Spencer: Natural variability unexplained in IPCC models

Evidence for Natural Climate Cycles in the IPCC Climate Models’ 20th Century Temperature Reconstructions

by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

What can we learn from the IPCC climate models based upon their ability to reconstruct the global average surface temperature variations during the 20th Century?

While the title of this article suggests I’ve found evidence of natural climate cycles in the IPCC models, it’s actually the temperature variability the models CANNOT explain that ends up being related to known climate cycles. After an empirical adjustment for that unexplained temperature variability, it is shown that the models are producing too much global warming since 1970, the period of most rapid growth in atmospheric carbon dioxide. This suggests that the models are too sensitive, in which case they are forecasting too much future warming, too.

Climate Models’ 20th Century Runs
We begin with the IPCC’s best estimate of observed global average surface temperature variations over the 20th Century, from the “HadCRUT3″ dataset. (Monthly running 3-year averages are shown throughout.) Of course, there are some serious concerns over the validity of this observed temperature record, especially over the strength of the long-term warming trend, but for the time being let’s assume it is correct (click on image to see a large version).
IPCC-17-model-20th-Century-vs-HadCRUT3-large

Also shown in the above graph is the climate model temperature reconstruction for the 20th Century averaged across 17 of the 21 climate models which the IPCC tracks. To provide a reconstruction of 20th Century temperatures included in the PCMDI archive of climate model experiments, each modeling group was asked to use whatever forcings they believed were involved in producing the observed temperature record. Those forcings generally include increasing carbon dioxide, various estimates of aerosol (particulate) pollution, and for some of the models, volcanoes. (Also shown are polynomial fits to the curves, to allow a better visualization of the decadal time scale variations.)

There are a couple of notable features in the above chart. First, the average warming trend across all 17 climate models (+0.64 deg C per century) exactly matches the observed trend…I didn’t plot the trend lines, which lie on top of each other. This agreement might be expected since the models have been adjusted by the various modeling groups to best explain the 20th Century climate.

The more interesting feature, though, is the inability of the models to mimic the rapid warming before 1940, and the lack of warming from the 1940s to the 1970s. These two periods of inconvenient temperature variability are well known: (1) the pre-1940 warming was before atmospheric CO2 had increased very much; and (2) the lack of warming from the 1940s to the 1970s was during a time of rapid growth in CO2. In other words, the stronger warming period should have been after 1940, not before, based upon the CO2 warming effect alone.

Natural Climate Variability as an Explanation for What The Models Can Not Mimic
The next chart shows the difference between the two curves in the previous chart, that is, the 20th Century temperature variability the models have not, in an average sense, been able to explain. Also shown are three known modes of natural variability: the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO, in blue); the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO, in green); and the negative of the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI, in red). The SOI is a measure of El Nino and La Nina activity. All three climate indicies have been scaled so that their net amount of variability (standard deviation) matches that of the “unexplained temperature” curve.
IPCC-17-model-20th-Century-vs-HadCRUT3-residuals-vs-PDO-AMO-SOI-large

As can be seen, the three climate indices all bear some level of resemblance to the unexplained temperature variability in the 20th Century.

An optimum linear combination of the PDO, AMO, and SOI that best matches the models’ “unexplained temperature variability” is shown as the dashed magenta line in the next graph. There are some time lags included in this combination, with the PDO preceding temperature by 8 months, the SOI preceding temperature by 4 months, and the AMO having no time lag.
IPCC-17-model-20th-Century-vs-HadCRUT3-residuals-vs-PDO-AMO-SOI-fit-large

This demonstrates that, at least from an empirical standpoint, there are known natural modes of climate variability that might explain at least some portion of the temperature variability seen during the 20th Century. If we exclude the post-1970 data from the above analysis, the best combination of the PDO, AMO, and SOI results in the solid magenta curve. Note that it does a somewhat better job of capturing the warmth around 1940.

Now, let’s add this natural component in with the original model curve we saw in the first graph, first based upon the full 100 years of overlap:
IPCC-17-model-20th-Century-vs-HadCRUT3-residuals-vs-PDO-AMO-SOI-fit-2-large

We now find a much better match with the observed temperature record. But we see that the post-1970 warming produced by the combined physical-statistical model tends to be over-stated, by about 40%. If we use the 1900 to 1970 overlap to come up with a natural variability component, the following graph shows that the post-1970 warming is overstated by even more: 74%.
IPCC-17-model-20th-Century-vs-HadCRUT3-residuals-vs-PDO-AMO-SOI-fit-3-large

Interpretation
What I believe this demonstrates is that after known, natural modes of climate variability are taken into account, the primary period of supposed CO2-induced warming during the 20th Century – that from about 1970 onward – does not need as strong a CO2-warming effect as is programmed into the average IPCC climate model. This is because the natural variability seen BEFORE 1970 suggests that part of the warming AFTER 1970 is natural! Note that I have deduced this from the IPCC’s inherent admission that they can not explain all of the temperature variability seen during the 20th Century.

The Logical Absurdity of Some Climate Sensitivity Arguments
This demonstrates one of the absurdities (Dick Lindzen’s term, as I recall) in the way current climate change theory works: For a given observed temperature change, the smaller the forcing that caused it, the greater the inferred sensitivity of the climate system. This is why Jim Hansen believes in catastrophic global warming: since he thinks he knows for sure that a relatively tiny forcing caused the Ice Ages, then the greater forcing produced by our CO2 emissions will result in even more dramatic climate change!

But taken to its logical conclusion, this relationship between the strength of the forcing, and the inferred sensitivity of the climate system, leads to the absurd notion that an infinitesimally small forcing causes nearly infinite climate sensitivity(!) As I have mentioned before, this is analogous to an ancient tribe of people thinking their moral shortcomings were responsible for lightning, storms, and other whims of nature.

This absurdity is avoided if we simply admit that we do not know all of the natural forcings involved in climate change. And the greater the number of natural forcings involved, then the less we have to worry about human-caused global warming.

The IPCC, though, never points out this inherent source of bias in its reports. But the IPCC can not admit to scientific uncertainty…that would reduce the chance of getting the energy policy changes they so desire.

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138 thoughts on “Spencer: Natural variability unexplained in IPCC models

  1. What I’d like to see is a solar climate model. Something that can run on a computer and explain past temperature changes and predict future temperature changes. This is an area where the believers have done a much better job than the skeptics.

    And, with all due respect Dr. Spencer, I’d also like you to release to the public your satellite computer code for processing UAH temperatures.

  2. Sorry to go off topic straight away but the Guardian newspaper in the UK is claiming an exclusive showing that Jones at the CRU covered up problems with data from Chinese weather stations

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/01/leaked-emails-climate-jones-chinese

    “Today the Guardian reveals how Jones withheld the information requested under freedom of information laws. Subsequently a senior colleague told him he feared that Jones’s collaborator, Wei-Chyung Wang of the University at Albany, had “screwed up”.

    The apparent attempts to cover up problems with temperature data from the Chinese weather stations provide the first link between the email scandal and the UN’s embattled climate science body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as a paper based on the measurements was used to bolster IPCC statements about rapid global warming in recent decades.

    Wang was cleared of scientific fraud by his university, but new information brought to light today indicates widespread concern about the affair among scientists.

    In particular, it emerges that documents which Wang claimed would exonerate him and Jones did not exist.”

  3. How true.

    From: Kevin Trenberth
    To: Michael Mann
    Subject: Re: BBC U-turn on climate
    Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 08:57:37 -0600

    The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.

  4. I respectfully disagree that natural variability is unexplained by the IPCC. It’s rather easy to see the IPCC believes natural variability no longer exists.

    It’s something of the past, like the saber-toothed tiger. Besides, human influence is so strong that natural variability doesn’t matter — or so they would have you believe.

    BTW: I believe it shows extreme hubris when the various and assorted climatologists and climate modelers assert they can separate the the natural warming signal from the anthropological influence.

  5. This absurdity is avoided if we simply admit that we do not know all of the natural forcings involved in climate change. And the greater the number of natural forcings involved, then the less we have to worry about human-caused global warming.

    I find it interesting [and possibly significant] that the ‘natural forcings’ only cause the observed climate to oscillate about the model climate, but not progressively deviating from it over long enough time. Usually, when you fail a prediction, the failure is cumulative and it gets worse and worse as time goes on [e.g. calculating predicted positions of a minor planet based on inaccurate original positions], but the climate seems to ‘pull itself’ back to ‘where it should be’ according to the models. I assume that the models are NOT constantly updated [assimilated] with the newest observations, but are allowed to ‘run free’ based only one the initial conditions and the processes being modeled.

  6. Well hello, since the models were programmed to forecast increasing temperatures, that is precisely what they do. The extensive use of ADAFFs (arbitrarily determined artificial fudge factors) to cover for unknown phenomena and their effects almost guarantee a cluster[snip].
    (preemptive self snip)

  7. Rule of thumb: In the warm phase of the PDO, mankind fears to be fried. In the cool phase of the PDO, they fear an ice age. Is http://www.globalcooling.com already taken? Yes. From the website:
    “Global Cooling develops innovative refrigeration solutions.”

  8. I believe the lump in many of these curves from 1939 to 1946 has been attributed abnormal maritime data obtained from ships at sea during World War II. During this period traffic on the ‘normal’ shipping lanes was often diverted to other routes.

  9. Earth’s climate has changed in the past, is changing now, and will continue to change because Earth’s heat source – the Sun – is a variable star.

    The geologic record of that fact is clear.

    Many studies have shown that changes in Earth’s climate are linked to changes in the Sun – Earth’s heat source.

    Other studies have shown that changes in the Sun are induced by oscillations of the Sun about the center-of-mass of the solar system, induced mostly by ever changing positions of planets around the Sun.

    Although modern astronomy discarded astrology as voodoo science, it now appears that astrology may have had a better scientific foundation than the Standard Solar Model of a Hydrogen-filled Sun!

    See: “Earth’s heat source – the Sun”, Energy and Environment 20 (2009) 131-144: http://arxiv.org/pdf/0905.0704

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA PI for Apollo

  10. Why to spend time with global HadCRUT of dubious quality, trying to fit something on it. Increased “GH” effect should manifest mostly in polar areas, where cold air holds only a little humidity and +40% change of CO2 should deliver biggest increase in “forcing”.
    Antarctic: no warming during the last 30 years

    Arctic: no net warming compared to 40ties, just natural oscillations up and down

  11. Oliver K. Manuel (13:59:06) :
    it now appears that astrology may have had a better scientific foundation than the Standard Solar Model of a Hydrogen-filled Sun!
    It is statements like that that make some people not take WUWT seriously. Let us at least try to preserve a modicum of science.

  12. Do any GCMs ever converge to the types of patterns seen in the real world measurements for the major oscillations? It seems to me that having runs of models that result in cycles correlating at least somewhat with reality would be somewhat validating. That would seem to require the incorporation of exogenous forcings such as volcanoes and solar. Without model runs that can duplicate natural oscillations we are left with a hopelessly oversimplified prediction of some sort of warming sometime in the future.

    But displaying all the model runs as a single average precludes that possibility. I would like to see this analysis in this article performed against 100’s or 1000’s of individual model runs and see what cyclical behaviors emerge that match parts of reality. The typical, predictable argument against my request will invoke the uncertainty of initial conditions when in fact the reality is that initial conditions don’t matter in the long run. If most or all model runs fail to match reality over the long run that is due to model error not chaotic effects propagating from initial conditions.

  13. More, the decline in HadCRUT between 1945-1978 should be really decline. By fudging with sea water sampling correction factor, “they” managed to create sudden step down in 1945and subsequent flat period/mild rise instead of clear decline, which is visible in all NH temperature station records.

  14. http://www.leif.org/research

    This is an issue about which I have been wondering: how often are the models calibrated? There are undoubtedly many parameters which are updated through time to better fit observations with a hopefully corresponding better ability to project into the future. I know that there is confusion about this as some people accuse modelers of curve fitting, which is certainly not true. Can anyone, e.g. Dr. Spencer, please elucidate?
    So, where does a best fit end and a projection begin?

  15. It is all about carbon. If we send the carbon to another planet, utopis will surely come.

    We can name sites were even the slightest mention of warming in the early a1940’s is forbidden.

  16. “Eric (skeptic) (14:04:51) :
    [...]
    The typical, predictable argument against my request will invoke the uncertainty of initial conditions when in fact the reality is that initial conditions don’t matter in the long run.”

    You would be right for a negatively fedback, stable, oscillating system. One could watch it to analyze the nature of its oscillations.

    But the existing GCMs are tuned to incorporate assumed positive feedbacks, otherwise they would not produce alarming results. They are inherently unstable by design. For such a system, the initial conditions lead to ever-amplifying oscillations or a push over the brink straight ahead, so for them, initial conditions can make all the difference between end of the world in 2026 or 2100, take your pick. That’s why they do large numbers of runs and average them -simply saying we ran our model and the world will end in March 2099 would sound too silly- and that’s also why they have this huge span of possible outcomes.

    The instability is built into these systems because it is a requirement. The use case is predicting the end of the world.

  17. This sounds very similar to the omitted variable bias in statistics. If you run a regression Y=BX and omit some variable(s) on the right hand side, if the omitted variable(s) are positively correlated with the included X variable(s) (where all have a positive effect on Y), then your estimate of the “sensitivity” coefficient B will be biased upwards.

  18. @Leif Svalgaard (13:48:17) :

    When the source code for a climate model is updated, it’s like changing an hypothesis. This would not be an issue if the source code was properly archived after each release.

    However, we have seen GISS does not control or archive their source code any better than they maintain their raw data.

    What really needs to be done for each climate model is archive the source code for each release and the raw data, the adjustments and the output for each run. The data (only the inputs are data) and the output should be put into a database that can be queried and analyzed using standard tools.

    Since the data and output are not national secrets and since the agencies are funded with public monies, they should be published on the internet and downloadable as XML data.

  19. There is a previous guest post on WUWT positing that there are various natural cycles that work together to create the climate. When the cycles are in phase, we get a warm period or a cold period. When the cycles are out of phase, the effects tend to cancel themselves out.

    Does anybody recall the post and is there a model using this hypothesis?

  20. “jack mosevich (14:15:22) :
    [...]
    I know that there is confusion about this as some people accuse modelers of curve fitting, which is certainly not true.”

    If they would be curve fitting, they would be done with their job in a week. They try to model the physical systems in such a way that they can run it, say across the 20th century and compare the output with the observations or what GISTEMP gives them for an observation. A model that is closer to this observation wins against models that did a worse job.

    Problem is, they parameterize (assume a preset value for) the humidity, the amount of cloud cover, they can’t compute the humidity or the cloud cover in the simulation because these are small-scale local physical processes that are much too small for their grid cells, whether they’re 100 km across or 10. Even worse, we don’t know all cloud formation mechanisms by now.

    They’re lucky if their model manages to find out that the Sahara is a desert.
    A recent breakthrough was the model from Mojib Latif’s institute in Kiel; AFAIK he predicted a while ago the change of the PDO. He incorporated the thermohaline circulation. So that’s where you are: We slowly get models that incorporate stuff that the ocean does.

    They’re nowhere near predictive power whatsoever yet. Curve fitting – what Dr. Spencer in fact did here – would do a better job as a forecasting tool, given the state of the art.

  21. DirkH, It is a good point that the models are unstable and why we never see a model that levels out at (say) +14C or any other number. The instability probably enhances the variability but should still allow natural oscillations to emerge. Couldn’t the variability could result in something like the natural oscillations even embedded within an exaggerated secular warming trend?

  22. Leif Svalgaard (13:48:17) : Usually, when you fail a prediction, the failure is cumulative and it gets worse and worse as time goes on..

    Brilliant! Yes! This is the true Markov process of reality; it’s like orienteering with a malfunctioning compass: each step in the wrong direction takes you further away from the next control point flag. Then after a while you are lost. I mean really lost. Standing in the middle of nowhere, and you have no idea where to go…. Just like IPCC… HELLO?

  23. Leif Svalgaard (14:04:27) quoues Oliver K. Manuel (13:59:06) :

    ‘. . . it now appears that astrology may have had a better scientific foundation than the Standard Solar Model of a Hydrogen-filled Sun!’

    “It is statements like that that make some people not take WUWT seriously. Let us at least try to preserve a modicum of science.”
    – – – – – – –
    Dream on, Leif.

    In fact, astrology still has a much better scientific foundation than the Standard Solar Model of a Hydrogen-filled Sun!

    Here’s “Why the Model of a Hydrogen-Filled Sun Is Obsolete” http://arxiv.org/pdf/astro-ph/0410569v1

    Grow up, Leif. Climategate has exposed the hand of consensus scientists.

    Shame on you for reverting to the same old deceptive ploy: “Let us at least try to preserve a modicum of science.”

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Emeritus Professor of
    Nuclear & Space Science
    Former NASA PI for Apollo

  24. “Eric (skeptic) (14:42:10) :

    DirkH, It is a good point that the models are unstable and why we never see a model that levels out at (say) +14C or any other number. The instability probably enhances the variability but should still allow natural oscillations to emerge. Couldn’t the variability could result in something like the natural oscillations even embedded within an exaggerated secular warming trend?”

    Yes, that’s possible. Maybe Mojib Latif’s model can. He still emphasizes that he’s a firm believer in global warming even tough his model forecasts a cold spell of a decade or three; afterwards he says it gets worse than we thought (warm).

    We could think of it as the addition of two models, one with, say an exponential runaway and one with a stable oscillation. Over time though, the exponential wins and the instability dominates the system. Like Hansen predicted for 2000 in a prediction from 1981 i think, his first warming-catatrophe paper. He said that in 2000 the runaway would totally dominate any natural variability. As we know now, he was 12 years off ;-)

  25. They key problem of the models is IMHO that their assumptions about positive feedback (CO2->CO2 and CO2->water vapour) are wrong. Well, and, as Dr. Spencer points out, too high climate sensitivity for a given forcing.

  26. Gentlemen…Oliver and Leif,

    I sense the mountain and Mohammad here – you both add much to this site – and we’re far richer for it.

    I understand both positions – but, after all, this is a place of opinions, sometimes very different. Thanks for being here.

    Mike

  27. Oliver K. Manuel (14:50:23) :
    In fact, astrology still has a much better scientific foundation than the Standard Solar Model of a Hydrogen-filled Sun!
    As I said, he wasn’t satirical.

  28. Dear Oliver K. Manuel,

    Our planet is spinning and wobbling with regular changes in orbit, tilt and axis. The resulting natural non-equilibrium oscillations of the climate system – intrinsic and non-linear-chaotic in nature – may cover a wide range of timescales. In particular heat redistribution due to the slow ocean cycles may take hundreds of years, just like watching a huge century long “heat splash” in slow motion.

    The sun is invariant. The intrinsic natural oscillations in the climate systems have no need for a variable sun to sustain the (unpredictable) oscillation.

    Best Regards,

    Invariant

  29. Dear Oliver K. Manuel,

    Our planet is spinning and wobbling with regular changes in orbit, tilt and axis. The resulting natural non-equilibrium oscillations of the climate system – intrinsic and non-linear-chaotic in nature – may cover a wide range of timescales. In particular heat redistribution due to the slow ocean cycles may take hundreds of years, just like watching a huge century long “heat splash” in slow motion.

    The sun is invariant. The intrinsic natural oscillations in the climate systems have no need for a variable sun to sustain the (unpredictable) oscillations.

    Best Regards,

    Invariant

  30. I have always had some difficulty with unstable systems that have a slowly drifting mean. If they are relatively stable, it it quite possible that the mean will drift, but the climate models that have positive feedback are expected to oscillate. I wonder whether, if one ran the models for long enough, would there be long term oscillations or would the Earth blow up? If the former is the case, we get into the awful difficulties of representing long term periodicities as a linear trend. If the latter occurs, does this suggest that the models are representing anything real in the short term?

    I’m still very suspicious of a class of models that have, if think, at least 27 non-linear equations at each node and considerable homogenisation, with some parameters that are guesses and, being a semi-chaotic system must be sensitive to initial conditions. I suspect (from experience in modelling in another field) that have to a wide range of constraints within the models to stop them either blowing up or doing nothing. The physical meaning of these constraints would be interesting.

  31. Richard Saumarez (15:19:37) : I have always had some difficulty with unstable systems that have a slowly drifting mean. If they are relatively stable, it it quite possible that the mean will drift

    Indeed. Yes! Our climate may oscillate around an oscillating equilibrium. In terms of Kelvin, however, the oscillations are rather small, a couple of Kelvin is little compared to ~300 Kelvin! While the positive feedback mechanisms may dominate oscillations around equilibrium, the oscillations of the equilibrium itself may be controlled by strong negative feedback mechanisms.

  32. This is the kind of an article to make a lukewarmist purr.

    The next ten years are going to be very interesting, and really likely the next five will tell the tale.

    If there is a large natural variability component that is basically a 60 year sin wave, with peaks at 1934 and 1998, then that’s one area of comparison (and not too alarming). . . now we need to see how the predicted troughs in the mid-1970s vs 2028 look. . . .if we don’t see continued drifting down over the next several years from the satellites, it might be time to take AGW a bit more seriously.

  33. Wow! When the UK’s Guardian publicly acknowledges something is wrong in the murky and cosy world of NGOs, quangoes and dodgy science funded by the British taxpayer, then you know the train is about to hit the buffers – big time!

    Richard Tyndall (13:35:26) :

    Sorry to go off topic straight away but the Guardian newspaper in the UK is claiming an exclusive showing that Jones at the CRU covered up problems with data from Chinese weather stations

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/01/leaked-emails-climate-jones-chinese

  34. Dr Roy’s assessment would be valid if the actual data on which he is making a comparison is correct. However, the plain fact is the actual data is false. It has been shown that both GISS and HadCru have been altered to make temperatures before 1960 appear lower than actual (from site adjustments and lack of recording stations) and temperatures since 1960 appear higher from UHI and removal of stations from rural and elevated sites. Further, there is no doubt that the CO2 data curve is incorrect. All actual CO2 measurements prior to 1960 have been ignored and been replaced by guessed proxy data. Since 1960 the measurements at Mauna Loa (active volcano in Hawaii) maybe accurate but one has to be suspicious of the smoothed trend with no cycles as shown by earlier measurements. Satellite data of CO2 indicates that the CO2 is not evenly spread around the world with higher levels in the mid northern latitudes and very low levels in the southern polar regions. The other thing is that temperature actually leads CO2 which none of the models show. It maybe more interesting to look that models which leave out CO2. That is correct -no model temperature increase (other than variations from natural ENSO and NAO oscillation) and no actual temperature increase (when all the manipulations have been removed)

  35. “I assume that the models are NOT constantly updated [assimilated] with the newest observations, but are allowed to ‘run free’ based only one the initial conditions and the processes being modeled.”

    Leif brings up a good question, and based on my knowledge of the AOGCMs, they are not allow to “run free,” but instead have “forcings” (read source terms) added to the governing differential equations to reflect best guesses of the effects of CO2 emissions, aerosols, volcanoes, etc. You can tune these forcings to give you the desired solution (in this case, the Earth’s “average” temperature), which is why hindcasting is so successful, and true blind forecasting is not so great.

    I have always wondered why climate modelers would claim great accuracy for a hundred year forecast and yet have poor skill for a forecast one year out. It seems to me that weather “noise” could be sufficiently “filtered out” after one year of modeled time, and since your solution is not so far from your initial condition, your result should be reasonably good, right? Of course, if you look at the algorithms, climate models aren’t very much different from the numerical weather prediction codes (in terms of their time marching character), so likely they still suffer from the tendency towards chaotic solutions that NWP codes do, which would imply that the solutions, even on decadal scales, are effectively unpredictable…

    In any case, these questions make it doubly important that modelers properly document and validate their codes before using them to generate solutions upon which policy decisions are based. GISS, in particular, have failed miserably in this regard…

  36. Richard Tyndall (13:35:26) :

    The Grauniad?, It look like the warmistas are throwing Jones to the wolves.

    That’s under the bus to our American friends, the whole this is faling appart when they have started to turn on eachother.

    Oh, sorry Grauniad is an old joke, they can’t even be bothered to spell check their articles.

    Happy days.

    Alan

  37. Richard Tyndall (13:35:26) :

    Sorry to go off topic straight away but the Guardian newspaper in the UK is claiming an exclusive showing that Jones at the CRU covered up problems with data from Chinese weather stations.

    Their story contains nothing new, it’s just that the penny dropped for them finally. (But I do hope this news flurry causes some more digging into the unreleased findings in the Wang case.)

  38. I’ve made a Word copy of the Guardian article so many of us are gobsmacked by, as I’m sure it will be pulled … this wouid be (and is) like old-style Soviet Pravda denouncing Lenin or similar .. it’s so out of character for the Graun. Bewildered but delighted nevertheless.

  39. @RichieP:

    Perhaps the Guardian is attempting to present a “balanced” view (ie examples of support from both sides)?

  40. Dr. Spencer wrote:

    “This absurdity is avoided if we simply admit that we do not know all of the natural forcings involved in climate change.”

    Bravo.

    See here:

    The green curve occurs AT EARTH. Many so-called “pseudo-scientists” have been obsessed with a relative of the black curve, which occurs AT THE SUN.

    Perhaps it is time for the mainstream to clue in to the confounding (and for some of the “pseudoscientists” to stop looking to the sun for what can be explained closer to home – i.e. Earth!)

    All 3 curves relate to EOP (Earth Orientation Parameter) records, which convey information about past terrestrial climate.

    …so my question is:
    Why aren’t climatologists studying EOP?
    (I’m not expecting a good answer.)

    Thanks to Dr. Spencer for pointing the way to refreshing reality.

  41. Invariant (15:17:27) “Our planet is spinning and wobbling with regular changes in orbit, tilt and axis. The resulting natural non-equilibrium oscillations of the climate system [...] The intrinsic natural oscillations in the climate systems have no need for a variable sun to sustain the (unpredictable) oscillations.”

    Bravo! …except that not all of the oscillations look “(unpredictable)”. It will be interesting to see what happens once the brighter mainstream minds decide to get more serious about investigating links between EOP & climate.

  42. Leif said:

    I find it interesting [and possibly significant] that the ‘natural forcings’ only cause the observed climate to oscillate about the model climate, but not progressively deviating from it over long enough time.

    As I understand it the current flattening (and possible decline) were not predicted. Natural oscillation or change in regime? Since climate is chaotic we will know in 20 or 50 years.

  43. While the positive feedback mechanisms may dominate oscillations around equilibrium, the oscillations of the equilibrium itself may be controlled by strong negative feedback mechanisms.

    Oscillators oscillate because there are limits to the system energy.

  44. DirkH,
    You do know that positive feedback does not imply runaway instability, don’t you? What are you basing your ‘they are hiding the exponential runaway’ comment on?

  45. The sun is invariant. The intrinsic natural oscillations in the climate systems have no need for a variable sun to sustain the (unpredictable) oscillations.

    I dunno. Solar guys say there is a 210 year cycle.

    The results obtained point to a pronounced influence of solar activity on global climatic processes.

    Analysis has shown that climate response to the long-term global solar forcing has a regional character. An appreciable delay in the climate response to the solar signal can occur (up to 150 years). In addition, the sign of the climate response can differ from the solar signal sign. The climate response to long-term solar activity variations (from 10s to 1000s years) manifests itself in different climatic parameters, such as temperature, precipitation and atmospheric and oceanic circulation. The climate response to the de Vries cycle has been found to occur not only during the last millennia but also in earlier epochs, up to hundreds of millions years ago.

  46. Bob Tisdale (17:50:04) “Paul, do you have a link readily available to the dataset(s) used in the graph you linked.”

    http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/?horizons

    There is a learning curve.


    Leif Svalgaard (17:31:44) “Well, … Many EOP variations are caused by climate….”

    Indeed – chicken-egg thing – like the temperature-cloud thing – a systems approach is the way. Lots of complex, interesting things to investigate – (meanwhile, many people complain of being bored…)

  47. If we knew which output of the Sun had the majority of the forcing on the Climate, and how to weight the 3 oceanic cycles, I’m thinking that would account for the significant portion of the climate changes.
    Somebody is going to figure this out.
    They had better before the IPCC (and others) gets it’s way and starts massively interfering with the natural variability of the climate.
    It’s like watching a hostage situation.

  48. RE:geo (15:55:08) :

    “If there is a large natural variability component that is basically a 60 year sin wave, with peaks at 1934 and 1998, then that’s one area of comparison (and not too alarming). . . now we need to see how the predicted troughs in the mid-1970s vs 2028 look. . . .if we don’t see continued drifting down over the next several years from the satellites, it might be time to take AGW a bit more seriously.”

    The ~60 year periodicity has been found in ice core, tree ring, and sediment proxies extending back 1500 years and also correlates well with the instrumental record:

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2010/01/fourier-analysis-of-climate.html

    RE:rbateman (19:25:40) :

    “If we knew which output of the Sun had the majority of the forcing on the Climate, and how to weight the 3 oceanic cycles, I’m thinking that would account for the significant portion of the climate changes.”

    Pretty good correlation (R²=.96) simply combining PDO+AMO+”sunspot integral” v. temperature:

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2010/01/climate-modeling-ocean-oscillations.html

  49. “We now find a much better match with the observed temperature record. But we see that the post-1970 warming produced by the combined physical-statistical model tends to be over-stated, by about 40%. If we use the 1900 to 1970 overlap to come up with a natural variability component, the following graph shows that the post-1970 warming is overstated by even more: 74%.”

    It appears all the charts end in 1998. What would happen if these charts were updated??? The model run appears to be steepening, but the obsevations flat line for the past 10 years.

  50. IPCC and other purposefully biased “models” are nothing more than propaganda exercises: Cooling factors cancel, spurious warming components reinforce without regard for objective or even rational analysis. As was said in the early 1990s when Hansen’s foolishness became the mantra of choice for death-eating Luddite sociopaths, “Freeze or fry, the problem is always free-market entrepreneurial capitalism, the remedy is always collectivist State socialism.”

    Now that ocean acidification bids fair to become the next Climategate du jour, we await re-introduction of McIntyre’s “Mr. Hockey Stick” on grounds of equal or greater “moral urgency.” Climate Gultists’ Green Gang of Briffa, Hansen, Jones, Mann, Trenberth et al. have neither integrity nor shame.

  51. Quote: Invariant (15:17:27) :

    “The sun is invariant.
    Best Regards,
    Invariant”

    Really? The Sun is the center of mass of the entire universe? It doesn’t wiggle? It doesn’t change? There are no solar cycles?

    Did one of IPCC’s Nobel Prize winning scientists give you this information?

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

  52. Oliver K. Manuel (20:37:09) :
    It doesn’t wiggle?
    The Sun is in free fall, so doesn’t feel any wiggling
    There are no solar cycles?
    They are caused by processes internal to the Sun

    Solar changes are minuscule [1/1000].

  53. Leif Svalgaard (14:04:27) :
    Oliver K. Manuel (13:59:06) :
    it now appears that astrology may have had a better scientific foundation than the Standard Solar Model of a Hydrogen-filled Sun!

    Leif Svalgaard (14:04:27) :
    It is statements like that that make some people not take WUWT seriously. Let us at least try to preserve a modicum of science.

    OK Leif, now I can see your point, but why recognize statements like that? IMO, they’re harmless, thoughts expressed in an open forum about a theory that has no weight.
    IMO, it’s not anti-science and nowhere near as dangerous to real science as what’s being practiced by the IPCC, Hockey Team, Hadley Centre, GISS, etc.

  54. Mark Sawusch (20:06:34) “Pretty good correlation (R²=.96) simply combining PDO+AMO+”sunspot integral” v. temperature: http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2010/01/climate-modeling-ocean-oscillations.html

    Bear in mind that 2 of those variables (PDO & AMO) are derived from temperature (so no surprise that there is a good correlation with temperature).


    M. Simon (17:36:00) “Oscillators oscillate because there are limits to the system energy.”

    We need to map out the boundaries (envelopes) that contain the natural oscillations, including oscillating limits on redistribution systems.

    It may be disconcerting & paradoxical to some (I’m thinking particularly of those who are expecting that some miracle holy grail is “due” to arrive any day now) to consider that it may be possible to estimate where the floor & ceiling are, even though (during the pioneering stages, at least) one might not always or necessarily be able to say with genuine certainty whether the ball will go up or down.

  55. Eric Barnes (21:02:30) :
    OK Leif, now I can see your point, but why recognize statements like that? IMO, they’re harmless, thoughts expressed in an open forum about a theory that has no weight.
    A quality of a forum is determined by the quality of the opinions expressed. Harmless nonsense dilutes that quality.

  56. RE: Paul Vaughan (21:12:44) : “Bear in mind that 2 of those variables (PDO & AMO) are derived from temperature (so no surprise that there is a good correlation with temperature)”

    yes but PDO+AMO v. Temp: R²=.83
    PDO+AMO+”sunspot integral” v. Temp: R²=.96

  57. Leif Svalgaard (21:15:10) :
    A quality of a forum is determined by the quality of the opinions expressed. Harmless nonsense dilutes that quality.

    Better that than the sycophantic group think of real climate.

  58. Lief,

    Do you have any papers on what drives the solar cycles internally within the sun, and not from external influences (i.e. mass orbiting around it)? Would like to see the logic behind any number of the known solar cycles…

    Sounds rather convenient to discount the magnetic field and it’s relationship between the sun and it’s planets…or counter-intuitive I should say…

    Thanks,
    Ed

  59. That “Gruniad”* piece:

    Wang said: “I have been exonerated by my university on all the charges. When we started on the paper we had all the station location details in order to identify our network, but we cannot find them any more.

    I guess the stations themselves must have disappeared too? Iirc, the Chinese said essentially that there were no stations of that description – long term at same position – that they could verify involving the period from about 1940-1990.

    That kind of thing apparently doesn’t bother the AGWers in the comments at the Gruniad.

    *Scott Burgess, the “Ablutionist”, said the Guardian once mistakenly called itself the “Gruniad”. What happened to him? I’m thinking something not good. He was super.

  60. I know very little about all this, but this is how I would try to predict the future climate. (1) build a model (2) check the model over the best set of data (3) tune the model, if it can be justified (4) run the tuned model over the full data set
    (5) if it predicts the past, use it to estimate what might happen in the future.

    Have these climate models got past stage (3)? I can see that the tuned models appear to model the temperature trend from 1840 etc. onwards, but that only means they have a possible tool. If they ran the tuned model from 0AD to 2000 and matched the temperature record (not the hockey stick version!), that would indicate the worth or otherwise of the tuned model.

  61. Dave N (16:47:43) :
    @RichieP:
    “Perhaps the Guardian is attempting to present a “balanced” view (ie examples of support from both sides)?”

    Well that would be a first!

  62. Mark Sawusch (21:28:45)
    “yes but PDO+AMO v. Temp: R²=.83
    PDO+AMO+”sunspot integral” v. Temp: R²=.96″

    Questions:
    1) Are you using monthly data?
    2) Are these r^2 values for the 5 year moving average?

  63. ” RB (17:44:55) :

    DirkH,
    You do know that positive feedback does not imply runaway instability, don’t you? What are you basing your ‘they are hiding the exponential runaway’ comment on?”

    In general you are right. I said:
    “We could think of it as the addition of two models, one with, say an exponential runaway and one with a stable oscillation. Over time though, the exponential wins and the instability dominates the system. Like Hansen predicted for 2000 in a prediction from 1981 i think, his first warming-catatrophe paper. He said that in 2000 the runaway would totally dominate any natural variability. As we know now, he was 12 years off ;-)”

    What’s your problem with that? I was constructing an example along the lines of Hansen’s well-known predictions. I did not say that somebody hides an exponential runaway, where did you read that?

  64. Oliver K Manuel,

    When you say that atrology is more robust science than the theory of a hydrogen rich sun, I presume you are emphasising the rubbishness of the latter theory rather than the merits of the former?

    I have followed your link where you explained that the sun mostly consists of iron, but does not this create a whole lot more questions?
    1) Calculations of the sun’s lifespan are based on fusion of H to He. Have you recalculated based on iron?
    2) Iron does not fuse without absorbing energy to do so. What is the main source of energy if not hydrogen?
    3) Does an iron content alter our understanding of the mass of the sun?
    4) Why would the sun be iron rich when the most abundant element in the universe is hydrogen?
    5) What kind of spectal emissions would we expect from an iron sun? Would they be different from a hydrogen sun?

  65. Dear Dr. Spencer,

    I’m just a layman, but ….

    What happens if you remove or minimize the “aerosol cooling” effect? Do you get a better fit? “Aerosol cooling” always seemed like a bit of a kludge to me to make the data fit because of the mistake of leaving out significant natural oscillations from their models. But it’s only a hunch, so I could be wrong …

  66. Leif Svalgaard (02:22:36) :

    “The magnetic field is not discounted, it is solar activity.”

    Perhaps easier to understand when: Tidal perturbation to a great ball of plasma moves some plasma around and generates strong electrical currents, strong electrical currents generate strong magnetic fields that can breach the solar photosphere. Thus, sunspots that permit more energetic radiation to emerge from lower in the solar atmosphere.

    Knock me down in flames if you want, but that’s my best simple definition. It’s also another ‘natural variability’ that is the only realistic ‘forcing to climate’ besides orbital aberration etc. Especially when wavelengths just short of visible light are given the greater depth of ocean penetration.

    Interesting discussion.

    Best regards, suricat.

  67. I have a fundamental question. Is climate behaviour dermined by the chaos theory? Are there any scientific papers on this subject?

    If chaos is the dominant driver, then currently it is not possible to predict future events.

  68. 1. Invariant (15:17:27) : “The sun is invariant.”

    2. Oliver K. Manuel (20:37:09) : “Really? The Sun is the center of mass of the entire universe? It doesn’t wiggle? It doesn’t change? There are no solar cycles?

    Did one of IPCC’s Nobel Prize winning scientists give you this information?”

    3. Leif Svalgaard (20:48:33) : “The Sun is in free fall, so doesn’t feel any wiggling.”

    There are no solar cycles? “They are caused by processes internal to the Sun”

    – – – – –

    So it is Leif, rather than another one of IPCC’s Nobel Prize winning scientists who is spreading propaganda of an invariant Sun!

    Bull! The entire universe is evolving and changing. Can you imagine a universe in which the one and only invariant point happens to be Earth’s heat source!

    That is a basic assumption of CO2-induced global warming!

    Leif says that the Sun “doesn’t feel any wiggling.” Now ask yourself why he, or any real scientist, would try to convince you that Earth’s heat source is invariant although every other object in the universe “wiggles”?

    Is someone trying to keep the Climategate scandal contained, so it doesn’t also expose NASA’s sordid record of promoting lies and ignoring experimental data!

    Experimental data that shows the Sun is the unstable remains after the Sun exploded 5 Gy (5 x 10^9) years ago and ejected all of the material that now orbits it:

    http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1972Data1.htm

    http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1975Data.htm

    http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1976Data.htm

    http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1983Data.htm

    http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1991Data.htm

    http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1993Data.htm

    http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1994Data.htm

    http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1996Data.htm

    http://www.omatumr.com/Origin.htm

    Only a few of these measurements were made in my laboratory:

    http://www.omatumr.com/Data/MassSpec.htm

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA PI for Apollo

  69. DirkH,
    When you say
    But the existing GCMs are tuned to incorporate assumed positive feedbacks, otherwise they would not produce alarming results. They are inherently unstable by design. For such a system, the initial conditions lead to ever-amplifying oscillations or a push over the brink straight ahead,

    this is a statement without any foundation. It implies a lack of good understanding of positive feedback with regards to implications for unbounded growth. Unless appropriate conditions are met, positive feedback results in damped oscillations, not ever-amplifying oscillations. This is a meme that is frequently and erroneously circulated on the web, I see no evidence in your statements that yours was not along the same lines.

  70. Vincent (05:46:11), I will insert answers (A) between your questions (Q) below:

    “Oliver K Manuel,

    Q: “When you say that a(s)trology is more robust science than the theory of a hydrogen rich sun, I presume you are emphasising the rubbishness of the latter theory rather than the merits of the former?”

    A: Yes.

    Q: “I have followed your link where you explained that the sun mostly consists of iron, but does not this create a whole lot more questions?”

    A: Yes.

    Q: 1) “Calculations of the sun’s lifespan are based on fusion of H to He. Have you recalculated based on iron?”

    A: Iron is not the Sun’s fuel. Solar energy comes primarily from neutron repulsion in the Sun’s compact, energetic neutron core. The model of an H-filled sun claims solar energy comes from reaction (a):

    (a) H-fusion: 4 H => He + 7 MeV per nucleon

    Rx (a) is actually step (d) in the series of nuclear reactions that produce solar energy (SE), solar neutrinos and solar wind H in exactly the proportions observed:

    (b) Neutron emission: => n + 12 MeV per nucleon (60% SE)
    (c) Neutron decay: n => H + 1 MeV per nucleon (5% SE)
    (d) H-fusion: 4 H => He + 7 MeV per nucleon (35% SE)
    (e) H-escape: 3 x 10^43 H => Departs each year in the solar wind (100% SW H)
    (f) Net: 4 => He + 20 MeV per nucleon (100% SE, 100% solar neutrinos)

    Each excited neutron in the solar core has ~ 3 times (1/0.35) the amount of energy that is available from H. The real Sun’s lifespan will be ~3 times longer than that of an H-filled Sun.

    Q: 2) “Iron does not fuse without absorbing energy to do so. What is the main source of energy if not hydrogen?”

    A: Repulsive forces between neutrons. See these overheads of a talk presented in Dubna, Russia: http://www.omatumr.com/Overheads/Overheads.htm or see the published paper: http://arxiv.org/pdf/astro-ph/0609509v3

    Q: 3) “Does an iron content alter our understanding of the mass of the sun?”

    A: No.

    Q: 4) “Why would the sun be iron rich when the most abundant element in the universe is hydrogen?”

    Answers: What occupies the most space is not necessarily the most abundant. What astronomers don’t see may be more abundant than what they “see”.

    a.) In a weak gravitational field a free neutron decays in about 10 min, n => H
    b.) In a strong gravitational field, the process is reversed, H => n

    Light is emitted when atomic electrons lose energy. The neutron has no atomic electrons. Hence astronomers “see” Hydrogen (H), not the neutron (n).

    c.) In neutron decay, invisible matter becomes visible.
    d.) In neutron decay, n => H, V(H) = 1,000,000,000,000,000 V(n)
    [The volume occupied by a Hydrogen atom is ~ 1,000,000,000,000,000 x the volume occupied by a neutron.]

    Q: 5) “What kind of spect(r)al emissions would we expect from an iron sun? Would they be different from a hydrogen sun?”

    A: Exactly what is observed coming from the Sun, without cheating the observations with claims that 65% of the solar neutrinos magically oscillate away.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA PI for Apollo

  71. Oliver K Manuel,

    Thanks for your reply. You say “The real Sun’s lifespan will be ~3 times longer than that of an H-filled Sun.”

    I have read that scientitst believe that the sun will become too hot to support life perhaps as early as +1billion years, long before it becomes a red giant. In connection with your previous statement, what are your thoughts on the habitable time remaining on planet earth?

  72. RB (09:08:12) :

    DirkH,
    When you say
    But the existing GCMs are tuned to incorporate assumed positive feedbacks, otherwise they would not produce alarming results. They are inherently unstable by design. For such a system, the initial conditions lead to ever-amplifying oscillations or a push over the brink straight ahead,

    this is a statement without any foundation. It implies a lack of good understanding of positive feedback with regards to implications for unbounded growth. Unless appropriate conditions are met, positive feedback results in damped oscillations, not ever-amplifying oscillations. This is a meme that is frequently and erroneously circulated on the web, I see no evidence in your statements that yours was not along the same lines.

    Well, in that case they are not feedbacks.

  73. Paul Vaughan (02:34:29) : Questions:
    1) Are you using monthly data? using annualized means
    2) Are these r^2 values for the 5 year moving average? No annualized means for both temp and PDO+AMO+”sunspot integral” without any further smoothing

  74. RB (09:08:12) :

    Unless appropriate conditions are met, positive feedback results in damped oscillations, not ever-amplifying oscillations. This is a meme that is frequently and erroneously circulated on the web, I see no evidence in your statements that yours was not along the same lines.

    Here’s what Wikipedia says:

    Positive feedback, sometimes referred to as “cumulative causation”, refers to a situation where some effect causes more of itself. A system undergoing positive feedback is unstable, that is, it will tend to spiral out of control as the effect amplifies itself.
    …………
    The effect of a positive feedback loop is usually not “positive” in the sense of being desirable. Positive refers to the direction of change rather than the desirability of the outcome. A negative feedback loop tends to reduce or inhibit or stabilise a process, while a positive feedback loop tends to expand or promote it and will often ultimately destabilise it.

  75. A positive feedback does not necessarily lead to exponential runaway. Consider a time lag involved, and a system that is disturbed by a needle impulse. Let the positive feedback have a gain smaller than 1. You will see echoes of the input impulse getting ever more faint. After an infinite time the system returns to a 0 output, all the echoes having gone.

    That being said, this is not the situation with the GCM’s. They are assumed to be perturbed constantly, in only one direction, positive feedback is assumed : higher temperatures are assumed to lead to higher humidity and release of more CO2 and this leads to even higher temperatures. I see this as a description of a classic exponential runaway and all the utterances of the “credible climatologists” of the James Hansen school of thought are designed to give this impression. After all, this is what sells books.

  76. I don’t understand what the climate modelers don’t understand. It seems to me that they are proceeding on a false assumption:

    The theory of global warming, and the climate models that support it, are predicated upon the assumption that the sum of the positive feedbacks can exceed the sum of the negative feedbacks. This isn’t right. As Einstein might have quipped, this isn’t even wrong. This is a gross violation of everything we have learned about physics for hundreds of years. This contradicts principles of physics that were laid down by generations of scientists stretching all the way back to Newton, Archimedes and even Aristotle. This is the very essence of the myth of perpetual motion.

    The planet as a system has a certain amount of energy being fed into it. Being a highly complex system, various fluctuations in various systems occur over the short term. In the long term however, the amount of energy fed into the system, equals exactly the amount of energy radiated out. It may take a month or a trillion years, but that’s the number. That’s not an estimate or an approximation. The sum is exactly zero. A greenhouse layer can cause a short term increase in the amount of energy retained. In the long term, the amount of energy going into the system must equal exactly the amount of energy coming out. Either that or entropy doesn’t work and perpetual motion does. The negative feedbacks must exactly equal the positive feedbacks in the long term and any theory or model that presumes otherwise has a built in error.

    If the climate is highly sensitive, then the negative feedbacks must appear as quickly as the positive and cool any warming shortly after it appears. If the climate is highly insensitive, then the warming of the last 180 years cannot be due to CO2 increases that began 90 years ago, and will be cancelled by negative feedbacks that were initiated equally long ago. No amount of torturing the data can change this, and I challenge anyone with credentials in physics, thermodynamics, or similar to publicly put their credentials on the line and say I am wrong. The results as analysed by Dr Spencer suggest I am right.

  77. Roger Knights,
    Just because it says so in Wikipedia doesn’t make it right. Why don’t you also see what Wikipedia says about, say, the Barkhausen Criterion? The positive feedback in climate models raises the sensitivity of CO2 from a no-feedback case of about 1.2C per doubling to a most likely value of 3C per doubling, indeed with high temperatures leading to more water vapor etc.

    I see this as a description of a classic exponential runaway

    No, it does not imply that, just a bounded amplification over a no-feedback case. Greenhouse effect theory quite strongly says that there is no significant chance of a runaway Venus effect on earth, and that is the consensus view if you will.

  78. I’m not sure what I said was objectionable, but to Roger Knights:
    Just because it says so in Wikipedia doesn’t make it right. Please check what Wikipedia says about the Barkhausen Criterion?

  79. Mark Sawusch (12:02:37) :

    see:

    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0707/0707.1161v4.pdf

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!
    You mean I wasn’t FIRST? Gnashing of teeth, wringing of hands, dreams of a nobel prize laureate for original work rapidly fading…

    OK, was I at least first on WUWT? Because that;s the only forum the nobel committee should consider, and that paper would then be relegated to a reference I could site as supporting my original work?

  80. “davidmhoffer (12:36:04) :
    [..]
    OK, was I at least first on WUWT?”

    No ;-) search for Gehrlich in the search box and you’ll get many WUWT hits.

    “RB (11:46:27) :
    I see this as a description of a classic exponential runaway

    No, it does not imply that”

    Driving over freezing roads on a sludge of water, snow and ice i had time to ponder it (exactly the right situation to ponder global warming). You are right; the gain could be smaller than one or change nonlinearly (probably) so we can’t say without running the models. We could end up with +20 deg C anomaly and stay stuck there (assuming that the AGW theory is right).

    Thanks for your persistence :-)

    Which makes me wonder what would happen

  81. davidmhoffer (12:36:04) :

    well how about kudos for recognizing this on your own?
    BTW I asked Gavin Schmidt of NASA/GISS to provide scientific criticisms of this paper on spielclimate.org – I mean realclimate.org – and all he could come up with is that it is “rubbish”

  82. DirkH
    OK, was I at least first on WUWT?”

    No ;-) search for Gehrlich in the search box and you’ll get many WUWT hits

    Well dagnabit all to h-e-briffa-briffa.
    Well, I was first on MY blog. Please refer all nobel laureate committes there instead. I will cite WUWT as supporting, peer review instead.

    If Al Gore could fool these guys with fiction I ought to be able to fool them with facts. Oh…. my wife just started laughing and told me that they have made up their minds and not to confuse them with facts. I am very frustrated.

  83. davidmhoffer (11:38:25) :Just to put it in other words: It would mean that we can melt down a ton of iron metal with a candle and many convenient “feedbacks”, which by all means it is just impossible, however it is what all RESPECTED IPCC sientists, nobel laurates, etc. say, and also respectful and honest politicians repeat like parrots. Could we blame it to drug abuse or plainly stupidity, or both?

  84. DirkH,
    Be careful out there – the last time it occurred to me that Ohm’s Law was the best way to visualize an answer to questions like the ones davidmhoffer raises, I must have been really excited because I got a speeding ticket. [No, I have no interest in reading G&T]. You are correct that in a linear system, a gain of less than one leads to bounded gain. We do know though that models can’t produce as much of a temperature increase as was observed in the PETM, which itself was a global mean of less than 25C, so they are not running away anywhere, despite their other obvious deficiencies.

  85. well, we better check what mountain climbing magazines have to say before we jump to any conclusions

  86. “”” magicjava (13:32:52) :

    What I’d like to see is a solar climate model. Something that can run on a computer and explain past temperature changes and predict future temperature changes. This is an area where the believers have done a much better job than the skeptics. “””

    Well don’t keep us in suspense; where is all this future temperature change data that the believers have observed, that convinces you that they are better at it than the skeptics.

    The future changes have by definition not yet happened, so what is your proof that the believers guessed more correctly than the skeptics ?

  87. Why is it that people can simultaneously believe that the earth’s temperature (mean global surface) is a LOGARITHMIC function of the atmospheric CO2 abundance; as is often stated by climate scientists, and is exactly embodied in the very concept of “CLIMATE SENSITIVITY” (3 deg C per doubling); and also believe that with a roughly LINEAR RATE OF INCREASE in that atmospheric CO2 abundance; that you can get AN EXPONENTIAL INCREASE in the mean earth surface temperature; which is what a RUNAWAY would be.

    Can some mathematical genius explain that to some of us lesser intelligent ordinary folks; please !

  88. Oliver K. Manuel (09:52:25) :
    Vincent (05:46:11), I will insert answers (A) between your questions (Q) below:
    Most of this makes no sense and what does make sense is factually wrong. E.g. at the center of the Sun, the gravitational field is not strong, but zero. Neutrino oscillations are now measured, and newer detectors actually see all three flavors.

  89. “RB (13:03:03) :

    DirkH,
    Be careful out there – the last time it occurred to me that Ohm’s Law was the best way to visualize an answer to questions like the ones davidmhoffer raises, I must have been really excited because I got a speeding ticket.”

    I know where the speeding cams are and i know the places where the cops hide sometimes and it’s too ugly a weather for them to be around anyway ;-)

  90. George E. Smith,

    “Can some mathematical genius explain that to some of us lesser intelligent ordinary folks; please”

    As oceans heat they give up some of there CO2 content, at some point the trees decide it’s too hot to grow, so they stop absorbing, die, rot and emit methane. Then the glaciers melt and all that sunlight instead of being reflected gets absorbed. Then it gets too hot for clouds to form as well and the sunlight that gets reflected gets absorbed. That’s when we just burn up and die.

    Or mother nature in her sensible way responds to a bit more heat by making more clouds and faster growing trees and whatever other tricks she has up her sleeves we don’t know about. Mother nature has been around a lot longer then I have.

  91. Mark Sawusch (12:58:56) :
    well how about kudos for recognizing this on your own?
    BTW I asked Gavin Schmidt of NASA/GISS to provide scientific criticisms of this paper on spielclimate.org – I mean realclimate.org – and all he could come up with is that it is “rubbish”>

    Would he have the guts to test his rubbish theory? I mean it ought not to be all that difficult to test. Roll back to the models and data as they stood, say 20 years ago. Adjust the negative feedbacks to exactly equal the positive in magnitude. Don’t even bother figuring out which ones deserve more and which less, just determine the difference and distribute it across the various negative feedbacks. Then run the models again. If it is rubbish, the result will be way out of whack with actual. If it is not, the result should get closer to actual.

  92. George E Smith
    Can some mathematical genius explain that to some of us lesser intelligent ordinary folks; please !>

    George I have seen enough of your posts to know very well that you know the answer. That said, when I started out to educate myself, I read IPCC and my first read left me with the impression that CO2 had doubled since beginning of industrial age, and the result was going to be a 3 degree rise in temperature, some of which had already happened. If you skim it, that’s what it says. If you READ it, that’s not what it says. That report wasn’t worded like it was by a technical person, it was worded by a salesman or marketing person. With 30 years of sales and marketing under my belt, I know a snowjob when I read one, and I can say that with a 95% confidence rating 19 times out of 20.

    If you READ it, what it says is that CO2 has gone up by 38% (not double). If you READ it, what it says is that fossil fuel consumption went up exponentially in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, and IF it continues to do so, CO2 will as well. No mention of the fact that this would use up all the oil on the planet by 2015 or so, or that the last 10 years have been flat or rising slightly. THEN they make predictions on something that hasn’t happened, based on a rate of increase that hasn’t/can’t happen and turbo charge it with positive feedback from water vapour while pretty much ignoring any negative feedback.

    So you see George, there is no math explanation for this. It has nothing to do with math.

  93. Has this experiment been performed by someone already?

    Build 2 indetical cavities with CaF2 windows (transparent from UV to IR). One filled with a controlled level of CO2, the other just the typical air. Subject the 2 cavities to radiation and monitor the equilibrium temperature of the 2.

    This will tell how much the readiation trapping from CO2 contributes to the temperature increase.

    Of course the heat capicity of different component of the gases is a issue.

    Another more complicated way of doing the experiment would be using a sandwitched CaF2 window where gasses can be injected. One with controlled leve of CO2, the other with controlled gas components. Of course, the assumption here is that all the gases used have negilible heat conduction.

  94. YCSV: it is a very old experiment and important historically. Read about the flawed experiments of Angstrom and his assistant Koch, such as described here . This is the no-feedback case, BTW.

  95. Build 2 indetical cavities with CaF2 windows (transparent from UV to IR). One filled with a controlled level of CO2, the other just the typical air. Subject the 2 cavities to radiation and monitor the equilibrium temperature of the 2.>

    All this would tell you is how a cavity with CO2 in it reacts compared to a cavity with air in it. A planet is not a cavity with defined edges. Its pretty much the inverse, not to mention gravity, 24 hour heat/cool cycle, monthly tidal cycle, annual seasonal cycle, 11 year furnace cycle (sun=furnace)…and so on.

  96. “”” DirkH (15:04:07) :

    “RB (13:03:03) :

    DirkH,
    Be careful out there – the last time it occurred to me that Ohm’s Law was the best way to visualize an answer to questions like the ones davidmhoffer raises, I must have been really excited because I got a speeding ticket.” “””

    So I’ll bite; what exactly does Ohm’s Law have to do with any of this ?

    In the past, when interviewing candidates for a job; say as an electronics Technician/Engineer/scientists etc; from the Stanford PhD on down, I have used Ohm’s law to sort them out.

    So far; I have never received a correct answer to the question; “What is Ohm’s Law ?”

    In which case I would really like to know how it relates to the climate.

  97. Oliver K. Manuel: I’ve just read your in-press paper “Earth’s heat source – the Sun”, and I’m trying to grasp what you’re saying. You discuss and illustrate the abundances of the elements in the photosphere. Then you illustrate and discuss the composition of solar wind. I have no knowledge of those, so I’ll make the leap of faith and assume both of those are correct. Now for my questions: In layman terms for those of us who are not solar physicists like Leif, how and why would you adjust the composition of the sun by the composition of the solar wind? And how, by those adjustments, do you conclude that the sun’s core is not primarily hydrogen, but is iron?

  98. George E Smith: heat flow across a slab according to Fourier’s Law for heat conduction is equivalent to Ohm’s Law for electrical conduction. If you formulate Ohm’s Law as (dV/dz) = I*(R/dz), the equivalence is voltage = temperature, z=atmospheric height = conductor length, I=power radiated from earth’s surface = current, R/dz is the resistance per unit length of the atmosphere. The atmospheric lapse rate dT/dz is equivalent to dV/dz and to first order, is a constant due to physics. In summary, since 2nd law of thermodynamics says energy must be conserved, equivalently charge is conserved. The surface temperature (equivalently electric potential) rises to a point such that power in = power out. Just as electrical potential would rise to a point such that current in = current out. At equilibrium, surface temperature rises to a point such that net solar power into the system = net power radiated by the atmosphere.
    Of course, this may not be the answer to your question on Ohm’s Law!
    [My working illustrative model for the greenhouse effect: a current source that is a pulse train (the sun) driving a capacitor (earth) with a resistive discharge path (the atmosphere)]

  99. Quote: Leif Svalgaard (14:59:36) :

    1. “Most of this makes no sense and what does make sense is factually wrong.”

    A1. Only a red interior of red apples would make sense to Leif.

    2. “E.g. at the center of the Sun, the gravitational field is not strong, but zero.”

    A2. A clever but futile attempt to avoid reality.

    Summary: I admire your debating skills, Leif, but NASA-gate will probably follow Climate-gate despite your gallant efforts.

    Manipulation of data and deceit by NASA scientists are well documented.

    E.g., “The Neon Alphabet Game” [Proceedings of the 11th Lunar Planet Sci. Conf., vol. 15, Number 2 (1980) pages 879-899]:

    http://www.omatumr.com/abstracts2005/Neon_alphabet_game.pdf

    Mass fractionated forms of neon (Ne) in meteorites were misrepresented to the public as mixtures of alphabetically labeled neon components: Ne-A, Ne-B, Ne-C, Ne-D, Ne-E, etc.

    You may also want to the APPENDIX: The blank problem

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA PI for Apollo

  100. Re: George E Smith: Can some mathematical genius explain that to some of us lesser intelligent ordinary folks; please !

    IPCC assumes CO2 levels will increase exponentially, so they feed that back into their simplistic equation, ignoring:

    1. Data shows CO2 levels are rising linearly and at current rate of increase won’t double until 2244- but even that is in doubt because the primary calibration is done on the Mauna Loa IR sensor, the 2nd most active volcano in the world after Kilauea, which is right next to Mauna Loa. Reportedly 80% of these readings are rejected as being influenced by the tons of CO2 emitted by the 2 volcanos. Reportedly the Mauna Loa folks have a monopoly on the raw data & worldwide calibration standard & won’t let anyone else look at data except after it’s “adjusted” & the chemical analyses of CO2 concentrations worldwide have been largely abandoned even though they are the gold standard & disagree (Beck’s paper)
    2. Man-made emissions actually fell 6.1% last year per the EIA, but there wasn’t any blip on the Mauna Loa data since man-made emissions have little to do with CO2 levels – i.e. around 3-4% (great lecture on this & GW at http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2010/01/professor-ian-plimer-on-climate-change.html)
    3. The greenhouse effect of CO2 is already saturated at present levels per spectroscopy data and doubling will have no effect (same lecture above)
    4. The ice core data on CO2 levels was artifically grafted onto the Mauna Loa levels (the “other hockey stick”) and when done properly shows current day CO2 levels only about 7% higher following industrialization. http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2010/01/other-hockey-stick-co2-levels-part-2.html
    5. The concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere are “very lumpy” e.g. much higher near volcanos and cities (i.e. greenhouse effect already saturated in the “lumps”)
    6. They didn’t have the high resolution ice core data showing CO2 follows temperature (due to solubility) when they came up with the simplistic equation and assumed CO2 was the driver of temperature, but it’s too late to change it now.
    7. Their equation is false to begin with since it violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics

    There, hope that clears it up

  101. Lief,

    How does the fact that the solar cycle changes polarity every 22yrs or so negate any potential for a solar magnetic planetary connection? What did I miss?

    Ed

  102. Ed T (19:01:01) :
    How does the fact that the solar cycle changes polarity every 22yrs or so negate any potential for a solar magnetic planetary connection? What did I miss?
    Every 11 years. What you miss is that tidal effects do not change the polarity of the magnetic field. Or rather, that nobody has come up with an explanation of how that would work. Our current theories explain that nicely. A weak argument is that there might be two mechanisms at work: our standard one that explains almost everything we know about the solar cycle [no surprise, because the theory is constructed to do so], and another mechanism due to the planets working on ‘top of’ the standard theory and only providing a small modulation or perturbation. There is a principle in science called Occam’s razor that basically says that one should not invent further causes where one would suffice. Now, Occam’s razor is not ‘absolute’. There ‘could’ be more than one mechanism, but then the other mechanisms must be spelled out clearly and shown to make energetically sense, etc. This has not happened [but could, in principle]. The changing polarity showed solar physicists about a hundred years ago, that the planets could not be the main driver of solar activity., although there were [and still are] die-hards that keep the claim alive [probably because of its simplicity - especially to laymen]. Sometimes there are amusing twists on the story, e.g. here: http://www.leif.org/EOS/See-and-Meteor-Theory-of-Sunspots.pdf [from 1921]

  103. Quote: Bob Tisdale (17:13:08) :

    Answers (A) are inserted in your message.

    “Oliver K. Manuel: I’ve just read your in-press paper “Earth’s heat source – the Sun”, and I’m trying to grasp what you’re saying.

    A: The paper, “Earth’s heat source – the Sun,” has been published in Energy and Environment 20 (2009) 131-144: http://arxiv.org/pdf/0905.0704

    You discuss and illustrate the abundances of the elements in the photosphere.

    A: Yes, Fig. 1 shows the abundance of elements in the photosphere that emist visible light at the top of the solar atmosphere:

    http://www.omatumr.com/images/Fig1.htm

    Then you illustrate and discuss the composition of solar wind.

    Yes, this shows the mass fractionation that is observed across isotopes of He, Ne, Ar, Kr and Xe in the solar wind:

    http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1983Data.htm

    I have no knowledge of those, so I’ll make the leap of faith and assume both of those are correct.

    A: The two figures are based on research at the Universities of Chicago and Bern, Switzerland.

    Now for my questions: In layman terms for those of us who are not solar physicists like Leif, how and why would you adjust the composition of the sun by the composition of the solar wind?

    A-1. The solar wind comes from the top of the Sun’s atmosphere, and has an elemental abundance pattern like that shown in in Fig 1. Mass fractionation of ordinary material like that found in meteorites and rocky planets (Earth) would become like that at the top of the Sun’s atmosphere (Fig 1) if mass fractionated to separate the isotopes of He, Ne, Ar, Kr and Xe to match that in the solar wind.

    A-1. Mass fractionation in the Sun selectively transports lightweight elements (H and He) and lightweight isotopes of each element into a veener that covers the surface of the Sun. That is why the top of the Sun’s atmosphere in 91% H (Element #1, the lightest of all elements) and 9% He (Element #2, the next lightest element).

    A-3. Mass fractionation has been observed in 22 isotopes in the solar wind, covering the mass range of 3-136 atomic mass units (amu). Mass fractionation has been observed in the abundances of 72 s-products in the solar photosphere, covering the mass range of 27-207 atomic mass units.

    http://www.omatumr.com/images/Fig2.htm

    These two completely independent measurements of solar mass fractionation both indicate that the bulk the is made of the same elements that comprise ordinary meteorites and rocky planets: Fe (iron), O (oxygen), Ni (nickel) , Si (silicon) and S (sulfur)

    http://www.omatumr.com/images/Fig3.htm

    http://www.omatumr.com/images/Fig4.htm

    And how, by those adjustments, do you conclude that the sun’s core is not primarily hydrogen, but is iron?”

    A: Although iron (Fe) is the most abundant element in the Earth, in ordinary meteorites, and in the Sun, the core of the Sun is not iron (Fe) but a neutron star:

    http://www.omatumr.com/Photographs/Suns_core.htm

    Neutron repulsion in the solar core triggers a series of reactions that produce solar luminosity, solar neutrinos, and solar wind H (hydrogen) in exactly the prroportions observed pouring from the Sun.

    Thanks, Bob, for your question.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA PI for Apollo

  104. Lief,

    I’ve always wondered if the conjunction and opposition between Jupiter and Saturn were drivers of the polarity switch in the sun (2 largest bodies in the solar system). They would be in conjunction roughly every 22yrs, and opposing halfway between at roughly 11yrs (maybe some transitional point where they flip).

    Granted no mechanism for the polarity switch, but that’s an awful lot of coincidence to dismiss so strongly.

    I’d keep an open mind on that one…

    Gravity simulations for solar barycenter sure seem to have a repeating period that matches the solar cycle as well, the 11yr variety (polarity not withstanding).

    If you have a paper that describes the current belief for internally driven cycles, I’d appreciate a link to read.

    Thanks, Ed

  105. Oliver K. Manuel: Thanks for replying. Let me rephrase my second question.

    And how, by those adjustments, do you conclude that the sun’s interior is not primarily hydrogen, but is iron?

  106. If the oceans make up so much of the Earth surface then a large proportion of the global average temperature data that is given must be above the oceans.Why does it surprise us that ocean cycles fit the data quite well?

  107. So far; I have never received a correct answer to the question; “What is Ohm’s Law ?”
    In which case I would really like to know how it relates to the climate>

    Really? Because Ohm’s law isn’t that hard to explain, and the relationship to climate seems pretty obvious. Now I’m not an electrical engineer. Of course I’m not a physicist either, and I shoot my mouth off about physics all the time, so….

    Ohm’s law is that the current between two points in a circuit is directly proportional to the electrical potential between them and inversely proportional to the resistance between them. With I being current, E being electrical potential (volts), and R being resistance the equation is I=E/R, more commonly expressed as E=IR. This applies to any energy relationship. In a mechanical system, substitute velocity for current, force for electrical potential and friction for resistance. In a thermal system, substitute energy transfer for current, temperature differential for electrical potential, and thermal insulation for resistance. This has what to do with climate? The energy the planet radiates to space is directly proportional to the temperature of the planet versus the temperature of space (absolute zero) and inversely proportional to the amount of insulation, or R value, which CO2 increases. If the R value increases, then the rate of energy radiated out (cooling) must decrease. Aha! Scream the warmists, less cooling means higher temperatures! Positive feedback! Positive feedback! Aha! Scream the sceptics, higher temperatures mean higher energy transfer! Negative feedback! Negative feedback!

    You want I should explain capacitors and oceans too?

  108. davidmhoffer, you started off well but finished incorrectly. If R increases, the climate science analog for Ohm’s Law would dictate that surface temperature increases so that the same amount of power is radiated (i.e., current is the same, only resistance changed as the atmosphere expanded adiabatically with a nearly constant lapse rate resulting in a higher potential difference developing) – you need that for equilibrium conditions i.e., energy is conserved or charge is conserved as the case may be (1st law of thermoD). And the positive/negative feedback that is debated in climate science hasn’t entered the picture yet. To do so, the resistor can be simply modeled as R/(1-f) for illustrative purposes where the debate is over whether f <0 (negative feedback) or whether 0<f<1 (bounded positive feedback) based on the other physical processes involving greenhouse gases and water vapor.

  109. Actually, I take that back, for debate purposes, in my illustrative model, negative feedback would reduce the incoming current (reflecting clouds) while positive feedback would increase the resistance (a higher tropopause due to added CO2).

  110. RB
    Actually if you go through what I wrote, you will see that it is pretty accurate. Now my examples was ONLY for outgoing radiation, the temperature differential between earth and space being the “voltage”. You would need a separate model for the energy coming in given that it has a much higher voltage (Sun temp vs earth, and highly variable and so on). But if we proceed on the assumption (as the warmists do) that energy input is stable, we only need to look at energy output.

    If the system were steady state, and the R value increased, then I would decrease because at the point in time when R increases, the voltage hasn’t changed. A decrease in I (energy going out) with energy input staying stable can only have one result which is an increase in temperature. Since an increase in temperature relates to an increase in voltage, current (energy txfer) would rise until equilibrium (in = out) is established. However, if you are going to model it that way, then this would also result in energy transfer between Sun and earth declining as the temperature differential between them is reduced.

    Neither model is accurate to 100%, but is not the point. The point is that steady state requires that energy in = energy out. The climate models predict ever increasing energy retained which can only be accomplished if R adds energy to the system. Which it doesn’t.

  111. davidmhoffer, you are incorrect. The analog is I=dq/dt of charge is the same as P=dQ/dt of heat. Therefore, ‘I’ does not change for a power balance. The potential V, or surface temperature T, has to change i.e. go higher. That is why greenhouse effect works. I’m sorry, but you completely did not get it in your last paragraph and there is no further involvement in the debate from my end.

  112. Nice discussion. Personally, i imagine the feedbacks as in operational amplifier circuits… but if you have only resistors, you have no time lag, so it’s often more useful to imagine it as IIR filters (infinite impulse response filters, from digital signal processing). Easier to imagine for me than adding capacitors to the imagined OpAmp circuitry.

  113. RB,
    I hereby annoint you honorary gazelle status. Throw some semi related formulas around, draw a conclusion and then refuse to discuss it further. BTW, the formula for Power is Power = Current X Current X Resistance. Since Power is related to the current squared, and linearly to the resistance, your argument falls apart so badly that your best bet is in fact to run away with your tail between your legs and sulk. Oh wait, you already did.

    DirkH – yes on the lag time issue. feedback model in an op amp works too. I use the example of a capacitor in parallel with the resistor evening out fluctuations in power input like the ocean does temperature. But the capacitor has a slight resistance associated with it too, so has lag time in both charging up in a warming cycle and discharging in a cooling cycle. No matter what model you choose, energy in = energy out. Perpetual motion doesn’t exist.

  114. Good grief, davidmhoffer, when you take the analogy between Fourier’s law for heat conduction and Ohm’s law for an electrical conduction, you are not equating radiated power to electrical power. The analogy, in case you missed it, is radiated power is equivalent to electrical current. Not power in one domain to power in another domain. You just offered one more statement as to why this discussion will not go anywhere.

  115. The analogy, in case you missed it, is radiated power is equivalent to electrical current>

    you gave me your word that you would no longer debate the matter. Lie number one.

    Lie number two: your statement of above is not only wrong, it is not what I said. the analogy is that energy transfer is equivelant to current. Power is a measure of the rate of transfer, and had nothing to do with the original analogy or my discussion of it. Power in and power out need never match because they can only be measured at an instant in time. Energy in and energy out can be measured as totals over a given time period.

  116. Just found this thread, buried in the politics avalanche.

    I think that GCMs when used for reporting weather, tell us from the horses mouth what happens when the time step gets out of the bounds that exist by the multiple linear assumptions on the involved solutions of equations.

    Weather predictions are good for a day or so with high probability, fairly good for about five days and progressively lousier from then on.Why?

    Because of the methods and assumptions in the numerical calculations: the sphere gridded with boxes and solutions assumed/fitted with the linear approximations and then the fitted system is time stepped into the future. Every average value entered is a linear approximation too. We see that the predictions hold for a good number of time steps, I think they take 20min steps, until the nonlinearity of something steps in: turbulance, high and low propagations, cloud covers, etc get out of the range of the linear approximation from the fitted state, and predictions fail.

    Thus when the exact type of model is morphed into climate use we only have to ask “when will the projections fail” , not if. It will depend on the time steps and how far in time the multiplicity of linear approximations will get out of step. The climate analogue tells us that this is not really fixed ( 1 to 5 days). If we look at the deviation of the IPCC “projections” from the data, one to five years seems to be the limit given by the data.

  117. clarification:
    The climate analogue tells us that this is not really fixed ( 1 to 5 days). If we look at the deviation of the IPCC “projections” from the data, one to five years seems to be the limit given by the data
    weather modeling is the analogue of climate modeling.

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