WMO: “. . . we cannot at this time conclusively identify anthropogenic signals in past tropical cyclone data.”

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) issued a stunning statement in a  recent report. Roger Pielke Jr. has the details on his blog.

Just to remind folks that we’ve been saying much the same thing for months on WUWT:

Global Warming = more hurricanes | Still not happening

FSU-ACE_vs_GISS-oceantemp4
http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/tropical/global_running_ace.jpg
Above: Global hurricane frequency versus global ocean temperatures – Top image from FSU ACE, middle image from GISS ocean data plotted by WUWT, bottom 24 month running sum of ACE from FSU COAPS – click for larger images

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

A team of researchers under the auspices of the World Meteorological Organization has published a new review paper in Nature Geoscience (PDF) updating consensus perspectives published in 1998 and 2006. The author team includes prominent scientists from either side of the “hurricane wars” of 2005-2006: Thomas R. Knutson, John L. McBride, Johnny Chan, Kerry Emanuel, Greg Holland, Chris Landsea, Isaac Held, James P. Kossin, A. K. Srivastava and Masato Sugi.

The paper reaches a number of interesting (but for those paying attention, ultimately unsurprising) conclusions. On North Atlantic hurricanes the paper states (emphasis added):

Hurricane counts (with no adjustments for possible missing cases) show a significant increase from the late 1800s to present, but do not have a significant trend from the 1850s or 1860s to present3. Other studies23 infer a substantial low-bias in early Atlantic tropical cyclone intensities (1851–1920), which, if corrected, would further reduce or possibly eliminate long-term increasing trends in basin-wide hurricane counts. Landfalling tropical storm and hurricane activity in the US shows no long-term increase (Fig. 2, orange series)20. Basin-wide major hurricane counts show a significant rising trend, but we judge these basin-wide data as unreliable for climate-trend estimation before aircraft reconnaissance in 1944.

The paper’s conclusions about global trends might raise a few eyebrows.

In terms of global tropical cyclone frequency, it was concluded25 that there was no significant change in global tropical storm or hurricane numbers from 1970 to 2004, nor any significant change in hurricane numbers for any individual basin over that period, except for the Atlantic (discussed above). Landfall in various regions of East Asia26 during the past 60 years, and those in the Philippines27 during the past century, also do not show significant trends.

The paper acknowledges that the detection of a change in tropical cyclone frequency has yet to be achieved:

Thus, considering available observational studies, and after accounting for potential errors arising from past changes in observing capabilities, it remains uncertain whether past changes in tropical cyclone frequency have exceeded the variability expected through natural causes.

The paper states that projections of future activity favor a reduction in storm frequency coupled with and increase in average storm intensity, with large uncertainties:

These include our assessment that tropical cyclone frequency is likely to either decrease or remain essentially the same. Despite this lack of an increase in total storm count, we project that a future increase in the globally averaged frequency of the strongest tropical cyclones is more likely than not — a higher confidence level than possible at our previous assessment6.

Does the science allow detection of such expected changes in tropical cyclone intensity based on historical trends? The authors say no:

The short time period of the data does not allow any definitive statements regarding separation of anthropogenic changes from natural decadal variability or the existence of longer-term trends and possible links to greenhouse warming. Furthermore, intensity changes may result from a systematic change in storm duration, which is another route by which the storm environment can affect intensity that has not been studied extensively.

The intensity changes projected by various modelling studies of the effects of greenhouse-gas-induced warming (Supplementary Table S2) are small in the sense that detection of an intensity change of a magnitude consistent with model projections should be very unlikely at this time37,38, given data limitations and the large interannual variability relative to the projected changes. Uncertain relationships between tropical cyclones and internal climate variability, including factors related to the SST distribution, such as vertical wind shear, also reduce our ability to confidently attribute observed intensity changes to greenhouse warming. The most significant cyclone intensity increases are found for the Atlantic Ocean basin43, but the relative contributions to this increase from multidecadal variability44 (whether internal or aerosol forced) versus greenhouse-forced warming cannot yet be confidently determined.

What about more intense rainfall?

. . . a detectable change in tropical-cyclone-related rainfall has not been established by existing studies.

What about changes in location of storm formation, storm motion, lifetime and surge?

There is no conclusive evidence that any observed changes in tropical cyclone genesis, tracks, duration and surge flooding exceed the variability expected from natural causes.

Bottom line (emphasis added)?

. . . we cannot at this time conclusively identify anthropogenic signals in past tropical cyclone data.

The latest WMO statement should indicate definitively (and once again) that it is scientifically untenable to associate trends (i.e., in the past) in hurricane activity or damage to anthropogenic causes.

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176 Responses to WMO: “. . . we cannot at this time conclusively identify anthropogenic signals in past tropical cyclone data.”

  1. Henry chance says:

    That was one of Judiths claims. Greater frequency and intensity.

    How disappointing.

    I am not disappointed in the lack of storms. I am dissappointed in the lack of high paid scientists using cheap models.

  2. sdcougar says:

    I would hope that readers here would take time to send the links to stories like this to the PBS Ombudsman and ask why the PBS NewsHour ignores such stories while trumpeting IPCC propaganda [e.g. in the run-up to Copenhagen, the NewsHour proclaimed that “this huge team of scientists from all over the globe issued these unanimous warnings about the really extreme danger to the planet.”

    http://www.pbs.org/ombudsman/feedback.html

    We have to be more than information junkies.
    We need to ask why our taxpayer and donations funded PBS has such slanted coverage on this issue.

  3. Nick says:

    I wonder if Al Gore will go correct his blog post from yesterday afternoon?

  4. jack morrow says:

    Finally a little common sense in a world of conflicting evidence and mis-information along with seemingly criminal behavior. Al Gore must really be proud of himself.
    Us folks on the Gulf coast feel much better knowing the truth.

  5. Henry chance says:

    From a Nature paper
    “There is a robust signal behind the shift to more intense hurricanes,” says Judith Curry, chair of the school of earth and atmospheric sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology

    Robust!!!

  6. old44 says:

    That may all well and good, but what does Al Gore think?

  7. kadaka says:

    The Truth Is Out There.

    (so is the snickering)

  8. AlexB says:

    Because of course if they could detect a change then naturally it would be a valid assumption to attribute that to anthropogenic factors. Gotta love inductivists.

  9. James Sexton says:

    Yeh, I figured this would be one of the first myths dispelled. Quantity of hurricanes are too easy to track, as is rainfall. Of course, if/when the quantity goes back up to 89-90 levels, I’m sure we’ll see them attributed to anthropological something or another. Perhaps CO2 will still be around to kick, maybe our water use.

    “Just to remind folks that we’ve been saying much the same thing for months on WUWT:”…….yes you have. Perhaps you can pass on the experience to our AGW advocate scientists. They seem to be a bit shaken because of their lack of credibility with the masses. In terms of credibility, there is no substitute for being correct. WTG!!

  10. carrot eater says:

    Not really surprising. It’s been fuzzy whether we’ve already started seeing effects, or not. This paper reviews the field and gives a consensus view.

    But if you’re going to show plots, it’s PDI you want. The expectation is for a lower frequency, but a higher PDI.

  11. Poptech says:

    What propaganda,

    “Therefore, it remains uncertain whether past changes in tropical cyclone activity have exceeded the variability expected from natural causes. However, future projections based on theory and high-resolution dynamical models consistently indicate that greenhouse warming will cause the globally averaged intensity of tropical cyclones to shift towards stronger storms, with intensity increases of 2–11% by 2100.

    Empirical evidence shows no trend but virtual reality says otherwise? The amount of computer illiteracy in the scientific fields is amazing.

  12. James Sexton says:

    Henry chance (15:12:14) :

    From a Nature paper
    “There is a robust signal behind the shift to more intense hurricanes,” says Judith Curry, chair of the school of earth and atmospheric sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology

    lol, I find myself trying to work the word in sarcastic conversations I have. Sadly, I end up snickering at the word, ruining the delivery of the sarcasm. Oh well, practice makes perfect.

  13. dbleader61 says:

    Well you now have a quote of the week…

    . . . we cannot at this time conclusively identify anthropogenic signals in past tropical cyclone data.

  14. Andy Scrase says:

    I just had an email from Les Hatton whose paper on Hurricanes was published on this very blog

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/16/register-ipcc-hurricane-data-question

    that came to appromately the same conclusion

    Les tells me that this paper is the second most downloaded paper he has ever written, and “nobody is interested in my proper stuff”

    Les, I think we are very interested in your “proper stuff”. You should feel very vindicated now.

  15. MarcH says:

    Australian ABC ran a story on this a few days ago, omitting much of the discussion about uncertainty. We felt the story could have been more informative so we put 13 questions to one of the authors, John McBride and got the response outlined here…

    http://abcnewswatch.blogspot.com/2010/02/abc-cyclone-report-leaves-questions.html

  16. Jeef says:

    I’m disappointed that all the hot air emanating from Al Gore hasn’t resulted in a statistically significant upward trend over the last few years.

  17. I have a question. It may seem tendentious but I genuinely would like to understand something.

    When someone like Thomas Knutson presents research that says concentrations of CO2 will lead to more powerful hurricanes, you dismiss it. Yet in this case, you embrace it.

    What changed? If you’re not just cherry-picking the research that suits your beliefs – which is something I assume most here would find offensive if I were to suggest it – than on what criteria do you find this paper of greater value than, say, Knutson and Tuleya’s paper in 2004?

    It’s a genuine question.

    REPLY: I suggest you ask the question of Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. He’s the expert on hurricane frequency/damages etc. -A

  18. NickB. says:

    Call it a hunch, but I bet Tamino can find a statistically significant correlation there even if he has to torture that data all night

  19. In the second plot [SST vs time] it is not really a good idea to compute a regression line and plot it based on running means. It would be much better to keep the running mean but base the trend on a fit to the annual data [not the running mean].

    REPLY: I could put any graph of any data on WUWT and there would be a critic of it. -A

  20. Graeme W says:

    While I suspect that the study is correct, the scientific process does not assume that that is the case. Those who feel it is wrong should now have the opportunity to point out any mistakes they feel have been made in the study, and if they are unable to do so, the study stands. If they can, the study falls, or needs amendment.

    This is a step towards showing that AGW has not produced more hurricanes or more intense hurricanes. It’s not conclusive proof of such.

  21. Poptech says:

    The more shocking revelation from Dr. Pielke is that is peer-reviewed paper was not include in the IPCC report,

    Not surprisingly the IPCC chapter that Trenberth led for the IPCC made no mention of our article, despite it being peer reviewed and being the most recently published review of this topic prior to the IPCC publication deadline.

    Hurricanes and Global Warming (PDF)
    (Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Volume 86, Issue 11, November 2005)
    – Roger A. Pielke Jr., Christopher W. Landsea, M. Mayfield, J. Laver, R. Pasch

    This sort of censorship by the IPCC is outrageous and all the more reason to dismiss it’s conclusions as manufactured propaganda.

  22. JackStraw says:

    That’s gonna leave a mark.

  23. Bob Tisdale says:

    For a look at the SST and SST anomalies of the Atlantic Hurricane Breeding Grounds, refer to my post from last July:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/07/hurricane-breeding-grounds-sst.html

  24. Steve Goddard says:

    Hurricanes are caused by differences in energy between the tropics and the poles. They are nature’s way of blowing off steam from the tropics and transferring it to the poles. It is not coincidental that the 2007 record Arctic melt came after two very active hurricane seasons.

    When the North Atlantic is warm, there is going to be less hurricane formation. Global warming should produce fewer hurricanes.

  25. Paddy says:

    Today I sent an e-mail to Neal Cavuto about the ongoing Congressional investigation into Toyota’s recall issues. I asked him what will happen after the Congressional B B & –ends? (B B & BS = Bashing Bluster and ——snip). Ironically, Toyota’s problems seem to be software related, but HTSB of US DOT dose not have any electrical or software engineers on its payroll.

    B B & BS seems to be a common trait of all governments. That stuff is being spewed by HAD, CRU, EAU, the UK Parliament, Congress, EPA, GISS, NASA, and NOAA et al. What comes next? How do you stop the -snip- flow?

    [WARNING: We don't accept even abbreviated swearing here. Don't do it again. - The Night Watch]

  26. Cadae says:

    One of the authors of the paper, John McBride, responded to one of the questions put to him from ABC Watch about the paper with the following:

    “It is the result of literally hundreds of scientific papers, enormous numbers of scientific experiments with computer simulations …”

    One doesn’t do “scientific experiments” with “computer simulations” – all that does is test the assumptions built into the simulation code. Unbelievable – and these ‘scientists’ are paid for this stuff ? I suggest an immediate remedial course on what experimentation is for – it’s about testing nature itself, not about querying one’s own model and recording the results.

    See http://abcnewswatch.blogspot.com/2010/02/abc-cyclone-report-leaves-questions.html

  27. tokyoboy says:

    EXCLUSIVE: UN Climate Panel to Announce Significant Changes:

    http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/02/24/exclusive-climate-panel-announce-significant-changes/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%253A+foxnews%252Fscitech+%2528Text+-+SciTech%2529

    IPCC says it will announce “within the next few days” plans to make significant changes in how it does business……..

  28. zt says:

    I think that the following is supposed to be pro-AGW – but it is an interesting, if scary, description of the future that the UN and financial types have in mind for us.

    http://citizensclimatelobby.org/files/Conning-the-Climate.pdf

    “Carbon trading is now the fastest-growing
    commodities market on earth. Since 2005, when
    major greenhouse-gas polluters among the Kyoto
    signatories were issued caps on their emissions
    and permitted to buy credits to meet those caps,
    there have been more than $300 billion worth
    of carbon transactions.

    “Market forces created the worldwide industrial
    growth that has led to global warming,
    but the United Nations has concluded that
    those same forces can be used to avert climate
    change. By policing this huge new effort in rechanneling
    capital, it has deputized the validators
    and verifiers to measure carbon and thereby
    transform it into a novel commodity:
    one whose value resides entirely in
    the promise of its absence.

  29. MarcH says:

    Note that Tom Knutson has also responded, his comments now on the ABC NEWS WATCH BLOG:

    http://abcnewswatch.blogspot.com/2010/02/abc-cyclone-report-leaves-questions.html

  30. Larry Hamlin says:

    I believe that the AP had an article on this same study by climate alarmist radical reporter Seth Borenstein on February 21, 2010 that said this study published in Nature Geoscience showed just the opposite of this WUWT article. Borenstein claims the studies authors conclude that there will be fewer but stronger hurricanes because of manmade global warming. His article was “Study: Warming to bring stronger hurricanes”. If I’m correct about this somebody is off target regarding what this study concludes.

  31. woodNfish says:

    Everyone reading this should go to the link to the article and read the abstract. You might want to ask Dr. Pielke Jr. how he squares the abstract with his analysis. I tried to comment on his blog, but it a pain in the patudi, and my comment was lost.

    Anyway the abstract reads like more alarmist propaganda, not at all what Pielke Jr. is arguing, and the article is behind a pay wall. I haven’t read it.

  32. REPLY: I suggest you ask the question of Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. He’s the expert on hurricane frequency/damages etc. -A

    I’m sorry, I guess I wasn’t clear: my question was why do you find this research more convincing?

  33. Jim Steele says:

    Maybe now Gore will have Repower America change their “fact” sheet at least regards to hurricanes

    “Fact: We can expect more extreme weather. Scientists tell us that climate change has already led to more extreme weather in the United States and we can expect stronger hurricanes, more wildfires, heatwaves and droughts, to name a few.”

  34. Roy Clark says:

    If some of our so called climate scientists would get their heads out the sand (or wherever) and actually look at the basic energy transfer across the air-ocean interface they would find that it is impossible for a 100 ppm increase in CO2 to cause any kind of climate change. The penetration depth of long wave infra red radiation into the ocean is less than 100 micron. Yes that’s about the width of a human hair. Only the sun can heat the ocean to depths of up to 100 meters. It is the accumulation of solar energy in the tropical oceans that causes hurricanes, (and ENSO etc.). The wind induced variations in evaporation at the ocean surface have a much larger effect on ocean surface temperature than a 100 ppm increase in atmospheric CO2. Instead of playing with hurricane occurence numbers, look at the basic energy transfer physics and show once and for all that a 100 ppm increase in atmospheric CO2 has no effect on hurricanes or on climate in general.

    The climate models are simply hard wired with the hockey stick ‘calibration’.
    Remove the empirical radiative forcing garbage in/gospel out from these models, put in some real physics and the whole CO2 induced global warming problem goes away.

    The evaporation data has already been published:
    Yu, L., J. Climate, 2007, 20(21) 5376-5390. Global variations in oceanic evaporation (1958-2005): The role of the changing wind speed.

    The so called radiative forcing from a 100 ppm increase in atmospheric CO2 is 1.7 W.m^-2. This works out to an increase in evaporation rate of 2.4 cm per year. The measurement uncertainty in ocean evaporation rate is 2.7 cm per year and the observed changes are an increase of 11 cm per year between 1978 and 2003 with an average increase in global wind speed of 0.1 m/sec.

    But global warming still gets the grant money ……………
    …….and perhaps a longer jail sentence

  35. rbateman says:

    Leif Svalgaard (15:56:23) :

    The way the 2nd graph looks there are 2 distinct levels of temperature upon which the signal is bouncing. It could easily fall down to the lower level and resume bouncing around.
    Or, another way of looking at things, if the Upper level of signal is UHI induced, then someday when the Earth is covered in Metropolis, that will be the new global temp.
    I just prefer to ignore the trend lines.

  36. POUNCER says:

    Stipulating, just for fun, that they COULD prove an “anthropogenic” signal in their data, how would they distinguish between anthropogenic CO2 increase versus other human activity — soot, for instance, or oil rigs off the coast?

    How do the folks attributing (stipulated, not accepted) mosquito population increase and malaria epidemics to “warming” distinguish that signal from (stipulated) land use changes?

    How do theclimate doctors diagnose this fever as typhus and not typhoid?

    Truly this is an immature science

  37. Poptech says:

    woodNfish (16:27:16) :

    This is quite common with climate papers. The actual conclusions of the data if analyzed do not always match the spin put on the paper by the authors. Dr. Pielke is commenting from the context of what the paper actually says not the abstract. I cannot tell you how many papers include this spin. The authors reject scientific analysis to push their political agenda. You will find data and conclusions that any skeptic would take as damning only to be spun up in an agenda driven scientist’s paper as “still can be very bad if…” or “does not matter because…” ect…

    I have found paper after paper that slip in comments to reassure the authenticity of AGW even when the paper has nothing to do with it. I suspect this is done out of pressure for publication. In this case it is about finding anything to promote AGW.

  38. Sonicfrog says:

    Paul Daniel Ash (15:54:49) :

    I have a question. It may seem tendentious but I genuinely would like to understand something.

    When someone like Thomas Knutson presents research that says concentrations of CO2 will lead to more powerful hurricanes, you dismiss it. Yet in this case, you embrace it.

    What changed? If you’re not just cherry-picking the research that suits your beliefs – which is something I assume most here would find offensive if I were to suggest it – than on what criteria do you find this paper of greater value than, say, Knutson and Tuleya’s paper in 2004?

    It’s a genuine question.

    Can I answer this one?

    Actually, the answer comes from K & T themselves.

    MKL propose to adopt what appears to be a plau-
    sible but low-end scenario of future radiative forcing,
    whereas Houghton et al. (2001) indicates that even
    stronger radiative forcing scenarios than we use in
    KT04 are also plausible. MKL present a flawed SST–
    intensity regression analysis comparing correlations of
    real-world intensities versus SST with idealized model
    correlations where no synoptic weather variability is
    present. Interestingly, their noisy regression (slope) re-
    sults hint at a much greater sensitivity of hurricane in-
    tensity to SST than our simulations. We believe such a
    high sensitivity (slope) is likely unrepresentative of
    what to expect for future climate change, as it is not
    supported by our simulation results.

    The old paper is based on… drumroll please…. computer simulations.

    The new paper???

    Real world observation.

    Here is the introduction of the 2004 paper. Quote:

    In reply we note that if we had observations of the future, we obviously would trust them more than models, but unfortunately observations of the future are not available at this time.

    2004? Pat Daniel Ash…. Say hello to the future. It’s here… now. Will the authors Knutson and Tuleya call Pat Michaels and tell him he was right after all????

  39. Sean Peake says:

    I believe that the likelihood of increasingly intense S–t storms caused by the IPCC, GISS and CRU is now certain.

  40. John M says:

    carrot eater (15:39:17) :

    But if you’re going to show plots, it’s PDI you want.

    At least until you need to invent a new metric.

    http://ams.confex.com/ams/90annual/techprogram/paper_165391.htm

    These things tend to happen when the old metrics don’t seem to go the way you want.

    http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/tropical/climo.php

  41. MattN says:

    The money quote: “…we cannot at this time conclusively identify anthropogenic signals in past tropical cyclone data.”

  42. James Sexton says:

    Paul Daniel Ash (16:27:58) :

    REPLY: I suggest you ask the question of Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. He’s the expert on hurricane frequency/damages etc. -A

    I’m sorry, I guess I wasn’t clear: my question was why do you find this research more convincing?

    Of course, I can’t speak for Anthony, but ………….Paul, because it is a re-work. If I were to tell you something, then later come back and say “I’ve discovered some more relevant information regarding what I originally stated.”, then wouldn’t you have more confidence my last statement as opposed to my prior? People study problems and then study them some more. Often, their original thought regarding the problem shows to be insufficient. I imagine, if you think about it, this would apply to just about everybody, including me, you and Thomas Knutson.

  43. Poptech says:

    Paul Daniel Ash (15:54:49) :

    The real question is why is the IPCC dismissing skeptic papers and cherry picking alarmist ones?

    Anytime a paper comes out saying global warming will cause they end of the world, every media site and alarmist blog covers it, yet I don’t see you there calling them out for cherry picking. WUWT is one of the few places you get to here about the skeptic point of view. You have the MSM and alarmist blogs to get all of the other side you want. When you call them out get back to us.

  44. Icarus says:

    “The paper states that projections of future activity favor a reduction in storm frequency…”

    So how does this relate to:

    “Global Warming = more hurricanes”?

    Maue points out that ‘Accumulated Cyclone Energy’ is strongly correlated with ENSO –

    http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/tropical/global_running_ace.jpg

    … and Figure S3 in:

    http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/tropical/maue_2009_grl.pdf

    All through this paper he identifies a strong link between ACE and sea surface temperatures generally. Given that your graph of GISS ocean data shows steady warming, it seems reasonable to expect an increase in overall hurricane activity with large natural variability superimposed on that trend from changes in ocean currents. I don’t see anything in the WMO statement or in Maue’s paper that would contradict this.

  45. Daniel H says:

    Kerry Emanuel in 2005:

    ‘Several recent studies indicate that intense storms can be expected to become more common with climate change. In August, research by Kerry Emmanuel, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, published in Nature, found that the destructive energy of hurricanes had increased in line with rising ocean temperatures. “We are clearly seeing the same signal in the data,” Dr Emmanuel said yesterday.’ (sic)

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article567156.ece

    Kerry Emanuel in 2010:

    ‘…we cannot at this time conclusively identify anthropogenic signals in past tropical cyclone data.’

    Nice!

  46. Michael says:

    I predicted Zero hurricanes hitting the US in 2009 and few overall.
    I told this to everyone I know in SW Florida and not to worry about putting up and taking down the hurricane shutters. I told my State Farm insurance agent about the solar minimum and to lower their rates and stay in Florida.
    It was fun watching The Weather Channel twiddled their thumbs all summer without much to report.
    I predict 2 sub Cat 3 for 2010 hitting the US with minimal damage.
    I plan on not worrying much about the hurricane shutters this year too.

  47. Poptech says:

    Paul Daniel Ash (16:27:58) :

    Maybe because reality is more convincing then virtual reality? Empirical evidence does not support the conclusions of worthless computer models.

    Not a Model World, Re: Knutson & Tuleya 2004 ([i]Patrick J. Michaels, Ph.D. Climatology[/i])

    The real question is why is computer illiteracy this high?

  48. jknapp says:

    But of course they can identify anthropogenic signals in future cyclone data. (sarcasm)

  49. Rob Erhardt says:

    How about more Tropical Cyclones…but LESS intense?

    I submit that ANY formulation as to what the future might bring is completely
    without merit.

    We know oh so little.

  50. Jean Parisot says:

    I am glad I live in the real world, that simulated one looks pretty rough.

  51. Brian W says:

    Like I’ve said before CO2 plays no role in the earth’s climate. Especially not at
    .04% by volume. The proportion of CO2 to N2 and O2 in combination with their specific heat is the real problem for the AGW paradigm. Radiative forcings (including “backradiation”), “Greenhouse Effect”, “acts like glass” and especially “amplification” are PSEUDOSCIENCE.

    Here’s a little tidbit for all.
    CO2 remits its heat much faster than air. The rate at which CO2 emits heat is inversely proprtional to the rate at which it absorbs. CO2 absorption rate AND temperature always LAGS dry air! This is with 100% concentration by volume! CO2 plays no role in hurricanes, droughts, rainfall or anything else that one can think of. Looking for a signal amongst wide fluctuations in the natural world is overall a FOOLs game. The climate quacks are WRONG and the climate itself will be the final arbiter.

  52. Ed Murphy says:

    sdcougar (15:11:16) :

    Consider it done, I will ask them, but you know the follow the money rule, the biggest private donations to PBS probably come from AGW believers.

    Here’s something…

    Bernie Sanders compares climate skeptics to Nazi deniers 

    A strident and despicable man  

    23 Feb 10 – (Excerpts) – “Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is comparing climate change skeptics to those who disregarded the Nazi threat to America in the 1930s, adding a strident rhetorical shot to the already volatile debate over climate change,” says this article on politico.com. 

    “It reminds me in some ways of the debate taking place in this country and around the world in the late 1930s,” said Sanders, perhaps the most liberal member of the Senate, during a Senate hearing Tuesday. “During that period of Nazism and fascism’s growth – a real danger to the United States and democratic countries around the world – there were people in this country and in the British parliament who said ‘don’t worry! Hitler’s not real! It’ll disappear!”

    “Earlier in the hearing, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) had chided Sanders: “I know the senator from Vermont wants so badly to believe that the science on climate change is settled but it’s not.”          

    I was born and raised in Vermont. I am saddened that Vermonters have elected and re-elected such a despicable man.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0210/33371.html

    Thanks to Marc Morano for this link

    I would encourage all people to listen and call in to the Thom Hartmann radio show every Friday at noon EST. The first hour that day of the week is called ‘Lunch with Bernie’ and they take your calls if you’d like to talk with Sen. Bernie Sanders over this issue or any other. This was at ice age now

  53. tokyoboy says:

    Slightly OT, but a Japanese MSM published, for the first time as far as I’m aware, an editorial touching Climategate and related issues on 25 February: “Global Warming — Researchers Losing Credibility” (for folks only who can read a strange language):

    http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/editorial/news/20100224-OYT1T01342.htm

    [Moderator: the URL can be snipped if you consider the article body is useless.]

  54. cyclones 3-5 million years ago: http://www.physorg.com/news186250015.html
    “there were twice as many tropical cyclones during this period, and they lasted two to three days longer on average than they do now”
    “temperatures were up to four degrees Celsius warmer than today”

  55. Larry Hamlin says:

    I believe that Poptech’s comment resolves the spin on this new paper by AP climate alarmist Seth Borsenstein. Borenstein is most likely referring to the alarmists theoretical models referenced in the article which project a 2% to 11% increase in the intensity and a decrease in frequency of 6% to 34% of hurricanes by 2100 based on the effects of global warming regardless of the much more significant fact that the real world data on hurricane intensity and frequency support no such findings. The actual hurricane data reviewed through this study says no link can be supported between human activity and hurricane intensity and frequency. As usual Borenstein is twisting the facts to support his well documented alarmist bias.

  56. Ryan Maue says:

    Anthony, please use the 24-month running sum of global hurricane ACE on my website as the highlight figure. The one you chose is out of date.

    http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/tropical/global_running_ace.jpg

    REPLY: Yes of course its out of date, it is the image used in the blog post that I referenced for that date. I can’t replot the graph right now, as my plotting program is still AWOL from my Windows 7 reinstall last night, so I placed your new graph next to it which is the best I can do right now.

    I’m sure somebody will find something not to like about it. -A

  57. Bruce says:

    Defintion #4 of Robust fits well: rough, rude, or boisterous

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Robust

    Judith Curry’s “There is a rough signal … ” as in “rough estimate” as in …. not even close.

  58. John M says:

    Icarus (17:21:24) :

    “The paper states that projections of future activity favor a reduction in storm frequency…”

    So how does this relate to:

    “Global Warming = more hurricanes”?

    I believe that was a link that the blog software automatically generated to a “possibly related post”.

    If you click on it, you’ll see that the post refers to Al Gore quietly removing that claim from his powerpoint presentation.

  59. Jim Clarke says:

    Paul Daniel Ash (15:54:49) :

    Let me see if I can give you a clearer answer.

    Why should we accept this paper that finds no correlation to warming and hurricane activity, when, in the past, we have rejected papers that did find a correlation, or predict a correlation?

    Well, it is always a good idea to reject a model that has never been correct. The models predict increased intensity with warming. We have had warming, generally, for the last 200 years and we can not find an increase in intensity when we analize the data correctly. More on this in a minute. I have never understood how an AGW supporter can argue: “well we can’t see it yet, but any minute now it will kick in!” That is just a really stupid thing for a scientist to say. Either the models model the physics correctly or they do not. Certainly the laws of nature are not going to change suddenly and make the models work.

    So what about those papers that claimed to find a correlation to warming using real, historical data? Why do we reject them? Well, I hate to say it, but folks like Emmanuel and Curry did such a poor job of science, that they would have never made it into the 5th grade science fair at your local school. Here is an analogy:

    Let us say that you are in the 5th grade and you have a hypothesis that tornadoes in the US have been increasing as the population of native North Americans has decreased. You point out that before any Europeans arrived, there were no reports of US tornadoes, dating back to the beginning of time. As the native american population started to diminish, we have our first reports of tornadoes. These reports began to increase dramatically from the 1800s to the 1900s, but then level off in the late 20th century as the native american population, vastly depleted, also levels off.

    This analysis may actually be more ‘robust’ than the Emmanuel/Curry analysis. The correlation is probably more significant. But even a 5th grader knows that the change in the number of reported tornados over the last 400 years is the result of the reporting, not the actual number of tornados. A 5th grader would know this, but those reporting a global warming/hurricane connection are not as smart as a 5th grader!

    Oh, some tried to estimate a ‘correction’ for the historical data, but the correction was ridiculously low, perhaps to insure the result they wanted, or they were simply unaware of operational hurricane tracking through the decades.

    This latest study does not cherry-pick the research on the subject, but looks at it all and goes with the strongest analysis and the best, most widely accepted methodology. It really is not that difficult to seperate the wheat from the chaff. The hurricane/global warming correlation papers were almost always published be people outside tropical meteorology circles. While they were trumpeted by the press and embraced by the IPCC, the most knowledgable folks, who have spent their lives studying tropical cyclones, immediately saw the flaws and dismissed these papers. I have no idea how they got through peer review, unless they were reviewed by other non-tropical atmospheric scientists. Those who were more knowledgable have been publishing for years with a ‘no discernable trend’ conclusion, but were generally ignored by the media. Finally, the people who really understand the historical record, have there say.

    Of course, things COULD change in the future and we may have fewer/more intense storms, or we may have more/less intense storms or we may have no discernable trend. We don’t know, but only the first part of that statement has a high propability of generating additional grant money, so that is the one that is included in a paper that reports no trends!

  60. Jaye says:

    Wonder how Curry will spin this? Can she do it without mentioning “Big Oil”?

  61. Theo Goodwin says:

    Hot off the press! AlGore proclaims that steady climate conditions, changing not at all, are caused by global warming! (Yes, that would be a reductio. But he will say it eventually.)

    I have believed for years that hurricane activity near Florida has been in decline. For that reason, I could just not take Judith seriously. Sorry to be so hard on these folks, but it has seemed to me that they have a compulsive need to make up stuff.

  62. MarcH says:

    Just a quick thankyou to the authors of this paper; John McBride and Tom Knutson who took time out of busy schedules to answer questions. Anthony is welcome to place the questions and answers here in full.

    http://abcnewswatch.blogspot.com/2010/02/abc-cyclone-report-leaves-questions.html

  63. Jim Clarke says:

    Leif Svalgaard (17:42:10) :

    OMG, my head is spinning. This is science? This is Yale? They start with models that ASSUME increasing hurricane activity with warming, plug in a warmer temperature that we think matches a past epoch, and then proclaim that there were more storms in that past epoch, BECAUSE THE MODEL SAYS SO! Then they argue that, because there were more storms back then, there will be more storms in the future if we warm the planet that much!

    Here is a quote: “Fedorov cautioned that there is not necessarily a direct link between what happened during the Pliocene and what might happen in the future…”

    So now ‘what happened in the Pliocene’ is an established fact because a computer model said what happened? This is not post-normal science. This is irrational gibberish! I have a model that says the Earth was covered in whip cream before the Pliocene, fastly reducing the number of hurricanes. I guess that must be what happened since I have a model that says so!

    They can’t possibly be that stupid at Yale to think their paper is real science or in any way legitimate. Did this pass peer review? Either this is a joke or intentional fraud. Please tell me it is a joke.

  64. Poptech says:

    AGW proponents all rely on man-made models as “evidence” for their conclusions. So ironically AGW is “man-made” just not how people think.

    Just because some computer illiterate natural scientist with a Ph.D. by his name works with computer code and calls it a climate model and runs it on a super computer at impressive named university does not change how computers work.

    Virtual reality can be whatever you want it to be and computer climate models are just that, they are the code based on the subjective opinions of the scientists creating them. The real world has no such bias.

    These models can easily be manipulated through inclusion of “science” deemed correct by the scientist or omission of science deemed to be wrong by the scientist. It is an absolute impossibility for a model to determine valid science. Only experiments done in the real world can determine this. Yet the computer illiterates think that because their model is complex or close enough it has some validity. This is laughable but what would these scientists do if they realized all their virtual reality exercises were an absolute waste of time?

  65. Jim Clarke (18:48:03) :
    Leif Svalgaard (17:42:10) :
    OMG, my head is spinning. This is science? This is Yale?

    Such is the stuff that gets published these days. Of course, the other side says the same about papers to the contrary :-)

  66. mikelorrey says:

    Hold on, KERRY EMANUEL is a co-author? Mister “The Hurricanes are Coming! The Hurricanes are Coming!” Emanuel??? Who just a few months ago continued to make the ‘more hurricanes’ claim in that MIT panel discussion on climategate? Have my eyes deceived me, or has he had some sort of epiphany?

  67. Steve Goddard says:

    Leif,

    Do the models also tell us the names of the hurricanes from four million years ago, and whether or not they hit New Orleans?

  68. R. de Haan says:

    It seems to me the scientist don’t want to get caught with a dead horse.
    The corps is rotting and the smell is unbearable.

  69. pat says:

    Now every single person here knew this. Just like we know that snow storms are not caused because global warming somehow creates snow storms. I wonder when it will end?

  70. Steve Goddard (20:17:26) :
    Do the models also tell us the names of the hurricanes from four million years ago
    Since there are so many, they go by A, B, C, …, AA, AB, AC, …, just like the columns in Excel. Or variable stars.

    whether or not they hit New Orleans?
    They were cyclones in the Pacific, so Nola was safe [although under water anyway, as the Mississippi delta did not yet exist at that location 30.2 degrees North latitude, 90.1 degrees West longitude].

  71. B. Smith says:

    Tropical cyclones and climate change

    Thomas R. Knutson , John L. McBride , Johnny Chan , Kerry Emanuel , Greg Holland , Chris Landsea , Isaac Held , James P. Kossin , A. K. Srivastava & Masato Sugi
    Abstract

    Whether the characteristics of tropical cyclones have changed or will change in a warming climate — and if so, how — has been the subject of considerable investigation, often with conflicting results. Large amplitude fluctuations in the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones greatly complicate both the detection of long-term trends and their attribution to rising levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases. Trend detection is further impeded by substantial limitations in the availability and quality of global historical records of tropical cyclones. Therefore, it remains uncertain whether past changes in tropical cyclone activity have exceeded the variability expected from natural causes. ****[f] However, future projections based on theory and high-resolution dynamical models consistently indicate that greenhouse warming will cause the globally averaged intensity of tropical cyclones to shift towards stronger storms, with intensity increases of 2–11% by 2100. Existing modelling studies also consistently project decreases in the globally averaged frequency of tropical cyclones, by 6–34%. Balanced against this, higher resolution modelling studies typically project substantial increases in the frequency of the most intense cyclones, and increases of the order of 20% in the precipitation rate within 100|[nbsp]|km of the storm centre. For all cyclone parameters, projected changes for individual basins show large variations between different modelling studies. [/f] ****

    The asterisks are mine.
    ____________________________________________________________________________
    Seems to me the message is that we WILL inevitably have storm changes due to warming from anthropogenic greenhouse gases, which indicates to me that AGW is still “settled science” to at least some of the authors.

  72. pat says:

    Steve, interesting point. I have a house built on sand. Formerly dunes flattened. The house is surrounded by sand dunes. The State had to do an archeological study out my back yard. The sand (organic shell) was dated at 25,000 to 800 years ago. Since my house is hundreds of feet from the ocean, and the sand is mounded very high, the conclusion was hurricanes were much more powerful and more frequent. With the older sand representing truly hellacious storms capable of moving millions of tons of wet sand. (we can easily differentiate between tsunamis which have a different signature).

  73. Greg Cavanagh says:

    Don’t forget that most of the studies decrying calamity first assumed that AGW was real, then they asked the question “what would happen” and back in the early days “what can we do about it”.

    All of the IPCC case studies are based on the assumption AGW is correct, what are the affects. Many studies that have turned up here in the past did the same thing.

    This very aspect is what has driven me to rage for several news reports that have hit the TV. They don’t bother looking at whether the assumption is correct; they tell us what will happen assuming it is correct. They’ve had it backward for too long.

  74. Mike D. says:

    Leif Svalgaard (19:30:32) : Such is the stuff that gets published these days. Of course, the other side says the same about papers to the contrary :-)

    First you post a link to paper that is crap by circular modeling, without any disclaimer.

    Then you justify it with strawman slanders.

    Come on, Dr. Svalgaard. You can do better than that. We want to respect you. Try to live up to our mutually shared expectations, please.

  75. Mike D. (21:23:35) :
    First you post a link to paper that is crap by circular modeling, without any disclaimer.
    I have no real opinion on the paper. Was interested in hearing what all the experts here would have to say. The ‘slander’ must be on your conscience, it ain’t on mine. For example, I would like to see the ‘circular reasoning’ be pointed out. Where [which paragraph] is the C. R.?

  76. Ric Werme says:

    Steve Goddard (16:11:40) :

    > Hurricanes are caused by differences in energy between the tropics and the poles.

    Hurricanes form in the Hadley cell, that’s separated from the polar cell by the mid-latiude cell. They’re really heat engines powered by the difference in temperature between low and high altiudes, and by the amount of evaporation due to the sea level temperature.

    Extratropical storms (like nor’easters) are powered by baroclinicity – the temperature difference between north and south adjacent air masses.

    > They are nature’s way of blowing off steam from the tropics and transferring it to the poles.

    That they do, and at a Southern New England weather conference someone talked about warmer arctics the winter after some big hurricanes brought a lot of heat north.

    > It is not coincidental that the 2007 record Arctic melt came after two very active hurricane seasons.

    Well, except that wind and ocean currents we responsible for flushing a huge amount of ice out during the 2007 summer. There was more to the ice melt than just hurricanes.

  77. tokyoboy says:

    Greg Cavanagh (21:23:32) :

    “All of the IPCC case studies are based on the assumption AGW is correct, what are the affects.”

    No, it’s worse. Their starting point was ‘AGW is real AND it is a threat to humankind.’

  78. Steve Koch says:

    I don’t know if it is relevant but Dr. Pielke also has pointed out that ocean heat content has been flat or declining for several years (IIRC since 2005 or even before). Since Dr. Hansen made in 2005 very specific predictions re: large OHC increases for the past several years that turned out to be spectacularly wrong, it seems that particular AGW hypothesis has been falsified.

    Einstein said you only need to falsify a hypothesis once to prove it wrong. I believe Hansen said that OHC gains were the best way to prove AGW.

  79. Mark.R says:

    The author of a new study on the effects of climate change on tropical cyclones says Australia can expect more destructive storms before the end of the century.
    That is despite the fact that the review of existing literature and computer modelling predicts a likelihood of fewer tropical cyclones in the same period.

    Tom Knutson is the study’s author and a research meteorologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States.

    “When we look at the different modelling work, modelling projections on hurricanes in a warmer climate, the thing that stands out is that the models typically are producing fewer tropical cyclones overall globally,” Mr Knutson said.
    http://www.weatherzone.com.au/news/cyclones-to-become-fewer-but-fiercer/13912

  80. maksimovich says:

    Mike D. (21:23:35) :

    Leif Svalgaard (19:30:32) : Such is the stuff that gets published these days. Of course, the other side says the same about papers to the contrary :-)

    First you post a link to paper that is crap by circular modeling, without any disclaimer.

    Then you justify it with strawman slanders.

    Come on, Dr. Svalgaard. You can do better than that. We want to respect you. Try to live up to our mutually shared expectations, please.

    I think LS is invoking controversy to stimulate response(pavlovian stimuli) ,however as always the discussion of science by ” press release” has limiting qualities and arguments will become circular if perspective is not added to the argument.

    The Pliocene is of specific interest ,as the insolation qualities were similar today,the geography was similar (the isthmus of Panama was closed) and CO2 was lower then today,

    One of the authors (Federov) calls this the Pliocene Paradox eg

    ABSTRACT
    During the early Pliocene, 5 to 3 million years ago (Ma), globally averaged
    temperatures were significantly higher than they are today even though the
    external factors that determine climate were essentially the same. The
    appearance of northern continental glaciers, and of cold surface waters in oceanic
    upwelling zones in low latitudes signaled the termination of those warm
    conditions. This introduced feedbacks involving ice-albedo and tropical oceanatmosphere interactions that amplified obliquity (but not precession) cycles in
    equatorial sea surface temperatures, and in global ice volume, with the former
    leading the latter by several thousand years. A future melting of northern
    glaciers and a deepening of the thermocline could restore the warm conditions of
    the early Pliocene.

    Even this recent paper cannot elucidate clearly, in Paleoclimate studies Paradox is the rule not the exception.

  81. Steve Goddard says:

    Ric Werme,

    The fact that hurricanes are transferring heat to the Arctic (as you mentioned) is a pretty definitive indication that is where the ultimate delta T resides.

    Do you think the Arctic winds in 2007 might have had something to do with the extra heat?

  82. JLKrueger says:

    WARNING: We don’t accept even abbreviated swearing here. Don’t do it again. – The Night Watch

    However, occasionally thinly veiled innuendo does slip past The Night Watch. :-)

    [Anthony hasn't banned innuendo, but does expect civility, however that is a two way street, on the part of the writer AND the reader to keep chips off shoulders - The Night Watch]

  83. Phillip Bratby says:

    Even the bottom line is written in a negative manner which shows they were looking to suport their thesis rather than look at the evidence and then draw conclusions:

    “….we cannot at this time conclusively identify anthropogenic signals in past tropical cyclone data.”

    They should have positively concluded:

    “….we conclusively identify that there are no anthropogenic signals in past tropical cyclone data.”

  84. Dave Wendt says:

    Leif Svalgaard (21:50:14) :

    I have no real opinion on the paper. Was interested in hearing what all the experts here would have to say.

    As one of the least expert “experts” I would have to say I don’t think much of the paper you linked. Since AFAIK none of the models has demonstrated anything like predictive skill in the present environment where they have at least a modicum of observational data to calibrate against, it seems to me to be quite a logical stretch to suggest that by pointing them back a few million years, where what passes for conventional knowledge is mostly creative fiction, that that predictive skill would suddenly be manifested. I’m a bit surprised that you don’t have an opinion on it yourself, but I respect your reticence.
    I do think that Mike D. misinterpreted your neutrality, but that’s something you’ve had plenty of experience with around here. I personally think that little of the climate science on either side rises to the level of probative evidence and that most of it offers, at best, hints, indications and reasons for suspicion.

  85. JLKrueger says:

    Larry Hamlin (16:25:59) :
    I believe that the AP had an article on this same study by climate alarmist radical reporter Seth Borenstein on February 21, 2010 that said this study published in Nature Geoscience showed just the opposite of this WUWT article. Borenstein claims the studies authors conclude that there will be fewer but stronger hurricanes because of manmade global warming. His article was “Study: Warming to bring stronger hurricanes”. If I’m correct about this somebody is off target regarding what this study concludes.

    For those who haven’t seen it yet, here’s a link to the Borenstein piece:
    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory?id=9901992

    More to the point, WUWT provides far more in depth and “in context” quotes from the report than does the AP article. Given Borenstein’s predilection for alarmism in the past and AP’s definite bias, I’m inclined to discount their interpretation and go with WUWT.

    Ultimately, one needs to read the actual report, not just the abstract, and draw one’s own conclusions. Failing that, go with the analysis that provides the most “in context” quotes from the report.

    My own reading of the report (hey, I splurged a little and spent the $32) is that it most certainly is not an endorsement of any Chicken Little alarmist nonsense such as appeared on the Goracle’s web site, however otherwise flawed it may be.

  86. Antonio San says:

    What a Bull paper: since the recent past does not validate their claim and not after these people have fought against the evidence presented by Pielke Jr for instance, these “scientists” are now become pithies and move their claims to the future!

  87. Antonio San says:

    Oh and I forgot to mention our AP warming resident Seth Borenstein jumping on this like a flee on a new rug!

  88. DirkH says:

    “Steve Koch (22:21:57) :
    [...]
    Einstein said you only need to falsify a hypothesis once to prove it wrong.”

    Those were those old, weak hypothesises. We have stronger, bigger hypothesises now that you have to falsify again and again and they will still stomp all over your city.

  89. Robert E. Phelan says:

    Guys, there is no fun, profit or glory in baiting Dr. Leif. When he really has something to say he can be voluble. When he goes all cryptic he’s mainly indulging his sense of humor. In either event he’s got an awesome array of facts and figures at his fingertips and you could find yourself wriggling at the end of his line. Some people fish for pleasure, others …

  90. Dave Wendt (23:07:59) :
    I’m a bit surprised that you don’t have an opinion on it yourself, but I respect your reticence.
    I don’t know enough about their models to judge. The general dismissal of the type “we cannot predict the weather next week, so predicting the climate 100 years out is meaningless” may miss the fact that weather and climate operate on different scales, spatial and temporal. The larger-scale variations may smooth out a lot of the small-cale turbulence: it is not every butterfly batting its wings that causes a cyclone somewhere else later.
    We have a similar situation in solar physics where we cannot predict the precise appearance in space and time of the next sunspot, but we can with confidence predict the solar luminosity a billion years hence.

  91. julie says:

    Glad to see Chris Landsea is now allowed to get on with his work free of politics.
    http://www.climatechangefacts.info/ClimateChangeDocuments/LandseaResignationLetterFromIPCC.htm

  92. Poptech says:

    Leif Svalgaard (01:25:40) :

    That doesn’t make any sense, so weather occupies space and climate time? Can you explain how imperfect computer code can give an accurate answer by running the code for a longer time?

    A butterfly battings its wings emulated in computer code does nothing more than what the code will allow. It can do whatever you want it to do.

    It has not been proven you can predict the luminosity a billion years hence because this has not been verified.

  93. Paul says:

    This makes Judith Curry look completely stupid.

    Here is a summary of the testimony she gave to Congress in April 2007.

    “As the climate continues to warm, models and observations agree that it is
    likely that global hurricane intensity will increase and that the number of North Atlantic hurricanes will increase, although the magnitude of the increase is uncertain. The increasing hurricane activity coupled with existing (and increasing) coastal vulnerabilities indicates an urgent need for adaptation in vulnerable coastal regions, particularly in the North Atlantic where the combination of global warming with the active mode of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation indicates substantially elevated
    hurricane activity in the next few decades. Reducing carbon dioxide emissions will help avoid the longer term risks associated with sea level rise and storm surge expected from increasingly intense hurricanes”

  94. Steve Goddard says:

    Leif,

    You say you can predict the sun’s behaviour over billions of years. My climate model tells me that when the sun becomes a red giant, summers in Philadelphia will be quite hot and the Arctic will enter a death spiral.

  95. Baa Humbug says:

    Now it’s droughts.
    A paper by Sheffield et al (2009) in Journal of Climate studied global droughts from 1950-2000 and found no increases in length or severity of droughts. Via World Climate Report
    Four of the six continental record breaking droughts occured in the 50’s and the other two in the 80’s.

    The IPCC’s technical summary stated clearly that droughts would become more severe and prevalent. Apparently not.

    No increase in hurricanes, no increase in droughts on and on it goes. The only increase I detect is in the alarmism borne out of sheer desperation.

  96. Jimbo says:

    [But Al Gore said said on his blog on the 23 February, 2010 that]:

    “Fact: Climate change causes more frequent and severe snowstorms
    [as well as making snow a thing of the past]

    Fact: We can expect more extreme weather

    Fact: The world is warming at a quickening pace

    My comment in brackets.

  97. Poptech (04:21:58) :
    It has not been proven you can predict the luminosity a billion years hence because this has not been verified.
    There are billions of stars that go through their life cycles. By observing many, many of them we can verify that they behave as predicted. It is like we had millions of Earth’s with which to compare our theories. The problem with the Earth is that we have only one, so it hard to figure out what happens. If we have many Earths with different amount of CO2, different TSI history, different cosmic ray flux, etc, it is easier to see what the important drivers are.

  98. Caleb says:

    Joe Bastardi’s preview of the 2010 Hurricane season hints it will be more active, and likely produce storms that will both enter the Gulf of Mexico and also threaten the East Coast. He bases his forecast on the idea the El Nino will be collapsing, leading to conditions quite unlike last year, when the El Nino was building. Rather than dry air in the hurricane “breeding grounds,” as was the case last year, there will be moist air, and rather than relatively high pressure in those “breeding grounds,” there will be low pressure.

    Mr. Bastardi attributes the change in activity to purely natural cycles.

    It will be interesting to watch the Alarmists. Having all rushed to hitch their wagon to the less-activity horse, they will all need to swiftly unhitch from the less-activity horse and re-hitch to the more-activity horse.

    Of course they will do it. They seem to have no shame in this respect.

    Over at the Accuweather Global Warming site there is an interesting study on the current blocking pattern caused by the negative AO, with the somewhat obligatory and tedious connection to warming attached. This is humorous, for I recall a National Geographic article (2000?) which did the exact opposite, connecting the positive AO to warming.

    No matter what happens, it will be attributed to warming.

  99. Tenuc says:

    Leif Svalgaard (01:25:40) :
    “I don’t know enough about their models to judge. The general dismissal of the type “we cannot predict the weather next week, so predicting the climate 100 years out is meaningless” may miss the fact that weather and climate operate on different scales, spatial and temporal. The larger-scale variations may smooth out a lot of the small-cale turbulence: it is not every butterfly batting its wings that causes a cyclone somewhere else later.”

    Plenty of contention about this, Leif, amongst climatologists. A different view from Roy Spencer March 2009:-

    “Global warming forecasting, in contrast, has been claimed to be possible because we are instead dealing with a small change in the rules by which the atmosphere operates. The extra carbon dioxide we are putting into the atmosphere, it is argued, changes the Earth’s greenhouse effect slightly, which is then expected to change average weather (climate) to a lesser or greater extent. Mathematically speaking, this is referred to as a change in boundary conditions.

    But upon closer examination, I have come to realize that the two kinds of variability – weather and climate – maybe are not so different after all. The only major difference between the two is just one of time scale.

    The weather today is impacted by what has happened on the Earth, in the atmosphere and on the surface, every day previous to today. In a very real sense, today’s weather retains a memory of all weather which has occurred in the past.

    But climate variability is really no different. This year’s climate is a natural result of average weather and climate in previous years. For instance, the slow overturning of the ocean can bring water to the surface which hasn’t been in contact with the atmosphere for maybe hundreds of years. Therefore, the climate we are experiencing today can be related to average weather conditions which occurred hundreds of years ago.”

    Full article here:-

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/03/

  100. Steve Goddard says:

    Tenuc,

    Climate models and weather models are structured very similarly, so you are correct that there isn’t a huge amount of difference between how they are forecast.

  101. A C Osborn says:

    Leif Svalgaard (17:42:10) :

    cyclones 3-5 million years ago

    Wow they have found some records from 3 – 5 million years ago.

  102. Tenuc (09:17:07) :
    But climate variability is really no different. This year’s climate is a natural result of average weather and climate in previous years.
    That is the point: as an average, the climate has a lot less variance than the weather which is what makes it more predictable.

  103. A C Osborn (10:52:47) :
    Wow they have found some records from 3 – 5 million years ago.
    Make the effort of actually reading the paper and refer to specific paragraphs that you have problems with, then I can address those [if they fall within what I know].

  104. Stephen Wilde says:

    Leif Svalgaard (13:44:47)

    “as an average, the climate has a lot less variance than the weather which is what makes it more predictable.”

    Not so, climate is just as variable as weather but on a larger scale over a longer time.

  105. Stephen Wilde (14:16:23) :
    “as an average, the climate has a lot less variance than the weather which is what makes it more predictable.”
    Not so, climate is just as variable as weather but on a larger scale over a longer time.

    Not the issue [apart from not being true]. The issue is that over an interval of equal length and spatial scale of equal size, the climate varies less and is therefore more predictable. If I predict the average US yearly temperature 30 years from now by a simple model that says that climate does not change, my error on average will be less than if I predict the weather in Washington DC a year ahead on Feb. 25 on the assumption that the weather does not change. It is tiresome to have to show these elementary things.

  106. Ric Werme (21:51:41) :

    Steve Goddard (16:11:40) :

    > Hurricanes are caused by differences in energy between the tropics and the poles.

    Hurricanes form in the Hadley cell, that’s separated from the polar cell by the mid-latiude cell. They’re really heat engines powered by the difference in temperature between low and high altiudes, and by the amount of evaporation due to the sea level temperature.

    Extratropical storms (like nor’easters) are powered by baroclinicity – the temperature difference between north and south adjacent air masses.

    > They are nature’s way of blowing off steam from the tropics and transferring it to the poles.

    That they do, and at a Southern New England weather conference someone talked about warmer arctics the winter after some big hurricanes brought a lot of heat north.

    > It is not coincidental that the 2007 record Arctic melt came after two very active hurricane seasons.

    Well, except that wind and ocean currents we responsible for flushing a huge amount of ice out during the 2007 summer. There was more to the ice melt than just hurricanes.

    My reply;
    Hadley cells, polar cells, and mid-latitude cells were created as a model for textbooks to teach a systematic approach to understanding general global circulation, to beginning students.

    There are not really any separate patterns of “bands of cells” that circulate the earth as you see on Saturn or Jupiter.

    These basic constructs were created to attempt to explain thing to novices, in steps they could under stand, in separate lesson blocks. The fact that they are still an integral part of the standard models, shows the lack of flexibility of the standard academically trained mind.

    The Lunar Declinational tides pull tropical air masses off of the tropics, as the moon crosses the equator, headed toward either of the poles, driving the Meridional flow surges that produce most of the severe weather, Tornadoes in spring / summer, then shift to Cyclones, hurricanes as the Solar apparent declination peaks Maximum North and shifts South, (in reference to N.H. where I live.)

    The smooth flow of air perturbed off of the tropics, does not stop to shift gears, as it crosses latitude lines. If you sort tornado production by lunar declination rather than date, and further by the 18.6 year Mn declinational variation, you will find the same as I have that there is a repeating pattern to the timing of the occurrence of outbreaks of tornado production, in the N.H. spring summer months. That coincides with the period around the culmination of the Lunar declination plus about three days as the inertia of the atmospheric perturbation off of the Equator, continues as the moon reverses and heads back toward the equator, pulling the “polar air mass back side” of the tidal bulge with it. The shear between the two driving the tornado production.

    On the down side past mid summer the heat built up in the tropical oceans causes a much more moisture laden tropical air mass to be perturbed, into a declining Solar atmospheric tide, that is shifting back toward the equator changing the latitude, of the confrontational ringing out of the moisture and energy.

    The timing of the dynamics of both tornado and hurricane generation still follows the same Lunar declinational tidal driving periodicities, I have been watching this effect for more than 25 years, and cannot get anyone else to look at it seriously, because ( the text books don’t mention anything about Lunar declinational tides in the atmosphere! ).

    Applying this feature of the global atmosphere to the models WILL add usable definition to the timing of occurrence, location of area to expect the production of tornadoes and hurricanes, as well as the estimations of their strength and duration.

    If the timing of the synod conjunctions of the outer planets were to be included in the analysis, and forecasting method they can be seen to enhance the production number and intensity of tornadoes , and can be seen to regulate the periods of strengthening and intensification of hurricane / cyclones on a global scale.

    And yes the swings in Lunar declination drives more / less tropical moisture and heat toward the poles, most noticeably around the time when the Lunar Declination at culmination is close to 23.5 degrees in phase with the solar apparent declination when the primary and secondary atmospheric tidal bulges from both, combine to produce maximum el nino effects that affect the glacial surges in the polar regions, accounting for the known ~nine year periods in glacial surge production.

    To know this and not be listened to simply because of a lack of letter around my name is extremely frustrating. Sometimes the laughing due to ignorance or lack of critical thinking about what you <(Subjective, use if it applies) and people like Dr. Curry think they know just drives me nuts.

    I am processing tornado data now, and finding some interesting results, I will post it as soon as I can get this da** software to accept 160,000 cells of data with out crashing, to plot graphs.

  107. Jim Clarke says:

    Leif Svalgaard (14:26:33) :

    Good point. The US average annual temperature difference from the last ice age to the warmest point of the Holocene is probably not as large as the variability we find on Feb. 25th in Washington D. C. from year to year. In that sense, the climate is more ‘predictable’ than the weather, but does that lend credibility to the AGW argument?

    No!

    Saying that a carving knife makes a finer cut than a chain saw is not a good argument for using a carving knife for open heart surgery.

    Climate may be ‘more predictable’ than weather on a temperature scale, but a few degrees difference in a weather forecast is usually inconsequential to how you deal with the weather. A few degrees difference in a climate forecast is huge…trillions of dollars huge. In that sense, is the climate more predictable than the weather? No. It is less so as far as ‘usability’ is concerned

    Saying that climate is more predictable than the weather gives the impression that the predictions of climate change are more useful than weather forecasts. They are not!

  108. Malcolm Miller says:

    There are no prizes for being right in the real world. If right, you are more likely to get a kick in the arse, or be crucified.

  109. Steve Goddard says:

    Leif,

    Climate models are basically the same as weather models, with more parameters like atmospheric content thrown in. They calculate the weather iteratively through time, and once they go off in the weeds – errors compound. There is no reason to believe that their results will become more accurate over time, quite the opposite.

  110. Steve Goddard says:

    For example, consider feedback. If the models are wrong one year about growth/decline of Arctic ice, that affects the next year’s ice, and it gets worse each year. A mistake in year one can mean the difference between an ice age and a tipping point.

    The very fact that models are able to generate tipping points is a testament to their instability and inaccuracy.

  111. Pamela Gray says:

    There are dynamical models and statistical models for both. Dynamical models try to parametrize both weather and climate forcings as they are currently understood. These models require tremendous amount of computer memory to run. Statistical climate and weather models base forecasts on matching historical parameters and sort of expect the climate or weather to act in the same way this time that it did last time. Of the two, dynamical models are newer and are being compared against statistical models. And the statistical models are being compared against observations. Unless you are in the fear mongering camp.

    In that case, you plug in current parameters and then what if parameters (IE run C with current CO2 and water vapor levels, run B with higher levels, and run A with over the top levels), you start the run of the models, go home and have dinner with your family, then the next day report your findings (in simplified form).

    My guess is that someday, someone will figure this out and either statistical models will prove the better, or dynamical models will. But to get there, we must have the tolerance to allow the stinkers to run with the pretty good ones.

    Where we fall off the scientific path is when we seek to tie tax policy to as yet unproven research. If you are reading this Barack, and you are having second thought about your earlier stance on climate change, it is okay to have an open mind about climate models, but you should not be betting my money, or anyone’s money on any one of these climate or weather models. That would be a sucker’s bet. Do not go down in history as the President who took the sucker’s bet.

  112. Steve Goddard says:

    Pamela,

    Do the statistical models use the hockey stick as their historical reference?

  113. poptech says:

    Poptech (04:21:58) :

    Can you explain how imperfect computer code can give an accurate answer by running the code for a longer time?

  114. poptech says:

    Leif Svalgaard (14:26:33) :

    That is not elementary that is a flawed assumption. The U.S. average temperature is reached through averaging local temperatures. If you are not calculating these accurately no accurate U.S. average in the future can be reached. If you attempting to determine these via some other method, that is a huge joke. There is no way around getting an accurate answer without first doing the local calculations. The fact that the local calculations are useless more than a few days out makes any climate calculation years in the future just as useless.

    I am beginning to see more of the problem. It is a lack of computational understanding. Computers are only right and wrong. The margin or error used in empirical experimentation is not valid on computer models. There is no close enough. The reason is simple the real world laboratory is 100% accurate and thus our lack of understanding or measurement error is a human failing but the experiment still behaved perfectly to the natural laws of physics. In a computer simulation you are dealing with an imperfect laboratory and thus until it is perfect no valid results can be obtained let alone on the time scales computer climate models are running and all the fudge factors associated with them.

    Weather models work on short time scales because these are essentially projections based on known data and physics. They become more accurate based on the more data they can track over a larger area. Climate modelers claim to do the same thing but they are not simply tracking known data and physics they are using subjective mechanisms and unproven theories in an imperfect virtual reality laboratory. They are nothing more than a theoretical exercise and meaningless to reality.

  115. Steve Goddard says:

    poptech,

    Excellent question. Answer is – it can’t.

  116. Mark.R says:

    O.T
    Some parts of the Sahara Desert and surrounding areas appear to be experiencing some beneficial effects of climate change as patches of green are popping up in areas formerly too hot and dry to sustain plant life.

    According to a report in National Geographic News, increased rainfall and the resulting emergence of vegetation could revitalize drought-ravaged regions of northern Africa, allowing them to be reclaimed for farming.

    Climate models have predicted that climate change may return the Sahara and surrounding areas to the same type of lush savanna that prevailed about 12,000 years ago.

    “Shrubs are coming up and growing into big shrubs,” said climate specialist Stefan Kropelin of the University of Cologne.

    He says nomads in the Western Sahara have told him that more rain has fallen during the past few years than at any other point in their culture’s oral history.

    http://www.earthweek.com/2009/ew090807/ew090807i.html

  117. Steve Goddard (18:23:25) :
    For example, consider feedback. If the models are wrong one year about growth/decline of Arctic ice, that affects the next year’s ice, and it gets worse each year. A mistake in year one can mean the difference between an ice age and a tipping point.
    That is why a good model will have negative feedbacks to prevent run-away situations. And all the venom against climate models vs. weather models is a waste a good poison. All I said is that weather models are more likely to produce results with larger variance than climate models, as they should, because weather has more variance.
    There is nothing wrong with modelling or the models. They represent our sum knowledge of the situation. The wrong bit comes, when we begin to treat the model output as reality. Everybody can decide for him/herself how wrong one wants to be.

  118. poptech says:

    Leif Svalgaard (23:57:29) :

    But they are not the sum knowledge of anything otherwise all climate models would be identical. Climate models are the subjective opinions of the scientists creating them. Some scientist determines this theory is right and this is wrong and thus gets the results they want. That is not science, that is manufacturing the results you want.

  119. poptech (00:39:25) :
    Climate models are the subjective opinions of the scientists creating them.
    Knowledge is subjective in that some people know more [or less] than other people. At the edge of knowledge is where progress is made. We don’t always know if pushing the edge out a bit is progress, so there is fuzziness at the boundary, but with time we get there [we ain't there yet]. And I don’t think it follows that scientists in general manufacture results they want. There is more satisfaction [and that is what drives most scientists] in finding something new and unexpected.

  120. poptech says:

    Leif Svalgaard (01:00:43) :

    Reproducible experiments that can be independently verified are not manufactured. Regardless of a scientists motives this sort of verification prevents bias from unknowingly corrupting the scientific process. Running computer code is not an experiment.

    But climate modelers are manufacturing the results they want through inclusion and omission of theories, intentional or not. I would say some scientists get satisfaction in the manufactured results of their models.

    Again why are all climate models not identical?

  121. supercritical says:

    I hope Dr Curry has read the excellent post by Richard Holle (16:43:19) :

    which is a good example of where climate science is most likely to be occurring.

    ( … as Leif has commented, science happens at the margins)

    Then I recommend she reads Bacon, the very inventor of Science. He has something very interesting to say about academia, and I hope she realises that an Academic Scientist is more likely than not to be a living example of an oxymoron.

  122. Steve Goddard says:

    Leif,

    You have it backwards. Weather models are extremely accurate these days up to about three days into the future. Climate models have demonstrated zero skill in any time period. The Met Office uses climate models for their seasonal predictions, and so far have done considerably worse than a coin toss.

  123. Steve Goddard says:

    There is no reason to believe that GCMs will ever be accurate. There are too many unpredictable factors like volcanoes, fires, human activity, the sun, etc. which make the models untenable. Not to mention chaos.

    Leif tells us that we can’t model the sun accurately on times frames of decades, and yet that behaviour is critical to the climate.

  124. A C Osborn says:

    Leif Svalgaard (13:47:36) :
    If they have no actual records it is all pure speculation, we have enough trouble when we do have actual records.

  125. A C Osborn says:

    Leif Svalgaard (13:47:36) :
    Let’s start with this “During the Pliocene, however, the team found that this cold water could not avoid being hit by one of the many tropical cyclones, which would churn up and mix warmer water into it. This warming at the Equator led to changes in the atmosphere that in turn created more tropical storms—and the cycle would repeat.”
    The team FOUND, they weren’t there, they guessed that is what happened.

  126. Steve Goddard (04:39:24) :
    Weather models are extremely accurate these days up to about three days into the future. Climate models have demonstrated zero skill in any time period.
    Try a three day climate model prediction…

  127. A C Osborn (07:29:56) :
    Leif Svalgaard (13:47:36) :
    If they have no actual records it is all pure speculation, we have enough trouble when we do have actual records.

    They tend to think that based on what we know that is what will happen. It is just like predicting a solar eclipse next year [Jun. 15th, 2011]. Since we have no actual records of it, it is all pure speculation, right?

    We deduce things based on what we think we know. We are more or less successful depending on how well we know things. We can differ on the judgment of how well we think we know things. Improving our knowledge [or reducing the number of things we differ on] is called science.

  128. Steve Goddard says:

    Leif,

    In the movie “The Day After Tomorrow” they had climate models which were able to forecast an ice age only a few days into the future.

  129. Steve Goddard (11:55:19) :
    In the movie “The Day After Tomorrow” they had climate models which were able to forecast an ice age only a few days into the future.
    They seem to have as good with statistics as you are; you must feel happy to be in such good company.

  130. Steve Goddard says:

    Leif,

    There are times when statistics are appropriate, and other times when people use them to obfuscate.

    “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

    Some people have better observational skills than others.

  131. Steve Goddard (13:04:35) :
    Some people have better observational skills than others.
    Some people are better at deluding themselves than others.

  132. Steve Goddard (13:04:35) :
    There are times when statistics are appropriate, and other times when people use them to obfuscate.

    First that is an accusation, second you can only obfuscate an issue to people that do not know statistics. Even elementary knowledge is enough to see through the nonsense.

  133. Steve Goddard says:

    Leif,

    Apparently there are lots of deluded people in the Northern Hemisphere with skis and snow shovels during the last few years. You probably don’t see much of that around Palo Alto, though I did see a foot of snow at the top of Page Mill Rd. in 1999 or 2000.

    Yes, I think that someone is using statistics to obfuscate the snow trend. Don’t flatter yourself though.

  134. George E. Smith says:

    “”” poptech (20:56:32) :

    Leif Svalgaard (14:26:33) :

    I am beginning to see more of the problem. It is a lack of computational understanding. Computers are only right and wrong. “””

    Actually computers are only right. Excepting random extreme events; like a cosmetic ray resetting a bit, computers do exactly what they are told to do.

    Sometimes that isn’t what the teller really intended to have the computer do; but it will do what it is told to do.

    Well some people often can’t even write down in plain English; what it is they mean. So it is no surprise that they tell their computer to do the wrong thing and it does so.

  135. Poptech says:

    Leif,

    Why are all climate models not identical?

  136. Poptech says:

    George E. Smith (15:41:27) :

    Wrong in the sense that the results do not match reality not in the computational sense of doing what they are programmed to do.

    “Excepting random extreme events; like a cosmetic ray resetting a bit, computers do exactly what they are told to do.”

    Yes but that is what ECC RAM is for or you can run the computer deep underground. This brings up another point that not only should the code be available but the hardware the code was run on.

  137. Steve Goddard says:

    The statistical experts and climate modelers tell us that snowfall is declining. They must be correct.

    “In New York City at Central Park, there was 20.9 inches reported with this amazing storm. This was the 4th largest snowstorm in their long history that goes all the way back to 1869.

    In the month of February New York City has had 36.9 inches of snow, setting the all-time snowiest month on record.”

    http://www.weather.com/newscenter/stormwatch/

  138. Some of the attempts to sell articles and papers online get a bit unrealistic. If I understood correctly, they want $32. for the article. Perhaps that is an entire issue of the publication, i.e. they don’t split it up.

  139. I think that the high pricing of pay walled stuff is gate keeping, as most of the “accepted researchers” belong to Universities who carry subscriptions.
    It just rips off those of us commoners who are, “dangerously curious” of New established ideas. But I could be wrong and it is just plain ole greed.

  140. Steve Goddard (14:19:48) :
    Yes, I think that someone is using statistics to obfuscate the snow trend.
    But they are not fooling anybody who knows even a little bit. The climatic trend is flat, and single years can go high or low at random as the data so clearly shows.

    Poptech (16:03:17) :
    Why are all climate models not identical?
    Because they are probing different directions of our ignorance, trying to reduce it in different ways.

  141. Steve Goddard says:

    More evidence that climate models which predict declining snowfall (and the statisticians who back them up) are correct.

    “Record Snowfall Blankets Moscow ”
    http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/record-snowfall-blankets-moscow/400246.html

  142. Poptech says:

    Leif Svalgaard (21:14:08) :

    “Because they are probing different directions of our ignorance, trying to reduce it in different ways.”

    Then they clearly do not represent the sum knowledge of anything. They are nothing more then pointless theoretical exercises based on the subjective opinions of the scientists who created them and their results meaningless. Science cannot be determined from entering guesses into a computer. They are not probing anything except their own computer illiteracy.

  143. Steve Goddard says:

    Leif,

    Do you have any actual experience working with climate models? Or are you just talking theoretically?

    Are you ever curious how someone could forecast the climate without being able to forecast the behaviour of the sun?

  144. A C Osborn says:

    Leif Svalgaard (11:25:07) :

    A C Osborn (07:29:56) :
    Leif Svalgaard (13:47:36) :
    If they have no actual records it is all pure speculation, we have enough trouble when we do have actual records.
    They tend to think that based on what we know that is what will happen. It is just like predicting a solar eclipse next year [Jun. 15th, 2011]. Since we have no actual records of it, it is all pure speculation, right?

    We deduce things based on what we think we know.

    OK, now I understand.
    They deduce (guess/Predict/Extropolate) what happened 3 to 5 million years ago and then based on those deductions they fruther deduce (guess/Predict/Extropolate) in to the future.
    Like deducing the last 15 years of ever increasing temperatures (Not satellite).
    Like deducing the Dry lakes in Northern USA.
    Like deducing Snow becoming an infrequent event.
    Like deducing Coral dying of slightly higher temps when in fact this current cold spell has killed them.
    Like deducing that 1000s of Species will become extinct.
    Like deducing the ever rising Ocean Levels.
    Like deducing the ever rising Ocean Temeratures.
    Like deducing the North Pole being Ice Free by now.
    Like deducing that the Himalayan Glaciers disappearing by 2035.

    Of course I should believe them.

  145. Steve Goddard says:

    A C Osborn,

    Mark Twain mocked scientists who make foolish extrapolations.
    http://books.google.com/books?pg=PA136&lpg=PA136&dq=In%20the%20space%20of%20one%20hundred%20and%20seventy-six%20years%20the%20Lower%20Mississippi%20has%20shortened%20itself%20two%20hundred%20and%20forty-two%20miles.&sig=kvwzDoclTtZ0HpUzXFg1gqe-U4Q&ei=mNeHS9umOoLYsgPzm9mGAw&ct=result&id=qiARAAAAYAAJ&ots=gfMQcFwGec&output=text

    Now, if I wanted to be one of those ponderous scientific people, and “let on” to prove what had occurred in the remote past by what had occurred in a given time in the recent past, or what will occur in the far future by what has occurred in late years, what an opportunity is here ! Geology never had such a chance, nor such exact data to argue from ! Nor “development of species,” either ! Glacial epochs are great things, but they are vague— vague. Please observe :

    In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. That is an average of a trifle over one mile and a third per year. Therefore, any calm person, who is not blind or idiotic, can see that in the Old Oolitic Silurian Period, just a million years ago next November, the Lower Mississippi River was upward of one million three hundred thousand miles long, and stuck out over the Gulf of Mexico like a fishing-rod. And by the same token any person can see that seven hundred and fortytwo years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long, and Cairo and New Orleans will have joined their streets together, and be plodding comfortably along under a single mayor and a mutual board of aldermen. There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.

  146. Steve Goddard (22:40:04) :
    More evidence that climate models which predict declining snowfall (and the statisticians who back them up) are correct.
    They also did not predict that it should rain last night, but it did, so they are clearly junk.

    Poptech (22:50:02) :
    “Because they are probing different directions of our ignorance, trying to reduce it in different ways.”
    Then they clearly do not represent the sum knowledge of anything.

    The models try to incorporate all we know, but the boundary between what is known and what is not yet known is fuzzy and we make progress by trying to see where we might get improvements. This is standard scientific protocol.

    Science cannot be determined from entering guesses into a computer.
    This is actually a very powerful and valid method which is used all the time. For example, if the luminosity of a star depends on its chemical composition [which it dos] we can plug in to our equations and models various guesses of that composition and see which one results in a luminosity that matches what is actually observed.

    They are not probing anything except their own computer illiteracy.
    Is just plain nonsense and may probe [successfully, I would say] your own science illiteracy.

    Steve Goddard (22:54:08) :
    Do you have any actual experience working with climate models?
    I actually do, but must admit that it is a long time ago [1960s] and were then not called ‘climate models’ but ‘extended weather forecasts’. Our models back then were, of course, too crude and computers too feeble to make the efforts meaningful, but that is normally not a show stopper, as we learn by trying.

    Are you ever curious how someone could forecast the climate without being able to forecast the behaviour of the sun?
    Apart from not being apples and apples, we are making progress with the sun. We did predict a low cycle 24 and it may turn out to be a correct prediction, the recent upsurge not withstanding [some activity was predicted so we should not be surprised that some is seen]

    A C Osborn (03:53:06) :
    “We deduce things based on what we think we know.”
    Of course I should believe them.

    The less you know, the more you can believe [Al Gore(?): "if you don't know anything, everything is possible"], so based on what you know you can choose what to believe, and don’t be shy.

  147. Steve Goddard says:

    Leif,

    The weather models did predict the rain in California last night – quite accurately. Climate models have shown little if any skill at forecasting any time period.

    Whether or not you think you can forecast the sun’s behaviour, the climate models make no attempt to do so. They also can’t forecast volcanoes, asteroids, fires, pollution, soot dust, ENSO or even clouds with any accuracy. How could they possibly be an accurate representation of climate?????

  148. Steve Goddard (09:20:51) :
    The weather models did predict the rain in California last night
    Weather is not climate.
    Climate models have shown little if any skill at forecasting any time period.
    Your word ‘any’ is misleading. It only makes sense to compare long periods, say 30 or more years [climate is not defined on a time scale less that 30 years]. You can substantiate your claim by showing a plot of the skill score as a function of time. If you cannot, then it is just hearsay or supposition. Of course, for many, supposition seems to be valid science, such is the level of science literacy theses days, so you are not alone. BTW, what is the NNNN on my plot?

    Whether or not you think you can forecast the sun’s behaviour, the climate models make no attempt to do so.
    Why should they? the sun has little to do with climate on a centennial scale or less.

  149. Steve Goddard says:

    Leif,

    So you don’t believe that the Maunder Minimum was cold? You don’t believe that clouds, volcanoes or pollution affect the climate? People can’t even forecast clouds for a few hours, much less years.

    NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center and the Met Office both use climate models to make forecasts from 3 months to a year. You better tell them that they can’t use them for less than 30 years.

    As I have explained many times, climate models are iterative. Errors get compounded – they don’t correct. If you start driving the wrong direction and go faster and faster, you will not end up at the right location.

  150. supercritical says:

    Leif,

    Do you say that ‘climate’ is the type of weather to be expected at a given location, by reference to a >30year window of meteorological measurements? If so, then even one day’s weather records represents an incremental slice of the climate of that location.

    If so, it seems to me that it would be relatively easy to track climate changes, as there must be many locations for which continuous daily records >30 years, of the measurements of wind-vector, precipitation, barometric pressure, temperature, insolation, humidity, cloud-cover, all of which go to define the local weather, and thus the local climate

    If such recordings actually exist, and the establishment of climate-change is the object of the exercise, it ought to be a straightforward matter for the meteorologists to tell us, by looking at their records.

    In the light of this unoriginal speculation, then I can’t see the reason for trying to construct a single global figure for temperature, as if this was a proxy for the so-called global climate. And also, I cannot see why anyone bothers with tree-rings as proxies for temperature, in turn as a proxy for global climate, when real and direct measurements of the climate are taken on a daily basis across the globe!

  151. Steve Goddard (10:12:01) :
    So you don’t believe that the Maunder Minimum was cold?
    The even deeper Spoerer solar minimum [1460-1550] was warm. See f.ex. the Figures in http://www.climateaudit.info/pdf/mcintyre-scitech.pdf
    Possibly warmer than today. Just like with the snow cover, you believe that one swallow makes a summer.

    You don’t believe that clouds, volcanoes or pollution affect the climate?
    Clouds and volcanoes [unless extreme, Yellowstone blowing up] have short term effects.
    Pollution, soot, aerosols, etc are taken into account. You too would benefit from studying Mark Jacobsen’s “Fundamentals of Atmospheric Modeling” (2nd Edition). [I have it right here in front of me].

    NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center and the Met Office both use climate models to make forecasts from 3 months to a year.
    No, they don’t. Check it out, and prove that they use the same models that Climatologists use for the 100-yr ‘prediction’.

  152. supercritical (10:32:10) :
    If so, it seems to me that it would be relatively easy to track climate changes, as there must be many locations for which continuous daily records >30 years, of the measurements of wind-vector, precipitation, barometric pressure, temperature, insolation, humidity, cloud-cover, all of which go to define the local weather, and thus the local climate
    It should be, except that the records more reflect the ‘micro climate’ close to where people live [cities, airports, etc] and overestimate what happens on a global scale. It is not trivial to correct for this effect, and such corrections in the past may not be accurate [or even honest].

  153. Steve Goddard says:

    Leif,

    So you define climate as being 30+ years. The Dust Bowl lasted less than ten years. Apparently you don’t believe that was a climatic event?

    In 2003 Europe had a heat wave for several weeks, and it was made a poster child of global warming. I was at the beach in Bournemouth the weekend before the heat wave hit, and it was miserably cold.

  154. Steve Goddard (10:51:43) :
    The Dust Bowl lasted less than ten years. [...]
    I was at the beach in Bournemouth the weekend before the heat wave hit, and it was miserably cold.

    Neither of these were climate events in themselves. To get a feeling for climate look at the first Figure of this post: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/26/a-new-paper-comparing-ncdc-rural-and-urban-us-surface-temperature-data/
    The ‘bump’ in temperatures [blue curve] during 1915-1965 was a true climate event. The extreme heat during the Spoerer solar minimum was a climate event.
    BTW what is NNNN?

  155. Steve Goddard says:

    The Met Office Explains the difference between climate and seasonal forecasting here
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/in-depth/seasonalvclimate.html

    1. Different starting point fed into the models
    2. Climate forecasting averages the results

    How many models do you think there are? There are only a small handful of weather and climate models in widespread use.

  156. Steve Goddard (11:07:40) :
    The Met Office Explains the difference between climate and seasonal forecasting here
    So, you concede my point. Good!

    How many models do you think there are?
    The IPCC AR4 has a list, if memory serves.

  157. A C Osborn says:

    I believe that you are incapable of answering a simple question with a Yes or No.
    I can’t say you Lie, because you never answer the question directly, just change or redirect the subject.
    I believe You enjoy being obtuse and “running intillectual rings” around us ordinary folk instead of actually adding something worthwhile to the actual topic.
    I believe you “think” you are being very clever.
    You obviously do it to misdirect from the topic of the Post, as you have done in this case.
    Perhaps you care to contradict the WMO on this topic instead, or at least comment on the topic.

  158. Steve Goddard says:

    Leif,

    Nice try. Same computer models – different usage. Climate models are accurate at modeling the past, because they use empirically derived constants based on the past. Unfortunately they aren’t much use at predicting the future.

    Averaging two wrongs does not make a right.

  159. Steve Goddard (12:16:01) :
    Nice try. Same computer models – different usage. Climate models are accurate at modeling the past, because they use empirically derived constants based on the past.
    Not the same models. You may not have read your link carefully. Here is what it says:

    “Climate forecasts are started up to 150 years in the past and run on to about 100 years in the future. From this, we know that, in the years leading up to the present day, the output from the model accurately generates our climate history.”

    Unfortunately they aren’t much use at predicting the future.
    That we won’t know until after the fact.
    Study the book I referred you to before you dig your hole any deeper. Do you know what the time-step in a typical climate model is? One year? one month? one week? one day? one hour? one minute? …
    What is the NNNN.

  160. A C Osborn (11:56:00) :
    Perhaps you care to contradict the WMO on this topic instead, or at least comment on the topic.
    The WMO is very likely correct that “we cannot at this time conclusively identify anthropogenic signals in past tropical cyclone data”. But that we sort of knew already, so what is the use to comment further.

  161. Steve Goddard says:

    Leif,

    It is the same models, and you obviously didn’t read my last post.

    Of course they model the past accurately – they have tens of thousands of empirically derived constants based on past behaviour.

  162. Steve Goddard says:

    Leif,

    You do understand what the difference is between a computer model and the input parameters? The two most fundamental concepts in computer hardware and software are code and data. The model is code, and the input/output are data.

    You can run a climate model using any input data you want (different years, etc.) but it is still the same model – i.e. code.

  163. Poptech says:

    Leif Svalgaard (08:34:43) :

    “The models try to incorporate all we know, but the boundary between what is known and what is not yet known is fuzzy and we make progress by trying to see where we might get improvements. This is standard scientific protocol.”

    We cannot have 11 different sums of all climate knowledge. The fact is each incorporates their creators own theoretical exercises for what is not known. If it is not known, it cannot be modeled correctly and the results meaningless exercises. You cannot run an experiment in an imperfect laboratory in relation to the laws of nature.

  164. Poptech says:

    Leif,

    Can a computer be programmed to get whatever results you want?

  165. Poptech says:

    Leif you have confirmed my fears that the whole situation with computer modeling is worse than I thought. The scientists using them don’t have any remote understanding of the limitations of computer systems. You actually believe you can run experiments on computers.

  166. Poptech says:

    Global Warming: Forecasts by Scientists Versus Scientific Forecasts (PDF)
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 18, Numbers 7-8, pp. 997-1021, December 2007)
    – Keston C. Green, J. Scott Armstrong

    Useless Arithmetic: Ten Points to Ponder When Using Mathematical Models in Environmental Decision Making (PDF)
    (Public Administration Review, Volume 68, Issue 3, pp. 470-479, March 2008)
    – Linda Pilkey-Jarvis, Orrin H. Pilkey

  167. Steve Goddard (15:26:59) :
    It is the same models, and you obviously didn’t read my last post.
    Your last post was void of information. Speaking about people who do not care reading other people’s stuff: what is #NNNN?

    Of course they model the past accurately – they have tens of thousands of empirically derived constants based on past behaviour.
    No they do not. Educate yourself about this before shooting your mouth of.

    Poptech (15:42:20) :
    We cannot have 11 different sums of all climate knowledge.
    Of course we can. What I know is different from what you know. and people disagree as what is knowledge and what is supposition.

    Poptech (15:46:59) :
    Can a computer be programmed to get whatever results you want?
    No.

    Poptech (15:52:38) :
    You actually believe you can run experiments on computers.
    Absolutely, it is done all the time.

  168. Anthony Watts says:

    People, people, please.

    OK this has gone on long enough. Let’s leave it that we disagree on several points.

    Leif points out that “What I know is different from what you know. and people disagree as what is knowledge and what is supposition.”

    So lets disagree and move on. –

    Anthony

  169. Richard Sharpe says:

    Steve Goddard (15:36:23) said:

    Leif,

    You do understand what the difference is between a computer model and the input parameters? The two most fundamental concepts in computer hardware and software are code and data. The model is code, and the input/output are data.

    You can run a climate model using any input data you want (different years, etc.) but it is still the same model – i.e. code.

    Trying to teach your Grandma how to suck eggs, eh?

    I think that Leif knows a thing or two about computers, their programming and models.

  170. Poptech says:

    Leif Svalgaard (17:29:07) :

    Of course we can. What I know is different from what you know. and people disagree as what is knowledge and what is supposition.

    So there is clearly no sum of all climate knowledge if everyone disagrees.

    “Can a computer be programmed to get whatever results you want?
    No.”

    Are you serious? ROFLMAO!!!???? Please never use a computer again if you believe this! No offense Leif but your answer to this question shows you have no remote understanding of computers.

    UNBELIEVABLE!

  171. 1DandyTroll says:

    Anthony Watts

    What Leif point out is that he will keep believing in what he believe, and thats that.

    One can never reason with faith.

  172. 1DandyTroll says:

    @S.G. ‘Climate models are accurate at modeling the past, because they use empirically derived constants based on the past.’

    As far as I know no model have been able to recreate the past, especially not in any empirical fashion what so ever.. christ that’s been one of the biggest problem all along, not being able to recreate the past

  173. 1DandyTroll (18:21:53) :
    As far as I know no model have been able to recreate the past

    Then let Steve Goddard (15:26:59) tell you otherwise:
    “Of course they model the past accurately”

  174. Pamela Gray says:

    During the Pliocene era, North and South America connected up, essentially plugging up the Easterly versus Westerly trade wind influence on oceanic oscillations, as well as oceanic circulations (the only circular global oceanic stream we have left is the Antarctic Circulation). Land bridges that have come and gone, and come back again, have potentially major influences on oceanic and trade wind oscillation forcings on weather pattern variations. The fact that the Pliocene had both warm and cool stages indicates that a complex system of oceanic influences were at play, in a play ground peppered with continental land-bridge influences on equatorial conditions. So which played a more important part in both warming and cooling during this era, greenhouse gases building to a tipping point but then mysteriously going away, continental drift, or land bridges?

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/164679/earths_pliocene_epoch.html?cat=58

  175. Steve Goddard says:

    Dandy,

    Here are some comparisons of backcasted climate model predictions for the recent past. They are fairly accurate.

    http://www.applet-magic.com/IGCC01s.gif
    http://www.applet-magic.com/IGCC02s.gif
    http://www.applet-magic.com/IGCC03s.gif
    http://www.applet-magic.com/IGCC06s.gif

    Where they fail is with clouds. Even with empirically derived parameters they can not reproduce past cloudiness.
    http://www.applet-magic.com/IGCC05s.gif

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