Unthreaded #13

Continuation of Unthreaded #12


  1. jae
    Posted Jun 22, 2007 at 12:43 PM | Permalink

    Interesting article linking tree rings (c14), sediments and temperature. THIS is a good way to use tree rings in climatology, IMHO.

  2. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Jun 22, 2007 at 1:09 PM | Permalink

    Wow! When did Untreaded #121 start and end?

  3. Bill F
    Posted Jun 22, 2007 at 1:45 PM | Permalink

    A review of the data showed that unthreaded #12 was influenced by outside factors that affected the chronology of the threads. To correct the problem, a homogeneity adjustment was applied, resulting in revising the name to #121.

    /Phil Jones

  4. Vernon
    Posted Jun 22, 2007 at 2:13 PM | Permalink

    I attempted to post on RC something like this:

    I am not a climate scientist, I do not know if Dr. Mann is right or not, but it seems to me that if you want to silence the deniers, then why not just do these two things and prove the science?

    Put all the raw data, procedures, processes, and methodologies into the public forum (to include any algorithms) to prove that your right for both past global temperatures and the urban heat island.

    Perform a study on all the proxies used determine past, 10ky or so global temperatures, what I mean is to take the last century where we have good instrumented readings and compare the proxies for the same period.

    I think that if you do these two things, then the deniers will not have anything to argue about and we can get down to actions and planning to fix the problem.

    Needless to say, the first time I attempted to post this, comments were closed on that thread before my post was posted. I attempted to post it on another thread and it never appeared. I guess they do not like my ideas.

  5. jae
    Posted Jun 22, 2007 at 2:26 PM | Permalink

    4, Vernon: you must be new to RC. Censoring unfavorable comments is the MO over there.

  6. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Jun 22, 2007 at 8:23 PM | Permalink

    Re#4, I remember when NBA great Hakeem Olajuwon told the media that the only tapes he sent overseas to his mother were games where his Rockets won. For several years of his NBA career, his mother thought her son had never been on the losing end of a game.

    That’s what Real Climate is like – they only allow posts that show them as “correct,” so anyone who visits the site reads post-after-post of RC being “right” and other posters agreeing with them. If you say something enough, people will start to believe it.

    RC didn’t used to be so bad about censorship. Once they started to get shown-up (often by people who also post/posted here) and embarassed, they had to return their world to a state of cheerleading and “consensus” by not letting most opposing viewpoints to get thru (save for softballs from novices that make easy pickings).

  7. Geoff
    Posted Jun 22, 2007 at 8:26 PM | Permalink

    I’m not sure if I overlooked any comment, but in case it hasn’t been looked at perhaps some statistics mavens would like to review the recent article “Time series modelling of two millennia of northern hemisphere temperatures: long memory or shifting trends?” in the January edition of the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society. Professor Mills makes the all too common mistake of refering to the calculations of McIntyre and McKitrick as a “reconstruction” but it does note that “it has long been known that both temperature series and tree ring data can exhibit long memory characteristics, these being noted in the classic studies of Hurst (1951) and Mandelbrot and Wallis (1968)”.

    By the way, does anyone have an idea when an article on climate by Wegman may appear in a statistics journal?

    Ref: Terence C. Mills, Time series modelling of two millennia of northern hemisphere temperatures: long memory or shifting trends?, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society), Volume 170 Issue 1 Page 83-94, January 2007, available (for free) here

  8. TAC
    Posted Jun 22, 2007 at 9:13 PM | Permalink

    Geoff (#9), Mills’s result is indeed very interesting, and it follows closely on a similarly important paper by Koutsoyiannis and Montanari that appeared in May. If SteveM is OK with it, I would like to see a post on the whole topic of long-memory and its implications with respect to assessing climate change. Perhaps both Mills and Koutsoyiannis/Montanari — Koutsoyiannis has been an occasional visitor to CA — might be willing to help explain their research.

  9. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 22, 2007 at 10:13 PM | Permalink

    I’m sorry to delete the thermodynamics speculations, but I’ve repeatedly asked people not to discuss it here until I post a thread on the topic, which I’ll do at some point in the future. My reason for doing so is that these discussions in the past have mostly led to people trying to show that their knowledge of 3-syllable words is better than some other fellows. I’m not deprecating the issues, but I want to deal with it at a time when I’ve got the time and energy to monitor the discussion.

  10. tetris
    Posted Jun 22, 2007 at 10:42 PM | Permalink

    Re: 9
    Steve M,
    My previous comment re: 4, 5, 6, posted some 30 mins ago was not about thermodynamics.

  11. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Jun 22, 2007 at 10:52 PM | Permalink

    Re: #9

    Sorry for violating the rule. Whenever you’re ready. I guess that means I can’t talk about MODTRAN either.

  12. Marshall Lancaster
    Posted Jun 22, 2007 at 10:52 PM | Permalink

    Why isn’t the 8,000 year high in TSI being talked about more, as the cause of warming at the end of the 20th century ? All I hear from AGWT is about the lack of good correlation for 30 years, for the 11 year cycle. The 8,000 year high in solar output has far greater prominence then sunspots. No change in output from the 8,000 year high, but 55 years of constant high TSI has led to more El Nino and La Nina scenarios. It is so obvious our culprit is the Sun, just as it has been in every warming period since the Holocene Maximum.

  13. Joe Ellebracht
    Posted Jun 22, 2007 at 10:56 PM | Permalink

    My read of Mills paper suggests that the autocorrelation attenuates the climate signal in the proxy, and masks variance from the actual temperature changes. This I think, makes the error estimates too low, unless the autocorellation is properly dealt with. Presumabley Mills can deal with this sort of thing. The error range for Mills Fig 4 forecast is roughly 60% of the entire range of temperatures shown in his fig. 1, after 50 years.
    He seems to favor a trending temperature record being imbedded in the proxy data, but also appears to accept a high chance that the data is trendless, just autocorelated and mean reverting.

  14. Posted Jun 22, 2007 at 11:05 PM | Permalink

    # 9

    Steve McIntyre,

    Hah! You never sleep for a while! I apologize by my already-erased post. However, mine was not thermodynamic speculations, I was explaining how those RC people handle our messages.

  15. Posted Jun 22, 2007 at 11:08 PM | Permalink

    # 11

    DeWitt Payne,

    No, we can’t.

  16. Marshall Lancaster
    Posted Jun 22, 2007 at 11:44 PM | Permalink

    I meant to say the 8,000 year high output has led to an increase in El Nino’s and a decrease in La Nina’s. A higher TSI over 5 decades would account for that much better then added GHG,look at the difference in this graph.

  17. Fred
    Posted Jun 23, 2007 at 7:12 AM | Permalink

    Steve and co.,

    I figured that the untheaded post might be a better place for this question than cluttering up one of the surface site threads. I haven’t been able to keep up with reading all of the back posts on the surface sites, as it has certainly taken off as a favorite of the crew on this website. However, I do have a couple of questions. It is obvious that some of the thermometers are poorly sited, and that there should be appropriate measures taken to improve their readings. However:

    1) I have seen comments here that seem to imply that temperatures haven’t warmed at all and scientists are naively (or deceptively) using corrupted data to show that it is warming. How do these people account for melting glaciers, melting permafrost, shorter ice-in periods on lakes, longer growing seasons, etc? Since it is obvious that there is warming going on, do you just disagree with the absolute numbers quoted?

    2) As you are “auditing” the climate sites, has there been any thought given to studying the effects of past temperature readings from outdated equipment? Almost every airport weather station has the same temperature sensor, with similar radiation shields and fan aspiration. To think that the temperature readings at the start of the 20th century were taken with such care is a pipe dream. Isn’t it just as likely that the older temperatures are inflated, and that we are actually UNDERestimating the amount of warming that has taken place?

  18. jae
    Posted Jun 23, 2007 at 7:57 AM | Permalink

    17: Those are good points, IMO. I don’t think you will find many posters here that don’t think temperatures have increased. After all, we are probably still coming out of the Little Ice Age (although I suspect we will now see cooling). I’m looking for the REASONs for the increase, and from what I now understand, they are mostly Solar. Not just TSI, as mentioned in #12, but also sunspots/cosmic ray interactions.

  19. bernie
    Posted Jun 23, 2007 at 8:20 AM | Permalink

    #427 Arvy

    Since I’m from Massachusetts I don’t get much chance to see Bristlecones – seeing one site was a happenstance. However, I am unsure of your logic – are you saying the harsher the climate the clearer the link between ring width/density and temperature? How do you deduce that? Why not precipitation since on a year to year basis there should be more variation in precipitation than in temperature?

  20. jae
    Posted Jun 23, 2007 at 8:27 AM | Permalink

    17: I should have also said that the focus of this Blog is not on whether there is any warming, or even what caused it. The focus is on auditing studies to determine whether they are reproducible and valid.

  21. John M
    Posted Jun 23, 2007 at 8:32 AM | Permalink

    #17 Fred,

    I’ll second jae’s comments that those are fair questions. The point you make with regard to earlier records is well taken, but the problems you allude to with the earlier measurements are likely to result in random errors. The whole idea of temperature reconstruction deals with statistically treating inherently noisy data in order to detect a signal. The trick comes in sorting random error from systematic bias.

    The issues being turned up now seem to indicate a systematic bias for higher readings. The issue is whether they are suitably being corrected for. If you have a theory as to why older readings might systematically be in error on the high side more than today’s readings, then put it on the table and I’m sure that readers of this blog will be happy give it a go.

    With regard to melting glaciers, ice caps, lake ice, etc., I hope you’re looking at more sources than CNN and the BBC.

    A useful and scientific site is Roger Pielke Sr’s. Here is a specific item on lake melt. Take a look


    There are many discussions on Climate Audit about polar ice. Is it disappearing?


    And no:

    Glaciers? Yes, many have been shrinking, but many seem to have started shrinking well before one would expect to see an impact from AGW caused by CO2

    So the bottom line: Question everything.

    Note: multiple hotlinks sometimes cause the Spam filter to bounce my messages, so you’ll have to cut and paste the above links.

  22. jae
    Posted Jun 23, 2007 at 8:36 AM | Permalink

    19, bernie: there is one hell of a LOT of discussion about your questions on this site. I suggest you read some of the dendro-related posts and comments. In short, the theory is that temperature CAN be the limiting variable for trees that are at the edge of their existence. But you are right; precipitation (and other things) can also be the limiting variable. More likely, it’s probably often an interaction between the two. It is all very tenous, and the science in this area is definitely not “settled.”

  23. Posted Jun 23, 2007 at 8:54 AM | Permalink

    # 17


    1. We don’t say that there is not warming, of course there is a warming on Earth, as it must be. What we say is that this warming is not due to human activities and that it is natural by its origins; as Jae said, the responsible is the Sun. We also have said that the CO2 is not a pollutant or a toxic substance and that CO2 has not the thermal properties as to produce a significant change in the global temperature. You can verify the information from books on Paleobiology, heat trasnsfer, Physics of climate, etc.

    2. I’ve not participated in the discussion about the surface stations, but I have verified empirically that there is a great influence on the measurements if you place a surface station at an airport, at the backyard of a house, etc. Even there will be alterations of the results if you place the surface station 1 m above a surface covered with grass, bushes, etc.

  24. Posted Jun 23, 2007 at 8:58 AM | Permalink

    # 17

    Fred, On the other hand, I have to thank Dr. McIntyre by this site because it is a site that is open to all kind of standpoints from the readers (except for thermodynamics vain discussions), like yours. In most sites our opinions are erased or simply our messages are not published.

  25. Fred
    Posted Jun 23, 2007 at 10:10 AM | Permalink

    Thank you all for your comments.

    Jae (#18), I don’t think you’ll find a reasonable person who believes in anthropogenic climate change that won’t admit that the sun has been a major driver in the climatic history of the Earth. However, I do find it curious that since the satellites have shown that there has been little or no change in TSI, the “skeptic” community has jumped whole-heartedly into the unproven cosmic ray arena. I’m sure you read Patterson’s op-ed from the other day (http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/
    He makes the curious statement that “the increase in direct solar input is not calculated to be sufficient to cause the past century’s modest warming on its own”. So what he does is strays away from his own research and jumps on the cosmic ray train. And then he says that we need to be prepared for dangerous global cooling. I’m sure he said it for shock value, but it is odd nonetheless.

    Has there been a response to the NewScientist post about cosmic rays?


  26. Posted Jun 23, 2007 at 10:37 AM | Permalink

    # 12

    Marshall Lancaster,

    Yes, you’re right; we have often talked about those weak arguments on sunspots cycles. There are longer cycles of Solar Activity that we have not touched, as you’ve pointed in your message. I think it is due to the general acceptance that Solar Activity is related to the number of visible sunspots. However, the IR and other electromagnetic kinds of energy are emitted from the Sun’s core through the process of nuclear fusion. Sunspots are related to electromagnetic activity, but the absence of visible sunspots on the disk doesn’t mean that the Sun has been turned off. I think that the best way to know the intensity of Solar Activity is by means of Infrared and ultraviolet satellital measurements. We know the amount of SIR emitted from the Sun’s core, explicitly, the exact percentage of IR emitted by the Sun; consequently, if we know the amount of IR produced and emitted by the Sun, we’ll know the Intensity of Solar Irradiance (ISI). This is a task of HELIOSAT and SOHO.

    When we see the graphs of the reconstruction of Solar Irradiance since many centuries ago, we realize that the short cycles of 11 and 30 years are riding on larger cycles of 100, 1000, 1500 and 10000 years. However, we are clueless about those cycles that are larger than 100000 years. You should know that the SI has increased by 3.27 W/m^2 throughout the last 400 years. Most astrophysicists agree on the factor of 0.185 K per each W/m^2 of the increase of SI, which is translated into a positive anomaly in the tropospheric temperature on Earth and on every body into the boundaries of our Solar System, depending on the amount of CSR that each body receives from the Sun. The amount of CSR is determined by two factors, distance from the celestial body to the Sun and the opacity of the clouds of dust located between the Sun and that celestial body.

  27. Filippo Turturici
    Posted Jun 23, 2007 at 10:56 AM | Permalink

    Fred (#25) as well as discussing how and where warming happened/is happening (actually, the average world temperature has warmed, but not every place of Earth has, and really there were many false claims about certain areas) we should discuss on the “how” and “where” of the “why Earth has warmed”.
    So, maybe I am in a very difficult place: as I do not believe both in the future desert doom and in the future glaciation, I do not think that man-made CO2 could change Earth’s temperature in a significant way as well as that there is not only one mechanism to explain our planet’s thermal control.
    Sun is out of doubt the “primus motor” of the whole system: no one, since pre-science era, would ever think to other energy sources to heat our planet. What is a not significant variation in Sun’s heat output, could be a very small variation in Earth’s absolute temperature, but it would be a very large change for our standards (as XXth century warming demonstrated, at least after the warming happened 😉 ).
    But there are many other actors on the scene. One could be cosmic rays: why not, they influence one of our main thermal regulators, clouds. But this is the very important one, sure and not well known mechanism, is water vapor (not counted as gas in our atmosphere, but the main “inner” actor both during warming and during cooling). So, simply telling that all solar output could not have changed our world temperature so much, is IMO under the pretext of simply dismissing other theories without even computing a scenario – and, remember, all IPCC scenarios are under the assumption that not only greenhouse gases, but also strong positive feedbacks, would lead to such large future warmings, and such scenarios work only under these assumptions. And we have to consider also multidecadal sea temperatures oscillations, changes in main weather patterns, extent of continental snow (sea ice seems to be little important: albedo lost as lost ice, is replaced by more clouds in the same area) etc.
    Another “wrong” issue is that the curve of Solar activity does not agree, at least in the last 30 years, with the curve of planet temperatures. First of all, “computing” such complicated things is not a good thing: as many models had very poor results, we cannot say “Sun’s output is not enough”, it might be also that we have still never reached an equilibrium of the system. But, anyway, not Solar activity, but overall Solar irradiance then heat flow is at its maximum level (during all last century) since many centuries, so a large part of XXth century warming (both being underestimated or overestimated) can be explained with Sun’s output. In the last 30 years, it is true that Solar heat flow did not overtake the maximum of mid-century: but, during ’60ies-’70ies, we had a temporary decrease of Solar irradiance, which recovered (to near to maximum levels) in the ’80ies and ’90ies. Now Sun’s output is slightly but constantly decreasing: indeed, since 1998, no real warming has occurred, we have of course stayed around the maximum temperature level, but we have stayed stable (records of 0.01°C are not “real”, since measurements uncertainty is 0.1°C).
    So, IMO, the question is still open, and the “Solar theory” is not at all out of the race.

  28. Posted Jun 23, 2007 at 10:57 AM | Permalink

    # 25


    I’ll take the word by Jean. I apologize, Jean. The average of Incident SI (ISI) upon Earth that is absorbed by the surface is 356.15 W/m^2. Astrophysicists have calculated that per each W/m^2 there is an increase in the tropospheric temperature of 0.185 K. Multiplying 356.15 by 0.185, we obtain 65.9 K, which is the increase in the Earth’s temperature caused exclusively from ISI. You may think that this change of temperature is unrealistic, but we have to take into account that the temperature on Earth has to be risen from -38 °C, that would be the temperature if the Earth were partially isolated from SI or if Earth didn’t have oceans and huge volumes of water. Now let’s make the calculation: 65.9 – 38 °C = 27.8 °C, which is the average temperature on Earth. If we include those 3.27 W/m^2 of the anomaly in the ISI upon Earth, we obtain exactly the anomaly in the tropospheric temperature registered in 1998, that is, 0.6 K. I don’t know why those people that you mention in your message minimize the action of the Sun on GW.

  29. Posted Jun 23, 2007 at 11:12 AM | Permalink

    # 28

    Filippo Turturici,

    I agree.


    I have a pair of healthy questions for you; what’s the reason by which the 1998 anomaly of the TT has not been repeated in the later years until now? How is it that the predictions about, in words of James Hansen, “a 2005 warmer than 1998”, “a 2006 warmer than 1998”, “a 2007 warmer than 1998”, have not taken place?

  30. Posted Jun 23, 2007 at 1:24 PM | Permalink

    My take on McKitrick and Essex “No Global Temperature” paper, as rehashed in the Financial Post


    Steve: As I’ve said on many other occasions, I’m not interested in discussing this issue here. I’ve left this in only to avoid screeching. Hansen’s post entitled the “Elusive Surface Absolute Temperature” seems plausible to me http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/abs_temp.html . People interested in discussing the topic can do so elsewhere.

  31. Posted Jun 23, 2007 at 1:42 PM | Permalink

    # 30

    bigcitylib, Who’s Shirley? I’d like you see my work at http://biocab.org/Heat_Stored.html It’s not for dummies, but for High School students.

  32. Philip B
    Posted Jun 23, 2007 at 5:35 PM | Permalink

    #17 Fred.

    The problem with using glacier and ice sheet retreat as evidence for warming is that they are affected by other factors such as particulate pollution.

    Alpine glaciers are commonly used as an example, but the Alps are surrounded by dense human populations and the mountains are subject to large scale human activities, like the Skiing industry.

    The glaciers on the South Island of New Zealand, for example, would be much less affected by these other (human) factors. As of 2006 the two largest glaciers in New Zealand were in fact advancing.

    I don’t consider this persuasive evidence of global cooling, but I find it more persuasive than retreating Alpine glaciers are evidence of global warming.


  33. Byron
    Posted Jun 23, 2007 at 9:36 PM | Permalink

    # 32 Philip

    It appears that glacial advances/retreats are a much more sensitive indicator than I would have thought. How about Northern Europe being purported to be a region particularly effected by regional warming with the NA dissipating an enormous amount of stored heat, while as the Southern Hemisphere shows little or no warming.

    My experience in skiing the Sierra Nevada is that they have an effective method of increasing the snowpack. Are there studies particulate pollution? I’d be interested.

    We had glacial advances in the little ice age and the micro-mini ice age of the seventies and medieval, roman, bronze age, late neolithic (oetzi age?)and other periods. Why not regional retreats and advances in the modern warm period?
    btw great graphics

  34. Posted Jun 23, 2007 at 10:10 PM | Permalink

    “I don’t consider this persuasive evidence of global cooling, but I find it more persuasive than retreating Alpine glaciers are evidence of global warming.”

    The interesting thing for me was that as alpine glaciers recede in Europe they are exposing wood dating back a couple of thousand years indicating that the valleys where the glaciers are today were forested at some point in this interglacial.

    Here’s a link to one article with a couple of references.

  35. Posted Jun 23, 2007 at 10:15 PM | Permalink

    Oops, apparently I messed that link up. Here it is again.

  36. Philip B
    Posted Jun 23, 2007 at 10:27 PM | Permalink

    #33 Byron

    One doesn’t have to look far in Northern Europe to find glaciers that are gaining mass. The Storglaciären Glacier in Sweden, said to be the longest studied in the world, has been gaining mass since 1989.


    I think the differences between glaciers can be attributed to local factors, both manmade and natural. But that then begs the question, how meaningful a concept is global climate change, and how large is the effect relative to local factors?

  37. jae
    Posted Jun 23, 2007 at 10:42 PM | Permalink

    25, Fred: If you postulate GHGs as a driver of climate change, you HAVE to explain the Holocene Maximum, later cooling, Roman Warm Period, later cooling, Medieval Warming Period, Little Ice Age, Present Warming. I don’t think you can do this with GHGs. It’s really that simple. We simply cannot PROVE that the current warming is not natural. The Sun offers a much ore plausible explanation, IMHO. If you deny these earlier warming periods, I’m done responding to you, because you are one of the “believers,” and not a rational scientist.

  38. Posted Jun 23, 2007 at 11:31 PM | Permalink

    “The Sun offers a much ore plausible explanation, IMHO”

    Particularly when viewed in the context of the warming of other bodies in the solar system over the same timeframe.

  39. Marshall Lancaster
    Posted Jun 24, 2007 at 12:11 AM | Permalink

    My favorite topic for discussion for a while now, to bring some balance to the climate causation issue is,the surprising, warming of the solar system. It is fun to watch people dance all around the issue rather then use Occams razor and the correct response,which would include a discussion of the Sun. I actually read one article with some Astrophysist who gave a detailed explanation for all five warmings we know of,excluding the Earth; each answer,of course different. How incredible, the chances of all this warming happening at the same time. Especially, with the amount of measured warming for Mars & Earth, approximately the same.

    I think the discussion is a good one for solar causation. It is also an ongoing Phenomenon and when the solar system cools at the same time, temperatures drop on Earth. We will have the proverbial smoking gun.Case closed archive that baby.

  40. Posted Jun 24, 2007 at 12:18 AM | Permalink

    This recent article got wide linkage around the net. What people don’t seem to understand is that global cooling is a much worse threat because it only takes one cold night to destroy a crop no matter what the “average” over the month or year. Witness this year’s destruction of much of the California citrus and East coast prunus (peaches, nectarines, etc) family crops.

    A late spring or early fall killing frost in the US midwest can cause world famine and all it takes is one single cold night.

  41. Posted Jun 24, 2007 at 2:56 AM | Permalink

    No one suggests that the Early Holocene warm period is caused by greenhouse gases (relative to the rest of the Holocene)- I think just about everybody agrees that the high latitude summer warming was related to orbital forcing. And we can be absolutely certain that orbital forcing is not responsible for the modern temperature increase.

    There are multiple drivers of climate change, it is impossible to explain all climate changes by a single driver. The argument that GHGs must completely explain all climate changes ever is no more than a rhetorical device.

  42. Filippo Turturici
    Posted Jun 24, 2007 at 3:39 AM | Permalink

    John M (#21): I am looking at that site from many months, and I always had some doubt over their numbers.
    So, since we can check both the entire Arctic ice gap and every single area ice gap, from some week I check them.
    Today, we have an Arctic ice gap of about 1.5millions km^2, very very much; but, making the sum of all single areas gaps, we have no more than 900,000 km^2, still very much, but very less than above, and on the same level of last years mean gap. This result was similar to the others obtained in the previous weeks: always, their total is much over the total of single areas.
    So, I am wondering about what is the right number to look at; but, having a look on the satellite map, I feel it (the ice sheet) not worse than in the last years, so I hope they will correct soon.

  43. Posted Jun 24, 2007 at 4:07 AM | Permalink

    That reference is ten years out of date. Since then Storglaciären has lost mass. For a more recent view, see page 20 of http://www.geo.unizh.ch/wgms/mbb/mbb8/MBB8.pdf

  44. Fred
    Posted Jun 24, 2007 at 5:54 AM | Permalink

    Jae (#37),

    I don’t understand this response. As I stated in my previous post, “I don’t think you’ll find a reasonable person who believes in anthropogenic climate change that won’t admit that the sun has been a major driver in the climatic history of the Earth.” That includes the LIA and MWP. Of course CO2 was not the driver for those time periods. What we seem to be doing now is conducting a grand experiment with the Earth to see if CO2 can be a driver and not just a feedback.

    Two comments about, well, comments on this site:

    1) The 8000yr high in TSI. It seems like some people have grabbed onto this as a reason why it is warmer now. Yet, using this data point seems to completely ignore the MWP that Steve fought so hard to re-validate.

    2) The use of 1998 as a benchmark year. How someone can keep a straight face and say that the globe is now cooling because 1998 was so warm is completely beyond me. That was a completely anomalous year with the El Nino and I would think that a site with such statistical knowledge would jump all over that nonsense.

  45. Filippo Turturici
    Posted Jun 24, 2007 at 7:50 AM | Permalink

    #44, 2) there is a very slight cooling trend in RSS-MSU, UAH-MSU and HadCRU series, but since 2002; there is a slight warming trend too in all series since 1998; but, to tell the truth, all trends are well below error margin, so we can (to be correct, we would have to) say that since 1998 no real warming occurred; but we remained the same at high temperature level, not cooling; of course 1998 warming was strongly linked to the strongest Nino ever measured, but e.g. satellite data show that all the following years are well below 1998 warming level, despite still being a little above pre-1998 temperature levels; so I miss your point of view (are you telling that the “real” warming occurred since 2001, or that 1998 warming was due to natural causes and then not to man-made gases?).

  46. Filippo Turturici
    Posted Jun 24, 2007 at 8:02 AM | Permalink

    Days ago we were discussing about European climate warming, overall during summer, in the last years.
    I think these two “raw” maps could give a good idea of how summer changed in recent years.
    The first, how was typical “old” European summer:

    The second, how is typical “new” summer (but, sometime, the cold northerly wave move eastward to Italy/Balkans, letting strong heat wave hit Spain and Russia; or move westward, in the open ocean, letting such heat waves hit all Western and Central Europe):

    As you can see, it is mainly due to the position and force of Azores high pressure, in the open Atlantic Ocean, or to the force of Polar Vortex and then Iceland low pressure, while there is little point to say that this is strongly linked with global warming (indeed, many areas of Europe warmed more even than Northern Emisphere).

  47. John A
    Posted Jun 24, 2007 at 8:04 AM | Permalink

    This just in from Kevin Trenberth (with emphasis from me):

    I have often seen references to predictions of future climate by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), presumably through the IPCC assessments (the various chapters in the recently completed Working Group I Fourth Assessment report ican be accessed through this listing). In fact, since the last report it is also often stated that the science is settled or done and now is the time for action.

    In fact there are no predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been. The IPCC instead proffers “what if” projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios. There are a number of assumptions that go into these emissions scenarios. They are intended to cover a range of possible self consistent “story lines” that then provide decision makers with information about which paths might be more desirable. But they do not consider many things like the recovery of the ozone layer, for instance, or observed trends in forcing agents. There is no estimate, even probabilistically, as to the likelihood of any emissions scenario and no best guess.

    Even if there were, the projections are based on model results that provide differences of the future climate relative to that today. None of the models used by IPCC are initialized to the observed state and none of the climate states in the models correspond even remotely to the current observed climate. In particular, the state of the oceans, sea ice, and soil moisture has no relationship to the observed state at any recent time in any of the IPCC models. There is neither an El Nià±o sequence nor any Pacific Decadal Oscillation that replicates the recent past; yet these are critical modes of variability that affect Pacific rim countries and beyond. The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, that may depend on the thermohaline circulation and thus ocean currents in the Atlantic, is not set up to match today’s state, but it is a critical component of the Atlantic hurricanes and it undoubtedly affects forecasts for the next decade from Brazil to Europe. Moreover, the starting climate state in several of the models may depart significantly from the real climate owing to model errors. I postulate that regional climate change is impossible to deal with properly unless the models are initialized.

    The current projection method works to the extent it does because it utilizes differences from one time to another and the main model bias and systematic errors are thereby subtracted out. This assumes linearity. It works for global forced variations, but it can not work for many aspects of climate, especially those related to the water cycle. For instance, if the current state is one of drought then it is unlikely to get drier, but unrealistic model states and model biases can easily violate such constraints and project drier conditions. Of course one can initialize a climate model, but a biased model will immediately drift back to the model climate and the predicted trends will then be wrong. Therefore the problem of overcoming this shortcoming, and facing up to initializing climate models means not only obtaining sufficient reliable observations of all aspects of the climate system, but also overcoming model biases. So this is a major challenge.

    The IPCC report makes it clear that there is a substantial future commitment to further climate change even if we could stabilize atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. And the commitment is even greater given that the best we can realistically hope for in the near term is to perhaps stabilize emissions, which means increases in concentrations of long-lived greenhouse gases indefinitely into the future. Thus future climate change is guaranteed.

    So if the science is settled, then what are we planning for and adapting to? A consensus has emerged that “warming of the climate system is unequivocal” to quote the 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment Working Group I Summary for Policy Makers (pdf) and the science is convincing that humans are the cause. Hence mitigation of the problem: stopping or slowing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere is essential. The science is clear in this respect.

    However, the science is not done because we do not have reliable or regional predictions of climate. But we need them. Indeed it is an imperative! So the science is just beginning. Beginning, that is, to face up to the challenge of building a climate information system that tracks the current climate and the agents of change, that initializes models and makes predictions, and that provides useful climate information on many time scales regionally and tailored to many sectoral needs.

    We will adapt to climate change. The question is whether it will be planned or not? How disruptive and how much loss of life will there be because we did not adequately plan for the climate changes that are already occurring?

    Kevin Trenberth
    Climate Analysis Section, NCAR

    The loud cracking noise was my chin hitting the desk at 1000mph.

  48. Filippo Turturici
    Posted Jun 24, 2007 at 8:12 AM | Permalink

    #47: that’s exactly what I always found and waht I always suspected…but, the real matter is still: why do IPCC (or GISS, or whatever) behaves in the way “I know everything, no error is possible?”? [IPCC future temperature growth range is not at all due to uncertainty, but to different scenarios, each one simply depending on a different gas emission rate]

  49. Posted Jun 24, 2007 at 8:39 AM | Permalink

    Why so surprised? Had you convinced yourself that the model runs are century-long weather forecasts? They aren’t. They are scenarios.

  50. jae
    Posted Jun 24, 2007 at 8:43 AM | Permalink


    2) The use of 1998 as a benchmark year. How someone can keep a straight face and say that the globe is now cooling because 1998 was so warm is completely beyond me. That was a completely anomalous year with the El Nino and I would think that a site with such statistical knowledge would jump all over that nonsense.

    Uh, who is claiming “cooling?” I sure don’t see much warming, though. We will probably see soon now if we now have a peak, or whether it’s just a “pause.” My guess is a peak, due to the late Solar cycle and the predictions for small cycles ahead.

  51. jae
    Posted Jun 24, 2007 at 8:46 AM | Permalink

    Fred, 44:

    1) The 8000yr high in TSI. It seems like some people have grabbed onto this as a reason why it is warmer now. Yet, using this data point seems to completely ignore the MWP that Steve fought so hard to re-validate.

    I don’t understand this statement. TSI is not the only Solar driver.

  52. EW
    Posted Jun 24, 2007 at 8:48 AM | Permalink

    Mere scenarios? May be, but why are their results declared to the public as the century-long weather forecasts?

  53. KevinUK
    Posted Jun 24, 2007 at 9:00 AM | Permalink

    #47 John A

    I’m personally not surprised by Kevin Trenberth’s statements in #47 above. In fact I’m beginning to understand now why the IPCC refers to the GCM predictions of future climate as ‘projections’. Sadly though I’m afraid I not going to fall for KT’s explanation. They are PREDICTIONS and they are most definitely seen as so by the MSM and the general public. What really makes me what to throw up is references to ‘tipping points’ and catastrophic global warming. The certainty with which these claims are made is utterly unsupportable based on the (now let’s face it) somewhat uncertain claimed increase in mean global surface temperature over the past hundred years of 0.6C. As many who vist this blog already know, the claims of iminent ‘tipping points’ and catastrophic global warming by politicians like our (shortly to be no longer) UK Prime Minister Tony Blair are based ENTIRELY on GCM predictions. AS discussions have shown on this blog, these computer models are specifically tuned to produce ‘headline’ grapping outputs, thereby providing the politicians who fund them with what they want, namely the means to justify ever more increasing levels of taxation and the imposition of further ‘nanny state’ controls on how we live our lives.

    KT knows that the average man in the street has already been sufficiently frightened enough by the prospect of catastrophic global warming that they are prepared to accept the (pretty futile) changes to be imposed by the politicians. He understands that the next challange is for the GCMs to make more accurate predictions of future climate on a local level so that the politicians can justify even more draconian impositions.



  54. Philip B
    Posted Jun 24, 2007 at 9:12 AM | Permalink


    Thanks for the link. It seems the Storglaciären gained and then lost mass (to 2005) leaving it where it was 20 years earlier. Quite a few other glaciers have a similar pattern of mass gain and then loss over the same period.

  55. Posted Jun 24, 2007 at 9:48 AM | Permalink

    # 53


    He understands that the next challange is for the GCMs to make more accurate predictions of future climate on a local level so that the politicians can justify even more draconian impositions.

    I agree. President Calderon from Mexico has said that his government will suspend the subsidies to gasoline, domestic gas, electricity, potable water and basic foods “to struggle against climate change”.

    In Arizona, the Border Patrol found the last week twelve corpses of Latin people who had crossed the border with Mexico and had illegally gone into country taking the route from the desert of Arizona. The forensic doctor said that “four of those people would have died by the effects of global warming” and that “the rest of the people perhaps had also died by the same cause. The problem is that the temperature in Arizona’s desert has not been above 100.40 °F, so the forensic doctor must look for a suitable explanation, like the lack of water, the bullets of the hunters, the noxious animals of the desert, etc.

    These days, all the administrative faults from the government are attributed to the anthropogenic climate change. It permits that the authorities can justify easier their errors, by transforming us into the main providers of their stupidity and saying that the warming and the climate change are our responsibility and that we must pay higher and outlandish taxes, like the quota that we must pay by driving our car in rush hours in Taiwan.

  56. Scott-in-WA
    Posted Jun 24, 2007 at 10:13 AM | Permalink

    Unthreaded #13 … #47, #53, and #55

    From a purely marketing perspective, Dr. Trenberth has a fine balancing act to maintain in selling his organization’s future services and in keeping his colleagues active in the climate modeling business.

    He has to demonstrate to current and future customers that existing climate modeling services and the associated climate modeling tools & techniques have had great value in the past, but that changing customer needs demand that the existing tools and techniques be modified and upgraded to handle future customer requirements.

    Of course, as one whom we would suspect of having a strong customer-service orientation, Dr. Trenberth can be expected to be very proactive in telling his current customers where their future requirements lie, and what should be done now to prepare for those future needs.

    Unfortunately, in making the case for upgrading the existing climate modeling tools and techniques, Dr. Trenberth has raised important issues concerning these models which have the unintended effect of calling into strong question the overall validity of past climate modeling efforts.

    Will the admitted existence of these issues have any material impact on the ability of the AGW alarmists in government to promote and fund these climate modeling services?

    Not in the slightest. From a service marketing perspective, the general climate models and their outputs are simply a component element within the overall marketing dynamic of how government-controlled resources are allocated so as to keep AGW alive as a public policy issue. From that perspective, whether or not these models actually perform as advertised is basically immaterial.

  57. Roger Bell
    Posted Jun 24, 2007 at 10:21 AM | Permalink

    The following is published in http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk
    In December 2005 Nature published “evidence” that the Gulf Stream was weakening. This was based on
    a report by workers at the National Oceanography Centre. The reduction of the current was 30%.
    This result was viewed with some suspicion – Prof Petr Chylek of Los Alamos National Lab wrote a letter to Nature pointing out an error in the “evidence”. Nature would not publish his letter, leading Chylek to
    believe that Nature was more interested in media coverage than in science. Chylek now has a paper on his work in the current issue of Physics Today.
    Roger Bell

  58. Filippo Turturici
    Posted Jun 24, 2007 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

    – 2005 and 2006: cold and snowy winters for Europe, scientists say that Gulf Current was weakening and that a future of cooling and not warming is to be expected for Europe;
    – 2007: very warm winter for Europe, scientists say that Gulf Current would not influence European weather so much in the future warming.

    AGW news always seem, or a way to make business by catching public attention, or a coverage of public/private environmental faults (e.g. every flooding/snowfall/heat wave/drought is due surely and only to AGW, as all the porblems it brings, and never to local authorities, ground planning etc. something like “sabotage” for the faults of old USSR, with the AGW skeptics looked at by AGW supporters like Soviets did with “counter-revolutionary” activists).

  59. Fred
    Posted Jun 24, 2007 at 12:20 PM | Permalink

    Jae (50 and 51),

    Sorry, the TSI comments are about posts 12 and 16, but I now see that they are by the same person.

    The 1998 reference is due to several comments on this board and others, such as the end of 27: “Now Sun’s output is slightly but constantly decreasing: indeed, since 1998, no real warming has occurred, we have of course stayed around the maximum temperature level, but we have stayed stable (records of 0.01°C are not “real”, since measurements uncertainty is 0.1°C).”

    What if you use 1996, or 2000, or 2001, or really any other year than 1998. Does it show “real” warming? Picking the outlier seems like a sketchy thing to do when making a point such as this.

  60. SidViscous
    Posted Jun 24, 2007 at 2:04 PM | Permalink

    “What if you use 1996, or 2000, or 2001, or really any other year than 1998. Does it show “real” warming?”

    Does it show warming of the magnitude the IPCC has predicted for the 21st century. 7 degrees C over 100 years equals .7 degrees C over a decade. So if we map from 1996 till 2007 do we see anything even approaching .7 Degrees C.

    But why use the latter 20th century and 1996, why not look 1937 until 2007 80 years, what’s the change then?

  61. Posted Jun 24, 2007 at 3:33 PM | Permalink

    Where does 7°C come from? It is beyond the likely range of even the most fossil fuel intensive scenario (A1FI) that the IPCC consider.

    Why should temperature increase be linear? If you look at the model projections in the report (you have read it haven’t you), many have decade-long periods with no temperature increase during this century. The temperature variability over the last decade is within that expected from the models.

  62. SidViscous
    Posted Jun 24, 2007 at 4:00 PM | Permalink

    What is the IPCC predictions then, I do recall 7-11 degrees, may have been the last one, but I believe 7C is the upper range of current predictions.

    I don’t recall any decades with no increase in the predictions of the IPCC, but please post info to that.

  63. Posted Jun 24, 2007 at 4:24 PM | Permalink

    Best estimates and likely range of temperature change over the summary for Policy makers.
    Constant Year 2000 concentrations 0.6 (0.3 ‘€” 0.9)
    B1 scenario 1.8 (1.1 ‘€” 2.9)
    A1T scenario 2.4 (1.4 ‘€” 3.8)
    B2 scenario 2.4 (1.4 ‘€” 3.8)
    A1B scenario 2.8 (1.7 ‘€” 4.4)
    A2 scenario 3.4 (2.0 ‘€” 5.4)
    A1FI scenario 4.0 (2.4 ‘€” 6.4)

    The scenarios are described in the SPM and in the report. A1 scenarios are for rapid economic growth.

    Figure 10.5 of the AR4 (available from http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/wg1-report.html) shows the temperature development for some different scenarios with different models. Most of the model projections show considerable interannual variability, often with long periods between new highs.

    If it would convince anybody that the lack of a steep temperature trend over the last few years is not proof against the AGW hypothesis, I’ll dig out these data and write something up.

  64. woodentop
    Posted Jun 24, 2007 at 5:28 PM | Permalink

    #63 –

    If it would convince anybody that the lack of a steep temperature trend over the last few years is not proof against the AGW hypothesis, I’ll dig out these data and write something up.

    Too many negatives in that sentence!? Not sure what you mean?

  65. Posted Jun 24, 2007 at 5:28 PM | Permalink

    re 63

    While I agree that a ten years of a flat temperature doesn’t prove or disprove very much, I looked at the IPCC charts and I don’t see a flat ten year period in any of the ensembles. And all three scenarios show warming by 2010 when compared to 2000. Am I miss reading something?

  66. Posted Jun 24, 2007 at 6:50 PM | Permalink

    # 65

    Robert Burns,

    Overlaping the three graphs you’ll see that the reality is different. There has not been notable anomalies in the GTT since 1999. The average change in GST for the last year was 0.28 °C. The average in 2005 was 0.32 °C. This year the average is slighty higher, but we’ve taken only the Δ T only from five months of 2007. June 2007 seems to be colder than June 2006, but we cannot conclude yet that 2007 will be colder than 2006, until the last second of the year. We have the experience of 1998, when the higher anomaly was 0.79 °C throughout a few seconds one day of April.

    The thing is just the opposite for MT. HT and LS, where the anomaly has been negative, that is, it seems that there is a cooling of those layers, not a warming.

  67. Posted Jun 24, 2007 at 7:19 PM | Permalink

    re 65

    Nsaif, I agree with you. I was pointing out that
    the charts cited by richardT do not show any 10 year flat period from 2000 to 2100 as he claims, and they show a warming in 2000 to 2010 which is not in line with reality. And while the lack of higher temp in a 10 year period doesn’t disprove AGW, it sure does not support it either. The models do not appear to be very accurate so far this century.

  68. reid simpson
    Posted Jun 24, 2007 at 7:37 PM | Permalink

    Robert Burns: fear not. future adjustments will clearly present the upward trend for the first 7 years in this century.

  69. jae
    Posted Jun 24, 2007 at 10:04 PM | Permalink


    If it would convince anybody that the lack of a steep temperature trend over the last few years is not proof against the AGW hypothesis, I’ll dig out these data and write something up.

    Bring it on, mann!

  70. Richard Sharpe
    Posted Jun 24, 2007 at 11:12 PM | Permalink

    Robert, I think you said it so well back in 1785:

    The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men,
    Gang aft agley

  71. Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 1:40 AM | Permalink

    These are the projections for scenario A2 from chapter ten of the AR4. Don’t look at the ensemble mean, look at the individual model realisations, as these contain internal variability that the mean averages out. Some of the realisations show relatively smooth increases in temperature, but most show substantial variability about their trend. In these realisations, new record temperatures are not set every year, often several years elapse before a new high is reached. A situation not dissimilar to the present situation.

    #67 Read #47. These are model projections, not weather forecasts.

  72. Filippo Turturici
    Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 2:25 AM | Permalink

    Richard, #71: yes, this is – but this could be no more than gambling too.
    Let’s do an example: we have 5 model runs; each one made by 10 “spaghetti”.
    Saying “we were right” because, out of 50 projections, just 5 were right in the short time, it’s nothing more than having the same result by throwing a die as probability.
    What I mean is two things: it is right, we cannot always judge long-time projections by short-time results, there is an uncertainty range, and we are trying to make something more than gambling; but, for the same reason, if they are not so precise in the short term, why should they be so precise in the long one? [not to discuss about why only warming would be possible]
    We have a long way to go with climate models: and I hope to see no more people like Hansen who, 20 years ago, showed the American Congress a certain temperature projection, which proved to be double or even triple the warming until today; but, 20 years after, he showed that yes, that projection was wrong, but they had other projections which forecasted very well the present warming…but showed only after the error was clear.

    To answer Fred (#59): I know, it’s an arbitrary year, but the fact is the same: we had a strong warming in 1998, then we saw no real warming but neither cooling. But it is as arbitrary as considering as global warming just the last 30 years, or to model global warming just coming out of the Little Ice Age and not on century and millenium-scale thermal oscillations. E.g. Arctic temperatures in the last 30 years saw a net warming; in the last 10 years, such warming was even stronger, or, better, the main part of 30-years warming happened just in the last decade; but, if we consider all the time period since 1920, we can see that nowadays Arctic temperatures are very likely the ones we had 70 years ago; but, isn’t the Arctic warming an evidence of AGW, or isn’t it arbitrary to consider just last years? But, arbitrary or not, no one could deny that Arctic warmed during last years.

  73. Filippo Turturici
    Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 2:42 AM | Permalink

    To be more precise: even Hansen (who, with his GISS, out of some bad projection or strange position, is still an high level scientist) and other AGW scientists stated that since 1998 world temperature stayed stable enough, but also that we have to wait for next years to see a new warming peak – so, let’s wait, we cannot do anything more.

  74. Filippo Turturici
    Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 3:13 AM | Permalink

    Swedish paleogeophysicist accuses IPCC of falsifying sea level rise data:

  75. MarkW
    Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 6:33 AM | Permalink


    Saying that the TSI is high today, does not rule out the possibility that it was also high during the MWP.

  76. Hans Erren
    Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 7:31 AM | Permalink

    Has anybody investigated the effect of dating errors on proxies? One year misdated and the
    crosscorrelation breaks apart.
    IMHO The likelihood of misdating increases with the length of the proxy.

  77. Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 7:57 AM | Permalink

    With sufficient replication, dendrochronologies ought to be able to overcome problems with missing and false rings, and should have perfect chronologies. At the other end of the spectrum, some of the radiocarbon dated proxies, for example in Moberg et al., have uncertainties of a century or so. This is less than ideal, and probably why most hemispheric reconstructions have used only annually-resolved proxies.
    The large number of proxies used in many studies mitigates against chronological errors having a large effect – they will just inflate the noise. The magnitude of the problem caused by an error of one year will depend on the spectral properties of the proxies: the redder they are the less concern it is.
    It should be a simple test to take a batch of proxy data and shunt the chronology about within error, and see how this affects the reconstruction. I would be surprised if reasonable changes to the chronologies changed the reconstruction enough to merit a new interpretation of the result.

  78. steven mosher
    Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 9:10 AM | Permalink

    THanks RichardT.

    I have a different Q about the dendro studies. Some studies I have seen use station data
    for climate, and others use regional data. Why is that?

  79. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 9:16 AM | Permalink

    #76, 77. I’ve seen some discussion of this by Craig Loehle and I’m sure others. I disagree with #77 that dating issues don’t matter”, although I agree that an error of one year wouldn’t matter. This is a good topic and worth a thread.

    I disagree that most studies use a “large” number of proxies – they use about 10-12 non-randomly selected series and the medieval portion can be as few as 3-6 in some of them.

    I’ve observed on many occasions that changes of 1-2 series can affect medieval-modern relationships in many studies – so none of these studies is really very stable.

    Even in tree ring studies, errors crop up. Some time ago, I was interested in the early period of Briffa’s Polar Urals density reconstruction, which had a very marked impact on the Jones eta al 1998 reconstruction. In the 11th century portion, he broke standard dendro QC rules and made a reconstruction with 3-r cores, some of which were very short and poorly dated. I did some experiments to show that the dates were almost certainly wrong. I’ve done notes here on it. I submitted a short note on the error and breach of QC rules to the originating journal which was rejected. I can assure you that this one single error has a substantial impact on the medieval-modern relationship in Jones et al 1998.

  80. jae
    Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 9:25 AM | Permalink

    71, Richard: I don’t see any 8-year leveling off periods in those model runs. Maybe 5 years at most. They don’t even show the current leveling-off! I have absolutely no faith in these models, anyway. They are simply tuned to show what the modeler wants to show. Amazingly, though, this is about all the AGW crowd has now to “demonstrate” AGW.

  81. jae
    Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

    79: Yes, this is a big issue for Craig Loehle, and he claims that dating errors make many of the proxies very problematical. It will be very interesting to see his new paper, because i think he has quite a few proxies which have minimal dating errors.

  82. Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 10:07 AM | Permalink

    Read #47. The models are not initialized to the observed state, so it would be an amazing fluke is they accurately predicted the temperature evolution over the last decade.
    Look at the blue line the top of the distribution at ~2020. When does this reach its next record?

  83. Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 10:23 AM | Permalink

    I never said that dating issues don’t matter. For radiocarbon dated proxies they are a major problem – all age depth models are wrong. Events are smearing out events and discrete events to appear to be synchronous. The palaeo community is aware of these problems, and is working to improve their chronologies with more resources for dating and new Bayesian statistical methods.

    I assumed that Hans Erren was considering only annually resolved records, for these, provided they are of high quality, dating issues are probably a minor issue relative to other problems.

  84. Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 10:30 AM | Permalink

    I can think of several reasons why it might be better not to use the closest climate station data – but I’ve never had the luxury of having a choice. Issues I’d consider would be record length, similarity of climate with the proxy site (is it below an inversion, or in a rain shadow), and quality control. If there are concerns over any of these, it may make sense to use the regional data. Reanalysis data might also be useful if you wanted a variable that wasn’t measured at the station.

  85. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 10:46 AM | Permalink

    re: #79

    I disagree that most studies use a “large” number of proxies – they use about 10-12 non-randomly selected series

    I think it’s necessary, especially in this contextto distinguish between proxy sites and proxy cores. A single site with many cores is unlikely to have even a one year discrepency in chronology assuming some of the cores run to the present. I suppose it’s possible, but unlikely, to have one year where every single core was missing a year, but then adjacent sites not related to the climate useful one should reveal even that. OTOH an individual site will have site-specific problems with having a temperature relationship. A number of sites will do better, presumably, if there is indeed a real temperature signal, in showing it. But cherry-picking the sites seems to be the norm in the multi-proxy studies and that can eliminate the ability to determine temperature trends, even it they exist and especially if there are a small number of proxy sites.

  86. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 10:55 AM | Permalink

    RE: #46 – that second image is very El Nino like. Which is interesting because we are not in an El Nino right now. One potential extenuating circumstance is that we appear to be in a negative PDO. There is much still unknown about what to expect with a negative PDO. The last negative PDO ended just as modern weather observation and forecasting technology was coming on line. Just as we were starting to understand things more wholistically, the PDO flipped to positive. Could it be that when PDO is negative, the Atlantic might behave as if there was an El Nino, meanwhile the Pacific is ENSO negative? This would seem to break “the rules” – but perhaps we only think they are the rules due to the fact that 80% of the modern weather and climate experience has been during a positive PDO. This will be the first PDO negative phase where we are able to observe it from start to finish from space.

  87. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

    RE: #55 – Normally, by mid June, the temperature in southern Arizona ought to have eclipsed 110 or 115 deg F on a number of occasions. Mere 100 – 105 temperatures are nothing. This goes to show that AGW hysteria is starting to result in mass psychosics. People are increasingly framing everyday occurrences into the “killer AGW” framework.

  88. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 11:10 AM | Permalink

    We’re experiencing some highly unusual weather out West. Since late last week, there has been a pattern change in process. As a result, we are now experiencing a series of dry cold fronts and short waves, spinning around a semi persistent Aleutian Low which is in a highly southeasterly position for this time of year. If you could hide the fact of the sun angle and length of daylight, I’d guess it to be early October.

    Interstingly, when last year’s Western leg of the “great heat wave” happened in July, we’d incurred a record late end of climatic winter, and an almost non existent spring. Climatic summer started late, the end of June (normally it would be May). Then, in July, an early Fall like triple barrel High brought the typical “Indian Summer” configuration. Normally such configs would occur between the end of August and mid November here. When such a config occured with a July sun angle, the result was a major extreme heat event (when this happens during the normal time, in early fall, we’ll only achieve 80 – 90F at my locatin, in the case of July, we hit far inland like 100 – 110 F temperatures).

  89. tetris
    Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 11:43 AM | Permalink

    Re: 88
    Very intresting. For what it’s worth: @ 1000hrs PDT in BC:
    Nanaimo Entrance Island lighthouse: 13C vs. 23C norm
    Vanderhoof [high plateau 200 miles inland, middle of the province]: 12C vs. 22C norm
    Osoyoos [high desert valley 250 miles inland southern end of province near WA border] 15C vs. 28C norm
    Wood stoves are back on [like last week and unheard of at this time of the year to anyone who has lived here the past 30 years]. Lot’s of rain and vegetable crops are starting to get hit. It’s only raw “weather” data, I know. Any talk of AGW results in people’s eyeballs audibly clicking back into their skulls..

  90. GMF
    Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 11:46 AM | Permalink

    Re #71

    The trend of the last 8 years is the best kept secret of the IPCC. If you asked the average layperson who’s knowledge of AGW comes from headlines, media sound bites and adverts for Live Earth etc etc they would tell you that CO2 emissions are going up (maybe rising rapidly) and the Earth is getting hotter every year.
    They would be SHOCKED if you showed them a graph of global temps and it basically flatlines after 1998. The graph in Al Gore’s film didn’t look like that! And didn’t some AGW proponent just say that AGW is increasing, the ice is melting faster than the models predicted, that we are about to reach a tipping point blah blah blah.

    I mean the earth just has to be getting hotter and hotter and hotter…..

    And the disconnect between rising CO2 and global non-warming is, I think, extremely difficult for the AGW movement to explain. Since human activity is driving global warming, and nothing significant has changed – in fact, all the problematic activities worsened – well it’s just not possible that warming isn’t surging. The relationship is so simple : more CO2 makes the earth hotter. Even school children could tell you this, so there is no way temperatures aren’t rising. There are constant reports of how the ice caps/glaciers are melting and it’s all happening faster and faster ! So I think most people would feel really cheated to discover that GT has not increased in 8 years.

    Of course, a single year might not prove anything but 8 years is a long time – after all global warming (as in actually getting hotter) was 1975-98 so 23 years.

    And remember that greenhouse effect thing ? You know the one that is simple physics, so even dummies should know that AGW is real ? Well as I understand the physics, CO2 is supposed to reflect heat back to the earth and radiation travels at – um the speed of light – which I think means it should probably reach the surface a bit faster than 8 years.

    Of course, in IPCC space, such mundane things as physical laws are overriden by political necessity, so I’m sure that some Convenient explanation will be produced to show that this is consistent with theory, and what’s more things are worse than ever and we have only minutes to act to save our funding – er I mean to save the earth.

  91. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 12:00 PM | Permalink

    RE: #89 – No rest for the wicked ….. 😉

    Of course, things could be worse – you could be back East …. say, there is a movie showing right now about a modern day Noah …. LOL! 🙂

  92. Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 12:34 PM | Permalink

    Media representation of the issues around global warming is often far from perfect. So the public cannot be blamed if they don’t fully grasp the issues, as I think this demonstrates…

    CO2 is supposed to reflect heat back to the earth and radiation travels at – um the speed of light – which I think means it should probably reach the surface a bit faster than 8 years.

  93. John A
    Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

    Chris Essex on “There is no global ‘temperature’

  94. Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 1:08 PM | Permalink

    Reforestation will not mitigate global warming, hehehe, at least in boreal latitudes reforestation will increase GW:


  95. Earle Williams
    Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 1:48 PM | Permalink

    Re #92


    So … what, you’re saying it will take longer than 8 years?

  96. MarkW
    Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 2:34 PM | Permalink

    This is too rich for words


    Al Gore is now blaming scientists for global warming.
    It’s the fault of scientists for not coming to a consensus sooner. It seems Al Gore, could see the truth about global warming years before even the top scientists could. And the problems we are having nw are the fault of scientists for failing to heed his warnings sooner so that the people could have been mobilized sooner.

    The man is truely, and utterly delusional.

  97. jae
    Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 2:40 PM | Permalink

    96, Mark: Gore says:

    Mr Gore argues that if he had made it to the White House, he would have been able to use the office as a “bully pulpit” to achieve change.

    It boggles my mind to think that that moron almost became president.

  98. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 2:44 PM | Permalink

    RE#96, Those are pretty strong words from a guy whose home consumes the power of about 20 average homes. If only he could’ve convinced everyone to use the power of 20 homes while he was in office, we’d know much better what affect elevated GHGs have, and we could have reached a consensus sooner 🙂

    My fave part of the article: “…During his tenure as vice president, America’s carbon dioxide emissions shot up far faster than at any time in modern history – by 15 per cent, compared to just 1.65 per cent during President Bush’s first term…”

    Why would he have had to wait for 2000 to become president to speak from the “bully pulpit?” Wasn’t being 2nd behind the beloved Clinton for 8 yrs good enough to be a bully instead of a beyotch?

  99. James Erlandson
    Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 5:32 PM | Permalink

    Here come the lawyers. (Dallas Morning News)

    The law firms ‘€” and a dozen others nationwide ‘€” are getting ready for a predicted explosion of climate-related work tied to government regulation, lawsuits against energy companies and new markets that will trade the rights to emit carbon.

    [Steve Susman of Susman Godfrey in Houston is] among several lawyers talking with a group of Inuits in northern Canada who have seen an entire island sink under rising seas from global warming. The tribe is weighing its options, including suing carbon-emitting corporations such as power companies for heating the planet, he said.

    “Melting glaciers isn’t going to get that much going, but wait until the first big ski area closes because it has no snow,” said Mr. Susman, who teaches a climate-change litigation course at the University of Houston Law School. “Or wait until portions of lower Manhattan and San Francisco are under water.”

  100. Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 5:41 PM | Permalink

    Can anyone tell me how to get a file from my email inbox onto this site…please.

  101. Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 6:04 PM | Permalink

    Here is the exact text from a letter I recieved from David Parker the Minister for Climate Change in the New Zealand Government in response to a letter I sent to him about two months ago.

    Dear Paul,

    Thank you for your email of 3 May 2007 about climate change and the IPCC. I am afraid I cannot agree with many of your assertions in your email.

    My officials advise me that the work of Mann and Jones has been investigated, (for example, Mann’s work has been studied by the US National Academy of Science) and their results have been confirmed by independant studies.

    You assert that the IPCC “truly believes it can keep scientific findings secret”. In my view the IPCC goes to extraordianary lengths to ensure its processes are open and transparent, that any scientific work quoted is publicly available and that its assessments are based only on a robust consensus from independent research.

    The government is always open to new scientific information as it comes to light and we have carefully examined the evidence presented by a wide range of people. However, we are very firmly of the view that the most reliable current assessment of the science is that provided by the IPCC. We accept their advice and are acting accordingly.

    Any comments or suggestions for a response?

  102. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 6:11 PM | Permalink

    Re#100, I plan on suing every nation with melting glaciers for failing to contain them. And I’m going to sue all flooded low-lying areas for hording the moisture.

  103. Jan Pompe
    Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 6:12 PM | Permalink

    # 93

    John A.

    That is very interesting issues like that have been bothering me for a while.

  104. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 6:26 PM | Permalink

    RE: “a group of Inuits in northern Canada who have seen an entire island sink under rising seas from global warming”

    Oh really? Show us the evidence.

  105. tetris
    Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 6:30 PM | Permalink

    Re: 105
    Steve S
    And with the island went most all of the starving polar bears. That’s why the remaining ones are doing quite…] 🙂

  106. tetris
    Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 6:32 PM | Permalink

    Re: 105
    Very well actually, by best available accounts, that is.. 🙂

  107. David Smith
    Posted Jun 25, 2007 at 7:15 PM | Permalink

    From the odd-story file ( link )… and I had always thought that worms were our friends.

    Meanwhile, the British army is making contingency plans ( link ), which may now need to include wormicide.

    There’s no way to make this stuff up.

  108. Andrey Levin
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 3:26 AM | Permalink


    David Smith:

    Some time ago, when I learned that antropogenic emission of CO2 from fossil fuels combustion correlates poorly with increase of atmospheric CO2, I was looking for alternative sources for CO2. Surprisingly, worms come to the mind. Consider this:

    a) earth worms build vertical channels up to meter deep, which promotes soil ventilation and as a result higher rate of oxidation of soil organics with emission of CO2;
    b) combined biomass of earth worms is way bigger that all other living and moving terrestrial creatures combined (plants, of course, aside);
    c) North America was almost devoted from earth worms only one century ago, Canada being worm-free completely, apparently because earth worms did not survived last glaciation. Europeans re-introduced earth worms to America, and now they are thriving.

    Would be interesting to get some comments from biologist to put my speculation to rest.

  109. Andrey Levin
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 3:54 AM | Permalink


    Gore is, and always was, very pragmatic person. He spared no efforts to assure cancellation of all nuclear energy projects, apparently not to erase tax base for his future carbon trading enterprise:

    Q: Who made the decision to cancel Integral Fast Reactor program?

    Dr. Charles Till, director at Argonne National Laboratory West in Idaho:

    “The decision was made in the early weeks of the Clinton administration. It was tempered somewhat in the Department of Energy in that first year. Congress then acted to keep the program alive in that first year. And then in the second year of the Clinton administration, the decision to really reinforce the earlier decisions was made final, and the Administration put a very considerable effort into assuring successfully that the IFR would be canceled.”


    Read the article, IFR was amazing piece of technology.

    Yet, Gore is only in pre-school of hate speech:

    “Vice President Albert Gore is preeminent among the politicians who have seized on this new corporate prerequisite for investment as an avenue for career advancement. He has best defined the role of politicians deemed attractive by corporations that appreciate the dangers and opportunities of environmentalism in politics. Corporations now reward politicians who can deliver environmental votes and opinion without seriously deterring their goals with burdensome environmental constraints. Albert Gore is the politician who has best understood that his ability to attract and deliver the environmental constituency would make him attractive to corporate backers. Earth in the Balance, Gore’s script for his re-emergence as a national politician was an advertisement for his calculated strategy and availability as an environmental poseur, prepared to attract, barter and mollify environmental support for corporate cash. As a broker of environmental voters on corporate terms, Gore is the prototype for the bankable, Green corporate politician. He has literally written the book.”

    Ralf Nader,2000 presidential campaign:


    This piece of rhetoric is worth reading.

  110. T J Olson
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 5:12 AM | Permalink

    Are rising sea level fears, as the IPCC raised in 4AR, wrong? Worse, could they be fraudulent and deceptive? These are the stunning claims of someone who ought to know, sea-level expert Nils-Axel Morner of Stockholm University.

    4AR gives 2.3 mm/year rise. Morner’s assessments give not more than 1.1, and after working on independent field geological assessments of sea-level rise, Morner maintains
    more precisely half that.

    Why the large differences? First, non-specialists did the work, mostly in computer based specialties. They added “corrections,” even falsifying data, to show a problem that doesn’t exist, he charges, in order to maintain government funding. This works not only to benefit scientists, but also small underdeveloped nations allegedly threatened by sea-level inundation.

    Morner runs an institute devoted to understanding paleogeophysics and geodynamics.
    Thus, 10cm per century, +-10cm sea level rise, instead of the IPCCs alarmist range from 4cm to 63cm. worse, the latter figures don’t come from actual measurements but from projections based on extraneously introduced “corrections factors.”

    “I have been am expert reviewer for the IPCC, both in 2000 and last year. The first time I read [these figures], I was exceptionally surprised. First of all, it had 22 authors, but none of them ‘€” none ‘€” were seasoned specialists. They were given this mission, because they promised to answer the right thing….They get it from their inspiration, their hopes, their computer models, but not from observation. Which is terrible.”

    Briefer pull quotes from Morner here, complete Morner interview in pdf, and in html.

    The virtues and vices of Morner’s linear projections versus unfalsifiable models have been the subject on previous CA threads, notably by Willis Eschenbach and others. See HERE and HERE.

    But what can possibly account for the alleged acceleration of sea-level rises from official alimetric data? such as See HERE.

    But what can possibly account for the alleged acceleration of sea-level rises from official alimetric data? such as HERE http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

    Somehow, this divergence reminds me of the one between Bill Gray and IPCC institutionalists. Both involve older senior scientists versus teams of well-funded government upstarts; both pit linear projections based upon history versus models incorporating hypothesized physical impacts, or empiricism versus theory. Judith Curry says Bill Gray has “brain fossilization,” and William Connelley calls Morner “a one man band.”

    To judge by the link above, the only important difference is that genuine empiricists control the satellite MSU data at UAH, but at the University of Colorado, the greenhouse theorists lord over the best global sea-level data.

    Does anybody agree with me that we have the sea-level equivalent of the Hockey stick at work

  111. Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 6:27 AM | Permalink

    I just did a bit on the Principles of Forecasting.

    Did you know that forecasting is an organized discipline and that the IPCC scientists are ignorant of it? Follow the links.

  112. krghou
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 6:59 AM | Permalink

    New solar study:


    This study is based on the numerical analysis of the properties of routinely observed
    hydrometeorological data which in South Africa alone is collected at a rate of more than half a million station days per year, with some records approaching 100 continuous years in length. The analysis of this data demonstrates an unequivocal synchronous linkage between these processes in South Africa and elsewhere, and solar activity. This confirms observations and reports by others in many countries during the past 150 years. It is also shown with a high degree of assurance that there is a synchronous linkage between the statistically significant, 21-year periodicity in these processes and the acceleration and deceleration of the sun as it moves through galactic space. Despite a diligent search, no evidence could be found of trends in the data that could be attributed to human activities.
    It is essential that this information be accommodated in water resource development and operation procedures in the years ahead.

  113. Stan Palmer
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 7:10 AM | Permalink

    This is just a note on how professional scientists can make incorrect statemeents about topics that are outside of their field of study.

    I watched a documentary about the Maya civilization that included a presentation on their technology. Because they lived in a semitropical rain forest, the Maya developed sophisiticated technology for for teh provision and drainage of water. THis included large scale underground aqueducts. The archeolosits presenting the documentary began to make some, at first hearing, odd statements about the maya being able to produce watter pressure. This included observations that some of the underground aqueducts ran up hill. They began to calirfy their statemtns by saying that the Maya engineered their aqueducts at the end of their runs with smaller and smaller diameter pipes to produce water pressure. They likend this to the menas by which teh Romans supplied their fountains.

    Now these are very odd statements that seem at odds with basic physical principles. What I think they were seeing is that the Maya used smaller diameter pipes to split the flow of water from the aqueducts so that apprpriate amounts of water could be shated among the consumers of water in the city. What they were saying was that the smaller diameter pipes produced increased pressure

  114. cbone
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 8:05 AM | Permalink

    Re: 113 Very interesting paper.

  115. jae
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 10:04 AM | Permalink

    113: WOW, if anyone has any doubts about whether sunspot activity affects climate, that paper should make a believer of them (not to say that other things don’t also effect climate, of course).

  116. PaulM
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 10:14 AM | Permalink

    # 102 paul – well you could start by quoting the two reports on Mann etal. The NAS report says something like (I’m quoting from memory but you can find them both on the web) “even less confidence can placed in the claim that 1990s was the warmest decade for the last 1000 years”. The Wegman report, by statisticians said something like “Mann et al is obscure and the criticisms of Mcintyre & Mckitrick are compelling”.

  117. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 10:21 AM | Permalink

    RE: #109 – Here out West, the non native Earthworms were initially only able to survive in the wetter microclimates which support non caliche ridden soils. But with the advent of irrigation (both agricultural and landscaping) that’s all changed – now they are found whereever there is either natural moisture or irrigation.

  118. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 10:27 AM | Permalink

    RE: #111 – The notion of extreme inundation is part and parcel of two disparate movements which have in common the fact that they are largely peopled by non scientists and even a few anti scientists. The most obvious one is of course the urban elite environmental movement and the less obvious one is the quasi New Age, quasi millennarian “Earth Changes” movement. The former featured prominently in a bohemian cafe culture event in San Francisco where by activists marked portrayal of the future reputed high tide line on 2nd story (1st floor in Euro parlance) balconies of buildings located a few feet above sea level themselves. I believe that Sierra Club (traditional, pre K Street DC) HQ was in on it.

  119. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

    Re: #93

    John A, here is a link to the paper that Essex, McKitrick and Andresen wrote on this topic. I find it a fascinating subject that could be given a thread here.

    Click to access GlobTemp.JNET.pdf

  120. Bill F
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 10:42 AM | Permalink

    #114 Stan Palmer,

    I suspect that the documentary you were talking about presented a confused notion of hydraulic head. In other words if the inlet elevation of a pipe is higher than the outlet, the water will flow through the pipe driven by gravity. If the pipe diameter shrinks as it gets closer to the outlet, the water should speed up to allow the same volume of water to flow through in a given amount of time. The flow rate is dictated primarily by the changed in elevation between the inlet and the outlet, and modified by the drag of the sides of the pipe on the water passing through it. As long as the pipe diameter is large enough that the drag doesn’t over come the increase in flow velocity from shrinking the pipe diameter, such an arrangement should create “pressurized” water at the outlet of the pipe.

    Such a system could be capable of moving water uphill for short distances using the inertia of the moving water and a siphon effect if the piping was sealed well enough. I am not sure if that is what the documentary was actually saying, but it is conceivably possible to do it.

  121. Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 11:23 AM | Permalink

    # 114

    Steve Sadlov,

    Five poor colonies built on the slope of a hill were evacuated yesterday due to a crumbling of the hill, which is constituted mainly by sedimentary rock and caliche that started to slide by the erosive action of permeated water. We have had a week of strong rains, although nothing unusual. The problem, most times, is the bad urban planning, not the nature or the meteorological phenomena. Another factor is the AGWists anxiety for blaming the climate change and the global warming from everything to scatter or maintain the terror on the people.

  122. Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 11:25 AM | Permalink

    Oops! # 122 was not for you, Steve Sadlov, but for Stan Palmer message. I apologize by my mistake.

  123. Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 12:23 PM | Permalink

    #113 #115 #116
    So is this paper a target for auditing, or is it, as a non-AGW paper, exempt?
    Many of the issues – autocorrelation, non-Gaussian distributions, and attempts to prove rather than disprove hypotheses – are familiar, so regulars here should have no problem poking holes in it.

  124. jae
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

    124: I hope someone who understands the statistics DOES try to poke holes in the study. At least, according to the paper, the data are all readily available for auditing (something which is rare in AGW studies, richardT). I’ll bet there are no large “holes” here, judging by the literature review, which indicates that this phenomenon was recognized way back in 1889. Maybe even in biblical times…

  125. cbone
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 1:21 PM | Permalink

    Re: 124 Absolutely. Instead of gratuitous sniping, why not add some constructive commentary. My initial comment was based on a quick read. I suspect that the paper might be worth its own topic here for discussion.

  126. Earle Williams
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 1:22 PM | Permalink

    Re #124


    Step right up! All auditors are welcome and your offer is I’m sure very much appreciated. At the very least you can report back as to the availability of the data.

  127. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 1:32 PM | Permalink

    Re: #124

    #113 #115 #116

    So is this paper a target for auditing, or is it, as a non-AGW paper, exempt?
    Many of the issues – autocorrelation, non-Gaussian distributions, and attempts to prove rather than disprove hypotheses -are familiar, so regulars here should have no problem poking holes in it.

    RichardT, I think you have gained a substantial amount of technical and statistical respect at this blog, and, if you have some critical reviews of these studies, I would think that you should be comfortable in going for it. Unlike another blog of which I am aware, I am confident that your comments would not be censored.

    I personally do not read and analyze these non-AGW papers as closely as I do those that are more in favor with and referenced by important policy making organizations like the IPCC. My concerns are more about policy based on incorrect or very uncertain scientific results. Most of these non-AGW studies are either ignored or given short shrift by these policy organizations. Finding the AGW scientists/papers wrong does not validate any non-AGW scientists/papers.

    It would appear that more papers are appearing on hypotheses involving some aspect of the Sun’s activities on the earth’s climate and getting some attention in the wider media. Steve M selects his thread subjects to more or less meet the original objectives of his blog, but perhaps if pressed he would be willing to start one on this subject. The threaded approach, I have found is about the only way to keep a good discussion on a subject going.

  128. Michael Powers
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

    I am writing to ask a very general question. The contributors to your site look like they can answer it. It may have been a topic in the past. If so, just point me in the right direction. I also realize that there is an infinity of data out there and no question has a simple answer, but I’m interested in more information.

    My question stems from the PBS Nightly News Hour with Jim Lehrer which aired June 21. It has segment about a meteorologist/climatologist in Oregon, George Taylor, who is under fire for, among other things, questioning claims about the rate that temperatures are rising which comes up in the articles/discussions about global warming.

    I think George Taylor mad a good point about the temperature rise as measured in cities that have grown over the last 20 years compared to rural sites that have seen very little change over that period. I seems to me this can be tested in a straight forward way. Has it?

    I live in Mesa, AZ, a suburb of Phoenix. The “official” temperature is read at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, and is consistently a few degrees higher than the suburbs. It is for this reason that George Taylor’s statement seemed like a valid argument: valid in so far as it was reasonable and verifiable.

    Do your contributors have any input on this?

    Thank you

  129. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 2:34 PM | Permalink

    The paper on global temperature discredits its writers (Essex, McKitrick) because by referencing GISST and IPCC it implies that the paper is relevant to climate change research. Basically it is a massive strawman.

    While short-hand terms such as “global warming” are often used, the reality is that it is temperature anomalies ie. divergences from local climatologies, that are useful, not temperatures, and given the correct context, averaging them is perfectly fine.

  130. jae
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 2:36 PM | Permalink

    129, Michael: There are a lot of active threads on this “Urban Heat Island” subject. You might start with the thread on Parker, or the station survey threads. I personally agree with George Taylor, who I have listened to several times. IMHO, you have to be brain dead not to agree that temperatures in urban areas are higher than in rural areas AND that the effect gets larger as population density increases. As I understand it the Governor of Oregon, Sleepy Ted, took away Taylor’s title of State Climatologist, because he is not conforming to the Governor’s AGW hysteria.

  131. Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 2:38 PM | Permalink

    A quick thought on El Nino and La Nina. As El Nino warms North America, it cools parts of Asia. La Nina has the opposite effect. It seems to me (a layperson) that these are just energy/pressure transfers that globally should not affect average temperatures. That it does makes me wonder if the temperature readings are weighted too heavily on North America numbers.

    John M Reynolds

  132. jae
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 2:39 PM | Permalink

    130, Steve Milesworthy: I wonder whether you have read Exxex’s or McKitrick’s papers, because the idea in your post was well-addressed in those papers.

  133. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 2:59 PM | Permalink

    #133 Jae
    I got only as far as section 2 before my blood pressure rose too high. I also read the conclusion. I then did a search for “anomaly” which came up twice – once on page 6 and once on page 20.

    Most of the paper is about a concept called “global temperature” that no climate scientist ever uses in a formal sense – hence it is a paper about nothing. But the link to IPCC and GISST implies that it is used in climate science.

  134. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 3:19 PM | Permalink

    #134. I’ve asked on other occasions that the topic of global average temperature not be discussed here. The discussion seems very idle to me.

  135. jae
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 4:14 PM | Permalink

    Getting too close to discussing thermo again, I guess?

  136. Stellvia
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 4:42 PM | Permalink

    Re: Alexander et al. 2007. A cursory literature search on ADS only shows a small handful of references claiming any solid link between sunspot activity and solar motions around the solar system barycentre (and nothing in a high-impact journal). The most relevant is http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2003AsUAI…6…18G. The idea does not seem to be taken seriously by the astronomical community, and it is difficult to think of a plausible physical mechanism linking the two.

    Re calculations of changes in irradiance due to barycentric motions, that should be pretty trivial to do, as barycentric corrections are a standard software library function in astronomical analysis. I don’t have the software on this PC (I’m posting from a laptop in a hotel room), but I may take a look at it for fun when I get back to the office.

  137. Stellvia
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 4:58 PM | Permalink

    I stand corrected: there’s Juckett (2003), “Temporal variations of low-order spherical harmonic representations of sunspot group patterns: Evidence for solar spin-orbit coupling”, Astronomy and Astrophysics, v.399, p.731-741


  138. Jonathan Schafer
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 5:55 PM | Permalink

    On a less sunny note and weather related, it’s raining again in the D/FW area. After getting some sun Sat and Sun, it’s rained (a lot) Mon and Tues. The upcoming forecast is for potential rain/t-storms for the next 10 days. On average, D/FW area gets 34.73 inches of rain per year. For 2007, through Jun 25, we’ve received 27.51 inches. Today will likely add at least another inch to the official record. Some areas have received much more and likely already well past the yearly average. Flooding continues all over N TX, thanks to the persistant warm-core upper low that’s just sitting and spinning over us. With the ridge to the East and the Rex block to the NW, the jet stream is far North, and nothing anytime soon will be pulling the upper low away. Hard to believe how much rain we’ve had this much into June, and leading into July. I’ve never seen anything like this, although I’ve only lived here for 10 years.

  139. Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 6:13 PM | Permalink

    New idea from AGWists: The mention of the IPCC and Kyoto by the authors of non AGWist papers reinforces the AGW doctrine. Besides, the Sun is not related to Earth on any possible way. The Sun has been turned off…..

  140. Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 6:21 PM | Permalink

    # 138


    the links that you provided do not work… Any way, the Sun is not related to Earth’s climate, so, if Solar Irradiance is higher now than 400 years ago, or 30 years ago it would not matter because the IPCC has decreed that the Sun has been turned off and that the Sun only affects to Earth in a 2%.

  141. Bill F
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 6:36 PM | Permalink

    Re: the sun has been turned off…

    That reminds me of the Polish team that was planning a manned space mission to the sun. They planned to avoid being burned alive by going at night.

  142. Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 6:37 PM | Permalink

    # 141

    Besides, the IPCC claims suggest that “scientifically” the Earth is a thing apart from the whole Solar System, thus, what happens on Earth is responsibility of humans alone, including the climate changes on other planets and satellites of this SS. The last deduction was suggested by the 130 top scientists from the world working for the IPCC. If elephants destroy forests is because the human emissions of GHG are causing global warming, thus, we have to rise taxes on humans to reverse the “problem”. Ooooh!!! I’ve mentioned the IPCC, so my message will reinforce the arguments of the IPCC and discredit myself, no matter if the IPCC has been mendacious. It is only by the honoraria caused by mentioning the IPCC in my message.

  143. Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 6:39 PM | Permalink

    # 142

    Bill F.,

    (Y) 😉

  144. David Smith
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 6:53 PM | Permalink

    Survey results

  145. Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 7:24 PM | Permalink

    # 145

    David Smith,

    Yeah, the overwhelming majority of “scientists” behind AGW are the Media and the UN.

  146. Gerald Browning
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 8:13 PM | Permalink

    The manuscript entitled

    Diagnosing Summertime Mesoscale Vertical Motion: Implications for Atmospheric Data Assimilation

    by Christian Pagé, Luc Fillion, and Peter Zwack has now appeared in

    Monthly Weather Review, Volume 135, Issue 6 (June 2007) pp. 2076’€”2094.

    This manuscript is based on the earlier theoretical manuscript by Browning and Kreiss and is a practical example of the concept of balanced mesoscale motions in the midlatitudes. (A similar balance exists for all slowly evolving solutions in time near the equator.)

    The implications are clear. If the parameterization (forcing) for the total cooling and heating from all sources has a percentage error of size E, then the vertical component of the velocity will have an error of size E at the same moment because the total heating and vertical velocity must be in balance in slowly evolving in time, midlatitude mesoscale motions. As there are few (if any) mesoscale observations, any mesoscale numerical model will have large errors in the initial data and any mesoscale storms at the initial time will also have large errors. There have been a number of ad hoc methods in an attempt to circumvent this problem, but none are on a firm foundation for obvious reasons.


  147. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 8:25 PM | Permalink

    RE: #130 – Texas is definitely on my short list of places likely to get rained out on the 4th. Also, it’s now looking iffy for the NE. Not to mention, the NW (summer? what summer?).

  148. Stellvia
    Posted Jun 26, 2007 at 11:21 PM | Permalink

    #142: Sigh. It was 1am when I entered those URLs. Looks like direct links to ADS don’t like HTML character codes for some reason.

    Go to http://www.adsabs.harvard.edu/

    and search for




  149. John Baltutis
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 1:52 AM | Permalink

    Re: #149

    The problem is that you’re using an ellipsis instead of three dots. This works:

    Juckett (2003)

  150. Andrey Levin
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 3:35 AM | Permalink


    “three quarters of people (in UK) believe global warming is a ‘natural occurrence’ and not a result of carbon emissions”

    Compare it with this:


    “Radio Poll: 85% Of Canadians Believe 9/11 Inside Job”

    What happened with good old common sense on our side of the Pond?

  151. Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 7:10 AM | Permalink

    The Al Gore Comedy is getting sillier by the minute.

    He’s recently given a speech in the Canary Islands. These islands, due to their proximity to the African Continent, have been receiving immigrants by the thousands since well over a decade. They mainly come from Senegal and neighboring tropical countries of West Africa and cross the ocean stretch in makeshift boats. Sadly many of them die in their trip. This influx has increased dramatically since Spain’s government recently decided to give an amnesty to illegal immigrants.

    Well, Gore lectured his Canary Islands hosts that they were witnessing his predicted climate refugee problem and should rapidly spread the word to the rest of the world. Anyone heard of any climate crisis in tropical and equatorial Western Africa?? This is like giving a speech to a group of Southern Arizonans and telling them that the immigrants crossing the Mexican border in fact do so to escape climate change.

    The stupid thing is that Gore received 240,000 Euros for this speech, 100,000 of which was public money that came from the islands government. That is, the islanders, like it or not, paid to listen to such a stupidity. He also enjoyed a 300 m2 suite and luxury cars during his visit.

    And it gets worse. The previous day he declared in Barcelona that melting of Greenland would be more dramatic for Manhattan inhabitants than 9.11. Does this man believe that a sudden melt of Geenland that would catch Manhattan inhabitants unawares and drown them is scientifically plausible? Why is anyone listening to him? How much sillier can this all get?

  152. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 7:16 AM | Permalink

    This is like giving a speech to a group of Southern Arizonans and telling them that the immigrants crossing the Mexican border in fact do so to escape climate change.

    There was a recent public statement about how climate change is killing (and will kill) a higher number of illegal immigrants crossing from Mexico into Arizona.

  153. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 7:46 AM | Permalink

    There was some discussion in a previous unthreaded about the understanding of the “greenhouse effect”, and whether saturation of bands is an issue. Realclimate have published a guest contribution by Spencer Weart on this:


  154. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 8:38 AM | Permalink

    #154. I for one don’t view saturation of bands as an issue. In my opinion, one of the reasons why things like this stay in play is the failure of IPCC to provide a clear exposition of how AGW actually occurs. There’s a mention in AR2 of “the higher the cooler” argument that occupies a couple of sentences in Houghton’s textbook. It’s hard to find an exposition. I really need to do a thread on this, but I’d like to do a good one and that takes time. If you can identify an article or text that expands the higher the cooler argument beyond a couple of sentences of arm-waving, I’d be happy to check it out and provide a thread.

    BTW I suggested to Mike MacCracken during the AR4 scoping process that this should be done in AR4. They decided not to.

    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 9:06 AM | Permalink

    Re 101 Posting stuff. Check out Exponential.. #2; entries 217 & 218 http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1516

    Further on you can see how it works for internet dummies. The next lesson is on links.

  156. Mark T.
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 9:19 AM | Permalink

    Does this man believe that a sudden melt of Geenland that would catch Manhattan inhabitants unawares and drown them is scientifically plausible?

    Gore does not have to believe it, only his dupes do. In that vein, said dupes really think the New Yorkers (and Bangladeshers?) will stand around till they’re up to their necks in water.

    Why is anyone listening to him?

    Gore is somewhat charismatic (albeit stiff as a two-by-four), and has a pulpit from which to speak. The average Joe is not trained beyond high school, and often did not fare well there, either. They are not equipped to deal with the issues he discusses, and those that are, assume he “got it right” and don’t bother. Many would switch sides (so to speak) simply by digging in to the truths behind the hype, but unfortunately, they have neither the time nor inclination to do so.

    How much sillier can this all get?

    It is my position that we haven’t seen the best of it. When all these high-priced policies get put into place, and things change rapidly in spite of the fact we know the policies can’t do that, the spin will get worse. “See, we were wrong! The sensitivity was even worse than we thought!” They will rewrite history as well, and pat themselves on the back for doing so much good for mankind, meanwhile depositing their respective checks in the bank with a chuckle.


  157. jae
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 10:11 AM | Permalink


    There’s a mention in AR2 of “the higher the cooler” argument that occupies a couple of sentences in Houghton’s textbook. It’s hard to find an exposition.

    According to the RC article, it’s all been explained to the public.

    Decades more would pass before scientists began to give the public a clear explanation of what was really going on in these calculations, drawing attention to the high, cold layers of the atmosphere.

  158. Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 10:38 AM | Permalink

    # 153

    Michael Jankowski,

    There was a recent public statement about how climate change is killing (and will kill) a higher number of illegal immigrants crossing from Mexico into Arizona.

    Yes, it was the forensic doctor that was examining the corpses of twelve Latinos found in the Arizona desert the last week. He said that for four of the corpses the cause of death had been the global warming. Nonetheless, they die because they go into the desolate tract unprepared for the extreme conditions of the desert, and they have to walk through the most inhospitable areas because they trying to avoid to the border patrol officers. They could have died within a train wagon or into a trailer cart and later the “polleros” (“polleros” ‘€”po-ye-ros– are people who works on the illegal traffic of immigrants) could disperse the corpses over the area. It’s usual the things happen this way.

    Illegal immigrants don’t flee away from global warming or floods. They flee away from poverty and social insecurity that prevails in their countries. I’d wish you knew Mexico thoroughly. A tourist only sees the surface and the pretty things. The anthropologists give account of the extreme poverty of that country and the negligence and voracity of their governors. But this is a subject that doesn’t account for the climate issue, thus is I’ll keep my silence…

  159. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 10:44 AM | Permalink

    Folks, please dial back the political, quasi-political comments. There are many sites where you discuss this. Please dial back the comments that are based more towards policy as well. These things quickly overwhelm the postings and are too often mere venting and are not what I want this site to be about.

  160. Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 11:40 AM | Permalink

    # 160

    Steve McIntyre,

    You’re 100% right. Let’s focus on the objective of this site.

  161. Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 12:25 PM | Permalink

    Steve Milesworthy, your rc link’s argument is based on a what if scenario. It says, “[i]n the layers so high and thin that much of the heat radiation from lower down slips through, adding more greenhouse gas molecules means the layer will absorb more of the rays.”

    The http://www.agu.org/sci_soc/prrl/prrl0406.html link, dated 2 February 2004, says that “[t]he highest layers of the Earth’s atmosphere are cooling and contracting, most likely in response to increasing levels of greenhouse gases…” This observation contradicts the RC what if scenario.

    John M Reynolds

  162. Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 12:55 PM | Permalink

    # 162

    John M Reynolds, you’re right. Not too high in the troposphere, at 1000 masl the layer is colder than at 10 masl. There is a “typical” paradox in AGW hypothesis.

    The troposphere has not neither physical nor virtual isolating walls. The air currents are the chief factor in the troposphere heat transfer (convection). The explanation is that the air loses heat as quickly as it absorbs it. The heat released by the air goes to other volumes of air by convection, and to space and to gravity field by radiation. A hot bubble of air ascends and, as it ascends, it transfers energy to other adjacent volumes of air and radiates heat to space. When it gets colder it goes denser and then it moves down to surface, where it absorbs heat again, and so on.

  163. Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 1:05 PM | Permalink

    # 163

    I forgot to mention that the heat transfer in the atmosphere by convection is not a “forced” heat transfer. There are not human machines making work (forcing heat) in the atmosphere, it’s a natural convective heat transfer.

  164. Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 1:46 PM | Permalink

    Saharan dust crosses the Atlantic:


    Some years ago, a team of marine biologists found that the dust from African deserts carries viruses that affect corals causing the coral bleach. After the GW hysteria, all coral reefs are threatened by GW. It looks as if everybody cannot think on other causes different from GW.

  165. Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 1:59 PM | Permalink

    By the end of the last year, it was published a paper in Science Magazine where some scientists assumed that the decrease in the number of hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean in 2006 was due to the Saharan dust which, by an intricate mechanism only understood by them, had impeded the formation of hurricanes. Well, today the Saharan dust is present again, and if the assumptions of those scientists are correct, there will be no hurricanes in the Atlantic this year.

  166. Jonathan Schafer
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 3:12 PM | Permalink


    Perhaps they will think that, and it would be unfortunate. Right now, there are other factors at play inhibiting TC development. We’re not into the Cape Verde season yet anyway, so the Sahel dust over the Atlantic is of little import, other than potentially preventing some SST rise as some of the sunlight is filtered out. The way the jet stream is positioned diving deep south off the atlantic coast of the US is a bigger factor in keeping anything from stirring up in the Carribbean and GOM, IMO. I think Steve S has commented on this several times.

  167. Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 4:07 PM | Permalink

    What Jet Stream are you referring to? Please, tell me from this graph, the latest of the Jet Stream. Thank you.


  168. Jeremy Friesen
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 4:43 PM | Permalink

    Does anyone (Steve M?) have a rebuttal to the argument RC is making against the CO2 logarithmic absorption argument?


  169. Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 6:04 PM | Permalink

    # 169

    Jeremy Friesen,

    That’s a topic related with thermodynamics and we are waiting Dr. Steve McIntyre opens a block to talk about it. Sorry.

  170. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 6:08 PM | Permalink

    #169. See #155.

  171. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 7:09 PM | Permalink

    Re: #169

    Does anyone (Steve M?) have a rebuttal to the argument RC is making against the CO2 logarithmic absorption argument?

    We can’t really discuss that here as it requires discussing things like thermodynamics that have been declared beyond the current scope of this blog. Which is a completely reasonable, if frustrating at times, policy considering the origin and purpose of this blog and the expertise of its founder.

    Re: #155 That applies in spades to “the higher the cooler” thing as that is pure thermodynamics.

    See for example here, for those interested in learning more: http://maths.ucd.ie/met/msc/PhysMet/PhysMetLectNotes/PhysMetLectNotes.html

  172. Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 7:45 PM | Permalink

    The explanation is simple. The CO2 has a limited absorptivity. If we increase the density of the CO2, the temperature would decrease because the dividend will be higher than the splitter. And if you increase the heat convected to the CO2, then the Cp of the CO2 will increase also, making the dividend higher than the splitter. This is not thermodynamics, it is basic mathematics, hehehe…

  173. Marshall Lancaster
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 7:51 PM | Permalink

    I would like to ask anyone logged on here, why can’t we just put some measureing devices on a few large balloons secured with strong cables anchored to the ground. We can put devices inside the Troposphere and just outside it to measure any radiating heat and all the properties of any heat radiating off the Troposphere. Has this been done already, or is that just too simple,am I missing something ? It is maddening to not know what percentage GHG have in CC or if the theory is even operating at all. Does anyone know of such an expierament ?

  174. Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 7:57 PM | Permalink

    No, no, no… I apologize. My basic English is not good. Sorry, I told the things incorrectly. I wanted to say:

    “The CO2 has a limited absorptivity. If we increase the density of the CO2, the temperature would decrease because the divisor will be higher than the dividend. And if you increase the heat convected to the CO2, then the Cp of the CO2 will increase also, making the divisor higher than the dividend. This is not thermodynamics, it is basic mathematics, hehehe…”

    Please, Steve, erase my # 173.

  175. Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 8:01 PM | Permalink

    # 174

    Marshall Lancaster

    I did it and I got a fee by a balloon 20 m above the roof of my home. The air space was not mine.

  176. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 8:02 PM | Permalink

    Hoping this doesn’t fall under the ban as I’m not discussing results or theory: short answer is yes, it’s been done. IR emission/absorption spectra of the atmosphere have been recorded by satellites looking down and ground stations looking up and planes flying around. Don’t know about balloons. Unfortunately, most of the papers on this subject I have found using Google (not that good a search tool for science) are not free and I’m cheap.

  177. coolwater
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 8:23 PM | Permalink

    I’m sorry if this has been talked about before, but in looking at the whole reconstruction chart on the other thread (Briffa)

    1. how do they come up with +/- 0.3 or 0.4 degrees C in 1000 CE
    2. why does the error suddenly drop dramatically in 1600 CE
    3. why, again, the error decreases again after 1900 CE

    i’ll be happy to look elsewhere in the archive if this has already been explained…thx

  178. Jonathan Schafer
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 9:05 PM | Permalink


    Notice the winds just off the East coast of near Pennsylvania take a right turn and head south along the coast until it reaches Georgia, then heads off to the east over the Atlantic. These wind conditions are not conducive to TC development over the Atlantic. There are two upper cyclones in the GOM and one in the Carribbean, which are also contributing to poor conditions for TC development. Because of the branch that is diving down the east coast and the subtropical ridge over the SE US, it’s blocking everything from moving like it should.

  179. Mark T
    Posted Jun 27, 2007 at 11:57 PM | Permalink

    I would like to ask anyone logged on here, why can’t we just put some measureing devices on a few large balloons secured with strong cables anchored to the ground. We can put devices inside the Troposphere and just outside it to measure any radiating heat and all the properties of any heat radiating off the Troposphere. Has this been done already, or is that just too simple,am I missing something ? It is maddening to not know what percentage GHG have in CC or if the theory is even operating at all. Does anyone know of such an expierament ?

    If you’re much above the surface of the earth, you have to put lights/blinkies on your balloon so low-flying craft can see you, and at some point, you have to file a flight plan with the FAA unless your payload is less than two 6 lb. pieces spread 25 m (i think) apart, not counting the balloon, which is also limited in size. I’d imagine if you were tethered, the cable would need to be strong enough that you’d have to file with the FAA anyway.

    Balloons are flown on a regular basis, for weather experiments and other, less publicized, reasons. Tethered balloons are much less popular because they don’t go as high and have different requirements with the FAA (at least, that’s the impression I’ve gathered from my recent work).


  180. Marshall Lancaster
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 12:30 AM | Permalink

    Has anyone else seen information about a solar crashing as likely,in the near future ? The reason I ask,I wonder where does that put GHGT if CO2 remains at a high,during this crash ? If the 24th cycle remains late in arriving, will that cause a crash any sooner ? As I understand it any crash is likely to begin with the cooling surrounding Sunspot 25 . The Russians are leading in the firm belief of a good sized crash coming soon and lasting long.


  181. MarkW
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 5:43 AM | Permalink

    Some interesting numbers on future global populations.
    This matters because fewer people will produce less CO2.

    From the World Bank’s 2007 Annual Development Indicators.
    Fertility rates: (replacement level is 2.1)

    1990 – 2007
    Mexico 3.3 – 2.1
    El Salvador 3.7 – 2.5
    Jamaica 2.9 – 2.4
    Chile — 2.0
    Costa Rica — 2.0
    L. Am & Carib 3.2 – 2.4
    World 3.1 – 2.6

    If these trends continue, the world as a whole could reach replacement level fertility in less than 2 decades with max population reached a decade or two after that.

  182. T J Olson
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 5:50 AM | Permalink

    David Smith’s web site (sorry: the name escapes me just now).
    Jae’s work on humidity and climate
    JohnA (or is it JohnM – sorry!) has stuff in progress

    To follow up upon my praise for Steve McIntyre elsewhere, between last summer’s NAS & Wegman reports and this years AR4 from the IPCC, it sure seems a lot of – whether amatuer or semi-professional but wothwhile – critical investigation has been stimulated. Much of it inspired, directly or indirectly, by his example.

    My point is that with all this ongoing activiy, keeping track of all of it is becoming increasingly difficult. My question this: will someone do us the honor of keeping track of it all? Perhaps, someone to tally and ID and link (where pertinent) to what’s being pursued, and who is doing it?

    May I offer the title “The Steve McIntyre Inspiration List” – or some variation thereof? Posted and updated from time to time by a worthy volunteer, to remind the regulars and inform the lurkers?

  183. D. Patterson
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 6:07 AM | Permalink


    Dr. Hathaway at NASA provides a prediction of the climate to be expected during Solar Cycles 244 and 25. See:

    Hathaway Dr. David H. Understanding and Predicting Understanding and Predicting the Solar Activity the Solar Activity Cycle. NASA/NSSTC NASA/NSSTC; 2006 July 28.

    Click to access Hathaway.pdf

    For some differing predictions about Solar Cycles 24 and 25 see:

    Archibald, David C. Solar Cycles 24 and 25 and Predicted Climate Response

    Click to access Solar_Cycles_24_and_25_and_Predicted_Climate_Response_22nd_October.pdf

  184. Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 7:17 AM | Permalink

    Is something up in the Southern Hemisphere, apart from the incipient La Nià±a, or is it just weather?

    Coldest ever June day in Australian citrus region:


    (More) snow in Johanesburgh and parts of South Africa following a very crude late autumn-winter:


    First ever recorded snofall in the port of Valapaiso, Chile, while capital Santiago has also seen rare snowfalls and experienced the coldest May since 1951:


    And in the meantime, the Antarctic sea ice extent is 1 million kms over its average for this time of the year (it could be more, note that the graph comes from global warmist “Cryosphere today”):

  185. David Smith
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 7:38 AM | Permalink

    Re #185 Mikel, I have been thinking the same thing, but haven’t had enough time recently to look thoroughly.

    A couple of days ago I saw, in the Southern Indian Ocean, marine stratiform clouds behind what appears to be a cold front within 10 degrees of the equator. If that was the Atlantic it would be a remarkable event.

  186. Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 7:49 AM | Permalink

    Hi David, I was hoping you might be able to offer some rationale for all these unusual events…
    (BTW, I meant 1 million sq. km, of course).

  187. Vernon
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 8:45 AM | Permalink

    I guess I can get use to not getting any comments posted at RC. I asked them how can we be sure that GW is affecting hurricanes when the ocean’s have not risen in the last 10 year per the raw satellite data. Needless to say, my comment did not get posted and no one there wants to deal with why the IPCC had to add a trend to get get a trend from the raw data.

  188. JP
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 9:32 AM | Permalink


    The climate/weather in the S. Hemisphere has gotten little notice. For the last few years thier winters have gotten colder. The current onset of La Nina may explain some but not all of the cooling. Obviously there isn’t as much tropical air making its way poleward, which in turn has allowed unmodified polar air masses to move equatorward. Something similar occurs with North America when the PDO goes negative.

    Last Spring I read that it had gotten so cold that power stations couldn’t keep up with demand.

  189. Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 9:56 AM | Permalink

    I can confirm that eastern Australia is having a very cold winter with many long standing temp records being broken in the last month.

    Several blizzard events have dumped heavy snowfalls on the SE Australian highlands and pushed snowfalls north along the Great Divide and associated tablelands through NSW into the SE Queensland highlands, with sleet pushing it’s way north as far as Longreach. Here in sub-tropical coastal SE Qld we have had heaters on for much of the last month, which is quite unusual.

    The La Nina has not really got underway yet, with several confounding factors keeping conditions yo-yo-ing in the neutral range for several months now, the 30-day SOI being weakly positive for much of June with the 90-day SOI crossing into positive territory for the first time two days ago – however I note that SST anomolies are now looking a bit more favourable for a La Nina to continue to develop slowly over the next few months.

    One could speculate that as the severe winter appears to be a southern hemisphere wide phonemena, the late arrival of sunspot cycle 24 and the consequent extended period of very low solar activity is somehow impacting on Antarctica, causing winter cold outbreaks to push further north than is usual.

  190. Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 9:59 AM | Permalink

    JP, what is PDO? — John M Reynolds

  191. EW
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 10:03 AM | Permalink

    Pacific decadal oscillation.

  192. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

    RE: #168 – A feature like the trough off the W. Coast is unheard of this time of year. If I didn’t know what date is was, and somehow the sun angle and length of daylight could be hidden, I would guess it was October 10th or there abouts.

  193. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 10:36 AM | Permalink

    RE: #185 – That is a serious dump for J’burg. They are not equipped to deal with it. Disaster is the right word to describe it. Tragic for the poor there.

  194. Curt
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 10:38 AM | Permalink

    #169 Jeremy:

    Check out Lubos Motl’s take on that Realclimate post on saturation:

  195. Curt
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 10:39 AM | Permalink

    Let’s try that again:


  196. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

    Let me be an early voice describing my grave concern about a potential tragedy which may be on the verge of unfolding across the world. The masses have been wound up to anticipate the Jurassicization of the planet, even though that is essentially impossible over any time frame meaningful to Man. Over timeframes meaningful to Man, there is only one killer that stems from the climate, and it is the thing that no more than 10% of humanity considers possible let alone probable. And yet, given paleoclimate, current tectonic config, and known degree of variability in forcings, it is not only probable but most likely inescapable, sometime during the next millenneum, and that is a conservative outlook.

  197. Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 11:10 AM | Permalink


    Steve Sadlov,

    Friendly, Whaaaaaat? 😮 I didn’t understand a j from your message. Please, would you be so kind as to explain it deeply for me? Thank you, Steve.

  198. Joe Ellebracht
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 11:33 AM | Permalink

    Re #197:
    Would that then be an ice age?

  199. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 11:44 AM | Permalink

    RE: #199 and 198 – Even a modest cooling, even something less dramatic than the LIA would be an unbelievable tragedy for today’s world. We have become dependent on a climate optimum. At our peril. Here is some more food for thought:


    And yes, I did mention food. Make sure you have some stored away. Ideally one year’s worth. And fertile / non hybrid seeds for crops.

  200. Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 11:46 AM | Permalink

    Steve S.

    On a second reading of your message # 197, I’ve thought the same thing, most people is thinking that we will “mitigate” of “revert” the climate change by reducing the atmospheric CO2, which is a blatant lie. No body is teaching the people to survive to a catastrophic, however natural, climate change. Warming is not so bad for living beings. Cooling is really catastrophic for ALL living species. The living world (including human animals) needs of more abundant plant life; plants need more CO2 and energy to survive, what would it happen when we remove atmospheric CO2 to a half? The development of vegetation will be stopped or delayed because the CO2 is food for photosynthetic organisms… That will make a cooling more disastrous than a warming because, in the last situation, we would have more rich vegetation. Well, at least the survivors will have firewood to cook… To cook what? Cockroaches?

    Steve McIntyre or any webmaster, please (falling on my knees), erase my message # 173

  201. Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 12:03 PM | Permalink

    # 200

    Steve Sadlov,

    Now I understand the point. I don’t know why some brainwashed biologists say that the CO2 is a “toxic pollutant”. Wikipedia has gone farer by saying that the water is “toxic”.


  202. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 1:18 PM | Permalink

    RE: #182 – The low bounds on those are conservative. The error made time and time again by “the institues” and wonk lairs, is that they assume that in developing countries, the poor will continue their practice of growth (albeit reduced from the old days) and that the urban bourgeoisie will maintain around two kids. In fact, the urban bourgeoisie in all but the most backward countries are having only one or zero kids (ala Europe) and the poor are rapidly approaching 2 per.

  203. JP
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 1:20 PM | Permalink


    I remember the “minor cooling” of 1992-1993 brought on by the erruption of Mt Pinutumbo. In the grain belt, the summmer of 1993 was in fact not a summer at all. The temps rarely got above 75, rain fell daily, and much of the summer wheat and soybeans were ruined.

    We’ve been spoiled these last 12 years as we’ve seen optimum warming due to both the PDO and AMO being postitive. This is also one of the longest stretches in recent history the world hasn’t seen a major volcanic eruption. Both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans have been able to transport large amounts of tropical air poleward. Since the Pacific Climate Shift of 1976, an entire generation has been weaned on a steadily warmer climate. What would happen to our food supply if the world saw even one poor harvest due to cool weather? I don’t suppose anyone at Homeland Security even considered such an event.

  204. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

    RE: #202 – Let us assume that AGW has indeed led to a 0.5 or 0.6 degree rise and that it may even continue for a while. Let us further assume that we are not effective in reducing GHGs. Even so, we cannot rule out future cooling events. The current bias of the system is toward being at a significantly cooler regime than our present optimum period. Whether the return to the norm takes the form of another LIA, or, another true ice age, no one has demonstrated that AGW will somehow overcome this innate situation. Clearly, the forcings and other system characteristics which led to the start of the Pleistocene are still there. Nothing has changed in the grand scheme of things. The real denialists are those who deny these facts!

  205. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 1:30 PM | Permalink

    RE: #204 – Indeed, should the worst happen, assume you are completely on your own.

  206. JP
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 1:32 PM | Permalink


    THe other assumption is that the developing countries will continue the kind of massive wealth generation we’ve seen since 1982. Most of today’s wealth lies in the developed West, where fertility rates hover from 1.1 child per couple (Russia, Japan, Italy, Spain, and probably China) to 2.1 in the US and Austrialia. Europe averages about 1.8 children per couple -but that includes the arab underclass. The top 13 CO2 emitting nations are set to see thier populations halv during the next century. Without large numbers of wealthy consumers, I find it hard that the world can stay on its hectic economic expansion – I almost see the opposite. As a result, CO2 emissions could be peaking the next decade before being reduced because of lower industrial output.

  207. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 1:46 PM | Permalink

    RE: #207 – Interesting you’ve mentioned that. I too see a major challenge maintaining economic growth as population growth slows then reverses. Other than regional crises such as the Plague and certain wars, the world has not experinced such a dramatic reversal in human population growth in nearly 10 millennea. We have no clue what this will do. General experience in business and life suggests that it’s not going to be pretty. By the way, for some insights into what inspired some of my own futurism and scenario development, many years ago I read a book called “Seven Tomorrows.” At this point, some of the underpinnings of its scenarios have been clearly dated. But I will say this. It is abundantly clear that AGW scare mongers are trying to argue that the range of expected warming will lead to the “Beginning of Sorrows” future from that book, unless we take drastic action now. I wholeheartedly disagree. It’s not AGW that would lead to that scenario, it’s GC.

  208. Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 2:17 PM | Permalink

    # 203-207

    Perhaps I’m a bit older as to see the next cooling of the Earth. Probably I will see it, there is a chance of 1:1. But the most important thing is that the Sun is changing and the galactic neighborhood is changing also. Probably the set of events has taken place before, I could say, some 220 million years ago, when the solar system was in the same orbital circumstances than it is now. We went into a cosmic cloud filled with particles and electromagnetism that some people don’t want to see. There are data from NASA, ESA and JAXA that proves the immersion of our solar system into the cloud. Besides, the Sun is changing its behavior. I know that it is a cyclical change, but we’re not sure to what these changes will lead us. Probably to a Jurassic-like epoch or to a Permian-like… we don’t know; we only can speculate about this. However, we are sure that our calculations indicate that the “GHG” are not the cause of any anomalies in the TT and that any increase in the density of CO2 in the atmosphere will not prevent, thermally, an Ice Age or a modern LIA.

    Some people are criticizing this blog saying that the blogers are “deniers” with problems with mathematics. What they have not been able to learn is that there are many people who are honest with their mathematics and they don’t make the “typical” distortions that the AGWists have made of their mathematics.

  209. MarkW
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 2:18 PM | Permalink

    The UN projections assume that all countries under replacement will return to replacement over the next decade, and that countries falling towards replacement will all stop declining exactly at replacement. The UN projections seriously over estimate how long it will take before the world’s population starts falling, and how high that number will get.

    As I stated before, guestimates of what is going to happen to the environment, all start with how much CO2 is put into the air.
    Fewer people means less CO2 generated.

    It also means we won’t need as much food, so hopefully those doomsday projections will fail to come about.

  210. Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 2:26 PM | Permalink

    I repeat, thermally, mathematically and scientifically, the CO2 is not capable to drive climate changes.

  211. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 2:49 PM | Permalink

    #162 jmrSudbury

    The effective radiation height of the atmosphere is about 6km up; well within the troposphere. Note that an increase in greenhouse gases is predicted to cool the stratosphere unlike, say, an increase in solar irradiance.

  212. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 3:52 PM | Permalink

    Those of you who check in at Accuweather’s blogger page may have noticed this. A few months ago, with a minor degree of fanfare, they introduced their Global Warming blog. The Blogger / meterologist was a woman (whose name I can’t recall) whose style suggested she may be among the Birkenstock shod. I digress. A few weeks ago, with no notification her blog vanished. I must admit, I read it once and that was enough. Maybe I was not alone?

  213. Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 4:19 PM | Permalink

    # 213

    Was she Lisa Wieser?

  214. Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 4:23 PM | Permalink

    # 212

    What are you talking about? The effective radiation of what? What prediction? Please, Steve Milesworthy, adhere to science. Are you suggesting that above the first 6 Km of altitude the troposphere works like an isolating wall?

  215. David Smith
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 5:07 PM | Permalink

    A few notes on the Southern Hemisphere:

    A friend of mine in South Africa confirms the heavy snow and will send some photos to me, which I’ll post on the auditblog. He also says the cold has been so bad at times that, when people get home from work, they immediately get under blankets (little central heating in the region). (I was surprised to hear that South Africans use the hot-brick-in-the-bed method of keeping feet warm, which my parents used many years ago in the rural southern US and which I did not know was worldwide. Live and learn.)

    He also said there was a terrible coastal storm in South Africa recently which did a lot of damage, but was little-noted by the rest of the world. I’ll have photos of this too. Storms are ultimately temperature-difference driven, which indicates that the Southern Hemisphere may be undergoing some unusually strong battles between warm and cold.

    I noticed that Darwin, Australia, only 12 degrees of latitude from the equator (think Panama, Trinidad or the southern tip of India) and at sea level not far from a tropical ocean, is currently at 57F. Inland from Darwin I saw a temperature of 41F at 17 degrees from the equator. Those temperatures are hard to fathom that close to the equator and near sea level.

    The 30-day temperature anomaly map is the bottom one here . (Pay little attention to the temperatures over the ocean or in the polar regions, where actual measurements are sparse and, in the case of the poles, the map projection distorts the polar region size.) Australia and Chile are cold while, surprisingly, South Africa is normal.

    What’s behind all of this? Well, the most direct explanation may have to do with what meteorologists call the amplitude of ridges and troughs, which sort of means that high pressure and low pressure regions are stronger and stretch father north and south than normal. See the 30-day sea level pressure anomaly map here , bottom map. The map shows strong reds (= strong high pressure) sandwiched next to strong purples (= strong low pressure) in the Southern Hemisphere. This pattern brings cold far towards the equator and warmth far towards the poles.

    High-amplitude patterns are, in my book, patterns that lead to net cooling, because they bring dry air far towards the equator (where the dryness helps radiative cooling) and warm air towards the pole (where plenty of radiative cooling is possible).

    What is causing this increased amplitude in the SH? Dunno.

  216. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 5:35 PM | Permalink

    was surprised to hear that South Africans use the hot-brick-in-the-bed method of keeping feet warm, which my parents used many years ago in the rural southern US and which I did not know was worldwide. Live and learn.

    We used rubber hot water bottles for bed warmers when we visited my grandmother in San Francisco back in the late ’40’s early ’50’s. She had a wood-fired stove in the kitchen too.

  217. Alan Woods
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 5:54 PM | Permalink

    Re #216

    Recent Australian weather events. As you note Darwin has been coooler than usual. In fact, stores there had a run on blankets and jumpers as locals are simply not used to such low temperatures. Sydney and the mid-north coast had record rainfall and floods, with roads subsiding and a few people meeting an unfortunate demise. A bulk carrier was blown on to the beach at Newcastle (see http://www.coastalwatch.com/camera/NobbysBeach.htm)
    Here in Victoria, we have just had drought-busting rains. 30 cm in 24 hours over the main dam supplying Melbourne (Thomson Dam). Gippsland (east Victoria) is under a massive flood. What was interesting about this storm was that approached from the east, whereas at least 90% of the time prevailing weather patterns approach from the west. Strange days indeed!

  218. jae
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 5:57 PM | Permalink

    212, you say:

    The effective radiation height of the atmosphere is about 6km up; well within the troposphere. Note that an increase in greenhouse gases is predicted to cool the stratosphere unlike, say, an increase in solar irradiance.

    Uh,huh, and according to AGW theory, the troposphere is supposed to be warming more than the surface. It’s not.

  219. JohnM.
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 6:47 PM | Permalink

    That’s not so clear cut Jae, #219. It very much depends on who you listen to:-


    This whole question of troposphere warming runs to the core of AGW and whether it actually represents a truly calamitous threat to humanity. The Hockey Stick stuff is a bit of a red herring because AGW could still prove to be a major problem over the next century or so even if Mann is completely wrong (and I suspect he probably is for what it’s worth) about the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age.

  220. Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 7:09 PM | Permalink

    # 220


    Well… they correct and adjust everything that doesn’t check with their models; I mean, they give more credit to their models than to the nature. And thus, they have to correct and adjust the data taken from the reality for making this to match with their ideas. It sounds to Astron-knowledge… hehehe…

  221. JohnM.
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 7:19 PM | Permalink

    Your cynicism is understandable given the Hockey Stick saga but these questions have to be dealt with rationally and with an open mind, in my opinion. Here is some background to Ben Santer’s work on troposphere warming from Environmental Science and Technology:-


    and urls for the three Science papers in question:-


  222. David Smith
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 8:01 PM | Permalink

    RE #220 The satellites continue to show less warming than is reported for the surface.

    NOAA’s plots of the UAH and RSS adjusted data show maybe 0.2C to 0.3C mid-tropospheric warming since the record began about 1980.

    The NOAA surface record, shown here , shows a rise in the 0.4 to 0.5C range.

    NOAA offers adjusted balloon records (the “RATPAC” which culls and adjusts most of the historical balloon data) and adjusted satellite records (adjusted to remove the purported stratospheric contamination of tropospheric temperatures). Remarkably, these show better agreement with the surface record (it is as if the adjusters had read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and “Began with the end in mind” – hmmm…).

    But, in either (raw or adjusted) case, they don’t show the greater tropospheric warming which (I think) is a firm prediction of AGW models.

  223. John Lang
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 8:27 PM | Permalink

    As has been shown dozens of times on this website, we can no longer trust any of the records and, especially, any of the “adjustments” made to the climate records.

    We need an objective agency to keep track of climate data and ensure objective imformation is available.

    The current array of official agencies have been infiltrated by global warming alarmists and climate record denialists that will not allow objective scientists to work in their agencies any longer. For example, you can not work in the NOAA under Susan Solomon or GISS under James Hansen unless you are a full-fledged global warming alarmist and actual climate record denialist and adjuster.

  224. David Smith
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 8:39 PM | Permalink

    John M, a site worth visitng is the RSS MSU site ( link ) which has lots of interesting information. In particular note the graph of weighting functions, which indicates the extent to which each satellite channel meaures various parts of the atmosphere.

    The mid-troposphere channel picks up some surface and some stratosphere, but not much. It shows a 0.12C/decade trend. I am pretty sure that’s less than any surface trend over that period.

    Note also Figure 4, which maps the tropospheric change. It’s mostly a high northern latitude issue, which is consistent with increased Atlantic thermohaline circulation (see here for the RSS plot of Arctic tropospheric temperatures). The increased circulation, which brought greater amounts of warm water northward into the polar regions, sped up in the early 1990s.

    Perhaps surprisingly, I personally believe that increased CO2 means that the planet is warmer than it would otherwise be. I expect there is a warming signal somewhere amongst the data but not of apocalyptic proportions.

  225. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Jun 28, 2007 at 11:05 PM | Permalink

    As I remember, it’s the middle troposphere in the tropics (latitude -20 to +20 in the RSS data) that is supposed to warm faster than the surface. The linear trends from the monthly RSS data are 0.16 C/decade for the middle troposphere and 0.18 C/decade for the lower troposphere. The trends for the RSS data are higher than for UAH version (0.06 and 0.09), but the MT is still warming less than the LT. I don’t know if UAH and RSS define the tropics the same way either. I don’t know the instrumental trend but again, as I remember, the measuring stations in those latitudes are rather sparsely distributed and likely suspect as to accuracy.

  226. Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 12:31 AM | Permalink

    Take a look to these comparison:


    The graphs were taken from AMSU NOAA and can be corroborated.

  227. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 4:30 AM | Permalink

    #215 Nasif
    No the atmosphere does not have a “wall” at 6km. Check out “optical depth” in wikipedia. Depending on the wavelength and the local constituency of the atmosphere, the radiation emitted to space comes from many or all levels in the atmosphere, but the “optical depth” concept characterises a particular “average” depth. As an analogy, if you are on the edge of a bank of fog, how far into the fog can you see. Objects deeper in the fog look more diffuse (you are seeing less radiation emitted/reflected from them).

    We can make a rough calculation that the amount of radiation that the atmosphere needs to emit to keep the earth’s radiation budget in balance is about 165 watts:

    Using lambda * sigma * T^4, this amount of energy is emitted by an atmosphere layer of about 250 Kelvin which is a temperature that you would find in the troposphere.

    These are all basic physical arguments unrelated to AGW.

    Please remember my original response was to someone confused as to how the earth can emit more heat while the stratosphere is cooling. I was merely pointing out that much of the outgoing longwave radiation comes from the troposphere, not trying to make a complex argument.

  228. Lizi
    Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 5:02 AM | Permalink

    Excellenet interview with Dr Nils-Axel Morner about sea level rises:

    . Here is an extract from Dr Morner :

    “IPCC chose Hong Kong, which has six tide gauges, and they chose the record of one, which gives 2.3 mm per year rise of sea level. Every geologist knows that that is a subsiding area. It’s the compaction of sediment; it is the only record which you shouldn’t use. And if that figure is correct, then Holland would not be subsiding; it would be uplifting. And that is just ridiculous. Not even ignorance could be responsible for a thing like that.”

  229. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 6:36 AM | Permalink

    #229 Lizi,

    Reading the sea-level chapter, there appears to still be vigorous discussion about the quality of the differing measures of sea-level rise and the method of attributing such rise to the various possible sources.

    Morner says he was an IPCC reviewer. Perhaps you could point out the rejected review comments that Morner sent to the IPCC. I couldn’t find them. As far as I can see, his figure of 1.1mm per decade over the 20th century is very close to the IPCC range of 1.7 +/- 0.5mm.

  230. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 6:52 AM | Permalink


    But, in either (raw or adjusted) case, they don’t show the greater tropospheric warming which (I think) is a firm prediction of AGW models.

    I wish I could remember where I saw it, but there was a climate scientists saying this was no longer an issue, because “some newer models suggest the surface can warm faster than the lower troposphere.” What a cop-out.


    As far as I can see, his figure of 1.1mm per decade over the 20th century is very close to the IPCC range of 1.7 +/- 0.5mm.

    Maybe he’s referring to the acceleration supposedly shown by TOPEX and JASON satellite programs since 1992?

  231. woodentop
    Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 7:07 AM | Permalink

    #230 Steve – he was a reviewer on TAR, and is listed as such in the reviewer section there. It’s the third one he refers to in the article, when the IPCC were holding to the lower level estimate, which was then ‘corrected upwards’ by the satellite calibration with tide gauges.

  232. Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 8:51 AM | Permalink

    # 228


    It’s OK… I just got confused by your first response. You have to accept that we needed a better explanation. I’ve to tell you only one thing, 51% of the shortwave IR is absorbed by the surface; from the long wave IR emitted by the surface, 0.112 is absorbed by the CO2 alone, but only 0.017 is convected the troposphere. We cannot calculate the heat absorbed-emitted by a system if we don’t integrate the thermal characteristics of that system. We have also use a pair of formulas to determine h, q”’, Nu and Gr.

    I don’t trust Wikipedia like a source of scientific knowledge. I’ve read from Wikipedia some aberrant things, like the “toxicity” of “pure water”. There is not an effective peer review of the articles published there that had been made by authentic scholars.

  233. Don Keiller
    Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 8:54 AM | Permalink

    Dear posters, as a regular reader/lurker and occasional contributor, I have been very impressed by the diversity of expertise amongst the CA network. I also read Realclimate and take much of what they say with a pinch of salt, but their last posting (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/06/a-saturated-gassy-argument/)
    where they argue that atmospheric CO2 is not close to saturation got me thinking.
    1) is “band broadening” significant?
    2) does the absorbtion of CO2 change at low temperatures and pressures?
    3) is the radiation re-emitted after absorpion by CO2 and/or water vapour in the lower atmosphere capable of absorption by CO2 in the higher atmosphere?

    Or is this another Realclimate “smoke and mirrors” job?

  234. jae
    Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 9:43 AM | Permalink

    230: ???

    As far as I can see, his figure of 1.1mm per decade over the 20th century is very close to the IPCC range of 1.7 +/- 0.5mm.

    I see a difference of 54% here. That’s “close” in your world?

  235. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 10:13 AM | Permalink

    Re: #214 – No, someone else. Much older, short hair. School teacher look.

  236. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 10:20 AM | Permalink

    RE: #229 – Try bringing up tectonic and other subsidence at RC. Yet another topic which is banned.

  237. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 10:43 AM | Permalink

    #225 – co2 and temps – I find it curious (to say the least) that all 5 of the major forcing gasses have the same basic rise and curve to them. It is also curious that from 1884 to 1976 we had an increase of co2 of 40ish but 1976 to 2006 it’s about 45 alone. I don’t know if any of this stuff correlates. And I don’t think it’s warming, I think the places measuring everything are warmer (heh) I’d think that things would be clearer, regardless. I attribute this to margin of error, measurement locations, adjustments, calibration, population growth itself as well as the land use changes that go along with it, deforestation, and urbanization. Throw in some extra clouds, more humidity and an increase in sunlight and/or cosmic rays, and boom. How anyone thinks we can put together a puzzle made out of pieces the size of sand perplexes me.

    #235 – Actually, that’s more like um ballpark 2% to 100% 🙂

  238. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 10:58 AM | Permalink

    Weather not climate …. here on the US West coast there is a cold front moving through that is bringing rain very far to the south for this time of year. Reminds me of an incident when I was a kid, right at the tail end of the last negative PDO. We were camping at a place in southern Mendocino County in early August, normally a time when you would not expect any non monsoonal cold front caused rain. Rain it did. A front made it almost down to the Golden Gate. My brother’s sleeping bag got soaked due to his tent not being fully seam sealed, we had to drive all the way to Ft. Bragg to find a laundermat with one of those massive dryers. LOL ….

  239. Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 10:58 AM | Permalink

    # 236

    Steve Sadlov, Was she Sally? I can remember a woman at the description you give, her name was Sally.

  240. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 11:12 AM | Permalink

    #234 Don Keiller Yes, yes, yes. And no.

    #231 No, he was referring to a much longer period. He complained about the satellite altimetry section a bit later. If you check the plot, the data is equivocal up to the time of the TAR, but by the FAR its clear. Even so, I think there is quite a strong debate about the attribution of this rise.

    #232 He says he was a reviewer on the FAR.

    #235 Jae
    It’s standard practice when you measure something in science to give a range to take account of errors and uncertainty. 1.7+/-0.5 means that there is a 5-10% chance that the change is higher than 2.2mm or lower than 1.2mm (based on my understanding that the FAR uses 90 or 95% confidence levels)

  241. Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 11:45 AM | Permalink

    # 234

    Dear Don Keiller, I’ll try to answer your questions. Please, make me know if I write in a confusing English; thanks.

    1) is “band broadening” significant?

    Yes, it is important because it would confer to CO2 thermal capabilities out of this world. For example, if a column of 50 cm of CO2 cannot absorb q’ above 15 W, the band broadening would increase the CO2 range of heat absorption up to 50 W or more, doing it thermally close to water vapor. Experimentally we know that αλ = 1 ‘€” e^-kλx, then the absorptivity of a gas is proportional to monochromatic emissivity and transmissivity under the Kirchhoff’s Law.

    2) does the absorbtion of CO2 change at low temperatures and pressures?

    Yes, it equals to 0 at temperatures lower than 450 R (-23 C) at P = 1 ft/m^2. If we increase the temperature above 540 R the absorptivity-emissivity of CO2 diminishes logarithmically. For example, at 490 R the CO2 absorptivity is 0.1642, but if we increase T to 500 R the absorptivity of CO2 decreases to 0.14, and at 540 R it is 0.085 or less. Today, at T = 540.27 R, the absorptiviy of CO2 at its current urban density (410 ppm) is 0.112-0.10. If we go up in altitude, the monochromatic absorption coefficient of CO2 decreases or increases linearly with P and T, but CO2cannot absorb more than 36 W (again, it comes the so scaring thriller of the “bands saturation”… boo!!!).

    3) is the radiation re-emitted after absorpion by CO2 and/or water vapour in the lower atmosphere capable of absorption by CO2 in the higher atmosphere?

    Whaaat? Just talk about heat transfer, I think Dr. McIntyre will blow me out if I insist on talking about Thermo…

  242. jae
    Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 11:51 AM | Permalink

    Timely article in Junk Science.

  243. Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 11:59 AM | Permalink

    # 234

    Don Keiller, I’m sorry the unthreaded 12 has slowed my typewriting and I didn’t see an error. In the second answer I missprinted:

    Yes, it equals to 0 at temperatures lower than 450 R (-23 C) at P = 1 ft/m^2.

    It must say “Yes, it equals to 0.3 at temperatures lower than…”

    I apologize

  244. jae
    Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 12:05 PM | Permalink

    241: Yes, I know, but no error band is given for the 1.1 mm figure (which is an average). Thus, you still need to compare average with average, or 1.1 with 1.7. They don’t match “closely.” IPCC inflates EVERYTHING to demonstrate the need for more controls on the terrible industrialized, Planet-destroying, anti-Gaia, non polar bear worshiping folks.

  245. jae
    Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 2:18 PM | Permalink

    See this Department of Energy article for an analysis of the GHG effect. Of course the nay-sayers will say that this 1994 physics is no longer true.

  246. Robert Z
    Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 3:46 PM | Permalink

    Hello, a first time poster here,

    I would appreciate help with a question.

    If increases in CO2 lag warmings by 800-1000 years, is there any firm evidence that confirms or denies that most CO2 increases over the last 100 years would be the expected lag from the MWP?

    thank you,

  247. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 4:26 PM | Permalink

    So the ban on criticism of radiation models is off? What a waste of bandwidth, pun intended. The radiative transfer model of ghg’s, properly implemented, is the one feature of the climate models that is absolutely bullet proof. Anyone who claims otherwise is making some fundamental calculation errors and will never gain traction with the scientific community. We’re not talking bacterial infection as the cause of ulcers or continental drift here. IR spectra of the atmosphere, absorption and emission, from the ground up and from satellites and planes down, have been measured many times. The agreement with calculated spectra are excellent (See figure 3 here: http://www-cave.larc.nasa.gov/cave/pdfs/Jin.AGU02.pdf for example). There’s a list of more papers comparing measured to predicted spectra in the comments on What Angstrom Didn’t Know article at RC starting at comment numbers in the mid to high 40’s. That’s why the TAR and FAR both list the confidence in radiative forcing from ghg’s as high to very high compared to very low for many other potentially important forcings like aerosols. I see no point in this debate, it’s confusing to the uninformed and it drastically lowers the quality of discussion here and the reputation of the blog in general, IMHO.

  248. David Smith
    Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 4:38 PM | Permalink

    For fun, here’s a question for discussion: What are the two most important unanswered questions in climate science, and why?

    My nominations are:

    1. How is upper-troposphere water vapor content, including cirrus clouds, affected by upper-tropospheric temperature?

    2. How does solar activity affect marine stratiform cloudiness?

    (For ease of communication these questions are not precisely posed but should be close-enough.)

    On #1, the GCMs assume constant relative humidity, which means that, as the upper troposphere warms, the absolute water content of the upper air increases. This is key to the positive feedback mechanism wherein a circa 1C global temperature rise (doubling of CO2, CO2 effect only) becomes a much more significant 3C or 5C rise. The evidence for constant relative humidity offered to-date is not convincing and sometimes contradictory.

    On #2, marine stratiform cloudiness, the low clouds which hug much of the ocean surface and reflect back sunlight, plausibly play a major role keeping the planet cool. If cloud cover is especially abundant then not only is there the direct radiative effect on global temperature but also the cloud cover enhances the cool easterly winds in the upwelling eastern regions of oceans, bringing more cool water to the surface. (The enhanced upwelling is an oscillation, but it still affects global temperature on multidecadal scales).

  249. David Smith
    Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 5:17 PM | Permalink

    Re #255 Make that “one or two key, or otherwise very interesting, questions”, not the “most important”.

  250. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 5:19 PM | Permalink

    #253. DeWitt, I agree with your observation. I’ve asked people not to post on these topics until I thread it not because they are not important but because they are important. I’ve deleted some comments by people who are aware of this request.

  251. Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 5:21 PM | Permalink

    None – and you shouldn’t expect any. The modern trend in CO2 concentration is caused by anthropic activities (even if there are natural signals in the noise). There are multiple lines of evidence that support this.

  252. Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 5:45 PM | Permalink

    # 250


    e pour si muove


  253. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 5:50 PM | Permalink

    Re #248 Steve,

    I knew we weren’t talking thermodynamics and why, but why not radiation physics?

    Besides, if there’s no place to educate people, the sloppy skepticism will just continue.

  254. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 6:02 PM | Permalink

    much of it is sloppy but I don’t have time to babysit and argue with it. DeWitt observes and I agree:

    IR spectra of the atmosphere, absorption and emission, from the ground up and from satellites and planes down, have been measured many times. The agreement with calculated spectra are excellent

    At some point I’ll thread a discussion when I have time to write something sensible but I don’t want the discussion to be framed by people with less nuanced views. Here’s a temporary compromise: I don’t want people to write down what they think about radiation physics for a while – what I’d be interested in people posting citations to the best explanations of how AGW occurs in terms of radiation physics – not explanations of the greenhouse effect, but explanations of how additional CO2 causes substantial increases – again not links to or citations to skeptical arguments but links or citations to the BEST explanations. I’m familiar with a lot of literature, but don’t want to miss something relevant. (BTW none of the 4 IPCC reports contains any such explanation other than a passing mention in AR2 of the saturation argument.)

  255. Jan Pompe
    Posted Jun 29, 2007 at 8:24 PM | Permalink


    BTW none of the 4 IPCC reports contains any such explanation other than a passing mention in AR2 of the saturation argument.

    I’m wondering if that is because it’s not been available I’ve been looking and found nothing I’m happy with. Most of what I’ve found relates to analytical chemistry not what happens in the analyte being irradiated.

  256. Buddenbrook
    Posted Jun 30, 2007 at 12:16 AM | Permalink

    Why do they do it? This is the question that bothers me. What have they got to gain in all this?

    If there is going on a conscious and systematic distortion of science, why is it happening? People like Hansen, Solomon, Schmidt, Mann they are not stupid people. They must themselves be aware of the huge uncertainties involved re: modelling, metrics, climate forcings, climate complexity. Then why is a facade created, a facade to the politicians and the public, that the science would be settled? That the “debate is over”, like they keep saying. Why are the IPCC fighting a political fight to supress scientific debate and inquiry?

    Shouldn’t falsification be in the heart of all science?

    I have five possible theories, but I’m not sure how viable they are

    1. Personal pride – People who have invested their life work into AGW can’t come into terms with the possibility that it would have been without a meaning. That the modelling, everything would have been purposeless in the end. There is too much emotion invested, after all the preaching to “denialists”, all the warnings to the public, it’s psychologically impossible to back down now.

    2. Power, recognition – IPCC is wielding global power, they already have a huge impact on EU policies, and with the second round of Kyoto could become a keyplayer in world politics. Recognition and stature contain addictive emotions.

    3. Genuine concerns – They seriously believe that the probability of CAGW is high enough to justify the suppression of uncertainty, that the end justifies the means. The potential risks are too huge to have the politicians arguing for another 10-15 years, so it is justifiable to create an impression, that the debate would be over, that arguments should end, and concrete actions begin.

    4. Personal financial gain – CAGW is a huge business, billions are being channelled into the research. If CAGW dropped from the political agenda, thousands of people would be in the danger of losing well paying jobs and research grants. How easy would it be for a person who has studied and tuned GCMs for the past 15-20 years, to find an equally well paying job?

    5. A broader perspective of green and global social idealism, possibly preceding career choice – CAGW is a tool to undermine free capitalism, consumerism, exploitation of the planet and global disparity. AGW scientists can feel their jobs to contain a larger purpose and meaning, that they are fighting a good fight, which can become emotionally very satisfying, a sort of a “flow”. And even if the worst CAGW fears are not realised, it’s still important to change our mindset about how we use and share the earth’s resources, and to become aware of the dangers there are involved.

  257. Geoff
    Posted Jun 30, 2007 at 12:37 AM | Permalink

    There’s a pretty hot exchange (at least for CA readers) in last Friday’s Science magazine. Gerd Bürger (lead chapter author and contributor for the TAR) writes about Osborn and Briffa’s 2006 hockey stick (“The Spatial Extent of 20th-Century Warmth in the Context of the Past 1200 Years”) commenting critically on site selection and statistics. He writes “…given the large number of candidate proxies and the relatively short temporal overlap with instrumental temperature records, statistical testing of the reported correlations is mandatory. Moreover, the reported anomalous warmth of the 20th century is at least partly based on a circularity of the method, and similar results could be obtained for any proxies, even random-based proxies. This is not reflected in the reported significance levels”.

    In commenting on the proxies (most of them well known to CA readers) he says that this “method of selecting proxies by screening a potentially large number of candidates for positive correlations runs the danger of choosing a proxy by chance. This is aggravated if the time series show persistence, which reduces the degrees of freedom for calculating correlations (6) and, accordingly, enhances random fluctuations of the estimates. Persistence, in the form of strong trends, is seen in almost all temperature and many proxy time series of the instrumental period. Therefore, there is a considerable likelihood of a type I error, that is, of incorrectly accepting a proxy as being temperature sensitive’.

    He goes on to say ” This effect can only be avoided, or at least mitigated, if the proxies undergo stringent significance testing before selection. Osborn and Briffa did not apply such criteria”.

    Bürger indicates the more serious promblem is the series screening process, which only looked at proxies with positive correlations. “The majority of those random series would not even have been considered, having failed the initial screening for positive temperature correlations. Taking this effect into account, the independence of the series shrinks for the instrumental period”. This means in Bürger’s opinion that the “results described by Osborn and Briffa are therefore at least partly an effect of the screening, and the significance levels depicted in figure 3 in (1) have to be adjusted accordingly”.

    Bürger repeats the analysis with the appropriate adjustments for temperature sensitivity, and finds as a result “the “highly significant” occurrences of positive anomalies during the 20th century disappear. The 99th percentile is almost never exceeded, except for the very last years for {theta} = 1, 2. The 95th percentile is exceeded mostly in the early 20th century, but also about the year 1000″.

    There is a reply by Osborn and Briffa, which gives a number of justifications of their procedures (which some will find unconvincing) but concludes ” we agree with Bürger that the selection process should be simulated as part of the significance testing process in this and related work and that this is an interesting new avenue that has not been given sufficient attention until now”.


    Refs: 1) Gerd Bürger, Comment on “The Spatial Extent of 20th-Century Warmth in the Context of the Past 1200 Years”, Science, 29 June 2007: Vol. 316. no. 5833, p. 1844
    DOI: 10.1126/science.1140982 available here but only to subscribers

    2) Timothy J. Osborn and Keith R. Briffa, Response to Comment on “The Spatial Extent of 20th-Century Warmth in the Context of the Past 1200 Years” (29 June 2007)Science 316 (5833), 1844b. [DOI:10.1126/science.1141446] available here

    3) Timothy J. Osborn and Keith R. Briffa, The Spatial Extent of 20th-Century Warmth in the Context of the Past 1200 Years, Science, 10 February 2006: Vol. 311. no. 5762, pp. 841 – 844
    DOI: 10.1126/science.1120514 available here

  258. Posted Jun 30, 2007 at 4:57 AM | Permalink

    Hi! The discussion about the strength of the greenhouse effect and its dependence on concentrations is approaching 300 contributions. You may join, too.


  259. bruce
    Posted Jun 30, 2007 at 6:16 AM | Permalink

    Re #254: All Five!!

  260. John Lang
    Posted Jun 30, 2007 at 7:14 AM | Permalink

    Since calculating the impact of the greenhouse effect and radiative transfer budgets for the whole atmosphere appears to be so complicated and can only be carried out in very large-scale (and most likely innaccurate) Global Circulation Models, we should then rely on other lines of evidence.

    How about using the history of earth’s temperature and the history of greenhouse gas concentrations instead. In this case, we have real evidence and actual experiments to use rather than theoritical physics calculations and theoritical climate models.

    The actual history of earth’s climate and, indeed, the history of the temperature record and greenhouse gas concentrations for the last century shows that climate sensitivity to greenhouse gases is about (or slightly less than) 1.0C increase for every doubling of greenhouse gases. Which indicates that global warming will not be a problem at all and will probably be somewhat beneficial if anything.

    Evidence is always better than theory.

    Except when that theory and the evidence line up with each other. In that case, theory also gives a explanation for the evidence which helps with our overall understanding.

    I note that many people think that global warming theory points to the 1.0C per doubling model instead which lines up with the actual evidence (versus the 1.5C to 6.1C per doubling crowd) which should convince a rational person which theory to accept.

  261. David Smith
    Posted Jun 30, 2007 at 7:19 AM | Permalink

    Re #256 I wish there was a website where just two people, say Lubos and someone from RC, could directly duke it out on a topic.

  262. Posted Jun 30, 2007 at 8:23 AM | Permalink

    #260 David Smith

    I wrote a piece about Nature’s blogging efforts the other day, in which I suggested that they would be better off, both in terms of visitor numbers and of reducing risk to their commercial reputation, if they laid off cheerleading for the AGW movement and tried to be just what you have described – an umpire rather than a participant.

    The post got a lot of traffic from an internal Nature blog, but I’ve yet to see any change in the way they operate.

  263. Boris
    Posted Jun 30, 2007 at 8:49 AM | Permalink


    For many aspects of the AGW theory, there is no important debate.

    Take for example the discussions about CO2 saturation, to take the latest fad. As youc an see by reading the excellent RC post by Spencer Weart, the research into CO2’s IR properties is decades old. If one such as Lubos Motl wanted to refine or refute these experiments, one should at least start back in the 1950s and research the arguments that Gilbert Plass and others have made.

    But skeptics bring up these faux arguments again and again. Most of what one reads about is some simplified calculation of the greenhouse effect that puts CO2’s contribution at 5%. These simple math calcs don’t magically undo the half century of research–they ignore it and cicumvent real criticism by pretending the rpevious research doesn’t exist.

    Finally, your point about uncertainty is valid, but unceratinty works both ways. Just as AGW could be milder, it could be more severe. And since you are asking questions about the motivations of those who advocate for AGW, why not ask about the motivations for those who would deny the well known foundations of the theory? What MOtl up to? Why does he pretend that there is no such person as Glibert N. Plass?

  264. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 30, 2007 at 9:37 AM | Permalink

    #263. Boris, one of the deficiencies of the IPCC corpus is nowhere in the thousands of pages in any of the reports is there a clear exposition of how increased CO2 translates into deg C. Prior to AR4 scoping, I suggested to Mike MacCracken that this should be included in AR4. He said that space limitations had prevented such an exposition and would pass the suggestion along to Susan Solomon. Instead of a sensible exposition, AR4 gave a fatuous self-congratulatory history of no use to policy-makers or interested readers.

    I’ve examined literature quite thoroughly and have not located a good exposition. Houghton’s text gives a half-page arm-waving “the higher the colder” exposition, but that’s all. You say that a simple math calculation doesn’t undo a half-century of research and I agree with that. Can you direct me to what you believe to be the best exposition of why addtional CO2 can be expected to have a substantial impact – explaining the matter in physics and not merely reporting GCM model output?

  265. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Jun 30, 2007 at 10:44 AM | Permalink

    Re: #264

    Can you direct me to what you believe to be the best exposition of why addtional CO2 can be expected to have a substantial impact – explaining the matter in physics and not merely reporting GCM model output?

    I want to second the approach that Steve M has suggested for discovering a simple exposition of the effects of increasing CO2 on surface temperatures. I made what I thought was a valiant effort to understand what the effects would be on surface temperatures (qualitatively at best) when one put back in the short wave absorption in the troposphere that was missed by the climate models. Even after Isaac Held held forth here I felt unsure how the effect would be resolved in terms of surface temperatures. He used the typical thermal balance model which for me does not lend itself to visualization.

    I could be hopelessly incapable of integrating the processes involved, but I am hoping for a method that allows easy comprehension. While I am quite sure that much must be known and measured with regards to incoming short wave absorption and outgoing long wave absorption by CO2 in the troposphere, the climate models did miss nearly 4 W/M2 of short wave absorption for quite awhile. I would also think that measuring the current absorptions and re-emissions of CO2 under current conditions would not necessarily lend itself to a simple method of predicting what a substantially increased CO2 concentration in the troposphere would absorb and emit. Does not the fact that much of the reactions of radiation with CO2 molecules require a three body interaction complicate these processes? Also the fact, that the CO2 competes with other molecules in absorbing radiation in the troposphere, makes “separating” the effects of CO2 difficult. And finally the net effects of absorption and emission of radiation must depend on the concentration gradient of CO2 in the troposphere.

    I have not looked at recent years’ status, but less than 10 years ago, I know that the various renditions of energy balances dealing with incoming and outgoing radiation were not necessarily in exact agreement.

  266. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 30, 2007 at 11:01 AM | Permalink

    #265. The problem with Held’s comments was not that he used a thernal balance model per se – I have no objection to him using a model appropriate to the circumstance – but that he merely asserted that the lapse rate was fixed without providing a reference or proof of why this was necessarily so. Crowley for one has questioned this assumption from paleo evidence. Anything by Crowley away from the hockey rink is worth reading.

  267. David Ermer
    Posted Jun 30, 2007 at 11:08 AM | Permalink

    I know that the various renditions of energy balances dealing with incoming and outgoing radiation were not necessarily in exact agreement.

    I can’t link to it but this is a good paper comparing measured and computed energy fluxes in the atmosphere.

    Zhanqing Li, Louis Moreau, and Albert Arking, “On Solar Energy Disposition: A Perspective from Observation and Modeling,” Bulletin of the American Meteorology Society, Vol. 78, No. I, January 1997

  268. Scott-in-WA
    Posted Jun 30, 2007 at 11:37 AM | Permalink

    Re 263 and 264:

    Since I became seriously interested in the AGW debate six months ago, I’ve looked in vain on the Internet for a clear exposition of how increased CO2 translates into deg C. Writing such a clear exposition — one that surveys the science in enough detail to cover all the necessary information, but which is also composed and written so that non-specialists can grasp the science — will be a highly demanding task for some expert technical/scientific communicator.

    From the perspective of simply wanting for an example of AGW-related communication technique that seems to be effective in getting its ideas across, the one example of expository writing I’ve seen that I think goes some of the needed distance in wrapping scientific detail with a clear and understandable writing style is Kristen Byrnes’ effort with Ponder the Maunder.

    As an example of writing and communication technique for AGW-related subject matter goes, Ponder the Maunder is not all that I would like to see. But after six months of looking at on-line AGW-related material, it’s the one that stands out in terms of getting the most understanding of the AGW debate for the minimum investment in reading time and effort.

  269. Boris
    Posted Jun 30, 2007 at 11:37 AM | Permalink

    If I recall correctly there was an NAS study that looked at all radiation models and found them to be quite close, despite being independently derived. This was 78 or 79 I think.

    Spencer Weart might know of a good exposition. If there isn’t one (and I agree there should be), you could always go back to Plass’s work. Here are a couple citations I found on his wiki page.

    Plass, G.N., 1956, Infrared Radiation in the Atmosphere, American J. Physics 24, p. 303-21.
    Plass, G.N., 1956, Carbon Dioxide and the Climate, American Scientist 44, p. 302-16.

  270. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 30, 2007 at 11:58 AM | Permalink

    I;ve read Plass’ articles. There were contemporary criticisms of these articles. Are you telling us that, in the last 50 years, there is no exposition of how of how increased CO2 leads to higher temperatures. I’ll give you a hint: Ramanathan has a number of articles in the 1970s, many of which are online at the AMS website. MAnabe and Strickler’s models are post Plass. I’m not looking for pablumized discussions – Ramanathan is technical and if that is the most recent exposition, I;ll go with it.

    But it is ludicrous for you to complain of anybody misinterpreting things if your best reference is from 1956!

    Also, a radiation model does not in itself link higher CO2 to higher temperatures. You need some variation of the higher-the colder to get there.

    While line-by-line radiation codes are in agreement, I’ve mentioned previously that Ellingson did an inter-comparison of GCM radiation codes in 1991 and found that many GCM codes were simply wrong but, regardless of whether their codes were right or wrong, they had similar results for 2xCO2, from which he surmised tuning. This does not give me any confidence in their results although it does not mean the results are wrong.

  271. Don Keiller
    Posted Jun 30, 2007 at 1:06 PM | Permalink

    At the risk of using up more bandwidth/saturating the CO2 “greenhouse effect” argument, the discussion following my posting has left me even more confused.

    Simple/Simplistic question. Ignoring all “positive feedbacks” what will be the calculated effect on the global temperatutre of an increase in [CO2] from its present concentration (~380ppm) to a postulated 560 ppm in 2100?

  272. John F. Pittman
    Posted Jun 30, 2007 at 8:06 PM | Permalink

    Thomas Jefferson and Special Awards
    ‘€¢ Holm Awards Year Length of Service Awards
    ‘€¢ 75-100 Year Institutional Length of Service Awards
    ‘€¢ 50 Year Length of Service Awards
    ‘€¢ 45 Year Length of Service Awards
    ‘€¢ 40 Year Length of Service Awards
    ‘€¢ 35 Year Length of Service Awards
    ‘€¢ 30 Year Length of Service Awards
    ‘€¢ 25 Year Length of Service Awards
    ‘€¢ 20 Year Length of Service Awards
    ‘€¢ 15 Year Length of Service Awards
    ‘€¢ 5-10 Year Length of Service Awards.

    The above awards are linked to the WWW and are part of the public domain.
    Senator Graham, and Jean Carter Johnson, FOIA officer of NOAA, please, note that NOAA has refused to answer FOIA requests to several FOIA submitters (legitimate requests as far as I can determine) based on the fact that NOAA sites and volunteer observers are claimed to be private even though their names and accomplishments have been made public (see above, details are available on climateaudit.org). Senator Graham, the emails to and from Jean.Carter.Johnson@noaa.gov, and other NOAA officials are easily obtainable by you or your staff. Up until approximately a week ago, these names, locations could be accessed by the internet. Positions and names were directly obtainable, accessible, and in the public domain, and available. Now there is the claim that they are private and this information has been removed from the web. There is no such thing as” a little bit pregnant”. Senator Graham as far as I can determine US law and NOAA FOIA guidelines have been violated. Could you and your office help me? Senator Graham, for your information, on a blog, I will ask that all that have been refused cooperation as required by law to contact you. Please, I hope you and your staff don’t mind a citizen of SC for all of his life of almost 54 years asks for this to be resolved according to US law and precedence.

    Sorry this is not a spam. I need any who have made a legitimate FOIA request USA and have been refused to contact Lindsey Graham, Senator for SC, and give details of the refusal. Please forgive me for posting all over the place. I feel it is important. I hope you agree.

  273. chuck c
    Posted Jul 1, 2007 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

    This link:

    Click to access WarmAudit31.pdf

    is an interesting paper on forecasting methods in general, applied to the GCM models. J. Scott Armstrong of UPenn is one of the big names in the economic forecasting field, and comes down hard on the GCMs. Here’s the abstract:

    In 2007, a panel of experts established by the World Meteorological Organization and the United
    Nations Environment Programme issued its updated, Fourth Assessment Report, forecasts. The
    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Working Group One Report predicts dramatic and
    harmful increases in average world temperatures over the next 92 years. We asked, are these
    forecasts a good basis for developing public policy? Our answer is “no”.
    Much research on forecasting has shown that experts’ predictions are not useful. Rather,
    policies should be based on forecasts from scientific forecasting methods. We assessed the extent
    to which long-term forecasts of global average temperatures have been derived using evidence-
    based forecasting methods. We asked scientists and others involved in forecasting climate change
    to tell us which scientific articles presented the most credible forecasts. Most of the responses we
    received (30 out of 51) listed the IPCC Report as the best source. Given that the Report was
    commissioned at an enormous cost in order to provide policy recommendations to governments,
    the response should be reassuring. It is not. The forecasts in the Report were not the outcome of
    scientific procedures. In effect, they present the opinions of scientists transformed by
    mathematics and obscured by complex writing. We found no references to the primary sources of
    information on forecasting despite the fact these are easily available in books, articles, and
    websites. We conducted an audit of Chapter 8 of the IPCC’s WG1 Report. We found enough
    information to make judgments on 89 out of the total of 140 principles. The forecasting
    procedures that were used violated 72 principles. Many of the violations were, by themselves,
    critical. We have been unable to identify any scientific forecasts to support global warming.
    Claims that the Earth will get warmer have no more credence than saying that it will get colder.

  274. Posted Jul 1, 2007 at 3:06 PM | Permalink

    re 271:
    This covers the basics:

  275. Boris
    Posted Jul 1, 2007 at 3:19 PM | Permalink

    But it is ludicrous for you to complain of anybody misinterpreting things if your best reference is from 1956!

    For one, Steve, I don’t see Motl, Lindzen or the guys at junk science quoting any of those contemporary criticisms of Plass. They simply ignore him, so kudos to you for at least acknowledging he existed.

    Second, I never claimed to have a best ref. Plass would be the place to start. If you’ve already started, so much the better.

    As for Ellingson, he states that:

    The lack of highly accurate flux observations from within the atmosphere has made it necessary to rely on line-by-line model results for evaluating model accuracy.

    But he still found some general agreement. In 1991.

    Have you looked at more recent assesments from ICRCCM?

  276. Jonathan Schafer
    Posted Jul 1, 2007 at 3:19 PM | Permalink

    Weather, not climate

    D/FW just missed out on the highest rainfall total in June in the past 79 years. Missed it by about .5 of an inch, thanks to minimal rain on the last day of the month.

    But, today is a different story. Just got dumped on again, and the forecast for the upcoming week has fairly high rain chances through Thursday, finally dropping off a bit on Friday. In fact, they have not only increased probability of precip but the amount forecasted may now be much higher than previously thought. The upper level shear axis is dropping to the SW and combining with a TUTT, which may significantly increase nighttime rain events.

    I had previously stated that I couldn’t remember this happening in the past 10 years I’ve lived here, but my wife reminded me it was like this in 2004 and she was right (as usual), although rain totals weren’t as high as this year. This June is the rainiest month in 25 years.

  277. Bob Koss
    Posted Jul 1, 2007 at 4:05 PM | Permalink

    Happy Canada Day!

  278. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted Jul 1, 2007 at 4:33 PM | Permalink

    #271 Don Keiller

    The following is a link to a simple model which considers the warming of the earth required to balance out an increase in forcing (ie. if radiative forcing from the sun or greenhouse gases increases, how much does the earth have to warm so its long-wave emissions to space rise to balance out this increase).


    A calculation of the radiative forcing of doubling CO2 requires a radiation model, and although not everyone here likes the models, many “sceptics” (including Lindzen for example) accept a figure of around 4 watts per metre squared, for which the simple model approach require a warming of about 1C (the so-called sensitivity) before feedbacks to balance it.

    What the simple model leaves out is the following:

    1. Changes in lapse rate – ie. the balance could be attained by warming the upper atmosphere more than the surface (which could lessen the effect at the surface). Most models show some negative feedback from this.
    2. Delays in the warming – it is thought that if CO2 emissions stopped today, warming would continue for a few decades because balance has not yet been reached (this needs to be taken into account when estimating sensitivity from recent warming).
    3. Feedbacks from changes in water vapour, clouds, albedo and lots of other things.

    Calculations of sensitivity taking feedbacks into account are usually based on models and on reconstructions of past climate. Hopefully that is a reasonably uncontroversial (even for here) summary.

  279. Paul
    Posted Jul 1, 2007 at 7:55 PM | Permalink

    A FANTASTIC presentation on statistics. Not climate related, but worth watching. Maybe even with some useful tool links.

  280. Posted Jul 1, 2007 at 8:25 PM | Permalink

    Paul: Your link does’nt work for me!

  281. Jan Pompe
    Posted Jul 1, 2007 at 9:18 PM | Permalink

    #270, 280

    Try: http://www.okananter.com/wordpress/?p=21

    and it is good to watch.

  282. Philip B
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 1:02 AM | Permalink

    New zealand: June 2007 had well below average temperatures.


    Judging by the news, the Southern Hemisphere will have its coldest June in quite a while.

    The mid-lattitude high pressure systems that dominate Australia’s weather have been much further north than usual for the last few weeks. If the pattern persists, so will the cold wet weather.

  283. Ian Castles
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 1:57 AM | Permalink

    In Australia, June 2007 was the coldest June in the Bureau of Meteorology’s series, which begins in 1950.

  284. Don Keiller
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 3:21 AM | Permalink

    Many thanks to all those who responded to my simple/simplistic question.
    By stripping out the (as I see it) unquantifiable feedbacks and keeping to the basics physics it seem that the expected temperature increase for a doubling of preindustrial [CO2] would be between 1.0 and 1.5C.
    This is within the range of natural climatic variability so what’s the fuss about?

  285. Hans Erren
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 3:49 AM | Permalink

    “The fuss” is due the extreme emission scenarios (SRES A2 A1FI) for which the likelihood is not defined. Another factor is the postulated 20th century strong aerosol cooling, a fiddle factor which exists only in computer models, that is used to hike up climate sensitivity.

  286. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 5:16 AM | Permalink

    #284 Don Keiller
    A warming of 1-1.5C is on top of any “natural variability” we may get, so is an added risk. Incidentally, the IPCC scenarios (1.5-4.5C) are for 2100, not doubling CO2 (ie. different scenarios predict different levels of CO2 in 2100).

    The feedbacks are difficult to quantify, they are not unquantifiable. The main methods I’m aware of are:
    1. Computer models that tend to retain constant relative humidity (ie. water vapour, a greenhouse gas, increases with warming), which is supported by observations.
    2. Estimates from observations. Using recent observations, Gregory et al J Clim 2002 estimate a lower bound of 1.1C if they assume aerosol forcing is net zero, or 1.6C lower bound for normal understanding of aerosols. I’ve seen other papers that get 2-2.5C from mid-cretaceous and last interglacial. In deep time, there are less certain suggestions of lower sensitivity.

    #285 Hans
    I understand that emissions over the past few years are exceeding the “extreme” A1F1 scenario.

  287. MarkW
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 5:37 AM | Permalink


    This is interesting. Many of the AGW alarmists are quick to tell us how much the seas are warming. Yet you tell us that this warming sea, despite all theories to the contrary, is not releasing any new CO2?

  288. Hans Erren
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 5:42 AM | Permalink

    Emissions are very sensitive to boom-bust economy. All emission scenarios are 10 year smoothed.

    I am waiting for the chinese recession.

  289. MarkW
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 5:43 AM | Permalink


    Somebody, it might have been Hansen, gave a speech about 15 years ago in which he announced that scientists were going to have to stop talking about probabilities and possibilities in regards to global warming. He stated that the potential consequences were going to be so severe, that scientists had a moral obligation to present to the public a false sense of certainty, so that they could better scare the politicians into taking action.

  290. Hans Erren
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 5:48 AM | Permalink

    that was schneider

  291. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 6:12 AM | Permalink

    Interesting. I don’t dispute it, but where’s the data from? I’d like to pass it on to the person who told me about the emissions jump.

    Plotting a linear trend on a noisy graph illustrating a rate of change is somewhat optimistic to say the least!

  292. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 6:18 AM | Permalink

    #287 MarkW
    The rate of absorption outweighs the increasing rate of release because the atmospheric concentration is increasing. This is pretty basic information.

  293. Hans Erren
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 7:03 AM | Permalink

    re 291:
    Marland, G., T.A. Boden, and R. J. Andres. 2007. Global, Regional, and National CO2 Emissions. In Trends: A Compendium of Data on Global Change. Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tenn., U.S.A.

  294. Nordic
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 9:39 AM | Permalink

    An interesting article in our local paper giving evidence of past warmer climate:

    Most foresters could point to similar examples in their own area. In Vermont, where I grew up there were the black tupelo growing in several bogs. Where I live there is a single Joshua tree growing on a hillside well north of where it ought to be able to survive. I don’t know if it is a relic or if someone planted it on a lark and it survived – I need to talk to some old folks from the town where it grows. The Joshua tree may benefit from the ultimate microclimate effect – a major hot spring flows from the ground about 200-300 feet uphill.

    Reverse examples of tree populations growing south of their climatic range are more common. Many tree species are still migrating north after being pushed south during the last ice age.

  295. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 9:41 AM | Permalink

    Plotting a linear trend on a noisy graph illustrating a rate of change is somewhat optimistic to say the least!

    Do you understand the irony in that statement? Hint: plot temperature vs. time.

  296. Steve Milesworthy
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 10:12 AM | Permalink

    #295 DeWitt Payne
    Have to say I’ve lost you there.

    Plotting a linear trend on a rate of change implies an exponential decrease in emissions. The Erren scenario implies emission peaking 6% above year 2000 levels in 2012 and dropping to below half current levels in 50 years. Stern would be pleased.

    I don’t think the rate of temperature change is ever plotted, and future trends are not assumed from present trends, but are based on models forced by emissions scenarios.

  297. jae
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 10:16 AM | Permalink

    To get an idea of the effects of increasing CO2, it might be instructive to simply forget CO2 for the time being and study the effects of adding more WATER VAPOR to the atmosphere. Look at the history of Phoenix, e.g. It seems to me that, in a qualitative sense, whatever effects are produced by additional water vapor will also be produced by additional CO2 (more “radiation trapping”). And I think you will find that the addition of more HOH will increase the amount of heat retained by the atmosphere overnight, but not the temperature. I keep going back to my question about why it is hotter in July at low elevations in the Desert Southwest than it is in the soggy Southeast. (Go ahead and snip the last 2 sentences, if you like).

  298. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 11:54 AM | Permalink

    Plotting a linear trend on a rate of change implies an exponential decrease in emissions.

    True, but that’s not what you said in your previous post. And if you don’t think that linear regression models of past climate trends of temperature and other metrics are being used, you’re not paying attention. The Workshop on Reconciling Vertical Temperature Trends held in 2003 in Asheville (unfortunately, the ppt presentations from the conference don’t seem to be available online anymore) had several presentations on the use and misuse of linear regression for determining long term trends.

  299. Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 11:56 AM | Permalink

    Anthony’s site got airtime on RC:


    That 60 stations is again mentioned. ( http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1764#comment-116379 ) . Should be easy to check, no ?

  300. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 12:22 PM | Permalink

    Re: #297

    See here: http://climatesci.colorado.edu/publications/pdf/R-290.pdf

    As far as I am concerned that is a complete answer to your question.

    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 12:38 PM | Permalink

    Re 254 McIntyre and related

    You suggested “posting citations to the best explanations of how AGW occurs in terms of radiation physics – not explanations of the greenhouse effect, but explanations of how additional CO2 causes ‘€”“

    A few people (mostly me on this blog) are concerned that the Schwartzschild formalism used in climate models might not demonstrate the proper dependence of GH effect on GH gas concentration. Will this be up for discussion at some stage?

    BTW, I do applaud the effort to hold threads to a high standard, as distinct from an agenda (even as I cannot resist the urge to violate it on occasion).

  302. jae
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 12:59 PM | Permalink

    299, DeWitt: Thanks for that article. That is just what I’m trying to get at. Most people are using the wrong metric for evaluating “global warming.” Are we seeing an increase in the “effective temperature,” and if so, how much? Isn’t that the key issue? Where are the studies on this, and why does everyone dwell simply on T?

  303. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 3:59 PM | Permalink

    I would trace this all back to the question if the measurements are a) accurate b) out of the margin of error if they are accurate. There are a lot of factors that go into that of course.

    Then we can get into things such as what is the total net forcing effect of everything in the system after removing noise and feedbacks, and correlating it to the temperatures. That’s the tricky part! 🙂 Good proxies, good models, and such can help. If there are any…. 😀

  304. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 4:24 PM | Permalink

    Re: 301

    …why does everyone dwell simply on T?

    Good question. I think Roger Pielke, Sr. would like to know the answer as well.

  305. John Baltutis
    Posted Jul 2, 2007 at 8:20 PM | Permalink

    Nice piece from Dr. Gray

    When Is A Prediction Not A Prediction?

  306. David Smith
    Posted Jul 3, 2007 at 2:23 AM | Permalink

    BBC story

    Posted Jul 3, 2007 at 3:14 AM | Permalink

    #305 David! Finished Moonin…I mean Mooney??
    TIFTSD…BBC about a poll made in the UK I guess
    about scepticism to climate alarmism…
    Sir David Read says “People should not be mislead
    by those that exploit the complexity of the issue,
    seeking to distort the science” BBC News quote
    of Sir David of Royal Society…I would of course
    not count most of CA readers/contributors into
    that category we try to explain the complexity…
    History has learned us that…you know what I
    think of simplification for the masses…After
    all the Ipsos Mori poll was June 14-20 and one
    of the things that was considered to be worse
    than climate change was dog mess…Compare
    Anthony Watts revealing of US weather station sites…
    BTW David Smith! What do you think of the 1995
    mid January Mediterranean hurricane winds event?
    Polar low at its southern limits (hopefully)or
    subtropical storm or mix or neither??

  308. Posted Jul 3, 2007 at 3:29 AM | Permalink

    In CiF, in todays Guardian, George Monbiot’s hands are shaking…

  309. Hans Erren
    Posted Jul 3, 2007 at 3:46 AM | Permalink

    If he really thinks global warming is that dramatic, he should

    opt for the McKitrick tax
    be a strong advocate of nuclear energy
    bring jobs to the people and not people to the jobs.

    changing a light bulb doesn’t help.

  310. David Smith
    Posted Jul 3, 2007 at 5:17 AM | Permalink

    Re #307 Staffan, I’m entering 2005 in Mooney’s book and hope to finish it on the US Independence holiday.

    The poll, which I assume was British, reports that most people consider dog poop a bigger problem than global warming. That surprises me (assuming that British dogs have normal bowels) and probably tempts Monckton, Hansen, Al Gore etc to make even more dramatic claims.

    I believe that Emanuel wrote a paper on the Mediterranean storms, which I have not read, but will do. The storms have probably been around for a long time but attracted little attention until satellite images came along.

  311. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Jul 3, 2007 at 7:46 AM | Permalink

    BTW, I notice that somehow a new comment was posted to Unthreaded #12 even though it’s closed. How was that possible? Does it mean that closing the thread merely prevents the reply box from being displayed but would still allow someone to send a message to the server that it would treat as legit? That is probably not a good idea.

  312. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 3, 2007 at 9:43 AM | Permalink

    Hello, folks. Back from a few days at the lake. I suppose I could connect internet but haven’t. The tide of comments takes a while to read; people seem to have been on pretty good behavior.

  313. Bob KC
    Posted Jul 3, 2007 at 10:26 AM | Permalink

    Steve M.,

    I hope you enjoyed the time off. In case you haven’t seen it yet, there’s a comment here that you may want to respond to.

  314. Bob Koss
    Posted Jul 3, 2007 at 12:51 PM | Permalink

    Here’s a Discover interview with Henrik Svensmark about his cosmic ray work.

  315. Mike Rankin
    Posted Jul 3, 2007 at 3:54 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for the link to the interview with Henrik Svensmark. I can’t comment on the science side but this research approach of examining the largest (by orders of magnitude) energy input to our planet for “minor” side effects appeals to an old engineer.

  316. David Smith
    Posted Jul 3, 2007 at 7:25 PM | Permalink

    June, 2007 satellite-derived global temperatures are in.

    For the lower troposphere, RSS shows June as the 9’th warmest of the last 29 years while UAH shows the month as the 5’th warmest.

    The tropical lower troposphere temperatures are actually below the 29-year average for the third month in a row. Note that we’re still in an ENSO-neutral state. If La Nina kicks in then the anomalies should lower even further.

    Surface temperatures from NCEP reanalysis (initial version) are also in and show June as the 4’th warmest.

  317. mccall
    Posted Jul 3, 2007 at 9:04 PM | Permalink

    re: 315
    I’m not sure VP Gore would call this “science” — according to his latest tome, this would be pseudo-science.

  318. Chris Kaiser
    Posted Jul 3, 2007 at 11:05 PM | Permalink

    Not sure what to think of this link to, “A History of CO2 Gas Analysis of Air by Chemical Methods.” Anyone care to comment on the quality of his report?

  319. Chris Kaiser
    Posted Jul 3, 2007 at 11:06 PM | Permalink

    OOps, link from 318 didn’t take. Here it is:


  320. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 4, 2007 at 6:36 AM | Permalink

    #275. Boris, again, I repeat that it is ludicrous that you cannot provide a reference other than Plass 1956 for how increased CO2 leads to specific temperature increases. I agree that technically you “never claimed to have a best ref.” It is beyond ridiculous that IPCC hasn’t addressed the topic. Prior to the scoping of AR4, as I think that I’ve mentioned previously, I suggested to Mike MacCracken that AR4 include a clear exposition of the topic, but Susan Solomon apparently refused.

  321. David Smith
    Posted Jul 4, 2007 at 7:31 AM | Permalink

    A plot of the RSS global lower troposphere temperature anomaly is here .

    The plot covers the last seven and one-half years (since January, 2000), beginning in a major La Nina (cool) episode.

    We’re currently in ENSO-neutral conditions. If we progress into a La Nina (cool) event then the global temperature anomaly will likely drop further.

    Posted Jul 4, 2007 at 7:49 AM | Permalink

    #319 Chris! Happy Independence Day if youⳲe American,
    if not, never mind. Here in tepid Sweden we celebrate
    July 4 with Coke and home-made burgers and youghurt
    ice-cream…Topic: Beck is considered to be a worse
    interpreter of statistics than Al Gore on Real Climate
    so therefore he must be accurate…Irony apart. You
    can read it there if you dare…Is it just a coincidence
    my computer gets very slow after I⳶e been there RC I mean
    Are they loading some climate-prediction.org-nice-little-
    that is your hard drive will warm that much in 40 seconds
    …Enough of nasty thinking…

  323. Boris
    Posted Jul 4, 2007 at 9:10 AM | Permalink

    It’s not beyond ridiculous, Steve. There is no debate in this area.

    What you are probably looking for is a good textbook.

  324. KevinUK
    Posted Jul 4, 2007 at 9:14 AM | Permalink

    #314 BK

    Thanks for the link. I very interesting interview. My respect for the Danish nation has now increaed even higher (it was already at a high level before). It looks like I’m nopw going to have to drink even more Carlsberg lager, armed now (thanks to your link) with the knowledge that some of the proceeds with find there way to funding Svensmark’s ‘real’ science i.e. real experiments rather than GCM predictions. Perhaps this is ‘probably the best climate research in the world’?

    #320 Steve M

    Why on earth would the IPCC want to educate ‘joe public’ about the enhanced greenhouse effect? After they would have inevitably had to inform them that 90+ % of the greenhouse gas effect (without which we’d all most likely be dead with the exception of those living in underground caves near volcanoes) is due to water vapour and less than 5% due to that evil man-made pollutant CO2 then ‘joe public’ might smell a rat and start asking questions about all those green taxes we are paying inorder to save the planet from catastrophic global warming.

  325. Stan Palmer
    Posted Jul 4, 2007 at 9:35 AM | Permalink

    Accounts of the upcoming concert concerning global warming include descriptions of crticism from some quarters such as “Private jets for global warming”. Proposnets of the concert counter that there will be carbon offsets arranged to make the concert carbon-neutral.

    There is a fiite area on the planet for forests and other carbon sinks. It would seem to me that carbon offsets are a finite and not a renewable resource. So the carbon offsets arranged for the upcoming concert have consumed a portion of a finite resource and prevented it from being used for other purposes.

    The same could be said about people who rationalize their ownership of large homes and large energy use to support them by the purchasing of carbon offsets.

    Does this analysis bear scrutiny?

  326. Bob Koss
    Posted Jul 4, 2007 at 9:41 AM | Permalink

    I think you have to say skaal before drinking Carlsberg.;-)

  327. KevinUK
    Posted Jul 4, 2007 at 10:11 AM | Permalink

    #326 BK

    Looks like any Scandinavian brew will do, not just Carlsberg?


    Now as an avid Liverpool FC supporter, my favourite Dane should be Jan Molby but in fcat my favourite Dane is in fact Niels Bohr. Niels Bohr is my favourite Dane because like him I am a physicist (by education) and without him we probably wouldn’t be having conversations on this blog about the enhanced greenhouse effect. I wonder, if he were still alive today, what he would think of the catastrophic global warming which we are all about to suffer?

  328. GMF
    Posted Jul 4, 2007 at 11:57 AM | Permalink

    #325 Re the Brain-Dead Earth Concerts, does anyone else agree with me that they represent another example of the eco-hypocrisy of Greenhouse proponents.

    The concerts are supposed to “raise awareness” of global warming but how much more awareness can you get? This is an example of publicity saturation (also known as hyperbole saturation) where a topic is shoved down people throats from every media outlet in the world.

    These concerts are not to be confused with Live-Aid where the concerts raised money to deal with problem. Here the concerts will raise greenhouse gases – supposedly the most toxic, planet destroying stuff in the universe. And this is ok – cause they will offset the carbon produced? Huh ? How will they offset the carbon produced by people traveling to the concerts, people watching the concerts ? And why offset the production of carbon when you could really do something consistent with your “beliefs” and not produce the carbon dioxide.

    I guess the advantage of being a hypocrite is you never realize how stupid and inconsistent your behavior looks to everyone else in the world.

    I know that Al Gore is not a very smart person, but is his grip on reality this tenuous?

  329. a
    Posted Jul 4, 2007 at 1:43 PM | Permalink

    #9 how completely ludicrous …. this is “unthreaded”. I don’t get what your problem is …

    Posted Jul 4, 2007 at 1:52 PM | Permalink

    The discussion is fascinating. Some concepts left out are as follows.

    Temperature is only defined for a system at equilbrium. This is vital because there are various modes in which energy is held ‘€” translation, vibration, rotation, and radiation, and only at equlibrium when there is no exchange can we be sure they are in balance. Solids have even more modes.

    Steady state — a pot steadily boiling on the stove — is not equlibrium.

    If you turn an IR absorbing molecule loose inside a heated black cavity (otherwise filled with non absorbers) ‘€” the classical way to realize a black body ‘€” it will absorb a few quanta, then come to equlibrium, meaning it absorbs and emits the same number of quanta per unit time.

    Now imagine the heated cavity with some small holes in it so we can shine light beams around. If we irradiate the IR molecule, the beam of light passing through the cavity will show absorption at the characteristic wavelength of the molecule. But if we look transverse to the beam, we will see our molecule happily radiating away, again at its characteristic wavelengths.

    Depending on what other molecules are present, we can see reduced reradiation by our molecule as it loses its energy to other modes, say translation or rotation, and as we increase the pressure inside the cavity, we will see our molecule glow less and less brightly as other modes interfere.

    One way to think about what an IR absorber does, is that it couples the radiation field and the mechanical modes, and helps correct imbalances in the temperatures of the subsystems.

  331. a
    Posted Jul 4, 2007 at 1:55 PM | Permalink

    Temperature (tem-per-uh-cher) OH KNOW! Its thermodynamics AND it’s 4 syllables. Apparently one can only beat their chest (intellectually speaking) about statistics on this site. Heaven forbid you mention thermodynamics when talking about temperature …. uhh what??

  332. KevinUK
    Posted Jul 4, 2007 at 2:07 PM | Permalink

    #326 BK

    Skaal, just so you know that I’m sitting here at my desk helping to fund Henrik Svensmark’s latest experiment (drinking a nice cool bottle of carlsberg export). Beats carbon offsetting anyday – just doing my bit to save the planet honest!

  333. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Jul 4, 2007 at 3:48 PM | Permalink

    Re: #329

    #9 how completely ludicrous …

    Not really. Steve M’s expertise is in statistics not thermodynamics. The main thrust of the blog is auditing of measures and proxies for statistical rigor and significance, not enhanced greenhouse theory in detail. If you don’t like this you can stop wasting bandwidth here as in #330 and go elsewhere.

  334. Ian
    Posted Jul 4, 2007 at 4:12 PM | Permalink

    Hi, while the discussion is being abused, could I ask an important (for me) question of any brights reading. What level (ppmv plse) upto what height (mtrs plse) is co2 required to be to achieve 100% absorption of all the infrared available to it
    a) sans water vapour (dry air)
    b) average (say 2% by volume) humidity
    all other factors as for average climate
    Verifiable answers only please, I’m answerable to a badly educated judge who demands proof that jesus didn’t exist.

    My guess? Around 200 up to 10 metres.

    Note for Steve, if you move this could you mail me a link, I can only get here 3 or 4 times a week and the keyboard imprint is beginning to show on my forehead. This is a busy forum and not so well indexed. How do you keep up?

    Kill a plant, take away its co2 supply

  335. Posted Jul 4, 2007 at 4:21 PM | Permalink

    A notice which appeared in our local newspaper today.


    A network of “Groups Taking Action against Climate Change”. All are welcome at our meeting today, Wednesday July 4th, 7.30pm at the Foundation of the Blind Rooms, 131 Vivian Street, New Plymouth.

  336. Philip B
    Posted Jul 4, 2007 at 4:59 PM | Permalink

    Australia has coldest June on record.


    And I’ll note this is without a La Nina.

  337. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Jul 4, 2007 at 6:02 PM | Permalink

    Re: #333

    Disclaimer: I am pointing to resources on the web, not discussing details of said resources or intending to initiate or reply to comments on those resources.

    Ian, this really isn’t the site for that sort of question. First, the owner of the blog doesn’t want it discussed at present. Second, and probably the justification for the first reason, it’s not at all clear that anyone (with the possible exception of Hans Erren) who posts here, myself included, has the credentials to give you a good answer or if they do, have the time to moderate a thread. I suggest you read the two related articles and the comments at RealClimate here and here. Then, when you have an understanding of what they are saying, go play on the ModTran calculator here calculating emission spectra looking up and down at different altitudes, temperatures and CO2 concentrations. You might then be able to answer your own question. An understanding of Physical Meteorology is also useful.

  338. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Jul 4, 2007 at 8:42 PM | Permalink

    re: #336 DeWitt,

    While you may be right on all counts, Ian’s question has an easy answer. There is no circumstances where CO2 can absorb all IR available to it at all frequencies (or actually at any frequency). A very high %, yes. But not all.

  339. Ian
    Posted Jul 4, 2007 at 9:58 PM | Permalink

    Re: #336 Yes, yes and yes, but I also know you guys don’t fob people off with a pat answer. And you didn’t My thanks.

  340. Hans Erren
    Posted Jul 5, 2007 at 4:09 AM | Permalink

    I am flattered 😀

  341. Hans Erren
    Posted Jul 5, 2007 at 4:20 AM | Permalink

    Check Lubos’ thread

    At 11% CO2 (pCO2 0.11 atm) for a 10 meter column you get 90% saturation in the 7 micron wavelength.

  342. Hans Erren
    Posted Jul 5, 2007 at 5:20 AM | Permalink

    Sorry that was a sloppy statement:
    900 atm m means:
    At 11% CO2 (pCO2 0.11 atm) for a column of the height of the earth’s atmosphere you’ll get 90% saturation in the 7 micron wavelength.
    In the high pressure Venus atmosphere for a just a 10 meter column you’ll get 90% saturation in the 7 micron wavelength.

  343. Boris
    Posted Jul 5, 2007 at 5:54 AM | Permalink

    Why on earth would the IPCC want to educate joe public’ about the enhanced greenhouse effect? After they would have inevitably had to inform them that 90+ % of the greenhouse gas effect (without which we’d all most likely be dead with the exception of those living in underground caves near volcanoes) is due to water vapour and less than 5% due to that evil man-made pollutant CO2 then joe public’ might smell a rat and start asking questions about all those green taxes we are paying inorder to save the planet from catastrophic global warming.

    Hmmmm….Why on Earth would the IPCC “educate” “joe public” with the wrong numbers?

  344. KevinUK
    Posted Jul 5, 2007 at 6:26 AM | Permalink

    #335 PB

    Clearly some needs to tell Dr Mann that there is a teleconnection between the weather in the UK at present and the weather in North Australia.

  345. KevinUK
    Posted Jul 5, 2007 at 6:42 AM | Permalink

    #341 Boris

    I think you need to read some more of the threads on this blog (and others) to find the answer to your question. When you are at the vanguard of a trillion dollar industry (as the climate change industry is) then it doesn’t pay to spend too much time discussing the fundamentals of the science that underpins your industry. Better to claim that you’re 90% certain that the ‘science is settled’ and the evidence unequivocal than to admit that the evidence (uncertain proxy reconstructions, UHI polluted instrumented temperature records, tuned GCM predictions) on which your funding depends is dodgy. God forbid (as the Royal Society seems to think) that you could allow any consideration of alternatives theory to your pet theory on which your entire existence is based.

  346. David Smith
    Posted Jul 5, 2007 at 10:08 AM | Permalink

    The up-to-date June NSIDC sea ice index (extent) plots for the Arctic and Antarctic are here and here .

    The Arctic ice extent is at about the average of the last seven years. June is an important month for Arctic ice, as sunlight is at its maximum.

    The full NSIDC website is here .

  347. Reference
    Posted Jul 5, 2007 at 10:26 AM | Permalink

    David Smith #344

    The slope of the Southern Hemisphere ice extent anomalies is reported by the NISDC as 0.6 +/- 1.4% per decade. What is the physical significance of a value that lies within its error boundaries?

  348. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Jul 5, 2007 at 10:33 AM | Permalink

    Re#344, any idea how this S.H. expansion jibes with AGW theory and GCMs?

  349. Bill F
    Posted Jul 5, 2007 at 10:53 AM | Permalink


    It jibes very well with Svensmark’s proposed polar oscillation where ice increases at one pole while it decreases at the other…

  350. D. Patterson
    Posted Jul 5, 2007 at 10:58 AM | Permalink

    Re: 173. Such measurements and observations are already being accomplished by regularly scheduled rawindsonde balloon soundings of the atmosphere.

  351. JP
    Posted Jul 5, 2007 at 12:07 PM | Permalink

    The surface temp plot sure is curious. The erratic weather all across the globe and its attendent press coverage could be masking a definite cool trend. The Southern Hemisphere appears to be having thier second cold winter in a row. Both this year and last, South Africa is getting snow, Austrailia appears downright frigid, and up here in the Western Great Lakes, we are seeing a “cold drought”. The southern branch of the polar jet continues to bring dry, cool air masses our way, which in turn have forced most of the spring and early summer storms to stay over the Southern Plains and Lower Mississippi Valley.

    Despite cooling in the Pacific, the Atlantic remains hot -Southern Europe’s blistering heat attests to this. The main concern is a continued cooling Pacific that goes beyond a typical La Nina episode. Three months isn’t enough to make any kind of estimation, but it is a little unnerving to see such continued cooling of the SH, and an almost neutral Tropics. I thought the experts forecated continued warming of the Tropics and in particular the Pacific.

  352. David Smith
    Posted Jul 5, 2007 at 12:21 PM | Permalink

    Re #345 None.

    It would be nice to calculate an annual average for Antarctica, rather than look at individual months, and see whether a significant trend exists.

  353. David Smith
    Posted Jul 5, 2007 at 12:59 PM | Permalink

    Re #349 JP, another oddity in recent weeks has been the weakness of the ITCZ (where the Northern and Southern hemisphere winds meet and clusters of thunderstorms travel). Usually the North Atlantic and North Pacific ITCZs are bubbling with thunderstorms at this time of year, but currently they’re almost dormant. Dust may be part of the Atlantic answer but it’s not all of it. A few days ago I saw a 41F surface temperature in Australia at 17 south latitude, only 300 feet above sea level. That seems mighty low.

    It’s weather, not climate, but it is remarkable.

  354. fFreddy
    Posted Jul 5, 2007 at 2:21 PM | Permalink

    Global warming in London this week.

  355. fFreddy
    Posted Jul 5, 2007 at 2:27 PM | Permalink

    P.S., that’s grass covered with hail …

  356. Boris
    Posted Jul 5, 2007 at 2:47 PM | Permalink


    No amount of reading blogs will change the fact that your numbers on %ages of GH contribution are flat out wrong. CO2 is 12%.

  357. JP
    Posted Jul 5, 2007 at 8:37 PM | Permalink


    The calm “near equatorial trough” (ITCZ) is really strange. When I worked at the JTWC 1985-1987, this time of year is where we really earned our money. Normally, a new Tropical Depression would spurn every 36-72 hours, a new Tropical Storm every 4-5 days, and we normally would be tracking a new typhonn twice a week. The fact that both sides of the globe are seeing repressed deep convection is weird along the tropical ITCZ is weird.

    As far as dust being blown into the North Atlantic, I was always taught to look at African Winter heat, in order to get a glimpse at futre North Atlantic Hurricanes. Excessive hot tropical Winter Air masses over North Africa usually translate into frequent low level “eastery waves”, which in turn provide the Central Atlantic with enough engergy to spur deep convection to spur tropical depressions. This has not happened thus far.

  358. David Smith
    Posted Jul 5, 2007 at 9:10 PM | Permalink

    On a somewhat different topic, I compared surface and satellite temperature patterns for the last ten years. The result, plus a few comments, are at the CA auditblog .

    I was surprised to see a pattern, as I expected to see just measurement noise.

    When I extend the plot back to 1980 we may get to see the impact, if any, of a major volcano and a volcano/El Nino overlap on the record.

  359. David Smith
    Posted Jul 5, 2007 at 9:24 PM | Permalink

    Re #355 Yesterday there was a weak tropical storm near China/Vietnam, which was the first in a while. Meanwhile, the Indian Ocean is off to a fast start, almost like the Indian Ocean used to do prior to the 1976 climate shift. The Atlantic is as dead as it can get at this time of year.

    By the way, for anyone interested in a global tropical cyclone website, I recommend this one . Good source for satellite images and bulletins for the far stretches of the globe.

  360. Reference
    Posted Jul 6, 2007 at 12:52 AM | Permalink

    Ancient DNA reveals Greenland’s warm past

    July 5, 2007 – Edmonton – A team of international researchers has collected the oldest samples of DNA ever recovered and used them to show Greenland was much warmer during the last Ice Age than previously believed.

    The ancient DNA was discovered at the bottom of a two-kilometer-thick ice sheet and comes from the trees, plants and insects of a boreal forest estimated to be between 450,000 and 800,000 years old. Previously, the youngest evidence of a boreal forest in Greenland was from 2.4 million years ago.

    The results findings appear today in the journal Science.

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