigated, questions which emerge from the agendas raised by the new geographers of science. Knowledge that is claimed by its producers to have universal authority is received and interpreted very differently in different political and cultural settings. What counts as authentic public knowledge in one state, might have much weaker traction within another. Revealing the localization and spatialisation of knowledge thus becomes central for understanding both the acceptance and resistance that is shown towards the knowledge claims of the IPCC. This PhD project will deploy the theories, insights and tools of the geography and sociology of science to reveal how climate change knowledge in the IPCC is spatially produced and consumed and how it travels between sites of production and consumption. The IPCC presents its reports to the world as the ‘consensus view of the leading climate change experts in the world’. But how are the contours of this knowledge shaped? How localized are the sites of climate change knowledge production? How well does this knowledge travel to the sites of consumption? Geographical dimensions emerge in addressing each of these questions. Significant attention must be paid to the peculiarities of the production sites of the primary knowledge assessed: for example, the network of climate modelling centres; the voids on the Earth’s surface where few or no observations; the practices which transform millions of meteorological measurements into a single temperature register. This PhD would suit those who are interested in the ways in which environmental problems are identified, framed and constructed. The research would be largely literature based (peer-review articles, internal documents, media coverage), supplemented through interviews with leading actors in the IPCC, and may involve visits to other institutions in the UK or beyond. The student would be affiliated to the Tyndall Centre. “

    Now, I thought that some of these statements were ineresting: particuarly the third one, whereby many of the issues discussed on this blog are mentioned. To me, if the science is settled, this wouldn’t really be a project for a research student.

  366. PaulM
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 12:33 PM | Permalink

    2007 was the coldest year of the millennium, according to HADCRUT3. Though this is not how they phrase it, preferring ‘8th warmest on record’. Seems to be quite a difference of opinion between them and GISS? And does anyone know how the HADCRUT3 smoothed black line works at the endpoints?

  367. DW
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 12:34 PM | Permalink

    Sorry, link for the project above is here

  368. MarkW
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 12:34 PM | Permalink

    Gunnar,

    I wasn’t asking Susann to apologize for the statement quoted in post #359.

  369. DW
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 12:35 PM | Permalink

    Sorry, but I should have linked to the project. It is here.

  370. Susann
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 12:46 PM | Permalink

    Susann, if you are interested in the science, please read my post (only one, quoted by Phil in 337 above), and those by bender, Peter Thompson and TAC, and try to learn something about nonlinear dynamics and chaos

    I have already read about “the butterfly principle” and chaos theory, but thank you for the reference. As someone who majored in ecology in university, I’m sensitive to the idea of complexity of and interrelations in natural systems.

    I’m amused that people have tried to reject my statement about the cause (or causes, since there are probably a number) of current warming by denying that cause is a valid reason for doing scientific research. Denying that cause is a valid motivation is hogwash. It seems that skeptics (deniers in some people’s books) are busy finding the “anything but AGHG” causes for current warming.

    I’m more familiar with medical science, wherein finding a cause or causes of disease is pretty damn important, so this notion of cause as non-legitimate is new to me.

  371. Susann
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 12:51 PM | Permalink

    Quite clearly you are stating that science is irrelevant, the only thing that matters are the political considerations.

    Since you are involved in politics, I will be very surprised if you are mature enough to apologize.

    MarkW, you should, by now, have mastered the skill of distinguishing between a person’s opinion about a thing and their description of the thing. It’s a useful skill.

    I have written nothing that deserves an apology.

  372. Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 12:54 PM | Permalink

    Susann, re #297:

    I think this post contains the fundamentals of your thinking and requires a response. The political situation you describe is corrupt. What you are saying is that the science doesn’t matter because, inevitably policy analysts who interpret it are forced to provide what elected politicians want to hear so they can tell their constituents what they want to hear. Policy analysts such as yourself therefore tailor the policy to the needs of politicians, because the analysts might lose their jobs if they give them a contrary picture. While there may be some truth to that, I think the problem is even more pernicious. It may be that not only are the policy analysts and politicians corrupt enablers, it may be that the science which they are relying on is itself flawed.

    CA’s mission is to examine and challenge where necessary the science that tells us we are currently experiencing unprecedented and dangerous climate warming on a global scale and that man is largely responsible for it. A highly specialized group of climate scientists has been publishing their findings on this subject for several decades now. Until recently, they were mostly taken at their word, since the great majority of people listening to them were incapable of judging the science on its merits. In the early 90s, the clique of scientists handed off their findings to a newly-created international bureacracy that consisted of many of the same scientists and legions of bureaucrats with a tendency to accept the findings because it reflected their anti-growth, pro-environmental viewpoint. The very name of this group, “The InterGovernmental Panel on Climate Change,” implied that the governments of the world now believed the world was entering a period of unprecedented and potentially catastrophic climate change. The problem they are now having is that more and more people are beginning to challenge this entrenched view.

    We currently find ourselves at the stage where policy is being implemented based on the original science. Many people who heretofore accepted the science are now being impacted by the policy changes and want to know why certain policy choices are being advocated. In the process, they have begun to analyze the foundational science and found it wanting. There is a possibility– some would say a “very real possibility”– that much of the data, calculations, conclusions and projections that undergird the theory of AGW are inaccurate, or worse, fundamentally flawed.

    Your view of this, as evidenced by the above post, seems to be that the possibility that the science is flawed doesn’t matter; that the implementation of policy based on flawed or incomplete science is perfectly normal and will continue, that resistance is “futile,” because the politicians and their dutiful policy analysts have their dirty hands on it and that’s the way it’s going to be from here on out. IOW, you are challenging the reason this blog exists and telling the people who’ve been posting here for years that they are wasting their time.

    That is why people are often dismissive of you and occasionally hostile. Although you don’t say it in so many words, you are evidently disdainful of the mission of this blog. Either that or you are deliberately being provocative for reasons related to your research. Regardless, the impression you give is one of a tired young policy analyst who is in the process of compromising your ideals.

    The implication in your post that policy cannot change even if there is compelling (or even contradictory) new discoveries in a field of human endeavor is demonstrably false. Regardless of your view of the War in Iraq, the change in strategy there is only the most recent example of a strategy/policy change that is clearly bearing fruit. I would suggest to you that climate policy will go through several similar re-evaluations until something sensible is finally agreed upon by skeptics and believers alike. Eventually the science will evolve enough to provide some degree of certainty as to what is actually going on and why. In other words, the science will eventually win out over the politics. Until that time, I will remain a skeptic.

  373. MarkR
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 1:01 PM | Permalink

    More for those who have an “open mind”.

    ST. PETERSBURG, January 22 (RIA Novosti) – Temperatures on Earth have stabilized in the past decade, and the planet should brace itself for a new Ice Age rather than global warming, a Russian scientist said in an interview with RIA Novosti Tuesday.

    “Russian and foreign research data confirm that global temperatures in 2007 were practically similar to those in 2006, and, in general, identical to 1998-2006 temperatures, which, basically, means that the Earth passed the peak of global warming in 1998-2005,” said Khabibullo Abdusamatov, head of a space research lab at the Pulkovo observatory in St. Petersburg.

    According to the scientist, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere has risen more than 4% in the past decade, but global warming has practically stopped. It confirms the theory of “solar” impact on changes in the Earth’s climate, because the amount of solar energy reaching the planet has drastically decreased during the same period, the scientist said.

    Had global temperatures directly responded to concentrations of “greenhouse” gases in the atmosphere, they would have risen by at least 0.1 Celsius in the past ten years, however, it never happened, he said.

    “A year ago, many meteorologists predicted that higher levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would make the year 2007 the hottest in the last decade, but, fortunately, these predictions did not become reality,” Abdusamatov said.

    He also said that in 2008, global temperatures would drop slightly, rather than rise, due to unprecedentedly low solar radiation in the past 30 years, and would continue decreasing even if industrial emissions of carbon dioxide reach record levels.

    By 2041, solar activity will reach its minimum according to a 200-year cycle, and a deep cooling period will hit the Earth approximately in 2055-2060. It will last for about 45-65 years, the scientist added

    Novosti

  374. bender
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 1:05 PM | Permalink

    #71 There you go again, like Hank Roberts et al. trying to phrase AGW as a yes/no question. Of course cause is important. Who said otherwise? Phil’s phertile imagination? External forcing as a cause is as important as “internal weather noise” as a cause. Susann, focus. What are the relative contributions of internal vs external causes? You keep dodging these questions. They are important. How does ocean convection function? Get yourself over to RC and try asking these questions. Let me know how far you get.

  375. steven mosher
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 1:10 PM | Permalink

    re 361. I love this line of reasoning against the PP especially when you consider diasters such as the Yellowstone caldera blowing.

  376. bender
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 1:11 PM | Permalink

    #373 duke, thanks for that. Susann’s position makes me physically ill.

  377. MarkR
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 1:16 PM | Permalink

    MarkW says:

    January 24th, 2008 at 11:53 am

    Reading some of these posts it seems that to some, the ends justify the means.

  378. steven mosher
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 1:16 PM | Permalink

    re 360.
    Jan 07 had like a +1C anomaly WRT other jan. care to bet on Jan 08? Coldest jan ever?

    Seems so in Norcal.

  379. bender
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 1:22 PM | Permalink

    Susann is serving to make my case for me. Not only are many policy analysts not interested in having estimates of uncertainty, some don’t give the smallest crap about any of the science.

  380. MarkR
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 1:22 PM | Permalink

    Bender. If you had a sweep on the temperature effect of CO2 (over a reasonable period of time), please put me down for zero, nada, zilch. Or as the the Central Committee has it: ничего не ноль

  381. JP
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 1:22 PM | Permalink

    Susann,
    Actually President Bush and Congress just recently signed a huge energy bill that requires even more bio-fuel mandates when compared to 2006. It is my belief that most of these politicians are being pressured via both constitiuencies as well as the “just to be safe” principle.

    Last week corn traded at over $9 a bushel. The law of unintended consequences now takes over. World food supplies according to a recent UN report have shrunk to 5 weeks (they were 11 weeks just a few years ago). Since corn is the most common biofuel, farmers have switched from grains to corn. Food prices are averaging around 10% inflation. The price of corn is now tied to the price of oil, thanks in large part to the bio-fuels industry. Of course the poorer nations will feel the pain the most. I’m sure most of the poor nations cannot quite understand why they must pay more for corn and grains in order for the wealthiest nations to feel good about themselves. At least the EU is taking action. I read that they will either freeze or lower thier mandates on bio-fuels. However, with the increased demands for corn and sugar from the US ethanol industry, corn will likely remain a top export item to the US. The EU hasn’t yet prohibited the export of corn to North America.

    The science in the long run does matter. With over 50% of climate scientist declaring the science is over, the policy wonks have been let loose to do thier good deeds. Perhaps it is a good time to look for a few acres of land to farm -just in case.

  382. MarkW
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 1:27 PM | Permalink

    Susann, it is rare that a person will defend how things work, unless they agree that is how it ought to work.

    You have been quite clear that we should quit arguing about the science and get on with the details of setting up the policy.

  383. conard
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 1:39 PM | Permalink

    Susann,

    Referring to my previous comment on Newton and causality please provide an exposition on the “cause” of [ f=GMm/R^2]. Searching for a cause, cure, etc are fine motivations but are rare outputs of the process. The point is subtle but worth considering. No?

    Concerning uncertainty:
    I think someone here said that uncertainty is the currency of science and I dare to say that this is not the case is politics. Uncertainty does not have the power to motivate action, political or otherwise. Senator Clinton, when elected what will you do to revitalize the economy? Wolf, I am not certain. Cheers from the crowd …

    Bender,
    To the extent that the ends of politics is power, authority, and keeping or obtaining it by any means, science is just another tool.

  384. Raven
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 1:41 PM | Permalink

    Susann says:

    I’m more familiar with medical science, wherein finding a cause or causes of disease is pretty damn important, so this notion of cause as non-legitimate is new to me.

    You are missing the point entirely.
    If a drug maker wishes to have a drug approved they must first:

    1) Provide a theoretical basis for the claimed effect
    2) Demonstrate the claimed effect in the lab with subjects like mice
    3) Demonstrate that the claimed effect is larger than the placebo effect
    4) Demonstrate that the harms caused by using the drug do not outweigh the claimed benefits;

    Climate scientists have completed 1) and 2) but have not come close to dealing with 3) and 4).

    The placebo effect is an example of an effect without a known cause that is widely accepted as fact. I don’t understand why you have trouble understanding that random variations in climate can cause trends without any underlying cause just like people can get better even if they are given a sugar pill.

  385. Severian
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 2:13 PM | Permalink

    Actually, Raven, it’s worse than that. Climate Scientists have completed 1, and have a model of a mouse that they claim substitutes for 2. And the model is overly simplistic and inaccurate. It’s like the old story about the physicist who has developed a theory to predict the outcome of horse races. When asked to brief his model, he picks up his chalk and says, “Consider the spherical horse…”

    The more I study and am exposed to “climate science” the more it appears to be the revenge of Lysenkovism. Same effect too, as bad science is used to justify, rationalize, and support policy actions the policy wonks want to take anyway.

  386. SteveSadlov
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 3:31 PM | Permalink

    RE: Weather noise: I feel sorry for folks up in the Pac NW. Y’all essentially had no summer in 2007, and since October, a winter to remember, with snow down in the lowlands repeatedly. Those of you who are East Coast transplants are now saying to yourselves “I left the East coast for this?”

  387. Peter Thompson
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 3:32 PM | Permalink

    Susann,

    “I’m more familiar with medical science, wherein finding a cause or causes of disease is pretty damn important, so this notion of cause as non-legitimate is new to me”.

    Since you mentioned me along with a few others in relation to this, I have to respond, even though belabouring an issue is not my usual MO. No one said cause is non-legtimate, what we asked you to do was move away from your linear cause and effect thought pattern for a minute. I will try once more.

    You mention you are familiar with medical science. Two twins. Same biological makeup. Both exposed to a suspected carcinogen in an equal way, assuming all other things are equal, one gets cancer, the other doesn’t. Does suspected carcinogen cause cancer? Answer: sometimes.

  388. bender
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 3:58 PM | Permalink

    #388 If Susann actually knew anything about medical science she would have been thinking that way all along. Climate internal variability can be likened to human internal physiology. In these kinds of systems things can happen with no apparent external cause. Or, more to the point, for any given phenomenon external forces may be part of the explanation, with internal hidden causes also playing some role.

  389. SteveSadlov
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 4:09 PM | Permalink

    RE: #385 – or why basketball coaches, in a 2 pts down situation, with a few seconds left on the game clock, repeatedly bet on 2 layups by the “hot” (due to a random walk) fast break player of the current game, instead of calling a play that has the ball going to their demonstrated effective 3 point shooter. I am convinced that the human brain is hard wired to be in denial of well understood statistical principles.

  390. Neil Fisher
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 4:38 PM | Permalink

    Bender says:

    Susann is serving to make my case for me. Not only are many policy analysts not interested in having estimates of uncertainty, some don’t give the smallest crap about any of the science.

    I don’t agree. I take it that Susann is saying that the politics is what gets things done. The science is what it *should* be based on, but the politics often ignores science when it suits them. That she would rather things were different, but they’re not. Just as bender would prefer that there were no hypocracies in climate science, but admits that they exist and must deal with them regardless of his opinion of them. That she is here because she *does* care about the science and *wants* to help make science based policy, but at the same time admits that even the best science in the world may not be enough to change the policy. As such, I think we should be supporting her – from what I can gather, she wants to make a difference, cares about science, *but* understands she needs a big stick to make policy change – let’s help her find that stick!

  391. bender
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 4:50 PM | Permalink

    If Susann is different, then great. I am doubtful, but willing to be convinced.

  392. Mike M.
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 6:02 PM | Permalink

    Sorry to be OT but Andrew Revkin at the New York Times has gathered many famous voices in response to his blog post today on the American Geophysical Union’s endorsement of AGW mania. Gavin, Ray Pierrehumbert, Pielke Sr., Joe D’Aleo, and even Arthur Smith (chuckle) have appeared. Do us all a favor a leave a post over there, Steve. You make as great a contribution as anyone in this whole argument. Revkin has done a tremendous job in fairly gathering all voices. Make yours heard, too.

  393. Mike M.
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 6:04 PM | Permalink

    Nuts! Forgot the link !

  394. Bob Koss
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 7:04 PM | Permalink

    David Smith mentioned the US Climate Extremes Index earlier in this comment. http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2600#comment-199010

    This is a NCDC.NOAA analysis consisting of 1) monthly maximum and minimum temperature 2) daily precipitation 3) monthly Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) 4) landfalling tropical storm and hurricane wind velocity. Last one is experimental and not in the graphs I link below.

    I took a look at a couple of the graphs and noticed they had cropped the 5-year moving average on the left side, but pinned it to the right side. Since the graphs at that time were 1910-2006 I made a copy of one of the graphs with the intention of comparing the effect of the pinning when they replaced it with the 1910-2007 graph. Copied it just in time on 01/17/2008. Today I was able to download the 2007 version which has the same filename making the older one no longer available. What I found was more interesting than the pinning.

    When comparing the graphs, obvious large changes(2% to about 16% in 2006) in many years in the historical percentages are seen. These are supposed to be actual percentages. Why should history change so much? I suspect it may be due to differences in the set of stations being used, although I don’t know for sure. If this is true, it demonstrates how large an effect station selection can have on the process of creating a mean for any type of climate data.

    For comparison I created an animated gif by resizing the graphs to match and changing the color of the 2006 graph to blue. The 2007 graph has one more bar in it’s graph than 2006. Visually the bar positions are almost identical, as long as you realize the right hand bar is for different years.

    Here is the page explaining their analysis. Along with links to many graphs.

    The originals I copied are the Annual CEI Jan-Dec without the Experimental Tropical Cyclone Indicator Included.
    Here is the 2006 original.

    Here is the 2007 original.

    PS. Why is it I can never seem to hide a link to a comment like I can with links to off-site pages?

  395. Susann
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 7:24 PM | Permalink

    Susann, it is rare that a person will defend how things work, unless they agree that is how it ought to work.

    You have been quite clear that we should quit arguing about the science and get on with the details of setting up the policy.

    There is a difference between describing and defending. If you can’t tell the difference in my posts, I have been unclear for that was not my intent. Quite the contrary.

    The problem skeptics face is that they have limited options to effect change in policy: alternate explanations for current warming have to presented and gain credibility if they are going to challenge the consensus view — and it is not laypeople you have to convince but climate scientists. IOW, you have to fight from within. The problem is that policy makers can ignore science if they desire — if it is politically expedient. The alternative is to use politics to force a policy change, either through lobbying politicians or influencing public opinion. But that means getting your hands bloody and risking the loss of credibility as an objective neutral scientist.

  396. Susann
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 7:42 PM | Permalink

    Susann, re #297:

    I think this post contains the fundamentals of your thinking and requires a response…Policy analysts such as yourself therefore tailor the policy to the needs of politicians, because the analysts might lose their jobs if they give them a contrary picture.

    I’m going to ignore any statements made about me as a person, including my motives and values.

    Policy Analysts do the background research and summarize the information, including scientific uncertainty, in an easy to comprehend format so the politicos who don’t have a background in the field can understand. This part of the process should be non-partisan, and it should be objective as possible. That’s why there is such a thing as a professional civil service. People whose jobs are beyond the reach of politicians and so are more likely to provide an objective picture of the issues. Not saying they are unbiased, but usually, beyond being fired for presenting the wrong political take on an issue

    Sometimes policy analysts are merely scribes. They are told what policy to develop because the decision has already been made politically, up the food chain. Politicians have seen the lay of the land, and they have made up their minds what position to take on policy issues. Then the policy analyst is merely transcribing that decision into a policy format or into legislation. It’s a done deal so the science doesn’t really matter at this point.

    Hopefully, this is not the case in most policy issues. In many, there is a legitimate search for the best policy decision and the process takes place as I have described it in the first part. It really depends on the issue. If the issue is not controversial, there is less liklihood of politics trumping science. But politics is the ultimate arbiter.

    It ain’t always pretty. Arguments can be made that it shouldn’t be this way. How to change this reality is a tough question.

    It is naïve to think that the production of good science alone will change a bad policy that has been made on political grounds.

    There is a possibility– some would say a “very real possibility”– that much of the data, calculations, conclusions and projections that undergird the theory of AGW are inaccurate, or worse, fundamentally flawed.

    Your view of this, as evidenced by the above post, seems to be that the possibility that the science is flawed doesn’t matter; that the implementation of policy based on flawed or incomplete science is perfectly normal and will continue, that resistance is “futile,” because the politicians and their dutiful policy analysts have their dirty hands on it and that’s the way it’s going to be from here on out. IOW, you are challenging the reason this blog exists and telling the people who’ve been posting here for years that they are wasting their time.

    Rather than focus on making personal swipes at politicians and policy analysts (me, IOW), why not audit the claim?

    Have politicians acted on the “consensus” claims of mainstream climate science in the last 20 years? Have they enacted legislation to seriously reduce GHG? If not, why not?

    Considering all the science in support of AGW — and I’m not claiming anything about its validity — politicians have done very little. That, in itself, should give you an idea of how the policy process works and the place of science in it.

    That is why people are often dismissive of you and occasionally hostile. Although you don’t say it in so many words, you are evidently disdainful of the mission of this blog. Either that or you are deliberately being provocative for reasons related to your research. Regardless, the impression you give is one of a tired young policy analyst who is in the process of compromising your ideals.

    A skeptical eye should be turned to all players in this policy debate for GW is clearly one of the most politicized policy debates in existence. People should be asking themselves if any player lives up to their claims about mandates and purposes, CA included.

    In that vein, it is entirely reasonable for people to subject this blog to “audit” for like it or not, it is part of the policy debate. Is this blog (or any similar blog) truly about a search for the truth wherever it leads? Or, is it about supporting/undermining the scientific “consensus” and influencing policy? If so, it has crossed the line from pure science to advocacy. If so, it should be openly political rather than hiding under a cloak of scientific / skeptic respectability.

    I’m not saying this is the case but no one should accept the claims made by any player in this deabate at face value. Some people here may feel satisfied that they can trust this blog, I am not at that stage yet.

    The implication in your post that policy cannot change even if there is compelling (or even contradictory) new discoveries in a field of human endeavor is demonstrably false.

    What “compelling new discoveries” have falsified the “consensus” view of AGW? I am not competent enough in science to make that evaluation — yet.

    Apparently, there has been nothing compelling enough to convince the majority of scientists in the field to change their minds.

    If there is not a receptive audience in the political realm to the claims of AGW falsification / support, it really won’t matter what the science says. If politicians are committed to reducing GHGs for political reasons, a few articles published in non-mainstream social science journals like E&E or CA blog discussions will not change policy. That’s reality. If you find that discouraging, don’t blame me for pointing out reality.

    Eventually the science will evolve enough to provide some degree of certainty as to what is actually going on and why. In other words, the science will eventually win out over the politics.

    I will do a happy dance when that blessed event takes place. People here like to claim I am naïve but I counter that apparently, people here are naïve about the policy process and politics. Just look at a few policy decisions governments have undertaken in the past and tell me that it is about the science.

    It is about power.

  397. Judith Curry
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 7:48 PM | Permalink

    Susann’s analysis is pretty much spot on (unfortunately).

  398. Richard Sharpe
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 7:54 PM | Permalink

    I started wondering what the consequences of increased CO2 in the atmosphere are.

    It would seem that with more CO2, plants would be able to grow more, unless Carbon is not the limiting factor for most plants.

    I also found a paper (abstract) that suggested that increased CO2 would change the ratio of C/N in plants, which I guess suggests that N fixation and uptake is the limiting factor, and that in response insects would have to each more foliage to get the same amount of N.

    Does anyone have a feel for this?

  399. Susann
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 8:08 PM | Permalink

    “Why does the current warming have to have a cause?”

    This discussion of cause has become a discuss of semantics. When I said no cause I meant that the observed trends do not have to have an external cause such as anthropogenic CO2 or solar forcings.

    Thank you for clarifying what you mean. That is different than your original statement and I would have responded differently if you had been clearer. I would have responded that there are both internal and external factors, IIRC. External — solar, orbital, anthropogenic factors; internal — volcanism, circulation patterns, plate tectonics, GHGs. To name a few. If all known internal causes are accounted for and do not adequately explain the change observed then perhaps some external cause has to be examined as a potential candidate.

    Of course, research on other potential internal causes should continue, but there is no reason to not look at external causes. You can’t say much about unknown internal causes except that they are unknown. To stop and shrug, saying “Perhaps it’s due to some unknown internal cause” is not very productive or wise. Especially if there potentially is an external cause, and that cause can be affected, and if inaction could be dangerous.

    We might never be able to capture the complexity of a non-linear system in all its glory. However, if our species’ survival depends on understanding well enough to respond to it, we had better try.

    Yellowstone supervolcano blowing is a low probability event but an extremely high risk one if it were to happen. The fact that it is unlikely on any given day does not preclude having a good early warning system in place with a solid evacuation plan, etc. Developing a predictive capacity for volcano eruptions would seem wise, even if it is extremely difficult and the phenomena complex.

    Random internal various can easly explain a warming trend that is within historic norms.

    Can you point to research that discusses this random internal variation that explains warming trends in the past?

    Obviously that means that the temperature trend still has a cause but it is not one that can be easily understood by scientists who assume that the climate would be completely static if there are no changes in outside forcings.

    Again, can you point me to these scientists who assume this? I know of no climate scientist who thinks that without external forcings the climate would be static.

    From what I have read, even AGW proponents have tried to account for known internal forcings in attribution studies and recognize that they have been involved in past climate changes. From my reading of the blogs and literature, ENSO is a big topic of discussion among climate scientists, even those who are AGW proponents, as is the PDO, NAO, THC and others.

  400. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 8:26 PM | Permalink

    “bracket it with their latest 1.5-4.5 C” That’s 3 C +/- 1.5 C, which is a range of -50% to +200% :)

    Susann: I think some people here are confusing what you’re saying is the reality of the situation as you see it, as the way you think it should be. I would in the future mention if you think what you’re seeing is good or bad, and how it might be changed if bad.

    Opinions, perceptions, observations: If I say “Climate science is a lot of guesswork and opinions stated as facts” Obviously, I mean “In my opinion, based upon my observations of behavior and statements, climate science often seems to be nothing more than guesswork and opinions a little too forcefully stated.” Not “We must do anything needed to overstate thing to compel immediate action.” Or do I? “Gee, that guy got his head cut off, that was cool!” probably means just that. Let’s stop trying to nuance the conversation.

    Temp record; GISTEMP at GISS shows 2007 and 1998 tied for second, with 2005 having the highest anomaly ever in a million years. I mean, in the last 127.

  401. Neil Fisher
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 8:28 PM | Permalink

    Bender said

    If Susann is different, then great. I am doubtful, but willing to be convinced.

    I’m sure that if she stays here long enough, we’ll see here true colours (and by that, I’m certainly NOT suggesting they are anything other than what they appear to be).

    Should we not take the same attitude to her as we do to the data? (viz. assume honest and upright, but audit/replicate to make sure we are getting what we think we are) Certainly that is how I would expect any poster here to be treated, regardless of race, colour, creed, political affiliation or job. Perhaps Bender (and maybe others as well) have, as she herself suggested, not understood Susann’s position. I certainly hope that is the case, but am willing to be proven shown wrong.

    It’s very easy to assume motivations and be very wrong – I can’t speak for anyone else, but IM(NS)HO even “The Team” have good and honest reasons for their beliefs. Their data may not stand up to a good CA audit, and so prove to be wrong (or maybe not!), but I think it’s fair to say that these people (“The Team”) think they are right, and on that aspect, you can’t fault them; after all, if all the data and methods were 100% free of errors (of all types), I should imagine that you (Bender) would be on their side and screaming just as loud.

    As per my previous post, I am hopeful that Susann CAN make a difference, and I would hope that regular quality posters here (such as Bender, John A et al) can supply her with what she needs. As she says, it may not help, but it certainly won’t hurt – at least we’ll know that it was politics, not lack of knowledge (for at least one representative anyway) that set policy.

  402. Mike B
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 8:31 PM | Permalink

    Susann:

    Could you please rank these events, from most likely to least likely in the next 5,000 years:

    1) The onset of a new NH glacial advance due to orbital forcings
    2) Massive despeciation from a collision with an asteroid or comet
    3) Moderate climate change (ala LIA/MWP) brought on by eruption of a massive caldera volcano
    4) Severe climate change brought on by anthropogenic forcings

    Hint: Three of these are pretty well understood from geologic evidence and should be easy to get in the right order.

    The other is a crapshoot.

  403. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 8:32 PM | Permalink

    Okay. For those of you who seem to be more tending to support the idea of AGW and a link to anthropogenic greenhouse gas (AGHG) levels, most specifically carbon dioxide created by fuel use, I have a couple of questions I’d like you to answer, directly and simply. Be sure and separate cause and effect in your travels up the logic ladder. A sentence or two for each is more than sufficient. Those that are questioning some of the details or assumptions are also free to answer these of course. Big picture here please.

    1. Do you consider the global mean temperature anomaly trend (as based upon this data) to accurately and meaningfully reflect Earth energy levels and thus the effects upon weather and climate? If so, why. If not, why not?

    2. Assuming you do equate the trend to energy levels, what do you think is the primary cause of the increase in the anomaly and the trend (“the warming”), at the core of it, and why?

    3. Assuming you assign some percentage of the anomaly trend rise/warming to AGHG, what percentage would that be and why?

    4. Of that percentage of the anomaly trend related to AGHG, what percentage of that is due to carbon dioxide and why?

    5. What is your plan to create positive and proactive actions that will reduce or remove the various causes of the problematic effects of any rise in energy levels (heating) that may be happening in the global climate?

  404. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 8:55 PM | Permalink

    Since we are once again onto that Susann and policy discussions (that just will not seem to quit) I would like a little clarification from Susann and/or other participants in the field of policy making.

    My view of policy in the particular case of climate would be policy as derived in the form of government legislation. It is also my view that the general direction on policy is mostly well established in a particular politician’s mind. That direction would stem from their practical roles as would be derived from special interests and in their more ideological roles as favoring more or less government intervention. I really find it difficult to believe that many politicians are looking for a policy wonk to change or fix their views on this matter and particularly those that involve practical considerations of their voting constituents’ views and political needs. Therefore, the policy person would in most cases be brought on board to help “market” an existing political position on the policy matter by bringing information and arguments that support that pre-determined position. The policy person could bring forth some opposition views by warning their politician/employer that the damn fool opposition will use this or that argument. Having said that, the policy person, I would suspect, better have a good counter argument in line with the politician’s positions.

    Now I would also think that a politician looking for these pro and con arguments would look to the more prominent think tanks for the most scholarly and finished versions of these arguments and, therefore, the hired policy gun would be more a conduit for obtaining these arguments. I do not see policy persons in such positions who have not themselves formed a firm position on the policy matter, although a highly professional and practical policy person might be able to do the bidding of a political group with which they personally disagree. But then those people would not be very concerned with what was ultimately right or wrong or at least not to a best or better way of reacting to the situation.

    Assuming the forgoing is mostly correct; I do not see where a policy-person-to-be in the matter of climate policy finds a need to be convinced of a position to take. I can see where that prospective policy wonk may be looking for the pro and con arguments, but with a position already established for the most part.

    The climate policy makers (and not necessarily their wonks) will deal with the uncertainty in these matters, at least in the US, by how much harm or good they think will be derived from government attempts at mitigation based on their general views of government intervention. Those at one end of the spectrum who feel that government intervention is a good thing regardless of the need and see no possible net harmful negative consequences will naturally need little in the way of certainty, while the other end of the spectrum with opposite views will need much certainty. Politicians being the practical animals they are, might favor gradualism in the matter, on the one hand, with the view that that action will lead to further action later on and, on the other hand, might favor a program that will not be effective until some time in the future when his constituents might want to change their views or at least he will be out of office.

    In closing I can see a policy person with some scientific curiosity being interested in climate matters as a personal matter in taking a position, but I do not see the link with what I perceive as their job description.

  405. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 8:59 PM | Permalink

    Sorry, based up this data.

    My answers:

    1. No. The evidence I’ve seen doesn’t show well enough that the trend equals a rise in energy levels. This, however, doesn’t mean they are not rising. Inconclusive.

    2. On the thinking point of the idea that certain things might cause energy levels to rise, regardless of the trend or not, 6.6 billion people and technological advances would certainly seem to point to the effects we’ve seen regarding urbanization and industrialization, that seems to indicate energy levels might be going up.

    3. 20% at most, based upon the fact that they seem to play a minor role in the system as a whole, and the other side effects of urbanization and industrialization are much more prevelent and meaningful.

    4. Perhaps 35%, of that 20%, based upon the IPCC forcing models. That’s just a ballpark idea though, nothing really scientific about it. It’s most likely 10-60%. That gives us about .03 C per 110 ppmv.

    5. There’s nothing positive or proactive that can be done to either halt population growth nor to slow the advance of technology. Like climate, the system is on its own; an automated train with an infinite number of moving parts and an infinite amount of fuel.

    Now I’ll add on a practical standpoint; what is anyone going to do regarding an issue that almost 100% of all the members of both parties in the United States Senate said no to the last time the subject came up, with Al Gore as the vice president at the time? Reminds me of something I read on Yahoo! recently; Saddam didn’t expect US to invade. Duh, he’d only been hearing “or else” for over a decade and misread the frustration brought on by fooling everyone in thinking he had WMD. Sometimes, you’re too effective at implying something. And then you don’t see what’s obvious because you’re not paying attention. Hitler had this problem when he made his blunders. (I’m not equating the two people, or talking about anything other than human nature and perceptions.)

    Whatever we see happening now regarding “the problem” is being at least partially embraced by the companies whose business is energy? Ever think that all “the solutions” just might be driven by something in the context of a world economy based on energy and technology?

    If you’re not aware that this comes down to the selective allocation of scarce resources, I’m not sure what planet you’re living on, but it’s probably not this one. :D

  406. Pat Keating
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 9:00 PM | Permalink

    I think ‘Susann’ is just yanking your chains. She seems to be able to get you all talking about her instead of more interesting topics. Yaaaawn….

  407. Andrew
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 9:21 PM | Permalink

    Sam, no one thinks that. All the catastrophe comes from imaginary water vapor feedback that apparently doesn’t exist:
    http://blogs.woodtv.com/?p=2999

  408. eric mcfarland
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 9:24 PM | Permalink

    Steve exposed:

  409. Susann
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 9:26 PM | Permalink

    Now I would also think that a politician looking for these pro and con arguments would look to the more prominent think tanks for the most scholarly and finished versions of these arguments and, therefore, the hired policy gun would be more a conduit for obtaining these arguments. I do not see policy persons in such positions who have not themselves formed a firm position on the policy matter, although a highly professional and practical policy person might be able to do the bidding of a political group with which they personally disagree. But then those people would not be very concerned with what was ultimately right or wrong or at least not to a best or better way of reacting to the situation.

    Kenneth, here is a link to a Canadian government site on what a policy analyst does. This is as close to what I do as you can get except I work in a different ministry. I think you are talking about policy advisors who are political from the start. Often political appointees or from a policy advocacy organization.

  410. eric mcfarland
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 9:49 PM | Permalink

    63:
    Is that not a bit linear and superficial for how science (particularly how client science) works in the real world? Most things do not fall out as a function … and I am sure that you agree. You have to actually go to the layers of circumstantial evidence and compare models and theories to results and observations. In short … science. No?

  411. Andrew
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 9:49 PM | Permalink

    Sam, Nir Shaviv thinks that the half million year Ice Core correlation can be used to put an upper limit on climate sensitivity. It happens that it can’t be more than 10:
    http://sciencebits.com/IceCoreTruth
    Scroll down. (As for your lower limit, since no such shift has ever occurred in proximity to a change in CO2 of about that magnitude, I find that unlikely. Nevertheless, I can’t disprove either. They are within the widest error bounds.)

  412. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 9:51 PM | Permalink

    “Do you have anything other than assumptions or models to show doubling carbon dioxide levels result in a rise in the global mean tempurature anomaly of 2.5 C?”

    “Well, we have these assumptions and models that show doubling carbon dioxide levels results in something around 3 C +/- 1.5 C, and that should be enough.”

    “I’m really looking for something a little more quantifiable.”

    “Denier!!!”

  413. eric mcfarland
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 9:55 PM | Permalink

    64:
    Got Kyoto 2012 – with China:

  414. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 9:57 PM | Permalink

    Kyoto; the widest error bounds ever in a bizillion years (+/- infinity).

  415. Raven
    Posted Jan 24, 2008 at 11:40 PM | Permalink

    Susann says:

    Again, can you point me to these scientists who assume this? I know of no climate scientist who thinks that without external forcings the climate would be static.

    Look at IPCC AR4 Chapter 9. It mentions that long term natural variations could exist but then proceeds to ignore the possibility its later analysis. When it compares the model runs with and without CO2 forcing the report suggests that the temperature in the last 50 years would have remained the same or cooled slightly if we had not put any CO2 into the air. This makes no sense to me. If the IPCC had considered internal variations it should have provided an envelope that accounts for random trends (up or down). This envelope would show that at least some of the recent increase could be attributed to random internal variations. They should have attempted to quantify the magnitudes of the random trends and associate a probability with them. They did not do this which tells me that the authors of the IPCC report believe that the climate should be static if there are no external forcings.

  416. Peter Thompson
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 12:50 AM | Permalink

    This is tangentially OT, but it stuns me when I see it. There is a post up at RC by Ray Pierre, and it includes the following bit: “Some of us have even been cajoled into accepting. In the pre-YouTube days, I did one against the then-head of the American Petroleum institute at the U. of Chicago law school. Gavin did an infamous one against Crichton and company. People are always demanding that Al Gore debate somebody or other. Both Dave Archer and I have been asked to debate Dennis Avery (of “Unstoppable Global Warming” fame) on TV or radio more than once — and declined. It’s a no win situation. If you accept you give the appearance that these skeptics have something to say that’s actually worth debating about — and give their bogus ideas more publicity. If you decline there are all sorts of squawks that “X won’t debate!” or implications that scientists have declared “the debate” (whatever that is supposed to mean) prematurely closed when in fact it is “just beginning.”

    Two paragraphs later, this appears:

    “The repeated challenges to debate are probably meant to imply that scientists — and their supporters, including Al Gore — are fixed in their ideas, unreceptive to the new and challenging, and unwilling to defend their ideas in public. This picture is hard to square with how scientists actually behave among themselves. It is not that scientists don’t debate, dispute, disagree about matters related to climate. All those things happen, but not on the subjects that skeptics like Inhofe or Fred Singer or Dennis Avery would like to debate (like whether global warming is mainly caused by CO2 or solar variability, or whether the IPCC warming forecasts represent a credible threat.). Those sorts of things are indeed considered settled science by serious climate scientists”.

    Pack up everyone. Ray Pierre has called the question, and upon hearing (refusing to hear) no (any) objection, declared the motion passed.

  417. bender
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 12:51 AM | Permalink

    she’s doing it again:

    I know of no climate scientist who thinks that without external forcings the climate would be static

    “would be static” = attempt to constrain the debate to yes/no

    Susann, internal weather noise vs external forcing is a quantitative, not categorical issue. You’ve not learned a thing.

    This, folks, is the RC legacy: AGHG/AGW: yes or no? This is the primary function of the RC gatekeeper: maintain policy momentum by marginalizing the skeptic position, assigning it to the “no” side (manufacturing denialism: AGW=0).

    The intelligent skeptic today grants 1.5K future warming due to GHGs, asks for evidence, asserts that it is possible to adapt to this level of change, points out that negative feedbacks could easily kick in to prevent even this. Susann, refute this, not that make-believe denialist crap.

    Snip if you must, Steve. I’m growing impatient with these people.

  418. bender
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 1:01 AM | Permalink

    It’s a no win situation. If you accept you give the appearance that these skeptics have something to say that’s actually worth debating about — and give their bogus ideas more publicity.

    Giving “bogus ideas more publicity” is usually a good thing if these ideas are really all that bogus and that easily refuted. I thought that was the whole idea of the university? And here again is RC’s legacy: control the media and you control the agenda. Be the media and you are the agenda.

    These guys are shying away from public debate at precisely the time when the planet purportedly needs them? Don’t tell me there doing a lot to promote debate at RC. Go ask a skeptical question there and see how you get treated. See how open and accountable they are. Just don’t ask Greg Holland any tough questions. Stupid questions.

  419. TAC
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 5:04 AM | Permalink

    bender (#418),

    The intelligent skeptic today grants 1.5K future warming due to GHGs, asks for evidence, asserts that it is possible to adapt to this level of change, points out that negative feedbacks could easily kick in to prevent even this.

    I’ve been thinking the same thing. The question has never been: Do GHGs warm the planet? Clearly they warm the planet — everyone accepts they are the cause of almost all of the the 33-degree difference between the average global temperature and the no-atmosphere temperature (which is not that hard to compute — or measure on atmosphere-free planets, apparently). The question involves sensitivity to increased CO2.

    Lubos and many others (SteveM has reported on this) have presented plausible 1-d or even 0-d arguments for sensitivities around 1-1.5 degrees (most of which has likely already occurred). The question, IIUC, is about “feedbacks,” both positive and negative, which might either attenuate or amplify the 1-d effect, hypothetically creating a 2xCO2 equilibrium temperature as much as 4.5 degrees warmer than the 1xCO2 equilibrium. The problem is that the physics of the “feedback” problem is non-trivial.

    The obvious way to finesse the non-trivial physics would be to look at data and fit a regression model. The problem: This approach also turns out to be non-trivial. In order to do the statistics correctly, we need to understand the error term (the “noise”), which in turn brings us back to physics: We need to understand the properties of the non-linear dynamics. In short, the complexity in the noise (and there isn’t much doubt about this) greatly complicates our ability to infer the properties of the system from direct statistical analysis of the historical temperature and GHG-concentration records.

    A more obvious problem is that errors in the data (Anthony Watts’s findings and the now-discredited “Hockey Stick” come to mind) also complicate our ability to draw inferences from the data.

    Does that summarize where we are?

  420. MrPete
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 6:41 AM | Permalink

    Peeking in briefly while working hard to complete a “real world” project…

    1) I come to Susann’s defense in this: I never interpreted her as saying that she is the kind of policymaker she was describing and which I lamented. I read it as her reality-check description of the world she works in. To me it was a “watch out, there be Giants In The Land” kind of thing.

    2) I refute some claims made about causes…

    On Medicine: Raven said

    If a drug maker wishes to have a drug approved they must first:
    1) Provide a theoretical basis for the claimed effect
    2) Demonstrate the claimed effect in the lab with subjects like mice
    3) Demonstrate that the claimed effect is larger than the placebo effect
    4) Demonstrate that the harms caused by using the drug do not outweigh the claimed benefits;

    #1 is not true. The medication I take for my sleep disorder has been measured and carefully described, but there is no known basis for its effect. Science can evaluate effects without understanding causes.

    On climate change without forcing: Susann said

    Can you point to research that discusses this random internal variation that explains warming trends in the past?… I know of no climate scientist who thinks that without external forcings the climate would be static.

    See Robock 1978 and bender’s comments here.

    If I’ve learned anything about human nature over my years in high tech its that we have the hubris to imagine that we have incredible power to “manage” our surroundings. And we easily get too big for our britches. AFAIK, Robock’s saying in essence that natural variability can account for ALL the temp trends of the last hundred years. To me, that’s the null hypothesis.

    Yes, we need to take good care of our planet. But mankind has a rather sordid history of environmental “management” projects. We try to replant a city in the Mississippi delta…control water flow in south Florida…prevent forest fires…keep sand from shifting on the coast…etc etc etc.

    Our predictive abilities with respect to nature itself are notoriously awful. Our predictive abilities with respect to major environmental impacts are even worse. What makes us think we’re somehow going to “manage” this one correctly?

    Much humility needed. (MrPete’s environmental mantra ;))

  421. Susann
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 7:37 AM | Permalink

    she’s doing it again:

    I know of no climate scientist who thinks that without external forcings the climate would be static

    “would be static” = attempt to constrain the debate to yes/no

    Susann, internal weather noise vs external forcing is a quantitative, not categorical issue. You’ve not learned a thing.

    Bender, I was responding to a comment by Raven in which she claims that there are some:

    scientists who assume that the climate would be completely static if there are no changes in outside forcings.

    So I ask you, if you say I have learned nothing and am doing “it” again, what is your response to Raven’s comment?

    I was simply asking for some evidence of such scientists since that statement seems so unlikely.

  422. Michael Smith
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 7:50 AM | Permalink

    Susann asked, in 397:

    Have politicians acted on the “consensus” claims of mainstream climate science in the last 20 years? Have they enacted legislation to seriously reduce GHG? If not, why not?

    Based on an acceptance of the claims of “mainstream climate scientiests”, the United States government recently passed an “energy bill” that effectively outlaws the incandescent light bulb, the SUV and the pickup truck — and will require the construction of lighter, smaller and more dangerous automobiles. The same bill mandates new “energy efficiency standards” for applicances like washing machines and cloths dryers — meaning that the production of ones like you use now has been effectively outlawed. The same bill mandates still more production of ethanol, which means the government has decided that you WILL pay more for food, whether you like it or not.

    The state of California is setting up a regulation that will require all new construction — residential as well as commercial — to have thermostats that can be remotely controlled by the government. It’s obvious where that is headed.

    All of the U.S. presidential candidates, both parties, accept the AGW claim and are committed to acting on it.

    So in a crucial sense, the debate IS over and governments are moving to impose ever-more controls on your life, such as telling you what sort of light bulbs you can use, what sort of cars you can drive, how much energy you can expend doing your laundry and how much of your budget must be re-directed toward food.

    Now, will these laws “seriously reduce GHG”, as you asked? I doubt it. But they WILL seriously set the precendent that controlling the anamoly justifies controlling your life.

    Snip if you must, Steve, but let’s not kid ourselves that the “consensus” is not about to begin seriously impacting our freedom.

  423. bender
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 7:54 AM | Permalink

    #422 no response. you are aggravating me and now i’m starting to annoy people. you never thanked me for answering all your questions in depth either. /ignore /lurk

  424. Susann
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 7:58 AM | Permalink

    Our predictive abilities with respect to nature itself are notoriously awful. Our predictive abilities with respect to major environmental impacts are even worse. What makes us think we’re somehow going to “manage” this one correctly?

    If you live in tornado alley, which I have before, the development of doppler radar and a civil defense early warning system and a cellar are great developments and represent our attempts to understand chaotic nature enough so that we can predict it and protect ourselves. That people are foolosh enough to ignore the learnings of science and the predictions isa human trait. A year before the tsunami, there were scinetists who predicted exactly what happened. A year before Katrina, the same. Both speak to our human desire to try to understand nature and predict it, and our tendency to think it won’t happen to us and fail to plan ahead. I see climate change as no different, although on a much grander scale.

  425. Susann
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 8:09 AM | Permalink

    Michael Smith, when I read these measures, I think they are window dressing compared to what AGW proponents and climate scientists think should be happening. Keep in mind that the government is purportedly very concerned about energy independence given the high stakes for the economy involved in high oil prices and threats to the oil supply. Many of these moves are energy conserving measures, enacted not so much out of a concern for GHGs, but conserving energy. What was one of the first issues tackled by the Bush admin? Cheney’s energy report.

    If you ask me, the government (in the US for example, but elsewhere as well) is far more concerned about energy supply and price than climate.

  426. Severian
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 8:10 AM | Permalink

    If you live in tornado alley, which I have before, the development of doppler radar and a civil defense early warning system and a cellar are great developments and represent our attempts to understand chaotic nature enough so that we can predict it and protect ourselves.

    I would point out that the examples you use are the exact same approach that the majority of “deniers” recommend for climate change, that is, learn to adapt and protect yourselves thru the application of technology and other ways to cope with what is, essentially, an unstoppable phenomena. Contrast this to the AGW Alarmist approach, which would be to throw tons of money on useless attempts to stop tornadoes or tsunamis.

    Your line of reasoning is more in line with people who want to ignore CO2 and focus on adaptation, which as you accurately point out is a tried and true approach, adaptation, that has demonstrated success before. Why abandon this proven approach now?

  427. John M.
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 8:11 AM | Permalink

    Think you’ll find that your president is motivated more by the notion of “energy independence” and getting out of a situation where vast amounts of wealth are being transferred from the USA to the OPEC member states than he is by AGW, #423, given many of the solutions that are being actively explored at the moment like the development of the coal, shale and tar sand industries aren’t exactly ideal from a reduction of CO2 emissions standpoint.

  428. Bob B
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 8:19 AM | Permalink

    Any comments on this?

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/US_Temperatures_and_Climate_Factors_since_1895.pdf

  429. Michael Smith
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 8:36 AM | Permalink

    Susann and John M:

    There is no question that a mixture of motives was involved in that 800+ page energy bill. But do you honestly think that the forces pushing for measures to reduce “energy dependence” are of the same magnitude as the forces pushing for action on global warming?

  430. Jeremy Ayrton
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 8:51 AM | Permalink

    Susann says:

    I think they are window dressing compared to what AGW proponents and climate scientists think should be happening. Keep in mind that the government is purportedly very concerned about energy independence given the high stakes for the economy involved in high oil prices and threats to the oil supply. Many of these moves are energy conserving measures, enacted not so much out of a concern for GHGs, but conserving energy.

    And keep in mind the politicans’ first concern is power. Does anyone reallythink differently? Back in the 70’s our government obliged industry and business to restrict themselves to working three days a week – and that was over a dispute with coal miners. So imagine what they would do if they were really concerned about the planet.

    It isn’t AGW that is the driver here, but rather the need to raise taxes without admitting the need to ballance the books. So a ittle extra tax on SUV’s? That will do nicely (and everyone else hates the wretched things, so that’s another plus).

  431. Tom Vonk
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 9:08 AM | Permalink

    So in a crucial sense, the debate IS over and governments are moving to impose ever-more controls on your life, such as telling you what sort of light bulbs you can use, what sort of cars you can drive, how much energy you can expend doing your laundry and how much of your budget must be re-directed toward food.

    Why not . They can also move farther and decide how many children you may have , if you may travel abroad and what kind of books may be printed . All this is enforceable with suitable application of violence as has aleady been abundantly demonstrated in the past .
    Now there are 3 answers on that :

    1) Constate that the majority doesn’t like it , create an opposition list , throw the morons out at the next election and vote laws unmaking all this BS .
    2) Constate that the majority likes it , consider that the next step would be a more or less mild dictatorship and emigrate (that’s what happened in Germany 1933) .
    3) Bow your head , shut up and think that as long as they leave you the football , things are not so bad and could be worse (that’s what happened in Russia in the 30ies) .

    As long as there are alternatives , the debate is NEVER over .
    To illustrate that I will quote an Italian friend who told me recently when I was in Rome “Nobody cares about the weather in 100 years . But if somebody touches my car , I’ll go to the cellar and get my gun .”
    There are always alternatives .

  432. Severian
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 9:52 AM | Permalink

    Think you’ll find that your president is motivated more by the notion of “energy independence” and getting out of a situation where vast amounts of wealth are being transferred from the USA to the OPEC member states than he is by AGW, #423, given many of the solutions that are being actively explored at the moment like the development of the coal, shale and tar sand industries aren’t exactly ideal from a reduction of CO2 emissions standpoint.

    While that is probably true, someday someone smarter than I am will undoubtedly elucidate how demonizing CO2 and therefore coal and oil shale, something we have in abundance, and restricting their use will help liberate us from dependence on foreign oil.

  433. Jeremy Ayrton
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 9:53 AM | Permalink

    Tom Vonk – I have a question for you. Your comments on the error of assuming average temperatures in calculating the amount of energy radiated by a surface prompted me to calculate the enrgy radiated by a square metre of a surface (e.g. the Earth) asuming the temperature varied in a sinusoidal fashion from min.to max. over a 24 hour period, calculating for every second the energy radiated and summing to arrive at a figure for the whole day.

    Unsurprisingly, this suggested that the amount of energy really radiated was greater than the amount arrived at by simply using the average of the same min. and max. temperatures.

    What I can’t work out is if this difference argues for or against AGW. Perhaps you could help me?

  434. MarkW
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 9:55 AM | Permalink

    That tornadoes happen is well documented.
    That hurricanes happen is well documented.

    That CO2 is going to raise temperatures enough to cause us serious problems is not documented. At all.
    The projections exist inside models only. Models that have been demonstrated to be faulty.

    The claim that there is a consensus behind the belief that temperatures are going to rise significantly has also been proven to be false. Many times.

    That you are so eager to act, despite what the science is telling you. Even to the point of telling people to stop caring about science, indicates that you support the policy. GW is merely the vehicle you have choosen to get where you want to go.

  435. steven mosher
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 10:13 AM | Permalink

    Aphorism 632.

    Question their truth; they excercise power.
    Challenge their power; they bray about truth.

    Name that philospher.

  436. MrPete
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 10:27 AM | Permalink

    Susann,

    When speaking about predicting “major environmental impacts” I was speaking about the impact of our actions on the environment. There’s a world of difference between policy and action that protects us from the ravages of nature, and policy/action that attempts to manage nature.

    For hurricanes, tornados, tsunamis, quakes and more, we are making progress toward predicting disaster with enough advance warning to protect ourselves.

    For climate change, most policy recommendations today involve massive societal upheaval to try to change nature, not accomodate it.

    I would be very interested in how you interpret things to be able to say:

    I see climate change as no different, although on a much grander scale.

  437. Larry
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 10:34 AM | Permalink

    428, that’s the nub of the issue. Reducing energy consumption helps with carbon emissions and energy imports, but pushing for carbon reductions by itself doesn’t necessarily reduce energy imports, and may in fact increase them. I think you’re going to find that energy independence is a lot less controversial (and a lot less painful) than carbon reduction. They’re not one and the same.

  438. Mark T.
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 11:08 AM | Permalink

    Your line of reasoning is more in line with people who want to ignore CO2 and focus on adaptation, which as you accurately point out is a tried and true approach, adaptation, that has demonstrated success before. Why abandon this proven approach now?

    I think if you reach deeply you’ll understand why… this is all simply a means to an end.

    Mark

  439. Michael Smith
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 11:39 AM | Permalink

    Tom Vonk wrote:

    As long as there are alternatives , the debate is NEVER over .

    I agree.

  440. Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 11:45 AM | Permalink

    Can anyone tell me if if what I have captured here is, in fact, Toronto’s Urban Heat Island? I know its precipitation, but I’ve been wondering for a while now why Toronto doesn’t get as much “weather” as other parts of Southern Ontario.

    Screenshots

  441. SteveSadlov
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 11:45 AM | Permalink

    Weather noise (or is it?): Here in NoCal snow levels went up by over 2000 feet overnight, as a wrinkle in the jet stream brought us a slug of mT. There will be floods. Even in the coastal areas, for there is a two foot snow pack on our ridges here. This is the first time in my life (40 plus years) that I can write about a two foot snow pack nearby in the here and now. Silver lining – it helps fill local reservoirs, lowered by the 2006 – 2007 rainy season’s drought.

  442. Mike Davis
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 11:57 AM | Permalink

    SteveS: It can also bring back the flooding that occured in the mid 60’s

  443. Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 11:59 AM | Permalink

    Michael Smith, #423: And then there is this:

    http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20071213/news_lz1e13lowe.html

  444. Pat Keating
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 12:01 PM | Permalink

    434 Jeremy
    The point you make would mean, if anything, that the GHG effect is a little smaller. However, since water-vapor is the largest contributor, it probably doesn’t say anything about CO2 in general, never mind about anthropomorphic CO2.

  445. Pat Keating
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 12:02 PM | Permalink

    Sorry, that should be ‘anthropogenic’ — I haven’t seen any CO2 with human shape….

  446. Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 12:07 PM | Permalink

    SteveSadlow: our rainy season down here in San Diego/Riverside Counties is beginning to resemble the 04-05 deluge (2nd wettest on record). It’s a beautiful thing. Last year? Next to nothing.

  447. kim
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 12:08 PM | Permalink

    You don’t see the smiley face in carbon dioxide?
    ========================

  448. Michael Smith
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 12:08 PM | Permalink

    theduke: That is a very discouraging article. Leave it to the politicians to name a law like that the “Global Warming Solutions Act”.

  449. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 12:27 PM | Permalink

    As to why I often talk about things in terms of people thinking carbon dioxide = temperature, I’m thinking of the majority of the population, not people on the blogs; people that don’t generally read climate papers or do much if any research into it on the Internet. People that know about GW through Time, Newsweek, ABC/NBC/CBS, Yahoo! News, USA Today, NYTimes, WPost and so on. I would doubt most people have even glanced at anything at RC, or the climate stuff on wikipedia etc. In general, how the issue is phrased in the mainstream or heavily implied by the SPM and at certain sites on the web.

    For example, if a pollster were to go out and randomly pick 100 people on the street, and asked some questions about global warming, what percentage do you think would have a conversation that pretty much went like this:

    Q: “What is global warming?”
    A: “The planet’s temperature dangerously rising.”

    Q: “What causes the warming?”
    A: “There’s more carbon dioxide in the air.”

    Q: “Why is there more carbon dioxide in the air.”
    A: “Mostly cars using gasoline.”

    Q: “What should we do about it?”
    A: “Increase fuel efficiency, and conserve more.”

    Now, those that say something like that, how many could answer these questions correctly (or at all):

    How do we get the temperature reading?
    What is the reading now?
    How much has it risen and over what time period?
    How do we get the carbon dioxide readings?
    What is the reading now?
    How much has it risen and over what time period?
    How does carbon dioxide change the temperature, from a physical standpoint?
    Are there other things in the air that are involved, if so, what are they and what do they do?
    Are there other things besides what’s in the air that are involved, if so, what are they and what do they do?

  450. Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 12:28 PM | Permalink

    Michael: Yes. Susann seems unaware that her policies are going to provoke powerful reactions. And that politicians and policy analysts are going to be candidates for lynching as a result. Figuratively speaking, of course.

  451. Gunnar
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 1:52 PM | Permalink

    #434 >> Unsurprisingly, this suggested that the amount of energy really radiated was greater than the amount arrived at by simply using the average of the same min. and max. temperatures.

    Jeremy, excellent! Now, we’re getting somewhere.

  452. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 2:12 PM | Permalink

    While it seems clear the anomaly is probably just some number that happens to be getting derived now higher on a more regular basis than it was 30 or so years ago, and probably doesn’t reflect higher energy levels (or at least not accurately and meaningfully), it’s logical that the energy 6.6 billion people create and use as we advance technology, with the resulting urbanization and industrialization, would raise those energy levels. Do we really care how much? Considering we can’t quantify it, seems rather a waste of time.

    If we say that carbon dioxide produces 10% of the GE, and if the GE is holding in more heat, to what degree is carbon dioxide responsible for this unknown rise in energy levels? Remember, you have to take into account that any effects it has are affected by the other variables and vice versa. So, certainly, focusing on it is also rather as unimportant as the anomaly is. Sequestering it would be a terrible idea; if it’s a large percentage effect, getting rid of it might be a disaster (besides getting rid of enough of it would be a huge cost better spent on other things), since sequestration does nothing to remove the negative forcing particulates (ignoring the various things particulates can do to be a positive forcing) it’s possibly the only thing keeping us in the interglacial. If it’s a small percentage effect, getting rid of it would be very expensive for meaningless results, and you also still have the pollution.

    So either way, the anomaly and carbon dioxide are not the subject, not the issue to be discussing. They are non-sequiters, distractions. So unless you are contemplating dismantling urban centers and industry and/or getting rid of some of those 6.6 billion people, there’s only one other solution to whatever it is that’s causing whatever energy level rise there is. The energy sources and their use.

    Don’t think the number of people is important?

    Food and energy

    • The human population has quadrupled in the last century, from 1.5 billion to 6.3 billion, while the amount of energy used in food production systems has increased 80-fold. It now takes 80 times more energy to feed four times more people.

    • Ten percent of the energy used in the US is consumed by the food industry.

    • We use up to 10 times as much fossil fuel energy to produce it as food returns — it takes seven to 10 calories of input energy to produce one calorie of food.

    • Two fifths of food production energy goes to processing and distribution and another two fifths to cooking and refrigeration by final users. Only one fifth is used on the farm, half in chemicals.

    • Making and transporting one kilogram of nitrogen fertilizer releases 3.7 kg of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

    • There has been a 20-fold increase in insecticide use since 1948 — up to a billion pounds per year — but today insects get 13 percent of yield compared to 7 percent then.

  453. Andrey Levin
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 2:49 PM | Permalink

    Re Michael Smith:

    “energy bill” that effectively outlaws the incandescent light bulb, the SUV and the pickup truck — and will require the construction of lighter, smaller and more dangerous automobiles. The same bill mandates new “energy efficiency standards” for applicances like washing machines and cloths dryers — meaning that the production of ones like you use now has been effectively outlawed. The same bill mandates still more production of ethanol, which means the government has decided that you WILL pay more for food, whether you like it or not.

    I share your dislike of government dictating us how to live, but current Energy Bill is hardly something radically new, or threatening. US government regulates fuel efficiency of vehicles and energy efficiency of appliances for at least three decades. In fact, it even regulates amount of water your toilet bowl is allowed to use per flash. Improved energy/water efficiency gains mandated by bill are well within parameters of best appliances already sold on the market. Bill just accelerates their penetration, which will save you and me serious money directly and indirectly (upgrade of power and water/sewage infrastructure is extremely costly).

    The Bill does not outlaw incandescent bulbs, it just sets minimal efficiency requirements by quite lenient time schedule. Incandescent halogen light bulbs – the ones who do heavy lifting in our houses, are mostly compliant, and new generation of incandescent halogen bulbs with IR reflective coating already exceeds the requirements. Nobody will force you to use mercury-laden fluorescent bulbs indoor. To tell the truth, progress in LED lighting is so fast, that this technology will most probably make this bill obsolete in 5 years.

    Tightening of CAFÉ standards for fuel efficiency was agreed upon by car manufacturers before passage of the bill. The Bill establishes two different standards for cars and light trucks (SUVs), so nobody even thinking about SUV/trucks prohibition. Current automotive technology, already tested technically and economically, allows to meet new CAFÉ requirements without sacrifice in utility and safety. I am talking about direct gasoline injection, hybridization (including cheap “mild hybrids”), advanced transmissions, electrically driven pumps and auxiliary systems like steering, Atkinson cycle and throttleless engines with variable valve timing and lift, cylinder deactivation, etc.

    The bill requires only doubling of corn ethanol in 13 years, which is more like restriction, not real expansion. The rest is pie-in-the-sky second generation biofuels, which could be amended (and will be) by Administration if it proves to be unachievable. As for price of food, the biggest impact price of corn has on price of beef. One pound of dressed beef contains whopping 70 cents worth of corn feed at current sky-high corn prices.

  454. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 3:21 PM | Permalink

    CFLs have about 5 mg of mercury. Environmentally, a coal plant would emit more than double that powering an incandescent bulb (vs about 3 to power a CFL). If you have normal fluorescent bulbs, they have more mercury of course. Also, if you have a thermometer or a thermostat, they’re each a few hundred mg. I’d be more worried about getting cut from the glass of a broken CFL. The cleanup instructions they give are to calm the paranoid :) I wonder if you threw one at the wall and it broke, how much mercury vapor would be released into the air (besides the phosphor and the UV-producing argon or neon gas) from 5 mg though, and what would happen if you purposely breathed in the dust. If you’re exposed to 4 hours of as low as 1 mg/m3 it can cause various physical problems. Anyway.

    But you’re probably correct about LEDs, my car flashlight is one with 3 bulbs, very bright, uses far less battery power. The ability to produce brilliant white LED is a wonderful thing. And there are of course a number of vehicles with LED taillights, and traffic signals that use them in other colors.

  455. Larry
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 3:29 PM | Permalink

    454,

    Incandescent halogen light bulbs – the ones who do heavy lifting in our houses, are mostly compliant, and new generation of incandescent halogen bulbs with IR reflective coating already exceeds the requirements.

    Wrong on both counts. Halogen lamps aren’t in the majority of applications, and they won’t (can’t) be in compliance with the standards when phased in. And you’re engaged in wishful thinking if you believe that LEDs will be an economic alternative to the curly mercury bulbs in general.

  456. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 3:42 PM | Permalink

    I should mention the amount of mercury in a bulb is about 1 part per thousand. (It’s required; the ionized gas ionizes the mercury, which then emits UV that the coating blocks and re-radiates at lower frequencies)

    Anyway, back to energy use and what to do about it. My advice; be patient. What can be done? Being patient. Oh, and buying green stuff that’s really green, and conservation.

    Energy is a huge beast, a multi-tentacled ever prevalent squid, the deep and numerous tentacles intertwined with most aspects of any country’s economic, political and security. The world economy runs on it. Technology relies upon it. In many ways, it is civilization. It was well known that Shrub was going to make the issue one of his top priorities, and it was fairly well acknowledged that work needed to be done, that energy policy was sick, insufficient, needing work — As always, the argument was about what to do and how and again, as always, divided upon philosophical and political boundries, the mean-evil stooges of big oil versus the naive tree huggers. Power and control and playing to your base. You know. Yawn. Whatever.

    As far as technology, there’s no reason that coal, shale, tar sand and the like can’t become both economically viable and environmentally neutral. The two probably go hand in hand these days. Things that are good for the environment, safe, and economical; there’s no need to shroud everything in AGW to get something done. (Read the news stories about technology relating to energy and you’ll see what I mean; it’s all carbon neutral this, global warming that, blah blah blah)

    Some of the things going on that are going to make all this moot, if it’s not marginalized to the point of comedy already:

    Tesla Motors and their $100,000 electric sports car with a top speed of 125 miles that goes 220 miles on a charge and gets the same as 135 MPG in electricity costs. Guess what they’re doing with the profits? That’s right, use the technology to produce less expensive models at higher volumes.

    The hyrogen fuel stations of the AQMD and similar work, such as So. Cal. Edison’s working on commerical clean coal to create hydrogen and various other projects related to clean or renewable technologies.

    International energy technology consortiums such as FutureGen.

    Thin film prices were down to about $1.25 per watt last July. Keep an eye out for cadmium telluride, too. I should probably mention that the production of LCD TVs and computer monitors (the development of amorphous silicon and economies of scale are beautiful things) is driving PV costs and technologies much faster than if it was only the energy aspect — more proof everything energy is intertwined with economics and technology. http://www.professionalroofing.net/article.aspx?A_ID=1045

    Oh, yes, solar water heaters.

    Want to buy a windmill? How about the Skystream 3.7 that produces 1.8KW in 22 MPH wind for about five thousand bucks?

    Don’t forget that batteries keep getting better and better.

    Buy Energy Star and ROHS

    Take public transportation or ride a bike. How about an electric motor on it to run off your wind and solar electricity?

    Backup generators that run on biofuel. If you have enough land, plant canola (133 gallons of oil an acre) and buy a presser and a biodiesel processor(up to 98% conversion); build a biogas system for the methane, and make your own fuel. (You’ll have to buy the sodium hydroxide; unless you happen to have a halite mine or live near the ocean and want to evaporate seawater, and want to get the equipment to do chloralkali on the salt to make sodium hydroxide yourself…)

    Buy your food locally, do you know how much energy it takes to bring you those Chilean grapes? :) Or grow it. Or both!

    The point? A person with enough money and the desire could be off the grid totally, using technology we have now. And it’s going to get less expensive, more available, more efficient and more widespread in the future.

    Embrace it; technological advancement and energy conversation are the only two fixes to “global warming” so you might as well get used to it.

  457. MarkW
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 3:51 PM | Permalink

    I share your dislike of government dictating us how to live, but current Energy Bill is hardly something radically new, or threatening.

    You don’t like the govt dictating how we live our lives, except when you approve of the goals? Gee thanks. God protect from those who want to protect me from myslef.

  458. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

    I think might be correct on the “in general” part larry, in relation to the CFLs. At least in the short term. (6 months? 6 years?) It will all come down to cost like it always does, so who knows. But the white LED “bulbs” are very bright.

    With all the regular sized FLs in use (businesses, hospitals, home kitchens, etc) that have much more mercury, I doubt the mercury thing is really an issue, except that if you put a CFL in a table lamp, you may be more likely to break it.

  459. MarkW
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 3:57 PM | Permalink

    LED’s are coming down in price about 10% to 15% per year. Now that they are starting to penetrate the home market, that rate may increase.

    Since LEDs are a little more efficient than CFLs, have much better life expectancies, and none of the mercury that sends sensitive types into the vapors, I expect them to gradually increase their market share over the coming years.

  460. MarkW
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 3:59 PM | Permalink

    Those efficiencies that make economic sense are already being adopted. We don’t need govt to hurry up the process, especially not by picking the winners in advance.

    As per CAFE, several studies have been done that show that CAFE increases do very little to decrease fuel usage. As driving costs go down, people drive more.

    There is one way that CAFE does reduce energy useage. The thousands of extra people killed every year in the smaller cars are no longer using energy.

  461. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 4:05 PM | Permalink

    So you’re arguing that we should make everyone drive a full size enclosed vehicle with a rollbar, side impact airbags, etc etc etc to save lives?
    :)

  462. Larry
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 4:07 PM | Permalink

    I’ll caution you guys that Moore’s law doesn’t apply to non-semiconductors, and even semiconductor devices such as LEDs use some pretty exotic rare-earth elements that may be economical in a teeny chip, but can’t be economical in something as bulky as a lamp. LEDs will develop a niche, but they’re never going to compete with fluorescents for general-purpose lighting.

  463. Larry
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 4:10 PM | Permalink

    459, I don’t think Hg is a real practical issue either, but if the same people who are hopping up and down about climate change found as much Hg as is in a light bulb in a can of tuna, it would be headlines for a month.

  464. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 4:34 PM | Permalink

    Re: #410

    Kenneth, here is a link to a Canadian government site on what a policy analyst does. This is as close to what I do as you can get except I work in a different ministry. I think you are talking about policy advisors who are political from the start. Often political appointees or from a policy advocacy organization.

    Perhaps instead of pointing me to a job description based on your experiences you could give us all a “real” world rendition of a policy analyst job whether it be in the political trenches or in a government bureau. You need to stop being so coy about those experiences, about your position on AGW and your views on government mitigation.

    I garnered the following excerpts from your linked policy analyst job description that might give you a start on describing how these activities work in the real world. I doubt whether an analyst would have much of a future in the bureau if their research indicated that the purposes of the bureau’s existence was in question – or for that matter even a lesser role for that bureau.

    Mentoring is an integral part of this program. Individuals drawn from the management group will act as mentors and provide guidance to program participants.

    Participants in the Policy Analyst Stream typically carry out policy research and analysis to support policy and program development activities.

  465. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 4:37 PM | Permalink

    I would tend to agree with you larry, but not that they’ll never compete. IIRC there was a long time “nobody” thought we’d ever develop a powerful white LED.

    Did you think you could ever have 8 gigabytes that connect to a computer through a 1″ connecter on your keychain. A clutchless non-shifting sports care that gets 135 MPG. The ability to make your own diesel fuel from corn you grow? Stuff like that.

    But you’re probably correct that LED replacement is a not any time really soon kind of thing. Perhaps.

    But, hey, it’s climate science.

  466. Larry
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 4:43 PM | Permalink

    466, they’ll get better and cheaper. To a point. But Moore’s law doesn’t apply to bulky things. The cost of gallium will forever be an issue, until they can make a white LED out of plentiful elements like silicon and aluminum. And even then, there will be an irreducible manufacturing cost, simply because of the bulk.

    This is what people need to understand when they just wave their hands and say that the government should invent an SUV that gets 500 miles to the gallon of water. The economic magic that they seem to have worked in the semiconductor industry just doesn’t apply to big things.

  467. Mike Davis
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 4:51 PM | Permalink

    Larry: I already get 500 miles to a gallon of water in my F450 and about 8 miles to a gal of diesel. Of course I drink the water.

  468. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 5:09 PM | Permalink

    Larry, I agree, at the current levels of technology and prices, yes. I am assuming the technology will improve and the prices get lower (or income get higher), as well as new possible inventions. Or maybe there be a time when energy, glass, mercury and neon is so expensive, that LEDs much more cost-effective. Or maybe simply economies of scale? I don’t know, but a lot can happen in 5 or 10 years.

    But I agree, an LED is not an IC and the same rules don’t apply. That’s not all there is to it though.

  469. Mark T.
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 5:14 PM | Permalink

    Moore’s law has its limits with semiconductors, too, simply due to device physics. We’re approaching the minimum possible gate size with silicon, and it is getting more difficult to create masks for the etching.

    Not that this matters… just thought I’d mention it.

    Mark

  470. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 5:15 PM | Permalink

    Who knows, perhaps the CFR will lighten up. Maybe the aliens will come down and give us the plans to the perpetual motion machines that power their spacecraft. Maybe Antartica will melt and uncover the Atlantean pyramids and provide us with infinite power. (I’d prefer it if we got smart and took apart the prototypes in Egypt and find out what they hid in the tops though.)

  471. Richard Sharpe
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 5:49 PM | Permalink

    Has Hansen proposed a scientific AGW theory? That is has he proposed any test that would falsify his hypothesis?

  472. Mark T.
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 5:53 PM | Permalink

    Hehe, rhetorical, right?

    Mark

  473. J. Marshall Lancaster
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 6:16 PM | Permalink

    #472 Richard here is a worthwhile report on Hansens conclusions:
    http://www.ncpa.org/ba/ba299.html

    I believe with the further drop of the 8,000 yr high in TSI and the delay of the 24th sunspot cycle. We will have hard evidence of the Sun being the primary driver for warming,more significant then GHG.

    Would apprieciate any input on continued high TSI over time being the culprit for late last century warming.

  474. Paul Cummings
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 8:14 PM | Permalink

    Steve M, I wonder if you might have something to say about this http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7207335.stm
    being as you were there!

  475. Susann
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 8:50 PM | Permalink

    Perhaps instead of pointing me to a job description based on your experiences you could give us all a “real” world rendition of a policy analyst job whether it be in the political trenches or in a government bureau. You need to stop being so coy about those experiences, about your position on AGW and your views on government mitigation.

    I wouldn’t dream of boring Pat Keating any further than I already have. :)

  476. bender
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 8:56 PM | Permalink

    you just did

  477. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 9:01 PM | Permalink

    Re: #476

    I wouldn’t dream of boring Pat Keating any further than I already have.

    I think most posters here at CA would be interested in adding to their knowledge bases with some insider views of an actual policy analyst’s experiences. I think I know what they do in (the real world) but I would like to hear it from you — after all you came here well-announced as a policy person and many here I think are ready to learn. You know, kind of like they say when you are asked to write an essay or a story — write it about what you know best.

    Steve: I’d prefer that policy analysis not be discussed here.

  478. jae
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 9:05 PM | Permalink

    Would apprieciate any input on continued high TSI over time being the culprit for late last century warming.

    Have you not been reading the Svalgaard thread?

  479. jae
    Posted Jan 25, 2008 at 9:11 PM | Permalink

    475, Paul: As usual, not ONE fact in the whole bit.

    It warned that the world faced a tough challenge over the coming 50 years: “Even the lower limit of impending climate change – an additional global mean warming of 1.0C (1.8F) above the last decade – is far beyond the range of climate variability experienced during the past 1,000 years.

    And this is absolute nonsense.

  480. Andrey Levin
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 12:02 AM | Permalink

    Cree, Inc. (Nasdaq: CREE), a market leader in LED solid-state lighting components, today announced commercial availability of green XLamp® XR-E LEDs that are 70-percent brighter than the company’s previous green power LEDs.

    http://www.cree.com/press/press_detail.asp?i=1195568149752

    White variety will follow shortly. For LED light fixtures take a look here:

    http://www.theledlight.com/

    http://www.superbrightleds.com/led_prods.htm

    LEDs are coming, Energy Bill or not.

    snip

  481. bender
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 7:55 AM | Permalink

    Andrey Levin
    This rant is a reply to your #135 in Hansen:

    According to Hansen, about 84% of solar radiation adsorbed by Earth in last half century went into oceans. Despite popular belief, it is oceans which warm atmosphere, not vise versa. Now, keeping in mind that oceans hold 2000 more heat energy than atmosphere, even slight fluctuation of heat transfer from oceans to atmosphere obviously could alter global climate, on both regional and global scales. To be more precise, what we call “global climate” is averaged over globe surface min/max daily mean air temperatures measured over 1 meter over surface, however stupid this metric is.

    In practical and measurable terms, it translates into global cool or warm years due to well known phenomenas like ENSO, or on multidecadal scale due to PDO, AMO, and alike.

    Oceans are not drivers of global climate. The sun is. But oceans are neither passengers. I think of oceans as transmission in the vehicle of global climate, where sun is the engine. And it is quit sloppy transmission, tend to abruptly change gears, hesitate, slip, and override.

    This agrees with my (limited) understanding. I think the modelers would say ‘yeah, we know. sun x ocean is in the gcms, and guess what: it’s not enough to explain 20c warming’.

    Andrey, I don’t know if the models are right or wrong. I don’t know if the parameters are off. With my limited background in climatology I must rely on experts to assure me they’ve got these things down correctly. And so here’s my beef: how come you can’t get straight answers from the real climate scientists? They answer only to those that they can clearly identify as being of their kind. I’ve asked dozens of questions over there and I get junk in response. ‘read AR4′. read my finger.

    They are in a position of power and they are abusing it. I am dependent on those experts for their specialized science and they won’t give it over. The high priests find themselves feel unaccountable to skeptics, marginalize them as ‘denialists’. Excuse me? This should not be happening in a western democracy. Government is accountable to all people, even those who dissent.

    Their standard line to any skeptic is to get you to propose an alternative mechanism to CO2. And you are in some trouble if you suggest ‘something about the sun?’ or ‘maybe in combination with ocean convection?’. Now you are a ‘solarphile’.

    This is real science?

    I am not a denialist solarphile!! I just want to know how they (1) parameterize their gcms and (2) cherry pick the series runs to generate pseudo-ensembles (3) decide internal weather noise in incapable of expaining two 30-year warming runs. Why is this a guarded secret?

    I’ve heard enough from the public ones. I want to hear from the quiet ones. Alan Robock – a guy who suggested in 1978 that internal weather noise could explain long-term persistence in global temperatures; Carl Wunsch – a guy who knows ocean convection is complex – how have they come to the conclusion that today’s gcms are being built and managed in a way that their earlier hypotheses could be tested? The fervent squeal: but they’re part of the consensus! I don’t care about their current POV. I care about the papers they’ve written in the past.

    It costs these guys nothing to advocate a ‘precautionary principle’. So why wouldn’t they advocate it? Zero cost Gaia love. Why not? They’re not economists, they’re AGU. They have no idea what wheels they’re setting in motion.

    Andrey, I want to know exactly what you do. sun-ocean convective LTP: could it explain two 30 year long warming runs?

    Even -mike says it could. And that says something.

    Steve M frowns upon people advocating theories. I want to be clear that this is not a pet theory of mine. What I am advocating is full disclosure of the GCM process. Not the code. The modeling process.

  482. steven mosher
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 8:59 AM | Permalink

    re 487. yup. For example in some of hansens papers you see 5 runs of the gcm.
    why 5? do they run 30 and select 5? or just run 5? why 5?

  483. S. Hales
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 9:31 AM | Permalink

    Time Series Models Superior to GCMs?

    Here’s a short paper on that topic

  484. Scott-in-WA
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 12:02 PM | Permalink

    SteveM — My instinct in all of this is that the GCMs are an interesting intellectual exercise, but a needless complication of the relevant physics for developing policy on doubled CO2.

    That is a crucial point — assuming Steve’s perspective holds water.

    I’ve asked this question several times in several CA threads, without a truly substantive response from anyone: Should we not employ a “model” which consists of the actual atmosphere, the actual oceans, the actual sun, and the actual physical space surrounding earth in which all these global warming components interact with each other?

    What manner of direct experimentation and direct observation is necessary to determine, with reasonable confidence, just how and where the heat is being gathered, just how and where the heat is being stored, and just how and where it is being transported and redistributed?

    What specific physical experiments should we be performing that we are not performing?

    What specific physical observations should we be taking that we are not taking?

    What specific means and methods should we be employing to assemble and analyze our data that we are not employing?

  485. steven mosher
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 12:07 PM | Permalink

    two knobs.

  486. bender
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 12:21 PM | Permalink

    #6 I would have thought it obvious, but there is only one experiment to run, and it is forbidden: to crank up global CO2 and see how high the global temperature goes. Since it is forbidden, we use models to try to predict what the result of the forbidden experiment would be. Two knobs. You can’t run a relevant physical microcosm experiment (lab rat model system) because you would never be able to get the setup right: the atmosphere, the oceans, the insolation, the radiation, the convection, and so on.

  487. eric mcfarland
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 12:41 PM | Permalink

    8 – Nor the feedbacks … but, the advance glimpses on an observed/possible trend are invaluable … in short, we get to ask ourselves … where might all of this go … and the answer may well be … it looks like x, y, and z, at a minimum. And, at the end of the day, if you can tell your @#$% from a hole in the ground … you are usually better off than if you cannot. In short, we’re (net-net) better off with the models … and, besides, what is the real alternative?

    Steve:
    There’s nothing wrong with modeling. The issue is whether trying to model everything in the world is a relevant way of assessing the impact of doubled CO2.

  488. Scott-in-WA
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 12:50 PM | Permalink

    #6 and #7:

    You both miss the point.

    The point is that what we need to examine is the physical system itself.

    Up there in the sky is where the true answers lie.

  489. TAC
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 12:53 PM | Permalink

    S. Hales (#484). I quickly read the linked paper and have a few points that I would highlight:

    1. Table 2 reports that the best GCMs exhibit R^2 of about 35%, which means they cannot account for 65% of the variability in the temperature data (likely) used to calibrate the model (note that when it comes to prediction with out-of-sample data, the R^2 is likely to decline). I was expecting higher values of R^2.

    2. The GCM output has less explanatory power than the inputs. This takes a minute to parse, because it does not at first seem possible. So here’s the quote:

    Conversely, the exclusion tests in section 4.3 indicate that the radiative forcings used to
    simulate the GCMs have explanatory power about surface temperature relative to the
    temperature data generated by the GCMs. The explanatory power of the model inputs relative to
    model outputs could be due to the presence of noise in the GCM simulations or the GCM being a
    poor model of the climate system.

    That means that a trivial statistical model beats the GCMs. Hmmm…

    3. The color of the noise is not well modeled by GCMs.

    All of the GCM errors are red noise processes and three may contain a
    random walk.

    Many researchers already know this: Climate data exhibit long-term persistence (LTP), the GCMs don’t (or perhaps can’t), so residuals will necessarily exhibit LTP. No surprise here.

    4. GCMs are not necessarily optimal for attribution purposes:

    Conclusions about the effect of human activity on surface
    temperature are based in large part on comparisons of observed temperature and GCM
    simulations (Mitchell et al., 2001). But this may not be most effective means for attribution: the
    noise in even the best simulation (in this case the GFDL simulation) increases the uncertainty
    involved in attributing and predicting climate change. This uncertainty could be reduced by
    using appropriately specified and estimated statistical models to simulate the relation between
    human activity and observed temperature

    In conclusion, it is an interesting paper. Thanks for the link. :-)

  490. Larry
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 12:53 PM | Permalink

    483, 11 I could understand.

  491. Andrew
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 12:54 PM | Permalink

    Scott-in-WA:

    I’ve asked this question several times in several CA threads, without a truly substantive response from anyone: Should we not employ a “model” which consists of the actual atmosphere, the actual oceans, the actual sun, and the actual physical space surrounding earth in which all these global warming components interact with each other?

    While I agree with this, I think the reason you can’t do this is that it would be immensely complicated and probably require the use of more computing power than exists in the world. This will have to wait for quantum computing.

  492. TAC
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 1:01 PM | Permalink

    bender: I agree with what you have written in #482. I share your sense of frustration. :-(

  493. Scott-in-WA
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 1:43 PM | Permalink

    Andrew #13: While I agree with this, I think the reason you can’t do this is that it would be immensely complicated and probably require the use of more computing power than exists in the world. This will have to wait for quantum computing.

    It truly amazes me that we have reached a point in science and engineering where many, if not most, of the current practitioners of the art automatically reach for more computational horsepower as their best and often their only solution to complicated analysis problems.

    May I ask this simple question: Could the “data bus” of our real-world global warming computational machine not be the actual heat transport mechanisms themselves as they exist and operate up there in the sky and down there in the ocean?

    OK… Let’s see how many more readers of this thread cannot break out of their computers-are-everything paradigm and grasp what it is I’m saying here.

  494. bender
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 1:56 PM | Permalink

    Ok … let’s see how many more comments it takes before you explain what sort of experiment you have in mind.

  495. Peter D. Tillman
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 1:56 PM | Permalink

    @ #8 bender says:
    January 26th, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    “#6 I would have thought it obvious, but there is only one experiment to run, and it is forbidden: to crank up global CO2 and see how high the global temperature goes…”

    Is irony intended? This is exactly the experiment in progress — the models simply hope to give an advance heads-up. Unless you really think the Chinese and Indians will forgo industrializing?

    Cheers — Pete Tillman

  496. bender
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 2:11 PM | Permalink

    -mike’s big contention is that internal climate variability can not explain a century long trend of the observed magnitude. However:
    (1) that magnitude has been bid down a fair bit by (a) some significant corrections (UHI,Y2K) and possibly some future corrections (Watts), and (b) from a flattening post 1998, and
    (2) it’s two 30-year trends that need explaining, not one 100-year trend. Put it in poker perspective: two pair is a lot more probable than four of a kind.

  497. steven mosher
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 2:17 PM | Permalink

    which knob has the largest gain? which has the largest uncertainty?

    know your knobs.

  498. bender
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 2:19 PM | Permalink

    Pete Tillman
    No irony intended. Controlled replicated scientific experiments and uncontrolled unreplicated social “experiments” are very different things. The social “experiment” is in progress. The scientific experiment is forbidden. Better?

  499. bender
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 2:21 PM | Permalink

    #17
    sensitivity on both counts

  500. Scott-in-WA
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 2:31 PM | Permalink

    Ok … let’s see how many more comments it takes before you explain what sort of experiment you have in mind.

    For now, let’s pick just one example of the kind of broad-scope experiment I’m thinking of:

    Could there be some means of directly marking the contents of the global warming heat engine so that we can directly qualify and quantify, within reason: a) precisely where the transport mechanisms operate; b) precisely what the mechanisms are composed of in terms of physical processes, materials, and stored/released energy content; and c) precisely how and where said specific content is being distributed regionally and globally?

    This wouldn’t be cheap or easy, and the precise details would be very difficult and very expensive to plan and implement. Moreover, once you have the data from this particular experiment, how do you convert it into “information?” How does one integrate that information from other types of information gathered from direct and indirect observations?

    On the other hand, from a graded risk management perspective, what is the value of direct information, however costly it is to gather and analyze? The answer depends upon the circumstances, or course.

    One more point to clarify what I’m saying: As someone who has done a lot of field work in mineral exploration and production, I myself do not consider iterative successive runs of a GCM to be “observations” per se.

  501. bender
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 2:34 PM | Permalink

    Write it up as a proposal and submit to NSF.

  502. steven mosher
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 2:40 PM | Permalink

    Climatology by nostradamus

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter10.pdf

    When asked his method for predicting the future. Hansendomentrous said:

    “make vague predictions for long ass times in the future” and take some side bets
    on volcanos.

  503. Scott-in-WA
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 2:53 PM | Permalink

    Write it up as a proposal and submit to NSF.

    Bender, this is an excellent suggestion, but might I ask you for another opinion? Would my proposal for performing direct observations have a better chance for NSF approval than say, a competing proposal to construct a special GCM-optimized supercomputer?

  504. Steve Hempell
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 3:26 PM | Permalink

    Scott-in-WA

    There is a thread in the phpBB under physics/empirical Observations of the Green House Effect – and we would like to hear from you!!

    At present we have a, working on his Phd, person who is contemplating a “gas in a big tube experiment”. Come on over and give us some ideas!!

  505. Gene
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 3:41 PM | Permalink

    If we knew the rules and assumptions of the models, the data paths of the models, and the
    expected reliability of the calculation black boxes it would be a much simpler task to have these discursions.
    IT Could also helpfull to make mini modules to see how reliable black box calulations are.

  506. Andrew
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 3:42 PM | Permalink

    Steve Hempell, do you have a link for that?

    Scott-in-WA, I’m certainly not saying that the solution is to reach for more computer power. In addition to the fact that computers aren’t sophisticated enough to create a perfect model of the world, we also don’t understand cloud physics, for example, which means that we probably need to study these more (With observations/experiments). My point was that, even if we knew everything about climate, it would take immense “horsepower” to put everything in it. If you know a way to model the whole earth without a quantum computer and/or a complete copy of the solar system, I’d like to know.

  507. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 3:45 PM | Permalink

    Enough OT about computer power and such. Bulletin board,.

  508. Steve Hempell
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 3:50 PM | Permalink

    Andrew

    The Link http://www.climateaudit.org/phpBB3/index.php. We welcome anyone – even modelers!! (not saying you are one)

    By the way everyone – all sorts of good stuff being discussed on this site – not just physics give it a look and not just us “lets try the empirical route types”. :]

  509. Philip Mulholland
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 4:08 PM | Permalink

    Steven #483

    This is just a guess, but maybe he is reporting the p – 90%, p – 50%, p – 10%, Mean & Most Likely runs from the ensemble.
    Another possiblity could be that the list of 5 consists of the statistical indexes for the Minimum, Mean, Median, Mode & Maximum realisations, but don’t trust me, ask a statistician :smile:

  510. Jerry
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 4:14 PM | Permalink

    A good number of years ago, I met someone at a party who said his foundation/department? (don’t remember which) was going to computer model the world economy. I was dumbfounded. They were going to model human decision making, which changes with time (variations in technology, resource availability, demographics, personal tastes, culture, religion, personal/cultural expectations, environmental concerns, yadda, yadda)? I thought he was nuts, and still do.

    Climate change analysis, which is trying to address humanity’s future impact on the environment, is starting to find it also has to address all those complex “world society/economy” issues and roll them into Earth’s physical operations, which has a host of economic/environmental/sociological positive and negative feedbacks operating under mind-boggling complexity. And the models are expected to predict THOSE future events with such certainty to force us to change society itself? That’s nuts!

    At this point, Rev, please continue to hold the line and question the “consensus” until alarmism fatigue hits the general population and cooler heads prevail.

    Thanks.

  511. Steve Hempell
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 5:09 PM | Permalink

    Pat

    Andrew seems to have found it – just signed up

    Just noticed – there is a link from this page – see CA form top left hand corner of this site.

  512. Arthur Smith
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 6:07 PM | Permalink

    Very brief comment in response to #384 above:

    please provide an exposition on the “cause” of [f=GMm/R^2]

    the cause of Newtonian gravitation was certainly a mystery until the 20th century, but a cause one level deeper in nature was finally found:

    G_{ab} = 8 pi T_{ab}

    – Einstein’s formulation of General Relativity. Now all the fuss about string theory or quantum gravity is about the continuing search for an explanation of those in terms of more fundamental theories of nature. Reductionism is certainly alive and well in science. Even, perhaps especially in recent years, in the nonlinear sciences: chaos is not just randomness, but has measurable, observable, quantitative characteristics.

    ENSO and other ocean-atmosphere oscillations are instances in climate science of attempts to define causative factors for medium-term variations; such entities may be emergent properties that have no simple explanation in the underlying physics; people will still try to show their emergence in a causative fashion from models of that underlying physics. The fact that people do predict El Nino/La Nina conditions many months in advance now indicates those models must be getting pretty good.

    Susann is right; determining causes and explanations is the essence of good science.

  513. conard
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 7:14 PM | Permalink

    Arthur Smith,

    Thanks for the reply and I am glad to hear that science is still in good health.

    I choose the Newtonian expression deliberately for the reasons that you describe. The scientific search did not immediately turn up a cause but Newton’s contribution was neither unscientific or irrelevant. Einstein’s equations took the next great leap forward and put an end to Netwon’s frustration and gave birth to Einstein’s. Looking at both expressions I fail to see a term that I can identify as “the cause”.

    Describing phenomena is one thing, determining causation quite another, and perhaps not a useful concept at all.

    I admitted earlier that this is a subtle point. A point which I had intended to further probe the role of uncertainty in science and certainty in politics. Perhaps it is beyond my ability to express, or not worth mentioning at all.

  514. Pat Keating
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 7:30 PM | Permalink

    512 Steve
    Yes, I went to the other link when the one in the post didn’t work. Thanks, Pat.

  515. Richard Sharpe
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 8:10 PM | Permalink

    According the Alexander Cockburn in I am an intellectual blasphemer he says:

    This is a fantasy. In truth, environmental catastrophism will, in fact it already has, play into the hands of sinister-as-always corporate interests. The nuclear industry is benefiting immeasurably from the current catastrophism.

    My my.

  516. Severian
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 9:54 PM | Permalink

    Re Cockburn’s “I Am An Intellectual Blasphemer” while he has the typical far left hatred and distrust for corporations that I just can’t completely grok, he is spot on about the whole climate catastrophe and no dissent allowed issues IMO. Interesting link, thanks!

    It also galls me to see people continually bring up Chernobyl as an argument against nuclear power. As if a balky, dangerous, and poorly designed and operated power plant has anything to do with more competently designed reactors.

    On the issue of gravitation mentioned above, how Newton came up with a relationship that he couldn’t explain why it was so, the problem with using that as any kind of relation to the CO2 climate argument is that there is just no such simple, repeatable, testable and unambiguous relationship between CO2 and temperature as there is for gravity.

  517. Raven
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 10:20 PM | Permalink

    I find it interesting that people on both sides of the debate are playing the victim card (see the Jim Hansen hagiography called Censoring Science). A sign of the times perhaps?

  518. Tom Gray
    Posted Jan 26, 2008 at 10:35 PM | Permalink

    re 513

    in regard to Newton and gravitation, when he was asked how action can take place at a distance, he replied “I make no hypotheses”. His equation made accurate predictions which is all that it could do. Science is about making predictions. Metaphysics is about finding first causes.

  519. Severian
    Posted Jan 27, 2008 at 3:39 AM | Permalink

    Since this is “unthreaded” I have a question regarding atmospheric effects. Does anyone have a good reference for undulence? I’ve seen scintillation covered well, but never a good treatment of undulence. There wasn’t one around back when I was working on atmospheric effects modeling (beam steering and spreading and such). Each laser firing was brief, so undulence wasn’t an issue so we never tried to delve into it in depth or tried to model it, although we could measure it easily enough.

    Thanks in advance.

  520. Andrey Levin
    Posted Jan 27, 2008 at 8:14 AM | Permalink

    Re#482, Bender:

    Thanks for channeling the discussion to Unthreaded. It was right thing to do.

    I am not a climate scientist. However, there are numerous issues in climate science debate which are frustratingly obvious to be wicked, even to layman on the subject (with some scientific training).

    The only thing I wanted to do is to point out that most of debate about climate on CA is devoted to landmass temperature, overland radiation transfer, day/night and humid/desert temperatures over the land, and alike. But it is not landmass, but oceans which adsorb and release 80+% of solar radiation, have highest variability of IR emissivity due to waviness, dictate formation of clouds, and have highest influence on “global temperature” due to fluctuation in heat transfer to the atmosphere.

    I believe that we should concentrate on the thing which matters most, which is oceans, not landmass.

  521. bender
    Posted Jan 27, 2008 at 8:44 AM | Permalink

    #521 FWIW this layman agrees. There are some ocean threads at CA, but they’re under-developed. Wouldn’t it be fine to have a Captain Watts of the high seas?

  522. Posted Jan 27, 2008 at 10:10 AM | Permalink

    Regarding recent global temperature, here is a Hovmoeller plot of global surface temperature since January 1, 2007. A Hovmoeller plot is a time/latitude plot of an atmospheric variable, in this case temperature. Time flows downwards (most recent data is at the bottom). Color is used to show anomalous warmth or coolness.

    It can take an unfamiliar user a few seconds to grasp the plot.

    Two things of note:

    1. Usually the two polar regions show the greatest anomalous warmth in their winter. This is consistent with the AGW hypothesis. (Note, though, that anomaly plots are no better than the climatology data they use, which is a particular problem in remote regions.)

    2. I’ve marked the recent months with red lines. Note how January 2008 (thru the 20’th) is shaping up as a globally cool month, with an absence of strong warm colors. Eyeballing the recent months indicates to me that January, if the pattern holds, will be cooler (anomaly-wise) than December.


    Steve:
    Interesting plot. For this period, it looks like fall temperatures at high latitudes in both NH and SH have been most anomalous.

  523. Stephen Richards
    Posted Jan 27, 2008 at 1:37 PM | Permalink

    and the anomaly switches between north and south, almost binary, with the inverse sign. Noting that these are anomalies and not absolute temps.

  524. Phil.
    Posted Jan 27, 2008 at 2:09 PM | Permalink

    Re #523

    2. I’ve marked the recent months with red lines. Note how January 2008 (thru the 20′th) is shaping up as a globally cool month, with an absence of strong warm colors. Eyeballing the recent months indicates to me that January, if the pattern holds, will be cooler (anomaly-wise) than December.

    Jan 08 looks very similar to Jan 07 so far though.

  525. John M
    Posted Jan 27, 2008 at 3:24 PM | Permalink

    #525

    Jan 08 looks very similar to Jan 07 so far though.

    Huh?

  526. Posted Jan 27, 2008 at 6:50 PM | Permalink

    Re 53:

    During the Dalton Minimum 1790 to 1830 there were a number of cold drought years in California according to the mission records:

    Dendroclimatic, sea surface temperature data, and archaeological and ethnohistorical evidence seem to support the contention that climatic variability, both dry and excessively wet years, increased during the pre-mission (1670-1750) and mission (1780-1830) periods. Tree rings show dry years/drought in 1794-1795, 1805-1813, and 1821-1825. There was also a strong El Niño effect in 1815-1816 that disrupted the Santa Barbara Channel fishery and caused a famine among the Santa Rosa Chumash who depended heavily on the fishery. Skeletal remains from the pre-mission and mission periods show evidence of nutritional stress, such as Harris lines.

    Hope this is some help.

  527. Raven
    Posted Jan 27, 2008 at 6:51 PM | Permalink

    Pieke has an intersting paper on drought in Australia:

    http://climatesci.org/2008/01/25/modeling-the-impact-of-historical-land-cover-change-on-australia%e2%80%99s-regional-climate/

    “The findings of our sensitivity experiment indicate that replacing the native woody vegetation with crops and grazing in southwest Western Australia and eastern Australia has resulted in significant changes in regional climate, with a shift to warmer and drier conditions, especially in southeast Australia, the nation’s major agricultural region.”

  528. Tom Vonk
    Posted Jan 28, 2008 at 5:24 AM | Permalink

    Jeremy Ayrton #434

    Tom Vonk – I have a question for you. Your comments on the error of assuming average temperatures in calculating the amount of energy radiated by a surface prompted me to calculate the enrgy radiated by a square metre of a surface (e.g. the Earth) asuming the temperature varied in a sinusoidal fashion from min.to max. over a 24 hour period, calculating for every second the energy radiated and summing to arrive at a figure for the whole day.

    Unsurprisingly, this suggested that the amount of energy really radiated was greater than the amount arrived at by simply using the average of the same min. and max. temperatures.

    What I can’t work out is if this difference argues for or against AGW. Perhaps you could help me?

    This difference doesn’t argue anything about AGW . It argues about legitimate and non legitimate approximations in a theory .
    However you did a qualitatively important step in understanding the issues .
    If I should resume the most important basis for the whole climate research in 2 words , I would say “temporal averaging” .
    There would be no research from simple 0th models through multimillion line GCMs coupled to radiation transfer models without time (and space) averaging .
    Now there is a basic fact in physics and that is that every natural law expresses a relation between instantaneous and local variables .
    They never ever apply to averages .
    Averaging is a mathematical tool that postulates a not at all trivial hypothesis – the physical process that one wants to describe has dominant strictly periodic and/or stationary (time independent) and/or random components .
    This hypothesis is very wrong for highly non linear dynamical systems as you just discovered on a simple example .

  529. Ron Cram
    Posted Jan 28, 2008 at 6:11 AM | Permalink

    re: 529

    Jeremy Ayrton and Tom Vonk,
    This is very interesting. I would like to see this discussed more, either here or on the message board. What do you say?

    Jeremy, can you share your data?

    Tom, why do you say the numbers would not argue for or against AGW?

  530. Jeremy Ayrton
    Posted Jan 28, 2008 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

    Ron Cram and Tom Von (also others) – re #529 and #530

    Thank you for your interest and comments.

    Ron, I was first prompted to look into this some time ago, by a link someone made to a two-page discussion “Calculation of the Temeperature Effect of Doubling CO2″ by Robert Weber ((RW) – dated Aug 1 2007), and also by musing on the point of collecting data on air temperatures. Robert Weber gives a very simple calculation (so even I could follow it). It struck me as pretty obvious that the idea of an average daily temperature is of questionable use, simply because you could have wildy different extremes of temperature and yet still have the same average.
    Anyway, I simply used the formula for “energy radiated by the earth’s sphere” (sic) but calculated the energy radiated on a second by second basis,through a 24 hour period. I assumed a sinusoidal shape to the variation of temperature. Needless to say, I got the computer to do that by writing a very crude little procedure in VBA. Using this, it was easy to see the difference in the estimated amount of energy radiated by using the minmax everage and then varying temperature over time. I could look at different min and max temperatures, which had the same average (e.g. 10 and 20 degrees C compared to 0 and 30). I could also easily work backwards from the total energy radiated for a 24 hour period and derive the value for an “average” temperature which would radiate the same amount of enrgy for the 24 hours.

    You are welcome to the code – it’s Free (ho ho) and I daresay a few people round this thread could do with a laugh; it’s getting way too heavy IMHO, but as I said it’s VBA, so you would need one of the MS Office appps to run it.

    All this was to really put some of the high powered reasoning about temporal averaging and That-Wich-Dares-Not-Speak-It’s-Name into a real-life context…

    FWIW, I got started on this stuff a while ago, prompted by incredulity at the claimed rise in sea-level, or rather the accuracy implied; this lead me to John Daly’s site, and so on and so on.

    I’d be happy to discuss this some more, either here or elsewhere.

  531. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 28, 2008 at 11:18 AM | Permalink

    #531. Please go to the Bulletin Board with this.

  532. Jeremy Ayrton
    Posted Jan 28, 2008 at 12:21 PM | Permalink

    Re #532, Steve others, FWIW I’ve taken this over to the “Greenhouse Effects Basics” thread (Physics Issues). Hope that suits…

  533. jae
    Posted Jan 28, 2008 at 3:35 PM | Permalink

    If you are against “Cap and Trade,” better contact the Whitehouse.

  534. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 28, 2008 at 3:41 PM | Permalink

    The climate is an interesting little uncontrolled experiment, isn’t it?

    Severian; Yes, the RBMK design isn’t particularly good and Chernobyl indeed lacked a full containment system. That was part of it, but the main cause of the steam blowing the top off was the ill-conceived experiment itself. Having an inexperienced (and unaware of the RBMK safety requirements) skeleton night crew basicially unaware of what the day crew had done and all.

  535. Follow th Money
    Posted Jan 28, 2008 at 4:35 PM | Permalink

    “If you are against “Cap and Trade,” better contact the Whitehouse.”

    no. 534, jae,

    Though I can easily see the Bush Admin. embrace a financial scam corruptible and already real-world-tested proven failure, generally government-enabled financial market scams have a Democratic Party provenance. I find no statement Bush is going to do that tonite other than the link you provide.
    If he does he’ll use, ironically, “free market” analogies.

  536. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 28, 2008 at 5:19 PM | Permalink

    Talk of the Excutive branch, although they do have a hand in the various agencies, is not the key. For those of you not familiar with the method by which the Legislative branch works in the United States (presidential republic) versus how a parlimentary system works. Congress passes the laws and spending bills, and they’ve been in a virtual tie party-wise for about the last 20 or so years; not enough votes in the House to override a veto (2/3) or in the Senate to block a filibuster (60). This effectivly means that aside from whom is in charge of picking who gets on what comittees, nobody is in charge of anything, as far as ramming any kind of action through on a single party basis. Although the Senate is exactly tied at 49/49, the two Independents caucus with the Democrats, so effectivly it’s 51/49 so they get to pick. The House is 233/202

  537. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 28, 2008 at 5:59 PM | Permalink

    Let’s say there are 5 stations in a grid (and a weird little grid at that), and we know they are all CRN 1 Every day for a month, the t_mean is based upon the following pattern. One day it turns out as 15.1, the next day it’s 15. 15 is the normal temp for the month.

    Odd day min/max to nearest degree
    15/15
    1/30
    -20/50
    -5/35
    10/20

    Even day min/max to nearest degree
    15/15
    0/30
    -20/50
    -5/35
    10/20

    So at the end of our hypothetical January (say) we have half the month with each, for an anomaly of +.05

    What’s the resolution of my results? What meaning does the number have on even a single grid basis? What is the +.05 anomaly telling me about “the temperature”? Does this correlate in any way to any physical change at all?

    Ah, yes, indeed.

  538. D. Patterson
    Posted Jan 28, 2008 at 6:40 PM | Permalink

    Holocene, Anthropocene, Anthrohoaxcene, or Phantasmocene?

    The Geological Society of America’s journal, GSA Today, has now published a paper which discusses taking the informal usage of the term, Anthropocene, into formal usage as a new geological epoch caused by humans. Included in the paper are a number of tables and charts discussing global sea levels, global temperatures, human populations, and more items related to the discussions on this blog. It appears that climate science is not the only science speedin its way to the precipices…. See:

    Zalasiewicz, Jan; et al. Are we now living in the Anthropocene. GSA Today, Volume 18, Issue 2 (February 2008) pp. 4–8; DOI: 10.1130/GSAT01802A.1.

  539. steven mosher
    Posted Jan 29, 2008 at 9:40 AM | Permalink

    STEVEMC and others,

    Jr. pielke has linked a nice stats blog that has some climate stuff. SteveMc, might want to
    add to blog roll

    http://wmbriggs.com/blog/

  540. Andrey Levin
    Posted Jan 29, 2008 at 9:54 AM | Permalink

    travellers heading home for the Lunar Year holiday were left stranded as heavy snowfall – the worst in almost five decades — wrecked havoc in southern and eastern China.

    http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/001200801271965.htm

  541. steven mosher
    Posted Jan 29, 2008 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

    re 541. Its lake effect snow caused by global warming

  542. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Jan 29, 2008 at 3:43 PM | Permalink

    RE#541, 542,

    Extreme weather events such as that are likely to occur because of global warming (ha).

    A Yahoo article referred to it as China’s “worst winter in almost half a century”…imagine how many headlines and talking heads would be spouting off about it were that referring to a summer heat wave, drought, lack of snowfall, etc.

  543. John Lang
    Posted Jan 29, 2008 at 8:53 PM | Permalink

    VERY UGLY high pressure pool of cold air over Canada right now. -43C expected in Yellowknife tonight.

    http://www.wunderground.com/global/Region/CN/2xTemperature.html

    La Nina still going strong but might be breaking up a little finally.

    http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/data/anomnight.1.28.2008.gif

  544. Posted Jan 29, 2008 at 9:32 PM | Permalink

    Re #544 The current US NCEP ENSO outlook shows the La Nina continuing into fall 2008 ( link ).

    On the graph is the forecasted SST in the key ENSO region (heavy blue enhanced line) which shows a moderate La Nina into Autumn 2008 as well as a negative PDO. I’ve also circled the forecasted global SST for the main hurricane period (Aug-Oct), which shows near-normal SST in the tropical Atlantic. Forecast skill is low, however, so take these as best-guesses only.

  545. Posted Jan 30, 2008 at 12:29 AM | Permalink

    steven

    was Shen???… It’s cited on CA somewhere, probably with my name attached to the post or maybe gavins name.

    Cited many times, even in here

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2641#comment-201609

  546. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 30, 2008 at 11:38 AM | Permalink

    http://meteo.lcd.lu/papers/co2_patterns/co2_patterns.html

    Anyone have any thoughts on this report of seasonal and diurnal CO2 patterns in Diekirch, Luxembourg?

    I don’t know what to make of these, it looks like higher temperature, less wind or more irradiance, the less CO2:

    http://meteo.lcd.lu/papers/co2_patterns/10to14Jul05_CO2AirTWiSol.png
    http://meteo.lcd.lu/papers/co2_patterns/10to12Dec05_CO2AirTWiNOa.png

    The conclusion was:

    Our report confirms some findings of other papers: CO2 peaks during inversion hours, and we often find the same dual maximum situation as in [4]. On the contrary, we can not confirm an antiregression with air temperature as being the general rule. Biological periodic activity ( which causes a mean drop of about 21 ppm) can only be seen in autocorrelations and overall monthly averages. It is not easily detectable from the hourly measurement series. Diurnal variability is important and depends essential on atmospheric stability [5][6]: when there exist night or morning inversions, CO2 peaks may exceed the daily minimum by well over 100 ppm. The influence of morning traffic (detected by NO and NO2 variations) shows up in an increase of 20-40 ppm of the peak level. Overall traffic and anthropogenic emissions are too low to cause an urban CO2 dome.Ozone concentrations do not seem related to CO2 levels. Periods of very high wind speeds allow to find by inspection an asymptotical level close to the global mixing ratio measured at isolated reference stations like Mauna Loa; this same level can be found by applying a simple mathematical model which expresses the mean hourly CO2 levels as a function of wind speed. The mean hourly levels per day computed over the 3 years period can be modelled by a sinus function.

  547. See - owe to Rich
    Posted Jan 30, 2008 at 12:55 PM | Permalink

    Blatant advert:

    For over 2 months I’ve been working on an article entitled
    “A Solar Cycle and CO2 Model for Temperature”,
    and I’m hoping we can have a thorough discussion of it on the BB where I posted it. One interpretation of it is that CO2 sensitivity cannot be much above 1.4C for a doubling, if models are to fit global data.

    I believe that Drs/Messrs Keating, Archibald, Svalgaard, Smith should be interested in it, and hopefully some others too.

    See you there,
    Rich.

  548. D. Patterson
    Posted Jan 30, 2008 at 1:29 PM | Permalink

    Saunders & Lea 2008

    Nature has a new paper by Mark Saunders and Adam Lea which claims to have found evidence proving that human caused increses in sea surface temperatures are responsible for a large increase in hurricane strength in the most recent decades. There is a description of the paper in an article at Nature News. The article briefly mentions that Christopher Landsea has already criticized the Saunders & Lee 2008 paper for failing to go back far enough in the historical records to include natural cycles.

  549. Eric McFarland
    Posted Jan 30, 2008 at 4:34 PM | Permalink

    That wicked liberal magazine Natural Geographic has a big splash this month on the drying of the US SW, with lots of talk about AGW, tree rings, and climate models.

  550. Eric McFarland
    Posted Jan 30, 2008 at 4:38 PM | Permalink

    That’s National Geographic …

  551. Pat Keating
    Posted Jan 30, 2008 at 10:23 PM | Permalink

    Rich, I looked at your post, but I can’t respond there — my registration’s all screwed up.

    I have on CA advocated combining lower CO2 forcing with solar forcing, but I was thinking of somebody doing that in a GCM. I didn’t think of it being done in a curve-fitting manner, like you did it. Good idea.

    I don’t know enough about the solar cycles to make any detailed comments about your model. Perhaps Happ et al will comment.

  552. Posted Jan 31, 2008 at 8:08 AM | Permalink

    The Ocean Circulation goes round and round in a viscous cycle; sometimes increasing sometimes decreasing. When will they ever make up their minds. We could use some Scientific Consensus here.

  553. MarkW
    Posted Jan 31, 2008 at 8:17 AM | Permalink

    Hmm, sounds like a song.

    All together now,

    The oceans on the planet go round and round, round and round, round and round, …

  554. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jan 31, 2008 at 6:11 PM | Permalink

    As we’ve been discussing on the BB, we’ve figured out where the 33 C number comes from for the greenhouse effect (GE), and from where, and for why. Although a fair number of us are “rather dubious” of the vague way it’s hinted at, and the “calculations” used to derive it…. I think the overriding opinion is that the entire thing is very much a “cartoon” description. But there you go.

    So, the IPCC in AR4 WGI chapter 1 has a semi-scientific, semi-op/ed portion on what drives the climate and what is the GE. Using the definition, as far as I can tell, that the GE is from GHG; adding or removing or changing the GHG makes the GE change, which may or may not result in any change to the weather or climate.

    As far as I could divine as to what they were saying. I must stress I’m just detailing my parsing of what they were saying, and not commenting on the validity or invalidity of the information. Feel free to go over to the BB and discuss it though! :)

    They basically say that there’s an amount of energy that has to be removed. If there were no GHG and therefore no GE, the amount of energy that would need to be removed from the surface would result in a surface temperature of -19C, based upon an (seeming arbitrary) average of 240 wm2. Now, because of the GHG, this energy/temperature process to remove the energy is shoved up to 5 KM in the atmosphere, and so is removed there instead of on the surface, which leaves the surface at 0C. Also because of the GHG, the surface is now able to hold in enough energy to reach +14C

    So the difference is -19C to +14C by moving the energy removal up and providing insulation down, equaling a range of 33C, or “33C warmer than it would be”.

    Some of us have issues with this guesstimated average of wm2 and the oversimplified explanation of the specifics in the science section of AR4, but then again, it is climate science. Why get worried about the little details?

    Now, if I asked you where this was from, could you tell me from just reading it? What is being assumed, and what is being implied?

    Human activities intensify the blanketing effect through the release of greenhouse gases. For instance, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased by about 35% in the industrial era, and this increase is known to be due to human activities, primarily the combustion of fossil fuels and removal of forests. Thus, humankind has dramatically altered the chemical composition of the global atmosphere with substantial implications for climate.

    More is here: http://www.climateaudit.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=45&start=120#p822
    And here to try and get some of the basic foundations of why: http://www.climateaudit.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=76

  555. Hoi Polloi
    Posted Feb 1, 2008 at 5:29 AM | Permalink

    [rant]
    There’s a huge demand for climatologists currently, also from the corporate world in order to cope with the new responsabilities coming from the CO2 hysteria. Marketing and corporate identity absolutely requires a corporate policy and awareness of CO2, whether it’s a fact or not. Not having a clear CO2 responsability will hurt the image of a (global) company and requires strategic action.

    Therefore disaster scenarios and pictures of polar bears on melting ice caps will circulate in increasing numbers in order to keep the climate business afloat. It’s a self fulfilling prophecy.

    I read this blog always with most interest and I’m absolutely convinced that Earth Climate is much more complicated than some climatoligists with a huge chip on their shoulder will make believe us.

    Unfortunately it seems this blog, with some exception like the 1934 hottest summer, is not making too much of an impression in the real world, unfortunately.

    The CA community with all it’s raw power needs to decide how to bring their knowledge more into the open and order to give the public more checks and balances on the Climate Change, instead of being frightened with another melting ice berg or “Superstorm” that never comes and paying more useless CO2 tax from which is never sure where the money really ends.

    [/rant]

  556. Posted Feb 1, 2008 at 6:34 AM | Permalink

    The current (thru 29 Jan) global temperature anomaly Hovmoeller plot is here . The Northern Hemisphere has had little abnormally warm weather so far this month, especially in the Arctic region, which is unusual. The Southern Hemisphere remains locked in a cool pattern.

    I expect January’s temperature anomaly to be as cool, or cooler, than December’s.

  557. george h.
    Posted Feb 1, 2008 at 12:38 PM | Permalink

    Before you run out and buy your fluorescent light bulbs, or if you are still on the fence about whether AGW theory has any legs left, read this:

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/other/Robinson_Soon.pdf

    Great summary, IMHO, courtesy of ICECAP. The chart on arctic temps and solar activity is striking.

  558. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Feb 1, 2008 at 4:14 PM | Permalink

    .8 C in 125 years is so thrilling. Who needs roller coasters?

  559. kim
    Posted Feb 2, 2008 at 7:31 AM | Permalink

    tinyurl.com/yor74c

    H/t Tilo Reber.
    =========

  560. krghou
    Posted Feb 2, 2008 at 8:49 AM | Permalink

    For anyone who hasn’t seen it – you might find this interesting:

    The IPCC’s position that increased CO2 is the primary cause of global warming is not supported by the temperature data. In fact, strong evidence exists that disproves the IPCC’s scientific position. This paper and Excel spreadsheet show that variations in atmospheric CO2 concentration lag (occur after) variations in Earth’s Surface Temperature by ~9 months. The IPCC states that increasing atmospheric CO2 is the primary cause of global warming – in effect, the IPCC states that the future is causing the past. The IPCC’s core scientific conclusion is illogical and false.

    blog here: http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog
    paper: http://icecap.us/images/uploads/CO2vsTMacRae.pdf
    data: http://icecap.us/images/uploads/CO2vsTMacRae.xls

  561. Posted Feb 2, 2008 at 3:27 PM | Permalink

    The first report on January 2008 global temperature is in, and it’s a bit of a shocker.

    This is the NCEP reanalysis report, which should be viewed as a “flash” report that has not undergone the data-confirmation processes of the major indices. But, the NCEP report typically gets things about-right.

    January 2008, shown on this graph of Januaries , comes in at the 31’st coolest over the last 60 or so years.

    The graph for the Northern Hemisphere is even more striking.

    We’re well into a La Nina episode which, no doubt, accounts for much of the drop. But the temperature response looks remarkably strong for this stage of the event.

    The drop in far North Atlantic warm-season SST and the ice coverage in the Baffin area make me wonder if the thermohaline circulation has weakened a bit in recent months.

  562. eric mcfarland
    Posted Feb 2, 2008 at 9:00 PM | Permalink

    deadwood 85:
    Science has known about the simple physics behind the greenhouse effect since the Victorian Era;
    Temps have tracked gas for 400kyrs;
    C02 ppm continues to rise – and is well outside of measured bounds going back 400kyrs;
    Tundra and permafrost are melting – from Alaska … across Europe and into Siberia;
    Glaciers are rapidly melting across the globe;
    Sea ice is retreating (net-net) in the arctic sea;
    Ice shelves are uncorking both north and south;
    Species are migrating north or dying off;
    Seas are becoming acidic;
    Corals are bleaching;
    Record temps. are being recorded globally;
    Extreme weather index rising; and
    I COULD KEEP GOING.

    These are not models … these are undisputed facts that any honest person can see. They are also accelerating conditions. So, calling me religious is simply inaccurate. Besides … what science have you “auditors” produced? Here’s a chance: produce or reference a proxy record (trees, ice, coral bands, sea floor, whatever) that shows any time in the last 1300 that was as warm as now. You can’t do it. So, who is really being religious on the subject …me or you? I have offered facts … whereas you continue to stand on faith and utter blarney (e.g. sun spots)

    Steve: Eric, please do not hijack technical threads for generalized discussion. If you wish to vent, go to Unthreaded or Bulletin Board. I will move responses.

  563. bender
    Posted Feb 2, 2008 at 9:16 PM | Permalink

    #92 no one disputes those facts. what is disputed is the attribution. your politics are clear from your previous posts. that’s why you get labeled the way you do. just try to tell me your confidence in the gcms, the tool by which attribution is achieved, is not faith-based. you are one of the faithful flock.

  564. Posted Feb 2, 2008 at 9:33 PM | Permalink

    Here is an alternate view of the initial January 2008 temperature anomaly. On this plot I’ve shown the rankings of the last 13 months of temperature anomalies, per NCEP reanalysis.

    It shows that most months in 2007 were ranked as warmest or nearly-warmest of the last 60 years. The December 2007 temperature anomaly began to nudge downwards but then the bottom fell out in January.

  565. Raven
    Posted Feb 2, 2008 at 9:35 PM | Permalink

    > Temps have tracked gas for 400kyrs;

    No they have not. GHGs follows temperature rises in all of the historical records.

    > C02 ppm continues to rise – and is well outside of measured bounds going back 400kyrs;

    But still much less than levels in the more distance past,

    > Glaciers are rapidly melting across the globe;

    They started melting 150 years ago when the little ice age ended. Evidence uncovered as they recede indicates that they have experienced similar melts in the last 2000 years.

    > Sea ice is retreating (net-net) in the arctic sea;

    Based on observations since 1979. The sea ice also retreated during the 40s but we don’t have any way to compare the extent of the melt then to the melt now. We do know that the NW passage was open water during the summer of 1944.

    > Ice shelves are uncorking both north and south;

    Snow fall in the interior of Antartica and Greenland is cause the ice mass to increase in places. We don’t know if the melts are a result of GW or regional warming or volcanic activity.

    > Seas are becoming acidic;

    Seas are becoming less basic (i.e. they are moving towards neutral ph). They are not acidic. Claiming that they are becoming acidic is pure propoganda.

    > Corals are bleaching;

    Corals evolved at a time when the CO2 levels were much higher. All scientific studies indicate that the only danger to corals comes from man’s other activities – not GHGs.

    > Record temps. are being recorded globally;

    Based on surface records with numerous biases. The MWP was likely close to the current temps.

    > Extreme weather index rising; and

    Only because the methodology is biased toward drawing such a conclusion if the temperatures are rising or falling. An index without this bias shows no increase in extremes.

  566. Pat Keating
    Posted Feb 2, 2008 at 9:44 PM | Permalink

    Good response, Raven, but I fear bender is correct — Eric is a member of the flock, and nothing you say will shake his faith.

  567. Posted Feb 2, 2008 at 10:08 PM | Permalink

    And now it’s Tokyo’s turn for notable snow.

    The article also notes that 102 Japanese have died so far this winter in snow-related incidents.

  568. Raven
    Posted Feb 2, 2008 at 10:17 PM | Permalink

    It appears that somebody is trying to make this political:

    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/24/earth-scientists-express-rising-concern-over-warming/#comment-10354

    I am not sure whether this is a good idea.

  569. kim
    Posted Feb 2, 2008 at 11:13 PM | Permalink

    Oops, wrong winter; but your January NCEP figures are impressive.
    ===============================

  570. eric mcfarland
    Posted Feb 2, 2008 at 11:43 PM | Permalink

    > Temps have tracked gas for 400kyrs;

    No they have not. GHGs follows temperature rises in all of the historical records.

    ^The track is a correlation … feedbacks become further forcing agents … so on .. so forth.

    > C02 ppm continues to rise – and is well outside of measured bounds going back 400kyrs;

    But still much less than levels in the more distance past,

    ^You mean before human civilization?

    > Glaciers are rapidly melting across the globe;

    They started melting 150 years ago when the little ice age ended. Evidence uncovered as they recede indicates that they have experienced similar melts in the last 2000 years.

    ^Talk to Lonnie Thompson … his cores go down to 1000s of years … the glaciers were stable until about 78 … and started melting in snap fashion across the globe … from Africa … to South America … to Asia. This is very well documented.

    > Sea ice is retreating (net-net) in the arctic sea;

    Based on observations since 1979. The sea ice also retreated during the 40s but we don’t have any way to compare the extent of the melt then to the melt now. We do know that the NW passage was open water during the summer of 1944.

    ^Go ask the native people of the region … they will not agree with you … the ice is melting in an unprecedented way.

    > Ice shelves are uncorking both north and south;

    Snow fall in the interior of Antarctica and Greenland is cause the ice mass to increase in places. We don’t know if the melts are a result of GW or regional warming or volcanic activity.

    ^”uncorking” is a term of art. It’s what is causing the shelves to crumble into the sea rapidly. Read about it.

    > Seas are becoming acidic;

    Seas are becoming less basic (i.e. they are moving towards neutral ph). They are not acidic. Claiming that they are becoming acidic is pure propoganda.

    ^To be exact … CO2 dissolves and becomes carbonic acid … which has reduced the alkalinity by 0.1 units. I don’t know about you … but I am not comfortable fiddling with the chemistry of our seas. At current rates, we will go from 8.2 to 7.7. Check out the studies on what this will do to plankton.

    > Corals are bleaching;

    Corals evolved at a time when the CO2 levels were much higher. All scientific studies indicate that the only danger to corals comes from man’s other activities – not GHGs.

    ^This is a temperature issue. The coral hits a thermal tolerance threshold … and loses its algae. The corals have been drilled into (deeply) and they see no record of this bleaching in the past.

    > Record temps. are being recorded globally;

    Based on surface records with numerous biases. The MWP was likely close to the current temps.

    ^I take it that “likely” is a total guess … and that you have no proxy evidence on this point?

    > Extreme weather index rising; and

    Only because the methodology is biased toward drawing such a conclusion if the temperatures are rising or falling. An index without this bias shows no increase in extremes.

    ^A Hurricane (Caterina) in the South Atlantic … another (Vince) poised to hit the mainland of Europe. The summer of 2003 and 2006 in Europe … these are not normal events. The list of such events is actually too long to list here.

    Face it folks … there is a large volume of robust and credible evidence that points in one clear direction here: AGW. Moreover, no other explanation fits … or even comes close on the evidence scale as does the gas — i.e., its the leading culprit. To put it bluntly, to believe that it is not the gas is a pure act of faith … that requires you to postulate a whole host of x factors that have no basic evidentiary foundation — e.g., claiming that sun spots are responsible for the warming trend.

  571. eric mcfarland
    Posted Feb 2, 2008 at 11:58 PM | Permalink

    Bender96:
    We really do not need GCMs to see the basic science and observed phenomena that are in play now. Having said that, the models are based on proven physics … not statistical probabilities … and they have actually done very well at replicating past climates … and accurately providing scenarios for future climate … some of which have already come to pass. It is my impression that your sense of GCMS (how they work … what the do) is misdirected.

  572. Raven
    Posted Feb 3, 2008 at 12:10 AM | Permalink

    > The track is a correlation … feedbacks become further forcing agents … so on .. so forth.

    Correlation is not causation – especially if the alleged cause follows the effect.

    > You mean before human civilization?

    I mean during the period when all life evolved.

    > Talk to Lonnie Thompson … his cores go down to 1000s of years … the glaciers were stable until about 78 …

    Gee – Exactly when the PDO shifted from its cold phase to its warm phase. No AGW required to explain that.

    > Go ask the native people of the region … they will not agree with you … the ice is melting in an unprecedented way.

    Anecodotes do not equal data.

    > ”uncorking” is a term of art. It’s what is causing the shelves to crumble into the sea rapidly. Read about it.

    Something is happening to some icesheets. This is more than balanced by increasing mass on other ice sheets.

    > At current rates, we will go from 8.2 to 7.7. Check out the studies on what this will do to plankton.

    Most life evolved in a world with higher CO2 levels. Organisms that don’t do so well will be replaced by those that do.

    > The corals have been drilled into (deeply) and they see no record of this bleaching in the past.

    Again, other studies establish that any coral that dies off will be replaced by variants which are better suited to the less alkaline waters.

    > I take it that “likely” is a total guess … and that you have no proxy evidence on this point?

    Read Loehe’s study. Or Molberg if you insist on IPCC approved sources. The MWP is a fact. The only unknown is whether is was slightly warmer or slightly cooler than today.

    > The list of such events is actually too long to list here.

    Anecodotes do not equal data. Better measurement techniques have resulted in a larger number of events getting reported.

    Insisting that CO2 is the cause of everything is the ultimate act of faith because there is no proof. The ‘no other explaination’ assertion is silly because we simply do not understand climate well enough to know that there is nothing else to learn.

  573. Raven
    Posted Feb 3, 2008 at 12:11 AM | Permalink

    #100 – responded in unthreaded.

  574. eric mcfarland
    Posted Feb 3, 2008 at 1:03 AM | Permalink

    > The track is a correlation … feedbacks become further forcing agents … so on .. so forth.
    Correlation is not causation – especially if the alleged cause follows the effect.

    ^There is a dynamic that is not linear here… its like once the ice in the arctic melts (reducing albedo) the warming will increase as the feedback kicks in. The point is that small solar variations in the past led to more c02 which led to more warming … multiple factors playing a role … any which of one in flux could yield the result: warming.

    > You mean before human civilization?
    I mean during the period when all life evolved.

    ^No concern for civilization here?

    > Talk to Lonnie Thompson … his cores go down to 1000s of years … the glaciers were stable until about 78 …
    Gee – Exactly when the PDO shifted from its cold phase to its warm phase. No AGW required to explain that.

    ^“PDO”? Is it global … from Asia to Africa … and in between?

    > Go ask the native people of the region … they will not agree with you … the ice is melting in an unprecedented way.
    Anecodotes do not equal data.

    ^Tell that to historians, anthropologists, sociologists, economists, etc.

    > ”uncorking” is a term of art. It’s what is causing the shelves to crumble into the sea rapidly. Read about it.
    Something is happening to some icesheets. This is more than balanced by increasing mass on other ice sheets.

    ^The problem here is that more land ice is sliding into the sea … even if what you say is true … leading to higher seas … flooded coasts, etc.

    > At current rates, we will go from 8.2 to 7.7. Check out the studies on what this will do to plankton.
    Most life evolved in a world with higher CO2 levels. Organisms that don’t do so well will be replaced by those that do.

    ^Food supply … the fate of civilization while we hope everything just magically adapts? No concern that we will be replaced?

    > The corals have been drilled into (deeply) and they see no record of this bleaching in the past.
    Again, other studies establish that any coral that dies off will be replaced by variants which are better suited to the less alkaline waters.

    ^Heat is the issue here … not alkaline. The seas will likely become desserts.

    > I take it that “likely” is a total guess … and that you have no proxy evidence on this point?
    Read Loehe’s study. Or Molberg if you insist on IPCC approved sources. The MWP is a fact. The only unknown is whether is was slightly warmer or slightly cooler than today.

    ^I accept that there was some phenomena that has been logged as the MWP … but we do not know much about it beyond that.

    > The list of such events is actually too long to list here.
    Anecodotes do not equal data. Better measurement techniques have resulted in a larger number of events getting reported.

    ^There’s reams of data on this … I am just giving notable examples. I suppose if you woke up with a horn growing out of your head you would be alarmed and not treat it as a mere anecdote …? The point is … 1 in 1000 events raise legitimate concerns.

    Insisting that CO2 is the cause of everything is the ultimate act of faith because there is no proof. The ‘no other explaination’ assertion is silly because we simply do not understand climate well enough to know that there is nothing else to learn.

    ^Never said co2 is the only cause. There are other ggases + feedbacks. These factors and forces are creating a fairly clear picture of what is happening … which is all that science has ever asked … that the facts and the theory fit the phenomena. You, on the other hand, have no explanation that even remotely fits. Besides, the physics behind the greenhouse effect are so clear … and are totally undisputed … and have been that way since the Victorian Era. It’s also undisputed that ppms of greenhouse gases have jumped since industrialization and that some warming is an inevitable result. How can you refute the basic physics at a minimum? You cannot … rationally.

  575. henry
    Posted Feb 3, 2008 at 1:30 AM | Permalink

    “^Talk to Lonnie Thompson … his cores go down to 1000s of years … the glaciers were stable until about 78 … and started melting in snap fashion across the globe … from Africa … to South America … to Asia. This is very well documented.”

    We have talked to Lonnie Thompson. He STILL hasn’t archived some important ice core data. We don’t know how far back they go.

    “Species are migrating north or dying off”

    They came south during the last ice age, now they’re going back north. Tell us they haven’t made this trip before…

    “^I accept that there was some phenomena that has been logged as the MWP … but we do not know much about it beyond that.”

    And yet today’s temp rise, CO2 levels, ice melt, species migration, coral bleaching, etc are all “unprecedented”. Look up the meaning of the word unprecedented, then come back and discuss your findings.

    You can always tell when an AGW believer has run out of new material. They start to recite “the list”.

  576. Raven
    Posted Feb 3, 2008 at 1:30 AM | Permalink

    eric mcfarland says:

    Besides, the physics behind the greenhouse effect are so clear … and are totally undisputed … and have been that way since the Victorian Era. It’s also undisputed that ppms of greenhouse gases have jumped since industrialization and that some warming is an inevitable result. How can you refute the basic physics at a minimum? You cannot … rationally.

    There are really two assertions here:
    1) That GHGs cause warming
    2) That GHG induced warming is something to worry about.

    The science only really supports 1)

    All of your claims related to 2) are highly disputed. It is irrational to assume that 2) must be true because 1) is true.

  577. Posted Feb 3, 2008 at 5:37 AM | Permalink

    Re 102 maksimovich says:
    February 3rd, 2008 at 12:10 am

    I wonder if you have seen anything in the literature about the response of the oceanic plant life to changes in temperature? In a warming sea, more stable and with lower nutrient levels, I would expect the C4 types to gain an advantage — has this happened? Also, I would expect diatom levels to rise in silica-enriched areas from increased land dust and there might even be an isotopic signal when a volcano feeds the oceans with zinc and chromium.

    I’d be grateful for any information about these points. TIA

    JF

  578. John Lang
    Posted Feb 3, 2008 at 6:46 AM | Permalink

    That is a huge drop in temps David – 0.7C. I imagine there will be some further reanalysis done. The sat temps should be out by the end of the week (RSS anyway) and they will either confirm or deny.

    The current La Nina strengthened in January although I see some weakening over the past week. What I noticed is that temps lag the El Ninos / La Ninas somewhat but when they start shifting phase to a normal temp mode, they dump huge amounts of heat / cold into the atmosphere very quickly. Perhaps that is what we are seeing now.

  579. Philip Mulholland
    Posted Feb 3, 2008 at 7:04 AM | Permalink

    Here’s one for the pot.
    Time for Aust-NZ Commission on Global Warming

  580. Posted Feb 3, 2008 at 8:35 AM | Permalink

    Re #565 Thanks, kim, you’re right – I missed that date. The link is from the current Drudge Report and I wonder if they meant to link to a different story.

    Anyway, the snow accumulation map for the last seven days shows +10cm into the northern regions of the metro area, so there may be a story there. I’ll look.

  581. Posted Feb 3, 2008 at 8:41 AM | Permalink

    Re #572 Here is a link to the current (February 2008) news story, at least the update part. I’ll look for the original.

  582. Posted Feb 3, 2008 at 8:49 AM | Permalink

    Re Maksimovich #102, Julian Flood #107, these are very interesting and important points, but completely off topic for this thread. Perhaps you could repost to the current “Unthreaded #30″ and continue this discussion there? Thanks!

  583. Harry Eagar
    Posted Feb 3, 2008 at 9:14 AM | Permalink

    eric, bender, not to go too far OT, but wildly inaccurate assertions need to be scotched.

    It is not undisputed that corals are bleaching unusually. There is no measure of coral bleaching, so no one can say.

  584. MarkR
    Posted Feb 3, 2008 at 10:58 AM | Permalink

    Historically there has been no correlation between prior CO2 rise and subsequent Temperature rise. If anyone thinks the science is settled, please look at the message board for illustrations of how little is settled.

  585. bender
    Posted Feb 3, 2008 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

    Eric McFarland in an OT post #101 on Sheep Mtn asserts that the GCMs are not an issue, are not essential in the attribution of AGW to GHG. This is false, as Gavin Schmidt will readily assert (“attribution is fundamentally a modeling exercise”) and only illustrates how easily the uniformed masses are easily duped into believing whatever it is those in control of the marketing of science want them to believe. In fact I will go one further and assert – as I have several times before – that the empiricists themselves are fairly easily duped by those in control of the models.

    Faith in the GCMs is the main cog in the religious machinery of AAGW.

  586. maksimovich
    Posted Feb 3, 2008 at 12:05 PM | Permalink

    In forecasting,the comparison with reality can be made only at the moment
    when the prediction comes true. At the time of its formulation, it cannot
    be tested and, therefore, in its most general form, it has no scientific
    status.

    Logical Analysis of the Problem of Forecasting

    V. V. NALIMOV

  587. anotherjohn
    Posted Feb 3, 2008 at 1:07 PM | Permalink

    Here are some good youtube videos, made by the chap who runs Climate Skeptic.

  588. Posted Feb 3, 2008 at 1:26 PM | Permalink

    I think that the January 2008 global temperature anomaly will be a topic of interest over the next several weeks, as the various agencies report their estimates.

    Here is a chart of the rankings of the last 13 months, to see how they compare with prior Januaries, Februaries, etc. since 1948. A value of 1 is the warmest in that period while 60 is the coldest.

    The plot shows the NCEP values (a quickie report) and the final NCDC report (issued two or three weeks later).

    The message is that the NCEP quickie value is probably in the ballpark. What that means is that the various high-profile estimates (Hadley, UAH, RSS, NCDC, etc) will likely also show quite a plunge for the month.

  589. bender
    Posted Feb 3, 2008 at 10:09 PM | Permalink

    Someone may wish to make this argument at the NYT/Revkin thread:

    Hank Roberts,
    In #647 you say “you need a decade or more for a climate signal to be detectable as a trend”. And in #678 you implored commenters to “Look up the original papers. Read them. Read the footnotes. Check the references.” and “Point to your sources”.

    This is good advice. What is your source for the “decade or more” threshold that you cite in #647? Is it not possible for internal climate variaiblity to produce trend like excursions over, say, 30 years? Why is your threshold as small as 10 years and not as large as, say, 30 years?

    I think that was the sort of question that inspired Robock (1978), which seems as relevant today as it was then.

  590. Raven
    Posted Feb 3, 2008 at 10:26 PM | Permalink

    Hi Bender,

    It appears that Robock is now a true believer:

    http://climate.envsci.rutgers.edu/robock/robock_imppapers.html

    Look at this testimony to congress. He appears to repudiate everything he said before.

  591. bender
    Posted Feb 3, 2008 at 10:34 PM | Permalink

    #592 I know what the man says. I also know what his paper says. That they contradict each other is not my problem. Read JEG’s latest.

  592. bender
    Posted Feb 3, 2008 at 10:37 PM | Permalink

    From JEG’s latest:

    We have found that solar and orbital forcing combine in a way that produces ENSO-like variance at centennial-to-millennial timescales, well above the model’s level of internal variability.

  593. Andrey Levin
    Posted Feb 4, 2008 at 5:55 AM | Permalink

    Weather modification in China:

    http://science.howstuffworks.com/cloud-seeding.htm

    The technology was also widely used in USSR to prevent hail damage to delicate crops (like grapes) in mountain regions.

  594. Eric McFarland
    Posted Feb 4, 2008 at 12:11 PM | Permalink

    587: define “attribution” … please.

    Did you all see the adds for “clean coal” on “Super Sunday” …?

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Americans_for_Balanced_Energy_Choices

  595. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Feb 4, 2008 at 2:54 PM | Permalink

    Raven said:

    There are really two assertions here:
    1) That GHGs cause warming
    2) That GHG induced warming is something to worry about.

    I don’t think the science supports the above point 1, due to the hidden assumptions that lead to the first point:

    1) The anomaly is accurate
    2) There is such a thing as a global temperature
    3) The anomaly represents that global temperature
    4) AGHG are responsible for the rise in the anomaly

    For 1, we don’t know. For 2, most likely not. For 3, we don’t know. For 4, there’s no proof of it even if 1-3 are true. So we can’t state that “Science supports that more GHG from humans equals a net temperature rise in the overall climate system.” aka AGHG=warming. Even if the anomaly trend accurately represents a rise in a global energy levels. Science supports that “Greenhouse gasses absorb and emit IR, warming the atmosphere as a result.” because we know GHG do make the atmosphere warmer than it would be if they weren’t there. Even if there is a net gain in overall energy levels, proving cause and effect between them increasing from us and the energy levels going up is another issue. It may tend to seem so due to circumstantial evidence (ice, glaciers, etc) and that it seems likely (“Well, that makes sense us creating energy would result in a rise in energy levels.”) but that’s not science.

  596. Eric McFarland
    Posted Feb 4, 2008 at 4:27 PM | Permalink

    597: It’s also not science to insist that x factors are the cause and that no concerns should be raised. As for global temp., we know that the earth has been both significantly hotter and cooler, with many temps in between. And, to claim that the earth — unlike all other bodies — has no overall temp. that can be ascribed … is something much less than science.

  597. Eric McFarland
    Posted Feb 4, 2008 at 4:40 PM | Permalink

    This won’t hurt a bit:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/03/does-a-global-temperature-exist/

  598. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Feb 4, 2008 at 5:14 PM | Permalink

    I didn’t say no concerns should be raised, nothing looked into or no things to be done “just in case”. Rather the only thing we can really do is happening anyway; conservation, the development of alternative fuel sources, more efficient vehicles including hybrids, R&D on clean coal, etc. But you’re totally correct; it’s not science, it’s climate science. Averages and models.

    You can’t find out exactly how doing X is going to affect the system ahead of time, so why worry about the specifics of X? What is wrong with admitting we don’t know the answer, but can only guess at what we’re observing? Why are the specifics, which can’t be experimented to get a scientific answer, but only modeled to get a maybe kind of idea, why are they important. You say CO2 has a large impact, makes the trend go up and that the trend is physically affecting the planet. I say prove it. I don’t need to prove what is making the anomaly trend go up instead. I don’t need to prove the trend is not linked to something physical.

    I’ve already given my answer; the technology that allows 7 billion people, and the 7 billion people themselves, leads to land-use changes (80%?) and fossil fuel use (20%) that would seem to raise energy levels. But unless we track that by tracking energy levels, it’s just something that ‘seems likely’. The anomaly trend rise is probably a side-effect (by-product) of modern methods of gathering the data and/or the methods of averaging that data over large areas and integrating it. I myself am very curious what exactly happened between 1976 and 1977 that shifted the anomaly to a new plateau.

    I didn’t say the Earth has no temperature, a certain amount of stored energy levels, just that we don’t know what it is, just what we sample and average. What meaning does 14C have? You are quite welcome to think it means something, that it’s a direct reflection of something real and physical. I don’t need to prove it’s not.

    Or in other words, if your opinion is that mainly carbon dioxide is causing the anomaly trend to rise, and that reflects a physical reality, you’re perfectly welcome to your opinion. And that’s not science either. It’s the conclusion you’ve come to with the information you have. And in my opinion, you’ve come to the wrong conclusion; not because the conclusion is necessarily wrong in and of itself, but because it’s based upon assumptions that I think are unwarrented.

    But maybe it is warming anyway. I don’t care; that information is not needed. If it is or not. So we do what we’re doing. If a technique can be used that can be used to make money or increase efficiency in and of itself that happens to reduce emmissions (from a polution perspective) then we can implent it. But anything that brings down productivity or only provides us with “less CO2 in the air” then we don’t do it. Do you know what would happen if we sequested a bunch of CO2, or cleaned out the CO2 from a factory, without also reducing the pollutants? What do the particulates cause to happen? I think that would be a very bad idea with a lot of downside for an unknown possible benefit of ? who knows what. Probably none.

    As far as the discussion, just because it’s your conclusion doesn’t make you correct and me incorrect. Or vice versa. What else do you suggest we do rather than ecologically and technologically implement cost effective or economically beneficial measures? How much does it cost? What’s the benefits? Are the benefits worth the cost?

    Randomly guessing that sequestering 1000 tons of CO2 (or whatever) is going to help without knowing what the potential benefits are, and that the benefits are worth the cost, and what the potential side-effects are and how bad they could be first is not how responsible stewards do things. Would you be willing to spend $1,000,000 of your own money to “reduce the level of CO2 in the atmosphere” based upon what we know? Or a better question is would that money be better spent to help develop more efficient lower cost solar or wind or battery technolgy? This is the reason it doesn’t matter; there are better things to spend money on where we know the effect, unless you’re suggesting there’s an unlimited amount of time, money and resources.

    Welcome to the jungle.

  599. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Feb 4, 2008 at 6:10 PM | Permalink

    And as far as “the planet’s temperature”, if there is one, what makes you think the sampling of air 5 feet up averaged of a 5×5 degree grid combined and averaged over all land and combined with the average of the surface of the seas is it?

    As far as what RC says about it, it may indeed be helpful to gather something (the anomaly) and see if it changes compared to some older period of time. And in some ways, it’s like the skin temperature of “around 98.6F”. The problem is that your “normal temperature” changes from day to day and the temperature of your environment and your level of activity. One person in a 70F room may have a normal resting temp of 97 and another 99. And your body, unlike weather, doesn’t go from extremes that covers a range of over 100 degrees.

    So, is the anomaly useful? If it does what it’s supposed to, track energy levels over time, of course. Does it? I doubt it. But that’s not “the temperature of the Earth” even if it does track energy levels; It’s an average over time of a number meant to be a proxy for energy levels, gathered by sampling air and water surfaces. It’s an monthly reading of the anomaly for that month compared to the reading of that month averaged over a base period. Now you can say that the monthly anomaly for month X is Y degrees above or below that average, but it’s not “The Temperature”. It’s a rise or fall in the anomaly reading.

    I don’t buy it as a proxy. And I’m not going to think about it or call it the Earth’s temperature even if it is a proxy; it’s the anomaly, a climate change proxy (or whatever you want to use to describe it).

    Now if you think of it as a proxy, what Ray said in #10, leads him to the conclusion that “climate is changing” I assume he means that the way the anomaly is acting reflects the climate changing in a certain way, and that way is the overall climate as an indicator that energy levels are rising more than normal.

    In reality, since climate is chaotic, the relevant quantities that define the climate are its conserved quantities–energy, momentum, angular momentum and so on. These are the only variables that restrict what state the climate can assume. Now, in general temperature is the derivative of energy with respect to entropy. So, in the strictest sense, given that the matter is passing from the oceans to the atmosphere, that content of CO2 and other greenhouse gases is increasing, etc., it would be difficult to define any sort of equilibrated system we could take the temperature of. On the other hand, since we are not interested in any instantaneous value, and since a trend in temperature does indeed provide useful information, we can certainly define some procedure that allows us to see if climate is changing. So, while a layman might find it a trifle confusing and a thermodynamical purist might cringe, we certainly define temperatures for other systems where the definition must be stretched a bit. And it is a bit of a semantic point, since regardless of whether one speaks in terms of energy or temperature, climate is changing.

    So while I wouldn’t disagree we can stretch definitions and use the anomaly as an indicator that something is going on, we have a number of issues with that number; therefore, I disagree with this conclusion that the anomaly being up .8 reflects anything other than the anomaly being up .8 I don’t come to the conclusion that the anomaly accurately (if a reflection of temperature trends in the first place, much less on a global scale after being combined) reflects some .8C of warming in the system over the 125 years. As I said, it’s a by-product of the measuring process, as far as I’m concerned. Or if not just a by-product, that it’s out of some margin of error. Sorry. So calling it The Earth’s Temperature in the first place is incorrect, even if it reflects something real. Which I’ve concluded the anomaly trend doesn’t reflect energy levels. Might it? It could, certainly, but it’s not been shown beyond doubt it’s correct even if it does; it could be too low or too high.

    Calling it a rise in the Earth’s temperature is wrong for two reasons; it’s not a rise in the Earth’s temperature, it’s a rise in the anomaly trend. And it takes for granted that A) the anomaly trend is reflecting what it’s supposed to be reflecting and B) that reflection is accurate. This can not be demonstrated.

    Then you get to the other issue that even if A) and B) could be demonstrated true, which they can’t, there is still no proven causal link between land-use changes and AGHG concentrations with the anomaly trend. The data does not back up the assumptions of any of it. That’s my opinion, my conclusion.

  600. Eric McFarland
    Posted Feb 4, 2008 at 6:27 PM | Permalink

    Sam600:
    To start, I would immediately put a hold on any new coal fired plants that failed to capture their C02 output. That would at least be a status quo of sorts … and would (in my estimation) prevent a huge waste: building power plants that will have to be dozed when the political consensus comes into line with the scientific consensus in the US.

    Let me ask you this … When you look at the numbers from the ice cores – particularly Vostock – you get a clear pattern between gas and heat going back 420k years. Now, I know gas follows heat in the record … but do you have any view as to what role the gas plays in the full magnitude of the temperatures ultimately reached? In other words, could not gas, an initial feedback, basically turn into a part of the drive that warms the climate engine … taking the planet to a much warmer state than would otherwise be reached … say by only small initial increases in solar energy? I think, at least, the answer is pretty clear … and the prospect of having gas outside the recorded bounds of the last 420k years by a significant amount is alarming on its own … even without all of the other manifestations of rapid warming … from snap ice melt … to freak weather … to species loss and creep … to increased acidification of the seas, etc., etc., etc.

    Also, we don’t get another planet or climate like this, the Holocene, if we get this issue wrong. Why do coal and oil, etc., get to play the biggest hand in that gamble? Cynically and obviously … it’s because they have the cash and the politicians. I am sure that if Jim Hansen had the cash to field a Bush or Inhofe, things would be radically different. He does not … oil does … and we have the result … no action on climate change. Or, more ominously, we have hyper action in the opposite direction.

    Alas … we have been warned ….

    Steve: Eric, please stop the political discussions.

  601. Severian
    Posted Feb 4, 2008 at 6:30 PM | Permalink

    Eric, given your demonstrated tendency to proselytize for RC’s AGW viewpoint on things it’s obvious you don’t understand, your opinions about what is and is not “science” carry no weight at all.

    Sam, excellent points and posts. You’ve summarized quite nicely the thoughts and conclusions I’ve come to after looking over the whole “global temp” debate. It seems the entire “climate science” realm is much ado about proxies and little do do with real, unambiguous data. I’ve had to deal with complex problems involving lots of data and variables, but have been fortunate in that the data itself has been unambiguous for the most part. When analyzing effects of numerous variables on the range accuracy of a missile, miss distances were thankfully precise, not a proxy for anything. Determining which variable(s) contributed most to the miss distance was complicated enough, I can’t imagine trying to make statements as certain and authoritative as the AGW proponents do on data as fuzzy and uncertain as exist in the climate science world.

  602. bender
    Posted Feb 4, 2008 at 6:42 PM | Permalink

    #596: “attribution': that which Eric McFarland defends vigorously without a modicum of scientific understanding

  603. bender
    Posted Feb 4, 2008 at 6:43 PM | Permalink

    Whoops, that probably covers a lot of ground.

  604. bender
    Posted Feb 4, 2008 at 6:45 PM | Permalink

    #602 heed the goracle

  605. kim
    Posted Feb 4, 2008 at 7:11 PM | Permalink

    Eric, google Bodele Depression and see what wind farms in Africa would do to the Amazon Basin.
    ====================================

  606. bender
    Posted Feb 4, 2008 at 7:14 PM | Permalink

    I am Gavin’s alter ego. We access the same facts and definitions, but have wildly different POV and interpretations. He advocates “precautionary principle” without counting the cost. I try to count the cost but can’t find the data. He discounts the ergodicity and noise estimation problems; I try not to, but can’t find the data. This accounts entirely for our difference of opinion.

  607. steven mosher
    Posted Feb 4, 2008 at 7:41 PM | Permalink

    There are days when I want to talk ; days when I want
    to listen to bender say exactly what I was thinking;
    And then days when he makes me say:

  608. Posted Feb 4, 2008 at 10:02 PM | Permalink

    Andrey Levin says:
    January 27th, 2008 at 8:14 am

    The only thing I wanted to do is to point out that most of debate about climate on CA is devoted to landmass temperature, overland radiation transfer, day/night and humid/desert temperatures over the land, and alike. But it is not landmass, but oceans which adsorb and release 80+% of solar radiation, have highest variability of IR emissivity due to waviness, dictate formation of clouds, and have highest influence on “global temperature” due to fluctuation in heat transfer to the atmosphere.

    I believe that we should concentrate on the thing which matters most, which is oceans, not landmass.

    Yes. I’ve been thinking on the effect of reduced ocean emissivity on SSTs, and whether smoother surfaces have reduced emissivity. With SSTs uncalibrated against lighthouse data, I don’t see how I can find out anything sensible.

    I’ve just thought of an explanation, an observational one, for the current temperature plateau, based on SSTs. The temperature rise is being controlled at 1.4 deg/century (see the Hadcrut temps without the Folland and Parker — it’s here on CA somewhere). Excursions above and below the line are controlled back to the line. Once the current temperature is back on that line then warming will continue. The same thing happened from 1945 to 1970. Hypotheses non fingo.

    JF

  609. Posted Feb 4, 2008 at 10:17 PM | Permalink

    The January 2008 RSS global temperature estimate is in: ( link )

    The -0.08C is the coolest January since 2000.

  610. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 4, 2008 at 10:21 PM | Permalink

    I’ve deleted some discussion of coal and things like that. Please discuss science here. There are many alternative places to discuss policy.

  611. eric mcfarland
    Posted Feb 4, 2008 at 10:40 PM | Permalink

    612: Week Steve … you have a clear bias on your snips.

    Steve: I seldom snip critical comments. I don’t have an endless amount of time to go through everything. If I let political discussions get going, they will consume the site. Some get posted when I’m offline, but if I’m online I try to deal with it.

  612. bender
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 12:53 AM | Permalink

    #613 A bias against OT political junk? Yes. Quite. Now be a gem, and go fetch us Gavin’s definition of “attribution”, would you? Hint: it is associated with the quote I gave you in #587.

    Aside: You know, Eric, if you were posting this kind of junk at RC … never mind.

  613. VG
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 3:31 AM | Permalink

    Just for this site
    Imagine a study published in a major journal showing that a location in the Arctic has “a trend of -0.3°C over the last 1,500 years.” The article is forthcoming in Climate Dynamics, and the work was conducted by Håkan Grudd of Stockholm University’s Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology. This will surely be a topic on this site (taken from climate report)

  614. John Lang
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 5:40 AM | Permalink

    David Smith #611 – The RSS lower atmosphere temperatures basically confirm your earlier thread about declining temperatures in January 2008.

    I note that the RSS lower atmosphere temps have declined by a huge 0.62C over the past year.

    The models need to be rewritten with a much greater ENSO impact that previously believed.

  615. Stephen Richards
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 8:02 AM | Permalink

    John L and David S

    Great graph plotting David. How you find that info so soon after it is published is amazing.

    John. There would be huge problems re-writing the models to account for ENSO etc. They have never shown an ability to forecast El and La Nino(a) so it would not be possible to forecast/predict Enso effects. It’s what I find hugely annoying about climate science. A total lack of honesty and openness which would allow us laymen to make any assessment of their skills. Eg report on british TV today about tipping points. blah blah potential blah blah could. If they can’t be at least a little certain they should keep their mouths firmly closed.

  616. hengav
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 8:56 AM | Permalink

    NOAA officially calls it La Nina. Diagnostics out on Feb 9th. Weekly disgnostics have gone from moderate to strong in December… I wonder what January looked like?
    http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2006/s2572.htm

  617. bender
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 9:12 AM | Permalink

    NOAA SAYS LA NIÑA HERE AS PREDICTED

    50 quatloos to the first commenter to put this “prediction” in proper context. (I remember something about an El Nino forecast being badly missed. Links?)

  618. M. Jeff
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 10:27 AM | Permalink

    #619

    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/elnino/faq.html
    See FAQ 21.

    On the other hand, the forecast models missed the rapid onset, the great magnitude, and the sudden demise of the 1997-98 El Nino, possible due to weather noise that is inherently unpredictable more than about 2 weeks in advance.

  619. M. Jeff
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 10:38 AM | Permalink

    #619

    http://ff.org/centers/csspp/library/co2weekly/20060414_02/20060414_05.html excerpt

    Scientist Forecasts ‘super El Niño’

    Saturday, April 8, 2006
    Albuquerque Journal

    One of the country’s leading climate scientists says there is “a good chance” for a “super El Niño” next winter, a powerful warming in the Pacific Ocean linked to wet winters in the Southwest.
    In a draft paper circulated to colleagues, NASA climate researcher James Hansen blames global warming for increasing the chance of extreme El Niños.
    When they happen, such extreme El Niños can wreak weather havoc worldwide, from deep drought in Australia to flooding in California.

  620. jae
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 10:44 AM | Permalink

    618: I liked this statement in the link you provided:

    “This pattern will favor continued drought in parts of the South and Southwest from Arizona to Arkansas and Louisiana, and above normal precipitation in the Northwest and the Tennessee Valley area.” Periodic precipitation in the drought areas and dryness in the stormy areas also are typical within the larger scale climate pattern described above.

    IOW, it will be dry, unless ist is wet.

  621. Eric McFarland
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 11:46 AM | Permalink

    Sitting around and scoffing at science aint science.

  622. MarkW
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 11:55 AM | Permalink

    models ain’t science.

  623. Severian
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 12:21 PM | Permalink

    I see that CA now has it’s very own “virtual” village idiot.

  624. Pat Keating
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 12:22 PM | Permalink

    624 Mark W
    I beg to strongly disagree. The construction and analysis of models is a very important part of science.
    The problem with climate models is that they are necessarily exceedingly complex, and results from them are given greater importance in public policy than they merit.

  625. Richard Sharpe
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 12:33 PM | Permalink

    designed to meet the extremes of Climate Change and Capable of withstanding category 5 cyclones and hurricanes

    These guys are almost as good as PG&E.

  626. Richard Sharpe
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 12:36 PM | Permalink

    The construction and analysis of models is a very important part of science.

    Pat, I think you left a clause out: and their verification against real-world data.

  627. Richard Sharpe
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 12:39 PM | Permalink

    Ore. Nat’l Guard coming to rescue tiny towns from excess snow

    And more on the way.

    Just another example of AGW in action.

  628. Severian
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 12:51 PM | Permalink

    Pat, I think you left a clause out: and their verification against real-world data.

    The critical step without which it’s all just mental masturbation.

  629. Eric McFarland
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 1:22 PM | Permalink

    Climate models are built upon the known laws of physics. That’s why they can replicate past climates pretty damn well. And, they are tuned and tested by observations. Obviously, looking forward is a harder task because there are wild cards still in the deck … such as just how much gas will be released … or just how fast will the ice melt, etc. As things stand … it appears that the models have under forecast the pace of feedback and change. Much of the criticism levelled here is, frankly, less than honest …

  630. MarkW
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 1:27 PM | Permalink

    Models can help you analyze data. They can help you understand patterns. But they aren’t science. Science is going out and finding the relationships that are built into models. Is a voltmeter electrical engineering? Is a thermometer climate science?

  631. MarkW
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 1:31 PM | Permalink

    Models claim to be able to duplicate the known laws of physics. They are not built on them. There is not enough computing power in the world, nor will there be for centuries, to model the world from first principles. And models don’t even come close to replicating past climates. They come within a ballpark or two of replicating temperatures, but only if you average the entire real world, and the entire model world, and compare the two numbers. At any scale smaller than the entire world, models can’t even get temperature right. They are even further from getting complex things such as clouds and rainfall right.

  632. Richard Sharpe
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 1:35 PM | Permalink

    Much of the criticism levelled here is, frankly, less than honest …

    I see you are much taken with self-referential comments.

  633. John Creighton
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 1:39 PM | Permalink

    #663, I think averaging should be permissible for testing purposes but I think that comparing the mean global temperature predicted by the model with that of the earth is insufficient. I would be more impressed if at agreed reasonably with the average temperature at a given latitude and altitude.

  634. henry
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 1:44 PM | Permalink

    Eric McFarland said (February 5th, 2008 at 1:22 pm)

    Climate models are built upon the known laws of physics. That’s why they can replicate past climates pretty damn well. And, they are tuned and tested by observations. Obviously, looking forward is a harder task because there are wild cards still in the deck … such as just how much gas will be released … or just how fast will the ice melt, etc. As things stand … it appears that the models have under forecast the pace of feedback and change. Much of the criticism levelled here is, frankly, less than honest …

    Models that “predict” the past pretty well? I can “predict” yesterdays temps as well, I look at yesterday’s paper.

    I can also predict how much money I had in my bank account last month and see that it matches my statement pretty well.

    But would you depend on your bank to “predict” your next 30 years of statements based on past history, and would you make long-term plans based on that?

    BTW, have you looked up the word “unprecedented” yet? Just wondering.

  635. Larry
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 1:48 PM | Permalink

    Steve, if you haven’t seen already, Lubos has a new post on a new tree-ring proxy from Sweden that may be of interest.

  636. Andrew
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 1:56 PM | Permalink

    Eric:

    Climate models are built upon the known laws of physics. That’s why they can replicate past climates pretty damn well.

    “Known laws of Physics” Gee, I didn’t realize “physics” had such huge error bars: Anthropogenic forcing of: 0.8 ± 1.3 W/m² for the year 2000 relative to 1750 (where the errors were added in quadrature, assuming independence) which means that even the sign is not known!
    How is it that models can vary so greatly in their basic assumptions and all match history?

    And I’m not familiar with any “underpredictions” only over predictions. Have a meanful example?

  637. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 2:01 PM | Permalink

    Um, last time I checked, models DO NOT replicate past climate very well when the known inputs are used. As MarkW noted, they are at best in the ballpark (or two) of global average temperature, whatever that means. Simply using “known laws of physics” is not sufficient to model such complex (chaotic) dynamical systems, btw. To Eric’s credit, he did use “replicate” and not “predict,” henry.

    Mark

  638. hengav
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 2:04 PM | Permalink

    RE: 622

    Two things about the NOAA website. Depending on which department you choose to dig into for forcasting, you get very different analysis.
    Even within the weekly La Nina anaylsis (which is archived for Bender to view the “change” and how they predicted it) they have a variety of scenarios.
    The articles’ author chose to take the most extreme weather prediction… and was all about the drought/warm than the unseasonal cold/wet.

  639. Eric McFarland
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 2:16 PM | Permalink

    636:
    This just shows how little you actually understand the models. They do not predict. They replicate and build scenarios based upon input factors …physics, chemistry, etc. Let me give you a more mind manageable example. If I knew the historical inputs that went into, say, the Battle of Britain and fed those into a history model and was effectively able to replicate the actual results of the battle (+ or – on say the number of actual aircraft loss, casualties etc.) … the results that we know from history … you would have to conclude that my inputs were reasonably correct … that they produced, within a margin of error, a sound picture of history. And, if you could replicate that result with many different models … you would have to conclude that the result was robust … that the models are getting the inputs correct. Now, looking at climate … the models use things like physics and chemistry … which do not change radically … like history … so we know that the laws of physics will carry forward into the future. In short, we can take what we know for certain and let it play itself out into the future … building scenarios based on upon moving variables … such as if x amount of gas … or y amount of feedback is played, if you will, into the known system. But, don’t take my word (or the word of others around here for that matter) actually go and read about the models and see how they really work. The dismissive scoffing that goes on around here … really is not scientific … it is political … period.

  640. Craig Loehle
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 2:24 PM | Permalink

    Eric says: “Climate models are built upon the known laws of physics. That’s why they can replicate past climates pretty damn well. And, they are tuned and tested by observations.”

    If one looks at attempts to test GCMs against past climates, such as 6000 yrs ago and ice age climates, one sees that they are far from “good”. There is a big debate about ice age SSTs (either the data are wrong or the models are wrong—take your pick). The paleo-data have all kinds of problems (sparse coverage, non-analog climates and wind patterns due to huge ice caps, etc) which make “testing” problematic. Check out the literature—it is a mess. On CA one can find recent analyses of Hansen’s 1988 20 yr forecasts, which are off in many ways when compared to what actually happened from 1988 to present. The calibration of GCMs depends on the forcing data, but the aerosol forcing and cloud forcing differ as input to different models (there is no standard data set) and the model parameterizations differ (especially for clouds). The grid-scale representation of things like convection is very ad hoc. This is not “first principles physics” IMO.

  641. Craig Loehle
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

    Eric: please provide some references to literature in which GCMs were tested against past climates with an extract showing that the results are statistically better than “ballpark ok”. I haven’t seen them.

  642. Richard Sharpe
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 2:33 PM | Permalink

    Torneträsk tree-ring width and density ad 500–2004: a test of climatic sensitivity and a new 1500-year reconstruction of north Fennoscandian summers (pointed to by the Reference Frame)

    The 200-year long warm period centered on ad 1000 was significantly warmer than the late-twentieth century (p

    I wonder how long it will be before he is labeled as a “denialist?”

  643. Richard Sharpe
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 2:37 PM | Permalink

    Torneträsk tree-ring width and density ad 500–2004: a test of climatic sensitivity and a new 1500-year reconstruction of north Fennoscandian summers (pointed to by the Reference Frame)

    The 200-year long warm period centered on ad 1000 was significantly warmer than the late-twentieth century (p < 0.05) and is supported by other local and regional paleoclimate data. The new tree-ring evidence from Torneträsk suggests that this “Medieval Warm Period” in northern Fennoscandia was much warmer than previously recognized.

    I wonder how long it will be before he is labeled as a “denialist?”

  644. Andrew
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 3:11 PM | Permalink

    Richard, its Europe/North Atlantic (ie local, not news) so its OK.

  645. dover_beach
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 5:30 PM | Permalink

    Eric, after you’ve answered Bender’s and Craig’s questions, you might like to consider if GCMs adequately simulate the effects of land-cover change ( i.e. changes in albedo, precipitation ,etc.) on climate? Or is my query too political?

  646. JimP
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 6:29 PM | Permalink

    I’ve been reading up on the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. I’m surprised to see ENSO’s showing up in the AMO data. How are they teleconnected?

  647. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 6:53 PM | Permalink

    I would do a number of things right now, including moratoriums on dirty coal plants, building nuclear reactors, investing in PV, hydrogen and wind turbine technologies, developing more efficient gasoline and diesel engines and the like. I wouldn’t spend a dime trying to sequester or scrub trace gasses. What the political or scientific consensus is, it’s immaterial.

    I can just as easily attribute the anomaly trend since 1975 to the number of ham radio stations, world population, methane or solar proxies; they all look like the anomaly trend. We can bicker endlessly about what that trend portrays. It doesn’t matter.

    Water, 80% of the GE, 100% of the clouds (minus particulates et al), the source of all the rain, ice and snow, that makes up most of the surface of the planet — and it gets ignored for the most part. It’s contantly being added and removed and replaced from the atmosphere and is limitless.

    If I was water, I’d be angry!! “Here I am doing all this work, and getting dissed.”

    Here’s the humidity during a weather event

    Ain’t water vapor great?

  648. Eric McFarland
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 7:32 PM | Permalink

    649:
    Yes … but what if you were a carpenter:

  649. VG
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 8:03 PM | Permalink

    talk about tipping points!
    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/s_plot.html
    This is way above normal. It seems that NH may go back to normal or even above this winter
    = beginning of end

  650. Philip_B
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 8:36 PM | Permalink

    #651 Severian, very well said. I’d add that CO2 sequestration is very energy intensive. Much more energy (in the region of 50% more) is required to produce a kilowatt of electricity and this increases the real pollutants produced by coal or the cost of removing them.

  651. Susann
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 8:57 PM | Permalink

    I find it amusing that people reject several decades of increasing tempearature as evidence of global warming but are comfortable using one month of temperature decrease as proof that it does not exist. Be logically consistent, please.

  652. Raven
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 9:08 PM | Permalink

    Susann says:

    I find it amusing that people reject several decades of increasing tempearature as evidence of global warming but are comfortable using one month of temperature decrease as proof that it does not exist. Be logically consistent, please.

    Every skeptical blog I looked at takes pains to point out that one month of cold temps is not a trend.

    The temps have been on a downtrend since 2005. If 2008 is cooler than 2007 then we will see that the 5 year running mean starts to fall – an event that would be significant.

  653. bender
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 9:32 PM | Permalink

    What I find interesting is:
    (1) people who comment only in unthreaded complaining about the lack of scientific discussion at CA.
    (2) people who like to pretend that the extremes characterize the middle because they find it easier to argue against extreme positions than nuanced positions.

  654. Richard Sharpe
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 9:40 PM | Permalink

    Susann says:

    I find it amusing that people reject several decades of increasing tempearature as evidence of global warming but are comfortable using one month of temperature decrease as proof that it does not exist. Be logically consistent, please.

    At this posting by WM Brigs, statistician, you can find links to a statistical, scientific talk on global warming. It points out that you can find both warming and cooling trends cooling trends over different time periods in the past.

    And, to top it all off, World Climate Report has an article
    1,500 Years of Cooling in the Arctic
    pointing out that a peer-reviewed paper says:

    “The new Torneträsk summer temperature reconstruction shows a trend of -0.3°C over the last 1,500 years.”

    The climate changes all the time and goes through cycles all the time, and the present is much the same as the past.

  655. bender
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 9:41 PM | Permalink

    #644
    Interesting paper. Don’t see any major problems with it so far. Steve M?

  656. Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 9:54 PM | Permalink

    #654: I find it amusing that of all the important subjects that are being seriously discussed on these boards, you would cherry-pick that one without identifying the posters.

    Are you referring to #590 and #611?

  657. Jonde
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 9:55 PM | Permalink

    Well, I find it fascinating how PDO and AMO observations starts to fit in the natural climate variation theory. More we obtain real observation data more it reveals that CO2 influence is weak. I see in “sceptical” sites how people are equally fascinated to see how the puzzle is revealed piece by piece, The theory is fitting with the nature, but we all acknowledge that observation data is limited.

    Anthony Watts site’s topic response 2 is good example how CO2-activists immediately starts to accuse us to make hasty conclusions that we do not do. Let time to pass, weight of evidence is more and more piling on natural variation side.

    Next few years are going to be very interesting.

  658. Andrew
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 10:19 PM | Permalink

    JimP:

    I’ve been reading up on the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. I’m surprised to see ENSO’s showing up in the AMO data. How are they teleconnected?

    “Beats me, maybe the Panama Canal?”

    More seriously, you’ll find spurious similarities and non spurious similarities in various weather data sets around the world, related or not (I’m being repetitive, aren’t I?) However, it occurs to me that AMO is basically Atlantic Temps with a trend removed…right? So the influence of ENSO on Global temps is bound to show up in large bodies like the Atlantic Ocean. But my answer, I realize, just shifts the question. So I gues what my point is, is that “El Nino is teleconnected to everything”. (Go ahead, prove me wrong by showing a lack of connection with the price of tea in china).

    And yeah, one year is not a trend, one month is not a trend, etc. etc. But this month is interesting from a strictly weather perspective, given its association with a big La Nina (it seems that Joe Bastardi’s “absurd” prediction may be coming true, even without the “required” El Nino). And PDO appears to be shifting (Negative PDO is associated with the midcentury cool period, BTW, so it would be interesting to get some real time tests of the idea that that, not aerosols, was the primary reason form the drop(not that I don’t assert that this proves it (yet))).

  659. bender
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 10:21 PM | Permalink

    everyone’s a sharpshooter these days

  660. Raven
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 10:44 PM | Permalink

    Andrew says:

    seems that Joe Bastardi’s “absurd” prediction may be coming true, even without the “required” El Nino

    Can you provide a link to this prediction?

  661. Andrew
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 11:13 PM | Permalink

    Raven, did some digging, but I can’t find it. It was at Accuweather, I think, so I’ll keep looking through their archives. Just in case you think I’m suffering from some delusion, read Gary Gulrud’s comment and Anthony’s reply here:
    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/02/04/rss-satellite-data-for-jan08-2nd-coldest-january-for-the-planet-in-15-years/#comments

  662. Roger Dueck
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 11:16 PM | Permalink

    Eric 650
    Thanks for that link! It was awesome. Took me back to the ’70’s and my days at the U of S (Saskatchewan).

  663. Raven
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 12:08 AM | Permalink

    Here is the Bastardi prediction (apparently made Dec 18th)

    http://global-warming.accuweather.com/2007/12/historic_la_nina_could_be_in_t.html

    The current La Nina has briefly leveled off at -1.5 is about to turn down once again. The CFS model is catching this as it can see the renewed charge of cold water in Nino 1.2 region that is coming west. This is the revenge of the Thermohaline circulation and the big implication is that it is a kick in the teeth of people pushing man-made global warming.

  664. hengav
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 12:41 AM | Permalink

    Re: 653 Susann

    You have missed the point of the discussion if you were referring to my post. The NOAA provides guidance that is used to influence futures in commodities. It is an integral part of our economy, yet it fails to consider the very real phenomenon of La Nina as part of it’s models… unless you dig deeper into the NOAA La Nina page and discover them. It’s not about a one month/year blip, it’s about “how come they haven’t included it”. I mean their records go back to 1950. The correlations to weather are obvious. The sun is currently at a solar minima, Leif has pointed out that the TSI varies not, yet it’s effects are profound. And now we come to models and the POINT. If all the experts were truly that, wouldn’t someone have stood up years ago and predicted what is now occurring?
    An interesting opportunity exists to audit the NOAA ONI index used to determine what is officially El Nino or La Nina, and it was modified in November 2007. I haven’t the skill to run the numbers, but I will pay 50 quatloos to someone who could. By the numbers since 1950: 18 EL Ninos (Less 1 after the modification) and 14 La Ninas (Less 2 after the modification)
    Source: http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf

  665. Andrey Levin
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 1:01 AM | Permalink

    I’ve been reading up on the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. I’m surprised to see ENSO’s showing up in the AMO data. How are they teleconnected?

    “Beats me, maybe the Panama Canal?”

    Pacific and Atlantic oceans share same heating source – the sun. One of hypothesis explaining teleconnection of PDO and AMO is that both are triggered by same “switch” – periodic fluctuation of one of solar irradiance components.

    This hypothesis explains why both TSI and PDO/AMO are highly correlated with temperature:

    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/01/25/warming-trend-pdo-and-solar-correlate-better-than-co2/

  666. VG
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 1:51 AM | Permalink

    #653 I think the point is that it is a trend. I understand that C02 is well mixed and purported temp effects even if mixed by other factors should be everywhere which they ain’t (ie SH)

  667. MarkW
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 6:15 AM | Permalink

    eric,

    So when the “scientists” tell us that the models say temperatures will rise 2 to 10 degrees if we double CO2, then the models are doing replication, not prediction.

    Pray tell, just what time period are they replicating?

  668. MarkW
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 6:21 AM | Permalink

    Susann,

    If the alarmists can use every heat wave as proof that global warming is real and is going to kill us, why can’t we tweak their noses abit by pointing out every cold wave?

  669. Andrew
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 6:45 AM | Permalink

    Andrey Levin, I’m not so sure about the TSI recon their using…

  670. JimP
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 7:43 AM | Permalink

    This is a quick graph of the AMO vs. RSS temps. The last 4 El Nino’s appear in the AMO data. I find this very odd.

  671. JimP
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 7:50 AM | Permalink

    Sorry about the link. I don’t know what I did wrong. You can cut and paste into your browser.

  672. JP
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 7:53 AM | Permalink

    Andrew,
    Bastardi’s winter forecast mentioned La Nina and the AMO in the context of weather and not climate. He spoke of La Nina and the AMO in the context of baroclinicity, and not of any teleconnections between the 2. That is, he mentioned the obvious ramifications of a cold North Pacific and a warm North Atlantic on the polar jetstream. I think his term is the Pacific “firehose”. In this respect, his precipitation forecasts were correct for much of the middle portions of North America. The models failed to pick up an eastward translating Madden-Jullian Oscillation, which is causing havoc on the West Coast. Also, I don’t think any of the models forecasted the persistance of the Atlantic subtropical high, which has kept most of Western Europe as well as New England above normal temperature wise.

    I think Bastardi forecasted that North America would see its 10th warmest winter, with December and Feb being below average, but Jan being well above average.

    As far as I know, there is no linkage or teleconnections between the AMO and PDO.

  673. Andrew
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 8:01 AM | Permalink

    JP, thanks for the info. Good to know stuff.

  674. Craig Loehle
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 8:13 AM | Permalink

    Eric: you insisted that the models are excellent fits to data: references please?

  675. henry
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 9:27 AM | Permalink

    Mark T. said (February 5th, 2008 at 2:01 pm)

    To Eric’s credit, he did use “replicate” and not “predict,” henry.

    And he’s still not seeing the point…

    Any model that is used to replicate the past has the advantage of having the starting data AND KNOWLEDGE OF THE RESULTS. So the code can be tweaked to match almost exactly.

    The real test is to use current data and code, run the model (without change to input parameters or code), and compare to observed data. And to be fair, 30 years of observation (to catch climate, not weather) would tell if the model replicated the observation.

    How many models are tweaked on a regular basis just because the result didn’t match the observation?

  676. MarkW
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 9:45 AM | Permalink

    Any model that is used to replicate the past has the advantage of having the starting data AND KNOWLEDGE OF THE RESULTS. So the code can be tweaked to match almost exactly.

    And even with that advantage, even the best of the models only manage to get one output at a time in the general ballpark of the right answer.

    By that I mean that they can get the temperature for the entire globe close, but they can’t get continental or regional temperatures close.
    They can get global temperatures close, but they can’t get clouds, or snow cover, or anything else anywhere close to a correct answer.

  677. Andrey Levin
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 10:46 AM | Permalink

    Andrew:

    Sorry, full text of D’Aleo article is here:

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/Supplement_Oceans_and_Sun_and_temps_US,_Greenland,_arctic.pdf

    Solar parts are at pages 10,23.

  678. Severian
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 12:05 PM | Permalink

    henry says:

    Any model that is used to replicate the past has the advantage of having the starting data AND KNOWLEDGE OF THE RESULTS. So the code can be tweaked to match almost exactly.

    And therein lies the main problem, when you don’t understand what’s going on from first principles, and can’t model the system completely due to either lack of understanding or complexity (more likely both), you are stuck adding various “fudge factors” to diddle to make the curves match. You can be successful back filling that way, but since the things you adjust, whether they are constants or sensitivities to this or that forcing, aren’t necessarily related to what reality is, your ability to predict the future is doubtful. You may get lucky for a short time forward, but usually the longer you run such a model the more it will diverge from reality.

    I’ve seen six degree of freedom models of various airframes that matched low velocity aerodynamic effects pretty well, using a lumped model for various aero effects, that completely fell apart at higher velocities and different altitudes. No matter how much you tweaked the lumped model coefficients it would never be able to account for things like high Mach Reynolds number effects, etc. and the resulting firing tables were woefully inaccurate.

  679. Eric McFarland
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 12:46 PM | Permalink

    hindcasting … if you change the variables … you get loads of fun:

  680. Tony Edwards
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 1:08 PM | Permalink

    Eric,

    You seem to be in the know about models. With regard to checking a model’s performance, have any of the models been loaded with, say, the known data from 1960, and allowed to run? And if this has been done, how well have they tracked what we know happened, but without any adjustments on the way? I’d even allow input such as Pinatubo, but not things like La Nina or El Nino, as that would be what a model should be able to produce.
    I would venture to suggest that if this has not been done, or if it has, but hasn’t got the right answer, then there is very little point in using their scenarios for actions that will wreck the world economy.

  681. Andrew
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 1:58 PM | Permalink

    Eric, changing the variables when hind-casting isn’t “fun”, its very troubling that this doesn’t effect the result much and that there is a large range of assumptions on which models can disagree on and still match reality.

  682. henry
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 2:07 PM | Permalink

    Tony Edwards said (February 6th, 2008 at 1:08 pm)

    Eric,

    You seem to be in the know about models. With regard to checking a model’s performance, have any of the models been loaded with, say, the known data from 1960, and allowed to run? And if this has been done, how well have they tracked what we know happened, but without any adjustments on the way? I’d even allow input such as Pinatubo, but not things like La Nina or El Nino, as that would be what a model should be able to produce.
    I would venture to suggest that if this has not been done, or if it has, but hasn’t got the right answer, then there is very little point in using their scenarios for actions that will wreck the world economy.

    I’m sure he’ll answer that, as soon as he finds a youtube clip to speak for him. To get any other answer would be unprecedented (def: exceptional, original, not the same as what was previously known or done).

  683. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 2:10 PM | Permalink

    Susann: Are you surprised some find it interesting that the trend may be headed downward once again as it has in the past?

    And it’s not “decades of increasing temperature” it’s a few decades of a rise in the anomaly trend depending on period picked. It’s not “one month of temperature decrease” it’s a monthly anomaly lower than the month before.

    So are you of the opinion that deriving some emphereal number by taking samplings of somewhat dubious reliability and importance in a few locations, gathering the mean temperature of the day from min/max in each location, averaging those into a month, averaging them over a grid, and averaging those grids into each other is not simply smoothing a signal of a variability in the tens of degrees, measured in degree increments, into one that’s in the .001 of a degree due to the averaging processes? Or are you just saying “the temperature” when you mean “the anomaly”?

    Are you surprised after the focus on carbon dioxide alone, and the frequent implications it plays the major part in climate, and the implied conclusion that carbon dioxide causes warming, some here would shoot back “Hey, Mr. Anomaly=Temperature and Mrs. Carbon-Dioxide=Anomaly, notice that the monthly figures went down while carbon dioxide levels went up?” When of course they really mean “Thanks for treating me like I’m an idiot because I don’t agree with you that what the AGHG are doing causes the anomaly trend to move. So, genius, how do you explain the anomaly going down sometimes, if there’s a cause/effect relationship?”

    I’ll say it again; the sun provides the energy, the water moderates how and where it is (ignoring the tilt, rotation, core heat and magnetic field of the Earth, and all non-Earth sources other than the sun.). What water does to the energy provided our weather system dwarves whatever people provide to it. Whatever we contribute is due to 7 billion people and the technology needed to support it (AKA land-use changes and the burning of fossil fuels). My conclusion is that whatever we contribute is removed, offset, and adjusted for by water (moved around by wind and ocean currents and temperature gradients in the atmosphere etc).

    Or in other words, long-term weather patterns dominate the climate doing whatever it happens to be doing at any given time.

    —————————–

    Speaking of weather patterns.

    El Nino and water vapor (humidity anomaly). Mighty interesting.

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:WaterVapor.jpg

  684. Eric McFarland
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 2:26 PM | Permalink

    684:
    Oh Henry … you’ve modeled my behavior:

  685. Craig Loehle
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 3:02 PM | Permalink

    Looks like Eric is unable to respond seriously–ask for references and he comes back with youtube stuff.

  686. steven mosher
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 3:18 PM | Permalink

    re 687. Sorry craig. He stole that trick from me.

  687. steven mosher
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 3:18 PM | Permalink

    re 687. Sorry craig. He stole that trick from me.

  688. Eric McFarland
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 3:52 PM | Permalink

    689: No way Steve:

  689. steven mosher
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 6:06 PM | Permalink

    re 690.

    Sorry son. You will have to research all the CA posts to usurp my claim.
    Knock yourself out.
    here is a feather.

  690. steven mosher
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 6:06 PM | Permalink

    re 690.

    Sorry son. You will have to research all the CA posts to usurp my claim.
    Knock yourself out.
    here is a feather.

  691. steven mosher
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 6:06 PM | Permalink

    re 690.

    Sorry son. You will have to research all the CA posts to usurp my claim.
    Knock yourself out.
    here is a feather.

  692. Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 6:17 PM | Permalink

    NASA/GISS employees over on RC are quick to jump on and stomp to death movies, fictional novels, editorial-page opinion pieces, PowerPoint presentations, and a whole host of other sources that give information of a certain kind.

    Let’s see how long it takes them to cover this.

  693. Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 6:17 PM | Permalink

    NASA/GISS employees over on RC are quick to jump on and stomp to death movies, fictional novels, editorial-page opinion pieces, PowerPoint presentations, and a whole host of other sources that give information of a certain kind.

    Let’s see how long it takes them to cover this.

  694. Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 6:19 PM | Permalink

    steven mosher, why are we getting automatically doubled down today. And I see you have a triple here.

  695. Susann
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 6:30 PM | Permalink

    What I find interesting is:
    (1) people who comment only in unthreaded complaining about the lack of scientific discussion at CA.
    (2) people who like to pretend that the extremes characterize the middle because they find it easier to argue against extreme positions than nuanced positions.

    You mean it bothers you that outsiders criticize the entire community on the basis of one small part, who ignore the larger issues being discussed to focus on a few mis-statements? Who add nothing to the substance of the matter but instead only snipe from the sidelines?

    Imagine that. :)

  696. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 6:31 PM | Permalink

    Stop hitting “Submit Comment” so quickly!

  697. Eric McFarland
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 6:43 PM | Permalink

    695: What Kerry said was off the handle. However, I must say, I grew up in the region … and was a bit shocked by the touch down of a major twister in early Feb. That and the snow in Chicago … and the balmy 70s in NY. Something is odd … if only the events.

  698. Eric McFarland
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 6:51 PM | Permalink

    Some new evidence to consider:

  699. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 6:56 PM | Permalink

    Good point Susann, about the snipes and the one reflecting upon the many.

    Any comments on this? http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2600#comment-208789

  700. Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 6:56 PM | Permalink

    The January 2008 UAH anomaly is in (-0.04C). I’ll post an updated plot shortly.

  701. Pat Keating
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 7:08 PM | Permalink

    699 Eric

    and was a bit shocked by the touch down of a major twister in early Feb.

    In the late 1970s, we had big twister that touched down in February in Michigan, much further north. Climate must be getting gentler now…..

  702. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 7:20 PM | Permalink

    Re#695, actually, with wintry weather in the midwest and “balmy” weather in the east, I would expect some very rough stuff where those fronts meet. I’d say the combination of events makes perfect sense, rather than to suggest they are all wacky individual ones.

    There’s always silence on the issue of tornadic activity and AGW in down years. But if there’s a major event, or the year is young, someone will talk about it.

  703. Eric McFarland
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 7:27 PM | Permalink

    Who would you rather have a beer with … Mann … Steve Mc. … or the anomoly.

  704. Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 7:28 PM | Permalink

    Here is the updated UAH time series.

    We’re still a couple of months away from the model-predicted minimum of this La Nina. Since there is a two to five month lag between ENSO activity and global temperature we have more cool readings “in the pipeline”.

  705. John Lang
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 7:33 PM | Permalink

    So, if the January 1980 UAH satellite anomaly was +0.03C and the January 2008 anomaly is -0.044C, can we conclude there has been no global warming over the past 28 years ???

    Serious question because I work with numbers all day in my profession and I would make that argument. A trendline generated from the data would still say +0.14C per decade but a half-circle trendline saying +0.14C per decade is still a half circle of no increase in my book.

  706. eric mcfarland
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 8:24 PM | Permalink

    704 — like a riot … instead of a pack of individual nuts.

  707. steven mosher
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 9:00 PM | Permalink

    re 696. Weird. I’ve never had a triple.

  708. Francois Ouellette
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 9:19 PM | Permalink

    #706 David,

    What is the expected minimum? Or are you just referring to the timing of the minimum?

  709. bender
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 9:36 PM | Permalink

    #697

    You mean it bothers you that …

    Not at all.
    Just as McFarland’s idiotic addictions don’t bother me.
    As I said, I find it interesting. Revealing. That the noisiest alarmists are the ones least informed about the science.

    Say, you’re alarmed. Wanna buy some AGW insurance?

  710. Mike Davis
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 9:40 PM | Permalink

    Dan:
    RC did a book review on the book. Should be a good SF story jusy like AIT

  711. eric mcfarland
    Posted Feb 6, 2008 at 11:10 PM | Permalink

    711: Lest we forget … Crassus.

  712. Posted Feb 7, 2008 at 1:42 AM | Permalink

    John Lang says:
    February 6th, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    A trendline generated from the data would still say +0.14C per decade but a

    Which is what the Hadcrut SSTs have been saying since 1910 (with a couple of excursions). If you consider that the oceans are 75% of the surface, that isn’t really surprising.

    Just think of all the money we could save if we just calibrated the SSTs and used them. No satellites, no huge university departments, no vast model runs…

    It’s .14 deg/decade from now on, once the world has got back onto the trend line.

    JF

    JF

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,118 other followers

%d bloggers like this: