A climate of scepticism

Guest post by Philip Lloyd, Energy Institute, CPUT

The world is getting a little warmer. Of that there is no doubt. The measurements by which we know that it is warming are poor. The figures are not accessible, and keep on changing[1]. Many points at which temperature is measured are badly sited, and bound to give misleading results[2]. But in spite of this, all agree that the world is warmer than it was 150 years ago.

There are some fairly clear signals of a warmer world. The Arctic ice is less than it was[3]. Many glaciers are retreating[4]. Some glaciers – for instance, those on Kilimanjaro – are shrinking because the long-term precipitation is less than it was 150 years ago, not because it is warmer[5]. Others are shrinking from a warmer climate.

Where the sceptic differs from many other scientists is in ascribing the warming to human activities – specifically, the burning of fossil fuels and the concomitant rise in the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere. The hypothesis is that the carbon dioxide traps infra-red radiation that would otherwise escape to space. This means that some of the energy received from the sun is not lost, and the trapped energy leads to a warming of the globe. 

The physics of how carbon dioxide traps infra-red radiation is well known[6]. But there are other molecules in the atmosphere that also trap infra-red radiation. Water vapour is the predominant “greenhouse gas”[7]. What is not so clear is the extent to which the trapping of energy causes heating. There are wonderful mathematical models that claim to show how heating occurs. Unfortunately, all the models suffer from identifiable flaws, a point considered later.

A prime difficulty with the anthropogenic warming thesis is that it is not known how much of the warming is natural and how much might be caused by carbon dioxide. It is simple to illustrate this. Figure 1 shows the global temperature record as kept by the Hadley Centre at the University of East Anglia[8].

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Figure 1 Global temperatures, relative to 1950-1990 average

The global temperature dropped from 1850 to 1860; rose until 1880; dropped until 1910; rose until 1945; dropped until 1980; rose until 2000; and has dropped slightly since then.

Figure 2 shows the carbon dioxide record. Careful measurements have been made at Mauna Loa on Hawaii since 1958[9]. The pre-industrial level of CO2 in the atmosphere is generally accepted to have been about 280ppm[10]. Figure 2 shows a reasonable extrapolation of the data back to about 280ppm in 1800.

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Figure 2 Atmospheric CO2 concentrations, measured and estimated.

It seems entirely reasonable that the measured rise is the result of fossil fuel consumption. Figure 3 shows annual CO2 emissions over time[11]. In 1900 it was just under 2 billion tons per annum; by 1943 it was at 5 billion tons and then fell back and only exceeded 5 billion tons again in 1947. Thereafter it grew rapidly, passing 10 billion tons in 1963, 15 billion in 1971, 20 billion in 1986 and 30 billion in 2006.

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Figure 3 Annual CO2 emissions from fossil fuel consumption.

Comparison of Figures 2 and 3 makes it clear that the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide is almost certainly directly related to the emissions from fossil fuels. However, the low levels of emissions up until about 1945 make it clear that the impact of the fossil fuel combustion prior to 1945 must have been very small if not negligible. Therefore the changes in global temperatures prior to 1945, shown in Figure 1, were largely natural. The additional carbon dioxide from human activities cannot have played a significant part in the changes prior to 1945.

If most of the temperature changes prior to 1945 were largely natural, then there is great difficulty in determining how much of the temperature change post-1945 is natural and how much might be driven by increasing carbon dioxide. This raises the question of what the natural variation in temperature might be.

To answer this question, we turn to the Vostok ice core record over the past 9000 years[12]. The core was sampled every metre of depth, which represented ~20 years of accumulation in the upper layers and ~50 years in the lower levels. The temperature was estimated from differences in the oxygen isotope ratios. While a point measurement such as this cannot give a good measure of the average global temperature, it is a reasonable measure of changes in global temperature, and it is primarily temperature changes that are of interest.

The data are shown in Figure 4. There has been a slight cooling over the past 9 millennia, as shown by the least-squares line. The data were therefore detrended before further analysis – the mean temperature at any one date was added to the reported relative temperature. The detrended temperatures were what is known as “normally distributed”, i.e. there was nothing abnormal or skewed about them. Then the rate of change between each detrended temperature and the temperature approximately 100±20 years earlier was calculated and expressed as a rate per century. The results were also normally distributed, with a standard deviation of 0.94oC per century.

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Figure 4. Relative temperatures over the past 9000 years.

Thus there is about a 2:1 chance that the temperature may vary by up to 1oC per century from natural causes, but only about a 1 in 10 chance that it will vary by more than 1.9oC naturally. Between 1900 and 2000 it varied by about 0.9oC, which is, therefore, within the range of natural variation. And that, in simple terms, is why there is scepticism about the thesis that carbon dioxide is causing global warming – there is no clear signal of any such warming effect.

However, the proponents of the anthropogenic warming thesis claim to have models that show how added carbon dioxide will lead to a warmer world[13]. There are major problems with these models, not least of which is the fact that the proponents claim that doubling the CO2 in the atmosphere will increase the temperature by over 3oC. This is well above any physical reason[14]. It results from arguments about the effect of water vapour in the atmosphere, which is supposed to exacerbate the effect of increased CO2.

The doubling effect is so far invisible. Other estimates have suggested that doubling the CO2 may increase the global temperatures by less than 1oC[15]. The evidence for this is building. For instance, there has been about a 40% increase in atmospheric CO2 since 1945, which would imply 1.2oC of warming if doubling the CO2 caused a 3oC rise. Figure 1 shows that the actual warming over this period has only been about 0.4oC. Has the globe cooled by 0.8oC while the added CO2 has been warming us? It seems unlikely.

There are further reasons to doubt the models. For instance, Figure 5 reproduces Figure 10.7 from the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report[16].

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Figure 5. Model predictions of global temperature changes: atmospheric upper, oceanic lower

The sections are from the South Pole on the left to the North Pole on the right. In the atmosphere, altitude is expressed in terms of pressure, with sea level at 1000hPa and 11km being about 200hPa. Stippling on the figures shows regions where all the models agree within narrow limits.

The area of particular interest is the ‘blob’ over the equator and centred at about 200hPa. In 2011-2030 it is just less than 1.5oC above today’s ground level temperatures. By 2046-2065 it is expected to be about 3oC warmer, and by 2080-2099 about 5oC warmer. Thus this region is expected to warm by about 0.6oC per decade, if the models are to be believed.

For about the last 60 years, balloons carrying instruments have been flown into this region to obtain data for weather forecasts. Examination of the temperature records has failed to reveal any heating whatsoever[17]. Satellites have been flown since the late 1970’s, and some of their views through the atmosphere can be interpreted as average temperatures of particular regions[18]. The satellites show very slight warming – but nothing like 0.6oC per decade.

In science, a single experiment can suffice to prove a theory, if the experiment finds an unexpected result as predicted by the theory. Einstein’s 1915 theory of general relativity had to wait until 1919 for experimental proof, and subsequent widespread acceptance of his theory. Equally, any theory whose predictions fail experimental tests should be abandoned without further ado. In the present case, the anthropogenic warming hypothesis has led to theoretical models, but those models have failed experimental proof. Such is the strength of belief in the anthropogenic thesis, however, that the modellers are most reluctant to abandon – or even revise – their models. This is one of the strongest reasons for scepticism.

The anthropogenic thesis has also led to many predictions of the possible conditions in a warmer world. Some, such as the impact on the cryosphere, seem to be borne out. However, the models which, as noted earlier, are highly suspect, suggest such things as dramatic changes in precipitation. The evidence is negligible.

For instance, there is a very long record of rainfall for England and Wales, shown in Figure 6[19]. There is absolutely no sign of any change in the rainfall pattern over the last 60 years. Over the entire period, the annual average over 25 years is 913 ±18mm. The 18mm is the maximum deviation, not the standard deviation!

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Figure 6. A 240-year rainfall record

Similarly, there are repeated suggestions that the sea level will increase rapidly due to the melting of ice and the warming of the oceans (warm water is less dense than cold, so it occupies a larger volume). It is true that the sea level is rising, but you seek in vain for any evidence that it has risen significantly faster since 1945 than before. Figure 7 illustrates this, using the tide gauge data from New York which extends back to 1858 with a gap from 1879 to 1892[20]. The regression line for all the data from 1870 to 2011 has a slope of 2.947mm/a; that from 1945 to 2011 has a slope of 2.948mm/a. There has been no significant increase in the rate of sea level rise at New York for the past 140 years.

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Figure 7. A 150-year sea-level record.

Many of the fears about sea level rise are unfounded. Yes, the sea is rising slowly. Satellite measurements since the early 1990’s confirm a rate of rise of about 3mm/a[21]. However, there are already defences against the sea. It is necessary to allow for tides, storm surges and even tsunamis. The existing defences are measured in metres, not mm. An increase in the average level of 3mm/a can be offset by raising the defences by an additional brick every 30 years or so. The rising sea level is not a threat.

Of course, there are events where the defences prove inadequate. This was the case when Hurricane Katerina struck New Orleans. Several years previously, it had been reported that the levees were likely to fail[22]. They were old, and lacked modern design features. They failed, as anticipated, when the storm surge arrived. Their failure had nothing to do with ongoing rise in sea levels, and everything to do with weak defences.

However, there are repeated references in the literature to the New Orleans levee failure being the result of “climate change.” This illustrates a feature of the debate that reinforces scepticism. Disasters that have nothing to do with a changing climate are ascribed to “climate change” as a means of raising awareness about the supposed threats.

Nothing illustrates this aspect of the debate better than the ongoing accent on “extreme events.” A violent storm, such as the recent Sandy that struck New York, is immediately seized upon as evidence of “climate change.”

However, weather is ever variable. The vigour of every natural phenomenon has a wide range. Many phenomena, for example rainfall, are best described by a distribution which is very strongly skewed. Such distributions are quite counterintuitive when it comes to trying to define what constitutes “extreme”.

The problem is to decide how wide is the ‘normal’ range, a decision essential for describing an event as abnormal or ‘extreme’, that is, lying outside the normal range. A lot of data is necessary to define ‘normal’, which implies that data must be collected over a long period. The long period may exceed a human lifetime. If so, then few living individuals can have experienced the truly “extreme” events – and an event much less than extreme may be seized upon as an example of an extreme event when in fact it is no such thing.

In the case of storm Sandy, there has been an assessment of the intensity of all hurricanes and “post-tropical storms” (of which Sandy was one) that made landfall on the continental United States between 1900 and 2012. The data are shown in Figure 8[23].

A person born in 1900 would probably have experienced their most extreme event in 1936. However, that person might have lived to the age of 106, and would have seen two stronger storms. That might have convinced him/her that the world was getting worse. He/she would have been wrong, of course – the random nature of extreme events would have fooled them.

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Figure 8. Power dissipation index of storms which made landfall on the US, 1900-2012

This illustrates quite nicely how long one must wait before one can determine even the 100-year event – and how just because there has been such an event, another nearly as bad can turn up in less than 100 years after that! The statistics of extreme events are counterintuitive, and very long baselines are needed before it is possible to decide if something is extreme or not.

There has been extensive concern about extreme events, partly because almost every day somewhere on the globe there will be an event that might be describable as ‘extreme’. The IPCC has issued a special report on the subject[24]. It can probably best be described as ‘delphic’ – a series of very cautious pronouncements that can be interpreted in different ways, depending on your viewpoint. Probably the best measure of the extent to which extreme events should be viewed as likely to be caused by climate change comes from a study of deaths caused by severe weather[25]. The results are shown in Figure 9.

It is clear that the absolute number killed each year has dropped since the 1920’s. In relative terms, the drop has been even more dramatic, from a peak of 241 per million to 5 per million. At this low rate, it is clear that extreme weather no longer presents the same risks as faced previous generations.

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Figure 9. Deaths and death rates per million people from extreme weather events

The reasons for this steep decline are several. One is vastly better weather prediction, so that there is now adequate warning about possible extreme weather conditions. Secondly, there is much better communication of impending severe weather. Finally, with improved knowledge of severe conditions, mankind has learned to design structures that protect us from the hazards.

The final scare story that needs to be laid to rest is that of species extinction as a result of climate change. The popular press reports this regularly. “’Climate change now represents at least as great a threat to the number of species surviving on Earth as habitat-destruction and modification,’ said Chris Thomas, a conservation biologist at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. – - the predicted range of climate change by 2050 will place 15 to 35 percent of the 1,103 species studied at risk of extinction. The numbers are expected to hold up when extrapolated globally, potentially dooming more than a million species. ”[26]

However, science prefers predictions that are testable. A recent serious study concluded that “Surprisingly, [there is no] straightforward relationship between local extinction and limited tolerances to high temperature.” [27]. Indeed, this follows from common sense. Figure 10 shows the average monthly conditions for a sub-tropical southern hemisphere city. The boxes show the average daily maxima and minima, the lines show the highest and lowest temperatures ever recorded, and the lower and upper horizontal lines reflect the annual average temperature in 1900 and 2000 respectively.

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Figure 10. Monthly temperatures in a sub-tropical city, and annual averages in 1900 and 2000

It is reasonable to ask how the relatively small average temperature change can be detected by organisms that every year are likely to be exposed to changes some 50 times larger, to which they seem perfectly adapted.

The final reason for ongoing scepticism is the behaviour of some of the proponents of the climate change thesis. It starts with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It has become a political body rather than a technical body. The best illustration of this is the publication of the Panel’s reports. It is preceded by the publication of a summary for policy makers. This summary often differs in material respects from the findings of the main report, and invariably puts a politically correct slant on what is supposed to be a dispassionate review of the scientific literature[28].

The IPCC’s work is not aided by the fact that much of the work reported is not scientific, but reproduced from activist literature. The Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise has documented this problem in detail[29].

For example, she tracks how a relatively unknown professor of epidemiology, Anthony McMichael, who had written a polemic in 1991, became a lead author of the chapter on malaria and the health effects of climate change, even though he had no professional publications about malaria and even though some of his conclusions were rejected by members of the Panel who were world experts on the subject.

Sections of McMichael’s book appeared almost verbatim in the IPCC’s Assessment Report in 1995. This led directly to the thesis that global warming will increase the spread of malaria. There is no evidence that this is likely, because malaria has been known in cold climates for centuries. Moreover, the spread of malaria is known to be almost entirely a function of social conditions and public health.

The fight against malaria is not helped by those who claim that climate change is part of the problem. If they had their way, the accent would be on addressing climate change rather than fighting malaria. This illustrates a danger of accepting a possibly flawed thesis too uncritically – resources may be diverted from essential activities affecting the lives of millions in the hope that there will be a positive impact on putative risks that could affect billions. Before taking such a decision, one needs to be very certain indeed that the putative risks can be avoided by the diverting of resources.

Another reason for scepticism is that the debate about climate change has revealed some major imperfections in the scientists themselves. Some players on the human-induced climate-change playing field have shown themselves to be only too human in the defence of the indefensible. For example, two scientists did what scientists are supposed to do – they peer-reviewed the work of some 200 other scientists[30]. They reported that:

“Across the world, many records reveal that the 20th century is probably not the warmest nor a uniquely extreme climatic period of the last millennium.”

This was totally contrary to the thesis that today’s warming was exceptional. Accordingly the believers in human-induced change forced the editor of the journal that had published the review to resign, and went out of their way to try to destroy the reputations of the two authors. All this (and more) was revealed when a series of emails found its way into the public domain from the Hadley Centre at the University of East Anglia[31].

The world is a bit warmer. The carbon dioxide levels of the atmosphere are increasing. Plants are doing better than before because of the higher carbon dioxide[32]. The sea is rising in a barely detectable way. Climatic disasters are no worse than previously. The animal kingdom is being squeezed by the growth of a single species, us, but that has nothing to do with global warming.

And that is why there is a climate of scepticism.

References


[1] http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/29/gisstimating-1998/ Accessed January 2013

[2]http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/watts-et-al_2012_discussion_paper_webrelease.pdf Accessed January 2013

[3] http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/AMSRE_Sea_Ice_Extent_L.png Accessed January 2013

[4] Paul, F., Kääb, A. and Haeberli, W. Recent glacier changes in the Alps observed by satellite: Consequences for future monitoring strategies, Global and Planetary Change, Volume 56, Issues 1–2, March 2007, Pages 111-122, ISSN 0921-8181, 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2006.07.007.

(http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921818106001603) Accessed January 2013

[5] Mölg, T., and D. R. Hardy (2004), Ablation and associated energy balance of a horizontal glacier surface on Kilimanjaro, J. Geophys. Res., 109, D16104, doi:10.1029/2003JD004338.

[6] http://scienceofdoom.com/roadmap/atmospheric-radiation-and-the-greenhouse-effect/ Accessed January 2013

[7] http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/gases.html Accessed January 2013

[8] http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcrut4/ Accessed January 2013

[9] http://co2now.org/Current-CO2/CO2-Now/noaa-mauna-loa-co2-data.html Accessed January 2013

[10] http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2005/s2412.htm Accessed January 2013

[11] http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/glo.html Accessed January 2013

[12] http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/icecore/antarctica/vostok/vostok.html Accessed January 2013

[13] Randall, D.A., R.A. Wood, S. Bony, R. Colman, T. Fichefet, J. Fyfe, V. Kattsov, A. Pitman, J. Shukla, J. Srinivasan, R.J. Stouffer, A. Sumi and K.E. Taylor, 2007: Climate Models and Their Evaluation. In: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. WG1, Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Solomon, S. et al, (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

[14] See Randall, D.A. et al, op cit p. 640: “A number of diagnostic tests have been proposed…but few of them have been applied to a majority of the models currently in use. Moreover, it is not yet clear which tests are critical for constraining future projections (of warming). Consequently, a set of model metrics that might be used to narrow the range of plausible climate change feedbacks and climate sensitivity has yet to be developed.

[15] Spencer, R.W. and Braswell, W.D Potential Biases in Feedback Diagnosis from Observational Data: A Simple Model Demonstration, J Climate 21 5624-5627, 2008 DOI: 10.1175/2008JCLI2253.1

[16] Meehl, G.A., T.F. Stocker, W.D. Collins, P. Friedlingstein, A.T. Gaye, J.M. Gregory, A. Kitoh, R. Knutti, J.M. Murphy, A. Noda, S.C.B. Raper, I.G. Watterson, A.J. Weaver and Z.-C. Zhao, 2007: Global Climate Projections. In: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. WG1, Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Solomon, S., et al (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

[17] Douglass, D. H., Christy, J. R., Pearson, B. D. and Singer, S. F. (2008), A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model predictions. Int. J. Climatol., 28: 1693–1701. doi: 10.1002/joc.1651

[18] Spencer, R.W. and Christy, J.R. 1992: Precision and Radiosonde Validation of Satellite Gridpoint Temperature Anomalies. Part I: MSU Channel 2. J. Climate, 5, 847–857.

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/1520-0442(1992)005<0847:PARVOS>2.0.CO;2 Accessed January 2013

[19] http://climexp.knmi.nl/data/pHadEWP_monthly_qc.dat Accessed January 2013

[20] http://www.psmsl.org/data/obtaining/rlr.monthly.data/12.rlrdata Accessed January 2013

[21] http://sealevel.colorado.edu/ Accessed January 2013

[22] Fischetti, M. Drowning New Orleans. Scientific American, October 2001, pp34-42

[23] http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2012/11/us-hurricane-intensity-1900-2012.html Accessed January 2013

[24] IPCC, 2012: Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation. A Special Report of Working Groups I and II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Field, C.B. et al (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

[25] Goklany, I.M. Wealth and Safety: The Amazing Decline in Deaths from Extreme Weather in an Era of Global Warming, 1900–2010. Reason Foundation, Washington DC and Los Angeles, CA, 2011

http://reason.org/files/deaths_from_extreme_weather_1900_2010.pdf Accessed January 2013

[26] http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/01/0107_040107_extinction.html Accessed January 2013

[27] Cahill, A.E, Aiello-Lammens, M.E., Fisher-Reid, M.C., Hua, X., Karanewsky, C.J., Ryu, H.Y., Sbeglia, G.C, Spagnolo, F., Waldron, J.B., Warsi, O. and Wiens, J.J. How does climate change cause extinction? Proc. Royal Soc. B 2012 doi: 10.1098/rspb.2012.1890

http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/early/2012/10/15/rspb.2012.1890.full Accessed January 2013

[28] http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200506/ldselect/ldeconaf/12/1207.htmAccessed January 2013

[29] Laframboise, Donna The Delinquent Teenager who was mistaken for the world’s top climate expert. Ivy Avenue Press, Toronto 2011. ISBN: 978-1-894984-05-8

[30] Soon, W. and Baliunas, S. Proxy climatic and environmental changes of the past 1000 years. Climate Research Vol. 23, pp89–110, 2003

[31] http://www.assassinationscience.com/climategate/1/climactic-research-unit-foi-leaked-data.zip Accessed January 2013

[32] http://www.co2science.org/data/plant_growth/plantgrowth.php Accessed January 2013

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144 thoughts on “A climate of scepticism

  1. Excellent summation. AGW never passed the smell test when the global temperature rise out of the LIA has been relatively constant per century having no regard to man’s CO2 contribution.

    Clearly the hockey stick graph is the mental image that creates the panic in an alarmists mind. Too bad the more factual graphs with a longer history are not similarly in people’s heads. I cringe when I read alarmists saying the AWG signal is there.

    It’s a sad day when ‘science’ resorts to the level of a subjective reading of tea leaves or animal entrails.

  2. Sections of McMichael’s book appeared almost verbatim in the IPCC’s Assessment Report in 1995. This led directly to the thesis that global warming will increase the spread of malaria.

    Yet as the world has warmed for over 100 years what is the result?

    16 April 2010
    Abstract
    Climate change and the global malaria recession

    ………………..Our findings have two key and often ignored implications with respect to climate change and malaria. First, widespread claims that rising mean temperatures have already led to increases in worldwide malaria morbidity and mortality are largely at odds with observed decreasing global trends in both its endemicity and geographic extent. Second, the proposed future effects of rising temperatures on endemicity are at least one order of magnitude smaller than changes observed since about 1900 and up to two orders of magnitude smaller than those that can be achieved by the effective scale-up of key control measures. Predictions of an intensification of malaria in a warmer world, based on extrapolated empirical relationships or biological mechanisms, must be set against a context of a century of warming that has seen marked global declines in the disease and a substantial weakening of the global correlation between malaria endemicity and climate.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v465/n7296/full/nature09098.html

    I extrapolate that global warming reduces malaria. There is a clear correlation. / sarc

  3. It is always pleasing to read a well constructed argument based on sound common sense backed up by data.

  4. A well reasoned brief. There is a similar but much more detailed discussion in the climate change chapter of The Arts of Truth. The IPCC AR4 is deconstructed to show how and why meta analysis selection bias was used to justify experimentally erroneous GCMs, and how those (deliberate) biases lead directly to a significant overestimate of equilibrium without which there is little reason for climate concern.

  5. Bravo! I enjoy trying to follow the more involved and detailed arguments on WUWT and other sites, mostly because they force me to get off my lazy behind and learn things, but this nicely summarizes my difficulties with AGW without delving into some of the harder to follow details. Well done.

  6. Support for the theory that man is causing global warming is fueled primarily by liberal-driven media hype. We need to sweep away all the secondary issues to concentrate on the two main points:
    1. Current temperatures are not unusual. The hockey stick, which was a fabrication by the Berkeley grad Michael Mann to imply that temperatures in the 20th century were skyrocketing and in at record levels, was debunked. Simply put, there is nothing wrong with the climate.
    2. Even if temperatures were unusually high, there is no evidence that CO2 has anything to do with it. That’s true, and for a primer on the CO2 topic see (and please help share!!, because the public for the most part does not know this) this video that convincingly exposes Al Gore’s & the IPCC’s glaring deceptions on CO2:

  7. An excellent summary.
    Concise, polite and well-written.
    Possibly a little too polite on some of the antics [a few might call those 'fraud'] of the Provisional Climatistas.
    Many thanks.

    Auto.

  8. At this point I don’t think we can tell if it is warming or cooling in the short term because the records are so mucked up. Hansen’s continually changing GISS graphs

    But there are indications that it is starting to cool in the short term.
    Length of Arctic Melt Season graph

    Hudson Bay Ice growth 2008 – 2012 graph

    Northern Hemisphere autumn snowfall (Oct) graph

    NOAA long term Holocene Snow Accumulation Graph

    And we DO KNOW the temperatures are cooling long term graph

  9. An excellent summation.

    I am not as willing to accept the accuracy of the historic temperature record as you apparently are. There are huge swathes of the earth where I think records may not be reliable.

    Do you really believe that Russian temperature records from, say, 1917-1950 are reliable? Do you honestly believe that Chinese temperature records from, say, 1913-1980 are reliable? Do you really believe that Sub-Saharan African temperatures from, say 1850-2012 are accurate?

    I don’t.

  10. I will be bookmarking and saving a copy of this article to summarize for people my skepticism. It inspires and encourages other questions for which I am well prepared. Very well done. Thanks.

  11. What about the past 12,000 years? Seems no one talks much about that Sea level was some 400 feet lower then. Does any one really know after an ice age will the planet be almost ice free on it’s own if humans were not here in great numbers like today? The planet is due for an ice age to start soon from ice and soil cores? There is nothing then can stop climate cycles caused by the sun. It just really make me mad governments are trying to use climate BS to make hard working people pay more taxes. We need the governments to be regulated.

  12. Comparison of Figures 2 and 3 makes it clear that the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide is almost certainly directly related to the emissions from fossil fuels. However, the low levels of emissions up until about 1945 make it clear that the impact of the fossil fuel combustion prior to 1945 must have been very small if not negligible. Therefore the changes in global temperatures prior to 1945, shown in Figure 1, were largely natural. The additional carbon dioxide from human activities cannot have played a significant part in the changes prior to 1945.

    I disagree with this statement and I feel it is incorrect. Figure 2 could show a slow increasing slope reflecting the slight warming of the oceans. The second is the rapid growth in CO2 emissions. We see no similar acceleration in Figure 2.

    Wikipedia CO2 in atmosphere is 3.16×1015 kg (about 3,000 gigatonnes). Are emissions pathetic.

    You cannot make this link.

  13. Brilliant. Thank you Prof Lloyd.

    John W. Garrett says:
    January 18, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Do you really believe that Russian temperature records from, say, 1917-1950 are reliable? Do you honestly believe that Chinese temperature records from, say, 1913-1980 are reliable? Do you really believe that Sub-Saharan African temperatures from, say 1850-2012 are accurate?

    I don’t.

    Agreed, but that’s besides the point. The point is, the data we have – reliable or not – does not show that CAGW exists. The CAGW hypothesis is an epic fail.

  14. John W. Garrett – For what reason(s) are you not willing to accept the records? Equipment, manual process, no automated means, etc? I’m not trying to beat you up over this, rather, I wasn’t there either but in my view, without a good reason (better than Ancient Chinese Secret) those records are the best we have and the propaganda on Al Gore’s Warming certainly didn’t start much before his mockumentary. Also, lots of the people who took those records, took a lot of pride in knowing they could be working on a project which out lived them.
    In short, there should be a better reason than the people who did the work aren’t around to question.

  15. No problem. The science and observed facts are simply an inconvenience to be dealt with.
    Harvard, the Columbia School of Journalism and The Scholars Strategy Network are already on it and developing media countermeasures.
    “NAMING THE PROBLEM
    What It Will Take to Counter Extremism and
    Engage Americans in the Fight against Global Warming”
    Piece of cake.

    http://www.scholarsstrategynetwork.org/sites/default/files/skocpol_captrade_report_january_2013_0.pdf

  16. Umm, this line in the post needs a re-write ?

    “In science, a single experiment can suffice to prove a theory, if the experiment finds an unexpected result as predicted by the theory. “…………
    ======
    Insert “falsify” for “prove” ?

  17. davyinuk says:
    January 18, 2013 at 12:03 pm
    I disagree with this statement and I feel it is incorrect. Figure 2 could show a slow increasing slope reflecting the slight warming of the oceans.
    I agree with the author here.
    Sea surface temperatures have not changed since March 1997 or 15 years, 10 months (goes to December). However CO2 has climbed steadily. I know that others may not agree, but if we had an opportunity to debate a person believing in CAGW and we said our emissions are negligible over the last 100 years, I wonder how many in the audience would immediately tune us out.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1997.1/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1997.1/trend/plot/esrl-co2/from:1997.1/normalise/plot/esrl-co2/from:1997.1/normalise/trend

  18. Professor Lloyd, it seems to be of critical importance to mention the lag of CO2 relative to temperture. The data indicate an 800 year lag, which if true is important because of the so-called synergistic effect that CO2 has on the warming effect of water vapor. If the synergism was as powerful as the modellers claim, you would never achieve the periodic cooling that is so evident over the past 650,000 years.

  19. Well that is a rather nice collection of data, and well presented.
    Personally, I have never doubted, that some places had warmed a bit, so glaciers retreated (for whatever reason). I also have no quarrel with the claim that CO2 absorbs some of the outgoing LWIR and helps warm the atmosphere, as do H2O and O3. All three of those also absorb some of the incoming solar radiation, which thus never arrives at the surface to contribute to earths solar energy storage. That too also warms the atmosphere, and a warmer atmosphere rises to where it can radiate LWIR energy back to space. It is less apaprent to me, that a warmer atmosphere can warm the surface. All of the heat transport mechanisms, are biassed in the upwards direction, and not in the downward direction. The sole downward process, of LWIR emissions both molecular resonances, and ordinary thermal continuum emissions, do not seem to contribute much to surface warming, since they mostly result in enhanced evaporation from the ocean surfaces, rather than storage in the deep oceans.

    And I’m not at all impressed by hundreds of years of statistical prestigitation, of highly questionable samples purported to be real earth Temperature measurements. Prior to about 1980, ocean water Temperatures were proxies for oceanic air Temperatures, and in 2001, John Christie et al showed they aren’t the same and they aren’t correlated; so they aren’t correctible. Ergo Junque in; junque out. HadCrut and GISSTemp, maybe good accounts of Hadcrut and GISSTemp. but they aren’t credible records of Temperatures over the earth surface. Statistics doesn’t trump Nyquist.

    But the bottom line is that on any ordinary northern midsummer day, it is possible to find simultaneous earth surface Temperatures covering a range of over 120 deg C, and possibly as much as 150 deg C, and therefore every possible Temperature within that range can be found at a near infinity of points. So Why do we even pay any attention to a p[ssible one deg F change in some purported measure of earth Temperature, occurring over 150 years.

    Lloyd’s fig 2 has 50+ years of ML data and 60 years of WAG extrapolation, yet we know that CO2 in the Arctic varies over three times the range, that is has at ML, yet we are told that CO2 is well mixed in the atmosphere; it clearly isn’t having almost no cylic change over Antarctica.

    Regardless of the merits of any science represented here; the whole thing is a mere storm in a teacup.

    And speaking of storms, such as NO’s Katrina/Katerina/whatever, hurricanes, specially category five ones, are known to transport gigatons of water up into the atmosphere; many thousands of metres high.

    So it is of no consequence whatever how high NO’s levees were or how robust they were. If you fill a swimming pool with water; it gets wet on the bottom. And if you make the walls higher, the water gets deeper. Having the levees collapse, was the best way to let the hurricane water escape from the NO swimming pool; no walls are ever going to keep it out.

    But Phillip has given us a nice readable summary of some of where our tax dollars are being wasted on fluff; it’s a paper well worth keeping.

  20. There is a link error.

    “The physics of how carbon dioxide traps infra-red radiation is well known[6]. But there . . . ”

    That link [6] takes you to this WUWT article:

    Temperature reconstruction of Greenland shows ups and downs in climate happened over 5600 years

    John

  21. Guest post by Philip Lloyd, Energy Institute, CPUT: “The world is getting a little warmer. Of that there is no doubt. The measurements by which we know that it is warming are poor. The figures are not accessible, and keep on changing[1]. Many points at which temperature is measured are badly sited, and bound to give misleading results[2]. But in spite of this, all agree that the world is warmer than it was 150 years ago.”
    =============================================================

    Sounds like a piece of satire to me.

    The problem is that it is no satire. Mr. Lloyd does mean it seriously. Unbelievable.

  22. ” Figure 1 shows the global temperature record as kept by the Hadley Centre at the University of East Anglia[8].”

    Article would look more credible if the author knew the difference between Met. Office Hadley and UEA. Also the linked ref. [8] seems to go to another WUWT article which seems to be nothing to do with either, presumably a typo in making the link.

  23. John W. Garrett says:

    January 18, 2013 at 11:43 am
    An excellent summation.

    I am not as willing to accept the accuracy of the historic temperature record as you apparently are. There are huge swathes of the earth where I think records may not be reliable.

    Do you really believe that Russian temperature records from, say, 1917-1950 are reliable? Do you honestly believe that Chinese temperature records from, say, 1913-1980 are reliable? Do you really believe that Sub-Saharan African temperatures from, say 1850-2012 are accurate?

    I don’t.

    And I don’t think our author does either but if you are trying to establish the validity of a theory which of itself is based on their less than accurate data what other choice would you have.

  24. Allow me to add my thanks for a well written essay. It was a pleasure to read and will be useful in the years ahead.

    Bookmarked for future reference!

  25. While I agree with much of the above, I’m not comfortable with the claim that skeptics don’t believe in the A of AGW. The truth is more complicated, and I for one believe that there is an anthropogenic component, if not one as pronounced as the IPCC projects. I think belief vs non-belief in AGW is the same false dichotomy that brands skeptics as “deniers”. By its very nature, skepticism is…complicated.

  26. “All this (and more) was revealed when a series of emails found its way into the public domain from the Hadley Centre at the University of East Anglia[31].”

    Now you really need to know who you are talking about!

    The UK Meteorological Office , Hadley Centre is part of the Ministry of Defence. The Climate Research Unit (CRU) is part of the University of East Angial.

  27. u.k.(us) says:

    January 18, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Umm, this line in the post needs a re-write ?

    “In science, a single experiment can suffice to prove a theory, if the experiment finds an unexpected result as predicted by the theory. “…………
    ======
    Insert “falsify” for “prove” ?

    ================
    ‘Prove’ as in Test.
    Proof load for lifting gear.
    Indeed – proofs in publishing.

    Surely.

    Auto.

  28. “Comparison of Figures 2 and 3 makes it clear that the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide is almost certainly directly related to the emissions from fossil fuels.”

    Almost certainly not. It is very clear that CO2 is temperature dependent, as this graph shows. The relationship for the great majority of CO2 in the atmosphere can be modeled by the differential equation

    dCO2/dt = k*(T – To)

    where k and To are affine parameters chosen to fit the data, and T is the global temperature anomaly. Human inputs are necessarily rapidly sequestered, and have small impact.

  29. ” The evidence for this is building. For instance, there has been about a 40% increase in atmospheric CO2 since 1945, which would imply 1.2oC of warming if doubling the CO2 caused a 3oC rise. Figure 1 shows that the actual warming over this period has only been about 0.4oC.”

    This assumes a linear relationship between CO2 and temp. It is generally considered to be logarithmic.

    ” The detrended temperatures were what is known as “normally distributed”, i.e. there was nothing abnormal or skewed about them. ”

    No, that is not what a normal distribution means.

    “The data were therefore detrended before further analysis ”
    Why detrend ? Wasn’t the downward trend of the last 9000y “natural”?

    Sorry, the gist of the article seems to be making a reasonable argument. but don’t try to be scientific if you are not. Get someone who understands science to at least proof read it for you.

    There is more than enough crap science going around on AGW side. Countering with even more misinformed pseudo science is not exactly fighting fire with fire. More a messy food fight.

    Expect something like to attract enemy fire. Don’t make the target too easy for them !

  30. Quoting from the post:
    For example, she tracks how a relatively unknown professor of epidemiology, Anthony McMichael, who had written a polemic in 1991, became a lead author of the chapter on malaria and the health effects of climate change, even though he had no professional publications about malaria and even though some of his conclusions were rejected by members of the Panel who were world experts on the subject.
    Sections of McMichael’s book appeared almost verbatim in the IPCC’s Assessment Report in 1995. This led directly to the thesis that global warming will increase the spread of malaria. There is no evidence that this is likely, because malaria has been known in cold climates for centuries. Moreover, the spread of malaria is known to be almost entirely a function of social conditions and public health.
    ==================================
    Nothing better documents the propagandistic intent of the IPCC authors (and reports). Effective measures against malaria were devised over a century ago, and malaria is no longer a problem where such measures are applied. There is no truth in the panic-mongering concerning tropical disease.
    For, example, during work on the Panama Canal, Dr. William Gorgas applied these measures and eliminated malaria as a disease in the Canal Zone. His work of one hundred years ago is an achievement famous in the annals of epidemiological control and McMichaels cannot have been ignorant of the fact that malaria constitutes no threat to modern populations.

  31. We seem to be in an interglacial period and the loss of the heavy ice has presumably caused land to rise. or tilt. Is this taken into consideration in the theory of sea level rise among those who tell us to move back from the coastline.? This is a genuine question by someone who studied Physical Geography 101 years ago in Britain. Of course plate movements are taken into consideration , I presume.

  32. Guest post by Philip Lloyd, Energy Institute, CPUT: “But in spite of this, all agree that the world is warmer than it was 150 years ago.”
    ========================================================

    “All agree”? Sorry, but this an example of typical warmists propaganda via consensus argument .

    The opposite is true. The silent majority does not agree, neither on warming nor on “greenhouse effect”: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/30/consensus-argument-proves-climate-science-is-political/#comment-972119 .

  33. I agree with the article and I shall remain a Lukewarmer ie CO2 will cause a small change which is nothing to worry about.

  34. analyticalsciencesblog says:
    January 18, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    While I agree with much of the above, I’m not comfortable with the claim that skeptics don’t believe in the A of AGW. The truth is more complicated, and I for one believe that there is an anthropogenic component, if not one as pronounced as the IPCC projects. I think belief vs non-belief in AGW is the same false dichotomy that brands skeptics as “deniers”. By its very nature, skepticism is…complicated.
    ———————————————————–
    Good point, and you’re right, it’s complicated. My simplistic view holds that CO2 should produce some warming if we set aside the question of the sign of the sum total of positive and negative feedbacks. I think the jury is still out on that one. But that’s just my view.

  35. Anthony:

    The article is good but, as others have also noted, it requires some corrections of matters of fact.
    1.
    Scientists draw conclusions which confirm or disprove but they do not “prove”.
    2.
    The Hadley Center is part of UK Met. Office.

    Richard

  36. It’s nice that you included references but I don’t think they help strengthen your point. You almost equal reference blogs/internet sites, data sets and scientific papers. The data sets are nice to see, makes your work traceable, and so are the scientific papers, they add some validity. However, the crux of your argument tends to point to the weakest of the sets of references, blogs/websites. Most of your points are structured like this:
    1) Pro-AGW side (side in agreement with CAGW theory, I’ll use this as a short form) says this –> usually reference peer reviewed paper
    2) The data is this –> usually reference data set
    3) in truth, the data should be interpreted like this –> usually reference blog/website or not referenced at all

    This points to a problem a lot of people have on the other side of the debate, that the claims by skeptics of CAGW are largely non-vetted interpretations of the data which are contrary to the interpretation of the organization that collected/calculated the data. I’m not really commenting on the accuracy of anything, it’s a nice summary of points and the tone is civil and to the point. However, I am highlighting the issue of supporting the claims with references that aren’t all that strong.

  37. Guest post by Philip Lloyd, Energy Institute, CPUT: “There are some fairly clear signals of a warmer world. The Arctic ice is less than it was[3]. Many glaciers are retreating[4]. Some glaciers – for instance, those on Kilimanjaro – are shrinking because the long-term precipitation is less than it was 150 years ago, not because it is warmer[5]. Others are shrinking from a warmer climate.”
    =============================================================

    This is really bad.

    No local or regional warming/cooling can be an evidence of a global warming/cooling.

    The so called “global warming” is a sort of average thing by definition and by the way it has been calculated. Therefore you can have warming here and cooling there, but that does not say anything about the average. It is a junior high school stuff, actually.

    The second thing is that the claims about glaciers are scientifically outrageous. I am sure that only very few people know that in the whole world only 226 glaciers from more than 100,000 (!) registered ones had been somehow more or less studied for more or less short time.

    In their special report “Global Glacier Changes: facts and figures” (2008) the UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) admitted this: “However, these values are to be considered first order estimates due to the rather small number of mass balance observations and their probably limited representativeness for the entire surface ice on land, outside the continental ice sheets.” They have buried this on the page 29, thus invalidating their own scaremongering on the previous pages.

    The link to the whole report is dead now, but the report still can be found on the internet: http://www.filedropper.com/glaciers .

  38. “The figures are not accessible, and keep on changing.”
    This is often said but it’s just not right. GHCN Unadjusted is perfectly accessible. It comes directly from the original records and doesn’t change. Earlier versions were distributed on DVD.

  39. Philip Lloyd,

    The comprehensive and integrated aspects of your article make it a nice addition to a skeptic’s reference network. Thank you.

    However, a couple of revisions are necessary in my opinion to make it worthy of the title ‘climate of skepticism’:

    a) you say “The physics of how carbon dioxide traps infra-red radiation is well known[6]. But there are other molecules in the atmosphere that also trap infra-red radiation. Water vapour is the predominant “greenhouse gas”[7]. What is not so clear is the extent to which the trapping of energy causes heating.” The concept of ‘trapping’ is not scientifically accurate wrt the interaction of LWIR and the molecules of: H2O, CO2, O3 & CH4. It is extremely important to be very specific and accurate on this because all aspects of the alarming AGW thesis rests on what this phenomena implies. Please see a more accurate and understandable descriptions by either regular WUWT commenter ‘george e. smith’ or ‘rgbatduke’. Trapping terminology is insufficient.

    b) The Carbon Cycle that is the basis of the latest IPCC AR’s contains: 1) inappropriate claims of reasonable small uncertainties, 2) insufficient evaluation of the sources of carbon isotopic ratios and 3) both significant unidentified and incorrect interpretation of the dynamic relationships between sources and sinks. A search of WUWT will lead to balanced sources of info. The Carbon Cycle subject is a central controversial dialog between scientists that is insufficiently resolved for an AGW thesis to be credible.

    c) The accurate attribution of any warming in the industrial era to man’s activities rest on comprehensively and unambiguously separating it out of non-anthropogenic temperature signals. This area is work still in progress without achieving levels of significance. Also the historical temperature records and proxy records have critical impact on the attribution assessment. Concerns over intentional systemic bias introduced by scientific bodies charged with managing the databases cannot in a good scientific practice be disregarded.

    d) The ocean dynamics are undervalued by the IPCC ARs and this need articulation in a ‘climate of skepticism’.

    Again, I appreciate your initial effort. With all the WUWT input I think you will achieve a notable ‘climate of skepticism’. Good luck.

    John

  40. I think the article is pretty well written, typos and minor irritations aside. However, my instant reaction to the lead in paragraph – that we all agree there is warming – was
    1) No, actually, I don’t necessarily agree – given that half the station data at least is affected by UHI, and the limited data we have cannot be expected to represent anything but a smidgen of an ‘interglacial time period’ (circa 12000years!). error bars greater than measured variation are a bit of a worry!
    2) To define warming, per se, we need to define our reference point within the natural cycle too – so, when looking at the reconstructed temps over several hundred thousand years, we, with our alleged 0.1 to 1.0 degree of warming (pick the value you prefer!) are barely a blip on the natural variation ‘scale’ from ice age to interglacial.
    So, I am not one who categorically accepts the global climate is warming. I do accept that current data may reasonably show a current ‘temporal’ warming trend – but the 70′s showed a cooling trend! – if you averaged across them, it’s less significant. Considering temerature swings across interglacials makes such ‘measured’ warming insignificant!. Hence, agreeing to the ‘warming’ is a bit more subjective that the author suggests IMO.

  41. If anyone evidence for being skeptical about climate, all they a have to do is come down here and see the severest frost we have ever had in Terra Del Fiago. A foot of ice formed over the pond out the front last night. This has never happened before.

  42. RHS says:
    January 18, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    John W. Garrett – For what reason(s) are you not willing to accept the records? Equipment, manual process, no automated means, etc? I’m not trying to beat you up over this, rather, I wasn’t there either but in my view, without a good reason (better than Ancient Chinese Secret) those records are the best we have and the propaganda on Al Gore’s Warming certainly didn’t start much before his mockumentary. Also, lots of the people who took those records, took a lot of pride in knowing they could be working on a project which out lived them.
    In short, there should be a better reason than the people who did the work aren’t around to question.

    None of the records were for climatalogical purposes. They were just ongoing weather records. There is, admittedly anecdotal, evidence that some of it was just made up on the basis of, much the same as yesterday

    We’re trying to base science on this?

    Even the dubious concept that an average Earth temperature is meaningful based on this data is nonsensical

    DaveE.

  43. Thanks for this, very useful.

    If there is one point which I think is really strong but not given enough attention it is the lack of rapid sea level rise. If the average global temperature really was rising at an unprecedented rate there would be significant ice melt from glaciers and ice caps and also thermal expansion of the oceans. So we can almost think of the oceans as a proxy for a giant mercury thermometer. They should be rising like crazy, but instead the rate of rise is slowing.

  44. “Where the sceptic differs from many other scientists is in ascribing the warming to human activities ”
    no it’s not.
    1 degree of potential warming due to AGW is widely agreed. the difference is beyond the 1 degree. recent warming is 1 degree or less.

  45. Nick Stokes:

    At January 18, 2013 at 2:48 pm you write

    “The figures are not accessible, and keep on changing.”
    This is often said but it’s just not right. GHCN Unadjusted is perfectly accessible. It comes directly from the original records and doesn’t change. Earlier versions were distributed on DVD.

    Oh dear. NO! Clearly, you have not read this

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/memo/climatedata/uc0102.htm

    Richard

  46. Without disputing the scientific validity of Dr Lloyd’s essay, I question whether the definition of climate skepticism is unbelief in AGW. In my observation, the one constant throughout the skeptical community is that we refuse to buy the CAGW story. Some of us have never denied AGW (though if Dr Lloyd is right, perhaps we should have), but none of us think carbon dioxide emissions will lead to catastrophic warming.

    Similarly, we shouldn’t let believers get away with epithets like “denier” unless they can show they understand (as they almost never understand) that they’re talking about “CAGW deniers.”

  47. Call me skeptical if you want to, but how can a comprehensive climate summary ignore ocean heat?

    Accident was it?

  48. John W. Garrett says:
    January 18, 2013 at 11:43 am

    An excellent summation.

    I am not as willing to accept the accuracy of the historic temperature record as you apparently are. There are huge swathes of the earth where I think records may not be reliable.

    Do you really believe that Russian temperature records from, say, 1917-1950 are reliable? Do you honestly believe that Chinese temperature records from, say, 1913-1980 are reliable? Do you really believe that Sub-Saharan African temperatures from, say 1850-2012 are accurate?
    —————————————————————-
    I probably agree. The trouble is that if you are saying that socialists cannot read thermometers and keep records, you are wiping out most of the world’s climate records for the last century.
    NOAA, NASA, PIK, UEA, UK Met Office, Envro Canada and the EU all have clear socialist agendas. The universities of world have been strongly socialist for about 100 years with RADFEM and PC added over the last 50 years. All academic work is open to doubt by that standard.

  49. Climate Ace:

    Your entire post at January 18, 2013 at 4:16 pm says

    Call me skeptical if you want to, but how can a comprehensive climate summary ignore ocean heat?

    Accident was it?

    It was clearly not an “accident”. A brief summarising article cannot include everything which refutes the nonsense of AGW. As you suggest, the issue of ocean heat does provide powerful refutations of AGW (e.g. missing ‘Trenberth’s heat’, missing ‘committed warming, etc.) but these matters are too technical for inclusion in a summarising article.

    Also, “skeptical” is not one of the several words I would call you or use to describe you.

    Richard

  50. Guest post by Philip Lloyd, Energy Institute, CPUT: “The physics of how carbon dioxide traps infra-red radiation is well known[6]“
    ============================================================

    Really? Your [6] is a blog article where you indeed can find a claim about the so called “greenhouse effect”, but no experimental proof that it really works in the real world.

  51. One quibble:
    “The world is getting a little warmer. Of that there is no doubt.”

    Make that, “The world has got a little warmer”.
    There is considerable doubt whether the world IS CURRENTLY getting warmer .

  52. An excellent primer.

    In my view, it would be worth making a nicely presented PDF of this article that we can save and distribute to friends and family who might be tempted to fall for the MSM propaganda.

  53. “Guest post by Philip Lloyd; says…
    …The world is a bit warmer. The carbon dioxide levels of the atmosphere are increasing. Plants are doing better than before because of the higher carbon dioxide[32]. The sea is rising in a barely detectable way. Climatic disasters are no worse than previously. The animal kingdom is being squeezed by the growth of a single species, us, but that has nothing to do with global warming…”

    Some information is well represented and documented. Other information is taken at face value, for unknown reasons and very little documentation. Not quite enough scientific questioning rigor applied to many of the ‘everyone’ agrees/accepts/knows positions

    “…But in spite of this, all agree that the world is warmer than it was 150 years ago…”

    I can roughly agree that the world is warmer; than it was since the last glacial advance period. We are in an interglacial! Warming and cooling are episodic and stable climate periods in history are basically nonexistant!
    Until our weather can be demonstrated with absolute precision, accounting for every variable, Earth is just in another interglacial period.
    When mankind has the knowledge, ability AND the wisdom to control Eath’s climate; then they darn well better figure out how to preserve interglacial’s maximum warm weather! Not have mankind run willynilly starving the poor, bankrupting society and NOT having a clue what effect they REALLY will have.

    “…There are some fairly clear signals of a warmer world. The Arctic ice is less than it was[3]…”

    Perhaps if everyone goes to sea in longboats and raises sheep in Greenland we might get a real idea what the artic is doing… Which does absolutely nothing for whatever is going on in the Antarctic… Let’s face it, the 20th century’s climate changes are only proof for how little today’s climate scientists understand climate.

    If we take the same rationale of assessing artic ice over very short timescales and apply it to seasonal snowfall; then it is obvious the world is going to freeze solid. Hold on, that was last month’s silliness, now we’re going to burn… Which to me is exactly what the climate alarmists are actually doing.

    “…Many glaciers are retreating[4]…”

    It’s what glaciers do. Snow falls and glaciers advance; less snow falls and glaciers retreat.

    “…Some glaciers – for instance, those on Kilimanjaro – are shrinking because the long-term precipitation is less than it was 150 years ago, not because it is warmer[5]…”

    The last piece I read on this the loss of glacier ice on Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Mt Fuji in Japan are more likely due to deforestation. Especially since the temperatures near Kilimanjaro have not shown any warming since satellites were able to measure the local, to Kilimanjaro, tempratures. http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2004/02/01/nature-study-debunks-kilimanjaro-glacier-myth.

    “…Others are shrinking from a warmer climate…”

    Proven how? Temperature records near glaciers are very spotty. Taking glacier retreat average of Europe and applying it to the world neither proves Europe’s glaciers are retreating because it’s a warming world nor that other glaciers are also melting from the great heat at the mountaintops…

    There are other accepted fallacies, but I’m not inclined to copy/rebut each one. Take CO2 growth; just where is the proof that CO2 growth is man’s fault? Every piece of information I’ve looked at guesses. Those with the best attempts at measurements attribute very little of the CO2 growth to mankind. Alarmists want people to believe every atom of atmospheric CO2 is there because of mankind.
    Get real! Oceans emit CO2 when warming and absorb CO2 when cooling and no, this is not a net zero process. To many critters in the sea lock onto CO2 for their shells and skeletal structures; whether directly or indirectly it means CO2 gets deposited on the ocean’s floor as calcium carbonate and the ocean needs to absorb more.
    Calcium carbonate forms an amazing array of mineral forms throughout the world and pretty much stays that way, until oceanic crust is driven under continental crust and the CO2 is released and vented via volcanos, copiuously! Man imitates this process when making quicklime, but that’s a minor burp compared to volcano emissions.

    The deal is: when a claim is ‘agreed, accepted, trusted’ it is because the science behind the claim is proven absolutely and independently replicated.

    Yeah, CO2 is a greenhouse gas; so what! Outside of the so called ‘well known’ physics, I do not know of any true proof that demonstrates with precision when, where and how much IR is absorbed by CO2 and how much energy is emitted by the CO2. For all I know, CO2 at the highest levels of our atmosphere may absorb incoming IR and re-emit more energy out to space than is truly being captured by CO2 via IR emissions from earth and subsequently radiating back and warming earth.

    And maybe people think it is hotter nowadays;
    A) because they can’t remember how hot it used to be
    B) They’re so used to A/C that they believe the climate goons when they claim it is hotter!

    If it is a claim, it must be proven. I have much doubt that the climate is little warmer, bit warmer or warmer… Read JoNova’s posts about how hot it is in Australia…

  54. Aside from the technical details others have already pointed out like the nonsensical term “heat trapping”, a title like “A Climate of Skepticism” conjured anticipation of probing a little more into the socio-political climate that invariably summons skeptical thoughts; like how the CAGW advocates engage in obvious Zohnerism in support of their cause, or how any inconvenient questioning of the dogma is met with either censorship or vitriolic attack, or the blatant hypocrisy of the “priesthood” as one commenter put it: “I’ll start believing in CAGW when those most vocally advocating it start acting like they believe it”, or how they’re willing to break the law to advance their cause.

  55. Climate Ace says:January 18, 2013 at 4:16 pm
    Call me skeptical if you want to, but how can a comprehensive climate summary ignore ocean heat?
    ================================
    What about ocean heat, Ace? Tell us what you know about ocean heat. Tell us about ocean chemistry while you are at it. Tell us all you know.

    Which is nothing.

  56. Mr. Lloyd wrote;

    “The hypothesis is that the carbon dioxide traps infra-red radiation that would otherwise escape to space. This means that some of the energy received from the sun is not lost, and the trapped energy leads to a warming of the globe.”

    Enough with the “TRAPS HEAT” nonsense already, please. Any engineer that has done any type of thermal management (yes, that is a real discipline within engineering and involves predicting and/or controlling the temperature of an object, volume, surface, etc.) knows that it is impossible to “trap heat”. It can’t be done. You also can’t “TRAP” infra-red radiation; you can carefully direct almost all of it to a specific location (search on “photon trap”) where it is converted to electrons.

    But you MOST certainly CANNOT ”trap” energy be it thermal or electromagnetic.

    A thermal insulator only SLOWS the velocity of heat flow. This is true if the insulator is a gas, a solid, or a liquid. It only functions in an insulating capacity if the velocity through the “insulator” is slower than adjacent materials. Thus fiberglass insulation (slow velocity) around a metal hot water tank (fast velocity) will cause the water in the tank to cool off more slowly, thereby saving you dollars/pounds/yen/etc. Conversely, a thin metal skin (aluminum siding, fast velocity) around thick house walls filled with fiberglass (slow velocity) will NOT speed up the cooling of the interior of the house. The material with the slowest ”speed of heat” becomes the “rate limiting process” and determines the “equilibrium temperature”, a total oxymoron BTW.

    In the specific case of interest (i.e. the climate) the material with the slowest “speed of heat” is clearly the oceans/lakes, and they determine the “equilibrium temperature” of the planet.

    Cheers, Kevin

  57. “Guest post by Philip Lloyd, Energy Institute, CPUT says
    The world is getting a little warmer…
    …The world is a bit warmer…”

    I apologize for my somewhat harsh tone. I understand that you are documenting why there is a climate of scepticism. But some of the nebulous agrees/accepts statements combined with many commenters loving your post wierded me out a bit…

    A bit, just what does that mean? nebulous terms and words should be anathema in a science statement. We either know or we don’t know and vague undefined descriptive phrases should be avoided.
    It is all too common a trait of the alarmists to state some science and throw in a lot of may, possibles, maybes, could be and so on…

    An excellent book to read is James Thurber’s “The years with Ross”; where he describes working for Harold Ross during those years when Ross built the New Yorker into one of the finest publishers of literature periodicals. Yes, superb writers either wrote for or submitted stories to the New Yorker; but Ross was an, perhaps the editor for all of them.

    I heartily commend to your observation where Thurber describes Ross’s extreme displeasure at the usage of nebulous undefined words by authors; words such as little, pretty and so on… And yes, Thurber does the equivalent of a nose tweak. Thurber also describes the extent Ross insisted that facts were checked before publishing them. And no, Ross did not rely, nor trust, his writers for knowing facts; he employed fact checkers separately.

  58. KevinK says: January 18, 2013 at 6:36 pm
    ===================
    needed to be said.

    It is water that determines climate (or the lack of it), not CO2.

  59. “The world is getting a little warmer. Of that there is no doubt.”

    Well, I wish it would hurry up, I’m freezing my ass off.

  60. Phillip Lloyd should be commended for this summary of reasonable skepticism towards the general AGW theory. Mike Smith enthuses, ” …it would be worth making a nicely presented PDF of this article that we can save and distribute to friends and family…”

    If you are looking for a good summary to defend AGW skepticism, I recommend Jo Nova’s “The Skeptic’s Handbook” available for free download

    http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/sh1/the_skeptics_handbook_2-3_lq.pdf

    Her response to attempts to refute the arguments in her booklet is

    http://joannenova.com.au/2010/07/the-unskeptical-guide-to-the-skeptics-handbook/

  61. I shouldn’t have been quite so skeptical about Loyd’s post which clearly enjoys the uncritical adulation of most posters on this thread, except for the Data Doubters, the Koolers and the Flatliners.

    Maybe Loyd didn’t leave ocean heat out of his summary because he forgot about it, but because ocean heat, and changes to ocean chemistry for that matter, are both completely irrelevant?

    There has to be a reason.

  62. Climate Ace says:
    January 18, 2013 at 8:10 pm
    I shouldn’t have been quite so skeptical about Loyd’s post which clearly enjoys the uncritical adulation of most posters on this thread, except for the Data Doubters, the Koolers and the Flatliners.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Yup, if you take out all the critical comments all you are left with is the uncritical ones. The remaining comments being all uncritical, Climate Ace’s conclusion of uncritical bias is confirmed. This is how it is done folks, reach a conclusion and then eliminate all data which does not support your conclusion. Thanks for the demonstration Climate Ace.

  63. davidmhoffer

    Great post but, if you could just clarify it, does it mean that you think ocean heat should be ignored altogether in climate science summaries?

  64. Climate Ace says:
    January 18, 2013 at 9:18 pm
    davidmhoffer
    Great post but, if you could just clarify it, does it mean that you think ocean heat should be ignored altogether in climate science summaries?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Great response, but if you could just clarify it, does it mean that you think critical comments should be ignored altogether in order to conclude the the comments are uniformly uncritical?

  65. Um, the assertion that a smaller polar ice cap is evidence of ‘warming’ is weak. It ignores that there is a “polar see-saw”. On a very long term basis, the relative warmth of the Arctic and Antarctic poles ‘swaps’. ( IMHO due to a long lunar cycle on tides as the moon moves above / below the midline of Earth in our orbit – so pulls water more north or more south.)

    As this cycle is on the order of the length of data we have for both poles, we can’t know if the present melt is just like prior melts – offset by a larger accumulation of cold and snow at the other pole. At a minimum, the sum of the two must be taken to get the real trend minus that see-saw effect. (Though even there, due to one being land and the other sea, it may not be a linear offset).

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/d-o-ride-my-see-saw-mr-bond/

    http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/13308/

    We compare our record with ice-core analyses from Greenland, based on methane synchronization(4), and find clearly asynchronous temperature changes during the deglaciation. We also find distinct differences in Antarctic records, pointing to differences in the climate evolution of the Indo-Pacific and Atlantic sectors of Antarctica. In the Atlantic sector, we find that the rate of warming slowed between 16,000 and 14,500 years ago, parallel with the deceleration of the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and with a slight cooling over Greenland. In addition, our chronology supports the hypothesis that the cooling of the Antarctic Cold Reversal is synchronous with the Bolling-Allerod warming in the northern hemisphere 14,700 years ago(5).

    So along with the evidence that CO2 and temperatures were moving all on their own 16,000 years ago, we also have that when one pole warms, the other tends to cool. All naturally.

    So unless you have correct and complete polar data from both poles the “Global” average of what you do have doesn’t mean “jack”… and we don’t have correct and complete data from both poles for anywhere near long enough to say anything about trends.

    Oh, and the ‘pace’ can be different in the two hemispheres. Same time, but different rate. That, too, would cause a ‘false trend’ in averaged thermometer data:

    http://icebubbles.ucsd.edu/Publications/SeeSaw_Seen_N&V.pdf

    A clue comes from
    Antarctic temperature histories that show a
    roughly opposite pattern: when Europe warms
    abruptly, the south begins a gradual cooling
    2.
    This trading of hot and cold between the hemispheres
    has been called the bipolar see-saw3,
    and it further implicates the Atlantic conveyor
    circulation because that circulation is known to
    orchestrate the redistribution of vast amounts
    of heat between the hemispheres.

    Also, with a lag, CO2 rises…

    The interplay of the bipolar see-saw and CO2
    can provide a coherent explanation for these
    puzzles8,9. In this view, the abrupt onset of
    Antarctic warming 18,000 years ago can
    be attributed to the bipolar see-saw, due to
    a switch-off of the Atlantic circulation in
    response to the crossing of some threshold by
    the increasing injection of meltwater from the
    northern ice sheets. Hard on the heels of this
    warming, about 300 years later10, CO2 levels in
    the atmosphere started to rise as the deep ocean
    warmed and released CO2 owing to decreased
    stratification11 or decreased Antarctic sea ice12.

    This increase is in accord with observations of
    a simultaneous rise in the abundances of the
    associated krypton and xenon markers in the
    atmosphere13.

    So, IMHO, you need to allow for the bipolar see-saw in any discussion of CO2 levels and warming of the Arctic.

  66. Congrats Prof Lloyd, on a succinct tour of necessary skepticism about the theory of AGW from CO2 emissions.

    I am particularly pleased to see the clear references to the lack of a meaningful temperature increase at 11 km altitude – a core teaching in the school of AGW. I have been watching that closely.

    KevinK: it is a bit humorous to read your attempts to teach a chemistry professor and past president of an engineering society about heat transfer. Prof Lloyd could pack an article per week with fresh arguments about why we should be skeptical about AGW.

    Thanks again Philip. It was a lovely surprise. It contains much in a brief paper.
    Crispin

  67. John W. Garrett says:
    January 18, 2013 at 11:43 am
    Do you really believe that Russian temperature records from, say, 1917-1950 are reliable?

    And I didn’t believe the Russians when they put Sputnik in space before we did. I mean, c’mon, the monkey was lying.

    Do you honestly believe that Chinese temperature records from, say, 1913-1980 are reliable?

    Yeah! Right ON! Chairman Mao’s agrarian revolution in the last half of that period was done with wet finger (middle) in the air. He measured bupkis.

    Do you really believe that Sub-Saharan African temperatures from, say 1850-2012 are accurate?

    I absolutely do not. The Stellenbosch and Franschhoek wine regions grew by Eyes Wide Shut, everyone knows that. And those Brits were too busy with gin and tonics and apartheid to note the temps on their farms.

  68. Climate Ace says:
    January 18, 2013 at 9:46 pm
    DMH
    No need to be coy about the irrelevance of ocean heat, if that is what you believe.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    You said something incredibly dumb and when I pointed it out you coyly tried to change the subject and when I point that out you accuse me of being coy. Wow. Really trying to sucker someone into taking a position on OHC, huh? Why play the game? If you have some piece of data that you think delivers some conclusion of significance, by all means, post it. You don’t need anyone to answer your question one way or another do you? If you think there is relevant data regarding OHC that either supports or discredits the article, trot it out. Why be coy? Just show us what you got.

    You do got something don’t you?

  69. davidmhoffer says: January 18, 2013 at 9:59 pm
    You do got something don’t you?
    ======================
    Actually, no. Ace never has anything to show. He is all mouth.

  70. @Greg Goodman

    ” The evidence for this is building. For instance, there has been about a 40% increase in atmospheric CO2 since 1945, which would imply 1.2oC of warming if doubling the CO2 caused a 3oC rise. Figure 1 shows that the actual warming over this period has only been about 0.4oC.”
    ——————————
    This assumes a linear relationship between CO2 and temp. It is generally considered to be logarithmic.”

    That does not invalidate the argument. With a logarithmic relationship a 40 % increase should produce even more than 1.2 degree warming ( if the assumption of 3 degree rise of temperature or a doubling of CO2 were true).

    ” The detrended temperatures were what is known as “normally distributed”, i.e. there was nothing abnormal or skewed about them. ”
    ———————————–
    No, that is not what a normal distribution means.”

    I think this article is meant for laypersons. Can you suggest a better way to explain to a layperson what “normally distributed” means?

    I find, when you talk to non-scientists, you always walk a fine line between being accurate and understandable. I feel that Professor Lloyd did an outstanding job walking just that line.

  71. RHS says: John W. Garrett – For what reason(s) are you not willing to accept the records? Equipment, manual process, no automated means, etc? I’m not trying to beat you up over this, rather, I wasn’t there either but in my view, without a good reason (better than Ancient Chinese Secret) those records are the best we have and the propaganda on Al Gore’s Warming certainly didn’t start much before his mockumentary. Also, lots of the people who took those records, took a lot of pride in knowing they could be working on a project which out lived them.
    In short, there should be a better reason than the people who did the work aren’t around to question.

    Come on RHS, what planet are you living on? I’m not trying to beat you up either, but they are NOT the best records–they are doctored–aren’t you following any of the this?–the links in these post comments–for starters? There is a “better reason” but you won’t follow it. (another thing–I lived in Russia in ’92 and very little “science” there can be trusted–very little) but the point now is that TODAY’s records about the past are not to be trusted because if Hansen et al here are doctoring them, you can’t trust the rest of the world (see the New Zealand debaucle and Bom too…)

    go read Gail combs above and read this

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2012/11/23/smoking-gun-that-ushcn-adjustments-are-fraudulent-2/

    http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/Hansen_GlobalTemp.htm

    Why is Garrett not willing to accept the records? All of the above.

    And John Whitman says: Concerns over intentional systemic bias introduced by scientific bodies charged with managing the databases cannot in a good scientific practice be disregarded.

    thanks!!! perfect sentence and I am bookmarking this.

  72. There is a deep epistemological reason one can’t trust results supported solely by computational climate models (GCMs).

    Fitting multiple models of high Kolmogorov complexity to a single run of a unique physical instance is not science. Real science seeks a single model of low Kolmogorov complexity which fits multiple runs of a wide class of physical instances. The system under study is supposed to be but a humble member of this class while other members should be readily replicable under lab conditions, making said model falsifiable in principle.

    Quasi-steady states of closed, non-equilibrium thermodynamic systems with a vast number of internal degrees of freedom, radiatively coupled to their environment is still one of the gray areas of semi-classical physics.

  73. Climate Ace:

    At January 18, 2013 at 8:10 pm you write

    Maybe Loyd didn’t leave ocean heat out of his summary because he forgot about it, but because ocean heat, and changes to ocean chemistry for that matter, are both completely irrelevant?

    There has to be a reason.

    Yes, there is “a reason” and I gave it to you in my post addressed to you at January 18, 2013 at 4:46 pm.

    Clearly, an inability to read is yet another of your many failings which you have demonstrated in posts on WUWT. Perhaps you would consider bothering another blog instead of wasting space on this one.

    Richard

  74. I see that the ocean heat dodgers are still busy talking to each other about something else.

    I would too if I were trying to deny AGW.

  75. While I have no problems with the general ‘gist’ of this article are there some problems with the ‘science’, as others have pointed out.

    To say that CO2 ‘traps’ infrared radiation can only further confuse those that are already confused. Better to say that the presence of CO2 in the atmosphere makes the surface of the planet warmer than it would otherwise be – and then making reference to a work which actually explains how. Note, if you click on the in-situ references (e.g. the [6] in the text) then you get directed to an irrelevant blog about Greenland rather than the excellent ‘Science of Doom’ series which is intended.

    The most glaring error is to say that if a doubling of CO2 causes a 3 degree rise then an increase of 40% should cause a rise of 1.2 degrees. This would be correct for a linear relationship but we know that the effect of CO2 is logarithmic. Consequently. an increase of 40% should produce additional warming of 1.45 degrees, not 1.2.

    Let us be clear that Anthropogenic warming is not the problem. All reasonable sceptics accept that humans do affect the climate somewhat – as do termites, cows, sheep, trees etc. The only dispute is to what degree – i.e. the ‘catastrophic’ part.

    A single experiment is NOT sufficient to prove a theory. “Logically, no number of positive outcomes at the level of experimental testing can confirm a scientific theory” – Karl Popper. Theories can only be falsified, they cannot be proven.

  76. Climate Ace: re – ocean heat:

    “The 3000+ Argo bathythermograph buoys show very little ocean warming since they were first deployed. They are the most comprehensive measure of upper-ocean temperature available, but they are equivalent to taking a single temperature and salinity profile at one location in Lake Superior less than once a year. Previous expendable bathythermographs also showed little warming until a correction for an imagined cooling bias was introduced. Before that, haphazard measurements were taken by passing ships. The data are altogether inadequate to allow any “virtually certain” conclusion about ocean temperatures.”

    http://o.b5z.net/i/u/10152887/f/AR5_Expert_Review_Lord_Monckton_Foundation_20121216.pdf

  77. Climate Ace says:
    January 19, 2013 at 2:30 am

    You have been called out.

    Bring your evidence. A citation. A link to data supporting your position.

    Bring it here so we may be converted away from our misguided path..

    Bring it.

  78. Climate Ace says: January 18, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    Maybe Loyd didn’t leave ocean heat out of his summary because he forgot about it, but because ocean heat, and changes to ocean chemistry for that matter, are both completely irrelevant?

    Perhaps he couldn’t discern it … with only about a decade of reasonable coverage by Argo, even dredging back to shipboard measurements in 1956 (that gives us an accurate starting point for world ocean heat content changes?!) only gives us an average temperature increase of the top 2000 meters of entire world’s oceans since then of 0.09 C. (Levitus etal 2012).

    Now, that is theoretically one helluva lot of energy, but, degrees C is what is measured, and I for one doubt the statistical derivation of accuracy claimed from those earlier measures.

  79. Great essay, a nice summary:

    But, re sea level rise – I am not comfortable simply accepting the 3 mm/year satellite measures as fact, especially presented as it is in conjunction with the New York Tidal gauge data. Global Tidal gauge data indicates about 1.7 mm/year may be the figure, and that includes a GIA adjustment. (based on the sites identified by Douglas 1997- (seems paywalled, here is a wiki link; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Recent_Sea_Level_Rise.png)

    Re the east coast of USA :

    It is worth noting the east coast of USA is undergoing subsidence. It is not only sea level rise.

    “……exhibiting subsidence rates of <0.8 mm a−1 in Maine, increasing to rates of 1.7 mm a−1 in Delaware, and a return to rates <0.9 mm a−1 in the Carolinas.

    ….(we) …. estimate a mean 20th century sea-level rise rate for the U.S. Atlantic coast of 1.8 ± 0.2 mm a−1, similar to the global average.

    Spatial variability of late Holocene and 20th century sea-level rise along the Atlantic coast of the United States Engelhart etal 2009
    http://geology.gsapubs.org/content/37/12/1115.abstract

    Re Sea level Rise (SLR) and satellites; (covered well on WUWT here) http://wattsupwiththat.com/?s=GRASP

    There are major problems calibrating satellite instruments to our un-cooperative planet, and the proposed GRASP project will resolve that giving us an accuracy to 1 mm (ie, we don’t have that now): The baselines between RF/Optical phase centers of all sensors on the supremely-calibrated GRASP spacecraft will be known to 1 mm accuracy and stable to 0.1 mm/year,….

    “ …. Beckley et al. [2007] reprocessed all the TOPEX/Poseidon and Jason-1 SLR & DORIS data within the ITRF2005 reference frame, and found that the differences in the older CSR95 and ITRF2000 realizations and ITRF2005 caused differences of up to 1.5 mm/yr in regional rates of mean sea level rise….”

    “….Thus, we assess that current state of the art reference frame errors are at roughly the mm/yr level, making observation of global signals of this size very difficult to detect and interpret.

    This level of error contaminates climatological data records, such as measurements of sea level height from altimetry missions, and was appropriately recognized as a limiting error source by the NRC Decadal Report and by GGOS….” (http://ilrs.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/GRASP_COSPAR_paper.pdf)

    And a further complication:

    And sea level measurements are also affected by groundwater extraction, not accounted for in earlier IPCC reports:

    “…. have found, groundwater depletion is adding about 0.6 millimeters per year …. to the Earth’s sea level….” a team of Dutch scientists led by hydrologist Yoshihide Wada, Utrecht University.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/05/120531-groundwater-depletion-may-accelerate-sea-level-rise/

  80. Climate Ace says:
    January 19, 2013 at 2:30 am
    I see that the ocean heat dodgers are still busy talking to each other about something else.
    I would too if I were trying to deny AGW
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    As expected, when challenged to provide data, logic or reason to support his assertion, not once but several times, he;s got nothing. He doesn’t even understand the nature of the discussion, proposing that there is some sort of attempt to “deny AGW”. Apparently he cannot differentiate between AGW and CAGW. He presumes that being skeptical of CAGW claims equates to denying AGW.

    One might point out to him the OHC was in fact addressed in the article in the discussion regarding sea level increases as the two are rather closely linked. One might observe that indeed, the summary could be more comprehensive by discussing the “missing heat” that Trenberth now admits is in fact missing, and wants us to think is being sequestered in the ocean depths, but cannot explain how it is getting there without being detected by the Argo buoys on the way down. One could also suggest that the summary failed to include a discussion of Antarctic Ice, or of sea water buffering capacity to ph changes, or biosphere uptake responses or any of a number of other issues that would have made the summary more complete. But to what purpose?

    Climate Ace has already demonstrated for all to see that he simply excludes facts which don’t fit his preconceived notions, and when challenged to produce evidence in support of same, he has none.

  81. Clear, concise and lucid essay supported with well documented detailed analysis, thank you for the contribution. Very helpful and as such should be widely disseminated.

  82. Climate Ace says: January 19, 2013 at 2:30 am

    I see that the ocean heat dodgers are still busy talking to each other about something else.

    I would too if I were trying to deny AGW.
    ————————————-
    Who’s denying what, Ace?

  83. Climate Ace says:
    January 19, 2013 at 2:30 am

    I see that the ocean heat dodgers are still busy talking to each other about something else.

    I would too if I were trying to deny AGW.

    I thank God, Buddah, your lucky stars [insert deity or talisman of your choice here] that the earth is warming since the LIA, “Ace”.

    But rather than “deny AGW” as you assert, we’re having difficulty FINDING it. Have you seen any, or are you confusing natural warming for the past 150 years with the warming that’s continued during the past 50?

    Ah, that’s the crux of your argument, isn’t it? If warming the past 50 is at the same rate as the prior 100, then you have a real problem, don’t you? It rather destroys your argument, doesn’t it?

    So like others who have responded to your unsubstantiated allegation, please provide PROOF of the AGW “signal”. We’re all anxiously waiting.

    Thanks in advance. (Oh, you might want to read this fine article before responding.)

  84. A new paper (co-authored and appears to be managed by Andrew Dessler – the main expert on water vapor and cloud feedbacks) says the cloud feedbacks are negative using the Modis satellites data.

    -0.16 W/m2/K versus that assumed in IPCC AR4 of +0.75 W/m2/K

    Paper here – published in the Journal of Climate this week.

    http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~mzelinka/Zhou_etal_accepted.pdf

    This is very key parametre in the climate sensitivity per CO2 doubling because it is the feedbacks on the feedbacks that get us all the way up to +3.0C per doubling. If the feedbacks are just slightly less than the numbers assumed by the IPCC, then warming falls far short of 3.0C. And if they are much more than these values, then we have runaway global warming which is clearly false since it is has never happened.

    Putting this new -0.16 W/m2/K into the formulae drops the CO2 sensitivity down to +1.9C.

    IPCC feedbacks from AR4 shown here for reference.

    The other issue for me is the water vapor feedback which to date is looking closer to 0.5 W/m2/K or even 0.0 in the actual data to date. Zero water vapor feedback (and this new cloud number) would drop the CO2 sensitivity to about 1.05C per doubling. 0.5 W/m2/K water vapor would drop the sensitivity to about 1.2C.

  85. “This illustrates quite nicely how long one must wait before one can determine even the 100-year event – and how just because there has been such an event, another nearly as bad can turn up in less than 100 years after that! The statistics of extreme events are counterintuitive, and very long baselines are needed before it is possible to decide if something is extreme or not.

    Philip, a useful tool for random events is to treat a given climatic extreme-type’s records (say temp) as a random permutation of a number series of incremental (say) temps (i.e. arrange the temperatures in a series from lowest to highest temp). If the chart has a 100 year span and you suspect that sequential record temps are random (making the first temp recorded a record temp), then you can estimate the number of records simply by: Natural log n where n is the number of years:

    Natural log 100 =4.6, so assuming 1913 to have been a record and counting subsequent breaking of the records, one could expect 4 or 5 records in the century. If n = 200 then Nat Log n is 5.3 ~ essentially one more in the next 100 years; Nat log 500 is 6.2 – breaking the last record by only 1 more. Remembering that earth history goes back such a long time, one can safely state that (in a random process) we haven’t broken any records in multi-millennia!

  86. For Climate Ace,

    Here is your OHC down to 2000 metres versus the current IPCC Forcing numbers.

    I’ve also fixed the Skeptical Science pie-chart that you are probably thinking of.

  87. Nicely done! AGW skeptics have always operated under a common defect, which I will call “the lack of a continuous cohesive narrative”. Quite obvious considering the wide spectrum and depth of climate skeptics. A few like Lord Monckton, have helped immeasurably, but none flow as easily as yours. Thank you. GK

  88. Some glaciers – for instance, those on Kilimanjaro – are shrinking because the long-term precipitation is less than it was 150 years ago, not because it is warmer[5]

    Several years there was a WUWT article showing the “inselbergs” at the margins of these Kilimanjaro “glaciers”. My wife, who has an M.Sc. in glacial geology, looked at the photos and said, those are not glaciers, they are snow fields. Look carefully at photos of the margins of these features, and one will see the vestigial structures of one snowfall atop another–not ice, not glacier. I think “shrinking of Kilimanjaro snowfield” is quite a lot less sensational headline.

  89. Bill Illis says:
    January 19, 2013 at 9:44 am

    For Climate Ace….Here is your OHC down to 2000 metres versus the current IPCC Forcing numbers.

    I’ve also fixed the Skeptical Science pie-chart that you are probably thinking of.

    http://s2.postimage.org/rbla65gvd/Fixed_Sk_S_Chart_Where_GW_Going_Dec_12.png

    Bill, That fixed SKS chart makes quite an impact. Could you possibly put up a paragraph of backing material for it?

    Combined with the OHC chart it would make a good post here on WUWT (apologies if it has been done somewhere and I missed it).

  90. So, the oceans are not gaining heat? Pull the other one.
    So, ocean chemistry is not changing? Pull the other one.
    So, global glacier ice mass is not declining? Pull the other one.
    So, thousands of species of plants and animals are not changing their phenology and/or distributions because of warming? Pull the other one.

    Ostrich science.

    By the way, apart from the lack of comprehensive treatment of malaria invalidates Loyd’s amateur attempt at a global epidemiology of malaria. It is, quite frankly, sententious nonsense.

    Loyd’s dissertation on the relationship between evolution theory, the rate of extinctions, and changes in edaphic and biotic factors which, inter alia, ignores any attempt at all to integrate rates of change are mere demonstrations of his ignorance.

    All Loyd has demonstrated is that people who have pretensions to being the polymaths of AGW skate on thin ice if they lack grounding in the relevant disciplines.

  91. Climate Ace:

    At January 20, 2013 at 1:30 am you say

    All Loyd has demonstrated is that people who have pretensions to being the polymaths of AGW skate on thin ice if they lack grounding in the relevant disciplines.

    I agree, but you could have thanked Loyd for having so very clearly pointed out why you fall through the ice with almost every post you make.

    Richard

  92. Climate Ace says: January 20, 2013 at 1:30 am
    “……., the oceans are not gaining heat? …
    … ocean chemistry is not changing? …
    … global glacier ice mass is not declining?…
    … thousands of species of plants and animals are not changing their phenology and/or distributions because of warming? ……”

    Possibly some or all of these may be occurring right now, and we are in the early stages of ascertaining that.

    But if they are, bearing in mind such things have indeed occurred frequently during and before the emergence of mankind, all of this constitutes definitive proof of what, exactly?

  93. Guest post by Philip Lloyd, Energy Institute, CPUT

    The world is getting a little warmer. Of that there is no doubt.

    Wait.

    This is not a place of noninformation and belief. There are specific information available about the global temperatures over time. These temperature data show variations which can be analysed as temperature frequencies over more then 4 orders unto month. Moreover it can be shown that the morning temperatures are lower than the afternoon temperatures. The fact that the temperature spectra contain many temperature frequencies needs the discrimination of all the cycle length in time. And this means that a cycle of about 900 years with warm times 900 years ago must have an increasing temperature phase some 450 years ago until now in the era of the beginning 21st century. But it does also mean that this is not valid if we discuss the global temperature from January 2013 16 years back in time, because it is possible that the geometric function of the global temperature over time is not a simple sinusoid function with only one maximum in time.

    The beginning of the desinformation about the global warming was using a monotone increasing of the CO2 in the atmosphere in the past. But this couple is proven wrong because the average global temperatures has decreased in the last 13 years while the CO2 content has still increased from 370 ppm to 395 ppm.

    In this discussion it is relevant whether the global temperatures are getting warmer or not.

    And the answer is, the global temperature show a stagnation in time for the last 16 years using a linear fit.

    This is relevant and it is absolutely irrelevant giving personal doubt to measured data especially if the frequency data from REMSS are mostly identical to the data of UAH.

    BTW. Sceptic is not a valid method of science, because it makes conclusions without arguing prepositions. Sceptic is a fallacy because it takes the authority of a nonbeliever.

    V.

  94. Volker Doormann:

    You conclude your post at January 20, 2013 at 6:10 am saying

    BTW. Sceptic is not a valid method of science, because it makes conclusions without arguing prepositions. Sceptic is a fallacy because it takes the authority of a nonbeliever.

    NO! Absolutely not!

    Scepticism is an esential, fundamental principle of science which accepts the word of NO authority and/or consensus.

    Nullius In Verba

    Richard

  95. Climate Ace says:
    January 20, 2013 at 1:30 am
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    There he goes again. Ignore all the data that disagrees with his position and instead just list that sub-set of the data which he believes does, and draw his pre-determined conclusion from it. He doesn’t even understand that the evidence he has presented doesn’t meant what he thinks it means, and past experience suggests that trying to explain it to him is futile since it just leads to another circle.

  96. Oh and please don’t pull his finger. My understanding of physics is that if the hot air builds up long enough he will just float away.

  97. richardscourtney says:
    January 20, 2013 at 7:19 am
    Volker Doormann:
    You conclude your post at January 20, 2013 at 6:10 am saying

    “BTW. Sceptic is not a valid method of science, because it makes conclusions without arguing prepositions. Sceptic is a fallacy because it takes the authority of a nonbeliever.”

    NO! Absolutely not! Scepticism is an esential, fundamental principle of science which accepts the word of NO authority and/or consensus.
    Nullius In Verba

    Richard,
    You confirm yourself my above saying on sceptics or scepticism with your authority based ‘NO!’ plus an ‘Absolutely not!’ because you make conclusions without arguing prepositions.
    ‘NO!’ is not an argument but a saying of an authority.

    If it is valid that “The motto of the Royal society points out that we must believe in the words of nobody, but we have to use science to establish the truth of scientific matters through experiment rather than through citation of authority” then you do cite the authority of the Royal society but you do not give any argumentative logic reason (of the words of no one).

    As one can know since Parmenides is that ‘NO’ or ‘No thing’ is a logical trap in mind, because no one can show or give prove to ‘No thing’.

    Science is the method to argue coherence of ‘things’ in nature which ARE (shown by experiment or logic).

    Argumentum ad ignorantiam means “argument from ignorance.” The fallacy occurs when it’s argued that something must be true, simply because it hasn’t been proved false. Or, equivalently, when it is argued that something must be false because it hasn’t been proved true. Example: “Of course telepathy and other psychic phenomena do not exist. Nobody has shown any proof that they are real.” “. In the same way of fallacy one could say: “Of Course Scepticism do exist. Nobody has shown that Scepticism do not exist”.

    V.

  98. Volker Doormann:

    This reply to your post at January 20, 2013 at 10:46 am will be my final comment on your nonsense whether or not you post on it again.

    Science is never ‘settled’ because new information and/or interpretation may change existing understanding. No person, organisation, hypothesis or theory is sacrosanct: each and all MUST be treated with scepticism because anything else causes scientific investigation to cease.

    Read Feynmam if you want an understanding of these matters.

    Richard

  99. Volker Doormann says:
    January 20, 2013 at 10:46 am

    If it is valid that “The motto of the Royal society points out that we must believe in the words of nobody, but we have to use science to establish the truth of scientific matters through experiment rather than through citation of authority” then you do cite the authority of the Royal society but you do not give any argumentative logic reason (of the words of no one).

    Richard didn’t mention the Royal Society. He merely typed a Latin phrase which the RS once adopted as its motto, but has recently ignored. Your argument is fallacious.

  100. @garymount

    >“The 3000+ Argo bathythermograph buoys show very little ocean warming since they were first deployed. …

    I friend of mine had dinner a few days ago with Prof Garstang (ex UVa and one of the 100 scientists on the Science Academy’s hit list) and his comment on the ARGO project is that the oceans are cooling and as the ‘additional heat’ that is supposed to be going there is not, then ‘we do not know where it is going’.

    Sound familiar? The ARGO project was supposed to find the missing heat (among other things) and it is not failing in its science, even if it is failing in ‘its politics’. Ah well, so goes the nature of (real) things.

  101. “””””…..S. Meyer says:

    January 18, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    @Greg Goodman

    ” The evidence for this is building. For instance, there has been about a 40% increase in atmospheric CO2 since 1945, which would imply 1.2oC of warming if doubling the CO2 caused a 3oC rise. Figure 1 shows that the actual warming over this period has only been about 0.4oC.”
    ——————————
    This assumes a linear relationship between CO2 and temp. It is generally considered to be logarithmic.”……”””””

    I can’t count the times that posters here at WUWT have stated (in effect) that the relationship between CO2 and Temperature is “considered to be logarithmic.”

    I’m waiting with bated breath for that moment, when somebody (anybody) finally posts that graph of “generally accepted” global CO2 and global Temperature experimentally measured data, that demonstrates the validity of that “generally accepted” logarithmic relationship over some climatically relevent time scales; to where a linear fit or other simple functional relationship must be excluded.
    And note I said time scaleS, finding some cherry picked interval, doesn’t cut it.

    The logarithmic function is quite specific; a doubling of CO2 from 280 ppm to 560 ppm, should give the same “climate sensitivity” Temperature change (increase) as a doubling from 1 ppm to 2 ppm of CO2. Only one of all possible curves, is a logarithmic curve. Atmospheric CO2, apart from the 6ppm annual cycle (at ML) is a monotonic function of time. Over a similar time scale, time shifted or otherwise, global Temperature is not.
    The “generally considered” logarithmic relationship, simply doesn’t exist.

  102. richardscourtney says:
    January 20, 2013 at 11:23 am
    Volker Doormann:
    Science is never ‘settled’ because new information and/or interpretation may change existing understanding.

    Irrelevant.

    Ignoratio elenchi

    The fallacy of Irrelevant Conclusion consists of claiming that an argument supports a particular conclusion when it is actually logically nothing to do with that conclusion.”

    OT and EOD

    V.

  103. Volker Doorman;
    Irrelevant.
    >>>>>>>>>>>

    Only irrelevant if we already know everything. Which we don’t. Well, I don’t, maybe you do? Do you already know everything? Wouldn’t that make you… gasp …. god? Are you god Volker and so with god like power declaring EOD? Of wait….you don’t have that power because my comment appeared despite your godlike pronouncement on the matter. I can only conclude that you are neither god nor in possession of all knowledge and hence wrong in your original statement.

    Climate Ace on the other hand, having been given the precise discussion of OHC that demanded, has declared the discussion over through the most excellent retort “pull my finger”. At least he claimed no godlike powers whilst making a fool of himself.

  104. Climate Ace on the other hand, having been given the precise discussion of OHC that demanded, has declared the discussion over through the most excellent retort “pull my finger”. At least he claimed no godlike powers whilst making a fool of himself.

    Actually he said “pull the other one” (unless I missed another comment), which, to me, means “you’re pulling my leg”.

  105. Actually he said “pull the other one”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Oh well, that completely excuses him from insisting on a discussion of OHC and then disappearing when the facts are tabled. My apologies.

  106. davidmhoffer says:
    January 20, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Actually he said “pull the other one”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Oh well, that completely excuses him from insisting on a discussion of OHC and then disappearing when the facts are tabled. My apologies.

    No it doesn’t, but you were making him look a lot more childish that he actually was. You could have left that part out. ;)

  107. markx says:
    January 20, 2013 at 3:44 am

    Climate Ace says: January 20, 2013 at 1:30 am
    “……., the oceans are not gaining heat? …
    … ocean chemistry is not changing? …
    … global glacier ice mass is not declining?…
    … thousands of species of plants and animals are not changing their phenology and/or distributions because of warming? ……”

    Possibly some or all of these may be occurring right now, and we are in the early stages of ascertaining that.

    But if they are, bearing in mind such things have indeed occurred frequently during and before the emergence of mankind, all of this constitutes definitive proof of what, exactly?

    Markyx, good point. My point is that Loyd is supposed to have delivered a consummate, comprehensive summary of AGW and he manages to miss ocean warmth.

    Some of his fellow-travellers have taken up the cudgels on his behalf but hey, why didn’t he do a proper job in the first place.

  108. Crispin in Waterloo says:
    January 20, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    A friend of mine had dinner a few days ago with Prof Garstang (ex UVa and one of the 100 scientists on the Science Academy’s hit list) and his comment on the ARGO project is that the oceans are cooling and as the ‘additional heat’ that is supposed to be going there is not, then ‘we do not know where it is going’.

    Well, one of my maiden aunts had tea and sconties with…

    Science? Give me a break…

  109. Jeff Alberts says:
    January 20, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Climate Ace on the other hand, having been given the precise discussion of OHC that demanded, has declared the discussion over through the most excellent retort “pull my finger”. At least he claimed no godlike powers whilst making a fool of himself.

    Actually he said “pull the other one” (unless I missed another comment), which, to me, means “you’re pulling my leg”.

    Correct.

  110. davidmhoffer says:
    January 20, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Oh and please don’t pull his finger. My understanding of physics is that if the hot air builds up long enough he will just float away.

    The only thing that is going to float away are painter’s whales. ‘Marine life is ‘composed of CO2′ according to painter.

    What a goose.

  111. How cool should we be? The last summer in Britain, high rainfall with attendant cloud cover produced either stunted or non-existent crops. The lack of sunshine got into the national psyche. Are we not at that place where we should be careful about that which we pray for? Nothing grows in ice whereas, under blue skies, man achieves so much.

  112. Climate Ace says:
    January 19, 2013 at 2:30 am

    I see that the ocean heat dodgers are still busy talking to each other about something else.

    I would too if I were trying to deny AGW.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    ROTFLMAO!

    What ocean heat? Are you talking about the ocean heat that is a result of the sun’s radiation? What the heck does that have to do with CAGW? Bring in the ocean and you disprove CAGW in spades.

    Update 12-05-2012

    Oceanograaf Dr. Robert E. Stevenson schrijft in zijn rapport op pagina 8:

    The atmosphere cannot warm until the underlying surface warms first. The lower atmosphere is transparent to direct solar radiation, preventing it from being significantly warmed by sunlight alone. The surface atmosphere thus gets its warmth in three ways: from direct contact with the oceans; from infrared radiation off the ocean surface; and, from the removal of latent heat from the ocean by evaporation. Consequently, the temperature of the lower atmosphere is largely determined by the temperature of the ocean.

    Warming the ocean is not a simple matter, not like heating a small glass of water. The first thing to remember is that the ocean is not warmed by the overlying air.

    That article contains this two very telling graphs link 1 “….Back radiation in the far-infrared from the greenhouse effect occurs at wavelengths centred around 10 micrometres, well off the scale of this chart, and can not penetrat the ocean beyond the surface ‘skin’”

    and link 2 This second graph is the absorption coefficient at different depths in the ocean vs wavelength.

    The ocean is the dog with two tails one tail is the atmospheric temperature and the other is the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    So be my guest and bring the oceans into the conversation.

  113. Climate Ace;
    Some of his fellow-travellers have taken up the cudgels on his behalf but hey, why didn’t he do a proper job in the first place.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I said upthread that the article could have been improved by an expansion on sea level rise as it relates to OHC, a discussion of OHC, a discussion of Antaractic Sea ice….. and you continued to complain that there was no discussion of OHC….so several people offered to discuss OHC with you which you now mock (though offering no facts, data, or logical reason for doing so) and now come back to your original complaint as if it hadn’t been addressed in the first place.

  114. G. Karst says:
    January 19, 2013 at 12:18 pm
    … AGW skeptics have always operated under a common defect, which I will call “the lack of a continuous cohesive narrative”….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Of course we do not have a “continuous cohesive narrative” This is not a political debate, though the IPCC has made it one, it is a scientific debate and the science is in it’s infancy. At this stage there SHOULD NOT BE A CONSENSUS!

    Heck it was not until 1973, when I had already left college, that Dr. Nicholas Shackleton nailed down for certain the physical evidence for the Milankovitch theory. It was just recently in a 2006 paper by Gerard Roe the concept was reintroduced

    …that people confuse functions and their derivatives; they say that something is “warm” even though they mean that it’s “getting warmer” or vice versa.

    In this case, the basic correct observation is the following: If you suddenly get more sunshine near the Arctic circle, you don’t immediately change the ice volume. Instead, you increase the rate with which the ice volume is decreasing (ice is melting)….

    We have ‘amateurs’ (unpaid researchers) such as Anthony, Bob Tissdale, Willis Eschenbach, and many others making major contributions to the science. Professionals such as Hathaway of NASA have flubbed their predictions. (The MET doesn’t deserve the honor of being called professional)

    These are the signs of a infant science not a mature science. I think the configuration of the continents/sun/moon/oceans probably are the big players in the earth’s climate but at this point we do not have all the pieces of the puzzle. Even NASA is acknowledging this.

    So you do not have a consensus among skeptics but a range of views and that is as it should be in science until everything is well nailed down at wich point it turns into engineering.

  115. davidmhoffer says:
    January 20, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Climate Ace says:
    January 20, 2013 at 1:30 am
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    There he goes again….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Yes that list certainly says he has swallowed the ‘coolaid’ with out even bothering to see if it has worms in it. He didn’t even bother to see if WUWT had already address all those issues ad nauseum.

  116. Jeff Alberts:

    At January 20, 2013 at 10:23 pm you say to davidmhoffer about a comment he made to Climate Ace

    … you were making him look a lot more childish that he actually was.

    Sorry, although I have great respect for davidmhoffer, I refuse to accept that he did – or could – accomplish something which is impossible.

    Richard

  117. “Climate Ace” is beyond the threshold of serial thread-bombing…

    REPLY: yeah, he’s going to have to tone it back – Anthony

  118. George e. smith says:
    January 20, 2013 at 1:34 pm
    I’m waiting with bated breath for that moment, when somebody (anybody) finally posts that graph of “generally accepted” global CO2 and global Temperature experimentally measured data, that demonstrates the validity of that “generally accepted” logarithmic relationship over some climatically relevent time scales; to where a linear fit or other simple functional relationship must be excluded.
    ——————

    Here. As you noted, it doesn’t really work.

    There are two main factors though. Earth’s Albedo and then maybe the GHG forcing.

    There are time periods when the Albedo dominates (the ice ages, Pangea Permian) and perhaps other times when the Albedo is stable and GHGs dominate (50 million years ago).

    We get two scenarios of the TempC per CO2 doubling (and per doubling is a way of describing the logarithmic relationship) – one is where 1.5C per doubling seems to work and one were any value between +-/ 40.0C per doubling is possible (this is the time period when Albedo is dominating).

    We’ve seen the normal/skewed distribution of paleoclimate CO2 sensitivity produced by some that average around 3.0C per doubling. They are just completely made-up since they didn’t actually use real data and I mean that very seriously – made-up is exactly right – (and/or they did not have an Albedo estimate for the time period. It varies between 0.252 and 0.500 (current is 0.298) depending on the continental arrangements and their weighting toward the poles or the equator and the resulting ocean currents).

  119. For all the kind comments, many thanks! :-)
    For those who would like a .pdf version, try https://www.dropbox.com/s/9b9l1tzgqit4wr9/20130116%20A%20climate%20of%20scepticism.pdf
    For those who were worried about “a little bit warmer” or “a normal distribution” or “trapping radiation”, yes, what I wrote was not scientific or precise, but I was trying to speak to a broader audience, and trust that the narrower, scientific audience will forgive me my imprecision. There always has to be a balance between communicating concisely and precisely, and on this occasion I felt conciseness carried more weight.
    Yes, I got the Hadley Centre wrong – sorry, but the CRU has a close association, and I took the association to far.
    And yes, I got Popper back to front, stupidly.
    But as for the sea temperature – it appears in Figure 5, and I didn’t want to waste any more time on that story. My own feeling is that, if you think the global atmospheric temperature is a problem, you haven’t really been to sea. Even on the surface, the temperature can change dramatically over a few hundred metres, and depth considerations are far more important than height is in the atmosphere. Trying to get a handle on an average global sea temperature is a nice challenge, but I think it will take a generation or so of lots of sensors out there before we understand what is really going on.
    And thank you, Gary Pearse, for reminding me about the simple estimates for extreme events.

  120. And I forgot to mention the sea level story. Yes, I think it a coincidence that the New York tide gauge data and University of Colorado satellite analyses come to a similar conclusion, but the absolute value of the rate of sea level rise was not the point I was trying to make. What concerns me is that I cannot, in the tide gauge data, find any evidence of an acceleration over the past 60 years. Yet I read the IPCC and it claims huge acceleration. There seems to be a gap between the hard measurements and the IPCC’s claim – another hockey stick in the making.

  121. Oh, and I almost forgot atheok!
    Yes, I was aware of Ross vs Thurber. Classically they battled over the use of the comma. “Ross seemed to believe that there was no limit to the amount of clarification you could achieve if you just kept adding commas.” In contrast, Thurber “saw commas as so many upturned office chairs unhelpfully hurled down the wide-open corridor of readability.” I’m for Thurber.

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