The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: My Initial Comments on the New Dessler 2011 Study

NOTE: This post is important, so I’m going to sticky it at the top for quite a while. I’ve created a page for all Spencer and Braswell/Dessler related posts, since they are becoming numerous and popular to free up the top post sections of WUWT.


UPDATE: Dr. Spencer writes:
I have been contacted by Andy Dessler, who is now examining my calculations, and we are working to resolve a remaining difference there. Also, apparently his paper has not been officially published, and so he says he will change the galley proofs as a result of my blog post; here is his message:

“I’m happy to change the introductory paragraph of my paper when I get the galley proofs to better represent your views. My apologies for any misunderstanding. Also, I’ll be changing the sentence “over the decades or centuries relevant for long-term climate change, on the other hand, clouds can indeed cause significant warming” to make it clear that I’m talking about cloud feedbacks doing the action here, not cloud forcing.”

[Dessler may need to make other changes, it appears Steve McIntyre has found some flaws related to how the CERES data was combined: http://climateaudit.org/2011/09/08/more-on-dessler-2010/

As I said before in my first post on Dessler's paper, it remains to be seen if "haste makes waste". It appears it does. -Anthony]

Update #2 (Sept. 8, 2011): Spencer adds: I have made several updates as a result of correspondence with Dessler, which will appear underlined, below. I will leave it to the reader to decide whether it was our Remote Sensing paper that should not have passed peer review (as Trenberth has alleged), or Dessler’s paper meant to refute our paper.

by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

While we have had only one day to examine Andy Dessler’s new paper in GRL, I do have some initial reaction and calculations to share. At this point, it looks quite likely we will be responding to it with our own journal submission… although I doubt we will get the fast-track, red carpet treatment he got.

There are a few positive things in this new paper which make me feel like we are at least beginning to talk the same language in this debate (part of The Good). But, I believe I can already demonstrate some of The Bad, for example, showing Dessler is off by about a factor of 10 in one of his central calculations.

Finally, Dessler must be called out on The Ugly things he put in the paper.

(which he has now agreed to change).

1. THE GOOD

Estimating the Errors in Climate Feedback Diagnosis from Satellite Data

We are pleased that Dessler now accepts that there is at least the *potential* of a problem in diagnosing radiative feedbacks in the climate system *if* non-feedback cloud variations were to cause temperature variations. It looks like he understands the simple-forcing-feedback equation we used to address the issue (some quibbles over the equation terms aside), as well as the ratio we introduced to estimate the level of contamination of feedback estimates. This is indeed progress.

He adds a new way to estimate that ratio, and gets a number which — if accurate — would indeed suggest little contamination of feedback estimates from satellite data. This is very useful, because we can now talk about numbers and how good various estimates are, rather than responding to hand waving arguments over whether “clouds cause El Nino” or other red herrings. I have what I believe to be good evidence that his calculation, though, is off by a factor of 10 or so. More on that under THE BAD, below.

Comparisons of Satellite Measurements to Climate Models

Figure 2 in his paper, we believe, helps make our point for us: there is a substantial difference between the satellite measurements and the climate models. He tries to minimize the discrepancy by putting 2-sigma error bounds on the plots and claiming the satellite data are not necessarily inconsistent with the models.

But this is NOT the same as saying the satellite data SUPPORT the models. After all, the IPCC’s best estimate projections of future warming from a doubling of CO2 (3 deg. C) is almost exactly the average of all of the models sensitivities! So, when the satellite observations do depart substantially from the average behavior of the models, this raises an obvious red flag.

Massive changes in the global economy based upon energy policy are not going to happen, if the best the modelers can do is claim that our observations of the climate system are not necessarily inconsistent with the models.

(BTW, a plot of all of the models, which so many people have been clamoring for, will be provided in The Ugly, below.)

2. THE BAD

The Energy Budget Estimate of How Much Clouds Cause Temperature Change

While I believe he gets a “bad” number, this is the most interesting and most useful part of Dessler’s paper. He basically uses the terms in the forcing-feedback equation we use (which is based upon basic energy budget considerations) to claim that the energy required to cause changes in the global-average ocean mixed layer temperature are far too large to be caused by variations in the radiative input into the ocean brought about by cloud variations (my wording).

He gets a ratio of about 20:1 for non-radiatively forced (i.e. non-cloud) temperature changes versus radiatively (mostly cloud) forced variations. If that 20:1 number is indeed good, then we would have to agree this is strong evidence against our view that a significant part of temperature variations are radiatively forced. (It looks like Andy will be revising this downward, although it’s not clear by how much because his paper is ambiguous about how he computed and then combined the radiative terms in the equation, below.)

But the numbers he uses to do this, however, are quite suspect. Dessler uses NONE of the 3 most direct estimates that most researchers would use for the various terms. (A clarification on this appears below) Why? I know we won’t be so crass as to claim in our next peer-reviewed publication (as he did in his, see The Ugly, below) that he picked certain datasets because they best supported his hypothesis.

The following graphic shows the relevant equation, and the numbers he should have used since they are the best and most direct observational estimates we have of the pertinent quantities. I invite the more technically inclined to examine this. For those geeks with calculators following along at home, you can run the numbers yourself:

Here I went ahead and used Dessler’s assumed 100 meter depth for the ocean mixed layer, rather than the 25 meter depth we used in our last paper. (It now appears that Dessler will be using a 700 m depth, a number which was not mentioned in his preprint. I invite you to read his preprint and decide whether he is now changing from 100 m to 700 m as a result of issues I have raised here. It really is not obvious from his paper what he used).

Using the above equation, if I assumed a feedback parameter λ=3 Watts per sq. meter per degree, that 20:1 ratio Dessler gets becomes 2.2:1. If I use a feedback parameter of λ=6, then the ratio becomes 1.7:1. This is basically an order of magnitude difference from his calculation.

Again I ask: why did Dessler choose to NOT use the 3 most obvious and best sources of data to evaluate the terms in the above equation?:
(1) Levitus for observed changes in the ocean mixed layer temperature; (it now appears he will be using a number consistent with the Levitus 0-700 m layer).
(2) CERES Net radiative flux for the total of the 2 radiative terms in the above equation, and (this looks like it could be a minor source of difference, except it appears he put all of his Rcld variability in the radiative forcing term, which he claims helps our position, but running the numbers will reveal the opposite is true since his Rcld actually contains both forcing and feedback components which partially offset each other.)
(3): HadSST for sea surface temperature variations. (this will likely be the smallest source of difference)

The Use of AMIP Models to Claim our Lag Correlations Were Spurious

I will admit, this was pretty clever…but at this early stage I believe it is a red herring.

Dessler’s Fig. 1 shows lag correlation coefficients that, I admit, do look kind of like the ones we got from satellite (and CMIP climate model) data. The claim is that since the AMIP model runs do not allow clouds to cause surface temperature changes, this means the lag correlation structures we published are not evidence of clouds causing temperature change.

Following are the first two objections which immediately come to my mind:

1) Imagine (I’m again talking mostly to you geeks out there) a time series of temperature represented by a sine wave, and then a lagged feedback response represented by another sine wave. If you then calculate regression coefficients between those 2 time series at different time leads and lags (try this in Excel if you want), you will indeed get a lag correlation structure we see in the satellite data.

But look at what Dessler has done: he has used models which DO NOT ALLOW cloud changes to affect temperature, in order to support his case that cloud changes do not affect temperature! While I will have to think about this some more, it smacks of circular reasoning. He could have more easily demonstrated it with my 2 sine waves example.

Assuming there is causation in only one direction to produce evidence there is causation in only one direction seems, at best, a little weak.

2) In the process, though, what does his Fig. 1 show that is significant to feedback diagnosis, if we accept that all of the radiative variations are, as Dessler claims, feedback-induced? Exactly what the new paper by Lindzen and Choi (2011) explores: that there is some evidence of a lagged response of radiative feedback to a temperature change.

And, if this is the case, then why isn’t Dr. Dessler doing his regression-based estimates of feedback at the time lag or maximum response? Steve McIntyre, who I have provided the data to for him to explore, is also examining this as one of several statistical issues. So, Dessler’s Fig. 1 actually raises a critical issue in feedback diagnosis he has yet to address.

3. THE UGLY

(MOST, IF NOT ALL, OF THESE OBJECTIONS WILL BE ADDRESSED IN DESSLER’S UPDATE OF HIS PAPER BEFORE PUBLICATION)

The new paper contains a few statements which the reviewers should not have allowed to be published because they either completely misrepresent our position, or accuse us of cherry picking (which is easy to disprove).

Misrepresentation of Our Position

Quoting Dessler’s paper, from the Introduction:

“Introduction
The usual way to think about clouds in the climate system is that they are a feedback… …In recent papers, Lindzen and Choi [2011] and Spencer and Braswell [2011] have argued that reality is reversed: clouds are the cause of, and not a feedback on, changes in surface temperature. If this claim is correct, then significant revisions to climate science may be required.”

But we have never claimed anything like “clouds are the cause of, and not a feedback on, changes in surface temperature”! We claim causation works in BOTH directions, not just one direction (feedback) as he claims. Dr. Dessler knows this very well, and I would like to know

1) what he was trying to accomplish by such a blatant misrepresentation of our position, and

2) how did all of the peer reviewers of the paper, who (if they are competent) should be familiar with our work, allow such a statement to stand?

Cherry picking of the Climate Models We Used for Comparison

This claim has been floating around the blogosphere ever since our paper was published. To quote Dessler:

“SB11 analyzed 14 models, but they plotted only six models and the particular observational data set that provided maximum support for their hypothesis. “

How is picking the 3 most sensitive models AND the 3 least sensitive models going to “provide maximum support for (our) hypothesis”? If I had picked ONLY the 3 most sensitive, or ONLY the 3 least sensitive, that might be cherry picking…depending upon what was being demonstrated. And where is the evidence those 6 models produce the best support for our hypothesis?

I would have had to run hundreds of combinations of the 14 models to accomplish that. Is that what Dr. Dessler is accusing us of?

Instead, the point was to show that the full range of climate sensitivities represented by the least and most sensitive of the 14 models show average behavior that is inconsistent with the observations. Remember, the IPCC’s best estimate of 3 deg. C warming is almost exactly the warming produced by averaging the full range of its models’ sensitivities together. The satellite data depart substantially from that. I think inspection of Dessler’s Fig. 2 supports my point.

But, since so many people are wondering about the 8 models I left out, here are all 14 of the models’ separate results, in their full, individual glory:

I STILL claim there is a large discrepancy between the satellite observations and the behavior of the models.

CONCLUSION

These are my comments and views after having only 1 day since we received the new paper. It will take weeks, at a minimum, to further explore all of the issues raised by Dessler (2011).

Based upon the evidence above, I would say we are indeed going to respond with a journal submission to answer Dessler’s claims. I hope that GRL will offer us as rapid a turnaround as Dessler got in the peer review process. Feel free to take bets on that. :)

And, to end on a little lighter note, we were quite surprised to see this statement in Dessler’s paper in the Conclusions (italics are mine):

These calculations show that clouds did not cause significant climate change over the last decade (over the decades or centuries relevant for long-term climate change, on the other hand, clouds can indeed cause significant warming).”

Long term climate change can be caused by clouds??! Well, maybe Andy is finally seeing the light! ;) (Nope. It turns out he meant ” *RADIATIVE FEEDBACK DUE TO* clouds can indeed cause significant warming”. An obvious, minor typo. My bad.)

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514 Responses to The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: My Initial Comments on the New Dessler 2011 Study

  1. Ron Cram says:

    Roy,
    I am still not clear on how Dessler could be off by a factor of 10. Where exactly was his mistake?

    Also, I’m surprised Dessler’s comment on his video that you didn’t use real data did not make your list of “The Ugly.” Any comment?

  2. Fred from Canuckistan says:

    Same actor, same music, better movie . . . . Kelly’s Heroes

  3. Max Hugoson says:

    Dr. Spencer: If there are MORE CLOUDS (which is our contention, caused by both feedback and the Svensmark mechanism), then Andy will see LESS LIGHT. And threrefore become MORE entrenched in his position. If there are LESS clouds, then he will see MORE LIGHT, but conclude that “warming” is still the trend (as that is what will happen with less clouds, wait..that’s “our side” of feedback). I don’t think we can win with Andy!

  4. ‘And, to end on a little lighter note, we were quite surprised to see this statement in Dessler’s paper in the Conclusions (italics are mine):

    “These calculations show that clouds did not cause significant climate change over the last decade (over the decades or centuries relevant for long-term climate change, on the other hand, clouds can indeed cause significant warming).”’

    I am not a geek or a maths guru, or a scientist of any kind, but this also made me smile. Did he really MEAN to say this? As to the article, it is as far as my very small brain can ascertain, a masterpiece! Your court I think, Mr. Dessler…now back to Flushing Meadow!

  5. RobW says:

    I will give 20:1 odds the turn around time is glacial. But I could be convinced to massage the numbers to 1.7:1

    sorry couldn’t resist. Love your comments that go straight to the heart of the matter. Clouds are very important to climate.

  6. KR says:

    Dr. Spencer

    With all due respect, I believe that your selection of only six of the fourteen models you evaluated, the six that (as it happens) maximize the difference between the model results and the observations, looks very bad. It has been my experience that if you show your hypothesis holds against the strongest counter-evidence, it’s going to hold up over the long term. You comparison, however, was to some of the weakest counter-evidence, and whether you like it or not, that gives readers a very poor impression of the work.

    Add to that the fact that the three models that agree the most with the observations are those models that are noted to best match ENSO variations, which are (quite likely) the major cause of the temperature variations over the last decade, and your omission of those model results is even more puzzling.

    At the very least you should have explained in your paper why you did not show the other eight model results you ran.

    Regarding The Ugly, as you put it:

    Most climate factors have possibilities of both forcing and feedback, including CO2, cloud cover, etc. However, the initiation of a change in climate is the forcing, caused by something other than relative temperature – insolation variations, CO2 levels, random cloud variations, etc. Even if Dessler is completely off base with his 20:1 difference between ocean heat redistribution and cloud effects, even if you are correct with ~2:1, you have still not shown any dominant effect of clouds over and above the ENSO heat redistribution. Certainly not in terms of long term effects, as you have posited no physical mechanism that could cause long term cloud changes. Without some mechanism, some reasons why, we have no reason to believe that variations plus or minus from temperature driven humidity and cloud cover will persist in imbalance long enough (10’s of years) to affect climate.

    To be quite blunt, without such a physical mechanism overriding the water vapor cycle, your assertions of clouds as the forcing driving the ENSO are “Just So Stories”.

  7. Brian H says:

    Dessler’s Paper should be henceforth referred to as The Dessler Flail.

  8. eyesonu says:

    Dr.Spencer, very well presented.

    Thank you.

    Sincerely,

  9. Mike Bromley the Kurd says:

    My synaesthesia is acting up. Hearing the GB&U theme, I suddenly smelled popcorn. Or, maybe it was the post……

  10. TomRude says:

    “When you have to shoot, shoot! Don’t talk.
    Line from Tuco

  11. NetDr says:

    The violent reaction to this paper tells me that it has drawn blood.
    If it were wrong then showing this to be true would be enough.
    The libelous hyperbole just makes them look petty.

  12. eyesonu says:

    And the title with the associated format just “knocks my socks off”!

  13. Bill Parsons says:

    In one of Dessler’s video interviews (I can’t find the link right now), he insists that they can scarcely find a scientist ready to debate the issue with him. Well… (?) Any such public debate(s) would be a welcome complement to the recent papers, and certainly more productive than the pot shots being fired, and “the ritual seppuku of young academic Wolfgang Wagner”, as Steve McIntyre called it.

  14. PhilJourdan says:

    I guess you are going to get a lot of bets, so I will just comment on the conclusion. HUH????

    They make a definitive statement, but qualify it by saying “maybe it has”? Sounds very wishy washy.

  15. Michael Larkin says:

    KR:

    “as you have posited no physical mechanism that could cause long term cloud changes.”

    But hasn’t Svensmark’s hypothesis provided this? And haven’t the CERN results so far begun to provide possible evidence for that?

  16. richard verney says:

    As soon as I read: “The claim is that since the AMIP model runs do not allow clouds to cause surface temperature changes, this means the lag correlation structures we published could are not evidence of clouds causing temperature change.” alarm bells rang loud.

    I note that you state “While I will have to think about this some more, it smacks of circular reasoning.” I envisage that after you have reflected further upon this, you will continue to think that it is circular reasoning; so precisely what of significance does Dressler demonstrate?

    It does appear that there is much in the Dressler paper that supports the root thrust ‘that models and observations are not in sync and that there is a divergence problem between models projections and reality’. This suggests either a problem with the models (most likely), or some unexplained errors in empirical data gathering/record keeping.

    I look forward to reading your follow up paper.

    ps, it would be ironic if Dressler has made an error in his paper which may give rise to him obtaining a reputation as a scientist requiring others to correct his work. I intend looking at the maths in more detail

  17. Roy Spencer says:

    Small typo in the equation: Tsfc should be (delta)Tsfc.

  18. Disko Troop says:

    An admirably restrained response considering the somewhat provocative statements in Daily Climate. Happily Dr Dessler released a video for the enlightenment of morons like me. Half way through it I wanted to put up my hand and ask to go to the toilet as I was beginning to feel sick, but no matter, I look forward to your forthcoming paper in GRL. Please don’t make a video. I hope Anthony Watts does not have to resign from his own blog for posting your response. (I’ll check with Kevin on the latest rules and get back to you!

  19. James Sexton says:

    Dr. Spencer, thanks for the quick response. I wasn’t sure how long it would take you. I’d personally like to thank you for showing all of the models. It proved my point that the rest were likely left out because it makes for a very ugly graphic and isn’t easy to discern what it is that you’d be trying to show.

    Just so I’m clear, AMIP models don’t allow for clouds, even as feedback, to amplify or decrease temp changes? If so, this is another huge hit towards Dressler’s credibility and the alleged reviewers.

    @KR What you are asking about is in the Bad section, (the 20:1vs2:1) not the Ugly. The Ugly section was reserved for the mischaracterization (lying about) the claims of SB11. And the obsession about how many models SB11 showed in their pretty picture.

  20. John in NZ says:

    It does not matter if Dessler’s paper is full of errors.

    From now on, they will refer to Spencer and Braswell as being discredited.

    It’s not about the science. It’s about the sound bites.

  21. Nuke Nemesis says:

    So where does CO2 and other greenhouse gases fit into this debate? How does human activity affect ENSO? Somebody, somewhere has to get the discussion back to fossil fuels or the message will get lost in a scientific discussion.

  22. JeffC says:

    so clouds (which are weather in my mind) and exist for short periods of time (individually and geographically) can effect long term climate but not short term climate … right …

  23. Viv Evans says:

    Thank you, from a non-geek with no pocket calculator, but who was quite amazed at dessler’s conclusion which you picked up.

  24. glacierman says:

    Another Aggie Joke to add to the list:

    “These calculations show that clouds did not cause significant climate change over the last decade (over the decades or centuries relevant for long-term climate change, on the other hand, clouds can indeed cause significant warming).”

    http://aggiejoke.com/

  25. My concern is that the system works. If the system works then what goes through the system will work and so the science will be good.

    But the evidence is that the peer review system is broken. And there is no better proof of that, than the way sceptic papers are repressed and pro papers get fast tracked and … really don’t seem to serve a purpose except to attack other people.

  26. James Sexton says:

    John in NZ says:
    September 7, 2011 at 11:48 am

    It does not matter if Dessler’s paper is full of errors.

    From now on, they will refer to Spencer and Braswell as being discredited.

    It’s not about the science. It’s about the sound bites.
    ========================================================

    Enter the ever increasing sophistication of the average skeptic. It is true, many of your alarmist friends will consider S&B11 as refuted. However, this site and many other will amply provide you with the information necessary to dispute the claim. One of the things I’ve noticed, though there are exceptions, most skeptics have a much more intimate knowledge of various papers and the responses than alarmists.

  27. Ron Cram says:

    Roy,
    Also, could you comment on the potential role of dimethyl sulfide in the debate on clouds? If I understand correctly, increased atmospheric CO2 will lead to more growth of dimethyl sulfide and so greater cloud condensation nuclei. The following abstract discusses changes in distribution, but there is also a change in quantity, correct? http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2011GL047069.shtml

  28. TallDave says:

    KR:With all due respect, I believe that your selection of only six of the fourteen models you evaluated, the six that (as it happens) maximize the difference between the model results and the observations, looks very bad.

    First off, has anyone actually shown that to be the case?

    Second, it makes sense that he would choose the most and least sensitive.

  29. richard verney says:

    KR says:
    September 7, 2011 at 11:25 am
    ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    You raise some points with respect to perception which may have some merit. However, I do not consider matters to be as clear as you suggest.

    For example, with regard to the models not selected by S&B, if you look at the Dessler regression plot Fig2, whilst some of the models not used by S&B may have an impoved fit in the lag period 0 to + 7 months, you will note that many of the models not used have a worse fit in the lag period – 17 to – 5 months.

    You criticize S&B for not having posited a physical mechanism that could cause long term cloud changes. There is no reason why S&B should put forward a mechanism. S&B are merely pointing out that models do not fit reality and reality could be driven by clouds.

    In any case, it could all be due to natural variation in cloud formation/patterns which, as of yet, are not fully understood. For more than 20 years, I have considered the most obvious explanation for any real warming having actually taken place during the last century is clouds. Whilst there are many factors underlying their formation (some known, and may be understood to more or less degree, there are probably many factors which are presently unknown), essentially, clouds are chaotic and random.

    We do not have adequate high resolution data of cloud cover to even begin to evaluate this. However, a general trend of less cloudiness (thereby allowing more solar radiance to impact the surface, particularly the oceans) lasting 150 years would not be surprising since one has to see such a trend against the backdrop of the entire period that Earth has had an atmosphere. If you toss a coin 7 times and it comes up heads on each occassion you may consider it weighted. However, it is quite conceivable to see such a run in a run of say ten million tosses, and it would not in any way look out of the ordinary and the coin would in this longer series be shown to have a 50/50 chance of coming up heads. 150 years is nothing in the context of the geological history of this planet, and it can be incredibly misleading to focus on short time periods and then seeking to extrapolate a trend.

    ps. In my earlier comment, I referred to Dressler not Dessler (for which I am sorry).

  30. Peter Dunford says:

    Wagner made it clear that information brought to light from blogs, post publication, can discredit a peer-reviewed paper to the point that the peer-review process has been demonstrated to have broken down. Where does that leave the editor of GRL? Do we get another resignation? I suspect not.

  31. Kevin Kilty says:

    I tend to agree that using a model that does not allow cloud variations to impact surface temperatures to produce an argument against clouds as a source of surface temperature variations seems like circular reasoning.

    I think what Dressler thought he was doing, and actually only he can say what he was thinking, is showing that the same lagged-correlation would arise without cloud variations, ergo cloudiness variations are not a cause of surface temperature variations. It seems to me one can look at this two ways. First, we often hear that correlation does not prove causation. It seems that correlation does not prove non-causation either–perhaps even more thoroughly.

    Second, his logic seems to be not(A) then B is equivalent to (A) then not(B). Surely this is a fallacy.

  32. Brian H says:

    What’s hilarious is that every model’s “projection” is the average of a bunch of runs with fiddled parameters, and the IPCC “consensus” projection is itself an average of these averages, EVERY ONE OF WHICH IS WRONG BY A LARGE MARGIN, and the daily temperature “averages” in the “raw data” are actually hi-lo temp mid-points (medians), not even weighted, and yet Dessler and supporting loons have the nerve to critique Spencer’s use of the 3 highest and lowest models?

    Disingenuous witless hypocrisy, thy name is Climate Science.

  33. KR says:

    Michael Larkin“as you have posited no physical mechanism that could cause long term cloud changes.”

    But hasn’t Svensmark’s hypothesis provided this? And haven’t the CERN results so far begun to provide possible evidence for that?

    Svensmark’s work is very interesting (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/08/the-cerncloud-results-are-surprisingly-interesting/), but GCR’s just don’t show a trend (up or down) that matches the changes in the climate over the last 50 years.

    James Sexton

    In reference to “The Ugly”, I was referring to causation (first cause of temperature change, clouds or ocean heat redistribution), although I did mention the different energy ratios. Sorry if I was unclear.

    TallDave“KR:With all due respect, I believe that your selection of only six of the fourteen models you evaluated, the six that (as it happens) maximize the difference between the model results and the observations, looks very bad.”

    First off, has anyone actually shown that to be the case?

    Second, it makes sense that he would choose the most and least sensitive.

    Unfortunately, that’s one of the key points in Dessler’s paper (http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/dessler_2011_grl.pdf). The best match models (GFDL CM 2.1, MPI ECHAM5, and MRI CGCM 2.3.2A) are the ones known to best match the ENSO, and they were not included despite being run by Spencer et al. That does not look good.

  34. Andrew Harding says:

    Roy, I congratulate you on the hard work that you have done to to question Dr Desslers science. I am normally vociferous on this website, but in this posting I am not going to comment. The reason for my lack of comment is because it is too technical for me. I do not want your hard work to indirectly criticised by warmists, because people like myself who are not climate scientists have made ill-informed comments that will be seized upon, quoted and ridiculed.
    I will continue to read your future essays on the subject.

  35. mckyj57 says:

    KR Wrote:
    Even if Dessler is completely off base with his 20:1 difference between ocean heat redistribution and cloud effects, even if you are correct with ~2:1, you have still not shown any dominant effect of clouds over and above the ENSO heat redistribution. Certainly not in terms of long term effects, as you have posited no physical mechanism that could cause long term cloud changes. Without some mechanism, some reasons why, we have no reason to believe that variations plus or minus from temperature driven humidity and cloud cover will persist in imbalance long enough (10′s of years) to affect climate.
    I think that long-term cloud changes could happen because of any number of factors. Isn’t that what the CLOUD experiment was aimed at?

  36. Jeremy says:

    Using the above equation, if I assumed a feedback parameter λ=3 Watts per sq. meter per degree, that 20:1 ratio Dessler gets becomes 2.2:1. If I use a feedback parameter of λ=6, then the ratio becomes 1.7:1. This is basically an order of magnitude difference from his calculation.

    ^^^ You have 1 equation and 3 unknowns. It is not clear here how you’re solving for that 20:1 unknown. Also, where was the number 3 arrived at?

  37. Dayday says:

    DirtyHarryreadmefile

    I know what you are thinking , can I get this paper published in 5 days or can I get it published in 6, well to tell you the truth in all the excitement I kinda lost track myself but seeing this is about good science and could blow the head of your theory clean off, you have got to ask your self one question. Do I feel lucky? Well do you punk?

  38. extremist says:

    Why are so many of the “new results” showing the 0 time lag regression coefficients to be negative? Clearly, Dessler’s Fig. 2 shows that all but one are positive.

    Some please explain. Are the datasets different? Does regression mean different things in the two papers? What’s going on?

  39. eyesonu says:

    As these comments are likely going to become very technically detailed discussions so I would like to make light one comment.

    I thought that dihydrogen monoxide was going to kill us all, but now it may save the world. From the attributes to the death tolls from Irene, there were at least 5 that were directly attributed to those whom intentionally immersed / subjected themselves to dihydrogen monoxide. I did the same while the creeks were up, but I survived. Have to admit that I truly enjoyed the use of an excessive dose of dihydrogen monoxide! It was a real splash.

  40. Gras Albert says:

    Dr Spencer

    I note your surprise regarding the peer review process’s failure to detect an apparently obvious and significant error in Dessler 2011.

    I also note that Dessler thanks Evan, Fasullo, Murphy, Trenberth, Zelinka and A.J. Dessler for their useful comments.

    Is it not equally surprising that such an august assembly* of renowned scientists in the field appear to have not commented on this issue?

    * by the way, might I suggest that an appropriate collective noun for such an eminent group of climate scientists might be a ‘cloud’

  41. ChrisM says:

    “These calculations show that clouds did not cause significant climate change over the last decade (over the decades or centuries relevant for long-term climate change, on the other hand, clouds can indeed cause significant warming).”

    But all the data sets (except GISS) show that there hasn’t been significant climate change in the last decade. Isn’t this Dessler just proving zero equals zero?

  42. 1DandyTroll says:

    So, essentially, Dessler is claiming that the real world observation is not the representation of reality but that his models are.

    I believe there’re quite the few pupils of the pharmacological self-study group in a number of insane asylums around the world that would agree if they were only allowed to leave the chemical compound. :p

  43. Jeremy says:

    KR says:
    September 7, 2011 at 11:25 am

    With all due respect, I believe that your selection of only six of the fourteen models you evaluated, the six that (as it happens) maximize the difference between the model results and the observations, looks very bad.

    As you say, I would consider this a “just so” story until someone demonstrates that to be the case. Do the choices made actually maximize the difference between model results and observations? You need to provide some kind of evidence this is so, simply stating it doesn’t make it so. Dessler could have chosen to demonstrate this was so in his paper if he thought this was the case. He didn’t. That would at least suggest to me that it’s another piece of nonsense thrown at the wall to see if it sticks.

    Add to that the fact that the three models that agree the most with the observations are those models that are noted to best match ENSO variations, which are (quite likely) the major cause of the temperature variations over the last decade, and your omission of those model results is even more puzzling.

    It sounds like you are saying the models that account for ENSO show more agreement with the observations as presented by both SB11 and Dessler. When you consider: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2010/2010GL044888.shtml and the observations shown in the two papers in question it begs the question. Perhaps clouds have a part in determining ENSO and the models are simply a slightly flawed concept showing the right result. (as I recall it’s happened before)

  44. As you say, it is going to take a cool head and probably a couple of weeks to fully address and deconstruct the Dessler paper. The mis-characterisation of your *bi-directional* hypothesis immediately raised red flags wrt. the objectivity of Dessler, as well as the peer review of his paper.

    I have a limited understanding of “climate science” and current gaps, particularly wrt. characterising and quantifying cloud albedo (wrt. “energy budget”). I confess to being most aligned with Svensmark at present (which you don’t necessarily contradict in gross terms). Primarily, just want to say best wishes. Trenberth has further discredited himself with his petty actions and statements. Kudos for the way you have handled things over the last few days.

  45. G. Karst says:

    I hope that GRL will offer us as rapid a turnaround as Dessler got in the peer review process

    How can they not? There is way too much focus, thanks to Wolfgang, for such shenanigans. Isn’t there? Or perhaps they regard such tactics as somehow heroic? I just find it all discombobulating. As someone said, let’s refill the popcorn bowl and await developments. We shall see what we will see! :( GK

  46. JFD says:

    KR, you said above, “Certainly not in terms of long term effects, as you have posited no physical mechanism that could cause long term cloud changes.” I have no fish to fry in this hot grease but do believe that I can posit a physical mechanism that could cause long term cloud changes.

    The world is currently producing a bit more than 1000 cubic kilometers of fossil water per year. Fossil water is from no or slow to recharge aquifers. This water, which is not in equilibrium with the hydrological cycle for one cycle, both heats the atmosphere as it changes energy regime from potential to kinetic then back to potential and increases the level of the oceans by 2.6 mm/year. Use of fossil ground water started in earnest around 1950 and increased as the world population increased until about 2000 or so when some decline started due to dropping water levels in the tube wells.

    Much of the fossil water is used in evaporative cooling towers for electric power plants, refineries, chemical plants, gas processing plants etc. The cooling water removes heat from the processes and goes to the cooling tower where it flows downward as air is induced from the bottom through slats to cause evaporative mixing. The air, water vapor and aerosols leave the top of the tower at about 120F and 100% humidity plus the aerosols. The mixture is lighter than air so rises and eventually is cooled enough to condense into rain, giving up the initial latent heat which changed the potential energy into kinetic energy as specific heat when the kinetic energy is changed back to potential energy. It seems to me that cloud formation has to be a part of this physical process.

    The other big use of fossil ground water is irrigation for food and fodder. This use is more sporadic/seasonal in nature but the evaporative cooling towers operate 24/7/365. However the fossil water used for irrigation does add to the level of the oceans.

    Fossil water answers several questions about energy, ocean levels, global warming and sea level rises. 1000 cubic kilometers of new water added to the atmosphere each year is considerable. It accounts for more than the observable increase in atmosphere temperature, which leads me to believe that there is a “temperature relief valve” in the Tropopause. Simple partial pressures indicate that increasing carbon dioxide in the Troposphere causes water to be expelled into outer space.

    JFD

  47. HankH says:

    Following KR’s comments above, What I see is the two of the models that more closely agree with the regression coefficient still exhibit a significant diverge in the phase relationship (lag) between model runs and satellite data. This causes me to question if they’re truly modeling reality or happen to be two models of the 14 that agree better for the wrong reasons. Statistically speaking two models of the 14 are going to agree better no matter how bad the entire ensemble gets it. That’s why I think that picking two or three models on the basis of a specific bias they represent in the data as KR suggests is an entirely wrong statistical approach and one clearly more likely to draw criticism from statisticians. After all, there’s a reason why there’s an ensemble of 14 models isn’t there? If one or two models are proven to be better consistently than all the others, then why do we continue to run the others and use them in key research as we do? Yes, we can play musical models and see which ones fit into chairs when the music stops but all you’re doing is finding a situational fit that may or may not lead to a valid analysis.

    It seems obvious to me that there remains a clear divergence in phase in the general ensemble that can’t be substantially fixed up by singling out a few select models. Herein, I believe is Dr. Spencer’s point that deserves a better explanation than just hand waving and disparaging Dr. Spencer’s methodology.

  48. Mycroft says:

    DR Roy spencer
    2) how did all of the peer reviewers of the paper, who (if they are competent) should be familiar with our work, allow such a statement to stand?

    Answer because they know the effect it will have… to cast doubt, and no doubt one or two TEAM members have had their input or say.

    good luck and best wishes with you reply paper

  49. Brian H says:

    JFD says:
    September 7, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Simple partial pressures indicate that increasing carbon dioxide in the Troposphere causes water to be expelled into outer space.

    JFD

    Whenever I’ve mentioned the open top of the atmosphere, and loss of mass and energy, I’ve been jumped on. What you describe makes great sense to me, a kind of evaporation of H2O, which is much lighter than CO2, O2, O3, N2, etc. There’s even a non-stop source of turbulence that would (IMO) facilitate this: the “Diurnal Bulge”, a 600-km high wave of atmosphere that tracks the sun about 2 hrs. lagging.

    Anyhoo …

  50. Frank K. says:

    Dr. Spencer says:
    “I hope that GRL will offer us as rapid a turnaround as Dessler got in the peer review process. Feel free to take bets on that.”

    Like G. Karst, I too look forward to the GRL’s new and improved “RAPID REVIEW” ™ process. I’m sure it’ll only take 8 weeks (10 tops)!

  51. Roy Spencer says:

    Ron Cram:

    See the comments under by blog post for the likely source of the factor of ten difference.

    I did not include any mention of Dessler’s video because (1) I haven’t seen it, and (2) I was just addressing his peer-reviewed and published paper in this post.

    -Roy Spencer

  52. Martin Lewitt says:

    KR,

    “To be quite blunt, without such a physical mechanism overriding the water vapor cycle, your assertions of clouds as the forcing driving the ENSO are “Just So Stories”.

    The paper was about diagnosis of radiative feedback. The IPCC projections are just plain invalid if there isn’t strong positive cloud feedback, because all of the models have significant positive feedback. As someone at climateaudit pointed out, AR4 states in Section 8.6.2.3:

    …in the absence of cloud feedbacks, current GCMs would predict a climate sensitivity (±1 standard deviation) of roughly 1.9°C ± 0.15°C (ignoring spread from radiative forcing differences). The mean and standard deviation of climate sensitivity estimates derived from current GCMs are larger (3.2°C ± 0.7°C) essentially because the GCMs all predict a positive cloud feedback (Figure 8.14) but strongly disagree on its magnitude.

    If the AR4 models don’t get their significant positive cloud feedback, then there is plenty to override “the water vapor cycle”, for starters try the speedup of the cycle. Wentz in the journal Science showed that all the AR4 models reproduced less than half in the increase in precipitation seen in the observations. Under representing a negative feedback (the water cycle) combined with over representing a positive feedback pretty much leave the models running wild.

    Do you really think this statement from SB11:

    “We hypothesize that changes in the coupled oceanatmosphere circulation during the El Niño and La Niña phases of ENSO cause differing changes in cloud cover, which then modulate the radiative balance of the climate system”

    was the main result from the paper or can be fairly characterized as: “assertions of clouds as the forcing driving the ENSO”?

    How Much More Rain Will Global Warming Bring?
    Frank J. Wentz, Lucrezia Ricciardulli, Kyle Hilburn, and Carl Mears
    Science 13 July 2007: 317 (5835), 233-235.Published online 31 May 2007 [DOI:10.1126/science.1140746]

  53. Ged says:

    @KR,

    I’m sorry, but which models show a -statistically significant- fit that agrees with satellite observations? I sure don’t see any, nor does Dessler.

    Taking most and least sensitive was instructive, and looked fine. Why? Because the point was that basing a model on sensitivity alone was not accurately matching the satellite observations. Or are you going to contest this?

  54. Roy Spencer says:

    DayDay wins the humor contest! :)

  55. glacierman says:

    Any possiblity we will ever know who the reviewers for Dessler2011 were?

    Great job they did. No puffball review there……very thorough.

    I am sure they are watching….probably even commenting. Hang your heads in shame.

  56. Brian H says:

    BTW, to falsify a hypothesis it is NOT necessary to propose a better alternative one. Either the H0 or acknowledgment of ignorance will do just fine.

  57. KR says:

    GedI’m sorry, but which models show a -statistically significant- fit that agrees with satellite observations? I sure don’t see any, nor does Dessler.

    If you read the Dessler paper, the three models that are, incidentally, best known to reproduce the ENSO variations, fall almost entirely within the uncertainty range of the satellite temperature values. And yes, Dessler clearly points those out. Those were _not_ included in Spencer’s graphs, nor were the uncertainty ranges, despite those particular models having a fairly close agreement to the temperature records over the last 10 years.

    10 years is a fairly short time in terms of climate – 30 is statistically (based on year to year variations) a better minimum time to estimate climate changes, as opposed to ENSO variations, weather, or simply noise. One of my concerns with the Spencer et al 2011 paper is that it’s really just too short a time frame (10 years?) to look at equilibrium climate sensitivity – it’s a time frame much more appropriate to considering whether climate models match the ENSO. And Spencer did not show the models known to best track the ENSO. Like it or not, that (in my opinion) was a poor selection of data, and gives the impression that counter-evidence was not shown. I really wish he had shown all 14 models that he ran, and discussed his conclusions in that light.

  58. KR says:

    DayDay – Excellent! Almost laughed myself out of my chair…

  59. Dr A Burns says:

    I would have thought that the fact that monthly Hadcrut3 temperatures vary around 3.5 degrees annually and that they are lowest when the earth is closest to the sun, would have been clear evidence of the strong negative feedback of clouds ?

  60. Bloke down the pub says:

    Perhaps Roy this all just goes to show that you can have good science, and you can have quick science. Asking for both may be a step too far.

  61. HAS says:

    TallDave @ September 7, 2011 at 12:16 pm
    KR @ September 7, 2011 at 12:43 pm
    Jeremy @ September 7, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    I had a quick look at Dessler’s claims that GFDL CM 2.1, MPI ECHAM5, and MRI CGCM 2.3.2A are the best match to ENSO at

    http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/06/spencer-braswell-part-iii/#comment-109890

    It does seem that based on at least one recent system of categorisation they aren’t.

  62. Steven Mosher says:

    Roy,

    One issue is that the models which show the best correlation are actually form the middle of the pack with ECRs in the range of 3.4 and TCRs in the range of 1.6-2.2

    By only showing the high and low sensitivity I think most people assume that the moderate sensitivity models would be in the middle. But they are not. It’s clear that the data and models are not happy campers. What’s not clear is whether you can diagnose ECR by looking at these data, maybe TCR.. anyways, still sorting through the math

  63. John Whitman says:

    Roy Spencer,

    Thank you for the post at WUWT.

    I think this is science as it should be. I sincerely hope Dessler sees this discourse in a light that reflects well on the openness in science; openness that I think your approach does reflect.

    To the DISCOURSE!!!

    John

  64. ZT says:

    Dr Spencer: Thank you and Steve McIntyre!

    I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Dessler’s ‘Science’ 2010 paper.

    All those interested, please see Dessler 2010: ftp://ftp.ingv.it/pub/pietropaolo.bertagnolio/climate/dessler10-cloudFeedbacks.pdf

    Here Dessler says:

    “the slope using the MERRA is 0.46 T +/- 0.75 W/m2/K” (i.e. positive or negative we don’t know statistically) and later includes the rather witty line “Obviously, the correlation … is weak (r2= 2%)”

    As one would typically want an r2 greater than 50% before drawing any form of conclusion using regression, this is an ugly example of the flagrant disregard for science and logic typical of the climatological community. Yet Dessler concludes:

    “My analysis suggests that the short-term cloud feedback is likely positive and that climate
    models as a group are doing a reasonable job of simulating this feedback, providing some indication that models successfully simulate the response of clouds to climate variations.”

    A clear, ugly, example of the corrupt ‘science’ of climatology.

    Perhaps Dessler would care to put together a short video explaining his statistical analysis?

  65. Brandon Caswell says:

    This is a chess game.
    -Dr Spencer took an offensive move in releasing this paper. If it stands it might have to be considered by the new IPCC report.
    -They countered with personal attacks, but they actually left them in a worse position on the board than before.
    -it was countered by making fun of the fact they didn’t respond to anything in SB 11 science, and it hit a chord. Now this is getting serious.
    -They responded with a sacrifice of the editior of the magazine, which they timed to come out with this new paper. Good move because, the editor move on its own was getting laughed off the board.
    -Spencer or another will respond with a rebuttal paper……that will get held up for as long as it takes so they won’t have to consider the initial SB11 paper for the IPCC.
    -When reviewer comments at IPCC suggest the SB11 paper, they will point to the dessler 2011 paper as the reason to not consider it because the rebuttal will be too late to consider.

    Checkmate. They have lost alot of respect, but they win the battle for the IPCC report. They think the IPCC report will trump all the other small battles like this and give them a clean slate again after it comes out. This is no shock, the same people did the same thing with past papers and IPCC reports. Business as usual. No shame.

  66. Brandon Caswell says:

    You have to remember, this is not about science or even global warming.

    This is about careers.
    This is about reputations.
    This about ideologies.
    This is about money.

    People have been killed over these things in the past!

    Do you really think Someone like Trenberth can even consider admitting he might have been wrong about something? Especially since they made such spectacles of themselves claiming everyone but themselves are morons. His career will now live and die with AGW, like many others. They are now between the proverbial rock and a hard place. They look silly if they continue, they look silly if they don’t.

  67. D. J. Hawkins says:

    @KR
    Re your comments on “The Ugly”, you do realize that the point Spencer et al are making is not that the clouds force temperature, but that because the effects are bidirectional it’s currently not possible to determine the true sensitivity?

  68. DocMartyn says:

    Roy, on the Climate4you website they have the plot of the change in the ground and the air temperature, vs time, during the course of a solar eclipse:-

    http://www.climate4you.com/Longyearbyen%20SolarEclipse%2020080801.htm

    You can see the effect of a cloud and the Longyearbyen Solar Eclipse, August 1, 2008.
    Now, one could calculate the light flux, based on time and location, prior to and following the eclipse. What I note is that the ground is a very good radiator and that the air is a very poor radiator. This is a little odd if one believes that the air ‘traps’ the heat.
    Using the data provided in the links, one could calculate the non-radiatively forced (i.e. non-cloud) temperature changes versus radiatively (mostly cloud) forced variations. directly.

    For myself i would prefer an experimental approach,
    Have a large, football field sized, sheet of aluminumized Mylar suspended to tethered weather balloons. Tether each balloon to fours trucks and at different T’s, drive the trucks so that the sheet blocks the sunlight above your spectrophotometer/temperature monitors.

  69. ThinkingScientist says:

    HankH says:

    “This causes me to question if they’re truly modeling reality or happen to be two models of the 14 that agree better for the wrong reasons. Statistically speaking two models of the 14 are going to agree better no matter how bad the entire ensemble gets it.”

    This is a good point, and we can extend it further by pointing out that when taking the data and comparing it to multiple models, the necessary statistical r^2 value required for a given confidence level must be much higher than if the comparison was to just one model. In a Student T test of r^2 it goes up as the power of the number of comparisons.

    Similarily, the Steve McIntyre regression of Dessler shows about 115 – 120 points on the plot. A Student T test would then require an r^2 of 0.032 to be significant at the 95% CI. I think both the zero lag (Dessler) and the 4 month lag (Spencer) correlations would fail a Student T test.

  70. Avondlander says:

    To KR:
    Read this excellent article on the possibility of long-term external (cosmic) influences on cloud formation:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904900904576554063768827104.html

  71. BA says:

    So who were the 3 reviewers who passed SB11, despite its cherry-picked model/data comparison and assumptions chosen to support a particular conclusion? Remote Sensing invites authors themselves to nominate up to 5 reviewers. Did Spencer do so, and were the 3 reviewers actually from his list? If so, SB11 got published in the first place by exploiting a weakness in their peer review system.

    Spencer at different times has written that he only knows who one of the reviewers was, but also that all 3 of them were well published in climate modeling. Those statements don’t seem to agree.

  72. KR says:

    D. J. Hawkins“@KR: Re your comments on “The Ugly”, you do realize that the point Spencer et al are making is not that the clouds force temperature, but that because the effects are bidirectional it’s currently not possible to determine the true sensitivity?”

    From Spencer and Braswell 2011, Conclusions, first line: “We have shown clear evidence from the CERES instrument that global temperature variations during 2000–2010 were largely radiatively forced.”

    Also, “Finally, since much of the temperature variability during 2000–2010 was due to ENSO [9], we conclude that ENSO-related temperature variations are partly radiatively forced.”

    Radiatively forced temperatures? By clouds, then, rather than ocean heat distribution (i.e, the ENSO)? This appears to be a clear claim on Spencer and Braswell’s part to me – I really don’t see how to read that in any other fashion. It’s a claim that cloud changes are the forcing component on the temperature changes of the last decade, rather than the ENSO. How would you interpret that???

  73. KR says:

    Dr. Spencer

    I would still be interested in your reasons for not including 8 of the 14 models you studied, the ones that don’t support your hypothesis as strongly. I believe your paper would have been much better with those included, along with error bars so that we could evaluate the strength of your hypotheses.

  74. James of the West says:

    @Dr Spencer
    Perhaps there is no option but to, in your rebuttal, do the mountains of work to use all of the additional 8 models. Once you have used all 14 models there can be no cherry picking arguments whatsoever. It’s a long road but perhaps worth it.

    @KR – I played with the svensmark idea and got quite good correlation to temperature changes. If you use a proxy like neutron count data which goes back to the 50s with a threshold value where above this threshold neutron count value you get cooling (I developed an equation for the magnitude of warming/cooling) and below it you get warming in a similar fashion (lets call it delta N from threshold) then correlation is good with global avg temperature. The relationship breaks in the mid 90s (pinatubo cooling) and most recently it is predicting that we should be cooling since 2005 but temp is flat… Its a very simplistic model that is not worthy of broad publication but was a way to fill a rainy Sunday afternoon that I’d be happy to share with people who are seriously interested.

  75. KR says:

    Avondlander, James of the West – Regarding cosmic rays, can you point me towards the data you used?

    Checking various direct cosmic ray measures (such as http://cosmicrays.oulu.fi/, or with numbers http://cosmicrays.oulu.fi/webform/query.cgi?startdate=1965%2F01%2F01&starttime=00%3A00&enddate=2011%2F09%2F07&endtime=02%3A14&resolution=Automatic+choice) I don’t see any long term trends.

  76. James Sexton says:

    KR says:
    September 7, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    ……………………….. It’s a claim that cloud changes are the forcing component on the temperature changes of the last decade, rather than the ENSO. How would you interpret that???
    =============================================================
    “Finally, since much of the temperature variability during 2000–2010 was due to ENSO [9], we conclude that ENSO-related temperature variations are partly radiatively forced.”

    KR…… A forcing, not the forcing. Don’t feel bad, you just replicated a Dessler flaw. Now, as to what kind of company that puts you in………..

  77. Brian Macker says:

    KR,
    “Certainly not in terms of long term effects, as you have posited no physical mechanism that could cause long term cloud changes.”

    You assumption is incorrect. There can be daily short term effects. Clouds can form earlier in the day and dissipate later in the evening.

    Isn’t the mechanism obvious. The extra heat evaporates more water that causes more clouds to form in order to remove the water. Think of a heat pipe. The fact that humid air is lighter than dry air is actually m ore efficient than a wick in a heat pipe, plus you get the same advantage of transporting heat via evaporation and condensation. An additional advantage over a heat pipe is that in addition to dumping in the infrared this heat pipe blocks incoming visible light (via clouds) when it is operating.

    The world is a much cooler place than it would if water vapor was more dense than air, and clouds were not reflective. Water not only keeps the earth warmer than it would be because it is a greenhouse gas but it keeps it cooler because it is a HEAT PIPE GAS and a SHADE HOUSE LIQUID!!!! This is one of many reasons I doubt the mental abilities of the catastrophists. They never admit the obvious or even think about it. They are exactly the analogs of those who deny that CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

    [Everyone: Please give me credit for coining these terms, right here on Watts Up With That]

    So yes there are physical mechanisms by which water can act as a negative feedback.

  78. Gary Hladik says:

    Roy Spencer says (September 7, 2011 at 1:54 pm): “DayDay wins the humor contest! :)”

    Hands down!

    Or should I say, “Hands up, punk!” :-)

  79. eyesonu says:

    From some of the above posts. 14 models or 14 shots and still a miss. There will be no squirrel or rabbit for dinner. One shot equals one kill in my world and dinner will be on the table. Art thou feeling hunger pains? Accuracy?

  80. KR says:

    James SextonA forcing, not the forcing.

    To repeat:

    From Spencer and Braswell 2011, Conclusions, first line: “We have shown clear evidence from the CERES instrument that global temperature variations during 2000–2010 were largely radiatively forced.”

    This is a very strong claim. Add to that the quote “Finally, since much of the temperature variability during 2000–2010 was due to ENSO [9], we conclude that ENSO-related temperature variations are partly radiatively forced.”, and it adds up to clouds at least partly driving the ENSO.

    Without, as I noted above, any mechanism that could take clouds to an out of equilibrium state (as per the water vapor cycle) for >10 years, where they could affect climate.

  81. Arthur Gevart says:

    Sorry for all those happy hikers ou there who dislike Douglas Adams. I couldn’t resist the temptation to quote him here.
    “Reality differs from our Models. Reality is wrong” , says Dressler to Spencer reminds me of this passage from the HHGGT:
    “So, for instance, when the Guide was sued by the families of those who had died as a result of taking the entry on the planet Traal literally – it said Ravenous Bugblatter Beasts often make a very good meal for visiting tourists instead of Ravenous Bugblatter Beasts often make a very good meal of visiting tourists – the editors claimed that the first version of the sentence was the more aesthetically pleasing; summoned a qualified poet to testify under oath that beauty was truth, truth beauty, and hoped thereby to prove that the guilty party in this case was life itself for failing to be either beautiful or true. The judges concurred& and in a moving speech held that life itself was in contempt of court and duly confiscated it from all those there present before going off for a pleasant evening s Ultra-golf.”

  82. Gary Hladik says:

    HankH says (September 7, 2011 at 1:32 pm): “Yes, we can play musical models and see which ones fit into chairs when the music stops but all you’re doing is finding a situational fit that may or may not lead to a valid analysis.”

    Assuming certain models “fit” ENSO events better (but see HAS, September 7, 2011 at 2:32 pm), what do they get so “wrong” that the IPCC won’t use them exclusively? As HankH points out, choosing them just for their purported ENSO fit is no less cherry-picking than that found, supposedly, in SB11.

  83. Paul Deacon says:

    The Team are finding S&B’s paper a pain in the AR5.

  84. acementhead says:

    @ Brian Macker
    September 7, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    The usual. Good news and bad. The bad news is that “Heat Pipe Gas” is already taken.

    The good news is that you get “SHADE HOUSE LIQUID”.

  85. Jimmy Haigh says:

    Eclipse Tha Producer says:
    September 7, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Hmm? Where to start?

  86. Bart says:

    KR says:
    September 7, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    “If you read the Dessler paper, the three models that are, incidentally, best known to reproduce the ENSO variations, fall almost entirely within the uncertainty range of the satellite temperature values.”

    Only if you define “uncertainty range” incredibly expansively. Speaking for myself, this meretricious talking point is becoming extremely annoying.

    “10 years is a fairly short time in terms of climate – 30 is statistically (based on year to year variations) a better minimum time to estimate climate changes, as opposed to ENSO variations, weather, or simply noise.”

    Based on the act that there is a readily apparent ~60 year cyclicality in the global temperature record, 30 is the worst possible period to use to evaluate long term climate evolution.

  87. Policyguy says:

    So,

    Brandon Caswell says:
    September 7, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    You make a very good point. Is there a better way to place a new research paper in circulation?

    Another point could be the observation that the editor, in resigning, left the impression that he had apparently sacrificed his career and so paid a high professional price for crossing Trenberth and his ilk. Let that be a lesson to you – if true. Perhaps there are no scientifically “honest” climate oriented, peer reviewed publications left. The price of “protection” may be too high.

    So maybe its not so much a polite game of chess as it is raw thuggery, as practiced in the higher realms of “Academia” – with public money.

  88. mike g says:

    And, while federal money continues to be wasted on climate research, like this crap from Dessler, the James Webb space telescope is on the chopping block. Can’t we eliminate climate research? The science is settled after all. http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/indepth/47009

  89. AJ says:

    Why is this starting to remind me of the feuds between Farnsworth and Wernstrom on Futurama? Now if only I new which one was which :)

  90. Konrad says:

    Professor Dessler claims in his conclusion – “over the decades or centuries relevant for long-term climate change, on the other hand, clouds can indeed cause significant warming”

    This is clearly absurd. As I stated on a previous thread, if the Earth experienced 100% cloud cover for a year, you could ice skate from Sydney to LA. A change from 99% cloud cover to 100% cloud cover would clearly cause cooling. However Dessler is claiming that an increase from the average around 61% will cause warming. Are we to believe that there is a magic “tipping point” between 61% and 100% cloud cover where clouds stop warming and start cooling? What is this point? 70%, 80% or 82.142% ??

    The only way clouds could cause net warming is if they appeared mostly at night, mostly over land and did not require evaporation or transpiration of any kind to supply the required water molecules for their immaculate conception. Only in Climate Science World. Whether forcing or feed back, in the real world clouds cool, Dessler should visit sometime.

  91. TomRude says:

    Clouds are bi and it’s genetic!

  92. Tilo Reber says:

    KR: “To be quite blunt, without such a physical mechanism overriding the water vapor cycle, your assertions of clouds as the forcing driving the ENSO are “Just So Stories”.”

    One can recognize an effect without having found the cause. Just because the physical mechanism is not yet completely understood does not mean the effect doesn’t exist. But in any case, variations in clouds can be caused by the Svensmark effect, by particulate pollution, by changes in chemicals in the air, by theramal fronts, etc. It strikes me as absurd that we should be expected to believe that cloud formation is exclusively temperature dependent.

  93. davidmhoffer says:

    Folks, I think we may be losing a bit of perspective here.

    (Gosh I hope I’m right about the following because getting corrected by the likes of R. Gates, Nick Stokes, and anonymous bleating from the shadows by people like KR bothers me not at all. Getting corrected by Dr Roy Spencer however would suggest, unlike those others, that I made a mistake. I don’t know that I could handle that ;) )

    The issue at hand in my opinion is NOT if clouds drive climate or don’t drive climate. The issue at hand is this:

    Have the climate models accurately modeled the amount of energy being absorbed by, and escaping from, the planet’s over all climate system?

    There are many, many components to this. The “climate models” are just computer simulations of how various scientists THINK think each component works and how they react to changes in other components. Each model simulates various components and estimates others. For example, some models assume a constant TSI (Total Solar Index) while others are based on actual measured (and so fluctuating) levels of TSI. The IPCC quotes their global warming estimates from an average of no less than 22 climate models, none of which actually agree with any precision to each other, let alone the average.

    What SB11 shows (again in my opinion) is that clouds are being incorrectly modeled by ALL the climate models. As a consequence, the amount of energy escaping to space from the climate system is being under estimated by the models. Or, conversely, the amount of energy being retained in the climate system is being over estimated. If Spencer and Braswell are correct, then the only possible conclusion one can draw is that the models also OVER ESTIMATE the projected changes in temperature going into the future.

    Cause and effect, what drives what, those are all important to understand. But in the context of the global warming debate, what we really want to know is how much we should expect the climate to warm if GHG’s increase to any given level.

    One cannot help but suspect that Spencer and Braswell are exactly correct. The IPCC models have consistantly over estimated the amount of warming that has actually occurred, going all the way back to the original projections that sparked the Kyoto Accords. They have been revised downward on a near constant basis, but compared to actual temperature measurements, they still appear to be too high, by several times.

    Kevin Trenberth is widely quoted from the ClimateGate emails to the effect that there is “missing heat” that cannot be accounted for. He has proposed that it may be hiding in the ocean where it cannot be easily measured, or elsewhere. His reasoning is that the energy, while not being found at this point, is in the system somewhere (“in the pipe” I believe are the words he used) and will eventually emerge to result in temperature increases commensurate with what the models have been predicting.

    The notion that the “missing heat” is simply not being retained in the amount that the models calculate in the first place, seems not to have crossed any of the modeler’s minds. If it did, they’ve been very, Very, VERY quiet about it. Admitting that the energy is NOT being retained in the first place would diminish substantially the estimates regarding both direct and indirect effects of CO2 on temperature. For anyone who understands what is meant by CO2 being logarithmic, this makes complete sense.

    (mods – I’m posting a link here to something I wrote a long time ago. I recall seeing articles on WUWT by Eschenbach and Lindzen which would be much better references than me, please feel free to replace mine with theirs if they are at your finger tips).

    http://knowledgedrift.wordpress.com/2010/05/11/co2-is-logarithmic-explained/

    The direct effects of CO2 taper off dramatically as concentration increases. The only way for something “catastrophic” to happen as a consequence of CO2 increasing, is if there are secondary effects or “feedbacks” that amplify the direct effects of CO2. This is what “sensitivity” is all about.

    What SB11 shows, is that the models have made assumptions about how clouds do, or do not, affect the amount of energy that is retained (or released) by the climate system that are WRONG. While the models have presumed that the secondary effects of CO2 would be more energy being retained in the climate system due to a variety of components, the amount of secondary effect attributed to clouds is much higher than actual measurements show, and in fact the secondary effect is likely cooling rather than additional warming.

    While SB11 doesn’t quantify exactly what the numbers should be, I see that as immaterial. Some or all of Trenberth’s “missing heat” isn’t missing at all, but simply escaping to space. Trenberth would rather use his influence (it seems) to discredit SB11 in any way possible, including attempting to use his influence over Wolfgang Wagner to have the paper retracted, and when Wagner failed, settling instead for Wagner’s resignation from Remote Sensing calling into question the paper itself on the astounding excuse that climate modelers were not consulted about the findings. The implication that the models take precedence over the actual measurements is beyond astounding, beyond ludicrous, and just a completely stupid thing to imply. But Trenberth wasn’t content (it seems) to simply extract from Wagner a resignation damaging to SB11. He went on to actually BRAG that Wagner had apologised to him personally. The only logical reason for Wagner to both resign and then apologise to Trenberth personally is that it was fear of Trenberth’s wrath that prompted Wagner’s actions in the first place.

    Trenberth’s motivation seems clear to me. There are billions of research dollars at stake, justified on the need to find that “missing heat” somewhere IN THE CLIMATE SYSTEM. If the heat isn’t missing at all, it simply escaped, consider the number of studies currently under way that are searching for something that does not exist (in part or in whole). Consider the number of grants awaiting approval for more of the same. Consider the loss of credibility that the modeling community, Trenberth foremost amongst them, would suffer.

    For those of us who have been following along since before ClimateGate, this is as massive an “own goal” as The Team could have possibly scored. They have exposed their own despicable tactics in burying contrary evidence, and astoundingly, bragged about it.

    But more astounding than that, is they have attracted a level of media attention and scrutiny that no amount of money could possibly buy. They’ve poured gasoline on themselves, lit themselves on fire, and are running in circles on the field screaming “look what I did! I’m a criminal and an idiot!”

    But that’s just my opinion.

  94. David Falkner says:

    KR,

    I thought ENSO was not a radiative forcing?

  95. Tilo Reber says:

    KR: “You comparison, however, was to some of the weakest counter-evidence, and whether you like it or not, that gives readers a very poor impression of the work.”

    This is pretty much irrelevant, isn’t it. The important thing here are that these models are informing the position of the IPCC, and the IPCC position is designed to inform the judgements of global governments. More specifically, it is the average of these models that the IPCC uses to push its political policy. And as Spencer clearly shows, the observations disagree with the average of the models. Therefore any proposals made by the IPCC based upon such models is poorly informed.

  96. Eric Anderson says:

    It is pretty easy to see from this quick exchange (Dressler’s paper and Dr. Spencer’s response) who is most deserving of trust. Dr. Spencer et al. may not be correct at the end of the day, but they certainly deserve a fair hearing.

    Thank you, Dr. Spencer, for a very measured and reasonable response, particularly with respect to the questionable accusations made in the Dressler paper. I think you have every right to demand an expeditious turnaround in the journal, commensurate with Dressler’s favorable treatment, which I am sure the journal will be happy to grant in the interest of fair and open discussion.

  97. Dave Wendt says:

    Arthur Gevart says:
    September 7, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Thanks for that. I suspect there is more wisdom in any random couple of pages of Adams’ work than in the entire collective output of the IPCC and all its sycophants and cohorts. Unfortunately the extreme literal mindedness of most of the crowd around here tends to make them seriously humor challenged. At least in my experience. But I suppose it doesn’t hurt to try to remind them that, if the potential political consequences of all this nonsense were not so dire, it would constitute a pretty comical tale.

  98. SethP says:

    Has anyone done a study on what atmospheric gasses the increased C02 is displacing? Could this work out to be a net negative forcing if it displaces mainly water vapor? It would have to displace more “less effective” greenhouse gasses to create a net positive forcing, no?

  99. Bill H says:

    After reading through the posts i have come to the conclusion that the AGW crowd is losing so badly in the public view that they needed a quick fix to the Al Gore bank account..

    By saying they have debunked the primary skeptics they believe they have one upped the skeptics and feed the Obama drive for more and more regulations..

    I see that the drive to control people trumps science… I see the control of Journal’s and the circular peer review problem has not be fixed… Good luck with getting any truth out there posted Dr Spencer.. The odds are not in our favor.

  100. davidmhoffer says:

    If I may add one other note:

    The evidence strongly suggests that Trenberth pressured Wagner into attempting to have the SB11 paper withdrawn. When Wagner failed, Wagner fell on his sword, resigned from Remote Sensing, and apologised to Trenberth (which Trenberth went on to brag about).

    Following this, Trenberth also bragged that a paper was imminent from Dessler that would easily discredit SB11. So easy was the task according to the hype from Trenberth and others, that Dessler’s rebuttal to SB11 could be researched, written, pass peer review and published in just a few weeks, while SB11 took two years.

    Dr Trenberth, with all due respect, might you answer the following questions?

    o If SB11 is so easily discredited, why pressure poor Wolfgang Wagner to bury it in the first place?

    o If SB11 is so easily discredited, why would you take a moment of your precious time to even comment on it?

    o If SB11 is so easily discredited, why would you brag that you’d received an apology from Wagner for allowing it to be published? Why would you even care that it was?

    o Do you demand apologies on all papers you don’t like, even the ones that you claim are so bad that they are easily discredited? If not, why does THIS paper get so much personal attention from you?

    o To quote Shakespeare, “the lady doth protest too much”.

    Unfortunately sir, it occurs to me that you are not a lady, but neither a gentlemen. The “protest too much” part however, sticks like glue.

  101. phlogiston says:

    KR

    And it adds up to clouds at least partially forcing the ENSO.

    Without … Any mechanism that could take clouds to an out of equilibrium state …for more than 10 years …

    So ENSO is central to all this, does it lead or follow in regard to cloud. It does both. ENSO is a nonlinear oscillator potentiated by the positive feedback between Peruvian coast upwelling and trade winds (the Bjerknes feedback), and the cloud effects follow from the wind effects (with an effect of SST also).

    By mentioning the term “out of equilibrium” we are at least now talking the right language about the climate system and ENSO. Non equilibrium is the norm and out of this arises chaotic dynamics and features such as the ENSO nonlinear oscillator (analogous to the BZ reactor).

    Add to this the fact that cloud formations themselves show self organising nonlinear pattern dynamics with a Lyapunov stability that makes it harder to form or remove them – and the picture which emerges is that the atmospheric radiative balance alone is an inadequate basis for mdelling of the warming or cooling of the climate system – certainly over a 10 year period.

    Clouds and the ENSO system are forcing factors in their own right.

  102. davidmhoffer says:

    SethP says:
    September 7, 2011 at 8:10 pm
    Has anyone done a study on what atmospheric gasses the increased C02 is displacing?>>>

    The concentration of CO2 is in the range of 400 PPM (parts per million) while the concentration of water vapour can be as high as 40,000 PPM. However, water vapour is more heavily concentrated close to earth surface, but nearly non existant at high altitudes (where the cold temps force the water vapour out). Co2 on the other hand is reasonably well mixed.

    So, the answer to your question is that at low altitudes, the amount of water vapour that CO2 would displace is so minor it isn’t significant. At high altitudes, there isn’t much water vapour to displace in the first place.

  103. James Sexton says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    September 7, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Folks, I think we may be losing a bit of perspective here.
    ………………
    Have the climate models accurately modeled the amount of energy being absorbed by, and escaping from, the planet’s over all climate system?
    ………………………………… They’ve poured gasoline on themselves, lit themseleves on fire, and are running in circles on the field screaming “look what I did! I’m a criminal and an idiot!”
    =================================================================
    David, I thought that’s what we were talking about??? :-) But, you are exactly right. I liken the cloud forcing/feedback to a chicken/egg discussion. And you’re right, it isn’t as important as the fact that this may account for the “Travesty’s” missing heat. Like the Dr. Seuss character, they “could not find it any where.” Logically, that would be because its gone.
    I included the last part of your statement because it made me lol! And it is exactly correct. Trenberth and Dessler did an excellent job in both exposing their character, or lack thereof, and their inability to understand models aren’t reality. This is an indictment of our education system and illustrates the need for standards in the doctoral candidate process. Apparently, like the rest of the system, they’ll pass just about anyone through……..(no offense Dr. Spencer….) Of course, none of this could have been possible without the nonsensical antics of Wolfy Wagner.

  104. I had to [gag] listen through a “report” this afternoon on NPR [gag again] on Dessler…and listening to his newspeak….capitalizing on the tragic drought in the 15th largest GDP in the world.

    What a revolting and disgusting lapse in science.

    I wish the Lone Star state the best. Am not encouraged by the latest meteorological prognostications.

    But then again…they are Texans…and will ALWAYS fight to the last man.

    Most importantly though…Dessler is not a Texan.

    Not even close.

    From somebody disgusted at him in Virginia…

    F you, Dessler.

    You do more disservice to climate and science and the ecosystem….than any man-made forcing or otherwise…could muster.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  105. vigilantfish says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    September 7, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Some or all of Trenberth’s “missing heat” isn’t missing at all, but simply escaping to space. Trenberth would rather use his influence (it seems) to discredit SB11 in any way possible, including attempting to use his influence over Wolfgang Wagner to have the paper retracted, and when Wagner failed, settling instead for Wagner’s resignation from Remote Sensing calling into question the paper itself on the astounding excuse that climate modelers were not consulted about the findings. The implication that the models take precedence over the actual measurements is beyond astounding, beyond ludicrous, and just a completely stupid thing to imply.

    ———————

    Exactly so, and abundantly confirmed by the great episodes in the history of science. The best example that comes to mind is Johannes Kepler’s use of Tycho Brahe’s observations of the planet Mars. These were published later (1627) in the Rudolphine Tables (compiled by Kepler using Tycho Brahe’s observations), the most accurate astronomical observations to date. Kepler worked for years trying to fit a circular heliocentric orbit for Mars to Tycho Brahe’s observations. Because his model did not precisely fit the observations, Kepler junked this earlier labour, and started over using an ovoid or elliptical orbit.

    Kepler thus discovered the true nature of planetary orbits and the first of Kepler’s three laws of planetary motion (Astronomia Nova 1609).These three laws played a large part in directing Newton’s attention to this issue and the law of universal gravitation.

    Had Kepler and other scientists during the Scientific Revolution had the Team’s and the IPCC’s slapdash approach to matching models to data and observation, science would have remained a philosophical past-time and we’d be paying little attention to it now. One is almost tempted, given the totalitarian direction CAGW climate science is taking today, to wish this were the case.

    (I thought it would be nice to get away from all the Galileo analogies around here).
    ——–
    Dave Wendt says:
    September 7, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    “Unfortunately the extreme literal mindedness of most of the crowd around here tends to make them seriously humor challenged.”

    ????????

    One of the reasons I read WUWT on a daily basis is for the humour, and I’m sure I’m not the only one (although admittedly the humour is often more pointed at Bishop Hill). FWIW I’m a HUGE fan of Hitchhiker’s Guide.

  106. James Sexton says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    September 7, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Another question to ask the “Travesty”, would be if he’d like to try his hand at discrediting SB11, because from where I sit, while Dessler brought up some questions, he failed miserably if his task was to discredit SB11. hmmm…… is there another apology resignation at hand?

  107. _Jim says:

    BA says on September 7, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    No takers, no counters (counter arguments); do you want to relist for a second try at an auction, B(alls)?

    .

  108. davidmhoffer says:

    Vigilantfish;
    You’re right, we need some humour here. I’ve been so all fired up about the serious issues that my anger has over ridden my sense of humour. I am remiss in my responsibilities as a member of the WUWT class clowns. I’m too tired to write something new at the moment, but I’m reposting something that I wrote two years ago that seems suddenly… so very, very, appropriate.

    (WARNING: I’ve had a lot of complaints about this piece being the cause of coffee, wine, and other fluids being inadvertantly sprayed on screens and keyboards. Read at your own risk. I take NO RESPONSIBILITY for any damages that result)

    The Physicist and the Climatologist

    Climatologist; I have a system of undetermined complexity and undetermined composition, floating and spinning in space. It has a few internal but steady state and minor energy sources. An external energy source radiates 1365 watts per meter squared at it on a constant basis. What will happen?

    Physicist; The system will arrive at a steady state temperature which radiates heat to space that equals the total of the energy inputs. Complexity of the system being unknown, and the body spinning in space versus the radiated energy source, there will be cyclic variations in temperature, but the long term average will not change.

    Climatologist; Well what if I change the composition of the system?

    Physicist; see above.

    Climatologist; Perhaps you don’t understand my question. The system has an unknown quantity of CO2 in the atmosphere that absorbs energy in the same spectrum as the system is radiating. There are also quantities of carbon and oxygen that are combining to create more CO2 which absorbs more energy. Would this not raise the temperature of the system?

    Physicist; there would be a temporary fluctuation in temperature caused by changes in how energy flows through the system, but for the long term average… see above.

    Climatologist; But the CO2 would cause a small rise in temperature, which even if it was temporary would cause a huge rise in water vapour which would absorb even more of the energy being radiated by the system. This would have to raise the temperature of the system.

    Physicist; there would be a temporary fluctuation in the temperature caused by changes in how energy flows through the system, but for the long term average… see above.

    Climatologist; That can’t be true. I’ve been measuring temperature at thousands of points in the system and the average is rising.

    Physicist; The temperature rise you observe can be due to one of two factors. It may be due to a cyclic variation that has not completed, or it could be due to the changes you alluded to earlier resulting in a redistribution of energy in the system that affects the measurement points more than the system as a whole. Unless the energy inputs have changed, the long term temperature average would be… see above.

    Climatologist; AHA! All that burning of fossil fuel is releasing energy that was stored millions of years ago, you cannot deny that this would increase temperature.

    Physicist; Is it more than 0.01% of what the energy source shining on the planet is?

    Climatologist; Uhm… no.

    Physicist; Rounding error. For the long term temperature of the planet… see above.

    Climatologist; Methane! Methane absorbs even more than CO2.

    Physicist; see above.

    Climatologist; Clouds! Clouds would retain more energy!

    Physicist; see above. (EDIT Sept 9, 2011. SEE SB11!)

    Climatologist; Blasphemer! Unbeliever! The temperature HAS to rise! I have reports! I have measurements! I have computer simulations! I have committees! United Nations committees! Grant money! Billions and billions and billions! I CAN’T be wrong, I will never explain it! Billions! and the carbon trading! Trillions in carbon trading!

    Physicist; how much grant money?

    Climatologist; Billions.

    Physicist; Billions? Really? BILLIONS?

    Climatologist; Oh, easily billions.

    Physicist; Wow…

    Climatologist; Oh lotsa billions. Hey…. you wouldn’t happen to have any research you need funded….?

    Climatologist; Hi. I used to be a physicist. When I started to understand the danger the world was in though, I decided to do the right thing and become a climatologist. Let me explain the greenhouse effect to you…

  109. davidmhoffer says:

    of course that edit would be Sept 7, not Sept 9. I’m way too tired to be typing anything at the moment!

  110. ferd berple says:

    richard verney says:
    September 7, 2011 at 11:42 am
    It does appear that there is much in the Dressler paper that supports the root thrust ‘that models and observations are not in sync and that there is a divergence problem between models projections and reality’. This suggests either a problem with the models (most likely), or some unexplained errors in empirical data gathering/record keeping.

    There is another possibility. Reality is at fault and the models are correct.

  111. ferd berple says:

    mike g says:
    September 7, 2011 at 6:30 pm
    And, while federal money continues to be wasted on climate research, like this crap from Dessler, the James Webb space telescope is on the chopping block. Can’t we eliminate climate research? The science is settled after all. http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/indepth/47009

    Absolutely not. It doesn’t make sense to invest money in science to discover new things. We need to invest in things we already know, so that we minimize the risk. This is called the Precautionary Principle. Remember the old saying, nothing ventured, nothing lost.

  112. Dave Wendt says:

    vigilantfish says:
    September 7, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Dave Wendt says:
    September 7, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    “Unfortunately the extreme literal mindedness of most of the crowd around here tends to make them seriously humor challenged.”

    ????????

    I suggest a small experiment. Try posting a short series of comments that you perceive as being obviously satirical but with no sarc tags attached. Keep a tally of the number blog denizens who jump in to accuse you of being a warmist troll or worse. If after completing this task you can report back to the group with a tally of zero, or even more reasonably less than 3 per comment, I will consider withdrawing my statement and offering my heartfelt apologies to the group.

  113. Larry in Texas says:

    James Sexton says:
    September 7, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    “I liken the cloud forcing/feedback to a chicken/egg discussion.”

    James, I had to laugh as I was reading your sentence because that was exactly what I was thinking! And you beat me to the post!

    This may be true especially because of some of the tenuous assumptions made by the developers of the GCMs. I think we do not know enough yet to say for sure whether it was the chicken, or the egg. But I like Roy Spencer’s attempt to shed light on what is obvious: the models are inconsistent with observation; and always, models are “garbage in, garbage out:” the more garbage you throw into them, the more garbage you get out.

  114. tallbloke says:

    KR says:
    September 7, 2011 at 4:24 pm
    Dr. Spencer

    I would still be interested in your reasons for not including 8 of the 14 models you studied, the ones that don’t support your hypothesis as strongly. I believe your paper would have been much better with those included, along with error bars so that we could evaluate the strength of your hypotheses.

    Be careful what you wish for. Including error bars will only reinforce SB11’s main result, which is that we can’t tell how much unforced cloud variation is affecting surface T. In fact it will make it obvious that the level of uncertainty is “worse than we thought.”

  115. Stephen Wilde says:

    It seems to be a little more complicated than clouds simply being a negative or positive feedback because latitudinal cloud distribution is also very important and the oceanic response to cloudiness changes confounds the initial expectation.

    What I think happens is that for whatever reason the atmosphere expands when the sun is active and contracts when it is inactive.

    In the process the temperature of the stratosphere and mesosphere changes oppositely to the sign of the temperature change in thermosphere and troposphere.

    The effect is to draw the tropopause upward when the sun is active and push it down when the sun is less active. Globally averaged of course.

    The outcome is latitudinal shifting of all the components of the surface air pressure distribution which changes the sizes and positions of the climate zones.

    That changes the energy budget via the speed of the water cycle AND cloud quantities because that process changes the length of the air mass boundaries which is where mixing occurs to produce clouds.

    So an active sun tries to COOL the system by changing the structure of the atmosphere to let energy OUT of the system FASTER via the higher tropopause but in the process cloud bands are drawn poleward to let more energy into the oceans in the tropics which offsets the faster energy loss to space.

    So the cloud changes provide an indirect negative (warming) response to counter the direct solar cooling effect via the coolr stratosphere and mesosphere.

    The position regarding bottom up effects from periodically faster energy release from the oceans or more energy in the air from more GHGs is different. In that case the extra warmth at lower levels pushes the tropopause up as before and in that case the increased energy into the oceans is a positive feedback. However the poleward shift of the surface air pressure systems accelerates the speed of energy transfer to space which is a negative response sufficient to cancel out both the extra energy from the oceans or GHGs AND the extra solar energy into the system.

    Thus whatever changes the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere from above or below will cause cloudiness changes that then exert a negative response either by adjusting energy flow into the oceans or by adjusting energy flow out to space as necessary to maintain equilibrium and what we then experience is shifting climate zones as the speed of energy flow through the system varies.

    That is a neat solution to the problem.

    It is the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere that is key whether caused by top down solar effects or bottom up oceanic or GHG effects because that then causes the cloudiness changes.

    It sounds complex and it is but it is no more complex than it needs to be to fit observations.

  116. Atomic Hairdryer says:

    eyesonu says:

    From some of the above posts. 14 models or 14 shots and still a miss. There will be no squirrel or rabbit for dinner.

    Ah, but you’re not defining a miss in the Texan sense that climate science does. All your shots still fall within the error bars of most models, therefore they’re still hits. The reason your pot is still empty is simply because you’re missing a giant rabbit. Once the missing rabbit is found, no-one will be in a position to deny the models any more, and it will no longer be a travesty.

    From the 14-model plot though, some models do seem better at getting the lag right and following reality. Hopefully the modellers are looking at why that is or whether those were just lucky shots.

  117. Ade says:

    We’ve looked at clouds from both sides now,it’s science delusion I have found.
    We really don’t know clouds et all

  118. 220mph says:

    Dr Spencer HAS shown all models in a single chart – see above

  119. Roger Longstaff says:

    Possible addition to Davidmhoffer’s amusing dialogue above (before the physicist takes the money and runs):

    Climatologist: “But what about Venus?”

    Physicist: “EXACTLY – now you begin to understand….”

  120. jorgekafkazar says:

    “But I believe I can already demonstrate some of The Bad, for example, showing Dessler is off by about a factor of 10 in one of his central calculations.”

    In school, we used to joke about numbers being “to astrophysical accuracy,” i.e., having the tens exponent right. It looks like climatology and astrophysics have something in common, after all.

  121. Antonia says:

    James Sexton says:
    September 7, 2011 at 12:09 pm
    … most skeptics have a much more intimate knowledge of various papers and the responses than alarmists.

    Nothing truer said, James. In fact most alarmists are complete ignoramuses. In Australia somebody has been circulating a short global warming quizz asking answers to basic facts such as what is the composition of CO2 in the atmosphere. As far as I know all respondents so far have said between 20 and 80 per cent. None has known it’s 0.039. How is it moral for public policy be not only based on, but actually rely on people’s ignorance?

    Another thing (only slightly off topic, mods). As carbon has been thoroughly demonized, do primary schools still teach the carbon cycle? When I was a child I was enchanted by those lovely illustrations of cows or sheep with trees in a sunny field near an ocean depicting plant decay, respiration and photosynthesis, etc. Are children still taught this? Any young parent like to comment?

    Ps. Bravo Dr Spencer. You’e got ‘em rattled.

  122. eyesonu says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    September 7, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    ———————-

    Very well put. I believe your take on things reflects the reality of it all.

  123. Martin Lewitt says:

    Dave Wendt,

    “Try posting a short series of comments that you perceive as being obviously satirical but with no sarc tags attached.”

    I’ve found that posters who imagine they are being clever and satirical are often just falling flat, or preaching to a narrow subset of the choir. On the oft chance, that what they think is obviously wrong, isn’t obvious to all, I will sometimes take it literally, and explain why it is wrong, or perhaps why it isn’t obviously so. Taking it literally may add to the humor. But if you really think someone is a “warmist troll”, it seldom does anything more than waste bandwidth to call them that. Ignore them, or query them, and help them or others comprehend their ignorance.

  124. Viv Evans says:

    Gras albert suggested:
    “* by the way, might I suggest that an appropriate collective noun for such an eminent group of climate scientists might be a ‘cloud’.”

    Rejected.
    ‘Cloud’ as collective noun applies exclusively to Border Collies, as in:
    ‘A cloud of Border Collies was seen racing up The Downs’.

    Those scientists have absolutely nothing in common with Border Collies, and should not be honoured by a comparison with those highly intelligent canines.

    ;-)

  125. Jack Jennings (aus) says:

    Hey Dr Roy
    Thank you I missed DayDay’s DirtyHarryreadmefile.
    Sorry but this cloud stuff is over my head (sorry again) but given all the concrete created UHI how does this effect cloud generation ?  For instance when we sailed down the coast I used to notice particular cloud build up over Sydney (which I put down to UHI). I’ve noticed cloud does follow the coastline, heat I suppose, but this was different weather, rain wind – but we just turned around and sailed out of it to blue skies. 
    Chop down all the trees and cover  the planet in concrete but it’s manmade CO2 that’s causing climate change ??
    As usual, thanks to all the posters, mods and Anthony – an island of sense. (Even the trolls – the debate is what skepticsism is all about – and reasoned comments get posted here.)
    Chrs JJ.
    (OK, I hope Anthony posts mine under the general reader tag. )

  126. Merrick says:

    Jeremy says:

    September 7, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Using the above equation, if I assumed a feedback parameter λ=3 Watts per sq. meter per degree, that 20:1 ratio Dessler gets becomes 2.2:1. If I use a feedback parameter of λ=6, then the ratio becomes 1.7:1. This is basically an order of magnitude difference from his calculation.

    ^^^ You have 1 equation and 3 unknowns. It is not clear here how you’re solving for that 20:1 unknown. Also, where was the number 3 arrived at?

    Jeremy – that’s not right . Look at the equation again:

    First, consider it as a = b + c.
    The left hand term, a, has a value of 2.30 and b has a value of 0.56 -> so withn the uncertainty of those two numbers we have a value for c (S in the full equation) of 2.30 – 0.56 = 1,74 (with some unspecified uncertainty. S isn’t otherwise measured directly, but this is an indirect result given yuo accept the two other numbers.

    Rewriting the equation, then, it becomes 2.30 = b + c d -0.56, where we know the value of d (0.078), so it’s an equation in two unknowns. The trick now is to pick a reasonable value of c (lambda in the original equation) to determine the ratio, b/d, that results (that ratio, if I’ve been careful along the way, is S/N in the original equation). We’re not completely in the dark on that. But you can put any number you want in for c and you will get an answer for 0.56/b..

    The “problem” I’m having is that I can easily reproduce Anthony’s S/N value os 2.2 and 1.7 for values of lambda, respectively, of 3 and 6. But what I can’t do is generate a physically meaningful number for lambda that gives a result of S/N = 20. Well, one that I believe, anyways. The number I get for lambda that results in that ratio is -6. In otherwords, you have to assume and believe that clouds are a strong positive feedback for global warming.

    I don’t buy that.

    Doesn that help, Jeremy?
    Anthony, did I ge tthat right?

    Thanks.

  127. Ed Walsh says:

    Hi Mosher, always nice to see your comments, I’d like to say something about you statement:
    “One issue is that the models which show the best correlation are actually form the middle of the pack with ECRs in the range of 3.4 and TCRs in the range of 1.6-2.2″
    At first I was assuming that upper and lower sensitivity might be like upper and lower hight bounds which would bracket all the values. Then I thought about the sensitivity of a tracking algorithm. There both high and low sensity setting will not follow the target well. The high sensitivity reacts too wildly to changes and the low sensitivity reacts too slugishly. The best perfomers are in the mid range, not too over or under reactive.
    Ed

  128. mkelly says:

    The units for the specific heat capacity (Cp) are J/kg*K.
    Cp is a mass function so I am at a loss as to how you get W/m^2 on the left side of the equation shown.
    Even if you wanted to go with C=Q/dT or J/K you end up with J only no m^2.

  129. tallbloke says:

    Here are some of the issues as I see them:
    Saying it is natural variability is not an explanation. What are the physical processes?
    Where did the heat go? We know there is a build up of ocean heat prior to El Nino, and a
    discharge (and sfc T warming) during late stages of El Nino, but is the observing system
    sufficient to track it? Quite aside from the changes in the ocean, we know there are major
    changes in the storm tracks and teleconnections with ENSO, and there is a LOT more rain on
    land during La Nina (more drought in El Nino), so how does the albedo change overall
    (changes in cloud)? At the very least the extra rain on land means a lot more heat goes
    into evaporation rather than raising temperatures, and so that keeps land temps down: and
    should generate cloud. But the resulting evaporative cooling means the heat goes into
    atmosphere and should be radiated to space: so we should be able to track it with CERES
    data. The CERES data are unfortunately wonting and so too are the cloud data.

    – Kevin Trenberth –

    http://yourvoicematters.org/cru/mail/1255523796.txt

    It’s a travesty Kevin!

    If Andy Dessler thinks cloud feedback over the last decade was 0.5W/m^2 then when that is added to the co2 forcing and the lack of volcanos until this year, what does he think has caused temperature to stall?

    As Kevin astutely points out;
    “Saying it is natural variability is not an explanation. What are the physical processes?”

    ??

  130. gator69 says:

    Brian H says…

    “Dessler’s Paper should be henceforth referred to as The Dessler Flail.”

    I have been calling it ‘Dessler’s Folly’, as he has completely jumped the shark this time, staying his pen would have served him better.

  131. TLM says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    September 7, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    The physicist and the climatologist are arguing at cross purposes. The physicist is discussing energy but the climatologist is discussing temperature. What is more, the climatologist is only discussing the temperature of one small element of the planet, i.e. the air temperature near the surface of the planet under several miles of atmosphere.

    Hypothetical:
    Two planets in the same star system in the same orbit. One has air of pure nitrogen and no water or other gases, the other has liquid water seas and air composed of oxygen, nitrogen and greenhouse gases (water vapour, methane, CO2 etc).

    Both have the same energy budget, 1365 watts in, 1365 out. Both in approximate steady state.
    The one with the thick and complex atmosphere with the water vapour etc has a much higher surface air temperature than the one with a thin atmosphere.

    Even more hypothetical:
    A planet made of pure aluminium and no atmosphere would have almost the same temperature at the poles as at the equator (efficient energy transfer within the system)

    A planet made of pure silicon and no atmosphere would have colder poles than equator (poor energy transfer within the system.

    Both these situations are possible with the same energy budget. The argument is a red herring. It is quite possible for two systems with the same energy budget to have differing temperatures in various parts of the system depending on composition.

    Energy is NOT temperature!! Physics 101 (GCSE to us here in blighty).

    I am no warmist and am a close follower of Roy Spencer’s work. I have discussed exactly these issues with him (and others) on his blog and he is as frustrated with this kind of nonsense as me.

  132. Enneagram says:

    @Tallbloke: and there is a LOT more rain on land during La Nina (more drought in El Nino)
    Really BOTH, dear Tallbloke: There is a lot (more than a lot I would say) rain on the 1+2 El Niño region (along the north coast of Peru: Latitude 0 to -5)) during the El Niño years, while there is drought on the southern andes region, around lake Titicaca.
    As a general rule, if we look at the detailes (following the Devil´s advice) we get lost in them. We should seek, as you say, the causes: Saying it is natural variability is not an explanation. What are the physical processes?

  133. Theo Goodwin says:

    KR says:
    September 7, 2011 at 11:25 am
    Dr. Spencer

    “At the very least you should have explained in your paper why you did not show the other eight model results you ran.”

    All the models are so far off that they are laughable. Talking about better or worse models here is grading garbage.

    “Without some mechanism, some reasons why, we have no reason to believe that variations plus or minus from temperature driven humidity and cloud cover will persist in imbalance long enough (10′s of years) to affect climate.To be quite blunt, without such a physical mechanism overriding the water vapor cycle, your assertions of clouds as the forcing driving the ENSO are “Just So Stories”.”

    The fact that a Warmista is willing to talk about physical mechanisms is an amazing development. All Warmista have carefully avoided talk about physical mechanisms for years. I know because I have done my very best to get them to talk about physical mechanisms. None have responded. The reason they do not respond is because talk of physical mechanisms brings in its train talk of scientific method and no Warmista is going to talk about scientific method for the simple reason that none practice it and none understand it.

    The first physical mechanism that should be described is the ENSO mechanism. No one has described it. No one has done the empirical research to create reasonably confirmed physical hypotheses which describe the natural regularities that make up ENSO. Sure, there is some hand waving about cold water welling up off the coast of Peru, but no one actually has created reasonably well confirmed physical hypotheses about the actual source of that water, the actual mechanism that drives the up welling water. The same is true for each and every natural regularity which together make up ENSO. (Our scientific understanding of this matter is as bad as our scientific understanding of the behavior of hurricanes or the conditions that give birth to hurricanes. As everyone here knows, it is darn hard to give up the idea that our science of hurricanes is a mature science. It will be equally hard for even the non-biased person to recognize that climate science remains in its birthing stage.)

    Spencer’s work has always pushed us toward recognizing the importance of physical mechanisms. His present thesis amounts to the claim that there is no known physical mechanism which would permit us to assign a magnitude to the actions of clouds as a positive “forcing or feedback” or as a negative “forcing or feedback.” (I use “forcing or feedback” because in this discussion the Warmista’s hopeless confusion about “forcing” versus “feedback” has become manifest. Yes, Warmista, I know that you can define them by fiat, as you always do, but that is Arguing in a Circle.) To the extent that Warmista believe that they have physical hypotheses which describe some natural regularity that is a positive feedback or forcing for CO2 concentrations, they are deluded. No one has done the empirical research, the leg work, that is needed to describe the natural regularities that make up ENSO, so any mechanism that Warmista presents is assumed but not discovered and for that reason has no empirical evidence to support it. Heck, modelers treat ENSO as statistical noise. There is not one among them who has ever tried to do the leg work necessary to describe ENSO as a physical mechanism.

    What we should take away from Spencer’s work is that the uncertainty associated with claims about forcings or feedbacks is extremely high. The models, each and every one of them, are no better than parodies of physical theory. As physical theories, no model has got off the ground, every model has been born falsified, and no model has achieved reasonable confirmation even for a subsection of the model. All of this is as it should be because no one has done the empirical research necessary to describe the natural regularities that we wish to understand, ENSO first among them.

    As with most good science, Spencer’s work is a critical work. It helps us understand what we do not know. The claim that Spencer has not identified a mechanism is a fallacious argument of immense grandeur because it contains an immense number of sub-fallacies. For present purposes, let me just remind readers of the most fundamental principle of science: Science is the critical enterprise par excellence, most good scientific work is criticism, and the idea that you must present a hypothesis to criticize a hypothesis is a mistake worthy of toddlers.

  134. Theo Goodwin says:

    The Wagner-Dessler farce shows that the Warmista have been drawn into debate with Critics for the first time and that they are desperate and terrified. How Critics (sceptics, if you wish) of “mainstream climate science” (MSC) brought this about is unknown to me. Anthony can probably explain the dynamics of this Critical achievement. Of course, Roy Spencer has been and is the scientific leader of the Critical Dynamic. It is truly time for celebration.

  135. James Sexton says:

    TLM says:
    September 8, 2011 at 6:27 am

    davidmhoffer says:
    September 7, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    “Energy is NOT temperature!! Physics 101 (GCSE to us here in blighty).”
    ——————————————————————————————————-
    Dang TLM…. that was humor….. look it up……..while we’re at physics 101…..don’t you think it behooves you to explain to others how temps are related to energy? If you believe people are confused about it then explain and expound. (BTW, I don’t believe David is confused.) This is how we learn here. We exchange thoughts and ideas……so anyway, without further ado…..Ahem,……..

    Temperatures are a measurement of heat.

    From wiki—–

    Heat —– In physics and thermodynamics, heat is energy transferred from one body, region, or thermodynamic system to another due to thermal contact when the systems are at different temperatures. It is also often described as one of the fundamental processes of energy transfer between physical entities. In this description, it is an energy transfer to a body in any other way than due to work.

    See? Nice and easy. True, we can delve much deeper in an explanation, but that’s a good starter. So, while temps aren’t energy, we see that temps are an expression of energy transfer. sigh……

  136. Jeremy says:

    HAS says:
    September 7, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    TallDave @ September 7, 2011 at 12:16 pm
    KR @ September 7, 2011 at 12:43 pm
    Jeremy @ September 7, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    I had a quick look at Dessler’s claims that GFDL CM 2.1, MPI ECHAM5, and MRI CGCM 2.3.2A are the best match to ENSO at

    http://judithcurry.com/2011/09/06/spencer-braswell-part-iii/#comment-109890

    It does seem that based on at least one recent system of categorisation they aren’t.

    This plus the rest of this issue/discussion is making me question whether or not we can even model ENSO reliably without an understanding of clouds. This would make comparison of observations of cloud effects to models that “reliably model ENSO” a devilishly tricky job. It seems reasonable to me that cloud cover could be at least as important as oceanic circulation, if not more so.

    Merrick says:
    September 8, 2011 at 5:04 am

    I looked at it again, I missed the value assigned to what was in the parentheses. It appeared to be 3 unknowns to me for some reason.

  137. Roger Longstaff says:

    TLM says: September 8, 2011 at 6:27 am:

    “Two planets in the same star system in the same orbit. One has air of pure nitrogen and no water or other gases, the other has liquid water seas and air composed of oxygen, nitrogen and greenhouse gases (water vapour, methane, CO2 etc). Both have the same energy budget, 1365 watts in, 1365 out. Both in approximate steady state. The one with the thick and complex atmosphere with the water vapour etc has a much higher surface air temperature than the one with a thin atmosphere.”

    An intersting point. However, if the “thick and complex” atmosphere only had 400 ppmv CO2 (like Earth) then the densites of the planet’s atmospheres would be very roughly equal, and the only significant difference in surface temperatures could be attributable to clouds – perhaps leading to a lower surface temperature? I think that the temperature of the Venusian atmosphere (96.5% CO2) at 1 bar (and above the cloud tops) is exactly what you would expect it to be from a radiative physics perspective.

  138. KR says:

    Theo Goodwin

    “KR says:
    September 7, 2011 at 11:25 am
    Dr. Spencer

    “At the very least you should have explained in your paper why you did not show the other eight model results you ran.”

    All the models are so far off that they are laughable. Talking about better or worse models here is grading garbage.”

    It seems you have not actually read the papers, Theo. Spencer presented the six models (of fourteen examined) with the worst fits to the observational data – and his entire paper concerned models versus observations, making the models very relevant. It this is “grading garbage”, then you’ve really just insulted Spencer’s work.

    The three with the best fits to observed data, GFDL-CM2., ECHAM5/MPI-OM, and MRI-CGCM2.3.2, are known to match ENSO events pretty well. They also have climate sensitivities of +3.4 C, +3.4 C, and +3.2 C, respectively. Hence the data Spencer generated (but did not present) actually support models with a 3.2-3.4 C sensitivity. This rather contradicts his claims of low sensitivities…

    As to models, quoting statistician George Box: “Remember that all models are wrong; the practical question is how wrong do they have to be to not be useful.” (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/George_E._P._Box)

  139. Alan Clark of Dirty Oil-berta says:

    The internet has changed media profoundly. Few people watch TV news anymore and even fewer read print, electing to get information from the `net instead. I can’t imagine why science is clinging to this peer-review system of submitting papers to scientific journals when what is patently evident from reading this site, is that each and every idea, theory and treatise could simply be posted to a blog such as this and receive absolute critical review within hours from some of the best and most knowledgeable minds on the planet. Peer-review needs to come into the 21st century.

  140. davidmhoffer says:

    TLM;
    Are you seriously being critical of a joke because I didn’t use precise terminology regarding the science involved as part of the story line? Did you completely miss the punch line? Would have using words like “steady state temperature as a consequence of deterministic canges in positive retention of energy flux” really have improved the joke?

    Hey, so these two camels walk into a bar and order a beer-

    TLM: HOLD IT! HOLD IT! Camels can’t talk, this make no sense at all….

  141. Bill Parsons says:

    I liken the cloud forcing/feedback to a chicken/egg discussion. And you’re right, it isn’t as important as the fact that this may account for the “Travesty’s” missing heat. Like the Dr. Seuss character, they “could not find it any where.” Logically, that would be because its gone.

    I should think the real travesty is that we are heating the rest of the universe. In so doing, we’re setting the worst kind of bad example for other civilizations. The Guardian warned us about this kind of thing. Did we listen? No – o – o – o…

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/aug/18/aliens-destroy-humanity-protect-civilisations?CMP=twt_gu

  142. Merrick says:

    Jeremy – I reread my response and hope I didn’t come off as pedantic. It dawned on me though, and Anthony alludes to this in his write up, that a more “reasonable” answer for S/N and lambda if (as Anthony suggests) you don’t use the most widely accepted values for the knowns Anthony has detailed, but some other number. As with Anthony, I don’t understand the justification for doing so and would love to know how it could have gotten through “peer” review.

  143. Theo Goodwin says:

    KR says:
    September 8, 2011 at 8:55 am
    “It seems you have not actually read the papers, Theo. Spencer presented the six models (of fourteen examined) with the worst fits to the observational data – and his entire paper concerned models versus observations, making the models very relevant. It this is “grading garbage”, then you’ve really just insulted Spencer’s work.”

    It seems to me that we are in a Monty Python skit and I am saying “The bird is dead, it was dead when you sold it to me, and it is attached to the perch with a nail.”

    Are you seriously suggesting that the purpose of Spencer’s paper is to defend models? Spencer writes:

    “Instead, the point was to show that the full range of climate sensitivities represented by the least and most sensitive of the 14 models show average behavior that is inconsistent with the observations. Remember, the IPCC’s best estimate of 3 deg. C warming is almost exactly the warming produced by averaging the full range of its models’ sensitivities together. The satellite data depart substantially from that. I think inspection of Dessler’s Fig. 2 supports my point.”

    What part of that paragraph do you not understand?

    You write and quote:

    As to models, quoting statistician George Box: “Remember that all models are wrong; the practical question is how wrong do they have to be to not be useful.”

    The answer is they are wrong if the whole lot of them and the average of all of them show behavior that is inconsistent with the observations. In science, you cannot have a model that is inconsistent with substantial recorded observations and be right.

    By the way, what happened to your talk of physical hypotheses? Are you, like all other Warmista, going to drop that discussion before it gets to observable evidence for the physical hypotheses and scientific method?

  144. David A says:

    “The three with the best fits to observed data, GFDL-CM2., ECHAM5/MPI-OM, and MRI-CGCM2.3.2, are known to match ENSO events pretty well. They also have climate sensitivities of +3.4 C, +3.4 C, and +3.2 C, respectively. Hence the data Spencer generated (but did not present) actually support models with a 3.2-3.4 C sensitivity. This rather contradicts his claims of low sensitivities…”

    The scientific question/comment to your first assertion, “…are known to match ENSO events pretty well” is please prove it and demonstrate what you mean by “pretty well”. If, as you say, those model runs were closest to observations, it dooes not logically follow that they (the observations) support them, all the models may be bad and unsupported by the observations, especially if the observations all show lower senstivity.

  145. eyesonu says:

    Theo Goodwin says:
    September 8, 2011 at 6:50 am

    Theo Goodwin says:
    September 8, 2011 at 6:56 am

    ———————–

    Very well said.

    Sincerely,

  146. Theo Goodwin says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    September 8, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Here’s precision for you:

    An infinite number of people walk into a bar. The first person says “I’ll have a glass of beer, the person after me will have half a glass, and so on for everyone.” The bartender says “OK, two glasses of beer.”

  147. Ged says:

    @KR,

    Just because the models and satellite observational readings overlap across their two standard deviation bounds does NOT MAKE THEM statistically significantly similar. They would need to be well within one sigma variance, and even then, you still must satisfy the correlation tests. If we want to check if the variance of the data sets are statistically similar, we must do a CONOVA, with an ANOVA/F-test for the means. Do you see that in the paper? It’s possible I just missed it.

    If we wish to test the significance of any correlation between the data (they are independent sets and should not be tested this way, just tested across the mean and variance, but I’ll humor this idea) A correlation test will yield an R value. Do you see an R value that is statistically significant, that is an R value of 0.381 or higher?

    Again, how are the models significantly similar to the observed data? Where are the tests showing significance? I honestly may have missed them, but from what I have seen on what tests have been done, there is NO statistical significance (i.e. p value below 0.05 and r value above 0.381. Realize the R^2 is NOT a test of statistical significance, but a test of how well the correlated variances fit).

    Only if there is statistical significance between observations and the models can we say the models reflect reality with any confidence. If there is no significance, then we reject the models as flagrantly wrong. It’s as simple as that. Even the best ENSO models do not appear even remotely significant. And it does not matter that their deviations overlap with observations (confidence interval does not mean significance what so ever), not without a CONOVA analysis telling us if that actually means something.

  148. James Sexton says:

    KR says:
    September 8, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Theo Goodwin

    “KR says:
    September 7, 2011 at 11:25 am
    ….paraphrasing———- “Dr. Spencer, why didn’t you show all of the models you looked at?”

    Dr. Spencer:..“….the point was to show that the full range of climate sensitivities represented by the least and most sensitive of the 14 models show average behavior that is inconsistent with the observations. Remember, the IPCC’s best estimate of 3 deg. C warming is almost exactly the warming produced by averaging the full range of its models’ sensitivities together. The satellite data depart substantially from that. I think inspection of Dessler’s Fig. 2 supports my point.”

    Then KR says: (again paraphrasing) “But Dr. Spencer you really should explain why you didn’t include all of the models.”
    ====================================================================

    KR, obsess on minutia much? Asked, answered. Explained and shown. Recall the graphic above.

    Tell me KR which one of those models do you think George Box would deem useful? Which do you believe adequately explains our missing energy? And most importantly, which one do you think should have been included in the pretty picture that may have altered Dr. Spencer’s conclusions or the reviewers perception?

    KR, it doesn’t matter how often you mention this, it doesn’t change the fact that no one has been able to refute his conclusions. KR, is it that you believe so much in the models that you’re angry reality has shown them to be insufficient? Or is it that Dr. Spencer’s is questioning the orthodoxy that’s got your knickers in a wad? Or is it something else?

    I’ve really have to ask you something, why don’t you spend this time and energy and investigate why Dessler would intentionally misrepresent Dr. Spencer’s position on cloud feedback/forcing and how that bit of intentional deception managed to get through the reviewers?

  149. James Sexton says:

    Bill Parsons says:
    September 8, 2011 at 9:59 am

    I liken the cloud forcing/feedback to a chicken/egg discussion. And you’re right, it isn’t as important as the fact that this may account for the “Travesty’s” missing heat. Like the Dr. Seuss character, they “could not find it any where.” Logically, that would be because its gone.

    I should think the real travesty is that we are heating the rest of the universe. In so doing, we’re setting the worst kind of bad example for other civilizations. The Guardian warned us about this kind of thing. Did we listen? No – o – o – o…
    ===================================================
    HAHAHAHAHAH!!!!! Very nice.

  150. Ged says:

    @KR,

    I just read Dessler’s paper again. Neither “statistical” nor “significance” appears to be in the paper that I noticed. Nor is there any type of statistical test in Dessler et al. Regression means nothing without an F-test or some other test to tell you if the regression is significant; as all random data will show regressions at some level.

    This alone means his paper says.. well.. nothing. Those statistical tests tell you if something is real or not, and they are absent, so his entire paper is, in my view, void. As is ANY paper comparing data that lacks statistical tests for significance. That goes for Dr. Spencer as well if he fails to include some type of accepted statistical testing. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about this.

  151. eyesonu says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    September 8, 2011 at 9:32 am

    ———————-

    :-) Humor, a joke (good one if I may say so), satire, etc. Seems some of the populace has a shoulder chip or doesn’t appreciate humor, satire, sarcasm, etc. :-)

    Does Penn State vs State Penn ring a bell? Disclaimer: the previous comment regarding Penn State was satire, pun, made in jest, not to be taken seriously, not ment to inflect emotional harm or duress, not to be taken seriously in the literal sense, not meant to suggest any wrong doing by any person, entity, organization, penal system, or other, or to suggest anything that would make any sense at all about anything that anyone could conjuncture up in their wildest dreams of/or imagination or to offend in any way one whom may by sensitive in their emotional state or any other mental capacity that would/could be perceived as not exibiting total respect and admiration to the afore words, whether they be misspelled or not presented in a proper literary fashion, subject not only to capitalization, punctuation, etc. as may be defined in a standard dictionary that a reasonable person could be expected to consult, or to have any meaning at all. :-)

  152. KR says:

    There have been a number of posts directed towards me – I think I can summarize my answers, though.

    * Dr. Spencer compared models to one of the temperature data sets, and concluded that the models didn’t match well over a 10 year period. From this he concluded that model climate sensitivities are extremely off.

    * He did not, however, show the results for all the models he studied. Several of those are known to model the ENSO quite well, and over a 10 year period you’re really looking at short term variations like the ENSO and not equilibrium or even short term climate sensitivity. Hence his test is more a test of ENSO modeling than sensitivity. He instead showed the results of the models that deviated the most from the data, without (in my opinion, and the opinions of a great many other folks) justifying that selection. Your hypotheses need to stand up to the strongest evidence, not just a (cherry-picked?) selection of the weakest evidence.

    * Those three best matching models, which are known to model the ENSO well, are as close to the single observational data (HadCRUT3) as other temperature records such as GISTEMP. In fact, HadCRUT3 deviates the most from the models – another outlier.

    * Dessler found that data such as ARGO indicate ~20:1 times the energy for short term (10 year) fluctuations coming from ENSO variations rather than cloud radiative forcing, which is observational data. Spencer (1:2) and Lindzen (2:1) have used assumptions for those numbers. There may be grounds to debate this, but that should be based upon data rather than guessing. This goes straight to the question of whether clouds are a forcing or a feedback.

    * Dr. Spencer also, in his equations, assumes that clouds are a forcing, and his computations reflect that inherent assumption. Assuming your conclusion is not good practice.

    * Regardless of the eventual conclusions (and cloud effects are an ongoing area of research), the cherry-picked results, short time frame, assuming his conclusions, etc., simply look bad, and detract from his work. I really wish that he had written a paper without these issues.

    Now as to the requests for “physical hypotheses”, I’ll note that the original request (to Dr. Spencer) came from me. Dr. Spencer seems to be the outlier, in that he is postulating effects without a matching cause.

    At the end of the matter, however, it’s up to Dr. Spencer to defend his work. I’m still waiting.

  153. Dave Wendt says:

    On an OT, but fairly interesting in this context topic I came across this

    http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2011/09/how-good-is-published-academic-research.html

    It’s a economics blog column commenting on this

    http://www.nature.com/nrd/journal/v10/n9/full/nrd3439-c1.html

    From the column

    “Bayer halts nearly two-thirds of its target-validation projects because in-house experimental findings fail to match up with published literature claims, finds a first-of-a-kind analysis on data irreproducibility.”

    “People take for granted what they see published,” says John Ioannidis, an expert on data reproducibility at Stanford University School of Medicine in California, USA. “But this and other studies are raising deep questions about whether we can really believe the literature, or whether we have to go back and do everything on our own.”

    “The unspoken rule is that at least 50% of the studies published even in top tier academic journals – Science, Nature, Cell, PNAS, etc… – can’t be repeated with the same conclusions by an industrial lab. In particular, key animal models often don’t reproduce. This 50% failure rate isn’t a data free assertion: it’s backed up by dozens of experienced R&D professionals who’ve participated in the (re)testing of academic findings.”

    This is about studies relating to the pharmaceuticals industry and probably isn’t directly comparable to climate works, but we are quite often told that the “consensus” about CAGW extends across “science” generally and in that context it seems interesting indeed.

  154. NW says:

    There’s a new post up at Climate Audit which everyone here should see:

    http://climateaudit.org/2011/09/08/more-on-dessler-2010/

    Seems you get different results depending on how you create a cloud forcing series.

  155. Bart says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    September 7, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    “The system will arrive at a steady state temperature which radiates heat to space that equals the total of the energy inputs. Complexity of the system being unknown, and the body spinning in space versus the radiated energy source, there will be cyclic variations in temperature, but the long term average will not change.”

    For a perfect blackbody, only. See this.

  156. SethP says:
    September 7, 2011 at 8:10 pm
    Has anyone done a study on what atmospheric gasses the increased C02 is displacing? Could this work out to be a net negative forcing if it displaces mainly water vapor? It would have to displace more “less effective” greenhouse gasses to create a net positive forcing, no?

    well, is CO2 not replacing O2, molecule for molecule?

  157. Andrew Harding says:

    Alan Clark of Dirty Oil-berta says:

    September 8, 2011 at 8:56 am

    The internet has changed media profoundly. Few people watch TV news anymore and even fewer read print, electing to get information from the `net instead. I can’t imagine why science is clinging to this peer-review system of submitting papers to scientific journals when what is patently evident from reading this site, is that each and every idea, theory and treatise could simply be posted to a blog such as this and receive absolute critical review within hours from some of the best and most knowledgeable minds on the planet. Peer-review needs to come into the 21st century.

    I quite agree with you on this one, but with the current bigotry in certain branches of science (health and climate change to be precise) “peer review” means review by peers who happen to agree with you. This is confirmed by the Michael Mann and University of Virginia not wanting to publicise their data. If peer review could be carried out on a neutral basis rather than on a snout in the trough basis then it would be a fantastic system.

  158. Magnus Olert says:

    Spencer has updated his post:

    UPDATE: I have been contacted by Andy Dessler, who is now examining my calculations, and we are working to resolve a remaining difference there. Also, apparently his paper has not been officially published, and so he says he will change the galley proofs as a result of my blog post; here is his message:

    “I’m happy to change the introductory paragraph of my paper when I get the galley proofs to better represent your views. My apologies for any misunderstanding. Also, I’ll be changing the sentence “over the decades or centuries relevant for long-term climate change, on the other hand, clouds can indeed cause significant warming” to make it clear that I’m talking about cloud feedbacks doing the action here, not cloud forcing.”

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/09/the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly-my-initial-comments-on-the-new-dessler-2011-study/

  159. Dale says:

    Gras Albert says:
    September 7, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    “* by the way, might I suggest that an appropriate collective noun for such an eminent group of climate scientists might be a ‘cloud’”

    Please note that Apple Computer Corporation is beginning proceedings against climate scientists for the use of the term ‘cloud’. Apple maintains the term ‘cloud’ conflicts with their iCloud trademark, which is used to describe specific Apple Computer Corporation products simulating virtual computing within the virtual public network, and as such implore the Courts to issue cease and desist notices, or in some cases penalties for damages, versus climate scientists. Further, Apple has evidence showing that the term ‘cloud’ was formed within Apple Computer Corporation for marketing and research purposes related to said current product offering, and as such Apple Computer Corporation implores the Courts to also validate Copyright claims of Apple Computer Corporation on the term ‘cloud’ in all use and meanings, in all jurisdictions.

  160. richard verney says:

    TLM says:
    September 8, 2011 at 6:27 am
    davidmhoffer says:
    September 7, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    …..
    Energy is NOT temperature!! Physics 101 (GCSE to us here in blighty).
    ….

    I make no comment on your examples but you are right to point out that energy is not temperature., Likewise, temperature is not energy, so what exactly do the various temperature anomaly sets establish? They do not establish that there has been any change in the energy budget, nor even an internal distribution of the budget. The only data set of any real value is sea temperature sets since they potentially measure energy.

  161. Tim Clark says:

    My money says that your rebuttal will never be published in GRL, unless you toe the line.

  162. Roy,

    Don’t expect to get your rebuttel to get published in time to be included in the IPPC report, but if any Journal fails to publish it before November,2012, they won’t have much more credibility than the IPPC. Submit it to several Journals along with a news release and see what happens. This is going to be a hot political topic and a lot of jobs are at stake.

  163. APACHEWHOKNOWS says:

    Such a small pin head, yet so many dancers.
    More pins needed, and a better fiddler.

  164. TomRude says:

    Note to Steve McIntyre and Roy Spencer: if you guys continue to help Dessler write his paper, perhaps you should request co-authorship or at least be included in the acknowledgement section with regards to specific points! Really as much as it is making science progress, it is naive at best to kindly serve people who have done everything in their own power to demean and attack you! in the end it also shows how peer review sceintific journals are obsolete means of doing science since blogosphere is doing it much faster and with more agility.

  165. Roger Knights says:

    Theo Goodwin says:
    September 8, 2011 at 6:56 am

    The Wagner-Dessler farce shows that the Warmista have been drawn into debate with Critics for the first time …. It is truly time for celebration.

    And for strategizing the next step, which should be to multiply the fronts on which our side engages with the enemy. Here’s what I suggested a few days ago, in response to another of Theo’s comments:

    Yes, finally the skeptics are forcing their opponents to engage in a back-and-forth, full-fleshed debate about their arguments, instead of being able to get away with a dismissive once-over. I hope that S&B will call for an evaluation of the arguments by a panel of distinguished retired scientists in related disciplines. That would stop current gatekeepers from being able to keep a lid on debate and implicitly declare victors. The battle should be taken to another level.

    In another comment I added:

    This Inquiry could serve as a template for dozens of similar additional Inquiries on other contested points of the GW controversy.

  166. Theo Goodwin says:

    Did Apple miss my post of yesterday or the day before? I explained that no Warmista model contains the primitive predicate “___is a cloud,” known also as the term ‘cloud’.

  167. Theo Goodwin says:

    KR says:
    September 8, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    “Now as to the requests for “physical hypotheses”, I’ll note that the original request (to Dr. Spencer) came from me. Dr. Spencer seems to be the outlier, in that he is postulating effects without a matching cause.”

    Yeah, why did you give it up? Something I predicted. Care to discuss scientific method?

    Spencer is an outlier? You know very well that Warmista have no physical hypotheses relevant to this discussion and not one of any sort beyond Arrhenius’ ancient hypotheses. Arrhenius’ hypotheses cover neither forcings nor feedbacks. If you believe that they have them then bring them here in your own words.

    Do you even know how to describe a physical hypothesis? Some data points taken from an unknown population of events and a few statistical inferences from them do not a physical hypothesis make. A physical hypothesis is a universally quantified conditional sentence that implies the data that count as its evidence or it is an objective statistical hypothesis over a known population. Aside from Arrhenius, there is not one Warmista who has ever created a physical hypothesis that implies the data that count as its evidence. And that is why Warmista have no physical evidence for their claims, none beyond Arrhenius.

  168. tallbloke says:

    Magnus Olert says:
    September 8, 2011 at 1:15 pm
    Spencer has updated his post:

    UPDATE: I have been contacted by Andy Dessler, who is now examining my calculations, and we are working to resolve a remaining difference there. Also, apparently his paper has not been officially published, and so he says he will change the galley proofs as a result of my blog post; here is his message:

    “I’m happy to change the introductory paragraph of my paper when I get the galley proofs to better represent your views. My apologies for any misunderstanding. Also, I’ll be changing the sentence “over the decades or centuries relevant for long-term climate change, on the other hand, clouds can indeed cause significant warming” to make it clear that I’m talking about cloud feedbacks doing the action here, not cloud forcing.”

    That last bit made me laugh. I posted this comment at Roy’s site:

    Lol. Cloud feedbacks during centuries which are feeding back to what forcing? Not co2, which allegedly bimbled along at a nice steady 270ppm.

    So, if the feedback was causing warming, can’t have been volcanos… must be solar then? But if that’s the case, then why would clouds have stopped feeding back to solar variation when co2 started to increase? Hmmm?

    Maybe Andy Dessler should read Nir Shaviv’s JGR paper ‘Using the oceans as a calorimeter’.

    http://sciencebits.com/calorimeter

  169. Theo Goodwin says:

    Roger Knights says:
    September 8, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    I am with you totally, Roger. Though I would not restrict the panel to the retired. You might want to write your congressman about this matter.

    Wagner’s blunder started this and Trenberth’s boasting added to the speed. I wonder just how far down Trenberth’s *hit list Wagner is at this point?

  170. Brian says:

    There’s a lot of noise coming out of WUWT at present.
    Could it be because of the “ugly” news coming out of the arctic?
    Extent is now below the median prediction – area is equal to record (probably now below 2007) and volume is a new record set by crash last year.
    Still some melting left this year.

  171. Theo Goodwin says:

    I am amazed that an unforced error (baseball term) on the part of the Warmista, Wagner, and the resulting panic on the part of other Warmista, Trenberth and Dessler, which led to predictable over-reach from the Warmista, Dessler’s hurried and pal reviewed reply, are what finally opened a little dialogue between Warmista and some of the critics of their science.

    If anyone has doubted that the peer review process has not been controlled and corrupted by Warmista, surely this event is the concrete proof that must open their eyes.

  172. MattN says:

    Did this actually get through peer review with all these mistakes? How? What idiot(s) reviewed it?

  173. Carrick says:

    KR:

    Certainly not in terms of long term effects, as you have posited no physical mechanism that could cause long term cloud changes. Without some mechanism, some reasons why, we have no reason to believe that variations plus or minus from temperature driven humidity and cloud cover will persist in imbalance long enough (10′s of years) to affect climate.

    So… you’re incapable of coming up with plausible hypotheses on your own?

    Seriously, this younger generation needs their hand held with everything.

  174. James Sexton says:

    Magnus Olert says:
    September 8, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Spencer has updated his post:

    UPDATE: I have been contacted by Andy Dessler, who is now examining my calculations, and we are working to resolve a remaining difference there.
    ======================================================
    LMAO!!! Thanks for the update Magnus. I usually don’t go back to the top of the thread for quite some time in these long winded debates.

    @Anthony…….. this is a landmark occasion. You should pop a bottle of bubbly.
    @ all of the commentators here and other threads pertinent to this issue. This is a landmark occasion and you should pop a bottle of bubbly. Even you KR!
    Me, I’m sipping on a beer, like I usually do. :-)

    While, as noted above, not even Spencer or McIntyre will likely see many accolades, and probably not much gratitude, a paper, in print, was altered, because of what I can only assume was written here on WUWT and ClimateAudit. (And at TB’s and Lubos’!!) There may have been some instances of some similarities, as far as I know, this is a first! Warm fuzzies for everyone!

    James Sexton

    PS…… likely that warm fuzzies end when final publication is actually finalized. Screen shot everything!

  175. S. Geiger says:

    I realize that Dr Spencer is providing this post as a curtesy to WUWT, but it would be nice if he ever came back and provided feedback to some of the more serious criticisms/questions. Hopefully these types of questions do get answered at his own site, I will check on that.

  176. James Sexton says:

    Theo Goodwin says:
    September 8, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    ……………

    If anyone has doubted that the peer review process has not been controlled and corrupted by Warmista, surely this event is the concrete proof that must open their eyes.
    ============================================================
    It seems there is a new review process(sheriff) in town. (To steal from a quote) I’ve seen the reviewers, and it is us! We (the skeptic blogosphere) just smoked the reviewers of GRL before it even got printed! I’m presuming all of the official reviewers held PhDs, and were climatologists.

  177. mark t says:

    Interesting… In their haste to demonstrate the problems with peer review regarding S&B they have highlighted problems in their own, as if that was their goal. Another own goal? Corrections already before publication. Must be a record.

    Mark

  178. Theo Goodwin says:

    Brian says:
    September 8, 2011 at 3:33 pm
    “There’s a lot of noise coming out of WUWT at present.
    Could it be because of the “ugly” news coming out of the arctic?”

    No, you won’t believe it! Because of stumbling by one of Trenberth’s minions, Wagner, Trenberth is likely to lose editorial control of AR5! Amazing, huh! Read all about it above! You won’t read it anywhere else, especially not in the MSM.

  179. Leo G says:

    Dr. Roy, I always felt that Dr. Dessler was one of the good guys. He seems to want to get the science right, which is always encouraging. Wouldn’t it be ironic if your next paper was by S&B&D?

    Thanx for being open and honest to both of you.

  180. Dave Wendt says:

    Brian says:
    September 8, 2011 at 3:33 pm
    There’s a lot of noise coming out of WUWT at present.
    Could it be because of the “ugly” news coming out of the arctic?
    Extent is now below the median prediction – area is equal to record (probably now below 2007) and volume is a new record set by crash last year.Still some melting left this year.

    It would appear to be a matter of whose SWAG you choose to embrace. Most of the metrics on the Sea Ice Reference page are still above 2007. I would also point out that most all of those lovely graphics are maps not photos and despite the tendency of nearly all of them to quote their data out to the nearest km2, it’s hardly justified to trust any of them for better than +/- a couple hundred thousand km2 based on the self admitted flaws in their methodologies. You seem to anticipate further melting, but temps in the Arctic have moved to well below freezing and any declines in the ice from this point are likely to be limited to ice exiting out the Fram.
    Even if the decline should lead to a number below 2007, what remains will still constitute an area of ice approximately the size of one half of the lower 48 states. And finally if at some future point the summer minimum should actually drop to zero, SO WHAT?

  181. KR says:

    Theo Goodwin

    Regarding physical hypotheses, cause and effect, I would point you at (among other resources found with a few seconds of Google time) http://www.aip.org/history/climate/co2.htm for an overview. Forcings, feedbacks, observations, mechanisms, etc., developed over the last 190 years.

    Plate tectonics wasn’t accepted until a testable physical mechanism was proposed, one which accounted for all the data better than previous explanations. I await such a proposed new mechanism from skeptics like Spencer. But I’m not holding my breath.

    The rest of your postings are rant and rhetoric – not worth replying to. I believe readers can make that judgement for themselves – if they disagree, they can comment. Otherwise I’m not going to waste time with a response until/unless you say something worth talking about.

  182. Shelama says:

    I think it’s entirely possible that one of these days a paper by Spencer will actually hold up under scrutiny. I’m not overly optimistic about this one, but you never know.

    In any case, just because a scientist has a world view that includes the Earth being created by God for man to subdue, and there being enough and to spare, and Jesus coming back to the rescue, doesn’t disqualify him from being a self-proclaimed political advocate with his science.

  183. u.k.(us) says:

    UPDATE: Dr. Spencer writes: I have been contacted by Andy Dessler, who is now examining my calculations, and we are working to resolve a remaining difference there.
    ======
    Good to hear.
    Let’s get it right.

  184. eyesonu says:

    This has been quite an intense peer review here on WUWT! The turnaround for the paper (Dressler) was unpresidented in terms of speed/time for corrections.

    I think this has been a decisive battle in the march for the truth involving many fronts. Congratulations to all involved!

    Unfortunately there will be a few sore/sour losers.

  185. DocMartyn says:

    TLM says: September 8, 2011 at 6:27 am:

    “Two planets in the same star system in the same orbit. One has air of pure nitrogen and no water or other gases, the other has liquid water seas and air composed of oxygen, nitrogen and greenhouse gases (water vapour, methane, CO2 etc). Both have the same energy budget, 1365 watts in, 1365 out. Both in approximate steady state. The one with the thick and complex atmosphere with the water vapour etc has a much higher surface air temperature than the one with a thin atmosphere.”

    Lets run that experiment shall we?
    The first order reaction rate for the non-biotic reaction chemical and photochmical reaction of O2 with rocks and with N2 (via lightening) is about 4.7×10^-8, which gives oxygen a half-life of only 14.5 million years. this ignores ocean buffering. It also 7 10^19 of hydrocarbon sitting around in the form of dead biotic material.
    We only have an oxygen right atmosphere because of the biosphere.

  186. Theo Goodwin says:

    Shelama says:
    September 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Your bigotry is your most prominent feature.

  187. Luther Wu says:

    KR says:
    September 8, 2011 at 4:55 pm …
    ___________________________
    Are we then to assume that the whole CAGW hypothesis is based on testable physical mechanisms which account for all the data?
    I’m not holding my breath, either.

  188. Theo Goodwin says:

    KR says:
    September 8, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    You introduced the topic of physical hypotheses. I questioned you about them and you have nothing to say. Just another Warmista. Everyone here can see that.

    Of course you think I am ranting and raving. You have not a clue what I am talking about. Just another Warmista. Wouldn’t know a physical hypothesis or an example of good scientific method if they were staring you in the face. Actually, they are. Svensmark and Kirkby have both.

  189. u.k.(us) says:

    Shelama says:
    September 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm
    ==========
    And, just out of curiosity, from under what rock did you crawl ?

  190. Luther Wu says:

    Brian says:
    September 8, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    There’s a lot of noise coming out of WUWT at present.
    Could it be because of the “ugly” news coming out of the arctic?
    Extent is now below the median prediction – area is equal to record (probably now below 2007) and volume is a new record set by crash last year.
    Still some melting left this year.

    ____________________________________________
    Why do you ascribe any sort of relevance to Arctic ice extent?

  191. James Sexton says:

    Shelama says:
    September 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    I think it’s entirely possible that one of these days a paper by Spencer will actually hold up under scrutiny……..(And then a bunch of anti-Christian bigotry……..)

    On the scientific note, can you, or anyone else, refute his findings? I’m breathlessly awaiting something of more substance than Dessler’s pathetic response.

    On a personal note…… you should thank God there are people that are taught to love, even bigots such as yourself.

  192. James Sexton says:

    Theo Goodwin says:
    September 8, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    KR says:
    September 8, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    You introduced the topic of physical hypotheses. I questioned you about them and you have nothing to say. …..
    ——————————————————————–
    You have not a clue what I am talking about.
    =======================================
    Theo, physics are tricky things….. you have to Bing-search and everything to find physical laws. One may even have to observe stuff to understand!!

    Best to avoid talking about such stuff. It’s much easier to bag on Christians.

  193. Paul Fischbeck says:

    I certainly hopes that you get mentioned as being extremely helpful in preparing the article.

  194. davidmhoffer says:

    Shelama;
    Nice drive by shooting there. You managed to denigrate Dr. Spencer’s religious and political beliefes in just a couple of sentences. I note Wolfgang Wagner works out of the “Christian Doppler” laboratory at Vienna University of Technology. Being given the name it has, I suppose that discredits Wagner’s work, the laboratory, and Doppler’s as well? How about shutting your bigotry off for a moment and tell us something of relevance to the SCIENCE?

    Brian; Nice try. I couldn’t care less if the arctic ice is down 1% or 20%. Do you Know why? Because we have no clue why it is or isn’t happening, or if it should be or not. Do you know why? BECAUSE TYRANNICAL DICTATORS IN THE SCIENCE WORLD LIKE JONES AND TRENBERTH HAVE BEEN ACTIVELY SUPPRESSING THE ACTUAL SCIENCE WE WOULD NEED TO MAKE ANY SENSE OUT OF IT. ARE YOU OK WITH THAT?

    KR; Nice bunch of half truths, a straw man proposition that is irrelvant to the discussion, followed by the contemptuous sneer that clearly ends the argument – you’re not even going to respond anymore unless Theo answers your nonsense position. Sort of being shot at by a guy who’s gun goes bang!, bang!, click, click, click, click, click, click, click… and then the guy says “stop or I will shoot!” Not much to worry about when the first two shots were fired directly at the guy’s own feet and he’s now out of actual ammunition. I’ll tell you what KR. You post under your real name, because if you are so high and might and RIGHT, you should have nothing to fear by doing so, post under your owqn name, and THEN you’ll have enough credibility for your comments to be taken with at least a grain of seriousness. Following which I, or someone else, will answer you properly and expose your foolishness for what it is.

  195. SethP says:

    S. Geiger says:
    September 8, 2011 at 4:02 pm
    I realize that Dr Spencer is providing this post as a curtesy to WUWT, but it would be nice if he ever came back and provided feedback to some of the more serious criticisms/questions. Hopefully these types of questions do get answered at his own site, I will check on that.
    ——————-

    You should really go to the same thread on his own blog. I see that he responds to a majority of criticisms/question. Always go to the source first, I don’t know why people address him directly with questions on other peoples sites all of the time.

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/09/the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly-my-initial-comments-on-the-new-dessler-2011-study/

  196. davidmhoffer says:

    Dr. Spencer,
    While I applaud you for even being willing to communicate at all, at any level, let alone cooperation, with someone like Dessler…. I have to say also:

    When someone who has repeatedly been my detractor, a known confident of those who have done me harm in the past and swear to do so again in the future, suddenly reaches out the hand of friendship… a little voice in the back of my head whispers:

    shields up. don’t take your eyes off him for a moment. and watch your back. he’s got friends circling around somewhere…

    Sorry, but I just don’t buy Dessler’s outreach.

  197. DCC says:

    I would like to encourage everyone who posts here to first research the difference between Dr. Andrew Dessler of Texas A&M (http://atmo.tamu.edu/profile/ADessler) and someone named Dressler.

  198. u.k.(us) says:

    Brian says:
    September 8, 2011 at 3:33 pm
    There’s a lot of noise coming out of WUWT at present.
    Could it be because of the “ugly” news coming out of the arctic?
    ==============
    Ugly news, is Dresden gets fire bombed, in spite.
    Do you want to play this game.
    It’s been played before.

  199. Professor Bob Ryan says:

    Shelama – your comments are very immature. Two first class scientists Dessler and Spencer, who happen to take fundamentally opposed positions on a crucial causality, are squaring up to one another in the scientific literature. This is how science progresses. Their religious or other beliefs are quite irrelevant. My advice: watch and learn..

  200. James Sexton says:

    WTF? Ladies! Do you not realize what just happened?

    “..UPDATE: Dr. Spencer writes: I have been contacted by Andy Dessler, who is now ….”

    We are there! Dressler didn’t concede these points because Dr. Spencer disagreed! Dressrler didn’t concede because McIntyre disagreed. Or anyone else in particular. Mac and Spencer disagreeing with mainstream climatology is old hat! They never cared before. But today, we’ve corrected science…… before it got officially published…….. after stringent peer-review.

    Dressler, GRL, and the reviewers of the paper, by proxy, conceded because the light of truth……. and thousands of people across the world saw and corrected accepted science.

  201. jorgekafkazar says:

    TomRude says: Note to Steve McIntyre and Roy Spencer: if you guys continue to help Dessler write his paper, perhaps you should request co-authorship or at least be included in the acknowledgement section with regards to specific points! Really as much as it is making science progress, it is naive at best to kindly serve people who have done everything in their own power to demean and attack you! in the end it also shows how peer review sceintific journals are obsolete means of doing science since blogosphere is doing it much faster and with more agility.”

    Remember, so far, we’re discussing how many correlation coefficients of ~0 can dance on the head of a pin, here. Let’s just keep our side of the street clean. Any improvement in Dessler’s paper is a step forward for all. That’s how Science is supposed to work.

  202. David Falkner says:

    Shelama says:
    September 8, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    In any case, just because a scientist has a world view that includes the Earth being created by God for man to subdue, and there being enough and to spare, and Jesus coming back to the rescue, doesn’t disqualify him from being a self-proclaimed political advocate with his science.

    In any case, an internet poster that holds a world view where others who believe differently are all idiots deserving of back-handed sarcasm, condescension, and ridicule are not disqualified from being a dime a dozen. Nor will I challenge your authority on how to make oneself look bad in public without being drunk (grammar isn’t sloppy enough), how to alienate a massive group of people, how to proudly display and/or possess bigotry, and how to come off as an all around general douchebag. Please, fornicate yourself with an iron stick used in railroad construction.

  203. phlogiston says:

    Brian

    If the Arctic is ugly, just how beautiful is global sea level ? Or the no-show of the predicted el Nino?

  204. Steven Mosher says:

    Kudos to Dessler for working with people who he disagrees with.
    Kudos to Spencer for working with people he disagrees with.

    If you want to see more of it, encourage it. put the knives down and encourage it.

  205. Professor Bob Ryan says:

    Steven Mosher: absolutely and wouldn’t it be rather special once Dessler and Spencer have identified their areas of agreement/disagreement that their responses could go back to back in the same issue of GRL. Indeed, if they come to substantial consensus a joint paper on their common ground. Now that would require enormous courage and be a salutary reminder to the ideologues on both sides that science is a joint enterprise between those who disagree.

  206. Theo Goodwin says:

    James Sexton says:
    September 8, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    “It seems there is a new review process(sheriff) in town. (To steal from a quote) I’ve seen the reviewers, and it is us! We (the skeptic blogosphere) just smoked the reviewers of GRL before it even got printed! I’m presuming all of the official reviewers held PhDs, and were climatologists.”

    Very well said and the time is right.

  207. Tilo Reber says:

    David: “Sorry, but I just don’t buy Dessler’s outreach.”

    It doesn’t really matter if Dessler is sincere or not. Talking directly will mean that the science will be explored quickly. It’s better than waiting 6 weeks for a Dessler publication followed by waiting 2 years for a Spencer publication. If we can get clarifications in a couple of days that will mean we can get real results in a couple of months. I’m no Dessler fan, but in this instance, it’s a good thing that he did. I doubt that Dessler thinks that he can slip things past Roy in a one on one situation. I believe that the minimum that we can expect from this is better ENSO modeling. Getting a better climate sensitivity number means that Roy will have to show that his differences with the models are not just differences due to models reproducing ENSO badly.

    It would be nice if this were a three way exchange that included Lindzen. Trenberth, on the other hand, would add nothing but personal attacks.

  208. Tilo Reber says:

    Steven Mosher: “If you want to see more of it, encourage it. put the knives down and encourage it.”

    Okay, we are on the same page for a change.

  209. James Sexton says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    September 8, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Kudos to Dessler for working with people who he disagrees with.
    Kudos to Spencer for working with people he disagrees with.

    If you want to see more of it, encourage it. put the knives down and encourage it.
    ============================================================
    Steve, do you want to see people working and compromising with people such as Dessler? Recall his description of Dr. Spencer’s position regarding forcing and feedbacks. That wasn’t accidental. It wasn’t a mistake, even if he apologized. Which, would be to his credit. But, let’s not pretend. The views of both are not equal and opposite. Steve, your perspective is different than many here. Moderation at this point isn’t warranted. Here is the victory. Here is where, it wasn’t Spencer’s or McIntyre’s opinion that mattered. It was the skeptical blogosphere’s opinion that mattered. I’m not discounting from either one. In fact, it was to both of their credits that this was possible. However, McIntyre and Spencer are renowned for disagreeing. They’ve never changed a paper for them before. We shouldn’t try to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    If we chose so, peer review, as it is known to the cabal, dies today.

    Don’t put the knives down. Pick them up! It isn’t for us to have science defined by someone else. This has been a long fought battle. Science is another name for knowledge. There should no longer be any question as to who reveres science more. It is obvious. I’ve long stated: One of the beautiful things about skepticism is that it brings together a confluence of people. All of different creed. Atheist, Jew and Gentile. Communist, socialist and capitalist. We’ve all been here. And many of us have been here for a long time. And we were all here for this!

    The facts are, the climate science has been manipulated. It is beyond redemption. It is time to start anew. The peer review process has failed us for several years. Today shows us how much. And, it show us it has failed us for a very long time. We’ve known this. It is that, today, we can show this even the most simplest of people. The moment is to be seized. Clutch it! Grab it! Embrace it. Don’t say the people such as Theo, DC, David, UK, Doc, Steve, Lat, Mike, Amino….. (and the list goes on beyond my recollection..) are to rise for only one moment. We are here. And we’ll continue to be here. And we’ve shown where we’re better than the peer-reviewers. No, there is no compromise on this. To do else, would be to walk backwards.

  210. James Sexton says:

    I meant to add……humility is a virtue, timidity is not.

  211. davidmhoffer says:

    Frankly folks, this is surreal.

    Less than a week ago, Trenberth tried and failed to get SB11 withdrawn by putting behind the scenes political pressure on the Editor-In-Chief of Remote Sensing. When Wagner failed, Wagner resigned in clear obeiscance to Trenberth, and mounted a criticism of SB11 that was barely above name calling. Trenberth broke into the picture proudling proclaiming (nay! BRAGGING) of a victory by having had Wagner apologise to him personsaly, and made it clear that an upcoming paper by Desller, would not only eviscerate the creibility of SB11, but would be published in a timeframe near instantaneous by academic standards. The paper appeared in record time as promised, laced with ad hominym attacks, critical of arguments SB11 never made and light weight at best. By who? Dessler of course, a second stronger on the The Team who serves as nothing more than attack dog for The Team.

    Up until that point, The Team had been shooting each other, scoring goals into their own net, lighting themsleves on fire and proudly screaming their guilt as they race aroundf the field in flames. Keep in mind, this whole sequence of sordid affairs, personal attacks, and clear attempts to suppress original and credible science has unfolded over a period of just six days?

    Now suddenly Dessler, a “B Team” attack dog, is singing a different tune than he was just 48 hours ago? He;s withdrawing the ad hominim attacks? The paper wasn’t actually publsihed after all, it was only part way through the process, so it can still be changed. Odd how that nuance didn’t surface before? So let’s get this straight.

    Wagner’s resignation didn’t stand up to the smell test. It fell apart in a hurry as the real gacts emerged and the power that Trenberth wielded became evident. Wagner now stands on the world stage looking both empty of integrity and a fool played by Trenberth for Trenberth’s own purposes. Into the fra suddenly steps Dessler a known attack dog who goes right to work attacking. Pesonal innuendo, phlipant rermarks about things SB11 never said, badly done math. But one could hardly expect better from a B Team attack dog.

    \Suddenly though, the The Team has their game back. They’ve gotten slaughtered on the field, and they had better come back with some real strategy, or even the most mesmerized with their story in the MSM will stand back and ask WTF? When you are getting your butt kicked, you need a time out to regroup. Desller reaching out to Spencer is asking for the time out. Consider what this buys them.

    1. They get to delay any stories in the MSM because they’ve got a reconciliation process going that will produce a cooperative result. The MSM should just stay tuned until it is complete. Good idea for The Team. The rank, disgusting, and downright evil tactics of Trenberth to prevent the publication of SB11 will long been since forgotten by the time this process completes.
    2. The Team will focus the MSM on “the results of their outreach to Spencer” as if they were the good guys going out of the way to mend the fences in the first place.
    3. The final publication will still have areas of diasagreement, and now they will be spun by the Team as them having done their level best to engage, but the Spencer team turned out to be uncooperative, or unable to participate at the lofty intellectual levesl required by the subject matter.

    Does anyone believe that a leapor so suddenly and so completely changes his spots? From attack dog make personal attacks to cooperative scientist trying to do what is right for sceince? Does anyone believe that Trenberth destroyed the credibility of a major figure like Wolfgang Wagner, bragged about it, and then bragged further that Dessler, his personal attack dog, would eviscorate SB11, and now will sit idley by doing nothing while Dessler makes nice with Spencer?

    Really? From rapid attack dog acting on orders from Trenberth to a nice guy willing to put the knives down and work together? Give me a break. The enemy only signals for a truce when they are faced with utter defeat, and so a truce is a way to delay while tempers calm down, everyone shows how nice they really are, and behind the seens smuggling tunnels are buind built to bring in new arms and fresh soldiers so that the truce can be ended by a surprise attack on people who genuinely wanted peace and are stiing around with quilled feathers in their hands, waiting to sign all those nice, but meaningless , peace treaties.

    History repeates itself. Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.

    Yet it is being repeated right before ourt eyes. Backed intoa corner from which they cannot escape, they’ve contrived to wave a white flag so they don’t have to escape. We’ve set down our weapons and applaud them for seeking the path of peace.

    Sorry, but I just, do, not, buy, it.

  212. bair polaire says:

    I guess we need a new word now for how to advance true science:

    blogospeer review
    blogoshpeere review

    Or maybe WUWTing or wuwted like:
    After the peer review process Dessler’s paper got wuwted and is now ready for print.

    … more ideas?

  213. bair polaire says:

    should have been blogospheere review of course

  214. HAS says:

    KR @ September 8, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    * Those three best matching models, which are known to model the ENSO well, are as close to the single observational data (HadCRUT3) as other temperature records such as GISTEMP. In fact, HadCRUT3 deviates the most from the models – another outlier.

    Known by whom, particularly in the intra-decadial variability?

  215. tallbloke says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    September 8, 2011 at 9:47 pm
    Kudos to Dessler for working with people who he disagrees with.
    Kudos to Spencer for working with people he disagrees with.

    If you want to see more of it, encourage it. put the knives down and encourage it.

    Spencer and Dessler communicating to sort things out in a businesslike, dispassionate, scientific way is making Trenberth look really, really bad right now.

    What a shame. :-)

    I’m all for Dessler ‘coming over the wall’ and I’m happy to see Spencer holding out a steadying hand to him.

    Velvet revolutions begin in this way.

    The Team members are looking at each other right now and wondering who gets to be Ceaucescu.

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/09/09/entente-cordiale-spencer-and-dessler-are-working-together/

  216. Richard S Courtney says:

    James Sexton:

    At September 8, 2011 at 11:05 am you ask ‘KR’;

    “KR, it doesn’t matter how often you mention this, it doesn’t change the fact that no one has been able to refute his conclusions. KR, is it that you believe so much in the models that you’re angry reality has shown them to be insufficient? Or is it that Dr. Spencer’s is questioning the orthodoxy that’s got your knickers in a wad? Or is it something else?”

    With respect, I think you are misunderstanding KR’s position.
    KR fails to recognise that Spencer’s recent paper is a scientific publication and KR thinks it is climsci of similar kind to Dessler’s recent paper. The two are very different.

    A scientific paper is subjected to peer review with the intention of correcting any blatant errors prior to publication. This is time-consuming, and Spencer’s paper took two years to reach publication.

    A climsci paper is approved for publication by pals who accept it ‘on the nod’. This takes very little time and, for example, Dessler’s paper was approved in days.

    And a scientific paper reports work that is novel and/or an assessment of similar work. Spencer’s recent paper does both: it makes a novel assessment of cloud behaviour as indicated by data obtained using orbital satellites, and it determines the implications of that assessment for consideration of existing climate models.

    A climsci paper confirms findings of the Team and/or dismisses work of scientists. Dessler’s recent paper attempts to do both and fails in both attempts. Such failure does not matter because the merit of a climsci paper is that it can be referenced in IPCC Reports and not whether its contents are factual and/or correct.

    The contents of a scientific paper often include illustrations – commonly in the form of graphs – intended to present the findings of the work in a clear manner. Sometimes the illustrations present all the data but they may only present specified selections of the data to demonstrate a finding. Spencer’s recent paper selects two extreme ranges as illustration of a paper and it can be assumed that peer review confirmed the illustration was correct: subsequently, when queried about it, Spencer provided a graph that used all the data which proves his illustration was correct.

    A climscie paper often includes graphs with the purpose of telling a ‘story’. The most extreme example of this are the climsci papers which used “Mike’s Nature trick” as a ploy to pretend an analysis method worked when the data indicated that it did not.

    KR thinks Spencer’s recent paper is climsci. Hence, he looks at illustrations in that paper with a view to discerning what those illustrations misrepresent.

    But Spencer’s recent paper is a scientific report and, therefore, its illustrations present the reported work in a clear manner.

    Richard

  217. fido says:

    Dessler states he will change sentences of his paper. However, he is not allowed to do that at this stage. Scientific statements cannot be changed without another roud by reviewers…

  218. Tallbloke: I’m all for people coming over the wall

    Yes, this really feels like a Berlin Wall Coming Down moment. I remember how I watched the signs in those days, and could see the likelihood of this approaching, even before Gorbachev and glasnost, as attitides while “in captivity” matured… yet when it actually happened, it was still a miracle.

    James Sexton, keep a razor-sharp MIND by all means, use Occam’s Razor, keep the pressure on for upholding fair practice, and watch for double-dealing… but please be gracious to welcome as far as possible.

  219. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

    In telling this story someone said to be at the foundation of our civilisation seems to have made the very same mistake as Spencer.

  220. Ryan says:

    Dressler working with Spencer? It could be that Dressler is acting like a man of honour and working together on this, but I have a suspicion that Dressler realises that Spencer would soon reply to the Dressler paper with a new paper of his own that would trash much of what Dressler had to say in his rushed, unreviewed paper. If Dressler had read Spencer’s response to this later paper he would be forced to concede that Spencer had some good points, so Dressler really doesn’t have much choice but to respond in some sort of positive manner. I suspect that Dressler will eventually release a new paper but take a long time doing so, it will still be strongly supportive of AGW and he won’t retract his original paper. Team AGW will, in the interim, continue to attempt to trash Spencer’s reputation.

    The only people that will realise that Spencer was right and Dressler was wrong would be the skeptics. We can now be sure that the Dressler paper was nothing more than desparate, hurried propaganda with Team AGW in full support. If we didn’t know exactly what we were up against before, we do now. The scientists in Team AGW are really comfortable with telling atrocious lies and trashing the reputations of others to further their own ends. I have nothing but utter contempt for them. Those following the AGW bandwagon will not be convinced to change their opinions however. They are disciples of a new religion that don’t want to know that their new gods are made of clay.

  221. Ryan says:

    @KR:

    I must take issue with your claim that Spencer “cherry picked” the models he used in his paper. Spencer makes it quite clear that effectively he was interested in disputing those models that showed high senstivity of global temperature to CO2. So he picked the three highest. However, to show balance he felt compelled to include the three models with the weakest sensitivity. I don’t see that as “cherry picking”. He was focussed on showing that the climate is not very sensitive to CO2 and so he focussed on attacking those models that show high sensitivity. Seems like a reasonable approach to me.

    The models he missed out that model ENSO better are actually not “better” at all. They still don’t model ENSO very well – the phasing is wrong and maybe the amplitude? Well we don’t know because the amplitude could be spot on or the amplitude could be way out – we just know there is a big discrepancy between the models and the satellite measurements. As a result of this huge discrepancy (which really only serves to demonstrate that even over the short period of satellite measurements we have the models that aren’t able to be tuned to reality) we can’t use the models as predictors of future climate in any reasonable way at all. You are assuming that because the ENSO models look more like the satellite data that they are “better”. Well they aren’t because we are not interewsted in ENSO at all in this case – we are looking at what is left after ENSO is taken into account, and in that case the models still differ substantially. Dessler has tried to “tune” the models to fit the data by introducing a 4month lag – but this is just an exercise in numerology. If it was that easy to account for the phasing difference in models and data, why didn’t the models include it in the first place? It doesn’t help much anyway because the ENSO models are virtually sinusoidal whereas the satellite data is more of a sawtooth.

  222. tallbloke says:

    fido says:
    September 9, 2011 at 1:29 am (Edit)

    Dessler states he will change sentences of his paper. However, he is not allowed to do that at this stage. Scientific statements cannot be changed without another roud by reviewers…

    Fido,
    my reflex on Roy’s blog was to agree with you, and you are technically correct. But I think there’s another way to look at this.

    You just saw Dessler appoint Roy Spencer as a pre-publication reviewer, and the whole thing played out in front of your eyes in the sceptical part of the blogosphere! :)

    This is an unconventional but exciting development in the way climate science is conducted. A real breath of fresh air. You might say that since it was Spencer Dessler was rebutting, then if Roy is happy for Dessler to publish the paper he helped revise, then all is well.

    That’s not to say they don’t still have disagreements over which is the best data, and what are the correct parameters and equations, but it does get some of the trivia out of the way and allow for faster progress.

    If Roy doesn’t insist on the paper going back to the reviewers, that fact will not be lost on GRL’s editors, and they would have to expedite publication of any paper Roy now submits to them in respect of Dessler 2011, or look really, really bad, along with travesty Trenberth.

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/09/09/entente-cordiale-spencer-and-dessler-are-working-together/

  223. tallbloke says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    September 8, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    Frankly folks, this is surreal.

    The important thing is that Roy has stayed true to his own good nature.
    The quality shines through and the Trenberth slurs slide as muddy water off a duck’s back.

    By accepting Roy’s equanimity, and effectively inviting him to be a pre-publication reviewer, Andy Dessler is changed for the better by the experience. Richard Black might call it the ‘committed Christian effect’. ;-)

    He also becomes an unwitting party to a tableaux which makes Trenberth look very bad indeed.

  224. Jim Turner says:

    I haven’t read all the comments so this point may have already been made.
    It seems that Dessler has conceeded that his quickly written, peer reviewed and accepted paper is flawed in both content and clarity and as such requires significant revision. This seems like a fairly damning criticism of both the journal and the reviewers, I am sure that they are not happy about it.

  225. Fred Bloggs says:

    When does the editor in chief of GRL resign ?

  226. DaveS says:

    Jim Turner says:
    September 9, 2011 at 5:08 am

    Editors have resigned over less… :-)

  227. eyesonu says:

    The term “trust but verify” comes to mind here. Dessler should be quite humbled now and well understand that watchful eyes will be watching him closely. He will likely be under great pressure from the AGW Team and will have to choose between his conscience and more of the same. I feel certain that Dr. Spencer is making the call as he best feels comfortable with, and would guess that he may also be applying the “trust but verify” principle here.

    I fully understand the concerns some have as to trusting anyone associated with the AGW Team and I am fully with you. However, Dr. Spencer lead this battle and gained a decisive victory. That said, I stand with Dr. Spencer’s decisions. I will also keep a skeptical eye on Dessler. His credibility took quite a hit on this one.

  228. eyesonu says:

    Fred Bloggs says:
    September 9, 2011 at 5:21 am

    When does the editor in chief of GRL resign ?

    —————————–

    Good question! :-)

  229. Wade Poziombka says:

    I am sure the Dr. Spencer and others here are operating under the goal of finding truth. However, one cannot help but wonder if we are damaging Dr. Spencer’s work (at least how it is perceived) by offering free, on-line peer review service of Dessler’s work before it is published. It appears to me that pre-publish critiques offer Dessler the opportunity to “fix” his problems (or at least to provide more skillful “explanations” and justifications) in the paper that he was in such a rush to publish .

    Perhaps Dr. Spencer’s work would be better served in the long run if we let the original get published as it was “peer reviewed” then address it point by point in another paper.

  230. Fred Bloggs says:

    A parable for our times

    – Spencer and Brasswell published a paper (S&B 2011) showing that clouds play a larger role in global warming than previously thought
    – Dessler did not agree with all of S&B 2011 and left to his own devices he would have probably bided his time and written a measured response when he was ready after having thought it all through
    – When S&B 2011 got big media hype, he became more annoyed and jealous
    – At that time Kevin and almost surely many others, not having actually read S&B 2011 properly, contacted Dessler telling him they needed a serious rebuttal ASAP.
    – Kevin Trenberth let the editor of Remote sensing know that he was far from happy that this paper had been published. Wagner got scared for his career.
    – Dessler then got to work on a fast response. He cut corners, sexed-up the language and did not take time to read and understand S&B fully
    – He then submitted it to GRL where it was fast-tracked by a favourable choice of reviewers hand-picked by the editor of GRL (S&B who would naturally be allowed to be one of the reviewers were omitted purposely)
    – Trenberth continued to persecute Wagner for his “sloppiness” in allowing S&B 2011 to be published. After all, the “team” did want to “redefine what peer review means”
    – Wagner, in a move to get back onside, announced his resignation with a massive PR campaign intended to discredit S&B 2011 despite the fact that no-one had done anything wrong.
    – GRL published Dessler’s paper with a fanfare riding on the back of Wagner’s resignation. This was meant to be a PR coup for the alarmists.
    – Dessler’s paper which was not reviewed carefully if at all is unravelling now that it is being subjected to the scrutiny it never received and S&B 2011 is looking more credible than ever.

    This is the state of modern climate science.

  231. Messenger says:

    How refreshing to find Roy Spencer refusing to take the opportunity to gloat over Dessler’s errors. What a contrast to the previous comments emanating from the “other side”.

  232. John Whitman says:

    Roy Spencer and Andy Dessler,

    I applaud your recent public example of professional discussion and gentlemanly discourse regarding your critical scientific work.

    You enhance the idea of an open and transparent scientific process.

    Please keep us included in your future discourse. Thanks in advance.

    John

  233. G Adlam says:

    What does Wolfgang think of Spencer’s paper now given that the author of the refutal paper is amending his paper in light of Spencer’s comments?

  234. Dave Springer says:

    I told y’all a couple of days ago that Steve McIntyre confirmed Spencer did everything right and Dessler was the one whose analysis left the reservation. McIntyre also renewed his call that real statisticians be involved in these analyses.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lies,_damned_lies,_and_statistics

    “Lies, damned lies, and statistics” is a phrase describing the persuasive power of numbers, particularly the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments, and the tendency of people to disparage statistics that do not support their positions. It is also sometimes colloquially used to doubt statistics used to prove an opponent’s point.

    The term was popularised in the United States by Mark Twain (among others), who attributed it to the 19th-century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli (1804–1881): “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

    ‘Tis a sad day for science and it’s going to get even sadder before it’s over as more and more of the general public find out they’ve been played like a fiddle by climate boffins and others with vested finanical and political interests in catastrophic anthropogenic warming charade. The sad part is that this hoodwinking spills over onto the reputations of other scientists not involved in climate science even though they deserve it for naively trusting in their peers who are involved in the climate science. This has been the core problem all along. Climate scientists are a tiny subset of all scientists but the way the science community works, the way it must work, is scientists expert in one discipline trust those who are experts in other disciplines. In this case the climate boffins were not deserving of that trust yet those outside the core group just blindly went along with it signing petititions and such supporting the AGW narrative and thereby manufacturing a consensus without exercising any due diligence that what they were agreeing with was good science – they signed off on it with blind faith in their peers. The few that actually took the time to look into it close enough to see that the emperor was wearing no clothes mostly just went silent because the political situation was such that anyone rocking the CAGW boat could kiss his career goodbye in exactly the same way that a cop who snitches on another cop is ostracized – its traitorous.

  235. Dave Springer says:

    Wade Poziombka says:
    September 9, 2011 at 6:05 am

    “I am sure the Dr. Spencer and others here are operating under the goal of finding truth. However, one cannot help but wonder if we are damaging Dr. Spencer’s work (at least how it is perceived) by offering free, on-line peer review service of Dessler’s work before it is published.”

    We were told Dessler’s paper was in press and given a firm publication date.

    In fact Dessler, GRL, and the rest of the usual suspects in the climate science pal-review community jumped the shark (again) and now they’re paying for it.

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

    Jumping the shark is an idiom, first employed to describe a moment in the evolution of a television show when it begins a decline in quality that is beyond recovery.

    In its initial usage, it referred to the point in a television program’s history where it has “outlived its freshness” [1] where viewers feel “the writers have run out of ideas” and that “the series has [lost] what made it attractive.”[2] These changes were often the result of efforts to revive interest in a show whose audience had begun to decline.[3]

    The usage of “jump the shark” has subsequently broadened beyond television, indicating the moment in its evolution when a brand, design, or creative effort moves beyond the essential qualities that initially defined its success, beyond relevance or recovery.

    First rule of holes: When you find you’ve dug yourself into one the first thing to do is stop digging.

    Climate boffins have not only not stopped digging they’re digging even faster with rather predictable results. Rather than just fade away into insignificance they’ve chosen to go down in flames. So be it. Either way it’s a lost cause.

  236. Dave Springer says:

    Messenger says:
    September 9, 2011 at 6:26 am

    How refreshing to find Roy Spencer refusing to take the opportunity to gloat over Dessler’s errors. What a contrast to the previous comments emanating from the “other side”.

    Admirable of Spencer to be sure. Personally I’m not the committed Christian willing to turn the other cheek. Dessler is a puppy who piddled on the floor and should get his nose rubbed in it to teach him a lesson and set an example to his peers. Fight fire with fire I say. Wagner was coerced into resigning to set an example for other editors of what happens when they publish a paper from a CAGW skeptic. Now it’s our turn to make an example out of Dessler and GRL. Tough break for him and GRL but both were willing patsies and I have no sympathy for them.

  237. If the editors of GRL want to avoid possible law suits and loss of credibility, they will publish a joint paper as an ongoing debate with their readers given the opportunity to pose questions and make comments. It need not go through selective peer review and an editor could serve as moderator. They should be able to sell more articles. Three or four more timely issues could be published before the 2012 elections. I think that even Nature and Science would jump at that opportunity.

  238. Ed says:

    The reasoned discourse we are seeing between Spencer and Dessler shows how science should work, and so frequently does not in this field. That doesn’t mean people will end up completely agreeing; there are always different ways to analyze data and develop explanations, but at least each side will understand the point of view of the other. Very commendable on both sides.

  239. KR says:

    Ryan

    “I must take issue with your claim that Spencer “cherry picked” the models he used in his paper. Spencer makes it quite clear that effectively he was interested in disputing those models that showed high senstivity of global temperature to CO2. So he picked the three highest. However, to show balance he felt compelled to include the three models with the weakest sensitivity. I don’t see that as “cherry picking”. He was focussed on showing that the climate is not very sensitive to CO2 and so he focussed on attacking those models that show high sensitivity. Seems like a reasonable approach to me.”

    However, the models that best fit the data have climate sensitivity in the middle of the range. If nothing else, this appears to show that climate sensitivity (which after all is a separate question from matching short term variations) is the wrong criteria for this comparison.

    “The models he missed out that model ENSO better are actually not “better” at all. They still don’t model ENSO very well…”

    Apparently they do – the reference is to Lin 2007, Interdecadal variability of ENSO in 21 IPCC AR4 coupled GCMs, GRL. Note that the plot in both SB11 and Dessler 2011 is a lead-lag plot, not a time series, and you wouldn’t expect to see the time series sinusoid there.

    “Well they aren’t because we are not interewsted in ENSO at all in this case – we are looking at what is left after ENSO is taken into account, and in that case the models still differ substantially.”

    Neither Spencer nor Dessler attempted to remove the ENSO from the computations.

    “Dessler has tried to “tune” the models to fit the data by introducing a 4month lag – but this is just an exercise in numerology.”

    You have perhaps noted that Spencer’s paper is all about lead/lag relationships to cloud forcing???

    The issue here is that model climate sensitivity does not correlate with 10 year ENSO lead/lag matching, despite Spencer’s assertions to the contrary.

    Richard S Courtney

    Ah, yes, the “it was accepted too fast” argument. Dessler’s paper timeline (four weeks?) is actually close to average for GRL, I believe the range goes between about three days and six months with a mean around five weeks. Geophysical Research Letters is a journal specifically intended for short, clear articles (not literature reviews, for example), and Dessler’s five page paper fits those criteria. Short articles are much faster to review, oddly enough.

    But it’s absolutely a science paper, reviewed by people in the field of climate studies, whereas the Remote Sensing staff don’t have a lot of expertise there, and may not have chosen very qualified (or unbiased) reviewers for Spencer. In fact, given the publicity Spencer’s paper received, it may have been easier to review Dessler’s, as many potential reviewers would be familiar with the work.

    “…Spencer’s recent paper is a scientific report and, therefore, its illustrations present the reported work in a clear manner.”

    In a clear manner? Yes. In a complete manner, including data run by Spencer that did not support his hypothesis?

    No.

  240. Shona says:

    Richard S Courtney @
    September 9, 2011 at 1:27 am

    I think “Climsci” should be “Clym-sy” you know like ” Sci-Fi” became “Sy-Fy” when it stopped doing Sci-Fi and became a wrestling channel?

    For the topic, I would like to thank Spence and Dess (that’s an 80s cop show :) ) for the
    fascinating gentlemanly discussion. It’s great to see science happening in real time! Way to go guys!

  241. Dave Springer says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    September 8, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    I’m in complete agreement with your comment.

  242. Chris D. says:

    I do hope that Dr Spencer will insist that Dessler take down his video while the paper is being revised.

  243. Shona says:

    KR, passim

    You think that your pet models would better make your point for you, Spencer disagrees, and he has chosen the models which he thinks are the most significant. Why don’t you do the calculations yourself and post the results, instead of spamming the thread?

  244. John Whitman says:

    Dave Springer says:
    September 9, 2011 at 7:20 am

    davidmhoffer says:
    September 8, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    I’m in complete agreement with your comment.

    ————–

    Dave & David,

    : ) My lame humorous attempt => A conspiracy of Davids? : )

    John

  245. Tilo Reber says:

    Too much us versus them on this thing. The objective is not to win and gloat, the objective is to get the science right. Spencer and Dessler talking can only help serve that end. This is not about compromising to an intermediate position. This is about getting the science a little closer to the truth. Yes, the bashing by Trenberth and Dessler earlier was a travesty. But letting that get in the way of advancing the science is too much about ego and not enough about common sense. Again, I can only see Dessler and Spencer talking as being a good thing.

  246. Tilo Reber says:

    Chris: “I do hope that Dr Spencer will insist that Dessler take down his video while the paper is being revised.”

    I was glad that the video was there. The comments for it are moderated, but I took a bunch of quotes from Spencer and submitted them to the comments section of his video. I don’t know if Dessler reads WUWT, but I figured that he couldn’t ignore the comments on his video, even if he moderated them out.

  247. Richard S Courtney says:

    KR:

    Your reply at September 9, 2011 at 7:11 am to my post at September 9, 2011 at 1:27 am proves that you did not read my post or – if you did – then you failed to understand it.

    Your self-imposed refusal to understand the issues is a pity because it can only prevent you from understanding the importance of the hoped-for cooperation of Spencer and Dressler.

    Please note that the hoped-for cooperation is intended to correct the errors in the Dessler paper: there are no discerned errors in the Spencer paper. This is important because this is the first time a member of the Team has openly admitted errors despite many such arrors by the Team being blatant.

    Many people (including me) have great hopes that the cooperation could be the start of an important change. It could be the first phase of the demise of climsci and a return to real science in climatology. Some (including me) have worked for that for decades.

    Richard

  248. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    It seems to me there is an expectation from the Team that problems will only be imagined and calculated in a certain manner, which critics point out can result in predetermined types of answers.

    Here is a reminder from Alexander Callandra in times past that there is more than one way to skin a cat.

    I have made [insertions] a couple of times.
    Crispin
    ++++++

    Angels on a Pin
    A Modern Parable
    by Alexander Callandra
    Saturday Review, Dec 21, 1968.

    Some time ago I received a call from a colleague who asked if I would be the referee on [peer review] the grading of an examination question. He was about to give a student a zero for his answer to a physics question, while the student claimed he should receive a perfect score and would if the system were not set up against the student: The instructor and the student agreed to submit this to an impartial arbiter, and I was selected.
    I went to my colleague’s office and read the examination question: “Show how it is possible to determine the height of a tall building with the aid of a barometer.”
    The student had answered: “Take a barometer to the top of the building, attach a long rope to it, lower the barometer to the street and then bring it up, measuring the length of the rope. The length of the rope is the height of the building.”
    I pointed out that the student really had a strong case for full credit since he had answered the question completely and correctly. On the other hand, if full credit was given, it could well contribute to a high grade for the student in his physics course. A high grade is supposed to certify competence in physics, but the answer did not confirm this. I suggested that the student have another try at answering the question I was not surprised that my colleague agreed, but I was surprised that the student did.
    I gave the student six minutes to answer the question with the warning that the answer should show some knowledge of physics. At the end of five minutes, he had not written anything. I asked if he wished to give up, but he said no. He had many answers to this problem; he was just thinking of the best one. I excused myself for interrupting him and asked him to please go on. In the next minute he dashed off his answer which read:
    “Take the barometer to the top of the building and lean over the edge of the roof. Drop that barometer, timing its fall with a stopwatch. Then using the formula S = ½at², calculate the height of the building.
    At this point I asked my colleague if he would give up. He conceded, and I gave the student almost full credit.
    In leaving my colleague’s office, I recalled that the student had said he had many other answers to the problem, so I asked him what they were. “Oh yes,” said the student. “There are a great many ways of getting the height of a tall building with a barometer. For example, you could take the barometer out on a sunny day and measure the height of the barometer and the length of its shadow, and the length of the shadow of the building and by the use of a simple proportion, determine the height of the building.”
    “Fine,” I asked. “And the others?”
    “Yes,” said the student. “There is a very basic measurement method that you will like. In this method you take the barometer and begin to walk up the stairs. As you climb the stairs, you mark off the length of the barometer along the wall. You then count the number of marks, and this will give you the height of the building in barometer units. A very direct method.”
    “Of course, if you want a more sophisticated method, you can tie the barometer to the end of a string, swing it as a pendulum, and determine the value of ‘g’ at the street level and at the top of the building. From the difference of the two values of `g’ the height of the building can be calculated.”
    Finally, he concluded, there are many other ways of solving the problem. “Probably the best,” he said, “is to take the barometer to the basement and knock on the superintendent’s door. When the superintendent answers, you speak to him as follows: “Mr. Superintendent, here I have a fine barometer. If you tell me the height of this building, I will give you this barometer.”
    At this point I asked the student if he really did know the conventional answer to this question. He admitted that he did, said that he was fed up with high school and college instructors trying to teach him how to think, using the “scientific method,” and to explore the deep inner logic of the subject in a pedantic way, as is often done in the new [post-normal] mathematics, rather than teaching him the structure of the subject. With this in mind, he decided to revive scholasticism as an academic lark to challenge the Sputnik-panicked [CAGW-panicked] classrooms of America.

  249. S Basinger says:

    I am absolutely delighted to hear that Spencer and Dessler are working together like professionals. After all the political wrangling, editor quitting and badmouthing left an absolutely horrible atmosphere around these two individuals – to see them actually co-operating is a staggeringly positive step in the right direction.

    What a great day. I just hope that this trend continues.

  250. Ged says:

    @KR,

    Nice job ignoring me and the whole issue of significance. Which is, after all, at the heart of this issue scientifically!

    Also, I am so bemused reading your posts. You talk about waiting for Spencer’s reply, and do so in a thread that is about Spencer’s reply. Have you not read the above article this comment tread is attached to? Your comments make me believe you have not. Spencer shows all 14 models right up there, and you can see none are “significantly” similar to observations, even without having to do the calculations (but you could, yourself, do them if you would actually participate in science instead or parroting things that have already been addressed in the actual body of the article).

    You should also notice that Spencer’s calculations, the equation listed right here in this article, are using directly measured numbers. Have you even read and understood the equation and each of its parts? There are three OBSERVATIONAL measurements in the equation, from which everything is based.

    Please read the article, and get back to me with actually valid scientific points. Use statistics and tests of significance to back up your claims. Otherwise you’re just cluttering this thread with your repeated fluff.

  251. James Sexton says:

    Lucy Skywalker says:
    September 9, 2011 at 2:00 am

    Tallbloke: I’m all for people coming over the wall

    Yes, this really feels like a Berlin Wall Coming Down moment. I remember how I watched the signs in those days, and could see the likelihood of this approaching, even before Gorbachev and glasnost, as attitides while “in captivity” matured… yet when it actually happened, it was still a miracle.

    James Sexton, keep a razor-sharp MIND by all means, use Occam’s Razor, keep the pressure on for upholding fair practice, and watch for double-dealing… but please be gracious to welcome as far as possible.
    ====================================================

    Lucy, you know I love your writings and deem your opinions as very weighty. Indeed, I hold you in high regard. However, graciousness is a luxury only afforded to victors. And we’re not there, yet. We’ve advanced, but we must stay relentless.

    Our raison d’être isn’t to be accepted by climatology, it is to have the world reject these people. Lucy, on your page, you listed some, but not nearly all, of the commonly known transgressions of these people. Their transgressions weren’t just toward science, but towards all of humanity. And they’ve done so repeatedly, throughout the years, and without remorse. Dr. Dessler has been there for all of it. Indeed, their impunity and transgressions are the reason for our presence. Their defeat is sine qua non for our victory. (If you would excuse the butchered use.)

    Lucy, you, me, and many on this page, have been around long enough to know this hand, extended in an offer of cooperation, is left-handed. We shouldn’t sully our hands in acceptance of theirs. This event was unprecedented (heh) and truly monumental. We shouldn’t let it simply become a footnote.

  252. Ron Cram says:

    davidmhoffer,
    I mostly agree with your comments of 11:52 pm Sept 8… except on one point. I do not consider Dessler an attack dog. Dessler was mostly courteous in his communications with Spencer, at least back in 2010, even though they disagreed. (Dessler was discourteous in the video, but I think this was out of character for him.) In addition, Dessler provided his data to Steve McIntyre and he joined McIntyre in calling for the IPCC to put the review comments online rather than their first plan to store them in Harvard Library. Dessler has behaved better and upheld the standards of science better than most on The Team.

  253. James Sexton says:

    Richard S Courtney says:
    September 9, 2011 at 1:27 am

    James Sexton:
    ……..

    KR thinks Spencer’s recent paper is climsci. Hence, he looks at illustrations in that paper with a view to discerning what those illustrations misrepresent.

    But Spencer’s recent paper is a scientific report and, therefore, its illustrations present the reported work in a clear manner.
    =====================================================

    Sigh, I keep forgetting to try and think like a warmista. Thanks for the reminder.

    James

  254. Werner Brozek says:

    The question was asked above:
    “When does the editor in chief of GRL resign?”

    Am I missing something since in the update it says:
    “Also, apparently his paper has not been officially published.”

    It seems likely that the editor in chief saw many of the rebuttals in the blogs before it was even published and decided not to publish it after all until revisions had been made. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that the editor is between a rock and a hard place. If he DOES publish problematic work, he may get fired for that. But if he does NOT publish the Dessler paper, could Trenberth extract an apology and have the editor fired for not publishing the flawed paper?

  255. eyesonu says:

    Crispin in Waterloo says:
    September 9, 2011 at 8:14 am

    ____________

    I loved it! I can relate to that.

  256. eyesonu says:

    S Basinger says:
    September 9, 2011 at 9:05 am

    ________________

    When did you arrive here? Media matters?, Huffpo? Damage control? You sound like spam.

  257. Theo Goodwin says:

    I must take exception to be people writing specifically that “it is so wonderful to see Spencer and Dessler working together.” That does not reflect the reality. Spencer was always doing the right thing as scientist and professional. Dessler had the problems, among which just might be serving The Team ahead of science and professionalism. Let us not lose perspective.

  258. John Whitman says:

    I can see how a long and frustrating history of ‘so-called independents’/’so-called skeptics’ dealing with the ‘so-called consensus’/’so-called settled’ climate scientists (and vice versa) would tend to breed mutual cynicism, however, we do not need any cynicism only courteous skeptical discourse.

    With Spencer’s and Dessler’s recent public dialog there is some hope to see some of the courteous skeptical discourse take place and less of the cynicism thing.

    John

  259. Paul_K says:

    I wonder if there is a second shoe to drop here. Dessler 2010 criticises not just S&B2011, but also the Lindzen and Choi 2010 paper. I wonder if Dr Lindzen is planning on making a response?

  260. Doubting Thomas says:

    Prof. Spenser: Thanks for keeping us informed about your conversations with Dessler. It’s interesting to see real science being done in real time. I suspect that your lively argument might result in the best possible conclusions. It looks to me like you and Dessler are getting more done in a week than the old-fashioned peer review process gets done in a year. Keep your emails and correspondence. I bet future science historians will find them interesting.

    Anthony, I’m a long-term reader of your blog. You must feel very proud that it’s become a forum for cutting edge scientific discussion. Well done sir!

    dT

  261. G. Karst says:

    Many people (including me) have great hopes that the cooperation could be the start of an important change. It could be the first phase of the demise of climsci and a return to real science in climatology. Some (including me) have worked for that for decades.

    Richard

    If your Aunt had balls, she would be your Uncle!

    One should never extinguish all hope, but who are we really kidding. Dessler is merely trying to extract his own pubic hairs from his own zipper. GK

  262. Theo Goodwin says:

    What account of his actions in the Spencer affair will Trenberth give? What will he say about his denunciations of Spencer’s work and his strong actions against Wagner? What will he say about GRL’s pal publication of Dessler’s work? What will he say about his poor judgment of the relative merit of Spencer’s work and Dessler’s work? I believe that he will do everything in his power to say nothing at all. Whatever he does, this sordid affair makes his integrity as scientist and professinal more questionable than that of Mann or Gore.

    Will the MSM ask Trenberth for his account of this sordid affair? If not, then how can they present themselves as credible journalists who report the major developments in climate science? Will they ask the editors at GRL and the other editors at Remote Sensing for their accounts of the matter? Will they interview Spencer and Dessler? I believe they will attempt to hush up the matter. In doing so, they will achieve the same level of believability as Pravda enjoyed in 1980.

    Will the MSM interview Anthony Watts and give WUWT the credit it deserves as the medium which spotlighted this amazing development and served as the forum in which much of it unfolded and the aftershocks continue?

    Will Congress begin hearings on the monopoly that Trenberth and his followers hold on journals that publish climate science? Will they question Trenberth about the Wagner affair?

    I hope others will add their questions and answers.

  263. KR says:

    Ged“Nice job ignoring me and the whole issue of significance. Which is, after all, at the heart of this issue scientifically!”

    Sorry, I did not mean to make you feel left out…

    “Use statistics and tests of significance to back up your claims. Otherwise you’re just cluttering this thread with your repeated fluff.”

    I don’t see any signs of statistical significance testing in Spencer, oddly enough. Comparing the lead/lag runs in SB11 Figure 3a (six models, averaged to two lines, compared to HadCRUT3 observational data) with D11 (13 models of Spencer’s 14 compared to HadCRUT3 data, along with MERRA, ERA-Interim, GISTEMP temperatures), it’s clear that climate sensitivity is not the appropriate measure of lag correlation between models and observations. Why? Because the models with mid-range sensitivity follow the temperature lag data the closest. Not perfectly, which points to potential areas of investigation, but better than models with extrema sensitivities.

    Plotting all the models simply does not lead to Spencer’s conclusions. The three models among those best known for reproducing ENSO are the closest to the observational data, particularly at the 3-5 month lag range. And the short (10 year) time frame used emphasizes ENSO variations, which makes this more a test of ENSO match than climate sensitivity.

    “There are three OBSERVATIONAL measurements in the equation, from which everything is based.”

    The 25m mixed layer Spencer assumes is far too small. The ARGO data, along with computations by both Dessler 2010 and Lindzen and Choi 2011 (see D11, http://geotest.tamu.edu/userfiles/216/Dessler2011.pdf, lines 65-86) strongly supports Dessler’s factor of 20:1 between ocean and cloud response, as opposed to Spencer’s 0.5:1. An order of magnitude difference?

    Dessler supplied as much statistical analysis as Spencer (not much for either of them, quite frankly), but he did show all the data. And the full set of data that Spencer analyzed does not support his contentions, either that models fit the data poorly, or that climate sensitivity must be very low.

  264. PhilJourdan says:

    @G. Karst says:
    September 9, 2011 at 11:03 am
    “Balls! Said the Queen! If I had to, I would be King! The King laughed, he had to.”

    Aint the english language grand?

  265. Chris D. says:

    Theo Goodwin says:
    September 9, 2011 at 11:1

    “Will the MSM ask Trenberth for his account of this sordid affair? If not, then how can they present themselves as credible journalists who report the major developments in climate science? Will they ask the editors at GRL and the other editors at Remote Sensing for their accounts of the matter? Will they interview Spencer and Dessler? I believe they will attempt to hush up the matter. In doing so, they will achieve the same level of believability as Pravda enjoyed in 1980.

    “Will the MSM interview Anthony Watts and give WUWT the credit it deserves as the medium which spotlighted this amazing development and served as the forum in which much of it unfolded and the aftershocks continue?”

    Got that, Mr. Revkin? Step up. You’ve done it before.

  266. mark t says:

    Wonder when we can expect to see Trenberth’s apology now that it is apparent the poorly reviewed paper by Spencer was reviewed better than the refutation by Dessler.

    Oh, c’mon people… It is Dessler, not Dressler.

    Mark

  267. Gary Hladik says:

    Crispin in Waterloo says (September 9, 2011 at 8:14 am): [snip]

    Heh. i first heard that story in freshman physics, 1966.

  268. mark t says:

    KR, you really are not that good st the debate thing.

    Mark

  269. mkelly says:

    I admit to still being lost by the left hand side of Dr. Spencer’s equation. d(Cpml deltaTml)/dt

    As Cp is a mass function (J/kg*K) how can 2.3 W/m^2 be correct?
    Q=Cp*m*(T1-T2) or J= J/kg*K * kg * K

    The units don’t cancel.

    Heat is a mass property and radiation is a surface property.

  270. eyesonu says:

    KR, a hair can only be split a limited number of times.

    You seem to be lost in the details with regards to Desslers 14 current models, none of which were produced by Spencer.

    Perhaps you should step back a bit and notice that they were all a miss. Do you understand that a miss is not on target. That is 14 attempts and still no score. You are trying to argue that a group of models that miss the least have signifiicance. Ony one of the models was even remotely close. This appears to be something Spencer was pointing out. Desslers misses, as well as yours, continues to be a miss in any practical sense of the word. Hell, you’re trying to argue that Wednesday is almost Sunday. Let it go. Dessler may appreciate your silence.

  271. Ged says:

    @KR

    Dessler is revising down the 20:1 figure, as it is indeed wrong, and calculated incorrectly. How much closer to Spencer it’ll be, as Dessler is using now the 700 m depth, we’ll have to see. But the 20:1 is completely fictitious and bad math, Dessler himself as reported that, and his next paper revision is changing that.

    “The three models among those best known for reproducing ENSO are the closest to the observational data”

    KR, that means nothing. It doesn’t matter if it seems like it’s close. Until you do a statistical test, it means -nothing scientifically-. It could look close, but be significantly off, and thus NOT a reflection of reality what so ever. That’s the point I am trying to make. If Spencer didn’t do statistical tests, then he is failing just as much as Dessler in this matter. There are no ifs or buts, you can say -nothing scientifically- until you do a statistical test.

    On the other hand, Steve McIntyre has done some statistical tests on the data, just not the models versus observations data from what I’ve seen. Take a look at what it actually looks like when you do real, quantitative science: http://climateaudit.org/2011/09/08/more-on-dessler-2010/ Notice the p values that are listed.

    Finally, another point I’ve been trying to make and which you keep ignoring, is that SB11’s point was to show that model climate sensitivity did not conform close to observations. Do you see that? That was the point, and that is what was illustrated. All other data was spurious compared to that PARTICULAR experimental test. I still feel he failed if he did not to show statistics, and so has Dessler in his reply, all the same!

    Think again too at what it means if climate sensitivity is not the correct factor for matching a model to reality. This goes back to the IPCC report, and all the hooplay about ENSO not being important and the only factor that mattered was climate sensitivity.

  272. Dave Springer says:

    Crispin in Waterloo says:
    September 9, 2011 at 8:14 am

    It seems to me there is an expectation from the Team that problems will only be imagined and calculated in a certain manner, which critics point out can result in predetermined types of answers.

    Here is a reminder from Alexander Callandra in times past that there is more than one way to skin a cat.

    The kid should not have gotten any credit for any of his answers as they all required more than a barometer for them to work. Even the answer of using it as a yardstick and making marks on the wall would have required a marker of some sort. FAIL

    The correct answer required nothing more than the barometer. Read the barometric pressure at the base of the building, read it at the top, and the difference can be converted to the height of the building through a simple formula. This is exactly how standard aircraft altimeters work – the are simple dial-gauge barometers with the face marked in feet above mean sea level instead of millibars. They’re calibrated to the instant local barometric pressure by adjusting them before takeoff so the reading matches the known MSL of the runway – such adjustment is is an item on the pre-flight checklist.

  273. SteveSadlov says:

    700m for the mixed layer? Wow! My own personal experience (from deep diving) is, you start to get into the realm of 10 deg C water at something between 20 and 30m, and into the 6 deg C realm down around 50m, and after that you have the transition into true abyssal uniformity.

  274. Theo Goodwin says:

    Ged says:
    September 9, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Ged quotes @KR
    “The three models among those best known for reproducing ENSO are the closest to the observational data”

    Ged writes:
    “KR, that means nothing. It doesn’t matter if it seems like it’s close. Until you do a statistical test, it means -nothing scientifically-. It could look close, but be significantly off, and thus NOT a reflection of reality what so ever.”

    Right on the money, Ged.

    Ged writes:

    “Finally, another point I’ve been trying to make and which you keep ignoring, is that SB11′s point was to show that model climate sensitivity did not conform close to observations. Do you see that? That was the point, and that is what was illustrated.”

    Ged correctly identifies the topic and conclusion of Spencer’s paper. Spencer’s paper is about climate sensitivity. Spencer does not address some other aspect of the models. Spencer’s argument does not depend on differences among the models.

    KR, I know you wish that Spencer had written a different paper with a different topic but he did not. Maybe you should write the abstract for that different paper and see if you can get Spencer to write the paper.

  275. fido says:

    tallbloke: my reflection “Dessler states he will change sentences of his paper. However, he is not allowed to do that at this stage. Scientific statements cannot be changed without another roud by reviewers…” does not mean I do not see positive aspects in the development of the story. I just would like to remark that it would be fine if the peer review process remained as neutral as possible:
    a) exceptionally fast tracks should be avoided or they should be offered on both sides;
    b) when a paper is conceived as a response to a previous paper, the author of that paper should be involved in the review process;
    c) changes in the scientific statements should be approved by editor and reviewers.
    Dessler, for instance could ask the editor to send the paper for a further review and esplicitely involve Dr. Spencer in the process. Dr. Spencer could than publically state his role in the new review…
    This, in my opinion, could help to restore trust in the review process…

  276. Adrian Smits says:

    A question for anyone.How much more heat does a cloud e.g. a thunder head deliver into the upper atmosphere than a regular clear air thermal of the same size?

  277. KR says:

    Ged

    “Think again too at what it means if climate sensitivity is not the correct factor for matching a model to reality.”

    Let’s be a bit more precise here. This means that climate sensitivity is not the correct factor for matching models to variously lagged 10 year temperature variations, in a period dominated by strong ENSO effects.

    Spencer’s work should have relevance to very short period (months?) climate response, but not to mid-term or equilibrium climate sensitivity. That takes decades (~30 years) of data. In fact, given the change in CO2 over that period, I believe the expected GHG driven temperature change would be on the order of 0.13 degrees C/decade – very difficult to pull out of seasonal signals.

    I do agree on the lack of statistical significance testing on both Spencer and Dessler – I would prefer much better analysis. I will point out, however, that Dessler at least included the 2-sigma ranges on the temperature data estimates, which gives a somewhat better idea of how close the models came.

    “SB11′s point was to show that model climate sensitivity did not conform close to observations”

    Unfortunately, what SB11 showed is that model climate sensitivity did not conform or correlate (plus or minus, as the mid-range sensitivity models are closer) to observations of 10 year temperature variations. Which is hardly surprising, as climate models are intended to look at long term average behavior, not short term variations with chaotic elements such as the ENSO. That’s one of the reasons you run ensembles of models with varied conditions, and look at the average behaviors as they simulate the evolution of the climate.

    Spencer’s test is inappropriate for drawing the conclusions he has so publicly made.

  278. Ah, James, I now agree with you. Thanks for those extra words.

    In my perception, we have convinced enough of the general public that climate science as it stands is untrustworthy, to turn the scales. But five key groups remain to be convinced: the politicians, the ruling academics, most greenies, the media, and the Team.

    * Politicians – and the heads of the academic institutions, see only the surface and don’t understand that whereas some areas of science are ok enough, climate science has been dangerously corrupted.
    * Academia is too calcified and insulated to call for the return of the lost integrity. IMHO their time for shakeup will come but they haven’t yet become corrupt enough.
    * Rank-and-file greenies choose the “proofs” that support their feelings and therefore don’t want to know that Climate Science has become corrupt.
    * The media will follow anything that titillates their paymasters enough.
    * The Team will perhaps never acquiesce – but the strangleholders like Jones and Trenberth and Mann could be moved sideways – so long as there isn’t a Club of Rome fiat to replace them all with clones. I still sense the Team, and others like Bob Ward and Fiona Fox, are puppets.

    So yes, the tide may have turned, but the war is not yet won.

  279. Nuke Nemesis says:

    @KR:

    Isn’t climate just an average of the weather over a period of time? If increased cloudiness goes from months into years, it’s not climate change? How long a period does something happen to occur before it’s climate change and not weather? What’s the generally accepted time frame? Not months, not years, not one decade, but more than two?

  280. Ged says:

    @KR

    “Let’s be a bit more precise here. This means that climate sensitivity is not the correct factor for matching models to variously lagged 10 year temperature variations, in a period dominated by strong ENSO effects.”

    You’d be making a point, if we weren’t trying to validate the behavior of computer models made by Man. If the models do not act correctly on the scale of 10 years, solely based on climate sensitivity parameters; then the models can be said to not reflect reality and thus not be useful even in the long term.

    The idea that, even if they fail on 10 year spans trying to model the basic physics, models can somehow be right on 30 year or longer spans, is quite a fallacy. If the model accurately reflects the underlying reality, it’ll be significantly correct in its behavior and predictions at 10 years, 30 years, 100 years, or 1 year. That’s the whole point of the model.

    If sensitivity parameters cannot match 10 year variations, they cannot be given confidence for any amount of time, as they are flawed at the fundamental level. This is what SB11 and even Dressler’s reply have shown. This was a very important result; as now we know we need to make better models, do we not? And there in, science has advanced, as well as our understanding of the basic underlying physics behind our climate system. Something absolutely vital for any time span of predictions.

    Also, 2 sigmas do not tell you much significantly, other than the spread of the variance. All you need are a few very far off outlayers from your mean to give you a wide 2 sigma, which would overlap with another data set with very far out outlayers. But, that doesn’t say they are significantly similar at all! Just that your data is messy.

    In short, I don’t see ANY statistical tests being done, no real analysis that would give us vital scientific info. I feel this is a fundamental problem, and more rigor is necessary on everyone’s parts who aren’t doing their quantitations to verify theory with reality. C’est la vie.

  281. KR says:

    Nuke Nemesis“How long a period does something happen to occur before it’s climate change and not weather? What’s the generally accepted time frame?”

    The generally accepted time frame in the climate field appears to be 30 years.

    If you look at the statistics of year-to-year temperature changes, and see how long before the standard deviation stabilizes (one measure for ‘long enough’) it flattens at about 45 years. Variations such as ENSO (one of the most important), where heat moves in/out of the oceans, tend to cancel out over about 20-25 years.

    Some people (like Tamino) have performed multiple regression analysis, attempting to separate out ENSO, volcanic activity, solar levels, and the annual cycle, and have shown separability and a discernible trend over shorter periods (~10 years), but given the interactions between various forcings I personally consider that a pretty weak conclusion.

    So – 30 years is considered climate, 10-15 years is variations, months are seasons, days to weeks are weather (where initial condition models used by meteorologists can make reasonable predictions).

  282. Adrian Smits says:

    I would have thought Nuke Nemesis that a measurement of the entire planet from thousands of different locations via satellite would be an example of our climate even on a daily basis but I seem to have been mistaken!

  283. Luther Wu says:

    This commotion has established a new paradigm for analysis of scientific papers. From this time forth, any new pronouncements by ‘the Team’ will be scrutinized by myriad wizened eyes.
    Woe be to the deceivers.
    Edicts from the puppet masters will be lost in the winds of change.

  284. John Whitman says:

    Luther Wu says:
    September 9, 2011 at 3:02 pm
    This commotion has established a new paradigm for analysis of scientific papers. From this time forth, any new pronouncements by ‘the Team’ will be scrutinized by myriad wizened eyes.
    Woe be to the deceivers.
    Edicts from the puppet masters will be lost in the winds of change

    ——————-

    Luther Wu,

    Poetic. That last line. Thank you.

    Where the heck is kim?

    John

  285. 1DandyTroll says:

    @Lucy Skywalker says:
    September 9, 2011 at 1:15 pm
    “Ah, James, I now agree with you. Thanks for those extra words.

    In my perception, we have convinced enough of the general public that climate science as it stands is untrustworthy, to turn the scales. But five key groups remain to be convinced: the politicians, the ruling academics, most greenies, the media, and the Team.”

    Hah, do not misstake those groups who probably do know but do not care due to the agenda they’re riding. The “ruling academics” and the “Team” do know but don’t care for the sole reasons that boils down to money. Those two groups have never had as much money to throw around before.

    The media is run by money and populism so both can sway media.

    Politicians, pfft, lefty politician it should be, but even if they understand they only work to further their own agenda, which is based upon greed of power and money, but if they have to choose they choose money.

    Politician in general is easily brought to heels you just vote on the most sensible rational people who run for office. Of course it helps to point out that the other folks are socialists and the socialists was during the 20th century the sole cause for the wars and mayhem and mass murders.

    The greenies, well they’re fanatics and extremists just like right wing or left wing socialists, so even if they understand they won’t acknowledge because that would be breaking rank from their ideology, and that almost never happens because like the socialists and the talibans no matter how evil the ruler or the cause or the consequences the idea must be upheld at all cost (or else suffer the even more fanatical and extremists). Greenies are nothing but neo communists and they’re as extreme as their counter part the neo nazis.

    Dictators and their authoritarians, kings and queens and their royalists, and every kind of socialists are the only ones in EU that went to war to commit mayhem and murder. Yet they all complain on democratic capitalists even though none has ever started any war or committed genocide within EU.

  286. eyesonu says:

    Lucy Skywalker says:
    September 9, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    —————–

    I agree with your thoughts and will thus expand with some of mine.

    I hope that ‘climate science’ will take a serious turn for the better as a result of the issues tackled the past several days. It could not have gotten worse.

    I have heard the expression “I wouldn’t trust that bastard in a shithouse with a muzzle on his face” and perhaps that could be interpreted in the plural with regards to the CAGW crowd. But they may have some or possibly many within their ranks that, deep in their souls, don’t buy the CAGW hype but are not strong enough to stand on their own two feet.

    For the weak or intimidated it may seem better to just go with the flow, which is CAGW. These people are not leaders and should never hold leadership positions. The leaders of this scheme need to be rooted out, but how do you determine those who are just followers from those who are of the fanatical state or simply profiteers? I think it may take a complete purge of the ranks. One thing to remember is that all employed were looking for a job when they got the one they have now, so the net result is that they will have lost nothing that they didn’t have to start with. They can now endure the same economic challenges that the CAGW policies have pushed on to the rest of society. Their views may then change.

    Those whom have questioned the CAGW meme show an open mind and should be considered for future contribution within the ranks. However a claim that “I was already here first” is not reason for inclusion. You can’t tweak a corrupt program. It needs to be replaced with a better one with non-corrupted components. Where will these come from? I don’t know, as the corruption has spanned a generation. The first start will need to be academia. Where will those replacements come from? An entire generation has been corrupted. But it has got to start somewhere. I, like many others, waited until the writing was on the wall and then it was late, but better to give the benefit of the doubt than to jump the gun so to speak.

    CAGW has become a big ugly monster now and is going to be tough to kill, but the fall
    will be loud and clear. Do you hear the rumble? Are you part of the lost generation? Now is the time to take a stand.

  287. KR says:

    Ged“The idea that, even if they fail on 10 year spans trying to model the basic physics, models can somehow be right on 30 year or longer spans, is quite a fallacy. If the model accurately reflects the underlying reality, it’ll be significantly correct in its behavior and predictions at 10 years, 30 years, 100 years, or 1 year. That’s the whole point of the model.”

    That’s really not true, Ged. It depends on what kind of model you are talking about.

    Weather predictions are done with initial value models, attempting to predict how the weather will evolve over the next few days to weeks. Given the non-linear interrelations of weather, any error or imprecision in initial conditions, or averaging over space or time, means that the weather will in reality deviate from the prediction after a while, limiting how far you can predict it.

    Climate models, on the other hand, are boundary condition models, where you look at how the average values will change based on boundary conditions such as conservation of energy. They are generally run repeatedly with small variations in their initial conditions, simulate how the weather _might_ evolve over time, and based upon limits such as how fast energy moves in/out of the atmosphere, oceans, etc., try and predict the _average_ conditions over time. Variations like the ENSO, which are +/- shifts in where energy is located in the climate, average out over time, so even simple zero dimensional models that don’t attempt to replicate ENSO can provide some predictive power (if the boundary conditions are correct) over longer terms. But climate models are lousy at predicting whether it’s going to rain in Topeka next week – that’s a different question.

    The mid-range of a few months to 10 years, where ENSO and seasonal effects lie, is actually the most difficult to predict and where a lot of research is occurring now.

    As an analogy:

    * You could model traffic on the Los Angeles freeway system with initial values, the speed of each car at the starting time, engine powers, the aggressiveness of each driver, etc., and make short term predictions of how traffic will behave over the next couple of hours. After that your model will fall apart.

    * You could also model traffic based on boundary conditions such as population levels, employment conditions, lane sizes, and planned changes to on/off ramps over the next few years, and from that predict _average_ traffic a decade out. But that model won’t tell you about the traffic next Tuesday.

    Different models, different predictive ranges.

    Finally, as to statistics – I couldn’t agree more, both Spencer and Dessler could use better numeric analysis in their papers. But that doesn’t mean either paper is without value.

  288. SteveSadlov says:

    OK, RE: mixed layer – to be fair my commentary was based on dives here in CA. Admittedly in the equatorial waters the mixed layer probably extends down to near 700m. But in terms of a global mean or weighted mean, I seriously doubt it.

  289. John Whitman says:

    Lucy Skywalker says:
    September 9, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Ah, James, I now agree with you. Thanks for those extra words.

    In my perception, we have convinced enough of the general public that climate science as it stands is untrustworthy, to turn the scales. But five key groups remain to be convinced: the politicians, the ruling academics, most greenies, the media, and the Team. [ . . . ]

    —————-

    Lucy Skywalker and James Sexton,

    Climate science, to me, is the result/symptom of a broader problem in Western Civilization. The broader problem is philosophic systems based on support of man’s rational nature are in fundamental battle with philosophic systems inimical to man’s rational nature. So, as we counter the impact of climate science irrationalism we should do so in a broader context which will enable us to efficiently stomp the next iteration of irrationalism when it crops up after the climate pseudo-science. The next pseudo-science will always crop up, ad infinitum.

    This is an eternal philosophical battle. Vigilance forever is required.

    John

  290. MarcH says:

    GRL state about papers in press:

    “Papers in Press is a service for subscribers that allows immediate citation and access to accepted manuscripts prior to copyediting and formatting according to AGU style. Manuscripts are removed from this list upon publication.”

    The AGU Authors Guide states: “Once the figures pass technical requirements, your final figures and text will be combined into
    a PDF file that is placed on the journal’s Papers in Press page. Papers in Press is a service for subscribers that
    allows immediate citation and access to accepted manuscripts prior to copyediting and formatting according to
    AGU style.”

    The Publishing Guidelines state:
    “An author should make no changes to a paper after it has been accepted. If there is a compelling reason to make changes, the author is obligated to inform the editor directly of the nature of the desired change. Only the editor has the final authority to approve any such requested changes.”

    As the changes suggested by Dessler are greater than “copyediting and formatting” it seems the paper must be withdrawn and a new version submitted and reviewed. Any comment?

  291. Dave Springer says:

    So when is the GRL editor going to resign and send an apology to Roy Spencer?

  292. Dave Springer says:

    An Optimal Definition for Ocean Mixed Layer Depth
    Journal of Geophysical Reasearh, July 2000

    http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA480229&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf

    Flip on down to page 10. Nice graphs (by season) on right of mean MLD.

    It’s about 50 meters average across seasons. At least according to a published study.

    Dessler’s using 300m as I recall. Sounds like he’s making up his own definitions for things to suit his agenda. FAIL

  293. John Whitman says:

    I also posted the below comment on BH.

    —————–

    It just doesn’t matter what a scientist’s politics, ethics, sexual preferences, religion and favorite colors are.

    Look at a scientist’s work product and in course of analysis any bias can be seen. If bias is found, then a correction is made. That is the scientific process. That means through its process science just doesn’t care what a scientist’s politics, ethics, sexual preferences, religion or favorite colors are.

    I find the recurring fixation on Spencer’s theology to be bigoted and prejudiced. I would think that it is quite common for scientists to have theological views. So what? What is going on, do I see the beginning of the formation of a new agenda for a Politically Correct climate science police enforcing atheistic scientists only? What is next persecuting scientists for liking the color pink?

    John

  294. Dave Springer says:

    SteveSadlov says:
    September 9, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    “700m for the mixed layer? Wow! My own personal experience (from deep diving) is, you start to get into the realm of 10 deg C water at something between 20 and 30m, and into the 6 deg C realm down around 50m, and after that you have the transition into true abyssal uniformity.”

    The definition of the mixed layer is the upper ocean layer where there is very little temperature change with increasing depth. The starting point is 10 meters to isolate it from skin effects at the surface.

    Reference the JGR paper I linked in previous comment.

  295. Dave Springer says:

    Dessler is now calling 700 meters the mixed layer? Seriously?

    Both him and the pal-reviewers need to take Oceanography 101. I did. I got a 4.0 grade in it too. And I read the entire textbook for it in one weekend, didn’t go to a single class, and just showed up for mid-term and final exams because most of it I already knew just because I’ve been a science nerd since kindergarten.

    700 meters is near the bottom of the thermocline and about 650 meters below the mixed layer.

    The GRL editor should resign for letting that be published and write a letter of apology to Roy Spencer. I mean that’s how it’s supposed to work in science journals now, right? Or do I detect a double standard at play here? /sarc

  296. Luther Wu says:

    John Whitman says:
    September 9, 2011 at 4:00 pm
    “This is an eternal philosophical battle. Vigilance forever is required.”
    John

    ___________________
    We change the world when we change our habits of thought.

  297. eyesonu says:

    I’m new as to the peer review process so this is very interesting. I never imagined that an editor could be held to such a high degree of responsibility and ethics.

    Is the current editor the one who accepted the first version of Dessler? Has already resigned? If so, will the new editor need to resign later? If he hasn’t resigned yet, why not? Are editors a dime a dozen?

    All of this is like a dream / nightmare to someone. I’m losing sleep trying to follow it all.

  298. Theo Goodwin says:

    John Whitman says:
    September 9, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Well said. Objecting to a scientist’s work because of his religion is simple bigotry. It is no less morally wrong than objecting to a person because of his skin color.

  299. Theo Goodwin says:

    Dave Springer says:
    September 9, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    I believe that reasons for going that deep have been given, especially by Spencer. If it is not in his papers under discussion, check his website. They are not debating the definition of “mixed layer.”

  300. Theo Goodwin says:

    KR says:
    September 9, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    “Climate models, on the other hand, are boundary condition models, where you look at how the average values will change based on boundary conditions such as conservation of energy. They are generally run repeatedly with small variations in their initial conditions, simulate how the weather _might_ evolve over time, and based upon limits such as how fast energy moves in/out of the atmosphere, oceans, etc., try and predict the _average_ conditions over time. Variations like the ENSO, which are +/- shifts in where energy is located in the climate, average out over time, so even simple zero dimensional models that don’t attempt to replicate ENSO can provide some predictive power (if the boundary conditions are correct) over longer terms. But climate models are lousy at predicting whether it’s going to rain in Topeka next week – that’s a different question.”

    This is a great beginning. You are doing the work of explicating Dessler’s paper. But you stop with the generalities. If you want us to take a different view of Dessler’s paper, restate the important arguments in it using a full explication of his major points instead of an introduction as you have here.

  301. David Falkner says:

    I see a lot of comments about how you cannot give models confidence on longer time scales when they fail the short time scales. In short, this point says that since you are modeling the average of weather, you cannot be successful if you do not successfully model weather processes.

    I see a lot of comments talking about forcings and energy flows and how you cannot ignore forcings and energy flows when you are analyzing climate.

    I happen to agree with both assessments, but has anyone really examined how radiative energy known as ‘forcings’ are used and put to work by the climate system? That seems like the very fundamental idea this whole exchange is all about.

  302. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    Friends, if KR’s numerous statements and imputations have any remaining credibility in your mind – his shotgun defence of the indefensible:

    KR repeatedly says (among many things):
    September 9, 2011 at 11:20 am
    “….The three models among those best known for reproducing ENSO are the closest to the observational data, particularly at the 3-5 month lag range. And the short (10 year) time frame used emphasizes ENSO variations, which makes this more a test of ENSO match than climate sensitivity.”

    The three best models produce crap info about ENSO. For heaven’s sake, Landsheidt did a far better job of predicting using only solar motion! Wern’t all the models predicting an El Nino this year? And any of the other parties, please know that KR presented the same arguments and imputations over at Climate Audit and was even more thoroughly picked apart. KR seems to be here at WUWT trying to see if the more general audience will swallow at least some of it. It is CAGW rapid reaction distraction.

    The main technique seems to be to make defences against things not said, to prove untrue that which was not claimed and to toss a dripping basket of red herrings over the conversation in the hope that someone will think colour makes a meal.

    I encourage anyone who has time to read through the fascinating and thoroughgoing discussion at CA. It still continues and provides a good analysis of the whole of both papers and indeed the 2010’s as well. One comes away feeling informed and prepared to follow the conversation in papers that will undoubtedly follow.

    KR, I read all that you are posting at CA. You are not going to convince the sentient that Dessler’s paper refutes S&B. It is too obviously flawed and even self-contradictory. Or that Spencer using 6 of the available 14 data sets was a deliberate selection of data that would make a point that is otherwise not determined. This was all patiently set out for you on CA (in spades). Perhaps you missed their cogent responses to your comments and accusations.

    Clearly Dessler wrote in a rush and it was given to pals for the rubber stamp. Probably, in retrospect, unwise. It should be retracted for a re-write. Alternatively if you think S&B’s data analysis is flawed, you get something into print showing it and we will all read that too. No problem.

  303. davidmhoffer says:

    KR;
    Have you noticed how all alone you are? Where is R Gates? Nick Stokes? Any of the regular trolls? Just one anonymous guy throwing up straw men because he (she?) doesn’t have the buts to put their real name behind their “science”.

    Here’s some science for you. CO2 is logarithmic. Ergo:

    All the CO2 emissions from 1920 until now have raised the concentration in the atmosphere from 280 PPM to 400 PPM. The result has been about the same amount of warming in the century since significant emissions began as the century before. The last 15 years have been FLAT.

    So the obvious model would suggest that CO2 going from 280 to 400 means diddly squat.
    Being logarithmic, the same increase again, from 400 PPM to 520 PPM means… exactly 1/2 of diddley squat.

    Monkey with boundary conditions and average values and variations and zero dimensional models all you want. Those are the numbers, in exact opposition to everything the “models” said would be happening by now. Argue methodology all you want, those are the facts.

    Countdown to anonymous bleating from the shadows about phase delay, pipelines, its more complicated than that…. three…. two…. cue the violins…

  304. Richard S Courtney says:

    KR:
    I see you continue to ignore points put to you and you continue to parrot warmist excuses.

    At September 9, 2011 at 2:44 pm you respond to Nuke Nemesis having asked;
    “How long a period does something happen to occur before it’s climate change and not weather? What’s the generally accepted time frame?”
    By saying;
    “The generally accepted time frame in the climate field appears to be 30 years.”

    No! Absolutely not! That is a falsehood.

    And your comments that follow are also wrong (which is not surprising because you imply they derive from Tamino who only posts the rubbish he is throwing away on his blog).

    Any period of any length can be used for a climate assessment provided the length is specified. For example, HadCRUT and GISS publish climate data for individual months and years. And the 1994 IPCC Report compared 5-year periods as a method to discern changes to hurricane frequency.

    30 years is the standard period used as a base for a comparison datum. It was chosen in 1958 – as part of the International Geophysical Year – as a purely arbitrary period because it was then thought that 30 years was the maximum time since reliable climate data had started to be collected. So, for example, HadCRUT and GISS determine their anomalies as differences from a 30 year period (but each uses a different 30 year period).

    30 years would be a completely inappropriate time for distinction between ‘climate’ and ‘weather’. For example, 30 years is not a multiple of the 11 year solar cycle or the 22 year Hale cycle.

    Richard

  305. Manfred says:

    Reader troyca wrote at climateaudit, why Spencer’s computation using CERES-only data is better than Dressler’s combination of 2 datasets:

    “…But based on the differences we see here (particularly with the SW fluxes), obviously it isn’t the case. Since we’re calculating CRF as the difference between clear-sky and all-sky fluxes, ANY difference in those two datasets is going to show up in the estimated cloud forcing, including their different estimates of solar insolation (which has nothing to do with clouds). The magnitude of the changes in flux is far smaller that the magnitude of the total flux, so you would expect using two different datasets to have a lot more noise unrelated to the CRF. Note that if there is ANY flux calculation bias in either of the two datasets unrelated to clear-sky vs. all-sky, it WILL show up in the CRF, whereas if you use the same dataset, even if a flux calculation bias is present, it will NOT show up in CRF unless it is related to clear-sky vs. all-sky.

    Do I think Dessler should have had better reasons for switching to ERA-interim? Honestly, it’s not that interesting to me…what interests me is that clearly the CERES-only result is 1) important and 2) probably a better estimate.”

  306. James Sexton says:

    KR says:
    September 9, 2011 at 3:44 pm
    More same hand-waving blathering.
    ===============================
    KR, I gotta give you points for persistence! Man, I don’t know if I could sit there and type like you do, all the while getting your ass handed to you. In all of your comments, have you made one point that didn’t get shot out of the sky? What I want to know, though, is what is wrong with you?

    Dr. Spencer published a paper and you warmista go nuts! But, you don’t argue the science, you argue inane points that even if correct don’t even amount to minutia. Dessler’s response was inexcusable and indefensible. As was the Wagner publicity stunts and the three idjiots’ op-ed piece. (though, in retrospect, it seems to have worked out quite well for the skeptic side. :-) Kinda makes you wonder, don’t it? I mean, think about it. 5 PhDs (not counting reviewers and editors of GRL) Kicking up such a fuss as to make more news than when SB11 came out. All eyes were on Dessler’s paper that was so flawed that the skeptics had it shredded before 8 A.M. CST! I didn’t even get a chance to comment here before it was smoked! Was it a set up? Is there a closet skeptic on the inside? Or were all those mental giants so vapid as to not even know Dr. Spencer’s position on clouds feedback/forcing?

    But all of this comes about because you guys and your idiotic models. THEY DON’T WORK! Instead of assuming data is wrong when it doesn’t fit, address the models. I’d go into some details about why, but I know I’d be wasting my time with you. If you want a working model, forget CO2. Our knowledge base isn’t sufficient for a model to detect a signal change of one Kelvin amongst all of the noisy events. CO2 simply isn’t that important. Get the basics down first and then add the trace gases and tweak. Oh, but that would mean we’d have to address the hydrology aspect first.

    KR, there are many of us here that like the fact that alternative views are presented here. It is good when this occurs. However, if you come here trying to defend the baseless attacks on Dr. Spencer, you simply won’t be received well. If you want to argue the science, please by all means. But, don’t come here telling us crap we know isn’t true. Its insulting and as you can probably discern, it pisses people off. And KR, quit letting Tamino fill your head full of garbage, he doesn’t know squat. Keep reading here. There are some very sharp guys and gals around here. CA is also a great place to go and learn and debate.

  307. James Sexton says:

    @John Whitman,

    Yes, eternal vigilance. And sadly, no, it won’t ever end. Power seeking despots exploit peoples’ beliefs. They find a niche that conforms with some peoples’ beliefs and it is easily accepted by the people with those beliefs. In this case, the belief Industry = bad and harmful coupled with the idea we’ve too much population to be sustained, made this bit of lunacy accepted by many. And you were spot on in calling out the overtones and undertones sneering at Dr. Spencer’s theology. No one asks Dessler about his views, why should they worry about Spencers?

  308. tallbloke says:

    Dave Springer says:
    September 9, 2011 at 4:34 pm
    An Optimal Definition for Ocean Mixed Layer Depth
    It’s about 50 meters average across seasons. At least according to a published study.

    Dessler’s using 300m as I recall. Sounds like he’s making up his own definitions for things to suit his agenda. FAIL

    In an earlier iteration of Spencer’s simple model he used a depth of 1000 metres. he was criticised by Ray Pierrehumbug for this and told he should have used 35m.

    So in SB11 he uses a shallow depth, and gets criticised by Dessler who says he should be using 700m.

    The goalposts seems to have quite a variance range…

  309. “September 9, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    700m for the mixed layer? Wow! My own personal experience (from deep diving) is, you start to get into the realm of 10 deg C water at something between 20 and 30m, and into the 6 deg C realm down around 50m, and after that you have the transition into true abyssal uniformity.”
    Yes, but doesn’t 700m give a lot more space to hide the “missing heat” in?

  310. An Inquirer says:

    Concerning Dressler’s modifying his paper per Spencer’s comments, let me see if I have got this straight: In the peer review process, nobody caught the inadequacies and the numerical shortcomings of the Dressler paper, But when someone whose scientific abilities the journal disses sees the papers for a few hours, Dressler finds that he must rewrite and recalculate his paper.

  311. richard verney says:

    @KR says:
    September 9, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    “Climate models, on the other hand, are boundary condition models, where you look at how the average values will change based on boundary conditions such as conservation of energy. …Variations like the ENSO, which are +/- shifts in where energy is located in the climate, average out over time, so even simple zero dimensional models that don’t attempt to replicate ENSO can provide some predictive power (if the boundary conditions are correct) over longer terms. ”
    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    The key point here is that (i) there is an assumption that these variables average out over time, but there is no hard evidence that that is actually true; and (ii) what amount time is required for these variables to average out.

    The problem we have is that we are only looking at a snapshot window of climate and its variability. It may well be the case that variables such as ENSO do average out but that averaging out may, in fact, take place over centuries if not millenia.

    Personally, I consider this assumption which over simplifies matters to be of concern, and it assumptions like this which explain why model projections are so flawed and depart/diaagree with empiracal observational data.

  312. richard verney says:

    @KR says: September 9, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    As an analogy:
    …………………………………….
    * You could also model traffic based on boundary conditions such as population levels, employment conditions, lane sizes, and planned changes to on/off ramps over the next few years, and from that predict _average_ traffic a decade out. But that model won’t tell you about the traffic next Tuesday.
    Different models, different predictive ranges. “
    ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    I wonder whether such a model run made in say 2002 for the year 2012 for traffic in and around the Higashi Nihon Daishinsai area are on target given the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Models are simply hopeless since with have insufficient knowledge of all variables at play, and how those variables work and interplay. Until we have a better and more extensive knowledge and understanding of all variables that can affect climate, models will continue to be next to worthless. Any unattached objective observer knows that is the case. It is only modellers, and those that rely on them rather than conducting empirical science who are deluded and are blinded to reality.

    We have seen the model runs. We know they depart from reality. Rather than wasting time fudging the models, we should concentrate on empirical science and observation and seek to obtain a better understanding of what is going on in the real world and how it works and why it behaves as it does.

    Once (and only once) we have a significant improvement in our knowledge and understanding, we can seek to rewrite the models from scratch. Perhaps in 10 or 20 years we can look again at models and may be by then, we will be able to write a worthwhile model that will have some reliable predictive powers. Until then, all funding of models should be withdrawn and that funding should be redirected elsewhere. That is the only way climate science will be taken forward.

  313. Sera says:

    Dave Springer says:
    September 9, 2011 at 4:47 pm
    SteveSadlov says:
    September 9, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    I agree with both of you. I’ve dived both the GOM and the Atlantic and seen very little variance at depth below 30m. Unless there is something wrong with my dive computer…

  314. Dave Springer says:

    tallbloke says:
    September 10, 2011 at 2:19 am

    “In an earlier iteration of Spencer’s simple model he used a depth of 1000 metres. he was criticised by Ray Pierrehumbug for this and told he should have used 35m. So in SB11 he uses a shallow depth, and gets criticised by Dessler who says he should be using 700m.”

    The mixed layer ends where the thermocline begins. The depth is variable and depends on definition used but in no case does the mixed layer extend hundreds of meters deep but OTOH 35 meters is too shallow. Too deep is better than too shallow so I have to agree with Dressler on that point and Spencer should have stayed with his first instinct of 1000 meters but anything over 150 meters is just overkill. My only real objection to the deeper depths is it is well beyond the mixed layer boundary and shouldn’t be called the mixed layer.

    35 meters is too shallow. 1000 meters is overkill.

  315. Roger Carr says:

    climsci.net — “The owner of this domain has not yet uploaded their website.

  316. Ron Cram says:

    Roy,
    Obviously the clouds issue is a big one. I noticed you cited a 2005 paper by GL Stephens, but you did not cite his 2010 paper in GEWEX found at http://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/gewex-feb2010.pdf

    Of course, the second paper may not be peer-reviewed and so you may not have seen it and would not be criticized for not citing it. However, I think it is possible this paper makes a contribution to our understanding. Stephens is basically claiming that clouds with rain or drizzle decrease albedo – certainly a reasonable guess and worth investigating. Do satellites have the capability to categorize cloud cover based on a whiteness scale? Does that kind of dataset exist now?

    Thanks for responding!

  317. Roger Carr says:

    You’re wasted in your present career, Lucy Skywalker. I don’t know the hourly rate, but you would have to be amongst the world best mixers (“So yes, the tide may have turned, but the war is not yet won.”) of metaphors…

  318. R. Gates says:

    Some of you might find these two papers quite interesting. The first deals with the role of different cloud types in the Arctic during the critical transition period of August to September:

    http://epic.awi.de/Publications/Sed2010a.pdf

    And the second deals with looking at the total energy content of the atmosphere and enthalpy as opposed to only sensible heat. This paper is something Dr. Spencer in particular might be interested in reading if he hasn’t already:

    http://www.agu.org/journals/gl/gl1116/2011GL048442/2011GL048442.pdf

  319. William says:

    Dresser, Real Climate, and friends must be living in a fantasy world.

    How is writing this script?

    Lindzen and Choi. publish an opus magnum third paper on the subject of feedbacks that acknowledges deficiencies in their second paper and addresses all past criticisms scientifically. The mathematical analysis of radiation data from two different satellites in the third paper shows unequivocally that the planetary feedback response to a change in forcing is negative. Spenser publishes a paper that shows changes in planetary cloud cover causes cyclic warming and cooling.

    PDO is negative. There has in the past been cooling when the PDO is negative and increased La Ninos. There is a predicted second La Nino (Back to back La Nino.) The cause of negative PDOs is unknown however there is correlation in the past with low solar magnetic cycles and the occurrence of negative PDO.

    The solar magnetic cycle during the last thirty years of the 20th century was at its highest level in 10,000 years.

    Three independent solar parameters indicate the sun is rapidly moving to a Maunder minimum.
    There is in the paleorecord cycles of warming followed by cooling that correlate with solar magnetic cycle changes.

    Sea level has fallen 6 mm in 2010 which is twice the yearly rise.

    Dresser issues a very public rushed draft paper that states planetary cloud feedbacks are positive rather than negative (in response to a forcing change) and changes in planetary cloud cover does not cause cyclic climate change. Dresser includes with the rush draft paper derogatory name calling. Real Climate and friends have very publicly stated cloud feedbacks are positive rather than negative along with similar derogatory name calling and sarcasm.

    Dresser, Real Climate, and the IPCC have painted themselves into a corner. Statements that the science is settled, those questioning the science are “deniers” or idiots, and that Western governments must immediately spend trillions of dollars to prevent the end of civilization and the planet, reverberates in the mass media.

    Facts are facts. Propaganda does not change facts. The general public will know if the planet is cooling.

  320. R. Gates says:

    Richard Verney says:

    “Perhaps in 10 or 20 years we can look again at models and may be by then, we will be able to write a worthwhile model that will have some reliable predictive powers. Until then, all funding of models should be withdrawn and that funding should be redirected elsewhere. That is the only way climate science will be taken forward.”

    —–
    The predictive skill, or lack thereof, of models is not the only rubric by which their usefulness should be judged. As we don’t have a separate or control earth with which to use to conduct experiments, models allow testing of individual parameter changes to identify dynamical relationships. As the climate is a system existing on the edge of chaos, it is taken as a given that no model will be able to predict those inherently unpredictable tipping points exactly. What we can do though, and this gets to the usefulness of models, is look at past periods in earth’s history in which climate parameters were similar to today, and see how well the climate models were at simulating that climate and use that a general guide to what we might be able to expect during our current period.

  321. Theo Goodwin says:

    Crispin in Waterloo says:
    September 9, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    Thanks. Very helpful.

  322. 1DandyTroll says:

    If I find this whole blog trumps paper battle the main saturday popcorn hour feature, does that mean I’m truly a nerd or that my brain cell seriously lack exciting input?

  323. Theo Goodwin says:

    David Falkner says:
    September 9, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    “I happen to agree with both assessments, but has anyone really examined how radiative energy known as ‘forcings’ are used and put to work by the climate system? That seems like the very fundamental idea this whole exchange is all about.”

    Superb question. The answer is no. The reason is that climate science is in its infancy. Unfortunately, it is frozen at that developmental stage because Warmista refuse to get up from their supercomputers and do some empirical research. The natural processes that make up the climate system, La Nina for example, have not been described in some way that can be called scientific. Sadly, there is no plan to redirect some of the big bucks to such studies.

    Dr. Roger Pielke, Sr., has done many “small” studies that are pristine examples of good science. Once climate science overcomes its developmental roadblock it will look very much like Pielke’s work. Check out his website.

  324. Theo Goodwin says:

    An Inquirer says:
    September 10, 2011 at 2:41 am
    “Concerning Dressler’s modifying his paper per Spencer’s comments, let me see if I have got this straight: In the peer review process, nobody caught the inadequacies and the numerical shortcomings of the Dressler paper, But when someone whose scientific abilities the journal disses sees the papers for a few hours, Dressler finds that he must rewrite and recalculate his paper.”

    Yes, if the MSM were not totally partisan on climate issues, this story would be on the front page of every newspaper today and every broadcast babe would be talking about it.

  325. KR says:

    Crispin in Waterloo“KR, I read all that you are posting at CA.”

    That’s quite curious, because I haven’t posted at ClimateAudit… and in fact I cannot find any postings by ‘KR’ there, although I may not have their search function down.

  326. HLx says:

    Lol.. arstechnishians are still writing one-sided rubbish!.. as usual, you only get the view of the “proper” scientists (mann, dessler etc.)

    http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2011/09/simplified-model-in-recent-climate-paper-doesnt-even-conserve-energy.ars

  327. Lars P says:

    Tilo Reber says:
    September 9, 2011 at 7:49 am
    “Too much us versus them on this thing. The objective is not to win and gloat, the objective is to get the science right. ”
    Yes the objective is to get the science right. I trust retracting “denier” and ad-hominem callings would very much help to feel not so much us versus them on this thing.
    Also when googling “dessler” one finds on the first page sites not interested in getting science right but just trashing: how bad was S&B11 paper, how was it trashed by D11.
    Well D11 deserves well some trashing.
    Then would be interesting to get the answers to Roy’s questions:

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/

    “1) what he was trying to accomplish by such a blatant misrepresentation of our position, and
    2) how did all of the peer reviewers of the paper, who (if they are competent) should be familiar with our work, allow such a statement to stand? “

  328. Theo Goodwin says:

    R. Gates says:
    September 10, 2011 at 6:35 am

    “The predictive skill, or lack thereof, of models is not the only rubric by which their usefulness should be judged. As we don’t have a separate or control earth with which to use to conduct experiments, models allow testing of individual parameter changes to identify dynamical relationships.”

    It seems to me that I have promised never to comment on a post by you, but this one is just too much baloney to overlook.

    1. “As we don’t have a separate or control earth (sic)…”

    What utter nonsense. The lamest of all lame Warmista excuses. What do you think that Svensmark and Kirkby are doing? They are experimenting on Earth’s climate.

    2. Your models cannot test individual parameter changes because you have no genuine factual information to substitute into your parameters and you don’t even have genuine factual ranges of values. You have none because your supercomputer dudes won’t get up from their chairs, buy some boats, planes, and new measurement devices, and get into the real world and come up with genuine descriptions of natural phenomena such as La Nina. In brief, your parameters are informed by your fantasies only.

  329. R. Gates says:

    Theo Godwin says:

    “What do you think that Svensmark and Kirkby are doing? They are experimenting on Earth’s climate.”

    Really! Wow, they took up a cosmic ray generator to outer space and shot it back through the atmosphere to see the effects? Amazing! Must have been a secret mission, as it was missed in the press. Sorry chum, but lab experiments are hardly experiments on Earth’s climate. That’s why models of the Earth are the next best thing to testing effects on an entire planet. But once they get their cosmic ray generator in space, do let me know.

  330. R. Gates says:

    Theo Goodwin says:
    September 10, 2011 at 7:34 am

    “The reason is that climate science is in its infancy.”

    More nonsense. For the truth and best refutation of this common skeptic’s myth, see:

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/summary.htm

    Really Theo, you can do better, can’t you?

  331. Tim Clark says:

    R. Gates

    You read his quote and pick two red herrings.
    Nice.

  332. Bill Illis says:

    While we are having no luck finding a good correlation between clouds and temperatures in a feedback sense (the scatters are providing r^2 of 0.02) which indicates there is probably NO cloud feedback either way (and the IPCC calculates that positive cloud feedback might be half of the total feedbacks so that is very clearly in question now) …

    There is a very interesting relationship between the Net Cloud Radiation levels and the Total Global Net Radiation as measured by the CERES satellite (which I don’t think anyone has looked yet being busy trying to find the temperature feedbacks).

    I’m getting Cloud variability being a very large part of the variability in the total Global Net Radiation Budget – anywhere from 65% to 100% (with R^2 between 0.29 and 0.77).

    First the (not really convincing but better) scatter using the CERES data (that Steve McIntyre and Roy Spencer made available).

    And then the (much, much better) relationship over time.

    And then the versions of the data that Dessler provided (where adjustments where made according to the ERA reanalysis dataset which some think is actually a little more accurate). 100% of Net Radiation governed by Clouds with R^2 at 0.77 .

    And then over time, a really tight relationship.

    So, do Cloud Variations affect the Earth’s Energy Budget? – the title of Dessler’s new paper – His own data says holy moley.

  333. eyesonu says:

    Theo Goodwin says:
    September 10, 2011 at 7:34 am

    “The reason is that climate science is in its infancy.”
    —–
    R. Gates says:
    September 10, 2011 at 9:19 am

    More nonsense. For the truth and best refutation of this common skeptic’s myth, see:

    —————–
    @ Gates

    If climate science is not in its infancy, then it must clearly be in a mature fraudulent state. This being the case, I would have to agree with you on that point. Actually I would have to agree that the state of CAGW has clearly been shown to be in thismature fraudulent state for quite some time. Thank you for bringing out that very important point.

  334. Bob B says:

    R Gates,

    “climatologists” mantra is to claim 30yrs is the time needed to look for climate trends. So what follows is that the only climate simulation of any worth is the 1988 simulation from Hansen which is now proven to be pure crap. Climate models predict a “hot spot” that’s not there. So as far as I am concerned the state of climate science is also crap

  335. 1DandyTroll says:

    R. Gates says:
    “September 10, 2011 at 9:19 am
    Theo Goodwin says:
    September 10, 2011 at 7:34 am

    “The reason is that climate science is in its infancy.”

    More nonsense. For the truth and best refutation of this common skeptic’s myth, see:”

    The one that claims the truth is the one that tells the lie. Of course climate science is in its infancy since it’s compared to every other science field out there.

    Back in the day they didn’t do climate science because the definition didn’t exist, they tried to do physical science to understand the nature of the earth.

    But of course, the alarmists version of climate science and its proponents are the only ones who, apparently believe that the height of climate science was made in the 19th century for, apparently, nothing in their version of physical science have progressed since, that’s why you keep reiterating it, because no matter the actual science that progressed and debunked you 19th century myths, you wont believe in it, but, probably, only because your ego wont allow it.

  336. tallbloke says:

    Bill Illis says:
    September 10, 2011 at 10:11 am

    So, do Cloud Variations affect the Earth’s Energy Budget? – the title of Dessler’s new paper – His own data says holy moley.

    Err, wow. Nice work Bill. Would you mind if I posted those plots on my blog for further discussion?

    Over on Climate audit, Bart has found some tight relationships too…

    http://climateaudit.org/2011/09/08/more-on-dessler-2010/#comment-302767

  337. Marc says:

    CAGW = Eugenics

    Propaganda
    Corrupted
    Fake science
    Morally deficient and reprehensible
    Hales from from hubris, nihilistic in origin
    Malevolent if pursued
    Believed in and promoted predominantly by the psychologically insecure
    Sad statement on the human condition after so much progress otherwise

    The argument lies not in the currently undeterminable future of our climate, but in the arena of pathological psychology (CAGW) versus healthy psychology (skepticism and humility).

    This is a subset of the “beginning of the ages” battle of the the light and dark of human nature. CAGW is the dark. The light must win so decency and love are not blacked out, but the future is cloudy.

    This is not parody. If we don’t understand that this is a moral and psychological struggle more so than a down and dirty scientific question, we will not figure out a solution. What is the urgency on the part of CAGWers to try to convince others that the unproved (and unproveable) has been proven? That effort to lie and distort can only be in pursuit of malevolent and selfish ends.

    This isn’t in question. The question is what can we do to cure the darkness that lies in Gates and Gore and Mann, etc.? Rational pleadings with the irrational will have no effect. The deficiency of
    CAGW science is irrefutable to the rational. What is causing such rampant irrationality among CAGWers? The same thing that has caused it over the ages.

  338. Dave Springer says:

    R. Gates says:
    September 10, 2011 at 9:19 am

    “More nonsense. For the truth and best refutation of this common skeptic’s myth, see:”

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/summary.htm

    A calculation using basic laws of physics shows that a planet at our distance fro
    m the Sun, emitting the same total amount of energy as it receives, will have a temperature well below freezing. Then why is the actual average surface temperature higher, about 14°C? infrared radiation beaming up from the surface is intercepted by “greenouse” gas molecules in the lower atmosphere, and that keeps the lower atmosphere and the surface warm.

    My emphasis.

    I’m calling bullshit on that part. The global ocean absorbs effectively 100% of the visible light that falls on it and penetrates to a depth of about 100 meters (depending on clarity and dissolved solid load). On the other hand the ocean is totally opaque to long wave infrared. Not just some bands of LWIR but the whole spectrum. Got that?

    The properties of greenhouse gases that distinguish them from non-greenhouse gases is that the former are transparent to visible light and opaque to (some bands) of LWIR. Got that?

    Connect the dots, Gates. Water is a greenhouse fluid. Sunlight penetrates instantly to a depth of 100 meters but it can radiate the energy absorbed at depth because it’s totally frikkin opaque to LWIR. It can only get rid of the solar energy absorbed at depth by bring the deep water up to a thin surface where it loses the energy primarily through evaporation (70%). LWIR accounts for only 20% of ocean heat loss and conduction accounts for the other 10%.

    Join me in asking for the climate science buffoons boffins to try running their vaunted global circulation models on a earth with no ocean and see WTF happens. Can you spell “frozen wasteland”?

    Oh and by the way, the average temperature of the moon is -23C. The earth’s crust is same composition as moonrocks so that’s what the earth’s temperature would be sans ocean and atmosphere. The average temperature of the earth is 3.9C (unsafe for brass monkeys) when averaged over a full glacial/interglacial cycle because that’s the average temperature of the global ocean when you give the deep water a hundred thousand years to reflect the average surface temperature.

    Therefore in configuration that has persisted for the past several million years the earth is warmer by about 27C than it would be without atmosphere and ocean. Even if greenhouse gases accounted for 14C (questionable) as stated in your link that isn’t enough to raise global average temperature above freezing from an approximate blackbody perspective. It takes a greenhouse effect from a liquid ocean to do that. Write that down.

  339. DirkH says:

    R. Gates says:
    September 10, 2011 at 9:19 am
    “Theo Goodwin says:
    September 10, 2011 at 7:34 am

    “The reason is that climate science is in its infancy.”

    More nonsense. For the truth and best refutation of this common skeptic’s myth, see:”

    But R. Climate science in its modern form exists exactly since 1991:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-normal_science

  340. RockyRoad says:

    Again, this has NOT been a good thread for R. Gates. The inpenetrable persists.

  341. Mark Baker says:

    An Inquirer says:

    “Concerning Dressler’s modifying his paper per Spencer’s comments, let me see if I have got this straight: In the peer review process, nobody caught the inadequacies and the numerical shortcomings of the Dressler paper, But when someone whose scientific abilities the journal disses sees the papers for a few hours, Dressler finds that he must rewrite and recalculate his paper.”

    I was going to write the same thing, but I would not have written it as well.

  342. Paul Deacon says:

    eyesonu says:
    September 9, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    KR, a hair can only be split a limited number of times.
    **************************************************************
    But there is no limit to the number of times you can split an imaginary hair on a bald man’s head.

  343. R. Gates says:

    David Springer:

    Very interesting post, but of course, wrong on many counts. If you run global climate models without CO2 in the ATMOSPHERE, guess what, you get the ice planet, even if you started with a nice warm ocean.

    But this quote is exceptionally funny (and wrong headed):

    “It takes a greenhouse effect from a liquid ocean to do that.”

    Wow, I think you’re the first person to look down into the LIQUID ocean, rather than up, where the LW radiation interacts with greenhouse GASES, for the greenhouse effect.

    Yep, atmospheric moisture (note: up in the sky, not down in the ocean) is a powerful greenhouse contributor, but sadly my friend, it is a condensing greenhouse gas, and without CO2 and the other NON-CONDENSING greenhouse gases in the ATMOSPHERE, the oceans surface waters would quickly lose all their heat right out into space, all the water would condense from the atmosphere, and we’d quickly return to ice-house Earth.

  344. R. Gates says:

    Marc says:
    September 10, 2011 at 11:37 am

    “This is a subset of the “beginning of the ages” battle of the the light and dark of human nature. CAGW is the dark. The light must win so decency and love are not blacked out…”

    Wow Marc, this sounds like a religious treatise. Oh, yeah, sorry, I forgot…it is.

  345. eyesonu says:

    Paul Deacon says:
    September 10, 2011 at 1:37 pm
    eyesonu says:
    September 9, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    KR, a hair can only be split a limited number of times.
    **************************************************************
    But there is no limit to the number of times you can split an imaginary hair on a bald man’s head.

    ————-

    I could/would not contest that statement. :-)

  346. G. Karst says:

    Dave Springer says:
    September 10, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Write that down.

    I doubt R. Gates will… but I will! Thanks. GK

  347. R. Gates says:

    Bob B says:
    September 10, 2011 at 10:47 am
    R Gates,

    “climatologists” mantra is to claim 30yrs is the time needed to look for climate trends.

    ____
    Not quite correct. We know, for example that the transition to the Younger Dryas period, which started a 1300 trend of colder temperatures and glaciation occurred in just a few years. What you’re referring to is the time required to separate the variability of weather and short-term cycles such as ENSO, and short-term forcing from things like volcanoes, from the longer-term forcing brought about by gradually increasing amounts of anthropogenic greenhouse gases.

    Trust me, for those humans living during the onset of the Younger Dryas, it didn’t take more than a year or two for them to realize that the climate was changing fast. For those in northern latitudes, if they were smart enough and able to, they headed south in a hurry.

  348. Dear Mr. Watts (or is it Dr. Watts?)

    I’ve recently completed an article which I think may interest you and your readers. It concerns the reliability of so-called Global Climate Models as used by the IPCC. I’ve posted a copy on our web site at the American Real Science Institute:

    http://americanrealscienceinstitute.site50.net/

    I hope this will add some clarity to the debate.

  349. I should add that the conversion to HTML doesn’t look all that great, but at least it’s readable. Sorry about that.

    -PSO

  350. neill says:

    Enough of the BS, R. Gates:

    “The predictive skill, or lack thereof, of models is not the only rubric by which their usefulness should be judged. As we don’t have a separate or control earth with which to use to conduct experiments, models allow testing of individual parameter changes to identify dynamical relationships. As the climate is a system existing on the edge of chaos, it is taken as a given that no model will be able to predict those inherently unpredictable tipping points exactly. What we can do though, and this gets to the usefulness of models, is look at past periods in earth’s history in which climate parameters were similar to today, and see how well the climate models were at simulating that climate and use that a general guide to what we might be able to expect during our current period.”

    The predictive skill of said models was used as a fear bludgeon to unleash funding of billions upon billions of research in order to bring about the ultimate folly of a re-structured, “clean”
    global economy. Solyndra, anyone?

    You’re too cute by half.

  351. Marc says:

    Gatesy (aka, the smartest man on the planet) says:

    Wow Marc, this sounds like a religious treatise. Oh, yeah, sorry, I forgot…it is.

    Cute and entirely non-responsive, and irrelevant. The fact you can’t understand what I am talking about testifies that you are exactly in the category I describe.

    By the way, mine is a scientific argument. I could go into what is going on at the molecular level — synaptically, neuronally, genetically, evolutionarily, chemically, etc. with you. The science of your psychological, chemical, molecular phenomenon is well-defined and articulated and much more precise than the “so called” science that you love to promulgate on these and other pages.

    But the bottom line is you are delusional, and part of your delusion is your belief that those who don’t go along with your delusion are delusional themselves. The brain chemistry of such a state

    There is a way to reorder your chemistry to become non-delusional, however, it is not easy because there needs to be a catalytic event, that may or may not ever occur. There are no responses, no facts, no science that can penetrate your delusions. It would require a true family intervention followed by a medical course of treatment. I hope your family can recognize and help you overcome your delusional disorder, it will be better for everyone around you and for the world at large.

    I hope your contribution to these pages is a broader recognition — by the rational folks reading your delusions here — is that delusion is impervious to rationality and that other approaches than simply arguing the rational need to be employed to prevent the idea of CAGW from becoming a lever by which liberty is destroyed by pathology. The pathology itself must be looked at, understood and addressed in some effective way. The answer to what is effective is forthcoming, though the outlines are understood.

    While I watch others get frustrated at your delusional assertions, I submit that you are serving a highly useful purpose in teaching good folks the true nature of what drives beliefs like yours. While your words deserve to be ignored, your phenomenon bears response.

    Only when we have cleansed climate science of the dogmatic, delusional and pathological can we make rapid progress toward its understanding. You and your ilk largely stand in the way, but science has always struggled to overcome the biologically induced superstious nature of human thinking.

    So oddly, the success of climate understanding goes through the understanding of human superstition at all levels — molecular, biological, chemical, psychological, etc. That is what I hope others will more broadly realize.

    For all of us, I hope you can overcome your condition someday.

    Lastly, you know nothing of whether I have any religious beliefs or not. However, your belief that you do is consistent with your condition. You must dismiss me to protect your own psyche, however, that is not the path to a healthy and enjoyable life, or an understanding of the climate or the broader phenomenae important to human existence.

  352. u.k.(us) says:

    R. Gates says:
    September 10, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    “Trust me, for those humans living during the onset of the Younger Dryas, it didn’t take more than a year or two for them to realize that the climate was changing fast. For those in northern latitudes, if they were smart enough and able to, they headed south in a hurry.”
    ================
    If they were smart enough, the FBI would not have seized their records.

  353. Steven Mosher says:

    An Inquirer says:
    September 10, 2011 at 2:41 am (Edit)

    Concerning Dressler’s modifying his paper per Spencer’s comments, let me see if I have got this straight: In the peer review process, nobody caught the inadequacies and the numerical shortcomings of the Dressler paper, But when someone whose scientific abilities the journal disses sees the papers for a few hours, Dressler finds that he must rewrite and recalculate his paper.

    ####################

    you miss the real possibility of the following.

    1. Spencer objected to some language and some numbers in Dessler.

    2. Dessler looked at Spencer’s numbers, did a few calculations, and determined that changing the numbers
    A. didnt make a difference
    B. made his case stronger
    C. made is case a wee bit weaker.

    Then Dessler decided that he could really take the gas out of spencer by agreeing to some of the
    objections and by fixing the obviously incorrect first paragraph.

    He gets to claim the high ground by listening to spencer and the get’s to take the gas out of a possible spencer reply.

  354. John Whitman says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    September 10, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    ——–

    Mosher,

    Or it is just the simple view that through it all Spencer was on a more gentlemanly high road. Which is inherently nice for the scientific discourse. N’est ce pas?

    John

  355. David A says:

    Regarding Gates says:
    September 10, 2011 at 2:14 pm
    David Springer:

    “Very interesting post, but of course, wrong on many counts. If you run global climate models without CO2 in the ATMOSPHERE, guess what, you get the ice planet, even if you started with a nice warm ocean.

    But this quote is exceptionally funny (and wrong headed):

    “It takes a greenhouse effect from a liquid ocean to do that.”

    Wow, I think you’re the first person to look down into the LIQUID ocean, rather than up, where the LW radiation interacts with greenhouse GASES, for the greenhouse effect.

    Yep, atmospheric moisture (note: up in the sky, not down in the ocean) is a powerful greenhouse contributor, but sadly my friend, it is a condensing greenhouse gas, and without CO2 and the other NON-CONDENSING greenhouse gases in the ATMOSPHERE, the oceans surface waters would quickly lose all their heat right out into space, all the water would condense from the atmosphere, and we’d quickly return to ice-house Earth.”

    Gates, only two things can affect the energy content of a system in radiative balance, either a change in the input, or a change in the residence time of the energy in the system. Got it? So a question for you. Does the eneregy entering the oceans have a longer residence time then the energy in the atmospher? I hope you say the energy in the oceans. Does it not then follow that a change in the SWR entering the oceans can have a greater affect on the energy balance of the earth then a like change of LWIR in the atmosphere? Think hard on this one, and I await your answer.

  356. Paul Vaughan says:

    @Bill Illis (September 10, 2011 at 10:11 am)

    Would appreciate a response if you (or another straight-shooter with the right knowledge) can spare the time — my concise question is posted here:

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/09/10/bill-illis-clouds-account-for-most-of-the-variability-in-net-radiation-at-toa/#comment-8597

  357. Bart says:

    tallbloke says:
    September 10, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Bill Illis says:
    September 10, 2011 at 10:11 am

    “Over on Climate audit, Bart has found some tight relationships too…
    http://climateaudit.org/2011/09/08/more-on-dessler-2010/#comment-302767

    I do hope people will go take a look. I believe I have found something very significant.

  358. George E. Smith says:

    “”””” David A says:

    September 10, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Regarding Gates says:
    September 10, 2011 at 2:14 pm
    David Springer:

    “Very interesting post, but of course, wrong on many counts. If you run global climate models without CO2 in the ATMOSPHERE, guess what, you get the ice planet, even if you started with a nice warm ocean.

    But this quote is exceptionally funny (and wrong headed):

    “It takes a greenhouse effect from a liquid ocean to do that.”

    Wow, I think you’re the first person to look down into the LIQUID ocean, rather than up, where the LW radiation interacts with greenhouse GASES, for the greenhouse effect.

    Yep, atmospheric moisture (note: up in the sky, not down in the ocean) is a powerful greenhouse contributor, but sadly my friend, it is a condensing greenhouse gas, and without CO2 and the other NON-CONDENSING greenhouse gases in the ATMOSPHERE, the oceans surface waters would quickly lose all their heat right out into space, all the water would condense from the atmosphere, and we’d quickly return to ice-house Earth.” “””””

    Well without any water vapor (or clouds) you would have the mother of all Radiative forcings, and you would have nothing but the Raleigh blue scattering to drop the ground level sunlight below its 1362 W/m^2 external value. The surface sunlight would be closer to 1200 W/m^2, than to its present 1000., and at least 75% of that increased solar energy at the surface, would go into the deep tropical oceans.

    As for H2O being a “condensing” Greenhouse gas, what on earth does that have to do with anything. Just when was the last occasion (within your memory) that the average lower troposphere atmospheric H2O abundance dropped below the average CO2 abundance ?

    H2O is a permanent component of the earth’s atmosphere. At ANY instant of time, the effect of greenhouse absorption effects, depends only on the current abundances of all of those gases. It is of no consequence how often one molecule, is replaced by an identical molecule. Only Mother Gaea knows the serial number of each atmospheric molecule, and she doesn’t care which ones are present, only how many of them there is at any time.

    The air over Antarctica is quite often below the 255K Temperature that climatists say it would be without the greenhouse 33 deg C warming, and yet there seems to be plenty of clouds remaining over the continent. It is a myth, that greenhouse warming by H2O requires a CO2 trigger to start it up. H2O in the atmosphere is perfectly capable of doing so, without any help from CO2. A little more CO2 simply means a little more clouds on average, and a reduction in CO2 would simply result in a little less cloudiness.

  359. Mac the Knife says:

    R. Gates says:
    September 10, 2011 at 2:14 pm
    In response to David Springer:
    “Very interesting post, but of course, wrong on many counts. If you run global climate models without CO2 in the ATMOSPHERE, guess what, you get the ice planet, even if you started with a nice warm ocean.”

    Gates,
    Did you ever consider the real possibility that the ‘global climate models’ are wrong? That they are human constructions, with programming based on human assumptions, and deliberately or inadvertently distorted by human bias and prejudice? Your responses consistently illustrate your own biases and prejudices, as your asserted faith in ‘global climate models’ so aptly illustrates. You are ‘wrong on many counts’, but of course your ARROGANCE combined with your biases blinds you and prevents balanced reasoning… let alone any small measure of humble wisdom.

    We have had many ice age advances of massive, continent spanning glaciers. We will have more. The presence of 200, 400, or 1000ppm atmospheric CO2 has been, is, and will continue to be irrelevant to these advances and recessions. The 40% addition of CO2 to the atmosphere you claim is currently ‘man made’ only adds an additional 40% to its irrelevancy. Much like most of your posts here…….

  360. David A says:

    George E. Smith says:
    September 10, 2011 at 7:33 pm
    “”””” David A says:

    Thanks George, I agree with your comments. My comment to Gates was only the last paragraph hoping he would see some very simple concepts,

    “Gates, only two things can affect the energy content of a system in radiative balance, either a change in the input, or a change in the residence time of the energy in the system. Got it? So a question for you. Does the eneregy entering the oceans have a longer residence time then the energy in the atmospher? I hope you say the energy in the oceans. Does it not then follow that a change in the SWR entering the oceans can have a greater affect on the energy balance of the earth then a like change of LWIR in the atmosphere? Think hard on this one, and I await your answer.”

  361. neill says:

    Bart says:
    September 10, 2011 at 6:43 pm
    ………………………
    “Over on Climate audit, Bart has found some tight relationships too…

    http://climateaudit.org/2011/09/08/more-on-dessler-2010/#comment-302767“

    “I do hope people will go take a look. I believe I have found something very significant.”

    Bart, if you would be so kind as to translate these findings for the less mathy/scientific among us, it would be much appreciated.

  362. Luther Wu says:

    You see? Enough of you were joking around that R. Gates and friends weren’t around for this thread and now look what happened.

  363. Brian H says:

    Tim Clark says:
    September 8, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    My money says that your rebuttal will never be published in GRL, unless you toe the line.

    But if he toed the line, he wouldn’t issue a rebuttal at all, just a humble retraction! ;)

  364. Brian H says:

    Just to remind everyone, GRL is the first major success the Hokey Team had in dumping a chief editor who had dared to publish a dissent. It was planned in the Climategate emails, and subsequently succeeded.

  365. Richard S Courtney says:

    R. Gates:

    At September 10, 2011 at 6:35 am you say to Richard Verney:
    “As the climate is a system existing on the edge of chaos, it is taken as a given that no model will be able to predict those inherently unpredictable tipping points exactly.”

    Please state the nature of each such ‘tipping point’ that could/may/will be triggered by AGM.

    I do not know of any such ‘tipping points’, and the models do NOT predict any such ‘tipping points’ “exactly” or otherwise.

    Richard

  366. Richard S Courtney says:

    Steven Mosher:

    Your suggestion at September 10, 2011 at 4:18 pm would make sense if there were a clear and significant flaw in Spencer’s paper. But nobody – including you – has determined and openly stated any such flaw in Spencer’s paper.

    Hence, your explanation does not make sense.

    Of course, somebody may have spotted such a flaw (Dessler is not bright enough to have done it) and may have secretly informed Dessler of it. That possibility is up among the ‘pigs might fly’ considerations.

    Richard

  367. Bart says:

    neill says:
    September 10, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    “Bart, if you would be so kind as to translate these findings for the less mathy/scientific among us, it would be much appreciated.”

    Basically, clouds exert a negative feedback of about -9.5 W/m^2 per degree C of increased temperature (and, vice versa, +9.5 W/m^2 per degree C of decreased temperature). Which means they contribute at least partly to a climate thermostat mechanism such as Willis Eschenbach has proposed here at WUWT from time to time.

    [Reply] Bart, I’ve corrected a typo from +0.5 W/m^2 to +9.5W/m^2 – let me know if that’s right -TB-mod

  368. richard verney says:

    R Gates

    If I build a model that assumes that CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere causes neither warming nor cooling (ie., it is completely neutral – perhaps this is because I also program an assumption that CO2 + water vapour = a radiative constant which is at all times maintained in the atmosphere), and then I play around with various model runs in which I alter the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. When I increase CO2 concentrations, in the atmosphere guess what happens to temperature. Zilch. It does not increase, nor decrease. When I reduce the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, guess what happens to the temperature. Zilch. It does not increase, nor decrease. So can I conclude from this that CO2 concentration has no effect on temperature. Obviously, I can not.

    If in contrast I build a model that assumes that temperature increases with increased concentrations of CO2 and then I play around with various model runs in which I alter the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. When I increase CO2 concentrations, in the atmosphere guess what happens to temperature. It increases. When I reduce the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, guess what happens to the temperature. It decreases. So can I conclude from this that CO2 concentrations have an important affect on temperature. Obviously, I can not.

    The only conclusion I can draw from these model runs is that I can build a model that responds in accordance with the assumptions that I programmed into it. The model tells us nothing about real life. It merely demonstrates the effect of the assumptions that have been programmed into it.

    If any of the assumptions made are wrong, or if there are other factors at play which are not accounted for in the model, or if the input data is wrong, the projection of the model will be off target.

    Presently, we do not have sufficiently accurate data, nor knowledge and understanding of the system and how each factor interplays and works to be able to construct a useful and reliable model. Period.

    I remain of the view that models presently are next to worthless and rather than simply playing around with them, they should be defunded and funds transferred to other areas that would enable us to gain more accurate empirical data and research into areas enabling us to get a better understanding how in the real world (not model world) the atmosphere and climate works. Lets do some proper empirical science and then perhaps in 10 or 20 years time, we can revisit models when we might be able to improve their usefulness.

  369. Dave Springer says:

    R. Gates says:
    September 10, 2011 at 2:14 pm
    In response to David Springer:

    “Very interesting post, but of course, wrong on many counts. If you run global climate models without CO2 in the ATMOSPHERE, guess what, you get the ice planet, even if you started with a nice warm ocean.”

    No, it’s right on all counts. If it was wrong you could have pointed out where.

    We get an ice planet WITH CO2 you dolt and you don’t need to run a model. You just need a fifth grader’s knowledge of the most recent ice age. Duh. The only tipping point the planet is near is tipping out of the Holocene interglacial back into a glacial period. So what I want to know is not whether there’s too much CO2 in the atmosphere but rather whether there’s enough CO2 in the atmosphere.

  370. Dave Springer says:

    The average temperature of the global ocean is 3.9C.

    Until one accepts that fact and understands how it is possible one does not have the perspective needed to understand where the real danger of catastrophic climate danger lies. It isn’t catastrophically warm. It’s catastrophically cold.

    There’s only one possible way the average temperature of the global ocean could be 3.9C.

    Surely there must be someone here aside from me who can explain and appreciate that fact.

  371. neill says:

    Bart says:
    September 11, 2011 at 2:40 am

    “Basically, clouds exert a negative feedback of about -9.5 W/m^2 per degree C of increased temperature (and, vice versa, +0.5 W/m^2 per degree C of decreased temperature). Which means they contribute at least partly to a climate thermostat mechanism such as Willis Eschenbach has proposed here at WUWT from time to time.”

    OK, it would be wonderful to be able to establish that this is so.

    What is it about this approach you’ve taken that has everyone so seemingly excited over at CA? Does the represent, or possibly so, a ‘holy grail’ that skeptics have been seeking that would somehow establish negative feedback for clouds, a sort of brake on the climate system, under both increasing and decreasing temperatures?

  372. Tim Spence says:

    Can somebody point me in the right direction, I’m trying to find reliable and accurate data regarding the amount of Co2 and oxygen in the atmosphere, I’m also trying to find out which gases are reducing in response to increased C02.

  373. galileonardo says:

    My internet crashed while I was mid-post, so hopefully I am not double posting here. Sorry if I am.

    richard verney says in response to R. Gates:
    September 11, 2011 at 2:58 am

    “Presently, we do not have sufficiently accurate data, nor knowledge and understanding of the system and how each factor interplays and works to be able to construct a useful and reliable model. Period.”

    I think this would be the perfect occasion for me to yet again break out my favorite quote from the omnipresent Travesty Kev:

    “How come you do not agree with a statement that says we are no where close to knowing where energy is going or whether clouds are changing to make the planet brighter. We are not close to balancing the energy budget. The fact that we can not account for what is happening in the climate system makes any consideration of geoengineering quite hopeless as we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not! It is a travesty!”

    Beautiful, isn’t it? His having saturated every nook of this debate leads me to invent a new and improved game: Three Degrees of Kevin Trenberth which proposes that any laughable AGW development can be linked back to T-Kev in three steps or less.

    Maybe that’s a bit ambitious and it should instead be Four Degrees, but either way it is a robust improvement over the previous model. I do admit though that the original Six Degrees does offer the adianoetic reference to the upper bounds of IPCC projections. Hmm. Anyway, feel free to give it a shot. The S&B/Dessler story is a one degree example from several angles of course.

  374. kwik says:

    Tim Spence says:
    September 11, 2011 at 7:53 am

    http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html

  375. R. Gates says:

    Dave Springer says:
    September 11, 2011 at 5:20 am

    “We get an ice planet WITH CO2 you dolt and you don’t need to run a model. You just need a fifth grader’s knowledge of the most recent ice age. Duh.”
    ____
    Appears you are confusing an ice planet (aka snowball earth) with an ice age (which we are in) with a glacial (which we may or may not enter into again). Do some reading, and then we’ll talk.
    But you can trust the basic physics on this one…remove all the CO2 from the atmosphere and the ocean surfaces freeze up from pole to equator, all the water moisture will be condensed from the atmosphere.

    But you asked this question:

    “So what I want to know is not whether there’s too much CO2 in the atmosphere but rather whether there’s enough CO2 in the atmosphere.”

    Yes, this idea of us slipping back into a glacial period seems to be common fear of AGW skeptics. I think the RANGE of CO2 being between about 180 ppm and 280ppm has served the development of human civilization quite well over many tens of thousands of years. I don’t think you need to worry about any approaching glacial period with CO2 now nearing 400 ppm. Quite the opposite, we’ll find out if our food grains, and ocean food chain hold up enough in a much warmer world to support 7 billion people and rising.

  376. R. Gates says:

    Richard Verney:

    You act as though global climate models were mere toys, based on some random set of assumptions…and I can understand how a skeptic might want to believe this, but it is flatly wrong. But before continuing, let me use this quote that I lifted from a new paper put out by Judith Curry. The quote is:

    “All models are wrong, but some are useful.” George E.P. Box

    Her full paper is here: http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2011BAMS3139.1

    So, we can fully acknowledge that models are wrong, and everyone who uses and develops them understands that going into it. Models are like maps. They are not the actual territory you are traveling, but they can be useful to find out about that territory. A map (i.e. model) is useful for what it can tell you that is accurate about a territory. Will it show you every stone and tree? Probably not. But the best maps (models) will show the major features. Current climate models are like that. They can show us the major features (i.e. dynamics) and trends of the climate. But, as has been pointed out, the climate is a non-linear dynamical system, and no model is ever going to be able to tell you exactly how such a system will be evolving at the edge of
    chaos. The best we can do is to learn as the system changes and continually refine the models as more and more is learned. To abandon the models and wait 10 or 20 years, would be pointless (if the goal is actually advance the science and refine the models), as we would still have to pick up right where we left off, and we’d simply be 10 or 20 years behind.

  377. R. Gates says:

    Richard S Courtney says:
    September 11, 2011 at 12:43 am

    R. Gates:

    At September 10, 2011 at 6:35 am you say to Richard Verney:
    “As the climate is a system existing on the edge of chaos, it is taken as a given that no model will be able to predict those inherently unpredictable tipping points exactly.”

    Please state the nature of each such ‘tipping point’ that could/may/will be triggered by AGM.

    I do not know of any such ‘tipping points’, and the models do NOT predict any such ‘tipping points’ “exactly” or otherwise.

    Richard
    _____
    First of all, It is impossible to predict tipping points in a non-linear dynamical system on the edge of chaos. We only can look into the paleoclimate record and see what has happened in the past when conditions were similar. But let me give you an example of one such tipping point, that could occur, and might (note I said “might”) be occurring right now related to us having the highest CO2 levels since perhaps the mid-Pliocene. There is in fact an international group of scientists studying this issue intensely right now. That has to do with the general warming of the Arctic and melting of permafrost and release of both additional CO2 and methane from both land and under the oceans as the region warms. We don’t know exactly where the “tipping point’ might be, but there is some average land and ocean temperatures at which larger and larger amounts of methane and CO2 will be released from both land and sea floor in and around the Arctic. This will of course lead to additional warming, leading the release of more methane and CO2, and so forth. This is no different that what the general Milankovitch forcing does at it forces more CO2 from the oceans at the beginning of an interglacial to start a positive-feedback warming process, only it would be much greater. So this Arctic warming/permafrost/methane clathrate feedback could easily represent a tipping point.

    Now, if such a tipping point did occur, it would dramatically alter the trajectory of our current warming, and looking back into the paleoclimate record, we’d be looking at temperatures more like the Miocene.

    But the point is, no model can predict this tipping point…ever, and the best guide we have is looking at the Earth’s past when similar atmospheric composition was seen.

  378. R. Gates says:

    David A says:
    September 10, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    George E. Smith says:
    September 10, 2011 at 7:33 pm
    “”””” David A says:

    Thanks George, I agree with your comments. My comment to Gates was only the last paragraph hoping he would see some very simple concepts,

    “Gates, only two things can affect the energy content of a system in radiative balance, either a change in the input, or a change in the residence time of the energy in the system. Got it? So a question for you. Does the eneregy entering the oceans have a longer residence time then the energy in the atmospher? I hope you say the energy in the oceans. Does it not then follow that a change in the SWR entering the oceans can have a greater affect on the energy balance of the earth then a like change of LWIR in the atmosphere? Think hard on this one, and I await your answer.”
    _____

    Of course the energy entering the ocean has a longer residence time. But of course, SWR needs to be able to get into the ocean, and in the case of an ice-house planet, (devoid of CO2 and other noncondensing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere) the SWR would not be able to get into the oceans, as they would be covered by a thick layer of ice and snow and the Earth’s albedo would be quite high. Related to our current circumstances, the majority of the warming going on so far (by far the majority) is in the oceans, judging by such metrics as ocean heat content. Far more extra joules of energy have gone into the oceans. But this is a bit of a mystery to skeptics is it not? We have NOT had the commensurate increase in SW radiation during the period of time we’ve seen the ocean heat content go up (i.e. the last 30 years or so?). So where is this extra heat coming from? The answer of course is that less energy has been leaving the system due to additional greenhouse gas concentrations (CO2, methane, and NO2) and so the extra heat is being stored in the very large buffer of the ocean.

    But a larger point needs to be made about energy balances, and not just “heat” or temperature. When looking at the atmosphere or oceans, we really should be looking at the total energy balance, and not just heat. A recent paper about this very issue is here:

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2011GL048442.shtml

    We’d perhaps hope to see a metric developed over the next few years that could actually measure total energy content of both ocean and atmosphere, taking into consideration enthalpy, latent heat, sensible heat, currents, winds, etc.

  379. Pete H says:

    Richard Verney:
    “You act as though global climate models were mere toys, based on some random set of assumptions…and I can understand how a skeptic might want to believe this, ”

    Would you accept that the models are trying to mimic a chaotic system? Would you climb into a space rocket based on computer simulated models that did not have proven engineering theories? (Yep, way back some guys did but they were so lucky!) Why should we be paying out billions in taxes for unproved theories and models that have failed, for getting on ten years! and do not go there with the “what if” scenarios!

    In Mann’s H.S. case the tree proxies are truly garbage, His use of statistics is childish to say the least, though the word fraudulent would be a better description when it come to the use of the made up RE rather than R2!

    Currently the models really are no better than toys (the tracking of the last hurricane proved that) and the blogs are more accurate with the Nina predictions and for that my son gives thanks and polishes (for the second year) his snow board over in San Fran!

    Instead of moaning, simply explain for me and a host of others, the simple and the proven theory of CO2 in relation to AGW. Also explain where the “Hotspot” is. That should keep you busy for a while and I look forward to your convincing evidence.

  380. Richard111 says:

    I find some of the comments here beyond strange.
    Since when did H2O need CO2 to absorb infrared?
    I do wish people would provide links for these amazing claims.

  381. Gary Mount says:

    Tim Spence says:

    September 11, 2011 at 7:53 am

    … I’m also trying to find out which gases are reducing in response to increased C02.
    ————
    During the combustion of Carbon, or other processes that produce CO2, such as breathing, two Oxygen atoms, or sometimes just one, attaches to one Carbon atom, so the gas you are looking for is Oxygen.
    You may also be interested to know that about 96% of all global emissions of CO2 come from natural sources, i.e. not humans.

  382. Tim Spence says:

    Thanks Gary and Kwik, I’m trying to make some sense of which gases are increasing and which are decreasing, obviously there’s a lot of people who only want to talk about co2. You see the co2 graph everywhere but you rarely see the o2 or the whole picture.

  383. R. Gates says:

    Gary Mount says:
    September 11, 2011 at 10:17 am

    You may also be interested to know that about 96% of all global emissions of CO2 come from natural sources, i.e. not humans.
    ___
    Ah, but what a difference that 4% anthropogenic source has made…giving us 40% more CO2 in the atmosphere in just a few hundred years…sort of like compounding interest.

  384. R. Gates says:

    Richard111 says:
    September 11, 2011 at 10:15 am

    I find some of the comments here beyond strange.
    Since when did H2O need CO2 to absorb infrared?
    _____
    CO2 and H20 have their own properties, independent of each other, however, one is a condensing greenhouse gas (H2O) and one is not (CO2). Best to read this, for a full understanding of why that distinction is vitally important to keeping Earth from being a ice-house planet:

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/lacis_01/

  385. davidmhoffer says:

    Tim Spence;
    CO2 sits at 400 PPM and O2 sits at about 209,460 PPM. If Co2 were 500 PPM and the extra 100 displaced O2, then O2 would drop to…. 209,360 PPM.

    and now you know why they keep calling it a “trace gas”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmosphere_of_Earth has a decent break down.

  386. tallbloke says:

    Bart says:
    September 10, 2011 at 6:43 pm
    tallbloke says:
    September 10, 2011 at 11:17 am
    “Over on Climate audit, Bart has found some tight relationships too…

    http://climateaudit.org/2011/09/08/more-on-dessler-2010/#comment-302767“

    I do hope people will go take a look. I believe I have found something very significant.

    I’ve collated the disparate comments you’ve made on CA and Roy’s blog here:

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/09/11/bart-cloud-feedback-is-negative-ocean-response-is-around-4-88-years/

    My comment there offers a possible reason for the ~5 year lag.

  387. Bart says:

    neill says:
    September 11, 2011 at 7:51 am

    “Does the represent, or possibly so, a ‘holy grail’ that skeptics have been seeking that would somehow establish negative feedback for clouds, a sort of brake on the climate system, under both increasing and decreasing temperatures?”

    I think so, though I need other knowledgeable people to become aware of the result and determine what the effect of a -9.5 W/m^2/degC feedback would be. I think, though, that the IPCC models require the overall feedback to be positive to get any significant warming, so it appears to me that this result could, potentially, kill CAGW.

    There could be a valid criticism that the span of data is too short to have high confidence in the result. But, I would argue that the onus is on them to prove that the overall feedback is positive, because I think this establishes that the running assumption should be that it is likely negative.

  388. Sun Spot says:

    It’s GREAT to see all this science discussion bye those who previously would not dignify WUWT with their privileged presence. Thank you Dr. Spencer for forcing these people out of their arrogance and into some truly scientific questions regarding global climate. /sarcon So the science was settled eh ? /sarcoff

  389. Sun Spot says:

    @R. Gates says: September 11, 2011 at 11:49 am
    “Ah, but what a difference that 4% anthropogenic source has made…giving us 40% more CO2 in the atmosphere in just a few hundred years…sort of like compounding interest”
    ———————

    Of fourse “R Grates” you know nothing of the sort re: 40% , you really do not know why the natural level of CO2 is increasing or if it came from mankind or another natural source over the past few 100 years.

  390. neill says:

    Seems to me some pretty knowledgeable folks at Climate Audit are in a stir over this.

    CAGW’s 9-11?

  391. mark t says:

    That criricism would apply equally to any position.

    Mark

  392. mark t says:

    That last bit addressed to Bart.

    Mark

  393. Richard S Courtney says:

    R. Gates:

    You really are a poser and your recxent post to me admits you are a liar.

    At September 10, 2011 at 6:35 am you said to Richard Verney:
    “As the climate is a system existing on the edge of chaos, it is taken as a given that no model will be able to predict those inherently unpredictable tipping points exactly.”

    And at September 11, 2011 at 12:43 am I responded by
    (a) pointing out that no climate model predicts any “tipping point” “exactly” or otherwise
    and
    (b) asking you to list the “tipping points” you fear because I know of none.

    Your reply at September 11, 2011 at 9:24 am is pathetic.
    It says:
    “First of all, It is impossible to predict tipping points in a non-linear dynamical system on the edge of chaos.”

    In other words, you agree that you lied when you suggested the climate models predict “tipping points” but not “exactly”.

    Then you say:
    “That has to do with the general warming of the Arctic and melting of permafrost and release of both additional CO2 and methane from both land and under the oceans as the region warms. We don’t know exactly where the “tipping point’ might be, but there is some average land and ocean temperatures at which larger and larger amounts of methane and CO2 will be released from both land and sea floor in and around the Arctic. This will of course lead to additional warming, leading the release of more methane and CO2, and so forth. This is no different that what the general Milankovitch forcing does at it forces more CO2 from the oceans at the beginning of an interglacial to start a positive-feedback warming process, only it would be much greater. So this Arctic warming/permafrost/methane clathrate feedback could easily represent a tipping point. Now, if such a tipping point did occur, it would dramatically alter the trajectory of our current warming, and looking back into the paleoclimate record, we’d be looking at temperatures more like the Miocene.”

    In other words, YOU DO NOT KNOW OF ANY “TIPPING POINTS” but you think there “might” be one that may result from melting of permafrost.

    And you conclude;
    “But the point is, no model can predict this tipping point…ever, and the best guide we have is looking at the Earth’s past when similar atmospheric composition was seen.”

    So, you admit that your original post was a complete falsehood: THERE ARE NO KNOWN “TIPPING POINTS” AND NO MODEL PREDICTS ANY.

    As for the paleo past, the Earth had both warmer and cooler periods with much, much higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations than anybody ‘projects’ for the foreseeable future.

    In summation, your post at September 10, 2011 at 6:35 am to Richard Verney was a set of lies and you should apologise for it (but I predict that you won’t).

    Richard

  394. philincalifornia says:

    R. Gates says:
    September 11, 2011 at 11:49 am
    Gary Mount says:
    September 11, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Ah, but what a difference that 4% anthropogenic source has made…giving us 40% more CO2 in the atmosphere in just a few hundred years…sort of like compounding interest.
    =======================================

    Except one works logarithmically downwards, and one works logarithmically upwards.

    ….. and that would be assuming your premise was correct in the first place, which it isn’t.

    Wrong squared in one sentence, eh ?

    Wrong cubed if you include the “difference” comment.

    Maybe you need a rest.

  395. Jimmy Haigh says:

    Bart. I’ve been following this closely since you made your initial posting the other day on CA. A brilliant flash of insight. I agree – this could be the end of CAGW. And what a happy day that will be…

  396. Jim Petrie says:

    Jim Petrie
    We already have two negative feedbacks operating.
    Way back before the onset of photosynthesis the atmosphere must have contained at least 10% of CO2 and less than 1% of oxygen. This follows from the fact that oxygen is a very reactive chemical – much more so than CO2.
    Over the millennia most of the CO2 in the atmosphere has been taken up by plants.
    It is now a trace gas – one molecule in every 2500.
    With increasing CO2 we are getting increasing plant growth. This will go on till we get a new equilibrium.
    The second feedback is temperature. As an object gets hotter it loses more heat. If earth warms, it will lose more heat to outer space

  397. tom s says:

    R. Gates says:
    September 11, 2011 at 11:49 am
    Ah, but what a difference that 4% anthropogenic source has made…giving us 40% more CO2 in the atmosphere in just a few hundred years…sort of like compounding interest………………………………….

    And the flora of mother earth thanks us. I quite like it myself as well.

  398. 220mph says:

    R. Gates says:
    September 11, 2011 at 8:45 am

    Yes, this idea of us slipping back into a glacial period seems to be common fear of AGW skeptics. I think the RANGE of CO2 being between about 180 ppm and 280ppm has served the development of human civilization quite well over many tens of thousands of years. I don’t think you need to worry about any approaching glacial period with CO2 now nearing 400 ppm. Quite the opposite, we’ll find out if our food grains, and ocean food chain hold up enough in a much warmer world to support 7 billion people and rising.

    Perhaps the most completely ignorant and uninformed comment we’ve seen from you ….

    First – the sweeping generalization that we do not have to worry about a glacial period.

    The historical record shows just how silly this claim is. As the following graphics show, and is well understood, the earth sees a clear cycle of glacial to inter-glacial periods occurring every appx 125,000+/- years – for at least the last half million years,

    A chart of many of the variables:

    The profile of each glacial to inter-glacial period over the last 400,000+ years has been very similar. The temp during these periods is extremely similar – a sharp rise, followed by a warm peak and quick plunge back towards glacial lows. Except for this most recent warm period peak.

    First – there has not been a sharp peak as with each other warm period maximum over the last 400,000 years. Instead temps rose at a normal fairly sharp rate but then stopped their rise well short of the normal peak. And instead of a sharp falloff post peak – temps have stabilized and remained within a narrow range of natural variability for the last appx 12,000 years.

    Last 15,000 years Temp and CO2:

    This despite CO2 continuing to rise. The graph above is IMO the smoking gun – that puts the lie to all of the warming alarmism. Warmists never seem to want to talk about the historical record – for good cause – the record shows temps rose sharply 12,000 years ago – and C02 followed, for a short period before leveling off appx 10,000 years ago – at same time temps leveled as well.

    CO2 began rising again appx 3500 years ago, and has risen at appx the same rate as today for the last 2500 years. Despite that increase there has been NO statistically significant increase (or decrease) in temps over 12,000+/- years. Temps over the last 12,000 years have moved up AND DOWN in a range of natural variability. The current temps are not near the highest during that period, and are in fact close to the baseline over last 12,000 years.

    Ice volume clearly tracks temps on a long term basis:

    Ice Volume vs. Temps:

    Another clear correlation is airborne dust – temps directly track with airborne particulate matter – including volcanic disruptions and similar. We know that at least in the Northern hemisphere airborne particulate matter has been greatly reduced since the 70’s. Less airborne particulate allows more solar effect.

    Vostok/CO2/Dust:

    http://globalwarmingart.com/wiki/File:Vostok_Plot_png

    And last – as to R. Gates comment on food … Co2 is plant FOOD … increased CO2 increases food production, in multiple ways. From increasing yields to, if one assume CO2 increases global temps, they also to the increase of temperate zones which increases landbase available for crop production.

    All in all an extremely weak effort – one of his worst …

  399. RB says:

    R Gates:

    “Ah, but what a difference that 4% anthropogenic source has made…giving us 40% more CO2 in the atmosphere in just a few hundred years…sort of like compounding interest.”

    I’m no scientist but even I know that statement is utter drivel.

  400. 220mph says:

    R. Gates says:
    September 11, 2011 at 11:49 am
    Gary Mount says:
    September 11, 2011 at 10:17 am

    You may also be interested to know that about 96% of all global emissions of CO2 come from natural sources, i.e. not humans.
    ___
    Ah, but what a difference that 4% anthropogenic source has made…giving us 40% more CO2 in the atmosphere in just a few hundred years…sort of like compounding interest.

    More silliness – CO2 is a tiny fraction of overall atmosphere and if anthropogenic sources are 4% of all CO2 then the anthropogenic contribution to CO2 would comprise an almost unmeasurable portion of the atmosphere

  401. G. Karst says:

    tallbloke says:
    September 11, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Jimmy Haigh says:
    September 11, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Bart. I’ve been following this closely since you made your initial posting the other day on CA. A brilliant flash of insight. I agree – this could be the end of CAGW. And what a happy day that will be…

    Bart says:
    September 11, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    neill says:
    September 11, 2011 at 7:51 am

    “Does the represent, or possibly so, a ‘holy grail’ that skeptics have been seeking that would somehow establish negative feedback for clouds, a sort of brake on the climate system, under both increasing and decreasing temperatures?”

    Will someone please summarize the significance of this new analysis, so that we can all “eat the canary”. GK

  402. Latitude says:

    220mph says:
    September 11, 2011 at 3:36 pm
    ===================================================
    220, excellent post, thank you

    I have two questions and I never seem to get an answer….

    In spite of higher CO2 levels, and all of it’s magical powers, why have temperatures this spike stayed way below all of the precious spikes?

    http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQoNA4GG1XGKQnls15l7IEp9PMlujdC1n-fVhCcMup7ZZggiEU

    Second, who in their right mind can look at that graph and put the “norma/0l” line way up there at the top? Even a two year old can see that is not normal.
    The normal/0 line should be at least where -6C is…………..

    That is the biggest scam……………., letting them define what normal is first, then based on that telling everyone it’s abby-normal……………..

  403. R. Gates says:

    220mph says:
    September 11, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    R. Gates says:
    September 11, 2011 at 11:49 am
    Gary Mount says:
    September 11, 2011 at 10:17 am

    You may also be interested to know that about 96% of all global emissions of CO2 come from natural sources, i.e. not humans.
    ___
    Ah, but what a difference that 4% anthropogenic source has made…giving us 40% more CO2 in the atmosphere in just a few hundred years…sort of like compounding interest.

    More silliness – CO2 is a tiny fraction of overall atmosphere and if anthropogenic sources are 4% of all CO2 then the anthropogenic contribution to CO2 would comprise an almost unmeasurable portion of the atmosphere
    _____
    It seems basic physics and chemistry of the atmosphere is where certain skeptics and “warmists” part ways, rather than the more complex and interesting things like cloud feedbacks and sensitivity.

    The increase in CO2 in the atmosphere during the last few centuries over and above the normal 280 or so ppm during an interglacial is almost entirely based on human activities. To not get this basic science is rather sad.

  404. R. Gates says:

    RB says:
    September 11, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    R Gates:

    “Ah, but what a difference that 4% anthropogenic source has made…giving us 40% more CO2 in the atmosphere in just a few hundred years…sort of like compounding interest.”

    I’m no scientist but even I know that statement is utter drivel.
    ____
    Again, it saddens me if you are from the U.S. as our schools are indeed failing us and it’s no wonder that the Chinese are now filing more patents each year than us and graduating more scientists and engineers.

  405. R. Gates says:

    220mph said:

    “CO2 began rising again appx 3500 years ago, and has risen at appx the same rate as today for the last 2500 years. Despite that increase there has been NO statistically significant increase (or decrease) in temps over 12,000+/- years.”

    ____
    Wow…just wow. This chart:

    And hundreds more easily prove you wrong…but again….wow.

  406. philincalifornia says:

    R. Gates says:
    September 11, 2011 at 5:17 pm
    RB says:
    September 11, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    I’m no scientist but even I know that statement is utter drivel.
    ____
    Again, it saddens me if you are from the U.S. as our schools are indeed failing us and it’s no wonder that the Chinese are now filing more patents each year than us and graduating more scientists and engineers.
    ====================================

    Well, I have over 50 issued US patents and I know that statement is utter drivel too.

    Do you have an advanced degree in Passive Aggressiveness, or are there courses you can attend to get like you ?? Just asking, so I can make sure my kids avoid them.

  407. Latitude says:

    R. Gates says:
    September 11, 2011 at 11:49 am
    Ah, but what a difference that 4% anthropogenic source has made…giving us 40% more CO2 in the atmosphere in just a few hundred years…sort of like compounding interest.
    ====================================================================
    Gates, this is a very confusing statement

    First you say that only 4% is anthropogenic….
    …then you attribute all of the rise in CO2 to anthropogenic sources

    So in your mind, none of the increase in CO2 was natural, even though we know CO2 levels rise with temperature……

  408. Bob B says:

    R Gates, I like this better:

    Puts the recent tiny tiny warming in perspective

  409. Bart says:

    G. Karst says:
    September 11, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    “Will someone please summarize the significance of this new analysis, so that we can all “eat the canary”. GK”

    See: Bart @: September 11, 2011 at 2:40 am

    [Reply] Bart, I’ve corrected a typo from +0.5 W/m^2 to +9.5W/m^2 – let me know if that’s right -TB-mod

    Thanks, TB-mod.

  410. Jimmy Haigh says:

    I don’t understand it either. Pictures paint a thousands of words,..

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

    I think what Bart is saying that there already exist techniques for analysing data which plots in a scatter pattern. He has applied these techniques to dressler’s data and come up with something very interesting; negative feedback.

  411. R. Gates says:

    philincalifornia says:
    September 11, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Well, I have over 50 issued US patents….

    _____
    Obviously none related to atmospheric chemistry if you can’t figure out that humans have been responsible for the rise in CO2 beyond the normal 280 ppm we might normally see during an interglacial…i.e. remove humans from the planet starting 10,000 years ago and we’d be seeing CO2 levels no higher than 280 ppm right now…and probably lower.

  412. R. Gates says:

    Latitude says:
    September 11, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    So in your mind, none of the increase in CO2 was natural, even though we know CO2 levels rise with temperature……

    _____
    There certainly is some rise in CO2 with a rise in temperature via outgassing and bioactivity, as this is part of the positive feedback process that is initiated with each Milankovitch warming phase, but most of that natural positive feedback rise had ended with the Holocene Optimum, and in fact, CO2 was trending slightly downward until the industrial revolution and the beginning of significant anthropogenic emission of CO2 (as well as other greenhouse gases by the way).

  413. R. Gates says:

    220mph says:
    September 11, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    (R. Gates’) sweeping generalization that we do not have to worry about a glacial period.
    ____
    Earth to AGW skeptics…Coast is clear. No glacial period in your lifetime or your children’s children children children…etc. Milankovitch cycles don’t support it, and neither does the nearly 400 ppm of CO2.

  414. Truthseeker says:

    R.Gates – let me help you understand that the concept of “greenhouse gas” is irrelevant. Here is a quite clear and concise post comparing Earth (CO2 is 0.04%) to Venus (CO2 is 96.5%).

    http://theendofthemystery.blogspot.com/2010/11/venus-no-greenhouse-effect.html

  415. philincalifornia says:

    R. Gates says:
    September 11, 2011 at 6:30 pm
    philincalifornia says:
    September 11, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Well, I have over 50 issued US patents….

    _____
    Obviously none related to atmospheric chemistry …
    ===================================================

    I think it’s already clear to everyone on here that what’s “obvious” to you has no basis in reality. To continue the trend, the last patent I filed was related to atmospheric CO2 chemistry, and I’m filing another this week. So shove that where the sun don’t shine.

    Are you going to go back and show how the rise in CO2 levels is the same as compound interest, or are you going to continue to follow that stream of drivel with further branching streams of red herring-laden drivel, hoping that other readers won’t notice ??

  416. Socratic says:

    What follows is a recap of three posts I made on on Dr. Spencer’s blog, concerning computation of the left-hand side of the main equation. You may recall that Dr. Spencer obtained 2.3 Wm^-2 and Dr. Dessler obtained 9 Wm^-2 for the LHS. The obvious differences between these papers were (a) Spencer used quarterly data, while Dessler used monthly data; (b) Spencer used a mixing layer depth of 25 meters while Dessler used a mixing layer depth of 100 meters.

    In his blog, Dr. Spencer recommended use of Levitus when computing the LHS. Levitus appears to be the World Ocean Atlas (WOA) which is available online in updated form, here:

    http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/WOA09/woa09data.html

    I found that mixing layer depth has already been computed by Levitus on a global grid, and available from NOAA, here: http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/WOA94/mix.html

    There are three criteria for ML in use: A) (most common definition) depth at which temp is .5 C lower than the surface; B) depth at which the density is .125 standard deviations greater than the surface; and C) depth at which the density is equal to what the density would be with a .5 C change. These three definitions give rather different results.

    After downloading all the data and running global weighted averages (weight = cosine[latitude]), the global average mixing layer depth for each definition was:
    A. 71.5 meters
    B. 57.2 meters
    C. 45.9 meters

    These numbers fall neatly between the depths used by Spencer and Dessler.

    Downloading quarterly data for temperature (objectively analyzed means) from WOA allows you to compute a weighted mean SST for the globe. The four weighted means thus computed were: JFM=18.293; AMJ=18.1672; JAS=18.128;OND=17.935, with a global annual mean of 18.130 C.
    The four differences between quarters are then ,358, -.131, -.034, and -.193, with a standard deviation of those values being .247 C.

    To compute heat capacity (and change thereof) I used the mean temp of 18.130 as a “before” value and a changed temp of 18.130+.247=18.377 as an “after” value. I computed density and heat capacity for both using a salinity of 35 g/kg and the equations of Sharqawy et.al. 2010. For a 1m x 1m x 25m column, I get mass=25634.58 kg (before), 25633.14 kg (after); HC=29854059 kJ (before), 29878463 kJ (after) for a quarterly change of 24404 kJ. The rate of change per quarter is therefore 2440384 J / 7889400 seconds = 3.1 Wm^-2. This is a bit higher than the 2.3 value given by Dr. Spencer. Note also that this value may be wrong; one could argue that we should be operating on a constant mass of water rather than a constant volume. Computing on that basis, the result would be 3.3 Wm^-2.

    But note that this was computed using a 25m ML depth. Using the Levitus ML depths gives for the LHS of the equation energy change rates of (A) 8.9 (B) 7.1 and (C) 5.7 Wm^-2 respectively. In other words, Dr. Spencer’s 2.3 Wm^-2 seems too low.

    Using monthly (rather than quarterly) WOA data, I find the global weighted-average SSTs by month: 18.176, 18.347, 18.357, 18.282, 18.147, 18.057, 18.134, 18.173, 18.078, 17.950, 17.871, 17.984 giving the same 18.13 average as in quarterly data.
    This gives Delta-Ts of: .192, .171, .010, -.075, -.135, -.090, .077, .038, -.094, -.128, -.078, .113, and the standard deviation of these is .117°C. Already we notice a major difference: if the SST is changing by typically .117 C in a month, we might expect it to change by .117 x 3 = .35 C per quarter. But the actual quarterly change is .25, which means that monthly data is more variable than quarterly data. Not a surprise, but here it is quantified.

    Now let’s repeat the same computations, but using Dr. Dessler’s assumptions. In this run I added a slight improvement: I also downloaded and used salinity data from WAO, which is a little less than the 35 I had been using (mean=34.586).

    Using T=18.130 as the “before” temp and 18.130+.117=18.246 as “after”, I find a “before” density of 1025.0639, and for a column 1×1×100 meters a mass of 102506.4 kg, specific heat of 4.001219 KJ/kg/K and heat capacity of 119468525 KJ. “After” density is 1025.0369, specific heat is 4.001262, and heat capacity is 119514517 KJ. The change over time is therefore 45991.5 KJ in 2629800 seconds, for 17.5 Wm^-2.

    Using the Levitus ML depths gives for the LHS of the equation energy change rates of (A) 12.5 (B) 10.0 and (C) 8.0 Wm^-2 respectively. In other words, Dr. Dessler’s use of 9 Wm^-2 seems about right, if used with a corrected ML depth, while Dr. Spencer’s LHS values are substantially too low.

    Frankly, I’m new at these equations and perhaps I’ve made a mistake somewhere. If so, I hope Dr. Spencer (or someone else) will correct me.

  417. Jim Petrie says:

    I am afraid that neither side in this dispute is going to settle the question of whether man-made global warming is real or fictitious.
    Correlation does not equal causation.
    There was considerable warming of land temperatures world wide between 1900 and 1940 during a period when there was little industrial activity and many fewer cars were on the roads.
    There was no correlation between CO2 and temperature during this 40 year period, This does not disprove AGW however, because a lack of correlation does not disprove a hypothesis either.

    There is one thing we can say with absolute certainty.

    THE SCIENCE IS NOT SETTLED!!

  418. 220mph says:

    R. Gates says:
    September 11, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    It seems basic physics and chemistry of the atmosphere is where certain skeptics and “warmists” part ways, rather than the more complex and interesting things like cloud feedbacks and sensitivity. The increase in CO2 in the atmosphere during the last few centuries over and above the normal 280 or so ppm during an interglacial is almost entirely based on human activities. To not get this basic science is rather sad.

    No, what’s unfortunately sad is ….

    (A.) … to ignore that even 400ppm is a tiny fraction of the total greenhouse gases which comprise the atmosphere,

    (B.) … to ignore that according to your own comment the anthorpogenic portion of that Co2 is 4% – or just 16ppm

    (C.) … to ignore the long term historical record – recorded data, not models – which show we are well overdue for an inevitable descent into another glacial period

    (D.) … to ignore, that despite increases in CO2 there has been no increase in temps for 12,000 or more years

    (E.) … to ignore that ALL OF THE WARMIST claims are based on between 30 and 100 years of temperature data – completely ignoring the long term historical record which shows temps to have been STABLE – moving in a natural range – UP AND DOWN – over 12000 years, and last

    (F.) … to attempt to claim that the recent decades or century of temperature history has a meaningful relation to climate cycles that operate on clearly defining 100,000+/- year scales

    (G.) … to ignore that DESPITE the increase in CO2 there has been no increase in the long term temp history – to ignore that the recent temperature changes are well within the natural variability, up and down, of the last 12,000 year record

    And that is really the question for the ages isn’t it? Why do warmists completely ignore these simple basics? Yes – temperatures did increase recently, and now have leveled. And that increase is both well within the natural range of temps during the last 12,000 or so years of STABLE temps, and also brings temps back to just over the median temp over that last 12,000 year period.

    To me the biggest question in the “climate change” arena is why temps stopped rising – that they leveled out well below normal peaks seen in inter-glacial warm periods over last 400,000 years? And why they remained stable for the last 12,000 +/- years instead of peaking and sharply falling as in each of the inter-glacial warm peaks over last 400,000 years?

    To me the serious question is what is keeping us from the severe glacial period we are long overdue for – and how can we keep doing it.

    To me – if CO2 really has the magical properties attributed to it by the AGW crowd – then I say we probably should be trying to figure ho to prolong it, lest things get very, very cold very quick …

  419. 220mph says:

    R. Gates says:
    September 11, 2011 at 5:21 pm
    220mph said:

    “CO2 began rising again appx 3500 years ago, and has risen at appx the same rate as today for the last 2500 years. Despite that increase there has been NO statistically significant increase (or decrease) in temps over 12,000+/- years.”
    ____
    Wow…just wow. This chart:

    And hundreds more easily prove you wrong…but again….wow.

    And you yet again show that you simply (and most of the warmist community – sadly including many scientists) don’t “get it” … the historical climate record is not 30 years, 100 years or even the 1000 years which you show. The climate cycle – glacial cold minimum to inter-glacial warm peak – is appx 100,000 to 125,000 years.

    And when you look at the entire record you’ll find the picture looks quite different.

    A better version of data set and short time frame in your picture:

    And the same source showing the long term historical record:

    Low and behold – in the 2nd graph – CO2 has been rising at app the same rate since the Younger Dryas – appx 12,000 years ago …

    Wow indeed.

  420. 220mph says:

    Bob B says:
    September 11, 2011 at 6:12 pm
    R Gates, I like this better:

    Puts the recent tiny tiny warming in perspective

    Thanks you Bob … I shoulda just looked that up – it tells the story best of all …

  421. 220mph says:

    R. Gates says:
    September 11, 2011 at 6:43 pm
    220mph says:
    September 11, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    (R. Gates’) sweeping generalization that we do not have to worry about a glacial period.
    ____
    Earth to AGW skeptics…Coast is clear. No glacial period in your lifetime or your children’s children children children…etc. Milankovitch cycles don’t support it, and neither does the nearly 400 ppm of CO2.

    Funny – seems you have a real issue with comprehension … I believe we are at far more risk of dropping into the long overdue glacial cold period than an extended warming one.

    What I DID say was from what I see in the historical record we are overdue for a inter-glacial warm peak – and the resultant share drop into a glacial cold period. I said if anything CO2 is possibly delaying us dropping into that inevitable glacial cold period.

    At least make the effort to characterize what others say accurately and honestly

  422. R. Gates says:

    Truthseeker says:
    September 11, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    R.Gates – let me help you understand that the concept of “greenhouse gas” is irrelevant.
    ____
    Truthseeker,

    If I had an identical Earth to ours…identical in every way, except take away all the greenhouse gases, I’d gladly let you live there…but just a hint…bring a very very very warm pair of long underwear.

  423. R. Gates says:

    220mph says:
    September 11, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    “What I DID say was from what I see in the historical record we are overdue for a inter-glacial warm peak…”
    ____
    Based on Milankovitch cycles…the Holocene Optimum occurred about 9,000 years ago. CO2 had been drifting around 280 ppm since then. But then a funny thing happened called the industrial revolution. This graph tells the story quite well:

    Make no mistake, humans have put their fingerprint on the atmosphere quite well.

  424. R. Gates says:

    220mph says:
    September 11, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    “And you yet again show that you simply (and most of the warmist community – sadly including many scientists) don’t “get it” … the historical climate record is not 30 years, 100 years or even the 1000 years which you show. The climate cycle – glacial cold minimum to inter-glacial warm peak – is appx 100,000 to 125,000 years.”

    _____
    Glad you’re finally getting into the paleoclimate record…as that’s really where the hints can be found. We’ve got the highest CO2 levels of any interglacial, the highest in 800,000 years, and we’d pretty much have to go back to the mid-Pliocene to see what may be in store for our climate.

  425. R. Gates says:

    philincalifornia says:
    September 11, 2011 at 7:26 pm
    the last patent I filed was related to atmospheric CO2 chemistry, and I’m filing another this week. So shove that where the sun don’t shine.
    _____
    Sorry…let’s just say I’m rather “skeptical” of your claim. If you were that educated about CO2, then you wouldn’t be arguing about the source of CO2 rise in the atmosphere since the 1750’s. If humans were suddenly absent from the Earth around that time and there never had been an industrial revolution and the sudden increase in the burning of fossil fuels, we’d be about 280 ppm or less. But good luck with the CO2 related patents of yours…

  426. Truthseeker says:

    R. Gates says:
    September 11, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Your response shows that you missed the point entirely and did not understand the analysis presented. The general temperature of a planet is determined by the energy profile of its sun, the distance from it and the atmospheric pressure that exists on the planet. The distance between air molecules (defined by air pressure) is what is important, not the composition of the molecule itself.

    Still, if logic was actually part of your thought processes you would not believe the things that you do on this subject.

  427. neill says:

    So, CO2 has been much higher atmospherically in ages past, correct?

    When did it reach tipping points, and what extremes did they reach — that must be in the paleo record as well, right?

    What brought the climate back into line since?

    I’m hoping you can educate me on these points, R. Gates.

  428. R. Gates says:
    September 11, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    If humans were suddenly absent from the Earth around that time and there never had been an industrial revolution and the sudden increase in the burning of fossil fuels, we’d be about 280 ppm or less.

    In that case we would not be anywhere near that number, because we’d be nowhere. We would not even be discussing the issue, because with no one around, with no industrial revolution and no nothin’ there’d be no Internet either.

  429. Graeme No.3 says:

    R. Gates and “friends”
    I think you are assuming that the ice core record is completely accurate at all times. However, the use of fossilised leaves (number of stomata) shows higher levels in the holocene optimum (for starters).
    Yes, I know that as proxies they’re in the same league as tree rings, but can you ignore them just because it is inconvenient? In the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum the assumption of 1300-1500 ppm CO2 was based on this method, backed up by evidence of aragonite deposition (> 1150 approx), and accepted by most sides on the question.

    There’s evidence that the CO2 level isn’t always stable around 280 ppm. and at 55 million years ago, unlikely to have been caused by humans.

  430. 220mph says:

    R. Gates says:
    September 11, 2011 at 9:29 pm
    220mph says:
    September 11, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    “What I DID say was from what I see in the historical record we are overdue for a inter-glacial warm peak…”
    ____
    Based on Milankovitch cycles…the Holocene Optimum occurred about 9,000 years ago. CO2 had been drifting around 280 ppm since then. But then a funny thing happened called the industrial revolution. This graph tells the story quite well:

    Make no mistake, humans have put their fingerprint on the atmosphere quite well.

    And if you are correct – and the inter-glacial warm peak occurred 9,000 years ago – then please explain why:

    (a.) that “peak” was at a much lower point than any of the 3 prior – over 400,000 years,
    (b.) why temps since have remained stable within a small range of natural variability and;
    (c.) why we have NOT seen the sharp fall off in temps seen immediately after each of those same 3 prior maximums?

    Also please address the historical temp record – which shows despite all that extra CO2 recently, why the recent (last 100-400 years) temp record and the CURRENT temp is well within the the historical record of stable temps over last 12,000 +/- years?

    You DO admit that temps have been in an unusually stable range over the last 12,000 years correct? And you do admit that the recent (post industrial) temp increase and current temp are all WITHIN the range of natural variability over the last 12,000 correct?

    If you have a problem with that – please review the following temp chart – the last 15,000 years. The LEFT most appx 1/8″ to 3/16″ represents the last 500 years – you can clearly see the temp record during that time is well below the mean of the last 15,000 years and well within the natural variability of the stable period of temps over last 12,000 years.

  431. Richard S Courtney says:

    R. Gates:

    I see you have posted more lies at September 11, 2011 at 11:49 am where you write:

    “The increase in CO2 in the atmosphere during the last few centuries over and above the normal 280 or so ppm during an interglacial is almost entirely based on human activities. To not get this basic science is rather sad.”

    The “normal” atmospheric concentration of CO2 is NOT “280 pmv”. It has been much higher than that throughout almost all of the 2.5 billion years since the Earth obtained an oxygen-rich atmosphere.

    For example, atmospheric concentration of CO2 was much higer than now throughout the carboniferous; see, for example this pro-AGW tract

    http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Carboniferous_climate.html

    It says;
    “Average global temperatures in the Early Carboniferous Period were hot- approximately 20° C (68° F). However, cooling during the Middle Carboniferous reduced average global temperatures to about 12° C (54° F). As shown on the chart below, this is comparable to the average global temperature on Earth today!
    Similarly, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Early Carboniferous Period were approximately 1500 ppm (parts per million), but by the Middle Carboniferous had declined to about 350 ppm — comparable to average CO2 concentrations today!”

    Atmospheric CO2 concentration was higher than now throughout the carboniferous period but varied and its variation did not directly relate to global temperature. Indeed, atmospheric CO2 concentration was higher than now throughout the ice ages of that period; see

    http://www.pnas.org/content/99/20/12567.abstract

    Importantly, the cause(s) of the recent increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration is completely unknown and it cannot be determined from available data; see
    Rorsch A, Courtney RS & Thoenes D, ‘The Interaction of Climate Change and the Carbon Dioxide Cycle’ E&E v16no2 (2005)

    Your denial of these facts is much more than “sad”.

    R Gates, I really do want to know why you keep posting your blatant falsehoods on WUWT. This is not some warmist echo chamber so your falsehoods are certain to be pointed out here. Why do you do it when you must know it makes you look a fool?

    Richard

  432. DC51 says:

    R Gates says.
    I think the RANGE of CO2 being between about 180 ppm and 280ppm has served the development of human civilization quite well over many tens of thousands of years. I don’t think you need to worry about any.
    Perhaps thats more to do with the challenging times they lived in. People had to adapt technologically to survive those times.

  433. John B says:

    Richard S Courtney says:
    September 12, 2011 at 1:10 am

    R. Gates:

    I see you have posted more lies at September 11, 2011 at 11:49 am where you write:

    “The increase in CO2 in the atmosphere during the last few centuries over and above the normal 280 or so ppm during an interglacial is almost entirely based on human activities. To not get this basic science is rather sad.”

    The “normal” atmospheric concentration of CO2 is NOT “280 pmv”. It has been much higher than that throughout almost all of the 2.5 billion years since the Earth obtained an oxygen-rich atmosphere.

    —————-

    Richard, RG clearly says “normal 280 or so ppm during an interglacial”. Perfectly accurate, at least for the last 800,000 years. CO2 has been pretty stable (180 to 280 ppm) for the last 800,000 years, then the industrial revolution happened and up it goes. Isotope studies confirm the extra CO2 comes from fossil fuel emissions. Basic science that I am sure you understand, but you think if you shout loud enough, others here will agree with you rather than looking for themselves.

  434. Jason says:

    R Gates makes a huge assumption to back up his arguements, namely that the ice core samples for the pasy 800K years accurately record the levels of CO2.

    “beyond the normal 280 ppm we might normally see during an interglacial….”

    There is plenty of evidence, dispute and debate that suggest those ice cores are not accurate and do not tell the whole story. Nor is any specific level of ANY atmospheric gas, amount of global ice etc etc NORMAL. There is no NORMAL.

    That trap is what drives the whole insane tipping point idea.

  435. Richard S Courtney says:

    John B:

    You support the nonsense and lies of R Gates when at September 12, 2011 at 2:05 am you write to me saying:

    “Richard, RG clearly says “normal 280 or so ppm during an interglacial”. Perfectly accurate, at least for the last 800,000 years. CO2 has been pretty stable (180 to 280 ppm) for the last 800,000 years, then the industrial revolution happened and up it goes. Isotope studies confirm the extra CO2 comes from fossil fuel emissions. Basic science that I am sure you understand, but you think if you shout loud enough, others here will agree with you rather than looking for themselves.”

    Firstly, presenting referenced and linked information to peer reviewed papers is not a “shout”. Please read my post at September 12, 2011 at 1:10 am and dispute or refute anything it says if you can. Your post suggests that you cannot.

    My post said,
    “The “normal” atmospheric concentration of CO2 is NOT “280 ppmv”. It has been much higher than that throughout almost all of the 2.5 billion years since the Earth obtained an oxygen-rich atmosphere.”
    And I illustrated that by citing the carboniferous.

    Your cherry pick of “the last 800,000 years” is meaningless. It is 0.0000003% of the 2.5 billion year sample I presented.

    R Gates said “280 ppmv” is normal. I showed it is very abnormal. You claim he said other than he did.

    Furthermore, your statement saying’
    “CO2 has been pretty stable (180 to 280 ppm) for the last 800,000 years”
    is debateable. It is supported by ice core data and refuted by stomata data.

    The leaves of plants adjust the sizes of their stomata with changing atmospheric CO2 concentration and this permits the determination of past atmospheric CO2 concentrations by analysis of leaves preserved, for example, in peat bogs. (e.g. Retallack (2001), Wagner et al. (2004), Kouwenberg et al. (2003)). The disagreement with the ice core data is clearly seen in all published studies of the stomata data. For example, as early as 1999 Wagner reported that studies of birch leaves indicated a rapid rise of atmospheric CO2 concentration from 260 to 327 ppmv (which is similar to the rise in the twentieth century) from late Glacial to Holocene conditions. This ancient rise of 67 ppmv in atmospheric CO2 concentration is indicated by the stomata data at a time when the ice core data indicate only 20 ppmv rise. (refs. Retallack G, Nature vol. 411 287 (2001), Wagener F, et al. Virtual Journal Geobiology, vol.3. Issue 9, Section 2B (2004), Kouenberg et al. American Journal of Botany, 90, pp 610-619 (2003), Wagner F et al. Science vol. 284 p 92 (1999))

    Indeed, actual measurements of CO2 by wet chemical analyses indicate higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations than now existed in the nineteenth century.

    And isotope studies do NOT indicate an anthropogenic source for the recent rise in atmospheric CO2. The direction of change to the 12C:13C ratio is consistent with the source being anthropogenic (there is equal chance tht it would be consistent or inconsistent). But the magnitude of the change is wrong by between 3 and 6 times (depending on assumptions and uncertainties in the estimate). So, the isotope data indicates that the rise is at least two thirds natural and, if it is mostly natural then it could all be natural. The problem exists because there is no clear isotope ‘fingerprint’ for CO2 from fossil fuels (fossil fuels derive from biological material).

    Please tell the truth. Propoganda and lies inhibit rational debate and refuting the lies takes time which could be expended on rational debate.

    Richard

  436. philincalifornia says:

    R. Gates says:
    September 11, 2011 at 9:41 pm
    philincalifornia says:
    September 11, 2011 at 7:26 pm
    If you were that educated about CO2, then you wouldn’t be arguing about the source of CO2 rise in the atmosphere since the 1750′s.
    ==========================================
    Huh ?? Except that I didn’t do that, you silly person.

  437. Shevva says:

    Arh, come on guys picking on R. Gates is like kicking a puppy.

    Can’t you just pat him on the head and say must try harder.

  438. John B says:

    Richard,

    I do not dispute anything you say about what happened prior to 800K years ago. But do you relly believe it is relevant? 800K ears is the extent of the ice ocre record, not a cherry pick. Before that, things may well have been different, but so what? We had snowball Earth, and Hades Erath, and so on, but so what? The point is this:

    Stable CO2 for 800K years – 180-280 ppmv driven be milankovic cycles taking thousands of years. A 40% rise in CO2 over a couple of hundred years at the same time fossil fuel burning starts. Are you really saying concidence? Really? Aw, c’mon!

    Lots of things are debatable, but the current rise in CO2 being anthropogenic is not one of them. At least not in the real world.

    I really think “skeptics” would do better to accept basic science and debate stupid policies. I’d be with you on that!

  439. Latitude says:

    R. Gates says:
    September 11, 2011 at 6:30 pm
    Obviously none related to atmospheric chemistry if you can’t figure out that humans have been responsible for the rise in CO2 beyond the normal 280 ppm we might normally see during an interglacial
    ====================================================================
    Gates, 280 ppm can’t be considered “normal”, unless you think something that is limiting is normal.
    280 ppm is just where CO2 levels stabilized when it became limiting to plants, algae, plankton, bacteria….
    As less CO2 was available, their growth slowed down….

    We know it’s limiting because we know that levels just a little less than that would cause mass mortality…and increasing levels causes faster/better growth.

    Saying that CO2 levels of 280 ppm are normal, is like saying there’s barely enough fertilizer to keep plants alive…..

  440. Dave Springer says:

    The problem with “normal” interglacial CO2 level of 280ppm is that it isn’t enough to sustain an interglacial indefinitely. Is 400ppm sufficient for that? How about 560ppm? Climate boffins don’t appear very interested in that question. It seems a very important question to me given that the current interglacial is, according to the climatology, due for an ending. It seems rather absurd to be worrying about global warming when the earth has been in an ice age for the past several million years.

  441. Dave Springer says:

    R. Gates says:
    September 11, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    “If I had an identical Earth to ours…identical in every way, except take away all the greenhouse gases, I’d gladly let you live there…but just a hint…bring a very very very warm pair of long underwear.”

    Sure. But water vapor accounts for over 90% of the atmospheric greenhouse effect. You could remove all the GHGs except for water vapor and there’d be little change in temperature. Of course all the terrestrial plants would die because they wouldn’t have a carbon source without atmospheric CO2 but the temperature regime would remain suitable for them.

  442. Latitude says:

    Jason says:
    September 12, 2011 at 3:22 am

    R Gates makes a huge assumption to back up his arguements, namely that the ice core samples for the pasy 800K years accurately record the levels of CO2.
    =============================================================
    Jason, they probably more or less do….but it really doesn’t matter that much.

    The problem with irritable climate syndrome is people have let the promoters of that theory define what “normal” is….

    They take recent records and claim a certain temperature is normal, a certain CO2 level is normal.
    Both are wrong….but both define the rules.

    No one can look at a ice core temp reconstruction and honestly say where they have put the “Normal/0″ line…….is really normal.

    …..and no one can look at CO2 reconstructions and say the 280 ppm is normal.

    CO2 levels have always been higher, where almost every thing evolved and it’s sensible to say that higher CO2 levels drove modern evolution…..

    CO2 levels did not drop until plants, grasses, certain plankton, etc evolved – in much higher CO2 levels – and grew to the point that they consumed so much CO2 that lower CO2 levels forced them to grow slower – CO2 became limiting.

    We know CO2 levels have been much higher, we know what evolved to take advantage of that, we know when you raise CO2 levels those same things grow faster, we know that slightly lower CO2 levels would cause mass mortality, we know what grew and consumed CO2 until it became limiting…

    280 ppm CO2 is not normal………

  443. To R. Gates,
    Try this exercise. Divide the 13/12 index by -27.3 (the NBS standard for graphite) to get an estimate of the fraction of CO2 that is from organic origin. I find that it has increased from around .28 around 1990 to .32 in 2010. Over two-thirds is from inorganic origins (very little of which is anthropogenic). That natural fraction has been steadily increasing in total amount in the atmosphere. We would expect the natural organic to increase at the same rate (constant fraction). So the possible anthropogenic contribution between 1990 and 2010 is in that .03 difference. My analysis suggests that the anthropogenic contribution to the accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased from around 7% in 1990 to around 9% in 2010. That certainly isn’t what the IPPC states as fact based on false assumptions.

  444. John B says:

    Dave Springer says:
    September 12, 2011 at 5:29 am

    R. Gates says:
    September 11, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    “If I had an identical Earth to ours…identical in every way, except take away all the greenhouse gases, I’d gladly let you live there…but just a hint…bring a very very very warm pair of long underwear.”

    Sure. But water vapor accounts for over 90% of the atmospheric greenhouse effect. You could remove all the GHGs except for water vapor and there’d be little change in temperature. Of course all the terrestrial plants would die because they wouldn’t have a carbon source without atmospheric CO2 but the temperature regime would remain suitable for them.

    ————

    Dave, I think you should read up on the difference between condensing and non-condensing GHGs. It may sound like an esoteric difference, but it is central to the whole mechanism. Without CO2, the temperature would fall, that would cause water vapor levels to fall and then temperatures would fall even more. Result, snowball earth, unless some other forcing came into play to stop it.

  445. R. Gates says:

    Latitude et. al.,

    The “normal” range of CO2 DURING INTERGLACIALS is about 280 ppm as displayed quite consistently in the ice core from the past 800,000 years.

    To others:

    Water vapor alone cannot keep the earth from going into an ice-planet state as it will condense and lead to a run-away freezing event where the ocean surfaces freeze over pretty much right to the equator. It takes noncondensing greenhouse gases to maintain the greenhouse earth we enjoy.

  446. Latitude says:

    R. Gates says:
    September 12, 2011 at 7:19 am
    The “normal” range of CO2 DURING INTERGLACIALS is about 280 ppm as displayed quite consistently in the ice core from the past 800,000 years.
    =====================================================
    You mean after different plants, algae, plankton, grasses, etc evolved with higher CO2 levels and were so proficient that they lowered CO2 levels to the point that their growth slowed down……CO2 became limiting.

    You can’t talk about the planet without talking about biology.

  447. Steve Keohane says:

    R. Gates says: September 12, 2011 at 7:19 am But your magical CO2 never gives up its heat? Whether by radiation or condensation lost heat is lost heat. Trying to invent a new grouping of condensing vs. non-condensing GHGs as some new distinction as you and your clone John B are trying to do is ridiculous. And by the way, what are the condensing GHGs PLURAL???? more garbage.

  448. Richard S Courtney says:

    John B:

    I congratulate you on your consistency. At September 12, 2011 at 5:00 am you post more nonsense.

    Having changed the subject from what is “normal” to the most recent “800K years” you now ignore all the information I posted which shows your certainty about that period is misplaced. You write to me saying;

    “Stable CO2 for 800K years – 180-280 ppmv driven be milankovic cycles taking thousands of years. A 40% rise in CO2 over a couple of hundred years at the same time fossil fuel burning starts. Are you really saying concidence? Really? Aw, c’mon!

    Lots of things are debatable, but the current rise in CO2 being anthropogenic is not one of them. At least not in the real world.”

    There is no “coincidence” because – as I said and referenced – there is nothing unusual about the recent rise because similar rises happened during your cherry picked 800 K years.

    And please read my own work that proves beyond any possibility of doubt that it is not possible to determine whether or not the anthropogenic emission contributed to none or part or all of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration. The available data from “the real world” provides that proof. I referenced that peer reviewed paper in my post at September 12, 2011 at 1:10 am.

    I repeat, please stop posting lies which disrupt and inhibit rational discussion.

    Richard

  449. R. Gates says:

    Steve Keohane says:
    September 12, 2011 at 8:01 am
    R. Gates says: September 12, 2011 at 7:19 am But your magical CO2 never gives up its heat? Whether by radiation or condensation lost heat is lost heat. Trying to invent a new grouping of condensing vs. non-condensing GHGs as some new distinction as you and your clone John B are trying to do is ridiculous. And by the way, what are the condensing GHGs PLURAL???? more garbage.
    ____
    Steve,

    You may want to do a serious introspection on what you believe and why you believe it. The distinction between condensing and non-condensing greenhouse gases is hardly something I invented and goes back to the basic properties of the gases themselves and is absolutely critical to maintaining our greenhouse atmosphere that we enjoy here on Earth. Yes, water vapor is a more potent greenhouse gas on earth, but is quickly condensed when temperatures cool, hence why there is very little water vapor over the interior of Antarctica for example (which is much like the ice-planet Earth would be).

    Finally, just so you can get this correct: H20 is a condensing greenhouse gas, whereas CO2, CH4, and N2O are all noncondensing under the conditions found in Earth’s atmosphere. Here’s a good place for you to start to understand this hardly trivial point:

    http://www.reportingclimatescience.com/this-issue/atmosphere-and-surface/andrew-lacis-explains-how-the-co2-thermostat-works.html

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/print.php?n=628

    http://www.atm.damtp.cam.ac.uk/mcintyre/co2-factsheet.html

    By the way, simply because John B. and myself both understand basic science facts does not make him my clone…that’s the beauty of scientific facts…many people can see them and they don’t change.

  450. R. Gates says:

    Richard S Courtney says:
    September 12, 2011 at 8:07 am

    There is no “coincidence” because – as I said and referenced – there is nothing unusual about the recent rise because similar rises happened during your cherry picked 800 K years.

    _____

    The current level of CO2 at 390 ppm or so is the highest in any period over the past 800,000 years. This is not in dispute, except among a very narrow range of rather uneducated or blinded individuals.

  451. R. Gates says:

    Richard S Courtney says:
    September 12, 2011 at 1:10 am
    R. Gates:

    I see you have posted more lies at September 11, 2011 at 11:49 am where you write:

    “The increase in CO2 in the atmosphere during the last few centuries over and above the normal 280 or so ppm during an interglacial is almost entirely based on human activities. To not get this basic science is rather sad.”

    The “normal” atmospheric concentration of CO2 is NOT “280 pmv”. It has been much higher than that throughout almost all of the 2.5 billion years since the Earth obtained an oxygen-rich atmosphere.

    For example, atmospheric concentration of CO2 was much higer than now throughout the carboniferous; see, for example this pro-AGW tract

    http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Carboniferous_climate.html

    It says;
    “Average global temperatures in the Early Carboniferous Period were hot- approximately 20° C (68° F). However, cooling during the Middle Carboniferous reduced average global temperatures to about 12° C (54° F). As shown on the chart below, this is comparable to the average global temperature on Earth today!
    Similarly, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Early Carboniferous Period were approximately 1500 ppm (parts per million), but by the Middle Carboniferous had declined to about 350 ppm — comparable to average CO2 concentrations today!”

    Atmospheric CO2 concentration was higher than now throughout the carboniferous period but varied and its variation did not directly relate to global temperature. Indeed, atmospheric CO2 concentration was higher than now throughout the ice ages of that period; see

    http://www.pnas.org/content/99/20/12567.abstract

    Importantly, the cause(s) of the recent increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration is completely unknown and it cannot be determined from available data; see
    Rorsch A, Courtney RS & Thoenes D, ‘The Interaction of Climate Change and the Carbon Dioxide Cycle’ E&E v16no2 (2005)

    Your denial of these facts is much more than “sad”.

    R Gates, I really do want to know why you keep posting your blatant falsehoods on WUWT. This is not some warmist echo chamber so your falsehoods are certain to be pointed out here. Why do you do it when you must know it makes you look a fool?

    Richard
    ____

    Richard,

    If you call basic science a “falsehood” then we do indeed inhabit different worlds. There is absolutely no doubt as to the origin of the majority of the rise in CO2 levels over the past few hundred years. But, to be fair, you claim you have a peer reviewed paper that refutes this, so I’d be more than happy to review it with an honestly open mind. Provide the link.

  452. John Whitman says:

    R. Gates says:
    September 12, 2011 at 9:31 am

    The current level of CO2 at 390 ppm or so is the highest in any period over the past 800,000 years. This is not in dispute, except among a very narrow range of rather uneducated or blinded individuals.

    —————–

    R. Gates,

    Are you essentially relying on ice cores to be an accurate/certain enough atmospheric CO2 proxy as the proof of you statement?

    Note: What is the uncertainty band for the proxies you are basing your statement on?

    John

  453. Latitude says:

    R. Gates says:
    September 12, 2011 at 9:31 am
    The current level of CO2 at 390 ppm or so is the highest in any period over the past 800,000 years. This is not in dispute, except among a very narrow range of rather uneducated or blinded individuals.
    =======================================================
    You know…….
    Not knowing what evolved and when and how that works…..
    …would also be considered uneducated or blinded

    Gates, when CO2 levels were in the thousands…..what caused it to drop?
    What has caused CO2 levels to stay so low?
    When we know all of the things that use CO2 as food/fertilizer, and how prolific they are.

    You dance up and down with your grade school math……40% increase
    CO2 levels are so low, if it had gone the other way, if there had been a 40% decrease, we probably wouldn’t be here right now.

  454. Mark T says:

    Well, we’d be here for a while maybe, Latitude, but eating each other instead of foodstocks resulting from plant life. Zombieland! :)

    Mark

  455. Lars P says:

    R. Gates says:
    September 12, 2011 at 7:19 am “Water vapor alone cannot keep the earth from going into an ice-planet state ”
    R.Gates models are not reality. They try to emulate reality as much as possible, but we see many times how they fail. What do astronomers do if they find something not fitting to their models?

    http://www.universetoday.com/88553/impossible-star-exists-in-cosmic-forbidden-zone/

    Well they have to revise their models and try again with better ones & new theories not more garbage.

  456. R. Gates says:

    John Whitman says:
    September 12, 2011 at 10:02 am
    R. Gates says:
    September 12, 2011 at 9:31 am

    The current level of CO2 at 390 ppm or so is the highest in any period over the past 800,000 years. This is not in dispute, except among a very narrow range of rather uneducated or blinded individuals.

    —————–

    R. Gates,

    Are you essentially relying on ice cores to be an accurate/certain enough atmospheric CO2 proxy as the proof of you statement?

    Note: What is the uncertainty band for the proxies you are basing your statement on?

    John
    _____
    As we now have multiple confirmatory ice cores from different sites in both Greenland and Antarctica, the “uncertainty band” for the accuracy of CO2 levels over the past 400,000 to 800,000 years is quite narrow. High degree of confidence and accuracy of this data.

  457. A. C. Osborn says:

    Stop feeding the TROLLs.
    It just encourages them.

  458. Latitude says:

    Gates, you love that 800,000 year CO2 graph.
    Why have CO2 levels consistently jumped from ~180 ppm to ~300 ppm and back to ~180ppm, a ~ 40% increase and ~75% decrease….consistently?

  459. R. Gates says:

    For A.C. Osborn, Troll = Anyone who disagrees with your position?

  460. R. Gates says:

    “As we now have multiple confirmatory ice cores from different sites in both Greenland and Antarctica, the “uncertainty band” for the accuracy of CO2 levels over the past 400,000 to 800,000 years is quite narrow. High degree of confidence and accuracy of this data.”

    Anyone that is familiar with the ice core data and has a basic understanding of statistical techniques knows you are way off base with the above statement. Again I refer you to my analysis. Just click on my name.

  461. KR says:

    Richard S Courtney“There is no “coincidence” because – as I said and referenced – there is nothing unusual about the recent rise because similar rises happened during your cherry picked 800 K years.”

    That, Richard, would be incorrect. The only event of similar speed was the 56 MY ago PETM event, well outside the 800 KY you’re talking about, and we’re increasing CO2 levels at least five times faster than that.

    It’s pretty sad to see stuff just being made up.

    We’re well past the science here – down to “You’re wrong!”, “No, you’re wrong!” exchanges. In fact, I rather gave up on the thread after the “CAGW = eugenics” post (someone needs to get their meds adjusted…).

    At this point, I would suggest folks wait until (a) Dessler has his article published in final form, along with whatever modifications he makes based upon his conversations with Spencer, and (b) Spencer replies in a peer-reviewed form, as opposed to blogging about it.

  462. John Whitman says:

    R. Gates says:
    September 12, 2011 at 11:00 am

    As we now have multiple confirmatory ice cores from different sites in both Greenland and Antarctica, the “uncertainty band” for the accuracy of CO2 levels over the past 400,000 to 800,000 years is quite narrow. High degree of confidence and accuracy of this data. [JMW emphasis]

    ————-

    R. Gates,

    Again, for the second time, I respectfully ask for the uncertainty bands on the ice core CO2 proxies upon which you are basing your assertion “level of CO2 at 390 ppm or so is the highest in any period over the past 800,000 years. This is not in dispute, except among a very narrow range of rather uneducated or blinded individuals.”

    Your assertion is so clear that I would appreciate your clear evidence. I ask this respectfully and sincerely. I am certainly willing to learn the basis of your very clear assertion.

    John

  463. APACHEWHOKNOWS says:

    When will the CO2 grows/Earth is Warming and is man made side give a date they accept as showing clear they are/where wrong.

    If so state a date.

    Will it be later claimed that the ice is due to man and CO2 or some other man made thing.

    Someone says that his evidence is better that the other because someone says.

    Knowing is Unknowing.

  464. R. Gates says:

    Fred H. Haynie,

    I respect your background and even found much to agree with in your presentation, but respectfully, I completely disagree with your conclusions. I have a very high degree of confidence in the ice core data for both CO2, as well as several other compounds, elements, and trace materials. Ice Cores provide one of the best records of past climates that we have.

  465. R. Gates says:

    Latitude says:
    September 12, 2011 at 11:20 am
    Gates, you love that 800,000 year CO2 graph.
    Why have CO2 levels consistently jumped from ~180 ppm to ~300 ppm and back to ~180ppm, a ~ 40% increase and ~75% decrease….consistently?

    ____
    If course, you should know the reason for this, but perhaps others don’t. Milankovitch cycles initate warming and cooling events on the longer term that you’ve indicated, and the little nudges from Milankovitch are reinforced and amplified by CO2 outgassing from the oceans as well as decreases in CO2 uptake by plankton. This, by the way, is one reason that CO2 lags the initial warming in most Milankovtich warming phases. A little warming comes first through insolation changes, then, after a sufficent time for the warming to have set in, CO2 levels begin to rise, amplifying (through positive feedback) that initial warming. In this way, CO2 levels rise and fall during the interglacial and glacial cycle. In thinking about feedbacks, we should remember that there are short-term (fast) feedbacks, and longer-term (slow feedbacks).

  466. John B says:

    To all innocent bystanders:

    Note that R Gates and I quote science that you can look up for yourself online, at a library or by taking a class. Richard S Courtney and Fred H Haynie cite themselves.

    Make of that what you will.

  467. Ed_B says:

    Sure is tiresome with the trolls like Gates and John B posting endless red herrings. Dessler is the subject of this thread. Dessler has suffered a huge setback in his assertions that he was going to ‘school’ Spencer.

    The only question left is whether GRL will follow its own Journal practise and put Desslers paper out for peer review after so many significant errors.

  468. APACHEWHOKNOWS says:

    John B. and or R. Gates etal, as your so sure of your sources, go ahead and give a date when say , it is much cooler, that the “its mans fault due to CO2″ side will say, “We were wrong”.

    Just a wild estimate please.

  469. Latitude says:

    R. Gates says:
    September 12, 2011 at 12:01 pm
    ===================================
    Ok, so you are reading my posts……..
    A common natural historic fall from 300ppm to 180ppm is 60%.
    60% X 390ppm = 234 ppm
    So looking at your favorite 800,000 year graph, we should expect CO2 levels to naturally drop to 234 ppm if we do nothing.
    That’s the same way you figure a unprecedented 40% increase in CO2….only backwards

    Latitude asked Gates:
    Gates, when CO2 levels were in the thousands…..what caused it to drop?
    What has caused CO2 levels to stay so low?
    When we know all of the things that use CO2 as food/fertilizer, and how prolific they are.

  470. John B says:

    APACHEWHOKNOWS says:
    September 12, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    John B. and or R. Gates etal, as your so sure of your sources, go ahead and give a date when say , it is much cooler, that the “its mans fault due to CO2″ side will say, “We were wrong”.

    Just a wild estimate please.

    —————–

    If the 2010’s aren’t warmer than the 2000’s (which were, of course, warmer than the 1990’s), then AGW has a real problem. And as many “skeptics” are predicting cooling, everything should be pretty clear by 2020. Let’s hope that by then it is not too late.

    Agreed, RG?

  471. PhilJourdan says:

    KR says:
    September 12, 2011 at 11:40 am

    We’re well past the science here – down to “You’re wrong!”, “No, you’re wrong!” exchanges. In fact, I rather gave up on the thread after the “CAGW = eugenics” post (someone needs to get their meds adjusted…).

    perhaps you? No one said that CAGW=Eugenics. What has been stated and backed up with facts is that some of the supporters of AGW do indeed adhere to eugenics and have been espousing them. You can choose to distance yourself from those flakes (and I would hope you do), but you cannot deny they are a part of the belief system.

  472. Phil M says:

    If elevated levels of CO2 is supposed to be good for plants/crops etc. Then why doesn’t it help the Texans?

  473. John B says:

    PhileJourdon said:

    No one said that CAGW=Eugenics.

    ————-

    Well, actually…

    Marc says:
    September 10, 2011 at 11:37 am

    CAGW = Eugenics

    And goes on to list what he believes to be the similarities.

    —————

    and PhilJourdon said: What has been stated and backed up with facts is that some of the supporters of AGW do indeed adhere to eugenics and have been espousing them. You can choose to distance yourself from those flakes (and I would hope you do), but you cannot deny they are a part of the belief system.

    What facts would those be?

  474. KR says:

    PhilJourdan“No one said that CAGW=Eugenics.”

    Try the search function in your browser, Ctrl-F. This was stated by Marc, September 10, 2011 at 11:37 am, post #339 in this thread.

    Eugenics is both a red herring and a strawman argument here (http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/index.html#index), with more than a bit of ad hominem thrown in. I would hope that you too distance yourself from those who make such arguments, or those who bring them into a conversation on climate change.

    And as I stated, I gave up on this thread’s relevance to science at that point.

  475. Jim Petrie says:

    WHY BE IN A HURRY?

    We don’t know if carbon dioxide will cause significant warming. There has been no appreciable warming this century, but we cannot predict whether things will stay the same, get warmer , or get colder.
    If we are worried about our descendants 200 years from now, lets work to help our descendants one hundred years from now fix the problem. There is no evidence whatsoever for a “tipping point”
    Wind and solar are not the answer. They are too expensive. Nuclear is a the solution, but we may have to wait ten years for general acceptance of this to develop.

    The one thing that will not help is sending ourselves broke by dislocating the entire economic system. See Bjorn Lomberg. He is no climate change skeptic.!
    To promise something like “a five per cent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020″ is not very helpful and is not attainable. A fifty percent reduction by 2120 is probably easily achievable – if we need to achieve it.Look at how computers have developed. Look at advances in medicine. We have the entire genome.

    The solution to the problem is not in the hands of climate scientists or politicians but engineers.
    Or perhaps basic scientists, if we ever get nuclear fusion to work!

    We now have Argo. We can measure the heat of the ocean. Other measurements are pretty superfluous The ocean is where the heat ends up
    Measuring other things can perhaps shed light or mechanisms, but Argo tells us exactly what is happening

    So let’s go gradually.

    And lets all be friends!

  476. John B.

    I’ve been retired from research for over twenty years and have not published in over 15. I assure you that the over 60 papers that I authored or coauthored were published in peer reviewed journals.I no longer need to publish or perish. My desire is to get to the scientific truth by analyzing the data and let others know what I find. I have asked R. Gates and others to review it with an open mind. If anyone is smart enough and willing to take what I have done and improve on it, they are welcome to publish it. The data tells us the truth as well if it is truthfull.

  477. Latitude says:

    John B says:
    September 12, 2011 at 1:08 pm
    If the 2010′s aren’t warmer than the 2000′s (which were, of course, warmer than the 1990′s), then AGW has a real problem. And as many “skeptics” are predicting cooling, everything should be pretty clear by 2020. Let’s hope that by then it is not too late.
    Agreed, RG?
    ================================================================
    But John, isn’t it all a matter of cherry picking?

    Looking at this graph, I have to ask why didn’t temperatures rise as high as they always have in the past?….and why did they flat line?

    I mean, the last temperature spike, the one we are in now, looks normal in the beginning. Then for some reason, it stopped warming and flat lined.

  478. John Whitman says:

    Jim Petrie says:
    September 12, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    ———————-

    Jim Petrie,

    I appreciate your upbeat and clear message.

    Thank you.

    John

  479. Jimmy Haigh says:

    Jim Petrie says:
    September 12, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    I agree with Jim. it reminds me of the joke with a young bull and an old bull discussing what to do with the field of cows…..

  480. 220mph says:

    John B says:
    September 12, 2011 at 1:08 pm
    APACHEWHOKNOWS says:
    September 12, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    John B. and or R. Gates etal, as your so sure of your sources, go ahead and give a date when say , it is much cooler, that the “its mans fault due to CO2″ side will say, “We were wrong”.

    Just a wild estimate please.

    —————–

    If the 2010′s aren’t warmer than the 2000′s (which were, of course, warmer than the 1990′s), then AGW has a real problem. And as many “skeptics” are predicting cooling, everything should be pretty clear by 2020. Let’s hope that by then it is not too late.

    Agreed, RG?

    No not “agreed” … please plot HADCRUT Global Mean – as just one source – and tell us the temperature trend from 2002 to today?

    Supported by Trenberth’s comment himself:

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

  481. Richard S Courtney says:

    R. Gates:

    I notice your usual climate change denialism at September 12, 2011 at 9:31 am where you say to me:

    “The current level of CO2 at 390 ppm or so is the highest in any period over the past 800,000 years. This is not in dispute, except among a very narrow range of rather uneducated or blinded individuals.”

    The only “delusion” is those who deny the referenced research of stomata data and chemical analyses which I cited. It shows there is nothing unusual and nothing unprecented in the present atmospheric CO2 concentration when compared to the record of the past 800,000 years.

    Your denial of documented climate change is noted as being part of your deliberate and self-inflicted lack of education and Nelsonian refusal to look at the evidence.

    And why the Dickens do you think “the past 800,000 years” is more significant than almost all of the past 2.5 billion years?

    Richard

  482. Richard S Courtney says:

    KR:

    Your post at September 12, 2011 at 11:40 am is plain daft. Merely asserting I am wrong does not refute the referenced stomata data or the chemical analyses I cited.

    And, importantly, I did NOT make anything up (you are projecting your behaviour onto me).
    Read the references I provided.

    Richard

  483. John B says:

    @Richard,

    The past 800K years is significant because it is the geologically recent past. It is also about 4 times the history of anatomically modern humans and also the period of ice core records. But the point is this (again):

    Yes, in the deep past different things happened, caused by different forcings. In the most recent 800K years (and probably longer), things were pretty stable until a species started digging up millions of year old carbon and burning it. At that point (and in geological terms it is a point, a twinkling of a geological eye) CO2 soared. Coincidence? Maybe, but other lines of evidence suggest otherwise.

    And you know this, Richard, don’t you?

  484. Richard S Courtney says:

    John B:

    I object to your lies.

    At September 12, 2011 at 12:14 pm you lie;

    “To all innocent bystanders:

    Note that R Gates and I quote science that you can look up for yourself online, at a library or by taking a class. Richard S Courtney and Fred H Haynie cite themselves.

    Make of that what you will.”

    NO!
    I did include reference to some of my own peer reviewed work (of which I was not the lead author) but anybody can read my posts and see the various other references I also provided. Anybody can click on the links I provided or google the references I provided to several papers by several others.

    Your lies about the science are deplorable.
    Your personally addressed lies are despicable.
    And all your lies are stupid because anybody can cntrl-f for my above posts and observe for themselves that your assertions are merely lies.

    Richard

  485. Latitude says:

    So John you’re saying if we do nothing, we can expect a 60% drop in CO2 levels.
    390 ppm X 60% = 234ppm
    CO2 levels will drop to 234 ppm…….

    Because that’s what the 800,000 year CO2 records show……

    http://jameswight.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/co2-levels-800000-bp-to-2010-e1269677933548.jpg?w=435&h=272

  486. Richard S Courtney says:

    John B:

    I insert my responses after each paragraph of your post to me at September 12, 2011 at 4:49 pm.

    You say:
    “The past 800K years is significant because it is the geologically recent past. It is also about 4 times the history of anatomically modern humans and also the period of ice core records. But the point is this (again):”

    I reply;
    That is twaddle because
    1. The past 5 million years is also “the geologically recent past”.
    2. The period of “4 times the history of anatomically modern humans” has no significance.
    3. The ice core records are disputed by other records (as I explained and referenced with respect to the stomata data) and if they were right (they are not) then their resolution would be inadequate to show fluctuations similar to that of e.g. the Mauna Loa data.

    You say;
    “Yes, in the deep past different things happened, caused by different forcings. In the most recent 800K years (and probably longer), things were pretty stable until a species started digging up millions of year old carbon and burning it. At that point (and in geological terms it is a point, a twinkling of a geological eye) CO2 soared. Coincidence? Maybe, but other lines of evidence suggest otherwise.”

    I reply:
    There were different forcings? Really? What were they?
    As I explained and referenced things were NOT “pretty stable until a species started digging up millions of year old carbon and burning it”.
    Atmospheric CO2 has NOT “soared” recently. It has merely varied as it has in the past.
    There is no “coincidence” because the CO2 must be rising or falling (it would not be a “coincidence” if it were falling, either).
    There are no “other lines of evidence” which suggest the recent rise was anthropogenic (although it may be in part or in whole) and you do not cite any.

    You conclude;
    “And you know this, Richard, don’t you?”

    I reply:
    I know what I have stated here and substantiated with references that anybody can check. And if you do not know that then it can only be because you have refused to acknowledge the facts.

    Richard

  487. R. Gates says:

    Richard S Courtney says:
    September 12, 2011 at 4:33 pm
    R. Gates:

    And why the Dickens do you think “the past 800,000 years” is more significant than almost all of the past 2.5 billion years?
    _____

    It seems that the timeframe that allowed the proliferation and emergence of homo sapiens and modern civilization would be the most important for knowing how the climate might change and affect that very same species and civilization. I don’t especially care about happened in the distant past when the atmosphere was far different and the sun far cooler, etc. I am far more interested in what happened in a period similar to our own, but with the atmospheric composition at our current levels of greenhouse gases (or slightly greater) as that is where it seems we are rapidly headed.

    So, in addition to having the greatest amount of hard data on the past 800,000 years, it is also the period that saw the emergence of Homo Sapiens, and more importantly, the general cooling of the planet from the previous warmth seen in the mid-Pliocene and Miocene. Now that our CO2 is at levels last seen during the Pliocene (before Homo Sapiens emerged) it might be nice to see how this might impact our ability to feed and care for the 7+ billion of us on the planet. In this regard, I don’t care how some tree shrew, which may have been our ancestor 60 million years ago living in a steamy jungle, may have survived that climate with higher CO2…I’m much more interested in seeing how climate change might impact modern humans based more recent trends in Earth’s climate…thus, the past 800,000 years seems most relevant.

  488. R. Gates says:

    Richard S Courtney says:
    September 12, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    ” The ice core records are disputed by other records (as I explained and referenced with respect to the stomata data)”
    ___
    Stomata data is far too noisy and easily corrupted. At best they record local, ground level CO2, which has a high degree of local variability, and does not reflect the general well-mixed atmospheric levels of CO2. Ice-Core samples are far better at recording the well-mixed general atmospheric levels of CO2. Consistency and comparisions between Greenland Ice and Antarctic ice have proven this. No such global comparisons can be made with stomata with the same degree of reliability.

  489. Latitude says:

    R. Gates says:
    September 12, 2011 at 5:22 pm
    “thus, the past 800,000 years seems most relevant.”
    ===============================================
    Good, if we believe you, then we have nothing to worry about.

    The past 800,000 year record clearly shows a sharp increase in CO2 levels to a high of around 280-300 ppm, then a slow 100,000 year drop to a consistent 180 ppm every time.
    Using you same 40% increase you like to use, only backwards…..
    That’s a ~60% decrease in CO2 levels.

    ….and using the proven climate science method of hind casting

    We can expect CO2 levels to drop to way below the now know “safe” level of 280 ppm and stay there for the next 100,000 years.

    http://jameswight.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/co2-levels-800000-bp-to-2010-e1269677933548.jpg?w=435&h=272

  490. KR says:

    Richard S Courtney

    Stomatal studies show extremely high variability, probably due to local plant conditions (such as drought).

    Ice cores, on the other hand, are physically trapped bubbles of CO2, not proxies, but actual samples of the atmosphere. And there is no physically supportable manner in which CO2 concentrations in those physically trapped bubbles could decrease _below_ local concentrations. You should read Indermühle 1999, http://www.sciencemag.org/content/286/5446/1815.full, which directly addressed the contentions by Wagner et al regarding high CO2 variability over the last half-millenia.

    Your preference for stomatal studies (not as direct, hence not as precise) over ice cores looks a lot like confirmation bias.

  491. R. Gates says:

    John B says:
    September 12, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    “If the 2010′s aren’t warmer than the 2000′s (which were, of course, warmer than the 1990′s), then AGW has a real problem. And as many “skeptics” are predicting cooling, everything should be pretty clear by 2020. Let’s hope that by then it is not too late.

    Agreed, RG?
    ___
    For the most part, yes. 2010-2019 should be warmer than 2000-2009, and if not, then there’d better be some very good reasons for it. For example, suppose we get two or even three Pinatubo sized volcanoes to go off between now and 2019? We could see some real cooling from those kinds of short-term forcings. But, let’s suppose that 2010-2019 is flat-line, and their are no major volcanoes, but suppose we actually do see a Maunder type minimum? I try to be open minded about all the factors that play into climate. My general contention is that even with a Maunder type solar minimum, we should still see a rise in temps, as the forcing from the current levels of CO2, methane, and N20 is greater or equal to the forcing in the opposite direction we’d get from a Maunder Minimum, even with the most extreme of GCR/Cloud effects as envisioned by some.

  492. R. Gates says:

    APACHEWHOKNOWS says:
    September 12, 2011 at 12:53 pm
    John B. and or R. Gates etal, as your so sure of your sources, go ahead and give a date when say , it is much cooler, that the “its mans fault due to CO2″ side will say, “We were wrong”.

    Just a wild estimate please.

    ______

    Some new science will have to emerge to explain all the rise in ocean heat content and global temperatures. At least some of the rise in these parameters cannot be currently explained by any other mechanism other than the forcing brought about by anthropogenic greenhouse gases. So, tell me when we’ll get a new science related to explain all the full cause of the 20th century and early 21st warming, and I’ll tell you when the AGW theory can be abandoned.

  493. R. Gates says:

    John Whitman says:
    September 12, 2011 at 11:41 am
    R. Gates says:
    September 12, 2011 at 11:00 am

    As we now have multiple confirmatory ice cores from different sites in both Greenland and Antarctica, the “uncertainty band” for the accuracy of CO2 levels over the past 400,000 to 800,000 years is quite narrow. High degree of confidence and accuracy of this data. [JMW emphasis]

    ————-

    R. Gates,

    Again, for the second time, I respectfully ask for the uncertainty bands on the ice core CO2 proxies upon which you are basing your assertion “level of CO2 at 390 ppm or so is the highest in any period over the past 800,000 years. This is not in dispute, except among a very narrow range of rather uneducated or blinded individuals.”

    Your assertion is so clear that I would appreciate your clear evidence. I ask this respectfully and sincerely. I am certainly willing to learn the basis of your very clear assertion.

    John

    ____
    Depending on techniques used for measurement, the uncertainty ranges from about +3 to +22 ppm on the high side to -3 to -22 ppm on the low side in some studies:

    Check out page 408 here: http://tiny.cc/94zst

    To as low as 0.9 ppm in other more refined technqies:

    http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/igsoc/jog/2009/00000055/00000191/art00012

    Most importantly though is that multi-pronged approaches, using multiple techniques, confirm the basic accuracy of the CO2 record as reflected in the ice core analysis. See:

    http://www.clim-past-discuss.net/7/437/2011/cpd-7-437-2011.pdf

    Some other interesting sources on this topic or closely related:

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v461/n7263/abs/nature08393.html

    http://epic.awi.de/epic/Main?entry_dn=Khl2009b&static=yes&page=abstract&lang=en

  494. Richard S Courtney says:

    R Gates and KR:

    Your posts at September 12, 2011 at 5:28 pm and September 12, 2011 at 5:41 pm, respectively, show you share the same great ignorance of the limitations of the ice core data.

    Ice closure time provides one important problem that your posts display you do not know.

    The ice takes time to solidify and, thus, close to trap CO2. The IPCC says the closure time is 83 years. During this time the ice is porous and is called ‘firn’. And, importantly, ice is coated by a layer of liquid water at all temperatures down to -40 deg.C. (Incidentally, this liquid layer is why ice is slippery: it was discovered by Faraday but the reason for it was not determined until recent decades).

    CO2 dissolves in water so it moves from regions of high concentration in the firn to regions of low concentration in the firn as a result of ionic diffusion.

    The effect is to ‘smear’ the CO2 through the firn of (the IPCC says) 83 years of ice accumulation. Thus, the trapped CO2 is smoothed in concentration. The resulting effect is similar to conducting an 83-year running mean on concentration data from CO2 trapped in individual years.

    Therefore, the ice core data provides falsely low temporal variation in atmospheric CO2 concentration. Indicated high concentrations are lowered by diffusion and indicated low concentrations are raised by diffusion (other problems with ice cores mean all the indicated values are low, but here I am considering the effect of ice closure time on temporal variation).

    I remind that in my above post at September 12, 2011 at 3:44 am I wrote:

    “The leaves of plants adjust the sizes of their stomata with changing atmospheric CO2 concentration and this permits the determination of past atmospheric CO2 concentrations by analysis of leaves preserved, for example, in peat bogs. (e.g. Retallack (2001), Wagner et al. (2004), Kouwenberg et al. (2003)). The disagreement with the ice core data is clearly seen in all published studies of the stomata data. For example, as early as 1999 Wagner reported that studies of birch leaves indicated a rapid rise of atmospheric CO2 concentration from 260 to 327 ppmv (which is similar to the rise in the twentieth century) from late Glacial to Holocene conditions. This ancient rise of 67 ppmv in atmospheric CO2 concentration is indicated by the stomata data at a time when the ice core data indicate only 20 ppmv rise. (refs. Retallack G, Nature vol. 411 287 (2001), Wagener F, et al. Virtual Journal Geobiology, vol.3. Issue 9, Section 2B (2004), Kouenberg et al. American Journal of Botany, 90, pp 610-619 (2003), Wagner F et al. Science vol. 284 p 92 (1999))”

    That difference between the ice core data and the stomata data is NOT “noise” in the stomata data. It is an example of the much better temporal resolution provided by the stomata data.

    And the smoothing of ice core indications means the ice core data cannot indicate variations similar to those measured at Mauna Loa since 1958 (as my above quotation illustrates).

    All your assertions concerning the most recent 800,000 years are based on your failure to understand the several limitations of the ice core data. Ice closure time is only one of those limitations.

    Richard

  495. Bob B says:

    Just wow–so R Gates–are you trying to say the ocean heat content has not risen and fallen along with the past temperature changes where the extremes where much higher then the very recent tiny tiny blip?—just wow?

  496. Time will tell all. New Science or not tick tock goes the fact clock.
    Science does not work so well when out of balance as it is now.
    So, too do I await New Science that does not have the dislike of mankind as its out of balance plum bob.

  497. KR says:

    Richard S Courtney“Your posts at September 12, 2011 at 5:28 pm and September 12, 2011 at 5:41 pm, respectively, show you share the same great ignorance of the limitations of the ice core data.”

    To reiterate, your use of a subset of stomata data (see also Beerling et al 1995, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jqs.3390100407/abstract, for a much more consistent view of said stomata data), from an indirect proxy, directly contradicted by both other stomata and multiple ice core data sets, shows cherry-picking on your part.

    At any rate, actual scientific discussion on this thread pretty much stopped >150 posts ago.

    Adieu.

  498. KR says:

    Side topic from the Spencer-Dessler discussion, but relevant to the most recent posts:

    For those claiming we haven’t affected CO2, see the century-resolution rate of CO2 changes here: http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5123/5304093969_dc21d0f5d1.jpg

  499. Richard S Courtney says:

    KR:

    At September 12, 2011 at 7:09 pm you say;
    “actual scientific discussion on this thread pretty much stopped >150 posts ago.”

    No. You, R Gates and John B started snowing this thread with propaganda some >150 posts ago then several – including me – responded by refuting your nonsense with referenced, peer reviewed scientific information.

    The problem is that you (and other warmists) would not notice science if it could and did hit you on the head with a 5 lb hammer.

    Richard

  500. R. Gates says:

    Some new science will have to emerge to explain all the rise in ocean heat content and global temperatures. At least some of the rise in these parameters cannot be currently explained by any other mechanism other than the forcing brought about by anthropogenic greenhouse gases. So, tell me when we’ll get a new science related to explain all the full cause of the 20th century and early 21st warming, and I’ll tell you when the AGW theory can be abandoned.

    I’m sick and tired of such stupid remarks. This is a ridiculous argument from ignorance …, it must be one or the other and if it isn’t CO2 induced warming it must NOT be CO2 warming and as there clearly is a warming effect of CO2 it must all be CO2. Voodoo claptrap!

    No wonder people are turning away from your argument in droves particularly the scientifically literate people who are so influential in public opinion on science.

    CO2 warming can be expected to produce around 0.5 to 1C warming per doubling of CO2 (if we are able to double CO2 given the state of the economy). That only explains a fraction of the (apparent) warming in the 20th century. To suggest the rest must also be CO2 and then make up positive feedbacks to invent a way to make the models fit the temperature is in my opinion fraud as there is no justification and plenty of evidence against it. In particular solar activity is now almost certainly responsible for a large chuck. Natural variation from other sources is bound to make up another substantial chunck. And last and not least is the clear and obvious instrumentation errors for which Anthony deserves a lot of credit for exposing.

    As I said. This argument that we must “explain all the full cause of the 20th century” is claptrap. A doctor doesn’t look at healthy patient and say: “ooohhh I’m not certain why their temperature is a fraction of a degree higher, I’ve got to find out why? Common sense, tells us we only need to investigate where there is a real problem. The question is not “what caused all the 20th century climate variation”, but “is there a problem“? And the answer most certainly is that there is virtually no sign whatsoever that raised levels of CO2 are causing any significant problem which we do not ordinarily tolerate. Humans have cut down vast swathes of forest for agriculture. Even at its worst, the effect of the minuscule amount of CO2 is not going to be anything near as bad as the impact humans already have on the environment. That is not to say we shouldn’t try to act if there are particularly eco-systems that may be affected, but it certainly does not mean wrecking the whole western economy based on bad science, jumped political views and a hang wringing self-deluding group who think that somehow their bad conscience about burning fossil fuels means the rest of should go without.

  501. Regarding Energy and “Climate Change”.

    There has never been a comprehensive independent scientific review of any IPCC report by a member government or by an official audit body. Nonetheless, the following five events, drawn from a much larger group of happenings, have demonstrated to all the political nature of the IPCC and its scientific advisers, and greatly damaged the credibility of the organisation as a source of accurate policy advice on climate change:

    In
    December, 2008, 103 scientists, including 24 Emeritus Professors, wrote to the Secretary General of the United Nations about what they saw as the unsubstantiated, alarmist projections of warming by the IPCC, concluding that the “approach of curbing CO2 emissions is likely to increase human suffering from future climate change rather than to decrease it – because attempts to drastically cut CO2 emissions will seriously slow development”.

    In November, 2009, the leaking of the “Climategate” papers drew public attention to the malfeasant way in which scientists at the Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia, undertook their research on the IPCC’s global temperature record;
    During 2010, a group of more than 40 Fellows of the Royal Society of London insisted on a revision of the Society’s (formerly alarmist) statement on global warming; the revised document acknowledged, inter alia, that ”It is not possible to determine exactly how much the Earth will warm or exactly how the climate will change in the future …”.
    In February this year, 36 leading US scientists wrote an open-letter to Congress in which they disagreed with the IPCC’s conclusions, citing 678 peer-reviewed references in support; and
    Also this year, a large group of members of the American Physics Society described the IPCC account of climate change as an “international fraud, the largest we have ever seen”.

    It is clear, therefore, that large groups of highly qualified, professional persons exist who reject both the IPCC’s dangerous global warming paradigm, and also the need for government action to reduce carbon dioxide emissions

  502. Bill Marsh says:

    ““These calculations show that clouds did not cause significant climate change over the last decade”…

    Climate change over the last decade? I thought we have been endlessly lectured that you can’t measure ‘climate change’ over a period as short as 10 years?

  503. John Whitman says:

    R. Gates says:
    September 12, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Depending on techniques used for measurement, the uncertainty ranges from about +3 to +22 ppm on the high side to -3 to -22 ppm on the low side in some studies: [ . . . ]

    ———————–

    R. Gates,

    Thank you for your response on the uncertainty of ice core proxies of CO2.

    I will continue our discourse after a delay while I am on a business trip.

    If I do not pick up with you again on this thread then I will do so on another thread in the near future.

    A heads up on my thoughts regarding the total uncertainty of ice core proxies: 1) ice cores inherently have physical phenomena causing very long term smoothing of CO2 results and 2) there are statistical problems with ice core data sets that are very similar to those found by McShane and Wyner (2010) for the proxies for temperature.

    John

  504. John Whitman says:
    September 12, 2011 at 11:41 am
    R. Gates says:
    September 12, 2011 at 11:00 am

    John,

    If you read the referencies that R. Gates cites, I think you will conclude that he doesn’t have the basic knowledge to understand what you are asking or is deliberately trying to misslead you to support his biased beliefs. The “uncertainty ranges” he has given you are the best guesses of the researchers as to the accuracy of their measurements and has nothing to do with site to site variations or even variations in the time estimates that can range from around 100 to over 3000 years. Read my analysis and come to your own conclusions. Just click on my name.

  505. rakesh12 says:

    Hi
    Some please explain. Are the datasets different? Does regression mean different things in the two papers? What’s going on?

    Thanks

  506. KR says:

    September 12, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    KR, I’m pleased you linked to that “hockey stick” graph. It is a good illustration showing that the ice core CO2 data are not good proxies for atmospheric concentrations. In this case where rates of change are being compared, the differences in time resolution is the factor that produces the hocky stick. The time resolution for the ice core data varies from around 100 years near the surface to over 3000 years at depths. Compare that to atmospheric measurements with resolutions that can show annual variations in rates of change. It makes no since to compare averages over 3000 years with averages for one year. The long term averages will never reveal the relative rapid swings that we observe.

  507. KR says:

    Fred H. Haynie

    I linked that _century_ resolution graph for the specific purpose of comparing recent CO2 levels to ice core samples, which have varying resolutions.

    The Siple ice core (Taylor 2003, http://icebubbles.ucsd.edu/Publications/siple22ka.pdf) shows decadal sampling over the last 2000 years, overlapping with the recent direct instrumental record. Andersen 2004 (http://homepages.ulb.ac.be/~desamyn/NATURE02805_published-version_09-09-04.pdf), has 50 year sampling data going back over 100kY. Luthi 2008 (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v453/n7193/full/nature06949.html) shows data going to 800kY with the coarsest resolution being 570 years – not as good as the recent data, but far better than the 3kY you quote. And the roughly 70-80 (depending on local conditions) firn solidification that averages out values, if applied to the instrumental record of the last 150 years, still shows the recent excursion in CO2 change rates.

    A century time resolution for CO2 deltas (hence matching instrumental data to the ice core averaging caused by compaction and bubble isolation) is more than sufficient for comparisons to ice core data. Results? No evidence for CO2 levels over 290 in the last 800kY, no evidence whatsoever for rates of change in CO2 within an order of magnitude of what’s happened over the last 150 years.

    “The long term averages will never reveal the relative rapid swings that we observe.” – Funny thing, though, the rapid swing shown in the graph I linked is a swing in a long term (100 year) averages.

  508. KR says:

    Sorry, mis-typing in the last post. “And the roughly 70-80 (depending on local conditions) firn solidification that averages out values” needs the additional word year – that’s about how many years of CO2 get averaged while the ice compacts.

  509. To KR,

    The links you cite for time resolution of ice core samples is for delta D not CO2. The high resolution data for Greenland can detect seasonal changes because they are thin slices. They have to extract trapped air with small amounts of CO2 from much longer samples in order to get enough air to measure. On top of that, they do not make measurements on every meter of the ice core. Samples may be taken up to 50 meters apart. Take a look at some of the depth/CO2 raw data. Another factor to consider is that the estimated values for time have error ranges that increase with depth. I stick with my assessment.

  510. KR says:

    We have sampling at 50 year intervals for the last 100kY, as per Andersen. Even the Vostok cores (perhaps the worst case, for earliest periods) represent averaging over only a couple of hundred years (http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=lhzK1-woaiQC&oi=fnd&pg=PA407&dq=vostok+ice+core&ots=Ok0OPci_0p&sig=dF1KHSvGdlnOWJpqJiubXw3Ui-o).

    I still have to disagree. Century-level averages should be sufficient to test the hypothesis. Although, if you want, you can take that linked graph, average it over 200 or even 500 year periods, and the recent CO2 delta will still be unique.

    Results? No excursions of CO2 at current levels at any time in the last 800kY, appeals to natural variation notwithstanding.

  511. After I initially commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any method you possibly can take away me from that service? Thanks!

    [why not go to "manage Subscriptions" at the bottom of the email? . . that usually get's my stuff sorted out.]

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