Climate scientists and their excuses

Candid Comments From Climate Scientists

By Dr. Roger Pielke Sr.

There is  a news release by Paul Voosen on Greenwire titled

Provoked scientists try to explain lag in global warming (Tuesday, October 25, 2011)

There are some interesting quotes from climate scientists in this article that highlight a large degree of uncertainty with respect to the climate system, and the human role in it, even among scientists closely involved with the IPCC reports.  The long article focuses on the question

 ‘Why, despite steadily accumulating greenhouse gases, did the rise of the planet’s temperature stall for the past decade?”

Interesting quotes and text {rearranged to order the persons’ quoted; I highly recommend reading the entire article  include [highlight added]:

From John Barnes [Barnes’s specialty is measuring stratospheric aerosols].

If you look at the last decade of global temperature, it’s not increasing,” Barnes said. “There’s a lot of scatter to it. But the [climate] models go up. And that has to be explained. Why didn’t we warm up?”

Barnes has kept a lonely watch for 20 years [at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii]. Driving the winding, pothole-strewn road to this government-run lab, he has spent evening after evening waiting for the big one. His specialty is measuring stratospheric aerosols, reflective particles caused by volcanoes that are known to temporarily cool the planet. Only the most violent volcanic eruptions are able to loft emissions above the clouds, scientists thought, and so Barnes, after building the laser, waited for his time.

To this day, there hasn’t been a major volcanic eruption since 1991, when Mount Pinatubo scorched the Philippines, causing the Earth to cool by about a half degree for several years. But Barnes diligently monitored this radio silence, identifying the background level of particles in the stratosphere. And then, sitting in his prefab lab four years ago, not far from where Charles Keeling first made his historic measure of rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, Barnes saw something odd in his aerosol records.

Barnes laments the boggling complexity of separating all the small forcings on the climate. It makes Charles Keeling’s careful work identifying rising CO2 levels seem downright simple.

“It’s really subtle,” he said. “It’s hard to track how much is going into the oceans, because the oceans are soaking up some of the heat. And in a lot of places the measurements just aren’t accurate enough. We do have satellites that can measure the energy budget, but there’s still assumptions there. There’s assumptions about the oceans, because we don’t have a whole lot of measurements in the ocean.”

From Jean-Paul  Vernier

Five years ago, a balloon released over Saharan sands changed Jean-Paul Vernier’s life.

Climbing above the baked sand of Niger, the balloon, rigged to catch aerosols, the melange of natural and man-made particles suspended in the atmosphere, soared above the clouds and into the stratosphere. There, Vernier expected to find clear skies; after all, there had been no eruption like Pinatubo for more than a decade. But he was wrong. Twelve miles up, the balloon discovered a lode of aerosols.

Vernier had found one slice of the trend identified by Barnes at Mauna Loa in Hawaii. It was astonishing. Where could these heat-reflecting aerosols be originating? Vernier was unsure, but Barnes and his team hazarded a guess when announcing their finding. It was, they suggested, a rapidly increasing activity in China that has drawn plenty of alarm.

A French scientist who moved to NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia to study aerosols, Vernier, like Barnes, turned toward a laser to understand these rogue sulfates. But rather than using a laser lashed to the ground, he used a laser in space.

The same year as the Niger balloon campaign, NASA had launched a laser-equipped satellite aimed at observing aerosols among the clouds. Vernier and his peers suspected, with enough algorithmic ingenuity, that they could get the laser, CALIPSO, to speak clearly about the stratosphere. The avalanche of data streaming out of the satellite was chaotic — too noisy for Barnes’ taste, when he took a look — but several years on, Vernier had gotten a hold of it. He had found an answer.

Mostly, the aerosols didn’t seem to be China’s fault.

From Kevin Trenberth

The hiatus [in warming] was not unexpected. Variability in the climate can suppress rising temperatures temporarily, though before this decade scientists were uncertain how long such pauses could last. In any case, one decade is not long enough to say anything about human effects on climate; as one forthcoming paper lays out, 17 years is required.

For some scientists, chalking the hiatus up to the planet’s natural variability was enough. Temperatures would soon rise again, driven up inexorably by the ever-thickening blanket thrown on the atmosphere by greenhouse gases. People would forget about it.

But for others, this simple answer was a failure. If scientists were going to attribute the stall to natural variability, they faced a burden to explain, in a precise way, how this variation worked. Without evidence, their statements were no better than the unsubstantiated theories circulated by climate skeptics on the Internet.

“It has always bothered me,” said Kevin Trenberth, head of the climate analysis section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. “Natural variability is not a cause. One has to say what aspect of natural variability.”

Until 2003, scientists had a reasonable understanding where the sun’s trapped heat was going; it was reflected in rising sea levels and temperatures. Since then, however, heat in the upper ocean has barely increased and the rate of sea level rise slowed, while data from a satellite monitoring incoming and outgoing heat — the Earth’s energy budget — found that an ever increasing amount of energy should be trapped on the planet. (Some scientists question relying on this satellite data too heavily, since the observed energy must be drastically revised downward, guided by climate models.) Given this budget ostensibly included the solar cycle and aerosols, something was missing.

Where was the heat going? Trenberth repeated the question time and again.

Recently, working with Gerald Meehl and others, Trenberth proposed one answer. In a paper published last month, they put forward a climate model showing that decade-long pauses in temperature rise, and its attendant missing energy, could arise by the heat sinking into the deep, frigid ocean waters, more than 2,000 feet down. The team used a new model, one prepared for the next U.N. climate assessment; unlike past models, it handles the Pacific’s variability well, which ”seems to be important,” Trenberth said.

“In La Niña, the colder sea surface temperatures in the Pacific mean there is less convective action there — fewer tropical storms, etc., and less clouds, but thus more sun,” he said. “The heat goes into the ocean but gets moved around by the ocean currents. So ironically colder conditions lead to more heat being sequestered.”

It is a compelling illustration of how natural variability, at least in this model, could overcome the influence of increasing greenhouse gases for a decade or more, several scientists said. However, according to one prominent researcher — NASA’s Hansen — it’s a search for an answer that doesn’t need to be solved.

That is because, according to Hansen, there is no missing energy.

Trenberth questions whether the Argo measurements are mature enough to tell as definite a story as Hansen lays out. He has seen many discrepancies among analyses of the data, and there are still “issues of missing and erroneous data and calibration,” he said. The Argo floats are valuable, he added, but “they’re not there yet.”

From Susan Solomon

“What’s really been exciting to me about this last 10-year period is that it has made people think about decadal variability much more carefully than they probably have before,” said Susan Solomon, an atmospheric chemist and former lead author of the United Nations’ climate change report, during a recent visit to MIT. “And that’s all good. There is no silver bullet. In this case, it’s four pieces or five pieces of silver buckshot.”

Already Solomon had shown that between 2000 and 2009, the amount of water vapor in the stratosphere declined by about 10 percent. This decline, caused either by natural variability — perhaps related to El Niño — or as a feedback to climate change, likely countered 25 percent of the warming that would have been caused by rising greenhouse gases. (Some scientists have found that estimate to be high.) Now, another dynamic seemed to be playing out above the clouds.

In a paper published this summer, Solomon, Vernier and others brought these discrete facts to their conclusion, estimating that these aerosols caused a cooling trend of 0.07 degrees Celsius over the past decade. Like the water vapor, it was not a single answer, but it was a small player. These are the type of low-grade influences that future climate models will have to incorporate, Livermore’s Santer said.

Solomon was surprised to see Vernier’s work. She remembered the Soufrière eruption, thinking “that one’s never going to make it into the stratosphere.” The received wisdom then quickly changed. ”You can actually see that all these little eruptions, which we thought didn’t matter, were mattering,” she said.

From Jim Hansen

These revelations are prompting the science’s biggest names to change their views.

Indeed, the most important outcome from the energy hunt may be that researchers are chronically underestimating air pollution’s reflective effect, said NASA’s James Hansen, head of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

Recent data has forced him to revise his views on how much of the sun’s energy is stored in the oceans, committing the planet to warming. Instead, he says, air pollution from fossil fuel burning, directly and indirectly, has been masking greenhouse warming more than anyone knew.

It was in no “way affected by the nonsensical statements of contrarians,” Hansen said. “These are fundamental matters that the science has always been focused on. The problem has been the absence of [scientific] observations.”

NASA’s Hansen disputes that worry about skeptics drove climate scientists to ignore the sun’s climate influence. His team, he said, has “always included solar forcing based on observations and Judith’s estimates for the period prior to accurate observations.”

“That makes the sun a bit more important, because the solar variability modulates the net planetary energy imbalance,” Hansen said. “But the solar forcing is too small to make the net imbalance negative, i.e., solar variations are not going to cause global cooling.”

“Unfortunately, when we focus on volcanic aerosol forcing, solar forcing and stratospheric water vapor changes, it is a case of looking for our lost keys under the streetlight,” Hansen said. “What we need to look at is the tropospheric aerosol forcing, but it is not under the street light.”

“I suspect that there has been increased aerosols with the surge in coal use over the past half decade or so,” he said. “There is semi-quantitative evidence of that in the regions where it is expected. Unfortunately, the problem is that we are not measuring aerosols well enough to determine their forcing and how it is changing.”

More fundamentally, the Argo probe data has prompted Hansen to revise his understanding of how the climate works in a fundamental way, a change he lays out in a sure-to-be-controversial paper to be published later this year.

For decades, scientists have known that most of the heat trapped by greenhouse gases was going into the ocean, not the atmosphere; as a result, even if emissions stopped tomorrow, they said, the atmosphere would continue to warm as it sought balance with the overheated oceans. In a term Hansen coined, this extra warming would be “in the pipeline,” its effects lingering for years and years. But exactly how much warming would be in the pipeline depended on how efficiently heat mixed down into the oceans.

Hansen now believes he has an answer: All the climate models, compared to the Argo data and a tracer study soon to be released by several NASA peers, exaggerate how efficiently the ocean mixes heat into its recesses. Their unanimity in this efficient mixing could be due to some shared ancestry in their code. Whatever the case, it means that climate models have been overestimating the amount of energy in the climate, seeking to match the surface warming that would occur with efficient oceans. They were solving a problem, Hansen says, that didn’t exist.

At first glance, this could easily sound like good news, if true. But it’s not.

“Less efficient mixing, other things being equal, would mean that there is less warming ‘in the pipeline,’” Hansen said. “But it also implies that the negative aerosol forcing is probably larger than most models assumed. So the Faustian aerosol bargain is probably more of a problem than had been assumed.”

From John Daniel [a researcher at the Earth System Research Lab of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration]

When the record came in 1998, though, scientists faltered. It’s a pattern often seen with high temperatures. They cut out too much nuance, said John Daniel, a researcher at the Earth System Research Lab of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“We make a mistake, anytime the temperature goes up, you imply this is due to global warming,” he said. “If you make a big deal about every time it goes up, it seems like you should make a big deal about every time it goes down.”

From Ben Santer

For a decade, that’s exactly what happened. Skeptics made exaggerated claims about “global cooling,” pointing to 1998. (For one representative example, two years ago columnist George Will referred to 1998 as warming’s “apogee.”) Scientists had to play defense, said Ben Santer, a climate modeler at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

“This no-warming-since-1998 discussion has prompted people to think about the why and try to understand the why,” Santer said. “But it’s also prompted people to correct these incorrect claims.”

“Susan’s stuff is particularly important,” Santer said. “Even if you have the hypothetical perfect model, if you leave out the wrong forcings, you will get the wrong answer.”

From Judith Lean

The answer to the hiatus, according to Judith Lean, is all in the stars. Or rather, one star.

Only recently have climate modelers followed how that 0.1 percent can influence the world’s climate over decade-long spans. (According to best estimates, it gooses temperatures by 0.1 degrees Celsius.) Before then, the sun, to quote the late comedian Rodney Dangerfield, got no respect, according to Lean, a voluble solar scientist working out of the the space science division of the Naval Research Laboratory, a radar-bedecked facility tucked away down in the southwest tail of Washington, D.C.

Climate models failed to reflect the sun’s cyclical influence on the climate and “that has led to a sense that the sun isn’t a player,” Lean said. “And that they have to absolutely prove that it’s not a player.”

According to Lean, the combination of multiple La Niñas and the solar minimum, bottoming out for an unusually extended time in 2008 from its peak in 2001, are all that’s needed to cancel out the increased warming from rising greenhouse gases. Now that the sun has begun to gain in activity again, Lean suspects that temperatures will rise in parallel as the sun peaks around 2014.

This consistent trend has prompted Lean to take a rare step for a climate scientist: She’s made a short-term prediction. By 2014, she projects global surface temperatures to increase by 0.14 degrees Celsius, she says, driven by human warming and the sun.

From Graeme Stephens

Over the past decade, for the first time, scientists have had access to reliable measures of the ocean’s deep heat, down to 5,000 feet below sea level, through the Argo network, a collection of several thousand robotic probes that, every few days, float up and down through the water column. This led Hansen to conclude that net energy imbalance was, to be briefly technical, 0.6 watts per square meter, rather than more than 1 watt per square meter, as some had argued.

(Recently, the satellite group measuring the energy imbalance has revised its figure, which now sits at 0.6 watts, matching Hansen’s estimate, according to Graeme Stephens, the head of NASA’s Cloudsat mission. It suggests there isn’t a missing energy. Trenberth disagrees with this analysis, and it’s likely to be a question of ongoing debate.)

From Robert Kaufmann

This past summer, Robert Kaufmann, the BU geographer, made waves when he released a modeling study suggesting that the hiatus in warming could be due entirely to El Niño and increased sulfates from China’s coal burning. While the figures Kaufmann used for the study were based on the country’s coal combustion, and not actual emissions — a big point of uncertainty — many scientists saw some truth in his assertions.

From Martin Wild

During the 1980s and ’90s, the rapid decline of air pollution in the United States and Europe dominated the world’s aerosol trends. While those emissions have continued to decline in the West, returns, from a brightening standpoint, have diminished, just as coal combustion ramped up in Asia. It’s not that the world is getting dimmer again; it’s that it’s no longer getting brighter.

“It’s not an obvious overall trend anymore,” said Martin Wild, a lead author of the United Nations’ next climate assessment at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich. But, he added, “it fits quite well with [coal power] generation. For me, it’s quite striking that it seems to fit quite nicely. But it could still be by chance.”

From Daniel Jacobs

Kaufmann’s findings may only be relevant for so long. Since 2006, China has begun to mandate scrubbers for its coal-fired power plants, though it is uncertain how often the scrubbers, even when installed, are operated. But change is coming, said Daniel Jacob, an atmospheric chemist at Harvard University.

“The sulfate sources have been leveling off, because they’ve been starting to put serious emission controls on their power plants,” Jacob said. “It’s interesting. When you look at the future emission scenarios from the [next U.N. climate report], you see SO2 emissions dropping like a rock, even in the coming decades. Because basically China is going to have to do something about its public health problem.”

The end of the article highlights the developing debate among even these scientists.

“….many of the scientists sorting out the warming hiatus disagree with one another – in a chummy, scholarly way. Judith Lean, the solar scientist, finds Kaufmann’s work unpersuasive and unnecessarily critical of China. Kaufmann finds Solomon’s stratosphere studies lacking in evidence. Hansen and Trenberth can’t agree on a budget.

It seems staggering, then, that in a few years’ time a new consensus will form for the next U.N. climate change report. But it will, and lurking beneath it will remain, as always, the churning theories and rivalries, the questions, the grist of scientific life.

So, in the end, can anyone say explicitly what caused the warming hiatus?

“All of these things contribute to the relative muted warming,” Livermore’s Santer said. “The difficultly is figuring out the relative contribution of these things. You can’t do that without systematic modeling and experimentation. I would hope someone will do that.”

Barnes, for his part, would love to separate whether any background aerosols he found tucked away in the stratosphere came from Chinese coal burning. It is difficult to figure out, but he has some hope it could happen.

“Maybe when coal burning triples,” he said, “then we might sort it out.”

These extracts from the Greenwire article illustrate why the climate system is not yet well understood. The science is NOT solved.

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258 thoughts on “Climate scientists and their excuses

  1. Has surface tension been thought of. The atmosphere at normal temperatures does not have a high enough temperature to overcome surface tension, therefore there is no transfer of “excess heat” from the atmosphere into the ocean. The ocean heats only by sun’s radiation which can penetrate surface tension. The ocean follows the sun and the sun is down at the moment.

  2. OK, after reading this all, I have one question.

    Is it really so difficult to even consider that the entire premise of rising CO2 causing rising temperatures could be wrong? Really? Can these climate scientists honestly tell us that they don’t go home some nights and say to themselves, “what if we’re wrong?”

    As many (most?) regulars at WUWT can attest, the AGW hypothesis is sexily attractive, and at first glance appears self-evident. But… some of us moved on. Seeking evidence and finding none, we’re moving on. Too bad “mainstream” climate science is still stuck in an essentially disproved 80s hypothesis… wasting funding and valuable time investigating a complete dead-end…

  3. If asked for an editorial overview of the post( which is highly unlikely) I would say…

    “Scientists agree the climate has not warmed as it should have ( according to their models) but cannot agree on why”

    What is absolutely galling is that, based on incomplete, assumption ridden models, rife with tortured data, these people have caused possibly the biggest setback to human progress ever.
    Their arrogance is bretahtaking. Or even breathtaking.

  4. There is so much here that it is difficult to think of how best to reply. However, here is my thought:
    Having been students and lecturers at universities for many years my wife and I have known many academics. She frequently carries a camera and took a picture of a Professor in a large open field of grasses. That one she titled “A Professor Out-standing in his field.” Many years later she took a photo of two university types in the back of a pickup truck, with pitchforks, pitching horse manure out of the truck into a garden. That one she titled “Two scholars getting their sh-t together.”

    These collected “Candid Comments” suggest there is still a lot of stuff not yet gotten together.

  5. To this day, there hasn’t been a major volcanic eruption since 1991, when Mount Pinatubo scorched the Philippines, causing the Earth to cool by about a half degree for several years
    =============================================
    A 1/2 degree…for several years?
    Why doesn’t that show up in the temperature record?

    http://www.real-science.com/making

  6. From Ben Santer; “Even if you have the hypothetical perfect model…’

    So how do you get that then Ben? Beat the crap out of it?

  7. Thanks, Roger Sr., for scraping all this together in one place.

    Perhaps a corner is quietly being turned because they’ve actually acknowledged the warming has stalled. One or two have even had the temerity to admit solar influence.

    But, as you conclude, the science is most certainly NOT settled

  8. CodeTech Said:
    “Can these climate scientists honestly tell us that they don’t go home some nights and say to themselves, “what if we’re wrong?””

    Most people arn’t willing to acknowledge that:

    I might not be a rock star
    Maybe I am Not saving the world
    Without the hysteria, my cushy job may not get funded by the people who produce
    I am smart, therefore I should decide how people live – regardless the means
    Power, I like it.
    It’s really hard being so much smarter than everyone else, luckily for them, I am looking out for them
    Before the world got frieghtened about runaway temperatures, I was just another scientist, now I get quoted in the paper all the time
    Nobody will give me a communications (Re)award if AGW isn’t serious
    I don’t care if it is real, I like going to climate conferences on someone else’s dime

    So, they will go all in, with ever fiber of their being to preserve their positions.

  9. CodeTech says:
    October 27, 2011 at 9:01 am

    ” Can these climate scientists honestly tell us that they don’t go home some nights and say to themselves, “what if we’re wrong?” ”

    I’m sure that some of them may ask themselves that question. But then they may then ask themselves: “Where will the next pay cheque come from?”

    CO2 is (or it has been…) a luvverley little earner…

  10. Smokey says:
    October 27, 2011 at 9:05 am
    “My hypothesis: CO2 is both harmless . . . . ”

    My hypothosis: CO2 is absolutely essential to the life of those that use it . . . . No CO2 those that use it die . . . and the only thing left for them (trees/forests) to do is burn up because of 20% O2 . . .

    Actually, it is not any hypothosis it is an assertion . . . .

    Hey, Let’s just throw the baby in the lake . . . either it will swim or it will drown . . . one way or the other I will be right . . .

    And then the sure fire . . . excuse . . . wrong . . . wrong???? I was just testing you!

  11. I don’t know exactly what qualifies as a ‘major’ volcanic eruption since Pinatubo, but the one in Iceland (not going to attempt the spelling) shut down European airspace, in Ecuador, Turunguagua (local spelling) has erupted twice and Etna has just erupted.

  12. The post reads under the discussion of Trenberth, “The team [Meehl et al] used a new model, one prepared for the next U.N. climate assessment; unlike past models, it handles the Pacific’s variability well, which ‘seems to be important,’ Trenberth said.”

    In reality, it handles the Pacific quite poorly. Much of the data from the CCSM4 used by Meehl et al is available through the KNMI Climate Explorer. The emsemble mean and individual ensemble members for the CCSM4’s hindcast of the 20th Century do not resemble the Pacific Ocean on the planet Earth, third rock from the Sun, which I believe is the topic of discussion.

    I guess I’ve got a new topic for an upcoming post.

  13. The Hansen quote is a winner: “air pollution from fossil fuel burning, directly and indirectly, has been masking greenhouse warming more than anyone knew.”

    I though he was all about how air pollution from fossil fuel burning was causing global warming. Now it’s masking it?

    I’m confused.

  14. Fascinating. So after this rather uncoordinated retreat, where exactly is the new front line between True Climate Scientists and misguided skeptics?

  15. This reminds me of the 12 Rabbis in the Rabbinical Council who were considering the weighty issue before them. Out of the discussions came 18 different opinions–

  16. “These extracts from the Greenwire article illustrate why the climate system is not yet well understood. The science is NOT solved.”

    It also illustrates why Trenberth is a biased loon.

  17. If not CO2 or other greenhouse gases, what caused warming in the late 20th century? We will never know until climate scientists get off the CO2/AGW bandwagon and start looking for other answers.

    Science is supposed to work like this: Make an hypothesis, test it. Compare results with expectations. If results don’t match expectations, restart. Much is learned that way.

    BTW: That’s a simplified model of how science works. No supercomputer needed.

  18. …could swear I read here that CO2 has a cooling affect. Maybe it is the CO2 that is causing the ice age and lack of that produces the interglacial periods. Could be that simple???

  19. No one answered my question yesterday, so with this I’ll try again. Why is this just a question of “energy budgets” and radiation. Doesn’t a great deal of the energy get turned into work? The moving of the air, ocean currents, evaporation, more clouds, rain, lighting etc. It is work that picks up great quantities of water over an ocean and deposits it on land. Just a little extra radiative forcing, equals just a little extra (convection) movement of water or wind each day. Why does it supposedly accumulate in (missing) heat?

    Even consider the metaphysical implications of this energy, doesn’t it get utilized for life itself?

  20. When you have the right answer all these things fall into place and you are no longer surprised by new findinds as these new findings just serve as more confirmation.

    Jim Hansen says “Air pollution from fossil fuel burning, directly and indirectly, has been masking greenhouse warming more than anyone knew.”

    Wrong. Your greenhouse gas theory is dead, Jim.

    Presume, as I’ve been telling everyone for many moons, that greenhouse gases have very little effect over the ocean. That’s because the global ocean cools primarily via evaporation and greenhouse gases work by retarding radiative cooling. Well sir, if there ain’t much radiative cooling to begin with there ain’t retarding that GHGs can do, now is there?

    So how does that relate to aerosols? Well, aerosols work by shading the ocean surface. They block sunlight from reaching the ocean and instead reflect it right back out into outer space. So we end up with the situation where greenhouse gases emitted by fossil fuel burning aren’t doing much to keep the ocean warm the aerosol emissions from same are doing a bang-up job at keeping it cooler.

    So it’s not that aerosols are doing much more cooling than anyone expected it’s they aren’t being offset as much as anyone (except people like me) expected by the accompanying greenhouse gases.

    When you get it right everything starts making sense. Write that down.

  21. “Hansen now believes he has an answer: All the climate models, compared to the Argo data and a tracer study soon to be released by several NASA peers, exaggerate how efficiently the ocean mixes heat into its recesses. Their unanimity in this efficient mixing could be due to some shared ancestry in their code. Whatever the case, it means that climate models have been overestimating the amount of energy in the climate, seeking to match the surface warming that would occur with efficient oceans. They were solving a problem, Hansen says, that didn’t exist.”

    “exaggerate how efficiently the ocean mixes heat into its recesses.”

    Yep, the empirical nature of science scorns even the best theorist or computer modeler. Wonderful that Hansen could undergo such an epiphany.

    “Their unanimity in this efficient mixing could be due to some shared ancestry in their code.”

    Yep, computer code has its own peculiar characteristics and no matter how hard scientists try to work around them, those peculiar characteristics will assert themselves sooner or later. No computer model can substitute for scientific theory.

    Another huge epiphany for Hansen. Maybe now he will lead the way in explaining to climate scientists that physical theory must be formulated in the traditional way, the way followed by Newton and Einstein. Rigorously formulated in the language of physics, itself a specialized part of some natural language, physical hypotheses have cognitive content of their own and become falsifiable, in some cases individually and in other cases as groups of physical hypotheses. Then they can be used for prediction and explanation of natural phenomena.

    To those who do not understand that physical hypotheses must not only yield successful predictions but explain the phenomena predicted, look up Kepler’s Three Laws and learn how they were used by Kepler, Galileo, Newton, and everyone short of Einstein to explain predictions of observable phenomena such as phases of Venus. No computer model has cognitive content and, for that reason, no model can offer explanations of natural phenomena. For that reason alone, no model can substitute for physical theory. However, models can be highly useful analytic tools that theorists use to investigate the nooks and crannies of their theories.

    Bravo for you, Dr. Hansen, and the spirit that brought you the epiphanies.

  22. Susan’s stuff is particularly important,” Santer said. “Even if you have the hypothetical perfect model, if you leave out the wrong forcings, you will get the wrong answer.”

    “The wrong forcings”, “the hypothetical perfect model“? Ya think maybe if they just left out CO2, that would help? Nah. And “the physics” of the “perfect model”? Nah.

    So always getting it wrong must mean you’re onto something, eh? Either falsification or just an infinite amount of more garbage. Your choice, noble Climate Scientists, “Perception is reality,” and all.

  23. I knew it! CO2 is no longer the target. It has outplayed its role as a milking cow for the warmistas. Soot is up next! Not long before Mr. Solheim, the smiling minister of Norway is donating a billion or two to a new Soot Reseach lab in Norway. Norwegian Soot Lab. NoSoL.

  24. PF-
    The Hansen quote is a winner: “air pollution from fossil fuel burning, directly and indirectly, has been masking greenhouse warming more than anyone knew.”

    Hansen is hedging so that he can maintain his fossil fuel attacks if/when we start to experience global cooling.

  25. Well… Clearly the answer to Global Warming is to burn more coal.

    If coal burning has stopped it for a decade, well, let’s just keep on doing it. Oh, and put the sulfur back in Diesel while we’re at it. Looks like all those sulphate particulates are good after all…
    /sarcoff>

    Well, maybe only 1/2 sarcoff…

    Poor lost souls, wandering in the fog of ‘Greenhouse Gas Mythology’. Someone needs to point out that it’s the clouds and perhaps a bit of solar modulation of them. That whole water cycle thing that weather folks have known about for decades (centuries?).

    Ocean gets warm, a hurricane sprouts and dumps the heat to space.
    Land gets warm, a line of thunderstorms sprout and dumps the heat to space.
    Evaporation, convection, condensation. Repeat.

    It really IS that simple.

  26. Their unanimity in this efficient mixing could be due to some shared ancestry in their code.

    Yeah, their genetic code. Maybe they should stop with the inbreeding?

  27. E.M.Smith says:
    ‘It really IS that simple.”

    It’s looking like it. Must be embarassing for the climate galacticos to be finally figuring out what we all knew all along by common sense.

  28. Models are good for modeling, but a kick in the teeth with reality does more for science than any amount of models. In time, they will learn. After the excuses run out.

  29. It is interesting that a couple of years ago, NOAA ran a study based on simulations that 15 years flatlining would be inconsistent with our understanding of AGW. (More details here)

    Now, two years on with no sign of the flatline ending, Santer publishes a paper that moves the goalpost out to 17 years. Best 2 out of 3, anyone? Who wants to bet on it being extended to 19 years by 2013?

  30. There appear to be two primary schools of thought. The Earth is going through a cold spell that would be a lot colder without AGW. Or the Earth would warm, but has not because of various aerosols.The obvious is missing: If there is a cold spell, could there not have been a natural warm spell? Could not those aerosols been there the whole time?

  31. Re: Laurie Bowen (trolling yet again)
    Hey, Let’s just throw the baby in the lake . . . either it will swim or it will drown . . .

    It depends upon how old the baby is:

    445 observations were made of the swimming movements of 42 infants varying in age from 11 days to 2½ years. All exhibited disorganized movements when placed in the supine position in the water. Response in the prone position, however, shows a definite developmental sequence, corresponding closely to that of such atavistic reflexes as the Moro and the suspension grasp. In the first few weeks “reflex swimming movements” are observed: rhythmical, coordinated movements, with inhibition of breathing. After about four months the behavior becomes disorganized with difficulty in respiration. Toward the beginning of the second year appear “deliberate or voluntary” swimming movements, less automatic than the original reflex activity, but “purposeful.” That the pattern of the newborn resembles the behavior of other young mammals “suggests functional evidence of the phylogenesis of man.” (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

    Swimming behavior of the human infant. McGraw, M. B. The Journal of Pediatrics, Vol 15, 1939, 485-490

  32. The ‘science is settled’ was mad and bad claim to make in the in first place if for no other reason that is seldom true in any area of science. And when you have so many unknowns and poorly knows you have no chance of this idea standing the test to time . What it really reflects is not the state of the science, but the way climate science has become about political advocacy were this types of silly claim is the norm.
    While this area continues to consider that the ‘models ‘ give better data than physical reality becasue they support the ‘views’ being pushed its simply not going to advance.

  33. This is beautiful! In the past those clowns could get away with their pseudoscience… Simply Mainstream Media (MSM) and Academia used to “forget” their ridiculous “predictions”.

    Now it is “game over” for those clowns, intenet is showing people what their “science” actually is. Internet is not “forgetting” as MSM and Academia used to do, Thanks internet! Thanks WUWT! SUPERB JOB!

  34. The ocean not sequestering GHG-returned downwelling FIR is something many climate boffins didn’t expect but I did. I’ll tell you what *I* didn’t expect. I didn’t expect Hansen to be this candid or willing to modify his beliefs about the ocean heat budget. Remarkably Hansen seems far more amenable to the hypothesis that GHGs don’t insulate the ocean surface very well than a lot of folks here. It seems Hansen is more reasonable than Eschenbach who just keeps denying the plain and growing evidence that GHGs don’t work very well over the ocean.

  35. Let me get this straight… the self-anointed elite experts were wrong, have made many new guesses that proved wrong, quarrel among themselves, and are still confounded. Yet we’re pariahs because we’re skeptical about the accuracy of their current guesses? Isn’t skepticism the ONLY mental attitude that makes sense in this circumstance?

  36. Dave Springer says:
    October 27, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Wrong. Your greenhouse gas theory is dead, Jim.
    ____________________________________________________

    Great post… and I particularly like the back-door Star Trek reference “It’s dead Jim”

    Can’t add much but to ask can we now all agree the science isn’t settled?

  37. Is it time to stop calling climate “scientists” scientist?. Perhaps climate shamans? Since they belong to the land of “make believe”. where they can pretend to know what they are talking about and live out their life of delusion quite happily. Hence they would no longer harassed by those evil anti-science skeptics

  38. Jit says:
    October 27, 2011 at 10:39 am

    “Energy cannot be destroyed. If energy is put into work, it will later emerge as heat at some point.”

    Yeah, but it can take a bloody long time depending on what the work is doing. Say the work is evaporating and lifting water thousands of feet up in the air where it comes down as snow on a glacier. It’s stored indefinitely as gravitational potential energy. Or say the work being accomplished is shoving atoms together into hydrocarbons where it’s stored as potential energy in chemical bonds which might stay stored for a hundred million years or more.

  39. I too noted the reference to “fossil fuel burning”.

    Well, at least they striving to improve performance with regard to the chutzpah contained in their arguments. From “warm weather is a sign of global warming and so is cold weather” to “using fossil fuel is a problem because it leads to global warming and global cooling at the same time”.

  40. When you start off with a graph like that, it’s simply dishonest. Here are the approximate temperature changes from various records derived from linear fits since 2001: UAH: +0.07C. GISS: +0.05C. BEST:+0.03C. RSS:-0.04C. HADCRUT: -0.05C. Which one did you decide to show. Why that one?

    Besides which, the trends over such a short period of time have huge uncertainties and are essentially meaningless in climate studies. Only the most enthusiastic cherry pickers find any significance in them.

  41. “Hansen now believes he has an answer: All the climate models, compared to the Argo data and a tracer study soon to be released by several NASA peers, exaggerate how efficiently the ocean mixes heat into its recesses.”

    Exactly. As I was trying to drum into Willis Eschenbach’s thick skull, until I was blue in the face, to no avail about how downwelling longwave infrared from greenhouse gases is absorbed by the first few microns of the ocean’s surface AND DOES NOT MIX DOWNWARD. Evidently Hansen’s skull isn’t nearly as impenetrable as Eschenbach’s. Can you believe Eschenbach went so far as threatening to delete my comments if I so much as brought this up in comments on any of his articles? Have you ever seen the picture of the three monkeys labeled “See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil”? They’re describing Willis…

  42. We know that CAGW will fail. Hopefully sooner than later. The real question is how long will it take to deprogram the the world. The blind fanaticism this has created with the Eco friendly group is unreal. I actually hate to use the term Eco friendly because I consider myself to be one. In our house we wont even kill a spider. Depending on the species he gets a free ride in the house or gets moved back outside. We have all seen this fanaticism here at WUWT, the people that will not even take the time to verify anything for themselves and just spout the same propaganda over and over. Really what is it gonna take, Gore / Hanson / Trenberth standing on stage saying sorry we were wrong it seemed like a good idea at the time?

    There have been billions and billion sunk into carbon trading schemes. Are all the poor souls that invested into this going to end up bust just like all the people who invested into a corrupt financial market? If i had to guess we are getting ready to see a quick retreat out of this investment but the poor suckers in Australia are screwed. For them it was a tax and once the government gets a funding source they really don’t want to give it back. The financial aspect of this whole farce is going to be the hardest. The investment has been huge are the investor going to be able to recoup anything?

  43. A lot of thrashing about and speculation there.

    I think my oft expressed ideas as to how solar changes alter global cloudiness,albedo and solar energy flowing into the oceans fits the observations far better and more simply than anything suggested in the article.

    Any chance of funding to check it out ?

  44. easy …you need to hide some heat..well ..you make a new model..and put the heat in deep ocean…another parameters ….

  45. K Denison says:
    October 27, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Dave Springer says:
    October 27, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Wrong. Your greenhouse gas theory is dead, Jim.
    ____________________________________________________

    “Great post… and I particularly like the back-door Star Trek reference “It’s dead Jim””

    I was hoping a few fellow trekkies would spot it. Opportunities to employ it for comedic effect are rare and rarely as good as this one. I mean who knew James Hansen went by “Jim” among friends. He never seemed like a “Jim” kind of guy to me. Maybe a Jimmy like Jimmy Carter.

  46. doug s says:
    October 27, 2011 at 9:56 am

    No one answered my question yesterday, so with this I’ll try again. Why is this just a question of “energy budgets” and radiation. Doesn’t a great deal of the energy get turned into work? The moving of the air, ocean currents, evaporation, more clouds, rain, lighting etc. It is work that picks up great quantities of water over an ocean and deposits it on land. Just a little extra radiative forcing, equals just a little extra (convection) movement of water or wind each day. Why does it supposedly accumulate in (missing) heat?

    Even consider the metaphysical implications of this energy, doesn’t it get utilized for life itself [work]?

    My very little two cents only as to your last question, since no one else has answered: I think life living does effect energy balances, given a net accumulation of structure[s] such as the Pyramids, excavations, houses and such which, however, still tend to return to their pre-existing states. So perhaps net population and plant growth itself has directly or indirectly made some incoming energy “disappear”? Someone else mentioned “work” as accounting for this kind of apparently ignored energy, but I don’t know how or if it’s “budgeted” – bizarre use of a word, eh? “Perturbations”, “forcings”, “consesnsus”….

  47. [b] ….the Argo probe data has prompted Hansen to revise his understanding of how the climate works in a fundamental way…[/b]

    so effectively “I was wrong all that time but, here, let me try another method instead….” ???

  48. http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001/trend

    The other possibility is planetary feedback is negative rather than positive. If that assertion is correct something else cause the late 20th century warming, solar wind bursts, which creating a space charge differential in the ionosphere which removes the cloud forming ions by a process known as remove electroscavenging. There were a number of papers written noting the reduction in planetary clouds at the latitudes where the electroscavening mechanism has its greatest affect.

    The extreme AGW crowd including RealClimate attacked that hypothesis however there appear to be no substance, no logical basis for the criticism. (i.e. The criticism was that cloud measurement data must be incorrect although two independent methods where used to measure the cloud changes: 1) Direct (satellite) and 2) Indirect (Albedo) by measuring the changes in the amount of light reflected off of the moon, both supported the hypothesis.

  49. HenryP says:
    October 27, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Dave Springer,

    I am still waiting for an answer from you here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/24/unadjusted-data-of-long-period-stations-in-giss-show-a-virtually-flat-century-scale-trend/#comment-777399

    _________________________________________

    I’ve answered it many times for others. Sorry if I missed you.

    http://www.atmos.umd.edu/~carton/pdfs/foltzetal03.pdf

    Seasonal Mixed Layer Heat Budget of the Tropical Atlantic

    Total absorbed energy is about 250 W/m2 on average. Measured net longwave emission is 50W/m2. Conductive heat loss <10W/m2. The rest is latent (evaporation: latent heat of vaporization). In areas where winds and humidity vary a lot by season energy is entrained in the ocean for months, usually during the summer, and released in the winter. This why there’s far less seasonal variation in temperature over the ocean vs. inland over continents. Pretty much the dryer the surface under consideration the more effect greenhouse gases will have because if absorbed energy doesn’t emerge as latent heat (evaporation) it is released as radiation. Conduction plays a larger role in heat loss over land than it does over water however because the temperature difference between land and surface air is usually greater than it is between ocean and surface air where the greater delta-T facilitates more rapid conductive heat transfer.

  50. “It’s dead Jim.” Nice!

    But I blame Spock for Hansen’s hysteria:

    “Analysis, Spock. If all the candles on that cake were to be lit simultaneously….”

    “It’s annihilation Jim. Total complete absolute annihilation.”

    Sigh…if only the Metrons would arrange for Dave S. to take on the alGorn, with Willis the Merciless as both of their seconds….

  51. Typo in the headline: “Provoked scientists…”

    A scientist, faced with complete disagreement between model and fact, will say only one thing:
    “The model is wrong. I have to start over.”

    None of the quoted people came anywhere near that scientific statement. Therefore, none of the quoted people are scientists.

    QED.

  52. If it’s in the deep ocean, it will come back as an echo in 800 yrs. As if they could prove anything in their GCMs. But that gives us a lot more time change our ways smoothly, without any “Great Leaps Forward”s.

  53. Hansen, Kaufmann, Solomon, Vernier, Santer, Trenberth, Barnes, …….

    Two things these clowns have in common.

    (a) They spent years telling us “the science is settled” and there is “a consensus” (apart from those evil fossil fuelled deniers, naturally.)

    (b) They can make their mouths say absolutely ANYTHING without blushing.

    Arrogant ars###les.

  54. Has anyone considered that there is only a fihnite amount of return infrared radiation depending on the amount of direct sunlight reaching the ground.? This being the case, and wirth CO2 only absorbing infrared radiation in two narrow bands (not like a blanket) , as CO2 increases, the amount of infrared left to absorb decreases. At some point, ( a suggested 250-300 ppm by Emeritus professor of physics James Barrante and others) most all the available infrared radiation in the two narrow bands has been used up! Therefore,even with increased amounts of CO2, little further warming is possible. One might argue about how much CO2 it takes to use up all the available infrared radiation, but it stands to reason that it does at some point. The AGW proponents don’t even want to think about this and will dismiss it out of hand.

  55. TerryS says: depends
    October 27, 2011 at 10:44 am

    . . . . either it will swim or it will not.
    Forcasting what (which) will happen . . . yes . . . takes a Depends!

  56. The case for CAGW is essentially argument from ignorance.

    Essentially we postulate that minute amounts of CO2 will cause warming of the atmosphere. Then we simulate the climate [minus clouds & ocean currents etc]. The climate has warmed slightly more than the models say it should so we ascribe the residual warming to CO2.

    Since there has been no warming for 13 years the models must be tuned to show there would have been substantial cooling during those 13 years which exactly balances the missing warming. How convenient !

    Whenever there is cooling despite increasing CO2 like 1940 to 1978 it is attributed to aerosols. How convenient since the effect and amount of aerosols are unmeasured so it could be anything it needs to be. Again how convenient !

  57. doug s says:
    October 27, 2011 at 9:56 am

    “Doesn’t a great deal of the energy get turned into work? ”

    No. And in the work you’re thinking of (putting water and air in motion) the kinetic energy gets converted back to heat energy very quickly via friction. Plants put a greater portion of the energy to work fixing chemical energy first in ATP molecules through photosynthesis then using that (ATP is the energy token of exchange for all living things) to forge chemical bonds in carbohydrates and proteins. That energy may be sequestered for quite some time if happens to become a so-called fossil fuel but it’s still just a tiny tiny fraction of the total energy the earth gets from the sun.

  58. Two things I haven’t seen in the total of this are:
    1…an increase in temperature is certainly good. Across the whole of the northern hemisphere
    we will see longer growing seasons.
    2…an increase in CO2 in the atmosphere is good. Crops and forests are are growing faster.
    But, as an aside, it looks like the warmists and the deniers are getting closer together. We
    just might get a ‘good’ AR5….

  59. Michael Palmer says (October 27, 2011 at 9:35 am): “So after this rather uncoordinated retreat, where exactly is the new front line between True Climate Scientists and misguided skeptics?”

    The same place it has always been. The climate scientologists aren’t changing their central CO2-CAGW dogma, they’re just quibbling over the details.

    In other words, they still expect the mothership but disagree over when to start packing.

  60. Everything looks quite stange when the simplest answer is ignored!

    The temperature since 2001 is slightly decreasing simply because climate is not just red-noise fluctuations plus a human derived GHG-warming/Aerosol-cooling trend, as the GCMs claim.

    There are natural cycles such as those with periods of 9-10, 20, and 60 years that have been all in their cooling phase since 2001. The origin of these cycles is solar/astronomical.

    See for example in my web-page:
    N. Scafetta, “Empirical evidence for a celestial origin of the climate oscillations and its implications”. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 72, 951–970 (2010), doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2010.04.015

  61. stevo says:

    October 27, 2011 at 11:13 am

    The significance, you pillock, is that they, ALL OF THEM, show a trend well below that projected by their climate models on which current green policies are founded. Are very stupid politicians are throwing our money, billions of it, away on bird mincers and carbon stuffers while increasing our taxes in order to pay for useless green projects.

    Why are you soooo stupid? Were you trained for it?

  62. Henry@Dave Springer
    no…oh. Give me some time. There are a few things that don’t make sense here. I ‘ll get back to you when I am 100% sober/

  63. Gary Hladik says:

    October 27, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Like it !!! Scientologists. I’d thought more of astrologists but yours is better.

  64. Jeff D says:
    October 27, 2011 at 11:16 am
    “We know that CAGW will fail. Hopefully sooner than later. The real question is how long will it take to deprogram the the world.?????”

    As long as it takes to convince “them” we do not “control” the weather . . . . we do not “control” climate . . . and that “the constant is change” . . . round and round . . . .

    What “they” don’t understand is why & how did they fail in their grand “scheme”. . . this time. GIGO has been the Hallmark of Hucksters for EONS . . . . CAGW has never succeeded . . . except if you are sitting around that bon-fire telling tall tails . . .

    And I would assert many (‘theys’) are looking to correct their models so that they can once again effectively play the “I will make the sun turn dark” game . . . . only this time it’s the fault of the masses & not the power of a pretend Lord . . .

    It is why the term “Sceptic” is used in the first place . . . but in my case Cynic would be more proper!

  65. “Until 2003, scientists had a reasonable understanding where the sun’s trapped heat was going.” – until they observed otherwise which made claiming to understand unreasonable.

  66. The only people who would be surprised by these quotes are people who rely on the press to give them their climate science.

    I can’t wait for Andy Revkin’s take…. Actually, I can, but it will be fun to see it blasted by James Taranto.

  67. “If it’s in the deep ocean, it will come back as an echo in 800 yrs”

    Quite.

    And so the current SSTs must be affected by the past MWP warmth. Ditto the rate at which the oceans absorb CO2.

    They have effectively painted themselves into a corner :)

  68. P.F. says:
    October 27, 2011 at 9:29 am
    I’m confused.
    ——————————————–
    Me too. Hansen seems to be saying that aerosols from fossil fuels have a cooling effect that has largely offset the greenhouse warming effect – to a greater extent than anyone had previously realized. So on the one hand the earth is warming. But on the other hand the earth is cooling. And this cooling has largely offset the warming for the past 10 years.
    We’re confused.
    I did notice Hansen blaming fossil fuels for both the warming (CO2) and the cooling (aerosols).

  69. Thanks for the compendium Dr. Pielke, Et al.
    It might even encourage students to pursue science degrees again, do to all the unsettlement being brought to light :)

  70. We tend to concentrate on the really large volcanic eruptions. Yet the somewhat smaller ones inject kilotons / megatons of aerosols (ash, SO2, and other acids) into the atmosphere quite often.

    To get some idea about how often this happens, go to the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) Volcanic Emissions Group website: http://toms.umbc.edu/

    Halfway down the home page is a graph entitled Volcanic SO2 Loading. Each line / spike is an eruptive episode. The graph compares kilotons of SO2 vs year of eruption. While Pinatubo was the longest line, it was not the only long line. Worth a look.

    For near real time news of volcanic activity worldwide, I would suggest Erik Klemetti’s Eruptions web site. There is a mix of vulcanologists and people who simply like to watch the mountains blow via webcams. http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/eruptions A lot of the real time reportage comes via the comments. Cheers -

  71. I read all the comments and no one commented on the ‘dissing’ of skeptics that Hansen still managed to get in. He wants to foreclose on the obvious contributions of honest and thoughtful skeptics who gave the explanations that they are now formulating as there own. Don’t give too much credit for the ‘candor’. A very huge apology is due to scientific skeptics for the nasty labels and insults. Skeptics have proven to have made an enormous contribution toward saving civilization from a retrograde progression into a new Dark Age. An enormous apology is also due for the cost to the world economy of the hundreds of billions of dollars that is right in there with Greek Debt. No, its “oh well that’s how science works, now we’ll have to study aerosols and change the models. You guys aren’t competent to do the work that skeptics have forced the ‘science’to contemplate. Shame on you all. I think its time to occupy the universities and gov scientific agencies.

  72. “It seems staggering, then, that in a few years’ time a new consensus will form for the next U.N. climate change report. But it will, and lurking beneath it will remain, as always, the churning theories and rivalries, the questions, the grist of scientific life”

    That quote seems staggering. Didn’t Judy Curry have an article a while back that made the point that a forced consensus was a meaningless consensus?

  73. Just one simple question:

    Is Hansen, ever doom-and-gloom we’re burning up in our own filth catastrophically, now looking “for an out”?

  74. My friend David has been in China the last two weeks researching this…
    “Is China’s coal-burning causing a problem?”
    I will report back soon…

  75. And while all this is going on, California is still planning on implementing its carbon trading scheme, isn’t it? Perhaps the yo-yos on the CARB need some enlightenment here…..

  76. “In any case, one decade is not long enough to say anything about human effects on climate; as one forthcoming paper lays out, 17 years is required.”

    Remarkable precision. Personally, I think it’s 16 years 7 months and 14 days.

  77. Whether aerosols get into the stratosphere is entirely due to cumulo-nimbus clouds and their dynamics. Obviously the heat of the volcano mightily encourages Cu-Nim formation, but a diddly eruption like Souffriere is in the tropics anyway and would probably have triggered a thunderstorm anyway, eruption or not.
    Stratospheric aerosol injection is simple meteorology with geo-thermal enhancement and has buggral to do with ‘explosiveness’.
    Anthony, you’re a meteorologist, please tell the vulcanologists about the weather over eruptions??

  78. Stephen Richards says (October 27, 2011 at 12:39 pm): “Like it !!! Scientologists. I’d thought more of astrologists but yours is better.”

    Not original. It popped up on WUWT ages ago.

    My all-time favorite put-down was coined by, I believe, Steve Mosher on Judith Curry’s blog, in reference to Michael Mann’s persistent upside-down interpretation of the Tiljander sediments: Siltdown Mann.

  79. They are starting to see the reverse end of thier Quasi HockeyStick, Imagine a mirror image of that over the next 100 year, where the temperatures fall off on a similar downward slope, and then go steadily down. Sort of like a bell curve, with very long tails.

    (It wasn’t a hockey stick, but as temperature falls, will they re-wite the hockeystick out of the scientific history, or watch the reverse stick happen?) Thats sorta why they now call it Climate Change, to keep the fat largesse flowing from Gubmint and other ne’re-do-wells

  80. Dale says:
    October 27, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Just one simple question:

    Is Hansen, ever doom-and-gloom we’re burning up in our own filth catastrophically, now looking “for an out”?
    __________________________

    First Hansen in the 70’s says its an Ice Age, But when it warmed up in the 80’s its now Global Warming Meltdown, We have returned to a cooling cycle so low and behold the climate oracle has proclaimed its cooling again while its warming. Figure that one out.

    Just writing that makes my head spin, but it would seem he has found a way to have his cake and eat it to.

  81. Maybe burning money and sacrificing intelligence should be the basis for a new religion, NO that’s been done before, that’s old hat. Virgins and blood-lust could be interesting again!.

  82. If you pick more temperature sensitive stations for the 1950-today period, then warmth will be more significant in the overall average.

    Just on problem… When temperatures then dive again, wops, a lot of stations used with higher temperature sensitivity must be excluded. Until this is completed… HADCRUT will cool more than some had planned…

    K.R. Frank

  83. doug s says:
    October 27, 2011 at 9:56 am

    “No one answered my question yesterday, so with this I’ll try again. Why is this just a question of “energy budgets” and radiation. Doesn’t a great deal of the energy get turned into work? The moving of the air, ocean currents, evaporation, more clouds, rain, lighting etc. It is work that picks up great quantities of water over an ocean and deposits it on land. Just a little extra radiative forcing, equals just a little extra (convection) movement of water or wind each day. Why does it supposedly accumulate in (missing) heat?”

    The simple answer to your question is that Warmista made a host of assumptions that allowed them to use a “radiation only” model of Earth’s energy budget. For example, they treated ENSO as statistical noise in their calculations. Now, it seems that they have had some epiphanies that cause them to recognize that Earth’s atmosphere, lands, and oceans contain a whole bunch of natural processes that have their own integrity and that it behooves climate science to figure out how radiation travels through those natural processes.

  84. Amazing how they contort their responses to be able to insist that the skeptics were’nt right all along.

  85. “… a story as Hansen lays out. He has seen many discrepancies among analyses of the data, and there are still “issues of missing and erroneous data and calibration,”
    I presume the corrections to all of these errors will help prove there case, Hansen and company are so invested and committed to their climate model zealotry that everything they say will always be the same, always.
    I also love the bit about data from satellites:”(Some scientists question relying on this satellite data too heavily, since the observed energy must be drastically revised downward, guided by climate models.)” Observed energy, in other words undeniable, observed evidence, irrefutable data measured, really, truly. The real world, reality, “REVISED…GUIDED BY CLIMATE MODELS”. Funny, if it weren’t deadly serious.

  86. Hansen now believes he has an answer: All the climate models, compared to the Argo data and a tracer study soon to be released by several NASA peers, exaggerate how efficiently the ocean mixes heat into its recesses. Their unanimity in this efficient mixing could be due to some shared ancestry in their code. Whatever the case, it means that climate models have been overestimating the amount of energy in the climate, seeking to match the surface warming that would occur with efficient oceans. They were solving a problem, Hansen says, that didn’t exist.

    Climate models are software. Somebody had to write that code. They were all written using the same basic assumptions. In other words, the models work as designed because that was the only way to get the results they expected.

  87. They’re just adding more epicycles to their model.
    Maybe they should start again from scratch.

  88. (Some scientists question relying on this satellite data too heavily, since the observed energy must be drastically revised downward, guided by climate models.)

    The tail is wagging the dog.

  89. There are two absolutely momentous points that are clear as crystal that must be learned from this article:

    1. There is no consensus of scientists on global warming/whatever.

    2. The climate models produce so-called “predictions” or “forecasts” that are not in the ball part at all. That is, the recorded data, at least since Hansen’s famous prediction, flatly contradict all the models. (Please note that the other side of the falsification coin is that none of the models can account for the recorded data.)

    On the basis of these two momentous points, two programs are absolutely necessary:

    1. School children must be deprogrammed and taught that there was no consensus among climate scientists. They must be taught that the information in the article under discussion shows that the hypothesis of a consensus has been proved false by the facts.

    2. School children must be deprogrammed and taught that all climate models have proved to be failures as substitutes for physical theory.

    Reprimands are necessary for all scientific organizations and scientists who:

    1. Claimed that there is such a thing as consensus science and that it determines what is true.

    2. Claimed, explicitly or implicitly, that computer models can substitute for physical theory.

  90. The attribution to manmade emitted aerosols would appear misplaced since if it were correct, there would have been global cooling (and not waeming) between the 1960s and 1990s when the developed nations of the West were emitting large quantities of aerosol pollutants prior to the effective introduction of regulations dealing with and limiting emission standards/clean air acts etc.

    Back in the 1960s-1990s the West was emitting just as much aerosol pollutants as China is now emitting today. CO2 levels were less in the 1960s-1990s so how come was there global warming? Why did not the aerosol pollutants that the West was emitting not mask the effects of CO2 induced warming?

    The argument with respect to manmade aerosol pollutants is inconsistent and does not stand scrutiny with past events such that, in my opinion, there must be some other explanation as to why the warming trend has stalled.

  91. blind Freddy’s intellectually disabled baby brother could tell you that there is a chasm of illogicallity between the climate models and the patently obvious reality. With CO2 being a GHG and a plant untriet ( => plants grow faster, absorb more CO2, emit more water vapour etc), H2O ( as vapour ) being a GHG and ( as droplets) in clouds => a reflector back down of radiant heat and upward of incoming solar energy as well as the odd aerosol floating around helping to form clouds the total response is hardly likely to be simple. And these turkeys have PhD’s etc. Talk about idiot savants.

  92. Dave Springer says:
    October 27, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Dave,
    I do not see that Jim Hansen understands that the effect of LWIR around the 15 micron band is ineffective at slowing the cooling rate of the oceans. Rather, he is claiming that the oceans didn’t absorb as much shortwave due to aerosols. To admit that the effect of LWIR backscattered by CO2 has a far lesser effect over 71% of the Earth’s surface than black body physics would indicate would totally destroy the case for dangerous or catastrophic AGW and thereby his career.

    My estimate is that the effect of backscattered LWIR over the oceans is around 30% of that over land. This would easily account for Travesty Trenberths’ “missing” heat. I believe that LWIR could have an effect on the rates of cooling both by radiation and conduction but not by evaporation. This leads to a very low climate sensitivity to CO2 increases and no case for action as follows –

    Those doing the black body calcs claim around 1 degree of warming for a doubling of CO2 from pre industrial levels* without feedback. However Earth is not a black body. 71% of the surface is ocean.
    So divide that 1 degree of warming into two parts. 0.29 degrees for land and 0.71 degrees for oceans.
    Now multiply 0.71 by 0.3 to get the realistic effect of backscattered LWIR on water that is free to evaporatively cool. (missing heat Kevin?)
    Add this 0.213 degrees back to the 0.29 degrees for land to get 0.503 degrees of warming for a doubling of CO2.
    Now multiply that 0.503 degrees by 0.5 to account for negative water vapour feed back, giving 0.2515 degrees of warming for a doubling of CO2. (* ignoring issues such as dodgy pre industrial CO2 levels determined from ice cores with diffusion problems.)
    Conclude that 0.2515 degrees of warming will be neither dangerous nor catastrophic.
    Further conclude that with a CO2 sensitivity this low there are not enough known or projected fossil fuel reserves to burn to cause dangerous or catastrophic global warming. –

    I have confirmed a detectable difference in effectiveness for LWIR for water that is free to evaporativly cool compared to that that only cools due to conduction and radiation with empirical experiment here –

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/08/25/konrad-empirical-test-of-ocean-cooling-and-back-radiation-theory/

    While I encourage others to try similar experiments with LWIR and water, there is a far simpler test that will illustrate the issue –

    Place a probe type digital thermometer in a tin cup full to the brim with water, with fibreglass and foil insulation on the exposed cord. Try heating the water by applying the hot air from a paint striping heat gun to the surface of the water. Now try heating the water by pointing the gun at the side of the cup. Slight agitation of the water below the surface should be introduced by moving the probe to prevent stratification. The results are markedly different. This test does not address LWIR as the heat is only introduced conductively, however it gives an insight to what is wrong with basic AGW theory and why the Earth should not be considered a black body in any climate science.. Essentially AGW equations in the case of the oceans are “pointing the hot air gun at the side of the cup”.

  93. Got to hand it to Trenberth! First, it’s “It’s a travesty we can’t explain the lack of recent warming,” now it’s “The hiatus [in warming] was not unexpected.” What?!?!?!

    So now most of these folks are going to the “aerosol’s masked global warming” like they used for the 1960s and 1970s…before that record was eventually flattened-out.

  94. It is nice to see a growing support for the contention that additional downwelling IR (from warmer air) neither adds significantly to ocean heat content nor significantly reduces the background rate of energy flow from oceans to air.

    That really is a critical issue because SST temperatures control atmospheric temperatures globally due to the vastly greater thermal capacity of water as compared to air.

    I have been considering that very issue for some time and in particular have closely examined the so called ocean skin effect promulgated via Realclimate as a ‘done deal’ but so far as I know proposed by only one scientist.

    The thing is that once one accepts the inability of that IR to affect ocean temperatures AND the power of the oceans in controling air temperatures then logic forces one to certain conclusions that are critical to the entire AGW scenarion (and not favourably).

    Full discussion here:

    http://www.irishweatheronline.com/news/environment/climate-news/wilde-weather/setting-and-maintaining-of-earth%e2%80%99s-equilibrium-temperature/18931.html

  95. Roughly 2.5 billion years ago a new kind of species appeared on earth that totally transformed climate by ‘unwittingly’ poisoning the atmosphere with a violent oxidizer – free Oxygen. There were likely thousands of species mercilessly killed off by the Johnny come lately oxygen producer which also sucked the CO2 out of the air in massive quantities which likely had an impact on earth’s temperature maybe even triggering Huronian glaciation.

    Do not humans have exactly the SAME ~’right’~ to do whatever we do to the climate that early plant life did to the climate? Our puny addition of CO2 is apparently having no measurable affect, (we’re at the same global temperature we were at 16 years ago),but, even if it did and even if that affect actually was deleterious to anything – WHO is the one to say we are not ‘allowed’ to do it for our own benefit the same way that plants did what they did for their own benefit? If plant life was intelligent would it be ‘guilty’ of the mass extinctions it caused in the course of pursuing its best vector for success at life? Isn’t that exactly the same as what humans are doing? Our life expectancy keeps going up and who would dare say that our use of fossil fuel was not the foundation that made that possible? (Without coal maybe we would have still managed to build a small rail network but then been confronted with a deforested landscape. No electricity, no cars, no airplanes, no internet, etc. – stuck living in the early 1800’s forever along with a lot of horse dung.)

    That outlines my fundamental disconnect with the ‘green’ movement making the rest of their lies secondary. They repeatedly extol the virtue of evolution for the ascent of every single species except one – the human species. They hate themselves, hate humanity in general and especially those who are not like them. Me.

  96. r.m.b. says:
    October 27, 2011 at 8:56 am

    “Has surface tension been thought of.”

    Yes. When someone suggests that winds and waves mix the skin layer downward I explain that viscosity (common term for surface tension) is the dominant force in the ocean skin layer (first several microns) where downwelling far infrared is absorbed. In fact during wave mixing the mixing forces begin at the depth of the wave trough. No mechanical mixing occurs above that depth.

  97. richard verney says:
    October 27, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Good point, but the main problem and red herring is SO2 has no affect on global temperatures in the lower atmosphere, it needs to be in the stratosphere. There is no evidence of human SO2 reaching the stratosphere and changing the background levels when there are no major volcanic eruptions. This is the hidden excuse what many of these scientists that get it wrong take. (by hidden – something generally no other scientists can see or observe occurring) Thats why the observation you have noticed did not occur before. It was just an excuse to try and cover up desperation of a non-warming period, nothing else to it. (The west was emitting more SO2 before than China recently, eg China during 2005 was emitting ~ 60 percent compared to most of Europe and USA, 1986 (clean air act was implemented well before then)

    This then leads to cherry picking the cause, where cooling was by any excuse can think of at the time, to be caused by SO2 emissions recently. Yet warming occurred before because of CO2 and not that global SO2 emissions were declining drastically for years after the clean air act. The typical thinking of an CAGW scientist, where one side is cherry picked and other ignored. That whats happens when funding by the government in climate change issues is given to look for only causes in human influences.

  98. Dave Springer;
    When someone suggests that winds and waves mix the skin layer downward I explain that…>>>

    You’re only partly correct. Mixing is not the whole picture however. When waves form, the surface of the water is no longer uniformly presented to the downwelling IR. Water surface at an angle to the downwelling IR has different absorption characteristics that water at a right angle. The reduced absorption means that areas of water presented to the downwelling IR at a sharp angle also absorb in the first few millimeters, BUT, they absorb a fraction of the energy they otherwise would have. The result is that SOME of the water absorbs SOME of the IR but WITHOUT causing it to evaporate. The increased temperature of the water is then free to heat the water below by conduction as well as mixing. The trough has nothing to do with it.

    Further, NOTHING in this world is “instantaneous”. Even in a flat calm sea, downwelling IR cannot instantly evaporate the surface water, so some amount of energy, however small, can be transferred to the water below by conduction. If the evaporation promoted by downwelling IR could move faster than the conduction…

    Further, any turbulence results in white froth on the water surface. Again, this white froth interacts with IR differently than does calm smooth water surface.

    I first started thinking about these things upon noticing that the old swimming hole gets warmer during a rain storm than normal. My first theory was that the kinetic energy in the rain drops had to be converted to heat when they hit the water surface. That’s partly correct. The problem is that where I live, rain is COLD. The kinetic energy in the rain drops (based on very rough back of the envelope calcs from 20 years ago) couldn’t make up for the much lower temperature of the rain drops themselves. So what was causing the water to become warmer?

    I suspect that my rough back of the envelope calcs weren’t all that accurate, but the fact of the matter is that turbulent water presents a completely different physics problem in relation to IR than does a simple smooth surface. All sorts of processes come into play, and the notion that IR is not aborbed at all, or even that an insignificant amount is absorbed just doesn’t make sense.

  99. Code

    “Is it really so difficult to even consider that the entire premise of rising CO2 causing rising temperatures could be wrong? Really? ”

    yes, it’s very difficult. The core of the theory, radiative physics, says that Ghgs ( like C02) will cause warming. To be sure there are other factors that can cause cooling, but if all you do is increase GHGs.. the temperature will go up. If you reject that physics then you will find yourself in a world where you cant explain why radars work the way they work, why IR detectors work the way they work and hundreds of other devices that depend upon radiative physics being right.

    The interesting question is why do you get cooling? Think of it this way. If I told you that sticking a 400 hp motor in your car would make it go faster, and you put that motor in your car and it went slower would you doubt that more HP generally leads to faster cars? or would you check other aspects of your car– like take the emergency brake off or fill the tires with air.. put gas in the car..
    GHGs are one aspect of what keeps the planet warm. Increase them, and all other things being equal the planet will warm.

    The questions are
    1. Since other things are never held constant hows the full system work
    2. How much warmer and how long will it take

    So, no. nobody should doubt the premise that GHGs cause warming, that is, all other things held constant, we know that GHGs lead to a warmer planet not a colder one. Where the uncertainty lies is in what other things change and how. Think of first order effects versus total system performance.

  100. Dave Springer says:
    October 27, 2011 at 3:11 pm
    ======
    As someone way too stupid to understand any of this.
    I ask, do wavy seas absorb more energy, due to their greater surface area than calm seas ?

  101. Indeed, the most important outcome from the energy hunt may be that researchers are chronically underestimating air pollution’s reflective effect, said NASA’s James Hansen, head of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

    Hansen is right in this statement but then goes on to draw exactly the wrong conclusions.

    There has been a large reduction in near ground manmade particulate and aerosol pollution (and hence their reflective effect). Resulting in increased early morning solar insolation and higher daily minimum temperatures.

    Approximately half the warming (in the GISS, HadCRUT and now BEST analyses) over the last 60 years is a spurious warming signal from this effect.

  102. These admissions could generate a ‘tipping point’ within the science community regarding CAGW, could they not?

  103. I walk into a room. I notice that I cannot see an elephant in the room. Explanations for this observation include:

    1. The room has a complex shape and the elephant is standing in a part of the room that I cannot see.

    2. The elephant is invisible.

    3. The elephant is in the room most of the time but has slipped out for a toilet break.

    4. There is no elephant in the room.

  104. There is a very good reason why global temperatures have stalled and the best way to go about this it to look at what known climate parameters have changed since. Well, when this is consider there are only two variables that have changed since global temperatures become stable. There are both a less active solar cycle and global cloud albedo.

    The affect of global cloud albedo on global temperatures seems clear and if this is indeed correct, the expected incease in future albedo will cause global temperatures to decrease. (there are signs this is already happening)

    Global cloud cover between the early 1980′s and early 2000′s declined through a period of warming. If the temperature change only affects cloud, then during this same period global cloud levels would have increased, not decreased. Warming temperatures are suppose to increase water vapor and cloud formation, not decrease them.

    The observed evidence shows using the satellite data since 1983 that, declining cloud levels caused the temperature to increase with increasing surface solar radiation. Hence, that is the main reason why with no increase in clouds we can determine the chicken or the egg. Since the decline has stopped and become stable, global temperatures have stopped rising.

    Global cloud levels have declined by ~5 percent since 1983 until 2001, when they have stabilised since. During this period with a warming planet global cloud levels, should have been expected to increase if the warming caused the global cloud levels to change. Therefore during a warmer planet now they are still less clouds globally than nearly 30 years ago. The reason why global temperatures at least partly warmed up, due to increasing solar radiation reaching the surface.

  105. I love the Hansen quote “air pollution from fossil fuel burning, directly and indirectly, has been masking greenhouse warming more than anyone knew.”

    Now think about it. This means that CAGW is SOLVED

    All we have to do is get rid of some of the scrubbers and put more pollution in the air to offset CO2. Just think we can “tune” the climate by the right mix of CO2 emissions and pollution!!!!

    Oh BOY can I have a billion dollar grant from the UN, EU, USA now please???

  106. Sorry my possible mistake on previous post. (which may be taken differently)

    eg China during 2005 was emitting ~ 60 percent compared to most of Europe and USA, 1986 (clean air act was implemented well before then)

    The 60 percent refers to the amount compared to how much of Europe and USA were emitting. Not that China emitted 60 percent and Europe and USA 40 percent. (just to make this clear)

  107. “The significance, you pillock, is that they, ALL OF THEM, show a trend well below that projected by their climate models on which current green policies are founded. Are very stupid politicians are throwing our money, billions of it, away on bird mincers and carbon stuffers while increasing our taxes in order to pay for useless green projects.

    Why are you soooo stupid? Were you trained for it?”

    The truth, you moron, is that none of them show a trend well below that projected by the climate models. A sensible estimate of the uncertainty on each of those trends that I quoted would be +-0.3C. Given that the models predict roughly a +0.2C/decade trend right now, please explain which one of the trends is statistically significantly different from the model trends.

    Why are you soooo lame? Do you have to practice hard?

    REPLY: OK this has descended into juvie, both of you take a 24 hour time out – Anthony

  108. doug s says:
    October 27, 2011 at 9:56 am

    No one answered my question yesterday, so with this I’ll try again. Why is this just a question of “energy budgets” and radiation. Doesn’t a great deal of the energy get turned into work? The moving of the air, ocean currents, evaporation, more clouds, rain, lighting etc. It is work that picks up great quantities of water over an ocean and deposits it on land. Just a little extra radiative forcing, equals just a little extra (convection) movement of water or wind each day. Why does it supposedly accumulate in (missing) heat?

    Even consider the metaphysical implications of this energy, doesn’t it get utilized for life itself?
    _____________________________
    A good one. You can add all the green plants sucking in the CO2 and photons and turning it into food eaten by a growing population of humans.

    By the way try:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/24/willis-publishes-his-thermostat-hypothesis-paper/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/28/congratulations-finally-to-spencer-and-braswell-on-getting-their-new-paper-published/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/11/27720/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/11/which-way-to-the-feedback/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/15/unequivocal-equivocation/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/06/07/further-evidence-for-my-thunderstorm-thermostat-hypothesis/

    An Index is here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/15/an-index-to-williss-writings/

  109. Dr. Roger Pielke Sr,

    Thank you for your highlights of the Greenwire article showing many climate scientists who were previously confident in the certainty of alarming AGW now are becoming noticeably less certain. They do not look very consensus-like in their retreat from certainty and settled science. They look more like an each-man-for-themselves route instead of an orderly planned retreat.

    I can personally have empathy with their difficulty in backing down from the dizzy heights of settled/consensus IPCC focused science. It is the same difficulty I learned when 10 yrs old. I found out it was much easier climbing up a tree than climbing down a tree.

    John

  110. In the late 1940es scientists announced that “sadly it looked as if the coming of another Ice-Age was unavoidable as the hoped for warming by CO2 looked a bit sick in the face of a cooling world. By 1952 my class in elementary school had gone through all, or most, of the relevant experiments the wise men of old had once performed.

    The name “radiator” was banned from any heat source that did not glow red and was replaced by another name; “Heat exchanger”. – And that name has stuck for as long as I have been a mechanical engineer.
    But then again I was educated in an engineering college – not a university – so my knowledge is most likely missing on the finer points.
    But I do know that AGW (it went under a different name in those days. In my part of the world it was called “Carbonic Acid Warming”) was dead and buried very early on in the 1950es.

    However it has been dug up again and resurrected – and yes, its previous existence has been denied, but they are not fooling me with that one.

    My science teacher once knew a Swede who —–

  111. “Vernier had found one slice of the trend identified by Barnes at Mauna Loa in Hawaii. It was astonishing. Where could these heat-reflecting aerosols be originating?”

    Could they be cosmic in nature?

  112. Smokey;
    The elephant might be hiding behind the door. Do I have to think of everything??>>>

    Or… it might just be a very very very SMALL elephant.

  113. E.M.Smith says:
    October 27, 2011 at 10:15 am

    …..an gets warm, a hurricane sprouts and dumps the heat to space.
    Land gets warm, a line of thunderstorms sprout and dumps the heat to space.
    Evaporation, convection, condensation. Repeat.

    It really IS that simple.
    ____________________________________________
    Yes we know but you can’t take that and spin it into a multi-trillion dollar industry for you, Al Gore and the World Bank et al.

    You really have to understand that “scientific” principle to understand CO2 and Global Warming.

    Why the heck else has water the biggest green house gas been swept under the rug for forty years?

  114. Gail Combs – I have thought about it and I am your new business partner!!

    But it looks as if we shall have to act quickly cause I am suspecting Hansen & al are halfway there already!

  115. Smokey says:

    October 27, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    phlogiston,

    The elephant might be hiding behind the door. Do I have to think of everything??☺

    Smokey & phlogiston,

    You both should consider another possibility. The elephant was in the room but disguised in sunglasses, bozo nose, fake eyelashes and lipstick wearing leopard tights and stiletto high heels. : )

    John

  116. Gail Combs says:
    October 27, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Describe the ideal air pollutant and apply for a patent.

  117. steven mosher says:
    October 27, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Well, yeah, but this is a long winded way of saying that it was always incumbent upon climate scientists to come up with some reasonably well confirmed physical hypotheses which go beyond Arrhenius’ work and which explain forcings/feedbacks/whatever unknown to Arrhenius. The simple truth is that climate science to this day has not produced one such hypothesis.

  118. davidmhoffer & Smokey & phlogiston,

    OK, this is the appropriate moment for elephant jokes.

    Joke #1
    Q – What do you find between an elephant’s toes.
    A – Slow natives

    Joke #2
    Q – How do you know if an elephant has been living in your refrigerator?
    A – Elephant footprints in the Jello

    Yuck, yuck . . . those are from the late 1950’s

    John

  119. Steve Mosher;
    So, no. nobody should doubt the premise that GHGs cause warming, that is, all other things held constant, we know that GHGs lead to a warmer planet not a colder one. Where the uncertainty lies is in what other things change and how.>>>

    A fine explanation Mosher. I’d add one thing though. In addition to knowing that CO2 would cause warming provided that everything else remained constant, we ALSO know that these effects are logarithmic. Hence, whenever discussing the effects of CO2, we hear them estimated in terms of degrees per CO2 doubling. This means that:

    If natural background CO2 levels are 280 PPM as the IPCC estimates, and direct effects of CO2 are 1 degree per doubling (again, as the IPCC estimates) then it would require 560 PPM to raise the temperature one degree (from background levels). But, to raise the temperature TWO degrees over background level would require 1,160 PPM.

    Given that over the last century, we’ve gone from 280 PPM to 390 PPM, we’re several centuries from hitting TWO degrees, even if we triple the amount of CO2 we are pumping into the air annually. But even that is a misleading way to explain it. The IPCC tries to couch everything in terms of temperature increase from 280 PPM because the lower the starting number, the less additional CO2 is required to get to “double”. The fact of the matter is that we are ALREADY at 390 PPM!

    So, to add just ONE additional degree from the direct affects of CO2 compared to where we are TODAY, one would need to get to 780 PPM. To get to TWO degrees from where we are TODAY we would need to get to 1,560 PPM. At the PEAK of CO2 increases we hit less than 3 PPM year over year and the average over the last 50 years or so is closer to 2 ppm/yr.

    Did I say one additional thing? I meant two. Almost forgot.

    The IPCC one degree per CO2 doubling is calculated at the effective black body temperature of earth (as seen from space) which is about -20 C. Except the SURFACE temp average is +15 C. Now, they also forget to advise that P (watts/m2) varies directly with T (in degrees K) raised to the power of 4. Yup, T*T*T*T ! So, temp increases are ALSO logarithmic when comparfed to a linear increase in P. Do the calcs, and the surface temp change for CO2 doubling is about 0.6 degrees, not the oft quoted 1 degree. Now extend that concept to the word “average”. What exactly does “average” temp of the globe mean?

    In the context of temp increases from additional CO2…nothing. The temp increase in hot places is much smaller, and in cold places, much higher. Plus one degrees is NOT uniform! The NASA/GISS and HadCrut surface temperature records bear this out. They show about 1 degree increase in temperature since the late 1800’s. But the tropics have only gone up about 0.2 degrees while the arctic zones have gone up more than 1 degree. Can we average those?

    NO! We can’t average those because they themselves are already averages! Summer highs in temperate zones have gone up very little, but winter lows have gone up more. Will it change much if the day time high at the equator goes from 40 C to 40.1 C but the night time low in the polar bear zone goes from -40 to -36? I don’t know, ask the polar bears. Their population has quadrupled in the last few decades. As for the tropics…anyone got a thermometer on the side of their house that measure 1/10th of one degree?

  120. Phlogiston wrote;

    “4. There is no elephant in the room.”

    At the very least there MAY POSSIBLY be, or there VERY LIKELY is (climate science speak) a Hyrax in the room. The hyrax is a funny furry little creature sans trunk that is the closest genetic relative to the elephant.

    I personally believe that the Hyrax has also left the room…………

    Cheers, Kevin.

  121. John Whitman;
    Joke #1
    Q – What do you find between an elephant’s toes.
    A – Slow natives

    I remember those! (Ouch, I’m old). There was a whole sequence:

    Q Why do elephants wear green sneakers?
    A To blend in with the leaves when they hide in the tree tops
    Q Why are pygmies so short?
    A Falling elephants….

  122. KnR says:
    October 27, 2011 at 10:51 am

    The ‘science is settled’ was mad and bad claim to make in the in first place if for no other reason that is seldom true in any area of science….
    _______________________________________
    No it was not.

    The idea was to get all the big industrial nations to sign on to Kyoto or the Copenhagen Agreement by getting the dumber than dirt super market predators frightened out of their wits.

    Unfortunately Main Street was not quite as dumb as was thought and someone threw us a life preserver in the form of the Climategate e-mails and the leaked Danish text, a secret draft [that]… hands effective control of climate change finance to the World Bank

    If you think these guys were not aware of the cyclical nature of the climate well before this you are wrong.

    “Before becoming history and even before taking place, a lot of major events are prepared in laboratories” ZIUA on Greenberg directed campaign in Romania

    Gleissberg published his 88 years cycles in 1971. In the early sixties radioactive decay of oxygen, thorium and uraninmn provided new dating methods used by Broecker in 1966 and 1970 to identify five full ice age cycles. He stated his work was in agreement with Milankovitch. (Milankovitch published “Astronomical Methods for Investigating Earth’s Historical Climate” in 1938.)

    POLITICALLY

    In 1972 you had “Environmentalism” and “Global Warming” promoted by UN First Earth Summit chaired by Maurice Strong.

    Obama’s Science Czar, Holdren wrote along with Paul and Anne H. Ehrlich in the “recommendations” concluding their 1973 book Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions. “A massive campaign must be launched to restore a high-quality environment in North America and to de-develop the United States,” echoed by Strong at the opening session of the Rio Conference (Earth Summit II) in 1992.:

    “Developed and benefited from the unsustainable patterns of production and consumption which have produced our present dilemma. It is clear that current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class—involving high meat intake, consumption of large amounts of frozen and convenience foods, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and work-place air-conditioning, and suburban housing—are not sustainable. A shift is necessary toward lifestyles less geared to environmentally damaging consumption patterns.”

    And also back in 1972
    “..George Kukla, together with Robert Matthews of Brown University, convened a conference in 1972 entitled “The Present Interglacial: How and When will it End?”, and reported it in Science magazine… [note the date]

    Kukla and Matthews alerted President Richard Nixon, and as a result the US Administration set up a Panel on the Present Interglacial involving the State Department and other agencies….

    now we know that there were twenty in the last two million years. And the warm periods are much shorter than we believed originally. They are something around 10,000 years long. and I’m sorry to say that the one we are living in now has just passed its 10,000 year birthday. That of course means that the ice age is due now any time. “ http://calderup.wordpress.com/2010/05/14/next-ice-age/

    Now we find the wealthy doing a land grab in Africa.
    “…Billionaires and Mega-Corporations Behind Immense Land Grab in Africa
    20+ African countries are selling or leasing land for intensive agriculture on a shocking scale in what may be the greatest change of ownership since the colonial era….”
    http://www.alternet.org/story/145970/billionaires_and_mega-corporations_behind_immense_land_grab_in_africa

    Oakland Institute Report: http://media.oaklandinstitute.org/massive-land-grabs-africa-us-hedge-funds-and-universities-0

    World Bank Report Confirms ‘Land Grab’ Fears: http://www.stwr.org/land-energy-water/rising-global-interest-in-farmland-can-it-yield-sustainable-and-equitable-benefits.html

    United Nation’s Clean Development Mechanism Report:
    “…Africa is already experiencing social and environmental upheaval from land grabs motivated by a large-scale rush for biofuel crop production, even as the science shows that the CO2 reductions from biofuels are highly questionable, and the social and environmental consequences, negative. The African continent has also seen disastrous impacts from large-scale plantations of exotic tree species that particularly affect local water resources….”

    http://www.africanbiodiversity.org/system/files/PDFs/CDM%20Report_Feb2011_lowres.pdf

    What ever the views of the world’s movers and shakers, I really doubt that CO2 driven Climate Change has ever been anything but a propaganda stunt for the masses. I also doubt they really give a rat’s behind about the rest of us except as sheep for the shearing.

  123. Ok, I doubled checked my “Hyrax are the closest relative of Elephants” statement. It seems there are some who believe that Manatees are more closely related. Perhaps they are first and second cousins?

    Anyway, maybe there is no Manatee or Hyrax in the room…………..

    Cheers, Kevin.

  124. Aerosols seems to be the only explanation that can work, leaving the theory in place.

    If sulfate Aerosols have NOT increased recently, offsetting the rising GHGs, then the theory is wrong (in one of about 20 possible ways). (note that Carbon aerosols are supposed to provide warming, not cooling, so it is only the invisible sulfate aerosols we are talking about here, not asian smoke which shows up on satellite images for example).

    Aerosols are also required to explain the lower increase in temperatures than expected up to 1998 as well, not just the flatter trend in the last 13 years. The pre-1998 numbers do not work either without a large aerosol offset.

    Now we do know that sulfate aerosols reflect/intercept solar radiation so the physical explanation is okay. It is just that they need to prove that the trends in sulfates match what is needed.

  125. Dave Springer says:
    October 27, 2011 at 11:26 am

    …..I was hoping a few fellow trekkies would spot it. Opportunities to employ it for comedic effect are rare and rarely as good as this one. I mean who knew James Hansen went by “Jim” among friends. He never seemed like a “Jim” kind of guy to me. Maybe a Jimmy like Jimmy Carter.
    _________________________________
    Definitely worth a chuckle.

    but that is Jimmah Carter….

  126. James Macdonald, MS MIT says:
    October 27, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Has anyone considered that there is only a fihnite amount of return infrared radiation depending on the amount of direct sunlight reaching the ground.? This being the case, and wirth CO2 only absorbing infrared radiation in two narrow bands (not like a blanket) , as CO2 increases, the amount of infrared left to absorb decreases…..
    _____________________

    Well discussed here. CO2 is logarithmic (with temp) and either saturated or close to saturated. One of the reasons many of us are skeptics. The other is CO2 is a real wimp compared to H2O.

  127. Acorn1 – San Diego says:
    October 27, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Two things I haven’t seen in the total of this are:
    1…an increase in temperature is certainly good. Across the whole of the northern hemisphere
    we will see longer growing seasons.
    2…an increase in CO2 in the atmosphere is good. Crops and forests are are growing faster….
    _________________________________

    Again something that is often discussed here.

    Two of the more recent:
    Plants gobbling up CO2 – 45% more than thought: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/29/plants-gobbling-up-co2-45-more-than-thought/

    Potential Agricultural Impact of the Eddy Minimum http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/12/potential-agricultural-impact-of-the-eddy-minimum/

  128. CodeTech says:
    October 27, 2011 at 9:01 am

    steven mosher says:
    October 27, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Code & Mosher,

    I do not think we are at the point in climate science where one can say much wrt the significance of the radiation theory involving atmospheric CO2 except it is a potential theoretical factor (of uncertain magnitude) in the Earth’s climate system and that potential is strictly limited by an assumption of all other complex climate system dynamics being equal. When we consider the naivety of the assumption that all the multitude of other climate system dynamics being equal in the Earth’s climate system, it not unlikely we will eventually find that the atmospheric CO2 effect is not of sufficient magnitude to warrant future study.

    Alarming that is not.

    John

  129. Nicola Scafetta says:
    October 27, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Everything looks quite strange when the simplest answer is ignored!….
    _______________________

    But it is so hard to tax sun light……

  130. Smokey says:
    October 27, 2011 at 5:08 pm
    Q: How are elephants and digital watches alike?

    A: They both come in quartz…
    =========
    Ok, I spent 2 minutes googling, to no avail.
    Please explain……………

    Damn, I’m slow.
    Should have known what perspective to take, after noting the commenter :)

  131. Gail Combs says:
    October 27, 2011 at 4:22 pm
    I love the Hansen quote “air pollution from fossil fuel burning, directly and indirectly, has been masking greenhouse warming more than anyone knew.”

    If the police prevent a bank robbery are they simply masking the robbery? After all, once the police leave, the bank can still be robbed. If anything by preventing one robbery the police are creating a pent up demand for money amongst would be bank robbers.

    Hansen’s argument that pollution is masking warming is nonsense. If pollution prevents warming then it prevents warming.

  132. The crazed climate communist hippies never make any excuses, they just rant on and on, don’t bother if they get had or not. They’re not fundamentalists for nothing.

    This recent week, in my country, had a meteorologist muppet popping up and getting cited in socialist media (referencing such esteemed scientific journals as CNN for “extreme” weather events being worse these days) shouting about that there are more terrible and more frequent storms these days, ricing sea levels, and how it is all mankind’s fault, and what not.

    In another article I could read about the horrible threat of the planets populations problem, too many of the humankind as it were.

    That’s when I realized the crazed climate communist hippies don’t think they’re human, but übermensch, or aliens or what ever but humans. Is it a wonder then that they always blame humans for everything but never themselves.

    Makes you wonder, are they legal at all by human definition? :°

  133. Q – What should make you suspect your girlfriend has been sleeping with elephants?
    A – If she is pregnant for 22 months

    : )

    John

  134. Gary Pearse says:
    October 27, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    I read all the comments and no one commented on the ‘dissing’ of skeptics that Hansen still managed to get in…..
    ___________________________________
    Gary you are assuming they are gentlemen. They are not. They are criminals and criminals are cowards who when the SHTF ALWAYS find some one else to blame.

    To call them criminals may sound harsh but the climategate e-mails SHOWED they were no innocents. The only innocents in this whole blasted mess are the babies starving to death because their parents land in Africa is stolen.

  135. Ok, one more elephant joke (dating back to my days in a large international corporation);

    Person 1: “Getting a decision from management around here is like elephants mating…”

    Person 2: “How is that?”

    Person 1: “Everything happens at very high levels,”
    “It raises clouds of dust,”
    “and you have to wait 22 months for the result……”

    Cheers, Kevin.

  136. Q. Why is elephant sex like a political committee?

    A. Everything happens at a high level and it takes two years to see any results.

  137. Mods ~ KevinK’s version is better than mine and he beat me by one minute. You may delete mine. ;-)

    Smokey… ok, I FINALLY got it when you changed to litres. Slipped that one right past the mods, didn’t you…. lol.

  138. davidmhoffer says:
    October 27, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    “The result is that SOME of the water absorbs SOME of the IR but WITHOUT causing it to evaporate. The increased temperature of the water is then free to heat the water below by conduction as well as mixing”

    I have a couple of problems with that:

    i) Since warmer water rises rather than falling the upward motion would offset any downward conduction and

    ii) Evaporation takes out of the system in latent form 5 times the energy required to induce it so that it must suck out ALL the IR with none left over. That is why the ocean skin 1mm deep is 0.3C COOLER than the ocean bulk below. On your description that cooler layer could not exist.

    “upon noticing that the old swimming hole gets warmer during a rain storm than normal”

    You don’t say how you could tell. If it was simply from touch by skin then likely the rain or humidity on your skin chilled it as it evaporated as a result of your body warmth. Then if you went into the pool you would FEEL warmer but that would not mean that the pool actually had got any warmer.

  139. Mike M says:
    October 27, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Roughly 2.5 billion years ago a new kind of species appeared on earth that totally transformed climate by ‘unwittingly’ poisoning the atmosphere with a violent oxidizer – free Oxygen….
    _____________________

    Actually you could look at it the other way. Plants have slowly but surely been using up the free CO2 in the atmosphere. If you take the idiotic CO2 measurements from the Ice Cores (They are too low) then plant life has sucked the amount of CO2 down to a very dangerous level because below 280 -220 ppm or so plants stop growing and all higher lifeforms dependent on that plant life are doomed to mass extinction.

    As far as I am concerned burning hydrocarbons is not only good for man it is very good for the plants most of the biosphere depends on. One study showed “…a rapid 50 ppm drop in CO2 content within a tomato plant canopy just a few minutes after direct sunlight at dawn entered a greenhouse…” (Harper et al., 1979) To give you an idea of how fast a plant sucks down CO2.

    One study, since removed from the internet stated trees start to die at 280 while grasses can tolerate lower Co2 levels (220ppm)

    When you think about it 380 – 400 ppm is NOT a very good level since it gives only about a 200ppm safety margin….. Greenhouses use 1000ppm and up.

    When you think about it the whole CO2 is an evil gas manta is really suicidal!

  140. All kinds of speculations and excuses, apart from the most obvious one: that the glorious models might have been overestimating sensitivity of the climate system to the changes in CO2 concentration. :)

  141. Gentlemen

    Regards John Barnes Suggestion:

    “Where could these heat-reflecting aerosols be originating? Vernier was unsure, but Barnes and his team hazarded a guess when announcing their finding. It was, they suggested, a rapidly increasing activity in China that has drawn plenty of alarm.”

    and Jim Hansen’s comment:

    “I suspect that there has been increased aerosols with the surge in coal use over the past half decade or so,”

    and the suggestion attributed to Robert Kaufmaan:

    “This past summer, Robert Kaufmann, the BU geographer, made waves when he released a modeling study suggesting that the hiatus in warming could be due entirely to El Niño and increased sulfates from China’s coal burning.”

    and Martin Wild’s quote:

    “it fits quite well with [coal power] generation. For me, it’s quite striking that it seems to fit quite nicely. But it could still be by chance.”

    It appears Mr. Barnes, Mr. Hansen, Mr. Kaufmann, and Mr. Wild need to engage in more scientific fact checking and less speculation.

    For it appears, to me, that the scientific evidence available to date indicates that world sulfate (SO2-derived) aerosol emissions appear to have stabilized over the last decade – particularly after China began installing flue gas desulfurization (FGD) technology in 2006 and emissions monitoring equipment in 2007.

    To place this in context consider Smith et al publication “Anthropogenic sulfur dioxide emissions: 1850-2005″ by S. J. Smith (Published Feb 9, 2011; Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 1101-1116, 2011). See here at:

    http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/10/16111/2010/acpd-10-16111

    On page 1109 we can see estimated world SO2 emissions in Giga grams (Gg) from 1970-2005 were:

    Year World China
    1970 126,544 7,327
    1980 130,788 11,981
    1990 127,795 17,194
    2000 106,869 21,393
    2005 115,507 32,673

    Given both implicit and explicit suggestions that any rise in emission since 2005 must be due to China’s increased use of coal, one needs to examine recent data on China SO2 emissions. At random, consider Z. Lu et al publication “Sulfur dioxide emissions in China and sulfur trends in East Asia since 2000″ by Z. Lu (published July 13, 2010; Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 6311-6331, 2010). See here at:

    http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/10/8657/2010/acpd-10-8657-2010.html

    On page 6319 we can see Lu et al estimated China’s SO2 emissions from 2000-2008 time frame were(in Tg or 1,000 Gg):
    China
    2000 21.7
    2005 32.3
    2006 33.2
    2007 32.2
    2008 31.3

    From Smith et al, it is quite clear that World SO2 emissions were higher in the 1970-1990 period than in 2005. Equally clear, the Lu et al study shows that China’s SO2 emissions have at least stabilized – if not dropped since in 2005 (modestly peaking in 2006).

    Combining the data from the studies above and considering the world economic crises resulted in drastic reductions in emissions, a reasonable person could conclude that current World SO2 emissions are likely at, or well below, the levels seen in 1970-1990.

    I would suggest it is neither rational, nor responsible, for these gentlemen to engage in unsupported claims that World’s aerosol (SO2-based) emissions now, or over the last decade, are any higher now than they were in period from 1970-1990. If these gentlemen wish to engage in creatable scientific speculation they must, at the very least, support their hypothesis with creatable scientific facts.

    Moreover, it might be better if the gentlemen refrained from China bashing – absent substantive data supporting their claims. It appears to me that China has made a substantive good faith effort to reduce their SO2 emissions. Good manners demands we acknowledge their efforts and encourage further progress.

    Good for Daniel Jacobs in honestly acknowledging that SO2 emission are “dropping like a rock”.

    Please note that I have not been able to find any current estimates of the World’s total SO2 emissions from 2005-to present. If anyone has reliable figures, please let me know.

    Regards,
    Kforestcat

  142. John Whitman

    “When we consider the naivety of the assumption that all the multitude of other climate system dynamics being equal in the Earth’s climate system, it not unlikely we will eventually find that the atmospheric CO2 effect is not of sufficient magnitude to warrant future study.”

    Interesting how you conclude that from a position of saying we dont know enough.

    I would say just the opposite. To a first order we know the effect of doubling C02 is about 1.2C

    absent any good arguments about why it has to be higher or lower, it would see that this should be the skeptical position. First principles can get you to 1.2. Above that or below that requires substantial evidence.. lack of knowledge is not evidence for figures below 1.2, neither are models evidence for figures above this.

  143. steven mosher,

    Sorry, wrong answer. It doesn’t take only 17 years to see what’s happening, it takes a lot longer. The planet has been naturally warming since the LIA, and it is still on its unbroken trend line. Nothing unusual is happening.

  144. The last 10 years+ flat T trend is a negative PDO, cancelling out the small influence from c02. Get used to it.

    R

  145. …a climate model showing that decade-long pauses in temperature rise, and its attendant missing energy, could arise by the heat sinking into the deep, frigid ocean waters, more than 2,000 feet down. The team used a new model, one prepared for the next U.N. climate assessment; unlike past models, it handles the Pacific’s variability well, which ”seems to be important,” Trenberth said.

    I am not a scientist. I’m about 16 hrs. shy of my BS in geology (or I was 20 yes. ago). So, I may be missing something here — but how does he look at himself in the mirror after he makes statements like this?

  146. This year is shaping up to be pretty cool–and so is 2012. Once they’re in the record books, and Arctic ice has rebounded, we’ll see more waffling like this.

    If temperatures stay cool, we’ll hang them out to dry and watch them twist slowly in the wind.

  147. Stephen Wilde;
    i) Since warmer water rises rather than falling the upward motion would offset any downward conduction and>>>

    I’m talking about heavy rainfall. The surface water becomes VERY turbulent. The rain itself is also colder than the lake water (in the cases I’m speaking of) so it would tend to sink, causing more mixing.

    ii) Evaporation takes out of the system in latent form 5 times the energy required to induce it so that it must suck out ALL the IR with none left over. That is why the ocean skin 1mm deep is 0.3C COOLER than the ocean bulk below. On your description that cooler layer could not exist.>>>>

    I’ve gone swimming in the ocean like…twice…I’ve always wondered if the effect would be a lot different, and I imagine it would be. But I have no experience to speak of. Point being that when turbulence is high from hard rain or wind or both, the water surface isn’t flat. There is froth, whitecaps, and angle of incidence of downwelling IR goes all over the map. The question is not would the IR be absorbed causing evaporation. The question is would some IR be absorbed over larger than normal surface areas (angle of incidence) and/or froth and/or etc etc in such a fashion that temps could be raised enough to result in conduction before the evaporation process completes. I get what you are saying about the ocean skin…but in highly turbulent water there IS no ocean “skin”. The surface tension is busted up and can only form momentarily. Turbulent water is a completely different animal than still water.

    “upon noticing that the old swimming hole gets warmer during a rain storm than normal”
    You don’t say how you could tell. If it was simply from touch by skin then likely the rain or humidity on your skin chilled it as it evaporated as a result of your body warmth. Then if you went into the pool you would FEEL warmer but that would not mean that the pool actually had got any warmer.>>>

    You are correct that on a colder day the water “feels” warmer. But I’ve been IN the water when a storm hit and it gets warmer. If I was on the beach and got into the water, sure, the cooler skin from the cold rain would make it feel like the water was warmer. But when you are IN the water, freezing your butt off, and the rain hits hard, it warms up. Mind you, anxiety regarding lightning strikes might be a factor…

  148. A 2 decade long snipe hunt is spent looking to bolster a hypothesis based upon a trend.
    The need to justify this lavish detour is taking its toll as the trend stalled and is headed back from whence it came.
    The latest bad guy is not CO2, but the SO2 breathing Soot Monster from the BlackCoal Lagoon.
    A Mountain is made out of a molehill, and the end result will be the Incredible Shrinking AGW hypothesis soon to be AGN (neutral) that will morph into AGC as needed.
    They’re not learning. They are taking the very same route that was taken when the 1950-70’s cooling hit.
    Summary: They’re milking the system for all it’s worth.

  149. u.k.(us) says:
    October 27, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Smokey says:
    October 27, 2011 at 5:08 pm
    Q: How are elephants and digital watches alike?

    A: They both come in quartz…
    =========
    Ok, I spent 2 minutes googling, to no avail.
    Please explain……………

    Damn, I’m slow.
    Should have known what perspective to take, after noting the commenter :)

    ******************************

    Back in the day it was phrased like this:

    Q What’s gray and comes in quarts?

  150. Jeff D says:
    October 27, 2011 at 5:51 pm
    “Judith Curry confuses me. She has offered a fairly scathing critique of the whole thing as well.”

    She has hard words for the Warmista from time to time, all of them justified hard words. Her topic summaries are excellent.

  151. Whatever about co2 as a greenhouse gas and the fraction of the atmosphere that it constitutes today, one has to ask what was the effect of co2 on temperature in past millenia before plants and algae absorbed it and the carbon was locked away in coal reserves etc. Why no unstoppable tipping point then?

  152. What bothers me most is that while these “climate scientists” will be looking south for more evidence of warming from CO2, the next 100,000-yr Ice Age will wallop their packsides from the north. And they’ll discount it at first as a minor perterbation in their undoubting understanding of continual global warming, which will be the most costly (in terms of human life and civilization’s infrastructure) ever faced by mankind. I simply cannot stand group-think, and “climsci” are the very essence of that unholy phenomenon.

  153. “The surface tension is busted up and can only form momentarily. Turbulent water is a completely different animal than still water. ”

    Well the ocean surface is never ‘still’ but the 1mm deep cooler layer is there worldwide nonetheless and for global energy budget purposes that is all that counts.

    I can accept local or regional turbulence that does break it up but the global average is what counts.

    “But when you are IN the water, freezing your butt off, and the rain hits hard, it warms up”

    But you didn’t actually measure it so I still suspect that is a subjective experience as the contrast increases between the exposed part of your body which cools faster in the rain and the part in the pool which remains at the same temperature.

  154. thingadonta says:

    October 27, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    “The last 10 years+ flat T trend is a negative PDO, cancelling out the small influence from c02. Get used to it. ”

    The period 1975 to 2000 was a positive PDO which caused the warming in the first place. Get used to it.

  155. ‘“What’s really been exciting to me about this last 10-year period is that it has made people think about decadal variability much more carefully than they probably have before,” said Susan Solomon, an atmospheric chemist and former lead author of the United Nations’ climate change report, during a recent visit to MIT. “And that’s all good. There is no silver bullet. In this case, it’s four pieces or five pieces of silver buckshot.”

    I find this statement quite astonishing.

    Well over a decade ago, I read the book: ‘Weather Cycles: real or imaginary’ by Burroughs (CUP 2nd edition 2003). You can buy it a Amazon now if you want to.

    In that extremely succinct and lucid text, it is incontestibly obvious that cycles exist, that they range from the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation, through 7-9 year cycles, 11 year cycles, 18.6 year cycles, 20 – 22 year cycles, through to multidecadal-, centennial-, millennial and Milankovitch-style.

    Unless these purported world experts have been completely derelict in reading works of relevance to their trade, they should all have been aware in 1992 or, at the latest, 1993 (12 months after the first edition came out), that cycles in climate existed. I read this book in the mid 1990s after purchasing it in a well-known chain of UK bookstores. So it was hardly some inaccessiblle out-of-print edition lurking in the cellars of the Bodleiean.

    It really is neither original nor revolutionary to suggest otherwise now and you do have to ask what the world is doing spending money on people who claim issues of pressing concern that were resolved statistically 20 years ago and more.

    What should be of obvious interest is the assignment of mechanism/influence to the various peaks in the Fourier transform analyses. 11 years has been assigned to sunspot cycles; 18.6 to lunar cycles; 22 years to the Hale magnetic cycle. Presumably the 50 – 70 year cycles are due to oceanic parameters?

    Stop rehashing known cycles as new and get on with identifying what mechanisms they are ascribed to, please.

    Dear god, is framing hypotheses and testing them through experiment beyond this lot??

  156. @Mosher

    “Taking Santer’s suggestion that it takes 17 years to see these things”

    The text above indicates Kevin Trenberth is referring to a forthcoming paper but doesn’t mention the author(s). I’m intrigued to see how such a seemingly arbitrary number is calculated.

  157. steven mosher says:

    October 27, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    @John Whitman

    —————–

    Steve,

    Thanks for you comment.

    The evolution of climate science is accelerating as it truly becomes a sketical discourse.

    I watch in fascination the cascading comedown from myopic views of our climate dynamic as essentially defined by AGW by CO2 from fossil fuels.

    John

  158. Observed temperatures are not following the models!!!!!!

    It’s because the dang models are WRONG.

    Is it not time that some climate scientists, and I use the term loosely, get a grip on REALITY.

  159. “The planet has been naturally warming since the LIA, and it is still on its unbroken trend line”

    So it’s just warming of its own accord? How does it do that?

  160. The Great God of Carbon Balderdash received a Near Death Blow last week from the UK Government when they shut down the doomed Longannet CCS Scheme in Scotland, yet the SNP Scottish “First Minister”, Alex (World Beating Climate Targets) Salmond, still jabbers on about how the British Government is to blame for this debacle. Now he proposes that Britain should spend 10% of North Sea oil tax revenues to resurrect this zombie contrivance. See the updated report and also related stories featuring Lord Monckton at : http://wp.me/p1vFWW-g7

  161. stevo says:

    “So it’s just warming of its own accord? How does it do that?”

    This has been explained many times:

    The notion of a static, unchanging climate is foreign to the history of the earth or any other planet with a fluid envelope. The fact that the developed world went into hysterics over changes in global mean temperature anomaly of a few tenths of a degree will astound future generations. Such hysteria simply represents the scientific illiteracy of much of the public, the susceptibility of the public to the substitution of repetition for truth, and the exploitation of these weaknesses by politicians, environmental promoters, and, after 20 years of media drum beating, many others as well. Climate is always changing. We have had ice ages and warmer periods when alligators were found in Spitzbergen. Ice ages have occurred in a hundred thousand year cycle for the last 700 thousand years, and there have been previous periods that appear to have been warmer than the present despite CO2 levels being lower than they are now. More recently, we have had the medieval warm period and the little ice age. During the latter, alpine glaciers advanced to the chagrin of overrun villages. Since the beginning of the 19th Century these glaciers have been retreating. Frankly, we don’t fully understand either the advance or the retreat. For small changes in climate associated with tenths of a degree, there is no need for any external cause. The earth is never exactly in equilibrium. The motions of the massive oceans where heat is moved between deep layers and the surface provides variability on time scales from years to centuries. Recent work suggests that this variability is enough to account for all climate change since the 19th Century.
    ~Prof Richard Lindzen

  162. pat says:
    October 27, 2011 at 10:34 am
    There appear to be two primary schools of thought. The Earth is going through a cold spell that would be a lot colder without AGW. Or the Earth would warm, but has not because of various aerosols.The obvious is missing: If there is a cold spell, could there not have been a natural warm spell? Could not those aerosols been there the whole time?
    ++++++++++++

    Yes, Pat that is the whole point. As soon as they admit there is natural cooling, there could as well hav ebeen natural warming and hte forcing of CO2+feedback has been overestimated.

    That is why they now concentrate on finding an ‘aha moment’ with soot and particles. It still holds open the thin possibility that we are still responsible for all ups and downs that we must be brought into line under their control and direction.

    If it gets cooler by itself, who is to say it did not ‘un-cooler’ itself just as much? What then? The Supreme Power of the all-influential CO2 and its Devilish minions (sulphates, black carbon, methane, water) becomes questionable. That which is questionable is not all-powerful. That which is not all-powerful needs less attention.

    It is obviously an extension of the old ‘coal-fired power stations are destroying the environment’ argument that certainly had local validity. It is good that we want to clean up our messes. Nothing wrong with that at all. But it is a stretch to invoke CO2 (or sulphates) each time the wind blows dust into your eyes or your kid gets a sunburn. Those are ‘poppycock moments’.

  163. Absolutely astounding. These are not reasons, they are excuses. The facts will show that the big natural drivers are by and large in control, not some tiny trace gas that is needed for life on the planet, and is probably its only true function as designed by a creator bigger than Hansen, Trenborth, and yes,even AL GORE HIMSELF.

    If in the next 20-30 years, with the PDO switching and the AMO switching a bit later, the earths temps go back up, they have a point.

    Its a simple deduction, as much as they want it to be something more than that to justify themselves as being smarter than the obvious

    I see Al Gore wants a debate now. The debate is over… it either is or isnt and in the next 20 years, rationale people will come to see that

  164. Paul says:
    October 27, 2011 at 1:22 pm
    The whole story, with proper context, is available here:

    http://www.eenews.net/public/Greenwire/2011/10/25/1

    This is likely Paul Voosen, E&E reporter and author of the article. Well worth a read in totality which makes it seem this thread’s “consensus” on the article is not what was expected/hoped for. Best laid plans and all.

  165. steven mosher says:
    October 27, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    “I would say just the opposite. To a first order we know the effect of doubling C02 is about 1.2C

    absent any good arguments about why it has to be higher or lower, it would see that this should be the skeptical position. First principles can get you to 1.2. Above that or below that requires substantial evidence.. lack of knowledge is not evidence for figures below 1.2, neither are models evidence for figures above this.”

    Steven I have pointed out the evidence before.

    Suppose I was to ask you what the Earths temperature will be in 500 million years time.

    In that time we know that the radiative forcing from the Sun will increase by the equivalent of five doublings of CO2. I am pretty sure you will say that it will be cosiderably warmer given what you have previously said about what you believe is the Earths generic response to an increase in RF.

    If you do not think the Earth will warm please elucidate.

    Now let us conduct a little ‘Gedanken’ experiment.

    Suppose I asked you this question 500 million years in the past. The science and physics remain the same the only thing different is that you do not have knowledge of todays temperatures.

    I assume you would say the same as you would say today i.e. that the Earth will warm in the face of a subsequent increase in RF of the equivalent of five doublings of CO2.

    However the beauty of this experiment is that we know what actually happened and that temperatures actually fell from about 22c to about 14c.

    So what happened? Perhaps you can tell us Steven with full details of all the factors involved and their proportionate impact. I will not hold my breath however!

    Given, as you say, that we have a fairly good grip on radiative physics and we know that, everything else being equal, putting additional energy into a system will cause the temperature to rise. Therefore, something must be happening in the system that we dont understand and have a good grip on.

    The CAGW position, that increasing RF on the Earth MUST cause the temperature to rise, is demonstrably false.

    That is the whole point of this debate about climate science we don’t know enough about the system and what is causing it to change over the long term.

    That the ‘Science’ is basically settled is such a ludicrous position to hold that it is frankly laughable

    Alan

  166. Yes kMc2, Rabbie Burns kent a thing or twa. The last two verses of that particular poem “To a Mouse”, are particularly relevant in the context of these schemes, and indeed propaganda pieces which are written about them.

    But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
    In proving foresight may be vain;
    The best-laid schemes o’ mice an ‘men
    Gang aft agley,
    An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
    For promis’d joy!

    Still thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me
    The present only toucheth thee:
    But, Och! I backward cast my e’e.
    On prospects drear!
    An’ forward, tho’ I canna see,
    I guess an’ fear!

  167. I took the HadCrut adjusted mean NH data since 1995, subtracted their equivalent SH data from it then plotted it in Excel adding a linear trend line.

    Here’s what I got.

    If the atmosphere does not mix much across the equator then doesn’t the above result throw cold water on the idea that relatively short lived aerosols from China are somehow responsible for a global temperature stagnation? The NH appears to be warming not cooling.

  168. All interesting statements – with a stunning absence of hubris (and shame! at the angst they’ve created) – and scrambling to ‘dis’ the measurements (eg., satellite temperature, ARGO floats) they demanded to ‘solve’ the problem.

  169. Surface air temperatures have been of much interest lately, as some scientists have detected an accelerating ‘global warming’ trend since 1980, while others have detected more recently a significant slowing, and even a reversal of this trend since 2001, to near -2°C (-3.6°F) per century. This is shown above for the Climatic Research Unit and the UK Met. Office Hadley Centre data (HADCRUT3), but can be seen in all of the global meteorological databases.
    Thanks Dr. Pielke!

  170. I was defending the skeptic position over at Ars Technica lately (man, what a rabid group of attack dogs for the AGW faithful) in this forum http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2011/10/climate-skeptics-perform-independent-analysis-finally-convinced-earth-is-getting-warmer.ars?comments=1&start=440#comments-bar

    And several of the commenters pointed to this link, saying that a pause in warming is predicted in the models, see here (I know Anthony has deprecated this site, but it has some damming evidence)

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Hansen-1988-prediction-advanced.htm

    Here Hanson’s scenario C was trumpeted as having a flat stretch of low temperature increase. (“See the models are wonderful !”) But, see figure 3, where Gavin has added CRU and GIS actual data onto the graph of Hanson’s models. And the actual temperatures match scenario C pretty well, the one that shows a flat temperature in 2010 time frame.

    But the catch is the increasing CO2 scenario “B” diverges from the real data, but the data is right on top of the C model projection. The BIG PROBLEM is that scenario C was a sharp reduction in CO2 emissions in year 2000. Which of course did not happen, so this proves the model has an over estimated sensitivity!

    Hoist that on your own petard !

  171. The effort put in by Paul Voosen is surely appreciated. It is time to start looking at the bigger picture.

    Btw, have you noticed that the warmist side of the blog world and the press are dead silent?

  172. Jay says:
    October 28, 2011 at 8:21 am
    “But the catch is the increasing CO2 scenario “B” diverges from the real data, but the data is right on top of the C model projection. The BIG PROBLEM is that scenario C was a sharp reduction in CO2 emissions in year 2000.”

    That’s too funny. Steve Goddard has made the same graph composition a few days ago.

    http://www.real-science.com/doubt-temperatures-rising-fast-hansens-emissions

    So SKS disproves skeptics now by saying what they are saying? That won’t work, SKS!

  173. Smokey says:
    October 27, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    steven mosher,

    Sorry, wrong answer. It doesn’t take only 17 years to see what’s happening, it takes a lot longer. The planet has been naturally warming since the LIA, and it is still on its unbroken trend line. Nothing unusual is happening.
    _____________________________________________

    And if you go back to a start date of 1AD we have been COOLING!

    Or if you go back to a start date 0.03 million years ago we have drastically warmed or if you go back 0.13 million years we have cooled.

    Start date is the critical parameter when you are looking at natural cycles and that is the whole basis of the CAGW hoax. It is the reason for Mann’s Hockey Schtick and the moving goal post of how do we now determine if the earth is “Cooling” from the “climate scientists”

    With cycles within cycles within cycles in the earths climate record you can pretty much get any answer you want just pick the correct start and end date.

  174. The graph below highlights the big disconnect for GISS compared to these other data sets. The GISS is the only one out of all data sets (not all shown here) to show a data month greater than the peak in 1998.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1997.25/plot/gistemp/from:1997.25/trend/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1997.25/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1997.25/trend/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1997.25/trend

    The difference is huge when considering the size of the pole in relation to the globe. Everybody should know that ocean and sea temperatures behaves much slower than land temperatures with less extremes. Yet land temperatures are pasted over the Arctic seas into towards the center of the pole, even over SST’s data that already exists and can be used now.

    This making up the data (therefore not a genuine observed data set any more) is often showing monthly temperatures around 0.3c higher than rival data sets. My estimation to cause this 0.3c rise would require a temperature over the pole to be around 6c above average. With the pole mainly being ocean water this is nonsense, would find great difficulty searching for an anomaly this size ever on a SST map. Remember this average is for the entire region which makes this even more laughable.

    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/satellite/index.uk.php

    If thats not bad enough global SST’s on all available data sets don’t show a warming during this same period. It is not possible to measure global atmospheric temperatures and be off such a huge tangent with ocean temperatures and still be correct. Below hadsst2gl does show cooler temperatures than ocean and land, but neither show this GISS warming.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1997.25/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1997.25/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1997.25/trend/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1997.25/trend

  175. John Whitman says:
    October 27, 2011 at 6:11 pm
    A – If she is pregnant for 22 months?

    Then my guess is . . . you are probably dating an elephant!

  176. Smokey, what is counteracting exactly all of the known varying external factors, to leave behind the supposed warming with no cause?

  177. Laurie Bowen (trolling) says:

    October 28, 2011 at 10:21 am

    @John Whitman says:

    ———————–

    Laurie Bowen (trolling),

    Ah yes, sauce for the goose. : )

    John

  178. stevo says on October 28, 2011 at 3:47 am:
    “——————- So it’s just warming of its own accord? How does it do that?”
    ======
    We know very little about what is happening in 99.5 %, or more, of the Solar System – i.e. in The Sun itself. What if percentagewise the various different types of radiation-waves change – periodically or over some lenght of time?

    Say for example Gamma or/and some other “Rays” decrease with say, 5% and Infra Red increased by the same amount? – We just do not know.

    Leif Svalgaard, make yourself famous; Search for it!

  179. Gail Combs says on October 28, 2011 at 9:29 am:
    “Oh darn! I wonder if Al Gore is getting his buddies at World Bank and HSBC to invest too.”
    =======
    Thanks for that one Gail,
    I shall be at the HSBC counter promptly, when it next opens, to demand they pay me my savings of £36.49 promptly and then close my account.

    I am sorry, really I am – but I have less influence, by far, on Al’s goings on in the World Bank.

    I can only join you and yours in wishing him, and his co-operators, bad luck and “may their balls turn square so that they can fester at the corners”

  180. stevo says:

    “So it’s just warming of its own accord? How does it do that?”

    So do you think that the world warmed up “just by itself” at the end of all the dozens of ice ages in the earth’s history? And every other “natural” (gotta love that word!!) down fluctuation in temperature history? Do you believe that the earth’s climate is capable of changing without human intervention or permission? Do you seriously claim to have exhaustive knowledge of all the other natural sources of climate variation, such that you can eliminate them all and attribute warming solely to CO2!

    Or does your nanny peer group allow you to believe in ice ages or that the world existed before 1850?

  181. Hmmm dust is more important that previously thought.
    All major cooling periods are marked by high dust levels in the ice cores.

    You don’t suppose that cold dry conditions encourage increasing dust levels, which provided a strong negative feedback leading to change of state to global cooling??

    Especially funny if the stratospheric dust composition can be matched to atmospheric dust generated during major dust storm events. That would mean that the efforts of the EPA to clean up the atmosphere in recent decades might be the cause of the warming over the last few decades, so efforts to cut pollution might actually have contributed to the problem they were trying to solve.

    Ooops!
    Never mind.

    Larry

  182. stevo believes the cause of the [very minor] warming over the past century and a half is because of CO2. That belief is the typical argumentum ad ignorantium: “Since I can’t think of any other cause, then it must be due to CO2.”

  183. Smokey, why not answer the question: what is counteracting exactly all of the known varying external factors, to leave behind the supposed warming with no cause?

    phlogiston: “So do you think that the world warmed up “just by itself” at the end of all the dozens of ice ages in the earth’s history? [blah blah blah]”

    No, do you? Ice ages don’t “just end”, nor do they “just start”. It’s pretty well known that changes in Earth’s orbital parameters determine their timing.

  184. stevo says:
    October 28, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    “No, do you? Ice ages don’t “just end”, nor do they “just start”. It’s pretty well known that changes in Earth’s orbital parameters determine their timing.”

    Actually that’s only part of it. Why did they suddenly begin a few million years ago when orbital mechanics didn’t change at that time? Why were they on 40,000 year cycles for a couple million years then change to 100,000 year cycles a million years ago?

    Other things known to perturb climate from time to time are major volcanic eruptions, asteroid and comet impacts, continental drift that changes ocean circulation patterns, solar cycles (suspected) with lengths much greater than the well known 11-year sunspot cycle, supernovae in our region of the milky way galaxy, and traversals by our solar system across the spiral arms of the galaxy. And these are just things we know about or strongly suspect influence our planet. We don’t know what we don’t know. Got it? Write that down!

  185. stevo

    If it’s any consolation I believe that anthropogenic CO2 and other emissions do have some effect on our climate. In the past these probably had a negative consequence (particulates that were bad to breathe and caused global cooling) but these have been brought under control and the leftover emission, CO2, is a beneficial addition to the atmosphere that makes plants grow faster and need less water at the same time, plus because of the way the greenhouse warming works the warming comes primarily at night, in the colder months, and in the higher latitudes. The time and place where the warming occurs is once again beneficial as it extends growing seasons where they most need extension! You see because they are at night and in the colde months they reduce the chance of late killer frosts in the spring and early killer frosts in the fall without changing the average daily high temperatures which determine which crops are best suited for the area. I mean we couldn’t ask for a more beneficial side effect! It’s perfect!!!!!! If we’re really really lucky, or rather our ancestors are really really lucky there might even be enough warming to end the ice age of the past few million years so our great great great great great great grandchildren won’t have to make living hunting wooly mammoths on mile thick glaciers that cover half the northern hemisphere land masses during glacial periods. Wouldn’t that be a great legacy?! I think so!!!!!!!!

  186. Steven “one trick pony” Mosher typically fails (as of yet) to answer the following drubbing:

    Alan Millar says:
    October 28, 2011 at 4:55 am
    steven mosher says:
    October 27, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    “I would say just the opposite. To a first order we know the effect of doubling C02 is about 1.2C

    absent any good arguments about why it has to be higher or lower, it would see that this should be the skeptical position. First principles can get you to 1.2. Above that or below that requires substantial evidence.. lack of knowledge is not evidence for figures below 1.2, neither are models evidence for figures above this.”

    Steven I have pointed out the evidence before.

    Suppose I was to ask you what the Earths temperature will be in 500 million years time.

    In that time we know that the radiative forcing from the Sun will increase by the equivalent of five doublings of CO2. I am pretty sure you will say that it will be cosiderably warmer given what you have previously said about what you believe is the Earths generic response to an increase in RF.

    If you do not think the Earth will warm please elucidate.

    Now let us conduct a little ‘Gedanken’ experiment.

    Suppose I asked you this question 500 million years in the past. The science and physics remain the same the only thing different is that you do not have knowledge of todays temperatures.

    I assume you would say the same as you would say today i.e. that the Earth will warm in the face of a subsequent increase in RF of the equivalent of five doublings of CO2.

    However the beauty of this experiment is that we know what actually happened and that temperatures actually fell from about 22c to about 14c.

    So what happened? Perhaps you can tell us Steven with full details of all the factors involved and their proportionate impact. I will not hold my breath however!

  187. Smokey says:

    October 28, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    stevo believes the cause of the [very minor] warming over the past century and a half is because of CO2. That belief is the typical argumentum ad ignorantium: “Since I can’t think of any other cause, then it must be due to CO2.”

    ————————-

    Smoky & stevo,

    To me, the most intriguing and subtle of all logical fallacies is called begging-the-question.

    I smell a faint whiff of it in your dialog. No time to expand, but rest assured that I will in future comments on future WUWT posts.

    No time now (family calls).

    John

  188. lrshultis says:
    October 27, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    Dave Springer:
    Look up viscosity. It is not the same as surface tension.

    Thank you for pointing that out! In the back of my mind I knew that. It’s typical of the well informed amateur in a field to understand concepts but fail to use the right words to express them due to lack of repetition. I haven’t used the term surface tension in a sentence in 30 years but I have mentioned viscosity many many times. I’m also well aware that surface tension is what allows a water-bug to walk on water and what allows a carefully placed steel needle to stay afloat. It’s kind of hard imagine making that error in writing over and over again when I knew exactly what I wanted to express…

    The point I made is unchanged by the error in terminology. Surface tension is the dominant force in the skin layer.

  189. davidmhoffer says:
    October 27, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Instead of making things up why not find the facts first so you don’t embarrass yourself quite so
    much with the uneducated rambling.

    The barrier zones in the ocean
    By E. M. Emelʹi︠a︡nov

    http://books.google.com/books?id=Em9Bm24Iq9kC&pg=PA253&lpg=PA253#v=onepage&q&f=false

    See the illustration near the middle of the page about what happens in ocean froth driven by high winds and what happens when raindrops hit the surface. Rather than downward mixing the skin breaking on the air bubbles drives water molecules from the skin layer into the atmosphere above the water. This is exactly the opposite of what you imagined and described in your ignorant response.

    Buy a clue Hoffer. And while you’re at it buy two of them and give one to your BFF Willis.

  190. Confirming and expanding upon what Stephen Wilde wrote:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=Em9Bm24Iq9kC&pg=PA252&lpg=PA253

    Surface microlayer of the ocean averages 3-5mm deep and is colder than the water below it by 1C with a gradient of 2-5C/cm (Hunarzhua 1977).

    Evaporation removes heat from the ocean so efficiently the colder water doesn’t even have time sink. As I wrote before the primary mechanism for ocean cooling is evaporation, not radiation, and it works by a surface layer just a few molecules thick constantly getting peeled off as water vapor and taking a whole buttload of latent (insensible) heat with it in the process. This latent heat will not become sensible on a thermometer until the vapor condenses. It may condense right away and form a fog bank which isn’t particularly rare over the ocean but the typical case is it rises to the cloud deck and so all that downwelling far infrared radiation from CO2 so infamous and visible in the land temperature record as surface warming is largely, mechanically, and invisibly lifted to the cloud deck over the ocean and ocean temperature is thus far less effected by GHGs. This explains all the observations including the infamous missing heat and why the land-based temperture record in the northern hemisphere (recalculated by BEST) show so much greater temperature anomaly than far less disputable land+sea satellite record.

    Aerosols aren’t doing more than models assume. CO2 is doing less than models assume. The climate boffin brigade will fight this correction tooth and nail, kicking and screaming all the way, but the truth shall win the day and the truth is greenhouse gases have the expected effect over land but not nearly as much over the ocean due to difference in the way land and ocean surfaces give up their solar heat. Water is a far, far different material than rocks. This should have been obvious all along.

  191. Stephen Wilde says:
    October 28, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    “Surface tension results in increased viscosity at the surface doesn’t it ?”

    Probably depends on who you ask and what you define as the surface and what fluid you’re talking about. For me viscosity is the general ability of the liquid to flow and is the same at all points in the liquid. Surface tension is a surface-only effect that binds the molecules together more tightly at the surface. One might mount some kind defense that surface tension is an increase in viscosity at the surface but I’m not so defensive that I can’t admit I chose the wrong term to describe the effect I had in mind. I had surface tension in mind, I called it viscosity, and that was wrong of me. I don’t make enough errors relative to the speed and volume of my commentary that I have any particular problem admitting and correcting any errors pointed out to me.

  192. I agree with Dave Springer’s comment @October 28, 2011 at 3:13 pm 100%. I’ve been saying the same thing for the last couple of years, when it became apparent that the rise in CO2 was not causing any harm.

    stevo says “what is counteracting exactly all of the known varying external factors, to leave behind the supposed warming with no cause?”

    If we knew all the causes of global ΔT there would be no need to discuss the situation. But we don’t even know if we know all the forcings and feedbacks. What we do know is that CO2 has a much smaller effect than has been claimed by the IPCC, Mann, Trenberth, Hansen, and their clique. As it turns out, CO2 is harmless and beneficial. More is better. The earth is currently starved of atmospheric CO2.

  193. Dave Springer says:
    October 28, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Good post, covers this issue nicely.

    I mentioned a while ago on a different thread (could be last year) that observed mechanisms between land and water behave much different. The doubling of CO2 (~1c) really only roughly applies to land and with the planet ~71 percent water. This estimation is around 180 percent too high because the ocean can’t have any further greenhouse effect with saturated water vapour behaving like the descriptions of your post. This was then the reason I did conclude that warming expected over the past decade was much less, especially with change in global cloud levels too.

    The rise in global temperatures previously would have been also much less if global cloud levels had not declined 5 percent since 1983 until 2001. Still not sure what caused this cloud albedo decline, but based on the CO2 conjecture mentioned on previous threads this cannot have been caused by CO2. (ie higher temperatures causing more water vapour and clouds – neither true based on this recent warming period at global levels)

  194. phlogiston – so your point is that because there are unanswered questions in climate studies, therefore CO2 can’t be a problem? Non sequitur.

    Smokey – “What we do know is that CO2 has a much smaller effect” – you might think you know that. In the real world it is not turning out that way.

  195. stevo says:

    ” ‘What we do know is that CO2 has a much smaller effect’ – you might think you know that. In the real world it is not turning out that way.”

    Mere opinion, and wrong opinion at that. Provide empirical evidence ‘in the real world’ showing testable, falsifiable global harm from the rise in CO2… or admit that CO2 is harmless.

    This is science we’re discussing, stevo, not astrology.

  196. What I find amazing is that ‘scientists’ can make statements like this:

    “In La Niña, the colder sea surface temperatures in the Pacific mean there is less convective action there — fewer tropical storms, etc., and less clouds, but thus more sun,” he said. “The heat goes into the ocean but gets moved around by the ocean currents. So ironically colder conditions lead to more heat being sequestered.”

    and still deny all possibility that the feedbacks in the climate are generally negative. In simple terms, if a cooling causes greater energy to reach the surface, surely warming will cause less energy to reach the surface.

  197. What I didn’t see was an admission that the reason they religiously denied solar influence was not being willing to concede that ANY of the cyclical rise since the 70’s was do to the unusually active sun.

  198. Very nice post, Dr. Pielke! It’s amusing to see the little dance that Warmistas do to get around facts. Various metaphors suggest themselves, but I’ll stick with:

    “When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.”

  199. It was in no “way affected by the nonsensical statements of contrarians,” Hansen said. “These are fundamental matters that the science has always been focused on. The problem has been the absence of [scientific] observations.”

    You know those plaques that have funny sayings on them and get hung in the bathroom? I’m talking about things like, “The length of a minute depends on which side of the bathroom door you’re on,” or “Don’t throw cigarette butts into the toilet — it makes them soggy and hard to light,” and similar witticisms. Some of them are clever, but even the best are really only amusing for a week or so at best, yet they hang around for years.

    So I want to turn the Hansen quote into a humour plaque for my bathroom wall, because I’m going to be laughing at that one for a long time.

  200. Dave Springer:
    “The point I made is unchanged by the error in terminology. Surface tension is the dominant force in the skin layer.”
    Surface tension is the result of hydrogen bonding which is the attractive force between the polar H2O molecules. Evaporation is the result of photon absorption which does work in eventually increasing molecular vibration great enough to break molecules loose by breaking the hydrogen bonds. That is an endothermic process with the energy (latent heat of about 2260 kJ/kg) stored in vibrating and wiggling covalent bonds and rotations of the H2O gas molecules. When rain drops form, hydrogen bonds again form in an exothermic reaction giving off the stored latent heat. Evaporation occurs as long as there is a surface layer of liquid water regardless of any incident radiation. Richard Feynman said that the molecules jiggle a lot and enough eventually hit a surface molecule with enough momentum to break the bonding.

    As for mixing, isn’t a wave just a mass of water pushed down by a force transferring water to an adjacent place thus raising the height of that water. That would imply that the mixing is done in that transfer back and forth of water. As you say it is all done below the trough, but it is the surface water that is pushed down under the uprising part of the wave and possibly mixes. How far down the mixing goes or whether it is just the surface water to the depth of the trough that gets mixed or that it just gushes back and forth without mixing is the question? Some mixing occurs due to wind breaking the waves tops into spray.

  201. “Surface microlayer of the ocean averages 3-5mm deep and is colder than the water below it by 1C with a gradient of 2-5C/cm (Hunarzhua 1977).”

    Thanks Dave,

    All the comments I have seen about that layer so far suggest only 1mm deep and only 0.3C cooler. If it is actually 3-5 mm deep and 1C cooler that that suits me just fine given the important role that I have attributed to it in my writings.

    I have suggested thet the ocean equilibrium temperature is set by energy exchanges at the junction between the bottom of that layer and the ocean bulk below.

    The layer itself provides a buffer between the energy exchange at that point and the energy exchange where the top of that layer meets the atmosphere above.

    In effect, unless events in the air can alter the gradient through that layer, the ocean bulk temperature cannot change from anything that happens in the air.

    I aver that changes in the rate of evaporation from the top always prevent changes in the air from affecting the gradient through the layer hence the ocean skin theory fails and downwelling IR cannot alter the rate of energy flow from oceans to air. Thus the equilibrium temperature of the whole oceanic system remains independent of events that are limited solely to the air.

    Instead the surface air pressure distribution shifts just a miniscule fraction that could not be measured against natural changes induced by sun and oceans.

    It think the logic is incontrovertible and fits observations perfectly.

  202. lrshultis says:
    October 28, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    I’m not sure what your point is about evaporation. It occurs all the time but it happens faster if more energy is added to the surface molecules. Condensation also happens all the time but it happens faster if energy is removed. If the air is saturated an equilibrium is reached where rate of evaporation equals rate of condensation. With all due respect to Feynman, and lurking pedants notwithstanding, we’re interested in the net result not quantum accounting trivia. The net result is that evaporation effectively halts when the air becomes saturated.

    Wave mixing goes very deep but it excludes the surface water to the depth of the trough. Winds whipping the ocean into froth or breaking tops out to sea to any large degree is the exception not the rule. Rainfall is also the exception not the rule. In either case the situation becomes complicated by the fact that instead of DLR having a free path from sky to ocean surface it now has to traverse an obstacle course of liquid water droplets in the path. Any water droplet will of course absorb any impinging DLR because water is quite opaque to far infrared and ostensibly re-radiate half of the DLR upward again. At any rate the rule is that the surface micro layer does not mix downward so a rule then follows that downwelling far infrared from greenhouse gases do not effect temperature change below the surface micro layer but rather raise the average evaporation rate. There are exceptions to the rule I’m sure but that doesn’t nullify the general statement that GHGs have less effect over ocean than over land because rocks don’t evaporate.

  203. “The rise in global temperatures previously would have been also much less if global cloud levels had not declined 5 percent since 1983 until 2001. Still not sure what caused this cloud albedo decline”

    The surface air pressure distribution shifted bodily poleward including the jet stream paths which became more zonal.

    Due to the shape of the Earth more poleward and more zonal results in shorter tracks around the globe with less air mass mixing and so less global cloudiness. That increases solar input to the oceans for a warming effect overall which alters the relative balance between El Nino and La Nina which already respond to ocean cycling on a 60 year timescale.

    On average that increasing zonality and poleward drift has been going on since the LIA with the consequences we observe.

    Since about 2000 the process has been going into reverse again (possibly temporarily) despite increasing CO2 emissions. Cloudiness has increased with more meridional jets and less energy entering the oceans as per the ARGO results. La Nina is regaining dominance over El Nino.

    I aver that the primary cause of the surface air pressure drifting latitudinally is solar. The level of solar activity acts via chemical processes involving ozone to alter the intensity of the polar vortices which allows the latitudinal shifts in the surface pressure distribution.

    There is also a countervailing process from ocean cycles but the solar efferct is dominant in the long term because the solar effects fuel the ocean cycle too.

    Climate change is the resulting interaction between top down solar and bottom up oceanic variability.

    In comparison, changes in the GHG levels from human activity are insignificant because GHGs alter the surface pressure distribution too but too little to ever notice or measure. Especially since water vapour is the main GHG and the system keeps humidity very stable, most changes in CO2 are natural and so the human contribution to all GHGs is trivial.

  204. So how much warming did the various western cleaner air activities cause in 60’s-90’s and how much cooling did the increase in Asian coal burning cause in the last 10 years?

  205. Ah yes Smokey. Use a vague meaningless word like “harm” and see if that leads to a sensible discussion. Define harm, please.

  206. stevo, you’re making no sense. It is up to you to define “harm”, per the scientific method, if you can.

    The fact is that more CO2 is harmless. Falsify that… if you can.

  207. Dave Springer says:
    October 27, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    doug s says:
    October 27, 2011 at 9:56 am
    “Doesn’t a great deal of the energy get turned into work? ”

    No. And in the work you’re thinking of (putting water and air in motion) the kinetic energy gets converted back to heat energy very quickly via friction.

    Dave, let me make sure I’m understanding this properly. Are you suggesting that we can move a physical object from point A to point B without any net use of energy? That would be quite remarkable. It seems that there is energy used in moving an object from point A to point B that can never be recaptured via friction or even by a recapture of the kinetic energy. If I move a pile of bricks from point A to point B, are you suggesting that there has there been no net energy used to do the work of moving the pile of bricks? Seems strange to me.

    Let’s look at a different example that makes it easier to recapture energy (in this case, kinetic): say a car that has been driven to a certain speed and then the engine cut. In that case the kinetic energy will continue to carry the car a certain distance. If we wanted to capture some of that kinetic energy, we could do so by slowing down the car through a mechanism that captures the energy (Prius braking, for example). However, if we wanted to capture *all* of the kinetic energy that was available at the point the engine was cut, it seems the *only* way we could do so would be to completely remove all the kinetic energy, in which case, by definition, the car would not have any more kinetic energy to move and would therefore not move at all. Stated in other terms, the only way to “recapture” all the energy used in moving an object from point A to point B would be to not move the object from point A to point B.

    What am I missing?

  208. stevo says:

    “Define harm…”

    There is no harm. Of any kind; CO2 is harmless at current and projected levels. If you believe you can show any quantifiable global damage specifically due to the rise in harmless, beneficial CO2, produce it. Make sure it’s testable evidence per the scientific method; this isn’t the Skeptical Pseudo-Science nonsense blog. This is the internet’s “Best Science” site. Baseless opinions don’t count for much here.

    stevo continues his alarmism:

    ” ‘Smokey – What we do know is that CO2 has a much smaller effect’ – you might think you know that. In the real world it is not turning out that way.”

    Get a clue.

  209. Dave Springer;
    Instead of making things up why not find the facts first so you don’t embarrass yourself quite so
    much with the uneducated rambling.

    and

    Buy a clue Hoffer. And while you’re at it buy two of them and give one to your BFF Willis.

    Sir,
    Your inability to discuss much of anything in a civil manner speaks volumes about you. It seems you are under the impression that insults, bluster, bullying, ad hominem attacks and general rude remarks somehow bolster your position. Your response amounts very little more than that plus a link to an article that you claim shows I am wrong. Did you read it?

    From the article YOU linked to on what happens when large rain drops hit the surface:

    Air bubbles produced by rain drops sink to a depth of 4 cm

    There is no surface tension in this case, it is too turbulent for surface tension to form. Further, the air bubbles are distributed with highest concentration at the very top and decreasing concentration down to as much as 4 cm. LW travels at the speed of light. Do you seriously contend that this condition does not provide for opportunities for LW photons to penetrate beyond the first few millimeters?

    Further, from the article you linked to:

    When the wind speed in the surface layer is 8m/S, 4% of the total ocean surface will be covered by foam

    Do you seriously contend that foam absorbs LW in the same manner as calm sea surface? Nonsense. The skin wall of a bubble is so thin that it cannot absorb the LW as the surface layer of calm water can. Want proof? Ever blow soap bubbles? If the water absorbed the LW 100%, the bubble would instantly burst as the skin evaporated. But it doesn’t, and the foam on rough seas doesn’t go poof and disappear either. The LW is capable of passing THROUGH the bubbles and is then absorbed… at some point beneath them. Even if it causes evaporation of the water at THAT point, that is water vapour trapped UNDER the foam.

    Going further in that article discussing the mixing that occurrs due to a variety of processes that occurr during heavy rain, it says:

    The ocurrence of air bubble contribute to high concentrations of organic matter in the microlayer, which are 10 times greater than in seawater

    So…we have LW penetrating the microlayer and in addition to being absorbed by the water, it can also be asborbed by organic matter in the microlayer, of which, according to your reference, there is ten times as much of as during a calm sea. They may warm up of course, but they won’t turn into vapour either, they stay, along with the energy they absorbed from LW, right there in the water. Check out the next paragraph on organic “snow” and how it sinks
    to the bottom taking all manner of things, including the LW absorbed, with it.

    If you would like, I can refer you to articles on surface tension and how it is different from viscosity, a confused statement you seem to make often. Floating a needle on the top of a glass of still water is what? A grade 3 experiment? Considering your foul mouth and inability to articulate your position without insults, name calling and ignorant remarks, perhaps grade 3 is about your speed?

    You may want to look up surfactants and understand them as well, but that’s junior high. Wait, as I recall, there was plenty of name calling to settle arguments in junior high too. Now understanding how power in watts per meter squared of downwelling LW changes due to angle of incidence to an increasingly lower number, that’s high school we’re talking now. Do you think you can be as civil as a high school student? In any event, when wave action is high due to wind, not only is their foam, organic matter in the microlayer, bubbles descending to as much as 4 cm, the wave surface may be as much as 45 degrees or more from the horizontal, meaning that the power distribution of the downward LW is far lower, and hence less likely to cause evaporation before the temperature increase has a chance to move energy via conductance.

    Your apology is accepted.

  210. Stephen Wilde;
    In effect, unless events in the air can alter the gradient through that layer, the ocean bulk temperature cannot change from anything that happens in the air.>>>

    If you will review the article that Dave Springer so kindly linked to in his rant at me, you will see that this is not so. Wind and rain and the resulting interaction with everything from the sea surface to sediments from the bottom get pulled into the picture and change completely the energy exchange between the air, surface layer, and the water below.

    Excellent article Dave Springer, thanks!

  211. Or, “What’s red and white outside, and grey on the inside?”.
    Campbell’s Cream of Elephant Soup”

    “Why do ducks have webbed feet?”

    “To stamp out forest fires”

    “Why do elephants have flat feet?”

    “To stamp out burning ducks!”

  212. Why did the frog cross the road?

    Because he was stapled to a chicken.

    What has this to do with elephants?

    Nothing. why do you ask?

  213. Paul R says:
    October 29, 2011 at 9:50 pm
    ………
    davidmhoffer says:
    October 29, 2011 at 11:25 pm
    ……….

    WTF :o :?:

    This article’s debate is obviously exhausted :lol:

  214. davidmhoffer

    I’ve reviewed that article, and your comments, as suggested but for various reasons I don’t share your opinion that the phenomena you refer to make a significant difference when averaged globally.

    There are factors that offset the effects you rely on such as increased upward convection if any energy does get past the topmost layer and then the issue of increased surface area when the surface area is disturbed which is known to increase the rate of evaporation too.

    So I still think that Dave Springer and I are correct. Downward IR makes zero difference to the energy content of the ocean bulk.

  215. Stephen Wilde;
    So I still think that Dave Springer and I are correct. Downward IR makes zero difference to the energy content of the ocean bulk.>>>

    You may well be correct. It is a complex systems that seems to have some built in checks and balances, a governer if you will. But that wasn’t the original question. The original question was can IR be absorbed by the oceans? Springer’s article shows quite clearly that it can and as I have discussed, there are many additional ways it can be absorbed as well.

    If that triggers secondary processes the compensate and bring the net to zero, that is possible. But anyone who argues that the net is zero because IR can’t be absorbed in the first place is simply wrong. Getting the right answer for the wrong reasons isn’t science. it is luck.

  216. Can I borrow your brain, I’m building an idiot!

    Honestly, you people firmly point out the flaws in our education systems!

    This is a highly complex, chaotic system that your tiny brains are incapable of understanding.
    Yes there has been a recent pause but you fail to mention the 10 year periods that have show increases at up to five times the long term trend.

    Go study some statistics and get back to me.

  217. wheresmyak47;
    Yes there has been a recent pause but you fail to mention the 10 year periods that have show increases at up to five times the long term trend.
    Go study some statistics and get back to me.>>>

    Can you provide a plausible scientific basis for the pause that is consistant with the CO2 concentration changes over the same time period?

    Go study some physics and get back to me.

  218. so many complex explanations, and so many complex counter-arguments.

    this is all so much hokum and bunkum.

    burn all the hydrocarbons until they become uneconomic. different ways of doing things will emerge. human ingenuity will come up with something else which is easier or less costly, as has always happened in the past, so it will be in the future, and why should that be ?

    because Man is a product of his environment and not the creator of it !

    as the environment inevitably changes, then so does Man and his ways, subtly sometimes, and suddenly on other occasions. as the supplies of one fuel diminish, then Human inventiveness will first imagine and then constuct other ways and devices to ensure his continued existance at a level which he imagines must be right. no power on Earth can superceed the imaginings of the Human brain, and its capability to devise ways of fulfiling those ideas.

  219. Top Ten Messages from Climate Science:
    1. Uncertainty is so uncertain that nothing can be said about natural variation. Thus the only known forcing variable is CO2 concentration, which humans are contributing to. Give us all your money!

    2. Extreme dryness and hotness in some places causes some areas to be wet and freezing, which is why you’re suffering from fuel poverty. Give us all your money!

    3. The plateau of surface atmospheric temperatures over the last decade just means the swing back to normal overheating will be all the more extreme! There’s no time to waste. Give us all your money!

    4. The heat that’s not hiding in the upper or middle depths of the oceans must be lurking somewhere. When it comes out, we’ll all be rooned! Give us all your money!

    5. The Arctic is getting so close to melting in the summer, that it’s bound to happen soon, and suck in peta-giga-joules, and boil the planet. Give us all your money!

    5. Animals are already going extinct so fast we can’t count any of them. Give us all your money!

    6. Increased GCRs are causing cloud, which GCMs prove magnify back-radiation. We’ll grill like sausages! Give us all your money!

    7. CO2 and warming usually are beneficial, but if they aren’t this time, it might be awful. Give us all your money!

    8. Birds and animals are getting smaller because of the heat, or larger from temporary overeating due to excess plant productivity from excess CO2, and will all become confused and nicheless. Give us all your money!

    9. Fossil fuel energy will accelerate the improvement in living standards of the Third World, which will mean they’ll grab off most of the resources we depend on to maintain our lifestyles, so we’ll all become impoverished because the poor got too rich and made too much CO2 and Peaked the Oil. And stuff. Give us all your money!

    10. The weather is chaotic, and the climate is sort of chaotic except that the long-term trend is divinable, and anyway chaos means anything could happen, which we have to be ready for. Give us all your money!

    Each Climate Scientist and (Luke-)Warmist has his/her favorites. Match them up!

  220. *****
    stevo says:
    October 28, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    No, do you? Ice ages don’t “just end”, nor do they “just start”. It’s pretty well known that changes in Earth’s orbital parameters determine their timing.
    *****

    Well, it’s “pretty well known” that the orbital parameters are not, by themselves, changing enough over short periods (several thousand yrs) to cause the huge changes at the transitions between interglacials/glacials. I agree those changes, tho, trigger something else that initiates the changes. What it is, is unknown at the present. IMHO it must be some type of ocean-current change (like a redirection of the Gulf stream). Only that could cause such huge temp changes so fast, not the orbital variations themselves.

  221. The science is unsettled in a settled sort of way! There is a consensus, we just can’t agree on every little detail but given a bit of time and some better models we just may get there.

    • One thing the befuddled scientists didn’t mention, is how CO2 actually operates. They think the current theory is etched ihn stone, i.e. it acts as a “blanket that is getting ever thicker”. As indicated by Professor James Barrante and others, CO2 only intercepts infrared radiation in two or three narrow bands representing about 8% of the total spectrum. So most of the infrared radiation escapes to space unhindered. Furthermore, the amount of infrared radiation is limited by the amount of direct radiation from the sun. CO2 has no such limits. Here’s the important part: The first hundred ppm of CO2 are very efficient in absorbing the infrared radiation in those narrow bands, Like the law of “diminishing returns”, the next hundred ppm finds less infrared radiation to absorb, and by the time concentrations reach 300 ppm, most all of the available infrared radiation in those narrow bands has been intercepted. Thus, little further warming can take place.
      One may argue about the numbers, but it stands to reason that the limited amount of infrared radiation has to all be intercepted/absorbed at some point, something that is totally overlooked by the pro AGW scientists.

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