“Surge in global temperatures since 1977 can be attributed to a 1976 climate shift in the Pacific Ocean”

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

Note: Above graph comes from this source and not the paper below. Only the abstract is available.

A new peer-reviewed climate study is presenting a head on challenge to man-made global warming claims. The study by three climate researchers appears in the July 23, 2009 edition of Journal of Geophysical Research. (Link to Abstract)

Full Press Release and Abstract to Study:

July 23, 2009

Three Australasian researchers have shown that natural forces are the dominant influence on climate, in a study just published in the highly-regarded Journal of Geophysical Research. According to this study little or none of the late 20th century global warming and cooling can be attributed to human activity.

The research, by Chris de Freitas, a climate scientist at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, John McLean (Melbourne) and Bob Carter (James Cook University), finds that the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a key indicator of global atmospheric temperatures seven months later. As an additional influence, intermittent volcanic activity injects cooling aerosols into the atmosphere and produces significant cooling.

“The surge in global temperatures since 1977 can be attributed to a 1976 climate shift in the Pacific Ocean that made warming El Niño conditions more likely than they were over the previous 30 years and cooling La Niña conditions less likely” says corresponding author de Freitas.

“We have shown that internal global climate-system variability accounts for at least 80% of the observed global climate variation over the past half-century. It may even be more if the period of influence of major volcanoes can be more clearly identified and the corresponding data excluded from the analysis.”

Climate researchers have long been aware that ENSO events influence global temperature, for example causing a high temperature spike in 1998 and a subsequent fall as conditions moved to La Niña. It is also well known that volcanic activity has a cooling influence, and as is well documented by the effects of the 1991 Mount Pinatubo volcanic eruption.

The new paper draws these two strands of climate control together and shows, by demonstrating a strong relationship between the Southern Oscillation and lower-atmospheric temperature, that ENSO has been a major temperature influence since continuous measurement of lower-atmospheric temperature first began in 1958.

According to the three researchers, ENSO-related warming during El Niño conditions is caused by a stronger Hadley Cell circulation moving warm tropical air into the mid-latitudes. During La Niña conditions the Pacific Ocean is cooler and the Walker circulation, west to east in the upper atmosphere along the equator, dominates.

“When climate models failed to retrospectively produce the temperatures since 1950 the modellers added some estimated influences of carbon dioxide to make up the shortfall,” says McLean.

“The IPCC acknowledges in its 4th Assessment Report that ENSO conditions cannot be predicted more than about 12 months ahead, so the output of climate models that could not predict ENSO conditions were being compared to temperatures during a period that was dominated by those influences. It’s no wonder that model outputs have been so inaccurate, and it is clear that future modelling must incorporate the ENSO effect if it is to be meaningful.”

Bob Carter, one of four scientists who has recently questioned the justification for the proposed Australian emissions trading scheme, says that this paper has significant consequences for public climate policy.

“The close relationship between ENSO and global temperature, as described in the paper, leaves little room for any warming driven by human carbon dioxide emissions. The available data indicate that future global temperatures will continue to change primarily in response to ENSO cycling, volcanic activity and solar changes.”

“Our paper confirms what many scientists already know: which is that no scientific justification exists for emissions regulation, and that, irrespective of the severity of the cuts proposed, ETS (emission trading scheme) will exert no measurable effect on future climate.”

McLean, J. D., C. R. de Freitas, and R. M. Carter (2009), Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature, Journal of Geophysical Research, 114, D14104, doi:10.1029/2008JD011637.

This figure from the McLean et al (2009) research shows that mean monthly global temperature (MSU GTTA) corresponds in general terms with the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) of seven months earlier. The SOI is a rough indicator of general atmospheric circulation and thus global climate change. The possible influence of the Rabaul volcanic eruption is shown.

Excerpted Abstract of the Paper appearing in the Journal of Geophysical Research:

Time series for the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) and global tropospheric temperature anomalies (GTTA) are compared for the 1958−2008 period. GTTA are represented by data from satellite microwave sensing units (MSU) for the period 1980–2008 and from radiosondes (RATPAC) for 1958–2008. After the removal from the data set of short periods of temperature perturbation that relate to near-equator volcanic eruption, we use derivatives to document the presence of a 5- to 7-month delayed close relationship between SOI and GTTA. Change in SOI accounts for 72% of the variance in GTTA for the 29-year-long MSU record and 68% of the variance in GTTA for the longer 50-year RATPAC record. Because El Niño−Southern Oscillation is known to exercise a particularly strong influence in the tropics, we also compared the SOI with tropical temperature anomalies between 20°S and 20°N. The results showed that SOI accounted for 81% of the variance in tropospheric temperature anomalies in the tropics. Overall the results suggest that the Southern Oscillation exercises a consistently dominant influence on mean global temperature, with a maximum effect in the tropics, except for periods when equatorial volcanism causes ad hoc cooling. That mean global tropospheric temperature has for the last 50 years fallen and risen in close accord with the SOI of 5–7 months earlier shows the potential of natural forcing mechanisms to account for most of the temperature variation.

Received 16 December 2008; accepted 14 May 2009; published 23 July 2009.

UPDATE: Kenneth Trenberth of NCAR has posted a rebuttal to this paper. Which you can read here:

http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/FosteretalJGR09.pdf

Thanks to WUWT reader “Bob” for the email notice. – Anthony

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246 thoughts on ““Surge in global temperatures since 1977 can be attributed to a 1976 climate shift in the Pacific Ocean”

  1. Oh geez, now you’ve done it. I send my regards to your moderators, who will no doubt be snipping some very rabid comments. ;-)

  2. It will be interesting to see how the AGW activists receive this paper and its peer reviewed findings…..

    I expect that the AGW mob will try to ignore it in its entirety, whilst attacking the reputation of the Scientists that produced it.

  3. How long will it take before the GW boys realize the rug has been pulled out from under them? Will it have any influence on the cap and trade movement?
    I sure hope so!!!!

  4. Data and Empirical Observation trump Models.

    Man made CO2 as a climate forcing agent (at 385PPM+) is increasingly occupying the margins…

    1. Low sensitivity for C02, negative feedbacks from other systems.
    2. Substantial saturation of the spectrum that CO2 absorbs at 385PPM+.
    3. Lack of visible impact of Human Emissions on the measured rate of CO2 rise suggests natural drivers for CO2 rise.

    Hopefully the AGW myth will begin to die.

  5. Anthony,
    I must apologize for my lack of education. I am trying. I was the one who in an earlier comment suggested instrument error for the 1998 blip in satellite measured temperatures. I have since found several references (including this one) referring to an El Nino event causing the jump. This large of a jump in such a short period of time seemed wrong to me because I have been steeped in the slow CO2-driven-3-degrees-per-hundred-year rise in temperature as the source of the coming disaster. I now realize the differences of time constant and scale between land and ocean affects on the atmosphere and that of carbon dioxide capture of IR radiation. I need to find a reference that will explain how such a small effect will send the climate into instability while the much larger and faster ocean and land contributions average out to nothing in the same time frame.

  6. Is there no plot of the SOI index beyond 2004?

    REPLY: There is, this is just an example graphic. I’ll see if I can locate a better example. – Anthony

    REPLY2: I have located and inserted a better example. – Anthony

  7. Climate researchers have long been aware that ENSO events influence global temperature, for example causing a high temperature spike in 1998 and a subsequent fall as conditions moved to La Niña. It is also well known that volcanic activity has a cooling influence, and as is well documented by the effects of the 1991 Mount Pinatubo volcanic eruption.

    Do ENSO events really affect global temperature? Or do they just shift heat around so that it ends up in places where it gets noticed? I don’t see ENSO events adding or removing energy from the system.

  8. It will be interesting to see if the major newspapers pick up on it, given the left-green bias evident in most science/climate reporters, dont count on it.

    We should email all the politicians involved in carbon tax / cap & Trade etc and beat them over the head with the string of reports which undercut the IPCC sensitivity, positive feedback junk science on which Carbon taxes etc are based.

  9. “”REPLY2: I have located and inserted a better example. – Anthony””
    Yes. You can see how global temperatures have at least levelled out.
    The current El Niño seems to be fizzling out early. More cooling?

  10. An ENSO flip in 1976? Changes in ENSO, solar forcing and volcanic activity causing most of the climate variability? I have heard this all before. And I *still* believe it to be true.

  11. Jeff Alberts (22:33:51) :

    …………………………….
    Do ENSO events really affect global temperature? Or do they just shift heat around so that it ends up in places where it gets noticed? I don’t see ENSO events adding or removing energy from the system.

    - Good point. If India gets a weaker/stronger monsoon they just get on with it, they don’t go insane.

    - Nice match for 1998 event BTW.

  12. Well, I’ve read the paper. It shows that fluctuations in global temp correlate well with ENSO and volcanoes, but we knew that. And they have observed, as many have, that the pattern of El Nino’s changed somewhat after 1976. What this analysis doesn’t tell you much about is trends. The variation that they analyse for is dominated by fluctuation rather than trend. Or it would be, but they do more. They actually do the correlation on year-to-year differences. This turns any steady trend into a constant. So the analysis would not even see a trend due to AGW, and can’t possibly rule it out.

  13. “I don’t see ENSO events adding or removing energy from the system.”
    I don’t think that is the inference, rather enso events are a manifestation of the heat transfer from the oceans to the atmosphere and it is this process which has been the primary proximate driver of the warming that has made AGW people so over-excited. The point is that CO2 has not been a significant contributor to the warming atmosphere.

  14. “During La Niña conditions the Pacific Ocean is cooler and the Walker circulation, west to east in the upper atmosphere along the equator, dominates.”

    Really introducing the physically impossible Walker cell concept into this weakens this paper tremendously. The Walker cell has been demonstrated a “physical miracle”. On Africa for instance observations run counter to the Walker cell supposed effects -cf Leroux “Meteorology and climate of tropical Africa”.

    As long as this kind of poor atmospheric circulation models are still used by either the AGWists or the realists -not that realists obviously-, we are unlikely to get real progress.

  15. “The IPCC acknowledges in its 4th Assessment Report that ENSO conditions cannot be predicted more than about 12 months ahead, so the output of climate models that could not predict ENSO conditions were being compared to temperatures during a period that was dominated by those influences. It’s no wonder that model outputs have been so inaccurate, and it is clear that future modelling must incorporate the ENSO effect if it is to be meaningful.” To steal a phrase from David Kay … ‘We Were Almost All Wrong’ .. and so are the models. Once again, a “global concensus” was wrong.

  16. I wonder if the step changes Bob Tisdale talked about ENSO providing can explain the trends in temperature. If he isn’t busy tinkering around with more animations, I would love to hear from him on this. :-)

  17. Anthony, just for fun, if it is not too difficult, could you overlay your favorite global temp graph on the ENSO graph? That would visually display the claim made in the paper (if I understand the contention being made). Or, if you have already done that on another post, would you please point me there? Thank you.

  18. “Do ENSO events really affect global temperature? Or do they just shift heat around so that it ends up in places where it gets noticed? I don’t see ENSO events adding or removing energy from the system.”

    Yes, they might. The reason is that they may affect clouds and convection. These processes might be significant elements both in the absorption of heat from the Sun, and transfer of heat out from the earth. They can therefore do more than move heat around.

    I think the argument is very roughly like this. Suppose we had two objects with relatively poor conductivity at the same temperature. So they both cool at the same rate. We now set up some arrangement on one of them that makes the heat distribution uneven. The left hand part of one is very hot, the right hand part is very cool. The total heat content remains the same.

    This one will cool faster, because heat transfer is a function of temperature difference, and we have raised the temperature difference for the left hand part. So you might have the feeling that whatever it is that moves the heat content from right to left is ‘just moving heat around’, and that is true, but this does not mean it does not have any effect on heat loss from the body as a whole.

  19. Nick Stokes

    I think you miss the point. The analyses effectively takes out the ENSO effect, which over many years pretty much accounts for all temperature change. IE the global temperature now is approaching that of 1975. If there was a trend left then that might be said to be the AGW signal. Unfortunately for the trolls this team are saying that there is little or no trend left for the GWs to cling on to. See what they mean?

  20. “[...] if the period of influence of major volcanoes can be more clearly identified and the corresponding data excluded from the analysis [...]“

    I hope the (ultimate) goal is to “include properly” rather than “exclude” (which seems a sensible interim strategy).

    -
    Time to track down a copy of this paper…

  21. I broadly agree with this paper apart, that is, with the assumption that this leaves very little room for CO2. There is still an underlying trend – even allowing for ENSO/PDO fluctuations. If there weren’t then the temperatures in the early 1940s would be similar to what they are to-day. Though, John Goetz’s “GISS Step 1″ post a few days ago could mean the 2000s-1940s difference is reduced a bit.

    The other point worth noting is that this paper also leave little room for a solar effect.

  22. KEY PARAGRAPH: “The new paper draws these two strands of climate control together and shows, by demonstrating a strong relationship between the Southern Oscillation and lower-atmospheric temperature, that ENSO has been a major temperature influence since continuous measurement of lower-atmospheric temperature first began in 1958″

    This ties in with the satellite data.

    Importantly, now we know why there is no HOT-SPOT (that is the lack of radiative forcing in the tropical troposphere – the dreaded AGW).

    Just think $ trillions are now going to be spent in trying to fix something that us humans cannot fix – this planet’s climate.

    This paper can be summed up quite neatly, “IT’S THE OCEANS STUPID”

  23. Anthony
    do you think that there is or there could be an anti-AGW statement, paper, posting that is too stupid for you to put it on your web side?

    Tamino pulled this paper to pieces even faster than you could post it.

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/07/24/old-news/

    You guys seem to have serious problems with addition and subtraction either of trends or of constants and what that means for certain analysis.

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/01/19/a-bag-of-hammers/

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/03/02/whats-up-with-that/


    REPLY:
    If the paper is “stupid”, and having been published in JGR, then this of course says much about the state of peer review, and that works both ways. There have been plenty of “stupid” pro AGW papers as well. Tamino is entitled to his opinion, I don’t necessarily agree with it. While Tamino is a clever mathematician, and could probably write a convincing proof that 2+2 does not equal 4, that doesn’t equate to reality. When Tamino starts complaining about the “stupidity” of some of Al Gore’s claims, Jim Hansen’s obvious bias, or perhaps other papers other than what are posted on WUWT, then he’ll truly be a balanced scientist. For now, he’s just a nameless Internet coward with an agenda like so may others. – Anthony

  24. Nick Stokes (23:20:09) :
    … And they have observed, as many have, that the pattern of El Nino’s changed somewhat after 1976. What this analysis doesn’t tell you much about is trends…

    So, Is it possible that the pattern of El Niño has changed due to an increase of atmospheric CO2 levels? Like more Niños and less Niñas are “conceived” due to the CO2 increase?

    The warmists can still say that Gaia is delivering more baby boys than baby girls because we consume too much oil. And many will believe it just because it has the words “Gaia” and “consume” on it.

  25. The last sentence of the pub – my emphasis added in bold:

    “Finally, this study has shown that natural climate forcing associated with ENSO is a major contributor to variability and perhaps recent trends in global temperature, a relationship that is not included in current global climate models.” (McLean, de Freitas, & Carter 2009)

    Is the part in bold really true? (I’m not an expert on computer fantasies.)

  26. Nick Stokes says:

    1. “What this analysis doesn’t tell you much about is trends.”
    2. “They actually do the correlation on year-to-year differences.”

    OK, I’ll bite; what is your understanding of this thing called “trend”

  27. I’ve just studied the graphs in the publication. It should be possible to use cross-wavelet methods to determine the timescale of the volcanic interference. I would throw AAM, LOD, & CO2 into such a study — it is child’s play to show that they fit into this T & SOI picture.

    Serious question: Can someone get me a new source of funding? I’m dead serious. You can’t get funded in my area unless you want to prove global warming and it’s catastrophic consequences. Please consider this an SOS from a comrade armed with an arsenal of cross-wavelet methods.

  28. re: Jeff Alberts 22:33:51,
    “I don’t see ENSO events adding or removing energy from the system…”

    how about that picture?
    ENSO vs pacific warm water volume:

  29. There is a confusion here between variability and long-term trend. No great surprise that ENSO events can explain a lot of the short-term fluctuations in global temperature, but how can they explain a rise over 50+ years? This study is actually designed in such a way that any long-term near-linear change in temperature is excluded from consideration.

    This is not the first time that I have seen this rather fundamental confusion displayed on this site. Imagine a car being driven along a hilly stretch of road, the driver of which is slowly and steadily pressing the gas pedal further down. Measurements of the speed of the car would show it slowing down and speeding up from time to time as it goes up and down the hills. But the long-term average speed is seen to increase across the record. An analysis of the relationship between the speed of the car and the gradient of the road would undoubtedly show that almost 100% of the variability in the speed of the car can be explained by changes in gradient, with a suitable lag. Does that mean that the faster average speed of the car at the end of the record is nearly 100% explained by changes in gradient, or could it possibly have something to do with the position of the gas pedal?

  30. Jeff Alberts: You wrote, “Do ENSO events really affect global temperature? Or do they just shift heat around so that it ends up in places where it gets noticed? I don’t see ENSO events adding or removing energy from the system.”

    ENSO events impact global surface temperature, which is the variable that most people are familiar with. During ENSO-neutral periods, there is a significant volume of warm water below the surface of the western tropical Pacific in the Pacific Warm Pool, where it is not included in the surface temperature readings. An El Nino shifts the warm water to the east along the equator of the Pacific. It rises to the surface in the process and becomes part of the temperature record. Much of the warm water returns to the Pacific Warm Pool during the subsequent La Nina. But during significant El Nino events such as those in 1986/87/88 and 1997/98, some of the warm water stays on the surface. This causes upward step changes in the SST of the East Indian and West Pacific Oceans. This was discussed and illustrated in my two-part post “Can El Nino Events Explain All of the Warming Since 1976?”

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/01/can-el-nino-events-explain-all-of.html

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/01/can-el-nino-events-explain-all-of_11.html

    El Nino events also cause tropical heat to be redistributed to mid-to-high latitudes of the lower troposphere where it can be radiated into space more readily (and where it can help melt ice).

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/06/rss-msu-tlt-time-latitude-plots.html

  31. Nick
    It is the official IPCC position that only in the last half-century can man’s influence be teased out of natural variation. Anyone who now asserts that the century long trend is unnatural is merely pushing a point of view. The case rests entirely on whether that trend may be something other than GHG’s and the IPCC has already conceded that most of it may have been natural. And here is the argument that the last bit may have been natural too.

    And when climate researchers tell us why they hold the conviction (contrary to the IPCC) that the entire century trend is man-made, they cite either Mann’s very flawed paleo reconstructions or the Vostok ice-core record. Both arguments have massive holes in them. But what is wrong with the “natural recovery from the little ice-age” argument? Obviously the drop into the little ice-age was natural.

  32. Davidc,
    The greenhouse theory says that due to GHG, there’s a radiative imbalance of about 1.6 W/m2 This is a continuous addition of heat to our environment, which would be expected to be reflected in gradually rising temperatures. Overlaid on that are all sorts of natural fluctuations, of which ENSO is a big one.

    Now in the best of circunstances, if you try to resolve that with correlation with ENSO and volcanoes, you’ll mostly get an answer reflecting the fluctuations. The trend would make a small contribution to the correlation measure. But in this paper, it’s evcen worse. They have done a correlation, not with temperature, but with year-to-year temperature differences. The differences of a steady trend are constant, and just can’t show up in a correlation.

    Stephen Richards – this answers your point. They haven’t taken out ENSO and found nothing left. They don’t say that anyway, in the paper. What they have done, is taken out, by differencing, any trend, before they even start.

  33. I wonder if it will take another 33 years before someone writes a paper titled, “Drop in global temperatures since 2008 can be attributed to a 2007 climate shift in the Pacific Ocean” — John M Reynolds

  34. Bob,
    On this issue of ENSO events causing warming – if they do warm the surface and atmosphere, which in turn increases outgoing IR, then wouldn’t the oceans have to correspondingly lose heat? And did they over that period since 1976?

    JamesG,
    I don’t agree with various things that you are saying, but it’s moot – the analysis of this paper is from 1950 to 2008, and I haven’t spoken of any other period.

  35. Assuming Chris de Freitas, John McLean and/or Bob Carter are monitoring this thread, I have a comment about a statement made in the paper. In Paragraph 22, you wrote, “The transfer of tropical heat to the Arctic increases as SOI trends toward El Nino conditions. This transfer of heat, estimated by Trenberth and Caron [2001] to be about 5 petawatts at mid latitudes during El Nino events, can account for local warming in the Arctic and the consequent decrease in sea ice extent, although the latter is probably also influenced by water temperature which in turn is driven by the transport of heat by ocean currents that operate on a longer time constant (~1000 years) than does the atmosphere.”

    I assume the oceanic time constant of ~1,000 years you’re referring to is the approximate time required for waters to make a “complete circuit” of the oceans as part of Thermohaline Circulation, the Conveyor Belt. However, surface and subsurface currents work on much shorter time spans. These are measured in months and years. Included in the following linked post is a video called the “Lingering Effects of the 1997/98 El Nino”. About 1:15 minutes into the video, note how the Northern Equatorial Current shifts warm water from the eastern equatorial Pacific to the Western Pacific. It only takes a few months. Also note how quickly that warm water is distributed around the Western Pacific and the Eastern Indian Oceans and how long that warm water lingers. It lasts until the El Nino of 2002/03, which elevates SST anomalies in the East Indian and West Pacific Oceans once again.

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/12/lingering-effects-of-199798-el-nino.html

    Your statement also excludes warming of the ocean surface by the atmosphere, which can be seen in the following video, especially in the North Atlantic. I set the “sensitivity” of the SST anomalies in those maps so that the interactions between the atmosphere and SST would show.

    Regards

  36. Paul Biggs: You wrote, “Anthony – If you haven’t got a copy of the paper – I have it.”

    Hmmm. I should have asked you last night, Paul, before I spent the $9.00.

    Regards

  37. “no scientific justification exists for emissions regulation”
    I love it. ENSO, Volcanic emissions and the sun control our climate, not Anthropogenic CO2 emissions.
    A single report that presents an almost complete picture.

    This is a peer reviewed report so it can’t be ignored by the IPCC.
    AGW is dead, dead, dead.

    From now on, any reference to AGW/Climate Change and any political quest to introduce climate legislation must be categorized as plain deception.

    Thank you Chris Freitag, thank you Bob Carter, thank you John McLean.

  38. Mac: You wrote, “Importantly, now we know why there is no HOT-SPOT (that is the lack of radiative forcing in the tropical troposphere – the dreaded AGW).”

    If there was a Hotspot, it would likely result from El Nino events. El Nino events, CO2, and increases in solar irradiance have the same signature in GCMs. Refer to the RealClimate post:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/12/tropical-troposphere-trends

    In it, they write, “Whether the warming is from greenhouse gases, El Nino’s, or solar forcing, trends aloft are enhanced. For instance, the GISS model equilibrium runs with 2xCO2 or a 2% increase in solar forcing both show a maximum around 20N to 20S around 300mb (10 km):”

    Refer also to;

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/06/another-look-at-polar-amplification.html

  39. This data sounds strong for the TROPICS.

    Clearly we hear that arctic temperature changes are far more radical – ten degrees or so.

    So the question needing to be asked right now is: any linkages of ENSO, PDO, AMO or ICP or combinations of them to tropospheric temperatures in the subtropics, mid-latitudes and polar regions?

    And most importantly: what triggered the 1976 shift and others before it and is there any reason to suppose that those triggers are materially affected by human beings as we currently exist?

    At least this is SCIENCE. Analysing DATA.

    Lots more of that, please!

  40. Bob Tisdale (04:15:29) :
    Your remarks in regard to the posted report, significant as always, could be send to Bob Carter directly Email: bob.carter@jcu.edu.au

    This way he will know his report is posted at WUWT.

  41. The paper authors said
    “We have shown that internal global climate-system variability accounts for at least 80% of the observed global climate variation over the past half-century.

    AMO/PDO/ENSO/SOI cycles not only account for the climate variability for the last 50 year but the previous 50 years as well.

    1900-1926 COOL [AMO –VE, PDO –VE &+VE]

    1926-1944 WARM [AMO & PDO POSITIVE]

    1964-1976 COOL [AMO& PDO NEGATIVE]

    1994 -2008 WARM [AMO & PDO POSITIVE]

  42. Nick Stokes: You asked, “Bob, On this issue of ENSO events causing warming – if they do warm the surface and atmosphere, which in turn increases outgoing IR, then wouldn’t the oceans have to correspondingly lose heat? And did they over that period since 1976?”

    Nick, 70% of the surface of the globe being warmed by El Nino events is the ocean. The El Ninos are simply transferring subsurface waters to the surface, so there’s no net change there in OHC. There is exchange between the tropical Pacific and the atmosphere, which causes a dip and rebound in OHC during El Nino events.

  43. Tamino has already (http://tamino.wordpress.com/) published a thorouh debunking of the math and data manipulation used in this paper. Basically the authors uses a statistical analysis to eliminate the trend and then show that CO2 does not account for variability in the trend. The authors seem confused about trend versus variability in a trend. Tamino shows that even if one adds a very strong linear trend of increasing temperature to the data, the methods used in this paper would not detect it.

    Since there is much concern about data manipulation on this blog, checking Tamino’s analysis is worthwhile. In addition to using higher math, he uses a simple graphical approach to point out the basic flaws in this paper.

  44. There was a similar period of rising global temperatures between 1911 and 1944. together with a series of EL Ninos and warming AMO/PDO/ENSO/SOI like the period 1976 -2008. The 1976 Pacific warming event was just the latest of such events.

    1904-1905 El Nino
    1905-1906 EL Nino
    1911-1912 EL Nino
    1914-1915 El Nino
    1918-1919 El Nino
    1925-1926 El Nino
    1940-1941 El Nino
    1941-1942 El Nino

    Global Air Temperature anomalies Per HADCRUT3

    1911 -0.581C
    1944 +0.120 C
    NET CHANGE 0.701C

    1976 -0.254C
    2005 +0.482C
    NET CHANGE 0. 736C

    So global warming periods existed well before IPCC was born

  45. Bob Tisdale (04:15:29) :

    Bob, if there are any points in this report that could be improved by input via WUWT, we should move to implement them in order to make it better and stronger.
    The entire AGW community attempt to destroy it.

    I think it is extremely important to kill the AGW hoax with a single report.
    Therefore I think it’s important to have the publishers of the report involved in the discussion here.

    Do you agree?

  46. Personally, I’m skeptical of this report for the exact same reasons I’m skeptical of AGW. The climate is still a complex, dynamic system. While I tend to agree with some of its conclusions that doesn’t change the fact they are probably missing many components and interactions.

    I suspect we are still a long way from understanding exactly what drives ENSO. We understand how it manifests itself but I have yet to see anything that nails all the factors. Clearly, CO2 could play a part although I think the Lindzen paper does more to douse the CO2 significance. And, of course, the sun is probably involved in one way or another. ;)

    I hope this paper plays a part in getting climate science off the CO2 hysteria and back to a more sane approach where all factors are considered while conducting the research and BEFORE making conclusions.

  47. O.T. Ramp up of Solar Cycle 24:
    Today a Cycle 23 spot (big word) emerged.

    “A small sunspot is developing inside the circled region. Its magnetic polarity identifies it as a member of old Solar Cycle 23. Credit: SOHO/MDI”

    http://www.spaceweather.com

  48. The ENSO is strongly correlated with the SOI and the ENSO is strongly correlated with the Tropics temperatures (and even more correlated with the Tropics troposphere temperatures than the surface). So, one would expect to find a close relationship between the two.

    But even if you pull the ENSO or SOI influence out of the temperature series, there is still a general trend upward leftover in the residuals.

    In addition, the SOI itself doesn’t provide as good of a reconstruction as the ENSO itself and any reconstruction performs much better if you add the AMO as one of the variables and if you add CO2 as one of the variables to account for the general upward trend leftover.

    Here is a really nice reconstruction of Hadcrut3 Tropics temperatures going back to 1871. R^2 is 0.782 and the correlation coefficient is 0.88. The upward trend leftover would translate to about 1.7C of warming by 2100.

    If one applies the same process this paper has done adding the radiosonde lower troposphere temps (from 1958 is the data I have) to the RSS tropics temps from 1979 onward, the reconstruction is similar.

    [I haven't adjusted these reconstructions for volcanoes because I just don't see any need to do so, they hardly show up at all - I could plug a few tenths of C here or there but it would just be a plug which needs to be done less often in climate science.]

    There is still a general warming trend leftover which would be about 1.2C by 2100.

  49. Nice to see in publication, but hardly a hypothesis. The Joes (D’Aleo & Bastardi) have been basically arguing this point for years.

  50. These cycles follow bigger cycles. In order to get a real forecast, what meteorologist are supposed, and expected to do it well, one must have a wider perspective. So we cannot say, as it would be the same, “solar forcing”,ENSO.
    No, let us remember the bigger cycles and their: “correlation”?, “coincidence”? with climate.
    Following Socrates´ mayeutic method, we should ask ourselves: What was the cause of ENSO, PDO, etc.? because, if we don´t, we get entangled in any “new age science” binary “algorithm” computer game.

  51. Bill D .. nothing Tamino says can detract from the relationship shown in Figures 7(a), (b) and (c) of the paper.

    Jeff L .. I completely agree with you that Joe D’Aleo has been talking about this subject for quite a while. He’s one of the frequent commentators but he’s not the only one. Search Joe’s ICECAP and you’ll find an article on the 1976 Pacific Climate shift from me on 3 Oct 2007 and Joe refers to my work on this subject on 10 Oct 2007 and again on 28 April 2008.

  52. @Anthony

    When Tamino starts complaining about the “stupidity” of some of Al Gore’s claims, Jim Hansen’s obvious bias, or perhaps other papers other than what are posted on WUWT, then he’ll truly be a balanced scientist. For now, he’s just a nameless Internet coward with an agenda like so may others.

    Better secretely clever than openly dump.
    Anyhow the papers “hypothesis” is falsified. Forget it.

    @Tisdale
    Concerning the Pacific SSTs, Niño is essentially a phenomenon within the thermocline. Besides of the desastrous mathematics of the paper the idea that a phenomon distributing heat BETWEEN two reservoirs (upper ocean, atmosphere) could produce a warming of both doesnt make sense.

    REPLY: It is Tamino’s opinion that the paper’s hypothesis is falsified, but his opinion has no weight unless he writes a letter of rebuttal or paper to JGR. So many people, including “Tamino” tell me that my opinion here doesn’t matter, fair enough, so what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Let Tamino follow procedure of JGR/peer review and get it published. Until then it is just one of many opinions about the paper. – Anthony

  53. Ron de Haan says:

    It would be nice to have the complete report at hand.
    Is it available? Anyone?

    http://www.climatescience.org.nz/images/PDFs/mclean_defreitas_carter_jgr_2009.pdf

    Bill D says:

    Tamino has already (http://tamino.wordpress.com/) published a thorouh debunking of the math and data manipulation used in this paper. … Tamino shows that even if one adds a very strong linear trend of increasing temperature to the data, the methods used in this paper would not detect it.

    Ouch!! Quite a thorough debunking indeed! In fact, all that they seem to have shown is basically what many of us have been saying for quite some time, which is that the variability in the temperature data (especially the satellite data) about the general trend is strongly influenced by ENSO with a several month delay.

  54. John McLean says:

    Bill D .. nothing Tamino says can detract from the relationship shown in Figures 7(a), (b) and (c) of the paper.

    And, nothing does. Almost everybody agrees that the ups-and-downs in the temperature (especially the lower tropospheric one measured by satellites) is due in very large part to ENSO. However, this says nothing about what the overall trend is due to…And, in fact, Tamino shows that if you add in a HUGE artificial linear trend of ~10 C / decade to the data, you get precisely the same result!

  55. ” John Finn (01:19:37) :

    I broadly agree with this paper apart, that is, with the assumption that this leaves very little room for CO2. There is still an underlying trend – even allowing for ENSO/PDO fluctuations.”

    Sure, but it’s probably due to the rebound from the LIA, as Akasofu and others have argued.

  56. @Anthony
    The paper is not worth a formal rebuttal. One can not take care of each stupidity even if it passed peer review.

    Independent from the formal process you certainly understood what went wrong and what Tamino demonstrated in his post (in partcular since you had very similar problems before). Why not putting a little warning under the post saying that the paper is unfortunately plain wrong?

    REPLY: Well the “plain wrong” part remains to be seen. Tamino has made mistakes before, but is loathe to allow them to see the light of day. McIntyre has knocking him down a peg or two on several occasions. Look at the comment by Basil for example. Rather than take the Obama “there’s no time we must do this now” stance, I’ll get some other opinions in. Besides, WUWT is one of hundreds of blogs carrying this paper.

    As for the “not worth a formal rebuttal” that speaks volumes about academic laziness. If truth truly matters, then it is worth a rebuttal, if the goal is smear, then that has certainly been accomplished. – Anthony

  57. Anthony Watts says:

    If the paper is “stupid”, and having been published in JGR, then this of course says much about the state of peer review, and that works both ways.

    Well, I think we already know that peer review is an imperfect filter. Its purpose is to increase the signal-to-noise ratio in the literature, not to block out all bad papers.

    However, there is something else going on here too: The paper itself emphasizes the correlation between ENSO and detrended global temperatures. There are a few fairly mild statements about how this might also account for long term trends (and better refereeing would have caught that these statements are not supported by what the paper presents). However, the strongest statements in regards to the longer term trends are made in the press release, not the paper itself. Needless to say, their press release is not peer reviewed.

  58. Nick, you wrote:

    “They actually do the correlation on year-to-year differences. This turns any steady trend into a constant.”

    “What they have done, is taken out, by differencing, any trend, before they even start.”

    I haven’t read the paper yet, so I don’t have my own understanding of what they did, just what you are here describing. Now you are a smart guy, and maybe you are trying to say something else, but…

    Differencing does not “take out” a trend. The “constant” is the trend.

    Example:

    I happen to have HadCRUT3 data open in gretl on my desktop. A simple trend through the data (regressing against time) yields a slope of 0.000366025 (this is monthly). If I take the average of the first difference, I get 0.00055131. Different, yes, but just different ways of looking at the (monthly) rate of change, i.e. “trend”. Now you can argue the merits of using either approach, but to claim that the differencing method “removes” (my word, but I think it captures the sense of what you are alleging here) the trend is incorrect.

    Incidentally, another way to compute the “trend” here would be to fit a “smooth” to the data with HP smoothing, difference it, and calculate the average. The result? 0.00038539. Not much different than the “linear” trend. But this approach is far superior, in my view, because it preserves the non-linearity of natural cycles in the data, and can be used to calculate “trends in trends” i.e. systematic variation in the data around the linear trend line.

    As a case in point about “trends in trends” here is an image of the “trend in the trend” in HadCRUT3 since 1979 (e.g. the “satellite era”):

    I’ve converted from the monthly data to a decadal equivalent by multiplying by 120. The average decadal “trend” computed this way (since 1950), is 0.094731. The “linear trend” (from regressing against time) is 0.11572428 (decadal equivalent), which I think is ballpark close to IPCC calculations.

    Here’s a thought, for you. If you look at my image, I imagine you might see an upward slope to the trend of trends. Is that evidence of AGW? I don’t know, but I kind of doubt it. I rather think that we’re just looking at “natural climate variability” here. But assume that it is evidence of AGW. From a linear regression through the “trend in trends,” like this:

    we’re looking at an increase of from roughly 0.06 to 0.13 since 1950. At that “rate of change in the rate of change,” it would about double from 0.13 to 0.26 over the next century, which implies about a 2° C increase over a century.

    But all of this could just be natural climate variability, and there is no reason to think that the linear regression in the second image will continue that trend for 100 years. In fact, with the “trend of trends” currently below zero, a linear trend will continue to decline for some time.

    Bottom line, though, is that differencing does not remove the trend. It merely looks at the trend differently, and in conjunction with a technique like HP smoothing, more profoundly than just running linear trends through the undifferenced temperature data.

  59. Anthony Watts says:

    It is Tamino’s opinion that the paper’s hypothesis is falsified, but his opinion has no weight unless he writes a letter of rebuttal or paper to JGR. So many people, including “Tamino” tell me that my opinion here doesn’t matter, fair enough, so what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Let Tamino follow procedure of JGR/peer review and get it published. Until then it is just one of many opinions about the paper.

    Well, in time I am sure that there will indeed be comments written on the paper. However, in the meantime, I think anyone who has taken mathematics up through calculus can easily confirm that what Tamino says is in fact correct.

    And, just to re-emphasize: Tamino does not disagree with the main hypothesis of the paper (as opposed to that of the press release) that ENSO accounts for much of the up-and-down fluctuations in temperature. In fact, as he noted, he himself has pointed this out before. Rather, he disagrees with their statement that they have shown that “perhaps” it accounts for the overall multidecadal trend too. To quote Tamino explicitly:

    That ENSO is a major contributor to variability in global temperature, is ancient news. In fact I’ve shown it myself.

    That ENSO is a major contributor to recent trends in global temperature, they have not shown — not even “perhaps.” In fact it’s downright impossible for their methodology to do so.

  60. Basil says:

    Differencing does not “take out” a trend. The “constant” is the trend.

    But, the constant is then completely irrelevant to the subsequent correlation computation. So, from the point of view of computing correlations, you have indeed taken out any effect of the trend. The correlation that you get is identical even when you add a fake linear trend of 10 C / decade to the original temperature data!!

  61. So this can account for 80% of the warming. GISS Step 1 can account for 10% of the GISS warming. Hmm.

  62. @Anthony
    So the answer to my original question ist: None

    REPLY: Well then if we are all just too “stupid”, your word, why frequent here? I simply prefer to get more information. The paper took weeks or months to produce, to dismiss it wholesale in 24 hours isn’t reasonable. It may very well be that there is a math error. However that does not negate the entire paper. I’m interested in seeing what others say about it, because one anonymous blogger does not a total falsification make.

    You could do well to learn some manners also. – Anthony

    @Basil
    read the press release at least:
    “The close relationship between ENSO and global temperature, as described in the paper, leaves little room for any warming driven by human carbon dioxide emissions. ”
    The “little room” refers to correlation. Constants do not correlate.

  63. NigelHarris (02:34:28) :
    There is a confusion here between variability and long-term trend. No great surprise that ENSO events can explain a lot of the short-term fluctuations in global temperature, but how can they explain a rise over 50+ years? This study is actually designed in such a way that any long-term near-linear change in temperature is excluded from consideration.

    So, the IPCC says the increase from CO2 will not be monotonic, which is how they explain away the fact that global temps today are similar to the late 1970′s. Now you’re telling us that CO2 acts as a “long-term near-linear change”.

    Whew, there’s some logic I can believe in.

  64. Anyone following this issue knows about the strong correlation between temps and ENSO. Here is a WUWT post by Bill Illis from Feb-09 saying much the same thing but going a step farther to demonstrate the correlation between ENSO and trade winds. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/02/17/the-trade-winds-drive-the-enso/

    We also have cause to believe that the peer review process is not nearly so rigorous as it should be. While we see a strong bias toward pro-AGW studies, we have to allow that a deficiency in academic rigor in the process can cut both ways.

    In order for realists to have/maintain/increase their credibility, they need to subject papers supporting their hypotheses to the same level of scrutiny as those that the AGWers use supporting theirs.

    As Anthony suggested, a look-see by McIntyre should easily confirm/deny the claims by Tamino that the correlation this paper demonstrates is just with the variability, not with the trend.

    Personally, I am going to hold off on popping the champagne corks until the results are in. To do otherwise invites criticism from the AGWers if the study is flawed. If there is egg to be found on faces, let it not be ours.

  65. “According to the three researchers, ENSO-related warming during El Niño conditions is caused by a stronger Hadley Cell circulation moving warm tropical air into the mid-latitudes. During La Niña conditions the Pacific Ocean is cooler and the Walker circulation, west to east in the upper atmosphere along the equator, dominates.”

    I had all of that backwards. I thought El Niño conditions caused weakened trade winds, stronger return (Walker) circulation which tends to wind-shear hurricanes, preventing their formation. Now I am totally confused.

  66. Ron de Han: You wrote, “I think it is extremely important to kill the AGW hoax with a single report.”

    That’s a nice thought, but I believe it’s impossible.

  67. @Anthony
    “Well then if we are all just too “stupid”, your word, why frequent here?”

    Hmmm, the question was:

    “do you think that there is or there could be an anti-AGW statement, paper, posting that is too stupid for you to put it on your web side?”

    The statement and the question most probably become equivalent once the differences are computed and smoothing is applied.

    REPLY: By the same token, is there any claim, or pro-AGW statement, newspaper article posting that is not too stupid for you or Tamino or the rest of the AGW crowd to let stand?

    http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm

    We could go round and round. Point is, you start off with insults, and that speaks volumes to your credibility. Folks like yourself relish in pointing out the errors of others, but are apparently unable to do so themselves for the things in their corner. When Tamino starts rebuking Gore’s claims and comes out of hiding, his opinion will matter. – Anthony

  68. Having read the paper now, it is quite good – thanks for the link Joel. I would have preferred if they used the Nino 3.4 anomaly rather than the SOI and used monthly data rather than the smoothing function they used because they would have gotten better results. The volcanoes adjustment would have been easier to justify if they had used the actual ENSO numbers rather than SOI as well.

    To put the warming residual trends into perspective, …

    If one pulls just the ENSO out of the dataseries, the warming trend is 0.09C per decade.

    If you pull the AMO and the ENSO out, it equates to about 0.06C per decade.

    Global warming theory would have had temps rising at about 0.14C per decade during this period.

  69. Joel Shore (07:02:18) :

    “Well, I think we already know that peer review is an imperfect filter.”

    They don’t make peers like they used to.

  70. Bill Illis

    I agree with you that the AMO impact has to be considered. The Pacific Ocean is not the only climate maker on the globe . It is a major player and tracking it will predict a significant part of the anomalies but not all. As I have shown before AMO changes play a major part as well. I like your first graph .

  71. corresponding author de Freitas:
    “We have shown that internal global climate-system variability accounts for at least 80% of the observed global climate variation over the past half-century. It may even be more if the period of influence of major volcanoes can be more clearly identified and the corresponding data excluded from the analysis.”

    That leaves very little room for solar-related changes. [no need to counter by saying that it also leaves very little room for CO2-related changes]

  72. One of the main arguments of the non-technical AGW faithful is the consensus of peer reviewed literature. If nothing else this paper refutes that claim and gives skeptics leverage. IIRC, a paper was presented here last year that demonstrated that 80% of peer reviewed literature was found to be wrong after 25 years. Most scientists know this. Most non-scientists don’t.

    A poster asked a couple of days ago how to discuss AGW with a fanatic. This paper provides a means to open communication.

  73. Georg Hoffmann (07:29:21):

    The “little room” refers to correlation. Constants do not correlate.

    Joel Shore (07:20:41) :

    But, the constant is then completely irrelevant to the subsequent correlation computation.
    ———————

    Georg and Joel,

    I still haven’t gotten around to reading the paper (I will), but I’m not seeing a substantive criticism here.

    This this through with me. Imagine two linear series which are perfectly correlated, except that one is growing twice as fast as the other. When you correlate them, the differences in rate of growth will be capture by the slope of the regression. (The constant will just depend on where the data series begin.)

    If you difference them, you can still correlate the differences, but the meaning of the slope and constant change. Now the constant captures the difference in trend, and the slope captures the degree of correlation. If they are totally uncorrelated, the slope will not be significantly different than zero, and if they are highly correlated, the slope will not be significantly different than 1.0.

    Without having read the paper, I’m going to guess that this is the kind of analysis they did. I.e., while differencing removes the differences in trend (to a constant), it still allows for measuring the correlations between the stationary components of the series. And frankly, if the purpose is to isolate the effect of “natural climate variability” then differencing the data to achieve stationarity makes a lot of sense to me.

    But the bottom line is that to claim that correlations are no longer possible, or meaningful, with differenced data is just plain wrong.

  74. Regarding trends:
    Surely this paper is demonstrating a naturally cyclic phenomenon based on ENSO/PDO variability and we are only just past the peak of that cycle so any trend calculated from the cycle start up to this point is pessimistic. You have to project a completion to the cycle to get a trend from it. Or you could go further back and take out the natural trend from before 1950 and see what’s left. The latter is what Swanson recently did of course, except that he said the pre 1950 trend may have been man-made too. I was probably assuming Nick was referring to that. The trouble with AGWers is that they keep moving the goalposts. It’s difficult to know which time-period they’ll use next as the definitive start of man’s influence. When it comes to debunking any solar correlation, the start point is usually made at 1980 or 1985.

    Another funny thing about these skeptic skeptics like Nick, Joel and Georg is that they could pick any number of pro-AGW papers that use obviously gross statistical errors to project thermageddon. Instead they use every opportunity to defend such bad science if it is pro-AGW and they nit-pick every nuance of uncertainty in anti-AGW papers. Always the double standards.

    As for Tamino, the company he works for does financial modeling. That pretty much says it all. Or did he actually manage to predict this crisis using his all too fallible time series analyses? Bill D. at least has a model that might make sense. All he needs to do is make a prediction for the next few years in order to test it.

  75. Anthony, you are a glaring idiot, who does not know any math. How much they are paying to you to spred this bullshit?

    [REPLY - About as much as they are paying you for correct spelling and punctuation? ~ Evan]

  76. Very interesting indeed. But hold hard: if the temperature measurements are sparse, of low quality, and “adjusted” by methods that seem to be juvenile or bogus, is any explanation of them worth much?

  77. The very fact that surface temperatures lag ENSO by several months is not, of itself, sufficient to tell us that it’s their driver. It is an enigmatic, short-period, oceanic response of the climate system, which can tell us little about what changes, if any, slightly increased atmospheric heat capacitance due to increased CO2 may bring in surface air temperatures over centennial time-scales. And it is only over such scales and longer that data slopes given by linear regression can be taken to be truly secular trends. At multi-decadal scales the data slopes of surface temperature series are much too variable, due to long-period natural oscillations such as AMO.

    Basil (07:03:25) is entirely correct, however, in pointing out that the first-difference series does not “remove” the “trend,” it produces a (quite variable) “constant.” AGWers love linear trends in data, because any two straight lines correlate perfectly, leaving the field open to all sorts of imputed causal connections. This analytic deficiency of regressional analysis of time series obscures the fact that the cross-spectral coherence with CO2 at the lowest frequencies that we can reasonably estimate from available records is statistically indistinguishable from zero.

    Have a good week-end, everybody.

  78. Moderator: Please change my first sentence to read: “The very fact that surface temperatures lag ENSO by several months is not, of itself, sufficient to tell us that it’s their driver.”

    [REPLY - Done ~ Evan]

  79. Exactly as pointed in my run of climate articles over the past 18 months at climaterealists.com

    When the oceans emit energy at a higher rate the equatorial air masses expand and all the air circulation systems move poleward.

    When they emit energy at a lower rate everything moves back equatorward.

    The only effect of more GHGs in the air is to influence that natural movement to a miniscule degree.

  80. Bill Illis (07:48:31) :

    “If one pulls just the ENSO out of the dataseries, the warming trend is 0.09C per decade.

    If you pull the AMO and the ENSO out, it equates to about 0.06C per decade.

    Global warming theory would have had temps rising at about 0.14C per decade during this period.”

    Inflammatory language and the discussion of it does not help the quality of debate here; leave that for RC. I would rather see the substance of Tamino’s criticism acknowledged. The paper is, unfortunately, not well-written if it does not point out that their correlation of temp to ENSO is not relevant to a more constant longer-term trend, which is what the net effect of AGW would have to be. Tamino’s criticism is correct from what I can tell. OTOH, if the net trend is 0.09C (or 0.06C)/ decade, then it would be nice to know if that’s really different from 1.4C? Can’t tell statistically from the data provided, but would seem so intuitively. More interesting would be to see how the residual trend from this analysis looks over the full 50 year period. Not having the paper, does it carefully examine THAT analysis to come to its overall conclusion of little room left for a CO2-driven change?

  81. We could go round and round. Point is, you start off with insults, and that speaks volumes to your credibility. Folks like yourself relish in pointing out the errors of others, but are apparently unable to do so themselves for the things in their corner. When Tamino starts rebuking Gore’s claims and comes out of hiding, his opinion will matter. –

    Or admit that the prominently vaunted “Hockey Stick” is bogus, Rahmsmoothing, Steig, etc…

  82. Looks like the “Oceans Dictate Climate” train of thought is starting to gain traction. Here is a paper published late last year in Climate Dynamics, which seems to say about the same thing as the de Frietas / McLean / Carter paper. The abstract reads:

    Evidence is presented that the recent worldwide land warming has occurred largely in response to a worldwide warming of the oceans rather than as a direct response to increasing greenhouse gases (GHGs) over land. Atmospheric model simulations of the last half-century with prescribed observed ocean temperature changes, but without prescribed GHG changes, account for most of the land warming. The oceanic influence has occurred through hydrodynamic-radiative teleconnections, primarily by moistening and warming the air over land and increasing the downward longwave radiation at the surface. The oceans may themselves have warmed from a combination of natural and anthropogenic influences.

    Did Tamino also “tear up” this paper too? Or did he rebuke the new one simply because Carter’s name is on it.

  83. Joel Shore (07:20:41) responding to Basil: “But, the constant is then completely irrelevant to the subsequent correlation computation. So, from the point of view of computing correlations, you have indeed taken out any effect of the trend. The correlation that you get is identical even when you add a fake linear trend of 10 C / decade to the original temperature data!!”

    Any 2 monotonically increasing or decreasing time series will show a correlation.

  84. Over at realclimate they had a blurb on this in the July 24th Friday news roundup. The following was the summary of the paper: ” Nevermore let it be said that you can’t get any old rubbish published in a peer-reviewed journal!” Now I don’t normally agree with very much over there, but this sums up my feelings on the AGW crowds requirement that only peer reviewed papers have any value.

  85. Bob Tisdale (07:40:48) :

    Ron de Haan: You wrote, “I think it is extremely important to kill the AGW hoax with a single report.”

    That’s a nice thought, but I believe it’s impossible.

    Bob, the entire AGW doctrine states that Anthropogenic CO2 emissions are responsible temps to go up, eventually turning our atmosphere in a heat house.
    The proof comes from crooked model forecast that do not match up with real world observations. That’s it.

    If we have one single report that clearly explains what other factors but Antrhopogenic CO2 are responsible for driving our climate, the warming and cooling, eliminating CO2 as a driver, we are on target.

    Until know we have debunked all the exaggerated and alarmist claims without any exception.
    But there is not a single report that describes the complete mechanism that drives our climate, involving the oceans, ENSO, Volcano emissions and our sun and leaves no room for CO2 forcing.

    If we have it and methods and used data is “rock solid”, it will be the end of the hoax.

    I have clearly listened to what President Obama said about the dangers that await us
    if we don’t accept the Waxman Markley Bill and I listened to him when he stated that the G8 meeting agreed to a temperature limit of 2 degrees Celsius above pré Industrial average temperature.
    There zero science in his remarks but alarmism and sheer madness.

    We can do with a single good report all right.
    Because the other side stands naked and razing mad.

    We should exchange specifics and make the best possible report available.
    No buts, no maybe’s, no “we have to research this or that”.
    Just the facts, clear language and the best science, methods and data available.

    I really believe that is all we need.

  86. Basil (08:40:27) “[...] I.e., while differencing removes the differences in trend (to a constant), it still allows for measuring the correlations between the stationary components of the series. And frankly, if the purpose is to isolate the effect of “natural climate variability” then differencing the data to achieve stationarity makes a lot of sense to me.”

    …and it’s not just the stationary components…

  87. John S. (09:39:26) “Basil (07:03:25) is entirely correct, however, in pointing out that the first-difference series does not “remove” the “trend,” it produces a (quite variable) “constant.” AGWers love linear trends in data, because any two straight lines correlate perfectly, leaving the field open to all sorts of imputed causal connections. This analytic deficiency of regressional analysis of time series obscures the fact that the cross-spectral coherence with CO2 at the lowest frequencies that we can reasonably estimate from available records is statistically indistinguishable from zero.”

    As always, thank you for your valuable comments John S.

    I encourage you to drop a brief lesson on (multivariate) shared-variance sometime.

    In reading the solar science & earth orientation parameter literature, I have noted a lack of awareness (even in authors considered “top of their field”) that:
    1) the order in which one enters terms into a model affects the step-wise impact on r^2.
    2) increases in r^2 (due to adding terms) aren’t always statistically significant. (If they were, we could just keep adding random terms.)

    It’s like these experts have missed their fundamental schooling on confounding, F-tests, & partial-residuals. I’m not saying I blame them. There are a lot of bases to cover – and being at the front of one’s field generally entails sacrifice (e.g. time management). Still, we can all learn.

    Thanks again for your valuable notes.

  88. This is just great Three Australasian researchers have shown that natural forces are the dominant influence on climate
    So we, anthropoids (if “anthropogenic”) are not natural?

  89. Basil says:

    Without having read the paper, I’m going to guess that this is the kind of analysis they did. I.e., while differencing removes the differences in trend (to a constant), it still allows for measuring the correlations between the stationary components of the series. And frankly, if the purpose is to isolate the effect of “natural climate variability” then differencing the data to achieve stationarity makes a lot of sense to me.

    But the bottom line is that to claim that correlations are no longer possible, or meaningful, with differenced data is just plain wrong.

    But that is not the claim being made. Let me repeat what Tamino has said:

    That ENSO is a major contributor to variability in global temperature, is ancient news. In fact I’ve shown it myself.

    That ENSO is a major contributor to recent trends in global temperature, they have not shown — not even “perhaps.” In fact it’s downright impossible for their methodology to do so.

    Nobody is debating whether or not there is a strong correlation between the temperature variability and ENSO; that there is one is well-known (and it is a small but not insignificant contribution that the authors have made her by quantifying it and the time lag associated with it). However, their implication that their analysis in any way addresses the question of whether ENSO is responsible for any significant amount of the multidecadal trend is completely without foundation. Their method is simply not capable of addressing such a question.

  90. Tamino’s criticism is just the usual strawman-data torture technique he always uses.

    Tropics temperature fell by 1.3C between 1878 and 1890. I wonder what caused the -1.0C per decade trend – just 50 more years of that and the ice age would have been back?

    It is silly to argue that the ENSO affects temperatures but then it has no affect on the temperature trend. That is obvious enough it shouldn’t even be an issue.

  91. By the way, I’m not even saying that good refereeing should have completely blocked this paper. I think that perhaps a version of the paper that did not contain any unsupportable statements in regards to the implication on the multidecadal trends would be reasonable. (Since I am not an expert in the field, I don’t feel qualified to judge if there is enough new here to warrant publication or not, but I think there could be.)

    And, of course, much worse is the fact that the authors of this paper have gone much further than the paper does in making such unsupportable statements in their press release and that the paper is being picked up here (and presumably elsewhere in the blogosphere) as providing evidence for a point-of-view that it actually provides no evidence for whatsoever. (Just look at the title of this post and the first sentence for examples of this.)

  92. Re: Jakers (12:01:39)

    Thanks for the link.

    Someone professing time series expertise posted the following nonsense:

    “The processings they apply [...] extremely predisposed to correlate any two time series, regardless of content.

    This is in a context of liberally-scattered charges of “denyosphere”, etc.

    One might ask, “Is it distortion? Or idiocy?” and receive the answer, “If it is distortion, it is only fooling idiots.”

  93. Joel Shore (12:57:14),

    Speaking of unsupportable statements…

    You should quit worrying about the mote in these authors’ eyes, and pay more attention to the beam in your own eye.

    By the way, when are you going to write an article? Or is taking endless pot shots at everyone else more your style?

  94. Do ENSO events really affect global temperature? Or do they just shift heat around so that it ends up in places where it gets noticed? I don’t see ENSO events adding or removing energy from the system.

    It shifts the heat from the oceans to the atmosphere where it gets noticed. You are correct it doesn’t add heat to the system. However it does remove heat as the only route out of the system for ocean heat is via the atmosphere.

    So the atmospheric warming since the 1970s was in fact cooling of the Earth’s climate system, and likely explains the recent atmospheric cooling as less heat is released from the cooler oceans, because less heat is available for release (which of course may be a cyclic phenomena).

    I really wish the so called climate scientists would admit that atmospheric temperatures tell us nothing about whether the climate is warming or cooling, unless we know how much heat is being transferred from the oceans (note that very little heat gets transferred to the oceans from the atmosphere).

  95. Bill Illis says:

    It is silly to argue that the ENSO affects temperatures but then it has no affect on the temperature trend. That is obvious enough it shouldn’t even be an issue.

    It is not silly at all. If the ENSO effect on temperature is simply through a transfer of heat between the oceans and atmosphere, it would be expected to affect the fluctuations over the short term but not the long term trend (at least significantly). If there is some effect on clouds then there might CONCEIVABLY be some effect on trends due to a change in the average ENSO index although their work does nothing to demonstrate that this is the case or to quantify how large the effect could be.

  96. Tamino makes a good point.

    However, looking at Anthony’s chart above, if the ENSO index from 1955 – 1975 was primarily negative, but from 1975 on it was primarily positive, wouldn’t global temps have to creep up to a new “equalibrium” of sorts? And assuming a lag wouldn’t it show up as a slow trend?

  97. The ENSO affects the temperature trend for all timescales less than about 100 years.

    The ENSO has a +/- 0.2C effect on Global temperatures and nearly a +/- 0.6C impact on the Tropics-only temperatures.

    When the temperature anomaly itself is only +/- 0.5C, and the trend over 100 years is only 0.5C, how could it not affect the trend (especially in the tropics).

    Just one Super El Nino near the end of a 50 year otherwise completely flat temperature trend will take that trend per decade from 0.00C per decade to 0.03C per decade.

  98. Has the cooler waters of the Northern Indian Ocean resulting from the Asian Brown Haze, discovered by INDOEX 1999 any effect on the Pacific event ENSO?

  99. Antonio San (23:34:58) : Do you have any free links to papers to back up your assertion that Walker cells have been proven not to exist?

  100. I’ve just taken a look at the Tamino thread. The fuss being made about trends is aimed at people with a weak statistics background, so I am left with the impression that his main objection is with the wording of interpretations.

    When I look at a paper, I look for the substance. (Any politics is there for administrative/funding reasons.) I agree with Tamino that with respect to the substance of the paper, there is not really anything new; however, judging by the reaction, this paper is important in highlighting the potential for misunderstanding of statistical argument (regardless of one’s perspective).

    Papers like this drive us all towards better awareness.

    One of Tamino’s notes reinforced my sense that there are very, very few people with a good conceptual understanding of time-integrated cross-correlation analysis.

  101. Jeff Alberts (22:33:51) :

    “Do ENSO events really affect global temperature? Or do they just shift heat around so that it ends up in places where it gets noticed? I don’t see ENSO events adding or removing energy from the system.”

    Energy sitting in the ocean is more likely to reradiate back to space before reaching land than energy thats being moved around more by currents and winds. Also, the thickness of the atmosphere is a factor: an atmosphere swollen up from a solar maximum and high solar winds, lots of geomagnetic flux, etc is a thicker sandwich to push heat through to radiate to space than one that is compacted from solar minimum/low solar wind conditions and whose boundary to space is much lower and cooler. A thick atmosphere needs cyclonic conditions to force a lot of heat into the stratosphere, whereas a thin atmo just needs cloudless skies at night to radiate, and cloudy skies in the day to reflect more sunlight.

    The heat that melted the arctic in 2006-07 was the same heat sitting in the tropics in 2005 creating hurricanes like Katrina, a pool of energy that dated back to the 1998 El Nino that enabled the atlantic warming part of the NAO. Now that heat has radiated to space in 2008-09, it was a big heat pulse that went through the earth’s climate and is now gone, and is why the ACE is now incredibly low.

    The surge in global temperatures since 1977 coincides with a surge in high solar maxima since then.

  102. He’s spent a considerable amount of time trying to prove that the Sun is the only factor in global temperature trends, so how come Anthony Watts is promoting this paper which directly contradicts his own hypotheses?

  103. Joel Shore

    “If the ENSO effect on temperature is simply through a transfer of heat between the oceans and atmosphere, it would be expected to affect the fluctuations over the short term but not the long term trend (at least significantly).”

    Why?

    Please explain your assumptions because it looks to me like you have to cherry pick dates to make it all come out even. And that’s a huge problem for warmists. If they have to cherry pick the time periods over which they show their magic trend, they’ve already lost the argument. Why are warmers so sure this natural oceanic fluctuation can have no trend of its own?

  104. I left this comment on the Tamino site. It was cut.

    Jim // July 24, 2009 at 10:06 pm | Reply

    We don’t have any temperature data set that goes back far enough in time and is accurate enough to determine a trend. We have satellite data that holds out hope of finding a trend, but the record isn’t long enough. If you are trying to account for a trend, you first have to demonstrate it exists.

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

  105. Basil (07:03:25)
    What they have done is what you once called seasonal differencing. It turns a trend into a constant. But the point, which Tamino made, is that a constant does not affect a correlation (while a trend does). So correlating two differenced series can’t detect whether they originally had different trends.

    Here’s a simplified example. Suppose ENSO effect on temp was a sinusoid, period 4 years, amplitude o.2C, and suppose the global temp was exactly the sum of ENSO and a trend of 0.02C/yr. The correlation coefficient is basically a measure of how well you can predict a change in one series given the change in the other. If you try to predict temp next year, youll get a good answer based on ENSO and ignoring the trend. You’ll get a bad answer using the trend but ignoring ENSO. So already, ENSO swamps the trend in contributing to the correlation coefficient. So finding that ENSO is a good predictor (“explains the variance”) doesn’t disprove a trend.

    But, if you difference, you still get a sinusoid for ENSO, but the trend becomes a constant. ENSO change is now a perfect predictor of temperature change for the differenced data. There could have been a huge temperature trend, but this analysis won’t find it. You don’t affect the correlation between two data sets by adding a constant to one of them.

    Paul Vaughan (11:17:15) This covers your point too.

  106. Nick Stokes (17:13:19) :

    Basil (07:03:25)
    What they have done is what you once called seasonal differencing. It turns a trend into a constant. But the point, which Tamino made, is that a constant does not affect a correlation (while a trend does). So correlating two differenced series can’t detect whether they originally had different trends.”

    From the WUWT article and what you guys are saying, tt appears what they have done accounts for the cause of variation in temperature. I don’t have a copy of the article, but I get the idea from the summary that they didn’t intend to find the trend in the first place. It looks like they overstepped the bounds of the paper by saying there was no room for warming from CO2 or that there was no need of regulation of CO2 – although I don’t believe there is a need for that. It just isn’t proved by their one paper.

  107. I posted again to the Tomino site. It got approved, but with a snide remark. I think it is good to document the way these people operate.

    Jim // July 24, 2009 at 11:34 pm | Reply

    So you cut my last post because you know GISS and HADcrut are both garbage in/garbage out monstrosities. Oh well, other people know and are spreading the truth about those. We don’t need your site.

    [Response: I deleted your last post because you're so far over the stupid threshold.]

  108. I arrived late for this dance and haven’t had time to actually read this paper, so I can’t really add anything pertinent to the specifics of the merits of the piece, but a quick scan of the comments stack shows me that it does provide further evidence regarding the big picture of climate science and all science really. To me it shows that the link between the intrusion of political agendas and bad science has moved from extremely strong correlation to the point where causality can hardly be denied.
    I am not a scientist, but I have throughout my 60 years of life been cursed by a wide ranging curiosity and blessed with enough native intelligence (99th percentile on virtually every large population test I’ve ever taken) to fuel almost daily excursions into the broad realm of human knowledge. What I’ve discovered over the years is that much that passes as accepted “knowledge”, would, in a more honest assessment, barely merit the classification of strong suspicion. My recent ventures into climate “science” have shown this phenomenon to be nearly pervasive. I repeatedly come across papers where the authors, in the abstracts, make confident statements about what they have shown, or demonstrated, or concluded, however, when you delve into the body of the work, what is usually provided is a hint of an indication of a suggestion of a possibility.
    A few weeks ago my curiosity was peeked by a commentor’s question about what was actually driving the oscillation in ENSO and PDO, which lead me to see what I could find about the geothermal contribution to the oceanic heat balance. I was vaguely aware that a generally accepted value existed for this value of 88mWm-2 or 86.4mWm-2, don’t you just love that exquisite precision, but when I sought out the papers that provided these values what I found was less than confidence inspiring. From what I could tell these numbers were derived by using the age of floor rocks as a proxy for temperature because supposedly the ages were well established except, perhaps coincidentally for a large area East of Australia and Indonesia. The contributions of the hottest areas of the ocean floor were mostly excluded from the calculation, the logical explication for this was more than a bit vague, but I suspect it may derive from the overall goal of the exercise, or at least my impression of it, which seemed to be aimed less at achieving an accurate value, than with matching it to the accepted value of lithospheric cooling. My dissatisfactions led to further enquiries, which led me to a more recent paper, which I’ve tried to raise for discussion here several times with notable lack of success. As I’ve admitted in those previous attempts, my fondness of this paper

    http://www.ocean-sci.net/5/203/2009/os-5-203-2009.pdf

    may relate to the fact that it supports my personal suspicions, but I also find it notable because the authors freely admit that the state of knowledge in their field of abyssal circulation is, in a word, abysmal. Sorry, no matter how you try to restrain him, the Evil Punster still lurks. The upshot of the paper is that the decision of the climate modelers to consider the contribution of geothermal heating of the oceans as negligible is erroneous and quite possibly significantly so, but more telling is the admission that the state of knowledge is highly inadequate to justify any conclusions at this point.
    As I’ve indicated, I started this enquiry based on a suspicion that the geothermal input might play a role in ocean oscillation cycles and honestly I expected my suspicions to be quickly quashed. That they have not been proves nothing except that the variety of known unknowns and unknown unknowns in modern climate science makes placing even a sawbuck on what the climate will be in a hundred years a sucker bet and investing trillions of dollars and large parts of our personal freedoms on the basis of it’s predictions complete culturally suicidal insanity.

  109. Syl says:

    Joel Shore

    “If the ENSO effect on temperature is simply through a transfer of heat between the oceans and atmosphere, it would be expected to affect the fluctuations over the short term but not the long term trend (at least significantly).”

    Why?

    Please explain your assumptions because it looks to me like you have to cherry pick dates to make it all come out even. And that’s a huge problem for warmists. If they have to cherry pick the time periods over which they show their magic trend, they’ve already lost the argument. Why are warmers so sure this natural oceanic fluctuation can have no trend of its own?

    Conservation of energy. If the ocean has been warming the atmosphere for the last 35 years then that would require a decrease in the oceanic heat content (and, I imagine a pretty substantial one although I haven’t tried to run the numbers). The data show a general upward trend in oceanic heat content during that time (as does the heat content trend inferred from sea level rise).

  110. Re: Nick Stokes (17:13:19)

    The danger here is that folks lacking background will fall into “differencing is good” versus “differencing is bad” camps without appreciating the value of different analyses which reveal different things about the same series.

    The real issue is:
    What is the correct interpretation?

    It has been very interesting watching both the “denialist” & “warmist” discussions today.

  111. Bill Illis says:

    Just one Super El Nino near the end of a 50 year otherwise completely flat temperature trend will take that trend per decade from 0.00C per decade to 0.03C per decade.

    I lost you. How did you come up with that number?

    At any rate, the current period of time ends with a fairly significant La Nina which is depressing the temperature trend over the last ~30 years slightly (although I think it is only on the order of 0.01 C per decade or less lower than it was as of a few years ago).

  112. Using the differences or derivative does remove any linear trend but this is just one step. Figure 5 for global TTA and Fig 6 for global TTA show unmistakable correlations with lead times for SOI. The existence of the lead times gives strong support for a causal connection. Figure 7 compares global TTA and SOI, not the derivatives,so any trend would be evident here. With the lead times identified with the differences it is now much easier to separate the trend (if any) from variations about the trend. When SOI and TTA both go up or down we know to exclude that from any estimate of a trend. For me, after doing that, the trend is very slightly down or very slightly up or not at all depending on the time interval chosen. Whatever, the trend is much less than the fluctuations. So if the underlying trend is due to ever increasing CO2, it’s a very weak trend and much less than the influence of SOI.

  113. Sad, these guys will soon be working at the equivalent of Mc Donalds as a reward for their work. The ywill get no funding from any source.

  114. Joel Shore (07:02:18)
    Backing up your point about the fact that what the reviewers passed was not what is being said in the press release. In the paper, they said in the conclusion:
    Finally, this study has shown that natural climate forcing associated with ENSO is a major contributor to variability and perhaps recent trends in global temperature…
    There isn’t anything in the paper to support the claim about “recent trends”, but maybe the referees let them get away with saying “perhaps…”. And the claim isn’t made at all in the abstract. But of course, what we hear here (from the press release), and in bold, is:
    The surge in global temperatures since 1977 can be attributed to a 1976 climate shift in the Pacific Ocean…

    Basil (07:03:25)
    My last response was under some time pressure and I didn’t refer explicitly to your example. You said that after differencing, the trend information was still there, and could be recovered (approx) by averaging the differences. That’s true, and in fact a parabolic weighted average would be accurate. But that isn’t what they did. They put the differences through a correlation analysis. There the constant makes no difference. A correlation coefficient is a weighted sum of a whole lot of differences – in this case, of the differences. An added constant (the trend) just disappears.

    And Jim, yes, this one paper doesn’t prove anything about the trend. The problem is that people are saying that it does.

    And Paul V, same. Differencing is a device for removing trend, and helps for spotting cycles etc. The problem is when you remove the trend and then say “Hey, look, we’ve shown there isn’t any!”

  115. Re: Nick Stokes (20:12:20)
    Hey Nick thanks for the 1+1 lesson.
    Watch your back if you are going to engage in distortion.

  116. So step one in the analysis used in the the paper removes the dominate trend. Then the authors imply that because CO2 does not correlate with the variability in what is left, it does not have a significant effect on temperature.

    But we know that it does correlate with the original data before it has been manipulated, and correlates with it better than any other known factor.

    Furthermore, the manipulation would remove that correlation no matter how tight it was – as I see Tamino has neatly explained and demonstrated.

    It seems to me that their analysis divorces their conclusion from the data on which it is supposed to be based.

    I’d be more interested in knowing to what degree other external factors beside the ENSO phenomonon (solar influences for example) are significantly correlated with the variability in the dataset once the dominant correlation with CO2 has been removed in this way.

    But then wouldn’t it be better to do this using the original data rather than the detrended data.

  117. Hmm, I’m surprised to not see any “Commentary on puzzling things in life, nature, science, weather, (…) technology, and recent news”!

    Maybe you could be frank about your own bias?

  118. I find it humorous that Nick and Joel, etc. are complaining about the press release. I must have been on vacation when they complained about the Stieg paper press release with the comments by Mann and the picture of Antarctica in red. Maybe you guys could point me to the posts where you lodged your complaints.

    Dave Wendt (18:18:35) : makes some very good points. Maybe this could lead to a guest post. I know many folks have questioned the geothermal impact in the comments. Maybe it’s time to review this topic in more detail.

  119. Ahh yes, ONE peer reviewed study vs thousands. Sounds convincing to me! *dripping sarcasm*. Even better, it’s from the Journal of Geophysical Research which is not a well respected magazine in the scientific community.

  120. If Tamino is right, what is the difference between the annual ENSO contribution and the annual CO2 contribution?

  121. When they are compared to the raw data, that is. Take out ENSO temperature contributions over twenty years of data, and what is left for the IPCC projections? Does it match the projected trend?

  122. There are two problems with tamino. One is openness and attitude, the other is left to the reader to characterize.

    The openness and attitude problem appears in the cycle of entrants and exits from the blog. What happens is that someone who is unconvinced will come in, read with initial interest, and then make periodic questioning postings. He or she then comes in for a tirade of personal abuse.

    In my own case, to give an example, without anyone knowing either my gender or marital or parental status, aspersions were cast on my parenting skills, and I was compared to Judas Ischariot and other well known historical monsters for no other reason than questioning some of the dogma. Not particularly being a general sceptic, but simply suggesting that the jury might be out on some things, or there might be things that did not convince me, on some elements of it.

    All this is done by a bunch of pseudonyms seeming to represent people who have become regulars precisely because of the ability it gives them to indulge in this content-free personal abuse. One rapidly comes to the conclusion that many (some of whom post here) are only being saved from wandering up and down Third Ave shouting incoherent abuse at passers by their ability to do the same thing every day on Tamino.

    Eventually one of two things happens. Either the skeptical poster gives up and goes elsewhere. I did not. Or, he or she is not intimidated, persists, and is banned. I was banned. There seems to have been a general cleanout of skeptics recently, so now they have all gone back to their unopposed rants about the denialism, right wing, neoconservatism, oil company funding, tobacco and cancer, creationism and so on.

    The problem with this stuff is exactly the problem that the mac fanatics represent for Apple. It may be that AGW is real, and is a pressing problem for humanity. If so we should know, and we should act in a responsible way. But anyone reading Tamino’s blog is going to come to the conclusion in the end that it has all the internal marks of being a sort of weird fanatical cult. Tamino’s own rants and insults of course are part of this, and encourage the coterie in its approach.

    The second problem with the Tamino is graver than this, and showed itself in the discussion some time ago of Principle Component Analysis and MBH. Tamino seems to be a reasonably competent mathematician and has a talent for clear and simple explanation of at least fairly simple issues in the subject. The PCA series had three postings which were both clear and accurate. With the last we arrived at the dreadful subject of the method of PCA used by Mann, and criticized by Wegman among others.

    Here Tamino defended the method, which is indefensible, and cited one of the leading authorities on PCA in a post whose obscurity was only matched by the clarity of the earlier ones. It turned out later however that the authority in question had never endorsed the method (which is hardly surprising, since it is totally improper). Tamino however never retracted, and left his naive readers with the impression that the defence of MBH’s statistical manipulations had been valid, and that the method was valid.

    Anthony’s verdict on Tamino thus has some merit, though the phrasing is open to ridicule. It is not that Tamino is smart enough to argue that 2+2=5. It is rather that Tamino is capable of making the argument that to do PCA while using an operator chosen value in place of the mean that the method, correctly performed, requires, is appropriate and sound. He is willing and able to do this in such a way that the reader who does not have a sound grasp of what is involved will think, Oh, Well, it must be OK then. Smart as he is, he is evidently able to misunderstand the statements of the leading authority in the field and construe them as endorsement of the method, when it evidently was no such thing.

    Finally he turned out to be able to do this in the course of mounting a defense of the methods of MBH in the guise of writing a PCA tutorial, but while applying it to some randomly generated data. The result was that the naive reader was left with the impression that the MBH method had been vindicated, but without actually examining it as applied to the MBH data, without discussing the results on this data critically, and explaining in exactly what the controversy about it consists.

    As I say, the characterization of this is left to the reader. There is a problem here, but it is not lack of intelligence.

  123. The canutes will find something in the paper which will be irrelevant but will dicredit it in its entirety. Just like the attacks on Ian Plimer’s exception AGW debunking book. Given the discredited state of AGW this paper won’t be debunked and will add yet more infor to the debate to those who are capable of listening.

    Can I ask those who blindly believe in AGW to give one pece of evidence that would give it any credibility to a cynic like me. How aboutModel predictions that are dgrees out over short periods, the robust ice and temperature of antarctica, no Lower Tropospherical Hotspot, the Arctic not ice-free and a cooling planet when that can not happen. Come on guys, this is settled science and yet for which there is not a shred of evidence. Never mind trying to dicredit a paper with an alternative view based on what is certain to be triviality, look at AGW which is about as discredited as anything could possibly be.

  124. Craig Allen:

    “So step one in the analysis used in the the paper removes the dominate trend. Then the authors imply that because CO2 does not correlate with the variability in what is left, it does not have a significant effect on temperature”

    I don’t believe that’s what they are doing at all. They first show the high correlation between the differences (Figs 5 and 6) and in doing that establish the lead times for SOI. CO2 just not relevant here. They are looking for a relationship between SOI and TTA and they find one.

    “But then wouldn’t it be better to do this using the original data rather than the detrended data”

    Figure 7 is the original data so in the end we get the comparison you want.

    Personally I would have tried a model like

    TTA(t) = a+b*t + c*SOI(t-6) + f*VOL(t) + e

    on the original data. a,b,c,f are parameters to be determined,e is the error. VOL(t) is a term to account for the cooling by volcanoes (all you would need is the shape; parameter f would account for magnitude). Maybe just leaving out the data influenced by volcanoes is better. In any case it doesn’t seem to have done any harm. To get the lead time in SOI it might be possible to put it in as a parameter in SOI(t-LAG) but I think that might cause some problems and their method seems to have worked fine.

    In the end inspection of Fig 7 (not detrended) says to me that they have explained most of the variability in the data and there is not much left for other factors, including CO2.

  125. I think that everyone here [and on the alarmist side] is missing a very important point.

    These authors may have used a technique that effectively removed linear long term trend in temperature from their data but they did show that short term (sub-decadal) fluctuations in temperature (as measured by the temperature anomaly) are mainly due to ENSO events. In other words, I think almost every one agrees that El Nino’s are associated with short-term inceases in the world mean temperature, while La Nina’s are associated with short-term decreases in the world mean temperature. [I am not ruling out the the moderating influences of the PDO and AMO have on mutidecadal time scales]

    The important point being made by their paper is that long-term temperature changes could be produced by a a simple change in the relative frequency of El Nino and La Nina events.

    Between 1940 and 1976, La Nina’s were relatively more common than El Nino’s (a condition that exists if there is a negative PDO) , producing an overall cooling of the planet.

    Between 1976 and 2006, El Nino’s were relative more common than La Nina’s (a condition that exists if there is a positive PDO), producing an overall warming of the planet.

    The question is, is the warming produced by the change in relative frequency of EL Nino/La Nina events in 1976 sufficient to explain the bulk of the warming between 1976 and 2006? If it is then it leaves little room for either
    solar or Anthropogenic CO2 to play a role unless it can be shown that they
    directly influence the relative frequency of the ENSO events.

    I have evidence that the onset of El Nino events over the last 400 years are synchronized with extreme proxygean spring tide indicating that the Solar/Lunar tides may play a [note that I am using the indefinite article here] crucial role is setting the timing of El Nino events.

    Hence, it is quiet possible that it is the Lunar/Solar tides, and not Anthropogenic CO2 nor the Sun, that plays the most important role
    in setting the world’s mean temperature in the long-term.

  126. ” once the dominant correlation with CO2 has been removed in this way.”
    CO2 doesn’t correlate with global temps. Temperatures dropped from the ’40s to ’70s while CO2 rose. This means that CO2 has no discernible effect on climate.
    This is not surprising since dry air above desert at night causes massive radiative heat loss because in the absence of water-vapour there are no significant greenhouse gases.
    These are simple uncontestable facts. The alarmist models are little more than a kid’s TV show since they refuse to show their data, or how they have manipulated official datasets to show more warming.
    Conviction and faith are no substitute for rationality.

  127. michel (00:18:35) :

    There are two problems with tamino. One is openness and attitude, the other is left to the reader to characterize.

    Well, for the second, there are only two options. He’s either stupid, or intellectually dishonest. He’s certainly not stupid.

  128. RW (15:21:51) :

    He’s spent a considerable amount of time trying to prove that the Sun is the only factor in global temperature trends, so how come Anthony Watts is promoting this paper which directly contradicts his own hypotheses?

    That premise is wrong. Anthony has an open mind — something foreign to the closed-minded warmist crowd.

    As the banner states: “Commentary on puzzling things in life, nature, science, weather, climate change, technology, and recent news by Anthony Watts.”

    The alarmist gang has a hard time understanding that skeptics question, question, question — until nothing is left but the truth. True Believers in Al Gore’s propaganda, on the other hand, run and hide from answering those questions. That is because the truth is not in them. If they really believed what they’re trying to sell, folks like Gore, Hansen, Pachauri, Schmidt, and all the rest would gladly debate the failed CO2=AGW conjecture and answer all serious questions.

    Instead, they hide out.

  129. Paul Vaughan (20:23:08) : I don’t know where he came up with that chart, but I have done the same one on woodfortrees myself and is does not look like that. The UAH series does not track GISS or HADcrut as closely as his chart would imply. He probably used the normalize method which is not valid if you want to see absolute numbers.

  130. Nick Stokes (20:12:20) :

    Nick,

    I think Ian Wilson’s comment ( Ninderthana (01:25:06) :) sums it up best.

    Having now looked at the paper, I’ll just add a couple of final (hopefully) brief remarks. It is correct that their approach doesn’t tell us (directly) to what extent the trends in the series are correlated. But it does tell us to what extent the variance about the trends are correlated. Now you (and others) may be right in that it is not new to point out that SOI/ENSO and temperatures (troposphere or otherwise) are related. That does not detract the value of this study in showing further the nature of the relationship between the two.

    As for the preference you and Joel appear to have for wanting a demonstration of correlation between trends, that is easy to show, and difficult to justify. Once we start talking about correlations in trends in time series, we are back to disputing over whether correlation demonstrates causation. That is actually the reason why the approach in this paper is so useful. Where do you think the correlation between two trends comes from? Not from the trends themselves, but from the covariance about (around) the trends. It is in the covariance of the trends that we look for meaningful theories of causation, not in the trends themselves.

    The basic conclusions of this paper are sound. They do demonstrate that

    “The results showed that SOI accounted for 81% of the variance in tropospheric temperature anomalies in the tropics. Overall the results suggest that the Southern Oscillation exercises a consistently dominant influence on mean global temperature, with a maximum effect in the tropics, except for periods when equatorial volcanism causes ad hoc cooling. That mean global tropospheric temperature has for the last 50 years fallen and risen in close accord with the SOI of 5–7 months earlier shows the potential of natural forcing mechanisms to account for most of the temperature variation.”

    Does the paper sound the death knell of AGW speculation, as some posters have suggested? Not at all. That “natural forcing mechanisms” were not shown to account for ALL of the temperature variation leaves a gap big enough to drive the AGW bandwagon through. But the mere publication of the paper is a hopeful sign that serious investigation into the significance of natural climate variability for understanding secular (long term) temperature variations is back on the table for acceptable climate research agendas. Really, it has seemed (to me) that for the past 10 to 15 years one could not get a paper published demonstrating some evidence for natural climate variability without a disclaimer that it doesn’t disprove AGW or without alleging that any such natural climate variability was just masking the evidence for AGW. That this paper was published (well, in an AGU publication) without any such qualifier is the most remarkable thing to me.

  131. John Finn (01:19:37)

    “The other point worth noting is that this paper also leave little room for a solar effect.”

    The sun seems to be some sort of embarassment to many climate scientists when it comes to the business of variable heating of the earth’s surface and oceans. I think there is an aversion to intuition and simplicity that physics has harboured since Einstein’s work. Yet, we can happily chat about ENSOs for which we can’t seem to find a cause. May I timorously suggest that they seem likely to find their source in the sun? Heck, if such a large group of physicists are happy with 300ppm of CO2 beginning to scortch the planet, surely a dynamic sun has at least the potential to affect trends -is it such a stretch, then, that by an as yet undetermined mechanism it creates ENSOs?

    Anthony: Regarding the paper. The authors are happy that they have accounted for 70 to 80% of the warming. Might the other 20% or so because of selection of starting points and poor siting and maintenance of weather boxes?

  132. Mike Lorrey (15:20:23) :
    Also, the thickness of the atmosphere is a factor: an atmosphere swollen up from a solar maximum and high solar winds, lots of geomagnetic flux, etc is a thicker sandwich to push heat through to radiate to space than one that is compacted from solar minimum/low solar wind conditions

    One sees this argument again and again. But, the atmosphere has not gotten ‘thicker’. The mass through which the radiation has to pass is the same. The thermosphere up at 500 miles has moved a bit closer to the surface because of lower solar activity. We are also talking about perhaps a trillionth or less of the mass. The density decreases by a factor of 1000 for every 50 km you ascend.

  133. Gary Pearse (05:50:36) :
    John Finn (01:19:37)
    “The other point worth noting is that this paper also leave little room for a solar effect.”

    Anthony: Regarding the paper. The authors are happy that they have accounted for 70 to 80% of the warming. Might the other 20% or so because of selection of starting points and poor siting and maintenance of weather boxes?

    Leaving even less room for a solar effect…

  134. Gary Pearse (05:50:36) : I agree with you on the Sun. From what I have been able to find on the web WRT solar proxies, the proxies are not considered completely reliable. It is possible that that paleo record actually reflects a period when the Sun’s output goes up a little. Of course, the Earth’s history over which paleo record extends is littered with all kinds of changes including continental drift and the concomitant change in ocean circulation. I think the main problem the AWG scientists have is they won’t admit they do not have good data from which to draw conclusions or with which tweak models. It may be all they have, but in many cases it just isn’t good enough to do what they are attempting to do.

  135. Leif Svalgaard (05:54:14) :” The density decreases by a factor of 1000 for every 50 km you ascend.”

    Doesn’t this fact make the upper atmosphere a minor player in radiation exchange with space? The lower atmosphere will be throwing off lots more radiation than the upper atmosphere can absorb. This, plus the fact that the greater pressure in the lower atmosphere broadens the emission bands plus shifts the frequency a little, would make the upper atmosphere little more than a course sieve through which lower-atmosphere radiation would move through almost unimpeded.

  136. Surely the SST of el Nino/Nina is driven by Willis’s trade-wind pumping cu-nims. I think the evaporation factor of trade-winds over cloudless oceans constitutes a major cooling of the tropics, indeed it the difference between this and insolation energies that determine the change in SST surely.

  137. I speculate that ENSO events allow energy loss from time to time (as in through the poles and/or upper atmosphere in general), allowing the fairly constant solar energy source to rebuild the heat budget. It also closes off that heat loss window/route, causing heat build-up to occur. So it acts as a heat “shuffle” and also a heat vent that closes and opens in a somewhat unpredictable short term manner but also in an oscillating and more predictable longer term manner that allows swings from somewhat warmer to somewhat cooler.

  138. Richard M (21:17:11) :

    “Dave Wendt (18:18:35) : makes some very good points. Maybe this could lead to a guest post. I know many folks have questioned the geothermal impact in the comments. Maybe it’s time to review this topic in more detail”

    Gentlemen, I’m one of the folks who have suggested this on a couple of posts. I don’t have time to redo the discussion but I will leave you with the following paper showing the coincident geothermal hot spot and the general broad high temp geothermal anomally in the east Pacific. You have to scroll down to the map:

    http://geophysics.ou.edu/geomechanics/notes/heatflow/global_heat_flow.htm

    and: http://esrc.stfx.ca/pdf/halifaxtalk.pdf

    The latter paper discusses a startling increase in flux over the past 200 years. I hope someone with more time than me can research this and prepare a post. Like you guys, I think this factor, ignored because it is so “small” could be a major cause of El Ninos. Imagine in the map in paper no.1 – heating the water on the floor of the ocean (day and night) until the density of the water is reduced enough to cause the water to rise. Also imagine the currents proceeding toward the equator along the west coasts of the americas gathering up the warm water and pushing it along the equatorial zone westward. How are we going to keep this thing alive given that it is at the end of a dying post? It doesn’t seem to interest the atmospheric, oceanic or solar physicists.

  139. Sandy (08:09:35) :”Surely the SST of el Nino/Nina is driven by Willis’s trade-wind pumping cu-nims. I think the evaporation factor of trade-winds over cloudless oceans constitutes a major cooling of the tropics, indeed it the difference between this and insolation energies that determine the change in SST surely.”

    I was wondering a few days ago why there would be such a delay in the temperature rise in the lower tropical atmosphere after the ocean surface warmed. Looks like the delay caused by the cooling provided by Hadley Cells. So the warm water in the tropics essentially must warm almost the entire atmosphere due to the good mixing of air in order for the tropical temperature to rise.

  140. Re: michel (00:18:35)
    michel, Can you provide links to the Tamino PCA series?

    Re: Pamela Gray (08:09:37)
    Good way of explaining.

    Re: Jim (05:22:30)
    Did you read his argument?

    - – -
    Important:
    Say a variable in a simple linear model accounts for 88% of the variance and one adds a second variable that pushes r^2 up to 89%. This does NOT mean that the second variable accounts for 1% of the variance. This is a very widespread misunderstanding.

    -
    Ninderthana, The thing I’ve found interesting is that many who are making a fuss about trends appear to not have paused to consider whether indices like SOI & MEI, in light of the nature of their construction, would ever be likely to show a steep secular trend (on long timescales). Thanks for your comments. I will be launching new analyses without delay…

    -
    The following are equivalent:
    a) annually-integrating & then differencing.
    b) differencing & then annually-integrating.
    (Do the math – it’s dead-simple.)
    I make this note because I see some ‘distorted’ comments upthread & over at Tamino’s.

  141. Paul Vaughan (10:53:19) : “Re: Jim (05:22:30) Did you read his argument?”

    All the different base periods do is offset the data by some quantity. This difference in base periods can be negated by adding offsets to each dataset, beginning each dataset in the same year, so that each begins at zero. Then you can see how closely they track each other.

  142. Gary, faulty media-ready reports about the plausibility (cough cough) of CO2 scorching the Earth does not mean that we should trample on that same poorly thought out path. Just because they do it does not mean that we can follow in their footsteps. In fact, I think that is the last place we would want to tread. Before I went to press with anything related to the Sun, I would want to do past correlation studies that demonstrates Sun variable with ENSO variables, and provide plausible mechanisms. That ENSO variables heat and cool land is a fairly basic mechanism based in a 5th grade Science text. What drives ENSO is much more complicated and deserves consideration and media-ready reports of a much higher quality than the history of CO2 AGW has presented to us.

  143. Ninderthana (01:25:06)

    I don’t have a problem with some sort of lunar/tidal effect on El Nino or La Nina frequency but at the end of the day it’s solar variability that controls the shortwave energy input to the oceans whatever mechanism then rations it’s delivery to the air.

    My contention is that on the basis of real world observations the oceans have internal variability that affects the rate of stored energy transfer from ocean to air.

    The climate is controlled by the solar shortwave input as varied by changes in the rate of energy emission from oceans to air.

    How the oceans ration the flow of energy from ocean to air is currently unknown but however it is done the level of solar energy input remains a paramount background factor.

    As regards step changes the fact is that if there are multi century (albeit small) variations in solar energy input to the oceans then the multi decadal shifts in the rate of energy release from oceans to air will always show a stepped pattern until the solar trend reverses.

    I really don’t understand the apparent inability of the climate establishment or a number of sceptics to see such simple relationships.

    I see a problem with any ideas that involve changes in the air alone affecting the climate system. Many sceptical opinions share that approach and I think they are wrong.

    The rate of energy emission from the oceans clearly varies and drives the observed changes in the entire climate system.

  144. http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/03/06/pca-part-4-non-centered-hockey-sticks/

    tamino’s PCA series. This is part 4 with links to the others. I forget exactly where it was that Ian Joliffe joined the debate, think it was an open thread someplace.

    MBH98 is a test case. A sincere, rational, objective warmist will admit that it was and is wrong for Mann to withold the algorithm (which was never released even to Wegman). He or she will admit also that the technique which was called PCA is in fact no such thing, and that it is illegitimate. In short, he will admit that Mann and MBH98 are totally discredited. But he will in conceding that probably still argue on other grounds that today’s warming is quite different in speed and amount from the MWP episode, and that may be right or wrong, but its at least defensible. Whereas the defence of MBH at this point is the province of party hacks.

    What is rather hilarious about Tamino’s method is that it is exactly the same as McIntyre’s on MBH. Tamino claims to have shown that no matter what trend you inject, the method of the paper eliminates it. Yes, and McIntyre and McKittrick claimed to have shown, after they reconstructed the Mann algorithm, that when applied to even random number sequences, it produced hockey sticks.

    Do you notice a pleasing irony in the similarity of the forms of argument? Of couirse Tamino will turn a delicate shade of pink if it is suggested that perhaps his method owes something to M&M, that actually the same general procedure applied to MBH as he has applied to the present paper, will reveal as distinct a lack of clothing as he claims to have discerned here….!

    But it is what has happened. Perhaps we should demand this as a step in the peer review process for climate trend papers? The authors should be obliged to run their algorithms across various different sorts of data, and publish the results. It might be most enlightening. We could make a textbook of the results: an encyclopedia of methods of extracting non-existent trends from data.

  145. michel (12:38:03) : “But he will in conceding that probably still argue on other grounds that today’s warming is quite different in speed and amount from the MWP episode, and that may be right or wrong, but its at least defensible.”

    I would like to know what “other grounds” the warmist can stand on, other than it’s been warming since the LIA. The problem he and we have is that there is no long-term, reliable record. GISS has been show to be a joke and if we knew what the Met Office was doing, we would probably see it is garbage in/garbage out also. In any case, we should not depend on any data from the Met for which the methodology is withheld from the public. That leaves only satellite records as our candidate for a reliable temp record and we only have 30 years of those, not 100-150 years. That pretty much leave everyone with no good data from which to argue anything.

  146. michel (12:38:03) : “What is rather hilarious about Tamino’s method is that it is exactly the same as McIntyre’s on MBH. ”

    I wouldn’t say it’s the same. The correlation of variations was shown quite nicely and that holds up. Nothing in Mann’s Hockey Stick holds up. It is worse than useless in that it is very misleading.

  147. marathon reading through this left me with one observation. That is there is little mention that ENSO is affecting cloud cover and albedo. The 1998 event corresponded to a drop of cloud cover which caused about a 10% drop in Earth’s albedo – the equivalent of over 10 W/m^2 world wide or almost 3 doublings of co2 which it recovered from much of it a little later. This is a phenomenal amount of variability which can have a tremendous impact on T – far more than supposing a small difference in regional SST might deliver.

  148. The paper by McLean et al (JGR, 2009) does not analyse trends in mean global temperature (MGT); rather, it examines the extent to which ENSO accounts for variation in MGT.

    The research concludes that MGT has for the last 50 years fallen and risen in close accord with the SOI of 5–7 months earlier and shows the potential of natural mechanisms to account for most of the temperature variation.

    It is evident in this paper that ENSO (ocean-atmosphere heat exchange) is the primary driver of MGT (i.e. El Ninos cause global warming and La Ninas cause global cooling). The reason given is Hadley circulation (which affects convection, clouds etc) linked to changes in sea surface temperature (ocean heat supply) and the Walker Circulation (i.e. ENSO). These processes might be significant factors in affecting net solar heating as well as the transfer of heat from Earth to space.

    Since so much of the criticism in the blogosphrere to date is about the failure of the McLean et al paper to detect trends, which was not the aim of the paper, these critics may be interested in a research paper that does.

    Compo and Sardeshmukh (Climate Dynamics, 32:33-342, 2009) state: “Evidence is presented that the recent worldwide land warming has occurred largely in response to a worldwide warming of the oceans rather than as a direct response to increasing greenhouse gases (GHGs) over land.” (Sonicfrog (10:42:17) mentioned this here earlier)

    Further regarding trends, the warming trend from 1965 to 2000 is the same as the pre-CO2 warming trend of 1900-1940. It is clear from this the climate models promoted by the IPCC have been tuned to extra warmth associated with ENSO as is apparent in the Mclean et al paper.

  149. “Angel (21:21:20) :
    Ahh yes, ONE peer reviewed study vs thousands. Sounds convincing to me! *dripping sarcasm*. Even better, it’s from the Journal of Geophysical Research which is not a well respected magazine in the scientific community.”

    First post from a complete non-scientist but I couldn’t let this pass. I don’t know whether Ferenc Miskolczi’s paper called “Greenhouse Effect in Semi-Transparent Planetary Atmospheres” published in 2007 has been discussed here but it was also peer reviewed and, if I understand correctly, far more closely tracks reality than the AGW hypothesis. His idea is that a rise in CO2 is offset by a drop in relative humidity (which is taken as a constant in the IPCC reports). I believe that relative humidity has, in fact, dropped over the past few years.

    http://met.hu/doc/idojaras/vol111001_01.pdf

    I just want to say that, even though I don’t understand much of the technical discussion, I visit WUWT regularly and love following the discussions.

  150. Chris de Freitas says:

    Since so much of the criticism in the blogosphrere to date is about the failure of the McLean et al paper to detect trends, which was not the aim of the paper, these critics may be interested in a research paper that does.

    Thanks for the clarification, Dr. de Freitas. However, would you then ask Anthony to correct the title of this post which says “Surge in global temperatures since 1977 can be attributed to a 1976 climate shift in the Pacific Ocean?” And, what about the last 3 paragraphs of the press release quoting your co-author Bob Carter? And, for that matter, your co-author John McLean’s statement certainly seems to imply that you have shown something that is directly relevant to the IPCC’s attribution of the overall trend to greenhouse gases. And, there are even some admittedly highly-qualified but still questionably-justified statements in the paper itself in regards to the trend.

    So, in other words, I think the criticism of your technique being incapable of detecting trends has been brought on by the way that this paper has been marketed both in your press release and in the blogosphere.

    As for the Compo and Sardeshmukh paper, it is important to note that it does not show that CO2 is not responsible for the warming. It merely claims to show that if you force the models with the observed sea surface temperatures (SSTs) then you get much the same temperature distribution as is seen, which hardly seems surprising given that oceans are about 70% of the earth’s surface and contain most of the heat content of the ocean-atmosphere system. It begs the question of where that heat seen in the rising ocean SST’s is coming from.

  151. Iren says:

    I don’t know whether Ferenc Miskolczi’s paper called “Greenhouse Effect in Semi-Transparent Planetary Atmospheres” published in 2007 has been discussed here but it was also peer reviewed and, if I understand correctly, far more closely tracks reality than the AGW hypothesis. His idea is that a rise in CO2 is offset by a drop in relative humidity (which is taken as a constant in the IPCC reports). I believe that relative humidity has, in fact, dropped over the past few years.

    That paper suffers from a variety of fatal theoretical flaws, one being the bizarre application of the virial theorem in a form that would imply that he thinks that the atmosphere is freely orbiting the earth (i.e., is not in anyway being supported by the earth itself): see http://74.125.113.132/search?q=cache:fDTradQ2R7sJ:www.geocities.com/bpl1960/Miskolczi.html+virial+theorem+Ferenc+Miskolczi&cd=5&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

    As for relative humidity, the moistening of the atmosphere has been verified through the water column and (more relevently for the water vapor feedback) the moistening of the upper troposphere in response to both short term temperature fluctuations (e.g., due to ENSO) and long term trends has been verified from satellite observations: See, e.g., http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/sci;310/5749/841 , or http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/sci;323/5917/1020 for a review.

    There is apparently SOME weather balloon (radiosonde) dataset that seems to show the opposite (only for the longterm trends…it hasn’t to my knowledge been looked at for fluctuations) but, as the first paper I referenced notes, there are known serious issues in using this radiosonde data to assess such longterm humidity trends.

  152. Ninderthana,

    I’ve just been digging back into …

    Keeling, C. D. & Whorf, T. P. (1997). Possible forcing of global temperature by the oceanic tides. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 94(16), 8321-8328.

    http://www.pnas.org/content/94/16/8321.full.pdf?ijkey=YjbRA3bMQaGic

    … and reviewing figure 3 [head’s up tallbloke, if you are around – this will interest you – note the reference (3) dating to 1985 – this relates to our recent discussion about the 3 factors statistically-related to the ~1931 phase-reversal (which include terrestrial polar motion, LNC, & r”)].

    I easily turned up this info …

    http://www.astronomycafe.net/qadir/q809.html

    … and another site written by a fellow sea-kayaker who suggests the average period of the proxigean tide cycles is ~19 months? Is that right Ninderthana?… (If so, this is getting very interesting, particularly in light of what we already know about temperature ranges.) …And what is the range?

  153. Joel Shore (17:35:19):

    Thanks for the clarification, Dr. de Freitas. However, would you then ask Anthony to correct the title of this post…

    I have a better idea. Much better:

    Rather than demanding that Anthony must change his posting to suit you, why don’t YOU write an article? You can then say anything you like. You can make your case about anthropogenic global warming. I can’t speak for Anthony, but I’m sure he would post it. If for no other reason than to see how you handle real peer review, not that namby-pamby excuse for climate peer review, where if you mention ‘global warming’ enough times, you’re hand-waved though by the clique in charge, and if you’re a skeptic, well, good luck getting published at all.

    I’ve suggested this to you many times now. But your response [and non-response] reminds me of a terrified dog, tucking his tail between his legs and yelping off into the distance. What are you so scared of? It’s an opportunity to state your case, such as it is.

    You write endless posts across the threads on this site, day in and day out, and you claim to be a peer-reviewed, published author. So, Joel, what are you so afraid of? Taking constant pot shots at the submissions of others is fun, isn’t it, even when you’re wrong. That’s easy to do, but it’s put up or shut up time for the AGW peanut gallery.

    Let’s see a pro-AGW article of your own, Joel. If you’ve got the balls.

    REPLY: I welcome an essay from Joel – Anthony

  154. So Smokey, I gather from you last comment that you aren’t bothered by the fact that the paper is being misrepresented far and wide across the internet, in a manner that makes it seams that it disproves AGW, when it does no such thing. And even though one of the paper’s authors has posted to this very thread to confirm that this is the case, your response to other posters discussing the situation is through taunts and name calling. Very big of you.

  155. Chris de Freitas: Would you care to explain this statement from your press release?
    According to this study little or none of the late 20th century global warming and cooling can be attributed to human activity.
    Where was that shown? Or this, which Anthony bolded:
    The close relationship between ENSO and global temperature, as described in the paper, leaves little room for any warming driven by human carbon dioxide emissions.
    especially when your analysis takes out the trend.
    Or indeed, the statement he used in the title. None of these correspond to anything in your abstract. And I can’t find anything in the paper that justifies them.

    Iren – Miskolczi? Yes, at WUWT here

  156. Woohoo, gather round boys and gals, the duel is on.

    Check out the comment by John McClean’s (one of the paper’s authors) on the post over at the Open Mind blog where Tamino pulls apart the paper. And note Tamino’s response, including his asserted intent that they “duke it out” in the peer-reviewed literature, starting with a response to the paper by Tamino in the Journal of Geophysical Research.

  157. Thank you, Craig Allen, for admitting that the paper is being misrepresented [and it's "seem", not 'seams']. An alarmist author acknowledging an error is something you will rarely if ever see, even though they’re much more error prone than skeptics… who simply ask questions.

    You may be unaware of the fact that I’ve been calling out Joel Shore for some time now, urging him to write his own article. The reason he’s afraid to do that is clear: his AGW beliefs would be thoroughly shredded by people here who know the actual facts. [And who are you, anyway, Joel's momma? Why is he hiding behind your skirts? Can't he speak for himself?]

    Joel nitpicks everything he possibly can when a skeptic writes an article — not that there’s anything wrong with that. But what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

    The plain fact is that the purveyors of the debunked AGW scam routinely hide out from any neutral, moderated debate [ever since Schmidt got spanked hard by Monckton].

    Instead, the AGW true believers here take easy pot shots from the sidelines at skeptics with impunity — while any similar criticism by skeptics is censored from their own globaloney websites.

    What are you alarmists afraid of? The truth?? Just answer that question. I look forward to your explanation of why the rules are so different for skeptics and AGW True Believers.

  158. I don’t think Smokey’s response (19:35:41) is justified. Joel is of course entitled to discuss and criticize the paper, and Anthony Watts is opened minded enough to allow dissentient comments to post on his blog. Shouting down contrary voices is a tactic used by those who don’t get a good handle of facts that support their stances. Which I just ran into an example in CP:

    JR: how has anyone “demonstrated” anything about temperature change to atmospheric CO2? That means that the models have some provability in them — that they have predictors that are correlate with the temperature trends we’ve actually seen in the last 30 years. Who has done that? If nobody has, I strongly recommend you avoid the use of that particular word.

    Which models out there predict the trend towards global cooling that we have actually measured over the past 10 years?

    [JR: Ahh, you’re been duped by the ~SNIP~ and their long-debunked talking points. Why didn’t you say so in the first place!!!]

    All that from a physics PHD from MIT. Are advanced degrees overrated?

  159. michel (00:18:35) :

    Good stuff Michel. I like your descriptions of the trolls (the one that calls himself ‘dhogaza’ is my personal favourite):

    “One rapidly comes to the conclusion that many (some of whom post here) are only being saved from wandering up and down Third Ave shouting incoherent abuse at passers by their ability to do the same thing every day on Tamino.”

    They are quite often found (s)trolling along Real Climate way as well.

  160. Err Smoky,

    It’s the anti-AGW side that is misrepresenting the paper as somehow disproving AGW. Doesn’t that bother you?

    However, I note that the authors themselves are misrepresenting their findings, both by drawing conclusions that their analysis do not support, and by subsequently claiming that they have not drawn those conclusions even though they are written in the paper.

  161. gt: “All that from a physics PHD from MIT. Are advanced degrees overrated?”

    A pure ad hominem attack. The head of the Atmospheric Sciences Department at M.I.T. deconstructs AGW. But you say degrees are overrated. Tell us, do you have a degree? And in what?

  162. michel (12:38:03) :

    “Perhaps we should demand this as a step in the peer review process for climate trend papers? The authors should be obliged to run their algorithms across various different sorts of data, and publish the results.”

    Now – that would be a very good thing. But I don’t think that it has a snowball’s chance in hell of happening!

  163. Smokey (20:36:54) :

    Yes I do have an (advanced) degree in engineering, but I have no interest in disclosing what it is on. All I want to say is that a scholar should show humility and honesty. I have no problem acknowledging Dr Romm’s accomplishment and intellectual competence, but his ad hominem (using the “d” word that was snipped by moderator) attack on posters has left a lot to be desired.

    Your comment on Joel is not appreciated neither. Even though I have read many of your previous posts and agree with most of them.

  164. Off topic I guess, but I have heard some in this forum said that this paper “does not disprove AGW”. My question is, what will qualify as a legitimate disproof of AGW? Lab experiments? More sophisticated computer models? More understanding on how climate works (isn’t the science “settled”)? Cooling/reduced warming in the last 10 years despite consistent atmospheric CO2 increase?

    It seems that disproving AGW is as impossible as disproving creationism/evolutionism, and the big bang theory.

  165. Joel Shore (17:57:50) :

    If climate sensitivity were to stay the same constant value over time, surely it could have been proven by now. Instead the best effort we have is not even from those purporting to have our best interests in mind, it is from the ‘bad guys’ like Lindzen. The ‘good guys’ guess, and then tell everyone that it is a settled matter. Why would climate sensitivity be the same for two different things? Perhaps feedbacks exist for one and not the other? So many questions, so little answers. That is science.

  166. After reading and studying the paper, its conclusions appear not only obvious but unassailable:

    “[34] We have shown that the Southern Oscillation is a dominant and consistent influence on mean global temperature. Shifts in temperature are consistent with shifts in the SOI that occur about 7 months earlier. The relationship weakens or breaks down at times of volcanic eruption in the tropics, and meridional heat dispersal likely accounts for this.”
    “[35] The slight fall in temperatures prior to the Great Pacific Climate Shift can be attributed to the increasing dominance of positive SOI values (i.e., toward La Nin˜a) leading up to that event and the rise in temperatures following the shift can be attributed to the dominance of negative SOI values since (i.e., a period of extended El Nin˜o tendencies).”
    “[36] Since the mid-1990s, little volcanic activity has been observed in the tropics and global average temperatures have risen and fallen in close accord with the SOI of 7 months earlier. Finally, this study has shown that natural climate forcing associated with ENSO is a major contributor to variability and perhaps recent trends in global temperature, a relationship that is not included in current global climate models.”

    It needs to be said that the researchers using 12-month moving averages (and their derivatives) for plotting the SOI was a brilliant, excellent way to smooth-out the complex SOI data set (with its many inherent and affecting variables). Termino may opine about losing “trends”, but this needs to be looked at on a higher level. Searching for trends is well and good, but this was not the focal point of the paper, which was to show the existence of the preceding, dominant, and consistent influence of the Southern Oscillation (with a lag of approximately 7 months) on mean global temperature. This the authors have done most satisfactorily, exhibiting evidence of a strong correlation. Bearing the above in mind, it is simply not a consideration that GHGs affect the SOI in any material way, and this salient point strikes at the very heart of the theory of AGW.

    May all bogus and erroneous presumptions die a quick death.

    As one earlier in the thread emphasized the relevance of the paper’s Figure 6, I too would like to add that, yes, Figure 6 is most compelling; indeed, it is a work of art. It is like beholding a breathtaking Mona Lisa (of climate change), a most beautiful picture.

    Congratulations and thanks to John McLean, Chris de Freitas, and Bob Carter!

  167. Joel Shore (17:35:19)

    “As for the Compo and Sardeshmukh paper, it is important to note that it does not show that CO2 is not responsible for the warming. It merely claims to show that if you force the models with the observed sea surface temperatures (SSTs) then you get much the same temperature distribution as is seen, which hardly seems surprising given that oceans are about 70% of the earth’s surface and contain most of the heat content of the ocean-atmosphere system. It begs the question of where that heat seen in the rising ocean SST’s is coming from.”

    Takmeng Wong

    Comparison of interannual variability of net flux anomalies between ocean heat storage data and the broadband ERB data sets shows remarkable
    agreement in both phase and magnitude of these two very different types of data sets. The ocean heat storage data agree with the level of interannual
    variability found in the radiation data. This variation is larger than known variations in aerosol or other radiative forcings in the late 1990s, and suggests a closely linked variation in global ocean heat storage and global cloud net radiative forcing.
    Because phase lag is not expected between these two variables, it remains unclear if slight changes in ocean surface temperature and surface heat fluxes are changing clouds, or if clouds are changing ocean heat storage.

  168. Joel Shore (17:35:19)

    Thanks for the clarification, Dr. de Freitas. However, would you then ask Anthony to correct the title of this post which says “Surge in global temperatures since 1977 can be attributed to a 1976 climate shift in the Pacific Ocean?” And, what about the last 3 paragraphs of the press release quoting your co-author Bob Carter? And, for that matter, your co-author John McLean’s statement certainly seems to imply that you have shown something that is directly relevant to the IPCC’s attribution of the overall trend to greenhouse gases. And, there are even some admittedly highly-qualified but still questionably-justified statements in the paper itself in regards to the trend.

    You might also take that up with Swanson and Tsonis 2009

    The subject of decadal to inter-decadal climate variability is of intrinsic importance
    not only scientifically but also for society as a whole. Interpreting past such variability
    and making informed projections about potential future variability requires (i) identifying
    the dynamical processes internal to the climate system that underlie such variability (see
    e.g. Mantua et al. [1997]; Zhang et al. [1997]; Zhang et al. [2007]; Knight et al. [2005];
    Dima and Lohmann [2007]), and (ii) recognizing the chain of events that mark the onset
    of large amplitude variability events, i.e., shifts in the climate state. Such shifts mark
    changes in the qualitative behavior of climate modes of variability, as well as breaks in
    trends of hemispheric and global mean temperature. The most celebrated of these shifts
    in the instrumental record occurred in 1976/77. That particular winter ushered in an
    extended period in which the tropical Pacific Ocean was warmer than normal, with strong
    El Nin˜o-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events occurring after that time, contrasting with
    the weaker ENSO variability in the decades before (Hoerling et al. [2004]; Huang et al.
    [2005]). Global mean surface temperature also experienced a trend break, transitioning
    from cooling in the decades prior to 1976/77 to the strong warming that characterized
    the remainder of the century.

    Global mean temperature decreased prior to World War I, increased during the 1920s and 1930s, decreased from the 1940s to 1976/77, and as noted above increased from that point to the end of the century. Insofar as the global mean temperature is controlled by the net top-of-the-atmosphere radiative budget [IPCC 2007], such breaks in temperature trends imply discontinuities in that budget. Such discontinuities are difficult to reconcile with the presumed smooth evolution of anthropogenic greenhouse gas and aerosol radiative forcing with respect to time [Hansen et al. 2005]. This suggests that an internal reorganization of the climate system may underlie such shifts [Zhang et al. 2007].
    .

  169. Re: michel (12:38:03)

    Thanks for the link to Tamino’s PCA Part 4.

    I found this illuminating:

    “If we use centered PCA, it turns out to be in the 2nd PC, but with non-centered PCA it ends up in the 1st PC. That’s the reason for the choice of non-centered PCA: to make the relevant, i.e. temperature-related, variation end up higher in the PC list. And: it worked.”

    … and yet nowhere in any of the 4 parts of the series is there any mention of factor analysis. Variants of the word “rotation” barely even came up.

  170. gt (21:09:18) :

    …I have heard some in this forum said that this paper “does not disprove AGW”. My question is, what will qualify as a legitimate disproof of AGW?

    This is a constant source of irritation. Why are skeptics always put into the position of having to ‘disprove AGW’? Must skeptics disprove every new hypothesis that comes along? No. It is up to the purveyors of the CO2=AGW hypothesis to falsify the current theory. The have failed to do so.

    The long accepted theory of natural climate variability predicts that the climate will continue to follow a gradually increasing trend line of rising temperature going back to the LIA, and before that, to the last great Ice Age. The planet’s temperature fluctuates above and below that trend line on a decadal time scale.

    The current climate is well within historical norms, therefore Occam’s Razor says that adding another extraneous parameter [such as CO2] to the explanation is completely unnecessary, and does nothing but muddy the waters.

    In order to replace the long accepted theory of natural climate variability, the proposed AGW hypothesis must be able to explain reality better than the current theory. It fails. It is unable to make simple predictions, despite the use of super computers and the billions of dollars expended to study global warming.

    The Scientific Method doesn’t require the AGW hypothesis to be “disproved.” Rather, it requires that those promoting their AGW hypothesis must falsify the accepted theory of natural climate variability. They have been unable to do so. Despite the advantages of computing power and $billions, AGW can not predict the climate.

    The problem for the AGW folks is that they have been unable to falsify the theory of natural climate variability. Unless/until they are able to do so, the current theory stands, and CO2=AGW is just another failed hypothesis.

  171. Smokey, regarding this “the long accepted theory of natural climate variability” that you speak of; can you explain the mechanism that, as you say, “causes climate will continue to follow a gradually increasing trend line of rising temperature going back to the LIA, and before that, to the last great Ice Age”. Who has long accepted this theory, and where is is written down so we can read all about it?

  172. Paul Vaughan (19:26:12) :

    Please go to my talk at the Natural Cliamte Change Coneference at:

    http://www.naturalclimatechange.info/?q=node/10

    and click on session 5 by Ian Wilson – It will explain what you are after.

    The timing between proxygian spring tides is ~ 206 days (or about 7 months),
    however, extreme proxygean spring tides come along about every 10.15 years
    (it is actually a 20.3 year cycle from New Moon to New Moon).

    What we are seeing with the El Nino is most likely a consequence of the six year varaitions in the Earth’s rotation rate that are being driven by assymetries in the Lunar forcing caused by a combination of Lunar Evection and Lunar variation.

    The six year oscillations in the Earth’s rotation drive 2.4 year (QBO) , 3.6 year (ENSO), 4.8 year (ENSO) and 6 year (ENSO) resonaces in the atmosphere/ocean system. These closely match the sub-multiples of the 18.6 year LNC cycle (i.e 6.2 years, 3.7 years, and 2.3 years) which may reinforce these natural resonances.

    Look at Siderenkov (2000) Astronomy Reports Vol 44, No 6 p. 414, tranlasted from Astronomicheskii Zhurnal 2000, 77 , No 6, p. 474

    For those who think that I have a abondoned the Sun as a natural cause of Climate Change – nothing could be further from the truth.

    I am just saying that the order of influence is most likley:

    1. Lunar/Solar Tides 2. Sun and a (very) distance 3. Anthropogenic CO2

    The world’s mean temperatures are probably set by a combination of 1) and 2) , with one having more influence than other at vary times depending on the strength of their respective forcing signals on the Earth/atmosphere/ocean climate system.

  173. Ninderthana,

    How do you arive at your estimate of the relative importance of these factors?
    Has there been any analysis that has found a correlation between “oscillations in the Earth’s rotation” and El Nino. What are the resonances you speak of, and how do they connect the Earth’s rotation to the climate?

  174. A test to ascertain whether there is a break in the data producing the step in 1976 associated with the Great Pacific Climate Shift would go some way to clarifying and substantiating the thesis of the McLean paper and its abrogation of a possible AGW trend and indeed whether there is any such AGW trend; in fact such a test has been done in the context of the PDO phase shifts;

    http://arxiv.org/abs/0907.1650

    The paper establishes a regional break in 1978 with marked absences of trends pre and post break and global breaks in 1978 and 1998 with a slight increasing residual trend from 1978 to 1998 and a decreasing trend post 1998.

    This paper specifically compares the possibility of trends with a break in the data and correlates the statistically preferred break with empirically well-established oceanographic events. This paper draws inspiration from an old paper by John McLean on the GPCS which was later published in a data truncated form by Tom Quirk. I got kicked off Tamino’s blog about a year ago for having the temerity of raising the point. Small world.

  175. Craig Allen (04:10:11),

    Dr. Roy Spencer has said that no one has falsified the theory that the observed temperatures changes are a consequence of natural variability. In other words, warmists need to falsify natural climate change; skeptics are under no obligation to falsify every wacked out conjecture that comes along. At least, not according to the Scientific Method.

    As for a mechanism, there are several related hypotheses proposed. You can search for them as well as I can. But to get you started on the right track, this article is worth reading.

  176. If I said I had a computer model that could look at a bonfire and predict how it would look an hour later down to the shape of the flames and which logs are burnt by how much there would be scepticism. If I then admitted it wasn’t perfect so could I have another $100, 000, 000 I would expect gales of laughter.
    Why is it obvious that a bonfire can’t be predictively modelled yet people still think the climate can be?

  177. I think the paper needs to consider also the impact of AMO or the Atlantic ocean SST to get a complete picture of what affects our climate . I went back and checked the 20 highest AMO ANNUAL INDEX years and only half took place when an El Nino was also happening . The same result was for the lowest or coldest AMO years . La Nina was present only about half the time . AMO seems to have an affect on our climate which is independent of ENSO. A very warm period has a warm AMO level already present which then appears to be amplified to new highs with the added heat from the ENSO. However high AMO levels can happen without the ENSO [ like 1944,1952, 1953, 1937,1938, 1960, etc. I counted 10 of the highest 20 AMO warm years that had no ENSO events.

    One cannot just look at the last 50 years to get the total picture .

  178. “The surge in global temperatures…”

    I think they mean “The surge in atmospheric temperatures…”.

    ENSO moves heat from the ocean to the atmosphere, or not, causing weather thermometers to record higher temps. This is different from a change in the net gain in solar heating, (that is, a change in the energy balance).

    I guess it’s possible that ENSO could change cloud cover to increase or decrease the greenhouse effect, but that has not, to my knowledge, been claimed or demonstrated by either side in the debate.

  179. Craig Allen (06:23:52) “Has there been any analysis that has found a correlation between “oscillations in the Earth’s rotation” and El Nino.”

    I can help with this one.

    It is easy to demonstrate a phase relationship (with intermittent brief interruptions) between SOI & LOD” (where prime ‘ indicates rate of change – so ” indicates 2nd derivative).

    Related: It is well-established that LOD is strongly related to atmospheric angular momentum (AAM).

  180. Re: michel (12:38:03)

    I’ve been digging in the Tamino PCA series for acknowledgment of the fundamental importance of the normality assumption (since so much of the focus seems absorbed by the issue of centering …which is, of course, only part of the issue).

    Someone raised a very well-stated concern:

    “On a technical note, perhaps you can explain to me what differences in the interpretation of the results one might expect when applying principal component theory to a set of non-stationary time series as opposed to a collection of independent normal multivariate observations.”

    This was a substantive request, based on fundamentals.

    Rather than address the warranted request, here is how Tamino responded:
    “[...] along you come, the pompous ass who [...] just plain doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground [...]“

    -
    The assumption of normality is nothing to scoff at. It is fundamental. I will continue looking to see what (if any) discussion there was of related diagnostic tools. [It is easy to make multivariate data reduction errors if algorithms are run mechanically without a battery of accompanying diagnostics …and different analysts use different diagnostics – for example, many stick to numerical-summaries & skip multi-dimensional visualization, which is where problems are easiest to spot.]

  181. @michel
    is clearly right, ENSO and AMO et cetera can, secondarily, impact clouds, convection and therefore also IR from the earth, and can change the earth’s temperature. Possibly by enough to matter. I haven’t seen where this has been measured and verified, however.

    Primarily, though, ENSO and AMO et cetera move heat around within the earth. That is what they are.

    Air temp charts over the past century show a lot of jumping up and down (noise). Good ocean analyses like McLean et al can permit removing this noise and allow more accurate measurement of remaining trends.

    Would McLean like to tell us what the residual trend is?

  182. In my opinion, the extra impact of AMO on global climate in addition to whatever the extra ENSO events contribute can be seen in the comparison of two different recent periods [using the ONI index]. The higher warm AMO levels for the entire 12 months in the first period versus the 8 cooler and only 4 warm AMO level years in the second period below clearly made the difference. The El Nino events seemed to raise the already existing warm background AMO level to new record highs which in turn raised the global air temperatures to new highs. In the second period the AMO background level was cool and despite about the same level of ESNO events, the global climate was warming but much cooler. PDO was warm during both periods.

    1997-2008[12 years]
    This was the real global warming period. 10 of the warmest global temperatures happened then
    Number of EL NINO months 39[27% of time]
    Number of LA NINA months 38[26% of time]
    Number of Neutral months 67 [47 % of time]

    PDO
    Mostly in warm mode but not at any record level [0.19 to 1.46 range]
    Years in warm mode —8
    Years in cool mode —-4-

    AMO
    Years in warm mode 12
    Totally in warm mode and at record level with 5 of the 20 highest annual averages ever [0.402 peak] and 3 of the 5 highest monthly AMO peaks ever.

    TEMPERATURE ANOMALIES
    Temperature anomalies were rising and peaked at 0.546C [hadcrut3]
    Average annual temperature anomaly 0.407C

    1985-1996[12 years]

    Number of EL NINO MONTHS 45[31 %]
    Number of LA NINA months 29[20%]
    Number of Neutral months 70 [49%]

    PDO
    Years in warm mode 8
    Years in cool mode 4
    3 warm years at top 10 record level [1.82, 1.42, and 1.24]
    The remaining years low PDO levels

    AMO
    Years in cool mode 9
    Years in warm mode 3
    AMO levels generally low whether cool or warm

    TEMPERATURES ANOMALIES
    Temperatures were fluctuating but rising and peaked at 0.275C [hadcrut3]
    Average annual temperature anomaly 0.139 C

    The total intensity of EL NINOS was about the same [by totaling the ONI values for all EL NINO months for both periods [45 vs. 47]. This is a crude way of measuring this, but it is a rough indicator only.

  183. In the PCA series Tamino is not careful to point out that standardizing does not cause a distribution to become normal. (The term “nomalize” is conventional, but highly-misleading for mainstream audiences.)

    Tamino did not respond when someone impressively brought up the work of William Hsieh of the University of British Columbia.

    http://www.ocgy.ubc.ca/~william/index.html

    I’ve looked at many of Hsieh’s papers on nonlinear data reduction in the past. He is undertaking very challenging work.

    Many of the nonlinearity issues he raises can be visualized using scatterplot matrices (with marginal dotplots or histograms to assess normality). I have used such visualization techniques in concert with factor analysis (a step above PCA) to seperate empirical wavelet modes and perform related diagnostics.

    Maybe Tamino miscalculated the level of scrutiny & suspicion that is aroused by arguments against centering variables (and the additional failure to stress the importance of the assumption of normality for the chosen data reduction method).

    Again: Thanks for the link michel. The exercise of reviewing the threads has provided useful insight into the limits of quantitative distortion, even when it is in the hands of an intelligent, articulate, & well-educated (& possibly also well-meaning) individual.

    Personally, I’m not inclined to trust any factor analysis (or more primitive PCA) that I have not performed myself on data that I know inside-out.

  184. One last note on the PCA distortion:
    Be cautious about the claim that anomalies (as opposed to raw temperature data) are robustly correlated spatially across mountainous terrain. This suggests a lack of on-the-ground, first-hand experience with the nonlinearity of response to inter-annual (& other timescale) variation. The network of monitoring stations is grossly insufficient for conveying what is known to those of us who have spent years of our lives moving up & down mountain slopes on a regular basis. There are violent oscillations in snow-depth at mid-elevations on a variety of timescales. One must take into account the effect this has on averages & outliers, particularly when taken into consideration along with other strong factors such as coastal-continental gradients. Use of anomalies from the annual cycle is blinding us to other temporal information. We need to stop working with anomalies. They cause irreconcilable problems with the partitioning of variance – and they are not necessary anyway, since we have arsenals of multi-timescale methods at our disposal now (something which was not the case when the anomaly convention was established).

  185. Nick Stokes (20:12:20) : “And Jim, yes, this one paper doesn’t prove anything about the trend. The problem is that people are saying that it does.”

    Looks like I was wrong about that. Lucia proved that the difference method does include the trend. I looked back at regular derivatives. If you take the derivative of a linear term, e.g. 3x, you get 3, so the information is still in the first derivative. The derivative of a constant WRT x is zero. But a linear trend is just that, a linear function of x.

    Thanks to Lucia!

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2009/that-soi-paper-climate-change-worse-than-we-thought/

  186. Not being a mathematician or statistician, but Tamino’s logic seemed flawed to me. Can anyone tell me if I read Tamino correctly:

    Firstly he states how the temperature difference between years is arrived at – average of one year less average of the previous. Then he starts with “Supose” and sets up a scenario, quite plausible, that the temperature at any point is the underlying temperature, plus warming to date, plus any variability that cancels itself out over time. Then he generates a formula and uses it in such a way that one year’s warming constant can be any figure he likes with the same result.

    He then ascribes this to the report’s authors as the basis with which to debunk them for removing trends in the data. As I read the report, that’s not not the way the data was handled, and any trends embedded in the data should still be there.

  187. Is this the debate that’s supposed to be over? Because it sure looks like the one that Al Gore said was over. Glad to see it’s finally getting started!

    This has been a great thread to read.

  188. Re: Peter (09:52:14)
    I’m not a mathematician or statistician either, but I’ve got a solid background in some branches of math & particularly applied-stats. I had not planned on reading the paper in detail because upon inspection of the figures it was telling me something I’ve already [draft] calculated myself. (Also, the paper did not appear to be concise – i.e. it is longer than 4 pages.) However, I’ve seen a lot of ‘twisted’ comments here & in other forums. This has inspired me to take a more careful look…

    I am using the following datasets:

    http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/public/msu/t2lt/uahncdc.lt

    http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ratpac/ratpac-a/RATPAC-A-seasonal-layers.txt

    ftp://ftp.bom.gov.au/anon/home/ncc/www/sco/soi/soiplaintext.html

  189. Joel quotes Tamino: “That ENSO is a major contributor to variability in global temperature, is ancient news. In fact I’ve shown it myself.”

    OK. That’s agreed then, humans are a minor player at most in climate change.

  190. The academic waffle on this site from both sides of the AGW argument amazes me.
    AGW theory contends that adding more CO2 (plant food) to the atmosphere will result in global warming.
    Sceptics of this theory do not have to do or prove anything.
    However proponents of the theory need to produce empirical evidence that they are right. To date NO SUCH EVIDENCE HAS BEEN PROVIDED! (computers do not cut the mustard in providing empirical evidence).
    Come on AGW supporters SHOW ME THE EVIDENCE (REAL empirical stuff not computer waffle).

  191. Maurice J Smalley: From your tone I can see that for you, as with many others posting here, there is no evidence, no matter how watertight it may be to a rational open minded person, that could convince you. Climate science is a coherent body of understanding. It includes many aspects that will be improved. And there are some areas that the scientists acknowledge they are only beginning to understand. However in contrast the ant-AGW point of view is composed of a hodge-podge of mutually incompatible assertions, united only by the fact that people like yourself are sure they refute the science. A find the science fascinating (albeit scary in it’s conclusions). Don’t you want to understand how the climate works and what is in stall for us all. The anti-AGW bewilderment must get uncomfortable after a while.

  192. Climate analysis of air temps smooths out the roughness, the noise, by using various statistical tricks, such as 15-year triangular filters, and so on.

    Can the McLean analysis be used to subtract the ENSO “noise” from the temperature data set to reduce or eliminate the need for smoothing? If so, then a more accurate measurement of observed trends can be obtained.

    This could obsolete all existing GCMs.

  193. Craig Allen : I think you miss the point ! Government lawmakers the world over are passing cap & trade tax schemes to tax the life out of you me and everybody.

    If they were honest they would want empirical evidence before proceding, I have no problem with the science doing their thing, but whenever the question SHOW ME THE EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE is asked we get more WAFFLE like your post!

  194. Fred2 (20:35:21):

    The McLean analysis does the opposite. As I understand it, it the removes the primary trend and leaves the lesser order fluctuations and noise, which are then analysed to see if they correlate with any candidate external forcings or internal feedbacks. This sort of thing has been done extensively by others using many different methods – I don’t really see what the McLean analysis adds to the understanding.

    Either way I don’t see why you think this would make GCMs obsolete. I suggest you do some reading to find out what the scientists are actually trying to achieve with GCMs and other models – be they statistical or physics based like the GCMs.

  195. Maurice J Smalley (21:34:24): I’m not a climate scientist, but I follow the developments in climate science closely. The climate sciences make a lot of sense to me. It’s the anti-AGW stuff that comes across as waffle because it is all so self contradictory.

    For example. Is the atmosphere and ocean warming or not. I see anti-AGW folks arguing that both are true. And I see a myriad of different claims by anti-AGW people for what is causing it, united only by the fact that they are sure that the cause not C02 and the other greenhouse gasses. Is it cosmic rays, internal variability, some vague ‘recovery’ from the last ice age with no mechanism specified, the moon and it’s influence on tides, the effects of the sun on the earth via magnetism linked in some why to sunspots?

    From what I read around the anti-AGW blogs etc. it is all these things and none all at the same time. But no matter what, it can’t possibly be CO2 and the other greenhouse gasses. Because, as you infer, that has implications for what we can and should do about it, which many people find to be unpalatable!

  196. Graig Allen,

    I am a climate scientist and what you are submitting to this blog is a lode of rot. You have no idea of the climate senstivity to a doubling of CO2, and if you even had the most basic understanding of this issue you would know this. Why not read some of the postings by the climatologist to this blog (like Lindzen) and find what is really going on with the Earth’s climate.

    The reason why climate sceptics have so many possible explanations to the source of the recent warming is precisely because nature is far complex than the simpletons who believe in Antropogenic CO2 want us to believe.

  197. Well done Craig Allen more waffle you should be in the political game, start a party and I will give you your slogan for nothing…….VOTE FOR ME, WE CONFUSE CAUSE AND EFFECT, MIX UP ISSUES, AND SOLVE PROBLEMS BY TACKLING SOMETHING ELSE INSTEAD. Many sheeple will probably vote for you !!

    However you could be more honest and ask the simple question, SHOW ME THE EVIDENCE that putting more CO2 (plant food) into the atmosphere raises global temperature. You do not seem to understand that it does not matter what sceptics say do or think, the ONLY thing that matters is the question, SHOW ME THE EVIDENCE, so far they have failed to do so !

    Earth’s atmosphere is a complex non linear chaotic system powered by a nuclear reactor a million times bigger than earth, our sun, science has a long way to go to even understand a small part of it. However before we tax the life out of everybody we need PROOF that CO2 (plant food) causes global warming everything else is of no importance to the AGW argument.

  198. Ninderthana (01:06:55) :

    Being a climate scientist, can you explain what, as you see it, are the most appropriate ways for climate scientists to set about working out the climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2. Or do you a priori think that this is not possible to do.

    Do you think temperatures are rising globally? And if so, what proportion of the rise is due to the various possible causes. In particular, what proportion can be attributed to your moon-tidal theory?

    As supporter of Lindzen I guess you would be rather embarrassed by his recent article on this blog wherein his conclusions were completely undermined by the fact that he had used an outdated dataset that did not include the corrections necessary to account for the decay in the orbit of the satellite that was collecting the data.

  199. OK Maurice (and others), lets work through it. Help me get my head around it.

    First of all, do you agree that ‘greenhous’ gasses such as CO2, methane, water etc. absorb and re-emit infrared radiation.

    Secondly, do you agree that a large portion of the sun’s energy arrives as radiation other than infrared, warms the Earths surface and is radiated back to the atmosphere as radiation?

    Thirdly, are there enough greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere to pretty much completely block the radiation of energy via infrared radiation directly to space?

    Help me get these points right first and then lets move on to discuss the follow-up steps in the global warming by ‘greenhouse’ effect theory.

  200. There is one thing that has not been taken into account in regards to AGW, what are the goals and objectives of the government(s) that are wanting to establish cap & trade? Is the objective to reduce global warming? Or is it just to tax and control society? It doesn’t appear to matter what scientist say to them, they have already came to the conclusions that fit the “model” they want to use.

  201. Hi Paul.

    I have to admit, I tend to look at the main points made and address those. The look at the data is usually cursory. I look at arguments and where I “think” I see a logical inconsistency or a flaw in the support I am suspicious.

    I’ve re-read Tamino’s stuff and the paper, and I’m more convinced than before that he’s using in sophistry to discredit something he doesn’t like. I don’t have the maths to prove it, but his argument doesn’t smell right. I’m not saying the paper is correct. I don’t have enough information.

    In my first look at your three data sets I notice that the SOI data goes back a long way before the other two. There seems to be 11 to 15 month positive or negative periods in the figures from time to time. There is massive variability in the data. Years 1905 and 1917 stand out on initial glance. It makes me wonder whether this is useful data at all.

    The NOAA data is very variable too, still looking at that and the other data set. I’ll post again tomorrow when I’ve looked at it all more.

    I suppose that we all have to reinvent the wheel at some point, just to reassure ourselves that the committee came up with the right shape.

  202. Paul Vaughan (14:57:55) :

    I watched that video. Ninderthana’s thesis is that the ENSO (El Nino/La Nina) phenomonon is determined by tidal amplitudes. The implication of this is that because tides are 100% predictable centuries out, then so is ENSO. If he could prove himself correct then he would become a very famous man. All he needs to do is create a hind cast model based on his tidal theory, demonstrate that it predicts past events with reasonable fidelity, then use the same model to predict all future events. Bingo, he’s famous and the farmers of the World will hail him as a hero for ever more.

  203. Graig Allen,

    Why do you expect everything to be so simple? If science was as easy as you make out, I would be a rich man living a life a luxury just like Al Gore.

    Scientist who are in the process of investigating a natural phenomenon feel like they are gropping around in the dark. Even if they
    are lucky enough to stumble upon a small piece of the puzzle, they realize that this only partly clarifies a very fuzzy picture of what is actually going on.

    All my studies have shown is that varaition in the lunar orbit, caused by Lunar Evection and Lunar Variation, are probably responsible
    for the six year variations that are seen in the Earth’s rotation rate. And it
    is these six year variations that are probababy driving ( 2.4, 3.6, 4.8 and 6 year) resonances in the Earth/atmosphee/ocean climate system e.g. the ENSO. The tidal influences come into play because sub-multiples of the 18.6 year LNC (6.2, 4.7, and 2.3 years) , almost match the resonances caused by the varations in LOD.

  204. Paul Vaughan (14:57:55) :

    Could you elaborate on the plots you have posted? I realize that they may
    be proprietary and so I will understand if you want to remain cryptic.

  205. You imply in your talk that you work demonstrates that the collective work of the IPCC contributors is wrong. If only science were “so simple”!

    Planetary motion is highly predictable way into the far distant future, and calculable into the far distant past. Whether or not you have clear understanding of what connects this to ENSO, you should be able to undertakes a regression analysis to determine the relationship between aspects of this motion and the ENSO record. If you suspect that the motions of the earth, moons and sun influence ENSO via tides, then do the regression between parameters of tidal motion such as amplitude, which can be calculated into the far distant past. Then if you find any significant relationship, use the results to create a model that allows you to predict ENSO into the future.

    I’m not a scientist, but I can see roughly how this can be done. You are a scientist – this first minimal step should be a piece of cake for you.

    What is it that you think is ‘resonating’ exactly?

    I did a search for studies where fourier analyses have been applied to the ENSO record. Seems that there is no clear periodicity. If so then I don’t see how it can be related to anything as periodic as planetary motion. This paper is a thorough exploration of whether periodicity exists – Kestin et. al (1998, Journal of Climate, Volume 11, Issue 9 ).

    As for your Al Gore envy – let it go. If instead of spending so much time these past few decades trying to save the World he had concentrated on making money, he would would no doubt be far wealthier. As it is, all the profits he makes from his climate work, including from his presentations on global warming and the movie, are transparently donated back to the cause. Hardly evidence of a mercenary streak I’d say.

  206. Ninderthana,

    We can discuss this further moving forward. (There just aren’t enough hours in the day – particularly this one.)

    I look forward to collaborating in the near future.

    Best Regards,
    Paul Vaughan.

  207. Re: Peter (18:31:19)

    The long-term goal is to go well-beyond McLean, de Freitas, & Carter (2009). This will require careful planning. The work will be tedious.

    In the meantime, I can comment that I can count on one hand the questionable statements in MdFC09. A little more restraint would have made a difference.

    As for their analysis methods: The problem is not with the methods used, but rather with the lack of substantiation.

    One other note: They didn’t handle the 1976-1978 step change in El Nino frequency & intensity as well as they could have (which means it should be easy to improve on this work).

  208. Freitas’ comment upthread should leave no one in doubt that the paper is examining variability, not trends. Freitas says so himsefl. Twice in that post.

    Bewilderingly, the paper contains a few comments that suggest this examination of variability (ENSO) has an impact on long-term temperature trends. This is in no way supported by the analysis. Thus, this comment cited in the top post:

    “The close relationship between ENSO and global temperature, as described in the paper, leaves little room for any warming driven by human carbon dioxide emissions.”

    Is just not supported by the paper. I think it’s fair to update the top post by quoting Freitas’ qualifying comments upthread, lest people be led astray by a news report. It’s the science we’re looking at here, isn’t it – not the media mangling?

  209. Head’s up on distortion (or simply misunderstanding?):

    http://moregrumbinescience.blogspot.com/2009/07/how-not-to-analyze-climate-data.html

    Claim: “The filters were arbitrary [...]“

    Worse-than-false. I suppose it might look that way to someone who does not understand what was being done.

    Claim: “An ideal filter will show a 1 for all periods except the ones you’re trying to get rid of, where it will be 0.”

    This reflects one paradigm about what constitutes “ideal”, but it seems to completely overlook the desirable harmonic properties of a simple boxcar kernel.

    Honesty:
    MdFC09 did a lousy job of explaining the processing.

    More honesty:
    Even if MdFC did a better job justifying the processing, we’d still hear screaming about “smoothing” & “differencing” – as if these operations are “bad” in every context —- this is a function of poor conceptual understanding.

    I know career academic statisticians who misunderstand the properties of simple boxcar smoothing. It’s one of those things that very few people investigate carefully.

  210. Re: Adam Grey (00:01:21)
    If you read the paper carefully, you will see that the conclusions rest on *2* foundations:
    1) the analyses presented.
    2) the literature review.

    I can count on one hand the number of questionable statements in the paper. A little more restraint would have made a difference. Considering the polarity that exists, the few lapses in judgement (effectively) invited partisanly-zealous scrutiny.

    Regardless of how various press-releases have been framed, the mid-70s step-change is a legitimate topic for discussion & research. Now that the dust has settled, this is the elephant in the room. Media-stunts come & go. Serious people will be focused on the elephant, not the jesters.

  211. Ninderthana,

    In the plots:
    1) |Pr’| is the magnitude of terrestrial polar motion (x,y) vector rate of change. (Effectively, this is an index of radius relative to trend, with a minor phase shift.)
    2) r” is the rate of change of the rate of change of the distance between the solar system center of mass and the sun (calculated from NASA Horizons output).
    3) LNC = Lunar Nodal Cycle (which I’m sure you figured out easily).

    Were you following the earlier threads where I shared other details?

  212. Comment blocked at Tamino’s thread on McLean, de Freitas, & Carter 2009:

    =—–
    Perhaps it will take some time before everyone settles down enough to discuss the trend issue *objectively*. My impression is that several people here are so angry about the press releases that this is causing them to feel justified in making *false* statements about one **very specific** aspect of the paper. I feel compelled to object in defense of the credibility of the environmental movement. (My background spans ecology, rare plant conservation, soil science, acid rain, zoological research, parks, outdoor recreation, & population genetics of plant species on a fragmented landscape during climate change. I also spent several years teaching, tutoring, & marking statistics. I urge people here not to pre-judge.)
    ——=

  213. It appears I have been banned at Tamino’s after making my first post there [ever] yesterday.

    Here is the last entry that was blocked:

    =——
    Greetings to All,

    -
    Gavin’s Pussycat [8:04 am] “And why are you unhappy that organizations handing out the taxpayers’ money would want to see societally relevant research?”

    I have not suggested this.

    -
    Lazar [10:35 am] “where in the paper do they make conclusions about trends with reference to other work?”

    One example:
    Guilderson, T. P; & Schrag, D. P. (1998). Abrupt shift in subsurface temperatures in the tropical Pacific associated with changes in El Nino. Science 281, 240-243.

    They should have used more references. My impression is that they are aware of a lot more literature on the mid-70s climate shift than what they cited. Also, they should have distinguished the mid-70s climate shift from the late-90s one. Increasing frequency & intensity of El Ninos is related to the mid-70s shift, but the late-90s shift appears to involve other complexity – and since I have not (yet) studied the literature on the latter event, I will refrain from speculating at this time.

    -
    Lazar [10:35 am] “the only statement tamino made with regard to smoothing, is..”

    As noted, my concerns stem from reading apparent misunderstandings in comments that have been allowed to persist (while other comments have been attacked aggressively). I am left with the impression that politics is more important than substance. I state this objectively, not maliciously.

    -
    Lazar [10:35 am] “there are still many unknowns about impacts which need resolving…”

    Yes, and as Gavin’s Pussycat has pointed out: “But studying natural climate factors is an essential part of [...]!”

    -
    Lazar [10:35 am] “perhaps it would be more productive to push for more overall funding for climate science…”

    Agreed – and less attachment of political strings.

    -
    Lazar [10:35 am] “distracting from a very real threat is neither sane and perhaps in terms of your funding goals may even be counterproductive…”

    I’m not going to resort to lying to get funding, nor am I willing to be coerced.

    -
    Re: Deech56 [11:46 am]
    My interest is in the science (& *fair* judgement of it). It is clear that there is no shortage of people acting as media watchdogs. In contrast, it is also clear that there *is* a shortage of people who understand the nuances of elementary statistics. (I don’t blame them – our education system has plenty of built-in (& formidable) flaws.)

    -
    Re: TCO [12:01 pm]
    Interesting comments.

    -
    TrueSceptic [12:01 pm] “The controversy is generated by “sceptics” and “deniers””

    Your list is incomplete.

    -
    Re: george [2:09 pm]
    Good eye George. I am vehemently opposed to toxic pollution.

    -
    Ray Ladbury [3:19 pm]
    “If you are having trouble getting funding to look at natural climate variability, I suspect that is because ultimate the folks who control funding (e.g the voters) are ignoramuses–and proudly so. PR efforts like that by McdFC do not help you or anyone else in this effort. The risks posed by increased greenhouse forcing are real, and the consequences are still at present unbounded. I call that cause for concern, not obsessive focus. If people don’t understand the need for research into natural factors, the answer is to educate them–to make their concern a teachable moment.”

    WISE WORDS RAY, but I would add that GHG-obsession is stealing too much spotlight from other serious environmental issues.

    -
    dhogaza [5:21 pm] “[...] even though the paper doesn’t look for any trend.”

    Thank you for clarifying this. (I entered the discussion because many people here appeared to believe otherwise.)

    -
    Re: dhogaza [5:34 pm]
    I share your concerns about the PR stunts. Carter has made a serious error with the suggestions about CO2. [When I see that, I suspect funding politics. Few researchers are immune to it. One often sees hints about funding in the last few sentences of abstracts & on the last page.]

    -
    Re: george [6:07 pm]
    Your comment reinforces the concerns which caused me to enter the discussion.

    -

    Tamino,
    The pieces you have chosen to block & edit are highly informative. You are the only moderator who has ever blocked or edited my comments in my entire life.

    For anyone interested, I have posted the blocked comments here:

    Paul Vaughan (13:02:35)

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/07/23/surge-in-global-temperatures-since-1977-can-be-attributed-to-a-1976-climate-shift-in-the-pacific-ocean/

    Paul Vaughan (22:11:08)

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/07/30/on-climate-comedy-copyrights-and-cinematography/

    -
    Regards,
    Paul Vaughan.
    ——-=

  214. Two more comments “disappeared” here. WUWT is beginning to resemble Pinochet’s Chile.

    Yet within an hour of my posts calling attention to the Trenberth rebuttal, the paper is linked to, so I guess commenting here isn’t a complete waste of time.

    FYI for those interested in the truth, a more complete discussion of how the press release in the post above is riddled with errors, is posted at Climate Progress.

    Reply: We’ve been hit with a massive amount of spam this week, and I did one purge yesterday not realizing there was a second page where user comments may have been residing. I also deleted one of your posts a few days ago and asked you to resubmit without prohibited language. I find your description of our behavior exaggerated to say the least. It is most likely you continue to post with prohibited language and other moderators have repeated my actions. ~ charles the moderator

  215. Re: wattsupwiththat (22:13:28)

    The link has changed:

    Foster, G; Annan, J.D.; Jones, P.D.; Mann, M.E.; Renwick, J.; Salinger, J.; Schmidt, G.A.; & Trenberth, K.E. (2009). Comment on “Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature” by J. D. McLean, C. R. de Freitas, and R. M. Carter. Journal of Geophysical Research (submitted Aug. 2009).

    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/Foster_et%20alJGR09_formatted.pdf

    There are valid points in the critique, but the main premise is pure distortion. I interpret this as a clear signal (a kind of warning shot across the bow) that they perceived the McLean, de Freitas, & Carter (2009) paper [& related press] as sufficiently partisan to warrant a distorted attack.

    This should be a lesson for those formally interested in natural climate factors:
    1) Leave the political distortion aside.
    2) Be careful with interpretations – use appropriate qualifiers.

    The biggest mistake possible would be to respond to the critique in a partisan fashion.

    The high road for the authors would be to:
    A) List the errors in the original paper & in press releases.
    B) Issue stern clarifications about the strawman trend issue.

  216. Paul Vaughan (18:36:41):

    What is the “main premise” that you consider to be “pure distortion”?

    The critique seems very clear and specific to me. The McLean et. al paper has convincingly been eviscerated.

  217. Craig Allen (18:46:41) “What is the “main premise” that you consider to be “pure distortion”? The critique seems very clear and specific to me. The McLean et. al paper has convincingly been eviscerated.”

    Clear & specific – yes …& aimed at the strawman trend issue.

  218. Why do you consider that to be a strawman?

    In the original paper, to the press release, subsequent statements by the authors, and in the post and comments here at WUWT it has been claimed that the SOI is responsible for the majority of ‘variation’ in temperature data and that C02 could not be having a significant effect. The rebuttal demonstrates that the analysis does not show this and could not have shown it even if it were true. It also points out that it has long been known that shorter term variability is significantly affected by SOI, but the the degree of its influence is artificially inflated by the McLean et. al. analysis, by their methods of filtering out both longer and shorter term variability in the data.

    Let my quote Bob Carter, as highlighted at the top of this very post …

    “The close relationship between ENSO and global temperature, as described in the paper, leaves little room for any warming driven by human carbon dioxide emissions. The available data indicate that future global temperatures will continue to change primarily in response to ENSO cycling, volcanic activity and solar changes.”

    That the paper did not do this was shown almost immediately after the paper was published, and is now done so formally in the Foster et. al. reply.

    Given all this, what do you think the McLean paper actually tells us?

Comments are closed.