Adjusting Temperatures for the ENSO and the AMO

NOTE: Zip file downloads of models with data have been fixed, see end of this post – Anthony

Source: Mantua, 2000

The essay below has been part of a back and forth email exchange for about a week. Bill has done some yeoman’s work here at coaxing some new information from existing data. Both HadCRUT and GISS data was used for the comparisons to a doubling of CO2, and what I find most interesting is that both Hadley and GISS data come out higher in for a doubling of CO2 than NCDC data, implying that the adjustments to data used in GISS and HadCRUT add something that really isn’t there.

The logarithmic plots of CO2 doubling help demonstrate why CO2 won’t cause a runaway greenhouse effect due to diminished IR returns as CO2 PPM’s increase. This is something many people don’t get to see visualized.

One of the other interesting items is the essay is about the El Nino event in 1878. Bill writes:

The 1877-78 El Nino was the biggest event on record.  The anomaly peaked at +3.4C in Nov, 1877 and by Feb, 1878, global temperatures had spiked to +0.364C or nearly 0.7C above the background temperature trend of the time.

Clearly the oceans ruled the climate, and it appears they still do.

Let’s all give this a good examination, point out weaknesses, and give encouragement for Bill’s work. This is a must read. – Anthony


Adjusting Temperatures for the ENSO and the AMO

A guest post by: Bill Illis

People have noted for a long time that the effect of the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) should be accounted for and adjusted for in analyzing temperature trends.  The same point has been raised for the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO).  Until now, there has not been a robust method of doing so.

This post will outline a simple least squares regression solution to adjusting monthly temperatures for the impact of the ENSO and the AMO.  There is no smoothing of the data, no plugging of the data; this is a simple mathematical calculation.

Some basic points before we continue.

-         The ENSO and the AMO both affect temperatures and, hence, any reconstruction needs to use both ocean temperature indices.  The AMO actually provides a greater impact on temperatures than the ENSO.

-         The ENSO and the AMO impact temperatures directly and continuously on a monthly basis.  Any smoothing of the data or even using annual temperature data just reduces the information which can be extracted.

-         The ENSO’s impact on temperatures is lagged by 3 months while the AMO seems to be more immediate.  This model uses the Nino 3.4 region anomaly since it seems to be the most indicative of the underlying El Nino and La Nina trends.

-         When the ENSO and the AMO impacts are adjusted for, all that is left is the global warming signal and a white noise error.

-         The ENSO and the AMO are capable of explaining almost all of the natural variation in the climate.

-         We can finally answer the question of how much global warming has there been to date and how much has occurred since 1979 for example.  And, yes, there has been global warming but the amount is much less than global warming models predict and the effect even seems to be slowing down since 1979.

-         Unfortunately, there is not currently a good forecast model for the ENSO or AMO so this method will have to focus on current and past temperatures versus providing forecasts for the future.

And now to the good part, here is what the reconstruction looks like for the Hadley Centre’s HadCRUT3 global monthly temperature series going back to 1871 – 1,652 data points.

Click for a full sized image

Click for a full sized image

I will walk you through how this method was developed since it will help with understanding some of its components.

Let’s first look at the Nino 3.4 region anomaly going back to 1871 as developed by Trenberth (actually this index is smoothed but it is the least smoothed data available).

-         The 1877-78 El Nino was the biggest event on record.  The anomaly peaked at +3.4C in Nov, 1877 and by Feb, 1878, global temperatures had spiked to +0.364C or nearly 0.7C above the background temperature trend of the time.

-         The 1997-98 El Nino produced similar results and still holds the record for the highest monthly temperature of +0.749C in Feb, 1998.

-         There is a lag of about 3 months in the impact of ENSO on temperatures.  Sometimes it is only 2 months, sometimes 4 months and this reconstruction uses the 3 month lag.

-         Going back to 1871, there is no real trend in the Nino 3.4 anomaly which indicates it is a natural climate cycle and is not related to global warming in the sense that more El Ninos are occurring as a result of warming.   This point becomes important because we need to separate the natural variation in the climate from the global warming influence.

Click for full sized image

Click for full sized image

The AMO anomaly has longer cycles than the ENSO.

-         While the Nino 3.4 region can spike up to +3.4C, the AMO index rarely gets above +0.6C anomaly.

-         The long cycles of the AMO matches the major climate shifts which have occurred over the last 130 years.  The downswing in temperatures from 1890 to 1915, the upswing in temps from 1915 to 1945, the decline from 1946 to 1975 and the upswing in temps from 1975 to 2005.

-         The AMO also has spikes during the major El Nino events of 1877-88 and 1997-98 and other spikes at different times.

-         It is apparent that the major increase in temperatures during the 1997-98 El Nino was also caused by the AMO anomaly.  I think this has lead some to believe the impact of ENSO is bigger than it really is and has caused people to focus too much on the ENSO.

-         There is some autocorrelation between the ENSO and the AMO given these simultaneous spikes but the longer cycles of the AMO versus the short sharp swings in the ENSO means they are relatively independent.

-         As well, the AMO appears to be a natural climate cycle unrelated to global warming.

Click for full sized image

Click for full sized image

When these two ocean indices are regressed against the monthly temperature record, we have a very good match.

-         The coefficient for the Nino 3.4 region at 0.058 means it is capable of explaining changes in temps of as much as +/- 0.2C.

-         The coefficient for the AMO index at 0.51 to 0.75 indicates it is capable of explaining changes in temps of as much as +/- 0.3C to +/- 0.4C.

-         The F-statistic for this regression at 222.5 means it passes a 99.9% confidence interval.

But there is a divergence between the actual temperature record and the regression model based solely on the Nino and the AMO.  This is the real global warming signal.

Click for full sized image

Click for full sized image

The global warming signal (which also includes an error, UHI, poor siting and adjustments in the temperature record as demonstrated by Anthony Watts) can be now be modeled against the rise in CO2 over the period.

-         Warming occurs in a logarithmic relationship to CO2 and, consequently, any model of warming should be done on the natural log of CO2.

-         CO2 in this case is just a proxy for all the GHGs but since it is the biggest one and nitrous oxide is rising at the same rate, it can be used as the basis for the warming model.

This regression produces a global warming signal which is about half of that predicted by the global warming models.  The F statistic at 4,308 passes a 99.9% confidence interval.

Click for full sized image

Click for full sized image

-         Using the HadCRUT3 temperature series, warming works out to only 1.85C per doubling of CO2.

-         The GISS reconstruction also produces 1.85C per doubling while the NCDC temperature record only produces 1.6C per doubling.

-         Global warming theorists are now explaining the lack of warming to date is due to the deep oceans absorbing some of the increase (not the surface since this is already included in the temperature data).  This means the global warming model prediction line should be pushed out 35 years, or 75 years or even 100s of years.

Here is a depiction of how logarithmic warming works.  I’ve included these log charts because it is fundamental to how to regress for CO2 and it is a view of global warming which I believe many have not seen before.

The formula for the global warming models has been constructed by myself (I’m not even sure the modelers have this perspective on the issue) but it is the only formula which goes through the temperature figures at the start of the record (285 ppm or 280 ppm) and the 3.25C increase in temperatures for a doubling of CO2.   It is curious that the global warming models are also based on CO2 or GHGs being responsible for nearly all of the 33C greenhouse effect through its impact on water vapour as well.

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

The divergence, however, is going to be harder to explain in just a few years since the ENSO and AMO-adjusted warming observations are tracking farther and farther away from the global warming model’s track.  As the RSS satellite log warming chart will show later, temperatures have in fact moved even farther away from the models since 1979.

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

The global warming models formula produces temperatures which would be +10C in geologic time periods when CO2 was 3,000 ppm, for example, while this model’s log warming would result in temperatures about +5C at 3,000 ppm.  This is much closer to the estimated temperature history of the planet.

This method is not perfect.  The overall reconstruction produces a resulting error which is higher than one would want.  The error term is roughly +/-0.2C but the it does appear to be strictly white noise.   It would be better if the resulting error was less than +/- 0.2C but it appears this is unavoidable in something as complicated as the climate and in the measurement errors which exist for temperature, the ENSO and the AMO.

This is the error for the reconstruction of GISS monthly data going back to 1880.

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

There does not appear to be a signal remaining in the errors for another natural climate variable to impact the reconstruction.  In reviewing this model, I have also reviewed the impact of the major volcanoes.  All of them appear to have been caught by the ENSO and AMO indices which I imagine are influenced by volcanoes.  There appears to be some room to look at a solar influence but this would be quite small.  Everyone is welcome to improve on this reconstruction method by examining other variables, other indices.

Overall, this reconstruction produces an r^2 of 0.783 which is pretty good for a monthly climate model based on just three simple variables.  Here is the scatterplot of the HadCRUT3 reconstruction.

Click for a larger image

Click for a larger image

This method works for all the major monthly temperature series I have tried it on.

Here is the model for the RSS satellite-based temperature series.

Click for a larger image

Click for a larger image

Since 1979, warming appears to be slowing down (after it is adjusted for the ENSO and the AMO influence.)

The model produces warming for the RSS data of just 0.046C per decade which would also imply an increase in temperature of just 0.7C for a doubling of CO2 (and there is only 0.4C more to go to that doubling level.)

Click for a full sized image

Looking at how far off this warming trend is from the models can be seen in this zoom-in of the log warming chart.  If you apply the same method to GISS data since 1979, it is in the same circle as the satellite observations so the different agencies do not produce much different results.

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

There may be some explanations for this even wider divergence since 1979.

-         The regression coefficient for the AMO increases from about 0.51 in the reconstructions starting in 1880 to about 0.75 when the reconstruction starts in 1979.  This is not an expected result in regression modelling.

-         Since the AMO was cycling upward since 1975, the increased coefficient might just be catching a ride with that increasing trend.

-         I believe a regression is a regression and we should just accept this coefficient.  The F statistic for this model is 267 which would pass a 99.9% confidence interval.

-         On the other hand, the warming for RSS is really at the very lowest possible end for temperatures which might be expected from increased GHGs.  I would not use a formula which is lower than this for example.

-         The other explanation would be that the adjustments of old temperature records by GISS and the Hadley Centre and others have artificially increased the temperature trend prior to 1979 when the satellites became available to keep them honest.  The post-1979 warming formulae (not just RSS but all of them) indicate old records might have been increased by 0.3C above where they really were.

-         I think these explanations are both partially correct.

This temperature reconstruction method works for all of the major temperature series over any time period chosen and for the smaller zonal components as well.  There is a really nice fit to the RSS Tropics zone, for example, where the Nino coefficient increases to 0.21 as would be expected.

Click for a full sized image

Unfortunately, the method does not work for smaller regional temperature series such as the US lower 48 and the Arctic where there is too much variation to produce a reasonable result.

I have included my spreadsheets which have been set up so that anyone can use them.  All of the data for HadCRUT3, GISS, UAH, RSS and NCDC is included if you want to try out other series.  All of the base data on a monthly basis including CO2 back to 1850, the AMO back to 1856 and the Nino 3.4 region going back to 1871 is included in the spreadsheet.

The model for monthly temperatures is “here” and for annual temperatures is “here” (note the annual reconstruction is a little less accurate than the monthly reconstruction but still works).

I have set-up a photobucket site where anyone can review these charts and others that I have constructed.

http://s463.photobucket.com/albums/qq360/Bill-illis/

So, we can now adjust temperatures for the natural variation in the climate caused by the ENSO and the AMO and this has provided a better insight into global warming.  The method is not perfect, however, as the remaining error term is higher than one would want to see but it might be unavoidable in something as complicated as the climate.

I encourage everyone to try to improve on this method and/or find any errors.  I expect this will have to be taken into account from now on in global warming research.  It is a simple regression.


UPDATED: Zip files should download OK now.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFO NOTE: Bill has made the Excel spreadsheets with data and graphs used for this essay available to me, and for those interested in replication and further investigation, I’m making them available here on my office webserver as a single ZIP file

Downloads:

Annual Temp Anomaly Model 171K Zip file

Monthly Temp Anomaly Model 1.1M Zip file

Just click the download link above, save as zip file, then unzip to your local drive work folder.

Here is the AMO data which is updated monthly a few days after month end.

http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/Correlation/amon.us.long.data

Here is the Nino 3.4 anomaly from Trenbeth from 1871 to 2007.

ftp://ftp.cgd.ucar.edu/pub/CAS/TNI_N34/Nino34.1871.2007.txt

And here is Nino 3.4 data updated from 2007 on.

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov:80/data/indices/sstoi.indices

- Anthony

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297 Responses to Adjusting Temperatures for the ENSO and the AMO

  1. Pamela Gray says:

    Isn’t water vapor a greenhouse gas? Is there a chart of water vapor changes at different atmospheric levels during this same time span that might coincide with increased temperatures? And if CO2′s affect on water vapor were removed, would that leave us with a correlation that more closely matches water vapor changes than CO2 changes? One more question, what does a changing ocean cycle do to water vapor? Is there a lag? Is there a point at which the climate becomes more sensitive to water vapor? In other words, is there a tipping point for water vapor? I can surmise that when ocean cycles go the other way, water vapor would start to change as well and could stall climate changes or even reverse them.

  2. MattN says:

    “There appears to be some room to look at a solar influence but this would be quite small.”

    I am no expert, but I suspect the oceans are being driven by the solar influence. It is becoming increasingly clear that the oceans are running the climate show on this planet.

  3. pizzachef01 says:

    Thanks. Anthony, I am having trouble with the two spreadsheets. I have tried to download them both in open office and excel and I get a message that they are corrupted

    REPLY: Try now I’ve added a ZIP file. – Anthony

  4. crosspatch says:

    There is also a chicken/egg question of warmer water outgassing or at the least not absorbing as much CO2. When oceans warm they take in less CO2 and when soils warm, they produce more CO2 due to increased rates of biological decomposition of organic matter. A recent (in the past week) paper figures that soils produce 10x more CO2 than all human activities combined. While a few degrees doesn’t make much difference in tropical regions, it can make a HUGE difference in temperate regions where a degree or two in local temperature might mean the difference between “frozen” and active biological decomposition. Also, a warmer year will result in a longer period above freezing and just a couple of weeks of additional time is again more than 10x human caused emissions over those two weeks. So an extra frost-free week could be equal to 10 weeks of additional human emissions from natural sources.

    So CO2 may still not be a cause and is still quite likely to be a result of warming.

  5. Bob Tisdale says:

    Bill: I’ll have to delve deeper into your post tomorrow, but until then, here’s something to ponder. Why does a running total of the Trenberth NINO3.4 SST anomaly data create a curve that mimics the global temperature anomaly curve?
    http://i36.tinypic.com/mttvfq.jpg

    I can scale that running total with a coefficient from a Trenberth paper on ENSO and come up with a very reasonable correlation between the running total and global temperature? WHY?

  6. David L. Hagen says:

    For a approach, fitting the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and CO2 to temperature trends, see: Roy W. Spencer’s model, Global Warming as a Natural Response to Cloud Changes Associated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO)

    The “PDO-only” (dashed) curve indeed mimics the main features of the behavior of global mean temperatures during the 20th Century — including two-thirds of the warming trend. If I include transient CO2 forcing with the PDO-forced cloud changes (solid line labeled PDO+CO2), then the fit to observed temperatures is even closer.

    It is important to point out that, in this exercise, the PDO itself is not an index of temperature; it is an index of radiative forcing which drives the time rate of change of temperature.

    Would Bill Illis’ fit above improve by using a combination of PDO, ENSO and AMO with ln(CO2)? Or are PDO, ENSO and AMO sufficiently interrelated as to not be independent?

    Can the effects of the Urban Heat Island effect be quantitatively separated from CO2 forcing on temperature trends?

  7. Anthony, only Java -type URLs come up at the links. Can you provide non-Java URLs for the data? Thanks, Steve

    REPLY: Hi Steve, I’m not sure what you are seeing. I have no java involved in any of this, like you I dislike it. I noted some previous CA comment where you mentioned something similar. I think whatever version of the Java engine you have installed on your PC may be intercepting links.

    My advice, uninstall java from your machine, reboot, then reinstall it.

    Anthony

  8. IT would also be helpful if Bill added original sources for the data (as URLs to the ENSO version and AMO version as used, for example.)

  9. Bill Illis says:

    Regarding water vapour Pamela, there isn’t really good data to show changes in water vapour over time. The only non-confirmed data that there is shows there has been a very slight decline in relative humidity.

    The global warming models are based on relative humidity staying more-or-less constant as temperature fluxuates up and down. Some studies show this is the case while others show there is some variation that we don’t understand right now.

    The water vapour question is the big remaining question in global warming and how big the impact will be.

  10. Bill Illis says:

    To Steve

    Here is the AMO data which is updated monthly a few days after month end.

    http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/Correlation/amon.us.long.data

    Here is the Nino 3.4 anomaly from Trenbeth from 1871 to 2007.

    ftp://ftp.cgd.ucar.edu/pub/CAS/TNI_N34/Nino34.1871.2007.txt

    And here is Nino 3.4 data updated from 2007 on.

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov:80/data/indices/sstoi.indices

  11. wattsupwiththat says:

    For those having trouble downloading, I’ve updated the download with a single zip file containing Bill Illis suplemental files.

    Check the last part of the post again for it.

  12. Jeff L says:

    This is very interesting, well thought out work on first blush. Since this is largely a statistical analysis, I would really like to see CA / Steve McIntyre take a hard look at it & render his opinion on the statistical validity (and comment here if possible). If it appears to hold up, I would encourage Bill to try to get it published, perhaps as a co-author with one or more names that could lend weight & credence to the publication.

    I have taken a similar approach for seasonal forecasting of front range snowfall here in Colorado with pretty good success. Interestingly enough, I also found my best correlations with ENSO & AMO and poor correlation with solar activity & volcanic activity / optical thickness data. I think that not only do the oceans rule our long term climatic trends but also largely rule our seasonal trends.

    Something to consider – we know the ocean has thermohaline circulation cycles of up to 1000+ years. If the ocean circulation has cycles of 1000 + years, could it also have heat content cycles up to 1000 + years & could that be a significant driver / component of even longer cycles of climate change we observe? Are there proxies out there that could assess this in a manor similar to what Bill just did for the last 130 years? – isotope data possibly?

    I personally think that Bill is just scratching the surface of what this general multi-variate technique could bring to the table for climate data analysis.

  13. Bill Illis says:

    To Bob Tisdale,

    There is no logical/physical reason to include a running total for the Nino 3.4 anomaly which extends over years. I could be persuaded for a running total of a few months but one just needs to examine the up and down of temperatures in the 1997-98 El Nino, for example, to see there is no accumulating impact. The direct and continuous impact appears to work better and is more logical from a physical perspective in my mind.

  14. deadwood says:

    Great detective work Bill. Now we await the pitbull (Gavin) to see if he takes a bite!

  15. Alan S. Blue says:

    Good work Bill Illis.

    One lingering issue I kept running into in my own (non-climate) empirical fitting work is trying to avoid adding parameters I’m not certain are needed. And at each step, trying the simplest possible influence from a factor before assuming a more complex relationship.

    What that boils down to is:
    What happens to your fit if you just regress on a monotonically increasing line instead of ln(co2)?

    Is the fit substantially better or worse?

    Because a fair number of papers split “the warming” into a slice due to humans (AGW), and a slice that isn’t necessarily. Being able to differentiate the two would be excellent.

  16. Steve Hempell says:

    Still can’t get spreadsheets with zip file. Lots of #VALUEs (using Excel 2007).

    Only get this on the link – no way to download anything.
    “ndex of ftp://ftp.cgd.ucar.edu/pub/CAS/TNI_N34/Nino34.1871.2007.txt/

    Up to higher level directory
    Name Size Last Modified”

    Anthony:

    Have you read this:

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/view.php?id=35952

    On reading seems like NASA gobbly-gook and makes statements like this:

    “With new observations, the scientists confirmed experimentally what existing climate models had anticipated theoretically” and

    “Because the new precise observations agree with existing assessments of water vapor’s impact, researchers are more confident than ever in model predictions that Earth’s leading greenhouse gas will contribute to a temperature rise of a few degrees by the end of the century.” What’s a “few”?

    What’s your take on this “News”?

  17. davidsmith1 says:

    Bill, I have some plots somewhere which suggest that ENSO and global temperature are correlated with about a 3 month lag and then correlated again, weakly, with about a 15 month lag.

    My thinking was that the results reflected either an odd flaw in my approach or, if real, a secondary impact of ENSO on Indian Ocean SST.

    I’ll see if I can find, or reconstruct, those plots during the upcoming US holiday.

  18. Steve Hempell says:

    Still having problems with zip file. Getting lots of #VALUE.

    Also problems with ftp://ftp.cgd.ucar.edu/pub/CAS/TNI_N34/Nino34.1871.2007.txt

    Can’t seem to download anything.

    Anthony:

    Have you read this:

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/view.php?id=35952

    Any comments?

  19. Bill Illis says:

    To Alan S. Blue

    The theory of global warming is based on a logarithmic relationship of CO2/GHGs to temperature impact.

    A linear model works fine until you move far away from the current CO2 levels of 387 ppm. In fact, right now, CO2 levels are increasing at a slightly exponential rate (0.8% acceleration) per year and the warming trend would go ballistic exponential in no time if you didn’t use the log formula.

    It doesn’t make much difference for short periods of time but what would Earth’s temp be when CO2 levels were 3,000 ppm 350 million years ago – 8 times the current average of 15C or about 116C – it was only about +5C.

    http://img396.imageshack.us/img396/9346/co2tempgeotij2.png

  20. Bill Illis says:

    To Steve Hempell.

    Regarding the water vapour study by Dessler – I read the paper and the results are not exactly as indicated in the news releases. The study examined the change in water vapour from DJF 2007 to DJF of 2008 when the La Nina (and the AMO) reduced temperatures by 0.4C.

    The study found there was a 1.5% (percentage points) decline in relative humidity in the very lower levels of the troposphere and a 1.5% increase in relative humidity in the upper layers of the troposphere. The middle layers were constant.

    Given there is more water vapour in the lower levels of the atmosphere, the study really found that there was a decline in overall relative humidity when global warming theory suggests it should stay more-or-less stable.

    To be fair, the models do produce results which are similar to this as temperatures go up (but not when they go down as happened between 2007 and 2008.)

  21. Bill Illis says:

    To davidsmith,

    I think there is room for further optimization of this model, especially with the lags and trying other indices. I’ve seen your stuff before and would welcome any further thoughts.

    To be honest, I built this model because I got tired of asking people to just try this or try that and then not seeing it done. I am just a layman and others need to pick this up and run with it now.

  22. It makes me uncomfortable to look at the graph Hadley Plus Constant Versus Nino and AMO Model Only and see a hybrid of actual data and modeled data going back in time. Plotting anything that comes out of a computer on a chronologic baseline from the past is an inherently unsettling strategy, one that to my eyes appears to have been heavily influenced by AGWers’ love of GCMs.

    The word “warming” on the graph, again, appears to have the ring of authority, as though there were only a single possible explanation for the divergence. That would appear to my eyes to be an argument, rather than a fact. Could the length of solar cycles have anything to do with temperatures? Could the intensity of solar cycles have anything to do with the rising temperatures? Could the PDO be at play here? Could, as someone else pointed asked, energy in the deep ocean that got there hundreds, or thousands, of years ago have raised atmospheric temperatures in the 20th century?

  23. KW says:

    I’d be curious to know if the AMO has peaked on its latest cycle, and if so, what happens from here through the next 30 years? A repeat of of 1945-1975 – ala stagnant or a minor drop in temperatures – like the Western WA Professor’s paper as of recent?

    temps.
    2008—>..
    .. …. …… .. 2038(?)
    …… … .. …..

  24. Mike C says:

    Okay, I see partions of two oceans discussed here… many more to go.

  25. Terry says:

    Steve Hempell and Pamela

    Re water vapour questions, it seems to me that with this kind of analysis, it is irrelevant. Temp increases are logarithmically tied to CO2, and H20 is essentially logarithmically tied to temperature. So a log dependence on CO2 will take care of the H2O in this type of correlation. Only the exponent of the log changes, ie the constant in front of the log term becomes a proxy for all the other parameters that change with CO2. In essence, it is perfectly acceptable to use the CO2 level as the proxy for most of the other variables that are tied to it. This is a nice piece of work.

  26. kim says:

    I wish I could remember who said that the climate is the continuation of the oceans by other means.
    =======================================

  27. peter_ga says:

    The assumption that for time scales longer than el-nino and multidecadal oscillations the climate naturally is essentially static forms an essential, but unjustified, foundation of the AGW hypothesis. It is not possible to prove unambiguously that the warming from 1970 to 2000 was not part of some natural variation. Hence the defense of the undefensible concerning the hockey stick charade.

  28. steven mosher says:

    kim: Von Cloudswitz

  29. Flanagan says:

    To me, it really looks like the AMO/nino model diverges compared to observations since the 70ies, and that the difference keeps increasing with time.

  30. Bob Tisdale says:

    Bill Ellis: You wrote, “one just needs to examine the up and down of temperatures in the 1997-98 El Nino, for example, to see there is no accumulating impact.”

    Take a closer look. Note the step change in the pre-and post-1997 global temperature trends that should be attributable to the 97/98 El Nino in the:
    RSS MSU Data:
    http://i34.tinypic.com/o9j0v5.jpg
    GISS Data:
    http://i35.tinypic.com/2ajs8ib.jpg
    NCDC Data:
    http://i36.tinypic.com/2ijhvdw.jpg
    UAH MSU Data:
    http://i36.tinypic.com/14scl08.jpg
    and the HADCRUT Data:
    http://i36.tinypic.com/1emam9.jpg

    Or looking at data sets of smaller areas, notice the remarkable step changes in the Mediterranean Sea SST after the 97/98 El Nino:
    http://i33.tinypic.com/6rpjzm.jpg
    and the Gulf of Mexico SST:
    http://i33.tinypic.com/2hyexwj.jpg
    and the Atlantic Ocean SST:
    http://i35.tinypic.com/9fmneo.jpg
    and the western Pacific Ocean SST:
    http://i34.tinypic.com/10pr9cm.jpg

    Arctic temperatures shifted, too:
    http://i38.tinypic.com/2cpx63c.jpg

    Note the differences in response of the east and west Pacific Ocean SSTs (divided at 180deg longitude) to the 97/98 El Nino:
    http://i34.tinypic.com/5tx6qg.jpg

    Note also the differences in the responses of the Indian Ocean to significant El Nino events:
    http://i38.tinypic.com/iejmtk.jpg
    versus La Nina events:
    http://i33.tinypic.com/15ofb41.jpg

    I discussed the above in the following posts:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/08/did-9798-el-nino-cause-step-change-in.html
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/07/hurricane-breeding-grounds.html
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/10/atlantic-indian-and-pacific-ocean-ssts.html
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/11/another-look-at-saw-tooth-trends-in.html

    Bill: I don’t have the background that would allow me to delve into the data further and pull out an accumulating impact of ENSO. But maybe someone else reading this thread does. The fact that a running total of the Trenberth NINO3.4 SST anomaly data mimics the global temperature anomaly curve hints that there is an accumulation.

    Regards.

  31. Stephen Wilde says:

    A good start in unravelling the oceanic effects on atmospheric temperatures.

    Now we need to ascertain the net global effect at any particular time of ALL oceanic oscillations combined.

    Sometimes they combine in the same phase to affect temperatures rapidly and at other times they offset one another.

    Then tie them in with solar changes over several solar cycles and that should account for all observed temperature changes without having to involve CO2 at all.

    See my various articles at :

    http://co2sceptics.com/news.php?tag=stephen+wilde

  32. Stephen Wilde says:

    Kim,

    The oceans should be regarded as a continuation of the atmosphere as regards maintenance of global temperature and being so much more substantial the oceans are by far the greater part of the mechanism.

  33. Bob Tisdale says:

    Bill Illis: Sorry about misspelling your last name. It’s early here. I was apparently more concerned that I had the right links.

    Regards.

  34. Roger Carr says:

    kim (23:30:28) : I wish I could remember who said…
    “Climate is the continuation of the oceans by other means”
    http://navalwarchangesclimate.wordpress.com/
    That’s one link, kim. It seems to be all over the web.

  35. Alan Chappell says:

    Bill Illis says,
    “I am just a layman” I ask Bill, where can i get a degree in Layman ?

  36. Richard S Courtney says:

    Bill Illis:

    Thankyou for this cogent analysis. I have one comment on your method and its effect on your conclusion.

    I understand your article to say your analytical method has the following steps.

    1.
    The effect on temperature of AMO and ENSO within the time series is calculated by simple regression (this is possible because AMO and ENSO exhibit several cycles within the temporal range of the data set).

    2.
    The temperature effect of AMO and ENSO is deleted from the time series to reveal a residual temperature trend in the time series.

    3.
    The residual trend is assumed to be an effect of changed atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration over the temporal range of the data set.

    4.
    The assumption in step 3 is used to calculate the climate sensitivity to changing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration.

    This may be correct, but the assumption in step 3 is the logical fallacy of ‘argument from ignorance’. The assumption amounts to, “The cause of the residual trend is not known so it must be changing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration”. (If this ‘logical fallacy’ is not clear then consider, “The cause of crop failures is not known so it must be witches”.)

    Of course, the residual trend may be a result of changing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration.

    However, the assumption in step 3 does not concur with the implicit assumption of steps 1 and 2 that natural cycles are affecting the temperature trend.

    Other natural cycles may also be affecting the trend, and the method is not applicable to cycles with lower frequency than the time series. Such a very low frequency oscillation does seem to exist. There is an apparent ~900 year oscillation that caused the Roman Warm Period (RWP), then the Dark Age Cool Period (DACP), then the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), then the Little Ice Age (LIA), and the present warm period (PWP).

    There is no known cause of this apparent low frequency oscillation: some people suggest it could be solar influence, but it could be the chaotic climate system seeking its attractor(s), and it could be … . However, there is no known cause of the AMO and ENSO, either.

    Therefore, the implicit assumption of your steps 1 and 2 suggests that the residual trend determined by your steps 1 and 2 could be recovery from the LIA that is similar to the recovery from the DACP to the MWP.

    Indeed, since the method adopted the implicit assumption of your steps 1 and 2, consistency suggests that all the observed rise of global temperature in the twentieth century is recovery from the LIA that is similar to the recovery from the DACP to the MWP.

    Hence, the calculated climate sensitivity to changing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration obtained by your method should be assumed to be a maximum value until this possibility of recovery from the LIA is assessed.

    I hope these thoughts are helpful.

    Again, thankyou for your superb work that I trust will soon be published.

    Richard

  37. Bill Illis says:

    To Richard,

    The steps you outlined are correct and there is a step 3 where there may be opportunities to find other variables/indices to explain some of the variation.

    There is a fairly consistent trend going up however and the biggest explanation for that would be increasing GHGs.

    But you’re right, other variables should be tested in this model.

  38. John W says:

    I also am having problems opening the excel files. Excel tries to repair (unsucessfully) the annual model, and I get a “cannot be accessed” error on the monthly.

    Excellent analysis. I look forward to delving deeper over the holiday.

  39. kim says:

    Arnd Bernaerts, yes, it was, and thank you, Roger.
    ==============================

  40. Norm Kalmanovitch says:

    No matter what scientific facts are presented to challenge the AGW ideology it is impossible for scientists to sway public opinion on this issue because the issue is political. It is very easy for high profile people who quote a scientific consensus that is supported by sophisticated computer models to convince the general public of anything that they want.
    Even though the computer models have never yielded a single result that matches observations, any criticism of the models is met with some sort of complex justification that is beyond the comprehension of the general public so it is readily accepted by the masses and those questioning the validity of the models are vilified by the promoters of the AGW agenda as skeptics and deniers who are in the pockets of big oil.

    The sole support for AGW is the climate models, and the sole support for the climate models with respect to CO2 is the forcing parameter. There is no actual physical rational for the forcing parameter, because it was simply contrived from the assumption that observed warming of 0.6°C was due entirely to a 100ppmv increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration. There was never any verification of this parameter either by theory or observation. There is no justification for this parameter based on the physical properties of CO2, because the molecular configuration of the CO2 molecule precludes any significant effect from CO2 beyond a concentration of 300ppmv, and the current concentration is 386ppmv.
    There is no justification for this parameter based on observation because the observed notch in the spectrum created by CO2 is virtually identical for both the Earth and Mars and Mars has over 9 times the physical concentration of CO2 in its atmosphere than the Earth has in its atmosphere.
    Even the reference temperature value for the parameter is faulty because the maximum temperature increase possibly attributable to human CO2 emissions is 0.1°C per century; not the 0.6°C that is used in the forcing parameter.

    The climate models use a forcing parameter based on the equation:

    CO2 rf = f * ln([CO2]/[CO2]prein)/ln(2)
    where f= rf for CO2 doubling

    In further documentation according to the IPCC, the “Radiative Forcing” ÄF, in watts per square meter, due to additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, can be calculated from the formula:

    ÄF = 5.35 ln C/Co

    The value 5.35 in this equation and the term [CO2]prein in the generalized equation demonstrate that the forcing parameter is based on the 100ppmv increase from the preindustrial value of 280ppmv and the 0.6°C of measured temperature over the time period that this 100ppmv increase occurred.

    Further documentation in the IPCC reports states that the forcing of each watt/m2 raises the global temperature by 0.75°C + 0.25°C.

    The Nimbus 4 satellite measured the thermal radiation spectrum of the Earth in 1970, when the CO2 concentration was 325ppmv as measured at Mauna Loa.
    Mars has an atmosphere that is 95% CO2 with virtually zero water vapour and the remaining 5% of the atmosphere is comprised of O2 N2 and Ar, so CO2 is essentially the only “greenhouse gas”.
    The atmosphere on Mars is so thin that the 950,000ppmv concentration of CO2 only represents about 9 times more actual CO2 than is in the Earth’s atmosphere in absolute terms.
    Recent measurements of the thermal radiation spectrum from Mars should show a spectral notch from CO2 that represents an increase in forcing representing the 9 times difference in CO2 according to the equation:

    ÄF = 5.35 ln C/Co

    Considering that this formula gives a forcing value of 3.708watts/m2 for just a doubling of CO2, this value of 11.755watts/m2 for a 9-fold difference should be readily visible on the two measured spectra.
    The spectral notch is virtually identical on both the 1970 Earth spectra with a 325ppmv and the Mars spectra from at least 9 times the concentration indicating that there is virtually no effect increases in CO2 beyond 325ppmv.

    This clearly falsifies the equation and the numerical values used to determine the forcing parameter of the climate models that support the AGW hypothesis.

    In addition to this physical evidence of an invalid assumption forming the basis for the forcing parameter, there is a blatantly obvious error in the actual values used in determining the magnitude of the forcing parameter. The temperature record shows that the global temperature has been increasing naturally at a rate of about 0.5°C/century since the Little Ice Age. The forcing parameter is based on the full measured 0.6°C/century without subtracting the natural warming of 0.5°C/century giving a forcing parameter that is 6 times larger than can be attributed to the measured increase in CO2.

    Far less obvious, but the major fatal flaw of the forcing parameter is that it is based on an observation of temperature and CO2 concentration without taking into account the actual physical properties of CO2 and its limited effect on thermal radiation as defined by quantum physics.

    As you are aware, certain gases can be caused to rotate and vibrate by thermal radiation. The rotation mode is relatively independent of wavelength but the vibration mode is limited to specific resonant wavelength bands. The rotation mode results from the interaction between the thermal energy and the dipole moment of the gas molecule. The carbon dioxide molecule is formed from two oxygen atoms equidistant from a central carbon atom and all three atoms are in a perfectly straight line. This configuration and symmetry eliminates any dipole moment, limiting the CO2 molecule to vibration modes only.

    There is only a single vibration mode of CO2 that resonates within the thermal spectrum radiated by the Earth (and Mars). This bend vibration resonates with a band of energy centred on a wavelength of 14.77microns (wavenumber 677cm-1) and the width of this band is quite narrow as depicted on the spectra from Earth and Mars.

    It only takes a minute amount of CO2 to fully “capture” the energy at the resonant wavelength, and additional CO2 progressively captures energy that is further and further from the peak wavelength. At the 280ppmv CO2 preindustrial level used as reference in the forcing parameter, about 95% of the energy bandwidth that could possibly be captured by CO2 has already been captured. There is only 5% of this limited energy available within the confines of this potential “capture” band left to be captured.

    The greenhouse effect from CO2 is generally stated as 3°C, so an additional 100ppmv above the 280ppmv level is only capable of generating a maximum 5% increase or 0.15°C. The forcing parameter is based on a full 0.6°C which is four times the 0.15°C absolute physical limit of warming from CO2.

    Furthermore if this 0.15°C increase has used up the full 5% of the remaining possible energy as the concentration reached 380ppmv, there is zero warming possible from further increases in CO2.

    This is why the CO2 notch is virtually identical in the two spectra; the CO2 band was virtually saturated at the 325ppmv concentration level, so even nine times more CO2 has almost no appreciable effect.

    Norm K.

  41. John W says:

    Richard C

    You make good points. However, for your ‘logical fallacy’ example of the cause of crop failures to be analgous, there would need to be a corresponding increase in the population of witches.

    And while we wouldn’t expect crop failures to “force” an increase of witches,
    does the same hold true as to whether >CO2 is a cause or effect? After reading Jim Hanson’s paper where he tries to explain away the 700 or so yr. lag of CO2 following temperature changes in the Vostok data, I remain unconvinced that CO2 is, in the words of someone who’s name I can’t recall, “driving the bus or just sitting in the back”.

  42. Bob Tisdale says:

    Bill Illis: Sometimes a change of perspective is needed. Your analysis also doesn’t account for the disparity between the magnitude and frequency of El Nino events and those of La Nina events. This can readily be seen by smoothing NINO3.4 data. I used a 7-year filter for the following graph. (Actually an 85-month filter for the monthly NINO3.4 and Global Temperature anomaly data.)

    http://i38.tinypic.com/2v9ay69.jpg

    Other notes about the graph: Since the source of your data (Trenberth and Stepaniak) remark in the accompanying paper that the NINO3.4 data is questionable prior to the opening of the Panama Canal, 1914, I deleted the data before 1915. I also prepared this graph for an upcoming post that I haven’t gotten around to writing up, which is why it ends in 2005.

    Note that the NINO3.4 data is predominantly positive from 1918 to 1944 and from 1977 to 2005 (periods when global temperatures rose) and that the NINO3.4 data is predominantly negative from 1943 to 1959 and from 1970 to 1977 (periods when global temperatures for the most part declined). There are some exceptions, but, in whole, it holds true. During the positive NINO3.4 period of 1959 to 1970, global temperatures started to rise but were suppressed by volcanic aerosols.

    Regards.

  43. JimB says:

    Norm,
    Thank you for that great post…I’ve read it 3 times, and will read it several more, I’m sure. Each time I understand a little bit more of what you’re saying.

    Bill Illis,
    What great work. I hope I get to see it put to good use, and provide yet another set of points that get added to the debate which we so desperately need.

    JimB

  44. Richard S Courtney says:

    John W:

    I hope this posting will clarify what I meant by my comment, and I apologise if my use of an imperfect illustration caused confusion.

    To begin, I want it to be very clear that I think Illis has provided a good, useful and important analysis which warrants publication.

    My witches illustration was intended to aid understanding, and it was not intended as direct analogy. However, your comment brings attention to quality of data. (The records show that the number of detected witches did increase at the time when witchfinders were appointed. But it is not clear how many witches were detected and how many witchfinders existed.)

    I stress that I think Illis has provided a superb analysis, but the quality of any analysed data should always be questioned because GIGO applies to all analyses.

    Also, your comment concerning “driving the bus” illustrates the importance of ascribed causality. Which was causal; did increase to the number of detected witches induce increase to the number of witchfinders, or did increase to the number of witchfinders induce increase to the number of detected witches?

    In the context of the analysis Illis provides, ascribed causality has great importance. Which is causal; did increase to atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration cause increase to the residual temperature trend, or did rising temperature cause increase to the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, or were the temperature and carbon dioxide changes caused by some other effect(s)?

    My comment was intended to explain the importance of ascribed causality on the analysis Illis provides.

    I am an extreme sceptic on matters of man-made global climate change. I do not know the cause(s) of the recent rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, and I do not know what – if any – effect that rise is having on global climate. But I want to find out.

    The absence of any empirical evidence for anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) global warming (AGW) leads advocates of AGW to rely on the logical fallacy of ‘argument from ignorance’ and outputs of computer models.

    History is replete with examples of politicians being guided by advisors who used the ‘argument from ignorance’ fallacy to justify their advice. The advisors have always presented an appealing case based on accepted theory, and they have always ignored – or rejected – alternative possible explanations for the effects which they have asserted as justification for their advice.

    In ancient times such advisors said, “We do not know what causes lightening to strike so it must be the actions of Gods and people should make sacrifices to appease those Gods.” And, as my illustration said, in the Middle Ages such advisors said, “We do not know what causes crops to fail so it must be witches and we must eliminate the witches.”

    Now, advocates of AGW say, “We do not know what causes global climate change so it must be emissions from human activity and we must eliminate those emissions.” Of course, they phrase it slightly differently: they say that they cannot match historical climate change with known climate mechanisms unless an anthropogenic effect is included. But this “anthropogenic effect” is an assumption with no more empirical evidence to support its existence than the empirical evidence for ancient Gods and witches.

    My comments tried to say that the final part of Illis’s analysis adopts the same ‘logical fallacy’ that is used by AGW advocates. It is an assumption – not a fact – that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is the cause of the residual temperature trend his analysis reveals. Indeed, his demonstration that natural oscillations cause some of the temperature trend adds credence to the possibility that other observed natural oscillations may also be significantly contributing to the trend.

    But, as I also said, increased atmospheric carbon dioxide may be the cause of the residual temperature trend Illis’s analysis reveals.

    I hope what I intended to say is now clear.

    Richard

  45. John M says:

    davidsmith1 (20:37:23) :

    Will this or this help you track it down?

  46. Flanagan says:

    two rapid comments on the reply just above:

    “the computer models have never yielded a single result that matches observations”

    This looks to me like a very strong statement. Too bad it is completely false… In particular when you think many models biuld their internal set parameters based on reproducing observations over the last century.

    “There is only a single vibration mode of CO2 that resonates within the thermal spectrum radiated by the Earth. This bend vibration resonates with a band of energy centred on a wavelength of 14.77microns (wavenumber 677cm-1)”

    again, a very convincing argument, except that it is obviously incorrect:
    http://www.globalwarmingart.com/images/thumb/4/4e/Atmospheric_Absorption_Bands.png/700px-Atmospheric_Absorption_Bands.png
    There is more than just one asymetric vibration mode in CO2.

  47. Noblesse Oblige says:

    Bill
    This analysis is very promising. It is similar to but extends the work of Douglass and Christy (Limits on CO2 Forcing From Recent Temperature Data of Earth, Energy and Environment, to be published) which considers only UAH data (1979+). Both your analysis and Douglass/Christy attempt to remove “unforced” natural effects from the climate signal and ascribe the residual to “the real global warming signal.” However, solar variability remains an untreated “forced” natural effect. You may wish to consider incorporating the work of N. Scafetta and B. West (J. Geophysical Research, Vol 112 D24S03, Nov. 2007, and their previous papers cited therein) who treat solar variability phenomenolgically via a simple thermodynamic model using various reconstructions of Total Solar Illuminance and the historical temperature over longer time periods. They find a major fraction, but not nearly all, of 20th century warminng ascribable to solar variability. It should be possible to incorporate their approach in your regressions.

    The point is that no one that I know of has included both “unforced’ terrestrial cycles and solar variability in an integrated analysis.

  48. Pierre Gosselin says:

    Now that’s a good post. Keep ‘em coming!
    0.4°C more warming with a doubling of CO2 – hardly catastrophic. Certainly does not warrant expensive mitigation programs demanded by many.

    “…adjustments of old temperature records by GISS and the Hadley Centre and others have artificially increased the temperature trend… ”
    Now why doesn’t that surprise me? I’m curious how the other side will respond to this.

  49. Bill Illis says:

    To Bob Tisdale,

    I tried just plugging a higher coefficient for the Nino 3.4 region because it does seem like there are periods when its impact is greater than the reconstruction allows.

    However, there are many other time periods when the increased coefficient just puts the reconstruction far off the actual temperature trend. These time periods then extend out over many years, decades even, versus the very short periods when the reconstruction is off by a small amount.

    So, I just decided to trust the regression and go with it. I wanted this to just be a straight-up, simple model with no plugging or smoothing in any event because there is a danger in playing around with the data too much, as Mann’s hockey sticks show.

    You are the expert on analyzing ocean temps and circulation of course and I have been to your site quite often before.

    In terms of the Trenberth data being questionable in earlier periods, I just decided to just go with what’s available. If we are to build a model of temperatures, we have to use what is available.

    What I would like to see however, is if the raw Trenberth data would provide a better fit as this index is a five month smoothing. It is probably too variable, hence the need for the smoothing but what I’ve seen in this building this reconstruction is that information is lost as the data is smoothed or averaged. Just look at the spikes in the temperature data, the climate can move very fast.

  50. I just returned from a climate change conference in Amsterdam organised by the Royal Geological and Mining Society of the Netherlands on the 20th of November http://www.kngmg.nl/

    Two speakers: Prof Jurg Beer (physicist) of Zurich and Prof Kees de Jager of Utrecht University and founder and first director of the Utrecht Space Research Laboratory showed some remarkable correlations between temperature variations and solar activity over the last 400 years or so. They concluded that no anthropogenic signature could be detected. They purely concentrated on the statistical significance of the observations. Yet they realized that the changes in solar forcing are not enough to cause the temperature fluctuations, but they didn’t want to speculate about the possible causes. Obviously some other mechanism must explain the amplified effect on temperature. They knew about Svensmark et al but didn’t want to comment on it as they felt not qualified to do so, but they were eagerly awaiting the outcome of the forthcoming CERN experiments.

    If ENSO and AMO are also correlating with the past temperature fluctuations, I can only conclude that the sun ( via clouds? ) is responsible for the frequency and strength of the various oceanic oscillations.

    De Jager’s paper has just appeared in the September issue (Volume 87, no 3) of the Netherlands Journal of Geosciences.

  51. Jeff L says:

    In thinking about it overnight, I came to the same conclusion that some of the other posters did. What you have done is residualized the long wavelength trend not directly related to ENSO / AMO out of the signal. Over the time scale of investigation, a linear trend or logarithmic trend could be fit – I am guessing with similar r^2′s. I would agree that temps & CO2 have a logarithmic trend, but there isn’t enough spread in the data to say the residual has a logarithmic trend. SO, with that being said, if you make the ASSUMPTION that the residual trend is purely due to CO2 – the 1.85C per doubling of CO2 is a MAXIMUM effect end member – assuming any other forcing mechanisms at play are positive & not negative.

    Question for the group to consider : What other long wavelength forcings are out there that could drive this residual (ie positive forcings, with CO2 being an even smaller positive forcing) & what other possible long wavelength negative forcings are out there that would make this an underestimate of CO2 forcing?

    One more IMPORTANT comment for group: This little exercise here is a good example of collaborative science – not unlike the concept behind linux. As a community, there should be some consideration of a way to formalize this concept (not that I have time to do this, but someone reading might). I think the over-riding concern with the “skeptics” community is that we want the science done right – science as science, with everything considered, not as dogmatic political science. I would bet that if a web-based mechanism was set up for collaborative research, that scientifically sound progress could be made on many different aspect of climate change by the skeptic community. It could have different threads investigating specific questions, a compilation of all important publicly available datasets, a compilation of pertinent publications, as well as all research done by the group to date for others to build upon. Bill’s paper above would be a good example of a starting point for a thread of research. Questions brought up by posters could be investigated further, the model / hypothesis refined with those answers. New questions such as the causation behind the residual could start as a new thread of research. As long as no one lets their egos get in the way (looking for glory) & the goal is simply getting the right answer, it could be a powerful tool.

  52. Rick W says:

    Anthony, still having problems opening the excel sheets, even in zip format. Says they are corrupted.

    REPLY: I tried a download from another machine that I didn’t write the post from and had the same result. I’ll see if I can figure out this nuance. – Anthony

  53. Pamela Gray says:

    Maybe we just have warm or cold air blowing on our temp gauges. What patterns does the jet stream take on with oceanic oscillations? At least in the upper part of the US we either freeze or save on fuel when the jet stream dips or not. The winter of 07/08 experienced plenty of cold temps because the jet stream looped down into our territory many times. The more times in a season it stays up above the 45 parallel the more fuel we save. Is there an oscillation to the predominant jet stream pattern that coincides with oceanic cycles? And what do we know about the jet stream in relation with solar cycles? Plus, wouldn’t the jet stream move water vapor along to somewhere else?

  54. kim says:

    Chris S. (06:44:32)

    Whose reconstruction of solar activity did your speakers use? Where’s Leif to comment on this latest?
    ========================================

  55. kim says:

    Uh, that’s (06:32:44) for Chris S.
    ===========================

  56. Pamela Gray says:

    re: web based research collaboration. Scientists need to feed their families too. Who will fund such an effort? Scientists don’t make a product that you can buy at Walmart. What funding sources could be accessed for such an endeavor that does not have, or can set aside, a vested interest in the outcome? And how long would they be willing to fund before answers are forthcoming?

  57. Peter Taylor says:

    Damn it, everybody! I am in the middle of writing several articles, a policy paper and a book, and I can’t make time for this post……but will have to! Thank you Bill and all other contributors – it is one of the most informative and challenging posts yet – and very hard for me to digest because I am really bad at stats.

    Others have picked up the issue of long term trends and recovery from the Little Ice Age, PDO cycles, and even longer ones – and not assuming the divergence is doe to CO2 until these are factored in – and the post on CO2 saturation is great stuff – I need to revisit that….and so little time!

    One request – of the IPPC’s 0.6C, how much are you knocking off? Bill – You said it was a large amount, but I can’t see it on the graphs. What simple proportion do you ascribe to carbon dioxide?

  58. Bob Tisdale says:

    Bill Illis, one last thing. With respect to your statement and graph about the NINO3.4 anomaly data trend or lack thereof, there is a significant difference between the Trenberth NINO3.4 SST anomaly data (The ultimate source is HADSST) and the Smith and Reynolds (ERSST.v2) version. Here’s a comparative graph of the monthly data:
    http://i36.tinypic.com/2s76q02.jpg
    Here’s a graph of the difference with a linear trend line:
    http://i37.tinypic.com/2q33dcz.jpg

    That trend is substantial and the dip in the early 20th century is consistent with the ERSST.v2 version of the Pacific Ocean. I don’t think the Trenberth (HADSST) NINO3.4 data has been detrended, though it looks like it might have been, because the difference also shows up in the annual NINO3.4 SST data of the two data sets:
    http://i33.tinypic.com/orl1tc.jpg
    And the difference in the annual SST data:
    http://i38.tinypic.com/20zw7bb.jpg

    I discussed it here:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/11/nino34-data-comparison-hadsst-and.html

    Who knows, maybe the guys at the Hadley Centre didn’t like the pesty SST dip in the early 20th century, so they smoothed it out. Stranger things have happened.

    Regards

  59. kim: steven mosher:

    I thought it was Cloud von Wasserwitz.

    Remember? He was the chap who built the Kiel Canal between the Baltic and North Seas and predicted that the connection between the two seas would eventually make the Baltic ice-free in winter.

  60. Jeff Alberts says:

    Chris Shoeneveld: “Yet they realized that the changes in solar forcing are not enough to cause the temperature fluctuations, but they didn’t want to speculate about the possible causes. Obviously some other mechanism must explain the amplified effect on temperature.”

    I’m not convinced there even has been an “amplified effect on temperature” any more than normal.

  61. Werner Weber says:

    Thank you, Bill Illis, for this very nice post.
    May I, nevertheless, ask the following questions:
    1) the weight of ENSO is considerably less than that of AMO (0.06 or +/- 0.2 Celsius variation vs 0.5-0.7 or +/- 0.3-0.4 C variation).
    ENSO represents tropical pacific, while AMO represents northern atlantic – not including tropical atlantic. The total area of pacific ocean is approx. 180 million km2, thereof tropical/subtropical area approx. 90 million km2. The atlantic ocean has 80 million km2, thereof the AMO area is approx. 30 million km2. The ratio is 3:1 while the weight factors ENSO vs AMO have roughly 1:2.
    Why do you not use pacific decadal oscillation instead of AMO? PDO represents the total pacific, with, maybe, too little weight for the tropical pacific, which then would be compensated by ENSO.
    2) The logarithmic dependence on CO2 concentration. Could it be replaced by just a linear dependence on time, without spoiling the agreement? After all, it can be claimed according to IPCC that 1/3 of the global warming arises from solar influence, which to a very first approximation has been linear in time (probably no longer).
    3) The Hadcrut global data CO2 logarithmic prefactor of 2.73 yield 0.1 C per decade warming (since 1958), while the RSS global data give a CO2 logarithmic prefactor of 1(or 0.046 C/decade, since 1978). The difference to some extend seems to arise from the heavier weight of the last decade in the RSS analysis, but mainly may arise from inadequate land surface data (see UHI etc discussion a few days ago). Do you share this view?

    A logarithmic ansatz for the CO2 dependence ignores any negative feedback due to enhanced latent heat transport at higher temperatures (the Lindzen argument).

  62. Bob Tisdale says:

    Bill: As soon as the glitch in the download is fixed, I’ll try to replace the Trenberth data with ERSST.v2 and see what happens with your model. I’ll post the results.

    BTW, how’d you answer my comment about the differences in the data sets before I posted it?

  63. Jeff L says:

    Pamela Gray (07:14:29) :

    “Scientists need to feed their families too. Who will fund such an effort?”

    That is why I made the Linux analogy – built collaboratively by a community of intensely interested individuals – with nothing more than sweat equity. I assume Bill Illis did not get paid for his little research work – yet he has put together a potentially very interesting piece of science. Anthony puts this blog together, which furthers the science and doesn’t get paid. This is not unrealistic to think that it could work. We clearly have a large group of technically competent people out here with the skills & the knowledge to address many of these problems. Just as with Linux, one person didn’t write the whole OS, the community did it together. Same could apply here – those who have the skills to contribute can contribute as they are able. As a side benefit, no one could say it is an effort funded by an agenda – no grant money funding the AGW’s, no “big oil” money (as the AGW’s like to think the “skeptics” are funded by) – just people motivated by finding the truth.

  64. Jeff Id says:

    Bill Illis,

    Very nice article. On my first reading I am impressed that the climate signal at least occurs in the visually correct time frame for CO2.

    Please be careful not to over conclude that because you don’t have other explanations for the temp rise it must be CO2. IMHO you should strike those comments from the article or make strong caveats. Your graph makes a convincing enough argument for it by itself I think.

    Also, although you were careful to point out data quality issues in your comments I need to mention that the corrections in the GISS data are nearly as large as your signal. While the corrections may (or may not) be entirely reasonable, errors in the data will have a large effect on the total rate of warming in your results. The same is true for the ENSO and AMO measurements.

    I will spend some time over the next two days reviewing the rest of your work. It really is an interesting calculation. Tamino did something similar but didn’t publish any of his calculation methods so it was impossible to review. Also, he is stuck on the idea that climate change was linear for a hundred years and that makes it hard to take him seriously.

    Great stuff though.

  65. Ric Locke says:

    Have you, or anyone, attempted to apply a Fourier transform to either the raw data or the residual error data?

    “Eyeballing” residual frequencies in a graph like that is fraught with observation errors. If there are regularities in the data, a Fourier transform will exhibit spikes at various frequencies, and you can then go looking for things that happen on those time scales.

    Regards,
    Ric

  66. LarryOldtimer says:

    As I have stated before, if it is known what forces cause change, then change can be predicted. If the forces which cause change are not known, then projecting future changes from historical data is nothing more than extrapolation, and extrapolation is sure to be wrong, and sometimes far wrong.

    It is clear from historical data that the equation (increased CO2 levels) = (global warming) is simply not true. What these people doing the extrapolation of historical data keep saying is, “If it weren’t for all of these factors which happen quite often and naturally, it would have gotten warmer.” But these events, the oscillation of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, volcanoes erupting, sunspots changing, varying amounts of water vapor in the atmosphere and the like occur frequently and are quite natural events.

    It is much like the old sort of joke, “If the dog wouldn’t have stopped to take a crap, the dog would have caught the rabbit.” But if the dog always stops to take a crap, the dog will never catch the rabbit.

    We humans simply can’t affect the volcanic eruptions, nor the oscillations of the oceans, nor the appearance (or not) of sunspots, nor the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. Thus, we humans can’t have any sort of control over the “climate”. The climate has never been under any sort of human control, and isn’t going to be under control of humans in the future.

    All this “smoothing” of historical temperature data is simply ignoring what actually happened in history. All this “adjusting” of historical temperature data is nothing more than changing actual data to fit a hypothesis which clearly has failed the test of verification by actual observation.

    It is long since time to toss out this hypothesis which has clearly failed, stop using extrapolation of historical temperature data (which itself has been adjusted that is, finagled to fit a false hypothesis) and stop using this pseudo science and begin using scientific method again. If one doesn’t know the actual causes, and the proportion of effect of each cause, then there are no such things as “trends”. These “trends” exist only in the minds of imaginative people.

  67. Jeff Alberts says:

    Pamela Gray wrote: “re: web based research collaboration. Scientists need to feed their families too. Who will fund such an effort? Scientists don’t make a product that you can buy at Walmart. What funding sources could be accessed for such an endeavor that does not have, or can set aside, a vested interest in the outcome? And how long would they be willing to fund before answers are forthcoming?”

    Of course the funding has to be from “proper” sources, otherwise the results are suspect for some unknown reason.

  68. Willi McQ says:

    Pamala, re # 26,

    And I thought they were all being funded by the big oil companies!

    Can that be an error?

    Willi

  69. Kim,

    De Jager considered both the equatorial and the polar activities. The latter is, apparently, often neglected.

    He referred to the “smoothed maximum sunspot numbers; a proxy for the maximum toroidal field strength over the centuries” and the “smoothed values of the geomagnetic aa index at sunspot minimum; a proxy for the maximum poloidal field strength” (Duhai& De Jager, 2008). Since 1000 AD they named the following minima: Oort, Wolf, Sporer, Maunder and the Dalton.

    By the way, they predict the next solar cycle, #24 to have a maximum strength of 68 +/-17 sunspots to be reached in 2014.

  70. Kim,

    Sorry, it is Duhau & de Jager

  71. Title:
    The Solar Dynamo and Its Phase Transitions during the Last Millennium
    in: Solar Physics, Volume 250, Issue 1, pp.1-15.
    Duhau, S.; de Jager, C.

  72. Equally important is: what temperature proxy data did they use?
    For the 400 years tropospheric temperature oscillations they used Moberg et al. 2005. Nature, 433: 613-617. Obviously, they didn’t use the hockey stick.

  73. Bill Illis says:

    To the posters who are suggesting trying other series etc., that is why I have done this. Just to show that it can be done. Like I wrote, it could certainly be improved on.

    When we get the spreadsheets up and running, they are set-up so that one could try just about any other variation. All the charts etc. are in there as well.

    I really did this so we could actually start adjusting for these things rather than just noting “if you adjust for …”

    That and it was clear to me that increased temperature trend of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s was in part just a reflection of the ENSO and AMO and was not global warming. realclimate even has a GISS temp chart up right now showing temps going straight up like it will reach the moon. This analysis method says the GISS trend per decade since 1979 is only 0.058C per decade far, far less than 0.2C per decade it is projected to be.

    http://i463.photobucket.com/albums/qq360/Bill-illis/GISS1979Warming.png?t=1227720573

  74. Robert Wood says:

    The coefficient for the Nino 3.4 region at 0.058 means it is capable of explaining changes in temps of as much as +/- 0.2C.

    Is it 0.058 or a typo for 0.58?

  75. jae says:

    Great post, Bill, and some great comments, too. I agree with some others that a natural warming since the LIA could explain the gradual increase in temperatures; it doesn’t have to be CO2-related. We know there are some very long-term cycles at play. The current lull in solar cycle 24 will probably help us understand the effects of the sun better. I’m buying more long-johns.

  76. evanjones says:

    Some of those outside factors might include other ocean-atmospheric cycles. From 1976 – 2001 not only the PDO and AMO, but also the NAO, IPO (which overlap), and the AO and AAO went from cool phase to warm. Could that possibly fill in the gap ascribed to CO2?

    Then there are McKitick, Michaels, LaDochy, etc., who claim the recent historical trend has been been exaggerated. I would sure like to know why the raw data is adjusted upwards when what common sense I can bring to bear tells me it should be adjusted downwards.

    And, by definition, the sun is the primary power source. What is at issue is if CHANGES in the sun might be affecting ocean, atmosphere, etc. My current take on that is that the small stuff may not matter, but the grand minimums probably do matter – a lot. And if they don’t, then some other natural force (quite apart from Milankovic cycles) would be able to create “little” minimums and optimums.

    Leif tells us that TSI seems more constant than previously believed. Using the questionable old figures, one will note that TSI increased c. 0.02% over the last century while temperatures (using questionable NOAA or GISS historical figures) increased c. 0.04% from absolute zero. Just a side-by-side look, and using old figures.

  77. Phil. says:

    Nice job Bill but your treatment of the logs needs attention.

    Physically the argument of the ln() should be non-dimensional i.e. the expression should have the form:

    ∆T=C*ln([CO2]/[CO2]o)
    which can be expanded to: C*ln([CO2])-C*ln([CO2]o)
    so rather than treat the constant term as a free variable in your fit it should be a constant with [CO2]o=285.
    In this case at the start when [CO2]=285, ln(1)=0 therefore ∆T=0
    In your case the two curve fits give ~306 and ~326 and you can see this by looking at the graph and seeing where the two lines cross 0. I would suggest that you try the fit with this model instead.
    Secondly you attach significance to the ‘intercept’ of the graphs this is in error mathematically, the ln(x) function approaches -∞ asymptotically as x->0.
    Physically this is in error because at small values of [CO2] the dependence becomes linear.

    It’s interesting to see that a simple lumped parameter model using basically the variation of the two ocean basin SST anomalies (detrended) and a greenhouse term gives such a good agreement.
    I hope WordPress can handle the math symbols, apologies if it can’t.

  78. Jan Janssens says:

    In 2005, I did a similar research, but using yearly data and including a wide variety of parameters. The results were published on http://www.junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/J_Janssens.htm , where one can also find a early model-to-play. Early 2007, I updated the data and improved the model using statistical tools. The methodology and results were published on my website at http://users.telenet.be/j.janssens/Climate2007/Climatereconstruction.html .
    Though these are just statistical approximations, they do provide insight in the factors influencing the temperature data, and in the weaknesses of the professional climate models. I for one learned that the influence of the oceans was much bigger than expected, and because these variations (AMO,…) existed long before any anthropogenic “pollution”, the current global warming -to me- seems much more due to these factors than to e.g. manmade CO2.

  79. Bill Illis says:

    To Phil,

    Thanks, but isn’t the formula really (I can’t do the symbols).

    – Change in T x–>y = C Ln(CO2x) – 26.9 – [C ln(CO2y) - 26.9]

    — the constants cancel each out when you are talking about a change in T so they are not represented but the proper formula would still include them.

  80. John Philip says:

    The essay says there is no GW trend in the AMO, yet most other studies have found a
    positive trend
    of around 0.5C over 120 years. The statement seems to be based on a graphing of this dataset …http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/Correlation/amon.us.long.data

    But if we look at the
    NOAA description
    of the dataset it tells us that the index is derived by detrending the SST data. So is the essay bringing us the startling conclusion that a detrended dataset contains no trend?

    If the detrended AMO dataset was used in the regression analysis then this will tend to alias any non-linear forcings, so any conclusions based on the residuals from that regression may be simple artifacts of the detrending.

    It does not seem legitimate to simply assign any residual to CO2 warming, and not any other factors, also – as alluded to in the text but not the analysis, the GHG forcing does not act instantaneously or even on an annual timescale – there a lag in the climate response which means that there is estimated to be around
    0.6C of warming ‘in the pipeline’
    , any extrapolation needs to include this, not to mention the additional forcing from non-GHG feedbacks, which tend to be exponential …

    For a peer-reviewed analysis along the same lines see http://holocene.meteo.psu.edu/shared/articles/KnightetalGRL05.pdf

  81. One interesting thing about Jan Jannsens analysis compared to this one is that it only uses 3 variables to create the fit which I think is pretty much as good as Jan’s. Jan … do you agree? Jan,for example modelled volcanoes direct whereas this analysis suggests AMO/ANSO is directly impacted by Volcanoes so ” we dont need it”

    If this analysis is right C02 is overplayed as a climate influence, and I for one agree.

    We are left with the open question of what mechanism drives AMO and ENSO. Well perhaps volcanoes are part of the answer but CO2 driving global warming isn’t. I haven’t found anything in the literature which suggests a plausible cause of OMO/ENSO variation – its a natural cycle – i.e we don’t know.

    Anybody seen a plausible explanation?

    This and Jan’s model do make predictions on temperature but we will have to wait a long time to test them

  82. However Bill — you could do a hindcast by say using data up to say 1978 and seeing how well it forecasts the last 30 to 2008 ( 30 years being everybodies favourite minimum climate interval.

    I notice you say the correlation look different since 79 ( RSS keeping GISS/HADCRUT honest ) so perhaps 1900 to 1980 and seeing how it predicts 1870 to 1900 and the last 30 years?

  83. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Bill Illis, a very interesting piece of work. However, what is missing to my eye is a comparison of your use of CO2 to represent the trend, and just using a straight line to represent the trend.

    To make the case that CO2 is involved, you need to show that the fit using CO2 plus ENSO 3.4 plus AMO is significantly better than the corresponding fit using a linear trend plus ENSO 3.4 plus AMO.

    My best to you,

    w.

  84. Richard M says:

    Is there a place to read about the current assumptions about the oceans impact on climate? How does it relate to the above article? How are underwater volcanos and rifts factored in or are the effects too small to matter?

    I couldn’t find anything at realClimate but maybe I didn’t know where to look.

  85. George E. Smith says:

    There’s a lot of interesting stuff here. I am glad that Norm Kalmanovitch dropped in with some information on CO2 IR activity.

    One thing I see constantly in papers, without anybody ever justifying the mechanism, is the claim that the warming due to CO2 is a logarithmic function. This then leads to talk of a “climate sensitivity” parameter being the mean global temperature rise due to a doubling of CO2.

    But if you get into the details of infrared absorption by CO2 following the notes that Norm left us up above; I don’t see any justification for the assumption of a logarithmic relationship between CO2 concentration in the atmosphere and the temperature rise (mean globally).

    Now I don’t doubt that you can take some sets of data, and curve fit them to a logarithmic currve. Everybody knows you can hide all kinds of pestilence by simply plotting data on a log-log plot. The ability to curve fit data, and calculate correlation coefficients between sets of data doesn’t prove that there is any cause and effect relationship whatsoever.

    You wouldn’t believe the total mayhem that scientists have wreaked by simply messing around with numbers, in the belief that you couldn’t possibly closely match real data to the results of just messing around with numbers.
    Well if you believe that, you need to review the history of the “Fine Structure Constant” which has the value e^2 / 2 h c e0 where e is the electron charge; h is Planck’s constant; c is the velocity of light, a e0 (epsilon zero) is the permittivity of free space, and is approximately 1/137. The 1/137 form is intimately linked to that sordid history. The first chapter of the great fine structure constant scandal involved Sir Arthur Eddington who one proved that alpha (TFSC) was EXACTLY 1/136; but when nature didn’t comly with his thesis, and the measured value became much closer to 1/137, the good Professor Eddington thereupon proved that alpha was indeed EXACTLY 1/137. Well it isn’t, it’s about 1/ 137.0359895 and has been measured so accurately that it was used as a method for measuring the velocity of light (which IS now specified as an EXACT number (2.99792458E8 m/s) ).
    Dear deluded Professor Eddington, became known as Professor Adding one !

    Well that was only the first episode of the FSC scandal. In the mid 60s someone derived the 1/FSC number as the fourth root of (pi to some low integer power times the product of about four other low integer numbers raised to low integer powers). I’ll let you university types search the literature for the paper. It computed 1/FSC to within 65% of the standard deviation of the very best experimental measured value of 1/FSC which is 8 significant digits. And the paper included ZERO input from the physical real world universe; it was a purely mathematical calculation. But of course it had to be correct because everybody knows you can’t get the right answer just by mucking around with numbers. The lack of observational data input phased nobody in the science community who embraced this nonsense; well for about a month. That’s how long it took some computer geek to do a search for all numbers that were of the same form; 4th root of the products of low integers to low integer powers and pi to a low integer power.
    The geek turned up about a dozen numbers that were equal to 1/FSC within the standard deviation of the best experimental measurments; and one of those numbers was actually within about 30% of the standard deviation; twice as accurate as the original paper. A more sophisticated mathematician developed a multidimensional sphere thesis where the radius of the sphere was the 1/FSC number and a thin shell that was =/- one standard deviation fromt hat radius contained a number of lattice points thatw ere solutions to the set of integers in the puzzle. So he computed the complete set of answers that fit the prescription; the result of doing nothing more than mucking around with numbers that was accepted as correct because it so accurately fitted the observed data.

    So watch out what you go for, just because some fancy manipulations fit your data; particularly noisy like data that can hide real errors from the predictions.

    One can model the optical transmission of absorptive of materials as a logarithmic function. If a certain thickness transmits 10% of a given spectrum, twice the thickness will transmit 1%, and so on; BUT such materials absorb the radiation and convert it entirely to thermal energy.

    Not so with water vapor or CO2 or any other GHG. Some absorption processes may convert some of the energy to heat energy; but mostly the absorbed IR photon is simply re-emitted, perhaps with a frequency shift due to Doppler effects, or even Heisenberg uncertainty. Subsequent re-absorption by other GHG molecules, may face totally diffrent results due to temperature and pressure changes in between successive absorption-re-emission events. The likelihood that such processes follow any simple logarithmic function is rather remote, and the possibility that the global mean surface temperature change due to such porocesses also follows a logarithmic function; even more so.

    I know all the books and papers say it’s logarithmic; how many of them derive the specific logarithmic function based on the molecular spectroscopy physics ?

  86. DaveE says:

    How, (if at all), does this dovetail with Spencers hypothesis regarding the PDO?

    DaveE

  87. Bill Illis says:

    John Philip says … “the GHG forcing does not act instantaneously or even on an annual timescale -”

    What is the physical/physics basis for saying the GHG forcing does not act instantaneously or certainly within a year. We are talking about photons of light here. Where is the energy going?

    and “… there is a lag in the climate response which means that there is estimated to be around 0.6C warming in the pipeline”

    I noted the theory is now the deep oceans are absorbing some of the increase and it might them take us longer to reach the doubling temperature. How long then? Because I think global warming researchers have a duty to tell us that now. Does the temperature reach the doubling level 35 years, 75 years or 100s of years after CO2 reaches the doubling plateau?

    The points about the construction of the indices is well-taken. Where can we find the raw data before it is detrended?

  88. Phil. says:

    Bill Illis (10:46:40) :

    Thanks, but isn’t the formula really (I can’t do the symbols).

    – Change in T x–>y = C Ln(CO2x) – 26.9 – [C ln(CO2y) - 26.9]

    — the constants cancel each out when you are talking about a change in T so they are not represented but the proper formula would still include them.

    No the formula is: ∆T=C*ln([CO2]/[CO2]o)= C*ln([CO2])-C*ln([CO2]o)

    So if you fit a function of the form ∆T=C*ln([CO2])-B
    B=C*ln([CO2]o) in your one case C=2.73 and B=15.8
    so in your fit ln([CO2]o)=B/C=5.79, therefore [CO2]o=326 ppm. (Which if you look at your zoom-in graph is exactly where the red line crosses zero)
    My suggestion is that you should do the regression on ∆T=C*ln([CO2]/285)
    I expect that would give you a slightly lower C with the line crossing zero at 285 ppm.

    REPLY:Unfortunately I can’t install LATEX for symbol translation here on this blog, but if you want to display the formula, you could spell it out with appropriate symbols, do a screen cap, and post it up to a picture website like flickr etc and link to it here. Just trying to help. – Anthony

  89. crosspatch says:

    “That is why I made the Linux analogy – built collaboratively by a community of intensely interested individuals – with nothing more than sweat equity. I assume Bill Illis did not get paid for his little research work – yet he has put together a potentially very interesting piece of science.”

    Things like that generally get started by someone who is curious and wanting to see if they can make something themselves. That was how Linux got started when Linus Torvalds sat down to play with his 386 and decided out of simple curiosity if he could make an unix-like OS. Others got interested and began adding pieces so initially it was sort of a “stone soup” effort.

    But then things changed and in a very important way. To give an example, we used Linux at work. We made some changes to some programs to better support our particular environment. Over time as the “upstream” versions of these programs were released, we would have to fit our changes into the new code release. Sometimes it was easy, other times it was more difficult depending on what changed in that upstream release. One day I saw someone asking about a feature on a mailing list for one of these programs and it was a feature we had actually implemented in our environment. I made a decision to provide our changes to the software developer as a “contribution” and they were adopted and incorporated into the standard package. We never had to experience that pain of patching our changes into the code after that. The “upstream” maintainer adopted the maintenance of those changes and a lot of other people benefited from the new features we added. But overall the motivation was self-interest. It was to our benefit to have someone else maintain that code and offload the job of having to merge our changes with every new code release.

    So while things often get started out of curiosity, and people will often take an interest in almost a “hobby” sense, what really gets something rolling is when it actually becomes useful in a “real world” sense. And while people will sometimes gift some work out of the goodness of their hearts, often the biggest returns are from people in whose interest it is to get their changes into the broader code base than to have to hack at it every time something changes. It becomes more efficient to open the source than to keep it closed.

    Same with projects here. People whose livelihood depends on accurate weather data might find it in their interest to help with the surface stations project or to share what information they have more generally. A firm in the agricultural industry, for example, might make better long term decisions if they knew that growing seasons were actually shortening or flat and not lengthening. If there is no warming, then making economic decisions based on the assumption that growing seasons will get longer in the future can cost someone a fortune. And if I am selling something and if I have the right information, nobody is going to buy it unless they also have the right information so it pays both parties (it is in their self-interest) to get accurate information out there so the producer provided the right thing and the market demands the right thing.

    What is going on now with our government data is practically criminal in the economic sense. Because of politically-based bias, real economic damage is potentially being done. I am all for “open source” science models.

  90. Phil. says:

    But if you get into the details of infrared absorption by CO2 following the notes that Norm left us up above; I don’t see any justification for the assumption of a logarithmic relationship between CO2 concentration in the atmosphere and the temperature rise (mean globally).

    That’s because Norm’s exposition falls way short of what really happens!
    In our atmosphere the absorption spectrum of CO2 is a very close packed series of absorption lines (so many and so closely packed together that they look like a broad band unless viewed at high resolution). At very low pressures and temperatures (like on Mars) the individual lines are very sharp and separate as pressure and temperature are increased to the values seen in our atmosphere the individual lines are broadened by collisional and Doppler effects and eventually will overlap each other. As a consequence the absorbance dependence changes, at very low pressures and temperatures it will be linear, at very high pressures it will be √[CO2], in between there is a transition, for CO2 in our atmosphere it’s in the intermediate region and is best described by ln (and this can be measured).
    Astronomers have used this for a long time, they term it the ‘curve of growth’, usually applied to atomic spectra in interstellar space.

    BUT such materials absorb the radiation and convert it entirely to thermal energy.

    Not so with water vapor or CO2 or any other GHG. Some absorption processes may convert some of the energy to heat energy; but mostly the absorbed IR photon is simply re-emitted,

    No, in our atmosphere up to the tropopause or so virtually all of the energy absorbed by CO2 is converted to the thermal motion of colliding molecules, primarily N2 & O2. The emission lifetime of the excited CO2 is much longer than the mean time between collisions and so is rapidly quenched. As you get up into the stratosphere the situation changes and the CO2 has time to emit.

  91. Bill Illis says:

    To Phil,

    okay now I see what you are saying.

    I was modeling the ln(280ppm or 285ppm) to be at -0.4C rather than Zero.

    This whole model is based on the anomaly (from the baseline) so it crosses Zero when the particular temperature series baseline anomaly passes Zero. Now each series has a slightly different baseline and when you are comparing series you have to match up the baselines but I wanted ln(280ppm) to be at -0.4C.

  92. George E. Smith says:

    Phil,

    I’m curious about your statement that the CO2 spectrum consists of a whole bunch of closely spaced lines (in the IR ?) . Do you know of any link to a high resolution spectrum for CO2. I have looked and never been able to find any good spectra for the common GHG culprits. Yet I would have thought that with all the climate interest in those gases, that the spectra would have been studied to death. The only data of much use I’ve been able to find comes from The InfraRed Handbook, from the Infrared Information Analysis Center, (ERIM) and I presume that is somewhat dated.
    What is the physical basis for the many fine lines in the IR region ?

    It would seem to me that in the earth atmosphere at least at ground level, that you must have a pretty continuous absorption from around 13-17 microns; but I’m puzzled as to why a molecular spectrum has many fine lines (I am not a chemist).

    George

  93. John Philip says:

    Bill – Thermal inertia of the climate system is pretty uncontroversial, see for example this
    write up
    of a paper by Meehl et al which

    quantifies the relative rates of sea level rise and global temperature increase that we are already committed to in the 21st century. Even if no more greenhouse gases were added to the atmosphere, globally averaged surface air temperatures would rise about a half degree Celsius (one degree Fahrenheit) and global sea levels would rise another 11 centimeters (4 inches) from thermal expansion alone by 2100.
    “Many people don’t realize we are committed right now to a significant amount of global warming and sea level rise because of the greenhouse gases we have already put into the atmosphere,” says lead author Gerald Meehl. “Even if we stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations, the climate will continue to warm, and there will be proportionately even more sea level rise. The longer we wait, the more climate change we are committed to in the future.”

    So the ‘physics’ explanation is that the heat largely goes into the oceans which take years to decades to warm in response, 70% of the surface is ocean and it takes around a decade for the surface layer to mix with the deep ocean …

    The paper concludes with a cogent statement by Meehl: “With the ongoing increase in concentrations of GHGs [greenhouse gases], every day we commit to more climate change in the future. When and how we stabilize concentrations will dictate, on the time scale of a century or so, how much more warming we will experience. But we are already committed to ongoing large sea level rise, even if concentrations of GHGs could be stabilized.”

    The inevitability of the climate changes described in the study is the result of thermal inertia, mainly from the oceans, and the long lifetime of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Thermal inertia refers to the process by which water heats and cools more slowly than air because it is denser than air.

    There is a discussion of the length of time to equilibrium in
    this paper
    [may need a free subscription to access].

    The AMO data before de-linear-trending is here … http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/Correlation/amon.us.long.mean.data

    but see the caveats on the NOAA page linked earlier. Hope this helps.

  94. The logarithmic response to C02 is straightforward physics and nothing to do with any climate theory.

    Put simply CO2 absorbs light at specific wavelengths. As CO2 levels increase more and more of these wavlenths are absorbed. However the law of diminishing returns applies in that once CO2 has absorbed some there is less left to absorb so an increase from say 280 to 300 has less effect than an increase from 380 to 400. It turns out this “law of diminishing returns” follows a log function.

    This was covered on this website on 4/9/2008 in an article on this topic

  95. Fine lines and CO2 absorbtion spectra

    As I recollect A photon reacts to a CO2 molecule by changing its excitation state, either by changing the vibration mode of the atoms or by raising an electron’s energy going round one of the atoms to a higher level. I think IR absorbtion is in the latter category. Anyway there a a very large number of possible vibration modes and it requires different amounts of energy to move from one to the other. Each possible mode change creates an absorbtion line so there are lots of them

  96. Bill Illis says:

    John Philip can you just tell us what Hansen said in 1985 in the Science article. Most of us do not have a subscription.

    I note he published a temperature forecast just a few years later which did not include any ocean absorption that we can tell of since his Scenario B forecast temps are about twice as high as they are currently.

    The temperature trend since 1979 indicates we can never reach the 3.25C doubling level no matter how much the oceans absorbs or how much lag time there is. It would take a thousand years.

  97. Don Keiller says:

    Great analysis, Bill. Just one question. given that the temperature response to increased CO2 is logarithmic, why do we only see a warming signal post 1970 or so? One would expect a greater warming signal early in the rise of CO2, rather than later. Or am I missing something?

  98. George E. Smith says:

    Well according to the official NOAA global energy budget, of the 390 W/m^2 emitted from the earth’s surface, only 40 W/m^2 escapes to space, so that means that GHG are already absorbong 90% of the total available IR, so only 10% is left to capture no matter how much GHG gets up there.

    By the way if CO2 has such a long lifetime in the atmosphere (200 years they say), how come NOAA has plots shwing that at the north pole the CO2 in the atmosphere drops 18 ppm in just five months. That doesn’t sound like it would take 200 years, or even 10 years to remove all of it.

  99. George E. Smith says:

    One other quick question; if we are already committed to gross sea level rise and temperature rise because of GHG already emitted, and the ML data certainly shows that CO2 keeps on going up unabated despite everybody’s Kyoto committments; then why has the earth been cooling for the last ten years? We should have had about 1/10 of the ten degrees or so predicted for the year 2100 in temperature rise, instead we have had a very sizeable temperature fall; so much for the effect of thermal lag times.

    Some people may buy Meeh’s thesis (I do agree there are thermal lags) but why would the temperature go the wrong way, when the “forcing” continues to climb in the same direction.

    As to the multiple fine lines in the CO2 IR spectrum; I’m familiar with the so-called symmetrical stretch mode which is not IR active, and the asymmetrical stretch mode which is IR active around 4 microns or so, and the degenerate bending mode which I believe is the 14.77 or 15 micron mode that everyone talks about (haven’t been able to get a definitive value for what wavelength that is.

    But anything involving elecron levels in the atoms; as distinct from molecular vibrations, would seem to involve much higher photon energies than required for the molecular effects, so one would expect them to be visible light or shorter wavelengths.

    Since CO2 is a linear molecule with no dipole moment, it would not be too active in rotation about the molecular axis, and other rotation modes say about the carbon atom and other axes, would seem to be much longer wavelengths.

    But i’m eager to learn, so if someone can explain the energy level foundation for the many fine lines in the IR spectrum of CO2 I’m all ears.

  100. Bill Illis says:

    To Don Keiller,

    Really good question, I’m going to have to look at the rate of change here too, something I missed. I’ll post back when I can go through it all. Going by experience with this model, I’ll need to double-check everything before responding.

  101. Bob Tisdale says:

    Bill Illis: The following link is to a google spreadsheet with the ERSST.v2 version of NINO3.4 SST and SST anomaly data. It’s the monthly data fresh out of NOAA’s NOMADS system from January 1854 to October 2008. I tried to replace the Trenberth data with it, but ran into the following problem.

    I entered annualized ERSST.v2 NINO3.4 data into the Annual Temperature Anomaly Model, starting at 1871, at column C, row 44. It created a host of #VALUE errors. I thought the difference in climatology (The ERSST.v2 base years are 1971 to 2000) was putting the data was out of a working range for the model, so I recalculated the anomalies based on the same base years as the Trenberth NINO3.4 data (1950-1979). That didn’t help.

    http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=p4p8emYTQFThxsDz4aQ05NA

    Please try the ERSST.v2 data and see if it works for you.

    Regards

  102. Richard S Courtney says:

    John Philip:

    I would be grateful for an explanation of your statement saying;
    “So the ‘physics’ explanation is that the heat largely goes into the oceans which take years to decades to warm in response”.

    Please explain how liquid water absorbs heat but does not warm until some time later. My understanding is that – in the absence of latent heat exchange – any warming would be instantaneous.

    This is important for two reasons.

    Firstly, the oceans have been measured to be cooling over recent years and, if my understanding is correct, then the ‘thermal inertia’ you espouse is not happening.

    Secondly, there is a need for large energy storage capacity to assist smoothing of electricity grid supplies. So, a mechanism that allows water to absorb heat but not warm until later would solve a major industrial problem.

    Richard

  103. evanjones (10:09:47) :
    Leif tells us that TSI seems more constant than previously believed. Using the questionable old figures, one will note that TSI increased c. 0.02% over the last century while temperatures (using questionable NOAA or GISS historical figures) increased c. 0.04% from absolute zero. Just a side-by-side look, and using old figures.

    First of all, don’t use ‘old’ stuff [and note: no please here]. Second, there has been some doubt as to what degree my ideas are met with general acceptance. A very new book [Sunspots and Starspots (Cambridge Astrophysics Series) by Thomas and Weiss, 2008, ISBN 978-0-521-86003-1] summarizes the ‘textbook’ consensus as follows [page 214]:

    “Reliable measurements of solar irradiance extend only over the past 30 years. The success of models involving only sunspots and faculae in reproducing these measurements has encouraged researchers to attempt to reconstruct the variations in TSI over a much longer period based either on the historical sunspot record or on the proxy record from abundances of cosmogenic isotopes, or even on models of cyclic activity in the solar photosphere (e.g. Lean 2000, Froehlich and Lean 2004, Wang. Lean, and Sheeley 2005, Krivova, Balmaceda, and Solanki 2007). The upper panel of Figure 12.3 [Figure 3 of http://www.leif.org/research/CAWSES%20-%20IMF,%20EUV,%20TSI.pdf ] shows the most straightforward reconstruction, relying only on the measured correlations between sunspot numbers and irradiance since 1978 (Froehlich and Lean 2005). Other reconstructions (e.g. Lean 2000, Wang, Lean, and Sheeley 2005) differ in the inclusion or omission of an arbitrarily varying contribution from ephemeral active regions, on on the basis of a questionable difference in Ca II emission between active and inactive stars, in assuming [emphasis added - me] that there was a long-term increase in TSI, as shown in the lower panel of Figure 12.3. In reality, sice we know that cycles persisted through the Maunder Minimum (Beer, Tobia, and Weiss 1998), it seems unlikely that the average value of TSI could have dropped significantly below its level at a normal sunspot minimum.”

    Third, because of TSI = a T^4, we have dTSI/TSI = 4 dT/T, so the percentage increase in Temperature will be only 1/4 of the percentage increase of TSI, not twice as you have it

  104. AnthonyB says:

    I notice the article included ENSO and AMO, representing effects from the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. No factor from the Indian Ocean. Living in Melbourne, in South East Australia the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) has a major effect for temp and rainfall over SE Australia (on the other side of the continent to the Indian Ocean). I wonder if a complete model for oceanic effect on temperature can be completed without considering the Indian Ocean. (Cynically I could say that the AMO may have the greatest impact because it effects areas where the greatest amount of temp measurement is done.)

  105. Fernando (in Brazil) says:

    George E. Smith (14:57:31):
    See the animation on:

    http://www.atmosphere.mpg.de/enid/1__Oxidants___Observation/-_observation_spectroscopy_l6.html

    I have the same questions.
    Perhaps, I need to understand the interaction
    H2O + CO2> H2CO3
    in the atmosphere.

  106. Steven G says:

    This is an interesting study.

    Looking at your charts, I suspect that you may have stationarity issues with y our temperature data, which is common when working with time-series data. You should conduct some stationarity tests (such as Augmented Dickey-Fuller or Philips-Perron) and make the necessary transformations to your data if required.

    Regressions using non-stationary data can be very misleading, and sometimes worthless. That’s why you should do these tests to be safe.

  107. Bill Illis says:

    To Bob Tisdale,

    I got your ERSST.v2 data in and working. I have to say google docs does do a mess of things so we probably shouldn’t use it again until they get the bugs out.

    On the good side, this data certainly works and produces a greater coefficient for the Nino 3.4 region (lagging it by 3 months seemed to work better again). The warming signal against CO2 also drops to about 1.65C per doubling.

    On the downside, the r^2 falls from 0.783 to 0.745 and the errors are a little larger and/or show more consistently above or consistently below characteristics.

    But it does not look bad at all. This dataset more consistently catches the spikes for example. Here are the two charts you would want to see.

    http://img265.imageshack.us/img265/3814/btisdalehadcrut3oe1.png

    http://img383.imageshack.us/img383/4695/btisdalewarmingqg8.png

  108. Phil. says:

    George E. Smith (13:15:16) :
    I’m curious about your statement that the CO2 spectrum consists of a whole bunch of closely spaced lines (in the IR ?) . Do you know of any link to a high resolution spectrum for CO2. I have looked and never been able to find any good spectra for the common GHG culprits. Yet I would have thought that with all the climate interest in those gases, that the spectra would have been studied to death. The only data of much use I’ve been able to find comes from The InfraRed Handbook, from the Infrared Information Analysis Center, (ERIM) and I presume that is somewhat dated.
    What is the physical basis for the many fine lines in the IR region ?

    It would seem to me that in the earth atmosphere at least at ground level, that you must have a pretty continuous absorption from around 13-17 microns; but I’m puzzled as to why a molecular spectrum has many fine lines (I am not a chemist).

    OK George, here goes.
    The IR absorption arises because of transitions between vibrational and rotational energy levels. ( I’ve linked to some webpages below).

    A molecule can vibrate and rotate but can only exist at certain energy levels, the separation between vibrational levels is much larger than rotational, in the case of the CO2 667 cm-1 vs less than 1 cm-1. A CO2 molecule in the ground state can absorb radiation by jumping up one energy level in vibration (∆v=1) while at the same time staying at the same relative rotational level (Q-branch, ∆j=0), increasing one level (R-branch, ∆j=+1) or decreasing one level (P-branch, ∆j=-1). Since there are a great many rotational energy levels there are a great many possible lines.
    See here for example, down as far as isotope effects: http://www.chemistry.nmsu.edu/studntres/chem435/Lab9/intro.html
    in the case of CO2 bending the Q-branch is allowed.
    Here’s one specifically for CO2:
    http://www.phy.davidson.edu/StuHome/jimn/CO2/Pages/CO2Theory.htm
    I hope that helps?

  109. John Philip says:

    Bill. This link

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/ijlink?linkType=ABST&journalCode=sci&resid=229/4716/857

    Should get you to the Hansen(1985) paper without the need for a paid subscription. His results are summarised in the 2005 paper referenced earlier:

    The lag in the climate response to a forcing is a sensitive function of equilibrium climate sensitivity, varying approximately as the square of the sensitivity (1), and it depends on the rate of heat exchange between the ocean’s surface mixed layer and the deeper ocean (2–4). The lag could be as short as a decade, if climate sensitivity is as small as 0.25°C per W/m2 of forcing, but it is a century or longer if climate sensitivity is 1°C per W/m2 or larger (1, 3). Evidence from Earth’s history (3–6) and climate models (7) suggests that climate sensitivity is 0.75° ± 0.25°C per W/m2, implying that 25 to 50 years are needed for Earth’s surface temperature to reach 60% of its equilibrium response (1).

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/308/5727/1431

    I note he published a temperature forecast just a few years later which did not include any ocean absorption that we can tell of since his Scenario B forecast temps are about twice as high as they are currently.

    Not so. Hansen’s scenarios were based on an early version of the NASA climate model, of course this includes the physics of ocean heat takeup. What is your source for the claim that Scenario B is currently a 100% overestimate?

    The temperature trend since 1979 indicates we can never reach the 3.25C doubling level no matter how much the oceans absorbs or how much lag time there is. It would take a thousand years.

    The trend in the UAH data, which shows the least warming of the various global datasets, is approx 0.17C/decade, so a linear extrapolation takes just 200 years to reach a highly dangerous 3.4C increase. In fact the warming is more likely to be exponential, due to thermal inertia and the impact of positive feedbacks, notably absent from this analysis. One example of a positive feedback: as the Arctic ice melts, the reduced albedo raises the local temperature and causes melting of the permafrosts, releasing trapped carbon. The Arctic permafrost contains twice as much carbon as the entire global atmosphere. See these recent papers

    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/dlawren/publications/lawrence.grl.submit.2008.pdf
    http://www.bioone.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1641%2FB580807&ct=1

    Moving on,

    Richard Courtney: Please explain how liquid water absorbs heat but does not warm until some time later. My understanding is that – in the absence of latent heat exchange – any warming would be instantaneous.

    Tell me Richard, last time you made coffee, when you switched on your kettle, applying a positive energy transfer, did the water boil

    (a) Instantaneously, or

    (b) A few minutes later ?

    Now imagine your kettle is ocean-sized and the energy flux is measured in a few W/m2. Are you seriously arguing that a such huge body of water will warm ‘instantaneously’?

    George Smith why has the earth been cooling for the last ten years? We should have had about 1/10 of the ten degrees or so predicted for the year 2100 in temperature rise, instead we have had a very sizeable temperature fall; so much for the effect of thermal lag times.

    George – which of the four major global temperature indices shows a ‘sizeable temperature fall’ over the last 120 months please? Here’s the data:

    http://tinyurl.com/563bmc

    They all appear to show an increase. Please explain.

  110. John Philip says:

    Bill. This link

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/ijlink?linkType=ABST&journalCode=sci&resid=229/4716/857

    Should get you to the Hansen(1985) paper without the need for a paid subscription. His results are summarised in the 2005 paper referenced earlier:

    The lag in the climate response to a forcing is a sensitive function of equilibrium climate sensitivity, varying approximately as the square of the sensitivity (1), and it depends on the rate of heat exchange between the ocean’s surface mixed layer and the deeper ocean (2–4). The lag could be as short as a decade, if climate sensitivity is as small as 0.25°C per W/m2 of forcing, but it is a century or longer if climate sensitivity is 1°C per W/m2 or larger (1, 3). Evidence from Earth’s history (3–6) and climate models (7) suggests that climate sensitivity is 0.75° ± 0.25°C per W/m2, implying that 25 to 50 years are needed for Earth’s surface temperature to reach 60% of its equilibrium response (1).

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/308/5727/1431

    I note he published a temperature forecast just a few years later which did not include any ocean absorption that we can tell of since his Scenario B forecast temps are about twice as high as they are currently.

    Not so. Hansen’s scenarios were based on an early version of the NASA climate model, of course this includes the physics of ocean heat takeup. What is your source for the claim that Scenario B is currently a 100% overestimate?

    The temperature trend since 1979 indicates we can never reach the 3.25C doubling level no matter how much the oceans absorbs or how much lag time there is. It would take a thousand years.

    The trend in the UAH data, which shows the least warming of the various global datasets, is approx 0.17C/decade, so a linear extrapolation takes just 200 years to reach a highly dangerous 3.4C increase. In fact the warming is more likely to be exponential, due to thermal inertia and the impact of positive feedbacks, notably absent from this analysis. One example of a positive feedback: as the Arctic ice melts, the reduced albedo raises the local temperature and causes melting of the permafrosts, releasing trapped carbon. The Arctic permafrost contains twice as much carbon as the entire global atmosphere. See these recent papers

    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/dlawren/publications/lawrence.grl.submit.2008.pdf
    http://www.bioone.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1641%2FB580807&ct=1

    Moving on,

    Richard Courtney: Please explain how liquid water absorbs heat but does not warm until some time later. My understanding is that – in the absence of latent heat exchange – any warming would be instantaneous.

    Tell me Richard, last time you made coffee, when you switched on your kettle, applying a positive energy transfer, did the water boil

    (a) Instantaneously, or

    (b) A few minutes later ?

    Now imagine your kettle is ocean-sized and the energy flux is measured in a few W/m2. Are you seriously arguing that a such huge body of water will warm ‘instantaneously’?

    George Smith why has the earth been cooling for the last ten years? We should have had about 1/10 of the ten degrees or so predicted for the year 2100 in temperature rise, instead we have had a very sizeable temperature fall; so much for the effect of thermal lag times.

    George – which of the four major global temperature indices shows a ‘sizeable temperature fall’ over the last 120 months please? Here’s the data:

    http://tinyurl.com/563bmc

    They all appear to show an increase. Would you please explain why you claim a sizeable cooling?

  111. Bob Tisdale says:

    Bill: Thanks for the update. I forgot to note earlier that the output of your model appears to generate a global temperature anomaly curve that comes much closer to the instrument data than at least one high-priced GCM. It will remain nameless so not to start a battle on this thread.
    Question: At what cell did you paste in the ERSST NINO data and did you use the revised NINO data starting at Jan 1871? I want to make sure I’m looking at the same spreadsheet that you are when I include it.

    Thanks again.

  112. Smokey says:

    John Philip said:

    The trend in the UAH data, which shows the least warming of the various global datasets, is approx 0.17C/decade, so a linear extrapolation takes just 200 years to reach a highly dangerous 3.4C increase.

    Well, that’s one possible conclusion — if you cherry pick your beginning/ending dates.

    Instead, let’s look at the big picture, from the very same UAH: click

    Your claim that we’re headed for a ‘highly dangerous’ rise in temps looks silly. Why continue digging, when the planet is laughing at your hubris?

  113. John Philip says:

    Smokey – the figure I gave is a simple linear fit to all the available UAH data,from Spencer and Christy, so there can really be no question of cherry picking. Your graph OTOH is a highly dubious polynomial fit widely condemned as misleading on this, of all, websites.

  114. DocMartyn says:

    I would like to know the algorithm used to plot ‘average’ temperature vs. ‘heat’.
    I can understand the logarithmic relationship between absorbance of photons with increaseing concentration; but for the life of me I have never seen an expression which explains how this energy give rise to temperature, give that we are dealing with a three phase system, ice, liquid water and vapor and the fact that changes in energy input could manifest themselves in pressure and in expansion of the atmosphere. You could for instance fill a balloon or a glass sphere with CO2 and irradiate it, the steady state temperature of the balloon would be lower than the glass sphere.

  115. Bill Illis says:

    Don Keiler had asked earlier if there was any change in the rate of warming over time.

    The changes are actually very hard to decifer.

    My model based on ln (CO2) shows a gradual increase over time (not dissimilar to the very slightly exponential growth in Co2 levels) to where it is 0.15C per decade in the 2000s.

    However, the actual observation data (after adjusting for the ENSO and the AMO) shows much more variation.

    There is a very slight cooling trend from about 1890 to 1915. In the 1920s, warming jumps to about 0.2C per decade, then it falls to 0. From 1933 to 1945, it jumps to about 0.25C per decade and then falls rapidly to a negative value of -0.2C per decade from 1946 to 1955. From 1955 to 1975, warming is about 0.1C per decade. But from 1975 on, there is a gradual deceleration in the warming rate so that is very close to 0.0C per decade right now.

    Complicated.

    There is obviously more going on here than the model shows.

  116. Bill Illis says:

    To Bob Tisdale,

    The data showed it started in Jan 1854 so I pasted it into April 1854 (and Jan 1854 originally which didn’t produce as good a fit.)

    I did the regression model starting in 1856 and also starting in 1871. It didn’t make much difference on the starting point.

  117. Bill Illis says:

    To John Philip

    The UAH unadjusted temperature trend is just 0.13C per decade (not 0.17C).

    The UAH data adjusted for the ENSO and the AMO produces a warming trend of just 0.03C per decade which is probably a little low but would produce no warming to worry about at all.

  118. Richard S Courtney says:

    John Phillip:

    You ask me:

    “Richard Courtney: “Please explain how liquid water absorbs heat but does not warm until some time later. My understanding is that – in the absence of latent heat exchange – any warming would be instantaneous.”

    Tell me Richard, last time you made coffee, when you switched on your kettle, applying a positive energy transfer, did the water boil
    (a) Instantaneously, or
    (b) A few minutes later ?

    Now imagine your kettle is ocean-sized and the energy flux is measured in a few W/m2. Are you seriously arguing that a such huge body of water will warm ‘instantaneously’? ”

    I answer:
    Yes, I am saying that water (in the kettle or in the ocean) increases its temperature as – not after – heat is added. If you don’t believe me then try turning off the kettle before the water boils and see if it does boil.

    And the water cools as – not after – it looses heat. The oceans have been cooling in recent years and, therefore, the ‘thermal inertia’ you espouse is not happening.

    I repeat my question to you that you have not answered: i.e.

    Please explain how liquid water absorbs heat but does not warm until some time later.

    And I repeat that you could make a fortune from a mechanism that would permit water to store heat without warming because it would solve the problem of needed large energy storage capacity to assist smoothing of electricity grid supplies.

    I will not answer any response to this from you other than an exposition from you of the mechanism that you suggest would permit water to store heat without warming.

    Richard

  119. Smokey says:

    John Philip:

    You specifically referred to UAH:

    The trend in the UAH data, which shows the least warming of the various global datasets, is approx 0.17C/decade, so a linear extrapolation takes just 200 years to reach a highly dangerous 3.4C increase.

    Are you actually claiming that global temperatures are continuing to rise? Is that what’s happening on your planet?

    On Earth, temperatures have fallen. Unless, of course, you still believe the “adjusted” temperatures provided by the science fiction writers at GISS.

    If GISS was prepared to stand behind its clearly fictional press releases, it wouldn’t be afraid to publicly archive the raw data. Would it? But the fact that GISS adamantly refuses to disclose their taxpayer-funded raw data, or the methodology they use to ‘adjust’ the temperature record ever upward, tells people all they need to know about GISS’ probity.

    Bill Illis is correct: we don’t know enough about the climate. Readjusting raw data isn’t helping the science; it’s a deliberately deceptive agenda.

  120. Phil says:

    @ John Philip (17:23:37) :

    “Richard Courtney: Please explain how liquid water absorbs heat but does not warm until some time later. My understanding is that – in the absence of latent heat exchange – any warming would be instantaneous.

    Tell me Richard, last time you made coffee, when you switched on your kettle, applying a positive energy transfer, did the water boil

    (a) Instantaneously, or

    (b) A few minutes later ?

    Now imagine your kettle is ocean-sized and the energy flux is measured in a few W/m2. Are you seriously arguing that a such huge body of water will warm ‘instantaneously’?”

    I just made some coffee in a kettle. Here are the temperatures:

    start: 78°F
    1 min: 94°F
    2 min: 116°F
    3 min: 133°F
    4 min: 151°F
    5 min: 170°F
    6 min: 193°F (boiling at 6,200 feet above sea level)
    7 min: 194°F (still boiling)

    Made coffee.

    From this experiment it would appear that warming was instantaneous (and measurable) after applying a “positive energy transfer.” Since the issue isn’t how long it takes the oceans to boil, but rather to warm up measurably, it would appear that warming of the oceans would be measurable without a significant lag. Considering the mass of the oceans, I would agree that it would take a considerable amount of time to warm them a given number of degrees, but such warming would be detectable as it took place as with the water to make my coffee. Although I can understand mathematically how there could be a lag in a given output with respect to a given input, I do not understand what real life physical process could take place (i.e. the “pipeline”) that could result in significant warming of the oceans that would not be measurable as it happened, as in making my cup of coffee. Please explain.

  121. kim says:

    Phil. (19:44:42)

    It seems that each instant after heat was applied the temperature rose. Looks pretty instantaneous to me.
    ====================================

  122. kim says:

    kim (20:30:16)

    Phil., on further reflection, it looks like I got your point.
    ===================================

  123. Bill Illis says:

    To Phil and John Philip

    Note we are talking about deep ocean temperatures here versus the sea surface (since the sea surface temps are already captured in the global temperature series.)

    The data does show there is some warming in the deep oceans. There is a 0.1C increase in some latitudes (about 30% of the oceans) down to 1,000 metres and about 0.05C in some latitudes (about 15% of the oceans) down to 2,000 metres. So it appears there is, indeed, some warming of the deep oceans.

    During the ice ages when surface temps fell by 5C, the deep oceans appear to have decreased in temp from their current 3C to about 0C. So the deep oceans are affected by the surface temps.

    Water, however, is one of strangest chemicals around. When it solidifies as ice, it gets less dense and floats. Warmer water, however, rises to the top and colder water sinks to the bottom. If it freezes, it rises to the surface. Hence, any change in the surface sea temps takes a long, long time to influence the oceans at deeper levels. The very cold water stays at the bottom, the warmer water rises to the surface.

    It almost takes a complete circulation of the oceans to make much difference at all, which can be a thousand years or more. The lag between surface temps and CO2 in the ice ages indicates we could expect 800 years for the deep ocean to be really influenced by the surface.

    My issue with this is that global warmers refuse to say how much lag there is. None of Hansen’s papers that I could find (including the one linked to by John Philips) say anything about it.

    More importantly, in a physical sense, the deep ocean absorption just means that more mass needs to be heated up by the increased greenhouse effect provided by increased CO2. We don’t warm to +3.25C, we only get to +1.85C and then an equilibrium is established. The deep oceans will continue to absorb energy from the surface continuously and it will start cooling again if that energy doesn’t continue rising. Once we get to a doubled CO2 level (and let’s say we stay there) there is no more warming to come once the deep oceans catch up.

    That is my perspective on it. And I firmly believe the warmers need to be clear about this for once.

  124. Phil says:

    @ Bill Illis (20:36:25) :

    I think an important distinction needs to be made between temperatures and heat content and which of the two is being referred to by the term “warming.”

    From http://climatesci.org/2008/11/25/is-global-warming-spatially-complex/:

    “Unlike surface air temperature by itself (that has been the main climate metric used to assess global warming), in which there is a lag between a radiative imbalance and an equilibrium temperature …, there is no lag between a radiative imbalance and the amount of Joules in the climate system.”

    From http://www.climatesci.org/publications/pdf/R-247.pdf:

    “The concept encapsulated by the term “unrealized heating” more appropriately refers to storage of heat in a nonatmospheric reservoir (i.e., primarily the ocean), with the “realization” of the warming only occurring when heat is transferred into the atmosphere.”

    and:

    “Unlike temperature, at some specific level of the ocean, land, or the atmosphere, in which there is a time lag in its response to radiative forcing, there are no time lags associated with heat changes.”

    The “warming in the pipeline” would seem to reflect heat storage in the oceans that later is or can be transferred to the atmosphere, thus affecting weather at the surface where human beings live. However, it does not seem as if heat from the Sun could be stored on Earth in a place where that heat cannot be measured as it is accumulated. Nor would it seem possible that sea levels could rise due to thermal expansion of the oceans with a lag of decades, if heat is being stored in the oceans themselves and later transferred to the atmosphere.

  125. John Philip says:

    Bill – you’re right 0.13C/decade for UAH since 1979 is correct, I was confusing UAH with the RSS analysis, apologies for the confusion. However taking the regression analysis as published and extrapolating it forward suffers from these flaws:-

    - It ignores the thermal inertia of the climate system, assuming that all the forcing applied is reflected in the temperature rise already observed. This is not the case, it is uncontroversial that the heat stored in the ocean will continue to cause a rise in surface temperatures for several decades.

    - It uses detrended data for the AMO regression but (nearly) raw data for the ENSO regression. The analysis should be repeated using the same source data for both oscillations, the incorrect statement that the AMO data shows no trend should be addressed.

    - It does not handle feedbacks correctly, more sophisticated models find that as water vapour increases (to choose just the most significant single feedback), the resulting greenhouse warming increases exponentially, acting to offset the logarithmic declining effetcs of additional CO2.

    The question of the size of the lag between a radiative imbalance and the corresponding temperature increase does not have a simple single answer – some feedbacks, for example the disintegration of large ice sheets, operate on a scale of centuries, the IPCC’s figures for a doubling of CO2 use a definition of climate sensitivity that includes ‘fast’ feedbacks only, sometimes called the Charney sensitivity which assumes that the land surface, ice sheets and atmospheric composition stay the same.. See Chapter 10 of AR4 WG1.

    Richard, later on in our thought experiment the kettle is switched off. The temperature as measured some distance from the heat source continues to rise for some time as the heat is distributed through the body of water. Same thing, but on a planetary scale.

  126. Richard S Courtney says:

    To Bill Illis and to Phil:

    Thankyou for your points. I agree with both of you, and add the following.

    Bill Illis, you suggest the stored heat that may induce ‘delayed’ AGW may be in the deep ocean. In that case,

    (a) As Phil says, very little of the stored heat could return to the atmosphere until the deep ocean water returned to the surface (i.e. ~800 years after the heat entered the ocean) because there is little thermal exchange across the thermocline (and please see my comment on magnitude below). This could not be a problem worthy of consideration (at least, not worthy of consideration by our civilisation). And – in the context of this debate – it is not relevant to your model (but please see my final comment below).

    (b) The lack of accelerated sea level rise in recent decades suggests that such deep ocean storage of AGW heating has not been significant.

    (c) The heating from AGW of the ocean is (i) mostly direct radiant IR input that is absorbed within the top few meters of the ocean, (ii) conductive heating of the ocean surface by contact with warm air, and (iii) addition of warmer water to the ocean surface layer from precipitation, rivers and runoff from the land.

    Phil, I agree with you that the list of heat transfer mechanisms of AGW into the oceans that I provide in (c) indicates transfer of heat (from AGW) to the deep ocean occurs via the ocean surface layer. Therefore, in the absence of any other known thermal transfer mechanism from the surface to the deep ocean, it has to be agreed that recent cooling of the ocean surface layer indicates the transfer of heat has not occurred recently.

    However, there is a possibility that heat from AGW has been conveyed to the deep ocean because warming of the ocean surface layer occurred in previous decades. This raises the issue of how much AGW will be returned to the atmosphere when that deep ocean water returns to the surface (~800 years in the future, see above).

    The Second Law of Thermodynamics says that the atmospheric temperature rise induced by return to the surface of that AGW stored in deep ocean cannot be more than the temperature rise that put it into the ocean. Therefore, it threatens “our children’s children” (in ~800 years time) with no more AGW than we experienced in the twentieth century. And that warming is so small that we cannot discern it from natural variation.

    Additionally, the water that went into deep ocean ~ 800 years ago is returning to the surface now. This could be affecting ocean surface layer pH, ocean surface layer temperature, and – therefore – atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration (mostly by the pH change). It could be expected to affect the magnitude of the residual trend detected in the analysis provided by Bill Illis.

    Richard

  127. EW says:

    “Would you please explain why you claim a sizeable cooling?”

    That’s all only a play with the starting point. I just did the same with the last 80 months and here we go with a sizable cooling:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/last:80/plot/hadcrut3vgl/last:80/trend/plot/gistemp/last:80/plot/gistemp/last:80/trend/plot/uah/last:80/plot/uah/last:80/trend/plot/rss/last:80/plot/rss/last:80/trend

  128. John Philip says:

    Bill – another little feature of the analysis, in the spreadsheet you are using the natural log of the CO2 concentration, in fact the forcing due to an increase in CO2 is proportional to the log of the difference between starting and ending concentrations, in fact it is estimated to be

    Delta F = 5.3 x ln(C1/C0) where C1 is the end concentration and C0 the start concentration.

    By taking the log of the total concentration you will get a curve that is proportional to the theoretical forcing that would have occurred if concentrations were zero at the start of the period!

  129. kim says:

    Phil (22:58:19) That’s an excellent explication of a nice nuance. This is why the Jason measure of sea level are so important. Since Argos buoys only go down about two miles, if Trenberth’s ‘extra heat’ is being stored deep in the oceans, there should still be thermal expansion of volume of the oceans.

    I particularly worry about the halt in the reported Jason data stream until very lately, and the attempt to jigger the Argos readings of the last four years back to warming. The evidence that the oceans are cooling is truly of more import than the recent atmosphere cooling.
    ===============================================

  130. Jeff K says:

    If I may offer a critique – I don’t know who chose it but the image at the top of the page is…well…IMO, a poor choice. As I see it, yes, it does show a El Nino and a La Nina – however – it is showing an El Nino during a PDO warm phase and the La Nina is shown during a PDO cool phase. Your apples & oranges are getting mixed together. The ENSO cycle (12-18 months or so) does not switch with the PDO cycle (20-30 years) & the image is not an accurate representation of the Pacific-wide basin during an ENSO cycle…correct?

    *very* interesting write-up though.

    Reguards,
    Jeff

  131. Bill Illis says:

    Earlier John Philips had linked to the unadjusted untrended AMO data. I have put this data into the model now. It is exactly the same data I used before except it has very slight trend in it, about 0.002C per year or about 0.02C per decade GW impact potential.

    It produces some interesting results.

    The coefficient for the AMO goes back up to 0.75 as we has seen in other times. The r^2 falls somewhat to 0.74 but the F-statistic jumps to by far the highest number I have seen at 738.

    More importantly the warming residual left over falls to the infamous 1.24C per doubling (which the actually physics calculations say the number should be.) Interesting.

    It also allows one to see better some of the changing over time warming signals I was seeing before. There is certainly a peak then fall-off starting in the late 1970s for example and other variations at other times.

    Here is the Warming modeled chart.

    http://img73.imageshack.us/img73/4331/hadwarmusinguntramorr6.png

    I will have to think about if it is valid to use an AMO index which has a slight trend in it. The point about this regression method is to remove the natural variation from the climate. if the AMO is rising due to warming, then it can’t really be used for this purpose (although the untrended data could be). Other studies have shown that the AMO is a natural climate cycle that even has longer cycles lasting hundreds of years.

    Any thoughts?

  132. Jeff Id says:

    John Phillip,

    “In fact the warming is more likely to be exponential, due to thermal inertia and the impact of positive feedbacks, notably absent from this analysis.”

    Positive feedback is a bit of a pet peeve of mine which is a regular theme of the AGW guys. The earth clearly has a large number of negative feedback mechanisms as well which are poorly understood. I can make that statement because our climate would have gone over this huge evil tipping point dozens of times by the ice core data and it hasn’t happened. Also there is endless data that the ice has melted well beyond today’s levels in the last 6000 years and yet there was still no massive overwhelming flood. The tipping point is a theory with no foundation in the data.

    Most of the tipping point arguments are based on massive releases of CO2, melting ice, increased CO2 release until the earth turns into whatever horror story they can make up. What Bill Illis has shown shifts the equations for the limit to the amount of warming created by CO2 to a much lower level so even if there is massive amount of CO2 released the oceans are less likely to flood the earth.

    When you say warming is more likely to be exponential, you are going way too far.

  133. Phillip Bratby says:

    The quote from the Hansen 1985 paper includes “Evidence from Earth’s history (3–6) and climate models“. Since when have climate models been able to produce evidence? I always thought evidence came from measurements, not from predictions!

  134. TomVonk says:

    Phil.

    No, in our atmosphere up to the tropopause or so virtually all of the energy absorbed by CO2 is converted to the thermal motion of colliding molecules, primarily N2 & O2. The emission lifetime of the excited CO2 is much longer than the mean time between collisions and so is rapidly quenched.

    That is only a half of the story and therefore wrong .
    While vibrationnaly excited CO2 transfers energy to N2&O2 by collisions , so N2&O2 transfers energy to CO2 exciting its vibrationnal levels by collisions .
    As we are in LTE , the rates are equal .
    The Planck’s distribution of the excited vibrationnal levels of CO2 demands that the proportion of excited levels stays CONSTANT for a given temperature .
    Consequence is that CO2 simply must radiate away what it absorbs because else we have no more LTE .
    The proof is trivial : look at a CO2 spectrum anywhere in the troposphere .
    The CO2 radiates as expected .

    So it is not because the relaxation time is much longer than the mean time between collisions that CO2 only absorbs , collides and never radiates .
    That’s why the quenching that works both directions does NOT say that the CO2 is “heating the atmosphere” because it’s doing simultaneously both – cooling by radiation AND heating by absorption .
    In equilibrium because of the already mentionned Planck’s distribution constraint both actions are equal .
    Remember , in equilibrium one has always “Anything that is absorbed must be emitted but not necessarily by the same molecule .”

    On the other hand the original poster you commented on got most of the QM processes wrong (like the dipolar momentum , energy “storage” , “saturation” etc) .

    To John Philipp

    There is no “pipeline” .
    Thermal inertia indeed exists but I am afraid that you did not understand what it means .
    Like R.Courtney says , any heating is instantaneous by definition .
    Any molecule that increases its energy by absorption or collision (aka it “heats”) does so instantaneously .
    And it doesn’t matter if you take them by trillions of trillions . The bulk will still heat as the sum of heated molecules which do so instantaneously .

  135. Stephen Wilde says:

    Those points about the interplay between sun, atmosphere, ocean surface and ocean depths are critical to the whole issue.

    I have heard it said that the ocean height continues to rise despite the ocean surfaces cooling and so the global system is still warming even though SST and atmosphere seem to be cooling.

    My explanation would be that when the ocean oscillations are negative then less heat energy is being released to the atmosphere but solar input to the oceans continues so that there is an increase of energy in the oceans despite a cooling of atmosphere, land and so climate. During such periods solar energy gets tucked away in the depths and is denied to the atmosphere so that energy radiates to space faster than it is replenished by energy released from the oceans.

    Conversely a period of positive oscillations causing atmospheric warming would normally involve enough release of energy from the oceans to warm the atmosphere but reduce the total energy in the system. That should result in a fall in ocean height and normally would.

    However it appears that even during the 25 year warming spell from 1975 to 2000 there was nevertheless a slow increase in ocean height which appears to falsify the above BUT at the same time there was a so called grand solar maximum. Thus it is possible that the energy in the system continued to increase during the warming spell despite a full set of positive ocean oscillations. All that is needed for that to happen is for the historically high solar input (not necessarily reflected solely by TSI) to be putting more into the system than the positive oscillations are releasing.

    Any consideration of multidecadal movements of energy between ocean surfaces and depths and variable and intermittent releases of that energy to the atmosphere is currently missing from the whole debate but in my view it is critical.

    Combine those energy flows with solar changes over several cycles and I suspect that all the changes we have observed so far will be fully explained without involving CO2 at all.

  136. John S. says:

    The strong point of Illis’ study is the demonstration that a linear combination of AMO and ENSO indices can account for much of the variance seen in the standard “global temperature anomaly” compilations. The weak point is the naked presumption that the remnant is a physical “climate signal,” to which the logarithmic increments of temperature seen in vitro with rising CO2 concentrations can be applied . Given the multiple “adjustments” of actual data made by compilers such as GISS and Hadley and their failure to avoid UHI effects, any trend in their anomaly series is of dubious validity. And the surface temperature control in actual climate is provided by moist convection adjusting the vertical lapse rate in the atmosphere, not by the marginal radiative effect of trace gas concentrations.

  137. Richard Sharpe says:

    John S says:

    And the surface temperature control in actual climate is provided by moist convection adjusting the vertical lapse rate in the atmosphere, not by the marginal radiative effect of trace gas concentrations.

    This brings to mind something I cannot understand with respect to AGW claims about the marginal effect of CO2.

    That is, what mechanism do they propose will actually cause thermal runaway as CO2 levels increase?

    They seem to hint that increasing CO2 will cause more of the outgoing LWR to be absorbed, thus heating up the atmosphere, and then? Causing more water to be evaporated and thus heating up the atmosphere more?

    However, for that to occur, the extra heat/energy in the atmosphere has to be transferred to water, ie the oceans. But this would depend very much on timing, since hot air rises, and only the small portion in contact with the sea can transfer that energy by conduction. Of course, radiative transfer could also occur, but that would depend on the mean free path at the frequencies involved, and the probability that a molecule of CO2 transfers its energy to another molecule in the atmosphere before it radiates that extra energy away.

    So, it would seem to me that the effect of an increase in CO2 would be to increase the convection effect that John S refers to, although only marginally.

  138. evanjones says:

    I still ask:

    –What about the other cycles? NAO, IPO, AO, AAO, and the Indian Ocean temperatures (which follow 20th century variations fairly well).

    –What about the Mckitrick and LaDochy papers which indicate that global temperature trends are exaggerated?

    Leif: Thanks. I’ll have to be content with the 30-year measures, then.

  139. Bill Illis says:

    To John Philip,

    Regarding the proper log formulas, I am really modeling all the GHGs here (using CO2 as a proxy for all of the them.) And I am modeling Temperature response.

    The 5.35 ln (CO2/CO2o) is the formula for the “Forcing” of CO2 only (and there is a bunch of other formulas for the other GHGs and other forcings such as aerosols as well). In the most recent IPCC, the coefficient for CO2 was changed from 5.35 to 5.0.

    With the 5.0 or 5.35 formula, one then gets a 3.45 Watts/m^2 impact from the CO2 forcing only which when multiplied by 0.75C /w/m^2 estimated temperature response to a forcing results in 2.6C per doubling of CO2 only.

    When you add up all the forcings from all the GHGs and other feedbacks – the estimated forcing per doubling is 4.33 w/m^2 * 0.75C /w/m^2 = 3.25C per doubling.

    In effect I am just regressing to find out how much forcing change there has really been to date (assuming forcings result in 0.75C per watt per metre although it really doesn’t matter what the number is). In effect, I am skipping all these steps and just regressing for the actual temperature response.

    The warming models are really based on (using the anomaly C basis rather than Kelvin):
    — 4.7 * ln(280) – 26.9 = -0.42C
    — 4.7 * ln(560) – 26.9 = +2.84C

    and the change is +3.25C per doubling

    The regression returns
    — 2.7 * ln(280) – 15.8 = -0.42C
    — 2.7 * ln(560) – 15.8 = +1.44C

    and the change is +1.85C per doubling

    I was hoping I wouldn’t have to get into this discussion because it is very messy. I fell for this trap too a couple of times when I was designing it (as Anthony Watts can attest to). There are a lot of coincidences in these numbers.

    And perhaps the modelers, in trying to nail down every little impact in “forcings” which may be based on calculations that are not correct to start with (where did the 5.35 come from anyway) , they have lost a little perspective on what they are trying to do which is model a Temperature response. Is the climate actually responding in “Temperatures C” rather than in “minute forcings in watts per metre squared”, the way it is supposed to.

    I got quite a few “Watts” into that post.

  140. Fernando:
    “Perhaps, I need to understand the interaction
    H2O + CO2> H2CO3 in the atmosphere”

    That is a key question:That reaction is endothermic.

  141. Richard Sharpe says:

    Tom Vonk says:

    The Planck’s distribution of the excited vibrationnal levels of CO2 demands that the proportion of excited levels stays CONSTANT for a given temperature .
    Consequence is that CO2 simply must radiate away what it absorbs because else we have no more LTE .

    Bear with me here as I am trying to understand this, and may have to go away and read a physics text book.

    However, what says that the temperature must stay CONSTANT? When the atmosphere, via CO2 increases, absorbs more energy, wouldn’t its temperature shift upwards and reach a different LTE point?

  142. evanjones says:

    And I ask yet again, what about the influence of other cycles?
    Here are my links:

    PDO:
    ftp://ftp.atmos.washington.edu/mantua/pnw_impacts/INDICES/PDO.latest

    AMO:
    http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/Timeseries/AMO/

    Arctic Oscillation:
    http://jisao.washington.edu/data/aots/

    Antarctic Oscillation:
    http://www.lasg.ac.cn/staff/ljp/data-NAM-SAM-NAO/SAMI1948-2007.ascii

    North Atlantic Oscillation:
    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/jhurrell/indices.data.html#naostatann
    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/jhurrell/indices.data.html#nam

    Indian Ocean Temp.Anomalies:
    http://www.jisao.washington.edu/data/indiansat/

    And what about the possibly spurious adjustments to the historical record?

    All that might make the curve fit even better.

  143. Phil. says:

    Richard Sharpe (10:02:53) :
    Tom Vonk says:

    The Planck’s distribution of the excited vibrationnal levels of CO2 demands that the proportion of excited levels stays CONSTANT for a given temperature .
    Consequence is that CO2 simply must radiate away what it absorbs because else we have no more LTE .

    Bear with me here as I am trying to understand this, and may have to go away and read a physics text book.

    I don’t know what context this was said but if it’s intended to describe the situation in the earth’s troposphere it’s wrong. It should read:
    Consequence is that CO2 simply must radiate away or lose by collisional transfer what it absorbs because else we have no more LTE.

    In the stratosphere where CO2 is responsible for cooling and collisions are few then CO2 does predominantly lose energy by radiation.

  144. Bill Illis says:

    To evanjones

    I’ll try these out tonight. It would be preferable to have a series which is continuously updated with monthly data, a series which is a natural cycle unrelated to global warming and one that has a long enough time series (back to at least 1900 for example.)

  145. Basil says:

    Bill,

    I’m impressed. I also haven’t had the time to look into it carefully. One thing that stands out to me, though, is your 4th figure, where you show the “warming” in the divergence between the temperature series, and the Nino+AMO only model, after ~1970.

    I wonder if the “warming” would not be as dramatic, or even noticeable, if you used a tropics only temperature series, rather than the global series. I’ve done enough temperature trend analysis to know that most of the “warming” we’ve seen in the past 2-3 decades occurred in the northern extra-tropics, and over land. Before I attributed the gap you see in your 4th figure to rising CO2, I’d want to see what kind of gap exists just in the tropics. Then, if it is indeed localized primarily to northern extratropics, over the Asia land mass, I cannot help but wonder how much of that is due to quality issues with respect to the surface stations in that part of the globe.

    I have raised the question several times, but have never received a cogent answer: why would warming from CO2 be localized in the northern extratropics, and over land? (And, for that matter, primarily over Asia; the USA has not been warming.)

    While your results are intriguing, I think you should see how robust they are to hemispheric/tropical differences in long term temperature trends. If the “warming gap” diminishes, or goes away, if you use only tropical temperature trends, how would that affect your analysis?

    I’m sure you know, but you can get the HadCRUT series specifically for tropics (it is 30N-30S, rather than the more common 20N-20S, but it will do for what I’m thinking about) here:

    http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcrut3/diagnostics/regional/30-30/

    Basil

  146. phil says:

    @ kim (04:03:59) :

    Jason 2 has now been handed over to NOAA:

    “The handover is a major step in Jason-2 operations. NOAA will now carry out routine operations on the satellite and, by the end of November, process the operational data received by its ground stations and interface with users.”

    See http://www.eumetsat.int/home/main/media/news/708051

  147. Bill Illis says:

    To Basil,

    I did do the RSS tropics and the RSS northern hemisphere. (There is a nice fit to the Tropics).

    http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/1222/rsstropicslz2.png

    http://i463.photobucket.com/albums/qq360/Bill-illis/RSSNorthHemisphere.png

    The warming in the Tropics for RSS is about 0.045C per decade which is basically the same as the global number. The Northern Hemisphere is higher at about 0.07C per decade.

    I, as well, have not seen a very good explanation for why the temperature in the northern hemisphere is rising faster.

    One little explanation might be that the AMO has been cycling upward since 1975. The reconstruction shows the AMO is much more important in the northern hemisphere than it is for the global temp series or for the Tropics. In the Tropics, the ENSO becomes dominant and the ENSO doesn’t really have long cycles of consistently up or down – just a lot of short sharp swings.

    And thanks for the link to the regional Hadcrut3 data series. I have not used these specific breakdowns yet and will try them out.

  148. Steve S says:

    Can someone help me understand something?
    How is it that the global warming issue became a liberal vs conservative issue? I am blown away by how is sometimes seems more a political issue than a scientific one. Everyone with a political ideology has self-appointed himself a scientific expert on the topic. Does anyone really think he is smarter or knows more than the real experts? I say leave the scientific debate to the scientists and out of politics.
    Personally I am more concerned with the truth than my beliefs. It seems that (other than people who don’t know or care about the issue) everyone has a prejudiced belief and will only pursue evidence of their viewpoint.
    I have liberal leanings (though I am much too independently minded to agree with most Democratic or American liberal perspectives). I believe global warming is occurring, but not because of anything any pundit or politician has said, but because of what scientists have written. That being said, I am not afraid to look at evidence from the “opposition”, because I am so much more interested in the truth than in being right.
    I am busy, so I don’t have time to read everything that interests me, but I plan on reading “Red Hot Lies” soon. I only hope that everyone, liberal or conservative, will keep an open mind and not be afraid or looking at evidence from both sides.

  149. Steve S says:

    Moderator:
    Sorry, I clicked on the wrong page before I submitted this. I reposted on the correct page. Please remove the above comment as it is not on topic here.

    REPLY: It’s the holiday, not to worry – Anthony

  150. mcates says:

    “How is it that the global warming issue became a liberal vs conservative issue? ”

    The scientists who were/are pushing the theory of global warming started pushing liberal ideology and solutions, while talking about global warming.

    “I believe global warming is occurring, but not because of anything any pundit or politician has said, but because of what scientists have written.”

    I don’t think I have ever read a post here that stated global warming is non-existant.

    Also, your statement is vague. Do you believe man-made global warming exits? That would be one of the points of discussion.

    What about the scientists that do not think man has caused the planet to warm or that man’s effect is small? Being scientists does there opinion influence you?

    “I only hope that everyone, liberal or conservative, will keep an open mind and not be afraid or looking at evidence from both sides.”

    That would be my hope also. I would argue that you have just described the far majority of people at this site. I don’t think anyone here believes others should be prosecuted or jailed for disagreeing with another over a scientific issus as complex as climate change.

  151. Richard S Courtney says:

    I trust the Moderator will not post this if it is straying too far from the important point of Bill Illis’s analysis, but it concerns the natures of ‘evidence’ and ‘modelling’ (the analysis is a model).

    Phillip Bratby says:
    “The quote from the Hansen 1985 paper includes “Evidence from Earth’s history (3–6) and climate models“. Since when have climate models been able to produce evidence? I always thought evidence came from measurements, not from predictions!”

    I agree. One my peer review comments for the IPCC AR4 (which it is not surprising was ignored) said the following:

    Page 2-47 Chapter 2 Section 2.6.3 Line 46
    Delete the phrase, “and a physical model” because it is a falsehood.

    Evidence says what it says, and construction of a physical model is irrelevant to that in any real science.

    The authors of this draft Report seem to have an extreme prejudice in favour of models (some parts of the Report seem to assert that climate obeys what the models say; e.g. Page 2-47 Chapter 2 Section 2.6.3 Lines 33 and 34), and this phrase that needs deletion is an example of the prejudice.

    Evidence is the result of empirical observation of reality.
    Hypotheses are ideas based on the evidence.
    Theories are hypotheses that have repeatedly been tested by comparison with evidence and have withstood all the tests.
    Models are representations of the hypotheses and theories.
    Outputs of the models can be used as evidence only when the output data is demonstrated to accurately represent reality.

    If a model output disagrees with the available evidence then this indicates fault in the model, and this indication remains true until the evidence is shown to be wrong.

    This draft Report repeatedly demonstrates that its authors do not understand these matters. So, I provide the following analogy to help them. If they can comprehend the analogy then they may achieve graduate standard in their science practice.

    A scientist discovers a new species.
    1.
    He/she names it (e.g. he/she calls it a gazelle) and describes it (e.g. a gazelle has a leg in each corner).
    2.
    He/she observes that gazelles leap. (n.b. the muscles, ligaments etc. that enable gazelles to leap are not known, do not need to be discovered, and do not need to be modelled to observe that gazelles leap. The observation is evidence.)
    3.
    Gazelles are observed to always leap when a predator is near. (This observation is also evidence.)
    4.
    From (3) it can be deduced that gazelles leap in response to the presence of a predator.
    5.
    n.b. The gazelle’s internal body structure and central nervous system do not need to be studied, known or modelled for the conclusion in (4) that “gazelles leap when a predator is near” to be valid. Indeed, study of a gazelle’s internal body structure and central nervous system may never reveal that, and such a model may take decades to construct following achievement of the conclusion from the evidence.

    Richard

  152. From Basil (12:16:49) :

    “One thing that stands out to me, though, is your 4th figure, where you show the “warming” in the divergence between the temperature series, and the Nino+AMO only model, after ~1970.

    “I wonder if the “warming” would not be as dramatic, or even noticeable, if you used a tropics only temperature series, rather than the global series. I’ve done enough temperature trend analysis to know that most of the “warming” we’ve seen in the past 2-3 decades occurred in the northern extra-tropics, and over land. ”

    In some ways, see only the arctic heat up makes sense w/r to the liberals’ “rising-CO2-causing-rising-global-temperature” theory.

    One of Hansen’s premises is that a 1x increase in CO2 GHG function is “forcing” a 10x increase in water vapor’s GHG function. He expects to see this effect most strongly where water vapor is limited (colder climates) and where the air itself is very dry (again, colder, arctic climates.) Where water vapor is higher (warmer areas and ocean/island areas) he doesn’t expect to see much GHG increases.

    Thus, Hansen MUST show an increase in Arctic temperatures. Even though he cannot explain why only the ten Siberian thermometers are going up, when the more numerous Candian and Alaskan and Swedish temperatures are NOT rising.

  153. Bill Illis says:

    Okay, here is the problem with the reconstruction and why it doesn’t work really, really well.

    The Southern Hemisphere temps (as linked to by Basil) are not matched up by the ENSO or AMO indices. I tried the Antarctic oscillation linked to by evanjones and this gets one closer but it is still off by quite a bit.

    Does anyone know of a good Southern Ocean Index to try?

    The Southern Oscillation Index is more related to the El Nino and La Nina phenomenon rather than southern ocean temps as the name would indicate so that one doesn’t work – in fact the ENSO is negatively correlated with southern hemisphere temps which is a little strange I guess except when one considers that the ENSO develops out of the ocean circulations from the southern oceans sometimes and, in fact, lags the southern ocean temps versus leading global temperatures as it does. A little counter-intuitive but nonetheless.

    Here is the problem.

    http://img122.imageshack.us/img122/7797/shtempanomalybq1.png

    Any ideas for a southern ocean index which matches this?

    And Richard, I agree with you completely. Empirical evidence is king and should always overrule any theory. It is the basis for science and medicine and the reason why civilization has advanced in recent centuries. I don’t know why theory overrules evidence in the global warming field however.

  154. Ric Werme says:

    John Philip (17:20:45)

    George – which of the four major global temperature indices shows a ’sizeable temperature fall’ over the last 120 months please? Here’s the data:

    http://tinyurl.com/563bmc

    They all appear to show an increase. Please explain.

    Oh dear, the cherry-pick the 1998 El Nino has passed the decade mark.
    If you add one more year, to 132 months, then only good ol’ GISSTEMP is
    going up. Of course, that El Nino was followed by a La Nina as often happens,
    and that forces the trend positive.
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/last:132/plot/hadcrut3vgl/last:132/trend/plot/gistemp/last:132/plot/gistemp/last:132/trend/plot/uah/last:132/plot/uah/last:132/trend/plot/rss/last:132/plot/rss/last:132/trend

    Of course, the trend over the past two years can’t continue, but see http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/last:132/plot/hadcrut3vgl/last:24/trend/plot/gistemp/last:132/plot/gistemp/last:24/trend/plot/uah/last:132/plot/uah/last:24/trend/plot/rss/last:132/plot/rss/last:24/trend

    That period has the most recent El Nino and the PDO flip. It makes for a good cherry pick, but it does have useful information you can read between the lines.

  155. Basil says:

    Bill,

    It would be very significant, I think, if separate out the temperature of the tropics and the temperature of the northern extratropics, and can show that the AMO is more important to the latter, and can explain some (a lot?) of the anomalous behavior in temperature trends in the northern extratropics since the 1970′s.

    Basil

  156. Bill Illis says:

    Basil,

    I have the tropics and the northern hemisphere pretty much nailed. The tropics is driven by the ENSO (but has an AMO influence as well) and the northern hemisphere is driven mainly by the AMO (but has an ENSO influence as well.)

    Which itself is a significant development I think.

    But I’m really looking to pull the natural variation out of the total global temp anomaly so it appears I need something for the southern hemisphere.

    The reconstruction was already very close so I don’t need a perfect correlation, just something that is reasonably close.

  157. John Finn says:

    Just catching up with all the discussions on this thread so I could easily have missed or misunderstood something but, with regards to the “ocean warming”

    Richard Courtney writes

    (c) The heating from AGW of the ocean is (i) mostly direct radiant IR input that is absorbed within the top few meters of the ocean,

    Shouldn’t that be millimetres – or even fractions of mm. I was under the impression that IR only penetrated the top ‘skin’ of liquid water. I’ve seen Doug Hoyt demonstrate this using transmission formula with appropriate absorption coefficients for typical IR wavelengths.

    This raises the question (for me at least) as to how increased GHGs warm the ocean. Some AGWers seem to be arguing that, rather than warming from the direct downward IR effect, increased GHGs actually slow the rate of ocean cooling.

  158. TomVonk says:

    R.Sharpe

    The Planck’s distribution of the excited vibrationnal levels of CO2 demands that the proportion of excited levels stays CONSTANT for a given temperature .
    Consequence is that CO2 simply must radiate away what it absorbs because else we have no more LTE .

    Bear with me here as I am trying to understand this, and may have to go away and read a physics text book.

    However, what says that the temperature must stay CONSTANT? When the atmosphere, via CO2 increases, absorbs more energy, wouldn’t its temperature shift upwards and reach a different LTE point?

    The temperature stays constant for a given concentration – that is the LTE condition .
    Indeed when the CO2 concentration changes , the equilibrium temperature changes but very slightly .
    Yes the atmosphere will absorb more but it will also RADIATE more . Absorption and radiation always go hand in hand .
    The Planck’s distribution of the energy levels has a very low sensibility to temperatures – around the room temperature only about 5 % of the CO2 molecules are excited . At lower temperatures even less .

    The main point which Phil has got wrong is that he imagines that for a given CO2 concentration CO2 only absorbs and transfers the absorbed energy by collisions to N2&O2 .
    Or in other words that the CO2 doesn’t radiate in the troposphere .
    Of course that is not what happens because :

    a) CO2 radiates as any tropospheric spectrum shows .

    b) The collisional reaction CO2* + N2 CO2 + N2* where the symbol * means high energy species (it can be either translationnal energy or vibro/rotationnal energy) is an equilibrium . From that follows that for every CO2* that transfers energy to N2 , there is an N2* that transfers energy to CO2 .
    Obviously if it was not the case , the reaction would not be an equilibrium .
    The constraint is that the energy distribution of both CO2 and N2 must stay constant because by definition we are in LTE and the temperature is constant .

    c) From b) above follows that as the collisional reaction is an equilibrium , the CO2 molecules must radiate approximately the same energy as the one they absorb because N2 can radiate only a small amount .
    This is a trivial consequence of energy conservation .

    So the naive vision in which CO2 is a kind of “pump” which absorbs IR , never radiates and heats the air is simply wrong .
    What CO2 absorbs is radiated away (and reabsorbed and reradiated etc) .
    If the CO2 concentration changes , the processes described above don’t change but the equilibrium temperature will slightly change with negligible impact on the energy distribution .

  159. TomVonk says:

    I forgot the problems with the “arrow” symbols .
    In the above collisional reaction it shoud read :

    CO2* + N2 (-) CO2 + N2* where the “(” and “)” are left and right arrows .

  160. erlhapp says:

    Re Colin Aldridge (11:21:51) and Richard M (11:37:18)
    Anyone seen a plausible explanation for ENSO?

    Try http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/2008/11/21/the-enso-driver/

    All the discussion of carbon dioxide and its supposed effect on surface temperature should be tempered by observation of the reaction of ozone to the strong seasonal increase in radiation from the Earth each northern summer. This is due to the distribution of land and sea with 40% of the northern hemisphere land by comparison with only 20% in the southern hemisphere. A mid year burst of OLR (continents heat the atmosphere and cloud cover declines with relative humidity) produces an increase in temperature at the tropopause (100hPa) in the southern tropics of something like 4-5°C in August every year. The pattern of seasonal change of temperature at 150hPa or 200hPa (peaking in April – May in the southern tropics) is unaffected. Conclusion: there is no effective transfer of energy from the heated tropopause down into the atmosphere immediately below. Convection cancels the effect of down welling radiation. Full exposition at: http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/2008/11/08/earth-laboratory-tests-the-greenhouse-theory-once-a-year-every-year-and-finds-it-wanting-every-time/

    The convection dynamic in the troposphere where temperature falls with elevation is very strong. ‘Tropos’ is Greek for turning. It is less vigorous in the stratosphere (‘stratos’ = layered) where temperature increases with altitude. Strangely, the strong effect of OLR on atmospheric temperature via ozone falls away long short of peak ozone concentration at 30hPa. I suggest that this is due to increasing ease of emission to space as atmospheric density declines with elevation. Thus the pattern of evolution of temperature within the year reveals the relative strength of the forces that are in operation. Here is the observational evidence of the irrelevance of greenhouse theory in the real world of atmospheric dynamics.

    Bill, congratulations on what appears to be, from a non statistician’s point of view, an advance in attributing effect to cause. However, I want to point out that all of the oceans acquire heat in tropical zones and emit more energy than they receive from the sun, pole wards of 40° of latitude. The North Atlantic has a much larger swing in temperature than the other oceans but this may have something to do with the ratio between the relatively small surface area of the Atlantic in relation to the large cloud free tropical zone where the solar energy is absorbed. Additionally, the relatively closed circulation of this ocean due to the particular arrangement of the coast of Brazil in relation to the push of the warmed waters means that little of the surface circulation of warmed water is lost to the southern hemisphere where the water volume is vast and temperatures depressed by the presence of Antarctica and its constant all season downdraft of air at minus 80°C or thereabouts. So, the AMO expresses the evolution of global temperature with a vigor that is not seen in the Pacific with its vast southern component.

    The tropical oceans absorb energy from the sun. A useful index of the amount of energy received might be the temperature of the water at 0-10°N latitude where the warmest waters lie. However since, after a certain point, the energy received by the ocean is resolved via evaporation rather than increase in surface temperature and much of that energy is released as latent heat at 850hPa, a useful index could be temperature at 850hPa (over the ocean) between the equator and 10°N. That might come close to expressing the the power of the solar driver that works via cloud cover change in the ozone rich high pressure zones of subsiding, relatively cloud free air in the tropics. Despite there being little low altitude cloud there is a strong flux in cirrus above 500hPa depending upon local temperature. To see this mechanism in action on an hourly basis in the Pacific east of South America see Fulldisk Satellite Image from GOES8 at http://www.intelliweather.com/imagesuite_specialty.htm This blog provides a permanent reference point to current images in the header above.

  161. John Philip says:

    There is a key assumption here, i.e.

    The ENSO and the AMO are capable of explaining almost all of the natural variation in the climate. and

    The coefficient for the Nino 3.4 region at 0.058 means it is capable of explaining changes in temps of as much as +/- 0.2C.

    The coefficient for the AMO index at 0.51 to 0.75 indicates it is capable of explaining changes in temps of as much as +/- 0.3C to +/- 0.4C.

    That is, the essay assumes that correlation demonstrates causality. This is a logical fallacy, without considering the underlying physics it is impossible to conclude whether the oscillations are driving the temperature or the oscillations are modified by the changing temperatures, As Trenberth and Hoar (2001) found

    Both the recent trend for more ENSO events since 1976 and the prolonged 1990-1995 ENSO event are unexpected given the previous record, with a probability of occurrence about once in 2,000 years. This opens up the possibility that the ENSO changes may be partly caused by the observed increases in greenhouse gases.

    If this is the case then simply subtracting the ENSO index from the observed temperatures will not give the ‘real’ residual global warming signal.

    From an eyeball of the first chart it seems the good correlation starts to break down in the second half of the 20th century as GHG warming becomes dominant. The model attempts to plug this gap with a formula based on the multiple of the natural log of CO2 plus an arbitrary constant, which gives a reasonable match. The expected global warming from theory is given as:

    When you add up all the forcings from all the GHGs and other feedbacks – the estimated forcing per doubling is 4.33 w/m^2 * 0.75C /w/m^2 = 3.25C per doubling.

    In effect I am just regressing to find out how much forcing change there has really been to date (assuming forcings result in 0.75C per watt per metre although it really doesn’t matter what the number is). In effect, I am skipping all these steps and just regressing for the actual temperature response.

    And this is expressed as the formula:

    The warming models are really based on (using the anomaly C basis rather than Kelvin):
    — 4.7 * ln(280) – 26.9 = -0.42C
    — 4.7 * ln(560) – 26.9 = +2.84C
    and the change is +3.25C per doubling

    The regression returns
    — 2.7 * ln(280) – 15.8 = -0.42C
    — 2.7 * ln(560) – 15.8 = +1.44C
    and the change is +1.85C per doubling

    In other words the ‘regression’ simply uses lower values for the multiplier and constant.

    This is not legitimate, the 0.75C/W/m2 figure is an expression of the climate sensitivity, that is the expected temperature rise produced by a given forcing. However the IPCC define climate sensitivity as

    the equilibrium change in the annual mean global surface
    temperature following a doubling of the atmospheric equivalent
    carbon dioxide concentration.

    The key point being that there is thermal inertia in the climate system and so the observed temperatures are only expected to match the modelled temperatures once equilibrium is reached (this is a convenient construct, in fact equilibrium is never reached, but it is a useful concept), Hansen et al (2005) finds :

    Evidence from Earth’s history and climate models suggests that climate sensitivity is 0.75° ± 0.25°C per W/m2, implying that 25 to 50 years are needed for Earth’s surface temperature to reach 60% of its equilibrium response.

    In other words in the half century following a change in forcing as the climate system is still responding, it is unsurprising that a simple logarithmic model with reduced coefficients gives a reasonable match to observed temperatures, but it is not valid simply to extrapolate this forward.

    Some of the forcing goes to increasing the ocean heat content, this figure from the same paper shows how the models’ estimate of the increased OHC in the top 750m compare with observations. Any model that assumes all the extra forcing goes purely to increasing surface temperatures must explain the origin of this extra heat.

    As explained above the statement …

    As well, the AMO appears to be a natural climate cycle unrelated to global warming. is incorrect because the dataset chosen had already had the trend removed, the trend is described as

    It is exactly the same data I used before except it has very slight trend in it, about 0.002C per year or about 0.02C per decade GW impact potential.

    Actually slightly over 0.025C/ decade. Given that the data cover 15 decades, the difference over the dataset is approx 0.375C, equivalent to more than 50% of the 20th century warming. The fact that a change of this magnitude has an apparently minor impact on the model tells us something very interesting about its robustness.

    Let us take a brief look at what the IPCC models which include the ocean physics and feedbacks actually projected for recent decades. The figures from the TAR are here. Taking Scenario A2 as a reasonable midrange choice and a good match to the actual forcings trajectory the temperatures were projected to increase by 0.35C from the baseline year of 1990 to 2010, a linear trend of 0.175C/decade. The actual trend in the monthly HADCrut dataset over the period since January 1990 to 3dp is 0.176C/decade.

    Not bad.

  162. Richard S Courtney says:

    John Finn:

    Thankyou for correcting me. You say:

    “Richard Courtney writes
    (c) The heating from AGW of the ocean is (i) mostly direct radiant IR input that is absorbed within the top few meters of the ocean,”

    Shouldn’t that be millimetres – or even fractions of mm. I was under the impression that IR only penetrated the top ’skin’ of liquid water. I’ve seen Doug Hoyt demonstrate this using transmission formula with appropriate absorption coefficients for typical IR wavelengths.”

    Yes, of course you are right.

    My error was to say “direct radiant IR input” when I should have said “direct radiant IR and visible input”. Visible wavelengths penetrate to tens of meters before being absorbed, and they provide a significant energy input (i.e. heating) to the ocean surface layer.

    Again, thankyou for pointing out my mistake.

    Richard

  163. Richard S Courtney says:

    Bill Illis:

    You ask;
    “But I’m really looking to pull the natural variation out of the total global temp anomaly so it appears I need something for the southern hemisphere.”

    OK, I understand what you want and I cannot provide real help. However, there is a possibility that – I think – warrants mention if – as I hope – you publish your work.

    I remind that I wrote above:
    “Other natural cycles may also be affecting the trend, and the method is not applicable to cycles with lower frequency than the time series. Such a very low frequency oscillation does seem to exist. There is an apparent ~900 year oscillation that caused the Roman Warm Period (RWP), then the Dark Age Cool Period (DACP), then the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), then the Little Ice Age (LIA), and the present warm period (PWP). ”

    And I later wrote above:
    “Additionally, the water that went into deep ocean ~800 years ago is returning to the surface now. This could be affecting ocean surface layer pH, ocean surface layer temperature, and – therefore – atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration (mostly by the pH change). It could be expected to affect the magnitude of the residual trend detected in the analysis provided by Bill Illis. ”

    In other words, there is an apparent natural cycle with too great a frequency to be analysed by your method that could be expected to provide warming which was stored in the oceans during the MWP and is now being returned to the atmosphere.

    Indeed, this possibility is proclaimed by those who advocate “AGW in the pipeline”.

    However, as I also said;
    “The Second Law of Thermodynamics says that the atmospheric temperature rise induced by return to the surface of that AGW stored in deep ocean cannot be more than the temperature rise that put it into the ocean. Therefore, it threatens “our children’s children” (in ~800 years time) with no more AGW than we experienced in the twentieth century. And that warming is so small that we cannot discern it from natural variation.”

    Therefore, this postulated ‘warming from the MWP’ cannot provide a temperature rise greater than the temperature rise from the Dark Age Cool Period (DACP) to the Medieval Warm Period (MWP). But, conservatively it could be assumed to have provided 0.2 deg.C to observed recent Southern Hemisphere temperature rise.

    I repeat that I know this fails to answer your need, but I do think it merits at least a footnote in the publication I hope you will provide.

    Richard

  164. John Philip says:

    Actually, although IR only penetrates less than 1 mm an important part of the mechanism by which GHG forcing heats the ocean is IR absorbtion in the surface skin layer which reduces the temperature gradient across the layer, causing more of the heat from sunlight absorbion to be retained in the water below.

  165. Bill Illis says:

    John Phillips says – “In other words the ‘regression’ simply uses lower values for the multiplier and constant (for the warming reconstruction). ”

    No, I’m saying they ARE lower so far. Not simply uses, they are lower.

    I can perhaps adjust the global warming model’s log formula to include a “Time” component which is missing so far as follows:

    – 2.7 * ln(560) – 15.8 + (Another up to 1,000 years of additional not-really-well-defined-or-explained warming in the pipeline) = 3.25C

    So far, the pipeline has some leaks in it.

    —-

    And I had read the paper you linked to earlier about the AMO when it was discussed on realclimate a week or so ago.

    I note the abstract states the AMO is a natural climate cycle independent of global warming.

    “The results imply the AMO is a genuine quasi-periodic cycle of internal climate variability persisting for many centuries, and is related to
    variability in the oceanic thermohaline circulation (THC). This relationship suggests we can attempt to reconstruct past THC changes, and we infer an increase in THC strength over the last 25 years. Potential predictability
    associated with the mode implies natural THC and AMO decreases over the next few decades independent of anthropogenic climate change.”

    And they did forecast (so far correctly) that it would weaken in the next decades.

  166. John Finn says:

    Actually, although IR only penetrates less than 1 mm an important part of the mechanism by which GHG forcing heats the ocean is IR absorbtion in the surface skin layer which reduces the temperature gradient across the layer, causing more of the heat from sunlight absorbion to be retained in the water below.

    Wouldn’t the IR “heated” skin just evaporate?

  167. Richard S Courtney says:

    John Philip asserts:
    “Actually, although IR only penetrates less than 1 mm an important part of the mechanism by which GHG forcing heats the ocean is IR absorbtion in the surface skin layer which reduces the temperature gradient across the layer, causing more of the heat from sunlight absorbion to be retained in the water below.”

    Really? Prove it.

    The assertion assumes little mixing of the ocean surface layer. Indeed, it assumes a “surface skin layer” that is “less than 1 mm” thick and is independent of the underlying water. But the entire surface layer is turbulent and it is very turbulent near the surface.

    While the possibility of the assertion cannot be rejected, it is so implausible as to be worthy of rejection until supporting evidence is provided.

    As a postscript, I add that I spent the first 3 years of this decade living on a boat in an attempt to quantify energy interactions at sea surface. My endeavour was defeated – so the project was a failure – by effects of surface ripples (n.b. ripples, not waves) that I do not think had been previously detected. Hence, having wasted those three years of my life, I am extremely sceptical of any simplistic assertions concerning energy interactions at sea surface.

    Richard

  168. Mike Bryant says:

    Richard,
    “While the possibility of the assertion cannot be rejected, it is so implausible as to be worthy of rejection until supporting evidence is provided.”

    It seems that in climate science, any assertion supporting AGW is immediadely accepted as truth. The effect is then added into the models, and if actual data is found to disagree with the models, then the data is “corrected”.

    Mike

  169. John Philip says:

    Jeff Id, re feedbacks … published just last month, Dessler et al found …

    Between 2003 and 2008, the global-average surface temperature of the Earth varied by 0.6C. We analyze here the response of tropospheric water vapor to these variations. Height-resolved measurements of specific humidity (q) and relative humidity (RH) are obtained from NASA’s satelliteborne Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS). Over most of the troposphere, q increased with increasing global-average
    surface temperature, although some regions showed the opposite response. RH increased in some regions and decreased in others, with the global average remaining nearly constant at most altitudes. The water-vapor feedback implied by these observations is strongly positive, with an average magnitude of lq = 2.04 W/m2/K, similar to that simulated by climate models. The magnitude is similar to that obtained if the atmosphere maintained constant RH everywhere

    and concluded …

    The existence of a strong and positive water-vapor feedback means that projected business-as-usual greenhouse gas emissions over the next century are virtually guaranteed to produce warming of several degrees Celsius. The only way that will not happen is if a strong, negative, and currently unknown feedback is discovered somewhere in our climate system.

    (My bold).

    cheers,

    JP

  170. Bill Illis says:

    Thanks John Philips for linking to a public version of the Dessler paper.

    I note Dessler had published a study earlier which indicated water vapour response was not keeping up with climate model’s predictions (but this study did not use all of the troposphere).

    In this paper (funded by NASA – GISS I presume), water vapour response was measured across the whole troposphere as temps declined from DJF 2007 to DJF 2008 (due to the La Nina and the AMO as I have been saying all along – temps declined by 0.4C, very close to the predictions of the reconstruction).

    In the very lower troposphere, relative humidity decreased by 1.5% (percentage points) and it increased in the very upper troposphere by 1.5% (the middle was constant).

    Give there is much more water vapour in the very lower troposphere than in the top, the study really found there was a decline in the overall weighted-average relative humidity as temperatures declined.

    So how does that support global warming? Relative humidity is supposed to stay more-or-less constant.

    To be fair, the models do produce results similar to this when temps are increasing, but not when they are decreasing.

    These results imply a runaway greenhouse or runaway ice planet. The models would never work if there a decline in relative humidity as temps fell and an increase in relative humidity as temps increase.

    I think the study just shows there is still a lot of variability in relative humidity that we do not understand yet.

  171. Stephen Wilde says:

    For a discussion of the ‘ocean skin’ issue please see my article here:

    http://co2sceptics.com/news.php?id=1645

    I would add that natural swings in the power of the atmospheric greenhouse effect are likely to occur routinely as a result of natural changes in the total amount of water vapour in the atmosphere.

    As the Earth warms for whatever natural reason the atmosphere will hold more water vapour and if it cools for whatever natural reason then the atmosphere will hold less water vapour.

    Either way the natural water vapour variations will dwarf by orders of magnitude any changes in the power of the greenhouse effect that could be attributed to human CO2.

    Furthermore those natural water vapour swings have never caused us to cross a tipping point so why should a tiny variation induced by any effect from human CO2 do so ?

  172. John Philip says:

    …it is so implausible as to be worthy of rejection until supporting evidence is provided.


    This guy
    (who seems to understand a thing or two about ocean surface thermodynamics, judging by his publication record) did the research and it was published in


    Linking thermal skin gradients at the sea-surface to the radiative coupling of the atmosphere and ocean: a mechanism for heating of the oceans by atmospheric greenhouse gases

    From the abstract … The heat flux to the atmosphere is achieved though conduction though the skin layer of the ocean, within which a temperature gradient exists, so that the interfacial temperature of the ocean is cooler than the bulk temperature below. The thickness of the conductive skin layer is of comparable size to the emission (and absorption) depth of infrared radiation in water. The differences in the skin SST and the subsurface bulk temperature are typically a few tenths of a degree, an amount that is important in terms of attempting to detect oceanic warming caused by climate change. Given that the ocean absorbs the infrared radiation emitted by the atmosphere, including by greenhouse gases, within the radiative skin layer, concern has been expressed about how the increasing levels of greenhouse gases can heat the ocean. However, the skin temperature gradient is believed to be responsive to the intensity of the incident infrared radiation at the surface, and this modulates the heat flow from ocean to atmosphere. Empirical evidence to support this hypothesis will be presented, based on measurements taken at sea using the Marine-Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (M-AERI).

    Cheers,

  173. The Diatribe Guy says:

    This is a great analysis. My only issue with it is the apparent assumption of no cross biases for unevaluated parameters.

    For example, suggesting that the remaining trend may have some small, but basically minimal room for influence on the temps is a bit mesleading. It may well be true that there is little additional explanation in the temperature variations or trends in addition to what’s been looked at simply because ENSO and AMO are proxy measures for these otehr things, but that is different from suggesting a lack of solar influence. To the extent that the ENSO and AMO occur precisely from other influences means that they are really a proxy measure for something else. It would be similar to saying that age as an insurance rating parameter isn’t really the risk factor, but it is a proxy for experience.

    This doesn’t necessarily change the analysis at all, but it may shift the question. Does the sun influence the El Nino and/or AMO cycle? And how much? Is the relative magnitude of El Nino affected by GHGs?

    I am also curious as to why the PDO is not considered. Even with a good fit, I’m just uncomfortable with the assumption that global temps so easily boils down to three parameters. I personally suspect that some of the attribution currently given to GHGs in the analysis may even yet be overstated if other things were considered.

    It may seem like I’m being too critical, I suppose. I don’t mean to be. All in all, I find it to be a very intriguing study.

  174. John Philip says:

    [snip] John stop that, nothing was claimed – Anthony

  175. John Philip says:

    Moderator – Fair enough, however FYI the first line of the article linked to and authored by Stephen Wilde states

    Stephen Wilde has been a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society since 1968. however I counted half a dozen factual errors in the first few paras of the piece, which I thought odd for someone claiming to be a FRMetS.

    The RMS lists those entitled to use the FRMetS title on its website

    http://www.rmets.org/about/people/fellows.php

    There is no Stephen Wilde listed. It also lists the requirements …

    Becoming a Fellow normally requires a formal qualification (eg. a first degree in a science subject and/or post-graduate degree or an NVQ in a relevant discipline) and at least five years of professional experience within or directly related to meteorology. Exceptionally, long experience and performance at a high professional level, suitably attested by peer review, can replace the requirement for a formal academic or vocational qualification. MSc or PhD study in a relevant subject counts as one or two years experience respectively.

    which contrasts with Mr Wilde’s profile which states he runs a Law firm and follows Meteorolgy in his spare time

    http://co2sceptics.com/contributors.php

    Now there may be some innocent explanation, misunderstanding or administrative error, but given the recent post about Karl’s phantom doctorate perhaps we could ask Mr Wilde to explain, as it appears to be a primae facie case of someone impersonating a meteorologist

    ;-)

    REPLY: My initial issue was with claims (or lack thereof) made in comments, however it appears that you aren’t the first one to notice this regarding articles outside of this blog.

    See
    http://petesplace-peter.blogspot.com/2008/05/myth-of-man-caused-global-warming.html

    I agree that he is not on the list. But let’s hear why. Perhaps there is a valid explanation.

    Mr. Wilde, what say you?

  176. Richard Sharpe says:

    Richard S Courtney says:

    The assertion assumes little mixing of the ocean surface layer. Indeed, it assumes a “surface skin layer” that is “less than 1 mm” thick and is independent of the underlying water. But the entire surface layer is turbulent and it is very turbulent near the surface.

    Doesn’t that then provide a mechanism for the transfer of energy (heat) from the surface layer to lower layers, and thus reduce the opportunity for its removal via evaporation?

  177. Richard Sharpe says:

    Tom Vonk says:

    The Planck’s distribution of the energy levels has a very low sensibility to temperatures – around the room temperature only about 5 % of the CO2 molecules are excited . At lower temperatures even less .

    Does this mean that at any one instant, only 5% of the CO2 molecules are able to heat the atmosphere by transferring energy to other species?

  178. Stephen Wilde says:

    I’ve made the position quite clear elswhere.

    There is a small error in that I was a student member from 1968 to 1971 but I have been a Fellow since then.

    I cannot use the letters FRMetS since a rule change in 1973 but I can continue to refer to myself as a courtesy title within the rules of the RMetS.

    I make my position as an amateur enthusiast perfectly clear in the Contributors section at CO2sceptics.com and in my introduction to my part of the forum there.

  179. John Philip says:

    Hmmmm … a seems the RMS rules changed in 2003, the new stringent requirements were introduced, and Fellows elected before that date may continue to describe themselves as a such purely as a courtesy title but not use the formal FRMetS appellation as a sign of professional competence.

    Still, most people are not aware of this distinction and would be bound to conclude that someone describing themselves as a Fellow of the RMS was indeed a FRMetS and a professional meterologist, rather than an enthusiastic amatuer.

    Incidentally, the Code of Conduct for Fellows (FRMetS) states they must use the name of the Society only when duly authorised.

  180. Stephen Wilde says:

    Whoops, I meant a rule change in 2003.

    As regards my article it is expressed to be a discussion piece, not a definitive exposition.

    It provides a starting point from which lay readers can consider the facts and relate them to different theories.

    The points I raised have never been answered to my satisfaction and the ocean skin theory remains unproven on a global scale.

    Even if it happens the scale of the phenomenon may be insignificant in the face of natural forces.

    The ocean skin theory is at present merely a helpful speculation for the AGW lobby which has problems convincing anyone that slightly warmer air can heat oceans on a meaningful time scale.

    I take it as a compliment that some consider my article good enough to justify attacking me on personal grounds.

  181. John Philip says:

    Mr Wilde – Thanks for clearing that up, as I said, it was quite possibly a misunderstanding – which turns out to be the case. Most people will find it a little odd that someone with no professional meteorological qualifications, publications or experience, and who is ineligible to use the title FRMetS can legitimately describe themselves as a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society, but I accept that this is indeed the case.

    Anyway, this is drifting both off-topic and ad-hom, as it is meant as a ‘discussion piece’ I may add a few thoughts and corrections later if I get time, but probably not here. …

    JP (B.Sc) ;-)

  182. Stephen Wilde says:

    John Philip,

    Of course most people would not be aware of the distinction which is why the first sentence of my first article made it clear that my Fellowship predated the requirement for a professional qualification.

    Please do be more careful in jumping to conclusions.

    By now my true status is widely known and unlikely to mislead anyone who is interested enough in my stuff to actually read it.

  183. Bill Illis says:

    After examining the AMO index issues more thoroughly, I have decided it is still valid to use the AMO index as a natural climate variable which is not related to global warming.

    It is apparent the untrended index should be used, however, given the AGW community would not accept using the raw untrended data (given it does have a trend.)

    Earlier in developing this model, I had downloaded a Long-Term AMO reconstruction by Stephen Gray et al which goes back to 1572. I decided not to use it since it is just annual data and has greater variability than the current AMO index method. There are a few inconsistencies in the time periods when the indices overlap but agree on the general up and down swings.

    Here it is.

    http://img510.imageshack.us/img510/1639/ltamoindexxr2.png

    This reconstruction shows that the AMO appears to be a natural climate cycle that even has greater swings in temperatures in the past than the current index shows. Some of these swings match up with the climate changes we know about in history such as the onset of the Little Ice Age for example.

    Here is what the Raw Untrended AMO Index looks like.

    http://img357.imageshack.us/img357/900/trendedamoindexkq9.png

    While it does have what seems to be a pretty rapid trend upward, some of this is just a result of the scale and the time period covered. The trend upward over the past 140 years would not be inconsistent with what is seen in the longer reconstruction.

    The increase is only 0.024C per decade and, in terms of the regressed coefficient for the AMO, it would have just a 0.018C per decade GW impact (the models predict about 10 times as much).

    Other studies conclude the AMO is a natural cycle, so therefore, I believe it can continue to be used.

    Furthermore, it clearly impacts monthly temperatures so any reconstruction should use it. The untrended data does not contain a global warming signal. What may be a completely natural increase in the AMO over the past 140 years, can be left for the global warming residual.

  184. John Philip says:

    Oh, and by the way…

    The ocean skin theory is at present merely a helpful speculation for the AGW lobby which has problems convincing anyone that slightly warmer air can heat oceans on a meaningful time scale.

    is not an accurate description of the process. The heating occurs as a result of solar irradiance penetrating the surface, the IR radiation reduces the temperature gradient at the surface layer slowing the release of that heat back to the atmosphere. In fact on average the ocean surface is warmer than the air above so there is no proposal that the ocean warming is a result of heating from ‘slightly warmer air’.

    HTH

  185. Bill Illis says:

    I kept saying “Raw Untrended” in the above and that should say “Raw Trended”.

  186. Richard S Courtney says:

    Richard Sharpe:

    You ask me:

    Richard S Courtney says:
    “The assertion assumes little mixing of the ocean surface layer. Indeed, it assumes a “surface skin layer” that is “less than 1 mm” thick and is independent of the underlying water. But the entire surface layer is turbulent and it is very turbulent near the surface.”

    Doesn’t that then provide a mechanism for the transfer of energy (heat) from the surface layer to lower layers, and thus reduce the opportunity for its removal via evaporation?”

    I agree, it must do that. However, I made no mention of evaporation because I think is not pertinent to the assertion that was made.

    I was addressing a specific assertion of John Philip; viz.
    “Actually, although IR only penetrates less than 1 mm an important part of the mechanism by which GHG forcing heats the ocean is IR absorbtion in the surface skin layer which reduces the temperature gradient across the layer, causing more of the heat from sunlight absorbion to be retained in the water below.”

    My statement that you quoted says that such a “surface skin layer” is very unlikely to exist and, therefore, the hypothesis of that “surface skin layer” inhibiting upward loss of “sunlight absorbion” (sic) is very unlikely.

    And I concluded from this saying:
    “While the possibility of the assertion cannot be rejected, it is so implausible as to be worthy of rejection until supporting evidence is provided.”

    (Since then no such supporting evidence has been provided in this discussion, but an attempt at “argument from authority” was attempted.)

    We could discuss evaporation elsewhere if that were desired. (Evaporation provides a much greater thermal transport from ocean surface than IR which is involved in the GH effect). However, such discussion would be a distraction from the important assessment of Bill Illis’s analysis which is the subject of this debate.

    Richard

  187. John Finn says:

    is not an accurate description of the process. The heating occurs as a result of solar irradiance penetrating the surface, the IR radiation reduces the temperature gradient at the surface layer slowing the release of that heat back to the atmosphere.

    JP

    what about the mixing? or if there’s no mixing – evaporation?
    Though we’ve been talking about 1 mm penetration isn’t the true value more like 1/20 mm, i.e. ~99% is absorbed within 0.05mm.

    I too find the AGW explanation for ocean warming (or lack of cooling) totally implausible – and certainly within the timeframe of decades.

  188. Sean Houlihane says:

    The question of physical process and causality was my concern with this work, after all, you seem to be saying that global temperature can be expressed predominantly as the sum of two localised temperature measurements. I don’t think this ought to be a great surprise. (given the accepted effect on weather that ENSO and AMO have)

    After reflecting a little, I now wonder if, given the presence of this coupling, can any model which does not incorporate the coupling be relied upon to demonstrate the underlying forcing effect?

    Sean

  189. Bill Illis says:

    To Sean

    Underlying the ENSO and the AMO is the thermohaline ocean circulation.

    The AMO is where the once warm ocean water sinks to the depths and becomes part of the deep ocean. The energy transfer between the ocean and the atmosphere as a result of this process creates the forcing/temperature change – sometimes warm, sometimes less warm.

    The ENSO is not normally thought to be a node of the ocean circulation but has similar characteristics in that deeper and colder ocean water is sometimes brought to the surface when the Trade Winds are stronger than normal for an extended period of time. Colder water wells up and there again is an energy exchange. When the Trades slow down for an extended period of time, there is less up-welling and more surface heating from the Sun in the Nino region and again there is then a warm energy exchange rather than a cooling energy exchange.

    Now if there were an ocean circulation index, we wouldn’t the two measures.

  190. eric says:

    John Finn
    says,
    “JP

    what about the mixing? or if there’s no mixing – evaporation?
    Though we’ve been talking about 1 mm penetration isn’t the true value more like 1/20 mm, i.e. ~99% is absorbed within 0.05mm.”

    If the surface skin, which absorbs the downwelling radiatio,n is mixed into the ocean below, than the bulk of the ocean below is certainly being heated by the downwelling radiation.

    Actual measurements have been made supporting this specific mechanism by which the downwelling radiation absorbed in the surface skin suppresses the transmission of heat from the ocean bulk to the surface. The temperature gradient between the surface and 5 cm below the surface has been shown to depend on the difference between downwelling and upwelling radiation.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/09/why-greenhouse-gases-heat-the-ocean/

    http://www.realclimate.org/images/Minnett_2.gif

    You might want to revise your belief that the surface skin mechanism is not working on the basis of real data.

  191. John Philip says:

    For those unconvinced about the existence of the ocean surface skin layer and its role in the increase in OHC here’s another blatent appeal to authority, NASA this time. It’s got figures and charts and references and everything …

    Over the surface of the ocean, there frequently exists a very thin layer called the surface skin layer in remote sensing sciences (Schluessel et al., 1990) (Figure 2). The existence of the surface skin layer can be demonstrated both in theory (Hinzpeter, 1967, 1968) and in observations (Ewing and McAlister, 1960; Saunders, 1967; Clauss et al., 1970; Schluessel et al., 1990) by the need to regulate the long wave radiation and the sensible and latent turbulent heat fluxes across the sea surface. Above and below the thin skin layer, turbulent eddy fluxes enhance heat flux in the ocean and/or atmosphere across the interface. However, the eddy cannot transport heat across the ocean surface by itself. The heat balance in the skin layer must be accomplished by molecular processes, hence the thin skin layer. The actual thickness of the skin layer depends on the local energy flux of the molecular transports, which is usually less than 1 mm thick and can persist at wind speed up to 10 m/s. For stronger winds, the skin layer is destroyed by breaking waves. Observations indicate that the skin layer can re-establish itself within 10 to 12 seconds after the dissipation of the breaking waves (Ewing and McAlister, 1960; Clauss et al., 1970).

  192. Richard S Courtney says:

    John Philip:

    The discussion of a hypothetical ‘ocean skin’ is a distraction from the purpose of this debate; viz. the analysis by Bill Illis.

    Believe in the existence of this mythical ‘skin’ if you want. But do not expect others to believe in it until there is some – any – empirical evidence for its existence.

    Such evidence is not provided by papers that say,
    “The existence of the surface skin layer can be demonstrated both in theory (Hinzpeter, 1967, 1968) and in observations (Ewing and McAlister, 1960; Saunders, 1967; Clauss et al., 1970; Schluessel et al., 1990) by the need to regulate the long wave radiation and the sensible and latent turbulent heat fluxes across the sea surface.”
    They merely state the hypothesis in the absence of knowledge of how the sea/air interface really operates.

    I have had my say in this distraction concerning the hypothetical ‘ocean skin’ and will say no more on it whatever ‘hooks’ are dangled.

    Richard

  193. evanjones says:

    Bill, I don’t have a southern Ocean index, but one of those links is to the Indian Ocean temps, monthly, going back well before 1900.

    It’s not a IO dipole index, though, just temperature anomaly.

  194. Jeff Id says:

    John,

    The paper your referenced is AGW extremeism based on pre-existing AGW work. It is an on topic reference for your point but it is a weak paper because of it’s simplified method for calculation of water feedback and overreaching conclusion. Here’s a quote which rubbed me wrong.

    “We use a conventional definition of the strength of
    the water-vapor feedback:

    Soden et al. [2008] provide pre-computed values of
    @R/@q(x, y, z). We then multiply @R/@q(x, y, z) by the
    observed Dq(x, y, z)/DTs between two climate states and
    then sum over latitude, longitude, and altitude to obtain an
    estimate of lq. Soden et al. also provide @R/@q(x, y, z)
    broken down into longwave (LW) and shortwave (SW)
    components, allowing us to separately compute the LW
    and SW water-vapor feedbacks, lq,LW and lq,SW.”

    They use previous estimates to calculate the water vapor feedback. These calcs are based on further estimates of the feedback mechanisms for water. Again, I don’t make the claim that AGW is false, just that this kind of work does not help.

    The paper itself references numbers from 0.94 to 2.69 W/m^2. This doesn’t do a good job supporting you claims of exponential out of control warming and I think scientists would do well to examine our real knowledge of historic temperatures before making such claims.

    We know for certain that people and plants are being uncovered from glaciers that lived only a few thousand years ago yet there is no evidence of floods. We also have the distinct possibility that temps “globally” may have spiked above today’s temps only 1000 years ago. Again, there was no major flood which would indicate exponential temperature rise!

    Where I have my problem with this study, is in the reliance on simplistic equations which are fine but they are followed with unreasonable conclusions. The authors give their motives away completely with this over-conclusion:

    “The existence of a strong and positive water-vapor feedback means that projected business-as-usual greenhousegas emissions over the next century are virtually guaranteed to produce warming of several degrees Celsius. The only way that will not happen is if a strong, negative, and currently unknown feedback is discovered somewhere
    in our climate system”

    The feedback magnitude is clearly not correct as demonstrated by Bill Illis’s work above amongst other things. But the real evidence should be the multiple climate reconstructions such as Crag Loehle which use reasonable methods and demonstrate significantly warmer temps only 1000 years ago with no great flood.

    My final point is NOT that you cannot be right, you might be. But rather that you cannot claim you are correct with the current state of science.

    We just don’t know!

    It is an amazing thing in this science where so many scientists make overreaching conclusions from their calculations. Such simple stuff too, Bill removed known factors from GISS and made the conclusion the rest is CO2 warming (without presenting evidence). Not that you are wrong Bill but no evidence was presented to support this conclusion. I am very pleased with the rest of the work, you are on the right track.

    Mann 08 makes a complete disaster (IMHO intentionally) of the math in their paper and makes the conclusion that we are warmer than ever.

    Dessler 2008 does simplistic calcs and determines exponential growth is a done deal yet it is unsupported by any historic temperature measurement.

    Will it ever stop?

    How backward is this science, Here is a quote from CA by Esper 2003 paper

    “this does not mean that one could not improve a chronology by reducing the number of series used if the purpose of removing samples is to enhance a desired signal. The ability to pick and choose which samples to use is an advantage unique to dendroclimatology.”

    Really gorgeous quote I think.

    If we don’t know history, we don’t know the future.

  195. Brendan H says:

    Richard Courtney: “4.From (3) it can be deduced that gazelles leap in response to the presence of a predator.”

    What you are describing is induction, not deduction. In this instance you have argued from the particular to the general.

    “Gazelles are observed to always leap when a predator is near” is a particular observation, or observations, that is, limited to a finite set.

    “Gazelles leap in response to the presence of a predator” is a general conclusion. Therefore, the argument is inductive. A deductive argument would be:

    - Gazelles leap in response to the presence of a predator
    - This animal leaps in response to the presence of a predator
    - This animal is a gazelle.

    Scientific hypotheses/theories are deductive. A general case is stated, then particular observations/tests made for or against the general claim. These observations/tests are evidence. Climate models can act as evidence because they test the theory.

  196. John Philip says:

    To Richard Courtney

    Apologies for wasting your time with peer-reviewed papers and irrelevancies about Fellows of learned societies who turn out to be amateurs, and so forth.

    But perhaps I could crave your indulgence for just one more moment and ask you to remind us – what was the title of your PhD thesis?

    Thanks.

  197. Richard Sharpe says:

    Brendan H says:

    Climate models can act as evidence because they test the theory.

    That would be the case if climate models faithfully implemented the theory, however, that would seem to be far from the case.

    They contain, as far as I can tell, all sorts of ad-hoc forcings to get them to conform to the actual temperature record.

    Who was it who said give me five parameters and I can model an elephant.

  198. John Philip says:

    Moderator –

    WUWT recently saw fit to post about Tom Karl’s honourary doctorate.

    [snip]

    John while I agree with you in principle, you’ve missed an important distinction. People such as Karl who are public servants who abuse such titles have no expectation of privacy by virtue of their public employment.

    Private citizens do have an expectation of privacy.

    I will not allow you to turn this blog into a PERSONAL LEGAL LIABILITY FOR ME by posting such things as your personal opinion. I do not have time to verify such things, for all I know the letter could be fabricated. By allowing you to post such things on my blog the liability shifts to me.

    Cease and desist or be banned. Your welcome is just about worn out. No dissent, no further discussion, just stop. Not one more peep from you on this issue.

    - Anthony Watts

  199. Smokey says:

    Brendan H:

    Scientific hypotheses/theories are deductive. A general case is stated, then particular observations/tests made for or against the general claim.

    Is that why climate alarmists won’t defend their ‘runaway global warming/CO2/AGW is gonna getcha’ hypothesis in a formal, moderated debate?

    Or are they, like, too busy modeling to defend their [repeatedly falsified] AGW hypothesis?

    Because the challenge to formally debate AGW in a neutral setting has been out there for a lo-o-o-ng time now.

    What are they afraid of?

  200. Fernando (in Brazil) says:

    Adolfo Giurfa (09:48:27)
    Thank you, but remember, I am speaking of an open system.
    I think that any model that considers CO2 and H2O, as noble gas, is doomed to failure.
    …. 2 H2O> (H2O)2 dimer
    …. 3 H2O> (H2O)3 trimer
    …. 2 CO2> (CO2)2 dimer
    …. H2O + CO2> H2CO3
    …. H2CO3> H+ + HCO3 –
    …. H2CO3> 2H+ + CO3 —
    I can get more exotic structures:
    …. 3 H2O + 2 CO2> (H2O)3(CO2) 2
    I can imagine any structure to 4ºC and pressure equal to 100 atm. (In the deep ocean)
    FM

  201. Bill Illis says:

    To evanjones,

    I put the Indian Ocean SST index into the reconstruction and it certainly helps with the southern hemisphere reconstruction and it also helps with the overall global temp reconstruction.

    Three problems, however. The data ends in 2004 and doesn’t seem to be updated anymore. Second, I tried other Indian Ocean Indices including the dipole and these other ones don’t provide an improved reconstruction. Thirdly, the Indian Ocean SST index covers the whole Indian Ocean and I don’t want to use indices that cover really large sections of the oceans – the complete ocean index would be the best reconstruction of course but then it would be like trying to reconstruct a dataset when you are already using 70% of the dataset as your independent variable. It is one of the reasons I used just the Nina 3.4 regions.

    So, back to the drawing board again.

    I’ve been thinking about the question Sean Houlihane asked and what is the underlying forcing (or let’s say rationale) with the ENSO and the AMO which makes them good choices to reconstruct climate variations.

    And the answer really is that these two regions are the most active regions where the Oceans are exchanging energy (heat and cold) with the Atmosphere. There is far, far more energy being transferred back and forth in these two regions than any other …

    … Except for the third big region which is the opposite of the AMO in the southern hemisphere and that is the downwelling region in the Weddell Sea off Antarctica.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4c/Thermohaline_Circulation_2.png

    So this is the missing piece of the puzzle. No index for this region however. Any ideas by anyone? Bob Tisdale or David Smith still around?

  202. Brendan H says:

    Richard Sharpe: “They contain, as far as I can tell, all sorts of ad-hoc forcings to get them to conform to the actual temperature record.”

    Sorry, that’s above my pay grade, but if you think you have a case, write it up and see how it runs.

    Smokey: “Because the challenge to formally debate AGW in a neutral setting has been out there for a lo-o-o-ng time now.”

    A while back I watched a television debate between warmers and sceptics. My local newspaper features pro and con AGW views when the issue arises. There’s plenty of debate across all sorts of media, from scientific journals to the MSM to internet venues such as this one.

    But ultimately it’s the scientists who will decide for or against AGW, so the scientific journals and related media are the ultimate arbiter of the facts about human-induced climate change.

  203. eric says:

    Richard S Courtney (15:01:43) :
    Says,
    ” John Philip:

    The discussion of a hypothetical ‘ocean skin’ is a distraction from the purpose of this debate; viz. the analysis by Bill Illis.

    Believe in the existence of this mythical ’skin’ if you want. But do not expect others to believe in it until there is some – any – empirical evidence for its existence.

    Such evidence is not provided by papers that say,
    “The existence of the surface skin layer can be demonstrated both in theory (Hinzpeter, 1967, 1968) and in observations (Ewing and McAlister, 1960; Saunders, 1967; Clauss et al., 1970; Schluessel et al., 1990) by the need to regulate the long wave radiation and the sensible and latent turbulent heat fluxes across the sea surface.”

    They merely state the hypothesis in the absence of knowledge of how the sea/air interface really operates.”

    You are wrong about that. The basis is actual experiments. In my post there is a link to a graph,
    http://www.realclimate.org/images/Minnett_2.gif
    which shows the temperature difference between the surface of the ocean, and 5cm below the surface, to demonstrate how the flow of heat toward the surface of the ocean from below responds to the IR radiation balance at the surface.

    ” I have had my say in this distraction concerning the hypothetical ‘ocean skin’ and will say no more on it whatever ‘hooks’ are dangled.”

    That is OK. Then I have had the last word.

    Richard
    28 11 2008

  204. Phil. says:

    TomVonk (01:32:30) :

    The temperature stays constant for a given concentration – that is the LTE condition .
    Indeed when the CO2 concentration changes , the equilibrium temperature changes but very slightly .
    Yes the atmosphere will absorb more but it will also RADIATE more . Absorption and radiation always go hand in hand .
    The Planck’s distribution of the energy levels has a very low sensibility to temperatures – around the room temperature only about 5 % of the CO2 molecules are excited . At lower temperatures even less .

    The main point which Phil has got wrong is that he imagines that for a given CO2 concentration CO2 only absorbs and transfers the absorbed energy by collisions to N2&O2 .
    Or in other words that the CO2 doesn’t radiate in the troposphere .
    Of course that is not what happens because :

    a) CO2 radiates as any tropospheric spectrum shows .

    b) The collisional reaction CO2* + N2 CO2 + N2* where the symbol * means high energy species (it can be either translationnal energy or vibro/rotationnal energy) is an equilibrium . From that follows that for every CO2* that transfers energy to N2 , there is an N2* that transfers energy to CO2 .
    Obviously if it was not the case , the reaction would not be an equilibrium .
    The constraint is that the energy distribution of both CO2 and N2 must stay constant because by definition we are in LTE and the temperature is constant .

    That’s the problem Tom, you’re discussing a physical abstraction rather than a real atmosphere. Your circular argument says “it’s in LTE (your initial assumption) therefore the atmosphere can’t heat up”. The point is that the atmosphere does heat up therefore your assumption in your model is not valid!

    So the naive vision in which CO2 is a kind of “pump” which absorbs IR , never radiates and heats the air is simply wrong .
    What CO2 absorbs is radiated away (and reabsorbed and reradiated etc) .
    If the CO2 concentration changes , the processes described above don’t change but the equilibrium temperature will slightly change with negligible impact on the energy distribution .

    It’s not that it never radiates, just that it’s far below equilibrating with the absorbed radiation. Tom’s atmosphere would never warm up, also he forgets about the other gases present, for example if water has a shorter emission lifetime than CO2 then it will be the preferential emitter (check out the HeNe or CO2 lasers). The IR is absorbed by CO2 (and H2O) the gas heats up until either it gets hot enough so that emission (by either or both species) equals absorption, or convection occurs the gas expands and the temperature drops. Either way you get a lapse rate, on our planet the convective lapse rate predominates in the troposphere.

  205. P Norman says:

    Richard Sharpe

    I believe that was von Neumann.

  206. P Norman says:

    Tom Vonk, Phil

    If I understand the argument, the truth is somewhat between the two sides arguing:

    If you increase the CO2 concentration, the radiation balance of Tom Vonk will be temporarily disturbed such that the air heats up, until a new, higher steady-state temperature is reached where the radiation balance is once again restored.

    So, in many ways, both are correct: the radiation balance is usually valid, but can be temporarily disturbed, so as to attain a new steady-state temperature.

  207. Jeff L says:

    To all posters: This has been great debate – it has brought out the best in the bunch as far as technical debate. Both sides have done good job presenting their points…. without either side clearly serving a death blow to the other side. ….. which is of course the basic point of the skeptic community – the science is not even close to settled & solid scientific research & debate (vs political debate) needs to continue. Why are skeptics skeptical? Because they know enough about the science to know there is a lot we don’t know & aren’t arrogant enough to pretend that we do know.

    Smokey (17:24:06) : asks : What are they afraid of?

    A debate exactly like this one is what they are afraid of – because when it all comes out, what is clear is we really don’t have all the answers & the science isn’t settled – and that is a very hard position on which to sell major sacrifices to the general public.

    Along those same lines, if there are any journalist types out there lurking – who are objectively looking at this – please report on this specific debate because the public deserves to know what’s really going on behind the scenes.

  208. Phil. says:

    Norm posted the following earlier, however because Norm is a geophysicist with some experience his opinion was felt by some to be authoritative. Here’s some data to refute his handwaving.

    There is only a single vibration mode of CO2 that resonates within the thermal spectrum radiated by the Earth (and Mars). This bend vibration resonates with a band of energy centred on a wavelength of 14.77microns (wavenumber 677cm-1) and the width of this band is quite narrow as depicted on the spectra from Earth and Mars.

    Here it is for earth conditions:
    http://www.spectralcalc.com/calc/plots/1227930543.png

    It only takes a minute amount of CO2 to fully “capture” the energy at the resonant wavelength, and additional CO2 progressively captures energy that is further and further from the peak wavelength. At the 280ppmv CO2 preindustrial level used as reference in the forcing parameter, about 95% of the energy bandwidth that could possibly be captured by CO2 has already been captured. There is only 5% of this limited energy available within the confines of this potential “capture” band left to be captured.

    The greenhouse effect from CO2 is generally stated as 3°C, so an additional 100ppmv above the 280ppmv level is only capable of generating a maximum 5% increase or 0.15°C. The forcing parameter is based on a full 0.6°C which is four times the 0.15°C absolute physical limit of warming from CO2.

    Furthermore if this 0.15°C increase has used up the full 5% of the remaining possible energy as the concentration reached 380ppmv, there is zero warming possible from further increases in CO2.

    Here are the spectra for a single line at 380ppm and 760ppm, note the absorbance increases (transmission decreases).
    http://www.spectralcalc.com/calc/plots/1227931967.png
    http://www.spectralcalc.com/calc/plots/1227932570.png

    This is why the CO2 notch is virtually identical in the two spectra; the CO2 band was virtually saturated at the 325ppmv concentration level, so even nine times more CO2 has almost no appreciable effect.
    Norm K.

    Here’s the spectral line for Martian conditions:

    http://www.spectralcalc.com/calc/plots/1227934327.png

    A bit more than “almost no appreciable effect”!

  209. Stephen Wilde says:

    Just one more thought on that ocean skin.

    If the water skin is warmed up so as to slow down the release of heat energy from ocean to atmosphere will that not reduce the heat energy available to the atmosphere which will then cool down so as to terminate the process and reinstate the ‘normal’ flow of energy from ocean to atmosphere to space ?

    I think this is relevant to the initial article from Bill because it deals with processes that may affect the data used there.

  210. John Finn says:

    Apologies to all for pursuing this but Eric says

    You might want to revise your belief that the surface skin mechanism is not working on the basis of real data.

    Eric

    This from the links you provide

    The slope of the relationship is 0.002ºK (W/m2)-1. Of course the range of net infrared forcing caused by changing cloud conditions (~100W/m2) is much greater than that caused by increasing levels of greenhouse gases (e.g. doubling pre-industrial CO2 levels will increase the net forcing by ~4W/m2), but the objective of this exercise was to demonstrate a relationship.

    Note the “object of the exercise was to demonstrate a relationship” because it certainly did not demonstrate that the forcing ( ~1.6 w/m2 ) from CO2 increases to date had resulted in a warming of the world’s oceans. Although, of course, the ocean “skin” temperature might be 0.003 K warmer than it was in 1850.

    So No, Eric, I don’t wish to revise my belief. In fact, I’m staggered that someone is getting away with this nonsense.

  211. Richard S Courtney says:

    Brendan H:

    You assert:
    “Scientific hypotheses/theories are deductive. A general case is stated, then particular observations/tests made for or against the general claim. These observations/tests are evidence. Climate models can act as evidence because they test the theory.”

    Sorry, but No!

    Climate models describe the theory: they do not “test” it.

    Comparison of the model’s output with empirical data is a test of the theory. If the output and the data do not agree then this indicates
    (a) the theory is incorrect,
    Or
    (b) the description of the theory (i.e. the model) is incorrect
    Or
    (c) both the theory and the description of the theory are incorrect.

    These indications remain true until the data is shown to be wrong.

    A major problem with climatology is modelers who seem to think ‘models can act as evidence because they test the theory’. Such a thought as tantamount to a claim that the climate does what a climate model says.

    A theory is an idea, a model is a representation of an idea, and reality is something else.

    Richard

  212. I feel proud to be in the company of lay-persons here. Sorry to post so late. Bill Illis, Fellow of the Royal Society of Amateurs (those who do it for the love of it); Willis Eschenbach, another FRSA who has been demolishing the shiny new hockeystick; Jeff Id, FRSA (if I remember right) who has demolished the very mathematical basis of all hockeystick lookalikes; Stephen Wilde FRSA; who else? I’m another layperson, another blog-contributor noob; the thing I couldn’t find was an adequate primer on Real Climate Science for my needs, so I studied the science, wrote my own, and try to keep on improving its clarity for lay readers as well as its scientific adequacy.

    Jeff L (26/11, 06:43:41) : “This little exercise here is a good example of collaborative science – not unlike the concept behind linux. As a community, there should be some consideration of a way to formalize this concept”.

    I’ve recently had thoughts, again, along these lines, and if Anthony would like, I would be happy to draft an article for this blog. But meanwhile, to catch bright ideas now, I’ve set up a thread on our forum here. Jeff L please get in touch if this speaks to you!

  213. John M says:

    Bill Illis (10:59:02) :

    Thanks for your hard work, and for the trended AMO plot.

    Just to confirm, is this from the link John Philip (13:53:42) posted corrected for “climo”?

    Would be great to add that link to the “Resources” page. I’ll post it over on the comments of that page if you can confirm.

    Thanks again.

  214. Bill Illis says:

    Okay, I have solved my problem with modelling the Southern Hemisphere temperatures and have a better global temperature reconstruction now.

    Based on my thought from above that there is a third active region where the Oceans are exchanging energy with the atmosphere, the Antarctic Downwelling region, about where the Weddell Sea is, I have created an new index from the Smith and Reynolds ocean SST dataset. This region is effectively the southern version of the AMO where the warmer ocean water, cools and sinks to become part of the deep ocean circulation.

    Bob Tisdale always uses this dataset, so I thought I would as well. It goes back to 1854 on a monthly basis and is updated to October 2008. I downloaded the monthly anomalies for this box which is the Antarctic downwelling region. It has similar characteristics to the AMO with some longer cycles but only a +/-0.6C variation.

    http://maps.google.ca/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&msa=0&ll=33.137551,-49.921875&spn=164.593939,360&z=1&msid=110686680343951250375.00045cd66a477c08c6d08

    The data then provides a pretty good reconstruction for the southern hemisphere – not perfect but certainly covering the changes. The Nino region now ceases to provide any info for this reconstruction (but it is at least not negatively correlated as it was before). The AMO stays significant (coefficient is 0.216) and the Antarctic DownWelling region is 0.545.

    Southern Hemisphere

    http://img127.imageshack.us/img127/2889/shantdwmodelim8.png

    Putting this new index into the global reconstruction results in an overall better model in my opinion but the r^2 falls to 0.724. The Nino coefficient rises now to 0.07 (providing +/- 0.2C to the reconstruction), the AMO coefficient rises to 0.59 (providing +/- 0.36C to the reconstruction) and the ANT DW coefficient is 0.36 (providing up to +/- 0.2C to the reconstruction).

    Global Temp Reconstruction

    http://img240.imageshack.us/img240/749/antdwhadcrut3modelid5.png

    Its a little hard to see what is going on here because the Red Line model is covering up the Blue Line Hadcrut3 temp anomaly for lots of the time period – which would be the goal I guess.

    Global Warming now falls to 1.35C per doubling and there is a better match to the residual over the record.

    http://img78.imageshack.us/img78/9020/antdwwarmingjm8.png

    Any thoughts?

  215. Bill Illis says:

    To John M,

    Yes the data for the AMO raw trended data is from John Philips link. It comes from the exact same dataset and page I was using.

    The description of the data on that page is a little clumsy and you can’t really tell it is the raw data which is why I didn’t look at it before.

  216. Richard Sharpe says:

    Phil,

    I was really keen to try to understand what you are saying, but I found two problems:

    1. I found it hard to differentiate between what you wrote and what you were quoting,

    2. The links you provided do not work.

    Can you try to use <blockquote> and </blockquote> around material you are quoting?

  217. Richard S Courtney says:

    Bill Illis:

    You ask:
    “Global Warming now falls to 1.35C per doubling and there is a better match to the residual over the record.
    http://img78.imageshack.us/img78/9020/antdwwarmingjm8.png
    Any thoughts?”

    I offer a few.

    Firstly, congratulations. This is a remarkable analysis that deserves publication.

    On face value, the analysis could be accused of assuming ‘correlation indicates causation’, but it is not guilty of that and any such accusation should be rejected.

    The analysis removes known natural effects from the time series to reveal a residual trend. Of course, there could be other natural effects that may be contributing to the time series. And one assumption of the analysis is that all natural effects are providing a positive contribution to the trend: this assumption may not be correct: for example, volcanism lowers temperatures (at least, for temporary periods).

    However, it can be said that the residual trend of your analysis shows the warming that has happened independent of AMO, ENSO and Antarctic Downwelling.

    And it can be assumed that this residual indicates a maximum of the warming that may have happened as a result of AGW over the analysed time period. Using this assumption the analysis suggests that climate sensitivity has a maximum value of 1.35 deg.C for a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

    The obtained maximum climate sensitivity of 1.35 deg.C is less than half the IPCC “best estimate” of 3 deg.C for a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide, and well below the range of the IPCC AR4 estimates (2 to 4.5 deg.C) for a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Indeed, 1.35 deg.C is below 1.5 deg.C, and the AR4 says the climate sensitivity is “very unlikely” to be below 1.5 deg.C for a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

    But, of course, 1.35 deg.C is more than three times the 0.4 deg.C that Sherwood Idso obtained from his 8 “natural experiments” to determine the climate sensitivity for a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

    A very fine piece of work and I look forward to seeing it in print.

    Richard

  218. Bill Illis says:

    To Richard

    Just a short comment about volcanoes. The large ones clearly impact temperatures but for whatever reason, the impact is picked up by the ocean indices I am using.

    I had charted these before (linked below) with the previous model and have now zoomed into the specific periods in question with the newer one as well and I can’t see there is an adjustment required for the large volcanoes.

    http://img372.imageshack.us/img372/3685/volcanoehadleyxs2.png

  219. Basil says:

    Bill,

    As you may know, I’ve done a lot of analysis of the HadCRUT3 series from the standpoint of its spectral characteristics. It would be interesting to examine how well your model preserves the spectral characteristics of the raw data. If you are interested, let’s take this up in email. I’ll send you what I’ve done, and tell you what I’d need from you to do a comparable spectrum analysis.

    If interested, email me at blcjr2 at gmail dot com, and I’ll respond.

    Basil

  220. John M says:

    Bill Illis (09:51:19) :

    Thanks Bill. I’ll add a comment to the Resources thread.

  221. John F. Pittman says:

    Bill Illis, don’t you have an implicit assumption that the “heat in the pipeline” from start to finish of your data is similar to the heat that was put into the systems from X(i) pipelines in Y(i) years starting with x(i), y(i) before your data starts? I only point it out for completeness. I do not know of any proof of “heat in the pipeline” since such a phenomena should be measurable.

  222. Bill Illis says:

    Just to maybe convince myself further (I am a natural skeptic after all) and from the comment by Richard Courtney about volcanoes where I had to squeeze down the period covered in the charts to have a look, I created little 10 year chucks of the chart so that we can see if it is actually working or not.

    And I’ll be ___. There is no way this is a fluke. Now keep in mind there is little 0.1C to 0.2C and even 0.3C errors in this reconstruction, but this model really does follow the Hadcrut3 trend/cycles very closely.

    There are a few periods where it is off by too much for my liking – 1955 to 1957, some parts of 2000-2003, and a section from 1920 to 1926 where the reconstruction is consistently about 0.1C below the temps, but other than that it is not bad.

    Have a look, (there is a lot of them but in order I believe.)

    http://img509.imageshack.us/img509/4858/7180modelxb6.png

    http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/9788/8090modelzt4.png

    http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/1627/0010modelpe4.png

    http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/535/1020modelfa6.png

    http://img366.imageshack.us/img366/8895/2030modelgs9.png

    http://img366.imageshack.us/img366/6363/3040modelqt1.png

    http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/4554/4050modelva1.png

    http://img366.imageshack.us/img366/8308/5060modelaf9.png

    http://img366.imageshack.us/img366/2155/7080modelft9.png

    http://img509.imageshack.us/img509/9771/198090modelci1.png

    http://img366.imageshack.us/img366/4530/19902000modeloy1.png

    http://img366.imageshack.us/img366/5065/20002008modelsq1.png

  223. Steven G says:

    Bill Illis:

    This is an interesting piece of research.

    I hate to sound like a nagging statistics prof, but I haven’t read anything that suggests that you have examined the issue of stationarity in your time-series data. As I mentioned in an earlier comment, if your data is not stationary but that you haven’t corrected for this problem, your estimated coefficients could be severely biased or outright wrong.

    Most of the comments on the paper have focused on issues related to climate theory. This is well and good. But if you are applying a statistical method such as regression analysis, you also must make sure that the method is applied properly. Regression analysis only works if your data respect specific conditions. Stationarity tests are a must in this case.

    Otherwise, you might end up like the infamous Michael Mann and his “hockey stick”, which resulted from an incorrect application of statistical techniques that he did not fully understand.

    All the best.

  224. Brendan H says:

    Richard: “If the output and the data do not agree then this indicates
    (a) the theory is incorrect,
    Or
    (b) the description of the theory (i.e. the model) is incorrect
    Or
    (c) both the theory and the description of the theory are incorrect.”

    A fourth possibility is that the data is faulty.

    “Comparison of the model’s output with empirical data is a test of the theory.”

    Yes, I was speaking in shorthand. Climate models are part of the procedure that is used to test the theory, so in that sense form part of the body of evidence. In principle the procedure is similar to the use of laboratory experiments to test a theory in other fields.

    “Such a thought as tantamount to a claim that the climate does what a climate model says.”

    If a climate theory is a claim about what the climate does, and if the model describes the theory, then by your own logic the model attempts to show what the climate does.

  225. Carl Wolk says:

    Bill Illis – I agree with Bob Tisdale that the treatment of ENSO ignores the physical reality of the situation. I’ve documented how the oceans have responded to ENSO here: http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/2008/11/29/how-enso-rules-the-oceans/

  226. Eli Rabett says:

    Tom Vonk is missing an important point. When a local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) is established the amount of radiation absorbed per second by greenhouse gases (GHG) at a point in the atmosphere equals that emitted. If the amount of GHGs at that point increases, the amount of IR light absorbed increases and then the amount of radiation from the GHGs must increase to reestablish the LTE. In order for that to happen the temperature of the atmosphere at that point increases.

    It is only through this increase in temperature that the average kinetic energy of collisions can increase and thus the rate of exciting the greenhouse gases GHGs so that they can radiate (The energetic increase could also be in the average vibrational/rotational energy of the collision partners, but again, the only way to raise that is by increasing the temperature).

  227. Richard Sharpe says:

    Brendan H says:

    If a climate theory is a claim about what the climate does, and if the model describes the theory, then by your own logic the model attempts to show what the climate does.

    I suspect you do not know what it means by a model matches the theory nor do you understand the opportunities for errors in the model that cause it to depart from reality and the theory.

  228. Mike Bryant says:

    Can someone explain what this means with respect to surface temps lagging ocean temps? Do these lag times seem less than what was previously supposed? Does this model have any forecasting ability? I have always thought that the lag would be much smaller than was previously supposed since the oceans are so shallow when compared to Earth’s diameter. Does this work bear out that assumption? What does this work mean as far as heat being “in the pipeline”? Have you found the hiding place of the “missing heat”?
    Thanks,
    Mike Bryant

  229. evanjones says:

    Yes, it’s crazy the Indian ocean data goes only to 2004. I’m sure it has been tracked since then.

  230. Jeff Alberts says:

    Brendan H wrote:

    If a climate theory is a claim about what the climate does, and if the model describes the theory, then by your own logic the model attempts to show what the climate does.

    Except that there’s no way to know if a model reached the “right” conclusion for the “right” reasons. There are probably thousands of ways one could theoretically match the known temperature record, but you’d never know which was the “right” way without fully understanding, and being able to perfectly model, ALL the parameters. And then you have to know ALL the causes and effects. Running 47 different models hundreds of times and picking the ones that “match” isn’t evidence of anything except chance.

  231. John F. Pittman says:

    Bill Illis http://holocene.meteo.psu.edu/shared/articles/MannLees1996.pdf The version I saw was scanned in. It has some interesting points you may wish to look at.

  232. Bill Illis says:

    To Carl Wolk,

    I noted in my write-up that there is some interaction between the AMO and the ENSO.

    When you use the higher frequency figures over longer time periods without smoothing, however, (which I need to use to build a monthly model), you see that the longer-term cycles of the AMO and this new Antarctica DW index are reasonably independent of the ENSO.

    There are some periods where the ENSO seems to have a lasting impact on the AMO, the 1997-98 El Nino for example. But there are many more periods where the two series are moving in opposite directions and where there is no impact or no lasting impact from a La Nina or an El Nino.

    Here is a scatter plot of the higher frequency data with the ENSO regressed on the AMO. Obviously the relationship is much more complex than this scatter indicates but it does give you a general idea of why I am concluding they are independent.

    http://img296.imageshack.us/img296/8033/ensoversusamoub1.png

    The ENSO on AMO regression also leaves an error term which mostly preserves the original AMO cycle. (It is not quite the same, however, as some of the spikes are slightly reduced and the 1997-98 El Nino moves out a few months versus the original series.)

    http://img296.imageshack.us/img296/6748/amoerrorrz7.png

    There is less interaction with the other index I created/just made-up/have no basis to actually use/but does actually explain SH temps.

    http://img296.imageshack.us/img296/3463/antdwerrorly1.png

    I wonder if Bob and yourself could try damping down the smoothing and use a longer time series to see if there is a higher frequency more definitive relationship.

    As some have noted I need to run some autocorrelation tests on the independent variables but I think relationship is too complicated to address properly and I need to do stationarity tests. There are 1652 data points, how many lags do I have to test? Do I need to do that for the Hadcrut3 observation dataset? GISS, RSS etc? I am running this method on all the temp series and the only issues to come up so far is the SH temps which I believe I have addressed and there is too much variation in the US lower 48 and the Arctic to produce reasonable results. I took quite a few statistics classes but it has been a long time since I have used any of it.

  233. phil says:

    @ Jeff Alberts (04:37:16) :

    Fair enough, but by the same token, you can or should eliminate those models that don’t “match” the observed data or whose “match” is significantly poorer than others and that is what I find so interesting about Bill Illis’ efforts in that his simple and elegant model appears fit the observed data better than the “consensus” models.

  234. Bill Illis says:

    To John Pittman

    Thanks for the link to the Michael Mann paper. He did better work before he got into tree rings. I think he might have got into them as a result of the work he did on this paper. He needed check to see if the frequency repetitions occur farther back in time as well and he had to use “proxies” for that.

    Well, I tried some of this out on my data and, sure enough, it is in here as well. (I saw some of this before when I was trying to test the lags and when I got to about 25 years, a cycle started appearing but I thought it was just a fluke. Nope, Mann got the same thing.)

    These cycles show up in the Hadcrut3 dataset and in my residuals as well when I adjust out the impact of the ocean variables.

    Since the numbers are so close to what would occur with the solar cycle, I played around with 5.5 year lags, 11 years, 22 years and 44 years. All these are in both datasets.

    My skill set does not allow me go much beyond this.

    Applying the rest of the techniques in Mann’s paper are in the same boat.

  235. Phil. says:

    Fair enough, but by the same token, you can or should eliminate those models that don’t “match” the observed data or whose “match” is significantly poorer than others and that is what I find so interesting about Bill Illis’ efforts in that his simple and elegant model appears fit the observed data better than the “consensus” models.

    But in that sense Bill’s effort isn’t a model (certainly not a predictive one). What he’s trying to demonstrate is that the temperature history can be fitted by a collection of observed anamolies for the ocean basin oscillations plus a warming trend which he accounts for by GHG. That basically doesn’t allow prediction, after all he’s just taken the anomalies without assigning cause (volcanos for example), if he were able to predict the ENSO, AMO etc. then that would be a model. It does suggest that the system could be modelled with a rather small number of regions though. It begs the question of what is left out, for example what happens if aerosols/albedo are added?

  236. Stephen Wilde says:

    Looks like a very high sensitivity to solar changes despite the fact that we are very puzzled as to why that should be so.

    Then combine solar with oceanic variation and who needs CO2 ?

  237. Stephen Wilde says:

    Interesting that Bill sees episodes when ENSO and AMO are moving in opposite directions.

    Just what I suggested in my various articles but additionally one has to consider all the global oceanic oscillations simultaneously and then work out the net effect.

    Granted that most of the time the netted out effect of just ENSO and AMO would be sufficient (but not always).

    Bill’s good work is a substantial first step in the right direction. Incorporate his numbers into the models and perhaps a little predictive skill might emerge.

  238. Bill Illis says:

    To Phil and everyone.

    The model does have a little predictive power.

    First, there is the 3 month lag in the ENSO.

    The ENSO had been cycling up from the La Nina depths until August but now it has gone neutral to slightly negative. This should provide for stable temps over the next three months (there is a slight decline but its too small to get into).

    And the AMO might be cycling down now (the forecasts that are available show this as well). This would be a 20 to 30 year down cycle so it worthwhile watching the data as it comes out.

    The Antarctic DW area is definitely cycling down now and it has been since 1990 or so. There is quite a bit of variation in this index so it would have to be tracked for several months at a time to see a trend though.

    And well, CO2 is still increasing at a slightly exponential rate (although Methane and CFCs appear to have flatlined now) so there could continue to be increasing temps from global warming (0.00066C per month) but the rate will be a little slower than past numbers. That is an interestingly small number isn’t it.

    This model says 0.455C anomaly for Hadcrut3 in November (up from 0.440C in October but the model was over by 0.013C in October so it could just stay at 0.440C). That is without an AMO or Ant DW change.

  239. Don Keiller says:

    Thanks for the reply, Bill. If I interpret what you are are saying, the rate of change of temperature does not relate to rate of cgange in atmospheric CO2.
    This suggest to me that CO2 is not a major climate forcer:-)
    Don

  240. Stephen Wilde says:

    Hi Bill,

    It was the consensus models that I think need your numbers. I accept that your model now has some predictive value.

    As regards the more or less neutral ENSO at present you still detect a small downward movement notwithstanding that.

    Assuming that other negative oceanic influences are not the reason I would guess that the residual small decline is solar induced one way or another but I accept that the mechanism for such sensitivity to small solar changes is currently a puzzle.

    I spoke to the Chief Exec of the RMetS recently and he agreed that a continuing fall in global temperatures notwithstanding a neutral ENSO might be significant. Although he did not say so I took that to mean that such a continuing fall would point to causes other than CO2 as the primary climate driver.

  241. Richard S Courtney says:

    Brendan H:

    There are several flaws in your reasoning, but one is so clear that I think an explanation of it is sufficient to enable you to understand that your argument is not correct.

    You say to me:
    “If a climate theory is a claim about what the climate does, and if the model describes the theory, then by your own logic the model attempts to show what the climate does.”

    Yes, a climate model “attempts” to show what the climate does. But there can be no way of knowing if the model does “show what the climate does”. At best, all that can be said is the model seems to provide outputs that compare to “what the climate does”.

    What the climate does is reality. And what the model does is what it has been designed to do.

    As I said,
    a theory is an idea, a model is a representation of the idea, and reality is something else.

    Evidence concerning reality is provided by observing reality. And evidence concerning the performance of any scientific model is provided by comparing the output of the model to reality.

    The output of a model can be taken as an indication of what evidence may be found if reality is examined. But it can only be accepted that a model provides such an indication when – and only when – the model has been shown to represent reality.

    In other words, models do not provide evidence of reality (unless, of course, you believe in astrology).

    I hope the matter is clear to you now.

    Richard

  242. Richard Sharpe says:

    Richard S Courtney says:

    The output of a model can be taken as an indication of what evidence may be found if reality is examined. But it can only be accepted that a model provides such an indication when – and only when – the model has been shown to represent reality.

    We can gain confidence in a model when it correctly predicts out-of-sample results, and the more it predicts, and the more accurately it does so, the more confidence we can have in it.

  243. Phil. says:

    And the AMO might be cycling down now (the forecasts that are available show this as well). This would be a 20 to 30 year down cycle so it worthwhile watching the data as it comes out.

    Really, looking at this pattern I’d expect it to be more likely to stay up for another 20 years!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Amo_timeseries_1856-present.svg

    That’s the point, you’re not making predictions, you’re guessing.

  244. Bill Illis says:

    I may not have been clear about the ENSO 3.4 region numbers so here they are for the last several months:

    Feb -1.860
    Mar -1.080
    Apr -0.850
    May -0.580
    Jun -0.320
    Jul 0.110
    Aug 0.140
    Sep -0.200
    Oct -0.260

    We were coming out of La Nina quite rapidly in the spring, then it stalled at neutral in the summer but has gone back into slightly negative temps over the past few months.

    With the 3 month lag, we will be affected in November by the change that happened from July to August. But these are very small numbers for the Nino region. It can be +/- 3.0C. The regressed coefficient says the impact is 0.07 * the change of 3 months ago, so in other words, a very small number. The total decline in the next 3 months will be 0.026C (by January).

    [I know it is a little hard to accept this 3 month lag but this is the general consensus in the community and it really seems to occur in the data.]

    Regarding the solar impact, we are at the bottom of the solar cycle right now and last month it appeared as though we might be coming out of it and heading into solar cycle 24.

    But there have been no new sunspots lately and I just had a look at the solar irradiance numbers and there is a continuing decline in the numbers again. Scary down according to Virgo. SORCE is not down so much but it is down too.

    Up above, I said there was likely a solar cycle influence in my numbers. I don’t know how to tease it out properly but it is in there. It might actually be a little bigger than people think in fact.

  245. Bill Illis says:

    To Phil,

    Yeah, I’m guessing about the AMO but the Wiki graphic has a smoothing in it which makes it harder to see what is really going on.

    This is the unsmoothed data (and I added some extra months so it is easier to see the recent trend).

    http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/3448/newestamoxh6.png

    Maybe it isn’t going down but it could be. The longer-term reconstructions show the cycles are not as regular as the current chart makes it look like.

  246. Richard Sharpe says:

    Phil,

    Can you repost those graphs of transmission in the presence of 380 and 760ppm of CO2 since the links you provided earlier don’t work.

    Or better still, can you tell us how you generated them? Did you need an account? I checked out the site and it seems you need an account if you want to run graphs using multiple gasses …

  247. Richard Sharpe says:

    Does anyone know if there are any studies on the earth’s albedo variation and the contribution of cloud and snow/ice cover to that variation?

    I wonder if albedo variation provides for a greater insolation variance than few watts/m2 that each doubling in CO2 is supposed to cause?

  248. John F. Pittman says:

    Bill you may want to read some of this.
    http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcrut3/HadCRUT3_accepted.pdf

    AN interesting part….
    The distribution of known adjustments is not symmetric — adjustments are more likely to be negative than positive. The most common reason for a station needing adjustment is a site move in the 1940-60 period. The earlier site tends to have been warmer than the later one — as the move is often to an out of town airport. So the adjustments are mainly negative, because the earlier record (in the town/city) needs to be reduced [Jones et al., 1985, Jones et al., 1986]. Although a real effect, this asymmetry is small compared with the typical adjustment, and is difficult to quantify; so the homogenisation adjustment uncertainties are treated as being symmetric about zero.

  249. Phil. says:

    Richard Sharpe (15:25:27) :
    Phil,

    Can you repost those graphs of transmission in the presence of 380 and 760ppm of CO2 since the links you provided earlier don’t work.

    OK I’m sorry the images disappeared!

    Norm posted the following earlier, however because Norm is a geophysicist with some experience his opinion was felt by some to be authoritative. Here’s some data to refute his handwaving.

    There is only a single vibration mode of CO2 that resonates within the thermal spectrum radiated by the Earth (and Mars). This bend vibration resonates with a band of energy centred on a wavelength of 14.77microns (wavenumber 677cm-1) and the width of this band is quite narrow as depicted on the spectra from Earth and Mars.

    Here it is for earth conditions:
    http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn107/Sprintstar400/CO2spectra.gif

    It only takes a minute amount of CO2 to fully “capture” the energy at the resonant wavelength, and additional CO2 progressively captures energy that is further and further from the peak wavelength. At the 280ppmv CO2 preindustrial level used as reference in the forcing parameter, about 95% of the energy bandwidth that could possibly be captured by CO2 has already been captured. There is only 5% of this limited energy available within the confines of this potential “capture” band left to be captured.

    The greenhouse effect from CO2 is generally stated as 3°C, so an additional 100ppmv above the 280ppmv level is only capable of generating a maximum 5% increase or 0.15°C. The forcing parameter is based on a full 0.6°C which is four times the 0.15°C absolute physical limit of warming from CO2.

    Furthermore if this 0.15°C increase has used up the full 5% of the remaining possible energy as the concentration reached 380ppmv, there is zero warming possible from further increases in CO2.

    This is why the CO2 notch is virtually identical in the two spectra; the CO2 band was virtually saturated at the 325ppmv concentration level, so even nine times more CO2 has almost no appreciable effect.
    Norm K.

    Here’s a comparison of some spectral lines for Martian and Earth conditions:

    http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn107/Sprintstar400/Mars-Earth.gif

    A bit more than “almost no appreciable effect”!

    Yes you do need an account to do the full calculations.

  250. Steven G says:

    Bill Illis:

    In response to your question about stationarity tests, you need to perform these tests on every variable in your model (dependent and independent).

    The number of lags to use in your test is a judgment call based on the nature of the variable and your knowledge of climate theory. You must ask yourself this question: if an auto-regressive process were present in the data, over how many months would it be reasonable for such a process to last? Another way to look at it is to ask yourself: when considering the temperature anomaly for October 2008, how many previous months of temperature anomalies could reasonably be expected to be correlated with October 2008? The answer depends on how long certain random events will typically affect temperatures upwards or downwards for extended periods.

    I am not a climate expert, so I don’t want to suggest a specific number of lags. However, based on the construction of your model (which includes the ENSO lagged by 3 months) you will likely need a minimum of 3 lags in your stationarity test for each variable, probably more.

  251. Mike Bryant says:

    Phil. you said, “That’s the point, you’re not making predictions, you’re guessing.”

    From thesaurus.com:

    Main Entry: PREDICTION
    Part of Speech: noun
    Definition: declaration made in advance
    Synonyms: of event anticipation, augury, cast, conjecture, crystal gazing, divination, dope, forecast, forecasting, foresight, foretelling, fortune-telling, GUESS, horoscope, hunch*, indicator, omen, palmistry, presage, prevision, prognosis, prognostication, prophecy, soothsaying, surmising, tip, vaticination, zodiac

    You could also accurately say, “That’s the point, you’re not guessing, you’re making predictions.”

    Mike

  252. Brendan H says:

    Jeff Alberts: “There are probably thousands of ways one could theoretically match the known temperature record, but you’d never know which was the “right” way without fully understanding, and being able to perfectly model, ALL the parameters.”

    I think you’re overstating the case, especially in demanding perfection, which is not possible. That said, climate models incorporate well-understood physics, the number of parameters is finite and modellers have ways of testing for individual effects.

    There’s a major disconnect here, though, between the sceptic claim that the climate has strong negative feedbacks that drive the climate towards equilibrium, and the implication that the climate is random to the point that anything could happen.

    And nor do sceptics always find fault with modelled science. Earlier in the year there was a good deal of celebration across the sceptical blogosphere in the wake of the Keenlyside forecasts, which were based on models.

  253. Brendan H says:

    Richard Courtney: “At best, all that can be said is the model seems to provide outputs that compare to “what the climate does”.

    Yes. Our point of difference is over the status of the outputs of the models. You appear to think that they do little but mirror the theory. I think they can provide information to illustrate the way the climate works.

    Running a model is similar to running a laboratory experiment. A laboratory experiment is not non-human reality, but it provides evidence that can be used to understand the real world.

    “In other words, models do not provide evidence of reality…”

    Scientific evidence also includes experiment, and experiments are not “reality” in the sense of pristine nature. They are human devices, intended to test the theory.

  254. Richard Sharpe says:

    OK, phil, so the mean transmittance goes from 0.6466… to 0.6006… for one doubling. What happens for the next doubling?

  255. Phil. says:

    You could also accurately say, “That’s the point, you’re not guessing, you’re making predictions.”

    Mike

    I suppose a non-scientist who didn’t have much command of the english language could.

    A usual definition of ‘guess’ is ‘to suppose something without sufficient information to be sure of being correct’.

  256. Richard S Courtney says:

    Brendan H:

    This matter is only loosely related to assessment and improvement of the Illis Analysis (which is the subject of this debate). However, I make this final reply to you because your comments suggest ideas that may be typical of others who have been influenced by a certain propaganda web site run by some modellers.

    You say to me:
    “Yes. Our point of difference is over the status of the outputs of the models. You appear to think that they do little but mirror the theory. I think they can provide information to illustrate the way the climate works.”

    What you say you think is delusional. Any model (of climate or anything else) does what its constructors have told it to do. Therefore, a model is a construct from the opinions and understandings of its constructors. Hence, outputs of a model are – and can only be – evidence of the opinions and understandings of its constructors.

    The “way the climate works” may or may not be similar to the opinions and understandings of a climate model’s constructors. And, therefore, it is not possible for the outputs of climate models to “provide information to illustrate the way the climate works” except in so far as the opinions and understandings of model’s constructors have been proven to be an accurate description of “the way the climate works”.

    But no human knows “the way the climate works”. For example, the Illis Analysis assesses effects of AMO and ENSO but nobody knows what causes AMO and ENSO.

    A claim that climate models “can provide information to illustrate the way the climate works” is an assertion that the climate models are constructed by people with deific omniscience (so I suppose you are talking about models of James Hansen and Gavin Schmidt; joke).

    Richard

  257. TomVonk says:

    Phil. wrote :

    It’s not that it never radiates, just that it’s far below equilibrating with the absorbed radiation. Tom’s atmosphere would never warm up, also he forgets about the other gases present, for example if water has a shorter emission lifetime than CO2 then it will be the preferential emitter (check out the HeNe or CO2 lasers). The IR is absorbed by CO2 (and H2O) the gas heats up until either it gets hot enough so that emission (by either or both species) equals absorption, or convection occurs the gas expands and the temperature drops. Either way you get a lapse rate, on our planet the convective lapse rate predominates in the troposphere.

    Sorry but I am not sure that you know how the the CO2 laser works .
    The population inversion is realised by injecting hot N2 OUT OF EQUILIBRIUM .
    The hot N2 transfers energy to CO2 by collision which releases then coherent IR radiation by induced radiation .
    This has nothing to do with what’s happening in the atmosphere (induced radiation is negligible and there is no population inversion) unless it is to show that translationnal and vibrationnal energies interact both ways what is what I have been saying since the beginning .

    You can’t get out of LTE .
    Either you say now that it doesn’t exist and are not only wrong but also contradict yourself because you wrote earlier that LTE is the fundamental assumption .
    Or you say that LTE exists and then both the constraint of Planck’s energy distribution (which is really synonymous to LTE) and energy conservation say that emission = absorption AND that the temperature at a given pressure is constant aka independent of time .
    You are confusing “warming up” which is a transitory time dependent process and the “equilibrium temperature” which is a stationnary time independent value for given boundary conditions .

    If you don’t see that yet , write here your energy conservation for a small volume in LTE and show us emission is “far below equilibrating with the absorbed radiation”.
    I think that you are about to discover a new perpetuum mobile :)

    Eli Rabbet :

    Of course that the result emission = absorption at LTE doesn’t mean that the temperature is constant whatever happens .
    Quite trivially if some GHG concentration varies , the equilibrium temperature will vary too .
    Clearly if one considers the first slice of the atmosphere at the surface boundary , this surface boundary will reach different equilibrium temperatures when the GHG concentration varies (and in turn its conducting , convecting and radiating behaviour will change) .

  258. Eric says:

    John Finn (02:08:56) Says,

    ” Apologies to all for pursuing this but Eric says

    ” You might want to revise your belief that the surface skin mechanism is not working on the basis of real data.”

    Eric

    This from the links you provide

    ” The slope of the relationship is 0.002ºK (W/m2)-1. Of course the range of net infrared forcing caused by changing cloud conditions (~100W/m2) is much greater than that caused by increasing levels of greenhouse gases (e.g. doubling pre-industrial CO2 levels will increase the net forcing by ~4W/m2), but the objective of this exercise was to demonstrate a relationship.”

    Note the “object of the exercise was to demonstrate a relationship” because it certainly did not demonstrate that the forcing ( ~1.6 w/m2 ) from CO2 increases to date had resulted in a warming of the world’s oceans. Although, of course, the ocean “skin” temperature might be 0.003 K warmer than it was in 1850.

    So No, Eric, I don’t wish to revise my belief. In fact, I’m staggered that someone is getting away with this nonsense.”

    Your arguments are contradictory. If the skin is present, it is evidence that the surface has absorbed radiation. The evidence shows that the skin does exist. The measurement is difficult to make, as Richard Courtney said in a previous post.

    If the skin is absent, it is evidence that the downwelling radiation has been absorbed in part by the oceans and the region that is warmed has been mixed with the waters below. You have to account for the disposition of the down-welling radiation flux some how. It can’t just disappear and have no effect. The energy must go somewhere. As you point out, there are upward fluxes of energy from the ocean involved in IR emission, evaporation and convection, but if the downwelling did not exist the net upward flux of energy would be enormously higher.

    It doesn’t make sense to claim that absorption of the downwelling radiation from the atmosphere by the ocean is impossible, because the skin layer is so thin. After all, the layer that emits the upwelling radiation is just as thin.
    The layer from which the H2O molecules escape by evaporation is even thinner, just a few molecules thick at most.

  259. George E. Smith says:

    All this talk of a skin on the ocean, makes it sound like it is some actual physically different kind of water.
    The only extent to which the water surface is different, is that the absence of water above the surface means that the very surface molecules experience a downward attractiver force from the molecules below, that is not balanced by molecules above (ther being none). That of course results in the surface tension, which causes the surface to seek the smallest area lowest energy state.
    As far as the effect on incoming electromagnetic radiation, there isn’t any “mm thick” surface skin that behaves any differently form the rest of the ocean.
    However, water is the most opaque known liquid for long wavelength (IR radiation), such as the thermal radiation from the atmosphere. I suspect that it is somehow related to the fact that water has a very high dielectric constant (81) at radio wavelenghts, that results in very rapid extinction of radio waves in water. whether that is the same mechanism at optical wavelenghts, I can’t say for sure, but the downward IR is avsorbed by ordinary optical absorption processes in the top 10 microns of the ocean surface.
    The top few molecular layers of course, are the source for the ocean’s emitted thermal radiation, and also for the evaporation into the atmosphere.
    The water molecules follow something like a Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution of kinetic energies, and the high energy tail of that distribution supplies the energetic molecules that leave the surface, and don’t return (in an open environment). A direct result of the loss of those higher energy molecules is that the surface temperature is depressed.
    In addition, you have about 545 calories per gram of latent heat of evaporation transported from the water into the atmosphere.
    It is well known that Hurricanes leave a cold surface water track behind them, because of the astronomical amounts of energy removed through evaporation. Some people think it is the stirring of the ocean to bring up cooler waters from the deep, but if that happened to any extent, it would simply quench the hurricane, and shut it down.
    So downward IR radiation in the 5-50 micron range, from the atmosphere (and/or GHG) results in prompt evaporation from the surface layer, but you would hardly call it a skin.

    As for the incoming solar radiation, it is well known that most of that energy propagates deep in the ocean. In the wavelength range 450-550 nm which is where the solar spectrum peaks, the water absoption is a minimum with an attenuation coefficient for oceanic waters of about 0.001 (cm^-1). For mean coastal waters it is more like 0.003, and doesn’t get as high as 0.004 for even turbid coastal waters. For wavelengths above 550, for the yellow/orange/red/IR the absorption is much stronger, and the same thing happens for the shorter wavelengths.
    About 3% of the incident soalr spectrum is refelcted due to ordinary Fresnel reflection and a refractive index of about 1.33 for water.
    The rest penetrates in a manenr that is almost like the inverse of the solar spectral peak.
    Some of that radiation gets taken up by phytoplankton, and much of it is converted to heating of the water. the warmer water expands of course so convection tends to carry that energy back to the surface, in addition of course to some conduction to surrounding (or deeper) waters. In the usual scheme of things, convection usually trumps conduction in the transport of thermal energy. Radiation from those deeper waters is irrelevant, because it would be at long wave IR and would be reabsorbed before going very far.

    So the IR radiation emitted from the ocean is a property of the surface layer only, and that would normally be the warmest water.

    Anything the returned IR from the atmosphere does to the surface, couldn’t affect the incoming solar radiation in any meaningful way. It is going to be largely returned to the surface, but it isn’t going to generate any significant amount of prompt evaporation, like the IR does.
    Of course the preceding presumes a somewhat quiet condition; but the effect of storm induced turbulences, will greatly complicate the issues.
    But I don’t see any great thermal engine pumping solar energy into the abyssal depths of the ocean.

    I am sure someone with academia’s access to the numerical data for ocean conductivity and expansion and other thermal properties, can do the calculations for conduction, convection, and evaporation, if they want to quantify the different processes.

  260. George E. Smith says:

    I read above some very interesting comments about science; observation, experiment, models and theory; and there seems to be some creative explanations; which don’t jibe with anything I ever learned.

    The lay person typically thinks that scientific theories explain how the universe works.
    Actually, the only thing that explains how the universe works; the reality; is that which is observed and possibly measured. As for laboratory experiments not being reality, how could that be. They are observations and measurments that are every bit as real as going out side, and holding up a moist finger to see which way the wind is blowing. Lab Experiments are simply reality in a controlled environment, so that extraneous influences that may hide the reality, can be minimised.
    There is a limit even to what we can observe or measure; and Heisenberg in his principle of “Unbestimmheit” (maybe mit ein umlaut) tells us that in the very act of obseving, we alter the conditions so that that which we seek to measure changes in an unpredictable manner; so that we cannot even observe the present state of a single particle; let alone the whole universe; so that makes any prediction of the future state an impossibility.
    At best we can gather statistical information about what mostly happens in repeated circumstances.
    So the universe is simply far too complex to ever describe how it works; and science theories don’t attempt to do that.

    A science theory is a rigorous description of the properties which we assign to a completely fictional model, that we create out of whole cloth. So the model, and the theory, are one and the same. As a result of our assignment of certain properties to our theoretical modle, we are able, using mathematics to exactly describe the behavior of the model, in any deined circumstance (experiment).
    The mathematics of course is no more real than is the model; we made all that stuff up in our heads also,a dn we created our mathematics for the purpose of analysing the behavior of our fictional models.
    Some people think that mathematics is some universal language, that must exist anywhere in the universe.

    If you believe that; why don’t you write down here, a short list of the objects and elements of mathematics, that you are sure exist somewhere in the real universe.
    Don’t waste your time; there are none. The real universe copntains no points, no lines, no circles, no spheres, no conic sections; it is all pure fiction that we made up.
    The simple cartesian co-ordinate equation: x^2 + y^2 + z^2 = r^2 describes a mathematical sphere.
    No amount of prestidigitation can cause that equation to explain the presence of 8 km high mountains on the surface of the earth.

    So our models/theories of science, are entities unto themselves,a dn we can describe in great detail how they work.
    Now we constructed our models in the first place, with the idea of building something that we believe behaves in much the same way that the real universe does. We can run experiments (simulations) with out fictional models that are not analagous to any real experiment that anybody actually did in the real universe. If our model does something interesting, we can then perform the analagous experiment to see if we can observe a similar behavior in the real universe.
    we are very intolerant of non conformity between the calculated behavior of our fictional models, and the real observed behavior of the universe.
    When that happens, and we eliminate experimental error sources, and mathematical calculation errors, our model becomes suspect, and we seek to reconstruct it, and assign it different properties, in such a way that we eliminate the discrepancy between real universe observation, and fictional model simulation.
    We were quite happy with Newtonian Gravitation, until we observed a discrepancy in the rate of precession of the perihelion of Mercury, amounting to 43 seconds of arc error per century. Einstein’s general theory of relativity, gave us a new model of gravity, that eliminated that lousy 43 seconds of arc discrepancy.

    So just how happy are we supposed to be, with a climate model of planet earth, that depicts the earth as an isothermal sphere at a constant temperature of about +15 deg C, bathed all over its entire surface, with solar radiation at 342 Watts per square meter; even at the south pole in the winter midnight darkness. Then the surface radiates at 390 Watts/m^2 at all points in the infrared, while green house gases apply an unbalancing “forcing”, to cause the planet to warm up or cool down.

    Frankly; such a model, as enshrined in the official NOAA global energy budget; doesn’t meet the necessary test of behaving similarly to the real universe.

    Urban Heat Islands (UHI) are real entities in the real universe; so they should not screw up the description of how the planet warms or cools.
    The only reason they are a proble, is that the information (measurments) obtained from UHIs is not properly accounted for in the models that represent the behavior of the planet and its climate.

    Maybe it is time to actually model a real planet; like the one we are most interested in knowing about.

  261. Eric says:

    After an intelligent and erudite discourse on how the progress of science proceeds,
    George Smith says,

    “So just how happy are we supposed to be, with a climate model of planet earth, that depicts the earth as an isothermal sphere at a constant temperature of about +15 deg C, bathed all over its entire surface, with solar radiation at 342 Watts per square meter; even at the south pole in the winter midnight darkness. Then the surface radiates at 390 Watts/m^2 at all points in the infrared, while green house gases apply an unbalancing “forcing”, to cause the planet to warm up or cool down.

    Frankly; such a model, as enshrined in the official NOAA global energy budget; doesn’t meet the necessary test of behaving similarly to the real universe.

    Urban Heat Islands (UHI) are real entities in the real universe; so they should not screw up the description of how the planet warms or cools.
    The only reason they are a proble, is that the information (measurments) obtained from UHIs is not properly accounted for in the models that represent the behavior of the planet and its climate.

    Maybe it is time to actually model a real planet; like the one we are most interested in knowing about.”

    The above diatribe is a straw man argument, and the author should know better. The Climatology models do not assert that the planet is an isothermal sphere etc. This is just a gross calculation of averages of measured values and does not constitute a real model. The models are termed “General Circulation Models” because they examine how the absorbed energy is circulated around a globe that contains real atmosphere, oceans and land masses.

  262. peerr says:

    so what is the model? the IPCC report does not tell you the variables or the state conditions. what flux does the model contain for heat emissions from the earth itself? the ground does have a heat capacity and it is warmer the deeper you get.

    I have pored over the ipcc documents to try to even get an inkling of wht they model, what input states they use and I cant get it

  263. George E. Smith says:

    Eric,

    Actually the author does know better, and he knows that any model that does not model the real time workings of the planet, and its radiant energy inputs and outputs, is not liklely to come up with believable results.

    The NOAA model of the earth energy budget, assumes a radiant emission that depends on an assumed average temperature; whereas in the real world, the earth’s surface radiant emissivity ranges over more than an order of magnitude from the coldest regions to the warmest regions. And the total emission for an “average temperature” model always underestimates the emission, because that depends more on the fourth power of the temperature and not on the temperature. So just what is the point of computing a global average temperature; it has no more scientific validity than computing an average global telephone number or enumerating the average number of animals per square km on earth.

    Besides GISStemp doesn’t measure anything except GISStemp; it certainly doesn’t measure any average temperature for the earth, or even for the earth’s surface, or even for the air five feet above the earth’s surface; it doesn’t even cite the results in any standard temperature scale; but refers to a baseline that is itself unknown.

    How do you use a baseline period from 1961 to 1990 or any other recent epoch as a scale to plot “Data” from a thousand years ago; when there was no information about what would happen from 1961 to 1990.

    How the atmosphere and the oceans circulate around the planet and the continents is certainly something I am not schooled in; so I just assume that there are those who do know about that stuff; but as far as the overall question of whether the planet is net gaining energy or losing it, I’m quite confident I have a good understanding of how that works, and you can’t figure that out by taking the averages of anything, because the energy transport mechanisms are highly nonlinear.

    Besides as I have stated before; the global sampling regimen, such as goes into Dr. James Hansen’s ritual, falls far short of complying with the well understood laws for sampled data systems.

    The thermal processes that go on in different global terrains, bear no simple relationship to the local temperatures; so even if you could measure the true global mean temperature; which you can’t; it tells you exactly nothing at all about the energy flows.

    With a summertime daily temperature range spanning almost 150 deg C from the hottest surface locations to the coldest; no average temperature or GISStemp machinations is going to tell you anything useful about whether the planet is warming up or cooling down.

    So since you used the term; why don’t you give your standard definition of what a “Straw man” argument is; I notice people like to throw that term around when they are engaged in what passes for debate.

  264. George E. Smith says:

    You willnotice Eric, that I made no mention whatsoever of the so-called GCMs; never said a word about circulation models.

    I did specifically refer to a CLIMATE model; not a CIRCULATION model (different C-word), and I referred in that to a picture of the earth energy balance (budget) as published on the official NOAA weather site. The “climate model” I referred to in that statement is the model that yields that precise energy budget picture.

    If that model upsets you, then maybe you could take that up with NOAA.

    I am also willing to entertain, anybody else’s description of a model that they believe will yield the same energy fluxes that the NOAA diagram depicts.

    I actually made one that places the earth at the center of the universe (well at least the local universe) and it is surrounded by a hollow spherical sun with a radius of 93 million miles. Every point of the inside surface of that hollow sun emits elecromagnetic radiation that is confined to an emission solid angle of about 0.5 degrees angular diameter, and is essentially constant over that angle and zero elsewhere.

    Such a model will produce a half degree angular diameter “sun” that is directly overhead at any point on earth at all times. Well I won’t pursue the construction of that model any further because clearly it is nothing like anything we have ever experienced. Of course neither is the NOAA picture which it models.

    So Eric; don’t create your own straw man, if you think you see another. As I said, I made no mention of GCMs whatsoever.

  265. Eric says:

    George,
    What you call a model is not a model in any sense. It simply is a representation of an annual average energy budget, to give an idea of the energy fluxes in the atmosphere over a period of a year. It is based on measurements.
    I consider such an average informative and not the least upsetting.
    There is no way that the total picture of the earth’s climate as modelled can be put on a website that can be absorbed by the average person who is interested in climate.

    If you want an accurate daily model calculated for each minute or hour for years, you are asking for something that is unrealizable until computers become very much larger and faster, and even then it is unlikely that you will be satisfied. Meanwhile the scientists will make do with what they have and the answers will be imperfect and improve with time.

  266. Phil. says:

    TomVonk (03:53:05) :

    Until you drop your strange theory that the presence of a GHG in the atmosphere doesn’t cause the atmosphere the warm up there’s really nothing to discuss, you’re obviously a disciple of the Jack Barrett school of physics.

    Sorry but I am not sure that you know how the the CO2 laser works .
    The population inversion is realised by injecting hot N2 OUT OF EQUILIBRIUM .
    The hot N2 transfers energy to CO2 by collision which releases then coherent IR radiation by induced radiation.

    I’m well aware how the CO2 laser works, the one I built works rather well!
    The reference to the He/Ne and CO2 lasers was to point out that a gas which has a long radiative lifetime can give up its energy to a shorter lived species which preferentially radiates, in response to one of your earlier comments.

  267. Brendan H says:

    Richard: “Hence, outputs of a model are – and can only be – evidence of the opinions and understandings of its constructors.”

    If the creators of the models have some understanding of the earth’s climate, then the models will also incorporate those understandings. And the models do incorporate much that is known about the climate, for example in the form of well-established physical laws.

    As for the accuracy of climate models, the IPCC third report concluded that models provided a reasonable agreement with observations, although models and observations differ in a number of areas.

    Interestingly, models had predicted that tropospheric warming should be greater than surface warming, although the data seemed to show otherwise. But the data were shown to be faulty and corrections have brought them closer to the models. This boosts our confidence in the models.

    “A claim that climate models “can provide information to illustrate the way the climate works” is an assertion that the climate models are constructed by people with deific omniscience…”.

    No it doesn’t. Omniscient beings would not need models. One can gain sufficient understanding of part of the climate system, and/or a general understanding of climate trends, without requiring omniscience.

  268. Richard S Courtney says:

    It seems that serious debate of the Illis Analysis has ended here and has been replaced by promotion of pseudo-science.

    Brendan H your comments concerning models are plain silly.

    It does not matter if the climate models “incorporate much that is known about the climate, for example in the form of well-established physical laws.” What matters if the climate models are an adequate emulation of climate as demonstrated by their emulation of reality and their demonstrated forecasting skill.

    The indications of any model can only be trusted to the degree that those indications are observed to agree with reality. And the predictions of a model can only be trusted to the degree that the model has demonstrated forecasting skill. These facts are true of all models including climate models.

    Clearly, the climate models do not adequately emulate reality because they fail to emulate important climate behaviours such as AMO, ENSO, etc.

    And the ability of a computer model to appear to represent existing reality is no guide to the model’s predictive ability. For example, the computer model called ‘F1 Racing’ is commercially available. It “incorporates” “well-established physical laws” (if it did not then the racing cars would not behave realistically), and ‘F1 Racing’ is a much more accurate representation of motor racing than any GCM is of global climate. But the ability of a person to win a race as demonstrated by ‘F1 Racing’ is not an indication that the person could or would win the Monte Carlo Grande Prix if put in a real racing car. Similarly, an appearance of reality provided by a GCM cannot be taken as an indication of the GCM’s predictive ability in the absence of the GCM having any demonstrated forecasting skill.

    It is extremely improbable that – within the foreseeable future – the climate models could be developed to a state whereby they could provide reliable predictions of global climate over any time scale. This is because the global climate system is extremely complex. Indeed, the global climate system is more complex than the human brain (the climate system has more interacting components – e.g. biological organisms – than the human brain has interacting components – e.g. neurones), and nobody claims to be able to construct a reliable predictive model of the human brain. It is pure hubris to assume that the climate models are sufficient emulations for them to be used as reliable predictors of future global climate over any time scale when the models have no demonstrated forecasting skill.

    And the climate cannot have demonstrated forecasting skill over the medium and long terms. None of the existing climate models has existed for 20, 50 or 100 years so it is not possible to assess their predictive capability on the basis of their demonstrated forecasting skill over such time scales; i.e. the models have no demonstrated forecasting skill over such time scales. This is why their indications of future climate change are said to be “projections” and not “predictions”.

    No model’s predictions should be trusted unless the model has demonstrated forecasting skill. But, as stated above, it is not possible to assess the predictive capability of the climate models on the basis of their demonstrated forecasting skill because none of them has existed for sufficient time for them to have demonstrated any forecasting skill for 20. 50 or 100 years ahead.

    Put bluntly, predictions of the future provided by existing climate models have the same degree of demonstrated reliability as has the casting of chicken bones for predicting the future.

    You make a laughable appeal to authority when you say;
    “As for the accuracy of climate models, the IPCC third report concluded that models provided a reasonable agreement with observations, although models and observations differ in a number of areas.”
    Well, use that IPCC report as religious scripture if you want, but those of us who are interested in the science of climate change look at facts and evidence. You cite the IPCC report that included the now discredited ‘Hockey Stick’ of Mann, Bradley and Hughes (i.e. the most discredited graph in the history of statistics) before it had been published elsewhere. And that IPCC report included the ‘Hockey Stick’ 8 times, but the most recent IPCC report dropped it and made no mention of it.

    Then you make a direct attack on the scientific method when you say:
    “Interestingly, models had predicted that tropospheric warming should be greater than surface warming, although the data seemed to show otherwise. But the data were shown to be faulty and corrections have brought them closer to the models. This boosts our confidence in the models.”

    The data were not “shown to be faulty”. And if they had been “shown to be faulty” then that could not mean “This boosts our confidence in the models” because scientists always place observation of reality before any model of assumed reality.

    The most recent the US Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) report attempted to hide the inconvenient truth that the ‘fingerprint’ of AGW is absent and, therefore, observed warming is not a result of the AGW the climate models project. But it is obvious to anybody who compares the two relevant Figures in Chapters 1 and 5 of that CCSP report that
    (i) the climate models predict AGW will cause most warming to occur in the lower
    troposphere at altitude in the tropics,
    and
    (ii) this predicted warming is not happening according to measurements of the lower
    troposphere.

    But the same CCSP report that included the two cited figures asserts that there is no significant difference between them! The report justifies this strange assertion by using the fact that outlying data points of the temperature measurements overlap with the indications of the computer models. This justification is nonsense according to the practices of both science and statistics: it is a claim that the bulk of the measurements should be ignored and trust should be placed in a few outlying data points that fit a preconceived notion. But that claim is ‘double edged’: if it is accepted then it has to be agreed that there was no global warming in the twentieth century.

    I again repeat that a theory is an idea, a model is a representation of the idea, and reality is something else.

    You can have your superstitious belief in climate models but I will continue my scientific view of all models (including climate models) so I will make no further responses to your proclamations of your superstition.

    Richard

  269. Jeff Alberts says:

    Brendan H (21:24:20) :
    I think you’re overstating the case, especially in demanding perfection, which is not possible. That said, climate models incorporate well-understood physics, the number of parameters is finite and modellers have ways of testing for individual effects.

    How would one expect to accurately model a complex chaotic system with poor knowledge of any of the parameters? What is the LOSU of clouds? Aerosols? We’re still learning about this stuff, so I hardly see how we can expect to accurately model such a thing. Best guesses which seem to correspond to what we see are just chance, really. We can see this with weather models that CONSTANTLY get things wrong even just the next day. sometimes they get it right, but the fact that they get it wrong probably just as often shows that there’s no real skill there.

    There’s a major disconnect here, though, between the sceptic claim that the climate has strong negative feedbacks that drive the climate towards equilibrium, and the implication that the climate is random to the point that anything could happen.

    There’s also a major disconnect with the AGW claim that positive feedbacks will overwhelm any “natural” signal. I don’t believe climate is totally random, but we certainly don’t understand the major drivers, much less any secondary or tertiary drivers.

    And nor do sceptics always find fault with modelled science. Earlier in the year there was a good deal of celebration across the sceptical blogosphere in the wake of the Keenlyside forecasts, which were based on models.

    As someone else said, even a broken clock is right twice a day. My beef with models is the use of the output as evidence. They’re not evidence, they’re supposed to be used to test theories/parameters. But without practically perfect knowledge of the complex chaotic system being modelled, any results which replicate reality are most likely accidental. And even a percent or two of error can cause things to spiral away from what the reality might be, but there’s simply no way to know until the reality in time arrives.

  270. TomVonk says:

    Phil.

    Until you drop your strange theory that the presence of a GHG in the atmosphere doesn’t cause the atmosphere the warm up there’s really nothing to discuss, you’re obviously a disciple of the Jack Barrett school of physics.

    I observe that you only hand wave , make irrelevant statements and avoid under any circumstances to say something that would have a scientific value .
    But you are on a hook .
    Everybody on this thread has seen that you wrote that CO2 radiates (much) less than it absorbs because “it transfers its energy to N2 by collisions” .
    In mathematics less is not the same thing as equal or more .

    So I have asked you already 2 times to write up energy conservation for a small volume in LTE and to SHOW that CO2 radiates much less than it absorbs .
    Should not be too hard for somebody who pretends to know how a laser works .
    I’ll make it even easier for you – suppose that there is only CO2 and N2 in the volume .
    Not surprisingly you were sofar unable to do even this trivial physics .

    As long as you don’t , there is indeed nothing to discuss in your meaningless posts .

  271. George E. Smith says:

    “” Eric (19:42:08) :

    George,
    What you call a model is not a model in any sense. It simply is a representation of an annual average energy budget, to give an idea of the energy fluxes in the atmosphere over a period of a year. It is based on measurements. “”

    Well I don’t want to consume Anthony’s space much more on this; but I do think the NOAA energy budget drawing does create an illusion that is not even close to reality, so it tends to mislead, rather than instruct.

    Just the simple change of replacing the solar constant at 1368 W/m^2 with an “average” insolation 1/4 of that value, illustrates the point. The only way that 432 number has any validity is if you DO assume that it falls on the entire surface of the globe at that level. The fact that the sun really strikes the daylight side of the earth at 4 times the rate in the chart, and that vary little of the incoming, ever strikes anywhere near the poles, gives an immediate explanation of exactly why the earth is not an isothermal sphere. In addition the higher real rate in the tropics results in a much quicker warming and reaches a much higher temperature. As a consequence the earth cools at a much higher rate than depicted by the chart’s numbers.

    It might appear that the earth heats up in the daytime and cools down at night, unless it is cloudy, in which case it warms up at night; every TV weather man can tell you that.

    Actually, the only part of that which is true is that the earth heats up during the daytime. It also COOLS during the daytime, and at a much higher rate than it cools at night; clouds or no clouds. And if it is cloudy at night it never heats up, it still cools but at a slower rate. All of that is masked by the static picture NOAA portrays.

    The huge imbalance between equatorial insolation and polar insolation, is what makes the global circulation mechanisms mandatory. The roughly black body radiation rate from the coldest to the hottest surface regions (on any midsummer day) ranges over a factor of about 12 times. As a result, the polar regions are very poor at cooling the planet; they don’t radiate nearly fast enough.

    The whole idea of a “mean global temperature” such as GISS, RSS, UAH, and HADcrut imply, at least to the lay public that is aware of any of them, is not of any real scientific value, because there is no link between such a number and any evaluation of the net flow of energy into and out of the planet.

    To be talking about changes of tenths or even thousandths of a degree on a temperature map that actually has about a 150 deg C peak to peak range is totally absurd.

    As to the analysis work that started this thread, which as Richard Courtney has said, has about petered out (or been hijacked), I am quite sure that those ENSOs, AMOs and PDOs are of great interest to those who study the spatial properties of climate, as distinct from the global total aspects. But I wonder just what if anything can be said about the climate at the earth’s poles inso far as any of those cyclic events having any influence.

    What surprises me most about climate discussions; at least to the extent that Anthony has been able to generate them on this site, is how seldom there is any mention of the sun as having anything at all to do with the climate. Well we have had a very interesting sunspot free year; but the climate IPCC supporters have gone out of their way to dismiss the sun and its changes as being involved in the earth climate. They seem to focus only on the effect of GHG (except water), and are quite unfazed by the observable fact (from ice cores at least), that atmospheric CO2 changes, have never ever led to subsequent global surface temperature changes; although the converse is clearly true.

    Feedback systems always have a propagation delay; so it is never possible for the output signal (effect) to occur before the input signal (cause).

    George

  272. Bill Illis says:

    It looks like this thread is wrapping up now so I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for their comments and questions and special thanks to Anthony Watts for allowing me to put forward this method/technique for adjusting temperatures for the natural variation caused by various ocean indices/patterns.

    I’m still working on the reconstruction. One thing I noticed in trying to model southern hemisphere temperatures is that the SH has a great deal of unusual up and down swings in temperatures (which are not evident in the northern or tropical series). The same swings occur in the raw southern Atlantic ocean temperatures I had downloaded and when I tried to employ the same smoothing techniques that are applied to the ENSO and AMO, the explanatory power of the swings in the raw data disappeared. So, I am trying to use the unadjusted, unsmoothed raw data for the the Nino 3.4 region and the AMO regions (there is not as much of an upward trend in the raw unsmoothed AMO data BTW). The raw unsmoothed ocean temp data provides a more faithful reconstruction of global temperatures but there is a little too much “squiggle” afterwards. I haven’t decided whether to just use the raw data or employ a 3 month smooth instead of the 5 month employed on the Nino 3.4 region index for example.

    We should draw some conclusions, however, as a result of this thread.

    1. Temperatures can be adjusted for the ENSO, the AMO and the southern Atlantic natural variations.

    2. Temperatures should, in fact, be adjusted for these variations (I mean when you are analyzing them, not the actual temperatures as there has been too much “adjustment” in the record already). These variations are just masking the real global warming signal underneath and some incorrect conclusions have been drawn because of that. This lack of recognition about natural variation has caused some to draw incorrect conclusions about temperatures in the 1980s and 1990s and also contributed to the global cooling scare of the 1970s. The downswing in temperatures in the 50s, 60s and up until 1975 was really just caused by the downswing in the AMO. This reconstruction says the underlying warming trend continued throughout this period.

    3. Actual global warming to date has been much, much less than the theory originally predicted. The actual track we are on now would produce warming of just 1.3C to 1.6C per doubling (I haven’t confirmed that final number yet.)

    4. The latest proposition from the theory says that the deep oceans are absorbing some of the increase expected and we will still get to the 3.0C or 3.25C per doubling number, it will just take longer. I agree there has been warming of the deep oceans and I have no reason to say the theory is not correct BUT …

    5. The analysis says if there is not an uptick in temperatures in the next 5 years or so, we will have moved so far off the global warming trend expected that it will, in fact, likely take well over 100 years to get there (I’m going out on a limb here and saying that my trendline indicates 500 years.)

    6. The global warming researchers need to be clear about the actual trendline for temperatures that they expect now. We deserve to know. (I think they have projected a timeline but they do not want to be clear at this time since it may create less urgency in the issue.)

    7. We need to create a new Southern Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. It has as big an impact on temperatures as the AMO (in my newest analysis) and it is does a very good job of explaining the unusual southern hemisphere temperature trends. The original AMO was discovered by accident when someone noted these north Atlantic sea surface temperatures were correlated with rainfall events in far off places, even Brazil.

    8. We need to reduce the smoothing in these indices since explanatory information is being lost.

    Once again, thanks to everyone who participated and special thanks to Anthony.

  273. Brendan H says:

    Jeff Alberts: “We can see this with weather models that CONSTANTLY get things wrong even just the next day.”

    Yes, but weather is not climate. Using the analogy of a boiling pot of water, a weather forecast is like attempting to predict where the next bubble is going to rise, whereas a climate statement would be that the average temperature of the boiling water is 100 deg C. So we can make accurate statements about a total situation without necessarily knowing what is happening at the local level.

    “As someone else said, even a broken clock is right twice a day.”

    The Keenlyside forecasts were for the ‘next decade’, ie 2005-2015, so most of that period is in the future, but sceptics were happy to accept these forecasts without much by way of critical analysis.

    “But without practically perfect knowledge of the complex chaotic system being modelled, any results which replicate reality are most likely accidental.”

    The models don’t attempt to “replicate reality” so much as to understand the interactions between the various climate factors. Over time, the models have improved, and as my boiling water analogy shows, it is not necessary to possess perfect knowledge of all the features of a climate system to understand the main features. And importantly, there are a number of modellers, using different strategies, arriving at generally similar results.

  274. Brendan H says:

    Richard Courtney: “It is extremely improbable that – within the foreseeable future – the climate models could be developed to a state whereby they could provide reliable predictions of global climate over any time scale.”

    Depends what you mean by “reliable predictions”. Besides, as mentioned previously, the warming of the troposphere, climate models have also predicted factors such as cooling of the stratosphere and amplification of warming at the poles, both of which have occurred.

    “…nobody claims to be able to construct a reliable predictive model of the human brain.”

    No, but we can make reasonably reliable predictions about human behaviour. We can predict that through their lifespan people in developed countries will most likely attend school, change into surly teenagers, rebel a bit, get a job, get hitched, drop a sprog or two, gain some assets etc.

    We can also predict individual behaviour if we know someone well enough. The assumption you are making is that climate is random to the point where anything at all could happen. That’s a pre-scientific point of view. The climate might be chaotic, but it’s chaotic within limits.

    “And that IPCC report included the ‘Hockey Stick’ 8 times, but the most recent IPCC report dropped it and made no mention of it.”
    Ch 6 of the Working Group Report – The Physical Science Basis has an extensive discussion of the “hockey stick” reconstruction of recent temperatures and shows a hockey-type graph on p 467.

    “The data were not “shown to be faulty”. And if they had been “shown to be faulty” then that could not mean “This boosts our confidence in the models” because scientists always place observation of reality before any model of assumed reality.”

    The models predicted a certain outcome. The initial data failed to support this outcome. Faults were discovered with the data, and the corrected data more closely matched the models. Therefore, it follows that this justification of the models’ outputs can increase our confidence in the efficacy of the models.

    Furthermore, we have a case of both “adequate emulation” and “reliable prediction”, your two requirements for validating trust in the models.

  275. Richard S Courtney says:

    Bill Illis:

    Thankyou for your excellent summary.

    But your summary does not say if you intend to publish. I again say that your work deserves publication and is much too important to remain outside the ‘mainstream’ literature.

    And I again thank you for the insights your work has provided.

    Richard

  276. Eric says:

    George,
    “So the IR radiation emitted from the ocean is a property of the surface layer only, and that would normally be the warmest water.

    Anything the returned IR from the atmosphere does to the surface, couldn’t affect the incoming solar radiation in any meaningful way. It is going to be largely returned to the surface, but it isn’t going to generate any significant amount of prompt evaporation, like the IR does.”

    Actually the Surface of the ocean emits upward more energy flux than the 324W/M2 it receives on average, from the downwelling atmospheric IR.
    It emits 390W/M2 upward IR, 78W/M2 by evaporation and 24W/M2 by convection for a total of 492W/M2. As a result the surface of the ocean is cooler on average than the bulk below it. This flux difference is supplied by the bulk, which sends upward toward the surface the amount it receives from the sun, 168W/M2.

    If the 324W/M2 downwelling radiation did not get absorbed by the ocean surface, the bulk would have to supply more than 168W/M2 and the system would get cooler.

    Your argument that the downwelling radiation can’t effect anything is all wet.

  277. George E. Smith says:

    Eric, I would be interested to know just where I said the “downwelling radiation”; presumably the “Back Radiation” referred to in the NOAA static equilibrium “model”, can’t effect anything; nowhere did I say that.

    In fact I specifically said that that returned IR is absorbed in the top ten microns of the surface. Then I added that that led to prompt evaporation which resulted in a cooling of the very surface of the ocean. That doesn’t alter the fact that the top layers of the ocean are warmer than the deeper ocean. Oddly the NOAA chart also claims that back radiation is absorbed by the surface.

    I did say that the incoming solar radiation did not have any significant surface effect, nor is it affected by what the back radiation does on the surface (the “skin” argument”).

    So read what I said, not what you inferred from what I said.

    And that 24 W/m^2 you mentioned as a convection item; it may be a convection item in the atmosphere, but since there is no ocean above the surface of the ocean it is hardly a convection from the surface; most likely it is an amount conducted from the surface to the atmosphere, which is not a very efficient heat transfer process from liquid to gas. Perhaps solid ground to atmosphere is more effective conduction; but one wouldn’t know that from NOAAs budget graph, because they have the oceans and the solid ground all at the same 15 deg C. But ata real temperature of up to as high as 60 deg C ground surface temperature, conductive heating of the lower atmosphere would be more effective. This also point out the folly of treating the whole earth as a monolithic object with the same thermal properties everywhere.

    I’ll stick to my point that the averaged over the whole earth phony numbers in the NOAA graph do a great job of obfuscating the real physical processes that are actually taking place.

    I’ll repeat what I have said several times elsewhere:- CLIMATE is NOT the long term AVERAGE of WEATHER; it IS the long term INTEGRAL of WEATHER.

    Nothing useful is learned by averaging weather elements over vastly different terrains and conditions. No part of the planet responds to those averages.

  278. Steve Fitzpatrick says:

    Bill Illis:

    I want to thank you for the work you have done; I think it is really very good, and certainly worthy of a peer-reviewed publication.

    I have one comment/suggestion. The various climate records (instrumental and proxy) suggest a positive correlation between sunspot activity and global temperatures (Maunder minimum/Little Ice Age, etc.). The sunspot record shows a substantial rise in the long-term average sunspot number (averaged over multiple solar cycles) since early 20th century.

    My guess is that adding a trailing average sunspot number to a model based on the ENSO and AMO might yield a model that matches the instrument temperature record even better than the ENSO and AMO model, and might explain a significant portion of the temperature rise since the middle of the 20th century, separate from any contribution from CO2. I am not nearly smart enough to do this myself, but perhaps you or someone else reading this blog may be.

    Such a model might even explain the roughly flat temperature trend of the last 10 years, and could be used to predict future temperatures based on the ENSO, AMO, and trailing average sunspot number. If solar cycle 24 is substantially lower in sunspots than cycles 20 to 23 (as about 50% of solar experts seem to think), then a model including sunspots might make predictions of falling average temperatures that turn out to be correct.

    The risk is that if we add a sufficient number of arbitrary variables to any statistical model, it is possible to explain almost any historical trend. For example, there may be a correlation between how well the Boston Red Sox played and global temperatures since 1950, but it is hard to see a causal relationship. But in the cases of AMO, ENSO, and solar activity, it is certainly plausible that each is connected in a causal way to the temperature record, so including average sunspot number in a statistical model is not just fishing for a variable that happens to correlate with the temperature record.

    Once again, thanks for your efforts.

  279. Bill Illis says:

    Hi all,

    I have optimized my temperature reconstruction model now.

    I opted to use a 60 day smooth on the ocean indices rather than the effective 150 day smooth used now. All the ocean indices are detrended with no warming signal remaining (it was not that high to start with when one uses the raw data).

    The global warming figure works out to +1.59C per doubling (0.9C more to go) by 2070.

    The global warming models originally predicted +3.25C by 2070 but have now pushed that increase out to 2100.

    Here is what the reconstruction looks like – Not too bad.

    http://img408.imageshack.us/img408/5993/finalhadcrut3modelbt5.png

    Here is what the global warming line out to 2100 looks like (this might be easier to view than some of the other log warming charts. It is interesting that we have now moved into that portion of the log warming territory where the growth rate is very close to linear – it will flatten out later but we are now in the linear rate territory – the models predict 0.2C per decade while we are only increasing at 0.09C per decade.)

    http://img355.imageshack.us/img355/6405/finalwarminggb4.png

    Once more again, thanks to everyone.

  280. gary gulrud says:

    Bill Illis: An admirable effort, congratulations.

    Norm K.: Isn’t the remaining 5% that which is (re)transmitted regardless of concentration?

    In any case, 1.6 degrees C for a doubling of CO2 is an upper limit, it cannot be higher. The value may well be an order of magnitude lower as Spencer’s work indicates.

  281. Richard Sharpe says:

    Gary Gulrud, can you give me a link to Spencer’s work?

  282. Bill Illis (19:49:46) :
    I have optimized my temperature reconstruction model now.
    http://img408.imageshack.us/img408/5993/finalhadcrut3modelbt5.png

    Interesting, no ‘solar’ input, unless hidden in the various ‘AMO’s…

  283. Pamela Gray says:

    Interesting model. Re: no ‘solar’ input. I still think that solar input is already a part of the equation in that ocean cycles, maybe even jet stream movement, and other atmospheric cycles have as an input, solar variables. But in terms of climate prediction, these cycles alone (which possibly include solar inputs) will do nicely. What say you Leif?

  284. Pamela Gray says:

    And one more thing about the recent increase. What about the rather sudden decrease in measurement stations at about the time temps went up? This is like doing grass plot experiments but changing the number of plots midway. You corrupt the data source by possibly eliminating non-homogeneous data that if it had been kept, would have resulted in a different picture.

    Have you done a model against satellite data?

  285. Pamela Gray (14:05:28) :
    But in terms of climate prediction, these cycles alone (which possibly include solar inputs) will do nicely. What say you Leif?

    What say Bill?

  286. Bill Illis says:

    Leif and Pamela,

    Above I noted there are repeating autocorrelation cycles in the residuals (after adjusting for the ocean indices influence) which are curiously close to the numbers one would expect to see with the solar cycle.

    There is a slight 5.5 year, 9-11 year repeating cycle, 22 years, a really big one at 25 years, and the beginnings of a cycle at 44 years.

    Above there is a link to a paper by Michael Mann (before he got into tree rings) where he found the same thing in the Hadcrut3 data. I found it as well in the Hadcrut3 data but also in my residuals.

    If there was a solar cycle influence, with this analysis method you would expect to see some repeating cycles around the solar cycle numbers (actually NOT right at them but close to them), close to 5.5 years, close to 11 years, close to 22 years etc. The problem is the solar cycles are irregular so a cycle might appear for a time period and then not appear afterward.

    Given the irregular nature of these signals (sometimes before and sometimes after the expected solar cycle timelines), the best place to actually search for them would be at the solar cycle timelines just where they are not supposed to appear (that is very hard to explain). This is where I found them (other than the 25 year signal) so it seems there is definitely a solar cycle influence in the numbers.

    Given the irregular timing of the solar cycles, it would be really, really, really difficult to pull it out (in a practical way) and it wouldn’t help with a monthly temperature reconstruction or estimating the solar influence of today or last year or this year.

    Given it is very difficult to even see a solar cycle, how would one adjust for an increase in solar irradiance over time.

    I decided to trust Leif’s judgement and just assume there is a small solar influence which might be as high as +/-0.1C but it is not a focus of this model.

    There was a recent paper, however, that indicated solar irradiance drove the AMO cycle down during the ice ages.

    I note the AMO and the southern counterpart went down in the early 1900s when the solar cycle was low. They both go back up as the solar cycle revved up, up until about WWII. Both indices suddenly fall after WWII just as the solar influence was really peaking at 1950. etc. etc. So, I see some correlation but it is not consistent and I am looking for solid mathematical formulae to rely on, not conjecture.

    The Sun plays a huge role in an El Nino, of course, its just that the Trade Winds and ocean currents/upwelling are the main drivers of this – causing the ocean surface in the Nino region to stall in place and be heated day after day by the Equatorial Sun. No Trades, no currents and there would be a permanent El Nino regardless of the solar cycle. Given the wild swings in the ENSO, I don’t see a changing Sun in the numbers, just natural variation in the Trades and currents.

  287. Pamela Gray says:

    Such good stuff. Bill, your work is eye candy. I still have some issues with CO2 related warming vs the influence of data error that could explain some of the warming, but between Leif and Bill, I think we got this covered, no?

  288. E.M.Smith says:

    From Steve S (13:39:37) :
    Can someone help me understand something?
    How is it that the global warming issue became a liberal vs conservative issue? I am blown away by how is sometimes seems more a political issue than a scientific one.
    -end quote

    I suspect that it is due to the perception, fostered IMHO by the AGW proponents, that being “green” is liberal while being pro-fossil fuels is being pro-business is being “conservative”. That being anti-AGW means you are a coal stooge or an oil lackey.

    This is clearly false, but is the perception.

  289. Pamela Gray says:

    Bill, did you see some of the articles about the equatorial oceanic response to solar heating and the chimney effect? I just read about a study similar to what you have done, reported by:
    http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2008/12/03/rethinking-observed-warming/
    The study model was even more simple than yours but I believe had more calculations for ocean cycles and no CO2 forcings. Over at Icecap there is an article about Australia’s rainfall and cloud patterns. Could it be that the equatorial chimney cooling theory has a cyclic pattern related to things like cosmic ray/ozone fluctuations? Could this be the butterfly wings that creates the nor’easter? Not to make a big case. I think you are on the right track using simple model constructions of the major players in climate forcing. My question may be related to a forcing that has no greater affect than the CO2 I am exhaling right now.

  290. E.M.Smith says:

    From Fernando (in Brazil) (17:32:02) :
    Adolfo Giurfa (09:48:27)
    Thank you, but remember, I am speaking of an open system.
    I think that any model that considers CO2 and H2O, as noble gas, is doomed to failure.
    …. 2 H2O> (H2O)2 dimer[...]
    I can imagine any structure to 4ºC and pressure equal to 100 atm. (In the deep ocean)
    -end quote

    Yup! And don’t forget the Ca+ ions and …

    And on the ocean skin issue: Having lived on a boat for a few years the notion that the surface of the ocean is at all stable is very broken. Wind, waves, ripples, currents, cyclones, mists, rain, evaporation, fish jumping, algae blooms, fog, plankton swarms, sea birds, poop, … It mixes down to the first thermocline and bits mix up into the air at least a few dozen (hundred?) feet. Ask any sailor why they have slickers…

    Soooo chaotic…. Give it a skin in a model? Yeah, right… gonna need some better proof to swallow that one.

    Bill, loved the model above! I think you have a winner.

  291. E.M.Smith says:

    From Jeff Alberts (04:37:16) :
    Running 47 different models hundreds of times and picking the ones that “match” isn’t evidence of anything except chance.
    -end quote

    Amen! And this regularly kills stock traders who invent new trend following systems, and takes down ‘quant’ funds and… Every so often a new ‘hot hand’ with a new model will win a streak in the stock market, then when they go down in flames everyone is surprised. It always turns out to be the same thing. They ‘back tested’ and all was well, then reality kicked in. Data modeling is not proof of truth.

    That’s part of why I’m a skeptic. I’ve seen this movie before too many times.

  292. Steve Fitzpatrick says:

    Bill Illis:

    I downloaded your spreadsheet and have given some additional thought to your model.

    An implicit assumption in the model is that CO2 is a reasonable proxy for all greenhouse gases; that they have risen more or less proportionally over the last century. While this may not be completely correct, it is probably not too far off, since the sources for these gases (industrial activities, agriculture, transportation, and electricity production) have all increased pretty much in parallel over the last century.

    The global circulation based climate modelers usually say that there is substantial (and unavoidable) warming on the way, even if CO2 were to be held at today’s level, due to the long time required to warm the oceans. Lags of 20 to 30 years up to a thousand years are often claimed, and this long lag is used to at least partly explain why the global average temperature has not already increased much more than it would have based on the assumed level of net radiative forcing from increased greenhouse gases.

    This seems like a reasonable argument, since a quick estimate of the rate of temperature change in 1000 meters of ocean (not even considering any heat entering the deep ocean!), with about 2 watts per square meter of radiative forcing due to increases in CO2, NO2, and methane since the pre-industrial era (as currently assumed by the IPCC) gives an increase of only about 0.011 degree per year in ocean temperature. And as everyone seems to agree, the oceans rule the climate.

    If the climate modelers are correct about the ocean driven lag in temperature rise, then it should be possible to improve the performance of your model by substituting a trailing average CO2 for the monthly values, to account for uptake of heat by the oceans. Incorporating a lag in the CO2 data should (of course) also increase the CO2 constant in the optimized model, perhaps more in line with the IPCC’s projected warming.

    When I incorporated a trailing average CO2 in place of the monthly CO2, I found the following:

    1. A 12 month trailing average CO2 value yields a very slight improvement in the scatter plot best fit (R^2 of 0.7829 versus 0.7828, slope of 0.9615 versus 0.9613, and the same slope of -0.005). The CO2 model constant increases from 2.7298 to 2.7560.

    2. A 24 month trailing average yields exactly the same scatter plot values for R^2, slope, and intercept as the non-averaged monthly CO2 data, and the CO2 model constant increases to 2.782.

    3. A 5 year trailing average yields a scatter plot R^2 of 0.7821, slope of 0.9601, intercept of -0.0057, and a CO2 constant of 2.861.

    4. A 10 year trailing average yields R^2 of 0.7805, slope of 0.9577, intercept of 0.006, and a CO2 constant of 2.994.

    5. A 20 year trailing average yields R^2 of 0.7746, slope of 0.9532, intercept of -0.0067, and a CO2 constant of 3.264.

    6. A 30 year trailing average yields R^2 of 0.7713, slope of 0.9518, intercept of -0.0069, and a CO2 constant of 3.564.

    The longer the averaging period, the poorer the fit, and the higher the CO2 constant, as expected. The things I find surprising in the above are:

    a) A great deal of future warming “already in the pipeline” does not seem to be supported by the historic temperature and CO2 data, since the best fit is with a short (12 month) trailing average CO2 value. Reaching a CO2 constant of 4.7 (as suggested by IPCC models) would require extremely long ocean temperature lags, perhaps 50 years or so.

    b) The change in R^2 values for different lengths of trailing average for CO2 is quite modest, while the change in the CO2 constant for the model is quite large.

    So I guess we can say the most likely CO2 constant is a low one, but a model based on long trailing average CO2 concentration lag yields a much higher CO2 constant, and is not a lot different in R^2. I am not sure if a change in scatter plot R^2 from 0.7829 (12 months) to 0.7713 (30 years) is statistically significant, but perhaps you can comment on this. (In other words, I am not sure if we can confidently discount the possibility of a long ocean lag time based on the modest decrease in R^2.)

    I think it would be interesting to freeze the model parameters (as you posted at http://img408.imageshack.us/img408/5993/finalhadcrut3modelbt5.png) and see how the model does in predicting temperatures over the next 10 years. It seems likely your model will put to shame the many models the IPCC relies on.

  293. Bill Illis says:

    Steve Fitzpatrick,

    Good stuff there. I tried out your idea of lagging CO2 by 30 years and it works just as good as anything I have done.

    I wouldn’t worry about an R^2 that drops by 0.01. The F-statistic drops by a bigger relative margin but it is still a very significant number.

    I will have to think about whether it is really valid to lag CO2 by 30 years (assuming that the oceans are absorbing some of the increase from the atmosphere to cause a net lag effect of 30 years.) (I’m just going to focus on 30 years rather than 10 since its effects are the greatest in terms of the warming conclusion.)

    There is data that shows annual CO2 changes are closely related to changes in temperatures (annual CO2 changes are very closely correlated with changes in temperatures – lagged 5 months. CO2 is still increasing but the rate in effected 5 months after temperature changes. )

    This suggests there is a relationship which is more immediate than 30 years although this relationship is one-way which is opposite to the one-way effect suggested by the 30 year CO2 lag. [I have to put this chart in since it is so wierd. I saw a similar chart on icecap today so I had to try it out my data going back to 1958.]

    http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/879/co2lagkz2.png

    I guess the other thing is the models are not really built with a 30 year lag in CO2 built into the assumptions. As you can see in this chart made from the IPCC Third Report (which means they had to adjust the warming line to include actual temperatures up to 2000 – I’m not going to give them that break), the warming levels in the models had temperatures starting to rise at an exponential rate by 1970 or so. (it does flatten out to a close to a linear line at a certain point and then it will flatten out in the future – but there is a pattern with the slopes of the line in this logarithmic CO2 impact.)

    http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/Image:Global_Warming_Predictions_png

    Whereas the warming model based on a 30 year CO2 lag doesn’t start rising in an exponential sense until about 1985 or 1990 (I have slightly different numbers than you based on my newest model).

    http://img376.imageshack.us/img376/940/co2lag30qv3.png

    So I have to conclude this is not how it is supposed to work.

    But, it is something to watch for sure. Watch the temperature response from the next big El Nino. Like I said before, there will have to be an uptick in temps in the next five years or the modelers will have to go back to the drawing board.

    Good work. Made me go whoa when I saw the lag numbers were just as good.

  294. Steve Fitzpatrick says:

    Bill Illis:

    After I wrote my last comment, I realized that it would be better to use the trailing average of the natural log of the CO2 concentration instead of the trailing average of the CO2 concentration itself. The trailing average of the log of the CO2 concentration is a more theoretically defensible parameter (Beer’s Law and all) than the trailing average of the CO2 concentration, when the objective is to combine past and present contributions to a long term oceanic temperature rise.

    However, it looks like this makes very little difference; the model results (at least with the version of your model that I have) are pretty much the same, whether using trailing average of CO2 or trailing average of Ln(CO2). I would much appreciate if you could post a link to the current version of your model (Excel I assume), including the added southern ocean oscillation, since this seems to be a more accurate model than what I downloaded.

    I hope you will forgive me Bill, but my comment on trailing averages of CO2 was in part a ruse to get your attention. The truth is that I believe other factors (like the solar cycle and the long term trend in solar cycles) are very important, and that if were it possible to identify and quantify other significant contributors to global temperature change, then CO2 and other greenhouse gases would become much less important in explaining the temperature trends of the last 125 years. “To the man who has only a hammer, most every problem resembles a nail.” When we attribute global warming to greenhouse gases alone, we limit ourselves to only one tool.

    It seems to me preposterous to ignore the large and well documented natural temperature changes of the last several thousand years (yes, the Vikings really did grow crops in Greenland), and equally preposterous to offer no plausible explanation for these climate changes. Yet this is exactly what the IPCC climate models all do. The temperature changes and rates of temperature change of the last three thousand years are comparable in size and rate to those of the last 125 years, yet nobody in the IPCC seems to take note of this. (Or worse, they do their best to discredit the historical record in order to minimize the size and rate of past climate changes, ex post facto, so that they can be safely ignored in the greenhouse gas models.)

    The IPCC models would actually be quite humorous, were it not that the predicted catastrophic increases in global temperature, sea level, storms, droughts, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, general calamity, pestilence, and migraine headaches (OK, maybe not headaches) might motivate the public to accept draconian cuts in fossil fuel usage and rapid shifts to more expensive non-fossil energy sources. These solutions to the “global warming problem” will have serious negative economic consequences in the short to medium term, especially for the poorest of people. The existing climate models can do real harm to real people, and I predict that history will judge them and their purveyors very harshly.

    But enough of my sermonizing.

    What I think we need (‘we’ being all the rest of humanity, plus you and me) is a truly reasonable climate model; not just a model for the last 125 years, but for the last 5,000 years. Since human influence is clearly small before the last 150 years, any reasonable climate model must include solar forcing and perhaps other factors which can explain documented historical climate changes. The solar activity proxies (historical sunspot numbers, C14, Be10) would seem a reasonable starting point in any such model.

    We need a climate model that lets us step back enough to see the forest, not just the trees… and the CO2 they consume.

    Cheers.

  295. E.M.Smith says:

    From Steve Fitzpatrick (20:41:39) :
    The IPCC models would actually be quite humorous, were it not that the predicted catastrophic increases in global temperature, sea level, storms, droughts, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, general calamity, pestilence, and migraine headaches (OK, maybe not headaches)
    -end quotes

    Don’t be so hard on yourself! If true, AGW will cause migraines! Barometric pressure changes are a common trigger: more storms and stronger storms means more barometric flux therefor more migraines. No fooling.

    From Pamela Gray (20:11:26) :
    Could it be that the equatorial chimney cooling theory has a cyclic pattern related to things like cosmic ray/ozone fluctuations?
    -end quote

    Don’t know how related this is to eq. chimneys ,but… From
    http://www.ghgonline.org/otherstropozone.htm

    Tropospheric ozone can act both as a direct greenhouse gas and as an indirect controller of greenhouse gas lifetimes. As a direct greenhouse gas, it is thought to have caused around one third of all the direct greenhouse gas induced warming seen since the industrial revolution.
    [...]
    The largest net source of tropospheric ozone is influx from the stratosphere.
    -end quote

    Would not lower solar output lead to less UV so less ozone formation? A direct solar driver of GHG. Could that get ‘levered up’ in some way?

  296. Bill Illis says:

    Hi Steve and E.M.

    I thought some more about the ocean lag and the lag/trailing average of CO2 impact and I think it is important that we think about how this could work in physics terms which would help with deciding which CO2 etc variables to use.

    First, the greenhouse effect of CO2 operates at the speed of light. It is photons of light in the EM spectrum that we are talking about here. It is photons of light which are providing the energy here.

    A photon comes in from the Sun, hits a rock on the beach in the morning and warms it up. Overnight, that rock cools off and gives back that photon in the IR spectrum upwards toward the atmosphere.

    Half the time, that photon travels right through the atmosphere and goes right out into space. But now, there is slightly more CO2/GHGs in the atmosphere and that photon gets captured by one of the extra CO2 molecules.

    An electron in the CO2 molecule moves to a higher energy state and in a picosecond, decides it is more comfortable at the lower energy state, and gives it back up in all directions.

    That photon now skips around the atmosphere from Nitrogen molecule to Oxygen molecule back to a CO2 molecule and so on. The atmosphere is now slightly warmer – one photons worth that is. In a few days or less, that photon will be lost to space or be reflected back to the ground.

    Here is where the warmer ocean comes in. That photon gets reflected by any one of the warmer atmosphere molecules toward the ocean surface.

    The ocean is now just a fraction warmer than it was before, has a fraction more energy in its electrons than before, so it rejects the photon and reflects/gives back the photon to the atmosphere either right away or in a short time – where it happily skips around the atmosphere for a few more days or is reflected into space etc.

    So, the now warmer ocean just allows more CO2 captured photons to stay in the atmosphere for some period of time whereas when they were cooler, the oceans would have captured some of those photons.

    So, in effect, it is still the CO2 of today that we should be concerned with. It is just that a now warmer ocean (or a warmer land) is a variable in how much impact that CO2 will have.

    CO2 of 30 years ago may have warmed the oceans but we are still operating at the speed of light here and it is today’s CO2 which provides the impact.

    It may help to talk about some of the lags in the climate as well.

    Land temperatures lag the equinox, the soltices by about 30 days. The hottest/coldest part of the year is 30 days after the summer/winter solstice.

    The oceans lag the equinox/solstice by about 80 days. The oceans are at their warmest 80 days after the solstice (hurricane season peaks on September 12th, polar ice melt peaks on September 12th, the actual sea surface temperatures peak on September 12th.)

    Overnight, 30% to 50% of the heating from the day is lost. If the Sun stopped working for two or three days, what would the temperature in your backyard be.

    So, there are some lags in how much energy/photons can be stored for periods of time, but these are not really long.

    The deep ocean warming does take much longer, 500 to 1,000 years but that just means the oceans will continue going on absorbing energy/photons for a long time, not that the CO2 of 30 years ago is impacting today.

    If we add all that up, we have to use today’s CO2 in the model, it is just that the impact from each individual molecule will slowly rise as the land and sea surface and deep oceans warms. But then, each individual CO2 molecule itself, has less and less logarithmic impact as its concentration rises.

    That was long, but I thought it was important to run this little thought experiment for the “warming in the ocean pipeline” explanation as well.

  297. Steve Fitzpatrick says:

    Bill Illis:

    I agree with most of what you said about heat accumulation and CO2. Over land, you are absolutely right about the effect of CO2, since the heat capacity of the land is quite small, and solar heating is mainly lost to radiative cooling in short order.

    However over ocean, I think the situation is a little more complicated. It is true that the surface ocean temperature lags the solar seasons by about 80 days, at least outside the tropics. This does not mean that some of the heat from sunlight could not be lost to deeper layers. If the first several hundred meters of ocean have (on average) increased in temperature over the past 100 years, then this would represent a significant net accumulation of heat in the ocean. Perhaps measured increases in temperatures over a range of depths would help clarify how much heat has in fact been absorbed (though I do not know if these measurements exist). The temperature lapse rate for the ocean (often a 10C drop over the first 100 meters when the ocean has a relatively warm surface) suggests that slow heat loss to deeper water is likely, but I have no idea how it could be modeled accurately.

    So probably the majority of radiative forcing from CO2 (and other greenhouse gases) is short term, but some undefined fraction is absorbed by the ocean, and so represents a lag in the global temperature response. The existing average ocean and land temperature data seem to support this; there has been significantly more increase in average temperature on land than in ocean surface water. This would be easy to add to your model by splitting the two portions, an immediate fraction (for example, 70% of the non-lagged CO2 concentration) and a long term trailing average portion (for example 30% of the lagged CO2 concentration).

    Unfortunately, since the fit to the data is almost equally good for either immediate or trailing average CO2 concentrations, I don’t think it would be possible to tell from the model what the correct split would be.

    I will think about this some more.

    cheers.

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