Dr. Roy Spencer evaporates Tamino’s critique

Dr. Roy W. Spencer replies to “Tamino”‘s latest angry missive. As one commenter in my email list put it:

It is absolutely hilarious that Tamino’s lengthy, time-consuming, chest-puffing critique can be so comprehensively dismissed in a mere two sentences.

Here is what Dr. Spencer posted on his web page:

October 8, 2008: A Brief Comment on “Spencer’s Folly”

For anyone who has stumbled across a rather condescending critique of our latest research on feedback by someone who calls himself “Tamino”, I can only say that Tamino could have saved himself a lot of trouble if he would have noticed that all of my feedback work addresses TIME-VARYING radiative forcing (as occurs during natural climate variability), not CONSTANT radiative forcing (as is approximately the case with global warming). Tamino’s analytical solution does not exist in the time-varying case, and so his holier-than-thou critique is irrelevant to what I have presented.

Here is the original Spencer essay in PDF form, hosted on Roger Pielke’s website.

On the other hand, here is a recently published paper on climate sensitivity (PDF) that says the opposite. I’ll let the reader decide how well it defines the climate sensitivity, but I would note that since it uses GISTEMP data, which has a number of data problems that we’ve uncovered, for example here and here, the sensitivity may be overrated due to inflated trends in the GISTEMP database.

In the meantime, if you feel like supporting Dr. Spencer’s work, head on down to Barnes and Noble and get his latest book:


Spencer’s new book “Climate Confusion” is
now available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

(See book covers, and first page of each chapter.)

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135 Responses to Dr. Roy Spencer evaporates Tamino’s critique

  1. Henry Galt says:

    How wonderful. After the disgusting treatment handed out to him in Washington earlier in the year he deserves a break as much as tamino thoroughly deserves the opposite.

    I rarely get angry but whenever someone dismisses Roy’s work is one of those times. To be told “well he would say that, he has a book out dontcha know” when I offer his scientific opinion to warmers is second only to being told that someone has been “bought by big oil” in my book.

    Is there a list anywhere of climate scientists that agree with the IPCC’s agenda? Not physicists, economists, literature majors etc or anyone associated with known partisan publications or societies, but at least chemists and preferably directly related to earth sciences such as meteorologists and paleoclimatologists.

  2. Gary Gulrud says:

    Hansen’s Bulldog gums another biscuit and proclaims he’s eviscerated a Lion of Skepticism!

    Scurry about in fear, Denialists!

  3. Jeff Id says:

    Tamino made the same mistake on his Don’t be fooled again post. I don’t think he likes me very much. His open mind blog is anything but.

    He is having a bad couple of months after Ian Jolliffe stepped in and basically smacked him right in the middle of his demonstration of why McIntyre was wrong in his statistics, check open thread #5 and 6 on his blog for Jolliffe comments. Too bad for him.

    I have to add a bit more news to the link which relates to hockey stick temp graphs. I am working toward publishing on this subject but I am letting everyone read it on line as it progresses. Every day I am more confident this work will eventually debunk nearly every hockey stick temp curve.

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2008/10/08/id-goes-mythbuster-on-hockey-sticks-cps/

  4. Pieter F says:

    The “opposite view” (Foster, et al 2008) was co-authored by Michael Mann and referenced James Hansen in critical areas. Those associations alone should raise concerns of accuracy and integrity. It seems there is too much effort in support a political position rather than enlighten as to the truth.

  5. David Walton says:

    So, not only is the anonymous and pleonastic “Tamino” [snip] ?

    I am not surprised, what else would one expect from someone who calls their blog “Open Mind”?

    Anthony, some of the best comedy is entirely unintentional. Thanks for the laugh!

  6. JamesG says:

    Not sure why you linked to the comment_on_schwartz. Schwartz himself has revised his sensitivity upwards since then and the first author of that paper is Tamino anyway, so we know just how good the stats are.

  7. JimB says:

    “To be told “well he would say that, he has a book out dontcha know”…

    This ALWAYS makes me chuckle, and my reply is always “Yes…as opposed to a movie.”, which some people I’m having that discussion with get, and some don’t.
    It’s the ultimate in hypocracy…Gore does everything he can to make money…but someone who disputes the science (or lack there of) in a book is automatically discounted?

    You just can’t make this up…

    JimB

  8. Steven Hill says:

    Where are the Global Temp. numbers for September?

  9. Ed Scott says:

    Henry Galt (11:10:40) :
    Here is a list of deniers that do not agree with the IPCC agenda.

    Open Letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations

    December 13, 2007

    His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon
    Secretary-General, United Nations
    New York, NY
    United States of America

    Dear Mr. Secretary-General,

    Re: UN climate conference taking the World in entirely the wrong direction

    It is not possible to stop climate change, a natural phenomenon that has affected humanity through the ages. Geological, archaeological, oral and written histories all attest to the dramatic challenges posed to past societies from unanticipated changes in temperature, precipitation, winds and other climatic variables. We therefore need to equip nations to become resilient to the full range of these natural phenomena by promoting economic growth and wealth generation.

    The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued increasingly alarming conclusions about the climatic influences of human-produced carbon dioxide (CO2), a non-polluting gas that is essential to plant photosynthesis. While we understand the evidence that has led them to view CO2 emissions as harmful, the IPCC’s conclusions are quite inadequate as justification for implementing policies that will markedly diminish future prosperity. In particular, it is not established that it is possible to significantly alter global climate through cuts in human greenhouse gas emissions. On top of which, because attempts to cut emissions will slow development, the current UN approach of CO2 reduction is likely to increase human suffering from future climate change rather than to decrease it.

    Continue reading at http://www.nrsp.com/articles/07.12.13-open%20letter%20to%20the%20un%20secretary%20general.html

    Independent scientists, engineers and economists active in research of climate-related areas who signed the open letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations
    http://www.nrsp.com/articles/07.12.13-open%20letter%20signatories-independent%20experts.html

    Other professional persons knowledgeable about climate change who expressed support for the open letter to the UN Secretary-General
    http://www.nrsp.com/articles/07.12.13-open%20letter%20signatories-other%20professionals.html

  10. Ed Reid says:

    I object in principle to references to “GISS data” and the “GISS database”.

    It appears to me that GISS “data” is, in fact, a modified number set which is alleged to represent what the GISS data shoulda/coulda/woulda looked like if it had been taken timely from properly sited and calibrated instruments.

    To my way of thinking, “data” ceases to be data once it has been “massaged”, “adjusted”, “corrected”, “backfilled”, etc. Retrospective revisions don’t magically make the number set “data” again.

    I would have been fired for manipulating data before presenting it to my management. I would not have had the opportunity to go back and re-revise it.

  11. Robert Wood says:

    Lucia has a graph up already.

  12. Richard deSousa says:

    GISS is Hansen’s playbook… full of data from out of specification surface stations and manipulations by him and totally useless.

  13. Ed Scott says:

    Henry Galt (11:10:40) :
    Here are the authors and reviewers for the IPCC report. The number is less than the 2,500 previously advertised.

    IPCC Technical Paper VI
    Climate Change and Water

    List of Authors: http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/technical-papers/ccw/appendix4.pdf

    List of Reviewers: http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/technical-papers/ccw/appendix5.pdf

  14. Mike Bryant says:

    Ed Reid,
    Well if it isn’t data, perhaps we can think of a few better short words to use instead, maybe GISS stuff, or GISS things, or simply GISS numbers… I like the last one. Anyone else have suggestions? Try to keep ‘em clean.
    Mike

  15. AnonyMoose says:

    Lucia has a graph up already.

    http://lucia// not found.

  16. Joel Shore says:

    I don’t really see how Spencer’s response “evaporates” Tamino’s critique. It gives a possible criticism which shows that Tamino’s analog is imperfect and shows why Tamino’s approach to get the correct feedback parameter might be difficult from the actual data in question (i.e., due to radiative forcings that vary on shorter timescales)…but it does not necessarily show that he is wrong on the basic point that he made. In other words, it is the start of an argument…but hardly the end.

    It will be interesting to see either or both Spencer or Tamino flesh this out further.

  17. Louis Hissink says:

    Well, there is a God after all. :-)

  18. trevor says:

    What do the following have in common?

    Open Mind
    Real Climate
    Fair and Balanced

  19. trevor says:

    Also, this very interesting piece http://climatesci.org/2008/10/02/an-essay-the-ipcc-report-what-the-lead-authors-really-think/ doesn’t seem to have caught the attention that it deserves yet.

  20. Dodgy Geezer says:

    “Also, this very interesting piece …. doesn’t seem to have caught the attention that it deserves yet.”

    The piece is most interesting for what it doesn’t say. The hockey-stick maths passed through the IPCC process unchallenged, and later turned out to be deeply flawed. Steve has already said that if he were a senior IPCC functionary, he would be pressing for an audit and checking process, so that no more bad science got through and embarrassed him. But this major elephant in the room is studiously ignored. You would think it deserved some mention….

  21. Ed Scott says:

    Mike Bryant (13:51:18) :
    A misspelling of GUESS?

  22. You go Dr. Spencer!! I’ll be purchasing the book for sure…

    http://www.cookevilleweatherguy.com

  23. Bob Tisdale says:

    Open Mind, Insert Foot.

  24. Mike Borgelt says:

    trevor,

    Interesting indeed when you separate the bafflegab from the nuggets. Bafflegab is what I expect from someone who is clearly a “political” “scientist” whose job clearly depends on maintaining the con.

  25. David Walton says:

    Re: “It will be interesting to see either or both Spencer or Tamino flesh this out further.”

    What more flesh is required? Spencer makes a reasonable argument about dynamic (time-varying) forcing and modeling. “Tamino” attacks it with an irrelevant static analysis. This is akin Tamino to saying Spencer is wrong because John Fogerty wrote “Born On The Bayou”.

    In any case, I find it fairly difficult to take seriously anything some completely anonymous blogger writes. If Tamino lacks the professionalism (or courage) to put his name and identity to his words, why bother reading them? With the exception of Tamino’s three “Spencer’s Folly” posts, which I have already read, I won’t bother.

  26. Gary Hladik says:

    trevor,

    I was floored by the next-to-last bullet under “Climate change research topics identified for immediate action”: “Reducing climate sensitivity”

    Is this supposed to be “reducing uncertainty in climate sensitivity”, or is someone actually questioning the IPCC’s climate sensitivity estimates?

    Or something else?

  27. DR says:

    Note that Spencer’s work is based on observational evidence whereas Hansen et al is still parameterization of climate models.

  28. Mike Bryant says:

    Sure… UAH, RSS and the GISS GUESS…

  29. Joel Shore says:

    David Walton says:

    What more flesh is required? Spencer makes a reasonable argument about dynamic (time-varying) forcing and modeling. “Tamino” attacks it with an irrelevant static analysis. This is akin Tamino to saying Spencer is wrong because John Fogerty wrote “Born On The Bayou”.

    Or another analogy might be that you (analog of Tamino) calculate the trajectory of a projectile and I (analog of Spencer) point out that it is incorrect because you have failed to include relativistic effects, which is technically true but practically irrelevant. I am not convinced that Spencer’s criticism is as irrelevant as mine in the analogy that I make…but I am not yet convinced that it isn’t.

    To me, it does seem that one has to consider the nature of the processes at different timescales…and Spencer might be correct that the fact that the forcing is varying on a shorter timescale is important. However, Tamino is probably correct that you also have to worry about the timescales for the feedback and, in particular, if you are looking over timescales short compared to the timescales over which the feedback processes operate.

    DR says:

    Note that Spencer’s work is based on observational evidence whereas Hansen et al is still parameterization of climate models.

    Actually, if you have read much of Hansen’s work, you would know that he argues that the best evidence for what the climate sensitivity actually is comes from looking at the estimated forcing and resulting temperature response between the current climate and the last glacial maximum (LGM). So, in fact, Hansen also believes the strongest conclusions come from obervational evidence.

    Of course, with observational evidence, there is always the possibility that the observations are wrong or that they are being misinterpreted. However, this holds for the observational data and interpretation of Spencer as well as that of Hansen.

  30. DR says:

    Joel Shore

    A GCM is a hypothesis and cannot be used to prove anything.

  31. FatBigot says:

    Mr Walton said (15:59:36) :
    “… I find it fairly difficult to take seriously anything some completely anonymous blogger writes.”

    Quite right too, dreadful people, they should be banned !

    Or not.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, whether something written is right or wrong can only be determined by analysing the substance of what is written. That the writer might have an ulterior motive is neither here nor there, many a true statement has been made by a deceitful crook, you just have to take the time to weigh the statement rather than concentrating on the author. Anonymity is similarly irrelevant, for example Middlemarch is a great novel and would be exactly the same great novel had the author used her real name.

    Some anonymous contributors add nothing of substance, but enough about me.

  32. Henry Galt says:

    Ed Scott

    Thanks for the lists. I have been sifting those for a while. The majority on both are “out of their field” or “retired” or “in the pay of big oil” or … well, you get my drift.

    What I would like to gather is a list of scientists whose scientific credentials and focus are on climatology and/or related subjects who have come down on our side of the fence.

    I am getting fed up of quoting, for example-

    Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu B.S. and a M.S. in geophysics at Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan. Ph.D in geophysics at The University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA. Author: Is the Earth still recovering from the “Little Ice Age”? Director of the Geophysical Institute from 1986 until 1999, during which time the Alaska Volcano Observatory was established and Poker Flat Research Range was modernized. He went on to become the first director of the International Arctic Research Center (IARC) upon its establishment in 1998, and remained in that position until 2007. The same year, the building which houses IARC was named in his honour.

    “Certainly, global warming is in progress. However, in spite of their claim, not even the [IPCC] presents definite scientific proof that “most” of the present warming is caused by the greenhouse effect, as stated in their summary report. It is simply an assumption. Since the physics of the greenhouse effect of CO2 is well known, and since they thought that no other forcing function is likely to be the cause, the IPCC hypothesized that the warming from about 1900 was caused by it. They assembled a large number of scientists, mostly meteorologists and physicists (not necessarily climatologists who are really needed in climate research) and tried to prove their hypothesis based on supercomputer models. They have continued to do so, in spite of new evidence from some ice core data, which shows that the temperature rises tend to precede CO2 rises by about 1000 years, suggesting that the hypothesized relationship between the temperature and CO2 is reversed, namely that some of the past temperature rises may be the cause of CO2 rises. It is very unfortunate that the hypothesis has somehow become ‘fact.’”

    To then be told “he is a founder member of the Heartland institute” and “his science is dodgy anyway”.

    It is getting as tiresome as seeing only mention of the unholy trinity of Gore, Hansen and Mann when the opposition are invoked.

    Geophysics is quite acceptable to me as “climate related”.

  33. Mike Bryant says:

    “Of course, with observational evidence, there is always the possibility that the observations are wrong or that they are being misinterpreted. ”

    Absolutely, don’t believe your lying eyes… believe the models.

  34. Bill Illis says:

    I posted the first response on that thread using the global temp data essentially backing up Spencer’s take on the issue from a different angle.

    Tamino then threatened me by talking about my IP address and hence I do not post at or read that site anymore.

  35. Bob S says:

    “In any case, I find it fairly difficult to take seriously anything some completely anonymous blogger writes.”

    I am pretty sure that Watts posted a link to one of Tamino’s papers on this very blog entry…Who do you think Grant Foster is?

  36. Joel Shore says:

    DR says:

    A GCM is a hypothesis and cannot be used to prove anything.

    And, this is related to what I said how exactly?

    Mike Bryant says:

    Absolutely, don’t believe your lying eyes… believe the models.

    But, I didn’t say that, did I? What I actually said is that both Hansen and Spencer have based their climate sensitivity estimates on observational data. But observational data and its interpretation is not foolproof (as is clearly the case here…since they arrive at very different estimates).

    And, as for whether one should believe observational data or models, there is no strict rule that says that one is always right and the other is wrong. As someone who does computational science for a living, it is part of my job to determine in situations where the model and data disagree which is more likely to be correct. And, sometimes I have concluded…correctly, as subsequent investigation has shown…that indeed my modeling is correct and the data…or its interpretation…is wrong. (Other times, of course, I conclude that the data is probably correct and the modeling wrong.) And, I think anybody who works with me would tell you that history has shown that, if anything, I to end to err on the side of not trusting the modeling enough rather than trusting it too much.

  37. kim says:

    Joel (17:08:07) Hansen’s interpretations are more likely to suffer from the Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc fallacy than are Spencer’s, though, and I believe they do.
    ==================================

  38. Joel Shore says:

    I posted the first response on that thread using the global temp data essentially backing up Spencer’s take on the issue from a different angle.

    …And making lots of incorrect statements in the process.

    Tamino then threatened me by talking about my IP address and hence I do not post at or read that site anymore.

    I am not sure why noting that you have the same IP address as someone who posted similar incorrect stuff under a different name constitutes a “threat”.

    (For those who want to read Bill’s comment and Tamino’s reply, it is the first one in this thread: http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/07/28/spencers-folly/ )

  39. kim says:

    Bill (18:30:55) Tamino has been nasty, unfair, and close-minded to me, too, but then, I’ve made jokes about the clear visioned statistician who occasionally sees as through a glass, darkly, like for instance, his rubbish defense of the Piltdown Mann’s Crook’t Hockey Stick. Ian Jolliffe cleaned his clock, wiping the glass quite clearly, with that one.
    ==================================

  40. David Walton says:

    Re: Joel Shore’s “Or another analogy might be that you (analog of Tamino) calculate the trajectory of a projectile and I (analog of Spencer) point out that it is incorrect because you have failed to include relativistic effects”

    Excuse me, but you are putting words in my mouth. Please be so kind as to stay out of my mouth with your irrelevant and specious analogs.

    (By the way, space vessel trajectories — which are merely fancy and exotic projectiles — must include relativistic effects to be accurate.

    It may be convenient for you and Tamino to try and dismiss Spencer’s work as irrelevant and/or impractical but it shows how models are affected dynamic parameters that are not unreasonable.

    Re: Joel Shore’s “Of course, with observational evidence, there is always the possibility that the observations are wrong or that they are being misinterpreted. However, this holds for the observational data and interpretation of Spencer as well as that of Hansen.”

    There is also the possibility that you do not exist. Then again, you may. How many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Yawn.

  41. Henry Galt says:

    Bill Illis, I must sympathise. One of the first jobs I had as a child was shooting vermin at my local farm. The first rule I was taught was to never corner a rat as they then become most dangerous. The second rule was two part; Don’t shoot varmints with the critter gun as it just annoys them, and, don’t do the opposite for obvious reasons.

    “trevor (14:31:53) :
    Also, this very interesting piece http://climatesci.org/2008/10/02/an-essay-the-ipcc-report-what-the-lead-authors-really-think/ doesn’t seem to have caught the attention that it deserves yet.”

    Wonderful. Just the sort of rat poison I am constantly looking for. Thanks. I have a thorn in my side. Well, if it were just me I would live with it but whenever I mention someone and their science this thorn goes scurrying to rc, tamino, exxonsecrets etc to find “the dirt” on them and spread it all over.

    She says some great stuff.

  42. Joel Shore says:

    kim says:

    Hansen’s interpretations are more likely to suffer from the Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc fallacy than are Spencer’s, though, and I believe they do.

    Yeah, like Spencer’s not fishing for observational data and ways to interpret them that support his a priori assumption that climate sensitivity is low? Spencer’s own biases are well-known and his past record with the errors in the UAH satellite data analysis suggest a tendency to make errors that lower the rate of warming (or even falsely show a cooling trend).

    I am not saying that Spencer is dishonest, but simply that all sciences have biases. And, yes, Hansen has biases too. However, the scientific process works in such a way that is difficult for individual scientists’ biases to completely corrupt an entire field. AGW “skeptics” are in the position of having to argue that indeed the biases have corrupted the entire field…and also taken in basically all of the credible scientific organizations and now even a lot of corporations (including many, like BP and Shell, who would seem to have a stake in promoting “skepticism” of AGW…and indeed who participated in this through the now-defunct Global Climate Coalition until the science became so overwhelming that they were forced to change their tune).

  43. Joel Shore says:

    I wrote “but simply that all sciences have biases” when I meant to write “but simply that all scientists have biases” in my preceding post.

  44. David Walton says:

    Re: Fatbigot’s “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, whether something written is right or wrong can only be determined by analysing the substance of what is written.”

    You go ahead and analyze all the anonymous bloggers you want. I have far better things to do with my time than examine the tedious minutiae of people who can’t even bring themselves to put their names to a page.

  45. Mike Bryant says:

    “And, sometimes I have concluded…correctly, as subsequent investigation has shown…that indeed my modeling is correct and the data…or its interpretation…is wrong.”
    I’ll believe that when I see it…

  46. Michael J. Bentley says:

    David and Mike,

    Not quite so fast on the observational evidence issue. Both of you consider this:

    5 People witness a traffic accident. They are interviewed by the same officer. There are five different stories. To integrate those five stories you need to examine the persons physical abilitiies ability to see, hear, stand, etc), their location from the scene, and what their attention was focused on at the time. (there are probably more but these, I think are the major ones). Only then can you bring these separate realities into a reasonable reconstruction.

    The climate is a big puzzle, only with pieces that can fit many places and look really good, and only in the big picture start to show they are misplaced.

    The issue here is not scientists debating or even if we agree with them. I like many of the folks who contribute here – they have Hutzpa (spelling on that) and are willing to defend their arguments. However, I do have problems with peopeople running around shouting about the climate when so little is known about it. Spending my hard earned tax dollars on some idiotic idea to change the world when there is little proof it will work, is needed or even slightly beneficial drives me up a wall.

    I’ll bet my next social security check that 95% of the people examining the problem are trying to be honest and unbiased in their assembling and use of data. The other five percent are in it for the money and that includes many of our elected politicians.

    Let’s clean the congress and legislatures. The jury’s out and it still looks like “It ain’t broke, we don’t need to fix it!

    Mike

  47. kim says:

    Joel Shore (19:19:57) That’s a scurrilous charge. Show me the misinterpretation of data. Your insult is a guess.
    ========================================

  48. kim says:

    Also, Joel, I would say that James Hansen has been in a position to corrupt the entire field. He has certainly been the trumpeter of doom along with the Gorebellied Fool. I believe Hansen started with the good intentions of saving the earth, but he’s simply wrong, and someone’s going to have to tell him, someday.
    ================================================

  49. kuhnkat says:

    Joel Shore,

    Spencer is using direct readings of conditions currently in existence with the best equipment currently available.

    Hansen is using proxy data that has been collected a several different ways with varying levels of accuracy and interpretation.

    There is simply no comparison.

  50. Alan S. Blue says:

    Not just proxy data. He’s relying on massaging precipitation proxies to convert them to temperature proxies.

  51. WA says:

    Re: Joel Shore (October 8, 2008 17:08:07)
    “To me, it does seem that one has to consider the nature of the processes at different timescales…and Spencer might be correct that the fact that the forcing is varying on a shorter timescale is important. However, Tamino is probably correct that you also have to worry about the timescales for the feedback and, in particular, if you are looking over timescales short compared to the timescales over which the feedback processes operate.”

    Consider:
    Limits on CO2 Climate Forcing from Recent Temperature Data of Earth
    Author: David H. Douglass
    Author: John R. Christy
    Abstract: “The global atmospheric temperature anomalies of Earth reached a maximum in 1998 which has not been exceeded during the subsequent 10 years. The global anomalies are calculated from the average of climate effects occurring in the tropical and the extratropical latitude bands. El Niño/La Niña effects in the tropical band are shown to explain the 1998 maximum while variations in the background of the global anomalies largely come from climate effects in the northern extratropics. hese effects do not have the signature associated with CO2 climate forcing. However, the data show a small underlying positive trend that is consistent with CO2 climate forcing with no-feedback.

    Date: August 2008
    http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0809/0809.0581.pdf

  52. WA says:

    Correction: As reads “hese effects”, amend to read “These effects”

  53. AndyW says:

    I think I can safely say that both sides of the argument think they are more right on the topic than the actual data warrants such confidence.

    That being the case it is us “undeciders” who are actually more right than both extremes :p

    :D

    Regards
    Andy

  54. Mike C says:

    Why give Tamino the attention? He’s just another coward liberal blogger calling people names while hiding behind a fake screen name on the internet.

  55. Pingback: Roy und Jane im Hotelzimmer (07.09.2008) | Geile Luder

  56. Gavin says:

    This is all very amusing. 55 coments in and not one person has noticed that Spencer is simply wrong – Tamino’s approximate solution is for time varying forcing.

    note the variation in s over 0 to t for theta (the time changing forcing term)?

    For a bunch of ‘skeptics’, you might try being a little more skeptical.

  57. Joel Shore says:

    WA says:

    Consider:
    Limits on CO2 Climate Forcing from Recent Temperature Data of Earth
    Author: David H. Douglass
    Author: John R. Christy

    Also consider the fact that this is a paper to be published in a journal that is not considered a serious scientific journal and is received by only a handful of libraries worldwide and that its conclusions contradict many papers in the field published in real scientific journals.

    kuhnkat says:

    Spencer is using direct readings of conditions currently in existence with the best equipment currently available.

    Hansen is using proxy data that has been collected a several different ways with varying levels of accuracy and interpretation.

    There is simply no comparison.

    The problem with Spencer’s work is probably less with the data than the interpretation. He is trying to derive an equilibrium climate sensitivity using data over very short times.

    By contrast, Hansen is using a “natural experiment” that occurred on timescales large enough that the equilibrium sensitivity is very straightforward to calculate if you know roughly the forcings and the temperature. As for your complaints about the quality of the data: Please explain exactly what you think is wrong with Hansen’s estimate. Do you have reason to believe that the average global temperature change between the last interglacial and now is significantly less than 5 C…that seems quite hard to fathom! What do you believe is wrong with his estimates of the forcings? (As Hansen has more recently pointed out, the climate sensitivity that he estimates in this way from the LGM is actually a lower sensitivity than one would expect for our current behavior…because it includes albedo effects due to the glaciers as a forcing and not a feedback whereas in the current scenario, these are a feedback.)

    kim says

    Joel Shore (19:19:57) That’s a scurrilous charge. Show me the misinterpretation of data. Your insult is a guess.

    It is strange that you consider it a scurrilous charge that Spencer has misinterpreted the data even though we have real arguments for that (and a past history of it having happened before), yet you don’t consider it a scurrilous charge to say the same thing about Hansen.

  58. kim says:

    Still, trying to tell me the data is wrong, not the models, won’t get off the ground. Doesn’t float the boat.
    ==========================

  59. Joel Shore says:

    Gavin says:

    This is all very amusing. 55 coments in and not one person has noticed that Spencer is simply wrong – Tamino’s approximate solution is for time varying forcing.

    note the variation in s over 0 to t for theta (the time changing forcing term)?

    Yes and no. The formalism that Tamino has worked out is indeed worked out for an arbitrary time-varying forcing. However, the example that he uses to demonstrate the “feedback stripes” and how they can fool you in to getting a wrong estimate of the climate sensitivity does assume a constant forcing (although it does allow for fluctuations in the radiative imbalance due to fluctuations in the temperature).

    So, I guess there are two important questions here in my mind:

    (1) Is Spencer’s whole concept that spontaneous variations in cloudcover cause spontaneous variations in the albedo and thus in the climate forcing a correct way to look at things?

    (2) If it is correct, does consideration of this dramatically change the results that Tamino has produced? My rough feeling is that it may make it more difficult to diagnose the equilibrium climate sensitivity correctly in the way that Tamino proposes (and Forster and Gregory attempted); however, it still wouldn’t make Spencer’s way of doing it correct because you would still be stuck with the fact that looking at responses that are on shorter timescales than the feedback effects operate are not going to allow you to see how the feedbacks alter the climate sensitivity!

  60. kim says:

    Joel (06:24:45) I think the answer to (1) is yes, because if that is what is happening, which seems likely, then that is the correct way to look at it. I’m not sure of the answer to (2) but I suspect it would be that Spencer might agree that his vision isn’t perfectly clear, yet, but Tamino, on this issue, is seeing as through a glass, darkly.
    =======================================

  61. Joel Shore says:

    kim says:

    Still, trying to tell me the data is wrong, not the models, won’t get off the ground. Doesn’t float the boat.

    No. What I am trying to tell you is that it is not correct to cherry-pick the small amount of data…or really the data interpretation…that supports your point of view (even when there are severe known problems with that data or interpretation) and at the same time ignore the wealth of data and data interpretation that goes the other way.

  62. kim says:

    By the way, you should all go read Tamino’s reply to Randall Semrau at ‘Spencer’s Folly’ at Open mind through the link Anthony gives above. It is vintage Tamino, neither silent, patient, nor firm.
    ============================================

  63. PaulM says:

    Gavin, Tamino is so confused it’s not clear what he is trying to say. He says ‘If we make F constant’, then later on, as you rightly say, allows F to be varying, then in his final example he makes F constant again.

    Tamino also does not even seem to understand the word ‘stable’. He says that for it to be stable, dT/dt = 0. But that’s the condition for temperature to be steady. The condition for it to be stable is lambda > 0, as Spencer correctly says in his presentation. (Stable means “If you give it a nudge it won’t fall over”). Any scientist would know this.

    So who do we place more trust in:
    The established research scientist with many published papers in the field?
    Or the ignorant and confused anonymous blogger?

  64. kim says:

    Joel (07:05:10) I see your point, though I’m not sure it is correct. If those feedbacks are indeed variable, over very short periods of time, then that might be the right way to look at them, and since they are so variable, different periods of time would give you different figures for feedback. But still, this admits a wide range of feedbacks, both to magnitude and sign, and the result of integrating all the feedbacks seems unpredictable.

    So shall we look and see if high positive feedback of water vapor to CO2 forcing in present long term? It sure doesn’t explain the present cooling, which is becoming long term.
    =========================

  65. kim says:

    Joel (05:00:22) It is scurrilous because you don’t support your contention that he is misinterpreting the data, and you insinuate that his intent is to do so. Tamino is just as insulting and just as unsupported. This is the kind of [snip] that hampers progress in climate science, and one side has it in spades.
    =======================================

  66. Gary Gulrud says:

    “Actually, if you have read much of Hansen’s work”

    Yeah, I’ve read his ‘work’ in Fortran77 and there is not a more primitive, unprofessional, poorly motivated body of work extant.

  67. kim says:

    Sorry about that. I’m reminded of a joke about Margaret Truman. Reporters asked her why she couldn’t get the President to refer to what he put on his lawn as ‘fertilizer’ instead of ‘manure’ and she replied that they had no idea how hard it had been for her to get him to call it ‘manure’.
    ==========================================

  68. Jan Pompe says:

    Gavin,

    But back to Spencer’s simple model. For temperature to be stable, we must have dT/dt =0, so

    F-\lamdaT= 0 or T = F/\lambda

    I.e. it’s time invariant

    time invariant then he goes on to integrate what he has defined as time invariant.

    Then you have this late remark from the great man himself:

    He retreats to the “time-varying” mantra because he wants to *justify* his folly — using such short time spans that you don’t really explore the feedback at all.

    I suggest you take your feet out of your mouth. With your head so far up your ass, it must be really painful.

    I guess he doesn’t think it’s time varying either.

  69. Joel Shore says:

    kim says:

    Joel (05:00:22) It is scurrilous because you don’t support your contention that he is misinterpreting the data, and you insinuate that his intent is to do so.

    Tamino has supported it and you even admit that Spencer’s looking only over very short periods of time will miss feedbacks on longer timescales. As for his intent, I (like Tamino) think that Spencer honestly believes what he is saying but I think that he has preconceptions on the subject of AGW that lead him to find arguments against it. I have noted that all scientists have preconceptions and biases that can influence them in this manner, including Hansen in the other direction. However, I have also noted that I do not think it very easy to hijack a whole field with such biases.

    Tamino is just as insulting and just as unsupported. This is the kind of [snip] that hampers progress in climate science, and one side has it in spades.

    What sort of response would you expect from Tamino to a comment that starts out “You are a joke, Pal”?

    As for “one side [having] it in spades”, if I didn’t know your biases, I would assume that you are talking about the vicious attacks on people like Hansen and Mann, which often go well beyond just pointing out that all scientists have biases that affect their judgement but instead actually essentially accuse these scientists of fraud.

  70. Joel Shore says:

    PaulM says

    Tamino also does not even seem to understand the word ’stable’. He says that for it to be stable, dT/dt = 0. But that’s the condition for temperature to be steady.”

    And, you do not seem to understand that different words can be used differently in different contexts. You are insistent on using one definition of stability from one context when it is clear that this is not the way in which Tamino meant it. In fact, all one would have to do to remedy your complaint if you really wanted to insist that Tamino only use the word in the way that you want it used is to change those places he uses “stable” to “steady”. There would be absolutely no need to change any of the actual equations or other content of his post. Thus your complaint seems to reflect more on your own lack of understanding rather than Tamino’s.

  71. kim says:

    Joel (08:33:55) So Joel, help us to bridge the gap here betwixt the two, even more than you have so far. I affirm that your explanations have been more helpful than either Pielke Pere’s or Tamino’s, and I thank you for that.
    =======================================

  72. kim says:

    Joel (08:19:55) Well the sort of response I’d expect to ‘you are a joke’ would be a refutation, unless he’s the foil and just trying to prove my point, which is what we so often see with him. He becomes ridiculous, but just at moments. Nonetheless, observing him for those short moments is revelatory.
    ============================================

  73. kim says:

    kim (08:45:37) er, that should be ‘more helpful than either Roy Spencer’s or Tamino’s’.
    ====================================

  74. Joel Shore says:

    kim says:

    Joel (08:33:55) So Joel, help us to bridge the gap here betwixt the two, even more than you have so far. I affirm that your explanations have been more helpful than either Pielke Pere’s or Tamino’s, and I thank you for that.

    Thanks, kim. I very much appreciate the positive feedback (no pun intended…or maybe intended a little bit). I sometimes wonder if it is worth my while to be posting on a blog where it seems rather unlikely to me that many of the commenters are going to take my posts seriously, so it is nice to get your feedback to what I have posted here.

    As for helping to bridge the gap more, at this point I think I have gone about as far as I can go myself without doing some serious calculations with Tamino’s model myself (and trying to learn more about the magnitudes of timescales over which Spencer’s time varying forcings might occur)…which I don’t think I can realistically undertake. But, I’ll certainly let you know if I have any further thoughts (or comments on what other people say)!

  75. DR says:

    So tell us Gavin, how did three articles by Spencer manage to make it past the peer review process without Tamino’s approval? Now that his fourth article is in review, shouldn’t Hansen’s cronies cry foul and expose the deception before it is published? RealClimate did accuse Spencer of “cooking the books” didn’t it?

    While it is amusing to you that Roy Spencer publishes his research in peer reviewed journals, pulling back the curtain at GISS reveals an army of munchkins pulling levers on GCM’s as the Great and Powerful Oz adjusts the dials until the desired output is attained.

    Is it too much to ask to update the 2005 Hansen et al paper as ocean heat content reported since 2003 does not agree with those conclusions? Maybe it would benefit us all if Josh Willis (a co-author) would make the Argo OHC database available for public viewing and keep it updated? Or must we wait 30 years for the “heat in the pipeline” to come to fruition while the oceans continue to fail to adhere to the AGW talking points?

  76. Bob B says:

    Joel and Gavin, in Taminos analysis he uses a constant forcing factor F which is not a function of t or T which is NOT a time varying radiative forcing. You cant treat F as a constant and incrementally change it’s constant value and call it time varying. So Spencer is correct in his assertion.

  77. Gary Gulrud says:

    “Thus your complaint seems to reflect more on your own lack of understanding rather than Tamino’s.”

    This is a false argument, ‘steady’ cannot occur. PaulM was according Tammy more respect than you.

  78. kim says:

    DR (09:20:54) The oceans are not only shivering but shrinking; Kevin Trenberth inadvertently blurted the truth out to an NPR reporter late last winter when he wondered if the extra ‘pipeline’ heat had been radiated back out to space. How stupid does he think his audience is?
    =============================

  79. Sam Urbinto says:

    Come on Kim, you know how stupid they think everyone is already, why ask? :)

    This has been an interesting discussion. Let’s see.

    Samples of near surface air as a proxy for land, and samples of water surfaces through engine inlets in shipping lanes as a proxy for water. Combined into a mean over the globe and compared to 1961-1990 as an anomaly. Then charted as a trend covering varied methods of deriving the samples, in a variety of locations, using various methods of combiniing the data. And this is your energy levels of the planet. Uh, okay.

    So we look at the above compared to computer simulations of a complex and dynamic system of infinite time-space variables. Computer simulations. Like running through a maze trying to get away from ghosts while eating fruit.

    Or on the other hand, we can look at modern satellite readings of oxygen brightness at 4 levels of the atmosphere.

    Hey, did anyone know the troposphere is trending up in its satellite anomaly? It couldn’t be from 7 billion people and their cities and farms and billion motor vehicles. And we all know the hydrosphere has no interaction with the atmosphere. Water doesn’t change phase, there is no albedo, there is no lapse rate. Temperatures don’t vary continuously over the atmosphere on X Y and Z axes. The oceans don’t store heat.

    It must be carbon dioxide. Run everyone, the anomaly is up .06 per decade since the late 1800s! Turn off your A/C units, unplug your TV, stop driving your car!!! Please, before it’s too late; think of the children!

  80. Mike Bryant
    sorry a bit slow
    GISS AND MAKE UP

  81. R John says:

    Let’s not forget…

    Dr. Roy Spencer, PhD in Meteorology

    Dr. James Hansen, PhD in Astrophysics
    Dr. Gavin Schmidt, PhD in Applied Mathematics

    What makes the latter two “experts” in climatology? Hansen and Schmidt are like the Mel Kiper of the NFL draft – if you keep telling everyone you are an “expert”, then eventually some people will believe that you are.

  82. Phil. says:

    Bob B (09:24:19) :
    Joel and Gavin, in Taminos analysis he uses a constant forcing factor F which is not a function of t or T which is NOT a time varying radiative forcing. You cant treat F as a constant and incrementally change it’s constant value and call it time varying. So Spencer is correct in his assertion.

    I guess he didn’t read the last para of Tamino’s post:
    “The characteristic time which is chosen for the model has profound impact on the behavior of the model in response to various forcing functions. But we’ll see much more about that when we look at how Spencer uses this model, in the next post.”

  83. Mike Bryant says:

    Lucy that reminds me of another kiss that’s not so sweet…

  84. Joel Shore says:

    R John says:

    Dr. Roy Spencer, PhD in Meteorology

    Dr. James Hansen, PhD in Astrophysics
    Dr. Gavin Schmidt, PhD in Applied Mathematics

    What makes the latter two “experts” in climatology? Hansen and Schmidt are like the Mel Kiper of the NFL draft – if you keep telling everyone you are an “expert”, then eventually some people will believe that you are.

    This is a pretty weak line of argument. Both Hansen and Schmidt have PhDs in fields that are quite closely allied in terms of the underlying science and analytical techniques are concerned. But, more importantly, both have published a lot of papers in the top peer-reviewed scientific journals in the field…and my guess is that a measure of the citations that these papers have received would also show them to be important contributors to the field. This is a more accepted measure of expertise in a scientific field within the scientific community.

    (Note that I am definitely not claiming that ANYONE with a PhD in astrophysics or applied math is qualified to speak about climate science. Clearly, if they haven’t published in the field and aren’t up on the literature, then their knowledge is severely limited. They would tend to have the necessary background to comment on certain narrow issues, say involving mathematical computations or what not…but would not tend to have the broader scope necessary to evaluate arguments within the context of the field and other work in the field. As an example, Al Saperstein who as co-editor of the newsletter of the Forum on Physics and Society [of which I'm a member] read over Monckton’s screed that they published in the newsletter; however, his editorial suggestions did not constitute peer review [by his own admission] because Saperstein, while a PhD physicist, is not particularly up on the climate science field.)

  85. Joel Shore says:

    DR says:

    So tell us Gavin, how did three articles by Spencer manage to make it past the peer review process without Tamino’s approval? Now that his fourth article is in review, shouldn’t Hansen’s cronies cry foul and expose the deception before it is published? RealClimate did accuse Spencer of “cooking the books” didn’t it?

    It is indeed to his credit that Spencer is submitting his work to credible peer-reviewed scientific journals where it can be read and evaluated and critiqued by fellow scientists…and I applaud him for it. Note, however, that peer review is a rather minimal standard and publication in such a journal does not mean that an article is necessarily correct. It simply means that it is not so clearly wrong, unclear, deceptive, or what-not that one or a few scientific colleagues in the field who reviewed it felt that it was worthy to appear in the literature. (Certain journals also have additional standards regarding the importance and general interest of the work, but this varies from journal to journal.)

    And, indeed, the fact that Spencer’s work is appearing in these journals (and that “skeptical” papers with such obvious faults as Douglass et al. have also appeared in these journals) tends to disprove the notion often advanced that the reason that papers skeptical of AGW are so few and far between in the peer reviewed literature is because the field is so politicized by the “pro-AGW” forces that dissenting opinions can’t get published.

  86. Bob B says:

    Phil, look at Tamino’s math. The forcing function F is a constant. Verbal handwaving is meaningless and Spencer is still correct.

  87. Tilo Reber says:

    “I would assume that you are talking about the vicious attacks on people like Hansen and Mann, which often go well beyond just pointing out that all scientists have biases that affect their judgement but instead actually essentially accuse these scientists of fraud.”

    Considering the time and effort that it has taken Steve McIntyre to get Hansen, Mann, Annan and other members of the hockey team to reveal their data and their sources, and considering that he has still not gotten transparency from them, I would say that fraud is an appropriate word. Considering the refusal of the hockey team to update their data series to the present because they know that they will not agree with the instrumentation record makes fraud an appropriate word. Having Mann reject Lenah Ababneh’s tree ring series and cling to Graybill’s series when Ababneh’s work is more thorough and when Ababneh’s work shows that Graybill’s 20th Century blade is nothing more than a strip bark artifact is another reason to use the word fraud.

  88. Joel Shore says:

    Tilo:

    So, in other words, you and the crowd at ClimateAudit have set yourself up as judge and jury and are now passing judgement on scientists. And yet, you have yet to get any impartial scientific authority to agree with you on these serious charges. In fact, when the NSF was asked by McIntyre to weigh in on the issue of the release of information to him, they told him in no uncertain terms that Mann was not obligated to release to him the computer code that he was demanding. (I should note that Mann did subsequently release the code…and for his latest paper has archived the data and code online, and although he still complains, even McIntyre admits “they did make a much better effort than others in the field”. What he does not say is that such a complete archiving of data and code is almost unprecedented at least in the areas of the physical sciences that I have worked in.

  89. Joel Shore says:

    …Actually, it is even worse than just being judge and jury…You are being judge and jury but only listening to the evidence from the prosecutor and not from the defense and then believing that you can still pass judgement!

  90. kim says:

    Joel (19:43:39) Joel, the defense is exercising its right not to incriminate itself. We’d love to hear from it, instead.
    =============================================

  91. Phil. says:

    Bob B (18:02:04) :
    Phil, look at Tamino’s math. The forcing function F is a constant. Verbal handwaving is meaningless and Spencer is still correct.

    Actually he isn’t, the first part of Tamino’s analysis on the same equation is for a constant forcing function with the variable function to follow. Spencer’s analysis of the equation is flawed but it’s not very clear because it’s rather sloppily written (for example what is T?)

  92. anna v says:

    I have not followed this closely so cannot really comment on the content.

    I can only repeat what I have been saying from the beginning of reading climate papers that one of the main problems is the concept of “forcing” to talk about energy balances. It is a convoluted concept, full of epicycles and it is inevitable that things will go wrong.

    I will state once more: radiation is not conserved, energy is conserved. Energy is not a vector, as the word “forcing” falsely implies. Transforming thermodynamic quantities from heat and energy into radiation epicycles is something that still boggles my physicist mind. A whole branch of physics, thermodynamics, has been developed to study heat transfers and energy transfers and it works extremely well from delicate engines to huge factories. No forcings in there.

    If a new branch of physics is needed for climatology, that is chaos and complexity theories that are slowly being developed in many fields of physics, chemistry and biology. It would be good for climatologists to dig into that and try and create models ( example Tsonis et all with a neural net model of PDO + ENSO) that include better the extreme non linearity of the solutions of the coupled differential equations that may describe weather and climate.

    http://www.uwm.edu/%7Ekravtsov/downloads/GRL-Tsonis.pdf

    Anastasios A. Tsonis et al

    GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 34, L13705, doi:10.1029/2007GL030288, 2007

  93. Bob B says:

    OK Phil, let’s wait for the analysis to follow–but in the meantime Spencer’s assertion still stands.

  94. kim says:

    Joel (19:34:03) The effort may be unprecedented but it’s also an unmitigated disaster. Watch Steve try to make sense of that heap of garbage at climateaudit.org

    Phil. (21:08:40) So can you bridge the gap? Why isn’t Spencer’s method appropriate, if you think it is, and why don’t temperatures in the real world support the sensitivity estimates of the models? What about the fundamental error in the assumptions, the one-way cause and effect of temperature to clouds, and the neglect of the C&E of clouds causing temperature change? All this relates to the inadequacy of the parameterizations of the convections and the clouds, as the skeptics have been crying about for awhile, now.
    =============================
    ==========================================

  95. kim says:

    anna v (23:09:30) As you’ve shown me in the past, the heat engine that is the climate regulating system of the earth is a vast analog computer. There can be no modeling at a lesser scale which doesn’t introduce fatal uncertainties.
    ============================================

  96. kim says:

    Joel (07:05:10), yesterday. Oh my God, now Gavin’s Pussycat is trying to argue that the data is wrong.

    So far, Tamino hasn’t responded. Phil. and Hank are cheerleading, but dodging the question.
    =======================================

  97. kim says:

    Joel (07:05:10) and kim )06:42:44) Actually, Gavin’s P is just echoing you over there. So what is it? Spencer’s methods? His data? Or the models? Where’s the beef?
    =============================================

  98. Joel Shore says:

    kim: The issue that Gavin’s Pussycat and me are talking about over on Tamino’s blog has nothing to do with Spencer’s current work. It is a hijack that Neil Fisher started when he asked why there is no observed “hot spot” as you go up in the tropical troposphere as the models predict.

  99. Bob B says:

    I am banned from Tamino’s closed mind after I pointed out to him where he was being a cherry picker.

  100. Joel Shore says:

    kim says:

    So what is it? Spencer’s methods? His data? Or the models? Where’s the beef?

    I think the problem is most likely with Spencer’s method of analyzing the data. His method looks over very short times and, while he shows that it recovers the correct climate sensitivity for a very simple model where all the feedbacks are assumed to operate instantaneously, it will not do so if the feedbacks operate over any reasonable period of time (as Tamino demonstrates).

    Now, Spencer might rightly criticize Tamino’s example for being too simplistic because of its assumption of a constant forcing; however, at the end of the day, I still don’t see how that can get him around the very basic problem that any method that tries to diagnose climate sensitivity from data over very short time periods won’t see the feedbacks that operate over longer timescales.

  101. kim says:

    Awfully quiet over there; he must be breaking pencils.
    ==================================

  102. Bob B says:

    Joel, Spencer challenges the “modelers”

    “Now, if the modelers STILL insist that this short term (5-year) feedback behavior — even in the models — does not invalidate positive feedback for long-term global warming, I will respond: “OK, then adjust the models so they behave like the satellite observations on the short (5-year) time scale, and THEN show us how much global warming the models predict”.

    So do you throw up your hands and say the “real data” only covers short time scales and ignore it? Or do you try to accept real data over models and try to fit “data” into the models? I go for the latter.

  103. kim says:

    Thanks for your answer over there, Joel, but if the models work for monthly or yearly time scales, but not for shorter or longer periods, it still points to a problem in the models rather than in the data.
    ==============================

  104. kim says:

    Joel (08:25:50) Hah, Neil’s hijack is hardly one. He restarted the conversation a couple of days ago and it generalizes with ours.
    ========================================

  105. kim says:

    And now Tamino has retreated to blaming the data, calling it not ‘precise’ enough. Pitiful, just pitiful.
    =============================

  106. Joel Shore says:

    kim:

    Thanks for your answer over there, Joel, but if the models work for monthly or yearly time scales, but not for shorter or longer periods, it still points to a problem in the models rather than in the data.

    First, where did you get the statement that the models don’t work for shorter periods? I didn’t say or mean to imply that. I don’t know if they have been tested for shorter periods. However, since the convective processes that lead to the moist adiabatic lapse rate predictions operate on short timescales, there is every reason to believe that if these processes are dominating on the monthly-to-yearly timescale, they are dominating on the shorter timescales where they actually operate too.

    Look, the take-home message is that the models predict convective processes to dominate and produce results close to moist adiabatic lapse rate predictions over all timescales (or at least all that I know about). The data shows this occurring except when one looks at the longest timescales in the data, which corresponds to then looking at the multidecadal temperature trend over the whole data set rather than fluctuations. For those longest timescales, the data deviates from the predictions and from its behavior at the shorter timescales…or, at least, some analyses of the data do (e.g., UAH does significantly but for RSS the deviation is not very significant). However, the data for the multidecadal trends has known problems (e.g., a cooling artifact for the radiosonde data due to better shielding of the sensors from the sun over time) and attempts to correct for that in various ways bring the data into much better alignment with the models and theory. Hence, lacking even any proposed mechanism that I know of for why the moist adiabatic lapse rate theory predictions should break down, it seems reasonable to think that the problem is most likely due to the known deficiencies in the data.

    By the way, as a side comment, it is worth pointing out that this lapse rate effect provides a negative feedback in the climate models because the notion that the upper troposphere warms more than the surface means that the surface does not need to warm as much in order to warm the part of the atmosphere that is effectively emitting most of the radiation back out into space. So, at least naively, if this notion is wrong and the surface really warms as faster or faster than the upper troposphere then this would tend to imply less negative feedback and a higher climate sensitivity, all else being equal.

  107. kim says:

    It’s just not going to work, claiming the data is bad. Sure, it’s possible, but the flaws in the models seem to coincide with just where they were expected from their poor performance. It’s a good deal more likely that is where the problem lies.

    What about Spencer’s question about the inadequate cause and effect between clouds and temperature which damage the assumptions in the models?
    ================================================

  108. Joel Shore says:

    It’s just not going to work, claiming the data is bad.

    There is no doubt whatsoever that the data is bad for the longtime trends in the tropical troposphere. First of all, the coverage of the radiosondes is very sparse, the problems with the changes in shielding and such over time are well-known, and the size of the estimated corrections that are needed is not small. As a result, there are a wide range of estimates from the analyses and re-analyses of the data. Second of all, for the satellite data, there are considerable differences between the different analyses…and again well-known problems with stitching together the results from the different satellites.

    What about Spencer’s question about the inadequate cause and effect between clouds and temperature which damage the assumptions in the models?

    Okay, so can you explain to me how this mechanism could cause the moist adiabatic lapse rate predictions to break down on the very long time scales but to still hold for fluctuations on monthly to yearly timescales? It seems unlikely to me that this could be the case since I believe that Spencer it talking about processes that occur on shorter timescales than this.

  109. kim says:

    I’m sorry, Joel, it is not convincing; the data, looked over by two independent labs, is wrong, and the models, which have failed, are right. Why not review the assumptions in the models about convection, water vapor, and clouds?
    ===================================

  110. Tilo Reber says:

    “So, in other words, you and the crowd at ClimateAudit have set yourself up as judge and jury and are now passing judgement on scientists.”

    Yes. What’s your point?

    “And yet, you have yet to get any impartial scientific authority to agree with you on these serious charges.”

    Give me the name of an impartial scientific authority that has dealt with the subject of Mann refusing to update his series to the present. Give me the name of an impartial scientific authority that has even looked at the source and collection of the Graybill data and who has compared this with the Ababneh data.

    “In fact, when the NSF was asked by McIntyre to weigh in on the issue of the release of information to him, they told him in no uncertain terms that Mann was not obligated to release to him the computer code that he was demanding.”

    I don’t give a damn what NSF said. If he is developing computer code on the public dime, then the computer code belongs to the public. Beyond that, if you are trying to get the world to spend trillions of dollars based upon your computer code, then you have a moral obligation to let others look at the details of your gloom and doom.

  111. DR says:

    Joel Shore,
    You certainly have all the RealClimate Manifesto talking points down to a science.

    What you fail to mention is satellite data can be analyzed and calibrated to known standards, then adjusted accordingly. This is standard procedure in industry.

    When was the last time the surface station network was calibrated? To what standard?

    You said:
    “By the way, as a side comment, it is worth pointing out that this lapse rate effect provides a negative feedback in the climate models because the notion that the upper troposphere warms more than the surface means that the surface does not need to warm as much in order to warm the part of the atmosphere that is effectively emitting most of the radiation back out into space. So, at least naively, if this notion is wrong and the surface really warms as faster or faster than the upper troposphere then this would tend to imply less negative feedback and a higher climate sensitivity, all else being equal.”

    Oh my, so no matter what happens, no component of the CO2 AGW hypothesis can be falsified. How convenient. How long can you get away with claiming the observational data is wrong?

    Sorry Joel, it is written in stone:
    Amplification of Surface Temperature Trends and Variability in the Tropical Atmosphere- Gavin Schmidt et al 2005
    http://www.osti.gov/energycitations/servlets/purl/881407-xk2Sdg/881407.PDF

    Is the following statement true or false?
    Earth’s Energy Imbalance: Confirmation and Implications- Hansen/Schmidt et al 2005
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1110252v2
    “Our climate model, driven mainly by increasing human-made greenhouse gases and aerosols among other forcings, calculates that Earth is now absorbing 0.85 ± 0.15 W/m2 more energy from the Sun than it is emitting to space. This imbalance is confirmed by precise measurements of increasing ocean heat content over the past 10 years. Implications include: (i) expectation of additional global warming of about 0.6°C without further change of atmospheric composition; (ii) confirmation of the climate system’s lag in responding to forcings, implying the need for anticipatory actions to avoid any specified level of climate change; and (iii) likelihood of acceleration of ice sheet disintegration and sea level rise.”

    By your logic, “precise measurements of increasing heat content over the past 10 years” would not extend beyond 2003 because observations since then disagree with the above statement and therefore must be flawed.

    Where is the missing heat Joel?

  112. Bob B says:

    Joel, climate science right now is a total disgrace. Just look at this little snippet:

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=4064

    There are trillions of dollars at stake and yet we get stonewalling from people put in charge that mostly work for us. I personally think Hansen should be fired.
    As Anthony has put on his blog, climate science badly needs some sort of ISO 9000 type oversight.

    As fas as Spencer’s data goes–I think you are stretching suggesting his data is wrong and the models are correct—-only in climate science does this type of joke happen.

  113. Mike Bryant says:

    Joel Shore, smooth talker..
    Tilo, straight shooter…

    Who would YOU buy a used car from?

  114. Geoff Larsen says:

    Joel Shore

    Thanks for contributing to discussion on this blog.

    However in answer to Kim’s question: -

    “What about Spencer’s question about the inadequate cause and effect between clouds and temperature which damage the assumptions in the models?”

    Your answer: -

    “Okay, so can you explain to me how this mechanism could cause the moist adiabatic lapse rate predictions to break down on the very long time scales but to still hold for fluctuations on monthly to yearly timescales? It seems unlikely to me that this could be the case since I believe that Spencer it talking about processes that occur on shorter timescales than this”.

    dodges the question.

    I believe Spencer is saying that the assumption that the observed cloud variability that was believed by some scientists to be the result of feedback , ignored the possibility that some, not fully understood or accepted phenomena, was partly responsible and this lead to the adoption of a climate sensitivity that is too high. In fact Spencer’s current work (see below) shows that, over the 5 year periods of his analysis, low clouds increased with warming i.e. negative feedback and that water vapor + lapse rate + high cloud feedback was weakly positive.

    See his latest research update here: -

    http://www.weatherquestions.com/Roy-Spencer-on-global-warming.htm

    “October 8, 2008 RESEARCH UPDATE #2:

    We have submitted a paper for publication to Geophysical Research Letters entitled, “Satellites Reveal a Climate System Less Sensitive than in Models”. This paper should answer the previous criticisms of our August 2007 GRL paper on negative feedback in the tropics that (1) it only applied to the tropics, and (2) that feedbacks diagnosed on short time scales might not apply to long-term global warming.

    In the new paper we diagnose feedback parameters from 5 years of NASA Aqua satellite data over the global oceans AND perform exactly the same diagnoses on all possible 5-year periods in transient CO2 simulations from 18 IPCC climate models.

    The results are, as you can see below, somewhat stunning…NONE of the five year periods from ANY of the IPCC climate models show the negative feedback behavior seen in the satellite data:

    Contrary to my expectations, though, the negative feedback was not in the longwave (infrared); there was an excellent match between the models and satellite observations in that component, suggesting that the total [water vapor + lapse rate + high cloud] LW feedback was weakly positive.

    Instead, the negative feedback was entirely in the reflected shortwave (solar)…suggesting that low clouds increase with warming. This is actually somewhat consistent with the IPCC AR4 report which admitted that feedbacks related to low cloud behavior were the most uncertain in the models. Since this is an apples-to-apples comparison between the models and the satellite observations, it will be difficult for the IPCC to ignore this kind of evidence.

    The question of WHY the IPCC models would be so far off is, in my view, related to what I discussed above, in my Research Update #1: In previous analyses of natural co-variability between clouds and temperature, only feedback has been assumed to be operating, when in fact some of the variability is actually cloud fluctuations causing temperature change. In simple terms, there has been a mix-up between cause and effect, and that has led to climate models being built upon faulty assumptions.

    Now, if the modelers STILL insist that this short term (5-year) feedback behavior — even in the models — does not invalidate positive feedback for long-term global warming, I will respond: “OK, then adjust the models so they behave like the satellite observations on the short (5-year) time scale, and THEN show us how much global warming the models predict”.

    Touché!

    It will be interesting to read this paper and the responses.

  115. Joel Shore says:

    kim says:

    I’m sorry, Joel, it is not convincing; the data, looked over by two independent labs, is wrong, and the models, which have failed, are right.

    What independent labs are you referring to? UAH and RSS? They show significant differences in the trends in the tropics. For the RAOBCORE radiosonde re-analysis project, there are dramatic differences just between different versions of their results…In fact, Douglass et al used an earlier version while later versions show significantly more warming in the upper troposphere.

    I am not sure what you mean by “which have failed”. Who decided that the models have failed and why? The models are just that…Models of reality. They are good in some respects and less good in others.

    Why not review the assumptions in the models about convection, water vapor, and clouds?

    Look, I don’t even know where to start here, and neither does anyone else judging from the distinct lack of even vague hypotheses that might explain how the models could be getting these assumptions wrong in a way that still causes them to do a very good job describing the tropospheric amplification for fluctuations on the monthly to yearly timescales but then somehow fails for the longer term trends. The processes that you mention all tend to occur on timescales of hours to days to weeks. How can one be getting these processes wrong in a way that still causes you to get good results on timescales one to three orders of magnitude longer but then to suddenly fail at timescales longer than this? Or, maybe there is some totally new process that operates on way longer timescales of, say, several years…but then what is such a process? Maybe there is someone out there who could provide at least some vague hypothesized mechanism of how this could happen but I have yet to meet such a person!

    Tilo Reber say:

    I don’t give a damn what NSF said. If he is developing computer code on the public dime, then the computer code belongs to the public.

    In a way, it is sort of cute how you guys believe that you set the laws…and organizations such as NSF are totally irrelevant. Apparently, you know better than them how one should balance the issues of intellectual property rights, scientific disclosure, and public access to federally-funded research. Furthermore, if it is not done just the way you want it, you don’t work to change the laws (a reasonable approach) but instead just insist that you are still in the right and start throwing around words like “fraud” to describe the actions of those who are doing things totally within the law (and, recently, going well, well beyond what the law demands in making essentially everything available).

  116. Jeff Alberts says:

    I don’t give a damn what NSF said. If he is developing computer code on the public dime, then the computer code belongs to the public. Beyond that, if you are trying to get the world to spend trillions of dollars based upon your computer code, then you have a moral obligation to let others look at the details of your gloom and doom.

    And to extend that, if you’re confident in your conclusions and methods, you’d be happy to have anyone examine your data. It’s blatantly obvious that McIntyre is eminently more qualified at statistics that Mann and his team. And absolutely everything about the Hockey Stick is statistics, not “climate science”.

  117. evanjones says:

    Apparently, you know better than them how one should balance the issues of intellectual property rights, scientific disclosure, and public access to federally-funded research.

    Fine. Fine and dandy. All well and good.

    But then it ain’t Science. It’s Alchemy.

  118. Dennis Sharp says:

    The whole conversation with Joel Shore reminds me of a defense attorney who is paid to defend his client come hell or high water. If you can’t beat them with real data, then try to discredit the character of the prosecutor and the witnesses, and don’t overlook the power of trying to argue about the definition of tiny little words in order to distract attention from the main argument. Like Bill Clinton asked “What do you mean by “sex?””.
    Joel, you are so obviously committed to AGW, it has become for you a marriage for better or for worse. You have now become irrelevant, and in my case-ignored.

  119. Jeff Alberts says:

    n a way, it is sort of cute how you guys believe that you set the laws…and organizations such as NSF are totally irrelevant. Apparently, you know better than them how one should balance the issues of intellectual property rights, scientific disclosure, and public access to federally-funded research. Furthermore, if it is not done just the way you want it, you don’t work to change the laws (a reasonable approach) but instead just insist that you are still in the right and start throwing around words like “fraud” to describe the actions of those who are doing things totally within the law (and, recently, going well, well beyond what the law demands in making essentially everything available).

    I doubt there is any “law” involved. The fact of the matter is, McIntyre is a qualified peer reviewer. The IPCC saw fit to use him as an expert reviewer, so why does Mann see him as an amateur funded by oil companies? What does it matter who he’s funded by? Gore gets money from oil companies, so does Suzuki. Does that mean they can be safely ignored?

  120. kim says:

    Joel (18:57:53) The satellites are more reliable than ground and probably more than you think.

    Dontcha’ know the models have failed? Or been falsified? Or disconfirmed? See Lucia’s Blackboard and don’t try to give me any guff about projections not predictions.

    I don’t think the models parameterize the convections, and water phase changes at the time spans that Spencer is measuring, and they fail at the long term.

    We have descended to repetition in this dispute. You believe in the models, I don’t. They are not useful.
    ========================================

  121. freedom of Information! (garron) says:

    Joel Shore (18:57:53)

    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    From: http://www.nasa.gov/offices/ogc/ip/1210.html

    NASA’s ability to protect intellectual property is affected by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) [5 U.S.C. § 552]. The FOIA permits any person the right of access to Federal agency records unless specifically exempted by the Act. Proprietary documents containing private sector trade secrets and commercial or financial information, generated outside the Government, but in the control of NASA, are exempt from disclosure by FOIA exemption 4. Information disclosing inventions and information that is part of a patent application may be withheld under FOIA exemption 3.

  122. Conversation Continuity (garron) says:

    When quoting or continuing, a reference post name & timestamp is helpful for us slower latecomers.

  123. Joel Shore says:

    Bob B says:

    As fas as Spencer’s data goes–I think you are stretching suggesting his data is wrong and the models are correct—-only in climate science does this type of joke happen.

    First of all, you are phrasing this in a way that makes it sound like the data supports one thing and the models another (and partly it may be because you are mixing things up with the simultaneous discussion we are having in regards to the tropical tropospheric trends…which isn’t really related except quite tangentially). In fact, what I would say is that I believe that Spencer’s data analysis is likely wrong. And, the data analysis of many others, who have obtained estimates of climate sensitivity from observational data in various ways, such as Hansen’s method of looking at the last glacial maximum, are likely correct. Yes, these latter climate sensitivity estimates are also supported by the current sensitivity estimates from climate models…but this is not the only or even primary evidence for what the climate sensitivity is.

    As for the second part of your comment, could you back this up by telling me what fields of physical science you have worked actively in to compare to?

    Geoff Larsen says:

    I believe Spencer is saying that the assumption that the observed cloud variability that was believed by some scientists to be the result of feedback , ignored the possibility that some, not fully understood or accepted phenomena, was partly responsible and this lead to the adoption of a climate sensitivity that is too high.

    I understand what Spencer is arguing. The problem here is that there are two only tangentially-related discussions going on at the same time: one concerning Spencer’s work and one regarding the existence or non-existence of amplification of temperature fluctuations and trends as one goes up in the tropical troposphere. My point (making a vague connection between these two different discussions) is that even if Spencer is right about what he is talking about here, I don’t see how any sort of correction to the physical processes of the type that Spencer is talking about can solve the issue regarding the magnification of temperature fluctuations in the troposphere because he is talking about processes that operate on timescales shorter than timescales where the data show the magnification is in fact working in the way that the models predict. (To be fair, Spencer has not to my knowledge tried to claim that this work addresses the tropospheric amplification issue, but some people like kim seem to be implying that it could and I am just saying that I don’t see how it could.)

  124. Joel Shore says:

    Jeff Alberts says:

    And to extend that, if you’re confident in your conclusions and methods, you’d be happy to have anyone examine your data.

    Well, by that standard, Mann must be since his latest paper has the data and programs available freely on the web. Over at ClimateAudit, they seem to be having a field day looking at although so far they seem to be generating a lot more heat than light.

    I doubt there is any “law” involved. The fact of the matter is, McIntyre is a qualified peer reviewer. The IPCC saw fit to use him as an expert reviewer, so why does Mann see him as an amateur funded by oil companies?

    First of all, because it tries to be very open, the IPCC more-or-less allows anyone to become an “expert reviewer” who wants to. (Technically, you may have to be nominated by a government or an organization…but surely someone like McIntyre can find an organization skeptical of AGW who would be happy to nominate him.) Second of all, intellectual property rights are a matter of law. And, the NSF was very clear on what Mann’s obligations were to McIntyre or anyone else in the letter that they sent to McIntyre.

    Dennis Sharp:

    Joel, you are so obviously committed to AGW, it has become for you a marriage for better or for worse. You have now become irrelevant, and in my case-ignored.

    Do what you want. Sure, we all have our biases and I won’t deny that I have mine. But, perhaps you might examine your own biases and commitments too. And, I try hard to call them as I see them…and in this thread when Gavin Schmidt said something that I thought was incorrect (or at least partially so), I said so. I also have not dismissed Spencer’s work out-of-hand but I also don’t think Spencer’s short response to Tamino’s critique constitutes anything like a complete rebuttal.

  125. kim says:

    Jojel (04:58:16) You were able to point out to me the confusion of the two arguments; I maintain that they are specific and general cases of the same argument, but I appreciate your criticism that they are only tangential. Nonetheless, most of what I’ve said about the data and the models still stands.

    It is a tough nut to crack. It may be too complex for human understanding, yet.
    ===================================

  126. kim says:

    Joel (05:11:21) The legal requirements about documentation and retention of intellectual property nearly become irrelevant when we are talking about policy decisions of this magnitude. In this sort of circumstance, the motive for not following the moral requirement of complete and utter disclosure and openness becomes germane. Why does Mann persist in the manner he does? Watch the last tape from Rhode Island. Something is not right.
    ===========================================

  127. kim says:

    Joel (05:11:21) I must agree with your last sentence that the conversation between Spencer and Tamino has been inadequate. My wish is that some grant agency might foster a joint effortbetween them. Why shouldn’t they collaborate? They might be able to help each other.
    ============================================

  128. Bob B says:

    “I also don’t think Spencer’s short response to Tamino’s critique constitutes anything like a complete rebuttal.”—What??? Tamino has shown nothing–nada. His math does not apply–he wasted his time. I am still wating for the analysis showing a time varying forcing function.

  129. kim says:

    Hah, my slips are so often better than the intended speech, and I like ‘effortbetween’. It’s a nice word.
    ======================

  130. kim says:

    Bob B (07:51:59) That’s why I suggested Tamino might be breaking pencils over there. Not in anger but in concentration. Too bad he can’t work with Spencer.
    =================================

  131. DR says:

    Joel Shore said:

    “The models are just that…Models of reality.”

    Good, then all you need to do is cite the independent V&V performed on any of the models you claim represent reality.

    You also repeatedly bring up Douglass. This has been discussed ad nauseum at CA. As you apparently get your information exclusively from the smear merchants at RC, it may behoove you to glean from more reputable sources.
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3062
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3062
    http://wmbriggs.com/blog/2008/04/08/why-multiple-climate-model-agreement-is-not-that-exciting

    RC (including Tamino and their other sycophants) does what tabloid rags do best; besmirch the character and integrity of individuals, in this case respected scientists. Just as they did with Douglass, they did with Spencer, Christy, Pielke, Nir Shaviv and countless others. The funny part is when RC is proven wrong, they don’t concede. Shall we find some examples?

    Observations trump theory, every time. Long speeches and diatribes do not detract from that.

    Kim,
    You can’t be serous about Tamino working with Spencer? Tamino has no interest in truth; he is an antagonist extraordinaire and uses the same tactics as certain political factions, that being stirring the mud so the water is always murky, but at the same time claim his views are correct. He tortures statistics until it is unrecognizable. Now he says the data isn’t precise enough, but will spend considerable time defending Hansen’s shenanigans.

  132. anna v says:

    That the GCM models cannot be correct in “projecting” far into the future is inevitable.

    1) The bands around each “projection” are not error bands. They are estimates of bands for what errors should be according to the feelings of the modeler. This is written in black and white in the AR4 report. If true errors are used the “projections” will be all over the temperature space. Have a go at this toy model from Junkscience.com
    http://junkscience.com/Greenhouse/Earth_temp.html .
    If you change the albedo by 3% the temperature changes by 1 degree. Can anybody insist that the albedo is known to 3% 1 sigma error?

    2) And more importantly, what I have said several times here, is that the GCMs are using linear approximations of the putative solutions of the many coupled differential equations that control the thermodynamic engine that is the climate/weather.

    Linear approximations work up to a point. The GCM models when used for weather predictions show us up to what point they do work: some days, i.e. an N number of time steps through the code. When these programs are transformed into climate models, i.e. more linear approximations (averages) the effect does not disappear. It changes scale, but still there will be an N1 number of steps after which the non linearity of the true solutions will appear in force.

    Even if all the differential equations that apply have been taken into account, (which is not true) still linear approximations will inevitably fail.

    The simplest point of clarification though comes from the errors. It is inconceivable that the true errors are not plotted for the “projections” so that the hoi polloi can see what nonsense is being pushed down their throats at the expense of trillions and million of lives.

    The AR4 waffles on the errors:
    Let me repeat the direct quote from the AR literature, from chapter 8 that is supposed to evaluate the models:

    ” 8.1.2.2 Metrics of Model Reliability from the AR:
    “The above studies show promise
    that quantitative metrics for the likelihood of model projections
    may be developed, but because the development of robust
    metrics is still at an early stage, the model evaluations presented
    in this chapter are based primarily on experience and physical
    reasoning, as has been the norm in the past.””

    We should insist on seeing true errors on the “projections”. That is where statisticians with their hands on a model can come in strong.

    The toy climate model above is frightening, in that it shows on what flimsy foundations the world is asked to destroy its economies ( though it seems we are on the way of doing that without the help of GCMs).

  133. kim says:

    DR (11:47:56) DR, yeah, I’m a naive little dreamer, aren’t I. Jeff Id, at CA, is claiming that Tamino blocked some of his revelatory insights into the statistics of Mann’s latest effort, and of course, RC wouldn’t entertain it.

    anna v. (22:09:00) If the globe’s climate regulating mechanism is a gigantic analog computer processing all the inputs, can it be modeled successfully on a smaller scale?
    ==========================

  134. anna v says:

    kim (07:52:49) :

    “anna v. (22:09:00) If the globe’s climate regulating mechanism is a gigantic analog computer processing all the inputs, can it be modeled successfully on a smaller scale?”

    I do not know. It seems that an analogue computer might do the job. Analogue computers are computers that use electric ( resistances, inductors and capacitors) elements in a net simulating coupled differential equations, and were invented in parallel with digital computers back then. They are orders of magnitude faster than decimal computers in solving differential equations ( look it up). In the beginnings, I met them in the 1960s, they were a strong part of research, but then the all purpose utility of the digital won out.

    I do not know whether any research is going on still, what with chaos and complexity problems.

  135. Gary Gulrud says:

    “when the NSF was asked by McIntyre to weigh in on the issue of the release of information to him, they told him in no uncertain terms that Mann was not obligated to release to him the computer code that he was demanding”

    I read the NSF investigative report, the NSF summary report, Wegman’s Barton committee report.

    I take the above, in lieu of chapter and verse, to be false by design.

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