IPCC, models, HadCRUT, and cherrymandering

The Rest of the Cherries: 140 decades of Climate Models vs. Observations

by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

Since one of the criticisms of our recent Remote Sensing paper was that we cherry-picked the climate models we chose to compare the satellite observations of climate variations to, here are all 140 10-year periods from all 14 climate models’ 20th Century runs we analyzed (click to see the full res. version):

As you can see, the observations of the Earth (in blue, CERES radiative energy budget versus HadCRUT3 surface temperature variations) are outside the range of climate model behavior, at least over the span of time lags we believe are most related to feedbacks, which in turn determine the sensitivity of the climate system to increasing greenhouse gas concentrations. (See Lindzen & Choi, 2011 for more about time lags).

Now, at ZERO time lag, there are a few decades from a few models (less than 10% of them) which exceed the satellite measurements. So, would you then say that the satellite measurements are “not inconsistent” with the models? I wouldn’t.

Especially since the IPCC’s best estimate of future warming (about 3 deg C.) from a doubling of atmospheric CO2 is almost exactly the AVERAGE response of ALL of the climate models. Note that the average of all 140 model decades (dashed black line in the above graph) is pretty darn far from the satellite data.

So, even with all of 140 cherries picked, we still see evidence there is something wrong with the IPCC models in general. And I believe the problem is they are too sensitive, and thus are predicting too much future global warming.

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129 Responses to IPCC, models, HadCRUT, and cherrymandering

  1. sharper00 says:

    “So, even with all of 140 cherries picked, we still see evidence there is something wrong with the IPCC models in general. “

    Ok but you could have avoided significant criticism by running this analysis in the first place. I don’t really understand why you didn’t and this post doesn’t explain why.

    “And I believe the problem is they are too sensitive, and thus are predicting too much future global warming.”

    According to your own paper the most sensitive and least sensitive models failed. It suggests the problem is not sensitivity but another factor of model competence. Based on Trenberth and Dessler it seems like ENSO simulation ability is a more important factor. What do you think?

    Also: Do you have any suggestions for what’s missing from the models? Is it possible to produce a model which reproduces both ENSO and the CERES measurements but has a low climate sensitivity?

  2. PiperPaul says:

    “Cherrymandering”, I love it!

  3. Bob B. says:

    Well now you’re just cherrypicking your reality. What about all the other alternative realities? /sarc off

  4. glacierman says:

    “And I believe the problem is they are too sensitive, and thus are predicting too much future global warming.”

    It comes down to where you put your stock. Seems the folks that put more stock in the models are missing something. Model output is not data. It should not take a pHD to understand that.

    When models do not predict accurately – based on actual data – the model should be reevaluated. In a post-normal science world, they simply adjust the data to fit the models. This is utter nonsense.

  5. jonjermey says:

    As my father used to say about his second-hand suits: “It fits where it touches.”

  6. David S says:

    Looks like a bunch of noise to me – with 14 models there are bound to be some that track observed outcomes reasonably well for a short period of time, and some that have been more diligently retrofitted to hindcast earlier decades accurately. It will be interesting to pick the three that have performed the best over the last 10 years and see whether they do well over the next 10. I would estimate that each one has about a 7.14% chance of being the most accurate over the next 10 years, or perhaps slightly less because they may have been disadvantaged by over-enthusiastic retrofitting.

  7. pat says:

    no cherries here:

    22 Sept: Wired: David Kravets: CIA Says Global-Warming Intelligence is ‘Classified’
    Two years ago, the Central Intelligence Agency announced it was creating a center to analyze the geopolitical ramifications of “phenomena such as desertification, rising sea levels, population shifts and heightened competition for natural resources.”
    But whatever work the Center on Climate Change and National Security has done remains secret.
    In response to National Security Archive scholar Jeffrey Richelson’s Freedom of Information Act request, the CIA said all of its work is “classified.”
    “We completed a thorough search for records responsive to your request and located material that we determined is currently and properly classified and must be denied in its entirety,” (.pdf) Susan Viscuso, the agency’s information and privacy coordinator, wrote Richelson…
    Steven Aftergood, who directs the Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy, blasted the CIA’s response to Richelson.
    The CIA’s position, he said, means all “the center’s work is classified and there is not even a single study, or a single passage in a single study, that could be released without damage to national security. That’s a familiar song, and it became tiresome long ago.”…

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/09/cia-classifies-global-warming-intelligence/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wired%2Findex+%28Wired%3A+Index+3+%28Top+Stories+2%29%29

  8. sharper00 says:

    @glacierman

    “Model output is not data.”

    Of course they’re not data. The only time people claim they are is when someone is just about to disprove the notion.

    Models are purely a representation of what’s currently understood about climate. No individual is able to be an expert on more than a small fraction of the climate system and models allow scientists to work with representations of the understanding of that system.

    To put it another way, if there were no models what would Dr Spencer test the CERES data against? How is he supposed to determine how well climate science in totality understands and predicts that data?

    “When models do not predict accurately – based on actual data – the model should be reevaluated”

    It would be pretty surprising if there was anyone who thought models don’t need a lot of work before they fully explain how climate works. The issue is to do with the applicability and usefulness of models. They may not be able to tell you if it’ll rain on Wednesday next week but they may well be able to tell you how Arctic sea ice will respond over decades to warming temperatures or how rainfall patterns will be affected over decades.

  9. James Sexton says:

    Dr. Spencer, you can beat them over the head with the obvious, they will refuse to see what you’re hitting them with. But, well done, and a nice response to the critics of your selection.

  10. Scott Covert says:

    Thanks Dr Spencer.
    I think your paper contained adequate explanation to make your point. Adding all this extra data would just have muddied the waters and would have gived the peer reviewers more junk to wade through causing more delays.
    It’s good that you add the fringe data later when you are challenged instead of posting a link and saying “Look it up yourself” like some of the climate elite. You work hard.

  11. DocMartyn says:

    Don’t forget that you CI are the outlines of the outer maxima and minima. Only a tiny bit of blue emerges from this mess.

  12. Theo Goodwin says:

    Powerful work, Dr. Roy. Keep blasting them with the basics and watch them whimper. Most likely, they will give up the climate models for paleo-reconstructions. That gives them an advantage because paleo-reconstructions are even more fantastic than climate models and, therefore, safer from criticism based on actual observation of the real world.

  13. temp says:

    sharper00 says:
    September 22, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    To put it another way, if there were no models what would Dr Spencer test the CERES data against? How is he supposed to determine how well climate science in totality understands and predicts that data?”

    Well two things here…

    1. He would do what he did do and match it vs the real data…

    2. What was science before we had computer models?

    Hate to break it to you but models are nothing more then the ramblings of the drunk guys at the bar. Sure when your drunk they make sense… sure to the drunks rambling it makes sense to him…Sure even drunks at the bar can make profound leaps of logic and thought…

    However going to a bar to taking down the predictions/ramblings of every drunk and comparing it to real data will get into a range… and that avg range will be somewhat close to the data… However just like models its just a matter of having enough noise short term to find a “valid” prediction. Then by citing said valid predict from one drunk… and then another for another case you have global warming or really anything.

  14. Bill Yarber says:

    Sharperoo

    ALL of the dire predictions of the temperature increase for our climate, and the calamatous consequences of a 2-6C warning, come from these models! But they have gotten nothing right over the past 12 years. No abnormal warming in the equatorial troposphere. No acceleration in sea level rise, which appears has begun to slow. No sighificant warming in the SST. No statistical temperature rise since ’98, despite GISS “modification” of historical data. The models are not producing valid projections over a period of 10 years, why should we believe they will miraculously be accurate after the end od this century? The AGW proponents can’t find the missing heat and have “theorized” it is in the deep oceans, not already out into space as shown by Spencer.

    When the models projections fail to match observations, it is time to reanalyze the models!

    Bill

  15. Verity Jones says:

    Cherries seem to be the flavour of the month

  16. chris y says:

    Bob B. says- “Well now you’re just cherrypicking your reality. What about all the other alternative realities?”

    Agreed. I strongly recommend standing on the shoulders of other climate giants who pioneered the wind speed temperature proxy for finding a mid-troposphere hot spot, and use measurements of low Earth orbit wind speeds as a proxy for TOA radiation flux…

  17. AJStrata says:

    As an engineer working in space (figuratively) I find this inability to determine models bogus when they fail to model reality accurately really sad. We use all sorts of sophisticated models in the business and exploration of space. How do you think we keep satellites in their positions, launch things the size of the Space Shuttle safely into orbit hundreds to thousands of miles up to rendezvous with a station or an orbital slot, or how we time our swing around planets to launch a spacecraft millions of miles towards its next encounter with incredible precision and timing?

    These models reflect multiple gravitational forces and counter forces (like atmospheric drag, solar radiating, etc). They are accurate – they have to be. Miss in space (which is mind boggling vast) and you can lose your many $100’s of millions toy. These models’ accuracy degrades within 7 days to the point they have to be updated with real measurements in order to resync them to reality (the natural forces on satellites in any trajectory are so random and decoupled only re-measurement can bring the models back in sync with reality). Within a month they predictions are pretty much useless.

    These models have been refined over 5 decades of space exploration – yet they cannot predict out a month. We constantly use RF links over hours of time to measure the position and velocity in order to re-tune the models to reality. Within a month we could lose the ability to know where a satellite is if it did not squawk back to us and give us a hint.

    So when I see this nonsense about scattered temp measurements which are then smeared over massive geographical grids in an attempt to model and predict years and decades out something much more complex and dynamic than a mass traveling in free space I just shake my head in shame. Who are we kidding?

    Honestly, what does it take to infuse a little humility and just realize this statistical flaying around with the temp record is a joke? With incredibly high accuracy all we have proven in 20 years of alarmist studies is we don’t have the knowledge or data or models to unravel the Earth’s climate.

    When a model does not produce an accurate result it is wrong. When it says 2+2 = 5 it is wrong. Close does not count in math, it is a binary situation. randomly getting close is not correlation either. And correlation does not mean guaranteed causation.

    I just find this sad. In any other industry this would not even be funny. You can twist the knobs all day long on climate stats and models, but in the end we do not have the data to tease out sub degree changes over decades. I know I am repeating myself, but even CRU admits their 1961 temperatures are only good to within 2-4°C. So if the annual data is that noisy, there is no way to tease out a global annual signal of 0.8°C. Especially when the samples are thinly spread, of unknown quality and timing, and span such a short geological time period.

    OK off the soap box again.

  18. Theo Goodwin says:

    sharper00 says:
    September 22, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    “According to your own paper the most sensitive and least sensitive models failed. It suggests the problem is not sensitivity but another factor of model competence. Based on Trenberth and Dessler it seems like ENSO simulation ability is a more important factor. What do you think?”

    So, you think that selecting just the models that “do a good job” on ENSO would be a more reasonable test of the models? Why?

    Once again, we see why models are garbage. When working with models, one has to refer to the model’s “ENSO simulation ability.” (That reference is accurate, because only the whole model can simulate ENSO, no part of it can.) If you had a physical theory, you could identify those particular physical hypotheses that specify the ENSO phenomena by implying it. Then you could do further testing on those particular hypotheses. But models are all or nothing. The whole model generates each simulation and, because no piece of computer code is “about physical phenomena,” (has its own cognitive content) the model has to stand or fall on its own. In other words, the task now is to rejigger the whole darn thing.

    The answer to my question above should now be obvious. Each of the models has failed on some subset of the empirical evidence and so it matters not at all that some of them are good on ENSO. All of them are failures.

    Now, it will be of interest to modelers that some models are better than others on ENSO. Fine, let them carefully investigate the models and rejigger toward ENSO similitude. But to claim that one, some or all of the models is a more accurate representation of Earth’s climate because it does a good job on ENSO is a misunderstanding so fundamental that it is akin to asserting: “Forest, I see no forest; there are only trees here.”

  19. Mike Bromley the Canucklehead says:

    sharper00 says:
    September 22, 2011 at 1:00 pm
    [Y]ou could have avoided significant criticism by running this analysis in the first place. I don’t really understand why you didn’t and this post doesn’t explain why.

    Nor did it intend to, I believe. Straw Man.

  20. davidmhoffer says:

    Sherper00;
    Ok but you could have avoided significant criticism by running this analysis in the first place. I don’t really understand why you didn’t and this post doesn’t explain why.>>>

    What remains unexplained? Dr Spencer published a paper that was focused on sensitivity and so compared to the 4 most sensitive, and the 4 least sensitive models from the IPCC suite. It was his critics that came up with this nonsense about evading the issues by excluding the other 14 models and not including the ones the came closest to modeling ENSO. A ridiculous argument made to look all the more ridiculous by Dr. Spencer showing the other 14 as well, and none of them match actual observations either. At best, they’re less wrong.,,,sometimes. But over all, they’re wrong, Wrong, WRONG!

    So what is it that you are accusing Dr Spencer of hiding? Why must you muddy the fact that he’s responded to his critics with the very results they insisted he was avoiding comparing to, and now that he has and made them look just as foolish as the first 8 models did, you imply that he avoided these for some reason? What is to be gained by implying such a thing when the actual comparison that was complained about is now right in front of you, and shows nothing more than what the comparison to the first 8 models showed:

    That they are wrong!

  21. Theo Goodwin says:

    sharper00 says:
    September 22, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    “Models are purely a representation of what’s currently understood about climate. No individual is able to be an expert on more than a small fraction of the climate system and models allow scientists to work with representations of the understanding of that system.”

    In the arena of scientific method, to claim that “A represents B” is to claim that A describes B. Models describe nothing. Models generate simulations which fail to match observed reality to some degree.

    “To put it another way, if there were no models what would Dr Spencer test the CERES data against? How is he supposed to determine how well climate science in totality understands and predicts that data?”

    Dr. Spencer is not testing the data. He is using the data to show that no model can generate a simulation of the data that tracks somewhere close to the actual data. In my terminology, he is once again demonstrating that models are garbage that cannot substitute for physical theory.

    “It would be pretty surprising if there was anyone who thought models don’t need a lot of work before they fully explain how climate works.”

    A model cannot explain anything. It is computer code. Computer code is not about anything, does not describe anything, and has no cognitive content of its own. In science, to explain something is to produce the physical hypotheses (having their own cognitive content) that describe the natural regularities which caused the phenomenon explained.

    “The issue is to do with the applicability and usefulness of models. They may not be able to tell you if it’ll rain on Wednesday next week but they may well be able to tell you how Arctic sea ice will respond over decades to warming temperatures or how rainfall patterns will be affected over decades.”

    In science, prediction and explanation go hand-in-hand. If A explains B then A can be used to predict B and vice-versa. If A cannot be used to predict B then A cannot be used to explain B. Neither prediction nor explanation are relative to time. If A cannot predict B today then A cannot predict B at any time. And that is a very good thing. Otherwise, charlatans would be able to say that their predictions cannot be tested today but will prove true when tested at a future date after the grant money has been paid.

  22. Richard S Courtney says:

    sharper00:

    Your two above posts are incorrect.

    Your first at September 22, 2011 at 1:00 pm is directed to Roy Spencer and says;

    “Ok but you could have avoided significant criticism by running this analysis in the first place. I don’t really understand why you didn’t and this post doesn’t explain why.”

    There was no “significant criticism”: as his above article proves, there was only pointless and inappropriate carping.

    And your comment responds to his statement of opinion saying;
    “And I believe the problem is they are too sensitive, and thus are predicting too much future global warming.”
    by asserting;
    “According to your own paper the most sensitive and least sensitive models failed. It suggests the problem is not sensitivity but another factor of model competence. Based on Trenberth and Dessler it seems like ENSO simulation ability is a more important factor. What do you think?”

    That is a silly question. It ignores his opinion it is claiming to answer. You may have a different opinion but that is for you to justify and not him.

    Then at September 22, 2011 at 1:40 pm you assert to glacierman;

    “To put it another way, if there were no models what would Dr Spencer test the CERES data against? How is he supposed to determine how well climate science in totality understands and predicts that data?”

    That is a denial of the scientific method. Indeed, it is the reverse of science. In science models are tested against empirical data and the data cannot be tested against the models.

    This is because empirical data are observations of reality but – as you admit – models are merely representations of understandings of reality. The data can show the understandings are flawed but the understandings cannot show reality is other than it is observed to be.

    Please refrain from posting pseudoscience.

    Richard

  23. neill says:

    “It would be pretty surprising if there was anyone who thought models don’t need a lot of work before they fully explain how climate works.”

    Politicians across the globe (and their allies in science/academia) are confident enough in the models’ catastrophic predictions to throw wrenches in the economic works in their futile efforts to ‘save the planet’. I don’t recall a preamble about how ‘these models need a lot of work’.

  24. Theo Goodwin says:

    AJStrata says:
    September 22, 2011 at 2:43 pm
    “As an engineer working in space (figuratively) I find this inability to determine models bogus when they fail to model reality accurately really sad. We use all sorts of sophisticated models in the business and exploration of space. How do you think we keep satellites in their positions, launch things the size of the Space Shuttle safely into orbit hundreds to thousands of miles up to rendezvous with a station or an orbital slot, or how we time our swing around planets to launch a spacecraft millions of miles towards its next encounter with incredible precision and timing?”

    Do you really think that what you use to launch and manage satellites is a model? Newton’s physical theory allowed him to demonstrate during his lifetime how to launch an object into orbit around Earth. The models you use are not substitutes for physical theory. They are ingeniously designed programs that have built into them the management tools that you need to launch and manage satellites. But those who put together your models used the physical theory that was created by Newton and improved over the years. And that is the big difference between what you do and what Warmista modelers do. Warmista modelers have no physical theory that can explain Earth’s climate. Sadly, they use their models as substitutes for physical theory and tell our government and our people that the models are theories. No model is a theory.

    The proof is in the pudding. If you doubt what I have said then simply ask a Warmista modeler for the physical theory which is embodied in his model. He won’t be able to show it to you. All he can offer you is his model. Warmista have no physical theory of Earth’s climate.

  25. neill says:

    AJStrata says:
    September 22, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    As an engineer working in space (figuratively) I find this inability to determine models bogus when they fail to model reality accurately really sad. We use all sorts of sophisticated models in the business and exploration of space. How do you think we keep satellites in their positions, launch things the size of the Space Shuttle safely into orbit hundreds to thousands of miles up to rendezvous with a station or an orbital slot, or how we time our swing around planets to launch a spacecraft millions of miles towards its next encounter with incredible precision and timing?

    These models reflect multiple gravitational forces and counter forces (like atmospheric drag, solar radiating, etc). They are accurate – they have to be. Miss in space (which is mind boggling vast) and you can lose your many $100′s of millions toy…..”

    And yet…..”climate scientists” don’t have to be accurate, seemingly. Even though the “toy” they and the Warmist movement are playing with, the global economy, is worth untold trillions and virtually everyone’s life depends on it. “Miss” on earth and……………………………………………………..

  26. I love it. Somewhere there is a model that sometimes agrees with observation at some lag or lead, like the proverbial broken watch that is right twice a day.

    Ever look at the graph of model computed cloud cover for the earth as a function of latitude? None of them follow the observed behavior, though some of them agree at some latitudes. Now these models are supposed to give trustworthy results for how clouds will change when we add CO2, even though their starting point is known to be wrong.

  27. James Sexton says:

    Dang, I read a silly comment by sharparoo, I set out to articulate why it is, go back and scan SB11, line out my thoughts, start writing a bit, decide to refresh the page only to learn I’m too slow. :(

    So, Sharp!!! What they said!!!

    But, honestly, Sharp, I don’t think Dr. Spencer considered the possibility of the screams of cherry picking to begin with. It wasn’t the purpose of the paper to show all of the possibilities and find one that may have accidentally coincided. As a net admin, I run into a similar problem. I’ve colleagues and friends that are incredibly good hackers. I’ve as much knowledge as they, but my mind doesn’t work in the manner theirs do. So, when I set up a network or a node that needs to be secure, I ask one of my friends to break into it. They let me know how hard it was and whether or not I forgot a certain approach. Dr. Spencer needs to hire an alarmist cynic to read his papers first before submitting. But even after that, it would be impossible to cover every possible potential criticism regardless of how little rationale was behind the criticism. Maybe that’s what he’s using A.D. for.

  28. Greg says:

    “When a model does not produce an accurate result it is wrong. When it says 2+2 = 5 it is wrong.”

    Not so fast. The other 1/5th may well be hiding in the depths of the oceans…

  29. Gary Hladik says:

    Greg (September 22, 2011 at 4:01 pm), good one!

  30. Doug Proctor says:

    “Not inconsistent with”. Really nice, scientific term and concept. My ex-wife repeatedly entering a hotel lobby with my best friend is “not inconsistent with” them having a monthly two-hour lunch, but I don’t think that would play to the home team.

  31. jorgekafkazar says:

    sharper00 says: “[yatta-yatta]…Do you have any suggestions for what’s missing from the models?”

    Humility, for starters.

  32. roh234 says:

    Another piece of excellent work Dr. Spencer. Send the Alarmists and their hockey sticks back to where they cane from!

  33. Rhoda Ramirez says:

    James Sexton: rather than wasting money on a warminista, we need to develop a AGW version of the old 8-ball. You know the one that would float an answer to a question in a window? Just take all the objections we’ve run across and put them in there – the AGW crowd is so predictable that we’d probably anticipate the objection at least 60% of the time.

  34. gnomish says:

    that’s a compelling graphic, Dr. Spencer. a regular ralph steadman autograph. i’m sure jackson pollock would praise it as the product of highly ordered minds.
    if mel brooks were a statistician, that’s the sort of chart he’d make as self referential satire.
    the absurd extreme would be a hockey team eating pie made from those ‘cherries’ by mickey rooney.
    a more californiaesque version would be the hockey team gloating over their conquest of virginity … n/m

    so many tangled threads on that chart – it deserves to be a centerfold in Sew Age!

    i know this comment doesn’t contribute substantially to the scientific discussion – but beyond the obvious point that models don’t resemble the observations – climate terrorism has never been about science. it’s pure schaden-food. makes my satire-iasis act up every time…

  35. James Sexton says:

    Wouldn’t the title be more apt if it read “Spencer b-slaps pedantic critics!”?

  36. Steve from Rockwood says:

    Dr. Spencer.
    You write a paper and there is outrage.
    You address the outrage and there is criticism.
    You reply to the criticism and there is grumbling.
    From outrage to grumbling. I call that progress.
    Thanks!

  37. Streetcred says:

    temp says:
    September 22, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    …. Hate to break it to you but models are nothing more then the ramblings of the drunk guys at the bar. Sure when your drunk they make sense… sure to the drunks rambling it makes sense to him…Sure even drunks at the bar can make profound leaps of logic and thought…”
    ==========================

    Interesting observation as it aligns perfectly with my (unpublished) hypothesis: “The Wilderbeest Effect”. Apologies to all who may share this hypothesis.

    Abstract: We are all familiar with the annual mass migrations of wildlife on the plains of Africa. The carnivores follow the wild herds and pick off the weaklings at random. Essentially this act over time improves the gene pool of those herds. In principle alcohol has the same effect on drunks, it destroys the weak brain cells (easy picking) leaving on the best cells. The effects of this action is rather a lot more noticeable in the short-term and explains why a drunk always comes up with a smart comment at just the right time to get his head knocked off.

    And, I’m sure that this is equally relevant to the warmistas.

  38. Dave Springer says:

    The only real point in this exercise is that 10 years of CERES data is insufficient to validate any model. Maybe if we had 200 years of CERES data and there was a model that pretty much nailed all 200 years it might be credible in predicting the next 100 so long as nothing unique happens that didn’t happen in the past 200 years. Even then, that’s a huge assumption that the past 200 years contains a complete set of all climate-altering events. There are cyclical phenomena that we know for a fact run on longer cycles than that like for instance ice ages which are currently 120,000 year cycles. And we’re near a “tipping point” back to the cold side of those cycles which is what really makes concern over global warming preposterous. Any warming we get from anthropogenic sources are properly viewed as a bit more of a safety margin for whatever set of events conspires to end interglacial periods fercrisakes.

  39. HAS says:

    Got to this a bit late

    sharper00 at September 22, 2011 at 1:00 pm
    Based on Trenberth and Dessler it seems like ENSO simulation ability is a more important factor. What do you think?

    Unproven – the models that do well on ENSO are controversial and some recent literature suggest that all the models T11 and D11 cite as good modeller of ENSO are not. In fact one of the models cited by D11 as being a better fit to to the S&B relationship (MRI CGCM 2.3.2A) is described in his own reference Lin (2007) as not fitting ENSO well.

    Is it possible to produce a model which reproduces both ENSO and the CERES measurements but has a low climate sensitivity?

    If the three best fits to the S&B relationships don’t clearly fit ENSO well I suspect that the issue of relationship to climate sensitivity is “a bit previous” as we say (i.e. premature).

  40. Theo Goodwin says:

    AJStrata says:
    September 22, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    I just realized that my comment could be understood as critical of your comment. I did not intend that. I am with your comment all the way.

  41. Ric Werme says:

    sharper00 says:
    September 22, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Ok but you could have avoided significant criticism by running this analysis in the first place. I don’t really understand why you didn’t and this post doesn’t explain why.

    Wrong response. You were supposed to complain that groups of dozens of the models likely have a nearly identical code base and differ only initialization and maybe a few coefficients (or the monthly changes to the historical temperature record in GISS).

    Then you could suggest that taking a few of the warmest, a few of the coolest, and the overall mean might work out the best.

  42. davidmhoffer says:

    Dave Springer;
    The only real point in this exercise is that 10 years of CERES data is insufficient to validate any model.>>>

    But more than sufficient to INVALIDATE the models. If they cannot get the last ten years correct, then it is impossible for them to get AN period of time correct except as pure coincidence.

    Further, and model that continues to be used that doesn’t take the CERES data into account, is by default being programmed to IGNORE REALITY.

    Are you listending…Dr Kevin Trenberth….
    Wanna take that resignation back Dr Wolfgang Wagner…

  43. Barry Elledge says:

    If we consider Dessler’s purported rebuttal of Spencer, and Spencer’s rebuttal of Dessler in this post, we necessarily conclude that 2 or 3 of the 13 models used by the IPCC in their climate forecasts do a better job of reflecting recent temperatures; these are the ones which better reproduce ENSO. None of the models faithfully reproduces world temperature trends, but at least these 2 or 3 reproduce the timing (though not the magnitude) of the heat loss following a warm maximum.

    This relative superiority of 2 or 3 models does not and in principle cannot prove the “truth” of these models, but does demonstrate that they are superior to the 10 or so less competent models which are currently embedded in IPCC predictions. At the least, one would want to know what future climate trends are predicted by these better models, and whether and how they differ from current IPCC predictions. Whatever they predict may not be any more accurate than a ouija board, but at least have slightly improved credibility compared to those from demonstrably worse models.

    Theo Goodwin (at 2:44 above) expresses scepticism with assertions that using these 2 or 3 better models would be a “better model of Earth’s climate.” If his point is that even the best of these models has not been demonstrated to be reliable at predicting climate, I completely agree. I wouldn’t bet a dime on the predictions of the best current models, much less the economic future of the developed world. But I do think that eliminating demonstrably worse models from consideration in favor of slightly better models represents a modest scientific advance. Science can never prove the truth of a proposition, but it can prove the falsity of one; and it can discriminate between a better explanation and a worse one.

    If nothing else, the Spencer paper and ensuing controversy should lead to the dumping of the worst models currently used by the IPCC.

  44. DM says:

    @Theo Goodwin:
    September 22, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Models, in a general sense, are simply a representation of theories and hypotheses. Newton’s Law’s could therefore be described as a model, a really good model, that experience has shown consistently ‘works’ any most every-day situations. The Law’s, and therefore the models, do a poor job when you start getting to very high speeds, really small scales and high gravational fields, in which case something else needs to be added to the ‘models’ to make them work. Therefore, AJStrata is correct to describe the tools they use to predict where satelittes should be, and are going to be in the future, as models.

    Climate models have to be based on some physical theories and hypotheses, otherwise you couldn’t put together the code for them to run. The fact that the climate models aren’t doing a good job suggests there’s something missing/wrong with the underlying theories and hypotheses, just like when people started to realise that Newton’s Laws weren’t holding anymore once people tried to apply them to situations other than the everyday.

  45. Tim Ball says:

    I wonder if any of the following limitations of the IPCC models provided in Chapter 8 of the 2007 Report Working Group I “The Physical Science Basis” have anything to do with the problems identified by Spencer?

    “Due to the computational cost associated with the requirement of a well-resolved stratosphere, the models employed for the current assessment do not generally include the QBO.”

    “In short, most AOGCMs do not simulate the spatial or intra-seasonal variation of monsoon precipitation accurately.”

    “The spatial resolution of the coupled ocean-atmosphere models used in the IPCC assessment is generally not high enough to resolve tropical cyclones, and especially to simulate their intensity.”

    “Blocking events are an important class of sectoral weather regimes (see Chapter 3), associated with local reversals of the mid-latitude westerlies. There is also evidence of connections between North and South Pacific blocking and ENSO variability…but these connections have not been systematically explored in AOGCMs.”

    “Unfortunately, the total surface heat and water fluxes (see Supplementary Material, Figure S8.14) are not well observed.”

    “These errors in oceanic heat uptake will also have a large impact on the reliability of the sea level rise projections.”

    “Due to the limited resolutions of the models, many of these processes are not resolved adequately by the model grid and must therefore be parametrized. The differences between parameterizations are an important reason why climate model results differ.”

  46. davidmhoffer says:

    I’ve noticed a sparsity of trolls or even well meaning warmists. Poor sharpar00, everyone’s piling on.

    There just aren’t enough trolls to go around!

  47. Theo Goodwin says:

    DM says:
    September 22, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    “Climate models have to be based on some physical theories and hypotheses, otherwise you couldn’t put together the code for them to run.”

    OK, then, do you have some formulation of the physical theory, the set of hypotheses, that was used to create the code so that the model would run? I have been asking every Warmista for that set of hypotheses. Where is it? Is it in the deep oceans with Trenberth’s missing heat?

    Computer code has no cognitive content of its own. All it can do is spew out simulations which are just series of numbers. Someone then has to take those numbers and say “Oh, look, this segment of numbers tracks the observational data for La Nina.” The computer code, having no cognitive content of its own, cannot in any way be about La Nina, represent La Nina, or even sing La Nina.

    I began managing models for large corporations about forty years ago. I can assure you that no computer model, however complex, amounts to a theory. After all, there are beautiful computer models of the stock market. And they are incredibly useful analytic tools. But surely you don’t think for one minute that someone actually has a theory of the stock market that consists of reasonably well-confirmed hypotheses that enable accurate prediction of stock market behavior.

    What the Warmista are doing with their models is essentially the same thing that someone does when he takes a set of existing graphs for past years of something like Arctic sea ice extent and from them projects the extent for this coming Halloween. They gussy it up with all kinds of interesting differential equations and similar items and convince themselves that it amounts to a theory. It doesn’t. If you will read what I have written above, in earlier posts, you will see that a model is a pale shadow of a theory.

  48. I am Dr. Wormarilalturooni – your deductions are quite veracious if I do say so myself. I’ve personally reviewed 42 million TPS reports on the matter and both my distinguished colleagues and I agree this Global Warming thing is an imposture to the nth degree. Cloudular stratagem to control our cerebral cortex, to us intelligentsia. I can NOT stress the fact that we might all die of chart-ular hemorrhaging long before the angry Gods of Nebulosity get to us. I’ve been working long hours in the lab designing a weather changing machine. It is almost complete.

  49. Theo Goodwin says:

    Barry Elledge says:
    September 22, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    “This relative superiority of 2 or 3 models does not and in principle cannot prove the “truth” of these models, but does demonstrate that they are superior to the 10 or so less competent models which are currently embedded in IPCC predictions. At the least, one would want to know what future climate trends are predicted by these better models, and whether and how they differ from current IPCC predictions.”

    Nope, sorry, but all the models show major disagreement with some set of observational data or another. That means that all of them are toast. The fact that some of them agree well with ENSO is of interest to modelers as they revise their models. But it should be of no interest to scientists. Unlike sets of physical hypotheses, aka physical theories, the individual components of a computer model have no cognitive content of their own. You cannot isolate the computer code that generates the segment of numbers that are treated as tracking ENSO and do further investigation on that code alone. Nor can you port that code to another model and treat it as the same code. Each model has to stand or fall as a whole because it is only as a whole that a model generates a simulation and has empirical import.

    Please do not use the scientific word ‘predicted’ in reference to models. Instead, say that the model user “extrapolated” a result from his simulation, as one extrapolates about future sea ice from old graphs of sea ice. To do prediction, as physical hypotheses do, your tool must specify all the observable facts. Physical theory does this by implying the facts. Computer code has no way of doing this. The numbers that make up a simulation can be treated as tracking observable facts but they have no logical or methodological connection to the observable facts. The connection is totally in the mind of the model user, unencumbered by scientific method.

  50. Theo Goodwin says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    September 22, 2011 at 7:41 pm
    “I’ve noticed a sparsity of trolls or even well meaning warmists. Poor sharpar00, everyone’s piling on. There just aren’t enough trolls to go around!”

    I hear that Trenberth has bought a yellow submarine and that all his friends live there too. I guess they don’t have internet yet. /sarc

  51. Theo Goodwin says:

    James Sexton says:
    September 22, 2011 at 5:20 pm
    “Wouldn’t the title be more apt if it read “Spencer b-slaps pedantic critics!”?”

    You are projecting, James, which is forgivable in this case. Spencer’s style is to get all the critics in a circle on the floor and use tinker toys, if necessary, to explain the points to them.

  52. davidmhoffer says:

    Theo Goodwin says:
    September 22, 2011 at 8:12 pm
    James Sexton says:
    September 22, 2011 at 5:20 pm
    “Wouldn’t the title be more apt if it read “Spencer b-slaps pedantic critics!”?”>>>
    You are projecting, James, which is forgivable in this case. Spencer’s style is to get all the critics in a circle on the floor and use tinker toys, if necessary, to explain the points to them.>>>

    I don’t give a tinker’s d***, nor do I mind
    If he b-slaps them in circles… or in lines
    Watever it takes to make the sound of their noise
    About needing yet more high tech toys
    For studies and papers and getting editors sacked
    For publishing facts! Actual facts!
    Its not about science, because science is lax
    Unless it produces something to tax!

  53. Werner Brozek says:

    “DM says:
    September 22, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Climate models have to be based on some physical theories and hypotheses, otherwise you couldn’t put together the code for them to run. The fact that the climate models aren’t doing a good job suggests there’s something missing/wrong with the underlying theories and hypotheses”

    I agree completely! So exactly what is missing or wrong? How do they come up with 3 C for a doubling of CO2? My understanding is that they assume the CO2 alone causes a 1 C increase. Then they add positive feedbacks and say that warmer air causes more water vapor and since water vapor is the strongest greenhouse gas, the 1 C increases to 3 C. But this violates one of the best known chemical laws, namely Le Chatelier’s Principle. It seems as if the feedbacks are negative due to more clouds, assuming CO2 initially actually does cause warming as the IPCC claims. A valid question naturally would be whether or not Le Chatelier’s Principle applies here. I would suggest that all evidence to date suggests that it does apply and the IPCC models are wrong because they did not incorporate this basic law into their models.

  54. rbateman says:

    80,000 years from now, as the Next Ice Age is nearing an end, Kruug the Caveman attempts 14 times to reproduce the pattern on an Etch-A-Sketch he unearthed in his cavernous dwelling.
    Frustrated and disgusted, he takes his mighty Club to it, muttering to himself to stick to painting murals from now on. His wife agrees, and presents him with a hearty slice of roasted Gore Boar.
    Mann Dog wags his strangely bent tail, anxiouly awaiting a scrap or two.

  55. Arno Arrak says:

    Why bother with computer games? Real temperatures are available from UAH and RSS satellites that measure Oxygen microwave radiation.from lower troposphere.

  56. Curt says:

    Theo Goodwin says:
    September 22, 2011 at 3:27 pm
    “Do you really think that what you use to launch and manage satellites is a model?”

    Theo: Your question and subsequent comment display serious philosophical and practical problems. ANY prediction of the future is based on a model, whether explicit or implicit. Furthermore, this model must be a simplification of the real system about which the prediction is made — otherwise we would need a full duplicate universe (but run in faster time…).

    Now physical “laws” may be applied to that model, as in Newton’s laws applied to AJ’s orbital systems. But that in no way means that absolutely accurate predictions can be made. (We now know that Newton’s laws are only an approximation, and they failed to predict key features about, for example, Mercury’s orbit.)

    Maybe AJ’s model treated the Earth as a perfect sphere of uniform density. For all of my engineering purposes, that model is sufficient for my needs. It certainly is not good enough for the purposes of the GRACE satellite, which depends on gravitational variations. It’s not good enough to predict the precession of the Earth’s axis. Whether AJ’s models assume this or not, their model of the earth and its gravitational attraction is certainly an imperfect simplification.

    There are other factors that need to be modeled as well. Satellites in low-earth orbit experience slight atmospheric drag. Do the models assume this drag is constant? (It’s not.) If not, how well can they predict how it changes? Will the drag have a tendency to twist the satellite? How will this affect the future orbit?

    AJ says his models are insufficient to predict the trajectory to sufficient accuracy more than about a week out. Hmm — sort of like weather models.

    Our weather/climate models are good enough to predict reliably that summers will be warmer than winters, that days will be warmer than nights. I don’t believe they have much long term predictive ability as to weather a given summer in a given region will be warmer or cooler than average, or whether a decade will be warmer or cooler than average globally. It’s all about how good the models’ predictive abilities are compared to the quality of information we need out of them.

  57. Dave Springer says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    September 22, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Dave Springer;
    The only real point in this exercise is that 10 years of CERES data is insufficient to validate any model.>>>

    But more than sufficient to INVALIDATE the models.

    Excellent point. Cuts right to the basics in science of philosophy famously stated by Karl Popper. In particular the concept of falsifiability. Briefly, for those unfamiliar with it, a scientific hypothesis need not be provable but it must be able to be, at least in principle, disproven . Proof is often impossible but disproof is often accomplished by a single observation. Popper constructed a famous example “The Black Swan”. He hypothesized that all swans are white. This can never be proven because no matter how hard you unsuccessfully search for a non-white swan you can’t possibly guarantee that didn’t miss one somewhere. On the other hand a single observation of a black swan will falsify the hypothesis. Hypotheses eventually become theory as observations in support of it accumulate without any observations that falsify it.

    So called climate change is a hypothesis. The notorious global circulation models are nothing more than the hypotheses stated in the language of computers and mathematics. They are not tests of the hypotheses but rather tools to extract predictions from the hypotheses. The predictions are then tested by comparison actual observation. The hypotheses will never become facts but they may someday become theory. More likely IMO is they’ll become hypotheses that were tested and falsified. Many would argue they have already been falsified.

  58. Dave Springer says:

    err… that should have been “philosophy of science” in my previous not “science of philosophy”

  59. Orson Olson says:

    Athony-

    Can this be put in the “Climate FAIL Files?”

  60. Theo Goodwin says:

    Curt says:
    September 22, 2011 at 8:56 pm
    Theo Goodwin says:
    September 22, 2011 at 3:27 pm
    “Do you really think that what you use to launch and manage satellites is a model?”

    “Theo: Your question and subsequent comment display serious philosophical and practical problems.”

    Nope, sorry, but I am right on the money.

    “ANY prediction of the future is based on a model, whether explicit or implicit. Furthermore, this model must be a simplification of the real system about which the prediction is made — otherwise we would need a full duplicate universe (but run in faster time…).”

    You said absolutely nothing there except prediction is based on a model. Explain the concept of prediction you are using. You seem to think that a model is a substitute for the system studied or a simplification of that. Computer models are not toy airplanes.

    How do you apply physical laws to a model? Do you even know the difference between physical hypotheses and a model? Can you state those differences?

    “Maybe AJ’s model treated the Earth as a perfect sphere of uniform density. For all of my engineering purposes, that model is sufficient for my needs. It certainly is not good enough for the purposes of the GRACE satellite, which depends on gravitational variations.”

    I understand that you have a sophisticated computer program that you use and I am sure you put it to good use. However, when you attempt to use the terminology of ‘model’, ‘theory’, and ‘physical hypothesis’, you are not making sense.

    “Our weather/climate models are good enough to predict reliably that summers will be warmer than winters, that days will be warmer than nights.”

    You have not yet shown that you know what a scientific prediction is. Give it a try. Look up Kepler’s Three Laws on Wikipedia and read about them. You can pick up the terminology of ‘physical hypothesis’, ‘scientific prediction’, and the related terms there.

  61. davidmhoffer says:

    Theo Goodwin says;
    I hear that Trenberth has bought a yellow submarine and that all his friends live there too.>>>

    Well only his good friends. Word has it he sent poor Wolfgang Wagner out for a…uhm…. swim.

  62. Barry Elledge says:

    Theo Goodwin says (at 6:18 above)
    “the fact that some [models]…agree well with ENSO…should be of no interest to scientists. Unlike sets of physical hypotheses, aka physical theories, the physical components of a computer model have no cognitive component of their own,,,Each model has to stand or fall on it’s own…”

    Is that true? I thought that the current models purported to emulate physical theory of heat transfer, which are reliably established independently. Such models may be inadequate reflections of otherwise well-established theory. They may depend upon inadequate databases of heat content or flow. They may be parameterized, and dependent on insufficient datasets from which to infer proper parameters, But are they so holistic that the greater agreement of data with some models than with others provides us with no useful information?

    My experience is with models of molecular dynamics in photophysical systems. Climate is no doubt much more complicated, although more susceptible to fudging. But don’t intermediate results allow for discrimination between better and worse models? If not, why not? I am not familiar with the details of the current 13 models included by the IPCC , but I have been lead to believe that they attempt to model energy flow according to conventional thermodynamics. If so, why can’t the physics incorporated in a particular model be validated when it better agrees with the data? I routinely compared experimental data on molecular photophysics with the predictions of various models of molecular rotation in order to determine which model better explained the data. Why can’t climate data be used to isolate the components of climate models which more closely approximate observation?

    I may very well agree with Theo’s position on climate models. I do not intend my observations as opposition, But I also do not understand the argument that the relative superiority of some models over others does not allow us to conclude that the better models move incrementally in a more defensible direction.

  63. Anthony Watts says:

    Dave Springer check your email

  64. Theo Goodwin says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    September 22, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Very good!

  65. DM says:

    @Theo Goodwin says:
    September 22, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    Maybe I’m being too generous here, but persumably the underlying computer code for climate models isn’t just spewing out random numbers that someone then sit’s down and tries to make sense of. Presumably, the code is based on the idea the if things are currently in state X, then event Y occurs then you end up in state Z. In order to get from state X to Z, you’ve got to have some sort of theory or hypothesis about how that change occurs. I’m sure that some of the theories are based on descriptive extrapolations from observed data as you say, but hopefully (he says naively) there are at least some components of those models that have a fundamental physical theory/hypothesis behind them, even if they’re not good ones. What those theories might be, I have no idea. I’m a statistician, not a climate ‘expert’ (as was once pointed out to me on a statistics listserv when I once queried whether anyone else was nervous about the fact that the surface temps from climate models presented in IPCC 4 appeared to have latitudinal biases).

    Any model that doesn’t have good predictive ability, is still a model in my books, just not a very useful one. Maybe we’re arguing over semantics, but I’d contend that any computer code that is used to make a prediction or extrapolation, has got to be based on something, where that something would be regarded as a ‘model’ (good, bad or otherwise) in my part of the scientific world.

  66. Adam says:

    Forgive me, I am not a climate scientist and so don’t know all the intracacies of models, but why are we just eyeballing the graph and saying the models look off? Is there not some mathematical standard we can use to say how close a model is to the observations? For example, I imagine that the integral of the absolute value of their differences would give a pretty good estimate (that is if f(t) is the graph of the observations and g(t) is the graph of some model, then integrate over |f(x)-g(x)|. It would probably be best to normalize the horizontal axis so that you are integrating over a distance of length 1; this way it can be easily compared to other models over different time lines). This idea would probably have to tweaked at best before working, but it seems to me that there should be some scientific way to measure the accuracy of a model that’s better than just looking.

  67. KevinK says:

    AJStrata wrote;

    “I find this inability to determine models bogus when they fail to model reality accurately really sad”

    EXACTLY !!!!!!!!!!!!

    These folks in the climate science world have convinced themselves that the models are TRUTH and the observations which don’t match the models must be WRONG. Truly this is very sad.
    Here is just a short list of the things that engineers in the aerospace field do not resolve with models;

    1) The performance of real hardware when exposed to the vibration experienced during a launch
    2) The susceptibility to and emission of EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) from electrical circuitry
    3) The actual forces that a structure will sustain before it breaks
    4) Etc. Etc.

    In all of these cases a Qualification Model (“QM”) of the design is fabricated and actually subjected to the expected environment it will experience when on orbit. Typically the QM is exposed to forces that exceed those it will actually see when on orbit. If it passes, an exact copy (possible because of extreme measures taken while building this flight model (i.e. “FM”) including tracing the lot numbers of materials used to fabricate the FM) is built using extremely well documented procedures.

    Even after all of this attention to detail the success rate is much less than we would like it to be.

    For example after following all of these procedures ~ 2 out of ~150 Space Shuttle were not completed because of a “mission failure”..

    In the engineering field we have a saying; “If your hardware does not perform as predicted by your model you need to improve your model”.

    Nothing I see in the literature of climate science seems to acknowledge that this saying might have some merit.

    Cheers, Kevin.

  68. davidmhoffer says:

    Curt says:
    September 22, 2011 at 8:56 pm
    Theo Goodwin says:
    September 22, 2011 at 3:27 pm
    “Do you really think that what you use to launch and manage satellites is a model?”
    Theo: Your question and subsequent comment display serious philosophical and practical problems. ANY prediction of the future is based on a model, whether explicit or implicit. >>>

    Well Theo is more than capable of responding on his own (and I see he did) but Curt, you’re missing the point.

    I can write computer code and create a beautiful representation of the earth from space, complete with moving cloud cover, day/night, orbiting moon, even tides that you can zoom in on and watch rise and fall on the coastlines. That’s a model.

    But it isn’t a SCIENTIFIC model. It is a representation that I dreamed up out of my head. It might look realistic, it might even fool most of the people most of the time into thinking it is a “real” model of the earth. But it isn’t. It is just, at best, an “artists represenation”.

    It has no basis in science. It has not predictive value. None. I cold create a script for ,my “artists representation” that shows the ice caps melting and the oceans rising. That would indeed be a model. It would also be a cartoon.

    A scientific model would represent all those factors visually, and might even look just like the cartoon for all I know. But for any scientist to claim that his/her computer simulation of anything is based on science, it must adhere to the laws of physics and portray to the extent known the interation of forces and energy between the elements of the system as a whole. AJ’s “model” is no “artists representation”, it is simply a computer program that calculate the position of things like satellites based on the known and MEASURED factors that can be used to CALCULATE with some precision, the position of the satellite at some given point in time.

    That is NOT what Trenberth and company mean when they say a “model”. As per Wolfgang
    Wagner’s resignation, which Trenberth forced for the sin of allowing Spencer and Braswell to publish ACTUAL DATA that conflicts with the models, they believe that actual results should no be published with the input and permission of “modelers” who create representations of the earth’s climate based on….

    what appears to be little more than an artists representation. Trenberth and NCAR have published a paper “showing” they say, that the “missing heat” is being sequestered in the depths of the ocean…with no corroborating data, no physical process to explain how it got there, no theory as to why it stays there, no explanation of why the thermal expansion they’ve warned about based on their previous “models”…. er, uhm cartoons…. hasn’t happened as a result, why there’s been no massive out gassing of CO2 as a result…. shall I go on? There’s no science in these models, they’re just… an artists representation.

    In the meantime, at the top of this post, is a graph showing how much energy is being lost to space, and when, by actual satellite measurements.

    Put that science into the models and program them to produce prediction based on the physical facts, and you’ll have something more akin to what AJ is talking about. Call it a scientific model, an accurate model, a model with predictive capabilities…cal it what you will, but it differs completely from a “model” like that of NCAR which is no more based on science than my cartoon earth that LOOKS like it does.

  69. KevinK says:

    Whoops again;

    ~ 2 out of 150 Space Shuttle missions were completed without a “mission failure”.

    should be;

    2 out of ~150 Space Shuttle were not completed because of a “mission failure”.

  70. Ric Werme says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    September 22, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Pedant alert ahead!

    > I don’t give a tinker’s d***, nor do I mind

    The phrase is “worth a tinker’s dam.” When a tinker mended a pot or pan he’d make a clay dam to keep the molten tin in place. After the patch was applied the now worthless dam was knocked off and discarded. Being worthless, it became available as a comparison to similarly worthless items.

  71. David Falkner says:

    I’ve said this for a while. Why would you even expect the climate sensitivity number to remain fixed? What rationale is there for the Earth responding the same to a change in forcing no matter the state of currents, plate positioning, circulations, et cetera? Where has the idea of a single constant value for sensitivity ever been supported by a scientific study? What if the equation ΔT=ΔF*S is not actually right? This could easily be the case if ΔT affects S.

  72. Richard S Courtney says:

    Theo Goodwin:

    At September 22, 2011 at 3:27 pm you assert:
    “The proof is in the pudding. If you doubt what I have said then simply ask a Warmista modeler for the physical theory which is embodied in his model. He won’t be able to show it to you. All he can offer you is his model. Warmista have no physical theory of Earth’s climate.”

    I am not a Warmista but I point out that you are mistaken.

    The underlying ‘theory’ of all the climate models is that global climate is governed by radiative forcing. More properly,it is an assumption (i.e. not a theory) that radiative forcing governs global climate.

    Indeed, Roy Spencer implicitly accepts this assumption in his above article when he says of the climate models;
    ““And I believe the problem is they are too sensitive, and thus are predicting too much future global warming.”

    However, there is no empirical support for the assumption and much empirical evidence refutes it; e.g. ~20% increase in radiative forcing from the Sun over the last 2.5 billion years has had no discernible effect on global climate.

    So, there is evidence that global climate is not solely a function of radiative forcing, but the models assume radiative forcing governs global climate. The recent paper by Meehle et al. is relevant to this. That paper assumes Trenberth’s “missing heat” is hiding in the deep oceans. The “missing heat” only exists because of increased radiative forcing. But if increased radiative forcing leads to heat ‘hiding’ in the oceans then that ‘hiding’ prevents radiative forcing having a direct effect on global climate at less than millennial time scales,.

    So, the paper by Meehle et al. contradicts the basic assumption underlying all the climate models.

    The real problem is that the climate is a complex system and – in common with other complex systems – may adapt in response to a change in input and/or output. For example, the human body is a complex system that loses weight if subjected to increased work (such as military or sports training) without increased food input, but there are people who assume body weight is solely a function of food intake. Similarly, there are people who assume global climate is solely a function of radiative forcing and all the climate models are representations of that untrue assumption.

    Richard

  73. Frosty says:

    I have no idea what Roy Spencer is feeding that black swan, but it sure looks to be a very healthy bird!

  74. Ammonite says:

    Theo Goodwin says: September 22, 2011 at 7:51 pm
    “I began managing models for large corporations about forty years ago. I can assure you that no computer model, however complex, amounts to a theory. After all, there are beautiful computer models of the stock market. And they are incredibly useful analytic tools. But surely you don’t think for one minute that someone actually has a theory of the stock market that consists of reasonably well-confirmed hypotheses that enable accurate prediction of stock market behavior.”

    Hi Theo and all. Good computer models often embody a theory and it is important to understand what a model attempts to reflect before declaring it void where it does not match a particular observation. I design stock market models for a living. They embody a theory of markets. They are profitable. They do NOT predict general market direction and therefore do NOT predict market crashes.

    Questions: Is my model “wrong” because it does not predict crashes?
    Is my model “wrong” because it loses money some years?

    Considering this context, declaring a GCM wrong because it does not reproduce ENSO when it was never intended to seems misplaced. Declaring a GCM wrong over short time frames is perhaps too hasty as well. The right/wrong fixation may make sense if an appropriate question and an appropriate timeframe is being considered. Possibly better is to ask “is a given model useful with respect to what it was designed for?”. (Please note that I am not declaring models infallible nor commenting on Dr Spencer’s work nor attacking Theo Goodwin.)

  75. stephen richards says:

    AJStrata says:

    September 22, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Get back on the soapbox. You are 100% right. I cannot believe the stupidity of people like ‘sharperoo’. This inane believe that model, no matter how complex, can accurately predict outcomes of a genuinely chaotic system is beyond me. Mathematicians have stated, without exception, that natural systems are chaotic and as such CANNOT BE PREDICTED.

  76. KnR says:

    First law of climate science, if the value of any given product differs between reality and the model , it is reality which is in error .

    Ammonite small problem its these very models upon which dramatic changes to people life styles are called for with the spending of vast sums of money. Its not some minor academic argument over a piece of research in some journal. These are what the IPCC and friends are using to drive froward their political goals . The irony its the engagement with the public and the body politic that some climate scientists desperately wanted that has lead to the investigation of their ‘research’ which has seen it fall to bits .

  77. eyesonu says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    September 22, 2011 at 7:41 pm
    I’ve noticed a sparsity of trolls or even well meaning warmists. Poor sharpar00, everyone’s piling on.

    There just aren’t enough trolls to go around!

    ———————

    One look at Dr. Spencers graph of the model results and even the trolls are silenced.

    Could that display of the model results be placed in a spray can and be marketed as ‘Trollaway’?

  78. Dave Springer says:

    Anthony Watts says:
    September 22, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    “Dave Springer check your email”

    Done. You certainly knew the right topic where that would catch my eye. I haven’t been watching my email much lately. My best friend in the world, a six year old german shepherd who’s been a constant loyal companion to me all his life, is dying from lymphosarcoma and I’ve been at his side 24/7 trying to make his final days as comfortable as possible before I do the final duty that I owe him. This particular dog saved my young daughter’s life when he was but one year old and transformed all our lives during his trajectly brief lifetime. I owe him more than I could ever possibly repay and thank God quite frequently for giving him to us. I find some comfort in thinking his mission has been completed and God’s calling him back in preparation for sending him back out to transform some other family’s life in the same manner he transformed ours.

  79. DCA says:

    What do you mean the models are not accurate? Accord to the graph they were right on three times which is better than a stopped clock over a 24 hour time frame. ;)

  80. Dave Springer says:

    If Trenberth’s missing heat is being sequestered in the deep ocean it would behoove future generations to sequester as much as possible because the average temperature of the global is a bone chilling 3.9C and that is unquestionably a reflection of the ocean’s average surface temperature taken over a complete 120,000 year glacial/interglacial cycle. The 16C average surface temperature that living things have been enjoying for 12,000 years in the modern interglacial period won’t last forever and is statistically due for an ending any time now. My feeling is that any one of the next globe-cooling volcanic eruptions happening in concert with a solar minimum will be straw that breaks the camel’s back. The Milankovich orbital parameters that favor glacial advance are within a few thousand years of their peak. So once again I don’t ask if there’s too much anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere but I rather wonder whether there’s enough to provide an adequate safety margin for the next perfect storm that would otherwise be the final straw.

  81. Theo Goodwin says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    September 22, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    Nice job, David. You are right on the money.

    I am going to respond to Curt. I didn’t quite see what he meant. I will clarify my comment for him. (I am scrolling up.)

  82. Theo Goodwin says:

    Curt says:
    September 22, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    Curt, I didn’t fully understand you late last night. Let me take another go at it.

    “ANY prediction of the future is based on a model, whether explicit or implicit. Furthermore, this model must be a simplification of the real system about which the prediction is made — otherwise we would need a full duplicate universe (but run in faster time…)”

    By “model,” I think that you mean a version of a physical theory that has been put through a process of selection and simplification to yield a much more manageable version that can be used successfully for special purposes, such as launching and managing space craft, satellites, and such. I do not call this kind of thing a model but rather an “idealization of a physical theory.” Of course, it is fine to call it a model but it is not what we have been talking about here when referring to “computer models.” More on that below.

    “Now physical “laws” may be applied to that model, as in Newton’s laws applied to AJ’s orbital systems. But that in no way means that absolutely accurate predictions can be made. (We now know that Newton’s laws are only an approximation, and they failed to predict key features about, for example, Mercury’s orbit.)”

    Well, yes, the idealized model is a version of Newton’s physical theory as explained above. Right, you do not have to use Newton’s entire theory.

    “Maybe AJ’s model treated the Earth as a perfect sphere of uniform density. For all of my engineering purposes, that model is sufficient for my needs. It certainly is not good enough for the purposes of the GRACE satellite, which depends on gravitational variations. It’s not good enough to predict the precession of the Earth’s axis. Whether AJ’s models assume this or not, their model of the earth and its gravitational attraction is certainly an imperfect simplification.”

    In referring to treating Earth as a perfect sphere, you are referring to a particular idealization within the ideal model. Yes, those are very useful for your practical purposes. Yes, they retain their scientific integrity.

    “There are other factors that need to be modeled as well. Satellites in low-earth orbit experience slight atmospheric drag. Do the models assume this drag is constant? (It’s not.) If not, how well can they predict how it changes? Will the drag have a tendency to twist the satellite? How will this affect the future orbit?”

    Maybe there is need for additional scientific work on atmospheric drag. I would recommend that. But, I see your point. When your idealized physical theory does not quite handle drag, you have to proceed using your own temporary best estimates. Happens all the time.

    “AJ says his models are insufficient to predict the trajectory to sufficient accuracy more than about a week out. Hmm — sort of like weather models.”

    For your practical work, that week long window is sufficient. But things will be much nicer when the science advances.

    “Our weather/climate models are good enough to predict reliably that summers will be warmer than winters, that days will be warmer than nights. I don’t believe they have much long term predictive ability as to weather a given summer in a given region will be warmer or cooler than average, or whether a decade will be warmer or cooler than average globally. It’s all about how good the models’ predictive abilities are compared to the quality of information we need out of them.”

    Back to computer models used by Warmista. Warmista do not have the benefit of a physical theory that explains all or most of the phenomena of global warming. The only physical theory they have comes from Arrhenius’ equations for the behavior of CO2 molecules in Earth’s atmosphere. Those equations cannot cover the behavior of phenomena such as cloud formation in Earth’s atmosphere or any natural process such as La Nina. When running a computer model, Warmista must make guesses about those phenomena as you have to make guesses about atmospheric drag. (I don’t mean to compare you to Warmista. There is some physical theory behind your guesses but none behind theirs.) In principle, cloud behavior could cancel all of the effects of CO2 molecules. So, Warmista computer models do not cover most of the phenomena whose behavior is crucial to matters such as global warming and they have no physical theory in the background, as you have Newton’s, to keep them on the straight and narrow.

  83. davidmhoffer says:

    Ammonite says;
    “declaring a GCM wrong because it does not reproduce ENSO when it was never intended to seems misplaced.”>>>

    The GCM’s were designed to model the CLIMATE. They do not. Not reproducing ENSO would be a reason WHY they do not. That is not a “misplaced” criticism, it is dead centre on target.

    Ammonite says;
    Declaring a GCM wrong over short time frames is perhaps too hasty as well.>>>

    You’re speaking from the perspective of trend analysis. This isn’t about trend analysis, it is about models that are supposed to be based on the physics that govern the climate’s behaviour. Dr Spencer has clearly shown that the models do not accurately account for the amount of heat energy lost to space. Period. Unitl they do, by definition, THEY CAN’T EVER BE ACCURATE ON ANY TIME SCALE.

    Ammonite says;
    Possibly better is to ask “is a given model useful with respect to what it was designed for?”.>>>

    They were designed to predict the climate, they do not, and they don’t because they assume heat is being sequestered in the climate system that clearly is NOT being sequestered in the climate system. Hence, they are useless for the purpose for which they were designed.

    Ammonite says;
    (Please note that I am not declaring models infallible nor commenting on Dr Spencer’s work nor attacking Theo Goodwin.)>>>

    But you are both commenting and attacking. You have posited reasons for not throwing the models out entirely based on spurious and misguided reasoning. You have suggested reasons for allowing the models to retain credibility that are…incredulous. You are comparing a model of a purely artificial environment, which operates by known, documented, and regulated mechanisms down to every last penny with models of the climate. You seem to think that if they sometimes get the general trend right, like your stock market model does, they may be of some use. That is utter nonsense. Their purpose is not to emulate general trends. Their purpose is to determing the effects of SPECIFIC CHANGES to the general trends.

    Given that the models are demonstrably incapable of modeling the amount of heat that the earth loses to space, they are by default incapable of predicting the temperature of the earth at any point in the future due to increases in CO2. Or any other factor that changes.

    If AJ’s model used 9.00 m/s/s as the value for earth’s gravitational force instead of 9.81, he’d lose his satellite in seconds. Oh, he might get the general direction it was trending in, and how fast it might be speeding up or slowing down as a trend…would that make it useful? Nope. It would make it entirely wrong, and AJ would be out on the carpet in front of his bosses trying to explain how he could possibly keep track of a $10 Billion satellite with a model that knowingly used the wrong value for gravity.

    How it is that climate modelers are allowed to use the wrong value for the amount of heat escaping to space and retain any credibility at all is beyond me.

  84. Theo Goodwin says:

    Ammonite says:
    September 23, 2011 at 12:42 am

    “Hi Theo and all. Good computer models often embody a theory…”

    Cool. Show us the hypotheses that constitute the theory and the record of successful predictions that makes them reasonably well-confirmed. Also, describe the kind of even that your theory is about. For example, are the events that you predict each and every change in the price of a stock? In that case, your theory would enable prediction of each price rise for a stock indefinitely into the future. Statistics are acceptable if you use objective statistics of the type used by Gregor Mendel and his descendants, the Population Geneticists.

    “…and it is important to understand what a model attempts to reflect before declaring it void where it does not match a particular observation.”

    Now, you are talking models. I thought you had a theory. If you have a theory then you do not need models, except for the purpose of simplifying your work in practical cases, something that Curt was explaining.

    “They do NOT predict general market direction and therefore do NOT predict market crashes.”

    Then it is a falsified theory and requires revision.

  85. Theo Goodwin says:

    Richard S Courtney says:
    September 23, 2011 at 12:26 am

    “I am not a Warmista but I point out that you are mistaken.

    The underlying ‘theory’ of all the climate models is that global climate is governed by radiative forcing. More properly,it is an assumption (i.e. not a theory) that radiative forcing governs global climate.”

    You and I are not in disagreement. My point is that radiative forcing is at best a part of a theory of global warming. Arrhenius’s hypotheses about CO2 molecules cannot address matters such as cloud behavior, La Nina, or many other items that require actual empirical research leading to physical hypotheses which describe the natural regularities that are found in cloud behavior, La Nina, and all the other non-radiative matters.

    Spencer introduces one issue at a time. He has not yet contradicted the consensus on the importance of radiative forcing. However, his work will inevitably take him to that point.

    Also, my critique emphases scientific methodology. In a phrase, computer models cannot substitute for physical theory. Yet Warmista have lashed themselves to the computer models and embraced their fate.

  86. Theo Goodwin says:

    DM says:
    September 22, 2011 at 10:08 pm
    @Theo Goodwin says:
    September 22, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    “Presumably, the code is based on the idea the if things are currently in state X, then event Y occurs then you end up in state Z. In order to get from state X to Z, you’ve got to have some sort of theory or hypothesis about how that change occurs. I’m sure that some of the theories are based on descriptive extrapolations from observed data as you say, but hopefully (he says naively) there are at least some components of those models that have a fundamental physical theory/hypothesis behind them, even if they’re not good ones. What those theories might be, I have no idea.”

    You have strong scientific instincts.

    There are equations based on Arrhenius’ hypotheses. But Warmista believe that these equations explain it all. In fact, Warmista theory posits the existence of radiation only and fail to describe any natural phenomena that exists apart from the effects of radiation. So, their models do not cover the behavior of clouds, of La Nina, and most other natural phenomena that can be described by physical theory apart from radiation theory. To illustrate how bad it is, the models treat La Nina as statistical noise. Yet the behavior of clouds and other natural phenomena can over-ride all the warming effects of CO2. (Trenberth has inadvertently admitted this point when he claimed that the missing heat from the sun’s radiation is hidden in the deep oceans. Maybe he will become aware of what he is saying.)

    Apart from Arrhenius’ equations, Warmista modelers are extrapolating the future from graphs of past behavior of clouds and other natural phenomena. It is no different than looking at graphs of past Arctic sea ice melt and extrapolating from them coming Arctic sea ice melt. Some people and all Warmista call this prediction. I am sure that you know that it is not scientific prediction.

  87. Theo Goodwin says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    September 23, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Wow! You are hot! I respectfully request to become a student of yours. (The implied reference is to Lao Ze and Chuang Ze.)

    David quotes Ammonite:
    Ammonite says;
    “declaring a GCM wrong because it does not reproduce ENSO when it was never intended to seems misplaced.”>>>

    Ammonite, you have Warmista arrogance down pat. Their typically arrogant stance is that La Nina cannot be explained by radiation theory alone so it is not actually part of climate. No, I am not kidding. The models treat La Nina as statistical noise. Unfortunately for Warmista, radiation theory cannot explain most of what makes up Earth’s climate, including such matters as cloud behavior. Cloud behavior alone can over-ride all the warming that comes from manmade CO2.

    But Warmista arrogance does not stop there. Svensmark and Kirkby claim that cosmic rays influence cloud behavior. Heresy, scream the Warmista! Only radiation from the sun can influence cloud behavior. Warmista are doing their best to nail Svensmark and Kirkby. Do you want to help them?

  88. I was in the lab again researching and I observed clouds in the shape of he-who-shall-not-be-named, but it rhymes with Corporal Bore. I’ve run millions of computer simulations and discovered that this would be a impossibility without direct influence of a sinister nature. I fear the worst. Even the scientific process is being undermined and mind-manipulated. Furthermore, I have discovered that Plato was incorrect and Zeus does not exist either so we can also file that case closed. Still, does anyone have data to support that theory as well? Thanks, Dr.W

  89. cwj says:

    “Also, my critique emphases scientific methodology. In a phrase, computer models cannot substitute for physical theory. Yet Warmista have lashed themselves to the computer models and embraced their fate.”

    A model is a test of science as to how well a system is understood. If the system is well understood, results from a model reflecting that understanding will match reality. If the model does not match actual data from the functioning system, it’s a good indication that you do not understand the system.

    The Climate model results I’ve seen the reported snippets of, as here, indicate that as far as climate is concerned, the science so far is clueless.

  90. Theo Goodwin says:

    David Falkner says:
    September 22, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    Answer One: Warmista are committed “radiation only” theorists.

    Answer Two: To be something other than a committed “radiation only” theorist, you have to leave the supercomputer lounge, go into the world, create hypotheses about the natural regularities that make up phenomena such as cloud behavior or La Nina, design experiments to test your hypotheses, honestly report all results to the world, and accept that you are neither divine nor Stalin.

  91. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    Greg says:
    September 22, 2011 at 4:01 pm
    “When a model does not produce an accurate result it is wrong. When it says 2+2 = 5 it is wrong.”

    Not so fast. The other 1/5th may well be hiding in the depths of the oceans…

    ++++++++++++

    2+2 does = 5 for very large values of 2

  92. G. Karst says:

    The correct model for the correct purpose is a wondrous tool. To the uninitiated magical.

    Taking actions based on an incorrect model – will kill you DEAD. Quickly. No magic to it! GK

  93. DCA says:

    Theo Goodwin:

    ” I have been asking every Warmista for that set of hypotheses. Where is it? Is it in the deep oceans with Trenberth’s missing heat?”

    I have been a long WUWT veiwer and greatly adminre your knowledge and logic. Please forgive me for bring this up.I am currently debating this isse on a local blog and this is a rely I have recieved.

    You might want to hold your nose when you read it.

    http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/09/23/327298/hottest-decade-deep-oceans-warming-may-be-on-its-way/

    Thank you in advance.

  94. Theo Goodwin says:

    DCA says:
    September 23, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Thank you very much for the compliment. Thank you for the reference. Maybe Anthony will do a post on what you reference. If not, I will get back to you.

  95. Theo Goodwin says:

    DCA says:
    September 23, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    I checked out the article and there is nothing beyond what was covered in the recent wuwt post on the matter. As Pielke, Sr., explained in a post here yesterday, there is a major problem with the deep ocean warming theory, namely, that the heat did not pass the ARGO sensors.

    In addition, even if the deep oceans were warming, that should tip off the Warmista to the fact that there are natural processes other than radiation processes and that they have to be taken into account when attempting to measure global warming. Warmista need to get out of their “radiation only” approach to global warming and start describing the natural regularities that radiation must pass through.

  96. davidmhoffer says:

    DCA;
    I took a look through that article you linked to. It is chalk full of the usual misrepresentations.

    1. Look at the graph. Looks scary doesn’t it? What is shows is that we’ve had about one degree of warming inthe last century. Now think about that same graph, only instead of a scale from -0.8 to plus 0.1, imagine it as -40 to +40. See what happens? Suddenly that scary rise in temperature is almost a flat line.

    2. A lot of to do about the hottest decade on record. So? It is also the warmest CENTURY in the last SEVERAL centuries. Think about it this way. On Monday you put $1 million into a bank account. On Tuesday you put $100,000. On Wednesday you put in one penn thursday you put in one penny, On Friday you put in two pennies. The following, based on graphing your account balance from Tuesday forward on a scale of 1,100,000 to 1,100,00.04 would show that:

    a) this is the highest account balance you’ve EVER had
    b) the rate at which the account balance is increasing appears to be accelerating…+1, +1, +2..

    We’re recovering from an ice age on this planet, every decade (with a couple of dips here and there) as been the warmest for the last several centuries. Measuring the pennies is meaningless without proper context…which was sheets of ice so thick they ground mountains into prairies.

    3. Most astounding of all is the assertion that scientists have “known” for a long time that the bulk of the warming was going to go into the oceans. Really? Then why did Hansen, the almighty, all knowing, head of NASA/GISS, argue exactly the opposite? He has insisted for years that the warming is indicated by LAND temperartures, NOT ocean temperatures, hence his reasoning for extending temperature readings taken over LAND by a radius large enough to cover the ocean, but not vice versa (in other words, for any given area with both land and ocean, using the warmer land temperatures instead). On that he makes a certain amount of sense. After all the LW radiance that CO2 supposedly traps CANNOT PENETRATE THE OCEAN AT ALL. It is 100% absorbed in the first few microns (millionths of a meter!) which results in the teeny weeny thin layer of water to instantlyt evaporate,taking the energy from the LW wioth it…back into the atmosphere. So how does it get into the depths of the ocean in the first place then? without anything in between the depths (several thousand feet) and the surface changing temperature at all? Did we spend a few billion dollars on all those Argo buoys to measure the top couple of thousand feet all over the world and they just missed it? All several hundred of them? Did LW suddenly change its known physics and nobody noticed? And if the ocean is trapping all this heat, where is the thermal expansion that Hansen (GISS) and Jones (HadCrut) and Trenberth (Travesty) said would raise the ocean level several meters? HJacve the properties of water also changed their physics?

    that’s as far as I got. sorry, but that’s all I could take :-)

  97. Ammonite says:

    davidmhoffer says: September 23, 2011 at 9:16 am
    “declaring a GCM wrong because it does not reproduce ENSO when it was never intended to seems misplaced.”>>> The GCM’s were designed to model the CLIMATE. They do not. Not reproducing ENSO would be a reason WHY they do not. That is not a “misplaced” criticism, it is dead centre on target… You have posited reasons for not throwing the models out entirely based on spurious and misguided reasoning.

    I am inviting readers to consider a model’s validity based on what it purports to model. I am not suggesting a stock market model has any validity whatsoever with respect to climate.

    “Not producing ENSO” would be a problem for a model that attempts to do so. “Not producing ENSO” would be a problem for a model that doesn’t include ENSO if ENSO turns out to be a signficant climate driver over longer time frames. If ENSO effects were to average out in the long run however, a non-ENSO model may well be valid even though it cannot match measured climactic results across the short haul.

    “Dr Spencer has clearly shown that the models do not accurately account for the amount of heat energy lost to space.” I hope Dr Spencer’s work stands the test of time.

  98. Michael D Smith says:

    Dr. Spencer,
    What software are you using for the charts? R? Thanks, Mike S.

  99. steptoe fan says:

    Have a hypothesis, regarding climate models:

    Dr. Spencer cites using 14 climate models.

    I am looking at Ch 8 of the 4th assessment of the IPCC report.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter8.pdf

    On page 597 of this chapter, section 8.1 there is a table listing 23 models that appear to be acceptable/relevant to the IPCC.

    First, are there additional software models acceptable/relevant, not listed by the IPCC ?

    I ask this question because I am trying to prove that none of these 23 models consider the possible impact of GCR’s upon earth’s climate. Are there other models I should be searching.

    I performed a FIND , using my browser’s edit function, on Ch 8 with respect to the string ‘cosmic ray’ and came up with zero hits. Note that there is a single blank space between the two words.

    Can anyone here comment on my hypoth or the existence of a super-set of climate models ?

    tnx, Steve

  100. Brian H says:

    AJStrata;
    Your use of “sad” is IMO kinda wishy-washy and mealy-mouth.
    Here are some suggested substitutes:
    egregious
    offensive
    despicable
    disingenuous
    disgusting
    outrageous
    pathetic
    nauseating
    risible

    All of the above.

    ;)
    ;p

  101. Brian H says:

    Ric Werme says:
    September 22, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    davidmhoffer says:
    September 22, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Pedant alert ahead!

    > I don’t give a tinker’s d***, nor do I mind

    The phrase is “worth a tinker’s dam.” When a tinker mended a pot or pan he’d make a clay dam to keep the molten tin in place. After the patch was applied the now worthless dam was knocked off and discarded. Being worthless, it became available as a comparison to similarly worthless items.

    Luvly. That was always one of those expressions that didn’t quite make sense, but that I’d never got ’round to looking up.

  102. Bart says:

    Dessler’s phase plane analysis is without merit. The relationship is most assuredly a negative stabilizing feedback, as becomes evident when you analyze the data with the proper tools.

  103. Bart says:

    “Dessler’s phase plane analysis is without merit.”

    To expand on why: Dessler assumed zero phase lag, and signals polluted with mere noise. The dominant component has a time constant of almost 5 years and a very nonlinear phase characteristic otherwise with variable delays across the entire frequency spread. Fitting a linear regression to such data in the phase plane is meaningless.

  104. Bart says:

    “…a very nonlinear phase characteristic otherwise indicating variable delays for different frequency localized components …”

  105. Theo Goodwin says:

    Ammonite says:
    September 23, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Models purport to model Gaia’s climate. Warmista use “radiation only” models. That is, they strive to treat all climate phenomena as some aspect of radiation. Many Warmista proudly treat ENSO as statistical noise. None of them treat it as a natural process that is not just an epiphenomenon of radiation.

    Trenberth’s recent discovery of heat stored in the deep oceans contradicts the “radiation only” approach and the assumption that Earth can be treated as a black body. Trenberth hasn’t figured that out yet.

  106. Brian H says:

    Ric Werme;
    In partial recompense for “tinker’s dam”, here’s the scoop on Humpty D., anent nothing in particular:

    “Humpty Dumpty” was the name of a large cannon, mounted on a wall near a cathedral during the English Civil War ( 1642 – 1649) in the Siege of Colchester (13 Jun 1648 – 27 Aug 1648). At one point, the Roundheads scored a hit on the base of the wall, and the cannon fell. The Royalists tried hard to remount it, bringing in its cavalry from the field at one point to help, but failed, and the city ultimately fell.
    (The nickname was slang for an obese person at the time; the cannon was very large!)

  107. Brian H says:

    Theo Goodwin says:
    September 24, 2011 at 10:24 am

    Trenberth’s recent discovery of heat stored in the deep oceans contradicts the “radiation only” approach and the assumption that Earth can be treated as a black body. Trenberth hasn’t figured that out yet.

    The Earth is grey:
    Twixt blackbody and greybody,
    The difference ain’t slim;
    A blackbody shines quite brightly;
    A grey one’s rather dim
    .
    :)
    ;p

  108. Brian H says:

    davidmhoffer says:
    September 23, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    A footnote to your rant: it seems all that thermal expansion has resulted in a sea level drop of about 6mm in the last 12 months.

    Odd, that!
    :D

  109. Ammonite says:

    Theo Goodwin says: September 24, 2011 at 10:24 am
    “Models purport to model Gaia’s climate. Warmista use “radiation only” models. That is, they strive to treat all climate phenomena as some aspect of radiation. Many Warmista proudly treat ENSO as statistical noise. None of them treat it as a natural process that is not just an epiphenomenon of radiation.”

    “Warmista”, “strive to treat all”, “proudly”? How about climate modellers attempt to use known physics to simulate various aspects of climate across various timeframes. The problem is more constrained than many are aware. A model initialized with an even temperature distribution from pole to pole will gradually alter its state to resemble regular earth-like conditions. This is not “programmed-in”. It is a test to ensure physics is represented correctly. Models must also be able to represent the effects of volcanic eruptions, climate response post deglaciation and so forth.

    Climate modelling represents an ambitious endpoint to a mass of basic research. Claims by “KnR says: September 23, 2011 at 2:28 am” that calls for CO2 reduction rest on models alone ignore this point. It is clearly an evolving discipline. It is clearly a difficult task.

  110. Theo Goodwin says:

    Ammonite says:
    September 24, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    “How about climate modellers attempt to use known physics to simulate various aspects of climate across various timeframes.”

    Sure, modelers use physics. They use Arrhenius’ work, for example. However, they have produced not one physical hypothesis of their own. You really cannot bring yourself to accept that fundamental truth, can you? I offer you the challenge that I offer everyone. If modelers have created one reasonably well confirmed physical hypothesis that goes beyond Arrhenius’ work, then produce it. Post it in all its glory here. You will find that there is not one. Therefore, modelers are either failed physical scientists, not physical scientists, or practicing a science that is in its infancy.

  111. Theo Goodwin says:

    Brian H says:
    September 24, 2011 at 10:38 am

    You are good!

  112. Theo Goodwin says:

    Ammonite says:
    September 24, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    “A model initialized with an even temperature distribution from pole to pole will gradually alter its state to resemble regular earth-like conditions.”

    “A model initialized with Miller Brewing’s existence packaging infrastructure will gradually alter its state to resemble actual shipping patterns for the brewing company.”

    Now, do you really think that a model of Miller’s shipping patterns amounts to a set of scientific hypotheses upon which one can base predictions and from which one can discover new and unknown scientific hypotheses?

  113. davidmhoffer says:

    steptoe fan;
    First, are there additional software models acceptable/relevant, not listed by the IPCC ?>>>

    Just to clarify, Dr Spencer’s paper compared to 8 of the 23 models. He was criticized for only comparing to those 8, and so he added the other 14 in this article to supplement the actual paper itself. The IPCC uses 22 of the 23 models for their “average”, I’ve long forgotten what the reason was to exclude the 23rd one from the average.

    In any event, one of the chapters is about models and their evaluation. there is a large table in there which shows what factors each model take into account. A lot of the models for example, do NOT account for variations in solar radiance. If memory serves me correctly, none of the models take into account GCR levels. Research into GCR’s and climate has been pretty recent, to make it into AR4 the papers would have had to been published around 2006. You’ll also note if you read the AR4 section on models that they admit to a considerable amount of uncertainty in regard to clouds. but the bulk of them assume a large positive feedback, which CERES data, and Dr Spencer’s paper, show is very likely erroneous.

  114. davidmhoffer says:

    Ammonite;
    How about climate modellers attempt to use known physics to simulate various aspects of climate across various timeframes.>>>

    They do? What “known physics” supports the idea that increasing CO2, which by the known physics is logarithmic, meaning that it is subject to the law of diminishing returns, somehow causes feedbacks that are increasingle amplified by secondary processes? Can you explain what physics known to man since…oh…400 BC or so, supports that idea? Can you name one experiment that has ever shown this to be possible in a simple or complex system?

    How is it that the models presume that 100 ppm added to our current 400 ppm will somehow have 1/2 the direct effect of the previous 100 ppm, but a linear or accelerated total when feedbacks are included? If that were the case, any tiny bump in CO2 levels would have resulted in the planet’s temperature running away thousands of times in the past, yet the geological record whos that CO2 levels HAVE been many times what they are currently, and nothing of the sort happened.

    There is NO KNOWN PHYSICS to suggest that it would, and substantive geological evidence to show that the ‘experiment” had been done and the notion falsified many times already.

    If you can produce known physics to the contrary, I’d be very interested. As would Einstein, Millicken, Newton, Bohr, Curie, Pascal, Farraday, Fermi, Stefan, Boltzmann, Joule, and many others who will rise from the grave, so great will be their interest.

  115. steptoe fan says:

    thanks, dmh.

    I will continue my study of ch 8.

  116. davidmhoffer says:

    steptoe fan;

    Chapter 9, page 636
    “Therefore, cloud feedbacks remain the largest source of uncertainty in climate sensitivity estimates.”

    The table listing the various “forcings” each model takes into account is on page 646. That’s not actually the table I was thinking of, there’s another one somewhere else that goes into more detail. I just can’t recall at the moment where it is. If you’re going through Ch8 in any detail, don’t forget the “supplementary material” which is a separate document. It has a lot of those graphs that they wish people couldn’t refer to anymore in them as I recall.

  117. Ammonite says:

    davidmhoffer says: September 24, 2011 at 7:53 pm
    What “known physics” supports the idea that increasing CO2, which by the known physics is logarithmic, meaning that it is subject to the law of diminishing returns, somehow causes feedbacks that are increasingle amplified by secondary processes?

    Causes of positive feedback: increased water vapour, degassing of CO2 from warming oceans, albedo reduction, CH4 escape from degraded permafrost… Please note, as thrashed out many times in many blogs, positive feedback need not imply runaway.

  118. Philip Mulholland says:

    positive feedback need not imply runaway

    Indeed so, here is how the planet responds.
    Atmospheric cycle:-
    Higher surface temperatures :. more evaporation of marine water.
    More evaporation of marine water :. more atmospheric condensation of fresh water.
    More atmospheric condensation of fresh water :. more solution of carbon dioxide gas from the air.
    More solution of carbon dioxide gas from the air :. more acid rain.
    Terrestrial Cycle:-
    More acid rain & higher surface temperatures :. more chemical weathering of basaltic rocks.
    More chemical weathering of basaltic rocks :. more release of new calcium (and magnesium) ions into the soil.
    More new calcium ions in the soil from basaltic rocks & acid rain :. more new calcium carbonate in the soil.
    More new calcium carbonate in the soil & acid rain :. more new calcium bicarbonate in solution in the hydrosphere.
    More new calcium bicarbonate in solution in the hydrosphere :. more transport of calcium bicarbonate into the ocean.
    Marine Cycle:-
    Higher surface water temperatures :. more evaporation of marine water in shallow tropical seas.
    More evaporation of marine water in shallow tropical seas :. more inorganic precipitation of calcium carbonate and more return of carbon dioxide gas from the ocean back into the atmosphere via the bicarbonate to carbonate transition.
    This shallow water warming and saline concentration of sea water produces more inorganic precipitation of calcium carbonate as oolitic carbonate beach sand in littoral tropical environments .
    Geological Result:-
    More generation of primary source inorganic oolitic carbonate beach sand which results in more sequestration of carbon dioxide, as new calcium carbonate rock, to add the repository of 40,000,000 petagrams of limestone (half of which is of inorganic origin) already stored in the sedimentary rocks of planet earth throughout the last 600 million years.

  119. davidmhoffer says:

    Ammonite;
    Causes of positive feedback: increased water vapour, degassing of CO2 from warming oceans, albedo reduction, CH4 escape from degraded permafrost… Please note, as thrashed out many times in many blogs, positive feedback need not imply runaway.>>>

    Those are a list of theories. Not one can be described as known physics and not one has been demonstrated through experimentation. Noting a list of things that that in theory would happen is not known physics.

  120. Ammonite says:

    davidmhoffer says: September 25, 2011 at 9:05 am
    Ammonite: Causes of positive feedback: increased water vapour…
    dmh: Not one can be described as known physics and not one has been demonstrated through experimentation.

    David, you might want to recheck your sources. A simple google sholar search reveals dozens of articles examining water vapour response to increased temperatures. In particular, the increase has been measured directly by NASA “AIRS temperature and water vapor observations have corroborated climate model predictions that the warming of our climate produced as carbon dioxide levels rise will be greatly exacerbated — in fact, more than doubled — by water vapor,” said Andrew Dessler, a climate scientist at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.

  121. davidmhoffer says:

    Ammonite;
    David, you might want to recheck your sources>>>
    predictions that the warming of our climate produced as carbon dioxide levels rise will be greatly exacerbated — in fact, more than doubled — by water vapor,” said Andrew Dessler, a climate scientist at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.>>>

    You know what I really love about this debate Ammonite? What I love is people who claim to know what they are talking about and then quote an example that proves MY point.

    For starters, Andrew Dessler quotes results based on climate models. You cannot prove the existence of a physical law by the use of an artificial computer model that produces an estimate. The laws of physics can be proven by one, and only one, thing, which is experimentation and measurement of real world results. What you are arguing is that 2+2=5 and that someone wrote a computer program which add 2 +2 and gets 5, so that must be the right answer. Computer models prove nothing. They simply produce estimates based on the assumptions of their programmers.

    The fact that no single model has gotten anywhere close to real world results ought to tell you something.about the quality of their assumptions. Further, the assumption that increased water vapour would have “double” the effect of CO2 alone CANNOT be supported by the actual physics, just look up the properties of water on wikipedia or engineers toolbox and you’ll find that one degree increase in temperature cannot possibly increase water vapour that much, then check out the absorption spectrum and properties of water vapour and you’ll find that it is logarithmic, so given the concentrations it is already at, the amount of additional water vapour needed to get two more degrees from the initial one degree from CO2 would be MASSIVE, and a one degree increase in temps just won’t accommodate that much more water vapour in the atmosphere.

    I doubt that Andrew Dessler said any such thing by the way. Even as a warmist cheer leader, his grip on physics is much stronger than that. What he is more likely to have said (in accordance with the IPCC btw) is that more water vapour = more warming + more clouds and that clouds have a net positive feedback…for a total of +1 to +3 degrees more than CO2 alone.

    Balderdash. Read Spencer’s paper. Read the ACTUAL data he has posted. What does it say? It says that the MEASURED heat being lost to space is much higher than what the models predict. You can either conclude that the measurements are wrong, or that the models are built on assumptions that are wrong.

    But most of all, you have to understand that you’ve quoted an example of a known law pf physics that isn’t a known law of physics at all.

    Try again. Swing and a miss on this one.

  122. Ammonite says:

    dmh: My last response. Water vapour increase has been measured, (physically measured not modelled) due to temperature increase. Consider reviewing http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch3s3-4-2-1.html or google scholar. This acts as a positive feedback. You can argue the toss as much as you want with respect to the size of that feedback, I merely point out that positive feedbacks do exist and this is one of them.

  123. davidmhoffer says:

    Ammonite;
    dmh: My last response. Water vapour increase has been measured, (physically measured not modelled) due to temperature increase.>>>

    And so? Did I ever say that there would be no increase in water vapour? I said no such thing. I said, and I quote:

    ” What “known physics” supports the idea that increasing CO2, which by the known physics is logarithmic, meaning that it is subject to the law of diminishing returns, somehow causes feedbacks that are increasingle amplified by secondary processes?”

    and

    “How is it that the models presume that 100 ppm added to our current 400 ppm will somehow have 1/2 the direct effect of the previous 100 ppm, but a linear or accelerated total when feedbacks are included?”

    You have not answered the question. you have spouted drivel about “known physics” that isn’t known at all, and then attempted to pass of measured increases in water vapour as “known physics” resulting in an additional warming double that of CO2. I repeat, what known physics justifies this? This time, instead of making references out of context to others, misquoting both their words and their intent, how about you explain the actual physics itself. Here’s an example:

    1.CO2 is logarithmic. (IPCC and your prescious Dressler agree on this)
    2. Doubling of CO2 = 3.7 w/m2 = 1 degree C of warming. (IPCC and Dessler agree on this)
    3. Baseline “normal” levels of CO2 (prior to the advent of the industrial age beginning in 1920) was 280 PPM (IPCC and Dessler agree on this)
    4. This means that for direct warming by CO2, “double” means going from 280 PPM to 560 PPM.
    5. If 560 PPM results in ONE DEGREE of direct warming by CO2, then TWO degrees of direct warming would require 1,120 PPM.
    6. We are currently at 400 PPM. Based on the logarithmic properties of CO2, that means that direct warming (versus 280 PPM) should be about 0.6 degrees. (IPCC and Desller, no dispute there either).
    7. If we increase from 400 PPM to 520 PPM, we would expect, based on the logarithmic properties of CO2, that this would result in about 0.3 degrees of direct warming from CO2. (again, no dispute from IPCC etc on this either, though they studiously avoid beinbg drawn into this kind of discussion).

    So, I repeat my additional assertion. What known laws of physics result in a linear or accelerating temperature trend DESPITE the driving factor (CO2) being subject to the law of diminishing returns? For temperature increases to remain linear or to accelerate in response to increaseing levels of CO2, then the only possible explanation for that to occurr would be for feedbacks to ALSO increase, and to do so EXPONENTIALLY.

    What known laws of physics can you point to, what known properties of materials, would substantiate such a notion? No quoting of other people’s opinions, or other people’s estimates, all you accomplish by doing so is show that YOU believe what THEY say. If you dispute what I have written, then explain which of the rough calculations or explanations above is incorrect and why.

    You’re on your second swing and a miss, btw.

  124. davidmhoffer says:

    …and since we’re on the topic Ammonite…

    the next 120 PPM, to a total of 640 PPM (vs 520 PPM) would mean another 0.15 degrees of direct warming.

    And from 640 PPM to 760 PPM would add yet another… 0.075 degrees of direct warming.

    So, versus the 400 PPM we are at now, and using the last 50 years of CO2 increases which have hovered around 2 PPM per year, in 180 years we should expect… another 0.525 degrees C before feebacks.

    See the problem here? How do you get linear or exponential warming out of that?

  125. davidmhoffer says:

    DCA;
    That was their shot at debunking, but it was published before Dessler actually contacted Spencer about the mistakes in Dessler’s paper that Spencer pointed out on his own blog and on WUWT, and Dessler admitted them and commited to correcting his own paper.

    Ammonite;
    No comment on the actual science? Asked to respond to actual science rather than just quote something by somebody else that just winds up showing you don’t actually understand the question, and…. silence. Have you had cause to think over the facts I have presented? If you have no rebuttal, is that an admission that you were wrong?

    dana1981;
    took ball, went home. came back, whined, went home again. still haven’t answered the SCIENCE questioned posed to you, just complained about the kinds of words used to describe you. Any chance you’ll step up to the science questions and give good cause for a more respectfull vocabulary?

  126. DCA says:

    David and Leo,

    Thanks for your replies. Now there is criticism of Spener’s “one-layer ocean model”. Am I right in thinking that Spencer is not trying to duplicate the IPCC climate models, but he is showing how far off the models are in relation to Spencer’s observations?

  127. davidmhoffer says:

    DCA;
    Pretty much. CERES is an experiment to measure a number of things including outbound LW radiation from earth. What he’s done ought not to be that hard to understand. The blue line in the graph above represents the actual LW escaping from earth. The spaghetti what the models themselves predict, and the black line is their average. Since the models under estimate the amount of energy lost to space, they by default over estimate the termperature of the earth both now and in the future.

    That’s the end of the argument if you think about it.

    WHY this happens to be true is more complicated. Crticisms like “he’s just modeling ENSO” or “he’s used a one layer model” are all silly when you get right down to it. If the theory is that CO2 retains LW that would otherwise escape to space.mo model is going to get it right if their assumptions are wrong.

  128. Gail Combs says:

    davidmhoffer says: @ September 27, 2011 at 8:49 am

    “DCA;
    Pretty much. CERES is an experiment to measure a number of things including outbound LW radiation from earth. What he’s done ought not to be that hard to understand. The blue line in the graph above represents the actual LW escaping from earth. The spaghetti what the models themselves predict, and the black line is their average. Since the models under estimate the amount of energy lost to space, they by default over estimate the temperature of the earth both now and in the future.

    That’s the end of the argument if you think about it….”

    Very nicely explained.

    It also takes care of the question of Trenberth’s missing heat that is not shown by the ARGO buoys.

    That makes not one but two pieces of experimental data that disprove the climate models.

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