Unthreaded #4

Continuation of Unthreaded #3


  1. Ian S
    Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 6:48 PM | Permalink


    Good link you posted in climate sensitivity thread ( http://www.junkscience.com/Greenhouse/What_Watt.htm ) I’m very glad to see that they come up with the same sensitivity values. I was not aware of others derivations at all so it gives me some confidence.



  2. Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 7:13 PM | Permalink

    Thought you may be interested on an interview done this morning on NewstalkZB, a New Zealand talkback station. The guest was Dr David Henderson from the London Business School and who was formally the head of statistics I believe at the OECD.

    He was very measured in his responses but made it clear he is unhappy with the science being presented by the IPCC by way of the fact that he sees the peer review system as unsound and not representingan unbiased view of evidence put forward to the IPCC.

    He was asked to comment on our Climate Change Minister’s (yes, we have one) statement last week that “the discussion is over” relating to climate change science. His reponse was that the comment was “ill considered”.

    The host later revealed that off air his comments were much stronger.

    The debate continues and the research continues despite the political retoric.


  3. MarkR
    Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 9:15 PM | Permalink

    Can anyone tell me in laymans terms, what the following means?

    Long-range correlations of the fluctuations of CO2 concentrations measured at Mauna Loa, Hawaii during 1958’€”2004 were investigated by applying the DFA method. The main finding is that the fluctuations of the CO2 concentrations exhibit 1/f ‘€” type long- range persistence, which signifies that the fluctuations in CO2 concentrations, from small time intervals to larger ones (up to 11 years) are positively correlated in a powerlaw fashion. This scaling comes from the time evolution and not from the values of the carbon dioxide data. The scaling property detected in the real observations of CO2 concentrations could be used to test the scaling performance of the leading global 10 climate models under different scenarios of CO2 levels and to improve the performance of the atmospheric chemistry-transport models.

    Link Page 11964

    Long-term memory effect in the atmospheric CO2 concentration C. Varotsos et al. Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 6, 11957’€”11970, 2006ww w.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/6/11957/2006/

  4. Follow the Money
    Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 9:28 PM | Permalink


    “He was asked to comment on our Climate Change Minister’s (yes, we have one)”

    I’m trying to learn more about New Zealand. It seems to have been an early true-believer of carbon credit trading, and now perhaps that faith is cracking. An example — apparently persons and investment groups have been investing in planting forests for years in anticipation of promised carbon credits. Now your government may want to snatch them away (to sell for themselves, to “meet” national limits, I don’t know)

    Carbon Credit Confiscation Costs Gisborne 1.3b

    Monday 12 February 2006

    Carbon Credit Confiscation Costs Gisborne District $1.3 Billion

    The Government’s planned confiscation of Kyoto carbon credits is likely to cost the Gisborne District at least $1.3 billion, the Kyoto Forestry Association (KFA) revealed today. …

    “Everyone with an interest in the forestry industry must attend the Government’s meeting and tell them in no uncertain terms that the people of Gisborne will never accept $1.3 billion of their property being confiscated by the Government without compensation,” KFA spokesman Roger Dickie said today.

    … …

    Through the 1990s, 30,000 ordinary New Zealanders and forestry companies planted more than 500,000 hectares of new forest, risking their capital both for the wood that would come from their forests and for the opportunity to earn the carbon credits. Government officials through the 1990s made clear that forestry investors would gain financially from the credits, which are a clear property right, as confirmed by the Treasury. This fuelled a planting boom.

    Since the Government first indicated that it intended to confiscate the credits, tree planting in New Zealand has plunged and New Zealand is now experiencing deforestation for the first time in living memory.

    “For the Gisborne region ‘€” with its 105,000 hectares of post-1990 forests, according to official MAF data ‘€” the losses are estimated at $1.3 billion to $2 billion, depending on the market value of the carbon credits in future years,” Mr Dickie said.

    “Gisborne can’t afford to have $1.3 billion ripped out of its economy by the Government.”

    … …

    And the panicked bureaucratic response,

    Don’t Burn the Trees

    13 February 2007

    New Zealand First forestry spokesperson Doug Woolerton is calling for calm in the carbon credit debate and rational discussion rather than rash action.

    “Talk of burning trees or bulldozing forests is not helpful. Rather than taking a hard line, all sides should meet and discuss the issue…..

    “New Zealand First accepts that there are important property rights issues to be resolved, and acknowledges that the ownership of carbon credits is important to the forestry industry. The market for carbon credits is emerging, and it is not in the nation’s best interests to take entrenched positions at this early stage,” said Mr Woolerton.

    Don’t take entrenched positions means, “you’re screwed,” at least in American English.

    I also read of some scheme the government would remit carbon credits to investors in 2012 – when this Kyoto phase is over and if new negotiations collapse, even if not, the credits will be worthless.

    Are there any NZ bloggers addressing these economic GW issues? NZ reads like a smaller version of the financial chicanery and early bubble collapse in Western Europe. NZ seems to be hopeful for an Australian Carbon Market to dump its carbon credits as Europe now looks to the USA for the same.

  5. Ian
    Posted Feb 14, 2007 at 11:43 PM | Permalink

    #4 Follow The Money

    Wow, that is shocking. I think I understand your view to this whole issue now (follow the money). I didn’t appreciate it before, but I think you saw what this was all about a long time ago.

  6. Posted Feb 15, 2007 at 12:32 AM | Permalink

    To follow the money.

    You are not too far away.

    The NZ Government nationalised the carbon credits after many NZers had planted forests in anticipation of kyoto. Pretty clever eh. Let them plant the forests then well grab the carbon credits. (no thought for future plantings).

    NZ is very green. Yesterday the ruling labour party expelled one of it’s MP’s for disagreeing with our PM. Consequently under our MMP system she now needs the green party to abstain on confidence and supply issues to maintain power. Therefore the greens now have power at their fingertip.

    The greens here think everyone should ride bikes or use public transport. Problem is our PT is rubbish and many people live in rural areas where there is no PT at all and a bike would be useless.

    There is the Climate Science Coalition which is an organisation of Nz scientists and academics who have tried to pursuade the government that they need to slow down and wait before making rash decisions but you know politicians, they know best.

    The UN is viewed by our Labour government as the fountain of all knowledge and therefore anything that comes out of their mouths must be obeyed.

    The labour government signed up to Kyoto so quickly because they had worked out that we could sell carbon credits from all of our forests etc. Trouble is someone did’nt count the trees properly and instead of maybe earning $500 million from kyoto it’s going to cost us $500 million. A minor blip.

    The reality is, follow the money that like most governments and climate change they are like a blck man in a dark room looking for a blackboard.
    They really have no idea, have no understanding of the science and, like our climate change minister genuinely believe the crap they are told by their civil servants who are terrified of saying anything other than what they think the minister wants to hear.

  7. Posted Feb 15, 2007 at 4:20 AM | Permalink

    Local newspaper today warned that sea levels can rise 7 m. Links to this paper ,

    Continued growth of greenhouse gas emissions and associated global warming could well promote SLR of 1m-3m in this century, and unexpectedly rapid breakup of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets might produce a 5m SLR.

    IPCC SPM seems to have 7 m as well. Any idea how long it would take to get 7 m SLR?

  8. Posted Feb 15, 2007 at 4:39 AM | Permalink

    Recent mass balance of polar ice sheets inferred from patterns of global sea-level change, Nature. 2001 Feb 22;409(6823):1026-9 might be an interesting paper. Is utoronto a good university? 🙂

  9. Jean S
    Posted Feb 15, 2007 at 5:12 AM | Permalink

    UC, your local newspaper (which is BTW better than my local one 😉 just run a translation of this
    by Deborah Zabarenko, Environment Correspondent, of REUTERS.

  10. MarkW
    Posted Feb 15, 2007 at 7:49 AM | Permalink

    If the atmosphere were to warm up by the 3C to 5C, as many of the modelers are claiming is possible, how would this
    temperature increase affect how rapidly methane breaks down into CO2 and H2O?
    From my vague recollections of high school chemistry, I seem to remember something about chemical reactions doubling
    with every 10C increase in temperature.

    Wouldn’t a warmer atmosphere directly lead to less methane in the atmosphere? Given how powerfull a GHG methane is,
    wouldn’t the models need to account for this?

  11. Posted Feb 15, 2007 at 8:05 AM | Permalink

    mike at RC

    However, one point that is poorly appreciated in many discussions is that random uncertainties in the forcing estimates will necessarily act to systematically underestimate the sensitivity, because of the way sensitivity is defined: as the covariance between forcing and response divided by the sqrt(forcing variance).

    Mann’s definition for sensitivity is thus(I assume zero mean RVs here)


    In the linked Waple et al (2002) it is

    s_f=\langle FT_f \rangle/\langle F^2\rangle

    Well, anyway, the point he is making (I guess), is that if regressor is subject to measurement errors, the LS solution will be biased towards zero. The trick is that this holds if those errors are independent of F and N for all observations.. Interesting discussion, but of course

    We’ll leave it at that. -mike

  12. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 15, 2007 at 10:03 AM | Permalink

    NOAA has quietly reported on its website that January 2007 was the 49th warmest in 112 years. I haven’t noticed a pre3ss release.

  13. Posted Feb 15, 2007 at 10:12 AM | Permalink


    Not sure about that 😉 Anyway, I was a bit surprised that there was a GW related article, usually they save those for warmer weather. AGW news per day follows a Poisson distribution, whose intensity is a function of local temperature.

    Recent Comments are acting weirdly again.

  14. Jeff Norman
    Posted Feb 15, 2007 at 10:16 AM | Permalink


    Do you have a link?

    It looks like Toronto’s run of days below zero may exceed 30. The longest since 1985.

    Did you know there is a drought in Northwestern Ontario according to the IPCC?

  15. David Smith
    Posted Feb 15, 2007 at 10:46 AM | Permalink

    The NOAA/NCDC report is to be issued later today. Check this website under “latest report” for both the US and global information.

    I expect that the focus will be on the global number, with little publicity for the US number, as the NCDC global anomaly for January was the biggest in their records. This was not confirmed by the satellite data, however, which showed nothing particularly unusual about January globally, considering that it was an El Nino month.

    February, 2007 will be a cool month, too, in the US, though a warming trend will begin next week.

  16. David Smith
    Posted Feb 15, 2007 at 10:55 AM | Permalink

    The US tropospheric temperature anomaly, as determined by satellite, is shown here . Nothing unusual about January.

    The global plot shows the January El Nino spike.

    What’s interesting is that this El Nino dumped a lot of its anomalous warmth into the Southern Hemisphere, moreso than in the past, as best as I can recall. If that is correct, it would resemble a pre-1976 weather pattern, which would be a hoot.

  17. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 15, 2007 at 12:14 PM | Permalink

    RE: #6 – Nasty urban vs rural conflict in NZ, probably the worst in the English speaking world. Urbanites there are socialists or hedonists, rural folk are in the English rural conservative mold. Interesting area of study.

  18. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 15, 2007 at 12:16 PM | Permalink

    RE: #12 – and that is even with the anthropogenic energy flux and land use mods resulting in a likely warm bias.

  19. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 15, 2007 at 12:46 PM | Permalink

    David, do you know the URL for the contiguous 48 temperature history?

  20. HFL
    Posted Feb 15, 2007 at 1:45 PM | Permalink

    #19: Steve, try http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cirs/drd964x.tmp.txt.

  21. David Smith
    Posted Feb 15, 2007 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

    Maps of individual years/months for the Lower 48 can be made here .

    See the buttons on the right side – you can get the data sliced and diced just about any way imaginable.

  22. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 15, 2007 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

    HFL, I saw that dataset, but I got stuck trying to figure it out. It has 38872 lines and there are 344 embedded series that start in 1895. The information on the data was very confusing to me; I couldn’t figure out how to pick out the national series or what they all were, although I agree that there’s a good chance that the data is there somewhere.

  23. David Smith
    Posted Feb 15, 2007 at 2:57 PM | Permalink

    In case the earlier post got eaten:

    A good source for temperature maps and plots of US Lower 48 is here .

    One of the side buttons is good for graphing, or for raw data tables.

  24. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 15, 2007 at 4:05 PM | Permalink

    I’ve figured this out now. The data is in http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cirs/drd964x.tmpst.txt and has a code of 110 in the first three digits. Here is a code to read the series:

    url< -"http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cirs/drd964x.tmpst.txt&quot;
    test<-(fred[,1]- fred[,1]%%100000)/1000000
    temp<-(test==110) #National code
    temp<-(fred< -99)

    This gives results to January 2007.

    The other dataset gives various series for the 48 states according to codes described at http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cirs/state.README

  25. Posted Feb 15, 2007 at 5:36 PM | Permalink

    Antarctic temperatures disagree with climate models


  26. John A
    Posted Feb 15, 2007 at 6:15 PM | Permalink

    Then the Antarctic temperatures are wrong. Obvious

  27. HFL
    Posted Feb 15, 2007 at 6:36 PM | Permalink

    Sorry, I had been switching back and forth between tmpst.txt and tmp.txt and meant to paste in the tmpst.txt url. As you correctly point out, tmp.txt gives the monthly “time bias corrected” average temperature for each of the lower 48 states, but not the monthly national average.

    Thanks for the read file.

  28. Follow the Money
    Posted Feb 15, 2007 at 6:58 PM | Permalink

    Paul, Ian, Steve, etc.

    Regarding New Zealand, here’s and interesting article conceding some of the problems (I say planned) in trading,

    Report on Building Trust In Emissions Reporting

    The trading of emissions units is increasingly seen as a central part of the response to climate change, but such market mechanisms depend on trust and confidence. Any widespread or systemic failure, as a result of deficient monitoring and reporting, flawed compliance processes or fraud, could undermine confidence in markets and regulation and jeopardise the crucial policy goals that they are designed to address.

    Then there’s the market power of folks like Exxon/Mobil lobbying for higher caps, the relative inability of smaller businesses to exert such political pressure, and international compliance with countries like China in whose economic interest it makes sense to cheat. Then there’s the “additionality” problem of undue benefits to those reducing carbon emissions anyway, like say British energy producers required to clean up due to general EU emissions standards.

    The obvious way to deter carbon emissions is a direct tax on coal and oil, but this does not provide an international scheme to move money around.

  29. Ron Cram
    Posted Feb 15, 2007 at 7:02 PM | Permalink

    In response to a comment from William Connelly, I just posted on wikipedia that I would be happy to bet Phil Jones that temperatures would not exceed the 1998 record over the next five years. I told him I was willing to offer even money to Jones as long as Jones agreed to release all of his data and methods so we could be sure he kept the bet honest. I doubt if Connelly knows Phil Jones personally, but I would love to have him take me up on the offer.

    Does anyone here want a piece of the action? 🙂

  30. jae
    Posted Feb 15, 2007 at 7:06 PM | Permalink

    Please be patient with me Steve M and others, as I am just trying to understand.

    The notion of a large water vapor feedback from CO2 doesn’t make any sense to me, and I fail to see why estimating it has to be so complicated. Here is a somewhat different (expanded) version of one of the demonstrations in this paper.

    Kiehl and Trenberth’s radiation balance figure indicates that the total GHG effect, INCLUDING ALL FEEDBACKS, of 324 WM-2. Since some of the 4 Watts of radiation increase caused by doubling CO2 is lost to space, it’s effect on our thermometers is probably much smaller than 4 W/M-2. But, to be conservative, assume that all of the 4 WattsM-1 heats our thermometers. If so, the total GHG effects of 2 X CO2 = 4/324 = 1.2 %. Now, assuming the GHG effect is 33 deg. C, the total effect of an additional 4 Watts, INCLUDING ALL FEEDBACKS, should be 0.012*33 = 0.4 degrees. And that is conservative.

    Incidently, this amounts to a sensitivity of 0.4/4 = 0.1 degrees/WM-2, again in general agreement with more than a dozen other estimates in the paper cited above.

    Am I just loco?

  31. ET SidViscous
    Posted Feb 15, 2007 at 8:31 PM | Permalink

    Flawed stem cell data withdrawn


  32. Posted Feb 15, 2007 at 8:55 PM | Permalink

    Jae, well, the effects & feedbacks don’t necessarily kick in linearly.. the feedbacks on the first W/m^2 might be considerably different than the last W/m^2.. but I find it hard to believe they’re as radically different as would be necessary to make the measurements agree with the figures we see coming from the IPCC. I imagine it’s an exponential curve, but that a straight line isn’t too bad of an approximation. Otherwise the climate would be a lot more unstable as seasons change, since we’d be moving along the curve pretty rapidly if its gradient is so high at the high end.

    It seems to me, we are approaching the situation from the opposite end than the IPCC people are. They are approaching it from first principles – i.e. here are the equations that we understand represent the climate, and using what we know, what can we expect is happening. You and I approach it from the empirical end – regardless of what we think the mechanisms are, we trust measurements because they include all factors, even those we don’t know about or don’t understand. So we’re effectively judging that nobody knows enough about the climate to solve it from first principles and get an accurate answer, whereas the IPCC people seem to think they have enough knowledge of the situation to be able to theoretically predict how the climate will react without having to take any direct measurements (only using those which were used to build this understanding in the first place, which may be pretty far removed).

    I have to say their approach seems strange, in that they admit our understanding is very bad in many areas (e.g. cloud mechanisms) yet they seem to think that they still know enough to accurately judge how a very complex system will react to these forcings. I’d much rather use the climate itself as our laboratory, like what Idso did, since that involves so many fewer assumptions. But hey, they’re scientists and I’m just a lowly pleb, what do I know…

  33. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 15, 2007 at 9:50 PM | Permalink

    #25. The article says:

    Bromwich said that the increase in the ozone hole above the central Antarctic continent may also be affecting temperatures on the mainland. “If you have less ozone, there’s less absorption of the ultraviolet light and the stratosphere doesn’t warm as much.”

    OK, but what about the troposphere? If the UV is intercepted in the stratosphere by ozone, then the energy is re-emitted with presumably half going up and half going down, so less energy is entering the troposphere as a result of the ozone interception. So if you have less ozone, wouldn’t that mean that you had more UV going down into the troposphere and more tropospheric warming rather than less?

  34. ET SidViscous
    Posted Feb 15, 2007 at 10:58 PM | Permalink

    I don’t quite understand the statement about the Ozone.

    Ozone is the result of UV absorption, not the “filter”

    In a mass of O2 the illumination by UV will convert the O2 to O3 (ozone) an unstable compound. Remove the UV and the O3 will revert back to O2.

    Lack of Ozone should signify a lack of UV. O2 is the absorber, O3 is the reactant of the absorption.

    I do not know what wavelength is emitted at the breakdown of O3 to O2

  35. Consense
    Posted Feb 15, 2007 at 11:06 PM | Permalink

    NASA Satellites Unearth Antarctic ‘Plumbing System,’ Clues to Leaks – 15 February 2007

    With the aid of the satellites, Bindschadler and a team of scientists led by research geophysicist Helen Fricker of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, Calif., revealed a new three-dimensional look at an extensive network of waterways beneath an active ice stream that acts like a natural “plumbing system”, and clues to how “leaks” in the system impact the world’s largest ice sheet and sea level. They also documented for the first time changes in the height of the ice sheet’s surface as proof the lakes and channels nearly half a mile of solid ice below filled and emptied.

  36. Ian S
    Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 12:34 AM | Permalink

    Fun article on Conversational Terrorism


    I put it here because it reminded me a lot of the discussion section pages on certain topics on wikipedia from our friend who shall remain unnamed (by me anyways) 😉

  37. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 1:13 AM | Permalink


    Oxygen absorbs very strongly at wavelengths shorter tnan 200 nanometers. Between 200 and 300 nanometers, the oxygen absorption bands get weaker and farther apart. Ozone, which is indeed formed by UV irradiation of oxygen, absorbs, IIRC, very strongly in the 200 to 300 nanometer range and has bands out to nearly 400 nanometers. Total column ozone as well as vertical distribution can be measured with a UV spectrophotometer covering the range from about 290 to 360 nanometers by measuring the absorption ratio of solar radiation between absorbing and non-absorbing wavelengths in this range at various times of the day. The first instruments to do this were called Dobson spectrometers, hence the origin of ozone measurements in Dobson units.

    So the effect on the temperature difference between the stratosphere and troposphere of lowered ozone is that direct heating of the stratosphere goes down while heating of the lower atmosphere and surface goes up. Increased greenhouse gases also warm the troposphere relative to the stratosphere. The fact that the stratosphere has cooled relative to the troposphere (or the troposphere has warmed relative to the stratosphere) recently is used as an argument against increased solar flux causing recent warming because increased flux should warm the whole column. I don’t think it’s trivial to sort out the relative contributions of greenhouse warming and ozone depletion cooling, though.

  38. John A
    Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 5:00 AM | Permalink

    I’ll save this here in case Schmidt or Connelley hit the red button:
    I’m sorry but I’ll have to submit Gavin’s usual misdirections to examination:

    “Meanwhile, in “bizarre calculus land” we’re still waiting for a single icecore showing carbon dioxide rise preceding temperature rise, rather than the other way around. You know, where cause precedes effect aka “Reality”.”

    [Response: Possibly the concept of feedback doesn’t exist in your world? You, know, where one thing leads to another which leads back again…. Or maybe you have found a way to deduce a causation purely from a correlation. Do please let us know…. -gavin]

    Not an answer. Does your reality include a feedback that precedes the cause by several centuries every time? Mine doesn’t. The concept of feedback still requires in climate terms THAT CARBON DIOXIDE RISE SHOULD PRECEDE TEMPERATURE RISE. Except that it doesn’t. Furthermore the witness of the icecores shows that carbon dioxide continues to rise for several centuries AFTER temperatures have begun to fall. What kind of feedback is that?

    It’s a simple calculus that you appear unable to master.

    Unlike the greenhouse hypothesis, at least Svensmark has experimental evidence whereas the Greenhouse Hypothesis has exactly zip.

    [Response: Svensmark has precisely as much experimental evidence for a GCR/climate link as Tyndall had for CO2 over 100 hundred years ago. He has a ways to go. ]

    Svensmark has experimental evidence. A direct experiment showing how cosmic rays seed clouds in all depths of the atmosphere. A reproducible experiment which will shortly be reproduced. And the Greenhouse hypothesis has?

    Of course, it’s a scientific consensus so it must be “taken into consideration” despite its complete lack of testable predictions nor any paleoclimatic evidence in any meaningful timeframe.

    [Response: Lack of testable predictions? Stratospheric cooling, surface and troposphere warming, Arctic polar amplification, water vapour increases, increased precipitation intensity, more positive phases of the annular modes, decreased TOA flux at CO2 absorption lines, increased ocean heat content etc. etc. Be sure to let me know when they start giving tourist visas to visit your wonderful homeland and I’ll buy some warm clothes (presumably it must be cold since the greenhouse effect obviously doesn’t operate there….). ]

    Here we come back to the bizarre calculus of greenhouse modelling: A prediction is supposed to explain a FUTURE event, whereas greenhouse modelling predicts what has already happened.

    So we’ll take those “evidences” in turn:

    “Stratospheric cooling”: so does the solar hypothesis
    “surface and troposphere warming”: so does the solar hypothesis
    “Arctic polar amplification”: There isn’t any. See Polyakov et al, 2004 – so Greenhouse Warming produces a failed prediction. The Arctic is warming well within the natural variation
    “water vapour increases”: so does the solar hypothesis
    “increased precipitation intensity, more positive phases of the annular modes, decreased TOA flux at CO2 absorption lines, increased ocean heat content etc. etc” so does the solar hypothesis.

    Greenhouse warming also predicts polar amplification in the Antarctic, except that the Antarctic is cooling (rather severely in places like the Dry Valleys) and not warming at all except in the area most exposed to ocean currents with attendant collapses in floating ice sheets that are downstream of an active undersea volcano. It predicts that the Southern Hemisphere should be warming (nope). It predicts (after the fact) that hurricane seasons will have more storms being forced by the increasing greenhouse gases – except that the distribution of hurricanes follows a Poisson distribution indicating that there is no trend: its a random process. It even managed to predict a slowdown in the North Atlantic Drift, whose apparent confirmation by a single measurement was rather shortlived when much longer measurements showed the natural variation of that oceanic phenomenon – no slowdown of the Gulf Stream at all.

    Greenhouse hypothesis predicts (in the sense of “explains after the fact”) many things including warming, cooling, less precipitation, more precipitation, less storminess, more storminess and so on. It “predicts” everything which means that it isn’t a scientific theory in the sense of any prediction that can be falsified.

    As I said, Greenhouse Theory appears to be unable to predict (as in the future) any phenomenon in any reasonable timeframe. It can’t even predict the next El Nino, but it does appear to be the perfect explanation after the fact. Such a flexible theory cannot be falsified. It has failed to predict any phenomenon uniquely compared to other hypotheses but it has made predictions which have failed to come about.

  39. James Erlandson
    Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 5:02 AM | Permalink

    Re 34 ET SidViscous:
    Ozone Cycle Overview (Wikipedia) (my bold)

    Ozone is formed in the stratosphere when oxygen molecules photodissociate after absorbing an ultraviolet photon whose wavelength is shorter than 240 nm. This produces two oxygen atoms. The atomic oxygen then combines with O2 to create O3. Ozone molecules absorb UV light between 310 and 200 nm, following which ozone splits into a molecule of O2 and an oxygen atom. The oxygen atom then joins up with an oxygen molecule to regenerate ozone. This is a continuing process which terminates when an oxygen atom “recombines” with an ozone molecule to make 2 O2 molecules. The overall amount of ozone in the stratosphere is determined by a balance between photochemical production and recombination.

  40. David Smith
    Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 6:10 AM | Permalink

    Re #34 I believe the hypothesis flows like this:

    * Less stratospheric ozone leads to lower stratospheric temperatures at the South Pole.

    * Lower temperatures at the Pole create a greater temperature contrast between the stratospheric Pole and the mid-latitude stratosphere

    * The greater contrast causes faster zonal (west-east) winds

    * The faster zonal winds translate downwards and cause the tropospheric zonal winds to also flow faster

    * The stronger tropospheric winds trap the cold air, sort of like sheep dogs circling round and round a flock of sheep

    * If cold air can’t flow out from Antarctica then it just sits and gets colder and colder

    * Places like the Peninsula, which is outside the trap, get warmer because they don’t receive the normal flow of cold air from the mainland.

    People have been searching for evidence of this, as have I in my layman’s way, and any evidence is quite weak.

  41. John A
    Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 6:26 AM | Permalink

    Re #40

    In my own way, I call it a “house of cards”. It explains nothing.

  42. David Smith
    Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 7:29 AM | Permalink

    Could someone with a paleo perspective comment on this article ?

    I don’t closely follow the Holocene issues so I don’t know if this explanation of Arctic Holocene warmth is well-accepted.


  43. george h.
    Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 7:35 AM | Permalink

    re#38 – Five star post, John A! But haven’t the GCMs been wrong on ocean heat content also?

    Click to access heat_2006.pdf

  44. richardT
    Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 8:24 AM | Permalink

    The explanation on that page is the generally accepted one.
    There’s plenty of palaeo-evidence for warm early Holocene summers, less so for winter temperatures. This warmth is expected from orbital forcing – there was more summer insolation at high northern latitudes. The timing of maximum warmth was different in different places due to the influence of the decaying Laurentide icesheet.
    Its even more difficult to estimate mean global temperatures for the early Holocene than the last thousand years, but there is no evidence that the warming reconstructed for high latitudes was experienced everywhere.

  45. Jean S
    Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 9:12 AM | Permalink

    re #38: Except for a small snip, it went through. This is the best part of the answer:

    If instead you were a serious person, you’d move on from these tired talking points and discuss more interesting uncertainties – I won’t hold my breath.

    Hey Gavin, how about uncertainties in multiproxy reconstructions? 🙂

  46. Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 9:51 AM | Permalink

    I like this one, (156)

    Why does ‘your side’ dump many hours and dollars into PR rather than into experiments that would address your questions?

    And gavin’s

    But you are trying to insinuate that CO2 rises now are not anthropogenic – they are, and no amount of your posturing changes that.

    More they talk, the better. Applies to ‘this side’ as well, of course.

  47. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 9:58 AM | Permalink

    #42, 44. David, I’ve done a few posts on the Holocene Optimum referring to this page – see Categories at lest and Richard T has commented on several of the posts. The following statement in the article seems far more categorical to me than warranted by the evidence:

    In summary, the mid-Holocene, roughly 6,000 years ago, was generally warmer than today, but only in summer and only in the northern hemisphere.

    IMO there is evidence of warmth at high southern latitudes during this period, although this may have commenced earlier than the NH Holocene Optimum. I think that the evidence at Quelccaya (e.g. Lago Paco Cocha) indicates that there was no ice cap at Quelccaya, Peru during the Holocene Optimum and that the ice cap formed around 5200 BP – Lonnie Thompson has written on a climate change at this time. The Holocene Optimum is very distinct in some ocean sediments. So the evidence of warmth is not limited to high latitudes.

    As to winter temperatures, I agree with Richart T about much less proxy information, but my take is that the evidence certainly does not prove the claim that the warmth was limited to summer. People may argue that winter temperatures were lower on a Milankowitch argument, but that’s a different thing than arguing from proxies.

    But if we’re going to chat about the HOlocene Optimum, which is interesting, why not pick a Holocene Optimum thread and pursue it there.

  48. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 10:03 AM | Permalink

    If instead you were a serious person, you’d move on from these tired talking points and discuss more interesting uncertainties – I won’t hold my breath.

    They really are insolent and ill-mannered. Imagine the complaining from Lee or Steve Bloom if I talked like that.

  49. cbone
    Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 10:13 AM | Permalink

    Ok. What am I missing here. Surely this is too simplistic.

    Total Solar Irradiance is approximately 1366 W-m2 (various sources)
    Total Net Anthropogenic Climate forcing 1.3 W-m2 (IPCC)

    Anthropogenic as a percentage of TSI: 0.12%

  50. jae
    Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 10:30 AM | Permalink

    38, John A: spot on, man! It makes you wonder how any adult, especially a scientist, can believe that GHGs will cause our whole world to collapse.

  51. David Smith
    Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

    RE #47 Very good, thanks. I’ll read the existing threads. What piqued my interest is that Jeff Master’s website took a slap at Patrick Michaels yesterday (see “The Pole Star and Arctic Climate Change” column on the right side) and I was trying to make sense of that.

    I think the column was written by a guest columnist, not Masters.

  52. jae
    Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 10:36 AM | Permalink

    42: These are the same people who want to “get rid of the MWP.”

  53. David Smith
    Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 10:57 AM | Permalink

    RE #41 There is an interesting twist in this Antarctica wind topic. It’s all conjecture, but intriguing.

    The idea is that wind speed and patterns around Antarctica affect the amount of deep-water upwelling there, which affects the amount of cold upwelling elsewhere in the thermohaline circulation. If the Antarctic wind patterns favor increased upwelling there, then less cold upwelling occurs elsewhere.

    This is important because one of the regions downstream of the Antarctic that might experience less upwelling is the Indian Ocean (IO). Less upwelling may allow the IO to be somewhat warmer than it would otherwise be, which greatly increases its release of latent heat to the atmosphere. That extra heat both warms the atmosphere and alters the weather patterns into modes that are somewhat less efficient at radiating heat away from Earth.

    All conjecture, but there are pieces of data that somewhat support this, and there are pieces of data that refure it, too.

    If it happens to be correct, then weakening surface winds around Antarctica would decrease upwelling, which would increase upwelling in the IO, which would cool that region and reduce its heat release, which would also alter some weather mode (PDO?) which would start a global cooling.

  54. jae
    Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 11:15 AM | Permalink

    49. You are not missing anything. I’ve modified my estimation of sensitivity in #30, because the way I did it I could not isolate the amount of the “feedback” effect. Here’s a way of quantifying both sensitivity and feedback, based on Kiehl and Trenberth’s diagram.

    Kiehl and Trenberth’s radiation balance figure indicates a total incoming solar radiation of 235 WM-2, of which 235 Watts actually heats up the Earth (168 Watts absorbed by the surface, 67 Watts absorbed by the atmosphere). The figure indicates that this radiation results in a net GHG effect, INCLUDING ALL FEEDBACKS, of 324 WM-2.

    Now, let’s assume that the 4 Watts from 2 x CO2 is equivalent to an additional 4 Watts absorbed by the Earth (it isn’t, but I’m being conservative, here). That would increase the energy warming the Earth by 4/235 = 1.7 %.

    Now, since the 235 Watts that heats the earth results in a total greenhouse effect of 324 Watts, INCLUDING ALL FEEDBACKS, the total amount of warming of an additional 4 Watts due to the GHG effect is 0.017*324 = 5.5 Watts. Thus the “feedback” is 5.5 ‘€” 4 = 1.5 Watts.

    Now, assuming that the temperature rise caused by the GHG effect is 33 deg. C, that’s a sensitivity of 33/324 = 0.1 deg/Watt; and the total warming caused by an additional 4 Watts, feedbacks and all, is therefore 4*0.1 = 0.4 degrees. This also agrees with the Idso experiments.

    I realize that the relationship between incoming radiation and the greenhouse effect is not linear, but it is certainly close enough over a 4 Watt range.

  55. Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 11:44 AM | Permalink

    Why does your side’ dump many hours and dollars into PR rather than into experiments that would address your questions?

    Puzzles me.. In my case, why I spend many hours trying to solve what Jones, Mann, Hansen et al have done, without getting any money (*) ?.. Can someone give examples of industry-funded anti-AGW campaigns, or am I just too blind to notice those?

    (*) I’m the only one who knows that this is true, of course.

  56. jae
    Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 12:04 PM | Permalink

    Darn it, I goofed in #54. The second to last paragraph should read:

    Now, assuming that the temperature rise caused by the GHG effect is 33 deg. C, that’s a sensitivity of 33/324 = 0.1 deg/Watt; and the total warming caused by an additional 4 Watts, feedbacks and all, is therefore 5.5*0.1 = 0.55 degrees. So the sensitivity, inclusive of feedbacks, is 0.55/4 = 0.15. This also generally agrees with the Idso experiments.

  57. bruce
    Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 12:42 PM | Permalink

    Re: #32

    But hey, they’re scientists and I’m just a lowly pleb, what do I know…

    Actually Nicholas, it is emerging that they are “scientists”, not scientists, as recent discussion clearly shows.

    Re: #29

    Onya Ron! I appreciate the work that you are doing to understand the issues, and efforts to bring Wikipedia’s material on Climate Change up to the standards that Wikipedia applies elsewhere. It has probably occurred to you by now that Mr Connolly may have a POV that doesn’t permit anything other than the RC catechism to be presented on Wikipedia.

    Also, if you CAN extract from Mr Jones the information on his data and methods, I will happily join your bet! Good luck though. I think that it is going to take a CA type attack (based on rational questions, attention to detail, insistence on sound methodology etc) of the type that resulted in the sad discrediting of Mann and the HS to deal with Jones. Fortunately for all of us, I think that I can see SM beginning to redirect his attention to the temperature record. Watch out Mr Jones!

  58. Bill F
    Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 12:53 PM | Permalink


    The fact that the stratosphere has cooled relative to the troposphere (or the troposphere has warmed relative to the stratosphere) recently is used as an argument against increased solar flux causing recent warming because increased flux should warm the whole column.

    If you assume that the means by which the solar changes cause climate change is through direct heating of the atmosphere and surface, that would be true. However, if the mechanism by which solar changes impact climate is through Svensmark’s GCR/cloud link, then increases in solar flux would lead to decreases in GCRs reaching the lower troposphere, which would lead to a decease in the formation of lower troposphere clouds. Such an effect could cause warming of the lower troposphere without warming the stratosphere.

    Svensmark does a good job of explaining how such an effect would have a warming influence over most of the globe, but likely a cooling influence over Antarctica:

    He also makes a decent case for an Oscillation that causes Greenland and Antarctica to go through alternating periods where one warms while the other cools.

    Another interesting paper that I am still digesting regards the appearance of a tendency for the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) to shift back and forth between periods where the “south” orientation or “north” orientation dominate over each other.

    I am still playing with these periods, but it seems like if there is a GCR/climate relationship, that periodic shifts in the dominance of the IMF orientation should result in some changes in how the heliomagnetic field interacts with the earth’s magnetic field, especially when then dominance of the IMF is opposite the polarity of the heliomagnetic field.

  59. John A
    Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 1:33 PM | Permalink

    I’ll have to save this response from disappearance as well:


    We have Gavin Schmidt in backpedalling mode. Let’s see if he backs over the cliff:

    [Response: Let me spell it out slowly. M i l a n k ov i t c h f or c i n g s lead to changes in temperature and circulation which affect CO2 and CH4 which then helps make it colder. It’s really not that complicated. … ]

    I’ll respond to this as best I can:

    1. It is axiomatic that cause precedes effect.
    2. The cited cause (greenhouse forcing) ALWAYS follows the effect (temperature rise) by centuries.
    3. Therefore greenhouse forcing does not cause temperature rise. Rather greenhouse gases are a delayed response to temperature rise due to natural processes.

    And since feedbacks are a response, they must follow the cause. But if the temperature falls while carbon dioxide and methane continue to rise as they do frequently in the ice core records, what are we to say about the real forcing of climate from greenhouse gases other than it appears to be very small or negligible?

    The temperature rises and falls happen at much shorter timescales than observed Milankovic cycles would predict. They are seen repeatedly not just in ice cores on Milankovic scales but also in high resolution studies.

    None of them show “greenhouse forcing” -quite the reverse.

    Unless it is your experience that if you see a live microphone squealing with no-one near it and then you reach over and put your hand over it, then you’ll have to admit that feedbacks too follow the effect and cannot be the cause.

    But you are trying to insinuate that CO2 rises now are not anthropogenic – they are, and no amount of your posturing changes that.

    The funny thing is Gavin, is that I’m pointing out that the ice cores both of the millenial scale and the higher resolution ones show that carbon dioxide and methane RISE AND FALL NATURALLY with a delay response on the order of eight centuries. All of them show that without exception. So working back, eight centuries ago, was the Medieval Warm Period, a period when temperatures appeared to be higher, if not just as high as they are today. So even if mankind had remained with a small population in the Stone Age, carbon dioxide rise would be expected to happen as a result of natural climatic variation as a delayed response.

    If carbon dioxide was this dread greenhouse forcing that you claim it to be, and “higher than its ever been in X thousand years”, then it begs the question as to why the current climate is so unremarkable in the context even of the Holocene. I might remind you that 6-8 thousand years ago during the Holocene Maximum, the Sahara desert wasn’t a desert but covered in jungle, with large lakes and large meandering rivers full of hippos and crocodiles. Also at that time, the treelines in both North and South Hemispheres were much higher altitudinally as well as latitudinally than they are today. Even 2000 years ago, the Alps were almost devoid of ice. Even 1000 years ago, the treelines of Scandinavia and Russia were c100-150 km north of their present extent.

    I do not claim that carbon dioxide is not currently rising, nor do I claim (nor anyone else I know) that the current carbon dioxide rise does not have some anthropogenic component. The question is why do you constantly refer to the climate of the past as if natural variation were negligable when all properly done paleoclimatic studies show the precise opposite? No GW skeptic I know of denies climate change – in fact they consistently make the case that climate is always changing, and on all timescales.

    It is only from the Hockey Stick and similarly poorly done statistical studies that such a notion that the natural climate variation is small or negligible. But as has been found from multiple wholly independent and knowledgeable statistical authorities, those multiproxy studies are riddled with basic and fundamental mistakes that invalidate their claims and with which you, Mann, Connelley and the rest fail to come to terms with.

    I do not support the idea that there is such a thing as a “pre-industrial climate” or a “pre-industrial temperature” because such notions presuppose negligible natural climatic variation, something never seen in any properly calibrated temperature proxy nor any historical record – instead they show the reverse: large climatic variation which is natural in origin.

    The Greenhouse forcing hypothesis fails tests where it predicts phenomena that are not occurring such as the Arctic Polar Amplification and even fails to predict Antarctic Cooling except by reference to post hoc rationalization. It also predicts increased storminess outside of the natural cyclical nature of the climate which cannot be seen except by an extraordinary appeal that all or nearly all climate variation seen today cannot be natural. GW theory is used not to predict future climate change to to rewrite the past, a past history which refuses to conform to the all-encompassing theory of Greenhouse Gases. That is what the climate models are for, not to predict the future because they make no falsifiable predictions on any testable timescale but to rewrite the past according to an orthodox belief that appears immune to disproof.

  60. richardT
    Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 1:58 PM | Permalink

    John A
    Is it possible to have the cache for all the pages updated at the same time? At the moment, some new comments appear in the “recent comments” bar when looking at one page, but then arn’t yet available on their own thread.

  61. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 2:20 PM | Permalink

    RE: #59 – “Even 2000 years ago, the Alps were almost devoid of ice.”

    Look at the clothing worn by the Romans, even when they were traveling / stationed in their northernmost and inland most territories. Note also the construction of the Roman houses which still exist (or are partially preserved as ruins) within European cities. All of it points to the RWP and just how warm that period was, much like the MWP after it.

  62. John A
    Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 2:21 PM | Permalink

    It’s the caching. It’s either that or the server keels over from the strain of serving so many pages. The cache is set to 30 minutes at the moment, so the pages will update in 30 minutes or less.

  63. David Smith
    Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 3:17 PM | Permalink

    bender, it looks like a chance of snow flurries down into Florida, maybe even Orlando, Saturday night. That would be two times in one season – rare.

  64. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 3:19 PM | Permalink

    AGW fanatics worry about greenhouse / tropical world. Here is what I worry about:


  65. Bill F
    Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 3:27 PM | Permalink

    Here are the links I somehow screwed up in my post above…

    Svensmark 2006:


    And Keating, C. F., and N. O. Jager (2005), Observed north-south asymmetries in the long-term Bz mean average:


  66. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 3:35 PM | Permalink

    I recently mentioned a complete loss of faith in reputed “sea ice extent data.” Here is a classic example why:


    You can easily cross check this against both the image at the home page of this site, or, the Anchorage NWS. Most assuredly, the Bering Strait extent has not folded back to an early December level.

  67. Bill F
    Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 6:26 PM | Permalink

    I have been playing with the SOI as an El Nino proxy and plotting it against the IMF Bz orientation plot in the Keating paper I linked above. I think it would be worthwhile for somebody with a lot more statistical mojo than I have to get in touch with Keating and get his dataset so that it can be compared to the SOI data for the same time period. One thing that seems to jump out at me is that during periods of time when the IMF Bz component is northerly and opposite of the solar magentic field polarity, there seems to be a strong correlation with a more common negative SOI indicative of El Nino conditions. The periods where that occurs are 1983-1987, 1989-1993, and 2001-2003. From 1996 to 2001, the IMF Bz is predominantly south in orientation and opposite the solar field orientation. That also appears to have some correspondence to more common El Nino, although it is less striking on the plots. If El Nino conditions are known to be associated with “global” temperature increases, then it would be interesting to look at a longer record of the IMF Bz component orientation and compare it to temperatures. It appears that the IMF Bz orientation has been opposite the solar orientation for most of the period from 1983 to 2003, apparently following a reversal of some sort described by Keating around 1980. Before that time (back to at least 1963), when the IMF Bz showed any trend in orientation dominance, the dominant orientation matched the solar orientation.

  68. Lee
    Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 9:27 PM | Permalink

    The “Archives” links appear to be misbehaving. When I click on a month under the archives list on the right, it only shows the last 10 posts for any month, with no apparent way to navigate to earlier posts for that month.
    OSX10.4, Firefox

  69. Tom C
    Posted Feb 16, 2007 at 10:39 PM | Permalink

    #59 Thank you, John A, for a clear, insightful explanation of fundamental flaws in GW theory. Great work!

  70. ET SidViscous
    Posted Feb 17, 2007 at 12:32 AM | Permalink

    Vis-A-vis #83

    Just to let you know John I’ve posted this elsewhere (in a members only car forum) as you directly addresed the points someone made in a very similar discusion. #83 could have been written in response to that post.

    I’ve credited you of course and linked back to here.

  71. John G. Bell
    Posted Feb 17, 2007 at 12:47 AM | Permalink

    My wife said the BBC announced a diet of garlic will limit a cow’s methane production. She’s pulling my leg, right? Now I’m going to be up all night trying to get a tape of it.

    Too bad cows don’t fart CO2. This idea could have been worth $25,000,000.00.

  72. James Erlandson
    Posted Feb 17, 2007 at 5:44 AM | Permalink

    Re 71 John G. Bell:
    Tackling UK’s gassy cows problem. BBC
    Elsewhere in labs and farm yards scientists are trying out inoculations, microbes or even extracts of garlic.

  73. Posted Feb 17, 2007 at 6:42 AM | Permalink

    Warm January 07 they say. That’s true, but I still don’t understand this


    Or are those dots in Siberia so small in the 1999 figure that I can’t see them?

  74. welikerocks
    Posted Feb 17, 2007 at 11:35 AM | Permalink

    Warm is good!

    Hey SteveM, how is that donation button working? I’ve got some money to burn, but I misplaced my credit card, and called it in, then found it in my wallet-sheesh. So, it’s been “turned off” until the new one comes in the mail-and of course it is way past the time it is supposed to have been delivered. Mrwelikerocks got a new contract with really interesting work and more money and I thought of you-and the things you need to work on for us!

    Anyway, thank you so much for keeping this site up for nothing but our sanity. Thank you too John A. I am going to use that button soon.

    We haven’t said much around here lately-everything we read you find, just makes us nuts. Not good for body, mind and spirit so to speak. lol


  75. paul m
    Posted Feb 17, 2007 at 3:25 PM | Permalink

    Re the LIA and the River Thames

    The second or third London Bridge was completed in 1209. I happened to be at Bankside (south bank to the west of London Bridge) and on a small plaque it said that this bridge, because there were so many piers close together, slowed down the flow and allowed the water to freeze in winter. I’m sure somewhere in Steve M’s report from the AGU, he said that Mann had suggested that the freezing of the Thames was not the result of the LIA but slowing down of flow. Obviously, 1209 predates the LIA which I think had its nadir around 1770 – 1820. Note that in 1281 ice caused 5 of the arches to collapse. The historical record notes the great freeze was in 1821 and I think ice damage was a persistent problem until the last but one London Bridge built by Rennie.

    Whilst there seems to be some logic in water flow having a bearing on freezing, I would have thought the main factor was how cold it was. Any thoughts?

  76. RC Supporter
    Posted Feb 17, 2007 at 4:00 PM | Permalink

    re #75: If Mr Mann says that the freezing is not due to temperature, but impediment to flow caused by a bridge, I’d go with that!

    You guys over here just don’t get it. Mr Mann is ‘The Man’. He is good on this sort of stuff. For example, any gardener will confirm that there is a linear relationship between tree ring thickness and temperature even though some of you ‘deniers’ over here seem to enjoy attacking him on things like that.

    And another thing. I noticed that Mr McIntyre has started to attack Mr Jones for adjusting the temperature record for the 20th Century temperature records to better make the case for AGW. What you guys over here don’t seem to get is that AGW is a VERY SERIOUS problem, and we need people like Mr Mann and Mr Jones to stand up and save the planet.

    It seems that all you guys want to do over here is criticise. How do you think Mr Mann and Mr Jones feel about all of this criticism that this site pours on them. Do you think that they enjoy it?

    Mark my words. Our grandchildren and great grandchildren will regard Mr Mann and Mr Jones as heroes for their efforts to save the planet.

  77. Mr. welikerocks
    Posted Feb 17, 2007 at 4:34 PM | Permalink

    #76 RC Supporter,

    I am laughing so hard I have tears in my eyes. You are truly a believer. Many past historical figures would you on their team LOL.

    Unfortunatley you, Mann, and Jones are wrong.

  78. Posted Feb 17, 2007 at 4:39 PM | Permalink

    Why don’t you ask Vatican to canonize them at once?

  79. EW
    Posted Feb 17, 2007 at 5:32 PM | Permalink

    You are pulling our leg, aren’t you?

    For example, any gardener will confirm that there is a linear relationship between tree ring thickness and temperature even though some of you deniers’ over here seem to enjoy attacking him on things like that.

    Hardly. In non-extreme conditions tree rings are more function of water availability, temp comes second.

  80. John Baltutis
    Posted Feb 17, 2007 at 5:37 PM | Permalink

    Re: #76

    How do you think Mr Mann and Mr Jones feel about all of this criticism that this site pours on them. Do you think that they enjoy it?

    Probably not much. However, once they pontificate, obfuscate, hide methods, sup at the publically-financed trough, and misapply corrections with public postings (peer reviewed (?) journals and public utterances, contrary to facts, they open themselves up for all the slings and arrows thrown their way.

  81. fFreddy
    Posted Feb 17, 2007 at 6:14 PM | Permalink

    Re #75, paul m

    Whilst there seems to be some logic in water flow having a bearing on freezing, I would have thought the main factor was how cold it was. Any thoughts?

    My main thought would be that the Thames is tidal. Flow reverses twice a day, no matter what artificial narrowing may be in place.

  82. bruce
    Posted Feb 17, 2007 at 6:21 PM | Permalink

    Re #76: I think that it has to be a legpull. In fact, any gardener knows that plants do well (hence thick tree rings) when conditions of temperature, moisture, nutriments etc are optimal, and less well if say temperature is either too high or too low. This results in an inverse quadratic growth curve. Maximum growth occurs when conditions are optimal. When, say, temperature is too high, then the plants are stressed and shut down to a life-preserving state rather than devote resources to growth.

    How the hockey team can sustain the fiction that there is a linear relationship between tree ring thickness and temperature is beyond me.

  83. charlesH
    Posted Feb 17, 2007 at 6:33 PM | Permalink

    I think 76 is satire.

  84. Follow the Money
    Posted Feb 17, 2007 at 6:39 PM | Permalink


    “RC `Supporter'”

    A+ post

    Regards, FTM

  85. Gaudenz Mischol
    Posted Feb 18, 2007 at 3:51 AM | Permalink


    may be it’s Mann himself?

  86. paul m
    Posted Feb 18, 2007 at 5:42 AM | Permalink

    Re Thames and RC supporter

    Thames. I appreciate that the Thames is tidal- I live about 1 1/2 miles from it. I am a GW ‘skeptic’. I’m not looking for support for what Mann said – maybe he didn’t say it at all – just thoughts on how the flow would affect suscepatbility to freezing. Obviously, the main effect of the bridge will be to increase the velocity of the water through the piers – indeed in the Bridge built to replace the one completed in 1209, the Thames boatmen needed special skill to navigate their boats under the bridge. However, at a distance, say 100 metres in either direction, I would imagine the flow will be unimpeded and thus would have no bearing on freezing anway.

    RE RC Supporter

    Because of the antics of Mann et al we are about to despoil two sites of outstanding natural beauty, the Orkneys and the Devon Moors with huge windfarms. The government inspector who has allowed these schemes in the teeth of local opposition must know, or if he doesn’t, should be dismissed, that the yield from these mad schemes is likely to be much less than 50% of their designed output, maybe 30% and thus they are a massive waste of resources. In addition, the Orkney installation will require the building of a massive interconnector that will waste a great deal of the energy. So yes RC supporter, if we keep listening to Mann et al, we will assuredly impoverish our grandchildren who will have no mone to pay for the heating they will need if the climate cools.

    On a different subject, my mother-in-law told me that the Daily Mail published a letter last Mon or Tues supporting the ideas normally expressed on this site. I can’t find it, does anyone have a copy?

    Paul M

  87. John A
    Posted Feb 18, 2007 at 6:34 AM | Permalink

    Update: Schmidt reaches for Red Button rather than explain himself

    In answer to my comment that I copied in #59 in this thread Gavin Schmidt deleted it all and inserted this comment:

    [Response: Sorry to be abrupt, but the endless recycling of strawmen arguments, fake ‘predictions’ and complete inability to apply a little logic to your thinking makes any dialogue almost impossible. There are ways to be sceptical and to engage constructively (Charles Muller, Ferdinand Englebeen are two good examples) and people learn from those exchanges. But it requires a certain detachment and a willingness to refrain from questioning the motives and credibility of your interlocutors. Leave the conspiracy theories at home – We’re just not interested. gavin]

    I must admit that I cannot find the conspiracy theories that I am meant to be promoting. I suspect that however it plays out, Gavin Schmidt cannot stand someone asking basic and fundamental questions about the hypothesis he is promoting.

  88. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Feb 18, 2007 at 7:18 AM | Permalink

    Lets see if you delete this Mr ‘A’. Of course you will ;), you can’t stand criticism can you, LOL.

    I must say I though Dr Schmidt dealt rather well with you questions. I suggest people read what he said.


  89. John A
    Posted Feb 18, 2007 at 7:30 AM | Permalink

    So deleting them in their entirety and accusing me of promoting conspiracy theories is “dealing rather well” with my questions and my statements?

    Only on Planet X….

  90. Paul Linsay
    Posted Feb 18, 2007 at 9:08 AM | Permalink

    #59, John A

    the ice cores both of the millenial scale and the higher resolution ones show that carbon dioxide and methane RISE AND FALL NATURALLY with a delay response on the order of eight centuries

    Do you or anyone else know the mechanism the GCMs invoke to make the CO2 and temperature fall following a rise?

  91. John A
    Posted Feb 18, 2007 at 9:21 AM | Permalink

    Re #91

    No I don’t. I’m particularly puzzled by Gavin Schmidt’s invocation of “feedbacks” when asked why rises in greenhouse gases always follow climatic warming and never precede it. What feedback is it that precedes the effect by centuries?

    There was one further thing about greenhouse gases forcing temperature rise that I wanted to ask, but since Gavin is hiding, I suppose I’ll have to wait for another opportunity…

  92. johnmccall
    Posted Feb 18, 2007 at 10:57 AM | Permalink

    I’m not sure of the correlation to the “8 centuries CO2 lagging response to temperature” claim — my own graphical analysis of Monnin et al’s Vostok ice cores showed a 200-800 year lag over most/all transitions (down to up, or reverse) except as I recall, one where CO2 levels actually led the transition? I acknowledge the team (Dr Schmidt among them), continue to talk around this 200-800 century lag with a circular feedback/forcing arguments; but if there’s high statistical correlation to an 800 year lag (+/- X years?) in most/all ice core studies, I haven’t seen it.

  93. John A
    Posted Feb 18, 2007 at 11:10 AM | Permalink

    John McCall: I’d like to see those analyses.

    The point is that Schmidt won’t ever demonstrate (nor Hansen for that matter) a single transition where CO2 led temperature rise (other than the possibility of CO2 beginning a rise 800 + or – 200 years after a previous temperature rise and then temperatures rising shortly afterward – a correlation not a causation)

    I haven’t seen a statistical correlation done between CO2 and temperature (but that’s probably because I haven’t seen many papers).

  94. EW
    Posted Feb 18, 2007 at 11:12 AM | Permalink

    I searched once some info about oak wilting and decline and found a dendrochronological paper saying that in Central Europe lowlands, the width of the oak tree rings is proportional to water supply and inferring anything about temperature could be totally misleading.

  95. Posted Feb 18, 2007 at 11:14 AM | Permalink

    I guess this is the place for me to ask this.

    I’m not a climate scientist, I’m just an inquisitive person. SO:

    1) Greenhouse gases trap heat.
    2) Water vapor is the primary greenhouse gas, comprising over 50% of the greenhouse effect.
    3) The hottest temperatures on earth are logged at the places with the lowest relative and absolute humidity.

    So .. why is it that the warmest temperatures are logged at sites with the lowest absolute and relative humidity (the lowest amount of overall greenhouse gases), when the logic of AGW would predict the opposite.

    Just curious.

  96. johnmccall
    Posted Feb 18, 2007 at 12:58 PM | Permalink

    It was from Monnin et.el Vostok ’05? I believe — this is the diagram that most use to break AGW in antarctic. And by graphical analysis, I mean I interpolated the CO2 lag by physically measuring the Temp vs CO2 plot differences at transition. I agree, that often the ~800 year lag was evident; but sometimes it was measurably less (~200) years, and as I said once CO2 was slightly(?) ahead. I agree that it lags by centuries; I simply want to see a correlation coefficient and analysis to the 800 year (+/- 200) CO2 lag hypothesis at Vostok.

    I have some driving to do now, but should be able to post more definitively later this weekend. And I agree, the team (e.g. Dr Schmidt for you, Dr Mann to me in late ’05) double-talk their refutations of this point of AGW skeptics.

  97. James Erlandson
    Posted Feb 18, 2007 at 1:01 PM | Permalink

    In an earlier thread the role of scientists in policy making was discussed with the “take-away” that scientists should present the science to policy makers but not recommend or be involved in the actual policy making. Judith Curry summarized her position:

    … I have staked out a position of strictly avoiding any policy advocacy or recommendations regarding specific policies related to global warming or hurricanes.
    … I fully recognize that global warming is a political issue with huge policy implications, and I am engaging actively in the policy process by interacting with decision makers (governors, congressmen, mayors, emergency managers, evangelical groups, insurance companies, energy companies, retail stores). These interactions most emphatically do not include advocating for specific policies …

    On the AAAS meeting, Wired News reported:

    Much of the research presented will look at the effects of global warming on glaciers, Antarctica and the ocean. In one speech, a Carnegie Mellon University professor who studies decision-making and public policy is expected to talk about how science can “induce urgent action” regarding climate change.

    From the AAAS PR release.

    Fischhoff will give a presentation on mobilizing citizens to combat climate change during the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting, Feb. 15’€”19 in San Francisco.

  98. richardT
    Posted Feb 18, 2007 at 2:16 PM | Permalink

    Deserts may be hot in the day, but they can be cold at night.

  99. Posted Feb 18, 2007 at 6:50 PM | Permalink

    Dear RC supporter #76,

    your analysis was a great entertainment! Mann and Jones are the Men and Jones is adjusting the data in order to help the AGW theory and save the planet which is why he will be celebrated by our grandkids as a Messiah. 😉 Cool! My guess is that there is 90% probability that you are a skeptic with a good sense of humor but because I have seen similar things already, there is also a 10% probability that you are a real RC supporter. 🙂

    More seriously, if many more adjustments and scientific misconducts are observed and documented, the AGW theory will be becoming discredited and all of us will be fried if you’re right which you’re fortunately not. 🙂


  100. Posted Feb 18, 2007 at 7:30 PM | Permalink

    Dear JeffB #96,

    unlike Richard #99, I think that you are right that even after averaging, deserts etc. are warmer – although, of course, he is right, the drought increases the variations more than the average. See e.g. map of Australia


    One reason why it doesn’t contradict H2O greenhouse effect is heat conduction. If you want to increase temperature at a given place by a significant amount, using the vapor greenhouse effect, you must wait for longer time than the time needed to transfer this heat to other regions. This is why, I think, the precise place where the greenhouse effect occurs is not too important.

    Another reason is that the amount of clouds is simply smaller in the dry regions which is why they’re warmer. Although greenhouse fundamentalists would be happy to say that the effect is always the King, deserts are arguably an example showing that clouds are the Emperor. 😉

    To summarize, the precise place of the H2O greenhouse effect is less important than other effects of the weather, including heat transfer and clouds. The hypothetically important CO2 enhanced greenhouse gas however causes additional effect that can’t be subtracted and that, after global averaging, could be measurable despite the local dominance of things such as clouds. In this counting, H2O is less important than CO2 for the greenhouse gas because its overall average concentration is more constant with time.

    But the precise importance of clouds vs CO2 greenhouse effect is simply not known at present.


  101. K
    Posted Feb 18, 2007 at 8:55 PM | Permalink

    #96, 101: why the hottest places occur where there is low humidity?

    Because hot places with low humidity are deserts. There is little or no groundwater. So when the surface heats there is no evaporation from the surface to cool the air.

    In contrast, in the same situation with abundant ground water, the day will be hot and humid. But due to evaporation it won’t be quite as hot. The inhabitants will curse the discomfort anyway; high humidity with heat is far more disagreeable than heat alone, I believe because it hampers shedding heat from the skin.

    And 101 is correct. Clouds not only shadow but they form from evaporation of surface water.

    Forgive me for simplistic. Climate has more variables than just about any other subjects so almost any explanation has to be that way.

  102. Posted Feb 18, 2007 at 8:59 PM | Permalink

    I am not a scientist but am able to follow most of the discussion and arguments on this site and other sites doing similar work. You all have my total admiration and support. To me the argument is not “is there global warming or not”, or “is warming man made” but why are scientists prepared to risk their reputations by witholding data which ultimately, if they are confident of their results, would only prove them right.

    That it is four years since Steve first tried to get the full data and codes etc from both Mann and Jones is a disgrace but you have to accept some of the blame. Both Mann and Jones have staked their reputations on their work. That work has then been trumpeted by the IPCC. The IPCC has now grown into an enormous organisation and in turn all those countries involved with the IPCC are spending millions to fight global warming.

    The stakes are as high as they get. Thousands of jobs and careers rest on the IPCC and it’s reports. Hundreds and thousands of companies have formed to deal with all of the issues involved and you expect Mann and Jones to just hand over their data? Can you really imagine the IPCC announcing that unfortunately they got it wrong? Sorry folks we forgot to check out the basis for our assumptions.

    If you are right then you are going to have to be prepared to put up a fight. You need good lawyers and you need to stop wasting time asking people if they could please provide you with their data. Of course it should be made available and anybody with a brain would understand that but that is not the issue. It is the possible consequences of making that data available not to Jones and Mann but to the IPCC and the huge organisation it has become.

    At the moment you may as well be on mars for all the public knows. Only the fact that I am interested and have the time and wherewithall to find such sites and follow the discussions allows me to know what I currently do.

    The media is biased and no it should not be but it is. You have to fight within the rules that currently exist not wish that the rules were different or take a moral stance based on what you think science should be about.

    If you believe you are right then you have to stand up and start shouting about it, not discussing it inside a fishbowl where nobody but you hears. You are exactly where they want you to be.

  103. george h.
    Posted Feb 18, 2007 at 9:06 PM | Permalink

    re # 76,

    If your comments are serious, which I doubt, you must realize that Mann, Jones, et. al. do little for their cause by hiding data (“Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?”) or building models which generate hockey stick revisions of geologic history out of random data.

  104. David Smith
    Posted Feb 18, 2007 at 9:29 PM | Permalink

    One of the key predictions of the climate models is increased water vapor (specific humidity) in the mid and upper troposphere. Increased water vapor in the upper atmosphere plays a big role in heating Earth, much more than increased water vapor near the surface.

    The models indicate that water vapor in the upper atmosphere should increase by about 15% per degree K temperature rise. With global temperatures reportedly rising by 0.15K/decade the higher-humidity fingerprint of AGW should be visible, even with the detection and data-quality problems present.

    I have been reading a lot on the topic and have yet to find what I consider to be solid evidence. If anyone knows of a good study that searches for and finds humidity trends, please post.

    One well-written (though long) paper on water vapor and GCMs is here . I may try to summarize it later.

  105. Bill F
    Posted Feb 18, 2007 at 11:25 PM | Permalink

    The reason dry places heat up more than humid places has to do with the thermodynamics of heating water vapor. Water takes much more heat to raise temperature one degree C than air does. So air with more moisture takes more heat to raise the temperature than air with less humidity.

  106. Tom C
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 12:07 AM | Permalink

    Re #103 – Paul, Your call for stronger, more effective action is well stated. My specific recommendations for stronger, more effective action (strategy and tactics) are proposed in #85 on thread: Adjusting USHCN history.

    Some follow-up discussion in #96 on thread: Adjusting USHCN history.

    See also Bruce’s call for specific action at #90 on thread: Adjusting USHCN history.

    Perhaps we and other interested folks can keep in contact on ClimateAudit, join together on this issue, and get the snowball rolling.

  107. Hans Erren
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 1:55 AM | Permalink

    re 105:
    one big factor interfering with the alleged system response is the direct antropogenic injection of vast amounts of water vapour by airplanes, secondly, radiative forcing is governed by optical path length (mole x distance), the upper air is very low density so the contribution is minimal, the bulk of the radiative forcing occurs in the lower atmosphere.

  108. Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 3:34 AM | Permalink

    It is not properly correct to state that deserts are the warmest places in the world. When both the components of heat are taken into account, i.e. sensible and latent heat, the warmest areas are the humid lands covered by tropical forests, Amazonas in primis.

  109. TonyN
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 5:32 AM | Permalink

    A strange quote from Phil Jones in a Herald (Scotland) article about Svenson: here

    Responding to news that Svenson et al will use the Geneva particle accelerator later this year in an attempt to validate his solar radiation hypothesis Jones says

    “That’s only an experiment in the lab, albeit a very big lab. It’s still not enough to prove that his theory is happening in the real world.”

    It seems that GCMs predictions have become the real world for Prof. Jones and empirical validation by experiment is a thing of the past. It’s not surprising that he thinks that way; just shocking to see it so clearly stated. Goodbye to four hundred years of the scientific method because the results might be inconvenient?

  110. Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 5:55 AM | Permalink

    Read and weep.


  111. MarkW
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 6:22 AM | Permalink

    Regarding the Thames:
    If the piers did block the flow of the river, then the water in the area upstream of the piers would pile up until the increased
    pressure was sufficient to increase the flow through the blockage (water runs faster in the narrow spot), so that all of the
    water flowing past the piers equaled the water flowing downstream. This backup would slow the water flow upstream of the piers, but
    it would also cause it to pool, increasing the total surface area. The key is to measure the water height upstream from the
    pier, vs. downstream. Then measure the slope of the banks upstream of the piers. From this you could calculate how much extra
    surface are was being exposed to the cold air.

  112. fFreddy
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 7:05 AM | Permalink

    Re #87, paul m
    For the avoidance of doubt, I was agreeing with you. I’ve normally heard this change in flow rate argument in the context of the Victorians building the embankment; I’ve always found it thoroughly unpersuasive.

  113. David Smith
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 8:29 AM | Permalink

    Toronto should emerge from the deep-freeze and go above freezing Tuesday (2/20) for the first time in a month. I think that’s a top-10, perhaps a top-5, event (consecutive days without reaching freezing) for the City.

    North America is about to get a warm-up, lasting a week to 10 days. After that the models are hinting at a return to the deep freeze, though it will be March and such events usually don’t last long.

    One forecast map for noon, two weeks from now, is here . It shows an Arctic blast bringing ice/snow down to the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, which would be rare at any time and unprecendented for so late in the winter. (Note: this particular map will disappear by 2/20.)

    These computer-generated forecasts rarely come true so far in advance, so pay little attention to the details, but it does show that the cold is probably not yet through with North America.

  114. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 8:48 AM | Permalink

    #114. If anyone can tell me the Toronto record for consecutive days below zero, I’d appreciate it. It sure has been a long cold spell. Toronto Harbour is frozen over. I was talking to a Toronto sailor the other day who said that in 1972 they sailed the entire winter. I wonder what whether data from Jones or Hansen would say that February 1972 was colder than now.

    I haven’t noticed many people from Toronto going north to Timmins this winter so that they could have the benefit of colder winters.

  115. Jean S
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

    Some more cold news from the other side of Atlantic. February has so far been cold in Finland, especially in Lapland (north). Wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that there has been relatively little talk about SPM although we have elections coming 😉

    Anyhow, I just checked the latest forecasts, and it seems that this cold spell will continue possibly throughout February. In that case, it seems that it is possible that all time February lows are breakable in north. This is the uptodate graph of daily mins/lows of four cities:

    You should follow Sodankylä graph. The all time (since 1908) record for the mean February temperature is -25.1C (1985). I don’t think that will be broken although this week should be very cold over there, but “already” -20.5C would be the fourth coldest “ever”.

    BTW, Lapland is the area to where Raypierre of RC seems to be travelling relatively often (according to his web page). I wish he would go now over there to tell those people to reduce their car usage and lower the inside temperatures in order to save the world from global warming.

  116. welikerocks
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 9:38 AM | Permalink

    SteveM, this article says 1912 was bad:The Star
    wikipedia says: The coldest temperature recorded at Toronto Pearson International Airport was -31.3 °C (-24.3 °F) on January 4, 1981, and the coldest wind chill recorded was -44.7 °C (-48.5 °F) on the same day.

    And john daly has a page about Toronto with a chart:link

  117. Jean S
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 10:31 AM | Permalink

    BTW, Sodankylä coordinates: 67N 26E. The annual temperature history for 1908-2002 is given here (continuous line is 10-year mean):

    Not much polar amplification there. The thin line for Helsinki in the graph is the (“estimated”) UHI adjusted version. The graph is from the Finnish Meteorological Institute and linked under their “Climate Change” pages 😉

  118. TAC
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

    MarW (#112): I think you’vee described the situation correctly.

    It is true that poorly designed bridge piers can cause backwater conditions (“ponding”) and ice jams (this is a serious problem in some areas). So it is conceivable that the old London Bridge had some local effect. It seems unlikely, however, that it could cause widespread freezing.

    The more I think about it, the more the whole story sounds like an “urban legend”? Are there any reputable publications (i.e. in engineering or scientific journals) discussing (and quantifying) the physical mechanism by which London Bridge piers could substantially affect freezing downstream?

  119. JerryB
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 11:10 AM | Permalink

    According to one set of TMIN/TMAX records, from December 26,
    1976, until February 9, 1977, daily TMAX did not get above
    zero at an observation station at Lat 43.6700 Lon -79.4000
    which seems to be somewhere in Totonto.

    TMAX did reach zero a few times during that period.

  120. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 11:18 AM | Permalink

    1976-77 was a very cold winter. It’s one of the few winters that I can specifically remember. It was nasty. I worked in Ottawa that winter arriving in December and quickly learned about block heaters for cars. Winter 1976-77 (followed by a dry summer in the U.S.) was written up in National Geographic in 1977 in a big article.

  121. David Smith
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 12:20 PM | Permalink

    Toronto should finish with 30-something consecutive days below zero. I believe the all-time record is in the 40s, set in the 1970s. I believe that Jeff Norman mentioned that a 30-day string would be the longest since 1985.

    El Nino trapped the frigid air in the Arctic in December, but El Nino suddenly died in January and that cold air spilled southward. It is increasingly looking like a La Nina is forming, just in time for the Atlantic hurricane season. La Nina enhances Atlantic activity while suppressing eastern Pacific storms.

  122. David Smith
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 12:42 PM | Permalink

    At the risk of being a johnny-one-note on water vapor, here’s the time series for water vapor in the mid to upper troposphere of the tropics .

    It’s derived from radiosonde readings and computer interpolation, and there are problems with radiosonde readings at higher atmospheric levels, and over time, but even with that, maybe the NCEP reanalysis is not far from the mark.

    Water vapor should be increasing, not decreasing, if the global climate models are correct. If water vapor is steady or decreasing then the upper range of IPCC temperature projections would have to be substantially reduced.

  123. Jeff Norman
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 12:49 PM | Permalink


    The longest stretch of days when the daily maximum temperature did not rise to 0°C.

    46 days – 1977 – Dec 26 to Feb 9
    46 days – 1978 – Jan 27 to Mar 13
    35 days – 1985 – Jan 7 to Feb 10
    28 days – 1966 – Jan 11 to Feb 7
    27 days – 1945 – Jan 13 to Feb 8
    23 days – 1979 – Jan 29 to Feb 20
    22 days – 1980 – Jan 23 to Feb 13
    22 days – 1948 – Jan 22 to Feb 12
    21 days – 2003 – Jan 10 to Jan 30
    20 days – 1981 – Dec 30 to Jan 18

    As measured at Pearson, uncorrected for UHI effects resulting from the massive development in and around the airport.

    How does 2007 compare?

    30 days – Jan 20 to Feb 19 (maybe)

  124. MarkW
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 12:54 PM | Permalink

    Another aspect of UHI:
    I’m spending my first winter in a place with more than a few tenths of an inch of snow per year.
    I noticed one thing.
    They plow the streets and parking lots. Now that you are done laughing, I’ll get down to my observation.
    There may be 3 or 4 inches of snow on the grass. But the plowing takes the snow depths over the blacktop to a few tenths of an inch.
    The sun easily penetrates that depth, to start warming the blacktop. This quickly melts the snow on the streets and parking lots.

    In the areas outside the city, the snow is still thick on the fields. Inside the city, the streets and parking lots are clear of snow.

    Question 1) How much more quickly does the black top clear when it is plowed, vs. before there was widespread plowing?
    Question 2) How much does the albedo difference between snow and blacktop heat up the city?

    Depending on just how far north you live, the difference in time between blacktop being completely clear of snow now, vs. before
    widespread plowing might be as little as a day or two, to several months.

    Even if it is only a few days, to a few months out of the year, don’t you believe that the increased plowing in recent decades will
    have warmed up even small cities?

  125. Jeff Norman
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 1:08 PM | Permalink

    Re: #73 UC,

    I was somewhat skeptical that the NOAA dot closest to Toronto showed January 2007 was between 3 and 4°C warmer than the 1961 to 1990 average, so I checked it out.

    The 1961 to 1990 average of Januarys was -6.8°C and January 2007 was -3.0°C, so I guess its true. January 2007 was something like the tenth warmest January in the record measured at Pearson. Mind you the standard deviation for this period was 2.8°C if January 2007 was unusually warm, then so were 1964, 1967, 1975, 1989 and 1990.

    It looks like February 2007 will be just as anomalous, only in the other direction, about the fourth coldest.

    This is of course raw Environment Canada weather data completely uncorrected for any sort of UHI effect.

    I like going to Google Earth to look at how the area has been developed over the last 30 years or so.

    Despite the more recent massive development, the average January temperature 1939 to 2007 is actually higher than the average temperature 1976 to 2005.

  126. TAC
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 1:12 PM | Permalink

    #123, if water vapor were increasing, what would that imply about precipitation, cloudiness and streamflow?

    In particular, we have reliable records of streamflow in the U.S., and I think they show a slight increase in mean annual flow over the past century [Lins and Slack, GRL, 1999]; nothing dramatic, however.

  127. Bill F
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

    #109, The original question was about why the “hottest” temperature records were in dry places. I agree that when you start talking about “heat content” instead of raw temperature, the dry places are not very “hot”.

    #127, When looking at annual streamflow over a long period of time, it will be nearly impossible to disentangle what portion of any change in streamflow is from municipal and industrial wastewater discharge and irrigation runoff, what part is from increased or descreased groundwater seepage to surface water, and what part is from increased or decreased precipitation. Short term changes from year to year may be useful, but anything longer than 5-10 years on a major river basin is going to have a tremendous amount of anthropogenic change that will have to be weeded out in oder to see if precipitation had any effect.

  128. Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 1:30 PM | Permalink

    Paul 103:
    I think you are very correct in your assessment of the power of the IPCC juggernaut. I fear that the only thing that can spoil their parade is a distinct cooling trend – and soon.
    If Steve Sadlov’s concerns have any weight, they will be unstoppable… but a good few folk will get richer so why worry.
    Irony aside, it is actually very worrying. I would forgo my desire to see the demise of the gas guzzlers to see the alarmists proved wrong.

  129. TAC
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 1:50 PM | Permalink

    #128 I think Lins and Slack tried to employ only those basins (the HydroClimatic Data Network, or HCDN, sites) believed to be (largely) unaffected by within-basin human activity (i.e. flow regulation, diversions, treatment plants, etc.). I don’t know how well these basins actually represent natural conditions (or even if such a concept makes sense).

  130. jae
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 1:58 PM | Permalink

    123: Wow, that’s a long steady decline in specific humidity. I wonder what it means.

  131. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 2:05 PM | Permalink

    #126. Jeff, could you provide a URL for this data?

  132. Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 3:13 PM | Permalink

    Dear jae #131, the decline either means global drought in tropics [sic] or it means that the water greenhouse effect is weakening, canceling the CO2 contribution. Or it can mean other convenient things, too. 😉

  133. jae
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 3:15 PM | Permalink

    Interesting presentation on CO2 half-life in atmosphere here. It points out more flaws in IPCC’s “logic” on CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere.

  134. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 3:21 PM | Permalink

    Re #105 **The models indicate that water vapor in the upper atmosphere should increase by about 15% per degree K temperature rise. With global temperatures reportedly rising by 0.15K/decade the higher-humidity fingerprint of AGW should be visible, even with the detection and data-quality problems present.**
    That 15 percent is mainly based on the change in vapor pressure or the maximum amount of moisture the air could hold at about M50. The study you refer to is mainly modelling. The moisture would still have to get there in real life. They also assume that most of the heating is caused by CO2 and that this in turn causes the moisture to increase.

  135. Stan Palmer
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 3:39 PM | Permalink


    I am sensing that the AGW alarm is abateing somewhat. Newspapers are having a harder time finding dire predictions of doom. Perhaps teh URL above points to a new crisis which can take AGWs place

  136. David Smith
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 4:18 PM | Permalink

    RE #135 The 15%/K in the upper troposphere comes from slide 7 of this presentation by Issac Held . The 15%/K appears to be common to most models.

    I agree completely that the moisture has to get there in real life. From what I’ve read, the evidence that real-life is matching the models is not solid, at least not yet. To me this is a very important issue, but it is rather obscure at the moment.

  137. John A
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 5:09 PM | Permalink

    Re #136

    Maybe, but its going to be difficult to blame Big Oil for the asteroid’s trajectory.

  138. Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 5:26 PM | Permalink


  139. James Erlandson
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 5:43 PM | Permalink

    AAAS Board Statement on Climate Change (PDF)

    The scientific evidence is clear: global climate change caused by human activities is occurring now, and it is a threat to society. … The pace of change and the evidence of harm have increased markedly over the last five years. The time to control green house gas emissions is now.

    The average temperature of the earth is headed for levels not experienced for millions of years.

  140. Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 6:14 PM | Permalink

    Does anyone have a good, simple analogy for the situation relating to the refusal of Mann and Jones to release their data (and the consequences of such research being relied upon) for use in discussions for those not posessing the scientific background or the history of the events?

  141. David Smith
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 6:21 PM | Permalink

    Interesting op-ed

  142. Follow the Money
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 8:11 PM | Permalink

    James, E., #98, from your post,

    “On the AAAS meeting, Wired News reported:

    Much of the research presented will look at the effects of global warming on glaciers, Antarctica and the ocean. In one speech, a Carnegie Mellon University professor who studies decision-making and public policy is expected to talk about how science can “induce urgent action” regarding climate change.”

    So an AAAS speaker not only suggests inducing action, but inducing “urgent” action.

    “Urgent”, “tipping point,” etc. are all public relations talking points responding to a political calculation that carbon trading “cap and trade” can only be enacted in the USA Congress by stampede, eschewing debate and careful analysis.

  143. Stan Palmer
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 8:38 PM | Permalink

    re 138

    The chances of the asteroid hitting the Earth and causing a massive disaster have been calculated at 1
    in 45,000. The AAAS says that the temerature is heading for levels not seen in millions of years but fails to give any qualifications on that estimate. What are the odds that the increase in temperature will cause a disater on the scale of an asteroid impact?

  144. JeffB
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 9:31 PM | Permalink

    Lobus and others thanks for the response regarding humidity and heat. I figured that was what was going on.

    Now, being the rank amature that I am, I have another question. (you guys all being model oriented, I know you’ll have the answer on this one).

    I was just reading this big long article on the evolution of the GCMs and ocean coupled models, and basically somewhere around the late 80s, the question changed from modeling climate to answering the question of “how does CO2 affect climate”. It’s always been on my mind:

    Has anyone ever modeled the effect of Climate on CO2 levels? I’ve googled it and found nothing! It would seem based on ice-core data, as well as a SST study I read that it is possible that CO2 concentrations lag behind temperature changes. Hence, it should be plausible to model the concentration of CO2 in relation to natural forcings, and test to see if the model would predict todays CO2 levels based on natural forcings plus anthropogenic additions. In otherwords, I’m curious what would happen if we turned the equation around. As opposed to asking “how does CO2 affect climate”, … “how does changes in temperature in the context of industrialized release of CO2 affect overall atmospheric CO2 concentration.

    Is that about as clear as mud?


  145. James Erlandson
    Posted Feb 19, 2007 at 10:36 PM | Permalink

    RSeek.org — Search for help on topics in R.
    From Simon Jackman.

  146. David Smith
    Posted Feb 20, 2007 at 5:56 AM | Permalink

    Eat more chicken ( link )

    18% of AGW? Wow.

  147. MarkW
    Posted Feb 20, 2007 at 6:04 AM | Permalink


    Inducing a panic amongst politicians was the only way the activists were able to get the CFC bans enacted.
    It worked once, why wouldn’t they assume that it will work again?

  148. MarkW
    Posted Feb 20, 2007 at 6:42 AM | Permalink

    I don’t know if the economic problems with the IPCC models has been discussed here.
    Suffice it to say that the CO2 growth rates predicted by the lowest of the three IPCC economic models is on the order of twice what
    is likely to occur.

    There is another aspect of future CO2 growth that I have not seen any discussion of. That is, population growth.

    Even the UN is, last I saw, predicting that the world’s population will peak out around 2030, and then start falling.
    But the UN model contains a number of unsupportable assumptions. (Where have I heard that complaint before???)
    The first is that every country whose fertility rates are below replacement levels will quickly climb back up to replacement levels.
    The second is that every country whose fertility rates are currently falling, will have those rates stop falling and stabilize
    at replacement level.

    So far, there has not been a single country which has done either of these assumptions, depsite decades of watching.
    Countries with below replacement level fertility have stayed there, or even dropped further. Countries just above replacement have
    fallen through that level, and kept falling.

    Two countries, Japan and Russia, started seeing their populations fall in recent years. For many other countries, the only
    reason why their populations aren’t falling, is immigration. (Europe, Canada, and borderline – the US)

    Countries that 20 years ago had fertility rates of 7 or 8 babies per woman, are now seeing rates of closer to 3. Most of central
    and South America.

    Africa is seeing population crashes due to the aids epidemic.

    My personal best guess is that the world’s population will peak in the next 5 to 10 years, at the most. It could have already
    peaked. Additionally the rate of decline will be faster than the rate of climb for a generation or two after the peak.

    Falling populations use less energy.

  149. MarkW
    Posted Feb 20, 2007 at 7:01 AM | Permalink


    I think a more urgent question would be.

    Why do the asteroids hate us so much?

  150. Jeff Norman
    Posted Feb 20, 2007 at 7:47 AM | Permalink

    Re: #132, Steve,

    The link I use is the Environment Canada Climate data page at:


    Unfortunately the data is available as either:
    – hourly data for each day
    – daily data for each month
    – monthly data for each year

    To get the daily data for the whole period was a labourious pain but I have it now in a single spreadsheat. I would share it with you but you would only use it to further your skepticism about… er wait a minute.

    It is annoying that the daily data for Pearson starts in 1938 missing the worst heat wave in the history of the city and region by a couple of years, 40.6°C in 1936.

    Is it worth pointing out again that most of the Canadian weather stations were shut down in 1990?

  151. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 20, 2007 at 8:01 AM | Permalink

    Toronto is above freezing today for the first time in a month. Must be global warming.

  152. welikerocks
    Posted Feb 20, 2007 at 10:05 AM | Permalink

    SteveM, I found a new paper/presentation from the American Institute of Physics on the Hockey Stick :

    Session V7: Current Issues in Climate Change
    11:15 AM’€”1:39 PM, Thursday, March 8, 2007
    Colorado Convention Center – Korbel 4A-4B

    Sponsoring Unit: FPS
    Chair: Barbara Levi, Physics Today, American Institute of Physics

    Abstract: V7.00002 : The uncertain hockey stick: a statistical perspective on the reconstruction of past temperatures
    11:51 AM’€”12:27 PM

    Preview Abstract

    Douglas Nychka
    (National Center for Atmos. Research)

    A reconstruction of past temperatures based on proxies is inherently a statistical process and a deliberate statistical model for the reconstruction can also provide companion measures of uncertainty. This view is often missed in the heat of debating the merits of different analyses and interpretations of paleoclimate data. Although statistical error is acknowledged to be just one component of the total uncertainty in a reconstruction, it can provide a valuable yardstick for comparing different reconstructions or drawing inferences about features. In this talk we suggest a framework where the reconstruction is expressed as a conditional distribution of the temperatures given the proxies. Random draws from this distribution provide an ensemble of reconstructions where the spread among ensemble members is a valid statistical measure of uncertainty. This approach is illustrated for Northern Hemisphere temperatures and the multi-proxy data used by Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1999). Here we explore the scope of the statistical assumptions needed to carry through a rigorous analysis and use Monte Carlo sampling to determine the uncertainty in maxima or other complicated statistics in the reconstructed series. The principles behind this simple example for the Northern Hemisphere can be extended to regional reconstructions, incorporation of additional types proxies and the use of statistics from numerical models.


  153. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 20, 2007 at 10:24 AM | Permalink

    #153. Nychka gave a presentation at the agu session on the nas report. Looks like the same pesentation.

  154. welikerocks
    Posted Feb 20, 2007 at 10:27 AM | Permalink

    #154 I should have known you were on top of these things. 🙂

  155. JerryB
    Posted Feb 20, 2007 at 11:30 AM | Permalink

    Re #151,


    If you link to ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ghcn/daily/all/40306158350.dly
    you will find daily Toronto (Lat 43.6700 Lon -79.4000) data (about 1.5 megabytes
    of it) from 1840 to 2005, including three days of 40.6 TMAX in July, 1936.

  156. Jeff Norman
    Posted Feb 20, 2007 at 12:06 PM | Permalink

    Re: #156,

    Thank you Jerry! Is that “Toronto” or “Pearson” or some combination of the two? From the GISS I have monthly data for the “Toronto” site from 1880 to 1990 and “Pearson” data from 1938 to 2006.

  157. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 20, 2007 at 12:09 PM | Permalink

    RE: #88 – Schmidt is a thin skinned loser. What a joke.

  158. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 20, 2007 at 12:15 PM | Permalink

    RE: #114 – And like a seesaw, when the East warms, the West will plunge back into the frigid zone. Expecting a border line low elevation snow event starting tomorrow here on W. Coast, upper 30s N latitude. If the synoptics stick the same way they did last year, also starting at about this time, we may well have Siberia Express in place until June. This year it’s the relatively dry version of Siberia Express, for all but the Pac NW.

  159. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 20, 2007 at 12:20 PM | Permalink

    RE: #121 – in many ways this reminds me of 1975 – 1976, right at the cusp of the positive PDO phase from 1976 – 1998, or 2003 or 2005 (history will tell). Perhaps when the PDO phase changes, there are wild swings in weather until the opposite phase settles in. Sort of like ringing on a logic circuit when it changes from 1 to 0 and back.

  160. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 20, 2007 at 12:24 PM | Permalink

    RE: #131 – How about this? Humanity tends to fix greater and greater amounts of water, via basic infrastructure, vis industrial processes and via agriculture. For every mole of H20 that out activities emit, above and beyond “nature,” we consume more than 1 mole.

    In the micro, consider the advent of percolation ponds in the Western US.

  161. Posted Feb 20, 2007 at 12:28 PM | Permalink

    #153, 154

    Are the slides available somewhere?

  162. JerryB
    Posted Feb 20, 2007 at 2:00 PM | Permalink

    Re #157,


    From the lat/lon, the altitude, and the start date of the
    data, I would guess Toronto,ON rather than Toronto Pears.

    The station numbers of the GHCN daily stations are different
    than those of the GHCN monthly stations.

  163. welikerocks
    Posted Feb 20, 2007 at 2:18 PM | Permalink

    #162 I have no idea. Sorry!

  164. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 20, 2007 at 3:07 PM | Permalink

    En queue at RC:

    Your Comment Preview:

    RE: #48 – The Dust Bowl years are extremely politically incorrect. They make the 90s look too good.
    by Steve Sadlov

  165. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Feb 20, 2007 at 4:02 PM | Permalink


    I saw a kid once refuse to share classroom toys with some other kids in kindergarten. The teacher took the toys away and made him stand in the corner the rest of recess.

    If you want a more mature example, show them, “Enron: the Smartest Guys in the Room.” From the employees who lost everything in their retirement plans to the people who suffered at the hands of Enron’s California trading schemes to all of the regulations the Enron scandal helped bring about, the effects of the deceit and games are obvious. Maybe the best part of the movie is when Jeff Skilling calls an analyst an “asshole” during a conference call in response to the analyst asking why Enron can’t produce a quarterly balance sheet like every other company. Very Mann and Jones-esque.

  166. Reid
    Posted Feb 20, 2007 at 4:29 PM | Permalink

    Re #166

    Enron was the worlds biggest corporate supporter of the Kyoto treaty. They spent many millions lobbying for cap and trade. This at the time made Enron a darling of the socially responsible investment crowd. The socially responsible investment crowd has “moved on” and Enron’s support of Kyoto is willfully forgotten.

  167. David Smith
    Posted Feb 20, 2007 at 5:27 PM | Permalink

    Arctic sea-ice paper and animation ( link )

  168. Bob Weber
    Posted Feb 20, 2007 at 6:44 PM | Permalink

    The University of Minnesota is thinking about giving Al Gore an honorary doctorate for his ‘work’ in climatology.
    The article is here http://www.mndaily.com/algore.htm


  169. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Feb 20, 2007 at 7:18 PM | Permalink

    Re #132 and #151 – to Steve M and Jeff N. On the left side of that site from EC is a link to a CD ROM. You can download the data up to 2002 for the sites listed.

  170. David Smith
    Posted Feb 20, 2007 at 7:23 PM | Permalink

    Dr. Rigor, lead author of Variations in Sea Ice paper is a sometimes co-author with P.D. Jones, so he is probably not of a skeptic mindset. Nevertheless, he notes a role for a natural oscillation (Arctic Oscillation, or “AO”) in the decrease in Arctic sea ice extent in recent decades. Not a complete explanation, but a role.

    From his writeup:

    This animation of the age of sea ice shows:

    1.) A large Beaufort Gyre which covers most of the Arctic Ocean during the 1980’s, and a transpolar drift stream shifted towards the Eurasian Arctic. Older, thicker sea ice (white ice) covers about 80% of the Arctic Ocean up to 1988. The date is shown in the upper left corner.

    2.) With the step to high-AO conditions in 1989, the Beaufort Gyre shrinks and is confined to the corner between Alaska and Canada. The Transpolar Drift Stream now sweeps across most of the Arctic Ocean, carrying most of the older, thicker sea ice out of the Arctic Ocean through Fram Strait (lower right). By 1990, only about 30% of the Arctic Ocean is covered by older thicker sea ice.

    3.) During the high-AO years that follow (1991 and on), this younger thinner sea ice is shown to recirculated back to the Alaskan coast where extensive open water has been observed during summer.

    The age of sea ice drifting towards the coast explains over 50% of the variance in summer sea ice extent (compared to less than 15% of the variance explained by the redistribution of sea ice, and advection of heat by summer winds).

    In my opinion, thin ice also means greater wintertime heat release from the underlying Arctic water, which affects the amount of frigid polar air formed during winter and available to blow into Siberia, Eurasia and North America in the late 1990s and 2000s.

    (My apology if this paper has been discussed before)

  171. John Lang
    Posted Feb 20, 2007 at 8:21 PM | Permalink

    David Smith, is the paper based on some model?

    Did they go out and measure the age of the sea ice? How do you measure the age of sea ice? Do you define the thickness of sea ice as its age?

    The paper’s conclusion is that the sea ice more than five years old has almost disappeared. Since they did not actually measure sea ice thickness nor its age, I would conclude this paper is just another thinly disguised attempt to say the poles are melting based on our simulation/model.

  172. John G. Bell
    Posted Feb 20, 2007 at 8:30 PM | Permalink

    It is being reported that that ESA-NASA Ulysses spacecraft detects a 7 to 8 percent difference in temperature of the poles of the Sun. That is huge! When calculating orbital forcing is this a factor that must be considered? I am talking about longer periods and Milanković cycles not short periods. If so it hasn’t been done yet.

  173. David Smith
    Posted Feb 20, 2007 at 9:08 PM | Permalink

    RE #172 John, the method consisted of following the trajectories of sea ice parcels over a number of years. If a parcel survived a year (defined as being in a 90% pack in September of a year) then had a year added to its recorded life. The trajectories were based on drifting buoys.

    The paper is arguing that wind patterns (AO), not necessarily warmer temperatures, are a main cause of the thinning (ever-younger) Arctic ice in recent decades. The older (presumably thicker) ice has been largely swept into the open Atlantic by winds and melted – it did not disappear due to higher temperatures, it disappeared due to winds. Rigor even speculates at one point about a recovery of Arctic ice.

    My personal conjecture is that the loss of Arctic ice is due to some combination of wind pattern (AO), enhanced thermohaline circulation (= more heat into the higher latitudes), PDO patterns and AGW. The first three are natural oscillations and, I suspect, bigger players than AGW in recent decades. I would not be surprised to see a stabilization (or even an increase) in sea ice extent in the next 10 years if the wind patterns and PDO shift.

  174. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Feb 21, 2007 at 9:34 AM | Permalink

    Re#174, of course, even if your personal conjecture is correct, one would expect to see claims by others that AO, ETC, and PDO are enhanced by AGW and that AGW is essentially the root cause.

  175. jae
    Posted Feb 21, 2007 at 10:35 AM | Permalink

    Page 7 of SPM says:

    “The average atmospheric water vapour content has increased since at least the 1980s over land and ocean as well as in the upper troposphere. The increase is broadly consistent with the extra water vapour that warmer air can hold. {3.4}”

    I know I’m nit-picking a little bit here, but this statement reveals a basic misunderstanding of physics and is a common misconception. Air does not “hold” water. The amount of water in air is determined by the vapor pressure of the water being evaporated into the air, which is determined solely by the temperature of the WATER that is being evaporated. Air temperature has nothing to do with it, other than indirectly, by possibly gradually warming the water. Thus, the air over an ocean with surface temperature of 10 C will have a maximum of 9.4 grams of water/m-3 of air, no matter what the temperature of the air is. Air over an ocean with a surface temperature of 20 C will have a maximum of 17.3 grams/m-3. Air over ice at -10 C has 2.36 grams/m-3. You can increase the air temperature to 100 C over ice at -10 C and the air will still have a maximum of only 2.36 grams/m-3 water vapor–any water in excess of this will fall out (until the hot air begins heating the ice). This is what partial pressures are all about.

    When moist air rises, it cools. When the water vapor pressure exceeds the vapor pressure supported by the ambient temperature, condensation occurs. It doesn’t occur because the air can’t “hold” the water anymore.

    It is true that warmer air usually has more water, but that is because it is usually over warmer water. But if a hurricane forms over warm water and then proceeds over cooler water or land, the amount of water in the air rapidly decreases and the hurricane rapidly loses strength

  176. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Feb 21, 2007 at 10:52 AM | Permalink

    Re #176 – Page 7 of SPM says:
    “The average atmospheric water vapour content has increased since at least the 1980s over land and ocean as well as in the upper troposphere. The increase is broadly consistent with the extra water vapour that warmer air can hold. {3.4}”

    With respect to the chart that Dave Smith referenced in #123 above, how do these two views relate? In SPM they indicate that the moisture has increased in the “upper troposphere” while the chart referenced by Dave shows a decrease in the mid to upper troposphere.
    Are there any papers in the references that they used? Looks like I have to check the JunkScience site. Unless I can find a “peer-reviewed” paper, I will assume that they have used “modelling”.

  177. paul m
    Posted Feb 21, 2007 at 11:18 AM | Permalink

    Global Cooling

    Here’s some fun for the CA crew. As Neils Bohr said, ” prediction, especially about the future, is very difficult”. It would have been good to see at least one of the current alarmist mob here.



  178. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Feb 21, 2007 at 11:31 AM | Permalink

    re: #176

    You can increase the air temperature to 100 C over ice at -10 C and the air will still have a maximum of only 2.36 grams/m-3 water vapor’€”any water in excess of this will fall out

    This last is clearly not true. Except in the sense that at equilibrium it would be true. But clearly you can’t have equilibrium of 100 deg C with -10 deg C ice.

    In fact, you can have warm moist air; say a mass of warm air from the Gulf moving up the Mississippi valley in the spring. What will happen is that the lower portions of the mass will mix with the cold air directly in contact with the ground creating ground fog. This will melt ice in turn, quickly warming the ground or creating thermals as it mixes higher; water vapor being less dense than either O2 or N2 [M.W.s of 18 vs 32 or 28]Eventually the air will cool and the ground warm and any excess H2O vapor will indeed condense and fall. But you’re not going to have 100 deg C air or even 60 deg F air when it happens.

  179. jae
    Posted Feb 21, 2007 at 11:55 AM | Permalink

    179. Of course, I’m speaking about equilibrium conditions.

  180. Posted Feb 21, 2007 at 12:18 PM | Permalink

    Last week several mountain passes between central Chile and Argentina were closed by an unseasonal cold front that brought low-elevation snow to the region in the middle of the SH summer: image. The foothills of the Andes were covered by snow up to 31-32 degrees of latitude (the same as San Diego – CA, for comparison sake).

    Just weather, of course. But a spokesman of the Chilean meteorological service didn’t miss the chance to suggest that, according to the IPCC conclusions, more of these “extreme climatic events” were expected for the future… as John A. magnificently pointed out to the RC Grand Inquisitor, their theories are just impossible to falsify.

    In the meantime, we have crossed the 14 mill. km2 border of Arctic sea-ice extent. This hadn’t happened either in 2006 or 2005. With the Sea of Okhotsk rapidly closing and the ice pack expanding in Northern Canada, the Baltic and Barents, we might get back to a positive NH sea-ice ice anomaly soon.

  181. David Smith
    Posted Feb 21, 2007 at 1:52 PM | Permalink

    RE #175 I agree.

    Re #177: The SPM wording is clever. The “average” atmospheric water vapor content has indeed increased, but that is driven by a nearly-meaningless increase in water vapor near the surface (mixed layer). An increase in water vapor near the surface plays only a minor role in the water vapor feedback hypothesis – it is the increase in humidity in the middle and upper levels that counts, according to the models. Also, increased moisture in the mixed layer as a result of warmer SST is pretty much classical meteorology.

    Note that the SPM says nothing about the middle troposphere, because (as best as I can tell) there’s no clear evidence that water vapor has increased in the middle troposphere.

    The SPM mentions evidence of an increase in the upper troposphere, but it does not address whether that evidence is at the key atmospheric levels and geographical locations.

    As best as I can tell, the evidence is sketchy that the atmosphere (above the mixed layer) is behaving according to the predictions of the models. Since the more-extreme global warming scenarios depend on wtaer-vapor feedback, this is an important gap.

  182. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Feb 21, 2007 at 2:03 PM | Permalink

    Re #177 – You can read the section on upper trpopspheric water vapor in section 3 page 33 on the JunkScience site. To summarize what they said: They have not been able to accurately measure the relative humidity using the infrared sounder from Meteosat, so they tried something else. They say that the observed warming of the troposphere implies that the specific humidity in the upper troposphere should have increased. Continuing: as the upper troposphere moistens the emission level for T12 increases due to the increasing opacity of water vapor along the satellite line of sight. The emission level for the MSU T2 remains constant because of its dependence on the concentration of oxygen that does not vary by any appreciable amount. So, if the atmosphere moistens, the brightness temperature difference T2-T12 will increase over time due to the divergence of their emission levels. So they indicate that this radiative signature of upper tropospheric moistening is evident in the positive trends of T2-T12 for the period 1982-2004.
    They end by: To summarize, the available data do not indicate a detectable trend in upper-tropospheric relative humidity. However, there is now evidence for global increases in upper-tropospheric specifc humidity over the past two decades, which is consistent with the observed increases in tropospheric temperatures and the absence of any change in relative humidity.

  183. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 21, 2007 at 2:40 PM | Permalink

    RE: #181 – AM sinusoidal signal superimposed on a longer wavelength sinusoidal bias level? (Sorry, the signal analyst in me …. LOL ….)

  184. David Smith
    Posted Feb 21, 2007 at 2:55 PM | Permalink

    With regards to atmospheric water vapor, check slide #25 on this presentation . It shows the relative importance of increased water vapor to AGW at different heights of the troposphere and different latitudes, per the models.

    The key regions are the 250 to 700 mb levels in the tropics. (My suspicion is that, within the tropics, water vapor changes in the subsiding regions (like the Eastern Pacific) are more important than changes in the Warm Pool region, so “tropics” is probably too broad of a characterization.)

    If water vapor is not increasing there, then the water vapor feedback hypothesis takes a hit.

  185. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 21, 2007 at 4:09 PM | Permalink

    Can’t connect with the CSU server hosting Climate Science. Not to go for conspiracy theories, but I can’t imagine anyone thinking of trying to interfere with, hack or take down that site /sarc

    My finding has been that radicals are really into cyberwar.

  186. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 21, 2007 at 4:13 PM | Permalink

    RE: #165 – Hook, line and sinker, caught me a real lunker …. 🙂

    RE: #48 – The Dust Bowl years are extremely politically incorrect. They make the 90s look too good.

    [Response: Not at all. Take a look at the midwest regional climate report from Union of Concerned Scientists. We already have hit as many or more days per year of extreme heat (>97F) than there were here in the Dustbowl. Then take a look at where we’re heading in a hundred years. In fact, the Dustbowl makes the future look really, really scary. –raypierre]

  187. Bill F
    Posted Feb 21, 2007 at 5:19 PM | Permalink

    That would be a wonderfully meaningful response if temperatures over 97F were what was required to creat Dustbowl conditions. However, a prolonged lack of precipitation is more important in creating dustbowl-ish conditions, and as of yet, the “extreme heat” cited has not coincided with a corresponding lack of rain. Also, humans have …wait for it…ADAPTED!…to the conditions of drought by irrigating their crops (don’t get me started on the sustainability of the Ogallala Aquifer). It is amazing how a change in natural climate brought about changes in the way humans did things. Seeing what has happened since the 1930s might make people think humans were capable of using technology to adapt to the changes going on around them. But since we all know that government programs are the only way humans are able to change anything, clearly the increase in irrigation that has occurred since the dustbowl years is just a random coincidence with no demonstrated causal mechanism.

  188. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Feb 21, 2007 at 5:42 PM | Permalink

    [Response: Not at all. Take a look at the midwest regional climate report from Union of Concerned Scientists. We already have hit as many or more days per year of extreme heat (>97F) than there were here in the Dustbowl. Then take a look at where we’re heading in a hundred years. In fact, the Dustbowl makes the future look really, really scary. ‘€”raypierre]

    That is just one more reason why participation at RC can be a real waste of time.

    I can recall my father reminding me of recent dry spells we had had in the midwest and how well the corn and soybeans performed (almost always above expert expectations) because of the breeding that was done to allow them to adapt to those conditions. Before those genetic changes occurred we would have had disaster crop yields in any low moisture season never mind the conditions of the Dust Bowl.

    We do not know climate-wise what is in store for us in a hundred years, but if man is allowed to adapt (and based on the past record of his capabilities in this regard) why should that make for a scary future must less a really, really scary one.

  189. Jean S
    Posted Feb 21, 2007 at 6:10 PM | Permalink

    Sleezy attack on Steve and others in Montreal’s La Presse:


    via the-Aussie-mentioned-in-the-text.

  190. jae
    Posted Feb 21, 2007 at 6:55 PM | Permalink

    191. My French is not very good, anymore. Is there an English translation somewhere?

  191. bender
    Posted Feb 21, 2007 at 7:06 PM | Permalink

    What follows is the (imperfect) translation by Alta Vista Babel Fish.

    “Eco-skeptics” with the attack of the Web

    Nicolas Ritoux

    The Press

    Special collaboration

    It is still skeptics to doubt the human responsibility in the climatic reheating. The Web is a fertile compost for these “éco-skeptics” who take by storm blogists and forums of discussion to express their “dissension”. They are well organized and often use the same arguments. And they are not obstructed to exploit the least scientific nuance.

    The reheating of planet became one of these subjects of interminable discord, whose only Internet has the secrecy. The Net surfer who wants to express his concern on the Web will be highly likely to be taken with part by “éco-skeptics” such motivated. Curiously, the phenomenon has existence only in our anglophone neighbors.

    The bloguor montréalais Hugh Mcguire learned with its costs after having criticized on line the chronicler Rex Murphy, of the daily newspaper The Globe and Mail, which called in question the human responsibility in the climatic reheating.

    “At once, I received the comments of two people who had obviously never gone on my blogist before”, it tells.

    “In short, they wrote that the scientific community was not unanimous on the subject. They compared the majority in favour of the thesis of the reheating to the obscurantism of the Church with the time of Copernic and Galileo.”

    It is there that Hugh McGuire made the fatal error: it answered them with other arguments. Its interlocutors took again the debate of more beautiful. In front of the avalanche of comments, it gave up the combat by leaving the word of the end to the éco-skeptics.

    One finds in the blogists and forums of the Web much of Net surfers skeptics towards the conclusions of the GIEC (intergovernmental Group of experts of the evolution of the climate), even if his 500 international delegates reaffirmed, in their last report/ratio at the beginning of the month, the responsibility for the human activity in the increase in the effect of greenhouse.

    Spirits of contrariety

    The examples of the climatic reheating do not miss. In Quebec, all remember the crisis of the glaze, in 1998. The same year, in California, the weather played a nasty trick with the orange producers.
    Photo AP

    In their own blogists as in the comments which they publish on those of the others, they often qualify alarmists the conclusions of the GIEC and associate them the ecological militancy, or the “gauchism” and governmental interventionism. The protocol of Kyoto, as for him, is often presented like an unrealizable objective as well as a threat at freedom to undertake.

    In their interventions, these connected éco-skeptics often refer to publications of organizations such as American Enterprise Institute or Cato Institute, of the preserving special interest groups in the United States. The institute Fraser, a ‘ think tank ‘ of Vancouver, also is very quoted in English Canada.

    Their opponents, on their side, call in question the good faith of the scientists who work for these organizations.

    “They are authors who publish articles with scientific savour, but which are in fact marginalized of the scientific community, and did not pass by the normal process of evaluation by the pars”, judges Sebastian Weissenberger, professor in sciences of the environment at the Tele-University of the UQAM.

    “It is not science, but of activism, it continues. Moreover, the majority of the scientists whom they put of before are specialized in management or economy. Some are in pure sciences, but their bibliography relates to other specialities that climate.”

    “They always use same the three or four arguments, as what the role of the sun is underestimated, or which the temperatures do not increase as much as that. They exploit also the fact that the scientists speak in levels about gray. They conclude from it that we are not sure nothing whereas actually, it is normal for a scientist to express nuances.”

    In spite of these nuances, the reheating of planet and its human causes achieve undoubtedly the unanimity, according to Claude Hillaire-Marcel, paleoclimatologist with the UQAM and prize winner of the Marie-Victorin price of the government of Quebec.

    “There cannot be some discussion about returning back to backs holding them of a theory vis-a-vis with those of another, says it. It is the task which doubtful lobbies set, born from the policy of the Bush administration and encouraged recently in Canada by our Prime Minister.”

    According to Mr. Hillaire-Marcel, it is “completely unrealistic and irresponsible” for a scientist to be opposed to the conclusions of the report of the GIEC, because that lets think that there is a dissension where there is not.

    However, according to a survey of the McAllister firm published last summer, 55 % of the Canadians think that the scientists do not agree all on the existence of the climatic reheating.

    One can it believe when one sees the many Canadian éco-skeptics comments who flood the blogist Desmogblog.com held by journalists specialized in environment, and which regularly criticizes the organizations opposed to the conclusions of the GIEC.

    “These people are unceasingly in our blogist, sighs James Hoggan, creator of the site and president of an important cabinet of public relations in Vancouver. If one writes for example a text on the pollution caused by the power stations with coal, of the heaps of comments skeptics appear at once, which seek to minimize the impact of this pollution.”

    “One sees each time the same chain of comments being formed, where each one approves the other in turn, by using the same arguments constantly, for example: if one cannot predict time that it will make tomorrow, how can one predict that which it will do in 10 years?”

    Double indentity?

    Some go as far as showing the éco-skeptics to use false identities in the blogists in order to give multiple voices to their opinion, by approving themselves.

    The Australian bloguor Tim Lambert (http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid) known as thus to have discovered on his site two commentators who were only one and even nobody, the Toronto-native bloguor Stephen McIntyre (www.climateaudit.org), tallies of mining industry to the retirement. The persons in charge for the site environmentalist RealClimate.org received many comments skeptics coming from same address Internet – that of the American Senate.

  192. Bob Weber
    Posted Feb 21, 2007 at 7:22 PM | Permalink

    I see that Al Gore is speaking at the Univ of Toronto tonight and the $20 tickets are being scalped for up to $200. The Canadians are treating him like a rock star. How about a critique of his speech Steve.


  193. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Feb 21, 2007 at 8:34 PM | Permalink

    I do not think that article in La Presse really deserves a response.

  194. bender
    Posted Feb 21, 2007 at 8:45 PM | Permalink

    Although Francois Ouellette’s response might be worthwhile.

  195. David Smith
    Posted Feb 21, 2007 at 8:50 PM | Permalink

    Discussion of new paper ( link ) .

  196. Francois Ouellette
    Posted Feb 21, 2007 at 8:54 PM | Permalink

    #193 Bender,

    Please next time you need a translation from French, just ask me!

    Being a Montrealer, I get La Presse every morning. Actually, I had a letter published on their web site just last week (also appeared in Le Devoir!). I have seen that article and I’ve been thinking about sending some kind of rebuttal, but then I would need just as much space.

  197. jae
    Posted Feb 21, 2007 at 9:07 PM | Permalink

    Pardon my French, but the &^%#*&@ editor of this article is completely illiterate when it comes to science. Typical news media coverage by the liberal press. What is really weird is that, all of a sudden, the Libs are postulating a conspiracy. LOL, LOL. I thought only conservatives believed in that. Hopefully, they are getting on the defensive. That is a win for us “skeptical bastards.”

  198. Ron Braud
    Posted Feb 21, 2007 at 10:07 PM | Permalink

    RE: 197

    If you are interested in this area of study, you might be interested in this link


    or do a search with the text “CERN Cloud” (if my link fails) for info on further research being proposed at the CERN laboratories.

  199. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 21, 2007 at 10:44 PM | Permalink

    #194. I didn’t go to see Al Gore today; I went to hear a presentation by Ross McKitrick. I reviewed Al Gore’s speech to AGU in San Francisco here.

  200. bender
    Posted Feb 21, 2007 at 11:06 PM | Permalink

    Re #198
    Maybe post your rebuttal here. I’m curious about things like publically owned hydroelectric installations and mass media in that part of the world.

  201. Reid
    Posted Feb 22, 2007 at 6:49 AM | Permalink

    The San Diego Union-Tribune will no longer report skeptical opinions on climate change. The science is settled they claim.


  202. John A
    Posted Feb 22, 2007 at 7:16 AM | Permalink

    Re #203

    The link is http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/op-ed/goodhue/20070219-9999-mz1e19goodhu.html

  203. Francois Ouellette
    Posted Feb 22, 2007 at 8:19 AM | Permalink

    #198 Forgot to post the link to my letter…

    The local media here in Quebec mostly stick to the “orthodox” position on AGW. It’s a hot issue here, and now that we have an election race (provincial), polls say that the environment comes second as an issue. But then, nobody really knows anything about AGW, so it’s more like a religious belief. Having no oil, we can afford to blast the Albertans on such righteous moral grounds. Small relief, since they’re now so much richer than us…

    My own position is to try to bring some sanity to the scientific debate. Organized skepticism is one of the “Mertonian” norms of science, but this seems to have been forgotten. Any time this has happened in the past history of science, nothing good has ensued. Arguing for your theory with all sorts of rhetorical arguments is normal and necessary for any scientist. But here, activists (some of them scientists) are using the same techniques with the public, who doesn’t know the subtleties of scientific debates. There’s a lot of confusion about the meanings of consensus, scientific truth, etc. Most scientists, not being too knowledgeable about those issues either, are themselves trapped in the debate, forced to take sides. It’s a very complex issue, very representative of what science has become.

  204. Jeff Norman
    Posted Feb 22, 2007 at 8:56 AM | Permalink


    Thanks. I’ve started playing with the data.


    I know but it has never worked for me.

  205. jae
    Posted Feb 22, 2007 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

    205, Francois: would you please provide an English translation?

  206. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 22, 2007 at 12:20 PM | Permalink

    Deja vu of last year at this time….. this is relavant to W. Coast of North America, upper 30s N lat.




    …. NWS also prog 500MB temps to get down into the -30 to -40 deg C range tonight. The Express is back.

  207. jae
    Posted Feb 22, 2007 at 12:24 PM | Permalink

    208: We got 4-5 inches of snow in So. Oregon at 1200 ft. elev. last night, which is very rare here.

  208. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Feb 22, 2007 at 1:29 PM | Permalink

    Re #205 – Good article Francois. Amazing that they printed it. I cannot get a few sentences printed. In today’s Winnipeg Sun Tom Brodbeck questioned Jason Curan, one of David Suzuki’s media members as to why they need a 30plus passenger diesel guzzler to carry 7 or 8 people around the country. They claim the bus is “carbon neutral” because they keep track of all the greenhouse gases they emit, put a dollar value on it, and invest in a corresponding amount of “clean power” – like windmills in developing countries. They call it carbon credits. Oh, yes, using biodiesel will violate the warranty. So send in your donations folks.

  209. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Feb 22, 2007 at 1:39 PM | Permalink

    Re: #185

    Slide 35 from the linked presentation is also interesting. The conclusion of the presentation is that:

    => unlikely that one can have both
    more storms
    more intense storms

    Comments from the TC research community would be greatly appreciated.

  210. Francois Ouellette
    Posted Feb 22, 2007 at 2:38 PM | Permalink

    #207 here it is (sorry it’s rather long, but you asked for it!)

    In Defense of Skepticism

    Last week was unveiled with great fanfare the summary of the fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Most journalists hurried to the conclusion that “the scientific debate is now closed”, and that this report would definitely silence the “denialists”. The scientists, we were told, are now unanimous, and science has spoken!

    I was personally surprised to hear the word “denialist”. Words are not innocent. This one in particular can’t help but evoke those who deny the Holocaust, a not too flattering association! Indeed, some have openly called for the denialists to be put on trial for crimes against humanity. In Oregon and Delaware, the state climatologists George Taylor and David Legates are threatened to be fired by their State governor for having openly expressed their skepticism towards the “consensus” on climate change. The Weather Channel’s in-house climatologist, Heidi Cullen, called on her blog for revoking the American Meteorological Society’s “Seal of approval” from meteorologists who don’t believe in climate change, which would take away their right to present weather forecasts in the media. As can be seen: the witch hunt is open!

    I say it outright: I am a skeptic! Does that make me a “denialist”? Should I resign myself to be seen by my fellow citizens as a dangerous eccentric? Should I be locked up, gagged, forced to close ranks?

    But where did I get that dangerous skepticism? Maybe from those long years of study that led me to a Ph.D. in physics? Maybe, also, from all those years practicing my science, making some modest discoveries, and observing my colleagues, that bizarre race which we call “the scientists”.

    But what’s happening to them? I was taught that skepticism is one of the foremost virtues of a scientist. That one should always leave room for doubt, because the most solid theories can sometimes collapse. Of course, radical skepticism leads you nowhere. But doesn’t blind faith give the same result?

    I’m tempted to say: beware the scientists! Under a veneer of rational, objective and disinterested people hide passionate advocates, always convinced to be right, experts in rhetorical matches. Discrediting rival theories, questioning their competitor’s results, casting doubt, if required, on their scientific integrity, those are the tricks they use to advance their own pet theories. Science, which is too often portrayed as a triumphant March Towards Truth, is in reality a story of debate, dispute, controversies, if not outright battles punctuated by epic shouting matches. Should the scientists suddenly seem unanimous, they just as quickly abandon their darling theory, and adopt a new one, which they were deriding yesterday. Scientists are the most unfaithful beings on Earth, they love their mistress today, only to flee with a new one tomorrow. And so it should be!

    That’s the science I like! The one that always makes room, even if tiny, for the provocative point of view. The one always willing to question itself. That’s the attitude that makes its strength. What would have happened if Galileo had just surrendered to the consensus stating that the Earth was the center of the Universe? An easy example, you say? Well there are so many more, much closer to us. What to think of Robin Warren and Barry Marshall, Nobel prize of medicine in 2005? Their work showing that gastric ulcers were caused by a bacteria went against the firmly established consensus that stress and lifestyle were the main cause. Nasty skeptics, who should have just shut up? Or Lynn Margulis, who fought for a long time to get her theory on the origin of eukariotic cells accepted. Now it’s in every biology textbooks, and she was awarded the American National Medal of Science in 1999. Should she have abandoned and conformed to the majority? Still today, she is a ferocious critique of neo-Darwinism, and even calls into question the role of HIV in AIDS, along with Peter Duesberg, another “skeptic”. Should we silence them? But what if they’re right?

    You’ll ask me: don’t you believe in the “reality” of climate change? I’ll answer that as a scientist, I don’t believe in anything! I listen, I observe. Should I be presented with a sledgehammer argument, I’ll look for a flaw. Faced with undisputable results, I’ll scrutinize them. Keep repeating that thousands of other scientists agree, I’ll reply, along with Einstein: yes, but only one is needed to prove them all wrong!

    And to all those who will say: well there must be a scientific “Truth”? Well, no, sorry! For Truth, you’ll have to go somewhere else, to the priests, the judges, the politicians, maybe? They’re all very strong on truth. My science, She only hunts down falsehoods, wherever they are.

    So I want nothing to do with that circus, with the Al Gore’s and Steven Guilbault’s* of this world, for whom the “scientific truth” is a 3-D animation of a collapsing glacier, or a picture of a polar bear on a floating iceberg. Let the politicians politicize. Reduce greenhouse gases if you wish: sometimes when in doubt, caution is required. But for heaven’s sake, do not silence the skeptics!

    (*Note: Steven Guilbault is the local GreenPeace representative, whom we hear in the media every second day)

  211. L Nettles
    Posted Feb 22, 2007 at 2:53 PM | Permalink

    The more I read about AGW, consensus, ecomagination and the IPCC the more my mind drifts towards tulips and Charles McKay.

  212. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Feb 22, 2007 at 3:35 PM | Permalink

    Would you please put the image button back in the quicktags. Thanks.

  213. jae
    Posted Feb 22, 2007 at 3:40 PM | Permalink

    212, Francois: Thank you. Excellent and powerful explanation of what science is all about.

  214. Jonathan Schafer
    Posted Feb 22, 2007 at 4:37 PM | Permalink

    Today’s GW disaster headlines…

    Running out of water

    Apparently, no more watering or even having to limit flushing the toilet. Heaven forbid we actually develop technology to deal with the problem, assuming it’s even true.

    This one is even funnier, in an add sense…

    GW sparks rise in fevers in children

    The two-year study at a major children’s hospital showed that for every five-degree rise in temperature two more children under six years old were admitted with fever to that hospital.

    Hmmm, and where has global temperature risen by 5 degrees or more anywhere. I’m guessing nowhere, but I’m sure I will be told I’m wrong by AGW proponents.

    Sounds more like “weather” to me. Gee, it gots hotter today than yesterday, fevers go up. Must be global warming.

  215. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 22, 2007 at 5:21 PM | Permalink

    It’s only weather …. 😉

    Deja vu all over again, just like 365 days ago:


    One thing’s for sure, as noted by David Smith, El Nino has completely fizzled. Here on the W. Coast, we never felt any effects from it, the heat all went elsewhere. Now, we’re firmly into a neutral to La Nina mode (or, has PDO flipped for real?)

  216. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 22, 2007 at 5:27 PM | Permalink

    Climate Science blog is still not responding. I hope that it is not being cyberattacked and damaged. There is some really outstanding material there. If there is something mallicious afoot, for shame. I would not be surprised to tell you the truth. It’s the same mentality that says, fire those accused of “scepticism” from state governments, and pull AMS certs, etc. How far will they go?

  217. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 22, 2007 at 6:11 PM | Permalink

    RE: #217 – We’ve had some impressive cold pool related events today. Good dusting of snow on nearly every mountain range visible to me. Reports of small hail and sleet at ~ MSL along the shores of San Francisco Bay. Would also not be too surprised to hear about supercells and twisters before the day is out. Out here we can get tornadic activity during conditions far colder than would be the norm in the south and midwest.

  218. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 22, 2007 at 6:18 PM | Permalink

    Go to:


    And click on the recently added link for a paper on multiscale analysis. Shin et al have decomposed a long term temperature signal and have revealed what appear to be well defined frequency components. One of them has quite a long wavelength and appears poised to result in a big reversal in temperature. Of course, caveat emptor ….

  219. jae
    Posted Feb 22, 2007 at 6:19 PM | Permalink

    Out here we can get tornadic activity during conditions far colder than would be the norm in the south and midwest.


  220. David Smith
    Posted Feb 22, 2007 at 6:54 PM | Permalink

    RE #211 De Witt, I’ll take a guess at what he’s saying on slide 35.

    I think he’s making the point that a warmer atmosphere does not necessarily mean a more-energetic atmosphere. I don’t believe he’s specifically talking about tropical cyclones, though that would be a plausible extension of his point.

    Warm humid air in the tropics rises and cools; moisture condenses and forms a storm; rain falls from the storm; the dried air at the top of the storm flows away from the storm and cools radiatively; this cooled, dry air sinks; this sunk air flows back into the tropics across the seas and becomes humid; and the cycle continues.

    What he’s saying is that there’s no compelling reason to think that higher temperatures will necessarily speed up this Hadley/Walker cycle.

    If the cycle does not speed up, then there cannot be stronger and greater numbers of storms, because the cycle won’t support it. In a sense, more and stronger storms would “clog” the atmosphere with dry air that has not had the chance to radiatively cool.

    Anyway, this is my read of the Power Point, and I may be wrong: Power Point presentations are talking points, and offer few details that bind the points together.

  221. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 22, 2007 at 8:21 PM | Permalink

    RE: #221- I’m not sure. I’ve heard that our tornado producing storms are more affected by our varied topography and how it influences highly localized wind sheer. The type storm in this regard, apparently, was the one which produced the Los Altos – Sunnyvale tornados of 1998. Whereas ones in the midwest are pure play air mass conflict with macro wind sheer conditions. But anything more than that is way over my head.

  222. John Baltutis
    Posted Feb 22, 2007 at 8:39 PM | Permalink

    Re: #203 & 204

    Then, I surmise that the following response I sent to their letters editor WRT to original opinion piece won’t be published. Now, I don’t have to check the letters section over the next week, to see if they printed it.

    Dear Letters Editor:

    Re: “Fair Reporting on global warming,” by Carol Goodhue, Opinion, UT, Feb. 19, 2007, pg B7

    Carol Goodhue waxes eloquently about the spate of positive reporting about the “ninety percent conclusion in the IPCC’s Summary Report for Policymakers (SPM)” that globalwarming is caused by human activity and the paucity of complaints from disputers of this claim. Apparently, none of the so-called staff writers have performed any diligent research, for the Internet is replete with contrary opinions, the main one being that the SPM was written by “governmental policy wonks” and that the Working Group 1 report, due for release in May, and supposedly the basis for the SPM will be adjusted tomatch the SPM policy summary. Since the IPCC’s function since its inception was to “prove” mankind is responsible for global warming, even though there’s sufficient data to indicate warmer periods in the planet’s past, why am I not surprised with the SPM’s assertion, though it lacks any scientific basis.

    Science isn’t performed by vote or popularity. Past consensuses were that the earth is the center of the universe, the earth is flat, that bleeding cured diseases, and that continents didn’t drift (plate tectonics), all of which were falsified. Is the globe warming? Yes, coming out the past Little Ice Age, one expects warming. Is mankind responsible? Don’t know, too many variables and not enough is known about the chaotic climate. But, the IPCC says so! Only results from computer models, which don’t replicate observational data, indicate that. Since they’re nothing but enhanced weather predictiion models, which are uselessbeyond two orthree days and aren’t very accurate for that period, why would anyone concludeanything on their ability to forecast or predict anythng into the future100 years?

  223. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 23, 2007 at 12:56 PM | Permalink

    RE: #223 – Not 5 minutes after I wrote that, I saw a perfect wall cloud with a prominent lobate funnel cloud hanging from it. I think both the NWS and media missed it completely. Extenuating circumstances being lack of general awareness and recognition by 99% of the people in this area, difficult to see due to it being dusk and the rapidity with which the cell was moving. Checked in with someone in the path, who confirmed a microbursty severe thunderstorm – apparently the funnel never touched down, given no known damage.

  224. David Smith
    Posted Feb 23, 2007 at 1:31 PM | Permalink

    Re 3225 Steve S., I believe those are considered “cold-core funnel clouds”. A brief description is here and more info is available via Google.

    They are unlike their destructive Midwest cousins.

  225. jae
    Posted Feb 23, 2007 at 1:51 PM | Permalink

    Good article in junk science on the “children.”

  226. jae
    Posted Feb 23, 2007 at 2:21 PM | Permalink

    More evidence that the Sun is the primary driver of climate change.

  227. David Smith
    Posted Feb 23, 2007 at 4:15 PM | Permalink

    The Australian BOM has declared the 2006-2007 El Nino to be dead ( link ). So much for the 2006 Mother-of-All-El-Ninos feared by Dr. Hansen. Maybe next year.

    Or maybe not. The heat content of the upper levels of the tropical Pacific continues to be anomalously low. The current temperature anomaly profile (lower chart) is given here . Think of this as a subsurface slice across the Pacific Ocean near the Equator. That cool water is mixing upwards.

  228. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 23, 2007 at 4:50 PM | Permalink

    RE: #226- The ones down here in Cali are a bit more energetic than the ones further north … that said, you’re talking mostly F1 and F2 with the odd barely-F3 (for a few minutes, at the right place in the Sacramento Valley, when the phase of the moon is just right …. hahahaha!).

    Change of subject, RE: Climate Science, turns out they had power problems that took down their server for two days.

  229. John Baltutis
    Posted Feb 23, 2007 at 5:17 PM | Permalink

    Re: #224

    Of interest is this reply from Carol Goodhue WRT to #203 & 204:

    You’ll find several readers’ comments in my column on Monday. By the way, the column notes that the paper doesn’t have a policy on global warming coverage. My thought that it shouldn’t strive for an exact balance of opinions on this issue is personal opinion, not policy.

  230. Posted Feb 24, 2007 at 7:28 AM | Permalink

    If someone understands Czech, you may read


    my article about global warming in Lidovky, a major Czech newspaper, printed today.

  231. David Smith
    Posted Feb 24, 2007 at 9:57 AM | Permalink

    Steve S, a couple of ocean charts you might enjoy are below.

    These show temperature anomalies in the upper oceans, below the sea surface. Since much of this water eventually mixes/upwells to the surface, thay are something of an indicator of near-future SST. Not perfect, of course, but an indicator.

    The temperaure anomalies 150 metres below the surface are shown in this chart on the bottom . Blue is cool, orange is warm. Note the La Nina-like coolness lurking beneath the surface along the Pacific equator. Note also the lack of anomalous warmth in the Warm Pool region. And, the Indian Ocean appears to have a cold vs warm struggle underway beneath the surface.

    The tropical Atlantic is undistinctive, so there may not (yet) be much support for an anomalously-warm hurricane season. Of interest, too, is the warm region east of Japan. I am wondering if that is consistent with a negative-PDO phase, but I have not looked closely at that.

    The temperature anomalies 400 metres below the surface are shown in the chart on the bottom . I wish this showed more than the tropics. Note that the La Nina-like pattern has some support from this deeper level.

    I am intrigued by the lack of anomalous warmth at 400 metres in the Warm Pool and, of greater interest to me, is the very cool “dot” of cold water in the eastern Caribbean. I scanned the records for a number of years and found no other cold upwell like this in that location. This may be a data problem – we’ll see.

    But, if it is real, then there may be some cool water mixing with the Atlantic Warm Pool as we approach hurricane season.

    Bottom line – temperatures look rather tame for 2007. If the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool cools even a bit, combined with a La Nina, then 2007 could actually be cooler than the average of recent years. We’ll see!

  232. EW
    Posted Feb 24, 2007 at 1:09 PM | Permalink

    Lubos, I managed to get copies of various materials about solar hypotheses (possible cooling in the next 10-20 yrs) to some Czech decision-makers. As they aren’t totally Gored, maybe the CO2 sequestration nonsense will not be implemented and nuclear energy will be supported. Maybe there’s still hope to stop the nonsensical CO2 measures in favor of measures supporting energy sparing and diversification and climate resistence (whatever Mother Nature will throw at us…).

  233. brent
    Posted Feb 26, 2007 at 12:40 AM | Permalink

    The Problems in Modeling Nature, With Its Unruly Natural Tendencies

    Their book, “Useless Arithmetic: Why Environmental Scientists Can’t Predict the Future,” originated in a seminar Dr. Pilkey organized at Duke to look into the performance of mathematical models used in coastal geology

  234. brent
    Posted Feb 26, 2007 at 1:10 AM | Permalink

    Polls hide the truth about climate change
    Questions should ask what we’re prepared to give up
    Diane Francis, Financial Post
    Published: Friday, February 23, 2007

  235. Jos Verhulst
    Posted Feb 26, 2007 at 1:38 AM | Permalink

    An interesting note by Gerarl Stanhill on climate consensus vs global dimming & brightening has appeared in Eos:



    “The purpose of this article is to draw attention to the challenge that recently reported changes in solar radiation at the Earth’s surface (…) pose to the consensus explanation of climate change”

    “The omission of reference to changes in Eg in the IPCC assessments brings into question the confidence that can be placed in a topdown, ‘consensus’ science system that ignores such a major and significant element of climate change”

  236. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 26, 2007 at 8:58 AM | Permalink

    Maybe someone can help me with an R programming question. It looks to me like R should be able to directly read zip files. But I’ve never been able to figure out to do it. I just download, extract and then read from R. It’s no big deal but I would like to automate a little further.

  237. richardT
    Posted Feb 26, 2007 at 9:42 AM | Permalink

    Not tried it, but you should be able to call pkunzip with
    system("PKUNZIP [options] zipfile")
    Not sure if it would read from a remote site, and not system independent.

  238. Ron Cram
    Posted Feb 26, 2007 at 11:14 AM | Permalink

    If this has been noted here before and I missed it, my apologies. I just came across a new book by Orrin Pilkey and his daughter Linda Pilkey-Jarvis titled “Useless Arithmetic: Why Environmental Scientists Can’t Predict the Future.” They seem to know quite a bit about computer modeling. The story in the New York Times can be found here.

    Here is one quote I liked from the Times article:

    But, the authors say it is important to remember that model sensitivity assesses the parameter’s importance in the model, not necessarily in nature. If a model itself is “a poor representation of reality,” they write, “determining the sensitivity of an individual parameter in the model is a meaningless pursuit.”

    Has anyone told the IPCC?

  239. John A
    Posted Feb 26, 2007 at 11:20 AM | Permalink

    Ron, I mentioned this on my blog. They exclude climate models from their analysis, but even so, it seems to me that choosing the statistical method after you’ve seen the data and think you know what the answer is is a good way to delude yourself and everyone else.

  240. TAC
    Posted Feb 26, 2007 at 11:22 AM | Permalink

    Jos (#237), I was also intrigued by the piece and mentioned it (here). I am not sure what to make of it.

  241. jae
    Posted Feb 26, 2007 at 11:25 AM | Permalink

    237: Great find. It seems to me that the Team has great animosity for all things Solar, and this shows up in the IPCC reports. I’m glad they got called on it.

  242. David Smith
    Posted Feb 26, 2007 at 11:45 AM | Permalink

    The current Pacific El Nino Outlook has an interesting slide (#32). Per that slide,

    * it appears we are headed towards a La Nina (cool event). This favors hurricane formation in the Atlantic and suppresses hurricanes in the Eastern pacific.

    * note the small sea surface temperature forecast maps on the left side of slide #32. Check the one labeled August-September-October, the heart of Atlantic hurricane season. The maps forecast near-normal (not above-normal) tropical Atlantic SST in the development regions.

    So, those who believe in natural climate oscillations, like La Nina, should forecast above-average hurricane activity. Those who believe that global (SST) warming rules everything should expect a less-active season.

  243. Ron Cram
    Posted Feb 26, 2007 at 12:10 PM | Permalink

    re: 241

    Have you read the book? I haven’t had a chance yet, but the NY Times article specifically mentions “global warming” and “climate change” in two different paragraphs. At one point, the article says

    One is climate change, in which, they say, experts’ justifiable caution about model uncertainties can encourage them to ignore accumulating evidence from the real world.

    I don’t think the experts show enough caution about model uncertainties, but the experts do seem to be ignoring evidence from the real world. They are ignoring growing ice in Antarctica, cooler oceans since 2003 and the fact 1998 is still the warmest year recently.

    I am certain the book spends most of its space on coastal issues, but hopefully it will touch on the global warming and atmospheric CO2 some.

  244. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 26, 2007 at 12:36 PM | Permalink

    R: #232 – Vaclav Klaus will read it! 😉

  245. Nicholas
    Posted Feb 26, 2007 at 12:45 PM | Permalink

    Steve: I seem to remember sending you a script you asked me to write, which downloaded a ZIP file and read files out of it.

    If I remember correctly, the problem with trying to read files directly out of a zip file with R, is that the function which does so reads the file inside the zip file into a variable, but you can’t pass that variable to the various scan functions which parse text files (they expect a file input only). I tried to work around this to no avail. The method I eventually came up with was to use the R function to extract the file(s) out of the ZIP file, then write that data to a temporarily file on disk, then read and parse the file, then delete it.

    I couldn’t come up with a better way than that, and believe me, I tried – I hate writing temporary files to disk. If the scan functions could take a variable containing the raw data instead of a file name, it wouldn’t be necessary, but as far as I can tell they can’t. Here are the relevant parts of the source I sent you:

    download.file("http://www.clim-past-discuss.net/2/1001/2006/cpd-2-1001-2006-supplement.zip", "cpd-2-1001-2006-supplement.zip", "auto", quiet = FALSE, cacheOK = TRUE);

    read_ncdf_from_zip <- function(zipfile, filename) {
    data_handle <- unz(zipfile, filename, "rb");
    data <- readBin(data_handle, "raw", 1024*1024);
    temp_filename <- tempfile();
    writeBin(data, temp_filename);
    data <- NULL;
    ncdf_data <- open.ncdf(temp_filename);

    If what you’re actually asking is how to avoid having to do this, I can tell you that it’s technically possible – I do that sort of of thing in other languages – but you would have to write your own text parsing routines since the way R is currently designed, you’d lose theirs. I could probably fiddle with R’s source to fix it, but that wouldn’t really help you unless I sent a patch in to the authors and it eventually became part of the standard package. Not to mention that would take a fair amount of time.

  246. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 26, 2007 at 12:45 PM | Permalink

    RE: #233 – Very interesting indeed. BTW, on the synoptical front, our now-slightly-wet Siberia Express is continuing here in NoCal. Truly deja vu vs last year at this time. There has been a legendary snow event east of here over the past couple of days. If it continues going like it has, we may actually stand a slim chance (but a chance nonetheless) of making up a goodly percentage of the snow pack deficit we had only a mere week ago.

  247. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 26, 2007 at 12:56 PM | Permalink

    #247. Thanks for this. I forgot about this discussion. I’ll stop worrying about it.

  248. John G. Bell
    Posted Feb 26, 2007 at 1:56 PM | Permalink

    What version of Fortran should I get to use with R on a Linux box?

  249. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 26, 2007 at 2:05 PM | Permalink

    RE: #248 – Deja vu all over again….


    On a related note, the current percentage of California currently under a Winter Storm Warning has got to be a near record or record for this date. And it will only grow, if the above proj plays out.

  250. Nicholas
    Posted Feb 26, 2007 at 3:19 PM | Permalink

    John G. Bell, this is what I’m using:

    GNU Fortran 95 (GCC) 4.1.1 (Gentoo 4.1.1-r3)

    It’s part of the GCC distribution. If you download the full GCC source (4.1.1 or simlar), enable Fortran (gfortran) and compile/install it, it should do the trick.

    You probably don’t want to overwrite your system GCC though. If you’re using Gentoo, just do:

    USE=fortran emerge gcc

    Other distributions will have a different method.

  251. Ron Cram
    Posted Feb 26, 2007 at 4:56 PM | Permalink

    re: 241


    We found some interesting quotes from the book using Amazon’s search feature. One quote is very favorable toward IPCC modelers. Another makes it sound like the authors are very unhappy with the way the information is misused.

    Quote #1 (page 79)

    “…the IPCC approach is a refreshing sort of modeling. The publications of this diverse group are filled with painfully long discussions about errors, uncertainties, and missing data. The objectivity of these global modelers stands in stark contrast to the arrogance of the coastal engineers or the overconfidence of groundwater modelers.”

    Quote #2 (page 79)

    “But what is said in print in the middle of a dense 875-page document and what is said out on the street are two different things. Somehow the IPCC folds in the uncertainties (called “uncertainty absorption” by policy scientist Ron Brunner), downplays the complexities, and comes out with real predictions with error bars (pluses and minuses) of the future sea-level.”

    Quote #3 (page 80)they then go on to discuss scientists attempting to predict sea-level rise

    “whose predictions do not fall within one another’s range of uncertainties. They do not even agree on the direction of sea-level change, whether it’s falling or rising, resulting from water storage on land.”

  252. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 26, 2007 at 5:16 PM | Permalink

    This would make an interesting social network diagram especially if you drilled down to the names of the attending representatives of the listed orgs:


  253. Jonathan Schafer
    Posted Feb 26, 2007 at 6:43 PM | Permalink


    I can’t say that I’m happy that we may swing back into a La Nina. I’m not worried about TS activity, as I’m not along the coast anywhere. But, despite some recent rains this winter, we are still in a drought, lake levels for some area lakes are still well below normal, and La Nina generally decreases rainfall and increases temps for us (N Central TX). Without adequate soil moisture, our summers are hotter than normal. I’ve lived here since 97 and already been through 4 summers that I don’t want to repeat. And, if the rains shut off again like last year, combined with the already low lake levels, there will be significant watering bans. This is bad enough on the yard and plants, but given our predominately clay soil, the contraction due to lack of moisture causes enormous damage to foundations.

  254. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 26, 2007 at 7:44 PM | Permalink

    RE: #255 – Here in the adobe of California, what you described is essentially an annual event due to our extreme seaonality of precipitation. There is a whole cottage industry here around fixing messed up foundations and reenginering ones obviously designed by gringos who had no clue about the characterstics of adobe. A very wealthy acquaintance of mine has done very well by it… ! … 😦

  255. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 26, 2007 at 8:36 PM | Permalink

    Check out the pretty colors (look fast though, it’s a dynamic link):


    No fun for road travel more than about 100 miles … after about 100 miles (or less, depending on where you are) you’re bound to run into snow / ice.

  256. David Smith
    Posted Feb 26, 2007 at 8:50 PM | Permalink

    RE #255 Jonathan, a map of La Nina summer rain patterns is here . Looks like North Central Texas is indeed dry.

    On the bright side, Australia gets rain.

  257. John G. Bell
    Posted Feb 26, 2007 at 10:18 PM | Permalink

    Thanks Nicholas! Success.

  258. Jonathan Schafer
    Posted Feb 26, 2007 at 11:24 PM | Permalink


    Thanks for the link. That looks about right, based on my experience. Although the CPC map doesn’t show us in severe drought anymore (looking at the lake levels, they would be wrong), several of the areas in TX shaded in brown are still in the severe drought category. Last year, we had a 20″ rain deficit. Spring is the best chance for rain here, although El Nino years generally bring higher than normal precip during the winter as well as above normal temps. I’ve got to say this was once of the weakest El Nino’s I’ve seen. It’s been downright cold and rain wasn’t all that impressive. We’ve had about 10 inches since last October, which is right around normal. I think overall, we are still down at least 17 inches. In addition, the split flow in the jet is gone, leaving us in a dry NW flow aloft, so little or no likely rain chances for the next 10 – 15 days.

  259. James Erlandson
    Posted Feb 27, 2007 at 5:23 AM | Permalink

    James Hansen spoke about Global Warming at the National Press Club yesterday.
    It will be repeated on C-SPAN 2 this morning at 8:00 eastern time.

  260. Joel McDade
    Posted Feb 27, 2007 at 8:01 AM | Permalink

    CNN just had a segment this tuesday morning featuring Lonnie Thompson. I wasn’t paying attention at first (as per usual) but into it they showed his ice core lab and huge freezer, an animation of that large Manhattan-size chunk of ice shelf that broke off recently, and ended with Lonnie talking of ice as like a “canary in the coal mine.”

    I’ll tell ‘ya — these guys are famous!

  261. jae
    Posted Feb 27, 2007 at 10:27 AM | Permalink

    The book, “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming,” is now #17 on the New York Times’ best selling list. I’ll bet it hurts the staff at the Times to publish this, LOL.

  262. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 27, 2007 at 12:52 PM | Permalink

    Some January records:

    SXUS76 KSTO 011452

    700 AM PDT THU FEB 01 2007

    BEGAN IN 1849…








    OF DECEMBER 1990.


  263. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 27, 2007 at 1:09 PM | Permalink

    Of course, some will say this is due to GW. I actually had one guy say “Some places will get warmer, others cooler, but the average will go up and we’ll see more extreme weather events. It all makes sense if you understand meteorological things” in a message board I post on regularly. Tell that to a meteorologist.


  264. Mark T.
    Posted Feb 27, 2007 at 1:18 PM | Permalink

    John A, regarding your post #59, you should mention to Gavin that feedback induces a lag. True lead is non-causal.


  265. Paul M
    Posted Feb 27, 2007 at 2:52 PM | Permalink

    Daily Mail Letter

    A while back I asked if anyone had found this letter but I have done so anyway. Of course the problem I think with this analysis is that it assumes correlation = causation and it does not allow for the time lag between the temp rising followed by CO 2 rising. Then there is the difficulty – impossibility? of saying what the ‘mgt’ was 170,000 years ago when one considers the thread discussing Jones and the modern temperature record.



    Mankind is not the guilty one in global warming
    THE Open University’s Science of Climate programme provides graphs showing the way carbon dioxide concentration changes in the atmosphere and the resulting change in the mean global temperature (mgt) over a period of 170,000 years. The information is derived not from dodgy computer simulations but observable facts ‘€” from leaf fossils, tree cores and ice core-samples taken in Arctic and Antarctic ice fields. Plotted as graphs, they show a close correlation between carbon dioxide quantity (parts per million by volume [ppm(vol)]) in the atmosphere and the change in average global temperature. Over a period of about 135,000 years, the mgt runs from -6c at 192 ppm(vol) of carbon dioxide to +2c at 312 ppm(vol), corresponding to a world mainly covered in ice to one with rampant vegetation. About 150,000 years ago, there was little or no vegetation to use up the carbon dioxide and it, therefore, increased. The world’s temperature takes about 2,000 to 4,000 years to catch up with the carbon dioxide change causing it. For the next 10,000 to 12,000 years, carbon dioxide and temperature rise to 315 ppm(vol), by which time the mgt stands at +2c and vegetation is rampant, rapidly using up the carbon dioxide for its growth. Eventually, this results in a fall in carbon dioxide concentration with the mgt falling back down, over the next 125,000 years, to -6c, with the vegetation being killed off by the cold, so starting a new cycle. Humanity’s contribution to the carbon dioxide cycle is so small that human action has very little to do with it. Global warming is controlled by vegetation growth or decline. It is not controlled by mankind.

    G. E. MILLER, Battle, Sussex.

  266. jae
    Posted Feb 27, 2007 at 3:26 PM | Permalink

    John A: How about an Unthreaded #5?

  267. David Smith
    Posted Feb 27, 2007 at 5:51 PM | Permalink

    Hurricane forecast for 2007, by a UK firm, is here . Forecast is for 16 storms, versus 10 historically.

    Their 2006 forecast (Feb 06) was for 16 storms, with the actual number being 10.

    My cat (Elvis) is forecasting 13 storms, based (I think) on some pattern he saw in his food bowl.

    I will make my seasonal forecast on April 1 – stay tuned. However, I won’t release it until Christmas, due to it being temporarily misplaced.

    (Seriously, though, I do have respect for the people who try to make seasonal forecasts – it is a tough and unforgiving effort.)

  268. Peter Lloyd
    Posted Feb 27, 2007 at 6:15 PM | Permalink

    re: 267

    “..a world mainly covered in ice…”

    About 150,000 years ago ?

    Where on earth do these scenarios come from?

    I’ll bet there are heads nodding sagely over this……trouble is, he’s broadly on the side of the angels!!

    Peter Lloyd

  269. David Smith
    Posted Feb 27, 2007 at 9:55 PM | Permalink

    Light reading:

    La Nina coming

    Weather balloon temperatures culled (and adjusted?) . Now, miracle of miracles, the balloons agree with the revised surface trend! This was done by reducing the number of radiosonde stations used from nearly 1000 to less than 100 “carefully selected” stations (the RATPAC ) .

    Contrast that with two recent studies of weather balloon global temperature trends, given in this chart .

  270. David Smith
    Posted Feb 27, 2007 at 9:58 PM | Permalink

    Sorry, the La Nina article is here .

    (For some reason, I can no longer preview links without losing the entire post.)

  271. ET SidViscous
    Posted Feb 28, 2007 at 2:06 AM | Permalink

    Does anyone have an up to date Surface temp anomoly graph along the lines of this http://ase.tufts.edu/cosmos/view_picture.asp?id=117.

    They seem to have stopped keeping track after 1998 (Science was settled by then I assume?). We know that the trend of the latter 1/3 of the 20th century did not continue with the slope from 1976-1998, it had started to taper off a bit. But I certainly haven’t seen an updated graph for 2006. Som much attention is being paid to this issue, and millions of dollars are being spent, I assume we could get an up to date graph.

    It was said at the turn of the century that the predicted change was to be X, and even the latest IPCC report is using 2100 as it’s target end date. We are nearing on 10 years (10%) of this, I assume we can expect to see near on 10% of the predicted change. Well nearly, it’s not 2010 yet, but the amount of change, based on IPCC predictions, even up to 2007 should exceed what we saw in the 20th century should it not?

    For the high end the prediction is ~11 degrees, for a steady slope we should see in excess of .6 degrees so far no?

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