Comparing IPCC 1990 predictions with 2011 data

Submitted by Dr. Clive Best

The first IPCC report in 1990 chaired by Prof. Houghton made a prediction for  a rise in global temperatures of 1.1 degrees C from 1990 until 2030. This prediction can now be compared with the actual data as measured up to now (May 2011).

Figure2: Comparison of yearly HadCru & UAH data with IPCC 1990 predictions

These results have been derived as described below. You can see the results here

http://clivebest.com/blog/?p=2208

regards

Dr Clive Best

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168 Responses to Comparing IPCC 1990 predictions with 2011 data

  1. G. Karst says:

    Anyone can make predictions!
    The hard part is being correct!
    It takes wisdom and courage, to keep ones head, while the rest of the world, is scrambling fearfully about. GK

  2. Steven Hill says:

    Looks like Government work, never correct.

  3. Duncan says:

    I’ve never been clear on what predicted concentrations of atmospheric CO2 drove those 3 red lines.
    I recall reading a comment from Steve McIntyre that the difference between Hansen’s scenario’s A and B (which bear an amazing resemblance to the IPCC’s business-as-usual and best-guess scenarios above) was due overwhelmingly to different assumptions of CFC concentrations over the time period.

    It would be interesting to know whether CO2 and aerosol predictions have proven to be far higher than what actually happened.

  4. Smokey says:

    The IPCC listens to climatologists, not engineers.

  5. mkelly says:

    Smokey says:
    June 9, 2011 at 12:23 pm
    The IPCC listens to climatologists, not engineers.

    I knew I got my ME degree for a good reason. And those were two of the best I have seen in a long time.

  6. Frederick Davies says:

    Climate FAIL Files candidate?

  7. John David Galt says:

    To what extent is “climatologist” defined as someone with a credential that requires approval from alarmists?

    I trust in science, but not in all who claim to practice it. Credentialing organizations which have been shown to be corrupt and are unwilling to fix it need to be replaced from the ground up. Until that happens, there are no trustworthy “authorities.” The people covering up Climategate need to learn the hard way that this means them.

  8. Frank K. says:

    They’re still looking for a more accurate version of the Navier-Stokes equations…[heh]

  9. climate creeper says:

    “Smokey says:
    June 9, 2011 at 12:23 pm
    The IPCC listens to climatologists, not engineers.”

    They do listen to engineers… as long as they are railroad engineers :)

  10. Pompous Git says:

    Smokey said @ June 9, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    “The IPCC listens to climatologists, not engineers.”

    And mountain guides, rather than glaciologists…

    http://gbpihed.gov.in/MoEF%20Dissussion%20Paper%20on%20Himalayan%20Glaciers.pdf

  11. The outputs from the models are an expression of the CO2 forced global warming hypothesis, and the outputs have been wrong for two decades. Robustly wrong.

    The hypothesis has been invalidated.

  12. Figure 1 from the cited article would have been clearer than figure two which still has a anomaly period offset.

    Suggest that you use figure 1 for a more informative presentation.

    The other thing that the author should do is present the actual GHG forcing over the period in question. that is, the 1990 forecast is contingent upon assumed emissions. So, you really cannot simply compare the forecast to the observations. Most NOTABLY the forecast did not foresee or take into account any volcanic eruptions.

    Simply: the forecast says : IF we see no volcanos after 1990, and IF the sun behaves as predicted, and IF the GHGs we putinto the atmosphere, THEN you will see temperatures go up like so.

    Well, the FIRST question you need to address BEFORE comparing the forecast to observations is the
    status of all those qualifiers. Were there volcanos? did the sun act as predicted? and did we emit GHGs as PROEJECTED.

    After you answer those questions, then you can start the comparison. That is one of the things that makes this kind of predicting very tough. The predictions are all CONDITIONAL. we dont control the experiment. this isnt like the lab and simple lab approaches miss the point and the complexity. Now, it can be done, but its just harder than what is presented.

  13. P Wilson says:

    even despite all these severely manipulated data sets, none of them make the IPCC forecasts.

    They could have tried harder to manipulate the data. Anyhow, these supercomputers and agencies + climatology departments cost an awful lot of money to come up with such poor and erroneous predictions.
    Its like Galileo confronting Giovanni de Medici who invented a dredging machine which he was very proud of. Galileo pointed out that whatever else it would do, it wouldn’t dredge.

  14. Al says:

    “It’s difficult to make predictions especially about the future” Yogi Berra

  15. P Wilson says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    “Simply: the forecast says : IF we see no volcanos after 1990, and IF the sun behaves as predicted, and IF the GHGs we putinto the atmosphere, THEN you will see temperatures go up like so.”

    Its all very tentative. The Met Office have been claioming for well over a decade that C02 is now the most dominant climatic factor. That means that all the others cannot offset the alleged effect of c02 on temperature. They make so much of the fact that solar forcing is a second to anthropogenic c02, which over-rides all other influences.

  16. BenfromMO says:

    To add to what Steven said, you can’t compare three scenario’s to reality anyway.

    Only one of them is true, because only one of them will fit reality well. So its all well and good that all three scenarios are wrong, but the best comparison is to simply put just compare the best guess to what we have today.

    As far as solar and volcanic influences go, I tend to disagree with this with what Steven was saying. You can always adjust the guesses for whichever scenario is seen to match reality. That is not a problem really, the key is finding out what the guesses were based on. (Which I think is the point Steven is really trying to make there.)

    I always thought the scenarios were rather retarded anyway. But maybe thats just me. Anyone who makes high claims of knowing the future tends to make themselves seem like an oracle, and I would probably trust one just as much.

    The future is always unknown. The current situation with the sun should prove that, and the effects of that are not going to be felt for a couple more years, but when they are felt…

  17. DirkH says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    June 9, 2011 at 1:22 pm
    “Simply: the forecast says : IF we see no volcanos after 1990, and IF the sun behaves as predicted, and IF the GHGs we putinto the atmosphere, THEN you will see temperatures go up like so.”

    If that is what the IPCC reports do – assume that there are no volcanic eruptions in the future – then WHY did ANYONE EVER take any of their projections and scenarios seriously? Because it means that that forecast is not a forecast for planet Earth.

  18. Spen says:

    Sorry to be objective but where is the GISS plot?

  19. Rhoda Ramirez says:

    Spen, possibly he forgot which circular file it landed in?

  20. dave38 says:

    Smokey says:
    June 9, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    The IPCC listens to climatologists, not engineers.

    sorry to disagree but they do listen to a railroad engineer!

  21. If as Mosh points out, the two temperature curves were shifted to go through the 1900 point, the low IPCC prediction looks right on.

  22. Mark Bowlin says:

    Steven Mosher says: “The predictions are all CONDITIONAL.”

    I appreciate your point Steve, but those predictions are being used to drive policy decisions with possibly profound consequences for the wealth and lifestyle of nations. The policymakers don’t seem to follow the caveats closely, and quite honestly, neither do many of the climatologists nor the AGW proponents. So, while bearing your conditions in mind, I think it’s still worthwhile to see a prima facie presentation of how those predictions stand a decade later.

  23. Julian in Wales says:

    Those graphs are damning, whatever the caveats about CFCs , volcanos and Sun behaviour. They were claiming their projections are an accurate assessment of what will happen in the future if we did not change our ways. We did not changed our ways, China and Indian economies have taken off, and the projections are right at the bottom of their predictions even after giving the most generous interpretations to their caveats.

    The caveats are wriggle room, and they have run out of wriggles.

  24. Matthew W. says:

    So, if you make enough guesses, you might be right (eventually)?

  25. Bob Kutz says:

    Hooray!

    All of our efforts to fight Global Warming are paying off!

    Time to kick back, enjoy the victory, put down our (solar) shields and our (wind generating) swords and enjoy the peace dividend; THE WAR ON CO2 IS OVER; WE’VE WON!

    We beat the IPCC best case scenario by 0.3C! That is an incredible accomplishment. See what we can do if we put our minds to it? Why, there’s nothing we can’t accomplish . . . now, maybe the AGW crowd can accept victory, thank their lucky stars we’re done with this nonsense, and go away and hide, thankful they’ve been slipped off the hook.

  26. David L says:

    I’d say that’s a big FAIL. Reality doesn’t even match their lower limit.

  27. Larry Hamlin says:

    The graphs are clear evidence that the climate models are garbage. Those that attempt to say the models shouldn’t be judged based on actual results, particularly since these faulty model temperature predictions are used to try and quantify degrees increase as a function of global CO2 level, are just dealing in deception. Those pushing these flawed models demand massive taxes and life changing impacts be imposed on the global population without regard to models results being “conditional”. That claim is just a load of baloney by climate alarmists to try and hide the huge magnitude of their failures.

  28. Phil's Dad says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 9, 2011 at 1:54 pm
    If as Mosh points out, the two temperature curves were shifted to go through the 1900 point, the low IPCC prediction looks right on.

    Except that if the starting point is lowered in that way the slope would have to increase in order to hit their predicted 2030 targets – so it ends up looking even more alarmist in the long run and even less like reality.

  29. Duncan says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 9, 2011 at 1:54 pm
    If as Mosh points out, the two temperature curves were shifted to go through the 1900 point, the low IPCC prediction looks right on.

    1990, not 1900.
    But the numbers are different for 1990 too, because he’s graphing anomalies from different base periods. That’s why Mosh told him to use figure 1; that clear shows all 3 sets starting at the same point and both HadCrut and UAH well below the lowest of the 3 predictions.

  30. Doug S says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    June 9, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    After you answer those questions, then you can start the comparison. That is one of the things that makes this kind of predicting very tough. The predictions are all CONDITIONAL.

    Steve, you make good points but remember how the average taxpayer has heard the “debate”. “The science is settled”, “The science is robust”, “We must act now”. Well it turns out the science was far from settled and there were/are more unknowns than knowns. I’m sorry but it all adds up to a giant FAIL for Gore, Mann and company. I’d like to see prosecutions of the people who pushed this farce on us and misused taxpayer funds.

  31. Eric Anderson says:

    steve mosher,

    You make a good point about conditions. However, even if we determine that the conditions were not met over the timeframe, it does *not* give us any reason to believe that the predictions would have been correct if the conditions had been met. At most we could say that the predictions might have been correct had all the conditions obtained.

    Also, as others have pointed out, there are important policy implications flowing from the predicted outcome scenarios, and the scenarios have turned out wrong. So at the very least we currently *do* know the following: either (i) the predictions were wrong (even with correct conditions), or (ii) the assumed conditions were wrong. Either way, it should give plenty of pause for anyone considering policy action based on the predictions. It should also serve as a lesson that the assumptions, and error bars around all those assumptions, need to be clearly laid out when predictions are made, much more clearly than was initially done.

  32. Genghis says:

    It is my understanding that CO2 concentrations exceeded the projections, volcanic emissions have a most been transitory and the Suns output has been relatively steady. The proper projection is the high projection and it has clearly failed.

    If the prediction fails, which it has, then the hypothesis behind the prediction is wrong. CO2 induced warming is a failed hypothesis. QED

  33. NikFromNYC says:

    Here is another version of that chart, based on Hansen ’88 vs. UAH:

    http://oi52.tinypic.com/30bfktk.jpg

    I like to check my work. I didn’t make the chart except to extract only scenario A and C and omit B, plus extend the UAH curve. Let’s overlap it with today’s chart above:

    http://oi54.tinypic.com/x1x6pl.jpg

    The match of the lowest blue and green lines (mine and yours) is not great, but substituting yours doesn’t change the conclusion: actual T is below the best case scenario. I’m not totally happy with my version now, but will still use it until I have time to make a better version. I forgot where I got the original chart, but think it was a post here.

  34. Anthony says:

    And also the scary thing is hasnt HADCRUT been adjusted? The actual margin could be even more.

    Looks like an epic fail to me. Now we can see how hard Hansen is adjusting GISS to try and get it moving northward, so far off UAH it isnt funny.

  35. Mark says:

    Steven M’s view seems too forgiving to me. When an IPCC prediction is new it is heralded far and wide, not just in the media (who don’t include any caveats or qualifiers) but also by climate scientists in op eds, speeches, interviews etc. While one might argue to give the media a pass for propagating incorrectly simplified viewpoints, the alarmist climate scientists know better and are expected to include the caveats and qualifiers whenever the data is communicated (because these are a part of the data). But the alarmists don’t because it doesn’t help them tell the predetermined story they wish to sell.

    My view is that it would be wrong (and anti-truth) to let them to have it both ways. If they choose to leave the caveats and qualifiers buried when trumpeting the model’s dire predictions, then when ‘judgment day’ for the model comes around, they shouldn’t be allowed to dig up the qualifiers and dust them off in an attempt to somehow lessen the apparent degree of the model’s failure. The 1990 IPCC model missed by a country mile and based on how they chose to play the data in the 90s, I”m in no mood to grant any qualifying fig leaves.

  36. Phil's Dad says:

    Yes, Duncan’s response (June 9, 2011 at 2:53 pm) was probably clearer than mine. As President Mosher says use the graph in figure1 but…

    If you are making a prediction of DeltaT in 1990 then all your lines should pass through 0 at 1990 (red, blue and green in this case) because all DeltaT should be relative to the T prevailing at the moment of the prediction. If that is done than the slope(s) on the red line(s) must increase to reach the IPCC predicted 1.3 / 2.0 / 2.8 by 2030 and the “low” prediction would not then correspond to the empirical data for the same period any more than in figure 2.

  37. Brian Cooper says:

    Has the Hadcrut & UAH data gone through the Met office Data Spa yet for it massage and pedicure. Your date seems old and tired, Needs to be refreshened and UPlifted.

  38. Peter says:

    With respect, doesn’t the failure of these predictions also point to a failure of the notion that climate is somehow deterministic? Shouldn’t we revisit the view that climate is essentially chaotic and, therefor, unpredictable?

  39. Septic Matthew says:

    Steven Mosher wrote: The predictions are all CONDITIONAL.

    Now that we know what the actual values of those variables were during that time, can we (can somebody?) run the model from 1990 onward to see what the model prediction is? Has this been done?

  40. Pompous Git says:

    Mosh is of course correct that Hansen’s predictions were ceteris paribus; all scientific predictions are. That said, can you imagine the reaction of a bookmaker when asked to pay off on a bet when the horse lost, because,ceteris paribus, it should have won?

  41. Tilo Reber says:

    Mosher: “Simply: the forecast says : IF we see no volcanos after 1990, and IF the sun behaves as predicted, and IF the GHGs we putinto the atmosphere, THEN you will see temperatures go up like so.”

    Shouldn’t those ifs be covered by having an upper and lower range. Why would anyone make predictions based upon there being no volcanos? Where did we get the idea that we could predict what the sun will do? We have never been able to do that. Just look at the range of predictions that came out about solar cycle 24. It was absolutely all over the map.

    “That is one of the things that makes this kind of predicting very tough. ”

    Then why are people taking credit for doing that which they cannot do?

  42. Tilo Reber says:

    Leif: “If as Mosh points out, the two temperature curves were shifted to go through the 1900 point, the low IPCC prediction looks right on.”

    Leif, I’m still waiting for an answer from you on another tread. What do you think about Mann using climate proxies upside down?

  43. KnR says:

    You people are forgetting the first rule of climate modeling, if reality and the model differ its reality which is wrong . Therefore the model predictions are correct , its the numbers seen in reality which are wrong .

  44. nevket240 says:

    Can someone let SMc know we have another divergence issue.

    Steve Mosher.( this isnt like the lab and simple lab approaches miss the point and the complexity. )
    Good point!! So, why not stop all the BS attention grabbing headlines, data manipulation, Government intervention and tax theft etc, etc, etc, until such time as someone comes up with an ACCURATE forecast that is not based on politico//religious wankerism. EH??

    regards

  45. PaulH says:

    These jokers were dead flat wrong. Can we finally stop wasting time and money on them, please? Aw, who am I kidding…
    /sarc

  46. Jimbo says:

    Mosher,
    I do so wish that Alarmists would state the qualifiers before sending out alarmist press releases.

    From you explanation I get the idea that nature is a more powerfull temperature supressant than previously thought. :O)

  47. Gary Crough says:

    It is not just the IPCC AS1 (Assessment Report 1) but AS2 and TAR (Third Assessment Report) that have been proven incorrect. AS4 provides a graph of the 1st three IPCC global climate projections…
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch1s1-2.html
    It seems to me that IPCC documents make the best argument there is against putting much confidence in any IPCC claim. Just go back and look at their predictions. They are all wrong … current global temperatures are below the IPCC “best case” (coolest) projections.

    What are the odds the IPCC is providing honest and competent forecasts but global temperatures fell below their coolest projections … not just for AS1 but also for AS2 and for TAR? Perhaps someone can take up the challenge of posting AGW predictions (especially from the IPCC) along with an update on their status because it seems to me that IPCC forecasts of mass migrations due to rising sea levels, increased hurricanes and melting glaciers were also proved incorrect by Mother Nature?

  48. RockyRoad says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    June 9, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    … The predictions are all CONDITIONAL. we dont control the experiment. this isnt like the lab and simple lab approaches miss the point and the complexity.

    I’d say rather than “experiment” (especially with computer-putz’d models), take your CONDITIONAL (your emphasis) predictions out of the lab and apply it to the real world and sure enough (as you point out)–it completely (my emphasis) misses the point and the complexity.

    Yet here is this august body of world-renouned poly-sci climsci “specialists” and “soothsayers” giving their shot at predicting the future of climate and the bottom line is the CONDITIONS didn’t match up–why, there should have been more CO2; the Sun wasn’t cooperating; the modeling computer was turgid; etc. etc. etc. (I’m shaking my head here.)

    Why don’t we all just be honest and send ‘em a rejection letter and recommend they flip burgers instead of foist their projections on a world too plastic to resist. Just THINK of the money they would have saved the world (not to mention the number of lives lost trying to fight a climate change ghost) if they’d have just said “We dunno”. CONDITIONAL or not, that’s the only pronouncement that’s accurate.

  49. Jimbo says:

    I am going to go out on a limb and make a prediction.

    Between now and the year 2100 the sun will behave differently and volcanoes will erupt and the IPCCs scenarios will be all wrong.

  50. Jimbo says:

    Would I be correct in assuming that policy decisions are being made on the assumption that volcanoes will no longer erupt or that the Sun will remain steady for the next 89 years!? This is insane (unless I’ve missed an important point).

  51. ImranCan says:

    The analysis is not relevant. Observational data is not relevant. All thatmatters is that the models continue to show that the results are worse than previously predicted.

    Get with the programme. Please !

  52. P Wilson says:
    June 9, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    Steven Mosher says:
    “Simply: the forecast says : IF we see no volcanos after 1990, and IF the sun behaves as predicted, and IF the GHGs we putinto the atmosphere, THEN you will see temperatures go up like so.”

    Its all very tentative. The Met Office have been claioming for well over a decade that C02 is now the most dominant climatic factor. That means that all the others cannot offset the alleged effect of c02 on temperature. They make so much of the fact that solar forcing is a second to anthropogenic c02, which over-rides all other influences.

    It’s not tentative. It’s contingent. If you eat a 5000 calorie diet of lard for a year, you will put on 50 lbs. That’s not tentative. That’s a conditional prediction. As Far as what the Met Office says, its NOT a matter of offsetting ALL the effect of C02. But if you are going to test a prediction you must take certain effects into account. Like a huge dip in temps due to a volcano. So, if instead of eating 5000 calories a day you eat 4000, and you excercise 500 calories per day, you really cant test the claim “If you eat a 5000 calorie diet of lard for a year, you will put on 50 lbs” If you ate 4000 and exercised 500, and only put on 38lbs, what can you say about the original forecast?
    not much.

  53. Well jimbo, In Ar4 they ran models forward with a HIGH solar forcing. You could run them with both extremes.
    For volcanos, its simple. The average over 100 years doesnt include any cooling (temporary) from volcanos. I dont think we want to count on volcanos to keep us less warm.

  54. RockyRoad,

    we often have to make conditional predictions because we cannot control certain things.
    If your wife spends more than you make, you will go broke.
    The math governing that is clear. What’s not clear is whether you can control the spending.
    in most since we can do CONTROLLED experiments. Here we cannot,

  55. Charlie A says:

    The headpost is an advocacy piece, not a unbiased review. It wouldn’t much work to improve the quality of the article.

    As Steve Mosher suggests, use Figure 1 from the author’s blog, which adjusts the starting point of the smoothed anomaly temp series to match the starting point of the 1990 prediction/projection. see http://clivebest.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/normalised.png

    It would also be nice to see the actual observed atmospheric CO2 concentrations vs. the scenarios used by the IPCC. Or even better, a comparison of the estimated CO2 emissions vs. the scenarios. In Hansen’s recent paper he notes that while emissions have been above the nominal AR4 projection, that the fraction of CO2 remaining in the atmosphere is below the estimates.

    If someone wants to look at a serious comparison of AR4 projections vs observed temperatures, a good place is Lucia’s Blackboard, http://rankexploits.com/musings/2011/noaa-ncdc-april-warmer-than-march/

  56. Leigh says:

    Thank you Dr Best. In the previous post on the latest UAH data, I mentioned a comparison with a predicted 0.3C per decade line, but you have done much better by comparing against actual IPCC predictions.

  57. Frank K. says:

    Steve Mosher is correct – to do a proper comparison you need to know a priori what the boundary conditions and source terms (aka “forcings”) are over the time period in question. This, of course, suggests that (1) climate is NOT a “boundary value problem” (since you never really know all the “boundary values” anyway), (2) climate models are mathematically ill-posed as they are currently formulated, and (3) when you do get a “solution” you can sometimes tune it get your hindcast right. And a good hindcast is all you need set policy decisions for the next 50 years,,,

  58. Theo Goodwin says:

    steven mosher says:
    June 9, 2011 at 5:37 pm
    “Well jimbo, In Ar4 they ran models forward with a HIGH solar forcing. You could run them with both extremes.
    For volcanos, its simple. The average over 100 years doesnt include any cooling (temporary) from volcanos. I dont think we want to count on volcanos to keep us less warm.”

    All this says is that you are not willing to take into account phenomena in the real world that are far more easily predicted than the warming caused by manmade CO2, something that remains a total mystery – except in the minds of the Gaia modelers. All predictions must be about the real world. You have no plans for making predictions about the real world.

  59. Theo Goodwin says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    June 9, 2011 at 1:22 pm
    “… The predictions are all CONDITIONAL. we dont control the experiment. this isnt like the lab and simple lab approaches miss the point and the complexity.”

    This is an equivocation on the word “conditional.” All of us know that predictions are conditional. The complaint against you and other Gaia Modelers is that you do not have a clue what the conditions are. In other words, when you specify the conditions in your conditionals, they always turn out to be laughable. That is because you do no real world research that could reveal what the conditions are. You rely totally on your vision of one grand whole Gaia Model, a metaphysical fantasy if ever there was one.

  60. Theo Goodwin says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    June 9, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    “The other thing that the author should do is present the actual GHG forcing over the period in question. that is, the 1990 forecast is contingent upon assumed emissions. So, you really cannot simply compare the forecast to the observations. Most NOTABLY the forecast did not foresee or take into account any volcanic eruptions.

    Simply: the forecast says : IF we see no volcanos after 1990, and IF the sun behaves as predicted, and IF the GHGs we putinto the atmosphere, THEN you will see temperatures go up like so.”

    This is the most ill informed comment on prediction I have ever encountered. That is saying a lot. Mosher says that you cannot compare the forecast to the observations. The whole purpose of a forecast is to compare it to observations. Then in the second paragraph, Mosher treats the conditions in his conditional statement as excuses for the statement failing to agree with observations. That is a perverse interpretation of the statement. When you are using a conditional statement in a prediction, it is assumed that you have assigned a value to each condition that you fully expect to find realized in the world. Again, let me emphasize, to attempt to use the conditions as excuses for the falsehood of the prediction is perverse. It renders the concept of prediction totally empty of meaning.

    To put this in plain terms, Mosher, no one cares if the temperatures go up given that everything behaves as you say it will; that is, no volcanoes after 1990, sun behaves as predicted, and GHGs etc. Mosher, what we care about is your claim that the world will be a certain way (no volcanoes after 1990, sun behaves as predicted, and GHGs etc.) and the temperature will go up. If you are willing to concede that you do not know about the conditions in your conditional, then who would care about the claim in the consequent that temperatures will go up?

  61. Deanster says:

    Last I heard, Climate is a “chaotic” system. ….. and chaotic means unpredictable ….. so this whole exercise of trying to predict the future climate is rather futile.

  62. jorgekafkazar says:

    Pompous Git says: “Mosh is of course correct that Hansen’s predictions were ceteris paribus; all scientific predictions are. That said, can you imagine the reaction of a bookmaker when asked to pay off on a bet when the horse lost, because,ceteris paribus, it should have won?”

    Okay, PG, next time Ceteris Paribus runs at Pimlico, I’ll put a C note on him to finish in the money.

  63. Carolina Skeptic says:

    Steve Mosher,
    I then presume that the SCOTUS decision to give Lisa Jackson and the EPA authority to regulate CO2 as a pollutant, justified primarily on IPCC studies, is conditional on there being no volcanic activity in the future. Can we consider that ruling now null and void? /sarc
    Kidding aside, I see your point but as others have said here; your observation is more relevant in an academic as contrasted to a policy discussion. The latter is where the battle is being fought.

  64. Tilo Reber says:
    June 9, 2011 at 3:50 pm
    Leif, I’m still waiting for an answer from you on another tread. What do you think about Mann using climate proxies upside down?
    Must have missed it. Mann probably has his reasons [e.g. it fits better that way]. I have no particular opinion about his ‘work’. Other people have commented enough on it, I reckon. To comment on his work I would have to get access to all his data and do the analysis for myself. Then [and only then] would I be qualified to judge.

  65. Bill Illis says:

    Pinatubo’s impact was fully dissappated by 1997 or so. There is no long-term change from Pinatubo, so this issue is a red herring for 2010 an 2011.

    And the Sun, well, there is virtually no change in the solar irradiance making it to the Earth over the period, especially when one considers that the change is divided by 4 for the Earth being a sphere and we should reduce it to 70% because 30% of whatever change there is, is just reflected away. This what IPCC Far assumed.

    There is virtually no change in the other big forcing group Aerosols, from 1990 to 2010. This was the expectation of Far as well.

    CO2, however, is little lower today than the IPCC Far in the Business as Usual or Best scenario. The predicted CO2 level for 2000, for example, was 373 ppm while it ended up at 369 ppm. So not much difference really , a tiny amount lower than the BEST, business as usual estimate (they didn’t understand at the time the absorption by plants, oceans and soils would keep up with emissions). There is one other difference in that the forcing from CO2 was calculated at 6.3 ln(C/Co) versus today’s 5.35 ln(C/Co). But that is not an excuse, it just means they were wrong before.

    So, the BEST projection is perfectly applicable, despite what others say, with no actual information apparently.

    If you want more detailed information, go here.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/far/wg_I/ipcc_far_wg_I_chapter_02.pdf

    So, plug away Dr. Best. But the pro-AGW people do not like it when really good information like this is presented. So there will be cirticism to come.

  66. Anything is possible says:

    Deanster says:
    June 9, 2011 at 6:48 pm
    “Last I heard, Climate is a “chaotic” system. ….. and chaotic means unpredictable ….. so this whole exercise of trying to predict the future climate is rather futile”

    ________________________________________________________________________________________

    Word. Chapter and verse.

  67. Mat L says:

    There are some serious flaws in Clive’s graph:

    1) If Clive is comparing temperature prediction with observation from 1990, then blue and green lines should be moved up to meet red lines AT 1990. This also corrects the HadCrut and UAH offsets (they use different reference temperatures).

    2) Clive should not “Assume a linear extrapolating to May 2011:” as no IPCC modeling predicts linear temperature increase. It is very clear from 1990 graphs that temperature was predicted to accelerate mid century, meaning slower temperature increases now and lower gradient red lines.

    3) Clive should not use 2011 data as it will have a cooling bias because the Northern Hemisphere summer temps are not yet in.

    After these corrections are made, observed warming falls well within 1990 IPCC predictions – amazing for such a complex system.

  68. Duncan says:

    Mat L says:
    June 9, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    There are some serious flaws in Clive’s graph:

    “After these corrections are made, observed warming falls well within 1990 IPCC predictions – amazing for such a complex system.”

    No they don’t. As faulty as that graph is, you’d have to really cherry pick your start date to get recent temperatures close to the IPCC scenarios – 1990 wouldn’t do it for you.

  69. Alvin says:

    With all the natural sources of CO2 around, I haven’t seen any plans by warmists to begin plugging volcanoes.

  70. Couple of recent quotes from Dr. Svalgaard:
    If as Mosh points out, the two temperature curves were shifted to go through the 1900 point, the low IPCC prediction looks right on.
    Mann probably has his reasons [e.g. it fits better that way]. I have no particular opinion about his ‘work’. Other people have commented enough on it, I reckon. To comment on his work I would have to get access to all his data and do the analysis for myself. Then [and only then] would I be qualified to judge.

    Does anybody have any doubts now that Dr. Svalgaard is running with the hare and hunting with the hounds?
    Both the wolves have eaten much and the sheep have not been touched!

  71. Mooloo says:

    After these corrections are made, observed warming falls well within 1990 IPCC predictions – amazing for such a complex system.

    You’re kidding, right? Firstly it clearly doesn’t fall within predictions, but we’ll let that slide.

    If I was asked to project the temperatures back in 1990 and I had predicted a linear increase based on the 1900 to 1990 increase, how much worse would that have been than the IPCC predictions?

    That is the absolutely most naive prediction possible (no change in rate of increase) would have beaten the most sophisticated preditions of scientists. Now that is actually “amazing”!

  72. Edim says:

    The whitewash from Steven Mosher is CHEEP!

    That was one of the biggest points from sceptics:

    That, even IF there is some significant warming effect from CO2, it is easily overwhelmed by natural factors/variations, therefore irrelevant.

  73. Edim says:

    Sorry, CHEAP!

  74. Venter says:

    The IPCC and Climate science are crying our loud that CO2 induced by humans is the cause of the temperature rise and policymakers are going around spending millions and imposing taxes on that basis. All that was based on the so called models. It’s bloody stupid to come and give academic bullshit about model projections being conditional on other factors. Go tell the world first that CO2 is not a demon and not to trust the models to make predictions just on CO2 alone and to stop all talk of ” carbon mitigation “. Because, in the real world, policy affecting millions and costing trillions are being made based upon ” carbon ” being a pollutant and being the only reason for CAGW due to these bloody models you modellers idolise about. Get real, you bloody modellers. You are the culprits here who have caused this situation today when people are suffering due to your modelling.

  75. The biggest issue here is that figure 2 is still being shown when the text makes clear that figure 1 is the correct figure to show. Figure 2 is misleading.

  76. Look fellows, I am all in favor of comparing the forecasts to the observations. But it has to be done in a much more technically competent way. Lucia has been doing it for some time.
    1. Put the right chart in this post.
    2. understand your opponents BEST argument and defeat that.
    3. I believe these are energy balance models being looked at. that’s not really sensible to use them since they have no uncertainty. use GCMs, look at what Lucia does, attack the BEST argument and dont misrepresent.

    I think what you will see is that the models look like they are systematically a little hot.

  77. steven mosher says:
    June 9, 2011 at 10:35 pm
    The biggest issue here is that figure 2 is still being shown when the text makes clear that figure 1 is the correct figure to show. Figure 2 is misleading.
    As you asked: “what’s the speed of dark?” Many people [e.g. Mr Feht] simply don’t get it.

  78. Tilo Reber says:
    June 9, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Mosher: “Simply: the forecast says : IF we see no volcanos after 1990, and IF the sun behaves as predicted, and IF the GHGs we putinto the atmosphere, THEN you will see temperatures go up like so.”

    Shouldn’t those ifs be covered by having an upper and lower range. Why would anyone make predictions based upon there being no volcanos? Where did we get the idea that we could predict what the sun will do? We have never been able to do that. Just look at the range of predictions that came out about solar cycle 24. It was absolutely all over the map.

    1. The sun: The IPCC can make recommendations about the solar forcing that the 20 or so models use. in AR4 some groups used a straight line forward.. basically a “high” number. Some groups tried to use a nominal 11 year cycle. So if you had time and money enough to study this parametrically you would.
    2. Volcanos, actually in AR5 I think they are going to do some kind of tests around this. But the point is this. In the case presented above the observations had a big plunge down. Not predictable. of course the temp recovers, but the start of your curve is pegged lower.

    The reason you would make the prediction with no volcanos is simple. 1 you cant predict them. 2. The effect doesnt last long. 3. you cant count on them to keep things cool. BUT if you are interested in TESTING a prediction, then having a volcano in the observations makes a fair test harder, ESPECIALLY if the incident happend at either end of the test period and your looking at trends

  79. Blade says:

    steven mosher [June 9, 2011 at 5:41 pm] says:

    If your wife spends more than you make, you will go broke … The math governing that is clear.

    Upon reading this analogy, the very first thing that entered my mind is what about the wife’s salary?

    I feel that this immediate questioning of the given scenario *is* the scientific approach, and these days is only to be found on the ‘skeptical’ side of the debate. This is opposed to what I would categorize as the static or linear or assumptive approach that Mr. Mosher appears to have offered, and IMHO is the hallmark of AGW thinking.

    So what I see here is the immediate dismissal of all possible variables that may impact the conclusion, I call it input smoothing, a trademark of AGW. The result is graphs that plot wild-assed guess far into the future. Graphs that by definition get less accurate as they move forward because of the introduction of countless new variables along the way. Not to mention the fact that the function itself is corrupt because inputs were dismissed as being irrelevant or insignificant, or were just not thought of yet.

    Besides the wife’s salary (dismissed variable), what if I get a raise? What if I get a 2nd job? What if we hit the lottery? What if we get a smaller house and our expenses are reduced? Negative feedbacks etc,. Or we might buy an electric car and blow a bigger hole in the budget (an ultra-positive feedback in the given scenario).

    Fortunately for Steve, I will not let the old lady address any possible implied sexism in the comment! (“down honey! no computer tonight!“) ;-)

  80. Buffoon says:

    The base message is, if you model something and your model doesn’t prove predictive, you model did not contain enough factors.

    Did volcanos happen? Then volcanos are part reality, and should be quantifiably predicted in the model, because they will effect the (real) output the model is emulating. And since we can’t predict volcanos, then we can’t predict their effect on the climate, and thus we can’t predict the climate. That is just one unmodeled factor that can be identified. It cannot be pretended (as modern climatology does) that an incomplete abstraction is representative, predictive or justified if it is inherently lacking identified factors.

    It might sound ridiculous when you put it that way, but it’s no less ridiculous than saying “if you take out all these chaotic factors, then we get a predictive model.”

    And exactly why “they can’t predict the weather, why could they predict the climate” is a valid argument.

  81. If people want to know what was projected for BAU…

    Emissions Scenarios
    Prepared by the IPCC Response Strategies Working Group. 1990
    Available from US Environmental Protection Agency, Global Climate Change Division, 401 M Street S.W., Washington D.C. 20460, USA

    Somebody should write and ask for it

  82. Jordan says:

    Steven Mosher says “Most NOTABLY the forecast did not foresee or take into account any volcanic eruptions.”

    Hansen et al Section 4.2 discusses stratospheric aerosols. There are no volcanos in Scenario A (described as an extreme case) and some assumptions of El Chichon scale events in Scenarios B and C.

    Figure 2 suggest that the resulting attenuation in radiative forcing is short-lived. Ongoing differences between the scenarios are probably then due to accumulation of warming due to assumed positive feedack.

    In the climate prediction game, reporters have a habit of pointing to a particular “realisation” and claiming skill. At the same time, they distance themselves from other realisations on arguments that they were “CONDITIONAL” on unforseen events.

    But a fortunate prediction as-of today can just as easily be shown to be wrong in a few years time when those pesky “CONDITIONS” come along to spoil the party. So claims of skill are, at best, tentative and short-lived.

    I roll a dice and I suggest six possible “realisations”. When the outcome is a ’2′, do I claim credit for being a good forecaster, while playing-down the other five predictions because they were CONDITIONAL on events which did not happen. To have claimed that credit, I would have have just set myself up for a fall on the next few rolls of the dice.

    The question is what is the purpose and value of this type of exercise?

  83. the other problem with this post is this.

    “Based on the IPCC Business as Usual scenarios, the energy-balance upwelling diffusion model with best judgement parameters yields estimates of global warming from pre-industrial times (taken to be 1765) to the year 2030 between 1.3°C and 2.8″C, with a best estimate of 2 0°C This corresponds to a predicted rise from 1990 of 0.7-1.5°C with a best estimate of 1.1C. “

    Prediction: 1990 to 2030 –> 0.7 – 1.5 degrees C

    So what is this saying. The BAU scenario in 1990 ( see page 333 FAR) is pretty extreme.
    C02 was projected UNDER BAU to reach 400 ppm by 2010. we are less than that
    Methane was projected under BAU to be substantially higher than it actually turned out to be.
    So basically the reason why the projections are HIGH is that the emission scenario was HIGH. In reality we havent put out as much C02 or methane as THIS scenario contemplated. So, of course, its high.

    The other thing you can see is THIS. 1990-2030 is 40 years. there low end projection for a HIGH emissions scenario ( BAU is HIGH) is .7C in 40 years… that’s what .17C per decade. Which is just about at the center
    of the current projections.
    The point is you cant project emissions very well, You can only build scenarios.. and then conclude, we cannot afford to pump that much (BAU) GHGs into the air.

    So, go have a look at the actual FAR. If we want to be critical of the models you better do things right.

  84. richard verney says:

    Anthony

    Is it possible to add to this post FIgure I or a link to Figure 1 ?

    Can you also provide the CO2 emission assumptionbs behind each of the three model predictions?
    This will go someway to allowing people to consider the points raised by Steven Mosher. Alternatively, Steven could provide this data along with his comments.

    Perhaps Steven will tell us what he estimates the forcing/cooling caused by Krakatoa and what the end of 19th century temperatures would have looked like but for that event..

    Thanks .

  85. RR Kampen says:

    Back then, there were no cars.

  86. Philip Shehan says:

    It would have been much more helpful (or less misleading) if you had shown Fig 1 of Best’s link where he corrects for different data offsets and which support his conclusion:

    Conclusions

    Following a gradual rise of about 0.2 degrees from 1990 to 2000, global temperatures have stopped increasing and have actually fallen slightly. The only IPCC prediction which remains consistent with the current data is the lower prediction of a 0.7 degree rise from 1990 to 2030. The “Best” IPCC estimate and the higher 1.5 degree rise are ruled out by the data.

    As it stands the figure you present is bing highlighted on Andrew Bolt’s website where people are claiming this shows that the IPCC has it all wrong:

    More spin and idiocy from the data denying lefty trolls is expected.
    The data deniers will be in full scream today.
    Always good for a laugh.
    I’ve linked to similar charts for some time on this and other blogs. All they can do is reflexively deny that Hansen’s and other’s models continue to diverge from reality.
    So, data deniers, please provide some more merriment. More expressions of blind faith welcome.

    Keith of Canberra (Reply)
    Fri 10 Jun 11 (06:58am)

  87. EternalOptimist says:

    Isn’t life funny.
    We get told that the science is settled, the models are verified, the data is not fiddled , snow will soon be a rare event and there is a consensus.
    When we say ‘but this isnt like the lab and simple lab approaches miss the point and the complexity’, we get villified, called deniers and they make videos of children deniers exploding in bloody tatters.

    Then when the original predictions are out by a mile ,Steve says ‘ this isnt like the lab and simple lab approaches miss the point and the complexity.’

    maybe, just maybe, we were right all along.

  88. Michael Schaefer says:

    Linear projections for chaotic systems are silly from the onset, anyway – even more so, as Earth’s climate is proven to be governed by an unknown number of self-regulating factors – proof of which is the simple fact that we still do exist because, otherwise, this cozy planet would have turned into a glazing, smothering, hostile-to-life, Venus-like Hell long since.

    This little-noticed fact alone should be sufficient to completely disqualify and dismiss the linear IPCC-projections already.

  89. RR Kampen says:

    This page does the job: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/01/2010-updates-to-model-data-comparisons/ .
    Dr. Best is actually looking at the Hansen predictions of 1988. Of them, RealClimate comes to a comparable conclusion:

    As stated last year, the Scenario B in that paper is running a little high compared with the actual forcings growth (by about 10%) (and high compared to A1B), and the old GISS model had a climate sensitivity that was a little higher (4.2ºC for a doubling of CO2) than the best estimate (~3ºC).
    -
    The trends for the period 1984 to 2010 (the 1984 date chosen because that is when these projections started), scenario B has a trend of 0.27+/-0.05ºC/dec (95% uncertainties, no correction for auto-correlation). For the GISTEMP and HadCRUT3, the trends are 0.19+/-0.05 and 0.18+/-0.04ºC/dec (note that the GISTEMP met-station index has 0.23+/-0.06ºC/dec and has 2010 as a clear record high).
    As before, it seems that the Hansen et al ‘B’ projection is likely running a little warm compared to the real world. Repeating the calculation from last year, assuming (again, a little recklessly) that the 27 yr trend scales linearly with the sensitivity and the forcing, we could use this mismatch to estimate a sensitivity for the real world. That would give us 4.2/(0.27*0.9) * 0.19=~ 3.3 ºC.

  90. Michael Schaefer says:

    steven mosher says:
    June 9, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    the other problem with this post is this.

    “Based on the IPCC Business as Usual scenarios, the energy-balance upwelling diffusion model with best judgement parameters yields estimates of global warming from pre-industrial times (taken to be 1765) to the year 2030 between 1.3°C and 2.8″C, with a best estimate of 2 0°C This corresponds to a predicted rise from 1990 of 0.7-1.5°C with a best estimate of 1.1C. “

    Prediction: 1990 to 2030 –> 0.7 – 1.5 degrees C

    So what is this saying. The BAU scenario in 1990 ( see page 333 FAR) is pretty extreme.
    C02 was projected UNDER BAU to reach 400 ppm by 2010. we are less than that
    Methane was projected under BAU to be substantially higher than it actually turned out to be.
    So basically the reason why the projections are HIGH is that the emission scenario was HIGH. In reality we havent put out as much C02 or methane as THIS scenario contemplated. So, of course, its high.

    The other thing you can see is THIS. 1990-2030 is 40 years. there low end projection for a HIGH emissions scenario ( BAU is HIGH) is .7C in 40 years… that’s what .17C per decade. Which is just about at the center
    of the current projections.
    The point is you cant project emissions very well, You can only build scenarios.. and then conclude, we cannot afford to pump that much (BAU) GHGs into the air.

    So, go have a look at the actual FAR. If we want to be critical of the models you better do things right.
    ——————————————————————————————————————–

    Well, to be precise, the rise in temperature from 1765 until doday exactly follows the curve describing Earth’s climate’s recovery from the little Ice-Age.
    Therefore, NO rise in temperature can clearly and doubtlessly be attributed to ANY rise in CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere, whatsoever – be it man-made or be it caused by natural sources.
    So, go have a look at the actual FACTS. If you want to be critical of the comments of other posters you better do things right.

  91. Edim says:

    “So basically the reason why the projections are HIGH is that the emission scenario was HIGH. In reality we havent put out as much C02 or methane as THIS scenario contemplated. So, of course, its high.”

    There was NO reduction in CO2 emissions. CO2 emissions are in mass units, not in ppm. Another very important sceptical point regarding AGW was (and is) that CO2 mass balnce in the atmosphere according to consensus is wrong. We are still far away from estimating all natural and anthropogenic inputs/outputs with any accuracy/certainty. We don’t know how anthropogenic CO2 emissions impact atmospheric CO2 concentration. To know that, one would have to know all inputs/outputs.

    We can emit a lot of CO2 and atmospheric CO2 concentration can still decrease, because natural fluxes are overwhelming.

  92. Ryan says:

    The temperature readings don’t meet the projections because Kyoto was a great agreement, the IPCC is doing a fanatastic job and it should get more money and campaign longer and louder. Obvious isn’t it? /SARC OFF.

  93. aaron says:

    Steve Mosher,

    I don’t think we want to count on a dearth of volcanoes keeping us warm.

  94. aaron says:

    What’s the speen of dark?

    I don’t know, but the speed of darkness is a good Flogging Molly album.

  95. So many words to defend the indefensible, Msrs. Mosher and Svalgaard.

    Any prediction, however conditional (especially if it is used as a pretext to suck billions of dollars out of taxpayers’ veins) is only as good as it is true.

    IPCC predictions are demonstrably false. You can discuss the question of WHY are they false to your heart’s content — but all your rich allusions at nothing in particular, learned provisos, subtilizations and self-serving obfuscations won’t HIDE THE DECLINE.

  96. brent says:

    Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis
    Summary for Policymakers
    by Vincent Gray

    The absence of any form of validation still applies today to all computer models of the climate, and the IPCC wriggle out of it by outlawing the use of the word “prediction” from all its publications. It should be emphasised that the IPCC do not make “predictions”, but provide only “projections”. It is the politicians and the activists who convert these, wrongly, into “predictions.”, not the scientists.
    An unfortunate result of this deficiency is that without a validation process there cannot be any scientific or practical measure of accuracy. There is therefore no justified claim for the reliability of any of the “projections’
    http://www.pensee-unique.fr/GrayCritique.pdf

  97. Smokey says:

    RR Kampen,

    Reality trumps your models: click [chart by Bill Illis]

    Kampen’s claimed 3.3° rise per 2xCO2 is as preposterous as Hansen’s Texas Sharpshooter predictions [shoot holes in a barn door, then draw a circle around them and claim, "Bullseye!"].

  98. Bill Illis says:

    Also interesting is that climate model projections that seem to be the most accurate are the ones where they show a scenario where GHG emissions stop and/or actually decrease.

    In FAR, the most accurate temperature projection was the one where they had emissions declining by 2.0% per year starting in the year 1990. It’s bang on for 2010.

    Hansen’s scenario C, as well, where emissions increase stops in the year 2000 is still too high but is the closest projection. We see this time and time again.

    CO2 emissions, of course, are not declining by 2.0% per year since 1990 but are rising at 2.2% per year since 1990 (and have been at 3.0% per year since 2000) .

  99. John Endicott says:

    Mosher: For volcanos, its simple. The average over 100 years doesnt include any cooling (temporary) from volcanos. I dont think we want to count on volcanos to keep us less warm.

    Steve, with all due respect, I don’t think we want to count on the lack of volcanos to keep us less cool. The fact of the matter is volcanos have been with us thoughout history and they’re not going away, so anyone who makes a prediction based on the fact that volcanos won’t be erupting at all in the future is a fool and their prediction an epic FAIL.

  100. John Endicott says:

    Mosher: “If your wife spends more than you make, you will go broke.
    The math governing that is clear. What’s not clear is whether you can control the spending.”

    What should be equally clear is that spending isn’t the only variable and any prediction based on spending being the only variable is destined to FAIL.

  101. aaron says:

    What about concentrations?

    They seem to increase by less each year despite emmissions rising.

    How do the CO2 levels of model scompare to actual levels? And how do assumed emission and CO2 levels hold up in models?

  102. John Endicott says:

    Alexander Feht says:
    June 10, 2011 at 3:52 am
    So many words to defend the indefensible, Msrs. Mosher and Svalgaard.

    Any prediction, however conditional (especially if it is used as a pretext to suck billions of dollars out of taxpayers’ veins) is only as good as it is true.

    IPCC predictions are demonstrably false. You can discuss the question of WHY are they false to your heart’s content — but all your rich allusions at nothing in particular, learned provisos, subtilizations and self-serving obfuscations won’t HIDE THE DECLINE.

    quoted for truth. Bottom line is the IPCC prediction (or projections as they’ve taken to calling them) failed. These are the predictions governments the world over were taking as fact (without regard to any “conditions” other than CO2) in order to drain economies of trillions of dollars in order to fight a non-existant climate disaster.

  103. An Inquirer says:

    RR Kampen:
    I do not know if you are picking cherries on purpose, but 1984 was a low year for GMT — lower than 1980. And of course, 2010 was a high year — most likely higher than what you will see for 2011. So you have picked the years that will show the highest growth rate of GMT.
    Clarification, actual CO2 emissions are running ahead of the assumption in Scenario B. However, actual CO2 ppm is running less than the model’s projection. One possible explanation — the model does not capture a key feedback loop — flora growth is enhanced by increased CO2 and actually stores more CO2.

  104. Rob Vermeulen says:

    Well let’s be clear : the prediction is supposed to be centered on 1990 with the temperature at the time, would it be HacDru or the other. When doing that, one can easily note that the prediction of tte IPCC was spot on!

    Yes, yes.. tranlsate IPCC bets to the actual 1990 temperature of the sets and you’ll see!

  105. ferd berple says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    June 9, 2011 at 1:22 pm
    Simply: the forecast says : IF we see no volcanos after 1990, and IF the sun behaves as predicted, and IF the GHGs we putinto the atmosphere, THEN you will see temperatures go up like so.

    I disagree. The correct sentence is “THEN you MIGHT see temperatures go up like so.”

    The IPCC and Climate Science continue to view the future like Victorian Age physicist. As though it was simply a clockwork mechanism. We now know that is an illusion. The “law of averages” has mislead the IPCC and Climate Science into assuming that we can average the past to predict the future.

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

  106. C.M. Carmichael says:

    I have a weather App on my phone, I constantly see things that amaze me. Example “today high 24 low 16″ “currently 10″ these numbers are on the same network? Oddly enough “The Weather Network” They can’t even predict within 5 degrees the current temperature, and these models are accurate to tenths of a degree for century? Climate science is to science, what astrology is to astronomy. It is a distantly related, goofy and rich cousin.

  107. ferd berple says:

    aaron says:
    June 10, 2011 at 6:31 am
    What about concentrations?
    They seem to increase by less each year despite emmissions rising.

    We know from the Paleo records that temperature leads CO2, contrary to the predictions of AGW, the IPCC and mainstream Climate Science. We also know that human CO2 is only a small portion of the total CO2 output of the planet.

    This tells us the most likely driver of CO2 in the atmosphere is temperature, not human activity. Thus, even though human CO2 output is increasing near exponentially as India and China industrialize, we are not seeing the same rate of increase in planetary CO2. Another nail in the coffin of AGW, the IPCC and mainstream Climate Science.

  108. ferd berple says:

    Mosher: “If your wife spends more than you make, you will go broke.”

    If your wife spends more than you make, time to get another wife before you go broke.

  109. Bill Illis says:

    Just a point of clarification, our emissions have been increasing at 3.0% per year recently (and were 4.46 ppm CO2 last year) while the CO2 level in the atmosphere has been increasing at 0.5% per year (and increased 2.3 ppm last year).

    So, there are different percentages for the emissions versus the concentration changes. (Before our emissions started, there was already 270-280 ppm in the atmosphere). And then plants, oceans and soils are absorbing about half of our emissions (this is probably just a coincidence as the absorption by plants oceans and soils is more related to the given concentration in the atmosphere versus how much we emit each year).

  110. The author errs in stating that his comparison is between predicted and observed temperatures. In fact, it is between projected and observed temperatures. To confuse a “prediction” with a “projection” is to create the appearance of the falsifiability of the IPCC’s models when this is not in fact a property of these models.

  111. John Endicott says:

    ferd berple says:
    June 10, 2011 at 7:39 am
    Mosher: “If your wife spends more than you make, you will go broke.”
    If your wife spends more than you make, time to get another wife before you go broke.

    or, if she’s a particularily hot wife, just take away her credit/debit cards and checkbook (and thus her ability to spend more than the cash she has on hand).

    Of course, Mosher’s analogy is fatally flawed, consider:
    1) if you are independantly wealthy already (IE an idle Billionaire who has no job) she can easily spend more than you make (you make nothing, having no job) without having to worry about going broke in you or your wife’s lifetime.
    2) she spends more than you make, but not more than you and her combined make, thus you won’t go broke
    3) she spends more than you make *now* (say because you are currently unemployed) but in the near future (when you start that new job on monday) you’ll be making more than she spends – again, you won’t go broke.
    4) she spends more than you make *now* (because she just bought a house that will take 15 to 30 years to pay off, or a car that will take 4-5 years to pay off) but that is an anomoly, which over time will be mitigated by that fact that normally she doesn’t spend more than you make.
    5) she currently spends more than you make, hence why you will get a second job (or, gosh forbid, have her get a job) to cover the extra expense and then some.

    bottom line is, if you limit youself to a small subset of all the variables, it should come as no surprise when your prediction turns out to be wrong.

  112. Tilo Reber says:

    Leif: “I have no particular opinion about his ‘work’.”

    Thanks. I understand you better now.

  113. Tilo Reber says:

    Mosher: “So if you had time and money enough to study this parametrically you would.”

    I assume that you are talking about variations in solar forcing, because that is what is going to effect your trend. And since we have no ability to predict variations in solar forcing, I don’t see what you are proposing that we study. In any case, like I already said, solar variation should be one of the elements that is already included in the upper and lower bounds of the predictions.

    Mosher: “In the case presented above the observations had a big plunge down. Not predictable. of course the temp recovers, but the start of your curve is pegged lower.”

    What?

    Mosher: “The reason you would make the prediction with no volcanos is simple. 1 you cant predict them. 2. The effect doesnt last long. 3. you cant count on them to keep things cool. ”

    First of all, I wasn’t asking about just volcanoes, I was asking about all of the elements that you say makes it so hard. So given all of the excuses that you gave for why it’s so hard, why waste time doing it? Are you saying that someone is holding a gun to these people’s head forcing them to make predictions when they don’t have the information to make the predictions.

    Second of all, you use volcanoes as one of the excuses for getting the predictions wrong, then you come back with this: “2. The effect doesn’t last long.” So are volcanoes an excuse for getting a 30 year prediction wrong or not? Is solar an excuse for getting a thirty year prediction wrong or not? I don’t think that either of them comes close to being an excuse for getting it wrong. The prediction isn’t wrong because of solar and volcanoes, the prediction is wrong for one of two reasons – those being, A. The climate sensitivity number is wrong, B. We don’t understand the elements of natural variation well enough to model them.

  114. Tilo Reber says:

    Terry Oldberg. “To confuse a “prediction” with a “projection” is to create the appearance of the falsifiability of the IPCC’s models when this is not in fact a property of these models.”
    Maybe you should explain what you mean. If the models don’t predict anything and if they cannot be falsified, then of what use are they? Why are we spending money one them? Why do people propose that we make policy decisions based upon them. Just what, exactly, do you see as being the purpose of a “projection” or a “prediction” or whatever you consider the models to be in your cryptic comment?

  115. Girma says:

    What is the observed exponential carbon emission growth rate that was forecasted to be 1.5% in Hansen et al., 1988?

    Scenario A assumes that growth rates of trace gas emissions typical of the 1970s and 1980s will continue indefinitely; the assumed annual growth averages about 1.5% of current emissions, so the net greenhouse forcing increases exponentially.

    The observed carbon emission curve is shown in the following graph.

    http://bit.ly/mBXivS

    From the above data, the approximate annual global carbon dioxide emission in G-ton from 1970 to 2007 = 3.67*4.3*e^(0.0164*(year-1970))

    As a result, the annual exponential growth rate is 1.64%, a bit higher than the 1.5% assumed by Hansen et al, 1988.

    CONCLUSION:

    The observed exponential carbon emission growth rate is about 1.64%, which was forecasted to be 1.5% in Hansen et al., 1988. As a result, among the three scenarios, scenario A is closer to the reality.

    Here is the comparison of the three forecasted scenarios with observation (GREEN).

    http://bit.ly/iyscaK

    When is this mistake going to be admitted and corrected?

  116. I will note that the misleading graphic is STILL on the front page.
    I will also note the following.
    The projections for emissions in this scenario did not materialize. Let me see if I can explain once and for all.
    To do that I’ll do a simplified example so you all can get the logic. This will help you form a BETTER criticism than the criticism given here. THAT is the whole point

    In 1990, The people studying this investigated 4 scenarios ( I will simplify them)
    1. BAU. in Business as usual, C02 and other GHGs were projected to rise RAPIDLY, with C02 reaching over 400 ppm in 2010.
    2. Three other scenarios, A, B, C. In these scenarios C02 DOES NOT reach 400 by 2010. Lets say, that we have one scenario where it reaches 390 ppm.

    So, You have one scenario that projects 400ppm by 2010 and another that projects 390. Since we cannot control this experimental variable, we have to make projections. what happens at 360? 390? 400? 500?

    Now, when you go to see how the projection and prediction did, you MUST pick the emission scenario that comes closest to the truth. You cannot compare observations to predictions under BAU, because BAU DID NOT HAPPEN.
    BAU projected a very high rate of growth in GHG. Consequently, the temps it predicts will be high. NO SURPRISE THERE. Further, the real effect of C02 takes much longer than 20 years to develop.
    The response to a doubling of C02 will take 100s of years to be seen. At 20 years, we can barely begin to
    draw a conclusion.

    The way you want to do your criticism is to pick the scenario that is closest to what really happened. That will give you the strongest test.

  117. Smokey says:

    The IPCC’s and Hansen’s projections predictions were wrong.

    Sorry about that, but there it is.

  118. John Endicott says:

    steven mosher says:
    In 1990, The people studying this investigated 4 scenarios ( I will simplify them)
    1. BAU. in Business as usual, C02 and other GHGs were projected to rise RAPIDLY, with C02 reaching over 400 ppm in 2010.

    It was business as usual (and then some with China getting ever more into the game) and GHG concentrations didn’t match what they claimed business as usual would be. So that right there shows that their assumptions were way off-base.

  119. tilo.
    The problem the you face with comparing observations from 1990. In 1991 of course you had Pinatubo.
    What does that do to your observations?. It cools them with a forcing that was not assumed in the scenario.
    So, picking 1990 to start a trend analysis in observations is not going to be a good idea. can you see why?
    It would be like starting a trend analysis at the peak of el nino. no responsible analyst would do that.

    First of all, I wasn’t asking about just volcanoes, I was asking about all of the elements that you say makes it so hard. So given all of the excuses that you gave for why it’s so hard, why waste time doing it? Are you saying that someone is holding a gun to these people’s head forcing them to make predictions when they don’t have the information to make the predictions.

    Second of all, you use volcanoes as one of the excuses for getting the predictions wrong, then you come back with this: “2. The effect doesn’t last long.” So are volcanoes an excuse for getting a 30 year prediction wrong or not? Is solar an excuse for getting a thirty year prediction wrong or not? I don’t think that either of them comes close to being an excuse for getting it wrong. The prediction isn’t wrong because of solar and volcanoes, the prediction is wrong for one of two reasons – those being, A. The climate sensitivity number is wrong, B. We don’t understand the elements of natural variation well enough to model them.

    There is clearly a lot of things you don’t get about parametric studies.
    1. Its hard but not impossible. My point is that Clive has botched the job pretty badly. THERE IS A BETTER criticism but it requires more work than clive has done. His work is misleading.
    2. hard things are not a waste of time. Hard things done wrong are.
    3. We make predictions all the time under uncertain information. that is the POINT of parametric sensitivity analysis.
    4. I don’t use volcanoes as an EXCUSE for getting it wrong. I’m telling you you have to ACCOUNT for the fact that volcanoes cannot be predicted. This takes more care than Clive used.
    5. It depends where the volcano effect occurs, how large it is, etc. having one at the beginning or end of the period is especially problematic.

    The prediction in question is wrong because the SCENARIO was WRONG.
    BAU assumed
    1. rapid growth in all GHGs ( page 333). This didn’t happen.
    2. No volcanoes: heck we had one in 1991.
    I don’t have the data on what they used for solar forcing. Anyways, under the BAU the projection was .3C per decade, plus or minus .2C.

  120. Bill Illis says:

    I think we can conclude that there are ways to assess the FAR models as reasonably accurate:

    - if we start the line in a different place;
    - if we just use a scenario that forces “a little warming at the beginning but then no increase starting in Year 8″; or,
    - if we pretend there was a forcing that offset most of the increase in GHGs over the period (it can’t be aerosols or solar or the temporary volcano one however).

  121. Jordan says:

    Mosher: “The response to a doubling of C02 will take 100s of years to be seen. At 20 years, we can barely begin to
    draw a conclusion.”

    So it’s an unfalsifiable hypothesis right now. You are admitting that there is insufficient data to support it either way Mosh.

    BTW, I don’t agree that there cannot be evidence. Where’s that “big red spot”. Should be evident by now if there is any recent warming by the suggested processes. AR4 Fig 9.1 is expressed in deg C per Century – it really should be evident in obsevations if it has any merit.

    Time for less SHOUTING, and more thinking.

  122. As Fritz RW Dressler said: “Predicting the future is easy. It’s trying to figure out what’s going on now that”s hard”.

  123. Sunspot says:

    I am sure that if you had of asked the IPCC back in 1990 if they had factored in the odd volcanic activity they would have said “YES”.
    At the same time they would have also factored in SC24 as being “A BIG ONE”

  124. Roy Weiler says:

    Mr. Mosher:
    I have suggested to Dr. Best that he update his charts with the appropriate scenario. Perhaps we will get a clearer picture of the situation.

  125. Theo Goodwin says:

    RR Kampen says:
    June 10, 2011 at 2:22 am

    “As stated last year, the Scenario B in that paper is running a little high compared with the actual forcings growth (by about 10%) (and high compared to A1B), and the old GISS model had a climate sensitivity that was a little higher (4.2ºC for a doubling of CO2) than the best estimate (~3ºC).”

    You are committing the same egregious error as Mosher, using some of the conditions in your conditional as excuses for incorrect predictions. If you want to play that game, admit that you cannot make any predictions whatsoever and, therefore, you are not practicing science or anything resembling. You are locked into the closet of the Gaia Modelers, contemporary alchemists.

  126. Theo Goodwin says:

    steven mosher says:
    June 10, 2011 at 10:28 am
    “So, You have one scenario that projects 400ppm by 2010 and another that projects 390. Since we cannot control this experimental variable, we have to make projections. what happens at 360? 390? 400? 500?”

    Well, that helps. Since you do not use scientific method or its terminology, let me rephrase the matter another way? What rational basis have you explicated for selecting the projections? What are the critical principles embodied in this rational basis? How are your results use to criticize you choice of projections and your rational basis? Can you relate any of this to predictions about the real world?

    You have pretty much said that you do not practice science. Now I am wondering whether you have any rational procedures at all.

  127. aaron says:

    Steve, you’re way over stating your case.

    What is the emissions rate in the lower projection curve?

    The 100 year stuff is nonsense. There is no case for large and long lags. If you said “it’s plausible”, I wouldn’t have embarrassed myself by laughing out loud here at the bar.

    Plausible in the sense that you can’t prove a negative, anything is possible, and nothing is certain.

    You do great work and are very smart. You’re making yourself look like a moron here though.

  128. Theo Goodwin says:

    steven mosher says:
    June 10, 2011 at 11:31 am

    You do not have a clue what this means. You have just expanded your equivocation on the logical word ‘conditional’ by using the word ‘scenario’ as meaning the same as ‘conditional’.

    Sir, the simple truth is that if you use conditional statements about the future, whether to make predictions, specify scenarios, or whatever, and you include one condition that describes something that is unpredictable, as you say volcanic eruptions are, then you have made your conditional statement worthless. Now it predicts nothing. It fails to specify any scenario whatsoever. Why are you making your conditional statements worthless? Because you want that clause in there about volcanoes to use as an excuse when your conditional statement proves to be false.

    And I see that the grand excuse of “uncertainty” has cropped up again. Great. Do you want to talk about Pascal’s Wager? You must because he invented the decision matrices used by the folks who obsessively study decision under uncertainty. However, none of them claim to be doing empirical science.

  129. Albert Frankenstein says:

    Peter says:
    June 9, 2011 at 3:41 pm With respect, doesn’t the failure of these predictions also point to a failure of the notion that climate is somehow deterministic? Shouldn’t we revisit the view that climate is essentially chaotic and, therefor, unpredictable?

    Absolutely. This is the elephant in the room. You can not predict a chaotic system and even the modellers agree that the system is chaotic. So…………there is not only no point to the exercise even if you DID understand every variable, there is even less point when you actually have no idea about the major variables in the system.

    Also, did you know that many of the models show cooling trends? These are dismissed as outliers, (of course, without any statistical testing to identify them….) and the data is cherry picked. A prime example of poor science
    Uncertainty in predictions of the climate response to rising levels of greenhouse gases’, by Stainforth et al. (2005)
    Link to abstract http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v433/n7024/full/nature03301.html
    You will be able to find free versions on the net, I can’t link to them from here without invoking the Gods of (C).

    A classic example of manipulation. My favourite quote, page 2 right hand column has to be….
    “This lack of an observational constraint, combined with the sensitivity of the results to the way in which parameters are perturbed, means that we cannot provide an objective probability density function for simulated climate sensitivity.
    Nevertheless, our results demonstrate the wide range of behaviour possible within a GCM and show that high sensitivities cannot yet be neglected as they were in the headline uncertainty ranges of the IPCC Third Assessment Report” (Stainforth et al. 2005).

    For the non climate scientist among us, they admit that there is NO probabillity density function, i.e., that there is no statistical merit to the data sets produced by the model, (based on the Hadley CRU….). BUT on that basis, they then go on to reject the cooling data that the model produced on the basis that they are statistical outliers! That’s right, they state there is no determinable data populations then reject outliers. Quite fantastic. And, Emperors New Clothes they get away with it.

    If the model was correct, it may have predicted the cooling as an emergent property of the system from the given starting point which would have been a very interesting result, because if there is one thing that really worries me, it would be global cooling. The possibility is not even mentioned. Observational bias, systematic bias and a very poor understanding of statistical testing, (undergrad engineering math!).

    So we know that the system is chaotic. We know it is non linear. Therefore, it can not be modelled. We know nothing about how the feedbacks which are supposed to generate a positive forcing for CO2. We do not understand the role of water vapour, 80% of GHG forcing, we don’t understand ocean heat transport or even if clouds give a positive forcing (insolation) or negative forcing (albedo) But we model this to produce temp predictions to a supposed 95% CI over 100 years with models unable to approximate what we do know, (simple single layer ocean is typical) and make decisions on the data using statistics on data which has no objective identified probability density function?

    This is the junk science on which all this is based. It really is quite shocking.

  130. Tilo Reber says:

    Mosher: “What does that do to your observations?. It cools them with a forcing that was not assumed in the scenario.”

    Okay, so we are asking governments to spend trillions of dollars based upon idiotic scenarios that don’t have enough information to predict what they pretend to be predicting. Also, as you said, the effect of a volcano is short, so your idea that it is the reason for the failure of the trend is dubious. Furthermore, a cooling event at the beginning of a time period will serve to give you a stronger upward trend overall.

    Mosher: “1. Its hard but not impossible.”
    If it were possible and if they had done what was possible, then you wouldn’t be making all of these excuses for why they got it wrong.

    Mosher: “Hard things done wrong are.”

    Same point. They did it wrong, so it was a waste of time. But maybe you want to say that the earth got it wrong by producing a volcano. Or maybe you want to say that people got it wrong by not producing enough CO2 – even though nothing has been done to mitigate CO2 and “buissness as usual” is what we have in fact been doing.

    Mosher: “3. We make predictions all the time under uncertain information.”

    So do people with chicken entrails.

    Mosher: “5. It depends where the volcano effect occurs, how large it is, etc. having one at the beginning or end of the period is especially problematic.”

    Having a big one at the beginning would be like having a La Nina at the beginning. It would increase the slope of your trend.

    Mosher: “This takes more care than Clive used.”
    You are getting confused Mosher, Clive wasn’t making the predictions, he was evaluating them. It’s not his job to find excuses for why they got it wrong. The IPCC gave themselves space. They had a best, a high and a low. The contingencies should have been included in that range. But all three were wrong. With regard to the primary driver that the IPCC uses to predict further warming, CO2, there has been no change in global behavior. In fact, the rapid expansion of power plants in China and cars in China was likely unforseen. So if you are trying to say that we had less CO2 in 2010 than the IPCC had predicted, you are only pointing out again that their predictions are worthless.

    Mosher: “Further, the real effect of C02 takes much longer than 20 years to develop.”
    And that lag in development time should have been in the IPCC chart – so again, you are making excuses for them. Also, remember that we are not talking about a CO2 pulse that happened in 1990; we are talking about CO2 that has been added to the atmosphere since long before 1990.

    It’s pretty simple Mosher, the IPCC wants to influence governments with their predictions, or projections, (call them what you like) about the future. Up to this point they have shown no skill in anything other than making excuses for why they got it wrong.

    Now, if you just want to make the point that this is hard stuff and we should be working on it so that we can get better, then I will agree. But, for christ sake, don’t be trying to stampede the world with uncertainties and over hyped predictions that always turn out to be bigger than the reality.

  131. Alcheson says:

    Doesn’t look like to me the low prediction matches with the data either even if adjusted to the 1990 value. Scenario C shows about a 0.4C rise from 1990-2011. UAH shows about a 0.15C rise from 1990-2011 and Hadcrut about 0.2. The data matches the Scenario C slope up to about 2004 but after that.. the slope turns negative in the data. Sorry, but seems the data is indicating a climate sensitivity factor much less than expected. In additon, since other factors can also have a large effect on the temperature outcome, that would indicate the factor for CO2 cannot be significantly more important than the others.

  132. Venter says:

    Well, there’s no need for multimillion dollar computers and self-opinionated incompetent modellers and their sycophantic defenders. These kind of predictions, projections or whatever weasel words one wants to call them, can be made as good as these models with tea leaves or reading the flight of the swallows, as soothsayers used to do in ancient days. What a steaming pile of bullcrap and even more lousy excuses defending that crap! More then the modellers who did the work in 1990, the staunch defenders of the indefensible seem to have no idea or qualms about scientific method or rational thought.

  133. Tilo Reber:
    Thank you for taking the time to respond to my comment. I expand upon the theme of this comment at http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/15/the-principles-of-reasoning-part-iii-logic-and-climatology/ . In brief, IPCC climatology is a pseudo-science that may appear to be a science through the ambiguity of reference by climatology’s language to the associated ideas. An element of this ambiguity is produced by confusion of the disparate ideas that are referenced by the words “prediction” and “projection.” As the predictions of a model make a falsifiable claim, they support the scientific method of inquiry. As the projections of a model make no falsifiable claim, they fail to support this method. Contrary to the understanding of many of the readers of Wattsupwiththat, the major shortcoming of IPCC climatology is not that its theory of anthropogenic global warming is wrong but rather that it cannot be determined to be wrong.

  134. Mooloo says:

    You can not predict a chaotic system

    As a statement of fact this is incorrect. You cannot predict the short-term behaviour of a chaotic system with any certainty, but you certainly can over the long term make useful predictions for certain chaotic systems.

    We do it all the time. Weather is chaotic. Yet we plant corn at a certain time, in the knowledge that the seasonal weather will very likely be suitable, even though we cannot even predict tomorrow’s weather with certainty. That is because weather is less chaotic than you make out.

    While climate may be chaotic (and I note you offer no proof that it is) it clearly operates within certain boundaries. If we move the lines of those boundaries (CO2, sun, cloud cover, volcanoes) then we may be able to predict a change in the averages observed even without clearly understanding the system properly.

    Gasses are entirely chaotic on a molecular level. Yet I know that if I double the volume that pressure will fall by almost exactly half.

  135. Tilo Reber says:
    June 10, 2011 at 8:40 am
    Leif: “I have no particular opinion about his ‘work’.”
    Thanks. I understand you better now.

    now, do YOU have an opinion about his work? and what PRECISELY do you base that opinion on? Just so we can understand you better….

  136. rbateman says:

    Looks like a Grand Canyon developing between IPCC projections (prophecies of a pseudo-scientific-religious tangent) and reality. To take a wider view of how AGW Alarmism has evolved, think of endless levels of play on a Sony Playstation as government coins are fed into the Arcade Simulation. Such lavishly funded imaginations.
    CO2 was first blamed for Climate Change back in the 1930′s for the Dust Bowl years, then Global Cooling in the 1970′s Ice Age Scare, and now this.
    The wide angle reality of Climate Change is a mild warming out of the LIA.
    That’s a mild warming corresponding to innumberable up-shots in the Vostok and EPICA cores. The LIA was nothing more than a mild down-tick in the same records, there being hundreds to thousands of them.
    The Dust Bowl, Ice Age Scare and the AGW previously imagined wouldn’t make a pixel on the Vostok record.
    Geologic Time makes man look puny.

  137. Keith Minto says:

    I don’t know who said you cannot predict a chaotic system but Mooloo above gave a good answer.

    From Wikipedia

    An early proponent of chaos theory was Henri Poincaré. In the 1880s, while studying the three-body problem, he found that there can be orbits which are nonperiodic, and yet not forever increasing nor approaching a fixed point.

    So there are boundaries, and the three body problem and deterministic chaos is discussed well by John Gribbin in his book Deep Simplicity, he is a good journalist and it is worth reading.
    It is a fascinating subject that, unlike many other mathematical branches, lends itself to beautiful diagrams like this plot of the Lorenz attractor.

  138. Peter says:

    Mooloo says:
    June 10, 2011 at 9:52 pm
    You can not predict a chaotic system
    ‘Gasses are entirely chaotic on a molecular level. Yet I know that if I double the volume that pressure will fall by almost exactly half.’

    If I grow an elm tree in the lab can I predict what it will look like in 50 years time? Is the climate as complex as an elm tree? If I plant the elm tree outside the lab, how much will that change my prediction?

    If, in 50 years time, I am accurate in my prediction, how will I know if I am right?

  139. Tilo Reber says:

    Leif: “do YOU have an opinion about his work?”
    Yes, Leif, I do. And I stated it very explicitly in a recent thread where you took part.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/30/kill-it-with-fire/
    Leif: “and what PRECISELY do you base that opinion on?”
    Given in the thread.
    Leif: “Just so we can understand you better….”
    No problem. I’m not pretending to straddle any fences.

    The thread involves a lot of information exchange, references to other links that discuss the upside down Tiljader proxies, and several posts on my part, so I won’t try to reproduce that for you here. But it’s available to you if you really want to know.

  140. Rein M says:

    Antony,
    Interestingly did the BBC website produce data and a story claiming the opposite.
    see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13719510
    They use HadCRUT3 data which show still increasing temperature trend. Any views on this?
    Rein

  141. Gaelan Clark says:

    Phil Jones has rendered this post moot with a quick flash of his hands. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13719510
    And with this, he confirms the prior IPCC predictions as being correct—this year, but not last year.
    And the best line of the story is aptly the last, “And a new initiative to construct a global temperature record, based at Stanford University in California whose funders include “climate sceptical” organisations, has reached early conclusions that match established records closely.”

    So you see, move along, nothing to see here but alarmism.

  142. Girma says:

    FACT

    Global mean temperature pattern is cyclic with a slight overall warming of 0.6 deg C per century: http://bit.ly/cO94in

  143. Tilo Reber says:
    June 11, 2011 at 12:46 am
    I’m not pretending to straddle any fences.
    Neither am I. What I’m saying is that for me to form my opinion I would have to look at the data myself. Otherwise I would, like you, just be parroting other people’s opinion.

  144. Theo Goodwin says:

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    June 11, 2011 at 7:50 am
    Tilo Reber says:
    June 11, 2011 at 12:46 am
    “I’m not pretending to straddle any fences.
    Neither am I. What I’m saying is that for me to form my opinion I would have to look at the data myself. Otherwise I would, like you, just be parroting other people’s opinion.”

    Isn’t it frustrating to talk to Leif? That’s because he is a scientist. Science never promises a rose garden.

  145. Albert Frankenstein says:

    Keith Minto says:
    “June 10, 2011 at 11:25 pm I don’t know who said you cannot predict a chaotic system but Mooloo above gave a good answer.
    From Wikipedia
    An early proponent of chaos theory was Henri Poincaré. In the 1880s, while studying the three-body problem, he found that there can be orbits which are nonperiodic, and yet not forever increasing nor approaching a fixed point.

    So there are boundaries, and the three body problem and deterministic chaos is discussed well by John Gribbin in his book Deep Simplicity, he is a good journalist and it is worth reading.

    It is a fascinating subject that, unlike many other mathematical branches, lends itself to beautiful diagrams like this plot of the Lorenz attractor.”

    With the greatest of respect, I don’t think you understand the problem.

    There is no probablility density function.

    Therefore, the model output is random junk.

    By definition, you can not predict a set of variables in a radom system. Quoting bits of Wikipedia which you half understand won’t change that.

    Read the paper I posted, you tell me how you can obtain statistical data to within a 95% CI assuming the data is normally distributed when it is by the authors admission, randon, then come back to me.

  146. Tilo Reber says:

    Leif: “What I’m saying is that for me to form my opinion I would have to look at the data myself.
    Otherwise I would, like you, just be parroting other people’s opinion.”

    Based on the opinion you gave here, you didn’t have to look too hard before you parroted Mosh’s opinion.

    Leif: “If as Mosh points out, the two temperature curves were shifted to go through the 1900 point, the low IPCC prediction looks right on.”

    That level of “looking at the data” was something that you could have done very easily on the “Kill It With Fire” thread and on any number of McIntyre threads.

  147. Venter says:

    Leif wants to look at Mann’s whole data, methods and code to make an opinion. Somebody forgot to tell him that this was the issue all the time with MBH, M&M, Hokey Stick and the team’s shenanighans etc.,, that Mann never showed his data and work and hid it. That was one of they key reasons for birth of Climate Audit. The evidence of what the team did to hide the data and the tricks were employed were all over Climategate mails. I guess Leif needs a refresher course on these issues, not / sarc..

    But when it comes to Climate Models, he’ll accept Mosh or any other believer’s words and does not need to see any data, methods etc. Yes, very scientific indeed.

  148. Tilo Reber says:
    June 11, 2011 at 8:54 am
    Based on the opinion you gave here, you didn’t have to look too hard before you parroted Mosh’s opinion.
    Leif: “If as Mosh points out, the two temperature curves were shifted to go through the 1900 point, the low IPCC prediction looks right on.”

    I looked at the data [the curves] and saw for myself what the effect of shifting the curves would be, so you can spare us your snide remarks. My opinion happened to agree with Mosh’s, but did not depend on his.

    That level of “looking at the data” was something that you could have done very easily on the “Kill It With Fire” thread and on any number of McIntyre threads.
    But I didn’t bother. I have better things to do than look at Mann’s stuff [perhaps you have not]. When asked, I would happily defer to all those experts you mention, but it would not be my opinion, because [as I said] I do not have an independent opinion on this.

  149. Venter says:
    June 11, 2011 at 9:25 am
    But when it comes to Climate Models, he’ll accept Mosh or any other believer’s words and does not need to see any data, methods etc. Yes, very scientific indeed.
    Anybody can look at figure 2 and see that the IPCC low projection is not too bad. Allow for the 0.1-0.2 degree solar cycle variation that people claim they find simply from the observed variation of solar TSI and the agreement becomes even better: We would expect the observed data to be 0.1C above the projection around solar max in 2000 and 0.1C below the projection around solar min in 2008-2009 and that is, indeed, what we see. Pretty good science, so far. Now, a projection can be correct for the wrong reason, but that is another problem, and I have not myself done the analysis so can’t really form my own firm opinion what precisely those wrong reasons might be.

  150. Tilo Reber says:

    Leif: “I looked at the data [the curves] and saw for myself what the effect of shifting the curves would be, so you can spare us your snide remarks. ”

    And yet you couldn’t spare a single mouse click to get you to Dr. Best’s site where you would have immediately seen a chart of the data going through the 1990 point and where you would have seen that your rough eyeball method of “looking at the data” was not exactly correct. Yes, with such a high standard of “looking at the data” I can see where you only have time to criticize skeptics data.

    Leif: “I have better things to do than look at Mann’s stuff [perhaps you have not].”

    And yet you find the time to hang out at threads that discuss his work and offer comments.

  151. Septic Matthew says:

    Steve Mosher wrote: The reason you would make the prediction with no volcanos is simple. 1 you cant predict them. 2. The effect doesnt last long. 3. you cant count on them to keep things cool. BUT if you are interested in TESTING a prediction, then having a volcano in the observations makes a fair test harder, ESPECIALLY if the incident happend at either end of the test period and your looking at trends.

    Computing power continues to get cheaper, and will continue to do so. As new data about the CONDITIONS of the last few decades are accumulated, the old models can be rerun to determine whether they were accurate models had the CONDITIONS been known. If the model makes correct CONDITIONAL modeled values, then it might be taken seriously for projecting the future based on current knowledge. Model predictions can be updated annually.

    If all you do is say, “The models were conditional, and the conditions turned out to be different from what was assumed”, then you present a model that is not, even in principle, disconfirmable. Such a model is vacuous. All that has been shown to date is that the models are too inaccurate for informing policy decisions about CO2, and that might be because other CONDITIONS overwhelm the CO2 effects.

  152. Tilo Reber says:

    Leif: “Anybody can look at figure 2 and see that the IPCC low projection is not too bad.”
    It’s the LOW projection, Leif. And it’s below the low projection. Your argument is that if we just give the IPCC more than the ample space they already gave themselves, they will be right.

    Leif: “Allow for the 0.1-0.2 degree solar cycle variation that people claim they find simply from the observed variation of solar TSI and the agreement becomes even better: ”

    All of the things that you want to “allow” should be covered by the IPCC allowing themselves a wide range of projection. I assume that the IPCC already considered solar variation in their range. Do you want to give it to them twice?

  153. thefaulkrum says:

    When do NEGATIVE FEEDBACK mechanisms kick in. there must be some negative feed back mechanisms somewhere, there can’t just all be positive, otherwise we would have all died out long ago, a dinosaur farts and we escalate into a gw hell. So where are the negatives. are they in there models

  154. Tilo Reber says:
    June 11, 2011 at 10:32 am
    And yet you couldn’t spare a single mouse click to get you to Dr. Best’s site where you would have immediately seen a chart of the data going through the 1990 point and where you would have seen that your rough eyeball method of “looking at the data” was not exactly correct.
    My bad that I called Figure 1 on Bests’s site Figure 2. I meant to say that was the second Figure I looked at. I did mean the graph where all curves go through 1990. It is on that graph that you can see how good the projection actually is [taking into account the solar cycle variation.

    Tilo Reber says:
    June 11, 2011 at 12:31 pm
    Leif: “Anybody can look at figure 2 and see that the IPCC low projection is not too bad.”
    It’s the LOW projection

    It is labeled the 'Low' projection
    I assume that the IPCC already considered solar variation in their range. Do you want to give it to them twice?
    You 'assume'? You did not think to go check? If the solar variation was in the projection it would undulate like the Figure on Best's site. [or it should if they were to plot the actual projection - it is possible they only plotted the linear trend - and I did not check this]

    I’m at a loss why you think I’m a supporter of IPCC and Mannian math. Perhaps you in your pent-up anger missed the hints in what I said: “Mann probably has his reasons [e.g. it fits better that way]. I have no particular opinion about his ‘work’. ”
    Note the disparaging ‘it fits better that way’ and the quotes around “his ‘work’”.

    The fact is that [for better or for worse] the IPCC Low projection [allowing for solar cycle effects that many people find] is actually a good fit. But you can always curve fit to match anything. It is called numerology, except when it fits your pet agenda, then it is called “physical phenomenology”. The bottom line is whether the linear trend will continue. That we don’t know, and can’t tell from the data yet.

  155. Tilo Reber says:

    Leif: “You ‘assume’? You did not think to go check?”

    Aren’t you assuming they didn’t.

    Leif: “If the solar variation was in the projection it would undulate like the Figure on Best’s site.”

    Only if it was accounted for on a temporal basis. It it was simply accounted for by the way that the high and low range were selected, this would not be the case. And if you are trying to account for a number of factors, not just solar, the undulations may not look like solar undulations. For example, for any specific solar cycle, the effects could be overcome by ENSO or PDO or something else. Also, the strength of any future solar cycle would be unkown, so you wouldn’t expect to see something like a continous .15C of undulation as a part of the prediction. What I’m saying is that if the high and the low don’t include the uncertainty due to known elements of variation, then why bother having a high and a low. When you put in a low you are not saying that you think that line is as likely as any other. You are saying your middle line is the most likely and you low and high are possible but unlikely. And you should be saying that there is no reasonable expectation of going lower than your low. Let’s be honest Leif, at this point in time the projection is a failure.

    Regarding Mann, my personal opinion is that his work is fraudulent. I expect that honest scientists, even good scientists, will make mistakes. In Mann’s case there are many errors and they all serve the cause of AGW alarmism. And when these errors are pointed out to him he refuses to correct them. The Tijlander series is a typical example – but there are others. So I think that with Mann it is about more than just errors. I think that it’s possible to have an honest disagreement about the question of Mann’s work being fraudulent. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me there. But I can’t understand why any scientist of integrity would not at least stand up and say, “What Mann is doing is not science, and the way in which he is using science is bad for the reputation of scientists.” The confidence of the public in scientists is hanging in the balance. If there is not some indication from main stream scientists that people like Mann are the minority, then the public will simply assume that most scientists can’t be trusted. I don’t want that to happen because I trust most scientists. It’s a little like the problems that the church encountered with paedophelia. They thought that there would be more benefit in hiding it than in confronting it. Obviously they were wrong. That is why I called on you to step up in the “Kill It With Fire” thread. So, Leif, you can wait for a strong rise in temperature and the hope that the right results will justify the wrong approach; or you can do what is right regardless of what the temperature does in the next 10 or 20 years.

  156. Tilo Reber says:
    June 11, 2011 at 5:04 pm
    Leif: “If the solar variation was in the projection it would undulate like the Figure on Best’s site.”
    Only if it was accounted for on a temporal basis.

    I know for a fact [having asked Gavin specifically about this] that the models have a built-in solar cycle. They can’t predict the cycle, but can with reasonable justification use an average cycle repeated every 11 years. That the cycle does not show up in the projection I ascribe to simplification in presentation [one can argue if that is good or bad].

    You are saying your middle line is the most likely and you low and high are possible but unlikely.
    They are not my low and high. Best plotted the points which are observations. They are above the linear projection at solar max in 2000 and below at solar min in 2009, as expected.

    at this point in time the projection is a failure
    At this point the projection is spot on. If in the next several years the observed points keep falling lower, then the projection is a failure.

    But I can’t understand why any scientist of integrity would not at least stand up and say, “What Mann is doing is not science, and the way in which he is using science is bad for the reputation of scientists.”
    Such a strong statement cannot be made unless one is familiar with his data and procedures. All I have are second hand accounts [which likely are true, but are second-hand, nevertheless]. My integrity prevents me from making a statement like yours based on second-hand info. If I felt strongly about it I might like McIntyre try to dig deeper and see for myself. But I do not feel strongly about this. Let the chips fall where they may. Science is self-correcting and in a century [or two] they will all know. A century horizon is not uncommon in astronomy and astrophysics. The ‘climate debate’ is not really science, but politics. Bad politics is also self-correcting in the long run. Bad politics hurt people, but a people has the politicians they deserve [they voted for them, didn't they]. Using science to influence the voters does not sit well with me. That others do it is not a valid excuse for me to do it too.

    then the public will simply assume that most scientists can’t be trusted.
    Some part of the public already assumes that. Another part does not. For skeptics to spread the notion that scientists cannot be trusted also does not sit well with me. As in all human affairs there are bad apples.

    So, Leif, you can wait for a strong rise in temperature and the hope that the right results will justify the wrong approach; or you can do what is right regardless of what the temperature does in the next 10 or 20 years.
    A rise in temperature will not settle the matter. A continuing drop will. That is what I wait for. What is right is not to jump the gun and already declare the battle over a priori.

  157. Bill Illis says:

    Now that we have the FAR temperature projections (thanks Dr. Best) (and I am satisfied that these are the numbers), here is how the IPCC predictions are doing so far starting from the period the forecasts were submitted

    AR4 and TAR mean under the A1B scenario and for FAR (noting the GHG numbers they assumed are a little high – not enough to change the line materially however).

    I put the natural variability-removed temperature value for today at about 0.3C if someone wants to raise that issue again.

    http://img12.imageshack.us/img12/9103/ipccipccpredictions3.png

    And we shouldn’t assume uncertainty needs to be taken into account here. If the climate models had uncertainty levels that predicted “no warming” or “cooling” since they submitted their forecast, then the IPCC should be very clear about this. Therefore, the temperature change of the last 10 years is certainly outside the uncertainty levels for the models and the theory.

  158. Keith Minto says:

    Albert Frankenstein says:
    June 11, 2011 at 8:36 am
    WUWT covers a broad church of readership, and my comments were directed there.
    My suggestion, to quell your passion and to keep this thread on topic is for you to gather your facts and submit a topic here.
    Saying Quoting bits of Wikipedia which you half understand is insulting and a waste of time.

  159. Tilo Reber says:

    Leif: “At this point the projection is spot on.”

    You have a funny definition of “spot on”. I would only use that word in the case where it followed the line called IPCC Best (2.0). I call outside the High, Low, range, “failed”. You call it what you like. We should be at solar max in the next 2 to 4 years. So according to your theory, the actual should swing above that LOW trend line some time in the next 4 years. So let’s place a little bet. I have a hundred bucks that says it won’t be above it. We can start the bet today and we can determine the outcome either 2, 3, or 4 years from today – your choice. What do you say; do we have a bet?

    Leif: “Such a strong statement cannot be made unless one is familiar with his data and procedures.”

    The evidence is more than strong enough. I’ve been open to any explanation from Mann, or from anyone speaking for him, for using the Tijlander data upside down. There is none. I’ve been open to any explanation for Mann continuing to use Graybill data when Ababneh has shown clearly that the trend is due to the trees going split bark. Mann will not change to the Ababneh data and I hear no explanation of why. And regarding his data and procedures, McIntyre has a library of investigative information on it. I’m sure that you have seen much of it. So I don’t accept your excuse for not standing up and calling his work what it is – garbage. Of course you don’t care what I accept and what I don’t accept, and that is why I simply said above, “Thanks. I understand you better now.”

  160. Ken says:

    Why the offset between UAH and CRU?
    Why the partial year 2011 data?
    Why the use of monthly data (rather than smooth curve) to start 1990 comparison?
    Cheers,
    Ken

  161. Tilo Reber says:
    June 12, 2011 at 12:05 am
    You have a funny definition of “spot on”. I would only use that word in the case where it followed the line called IPCC Best (2.0). I call outside the High, Low, range, “failed”. You call it what you like. We should be at solar max in the next 2 to 4 years
    What I said is that the IIPCC Low projection looks pretty good. This means that if one is inclined to go along with IPCC, but is unsure which one of their projections to use, one should follow the Low projection.

    So according to your theory, the actual should swing above that LOW trend line some time in the next 4 years.
    I have no ‘theory’ on this. I’m saying that today we cannot pass judgement on Pass or Fail: http://www.leif.org/research/IPCC-Projections.png
    The next few years will tell as indicated on my Figure.

    So let’s place a little bet. I have a hundred bucks that says it won’t be above it. We can start the bet today and we can determine the outcome either 2, 3, or 4 years from today – your choice. What do you say; do we have a bet?
    Science is not settled by bets. People’s convictions may be judged by the bets they are willing to take, but I have no conviction either way [you shouldn't have in science]. Let’s watch which way it goes, before forming a ‘conviction’ about it.

    So I don’t accept your excuse for not standing up and calling his work what it is – garbage.
    Well, people’s level of integrity varies. My threshold may be a bit higher than yours. As I said, if asked I could defer to other people’s opinion, without labeling it as my own.

    Of course you don’t care what I accept and what I don’t accept, and that is why I simply said above, “Thanks. I understand you better now.”
    Everybody must be responsible for what he accepts, but I don’t think that you understood me better, rather your statement was intended as a put-down. Did you understand that I can only put my name to an opinion if I myself have investigated the case? did you accept that that was a reasonable thing to do? or are you chiding me for not putting my name on other people’s opinion? And do you even care what I say? Your use of ‘excuse’ perhaps indicates that you do not.
    As I said, science is self-correcting and the standard way of dealing with poor science [what you call 'garbage'] is simply to ignore it.

  162. John B says:

    @Lief

    Apologies if you already covered this, but why do you suggest comparing agains IPCC “low” rather than “best”? I know why IPCC high is a red herring (GHG emissions were lower than that scenario, Pinatubo happened). Is there a reason why “Low” is a more reasonable scenario than “best”? Is it because of recent low solar activity?

    John

  163. John B says:
    June 12, 2011 at 3:58 pm
    but why do you suggest comparing against IPCC “low” rather than “best”?
    I assume [could be wrong] that IPCC consider their LOW projection consistent with the models [albeit at the lower end of what is allowed]. I then note that the LOW projection is consistent with observations to date [or rather to 2009] allowing for the small solar cycle influence that many people advocate, which means that we cannot, today, exclude the possibility that IPCC is correct [but that their LOW projection should be followed]. They have not failed yet. If the temperature continues to drop, the IPCC will have failed, but we don’t know that yet [we will in, say, 5 years].

  164. John B says:

    @Leif

    Thanks. That’s pretty much what I said to Richard S Courtney.

  165. Ken says:

    And why the linear interpolation?
    Ken

  166. Bull Ox says:

    Why not use IPCC CO2 science without feedbacks? That correlates much better than the 1990 IPCC “Low” prediction.

    Would be funny to watch the gravy science climatologists claim that such correlation does not “prove” CO2 is the main forcer of “climate change” and also debunk the significant positive net feedback effect of increasing CO2. They would have to go nuts because a .5-1.5 degree increase in GT with CO2 pre-ind. doubling is hardly “scary” enough to continue their own funding and junkets and credit trading schemes.

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