Unthreaded #11

Continuation of Unthreaded #10


  1. Paul Maynard
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 11:59 AM | Permalink

    Re Thread 10 328 and 329

    Bender, I genuinely can’t tell if you are beeing ironic or not.

    I’m just an interested lurker. Why does the record need to be adjusted in any way apart from I assume errors in daily measurement, changes in time of measurement and so on. In fact, and I accept this is really naive, why do tree ring records have to be chopped around so much, whether it is Mann or MacIntyre doing it?

    Standing by for a flood of interesting observations.



  2. bender
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 12:30 PM | Permalink

    Re #2
    1. From p. 16 of the source document cited by bernie:
    “Figure 28 suggests winter warming at the beginning and end of the 20th Century with a period of cooler
    winters during the 1960s and 1970s.” bernie seems not to see that trend. Whereas I do. More importantly, a statistical test would bear it out. Are current temperatures at Svalbard unprecedented? No. But that’s not what the author was arguing.
    2. adjusted?
    3. chopped around?
    Not sure what you mean by 2,3 or what you are referring to.

  3. Andrey Levin
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 2:11 PM | Permalink


    “…pathology of people seizing on results because they suit a world-view.”

    Actually, carbon dioxide concentrations of 300 ppm over 19 century much better serve concept of AGW than accepted 260.

    P.S. Promise not to raise this issue any more.

  4. Paul Maynard
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 2:27 PM | Permalink

    Re 3

    My point was that to my naked eye, both the direct measurements and the running 5 year do not show any particular trend, certainly the sumer and annula don’t. Yes winter shows warmimg in early part of the 20th century but then goes for a bit of a random walk. I can just about picture the CO2 ppm track since the 1900s and my guess is that would show no obvious coorelation.

    As to the tree rings. Much of this blog is devoted to the various statistical techniques that have been used by Mann et al to present a trend, notably the hockey stick. But why is it necessary to apply such extensive manipulation. If tree rings are a good proxy for temperature as the Team believe, why doesn’t the raw data show the trend in an obvious way. Mann uses PCs ( I still wouldn’t like to try to explain them to my Mum) to prove there is a hockey stick and then M&M show that PCs are wrong and use other analysis to show that the HS does not exist, in which case how can the measurenents have any value at all apart from showing that tree rings vary in size according to a whole bunch of conditions and not just temperature.

    Sorry to bring the level of debate down.



  5. bernie
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 3:09 PM | Permalink

    I do see the “slight” trends in the beginning, middle and end of the 1910 to 2004 observation period – but are they real or just me respomding to your suggestion? (10, #328) I also see what could be 11 year cycles. However, what I do not see is a trend in the temperatures that is in anyway sufficient to support the original contention by others that Svalbard is where the predicted amplified warming from AGW can be seen. Moreover the year over year variability of winter temperatures suggests that we would need to see something pretty dramatic to illustrate a HS. Even with 2005, 2006 and 2007 data the trend remains slight – though these last two winters have been very warm.
    The point of my observation was the highlighting in the media of a particular example of GW, only to find out that the actual data seems far less compelling. As Steve M has pointed out, Svalbard has come up before and I am working through those earlier strings. Again the media completely failed to suggested what appears in those strings: Svalbard is probably not a good AGW “canary” because of the significant ocean current driven historical variations in temperatures – too much chance of false positives.

    My reading of the prior strings paid off – plaudits to those who made it so easy. Apparently the media was
    recycling a story from last year. My apologies for those who already have read this stuff. Here is what Willis said about the same data last year at this time. I bolded where he seems to be making the same general point. (Note: What was presented earlier appears to be the same Nordklim data.)

    Willis Eschenbach says:

    May 30th, 2006 at 2:36 am
    Moving from conspiracy theorists back to the subject of the thread, climate at Svalbard, I just tried to post on the thread over at RealClimate. I wanted to ask why my scientific questions were not being answered.

    Specifically, I wanted to know why they had not addressed the following:

    1) Is the use of a crudely spliced dataset for sigma calculations appropriate?

    2) What is the justification for using the 1961-1990 data (or any other subset of the full data) to calculate the sigma for a data point 26 years outside of the subset?

    Perhaps Steve Bloom or one of the conspiracy theorists would like to comment on this conspiracy to keep scientific questions off of RealClimate?

    It gets worse … or perhaps better. There is another dataset at:


    Analysis of this dataset and the NOAA dataset above shows that they both are a combined Isfjord Radio/Svalbard dataset, with the Isfjord Radio part of the dataset adjusted and the Svalbard dataset largely untouched, with the exception of a few single month corrections in the Nordklim dataset.

    The analysis of the difference between the two records shows that in the Nordklim datasets, different adjustments have been made to several separate periods of the Isfjord Radio record, viz: 1912-1931, 1931-1934, 1934-1940, 1940-1945, and post 1945. These time periods correspond very closely to the changes in station listed in comment #115 above, so I assume that they have taken great care to adjust for each time the station moved or was changed. Neither one is the same as the GISS dataset …

    The overall difference between the two datasets’ average and standard deviation was quite small. The change in the trend, on the other hand, was quite large ‘€” the trend in both the NOAA (and Mann/Jones) datasets were over .25°C per decade, while the trend of the Nordklim dataset is .15°C per decade.

    So we have three datasets in play. The first is the Mann/Jones RealClimate dataset, which is a crude splice of Svalbard and the Isfjord Radio data. The NOAA dataset is better, with at least a linear adjustment of the Isfjord Radio data. Finally, we have the Nordklim dataset, which has an adjustment for each of the moves, along with individual corrections for a number of months.

    Several things of interest. One is that the overall trend of all the datasets is not signifcantly different from zero. Despite being the poster child for global warming … it’s not significantly different from zero.

    Next, none of the datasets show the “six sigma event” April 2006 temperature event claimed on the RC site. The real numbers are 3.09 sigma (correctly calculated Mann/Jones figures), 2.87 sigma (Nordclim), and 2.47 sigma(NOAA).

    Finally, the Nordklim dataset is by far the most sophisticated splice. The Mann/Jones dataset is just two stations disguised as one. The NOAA adjustment is a straight adjustment of the mean and standard deviation of Istjord Radio, with no monthly corrections. The Nordklim dataset has actually adjusted for each move and change of the Isfjord station, as well as correcting a number of individual monthly records.

    And the trend of the best dataset? Remember, this is supposed to be the fastest warming station in the world, at over a quarter of a degree per decade … but the best data we have, the Nordklim data, shows a trend less than 60% of that, at .15°C per decade.
    The behaviour of Mann and Jones in this expisode has been nothing short of despicable. Having made a mistake, they refused to state the source of their data (surprise, surprise), refused to discuss an abysmal mathematical error, and now have closed the thread to comments. For shame.

  6. bender
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 3:36 PM | Permalink

    Re #6
    Hmm, well, I don’t know anything about poster children. I’m a data analyst. I see trends, I can prove there are trends, and the trends are, as you say, very slight. Sounds like we’re in complete agrement, actually.

    One thing I would caution before deciding whether or not some effect is poster-worthy: you don’t need drastic warming to have drastic impacts on alpine glacial and polar ice caps. The melting is cumulative over time, so it is temperature over time, and not instantaneous temeprature that is the issue in these areas. e.g. Maybe the MWP was warmer than present, but the warmth did not last long enough to get the melting we’re seeing now.

    The poster-worthy risk is that continued melting from moderately warm temperatures will unleash the albedo feedbacks (conversion of ground surface from white to black) that would lead to much stronger warming. I’m not sure there’s proof that that’s happening (I’m no expert), just ample reason to be believe it could. I don’t think there’s much doubt that this is happening, it’s more a quantitative question of when and how much.

    Take the last two points with a grain of salt. I’m no expert. I will not go to my grave defending these points, so don’t ask me to.

  7. bernie
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 3:51 PM | Permalink

    I think you are right – we agree. My interest – apart from self preservation – is in how the general public gets at the facts in these kinds of debates, hence checking the media stories like Svalbard and Warming Island. My skepticism is natural and applies to most things, especially those that allow for quantification and, therefore, checking. It is the politicians, fanatics and media types I most distrust – not scientists – up until recently, that is, when some scientists appear to have decided to also play these less admirable roles.

  8. Ken Fritsch
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 4:01 PM | Permalink

    From #345 in Thrtead #10:

    I never cease to be amazed how skeptics here can be so hostile to tree ring data, yet so accepting of stomatal density-CO2 reconstructions.

    Could I ask if you are also amazed by the vice-versa of this stance, i.e. skeptical of stomatal density-CO2 and accepting of TR data? I am skeptical of both of these reconstructions and most reconstructions in general and continue to see evidence of acceptance biased by one’s world views.

  9. bender
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 4:54 PM | Permalink

    It is the politicians, fanatics and media types I most distrust

    … and those evil mining consultants 8)

  10. John Baltutis
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 5:20 PM | Permalink

    Re: #351 from Unthreaded #10

    Just more about the same nonsense: Light bulbs and Eco-Fascism and
    Light Bulb Lunacy.

  11. Murray Duffin
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 6:15 PM | Permalink

    Re: #7 Glacial melting is much more likely to be from increased insolation than from higher temperature. The same could The same could be true of icecaps.

    Re: #1 The theory of solar modulation of cosmic rays to affect cloud cover, and therefore surface average temperature is based on the rate of change of sunspot intensity, rather than the absolute peak sunspot activity. Cycle 23 had a peak activity of about 170 with a transition from min of 43 months, for a rate of change on the upside of 4. Cycles 20 and 21 were nearer 5. These three covered the period from 1976 through 2007, the period of greatest warming of the last century. Cycle 23 is bottoming about 6 months later than previously expected, considerably reducing the rate of change on the downside. Consistent with the slower rate of change we have seen a shift from warming to no warming during this downside. Temp has been about flat from 1996 through 2006, with peaks at 1998 and 2005. (In spite of continuously increasing CO2 concentration)
    The average sunspot cycle is 11+-2 years. During the 20th century we have seen a series of high peaks and short cycles, giving a high rate of change. Cycle 21 valley to valley was 119 months, cycle 22 ‘€” 115 months, cycle 23 ‘€” 139 months. We now have 2 forecasts for cycle 24 (now starting) of 136 and 146 months. We could split the difference at 141 months, but given the big stretch out on the downside of 23, and the known slowing of the solar conveyor, the 146 months seems more credible. The upside cycle length seems to vary recently between 32 and 35% of the total cycle. If we take 34% of 146 months we have 49 months. We have 2 forecasts of peak sun spot intensity of 90 and 140. If we assume a peak at 115, the upside rate of change would be 2.4, only 60% of cycle 23, or 50% of cycles 21 and 22.
    If the solar modulation theory is correct, we are in for a big increase in average low cloud cover, and a measurable global cooling going forward

  12. bender
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 6:20 PM | Permalink

    Re #12
    And if AGW is correct, then that short-term cooling you predict would then be followed by a longer-term warming trend.
    In other words, temperatures over the next couple of decades are an inadequate test of the hypothesis.

  13. Stan Palmer
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 8:04 PM | Permalink

    re 7

    The poster-worthy risk is that continued melting from moderately warm temperatures will unleash the albedo feedbacks (conversion of ground surface from white to black) that would lead to much stronger warming. I’m not sure there’s proof that that’s happening (I’m no expert), just ample reason to be believe it could. I don’t think there’s much doubt that this is happening, it’s more a quantitative question of when and how much.

    I heard exactly teh same thing in the 70s. There were frequent appearances on television by scientists who warned of the dangers of sudden climate change. Albedo change was one such effect that they postulated.

    As the world got cooler, there would be longer periods of and larger areas of snow cover. This would reflect sunlight and make the world cooler. As the world cooled, there would be mode snow and a regenerative effect would take hold. There were stories that this would lead to snow persisting in shady spots until the heat of the summer. Eventually these shady patches would be snow covered all year round and the ice would return within years not decades.

  14. bender
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 8:12 PM | Permalink

    Re #14 Yes, and tell me: the GCMs of the 1970s on which those predictions were based – what do you make of those? Do you doubt that things have improved any?

  15. Stan Palmer
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 8:14 PM | Permalink

    re 14 and indirectly 7
    Stephen Jay Gould warned about “just so” stories explaining evolution. The problem with much that I hear about AGWW is that it is the same sort of collection of “just so” explanations that Gould warned about. The example of albedo change as a positive feedback is a good one. In the 70s, it would hasten the next ice age. Now it could be the cause of a rapid warming.

    No one, no one should be allowed to talk about feedback without presenting a mathematical model of the system and its feedback path. If they don’t have that then talk about feedback is just so much arm waving.

  16. bender
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 8:16 PM | Permalink

    This would reflect sunlight and make the world cooler. As the world cooled, there would be mode snow and a regenerative effect would take hold.

    That’s what a positive feedback is: it runs away in either direction, depending on which way the driver is driving.
    You make it sound as though the warming feedback hypothesis is somehow inconsistent with the cooling feedback hypothesis. It’s not.
    They’re two sides of the same coin.

  17. bender
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 8:17 PM | Permalink

    Re #16
    Baloney. You think I can’t model a positive feedback that runs hot and cold?

  18. bender
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 8:21 PM | Permalink

    If they don’t have that then talk about feedback is just so much arm waving.

    I am guessing you don’t actually know what positive feedback is. That’s why you want to see a model.

    There’s healthy skepticism and then there’s unhealthy skepticism. It’s you that’s arm-waving, suggesting positive feedbacks don’t exist unless I can show otherwise.

  19. Richard Sharpe
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 8:35 PM | Permalink

    12 says:

    Glacial melting is much more likely to be from increased insolation than from higher temperature.

    It’s not clear to me that this is the case, since ice and snow reflect a reasonable portion of sunlight quite well.

  20. Stan Palmer
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 8:39 PM | Permalink

    re 19

    What I am saying is that no one can tell what the system will do without a mathematical model of it. Will some effect be a major factor controlling the evential system state or will it if be triviality affecting only some decimal places. Unless there is a mathematical model no one can tell. That is why talk of feedbackk with the support of mathematics is just so much arm waving.

  21. bender
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 8:57 PM | Permalink

    News flash: these models exist.

  22. paminator
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 8:57 PM | Permalink

    Here’s one thought to estimate the error in the surface temperature trend.
    Assume the satellite lower troposphere trend of +0.12 C/decade is right. Assume that this is all due to CO2 increases. Assume the GCM’s are right in predicting that tropospheric warming due to CO2 increases will be 1.3 times faster than surface warming. The surface temperature record should then be reading about +0.09 C/decade. This would imply an error in the surface temperature trend of at least a factor of two, depending on whose corrected data you choose.

  23. Lizi K
    Posted May 20, 2007 at 11:50 PM | Permalink


    If the water based positive feedback occurs….do the models take into account that the water evaoration if endothermic ? Therefore the fist time you have evaporation from CO2 induced feedback, you will have a slight cooling thus negating any feedback loop ? Otherwise why doesnt the earth go into catastrophic H20 feedback each and every year when we have a Norther Hemisphere summer ? The earth as a whole is slightly warmer during Northern Hemi summer because there is far more land in the Northern Hemisphere. I believe this warming is SEVERAL DEGREES – so why doesnt the earth go into a catastrophic H20 feedback every year ? Maybe because there is no H20 feedback loop?

  24. Gerhard H.W.
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 12:05 AM | Permalink

    I am not sure, if it was mentioned here before,

    the PNAS Reoprt by James McWilliams on Irreducible imprecision in atmospheric and oceanic simulations has been published.

    Atmospheric and oceanic computational simulation models often successfully depict chaotic space-time patterns, flow phenomena, dynamical balances, and equilibrium distributions that mimic nature. This success is accomplished through necessary but nonunique choices for discrete algorithms, parameterizations, and coupled contributing processes that introduce structural instability into the model. Therefore, we should expect a degree of irreducible imprecision in quantitative correspondences with nature, even with plausibly formulated models and careful calibration (tuning) to several empirical measures. Where precision is an issue (e.g., in a climate forecast), only simulation ensembles made across systematically designed model families allow an estimate of the level of relevant irreducible imprecision.

  25. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 3:17 AM | Permalink

    The change of albedo due to decreasing sea ice and land snow is, until now, just a theory, and there is until now no sign of it working.
    Indeed, in the Arctic where ice and snow cover significantly decreased in the last years, the albedo is still the same because of increasing cloud cover: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Study/ArcticReflector/arctic_reflector4.html

    While, in the Antarctica, the problem has no sense, because sea ice sheet remained the same or ever slightly increased in last decades (and even last years): http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.anom.south.jpg

  26. David Archibald
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 3:37 AM | Permalink

    Re 12, NASA don’t know what the next solar cycle will be, but they are supposed to know, so they make a prediction that brackets the last result, and is politically acceptable within the panel given that a couple of high profile names had made recent very high estimates. See slide seven in this presentation:


    My estimate is that Solar Cycle 23 will be 156 months long. Every day’s delay in seeing the first sunspot of Solar Cycle 24 lowers the average temperature over that cycle by one thousandth of a degree. So far the delay has been enough to reverse (next decade) most of the warming of the 20th century.

  27. MarkW
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 5:01 AM | Permalink


    Immediately above your post claiming that us skeptics accept stomata data without question, were several posts questioning stomata data.

  28. MarkW
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 5:05 AM | Permalink


    The MWP lasted for several hundred years. I would hardly call that “brief”. The current warming is at most 100 to 150 years old. So it’s hard for anyone to claim that the current warming is longer than the MWP.

  29. MarkW
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 5:08 AM | Permalink


    One big difference between AGW and solar theories. The solar theories fit past data. AGW adjusts past data to fit the theories.

  30. MarkW
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 5:10 AM | Permalink

    Recent arctic studies show that as ice melts, clouds increas, so that net albedo in the arctic does not change. Their is not enough ice elsewhere to worry about.

  31. MarkW
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 5:11 AM | Permalink


    News flash, these models [snip].

  32. JPK
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 6:21 AM | Permalink

    Archeologists recently found Roman artifacts in places where glaciers previously existed. Some have argued that many of the glaciers that scientists are concerned about today have only been around since the LIA. Precipiation is just as important as temperature where alpine glaciers are concerned. We have seen during the last 30 years of warming some very intense ENSO events. El Nino can bring on periods of drought, and a warm PDO can enhance both the intensity and duration of El Nino/La Nina events. There was a famous drought during the late 19th Century. It began in Austrailia, expanded to India, East Africa, and the Southern Med. India and East Africa had absolutely no rain for 15 months, and the Nile ran very shallow. If there was an extended period of not only warming, but drought covering these El Nino affected areas, glaicers in South America as well as the ice on Mt Kileminjaro would melt.

  33. Posted May 21, 2007 at 6:54 AM | Permalink

    Re: 6 (Nordklim data set), 23 (satellite data)

    .12/decade, .13/decade. Un-bucket-corrected SSTs .14/decade. Looks consistent to me. If the models don’t run properly with uncorrected SSTs as input then something must be wrong. No, not with the data…


  34. bender
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 8:59 AM | Permalink

    Re #32
    Prove it, [self-snip].

  35. MarkW
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 10:31 AM | Permalink


    It’s not up to me to prove how bad the models are. It’s up to the modelers to demonstrate that the models can accurately replicate reality.

    This they have failed to do. Over and over and over again.

  36. jae
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 10:33 AM | Permalink


    If the water based positive feedback occurs….do the models take into account that the water evaoration if endothermic ? Therefore the fist time you have evaporation from CO2 induced feedback, you will have a slight cooling thus negating any feedback loop ? Otherwise why doesnt the earth go into catastrophic H20 feedback each and every year when we have a Norther Hemisphere summer ? The earth as a whole is slightly warmer during Northern Hemi summer because there is far more land in the Northern Hemisphere. I believe this warming is SEVERAL DEGREES – so why doesnt the earth go into a catastrophic H20 feedback every year ? Maybe because there is no H20 feedback loop?

    I agree and am still waiting for someone to explain why it is hotter in July in the arid desert southwest than in the very humid southeast. Water vapor increases the heat content of the air, but I don’t think it creates a positive temperature feedback.

  37. bender
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 10:33 AM | Permalink

    Humble apologies to CA readership for occupying so much bandwidth in the last few days. (The problem is I detest arm-waving dismissal of avenues of research that could potentially lead to answers. I am impatient to move forward on approaches that give us answers.)

    But in reply to Dave Dardinger:

    The biggest, though not the only, aspect of varying temperature measurements is humidity.

    You have hit on something here that the others, to this point, have not. If the GCMs are overly focused on a limited set of output variables (GMT being just one of these), such that they are essentially overfitting their models to these outputs, then one would predict a divergence (that word again) between predicted and observed values for the other variables that are outside their scope of immediate concern. Thus an independent validation of the model fit is possible, if there are other variables that can be used as criteria for judging model performance.

    I am surely not the first to recognize this opporunity for an independent validation test. But I wonder if it has been addressed in a substantive way in the primary literature. If the GCMs work well for an idealized parameter (say, GMT) because they are overfit to that parameter, then the lack of fit to some other equally meaningful parameter would put them under suspicion.

    The GMers already recognize that their models do a poor job of simulating moist convection, so there’s not a lot of traction on DD’s humidity, I would think. Maybe there are other aspects of the GCM outputs that could be investigated?

    As an afterthought, I would like to point out that arm-waving that GMT does not exist is, from my POV, wholly unproductive (zero traction), whereas defining an independent test for GCM robustness moves us all forward.

    But let us not discuss this here. As I understand it, John A is setting up a forum for this discussion. There, in the virtual classroom, bender will receive his lecturing, and, most likely, his whipping.

  38. jae
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 10:42 AM | Permalink

    In 37, I should have said “Water vapor AND CO2 increases the heat content of the air, but I don’t think it creates a positive temperature feedback.”

  39. bender
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 10:50 AM | Permalink

    #24 / #37 …

    Maybe because there is no H20 feedback loop?

    … is an example of unhealthy skepticism. Go ask this question at RC. You will be harshly rebuked for failing to understand some basic aspects of the different effects of GHGs, including H2O, at different heights in the atmosphere; but that’s ok. Go do some reading, get your RC reply, and *then* I will give you my opinion, FWIW.

    I would recommend finding a space at CA where such a discussion would fit. I don’t like “unthreaded” because if you’re going to say something useful, it should be appropriately filed. And if there are no threads where a topic fits, that’s a sign that it probably doesn’t belong on the blog. Steve M has said many times over the years that thermodynamics is OT.

    Whereas model validation is not OT.

  40. jae
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 10:56 AM | Permalink

    Bender, RC can’t (or won’t) answer my question. I’ve asked it over there several times, and they keep conflating heat content with temperature. Any more brilliant suggestions? 🙂

  41. bender
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 11:01 AM | Permalink

    Re #41 Post some links to your (one-sided) conversations at RC and I’ll check them out.

  42. StanJ
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 11:11 AM | Permalink

    I’ve recently discovered this excellent site and I wonder if I could ask a layman’s question?

    Basically (as I understand it) there are two theories vying to explain global warming, Co2 GHG, and solar cycles. Since we’ve been going through a warming trend, a case could be made either way. But now that we are reaching the end of the current solar cycle, the theories should be predicting divergent results, increased warming on the one hand, cooling on the other.

    Are we not going to reach a point in the fairly near future where the facts will actually prove which theory is correct? Or am I being naive and the data will still remain open to interpretation.

  43. MarkW
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 11:31 AM | Permalink


    There’s also UHI contamination, or some combination of all three.

  44. jae
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 11:32 AM | Permalink

    42: here

  45. bender
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 11:36 AM | Permalink

    Cliff Huston, replying substantively to Willis, who was deleted, would get me deleted. Patience. Let’s wait for John A’s virtual classroom.

  46. jae
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 11:39 AM | Permalink

    43: I think its a combination of both, but I also think we will soon see whether the Solar effects overwhelm the GHG effects (which I predict). Notice that we have not had any warming for 8 years, and the Solar cycle pattern is changing. Yet CO2 levels keep increasing. (Now I await a lecture from bender on why an 8-year leveling-off is nothing to get excited about).

  47. bender
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 11:40 AM | Permalink

    Re #47
    That lecture’s been given already. Apparnetly you need a detention.

  48. Bill F
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 11:42 AM | Permalink


    Many of us do see some light at the end of the tunnel that would suggest a defining point in prediction verification is fast approaching. However, the cynical among us fully expect that any data that doesn’t meet the GHG theory will be “adjusted to correct for measurement errors” so that it matches the predictions of the GCMs. In that case, it will be interesting to see how the media report record snowfall and low temperatures alongside the typical AGW alarmism stories.

  49. bender
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 11:46 AM | Permalink

    Re #49

    the cynical among us fully expect that any data that doesn’t meet the GHG theory will be “adjusted

    … or, among the non-cyclinal, that the models themselves will be re-tuned, with no public record of the old tunings.

  50. bender
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 11:50 AM | Permalink

    re #45 where? (link didn’t take.)

  51. jae
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 11:56 AM | Permalink

    bender: here.

  52. bender
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 12:42 PM | Permalink

    jae, I read the thread and you indicated to them (in RC #35) on Apr 10 that you were satisfied with the answer provided! Then in #89 3 days later you complain that nobody’s understanding your question. Are you sure you researched the material that was suggested in #25? What papers have you read in the intervening months? Because you are asking the same question now that you were back then. Are you sure you’re not in denial over H2O as a GHG?

  53. Dave Dardinger
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 12:42 PM | Permalink

    re: #38 Bender,

    The GMers already recognize that their models do a poor job of simulating moist convection, so there’s not a lot of traction on DD’s humidity, I would think.

    The trouble is that moist convection and clouds are the primary subjects at issue (other than temperature per se), between warmers and skeptics. We already know that GMers recognize theire problems with clouds and youi add moist convection, so what else is left that would have traction? If we were looking at GMT we could add altitude but we’re assuming that we’re looking for temperature changes rather than absolute temperature and I don’t see that being an issue with altitude.

    Albedo is important as a climate issue, but it’s already been pointed out that clouds can substitute for snow and ice, which brings us back to the earlier problem.

    UHI, is also important, but warmers refuse to admit that it’s important, so they don’t have any desire to even talk about it, so it has negative traction if anything.

    There are some aspects of ocean currents, especially sinking in the polar regions which are important to climate change, but they can take us away from the atmosphere as the major factor, though atmospheric changes to enter into the picture in terms of winds and IR transparency.

    Anyway, I can only discuss this today because I’m going to be out of town for two weeks and I don’t know how much access to the internet I’ll have during that time. Probably not very much. Maybe this AutidBlogs thingee will be going by the time I get back.

  54. Posted May 21, 2007 at 12:47 PM | Permalink

    re 14: ‘The Edge of Darkness’ – black flowers growing through snow. Gribbin’s ‘The Third Winter’. I believe Lovelock was the source for the flowers.

  55. jae
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 12:48 PM | Permalink

    53: Maybe you did not read very carefully. They answered my question about the math in the equations. Did you not see my questions about why the average temperatures in the arid southwest are higher than they are in the soggy southeast (at same latitude and elevation)?

  56. Philip B
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 12:55 PM | Permalink

    Re: 43

    There is another explanation which the Australian temperature data at least supports. Namely, because mean temperatures are calculated as the average of the daily maximum and minimum, daytime warming is overstated and more or less compensating nighttime cooling understated.

    The error is to equate changes to maximum and minimum temperature with heat gain or loss. So there is a third explanation, we are seeing an increase in both heat gain and loss through the atmosphere. How else to explain increases in minimum temperatures not reflected in increases in nighttime temperatures?

    Documented here: http://gustofhotair.blogspot.com/

  57. bender
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 12:55 PM | Permalink

    Re #56: Of course I did. I’m a fast reader. And I know how to search a page for text. What’s your point? Are you sure you understood the answers you got?

  58. jae
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 1:11 PM | Permalink

    bender, I got feedback, but most of it did not respond to my question. The one that did amounted to speculation. Forget it, anyway. I do think there is generally a positive water vapor feedback–on the order of 0.0017 degree/watt/m2, based on my correlations of sensitivities with absolute humidity (r2=0.73). But then, according to Gavin and the boys, my derivation of sensitivity is all wrong. Maybe so, but I’m still not convinced.

  59. bender
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 1:28 PM | Permalink

    Re #59 You aksed the question [paraphrase]: is H2O a positive OR negative feedback? You gave some examples involving east/west, desert/coastal humidity. You were told to unask the question as it has both kinds of effects in different circumstances. If you continue to ask a question that is ill-posed, how do you expect knowledgeable, sensible people to respond?

    You had plenty of opportunity to engage people in that thread and you did not do it. Even though you generated a fair amount of discussion. So don’t accuse them of ignoring your question. I think you just don’t like the answer you were given. Just like you don’t like any alternative to solar as an explanation of GW.

    Folks, that’s it for the week.

  60. Michael Jankowski
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 2:52 PM | Permalink

    Mann-quote here, in an article about a now-defunct Arctic exhibit at the Smithsonian…seems that Creationism and Holocaust-denial are appropriate rhetoric these days…

    Randall Kremer, a spokesman for the natural history museum, said atmospheric science was outside the Smithsonian’s expertise, so the museum avoided the issue of what is causing the Arctic changes.

    Many leading scientists have come to believe that human activity is contributing to warming of the planet.

    “I see it in some ways as similar to the sort-of debate that has taken place with regard to the science of evolution,” said Professor Michael Mann, director of Pennsylvania State University’s Earth System Science Center. “Just as I would hope that the Smithsonian would stand firmly behind the science of evolution, it would also be my hope that they would stand firmly behind the science that supports influence on climate. Politically, they may be controversial, but scientifically they are not.”

  61. Richard Sharpe
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 2:55 PM | Permalink

    Hmmm, so if I have understood things correctly, solar insolation falling on the sea or other bodies of water, will serve to increase the amount of evaporation. However, that evaporation will then take energy with it from the sea or body of water, thus decreasing the temperature (heat content?) of the water. Much of that energy seems to be lost to space when that water vapor then condenses and falls as precipitation.

    Does that water vapor absorb further energy from the atmosphere on its way up or on its way down as precipitation?

  62. jae
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 4:33 PM | Permalink

    62: Interesting question. There is probably not any “extra” IR available in the middle of the ocean, where IR is not being radiated from land. Where would it come from? I think the air temperature over the oceans is governed almost entirely by the water surface temperature. So I can’t see how water or CO2 molecules can generate any type of positive temperature feedback on about 70% of the Earth’s surface. That probably also answers my question about why average July temperatures are higher at low elevations in the Desert Southwest than at similar elevations at the same latitudes in the Southeast. The energy difference goes into evaporation.

  63. DeWitt Payne
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 4:53 PM | Permalink

    Richard S and jae:

    I think some grounding in Physical Meteorology might help. I found this site:
    to be very helpful as a start, particularly the sections on moist thermodynamics and stability. The basic structure of the atmosphere, temperature, pressure, humidity and density as a function of altitude, is determined primarily by the thermodynamics of adiabatic expansion because the thermal conductivity of air is quite low and radiative heat transfer doesn’t have much effect over short distances. Question: do NWP models include radiative heat transfer?

    My current understanding is that surface moisture couples the surface temperature more closely to the atmosphere temperature and does result in a lower surface temperature than for a dry surface. Because the latent heat of vaporization of water is so large (the energy from condensing eight pounds of steam at 100C will bring one pound of room temperature water to the boiling point, IIRC) moist air at the same temperature contains more heat than dry air. So the same heat input to a moist surface results in the same heat content, but a lower temperature than for a dry surface. Water vapor, but not CO2, acts as a heat transfer agent by evaporation/condensation. This is known as latent heat transfer. This also results in a less rapid decline of temperature (lapse rate) with altitude for moist air. The lapse rate effect becomes more pronounced at higher temperatures because the vapor pressure of water increases with temperature. So water vapor on the way up transfers heat to the other components of the atmosphere as it condenses and can absorb heat from the atmosphere (although not very much if the atmosphere is already saturated with water vapor and the velocity of the falling drops is probably also a factor) and surface as the condensed droplets fall back down.

    The total heat content of air at any given pressure, temperature and humidy can be calculated, but it isn’t trivial. It would be a much better metric than temperature. Ocean heat content would be easier to determine if it didn’t require determining temperature with one millidegree precision and accuracy, not to mention measuring the depth accurately.

  64. David Smith
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 5:20 PM | Permalink

    Re 364 Small, inconsequential item – I think this

    (the energy from condensing eight pounds of steam at 100C will bring one pound of room temperature water to the boiling point, IIRC)

    may be backwards: one unit of condensing steam could heat eight units of room-temperature water to the boiling point

  65. DeWitt Payne
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 7:01 PM | Permalink

    Re: #65

    Indeed, I didn’t remember correctly. I looked it up and the original reference is 1kg steam to boil somewhat more than 7 kg r.t. water. I really have to stop relying on memory and look these things up.

  66. Richard Sharpe
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 7:45 PM | Permalink

    Ice Age blast ‘ravaged America’

    Perhaps there are more important things to worry about than global warming, or cooling, or balmyness.

  67. David Smith
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 7:48 PM | Permalink

    Speaking of water vapor, it’s interesting to look at the water vapor content of the upper half of the troposphere, which is available here . The is a near real-time loop, so it changes constantly.

    This view is of the Caribbean, eastern Pacific and southern US. Texas and Florida are near the top while Columbia is towards the bottom.

    The popping red and purple dots are strong thunderstorms, which put large amounts of heat and moisture in the top of the troposphere. The white areas are thick moisture, often cirrus (wispy high) clouds. The black areas are relatively dry, cloud-free air which is radiationally cooling and sinking. The brown areas are very dry and sinking.

    Some observations:

    * the tropical atmosphere is often lumpy, with pools of very high mositure and thunderstorms. These lumps are where cyclones can form.
    * the strong thunderstorms, while few, put a lot of white (humid, relatively warm air) into the upper atmosphere, which spreads poleward. Those few red and purple dots are very important to warming the free troposphere.
    * much of the planet’s IR escapes through the black and brown areas. The white areas don’t let much IR escape.
    * Lindzen says that, as the tropics warm, the red and purple dots become more efficient in precipitating out moisture and so relatively less moisture (weaker white areas) are formed. My anecdotal observations tend to agree with him.
    * today (May 22) there are red and purple dots and thick white area near Panama. This is an area of warm, humid air. The white areas above it show air spreading in all directions, with a slight clockwise twist. Think of the purple and red dots as “fires”, creating heat, and the clockwise twist as a chimney ventilation fan turning, removing the heat. This is a situation which favors tropical cyclone formation. In fact, some of the models drift this area to the northwest and then northeast, eventually becoming a tropical storm and bringing much-needed rain to bender in Florida in a week to ten days.

  68. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 8:41 PM | Permalink

    Meanwhile, here out West, where I belong, “where the days are short and the night are long” … LOL ….

    The NWS has continued to overestimate warmth. A would be “heat wave” several days ago fizzled. Now, it looks like the one that was prog’ed for this week will also fizzle. I have not done extensive review of the surface record for California for month-to-date, but would not be surprised to have a normal to cool May, when all things are rolled up.

    Meanwhile, to the north, the Pac NW endures rain event upon rain event. Will there be any “dry season” up there, even a short one of a couple of weeks, this year?

  69. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 8:42 PM | Permalink

    Argh …. fingers … too …. fat…. too….. slow … “night” should have been “nights!” 😉

  70. Jan Pompe
    Posted May 21, 2007 at 10:57 PM | Permalink

    I have seen several remarks about feedback whether GHG’s provide positive or negative feedback and hand waving I might just do a bit more. Let’s see if we can get an intuitive feel about the feedback. Take clouds for instance on cloudy days the surface is cooler on cloudy nights the surface does not cool as much. The water vapour in clouds also store some heat during the day and radiate that later in all directions same at night. There is some delay involved in that radiation (I suspect). This all points to resistance to change in temperature in other words negative feedback. A similar situation I believe applies to other GHGs.

  71. Carl Smith
    Posted May 22, 2007 at 8:21 AM | Permalink

    I have set up a new blog called “Landscheidt Cycles Research” (thanks to John A!).

    On the blog sidebar you will find a link to a page containing links to all the online papers I could find by Dr Theodor Landscheidt, including all the papers on John Daly’s site, and the older papers on the Bourabai Research Institution website.

    Also on the sidebar is a link to a page for those who have wanted to look into the cycles Dr Landscheidt was using but did not know how to obtain the position of the the Centre of Mass of the Solar System relative to the Sun for any particular time – I have compiled and uploaded a 6000 year ephemeris using NASA JPL Horizons data that includes the longitude, distance, angular momentum, and torque, every 5 days for the entire period from 3000BC to 3000AD – note that the Centre of Mass of the Solar System is more often called the “Solar System Barycenter” in astronomical circles.

    I welcome comments and input from those interested in this material, and would be happy to start pages dealing with various aspects of it.

    In coming months I intend to update it with various graphs and other information … however I do not see myself being anything like as busy as Steve M!


  72. beng
    Posted May 22, 2007 at 9:17 AM | Permalink

    RE 71:

    Jan, I think your reasoning is mostly correct. If one looks at general question of what the overall feedback of water to temperature is, including clouds, simple thought experiments show (to me) that it has net negative feedback because of the significantly larger daily variation for highs/lows in desert regions compared to humid areas, and similar changes of variations for dry compared to humid periods at given locations.

    But this doesn’t address the issue of the water vapor GHG effect — ie the averaged daily temps might increase for the humid area compared to the desert, assuming everything else equal.

  73. jae
    Posted May 22, 2007 at 9:28 AM | Permalink

    Carl: that’s a great site. some very interesting stuff!

  74. jae
    Posted May 22, 2007 at 9:51 AM | Permalink

    “But this doesn’t address the issue of the water vapor GHG effect ‘€” ie the averaged daily temps might increase for the humid area compared to the desert, assuming everything else equal.”

    Average July temperatures for low altitude locations in the Desert Southwest are higher than those for similar elevations in the very humid Southeast. See this site.

  75. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 22, 2007 at 10:21 AM | Permalink

    RE: #54 – I’ll heap another one on here …. brackish water bodies that are not quite oceans and not quite lakes. Certainly, the Baltic would qualify. It would be a good debate to look at the Arctic this way, given its intense stratification. Then, there are the prominent large areas of overriding fresh water elsewhere, such as the wedges off of the Amazon, Mississippi, St. Lawrence, Yang Tze, etc.

    At the other end of the spectrum are the extra saline arms of the oceans – The Mediterranean, The Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of California, etc.

    I would wager, without taking the time to do an extensive survey, that the models do not account for these very well.

  76. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 22, 2007 at 10:27 AM | Permalink

    RE: #71 – Vis a vis incoming shorter wavelength spectra thicker lower clouds serve as a high pass filter, vis a vis longer wavelengths they serve more as an overt high value impedence element akin to a resistor or inductor. Vis a vis outgoing longer wavelengths they are indeed a reflector, an huge impedence mismatch. But if the incoming is greatly reduced, then the amount of outgoing IR will be much less than it would have on a sunny or cirrus clouded day.

  77. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 22, 2007 at 10:35 AM | Permalink

    RE: #75 – Since I live in the transition zone between the more heavily floral coastal strip and the great SW deserts I cannot resist throwing in my own observations. Where I live, we get mostly “coastal” weather but sometimes we get an outbreak of interior hot weather. When such an outbreak occurs, it is under the following conditions:
    – Very clear skies
    – Very high heights
    – Intense subsidence
    – RH below 20%
    – Prior to the summer solstice, at least one month after the equinox
    – After the summer solstice, up to one month after the equinox
    – Northerly to Easterly wind but less than 10 MPH velocity
    – Double or triple barrel high, with centers located just east of Hawaii, over the four corners region and if a triple, one more over the central Front Range.

    Now, I have also spent a good deal of time inland, as in, near or in Death Valley. There, the criteria are a bit fewer:
    – Clear sky
    – High heights
    – Intense subsidence
    – RH below 20%
    – Prior to the summer solstice, at least one month after the equinox
    – After the summer solstice, up to one month after the equinox

    In other words, not unlike the Sahara, great Western desert in Australia, or the ones along the NW Indian Ocean litoral.

  78. cbone
    Posted May 22, 2007 at 12:04 PM | Permalink

    NOAA has published their annual guess about the upcoming hurricane season!


    It looks like the over under is about 15 for named storms. (And I must admit they cheated by slapping a name on the subtropical storm last week.

  79. bender
    Posted May 22, 2007 at 12:24 PM | Permalink

    the Atlantic Hurricane Season will be above normal this year’€”showing the ongoing active hurricane era remains strong


    But any second Boris & Lee will be along with their even-handed treatment to tell us that NOAA’s reading of Mother Nature’s mind is not just accurate, but actually BETTER than real observations.

  80. On a lighter note
    Posted May 22, 2007 at 1:19 PM | Permalink

    Cosmologists predict a static universe in 3 trillion years

    AGW proponents think human produced GHGs are the most likely cause.

  81. Paul M
    Posted May 22, 2007 at 2:01 PM | Permalink


    I know that the RMS threads have gone quiet.

    Just so you know that RMS backed down from their decision to use running 5 year averages for hurricane forecasting as a result of pressure from Florida State.



  82. Posted May 22, 2007 at 2:21 PM | Permalink

    Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences Volume 35, 2007 seems to be published. Any change to find / request Mann ME, Rutherford S, Wahl E, Ammann C. 2006a. Robustness of proxy-based climate field reconstruction methods. J. Geophys. Res now? Or is it cited in the published version of Climate Over the Past Two Millennia ?

  83. Jan Pompe
    Posted May 22, 2007 at 2:28 PM | Permalink

    #73 #75

    Average July temperatures for low altitude locations in the Desert Southwest are higher than those for similar elevations in the very humid Southeast.

  84. DeWitt Payne
    Posted May 22, 2007 at 2:31 PM | Permalink

    Enthalpy of moist air:

    A back of the envelope calculation shows, if I did my sums correctly, that for a temperature of 35 C, at 90% RH the enthalpy is 2841 kJ/kg air while at 10 % RH the enthalpy is nearly an order of magnitude less at 316 kJ/kg. Needless to say, that’s why swamp coolers work in a desert climate. jae, if you have the RH data as well as temperature in your spreadsheet, you could use the formulas here:


    to compare enthalpy rather than temperature. I suspect it will be enlightening. Even given the increase in water vapor pressure with temperature, It’s obvious that the temperature of air at 10% RH will have to be a lot hotter to have the same enthalpy as air at 90% RH.

  85. Jan Pompe
    Posted May 22, 2007 at 2:37 PM | Permalink

    #77 Steve

    I like the way you think ; so how do we quantify it. I’m extremely rusty on my control theory.

  86. Harold Pierce Jr
    Posted May 22, 2007 at 6:18 PM | Permalink

    RE: Lighthouses as Global Thermometers.

    Lighthouses are located at the land-sea interface and in remote locations far away cities. Since the urban heat
    island effect and other land use changes can and often introduce bias into ground-based temperature measurements,
    why not use lighthouse climate data for assesing recent climate change? Since this is such a simple idea, I ask if this
    has done and the results have posted at some site?

    RE: Asphalt, Rubber, and Brake Dust.

    Billions of pounds of these microscopic, black heat-absorbing particles are dipersed into the enviroment every year.
    How come the IPCC hasn’t determined the radiative forcing for black carbon on land and in the water as was done with
    soot and black carbon on ice and snow? The strainers in my gutters clog up with this “atmospheric sludge” and I remove
    enough to fill up atleast one 4-liter plastic pail per year of this stuff which looks fine asphalt when it dries out.

    Harold Pierce Jr, BSc(Hon), PhD
    PS: I’m a chemist and also have some concern about the effects of these particles and the plethora of chemicals that they

  87. Lee
    Posted May 22, 2007 at 7:16 PM | Permalink

    re 80.

    aaawww, bender’s flirting with me.

  88. jae
    Posted May 22, 2007 at 9:06 PM | Permalink

    85, DeWitt: You seem to be conflating energy content of the air with temperature, the same thing the RC boys did. I have done those calculations, and you are right. But the AGW crowd is talking about TEMPERATURE, not heat content. Water vapor has a minimal effect on TEMPERATURE, when radiation is increased. The target of the AGW folks is TEMPERATURE, not heat content (enthalpy). Probably due to feedbacks, such as thunderstorms, hurricanes, etc. which transfer the extra energy to space. (parasitic losses, ala Willis Eistenboch).

  89. Jonathan Schafer
    Posted May 22, 2007 at 9:43 PM | Permalink

    Has anyone looked through this?

    Executive Summary
    Human activities increasingly influence all aspects’€”biological, chemical, and physical’€”of the planet on which we live. To better understand what is being affected and how, the scientific method requires us to partition the immense problem at hand into slightly more manageable pieces. One of those pieces is the natural climate variability on which any human-induced change is superimposed. Climate variability, with or without anthropogenic change, represents one of the most fundamental issues of scientific and social interest today. The purpose of the workshop held by the NRC’s Climate Research Committee in September 1992 (at the National Academies’ Beckman Center in Irvine, California) was to define natural climate variability on the time scale of a few human generations. This volume reflects not only the proceedings of that workshop but considerable intervening work, both by the invited authors and their colleagues, and by anonymous reviewers and the book’s editorial committee.

    Natural climate variability on decade-to-century time scales is best defined in terms of the bio-chemical-physical system that must be studied, the principal components of that system, the mechanisms active within each component, and the interactions between components. The main components of the earth system are the atmosphere, oceans, land surface, snow and ice at the surface of both oceans and land, and biota near the interfaces of atmosphere, ocean, and land. The natural mechanisms include radiative transfer, the planetary-scale circulation of the atmosphere and oceans, photochemical processes, and biogeochemical cycles of trace-gases and nutrients. The major interactions between the components of the climate system so defined are given by the exchanges of energy, momentum, water, and trace constituents, which take a large number of specific forms. For instance, ice-albedo feedback affects radiative transfer in the atmosphere and the heat exchange between it and the underlying high-latitude surfaces, and evaporation-wind stress affects the feedback between the tropical atmosphere and oceans.

    Our current understanding of the climate system on these time scales is based on insufficient observations and imperfect models. Historically, both observations and models have addressed only one component of the system; the best (but still unsatisfactory) data sets and models are those available for the atmosphere, followed in order by those for the oceans and, more recently, the snow and ice, land surface, and biota. Fortunately, sophisticated global observation systems and model studies are now addressing all these components. Credible results have been obtained with coupled ocean-atmosphere models in the last decade for the interannual variability of the tropical Pacific Ocean and the overlying atmosphere. Similar results for the longer time scales and global components are only starting to become available at the time of this writing.

    The community owes much to the remarkable foresight of the individuals and institutions whose persistence is responsible for the sets of long-term observations that are available to us today. Studies of climate variability on the interannual time scale have since been greatly stimulated

    How things have changed since 1995 when this was published…:(

  90. Jonathan Schafer
    Posted May 22, 2007 at 9:53 PM | Permalink

    Especially liked this statement from the paper…

    Consistent data quality and uniform data-management practices are essential, and all climate data should be standardized and made available to researchers worldwide.

  91. Philip B
    Posted May 22, 2007 at 10:30 PM | Permalink

    This analysis of temperature data shows water vapour is the primary driver of temperature changes and can find no effect from increasing CO2 levels. It also finds that modern warming is not caused by an increased greenhouse effect, but by an increase in input energy.


  92. Jan Pompe
    Posted May 23, 2007 at 12:48 AM | Permalink

    #73 beng #75 Jae

    I was bit rushed this morning as I had to get off to work and mucked things up. However let me say that I don’t expect negative feedback to affect average temperatures just the variation. Control Theory with an increased negative feedback predicts reduced amplitude in variation around the average in moist areas over that in dry areas. This will show up up in smaller standard deviation in temperature data sets from moist areas than from dry ones.

    Hence daily averages should vary less about an annual mean in moist areas as opposed to those of dry ones. I would also expect that around similar lattitude and altitude for the two areas the annual averages not to be outrageously different.

  93. jae
    Posted May 23, 2007 at 7:50 AM | Permalink


    I would also expect that around similar lattitude and altitude for the two areas the annual averages not to be outrageously different.

    You are correct; there is about a 3 degree difference.

  94. jae
    Posted May 23, 2007 at 8:07 AM | Permalink

    92: I think the SUN is the primary driver; HOH and CO2 retain some of the heat (the “greenhouse” effect). Of course, it’s all very complex, because HOH also carries that heat upward and outward, thereby also helping to release heat to space. If there is a lot of water available (Southeast or oceans), increased radiation increases temperature, but also evaporates more water. In the desert, there is less water to absorb the heat and carry it away, so the temperatures get higher. I think the AGW folks are over-simplifying these relationships and mechanisms.

  95. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 23, 2007 at 10:26 AM | Permalink

    RE: #95 – Another thing …. here out West we are generally on the east side of a semi permanent High (the Pacific/Hawaiian High) whereas the SE US (as well as SE Asia) is on the West side of similar semi permanent highs. Look at this in terms of Hadley Cells.

  96. jae
    Posted May 23, 2007 at 10:52 AM | Permalink

    The point I’m trying to make is that an increase in radiation from the Sun or CO2 increases both temperature and enthalpy. If there is a lot of water available, I think that almost all of the energy from the radiation goes into increased enthalpy. If there is little liquid water available, most of it goes into an increase in temperature. That is why desert environments are more sensitive, temperature wise, to increases in radiation. The “climate sensitivity” depends upon location.

    It is important to remember that temperature is not a good measure of enthalpy. Temperature is a measure of the amount of IR zinging around in the air; whereas, enthalpy is the total amount of energy stored in the air. I wonder if these considerations are included in GCMs.

  97. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 23, 2007 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

    It appears there is a good chance that snowfall will reach north eastern North Dakota over the next 36 hours. Also, a late season snow storm for the southern Rockies is a distinct possibility. No relief in sight for the soggy Great Plains. Cold fronts stacked up all the way to Siberia.

  98. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted May 23, 2007 at 11:07 AM | Permalink


    The IPCC reference work describing that the diurnal temperature range decreased between 1950-1979, but since then has remained on average the same (TAR WG1 Chapter 3 P251).

    Their plot of the spatial variability of the trend suggests that the report you link to may not be inconsistent, but then again, suggests that observations in one place are also not conclusive one way or another.

  99. bender
    Posted May 23, 2007 at 11:08 AM | Permalink

    jae, you know darn well GCMs simulate changes in enthalpy. How well they do it is, of course, another question – and we’ve heard modelers admit that moist convection is problematic. But don’t think that by redefining AGW as AGT you’ve gotten rid of the problem. (That is what you’re up to, after all. And that’s why you keep getting the answers you’ve always been getting, starting with RC.) The problem is W, and all the things it causes, including changes in atmpospheric and oceanic flows.

  100. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 23, 2007 at 11:40 AM | Permalink

    Ski season starts today in South Africa:


  101. Mark T.
    Posted May 23, 2007 at 1:45 PM | Permalink

    Also, a late season snow storm for the southern Rockies is a distinct possibility.

    Hard to tell, but it looks like it is already snowing on Copper Mountain: Jacques Peak.


  102. Mark T.
    Posted May 23, 2007 at 1:45 PM | Permalink

    I should add, we had snow in the Springs last week.


  103. jae
    Posted May 23, 2007 at 2:02 PM | Permalink

    bender, maybe I’m off base again, but it appears to me that the AGW is always defined in terms of T, not true W. How do the models end up providing T values from W information?

  104. bender
    Posted May 23, 2007 at 2:18 PM | Permalink

    Re #104
    That’s a great question, but I don’t think you would like the rather involved answer. I’m not a GCMer, so I can’t reply with any authority. Maybe someone else can help you.

  105. T J Olson
    Posted May 23, 2007 at 3:06 PM | Permalink

    I can confirm to Steve (#98) and Mark (#102) that if has been snowing on Jacques Peak! Indeed, Summit County, Colorado – as low as 7,000 feet – has had snow day and night since Tuesday; the bottom temps won’t get out of the low 30s until Saturday. (Source: I live here.)

    Spring is on hiatus through much of the central Rockies.

  106. Mark T.
    Posted May 23, 2007 at 3:33 PM | Permalink

    Yeah, it’s pretty cold here, too. Supposed to warm up for the weekend which is good because I’m itching to do some camping! Last year at this time I was camping at Sylvan Lake (I’m sure you know where that is TJ). From what I understand, you need a good shovel to do that now.

    Oh, for those that don’t know: Summit County contains Breckenridge, Keystone, A-basin and Copper Mountain ski resorts. Uh, maybe not A-basin…


  107. jae
    Posted May 23, 2007 at 3:36 PM | Permalink

    bender: I think you can derive temperature from enthalpy by using specific humidity and specific heat values for water vapor and all the other gases. But then there are all those problems accounting for condensation/clouds, and we all know how good the models are at dealing with those issues. It’s beyond my understanding, for sure. All I know is that I am over 90 percent confident that it gets hotter in areas with less water, given the same latitude and elevation. This suggests to me that water vapor does not provide a TEMPERATURE feedback overall.

  108. bender
    Posted May 23, 2007 at 3:37 PM | Permalink

    #108 You are incorrigible, sir.

  109. jae
    Posted May 23, 2007 at 3:52 PM | Permalink

    Main Entry: inⶣorⶲi⶧iⶢle
    Pronunciation: (“)in-‘kor-&-j&-b&l, -‘kär-
    Function: adjective
    Etymology: Middle English, from Late Latin incorrigibilis, from Latin in- + corrigere to correct — more at CORRECT
    Date: 14th century
    : incapable of being corrected or amended: as a (1) : not reformable : DEPRAVED (2) : DELINQUENT b : not manageable : UNRULY c : UNALTERABLE, INVETERATE
    – inⶣorⶲi⶧iⶢilⶩⶴy /-“kor-&-j&-‘bi-l&-tE, -“kär-/ noun
    – incorrigible noun
    – inⶣorⶲi⶧iⶢleⶮess /-‘kor-&-j&-b&l-n&s, -‘kär-/ noun
    – inⶣorⶲi⶧iⶢly /-blE/ adverb

    Which definition? All?

  110. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 23, 2007 at 6:14 PM | Permalink

    RE: #106 and 107 – I presume that the ski areas closed early in CO just like they did here in CA, and that, presumably, it was due to lack of business due to a combo of high fuel prices and false belief by skiiers that killer AGW had melted away the snow. I presume there is still plenty of snow in the ones with high base elevations. People simply stop checking the ski area web sites if they believe, rightly, or more often, wrongly, there is no longer snow. Ski areas cannot afford to advertise much, especially during spring, due to their slim profit margins. Etc. But of course, the warmers will probably use earlier ski area closing dates as “proof of killer AGW.”

  111. Ian Castles
    Posted May 23, 2007 at 7:19 PM | Permalink

    The Summary for Policymakers of the contribution of IPCC Working Group II (“Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability”) was released with great fanfare on 6 April. The press briefing in Brussels said that the process had involved 394 authors, 45 review editors, 4 review cycles and 1183 expert reviewers, and that there had been 45,610 review comments. The IPCC website now provides links to eight regional briefings on the WGII contribution to AR4, as well as to a set of four presentations to a meeting under the aegis of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (12 May) and to a presentation to the 15th World Meteorological Congress in Geneva (15 May). Yet, eight weeks after the launch and the related media coverage, there does not seem to be any sign of the 1400-page report on the IPCC website. Am I missing something? And can anyone tell me, please, how I can get access to a copy of a report that has been approved by 180 governments?

  112. David Smith
    Posted May 23, 2007 at 8:49 PM | Permalink

    A couple of ocean temperature anomaly maps and a few comments are here .

  113. Jonathan Schafer
    Posted May 23, 2007 at 9:18 PM | Permalink


    Interesting. Have read several papers discussing SST at depth being more important that SST at the surface. Shallow warmth does not appear to lead to increased hurricane count/strength.

    The GOM and SE Caribbean appear to be slightly warmer at depth with cooler than 2005 at depth off the coast of Africa. Given that the majority of early season storms occur in the Caribbean and GOM and the slightly warmer waters compared to 2005, I’m not sure I agree with their conclusion about the season getting of to a strong/fast start. Have you seen any projected shear charts for the GOM and Caribbean?

  114. Nordic
    Posted May 23, 2007 at 9:19 PM | Permalink

    RE: #111 Here in Utah the Ski areas closed early for a combination of both. We had a very poor snow year and are expecting a very busy fire season in the high country. (Note: plenty of cold this winter, just the snow was absent).

    I am interested in the discussion of heat vs. temps in the atmosphere. Would it be useful to find a different measurement or method than the current standard of a thermometer in a slatted wooden box? What I have been thinking of is something that would dampen out some of the rapid fluctuations we see almost every day (especially here in the desert). For instance; if I were to drill a hole into a meter-square block of stone, insert an electronic thermometer, then build my shade structure over the whole setup what would I be measuring? Would I be getting closer to the kind of measurement Pielke Sr. proposes for heat content of the ocean (except for land of course,and restricted to the surface)? Or can we derive the actual heat of a portion of the atmosphere through simple equations using wet and dry-bulb temperature readings?

  115. Bob Koss
    Posted May 24, 2007 at 3:07 AM | Permalink

    Re 112

    I couldn’t find the technical report either.

    I assume the IPCC will procrastinate as long as they can. They want as much time as possible for the gloom and doom of the summary to be touted by the media. I’m sure the summary can’t be an accurate reflection of the technical report.

  116. fFreddy
    Posted May 24, 2007 at 4:16 AM | Permalink

    Re 112, 116
    I suspect they have learned from their mistake of releasing the WG1 during a cold winter, and want to try and wait until it is definitly summer before releasing any more.

  117. fFreddy
    Posted May 24, 2007 at 4:19 AM | Permalink

    Bah … definitely …

  118. David Smith
    Posted May 24, 2007 at 4:57 AM | Permalink

    RE #114 Jonathan, shear forecasts are here . They show blue (reduced shear) across the lower latitudes of the North Atlantic (= favorable for hurricanes) and elevated shear across the Gulf of Mexico and Bahamas (= unfavorable for hurricanes).

    A good webpage to check for the short-term factors is this one . The lower half of the page, which shows the time series of key factors, is helpful.

  119. TAC
    Posted May 24, 2007 at 5:04 AM | Permalink

    There is an article in today’s NYT about a study coming out today in Nature showing that

    the eastern Caribbean has experienced several periods, lasting centuries, in which strong hurricanes occurred frequently even though ocean temperatures were cooler than those measured today

    The article goes on to say that:

    Judith A. Curry, an atmospheric scientist at Georgia Tech, said the new study, together with other recent research on warming and storms by her and others, added to a picture of rising risk and lagging government action on reducing vulnerability of coastal populations in the Atlantic and Caribbean hurricane zone.


  120. Jan Pompe
    Posted May 24, 2007 at 5:48 AM | Permalink

    #94 jae

    Thank you for your response. I had a look at that RC page where you were having some difficulty getting answers that satisfied you. It is with good reason they leave out a lot. I personally along with other engineers I have spoken to that work or have worked (me 12 years ago) in design of control systems do not think that there is any positive feedback in GHGs it’s all negative, CO2 & H2O alike. That is if it can actually be truly described as a feedback, since apart from the sun the system is almost entirely passive with respect to the energy with in it. I can only find resistance and storage, I acknowledge that there may be complex even chaotic climate behaviours that spread the energy around in the control theory paradigm they are still part of the overall passive system.

    I believe you are right to surmise that water vapour has has a negative feedback effect I believe the same holds true for CO2. You were concerned about the difference in average temperature between moist and dry area here I believe is possibly the only active component in the system as the weather tries water evaporates to cool the local system this has an energy cost which it can only draw from the sun (ultimtately) which is the signal source thus lowering the temperature.

    You also ask: “Why isn’t the equation for surface flux: S + 1/2*lambda*A = G, since half the atmospheric flux goes up and half goes down?”

    Are you happy with the answer? I’m not: while he is (almost) right about the sum of the series and a simple perfect world of illustration of the physics he fails to mention that it is not a perfect world and the system is lossy. Apart from the fact that the coeffieient of lamda*A can never quite reach 1

  121. Jan Pompe
    Posted May 24, 2007 at 6:05 AM | Permalink

    Don’t know what happened there: continuing: it is also unlikely that the the IR radiation is perfectly . reflected each time (does ‘perpetuum mobile’ ring a bell?). IR gases make up around 5% of the the probabilty of each photon hitting a GHG molecule I should imagine is rather low. Collision with other gas molecules can impart added kinetic energy to them thus loosing energy and they no longer have enough to exite a GHG molecule and won’t be absorbed. To get a proper model the coefficient of lambda*A will have to be empirically determined.

    Finally that simple analysis at the top of the page is incomplete since it leaves out the losses of IR (long wave length light) in the upper atmosphere due to scattering and absorption and radiation outwards. The proof that this occurs is the fact that the sky is blue.

  122. tom
    Posted May 24, 2007 at 7:45 AM | Permalink


    This comparative graph on the effects of Solar Irradiance (SI) upon Tropospheric Temperature (TT) versus Carbon Dioxide (CO2) upon TT clearly demonstrates that the observed Δ TT depends almost exclusively on SI, instead of on the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    The red shaded area in the graph indicates the deviation of the TT observed in nature with respect to the expected temperatures from the algorithm applied by the IPCC that was adopted for delineating the Kyoto Protocol (:: Δ TT – :: Δ [CO2]). The discrepancy between the real Δ TT is 1.124, which is a very high uncertainty that allows us to reject the hypothesis about the anthropogenic cause of the increase in the atmospheric CO2 and the Global Warming.

    The violet shaded area represents the deviation of the TT observed in nature with respect to the expected temperatures starting off from the algorithm that implies the law of Stefan-Boltzmann and the deviation of the SI (TTf :: TTi – SIf :: SIi) obtained from the investigation of Judith Lean and colleagues and the team of NOAA/NGDC. The discrepancy between Δ TT observed in nature vs. the Δ TT expected by applying the Law of Stefan-Boltzmann for Δ RS is 0.08, which is into the acceptable parameters of uncertainty. From this, we infer that the increase in the concentration of gases with a high Specific Heat (CO2, Methane, steam, etc.) as the past and the current Global Warming are generated by the positive fluctuations in SI, the precession of the equinoxes and, probably by the small alteration that the terrestrial axis underwent as a result of the December 28, 2006 Indonesian Tsunami (a fluctuation of ca. 0.02″).

    Something extremely important to note, as evidenced by this graph, is that the [b]CO2 concentration began to increase during the Maunder Minimum[/b], caused perhaps by the great amount of atmospheric dust that obstructed the solar light before reaching the photosynthetic systems with an adequate intensity or a specific wavelength for the process. When the increase of CO2 started, there were neither automobiles nor human industries, and the world human population was very small (about 100 million persons in the world).

    Nasif Nahle

    More: http://biocab.org/MGW_to_2006.html#anchor_22

    Warming Periods In The Holocene Epoch


    Heat Stored By Greenhouse Gases


  123. Reference
    Posted May 24, 2007 at 8:27 AM | Permalink

    Re: #120

    A few more interesting details in this summary

    The new research, though, says heat alone is not the only factor in hurricanes, for the atmospheric dynamics caused by El Nino and the African jetstream also play a big role.

    In the later half of the so-called Little Ice Age — a mysterious period of sudden cooling which ran from the 16th to the mid-19th centuries — there was a flurry of hurricanes, note Donnelly and Woodruff.

  124. Mark T.
    Posted May 24, 2007 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

    A couple years living in Florida and you know that the shear caused by El Nino events decreases hurricane strength/frequency. I’ve known this for over a decade (coincidentally, I lived in FL from 1995 to 2002)… which makes me wonder why we keep hearing about “new research” that confirms this?


  125. Jonathan Schafer
    Posted May 24, 2007 at 11:06 AM | Permalink

    #119 David Smith,

    Thanks for link. Adding it to my bookmarks.

  126. Mark T.
    Posted May 24, 2007 at 11:34 AM | Permalink

    Btw, it did end up snowing at my house last night in Colorado Springs. It was warm enough that it was a mixture snow/rain affair, but there was definitely snow on the rails of our patio steps. We live at an elevation of 6800-6900 feet, so I was a bit surprised since this late in the season you typically only hear about snow above 8000 feet or so.

    It’s interesting to see the difference elevation makes, even a few hundred feet of elevation or a few miles along the ground. The airport, where I think the “official” records for the Springs are tallied, lists this year as just under average for snow totals. We live about 8-10 miles north, and 500 feet above the airport, yet we more than doubled the numbers recorded down there (admittedly, 6-8 miles north means that much closer to the Palmer Divide, which got pounded this year).

    The good news is that it is supposed to warm up for the weekend (yay)! We may camp somewhere after all.


  127. jae
    Posted May 24, 2007 at 12:51 PM | Permalink

    123, tom: Those links are great! At last, the basic physics demonstrating (as far as I can tell) that CO2 cannot be changing temperature significantly. And that the Sun can, and is.

  128. Posted May 24, 2007 at 2:35 PM | Permalink

    Re: 123
    Tom, Could you, or someone else put that into some simplified language for a non mathematician please.


  129. jae
    Posted May 24, 2007 at 5:35 PM | Permalink

    129: The best explanation is in the last link. I haven’t digested it all, yet, because it’s hard to follow, he doesn’t define all his terms, and there are some typos. However, he is demonstrating from first principles (thermodynamics)why CO2 cannot possibly cause much warming and why the Sun must be responsible for most of it. I understand most, but not all of it. I would like to see someone audit it. His bottom line really says it all”

    The total solar irradiance incoming to the terrestrial surface is 167 cal (697.04 W/m^2). Considering the mass of air and its thermal capacity, the Earth’s temperature should vary by 0.518 °C, which is exactly the maximum averaged change in tropospheric temperature achieved during the 1990s (in 1998).

    If you do not apply heat to the pot, the fababeans never will cook. The Earth would not be warming if the Sun’s energy output (Solar Irradiance) had not increased. Favorably, our Sun is emitting more radiation now than it was 200 years ago, and so we should have no fear of a natural cycle which has occurred many times over in the lifetime of our Solar System.

    Heat always moves from places of higher density of heat to places of lower density of heat. Thus states the Second Law of Thermodynamics. In daylight, air is always colder than soil; consequently, heat is transferred from the soil to the air, not vice versa. By the same physical law, the heat emitted by the Sun ‘€”a source of heat- is transferred to the Earth, which is a colder system.

    The carbon dioxide capability to absorb-emit heat is much more limited than that of the oceans and the soil; thus, carbon dioxide cannot have been the cause of the warming of the Earth in 1998.

  130. jae
    Posted May 24, 2007 at 5:51 PM | Permalink

    A study of UHI in China.

  131. David Smith
    Posted May 24, 2007 at 7:41 PM | Permalink

    The Hadley CRUT3 global temperature anomaly time series is here , updated through April. This is based on surface temperature measurements.

    Note that the period of no-global-temperature-rise is now into its seventh year.

  132. Bob Koss
    Posted May 24, 2007 at 8:24 PM | Permalink

    Here is a nice article on Kristen Byrnes, the 15 year-old young lady that has commented here on occasion.

    Sharp girl.

  133. Jan Pompe
    Posted May 24, 2007 at 9:03 PM | Permalink

    Re 123 and http://biocab.org/Heat_Stored.html

    Earth receives 697.04 W/m^2 of energy from a total of 1367 W/m^2 of incoming energy from the Sun. 14% of incoming heat to Earth is absorbed by air.

    So where is the other 35% opf incoming heat going?

    #129 Paul,

    Where is your problem exactly? The math is just some algebra and arithmetic on formulae developed by other earlier work by scientists working in the field of thermodynamics; if I’ve forgotten the details I google it;-). Apart from the font which I don’t like it seems straight forward. Most non scientist/mathematicians find their problems relate more to tying the math to the physics and what it means to them.

  134. Jan Pompe
    Posted May 24, 2007 at 9:12 PM | Permalink

    #133 Bob Koss

    She’s a sharp girl indeed now that El Nino is undergoing a sex change we are indeed seeing a change in the weather. Spoiled my planned fishing and camping trip to the Abercrombie river last week.

  135. Bob Weber
    Posted May 25, 2007 at 12:20 AM | Permalink

    Re #123 Were does Nahle get 697.68 W/m^2 incoming radiation when everyone else (even Motl) uses the average value of 342 W/m^2?


  136. DocMartyn
    Posted May 25, 2007 at 5:41 AM | Permalink

    I am interested in calculating the amount of CO2 release vs year. What I would like to know is the area of the or % of the Northern hemisphere that was locked under ice or in permafrost from 1000 to 2000?
    Do these numbers exist?
    I would hate to have to slice through a globe and work out the land area from the North pole has I march southward, so does anyone else have a plot of land area at different Latitudes?
    Finally, I have the ratio of St isotopes in the oceans during the last few galciations. I would like to calculate the rate at which CO2 is mineralized, by Ca and Mg. As the steady state levels of these ions in the oceans will depend on the weathering of rocks by rainfall on land, I wonder if anyone has the ratios of Mg and Ca isotopes in deep ocean sediments over the last million years. From this we may be able to workout if the rate of Mg/Ca deliveray into the oceans correlates with atmospheric CO2 changes.

  137. Jan Pompe
    Posted May 25, 2007 at 7:56 AM | Permalink


    I think you’ll find the 342 w/m^2 is a world wide average and can be considerably higher or lower depending on lattitude and time of year. I measured nearly 800 w/m^2 around midday one summer in Sydney in an experiment in physics class at uni.

  138. tom
    Posted May 25, 2007 at 9:34 AM | Permalink

    Re jae 128

    tom: Those links are great! At last, the basic physics demonstrating (as far as I can tell) that CO2 cannot be changing temperature significantly. And that the Sun can, and is.

    My thought’s exactly, jae.

    Re Paul 129

    Tom, Could you, or someone else put that into some simplified language for a non mathematician please.

    Paul: Dr Gary Novak’s website deals with the CO2 issue in a logical manner easily accessible to lay people. Try this page and follow the links from there:


    claimed heat due to atmosphere — 33°C

    95% due to various things — 31.35°C

    5% due to infrared radiation from earth’s surface — 1.65°C

    8% of infrared radiation picked up by CO2 — 0.13°C

    3% of CO2 produced by humans — 0.004°C

    5% of absorption “unsaturated” for global warming — 0.0002°C

    Re 134 Jan P

    Earth receives 697.04 W/m^2 of energy from a total of 1367 W/m^2 of incoming energy from the Sun. 14% of incoming heat to Earth is absorbed by air.

    So where is the other 35% of incoming heat going?

    The 35%:

    14% reflected by clouds = 95.8 W
    4% reflected by surface = 27.4 W
    7% reflected by ozone, oxygen, etc. = 47.9 W
    10% diffused to space (not absorbed) and retained as latent heat in steam and dew droplets = 68.4 W

  139. tom
    Posted May 25, 2007 at 9:37 AM | Permalink

    Forgot to include a link to the Novak page


  140. jae
    Posted May 25, 2007 at 10:02 AM | Permalink

    136: My guess is that Nahle is using a number for a specific location that corresponds to his 27 degree air temperature example for 31 March 2007. His analysis is so simple that it would be amazing if it is correct. My thermodynamics is very rusty, so I don’t know. We need someone with a good thermo background to review it.

  141. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 25, 2007 at 10:19 AM | Permalink

    #139, 140. I disagree with the analysis in this webpage, but don’t want to spend time on it right now. I’ll try to post something more responsible on the topic within a few weeks, but for now, I’d prefer that you don’t try to base any comments here on that source.

  142. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 25, 2007 at 10:45 AM | Permalink

    Tom, I read that page, and I found it very interesting; I do agree with many issues too, being a “climate change eretic”; and I think that the key problem is indeed a “simple” thermal control problem with just three possible heat sources, as he stated there: Sun, radiation trap, and Earth’s core.

    But when he told us “I estimate” I would like to know from what he estimates it, or at least what degree/academic role/experience he got.

    I found very interesting his point of view on how measuring heat, not for the whole Earth’s atmosphere, but just for the layer between ground and air: I think it could be a usefull simplification (all physics laws are “simple” by theirselves). I was at the beginning “skeptic” on his claim that just a 5% of Earth’s surface heat is moved away by radiation: indeed, convention has to be the main heat transfer medium, because it is largely more efficient than radiation; and, thinking more over it, we have to deal mainly not with our inhabited areas, but with very large areas with small or very small night/day temperature gaps (e.g. overall oceans, or equatorial forests); so such a poor 5% could be right, if we modelise the atmosphere to be transferring heat to space for balancing.
    But, still, I found myself skeptic about this, because of the same poor radiation heat transfer efficiency: Earth should have a 100%in-100%out heat balance, or it would be heating forever; and from space measurements, we know that for a 100% of Sun heat arriving, Earth cools by about 30% with albedo effects (it reflects Sun’s light directly) and for about 70% by radiating IR to space (Sun’s light is absorbed then re-emitted); so I found it very difficult that Earth’s atmosphere could re-emit 65% of Earth’s light, when Earth’s atmosphere is mainly heaten by the ground/sea heaten by Sun’s light (green-house effect is just a secondary effect, being more of the 99% of our atmosphere – gas – almost totally transparent to visible, UV and IR lights – indeed, the main source of GH is water vapor, which often presents as water in the air, as an aerosol, and it is usually not counted among atmosphere gases even being up to 4% of it).

    But, in the end, we could consider atmosphere responsible just for GH effect to re-irradiate heat to space, blaming ground/ocean for the main heat re-irradiation (as indeed it is for the main heat balance) and probably calculations would be in some way correct; but, still, he did not take into account how much of such IR emitted by Earth’s surface can be “intercepted” by CO2, so I think I would need more thinking about his theory, maybe I misunderstood this problem, maybe it is not so influential (e.g. incresing CO2 by 25% would mean a 0.01% change in atmosphere composition: it might result just a 0.01% change in heat transfer to space, then just 0.024W/m^2; etc.).

  143. Greg F
    Posted May 25, 2007 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

    Read some of Novak’s writings and tell me he isn’t certifiable. His critique of relativity is amusing.

  144. tom
    Posted May 25, 2007 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

    RE: 142

    OK, Steve, though I’m interested to hear why you disagree, when you have the time.

    RE: 144

    You are asking people to respond on the basis of an ad hominem – that’s not the way to proceed.

  145. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 25, 2007 at 11:39 AM | Permalink

    Tom, I’m not trying to defend or discuss every “skeptic” argument. I’ve asked people not to discuss Beck and global mean temperature here and Novak is hereby added to the list.

  146. chuck c
    Posted May 25, 2007 at 11:40 AM | Permalink


    While I am as skeptical as many here about dendroclimatology and much of the ice core data published in the mainstream scientific press, the Novak stuff is oversimplified and mostly incorrect. His basic flawed assumption is that the heat transfer methods between the ground and the atmosphere mirror the heat transfer methods between the earth/atmosphere system and space. That’s simply not true.

    His writing style is one that is clearly going to draw attacks such as those in #144. There are people who are not firmly grounded in reality on the skeptic side, too, and I’m afraid Novak is one of them.

    First post here, BTW. Thanks for the site, Steve.

  147. Joe B
    Posted May 25, 2007 at 11:57 AM | Permalink

    This is a pretty fun article:

    15 year old girl predicts end of Australian drought

  148. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 25, 2007 at 12:10 PM | Permalink

    #148. A very nice article about Kirsten Byrnes, who comments here from time to time, when she’s not out-performing the Australian BOM.

  149. jae
    Posted May 25, 2007 at 12:57 PM | Permalink

    LOL. I hope Kristen takes on Judith next.

  150. Mark T.
    Posted May 25, 2007 at 1:00 PM | Permalink

    She seems to have a very logical mind, and at her age, it is not spoiled yet by the biases the rest of us all succumb to. Hopefully she intends to pursue a career in science.


  151. MarkW
    Posted May 25, 2007 at 2:11 PM | Permalink

    “very logical mind” ??

    Are you part Vulcan or something?

  152. Mark T.
    Posted May 25, 2007 at 2:38 PM | Permalink

    No need to be. Logic is ultimately the basis of science, isn’t it?


  153. bender
    Posted May 25, 2007 at 6:17 PM | Permalink

    After asking a reasonable question over at RC

    I want to understand the issue of structural instabilities. Given that there is some irreducible imprecision in model formulation and parameterization, what is the impact of this imprecision? I’m glad to hear that the models aren’t tuned to fit any trends, that they are tuned to fit climate scenarios. (Do you have proof of this?) But it is the stability of these scenarios that concerns me. If they are taken as reliable (i.e. persistent) features of the climate system then I can see how there might exist “a certain probability distribution of behaviors” (as conjectured by #160). My concern is that these probability distributions in fact do not exist, or, rather, are unstable in the long-run. If that is true, then the parameterizations could be far off the mark.

    What do you think the chances are of that? Please consider an entire post devoted to the issue of structural instability in GCMs. Thanks, as always.

    Not only did I not get an inline reply, I was then attacked by my friend, Steve Bloom:

    Re #232: Along with the rest of the ClimateAstrology crowd, what you *want* is to prove your belief that the models are invalid along with the rest of climate science. It’s an interesting hobby for Objectivists with time on their hands, but as has been proved again and again by the few climate scientists who have braved the CA gauntlet, in the end it’s a complete waste of their time.

    There’s more to the exchange if anyone want to follow it:

    As you would expect, I replied to Mr Bloom at RC, but the reply did not pass.

    So, for the record, I post a more substantive reply here at CA, where dialogue is permitted:
    1. I’m not a fan of astrology.
    2. I am not driven by belief.
    3. Invalidating models is the definition of science. It’s not just what *I* do, it’s what real scientists do. Call it what you like – it’s science.
    4. I don’t have a lot of time on my hands. Quite the contrary.
    5. I’ve not been proven wrong on any issue by any climate scientist. Not Judth Curry, not Isaac Held, not Jimy Dudhia. None of them hasever indicated discontent with their interactions with me.

    This attack is disgusting, and RC’s unwillingness to allow me to defend myself, surprising and discouraging. The vitriolic anti-science attitude exhibited by Mr Bloom actually frightens me.

    I don’t want to waste bandwidth engaging in a war over what is a simple, honest question. But I think it may be important to document what’s really going on here. Thank you for allowing me to document this exchange, Steve M.

  154. bender
    Posted May 25, 2007 at 6:28 PM | Permalink

    Replied to Hank Roberts #237 (“But we digress; that would be philosophy”) as follows:

    And the presumptions and distortions in #236, would that be “philosophy” too? Maybe there is a more accurate term for that kind of “digression”?

    It’s up there now. We’ll see if it stands.

  155. welikerocks
    Posted May 25, 2007 at 6:30 PM | Permalink

    Hello All and Happy Memorial Weekend Americans.
    Here in So.Cal its been 4 degrees below normal temps all month!

    Have you seen this from Junk Science/Fox News yesterday? Sorry if its been shared already. I looked through the posts first but I might have missed it.

    Warnings about global warming may not be dire enough, according to a climate study that describes a runaway-train acceleration of industrial carbon dioxide emissions,” USA Today shrieked this week.

    The study authors reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that the rate of manmade carbon dioxide emissions was three times greater during 2000 to 2004 than during the 1990s.

    Since increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels allegedly are causing global warming, the new study must mean that global temperatures are soaring even faster now than they did during the 1990s, right?

    Wrong, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Climatic Data Center.

    By overlaying the atmospheric carbon dioxide trend onto graphs of near-surface temperatures, surface temperatures and ocean temperatures, it is readily apparent that ever-changing global temperatures aren’t keeping pace with ever-increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.

    Hot Air Study Melts Global Warming Theory

  156. Ken Fritsch
    Posted May 25, 2007 at 7:06 PM | Permalink

    Re: #154

    RC being RC and Steve Bloom being Steve Bloom are nothing new for reporting there. If someone ventures to reply intelligently to your question please keep us posted.

  157. gdn
    Posted May 25, 2007 at 7:36 PM | Permalink

    12: Glacial melting is much more likely to be from increased insolation than from higher temperature. The same could The same could be true of icecaps.

    Precipitation/humidity changes seem a very large factor, at least in regards glaciers. Sublimation is not insignificant if it goes on for long enough, neither is an albedo change from dirty ice to fresh snow. Rain falling will melt snow quite quickly.

  158. David Smith
    Posted May 25, 2007 at 7:53 PM | Permalink

    Re #156 Hello, rocks! Good to see you post again.

  159. Philip B
    Posted May 25, 2007 at 8:26 PM | Permalink

    3. Invalidating models is the definition of science. It’s not just what *I* do, it’s what real scientists do. Call it what you like – it’s science.

    Well said. Climate models are theories. We should be testing their predictions by any means possible, not merely seeing if they can produce a rough approximation of the highly questionable mean surface temperature.

  160. Jan Pompe
    Posted May 25, 2007 at 9:06 PM | Permalink

    #146 Steve

    Beck (if Glenn) and Novak I understand, but I’m new here and I don’t quite understand mean global temperture. Is it because any value for it claimed has to be a guesstimate?

  161. bender
    Posted May 25, 2007 at 9:20 PM | Permalink

    Re #161
    From another thread, Steve M has already said, in response to this issue:

    If one sticks to specific issues with the data and methods and stays away from the abstract arguments, then useful things can be said.

    I can’t see where an abstract discussion on the topic gets us any closer to the ultimate goal of audit. If it doesn’t lead somewhere productive, why bother?

    There will be time and place to discuss this, in all its aspects … when John A puts his site together.

  162. Philip B
    Posted May 25, 2007 at 9:29 PM | Permalink

    From the IPCC TAR via wikipedia

    # The model mean exhibits good agreement with observations.
    # The individual models often exhibit worse agreement with observations.
    # Many of the non-flux adjusted models suffered from unrealistic climate drift up to about 1°C/century in global mean surface temperature.
    # The errors in model-mean surface air temperature rarely exceed 1 °C over the oceans and 5 °C over the continents; precipitation and sea level pressure errors are relatively greater but the magnitudes and patterns of these quantities are recognisably similar to observations.
    # Surface air temperature is particularly well simulated, with nearly all models closely matching the observed magnitude of variance and exhibiting a correlation > 0.95 with the observations.

    I find it interesting that the models best predictive accuracy is with (mean) surface air temperature, which is giving a misleading impression of warming. Also this from 2001. I wonder how they have done since?

  163. David Smith
    Posted May 25, 2007 at 9:41 PM | Permalink

    A couple of interesting websites:

    Here is a tool that calculates the (TOA) solar insolation at any locale for any day of the year. Plug in a latitude, longitude, year and month and get a table of solar insolation (W/m2) for the days of that month.
    It’s neat to look at how sunlight varies at, say, the North Pole, where mid-summer insolation is greater than in the tropics, thanks to around-the-clock sunlight.

    And here is a source for GCM output on various atmospheric variables over the next 100 or so years. I assume these are modern, well-regarded models. Things look awfully linear to me.

  164. Bob Koss
    Posted May 26, 2007 at 3:33 AM | Permalink

    Might want to check back and see how this prediction turns out.

    Data obtained throughout the past several months indicates that 2007 Atlantic Basin hurricane activity will be somewhat above the long-term average, with an estimated 13 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes. An abnormally high number of tropical cyclones will form east of the Lesser Antilles during the bimonthly period of August and September, with at least one significant hurricane striking the northeast Caribbean. The Yucatà¡n Peninsula also faces a high risk of a major hurricane strike during the final third of the season. No tropical cyclone landfalls are expected along the United States mainland.


  165. David Smith
    Posted May 26, 2007 at 7:43 AM | Permalink

    RE #165 Nice find, Bob. I’ll add it to the list. IWIC has some interesting reasoning and pre-season indicators.

  166. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 26, 2007 at 8:26 AM | Permalink

    #158: glaciers are a very delicate thing, and not at all stable on medium-long time. They need both precipitations and cold, but in different degrees with latitudes.
    The blamed GW is probably not responsible, at least not for temperature, of the recent melting of equatorial glaciers: this was probably due to a change in precipitation regime only.
    But e.g. Alpine glaciers are more complicated: we can have a very mild year, with a hot summer, but with an exceptional snowy autumn-winter over 2000m/6500ft, like 2001, to get a small advance for some glacier; or, a cold and snowy period from November to June, but a very hot and dry late June and all July, like 2006, to melt in just one month all the snow and ice accumulated in the previous months and even a bit more (and the summer neither was so hot and dry because August was fresh and rainy). So, for my area, glaciers often get ice mass from autumn snow (winter is usually pretty cold but a bit dry in the Alps) but then they can really grow only thanks to fresh spring and summer, so temperature is more important – to be precise, hot season temperature, we could have decades of very cold winters but very hot summers then large glaciers melting (e.g. 1920-1950 melting). And rain is not so bad, on hard ice at low temperatures you would need a lot of water to melt the glaciers as a hot and sunny month.
    In the Arctic and Antarctic, where precipitation regime is arid or semi-arid, temperature is surely the more important thing (of course, we need some snowfall).

    But, for the Arctic overall, I would like to know not only if the recent trend is due more to GW, or to Arctic Oscillation and North Atlantic Oscillation (which both seem to affect very much both Arctic and Europe weather patterns) but also how much “dirty” pollution has been transported there, and what change in albedo effect has it had (then letting snow/ice less time to melt at summer Sun).

  167. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 26, 2007 at 8:32 AM | Permalink

    On the models: mathematical models do not do scientifical theories. They do just calculations, they can help a lot on precision too, but they are just our slaves and they do just what we tell them to do. So, if my analitical theory gives me e.g. some result from 1.0 to 6.0, numerical theory will not tell me I am wrong: it would just give me more results from 0.99999 to 5.99999; I will be able to look at a 50km square instead of a 5000km square, but on the whole system I will never get different results.
    If I modelise a model with -g instead of g, why men should not be able to fly from my calculations?

  168. Posted May 26, 2007 at 8:56 AM | Permalink

    #66 The enthalpy of saturated steam is about 890 BTU/lb at 100 deg C. Saturated water is 180 btu /lb. So one lb of steam condensing releases about 800 BTU enough to raise 8 lbs of water from 0 C to 100 C.


  169. Posted May 26, 2007 at 9:02 AM | Permalink

    Did I say something wrong to get my post deleted?

    I was under the impression this was an open thread. I was responding to something in another open thread. Perhaps if there are rules you could post them at the top of the thread.

  170. Posted May 26, 2007 at 9:14 AM | Permalink

    [snip – if I’ve deleted something, please do not re-post it.]

  171. Michael Jankowski
    Posted May 26, 2007 at 9:21 AM | Permalink

    I find it interesting that the models best predictive accuracy is with (mean) surface air temperature, which is giving a misleading impression of warming. Also this from 2001. I wonder how they have done since?

    It depends who you ask. Most like to say they do a great job and are getting better and better everyday.

    On the other hand, even James Hansen is a little more even-handed. He has a paper in press (abstracts and link to paper here) concerning 1880-2003 simulations using GISS modelE. The long-time NASA/GISS modeling guru says right there in the abstract, “Although there are notable discrepancies between model and observations, the fidelity is sufficient to encourage use of the model for simulations of future climate change.” So he says it’s a model worth of use when it comes to predicting the future.

    Within the paper itself, he says it is on the level of other climate models: “Despite these model limitations, in IPCC model inter-comparisons now being carried out, the model used for most of the simulations reported here, i.e., modelE with the Russell ocean, fares at least as well as the typical global model.”

    Once again, Hansen suggests that modelE is at least average, if not better than average, compared to other climate models.

    So what are these model “limitations?”

    “Model shortcomings include 25% regional deficiency of summer stratus cloud cover off the west coast of the continents with resulting excessive absorption of solar radiation by as much as 50 W/m2, deficiency in absorbed solar radiation and net radiation over other tropical regions by typically 20 W/m2, sea level pressure too high by 4-8 hPa in the winter in the Arctic and 2-4 hPa too low in all seasons in the tropics, 20% deficiency of rainfall over the Amazon basin, 25% deficiency in summer cloud cover in the western United States and central Asia with a corresponding 5°C excessive summer warmth in these regions.”

    Is that good?

  172. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 26, 2007 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

    #170. I started these Unthreaded threads to accommodate other topics, but did not intend to create a platform for every extreme position known to man. May I suggest that you participate in on-topic threaded discussions for a while in a very on-topic way without promoting your own personal favorite theories to get a feel for the place before you start posting your own views.

  173. Posted May 26, 2007 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

    #169 was in slight error. The actual change in enthalpy is about 970 BTU/lb. It takes 180 BTU to raise 1 lb of water 100 deg C

    Which means about 5.4 lbs of water from 0 C to 100 C

  174. bender
    Posted May 26, 2007 at 10:00 AM | Permalink

    Re #168
    It’s not clear that you understand how large models work. When a model gets as large as any of the GCMs, where individual modules are written by individual teams, no one man or team controls it. Instead, the work of teams A, B, C, on modules A, B, C, is constrained by module D, controlled by team D. Module D can be adjusted only if team D domain experts allow it. And so on. Model development is thus a negotiated process. If the parameters are heavily constrained by precise experimentation then there is little wiggle-room, and no room for subjectivity. If parameters are unknown, or not known with certainty, then there is room for tweaking the parameters to generate a model fit. This happens a lot. It is called “tuning”. Understanding the nature of the tuning process is critical for determining whether or not the sum model A+B+C+D+… is scientific.

    You say:

    mathematical models do not do scientifical theories

    But I have a hard time distinguishing between the scientist and the model when the models are this large & complex, developed according to a multi-team framework. To some extent the model does direct the scientist. If scientist A takes module B on faith, then module B is affecting theories in domain A, and the tuning process is not purely scientific. If scientist A is coerced into parameterizing his module A on the basis of powerfully coercive teams B, C, D, then that also is an example of the model “doing” the science – the tail wagging the dog.

    Simple models are simple calculating devices, I agree. But complex models are more than that. They are a human-network-mediated evolutionary process – a process which is not necessarily governed by purely disinterested scientific forces. If political agendas enter into the tuning process, then A+B+C+D may evolve into a house of cards.

    You fail to distinguish between short-run “doing of theories” and long-run “doing of theories”. This distinction doesn’t matter for small models that do not evolve; here, there is no long-run. But with large models it matters, as it can take quite some time for non-scientific perturbations to the model development process to damp out. So I agree that in the long-run, models don’t “do” theories. But in the short-run (the average length of the average scientific carreer) the tail can wag the dog. How long this goes on depends on the nature of the perturbation regime. “Scientists” motivated by politics or self-interest can present a persistent problem. Especially if they are indoctrinated across generations into a particular culture of thought or habit.

    Because of the sensitivity of the team-modeling process to corrupt (i.e. non-scientific) forces, and because of its capacity for over-fitting models to select data subsets, one has to pay close attention to instances of divergence, where new observations do not conform with model expectations. Modelers that seem uninterested in uncertainty, overfitting, and divergence may not be trustworthy. Even if they are well-intentioned they may not understand the nature of the hypothesis-testing game when it comes to stochastic dynamic systems.

  175. Posted May 26, 2007 at 10:22 AM | Permalink

    #174 Steve,

    I was responding to something in #10 unthread as I said. In fact I think I read about 70% of that unthread and have been lurking here for the last 6 hours (plus about 4 hours yesterday) looking for urls that would help in a piece I am working on. Found a lot of good stuff! #10 had a lot of semi-political discussions and I felt moved to respond and would have responed in #10 had that been open. I saw a number of folks at the top of this thread continuing discussions in #10 so I figured that was OK.

    Well any way glad to help with the steam table stuff. Haven’t done much of that since I was a Naval Nuke 40 years ago. First cut was a little shaky. Error corrected.

    BTW click on the Bussard link above and explain how I crossed the line. (you can post any where you like – OT or not). I don’t delete either. Unless you want me to. My e-mail is also on the sidebar. Once I’m sure of your red lines I won’t cross them. I’d like to know though what is extreme about wanting poor people to improve their lot in life? Or not wanting the government to piss away my money? Or believing in voluntary exchange? Contact me. A few e-mail exchanges should solve it. And if this is too far OT, or my first post is, you can delete them. I just wanted to retrieve the post so I could use it at my blog.

    As long as I’m going off on a political vein – I have asked a number of bright capable AGW folks (one studied under Feynman) to help with the fusion stuff, since if it works (about a 1% to 10% chance is my engineering estimate – the risk reward ratio is right though) it would eliminate most CO2 production in about 20 to 25 years, not full time effort or even part time effort, anything, including words of encouragement. None of them have yet offered to pitch in, even a little. Which leads me to believe that the desire to eliminate CO2 production is not their real interest. Power and Control is their real interest. By any means necessary. As a number of folks stated in #10. Further corroboration. Isn’t it interesting that a technological solution doesn’t interest them?

    Did I mention I’d like to see you go on the attack (so far you are mostly doing defence) by running the correlations between the solar data and the temperature data vs the CO2 data. Not my area of expertise. However, it would be really nice to have some one skilled do the correlations rather than just overlaying graphs. It is not real science unless you have numbers and I haven’t seen any in a couple of days of 10 hours/day looking.

    Again thanks!

  176. bender
    Posted May 26, 2007 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

    From Hansen et al. (2007) (provided in #172):

    Uncertainty of the net forcing is dominated by the aerosol forcing, which we suggested above to be uncertain by 50%.

  177. Ken Fritsch
    Posted May 26, 2007 at 10:38 AM | Permalink

    Re: #175

    Bender, in my mind, your post gives a good summary of the potential weaknesses in models as complex as those used for climate and avoids any appearance of looking for conspiratorial leaning motivations. The excerpted comment from your post below covers very well my main concern with these models– from my layman’s observation post. I sometimes think that I have not searched or questioned sufficiently to hear modelers’ concerns about over fitting, etc. If you have any links to modelers expressing these concerns or replying to your questions about theses concerns let us know.

    The modelers of good reputation who have posted here and I have read in other places would appear to just assume that their models cannot be over fit without really having formally addressed this potential problem. I find that response not at all reassuring as I have heard similar ones from the developers of obviously data snooped and over fitted stock investment schemes — that have failed out-of-sample.

    Modelers that seem uninterested in uncertainty, overfitting, and divergence may not be trustworthy. Even if they are well-intentioned they may not understand the nature of the hypothesis-testing game when it comes to stochastic dynamic systems.

  178. bender
    Posted May 26, 2007 at 10:46 AM | Permalink

    p. 8: Model lack of fit in the Arctic warm 40s, possibly attributable to model specification error:

    It may be fruitless to search for an external forcing to produce peak warmth around 1940. It is shown below that the observed maximum is due almost entirely to temporary warmth in the Arctic. Such Arctic warmth could be a natural oscillation (Johannessen et al. 2004), possibly unforced. Indeed, there are few forcings that would yield warmth largely confined to the Arctic. Candidates might be soot blown to the Arctic from industrial activity at the outset of World War II, or solar forcing of the Arctic Oscillation (Shindell et al. 1999; Tourpali et al. 2005) that is not captured by our present model. Perhaps a more likely scenario is an unforced ocean dynamical fluctuation with heat transport to the Arctic and positive feedbacks from reduced sea ice.

  179. bender
    Posted May 26, 2007 at 11:02 AM | Permalink

    From p. S-3:

    A computer programming error was present in the calculation of snow albedo in several of our climate simulations.

    Audit the GCMs!

  180. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 26, 2007 at 11:21 AM | Permalink

    #179. bender, given that the recent temperature increase is associated with the Arctic so much, there’s an interesting possibility that I’ve not seen mentioned by anyone. Mathematically, the amount of heat transferred from the tropics to the extratropics is under-determined. Think about a system with two temperatures: tropics T1 and polar regions T2. If the amount of heat transferred to the polar half is increased by say 5% (or any amount), then you increase the average global temperature noticeably without any change in “forcing”. This occurs because the energy balance is an integral of T^4 and the average temperature is an integral of T^1. It’s especially important given the peculiar asymmetries in earth’s energy flow with a relatively warm Arctic and cold Antarctic.

  181. Paul Linsay
    Posted May 26, 2007 at 11:51 AM | Permalink

    #181, SteveM. Actually that’s the sort of thing that Roger Pielke, Sr. harps on all the time, all though he talks about it in the context of the oceans more than the air. The tropics have a lot of water vapor in the air whereas the poles and deserts have very little. Since the specific heat of water is so large, any increase in heat input in the tropics causes much less temperature increase than it would where the air is very dry. So yes, the average temperature could go up with very little increase in energy flux or simply a redistribution.

  182. bernie
    Posted May 26, 2007 at 12:57 PM | Permalink


    I was tracking your attempted dialogue on RC on the handling (or non-handling) of uncertainties in GCMs. Do the Editors and commentators typically just ignore or disparage any questions or comments that in anyway challenges received wisdom. Are they as one sided in how they edit comments as they appear?

  183. bernie
    Posted May 26, 2007 at 1:17 PM | Permalink

    I was thinking about the problem of error bars and uncertainties that are central to much of this work and how to effectively communicate this to the general public. How is the following as a simple metric of the strength of the apparent recent temperature trend: How many years of temperatures equivalent to the baseline temperature would it take for the current trend to become zero? A strong trend would take many years of baseline temperature for the trend to become zero, while a weak trend would take but a few.

  184. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 26, 2007 at 1:20 PM | Permalink

    #183. Bernie, they’re worse. They did a post on the von Storch and Zorita Comment on our articles and they wouldn’t let me post a response – a response which was very technical and not editorializing. I accordingly did a post here asking the question: Is Gavin Schmidt Honest (about permitting a scientific dialogue as stated in realclimate policies)? Gavin showed up here to spit and then went back to his lair.

  185. bender
    Posted May 26, 2007 at 1:34 PM | Permalink

    Re #183
    Well, bernie,
    I’ve had one comment before disallowed, and now my reply to Timothy Chase #246 is not showing up:

    “The subject of gavin’s post was Hansen’s models from twenty years ago.”

    The content of the post is as you describe. However the subject of the post is broader than that; it is the credibility of the Hansen et al approach to climate dynamics modeling. You can redefine the debate as narrowly as you like; the harder you work these semantics, the more it worsens your case.

    “Those models proved to be fairly accurate”

    Your notion of model “accuracy” is perhaps not as nuanced as it needs to be. With a stochastic dynamic system model containing a hundred free parameters, do you have any idea how easy it is to get the right answer … for the *wrong* reasons? A valid model is one which gives you the right answers … for the *right* reasons. There is much more to model validation than an output correlation test, especially over a meagre 20 years.

    If your faith in the model’s accuracy is so strong, then why don’t you just sit back patiently, keep quiet, and let the experts defend it? Then my concern will be proven to be unfounded. Then I will leave, we can stay friends, and all will be well again.

    Maybe it will show up. Maybe I’ve said something controversial like “gavin” or “Hansen”, so it temporarily goes in the queue for scrutiny. But if so, why did my pother post never show up? [I did use the phrase “real climate science”. Maybe that triggered something?]

    It’s very hard to defend oneself when you have one arm removed while your aggressor still has two.

  186. bender
    Posted May 26, 2007 at 1:36 PM | Permalink

    Bernie, the nested quotes above didn’t work correctly. Everything’s a quote up to “Maybe it will show up …”

  187. bernie
    Posted May 26, 2007 at 1:38 PM | Permalink

    Makes you wonder why they are soooo defensive. I tell my wife, who owns a store, that when customers come in to return
    something and appear to be immediately on the “attack” that this is a sign of defensiveness and a sure “tell” that something is wrong and that they are probably not entitled to a refund or exchange. People can be very transparent.

  188. Jan Pompe
    Posted May 26, 2007 at 3:38 PM | Permalink

    #162 bender


  189. Jim Clarke
    Posted May 26, 2007 at 3:48 PM | Permalink

    Re 181,182

    Yes, this is why I believe that the PDO explains at least half of the observed warming of the 20th century, which has been largely in the high northern latitudes of the globe. When the oceans move heat into the high latititues, there is no need for more global energy to result in a warmer atmosphere.

    We already understand the mechanism with strong El Ninos. A deep pool of warm ocean water is spread out over a much larger surface area, resulting in more exposure to the air and a warmer atmosphere. It makes sense that the PDO would have a similar effect, but on a longer, decadal time scale. When the PDO is in its warm phase (like it was for 2/3 of the 20th century) relatively warmer water spreads over the Northern Pacific and into the Arctic oceans, resulting in the observed reductions in sea ice and warmer atmospheric conditions.

    As the PDO goes negative in the coming years, cooler surface waters will return to the region, resulting in significant regional cooling, increasing sea ice and gradual global cooling, without any significant change in the total energy flux.

  190. Craig Loehle
    Posted May 26, 2007 at 4:09 PM | Permalink

    the question has arisen above about what mechanism could primarily warm just the arctic (polar regions). The GCMs don’t seem to imagine any such mechanism. However Svensmark’s solar hypothesis (The Cooling Stars book) is that cosmic rays influence clouds. Because cosmic rays get through where the earth’s magnetic field is weak (the poles), the effect of his mechanism is strongest at the poles and weakest at the equator. Willie Soon’s correlation of arctic temperatures with solar activity strongly supports this theory. By leaving out this mechanism, it is easy to say it “must be” CO2 when running the models.

  191. mccall
    Posted May 26, 2007 at 4:37 PM | Permalink

    Less than an endorsement of AGW, found in the following presentation from Dr. Pielke Sr’s blog.

    Note slide 11 of 32 from the recent presentation.

  192. Paul Linsay
    Posted May 26, 2007 at 4:39 PM | Permalink

    #190, Jim. Excellent point, it has to be the oceans that redistribute the energy to higher latitudes. The atmosphere alone doesn’t have the heat capacity to sustain a long term heat transfer.

  193. Jan Pompe
    Posted May 26, 2007 at 5:28 PM | Permalink

    I saw this a week ago in a local paper (Sydney Morning Herald):


    I believe it to be more fear mongering regarding rising CO2 levels. Now given that Ice Core records (Vostok, Greenland and Antarctica) show that there is about an 800 year lag in carbon dioxide levels with respect to global temperature. These records also show a warm period much warmer than today that reaches it’s peak in the 14th century. This is around 700 years ago so shouldn’t we be expecting rising CO2 levels due to oceans giving up its dissolved gases, whose solubility is inversely proportional to temperature, and whose rise we can expect to go on for another 100 years regardless of atmospheric temperatures?

  194. Philip B
    Posted May 26, 2007 at 6:40 PM | Permalink

    I know more than most about modelling systems (not climate) and writing software to implement the model. It is a highly error prone activity that gets exponentially worse as the model size grows. Removing the errors is a long and tedious process requiring continually checking the model output against the know facts about the system. And even then errors will show up for years and certainly an unknown number will never be found.

    Predicting one questionable metric more-or-less correctly says almost nothing about the accuracy of the model. What about all those other parameters that change over the model run. How accurate are they as predictions? The IPCC TAR seems to think not very.

    Which leads me to two conclusions. One is that the inherent difficulties of checking the accuracy of model output against the climate system mean these models have high levels of errors in them. The other is that we need good data on how well the many parameters in the models are as predictors, in order to assess how well the models reflect the actual climate.

  195. Jim Clarke
    Posted May 26, 2007 at 9:15 PM | Permalink

    Re 191,


    I think the Cosmic Ray hypothesis has just as much validity as CO2, if not more. When we assume that cosmic rays, increasing CO2 and ocean cycles all played a role in 20th century temperature changes, the dominant factor seems to be the ocean cycles. The fact that both CO2 and cosmic rays should have been causing warming in the mid-20th century, but were overwhelmed by the cooler ocean cycle, reveals the strength of the oceans. (The aerosol argument for cooling does not explain the observations as the cooling was similar in both the northern and southern hemispheres.)

    When you do not cherry-pick the data like the IPCC, it becomes obvious that increasing CO2 can not possible amount to more than a degree of warming in the coming centuries.

  196. bender
    Posted May 26, 2007 at 10:12 PM | Permalink

    Re #183, 185 For the record, PHE is being blocked from RC as well:
    They are probably using a very simple rule whereby comments with certain key phrases don’t get posted immediately (e.g. “gavin”, “hansen”, “real climate”, etc). There can’t be a real-time brain behind the decisions as to what gets posted because my unposted comments were quite inoffensive. If you really want your comments to pass their test, certain phrases need to be avoided.

  197. Gerald Machnee
    Posted May 26, 2007 at 10:27 PM | Permalink

    When I read the comics in the newspaper, I usually go for Dilbert first. Now I have to revise my priorities. I have to check CA daily to see the latest episode revealed by Steve. Soon (if not already, there should be enough material to syndicate a new comic strip.

  198. mccall
    Posted May 27, 2007 at 12:34 AM | Permalink

    Mr McIntyre-

    Re: 192 — have you been in communication with Dr Cotton @ CO State U? He got it right when he showed MBH’99 (slide 9), then commenting in slide 11:

    It’s refreshing that someone actually didn’t attribute a reconstruction to M&M.

  199. mccall
    Posted May 27, 2007 at 12:36 AM | Permalink

    Mr McIntyre-

    Re: 192 — have you been in communication with Dr Cotton @ CO State U? He got it right when he showed MBH’99 (slide 9), then commenting in slide 11:

    the hockey stick and the corrected temperature curve (green line) by McIntyre between 1400 and 1980. The green curve is not intended to indicate the true temperature, but to show the result of a correct use of data.

    It’s refreshing that someone actually didn’t attribute the data handling correction, as a reconstruction to M&M.

  200. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 27, 2007 at 7:44 AM | Permalink

    #200. I’ll do so. It’s amazing and refreshing to see a climate scientist understand the nuance. Wahl and Ammann spent much of a paper arguing that “our” reconstruction (which is a sensitivity on MBH in effect with reduced bristlecone weighting)is no good. We agree that MBH without bristlecones is no good; our difference is that we don’t believe that adding bristlecones to something that’s no good can yield anything of scientific merit.

  201. richardT
    Posted May 27, 2007 at 8:05 AM | Permalink

    The atmosphere transports more heat than the ocean, except in the tropics. Although water has a higher specific heat capacity than air, atmospheric currents are much faster, and are present everywhere. Latent heat increases the amount of energy that is moved by the atmosphere.

  202. David Smith
    Posted May 27, 2007 at 9:21 AM | Permalink

    I noted the following excerpt from the IWIC article :

    The PDO switched to a long-term warm cycle in 1977 and aside from a few fluctuations has remained in that phase up to the present time. However, the PDO has been closer to neutral since mid 2006. In fact, a recently discovered link between the PDO and solar activity suggests that it will indeed switch to a long-term cool state later this year as La Nià±a conditions unfold in the equatorial Pacific.

    (Emphasis added)

    I will e-mail IWIC and see if they can provide a reference or otherwise elaborate on this. I don’t know if this is just recycled conjecture (there has been a lot over the years) or something new.

  203. Jo Calder
    Posted May 27, 2007 at 9:28 AM | Permalink

    Bender wrote (#197):

    If you really want your comments to pass their test, certain phrases need to be avoided.

    Try just the one word “bristlecones” against the Fun with Correlations” thread.

  204. bender
    Posted May 27, 2007 at 10:43 AM | Permalink

    Re #204 Interesting. Just had another one denied. I think it was “AGU” that tripped this refusal. Weird.

  205. MarkR
    Posted May 27, 2007 at 4:22 PM | Permalink

    My pithy: “Whet, no bristelcone?” appeared straight away. Judicious miss-spelling may be the answer also, my fictitious nom de blog.

  206. MarkR
    Posted May 27, 2007 at 4:34 PM | Permalink

    They must have realised I was taking the Pith. Now my post is no more. Woe, Woe, Woe.

  207. David Smith
    Posted May 27, 2007 at 8:01 PM | Permalink

    Cryosphere Today’s current ice extent and anomaly plot for the Arctic is here . The lower line shows the anomaly (deficit), which is smaller than at this time in May, 2006. Interestingly, half the regions measured for this calculation are at, or slightly above, normal for this time of year – the big deficit is close to Eurasia.

    Antarctica is often ignored when sea ice is discussed, but not here. The chart for the southern polar region is here . Current ice extent is slightly above the 20-year mean. It is also noticeably higher than at this time in 2006.

    Globally the ice extent is running about 98.5% of the 1979-2000 mean and, currently at least, that 1.5% gap is shrinking.

    Apocalypse: postponed.

  208. Richard Sharpe
    Posted May 27, 2007 at 8:39 PM | Permalink

    Jan Pompe says:

    Seriously though I think we are facing big problems if climatologists cannot recognise that distance from the sun or variation in solar output can and does have an effect on climate.

    Oh, I think they do recognize that these things have an effect. They just think that human activity has a bigger effect.

  209. Theo Richel
    Posted May 28, 2007 at 7:51 AM | Permalink

    May I draw your attention to this website: http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/92 . Karolinska professor Hans Rosling shows here a completely new way of presenting statistics and I think that this apparently free software could be very useful to Steve and others involved in analysing and presenting statistics from all sorts of sources. I downloaded the large version (200mmb).


    Theo Richel

  210. David Smith
    Posted May 28, 2007 at 8:09 AM | Permalink

    Far off topic (I apologize), but interesting, are these photographs of floating pumice near a volcano. One of nature’s odd sights.

  211. MarkR
    Posted May 28, 2007 at 3:04 PM | Permalink

    Mironov Tells Kyoto Experts The World Is Getting Cooler
    By Simon Shuster
    Staff Writer

    Sergei Mironov

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a failure from the start. Russia’s biggest conference on the Kyoto Protocol, which aims to fight global warming, began with a speech from a top official who denied that global warming even exists.

    “In reality, the scientific basis for the protocol is fairly weak,” Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov told a crowded opening session of the two-day conference Thursday, which drew more than 200 environmental experts and carbon market participants from around the world. “In the opinion of many experts, the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere does not have any effect on the climate.” ……

    In fact, a process of “global cooling” is now taking place, Mironov argued, citing several obscure Russian studies to prove it…….

    The Moscow Times

  212. David Smith
    Posted May 28, 2007 at 4:59 PM | Permalink

    Snow in East Anglia in late May?

    White in Calgary…

    … and Bismark ND

    and snow in South Africa, in some places for the first time in 50 years

  213. Jan Pompe
    Posted May 28, 2007 at 5:17 PM | Permalink

    #211 Richard

    You may be right but let me entertain my doubts. It’s not the first time I’ve heard climate alarmist referring into solar source claims as astrology. It may be becoming part of the rhetoric.

  214. bender
    Posted May 28, 2007 at 6:18 PM | Permalink

    I think it is becoming part of the rhetoric. Over at RC, *I*, of all people, was accused of being an “astrologist” – something I tease jae about all the time.

  215. bender
    Posted May 28, 2007 at 6:50 PM | Permalink

    Actually, this is the first time I was accused of dabbling in “astrology”:

  216. Posted May 28, 2007 at 8:54 PM | Permalink

    RE 208, from the early 1990’s I have found the BoM culture to be riddled with myths.

  217. Jaye
    Posted May 28, 2007 at 9:13 PM | Permalink

    I’ve been reading some of Pielke’s blog. Bloom is constantly asking Pielke if he is still “part of the consensus” with references to denialist’s mucking up the works. Pielke is polite but somewhat dismissive. Does Bloom need professional help? Shouldn’t he just stop using denialist when what he really means is heretic?

  218. Mark T.
    Posted May 29, 2007 at 2:36 AM | Permalink

    Does Bloom need professional help?

    No, he’s just an advocate/activist. The concept of a logical fallacy falls short of his doorstep and emotional response is all that matters.


    Posted May 29, 2007 at 5:21 AM | Permalink

    …208..Old “Luxys” wavelength See the other
    thread ISO2000 etc Luxembourg Ville according
    to WWF had had 2,0C increase in summer temps since
    early 1980ⳳ…
    Any CA reader/lurker/contributor check it up!
    absolitely, you don⳴ happen to have a recording??
    But in fact, some AGW:ers ..correction too
    many say very stupid things One working for Swedish
    Nat Radio P1 (Must be “neutral”) Last Feb 2 SPM-DAY
    told listeners to tell people who were going to
    Africa “youⳬl get malaria, 100%” small laugh too!!
    So I count these people as working for us now,
    getting more and more desperate and mumbo-jumbo-ing…

  220. MarkW
    Posted May 29, 2007 at 6:14 AM | Permalink

    I’ve read that the earth’s magnetic field has been weakening over the last 100 years.
    How would this affect cosmic rays?

  221. Michael Jankowski
    Posted May 29, 2007 at 8:40 AM | Permalink

    Does Bloom need professional help?

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a climate discussion board for which he didn’t have a recent post. It’s like he has several dozen sites on his watchlist of favorites and scrolls through waiting for new threads, new comments, etc. I think he’s the climate discussion analog to the people who play online game like “World of Warcraft” constantly and obsessively. Watching the “South Park” mockery of online gaming, I kept relating Cartman to Mr Bloom…

    But I think he’s much better and more tolerable than some folks I’ve come across.

  222. James Erlandson
    Posted May 29, 2007 at 8:51 AM | Permalink

    Aleks Jakulin has a few words about mathematical models prompted by the article “Why Mathematical Models Just Don’t Add Up.” (paywall)

    … quantitative models are overrated in our society, especially in domains that involve complex systems. The myriad of unrealistic and often silly assumptions are hidden beneath layers of obtuse mathematics.

  223. Jan Pompe
    Posted May 29, 2007 at 8:59 AM | Permalink


    He said you were on your way to becoming one, he couldn’t possibly be wrong, could he?

    In any case the ice core temperature looks like a saw tooth to me and I’m planning a little dentistry. If I can remember enough about programming Fourier Transforms. Could run into trouble with Sunspot cycles since they appear to frequency modulated with a 85year cycle. I’ll see how it goes.

  224. jae
    Posted May 29, 2007 at 10:25 AM | Permalink


    Because of the sensitivity of the team-modeling process to corrupt (i.e. non-scientific) forces, and because of its capacity for over-fitting models to select data subsets, one has to pay close attention to instances of divergence, where new observations do not conform with model expectations. Modelers that seem uninterested in uncertainty, overfitting, and divergence may not be trustworthy. Even if they are well-intentioned they may not understand the nature of the hypothesis-testing game when it comes to stochastic dynamic systems.

    It will be fun to watch the models diverge from reality when the cooling comes!

  225. jae
    Posted May 29, 2007 at 10:28 AM | Permalink

    182, Paul:

    Since the specific heat of water is so large, any increase in heat input in the tropics causes much less temperature increase than it would where the air is very dry. So yes, the average temperature could go up with very little increase in energy flux or simply a redistribution.

    Ahh, it’s good to see someone else who notices this fact. Just like the differences between low elevations in the Desert Southwest and the Gulf Coast at the same latitude.

  226. MarkW
    Posted May 29, 2007 at 11:30 AM | Permalink


    They’ll adjust the data to fit the model. That way there will be no divergence to explain.

  227. bender
    Posted May 29, 2007 at 1:13 PM | Permalink

    Now they’ve got a block on everything I comment on at RC.
    We’ll see if this one makes it through:

    Dude, where’s my comment – the one on arithmetic non-independence among the reconstructions shown in the opening figure? Don’t you think it’s a problem?

    It’s referring to a fuller comment that I posted earlier that ain’t makin’ it. The thread is “the weirdest millenium”.

  228. Posted May 29, 2007 at 1:34 PM | Permalink


    It’s your own fault. You started talking about error bars 😉

  229. Michael Jankowski
    Posted May 29, 2007 at 2:34 PM | Permalink

    In support of my #224, who the hell is this Ian Forrester fool, and how is he able to speak in full sentences?

  230. Posted May 29, 2007 at 2:52 PM | Permalink

    In response to # 134:

    I want to ask Dr. McIntyre if I may post data about Solar Irradiance upon planets that were published on line in my website. Thank you.

  231. Posted May 29, 2007 at 3:40 PM | Permalink

    The human understanding is no dry light, but recieves infusion from the will and affections; whence proceed sciences which may be called “sciences as one would”. For what a man had rather were true he more readily believes. Therefore he rejects difficult things from impatience of research; sober things because they narrow hope; the deeper things of nature from pride and superstition; the light of experience, from arrogance and pride; things not commonly believed, out of deference to the opinion of the vulgar. Numberless in short are the ways and sometimes imperceptable, in which the affections colour and infect the understanding. Francis Bacon (1620)

  232. george h.
    Posted May 29, 2007 at 4:08 PM | Permalink

    Unexpected and somewhat out of character, this series in The Nation exposing “greenhouse fearmongers” is hitting some raw nerves with greenie readers, with team RC and with Monbiot:


    Fun reading.

  233. Follow the Money
    Posted May 29, 2007 at 4:10 PM | Permalink

    New from Alexander Cockburn-

    The Greenhousers Strike Back and Out

  234. jae
    Posted May 29, 2007 at 4:39 PM | Permalink

    234: Great quote!

  235. Posted May 29, 2007 at 4:40 PM | Permalink

    We had a short rain today that flash evaporated – pavement was hot – rain falling on vegetation doesn’t do this. I wonder if there is any semi accurate number of what amount of land is covered with pavement?

    I heard that we now have 5% higher average relative humidity in Wichita than in the ’60s. If my numbers are correct, a 5% humidity change swamps CO2 by about 150 times. I wonder if there is any where to see any more historical records on humidity? Hard to understand how irrigation gets such a complete pass as even a possible contributor in these theories.

    There is no occurrence of the word irrigation in Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis, Summary for Policymakers and only a few references in the full report – often expressing it as unknowable.

  236. Bob Weber
    Posted May 29, 2007 at 5:28 PM | Permalink

    As a counter to carbon credit sellers we now have carbon debits. See http://www.carboncreditkillers.com/


  237. Posted May 29, 2007 at 5:33 PM | Permalink

    I recently read Carl Sagan’s “The Demon Haunted World” in which he has a chapter on “The Fine Art of Baloney Detection”. Among the tools are:
    Wherever possible there must be independant confirmation of the facts. Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view. Arguments from authority carry little weight – “authorities” have made big mistakes in the past. Spin more than one hypothesis, think of all the different ways in which it could be explained. Try not to get too attatched to a hypothesis just because it’s yours. Quantify. If theres a chain of argument, every link in the chain must work not just most of them. Invoke Occam’s razor. Always ask if the hypothesis can be, at least in principle, falsified.

    Carl also tells us what not to do: Attack the argument , not the man. Do not argue from authority. Do not argue from adverse consequences. Do not appeal to ignorance i.e; claim that whatever has not been proved false must be true.
    Observational selection is banned. Do not use statistics of small numbers. Do not count the hits and forget the misses.

  238. jae
    Posted May 29, 2007 at 5:59 PM | Permalink

    It appears that quite a few climate scientists don’t meet ANY of Sagan’s criteria.

  239. Posted May 29, 2007 at 7:28 PM | Permalink

    In response to # 134:



    GPL = QSUN / 4Ï€ (POR)^2

    GPL is the amount of incident solar radiation upon the planet.
    QSUN is the total amount of energy emitted by the Sun expressed in Watts.
    4Ï€ = 12.56637061
    POR is the Planet Orbital Radius, expressed in meters.


    Mercury = 9.449.43 W/m^2
    Venus = 2687.6 W/m^2
    Earth = 1405.985 W/m^2 (average)
    Mars = 612.55 W/m^2
    Jupiter = 52.34 W/m^2
    Saturn = 6.59 W/m^2
    Uranus = 3.89 W/m^2
    Neptune = 1.55 W/m^2
    Pluto (Planetoid) = 0.8998 W/m^2

    Average of incident solar energy in the Earth during the Aphelion = 1359.02 W/m^2
    Average of incident solar energy in the Earth during the Perihelion = 1452.77 W/m^2

    In March 2007, the incident Solar Radiation upon Earth was 1367.75 W/m^2, from which 50.01% was infrared radiation.

    If this post is inadequate for the administrators of Climate Audit, please, erase it. It is not my intention to continue participating in this forum, but only this time to answer Jan Pompe’s question.

  240. hswiseman
    Posted May 29, 2007 at 7:47 PM | Permalink

    RE: 209

    Cryosphere needs an audit. Many high artic areas graph out at less than 100% ice Jan-Feb. No sat. support for this, defies all common sense. Oh, the computer program they run does the figuring? I take it all back.

  241. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 29, 2007 at 8:14 PM | Permalink

    RE: #243 – I lost all faith in even that site when they “adjusted” the past data upward to make the current data look “worse.” And Cryosphere is the best of the bunch. The others are clearly agenda driven. If only there could be total NH coverage along the lines of the Anchorage USNWS Ice Desk. That I’d hang my hat on.

  242. JohnM.
    Posted May 29, 2007 at 8:15 PM | Permalink

    #232, no idea who Ian Forrester is but you were definitely right on the Kelvin temperature scale thing. He doesn’t come across as being a serious scientist more as an environmental activist, who no more understands the science than some of the people he is ridiculing. I think both sides of this argument need to cool the rhetoric a bit and base their arguments solely on sound scientific data and methodology. It would be very surprising if AGW were not a real phenomenon to some degree given the IR spectroscopy of CO2 but the jury is still out on whether we will all need to migrate to Antarctica by the end of this century. 🙂

  243. Jan Pompe
    Posted May 29, 2007 at 9:39 PM | Permalink

    #242 Nasif

    Thank you,

    I’m still not sure it adds up. You say “The total solar irradiance incoming to the terrestrial surface is 167 cal (697.04 W/m^2)” (which is 50.99% of 1367.75W/m^2) and you mention and you mention 14% of incoming absorbed by air. I was wondering since 50.99 + 14=64.99 where the other 35.1% has gone. Now if you are saying saying that only the 50.01% IR radiation (684.01 W/m^2) needs to be taken into account an 14% incoming is absorbed we are left with 588.25 W/m^2 incoming to the terrestrial surface.

    Do you see my difficulty am I missing something?

    On a subnote I do believe that some other components of the solar energy are absorbed by the surface and air become thermalised and emitted in IR band as the exitation or translation energy decays, so can’t entirely be left out of the equation.

  244. Posted May 29, 2007 at 11:10 PM | Permalink

    # 246.

    Jan Pompe,

    Indeed, I know that there are other frequencies and wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation absorbed by the surface that are converted to IR, but we have not consistent data about it, except for photosynthesis that consumes 1% of the visible light (VL). For ecological modules we deal with monochromatic electromagnetic radiation (MER), explicitly, with IR and VL incoming from the Sun, despising other kinds of radiation like X-radiation, Gamma Radiation, etc., which unquestionably can be transformed into other forms of energy, or that can cause vibratory and oscillatory molecular motions that release energy in the form of heat.

    Perhaps a count of the transitional states of the incoming energy could help us to understand the dynamics of heat on Earth:

    1367.5 W/m^2 of incident Solar energy upon Earth.

    The raw numbers are as follows:

    50.01% is shortwave IR [Low Energy Radiation (LER)].
    40.99% is visible light (LER).
    4.5% is UV radiation (LER).
    4.5% is High Energy radiation (X-radiation, gamma radiation, etc.)

    From that 50.01% of shortwave IR:

    51% is absorbed by the surface (land and oceans).
    24% is reflected by clouds.
    14% is absorbed by water vapor and water droplets in the atmosphere.
    7% is reflected by ozone and oxygen in the upper atmosphere.
    4% is reflected by the land and the oceans.

    When the shortwave Infrared is transformed into K-P energy, the energy emitted from the transformation is long wave Infrared, which can be absorbed by the dry air. The long wave Infrared is another kind of heat; it is not the heat incoming from the Sun, but the heat emitted by the transformation of the incident solar shortwave IR upon matter. These motions of the molecules or the free electrons could also be triggered by the incidence of particles (electrons, nucleons and/or bosons) on the thermodynamic systems, but we don’t know what the effect would be or it is.

    However, the CO2 can only absorb 11.2% from the heat emitted from the surface, while the water vapor and dew can absorb up to 80% from it.

    The absorptivity of CO2 is limited by its density in the M and U troposphere and the tropospheric temperature. Some authors have found that, at the current density of CO2 and the current atmospheric temperature, the CO2 can absorb only 8.5% of the heat transferred from the surface to the atmosphere. I’ve a few doubts about this percentage, but it could be real.

    I cannot continue posting in this thread. So, this will be my last message. Thank you!

    I want you to excuse my English, I speak Hebrew and Spanish and I have many errors when writing in English, especially when I deal with prepositions.

  245. Posted May 30, 2007 at 12:49 AM | Permalink

    This is just hilarious. RC and uncertainties,


    thks bender for bringing up the subject.

    Do the above represent your views

  246. Hans Erren
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 2:32 AM | Permalink

    Bender can you ask them about divergence, they didn’t post my question.

  247. PaulM
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 2:43 AM | Permalink

    # 248. The latest nonsense at RC is just amazing. The irony of those guys critising somebody else’s temperature reconstruction! I will try and post something there later today.

  248. Philip B
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 3:34 AM | Permalink

    In the RC thread someone asks why are worrying about whether the MWP was warmer than current times. No one answers. Presumably because the answer would be along the lines of – If the MWP were warmer, the theory and models that show catastrophic feedback driven warming fall in a heap.

  249. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 4:59 AM | Permalink


    Evidence from observations and models suggest the water vapour feedbacks multiply the initial cause of warming 2-3 times – not catastrophic as such unless you live in low-lying land. Though none of the IPCC scenarios take account of unpredictable feedbacks such as big methane releases or mass forest die-back.

    They’re only worried about the MWP because people like t’other Steve M and this Beck guy keep bringing it up. I guess if there was evidence for the MWP being warmer than now, there would be research to determine the cause of that warmth, as there is to determine the causes of other paleoclimate changes.

    Personally, I am interested in how you could get the massive climate variations of the past without a sensitive climate.

    (disclosure: apropos of the link in #248, this post comes from a climate research department, but I am not a climate scientist – just interested)

  250. MarkW
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 5:47 AM | Permalink

    Pray tell, what is this evidence that water vapor increases the affect of CO2 2 to 3 times.
    The amount that the earth has warmed up over the last year is less than one would expect from CO2 alone. And that is before you subtract the affects of a warmer sun and UHI.

  251. Michael Jankowski
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 6:47 AM | Permalink

    RE#251, usually the party line response (from a poster, not one of the hosts) is, “Just because it was warmer naturally in the past doesn’t mean we aren’t the ones causing warm temperatures now” – which is a perfectly valid point. But the hosts seems compelled to fight to protect the hockey stick.

  252. bender
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 6:55 AM | Permalink

    Re #249
    Hans, divergence was raised here:
    Is there something more to add?

  253. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 6:55 AM | Permalink

    Well I’m not going to get into an argument about temperature trends over one year or in the last decade.

    A doubling of CO2 without feedbacks should following basic physics principles warm by about 1C. For model evidence, I’d go with Held and Soden 2006 summary which is basically an evaluation of the feedbacks in the IPCC models.

    Click to access bjs0601.pdf

    or Soden et al “Global Cooling After the Eruption of Mount Pinatubo: A Test of Climate Feedback by Water Vapor” Science, which reckons 60% of the cooling following this eruption was water vapour related.

    I quite like “Large-scale warming is not urban” DE Parker – Nature, 2004, for a clever way of testing that any urban effect is the same on windy as on calm days (so is probably small). Where’s your evidence of a warmer sun?

    But I’d really like to know what the forcing that caused the large scale changes in past climate were. Hoffert & Covey “Deriving global climate sensitivity from paleoclimate reconstructions”, Nature 1992 looks at both the (cold) last glacial max and the (warm) mid cretaceous max and finds that a strong positive feedback (from something) is required to produce the apparent sensitivity to climate. I guess there are probably more recent papers than this.

  254. Posted May 30, 2007 at 7:24 AM | Permalink

    Now that mike explained the apparent divergence problem in 6.10.b (*), maybe someone can figure out what happens in 6.10.c overlaps near the boundaries.

    (*) Reason is ‘minimum slope’ smoothing constraint, it essentially assumes that future values are mirror image of past values. This kind of non-sense assumptions are typical in Team publications. mike suggests flipping that mirror image, so that the instrumental peak gets higher.

  255. Hans Erren
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 7:37 AM | Permalink

    re 256:

    An alternative for Pinatubo is this one.

    Climate forcing by the volcanic eruption of Mount Pinatubo
    Douglass D. H., R. S. Knox

    We determine the volcano climate sensitivity λ and response time Ï„ for the Mount Pinatubo eruption, using observational measurements of the temperature anomalies of the lower troposphere, measurements of the long wave outgoing radiation, and the aerosol optical density. Using standard linear response theory we find λ = 0.15 ⯠0.06 K/(W/m2), which implies a negative feedback of ‘ˆ’1.4 (+0.7, ‘ˆ’1.6). The intrinsic response time is Ï„ = 6.8 ⯠1.5 months. Both results are contrary to a paradigm that involves long response times and positive feedback.

    Also more WV should mean more rain which ‘hasn’t been observed.

  256. John Lang
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 7:41 AM | Permalink

    If you look at the estimates of CO2 and temperature over the paleoclimate (versus a theoritical model), the best estimate you can get for the sensitivity of temperature to CO2 is about 1.0C for each doubling of CO2. There are long periods, however, where the sensitivity disappears entirely).

    For example, 450 million years ago, CO2 levels were over 4,000 ppm (more than 10 times today’s level) yet the earth went through an extended ice age period.

    55 million years ago, CO2 levels were about 1,000 ppm and the climate went through a very unusual hot house period where temperatures might have been 8C warmer than today.

    Do your own math with the estimates of CO2 and paleoclimate temperatures.

  257. MarkW
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 7:50 AM | Permalink

    The problem with the windy day scenario is that it makes so many assumptions about what should happen.
    At no point does it try to measure what actually does happen.

    Since there are so many other studies that find a very strong UHI, your attempts to hold onto the one study that finds a small one, and declare it, and it alone to be definitive, says much about what is really driving you.

  258. MarkW
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 7:56 AM | Permalink


    1) Yes, for a doubling of CO2, we would see about a 1C rise in temperature. But due the logarithmic nature of CO2/IR response, we should have already seen the bulk of that warming. We have only seen 0.6C. At best, the total warming over the last century only equals the warming expected from CO2. In all probability, it is less. And that is before we begin to factor in the other things that have been causing the earth to warm.

    You have failed to provide any evidence to support your claim that H2O doubles or triples the response of CO2. The example you have given shows that at best, there is no positive feedback, at worst, there is a minor negative feedback.

    If there is anything else that is responsible for some of the warmup (and there most definitely is) then the evidence for strong negative feedbacks becomes even better.

  259. bender
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 7:57 AM | Permalink

    Re #257:
    mike would clearly benefit from an open audit model. It would save him from having to speculate on what kind of calculation was done to produce a particular result:

    I believe that the authors of the chapter used a smoothing constraint that forces the curves to approach the boundary with zero slope (the so-called ‘minimum slope’ constraint). At least, this is the what it is explicitly stated was done

    CA to the rescue, mike. Open data, open code, open books, up-to-date proxies.

  260. PaulM
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 8:00 AM | Permalink

    256 Steve M you are asking the wrong question. We don’t ask what was the forcing that caused it to rain today or what caused last summer to be less warm than 2005. Similarly the earth’s climate fluctuates on longer timescales as part of its natural variability. This inherent natural variation, appearing to be random and unpredictable, is characteristic of chaotic nonlinear systems. (Of course there are the well known orbital effects).

  261. Posted May 30, 2007 at 8:07 AM | Permalink


    Imagine, IPCC provides data and code to reproduce 6.10.b and 6.10.c … mike provides code that computes MBH99 CIs .. Ok, let’s stop dreaming. Combine non-causal filtering with extrapolation of data, add uncertainties from original unsmoothed reconstructions. I know why IPCC won’t release that code.

  262. Michael Jankowski
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 8:10 AM | Permalink

    RE#255, interesting observation here:

    [Response: p.s. just a point of clarification: Do the above represent your views, or the views of Shell Oil in Houston Texas (the IP address from which your comment was submitted)? -mike]

    Looks like RC takes the “Big Brother” approach to monitoring incoming posts.

  263. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 8:13 AM | Permalink

    #264. I’ve just done a post on Mann’s new Divergence Theory – a smoothing artifact in IPCC Fig 6.10. BTW the digital versions of the Figure 6.10 reconstructions are available (I think for all of them although there are a couple of variations.) As UC observes, MBH confidence interval methodology remain a dirty little secret. (However IPCC has just done 2-sigma in the calibration period – a repugnant methodology when you have negligible verification r2 stats.)

  264. Jan Pompe
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 8:47 AM | Permalink

    #247 Nasif

    Thank you for your effort here I haven’t time at the moment to look at this closely. Your English is OK though I could make some corrections there, I cannot speak Spanish at all and I wish my Hebrew was better than it is. If I have more questions I’ll catch up with at or via you site.

  265. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 9:05 AM | Permalink


    I don’t mean to be rude when I say the study you quote appears to be a bit of a back of the envelope calculation based on some observations. 3D models should do a bit better than this. I also note that the Douglass paper has been disputed by Robock, also in GRL.


    I wasn’t talking about CO2, I was talking about climate sensitivity, contributions to which might be similar regardless of the initial cause of warming. The jury is out on 450 million years ago. Note also the sun was about 5% cooler then (as well as their being no trees, continents in different place etc. etc.)


    Not sure what you mean. A windy day should be less affected by the UHI than a calm day surely. I don’t know much about UHI I’ll admit; links to other published studies would be of interest. I assume their must be literature on quality control too given that these data are there primarily to inform weather models.

  266. Posted May 30, 2007 at 9:18 AM | Permalink

    # 259 and # 261

    Dear MarkW and Bender: I thought I won’t post here, but I gave myself a last chance.

    If CO2 density doubles we have to consider the saturation of the absorption bands for both shortwave and long-wave IR. Remember that the CO2 has a limit of absorption in each wavelength. The limit for long-wave radiation is 15 W/m^2. CO2 cannot absorb heat above 15 W/m^2. The cause is the saturation of the absorption bands. The absorptivity of CO2 does not increase linearly or exponentially with density ad infinitum. In case of doubling the CO2 density, we would see a negligible increase in the change of tropospheric temperature. In conversions from heat to change of temperature we use the density of the substance like an integer (a divisor). If you increase the density of CO2, the integer would be higher; consequently, the change of temperature would be lower. Also, when temperature increases above 540 R, the absorptivity-emissivity of CO2 decreases considerably. The last is due to the volumetric expansion of CO2 along the increase of T.

    For example, water in liquid phase cannot absorb more heat above the limits before changing to gaseous phase. The limit of temperature in boiling water is 100 °C, no matter if you heat one quarter or one cubic meter of water. If you have a larger volume, you’ll need more heat or more time the heat it up to the desired level. All the matter that is not a direct source of energy has this property (defect for RC threaders). Water vapor cannot absorb shortwave IR above from 350 W/m^2, and no more than 30 W/m^2 of long wave Infrared.

  267. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 9:30 AM | Permalink


    Lindzen made exactly that argument to the UK parliament – and it is plain wrong. We’ve seen an increase of 270-380ppm. Do the maths and you’ll find ln(380/270)/ln(540/270) is about 0.5, or about 0.5C with a sensitivity of 1 (zero feedbacks). Observed rise is 0.6C in 20th century, despite the fact that ocean temperatures are still lagging.


    I don’t buy that argument. The system may or may not be chaotic (I don’t believe any sort of phase change in the state of the climate has been observed though), but the energy to warm the atmosphere has to come from somewhere – it’s not quantum mechanics!

  268. MarkW
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 1:59 PM | Permalink


    Worse still is the assumption that nobody would ever take a position that runs counter to that of their employers.

    (This assunption, of course never applies to anyone who takes the position that AGW is going to kill us all if we don’t do something now. Regardless of what opinions are held by the people who sign their checks.)

  269. MarkW
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 2:01 PM | Permalink


    Look up the term “theoretically”. Once you understand the difference between real world data, and theories, then maybe, just maybe, you will begin to understand.

  270. MarkW
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 2:03 PM | Permalink


    A yes, the old, the mystery heat must be going into the oceans, that’s why the earth hasn’t warmed as much as are models say it should have.

    Would these be the same oceans that recently lost a huge amount of heat back to the atmosphere?

  271. MarkW
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 2:06 PM | Permalink

    If your claims that H20 provides a factor of 2 to 3 amplification, then we should have seen a warming of 1C to 1.5C. While heat does couple to the oceans, the transfer is not that fast. Especially when the oceans have this bad habit of dumping that heat back to the atmosphere at unpredictable intervals.

    I’m still waiting for you to provide some evidence, at a competance level slightly above handwaving. That your claim of H2O amplification exists anywhere outside of a few broken models.

  272. Hans Erren
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 2:15 PM | Permalink

    re 270:
    Here is a comparison of observations and models, how they can reproduce multidecadal variations on oceanic heat content:

    They can’t!

    Note in particular figure S1 on page 3.

    Supporting Online Material for: Penetration of Human-Induced Warming into the World’s Oceans, T. P. Barnett, D. W. Pierce, K. M. AchutaRao, P. J. Gleckler, B. D.Santer, J. M. Gregory, W. M. Washington

    (Thanks to Ferdinand Engelbeen for pointing out the reference)

  273. Posted May 30, 2007 at 4:28 PM | Permalink

    Warwick Hughes has posted a piece on Hadley Centre reconstructing historical temperatures for New Zealand. I have asked NIWA to explain why this has occured and await a reply. In the meantime can someone please look at the posting and explain in plain english what Hadley have done and the effects of their changes. Much appreciated.

  274. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 4:57 PM | Permalink

    #274 etc.

    Evidence? Sarcasm isn’t really justified given your incorrect comment in #261.

  275. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 5:05 PM | Permalink


    I’ll have a look tomorrow, but I’m not really talking about models here. We have observations of a warming atmosphere and a warming ocean (or at least, not cooling). So the heat must come from somewhere.

  276. Posted May 30, 2007 at 8:18 PM | Permalink

    Re 276, thanks Paul for asking about these stunning revisions by the Hadley Centre. I have a new comment at;
    with a link to a page I have just generated setting out a comparison of various compilations of NZ trends starting with Jones et al 1986 and ending with CRUTem3 of the Hadley Centre.
    Does this go anyway clarifying matters for you Paul ?

  277. Posted May 30, 2007 at 8:46 PM | Permalink

    Am I right in seeing that earlier temperatures have been decreased to show a greater warming in recent times? The CRU2 temperatures seem to show present warming at well below historical highs which are now “gone”. I just can’t get my head around the fact that all these revisions and adjustments are made without some recourse to the implications which then arise from such revisions being used to promote global warming. The word “criminal” springs to mind and yet who do we report this offence to…………the IPCC?

  278. jae
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 8:50 PM | Permalink

    Well, I have believed for quite a long time that the Planet is warming. But now I have doubts. The temperature records are suspect and Idsos present a different site each month showing no change or a cooling. Admittedly, Idsos probably are cherry picking, but, man, they have enough cherries for a BIG pie. To the statistics experts: how many percent cherries before you have a winning slot machine?

  279. bender
    Posted May 30, 2007 at 8:57 PM | Permalink

    Twice now I’ve tried to thank gavin at RC for squarely responding to my comments, and neither has gone through. But they did let someone else post their thanks:

    Thx for addressing bender in a head on fashion. I won’t comment on the tactics others used (funny, most drawn from the skeptics handbag of obsfucation).

    Maybe if I slandered myself? …

    Anyways, they won’t let me follow up with any kind of defense, so I am left looking like a lame duck. RC is functioning like a kangaroo court. All questions to the self-appointed authorities are labelled by the ignorant hordes as denialist tactics, no matter how valid the questions are. (Even the RC scientists who actually do climate science agree that my questions are valid.) But there’s no getting past the religious fervor of the hordes. My favorite is one reasonably intelligent & informed commenter who nevertheless suggests I’m “anti-scientific”. Any practising scientist would recognize by my approach that nothing could be further from the truth.

    From my experience there, it seems no climate scientist is completely sold on the idea that earth’s climate is non-chaotic. All see some potential for that possibility. Even the staunchest AAGWers like Schmidt & Connolley leave room for that sliver of a possibility. If that’s true, then it’s not clear that the numerically stable models are well-posed. If that’s true then it’s likely the parameterizations are in error (there is some irreducible uncertainty). If some of the parameters are in error then, via error propogation (Pat Frank’s bugaboo), some of the others are too. The CO2 sensitivity coefficent is therefore not known with certainty. We need to know what the error bars are on that parameter estimate. If they are so wide that they include zero …

    During my discussion with gavin he, unfortunately, resorted to the use of AAGW double standards #3,4 & 5:

    3. Meteorological & climatological phenomena are so complex as to be alarming, but on the other hand not so complex as to impede with precise estimation of forcing sensitivity coefficients.
    4. Natural rapid climate change is a powerful force to be feared TODAY, but not so powerful as being capable of producing unprecedented warming during the MWP.
    5. Admission that “climate is unpredictable” is OK for a lay audience that will be alarmed, not for a scientific audience that will be skeptical of what that implies for GCM parameterization.

    These are not quotes of gavin’s. They’re synthesized from AAGWers like muirgeo, gballela posting at CA. It’s handy to have them in a list like that. This way you get to see where there rhetoric descends from.

  280. Posted May 30, 2007 at 10:45 PM | Permalink

    For the attention of Warwick Hughes and others:

    As you know I asked NIWA in New Zealand why the Hadley centre had recently adjusted New Zealand temperatures which have resulted in huge changes from the CRU2. I have just recieved the following response from NIWA:

    “I have been told there was an inconsistency in the way the Hadley Centre had been calculating NZ temperatures. Both land and sea temperatures had been used”

  281. Posted May 30, 2007 at 11:52 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for that Paul.
    First your 280 question “Am I right in seeing that earlier temperatures have been decreased to show a greater warming in recent times?”
    Answer is yes.
    Re your 283, lets be very clear, CRUTem3 is LAND ONLY data.
    The CRU website,
    states in the Table headed “Dataset Terminology”
    CRUTEM3 land air temperature anomalies on a 5° by 5° grid-box basis
    HadCRUT3 combined land and marine [sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies from HadSST2, see Rayner et al., 2006] temperature anomalies on a 5° by 5° grid-box basis

    To get back to what I have posted about on my Blog which is LAND DATA only and I do not recalling SST’s ever being referred to in as being a source of adjustments for the land only trends. There are other global datasets to incorp SST’s or combined land/SST.
    So when NIWA says, “I have been told there was an inconsistency in the way the Hadley Centre had been calculating NZ temperatures. Both land and sea temperatures had been used”.
    This requires the closest and clearest study, taking the first sentence.
    Hadley have for many years compiled SST’s we know that.
    Jones et al/CRU have for 20 years compiled the land data ending with CRUTem2, which terminates in 2005.
    Hadley have now taken this over naming their new global land dataset CRUTem3.
    So when NIWA say, “there was an inconsistency in the way the Hadley Centre had been calculating NZ temperatures”.
    My opinion is that they really should be saying, “there was an inconsistency in the way Jones/CRU had been calculating NZ temperatures”. Because Hadley have only had the involvement in land data from very recent years, their Brohan et al paper is 2006.
    However there is a second possibility I suppose, that NIWA means, “there was an inconsistency in the way the Hadley Centre had been calculating NZ SST temperatures”.
    Then in the second sentence from NIWA, “Both land and sea temperatures had been used”. Your question to NIWA was presumably about LAND DATA only and this is very new if it is true that Hadley are being influenced in the land only adjustments by SST trends.
    It is always very difficult getting direct information out of these big groups.
    However you could ask NIWA to clarify exactly what they mean by “there was an inconsistency in the way the Hadley Centre had been calculating NZ temperatures”. I would restate that you are asking about the LAND ONLY data, not SST data.
    Whatever the accurate NIWA reply should be, the facts of my post stand and refer to LAND ONLY NZ trends, where the change from CRUTem2 to CRUTem3 has seen a stunning increase in warming.

  282. StanJ
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 2:15 AM | Permalink

    Another layman’s question.

    ClimateBrains has a link to a Canadian article debunking sceptics who view solar cycles as significant, equating them to Egyptian sun-worshippers.


    He makes the comment:

    “I find it impossible to believe that changes on Earth wrought by some borborigmous on the sun were not taken into account by all those scientists who contributed to the report of the International Government Panel on Climate Change this year.”

    Is he right? What actually is the IPCC stance on the effects of solar cycles? Is it discussed at all?

  283. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 4:50 AM | Permalink

    From what I know, on Solar cycles, GW and IPCC:
    – in the 2007 IPCC’s report, Solar influence for temperature rise was defined as about 0.1-0.2W/m^2, or about 10% of thermal forcing;
    – from the lattest astronomic measurements, it should be the triple just in the last years, or about 30% of IPCC’s thermal forcing (someone indeed admitted it,);
    – I would give almost no importance to 11-years Solar cycles, if not to determine Nino/Nina as done by Dr. Landscheit;
    – it is still not clear what the same IPCC really thinks about Global Warming: once they say that CO2 is responsible for all warming since 1900; once they blame it just for the last 30 years, blaming Sun for 1920-1950 warming;
    – anyway, the Solar effect since Little Ice Age is far bigger than stated by IPCC, up to 0.5-1.5W/m^2 (as reconstructed not by Sun spots but by ground’s isotopes and recent satellite data for Solar irradiance);
    – we had a sharp rise of Solar incoming power during the first half of XXth century, but the maximum irradiance peak was during the cooling period 1950-70; indeed, a local minimum peak was recorded during the ’70ies; then, during ’80ies and ’90ies, we had two very high peaks, even if second to the peak above; so, Solar activity surely cannot explain all warming but, neither, we cannot say (as ones did) that Solar activity had no role in the last 30 years temperatures; moreover, we do not know well enough (despite whatever IPCC and others may say) the main Earth’s positive and negative feedback, water vapour behaviour, neither we do for aerosols, nor for oceans thermal and CO2-sinking behaviour, so we cannot really say that 1978-1998 warming was not mainly the natural continuation of the previous warming, shortly interrupted by e.g. Earth’s inner feedbacks or other cycles.

  284. MarkW
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 5:05 AM | Permalink


    Now you are getting really pathetic.

    There was nothing incorrect in my statement #261. There was something that you disagreed with, but the two concepts are not synonmous.

    I love the way you dodge and weave when you get behind.

    I notice that you still have had nothing to say regarding the FACT, that the sun is warmer than it has been at any time in the last 9000 years.

    I still notice that you ignore the hundreds of studies that find substantial UHI, with that one, dodgy study, that claimed to find a low HII.

  285. MarkW
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 5:08 AM | Permalink

    The IPCC’s stand is pretty much this.

    Since the models show that CO2 is responsible for 100% of the warming, we aren’t interested in looking into any other explanations.

  286. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 6:16 AM | Permalink

    I did a little bit more than disagree. You said:

    “Yes, for a doubling of CO2, we would see about a 1C rise in temperature. But due the logarithmic nature of CO2/IR response, we should have already seen the bulk of that warming.”

    So I did the maths based on initial level of 270, current level of 380 to show that a logarithmic nature implies that we should see about half or less of the forcing. The 1.66W/m^2 figure in the IPCC report pretty much squares with this.

    Using another rough rule of thumb, current IPCC total forcing estimates are 1.6W/m^2. Estimates of ocean warming are that approximately 0.2W/m^2 is going into the ocean (averaged over the whole earth, not just the oceans). That’s a reasonable proportion of the energy.

    Solar activity has not changed much in the last 30 or so years. There was an increase in the first half of the 20th century. If you would care to explain why the 8000 year comparison is important I will gladly listen.

    I’m really not sure where the “dodge and weave” comment comes from. I’ve asked for links to published UHI studies and will read them if I can access them.


    Neither the models nor the IPCC say that CO2 is responsible for 100% of the warming.

  287. MarkW
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 7:44 AM | Permalink


    Yes, you did little more than handwave.
    The difference between what you cited and what I cited is little more than differences in rounding.

    Regarding the sun not warming much in the last 30 years. That runs counter to the studies that I have seen.
    Regardless, I find it interesting that you are willing to invoke the oceans to explain why the warming is being delayed. Then in the next breath, declare that since the world’s warming is not moving in lockstep with changes in the sun’s output, the sun can’t be responsible. Bit of a double standard there.

    As to UHI, two recent studies, one from China, and one from California, found that as much as 80 to 90% of the warming seen in those regions can be explained by increases in UHI. That’s hardly trivial.

    You cite one study that finds what you want to see, dismiss the hundreds that find something else. That qualifies as hand waving in my book.

  288. crmanriq
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 7:57 AM | Permalink


    Bender, (or anyone)

    Have you tried posting through an anonymous web proxy? This should pretty much mask your IP, if that is the filter that they are using. There are a great many out there, some better than others. I’ve used NinjaProxy in the past with decent results.

  289. Bob Meyer
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 8:42 AM | Permalink

    Re 281

    jae said:

    Admittedly, Idsos probably are cherry picking, but, man, they have enough cherries for a BIG pie.

    The Idsos aren’t cherry picking their data, they cherry picked their start date of 1930. This was deliberate just as the AGW choice of 1975 was deliberate. I subscribe to their site and they provide a little plotting device that lets you look at any site data over any time period for which data is available. Except on the west coast the data does show cooling in most US sites from 1930 to today.

    If you choose start dates other than 1930 most sites show some warming. The points that they are driving home are a) the choice of start date is important and b) the high temperatures of today aren’t all that much different than they were in the 1930s.

  290. brent_ns
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 8:57 AM | Permalink

    Heresy at NASA

    NASA’s Top Official Questions Global Warming

    In an interview, NASA administrator Michael Griffin questions the need to make fighting global warming a priority.


  291. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 9:01 AM | Permalink


    How does it compare with the plotting programme at:


    I plotted 1930-40 and 1997-2007. The eastern third of the US (latitudes east of Texas) are roughly the same temperature, but the western 2/3rds are 3-5F cooler in the 1930s. (F is their units)

  292. crmanriq
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 9:15 AM | Permalink

    #282 (further)

    You could also use the package Tor http://tor.eff.org/index.html.en which will change your apparent IP every minute or two. It requires more work to set up, but provides good anonymity. (US law enforcement and intelligence services reportedly use it to mask their IPs).

  293. Ghost of z2a
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 9:15 AM | Permalink

    re 282


    I can now confirm that they do not block based on IP. They let me thank gavin for his treatment
    of you ( I knew you would want to) but then in a post 5 minutes later, where i used the same
    IP, but a different name ( Betsy Ensley) to thank Mike for calling out the Shell oil Shill,
    the post got trash binned. That’s not to say they wont IP block in the future. But in my case
    they block snarky things and let the praise of gavin see the light of day.

    Hope you are ok with my test. I knew you would want to thank gavin

  294. Craig Loehle
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 9:17 AM | Permalink

    Re: 285
    The question is what does IPCC think about solar influence. They compute a visible radiation (thermal) effect and dismiss it as not major. They discuss two other aspects of the sun, ultraviolet which can affect the poles, and the solar wind (cosmic ray connection) but basicly say since these mechanisms are not understood or agreed on they can be ignored (or that they don’t have to consider them). But this is the fallacy of model inclusiveness, common in Ecological models, that the things you have modeled are the only things that exist. If you leave out a major process, you can’t say that the fact that adding CO2 to the models helps is a proof that it is the driver for warming. It could very well be the 2 known factors that you left out (or 3 if you cound land use change as Pielke argues).

  295. Philip B
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 9:22 AM | Permalink

    This is probably old ground for you guys, but I am trying to reconcile NASA’s categorical statement from 1997 that there is no warming trend in the satellite data with the current position that it agrees with the surface temperature record.


    What are the adjustments and what are the rationales for them.

    I found this, which looks to me like hand waving.

    Click to access sap1-1-final-execsum.pdf

  296. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 9:34 AM | Permalink

    #288 and now #290

    Neither the models nor the IPCC say that CO2 is responsible for 100% of the warming – I did not say the sun had no effect.

    If you would provide a link to the California and China study, and to the solar study you mention, I will be happy to read them.

    “Evidence for a significant urbanization effect on climate in China” Zhou et al. 2004

    Which finds a UHI of .05/decade (about 10-15% of total warming) affecting winter seasons. However, they do say

    Because the present analysis is from the winter season over a period of rapid urbanization and for a country with a much higher population density, we expect our results to give higher values than those estimated in other locations and over longer periods. Therefore, our estimates do not represent the urbanization effect globally, nor do they represent the average of all seasons over the past 100 years for which station temperature data are available.

    On rereading Parker’s paper I note that he says only 13 out of 290 stations that he picked were affected by a UHI.

  297. Michael Jankowski
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 9:40 AM | Permalink

    RE#298, the UAH results were changed a few times since ’97, I think, due to orbital decay changing the time of observation (I think UAH had a sign wrong somewhere to account for that, which was embarassingly discovered by the RSS folks). The “agreement” comes from higher satellite estimates from RSS and modeling from a few papers by Fu.

    Also, it used to be important that the satellite measurements of the lower troposphere didn’t warm as much as the surface, because that’s what teh models said should happen (if not warming faster). So this supported the idea that surface temperature records where biased high due to UHI effects, incomplete coverage, etc. But not all models have this issue anymore. So now even if the sats don’t show as much warming as the surface, it doesn’t matter, because the models now say it’s ok 🙂

  298. Mark T.
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 9:48 AM | Permalink

    If you choose start dates other than 1930 most sites show some warming. The points that they are driving home are a) the choice of start date is important and b) the high temperatures of today aren’t all that much different than they were in the 1930s.

    Which are important points. Particularly given the Hansen/Jones pair repeated attempts to show otherwise.


  299. jae
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 10:04 AM | Permalink

    299: You need to read some of the other threads concerning UHI and that rediculous 0.05 degree/decade number. And can you explain why Jones will not release his data to the autitors?

  300. Steve Sadlov
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 10:27 AM | Permalink

    RE: #281 – Objective evidence and real measurements suggest there was indeed a more or less linear trend of increase from the depths of the LIA until the early 20th century. Superimposed on that have been the expected shorter period oscillations due to myriad factors. During the 20th century, the effects of these oscillations have predominated, suggesting that the overall “longer period” signal might have flattened out since the early 1900s. The shorter term oscillations may actually interact with or incite the longer term ones which drive things like the MWP and LIA. A worst case scenario would be that the seemingly greater amplitude oscillations since the 1920s, which may have increased since then, portend a change in direction (obviously, in the downward direction) for the long term trend. The worst worst case scenarion would be that the change in direction would mean the end of the interglacial. That’s pretty worst case. I’ll go with planning for another LIA, for my money’s worth.

  301. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 10:53 AM | Permalink


    Ah right – found that thread. The .05C/decade figure I was quoting is different to the .05C/century Jones figure. Having worked in IT in two fields of study (astronomy and climate science) can’t say I’m too surprised that a “diskette” from before 1990 has gone awol, you’d probably need to borrow a machine from the Smithsonian to read it anyway.

    Why is the .05 figure ridiculous? Yes the UHI is real, but they do adjustments when sites move, so the .05 is presumably the residual effect?

    As an aside, one doesn’t worry about the UHI effect in the UK as the 1C rise in just the last 20 years is pretty obvious without looking at a thermometer. Equally, when visiting mountain communities who live near glaciers, the locals are aware of the change. Is it the less sensitive climate of parts of the US that allows people to go on believing their ain’t nothing happening?

  302. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 11:12 AM | Permalink

    #297: old but interesting article. Unfortunately, 1998 El Nino was a major step in global warming – but also a single one: previous and following warmings are very slight from satellite data,

  303. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 11:15 AM | Permalink

    #305: I do not know what is my connection problem from home.
    What I wanted to say is: or AGW suddenly began in 1998, to become stable in a very short time; or data does not accord to theory (“In theory, one could argue that the computer models are accurate, and that the real measurements have some problem”: in facts, can real world be wrong, or it is more likely that theory is?).

  304. Posted May 31, 2007 at 12:18 PM | Permalink

    # 306

    Filippo Turturici:: 1998 was the warmer year of the decade. The higher change of temperature in the first 30 ft from the surface was 0.68 K along about 72 seconds. I have the graphs from NOAA and there has not been another year so warm like 1998. In 1997 the Sun erupted some 87 fulgurations that possibly affected the temperature of the El Nià±o Southern Oscillation.

  305. Neil Haven
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 12:27 PM | Permalink

    Re: Urban Heat Island

    In an idle moment, I wondered whether the simple dumping of waste heat by humans in urban areas should have a measurable impact on temperature measurements. Just for kicks, I calculated the following order-of-magnitude estimate of the differential effect of human energy use on radiative surface temperature:

    Human population density (average world): 1.3 x 10^(-5) / m^2
    Human population density (rural): 1 x 10^(-4) / m^2
    Human population density (suburban): 2 x 10^(-3) / m^2
    Human population density (urban): 1.2 x 10^(-2) / m^2

    Total Human Energy Consumption: 424 x 10^(18) J / yr
    Total Human Population: 6.5 x 10^(9)
    Average Human Energy Consumption: 2 x 10^(3) W

    Waste Heat Fraction: 50%

    Multiply density x energy consumption x waste heat fraction:

    Human Waste Heat Radiation (average world): 1.3 x 10^(-2) W/ m^2
    Human Waste Heat Radiation (rural): 1 x 10^(-1) W/ m^2
    Human Waste Heat Radiation (suburban): 2 x 10^(0) W/ m^2
    Human Waste Heat Radiation (urban): 1.2 x 10^(1) W/ m^2

    Average surface radiation (temperature): 240 W (255 K)

    Adding human waste heat to the equilibrium values and using Stefan-Boltzmann for a black-body (remember this is an order of magnitude estimate only):

    Human effect (average world): negligible
    Human effect (rural): ~ 0.025 K
    Human effect (suburban): ~ 0.5 K
    Human effect (urban): ~ 3 K

    The usual disclaimers apply: This is only a back-of-the-envelope calculation. The calculation does not take into account heat convection/mixing (which will have the effect of reducing the above numbers). The waste heat fraction is simply estimated. The calculation assumes all energy is consumed where a person lives. The earth’s surface is not a black body radiator, etc. etc.

    However, the orders of magnitude are interesting.

  306. jae
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 12:36 PM | Permalink


    Is it the less sensitive climate of parts of the US that allows people to go on believing their ain’t nothing happening?

    There aren’t too many arguing that nothing’s happening. The debate is about what is causing it, how important it is, whether anything can really be done about it, and whether anything really SHOULD be done about it (i.e., how do we know that we now have the “perfect” climate).

  307. Curt
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 2:05 PM | Permalink

    #308 Neil:

    Thanks for those calculations. I’ve been meaning to do those for a while myself, but haven’t found the time. I’ll have to ponder your figures and assumptions for a while, but one quick thought. If I were doing those calculations, I’d use 100% for waste heat fraction. Fundamentally, it all ends up as heat eventually, thanks to 2nd-Law considerations. My car’s engine may produce 25% useful work out of the engine, but the rest of my car quickly turns that into heat due to various types of friction.

    I guess there would be exceptions for processes that increase some form of potential energy (e.g. in chemical bonds, or height of water), but these are small in magnitude, and generally that potential energy is turned back into heat again eventually.

  308. Michael Jankowski
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 2:31 PM | Permalink

    Equally, when visiting mountain communities who live near glaciers, the locals are aware of the change.

    You do realize that even the IPCC TAR (haven’t checked the AR4 throughly yet) explicitly stated:

    “…timing of the onset of glacier retreat implies that a significant global warming is likely to have started not later than the mid-19th century. This conflicts with the Jones et al. (2001) global land instrumental temperature data (Figure 2.1), and the combined hemispheric and global land and marine data (Figure 2.7), where clear warming is not seen until the beginning of the 20th century. This conclusion also conflicts with some (but not all) of the palaeo-temperature reconstructions in Figure 2.21, Section 2.3 , where clear warming, e.g., in the Mann et al. (1999) Northern Hemisphere series, starts at about the same time as in the Jones et al. (2001) data. These discrepancies are currently unexplained…”

    So mountain glaciers have receded in history without rising temps. And the graphic they used, showing a sampling of glaciers around the world, suggests glacier retreat slowed or reversed in many locations circa-1980 (particularly in Europe).

  309. Posted May 31, 2007 at 4:20 PM | Permalink

    Warwick Hughes
    I have sent another email to NIWA asking a few more questions of them. I have looked through your blog and have a question for you if I may. What is your opinion of the NIWA tenperature graph? Are NIWA re-writing history?
    It appears to me that CRUem2 showed more earlier warming than the NIWA graph.

  310. Filippo Turturici
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 4:30 PM | Permalink

    #311: in the Alps, all glaciers retreated after Little Ice Age, in 3 main periods: 1850-1880 (the worst: Monte Bianco/Mont Blanc glaciers retreated up to 1km/0.6mil in less than a pair of decades – imagine the articles we should have written on such a dramatic retreat!), 1920-1950 (medium in both time and lost mass) and 1980-today (the smallest one). A small advance lasted just 10-15 years, we can say just the ’70ies (and it was probably due just to fresh summers than to real mean temperatures, some alpine station had its coldest years in the previous decade).

  311. Neil Haven
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 4:39 PM | Permalink

    #310 Curt,
    If I had to bet I’d bet closer to 100% than 50%, as you suggest. I picked 50% so nobody could complain that I was being overly generous with the magnitudes. At any rate, the correct number is in there somewhere — surely within a factor of 2 if you use 50%, probably within a factor of 1.3 if you use 75%.

    If you think the basic calculation is sound, I’d be interested in your guesstimate as to how much of a person’s attributed energy consumption occurs within a kilometer or so of his/her domicile. A quarter? Half? More? I’m afraid I don’t know much about modern human energy budgets.

    I started trying to do the calculation by trying to estimate the effect of heat energy dumped into materials with certain specific heats, lapse rates, etc. It soon became too messy for me.

  312. Earle Williams
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 4:54 PM | Permalink

    Re #308

    Neil Haven,

    Nice work on cranking through those numbers. In the US the effect will likely be increased by an order of magnitude. Energy consumption in the US is one quarter that of the entire world. Pulling numbers from the US Census and Energy Information Agency the per capita energy use in 1880 was approximately 100 MM Btu. In 2000 it was approximately 350 MM Btu. For 2000 that equates to per capita power of about 11.7 x 10^3 W. Looking at the change in energy consumption over time, that amounts to an increase of 700 W per decade per person in the US.

  313. Neil Haven
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 5:10 PM | Permalink

    Of the 11.7 kW, what fraction do you think gets dissipated near home rather than in the junkyard, at the power station, on the road, etc.?

    I really have no good idea myself.

  314. bender
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 5:20 PM | Permalink

    RE: #296: Thx z2a. Those unscrupulous fundamentalist sophomores have the nerve to call me “anti-scientific”, but they won’t engage me on data, logic, dynamic modeling, paraemter estimation, or statistical inference. Now I know what gavin means when he says “attribution is FUNDAMENTALLY a modeling exercise”. I didn’t understand the role of FUNDAMENTALISM in the equation.

    Stan Palmer’s post on “motivated reasoning” is right on the money. Thanks for that wonderful phrase, Stan.

  315. bender
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 6:29 PM | Permalink

    Here is Stan’s comment on “motivated reasoning”:

  316. Posted May 31, 2007 at 11:28 PM | Permalink

    Those interested in upcoming solar cycle 24 may like to read the latest post on my new blog:

    Dr Landscheidt’s Solar Cycle 24 Prediction
    (for some reason the ‘link’ button makes the rest disappear in preview!)

    Some brief extracts from a lengthy post:

    Dr Landscheidt wrote in 1999:
    The extrapolation of the observed pattern points to sunspot maxima around 2000.6 and 2011.8. If a further connection with long-range variations in sunspot intensity proves reliable, four to five weak sunspot cycles (R < 80) are to be expected after cycle 23 with medium strength (R ~ 100).

    My comment on this:
    “As we have not yet reached solar minimum, and no high latitude cycle 24 spots have yet appeared, we may still be 12 to 18 months from minimum if recent cycles are anything to go by, and I venture a speculation that if no cycle 24 spots appear in the very near future then perhaps Dr Landscheidt should have also mentioned the other possible date of the upcoming solar max using his methods, 2013.6 (see details of his methods in the paper), which if it turns out to be true means a very long cycle which could indicate a very low sunspot max.”

    I do not wish to hijack Steve M’s blog for solar discussions (but I am indulging in some shameless promotion of my new CA blog – thanks again John A!), and suggest any comments on this be made in the thread over there.

  317. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted May 31, 2007 at 11:40 PM | Permalink

    Carl, you say

    (for some reason the link’ button makes the rest disappear in preview!)

    After much experimentation, I’ve found that if you go back and put a space immediately after “html=” the lost text reappears in preview.


  318. Bob Meyer
    Posted Jun 1, 2007 at 1:10 AM | Permalink

    Re 294

    The Idsos plot routine and the NOAA plot routine use different data bases. Also, the Idsos use data from particular sites naming the individual cities or towns where the measurements are made while the NOAA plot show regions. It would take weeks to compare these data bases to find the exact difference.

    The data bases and their relative “corrections” (I put quotations around corrections because the actual method used is not clear) are a subject unto themselves and are covered in several threads by Steve M much better than I could ever do it.

    I tend to distrust corrected databases because reading errors, whatever their source, tend to be random. You wouldn’t expect to see large difference only in one direction – the direction that makes the 1930’s cooler and the 1990’s hotter. When correction after correction all move towards the predominant theory of GW then I get to suspect bias in the error searches.

    It is a well known fact that researchers’ expectations tend to bias their results, that’s why medical research requires double blind studies.

  319. MarkW
    Posted Jun 1, 2007 at 5:24 AM | Permalink


    Don’t forget that the average human puts out about 75W of energy, 24/7.

  320. Jeff Norman
    Posted Jun 1, 2007 at 6:49 AM | Permalink

    So how is your “warmest year on record” coming along?

    Back on January 4, a press release from the UK Met Office said, 2007 – forecast to be the warmest year yet.

    Here, May 2007 turned out to be 2.7°C cooler than the previous “warmest year on record” but even this turned out to be pretty warm. May was the 14th warmest May out of the 69 Mays in the record (uncorrected).

    Two new daily high records were set in May 2007: one on May 8; and one on May 24, but these were more of a correction to the record than an indication of extreme temperatures. Check out these series of records:

    * May 6, 1949 + 32.8°C
    * May 7, 1939 + 29.4°C
    * May 8, 2007 + 27.5°C (was 27.2°C in 1939)
    * May 9, 1979 + 30.1°C
    * May 10, 1953 + 29.4°C


    * May 22, 1964 + 31.1°C
    * May 23, 1964 + 31.7°C
    * May 24, 2007 + 31.0°C (was 30.5°C in 1991)
    * May 25, 1951 + 27.8°C
    * May 26, 1944 + 30.6°C

    I predict some time in the not too distant future a new record will be set for May 25.

    But still, two temperature records in the same month must mean something!!!! If it means something in 2007 it must have meant something in 2001, 1991, 1964, 1944 and 1939 when two record highs were recorded in May. It must have meant something even more in 1987 and 1949 (3 records each), and 1962 must have really been something with 7 record high days!!!

    Year-to-date 2007 is 3.1°C cooler than the “warmest year on record”. For 2007 to become the new “warmest year on record” here, the remaining months have to be something like 2.4°C warmer than their equivalent 1998 months.

    I guess this is not very likely any more.

  321. Joe B
    Posted Jun 1, 2007 at 7:44 AM | Permalink

    Interesting article:

    Models Underestimate

  322. MarkW
    Posted Jun 1, 2007 at 8:06 AM | Permalink


    Don’t you fret, with out a doubt, by the end of the year, sufficient adjustments to both the current and historical data will be “discovered” to ensure that the record warming continues.

  323. Posted Jun 1, 2007 at 8:36 AM | Permalink

    # 326


    Yeah… like the saharian dust that “impeded” the formation of hurricanes through 2006.

  324. Earle Williams
    Posted Jun 1, 2007 at 9:18 AM | Permalink

    Re #316


    I’m with you as far as no clue where the 11.7 kW is dissipated. What interests me more is the increase in per capita energy use over time. For any city with a static population over the last five decades the energy consumed has increased, on average, nearly 50%.

    The numbers I’ve pulled are tabulated below, my apologies if the layout is messy:

    Year, US Pop(MM), Energy (QBtu), per capita Btu
    1880 5.0 50189209 99.6
    1890 7.0 62979766 111.3
    1900 9.6 76212168 125.8
    1905 13.2 83820000 157.6
    1910 16.6 92407000 179.3
    1915 17.7 100549000 176.4
    1920 21.3 106466000 200.5
    1925 22.4 115832000 193.2
    1930 23.7 123077000 192.4
    1935 20.4 127250000 160.6
    1940 25.2 131954000 191.0
    1945 32.7 132481000 246.6
    1950 33.1 151868000 217.8
    1955 38.8 165069000 235.2
    1960 43.8 179975000 243.4
    1965 52.7 193460000 272.3
    1970 66.4 203211926 326.9
    1975 72.0 215465255 334.3
    1980 78.4 226545805 346.2
    1985 76.8 237923795 322.7
    1990 84.3 248765170 339.0
    1995 90.9 262803276 346.0
    2000 98.6 281421906 350.4
    2005 100.2 296507061 337.9

    I think there is plenty of data available to analyze UHI and make much more accurate corrections based on population growth over time as well as energy consumption over time. I recognize that land use plays a significant role in UHI, but the waste energy cannot be ignored.

  325. Earle Williams
    Posted Jun 1, 2007 at 9:22 AM | Permalink

    Reply to self,

    Note that since 1990 the US per capita energy consumption has stabilized. This would have implications on urban adjustments post 1990.

  326. Earle Williams
    Posted Jun 1, 2007 at 9:30 AM | Permalink

    Re #328

    Correction: The table header has population and energy out of order as well as wrong multiplier for US population. It should read:

    Year, Energy (QBtu), US Pop, per capita Btu

    where QBtu = quadrillion Btu


  327. jae
    Posted Jun 1, 2007 at 9:40 AM | Permalink

    323: More like 100 watts.

  328. jae
    Posted Jun 1, 2007 at 10:33 AM | Permalink

    320: Thanks for the excellent summary. I think I will plan on a colder future!

  329. Posted Jun 1, 2007 at 11:52 AM | Permalink

    # 328

    0.26 gal of gasoline produces 2.3 x 10e+7 W of heat. This amount does not include the heat generated by the friction of the movable parts of the motor. Driving a car along12 minutes at a speed of 60 mph, the change of temperature of the surrounding air caused by that amount of heat is of 54.86 °F, which means that if the temperature of a sphere with radius of 3.28 ft around the motor is 89.60 °F, the heat emitted by the combustion of 0.26 gal of gasoline would raise it up to 112.46 °F. Chilling, it is not?

    Nevertheless, the heat is dispersed fast, perhaps because it is absorbed by the surface, by the car, or by other air layers due to the turbulence of winds around the vehicle.

    I made measurements of the heat of the gas emitted from exhausting tube of cars in movement, cars at four and eight pistons, during 15 minutes of driving on a plain road. I found that the temperature of the gas emitted by a car of 8 pistons is 257.00 °F, whereas the T of a car of 4 pistons is 185 °F. This can vary according to the state of the car, the maintenance of the motor and the mechanical conditions of the motor.

    You can check it out to see if my measurments are wrong.

  330. jae
    Posted Jun 1, 2007 at 12:11 PM | Permalink

    0.26 gal of gasoline produces 2.3 x 10e+7 W of heat. This amount does not include the heat generated by the friction of the movable parts of the motor.

    I think the heat of friction is included in the gasoline heat value.

  331. Craig Loehle
    Posted Jun 1, 2007 at 1:34 PM | Permalink

    This is a comment on the scientific method as it relates to hockey sticks, dendro work, climate models, etc. In experimental sciences, it is standard practice to control for all possible confounding factors. You isolate the system in the lab. If you can’t remove some effect you test it to make sure it only generates noise, not bias. In correlative studies, such as health effects of diet and lifestyle, you try to separate the effects such as smoking vs eating meat vs age vs gender etc etc. This is not easy even with thousands in your sample, which is why we hear conflicting results about what is good for you or how much harm second hand smoke causes. Relative to Divergence and hockey sticks, as soon as it looks like you have a confounding factor it is standard practice to investigate it. It is NOT ok to simply say you think it is anomalous and can be ignored. One removed further from reality is a model such as our daily weather forecast models. These must be (and are) tuned repeatedly with tons of data before they are any good. This has been done for 40 or more years with the weather models. There is no such thing as a weather model derived from first principles which works the first time or is precise. The climate GCM models are even more complex and are run for much longer but have a quite coarse test data set which itself has been aggregated at the grid scale and which does not cover a very long time span or very many conditions. In these models, factors which might compete with CO2 as an explanation (UHI, cosmic ray hypothesis, ultraviolet effects, land use effects) have been rather summarily dismissed based on either no testing or only a couple of publications. If you did a heart disease study and forgot to control for age, race, gender and weight, you would never get it published.

  332. jae
    Posted Jun 1, 2007 at 2:14 PM | Permalink

    But Craig, this is Team Science, a new type of science wherein you already KNOW what the answer has to be. All those principles don’t hold sway when you KNOW what the answer is.

  333. Posted Jun 1, 2007 at 2:48 PM | Permalink

    # 334


    Let me see if I got an error when subtracting the heat emitted by friction, you know, it is not a lineal subtraction because the velocity of metal a-e of heat is higher than that of the air, besides the heat that occupy more microstates on thermal expansion. I think the value is correct, but it will be okay if I repeat the experiment. I’ll have the data available for the next Friday.

  334. Earle Williams
    Posted Jun 1, 2007 at 2:59 PM | Permalink

    Re #334


    The energy from the fuel used to drive machinery will either be released as heat from friction or stored as increased potential energy, as in moving a vehicle from seal level to 1000m altitude. Whatever the energy does in the process of being radiated doesn’t matter in the big picture, so it may compress refrigerant in an air conditioner or generate acoustic waves in a car stereo. Ultimately it will radiate/convect to the surrounding atmosphere.

  335. James Erlandson
    Posted Jun 1, 2007 at 3:09 PM | Permalink

    Re 333 Nasif:
    For all practical purposes, all of the energy in the gasoline used by an automobile ends up as heat. Waste heat from the exhaust and cooling system; heat from friction in the bearings, gears, tires and brakes; and energy transferred to the atmosphere by aerodynamic drag.

    If you park you car on top of a hill, some of the gasoline will be converted to potential energy. Otherwise, all is lost.

  336. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 1, 2007 at 3:09 PM | Permalink

    RE: #324 – Remind me to never play poker with you ….. LOL!

  337. jae
    Posted Jun 1, 2007 at 3:11 PM | Permalink

    334, Nasif: I just re-read your post, and I think I may not have read it correctly the first time. I thought the 2.3 x 10e7 was the total heat value of the gasoline. If not, ignore my comment.

  338. bender
    Posted Jun 1, 2007 at 11:48 PM | Permalink

    jae, time to play “guess that warmer”.
    Who said this not 3 days ago:

    “the MWP question is just not that important”

    20$ in the CA tip jar if you also guess which AAGW double-standard # this is.

  339. Reference
    Posted Jun 2, 2007 at 12:17 AM | Permalink

    Hansen censors his boss

    “This just continues the confusion and leads the public to think we don’t understand what is happening,” said Hansen.

  340. Bob Weber
    Posted Jun 2, 2007 at 12:47 AM | Permalink

    #323, #331. Ave male has 1.8 m^2 of skin. For temp of 98.6 (310.15 K) I get (1.8)5.67E-8(310.15^4)=944 watts.


  341. Chris H
    Posted Jun 2, 2007 at 3:08 AM | Permalink

    #344 If the average adult eats 2500 kcal per day and isn’t gaining or losing weight all of this energy is going to end up as heat. 2500 kcal/day is around 10000 kjoules/day, which is around 120 watts of energy that needs to be emitted one way or another.

  342. jae
    Posted Jun 2, 2007 at 7:45 AM | Permalink

    342: That would be gavin? Don’t know the number for the double-standard, but it’s the one that says previous warming periods aren’t important, but this one is.

  343. Neil Haven
    Posted Jun 2, 2007 at 8:29 AM | Permalink

    Earle (328),
    Yes. I agree. The point of the exercise is the trend.

    IF the calculations are approximately correct, so that the human heat dump could affect observed temperatures by something on the order of a degree; and IF the heat dump is increasing, whether due to population increase or energy use increase or whatever; then it seems (from my armchair at least) that an expected urban bias in temperature reading of ~0.05K over the last century (the Jones figure?) is suspect. Are the calculations off by two orders of magnitude?

  344. Neil Haven
    Posted Jun 2, 2007 at 9:01 AM | Permalink

    Bob (344),
    When I subtract off the effect of an ambient temperature of 294K, I get 100 Watts — surprisingly close to what Chris suggests…

  345. Jan Pompe
    Posted Jun 2, 2007 at 9:12 AM | Permalink

    #344 Bob

    310K is average sublingual temperature skin temperature is generally around 305K now try that again.

  346. Jan Pompe
    Posted Jun 2, 2007 at 9:52 AM | Permalink


    You will also need a term for the ambient temperature around 293K.

  347. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Jun 2, 2007 at 10:57 AM | Permalink

    I have a question about heating of inland lakes. On some threads, there has been discussion of how the oceans are heated. I believe that the opinion was that it is mostly solar radiation which penetrates a number of metres while the air can only warm the surface of the water. In the case of a lake which may be let’s say 20 metres deep, is the heating mostly due to solar radiation or does the air above it contribute significantly? Thanks.

  348. Posted Jun 2, 2007 at 12:25 PM | Permalink

    # 323, 331, 334

    MarkW, Jae, Bob Weber:

    You need a biologist:

    Area of skin of average male = 1.78 m^2
    Stephen-Boltzmann Constant = 5.6697 x 10^-8 W/m^2
    Emisivity of human body = 0.7
    Average human body’s Temperature = 309.65 K
    Environment Temperature just now = 305.15 K

    P = (5.6697 x 10^-8) (0.7) (1.78 m^2) {(305.15)^4 – (309.65 K)^4} = – 37.94 W

    That’s the heat transferred from an average human male’s body to the air just now.

    The intensity of the heat irradiated by an average human male’s body -just now- is =
    -20.75 W/m^2

  349. Posted Jun 2, 2007 at 12:25 PM | Permalink

    # 323, 331, 334

    MarkW, Jae, Bob Weber:

    You need a biologist:

    Area of skin of average male = 1.78 m^2
    Stephen-Boltzmann Constant = 5.6697 x 10^-8 W/m^2
    Emisivity of human body = 0.7
    Average human body’s Temperature = 309.65 K
    Environment Temperature just now = 305.15 K

    P = (5.6697 x 10^-8) (0.7) (1.78 m^2) {(305.15)^4 – (309.65 K)^4} = – 37.94 W

    That’s the heat transferred from an average human male’s body to the air just now.

    The intensity of the heat irradiated by an average human male’s body -just now- is = -20.75 W/m^2

  350. Posted Jun 2, 2007 at 12:51 PM | Permalink

    # 323, 331, 334

    MarkW, Jae, Bob Weber:

    From the 37.94 W, the mixed air stores 4.25 W each second. 33.7 W lose. The reason of the heat stroke , or hyperthermia, is that some organisms cannot eliminate the excess of their internal heat when the environment is warmer than the body. It is a failure of the hypothalamus, where the thermal equilibrium center resides, acquired when the person gets older or if there is a genetic error for producing a cell coolant protein, or if there is a damage of the hypothalamus tissues.

  351. Posted Jun 2, 2007 at 1:10 PM | Permalink

    # 323, 331, 334

    MarkW, Jae, Bob Weber:

    Now, if you’re doing intense work, the heat irradiated will be higher. Driving a bike (at 20 Km/hr) could add up to -45 W or more. When walking, the heat emitted by the human body could rise up to -39 W each second. When calculating the heat transferred by the human body we must to consider the area of skin that is exposed to the environment. The previous calculi (# 353 and 354) were made thinking in a naked body suspended 39.37 in above the surface.

  352. James Erlandson
    Posted Jun 2, 2007 at 2:07 PM | Permalink

    Re 353 Nasif: Speaking as a biologist, you have left out heat lost through evaporation (sweat) and respiration (breathing) — the surface area of the lungs is aproximately 75 square meters. Also, skin temperature is normally lower than 37 degrees C.

    This is an interesting exercise but as Chris H says in 345, it is much easier to measure calories in than calculate watts out.

  353. Posted Jun 2, 2007 at 5:29 PM | Permalink

    # 356

    James Erlandson,

    Of course, it’s a very interesting exercise. I’ve taken into account only the skin. That’s what Bob Weber mentioned in his post (#344). The emissivity of skin -0.7- includes sweat. The skin as a gray body has an emissivity of 0.48.

    About respiration, the mucous membrane of lungs has the same emissivity value. Evidence on this is that the heat emitted by the mucous membrane of lungs does not cause a temperature higher than 310.65 K, unless your immunological system is fighting against some infectious entity, in which case all your body would emit the excess of the heat. However, the exhaled water vapor and CO2 transfer by convection most of the heat emitted by the pulmonary mucous membranes. The heat transferred by the mucous membrane of lungs and nostrils cannot be more than 75 W because, if it were 100 or more Watts, we would die stewed from inside by hot steam.

  354. Posted Jun 2, 2007 at 5:35 PM | Permalink

    # 357

    To myself:

    The phrase “in which case all your body would emit…” has an error. It must say “in which case your whole body would emit…”

  355. Posted Jun 2, 2007 at 5:58 PM | Permalink

    # 356

    James Erlandson,

    Regarding your note about the T of human body, please, reread my post. I wrote:

    Average human body’s Temperature = 309.65 K”, which is the average of the minimum and maximum Temperature (maximum temperature of human body is registered in the rectum, and it averages 310.95 K. The lowest temperature in the human body is registered in the armpits, and it averages 310.05 K). The human body is a heterogeneous thermodynamic system, so we are obliged to handle averages when talking about the whole system. If we need to know the conditions of a specific structure, then we have to emphasize on the thermal capabilities of that particular structure.

  356. Posted Jun 2, 2007 at 6:05 PM | Permalink

    # 356

    James Erlandson,

    Now, the maximum temperature of the skin is 310.65 K, while the minimum temperature is 308.65 K. The average of skin temperature is 309.65 K.

  357. MarkR
    Posted Jun 2, 2007 at 8:19 PM | Permalink
  358. James Erlandson
    Posted Jun 3, 2007 at 5:21 AM | Permalink

    Re 357 Nasif: Emissivity of the average human is nearly one — most sources list it at 0.98 or 0.99.

    With respect to the lungs, consider the heat of evaporation of water. Dry air in, moist air out.

    You are reducing complex human thermodynamics to a model applicable to a turnip which is rather like viewing the earth’s climate as a simple greenhouse.

  359. MarkR
    Posted Jun 3, 2007 at 8:39 AM | Permalink

    They call this a consensus?

    The series

    Statistics needed — The Deniers Part I
    Warming is real — and has benefits — The Deniers Part II
    The hurricane expert who stood up to UN junk science — The Deniers Part III
    Polar scientists on thin ice — The Deniers Part IV
    The original denier: into the cold — The Deniers Part V
    The sun moves climate change — The Deniers Part VI
    Will the sun cool us? — The Deniers Part VII
    The limits of predictability — The Deniers Part VIII
    Look to Mars for the truth on global warming — The Deniers Part IX
    Limited role for C02 — the Deniers Part X
    End the chill — The Deniers Part XI
    Clouded research — The Deniers Part XII
    Allegre’s second thoughts — The Deniers XIII
    The heat’s in the sun — The Deniers XIV
    Unsettled Science — The Deniers XV
    Bitten by the IPCC — The Deniers XVI
    Little ice age is still within us — The Deniers XVII
    Fighting climate ‘fluff’ — The Deniers XVIII
    Science, not politics — The Deniers XIX

    They call this a consensus?
    Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post
    Published: Saturday, June 02, 2007

  360. Posted Jun 3, 2007 at 9:05 AM | Permalink

    # 362

    James Erlandson,

    You are reducing complex human thermodynamics to a model applicable to a turnip which is rather like viewing the earth’s climate as a simple greenhouse

    I’m not reducing Earth’s climate “as a simple greenhouse effect”. Obviously, there are many factors that contribute to climate variability. I’m only correcting an error in the calculus of the heat emitted by the human body. We have to work with averages. Incluse, if one needs to know how much heat emitts a specific organ or tissue, we have to calculate the average of the emissivity of that organ or tissue because the human body is not a homogeneous material.

    I don’t know where the “near 1” from Wikipedia popped out. 0.7 is a value above 0.5 and it is near to 1. I take he value used to calculate the heat emitted by the human body from several sources, Heat Transfer by Pitts/Sissom, Linearized Heat Transfer Relations in Biology by Bakken, Human Biology by Sylvia Mader, Physics by Wilson, etc. Another thing which we must take into account is the temperature of the air that surrounds the studied human body, to a higher environmental temperature, the smaller amount of heat transferred from the body towards the atmosphere. When this happens in nature, the body responds forcing heat towards the atmosphere through a substance with a higher absorptivity, for the case, sweat. This is called “forced convective heat transfer”, which, although forced, is natural.

    The laziness that we felt when the atmosphere is warm is because our bodies react before the excessive heat by relaxing themselves, that is, by “loosening” themselves for not producing more heat through movement.

    Wikipedia gives a value of 95 watts. Do you know what would be the body’s temperature caused by that amount of energy? 101.12 °F… a feverish T, isn’t it?

  361. MarkW
    Posted Jun 3, 2007 at 9:22 AM | Permalink


    98.6 is the temperature of the inside of your body, the skin itself is cooler.
    Most males wear clothes during at least part of the day. That also insulates.

  362. Posted Jun 3, 2007 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

    # 362


    Let’s take the value -95 watts from wikipedia to know the value of human body’s emissivity that the author of the article used to quantitify the heat emited by a human being:

    -95 W

    q = σ(e)(A)(Ts ^4 ‘€” T’ˆž ^4)

    e = q / σ(A)(Ts ^4-T’ˆž ^4)

    e = -95 W / 1.78 (0.000000056697) (5566789783.30100625 K – 9193573180.35000625 K) = -95 W / (0.00000010092066 W/m^2*K) (-3626783397.049 K) = -95 W / -366.0174 W = 0.26

    0.26 Of emissivity -not that “near 1” that he says- which means that the writer of the Wikipedia’s article played a bit with physiology and TT. Under the same conditions of inner and outer environments, taken 0.7 as the average emissivity of the skin, the body would have to get rid of 256.2 W. How could the body make this? By means of a more profuse perspiration, a faster heartbeat, a more frequent breathing, etc., except if its hypothalamus is… damaged.

  363. James Erlandson
    Posted Jun 3, 2007 at 4:14 PM | Permalink

    Re 366 Nasif: You will find here a number of references that list the emissivity of human skin as 0.98 or 0.99 or 1.

  364. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 3, 2007 at 6:45 PM | Permalink

    Back from a nice weekend at the lake. Glad to see everyone was fairly well behaved. Lots to read in a couple of days 🙂

  365. Posted Jun 3, 2007 at 7:14 PM | Permalink

    # 367


    I think you’ve read them all, because I’ve done it. Most of the articles refers to altered states of the skin by cosmetics, fabrics, clothes, mobile phones, autostereos, etc. Some articles do not refer to human skin emissivity and one of them clearly says that the value 0.98 had been an asumption:

    “In reality, the human body does not radiate this much heat.” (I = -447 W/m^2!!! More heat than that absorbed by Earth’s surface!).

    Another author says that…

    “The emissivity of human skin is higher and it is within 1% of that of a perfect black body…” Well, the emissivity of a perfect black body is 1.0, then the 1% of 1.0 would be the emissivity of the human skin, that is 0.01.

    Nature’s article refers to wavebands between 2 μ and 6 μ and that “Such machines …” were “…calibrated against a standard black body.” A standard black body has an emissivity of 1.0, no more.

    The second article of Nature says:

    Unfortunately, there is conflicting evidence on the magnitude of Hardy and Muschenheim…” who “…concluded that dead skin should be regarded as a black body (Ñ” = 1). While this conclusion can be justified when Q is the total energy received at all wavelengths (λ) it is not necessarily applicable in the range 2 μet al refers to forced-air warming with upper body blankets. I didn’t find the Ñ” = 0.98 anywhere in the article. However, I found interesting data; for example in no one of their tests there were a heat flux that rose up to 74 W, which is coincident with the emissivity of 0.7.

    Think about this: if a man were under the sunbeams and his skin absorptivity-emissivity were 98%, how much heat would his body absorb and what would be his body’s temperature by the amount of heat absorbed? And, what would the heat absorbed-emitted by his body be if he rested on a surface facing up that emitted 181.5 W/m^2?

    Now think, if the emissivity of the human body were 0.99 and the air temperature were 50.00 °F, how long the human body could stay in thermal equilibrium?

    I cannot blame the 6 billion people living on this planet of being culprit of the global warming just because they “breathe and sweat”. If I wished to find the real cause of this variability, I’d look at the sky, at the oceans, at the Earth’s inner and outer cores, even at the massive pieces of crust that rub one against another. Both, “global warming” and “climate change” are natural phenomena.

  366. Richard Lewis
    Posted Jun 3, 2007 at 7:42 PM | Permalink

    “In desperation, I asked Fermi whether he was not impressed by the agreement between our calculated numbers and his measured numbers. He replied, ‘How many arbitrary parameters did you use for your calculations?’ I thought for a moment about our cut-off procedures and said, ‘Four.’ He said, ‘I remember my friend Johnny von Neumann [the co-creator of game theory] used to say, with four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.’ With that, the conversation was over.”

    Freeman Dyson,”Climate Denier,” quoted by Lawrence Solomon

  367. Mark T.
    Posted Jun 3, 2007 at 10:32 PM | Permalink

    Boris said…

    Well, it was mostly Mark T, but you did say this:

    I’m guessing that you are unaware that warming waters release CO2. This runs counter to your claim that it is completely proven that 100% of new CO2 is produced by man.

    So I guess you were arguing that the CO2 increase isn’t 100% manmade. That’s less wrong, I suppose.

    The whole discussion is here:


    This is the thread, btw, in which Boris was asking for a reference that increased temperature results in decreased solubility of CO2 in water. Bender didn’t step in likely because it’s pointless to argue with you. It does get very tiresome to have to repeatedly point people to wikipedia for simple concepts such as this (or how about “every single chemistry textbook that has ever been written”?).

    Oh, and yes, it is a function of partial pressure and no, the average CO2 content in the atmosphere is not the partial pressure immediately above the surface of the ocean. It is common knowledge that the increased temperature of the atmosphere results in less net absorption of CO2 by the ocean which can either be seen as increased release, or decreased absorption (contrary to “single track” thought, it is a two-way process, so more of one direction is identical in effect as less in the other). It is also fairly straight out of chemistry text books that increased release (or decreased absorption) will result in an increase of concentration near the surface… what’s being released has to come from somewhere.


  368. MarkW
    Posted Jun 4, 2007 at 5:13 AM | Permalink


    People [snip] are capable of recognizing that there is a difference between these two statements.

    Humans are responsible for none of the new CO2.
    Humans are not responsible for 100% of the new CO2.

    [Steve: snip – Mark -please stop the personal comments. I know that you’re not the only one, but you’re doing it too mcuh]

One Trackback

  1. By Solar Science on May 20, 2007 at 6:33 AM

    NASA: Your guess is as good as ours…

    Solar Cycle 24 is late. It should have arrived six months ago, but so far the sunspot cycle has failed to materialize and the Sun is extremely quiet.
    So what will Solar Cycle 24 be like when it turns up?
    NASA is split on the answer:


%d bloggers like this: