NCDC updates database for Dec08 – NCDC’s own graphic shows decadal cooling trend

One of the best things about WUWT is the number of eyes and minds at work, multiplying the efforts. This is interesting. Now that the 1998 El Nino is disappearing off the 10 year scale, things are looking a bit different

From “crosspatch” in comments:

NCDC now has December 2008 in the database. Annual North American temperature since 1998 (11 years of data) is falling over the period at a rate of 0.78(F)/decade or 7.8(F)per century. At this rate we will be in an ice age within 5 decades. If you can get the graphic, the heavy black like is the average over the century 1901 to 2000.

Here is the graphic from their automated graphics generator linked to their database:

ncdc-december-2008

Source: National Climatic Data Center

While the link he provided is only a result, I’m sure he’ll share the method in comments to this post.

UPDATE: He has indeed, see below. Try your own hand at it. The trend will likely flatten a bit with the removal of 1998 from the 10 year set. Of course you could pick any number of scales/periods and get different results. The point being made here is that the last 10 years hasn’t met with some model expectations.

Also I have corrected in the text the reference to Centigrade when it was actually Fahrenheit, note the (F). NCDC being an arm of the US government operates on the English unit system whereas most other organizations use metric, and thus Centigrade. I’ve made the mistake myself, so has NASA, who famously lost a Mars probe when they botched orbit entry calculations by use of Metric and English units on different science teams.

UPDATE2: Some folks are erroneously thinking that this graph above represents a global trend, it does not. Read on.

It represents US data from NCDC. Also there has been the usual complaint that “10 years isn’t long enough to determine any useful trend”. Perhaps, but when NASA’s James Hansen went before congress in 1988 to declare a “crisis in the making”, there had only been about 10 years of positive trend data since the PDO flip in 1978. It seemed adequate then:

hansen_predictions

In the graph above, note that the GISS station data does follow the Hansen C scenario, but that we are currently well below it.

Yes we really do need longer data periods to determine climate trends, 30 years is the climatic standard,  but you can also learn useful information from examining shorter trends and regional trends.

To generate the graphic I made:

First navigate here

Leave the “Data Type” field at “Mean Temperature”
Select “Annual” from the “Period” field pull down
Select “1998″ as “First Year To Display”

and click the blue “Submit” oval at the below the data entry form.

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204 Responses to NCDC updates database for Dec08 – NCDC’s own graphic shows decadal cooling trend

  1. VG says:

    and again hathaway is always right as the goalposts are moved and D Archibald wrong
    http://www.solarcycle24.com/ (sorry for being sarcastic…). D Archibald will still be much closer I reckon at 40

  2. Robert Wood says:

    Uh oh, temperatures are normal.

  3. ak says:

    Choose an exceptional year and make a trend line from that point – brilliant! How can you generate that graph for a 20 year trend? 30 years? 50 years?

    And shouldn’t the trend line be within the data shown? Why is it below the actual temps?

  4. Keith says:

    I’m just waiting for the cries that this is only a regional trend, since this is from the U. S. National Climatic Data Center, not a true Global record rendering. Even more, that the cooling trend is only due to the last two years’ aberration , and ten years do not a climatic trend make.

    Gavin? Tamino? I’ve stated the party line for you, and your cue has been said, so please stroll in from the wings now.

  5. Adam Gallon says:

    A Snowy Owl has been seen in Cornwall, first time since 1948.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cornwall/7806553.stm

    Surely a sign of “Global Cooling”!

  6. Jim G says:

    Where at NCDC is the data located?

  7. crosspatch says:

    To generate the graphic I made:

    First navigate here

    Leave the “Data Type” field at “Mean Temperature”
    Select “Annual” from the “Period” field pull down
    Select “1998” as “First Year To Display”

    and click the blue “Submit” oval at the below the data entry form.

  8. crosspatch says:

    Note that the narrative at the main page has not been updated yet for December but the December data is in the database. You can do a comparison of all Decembers and notice that it now includes December 2008. Yesterday it went only to 2007. You will note that this December is the 35 coldest since 1895 at about 1C below the 1901-2000 average temperature for North American Decembers.

  9. crosspatch says:

    oops, those temperatures are in F not C. Sorry, I am more used to seeing degrees Celsius when working with climate data and didn’t look closely at the units.

  10. crosspatch says:

    “Choose an exceptional year and make a trend line from that point – brilliant!”

    Well, actually it is 11 years, I just did 2008 – 10 wanting to see a decade of data. It should be 1999 which only shows -4.9F/century trend. My apologies.

    The point wasn’t in picking any particular year to show things being any worse, I was simply trying to show the past 10.

  11. edcon says:

    I wonder about the scorce of this temperature data considering the change in urbanization (rural versus urban) since 1900 and scientific location and maintenance of measuring equipment.

  12. jack mosevich says:

    AK: all of your questions can be answered at the site pointed to by crosspatch. You can do annual as well as specific months.

  13. Lee Kington says:

    7.8C per century ???? A continuation like that would prove me to have an extreme talent for modeling future global temperatures. If that rate were to continue then my temperature reconstruction (in response to Mann’s Hockey Stick) would become an extremely accurate bit of work. Should my “HockeyDip” ( The Excluded Data / HockeyDip LINK ) become reality would the entire approach to climate ‘science’ be changed? If you understand my words with the graphs then of course the answer is no…. not really.

    For a more serious response. I see several scenarios where we could very likely face conditions similar to the LIA. The next couple of decades should provide science with a natural change to learn from and everyone to experience.

  14. Steve M. says:

    ak,
    How can you generate that graph for a 20 year trend? 30 years? 50 years?

    I did a graph from that site from 1939 to 2008 for December… -0.01f/decade. So, absolutely no warming or cooling for 70 years. How’s that for a trend?

  15. Edward Morgan says:

    Nice one crosspatch!

  16. Dave says:

    Are global temperatures from December 2008 already available somewhere?

  17. Boris says:

    This again? Really?

    REPLY: Cowardly snark again? Really?

  18. Matthew says:

    WOW !!! Even the 1900-2000 trend is FLAT !!!!

  19. George E. Smith says:

    I’m always bothered by these “trend” Lines. It seems quite common to simply join the first point to the last point with a straight line, and call that the trend.

    So presumably there is some climate master theory that says climate always progresses linearly from one state to another.

    Almost all of the real physical phenomena I am familiar with tend to change from one state to another with an exponential decay transition, for the simple reason that the processes driving the change tend to generate a restoring force that is proportional to the deviation from equilibrium.

    It also seems to me that the average value from 1901 to 2000 is quite irrelevent as a reference level for what has been happening since 1998.

    The ten year time scale may be unreasonably short in the climate world, given that we have hard observation evidence of definite changes that have taken, and are taking place within the system. I don’t have a problem with Croospatch putting the green line on the long term average as he has. The angular difference is clear to the eye, and it doesn’t distract from the recent data. But if the start point were 20 or 30 years ago, the trend would be somewhat different, and the recent (since 2005) movement might look more ominous; sort of an upside-down Hockey stick.

    2009 is likely to be an intriguing climate year as 2008 was.

  20. Steve M. says:

    I thought this was interesting:

    http://climvis.ncdc.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/cag3/hr-display3.pl

    one cooling cycle (1940 – 1970) and one warming cycle (1970-2000) … again essentially no trend.

  21. L Nettles says:

    “ak (09:31:36) :

    Choose an exceptional year and make a trend line from that point – brilliant! How can you generate that graph for a 20 year trend? 30 years? 50 years?”

    Ok, then what is the proper starting point, defend your selection

  22. crosspatch says:

    “I wonder about the scorce of this temperature data”

    The main page says:

    Data used to calculate United States mean temperatures are from the USHCN version 2 data set.

    So the data in the database is probably biased warm judging from Mr. Watts’ survey findings to date. The more recent data is probably being biased warmer than the oldest data.

  23. So sprach VG (09:21:41): “…and again hathaway is always right as the goalposts are moved…”

    Golly, guys, what’s Hathaway supposed to do, commit Hairy Kerry? If the weatherman predicts 100°F, and it snows instead, does he close up shop? No! He simply predicts something lower for tomorrow. Life goes on. Sooner or later, he’ll get it right. Do you suppose that guy who wrote, “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN!” never wrote another headline? No! You seem to think Hathaway has to get it right every time. That is a misconception. He’s there to make an intelligent guess based on NOW. He’s doing the best he can, under the circumstances. Sooner or later, he’ll get it right. Right?

  24. ak says:

    what a difference a year makes – 1997-2007.

    @crosspatch, seeing as how this was given it’s own blog entry, i thought some sort of significance was being placed on this subset of data. anyway, the entry has brought to light (for me at least) this fun tool! thanks for sharing.

  25. Adam Sullivan says:

    While one can set different periods and get different trends from the dataset available, it is unmistakable that the climate models of 7 to 10 years ago which were used to scare the crap out of thinking people worldwide are now proven inaccurate.

    Thinking people (a minority on this planet, and especially so among consumers of western media) need to step back and rethink past assumptions. One replaces assumptions with facts as time proceeds (or at least modifies the assumptions). That is what thinking people do.

    Problem is we have a self feeding alarmist industry that is now in the fact distortion / rejection business. Meanwhile, the planet’s most vulnerable populations will feel the effects of a cooling cycle much more than of a warming one. But nothing will be done to prepare because too many “scientists” need to save face and preserve a meal ticket.

  26. crosspatch says:

    ” jorgekafkazar (11:16:46) : ”

    What is going to be very interesting to me are GISS numbers, particularly for stations in North America. When a data value is missing for a particular month in the GISS input data that it gets from NOAA, Hansen apparently calculates an average value that he uses to “fill” the missing value.

    When we have a month that is significantly warmer that usual for a given station this new value is used in the calculation for “missing” values of that month in the past so a warmer December 2008 would cause past values for December that were calculated due to missing data to rise. This is why when looking at GISS plots, not only does the current month change, but the past temperatures also change as well. So a warm month can change the past using Hansen’s methods.

    When we have a month that is significantly cooler than usual, by the same token, past temperatures that were calculated using average values for that month will be reduced. What we should see, if December is cooler than average is a decrease in GISS temperatures in the past as well as the current month. This means that years that were hyped as showing unprecedented warmth will now be cooled due to a cooling of the average.

    Hansen’s method worked well for him when temperatures were above average. The other edge of the sword comes into play when temperatures decline and his method should also exaggerate cooling as it has exaggerated warming. Cooling this month should also cool the recent past.

    I am interested to see if Hansen now modifies his algorithm to fill missing data since he is now being faced with a rather inconvenient truth.

  27. CodeTech says:

    The point of making a prediction is not to demonstrate psychic ability, NOR is it to gamble.

    In science (remember that?) the idea is to establish a hypothesis or theory, maybe establish a methodology, then have your idea or work generate a prediction. If that prediction proves accurate then your theory or hypothesis is reinforced. If the prediction is gravely wrong then your theory or hypothesis has been disproved. As anyone with a science background should know, there is no way to PROVE a theory. Theories can be accepted as probable, or disproved.

    If your prediction about climate or solar activity or whatever doesn’t even remotely match the reality then your theory or hypothesis is wrong. Even if your idea crosses from theory or hypothesis into belief, that does not make it any more correct. Just because you get a few things right once in a while doesn’t mean your ideas are correct or vindicated, since a stopped clock is right twice daily.

    If you have strong beliefs in the AGW debate (you know, that debate that doesn’t exist since the “science is settled”) and predictions don’t even remotely match the reality, perhaps you should rethink your position.

    Yeah, downward trends for a decade are significant, especially during a time when we are being told over and over that “warming is accelerating” and things are “even worse than predicted” (if things were worse than predicted, we’d all be swimming in the boiling oceans right now).

    Remember, AGW alarmists tell us that CO2 should be resulting in increased temperature, increasing trends, and once the heat is captured it has no place else to go. Therefore, ANY cooling (not just a decade’s worth) has disproved the AGW theory. It’s time to let it go, guys. Man up and get a new pet theory.

  28. jorgekafkazar (11:16:46) :
    Hathaway’s doing the best he can, under the circumstances.
    I agree, Hathaway is a good scientist.

  29. ak says:

    @L Nettles, i would choose time span that didn’t start with the peak of a solar cycle and end at it’s trough. wouldn’t you agree?

    @Steve M. not really sure why you choose to selectively graph only the month of december and exclude the other 11 months, or 92% of the year. can you justify? otherwise the trend is 0.18 F/decade.

  30. Ron de Haan says:

    Adam Gallon (09:41:40) :

    “A Snowy Owl has been seen in Cornwall, first time since 1948.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cornwall/7806553.stm

    Surely a sign of “Global Cooling”!

    There was a snowy owl spotted in Texel, The Netherlands November last year.

    http://www.nd.nl/artikelen/2008/november/17/zeldzame-sneeuwuil-gespot-op-texel.

    Maybe it’s the same owl taking advantage of the all time low of the English Pound?

    The last time there was a snowy owl spotted in The Netherlands was 2002.

  31. Dave says:

    @ Ron de Haan (11:38:42) and Adam Gallon (09:41:40) :

    For the moment, there is also a Snow Owl in Belgium. He is here since November 24 2008 and seems to like it :P
    It’s the 7th time since 1896!!!

  32. Lee Kington says:

    George E. Smith (10:48:04) :

    I’m always bothered by these “trend” Lines. It seems quite common to simply join the first point to the last point with a straight line, and call that the trend.

    Respectfully….. The slope (rate) of decline represented by the green line is created automatically by the software. It was not added by Crosspatch. While there are other methods of visually presenting data “trend lines” are a simple process and meaningful for the intended purpose.

    While a decade is not a significant period of geological time in regards to long term trends, neither is 3 decades or 10 decades. While start point, baseline, etc. can all be used to ‘fudge’ or misrepresent they are necessary when you desire a trend for a specific period. If one wants to know the trend from 1927 to 2001 it is inappropriate to employ a start point of 1850 and an end point of 2008. Doing so will produce the ‘wrong’ response since both points are outside of the desired range.

    In a recent debate with someone (a Global Warmer who works professionally in the field) regarding the ‘current cooling trend’ their rebuttal was to produce an IPCC graph illustrating the trend from 1964 to 2003. With that the were trying to prove the current cooling did not exist. Granted it was a 40 year span instead of the 8 years I was referencing. However, what in the world does the time span they used have to do with the current trend? NOTHING.

    Lee

  33. crosspatch says:

    Please note that NOAA says on the page that displays the graphic:

    “Some of the following data are preliminary and have not been quality controlled.”

    It will be interesting to see if December is “adjusted” warmer in a week or so.

  34. Mike from Canmore says:

    Source: Nattional Climatic Data Center

    Anthony: Small mistake up there but I have to laugh.

    I discovered a guy I work with, nice guy, is a true warminist so I asked him if he wanted to discuss the science. I got the usual response, “all these scientists . .. , last 650,000 years, etc. etc. I corrected him on the “all these scientists claims” and got the “yea, there all paid by Exxon Mobile, blah blah blah.”
    So I pointed him to your site

    The response I got was pointing out the error above and claiming he had trumped me in my sources. I don’t get it. He is a bright intelligent guy who loves the outdoors. When things are held too close, some bad thinking goes on.

  35. Bernie says:

    My initial issue with most of the AGW debate was a sense that there was a false precision almost everywhere I looked, coupled with what appeared to be significant massaging of the data. Crosspatch’s little exercise serves to illustrate that we can readily manipulate the appearance of a trend. The iconic hockey stick by greatly expanding the time period for the trend is extremely powerful support for AGW proponents BUT it is based on what appears to be massaged data and fails to reflect known patterns of past temperatures, i.e., MWP. Bottom-line, the climate models appear to be seriously incomplete – presumably somebody is busy trying to make them more complete.

  36. Neo says:

    Newsweek will be happy to know that they were right all along.

  37. Jeff Alberts says:

    Dave (11:57:01) :

    For the moment, there is also a Snow Owl in Belgium. He is here since November 24 2008 and seems to like it :P
    It’s the 7th time since 1896!!!

    Maybe it took that long to save up enough Frequent Flyer Miles?

  38. Jeff Alberts says:

    The response I got was pointing out the error above and claiming he had trumped me in my sources. I don’t get it. He is a bright intelligent guy who loves the outdoors. When things are held too close, some bad thinking goes on.

    People don’t like to admit they’ve been duped. It’s understandable. But I can hardly blame the average person, since they have the AGW nonsense spewed at them CONSTANTLY.

  39. Glenn says:

    “If the weatherman predicts 100°F, and it snows instead, does he close up shop?”

    Well I doubt his ratings would go up. Take it from there.

  40. crosspatch says:

    Bernie:

    There is an article today over at Climate Audit today that illustrates your point about longer term trends. It is a study in Finland of old trees that were found in ponds. They show periods of much warmer temperatures during the Holocene than we are looking at today with pine forests extending to where there are none today because it is too cold now for them to grow. The graphic there shows where the tree lines were doing earlier in this interglacial.

    Between c. 8000 and 4000 cal. yr BP pines were growing at 350/400 m higher altitudes than at present and the shift in mean July temperatures compared with 1961/1990 climate normals was ~2.5/2.6 deg C. … During the ‘Mediaeval Warm Period’ the distribution area of pine was 7200 km2 more extensive than at present, and pines were growing at 40/80 m higher altitudes. For this period, the mean July temperature reconstruction
    shows ~0.55 deg C shift compared with the present.

    So today’s temperatures aren’t anywhere near “unprecedented” nor are they particularly unusual. If you consider that 6000 years ago temperatures were some 2.5 degrees C warmer than now in Finland, we have cooled considerably since then. In fact, just about every long term (meaning more than 2000 years) temperature chart I have seen shows us in a long gradual cooling trend with each cool period cooler than the previous and each warm period cooler than the past (e.g. the late 1990’s being slightly cooler than the early 1930’s). This also corresponds to finding of wood uncovered from receding alpine glaciers in Europe exposing wood that dates back some 5000 ybp. Many of those glaciated valleys were ice free 5000 years ago and had been ice free long enough to become forested where there is nothing but ice today.

    Gore’s story is fine for people who have no perspective beyond their own lifetime or that of their parents (who tell stories of much harsher winters). But in a longer term perspective that must be researched to be found (which few average people seem to have the inclination to do), we find that we are actually colder now than it was when the Mesopotamians were brewing their first batches of beer.

  41. Joel Shore says:

    Anthony Watts says:

    The point being made here is that the last 10 years hasn’t met with some model expectations.

    Adam Sullivan says:

    While one can set different periods and get different trends from the dataset available, it is unmistakable that the climate models of 7 to 10 years ago which were used to scare the crap out of thinking people worldwide are now proven inaccurate.

    Okay guys, so can you show me that the data seen over the last 10 years for the U.S. is out-of-the-range of what climate models project? You seem to be making a comparison between the observational data and the climate models without actually showing us anything from the climate models. To see what the climate models predict on a global scale (where noise is much less dominant than on a regional scale), you might want to start here: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/05/what-the-ipcc-models-really-say/langswitch_lang/fr

    CodeTech says:

    Remember, AGW alarmists tell us that CO2 should be resulting in increased temperature, increasing trends, and once the heat is captured it has no place else to go. Therefore, ANY cooling (not just a decade’s worth) has disproved the AGW theory. It’s time to let it go, guys. Man up and get a new pet theory.

    No, you don’t disprove a theory by making up a strawman version of the theory which has no relation to the actual theory and then finding data in contradiction to this. Perhaps you should go and study what the AGW predictions really are before you talk about them.

    Keith says:

    I’m just waiting for the cries that this is only a regional trend, since this is from the U. S. National Climatic Data Center, not a true Global record rendering. Even more, that the cooling trend is only due to the last two years’ aberration , and ten years do not a climatic trend make.

    Gavin? Tamino? I’ve stated the party line for you, and your cue has been said, so please stroll in from the wings now.

    Yeah, why should we worry about details like statistical significance? It is much more fun just to find (cherrypick) data that fits our preconceptions regardless of such boring issues and then use it to validate our preconceptions.

  42. tarpon says:

    Maybe a better discussion would be to haul out the hoaxes first 1988 IPCC model predictions and see how reality has followed the computer models. Afterall, we do have 20 years of tracking the hoax. Could be an interesting exercise. It would be OK to allow 5 year updates, as long as the older projections are included, so the IPCC predictions would better match reality — VBG.

    Like with the NASA sunspot predictions, at some point even you are better at darts than the official predictors.

  43. Dell Hunt, Jackson, Michigan says:

    Also interesting, if you select December only in table format, Dec 2008 was the 35 coldest (80th warmest) December on record.

    So if you thought it was colder than normal, you are right.

    My heating bill agrees it was pretty cold in December 08.

  44. L Nettles says:

    “ak (11:38:04) :

    @L Nettles, i would choose time span that didn’t start with the peak of a solar cycle and end at it’s trough. wouldn’t you agree?”

    I personally think linear trends on cyclic data are what got us here. I expect a reversion to the mean.

    I notice that you only criticized the selection and did not choose a starting point or defend your selection. If I had to choose a starting point it would be in the Medieval Warm Period, but we don’t have that data, any trend using only post 1850 data is useless.

  45. terry46 says:

    Off topic but I just saw where Hathaway has changed the forecast for sun cycle 24 yet again.I just love this. When thing don’t go as projected just change your forecast .It’s the same with recording the temps .If it doesn’t fit the template then change the way you get your numbers .How many more years of egg on the face are the global warming crowd going to have to take it before they wake up?

  46. King of Cool says:

    Australia shows a very similar trend to the USA:

    http://www.bom.gov.au/announcements/media_releases/climate/change/20090105.shtml

    But the BOM still continues to write in terms that everything is on the up and up (and it was good old La Nina that temporarily stopped the rise in 2008).
    Will be a very interesting to read their comments this time next year if 2009 continues to go down. No snowy owls sighted yet.

  47. Ed Scott says:

    Current Arctic Sea Ice Extent (2009/01/01)

    http://www.socc.ca/seaice/seaice_current_e.cfm

    The image / animation depicts recent Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent and concentration as estimated from the Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) on board a U.S. Defence Meteorological Satellite. Sea ice concentrations are estimated from the 19.3 and 37 GHz channels of the sensor using the Canadian sea ice algorithm.

  48. crosspatch says:

    Tarpon:

    Here is a graphic that compares observed temperatures (magenta) against the various IPCC predicted scenarios. You can probably find more by digging around in Icecap’s “cold storage” area.

    As you can see, the not a single one of the IPCC forecast scenarios have been anywhere close to accurate. Even their “best case” scenario is 1 degree C high and the trend is incorrect in sign (they show a positive trend, observed temperatures show a negative trend).

  49. Glenn says:

    “Okay guys, so can you show me that the data seen over the last 10 years for the U.S. is out-of-the-range of what climate models project? ”

    Did you mean project, or predict, or maybe forecast? The question seems rather ambiguous. Are you asking for previous “projections” that are out of range of current climate conditions? Or are you asking for current models that are constantly adjusted that are out of range for current climate conditions.
    If I reminded you of say Hansen 1988 in front of Congress being way too high, would you scoff and laugh and claim that Hansen didn’t have the knowledge he has today, and that’s how science proceeds, and that sceptics are wrong to doubt?

  50. MC says:

    Somebody’s head’s gonna role when this gets back to Hansen and Gore.

    I wonder how Hansen’s going to nail this.

    Somebody is going to have to turn that hockey stick upside down would’nt you agree.

  51. John-X says:

    VG (09:21:41) :

    ” and again hathaway is always right as the goalposts are moved and D Archibald wrong
    http://www.solarcycle24.com/ (sorry for being sarcastic…). D Archibald will still be much closer I reckon at 40 ”

    I notice that in this latest Hathaway prediction, Solar Cycle 24 is now forecast to be SMALLER than Cycle 23.

    I have a copy of the Hathaway JUNE 2008 forecast, in which he still predicted Cycle 24 to be larger than 23.

    Does anyone know if January 2009 is Hathaway’s FIRST forecast predicting a SMALLER Cycle 24 ?

  52. JP says:

    Joel,
    Roger Pielke last year showed a number of past climate model projections and thier verification stats. It wasn’t pretty. The models had to be refreshed every 2-3 years with fresh data inorder to slow their built in warm biases. That is, initial model runs were anywhere from 20-40% warm if allowed to run on thier own. Gavin, of course was not pleased, and RC created a thread (which you linked to).

    To put it another way, the models never showed neutral or cooling -only warming, and lots of it. Pielke chose GCM runs from the 1990s and early 2000, and verified them with data from HadCRUT I believe (the RC folks of course like GISS temps). In every case, the GCMs had a definite warm bias, which continues to this day. Also, the infamous mid tropespheric hot spot, which is one of the AGW signals has failed to materiialize. RC nows says that the IPCC never meant the hot spot to be an AGW signal. In any event, the GCM models used by people like Dr Hansen have a very high warm bias. Hansen, BTW warned that the tipping point for runaway AGW feedbacks in 2017. Where did he get that year? Why the GCMs, of course.

    One last thing, the GCMs cannot predict the changes or intensities of any of the major climate teleconnections. If you cannot predict changes in ENSO, or the NAO you might as well go back to the drawing board.

  53. MC says:

    Forgot to mention I saw Lou Dobbs on CNN yesterday. Sounds like he’s got a low drum beat started on the possibility that its not warming but actually cooling that’s expected. I expect him to ease on in to this a little further until he’s got a steady loud drum beat. When that happens that’ll be another crack in the ice under the feet of Gore and Hansen and the AGW crowd.

    I wonder? When the Gore investment fund fails and loses all those investment dollars will he ask the Fed Gov to bail his people out?

  54. Pierre Gosselin says:

    “…temperature since 1998 (11 years of data) is falling over the period at a rate of 0.78C/decade or 7.8C per century. ”

    This is a planetary emergency!
    We have a climate crisis!
    Anyone who doesn’t believe this is a flat-earther!
    We’ve got to act not now to curb icehouse gases!
    Sea levels could drop 6 meters!
    This is what the corral reefs could look like!
    This was Kilamanjaro in 2005, This is what it looks liked today!
    The Gulf of Mexio could soon disappear!
    The palm trees in our tropics are struggling to suvive!
    The elk are running out of tundra grass!!
    We’re facing an impending tipping point!
    ————-
    Relax folks, I’m just practicing! There’s money to be made with global cooling! Let’s get started today!

  55. Pierre Gosselin says:

    Carbon futures never looked better.
    Buy today!

  56. Pierre Gosselin says:

    Global cooling is happening even faster than our worst-case model scenarios!

    Soon it’ll be possible to snowshoe to the equator!

    We’ve got to have Congressional Hearings…where scientists can turn down the heat, wear their parkas and shiver while testifying before a Senate Committee!

  57. Pierre Gosselin says:

    and do so on CNN!

  58. Erik in Cairo says:

    tarpon says,

    “Maybe a better discussion would be to haul out the hoaxes first 1988 IPCC model predictions and see how reality has followed the computer models. [...] It would be OK to allow 5 year updates [...]”

    I’d love to see a dedicated webpage devoted to doing just that, and nothing more. Though, I don’t understand why such an audit would allow 5 year updates. The whole point of such an exercise would be to test the climate models, not to test the modelers dexterity with changing models to reflect observed data. We already know that they are good at that.

  59. Brendan says:

    Almost all AGW models use 300 km grid sizes. Having seen and reviewed the results of the residual error for model that goes down to 50 km grid sizes, I can state unequivacally that any AGW model that uses greater than 75 km grid size is prone to numerical diffusion and is completely unusable under basic numerical analysis protocols.

  60. Tilo Reber says:

    Leif:
    “I agree, Hathaway is a good scientist.”

    What do you base that judgement on Leif? It seems to me that when a guy just pushes his curve to the left or increases the slope of the rising trend in order to stay closer to the predicted high date, that he is just saving face. I don’t have an issue with someone being wrong once in a while. But it looks to me like Hathaway simply adjusts again and again as he is overtaken by reality. Does Hathaway have a past record of success that inspires you with confidence?

  61. Sean says:

    Has anyone here been over to Climate Audit and looked at the Mauri Timonen’s Supra long Finnish Dendro Chronology? It covers 7500 years and shows cycles upon cycles of climate trends indicated by different tree growth rates. As I recall there was a spectral analysis that showed cycles of 30-37 years, ~48 years, ~82 years and 95 years. In other words, the climate it very much like a roller coaster. Assigning a linear trend, up or down, to a system that is as non-linear as the historical data indicate is absurd. Its time to stop assigning linear slopes to short term data sets and guessing where it might be in 100 years. It was this reliance on linear plots from the ’70s to the turn of the century that led us to the AGW nonsense we have now.

  62. DJ says:

    Here’s the temperatures for the continent of Australia – http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1037/3175164436_814eedc3e4.jpg?v=0 . 4C per century, or 7C if you start in 1999.

    Given these data are apparently higher quality that the US data (http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/change/reference.shtml), I think this proves global warming.

  63. Tilo Reber says:

    ak:
    “Choose an exceptional year and make a trend line from that point – brilliant!”

    While I agree that picking a year with a strong El Nino is going to help you get a negative slope, you also have to look at the La Nina that immediately followed that El Nino. It was long, and it actually had slightly more of an impact on the slope that the preceeding El Nino. The two events taken together ended up having little effect on the trend line. In fact there were 4 El Nino’s and 3 La Nina’s over the entire period, and their total effect was also extremely small on the outcome of the slope.

  64. Frank K. says:

    It is truly surprising to me that climate models like NASA’s Model E work at all. To see how truly sad the source code is, you can check it out here:

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/tools/modelE/modelEsrc/

    And you can examine the pathetic “documentation” here…

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/tools/modelE/

    For extra credit, try to find the differential equations that are actually being solved (or rather crudely approximated) by the code.

    It’s too bad that the NASA scientists who are entrusted with developing and maintaining these codes (the results of which are subsequently used as fodder for climate “studies” and policy documents) are too busy blogging to be bothered with properly documenting, verifying and validating their numerical procedures…

  65. janama says:

    here’s another graph showing the actual temps v Hansen predictions.

    best viewed at 150%

  66. Tilo Reber says:

    JP:
    “If you cannot predict changes in ENSO, or the NAO you might as well go back to the drawing board.”

    Hallelujia. This is what I’ve been saying for some time now. The problem with a cooling trend is not so much that natural variation is able to overcome climate sensitivity for some short period of time, but rather that the natural variation that has caused the 11 year trend is inexplicable, even in retrospect, by the climate community. If you claim that the man made CO2 forced temperature trend should be .2C per decade, then you need to be able to explain what natural elements of variation caused that trend to be absent. If you can’t, then you certainly don’t have enough information to create climate models that reach 100 years into the future.

  67. M White says:

    Global warming threat to ski industry

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7809254.stm

  68. belsha says:

    It is indeed awkward, to say the least, to start the trendline with 1998, an exceptionally hot El Nino event — because this is a standard AGWers “debunking” of “denialist” claims that the planet has cooled in the last 10 years. What is more intersiting — and more clever, strategically speaking – is that the trend is downward not only for every single year since 1998, but also starting in 1997 — thus before the El Nino. All trends starting before 1997 are upward,however…. let’s see what happens in 2009! BBBBRRRRRRRR I just wish the AGWers were right, I’m FREEEEEZING!

  69. tty says:

    I see that according to Dr Hansen the climate by 2009 should be as warm or warmer than during the Eemian (the previous interglacial). Is there any Londoner reading this who can go out and check if any hippopotamus have turned up in the Thames yet? They were there during the Eemian.

  70. Bill Marsh says:

    Sean,

    I thought that Dendro is dead as a proxy for past temperature as they have discovered that a) trees (or at least leaves) maintain a steady internal temperature unrelated to atmospheric temperature, and b) tree ring size has been shown to be more related to water levels than temperature.

  71. Mike D. says:

    Perhaps you should go and study what the AGW predictions really are before you talk about them.

    Alas, Joel, such have reviewed and studied to death at WUWT. For instance, in his Bjerknes Lecture of December last, Dr. James Hansen concluded:

    “If the planet gets too warm, the water vapor feedback can cause a runaway greenhouse effect. The ocean boils into the atmosphere and life is extinguished. … Our model blows up before the oceans boil, but it suggests that perhaps runaway conditions could occur with added forcing as small as 10-20 W/m2.”

    Exploding models do not give confidence in either the models or their output. Should we rely on exploding models? Should we rely on AGW predictions that Creation itself is doomed? In particular, should we rely on outrageous predictions that fly in the face of all historical and empirical evidence?

    I’m sorry for those that cling to models that yield absurd outputs. I am not sorry for pointing out the absurdity. What galls me is that AGW alarmists complain about the debunking of their absurd exploding models without a speck of scientific defense. If your models say the seas are going to boil, then stand behind that. Don’t mince around whining that nobody understands you.

  72. edco says:

    crosspatch (12:40:36) :

    Ötzi the Iceman’s mummy (3300 B.C.) was found in 1991 in the Schnalstal glacier in the Alps.

  73. Mike D. says:

    such have been reviewed …

  74. Bill Marsh says:

    Tilo,

    Given that the earth’s climate system is a complex, non-linear, chaotic system (even the IPCC agrees with this statement) and the fact that the future state of a chaotic system cannot be skillfully predicted unless you know very exactly the beginning state of all the variables that affect it, doesn’t that mean that any attempt to use models to predict the future state of the climate is the equivalent of a fools errand? Even if you know 99% of the variables to the degree necessary being wrong about 1% can cause wildly erroneous results, it’s the nature of chaotic systems.

  75. Ric Werme says:

    With the recent cooling trend, the cry “Last year was the warmest on record” has taken a break, only to be replaced by “The last decade was the warmest on record!” I haven’t checked, but maybe that cry will have to be shelved for a while.

    BTW, not only was 2008 the coolest of the decade, it’s the coolest of the 21st century and even the 3rd millennium. Not bad for a year that was so very close to average. :-)

  76. crosspatch says:

    “Global warming threat to ski industry”

    But The Telegraph says:

    Some 400,000 British skiers heading for the Alps over the coming fortnight will find the best Christmas and New Year snow conditions in a generation.

    In resorts such as Val d’Isère which caught the harshest of this week’s blizzards, the snow is banked 1.5m deep in the streets. Parts of the town were temporarily closed to pedestrians because of the high risk of avalanches.

    Val and neighbouring Tignes have already enjoyed more snow in December than in any year since 1981 and seem set to beat all records by New Year’s Day.

    The BBC isn’t a news reporting organization. They are an agenda promoting organization. Today the Eiffel Tower is closed due to snow and ice. I would not look to the BBC for any objective climate information. It is fairly safe to assume what their take is going to be on things and you won’t be learning anything counter to that position from them. They seem to fee “obligated” to promote the warming hypothesis despite the debunking it has undergone over the past few years.

  77. ak says:

    @L. Nettles, no i didn’t choose a starting date. my point wasn’t that i had more meaningful starting date, only that a 10 year trend is statistically meaningless. and it appears i’m not alone.

    @tarpon, here are 19 years of GISS data with Hansen’s 3 scenarios modeled in 1988. (warning: BIG image). remember scenario B was a continued increase in CO2, A was an overshoot and C was a plateauing of CO2 at some point. the model predicted a large volcanic eruption in the mid 1990’s, pinatubo went off in 1991.

    for my money, it is about as good as you could expect to get with the 20 year old technology and knowledge. i have seen other similar images that willfully omit scenarios B and C (Patrick Michaels anyone?).

  78. VG says:

    Dell No it will be reported as the eightiest warmest LOL

  79. M White (13:52:50) : Global warming threat to ski industry

    A bit rich, considering this year has seen record levels of snow at early dates in worldwide ski resorts.

    If you haven’t seen it yet, look at Richard North’s find: today’s UK Daily Express – AGW-bashing headlines!

  80. VG says:

    Anyone notice RSS temp TLT does NOT include South Pole data

    http://www.ssmi.com/msu/msu_data_description.html#msu_amsu_trend_map_tlt

    whereas all the others do TMT ect

  81. Frank K. says:

    Mike D. (14:08:38) :

    “Exploding models do not give confidence in either the models or their output.”

    Indeed! In fact, exploding models are a sure sign of poorly designed numerical procedures and, possibly, software bugs. At least Hansen admits that his code blows up.

    In my 20+ years experience with computational fluid dynamics, I know that it is very easy to get codes to explode due to the non-linearity of the underlying mathematical equations. One generally doesn’t trust algorithms and software that behave in this manner, but this IS climate science…

  82. crosspatch says:

    “a 10 year trend is statistically meaningless.”

    True … unless you have forecast rising temperatures that are not only increasing but increasing at an exponential rate (looking like a hockey stick) where temperatures should never drop in *any* year, let alone have a 10 year down trend.

    A 10 year down trend (or any down trend, really) absolutely and completely debunks Mann (et al) and it does so in a manner that wipes away any need to go through his maths or data. Quite simply, if Mann’s, Hansen’s, and IPCC forecasts were correct, what we are seeing could not possibly happen. It is happening which means they are utterly and completely incorrect. No additional quibbling needed. They have simply been shown to be wrong by the observed reality. Now if one wished to ignore reality, that is an option, but not one generally placed within the boundaries of what we might consider sanity.

  83. Mr Green Genes says:

    “Is there any Londoner reading this who can go out and check if any hippopotamus have turned up in the Thames yet? They were there during the Eemian.”

    I was in London today. The hippos had more sense than to be hanging around the river in the freezing cold. Clearly I didn’t!!

  84. crosspatch says:

    And furthermore, ak, since the RSS numbers now show a global anomaly for December 2008 that is 1/2 the anomaly of December 1987, we can say that all the heat accumulated since that time is now gone. It isn’t like all that heat has hidden itself to suddenly re-appear. It is flat gone. It will take more energy to heat the planet back up to what it was in 1998 than it took to heat it up from 1987 to 1998. That heat isn’t going to just suddenly pop out of a cave or something and *bingo* we are back to 1998 temperature levels. It is gone forever … radiated into space.

    The oceans have not warmed. The atmosphere has not warmed, we are cooler now than we were in December 1987. Under the IPCC forecast, that should be an absolute impossibility. But here we are. So one can continue to believe the IPCC forecast but that would have to be an act of faith, not an act of scientific observation. It is a religious decision one would have to make on their own because it isn’t a scientific observation that can be proved based on data. It would be an act of faith based on a model someone built that one would hold to be more accurate than thousands of scientific instruments (even with the “adjustments” made to the data in increasingly desperate attempts to validate the models).

    I believe now is the time to place the popcorn order.

  85. Richard M says:

    Bill Marsh (14:12:36) :

    “Even if you know 99% of the variables to the degree necessary being wrong about 1% can cause wildly erroneous results, it’s the nature of chaotic systems.”

    Ahhhh, the famous butterfly effect. I wonder how that is captured in the models? Isn’t it possible that all of the temperature swings we see are simply side-effects of chaos? Not to rain on all the counter-theories, but …

  86. lanecounty says:

    (This is off-topic, but this looks like the best place to post this.)

    We have some very sharp people here in Lane County, Oregon, that have figured out how to bill the rest of the USA for not working. Oregonians used to work at logging to sell lumber to the rest of you. That’s hard dangerous work. We finally got smart, and quit logging, because a forest that isn’t logged is worth millions in carbon sequestration. You have not been paying for this service, and it’s not free. Pay up.

  87. Tilo Reber says:

    ak:
    “only that a 10 year trend is statistically meaningless. and it appears i’m not alone.”

    Then why do Hansen and Schmidt publish papers about a 10 year ocean warming trend as though it is very meaningful? Why do they look at 10 year polar ice melt trends as though they are meaningful?

    You cannot take the Tamino noise explanations seriously in this. We have independent data sets from independent sources that all show the same thing. And that does not correspond to Tamino’s noise example.

    You can claim that a ten year trend is not meaningful because we have cycles of natural variability that are longer than ten years. But the warmers claim that thirty years is meaningful, and we have elements of natural variability that are longer than 30 years.

    If you think that a ten year trend isn’t meaningful, then explain why please.

  88. Alex says:

    @ Janama:

    I just love it when alarmists use that hansen prediction, as can be seen on real climate!!!! Why??? Who wants to answer that?? Anyone kids??
    … Oooh me! Pick me pick me!!
    ….. Okay.. Go ahead Alex…

    That prediction (barely) matches reality only up to 1990… After that the real world diverges sharply from the prediction (conveniently ommited from the graph), in yet another graph the real world data totally zips across in the opposite direction after 1998, let alone the more exaggerated predictions which just make those models look absolutely useless, (like a bikini in Spokane in the Gorean winter of 2008)
    What is also funny is that in some parts, although the general trend does follow prediction (up to 1990s) at various short intervals a spike upward in prediction was a spike downward in reality! Hence in these short term periods the models were useless!!
    I agree with the comment about predicting ENSO,,, without being able to predict ENSO accurately past may 2009, all models are useless in predicting climate into the future simply because although there are short term predictable cycles, in reality climate is so chaotic it could be an ice age next week or an immense heatwave for all we know.

    This is yet another tactic used by alarmists in their attempt to glorify these models,,, sigh… garbage in, garbage out!! :D

  89. King of Cool says:

    I think this proves global warming. DJ (13:37:02):

    http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1037/3175164436_814eedc3e4.jpg?v=0

    Well DJ, I guess you must know all about records but playing around with graphs and one cherry is not going to prove a season let alone global warming. Also, can’t find yours on the BOM site. Where did the data come from?

    From this graph which is from the official BOM website I detect a downward trend in mean temp since 1998 and if you select max and min and SST you will get the same trends, moreso with min and even moreso with SST.

    http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/silo/reg/cli_chg/timeseries.cgi?variable=tmean&region=aus&season=0112

    Shouldn’t they be going up like yours?

  90. Kum Dollison says:

    I was under the impression the Oceans had warmed since 1987. Am I wrong?

  91. J. Peden says:

    Dr. James Hansen concluded:

    “If the planet gets too warm, the water vapor feedback can cause a runaway greenhouse effect. The ocean boils into the atmosphere and life is extinguished. …

    Then why hasn’t water vapor alone, with its theoretically upwardly spiraling feedback, already done it?

  92. Zer0th says:

    @Bill,

    the Finnish study referenced at CA is based on tree lines rather than regular dendro tree rings.

  93. Smokey says:

    Reminder: you can vote once every 24 hours [not once a day -- 24 hours has to elapse between votes].

    It takes maybe 5 seconds [once the site loads. They're very busy.] This will make it really easy: just click here, and be part of the winning team!

  94. evacano says:

    Hi,

    I tried the NCDC plot following the instructions. The -0.78 change is FAHRENHEIT, not CENTIGRADE.

    Regards

  95. Ed Scott says:

    Joel Shore
    “No, you don’t disprove a theory by making up a strawman version of the theory which has no relation to the actual theory and then finding data in contradiction to this. Perhaps you should go and study what the AGW predictions really are before you talk about them.”
    ————————————————————

    Enlighten me. What is the straw-man version of the theory? A straw-man is created by a false restatement of the original theory or by an exaggeration of the consequences of the original theory, the latter the stock-in-trade of the AGW mongers.

    The original theory, as stated by the Maurice Strong/Algore/UN/IPCC consortium, is that man-made carbon dioxide is causing global warming. This is a false premise. Man, at the most, is only responsible for 17% of the current atmospheric concentration of 385 ppm CO2. There is no link between man-made CO2 and global warming and, in addition, there is no link between GHG – minus water vapor – and global warming.

    With the change in the chairmanship of the IPCC to a vegetarian, Dr. Pachauri, the theory has been expanded to include bovine global warming (BGW), swine global warming (SGW) and farm animal global warming (FAGW) – all emitting the evil methane (CH4).

    The global warming alarmists have degraded into a real-life version of Don Quixote.

    Dr. Roy Spencer has two blogs you should read at: http://www.drroyspencer.com/

    Global warming/climate change are independent of any false AGW, BGW, SGW or FAGW claims by the Don Quixote alarmists.

  96. Robert Wood says:

    ak @ 09:31:36)

    You seem to be complaining of cherry picking. Well, the global warming hysterics cherry pick their trend from the coldest start period in the past few hundred years.

    Why not choose a start period of, oh, I don’t know, say 1000 AD? Hey, look, warming’s disappeared!!

  97. Bill Illis says:

    I’ve recently pulled apart the components of GISS ModelE and, based on this deconstruction, have extended it out another 10 years (from the end period of 2003). So this is what goes into an actual climate model.

    The model would already be out be by 0.15C or more in just five years.

    Here is ModelE’s hindcast versus GISS’ temp since 1880 – (not very good compared to my ocean cycle reconstruction).

    Here is the Aerosols forcing component – Black Carbon and Sulfates from smokestacks and car emissions – (which is a little “forced” in my mind).

    Here is the Volcano forcing (which misses most of the volcanoes other than Pinatubo).

    Here is the Land-Use forcing – including the Urban Heat Island, Deforestation and Agriculture – (which, surprise, has a negative temperature influence).

    Here is the Solar forcing (which has a positive impact of about +0.1C but will have declined to 0.0C now).

    Net Other forcings – not including GHGs is pretty random.

    Here is ALL Other Forcings versus GHGs/CO2 – (the large GHG impact needs to be offset by Large negative numbers in other forcings to keep the hindcast close to the actual temperature record).

    This is the important chart.

    Based on these components and their recent trends, we can extend GISS ModelE out to 2013 (from 2003) and see how close a premiere climate model comes to the actual temperature trend (surprise – it is already off by quite a bit in just 5 years.)

  98. Dirk M says:

    I haven’t read all comments so maybe somebody else has come to the same graph as me already but if you graph from 1928 to 2008 the trend line is flat:
    <a href=”http://stopglobalwarmingdoctrine.blogspot.com/2009/01/ncdc-data-no-global-warming-for-last-80.html

    By shifting it just a bit you can have slight cooling or slight warming. So no need for a short 10 year trend to have something that indicates no sign of global warming. Maybe time for some to realise anything can be manipulated to show what one wants to prove. And if you believe that AGW supporters are not doing it you’re extremely naive.

  99. crosspatch says:

    “The -0.78 change is FAHRENHEIT, not CENTIGRADE.”

    Yes, I mentioned that way up above in the comments. My mistake.

  100. Ron de Haan says:

    RSS december temp anomoly
    “Here’s a figure showing temperatures since Jan 2001, with anomalies rebaselined to the average for the period.” “The RSS-anomoly for December has been posted”

    http://heliogenic.blogspot.com/2009/01/rss-december-temp-anomoly.html

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2009/rss-out-down-from-nov/

  101. crosspatch says:

    “a forest that isn’t logged is worth millions in carbon sequestration.”

    Until the forest reached full maturity at which point it becomes a big fat zero in carbon sequestration. As long as it is accumulating biomass overall, it is removing carbon from the atmosphere. Once the forest reaches full maturity and is no longer adding biomass overall, then there is as much decaying material releasing CO2 as there is growing material absorbing it. A fully mature forest does not remove an ounce of CO2 from the air, it is in equilibrium and neither adds nor removes CO2. The only way to get it to remove CO2 again is to log some trees out of it.

  102. Tom in high humidity Florida says:

    “”Dr. James Hansen concluded:
    “If the planet gets too warm, the water vapor feedback can cause a runaway greenhouse effect. The ocean boils into the atmosphere and life is extinguished. …””

    OK, I’m just a member of the peanut gallery but….. if Earth’s atmosphere got so hot that the oceans would boil (from water vapor feedback not increased heat from some outside source), wouldn’t the water vapor in the atmosphere evaporate away first from that very heat therefore negating any further warming and then acutally reverse itself into rapid cooling due to lack of water vapor?

  103. DB2 says:

    Here from 2001 are the IPCC model projections and their envelopes.

    http://www.grida.no/publications/other/ipcc%5Ftar/?src=/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/fig9-14.htm

    I think we are currently at the lower edge of the envelopes.

  104. “” Lee Kington (11:58:39) :

    George E. Smith (10:48:04) :

    I’m always bothered by these “trend” Lines. It seems quite common to simply join the first point to the last point with a straight line, and call that the trend.

    Respectfully….. The slope (rate) of decline represented by the green line is created automatically by the software. It was not added by Crosspatch. While there are other methods of visually presenting data “trend lines” are a simple process and meaningful for the intended purpose. “”

    Well Lee, my point was not to accuse crosspatch of any malfeasance. It matters not to me that some software automatically drew what it claims is a trend line, or whether a thinking human actually did it. I question the whole concept of believing that the trend has to be a linear equation at all.

    If the process by which some software turned some observational data into a graph is such that each data point is sufficiently free of noise to be a believable value of the function; what value is there in such a “trendline”, given that ten years from now, a similar plot is likely to have an entirely different trend line, in which case one could argue that neither of them was in fact a real trend line. To me it is just as valid to claim that the trend is simply what the last two data points show is happening now. I look at that data above and I note two things.

    It appears that we have recently come through a warming period, that then stopped, and then more recently started to cool down, and apaprently quite rapidly at that.
    How often do we read that 10 of the last 12 years were the warmest on record proving incontrovertibly that the earth is warming. No that is not the only conclusion one can draw; in fact it is equivalent to the observation, “that some of the highest altitudes on earth can be found up in the mountains.”

    It is common snese that a cluster of highest values will gather around a maximum; and not surprisingly, when we get to a new cooling minimum that turens around we will find a cluster od some of the lowest temperatures around that point.

    So given that we have just gone through a maximum, I would say that the trend evidenced by recent data is that the trend has in fact turned steeply downwards.

    But yes I understand that the climatology industry has its way of doing things.

    In any case; there is nothing in the curve above to suggest it is in anyway linked to the trend in carbon dioxide as represented by the Mauna Loa data.

    I see a pre-occupation with “mathematics” and particularly that esteemed branch of mathematics called “Statistics”, and it seems that physics is only indirectly related to climate “science”.

    It would be nice if that “mathematics” used a little less “statistics” and perhaps a little more “sampled data systems theory”, so that people stopped trying to assign credibility to data, that sampled data system theory says is pure hogwash.

  105. crosspatch says:

    “wouldn’t the water vapor in the atmosphere evaporate away first from that very heat therefore negating any further warming and then acutally reverse itself into rapid cooling due to lack of water vapor?”

    The problem is that the models assume a positive feedback from water vapor. Observations show a rather strong negative feedback from increased water vapor. Dr. Roy Spencer explains here how he came came to that conclusion and built a much simpler model that seems to run much closer to reality than any of the other so-called climate models.

  106. CodeTech says:

    Joel Shore:

    I find your religious fervor entertaining, but in future please avoid responding to my posts. I’m afraid you have much learning to do, both about climate and human nature.

    And as the post says that you responded to, man up and find a new religion. Your current one is disproved.

    Reply: Please back down on the accusations of religious fervor please on both sides. Please, please please? ~ charles the moderator

  107. ak says:

    @Dirk M. First, when i follow the directions i get a different graph which indicates 0.11 degF/decade warming. I used annual temperatures, which apparently the graph you’ve linked to does not. Did you repeat the steps? Did you get that same graph?

    Secondly, in order to prove/disprove global warming, you should use global data. NCDC is only for US surface temps.

  108. Christian Bultmann says:

    So besides some PDO and solar driven noise the climate didn’t change in the last hundred years after-all.
    What will the next danger to mankind be, Anthropogenic climate stability where climate is in an unnatural stable state preventing evolution, adaptation and mankind will be threatened by extreme boredom. (sarcasm end)

  109. Smokey says:

    Excellent post, Ed Scott. If nothing else, the deliberately false alarmism of the UN/IPCC, Gore, Strong, Mann, Hansen, Schmidt and others has put the spotlight on climate science.

    Scrutiny of their lackadaisical/non-existent submission policies has even made the Royal Meteorological Society begin to squirm, now that it has been made clear that they have never required any archiving of the data or methodologies that submissions to their journal are based on: click

    If the RMS adopts a policy requiring corroborating data, then that will become the gold standard, and any journal or scientist who refuses to provide essential data will be rightly suspected of prevaricating regarding their claims. There is currently much public money flowing into the climate sciences, and the more alarming a claim, the more likely that money and status will flow to the alarmists. Al Gore and James Hansen are classic examples.

    And if transparency/public archiving had been required by the UN/IPCC, Michael Mann’s fraudulent hockey stick chart would never have been published.

    The taxpayer is paying the freight, and the public has every right to see exactly what they are paying for. If the RMS does not adopt a policy requiring public archiving, they will certainly lose much credibility — and the issue will not go away.

  110. Edward Morgan says:

    I just voted on my other computer and in the time it took the pharyngula site got six votes while watts got four, as I left my other computer on the Watts page without refreshing. So we were voting slower at that moment folks. We were way ahead earlier on. Come on. Get that other computer fired up. Cheers, Ed.

  111. akmarksman82 says:

    whoo Global warming!! (which is BS in it’s purest form)

    Meanwhile in the real world..Snow in Texas,Vegas and Alaska’s average winter temp for 12/08 is -20F..it’s been frickin cold here..the 07/08 winter months weren’t this bad.

  112. gary plyler says:

    The NCDC site is one of my favorites, but not for the temperature data that is tainted by (1) urban heat island effect, (2) land use effects, (3) atrocious siting locations, and (4) station dropout. (All 4 of these problems have been brilliantly document by Anthony.)
    I like using the NCDC site for local, statewide, regional, and national PRECIPITATION trends. Precipitation measurements are not affected as much by problems (1) thru (4) and therefore are a great source of information to debunk AGW coolaid drinkers when they talk about global warming having made great changes to precipitation when in fact it has not.
    Example: Look at L.A., the state of California, and the Southwest as a region on yearly, monthly, or seasonal scales. There is no trend outside normal variability. The wildfires in southern California have nothing to do with global warming induced changes in rainfall.

    I recommend everyone put the NCDC site on a shortcut.

  113. A.Syme says:

    I think for scientist and amateur scientist alike we are holding our breath to see if a long solar minimum will have an effect on earths temperature. It’s sort of a grand experiment to see what really happens.
    It will be difficult to cheat on this one!

  114. crosspatch says:

    “The wildfires in southern California have nothing to do with global warming induced changes in rainfall.”

    A warming Earth should be a wetter Earth overall. Great droughts come with cool periods with some exceptions due to changes in weather patterns. There is evidence of some extreme drought periods in both the West and Midwest. One indication is swamped trees in Sierra Nevada lakes that are tens of meters under water now but at one time were thriving. Another indication is sand dunes in the US Midwest that are currently stabilized by prairie grass. Most of these extremely dry periods are associated with cooler climate conditions.

    For us in California, the past 100 years or so have been one of the wettest periods in this interglacial. Some may remember a six-year drought back in the late 1980’s. That is nothing compared to the hundred-year droughts that appear to be rather common according to studies of tree rings from snags pulled from Sierra Nevada lakes. California will be in a world of hurt if we go into another hundred year drought cycle.

  115. Pamela Gray says:

    Gavin presents an interesting graph showing all the model runs overlayed on the actual smoothed temp. The problem is that all the models give weight to CO2 as the driver and try to random-out weather noise from weather variables. The problem with that assumption is that these models assume that there is a cause and effect relationship between something that is rising and something else that is also, but rather noisily, rising. That is like saying that since I prepare for winter every fall, my preparation causes winter. In the old gods and goddesses world, if you awoke before the Sun, you performed rituals to get the Sun to rise. And sure enough, every time you performed the ritual, the Sun rose. Therefore your rituals caused the Sun to rise. Lots of things can ride along with trends. And some might even seem to have a plausible mechanism that causes the other thing to rise. Even the best scientific minds can make this mistake early in the discovery phase of an observed coupled phenomenon. Only time (and that has been proven again and again through history) can eventually bring about new insight when one or the other thing does not happen (IE the goddess slept in and the Sun rose anyway).

    So either the temperature continues to be very noisy regardless of CO2, or CO2 will stop rising. The third possibility is that scientists will discover a new and more accurate way to measure one or the other and discover that the old data was not accurate. Are any of these things plausible? You bet.

  116. ak says:

    “True … unless you have forecast rising temperatures that are not only increasing but increasing at an exponential rate (looking like a hockey stick) where temperatures should never drop in *any* year, let alone have a 10 year down trend.” – crosspatch

    first, i’m not sure what kind of hockey sticks you’ve played with, but all the ones i have ever used or seen are straight, with a sharp bend in them, not “exponentially growing”. secondly, i would like to see where any scientist has said that the temperatures should never drop in *any* year – because that’s about the most ridiculous statement i’ve heard in a long while, and so far i’ve only heard it from you.

    “And furthermore, ak, since the RSS numbers now show a global anomaly for December 2008 that is 1/2 the anomaly of December 1987, we can say that all the heat accumulated since that time is now gone. It isn’t like all that heat has hidden itself to suddenly re-appear. It is flat gone. It will take more energy to heat the planet back up to what it was in … “ – crosspatch

    it takes constant energy to keep the earth warm. thankfully, we have the sun to help us out with that. i’m not sure what link you are trying to make between dec 1997 and dec 2008 as far as heat storage.

    an outdoor swimming pool will be warmer in late summer than late spring because of the accumulated thermal energy, but you may be in a surprise if you try to enjoy that warm water come december. but thankfully by next summer, you’ll be able to enjoy that pool again.

    CO2 (if i guess correctly where you are going with this) like water stores heat efficiently (hence the GHG moniker), and i’d like to think you’re not under the assumption that it retains that heat with 100% efficiency, right? even in the coldest siberian winter, the C02 there retains some heat, whereas other non-GHG’s wont. that stored heat, though, won’t do much to change the fact that it’s fricking cold there in winter. but in the end, it retains more heat than a non-GHG would.

    deeper pools of water will store more heat than shallower pools. larger concentrations of atmospheric GHG’s will store more heat than non-GHG’s.

  117. FatBigot says:

    I drove along a stretch of the Thames today (on an adjacent road, that it) and not a hippo could be seen. There was one in my bathroom mirror this morning, sadly.

  118. Stefan says:

    I am curious about the difference between weather and “climate”. It is often said that climate is observed over 30 years. I can understand, for example, when I am on a diet, that my weight will decrease over several days, but from day to day, my weight may go up or down a bit depending just on how much water I drank and when I last took a pee. However, with weight it is obvious that the trend has to be across several days because we know that, for example, food transit through the gut can take a day or two. And so on. But what I haven’t seen mentioned in the popular news about AGW are the actual processes and cycles that could be causing fluctuations in temperature. Unless these are known and quantified, like, you could have a kilo of food and water in your gut and bladder at any time, so those are always the range of expected fluctuations, unless these are quantified, how do we know that climate can be observed over 30 years and that 30 is long enough to be free of natural fluctuations, not to mention short enough–we could be transitioning from one very long cycle to another and that would also mask the AGW signal, no? Say a 300 year cycle. Thirty years for “climate” seems a rediculously arbitrary number. And frankly until someone in the popular press can explain and justify the difference between weather and climate, I see no reason to trust any of it.

  119. DR says:

    The next thing Joel Shore will say is the “hot spot” in the tropical troposphere is not a fingerprint of AGW, but is a signal of warming no matter the cause. :) That is the latest polished turd popping up in various blogs.

    Waiting…….

  120. Just want truth... says:

    Well known CNN personality Lou Dobbs is putting his foot down and making a clear stand on global warming. Not only The Huffington Post but apparently (it appears) CNN is softening it’s stance on global warming. A quickly cooling earth is debating quite successfully with Al Gore. Al Gore avoided debating Václav Klaus. But he can’t run from the earth. The earth is winning the debate!

    See this YouTube title:

    Lou Dobbs Tonight Reports On Global Warming Jan5, 2009

    at

  121. Fernando says:

    OT; D’ALEO IN CNN

    http://www.metsul.com/blog/

    PUM!!!

  122. Smokey says:

    DR:

    Here’s the real fingerprint of global warming: click

  123. TerryBixler says:

    AK
    Thermal mass of CO2 in the atmosphere? Close to its mass, less than a 10th of a percent of the atmosphere. Ever noticed how it gets cold on a clear night very quickly. That is because the thermal mass of the atmosphere is also very small with respect to say maybe the ocean. There is no magic that CO2 can retain more heat than O2 Or N or H2O vapor.
    So to talk about this minor gas storing huge heat seems like alchemy at best.

  124. ak says:

    Then why do Hansen and Schmidt publish papers about a 10 year ocean warming trend as though it is very meaningful? Why do they look at 10 year polar ice melt trends as though they are meaningful?
    i haven’t read these papers. why do they say they are significant in the papers?

    You can claim that a ten year trend is not meaningful because we have cycles of natural variability that are longer than ten years..
    Not my claim, rather inferred by you (but not too far from the truth ;)
    If you think that a ten year trend isn’t meaningful, then explain why please.

    A RealClimate post starts with an image showing 8-year trend lines for every year from 1980 – 2005. The point of this exercise is to show that for any given year, the trend line may vary greatly from the adjacent years and may swing from positive to negative slope and viceversa. Does any one trend line accurately reflect what the temperatures are doing? no.

    however, if you start tallying successive years, you’ll quickly find that, while no single year’s trend mimics another, warming/positive trends are more prevalent than cooler/negative trends by about 2:1.

    that starts to take on significance, but only for that period. if you look solely at that image around 1982, or 1990, you can clearly see a cooling trend – the slopes are going negative – but even those clear trends are over-written by the fact that in that time period the temps have increased 0.5degC.

    what we are seeing with the 10 years leading up to 2007 (positive trend) and up to 2008 (this blog post – negative trend) has been observed before but doesn’t, by itself, hold any weight on what temps will be doing 5, 10, 50 years from now.

  125. Katlab says:

    two averages,
    the last 100 years – mean average temperature
    1909 – 2008 = 52.94

    remove those warm recent years since 2000
    50 years
    1951 – 2000 = 52.94

  126. Chris says:

    Bill Illis,

    You’re my hero! I found similar graphs on wikipedia (see attribution of recent climate change). It’s cool that you could recreate them. Anyhow, I went onto RC about 6 months ago and asked the very same question that you asked, i.e., why does the aerosol forcing looked “forced”? I found it surprising that no one could answer my question or explain the trend. It was at that very moment I knew AGW was a farce and that it was all tied to the models. Based on that experience and other exchanges, I realized that the modelers likely know their models are not accurate in any measurable way, but yet cannot admit it publically. The parallels to the financial mess are uncanny. It’s like watching a trainwreck in slow motion. There were many people on Wall Street who saw the mess coming, but couldn’t say anything because they were hoping that their investments would survive the upcoming crash. In other words, why say the truth knowing that you will have 100% chance of causing a run on your bank when if you say nothing, there’s maybe a 1% chance that you’ll get lucky and escape the damage. In summary, I truly believe the modelers know they are screwed and are hoping against hope that the agw charade can last another 10-20 years (i.e., retirement) or at least give them time to extricate themselves (like the banks, once again).

  127. CTRa says:

    This NCDC data base is corrupt. It still shows 1998 as the hottest year in the US even though 1934 has been acknowledged to be the hottest on record. Build a graph from 1901 through 2000. 1998 will be the hottest year.

  128. Bill Marsh says:

    OT.

    ASMU has not posted a reading for the entire month of January (Ya, I know that means 5 days) but that does seem unusual.

  129. crosspatch says:

    “first, i’m not sure what kind of hockey sticks you’ve played with, but all the ones i have ever used or seen are straight, with a sharp bend in them, not “exponentially growing”

    Hold the hockey stick and imagine that is a line of a graph. It would rise gradually until it suddenly takes off (eh!) upwards. Here is an example of an exponential graph. It shows a response quite similar to Mann’s temperature change forecast. If you look at the original so-called “hockey stick” graph you notice that the intention was to show runaway warming (which never happened).

    “i would like to see where any scientist has said that the temperatures should never drop in *any* year – because that’s about the most ridiculous statement i’ve heard in a long while, and so far i’ve only heard it from you.”

    They have never uttered those direct words but they HAVE produced forecasts and provided graphics that would require exactly that. In 1998 we were being told we had only 10 more years before “runaway” warming. In 2008 we were told we had only 10 more years before “runaway” warming. A “runaway” state is where something begins an unstoppable change in a certain condition with the change accelerating over time. It produces an exponential “hockey stick” graph. In a “runaway” condition there can be no reversal because the feedback is all positive. It not only gets warmer but the increase in temperature is greater with each passing unit of time. In such a condition it would be impossible to cool at all or even remain stable. Gore has used the words “runaway” warming many times. Runaway warming means the same thing as “can never decline”. But more importantly, not only has temperature declined but *ALL* warming since December 1987 has been *ERASED*. It is gone. It doesn’t exist anymore. So today we sit at a point where the globe is cooler than it was 21 years ago. Not only have temperatures “reduced” year on year, every single but of the graph between 1987 and today can basically be replaced with a flat line. The Earth is not warmer now than it was 21 years ago. All of their forecasts have been proved wrong. There is no CO2 forced “global warming and that is my main problem with these people.

    A: Today’s temperatures are not “unprecedented” in the Holocene (since the last ice age) and have been as much as 2.5 degrees warmer.
    B: Temperature is not rising at an “unprecedented” rate. In fact, it isn’t rising at all. It is falling.
    C: Nobody has shown any correlation between observed CO2 change and observed temperature change. There is a hypothesis that CO2 would cause warming that has not borne out over years of observation. Since the industrialization and increase in human CO2 emissions, there have been more cooling years than warming years.

    So the Earth does not “have a fever”, it isn’t getting “hotter” and rising CO2 is not having the predicted impact. 0 for 3. What is the opposite of a “hat trick”?

  130. Tim C says:

    Here is a graph.

    I took the .xls spreadsheet data for AP (as referenced from WUWT), turned into a suitable series and as a first explore used the old trick of integration to see if anything fell out.

    Note: like temperature datasets, without an absolute reference dataset graph tilt is arbitary, so do not read much into tilt.

    This graph fits with long memory here in England, including asking others who are even older, and reports about winters. It seems to be the broad sweep.

    The AP data does not seem to correlate well with the sunspot data I have, which suprised me. There is a lot more thinking and investigating to be done.

    So what physics property causes that shape or is this just plain nonsense?

    (data off http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/01/04/solar-geomagnetic-ap-index-now-at-lowest-point-in-its-history/)

  131. crosspatch says:

    “It still shows 1998 as the hottest year in the US even though 1934 has been acknowledged to be the hottest on record.”

    I believe 1934 was the hottest globally, not sure if that was the hottest in North America. I know GISS had to modify their adjustment which bumped the global 1998 to second place behind (I believe) 1933 or 1934. NOAA uses a different adjustment process to the USHCN data than GISS does. The data currently plotted for December 2008 may be unadjusted “raw” data. My guess is that we will see December 2008 adjusted warmer in the next week or so … the same time the narrative on the main page changes from November to December.

  132. Smokey says:

    Don’t forget, we can vote once every 24 hours: click

  133. ak says:

    “There is no magic that CO2 can retain more heat than O2 Or N or H2O vapor.” – TerryBixler

    well, i’ll disagree with you on the O2 and N – they do not retain heat to the degree that H2O vapor and CO2 do. there is a reason theyare not called GHG’s.

    so, there is less CO2 than water vapor (0.4% vs 2%-3%, 4% on a really humid day) in the atmosphere, which means that there is (2.5%/0.04%) 63x more water vapor than CO2 to put a number to it. i have no qualms with this fact.

    if you consider the residence time of both CO2 and H2O vapor, you find that water equilibrates very quickly – hence a very short residence time. if you increase atmospheric water vapor by 20% or so, it will precipitate quickly out. if you take 20% out of the atmosphere, that 20% will be replaced within 3 weeks or so by oceanic evaporation. CO2 doesn’t have that same flexibility – there are natural cycles that remove CO2 but aren’t nearly as ubiquitous or as quick, as rain.

    if the oceans weren’t constantly taking up CO2, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere would be near double what it is now. it’s not that CO2 doesn’t go away, it just takes longer to remove it, hence the build up we see now.

    so, in short, water vapor may be more massive in the atmosphere (again by about 60x) but CO2 sticks for more than 60x as long as water vapor.

  134. robodog says:

    As an EE, I have designed control loops.  These loops typicly use negative feedback to force a return to a set point.  The set point can move about, but feed back is a design requirment.  I supose that there might be a way to design a system using positive feedback, but I have not seen one in my career used in a long lived system.The climate has been around a bit, and there are complex life form today which date to forms existing in the distant past.  To believe otherwise is to reject the prevailing scientific wisdom.  A sensitive climate would surely have selected them for extinction long ago, given that complex life forms require long periods for adaptation to changes in the climate set point.If this view is correct, the earth climate is likely dominated by negative feed back and set points vary slowly.  IPCC models currently assume positive feed back.  Dr Spencer has provide an indication  of one negative feedback mechanism in the climate.  There are probably others.  The imperical data sugests that negative feedback is the dominent mode and logic tells us that it likely is.
    If we are interested in science and understanding, should we not be more interested in truth and less in assigning blame?  Should we not be more interesting assisting our brothers and sisters toward enlightenment and less about winning political victiories?  After all policatical victories are temperal and not necessarly truths.
    It is my belief that if we enlighten some, we will all get passed the greed and the self interest and the fear, that currently prevails.  It is not consenses that rules in the long run after all, but truth.  Does anyone agree? 

  135. Phil. says:

    VG (14:42:43) :
    Anyone notice RSS temp TLT does NOT include South Pole data

    http://www.ssmi.com/msu/msu_data_description.html#msu_amsu_trend_map_tlt

    whereas all the others do TMT ect

    Yes, conventionally the atmosphere is above ground!

  136. crosspatch says:

    “what we are seeing with the 10 years leading up to 2007 (positive trend) and up to 2008 (this blog post – negative trend) has been observed before but doesn’t, by itself, hold any weight on what temps will be doing 5, 10, 50 years from now.”

    While that is true it is orthogonal to the point. The point being that forecasts made toward the end of the 20th century were that we could not possibly be in the situation we are in now with temperatures back down to what they were before the forecasts were issued. The current reality invalidates the forecast completely. CO2 has risen steadily, temperatures have not. Not a single indicator forecast has come to be. THAT is the point.

    To argue that past trends do not guarantee future behavior is true but beside the point. I am not saying the current cooling will continue. I am saying the forecasts made by these people were wrong and have been proved wrong by direct observation. Their forecasts are wrong, their models are wrong and CO2 does not cause “global warming”. To believe otherwise is belief not based on any physical reality. Hansen would be best served to say that his models are incorrect, human generated CO2 isn’t causing any “global warming” or any other detrimental climate impact over the past 70 years of increased output.

    That is not to say that human influences are not causing local warming due to things such as large scale farming, deforestation, and urbanization because they are. But CO2 output from fossil fuel consumption is not.

  137. Mike Bryant says:

    Chris,
    Yes, it seems like the “run” on AGW has begun. No one wants to be the last in line. Everyone is proclaiming the idiocy of this morally bankrupt belief system. All you have to do is look around. Google “Global Warming”. Google “Global Cooling”. Read the articles. People are NOT stupid. They are figuring it out. Talk to your friends. Admit that you are starting to have doubts about AGW. You know what? Most of your friends have huge doubts too. They will be happy to be able to hear the truth, and to finally let this enormous weight fall from their shoulders. Tell them to make WUWT their home page. Tell them to straighten out their Mayors, their governors and their representives up to and including the President. Tell them to protect the intellectual capital of this great land of ours.
    Don’t be the last person standing when the music stops. The lies have been refuted by Mother Earth herself. Sure she had a few hot flashes, but that time is over for a long while. She doesn’t want us lying about her anymore.
    Respect your mother. The Earth controls her own destiny. Take care of your family and your neighborhood, and maybe Al can move back to Tennessee, and Jim can move back to Iowa, and stop telling tall tales about Earth, her temperatures and her people.
    It is now time for freedom, freedom from fear, freedom from want and freedom from the lies of our would be masters. The laughter has already started, and the celebrations have begun.
    Who will be the last to “get” the joke?

  138. Phil. says:

    obodog (19:59:29) :
    As an EE, I have designed control loops. These loops typicly use negative feedback to force a return to a set point. The set point can move about, but feed back is a design requirment. I supose that there might be a way to design a system using positive feedback, but I have not seen one in my career used in a long lived system.

    Never seen an oscillator?

    REPLY: I’ve seen, and designed, many. They are stable state devices. The more stable the oscillator, the better. – Anthony

  139. Graeme Rodaughan says:

    robodog (19:59:29) :

    It is my belief that if we enlighten some, we will all get passed the greed and the self interest and the fear, that currently prevails. It is not consenses that rules in the long run after all, but truth. Does anyone agree?

    WRT Negative feedback dominance of the climate – strongly agree.

    However, wrt the rest – I am a cynic. Please point out a historical period when greed, self interest and fear, did not prevail.

    But also – there is much real compassion, courage and generosity of spirit within humanity and no reason to give up hope or strive for better outcomes than have been seen in the past.

  140. Graeme Rodaughan says:

    Mike Bryant (20:06:02) :

    Who will be the last to “get” the joke?

    Well said.

  141. crosspatch says:

    “so, in short, water vapor may be more massive in the atmosphere (again by about 60x) but CO2 sticks for more than 60x as long as water vapor.”

    That is another true but pointless statement. It doesn’t matter how long a water molecule stays in the air before it rains out, it matters how many water molecules are in the atmosphere at any given moment.

    If you increase the temperature, you increase evaporation. So while a water molecule may condense out, it will be replaced by another one that evaporates. Imagine you have 35% relative humidity. Now you increase the temperature. At first the air will become dryer and more water will evaporate and the relative humidity will return to 35%. So while the *relative* humidity remains unchanged, the *absolute* humidity … the number of water molecules evaporated into the atmosphere has increased. Eventually both evaporation and condensation will increase. This will cause the transport of a lot of heat high into the atmosphere where it will radiate into space.

    Water is a natural evaporative cooler; a swamp cooler, if you will. More water will be absorbed into the system as needed but how long an individual molecule of water molecule stays evaporated is a pointless argument as it doesn’t mean anything. What matters is how many of them are evaporated at any given moment.

  142. Ron de Haan says:

    Fernando (19:17:20) :

    “OT; D’ALEO IN CNN

    http://www.metsul.com/blog/

    PUM!!!”

    Lou Dobs obviously is well informed about the AGW religion.
    After the remarks from some CNN Meteorologists it looks like the course is turning 180 degree. Let’s see wattsupwiththat

  143. Glenn says:

    AK: “so, in short, water vapor may be more massive in the atmosphere (again by about 60x) but CO2 sticks for more than 60x as long as water vapor.”

    Lol. Nah, water lasts forever.

  144. crosspatch says:

    And again, how long CO2 molecules stays in the atmosphere only matters if they have some significant impact on temperature. At this point I believe it is safe to say that the impact of CO2 has been greatly overstated. We see no significant climate impact from CO2 increase to date. Doubling CO2 is not likely to have much more than a half-degree impact on climate and may in fact have less if it results in greater evaporation and increased negative feedback from the water vapor.

    It doesn’t matter if CO2 stays in the atmosphere for a million years if it doesn’t have much impact and it is becoming more obvious with passing time that CO2 does not have the impact it has been promoted as having.

  145. anna v says:

    Tim C (19:44:35) :

    Here is a graph.

    The AP data does not seem to correlate well with the sunspot data I have, which suprised me. There is a lot more thinking and investigating to be done.

    http://www.gpsl.net/data/AP_integrated_tnca1.png

    I am rusty, you are integrating how to get the plot?

    As for sun cycles, there is a 22 year cycle where the sun reverses polarity.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunspot_cycles:

    The physical basis of the solar cycle was elucidated in the early twentieth century by George Ellery Hale and collaborators, who in 1908 showed that sunspots were strongly magnetized (this was the first detection of magnetic fields outside the Earth), and in 1919 went on to show that the magnetic polarity of sunspot pairs:

    * is always the same in a given solar hemisphere throughout a given sunspot cycle;
    * is opposite across hemispheres throughout a cycle;
    * reverses itself in both hemispheres from one sunspot cycle to the next.

    Hale’s observations revealed that the solar cycle is a magnetic cycle with an average duration of 22 years. However, because very nearly all manifestations of the solar cycle are insensitive to magnetic polarity, it remains common usage to speak of the “11-year solar cycle”.

    Half a century later, the father-and-son team of Harold Babcock and Horace Babcock showed that the solar surface is magnetized even outside of sunspots; that this weaker magnetic field is to first order a dipole; and that this dipole also undergoes polarity reversals with the same period as the sunspot cycle (see Fig. 3 below). These various observations established that the solar cycle is a spatiotemporal magnetic process unfolding over the Sun as a whole.

  146. crosspatch says:

    Oh, and sea level change has started a gradual negative trend since 2006, too.

  147. crosspatch says:

    “I supose that there might be a way to design a system using positive feedback, but I have not seen one in my career used in a long lived system.”

    Regenerative receivers was one application where the signal was fed back in phase from the plate to the grid. One had to be careful, though, because operating it was touchy and it could break out into oscillation with ear-splitting results. The first electronic project I ever built from scratch was a single tube regenerative receiver.

  148. Richard Sharpe says:

    Hmmm, Cryosphere is getting there … but still has missing data:

    http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=01&fd=05&fy=2008&sm=01&sd=04&sy=2009

  149. paminator says:

    AK, Glenn, crosspatch- The CO2 lifetime was measured by many researchers in the 50’s thru the 70’s to be around 5-7 years. Climate science then redefined atmospheric lifetime to require sequestration of emitted CO2, but never applied this modified definition to water vapor. If you do, then as Glenn says, the lifetime of water vapor is essentially infinite (although you could argue that water frozen in the Antarctic can be sequestered for a long time).

  150. Pamela Gray says:

    Here is my biggest beef about CO2 graphs. The CO2 graphs that demonstrate the stairway to heaven do not include sinks or areas that do not have CO2 in such concentrations. The AIRS data, as soon as it gets going, should show that measuring CO2 close to land is not an accurate measure of global CO2. Based on where the measuring instruments are, the data will be biased. It would be like putting measuring devices only in the path of the jet stream and then saying that the entire Earth has this degree of high altitude wind circling the globe. But that is not so. The jet stream concentrates itself in certain areas and steers clear of other areas around the globe. There are fluctuations in the jet stream and sometimes it disappears where it once was. It also has longer term cycles of strength and weakness. But we only know that because we measured where the jet stream wasn’t as well as where it was. I wish they would do the same for CO2. Or would get the information to us sooner. I hate waiting for the damned pot to boil.

  151. David Ball says:

    Had a tough day. Turned around for me after reading this evenings WUWT posts !! Thanks to all. I’m with you robodog !! Crosspatch laying the smackdown !! Mike Bryant, too !! Pamela Grey, Ed Scott, Codetech, great stuff one and all !! I heard the sound of David Suzuki falling out of a treehouse, …

  152. Phil. says:

    obodog (19:59:29) :
    As an EE, I have designed control loops. These loops typicly use negative feedback to force a return to a set point. The set point can move about, but feed back is a design requirment. I supose that there might be a way to design a system using positive feedback, but I have not seen one in my career used in a long lived system.

    “Never seen an oscillator?”

    REPLY: I’ve seen, and designed, many. They are stable state devices. The more stable the oscillator, the better. – Anthony

    Without positive feedback?

    REPLY: IT depends on the oscillator type.

  153. DR says:

    Smokey,

    Gavin Schmidt et al 2005

    http://www.osti.gov/energycitations/servlets/purl/881407-xk2Sdg/881407.PDF

    “Tropospheric warming is a robust feature of climate model simulations driven
    by historical increases in greenhouse gases (1–3). Maximum warming is predicted
    to occur in the middle and upper tropical troposphere.”

    Of course since observations don’t agree with the models, the observations must be erroneous :)

  154. anna v says:

    Pamela Gray (21:30:24) :

    There are some lovely CO2 plots provided by Ferdinand in http://www.greenworldtrust.org.uk/Forum/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=670#670

    I have a running dispute with him on the same point:

    You ( Ferdinand) are arguing for gettting beautiful uncontaminated stabilized data for CO2.

    I am talking of getting the real content of CO2 in the atmosphere, from the dirty nitty gritty, the way we are getting temperatures, because that is the measure that changes climate: total heat content and total CO2 content.

    His last three plots particularly demonstrate how high local CO2 goes on a daily basis. Way over 380ppm, which makes one wonder of the zillion corrections used to get total CO2 atmosphere content from Mauna Loa type “reflections”.

    AIRS cannot go below 5000 meters, and the plots they give are at 10000 meters. A new satellite will be launched, OCO?, which will be measuring ground level sources and sinks.

    To sit up on a mountain and guestimate the total content of CO2 in the atmosphere is not very productive, imho, except of lovely local graphs.

  155. Ed Scott says:

    crosspatch
    “I supose that there might be a way to design a system using positive feedback, but I have not seen one in my career used in a long lived system.”
    ————————————————
    An excellent example of positive feedback, is the feedback from the microphone, through the aamplifier, out the speaker system and to the microphone. A real attention getter

    REPLY: FWIW, the Ice Ages are triggered by positive feedback. The Milankovic cycles alone aren’t enough, even in conjunction. Feedback via increased albedo is a necessary ingredient. ~ Evan

  156. Ed Scott says:

    REPLY: I’ve seen, and designed, many. They are stable state devices. The more stable the oscillator, the better. – Anthony

    Without positive feedback?

    REPLY: IT depends on the oscillator type.

    ————————————————————

    By definition, oscillators require positive feedback.

  157. Tim L says:

    ak (19:28:11) :
    what we are seeing with the 10 years leading up to 2007 (positive trend) and up to 2008 (this blog post – negative trend) has been observed before but doesn’t, by itself, hold any weight on what temps will be doing 5, 10, 50 years from now.
    <<>>> the temps from 1970 / 2000 “doesn’t hold any weight on what temps will be doing 5, 10, 50 years from now.”
    well put!!!!

  158. Jeff says:

    It is truly surprising to me that climate models like NASA’s Model E work at all. To see how truly sad the source code is, you can check it out here:

    WOW! You have got to be kidding me! All this time I have been under the impression that these models were “actual” computer models. You know, neural networks, OOP, complex relational models, that kind of thing. This is Fortran for crying out loud! And extremely poorly written I might add. I have glanced through their code, and as a computer science veteran of more than 27 years (in the “real” world), developing various models and advanced application architectures, I can tell you first hand that this stuff is absolute garbage!

    Wow, this completely blows any inkling of faith that I had in these things. I am truly shocked! If I wrote crap like that, I would be fired!

  159. Brendan H says:

    Mike Bryant: “Respect your mother. The Earth controls her own destiny. Take care of your family and your neighbourhood…”

    And tell Momma to start baking those apple pies. Mm-mmm. Nothing like home-cooking to keep your man on the porch.

  160. Mary Hinge says:

    King of Cool (15:28:03) :
    ….and one cherry is not going to prove a season let alone global warming.
    From this graph which is from the official BOM website I detect a downward trend in mean temp since 1998 …….http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/silo/reg/cli_chg/timeseries.cgi?variable=tmean&region=aus&season=0112
    Shouldn’t they be going up like yours?

    This is frankly a ridiculous statement. You hark on about cherrypicking then pick one of the few years that support your ‘argument’. Why not use the trend map from 1950 to 2008? http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/silo/reg/cli_chg/trendmaps.cgi?variable=tmean&region=aus&season=0112&period=1950

    Ed Scott (16:16:02) :
    Joel Shore
    “No, you don’t disprove a theory by making up a strawman version of the theory which has no relation to the actual theory and then finding data in contradiction to this. Perhaps you should go and study what the AGW predictions really are before you talk about them.”
    ————————————————————

    Enlighten me. What is the straw-man version of the theory? A straw-man is created by a false restatement of the original theory or by an exaggeration of the consequences of the original theory, the latter the stock-in-trade of the AGW mongers.

    Brilliant, how to make a straw-man argument of the straw-man argument!

  161. Richard Hegarty says:

    “lanecounty (15:07:51) :
    We finally got smart, and quit logging, because a forest that isn’t logged is worth millions in carbon sequestration. You have not been paying for this service, and it’s not free. Pay up.”

    Not just forests but grass land too

    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=carbon-cowboys

    Wall st and london city needs something new to trade to get their bonuses, city center apartments, country houses for the weekend and super cars are not cheap you know we cant expect these people to live on a simple wage. Its a new bubble and lets just hope it bursts before it costs us all too much.

  162. Mike Bryant says:

    “Yeah, why should we worry about details like statistical significance? It is much more fun just to find (cherrypick) data that fits our preconceptions regardless of such boring issues and then use it to validate our preconceptions.”

    Yes, but for the MOST fun, try adjusting and manipulating the data to validate preconceived ideas. Just ask Big Jim! :)

  163. Tim C says:

    anna v:
    whilst I know about the sunspot polarity flip it didn’t occur to me that is why the AP has a different period, thank you.

    I wonder, does this mean solar and earth magnetic polarities alternately add and subtract, leading to variation is some temperature control side effect via an external property such as an asymetric comic ray flux?

  164. Ric Werme says:

    Ed Scott (00:24:30) :

    REPLY: I’ve seen, and designed, many. They are stable state devices. The more stable the oscillator, the better. – Anthony

    Without positive feedback?

    REPLY: IT depends on the oscillator type.

    By definition, oscillators require positive feedback.

    Or a phase shift or other delay, though one could readily argue that’s
    one way to transform negative feedback to a positive feedback.

    Financial systems include positive feedbacks – in a contracting economy people spend less, factories cut back on production and lay off people, who spend less. Governments tend to have positive feedbacks and are more successful than private enterprise in maintaining an exponential growth rate.

  165. Frank K. says:

    Jeff (00:47:37) :

    Jeff,

    That’s just the tip of the iceberg. For your amusement, check out gistemp here:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/sources/

    In fact, I encourage everyone interested in GISS software standards to download the gistemp source code and attempt to make any sense of it. This, by the way, is the code that is used to generate the historical surface temperature data that the models are compared to…

  166. Tim Clark says:

    Mary Hinge (02:13:05) :

    This is frankly a ridiculous statement. You hark on about cherrypicking then pick one of the few years that support your ‘argument’. Why not use the trend map from 1950 to 2008? http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/silo/reg/cli_chg/trendmaps.cgi?variable=tmean&region=aus&season=0112&period=1950

    I went to your link. Talk about cherrypicking (and perhaps a bit of hypocrisy). The graphic uses the baseline from 1961-1990 for anomalies.

  167. Phil. says:

    Ed Scott (00:24:30) :
    REPLY: I’ve seen, and designed, many. They are stable state devices. The more stable the oscillator, the better. – Anthony

    Without positive feedback?

    REPLY: IT depends on the oscillator type.

    ————————————————————

    By definition, oscillators require positive feedback.

    Exactly my point but the poster (an EE) claimed “I supose that there might be a way to design a system using positive feedback, but I have not seen one in my career used in a long lived system.”

  168. Ric Werme says:

    Jeff (00:47:37) :

    It is truly surprising to me that climate models like NASA’s Model E work at all. To see how truly sad the source code is, you can check it out here:

    WOW! You have got to be kidding me! All this time I have been under the impression that these models were “actual” computer models. You know, neural networks, OOP, complex relational models, that kind of thing. This is Fortran for crying out loud! And extremely poorly written I might add. I have glanced through their code, and as a computer science veteran of more than 27 years (in the “real” world), developing various models and advanced application architectures, I can tell you first hand that this stuff is absolute garbage!

    It’s actually better than I expected. It’s not a commercial product, it’s research. While I share your dislike of Fortran and haven’t written a Fortran program since about 1970, I have worked in the Unix kernel side of a small supercomputer company. I was amazed at the changes to the language with vector and array operators. During the development of Fortran-90, one popular quote was “I am not certain what the language for scientific and engineering computation will look like by the 21st century, but I am sure it will be called Fortran.” Bascially, a lot of scientific modeling involves working with huge multi-dimensional arrays, and Fortran and APL are the only languages I know of with constructs for dealing with them efficiently.

    Unfortunately, ModelE doesn’t use any of those neat constructs, at least from my “extensive” 5-minute review. Being Fortran-90, it doesn’t use any of the object-oriented extensions in Fortran 95 or Fortran 2000.

    This is an interesting page I found while hunting down that quote, see http://www.physics.ucla.edu/icnsp/Html/norton/norton.htm for some notes on Fortran 77, Fortran 90, OOP in Fortran 90. It also has some notes on compile and execution times between F90 and C++. The latter are important – that’s why there are still computers that take up thousands of square feet.

    So, please don’t criticize Fortran, anyone in the supercomputer field knows it will be around for another 50 years.

    Criticizing physical scientists for their inability to write modern code is fairer game, but I’m sure that at budget time, a choice between hiring software engineers to produce well-designed code versus hiring more physical scientists will likely go with the scientists. Perhaps Al Gore could direct some of the $300 million for climate PR on supporting science.

    I’m sure if I had to work with ModelE for a couple days I’d be a lot more bitter, and the scientists would avoid me at the lunch table, so I’m better off working on OS-level code and Python for everything else.

    Perhaps you could head up an open-source project to write a new climate model.

  169. Ed Scott says:

    Mary Hinge
    “…how to make a straw-man argument of the straw-man argument!”
    —————————————-
    Glad you appreciate the humor.

  170. Nelthon says:

    Tilo,

    If you think that a ten year trend isn’t meaningful, then explain why please.

    You can – if it’s statistically significant. Show it for these data, please.

  171. crosspatch says:

    “By definition, oscillators require positive feedback.”

    Well, sort of. Unless your oscillator is a free running multivibrator and you divide it down to the desired frequency and then filter out the harmonics to get all the sharp edges off of it. It is basically how synthesizers worked. There are newer ones now where you basically don’t need to divide anything. You just change a number in a register that is your count value that you use as a delay in “flipping” state to adjust the frequency.

    But these days you don’t have as much need for conventional oscillators if you have adequate cash to substitute. You can run RF directly into a DSP chip and do all your demodulation with software. At least that was the state of the art in the late 1980’s. I haven’t worked with such things in years, though.

  172. Bill P says:

    With the recent cooling trend, the cry “Last year was the warmest on record” has taken a break, only to be replaced by “The last decade was the warmest on record!” I haven’t checked, but maybe that cry will have to be shelved for a while.

    I beg to differ with those who see a “cooling” in overall hot air from the left.

    Here’s the way the recent cooling in NCDC data was played in the Wall Street Journal “Science Journal”. Though you may disagree with his opinions, Robert Lee Hotz’s article is worth reading. WSJ is, I think it’s safe to say, one of the most conservative papers in the U.S.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123085070980447477.html

    The Warming Earth Blows Hot, Cold and Chaotic; Subtle Rises in Temperature Make for Wild Weather; ‘Exceptionally Unusual’ Becomes the New Normal

    Hotz is a crusading “green” who, to his credit, is armed with serious data, eloquence, and a platform for reaching some of the most powerful and influential minds in the world. Current incidences of cooling are minimized and “put into context” of the world’s overall warming. The article employs the kind of rhetorical appeals (to fear) that we’ve seen so often here.

    Alarmists, stay alarmed! It’s not getting cooler. Extreme weather is a function of warming. That’s all.

  173. Frank K. says:

    Ric Werme (07:09:12) :

    “It’s actually better than I expected. It’s not a commercial product, it’s research.”

    I’m sorry but this doesn’t fly with me. While research codes are often written with expediency in mind (versus careful documentation of procedures), in the case of Model E, the results are being used to actively promote a specific view of climate change. Results from codes like Model E, for example plots of predicted (or “projected”) changes in the Earth’s mean temperature over the next 50 years, eventually end up in mass media publications like USA Today. Consequently, the people who generate these plots have a duty to provide full documentation of their numerical methods and procedures. GISS has fallen short in this regard.

    Ric – can you tell me from perusing the code what equations are being solved and the subroutines where they numerical algorithms for these equations are implemented? There are some comments in parts of the code and virtually none in others. And it doesn’t matter to me that the code is written in Fortran – I would expect that a scientific code written in C++, Java, Python, … would have proper commenting and pointers to single, comprehensive documentation manual (rather than a collection of papers which say almost nothing about how the models are implemented in the source code).

    “Perhaps you could head up an open-source project to write a new climate model.”

    If I wish to begin a second career generating press releases on how Atlanta will average 130 F in the summer of 2080 based on numerical models, then I will take you up on that offer ;^)

  174. Bill P says:

    BTW, Ric, I agree with you. The warmers are shifting their approach a bit. I’m just saying, the overall rant hasn’t slowed at all. It’s coming just as hot and heavy as ever.

  175. Jeff Alberts says:

    Mary Hinge: “This is frankly a ridiculous statement. You hark on about cherrypicking then pick one of the few years that support your ‘argument’. Why not use the trend map from 1950 to 2008?”

    Why not go farther than that, back to the MWP, or RWP? Frankly I find your statement ridiculous.

  176. Moptop says:

    I find it funny that the same people who date the temp rise from the coldest period in the Holocene, the LIA to scare us, complain when we look back 10yrs starting now. If AGW has added a degree to global temps, think what a year like this would have been like without it? Mass starvation? Crop failures? DONT THINK ABOUT THAT!

    Instead of fulminating and chest pounding, they should be leaning back, smiling, confident that the warming will be back next year with a vengence, and that we all will look like fools.

    Instead, it is almost as if they have lost confidence in their predictions. After all, the worldwide recession/depression will do more to bring down CO2 production than Kyoto would have, in the near term. What is the rush? Why not wait another three years to see what happens?

  177. “” crosspatch (09:30:30) :

    “By definition, oscillators require positive feedback.”

    Well, sort of. Unless your oscillator is a free running multivibrator and you divide it down to the desired frequency and then filter out the harmonics to get all the sharp edges off of it. It is basically how synthesizers worked. There are newer ones now where you basically don’t need to divide anything. You just change a number in a register that is your count value that you use as a delay in “flipping” state to adjust the frequency.

    But these days you don’t have as much need for conventional oscillators if you have adequate cash to substitute. You can run RF directly into a DSP chip and do all your demodulation with software. At least that was the state of the art in the late 1980’s. I haven’t worked with such things in years, though. “”

    So now give us a quick explanation of how that free running multivibrator oscillates WITHOUT positive feedback.

    Oscillators also need something else besides positive feedback ;such as a loop gain greater than one; well there’s a more rigorous set of conditions, but both positive feedback and sufficient gain are required.

    And if you note that the global warmers insist that small CO2 warmings are amplified by water vapor positive feedback into large warming effects; then I would say that the models (time static) proposed for CO2 warming with water vapor feedback almost certainly guartantee that they would oscillate; well they would if they were true. And because of the delays in climate systems, its a fairly safe bet that they must oscillate if they provide any warming amplification at all.

    Anybody who has ever spent any time and effort tomake feedback regulated temperature control systems can tell you that theremal time delays make thermal oscillators the most prevalent of unstable feedback loops.

    The fact that there is little or no evidence of conventional oscillatory behavior in climate temperatures, tells me that there are no significant positive feedback effects, that “amplify” significantly the effects of small perturbations.

  178. crosspatch says:

    “So now give us a quick explanation of how that free running multivibrator oscillates WITHOUT positive feedback.”

    That particular example does require sensing the state change of the output in order to trigger the next state change. But these days you don’t even need to do that. You simply load a register with a value, count it down to zero, then toggle the state of an I/O line, reload the register and repeat.

    Some pretty complex waveforms can be generated in this way, too, if your register value is a value stored in a table and you cycle through the table of values.

    The end result is an oscillating output without any feedback, you don’t need to sense the state of the output, you just “toggle” or flip the state to the opposite of whatever it is now.

    And at one point in my life I designed both switching power supplies and PWM controllers for things such as precision high-speed tape transports so feedback was pretty much the bread and butter of that line of work.

    Just agreeing with the moderator comment that one does not need feedback anymore to create an “oscillator”, you can simply brute force the behavior with software.

  179. Ed Scott says:

    crosspatch
    “Unless your oscillator is a free running multivibrator and you divide it down to the desired frequency and then filter out the harmonics to get all the sharp edges off of it.”
    ————————————————————-
    The astable multivibrator operates due to the trigger-pulse feedback between the two stages. Other frequencies can be derived from the harmonics in the square-wave, but they remain harmonically related to the basic frequency of the source and , when derived in this manner remain dependent upon the original frequency source, since they are amplified harmonics.

    For today’s world, the reference oscillator for frequency standards is the stable, natural frequency of electrons transiting between energy levels in the Cesium atom. The time signals that my computers and digital clocks receive from the overhead satellites are ultimately referenced to the National Bureau of Standards Cesium standard.

    Further proof that Nature does things naturally.

  180. crosspatch says:

    “The fact that there is little or no evidence of conventional oscillatory behavior in climate temperatures, tells me that there are no significant positive feedback effects, that “amplify” significantly the effects of small perturbations.”

    Apparently the climate models in use by the warmers consider increased water vapor in the air a positive feedback. So in their models a forced temperature increase from CO2 causes increased evaporation which adds water vapor to the atmosphere increasing temperature further increasing evaporation even more, etc. and the process goes into “runaway greenhouse”.

    According to Roy Spencer, Ph. D. the observations are the opposite. Increased water vapor acts as a negative feedback. That seems to be the primary disconnect between the “climate” models from people such as Hansen and the observed reality. In observation data, increased water vapor tends to decrease the amount of energy absorbed from the sun and so brings the system back into an equilibrium albeit possibly at slightly warmer state. I believe his paper shows his figure to be something like a +0.5C change from doubling CO2. And one must remember that response to CO2 increase is logarithmic so one must greatly more than double CO2 again to get another 0.5C increase. In other words, CO2 has already had its greatest impact and the impact from each additional increment of CO2 is less than the impact of the increment before. So the more CO2 rises, the less impact each incremental rise has.

    But in any case, it was this positive feedback (warming itself causing further warming) that is the problem with their hysteria.

  181. Ric Werme says:

    crosspatch (09:30:30) :

    But these days you don’t have as much need for conventional oscillators if you have adequate cash to substitute. You can run RF directly into a DSP chip and do all your demodulation with software. At least that was the state of the art in the late 1980’s. I haven’t worked with such things in years, though.

    Except there’s a catch – the D in DSP stand for digital logic (okay, really it’s binary) and digital logic uses lotsa flipflops and flipflops use positive feedback to remember their state.

    (You folks who have no idea what the difference is between a D flipflop and a JK flipflop can flip a light switch. The ones with a good snap to them are mecahnical flipflops.) And no, the JK flipflop is not named for John Kerry. (USA joke – John Kerry ran for president and roundly criticized for changing his mind. At least Al G is consistant!)

  182. Michael S says:

    George E. Smith (13:18:00) :

    And if you note that the global warmers insist that small CO2 warmings are amplified by water vapor positive feedback into large warming effects; then I would say that the models (time static) proposed for CO2 warming with water vapor feedback almost certainly guartantee that they would oscillate; well they would if they were true. And because of the delays in climate systems, its a fairly safe bet that they must oscillate if they provide any warming amplification at all.

    Going along with that train of thought, hypothetically, suppose the input level (CO2) is increasing and that the water vapor feedback is true, what would that imply about the frequency change of the oscillations over time, and what is the mechanism by which the oscillation Y axis value at a given point in time is driven down?

  183. Ric Werme says:

    Frank K. (10:00:52) :

    Ric Werme (07:09:12) :

    “It’s actually better than I expected. It’s not a commercial product, it’s research.”

    I’m sorry but this doesn’t fly with me. While research codes are often written with expediency in mind (versus careful documentation of procedures), in the case of Model E, the results are being used to actively promote a specific view of climate change.

    I have no disagreement with that! Some random research hack has managed to morph into something that is influencing major policies throughout the world without anyone vetting, cleaning, documenting, and likely fixing the beast. I’m merely saying I’m not surprised that people managed to forget that “little” step. I am surprised that in my perusal of the code I didn’t see much in the way of diagnostic hooks, unit tests, or much of anything I’d put in to monitor data munging where it’s hard to tell if the output is right or not. It’s usually pretty easy to tell if a compiler is generating good code or if a file system is holding data you wrote. As long as the model output has believable temperature and doesn’t create more water than is already on the planet, how can you tell if it represents the intention of the programmers?

    A minuscule amount of money from the financial impact of ModelE would do wonders.

    Ah well, somehow Bernie Madoff’s 50 G$ Ponzi scheme got missed in the SEC’s review too.

    Ric – can you tell me from perusing the code what equations are being solved and the subroutines where they numerical algorithms for these equations are implemented? There are some comments in parts of the code and virtually none in others. And it doesn’t matter to me that the code is written in Fortran – I would expect that a scientific code written in C++, Java, Python, … would have proper commenting and pointers to single, comprehensive documentation manual (rather than a collection of papers which say almost nothing about how the models are implemented in the source code).

    Have you found http://www.giss.nasa.gov/tools/modelE/modelE.html ?

    I poked around a bit. Having virtually no knowledge of the equations behind a lot of the modeled physics meant all I could do is pattern recognition. In particular, the simulations and graphics hacks I’ve written tend to have a few lines of code doing the math and huge amounts of infrastructure, user interface, etc. Not much user interface in ModelE, though. For example, in the DYNAM subroutine, this code:

    DO J=J_0S,J_1S ! eastward transports
    DO L=1,LM
    I=IM
    DO IP1=1,IM
    AIJ(I,J,IJ_FGZU)=AIJ(I,J,IJ_FGZU)+
    & (PHI(I,J,L)+PHI(IP1,J,L))*PU(I,J,L)*DT ! use DT=DTLF/2
    I=IP1
    END DO
    END DO
    END DO

    (Finally, a chance to use <code> the way it wants to be used!) This code is clearly updating some grid. The code browser says this is in ATMDYN.F so it’s probably something to do with atmospheric dynamics. http://www.giss.nasa.gov/tools/modelE/modelE.html says “ATMDYN.f, ATMDYN_COM.f: Code for the calculation of atmospheric pressure gradients, and dynamic time stepping.” The only other reference to AIJ is some external reference. DT is probably delta-T, the time step size, I can’t guess what DTLF is. So, an apparently meaningless array name, a too-brief comment, I have no idea what it’s computing. Earlier I was thinking it would be interesting to include bibliographic references to each loop like this so one could go off and read up on the physics.

    Some code has comments that looks like it was written straight from a recipe:

    c**** 2.2 First test: valid dt/dz ?

    c**** 2.3 dtdz is valid > something in German
    c**** —————————————-
    c**** 1.lineare in p^kappa (= Dieters neue Methode)

    Others mean either I don’t understand the context or worry me:

    C**** Restart after 8 steps due to divergence of solutions

    though that appears to be referenced in http://www.giss.nasa.gov/tools/modelE/modelE.html#part3_1

    If I needed to learn about this code, I wouldn’t start with the source. I’d pick some facet, say warm air advection or convection, avoid complexities like condensation, review the physics and then look in the code for some of the math. I’d get frustrated, go off for a few days learning about the important arrays and what’s in them, then go back to the code and it would start making a little more sense.

    Oh – in answer to your question – No.

  184. Ric Werme says:

    I just wrote:

    > (Finally, a chance to use the way it wants to be used!)

    I forgot to change the spaces to "&nbsp;"s. Silly me. Sorry about the formatting....

  185. old construction worker says:

    Well, we broke down and replaced our 23 year old furnace. It is very energy efficient and, unlike our old one, has a built in automatic dehumidifier / humidifier system.
    You know something, not one furnace manufacturer offered a CO2 climate control system! Not one. Watts up with that?

  186. old construction worker says:

    crosspatch (15:58:16)
    My take was that Roy Spencer showed that an increase water vapor, in the tropics, did not develop in to “Heat Trapping Clouds” which gives credence to the good DR. at MIT iris theory.
    Have you notice that the pro AWG crowd has dropped the “Heat Trapping Clouds” thing.

  187. squidly says:

    Ric Werme (07:09:12) :

    I’m not trying to bash the language itself. I believe in using the right tools for the right job, and certainly Fortran has its place. I was simply surprised as I was expecting something more like “SIM Climate” and instead it looks more like “Pong” with a missing paddle. Just wasn’t what I had expected.

    I personally cannot excuse the poorly written, poorly structured coding practices when considering that billions of our tax dollars go into creating this stuff, and after considering the tillions of dollars consequences that are hanging on the results, I just gotta step back as it truly takes my breath away.

  188. squidly says:

    Frank K.:

    Thank you for the link! When I have some time (we will be in an ice age by then) I would really like to begin digging into some of this code. Its been a while since I have worked with Fortran, but I am sure I can tear in to it and get up to speed pretty quickly.

    As for your comments regarding the coding quality and such, I have to agree with you completely, as I described in my prior post.

    I have been around the software industry for a time, working for the DoD, Navy, DHS, for various software companies, manufacturing companies and the like. With exception to my government work, all of these have operated on relatively shoestring budgets, yet in each instance (except gov.) I have always been required to produce maintainable, quality code using proven coding practices. I have spent many years developing source control management processes, release management and coding standards. When I was working for the government, I brought source control management, release management and coding standards to them because “I” required it and because they lacked any trace of it. Out of all of the places I have worked, the government was, by far, the most lackadaisical about source control, release management and coding practices. The sources presented by your links illustrate this problem pretty well.

    Perhaps I am just getting old and have become nit picky in my ways, but I can make some very strong cases as to why proper development practices are critical in any software development, no matter the budgets or time constraints. In fact, the smaller the budget and tighter the time, the more important the practices become. I believe the whole reason why this is not done in most government projects, is simply because they don’t care. They are working with YOUR money and nobody holds anyone accountable for anything. This is why private industry can produce so much better than government can.

    And when you are talking about these climate models, for all the money surrounding the AGW garbage, for all the money that is being slated to be spent on radically changing our lives, the software better work and it better be balls on accurate! This notion from Hansen that “our program blows up”, for me, has to take the cake. Any software that “blows up” is “half baked”. Put it back in, its not done yet!

    Simply put, this is all a joke, and I completely dismiss any results produced by this kind of crap. Just doesn’t fly with me. If I can’t trust your code, you expect me to trust your results?

    My 2 cents anyway.

    And, Happy New Year to all!! I truly hope this year is a great for all!

    WUWT: Congratulations on the WebLog Awards Finalist, and I am voting for you every day! In my book, this is bar none the greatest climate and science blog on the planet. Great bunch of people here!

  189. Jeff says:

    Oops .. sorry … squidly = Jeff (different computer this time) ;-)

  190. Frank K. says:

    Ric Werme (17:41:38) :

    “Have you found http://www.giss.nasa.gov/tools/modelE/modelE.html ?”

    Sadly yes. As you discovered on your own, who knows what the various subroutines are really doing, given all the obvious hacks, lack of comments, etc.. And not a differential equation in sight…what a mess!

    “A minuscule amount of money from the financial impact of ModelE would do wonders.”

    This really isn’t about money (they could easily fund a documentation/validaion effort if they wanted) – it comes down to *** priorities ***, as defined by the principal investigators and project managers. Clearly, they feel that documenting what they do with model E (and gistemp for that matter) is not a priority. Instead, blogging, speaking out against coal-fired power plants and defending vandalism in the name of AGW are apparently more urgent…

  191. Joel Shore says:

    crosspatch says:

    Apparently the climate models in use by the warmers consider increased water vapor in the air a positive feedback. So in their models a forced temperature increase from CO2 causes increased evaporation which adds water vapor to the atmosphere increasing temperature further increasing evaporation even more, etc. and the process goes into “runaway greenhouse”.

    Actually (leaving Hansen’s latest claims of what might happen for large enough forcings aside), the climate models do not produce a runaway greenhouse. Rather, the water vapor feedback produces an amplification of the effect. As a simple example that is close to the actual estimated value for the feedback, if a 1 C rise in temperature due to increased CO2 (or whatever) causes additional evaporation that produces 0.5 C of additional warming then this additional warming will produce additional evaporation that causes 0.25 C of additional warming…which will then add an additional 0.125 C of warming…and so on. What you have is an infinite series but one that converges to the value of 2 (i.e., the water vapor feedback doubles the warming).

    According to Roy Spencer, Ph. D. the observations are the opposite. Increased water vapor acts as a negative feedback. That seems to be the primary disconnect between the “climate” models from people such as Hansen and the observed reality.

    (1) Actually, as I understand it, Spencer is claiming a negative feedback due to clouds, not water vapor. Of course, it is water vapor that condenses to form clouds, so the two are interrelated. Nonetheless, in climate science there has generally been a distinction made between the direct effect of water vapor and the effects of clouds (i.e., condensed water vapor in the atmosphere). I don’t think Spencer’s work argues against a positive water vapor feedback at all.

    (2) It is Spencer’s analysis of the observations that shows the opposite. It is not the observations themselves. That is, there is a non-trivial amount of analysis involved to get this result from the observational data. Spencer’s claims are in contradiction with a lot of other peer-reviewed work and I believe that most of his work has not yet appeared in the peer-reviewed literature yet…Some of it may have very recently but other scientists have not had a chance to respond (although there have been some responses in the blogosphere to certain parts of his work, e.g., one over at RealClimate and another over at tamino’s blog). It is usually not wise to “hang your hat” on work that other scientists have not had a chance to evaluate, especially when it contradicts a lot of other work that has been in the peer-reviewed literature for a long time. As just one example of the many problems with Spencer’s work: It would seem to be very difficult to explain how the ice age – interglacial transitions occurred if the climate system really has such a strong negative feedback in it.

    I believe his paper shows his figure to be something like a +0.5C change from doubling CO2. And one must remember that response to CO2 increase is logarithmic so one must greatly more than double CO2 again to get another 0.5C increase.

    Your last statement here is simply wrong. If a quantity A has a logarithmic dependence on a quantity B then each successive doubling of B produces the same increment of change in quantity A. This is opposed to a linear dependence which would mean that each fixed increment of change in B (e.g., an increase of 100 ppm) produces the same increment of change in quantity A.

    Scientists understand that the dependence of temperature on CO2 concentration is expected to be approximately logarithmic which is why they talk about the amount of temperature rise from a doubling of the concentration. (If they expected a linear rise, they would instead talk about, say, the amount of temperature rise from a 100ppm increase in concentration.)

  192. Bruce Cobb says:

    Smokey (19:58:06) :

    Don’t forget, we can vote once every 24 hours: click
    And, don’t forget to write down the time you voted, so you’ll know when you can vote again, and to help avoid “time creep” (before you know it, your vote time will be past your bedtime, and you can end up skipping a vote).
    Looks like the spread between WUWT and Phary has settled in to right around 12%.
    Comfortable, but keep the pressure on!

  193. “” Michael S (17:36:41) :

    George E. Smith (13:18:00) :

    And if you note that the global warmers insist that small CO2 warmings are amplified by water vapor positive feedback into large warming effects; then I would say that the models (time static) proposed for CO2 warming with water vapor feedback almost certainly guartantee that they would oscillate; well they would if they were true. And because of the delays in climate systems, its a fairly safe bet that they must oscillate if they provide any warming amplification at all.

    Going along with that train of thought, hypothetically, suppose the input level (CO2) is increasing and that the water vapor feedback is true, what would that imply about the frequency change of the oscillations over time, and what is the mechanism by which the oscillation Y axis value at a given point in time is driven down? “”

    Michael, I am not sure I grasp what it is you are asking; but I’ll take a whack at it any way.

    First off, when you have an oscillating system, you have a sytem that is inherently unstable. If the “loop gain” is less than one, then it isn’t an oscillator. Any transient input disturbance will eventually die out. If the loop gain is greater than 1 and given certain other conditions like phase shifts (time delays), the output would build up without limit if the system was linear; but systems never are, so eventually non-linearities will bring the loop gain at some output level down to one, and the amplitude of the oscillation would be limited at that point.

    If you start of with extremely small values of CO2 (or water or other GHG), then each additional molecule of CO2 (or what have you) will absorb thermal radiation on its own, and the warming effect would be linear with GHG concentration. But the amount of emitted thermal radiation gets reduced by the lower layers of the GHG, thus reducing the input to the higher layers, which tend to reduce the same fraction of the input they see, as do the lower layers.

    When the total concentration gets high enough the remaining amount of unabsorbed radiation is so small, that not much more warming can be obtained by adding more GHG, and this is where you enter the realm where the response to more GHG becomes logarithmic; which is tantamount to saying that each doubling of the GHG reduces the residual radiation by the same decremental amount, and if you presume that the warming is linear with captured energy, then the temperature increase would follow a logarithmic law too.
    Now none of this has anything to do with what frequency the system should oscillate at. The frequency tends to be controlled by energy storage processes and energy transfer between such processes.
    For example with a weight boucing up and down on a spring, the frequency depends of the mass of the “weight”, and the stiffness of the spring, and so long as those are constant, the frequency won’t change with amplitude of the oscillation.

    A thermal oscillation such as could occur in a climate situation, would have a frequency that depends on things like the heat capacity or specific heat of heat storage materiasl such as rock or water, and also on the rate at which heat energy can move from one place to another.

    Heating processes are generally slow compared to other physical phenomena, so the delay between applying some thermal energy, and the receiving body converting that to a temperature rise, is what would determine a period of oscillation.

    Well climate thermal processes aren’t too linear, and there is a lot of chaos to contend with too; but I have never seen a time dependent feedback equation for any of these “climate sensitivity” models, that one could use to determine whether it should oscilalte.

    One thing that seems to get lost in the shuffle, is that water vapor, and liquid water in clouds are quite absorbing in the same 5-50 micron wavelength range where the earth radiates; whereas CO2 absorbs in the range from about 13 to 16.5 microns centered at about 14.77 microns.

    So water vapor is plenty capable of grabbing the very same thermal radiation that CO2 grabs, and that effect has to diminish the effectiveness of CO2. Moreover, there is no magic to CO2 as far as starting “positive feedback warming”. The water vapor is perfectly capable of doing that all by itself; but the difference is CO2 doesn’t form clouds, like water does, and the water clouds eventually produce a strong negative feedback, by preventing solar radiation from reaching the ground; which is one of the reasons that I believe it is surface temperatures that should be measured and not air temperatures.

  194. Note to Crosspatch,

    Those “registers” that you ‘simply load a number into” consist of bistable memory elements (flip-flops) which at least in the silicon realm require positive feedback. Even in a dynamic memory cell (single transistor), the current state of the cell, which is just a charge on a gate capacitor, won’t be maintained except fo microseconds of time, unless it is constantly “refreshed” by a circuit, which senses the present charge state; decides whether to call it a one or a zero, and “reloads” that state into the cell which is a positive feedback enhancement of the charge condition on the capacitor.

    So you “software” won’t work without the hardware to make those registers or memeory locations, and maintains the data in them which in dynamic memories requires constant pulsed positive feedback to goose the collapsing state back to where it belongs. Static memory cells which typically may require six transistors; are simple bistable multivibrators which most definitely store their state as a result of a positive feedback loop that drives them to saturation in one limit state or another.

    I’ve spent 40 of the last 50 years designing circuits that weren’t supposed to oscillate and did; or circuits which were supposed to oscillate and didn’t.

    I’ve been everywhere from “valves” (vacuum tubes to you) to bipolar transistors; tunnel diodes, PMOS NMOS CMOS, magnetic cores, and every other kind of possible oscillating or switching circuit or device. I’ve even built digital counters out of rotary solenoid driven switches (they don’t forget where the are when the power goes out).

    I may only have a batchelors degree, but then i had five majors, including RadioPhysics in that lineup.

    So people can’t fool me with hoky ideas of what constitutes feedback.

    Don’t ask me about X-rays though; because although I know the basic Atomic Physics spectroscopy of X-rays, I’ve never actually worked in that region of the electromagnetic spectrum; but damn near everywhere else from DC to Cosmetic Rays.

  195. Ric Werme says:

    George E. Smith (18:22:22) :

    I’ve spent 40 of the last 50 years designing circuits that weren’t supposed to oscillate and did; or circuits which were supposed to oscillate and didn’t.

    And they pay you to do that? :-)

    Of course, I’ve spent as much time writing software bugs. One of these
    years I’ll learn the job.

  196. Well Ric, until you know how to make em oscillate, you can’t be sure how to design them so they don’t.

    One of the great benefits that computer simulations like SPICE brought to circuit design; especially analog circuit design, is that in the old days, we just used the rules that we learned from the textbooks, but the one thing they never ever taught in school about electronics, is that they aren’t any use to you until you turn them on; as in apply power to them.

    So nobody ever thought much about what happens while the power supply is rising from zero Voltage up to some operating value; so a lot of circuits were designed that were perfectly capable of going into a latchup state at some supply voltage level, that they couldn’t get into at the correct Voltage, but couldn’t get out of one they were latched.

    So throught the magic of transient analysis, we can watch the stability during the power up transient condition.

    I gave up on writing code; as soon as I discovered “Smith’s First Law of Software Code.”

    “When writing software code; no matter where you start, it is always necessary to do something else first !”

    George

  197. Richard Sharpe says:

    Ric Werme said:

    Of course, I’ve spent as much time writing software bugs. One of these
    years I’ll learn the job.

    Ahhh, so you are the guy who creates those bugs I have to find?

  198. vukcevic says:

    ‘Climate fix’ ship sets sail with plan to dump iron
    The largest and to date the most comprehensive experiment to soak up greenhouse-gas emissions by artificially fertilising the oceans set sail from South Africa earlier this week.
    more at:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16390-climate-fix-ship-sets-sail-with-plan-to-dump-iron-.html

  199. george20032 says:

    Your table started with 1998. That seems a bit disingenuous, as the huge El Nino effects appeared during that year. So far, I haven’t been able to obtain a graph from the NCDC site, but have obtained a “pl” file that shows -0.49 deg F / decade when the data begins with the year 1999.

  200. Richard Sharpe says:

    vukcevic said:

    The largest and to date the most comprehensive experiment to soak up greenhouse-gas emissions by artificially fertilising the oceans set sail from South Africa earlier this week.
    more at:
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16390-climate-fix-ship-sets-sail-with-plan-to-dump-iron-.html

    Wow, what a way to rush into the future. This has enormous potential for unintended consequences … perhaps we can sue them in the future.

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