## Road Map #3

Opinions expressed on Climate Audit, other than those expressed by Stephen McIntyre personally, are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Climate Audit or myself.

A Concern: Ken Fritsch makes the following comment:

While your efforts to avoid the implication of censoring of opposing views should be commended, I am not a little distracted by the noise levels that I find come from (a) personal debates that frequently do not add to the knowledge base of the specific topic at hand, (b) posters who seem to come to the discussion with the intent of having their feelings hurt or to uncover evidence of a bias towards them and/or people with their points of view, (c ) posters who raise to the bait of these posters and thus contribute to wasted space (ad hominem ad infinitum), (d) posters who merely seem to want to let skeptics and agnostics know at every opportunity that the circumstantial case is closed on AGW and only fools would question what they surmise to be an overwhelming and proven consensus from the climate scientists, (e) those who make their personal cases against AGW with little or no evidence to back it up and (f) those who seem to want to show that they can turn your efforts as a critic of some sometimes sloppy and vague climate science publishing back on you.

There are lots of places in the world where people can discuss general issues of AGW, but not many places where technical discussions of proxies can take place. I’m getting really tired of technical threads getting hijacked. If there’s a thread on Lago Paco Cocha or Quelccaya Plant Deposits or a technical topic, please do not hijack for general fuming. If anyone wants to vent, vent on the National Post Op Ed sort of thread and stay away from the technical threads. In order to encourage this, I am warning that I may start deleting off-topic posts on the technical threads. Yeah, yeah, I’m sure that somebody will claim that they are being censored, but I’m going to try it and see if the noisiness will reduce.

Caveat:
Third-party posts do not reflect my personal views or the views of this site.

Posting Suggestions: You can insert images into posts – see instructions here. For adventurous people, you can insert Latex commands for math formulae.

Some Site Rules: I have previously said that I have total contempt for the censoring of scientific comments at realclimate and do not do that here. However, light moderation opens the door for ad homs and taunting, which quickly involves everybody. I don’t have time to monitor everything so my handling of taunting has been inconsistent: sometimes I’ve let it go because the person is just making a fool of themself, sometimes I’ve got fed up and deleted it. A reader has written with the following suggested ground rules which are hereby adopted:

Blogs like this one provide a wonderful opportunity to people like me (a retired scientist) to get involved in an ongoing debate and it is very disappointing when the debate generates into one of these slanging matches. May I suggest some ground rules for posts:

1. Refrain from personal abuse and swearing,
2. Never attribute ulterior motives to another participant
3. Be patient with people who know less science or maths than you do yourself.

People who consistently break rule 1 and 2 should be issued with a yellow card by the moderator. If they continue they get a red card and are banned from the site.

While there’s a little politics from time to time, by and large, I would prefer that you don’t talk politics; there are plenty of other perfectly good places to do that. I don’t allow discussion of religion and will mark anything even close as spam.

New Posters: You sometimes get tripped up in our spam filter. Unfortunately in today’s world, a blog like this gets attacked by hundreds of spams a day and they are screened by a computer filter. Some of the things that the spam filter looks for is a sudden burst of activity from an unrecognized address; it may allow some posts through and then get triggered after a while and start rejecting posts. If one of your posts doesn’t go through, don’t keep sending them in; it just inflames the spam filter. If you have yahoo or hotmail address, the spam filter may also screen you. Sometimes people get filtered for reasons that I don’t understand. However, despite this, we are reliant on the spam filter. Contact us by email if you get caught up- see contact category at right.

The main topic here are the multiproxy studies of millennial climate, which is what I work on, with some discussion of climate models. I want to keep the focus fairly narrow as there are plenty of other places to talk about things and I think that sticking to a niche is a good idea.

This site used to be pretty easy to follow through, but it’s now sprawled out with lots of little nooks and crannies. Here’s a roadmap to the site, which covers quite a bit more than our criticisms of MBH.

The Categories bar at the side is quite useful in reflecting what I think are the main themes here. Most posts that I wrote in the spring are just as topical (or untopical) now as they were then. Feel free to revive any of them. It’s also surprising what you can find on google. If you do “climateaudit” and any any other word, you can usually find an old post. You can find our articles on the right frame.

A recent exposition to the NAS panel is here.
(It’s surprising how high we get on google even on topics like “briffa climate” or “mann climate” or even other oddities like “preisendorfer”.)

Obviously, the main calling card is the critique of the Hockey Stick diagram of Mann, Bradley and Hughes (MBH), that was featured in the IPCC Third Assessment Report and many government publications.

If you go to the Articles sidebar, there are links to our formal publications. Ross has written an overview also linked there, that many people like.

My own short-form summary of our views on MBH98 is this. MBH98 made 5 main warranties: statistical skill, robustness, careful proxy selection, appropriate methodology and relatively even geographical balance. These warranties were fundamental to its acceptance. (My background is in business and I think in contract terms.) All their warranties have been breached. Their reconstruction failed critical cross-validation tests (we have publicized the R2 failure, but it fails others as well); it is not robust the presence/absence of bristlecone pines; the supposedly carefully proxies included bristlecone growth, which specialists say is contaminated by 20th century fertilization; their methodology includes a wildly biased “principal components” methodology (which is not actually a principal components method). The hockey stick is an imprint of bristlecone growth rate and reflects a non-temperature proxy from an isolated geographic region of the U.S.A. Again read through the articles and the exact language there should be preferred to this short re-statement.

There has been extensive coverage -see News and Commentary – the most notable of which are the profiles by Natuurwetenschap & Techniek (translated into English) and the front page coverage by the Wall Street Journal – but there has been extensive coverage elsewhere in Science, Nature, The Economist, National Post and European newspapers. Listings here are by no means complete. There have been two published Comments – one by von Storch and Zorita and one by Huybers, both of which we made detailed (and IMHO) complete Replies. realclimate has also criticized our critique on numerous occasions. If you go to the Category – MBH98, you’ll see some of our direct responses to realclimate at Errors Matter #1, # 2 and #3. The House Committee on Energy and Commerce (Barton Committee) has taken an interest in these matters and it has a Category as well.

One of the “so what”s sent our way is that the other multiproxy studies show the “same thing” and so, even if MBH is wrong, it “doesn’t matter”. I’m not convinced that these other studies are much good either. I’ve posting comments about these studies from time to time. Again go to the category Other Multiproxy Studies and there are subcategories for several of the major studies. There is a fantastic amount of overlap of authors and proxies, so that these other studies are not “independent” as ordinary people understand the term and their findings of the relative position of the Medieval Warm Period and the 20th century are very vulnerable to the bristlecones and Polar Urals series being unusable.

I’ve collected information on individual proxy series (see Category), which I’ve posted up from time to time e.g. on bristlecones, on Thompson’s ice cores, etc.

I’ve also started to make posts on statistical topics that I think are relevant: “spurious” regression as this is understood in econometrics (where there is a much more advanced understanding of autocorrelation than exists in paleoclimate); some posts on ARMA time series – I’m interested in ARMA(1,1) processes with AR1 coefficients >0.9, which are characteristic of many processes and have some odd statistical properties.

I have an ongoing campaign to improve standards of data archiving, disclosure and due diligence -(see Category) – which are independent of any particular substantive points on paleoclimate studies. I have no idea why the “Hockey Team”, as they styled themselves, have elected to withhold data and methods from scrutiny; it’s an unwinnable position, but they’ve done so and I’ll continue to criticize them on this point.

Sometimes I lapse into controversy, mostly after I’ve been slagged in print somewhere, but I try to stay cheerful.

As to your host, I’m pretty good at answering many questions, but have difficulty answering the question: what am I? No two public descriptions of my occupation are the same. I studied mathematics at university in a fine undergraduate program at the University of Toronto and was very competitive at it. My skills, as refreshed, are more than sufficient for what I’m doing. I’ve been in business nearly all my working life, most recently in financing and promoting mineral exploration projects. That gives you a lot of experience in the school of hard knocks and that counts for a lot in my opinion. (One of my underlying themes is that disclosure standards for climate scientists should be at least as high as that required of mining promoters.) One public mineral exploration company with which I was involved underwent a reverse takeover and became an oil exploration company (when I ceased to be an officer and director of the company.) I’ve done a very small amount of business consulting for it, but no energy consultant would call me an “energy consultant”, nor would I describe myself as one. In terms of occupation, right now, this is what I’m doing. No one’s paying me to do this and there is a substantial opportunity cost for me personally in doing this, but I enjoy it and can afford to do it for a while. (Given that our work has attracted enough interest that public funds have been employed to criticize it, I see no a priori reason why I should do it for nothing and make no long-term commitment to wear a hair shirt.)

I like the feedback. So look at the Categories to crosscut the sprawl here. I’m amazed at the number of hits that the blog receives. It seems to have found a niche and I’m amazed at some of the people who have found it. I particularly welcome the comments and feedback. Lots of hits are for that exchange rather than for me and, if I didn’t get the feedback, I wouldn’t keep up the blog.

1. Steve McIntyre
Posted Oct 20, 2006 at 8:02 AM | Permalink

Comments to this thread are viewed as temporary and will be cleaned up from time to time and thus this can be used for transient comments and suggestions.

2. Posted Nov 23, 2006 at 5:03 AM | Permalink

Because of a server configuration issue, I’ve had to delete all bar one of the comments in this thread. Hopefully nobody was making notes for the next Nobel Prize in here….

3. Lee
Posted Nov 23, 2006 at 11:06 AM | Permalink

Steve,

I am not a new poster to CA, and yet, I got caught (again, and again, and again) in your spam filter. Amazingly enough, it happened shortly after JohnA and I got into it on another site. Every post I made after that, until late last night, was trapped. This in spite of my email informing you – and several posts by you here for hours after I sent that email. This is spite of posts by JohnA well after that. Now that you have released thsoe posts, several of them have remained censored – some substantive, some direct responses to statements or claims made about me, which have NOT been censored.

Personally, I’m amused by the transparency of this – but its worth a comment here.

4. Steve McIntyre
Posted Nov 23, 2006 at 11:11 AM | Permalink

Lee, I did not receive an email from you. We are hit by hundreds of spam messages a day and I don’t have time to pick through them.

5. Lee
Posted Nov 23, 2006 at 11:17 AM | Permalink

Steve, I sent the email to the exact same address I’ve sent previous emails to you. It did not bounce.

6. Steve McIntyre
Posted Nov 23, 2006 at 11:46 AM | Permalink

Well, I didn’t receive it. Why – I don’t know. As you well know, I give lots of latitude to you here and would appreciate a little simple politeness from you now and again.

7. Lee
Posted Nov 23, 2006 at 1:37 PM | Permalink

Steve – when you and JohnA start to enforce or even make requests for politeness in the statements aimed at me and others who are out the mainstream on this blog, I will start to take seriously your requests for me to temper responses.

8. David Smith
Posted Nov 23, 2006 at 2:34 PM | Permalink

Proxy, I believe you asked a question on another thread about temperature trends. I can’t find that thread, so I’ll put some data here on the Road Map.

Here is the chart of Jan-Oct global surface temperature from NOAA. Looks like 2001 YTD and 2006 YTD are about the same.

More data (satellite, balloon, etc) is given here . This is from the Junk Science website, which is considered a partisan site, but it is a nice collection from many sources and I’ve seen no evidence of it being wrong. Also, the website does a pretty good job of keeping it updated.

Overall, to me it looks like no-trend in temperature since the first half of 2001, about 5 1/2 years ago. If “this century” is defined as starting on January 1, 2001 (the standard definition) then bender’s statement about no temperature rise so far this century is reasonably close.

9. Lee
Posted Nov 23, 2006 at 4:43 PM | Permalink

Cherry picking short parts of a longer time series is inherently flawed. “This century” casues examination of only a small part of a longer time series.

10. Jean S
Posted Nov 23, 2006 at 6:45 PM | Permalink

FYI: Jari Holopainen: Reconstructions of past climates from documentary and natural sources in Finland since the 18th century, Doctoral dissertation, University of Helsinki, 24.11.2006.

Secondly, early meteorological observations from Tornio (1737-1749) and Ylitornio (1792-1838) were used to study the temporal behaviour of the climate-tree growth relationship during the past three centuries in northern Finland. Analyses showed that the correlations between ring widths and mid-summer (July) temperatures did not vary significantly as a function of time. Early (June) and late summer (August) mean temperatures were secondary to mid-summer temperatures in controlling the radial growth. According the dataset used, there was no clear signature of temporally reduced sensitivity of Scots pine ring widths to mid-summer temperatures over the periods of early and modern meteorological observations.

No divergence problem in Scots pine trees in Lapland?

Thirdly, plant phenological data with tree-rings from south-west Finland since 1750 were examined as a palaeoclimate indicator. The information from the fragmentary, partly overlapping, partly nonsystematically biased plant phenological records of 14 different phenomena were combined into one continuous time series of phenological indices. The indices were found to be reliable indicators of the February to June temperature variations. In contrast, there was no correlation between the phenological indices and the precipitation data. Moreover, the correlations between the studied tree-rings and spring temperatures varied as a function of time and hence, their use in palaeoclimate reconstruction is questionable. The use of present tree-ring datasets for palaeoclimate purposes may become possible after the application of more sophisticated calibration methods.

11. Willis Eschenbach
Posted Nov 23, 2006 at 9:24 PM | Permalink

Lee, you say:

I am not a new poster to CA, and yet, I got caught (again, and again, and again) in your spam filter.

What were the symptoms of being caught by the spam filter? Did you get a page that said “Forbidden …”?

w.

12. Willis Eschenbach
Posted Nov 23, 2006 at 11:19 PM | Permalink

NEW EOS PAPER

Well, the usual folks are at it again. There’s been a recent meeting called “Past Millennia Climate Variability: Proxy Based Reconstructions, Modeling and Methodology”¢’¬?Synthesis and Outlook.” It was held in Wengen, Switzerland.

Now, you might think that there would be some mention in the report of such a meeting of the difficulties we have discussed here at length, including the problems with the reconstructions of the past thousand years. But you have to realize that the people reporting about the meeting were

MICHAEL E. MANN, Department of Meteorology,
Pennsylvania State University, University Park;
E-mail: mann@meto.psu.edu; KEITH R. BRIFFA AND
PHILIP D. JONES, Climatic Research Unit, University
of East Anglia, Norwich, U.K.; THORSTEN KIEFER
AND CHRISTOPH KULL, PAGES International Project
Office, Bern, Switzerland; AND HEINZ WANNER, University
of Bern, Switzerland.

13. Steve McIntyre
Posted Nov 23, 2006 at 11:36 PM | Permalink

Here’s what Mann, Briffa and Jones said –

The group recognized that additional effort is needed in the archiving of paleoclimate data and associated metadata. Such efforts, which logically should be coordinated by the international world data centers (such as the World Data Center for Paleoclimatology, http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo), will require international cooperation. Additionally, the group agreed on the importance of encouraging scientists to provide not just the proxy data and climate reconstructions, but as much information as possible about random and systematic error associated with them, to allow a better quantification of inescapable uncertainty. Such information is crucial, for example, in comparisons of paleoclimate evidence with model simulation results. http://www.agu.org/journals/eo/eo0647/2006EO470005.pdf#anchor

What intolerable cheek. Imagine Jones and Briffa and Mann daring to say something like this, given their obstruction and obfuscation.

14. Willis Eschenbach
Posted Nov 24, 2006 at 12:46 AM | Permalink

NEW EOS PAPER

Well, the usual folks are at it again. There’s been a recent meeting called “Past Millennia Climate Variability: Proxy Based Reconstructions, Modeling and Methodology”¢’¬?Synthesis and Outlook.” It was held in Wengen, Switzerland. The meeting was organized by the international joint Past Global Changes/Climate Variability and Predictability (PAGES/CLIVAR) intersection working group in concert with the PAGES office in Bern, Switzerland. A report of the meeting is in the November 21, 2006 issue of EOS.

It was an “invitation only” meeting … I guess Steve M’s invite must have gotten lost in the mail … but I digress.

Now, you might think that there would be some mention in the report of such a meeting of the difficulties we have discussed here at length, including the problems with the reconstructions of the past thousand years. But you have to realize that the people reporting about the meeting were the organizers of the meeting, viz:

MICHAEL E. MANN, Department of Meteorology,
Pennsylvania State University, University Park;
E-mail: mann@meto.psu.edu; KEITH R. BRIFFA AND
PHILIP D. JONES, Climatic Research Unit, University
of East Anglia, Norwich, U.K.; THORSTEN KIEFER
AND CHRISTOPH KULL, PAGES International Project
Office, Bern, Switzerland; AND HEINZ WANNER, University
of Bern, Switzerland.

Ummmm …

So what were some of the conclusions? Shockingly, the first one was:

“⠠Late twentieth century warming appears
to be anomalous in the context of the past
1000 years at hemispheric scales. There is
evidence for periods of cooling and warming
that occur on all timescales and on all
spatial scales.

I know you were as surprised as I was … typically, there’s no mention of whether it’s the speed or the spatial extent or the amount of the warming that is “anomalous”, or any quantification of “anomalous”.

They also said:

It was shown that the widely used
term “Medieval Warm Period’ simply is not
an appropriate description of medieval climate
in many regions of the world. Coral
data for the tropical Pacific, for example,
suggest a “Medieval Cool Period.’

“It was shown” … say what? How was it “shown”? Unfortunately, the report sayeth not. Pesky “Medieval Warm Period” just refuses to die … but they’ve gone further than that, now they’re proposing a “Medieval Cool Period”.

Further research shows that this conclusion is based on a single unpublished PhD Thesis, The Medieval Cool Period And The Little Warm Age In The Central Tropical Pacific? Fossil Coral Climate Records Of The Last Millennium, Cobb et al. Notice the question mark in the title? It’s because the authors of the report merely suggest the possibility of a cool period at Palmyra in the 14th century. They say “relatively cool, dry conditions may have persisted early in the millennium” … well, yes, they may have … or they may not have …

So, being a naturally curious guy, I looked at the data, which is available here:

Oh, hey, that’s enough for me, an unpublished paper with that kind of data is plenty to overthrow the idea of a Medieval Warm Period …

But you do have to admire these guys balls lack of a sense of irony … one of their recommendations was:

The group recognized that additional effort
is needed in the archiving of paleoclimate
data and associated metadata. Such efforts,
which logically should be coordinated by
the international world data centers (such
as the World Data Center for Paleoclimatology,
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo), will
require international cooperation. Additionally,
the group agreed on the importance of
encouraging scientists to provide not just the
proxy data and climate reconstructions, but
as much information as possible about random
and systematic error associated with
them, to allow a better quantification of inescapable
uncertainty. Such information is crucial,
for example, in comparisons of paleoclimate
evidence with model simulation results.

Oh, I see. We’d really like to archive our data, but we can’t, because it would require “coordination” and “international cooperation” … and we won’t recommend archiving code, that would be far too much.

w.

PS – They also talk about an upcoming “Paleoclimate Reconstruction Challenge”, and say:

Further information [about the Challenge] is
available at http://www.pagesigbp.org/
science/initiatives/challenge

Unfortunately, the website doesn’t exist …

15. RichardT
Posted Nov 24, 2006 at 4:07 AM | Permalink

#13
Try
http://www.pages-igbp.org/science/initiatives/challenge/
for the Palaeoclimate Reconstruction Challenge

16. Steve Bloom
Posted Nov 24, 2006 at 4:13 AM | Permalink

Re #13: As an adjunct member of the International Climatological Conspiracy (TM), I am authorized to inform Willis that the web address needs a hyphen between pages and igbp. It is preferred that you retrieve a suitable hyphen from the CENSORED directory, but if you’re pressed for time I suppose you can just type it in. You’re welcome.

17. Willis Eschenbach
Posted Nov 24, 2006 at 4:20 AM | Permalink

Steve, thank you most kindly, I laughed out loud, made my evening.

w.

18. Larry Huldén
Posted Nov 24, 2006 at 4:23 AM | Permalink

International Climatological Conspiracy ”€ž⠠
should be spelled
International Climatological Conspiracy

19. Proxy
Posted Nov 24, 2006 at 5:39 AM | Permalink

Re #8 David Smith – yes thanks for replying to my point over in the section ‘Gore Gored: Monckton replies’. The data in Figure 1 of Hansen et al (2006) shows a 0.3°C +/- 0.05 (2 sigma) increase in global surface temperatures between 2000 and 2005. Given that it’s based on high quality current data from satellite and ground stations, this strongly contradicts claims that there has been no warming this century.

20. David Smith
Posted Nov 24, 2006 at 7:36 AM | Permalink

Re #18 The data is based on land stations and (probably) satellite determination of SST. I think the satellite SST data is good but I’m not so sure about the land data. Land data needs to go through some kind of adjustment for urbanization effects, and I think that usually requires some years of comparative data.

I think that bender’s statement is that temperatures “this century” have not risen. Since a century begins on the first day of 2001, and we’re now in November, 2006, one could argue that 2000 data is not included and that one should include Jan-Oct 2006 data. It’s semantics.

21. Willis Eschenbach
Posted Nov 24, 2006 at 7:38 AM | Permalink

Re #18, Proxy, Hansen always uses GISS data. This data is maintained by Hansen, who seems to push every possible angle to get the record higher. Among other things, the paper says

Our analysis includes estimated temperature anomalies up to 1,200 km from the nearest measurement station

In other words, they’re claiming that they can tell you the temperature in New York if they know the temperature in Atlanta.

Right …

A more reasonable assessment of the temperature is the HadCRUT3 temperature series. This shows a net change in global temperature from 2000 to 2005 (inclusive) of 0.19°C ±0.13°C (2 std .dev.), p = 0.01, statistically different from 0.

The UAH MSU data shows a rise during that time of 0.23°C ±0.22°C, p = 0.06, not statistically different from 0.

Finally, the GISS data is here. It shows a rise of 0.24°C ±0.18°C, p = 0.02, statistically different from 0.

A couple of things are of note here:

1) Statistically, the 2000-2005 ground data is only slightly different from zero, and the satellite data is not different from 0.

2) None of the three datasets shows a rise since 2001 which is statistically different from zero. (MSU and HadCRUT are ~0.06°±0.10°, GISSTEMP is 0.10° ±0.17°)

3) As expected, the GISS dataset shows the largest rise.

Why are the temperature changes 2001-2005 not statistically different from zero? Three reasons. 1) The temperature rises are small. 2) The period is short 3) The datasets are autocorrelated. This third point is very important, as autocorrelation can greatly increase the standard error of the trend.

So. Is there any temperature rise this century? Depends. Ground data says yes, a very small rise, but satellite data says no. Pays your money … takes your choices.

My best to you,

w.

22. Steve McIntyre
Posted Nov 24, 2006 at 7:58 AM | Permalink

#13. Willis, on regarding Kim Cobb’s Medieval Cool Period, look at my post here: http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=770 . Here data is alternatively explained by a very slight northward movement of the ITCZ in the MWP.

23. Proxy
Posted Nov 24, 2006 at 12:19 PM | Permalink

Re #19 #20 David and Willis – thank you both for taking the time to clarify and expand on my comment about the reported global surface temperature rise this century, obviously I have much more reading to do!

24. Brooks Hurd
Posted Nov 24, 2006 at 2:56 PM | Permalink

Re: 15, Steve B.
Since you are

an adjunct member of the International Climatological Conspiracy

perhaps your membership in this prestigous organization would allow your request to Dr. Jones to be honored.

Therefore, could you be so kind as to request Dr. Jones to archive his data. Assume that this:

The group recognized that additional effort is needed in the archiving of paleoclimate data and associated metadata.

represents Dr. Jones’ opinion since he was one of the participants at the meeting covering “Past Millennia Climate Variability: Proxy Based Reconstructions, Modeling and Methodology”¢’¬?Synthesis and Outlook” which agreed that additional archiving was needed.

25. Hans Erren
Posted Nov 24, 2006 at 6:03 PM | Permalink

re 20:

Willis, surely you are not serious calculating a climate trend based on six years?

Furthermore there is a good correlation of annual average temperature over a distance of 1125 km, found by me in Europe and by Polyakov in the arctic.

26. Hans Erren
Posted Nov 24, 2006 at 6:06 PM | Permalink

re 20:
So. Is there any temperature rise this century? Depends. Ground data says yes, a very small rise, but satellite data says no. Pays your money … takes your choices.

Update 10 Nov 2006 from John Christy and Roy Spencer

Notice that data products are back to version 5.2 for LT and 5.1 for MT and LS.

We had hoped to solve the inconsistencies between NOAA-15 and NOAA-16 by this time, but we are still working on the problem. The temperature data for LT and MT are diverging, and we had originally thought that the main error lay with NOAA-15. However, after looking closely, there is evidence that both satellites have calibration drifts. We will assume, therefore, that the best guess is simply the average of the two. This is what is represented in LT 5.2, MT 5.1 and LS 5.1. These datasets have had error statistics already published, so we shall stick with these datasets for a few more months until we get to the bottom of the calibration drifts in the AMSUs. However, the error statistics only cover the period 1978 – 2004. The last two years cover the period where the two AMSUs are drifting apart, so caution is urged on the most recent data.

http://www.john-daly.com/

27. Willis Eschenbach
Posted Nov 24, 2006 at 7:11 PM | Permalink

Steve M, I should have known that there would already be a thread here about the Cobb coral results, how foolish of me.

With only scattered data from five historical periods, each separated by a couple of centuries without data, I’m very doubtful that there is much that can be concluded from the Cobb study. In particular, I wouldn’t claim a “Medieval Cool Period” on the basis of the data. I’ll have another look at it, though, and post my results on the Cobb thread.

w.

28. Steve McIntyre
Posted Nov 24, 2006 at 7:49 PM | Permalink

Willis, there’s circumstantial evidence for the ITCZ being further north in the MWP. I thought that this was rather a neat interpretation of the Cobb corals and much more consistent with the evidence.

29. jae
Posted Nov 24, 2006 at 8:26 PM | Permalink

“Sun-worshiping jae” votes for x=0.1, based on the Idsos’ experiments.

30. Willis Eschenbach
Posted Nov 24, 2006 at 9:42 PM | Permalink

Hans, thank you for your post in #24. You say:

Willis, surely you are not serious calculating a climate trend based on six years?

Furthermore there is a good correlation of annual average temperature over a distance of 1125 km, found by me in Europe and by Polyakov in the arctic.

1) Well, since the question was whether we’ve had warming in the 21st century, how else can you do it other than to calculate a trend? As I pointed out, the reason that the trends are just barely significant is because the dataset is so short …

2) The r^2 between Atlanta and New York temperatures is 0.27°C. RMS error is 0.56°C.

The r^2 between a straight line and New York temperature is 0.25. The r^2 between a straight line and Atlanta is 0.83.

So while some stations that are 1200 km apart might show “good correlation”, half a degree error and doing no better than a straight line comparing Atlanta and New York doesn’t impress me much.

Finally, while there may be good correlation between Atlanta and New York, we have data for both of those. What we are attempting to do is to predict a temperature without having data from one of the points. While this can be done, the correlation will obviously not be as good as between known stations.

The way it is done is to calculate some kind of temperature field involving all of the nearby stations. In the simplest case, you’d use the average of two stations on each side of the unknown station, and 1200 km apart … I’m sure you see the problem. If we take the average temperature of say Sacramento and Lake Tahoe to try to determine the temperature of an unknown station in between, we’ll get a terribly wrong answer. Why? Because there’s high mountains in between, and the three stations (two known, one unknown) are all in very different climate regimes …

My best to you,

w.

31. jae
Posted Nov 25, 2006 at 12:46 PM | Permalink

oops, forgot my error estimate in my #28: x = 0.1 +/- 0.1.

32. jae
Posted Nov 25, 2006 at 1:08 PM | Permalink

More sun worshiping here.

33. Hans Erren
Posted Nov 25, 2006 at 4:33 PM | Permalink

re 29:
considering the global temperature was nearly as high as 1998 without a significant el nino in place I’d say we have significant warming in the 21st century.

34. Willis Eschenbach
Posted Nov 25, 2006 at 6:10 PM | Permalink

Hans, I just gave you the actual calculations from HadCRUT3 and the UAH MSU, exactly quantifying the warming, and showing that the surface warming 2000-2005 inclusive was significant (p = 0.01), that the 2000-2005 troposphere warming was not significant (p = 0.06), and that the warming 2001-2005 was not significant at all. These had nothing to do with the El Nino.

Could you put some numbers on your claim in #32, and identify the source of your data?

Many thanks,

w.

35. Hans Erren
Posted Nov 25, 2006 at 7:11 PM | Permalink

Please compare el nino years and warming. The temperature of the last five years is anomalously high in an absence of el nino, what so difficult about that?

please check for an analasys of volv=canic solar and el nino and derived trends:
Douglass, David H, B. David Clader, and R.S. Knox , 2004, Climate sensitivity of Earth to solar irradiance: update. Physics, abstract physics/0411002.

http://citebase.eprints.org/cgi-bin/citations?id=oai:arXiv.org:physics/0411002

In short, even a flat line between 2000 and now doesn’t say anything unless you compare it with El nino and solar activity.

36. Posted Nov 25, 2006 at 11:54 PM | Permalink

The number of famous enough people listed as skeptics on Wikipedia has jumped from 70 or so to 105 today:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Global_warming_skeptics

37. David Smith
Posted Nov 26, 2006 at 3:02 PM | Permalink

Here is a goofball site I stumbled across while doing some tornado reading. I have no idea who writes this stuff. It appeals to my lukewarmer, we’re-gonna-be-OK inclination.

38. Hans Erren
Posted Nov 26, 2006 at 3:19 PM | Permalink

Somewhere in an office about 600 miles southwest of here, former NASA scientist Roy W. Spencer is laughing. The 50-year-old, white-haired PhD dreamed up the spoof site — sort of the Onion meets the Weather Channel — because he thinks people are overreacting to the threat of climate change.
Now a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama at Huntsville, Spencer says human activities have “likely” contributed to climate change, but he argues that “since we do not understand natural climate fluctuations, we don’t really know how much, quantitatively, of the present warmth is man-made versus natural.”
Spencer describes his Web site as “a spur-of-the moment effort that resulted from the increasing number of news stories that quoted people who blamed global warming for events such as tsunamis and the latest flood, drought or hurricane. . . . Also, I have a somewhat twisted sense of humor, and the Web site gives me an additional creative outlet.” His other creative outlet: He’s lead guitarist in a contemporary Christian rock band at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Huntsville. (His environmentalist-mocking alternative lyrics to Supertramp’s “Give a Little Bit”: “I’ll take a little bit, I’ll take a little bit of your wealth from you/So give a little bit, oh, give a little more than a dime to me.”)
It’s all a way of keeping his sanity, Spencer explains.
“Being in the minority is difficult,” he says, adding that while he now earns a small amount of money writing for TCS Daily, a Web site funded in part by ExxonMobil, “I have always said, if you want to make money in this business, the skeptics’ side is not the side you want to work on.”
His Web site has maintained a relatively low profile. Spencer was on two nationally syndicated AM talk radio shows in early March, leading to 150,000 page views that month, but things have trailed off; EcoEnquirer got about 43,000 page views the first three weeks of this month.
So it’s just a fun thing. Well, mostly. “I was surprised at the number of people that thought the EcoEnquirer stories were real”

http://www.sepp.org/Archive/weekwas/2006/May%2027.htm

39. David Smith
Posted Nov 26, 2006 at 4:01 PM | Permalink

RE #38 Thanks, I had never heard of that. I especially liked #7, suing the Vatican for allowing so darn many Acts of God.

I was Googling tornadoes, to see what is written about tornadoes and global warming. This chart has to be an inviting target, as it matches well with the increase in CO2. It would make a fantastic scareplot.

Tornado trivia: what do the Kansas tornado in The Wizard of Oz and the hurricane in Al Gore’s movie promotion have in common?

40. Lee
Posted Nov 26, 2006 at 4:07 PM | Permalink

checking to see if I can post yet

41. KevinUK
Posted Nov 26, 2006 at 5:24 PM | Permalink

#39 DS

Are they both special effects that provided you follow the Yellow (Green) Brick Road lead to the Emerald (Green) City?

There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home……

KevinUK

42. Posted Nov 26, 2006 at 5:30 PM | Permalink

Hans Erren #38: Ecoenquirer.com is cute and everyone should look! On the other hand, this fun must become annoying when Roy Spencer sees all those people who think it’s real because they keep on reading almost exactly equally absurd stories in the newspapers that are sold as completely serious ones.

Years ago I created a web page

http://www.physics.rutgers.edu/~motl/

claiming I was an ET alien who learned Czech, and how the chemistry of our life works, and so forth. The first 5 messages from the people who were trying to meet an alien were fun. But after I was contacted by 20 of such people, the entertainment slowly transformed into frustration. Is this is where the type of thinking of the mankind is going?

43. David Smith
Posted Nov 26, 2006 at 6:41 PM | Permalink

Re #39 Both Al Gore’s hurricane and Dorothy’s tornado spin the wrong way (for the Northern Hemisphere). Disappointing, as I expected The Wizard of Oz to have higher standards than that.

44. brent
Posted Nov 26, 2006 at 11:15 PM | Permalink

Scientist sees gap in state’s water plan

The plan, approved by the Texas Water Development Board, aims to meet a water shortfall estimated at 8.8 million acre-feet by the year 2060, when, according to projections, the state’s population will have more than doubled.

But Gerald North, a Texas A&M University geosciences professor, said the plan doesn’t adequately take into account climate changes that could raise temperatures, decrease rainfall and cripple the state’s rivers.

This year, North led a panel convened by the National Academy of Sciences that determined that the last few decades of the 20th century were warmer than any comparable period in the last 400 years.
http://tinyurl.com/y72uo8

Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 8:47 AM | Permalink

Continuing my ongoing critique of US NWS long lead forecast models ….

NWS prog for Western USA:
A-S-O: Warm, S-O-N: Warm, O-N-D: Warm

Actuals to date:
A – Cool
S – Cold
O – Normal
N – Est. Normal

Which gives as 90 day actuals:
A-S-O: Cool, S-O-N: Cool, O-N-D: Est. Normal

By the way, I had commented last week on the other de facto Road Map thread that out here on the West Coast our warmish inversion dominated foggy mid November was highly reminiscent of the typical “Halcyon Days” pattern which we often get between mid December and New Year’s Day. Indeed, over the past few days, that pattern has broken quite dramatically and we are now in a bona fide Siberia Express pattern, experiencing a borderline low elevation snow event today here on the mid West Coast.

46. welikerocks
Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 9:23 AM | Permalink

I noticed on the RC blog that next to the comments link there is also a link to ” blog reactions” that goes to a search engine called “technorati” and finds all the discussions related to their blog postings now. Look out folks they are beefing up the consensus generator! LOL

Maybe if SteveM starts a counter related topic in relation to RC folks would be able to find CA that way-since they do not provide the link to CA at all on their side bar. Or maybe Climate Audit should be added to this “technorati” data base some how.

47. welikerocks
Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 9:25 AM | Permalink

#45 SS, down south here..and I am freezing! Temps have been in the the 40’s in the morning rising up to maybe the mid-seventies or so only to drop fast in the shade or as soon as the sun goes down.

48. welikerocks
Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 9:33 AM | Permalink

Oops sorry I meant mid sixties in #47, not seventies [maybe inland to the desert low seventies at high noon] 40’s is cold for a Southern California native!

49. Proxy
Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 9:46 AM | Permalink

Jerry Pournelle on nonsensical hockey stick analogies and why science has failed

50. Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 10:17 AM | Permalink

Re # 46 by welikerocks

I have a “Climate Science” alert on Google. My alert captures RC posts, but none from Climate Audit. I have often wonder why? If reporters are also using similar alerts, they would never see some of the debunking of RC post on CA. I would like to see more CA posts showing up in Google searches and Google news alerts. I wonder if John A can make some changes to CA that could capture more search engine attention? It would be nice to get more FACTS in the climate science news.

51. KevinUK
Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 12:14 PM | Permalink

#43

Maybe that’s because Hollywood film producers and politicians live in a parallel universe which is a mirror image of our own. Perhaps in that same parallel universe there is an organisation called ASAN with a department called SSIG that develops computer models that currently predict dangerous global cooling in the past based on a dodgy temperature reconstruction of the future produced by someone called Nnam that is the poster-child of an organisation called CCPI? And of course in this universe there are only negative climate feedbacks in the computer models.

KevinUK

52. Jean S
Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 1:05 PM | Permalink

HOLIVAR2006 Keynote Speakers’ presentations are online (RealPlayer):
http://www.holivar2006.org/abstracts/viewabstract.php

Includes:
Michael Mann: “Reconstructions of climate over the past two millennia”

There is an interesting drawing (someone (Steve?) breaking “hockey sticks”) around 7:15, does anyone know from where that is taken?

Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

“El Nino” in the Pacific Northwest …. a real dust bowl ….. ooops, I meant to write, a real powder bowl:

http://www.timberlinelodge.com/ski_ride/conditions.php

Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 2:52 PM | Permalink

More on El Nino in drag:

http://wwwa.accuweather.com/news-blogs.asp?partner=accuweather&traveler=0&blog=yeager

If I had no calendar I’d guess that it was late February 2006 …..

Snow to sea level in the Pacific Northwest, down in the 2000s here in Nocal.

55. Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 4:25 PM | Permalink

Hi, as a fish out of water, I am just jumping in.. so delete or direct

The Value of the Arnageddon Factor

The Armageddon Factor describes an induced tipping point, which is unnaturally caused by inadvertent but deliberate action by human beings.

Its natural consequences are overlooked until the insidious effects generated can not be stopped and human kind on the planet becomes doomed to extinction.

I consider a layer of anthropomorphic petroleum oil on the world’s seas to be a prime candidate for the Armageddon Factor. If this layer is thick enough, extinction of human kind could become a possibility. This is not fantasy.

Our task, your task, is to evaluate the Armageddon Factor, and we can do this by determining the evaporation rate of surface waters on this planet.

Once we know what state the world’s water bodies are in we can bring massive pressure to bear for change on the way the world is managed.

There will be massive forces against us. This site might be pulled from the net, so if anyone can create a net space to keep and co-ordinate results then we may succeed against all odds.

This Earth, this LIFE, our children are worth it.

>> Attention the World.

We are all on this hunk of rock, called the Earth, together, our fate is together and together we can go forward.

I request all of the citizens of humanity to engage is a little science experiment.

We are searching for the value of the Armageddon Factor and with your help we may be able to avert global calamity.

The Armageddon factor is outside of Nature for it is unnaturally caused.

It is caused by Nature’s highest LIFE form, human beings. It is initiated by a deliberate but seemingly innocuous act which through the Butterfly Effect over many years naturally leads to the extinction of species, and in this case human beings themselves.

The time line once set in motion is irreversible unless we can specifically defuse the time-bomb.

To do this we must first know what the value is of the Armageddon Factor.

What we want is for you to determine the rate of water evaporation from various water sources in your area. The data from sailors at sea would be very important as would be the values obtained using local coastal or lake water samples.

Equipment needed.

(a) Simple digital scales
(see below for the method without the use of scales.)

(b) a few prepared plastic bottles

Method

You will need a few of the same type of plastic drink bottle with a screw cap. These bottles should be clean and rinsed several times in tap water. Remove the base of each bottle.

The bottles are then labeled Id and used to collect water samples. They are weighed after the water sample has been collected, and this weight is recorded along with the Id of the bottle. This is the weight (bottle plus water) that is the starting point for your experiment, W1 at time T1. At time intervals (days) the weight of the water and bottle can be measured again, W2 at time T2.

Weight of sample lost W3 = weight of sample at T2 is W1 – weight of sample at T2 is W2.

To collect the water sample, first remove the screw cap, and immerse the whole bottle in the water to be sampled. bring the bottle to the surface of the water with the based uppermost and the screw cap end down. With the base slightly out of the water screw on the bottles cap. Remove the bottle out of the water, dry and label. The aim here is to capture the surface layer on the water intact.

What we will determine is the decrease of water evaporation rate between clean (no surface film) fresh water and the resident water in your area.

Set up the sample bottles in some exposed place where wind and sun can cause the water sample to evaporate. One bottle, called the control, should be filled with tap water (or rain water would give a better baseline).
The bottles with the samples will be upside down, so sit the bottles in wide mouth jars so the sample bottles can be stable when upright.

At 24 hour intervals, record the weight of each bottle.

Calculations

If you find the weight of water fresh water evaporated = 10 grams
and the weight of water evaporated from your sample was 5 grams
then the fresh water is given 100%
then sample% is 5/10 times 100 = 50% less water evaporated.

Any questions are welcome.

Once we know what the water evaporation rate is in your area (dams, river, sea etc) compared to clean fresh water we may be able to apply more pressure on the society to clean up its act.

Please report back with your results. The diameter of the water surface exposed to the atmosphere, together with the loss of water as weight in grams / day averaged, and the location and type of water in the sample, are the parameters we are looking for.

Always run a control test sample of tap water or better under the same conditions as other test samples otherwise the results you obtain for a sample will be useless.

Lets hope we can have an effect for good. Please tell others about our quest. We need the results of samples from everywhere.

Tin Can Method

The basic equipment to determine the value for the Armageddon factor using this method is a number of similar sized clean tin cans.

The cans are labeled, and filled with a water sample, and left for 24 hours. The height of the water is measured and recorded. The cans are left in the sun or wherever and a measurement of the water drop is repeated after a chosen number of days.

Alternately a mark for high water level and a mark for low water level, is made in a similar manner on the inside of each can. The sample is treated as above, left for 24 hours, and gently topped up to the high mark. The time taken for the water level to reach the low water mark is the result we want.

Always use a control of tap water with all the samples tested.

see omegafour.com

Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 6:23 PM | Permalink

RE: #55 – Tres bizarre!

57. David Smith
Posted Nov 27, 2006 at 7:19 PM | Permalink

Re #55 Het interesseren

58. Spence_UK
Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 11:17 AM | Permalink

FAO all geeky competitive nerds with too much time on their hands (okay that’s me then! Perhaps except for the time bit)

The 14th MATLAB programming contest will be hosted by The Mathworks, Inc. starting tomorrow (29th Nov). Link. (I know there are a number of MATLAB coders on this site!)

I’ve entered a couple of these in the past when I’ve had some spare time, quite entertaining. They set an np-complete puzzle and you have to write some code to solve it. The code is scored against time taken and some goodness of solution. My best is second place so not in the hall of fame yet!

Not sure if I’ll have a stab at this one yet. Trouble is, once you start it’s difficult to stop tweaking your solution… it can chew up an awful lot of time!

59. Lee
Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 11:19 AM | Permalink

I don’t know if it’s my end or a problem at CA, but I can’t load the “Monbiot v Monckton” article and comments. I get a blank page. Other articles seem fine. FYI, just in case it needs to be fixed at your end.

Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 11:21 AM | Permalink

RE: #59 – Me too, got a blank page. About 90 minutes ago, I was getting a “no input file specified” error from the server for the entire site.

61. Dave Dardinger
Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 11:48 AM | Permalink

Yep, the Monbiot v Monckton article is still on the blink. Just to be safe I modified another page ref to p=913 and nothing shows. Either the file name has been changed accidentally or something erased its contents. Though if the name had been changed I’d think some sort of error message would be displayed.

Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 12:45 PM | Permalink

RE: #61 – Looks like some sort of database problem. If the server is getting an error message from the database (Oracle?) then it will render it’s own message, but if the database simply hangs when trying to access page 913, then it is possible for there to be no error message. John A, are you available to investigate? Many thanks in advance.

Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 12:51 PM | Permalink

Some interesting inklings into the mindset of Schmidt and Mann, hot off the virtual presses, at RC:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/11/strawmen-on-greenland/

Maybe this will eventually merit its own thread? I am thinking specifically about calibration periods / methodologies and controveries therein.

64. welikerocks
Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

re: #63 there I go, and I click and sheesh; comment 20 there says:
“Wacki, information is on our side ONLY if it is seen. Most people who read World Climate Report do not read Real Climate. That, among other reasons, is why blogs such as Climate Audit are censored. In information warfare you use what tools you have.” -Eli Rabbit

I think the Hockey Teamers, and anybody who admires them, are as good as it gets in the Information Warfare Department.
Attack Attack Attack, Deny Deny Deny, Dismiss Dismiss Dismiss.
It actually makes us feel sick inside and very angry to watch these things unfold as they do and to read the same names over and over again at the heart of it

65. cbone
Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 2:12 PM | Permalink

re: #64: I read those earlier today too. I submitted a comment, lets see if it gets posted.

Basically it was:

“In information warfare you use what tools you have.”

Oh, I thought this was a science site. In Science, your theory has to actually withstand scruitny.
Censorship of that scruitny is not withstanding it.

66. Mark T
Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 2:18 PM | Permalink

someone at RC commenting that CA is censored? that’s a joke, right?

mark

67. Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 2:22 PM | Permalink

I know what the problem is, and its a server configuration issue. Basically the memory parameter for php is set to 8MB – which is fine on ordinary blogs, but causes a problem as the post+comments gets longer and longer. When it reaches ~200 comments its running very close to out of memory and ~215-220 comments it gives up.

The problem could be solved if the webhost were to change that parameter to 24MB or 32MB but something tells me that isn’t going to happen just for a weblog.

The other solution is go to a Virtual Private Server solution which would allow me to tune all of the parameters to the peculiar circumstances of this weblog. That costs C$40 per month, which would be covered by the Adsense revenue (though only just). What I’m going to do in the meantime is create an overflow post where the comments can continue, and move ~50 comments to it, while locking the original. 68. Hans Erren Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 2:24 PM | Permalink Realclimate is censored, climate audit is spamfiltered. http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=389 69. Mark T Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 2:56 PM | Permalink exactly. you’d think they’d try to hide their hypocrisy better than that. mark 70. Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 2:59 PM | Permalink Hans, However its done, whether by deliberate act of deletion or not allowing a comment from the queue or spam filtering or editing of comments or whatever, it can all be called censorship by someone. While the Universe remains in its current state, with finite resources and finite time, then there will be censorship. Freedom of speech is not absolute, and there are always reasons why censorship happens. Since this is Steve McIntyre’s private space that he pays for, he sets the rules on behavior on it. In turn, the rules of his speech are constrained by the webhost, and the webhost by the Canadian state. Speech which is deemed to be inappropriate, for reasons Steve has set out, will meet a consistent approach to whether its going to be hosted by Steve or not. Noticeably speech which is designed to be inflammatory will get moderated after the fact, no matter who it comes from (and I’ve fallen foul of it occasionally as well). Most people most of the time are not affected by the moderation here – only comments and commentators who like to push the envelope will find the envelope pushes back. 71. welikerocks Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 3:36 PM | Permalink #67 JohnA, you can delete my last comment to the topic that isn’t working-I tried to correct my self when I posted in the wrong area, and I bet my stupid long NYT article re: Greenland sent it over the edge with no memory-I need no reply for it any more and sorry!! Re: RC and Censorship Yeah but to act as if they are ‘squelshed’ having their say or getting the information out to the public then to read articles like this that come out daily: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15924353/site/newsweek/ I feel their complaining of censorship and being victims of it “in the information war” is over the top when you look at reality-I think they are acting a specific role on purpose-with an intent to confuse and foul waters IMHO. I’ve been censored on CA, and found I deserved it. If I really have something to say I will find a way to say it better and try again-and hey that works, go figure. Or I just drop it and later after I think about it I agree that option a good one, this does not happen often at all. Never ever been censored on topic or with science information and only problems I had with posting were technical browser stuff-all posts are up instantly in realtime. Posting at RC, first and only time via reading a speech by Michael Crichton I was totally censored and edited, my comment half posted out of context with inline comments, plus was also attacked and questioned by commentors, and given a sermon on the “real information, not the information Michael Crichton had” I was unable to respond-none of my responses were allowed, no matter the content, including links. In my post I questioned their reasons for hooking up with a political blog and granting “interviews”, and it was one of the most extreme political blogs on the internet, plus the mention of Michael Crichton set them off . (funny I didn’t say they weren’t allowed I just asked why? what’s this got to do with science?-they called me a whole bunch of sterotypes too, implying I was “of a paticular political party” they did not like apparently-hey whatever toots your horn, just let me answer you fair and square) 72. Proxy Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 4:35 PM | Permalink During his recent talk at HOLIVAR 2006, Michael Mann attempts to dismiss the evidence for the “best example of a misleading” historical proxy by trying to disprove that the English frost fairs that were held on the river Thames between the 15 and 17 centuries were due to unusually low temperatures. He claimed that the presence of the London Bridge acted as weir in the river and prevented salty water reaching past the bridge causing it to freeze over. Wikipedia also claims this, however the bridge was built in 1209 and it’s noted that the first frost fair wasn’t recorded until 400 years later in 1608. Furthermore “Henry VIII is said to have traveled all the way from central London to Greenwich by sleigh along the river during the winter of 1536” – note that Greenwich is 6 kms *downstream* of the bridge towards the sea. Mann also confuses the century in which the bridge was replaced. As Mann says “it’s very important to understand the details of these sorts of records before we use them to infer past climate conditions” 73. Lee Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 4:38 PM | Permalink re68- And some of us get caught in the spam filters time after time, in a given occurance often get re-caught several times, are often caught for several days at a time, have posts “lost’ when they get filtered into the spam queue – all this sometimes for days while the host has a message saying we are not being blocked – and at the same time that email exchanges are ongoing pointing out that we are still blocked and asking why. And somehow this never happens at any other WP-SK blog to which we post. To his credit, Steve does always eventually get me back – although I hear this isn’t true for all others – if sometimes after days of being filtered. I’ll be generous, and simply call it the most incompetent spam filter I’ve ever encountered. 74. Spence_UK Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 5:38 PM | Permalink Re #73 Lee, you must post dozens of times a day here. Perhaps that is the sort of activity can draw the attention of the spam filter. We know people who suddenly start posting frequently succumb to the filter (followed by lots of crying wolf). If you want an example of another incompetent spam filter, best ask why JF Beck claims his posts get held up at Deltoid for days before appearing… My experience of RealClimate was when I carefully crafted a thoughtful, reasoned scientific post. It didn’t just get held up, it never saw the light of day. If it had been more reactionary, or easily shot down, it would have been posted with an in-line comment telling me how stupid I was. Because it was difficult to answer, it just never appeared. I haven’t bothered putting the effort in again; why should I? It is easy to make one side of the debate seem foolish when you selectively choose posts like that. On the other hand, here people like Rob Wilson or Judith Curry make interesting counter points to Steve’s arguments, they are put up as head posts. Don’t think I’ve ever seen that sort of thing happen in RealClimate, and I suspect it never will. (Not likely to happen at places like Deltoid, etc., either…) 75. David Smith Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 7:44 PM | Permalink Brrrrrrrrr (link). Coming soon to a (North American) city near you! 76. Dave Dardinger Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 8:22 AM | Permalink John A, Looks like despite only having 177 comments Juckes and 99.98% has gone over the limit as nothing appears when you click on it. I feel this is going to get real old after a while. 77. Steve McIntyre Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 9:40 AM | Permalink Demetris Koutsoyannis, whose comments are always valued here, sent me an email that he had been blocked by the spam filter. That’s what I wish people would do. 78. Steve Sadlov Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 9:54 AM | Permalink There is a new feature, something like “Bad Behaviour Filter” – above and beyond the Spam Karma one – that feature was not there a few weeks ago. I wonder if that is the root cause of the database and posting problems? 79. Steve Sadlov Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 11:02 AM | Permalink The following appears to be a highly interesting paper: [Monster link redacted] I got this from Pielke Sr’s “Climate Science” blog. He and a few others have released a compendium of similar things which he describes in his most recent thread. 80. Steve Sadlov Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 11:05 AM | Permalink Sorry, that last URL appears to have been some sort of single use one. Instead, simply go to Pielke’s blog and click on the Van der Molen et al paper abstract link: http://climatesci.atmos.colostate.edu/2006/11/29/global-and-planetary-change-special-issue-land-useland-cover-change-and-its-impact-on-climate/ 81. Steve Sadlov Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 11:23 AM | Permalink Another intersting abstract: http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/94/16/8321 82. Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 12:30 PM | Permalink Any change to get http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=903 back? I’m not finished yet😉 (and 83. welikerocks Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 1:00 PM | Permalink Re #75: Weather report my part of the world: http://www.weather.com/weather/alerts/nswxcategory/CA Freeze and frost warnings as far down south as San Diego +high winds My town: Surf City, USA. is says: Today…Mostly sunny. Areas of blowing dust in the afternoon. Highs 61 to 68. Winds northeast 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 45 mph. Tonight…Mostly clear. Areas of blowing dust in the evening. Patchy frost after midnight. Colder. Lows 30 to 40. Winds northeast 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 40 mph. 84. Dave Dardinger Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 1:07 PM | Permalink Steve S, Why don’t you (and some others) learn to use the “link” button above the reply textbox? You just click it, paste (or type) in your link in the box which appears, hit ok, type in your link text, i.e. what you want to show and then hit the /link and voila you have something like this. 85. welikerocks Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 1:47 PM | Permalink Hi Dave Dardinger- sorry I haven’t used it, I get to the part “hit ok” and then I don’t know where to type the link text ie what I want to call it. No box shows up for that, so does that mean I just type it in at the end of the code that is created after “hit ok”[put in the regular comment window], and then hit /link again? I’ve tried it before and it didn’t work, so I sort of gave up. I use tinyurl if the link looks to long to me. 86. Armand MacMurray Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 1:54 PM | Permalink Re:#84 Dave, I actually prefer to see the full link address, partially to get an idea of whether or not I want to follow it (yes, I know I could mouse over an embedded link), and partially as a backup in case of a minor syntax error (I can’t copy the “mouse-over” text, but can easily do so with an unembedded address). 87. Armand MacMurray Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 1:56 PM | Permalink Re: #82 JohnA, I second UC’s request. Have the pages perhaps been found to be only spuriously correlated with the discussion, and thus removed? 88. BKC Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 1:59 PM | Permalink welikerocks, I find it easiest to type in the link text first, highlight it, hit the link button, type in (or paste) the link, hit ok, and its done – that way I don’t have to remember where the text goes, it formats it automatically. 89. welikerocks Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 2:01 PM | Permalink Testing new study published Yay! This link is a an interesting article you guys : Study Questions Linkage Between Severe Hurricanes And Global Warming Several hurricane researchers have correlated basin-wide warming trends with increasing hurricane severity and have implicated a greenhouse-warming cause. But unlike these prior studies, the U.Va. climatologists specifically examined water temperatures along the path of each storm, providing a more precise picture of the tropical environment involved in each hurricane’s development. They found that increasing water temperatures can account for only about half of the increase in strong hurricanes over the past 25 years; therefore the remaining storminess increase must be related to other factors. …”The projected impacts of global warming on Atlantic hurricanes are minor compared with the major changes that we have observed over the past couple of years,” Michaels said. Michaels’ co-authors are Robert E. Davis, associate professor of environmental sciences and Paul C. Knappenberger, former U.Va. graduate student in environmental sciences. Reference: Michaels, P. J., P. C. Knappenberger, and R. E. Davis, 2006. Sea-surface temperatures and tropical cyclones in the Atlantic basin. Geophysical Research Letters, 33, doi:10.1029/2006GL025757. 90. Stan Palmer Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 2:10 PM | Permalink Science is announcing a new policy on the reviewing of papers in politically sensitive or as they say “high risk” areas. Teh requiement for “deeper acess to data” shoud of course be interesting in light of this blog. From a CNN article. The panel urged Science to devise a system to identify “high-risk” papers submitted for publication, and then give these studies extra scrutiny, such as demanding deeper access to data underpinning findings. Papers deemed to be of high risk might include counter-intuitive findings or research likely to generate intense media or political interest, the panel stated. Kennedy [ditor in cheif of Science]said those submissions qualifying for special attention “is likely to be a relatively small number, perhaps 10 a year or less,” and might involve obvious controversial subjects such as stem cells and climate change 91. Armand MacMurray Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 2:19 PM | Permalink Re:#90 Yes, the New York Times has an article on this as well (registration required): http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/29/science/29stem.html?_r=1&oref=slogin 92. Lee Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 2:21 PM | Permalink re 77 – SteveM, that is what I DID do, several times, to the email address at the “contact Steve” link. You apparently didn’t get those, or the moderator notifications that the spam messaage said woudl be sent to the adminsitrator. Once we did make contact we continued emailing for several days while I was still blocked – during which time you had a post up explaining how I wasn’t being blocked. Please don’t insinuate that I didn’t email you. 93. Steve McIntyre Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 2:27 PM | Permalink #82. The problem is that the blog has become so large that some posts with more than 200 comments are not being displayed. I guess I’m going to have spend more on web hosting. 94. Dan Hughes Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 3:33 PM | Permalink #90, 91 Within the climate change community, and the organizations that publish papers on climate change (such as the AAAS), computer software Verification, Validation (V&V) and Software Quality Assurance (SQA) seem to be issues that are not of uppermost importance. I am an outsider and open to correction on this observation. I use the words Verification, Validation and Quality Assurance in the technical sense as used in the literature associated with these subjects. Citations to the literature are given below. For purposes of the discussion here a brief summary of the technical definitions of Verification and Validation are given. Verification is the process of demonstrating that the mathematical equations used in the computer program are solved correctly. Validation is the process of demonstrating that the correct mathematical equations are used in the computer program. Generally speaking, Verification is a mathematical process and Validation is an engineering/scientific processes. The ultimate objective of applying the processes to computer software, and its users, is to ensure that calculated results accurately reflect the intended application of the software. Absence of application of these processes to computer software should be a very strong indication that the calculated results are suspect. All calculations from programs in which inherently complex physical phenomena and processes occurring within complex geometries are the focus are generally considered to be suspect and usually taken with a grain of salt. The modeling and calculation of climate change over the spatial and temporal scales for a planet present major challenges to all aspects of mathematical modeling and computer calculations. The number of important systems involved along with the inherent complexity of the phenomena and processes, interacting on multiple time scales over extreme spatial and temporal extents, represent possibly unprecedented challenges. V&V and SQA are absolutely necessary under these situations and are standard operating procedures (SOP) for all major software development projects. There are also absolutely necessary and should be SOP for software the calculated results of which are submitted for publication in archival journals. For calculated results that form the basis of policies that affect the health and safety of the public, the requirements for application of these processes are codified in the laws of the country. Excellent starting references include: (1) Patrick Roache, “Verification and Validation in Computational Science and Engineering,” published by Hermosa Press. http://kumo.swcp.com/hermosa/index.html. (2) William L. Oberkampf, Timothy G. Trucano, and Charles Hirsch, “Verification, Validation, and Predictive Capability in Computational Engineering and Physics,” Sandia National Laboratories Report SAND 2003-3769, 2003. http://www.csar.uiuc.edu/F_viz/gallery/VnV/SAND2003-3769.pdf. See also, https://www.dmso.mil/public/library/projects/vva/found_04/oberkampf_et_al_vv_and_predictive_etc.pdf These publications contain extensive reference citations to the published literature on these subjects. A Google search will find many more resources. In particular, the group at Sandia has remained very active in these areas for several years now. Other National Laboratories, especially those associated with the ASCI program, also have groups actively working in these areas. With this very brief introduction, let’s next look at publications in the technical journals of professional societies. Climate change paper submittals the basis of which are calculations with computer software continue to be important sources of publications in journals such as Science, Nature, several technical journals from the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the American Meteorological Society (AMS), and many others. Some of these papers might at some time be used as audit/checkpoints/benchmarks for other calculations, and other of the papers might become part of the basis for public policy decisions. The software used for these papers needs to be Verified and Validated for the applications to which they are applied. Papers for which the software has not been Verified should not be accepted for publication in an archival journal. The first crucial aspect of such papers should be the status of the Verification of the software. Several engineering societies and their journal editorial boards have recently put into place technical requirements on the Verification of the software before the paper can be considered for publication. If the requirements have not been met the paper will not be published; in some cases the paper will be rejected out-of-hand and not be sent out for review. Papers for which the basis is a single calculation on a single grid with no investigations of convergence and other stopping criteria are typically sent back to the authors. Some of these professional organizations and associated journals include: The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Journal of Heat Transfer and Journal of Fluids Engineering; The American Institute of Aerospace and Astronautics (AIAA) Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets; and the International Journal of Numerical Methods in Fluids. Other professional societies and journals are sure to follow the lead of these. References for the editorial polices for these journals are as follows. The ASME Journal of Heat Transfer: Editorial Board, “Journal of Heat Transfer Editorial Policy Statement on Numerical Accuracy,” ASME Journal of Heat Transfer, Vol. 116, pp. 797-798, 1994. The ASME Journal of Fluids Engineering: A detailed discussion of the present status of the Journal of Fluids Engineering policy is available here: http://www.divisions.asme.org/fed/divisionadmin/cfdindex.html. The existing policy is given as a part of the preceding discussion here: http://www.divisions.asme.org/fed/divisionadmin/Current%20JFE%20Publication%20Policy.pdf. (The %20 are blanks) The existing policy was first stated here: C. J. Freitas, “Editorial Policy Statement on the Control of Numerical Accuracy,” ASME Journal of Fluids Engineering, Vol. 117, No. 1, p. 9, 1995. The Fluids Engineering policy can be accessed directly online and provides a good summary of the issues. The AIAA Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets: AIAA, Editorial Policy Statement on Numerical Accuracy and Experimental Uncertainty, AIAA Journal, Vol. 32, No. 1, p. 3, 1994. The International Journal of Numerical Methods in Fluids: P. M. Gresho and C. Taylor, “Editorial,” International Journal of Numerical Methods in Fluids, Vol. 19, Issue 7 p. iii, October 1994, DOI: 10.1002/fld.1650190702 I have been unsuccessful in locating editorial policies on these important issues for any of the science journals listed above. I consider this to be a major and extremely important failing. As discussed above, many engineering journals would reject out-of-hand all submittals for publication of papers that do not address these issues. Finally, it is my understanding that the calculated results from most large complex AOLBGCM codes cannot be demonstrated to be independent of the discrete representations of the continuous equations. That is, the results are functions of the size of the discrete representations (or truncated series) of the spatial and temporal scales used in the calculations. I think this situation is without precedence in all of science and engineering. This is the most fundamental concept taught in every numerical methods textbook that I am familiar with. If this is the correct situation, the calculated results are not solutions to the continuous equations and at the very best represent some kind of approximate “solution”. However, “solution to the continuous equations” is not a phrase that I would apply to these calculations. Focus on The Global Average Temperature calculated by the codes gives a false indication of the robustness of the modeling and calculations because this is a solution meta-functional result that maps everything calculated by the code into a single number. A process that easily hides an enormous number of potential problems. In the absence of established, formal V&V and SQA processes and procedures, calculated results are very much less certain to contain true information and thus do not in fact provide knowledge. Even when these processes are rigorously applied to computer software, mistakes and errors still survive, although to a very much less degree than in the absence of the procedures. For the case of the very complex codes and applications associated with climate change, the chances of mistakes and errors are much larger than for less complex analyses. Consider situations that have occurred within the climate change community that sometimes surface in the literature. Data reduction software is an example. The potential for mistakes and numerical errors in software in the absence of independent, formal, V&V and SQA procedures are among the reasons that engineering journals have implemented editorial policies. Apparently the organizations have decided that publication of a paper that has not been demonstrated to correctly solve the equations and to be based on the correct equations for its intended applications, has a high potential to not represent physical reality. Additionally, apparently they consider that the consequences of publishing such results will not contribute to advances in understanding and knowledge. Regulatory agencies that are responsible for decisions that affect the health and safety of the public will never, and I’m aware that I should never use always and never, make policy decisions based on computer software that has not been Verified and Validated and maintained and applied under SQA procedures. Observational data will always, of course, be more important than computer calculations alone. If the science community does not begin to implement formal procedures, and at the same time base information on software that is not maintained and applied formally, regulatory agencies will ignore the calculations. And it is not just the large, complex AOLBGCM codes that will eventually be required to implement the processes and procedures. All software, and software users, will have to be demonstrated to be Qualified for applications to the analyses for which the software has been designed. Additionally, it is not just the ‘main’ routines in the large codes that will require these, but also the initial and boundary conditions, the pre- and post-processing routines ( run-time options, grid generation, processing of the calculated results, etc.), the qualifications of the users, and the procedures for installing the software onto a user’s computer system. That is, all aspects of the codes, users, applications, and results. Can anyone point me to the editorial policies that address Verification and Validation issues for the professional science organizations and the associated technical journals? 95. Bob K Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 4:31 PM | Permalink I’ve been having a problem browsing the site today. I use the Opera browser and haven’t had any previous problems here, and still have no problems with other sites. When I click on a recent comment, it starts out with a duplicate reference to that same page under the back button and only takes me to the top of the post and not to the comment. It also renders the page twice in the same window. I get a page twice as long with the second copy of the page half the width it should be. I tried IE and it renders correctly. So it may be something specific to my browser. Has anything been modified in the last day or so that may be causing the problem? I really prefer not to use IE for browsing. I just pasted this comment into the reply box using IE and the box expanded to off the side of the screen. Also, the preview shows extra blank lines inserted where I didn’t put them. 96. Bob K Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 4:34 PM | Permalink I see the extra blank lines have been removed when viewing the posted comment. 97. bender Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 4:43 PM | Permalink Re #96 Bob K – All white space is removed with Word Press. (Which makes posting data tables difficult.) Re #90 Hallelujah. Thanks, Steve M, for all your efforts toward maintaining a high level of rigor in the science. 98. James Erlandson Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 4:50 PM | Permalink Transcript of this morning’s U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments in the “greenhouse gas case.” Favorite line (not indicative of the quality of the arguments); MR. MILKEY: Respectfully, Your Honor, it is not the stratosphere, it’s the troposphere. JUSTICE SCALIA : Troposphere, whatever. I told you before I’m not a scientist. The word uncertainty appears 24 times in the transcript. 99. Steve McIntyre Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 4:51 PM | Permalink #90. I wonder if Science will now require Thompson to archive his data. 100. bender Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 5:03 PM | Permalink #99 Of course they will. 101. James Erlandson Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 5:07 PM | Permalink Re 86: I can’t copy the “mouse-over” text, but can easily do so with an unembedded address. If you “right-click” on the link (embedded address) you will be presented with the option to “Copy Shortcut.” 102. David Smith Posted Nov 29, 2006 at 7:57 PM | Permalink Twenty-seven hours until the official end of the Atlantic hurricane season. I have begun to chill a bottle of virtual champagne, in anticipation of toasting Steve McIntyre and his accurate August storm forecast. I think I’ll nominate Steve as the Stormhead of the Year, for beating essentially all forecasters. 103. bruce Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 4:14 AM | Permalink #94: Thank you Dan for a thoughtful and informative post. I for one appreciate the effort you have made. 104. Proxy Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 4:38 AM | Permalink Re #98 James Erlandson – many thanks for that link Massachusetts v EPA Quite fascinating, it reads like a theater of the absurd play. To summarize: Massachusetts are insisting that the EPA regulate US automobile CO2 emissions because they are “losing 200 miles of coastline” Whereas the EPA won’t comply because Congress hasn’t authorized it to, and even if it had they wouldn’t “in light of the substantial scientific uncertainty surrounding global climate change and the ongoing studies designed to address those uncertainties”. 105. Stan Palmer Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 5:43 AM | Permalink poet 94 should have its own thread. It isa very important contribution. When policies are being proposed that will allocate signficant portions of the national economy baase on results from scientific studies, structuress such as those described in 94 are essential. 106. KevinUK Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 1:59 PM | Permalink John A It look like you need to split the ‘Juckes and the Pea under the Thimble thrad into two as at the moment it is not rendering sucessfully. It has 185 comments so far so may be suffering from the PHP memory allocation problem you’ve desribed in the Weblog Update thread. KevinUK 107. KevinUK Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 2:33 PM | Permalink Anyone fancy a free copy of Al Gore’s DVD? According to an article on on the Numberwatch November Number of the Month there are apparently 50,000 copies of the DVD sitting in a warehouse which the US NSTA does not want. So that Lee and Boris cannot accuse me of anti-AGW bias here is another link that provides details from a ‘warmer’ which according to him explains why the offer from Laurie David, a producer of the ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ has been refused by the NSTA. I wonder if Laurie David will be making a similar offer to the UK NUT? KevinUK 108. jae Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 2:44 PM | Permalink We will probably be paying some carbon taxes on our McDonald’s hamburgers, since the UN now says that livestock puts out more GHG than the transport sector. 109. KevinUK Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 3:35 PM | Permalink #108 jae You do know that according to the eco-theologian mantra that it’s a crime to be a meat eater don’t you? You also know that it’s unacceptable to crow crops (because this results in CO2 emmissions as detailed in your link) to feed cattle that you might want to eat but its perfectly OK to grow crops for bio-fuels as they miraculously don’t result in CO2 emissions? KevinUK 110. DeWitt Payne Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 3:41 PM | Permalink An idle thought after reading Dan Hughes post on software Validation and Verification (#94 on the current list): One argument raised against ballistic missile defense is that the software involved is too complicated to properly Validate and Verify. Yet now we are expected to commit to drastically altering civilization as we know it based on the results of computer programs whose complexity would seem to be orders of magnitude higher than missile defense programs where the equations describing the physics involved are relatively well known. DeWitt Payne 111. kim Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 4:04 PM | Permalink See Dahlia Lithwick in Slate for a dispassionate and comedic discussion of the SCOTUS arguments in the Massachusetts v. EPA suit re regulating carbon dioxide as an air pollutant. =============================================== 112. Henry Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 5:09 PM | Permalink New Scientist has an article based on a letter in Nature 444 (Gulf Stream density structure and transport during the past millennium p601, David C. Lund, Jean Lynch-Stieglitz and William B. Curry). The logic in the New Scientist article looks a little strained and a little spun. The Nature letter seems to saying the Gulf Stream was 10% weaker during the little ice age, and this contributed moderately to the lower temperatures then. Perhaps so. But then NS saying this was a regional effect restricted to the Northern Hemisphere which would not show up in the hockey stick seems odd given that MBH98 graph was a reconstruction of northern hemisphere mean temperature and MBH99 was titled “Northern Hemisphere Millennial Temperature Reconstruction”. The statement by Lynch-Stieglitz that “climate scientists have to incorporate this finding into their models to better understand how such a small change brought about the little ice age” seems to suggest she assumes the Gulf Stream was then the sole cause of climate change. But that seems unlikely and certainly unproven. The NS headline implies that a only slightly weaker past Gulf Stream means that “climate change sceptics lose vital argument”, suggesting the Gulf Stream is a temperature proxy. That does not seem to be likely or proven either. 113. Paul Dennis Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 5:23 PM | Permalink Henry, I believe that the notion that the Gulf stream plays an important role in the temperate climate of western Europe, notably the mild winters experienced in the UK is misguided and wrong. I’ve read several papers recently that argue the effect of the Gulf Stream is small. Indeed models show that switching the thermohaline circulation off does not make much difference to the temperature field across western Europe. What is critical is the dominant westerly air flow and the position of the jet stream. I’ll post some references here tomorrow when I have access to my database. One might argue the converse position. A cooling during the LIA might have been the result of a change in the dominant air flow characteristics including strength and position of the jet stream. This impacted the position of the ITCZ, and precipitation and resulted in a slowing of the THC in the Atlantic. Personally I doubt that the THC is a particulalry useful temperature proxy. 114. Paul Dennis Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 5:27 PM | Permalink Henry, you might start with this link to an article by Seager on the Gulf Stream myth. http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/div/ocp/gs/ 115. David Smith Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 5:50 PM | Permalink I raise my glass of virtual champagne to toast Steve McIntyre and his hurricane prognostication. Steve forecast a subdued 2006 season while virtually all the experts were headed for their storm cellars. Steve has become a “tropical climate expert” by the standards of Nature and Science magazines. Hurrah to Steve! (I’m posting a few hours early because I’m headed to a Christmas party where I’ll be drinking adult beverages at the offical end of storm season. I do not drink-and-post.) 116. bender Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 5:54 PM | Permalink CHEERS! (I think Steve M should get into the insurance business NOW and start forecasting a hurricane doomsday scenario.) 117. Steve McIntyre Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 5:55 PM | Permalink #!02 – David, thanks. My predictions of the Hegerl et al proxies were pretty good. My “predictions” for Bona-Churchill dO18 values and Sheep Mountain bristlecones in the 1990s and early 2000s are on record as well. While I wasn’t on record with predictions of what proxies Juckes would use, had I done so, I would have predicted that Juckes would use the two foxtail series, the Yamal substitution, the Yang composite and, based on Moberg’s involvement, the coldwater diatoms as a proxy for warmth. 118. Steve McIntyre Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 6:18 PM | Permalink Apologies for the missing threads. In our present configuration, when a thread gets too big, it is seizing up. We’ll get this fixed. 119. bender Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 6:44 PM | Permalink Whoops – Just hit “the wall” in Monbiot vs Monckton. 120. Lee Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 7:00 PM | Permalink Monbiot/Monckton 2 just died. 121. bender Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 7:07 PM | Permalink Lee writes first, reads later. 122. Lee Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 7:10 PM | Permalink Lee ran into “the wall”, opened the post window to say so, got called to help his daughter, and then came back and posted. FU, bender. 123. Stevan Naylor Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 7:33 PM | Permalink Lee – Your FU, bender. would seem to violate the site rules… 1. Refrain from personal abuse and swearing, How ’bout a time out? 124. Lee Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 7:51 PM | Permalink Stevan, I am the target of dozens of site rules violations – 2. Never attribute ulterior motives to another participant – every day. So has Juckes been, of late – violations of both rules 1 and 2, IIRC. I commented on that earlier today, and got attacked for it. It’s funny how no one ever proposes a time out for any of those. Come to think of it, bender’s post here is a (mild) violation of rule 1. 125. Earle Williams Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 7:54 PM | Permalink Probably best to go spend time with your daughter Lee. 126. Stevan Naylor Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 8:00 PM | Permalink Lee – I’ve been reading this site a long time. I don’t ever recall seeing an ‘ef you’ here. IMHO you’re out of line. This isn’t a 10th grade school yard. Clean it up. 127. Lee Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 8:10 PM | Permalink no, Stevan, you are right. Most of the worst of the false imputations, lies and insults are very politely worded. 128. Cliff Huston Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 8:16 PM | Permalink RE#120 It looks like the ‘Juckes and the Pea under the Thimble (#1)’ thread has gone south as well. 129. bender Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 9:19 PM | Permalink I apologize for #121, Lee. It was intended as a cheeky tweak. I thought you could take it. No hard feelings. 130. Lee Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 9:52 PM | Permalink Apology accepted, Bender – I’ll overlook the qualifiers you seem to have felt you needed to include. 131. bender Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 10:00 PM | Permalink Honest, it was just a friendly jab. 132. Lee Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 10:11 PM | Permalink bender – so was mine. Honestly, I’ll even soften enough (for only a moment) to say that even though I sometimes get frustrated with you (and vice versa, I’m sure) I do find you to be one of the (very) few people here who more often than not shows a real interest in dialog. I’ll even admit that I am sometimes more bristly than I could be. But when one finds oneself continuously surrounded by sharp (if often badly crafted) sticks, one can end up bristly. 133. Dave Dardinger Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 10:58 PM | Permalink Lee, I think you should try looking at your own posts once in a while, in terms of how others would look at your attitude toward them. You grate on people’s nerves since you’re so sure you’re right that you are constantly acting aggrieved when anyone tries to follow a position out to see if an argument pans out or not. Thus you’ll say something like, “Boy, I guess you deniers are all yahoos to try defending someone like the Idsos who are clearly beyond the pale!” (And please realize I’m exaggerating here for clarity.) The first step to gaining the confidence of those you want to convert / best / sow doubts in – is to accept that they have positions for reasons which seem legitimate to them. Calling them names gets you nowhere. Now I realize that you can say the same thing the other direction, but A) this ain’t your blog and you’re outnumbered by skeptics here. B) You seem to actually become upset to the extent that you lose control a bit. I get upset sometimes too, but I can step back and gain some perspective. C) You don’t seem to understand or appreciate the way skeptics are treated in general, nor how Steve M, who isn’t even that much a skeptic has been mistreated. In essence you act like you can dish it out but can’t take it. This is probably not true, but you aren’t doing much for your position by giving that impression. OH, one more thing for the earlier list. D) It’s hard to keep things straight when you’re dealing with a large number of people at once, but people are individuals and each skeptic has his or her own perspective and personality and if you don’t have a clear and correct model of each individual you’re dealing with, you can’t get very far. They quickly decide you don’t know or care about what they’re saying and they tend to turn to either invective or ridicule. As someone else mentioned earlier, you’re producing too much volume (of posts) to get much quality and you need to let go most of what you disagree with and concentrate on one or two arguments at a time. 134. bender Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 11:48 PM | Permalink Re #132 The difference, Lee, is that I didn’t get upset over your remark. Your posts are adolescent, and I accept that. 135. Lee Posted Nov 30, 2006 at 11:50 PM | Permalink hey bender. ET – rot1. 136. Cliff Huston Posted Dec 1, 2006 at 7:31 AM | Permalink RE#120, #128: The thread ‘Juckes and 99.98% Significance’ is also down. I think it’s time to add that donate button to the blog. 137. Steve Sadlov Posted Dec 1, 2006 at 3:34 PM | Permalink RE: the ongoing critique of long lead models (which are, after all, *proxies* for the GCMs used to project killer AGW)… I had noted earlier that we appeared to be experiencing a (late Decemberesque) “Halcyon Days” patter here on the West Coast of the US. I then noted around US Thanksgiving that it was breaking down. Well now, I wanted to share what has happened since. We got an unusually early outbreak of Yukon air which resulted in a low elevation snow event, down to sea level north of ~ 41 or 42 N. Then bitter cold set in, with single digit lows in many far inland and higher elevation areas. Freeze warnings nightly all the way down the Socal. Finally it is breaking as the air aloft goes back to normal. I wonder how many more of these we might get during the remaining weeks of fall and during winter? In December 1990 we got one that resulted in grease ice formation in the more isolated coves of the San Francisco Bay. The NWS’ warmer than normal series of 90 day outlooks is highly suspect. And the “El Nino” is doing nothing as yet, if I did not have access to things like the ENSO page I would tell you based on observations we are in a La Nina. 138. bender Posted Dec 1, 2006 at 4:03 PM | Permalink if I did not have access to things like the ENSO page I would tell you based on observations we are in a La Nina I’ve been saying the same thing to myself for about two months. I wonder how this winter, synoptically, is shaping is vs those of, say, 1988-89 and 1995-1996. 139. jae Posted Dec 1, 2006 at 4:46 PM | Permalink Another study that indicates a MWP as warm or warmer than MPW2 (Modern Warm Period). Warning to Lee and Boris: it is a summary by the Idsos, so don’t waste your time reading it. 140. Loki on the run Posted Dec 1, 2006 at 6:02 PM | Permalink Jae, the abstract for that paper says: We develop a continentality proxy (1600–1930) based on amplitudes of the annual signal in oxygen isotopes in an ice core. We show via modeling that by using 5 and 15 year average amplitudes the effects of diffusion and varying layer thickness can be minimized, such that amplitudes then reflect real seasonal changes in àÅ½àⲱ8O under the influence of melt. A model of chemical fractionation in ice based on differing elution rates for pairs of ions is developed as a proxy for summer melt (1130–1990). The best pairs are sodium with magnesium and potassium with chloride. The continentality and melt proxies are validated against twentieth-century instrumental records and longer historical climate proxies. In addition to summer temperature, the melt proxy also appears to reflect sea ice extent, likely as a result of sodium chloride fractionation in the oceanic sea ice margin source area that is dependent on winter temperatures. We show that the climate history they depict is consistent with what we see from isotopic paleothermometry. Continentality was greatest during the Little Ice Age but decreased around 1870, 20–30 years before the rise in temperatures indicated by the àÅ½àⲱ8O profile. The degree of summer melt was significantly larger during the period 1130–1300 than in the 1990s. (Emphasis added). 141. bender Posted Dec 1, 2006 at 10:31 PM | Permalink Re #139 I’m currently being nice to Lee, but he & Boris & Bloom owe me proof that these summaries are biased. I can not read the Monbiot vs Monckton II thread to check if they’ve come up with this proof. I hope so. But I doubt it. They like to get in, make their baseless allegations, and get out. It happens frequently enough that I am starting to think it is their modus operandi. 142. Lee Posted Dec 1, 2006 at 11:50 PM | Permalink Bender, I don’t “owe” you a single solitary damned thing. That kind of a*****e allegation certainly doesn’t lend yor request any weight, either. However. In that thread, I point out a paper that the Idsos include in their talley of papers with quantitative results showing a warmer MWP. They claim that the peak MWP temperatures were 0.2C higher than modern temperatures. The authors are quoted as saying that peak MWP temperatures were ‘comparable” to modern temperatures. The Idsos don’t include any text from the authors analyzing the overall MWP period. The Idsos show a graph of 2 analyses from that paper, which each show a short 20-30 year blip at the start of the MWP, a similar 20-30 year warm blip several hundred years later, and the intervening several hundred years as about .25 – .75C COLDER than modern temps. On one of those two analyses, one of the two warmer blips is, by eyeball, about 0.2C higher than 20th century warming. In the other analysis, the peaks are about equal. The Idsos took this paper, which shows sustained temperatures during the MWP as being substantially colder then the 20th century, with one peak of very short duration that is by eyeball (without considering CIs) a bit higher for a very few years years, and classified that paper as quantitative evidence for an MWP warmer by 0.25C than modern temps, on their graph of papers with quantitative evidence. I didn’t go searching to find an example of the Idsos misleading work. It is the FIRST of the summaries I looked at, from among the 15 papers the Idsos claim have quantitative results supporting a warmer MWP. 143. Jo Calder Posted Dec 2, 2006 at 2:04 AM | Permalink Richard Black at the Beeb (Sceptics: Cards on the table please!) is asking for evidence of research grants turned down because of a clash with the prevailing consensus, of instances where journals or conference organisers or consensus bodies have rejected “inconvenient” findings. Not an exhaustive list of the symptoms of bias … 144. Willis Eschenbach Posted Dec 2, 2006 at 6:47 AM | Permalink Re Richard Black’s article at the Beeb, I just wrote the following to him: Dear Mr. Black; You ask for examples of climate science funding which has not been granted when it should be, because it did not agree with the consensus. Let’s start by looking at it the other way, because evidence for the converse is easier to find, that is to say, voices supporting the “consensus” which should not be funded. In addition, let me explain some ways other than funding by which dissenting scientific voices are silenced. Finally, I will explain why, despite the fact that the problem exists, evidence such as you ask for is very hard to come by. Perhaps one of the most shocking parts of climate science is the refusal of the researchers to release their data and methods. This has been most visible in the case of Michael Mann and the “Hockeystick”, where it took a US Congressional Committee to get him to release some of his findings, and he has still not released all of them. Despite that, he still gets funding. Mann’s bias is clear on his science blog, RealClimate.com, which claims to welcome scientific discussion of the climate question. Unfortunately, they censor the difficult questions without any sign of them ever appearing on the web site. This gives a very biased view of whether their is a consensus on the climate issues, because scientific voices that ask hard questions about their poor logic and incorrect conclusions are never heard on their blog. Phil Jones is another example. Phil is in charge of the HadCRUT3 temperature database, one of the two major global temperature databases. When he was asked by Warwick Hughes, a climate researcher, to reveal his underlying station data, he replied: “We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.” This is the antithesis of real science, but it is unfortunately all too common in climate science … and yet Phil still gets funding. Briffa, Osborn, and others have also refused to reveal either their data, or their methods, or both … and their funding continues. The two most prestigious science journals, “Science” and “Nature”, have been very uncooperative in climate science. They have refused to ask people who have published articles on climate science in their journals to reveal their data and methods, despite clear evidence that their conclusions were badly flawed. In addition, the editors of the journals have taken a position on the subject of climate, which is far beyond their remit. They are journals, not advocacy organizations. A further way that dissenting voices are silenced is that the reviewers for Science and Nature are not picked at random. The US Government Wegman Report (http://energycommerce.house.gov/108/home/07142006_Wegman_Report.pdf) clearly showed that a small coterie of scientists regularly review and approve each other’s papers. Unfortunately, they also fail to catch obvious errors. There is an interesting discussion of the report at http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=852. Scientific organizations have been just as bad. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has released a statement that supported the climate “consensus”. People read that and think “the AAAS represents thousands of scientists, the consensus must be real” … but as a member of the AAAS who strongly disagrees with the statement, I can assure you that the membership was never polled on the question. The Royal Society has done the same thing. Without polling their members, their leadership has publicly called for a cessation of funding for anyone who does not support the climate science “consensus”. In addition to being a violation of the Charter of the Royal Society, this is a chilling use of their power. When the Royal Society speaks out against the funding of people who are not toeing the climate party line, what are funding agencies to conclude? Do they want to be tarred with the same brush? Of course, very few funding agencies will ever say that the reason they are not funding sceptical voices is because they are out of the mainstream. With so many projects chasing a fixed amount of research dollars, the funders are not required to give a reason for not funding any given proposal … but the voice of the Royal Society surely echoes in their ears. A further way to marginalize the dissenters is through the use of conferences “by invitation only”. Again, no reason ever needs to be given to anyone who is not invited … take a look at the invitees for the recent EOS meeting on Past Millennia Climate Variability: Proxy Based Reconstructions, Modeling and Methodology: Synthesis and Outlook … curiously, no scientist who would rock the boat, or even raise mildly embarrassing questions, was invited … probably just a coincidence. In conclusion, I fear that you may not find a whole lot of hard data as to why submissions are not accepted, why funding is not granted, why people are not invited. The information is simply not available. For example, I wrote a piece and submitted it to Nature magazine. They wrote back and said it would not be of interest to their readership … was that really the reason? I have no way of knowing. It may have been what they said, it may have been that the piece was poorly written, it may have been that my conclusions were incorrect, or it may have been a bias against the subject, but there is absolutely no way to determine which one. So sadly, unless you have a solution to this difficulty, I fear that your quest to “lay the accusations to rest” will not be possible. Many thanks for your invitation to contribute to this question, w. 145. JP Posted Dec 2, 2006 at 8:33 AM | Permalink Willis, what do you think the odds are that your response will be posted? Please keep us updated. 146. Francois Ouellette Posted Dec 2, 2006 at 10:16 AM | Permalink #144 Willis, I agree with what you say, but there are also more subtle ways that the scientific funding and publishing system acts to repeal dissidents. Writing up a grant application takes a lot of time and effort, and you want to maximize your chances as much as possible. Proposing a controversial research program is a sure way to diminish those. For young researchers building up their carreer, it’s much better to go with the flow. In normal circumstances, the payoff can outweigh the risk, and that’s how science manages to advance, but climate change research is not currently operating under “normal” circumstances. Anyone expressing dissenting views is liable to public slandering and accusations of dishonesty or “secret” funding from the oil industry. On the other hand, any alarmist result is likely to give you a lot of media exposure, which always helps for future funding. Recall that Jan Veizer admitted that he could pursue his research on solar influences because of a “free” (no-strings attached) million-dollar research prize he got from the German government. Also, he is a well established researcher. Still, he was subject to much attack and unjustified criticism. All those subtle intimidation tactics do not have to be open and explicit to be effective. They’re not necessarily part of a giant conspiracy. But it’s a social phenomenon that is certainly not unprecedented. All totalitarian regimes silence critics the same way: at some point, there’s no need for open repression, everyone is too afraid to talk. It’s a bit extreme to talk of a totalitarian regime in this case, but as a social phenomenon, it derives from the same sources and has a similar dynamics. 147. Mick Posted Dec 2, 2006 at 11:00 AM | Permalink #144 Some of your points seem a little odd to me. For instance: The US Government Wegman Report The US Government Wegman Report (http://energycommerce.house.gov/108/home/07142006_Wegman_Report.pdf) clearly showed that a small coterie of scientists regularly review and approve each other’s papers Did the Wegman report actually look at who was *reviewing papers*? I thought it had only looked at authorship? These are quite different things. The Royal Society has done the same thing. Without polling their members, their leadership has publicly called for a cessation of funding for anyone who does not support the climate science “consensus”. Have they specifically called for a cessation of funding for “anyone who does not support the climate science “consensus””? I would be interested to see the Royal Society press release or report on this. Can you supply a reference? Of course, very few funding agencies will ever say that the reason they are not funding sceptical voices is because they are out of the mainstream. With so many projects chasing a fixed amount of research dollars, the funders are not required to give a reason for not funding any given proposal … but the voice of the Royal Society surely echoes in their ears. Not very likely. You have to remember that in most countries the assessment of grant applications is carried out by academics who would quickly tell the Royal Society where to go if it suggested they didn’t fund a particular area. I review grant applications in the UK for two research councils and have served on an assessment panel for one of them. I can tell you from experience that The Royal Society has absolutely no influence in the reviewing process. We always rate grants on the quality of the science proposed. The only time I can remember really good work not getting funded was when an application fell outside the remit of a particular panel – e.g., when an application for purely engineering development was submitted to a science panel. 148. Proxy Posted Dec 2, 2006 at 12:21 PM | Permalink #144 Good letter Willis, hopefully he’ll read it! – another perhaps even more significant and subtle factor in government funding policy is the use of increasingly specific outlines of research topics. Evaluators usually have no choice but to promote those proposals that more closely match the given topic. Furthermore government funding can be oriented in interesting ways, for example in the European Annual work programme on grants in the Environment policy area for 2006 you may be interested to read this: 3.8 Direct grant to support the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Budget amount: € 200 000 Drafting and consultation of the three working groups contributions during 2006 and 2007 in the preparation of the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) and the related Synthesis report (SYR) timely in 2007 by the working groups 1-3 of IPCC. In accordance with its mandate and as reaffirmed in various decisions by IPCC, the major activity of the IPCC is to prepare in regular intervals comprehensive and uptodate assessments of policy-relevant scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant for the understanding of human induced climate change, potential impacts of climate change and options for mitigation and adaptation. (my bold) Would you consider this an attempt to influence the content of the report or is that unfair? 149. David Smith Posted Dec 2, 2006 at 3:07 PM | Permalink I’ve been looking at the global temperature plots, including this one from NCDC and this satellite plot from RSS/UAH . I’ve wondered why one shows 1998 as the second-warmest year while the other shows 1998 as clearly the warmest. Well, I’ve been reading and came across a footnote in the 2005 NCDC report as follows: “Erratum: Please note that prior to 26 June 2000, the mean values added to the land and ocean anomalies were incorrect. These data are now correct. Analysis of trends in the time series would not be impacted by this error since the error involved adding a constant to the entire period of record.” (Entire report is here .) I couldn’t find a statement of the size of this adjustment. So, I compared chart anomalies and came up with an apparent adjustment (decrease) of around 0.09C in pre-2000 global temperatures. This adjustment indeed has little impact on the 120-year trend so far but it has a big impact when comparing pre-2000 with post-2000 temperatures. I’m wondering if anyone has read about this year 2000 NCDC adjustment and can explain the basis for it. 150. Willis Eschenbach Posted Dec 2, 2006 at 6:08 PM | Permalink David, there is also a difference between the GISS (NCDC) dataset and the HadCRUT3 dataset, with the GISS dataset showing 2005 as the warmest year, and the HadCRUT dataset showing 1998 as the warmest year. w. 151. Tim Ball Posted Dec 2, 2006 at 7:21 PM | Permalink Willis; Thanks for your letter. You could add Hansen’s involvement with GISS, his premature announcements of temperatures before years’ are over, his political connections with Gore, his unsupportable statement before Gore’s committee in 1988, his comment that only the death of skeptics will allow the complete truth to emerge and I am sure some could add others, to your letter to the Beeb. Do we know how either GISS or HadCRUT3 ‘adjust’ the data to achieve their results? The public can’t understand how two agencies can apparently use the same data set and get different results. 152. David Smith Posted Dec 2, 2006 at 9:16 PM | Permalink Re #150, #151 I’ve been comparing the GISS chart published in 2006 with the GISS chart published in 2000 . GISS changed the zero-line which makes an eyeball comparison difficult, but I noticed that some of the years in the mid-20’th Century (1944, 1950, mid-1950s) now appear to be cooler in the 2005 report. I’m looking for the data so that I can see if the numbers confirm, or refute, my eyeballs. I hope there’s no subtle GISS effort to cool the “mid-20’th Century Warm Period”. 153. Steve McIntyre Posted Dec 2, 2006 at 10:23 PM | Permalink A reader sent me the following question by email: 1..I’ve found many examples of hindcast testing of GCMs, but have been unable to find any examples of actual forecasts made by GCM models that have been validated vs. actual results. I wonder if you can point me to any such reports or analyses. Anyone got any references?? 154. Pat Frank Posted Dec 3, 2006 at 2:46 AM | Permalink I think the Coupled Climate Intercomparison Project shows some predictive tests. Either Willis or Ferdinand Englebeen drew attention to it quite awhile back. It can be found here. Go to Report #66 on that page. That will take you to the abstract. The full report in HTML format is here. Figure 5, for example, shows the predicted and observed ocean heat flux. The errors run into the 10’s of Watts/m^2. 155. Pat Frank Posted Dec 3, 2006 at 2:48 AM | Permalink #153 — I posted a test source, Steve, but the Spam filter ate it. 156. Posted Dec 3, 2006 at 3:59 AM | Permalink Pat, Send it to me and I’ll post it for you. 157. Willis Eschenbach Posted Dec 3, 2006 at 4:25 AM | Permalink Steve M, I was going to say that you can send your reader to my discussion of the Hansen et al. forecasts here, but that page seems to have vanished, comes up blank. Go figure … the joys of reworking the site. w. 158. Posted Dec 3, 2006 at 4:34 AM | Permalink Willis, the page is blank because of the hosting problem we have. When Steve signs up for the VPS then it will return. 159. Willis Eschenbach Posted Dec 3, 2006 at 6:26 AM | Permalink Thanks, John, that’s what I figured. If the VPS costs much, then you definitely need a “Contribute” button on the page, I’d kick in a few bucks a month. w. 160. bender Posted Dec 3, 2006 at 10:35 AM | Permalink Willis, it’s there already, see thread “tip-jar”. 161. welikerocks Posted Dec 3, 2006 at 10:52 AM | Permalink Good example of how Gavin operates and speaks to his peers and the allowence he gives his followers for rude comments over at RC: 58. I have been an environmental scientist for over 20 years. Went down to the Antarctic to measure the effects of enhanced UV-B on the plant life there. Not a sausage. And this at a time when all the “Greens” were shouting doom and gloom. Well the Ozone hole is still there and still no disaster. Looking at the current debate over Global Warming, I see some interesting parallels- Gloom, doom and more disaster. And over what a 0.6C temperature rise in about 100 years? Still well within the range of natural variation and no proof that it is to do with man, or CO2. In fact a recent publication makes this absolutely clear. And I quote “The writers show that the human-induced climatic changes are negligible.” (Khilyuk, L.F., and G. V. Chilingar. 2006. On global forces of nature driving the Earth’s climate. Are humans involved? Environmental Geology, 50, 899-910.) Comments please. Archskeptic [Response: Hmmm… and I suppose you have actually read this paper, rather than just quoted a line from an advocacy web site? The authors claim that the natural rate of methane emission is an order of magnitude larger than human emissions…. tricky to reconcile that with the highest values (more than double pre-industrial values) in over 650,000 years… I would suggest that you focus your reading on papers with actual scientific content. -gavin ] I’ll second Gavin’s Hmmm. #58 (Archskeptic) “Went down to the Antarctic to measure the effects of enhanced UV-B on the plant life there.” What plant life in Antarctica were you studying? Comment by Joseph O’Sullivan ‘€” 2 Dec 2006 @ 5:57 pm RE #59 Joseph Sullivan, I might be wrong, but he might have been studying hemp. link PS there are plants: lichens, mosses, and some species that float on water. 162. welikerocks Posted Dec 3, 2006 at 10:55 AM | Permalink sorry my comment is fomatted horrible, I couldn’t see the preview. The link at the end is for the discussion, and the PS is mine. 163. welikerocks Posted Dec 3, 2006 at 11:17 AM | Permalink Here’s the link for the paper mentioned in my 161 On global forces of nature driving the Earth’s climate. Are humans involved? Last sentence of the abstract says “The writers show that the human-induced climatic changes are negligible.” 164. David Smith Posted Dec 3, 2006 at 12:24 PM | Permalink Re: Global temperature plots Here’s an example of why my confidence in historical temperature data has declined. A NCEP/GISS radiosonde-derived global temperature plot is given here . The radiosonde data shows a fairly steady climb upwards since 1975. Radiosonde studies by other people (US government agency people, I’m unsure what of the part) for the same period is given here . This one shows essentially steady temperatures from 1976-2000, with a possible bump upwards circa 2000. The NCEP reanalysis data, which is hard to present here, tends to support the studies rather than GISS. What to believe? Speaking of the NCEP/GISS data, I did notice that their global surface temperature chart now shows the 1950-1975 period to be one of slight warming. In the old days, that period was thought of as one of slight cooling. By showing slight warming, the chart smoothes out the 1970s inflection point a bit, which makes the aerosols vs CO2 argument a bit smoother. 165. David Smith Posted Dec 3, 2006 at 4:29 PM | Permalink bender, are you going to Glendale, AZ? 166. bender Posted Dec 3, 2006 at 4:31 PM | Permalink How much of that overall trend difference is due to the differnces 1962-65? 167. bender Posted Dec 3, 2006 at 4:32 PM | Permalink Re #165 If I were I would be making a side-trip up Sheep Mtn! Go Gators! 168. Steve Bloom Posted Dec 3, 2006 at 6:03 PM | Permalink Re #162/2/3: Rocks, I think Gavin was rather polite considering that “Archskeptic” probably does not have the qualifications and experience claimed. As Gavin noted, one indicator of this is having quoted only the abstract; another is an appearent failure to notice the link to a response on the same page. Archskeptic’s interpretation aside, one also might ask whether the authors of the paper (engineers of some sort, apparently) have the background needed for such sweeping assertions. On the plus side, this sort of thing is needed as a response for those who claim that denialists can’t get published. Thank you, Springer. 169. David Smith Posted Dec 3, 2006 at 7:46 PM | Permalink I’ve been looking into the source of the radiosonde data used in the GISS plot. The data comes from RATPAC, a study of a group of 85 or so stations which are a “carefully selected” sample of the 900 radiosonde stations around the globe. Here is a link to a writeup on RATPAC, including the journal publication link on the sidebar. These 85 (carefully-selected) stations are beset with problems in their historical datasets, so the data was “adjusted using a multifactor expert analysis by a team of three climate scientists without use of satellite data as references and with minimum use of neighboring data comparisons”. The third scientist apparently served as the “tiebreaker” if the other two scientists disagreed about whether to include, adjust or scrap temperature data and the size of adjustments. After each modification of a temperature record they “examined (it) for reasonableness” to confirm that the adjustment/deletion was proper. Yet, despite all these hurdles, they were able to generate temperature data of a quality sufficient to detect small decadal global temperature trends. Wow. Now, I think they did the best they could with the data they were dealt – the global historical database is full of problems. But the whole work should be clearly labeled “use with great caution” when it’s used as part of a news release. 170. welikerocks Posted Dec 3, 2006 at 9:37 PM | Permalink #168 I think Gavin was rather polite considering that “Archskeptic” probably does not have the qualifications and experience claimed. Yes and we’ll never know the truth because Gavin will hold any further replies from the gentleman in the RC “can’t deal” depository will we? one also might ask whether the authors of the paper (engineers of some sort, apparently) have the background needed for such sweeping assertions. You mean like Dr. Michael -I Am Not A Statistician- Mann playing with all those statistics? Mr Bloom honestly your flowery speech with words like “sweeping assertions” don’t fool many people, and your explainations for little old me are lacking a heck of alot to convince me of anything.-especially to think badly about someone or some thing. AGW “theory” and computer models are full of “sweeping assertions”. Are you blind? Just read this blog for proof after proof of that. So I hold no malice toward anybody getting published with different approaches to finding the so truth why do you? And why do you think someone like me needs an explaination for Gavin’s behavior? And if your logic is that published Geotech Engineers you don’t even know, and haven’t read are not capable just because they don’t have “climate” in their letterhead -well your head’s in the clouds and you are a pretty one-sided judgmental human being and so is Gavin. What happened to “are they published?” meaning so much to folks like you? On another note: David Smith- just want to say thanks for all your contributions. We enjoy following your sleuthing and are amazed at some of the things you bring to light. 171. Steve Bloom Posted Dec 3, 2006 at 10:30 PM | Permalink Re #170: “Geotech Engineers”? I assume you mean petroleum engineers. Regarding the rest of it, rocks, you’re unconvincable. 172. Willis Eschenbach Posted Dec 4, 2006 at 2:21 AM | Permalink Steve, now that you’ve dealt with one point in ‘rocks post, perhaps you could discuss her point about Michael “I’m not a statistician” Mann inventing new statistical procedures … w. 173. Rev Jackson Posted Dec 4, 2006 at 3:10 AM | Permalink re #171: Mr Bloom. You can fool some of the people all of the time, and you can fool all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time!! 174. welikerocks Posted Dec 4, 2006 at 6:40 AM | Permalink Holy cow these authors are from USC, and I come from a UCLA family-with a couple of alumni -and I am “defending” USC here. Wow never in a million years.. LOL Way to go Bruins on Saturday!🙂 Steve Bloom, I assume you mean petroleum engineers. No. That would be making “sweeping assertions”. I thought that was not allowed? Since when does “geo” only mean petroleum? Why does every “scientific” argument in regards to AGW boil down to some petty word game and character assessment-from the followers to the leaders- that’s them at their “best”. Curry, Gavin, Mann, Juckes…in their work, and in their speeches. Sheesh. 175. Peter Lloyd Posted Dec 4, 2006 at 11:06 AM | Permalink I have the highest admiration for your boundless tenacity in trying to inject some good science into the anthropogenic CO2 debate. When you have a moment or two away from your efforts, could you please explain to me – and perhaps to other “sceptics” (= “objectives”?) – how it is that established, well qualified scientists can forget the fundamental physics and chemistry they learned at high school? Many of the arguments I now read supporting the “greenhouse gas” scenario contradict the physics I learned for my School Certificate (= UK regular school leaving qualification) in the mid 1940s. Disagreement over the cutting edge I can understand and approve, but ignoring basic concepts leads all science into disrepute. Sincere regards, with respect and admiration, Peter Lloyd 176. Jeff Norman Posted Dec 4, 2006 at 11:58 AM | Permalink Peter Lloyd, Do you have any specific examples of how these well qualified scientists are forgetting fundamental physics and chemistry? Thanks Jeff 177. brent Posted Dec 4, 2006 at 12:01 PM | Permalink BBC Wants Evidence of Climate Science Bias “Discussion of climate change is rife with claims and counter-claims of partisanship and bias. Some of the most serious of which being that the scientific community is smothering more skeptical research in the field. Now the BBC is asking for evidence of this self-censorship. From the article: Journals are meant to publish the best research irrespective of whether it accepts that the sky is blue, or finds it could really be green … So the accusations that all is not well at the heart of climate science, and that censorship is rife in organisations which award research grants, the editorial boards of journals and the committees of the IPCC, should be examined seriously. Readers are asked to submit evidence of bias, which the the BBC will then investigate. ” http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/12/04/1347214 178. Peter Lloyd Posted Dec 4, 2006 at 12:18 PM | Permalink re Henry,112 and Dennis, 113 – Gulf Stream Sixty years ago, in Grammar School, I was taught that the Gulf Stream warms the waters round the western coasts of the British Isles and Northern Europe by a degree or so, but that the climate in these areas is primarily controlled by the prevailing south-westerly air stream, which is saturated with moisture from blowing over the Atlantic in warmer latitudes. This was taught to illustrate heat of vapourisation (latent heat) – that one cc of water would transport one calorie for every degree C, whereas that same cc of water would transport 540 calories as water vapour. When these moist winds reach our coasts and hills, they rise and cool, so that the water vapour condenses and releases this large amount of heat, warming the atmosphere and the ground it soaks (in the case of the western UK…..and soaks, and soaks, and soaks…..). I have had arguments about this on many occasions over the years – in the Sunday Times on one occasion – and when asked to substantiate my position I have pointed out that the east coasts of Ireland, Scotland and England are not washed by the Gulf Stream, but nevertheless their climate is only slightly, but not substantially, cooler than the rest of the British Isles. The slight difference is due to the fact that the western areas get the first, and most of, the rain. As the air flows over Europe it dries out, and by the time it reaches Central Europe it is dry and very cold, providing a textbook Central Continental type climate. A similar pattern exists in North America, where western Canada and the north-western States are wet and mild compared with the drier and colder middle of the continent. This common allegation about the dominant effect of the Gulf Stream is an old wives’ tale which is unbelievably common, even among scientists, even, dare I say it, among some meteorologists and climatologists. What were they doing at the back of the class in Science lessons? You would not believe the vituperative reactions I have received from qualified “scientists”. Being called a science ignoramus is the least of them! But I have never had a constructive ad rem refutation of my position. I have similar thoughts about many of the allegations supporting anthropogenic CO2 as a greenhouse gas, some of which are contrary to the basic science I learned in school. 179. DaleC Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 4:51 AM | Permalink re 178, comment by Peter Lloyd on the gulf stream: There is an interesting article in American Scientist, July/August 2006, by Richard Seager, at He claims that “the flow of the mid-latitude westerlies…is responsible for keeping European winters mild…” This is presented as a new idea. He calls the theory that the gulf stream alone is responsible “a well-worn piece of climatological nonsense.” 180. Steve McIntyre Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 7:51 AM | Permalink Some of the threads that “disappeared” e.g. this one, should re-appear with the site upgrade. Let me know if you notice any problems. 181. beng Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 8:38 AM | Permalink Since this is Roadmap, look how rapidly the Hudson Bay is freezing over. In less than a week from little ice coverage to over half frozen over: 182. richardT Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 9:06 AM | Permalink Palaeoclimatologists are not the only scientists with problems sharing data. Wicherts et al. tried to reanalyse data from 141 papers in psychological journals. All these journals required data to be made available as a condition of publication. Even after repeated email requests, only 25% of the data was forthcoming. 183. Steve McIntyre Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 9:14 AM | Permalink The problem was articulated in economics in the 1980s, where I’ve discussed Bruce McCullough on this. Leading economics journals require authors to archive code and data as a condition of being reviewed. That’s the answer – good will or bad will is irrelevant. 184. Peter Lloyd Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 10:11 AM | Permalink Jeff Norman/176 See my post 178 185. Gerald Machnee Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 10:48 AM | Permalink Oprah had Gore on her show on Tuesday. Does that mean that Global Warming 101 is now an official course? She should recall her interview with the book she did around a year ago and had to retract. 186. jae Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 11:02 AM | Permalink Peter Lloyd: great posts. Please share more. 187. Peter Lloyd Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 11:05 AM | Permalink DaleC/179 Dale Many thanks for your fascinating response to my post re Gulf Stream. The author still hasn’t got the fundamental physics involved! He writes about the difference in heat capacity between water and rock, but goes on to say that “the atmosphere carries several times more heat” – whereas the key point is that water vapour carries at least 540 times more heat than liquid water. Because of this lack of understanding, he goes on to say that the simple movement of heat from the Atlantic is not enough, and proposes a mechanism involving the conservation of angular momentum of the airflow over the Rockies on the climate of western Europe – a proposition which I find a bit of a stretch. The article was published in July/Aug. 2006. Just for the record my letter on the subject was published in The Sunday Times on the 11th. Nov. 2000. I’m not claiming any priority here – as I wrote in my post, I was taught this in school in about 1944/5, and I’m not interested enough to do the research to find out where “my” story originated, but it’s probably in some old textbooks on meteorology/climatology. Over the years I have met a few scientists who were aware of the “moist mild westerlies” viewpoint, but they were all old farts like me. In the same letter I pointed out that climate changes are unavoidable and are mainly driven by the Croll/Milankovitch cycles. The vituperative letters I received on that subject started my interest in the “greenhouse gas” battle. Thanks again. Peter Lloyd 188. Peter Lloyd Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 11:16 AM | Permalink Steve/180 – OK, Road Maap is back – thanks – bu I still can’t find Monckton theads – or am I doing something dumb? Peter Lloyd 189. Jean S Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 11:29 AM | Permalink Gerald (#185), he is going to be also in the AGU fall meeting: Climate Change: The Role of Science and the Media in Policy Making, Presented by the Honorable Al Gore Thursday, 1230h, Marriott, Salon 8, 1230h – 1330h I really don’t care about that, but I sure would like to be present in this session on Monday: http://www.agu.org/cgi-bin/sessions5?meeting=fm06&part=U11B&maxhits=400 Steve and half of the HT… hopefully someone from CA can make it… otherwise Steve seems to be all alone… 190. Boris Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 11:33 AM | Permalink #161, et al: Are you really sure you want to be supporting this paper: The total anthropogenic carbon dioxide emission throughout the human history is estimated at about 2.81″⠱0^11 metric tons of carbon. Recalculating this amount into the total anthropogenic carbon dioxide emission in grams of CO2, one obtains the estimate 1.003″⠱0^18 g, which constitutes less than 0.00022% of the total CO2 amount naturally degassed from the mantle during geologic history. Comparing these figures, one can conclude that anthropogenic carbon dioxide emission is negligible (indistinguishable) in any energy-matter transformation processes changing the Earth’s climate. So they compare human produced AGW to that produced “during geologic history.” This fails on basic logical principles. There are similar incredulities throughout this embarassingly bad paper. A scathing critque appears in a later issue of the same journal. Dr. Fred Singer is an editor there, which doesn’t inspire me with any confidence in his ability to distinguish science from skittles. 191. Steve Sadlov Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 11:34 AM | Permalink RE: #181 – Once the freeze of the Bering Sea gets back on track after the persistent stagnant ridge over the Russian Far East moves out, combined with the Hudson Bay’s rapid icing, the anomaly might experience another zero crossing (like it did back in late August). Anomaly is definitely not trending upward this year. 192. Dave Dardinger Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 11:38 AM | Permalink re: #187 the key point is that water vapour carries at least 540 times more heat than liquid water. I think you’re a bit off there. I believe you’re comparing the heat capacity of water per deg C with the heat of vaporization of water. First of all, you’re not going to have the water in the ocean only cool 1 deg C. Second, the total weight of the atmosphere is only equilivant to about 32 feet of water. Since the % water vapor in the atmosphere is only 1-3%, the atmosphere only contains .3-1 ft of water equivilant = .1-.3 meters. Since the mixed layer of the ocean is 50 meters or more in the colder regions, the amount of heat lost if it DID only lose one deg C would be about 50 cal per square cm compared to 50-150 calories per square cm. for water being condensed from the air. Of course this doesn’t consider rates of movement and many other things, but it’d be useful to compare apples to apples and not to oranges. 193. Mr. Welikerocks Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 11:55 AM | Permalink Boris, I didn’t say I supported it, I said RC and Gavin are RUDE and come to think of it so are you. We will never know what else that commentator had to say either, he won’t be allowed to respond. As if there is no other theory in the world beside AGW for why the climate is “warm”. The folks like those at RC and like you won’t allow the discussion- even if you think you are right you complain and even troll sites where anybody wants to speak, ponder, read, or report on anything other then papers that support AGW. In the meantime, it’s in the 30’s F and freezing in the morning in my neck of the woods. This is not normal. Where’s the headlines?? I have tropical plants, like my plumeria tree that could die because it is too cold outside. I am still waiting for a publication link from you that proves the MWP was cooler then today Boris. 194. Welikerocks Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 11:56 AM | Permalink whoops forgot to take out the Mr, this is Mrs Welikerocks…grrr. LOL 195. Boris Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 12:25 PM | Permalink rocks, No need to be shrill. You point out that Gavin is rude to a guy who claims the whole consensus is undone by a paper and quotes the final line of the abstract. Gavin gave him some credit for not reading the paper, because if he HAD read it, he should have known what utter garbage it is. So either he is A) a guy who may have a sincere belief that AGW is wrong and has found an abstract he likes or B) A guy who has read the paper and found it meritorious, suggesting he not only has no scietific training, but also has no logical faculty. You say it is rude to assume A, and I say it was a kindness. Where did you get the idea that I won’t allow discussion? I simply point out how bad the paper is. I asked if you really want to support it. You don’t want to say. Good for you! You threw up a link to it, and somehow you don’t want it discussed. In the meantime, it’s in the 30’s F and freezing in the morning in my neck of the woods. This is not normal. Where’s the headlines?? I have tropical plants, like my plumeria tree that could die because it is too cold outside. You do know that global warming is based on average global temperature, don’t you? Was that rude? Seemed like it needed clarifying oddly enough. The Idso’s are with you on that, though. Would you guys support a “long-lived smoker of the week” on a tobacco company’s website? Or is that comedy? 196. Steve Sadlov Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 12:28 PM | Permalink RE: #193 – Classic La Nina conditions – cold and dry in Socal (pray for rain / snow!). Even though ENSO says we are in an El Nino. I would not discount the possibility that the PDO has gone negative for real. If so, that will throw a real spanner into the works of the AGW alarmists. While on the one hand, it will mean drought down below 36 N, on the other hand, it will make people like that Hank over at RC, who moans about the couple or three warm winters they had in Minnesota, look like complete fools. 197. Mark T Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 12:59 PM | Permalink You do know that global warming is based on average global temperature, don’t you? Boris, while I agree with the thesis that GW is based on average global temperature, the point here is that the media screams every time a record high is set, claiming evidence of GW, but is strangely quiet when the reverse occurs. The world is up in arms that France had an unusually warm September, but shrugs off the fact that Colorado had an unusually cool (and wet) summer (and most of the early autumn). I.e., hype rules. Oh, and for the record, despite a few warm weeks, Colorado has been very cold most of the past two months and we’re setting snow records left and right. We’re already near our yearly average in only two months since the snow started (early October). This includes a couple blizzards, one of which dropped 18″ of nice fluffy global warming on my patio.😉 Our normally “busy” snow months, btw, are March-May. Mark 198. Jean S Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 1:13 PM | Permalink Oh, and for the record, despite a few warm weeks, Colorado has been very cold most of the past two months and we’re setting snow records left and right. And despite skiing season getting an early start also in northern Scandinavia, this is what you read from the newspapers. 199. Mark T Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 1:18 PM | Permalink It is tiresome. I’ve been skiing twice this year. I’ll be out on the slopes again next Friday, Saturday and Sunday and plan to ski about 4 or 5 days over the xmas holiday (we get 10 days off in a row at my company). Heck, A-basin opened the first week of October. Mark 200. Jean S Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 1:26 PM | Permalink Oh, I forgot to ask from the UK readers the British definition of the winter as The Independent already on 7th of December declares: “The warmest winter for 1,300 years hits the Alps”. 201. Mark T Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 1:50 PM | Permalink Uh, winter doesn’t start for two more weeks??? It would seem our regional climate pattern (mountain states in general) has actually shift. Spring was unusually warm and dry, but we had a cool summer which turned into a rather cold autumn. Another cold spat is moving through bringing more moisture and, of course, more snow. Hehe… Mark 202. Steve Bloom Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 1:51 PM | Permalink Re #191: November was yet another record low for Arctic sea ice. There seem to have been a lot of those lately… 203. Gerald Machnee Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 1:59 PM | Permalink RE #189 -**I really don’t care about that, but I sure would like to be present in this session on Monday: http://www.agu.org/cgi-bin/sessions5?meeting=fm06&part=U11B&maxhits=400 Steve and half of the HT… hopefully someone from CA can make it… otherwise Steve seems to be all alone… ** I am too far away. It could be a good session IF: 1) There is time to ask questions 2) If Steve can ask questions 3) If Dr Wegman would be there as well to ask Questions 204. Jean S Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 2:02 PM | Permalink re #202: Yes, can you see if the recond high for SH was set also or is it flat even with the last year? Have there been a lot of those lately? 205. Mark T Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 2:14 PM | Permalink Given that we know temperatures are warmer now than when we first started keeping track of Arctic sea ice (and temps in general), that it is shrinking is hardly a surprise. That falls under the “duh” category. Mark 206. Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 2:49 PM | Permalink In the UK, we didn’t have a spring in 2006. It went from winter to summer in about a week in May. I’ve no idea whether its warmer than normal but its certainly been dry this year. Last year the Met Office forecast a very cold winter for 2005/2006 and it was average. I wonder if they’ll go for it again? For myself, I hope Greenhouse Gas theory is correct because the Sun is due to go through one or two weak solar cycles and the Russian team who predicted it, forecast a large drop in temperatures as a result. That will be a shocker, especially as deserts such as the Sahara start to expand, and drought will become more extensive. It won’t matter to the AGW alarmists, they’ll just add sulfates to the models to cool them, blame the US, China and India and claim that its all predicted by their new climate models. Andrew Weaver’s model will include modelling individual hydrometeor particles, and Michael Mann will be writing another overview of climate science claiming that human-induced cooling has overturned human-induced warming and his tree ring proxies prove it. 207. Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 2:56 PM | Permalink Love your work on Global Warming. I just discovered your website through an e-mail today and thought you may be interested in what is going on over at YouTube with Global Warming. I have created a 2 hour webumentary reviewing the science and would greatly appreciate your opinion or ideas for improvement. Here is the link to the site: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=8A5CD5E0B9FBF3AF Here is an 18 minute Trailer: Here is the 2 hr Webumentary: Here is the live presentation: 208. Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 3:03 PM | Permalink Steve, I got this e-mail mentioning your site today. I include it below for your review. It appears that from the author’s perspective we may have common interests, and may want to consider working together on Global Warming. Please review the letter and let me know what you think. I believe that our two approaches complement each other very well. “Well done though. I have been a denizen of Climate Audit for getting on two years now , and while their work is fantastic, they seem to obsess re only one part of the issue ‘€” the hockeystick ‘€” and as a matter of policy they leave the other issues that you addressed alone, except from time to time when they make exceptions. No criticism of Steve McIntyre. His careful attention to detail, and persistence in the face of obfuscation, cherry picking, hiding of data, and plain superficial, shoddy work (I refuse to call is science) of the Hockey Team, is making the point to many serious people in a compelling way. But it is never going to win the propaganda wars. Your work, and work like it, CAN.” 209. Willis Eschenbach Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 3:50 PM | Permalink Steve B., you say above: Re #191: November was yet another record low for Arctic sea ice. There seem to have been a lot of those lately… Yes, and according to the same link you posted, November was a record high for Antarctic sea ice … how come you don’t mention that? w. 210. Dave Dardinger Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 4:09 PM | Permalink re: #208 Actually, while Steve does specialize in debunking the problems with Multi-Proxy temperature reconstructions, he does dabble in other areas. We had a lot of discussion about hurricanes and related subject lately. And we’ve had discussions about the Monckton articles and subsequent contravercies. I suppose I’ll have to stop by your place sometime, but I do tend to be more text oriented rather than video, so watching and listening to long videos don’t particularly interest me (a 18 minute TRAILER!!?) 211. Earle Williams Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 4:27 PM | Permalink Re #204 JeanS: Yes, can you see if the recond high for SH was set also or is it flat even with the last year? Have there been a lot of those lately? According to ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/DATASETS/NOAA/G02135/Nov/S_11_area.txt it is flat, tied for the record. 212. Welikerocks Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 5:26 PM | Permalink #196 Steve S and others. Re: weather. We did have rain here, the storm came through us to dump the snow on you guys in the north, mid-west and middle. I have friends in Ohio and Illinois, and also in Washington State too, all got a foot of snow dumped on them in one night with the same storm or at least after I got rain, day or so later they got the snow. We had high winds too. #195 I am still waiting for the the link to these papers you’ve read on a colder MWP that you said The Idso’s website ignores and that you complain are never talked about on CA Hello? smoking and global warming are two different things- Stick to the subject. Links please. 213. David Smith Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 5:34 PM | Permalink Re #202 I think the low November Arctic ice had more to do with wind patterns than it did with a lack of frigid air. The cold north winds which were building Steve Sadlov’s ice bridge between Greenland and Iceland circled and became south winds which destroyed ice north of Russia. Same thing west of Alaska. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. The area which was anomalously warm and ice-free on November 30 was Hudson’s Bay, but that is now 50% (thin) ice-covered after just one week. 214. Ian Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 6:24 PM | Permalink I have written up an informal document that discusses the limits of global warming and comes to what I believe is an interesting conclusion. I know that many scientists read this site and I would be interested in their thoughts. My conclusion seemed pretty obvious and not particularly revolutionary however they directly conflict with current conventional wisdom. http://global_warming.s3.amazonaws.com/maximum+temperature.pdf 215. Steve Bloom Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 6:48 PM | Permalink Re #213: And of course a single month means very little. It’s the long-term trend that’s the issue, and the nature of that trend in the Arctic is very obvious. What does it all mean? See here for an recent overview and here for the AGU annual meeting abstracts on the subject. 216. Boris Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 6:49 PM | Permalink R D’Arrigo, R Wilson, G Jacoby 2006: “Direct interpretation of the RCS reconstruction suggests that MWP temperatures were nearly 0.7°C cooler than in the late twentieth century” B Yang, A Braeuning, KR Johnson, Y Shi – Geophysical Research Letters, 2002. There are, of course, more. While we’re bringing up old comments, care to admit that Mockton’s Greenland statment is false? 217. Boris Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 6:52 PM | Permalink 216 is for 212. 218. Peter Lloyd Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 6:52 PM | Permalink Dave Dardinger/192 No, not in this context – in this discussion we are comparing the effect of the Gulf Stream and warm, moist south-westerly winds on Northern Europe climate. Gulf Stream carries 1 cal/degC/cc water vs. airborne water vapour carries the same PLUS 540 cal/cc water of latent heat. In addition, Gulf Stream affects coastal waters only whereas condensed airborne water vapour (rain) warms atmosphere and ground for 2-3 hundred miles inland. As a “greenhouse gas”, of course, each molecule of water vapour in the atmosphere also absorbs a lot more IR across a wider range of energies than a molecule of CO2, and there is 100 times more of it, making it vastly more effecive – indeed, the main atmospheric heat transfer agent. But that’s a different subject! Peter Lloyd 219. Steve Bloom Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 7:28 PM | Permalink Re #214: Ian, in general I would just observe that the present glacial period has only been going for a couple of million years (no time for thousands of cycles) and is unique or nearly unique in the history of the planet, that as we go back in time the sun gets dimmer (less insolation), and that there have been past instances of very sharp and fast temperature rises (most prominently the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum of PETM of about 55M years ago, during which time there were no ice caps and one could have a nice swim in the Arctic Ocean). This would be good place to start getting a sense of climate history. Follow the links for further information. 220. Welikerocks Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 7:29 PM | Permalink Boris, Thank you but one paper [by Hockey Team members I think] is not scores. I’ll have to see if I can read it. Hope it’s not computer models. And about Greenland no, I am not going to do that. BTW -name the Viking farm site you are talking about or the one in the article. Name the location. The Vikings only had two colonies, and these farms were part of the colonies not separate entities, so it should be easy for you. I think you are just nit picking in the long run. “To this day”, is the same as saying “in this day and age”. It is not easy at all to have farms in Greenland without technology, electricity, automobiles, roads, building materials-steel, wood (there were no trees for the Vikings, they fought over drift wood for fuel in the end) shipping, etc etc etc. even in this day and age because of the climate. I don’t believe they grow crops either, I believe it’s cattle and sheep only-which is still considered agriculture. So name that Viking farm if you know so much about it please so I can look up the location. And I am sure everyone else is sick of this argument. So sorry. 221. David Smith Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 7:35 PM | Permalink Re #213 Steve, I can’t get your first link to work. On the second link, the best abstract is Wettlaufer et al. Have you read the paper and what do you think? 222. Peter Lloyd Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 7:48 PM | Permalink MarkT\JeanS/197-207 Just to coninue this delightfully useless anecdotal line of research (!), here in the eastern central UK we only lost leaves on trees last week – usually during October. Now very wet & windy but sunny afternoons, too warm for jackets/sweaters. Very unusual. And the Swiss are going nuts because there is no snow, and the pre-Christmas ski season is normally a big earner. And UK Govt. is now proposing new taxes on diesel/petrol/air travel – surprise, surprise. Clearly there is a statistically significant correlation with the heat generated by the AGW debate and I anticipate a new hockey-stick and new taxes on climate change blogs. Peter Lloyd 223. Peter Lloyd Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 8:01 PM | Permalink Steve Bloom/219 Thanks for the excellent link. Haven’t read it yet, but the graph which comes up on the first screen is interesting. If the Sun has been getting brighter for millions of years, how come the graph shows earth’s temperature dropping for the last 3 million years? Maybe the article explains it – I’ll read it and see. Fascinating graph. Peter Lloyd 224. David Smith Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 8:22 PM | Permalink Re #222 Speaking of useless anecdotes, my city (latitude 29N) normally has its first freeze December 5. This year we reached freezing on three occasions before December 5. A freeze here actually has significance, because it partially kills the grasses and turns them a sun-reflecting yellow-white. Our equivalent of snow cover, I suppose! And speaking of weather (not climate), the global radiosonde temperature for November is in. November 2006 was cooler than November 2005, which was an ENSO-neutral month. We’re into the fourth month of a weak El Nino but no atmospheric heat kick yet. That’s a bit odd, but it’s weather. The November satellite temperature anomaly is also in, but there’s a caveat about satellite data quality, so beware. The plot is here . The caveat is below: “Notice that data products are back to version 5.2 for LT and 5.1 for MT and LS. We had hoped to solve the inconsistencies between NOAA-15 and NOAA-16 by this time, but we are still working on the problem. The temperature data for LT and MT are diverging, and we had originally thought that the main error lay with NOAA-15. However, after looking closely, there is evidence that both satellites have calibration drifts. We will assume, therefore, that the best guess is simply the average of the two. This is what is represented in LT 5.2, MT 5.1 and LS 5.1. These datasets have had error statistics already published, so we shall stick with these datasets for a few more months until we get to the bottom of the calibration drifts in the AMSUs. However, the error statistics only cover the period 1978 – 2004. The last two years cover the period where the two AMSUs are drifting apart, so caution is urged on the most recent data.” 225. Nordic Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 9:04 PM | Permalink My useless weather anecdote, not dispositive of anything, but fun for people that like weather: We have been in a bit of a cold snap here in central Utah for the last week or so. Record lows and record low maximums have been set for several days in the last week. No big deal there, we only broke the records by 1-10 degrees (F) depending on the date. It sounds like a lot, but I doubt the instrumental record stretches more than 100 years. The interesting part came 3 days ago. Because of a temperature inversion we had a day when our nearest ski area tied their all-time record high for the date (42) on the same day that we and several other towns broke the record low minumum by 5 degrees (-5 F) and tied the record low maximum. Now that’s just cool. 226. Ian Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 9:05 PM | Permalink Steve/219 Thanks for the comment. Yes I did wonder that when I wrote it😉 Will change to hundreds. 227. Dave Dardinger Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 9:51 PM | Permalink re: #218 Peter, No, not in this context – in this discussion we are comparing the effect of the Gulf Stream and warm, moist south-westerly winds on Northern Europe climate. Yes I know what we’re talking about. And I gave you the math. Did you understand what I was saying? The amount of water in the clouds amounts to .1 to .3 meters. However, I do see that I made a mistake in my math. I have to multiply my figures for atmosphere by 10-30 since .1m = 10 cm. This would mean 5400 cal / sq cm. Meanwhile 50 Meters in the mixed layer would mean 5000 cm^3 or 5000 cal / sq cm / deg C. Again it means that the water in the atmosphere will carry about 1-3 times as much latent as the ocean water below it will release by cooling 1 degree C. I’m not considering the cooling of the atmospheric water vapor since it will be small compared to the latent heat. And there are all sorts of details which would have to be considered if we wanted to get technical about it. My only point is that you can’t just claim that huge amounts more heat is delivered to Europe via winds than ocean currents. You have to actually lay out your assumptions and work out the numbers. 228. s243a Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 10:05 PM | Permalink Ross McKitrick is an economist and senior fellow with the Fraser Institute. The Fraser Institute rakes in over$60,000 per year in oil money. McKitrick is also paid by TechCentral Station, which is run by a PR Company called DCI, which is paid for by oil companies.[/quote]

Steve, it looks like people are trying to connect you to big oil. I wonder where this stuff comes from?

229. Ross McKitrick
Posted Dec 7, 2006 at 10:53 PM | Permalink

I’m paid by TechCentralStation? Great! when do the cheques start?

Enviro groups don’t seem to realize that the oil and gas sector stand to gain financially from the kinds of climate policy being proposed in the US. A cap-and-trade system is simply a government-mandated cartel, a sort of milk marketing board for oil. If ever the US government gets close to enacting cap&trade for the energy sector, buy Exxon stock.

230. Steve Bloom
Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 3:55 AM | Permalink

Re #226: It’s more like dozens, I think. But I think your idea has a more fundamental problem since the Earth has very often been much warmer than the limit you postulate.

231. Steve Bloom
Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 4:01 AM | Permalink

Re #221: The link worked for me just now, so hopefully there’s no longer a problem. Regarding that abstract, I wish there were more information. It appears they’re talking about albedo feedback to melting, but I could be wrong.

232. Steve Bloom
Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 4:03 AM | Permalink

Hmmm.

233. Willis Eschenbach
Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 5:21 AM | Permalink

Steve Bloom says above that a certain Wikipedia page “would be [a] good place to start getting a sense of climate history” … Steve, you owe me a new keyboard, I spewed coffee all over mine laughing at your claim.

I don’t know if you noticed, but this is a science blog. Wikipedia is well know for the antics of one Wm. Connelly, a Wikipedia “editor” who ruthlessly censors any climate science postings with non-AGW points of view, to the point where other Wikipedia editors have forced him to put back things that he has erased. Please confine your citations to science, not to Connelly’s fantasies …

w.

234. Welikerocks
Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 6:18 AM | Permalink

#216 Re: the paper you suggested. I found the abstract.

““Direct interpretation of the RCS reconstruction suggests that MWP temperatures were nearly 0.7°C cooler than in the late twentieth century””

then comes the big however…

However, we advise caution with this analysis. Although we conclude, as found elsewhere, that recent warming has been substantial relative to natural fluctuations of the past millennium, we also note that owing to the spatially heterogeneous nature of the MWP, and its different timing within different regions, present palaeoclimatic methodologies will likely “flatten out” estimates for this period relative to twentieth century warming, which expresses a more homogenous global “fingerprint.” Therefore we stress that presently available paleoclimatic reconstructions are inadequate for making specific inferences, at hemispheric scales, about MWP warmth relative to the present anthropogenic period and that such comparisons can only still be made at the local/regional scale.

Why did you leave that part out? And how anybody can argue over fractions of temperature from proxy thermometers like tree rings for times gone by in Earth history with such certainty and belief and leave that part out of the abstract is just mind boggling to me.

235. Peter Lloyd
Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 7:24 AM | Permalink

QUESTION re ice core records

Air bubbles at the lower end of deep ice cores will have been subjected to high pressure for tens/hundreds of thousands of years. Will not the combined effects of pressure and osmosis smear out both the maximum and minimum CO2 readings from the peak years to many annual layers on each side? The temporal smear is not so important in context, but the true % CO2 level is, given the importance assigned to what are, after all, very small amounts of CO2 in today’s atmosphere.

And since the same slice thickness contains far more annual layers (due to compression) when taken from the deeper part of the core, are not the readings from these much thinner older annual layers averaged out over a larger number of years when the gas analysis is done?

And does the combination of these two effects mean that our paleoclimate readings of maximum % CO2 are understated and minimum % CO2 are overstated?

Not presenting a hypothesis here, just trying to educate myself. Thought this might be a place to find heavyweights who might know.

Peter Lloyd

236. Boris
Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 7:31 AM | Permalink

rocks

“To this day”, is the same as saying “in this day and age”.

Are you serious? Come on, make an attempt to be reasonable. “Richard Nixon is alive to this day.”

Why did you leave that part out?

Geez. I thought it was well known that proxy temps from the MWP wre not terribly accurate. Funny how the “hockey team” you disparage here gives a good overview of uncertainty. How misleading of them. Do the Idso’s make such a statement?

As for Greenland’s settlments, I’m sure you can find them yourself, and apparently whatever evidence I present you’ll believe MOckton was speaking the gospel no matter how you have to torture the language.

But do a google image search for Brattahlid if you want to see a nice green Viking settlement that is not under permafrost to this day.

237. Peter Lloyd
Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 7:50 AM | Permalink

Dave Dardinger/227

Dave,

I understand what you are getting at, but we are not talking about clouds here – they are droplets of liquid water, and we are talking about water vapour in the atmosphere carrying latent heat. My view is that your calculations are not relevant to this phenomenon. The limit on the amount of latent heat transported is how much water vapour can be picked up by the south-westerly airflow, and the limit on that is the dew point of the air over the ocean, which in turn depends on the temperature of the airflow. There is more than enough water in the ocean to supply all that the airflow can absorb, and more than enough solar energy to maintain the surface temperature of the ocean.

Stand on a clff top in Cornwall and feel the breeze. Even on a clear day out at sea, it’s dripping with moisture – right at the dew point – so when the airflow rises and cools – instant cloud, which means release of latent heat. Not every day, of course, but it’s typical of UK climate. Even in winter, the south-westerly winds are warm enough to carry plenty of water vapour. Same in San Francisco and Vancouver.

Peter Lloyd

238. Steve McIntyre
Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 7:54 AM | Permalink

#216. Boris, the D’Arrigo paper doesn’t establish anything at all about modern-medieval temperatures. First, there’s the Divergence Problem. Their proxy index goes to 1995 but doesn’t keep going up. So they cut it off in 1985. Cuffey asked D’Arrigo about it at the NAS panel, wondering how, if the index failed to capture recent wwarming, it could be relied upon to capture possible medieval warmth. D’Arrigo said that’s the “Divergence Problem” – Briffa’s published on that. Of course, Briffa’s “Explanation” , which I’ve written about, is about the most embarrassing “scientific” explanation in modern literature and does not rise above invocation of a cargo cult.

Second, they cherry-picked and used the Yamal substituion instead of Polar Urals (misleadingly labeled “POL” though the substitution is disclosed in the fine print) even though Briffa did not allow them to see the data. Without the Yamal substitution, the medieval-modern relationship would be reversed. So the “Evidence” here is flimsy, to say the least.

239. Welikerocks
Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 8:03 AM | Permalink

I am not the one worshipping here Boris. I see no good evidence to convert to your beliefs, as do many others here. The proof is on you, not visa versa. So far-batting zero.

240. Jean S
Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 8:31 AM | Permalink

Steve Bloom/#232. Thanks! Did you actually read the paper? It’s here:
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/314/5805/1556

That has to be the most stupid paper I’ve read for a awhile. This is a clear indication how LOW Science has gone. I think there is simply no way below this. So what Pagani et al did? They simply ASSUMED that the warming of at least 5C during the PETM was caused by CO2 (or GHGs in general). The assumption is stated as follows:

Temperature records from the tropics to the poles indicate that at the start of the PETM, global temperatures increased by at least 5°C in less than 10,000 years (2). The rise in surface temperature was associated with changes in the global hydrological cycle (3) and a large decrease in the 13C/12C ratio of marine (4) and terrestrial carbonates (5) and of organic carbon (3). This carbon isotopic excursion indicates that changes in the global carbon cycle were linked to global warming.

Furthermore, the ocean’s carbonate compensation depth–the depth above which carbonate accumulates on the sea floor–rose substantially at the start of the carbon isotope excursion (5). This change is consistent with ocean acidification associated with a rapid influx of CO2. Although the change in ocean chemistry was not uniform throughout the ocean (6, 7), the confluence of isotopic and sedimentological data supports the conclusion that atmospheric CO2 was the primary greenhouse gas driving the PETM. Yet, the source of the CO2 remains a mystery.

Then in the rest of the paper they speculate how much CO2/GHGs you need to get 5C increase and what is known about their levels/possible sources and conclude:

These details may appear esoteric, but to determine the mass and source of carbon responsible for the >5°C warming during the PETM, we must match the magnitude of the carbon isotope excursion with the mean global temperature sensitivity to CO2 and associated climate feedbacks (see the figures). One conclusion from this approach is that CO2 derived from methane hydrates could only have caused the PETM if the climate sensitivity to CO2 was much higher than currently assumed. Yet carbon sources other than methane, such as the oxidation of primary terrestrial and/or marine organic carbon, together with commonly accepted estimates of climate sensitivity, would require extremely large carbon inputs to explain the warming. Thus, the PETM either resulted from an enormous input of CO2 that currently defies a mechanistic explanation, or climate sensitivity to CO2 was extremely high.

Not a single word about the possibility that the warming during PETM might have been caused (even partially) by something else than GHGs. Yes, this is published in Science in year 2006.

241. Dave Dardinger
Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 10:36 AM | Permalink

re: #237 Peter,

I understand what you are getting at, but we are not talking about clouds here

For Pete’s sake, Pete! Your sentence above undermines itself. I was not talking about clouds. I was calculating the amount of water in the atmosphere (in the form of water vapor) in order to calculate the amount of latent heat per square centimeter so that I could compare it to the amount of heat which could be extracted from the water column beneath said square centimeter.

But my more important point was that you aren’t putting numbers to your statements. You talk about dew point, but don’t present what amount of water that amounts to. Go find a number representing the concentration of water vapor per cubic meter at some typical ocean temperature near GB, and then we can work it out. I’d do the searching myself, but you obviously need practice in finding useful data. (This admonition applies to certain other people around here too. You know who you are.)

242. jae
Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

214: Ian: Very intriguing paper you wrote. I’m certainly more worried of the pending ice age than I am of warming!

243. Ian
Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 11:55 AM | Permalink

jae #242

Thank you. It is amazing to me how pervasive the “feedback loop to infinite warming” line of thought is inherently built into many scientist’s psyche. This aspect bothered me for a long time. As an educated non-scientist (engineering physics, physics/mathematical modeling masters program) I struggled to understand how the greenhouse effect could produce temperatures higher than the blackbody case. It seemed to be such accepted wisdom I could not figure out what I was missing. Eventually after much thought and reading I came to realize that the greenhouse effect cannot produce temperatures higher than the blackbody case and that the unspoken assumption that it can is wrong.

It is clear from all of the talk about “tipping points” today that the triggering of some sort of runaway greenhouse warming is still very much seen as a legitimate possibility. The Earth has already experienced an unknown number of runaway greenhouse warming and has always ended at a nice habitable equilibrium near the maximum possible value.

The link to the paper is quite a ways back now so I will post it again here for anyone who is interested http://global_warming.s3.amazonaws.com/maximum+temperature.pdf

244. Paul Linsay
Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 12:18 PM | Permalink

#242,243. Ian. I read your paper and I think the physics is wrong. As an example consider the atmosphere of Venus. If you are correct the surface temperature should be about 344 K because it is at 0.7 AU, but in fact it’s 737K. Ninety atmospheres of CO2 mixed with H2SO4 can be quite nasty.

Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 12:32 PM | Permalink

RE: #202 – Those data for the NH anomaly are highly questionable. No time for details just now…. later….

246. JPK
Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 12:56 PM | Permalink

#220

Rocks,
From Fagan’s The Little Ice Age, the Vikings Northwest Settlement mainly grazed cattle and sheep. They still fished, but as the climate and SSTs grew colder, the Cod migrated farther and farther south to the warmer waters. No one knows what happened to the people of the settlement, but with the recent melting of some inland glaciers (about 10km inland), a small stone farmhouse was uncovered. This means that the grazing areas were much farther inland than previously known. It also highlighted that many of the ice covered areas were only ice covered since the 14 and 15th centuries. This mirrors the recent melting of many glaicers in Glacier National Park. These glaciers have only been around since the LIA. Before the LIA, the northern hemisphere was about as warm as it is now.

The entire argument revolves around whether the warmth we are seeing today is unprecedented. What is interesting is that no matter where the debate goes, it always comes back to the Hockey Stick. On one side there was no LIA/MWP and the warming today is unprecedented. Too bad facts keep getting in the way.

247. jae
Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 1:29 PM | Permalink

JPK, thanks for the reference. Tremendous amounts of information about the LIA and MWP in Europe. Boris, Google Fagan Little Ice Age for some interesting reading…. Of course, we know from the Team that this was just “weather” in Europe, nothing global.

248. Welikerocks
Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 2:22 PM | Permalink

JPK,

The entire argument revolves around whether the warmth we are seeing today is unprecedented. What is interesting is that no matter where the debate goes, it always comes back to the Hockey Stick. On one side there was no LIA/MWP and the warming today is unprecedented. Too bad facts keep getting in the way.

Thank you, I’ll look at the link too [I was reading about the southern colony], and I know! all roads lead to that peskey Hockey Sticky!

249. Steve Bloom
Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 2:34 PM | Permalink

Re #233: Willis, I wasn’t aware that the aspects of deep-time paleoclimate that pertain to Ian’s project are especially controversial. In any case, Wikipedia at least (unlike, say, co2science), has outbound links allowing one to see the source material. Finally, of course WMC is a qualified, published climate scientist.

250. Steve Bloom
Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 2:46 PM | Permalink

Re #240: Well, Jean, they stated their attribution reasoning in the first paragraph you quoted. It seems pretty cut and dried to me. I was under the impression that the idea that the cause of the PETM was a GHG excursion has been accepted science for some years, so I don’t know why you would expect this paper to dwell on that point. The focus of the paper was on the sensitivity calculation. In any case, what’s your proposed alternative mechanism?

251. Steve Bloom
Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 2:54 PM | Permalink

Re #246: Uncovered by a glacier? Really?

252. loki on the run
Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 3:07 PM | Permalink

Re: 250

I was under the impression that the idea that the cause of the PETM was a GHG excursion has been accepted science for some years, so I don’t know why you would expect this paper to dwell on that point.

I seem to recall that many things were once accepted science, and are now thought to be just plain weird. You know, like the aether, the fixity of species, the fixity of the position of the continents.

Do you really understand the provisional nature of all science?

While I agree that the the material Jean S quoted did state their chain of reasons, it does seem that they completely ignored any other alternatives. It seems to me that the hallmark of good science is that it does point out all the alternatives.

253. jae
Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 3:09 PM | Permalink

Maybe the recent warming can be explained by an increase in the frequency of sunspot cycles. If so, cooling should occur by about 2015, since Cycle 25 is expected to peak about 13 years after Cycle 24 (and be weak, to boot). See p. 12 of this paper. The last several cycles have only been about 10 years long.

254. Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 3:45 PM | Permalink

Road map comment links are acting weirdly. test post:

There are lots of symptoms of pathological science in the air, and this hysteria-approach will probably mask the true problems we will encounter. It seems that many of those scientists are in denial, they refuse to look into well-known statistical procedures, because the results would be too unpleasant. And they often deny or discount the results that are obtained using their own data and methods.

255. Ian
Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 4:31 PM | Permalink

244 Paul,

Yes Venus is interesting. How to explain it? I am perfectly willing to accept that my statements are wrong, but what part and why? Can you create a scenario in which a body in equilibrium with an external energy source can become hotter than an equivalent black body in the same environment? I don’t think you can, but if you think you can, then make sure you also explain how this body would not violate the second law of thermodynamics i.e. if you create this object that can have more heat internally then that of a black body you can essentially accumulate heat in one part of the system and remove it from another for free (a really cheap air conditioner! 😉

My personal feelings about Venus is that this is simply latent heat. The atmosphere is so thick on Venus that light never even reaches the surface (so I’m not sure how light could be absorbed by the surface and re-emitted as thermal energy if light can’t even reach the surface). This atmosphere also works as a really excellent insulator. Similarly the earth’s crust is an excellent insulator and magma under the earth’s crust is over 1000 degrees C. Just latent heat left over from when the planets were created. That is my feeling anyways.

But I am not a scientist and claim no certainty in my statements, but only place them out there for discussion.

Cheers,

Ian

256. Steve Bloom
Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 4:34 PM | Permalink

Re #252: That would involve there being an alternative that fits the evidence. I’m bot aware of one? Are you?

257. Wm. L. Hyde
Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 4:36 PM | Permalink

Steve….I have to hand it to you! You’re certainly persistant. Yet you are obviously outclassed here and every time you post you arouse my sympathy. This causes too much emotion in me for reading a science website. After what Rocks put you through, I am surprised you still show your face around here. Hang in there, Buddy, you got real courage! Cheers…..theoldhogger

258. Wm. L. Hyde
Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 4:38 PM | Permalink

Re#257…That would be Steve Bloom

259. Paul Linsay
Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 4:45 PM | Permalink

#255. A challenge, let me think about it.

260. Peter Lloyd
Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 5:09 PM | Permalink

Dave Dardinger/241

I quote your own words in 227 –

“The amount of water in the clouds amounts to……”

I can omly respond to what you say.

Peter Lloyd

261. Steve Bloom
Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 5:39 PM | Permalink

Re #257: Are you thinking of someone else? I don’t recall losing an argument to either rocks, not that the experience of interacting with either of them isn’t frustrating from time to time. But it’s nice to see they have fans.

262. Dave Dardinger
Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 6:57 PM | Permalink

re: #260

I apologize then. I can’t imagine why I said clouds in my second message. If you’ll recall I started in message 192 by saying:

Since the % water vapor in the atmosphere is only 1-3%, the atmosphere only contains .3-1 ft of water equivilant = .1-.3 meters.

I clearly meant to say “atmosphere” not “clouds”. But if that’s all that separates us, will you agree that there is not the huge disparity between atmosphere and ocean current that you claimed? If not, would you be so kind as to find the piece of information I requested so we can discuss the subject mathematically?

263. Welikerocks
Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 6:58 PM | Permalink

#257, do you mean the one about Mars before the Road Map got hung up? LOL

264. Steve Bloom
Posted Dec 8, 2006 at 9:40 PM | Permalink

Re #263: That was it! Rocks was trying to prove by way of the power of her belief that there is global warming on Mars.

265. Welikerocks
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 2:10 AM | Permalink

#264 the spin never stops with you does it? Gotta get in those links to promote any way you can huh Mr. Bloom? The argument you started was about Mars’ orbital forcings. You made a big mistake, had a big time double standard going on , and disappeared as per usual when the going got tough. You don’t think everyone notices your shananigans? LOL Read 257 again.

266. fFreddy
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 3:49 AM | Permalink

Re #264, Steve Bloom
That RealClimate post of yours really is a classic of the genre.
1 Lots of hand-waving about orbital parameters, but no clear statement of anything relevant to current temperature at the pole.
2 Reference to some articles behind a subscription wall.
3 Conclusion that the Mars GCM can be fudged to explain the observation of reducing ice caps as being due to “peculiar topography near the pole”.
4 Applause from the true believers, e.g., comment 5

Thank Gaia for those wonderfully flexible climate models, eh ?

267. Steve Bloom
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 4:00 AM | Permalink

Re #265: Rocks, as I recall you seemed to think my big mistake was referring to Mars as having Milankovitch forcings different from those of the Earth. It may be technically that they should be called Martian orbital forcings rather than Martian Milankovitch forcings (I still don’t know since I never looked it up), but whatver they are called their behavior is exactly as I described. Call that a double standard if you like. I’m sorry my practice of linking to scientific sources makes you uncomfortable, but I really prefer it to just making things up. BTW, if sometimes I “disappear” like that it’s because I find my posts disappearing. Usually I can return to the discussion a few days later, but that particular one got erased before I could.

268. Steve Bloom
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 5:10 AM | Permalink

Re #266: Interesting definition of hand-waving, Freddy. But since it wasn’t clear, his point was that the observed effects can’t be pegged to the orbital cycles (wrong configuration just now) or insolation (flat or slightly declining trend in the last few years), the dust clouds are the obvious remaining explanation (and BTW, they are known to be highly variable from observations). But if you think the astrophysicist author was wrong, let’s hear your ideas.

269. Welikerocks
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 8:06 AM | Permalink

I’m sorry my practice of linking to scientific sources makes you uncomfortable, but I really prefer it to just making things up.

I really would appreciate if you’d drop all the emotional assumptions on my part. I don’t mind if there’s a paper linked. Also my husband is reading along with me btw. You did link to a paper then about Mars and your understanding of it was completely off the mark, AND it was all based on computer models. So you linked and made stuff up.

#266 Yeah, we don’t know how the Earth works exactly- yet planets we’ve never set foot on are all figured out. Cheers for those folks at RC.

270. beng
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 8:45 AM | Permalink

RE 255:

Ian, I think your ideas are intriguing. Neither am I sure how earth’s temp could possibly rise above a perfect blackbody, discounting internal heat, of course.

The explanation of Venus’ temps seems plausible. Since its atmosphere is so thick over its history, the heat of the molten core may be “trapped” there, just as ours is under the very thin crust.

Perhaps you could post this at RC and sit back & watch the moderators hurriedly trying to explain your points away, if it survived the censory committee.

271. jae
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 10:15 AM | Permalink

I think climate variability has been fairly well explained now by solar influences and the Milankovitch Cycle. If you put these two papers together, there are some outstanding correlations, as well as a good physical explanation for what is going on. The first paper gives the theories, while the second one provides the best variable: simply Solar Cycle length. Comments?

272. JP
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 11:19 AM | Permalink

RE: 144 Just checked and could not find that the BBC ever posted any of Willis’s comments.

273. Reid
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 11:44 AM | Permalink

Re #271: jae says “I think climate variability has been fairly well explained now by solar influences…Comments?”

I completely agree with you.

AGW Inquisitor says:
You are guilty of being an anthropocentric denier. AGW is too important for the future of humanity to allow dissent on settled science. Cut his grants.

274. Dave Dardinger
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 12:39 PM | Permalink

re: #270, uhhh Beng (& Ian)

The reason the temperature can be higher on the surface of the earth or Venus than the black body temperature is that the BBT is what you get at the radiating level, which is near the top of the atmosphere, not on the surface of the planet. Below that level the temperature HAS to be warmer almost by definition. How much warmer is a function of how efficiently the energy being radiated can get to the radiation level. On earth it’s fairly efficient because of a thinner atmosphere and water vapor carrying latent heat to the top of the atmosphere. On Venus there’s not much efficiency and so the surface is quite a bit hotter despite the difficulty of the sun’s radiance getting to the surface.

275. Ian
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 1:20 PM | Permalink

274 Dave,

Perhaps, but I don’t think so — http://www.wmconnolley.org.uk/sci/wood_rw.1909.html (anecdotal and therefore ‘scientifically’ meaningless, but best I could find)

If one integrates the flux from thermal distribution (low frequency, low energy) inside a cavity with a high pass filter over it and says this total flux must equal the incoming flux from the sun (much higher average energy), it ‘seems’ like that ‘of course’ it will have to be warmer inside of a cavity in order for the incoming and outgoing radiation to be equal, but this ignores the fact that the filter itself will become as hot as the temperature inside and will therefore radiate the same thermal distribution as inside. In this scenario, at equilibrium the filter becomes ‘thermally transparent’. I can not think of a better way to describe the argument to you, but if you could show me with a thought experiment and some math how I am wrong, I would be grateful.

Cheers,

Ian

276. David Smith
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

I haven’t read this one (putting up Christmas decorations and repairing computers today) but it looks like it’ll stir a dust-up.

Maybe Monckton and Gore can rest while this US Senator takes the middle ring. I suspect this will be the usual mix of firm, and flimsy, arguments.

277. David Smith
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 2:05 PM | Permalink

Poor Santa ( link ). If the global warming activists are crucifying Santa Claus today, I wonder about tomorrow. Is the Easter Bunny next?

278. Cliff Huston
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 2:43 PM | Permalink

RE#277

It’s not even orignal. See here. Possibly dates back to the 1960’s.

279. Hans Erren
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 3:48 PM | Permalink

re 255:

The radiating surface of Venus is at the cloud tops, as the pressure at the bottom of the atmosphere is 90 atm, the adiabat has a long way to go. But even without clouds due to complete CO2 saturation the radiating surface would be at nearly the same elevation. So it’s the combination of complete CO2 absorption which brings the radiating surface upwards, and the dense atmosphere which brings the adiabat downwards. Whe don’t have both on earth so we won’t get temperatures as high as on Venus.

280. Hans Erren
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 3:56 PM | Permalink

Here is the effective photosphere height as function of wavelength. Note in Particular the 900 cm-1 window which makes it possible to use infrared for weather satellites.

281. loki on the run
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 4:12 PM | Permalink

Re: 240

Not a single word about the possibility that the warming during PETM might have been caused (even partially) by something else than GHGs. Yes, this is published in Science in year 2006.

And, the earth came out of that situation and returned to lower atmospheric CO2 levels and lower temperatures.

That suggests that there is a lot we don’t know about the atmosphere.

Let’s do the science before scaring people into spending billions or even trillions of dollars to avert a problem we don’t even understand.

282. Ian
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 4:33 PM | Permalink

279 Hans,

If you could explain the mechanism using a spherical cavity (approximation to a black body) and whatever mechanisms are needed on top of that ( but keeping things as simple as possible), that would be great. I’m afraid that as soon as one starts talking about real atmospheres the complexities , quickly become overwhelming. First I need to understand an abstract case. If you were going to create the simplest experiment possible to prove your point, what would it be?

Ian

283. Hans Erren
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 4:35 PM | Permalink

During PETM there was no antarctic icecap, so there was no oceanic cold bottom water. So PETM conditions are absolutely not comparable with the present day situation, so neither is climate sensitivity to doubling of CO2.

284. Hans Erren
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 4:59 PM | Permalink

This is the most simple radiative equilibrium for an illumnated and radiating sphere with albedo and emissivity. That’s a far better aproach than a cavity.
Using this equation (trying LaTeX)
T =(\frac{ \epsilon_r S} {\epsilon_e 4\sigma})^\frac1{4}
http://home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/sb.htm
Note the equilibrium only exists at the effective photosphere height. The problem for earth is that the photosphere – the region where photons emit to outer space – is strongly dependent on wavelength, in the central CO2 band this is 12 km at 900 cm-1 this is the surface. When it gets cloudy the photospere can suddenly rise from surface to 12 km altitude (cloud tops).

285. Hans Erren
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 4:59 PM | Permalink

$T =(\frac{ \epsilon_r S} {\epsilon_e 4\sigma})^\frac1{4}$

286. Hans Erren
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 5:02 PM | Permalink

$T^4 =\frac{ \epsilon_r S} {\epsilon_e 4\sigma}$

287. Ian
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 5:08 PM | Permalink

#286 Hans,

I have seen this before but it is my understanding (and perhaps quite incorrectly) that at thermodynamic equilibrium Et and Ee are equal (Kirchoff’s Law) — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirchhoff%27s_law_of_thermal_radiation “At thermal equilibrium, the emissivity of a body (or surface) equals its absorptivity.” and therefore your equation becomes that same as before T^4=S/4*sigma. What am I missing?

Ian

288. Dave Dardinger
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 5:26 PM | Permalink

re: #287 Ian,

One big thing you’re missing is that the earth radiating to space is nowhere near thermodynamic equilibrium. True the overall situation is that the energy coming to the earth (insolation) must be roughly balanced by the energy being radiated to space else the earth must warm or cool, but that doesn’t mean that there’s any identity of emissions at a particular place or time. During the day a lot of the incoming heat is absorbed by the surface and most of this is then released at night. Likewise in the summer an area may warm gradually and then cool off in winter. That’s why the temperature lags the sun’s position except in the equatorial regions.

I suppose there’s no harm you learning all this stuff here, but please be aware that you’re not making major discoveries in areas you aren’t up on the basic material concerning.

289. Hans Erren
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 5:31 PM | Permalink

wavelength,
incoming radiation peaks in the visible and crosses a nearly transparant atmosphere.
on the emitting side the spectrum peaks in the mid infrared where water vapour and CO2 are the
dominant species.

so $\epsilon_r$=0.7 (visible co-albedo) and
$\epsilon_e$=0.6293 (infrared emissivity)

co-albedo relates also to cloudiness, which makes it a very interesting equation.

290. Hans Erren
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 5:34 PM | Permalink

re 288:
of course we haven’t even considered ocean heat storage, but the above equation works nicely for an average planet

291. Ian
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 5:49 PM | Permalink

#288 and #289 I agree that the Earth is not in Thermodynamic equilibrium, but I would argue that since it gets all of it’s energy from the sun that this means that it should be colder than an equivalent black body at thermodynamic equilibrium, not hotter.

From wikipedia:

– The absorptivity is the fraction of incident light (power) that is absorbed by the body/surface. In the most general form of the theorem, this power must be integrated over all wavelengths and angles.

So looking at one specific frequency is no good, you have to integrate over all frequencies and when you do this the absorptivity and emittence are equal.

I don’t want to take up any more of your time, but without a specific example (i.e. a simple scenario with a cavity), a thought model that I can do math with to see the result, I’m not sure I can go any further in understanding what you are trying to convey. I know you prefer spheres, but spheres have unequal flux distributions and other problems (especially if they have a bubbling atmosphere, are rotating, etc). If one was going to do an simple experiment, say glass plate over a cavity in a near vacuum — wouldn’t that work to satisfy your conditions for heating greater than a black body?

Cheers,

Ian

292. Ian
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 6:30 PM | Permalink

Actually, I take that back. The Earth is in global thermodynamic equilibrium, otherwise it would be heating up or cooling down.

293. Hans Erren
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 6:34 PM | Permalink

So looking at one specific frequency is no good, you have to integrate over all frequencies and when you do this the absorptivity and emittence are equal.

No, that’s not right, Kirchhof’s law is only valid for one frequency. Radiative equilibrium is integrated ove two completely diffrent spectral ranges (visible and infrared) with completely different spectral absorption/emission lines.

294. Steve Bloom
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 6:51 PM | Permalink

Re #269: Ok, rocks, let’s step through the problem:

1) There has been some observed melting of the Martian south pole in the last few years.

2) Scientists who have looked at this have been able to think of only three possible causes: a) increased solar irradiance (can’t be that because direct observations show a slight decline over the period in question), b) orbital cycle changes (much larger for Mars than for Earth and thus *capable* of the effect, but not in the necessary configuration to actually do it) and c) dust clouds, which observations have shown to have a recent trend that could explain the melting. But with this latter point what we have is correlation and not causation, so scientists want more (i.e., some sort of affirmative proof) before being willing to pin it to the dust clouds.

3) Unlike with irradiance and orbital cycle changes, accurately calculating insolation changes due to the constantly shifting dust clouds is not straightforward, and so requires a model. Conclusion after modeling: Yes, it’s very likely the dust clouds.

Hopefully the foregoing makes everything clear. If you have other ideas I’d be happy to hear them.

295. Ian
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 7:37 PM | Permalink

#293 Perhaps my misinterpretation of the Wikipedia entry then. Okay to summarize.

From the perspective of the Sun and looking at the earth as a whole, the absorptivity and emittance are equal at every frequency and therefore cancel out. I think we are in agreement on that. The atmosphere has a very different emittance spectrum than the surface of the earth and therefore the earth will absorb all (most) frequencies and emit low frequency radiation. The atmosphere will absorb these low frequencies and emit them back to earth and also out into space. At equilibrium (and this is where it would be really nice to get away from rotating spheres, etc). The earth and atmosphere will be the same temperature. Now I think this is where we differ. For the real earth this is of course not the case, but the real earth is also extremely complicated, uneven flux, gravity, atmosphere pressure changes, rotating, etc. which is why I prefer to talk about cavities. For a cavity with a high-pass filter over it, I think it is really hard to imagine a scenario where the filter would not have the same temperature as rest of the cavity. Now that I think about it, that is probably the crux of the problem. The earth is different because it has gravity and varying pressure — I think that was your basic argument earlier on and therefore the atmosphere is cooler. However I don’t think this matter, but on the other hand maybe it makes all the difference in the world. The outer atmosphere absorbs less radiation than layer below it (both incoming and outgoing) and therefore from a radiation balance point of view and from the adiabatic temperature pressure point of view are completely consistent. Gravity and pressure differences are a extra unnecessary complexity that add nothing but extra calculation work — I believe. The greenhouse effect doesn’t need gravity to work. This is again why I prefer the simplest scenario possible — like a cavity with a high pass filter over it. If one can’t get the simple examples to explain their case then I think there is a problem.

I will think about it some more, but I don’t really see any direction to go that is likely to change my mind so far… Thanks for your time anyways, the discussion is exciting. I will check back occasionally, but probably won’t reply much more unless some significant new argument arises – although I will definitely read and think about any replies.

Cheers,

Ian

296. Loki on the run
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 9:24 PM | Permalink

Re: 256 Steve Bloom says:

Re #252: That would involve there being an alternative that fits the evidence. I’m bot aware of one? Are you?

Well, having gone and read the paper in question, and A Transient Rise in Tropical Sea Surface Temperature During the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum I tend to agree that GHGs were the primary cause of the rise in temperaturs, but I note that Pagani et al conclude that:

Thus, the PETM either resulted from an enormous input of CO2 that currently defies a mechanistic explanation, or climate sensitivity to CO2 was extremely high.

That is, they think there is an alternative to extremely high climate sensitivity to CO2 at that time. To wit, an enormous input of CO2 that we can’t currently explain.

And that they say that the temperature rise occurred in less than 10,000 years, so it could have occurred in 5,000 years. They also say:

estimates for pre-PETM atmospheric CO2 concentrations range from 600 to 2800 parts per million (ppm), broadly consistent with estimates from proxy data (15). Starting from these conditions, an increase of 750 to 26,000 ppm of atmospheric CO2 would be required to account for an additional 5°C rise in global temperature, …

So, should we fall in the middle of those ranges and say that starting from CO2 concentrations of 1,700 ppmv a rise of some 13,000 ppmv would be required to raise the global average temp an additional 5°C?

And notice, these conditions did not lead to thermal runaway.

I think lots more real science is needed over the next 10-20 years to understand the real effects of increasing CO2 levels on the atmosphere, not more model masturbation.

297. Willis Eschenbach
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 10:24 PM | Permalink

Steve B., thanks for your post. You say:

Re #233: Willis, I wasn’t aware that the aspects of deep-time paleoclimate that pertain to Ian’s project are especially controversial. In any case, Wikipedia at least (unlike, say, co2science), has outbound links allowing one to see the source material. Finally, of course WMC is a qualified, published climate scientist.

You make three points, which I will answer in order:

1) Please check your own post. You did not recommend Wikipedia for “aspects of deep-time paleoclimate that pertain to Ian’s project”, you recommended it as a “good place to start getting a sense of climate history”. It is not.

2) Yes, Wikipedia has outbound links that allow me to save as much as one minute, perhaps even two, compared to googling for the links in CO2 Science … gosh, easy links to Connolley-recommended sites on the one hand, google to actual science on the other hand … tough choice …

3) WMC has a PhD in Numerical Modeling, and is thus a computer scientist, not a climate scientist.

To my surprise, absolutely nothing in your post has anything to do with my point, which was that Connolly has been very heavy-handed in his editing of climate science articles on Wikipedia. Please re-read my post #233. There’s one sentence in my post about Wikipedia, shouldn’t take too long. I’ve provided a link above, so you don’t have to google for it.

He has been involved in a number of controversies over his practices. Concerning one of these, Steve M. wrote:

Ironically, in addition to the many problems that we identified, Mann also made an error in respect to cos latitude (identified by von Storch). There is an amusing debate at Wikipedia (Connolley’s involved naturally) in which Connolley tries to justify why Ross’ cos latitude error should appear in Wikipedia, but Mann’s should not. Connolley has disturbingly tried to make it appear as though I was involved in the cos latitude.

He was also found to have deleted posts on one of the Wikipedia “Talk” pages, a definite no-no, and was forced to put them back in. Seems he subscribes to the RealClimate theory of climate censorship, not surprising as he is a principal of that site.

Because of this, Wikipedia is a very poor place to “start getting a sense of” anything to do with climate science.

w.

298. McCall
Posted Dec 9, 2006 at 11:05 PM | Permalink

re: 292 “Actually, I take that back. The Earth is in global thermodynamic equilibrium, otherwise it would be heating up or cooling down.

You mean like it is?

299. Hans Erren
Posted Dec 10, 2006 at 5:26 AM | Permalink

the world has been cooling for 50 mill-yun years

http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/Temperature_Gallery

300. Welikerocks
Posted Dec 10, 2006 at 7:04 AM | Permalink

Re: 267 S.Bloom

Rocks, as I recall you seemed to think my big mistake was referring to Mars as having Milankovitch forcings different from those of the Earth. It may be technically that they should be called Martian orbital forcings rather than Martian Milankovitch forcings (I still don’t know since I never looked it up), but whatver they are called their behavior is exactly as I described.

First off, that’s not where you made the mistake. We can’t really argue about it since the comments were lost. There was more then one commentator in that conversation who agreed that a double standard was certainly developing. You made comments about Mars’ climate -and orbit etc, but in your argument-what you said could also pertain to Earth. And we asked you to show why it couldn’t then the conversation was shut down.

Re: 294
The orignial discussion we were having wasn’t about “global warming” on Mars nor did that topic/link for RealClimate come up at all. But since you posted it, I’ve read the commentary at the top [not the comments] and I’ve also gone through several NASA and Space/Science pages this morning. The overview you list of the “problem” if there is one is to me, too simplistic.-but heck who am I to judge.

For one thing, RealClimate makes statements like this and says:
“Mars has a relatively well studied climate”

But when you go to the sources available online to read we get more down to earth comments such as:

“Despite more than three decades of Red Planet exploration, scientists are still relatively clueless about the climate of Mars, said Paige, the UCLA researcher. Continuous or recurring observations have typically been confined to short time periods” , from Space.com an article called “Mars Ski Report: Snow is Hard, Dense and Disappearing ”

The front page of my news paper just a few days ago featured a series of time sequence photographs showing water bubbling up and then disappearing on Mars’ surface, BTW. The “problem” here isn’t so much a “problem” to me-we just need more understanding and research.

And if you want to argue whether the Milikovitch Cycles and other earth wobbles are “capable” or not I believe that only since the conception of the Hockey Stick was there much doubt that they were capable. And we all know how capable the Hockey Stick is. Here’s a commentary pre-hockey stick for an example courtesy of AGU:

“The world’s tropics and polar regions are shrinking and the temperate zones are growing due to normal shifts in Earth’s obliquity. ”

from: “Concrete” Testimony to Shifting Latitude of the Tropics
Earth in Space, Vol. 9, No. 4, December 1996, pp. 9-11.© 1996 American Geophysical Union. Permission is hereby granted to journalists to use this material so long as credit is given, and to teachers to use this material in classrooms.
here

This is a very complicated subject obviously, and my husband is way better suited to discuss this with you and he’s been an earth wobble/magnetic field reseacher at one point in his career/education [had a job offer from NASA too], and he is also a guru in earth sciences, and fair and honest about “what we know” and “don’t know”-and where there’s ” just plain guessing going on” I will alert him to your # 294 and the debate may continue…Cheers.

301. maksimovich
Posted Dec 10, 2006 at 12:33 PM | Permalink

re 294

The truly common input for all solar system ionospheres on a given day is the Sun’s photon flux, a simple function of heliospheric distance. All other effects are planet
specific:
(1) rotation rate and solar obliquity conditions,
(2) the thermal structure, constituent reactions, and dynamics of its neutral atmosphere,
(3) the degree to which energetic particles (of solar wind and/or magnetospheric origin)impinge upon its atmosphere,
(4) diffusion and electrodynamics associated with coupling from above, and
(5) tides, waves, and electrodynamics arising from coupling to regions below.
[4] Given the variety of possible ionospheres in our solar system that might result from these variable processes, it is not obvious, a priori, which of the planets would have the greatest electron density. One approach to a solar-system wide assessment is to focus on the dominance of the in situ mechanisms: production by solar radiation and chemical loss.
[5] Ionospheric physics at each planet involves a local blend of two fundamental regimes: photochemical processes and neutral/plasma dynamics. On Earth, where photochemical processes are reasonably well understood, dynamical effects related to upward and downward coupling are used to explain the departures often observed from the predictions of simple photochemistry.

Two processes of coupling from below again distinguish Mars from Earth:
(1) the planet is small and yet its orographic features are dramatic, and thus tides and wave forcing from below occur to a degree not seen on other terrestrial planets [Forbes and Hagan, 2000; Forbes, 2002];
(2) there are irregular crustal magnetic fields, predominantly in the southern hemisphere, that set up mini-magnetospheric structures within its ionosphere, and thus solar wind coupling is profoundly different in each hemisphere, a unique occurrence in the solar system.

It is interesting the “astrophysicist ” you use as an expert opinion did not mention the enhanced proton absorbtion in the SH on mars and the effects of heliophysical coupling via transport of fractionated solar emissions.

The use of solar irradiance as an indicator of solar activity is a smokescreen ,here the use of the f10.7 cm measurement is not a an accurate indicator ,in comparative aeronomy the e10.7 cm is used.The incorporation of this and CME solar events provide a more accurate measurement of the solar budget.

This is particularly important for x-ray photons that carry energy far above that needed to ionize an atom or molecule. In such cases, the electron liberated by ionization has so much extra energy that it ionizes other atoms and molecules via collisions. This secondary ionization by photoelectrons is an amplification effect .

302. Loki on the run
Posted Dec 10, 2006 at 6:26 PM | Permalink

“Fake But Accurate” Science? from the American Thinker.

Well, perhaps the HS is not even accurate.

303. David Smith
Posted Dec 10, 2006 at 7:05 PM | Permalink

Looks like El Nino is sputtering. The SOI, an indicator of its future strength, is now at neutral. The data is here .

The official forecast is for the El Nino to peak circa February or March but this one may be peaking now.

So far we haven’t seen the usual atmospheric heat kick, though it may yet come.

304. Willis Eschenbach
Posted Dec 10, 2006 at 7:25 PM | Permalink

McCall, I appreciate your comment. You say:

re: 292 “Actually, I take that back. The Earth is in global thermodynamic equilibrium, otherwise it would be heating up or cooling down.”

You mean like it is?

You are correct. However, assuming, as the IPCC does, that the global temperature change over the last century is ~ 0.6°C, and using IPCC figures for climate sensitivity of ~ 0.8° per W/m2, this implies an increase in the radiative equilibrium over the century of ~ 0.75W/m2. The average change in the radiative equilibrium, therefore, is 0.0075W/m2 per year.

Because this is two or three of orders of magnitude below our measurement accuracy for the radiative fluxes, the instantaneous situation is certainly close enough to equilibrium to be treated as such in our calculations.

As an aside, this also reveals the hubris in the GCM folks claim that their models can detect a change of this magnitude …

w.

305. Steve Bloom
Posted Dec 10, 2006 at 9:42 PM | Permalink

Re #299: Thanks for posting that, Hans. I think it’s helpful for people to see that the Pleistocene glaciation, while it may seem like a very long time in terms of human lifetimes, is actually very recent and very unusual.

Re #300: “And if you want to argue whether the Milikovitch Cycles and other earth wobbles are ‘capable’ or not I believe that only since the conception of the Hockey Stick was there much doubt that they were capable.” I don’t recall seeing any such doubt expressed, rocks. If those cycles control the glaciations, then there’s little doubt as to whether they’re capable of affecting much smaller-scale interglacial climate variations. In any event, have it your way on the double-standard thing; as you say, there is no longer a record of the discussion. As for the guru status of mr. rocks, om looking forward to hearing from him.

Also, rocks, please note that the AGU link you provided (a fun bit of information) has to do with geography rather than climate. IIRC the well-known slow shift in obliquity would eventually (all else being equal) act to trigger another ice age by reducing northern hemisphere summer insolation, but the pace of the change (as the article notes, 14.4 meters per year at the tropic lines) is far too small to have anything to do with current climate change (and in any case is a cooling trend, not a warming trend). (An interesting bit of trivia I’d never though about until now — if obliquity goes to zero, the tropical, temperate and arctic/antarctic zones as they are defined in geography will just disappear!) I’d be curious to know what the Chinese ultimately did about this problem. Maybe put the marker on wheels and move it 3.8 cm south each day?

Re #301: “It is interesting the ‘astrophysicist’ you use as an expert opinion did not mention the enhanced proton absorbtion in the SH on mars and the effects of heliophysical coupling via transport of fractionated solar emissions.” Now there is a truly breathtaking sentence. I was curious and googled “heliophysical coupling”; the single hit was some guy named Maksimovich. Any relation?

Re #304: Willis, models don’t detect change. Instruments do that.

306. Willis Eschenbach
Posted Dec 11, 2006 at 1:31 AM | Permalink

Steve, you point out correctly (immediately above) that:

Re #304: Willis, models don’t detect change. Instruments do that.

Let me rephrase the statement you objected to. I had said:

As an aside, this also reveals the hubris in the GCM folks claim that their models can detect a change of this magnitude …

I will replace that with:

As an aside, this also reveals the hubris in the GCM folks claim that their models can hindcast a change of this magnitude, as when Hansen’s “smoking gun” paper claimed to have found instrumental data supporting their hindcast radiation imbalance of 0.85 W/m2.

307. Willis Eschenbach
Posted Dec 11, 2006 at 1:31 AM | Permalink

Steve, you point out correctly (immediately above) that:

Re #304: Willis, models don’t detect change. Instruments do that.

Let me rephrase the statement you objected to. I had said:

As an aside, this also reveals the hubris in the GCM folks claim that their models can detect a change of this magnitude …

I will replace that with:

As an aside, this also reveals the hubris in the GCM folks claim that their models can hindcast a change of this magnitude, as when Hansen’s “smoking gun” paper claimed to have found instrumental data supporting their hindcast radiation imbalance of 0.85 W/m2.

Thanks for pointing out the error.

w.

308. Willis Eschenbach
Posted Dec 11, 2006 at 1:33 AM | Permalink

Re 306/307, sorry … thought the first one hadn’t posted, as I tried to stop it after inadvertently pushing the “Submit” button. #307 is correct.

w.

309. Posted Dec 11, 2006 at 2:50 AM | Permalink

More on MBH Confidence is back, but can’t post there. Steve M and Jean S have probably figured it all out, but one note: I think those AD1000 residuals are centered, and the original bias is quite close to IGNORE(2).

310. Posted Dec 11, 2006 at 4:42 AM | Permalink

Does anyone know the newspaper they are referring to ?

http://www.copernicus.org/EGU/cp/cp_news.pdf

We have been alerted to the fact that a recent newspaper article which discussed a controversial topic in climate science, recently referred to Climate of the Past. While we were pleased to see that our new journal gains attention, we were concerned that the article speculated about the identity of an anonymous peer reviewer.

311. Jean S
Posted Dec 11, 2006 at 6:20 AM | Permalink

re #309: No, we (at least I) haven’t figured that (confidence intervals) out. AD1000 residuals are correct though (no centering). I guess I know where your centering idea comes from: be sure to use the right proxies for AD1000 (http:/www.climateaudit.org/data/MBH99/proxy.txt). There are two versions of itrdb-namer-pc1 around: Steve calls them “unfixed” and “fixed” (see MBH99 for explenation), the above file should have the “fixed” version. All proxies are standardised to zero mean and unit(?) variance in the calibration period before anything else takes place. After that everything is purely linear in proxies…

312. Posted Dec 11, 2006 at 7:07 AM | Permalink

#311

I’m using that file. Maybe a typo/misunderstanding somewhere, but R(my_rec_res,AD1000_res)=0.9995878 and mean(my_rec_res)=0.0944946 .
Standardization seems to not matter, is this the way to go (proxu= proxy.txt, recs(:,8) original MBH99 ):

X=[proxu(1:399,3:end) ones(399,1)];
Xf=[proxu(1:980,3:end) ones(980,1)];
yy=recs(1:399,8);

zr=(X’*X)\X’*yy;
FRec=Xf*zr;

313. Welikerocks
Posted Dec 11, 2006 at 7:52 AM | Permalink

lso, rocks, please note that the AGU link you provided (a fun bit of information) has to do with geography rather than climate.

Obliquity has everything to do with climate and nothing to do with geography. The earth’s rotation on its axis has everything to do with climate.
That chart from my link is only a small example and only spans a hundred years. Oh I get it a hundred years or so of CO2 input from humans is far more powerful than obliquity variations- right? Meanwhile in about 10,000 years, the earth will point toward the star Vega, which will mean that winter in the Northern Hemisphere will begin in June instead of January. And it will be the Hottest January Ever! in the headlines.

As for your comment to #301

Now there is a truly breathtaking sentence.

husband points out this morning over my shoulder how you would rather make fun of Maksimovich rather then address his post on a mature level-Maksimovich is explaining to you how complicated Mars’ systems may be and how all of this is way more complicated then your ideas are, and you choose to ignore that. That’s why husband doesn’t jump in to address you here SteveB because most of the time you have no idea what you are talking about and on top of that you dismiss anything that is over your head -as if it was nonsense.

314. Jean S
Posted Dec 11, 2006 at 8:18 AM | Permalink

UC, I’m sorry, I should have checked it before posting. In fact, Steve’s proxy file contains the “UNFIXED” pc1, i.e., it is not correct. The correct (“fixed”) PC1 was at least in the virginia ftp server, which seems not to be reachable right now. I’ll send you the right file.

Posted Dec 11, 2006 at 9:26 AM | Permalink

RE: #303 – El Nino may be getting overpowered by an emergent negative PDO phase.

Posted Dec 11, 2006 at 9:28 AM | Permalink

All – don’t feed the troll.

317. Posted Dec 11, 2006 at 11:11 AM | Permalink

Thanks Jean S, the mean is down to -0.00365084652016368 now. Quite accurate ‘fixing’😉

318. Steve Bloom
Posted Dec 11, 2006 at 1:11 PM | Permalink

Re #313: rocks, if you won’t even read for comprehension, there’s little point in the interaction. In future I will continue to point out your errors for the benefit of anyone actually trying to learn something here, but don’t expect much more. Regarding maks, since you seem to have missed the point, the comment hubby complained about was just my oblique way of noting that he was making stuff up.

Re #315/6: Ironic self-reference? Honestly, Steve S., does anybody care about these weather reports? There are blogs for which such material is actually on-topic, you know.

319. Welikerocks
Posted Dec 11, 2006 at 6:14 PM | Permalink

Re:318

#316 Will not any longer he’s is a troll.
Re:301/318
Few notes for th record:

Forbes, 2000 “Nonmigrating tides in the thermosphere of Mars
JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 107, NO. E11, 5113, doi:10.1029/2001JE001582, 2002
Jeffrey M. Forbes Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA”

Evidence for Diurnal Period Kelvin Waves in the Martian
Atmosphere from Mars Global Surveyor TES Data
here is the paper

And helio means sun or of/about the sun. As in Solar and Heliospheric Physics.

There now I helped people learn something.

320. Steve Bloom
Posted Dec 11, 2006 at 8:13 PM | Permalink

Re #319: Interesting paper; absolutely nothing to do with observed melting at the Martian south pole. Yes, “helio,” “physical” and “coupling” all mean something; it’s just that the combination doesn’t.

321. maksimovich
Posted Dec 12, 2006 at 12:30 AM | Permalink

Unfortunately for Steve Bloom,2007 is the international heliophysical year celebrating the 50th anniversary of internationl geophysical year,

His limitations are more then obvious,as he attempts the red herring the smokescreen across the lateral arabesque.Fortunately I have seen the results of disciples of Lysenkoism before and the destruction of the scientific norm.

His limitations for scientific answers and questions are as he consults his bible (rc)he finds inadequate answers or resonable questions that have slipped by the censors of the central committee not discusssed by the modelmakers,or indeed the astrophysicst who was going to reply to Lubos disassembling of his arguments some 12 months ago!

Try reading the interesting papers in the IHY SITE and links for some scientific balance by some of the worlds leading astrophysicists,here you will find the methodology prescribed by cosomlogical laws not agendas.

The ability to read 4 languages gives an access to better databases then yourself ,you should read some of the scientific papers published by the Chinese space agency 5 times the size of Nasa it has access to more physicists then Nasa has employees.Or the Russian-CIS space-science complex twice the size.

Try to limit yourself to scintific discourse,and put aside your self appointed act of Tomas de Torquemada.

http://ihy2007.org/science/science_themes.shtml

322. Steve Bloom
Posted Dec 12, 2006 at 2:46 AM | Permalink

The WaPo bids a fond farewell to Sen. Inhofe (D-ExxonMobil).

323. Willis Eschenbach
Posted Dec 12, 2006 at 3:12 AM | Permalink

Steve B, is it actually impossible for you to post without including some slimy remark, or is it just an long-established habit? Your constant attempt to smear your opponents rather than actually discussing the issues is reprehensible.

w.

324. David Smith
Posted Dec 12, 2006 at 10:55 AM | Permalink

Here is the latest GISS global surface temperature anomaly chart, updated this morning to include November, 2006.

I’m surprised that the heat kick from El Nino has not begun to appear. It may yet come this winter.

It looks like 2006 will be the 4’th or 5’th warmest in recent times.

325. Mark T
Posted Dec 12, 2006 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

Someone should compare the amount of money being spent on alarmist “science” vs. that spent by the “anti” crowd (i.e. ExxonMobil). Such smears by Steve B. (and similar) would then be exposed as the farce they really are. Shameful is a good term for this.

Mark

Posted Dec 12, 2006 at 11:34 AM | Permalink

RE: #324 – That may be a proxy for the PDO. Went into warm phase ~ 1976 – then you see the slow rise, topping out during the 90s. Looks like we may be getting ready to start back downhill. Given the mass of the water in the North Pacific, I would actually expect PDO to drive recorded surface temps in much of North America and Europe.

327. jae
Posted Dec 12, 2006 at 4:03 PM | Permalink

All kinds of interesting supposed connections to sun spot cycles. Check this out:

Amongst other papers linking solar cycle length to climate, Zhou and Butler (1998)
found an association between the sunspot cycle length and climate, with wider treerings
(i.e. more optimal growth conditions) being associated with shorter sunspot
cycles. An association between sunspot cycles and human longevity has also been
found. Juckett and Rosenburg (1993) reported that children of mothers who were
born during peaks in the sunspot cycle were likely to die 2 to 3 years sooner than if
their mothers had been born during the sunspot minimum, based on a study of 7,552
members of the US House of Representatives.

Posted Dec 12, 2006 at 4:42 PM | Permalink

Anyone know of a good link for PRESENT PDO conditions?

If only there was the focus on this which ENSO gets.

329. David Smith
Posted Dec 12, 2006 at 5:41 PM | Permalink

Re #328 A link for current PDI index values is here . I believe that NOAA may have a discussion page, too, which I try to find.

The problem I have with the PDO is that I think it is only a partial description of a bigger climatological event, which is not clearly understood today.

Posted Dec 12, 2006 at 6:26 PM | Permalink

RE: #329 – Nonetheless, this is a fascinating metric. It will be interesting to see if this current slightly negative excursion is the beginning of a more protracted negative phase.

331. David Smith
Posted Dec 12, 2006 at 6:43 PM | Permalink

This article lists some of the characteristics of cool-phase PDOs. Even though the index is currently near-neutral, the current characteristics mostly match those of a cool-phase event.

I find it interesting that the idea of “PDO” is just ten years old.

332. Willis Eschenbach
Posted Dec 12, 2006 at 6:53 PM | Permalink

Thanks for the great link to the PDO data. I got to wondering whether it was related to El Niño events, so I compared it to the Multivariate Enso Index (MEI), a measure of El Niño strength. I was very surprised to find that they are very closely related (correlation ~0.6). Here’s the visuals:

w.

333. David Smith
Posted Dec 12, 2006 at 7:21 PM | Permalink

Re #332

I can’t help but notice the mid-1970s shift upwards in the two indices. At the same time, the earth shifted from net cooling to net warming. Coincidence?

334. loki on the run
Posted Dec 12, 2006 at 7:59 PM | Permalink

“Asian haze’ impacts on Australian rainfall

Dr Rotstayn stresses that climate modelling is a valuable tool for teasing out what is actually causing weather trends, rather than simply assuming that these trends are all related to greenhouse gases.

At a time when Australian science agencies are investing in new climate forecasting capabilities, the research — to be published early in 2007 in the Journal of Geophysical Research — increases confidence in the accuracy of future climate simulations for Australia.

An aerosol is a haze of particles in the atmosphere. Dr Rotstayn says representing aerosols in climate models and understanding their influence on cloud formation and rainfall is one of the biggest challenges facing climate scientists.

He sounds like a real scientist.

335. Posted Dec 12, 2006 at 8:34 PM | Permalink

David, you were discussing Hadley cells and water vapor images in a thread here somewhere – you might find this write up quite interesting.

336. Brooks Hurd
Posted Dec 12, 2006 at 10:26 PM | Permalink

Re: 322

Steve,

Do you understand that an ad hominem argument is a logical fallacy? Reference: Plato’s Euthydemus

Sorry that I do not have a link to Plato.

337. Ron Cram
Posted Dec 13, 2006 at 12:26 AM | Permalink

I have a question for Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick. I apologize if I am not asking this question in the right place. As a wikipedia editor, I am trying to improve an article found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_opposing_global_warming_consensus

Would Ross or Stephen like to be listed in the article? If so, what portion of the “IPCC consensus” listed at the beginning of the article do you doubt or reject? Do you see yourselves fitting into one of the already listed categories of skeptics or do you see yourself needing a new and different category? Can you state briefly why or how your research has led you to doubt the concensus?

If there are other posters here who have published on climate change and would like to be listed, please answer the same questions.

Thank you!

338. Willis Eschenbach
Posted Dec 13, 2006 at 1:53 AM | Permalink

Ron, the first thing I’d ask for is that you change the page title, unless you can scientifically establish somehow that there is a consensus, because that’s the portion I’d reject first of all … other than that, sounds like an interesting site, thanks for the offer. I’m off to see it … bye.

w.

339. pbg
Posted Dec 13, 2006 at 7:43 AM | Permalink

Hi Willis: “consensus” in that article refers to general, not unanimous, agreement (which I’m sure you realized, since if it meant unanimous agreement, the list on the page would have to be empty!). Regardless of whether one believes the consensus is flawed, the balance of evidence certainly shows that a consensus exists on high-level points, given the statements by IPCC, the Royal Society, President Bush’s Federal Climate Change Science Program, the National Research Council, and many other organizations and individuals. If you have any scientific evidence that there isn’t a consensus, I would be interested if you could reference it here.

I think Steve McIntyre and other climate skeptics will deserve a huge amount of credit if it turns out they are right, by virtue of the fact that they are working against a much larger group on the other side. So there are advantages to being in the minority too.

340. JPK
Posted Dec 13, 2006 at 7:49 AM | Permalink

#333,

Dave I remember reading that some climatologists believed that 1976 was
a cornerstone year- that some kind of switch was hit – and that we’ve been
warming ever since. Since 1976 we have had 3 major ENSO events (83,88,98).
Could the PDO play a direct role in either enhancing or supressing ENSO?

It’s been 31 years since the PDO’s been in a warm phase, the next 2 or 3 years
could be interesting. If the theory holds correct, and the North Pacific SSTs
begin to cool, a lot of scientists could have egg on thier face.
The PDO nosedived beginning in the early 40s, and remained low for 33 years. The coldest
years of the 20th Century globally occured during this phase.

341. JPK
Posted Dec 13, 2006 at 7:56 AM | Permalink

#336

Ron,
I think M&M deserve a category all to themselves: Scientists who
are publically noncommital, but have discovered major flaws in the
math that underlies AGW temperature reconstructions.

I think Hans von Storch could also be added to the group even though he
has publically stated that he believes AGW is a growing problem.

342. Welikerocks
Posted Dec 13, 2006 at 7:57 AM | Permalink

re: 336
while you are at it, someone who has editing powers should correct this page:Geologic timescale
because it says:

Evidence from radiometric dating indicates that the Earth is about 4,570 million years old (expressed with m.y.a. or “Ma” as in “it dates from 4570 Ma”)

343. Ron Cram
Posted Dec 13, 2006 at 8:55 AM | Permalink

re:341

Welikerocks,
Anyone can edit wikipedia. I do not know anything about your field (and little about climatology) but I would encourage you to make the edit yourself.

I would suggest you take a few moments to register as a wikipedia editor before posting as the anonymous posters often get reverted. After registering, enter a note on the “Discussion” page about why you are making the change (provide a link to a credible source if possible) and sign the note with four tildes, like this ~~~~. That will sign your name and give the time you made the change. Finally, you make the change on the page itself.

It is really a very simple process. And wikipedia needs more bright editors!

344. Ron Cram
Posted Dec 13, 2006 at 9:07 AM | Permalink

re:340

JPK,
Regarding von Storch, it is difficult to call him a skeptic of the IPCC “consensus.” I do not know of any statement he has made that would contradict or doubt those statements.

The article states the consensus this way:

The consensus has been summarized by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as follows:

* The global average surface temperature has risen 0.6 ± 0.2°C since the late 19th century, and 0.17°C per decade in the last 30 years.
* “Most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities”, in particular emissions of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane.
* If greenhouse gas emissions continue, the warming will continue and indeed accelerate, with temperatures increasing by 1.4°C to 5.8°C between 1990 and 2100, causing sea level rise and increasing extreme weather events like hurricanes. On balance, the impacts of global warming will be significantly negative.

I thought I would be able to add Richard Muller to the list but I cannot find any statements by him that directly doubt or contradict these conclusions.

The quote I proposed for Ross McKitrick was rejected by other editors because they claimed he could hold this view and still believe in AGW. Here is the McKitrick quote I wished to use:

“The Mann multiproxy data, when correctly handled, shows the 20th century climate to be unexceptional compared to earlier centuries. This result is fully in line with the borehole evidence. (As an aside, it also turns out to be in line with other studies that are sometimes trotted out in support of the hockey stick, but which, on close inspection, actually imply a MWP as well.)” [http://www.climatechangeissues.com/files/PDF/conf05mckitrick.pdf]

If you would like to read more of this discussion, you can find it on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:List_of_scientists_opposing_global_warming_consensus

345. Ron Cram
Posted Dec 13, 2006 at 9:12 AM | Permalink

re: 338

Willis,
Most of the page editors are strong adherents to AGW. I do not think it is possible to change the page title unless there was a big shakeup at the IPCC that showed that skeptics had become 40% of climatologists.

346. jae
Posted Dec 13, 2006 at 10:56 AM | Permalink

339: Encarta’s definition of consensus:

1. broad unanimity: general or widespread agreement among all the members of a group
After hours of deliberation, they finally reached a consensus.

2. view of society in equilibrium: a concept of society in which the absence of conflict is seen as the equilibrium state of society

[Mid-17th century.

Notice the word ALL in there.

347. J. Sperry
Posted Dec 13, 2006 at 10:58 AM | Permalink

Ron, I applaud your efforts and persistence in this. You’ve been very reasonable on the Talk page, and I hope you prevail. While I unfortunately have not been able to read CA like I used to, I do keep up with the climate change proceedings at Wikipedia.

Posted Dec 13, 2006 at 11:32 AM | Permalink

RE: #336 – Neo-Stalinists thrive in an environment filled with ad hominem argumentation.

349. Greg F
Posted Dec 13, 2006 at 11:40 AM | Permalink

Ron,

Per your advice I edited item 2 from:

“Most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities”

To:

“There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities”

The bias of not quoting the entire sentence should be obvious.

350. Greg F
Posted Dec 13, 2006 at 1:10 PM | Permalink

Ron,

Item #3 is total bluster not supported by the associated link.

351. pbg
Posted Dec 13, 2006 at 1:52 PM | Permalink

346: Merriam-Webster’s definition of consensus:

1 a : general agreement : UNANIMITY b : the judgment arrived at by most of those concerned
2 : group solidarity in sentiment and belief

(emphasis in 1(b) mine) Similar results at dictionary.com. Consensus cano mean unanimity but it would be silly to interpret the article title in that way since it says that it lists people who disagree with the consensus. Anyway you are never going to get 100% agreement among thousands of scientists on any topic, even something like, say, evolution; but it is hardly controversial to say that there is a consensus among biologists that life arose via evolution.

Posted Dec 13, 2006 at 2:36 PM | Permalink

Alright, enough already with this faux El Nino!

Yet another massive storm progged to slam the PNW. Later, another Siberia Expresse progged to bring the snow level way, way down this weekend, including even Socal.

Could it truly be that everything we ever learned about El Nino is incorrect? Or is it that ENSO is nothing more than harmonics of the PDO? Or, is the PDO nothing more than harmonics of something yet to be discovered? The more we know, the more we know what we don’t know. (Hmmmmm, I must have gotten a touch of “Rumsfeld syndrome” … LOL )

Posted Dec 13, 2006 at 5:27 PM | Permalink

Perhaps mythical, perhaps real discussion this week amongst trolls: “Hey, with AGU on this week, let’s go check out CA and see what those denialists are blabbing about. Plus, we can stir the pot, because they are sure to be in a heightened state of energy right now. Must …. make ….. maximal….. obfuscating …. disinfo! Must …. smear! Must ….. discredit!”

354. Lee
Posted Dec 13, 2006 at 5:34 PM | Permalink

re 353:

“2. Never attribute ulterior motives to another participant.”

355. Welikerocks
Posted Dec 13, 2006 at 5:57 PM | Permalink

How can a troll not have ulterior motives? LOL

definition: An Internet “troll” is a person who delights in sowing discord on the Internet. A troll is a person who enters an established community such as an online discussion forum and intentionally tries to cause disruption, often in the form of posting messages that are off-topic, with the intent of provoking a reaction from others. The troll differs from the Snert in that it is the troll’s intention to cause disruption to the community and not necessarily insult or offend, as is the intention of the Snert.

356. Welikerocks
Posted Dec 13, 2006 at 6:06 PM | Permalink

#353 I was curious and according to this it’s not a mythical occurrence in other places on the net. anti toll faq.htm
section 3.6 and so forth. Somebody wrote a paper on it. LOL

357. Doug L
Posted Dec 13, 2006 at 6:08 PM | Permalink

An Inconvenient Truth

The complete movie is now available for viewing in your underwear from YouTube:

(replace xx’s with t’s)

358. David Smith
Posted Dec 13, 2006 at 7:05 PM | Permalink

The Hadley global temperature for November, 2006 is now in. The chart is here .

My eyeball estimate is that 2006 will be the sixth-warmest year on the chart.

359. David Smith
Posted Dec 13, 2006 at 9:33 PM | Permalink

Steve S., the weather maps prog cold air into Southern California late this weekend, with mid-level temperatures cool enough to support snow in San Diego. I doubt ground-level temps would support that, plus precip looks sparse, but it’s mighty cool for that far south.

360. cytochrome_sea
Posted Dec 13, 2006 at 11:01 PM | Permalink

pbg:

“(emphasis in 1(b) mine) Similar results at dictionary.com. Consensus cano mean unanimity but it would be silly to interpret the article title in that way since it says that it lists people who disagree with the consensus. Anyway you are never going to get 100% agreement among thousands of scientists on any topic, even something like, say, evolution; but it is hardly controversial to say that there is a consensus among biologists that life arose via evolution.”

pbg: IMHO the “consensus” seems to mean (in as much as I have read to mean) that CO2, (and CH4, etc…)(but we’ll emphasize CO2) absorbs in some particular wavelengths in the IR and NIR emitted mostly from the Earth’s surface (and especially near the highest latitudes) which could rapidly collide with nearby N2 and O2 (effectively “heating” them) Weird, I thought that N2 had a very effective resonant energy transfer route to CO2. However, it gets harder to understand once a nearby H2O molecule drops it back to it’s ground state.

Regardless, as far as biologists, if you were looking for some type of simile, personally, at least give some credit to the biologists (unorthodox)(outsiders)? skeptics? who try to conceive of abiogenesis ideas.
Abiogenesis is the word I think you were looking for when you typed “evolution.”

361. Ron Cram
Posted Dec 13, 2006 at 11:29 PM | Permalink

re: 349

J Sperry, thank you for the kind words. I hope you can find some time to help make this article better as well.

362. Ron Cram
Posted Dec 13, 2006 at 11:33 PM | Permalink

re:349 and 350

Greg, good edit. Regarding your comment in #350, I am not sure I understand. Are you saying the description of IPCC’s conclusion needs to be rewritten? Or are you saying you disagree with IPCC? Or both?

If you are a scientist, have studied climate related issues and are willing to be listed in this article – let me know.

363. pbg
Posted Dec 14, 2006 at 3:04 AM | Permalink

RE: #360: cytochrome_sea, yes, thanks, I should have said “…life developed via evolution”…

364. Welikerocks
Posted Dec 14, 2006 at 8:08 AM | Permalink

#343 Ron, thank you but why does it have to be such a big deal to get the age of the Earth corrected on that page? I am just a regular person, not a scientist, my husband is the scientist. Credible source? The correct age of the Earth is common information and it’s probably in the dictionary. Climatologists or anybody else for that matter should know what the correct age of the Earth is. That is just a typo right?

365. Greg F
Posted Dec 14, 2006 at 9:10 AM | Permalink

Re:362

Ron,

Item #3 makes a statement of fact. It uses the “Summary for Policy Makers” as a reference. That reference is put together by non-scientist and is based on model projections. The output of those models, models that have not been validated, is not reality.

…causing sea level rise and increasing extreme weather events like hurricanes.

The “sea level rise” claim references another Wiki page that says:

…since 1992 satellite altimetry from TOPEX/Poseidon indicates a rate of about 3 mm/yr [2]. This change may be the first sign of the effect of global warming on sea level.[citation needed] Global warming is predicted to cause significant rises in sea level over the course of the twenty-first century.

And in the IPCC link:

Global mean sea level is projected to rise by 0.09 to 0.88 metres between 1990 and 2100, for the full range of SRES scenarios.

Again, model projections are not reality. The range of the projections does not instill a lot of confidence.

The extreme weather events is also not supported. In table 1 for “Increase in tropical cyclone peak wind intensities” and “Increase in tropical cyclone mean and peak precipitation intensities” says “Not observed in the few analyses available” and “Insufficient data for assessment” respectively. The model projections say “Likely, over some areas”, likely being 66% to 90%. The IPCC link also says:

For some other extreme phenomena, many of which may have important impacts on the environment and society, there is currently insufficient information to assess recent trends, and climate models currently lack the spatial detail required to make confident projections.

The last sentence is pure opinion:

On balance, the impacts of global warming will be significantly negative.

There is nothing in the IPCC link that remotely supports this conclusion.

In addition the IPCC calls the model outputs “senarios“. The TAR states:

Scenarios are neither predictions nor forecasts of future conditions. Rather they describe alternative plausible futures that conform to sets of circumstances or constraints within which they occur (Hammond, 1996). The true purpose of scenarios is to illuminate uncertainty, as they help in determining the possible ramifications of an issue (in this case, climate change) along one or more plausible (but indeterminate) paths (Fisher, 1996).

The “Summary for Policy Makers” uses the models as predictions which contradicts the TAR. So it seems the IPCC disagrees with itself. If you want to improve the Wiki page don’t allow references to the Summary for Policy Makers, make the author use the SAR.

366. Ron Cram
Posted Dec 14, 2006 at 9:11 AM | Permalink

re: 364

Hello Rocksy!

If I remember right, your concern from the article is this statement: “Evidence from radiometric dating indicates that the Earth is about 4,570 million years old (expressed with m.y.a. or “Ma” as in “it dates from 4570 Ma”).

I checked website on the age of the earth and found this quote:

“The best age for the Earth (4.54 Ga) is based on old, presumed single-stage leads coupled with the Pb ratios in troilite from iron meteorites, specifically the Canyon Diablo meteorite. In addition, mineral grains (zircon) with U-Pb ages of 4.4 Ga have recently been reported from sedimentary rocks in west-central Australia.”

I then learned that Ma means millions of years ago and Ga means billions of years ago. So then, 1,000 Ma is the equivalent of 1.0 Ga. So the difference between the information in wikipedia and the internet source is 0.03 Ga. Honestly, I do not know if this difference is the result of new findings or a typo or even if it is statistically significant.

I really think someone better informed than I am should address the issue.

367. Mark T
Posted Dec 14, 2006 at 10:00 AM | Permalink

Sigh…

Bad skiing in Europe

yet no mention of back to back record seasons for northern colorado mountains, and 2 out of 3 seasons reporting record snows in southern Colorado. No, there’s no bias in the media.🙄

Mark

368. Welikerocks
Posted Dec 14, 2006 at 10:27 AM | Permalink

#366 Ron Hello back at you! LOL
Now I get it! Duh. Sheesh, thank you-I learn something new every day The use of 4 thousand number to express-millions, instead of just saying 4 billion confused me and I didn’t think it through- and didn’t understand what “ma” meant either.

The earth is ~4.5 billion years old. Holy cow hard is that to say?

Below under Giga-annum the expression is “For example, the formation of the Earth occurred approximately 4.55 Ga (4.55 billion years) ago.”

Here’s the definitions:

Per annum means “occurring every year”.

Kilo-annum, usually abbreviated as ka, is a unit of time equal to one thousand years.

Mega-annum, usually abbreviated as Ma, is a unit of time equal to one million (106) years. It is commonly used in scientific disciplines such as geology, paleontology, and celestial mechanics to signify very long time periods in the past. For example, the dinosaur species Tyrannosaurus rex flourished approximately 65 Ma (65 million years) ago (ago may not always be mentioned; if the quantity is specified while not explicitly discussing a duration, one can assume that “ago” is implied; “mya” includes “ago” explicitly.). In astronomical applications, the year used is the Julian year of precisely 365.25 days.

Giga-annum, usually abbreviated as Ga, is a unit of time equal to one billion (109) years. It is commonly used in scientific disciplines such as cosmology to signify extremely long time periods in the past. For example, the formation of the Earth occurred approximately 4.55 Ga (4.55 billion years) ago. As is clear from the notation, billion as used here is on the short scale, also known as the American English preference.

Exa-annum, usually abbreviated as Ea, is a unit of time equal to (1018) years (one quintillion on the short scale, one trillion on the long scale). It is an extremely long unit of time. The half-life of tungsten is given as 20.9 Ea. Ea is also a very theoretical unit, since the age of the universe is unlikely to be more than 14.7 Ga, or 0.0000000147 Ea.

369. Welikerocks
Posted Dec 14, 2006 at 10:36 AM | Permalink

Re: 368 note on the definitions. I think the numbers in parenthesis are just reference links on the host page where I got the information and they should have been taken out before posting- they are not part of the definitions. Cheers!

370. John Baltutis
Posted Dec 15, 2006 at 3:24 AM | Permalink

Re: #369

AFAICT, the numbers in parentheses are powers of ten; e.g., (106) really means 10^6 (i.e., 10 to the sixth power = 1,000,000 = million). Likewise, (109) = 10^9 = billion.

371. Welikerocks
Posted Dec 15, 2006 at 6:59 AM | Permalink

#370 Oh thank you John Baultutis! I hope my ignorance doesn’t make everyone cringe!

The problem with the original wiki entry I questioned, and exactly why it is confusing, is that these abreviations like “Ma” are not meant to make a reader do a math expression. They are more a short cut for speech.

Wiki page says: “Evidence from radiometric dating indicates that the Earth is about 4,570 million years old (expressed with m.y.a. or “Ma” as in “it dates from 4570 Ma”)”

My husband says I am correct and no one use “m.a.” this way. Its confusing and strange, especially if this page is designed for a regular joe looking for information. In other words a geologist would say something is nine hundred million years old, but a geologist would not say something is a thousand million years old.

372. Ron Cram
Posted Dec 15, 2006 at 7:59 AM | Permalink

re:368, 369, 370

Rocksy and John,

Thank you for the info. I made an entry on the Talk page of the article asking for improved readability and providing the right definitions for Ma, Ga and Ea. Since I am new to the article, I want to go slow but the article should have the change soon.

373. Ron Cram
Posted Dec 15, 2006 at 8:35 AM | Permalink

re: 365

Greg F,

Thank you for your thoughtful response. Since most of the editors of the page are strong adherents to AGW, it is difficult for them to think and respond independently. They always have to consider how the group will think and vote. I have on a few occasions attempted to insert criticisms of climate models and have been voted down. The other editors claim the findings of the IPCC are not based on any one climate model. I have felt like I was banging my head against the wall trying to argue this point.

You write that the “Summary for Policy Makers” is written by a non-scientist. Do you have a link to support that? Do we know who this person is? If it is possible to show that the science portion of the TAR contradicts the SPM, I think that would be a valuable service to wikipedia readers.

You write as someone who is much better informed than I. Have you published in a peer-reviewed journal on the subject of climate? Would you be willing to be listed as an AGW skeptic? If you want to chat about this on email, you can email me at roncram2004@yahoo.com.

374. Greg F
Posted Dec 15, 2006 at 11:33 AM | Permalink

I have on a few occasions attempted to insert criticisms of climate models and have been voted down.

This is in my view a fatal flaw with Wiki. Popularity of a belief does not make that belief correct. It is much to your credit Ron that you stick with it. Now concerning the government delegates. I have searched in vain for the names of the delegates. There have been numerous scientists that have pointed out that the “Summary for Policymakers” is done by non-scientists. Dr. Lindzen is one.

The following points should be kept in mind. (Note that almost all reading and coverage of the IPCC is restricted to the highly publicized Summaries for Policymakers which are written by representatives from governments, NGO’s and business; the full reports, written by participating scientists, are largely ignored.)

This flow chart shows how government representatives have final say in the summary.

Another example of inconsistancy:

Working Group II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability

Overall, the current generation of aggregate estimates may understate the true cost of climate change because they tend to ignore extreme weather events, underestimate the compounding effect of multiple stresses, and ignore the costs of transition and learning. However, studies also may have overlooked positive impacts of climate change. Our current understanding of (future) adaptive capacity, particularly in developing countries, is too limited, and the treatment of adaptation in current studies is too varied, to allow a firm conclusion about the direction of the estimation bias.

From the Summary for Policy Makers (WG II)

Benefits and costs of climate change effects have been estimated in monetary units and aggregated to national, regional, and global scales. These estimates generally exclude the effects of changes in climate variability and extremes, do not account for the effects of different rates of change, and only partially account for impacts on goods and services that are not traded in markets. These omissions are likely to result in underestimates of economic losses and overestimates of economic gains.

375. Welikerocks
Posted Dec 15, 2006 at 11:40 AM | Permalink

#372 Ron, hey thank you!

It is much to your credit Ron that you stick with it

I agree. It is also a breath of fresh air! Cheers!

376. Steve Bloom
Posted Dec 15, 2006 at 12:10 PM | Permalink

Re #373: “The other editors claim the findings of the IPCC are not based on any one climate model. I have felt like I was banging my head against the wall trying to argue this point.” To the point of pounding some sense into it, I would hope. Do you seriously think only one model was used? Evidence for this claim?

If I were you I would avoid taking Greg’s material at face value. He is neither a clinate scientist nor especially well-informed about climate science or the TAR.

377. David Smith
Posted Dec 15, 2006 at 12:17 PM | Permalink

NOAA’s preliminary analysis of 2006 is given here .

Looks like 2006 will be the sixth-warmest (though I expect December to be warm enough, thanks to El Nino, to possibly raise that to 5’th warmest).

NOAA’s text notes that, although 2006 has the sixth-warmest average, it is not statistically different from the record-setting 2005 average. Fair enough, but I checked the 2005 NOAA text for words stating that the record 2005 average temperature was not statistically different from cooler earlier years and found no such cautionary words. I wonder why the difference.

Posted Dec 15, 2006 at 12:50 PM | Permalink

RE: #377 – Here on the West Coast, we are experiencing La Nina like weather no matter what the ENSO index is saying. Another cold / low elevation snow event progged for this weekend. Intermoutain and High Plains have had several unseasonable cold snaps throughout the fall. The SE as well. Great Lakes had cold Oct and Nov, normalish Dec.

379. David Smith
Posted Dec 15, 2006 at 12:53 PM | Permalink

Global doom forecast in the UK.

What is a “water butt”? In the US we have “lard butts” but I’ve never heard of water butts. Thanks

380. Ron Cram
Posted Dec 15, 2006 at 1:08 PM | Permalink

re: 376

Steve,
No, I fully understand that many computer models were used. However, the other editors have not allowed statements critical of computer models as a class of predictors. As you know, most scientists will only be critical of one model at a time. Even if 35 models were used, and I could find statements critical of each – no criticism would be allowed under their requirements. They insist that statements by skeptics must fit within a certain framework. In my most recent post on the Talk page I request that the article allow more encompassing crticisms of AGW and the IPCC report.

Posted Dec 15, 2006 at 1:14 PM | Permalink

All those Euro doom and gloom reports are failing to mention the excellent dump of snow the Alps have gotten over the past week. And, I would also say, never judge a ski season in the fall. We’ll see.

Posted Dec 15, 2006 at 1:41 PM | Permalink

What is really happening in Europe (but you’ll never hear about from the AGW obsessed main stream media): Draw a line from just south of Iceland, encompassing the Faroe and Shetland Islands, as well as Norway and most of Sweden. Then change direction and draw the line down through the Eastern Baltic, across Eastern Europe and ending somewhere aroung the Danube Delta in the Black Sea. North and East of that line, fall has been cold and snowy. For example, Norway has been, with the exception of a very narrow coastal strip, covered in snow since October. Meanwhile, South and West of the line, has been drought, owing to a persistent ridge built up from the Azores High. Temperatures have alternated between warm and cool, as would be expected during such a block. That is what has really been going on in Europe, leading to all the scaremongering about the end of skiing, and the reputed future advent of date palm growing in Surrey. It is a regional drought, nothing to see here, move along.

383. Greg F
Posted Dec 15, 2006 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

If I were you I would avoid taking Greg’s material at face value. He is neither a clinate scientist nor especially well-informed about climate science or the TAR.

Thank you Mr. Bloom for your flattering remarks completely devoid of any substantive content. By the way what is a “clinate” scientist?

384. David Smith
Posted Dec 15, 2006 at 2:36 PM | Permalink

Re #340

I am increasingly wondering if the Indian Ocean (IO) and its circulation play a significant role in climate. A warmer tropical IO puts a huge amount of energy into the atmosphere, affecting the Pacific atmosphere. A shift in the IO may well be a “switch” that changes the big Pacific atmospheric modes, affecting the rest of the globe.

What might cause a warmer IO? Well, its cooling from upwelling is complicated and not well understood (see here for a brief article mentioning some of the unusual circulation features). I would not be surprised if one day we learn that a completely natural reduction in IO upwelling occurred in 1976, warming the tropical IO surface waters, triggering a Pacific and then global temperature and climate change.

I am confident that some portion of post-1976 warming has been due to increased CO2 but I don’t know if it’s a big part or a small part. I simply wish there was more interest in examining possible natural contributions. If I were a climate scientist I’d have trouble believing that I really understood the climate until I understood what happened in the mid-1970s.

385. jae
Posted Dec 15, 2006 at 5:17 PM | Permalink

re: 384. Maybe the same thing that happened in the 20’s and 30’s. See Figure 4 here.

386. George
Posted Dec 15, 2006 at 6:42 PM | Permalink

Re #378. Steve, we have a weak El Nino (I’m calling it El Ninito — the “little
El Nino”) and a PDO index that has gone negative — which means anything can happen.
And it HAS been!

387. Steve Bloom
Posted Dec 15, 2006 at 7:09 PM | Permalink

Re #383: I would assume they study “inconsistancy” (ooh, irony). But speaking of inconsistencies (and by way of the desired substantive comment), I would say you need to carefully consider that the two TAR paragraghs you quoted were talking about different things, and that even if they were talking about the same thing there is a distinction between “likely” and “firm.”

388. David Archibald
Posted Dec 15, 2006 at 8:21 PM | Permalink

We search the heavens for portents of the future, and in some instances the lack of a sign can have meaning too. So it is with the absence of sunspots from Solar Cycle 24. A solar physicist writes,” Solar Cycle 23 was an average solar cycle (smoothed Wolfnumber of 125). An average solar cycle lasts an average amount of time, this is about 11 years. Solar Cycle 23 started in May 1996, so the new solar cycle should normally start in May 2007.

The first sunspots of a new solar cycle appear usually at more than 20° latitude. According to the last couple of solar cycles, the first sunspots appear 12 to 20 months prior to the start of the new cycle. So, if Solar Cycle 24 starts in May 2007, we should have seen the first high-latitude spots in May 2006 at the latest.

Apart from a few spotless magnetic dipoles, we have not seen any reversed polarity sunspots with a latitude of more than 20 degrees so far. This means the Solar Cycle 24 is at least one year away, or the observational rule is wrong. In view of current solar activity levels, chances are the new solar cycle is really going to behave like public transportation: seriously overdue.

During the beginning of Solar Cycle 23, the probably first sunspot of the new solar cycle appeared at 13° latitude in May 1995, only 12 months prior to its onset. Two months later we had an 18° latitude spot, and in August a 20°-spot. Now, there appeared no Solar Cycle 23-spot with latitude > 20° at all, until the very beginning of the new cycle in May 1996.

At this moment, the highest latitude of a reversed polarity group is 13°, and it occurred in July 2006. However, the sunspotgroup was not numbered by NOAA, so it does not even exist in the records! Since then, there have been no other reversed polarity spots with latitude >13°.

In short, as another solar physicist put it, large cycles usually arrive early and small cycles late. Every day that passes without a sunspot from Solar Cycle 24 decreases its likely amplitude.

What that means for life on earth is an increased chance of another Dalton Minimum experience, in which Sunspot Cycles 5 and 6 were weak and that caused a 1.5° to 2.0° C temperature decline over 20 years in the period 1800 to 1820.

389. Greg F
Posted Dec 15, 2006 at 10:28 PM | Permalink

I would say you need to carefully consider that the two TAR paragraghs you quoted were talking about different things…

Mr. Bloom, are you really that intellectually lazy? If you had bothered to follow the footnotes associated with the Summary for Policymakers quote I provided, you would have found it references:

Working Group II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability
Technical Summary
7.2.2. Aggregate Impacts and 7.2.3. Distribution of Impacts

Now, Section 7.2.2. “Aggregate Impacts”, which is itself a summary, references chapter 19.5 “Vulnerability to Climate Change and Reasons”, “Aggregate Impacts”. Chapter 19.5 just so happens to be where the Working Group II quote I used came from.

It appears Mr. Boom that you are, in your words, not “especially well-informed about climate science or the TAR”. Nor do you seem “well-informed” on following footnotes.

390. Ron Cram
Posted Dec 16, 2006 at 9:50 AM | Permalink

I am neither a statistician nor a climatologist. However, it seems to me that enough information may exist to perform a probability study to test the conclusions of the TAR. It may be that such a study would tell us nothing. Then again it may be informative. If my suggestion is completely off-base, please say so and explain why. If you can do without calling me names, I would appreciate it. If name calling is necessary, feel free.

Here’s the idea. We are now drawing to the close of 2006 and it appears 1998 will continue to be the warmest year on record. If we assume the TAR is correct that mankind’s gaseous emissions are responsible for more than half of global warming, and we can measure how much CO2 has increased from 1998 to 2006 and we can measure anthropogenic methane and bovine methane increases, and assuming the TAR’s prediction for the rate of warming is accurate, what is the probability the earth’s temperature will not increase for eight years in a row (1998-2006)? At what point (how many years without setting new records) does the IPCC need to revise its core conclusions? At what point would it be reasonable to say global warming has stopped?

I know I am oversimplifying the issue to some degree. But if the IPCC conclusions are really scientific, then they have to be refutable by some standard of evidence. I am wondering what that standard is.

391. Ron Cram
Posted Dec 16, 2006 at 9:52 AM | Permalink

re: 390

Of course I meant 1999-2006.

392. Paul Linsay
Posted Dec 16, 2006 at 10:57 AM | Permalink

#390. Depends on which temperature record you choose. If you use the satellite record, there was no warming from 1979 to 1998 (just fluctuations around the base), a huge El Nino in 1998, and then a step up of about 0.1 C afterwards, but again a constant level (again with fluctuations). If you use the ground based measurements as analyzed by GISS, then the temperature is increasing at an ever increasing rate. The real crux of all the AGW is the quality and validity of the global atmospheric temperature measurements.

393. David Smith
Posted Dec 16, 2006 at 11:31 AM | Permalink

As expected, the Arctic sea ice extent has increased as winds shifted. The latest Cryosphere Today plot is here .

394. Tim Ball
Posted Dec 16, 2006 at 11:58 AM | Permalink

#388
I am an advocate of the relationship between sunspot cycles and global climate, however, I would be cautious about relating the entire temperature drop in the period 1800 to 1820 to the Dalton Minimum. ((Actually global temperatures were dropping from about 1790 on.) There is no doubt the temperature decline and associated weather changes began around 1790 and appear generally related to declining solar acitvity, but they were exacerbated by the eruption of Tambora in 1815 and the subsequent “year with no summer” in 1816. Although this was at the end of the period in question it served to accentuate the slope of temperature decline. These relationships were examined in the conference on Tambora we held in Ottawa in 1992. Although the conference was about Tambora and climate, John Eddy, who studied the relationship between solar activity and climate, was the keynote speaker because we had become aware of putting the singular event in context. An interesting question not addresed was how much affect would Tambora have had if the global trend was up at the time? Pinatubo maybe offers some comparative insights.

395. Lee
Posted Dec 16, 2006 at 11:59 AM | Permalink

re 390 – 1998 was an El Nino year – at the time, it was clearly distinctly warmer that the surrounding years, and that ‘spike’ was due to unforced variability expressed as that El Nino year. We are now, less than a decade later, experiencing several years with temperatures very near to that spike, with no El Nino.

396. JP
Posted Dec 16, 2006 at 12:12 PM | Permalink

David,

Please help me out. I find these graphs to be very frustrating to look at. Why don’t they use multiple lines in the graph so one can easily compare last year to this year? Does the Anomaly line mean that at this point in December 2006 we are at the normal point compared to 1979-2000 period? What would be considered natural variability? How does one tell when the line is outside of natural variability? What else are we to infer from these graphs? Do they have graphs showing the ice extent for this date in time compared to all of the preceding years so that one can actually see the trends? Thanks, I enjoy reading your posts.

397. JP
Posted Dec 16, 2006 at 12:22 PM | Permalink

#394
1809 Greenland ice cores show SO2 levels comparable to Tambora. The source did not know where the SO2 came from. I didn’t write down where I got that information.

398. David Smith
Posted Dec 16, 2006 at 12:29 PM | Permalink

Re #396 JP, the website for this is Cryosphere Today , which I believe is a product of the University of Illinois (US). Thanks to Steve Sadlov for posting the link to this site at CA.

Cryosphere contains a wealth of historical and current information, presented in various ways. To my eyes, there has clearly been a 50-year decline in Arctic summer sea ice extent. There is much less of a decline in the winter months.

Caveat: As with most climate data, the older the data, the more suspect it is.

A few more comments in a moment (wife is calling me away).

399. brent
Posted Dec 16, 2006 at 1:04 PM | Permalink

We nearly threw it away. We must be more radical

Labour must fundamentally change to be re-elected and climate change could be the spur, minister says
snip
Mr Miliband sees the climate change issue as a way of reinvigorating the government and of reviving its radicalism
snip
Climate change is the mass-mobilising movement of our age
snip
Climate change is about social justice
http://tinyurl.com/yct989

Miliband is known for his political pedigree ‘€” his father was Ralph Miliband, a Marxist theoretician ‘€” and also for his attempts to inject new ideas into government
http://tinyurl.com/yg4ssn

The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule
H.L. Mencken

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and hence clamorous to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
–H. L. Mencken

400. Ron Cram
Posted Dec 16, 2006 at 1:07 PM | Permalink

re:392

Paul,

I am referring to the temperature record here as I believe this is the data most AGW adherehents would select. As you can see, the warmest year was 1998. Since that time, mankind (and cowkind) have expelled tons of greenhouse gases. I think it is important to consider methane because warmers say methane is 25x (or was it 23x?) more warming than CO2.

Does the idea have any merit or not?

401. David Smith
Posted Dec 16, 2006 at 2:53 PM | Permalink

RE #396

To answer the questions: the red line in this plot compares current (early December) Arctic ice extent with the average of 1971-2000. So, today’s ice extent is close to the 30-year average for early December.

Sea ice extent varies a lot with the wind, as ice gets blown about and can spread over an area or get bunched tightly together. Ice extent doesn’t say much about ice thickness or concentration (the amount of sea ice if it was all squeezed together, removing the in-between water). Historical techniques for measuring thickness and concentration are not as robust as the technique (satellite microwave after 1980) for measuring extent, so ice extent is what is usually discussed.

The best historical chart for ice extent from Cryosphere Today is this one . It shows the anomaly back to about 1980. One caveat is that techniques have changed over the years, so there may be some apples-to-oranges portions of this record, but I accept it as the best data available.

Here is the 100-year seasonal chart . There are several interesting things about it.

* View the pre-1955 data with a lot of caution. It is so unchanging as to appear unnaturally smooth. Techniques were quite limited pre-satellite.

* View the circa 1955 sudden drop in summer ice extent with caution. It, too, looks unnatural – a one time drop of about 10%, from which there was no apparent recovery. Looks like a technique shift to me.

* Compare the circa 1940 averages with circa 1975 averages. That period is generally believed to be one of slowly cooling world temperatures, yet Arctic ice extent dropped. Why? Was the 1940-1975 ice decline due to an ongoing emergence from the end of the Little Ice Age? If it does, could part of the post-1975 drop also be a continuing emergence from the Little Ice Age?

* Here is something that doesn’t get discussed much: there is a correlation between ice extent and a weather thing called the “Arctic Oscillation” (“AO”). When the AO is positive, ice extent tends to shrink. When it is negative, ice extent tends to grow. Circa 1976 (The Great Climate Regime Change) the index switched from mostly-negative to mostly-positive. No one knows why (or, if they do, they’re not talking). The AO is a natural event. The switch probably accounts for some of the ice decline.

A reference on the AO is here .

So, as with all things climate, the historical sea ice data is convoluted and has to be used with caution. Summer ice extent has clearly declined during the satellite era, but why is unclear to me. CO2 plays a role, but how much? How big have the natural factors been?

The more-important measures of concentration and thickness suffer from a lack of good historical data.

The only thing I will say is, be leery of people who offer simple answers.

(By the way, the AO is currently positive, giving people in the eastern Northern Hemisphere nice warm weather. A switch to neutral/negative is expected by Christmas.)

402. jae
Posted Dec 16, 2006 at 3:24 PM | Permalink

400: Ron: good question. bender?

403. David Smith
Posted Dec 16, 2006 at 4:12 PM | Permalink

A 2004 paper by Judith Curry is given here . It discusses Arctic ice cover and the effect of the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and ENSO (El Nino). As mentioned, it’s a more complex subject than the media headlines portray.

404. Paul Linsay
Posted Dec 16, 2006 at 4:14 PM | Permalink

#400, Ron. I know that the AGW advocates use the GISS temperature measurement. But as I said above, the validity of the temperature measurements is fundamental to the science. No science can be better than the quality of the data.

Nothing I’ve seen makes me think that the ground based measurements are good enough for significant conclusions. Just take a look at some of the sites that are used in the ground based measurements. Do you really think that a thermometer on a concrete roof will give a good measurement of local temperature? It’s going to be very hot on warm summer day, and a nice warm place to be on a cool summer night. Same goes for the thermometers next to parking lots. If they stuck a gas chromatograph on those, we could also get an earful about rising levels of CO2, methane, NOx, and some other wonderful GHGs.

Don’t think Pielke’s examples are a result of third world conditions. There are examples of this in Colorado on Pielke’s site, John Christy did an extensive investigation of sites in California, and the late John Daly had some woderful pictures of a weather station in a parking lot, right up against the car tailpipes.

Unless someone builds a lake next to a weather station, almost everything people do in its vicinity makes the weather station appear hotter, the urban heat island effect, even though the climate isn’t doing anything. If the surface of the earth looked like Courescant in the Star Wars movies the readings would be correct, but climate wouldn’t be an issue either.

405. David Smith
Posted Dec 16, 2006 at 4:36 PM | Permalink

Here is an abstract from my I-never-thought-about-that collection. the paper discusses the importance of downwelling IR on snowmelt and (presumably) icemelt.

In a nutshell, it says that gound-level temperature might be well below freezing but if the air higher up (say, 500 up to 6,000 meters) is warm and humid, it will downwell a lot of IR, maybe enough to melt snow.

406. Welikerocks
Posted Dec 16, 2006 at 5:06 PM | Permalink

400-404.
We are gonna bring up the volcano word. weeee.
Just thoughts.

We watched a show the other night on the life of one of the largest creatures on earth-the sperm whale. The landscapes where sperm whales dive and hunt are at times 3 miles under the water. It is like another planet all together with mountain ranges and canyons, and a seafloor littered with volcanic cone hot spots 4 stories high spewing out gases, lava and hot water others frozen methane. All kinds of things are going on-things shifting around and moving. They mentioned that these things have been going on for millions of years- and steady. It was a good show and very interesting.

And we read a while back an expedition found vents not previously known of spewing out frozen methane ( I believe that was it ) only after the Larsen Ice shelf in Antarctica had its famous breakdown. There were animals living down there too. Of course they were all pale and blind crawly like creatures. Sperm whales hang out in that area to hunt squid but only the older bulls (25yrs +) can take on the gigantic squid. This is a new creature too. It is bigger than the giant squid.

Anyway, we don’t see how none of these geologic features ever matter much to the temperature of a planet or seas in GW papers or the fractions on the graphs. And there’s so much we don’t know exactly -past or future-wise-uncertainty about the sea floor-it’s not all mapped out and it changes. The energy we can reasonably imagine being generated down there sometimes, seems to us, just as powerful as anything the AGW crowd can dream-up or model.

407. jae
Posted Dec 16, 2006 at 6:59 PM | Permalink

404: for what it’s worth, I agree completely. I wish someone would audit the methodology for determining “global average temperature.” I’ll bet there is some real strange “science” there, not counting the UHI effect. I’ll get criticized by the trolls for saying this, probably, but the Idsos’ “temperature of the week” demonstrates to me that there is something very fishy about the “official” surface air temperature data.

408. David Smith
Posted Dec 16, 2006 at 7:57 PM | Permalink

Re #404

jae, on the Climate Audit front page, left side, there is a category of links labeled “Weblogs and Resources”

One of the links is to the NASA GISS land station data. You can click a location and quickly see the temperature trend. Interesting stuff.

It seems to me that, to eliminate urban heat island effects, it takes a number of years of comparing an urban location’s temperature with that of other nearby rural locations, and then adjusting the urban location’s record. That can’t be accurately done in real time, in my opinion. And, if there’s a cluster of urban locations and few rural ones, how does one untangle that?

I am also beginning to suspect that some of the older land data has been quietly “adjusted”.

409. Dave Dardinger
Posted Dec 16, 2006 at 8:23 PM | Permalink

re: #408

It’s been a while since I went through the way the UHI adjustments were supposed to be done, but if I recall they were rather backward of what you’d expect. I.e. instead of the cities being given lower current temperatures, the older rural areas measurements were given lower ones! I suppose the logic is that since the current temperatures are what they are, it’s wrong to change them, but it was assumed that it was fine to change older temperatures.

But that comes from memory and I’d be happy to be corrected if I’m wrong. In any case Dr. Jones has refused to give the exact details so his results can be checked.

410. David Smith
Posted Dec 16, 2006 at 9:10 PM | Permalink

I’m still inclined to suspect the Indian Ocean (IO), including its monsoon, as being one of the drivers of global climate mode changes. In reading about the IO, I noticed this abstract and the following quote, concerning analysis of an IO speleothem:

“Spectral analyses of the (monsoon) record are dominated by cycles that are similar to those observed in records of solar activity on centurial timescales. Decadal to interannual cycles in the (monsoon) record appear to originate in the tropical Pacific Ocean.”

I wonder if the evidence supports the second sentence actually being “correlated with” rather than “originate in”.
If so, then perhaps there is a solar/Indian/Pacific/globe linkage. A thought.

411. DaleC
Posted Dec 17, 2006 at 12:37 AM | Permalink

re #406, welikerocks

Leaving the contentious science aside, there is a lot of interesting material/references on underwater
volcanism at

412. Welikerocks
Posted Dec 17, 2006 at 9:04 AM | Permalink

Re:411
Thanks very much for the link DaleC. Exactly.

413. David Smith
Posted Dec 17, 2006 at 9:50 AM | Permalink

From the worth-a-quick-look collection, here’s a 3-month animation of Pacific Ocean temperature . It covers the tropical Pacific.

The top animation shows the seasonal southward shift of the Warm Pool surface waters. The bottom animation shows El Nino (the colored band stretching along the equator).

So far, this El Nino has been unimpressive and is not strengthening. Also, oddly, so far there has not been a noticeable heat-kick into the atmosphere. Maybe that heat kick will come in December.

414. MarkR
Posted Dec 17, 2006 at 10:51 AM | Permalink

#185 Re Day 4 Al Gore, Apologies to all. I just realised that the picture “The Internet is Born”, is from a spoof website (some anti Gore Presidential Election thing), #187 is real though.

415. Howard Wiseman
Posted Dec 17, 2006 at 10:53 AM | Permalink

Bender, may I propose a small scientific wager re: Ohio/Florida? Loser provides Winner with one hour of on-line research slavery including one fee-for journal article not to exceed $20? My topic will be quantifying tropical cyclone heat transfer to northern latitudes (NH natch). Dr. Hart on extratropical conversion is a good entry point if you want to get a head start. 416. jae Posted Dec 17, 2006 at 10:54 AM | Permalink 388: David, notice how well all this ties into and supports this paper. 417. bender Posted Dec 17, 2006 at 11:01 AM | Permalink Re #415 No, because my pick is, yuck, Ohio State. The only way the Gators could win is through an ugly, anomalous, special-teams-dominated debacle. 418. Brooks Hurd Posted Dec 17, 2006 at 1:11 PM | Permalink Re: 417 Bender, GO BUCKS! As an OSU alum, I really would have preferred a rematch with Michigan, but I don’t have much influence on the BCS. Gore made several odd statements which came up during the election. He has a record of accomplishments, I could never figure out why he felt compelled to make statements which were questionable. I wonder if Gore was aware before his Thursday session at the AGU that the WMO had punched a major hole in his movie. 419. Tim Ball Posted Dec 18, 2006 at 8:55 AM | Permalink #411 412 Geothermal energy has always been left out of the total global energy equation and nobody has ever given me a reasonable explanation. It is also usually overlooked as a source of energy, especially for heating (or cooling) buildings, which is a major part of our energy consumption – it is what I have called “the heat beneath the feet.” 420. Welikerocks Posted Dec 18, 2006 at 9:44 AM | Permalink #419 Tim, Yep. Even the President of the USA uses it. from a website about it: Geothermal heating and cooling has been chosen by many public figures for their own homes, including President Bush (at his ranch in Texas), George Lucas (of Star Wars fame), Garth Brooks, Toby Keith and Rush Limbaugh, to name a few. In an effort to save the environment, increasing geothermal use by 30% would save almost 6 million tons of CO2 and 21 million barrels of crude oil annually. That’s the equivalent of removing more than 28 million cars from the road or planting 8.5 billion trees! 421. jae Posted Dec 18, 2006 at 10:50 AM | Permalink Global warming aint all bad if you are a seal! 422. Steve Sadlov Posted Dec 18, 2006 at 12:53 PM | Permalink Mini ENSO / PDO / NWS long lead critique / etc update. As expected we got the Cold Front through the Pacific Coast midlatitudes on Saturday. At my location, got the earliest wintry mix I’ve ever witnessed (4 days earlier than the Dec 20 1998 low elevation snow event. Had a pretty good freeze last night. The weather says it’s La Nina (even thought the ENSO index says it El Nino). Also, I’ll now describe how badly the NWS have blown the long leads from July on for the Western US: Prog: A-S-O: warm S-O-N: warm O-N-D: warm N-D-J: warm Actuals: A-S-O: Cold S-O-N: Normal O-N-D: Cool N-D-J (to date): Normal 423. JP Posted Dec 18, 2006 at 1:15 PM | Permalink Steve, If this is an ENSO driven season, the West Coast should begin to see Pacific storms in earnest beginning in a few weeks. Unlike the recent cyclones which began in the Gulf of Alaska, the ENSO storms will form in the Northwest Pacific. What is interesting is Post #400’s ENSO link. It show’s the ENSO warm pool drifting into the Southern Hemisphere. That is, the Nortwest Pacific SSTs are actually cooling. With an normal ENSO event, the added heat should be building a pretty strong ridge across most of the Northwest Pacific, and the excess energy should be rippling towards the West Coast in a series of storms. It appears this year’s ENSO could peter out. If that occurs, North America could be in for a mid-winter deep freeze. Personally, I’ve kind have gotten used to the mild winters of the last 12 years. I’m rooting for a moderate ENSO event; little is worse than getting the car started at 6:30AM when the outside temperature is ten below zero. zero. 424. Mark T Posted Dec 18, 2006 at 1:49 PM | Permalink I’m curious what a diminishing ENSO does to the Rockies later in the season? The early season benefit of an oncoming ENSO means good early snow, but an early spring. If it does peter out, does that mean spring, and hence warmer temperatures, is delayed as well? If so, this could be a banner year. Last year started out great, but by the end of February, it was already getting too warm for really good skiing. We had a few good weekends in March, but only the first couple. If the Rockies had gotten as much snow in March/April last year as they normally get, the snowfall totals would have approached 500″ in the northern region. Mark 425. brent Posted Dec 18, 2006 at 3:13 PM | Permalink British Lord Stings Senators Rockefeller and Snowe: ‘Uphold Free Speech or Resign’ http://tinyurl.com/yekhuz 426. David Smith Posted Dec 18, 2006 at 4:05 PM | Permalink Here’s one for people with good eyesight: This link is today’s water vapor image of Earth. The dry air of the Hadley-Walker cell downflow regions, generally along 20-30 degrees latitude north or south, are dark-colored. The upflow regions are the areas with white specks (heavy thunderstorms). Compare the amount of dark (dry) regions north of the equator with the dark areas south of the equator. There is evidence that, pre-1976, more of the dark downflow occurred in the southern hemisphere. Then, circa 1976, the split shifted, with more dry downflow occurring in the north. That extra downfow in the Norhtern hemisphere caused the winds there to speed up. At the same time, the Northern Hemisphere began to warm. There are reasons, rather complicated, to think these are connected. Also note the number of white specks (thunderstorms) along the Pacific equator (100W to 180W). That is “El Nino”. Then look at the number of white specks (thunderstorms) in the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool (30E to 180E). The Warm Pool thunderstorm (heat) activity dwarfs El Nino. We look at El Nino as a powerful influence on climate, and that is true, yet imagine what relatively small changes in the Warm Pool activity might do to our climate. Even a 1 degree C change in temperature makes a big difference in the amount of heat (water vapor) the Warm Pool puts into the atmosphere. What might change temperatures in the Warm Pool? Well, changes in upwelling/mixing. A cross-sectional view of the Indian Ocean is given here . The y-axis is depth (meters) and the colored wiggles are isotherms. Warm water is at the top of the ocean while cold water is at the bottom. Notice how much cold water is below the surface of the world’s warmest ocean. The 10C (50F) isotherm, which is cold, is within 500 meters of the 30C (86F) surface. And there’s another 3,500 meters of cold water below that. In theory, it doesn’t take a huge change in mixing to lower the warm mixed layer by, say, 1 degree C. Deep current changes, salinity, weather, things called Rossby waves, etc all affect the contact of the cold and warm water. If mixing/cooling is reduced, for whatever natural reason, then the Indo part of the Warm Pool is warmer and more considerably heat gets released into the atmosphere. My hypothesis is that changes in the Indo Warm Pool also affect things downstream in the Pacific. And the Pacific is the Big Gorilla of our climate. 427. David Smith Posted Dec 18, 2006 at 4:15 PM | Permalink A neat animation is here , but it’s only good for December 18 (as it is real-time). The image shows water vapor flow in the central tropical Pacific. The Equator is at the bottom of the image. Brown is dry air in the lower and middle part of the atmosphere. It is blowing westward, returning to the Warm Pool and El Nino. White is water vapor at the top of the atmosphere, from thunderstorms, flowing eastward. This air later sinks (“turns brown”) and returns to the Warm Pool, where it moistens, heats, rises as a thunderstorm (“turns white”)and once again makes the journey along the top of the atmosphere. This is the Hadley-Walker circulation, in color. 428. David Smith Posted Dec 18, 2006 at 4:26 PM | Permalink Re #424 My bet would be on an early Colorado spring, with plenty of snow between now and then. El Ninos are like old soldiers, they don’t die but rather they fade away. This El Nino is odd, though. The computer models show more plunges of cold air into the Rockies the next several weeks. Usually these cold spells are farther east and north during an El Nino. 429. Steve Sadlov Posted Dec 18, 2006 at 4:54 PM | Permalink RE: #428 – In a “normal” El Nino year, by now, there would be a dry Northwest, and hint at warm wet storms for California starting to show up in the long range forecast. Instead, we are in a cold event on par with December 1998 and expecting cold weather punctuated by arctic Cold Fronts into the foreseeable future. Yes, I know, wait a few more weeks. But this does not look like any previous El Nino year I have experienced over the past 40 years. 430. Mark T Posted Dec 18, 2006 at 5:21 PM | Permalink Yes, the reports I’m seeing are saying for a lot of cold weather, too. The snow forecasters have been unable to see more than a day or two ahead in the past two years, a trend that does not seem like it will abate any time in the near future. In fact, they openly admit it is difficult to predict since the weather patterns are not behaving as they “normally” do. I don’t care. I’m having fun anyway.🙂 Mark 431. David Smith Posted Dec 18, 2006 at 7:02 PM | Permalink For those in North America, the weather forecast for Christmas morning is here . Cold in the west, mild in the east. A dusting of snow from Dallas to Illinois. Cold air goes as far south as central Mexico, which is unusual. Mark, the maps say that Colorado will get a nice snowstorm between Christmas and New Years. Two weeks out (shown here ), the continent is cold, with a large area of bitter cold air over northern Canada. Still no sign of El Nino-spawned Pacific storms. 432. David Smith Posted Dec 18, 2006 at 8:02 PM | Permalink Steve S. or anyone: Jim Hansen wrote a letter last April suggesting that The 2006 El Nino would be The Super El Nino (El Nino Super Gigante Enorme Grande Estupendo Big-Big-Big), rivaling or surpassing the biggest on record. So far, the 2006 El Nino has been a fizzle and appears to be weakening. Has Hansen said anything recently about his April forecast? If nothing happens soon then I’ll add this one to my Apocalypse Postponed collection, alongside bird flu. 433. David Smith Posted Dec 18, 2006 at 8:26 PM | Permalink Here is a Powerpoint presentation made last week, by NOAA, on the current El Nino. Huge amount of information. The key chart suggests that El Nino may be peaking but will linger into Spring of next year. It’ll probably be claased as moderate or weak. 434. John G. Bell Posted Dec 18, 2006 at 8:37 PM | Permalink Lord Monckton, Viscount of Brenchley, has sent an open letter to Senators Rockefeller (D-WV) and Snowe (R-Maine) in response to their recent open letter telling the CEO of ExxonMobil to cease funding climate-skeptic scientists. (http://ff.org/centers/csspp/pdf/20061212_monckton.pdf). Lord Monckton, former policy adviser to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, writes: “You defy every tenet of democracy when you invite ExxonMobil to deny itself the right to provide information to ‘senior elected and appointed government officials’ who disagree with your opinion.” For the full article. 435. Mark T. Posted Dec 18, 2006 at 8:42 PM | Permalink Mark, the maps say that Colorado will get a nice snowstorm between Christmas and New Years. Sniff, sniff… I love you man!!!🙂 S’posed to get some this week as well. I have 10 days off for x-mas, it will be spent frolicking in the snow (actually, a lot of time on the ground losing the battle to moguls). Mark 436. David Smith Posted Dec 18, 2006 at 9:18 PM | Permalink Re #435 Mark, here’s the weather map for Thursday the 28’th, with a nice snowstorm moving across the Rockies. Lots of moisture with this one. After the snowstorm some cold air (sub-zero F) moves in. “Caution: Actual results may differ!” These are computer model forecasts, of course. Re # 434 I see in the article a statement that “The British Foreign Secretary has said skeptics should be treated like advocates of Islamic terror and must be denied access to the media.” Wow. Anyone know if that is a confirmed position, or just something taken out of context? 437. Steve Bloom Posted Dec 18, 2006 at 11:29 PM | Permalink This new paper should be of interest to folks here interested in the PDO. Ic an’t find a public copy of the article, but the abstract would seem to indicate that those who are hopeful for a random flip back to pre-1976 conditions may have a long wait on their hands: “This study examines the contribution of tropical Sea Surface Temperature (SST) forcing to the 1976/1977 climate transition of the winter atmospheric circulation over the North Pacific using a combined observational and modeling approach. The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Community Atmospheric Model Version 3 (CAM3) simulates approximately 75% of the observed 4 hPa deepening of the wintertime Aleutian Low from 1950-1976 to 1977-2000 when forced with the observed evolution of tropical SSTs in a 10-member ensemble average. This response is driven by precipitation increases over the western half of the equatorial Pacific Ocean. In contrast, the NCAR Community Climate Model Version 3 (CCM3), the predecessor to CAM3, simulates no significant change in the strength of the Aleutian Low when forced with the same tropical SSTs in a 12-member ensemble average. The lack of response in CCM3 is traced to an erroneously large precipitation increase over the tropical Indian Ocean whose dynamical impact is to weaken the Aleutian Low; this, when combined with the response to rainfall increases over the western and central equatorial Pacific, results in near-zero net change in the strength of the Aleutian Low. The observed distribution of tropical precipitation anomalies associated with the 1976/1977 transition, estimated from a combination of direct measurements at land stations and indirect information from surface marine cloudiness and wind divergence fields, supports the models’ simulated rainfall increases over the western half of the Pacific but not the magnitude of CCM3’s rainfall increase over the Indian Ocean.” Re #434: It’s interesting that self-denial can be deemed in conflict with democracy. We live in truthy times, I suppose. 438. Welikerocks Posted Dec 19, 2006 at 6:10 AM | Permalink #437 speaking of self-denial. I like to know why SteveB doesn’t answer the questions posed directly to him here in this topic #78-79 and then bring up another paper with more computer models? Is it because “it would seem to indicate that those who are hopeful for a random flip back to pre-1976 conditions may have a long wait on their hands” and he enjoys that “hopeful people” that happen to disagree with him most of the time being disappointed so much better than sticking to the science or answering pointed questions? 439. David Smith Posted Dec 19, 2006 at 7:56 AM | Permalink Re #437 Thanks for the link to the abstract, I hope it becomes free soon. It’s good to see that people are working to fix the errors in the computer models. The$64,000 question is related to this SST chart . The chart shows the SST of the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool for Nov-Apr (when it affects Northern Hemisphere weather the most).

The question is, why did the Warm Pool SST jump so much in 1976? That’s a huge, sudden jump and (for me) it’s hard to understand how steady increases in GHGs trigger sudden jumps. If the “extra global heat” from GHG buildup pre-1976 was hiding somewhere, where was it hiding? To me, that all-important jump looks more like a natural event.

My guess is changes in ocean circulation and/or possibly upper-atmospheric changes which affected the Hadley cells.

440. Mark T
Posted Dec 19, 2006 at 8:19 AM | Permalink

Thanks David. We’re expecting 8″ in the Springs today. Looks like it is about to start in the mountains (checking the web cams). Yay, white Christmas!🙂 If we get the full amount, we’ll probably be over our yearly average with the snowiest months yet to arrive. This is good since recovery from the recent drought has been slow, though consistently better every year.

Mark

Posted Dec 19, 2006 at 10:06 AM | Permalink

RE: #437 – I would say that the models being used for this have been thrown into question. Antidote – read Pielke Sr’s site.

442. Steve Bloom
Posted Dec 19, 2006 at 12:45 PM | Permalink

Re #439: “If the “extra global heat” from GHG buildup pre-1976 was hiding somewhere, where was it hiding? To me, that all-important jump looks more like a natural event.” I don’t think this follows. The heat would have to come from somewhere (or maybe fail to go somewhere else, the net result being the same) regardless. Consider also that even if the cause of the jump was proved to be natural variability, the more important questions seem to be about magnitude and persistence.

443. Gerald Machnee
Posted Dec 19, 2006 at 1:19 PM | Permalink

Re #439 and #442 – The large jump would leave out AGW?? Yes??

444. Boris
Posted Dec 19, 2006 at 1:43 PM | Permalink

434:

Monckton is really riding this thing, isn’t he? From making absurd and unsupportable claims, to threatening to sue people who point out his abusurdities (is this a new trend, BTW?), he has moved on to lecturing U.S. senators.

Interesting to see the UHI getting a comeback. Perhaps not as bad as a UTI aynway.

445. Steve Bloom
Posted Dec 19, 2006 at 4:11 PM | Permalink

Re #439: A very incomplete GS search found public copies of this and this, which if they don’t answer your SST question directly should link to the papers that do. At a quick glance they don’t seem to provide a distinct answer even though it seems as if it should have been on-topic for both, which in turn causes me to wonder if climatologists consider what happened in 1976 to be truly exceptional such that a separate explanation is required. Looking again at the reanalysis SST link you provided, I’m really starting to wonder if it is all that exceptional; i.e., knock out that 1975-6 downward spike and something like a strong upward trend from 1950 seems to appear.

446. Steve Bloom
Posted Dec 19, 2006 at 4:27 PM | Permalink

Re #444: Monckton is a guy with an opinion and no particular qualifications otherwise. I have an opinion too, so where’s *my* newspaper spread? I lack his family connections to the Torygraph? Oh well.

447. Stan Palmer
Posted Dec 19, 2006 at 5:21 PM | Permalink

re 446

Given the revelations on this blog, what qualifications do noted climate researchers have to do statistically-bassed reconstructions?

448. Earle Williams
Posted Dec 19, 2006 at 5:42 PM | Permalink

Re #447

Expect the following:

Bloombot(ResponseToChallenge(Redirect->CommentRandomURL(“arctic ice|greenland|ice shelf|GRACE”))

YMMV!
Earle

449. Lee
Posted Dec 19, 2006 at 6:34 PM | Permalink

re 448:

447 looks a lot like such a “Redirect” to me.

450. Paul Linsay
Posted Dec 19, 2006 at 7:13 PM | Permalink

#446 Al Gore is a guy with an opinion and no particular qualifications otherwise. I have an opinion too, so where’s *my* newspaper spread? I lack his family connections to the US Senate. Oh well.

451. David Smith
Posted Dec 19, 2006 at 7:15 PM | Permalink

RE #441, #443

Steve, you raise a good point about the SST chart, though I caution against a practice of removing data to help create a trend. So, for your consideration, I offer another piece of evidence about 1976 and the Warm Pool:

One indicator of temperature change in the atmosphere is something called “geopotential height”. When air warms, it expands. In the atmosphere this is shown by increases in geopotential height.

Here is a plot of the geopotential height of the lower half of the troposphere above the Warm Pool. To my eyes’ there is a clear jump circa 1976, which is consistent with an increase in the temperature of the lower half of the troposphere. Since air temperature changes (more or less) with the temperature of the sea surface beneath it, it’s a pretty good indicator of a sudden temperature increase of the Warm Pool beneath it.

Regarding whether there’s anything remarkable about 1976, that’s a good point, too, Steve. In a day or two I’ll offer a compilation of things that changed in 1976. There’s been some effort towards understanding what happened in 1976, but the work I’ve seen mostly pecks around the edges. I’m unsure that anyone has a strong hypothesis that explains things.

Also, I suspect that dull work on natural events like 1976 has been overshadowed by the glamour of AGW. Work on AGW and you go to neat places for conferences and see your name in the newspapers. Work on 1976 and you get to talk to your dog about it, but that’s about all.

Gerald, my guess is that the post-1976 warming has been a combination of natural and manmade. The patterns I see, like sudden jumps, make me suspect that natural factors have been a big part of the temperature increase over the last 35 years. How big, dunno (but no one else knows either, in my opinion).

David

452. Gerald Machnee
Posted Dec 19, 2006 at 7:44 PM | Permalink

Further to #451: Over what part of the world have these temperatures been measured? Are they representative of the globe? Or are they mostly Northern Hemisphere? Even I got to show a film of the coming ice age about then.

453. Gerald Machnee
Posted Dec 19, 2006 at 7:57 PM | Permalink

Re #451, #452: Two things happened around that time a) The Solar Radiation had gone though a minimum and b) the nimber of surface stations had peaked.

454. David Smith
Posted Dec 19, 2006 at 9:07 PM | Permalink

A plot of global lower-stratosphere windspeed is given here . This shows the velocity of the west-to-east winds at 70mb, which is considered the lower stratosphere.

Note the sudden increase in wind speed in 1976. Winds increased from 6 meters per second to 7.25 meters per second.

A plot of global tropopause temperature is given here . The tropopause is the “roof of weather”, the top of the weather-containing troposphere.

Note the sudden spike in temperature in 1976, from which we are only now recovering.

There are relationships between events in the stratosphere and the troposphere. Pattern changes in the stratosphere can affect weather patterns at ground level. Many of these relationships are not well understood. The stratospheric temperature has solar connections as well as sensitivity to changes in ozone levels and CO2 – it’s complex.

Bottom line: Something happened in 1976 that is important but not well-understood. It happened suddenly, which looks to me like a natural shift rather than an ongoing CO2 buildup.

How would stratospheric windspeed and tropopause temperature affect, or reflect, weather patterns? I don’t know, but I can hypothesize (it involves Hadley cells). Better than me guessing, though, would be serious funding for professionals to go explore the issues plus a few sharp, gutsy grad students willing to tackle the orthodoxy.

455. Gerald Machnee
Posted Dec 19, 2006 at 10:12 PM | Permalink

Re #454: Briefly, upper level winds depend on temperature differences. So if the temperatures changed, it would reflect as changes in the upper winds as well. So we need to find out what caused the temperature rise.

456. Posted Dec 19, 2006 at 11:17 PM | Permalink

Labels finally work on my blog so whoever is interested in 120+ climate-related articles should go to

http://motls.blogspot.com/search/label/climate

457. Posted Dec 20, 2006 at 12:29 AM | Permalink

#444

Interesting to see the UHI getting a comeback.

Yes, interesting. Brohan et al brought that up again. They also mention that land – sea difference have been increasing lately.

Brohan, P., J.J. Kennedy, I. Haris, S.F.B. Tett and P.D. Jones, 2006: Uncertainty estimates in regional and global observed temperature changes: a new dataset from 1850. J. Geophysical Research 111

Posted Dec 20, 2006 at 10:24 AM | Permalink

RE: #454 – In California, there was certainly a 1976 “regime change” weather and climate wise in California. Prior to ’76, and going back to at least the end of WW2, we had the heavily stereotyped regime which was responsible for certain public perceptions which led, of course, the a huge boom in migration from other parts of the US to here. Typically: Year round balmyness, tendency toward rainfall / moisture deficit, multiple interior outbreaks (of both drier and tropical air) every summer, radically contrasting repeated low elevation snow events (often within a few days of “false spring” type winter balmyness). After 1976 and until the late 1990s, the weather here became notably more zonally energetic, cooler in the summer, very rainy, and featuring a seemingly almost regular pace of alternating El Ninos and La Ninas, with El Ninos being particularly strong. We had essentially no widespread low elevation snow events during these two decades – any such events were very localized. Around 1998, something changed dramatically again, this time, almost an “opposite sign” event versus the one of 1976. It almost seemed as if someone opened a secret door that had previously blocked air masses coming down from the Arctic coastal plains of Yukon and NWT. Since 1998, our weather / climate seems to oscillate between said “norther,” interior outbreaks (but ones much less pronounced than any thing 1940s – 1976), and relatively weak zonal events (expressed as watered down “Pineapple Express” events in the winter and as the onshore push in the Summer). I have previously refered to the “great Yukon door opening” events as “Siberia Express” events previously here.

Posted Dec 20, 2006 at 10:26 AM | Permalink

Sorry for the excessively repeated words and awkward constructions in the above post – need …. more …. coffee ….😉

460. David Smith
Posted Dec 20, 2006 at 11:11 AM | Permalink

Re #458 Steve, the longer-term models are showing at a very cool next three weeks for the US Pacific region. Seattle will likely see more snow.There is also a hint of a major polar air outbreak across western North America in early January.

Too early to have any confidence in this. But, it’s odd to have the computers showing such a cold pattern for northern North America in an El Nino year.

461. jae
Posted Dec 20, 2006 at 12:10 PM | Permalink

Interesting editorial on uncertainties in using GRACE satellite data to estimate ice mass here. Here’s an example of piling models on top of other models and a terribly unscientific statement made by, Science Mag. What a joke.

462. Ron Cram
Posted Dec 20, 2006 at 12:34 PM | Permalink

re: 442

Steve Bloom,

Regarding 1976, Bob Foster said: “However, the 1976–2000 warming is unlikely to be from the “greenhouse effect’, because there is no substantial trend of rising temperature in the lower atmosphere over that time”¢’¬?beyond the 1976/77 jump. On the other hand, and not mentioned by IPCC, there was a major re-ordering of oceanic heat transportation between 1976 and 1977. This event provides a better-founded explanation for the observed surface warming at 1976–2000 than does IPCC’s implausible attribution to human-caused changes in the composition of the atmosphere.” (Page 33)[http://scholar.google.com/url?sa=U&q=http://www.lavoisier.com.au/papers/submissions/Foster3(2001).pdf]

463. Steve Bloom
Posted Dec 20, 2006 at 2:33 PM | Permalink

Re #462: You need to check your sources, Ron. First, Bob Foster’s background is largely as a petroleum engineer. Second, the relevant discussion in the referenced document (Section 4.2) is a massive exercise in handwaving, to put it charitably.

He says: “A growing body of evidence points to a major re-ordering of oceanic circulation in 1976/77, of which a sharp reduction in the upwelling of cold, deep water in the equatorial and NE Pacific is an important part. This evidence supports the “Oceanic Impedance’, but not the “Greenhouse Effect’, hypothesis of global climate change.” This claim was not footnoted, and I couldn’t find even one specific reference to support it.

It’s important to bear in mind regarding major climate shifts of any sort that they all have causes. In other words, one cannot, as Foster did, put off such a shift to “natural causes” without engaging in a detection and attribution exercise. As noted in other discussion, it’s not at all clear that 1976 was even the sharp break in climate that Foster asserts it to be.

A web search for oceanic impedance found onlu a few references to documents authored by Foster; i.e., nobody else has bought into this wacky idea. Why nobody has is perhaps explained by the following excerpt from this more thorough explanation of his ideas:

“8.4 Explaining the Little Ice Age in inertial terms

“The Little Ice Age (see Figure 3) is the last in a series of periodic colder intervals, of which there appear to have been seven, in the North Atlantic Basin during the past 10 ky. Like its predecessors, it appears to have been triggered by the launching of continental ice into the sea.

“Figure 26 (copied in colour) shows in red the surface current which transports heat from the equatorial Pacific to the northern reaches of the North Atlantic.

“My “Oceanic Impedance’ hypothesis of global climate change envisages that launching of icebergs (from Greenland) raises equatorial sea-level, with a consequent slowing of Earth’s rate of rotation and increase in LOD.

“The chain of events here is likely to be complicated. Initially, the rate of LOD change will increase as equatorial sea-level rises, peak, and die away (much as illustrated for the 1890-1930 period in Figure 23, although the duration and magnitude of changes are likely to be much larger) as the ice surge is exhausted. From then on, LOD will be longer, but LOD change will have ceased and so will the inertial impacts.

“However, added to this simple conceptual model will be hunting (ie over/under compensating) effects, and resonance effects engendered by the very non-uniform Atlantic topography.

“At times, these effects will tend to force more of the warmth-bearing current into the Caribbean, and reduce the proportion which passes unimpeded to the north en route to the Nordic seas. Impeded flow in the Caribbean means less ocean-transported heat reaching the Arctic, and positive feedbacks (more sea-ice and more land covered by snow will cause reflection of incoming solar heat) will accelerate the cooling process.

“In support of this hypothesis is the observation of a warmer Caribbean from about AD 1300, as the impounding of warm-water flow within the confined basin suppresses the usual upwelling of cold, deep water.

“It is likely that the onset of the Little Ice Age in the higher latitudes of the North Atlantic Basin represents an inertially-related nonlinear transition between climatic regimes.

“That this inertial driver had little apparent impact at equivalent latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere is not surprising. The Antarctic Circumpolar Current lies in a geometrically-simple setting which offers no opportunity for the impedance of oceanic heat-transportation similar to that afforded by the Caribbean.”

A “complicated chain” indeed.

464. David Smith
Posted Dec 20, 2006 at 4:27 PM | Permalink

Speaking (again) on 1976, a plot of Alaskan temperature over the last 55 years is given here . To my eyes it looks like a 1976 step-change. The graph is from the University of Alaska.

Posted Dec 20, 2006 at 4:41 PM | Permalink

RE: #464 – I am very curious to see what that plot looks like after we get through 2007 or so.

466. David Smith
Posted Dec 20, 2006 at 5:00 PM | Permalink

I’ve asked NOAA about some revisions they’ve made to their global temperature anomaly plot, which tend to smoothe out the 1976-1980 temperature jump. Their revisions also make 1945-1975 a period of slow global warming (anyone remember that it used to be that 1945-1975 was a period of slow global cooling, due to aerosols?).

When I get a response from NOAA, I’ll post.

467. Steve Bloom
Posted Dec 20, 2006 at 5:28 PM | Permalink

Re #464: David, I’m not saying there wasn’t some kind of bump in the trend in 1976. The question is whether it’s big enough or unusual enough to be seen as different in kind from the sort of bumps that are seen in all sorts of climate trends. If it’s the case that warm pool SSTs are at the heart of the change, the focus of the discussion ought to be there rather than on other metrics or regional subtrends, the variance of which can be expected to track the trend in the main metric only approximately. As I noted before, my take on it is that the key is the extent and persistence of the trend.

468. Ken Fritsch
Posted Dec 20, 2006 at 6:21 PM | Permalink

It’s important to bear in mind regarding major climate shifts of any sort that they all have causes. In other words, one cannot, as Foster did, put off such a shift to “natural causes” without engaging in a detection and attribution exercise. As noted in other discussion, it’s not at all clear that 1976 was even the sharp break in climate that Foster asserts it to be.

I am not at all clear on Foster’s references or even his credibility, but I view the points and evidence presented here by David Smith on the 1976/77 climate break with growing interest and particularly so when he presents data from several and different sources. Awaiting the response on “adjusting” past temperature records while somewhat of a side issue nonetheless adds further intrigue to the subject. Can the statistical significance of the climate break be determined? I can think of methods, but why rely on amateurs when experts are available here.

469. Brooks Hurd
Posted Dec 20, 2006 at 7:54 PM | Permalink

Re: 464
David,

I agree that nature does not behave like this. There was an adjustment of the post 1976 (or pre-1976) data.

470. Brooks Hurd
Posted Dec 20, 2006 at 8:04 PM | Permalink

Re: 467

Steve B,

This looks to me like an offset of +2 degrees F for the post 1976 data. It may be more like +3 degrees if the 1957-1975 downtrend continued in the 1976-1985 period.

I have been involved in a lot of analytical testing over the past 30 years. If one my people had showed me data like this, I would have told him that his instrument had drifted and he needed to recalibrate it.

471. Brooks Hurd
Posted Dec 20, 2006 at 8:11 PM | Permalink

Before anyone gets in my face about the use of the male pronoun, let me explain.

The women who worked from me were excellent analysts and would have recognized this as an instrument problem. They would have fixed the problem, and explained what they had done. They never would have presented a graph which so clearly shows an instrument problem.

472. Barney Frank
Posted Dec 20, 2006 at 8:17 PM | Permalink

#458,

Steve, not only did 1976-77 mark a dividing line between different weather patterns, but up here in Northern CA those two years themselves were highly unusual. They were each drier than any previous recorded winter in this area and on top of that came back to back. It was a highly disruptive two years. Not as extended as the mid-eighties to early-nineties drought but much more severe.

473. David Smith
Posted Dec 20, 2006 at 9:11 PM | Permalink

Re #469 Brooks, I agree with your conclusion based on an initial look. But, let me offer this website and its discussion of whether the Alaskan data is real.

474. David Smith
Posted Dec 20, 2006 at 9:21 PM | Permalink

Temperature data from GISS for Bettles, Alaska is here . (It’s available via the link on Climate Audit front page.)

Temperature data for Bettles from the U of Alaska website is here . It’s part of the data used to make the composite curve.

We can compare the two, and do the same for the other first-order sites used for the graph. I haven’t done this, so I don’t know the outcome. A good exercise!

475. David Smith
Posted Dec 20, 2006 at 10:03 PM | Permalink

Steve B. you and I are probably close to the same page with this, but I see 1976 as a caution light, telling us we really do not understand late 20’th century climate as well as we should.

One of the lessons I learned from Japanese manufacturers in the 1980s was “study the wiggles – if you can’t explain the causal wiggles then you don’t truly understand your process”. They are right. You have to separate the random from the causal, of course, but don’t make the mistake of tossing the causal wiggles into the waste basket.

Tomorrow or Friday I’ll post a compilation of 1976-77 global changes. They go well beyond what is normally defined as the “PDO” and to me say “big causal wiggle “. Someday, someone will be smart enough to connect all these dots.

By the way, one of the two links you offered yesterday is a study of shallow Pacific circulation that I had not read. It’s a very interesting one. I’ll summarize it in the coming days. Appreciated.

476. Willis Eschenbach
Posted Dec 20, 2006 at 10:37 PM | Permalink

Re 469, 470, Brooks, “instrumental error” is definitely a justifiable initial impression when you look at this.

However, the same jump shows up in widely separated instruments, as well as in proxy data. Here’s a graphic from a study I did a while ago.

Note the 1976 jump in the separate Anchorage/Nome/Fairbanks temperature records, which makes the idea of instrumental error extremely unlikely. Also, it is visible in the date of the breakup of the ice on the Nenana River, which is a combined temperature/precipitation proxy.

w.

477. Brooks Hurd
Posted Dec 20, 2006 at 11:18 PM | Permalink

Willis,

Thanks for the data. This additional data does give a different impression, particularly with the 1940 bump.

478. Nobody in particular
Posted Dec 21, 2006 at 12:25 AM | Permalink

It looks to me like there was a step down in the data around 1945 and then it stepped back up in 1975 or so coming back in line with the previous pattern.

479. loki on the run
Posted Dec 21, 2006 at 12:28 AM | Permalink

Re: 476

Willis, what is evident there as well is that something derailed the general upward trend from the early fourties to the late seventies.

480. Willis Eschenbach
Posted Dec 21, 2006 at 1:45 AM | Permalink

loki, thanks for your comment. You say:

Willis, what is evident there as well is that something derailed the general upward trend from the early fourties to the late seventies.

Unfortunately, with a record this short, it’s hard to make generalizations. We have an upward trend to 1940, a downward trend to 1976, and about level since then. Is this a level trend interrupted by ups and downs, an up-and-down trend with a short level stretch, or what?

About all we can say is that it seems to be related to the PDO, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Here’s a comparison of the Aleutian Low Pressure Index (a measure of the PDO) and Alaskan temperatures.

Note the close correlation … which is not necessarily causation, but interesting nonetheless.

w.

481. TAC
Posted Dec 21, 2006 at 11:04 AM | Permalink

OT and interesting: I just read a Rickover speech from 1957 (here). It seems that Rickover, fifty years ago, understood 21st century energy issue with uncanny clarity.

482. Fergus
Posted Dec 21, 2006 at 11:43 AM | Permalink

Pardon, if this is the wrong place — but what do “skeptics” think of the (possibly overhyped?) James Annan paper which has been rejected (i.e. he claims he’s being “silenced” but it could just be it was rejected fairly)?

http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0612094

It seems to have support from William Connelly (another blogger you may know; he of the puffed-up “Wikipedia cred!”😉 Is it all “much ado?” I would think that on something with high uncertainty such as climate, keeping in high sensitivities is actually “conservative”, and I’m not sure that Annan & Connelly have made any good case for “chopping off” these high uncertainties.

483. Tim Ball
Posted Dec 21, 2006 at 12:30 PM | Permalink

I recorded a similar shift as follows;

“A Dramatic Change in the General Circulation on the West Coast of Hudson Bay in 1760 A.D.: Synoptic Evidence Based on Historic Records”, Syllogeus Climatic Change in Canada 5: Critical Periods in the Quaternary Climatic History of Northern North America, Editor, C.R. Harington, National Museums of Canada, 1985, Vol. 55, pp. 219-229

I think the shift was due to a latitudinal shift in the mean position of the circumpolar vortex. Notice that the Alaskan stations are generally at the same latitudes as the southern Hudson Bay stations I was studying. Imagine being on the equator side of the vortex (Polar Front) with warm air prevailing and then shifting to the cold air prevailing. What I would like to see is whether the wind directions shifted in conjunction with the temperature shift in Alaska as they did in my study. On a longer time span, south winds at York Factory near the nadir of the LIA were out of the south less than 10% of each year from 1721 – 1731, while they were greater than 12% (as high as 27%) each year in the period 1841-1851. This is commensurate with a shift in the tree line over the same period in the same region.

484. Ken Fritsch
Posted Dec 21, 2006 at 1:24 PM | Permalink

Pardon, if this is the wrong place “¢’¬? but what do “skeptics” think of the (possibly overhyped?)

From the paper we have:

To avoid possible misunderstandings, we establish at the outset that the notion of probability discussed here is the standard Bayesian paradigm of probability as the subjective degree of belief of the researcher in a proposition (Bernardo & Smith, 1994).

You definitely need to address this to the in-house expert on Bayesian probablities and that would be Bender (he’s the objective Gator betting the Buckeyes to win).

485. Stan Palmer
Posted Dec 21, 2006 at 1:30 PM | Permalink

NASA preicts that the next solar cycle will be the largest in 400 years.

486. bender
Posted Dec 21, 2006 at 1:37 PM | Permalink

I have no problem with Annan’s premises. His paper is interesting enough that comments on it probably deserve their own thread.
P.S. I’m also not picking the Bears to win the SB either! Even though Rex, like me, is orange & blue through and through.

487. BKC
Posted Dec 21, 2006 at 1:44 PM | Permalink

#481

He’s an interesting guy. It’s disappointing how little headway we’ve made in solving the problems he was anticipating fifty years ago.

488. Paul Linsay
Posted Dec 21, 2006 at 2:01 PM | Permalink

Very off topic but relevant to the theme of this blog. It’s by Freeman Dyson describing his experience using statistics and other math at Bomber Command during WWII in an attempt to save pilots’ lives.

489. Nobody in particular
Posted Dec 21, 2006 at 2:26 PM | Permalink

#485 Re: Solar Cycle 24

Actually, some debate has sprung up around cycle 24. In the past, different measurements used to predict solar cycle activity have pointed in the same general direction. This time there are counter indications from people using different methods. What they all agree on, however, is that cycle 25 is set to be possibly the weakest ever recorded (that would be teh cycle after next).

Predictions based on the strength of the solar surface “magnetic conveyor belt” point to a very active cycle 24 and an almost non-existant cycle 25. The conveyor belt tends to indicate solar cycles two cycles in advance so current “conveyor belt” activity being the weakest ever recorded would point to a very weak solar cycle 25. Activity during cycle 22, however was extremely strong leading many at NASA to predict a very strong cycle 24.

490. Fergus
Posted Dec 21, 2006 at 2:35 PM | Permalink

Re: #486 — his premise would be OK if one had faith in both his expert prior AND the data (climate model simulations). Has this case been made? It would appear the reviewers don’t think so (the only defenders of Annan seem to be unpublished “RealClimate” blogger comments). I see a lot of accusations but little data. It seems like applying results of 1920’s college football games (“paleoclimate data”) to Madden 2005 simulations on an XBox (“climate models”) to predict the 2007 Super Bowl (“future forecast / IPCC report”)🙂

491. Earle Williams
Posted Dec 21, 2006 at 2:43 PM | Permalink

Re #457 and others

Brooks,
Your initial read of the Alaska data reflects healthy skepticism! I looked at the data available from the University of Alaska and also from NOAA and it represents an average of observed temperatures at several locations across the state. I was able to pull down monthly and annual average temperatures for Anchorage and the data for 1952 – 2005 correlate very well with the statewide plot (ocular analysis only, no statistics to back it up!)

For what it’s worth, 2006 is shaping up to be around the fifth coldest in thirty years for Anchorage.

Cheers,
Earle

492. Mark T.
Posted Dec 21, 2006 at 2:57 PM | Permalink

Bleeezard in CO Springs, again. 2nd this year, fourth big snow. This one was a beast. Not much snow (only a foot or snow, but several feet farther north), but heavy winds. I got stuck 3 streets over from my house last night at 8 after spending several hours at a colleague’s house waiting for traffic to clear. When you high-center a Jeep, you’re in some deep doo-doo.🙂

After digging myself and another out, then clearing the entrance to my drive. I’m done. I’m tarred…

Mark

493. Ken Fritsch
Posted Dec 21, 2006 at 2:59 PM | Permalink

David Smith have you looked at any of the literature on statistically testing for climate regime changes? I found that there are many methods available and many aimed at climate changes. Also some are used for the specific intent of finding discontinuities caused by instrument errors.

The one linked below gives a sequential algorithm for testing climate shifts and references to other methods.

http://www.beringclimate.noaa.gov/data/Regime_shift_algorithm.pdf

Empirical studies of climate regime shifts typically use confirmatory statistical techniques with an a priori hypothesis about the timing of the shifts. Although there are methods for an automatic detection of discontinuities in a time series, their performance drastically diminishes at the ends of the series. Since all the methods currently available require a substantial amount of data to be accumulated, the regime shifts are usually detected long after they actually occurred. The proposed sequential algorithm allows for early detection of a regime shift and subsequent monitoring of changes in its magnitude over time.

494. Ken Fritsch
Posted Dec 21, 2006 at 3:26 PM | Permalink

P.S. I’m also not picking the Bears to win the SB either! Even though Rex, like me, is orange & blue through and through.

That’s so not Bayesian of you – or maybe it is. Rex Grossman chances of being very good = 8/14. Chances of Rex Grossman being very bad = 6/14. Chances of winning with Rex Grossman in 3 consecutive games = (8/14)^3 = 0.19. Chances of winning with Bear’s defense = 1- GP x RD where GP is the number of games played during the season and RD is the rate of decline in the defense’s capabilities. RD = 4%. Combine Rex and the defense and we have a 5% chance of winning the SB, but after adding back the mystical powers of the orange and blue (Gator and Bear) we have a 35% chance of a SB win. Those are my Bayesians.

495. Earle Williams
Posted Dec 21, 2006 at 3:34 PM | Permalink

In the spirit of Willis E., here’s the Anchorage annual average temps, with my estimate for 2006 of 35.65 F. That’s assuming remainder of year temps follow 1971-2005 average temps, which given the current forecast is pretty reasonable.

496. Earle Williams
Posted Dec 21, 2006 at 3:39 PM | Permalink

Re #495

My gaussian average is truncated at 7 years.

Earle

497. Nordic
Posted Dec 21, 2006 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

David Smith: This is pretty funny – I was looking on the internet for some fire-regime information for a project at work just after getting caught up on this thread and stumbled upon something you might be interested in:
http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm03/fm03-pdf/fm03-B11C.pdf
Look at the abstract for B11C-0705; the language in the last paragraph sounds familiar.

Now, back to work.

498. jae
Posted Dec 21, 2006 at 4:15 PM | Permalink

476, 480, etc: Look at the similarity in Fig. 4 of this paper.

499. Roger Bell
Posted Dec 21, 2006 at 4:33 PM | Permalink

Re 379.
The gutters of houses in some countries, particularly those with low rainfall, are often connected to a downspout which leads into a container. This container, often shaped as a barrel, may be called a “butt” in England. Keen gardeners may prefer to use this rainwater rather than that treated with various chemicals.
Roger Bell

500. Roger Bell
Posted Dec 21, 2006 at 5:01 PM | Permalink

Science News (December 16, 2006) reports that Nature has made some temporary changes to the peer review process. In addition to sending submitted papers to anonymous referees, Nature asked some authors if they would like their papers posted on a web site where any interested scientist could comment on thework. Such a commentator would have to reveal his/her identity.
Obviously there are pros and cons to this system – more ideas for improving the work versus being scooped by rivals.
Nature is still deciding whether it will change its system while Science and PNAS are wondering what to do.
Roger Bell

501. bender
Posted Dec 21, 2006 at 5:06 PM | Permalink

That’s so not Bayesian of you – or maybe it is.

It is indeed very Bayesian of me. You know my priors; they have not wavered. You see my posterior probability. I, by and large, agree with your analysis … with the caveat that there are a few critical uncertainties – as to which defense and which Rex shows up on game day (after game day). There is also the trend, albeit subtle, towards better decision making re: those deep throws into tight coverage after the play has broken down. He is better coached now than two months ago. I suspect that trend will continue, albeit with some noise.

I would take Rex over Rivers any day. The Big Question: can anyone stop LT?

502. bender
Posted Dec 21, 2006 at 5:18 PM | Permalink

#501 was in response to #494, and so is this.

Ken, why the emphasis on 8/14 vs 6/14? Are the Bears 8-6? Alternative hypothesis to account for 11-2 record: maybe Rex is a nonlinear guy: he plays as well as he thinks has to to win (sometimes coming up a little short). I note that a linear model fit to a nonlinear process has fouled up many a climate scientist.

[I stress that this is not about football, but about modeling uncertain, stochastic, feedback-dominated processes, given biased priors.]

503. David Smith
Posted Dec 21, 2006 at 7:55 PM | Permalink

Re # 499 Thanks!

504. Ken Fritsch
Posted Dec 21, 2006 at 9:30 PM | Permalink

[I stress that this is not about football, but about modeling uncertain, stochastic, feedback-dominated processes, given biased priors.]

It is also about subjective Bayesian probabilities, as applied to climate policy or Las Vegas betting odds on the SB, providing their underlying large uncertainties with an undeserved and false sense of confidence where, “I do not honestly know”, becomes 1.5 to 4.5 degrees C and 3 to 1 odds of winning.

505. Fergus
Posted Dec 21, 2006 at 9:49 PM | Permalink

IMHO the Annan paper (and his supporters) points to a spurious application of Bayesian statistics. It seems that certain scientists have faith in climate models only to the point it gives an answer they deem “sensible” with their concocted expert prior. This prior bears no relation to the models and is a desperate attempt to link them to a past climate or a “sensible” future. They make grandiose pronouncements to whittle out high sensitivities (i.e. “it’s all because of this parameter”) meanwhile they seem to understand little about 20 other parameters. Sounds too “faith-based” to me, and then they try to give it a veneer of legitimacy by Bayesian prabble….

506. John Baltutis
Posted Dec 22, 2006 at 2:58 AM | Permalink

Re: #505

In my lexicon, Bayesian statistical analysis, since it’s subjective, is, by definition, faith-based, which implies it’s religious and not scientific.

507. bender
Posted Dec 22, 2006 at 10:14 AM | Permalink

You have no idea how ridiculous that sounds, do you? Suggestion: put away your dictionary and pull out your Kendall Vol 2B and find out what Bayesian analysis really is. (Maybe Bloom can help you. He fancies himself an expert.)

508. Ken Fritsch
Posted Dec 22, 2006 at 11:41 AM | Permalink

Bender, I think, with the number of existing schools of thought called Bayesian, one could obtain a wide variety of individual inferences on how it is applied.

The terms subjective probability, personal probability, epistemic probability and logical probability describe some of the schools of thought which are customarily called “Bayesian”. These overlap but there are differences of emphasis. Some of the people mentioned here would not call themselves Bayesians.

Bayesian probability is supposed to measure the degree of belief an individual has in an uncertain proposition, and is in that respect subjective. Some people who call themselves Bayesians do not accept this subjectivity. The chief exponents of this objectivist school were Edwin Thompson Jaynes and Harold Jeffreys. Perhaps the main objectivist Bayesian now living is James Berger of Duke University. Jose Bernardo and others accept some degree of subjectivity but believe a need exists for “reference priors” in many practical situations.

Advocates of logical (or objective epistemic) probability, such as Harold Jeffreys, Rudolf Carnap, Richard Threlkeld Cox and Edwin Jaynes, hope to codify techniques whereby any two persons having the same information relevant to the truth of an uncertain proposition would calculate the same probability. Such probabilities are not relative to the person but to the epistemic situation, and thus lie somewhere between subjective and objective. However, the methods proposed are controversial. Critics challenge the claim that there are grounds for preferring one degree of belief over another in the absence of information about the facts to which those beliefs refer. Another problem is that the techniques developed so far are inadequate for dealing with realistic cases.

My complaint voiced in a previous post was in line with the example given below.

One criticism levelled at the Bayesian probability interpretation has been that a single probability assignment cannot convey how well grounded the belief is’€”i.e., how much evidence one has. Consider the following situations:

1. You have a box with white and black balls, but no knowledge as to the quantities

2. You have a box from which you have drawn n balls, half black and the rest white

3. You have a box and you know that there are the same number of white and black balls

The Bayesian probability of the next ball drawn being black is 0.5 in all three cases. Keynes called this the problem of the “weight of evidence”. One approach is to reflect difference in evidential support by assigning probabilities to these probabilities (so-called metaprobabilities) in the following manner: …

By the way is not the Wikipedia concept kind of Bayesianesque?

509. bender
Posted Dec 22, 2006 at 12:59 PM | Permalink

Estimating the subjective, belief-based prior probabilities is only one small part of the Bayesian method. Annan’s premise is that these prior probabilities need to be confronted with objective, independent data if you want a rational decision process. The paper is slim, but this is simply because his mission is simple: to point out that there are those who dismiss the second half of the exercise – and that in so doing they undermine their own credibility. You can call this “Bayesian prabble” if you like. I understand where that’s coming from; there is a focus in this paper on prior probabillities and much less attention given to the estimation of posterior probabilities. If you think your priors are in line with the data you’re not likely to see anything of interest in this paper. Quite the opposite if you’re one of the doomsdayers that Annan is saying are not supported by the data. His argument is a good one. It’s the split audience that is the problem.

As for the ridiculous assertion that an argument that has not been published has no merit, well, the fact is not all good, useful arguments are publishable arguments. There are many reasons why a paper might be rejected. Correctness is far from the only criterion. (Stupid reviewers is another factor that comes to mind.)

As for the quip about “Annan’s supporters”, I’m not sure what that’s trying to imply. But I am sure that it misses the mark. I doubt very much that Annan would suggest we focus on beliefs over physics. I think he understands that that this is largely about the “20 other parameters” referred to by #505. I think that is precisely the problem he is trying to address: given the intractability of GCM validation, how do you move forward toward a rational policy on GHGs?

Or would you deny that GCM validation is an intractable problem?

Posted Dec 22, 2006 at 1:47 PM | Permalink

I must wonder about the timing of the following new thread at RC, on the topic of …. to paraphrase, “an increasingly sea ice free Arctic Ocean.”:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/12/not-just-ice-albedo/

In the coming weeks, the deniers of innate variation will have to admit:
* Overall, 2006 has been a boringly normal year temperaturewise. The summer heat experienced in a few places was vastly countered by cooler than normal conditions in Spring and Fall in manner places around the world.
* Arctic Sea Ice coverage was greater in 2006 than in 2005. While still slightly below normal (in this case, take “normal” with a grain of salt, given the poor record prior to 1979, and our near utter lack of knowledge about what is the innate level of variation in extent over multidecadal time frames) in terms of average extent, it was flirting with the “normal” line for much of the year.
* In spite of various proclamations of a warm fall in Northern Asia (based on I know not what) northern Asia actually became snow covered back in October and has been snowed in since. Much like last fall.
* Europe has been suffering from a regional drought, and the Eastern US has had a balmy fall – unlike many other areas which have had a cold fall.

So, I have to wonder, is Rasmus’ new thread a sort of preemption, to cope with the questions that are likely to be raised based on all of the above inconvenient truths?

Posted Dec 22, 2006 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

Let’s see if they let the following through (and furthermore, if anyone actually gives an honest response to it):

I was wondering if anyone happens to have the current sea ice extent anomaly handy? Many thanks in advance.

512. jae
Posted Dec 22, 2006 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

510: Talk about an exercise in speculation. I’ll bet the word “may” is used 20 times. At least it addressess many of the variables. My conclusion from all that rambling is that we don’t know much…

Posted Dec 22, 2006 at 2:49 PM | Permalink

Notice something funny about the first NSIDC link posted up on that thread? Look at the year for the “lowest November ever” data point, then look at the plot put up in the initial post by Rasmus. Clearly, November 2006 was not the lowest ever November extent. But NOAA seems to have a little problem with getting the facts straight.

Posted Dec 22, 2006 at 3:06 PM | Permalink

Here are some photos that alarmists don’t want you to see – try to imagine an ice free summer Artic in 55 years – sorry, I can’t imagine it, I am getting a headache trying:

http://www.paulwberg.com/tuktoyaktuk

The northern part of the ice road on on salt water – the outer part of the MacKenzie estuary.

515. Dave Dardinger
Posted Dec 22, 2006 at 4:29 PM | Permalink

re: #514

All I can say is that fellow must have really wanted to win one of the Darwin awards!

516. Ken Fritsch
Posted Dec 22, 2006 at 4:46 PM | Permalink

Bender, I am not sure whether we are disagreeing or not, so perhaps I need to know more about from where you are coming here. In my layperson’s view, Annan describes well the effects of using “ignorant” or uniform priors and the importance of avoiding overlap of evidence contained in the prior and the set of data observations, O.

Moreover, unless the set of data O under explicit consideration actually include all of the evidence which might be considered relevant to the estimation of climate sensitivity, it is not even appropriate for the prior to represent “ignorance” at all. Instead, it should represent the background beliefs in the absence of O. Therefore, it seems clear there is no alternative but to attempt the task of selecting a prior that does in fact honestly represent the prior beliefs of the researcher “¢’¬? that is, what they would believe in the absence of the data under examination. If confidence about the choice of such a prior is low, then a sensible response would be to test the sensitivity of the overall results to a range of reasonable choices, rather than abandon any attempt to undertake this estimation at all

Is this where a potential problem with some reviewers could arise, i.e. the suggested use of regression analysis in the place of climate computer model output?

We therefore update the expert prior with the likelihood function arising from the ERBE data, and present the results in Figure 2.

..The analysis of ERBE data seems particularly useful in this respect, since it is based on a direct regression analysis of satellite observations of radiation versus recent surface temperature data, and does not depend on climate models, (or even, say, the rate of heat diffusion into the ocean or the overall surface warming trend) in the generation of the likelihood function. Therefore, there can be little question over its independence from the prior estimates which we have discussed, or pdfs which have been published based on other data.

I am aware of the use Bayesian probabilities in decision making, but when it comes to applying probabilities for policy decisions on climate mitigation I was of the view that you were not at all satisfied with the set of observations, O, required to obtain a posterior probability. Also, does not Annan’s paper show the weakness in the Bayesian approach, i.e. my Bayesians versus your Bayesians.

517. Fergus
Posted Dec 22, 2006 at 4:51 PM | Permalink

Re: bender #509 — it just seems to me that the Annans/Bayesians are “throwing out the baby with the bathwater.” Climate modellers go to great lengths to run complex climate models. Et voila, Annan et al can conveniently chuck out the ones they don’t like (even if it’s just 5% that have a a high sensitivity). All because of an “expert prior” which is basically an “argument from incredulity.” It all sounds an awful lot like the “picking and choosing” we see from the “hockey team” — well after all they’re all part & parcel of the “realClimate” self-appointed “experts!”

Posted Dec 22, 2006 at 4:58 PM | Permalink

RE: #515 – Undoubtedly, the reason for them driving the Dempster in winter (my guess, based on Sun angles, is probably late Feb or early March) was specifically to be able to go the whole distance up to the actual Arctic shore via the ice road. In summer, you’d have to take a short hop plane to get up there (or I suppose, a boat, ice conditions permitting). That said, going 60 MPH at night on that ice road is definitely in the Darwin Award category ….🙂

519. Willis Eschenbach
Posted Dec 22, 2006 at 5:22 PM | Permalink

Steve S, you asked:

I was wondering if anyone happens to have the current sea ice extent anomaly handy? Many thanks in advance.

We are nothing if not a full-service site …

w.

520. bender
Posted Dec 22, 2006 at 6:06 PM | Permalink

If you’re bright enough and experienced enough to criticize Annan, his paper, his Bayesian premises, and his “supporters”, then you’re capable of explaining his paper to us. So what exactly is the problem?

Seems to me he is criticizing precisely those who cling to their priors and are unwilling to have these priors reconciled with data. By explicitly pointing out that “ignorant” models are not neutral models he exposes the tendency of expert doomsdayers to feign ignorance and cling to “priors” that are difficult to justify (or worse, retrench to even more extreme priors). What camp does that place him (and his “supporters”) in? Seems to me he’s a friend of science. Where is he cherry picking among models? Where does he say that these models over here should be used for evaulating posterior probabilities, and these ones shouldn’t? If Bayes theorem is about modifying probabilities as we learn new information, how is that non-scientific?

Is Annan arguing that only some sources of new knowledge should be used in the updating process? No! Is Annan arguing that it is justifiable to keep shifting the priors warmer if the evidence continually tends toward the cooler (in order to keep the posteriors neutral)? No! So where is he arguing for an increased role for belief? His aim seems to be to diminish the role of belief by recognizing it for what it is: a mere starting point.

Is Annan really “throwing out the baby with the bathwater”? What proof is there that there’s a baby in the bathwater to begin with? Agreed: climate modelers go to great extremes to develop and tune their models. Do they go to the same lengths to validate them? Given that you don’t have a supercomputer on which to install and run your own set of GCM scenarios you can’t tell me you are not taking a leap of faith in accepting inferences derived from these “20-parameter” marvels. Do you believe that validating these models is a tractable problem? Because if you are imploring Annan to forget about Bayes, forget about priors, forget about belief, and focus on the physics and the math of the GCMs, then you are not understanding the problem that validating these models represent.

Annan would probably be among the first to echo the sentiment: audit the GCMs.

As for the merit of this paper as a publication, I’m not sure if or where it was submitted, and why it might have been rejected. I don’t think it matters. What matters is not what two anonyomous reviewers thought of it, but what we think of it. I can’t see where it might be fatally flawed.

521. Fergus
Posted Dec 22, 2006 at 6:16 PM | Permalink

My point is that Annan (a modeller) only considers data that fits into his preconceived notion (“expert prior”) by “conveniently” chopping off the high tails. If a model is run 1000 times with initial conditions & perturbations and 5% of them have a high sensitivity, it would seem a more sensible conclusion is that high sensitivity is a low but possibile probability. The “baby in the bathwater” is that shouldn’t climate modellers trust the output of their models? But here comes Annan to chop off this high tail. This Bayesian sleight-of-hand, for no other reason than “it agrees with what we think happened in paleo times” seems silly. He’s hardly a friend of science; although his attempts to “cool off” the IPCC range would seem to make him an ersatz friend of skeptics.

522. bender
Posted Dec 22, 2006 at 6:28 PM | Permalink

does not Annan’s paper show the weakness in the Bayesian approach

Trick question. It is not the “Bayesian approach” per se that is the problem, but reliance upon a single Bayesian analysis. Yes, Annan’s paper highlights this weakness. That’s one of the merits of the paper.

People, you can’t just dismiss folks that come to the debate with ignorant priors. This is a democracy. Given that all people are part of the political process, you have a choice. You can let the believers pretend that their priors are data-driven; or you can hold them to account for their beliefs and show them how their beliefs stack up against data. Seems to me Annan is suggesting the latter.

The only people that would characterize this approach as non-scientific are the PhD climsci technocrats who think they know best how to run the country. As if.

523. bender
Posted Dec 22, 2006 at 6:34 PM | Permalink

Fergus,
You are conflating Bayesian analysis with cherry-picking models/data. I’m trying to get you to stop. Everyone at CA understands that cherry-picking to favor your viewpoint is bad. Annan too, I’m sure. Please stop equating cherry-picking with Bayesian analysis. You mischaracterize his paper, I think because you misunderstand his intent. That’s your right, of course. Just as it is your right to not read my comments.

524. bender
Posted Dec 22, 2006 at 6:46 PM | Permalink

My point is that …

Are you here to make points, or, as you suggested in #482, discuss Annan’s paper with skeptics at CA? Seems to me you’re not interested in what his paper says, but are only interested in one narrow bit that pertains to a hobby-horse of yours. Annan’s paper is interesting. Your hobby-horse, however …

525. Fergus
Posted Dec 22, 2006 at 6:53 PM | Permalink

No, I’m demonstrating how people can misapply Bayesian techniques to cherry-pick models/data. And Annan is illustrating this best. The IPCC has done this for ages — if you don’t like what your model comes up with, call it an “outlier” and now we have a convenient way to get it out (expert prior). I think it shows the same level of pseudo-intellectual, arrogant deceit as we’ve seen in the hockey stick team.

526. bender
Posted Dec 22, 2006 at 7:04 PM | Permalink

What part of conflation do you not understand?

527. Fergus
Posted Dec 22, 2006 at 8:58 PM | Permalink

It seems to be Annan (and other such modellers) that are doing the conflating, via Bayesian statistical methods that are akin to Humpty Dumpty doing what he wants with words.

528. bender
Posted Dec 22, 2006 at 10:39 PM | Permalink

Keep it up. You sure know what you’re talking about.

529. Fergus
Posted Dec 22, 2006 at 10:49 PM | Permalink

well I don’t want to get into a fight about it, just pointing out the “fluffy” nature of their “science.” only if you have a full belief in the efficacy of their climate models does any of the Bayesian stats (and arguments of priors) make sense. but that’s a huge leap of faith to make.

530. bender
Posted Dec 22, 2006 at 11:06 PM | Permalink

Your science is fluffier than theirs. You are continually conflating Annan with his “supporters” with a supposed Bayesian agenda with cherry picking. I’ve granted you that cherry picking is wrong and that Annan needs to be careful of that. On the rest you are simply out to lunch. I’m sorry if you think this is combative. Maybe you should be more careful about soliciting feedback on papers? Maybe you need to develop a thick skin, like Judith Curry. I don’t want to fight either. But I will if you push me to it. Just admit that you misread the aim of the paper, that there’s nothing wrong with the Bayesian approach in general, and we’re all squared away.

531. Fergus
Posted Dec 22, 2006 at 11:12 PM | Permalink

Errr, I never said there was anything wrong with “the Bayesian approach in general.” Perhaps you’re confusing me with the other post above bashing Bayesian stats? I’m viewing this from a biostatistics background, and I do find it a bit of a stretch to apply Bayesian stats (paleo priors and last glacial maximum priors) to climate modelling a la Annan and then make grandiose pronouncements that it has anything to do with the real world. It seems like “garbage-in-garbage-out” no matter what prior you use!

532. bender
Posted Dec 22, 2006 at 11:16 PM | Permalink

Sorry, you’re right, Fergus. It’s #506 I really object to. My apologies.

533. Fergus
Posted Dec 22, 2006 at 11:20 PM | Permalink

No problemo, I think we are probably disagreeing still, just not as strongly as I can see you would be to 506!🙂 but I’ll lay my model bemusement to rest for now!

534. David Smith
Posted Dec 24, 2006 at 1:20 PM | Permalink

‘From the Australian weather service:

Computer model guidance continues to suggest that Pacific Ocean temperatures, and hence the El Nino, may peak around January or February 2007. This timing would be consistent with the breakdown of past El Nino events. However, there are a few signs that the event may have already started to weaken: the SOI has only been weakly negative for more than a month; the Trade Winds in the western and central Pacific have strengthened to near-normal values in December; and sub-surface temperatures show a weakening of east-Pacific warmth and a strengthening cool signal extending from the west.

Just as this El Nino arrived at an odd time it may be leaving early, too. It’s also unusual in that, so far, there’s no identifiable heat-kick onto global temperature.

Some models are showing a swing towards La Nina by next summer. If that happens, it would allow a more-active Atlantic hurricane season.

535. Dave Dardinger
Posted Dec 24, 2006 at 6:20 PM | Permalink

Merry Christmas, Everyone! My wife and I are off to open our presents.

536. David Smith
Posted Dec 24, 2006 at 7:33 PM | Permalink

Merry Christmas to you, Dave, and to all!

Snow flurries are in the Christmas Day forecast here in Houston, US, which would be unprecedented if it indeed happens.

Tomorrow brings a physicist, biologist, pilot, three engineers and an astronaut to our door for Christmas dinner. Lots of red wine and, for the sake of all, globale warmende diskussion ist verboten.

537. Ken Fritsch
Posted Dec 25, 2006 at 12:24 PM | Permalink

The gist of why Annan judges he is being rejected on his plea for well reasoned Bayesian priors is given here and was found from a CA thread here.

… Basically, there are two main reasons why Hegerl et al’s “pdf” is not actually a valid probabilistic estimate of climate sensitivity at all. Firstly, they ignore much of the data that bears on the matter (and which indicates a highest likelihood of a value of about 3C), and secondly by starting off with a prior that assigns very high probability to high sensitivity and ignoring most of the evidence to the contrary, they ensure that the result also has a high probability of high sensitivity – albeit far lower than their prior did. Of course these…limitations…are prevalent in much of the literature.

..Nicki Stevens wrote:

we have regretfully decided that publication of this comment as a Brief Communication Arising is not justified, as the concerns you have raised apply more generally to a widespread methodological approach, and not solely to the Hegerl et al. paper

… also Nicki Stevens [t]old us that our GRL manuscript didn’t provide enough of an “advance in significantly constraining climate sensitivity relative to prior estimates”.)

Meanwhile, we have people like Gavin Schmidt quite prepared to openly dismiss the bulk of peer-reviewed literature in this area with such comments as “Basically no one really believes that those really high sensitivities are possible,” and “even Hegerl’s top limit is too high”. Not that I’m criticising him for that – quite the reverse, but the fact that there is such a credibility gap between what has appeared in the literature, and what at least some responsible and reputable scientists think, should surely be seen as rather worrying by all who are interested in ensuring that the scientific process works as intended. It is quite clear that (unless our arguments are wholly invalid, and so far no-one has suggested why they should be) none of the published “pdfs” actually provide any credible support for the belief that S is greater than 6C even at as little as the 5% level (for example), but according to Nature, as long as everyone keeps on getting this wrong together, they aren’t interested in correcting the mistaken (and alarmist) impression that they have helped to foster.

Sounds like Bayesian abuse to me.

538. Steve Bloom
Posted Dec 25, 2006 at 11:21 PM | Permalink

Uh, oh, looks like bad news for solar irradiance and cosmic ray fans. Oligocene climate, here we come!

539. John Baltutis
Posted Dec 25, 2006 at 11:32 PM | Permalink

Re: #532
Objections noted, but I still contend that it’s not scientific. And, I’m not the only one.
The Nature of Scientific Evidence, Taper and Lele, Editors, U. of Chicago Press, 2004, discusses whether the use of Bayesian statistical analysis is appropriate for scientific evidence. One salient example, WRT to data is the following (page 80):

“Although the subjective Bayesian approach is highly popular among philosophers, its dependence upon subjective degrees of belief, many feel, makes it ill-suited for building an objective methodology for science. In science, it seems, we want to know what the data are saying, quite apart from the opinions we start out with. In trading logical probabilities for measures of belief, the problem of relevance to real world predictions remains. Leonard (L. J.) Savage, a founder of modern personalistic Bayesianism, makes it very clear throughout his work that the theory of personal probability is a code of consistency for the person applying it, not a system of predictions about the world around him [1972, The Foundations of Statistics, New York, Dover, page 59].” [Emphasis added.]

540. Jaye
Posted Dec 26, 2006 at 12:09 AM | Permalink

worth two quarters…

http://www.amazon.com/Motes-Gods-Eye-Deformities-American/dp/B000AMW5YC/ref=pe_

541. Dave Dardinger
Posted Dec 26, 2006 at 12:12 AM | Permalink

re: #538 Steve M,

Just why is the article you link to bad news for them?

542. Willis Eschenbach
Posted Dec 26, 2006 at 12:28 AM | Permalink

Re #541, that was Steve B. in 538, not Steve M.

w.

543. Dave Dardinger
Posted Dec 26, 2006 at 9:14 AM | Permalink

I know, Willis, it was just a slip of the fingers. I was deciding; should I add B so it’d be clear I was talking to Steve B rather than Steve M? Naturally my fingers heard the last letter rather than the earlier one. Acutally it’s easy to confuse B and M. The have a similar shape rotated 90 degrees (Think Briget Bardot vs Marilyn Monroe as an example)

544. Hans Kelp
Posted Dec 26, 2006 at 10:51 AM | Permalink

…AND SO IT ENDS. EVERYBODY IS HAPPY AND STEVE BLOOM IS DRUNK….

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OF YOU

HANS KELP

545. Hans Kelp
Posted Dec 26, 2006 at 10:54 AM | Permalink

..OH, SORRY – MUST HAVE BEEN A SLIP OF MY FINGERS..

CHEERS
HANS KELP

546. David Smith
Posted Dec 26, 2006 at 11:03 AM | Permalink

Current global sea surface temperature anomaly is shown here . There are two things to note.

One, the yellow/orange region along the Pacific equator is what’s left of the 2006 El Nino. There is only one region with a touch of orange. Pretty weak.

For comparison, the famous 1997/1998 El Nino is shown here . The color scheme is slightly different, but the difference is obvious.

Two, note the relative coolness in the mid-latitude (Vancouver) eastern Pacific and the relative warmness in the mid-latitude (Japan) western Pacific. This is a weak “negative PDO” pattern. This type of pattern has not persisted since 1976: since 1976, it comes for some months, then fades.

Here is my synthesis of several hypotheses (peer-reviewed articles, by the way), which I’ll mention in detail later:

Nagative PDO affects Northern Hemisphere weather (see the Alaskan tremperature plot of last week as an example) and, importantly, it affects the strength of the trade winds at low latitudes. This trade wind strength is important, because it affects Pacific Warm Pool surface temperature directly (evaporation/mixing) and indirectly (north-south flow of cool shallow subsurface water to the Equator, where it upwells and cools the Warm Pool surface). (This indirect effect is slower, but stronger, than the direct effect, by the way, but requires persistence, which has been lacking since 1976.)

In a persistent negative-PDO pattern, the trade winds are stronger, which cools the Warm Pool especially via upwelling. That is important, because the Warm Pool is the “main furnace” of the atmosphere and the activity of the Warm Pool is quite sensitive to temperature. Dampen the Warm Pool “fires” and the earth’s atmosphere may cool. Stoke the fires, as has happened since 1976, and the atmosphere may warm.

So, we’ll keep an eye on eastern Pacific temperatures, especially west of Baja California.

547. Posted Dec 26, 2006 at 11:47 AM | Permalink

Re #546

Whatever happened to James Hansen’s predicted “super El Nino” that he so confidently predicted earlier this year?

Did anyone challenge him to a bet?

548. Michael Jankowski
Posted Dec 26, 2006 at 11:55 AM | Permalink

Re#547, read the fine print:

We suggest that an El Nino is likely to originate in 2006 and that there is a good chance it will be a “super El Nino”, rivaling the 1983 and 1997-1998 El Ninos, which were successively labeled the “El Nino of the century” as they were of unprecedented strength in the previous 100 years.

The spinners will argue that “good” means something like “33% or better” so that Hansen can be wrong 2 out of 3 times and still be “right.”

You, me, or Dupree could be right 99 times out of 100, and all the AGW spinners would focus on is that 1 which was incorrect.

549. bender
Posted Dec 26, 2006 at 12:04 PM | Permalink

Re #494

RG chances of being very good = 8/14. Chances of RG being very bad = 6/14

1. Would you like to revise these probabilities?
2. Would you like to revisit your assumption that team performance hinges on QB performance?
3. When’s the last time RG threw an INT?
4. How do recent independent observations affect your new posterior probability?

Believe!

550. Ken Fritsch
Posted Dec 26, 2006 at 1:55 PM | Permalink

1. Would you like to revise these probabilities?
2. Would you like to revisit your assumption that team performance hinges on QB performance?
3. When’s the last time RG threw an INT?
4. How do recent independent observations affect your new posterior probability?

Believe!

1. Yes, Bayesians mustn’t be tardy in updating with new data.

2. The Bears team performance primarily depends on the QB and the defense. Make it much more complicated than that and my Bayesians get too complicated to calculate and I would have to go with my gut feeling that the Bears have a 30% chance to win the SB.

3. When he was very bad.

4. The QB factor for winning three straight games remains in digital mode but has been modified by Rex’s 3 straight good performances which gives him momentum and confidence. QBf = ((9/15)^3 + (3/3)^3)/2 = 0.59. The defense factor, Df = 1 — 0.04x 15 = 0.40 remains the same. The running game has become a factor since the last calculations were made and that factor is added to the equation through what I call a substitution for QB and defense deficiencies towards an overall game score. A good run game keeps the defense off the field and enhances the passing game. RGf = +0.064. Overall score and chances of winning the SB = 0.59×0.40+ 0.064 = 0.30. I am sure that I violated Bayesian methodology here, but now at least my Bayesians and gut are in agreement.

551. Steve Bloom
Posted Dec 26, 2006 at 3:00 PM | Permalink

Re #541: I still haven’t read the paper, but in general it’s becoming very difficult to find a significant solar or cosmic ray trend in the glaciation record. This new record combined with Huybers’ more or less complete attribution of the Pleistocene glaciations to Milankovitch cycles seems to be an airtight case. The Pleistocene record by itself was too short to completely do the job (at least from the POV of the solar/cosmic ray enthusiasts), especially since prior to Huybers nobody had been able to explain the MPT. To be completely fair, this new work probably does not completely close off hope (by itself, anyway) for the galactic drift cosmic ray hypothesis since IIRC that’s alleged to be on a 140 ma cycle and the new record (which still has a big gap between the Oligocene and the Pleistocene) only covers about 25% of that time.

Re #544/5: Hans, just because you post drunk is no reason to assume anyone else does. Happy Cephalopodmas anyway (a far more appropriate holiday for someone who lives below sea level, IMHO).

Re #547/8: As John A. and Michael well know, that quote is from a *draft* that Hansen had circulated for comment to a limited number of people. RP Jr. made it public without asking permission. The published paper did not include it.

552. Michael Jankowski
Posted Dec 26, 2006 at 3:14 PM | Permalink

Re #547/8: As John A. and Michael well know, that quote is from a *draft* that Hansen had circulated for comment to a limited number of people. RP Jr. made it public without asking permission. The published paper did not include it.

Oh, so as long as it doesn’t make final publication, he wasn’t wrong in saying it. OK! So scientists can make any goofy claims they want and not get called on them, just so long as they aren’t in published articles.

Hey, if the Hockey Team is allowed to reference unpublished and rejected draft papers , why can’t I reference draft sections of published papers?

553. Posted Dec 26, 2006 at 4:24 PM | Permalink

I didn’t well know that Hansen has made a kiteflying claim of a super El Nino. Otherwise it looks like blatent manipulation of the scientific process, doesn’t it?

554. Hans Erren
Posted Dec 26, 2006 at 4:26 PM | Permalink

In Dutch politics this is called a “test balloon”.

555. John M
Posted Dec 26, 2006 at 4:53 PM | Permalink

#551 Steve B

You said:

Re #547/8: As John A. and Michael well know, that quote is from a *draft* that Hansen had circulated for comment to a limited number of people. RP Jr. made it public without asking permission. The published paper did not include it.

1) Are you saying RP Jr. did something inappropriate?

2) If so, have you confronted him directly with that accusation?

In the Prometheus thread cited by John A in #547, you made several comments to RP Jr. without raising this issue. At least one other poster referred to the draft being available on a “public” ftp site.

I’m sure you know that Judith Curry recently claimed RP Jr. inappropriately cited a privileged document here. Are you making a similar claim? If so, you might want to point it out directly, since RP Jr. was able to provide some interesting clarification with regard to Curry’s claim. (Sorry if I missed something on the Prometheus site.)

John M.

556. Gerald Machnee
Posted Dec 26, 2006 at 5:53 PM | Permalink

And if it would have been a Super El Nino, we would have heard about it, draft or no draft. Right?

557. Ken Fritsch
Posted Dec 26, 2006 at 6:12 PM | Permalink

We suggest that an El Nino is likely to originate in 2006 and that there is a good chance it will be a “super El Nino”, rivaling the 1983 and 1997-1998 El Ninos, which were successively labeled the “El Nino of the century” as they were of unprecedented strength in the previous 100 years.

Again it is important to know whether it is Hansen, the scientist, or Hansen, the policy advocate speaking. I would venture to guess that this time it was the policy advocate. My evidence would be the language used i.e. “good chance”, “rivaling” and “El Nino of the century” and the sending out of an email and then not publishing the prediction. These are all tactics used by investment seers predicting the stock market a year ahead. If they are right you will hear about and if they are wrong they have established several levels of disclaimers.

As long as Hansen can distinguish between Hansen, the scientist, and Hansen, the policy advocate, I would listen to the scientist and discount the heck out of the policy advocate.

558. Posted Dec 26, 2006 at 6:48 PM | Permalink

Ken, I refuse to indulge in such intellectual schizophrenia. Where would it end?

Posted Dec 26, 2006 at 7:44 PM | Permalink

RE: #546 – Good approach.

560. jae
Posted Dec 26, 2006 at 8:12 PM | Permalink

546: And just how is this warmth originally generated? CO2, or Solar, both, or?? I vote for Solar as the prime driver. Note that Solar Cycle 23 is over, and Cycle 24 is “late.” Wanna bet we go into a cooling trend (since the temps have not changed much in 8 years, we may well be on the “top” of one of the natural cycles)? My prediction is for a cooler 2007 (unless the SAT records get cooked–and how will we know?).

561. Steve Bloom
Posted Dec 26, 2006 at 8:27 PM | Permalink

Re #555: John M., you point out another incident where RP Jr. added to his growing reputation. By now he’s made it abundantly clear to the climate science community that an assumption of confidentiality based on collegiality doesn’t work with him. While we’re on the subject, I noticed an interesting warning up front on that ftp page. Possible legalities aside, I suspect the document wasn’t public at all in the sense that RP Jr. (or anyone else) wouldn’t have known to look for it there without the link from Hansen.

562. John M
Posted Dec 26, 2006 at 9:26 PM | Permalink

Steve B #561

You suspect? But you didn’t raise this with RP Jr. himself? And did Hansen object? These are straight-forward questions.

You’re a great fan of Googling. Perhaps you can suggest for me some Google search terms that will point me to Hansen’s complaint.

And as a good civil libertarian, maybe you can explain to me why “official government business” somehow should limit an honest exchange of information.

And you might want to read the actual exchange between Judith Curry and Roger Pielke Jr.

Accusations are one thing, facts are another.

563. Steve Bloom
Posted Dec 26, 2006 at 11:59 PM | Permalink

Re #562: Of course I read the entire exchange with Curry, John M., plus others that I’m confident you’ve never seen. I know RP Jr. quite well enough to know exactly what he’s guilty of in this instance. In any case, the only “fact” that counts here is that his behavior has burnt some bridges with some rather senior climate scientists.

564. Steve Bloom
Posted Dec 27, 2006 at 1:15 AM | Permalink

Interesting new web publication and an interesting article.

565. bender
Posted Dec 27, 2006 at 4:06 AM | Permalink

the only “fact” that counts here is that his behavior has burnt some bridges with some rather senior climate scientists

You like that idea, don’t you, Bloom? The idea that scientists can be whipped into toeing the party line by showing them what happens to those that won’t. Attacks on their credibility from the outside by the likes of you. Denied funding, denied access to audiences, denied access to promotions on the inside by shadowy “senior scientists”. Yes, you’re some friend of science, alright.

Reminds me of the friendly whipping you tried to deliver to Judith Curry here a couple months back. Some friend you are.

Let scientific truth prevail in 2007, hey? Cheers.

566. Welikerocks
Posted Dec 27, 2006 at 5:49 AM | Permalink

re: 538 and 551

Is he saying here that Milankovitch cycles have nothing to do with solar irradiance and cosmic rays ?

567. bender
Posted Dec 27, 2006 at 6:26 AM | Permalink

Re #565
No. He’s saying that climate variations over that huge time scale have more to do with what happens with the Earth (variations in axes of rotation and revolution) than what happens with the Sun (variations in TSI, CRF) or the Earth-Solar interaction. i.e. There is a certain amount of independence between “Milankovitch” & “solar” effects. Which is a weaker statement than the complete independence suggested by your “nothing to do with”.

When he says “Oligocene, here we come” in #538 he’s trying to take a bad piece of news for the planet (imminent cooling), spin it suit his agenda (“bad news” for fans of a solar hypothesis) and, if possible, bait one of us into making ridiculously alarmist statements about imminent cooling. That would make his day.

It’s ironic because planetary cooling is actually a serious threat, not only to the environment and the economy, but to the brief political window of opportunity that his movement seeks to exploit. The problem is that we don’t know with certainty when that next cooling phase is going to start. Worse case scenario for his political cause would be if it is already underway (however unlikely).

568. Welikerocks
Posted Dec 27, 2006 at 7:16 AM | Permalink

Thanks bender,
for the interpretation. Sheesh. How twisted.

Geologists have known all this stuff for years now. It’s really creepy when these types- the “climate scientists” or AGW promoters such as Bloom twist information and play it up as a “break through” for their agenda! They’ve been leaving out the Geology (like MWP and LIA evidence from around the globe) all along and then bringing it in when it suits them. This we have seen and there is a pattern here.

In other words, the Earth has never been an “eden” this we have known for a very long time. It is hard for people to grasp the dynamics of epochs-so playing up that fact and playing with the facts and banking on the fear, reporting the geology as “news” is a perfect political move for folks who like that sort of power!

BTW the Milankovitch cycles are prominant yes-but there are smaller more subtle wobbles in the earth’s orbit not fully understood -and like what the mega earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia did-they can change and volcanos can erupt…and cold would be bad we agree! …

569. Ron Cram
Posted Dec 27, 2006 at 7:21 AM | Permalink

I have a serious question. As everyone knows, I have an amateur’s interest in science. I have never been
convinced that global warming was going to bring catastrophic consequences, but I have read a couple of articles
lately blaming warming for catastrophic sea level rise. You can read the articles
here and
here.

If there are alternate explanations, I would like to hear them.

Thanks!

570. Welikerocks
Posted Dec 27, 2006 at 7:40 AM | Permalink

#568 there are many places on the blog where we’ve discussed this. you can use this page for starters from the EPA then google more information from there. There are many scientists like my husband who do not think sea level is rising at an alarming rate at all-and the data indicate that alot can be explained or attributed to natural factors – like the fact we are coming out of an ice age at present time, some parts of the land/continents are sinking, etc. Some places it’s rising, some not, some it is lowering. Study the geology!🙂

571. Michael Jankowski
Posted Dec 27, 2006 at 8:19 AM | Permalink

RE#561

John M., you point out another incident where RP Jr. added to his growing reputation. By now he’s made it abundantly clear to the climate science community that an assumption of confidentiality based on collegiality doesn’t work with him.

As “RP Jr.” clearly stated when discussing that “incident” on Dec 19:

“…If Greg Holland doesn’t want his paper publicly available, then he would be wise not to advertise it and make it available on his publicly available homepage at NCAR…

572. Ron Cram
Posted Dec 27, 2006 at 8:21 AM | Permalink

Rocksy,

Thanks for the link, it had some interesting info. It was especially interesting to see sea level going down along Alaska. I know a certain amount of change in the sea level is normal. I have even heard of islands disappearing before, but never an inhabited island. Do you know of any links that measure sea level in the Indian Ocean? I do not understand how an island with 10,000 people on it can just disappear without warning. It would seem the sea would have to rise a minimum of 10-15 feet to completely cover an island with that many people.

Regarding the posts here that I missed on this subject, are they on Road Map or some other topic? Thanks again!

573. Welikerocks
Posted Dec 27, 2006 at 8:38 AM | Permalink

#571 Hi Ron, on the left side of the blog under “Catagories” there’s a link for sea level topics. There’s other conversations spread here and there- and they are heated sometimes- that island you mention is the poster child for the debate/propaganda war. I suppose you could try and use the search feature at the top of the blog with some key words too.🙂

574. John M
Posted Dec 27, 2006 at 8:51 AM | Permalink

Steve B #563

…plus others that I’m confident you’ve never seen.

If all of this is based on some sort of double secret AGW insider information, perhaps you can explain the context of your original comment in #551

Re #547/8: As John A. and Michael well know, that quote is from a *draft* that Hansen had circulated for comment to a limited number of people. RP Jr. made it public without asking permission.

If you’re confident I’ve never seen it, how were John A. and Michael supposed to “well know” about it?

You’ve never answered my question as to whether you’ve confronted RP Jr. directly with this allegation.

575. Boris
Posted Dec 27, 2006 at 9:17 AM | Permalink

It’s really creepy when these types- the “climate scientists” or AGW promoters such as Bloom twist information and play it up as a “break through” for their agenda!

Can you die from irony?

576. Ron Cram
Posted Dec 27, 2006 at 9:25 AM | Permalink

re: 572

Rocksy,

I tried the two threads on “Sea level rise” and “Isle of the dead.” One of them closed comments back in June and the other has had no comments since October. The links I posted were from news articles published Dec 25th or 26th so those articles were not discussed.

BTW, if I understand the situation correctly, the island did not disappear because of a storm or particular incident like a tsunami. Wouldn’t sea level rise, if it was due to global warming, be much more gradual? They normally measure sea level rise in centimeters or inches, not feet or meters.

I also tried the search feature you suggested and found nothing on the topic.

577. Welikerocks
Posted Dec 27, 2006 at 9:59 AM | Permalink

#574 speaking to your fellow trolls? People who don’t fall for an agenda hook line and sinker do not qualify as having an agenda-they have an open mind. But you wouldn’t understand would you?

Ron Cram, it may be a good thing those topics are closed. I am going to go read your links further…I don’t know what island you are talking about now. LOL

578. Welikerocks
Posted Dec 27, 2006 at 10:16 AM | Permalink

#575 My husband just read that article. In a nutshell:
There could be a dozen geological explainations. The island sits in front of two rivers and a delta, a diverse ecosystem too and the scientist in the article never says the cause of the island disappearing-the reporter assumes does. The “article” is a propaganda piece-not complete. And think about it, the Hawaiian islands are going to be gone too, because they are sinking as well and humans have not a thing to do with it. Sea level has nothing to do with it and tectonics has everything to do with it. Almost every island in the south pacific will one day sink beneath the sea. Hope that helps.

579. Ron Cram
Posted Dec 27, 2006 at 10:23 AM | Permalink

re: 577

Mr and Mrs Rocksy,

Yes, that helps! It explains the speed at which the island disappeared and reminds me not to buy any island real esate in the South Pacific!

580. Michael Jankowski
Posted Dec 27, 2006 at 10:24 AM | Permalink

Re#568&571 (Ron Cram),

An “alternative explanation” would be erosion and changes due to cyclones. You can see an example of this with Ship Island in the US and the effects of Hurricane’s Camille and Katrina here and other websites. Ship Island was altered and cut into two by Camille (“Camille’s Cut”) and further lost significant portions to Katrina. The sea level didn’t change drastically enough to submerge the island(s).

As far as sea level rise in the Bay of Bengal, this link says in 2001 it was 3 mm/yr.

581. Ron Cram
Posted Dec 27, 2006 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

re: 579

Michael,

Thanks for the link. Although the link appears to be alarmism at its most alarming.

World Bank reported in 2001 sea level rising about 3 mm year in the Bay of Bengal. It warned of loss of Bengal tigers in the Sundarbans, worlds largest mangrove forest, and threats to hundreds of bird species. 15 to 20 percent of Bangladesh is within one meter of sea level.

If that quote was proven correct, then Bangladesh lost 20% (of what? land area? population?) about a year ago. That did not happen, did it?

582. Mike T
Posted Dec 27, 2006 at 12:16 PM | Permalink

re: 579

Michael,

Thanks for the link. Although the link appears to be alarmism at its most alarming.

World Bank reported in 2001 sea level rising about 3 mm year in the Bay of Bengal. It warned of loss of Bengal tigers in the Sundarbans, worlds largest mangrove forest, and threats to hundreds of bird species. 15 to 20 percent of Bangladesh is within one meter of sea level.

If that quote was proven correct, then Bangladesh lost 20% (of what? land area? population?) about a year ago. That did not happen, did it?

3mm/year * 5 years = 1.5 cm. I think Bangladesh is ok for the near future.

583. Chris H
Posted Dec 27, 2006 at 12:25 PM | Permalink

At 3mm per year it would take 333 years for the sea level to rise one meter. If you look at how much has changed between 1673 and the present, I imagine that this will be enough time for the Bangladeshis to sort out some sea defenses.

584. Welikerocks
Posted Dec 27, 2006 at 12:27 PM | Permalink

#578 Ron,
here’s a nice article by a geologist who is using that same satallite picture from your article Moving Earth and Heaven “Colliding continents, the rise of the Himalayas, and the birth of the monsoons”

585. Michael Jankowski
Posted Dec 27, 2006 at 1:14 PM | Permalink

If that quote was proven correct, then Bangladesh lost 20% (of what? land area? population?) about a year ago. That did not happen, did it?

As other posters have noted, you confused units or did incorrect math.

Also, just b/c a portion of a nation is below sea level doesn’t mean much at all gets “lost” during sea level rise. I wouldn’t recommend living below sea level, but plenty of folks do. Sea level rise didn’t cause New Orleans, portions of Holland, etc, to get “lost.” It does raise the spectre of possibility of a devastating flood event, requires mechanical means to get rid of stormwater, requires either natural or engineered systems (or both) to keep the sea from encroaching on property, etc, but it doesn’t necessarily mean any land gets “lost.” If that land is on the coast, yes, without a seawall. If it’s in the interior somewhere, then no, it’s not lost, as long as there are means in place to prevent flooding and the barrier/seawall/whatever is not overcome.

I would argue that portions of New Orleans should be lost and should never have been developed in the first place, but that’s another story…

586. jae
Posted Dec 27, 2006 at 1:30 PM | Permalink

582. Yeah, and 333 years is plenty of time for the mangroves to propagate farther inland. The alarmists are actually hurting their case with these outlandish statements.

587. jae
Posted Dec 27, 2006 at 1:44 PM | Permalink

567: I see nothing contradictory in the article mentioned earlier with solar effects. There are many cycles, such as Milankovitch, Gleissberg, etc (and some we don’t know about yet) that exist, and they are not in phase. When one or more of them happen to “line up,” we can have some drastic pertubations, such as major ice ages.

588. Tim Ball
Posted Dec 27, 2006 at 2:56 PM | Permalink

We discussed soil erosion in another thread. I suspect natural sedimentation on the Ganges Delta will more than compensate for a 3 mm sea level rise. Heavy monsoon rainfalls in the Himalayas rapidly erode the still forming mountains and carry large quantities of sediment to the deltas and oceans.

I recall all sorts of impending doom scenarios because of deforestation in the Himalayas’ leading to greater river flow, increased flooding, oss of land and the demise of many delta people. That, like so many other ill-researched, poorly understood, inadequate data based specualtions was proven incorrect.

589. Ken Fritsch
Posted Dec 27, 2006 at 2:58 PM | Permalink

Re: #558

Ken, I refuse to indulge in such intellectual schizophrenia. Where would it end?

John A, you raise a good point, but I do think that if one doesn’t look for signals in motivations when attempting to determine what is and what is not important in climatology one can overlook some good science (with all its necessary concomitant reservations) and on the other hand not be sufficiently cautious by mistakenly taking a policy directed work/statement as entirely science based. Distinguishing between the scientist self and the policy advocate self is much less likely to have any application to hard sciences or even some of the more mature soft ones.

The recent and ongoing discussion of NATL cyclone frequency at CA brings this point home to me. (This thread is a more appropriate place for my comment, since I do not want to interrupt the technical discussion on the “New Holland and Webster Paper” thread that I see developing into something that could be quite revealing).

The Holland paper attempts to make the connection of AGW to increased cyclone activity in the NALT with what I find as a much too demanding job for a single paper.

The chain of conclusions leading to the above conclusion is listed as:

We can now develop the following causal chain:
“⠠SSTs in the main hurricane development regions of the NATL ocean have increased over the past century, particularly in the past 30 years, due primarily to greenhouse warming associated with anthropogenically introduced gases;

“⠠There is a strong and statistically significant relationship between SSTs and tropical cyclone activity at longer periods, with eastern NATL SSTs explaining over 60% of the variance in overall cyclone frequency and Gulf of Mexico SSTs explaining a similar level of variance in the proportion major hurricanes;

“⠠The SST/cyclone relationships are primarily due to transitions between distinct climate regimes and are independent of known data uncertainties.

Collectively, this causal chain leads to the strong conclusion that the current level of tropical cyclone activity in the North Atlantic is largely a response to climate change from anthropogenic causes.

The paper does not show whether computer climate models predict the stepwise increases in SST for this area (eastern NATL) due to GHGs and other effects.

Eastern NATL SSTs are correlated to NATL cyclone activity but we do not see how robust that relationship is to small changes in the SST areas selected. The autocorrelation (with 9 year moving averages) is not described nor are the adjustments made in p (neff) for it.

The cyclone activity for the rest of the globe, which, as I recall, includes approximately 90% of the total activity, as measured, has not trended upward with increased global SSTs. How does one explain that in terms of the NATL? I believe I have heard inklings (from AGW advocates) that NATL data is good while the rest of the global data might be suspect but I have seen no hard evidence of this. In fact the NATL data going back after the 1980s is suspect in some quarters.

The transition zones seem arbitrary, not documented statistically, and no attempt is made to explain the steps. The paper argues for their presence as evidence against uncertainty of the data when most times such steps would be suspected of being the result of data error.

Models calculate the relationship between SST and cyclone activity as being probably too small to see at this point in temperature increase and the paper seems not to address this issue. Climate models that show AGW are evidently deemed correct and models that show little SST and cyclone frequency correlation are evidently seen as incorrect.

A policy advocate red light was set off for me by this paper since its scope was in my view forced to make the obligatory connection of potential disasters to AGW. A cold hard scientific approach in my view would have presented details on making the case for NATL correlations between SST and cyclone activity with much more statistical detail and discussions of the possible underlying physics involved and providing a neutral view of all the countervailing evidence. That does not mean that there is not scientific value in the paper; it’s just that one must look very, very skeptically at it.

590. Nordic
Posted Dec 27, 2006 at 5:07 PM | Permalink

Apparently there is an important Hindu Temple on the islands discussed above. Here is an interesting quote from an article on the temple:
“While devotees jostle in front of numerous temporary shrines of Hindu deities to pay homage, Kapil Muni’s temple remains the chief attraction. The temple of Kapil Muni, as we see it today, is by no means the spot where the sage meditated. It went under the sea millennium ago followed by the many others built in its place, which subsequently was also swallowed, by the advancing sea.

The present one was built only a few decades ago, quite a bit away from the sea. The tall dome of the temple is visible from a distance. In the temple, three images engraved in stone are displayed, the one in the middle is that of Kapil Muni. The sage is seen in a jogasana; his eyes wide open, looking towards the sea with millions of devotees before him. The idols of Ganga and King Sagar flank Kapil Muni and the horse of the sacrificial yagna stands at a distance.”

Might it be understatement to suggest that AGW is not the only cause of the loss of the island?

If one were insistent on blaming humans for the loss it might be easier to find a mechanism in land-use changes, dredging of shipping channels, and sediment retention in upstream reservoirs.

591. Ron Cram
Posted Dec 27, 2006 at 7:05 PM | Permalink

re: 581, 582 and 584

Thank you for the correction. For some reason, I only spotted one m and thought the claimed sea level rise was 3 meters a year.

Since the article was published in 2004, I thought Bangladesh was supposedly in big trouble in 2005.

592. Willis Eschenbach
Posted Dec 27, 2006 at 9:47 PM | Permalink

The most bizarre thing about this island loss is the claim that the loss was sudden. From the Indian Express of Oct. 31, 2006, we have the following story (emphasis mine):

22 yrs after deluge, they fear more

Mohammed Safi Shamsi

Sagar Island, Sundarban

For the past two decades, Arjun Jana has lived the life of an “environmental refugee” in Sagar island. He was forced to leave home in Lohachara island, one of the many islets on the Sundarban delta, when the surging sea waters swamped his farmland.

Now 75, Jana’s migration to Sagar brought him to safer land. But it also made him poorer for the rest of his life. “People don’t offer me any permanent job,” Jana told Newsline in his refugee shanty on Sagar island on Tuesday.

“They believe that making me work at this age is a sin. (So) our only source of income is assisting people as labourers.”

There’s no old-age allowance from the local administration for either Jana or his wife. And apart from a piece of land allotted to him years ago, and his thatched hut, the couple has nothing that they can call “ours”.

Close to Jana’s hut is another witness to the misery after the rising sea submerged the islands of Lohachara and Bedford 22 years ago. Divakar Bhandari was in his early-30s when the catastrophe occurred.

“I went to Lohachara island when I was 12 “¢’¬? in search of land,” Bhandari, now 55, said. “I and my wife had five bighas of land that we tilled.

“The sea had been eating away our island with every passing day. And then, one day, it engulfed everything that had remained untouched till then “¢’¬? our home, fields, the cattle… everything.” (SOURCE)

This occurred two decades ago, and it’s big news today? Man, you have to be pretty desperate for a disaster to hype that one … an island in the delta of the river system that drains half of India and the Himalayas, that was subjected to annual flooding, shifting river channels, loss of freshwater, clearcutting, and recurrent typhoons, washed away 22 years ago … EVERYBODY PANIC!

w.

593. Steve McIntyre
Posted Dec 27, 2006 at 10:18 PM | Permalink

Most of the hundreds of graphics on the site seem to have taken a walk. HOpefully John A can find them tomorrow.

594. Posted Dec 28, 2006 at 4:25 AM | Permalink

RC is reviewing year 2006 (..you know the style..), why not CA do the same? Here are some categories that come to my mind:

I am not a statistician -award

Best new statistical data handling method

Most cited unpublished paper

Most cited rejected paper

Smoother of the year (9-year or 21-year Gaussian?)

Mystery of the year

Lowest, yet most significant reported R

(Don’t take this too seriously, Happy New Year!)🙂

595. Proxy
Posted Dec 28, 2006 at 9:11 AM | Permalink

Excellent idea UC!

In the spirit of the season why not add this category:

Most alarmist paper of 2006

On a slighty serious note, it would be most helpful for those of us buried in paper to discover the:

Best overview paper of the year 2006

596. BKC
Posted Dec 28, 2006 at 10:08 AM | Permalink

#593

Verry good UC. I especially liked categories 3,4 and 5.

My suggested categories:

Best reach and rationalization to blame AGW. (could be separated into two categories)

“The Mann” Award – for the most daedalian and convoluted methods description.

Best “Homer” review

and last, but not least;

The AGW Mascot award – Polar bears are hands down winners this year, tree frogs won last last year.

597. David Smith
Posted Dec 28, 2006 at 11:11 AM | Permalink

For something entirely different, take a look at this website , which has animations.

Select “TAO Monthly Equator-Depth Temps” and “large”, then click “Animate”. On the next page click the arrow to start.

What this shows is a temperature cross-section of the Pacific Ocean at the Equator. The red on the upper left is the edge of the Warm Pool. The blue at the bottom is the cold deeper part of the Pacific Ocean.

The upper chart only shows 500m depth, while the Ocean goes all the way down 4,000m. So, mentally extrapolate the blue area downwards another 8 times. That shows how little warm ocean water there is, compared to the vast coldness below.

The upper animation shows the progress of El Nino and La Nina this year. In a sense these are instances in which the Warm Pool sloshes eastward for a while, then retreats. Wind causes the sloshing.

The thin yellow line is probably the thermocline, which is the place where the warm water and cold water meet. If you look closely and use a bit of imagination, you can see ripples and waves traveling along the thermocline. These are called “gravity waves”. Gravity waves affect the height of the thermocline (and thus mixing), and can sometimes alter the flow of major warm currents. They are important but hard to observe.

598. Dave Dardinger
Posted Dec 28, 2006 at 11:11 AM | Permalink

Don’t forget the demon of the year award; the most egregious comparison of skeptics to a despised group. (This year it appears Nazis or neo-nazis i.e. holocaust deniers are in vogue ala the “AGW deniers” phrase.)

599. jae
Posted Dec 28, 2006 at 12:54 PM | Permalink

Need to add “the paper that uses the most bristlecone pine series.” (I think I know the winner).

600. Dana Johnson
Posted Dec 28, 2006 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

Hi,

I’m not sure if this is the right sequence for this request, but it seemed like the best place for it.

Can anybody point point me to any known predictions made by a GCM with subsequent measurments of predictive accuracy? I’m not looking here for either “hindcasting” or holdout / validation sets, but actual forecasts made on date X for some date after X with subsequent measurments of accuracy (something like an empirical skill measurment).

Thanks,
Dana

601. Dave Dardinger
Posted Dec 28, 2006 at 1:52 PM | Permalink

Hey Steve M!

This will be message 600 (or more) in this thread, which was supposed to be just a temporary repository for messages. Is it about time to clean it up?

Of course I think there are a couple of thread-worthy sections here. But I realize your time is limited. Would you like people to mention message numbers which might be the starts of interesting threads? Or is that too much work for you to worry about?