Trenberth dials up the warming predictions

From NCAR:
Future warming likely to be on high side of climate projections, analysis finds

November 08, 2012

BOULDER—Climate model projections showing a greater rise in global temperature are likely to prove more accurate than those showing a lesser rise, according to a new analysis by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The findings, published in this week’s issue of Science, could provide a breakthrough in the longstanding quest to narrow the range of global warming expected in coming decades and beyond.

temperature change from increased CO2

Computer models that more accurately depict dry conditions in a key part of the subtropical atmosphere are also more likely to predict greater climate warming from increased greenhouse gases. In this graphic, each star indicates one of 16 leading global climate models. The left axis (“warming”) corresponds to equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) in degrees C, which is the amount of warming produced by each model when carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere are doubled over preindustrial values. The bottom axis shows May-to-August relative humidity for a portion of the upper atmosphere between about 20,000 to 30,000 feet in height and between about 10° and 25° latitude south in the southern subtropics. (©UCAR. Image by Carlye Calvin, based on Fasullo and Trenberth, Science, 2012.)

NCAR scientists John Fasullo and Kevin Trenberth, who co-authored the study, reached their conclusions by analyzing how well sophisticated climate models reproduce observed relative humidity in the tropics and subtropics.

The climate models that most accurately captured these complex moisture processes and associated clouds, which have a major influence on global climate, were also the ones that showed the greatest amounts of warming as society emits more greenhouse gas into the atmosphere.

“There is a striking relationship between how well climate models simulate relative humidity in key areas and how much warming they show in response to increasing carbon dioxide,” Fasullo says. “Given how fundamental these processes are to clouds and the overall global climate, our findings indicate that warming is likely to be on the high side of current projections.”

The research was funded by NASA.

Moisture, clouds, and heat

The world’s major global climate models, numbering more than two dozen, are all based on long-established physical laws known to guide the atmosphere. However, because these relationships are challenging to translate into software, each model differs slightly in its portrayal of global climate. In particular, some processes, such as those associated with clouds, are too small to be represented properly.

The most common benchmark for comparing model projections is equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS), or the amount of warming that eventually occurs in a model when carbon dioxide is doubled over preindustrial values. At current rates of global emission, that doubling will occur well before 2100.

For more than 30 years, ECS in the leading models has averaged around 5 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius).  This provides the best estimate of global temperature increase expected by the late 21st century compared to late 19th century values, assuming that society continues to emit significant amounts of carbon dioxide. However, the ECS within individual models is as low as 3 degrees F and as high as 8 degrees F (, leaving a wide range of uncertainty that has proven difficult to narrow over the past three decades.

The difference is important to reconcile, as a higher temperature rise would produce greater impacts on society in terms of sea level rise, heat waves, droughts, and other threats.

Clouds are one of the main sticking points, say the NCAR authors. Although satellites observe many types of clouds, satellite failure, observing errors, and other inconsistencies make it challenging to build a comprehensive global cloud census that is consistent over many years.

However, satellites perform better in measuring water vapor, and estimates of the global distribution of relative humidity have become more reliable. Relative humidity is also incorporated in climate models to generate and dissipate clouds.

Fasullo and Trenberth checked the distribution of relative humidity in 16 leading climate models to see how accurately they portray the present climate. In particular, they focused on the subtropics, where sinking air from the tropics produce very dry zones where most of the world’s major deserts are located. The researchers drew on observations from two NASA satellite instruments — the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) and Clouds and Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) – and used a NASA data analysis, the Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA).

The seasonal drying in the subtropics and the associated decrease in clouds, especially during May through August, serve as a good analog for patterns projected by climate models.

“The dry subtropics are a critical element in our future climate,” Fasullo says. “If we can better represent these regions in models, we can improve our predictions and provide society with a better sense of the impacts to expect in a warming world.”

Accurate humidity yields higher future temperatures

Estimates based on observations show that the relative humidity in the dry zones averages between about 15 and 25 percent, whereas many of the models depicted humidities of 30 percent or higher for the same period. The models that better capture the actual dryness were among those with the highest ECS, projecting a global temperature rise for doubled carbon dioxide of more than 7 degrees F. The three models with the lowest ECS were also the least accurate in depicting relative humidity in these zones.

“Because we have more reliable observations for humidity than for clouds, we can use the humidity patterns that change seasonally to evaluate climate models,” says Trenberth. “When examining the impact of future increases in heat-trapping gases, we find that the simulations with the best fidelity come from models that produce more warming.”

The authors focused on climate models used for the 2007–08 assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The next-generation models being used for the upcoming 2013–14 IPCC assessment were found to behave in a similar fashion, as described in a preliminary analysis by the authors in a supplement to their paper.

“In addition to providing a path forward and focus for improving models, results strongly suggest that the more sensitive models perform better, and indeed the less sensitive models are not adequate in replicating vital aspects of today’s climate,” write the authors in the paper.

About the article

Title: A Less Cloudy Future: The Role of Subtropical Subsidence in Climate Sensitivity

Authors: John Fasullo and Kevin Trenberth

Journal: Science

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196 Responses to Trenberth dials up the warming predictions

  1. Mike Bromley the Canucklehead says:

    “Sophisticated” climate models? How robust. Tweaky-tweaky, climate-speaky.

  2. kwik says:

    “There is a striking relationship between how well climate models simulate relative humidity in key areas and how much warming they show in response to increasing carbon dioxide,”

    Bwahahaha!

  3. Luther Wu says:

    Robin Williams was the guest comic tonight on The Late Show With David Letterman.
    Maybe Letterman could get Kevin to fill Robin’s place, next week.

  4. davidmhoffer says:

    Well, we can’t model clouds properly, we have no idea what the right value is for aerosols, we’ve got no explanation for why the warming the models have predicted so far is no where to be seen, we can’t figure out where the missing heat is, but we figured out that some of the models get humidity right in some of the places on earth for some period of time from which we conclude that it is worse than we thought.

    Priceless.

  5. Mike Jonas says:

    Decide what result you want. Run your model to give that result. Find one spot on the planet where your model matches reality a little bit for just one factor. Say that that one spot and that one factor are more important than anywhere else on the planet and more important than any other factor.
    The fact that your model gives appallingly bad results everywhere else on the planet and for every other factor is conveniently ignored.
    Like I said before, they aren’t telling bigger lies out of desperation, they are telling bigger lies because they are getting away with it, and the MSM and the “scientific” journals are helping them.
    I want these charlatans taken down, and fast. But how???

  6. michaelwiseguy says:

    We admit there is climate change due to natural causes, especially solar cycles.
    The current Grand Solar Minimum should be pointed out as the major cause for the cooling planet, brutal winters, and crop failures.

  7. LevelGaze says:

    Oh, it”s Travesty Trenberth again. A waste of time reading, then.

  8. Curt says:

    For years we’ve been told that the main amplifying mechanism for CO2-induced warming has been increased water vapor. Now we’re told that the models that have the smallest increases in water vapor show the most warming…

  9. Australis says:

    This shows that models assumed a high correlation between sub-tropical RH and temperature, in the southern winter in 2008. What else does it prove?

    It also shows that the vast majority of models missed the boat altogether. The output of 13 of them (81%) simply didn’t match the actual observed outcomes. The majority didn’t even come close.

    The authors say leading models have consistently shown ECS of 3°C for over 30 years. And then they cherry-pick 11 models (out of 16) that show ECS higher than 3°C.

  10. cui bono says:

    “The research was funded by NASA.”

    The institutional hero of my childhood is becoming a pain. Haven’t they got more productive things to do, like, oh, I don’t know, explore space?

  11. Leo Morgan says:

    Please name the models that you admit are now proven to be inadequate.

  12. John Mathon says:

    It’s not clear to me at all why they would say that because a certain model predicts humidity today well it will predict temperature tomorrow well. These people should spend less time on playing with what they seem to think are “godlike” models that because they tune them to fit one parameter well necessarily predict other parameters well and instead focus on real world problems with their theories.

    1) what’s happened to the energy of the last 16 years generated by the half of all the co2 ever poured into the atmosphere by man? It appears to be gone. Please spend more energy finding the missing energy because your 100 year predictions are kind of moot when you can’t satisfy the law of conservation of energy. Nobody is going to believe any prediction from a model that doesn’t conserve energy.

    2) How is it even remotely possible for temperatures to rise 7 degrees by 2100 considering we are on a 0.6C course for 2100 at a linear increase using the last 50 years or so as a base. When does the discontinuous sudden acceleration occur and why?

  13. Manfred says:

    Perfect. Just what the funding prescribed and what the bureaucrats want to hear. Yet the vaunted models failed to predict the last 15 years of statistically insignificant change, in the face of rising CO2. But of course we don’t talk about that any longer do we. Now it’s simply climate change (whatever the hell that means) and anthropogenic influence (any and everything).
    Where is Scotty and his Transporter when one really needs him?

  14. HAS says:

    The article is behind a paywall. Which models were the good ones?

  15. Urederra says:

    If science were settled, it would not be necessary to have several climate models. One should be enough.

    If there are several climate models, obviously all of them, except maybe one, are wrong.

    If there are several climate models, that does not necessarily mean that one of them is right.

    Something is really, really wrong in this branch of science when you have to state the obvious.

  16. focoloco says:

    Unfortunately, governments will keep supporting these buffoons doing futile math exercises (I bet they are pretty good by now in any math test) since it gives them an excuse to raise more money through taxes or support their buddies, making them rich, by offering grants and subsidies.
    It would take somebody with lots of political weight and brass spherical anatomical parts, to make a true stand and gather a team to debunk all this (scientifically simple, politically complex challenge).
    I am sure that, in countries where the carbon tax is being effected, a smart politician could make a killing and become a hero is he/she eliminates it.

  17. “The models that better capture the actual dryness were among those with the highest ECS, projecting a global temperature rise for doubled carbon dioxide of more than 7 degrees F.”

    And if we just happen to look at those high warming models and compare them to actual empirical observations do any of them remain unfalsified at the 95% certainty interval? Or even the 99% interval?

    Or would it be inconvenient to note that?

  18. F. Ross says:

    “…reached their conclusions by analyzing how well sophisticated climate models reproduce observed relative humidity in the tropics and subtropics.
    …”

    Said the Travesty Kid!

  19. Peter Miller says:

    ‘Climate science’ Commandments 3 and 4:

    “Thou shallt make your scary predictions so far into the future that no adult alive today will live to see if those predictions are true.”

    “Thou shallt only use computer models which imperfectly match reality and are pre-programmed to produce a doomsday result.”

    As ‘climate science’ unravels, so the predictions will become ever more dire.

  20. Christopher Hanley says:

    It could very well be the national flag of Freedonia.

  21. Michealwiseguy,

    We admit there is climate change due to natural causes, especially solar cycles.

    I thought this idea had been refuted as the the last three solar cycles spanning the last 33 years or so had not effected earth’s climate as it seemed to go up steadily over that time.

  22. Anopheles says:

    So, only three models got inside the range of observations. The rest are no good. Except the three don’t fit inside the range of sensitivy we can glean from global temp records. Better chuck them too.

    Seriously though, why don’t they check against the real world more frequently?

  23. Stephen Wilde says:

    The idea seems to be that human sourced CO2 causes warming which reduces relative humidity and leads to less clouds thus allowing more incoming solar energy to warm the Earth even more.

    That is different from the usual contention which relies on human CO2 plus a positive feedback from more water vapour keeping solar energy within the system for longer.

    They are trying to incorporate into AGW theory the observation that cloudiness decreased during the warming period of the last century. That is necessary because it has been contended that the observed warming was due to reduced cloud cover and not more CO2. They need to cover both bases.

    Puzzling then that global cloudiness and albedo seem to have been increasing since around 2000 with less solar energy entering the oceans despite CO2 still increasing.

    Besides, global equilibrium temperature is linked to surface atmospheric pressure and not the amount of GHGs.

    It is well known that water exposed to a vacuum rapidly converts to vapour without the addition of any extra energy.

    The reason for that phenomenon is that as pressure is reduced towards a vacuum the amount of energy required to fuel the evaporative process falls below the amount of energy already stored within the water so as to keep it in liquid form rather than as ice.

    That simple incontrovertible fact is absolute proof that the energy cost of evaporation falls with reducing pressure and rises with increasing pressure.

    It is the energy cost of evaporation (set by surface atmospheric pressure) at a given level of solar input that determines the temperature that the oceans must reach in order to achieve thermal equilibrium and the ocean temperatures control air temperatures.

    AGW theory is thereby killed stone dead because more GHGs cannot affect ocean equilibrium temperature (unless thay also affect atmospheric mass and surface pressure) but only the air circulation above the surface and even then not to an extent discernible as compared to natural oceanic and solar variations.

    The circulatory changes between MWP and LIA and between LIA and today and between ice ages and interglacials give a good idea of the circulatory changes that can arise from natural processes alone.

  24. Gary Hladik says:

    But…the heat’s still missing! I saw a picture of it on a milk carton yesterday!

  25. Admad says:

    Sounds like it’s still models all the way down…
    V good point from
    “Urederra: If science were settled, it would not be necessary to have several climate models. One should be enough. ”
    If the science is settled, why is anybody still playing with models at all?

  26. X Anomaly says:

    The humidity anomalies in that region are very closely related to ENSO,

    And ENSO prediction (by computer models) is about as good as a headless chicken, as demonstrated this year…there was blood everywhere. Hey Trenberth, lookout the window, its raining chickens.

    South Park – American Economics

  27. BigWaveDave says:

    The money these charlatans get would be better spent putting them in prison.

  28. LetsBeReasonable says:
    November 8, 2012 at 11:30 pm
    “Michealwiseguy,
    I thought this idea had been refuted as the the last three solar cycles spanning the last 33 years or so had not effected earth’s climate as it seemed to go up steadily over that time.”

    Every time I hear the words “Climate Change”, I think to myself, “Man-Made Climate Change” Or “Natural Climate Change”.
    What the heck are they talking about?

  29. robert barclay says:

    You can’t heat water from above.

  30. Nik says:

    So they can’t measure clouds so they measure humidity.
    They can’t use real data so they use models.
    They then assume it will cause more warming.
    The Guardian then assumes higher temperatues will cause more extreme weather.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/nov/08/climate-change-severe-models

    Blimey, where did the facts and the truth disappear to?

  31. Lance Wallace says:

    From the paper:
    “Constraining simulated clouds is
    a challenge, however, as clouds are complex and
    difficult to observe. The historical record is plagued
    by errors associated with the drift and failure of
    satellites, inconsistencies in the detection of clouds,
    and instrument biases (8). Moreover, clouds can
    vary not just in their bulk characteristics but also
    in their microphysical properties, for which global
    observations are lacking generally, and considerable
    uncertainty persists regarding the feedbacks
    of various cloud types that may occur in a
    changing climate (9). Hence, owing to the wide
    range of scales involved, cloud processes in models
    are often not represented explicitly but instead
    are parameterized and tuned. Although there is
    some anticipation that new satellite programs may
    begin to address observational issues, and model
    resolution is improving, it is likely to be several
    decades before observations provide an adequate
    constraint on models.”

    Nonetheless, F&T use what appears to be just five years (2002-2007) of Aqua data plus two decades of balloon RH measurements to detect a relationship between RH and equilibrium climate sensitivity (positive in the moist ascending air in the tropics and negative in the dry descending air in the subtropics). Using the measured RH vs model predictions only 3 models were within the uncertainty range in the dry subtropics: J, N, and P. H, K, and M were almost inside the range as well. Model names are:

    A: NCAR PCM-1
    B: INMCM 3.0
    C: IAP FOALS 1-0g
    D: NCAR CCSM3.0
    E: GFDL CM2.0
    F: CSIRO MK3.0
    G: MRI CGCM 2.3.2a
    H: UKMO HADCM 3
    I: GFDL CM2.1
    J: CCCMA CGCM3.1 – T47
    K: CCCMA CGCM3.1 – T63
    L: MPI ECHAM5
    M: MIROC 3.2 Medres
    N: MIROC 3.2 Highres
    O: IPSL CM4
    P: UKMO HADGEM 1

    It is interesting that the graph shown in the press release does not appear in the F&T article, nor in their Supplemental Information, nor does it appear in the Perspectives article by Karen Shell.

  32. Al Gore says:

    This is really good news, if it’s correct.
    It would be rather smashing if we could escape the ice age period we have been in the last 2 million years?

    If CO2 is the way to stop the ice ages I have problems with UNFCCC that wants to undermine the use of CO2 as a ice age killer?

    How many will die in the comming ice age?

  33. Lance Wallace says:

    Correction: I now see that the graph in the press release is just a reversed version of part of Figure 4 in the main article, with the alphabetical identification of the models removed and replaced by stars.

  34. ThePhysicsGuy says:

    Trenberth should have been fired from NCAR long ago. Climategate proved what a freakin’ liar and corrupt “scientist” he was with the whole Chris Landsea affair. His credibility ship sailed and sank long ago.

  35. AngusPangus says:

    Let me see if I’ve got this…..

    There’s this amazing new study, published in a prestigious journal, which shows that temperature rises are more likely to be in the 3 – 5 Celsius range per doubling, than the 2- 3 Celsius range.

    Ahh, so THAT’S the reason we’ve had LESS than the LOWER range of projections for the last 15 years or so.

    All that high end warming must be hiding just around the corner, ready to spring out and surprise us very, err, soon, honest, just you wait and see, unless we all sacrifice to Gaia immediately.

    I mean, it would be a TRAVESTY if these guys were just making sh*t up to try and flog a bit more life out of their dead hobby horse.

  36. Jimbo says:

    Climate model projections showing a greater rise in global temperature are likely to prove more accurate than those showing a lesser rise,…………….

    Yet based on current observations of the performance of the projections and today’s global mean temps means we can also say:

    Climate model projections showing a greater rise in global temperature are likely to prove less accurate than those showing a lesser rise,…………….

    http://www.appinsys.com/globalwarming/GW_TemperatureProjections.htm

  37. Davyyyy12 says:

    They are cheery picking climate models.

    a) Get the climate models that show the maximum temp rise.
    b) Search through all the different parameters and variables they tweak.
    c) Find a variable or variables that fits your story.
    d) They call this is science.

  38. Peter Plail says:

    Every new paper in the arena of climate just goes to prove that the science was not settled when they told us it was. Don’t they realise the illogicality of their (ever changing) positions? No-one has to answer that – it is obvious that they never have.

  39. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    This exercise is a variation on the “hot spot” that is supposed to appear in that same exact portion of the atmosphere and which has famously not done so.

    It will be very interesting to see if one of the coverups for the missing hot spot is some reference to this paper.

    Don’t underestimate how important this hot spot is to the GCM’s. It is the major expected effect of “back radiation” and all the models expect it to appear. It is not there and many, many measurements confirm this. The humidity search is a proxy for the hot spot search. It simply has to be there for the back-radiation hypothesis to work.

    The switcheroo will come later when humidity will be transmuted into climate gold with the flick of a pen by pointing out that the latest models (only) are able to get the water vapour right. This will in turn provide a model of the hot spot’s eventual appearance. The First Coming will be a truly religious experience.

    So, expect a follow-up paper confirming the finding that the newest and most expensive models are doing a better job of tracking down that pesky hot spot, so essential to the CO2 warming theory. It is interesting that the warmists are so much more predictable than the climate.

    Keep your eye on this topic. AR5 has to address it. How the fudge and kludge is worded matters. They don’t want it picked apart too easily too soon. Expect misdirection, obfuscation and homogenisation to rule the day. If they can’t find it all the models are wrong at the core.

  40. Ryan says:

    “Lie Hard II” Starring Kevin Trenberth. Why limit yourself to mildly warmer weather plausibly extrapolated from today’s weather when you can really jump the shark with models that diverge completely from reality? Because the bigger the lies you tell, Kevin, the more likely it is that people will wake up to the truth. So go ahead Kevin. I suggest next week you tell the masses that the earth will get so hot that even granite will melt and we’ll all sink into the furnace. See where that gets you.

  41. DaveA says:

    I would have asked the computer how closely they track temperature if that’s the variable you want them to forecast. But what would I know, I’m not a climatologist.

  42. markx says:

    This is quite brilliant.

    Now they are seeking statistically significant correlations between the outputs of the climate models.

    And writing articles about the result as if it actually means something.

  43. Richard LH says:

    The people who run models need to answer one simple question, why is it that the actual estimated temperatures for the globe are tracking closer to IPCC Scenario C than any other.

    I regard Scenario C is the perfect ‘null hypothesis’ as it can be recast as ‘any extra CO since 2000 does not have the effects we predict in our models’ or ‘we do not correctly understand the outcome of extra CO2 oi our models’. This is because Scenario C was the one thing that did not happen in the real world.

    Wherever the actual estimated temperatures for the globe are, they should never be close to Scenario C unless some very good, solid explanation can be given as to why.

  44. mfo says:

    Talk given by Dr Jasper Kirkby, head of the CLOUD experiment at CERN, on 7 November 2012. Cosmic rays, climate and the CERN CLOUD experiment:

    http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/1492173

  45. Mike Haseler says:

    The name Trenberth is a mark of quality … but not good quality.

    You cut down forests and turn it to farmland, there are less plants, evaporation decreases, there is less loss of heat through evaporation and temperatures go up.

    What more need be said? It just confirms the sceptic position that other things than CO2 cause climate change.

  46. The “acid test” for a climate model must be how well the measured TEMPERATURE replicates the modeled TEMPERATURE (for multiple latitudes, months, years, altitudes, …).

    If someone publishes a paper comparing humidity predictions of multiple [unvalidated] climate models with southern subtropical wintertime atmospheric humidity measurements at a specific altitude range (without also summarizing data from other latitudes, months, years, altitudes, … let alone temperatures!), it looks like they’re picking cherries from an extended ladder. (Could be a Josh cartoon idea).

    Besides, one would need to present data showing conclusively that the INCREASE of CO2 concentration caused an INCREASE in RH (and Temp) at specific altitudes in order for the claim of positive feedback multipliers to be true. (Or so goes the “theory”).

    But the claim that this somehow raises the probability of climate models assuming a high ECS being “correct” is risible. Such is the state of peer reviewed literature.

    This raises more questions than answers. For example, wasn’t Trenberth supposed to be looking for MISSING HEAT some 20,000 leagues under the sea?

    Kurt in Switzerland

  47. 4eyes says:

    Appalling logic by scientists, one of whom pretends to be a world leader on climate change. His main problem is that his number 1 assumption is that his pre-conceived conslusion can’t be wrong. His whole effort seems to be aimed at proving his belief. And I don’t care what his beliefs are. When it dawns on him (some time soon) that he is going about all this the wrong way I think he is going to experience a rather uncomfortable let down. Missing heat, missing information,……missing the point seems more like it.

  48. “Because we have more reliable observations for humidity than for clouds, we can use the humidity patterns that change seasonally to evaluate climate models,” says Trenberth. “When examining the impact of future increases in heat-trapping gases, we find that the simulations with the best fidelity come from models that produce more warming.”

    Which is evidence of precisely nothing.

    Otherwise, it looks like they found an aerosol effect (the subtropical monsoonal zone is particularly sensitive to aerosol changes) and interpreted as a GHG effect.

  49. DEEBEE says:

    Lets stipulate that the models are correct then sensitivity is about 4 (give or take). Should Trenbeth not give up his quest for missing heat and now be looking for missing Temp, given the amount of CO2 increase in the last century?

  50. richardscourtney says:

    NASA:

    The above article says

    “There is a striking relationship between how well climate models simulate relative humidity in key areas and how much warming they show in response to increasing carbon dioxide,” Fasullo says. “Given how fundamental these processes are to clouds and the overall global climate, our findings indicate that warming is likely to be on the high side of current projections.”

    The research was funded by NASA.

    There is a striking relationship between how well my models of pigs simulate muscle development in key areas and how much wing-development they show in response to increasing pig swill. Given how fundamental these processes are to flight and overall porcine behaviour, my findings indicate that porcine elevation is likely to be on the high side of current projections.

    NASA, can I have some funding, please?

    Richard

  51. Models again. Garbage in-garbage out. First you have to prove that CO2 actually causes climate change using observation not model output.
    KT- I think the missing heat is bound up in latent heat within water vapour. Difficult to find given that loss/gain of latent heat does not alter temperature only state.

  52. DGH says:

    @levelgaze et al

    Dr. Trenberth is a Nobel Laureate (shared) with IPCC 2007. He is listed in more Who’s Who’s than I can count and has “many appearances on national and local television programs and news.” Did you know that one of his papers has been cited 766 times?!

    He is a very big deal. Just ask him. http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth-cv.html

    Now how about a little respect.

  53. Peter Miller says:

    My first thoughts were when I read this article was this was just one of Trenberth’s attempt to take over Mann’s place as the most deluded and derided ‘climate scientist’ on the planet.

    I read the article again, the first thing that struck me was the title: “A Less Cloudy Future: The Role of Subtropical Subsidence in Climate Sensitivity.”

    The second thing was: “Although satellites observe many types of clouds, satellite failure, observing errors, and other inconsistencies make it challenging to build a comprehensive global cloud census that is consistent over many years.”

    So, on the one hand we have a hypothesis which states increasing temperatures mean less clouds, but this ignores the self-evident reality of: increasing temperatures obviously mean more evaporation and therefore higher humidity and therefore more clouds.

    Next we see a statement that effectively says: “clouds get in the way of us producing the results we want from climate models, so let’s use something else.”

    So Trenberth’s paper argues that a warmer, more humid future will have less clouds and that clouds should be ignored as they cannot be measured. All perfectly good stuff if you are a ‘climate scientist’.

    The problem is, of course, that increasing cloud cover is now known to create a negative feedback on temperature, as more of the sun’s energy is reflected back into space than trapped under the new clouds.

    I really need to get on the Climate Change gravy train, before it all goes horribly sour. It really is amazing how much you can con out of gullible governments by proposing ‘research’ with a scary title and a pre-determined conclusion.

  54. michael hart says:

    Ummm…. I think he’s gone Hansen.

  55. ATheoK says:

    Oh my!

    All I can stammer out is; has any of these team members done any REAL work this past decade? Anything that will make anyone, beside the eco-wackos, proud? How does a team climate member look anyone in the eye and says “I did a good days work today.”?

    This flim flam attempt at the climate shell game is sad and shameful. The only thing more shameful is how the IPCC teams of ‘experts’ and their groupie media will lap this up and proclaim disasters for all.

  56. Joachim Seifert says:

    Reply to DHG:
    ….according to respect for a Mr. Trenberth from New Zealand…..
    This Mr Trenberth gained a reputation [not to be questioned] by propagating
    climate alarmism……and the uninformed public invited him to receive their
    wanted goosebumps….. this is nothing more than pseudo”science”….
    I recommend you read our paper hhht://www.knowledgeminer.eu/eoo_paper.html
    where you get the full proof that temps will NOT rise any further….
    Mr. Trenberth’s “work” is based on omitting the 5 major MACRO-climate drivers
    of the past 20,000 years and singling out the CO2, which is nothing more than
    a MICRO-driver….thus unable to predict the present flat temp plateau of the
    21st Cty……JS Everybody who claims Merits for his alarmism will have to do
    penents in 20 years…..the global warming has stopped for good…see lit quoted…

  57. Bob says:

    Seems simple to me. We know the ideal climate. We know the ideal CO2 level to control the change of the climate, and by implication, control the climate. I don’t know why we are frittering around the edges with stuff like this instead of discussing which widget design is best to regulate CO2 worldwide to that ideal level.

  58. beesaman says:

    One thing that really stands out about Trenberth, Mann and all the other nut job Alarmists when you read their CVs is their monumental egos. I wonder if they are trying to compensate for something…

  59. Peter Miller says:
    November 8, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    ‘Climate science’ Commandments 3 and 4:

    “Thou shallt make your scary predictions so far into the future that no adult alive today will live to see if those predictions are true.”

    “Thou shallt only use computer models which imperfectly match reality and are pre-programmed to produce a doomsday result.”

    May i add the following:

    Commandment 3.5
    “Thou shallt make clear the models can’t be validated against current data for at least 15 years hence at all times so that the actual real data can never be used to refute scary predictions.”

    Commandment 3.6
    “Thou shalt ignore current data regardless and keep predictions of temperature at 3C or above in 2100 constant regardless of how low or unchanging or slow changing temperatures actually are so no articles may ever be written to say we are backtracking on our predictions.”

    Commandment 3.7
    “Thou shalt say the situation is worse than we thought at every opportunity regardless of the actual data. In general one shall ignore any current data that doesn’t conform to the models regardless of how long the data is different or how far off from model output. One shall continue to say the models are good and getting better regardless of actual conformance to reality.”

    Commandment 3.8
    “If current temperatures do not rise sufficiently to keep our graphs looking scary enough we shall adjust the pairwise adjustment algorithm to push down historical temperatures so our overall goal of maintaining the 3C in 2100 prediction is viable. Remember nobody remembers the past so keep changing the past and nobody will notice.”

    Commandment 3.9
    “Thou shalt never show the error bars in the models predictions since those error bars would make our predictions anywhere between +20 and -10C and people will laugh at us so just keep saying the models are good and getting better regardless of the truth.”

  60. ThePhysicsGuy says:
    November 9, 2012 at 12:48 am

    Trenberth should have been fired from NCAR long ago. Climategate proved what a freakin’ liar and corrupt “scientist” he was with the whole Chris Landsea affair. His credibility ship sailed and sank long ago.

    Not to mention his prompting the resignation of editor Wagner over the paper by Spencer.

  61. Sean says:

    Reminds me of the missing hot spot . Since the temperature did not rise as predicted, someone tried to substituted wind speed for for temperature. I don’t think that shaky evidence panned out either.

  62. TonyM says:

    Fasullo in Italian actually means phoney or dud.

    Seems like a fasullo paper about fasullo model effects with fasullo T results by the fasullo bros.

  63. vukcevic says:

    Projecting future is uncertain; the past is the best guide we can have.

    Jim Bouldin, University of California:
    Extrapolation into the future, based on past trends, is in fact highly reliable if you have strong reason to believe that the underlying physical drivers of the system under study are not going to change.

    Here is an extrapolation into the future based on the 3 CET constituent harmonic components + the existing linear trend:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET-NV.htm

    As it happens the multi-decadal trends closely follow the geological non-climatic based records (North Atlantic Precursor) confirming the primacy of the natural variability.

    Very unusual, but on the RC blog Gavin Schmidt didn’t censor the above.

  64. michael hart says:
    November 9, 2012 at 3:53 am

    Ummm…. I think he’s gone Hansen.

    Recent years’ extreme weather events have tempted the alarmists to go out on a limb again, as they did after 1998’s temperature ramp up and 2006’s Katrina. I think The Pranksters on Olympus are setting them up for a fall.

  65. Vince Causey says:

    Quite illogical. I’m sure there’s a fallacy for it (must ask Lord Monckton).
    They say that the models which most accurately predict observed relative humidity must be the ones that can most accurately predict future warming. Oh, and these particular models also trend to the highest warming predictions.

    But what about models that most accurately predict albedo, or cloud cover, or sea surface temperature, or any other metric you care to name? Doesn’t it also follow (by the same reasoning) that a model that most accurately predicted one of those outcomes, must also be more accurate in predicting future temperature rises?

    But leaving aside the logic of it, surely a lower humidity presupposes less warming, not more? So I am intrigued as to how a model with less humidity generating capability would come up with greater temperature senstivity. Maybe they generate less cloud cover as a result (just guessing here), and less cloud cover trumps the lower humidity. Of course, they can’t test for this, because as the authors admit, cloud cover cannot be accurately measured by today’s satellites. Which is a shame, because if they could be measured, and the models turn out to have significantly under estimated cloud cover, then they would be wrong, wouldn’t they?

  66. David, UK says:

    “There is a striking relationship between how well climate models simulate relative humidity in key areas and how much warming they show in response to increasing carbon dioxide,” Fasullo says.

    And yet he doesn’t say what this “striking relationship” is and what defines these areas as “key.” Maybe it’s all Mumbo Jumbo for “In a minority of geographical areas the models happened to strike it lucky by correctly guessing both humidity and temperature, both of which we inevitably choose to attribute to rising CO2. We decided to call these areas Key Areas because it makes it sound more impressive.”

    Or does someone have an alternative translation?

  67. Bill Illis says:

    So we have a few models that accurately simulate the lack of Tropical troposphere Hotspot and the lack of water vapour feedback. What about actually simulating the climate? Why is there such a spread about something very basic like relative humidity in the climate models. This is a fundamental aspect of the climate. There shouldn’t be so many inaccurate models off by so much on this important feature.

    And then, UKMO HadGEM1 appears to be the most accurate in simulating one aspect of the climate – low relative humidity at 300 Mb (previously thought of the tropical hotspot). This model also has a high climate sensitivity.

    But how accurately does HadGEM1 actually simulate the climate.

    It is one of the worst models there is. It is off by almost twice as much as the other climate models right now. Shown here from 1980 to 2030 versus the average IPCC climate model forecasts over time and the actual temperature observations.

    So very, very poor form from Dr. Trenberth in this paper. Trying to scare people into believing again rather than stating the factual information. The headline should be:
    – “The Most Inaccurate High Sensitivity Climate Models Accidently Forecast Low Relative Humidity in the Tropical Hotspot Accurately – None of the Other Models Do However”.

  68. Ian W says:

    DGH says:
    November 9, 2012 at 3:13 am

    @levelgaze et al

    Dr. Trenberth is a Nobel Laureate (shared) with IPCC 2007. He is listed in more Who’s Who’s than I can count and has “many appearances on national and local television programs and news.” Did you know that one of his papers has been cited 766 times?!

    He is a very big deal. Just ask him. http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth-cv.html

    Now how about a little respect.

    To quote FOIA 2011:


    “Over 2.5 billion people live on less than $2 a day.”
    “Every day nearly 16.000 children die from hunger and related causes.”
    “One dollar can save a life” — the opposite must also be true.
    “Poverty is a death sentence.”
    “Nations must invest $37 trillion in energy technologies by 2030 to stabilize
    greenhouse gas emissions at sustainable levels.”

    You can also find the stats at http://www.bread.org/hunger/global/
    and other websites from the UN.

    So the recipient of your respect – playing with models that are consistently falsified by reality – has succeeded with others in persuading politicians, the media and the general public that it is more important to the tune of $37 trillion in energy technologies by 2030 to stabilize the output of a gas that INCREASES crop yield and resistance to heat and drought stress. Yet while you read this post around 12 more children have died that could have been saved if that money had been spent elsewhere; and you want respect to be given to these climate ‘scientists”?

    These climate ‘scientists’ are useful idiots for those politicians who wish to raise taxes and obtain power and who have zero concern for humanity.

    Fingunt simul creduntque – Tacitus

  69. markS says:

    It’s hard to get rid of conmen like Mann and Trenberth when the whole US government machinery and financial sector is behind them. The banks and hedge funds can’t wait for the US to get into carbon trading and Obama is praying the carbon taxes raised will help chip away at the $16 trillion debt he’s got the US into. The whole game is stacked against honest people opposing the scammers like Mann and Trenberth. Dark times, bro, dark times.

  70. Ron C. says:

    @Stephen Wilde
    You have made a convincing explanation of what they are attempting and why it is wrong. Thank you. Can you provide links to where I can learn more about the concepts you raise?
    I am particularly interested in why temperature is a poor proxy for changes in heat content, due to the differing heat capacities of wet and dry air.

  71. philincalifornia says:

    It would be excruciatingly painful watching this self-styled “Emperor” still trying to pretend that he has new clothes ….. if I felt sorry for him.

    But I don’t.

  72. Edohiguma says:

    I love how it says “financed by NASA”. And who finances NASA? The tax payer. How much did this “study” cost?

  73. Somewhat related, but I am regularly checking the (subtropical) Brisbane, Australia rain radar for its potential impact on the cricket match between South Africa and Australia. The circle of no rain over Brisbane itself, while there is rain surrounding Brisbane, is striking.

    Urban aerosols at work.

  74. Ron C. says:

    @Stephen Wilde
    My last comment may be cryptic. I have read comments to the effect that averaging temperature changes from parcels of air with varying humidities tells us nothing about changes in heat content because of water’s heat capacity. That is, the amount of heat used to raise 1C a unit of cold wet air is not the same as to raise 1C a unit of hot dry air. Is this correct? It seems important because of all the fuss made over global mean temperatures

  75. DaveS says:

    Joachim Seifert says:
    November 9, 2012 at 4:02 am

    I think DGH was being sarcastic…

  76. Louis Hooffstetter says:

    Climastrology 101:

    1. Write two dozen climate model programs.
    2. Run 100,000 simulations with each.
    3. Find the handful that almost approximate reality.
    4. Trumpet the accuracy of the models!

    Climate models are like physicist Arthur Eddington’s version of the infinite monkey theorem:
    Given enough time, an army of monkeys strumming on typewriters could write all the books in the British Museum.

  77. Just an engineer says:

    Bob says:
    November 9, 2012 at 4:02 am

    You forgot the /sarc. Be careful about that, or you will have the nutters thinking you support their lunacy.

  78. Frank K. says:

    “The worlds major global climate models, numbering more than two dozen, are all based on long-established physical laws known to guide the atmosphere.”

    “Based upon…physical laws” is pretty much all you can say about the climate model formulations. They do NOT actually solve the instantaneous equations which govern the conservation of fluid mass, momentum, energy, and species/phase. And, of course, they will say NOTHING about how they are “solved” numerically…(nobody seems very interested in that).

  79. Geoff Alder says:

    As someone who doesn’t enjoy sweaty summers, I was thrilled to see they are apparently promising us rh levels that all fall comfortably below 50%, in exchange for a paltry couple of dry bulb degrees. Guys, give me that and I will be your friend for life!

  80. Ric Werme says:

    I think an interesting complementary study would be to take the models that have done the best job of modeling global temperature and see how well they do at modeling humidity at subtropical and tropical latitudes.

    Lance Wallace noted:

    Nonetheless, F&T use what appears to be just five years (2002-2007) of Aqua data plus two decades of balloon RH measurements to detect a relationship between RH and equilibrium climate sensitivity….

    Perhaps there should be two study periods, 2002-2007 (six years?) and 2002-2011. It seems to me that cause and effect doesn’t really matter in this sort of study unless you’re trying to describe the processes involved.

  81. Ric Werme says:

    robert barclay says:
    November 9, 2012 at 12:32 am

    > You can’t heat water from above.

    I’m not sure why you posted that here, perhaps I missed the relevant reference.

    I’m quite confident I can heat water from above with air whose dew point is warmer than the water. I’ll likely make fog too.

  82. Typhoon says:

    Remarkable that what is nothing more than an exercise in proxy parameter tweaking should warrant publication in Science.

  83. William says:

    Quote:
    “Clouds are one of the main sticking points, say the NCAR authors. Although satellites observe many types of clouds, satellite failure, observing errors, and other inconsistencies make it challenging to build a comprehensive global cloud census that is consistent over many years.”
    Top of the atmosphere measurement of radiation does not support Trenberth’s hypothesis. Planetary clouds in the tropics increase or decrease in the tropics to reflective more or less sunlight off into space, thereby resisting forcing changes.

    http://www-eaps.mit.edu/faculty/lindzen/236-Lindzen-Choi-2011.pdf

    Quote:

    “On the Observational Determination of Climate Sensitivity and Its Implications
    We estimate climate sensitivity from observations, using the deseasonalized fluctuations in sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and the concurrent fluctuations in the top-of-atmosphere (TOA) outgoing radiation from the ERBE (1985-1999) and CERES (2000-2008) satellite instruments. Distinct periods of warming and cooling in the SSTs were used to evaluate feedbacks. An earlier study (Lindzen and Choi, 2009) was subject to significant criticisms. The present paper is an expansion of the earlier paper where the various criticisms are taken into account. ….

    ….we show that simple regression methods used by several existing papers generally exaggerate positive feedbacks and even show positive feedbacks when actual feedbacks are negative. We argue that feedbacks are largely concentrated in the tropics, and the tropical feedbacks can be adjusted to account for their impact on the globe as a whole. Indeed, we show that including all CERES data (not just from the tropics) leads to results similar to what are obtained for the tropics alone – though with more noise.

    … We again find that the outgoing radiation resulting from SST fluctuations exceeds the zerofeedback response thus implying negative feedback. In contrast to this, the calculated TOA outgoing radiation fluxes from 11 atmospheric models forced by the observed SST are less than the zerofeedback response, consistent with the positive feedbacks that characterize these models. The results imply that the models are exaggerating climate sensitivity.”

    Observed warming also does not support Trenberth.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,662092,00.html

    Quote:
    Even though the temperature standstill probably has no effect on the long-term warming trend, it does raise doubts about the predictive value of climate models, and it is also a political issue. For months, climate change skeptics have been gloating over the findings on their Internet forums. This has prompted many a climatologist to treat the temperature data in public with a sense of shame, thereby damaging their own credibility.
    Quote:
    “It cannot be denied that this is one of the hottest issues in the scientific community,” says Jochem Marotzke, director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg. “We don’t really know why this stagnation is taking place at this point.”
    Quote:
    Just a few weeks ago, Britain’s Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research added more fuel to the fire with its latest calculations of global average temperatures. According to the Hadley figures, the world grew warmer by 0.07 degrees Celsius from 1999 to 2008 and not by the 0.2 degrees Celsius assumed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. And, say the British experts, when their figure is adjusted for two naturally occurring climate phenomena, El Niño and La Niña, the resulting temperature trend is reduced to 0.0 degrees Celsius — in other words, a standstill.
    Quote:
    But a few scientists simply refuse to believe the British calculations. “Warming has continued in the last few years,” says Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). However, Rahmstorf is more or less alone in his view. Hamburg Max Planck Institute scientist Jochem Marotzke, on the other hand, says: “I hardly know any colleagues who would deny that it hasn’t gotten warmer in recent years.”

  84. catweazle666 says:

    FFS….

  85. ferd berple says:

    The graph above in the article shows two things

    1) That almost all models lie well outside the observations, and thus are not likely to be accurate

    2) That the VERY FEW models that lie inside the observations are ON ODDS likely to simply be there by chance, given that almost all model got it wrong.

    What Trenberth is proposing is that we take the results of these models, which he has now shown to be wrong, and use their wrong answer to predict the right answer.

    However, this is faulty reasoning. You cannot take demonstratably wrong answers and from this predict the right answer. That is nonsense logic. There are an infinte number of wrong answers and only one right answer.

    The only conclusion to be drawn from this work is that almost all models got it wrong and thus models are not reliable. Wrong answers cannot be used to predict the right answer. All that wrong answers tell you is that the source of the answers is likely to give more wrong answers.

  86. more soylent green! says:

    We just reelected Obama. The earth is really going to start cooling and the oceans stop rising now. Trenberth can relax and declare victory.

  87. Juraj V. says:

    So first the humidity of upper atmosphere was expected to go up, thus increasing the recycled IR flow back to the surface. Then it was measured, that exact opposite is happening. However, it was found out to be worse than we thought, because in drying atmosphere, CO2 increase will even more increase the IR back flow.
    IMO the back radiation causing 33K warming is nonsense by itself, but let them boys play.

  88. ferd berple says:

    In effect, Trenberth is using a version of the “selection bias” that created the hockey stick. He is “calibrating” the climate models using relative humidity, to tell him which climate models make “good thermometers”.

    What Trenberth has assumed is that even though the models got the humidity wrong, they got the temperature right, thus the near straight line relationship between temperature and humidity shown in the graph can be used to predict where the correct answer lies.

    However, the graph shows clearly that the model have the humidity wrong, and thus their prediction of temperature is not reliable. As a result, none of the data points that lie outside the observation can be trusted to draw any sort of a trend.

    What the large number of models that lie outside the observations are telling you is that a large number of models got it wrong. Since all the models are based on the same basic science, it is telling you that climate models in general are not reliable.

    How this nonsense analysis got past peer review says mountains about the state of peer review in climate science. But then, many other forms of “selection bias” are accepted as gospel in climate science. What Trenberth has discovered is yet another way to draw the hockey stick.

  89. FergalR says:

    This is desperate stuff – even for Trenberth.

  90. KR says:

    This Fasullo et al paper sounds very much like Spencer and Braswell 2011, wherein they looked at how models tracked radiative imbalance and temperatures, and compared climate sensitivities in those models to observations. S&P 2011 seemed to be very celebrated in the skeptic community.

    Except, of course, that S&B 2011 examined 14 models, only showed six of those results – omitting those that directly contradicted their _low sensitivity_ conclusions. S&B 2011 were widely and directly rebutted in the literature; that work simply didn’t hold up under examination.

    Fasullo and Trenberth 2012 (http://phys.org/news/2012-11-future-high-side-climate.html), http://www.sciencemag.org/content/338/6108/792.short) appears to include _all_ of the models that they examined, which (IMO) in itself is a considerable improvement over S&B 2011. And humidity, the basis of their comparison, is indeed better observed than cloud cover and cloud types. It will be interesting to see how their conclusions (which reject low climate sensitivity models as failing to match observations) hold up under detailed examination and future observations.

  91. Joseph E Postma says:

    [snip - policy violation to link bomb your own site]

  92. Are we still pretending that Trenberth is an actual scientist? I saw a talk from him at my university a few years ago…he wouldn’t answer ANY skeptical questions whatsoever….he would literally reply that he would not answer skeptical questions that denied climate change…even when the questions did nothing of the sort.

  93. Sean says:

    NCAR scientists John Fasullo and Kevin Trenberth, who co-authored the study, reached their conclusions after realizing that the Obama climate scam gravy train was pulling back into the station and tickets were still free.

  94. Justthinkin says:

    Ummmmmm. We have 2 feet of “white globull warming” here in Edmoton,and -18C.Man.I am some happy it’s warming! Oh. And it is all unprecented(sp?)! Good thing we are getting a drought.

  95. cd_uk says:

    Are these people really serious?

  96. So Trenberth finds that the models don’t get temperature and humidity correct at the same time. If I was him I would say:

    “Hmmm. There must be something wrong with the physics in our models that we can’t get both right. Let’s study that and figure out what’s wrong with the models.”

    However, Trenberth says:
    “Hmmm…. We know the physics in our models is correct therefore it’s time to look at that pairwise algorithm we use and see if we can falisify (adjust) the historical record of temperatures and make the data match the models then we have models that match all the data.”

    Well he didnt say that at least not publicly. Publicly he just ignored the fact that the models that get humidity right are the models that get temperature the most wrong. As someone else asked: How is this worthy of being published? Since none of the models got anything right it seems that publishing a single amusing conundrum of the models is a pointless valueless exercise considering the models have hundreds of amusing conundrums and inaccuracies.

  97. Eric H. says:

    From http://motls.blogspot.com/2012/10/climate-sensitivities-in-various-papers.html

    Year Authors Med. Interval C.L.
    2010 Pagani et al. [8] 7-9
    2012 Dowsett [6] 4-8
    2012 Hansen, Sato with slow feedbacks 6 4-8 66%
    2004 Lea 5.2 4.4-6.0 95%
    2012 Rohling et al. 3.1 1.7-5 66%
    2007 IPCC AR4 3 2-4.5 66%
    2011 Annan, Hargreaves [3] 2-4 95%
    2012 Hansen, Sato w/o slow feedbacks 3 2-4 66%
    2006 Forest et al. 2.9 2.1-8.9 90%
    2010 Kohler et al. 2.4 1.4-5.2
    2011 Schmittner et al. 2.3 1.7-2.6 66%
    2008 Chýlek, Lohmann [1.8] 1.3-2.3 95%
    2012 Gillett [1.55] 1.3-1.8
    2012 Lewis 1.3 0.8-2.1 90%
    2009 Douglas, Christy 1.1
    2012 Asten 1.1 0.7-1.5 66%
    2011 Lindzen, Choi 0.7 0.5-1.3 95%

    Doesn’t appear that Trenberth has much company in his projections…

  98. Frank K. says:

    A correction:

    The research was funded by NASA the American taxpayers (who are now going to be taxed even more to pay for this garbage).

  99. KR says:

    The opening post appears to be an uncredited copy of the article in http://phys.org/news/2012-11-future-high-side-climate.html – directly reproducing someone else’s article, in entirety, without attribution, is both a copyright and intellectual property violation.

  100. JJ says:

    Climate model projections showing a greater rise in global temperature are likely to prove more accurate than those showing a lesser rise, according to a new analysis by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)…

    NCAR scientists John Fasullo and Kevin Trenberth, who co-authored the study, reached their conclusions by analyzing how well sophisticated climate models reproduce observed relative humidity in the tropics and subtropics.

    The climate models that most accurately captured these complex moisture processes and associated clouds, which have a major influence on global climate, were also the ones that showed the greatest amounts of warming as society emits more greenhouse gas into the atmosphere.

    Hey dumb@$$, the relevant question is not how much warming the models that reproduce humidity predict – it is how much warming the models that reproduce temperature predict.

    FFS, are there any scientists left in this game?

  101. Peter says:

    My God! These scientists have discovered that relative humidity declines as temperature rises.
    The brilliance of these people is unbelievable, definitely worth a Nobel.

  102. I’m not getting into the nitty grittiy. My biggest objections are just in the visuals: the use of the shading of the right hand side of the graph as “Observations”. Perhaps the Observations are the 0 – 22% relative humidity. Perhaps you can shade the X-Axis in that range. The shading, however implies by design that we have observed high sensitivity values. In truth, the only observations we have can support shading only the lower right portion of the graph, right around the word “observations”.

    This chart belongs in an addendum to “How to Lie with Graphs.” Why else should Relative Humidity be a reversed axis? Trenberth cannot have a chart with a negative slope; it gives the wrong subliminal message. So reverse the axis and make it trend to the upper right.

  103. JJ says:

    David, UK says:

    Maybe it’s all Mumbo Jumbo for “In a minority of geographical areas the models happened to strike it lucky by correctly guessing both humidity and temperature, …”

    No!

    They look at models that correctly guess humidity, and “find” that those models predict high temperature. There is no correct guess of temperature involved in this exercise.

    Von Neumann said “With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.” Give Trenberth a couple of dozen parameters and let him cherry pick one, and he can give an elephant hot flashes.

  104. Gail Combs says:

    kwik says:
    November 8, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    “There is a striking relationship between how well climate models simulate relative humidity in key areas and how much warming they show in response to increasing carbon dioxide,”

    Bwahahaha!
    ________________________
    All lower drier air does is allow the media to scream about the ‘record high’ temperatures.
    Relative humidity graphs:
    graph 1

    graph 2 (NOAA)

    Monthly variations in Total Global Cloud Cover since July 1983 to September 2011

    (This all falsifies the water positive feed back part of the CAGW message)

    However as anyone with two braincells to rub together knows less relative humidity means larger temperature swings with a rapid cooling at night. It also means that while the temperature may go up the ENERGY contained in the atmosphere goes down. As one commenter keeps saying the Climastrologists are measuring the wrong parameter.

    Sleepalot in a comment shows a comparison of the Brazilian rainforest and the N. African Desert. I elaborate here

    …..#2 The effect of the addition of water vapor (~ 4%) is not to raise the temperature but to even the temperature out. The monthly high is 10C lower and the monthly low is ~ 10C higher when the GHG H2O is added to the atmosphere in this example. The average temperature is about 4C lower in Brazil despite the fact that Algeria is further north above the tropic of Cancer. Some of the difference is from the effect of clouds/albedo but the dramatic effect on the temperature extremes is also from the humidity….

    The disconnect from reality and the media spin is getting even worse.

  105. KR says:

    My apologies, my mistake, the opening post was indeed credited to NCAR. Please ignore my mistaken previous post at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/11/08/trenberth-dials-up-the-warming-predictions/#comment-1141058

    Or delete both that post and this correction, if desired.

  106. Gary Pearse says:

    Ron C. says:
    November 9, 2012 at 5:03 am
    “That is, the amount of heat used to raise 1C a unit of cold wet air is not the same as to raise 1C a unit of hot dry air. Is this correct? It seems important because of all the fuss made over global mean temperatures”

    An insightful observation. If the water droplets have already truly evaporated, then the specific heat (Cp) of dry air or humid air is not much different: – Dry with Cp of 1.006kJ/Kg degK and air with 25% humidity Cp~1.04 kJ/Kg degK. Essentially, ideal gases all have roughly the same heat capacity. However, the evaporated water has has an enthalpy ~2500kJ/Kg heat of evaporation. 25% humidity is 0.02kg of water per kg of air so this water contains 0.02*2500=50kJ of enthalpy (latent heat). If the water is as water droplets as in fog, then yes, you have to input the 2500kJ/kg of water before it can be truly evaporated and before the temp can go up. Also, of course, when the evaporated water condenses into droplets, it releases this 2500kJ/kg. I have no doubt that this process is far and away the most important basis for our climate behaviour.

    In the 30 years of building climate models, it appears that no one has explored the what-if scenario of a negligible effect of CO2. The main proponents of CAGW I think are in denial although they, too, have roughly set an ultimatum for their CO2 effect 17 years of no warming? 20 years of no warming? I wish someone outside the Climate Synod would work on such a model (I came 30 years too late to this kind of thing) – say give CO2 a low sensitivity and try to make the bulk of the effect a thermodynamic one using the inputs we have measured: incoming energy from the sun, reflected energy (ice, land,water, clouds, aerosols, volcanics), LW emission out, evaporation, condensation, thermolhaline circulation, add in cosmic rays and solar effects. Run the model and see how it matches reality. Then adjust the less certain components in various ways to get a fit bearing in mind that a “fit” is still only one of more than one possible combination. At least we would be making progress that would not be possible if we doggedly stick to one central component that might not be so important. I say, lets start building models and stop just criticising the lame offerings from the Synod.

  107. Jeff says:

    KR says:
    November 9, 2012 at 7:51 am
    The opening post appears to be an uncredited copy of the article in http://phys.org/news/2012-11-future-high-side-climate.html – directly reproducing someone else’s article, in entirety, without attribution, is both a copyright and intellectual property violation.

    No, it’s not. It’s from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (see here: https://www2.ucar.edu/atmosnews/news/8264/future-warming-likely-be-high-side-climate-projections-analysis-finds), and was attributed accordingly. This was not “phys.org”‘s article.

  108. Gail Combs says:

    LetsBeReasonable says:
    November 8, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    Michealwiseguy,

    We admit there is climate change due to natural causes, especially solar cycles.

    I thought this idea had been refuted as the the last three solar cycles spanning the last 33 years or so had not effected earth’s climate as it seemed to go up steadily over that time.
    _______________________________
    Jury is still out mainly because it is not just solar cycles. There are a lot of factors water in all its forms being a big one.

    See my comments with lots of links as usual
    here and here

  109. Werner Brozek says:

    The world’s major global climate models, numbering more than two dozen, are all based on long-established physical laws known to guide the atmosphere.

    My understanding is that 1 in 8 models predicted a stall in temperatures of 10 years but none predicted a stall in temperatures of 15 years. Were these past models also “based on long-established physical laws”? If so, perhaps new laws need to be found as the “long-established physical laws” do not seem to be doing the job.

  110. Napo says:

    For the followers of Cerase Lombroso’s theory: in Italian Fasullo means “Fake”.

    -:)

  111. JJ says:

    KR says:

    The opening post appears to be an uncredited copy of the article in http://phys.org/news/2012-11-future-high-side-climate.html

    Or, it is “From NCAR”.

    Given that both the opening post here as well as the phys.org article that you refer to clearly state exactly that, it would be the conclusion to which most functionally literate people would gravitate.

    … directly reproducing someone else’s article, in entirety, without attribution, is both a copyright and intellectual property violation.

    Whereas being a babbling idiot who falsely accuses someone of plagarism is just an annoying abuse of ones rights and faculties to speak.

    Lucky you, huh?

  112. “The world’s major global climate models, numbering more than two dozen, are all based on long-established physical laws known to guide the atmosphere. ”

    They don’t have a clue what guides the atmosphere…!

  113. Gail Combs says:

    AngusPangus says:
    November 9, 2012 at 12:49 am

    Let me see if I’ve got this…..

    All that high end warming must be hiding just around the corner, ready to spring out and surprise us very, err, soon, honest, just you wait and see, unless we all sacrifice to Gaia immediately.

    I mean, it would be a TRAVESTY if these guys were just making sh*t up to try and flog a bit more life out of their dead hobby horse.
    _____________________
    When did you say Trenberth is due for retirement?
    Hmm, his CV says he was born November 1944. So why hasn’t he been retired yet?

    “Science advances one funeral at a time.” ~ Max Planck

    Can’t we just make it one retirement at a time and then speed up the process with forced retirements?

  114. Matt G says:

    “Clouds are one of the main sticking points, say the NCAR authors. Although satellites observe many types of clouds, satellite failure, observing errors, and other inconsistencies make it challenging to build a comprehensive global cloud census that is consistent over many years.”

    You bet they are and they show why this nonsense model assumptions are wrong. Satellite failure and observing errors are now the excuse for global cloud levels showing opposite what should have been expected with CO2. The errors are smaller than surface temperature record, but apparently that is good enough and can spread data 1200km too.

    Name anything that only one thing can remove all the warming from the post 1970’s. The only thing is cloud albedo and this matches very well and very likely is the reason for the previous warming. CO2 is suppose to increase water vapor not reduce it, so observations are evidence of natural changes nothing to do with CO2. There is no science mechanism why CO2 would reduce water vapor or clouds. Therefore this awful model assumption is based on nothing to do with CO2.

  115. Gail Combs says:

    John Marshall says:
    November 9, 2012 at 2:42 am

    Models again. Garbage in-garbage out. First you have to prove that CO2 actually causes climate change using observation not model output.
    KT- I think the missing heat is bound up in latent heat within water vapour. Difficult to find given that loss/gain of latent heat does not alter temperature only state.
    _____________________________
    And it is REAL difficult to find when the relative humidity and cloud cover are DECREASING and therefore so is that latent heat.
    global relative humidity 300 – 700 mb and
    Global cloud cover

  116. Gail Combs says:

    DGH says:
    November 9, 2012 at 3:13 am

    …He is a very big deal. Just ask him. http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth-cv.html

    Now how about a little respect.
    __________________
    Yes and Kenneth Lay was a real big deal having meeting with US presidents and all. didn’t keep him from being convicted in 2006 of fraud and conspiracy in one of the biggest corporate scandals in U.S. history. The charges against Lay, 64, carry a maximum penalty of 45 years in prison for the corporate trial and 120 years in the personal trial. The charges against Skilling, 52, carry a maximum 185 years.

    Kenneth Lay had a…Ph.D. in economics at the University of Houston… served as the Energy Deputy Under Secretary for the United States Department of Interior until 1974. Ken Lay died of a heart attack before sentencing. Bio

    Having a PhD and becoming known to the media and politicians says nothing about a man’s honesty and integrity. All it says is he is good at kissing the correct rumps and/or he has a lot of $$$.

  117. mbur says:

    Someone forgot to apply the warning sticker,”Objects in mirror are closer than they appear”
    On the other hand,here’s some numbers,equations,formulas,and diagrams about air:

    http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/air-psychrometrics-properties-t_8.html

  118. RiHo08 says:

    Clouds inject more uncertainty in climate models as a recent article by Stevens & Schwartz 2012 explains: beware, a bit of a slog but well worth it:

    http://www.mpimet.mpg.de/fileadmin/staff/stevensbjorn/Documents/StevensSchwartz2012.pdf

  119. Matthew R Marler says:

    Last Paragraph of the paper: Major questions persist. These include the
    relative contributions of various cloud types to
    the overall cloud feedback (19) and the sources
    of biases in the vertical RH and cloud distributions,
    and these are the focus of ongoing research.
    In a broader context, improved representation of
    regions of strong subsidence, particularly at low
    latitudes, is of fundamental importance. Such an
    improvement is essential not only for correctly
    simulating climate sensitivity, but also for characterizing
    changes in climate extremes and related
    impacts. Their scrutiny is therefore likely to
    be beneficial in understanding the broad range
    of uncertainties that currently exist in our future
    climate.

    This looks to me like a good paper, but I don’t see how it supports the title. Maybe in subsequent reads that will become clearer.

    John Marshall: Models again. Garbage in-garbage out.

    One of the goals is to improve the model inputs sufficiently so that the model outputs begin to have demonstrable accuracy and reliability. This is a step toward that goal. Many more such steps will be needed, and the goal will be reached slowly.

  120. Stephen Wilde says:

    Gail,

    Looks like global cloud cover decreased until around 2000 and has increased a little since then.

    The inflection point is approximately when I first noticed the jets becoming more equatorward / meridional so I suspect a link between global cloudiness and jet stream meridionality.

  121. Gary Pearse says:

    Dr. Trenberth, do you realize dialing up the warming predictions also dials up the travesty of no statistically significant warming for a given period. With the suggested warming as high has 4C (you did say the higher was more probable) by 2100, would you say its okay for no warming until after, say, 2015? How likely is 0.47 C/decade average thereafter following a run of ~0/decade for 20 years? Your comment in the Climategate emails that it was a travesty there had been no warming for a decade (?) and Dr. Jones comments on none since 1995 is clearly an admission that the models and the thinking are incorrect. This is not a question. Surely, searching among these failed models (temperature predictions) for a fit to something has to be anathema to a logical mind. You could substitute the growth in wine consumption in the United States for CO2 probably and get the same result.

  122. mbur says:

    I would also like to say,that the Relative Truth on that study is very low(studying models is not what i call science)or very high(if its true if you say it is or if you keep saying it over and over).I haven’t decided what direction i want the scale to go.Maybe it goes both ways from a center point or maybe thats an artifact of being skeptical?
    Thanks for the interesting articles and comments

  123. Gail Combs says:

    Bob says:
    November 9, 2012 at 4:02 am

    Seems simple to me. We know the ideal climate. We know the ideal CO2 level to control the change of the climate, and by implication, control the climate. I don’t know why we are frittering around the edges with stuff like this instead of discussing which widget design is best to regulate CO2 worldwide to that ideal level.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    The best level for CO2 is MINIMUM 1000 ppm. Just ask the plants. graph

    Most of our food plants and trees are C3 most weeds/grasses are C4. Also higher CO2 levels make (C3) plants more drought tolerant too. (First link I found) however I suggest you read it.

    Paper: Carbon starvation in glacial trees recovered from the La Brea tar pits, southern California

    And please wake up, The Climastrologists can’t even predict the weather correctly a couple weeks out so how do you think they can actually CONTROL it?

  124. richardscourtney says:

    Jeff and JJ:

    Thankyou for drawing attention to the error by KR.

    In common with most regular readers of WUWT, I skip over posts by KR because I don’t want to waste time on them. However, in this case his error is not only blatant but is also offensive to our host. And, importantly, it clearly shows the validity of posts by KR so it needed to be pointed out for the benefit of people who may be tempted to take his posts seriously.

    Richard

  125. Gail Combs says:

    markS says:
    November 9, 2012 at 4:33 am

    It’s hard to get rid of conmen like Mann and Trenberth when the whole US government machinery and financial sector is behind them. The banks and hedge funds can’t wait for the US to get into carbon trading and Obama is praying the carbon taxes raised will help chip away at the $16 trillion debt he’s got the US into. The whole game is stacked against honest people opposing the scammers like Mann and Trenberth. Dark times, bro, dark times.
    ____________________________
    You forgot to mention those who wish for open rebellion in the USA so the Constitution, gun rights, property rights and individual rights can get tossed and the UN constitution can be implemented.

    See Ian W comment at November 9, 2012 at 4:32 am Despite what many think the USA is not immune to starvation followed by riots/rebellion. All the factors (laws & regs) are now in place.

    US Hunger & Poverty Statistics

    The attitude of those in control of the food supply:

    2008
    …The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization last month warned that rising demand and falling supply represent an unforeseen and unprecedented shift in the global food system raising political risks in some areas….

    In summary, we have record low grain inventories globally as we move into a new crop year. We have demand growing strongly. Which means that going forward even small crop failures are going to drive grain prices to record levels. As an investor, we continue to find these long term trends – and this niche – very attractive. Financial Sense University

    Unfortunately the braindead here in the USA think the government safety net and handouts are carved in stone. They are not Government spending is now above 40% of the GNP while the tax revenue has nose dived.

    Federal Tax as % of GDP
    Chart: US Government Spending As Percent Of GDP

    Trenberth and his buddies are just holding the line until they can get the closing down of all our Coal powered plants implemented. All it will take is a couple more years. Once Manufacturing has packed up and left, power has been shutdown, private farms sold off to the likes of George Soros it will be too late.

    “The Socialist Revolution in the US cannot take place because there are too many small independent farmers there. Those people are the stability factor. We here in Russia must hurry while our government is stupid enough to not encourage and support the independent farmership.” V. Lenin, the founder of the Russian revolution
    Quote provided by Anna Fisher

  126. richardscourtney says:

    Matthew R Marler:

    At November 9, 2012 at 9:53 am you say

    One of the goals is to improve the model inputs sufficiently so that the model outputs begin to have demonstrable accuracy and reliability. This is a step toward that goal. Many more such steps will be needed, and the goal will be reached slowly.

    Nonsense!
    Each model emulates a different global climate system from every other model. But the Earth has only one global climate system. So – at most – only one of the models emulates the climate system of the real Earth, and probably none of them do.

    The existing climate models are completely inaccurate and unreliable and have no possibility of being better. Only a model of the Earth’s climate system could be better than the almost completely useless climate models which now exist. The only use the existing climate models have is to con the gullible into financing the employment of the modellers.

    The Earth’s climate system has to be adequately understood before a model of it can be constructed. After that its accuracy and reliability may be determined and then improved such that the – at present only imagined – model of the Earth’s climate system can be developed for it to be a useful predictor.

    Richard

  127. John Mathon says:

    There are some funny entries In this blog today. I have been laughing all morning. Gail is correct. 1000ppm would be good for plants, therefore life in general. Guarentee (hopefully) no ice age, expanding arable and decent land for people to live. Less severe winters, less variable rain. Not a bad world. The opposite direction would be death. At 180ppm almost all plants and soon thereafter almost all animals would die. Brutal cold, extinction much faster and more concentration of man in the few habitable places left. That seems to be the world the agw crowd wants. They are so remorseful of the eroding arctic sea ice. Boo Hoo. Really. There will be plenty of ice to see. Don’t fret. Sure over the next few hundred years we’d have to slowly move a little farther inland and build some structures for the movement of the coastline. Most buildings have to be majorly rebuilt or replaced every 50 years anyway. I’m not saying its perfect but nothing’s perfect. There is no world with no change, no storms. People who think things are getting worse simply have not bothered to read history. Just 110 years ago the average death rate per year was well over 1,000,000 from natural disasters alone. Over the last 100 years the thing we’ve been more effective at doing is cutting the deaths from natural disasters. 95% reduction. Even if NYC was hit with Sandys every year for decades the deaths would be only a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of those that die from eating fried chicken.

  128. Gail Combs says:

    KR says:
    November 9, 2012 at 7:51 am

    The opening post appears to be an uncredited copy of the article in http://phys.org/news/2012-11-future-high-side-climate.html – directly reproducing someone else’s article, in entirety, without attribution, is both a copyright and intellectual property violation.
    __________________________
    The direct link to the paper is at the bottom of the page AS USUAL. Seems you can’t read.

  129. Tim Clark says:

    {Leo Morgan says:
    November 8, 2012 at 10:37 pm
    Please name the models that you admit are now proven to be inadequate.}

    LOL Good one!

  130. J Martin says:

    So what these guys are saying is that because a couple of models got near to predicting humidity, that means that even though they didn’t get temperatures right, they are convinced that the models temperature projections will be right some time, they’re just delayed and will catchup.

    The longer that temperatures stay plateaued or even, as is increasingly likely go down, then the more catching up temperatures will have to do to meet their models expectations.

    Since temperatures may even decline all the way to 2100, their poor old models will then need a near infinite rate of temperature increase to meet their preconceived notions of magic.

    In due course the quiet sun may wake them from their stupor as they find temperatures dropping even though their models offer no explanation for it. No doubt they will say that their models have predicted the cooling and that temperatures will climb even faster and we must all atone for our co2 sins even more urgently than before.

    The easiest person to fool is oneself. These people have made fools of themselves and really, are committed to doing so until they retire or are forcibly retired / fired.

  131. Gail Combs says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    November 9, 2012 at 9:55 am

    …Looks like global cloud cover decreased until around 2000 and has increased a little since then.

    The inflection point is approximately when I first noticed the jets becoming more equatorward / meridional so I suspect a link between global cloudiness and jet stream meridionality.
    ________________________________
    Thanks for pointing that out. I too have noticed the jet stream has changed. Wunderground is showing those meanders quite nicely right now as usual.

  132. Matt G says:

    Stephen Wilde says:
    November 9, 2012 at 9:55 am

    “Looks like global cloud cover decreased until around 2000 and has increased a little since then.”

    Slightly different for low level clouds where they decreased until 2006.

  133. Alec Rawls says:

    “… the more sensitive models perform better, and indeed the less sensitive models are not adequate in replicating vital aspects of today’s climate,” write the authors in the paper.”

    But NONE of these models include any solar forcing beyond TSI. In my review of the Second Order Draft of AR5 (which I will post about in December, after the comment period closes), it seems they actually were responsive to my criticism on this point and have now added a crucial sentence acknowledging strong evidence that there is SOME mechanism by which the sun seems from the paleo data to be driving climate more forcefully than can be explained by TSI.

    They still don’t buy Svensmarks GCR-cloud theory of what this mechanism might be, but they are no longer using their dissatisfaction with Svensmark’s theory as a grounds for dismissing the evidence that SOME such mechanism exists.

    That mechanism most likely works through cloud formation, whether by GCR-cloud, solar effects on the planet’s electrical circuit, or the effects of solar-uv-shift on atmospheric circulation. The relevant comparison would be between models that include enhanced solar forcings (by having cloud formation increase as solar activity increases) and CO2 driven models, but all that Trenberth and his “consensus” friends ever look at is different CO2 driven models. It’s called “begging the question.”

  134. Gail Combs says:

    Gary Pearse says:
    November 9, 2012 at 9:55 am

    …. You could substitute the growth in wine consumption in the United States for CO2 probably and get the same result.
    ______________________________________
    The amount of leg shown by women would be a better parameter.

  135. J Martin says:

    Gail Combs,

    You’ve probably read these, but in case you haven’t;

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/cameron-meets-smith-keynes-and-laffer/

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/demographic-bomb-and-us-debt-explosion/

    That last link makes a pretty convincing case for the complete breakdown of US society starting about 2030 / 2040.

    By then we may be on our way into a repeat of the LIA, elsewhere in the world, more than 50% of the Russian army will be muslim, (~2020) and about 15 years after that, more than 50% of the Russian population will be muslim. (~2035). So by 2045 muslims will be able to outvote non muslims in Russia.

    If Russia continues it’s current rate of growth (provided they retain their current taxation regime), then by 2045 the Russian economy will (may) have overtaken that of the US.

  136. I’ve never had adequately explained to me how you take a set of complex differential equations and such apply them over thousands of grids maybe millions of grids of the world, perform a godawful number of calculations and repeat this over and over many many thousands of times and the result has any accuracy at all to the real world in 100 years.

    When I asked the climate modeling head of Lawrence Livermore 2 years ago he said that the results of the models are good. They have gotten them so they don’t look like something impossible. They used to get infinities or ridiculous things like temps of -200 or +200. Now they produce something you could imagine wasn’t just ridiculous. That sounds great that they’ve gotten them so they have things like clouds moving sort of like clouds look like they move, that weather kind of doesn’t look crazy. It didn’t seem to occur to him that the distance between that and models that actually could tell us what the future temperature or rain was potentially infinitely far away. He said the models were based on physical formulas of the processes. So I asked if there was a model that absolutely was better than the others then you would throw away the others. He said averaging the models produced better results. I said but if one model actually did model the physics at all then averaging it with models that didn’t would produce lower convergence not more, He said that a recent study came out that showed that the models had no predictive power over each other at all. A study comparing all models showed that one model that happened to predict one parameter in one place or time was no better at predicting the next period or place. Other studies I’ve seen recently showed that the models drastically underperform the simplest model you can construct which is simply to use the same data point as last year. It seems the models “standard” for good is “it looks like what weather looks like sort of”. They’ve not really got the models to the point they actually can predict things. Wen I said it seems to me that by averaging the models and getting a better result you are proving that in fact what you have in these models are simply fits to the data that everyone has, the historical data. He said they don’t fit. I said, but obviously if a model was wrong you’d fix it? Over all the models the scientists are all trying to find ones that work approximately to the real world given the data? He agreed. So then he conceded that they were essentially fits to the data. Of course they are. So as any good mathematician knows if you fit a curve to some data that there is no guarentee that the next data point will be predicted by that fit. Therefore you would expect the result that none of the models would work better because they all are just fits to the data. There are an infinite number of ways to fit the data to models. If there is no real physical basis for these fits then one would expect the result that none would return the “next” data point any better than the others. That’s what We see.

    Everything points to the fact that these models are simply elaborate expansive mathematical exercises in fitting data. So far there is no proof any of these models represent real physics. Therefore their ability to say this is what we expect in 100 years is completely without foundation.

    They then say that the models correspond to the paleo record. Of course they do. They’ve been fit to the paleo record. That’s a redundant statement. I’m brown haired guy. If I say I’m going to change my hair to brown you say : but your hair was already brown. Yes. The question is what if I tell you that there was a MWP? Do any of the models model a MWP? The climate model head from LLR said ” well the mwp was a local phenomenon”. So no. Now we have proof from over a dozen papers in the last 2 years that the mwp is cyclical and is global and repeats. None of the models fit that. I asked about Enso/amo/pdo in the models. He said that those were short duration phenomenon like volcanos and weren’t modeled in the forward looking models.

    T be frank he was very honest. He said to the class at Stanford I was in: the models are wrong. When the classes jaw dropped and people looked at him in shock he repeated himself. He said ” the models are wrong. Get used to it. They are all wrong.” Amazingly frank statement.

  137. TonyG says:

    I feel like I’m reading this wrong. The way it reads to me is
    “Our studies predict that the models that predict more warming will be more accurate than those that predict less.”

    Isn’t that effectively a tautology?

  138. Stephen Wilde says:

    Alec Rawls said:

    “That mechanism (climate change via solar influences other than TSI) most likely works through cloud formation, whether by GCR-cloud, solar effects on the planet’s electrical circuit, or the effects of solar-uv-shift on atmospheric circulation.”

    I’ve been proposing the uv effect on global air circulation for some time and have worked it into a general climate overview that fits more observations than any other hypothesis without offending basic physics.

    The reasoning behind that conclusion is set out in my various articles here and elsewhere.

    The essence is that variations in the mix of wavelengths and particles from the sun have differential effects on the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere between equator and poles as a result of changes in the balance between ozone destruction and creation at different heights. There have been recent data findings that support that as referred to by Joanna Haigh in a paper that she referred to a while ago.

    That variability leads to changes in the gradient of tropopause height between equator and poles leading to latitudinal climate zone shifts and / or changes in the zonality / meridionality of the jet stream tracks.

    The outcome is variations in global cloudiness and albedo as the lines of air mass mixing lengthen or shorten over time which affects the amount of solar energy able to enter the oceans to fuel the climate system.

    Fits everything we see and I await an alternative hypothesis from anyone who knows better.

    The CO2 effect seems to be miniscule in comparison.

  139. Stephen Wilde says:

    Alec Rawls said:

    “The relevant comparison would be between models that include enhanced solar forcings (by having cloud formation increase as solar activity increases) ”

    In fact, as shown by Gail Combs, cloudiness decreased when the sun was more active and has increased since.

    Which is why I insist on a reverse sign solar effect on certain heights within the atmosphere as a critical test of my hypothesis.

    The last I heard on the point was that Joanna Haigh and / or others had found just such a reverse sign effect for the period 2004 to 2007.

    I await updated data.

  140. Matthew R Marler says:

    Tony G: “Our studies predict that the models that predict more warming will be more accurate than those that predict less.”

    You are reading that wrong. The models that most accurately predict the previously unmeasured relative humidity predict the highest equilibrium climate response. This is the usual “novelty test” of science: the models that most accurately predict what was not known at the time of the prediction acquire the most credibility.

    Criticism: it’s still an “equilibrium” derived from means, not actual change derived from full spatio-temporal distributions. The sample of models all attribute much warming to CO2 increases, so none of them predict the CO2 effect or future temp if there is no CO2 effect.

    I think the models that best fit the humidity are also the models that most overpredicted the temp rise of the last 2 decades. That requires more checking than I have done so far. If so, the models that fit the RH best fit the temp worst — an ambiguous result for model testing, and a reason to discredit the message in the title.

    Also, if I read correctly, the models do not actually predict the relative humidity, but the Clausius-Clapayron relationship, which is an equilibrium approximation to the constantly changing actual humidity distribution. How much error that introduces into the model results I do not know. If at all locations, temperatures and pressures the approximation is wrong by 5% in square root of mean squared error, then the model predictions may not be accurate enough to support planning for the future, though 5% RMSE is pretty good accuracy in many settings.

  141. Matthew R Marler says:

    richardscourtney: Each model emulates a different global climate system from every other model. But the Earth has only one global climate system. So – at most – only one of the models emulates the climate system of the real Earth, and probably none of them do.

    The existing climate models are completely inaccurate and unreliable and have no possibility of being better.

    The models have different accuracies for the the same modeled system. No model will ever be perfect, but more than one may be accurate enough for good work. The only “complete inaccurate” models are those that have 0 correlation with observations; all the models in the study have positive correlations. There is no fundamental reason why the models can not be improved.

    The goal is not to predict the weather, the goal is to predict the spatio-temporal distribution of the weather: percentiles, means, standard deviations and such for temperature and rainfall. So far, the focus is on means. There is no fundamental reason why they can not do that. No model does it very well now for very far in advance, but there is no reason to think that some model might be accurate enough and reliable enough if enough work goes into its development and testing.

  142. Matthew R Marler says:

    richardscourtney: In common with most regular readers of WUWT, I skip over posts by KR because I don’t want to waste time on them. However, in this case his error is not only blatant but is also offensive to our host. And, importantly, it clearly shows the validity of posts by KR so it needed to be pointed out for the benefit of people who may be tempted to take his posts seriously.

    KR discovered and corrected his own error, and apologized.

  143. Matthew R Marler says:

    Curt: Now we’re told that the models that have the smallest increases in water vapor show the most warming…

    Sounds like your comment may have confused total water vapor with relative humidity.

  144. D Böehm says:

    Matthew Marler:

    In climate research and modeling we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non linear chaotic system and therefore that the long term predictions of future climate states is not possible.” ~ IPCC

    Models are useless if they cannot make accurate predictions. Thus, they are an enormous waste of money.

  145. Ron C. says:

    @Gary Pearse
    Thank you for that explanation. If I understand you, my statement was mistaken. If humid air is by definition air with water vapor, then it has nearly the same heat capacity as dry air. It’s only if there are water droplets (which I guess means clouds or fog) that the difference occurs due to the need to evaporate before temperature can rise. It seems to be another aspect of the difficulty that clouds present in climate science.

  146. Tim Clark says:

    {Gary Pearse says:
    November 9, 2012 at 9:55 am
    …. You could substitute the growth in wine consumption in the United States for CO2 probably and get the same result.
    ______________________________________
    Gail Combs says:
    November 9, 2012 at 11:24 am
    The amount of leg shown by women would be a better parameter.}
    _______________________________________________________________
    The growth in the number of pornographic web sites is positively correlated with increased exhalation of warmer CO2.

  147. DGH says:

    @ Dave S, Gail Combs, Ian W

    Hardly thought the sarc tag was necessary. I opened my comment with Trenberth’s faux peace prize. Anybody who is paying attention to the climate blogosphere is certainly aware that Mann, Trenberth and the lot are not true Laureates.

    This despite Dr. Trenberth’s lovely Christmas carol. And a one…

    And we’re sharing the honor with Mister Al Gore.
    Nobel, Nobel, a story to tell,
    We hope our coworkers’ egos don’t swell.
    The First Working Group said to sound the alarm,
    Rising CO2 levels are causing great harm.
    Temperatures and greenhouse gas are racing up neck and neck,
    Soon the whole Earth will be hotter than heck.
    Nobel, Nobel, the planet’s unwell,
    This is the future the models foretell.
    The Second Working Group said that change is assured,
    From the melting of glaciers to migration of birds.
    From loss of land and crops to habitats,
    How can they make it much clearer than that?
    Nobel, Nobel, the oceans swell,
    Polar bears search for new places to dwell.
    We must work to mitigate, tells us Working Group Three,
    Change from fossil consumption to clean energy.
    If we all do our share in reversing the trend,
    Our children might have a clean Earth in the end.
    Nobel, Nobel, sound the warning bell,
    Let’s make a future where all can live well.
    Nobel, Nobel, we are stars for a day,
    Can an Oscar be far away?

  148. richardscourtney says:

    Matthew R Marler:

    It seems you failed to understand the part of my post at November 9, 2012 at 10:50 am which you quoted in your post at November 9, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Your post said

    richardscourtney:

    Each model emulates a different global climate system from every other model. But the Earth has only one global climate system. So – at most – only one of the models emulates the climate system of the real Earth, and probably none of them do.

    The existing climate models are completely inaccurate and unreliable and have no possibility of being better.

    The models have different accuracies for the the same modeled system. No model will ever be perfect, but more than one may be accurate enough for good work. The only “complete inaccurate” models are those that have 0 correlation with observations; all the models in the study have positive correlations. There is no fundamental reason why the models can not be improved.

    NO!
    We are interested in the real world and each model emulates a different system.
    They are wrong.
    Whatever they each represents it is NOT the Earth’s climate system.

    Clearly, I need to explain the matter yet again.

    None of the models – not one of them – could match the change in mean global temperature over the past century if it did not utilise a unique value of assumed cooling from aerosols. So, inputting actual values of the cooling effect (such as the determination by Penner et al.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/07/25/1018526108.full.pdf?with-ds=yes )
    would make every climate model provide a mismatch of the global warming it hindcasts and the observed global warming for the twentieth century.

    This mismatch would occur because all the global climate models and energy balance models are known to provide indications which are based on
    1.
    the assumed degree of forcings resulting from human activity that produce warming
    and
    2.
    the assumed degree of anthropogenic aerosol cooling input to each model as a ‘fiddle factor’ to obtain agreement between past average global temperature and the model’s indications of average global temperature.

    More than a decade ago I published a peer-reviewed paper that showed the UK’s Hadley Centre general circulation model (GCM) could not model climate and only obtained agreement between past average global temperature and the model’s indications of average global temperature by forcing the agreement with an input of assumed anthropogenic aerosol cooling.

    The input of assumed anthropogenic aerosol cooling is needed because the model ‘ran hot’; i.e. it showed an amount and a rate of global warming which was greater than was observed over the twentieth century. This failure of the model was compensated by the input of assumed anthropogenic aerosol cooling.

    And my paper demonstrated that the assumption of aerosol effects being responsible for the model’s failure was incorrect.
    (ref. Courtney RS ‘An assessment of validation experiments conducted on computer models of global climate using the general circulation model of the UK’s Hadley Centre’, Energy & Environment, Volume 10, Number 5, pp. 491-502, September 1999).

    More recently, in 2007, Kiehle published a paper that assessed 9 GCMs and two energy balance models.
    (ref. Kiehl JT, ‘Twentieth century climate model response and climate sensitivity’. GRL vol.. 34, L22710, doi:10.1029/2007GL031383, 2007).

    Kiehl found the same as my paper except that each model he assessed used a different aerosol ‘fix’ from every other model. This is because they all ‘run hot’ but they each ‘run hot’ to a different degree.

    He says in his paper:
    ”One curious aspect of this result is that it is also well known [Houghton et al., 2001] that the same models that agree in simulating the anomaly in surface air temperature differ significantly in their predicted climate sensitivity. The cited range in climate sensitivity from a wide collection of models is usually 1.5 to 4.5 deg C for a doubling of CO2, where most global climate models used for climate change studies vary by at least a factor of two in equilibrium sensitivity.

    The question is: if climate models differ by a factor of 2 to 3 in their climate sensitivity, how can they all simulate the global temperature record with a reasonable degree of accuracy. Kerr [2007] and S. E. Schwartz et al. (Quantifying climate change–too rosy a picture?, available at http://www.nature.com/reports/climatechange, 2007) recently pointed out the importance of understanding the answer to this question. Indeed, Kerr [2007] referred to the present work and the current paper provides the ‘‘widely circulated analysis’’ referred to by Kerr [2007]. This report investigates the most probable explanation for such an agreement. It uses published results from a wide variety of model simulations to understand this apparent paradox between model climate responses for the 20th century, but diverse climate model sensitivity.”

    And, importantly, Kiehl’s paper says:
    ”These results explain to a large degree why models with such diverse climate sensitivities can all simulate the global anomaly in surface temperature. The magnitude of applied anthropogenic total forcing compensates for the model sensitivity.”

    And the “magnitude of applied anthropogenic total forcing” is fixed in each model by the input value of aerosol forcing.

    Thanks to Bill Illis, Kiehl’s Figure 2 can be seen at

    Please note that the Figure is for 9 GCMs and 2 energy balance models, and its title is:
    ”Figure 2. Total anthropogenic forcing (Wm2) versus aerosol forcing (Wm2) from nine fully coupled climate models and two energy balance models used to simulate the 20th century.”

    It shows that
    (a) each model uses a different value for “Total anthropogenic forcing” that is in the range 0.80 W/m^-2 to 2.02 W/m^-2
    but
    (b) each model is forced to agree with the rate of past warming by using a different value for “Aerosol forcing” that is in the range -1.42 W/m^-2 to -0.60 W/m^-2.

    In other words the models use values of “Total anthropogenic forcing” that differ by a factor of more than 2.5 and they are ‘adjusted’ by using values of assumed “Aerosol forcing” that differ by a factor of 2.4.

    So, each climate model emulates a different climate system. Hence, at most only one of them emulates the climate system of the real Earth because there is only one Earth. And the fact that they each ‘run hot’ unless fiddled by use of a completely arbitrary ‘aerosol cooling’ strongly suggests that none of them emulates the climate system of the real Earth.

    Richard

  149. DGH says:

    An BTW the link I provided earlier was Trenberth’s short version C.V. The long version runs 50 pages! http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/vita-1.pdf

    He’s surely a very proud fellow. But does he really think anybody – even somebody who might like him – would care to read that much?

  150. Matt G says:

    “So, each climate model emulates a different climate system. Hence, at most only one of them emulates the climate system of the real Earth because there is only one Earth. And the fact that they each ‘run hot’ unless fiddled by use of a completely arbitrary ‘aerosol cooling’ strongly suggests that none of them emulates the climate system of the real Earth.”

    Exactly, changes used in models are way too large for adjusted SAOT values later in the period. The changes needed to continue warming need to have a SAOT change larger than any of the major volcanic eruptions detected during the 1980’s and 1990’s. With all models having this incorrect adjustment none of them can represent observed global temperatures correctly.

    Shown here adjusting for SAOT is way too small for the changes after it, to prevent the no warming period from becoming a warming period supposedly caused by China’s SO2 increase.

    The ongoing aerosol nonsense is still based on assumed desperation, yet observations show it has completely failed. Aerosols can’t have any global influence on a local scale when below the stratosphere because they get rained out and/or last only a few days in cloud formation.

  151. Gail Combs says:

    J Martin says:
    November 9, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Gail Combs,

    You’ve probably read these, but in case you haven’t….
    _______________________________
    Thanks much I had not seen those from ChiefIO but he is spot on.

    Until the politicians realize the economy is just like a horse the country is going to stay deep in horse manure and keep sinking. A horse won’t move until you loosen the reins (regulations) and if you beat it (punitive taxes/fines) it will just go backwards. Beat it even more and it will rear and flip over backwards (rebellion).

  152. Steve Thatcher says:

    DGH says:
    November 9, 2012 at 3:13 am

    Dr. Trenberth is a Nobel Laureate (shared) with IPCC 2007. He is listed in more Who’s Who’s than I can count and has “many appearances on national and local television programs and news.” Did you know that one of his papers has been cited 766 times?!

    He is a very big deal. Just ask him. http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth-cv.html

    Now how about a little respect.
    **************************************************************************************************
    Firstly, He is not a Nobel Laureate, see the statements from the Nobel committee recently about Michael Mann’s similar claim (easily found).

    Secondly, “He is listed in more Who’s Who’s than I can count” – a certain dictator in Germany also has been mentioned many times.

    Thirdly, “many appearances on national and local television programs and news.” – so has Jimmy Savile, so what?

    Fourthly, “Now how about a little respect.” – see the response from Arkell v Pressdram, again easily found.

    SteveT

  153. Gail Combs says:

    Matthew R Marler says:
    November 9, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    ….There is no fundamental reason why they can not do that. No model does it very well now for very far in advance, but there is no reason to think that some model might be accurate enough and reliable enough if enough work goes into its development and testing.
    ____________________________
    As long as there are political forces shaping those models – the need to blame humans for climate change – the models will continue to be garbage.

    At this point the emphasis should be on trying to determine the different things that effect the climate. Instead the emphasis is on trying to bury anything that might show that CO2 is not the driving force in the climate. There is plenty of evidence of that right here on WUWT.

  154. Steve Thatcher says:

    RE my post at 3.20 pm

    Perhaps you will have realised by now that the sarc tag is necessary, owing to a fair number of trolls around.
    Apologies for my earlier reply, I came back to my PC and hadn’t refreshed posts submitted since I loaded the article several hours earlier and hadn’t caught up.

    Steve T

  155. KR says:

    richardscourtney – In multiple posts here (including this one) you claim comparing model outcomes is nonsense, and by extension that Fasullo and Trenberth cannot support their suggestion for higher climate sensitivity using those model comparisons.

    Yet in another post you wax rhapsodic about Spencer and Braswell using the very same technique, comparing model predictions to observations to gain insight into climate sensitivity.

    I believe the proper terms for these two posts, and your arguments therein, are internally inconsistent and confirmation bias.

    Or is there another explanation why S&B’s use of this technique is (in your opinion) appropriate, and F&T’s use of the same method is not?

  156. ericgrimsrud says:

    Richardscourtney, the assassin.

    Note the “service” provided by RC on WUWT. He posted the following:
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    richardscourtney says:
    November 9, 2012 at 10:33 am
    Jeff and JJ:
    Thankyou for drawing attention to the error by KR.
    In common with most regular readers of WUWT, I skip over posts by KR because I don’t want to waste time on them. However, in this case his error is not only blatant but is also offensive to our host. And, importantly, it clearly shows the validity of posts by KR so it needed to be pointed out for the benefit of people who may be tempted to take his posts seriously.
    Richard
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    KR had indeed made an error and then very promptly apologized for it and corrected it. Then this
    guy, richardscourtney, uses the opportunity to do further damage to KR. I don’t know anything about KR but have learned a lot about Sir Richardscourtney and have come to think he is an assassin – in the sense that he does his best to undermine the credibiltiy of anyone he fears might not be a fellow anti AGW er.

    So now when I scan through WUWT, I try to see who Richardscourtney is trying to trash today on that thread. Then I look up the posts of that person and invariably find that person to be someone with real knowledge of science!!!!

  157. Bevan says:

    How can this have any credibility? As far as I can see, on the Internet, the lastest Mars lander program has found that the Martian atmosphere has 95.3% CO2 and 210 ppm water vapour. Its average temperature is estimated at -63 degrees Celsius which is 6 deg C less than the modelled temperature for a greenhouse gas free atmosphere. That is right. Negative 6 deg C global warming for 95.3% CO2 !

    So where is the greenhouse gas global warming? Hidden in the oceans – there are none ?

    Interestingly, the First Assessment Report by the IPCC gave Mars as having 10 deg C greenhouse gas warming and this has not been retracked in any of the later reports that world leaders reply upon for their decisions. Perhaps the IPCC is not interesting in providing any information that conflicts with their aim of ever-increasing economic and political power.

  158. JJ says:

    Matthew R Marler says:

    One of the goals is to improve the model inputs sufficiently so that the model outputs begin to have demonstrable accuracy and reliability. This is a step toward that goal.

    No it isn’t. It isn’t a step toward anything other than their predetermined political endpoint. Nothing here improves any model, it just puts a fig leaf over the assertion that the models that make the predictions they like should be preferred over the models that make the predictions they don’t like.

    Flaming elephants.

  159. DGH says:

    @Steve Thatcher

    Many thanks for acknowledging my later posts where I was forced to admit that “He is a very big deal. Just ask him” was meant as sarcasm.

    No doubt it should be easy for you to find a troll on this blog. Usually the troll is the first commenter to illustrate Godwin’s Law.

  160. Matthew R Marler says:
    November 9, 2012 at 12:55 pm
    There is no fundamental reason why the models can not be improved.

    But there is a fundamental limit to how much they can be improved.

    Let’s say the Forcings model, with currently recognized forcings accounts for 50% of climate variability, then that is the limit of the predictive accuracy of a model that embeds the theory and recognized forcings.

    The real problem with the models is the CO2 forcing is fixed and has been for 20 years and other forcings are varied primarily to maintain the CO2 forcing and produce half-way accurate hindcasts.

    Of course, this (not changing the CO2 forcing) cannot continue indefinitely, but as long as it does, model forecasts will get progressively worse.

  161. E.M.Smith says:

    Strange how they keep saying more heat will lead to more humidity that will lead to more heat and more humidity and…

    Somehow they never manage to remember that more humidity leads to a long hard cold rain…

    “It’s a hard rain, a-gonna fall”…

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/04/03/perspective-on-rain-and-heat/

    Every afternoon during a Florida summer, it gets warm mid day, then the convected moisture makes a nice tropical thunderstorm in the afternoon and brings cooler air. Like clockwork, I could look out my office window at rain after lunch. Sometimes, but not always, ending before the drive home…

    More heat just drives the rain cycle faster and dumps that heat to space faster.

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/07/11/spherical-heat-pipe-earth/

    It doesn’t ‘build up’ and it doesn’t lead to higher temperatures. It leads to LOWER temperatures as the heat is taken to altitude and dumped making things like rain and hail that fall to earth.

    Anyone who says more heat and humidity will lead to higher temperatures has no clue how heat and humidity work in weather, need to spend some time in the tropics, and needs a refresher course on the difference between heat and temperature… Oh, and they need to write on the blackboard 10,000 times “I will not forget Enthalpy”…

    Oh, never mind all that; just force them to stand in the (tropical?) rain for a few weeks…

  162. Brian H says:

    Could be things will warm some after the end of the current 30-yr cold spell. CO2 will have soared by then as people try to keep from dying of hypothermia, (and may try to take the credit). Making all that lovely CO2 will have been MUCH more expensive than necessary, though, because of Twisty Trenberth and the others desperately demanding we take CAGW as the Null.

  163. richardscourtney says:

    KR:

    I copy all of your egregious and mendacious post at November 9, 2012 at 4:20 pm so it cannot be said that I am not addressing anything out of context.

    Like all your posts it is fallacious, misleading and offensive. It says

    richardscourtney – In multiple posts here (including this one) you claim comparing model outcomes is nonsense, and by extension that Fasullo and Trenberth cannot support their suggestion for higher climate sensitivity using those model comparisons.

    Yet in another post you wax rhapsodic about Spencer and Braswell using the very same technique, comparing model predictions to observations to gain insight into climate sensitivity.

    I believe the proper terms for these two posts, and your arguments therein, are internally inconsistent and confirmation bias.

    Or is there another explanation why S&B’s use of this technique is (in your opinion) appropriate, and F&T’s use of the same method is not?

    1.
    I have NOT said, “comparing model outcomes is nonsense”.
    I repeatedly point out – with evidence – that the climate models do not emulate the climate system of the real Earth and, therefore, the models do not indicate climate behaviour of the real Earth.
    2.
    I have NOT said, “Fasullo and Trenberth cannot support their suggestion for higher climate sensitivity using those model comparisons”.
    I have said the simple truth that indications of “climate sensitivity” by use of climate models indicates the behaviour of the models and NOT the behaviour of the Earth’s climate system.
    3.
    S&B do NOT use the “same method” as F&T.
    S&B compared climate model outputs to empirical data and the comparison shows the models are wrong. F&S compared outputs of climate models as a method to assess the Earth’s climate behaviour. Simply,
    (a) S&B did something called science: i.e. they assessed the outputs of the climate models by comparison with empirical data of real world climate behaviour.
    but
    (b) F&S did something called pseudoscience: i.e. they assessed real world’s climate behaviour by comparison with outputs of the models which do not emulate the real world’s climate system.
    4.
    I could not care less about what you say you believe.
    Your beliefs are as irrational and untrue as Grimsrud’s.
    5.
    You make a false and untrue assertion about my “opinion” based on your false and untrue claim that S&B use the same method as F&S.
    I am willing to accept your false an untrue assertions are merely another example of your lack of reading comprehension (which has already embarrassed you in this thread).

    Richard

  164. richardscourtney says:

    ericgrimsrud:

    I enjoyed the laugh you provided with your post at November 9, 2012 at 4:36 pm. Thankyou.

    I write to ask a question which is not about science so you don’t need worry that it will tax your abilities.

    How did you “look up” the troll who posts anonymously as KR and so “find that person to be someone with real knowledge of science”?

    Richard

  165. richardscourtney says:

    Moderators:
    My reply to Grimsrud has gone in the ‘bin’. Please retrieve it.
    Richard

    Reply: OK. -ModE

  166. Brian H says:

    Gail Combs says:
    November 9, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Bob says:
    November 9, 2012 at 4:02 am

    Seems simple to me. We know the ideal climate. We know the ideal CO2 level to control the change of the climate, and by implication, control the climate. I don’t know why we are frittering around the edges with stuff like this instead of discussing which widget design is best to regulate CO2 worldwide to that ideal level.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    The best level for CO2 is MINIMUM 1000 ppm. Just ask the plants. graph

    Most of our food plants and trees are C3 most weeds/grasses are C4. Also higher CO2 levels make (C3) plants more drought tolerant too. (First link I found) however I suggest you read it.

    Paper: Carbon starvation in glacial trees recovered from the La Brea tar pits, southern California

    And please wake up, The Climastrologists can’t even predict the weather correctly a couple weeks out so how do you think they can actually CONTROL it?

    Jeez, Gail, take a pill. The post was a mixture of hyperbole, irony, and then a switcheroo to a valid conclusion opposite to those of Trenbumpf et al. You should be applauding a clever post, not nattering about it.

  167. Brian H says:

    Amusingly, the actual sensitivity falls below the bottom number on the vertical scale (1).

  168. Bevan says:

    All of the climate model studies must be meaningless, if, as I understand, the models are anchored to the proposition that increased atmospheric CO2 concentration causes an increase in the global temperature. Actual data on the relationship between CO2 concentration and temperature is on the Web site for the “World Data Centre for Greenhouse Gases” run by the World Meteorological Organisation, to be found at :

    http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/gmd/wdcgg/

    The data covers 348 locations across the globe and each location contains annual files of meteorological conditions and atmospheric gas concentrations over many decades. A detailed study of the hourly temperature and CO2 concentration for the years 1996 to 2006 inclusive for Barrow, Alaska, reveals the interplay between the two variables. Daily averages over the 11 year period ( one Sun cycle ) gave a correlation coefficient of -0.74, that is, as CO2 concentration increases, temperature decreases and visa versa. Cross correlation of the data set gave a maximum correlation of +0.83 for a 153 day lag of CO2 behind temperature.

    What does this mean? It is simply the seasonal variation in temperature, climate and life, controlled by the 12 month passage of the Earth around the Sun. At Barrow, as the temperature rises from a minimum of about -27 degrees Celsius through about -8 deg C, the biological life cycle begins with a flourish as life forms suck up atmospheric CO2. That causes the CO2 concentration to fall rapidly, reaching a minimum when the temperature is at about its maximum – the exact opposite of the behaviour proposed by the atmospheric greenhouse gas warming conjecture. Then as the temperature falls, life forms die, generating CO2 and causing its atmospheric concentration to rise.

    Note that the temperature increase initiates the biological life cycle which, in turn, causes the CO2 concentration to rise and then fall. That is, the Sun, via temperature, is the prime mover of the atmospheric CO2 concentration. The plants and animals have known it for millions of years yet we accept the pronouncement of some clown on two legs who says “No, it is increasing CO2 in the atmosphere that is causing the temperature to rise”.

    A study relating annual increments in both surface temperature and CO2 concentration from six locations across the globe gave a correlation coefficient of 0.1051 from 144 yearly observations. This small positive correlation merely reflects the above explanation that changes in the incoming Sun’s radiation cause both temperature and CO2 concentration to change. There is simply no basis in the data for the claim that increased CO2 concentration is causing a rise in temperature.

  169. eric1skeptic says:

    Eric Grimsrud said “So now when I scan through WUWT, I try to see who Richardscourtney is trying to trash today on that thread. ”

    Eric, as you sit beside your warm “carbon-neutral” pellet stove in 10F degree Montana winds and think of ways to make heat more expensive for ordinary Americans without pellet or wood stoves, think about this. Each American should be trying to make life better for their fellow Americans. People like Richard Courtney have been doing that for decades by educating them on why they should reject the copy and pasting of climate catastrophism by people like yourself and KR, and instead pay attention to the research that points to the beneficial effects of a small amount of warming.

    KR and yourself deserve all the scorn you get for your superficiality. As KR demonstrated above and subsequently apologized, you are quick to jump on any trivial error to avoid talking about important issues in detail. KR to his credit came back with a less trivial although still incorrect argument. You seem to be content to wallow in triviality and admit it by saying you simply “scan” through the threads to see who RSC is “trashing”.

    Unfortunately it is you who are trashing. My modest suggestion is to read the threads and comments in detail and try to comment on something on-topic.

  170. Mervyn says:

    The thing about this global warming nonsense is that those pushing it are largely governments and their agencies that support the UN and its IPCC. As long as they continue to have the upper hand controlling the global warming agenda, and the money that flows its way, we are forever going to see more alarmism packaged every which way it can. By now, everyone must realise that real science on climate is irrelevant… political science on climate is what matters.

  171. mbur says:

    After that great comment by @Bevan, how about this:
    Just by sitting in front of my computer i’m causing the CO2 to go up in this room by breathing and causing the temperature to go up(from body heat and because i turned the heater on ).Seems like i got rising CO2 and temperature.Must be a bad thing,can’t have much of that going on……WUWT?
    Thanks for the interesting articles and comments

  172. D Böehm says:

    eric1skeptic,

    Excellent post, I could not write it better. I could not have even written it as well.

    Grimsrud is a site pest, incessantly arguing his hypocritical nonsense even as he consumes fossil fuels for his own convenience. He is an unhappy iconoclast who feels it necessary to take hypocritical positions cloaked in ‘green’ ideology. The day he gives up his motor car and his fossil fuel-provided electricity is the day he will begin to attain some credibility. Until then, he is just a crank.

  173. eric1skeptic says:

    DB, thanks. I originally thought you were German or other foreign national due to the umlaut. But then I realized you are a patriotic American.

  174. Gary Pearse says:

    “Given how fundamental these processes are to clouds and the overall global climate, our findings indicate that warming is likely to be on the high side of current projections.”

    “However, because these relationships are challenging to translate into software, each model differs slightly in its portrayal of global climate. In particular, some processes, such as those associated with clouds, are too small to be represented properly.”

    “Clouds are one of the main sticking points, say the NCAR authors. Although satellites observe many types of clouds, satellite failure, observing errors, and other inconsistencies make it challenging to build a comprehensive global cloud census that is consistent over many years.”

    Hmm…ya think clouds are the Achilles heel of the models so processes associated with clouds are too small to be represented – and this isn’t a problem. Clouds are the sticking points! Gee they are easy to see and determine cover. Do ya think satellite failure, observing errors and other inconsistencies could be another way of saying they aren’t giving you what you want them to, especially in albedo. One inconsistency is that when a cloud comes over on a sunny day it cools things off.

  175. KR says:

    richardscourtney

    S&B do NOT use the “same method” as F&T.
    S&B compared climate model outputs to empirical data and the comparison shows the models are wrong. F&S compared outputs of climate models as a method to assess the Earth’s climate behaviour. Simply,
    (a) S&B did something called science: i.e. they assessed the outputs of the climate models by comparison with empirical data of real world climate behaviour.
    but
    (b) F&S did something called pseudoscience: i.e. they assessed real world’s climate behaviour by comparison with outputs of the models which do not emulate the real world’s climate system.

    F&T 2012 compares model outputs to the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) and Clouds and Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) satellite data on atmospheric water vapor – empirical data. Perhaps you haven’t read the press release at the top of this thread? Because that _is_ quite clear.

    You have praised S&B 2011, heaped insult on F&T 2012, for using the same basic method of comparing models to observations and considering the climate sensitivities of those models against their correlation with observations. Both have then drawn their conclusions about climate sensitivity based on that correlation. The distinction between your opinions of these two works is the very definition of confirmation bias.

    You have in addition phrased your opinions in running argumentem ad hominem, a string of insults, a near rant. While I have, over time, come to expect that logical fallacy from you, I would point out to others that insults do not substitute for facts. If you have the facts and data to support your opinions, insults are not necessary – they in fact imply a lack of evidence.

    What I’ve noted here is that your opinions on those two papers are completely self-contradictory – which indicates (IMO) that you are not basing your opinions on the evidence, but on some other criteria entirely. I will refrain from speculating as to what those criteria may be.

  176. richardscourtney says:

    KR:

    It would be hard to find a more clear example of psychological projection than your post addressed to me at November 10, 2012 at 7:33 am. It purports to be a reply to my post at November 10, 2012 at 1:08 am which was a reply to your egregious and mendacious post at November 9, 2012 at 4:20 pm.

    My post you purport to reply was a clear and factual response to your typically fallacious, misleading and offensive missive, and yet your reply says to me

    You have in addition phrased your opinions in running argumentem ad hominem, a string of insults, a near rant. While I have, over time, come to expect that logical fallacy from you, I would point out to others that insults do not substitute for facts. If you have the facts and data to support your opinions, insults are not necessary – they in fact imply a lack of evidence.

    What I’ve noted here is that your opinions on those two papers are completely self-contradictory – which indicates (IMO) that you are not basing your opinions on the evidence, but on some other criteria entirely. I will refrain from speculating as to what those criteria may be.

    Clearly, you don’t know the meaning of argumentem ad hominem.
    I gave the facts. I did not rant. And I did not give any insults.
    The evidence I presented was clear. Indeed, I numbered each point.
    I have as much interest in your “speculations” as I have in your “beliefs”; i.e. none.

    Importantly, my “opinions on those two papers” are completely consistent. They are not “self-contradictory” in any way which indicates (IMO) that your assertion is yet another demonstration of your lack of ability at reading comprehension.

    Importantly, you repeat the falsehood – which my post refuted – that S&B 2011 used the same method as F&T 2012. They did not. As explanation of the fundamental difference between their methods I need do no more than to quote my post which explained the difference and which you purport to be replying.

    Please note that you included this same quotation in your post which I am replying, and that says all anybody needs to know about the validity of your assertions.

    S&B do NOT use the “same method” as F&T.
    S&B compared climate model outputs to empirical data and the comparison shows the models are wrong. F&T compared outputs of climate models as a method to assess the Earth’s climate behaviour. Simply,
    (a) S&B did something called science: i.e. they assessed the outputs of the climate models by comparison with empirical data of real world climate behaviour.
    but
    (b) F&T did something called pseudoscience: i.e. they assessed real world’s climate behaviour by comparison with outputs of the models which do not emulate the real world’s climate system.

    I know it is hard for you when you so often display your problems with reading comprehension, but please try to understand what you read before responding to it.

    Richard

  177. KR says:

    richardscourtney – Repeating your error does not correct it.

    * S&B 2011 evaluated the output of climate models against measurements (temperature and TOA radiation from CERES), and drew conclusions regarding climate sensitivity based on which models outputs are best correlated with those measures.

    (Although as Dessler 2011 and others pointed out, they neglected to show the models _they tested_ that did not agree with their conclusions, and their calculations require that clouds force temperatures rather than the other way around)

    * F&T 2012 evaluated the output of climate models against measurements (relative humidity from AIRS and CERES), and drew conclusions regarding climate sensitivity based on which models outputs are best correlated with those measures.

    It’s a new paper, and will be assessed in due time.

    Apparently, though, you cannot or will not recognize the similarities, the common methods, between these two papers. Phrasing your descriptions of the methods slightly differently (with insults) doesn’t change anything in that regard. I believe the similarities are quite clear – and when you treat one as “empirical evidence”, and the other as “pseudoscience”, your confirmation bias is quite evident. To be blunt, you’ve contradicted yourself, and have shown that your conclusions are more important (to you) than the evidence.

    Based on prior exchanges, I do not expect Richard to admit to any error, and I do not expect any further discussion with him to be productive. But I would ask that readers take a look at what’s going on here. Supporting a methodology when it gives results you agree with, but denigrating it when that _same methodology_ gives results you don’t like? Hmm…

    Au revoir

  178. Matthew R Marler says:

    Philip Bradley: But there is a fundamental limit to how much they can be improved.

    Let’s say the Forcings model, with currently recognized forcings accounts for 50% of climate variability, then that is the limit of the predictive accuracy of a model that embeds the theory and recognized forcings.

    I agree. I accidentally implicitly wrote only of models that have CO2 as a major driver. When I write that “models can be improved” I intend to include models that exclude CO2 in the mix, and the possibility that even models with CO2 will eventually be parameterized such that the effect of CO2 is negligible.

  179. Matthew R Marler says:

    Gail Combs: At this point the emphasis should be on trying to determine the different things that effect the climate. Instead the emphasis is on trying to bury anything that might show that CO2 is not the driving force in the climate.

    For the first sentence, I agree. For the second sentence, there is more variety among modelers than you allow for.

  180. Matthew R Marler says:

    richardscourtney: Clearly, I need to explain the matter yet again.

    Your explanation was perfectly sufficient the first time. You are just narrow-minded about modeling. You should pharmacokinetics, neuronal modeling, and ecological modeling for other examples of models. Or even a larger section of physics and its history.

  181. Matthew R Marler says:

    oops “you should study pharmacokinetics” etc.

  182. richardscourtney says:

    KR:

    I notice that you continue your egregious behaviour at November 10, 2012 at 10:06 am where you write to me saying.

    richardscourtney – Repeating your error does not correct it.

    I made no error and you have not stated one I made.

    You are plain wrong and I have repeatedly explained your error.

    And I know from past experience that you will continue to make meaningless noises about it.

    Richard

  183. richardscourtney says:

    Matthew R Marler:

    Your post at November 10, 2012 at 10:54 am confirms you know my correction to your misinformation is correct. Your post says in full

    richardscourtney: Clearly, I need to explain the matter yet again.

    Your explanation was perfectly sufficient the first time. You are just narrow-minded about modeling. You should pharmacokinetics, neuronal modeling, and ecological modeling for other examples of models. Or even a larger section of physics and its history.

    I know my explanation is sufficient. That is why I posted it.

    And you know my explanation demolished your misinformation. That is why you have not stated any flaw you have found in it. If you were able to find such a flaw then you would have stated it instead of posting irrelevant and untrue nonsense.

    I am very supportive of (n.b. NOT “narrow-minded about”) modelling which is why I object to the climate models being presented as models of the Earth’s climate system when – as I explained – they are not.

    Richard

  184. Matthew R Marler says:

    Here is a comment on model accuracy that I put up on Judith Curry’s bloc “Climate Etc”, and I thought I’d repost it here.

    The spatio-temporal average temperature is 288K. If the Earth were in equilibrium, as the usual “basic, simple science” assumes, the entire Earth would be 288K all the time. Today’s mean temp of the Arctic is 255K, which I’ll take as the approximate temp of the Antarctic, for illustrative purposes.

    The error in each case works out to 33K, which in percentage terms is 33/288 time 100%, or 11%. In lots of fields of study, an 11% error is pretty good, especially when it is near the maximum error. The squared error is 0.0121 (sq pct); the sum of the two squared errors is 0.0242, and the mean squared error, in this case, is 0.0121, and the square root of the mean squared error (RMSE) is 11%. Now, we could do this with every thermometer on earth, and every day, am and pm, and the errors range from 0% (in abs value) up to about 15%. Average the squared error over all the spatio-temporal specific measures, and the RMSE might be 5%. In many fields, that is a really good fit of the model (in this case equilibrium) to the system that is modeled.

    However, the modeled change induced by CO2 doubling is something like 1 – 3 K, in the equilibrium model. This is a change of about 0.3% to about 1%, which is much lower than the RMSE of the model. Therefore (though this is empirical, not exactly a logical deduction) It is extremely unlikely that the equilibrium model is sufficiently accurate to make an accurate calculation of the effect of CO2 doubling. Add in other things like the possibly negative feedback of the dynamic effects of clouds, it becomes even less reasonable to think that we have either the correct sign or the correct magnitude of the effect of doubling CO2.

    In my experience and in my reading, most people in most professions who use the results of model calculations are very uncomfortable with this kind of reasoning. In medical care, where deviations from modeled values occur all the time, the amount of random variation about the modeled value (e.g. plasma concentration of a drug following a standard dose) is consistently underappreciated.

    The paper that is the focus of this thread is a step toward models of the Earth climate that have smaller RMSE. There will never be a model with RMSE = 0, but a model with an RMSE of 1% will at least be approaching something that might be reliable enough for planning purposes.

  185. richardscourtney says:

    Matthew R Marler:

    Your post at November 10, 2012 at 1:58 pm is meaningless twaddle.

    The models are each individually fudged to agree with past rate of global warming by adoption of an assumed amount of ‘aerosol cooling’ which is unique for each model (see my post above at November 9, 2012 at 1:48 pm for referenced explanation of this).

    In this circumstance it is not surprising that as you say

    However, the modeled change induced by CO2 doubling is something like 1 – 3 K, in the equilibrium model. This is a change of about 0.3% to about 1%, which is much lower than the RMSE of the model.

    The surprising fact is that the fudge fails to provide better agreement than you say.

    Each model emulates a different climate system and that is why they are each fudged with a different amount of assumed ‘aerosol cooling’. So, at most only one of the climate models emulates the climate system of the Earth, and there is good reason to suppose that none of them do.

    The paper of the above article assumes the models emulate the Earth’s climate system but they don’t and, therefore, the paper is bunkum. Live with it.

    Richard

  186. ericgrimsrud says:

    The comments of Richardscourtney continue to provide me with a heads up on contributors to WUWT who clearly know the science concerning the subject under discussion. In addition to KR, I now know that Matthew R Marler is also such a person. If you have not already, I would recommend that everyone reread what these two contributors said – some good science does leak through here at WUWT. And thanks to Richardscourtney for the service he is providing – by alerting us all to those moments with credible science is trying to leak through. Eric

  187. Matthew R Marler says:
    November 10, 2012 at 10:46 am

    I agree. I accidentally implicitly wrote only of models that have CO2 as a major driver. When I write that “models can be improved” I intend to include models that exclude CO2 in the mix, and the possibility that even models with CO2 will eventually be parameterized such that the effect of CO2 is negligible.

    That’s gratifying.

    Modelling has its place in investigating any complex system. The main problem I have with the current crop of models is they embed theories with little empirical basis, and the predictive acurraccy of a model cannot be greater than that of the theories it embeds. Well, they can, by fortuitous error, but errors in climate models is a whole other discussion.

    I believe better climate models requires general acceptance by modellers that they are only a means to an end, better theories. It’s better theories that will give us better models.

  188. Alexander K says:

    The teenagers who come to the park near our house to fly the model aeroplanes they designed and built have a healthy perspective on models and a sound grasp of the aeronautical principles they have learnt from the design-and-build process. Trenberth et al, not so much.
    It is distressing to admit Dr T is a fellow Kiwi.

  189. richardscourtney says:

    KR and Matthew R Marler:

    You now have clear evidence that you need to ‘raise your game'; i.e.
    at November 10, 2012 at 5:06 pm ericgrimsrud says he likes what you have written.

    Richard

  190. Matthew R Marler says:

    Richard S Courtney: Your post at November 10, 2012 at 1:58 pm is meaningless twaddle.

    Don’t understand MSE, is that it? How are you with R^2 and 1-R^2?

    What do you think of the quadratic integrate and fire model for neurons, compared to the Hodgkin-Huxley model? Granted they are not climate models, but you address the general issue of deciding the adequacy of complex models of complex systems. What other techniques do you like for assessing the comparative worth of models: AIC, BIC, F statistic? Do you have a favorite technique for ranking the accuracies of non-nested models?

    I am sure that everyone wants to know.

  191. Matthew R Marler:

    Your post at November 11, 2012 at 3:53 am attempts to justify the meaningless twaddle of your post November 10, 2012 at 1:58 pm with falsehood, innuendo and irrelevance.

    At November 10, 2012 at 2:45 pm I explained why it is meaningless to undertake a statistical analysis of the efficacy of the fudges applied to climate models. The analysis can only provide a misleading indication of the models’ performance.

    Your hallmark falsehoods, innuendos and irrelevances do not – and cannot – change that.

    Richard

  192. Matt G says:

    So we are now drawing attention away from the main model argument are we?

    1) Aerosols put into models are wrong for the cooling period from the 1940’s to 1970’s.
    2) The mechanism involving CO2 requires a positive feedback of water vapor increasing.
    3) Increasing water vapor in the atmosphere results in increases in cloud albedo.
    4) The model assumes CO2 is reducing water vapor in the tropics with no scientific evidence.
    5) The argument that CO2 sensitivity is high with claims of matching it with drier regions in the tropics are bogus, when scientific evidence doesn’t support a CO2 mechanism.
    6) Any claims by a model need to be verified with observed scientific evidence corresponding with the scientific method.
    7) Scientific evidence supports that CO2 has no effect on reducing water vapor in any regions. Therefore the conclusions of this model are based on natural variations in the tropics.

  193. Matthew R Marler says:

    Richard S Courtney: Your hallmark falsehoods, innuendos and irrelevances do not – and cannot – change that.

    I’ll leave it at that.

  194. george e smith says:

    Well that is clearly a picture of Orion.

  195. george e smith says:

    “””””…..Philip Bradley says:

    November 10, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Matthew R Marler says:
    November 10, 2012 at 10:46 am

    ……………………….

    Modelling has its place in investigating any complex system. The main problem I have with the current crop of models is they embed theories with little empirical basis, and the predictive acurraccy of a model cannot be greater than that of the theories it embeds. Well, they can, by fortuitous error, but errors in climate models is a whole other discussion.

    I believe better climate models requires general acceptance by modellers that they are only a means to an end, better theories. It’s better theories that will give us better models.

    I don’t see ANY distinction between a “theory” and a “model”. Any real “model” will function in exactly the manner described in the “theory”. If the model fails to act as the theory says it should, or acts in ways the theory doesn’t say it should then it is not a model of that theory, but of some other theory.
    The thing about models is that they behave in ways described by mathematics, which we invented to describe the operation of the model. It is the real world which the model may not accurately emulate; not the theory. The real world is far too complex to be described by our limited mathematical tools; which is why we costruct models.

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