On Guemas et al (2013) “Retrospective prediction of the global warming slowdown in the past decade”

I received a number of emails about the newly published Guemas et al (2013) paper titled “Retrospective prediction of the global warming slowdown in the past decade”. It’s paywalled. The abstract is here. It reads:

Despite a sustained production of anthropogenic greenhouse gases, the Earth’s mean near-surface temperature paused its rise during the 2000–2010 period1. To explain such a pause, an increase in ocean heat uptake below the superficial ocean layer2, 3 has been proposed to overcompensate for the Earth’s heat storage. Contributions have also been suggested from the deep prolonged solar minimum4, the stratospheric water vapour5, the stratospheric6 and tropospheric aerosols7. However, a robust attribution of this warming slowdown has not been achievable up to now. Here we show successful retrospective predictions of this warming slowdown up to 5 years ahead, the analysis of which allows us to attribute the onset of this slowdown to an increase in ocean heat uptake. Sensitivity experiments accounting only for the external radiative forcings do not reproduce the slowdown. The top-of-atmosphere net energy input remained in the [0.5–1] W m−2 interval during the past decade, which is successfully captured by our predictions. Most of this excess energy was absorbed in the top 700 m of the ocean at the onset of the warming pause, 65% of it in the tropical Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Our results hence point at the key role of the ocean heat uptake in the recent warming slowdown. The ability to predict retrospectively this slowdown not only strengthens our confidence in the robustness of our climate models, but also enhances the socio-economic relevance of operational decadal climate predictions.

Not too surprisingly ClimateProgress has a post New Study: When You Account For The Oceans, Global Warming Continues Apace about the paper.

The abstract suggests that the tropical Pacific and Atlantic Oceans are responsible for 65% of warming of global ocean heat content for the depths of 0-700 meters since 2000. However, the much-adjusted NODC ocean heat content data for the tropical Pacific (Figure 1) shows a decline in ocean heat content since 2000, and the ocean heat content for the Atlantic (Figure 2) has been flat since 2005.

Figure 1

Figure 1

###########

Figure 2

Figure 2

The abstract also mentions a new-found ability to predict slowdowns in warming. But the warming of tropical Pacific ocean heat content is dependent on the 3-year La Niña events of 1954-57, 1973-76 and 1998-01 and on the freakish 1995/96 La Niña, Figure 3. And the warming of sea surface temperatures for the Atlantic, Indian and West Pacific oceans, Figure 4, depends on strong El Niño events.

Figure 3

Figure 3

###########

Figure 4

Figure 4

CLOSING

Can Guemas et al (2013) can predict 3-year La Niñas and freakish La Niñas like the one in 1995/96? Can they predict strong El Niño events, like those in 1986/87/88, 1997/97 1997/98 and 2009/10? Both are unlikely—the specialized ENSO forecast models have difficulty projecting beyond the springtime predictability barrier every year.

FURTHER READING

For further information about the problems with ocean heat content data, refer to the post Is Ocean Heat Content Data All It’s Stacked Up to Be?

And for further information about the natural warming of the global oceans, see “The Manmade Global Warming Challenge.”

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207 thoughts on “On Guemas et al (2013) “Retrospective prediction of the global warming slowdown in the past decade”

  1. If they can predict El Niño events, the obvious test is: when will the next one begin?

  2. “The ability to predict retrospectively this slowdown not only strengthens our confidence in the robustness of our climate models, but also enhances the socio-economic relevance of operational decadal climate predictions.”

    Translation: Send money.

  3. To explain such a pause, an increase in ocean heat uptake below the superficial ocean layer has been proposed to overcompensate for the Earth’s heat storage. Contributions have also been suggested from the deep prolonged solar minimum, the stratospheric water vapour, the stratospheric and tropospheric aerosols.
    ————————————
    Nope, giant crabs.

  4. “The ability to predict retrospectively this slowdown not only strengthens our confidence in the robustness of our climate models, but also enhances the socio-economic relevance of operational decadal climate predictions.”

    A prediction is normally before not after an event. A model that is physically incorrect can be tuned to match the past. It appears the only observation that will stop the retort: “the heat is hiding in the ocean”, is planetary cooling.

  5. Colour me confused.
    They state:

    “The ability to predict retrospectively this slowdown not only strengthens our confidence in the robustness of our climate models, …”

    From Wiki:

    A prediction (Latin præ-, “before,” and dicere, “to say”) or forecast is a statement about the way things will happen in the future,

    and

    Retrospective (from Latin retrospectare, “look back”) generally means to take a look back at events that already have taken place.

    The final quote:

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”
    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – that’s all.”
    Through the Looking Glass.

  6. ok I’ll bite…retrospective prediction? If that doesn’t burn the eyes nothing will…

    Have they ever heard of out of sample prediction??

  7. Are they suggesting that the melting polar ice caps are adding to the heat capacity of the oceans?

  8. Amazing how retrospective adjusting of situations they never predicted in the first place is considered prediction skill by the Romm and Co….

  9. A “retrospective prediction” must take the prize for the world’s greatest oxymoron.
    I can retrospectively predict that the stock market will crash in 1929.

  10. Thank goodness. I thought we might be heading into the next ice age.

    They could use the same algorithm to predict the winner of the 2009 World Series.

  11. Here are the datasets they claim to be using. Then they modify the heck out of them (parentheticals are their cite numbers from the paper itself):

    SST: the NOAA Extended Reconstructed SST v3b data set (24) (named ERSST); sea-ice concentration: the NSIDC (ref. 25; updated to 2008) and the HadISST v1.1 data sets (26)
    (named HadISST); TOA radiative fluxes: the CERES EBAF-TOA Ed2.6r data set (27) (named CERES); OHC: the ORAS4 (refs 15,16), the GLORYS2v1 (ref. 28) and the Ishii and
    Kimoto (29) reanalyses.

  12. I hope somebody is still listening to these jokers when they come up with an explanation as to why the ocean would suddenly decide to start sucking up heat and what the mechanism is for it to turn it on and off. They’ve gone from one myth to another without explaining either. Someone in government should challenge their grant application.

  13. I hereby retroactively predict that the entire civilized world will go completely nuts over climate predictions that never had a sound scientific basis and never came to pass. And then, that the “never came to pass” predictions were “retroactively predicted”.

    I could go on, but suffice it to say that I have successfully retroactively predicted every major event since the beginning of recorded history. I await my celebratory parade.

  14. They like 20/20 hindsight, it makes their models unbeatable.

    (I get the feeling, they’re hoping the general public won’t know what “retrospective” means.)

    Ah, to heck with it – is it time for drinkies yet???

  15. I’m underwhelmed by sophomoric claims of retroactively being able to have known something that happened but wasn’t predicted beforehand. Predictive skill of this procedure? Zero. Nada. Zip. Nichts. Niechevo. Science? Considerably less than the predictive skill.

  16. Their models got it wrong. They add in a new variable, and say that now their models would have got it right.

    And they have the nerve to say this *increases* their confidence in the robustness of their models?

    Even Pravda wouldn’t have attempted to get away with this kind of wholesale revisionism and air-brushing of history.

  17. “Vaticinium ex eventu…..”
    That sums up most predictions from Natural Climate Change Deniers.

  18. So if the increase in ocean heat retention in the last 15 years is the cause of the recent cooling (or flatlining), does that mean that the previous warming was caused by the oceans liberating their heat content and thus not a result of anthropogenic CO2?

  19. This is awesome… they claim the ability to predict the past, and STILL manage to get it wrong!

  20. Retrospective prediction?

    Same as having the ability to predict lottery numbers after the drawn has taken place.

    Another example of retrospective prediction modeling is that Margaret Thatcher will die on 8 April 2013.

  21. Everyone here has picked up the obvious “blooper” –predict retrospectively. How did this get past peer review ? I thought this sort of thing was exactly what peere review was meant to pick up.
    ( ie. we can argue about technical issues etc but this is basic language in my book

  22. Well having proven the model capability to their satisfacton by ‘retrospectively predicting’ – they should now predict the future 24 – 36 months using the same model and assumptions and parameterizations. Should be simple for climate modelers. Then they are providing something testable.

  23. At last, I have found an idea for a new business.

    RoHa’s Retrospective Prediction Company.
    Retrospective predictions GUARANTEED 100% accurate !!!

    I’m going to make a mint!

  24. “The ability to predict retrospectively this slowdown not only strengthens our confidence in the robustness of our climate models, but also enhances the socio-economic relevance of operational decadal climate predictions.”
    ++++++
    Translation: In retrospect, all of our models were wrong. But looking back, we think we know why they were wrong. Actually, they were not wrong, the heat must be somewhere… though. Our bet is that it’s definitely hiding though. We are going to find it in the oceans, but we need more funding. So even though the oceans are not warming per the exist measurements, we think they are hiding away from the temperature sensing devices.

  25. A “retrospective prediction”?

    I am sure that now, after it has happened, they can “retrospectively predict” all the mockery falling on their heads and really wish they had not used that phrase.

    Eugene WR Gallun

  26. I assume this pesky excess heat is the same as Trenberth’s “hidden heat”? Derived from his massive exaggeration of back radiation returning to the surface? Which should have been noticeable where I’m typing this, even if it didn’t actually render the place uninhabitable?
    As Bob points out, “65% excess heat going into the tropical Pacific and Atlantic” doesn’t square with the NODC figure 1. This is consistent with my observations. The prevailing wind here (60% probability) is off the tropical Pacific. The sea and adjacent land has been noticeably cooler for several years. Hottest period I recall was mid 1990s.

  27. “Retrospective prediction” ?
    Is that like the family dog saying “sorry” BEFORE she steals a sandwich off the table?
    (To give her her due, in other respects she is smarter than some of these “climate scientists”.)

  28. The retrospective ideology lies paralal with the counter balance of equinoxtic and barry diagnosis?
    Therefore for decades the enhanced figures if I may say so, gives out to the socio-economic relevance they are talking so much about? Decadal climate figures lies in conjunction with planetary cooling or for such matter galactic alignment which gives us a more true figure looking at the 20 year anomalities?
    I would rather go for ODCL and HHICC which to my mind have the correlation more accurate and continuity looks more realistic if compared via relevance as a basis for this matter.
    rEP. iicv and Govt riip would be of great help?

  29. Yogi Berra must have known some climate scientists when he said, “Predicting is difficult, especially the future”.

  30. I think what this paper means is that they modelled various scenarios and concluded that the most likely destination for the energy that hasn’t gone into warming the atmosphere is the oceans. I don’t think they tested various options, just modelled them.

    So the obvious question is, can they prove it from ocean temperature changes? We might think it logical for them to confirm their paper’s hypothesis against real data. But if the NODC graphs above represent reality then such a step would have been problematic for them so they skipped it and went straight for publication. Did it sneak in before the IPCC deadline?

  31. Mario Lento says:
    April 8, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    The ability to predict retrospectively this slowdown not only strengthens our confidence in the robustness of our climate models, but also enhances the socio-economic relevance of operational decadal climate predictions.”
    ++++++
    Translation: In retrospect, all of our models were wrong. But looking back, we think we know why they were wrong. Actually, they were not wrong, the heat must be somewhere… though. Our bet is that it’s definitely hiding though. We are going to find it in the oceans, but we need more funding. So even though the oceans are not warming per the exist measurements, we think they are hiding away from the temperature sensing devices.

    *

    Maybe the giant crabs ate all the warming.

  32. I think ‘Retrospective Prediction’ is the most suited and correct word given to the weather past forecasters. So far I think if you will count on fingers then chances are rare that even 20 actual forecast of weather or any forecast related to nature have taken place.

  33. What is probably meant by “retrospective prediction” is actually “calibration” or “validation”. Of course you easily fudge models to do this by introducing fudge factors that are never mentioned.
    The mod snips my descriptive word for this so I’ll try a new one:

    More model flagellation – without not much I suspect to back up the claim.

  34. So the global warming is now in the ocean?

    Is this saying that the “downwelling IR” caused by an increase in greenhouse gases is not heating the atmosphere but the ocean?

    How does that work if IR radiation does not penetrate seawater below a depth of 1m?

    This sounds like total BS to me?

    Even if this was true how is this measurable, the Ocean contains 4000 times more heat (energy) than the atmosphere?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/06/energy-content-the-heat-is-on-atmosphere-vs-ocean/

    So if 3c of warming was expected in the atmosphere, then if all this “energy” is going into the ocean, a temp rise of 3/4000 C would be expected.

    If only the top 700m of ocean is considered then the rise would still be to small to be measurable?

  35. In his student days, Isaac Asimov wrote, as a joke, a bogus scientific paper, that was utter nonsense but couched in such obscure and arcane terms that it sounded plausible. In simple terms, his results discussed substances that dissolved so fast that they dissolved BEFORE they were added to the water. The paper was read by a number of professors before one twigged to the absurdity.

    This ‘retrospective prediction’ paper sounds like it is on the same level.

  36. Jim G says:

    So if the increase in ocean heat retention in the last 15 years is the cause of the recent cooling (or flatlining), does that mean that the previous warming was caused by the oceans liberating their heat content and thus not a result of anthropogenic CO2?

    Doesn’t even require that the oceans were liberating their heat content, only that they slowed their heat uptake.

    “Global warming” has now entered the bait and switch phase of operation. Define “globa warming” as surface temp increase, when surface temp is increasing. Redefine “global warming” as ocean temp increase when surface temp stalls. Convenient given that ocean temps are effectively unknown for the period more than 10 years ago, and remain effectively unknow for the 50% of the ocean more than 2000m deep. Too, the sort of heat involved in “global warming” theory translates to infinitessimal changes in temp of the mass of the world’s oceans. Lots of places to hide the heat when you don’t want to see it (the past) and find it when you do (the present).

    “Global warming” degenerates from a political fantasy to an ad hoc fallacy…

  37. Well, clearly the climate models will need to be corrected to account for this heat going into the oceans. Let’s see what their scary projections look like after that.

    Hint: It’s going to be a lot easier for them to get the heat into the oceans than to get it back out.

  38. Clue, the big T couldn’t find the heat, WE know it’s there [so] invent retrospective predictions an infallible method for finding anything!!

  39. I think what they mean is that they start the model from some past state and it comes up with the current state. Sort of like regression testing but in reverse. Given that a) they can’t have known a past state with certainty and b) ditto the current state, I find it hard to believe anything else they might say.
    Not to mention the inconvenient fact that the oceans haven’t been heating up.
    But my $64k questions are: if the oceans are absorbing this extra heat, then why now, what is the mechanism, and why given that the ‘science is settled’ did none of the preceding models forecast this?

  40. Try having a casino pay out on a ‘retrospective prediction.’
    Let me know if you succeed.

    I begin to wonder if some researchers actually understand what they’ve written or said.

  41. The paper appears to avoiding “PDO” and “ENSO” and instead describe their effects without calling their names.

    If PDO/AMO/ENSO are now capable of stopping warming, they must have been a main contributor to post 1976 warming as well. Avoiding the attribution allows to continue to ignore this consequence.

    The history of denial went on for years with the invention of non-existent aerosol cooling to fill the gaps, and when this blew up recently, with the extremely silly Rahmstorf/Tamino paper, falsely assuming that (longterm) ENSO temperature effects are proportional to the ENSO index.

  42. “The ability to predict retrospectively this slowdown not only strengthens our confidence in the robustness of our climate models, but also enhances the socio-economic relevance of operational decadal climate predictions.”

    So AFTER the climate models have failed, and AFTER their dire predictions have not come true, we’ll be able to predict their failure? Oh, THANK YOU, Captain Hindsight!

  43. This is not a “retrospective” but a “proper” future prediction. As the Globe warms under AGW we will get more air turbulence affecting flights.
    “Flights across the North Atlantic could get a lot bumpier in the future if the climate changes as scientists expect.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22063340

    The longer the temperature standstill continues the more computer generated danger scenarios will be presented based on “forward” as well as “rearward” predictions to frighten us all.

  44. The Guemas et al. paper reminds me of a comment of Russel Madigan (modified) : ” squids have attributes in common with (CAGW proponents). They can change their colour quickly, squirt clouds of ink to confuse their followers, and swim backwards – they can see where they have been, but only have a very rough idea of where they are going.”

  45. Unbelieveable lack of integrity, honesty and scientific knowledge and ability. These idiots should be put against the wall.

  46. It’s this beleif in intelligent oceans. They automatically switch to absorption mode and back to radiation mode exactly when the hindforecasting models said they had. !!!!

  47. This kind of smacks of alarmist desperation.

    Just another instance of how climate models can always be made to ‘prove’ what their designer wants them to prove.

    Climate models can be relied on to offer ‘proof’ of imminent Thermageddon. The facts say otherwise – a kind person might say that the reason for the difference is a combination of climate chaos and the huge amount of knowledge we do not yet know about climate. A not so kind person would comment that the problem with climate models is the intention of their designers.

    Mother Earth carries on doing its own thing, ignoring the flawed prophecies of the Trenberths and Manns of this world.

    None of this would matter if these models had not caused huge economic damage, as the response of gullible politicians was to launch what they thought was a vote winning strategy against an obvious non-problem. “Spare no expense” was their motto.

  48. Physics Major says:
    April 8, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    A “retrospective prediction” must take the prize for the world’s greatest oxymoron.
    I can retrospectively predict that the stock market will crash in 1929.

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    Oh no!!!!…..Dr Who….paging Dr Who……

  49. @William Astley …

    It appears the only observation that will stop the retort: “the heat is hiding in the ocean”, is planetary cooling.

    Um… no. If the whole planet cools, you will find that the climate change algorithms will be altered to suggest that the missing heat is on the moon….

  50. “Predict retrospectively” –

    Their ability to make predictions about the past is obviously cutting edge, but their ability to predict the future is non-existent. They are thrashing about like tadpoles with wild suggestions to avoid having to admit that their CO2 hypothesis is disproven and they will be having their money supply cut off soon.

  51. I notice you use the NODC data for the ocean heat content.
    does this mean you accept their finding of a gain in OHC of around 5×10^22 Joules in total down to 2000m over the last decade. What error bars or degree of uncertainty do you think that figures has?

    The graphs you show do not give any source other than NODC, but I am unable to find the data at their site. Could you indicate the source of the data and the graphs? The Pacific tropical ocean graph only covers a very narrow band over the equator to a depth of 700m, it represents a very small percentage of the total ocean. The Atlantic band covers the whole Atlantic basin, but includes large sections of the African and American continental landmass. Perhaps that is how NODC define the Atlantic, but I have been unable to find a link to that data.

    One of the most obvious signs of increasing ocean heat content would be the thermal expansion of the oceans. Now that it is possible to get some estimate of where the water is in the hydrological cycle from the GRACE data it is clear that there has been a significant component of thermosteric sea level rise.

    I suppose it is easy to scorn a phrase like “retrospectively predict” with its apparent temporal contradiction if you are ignorant of the context in which it is used.
    In this instance the paper is less about confirming the reality of the warming deep oceans and that as the sink for the PetaJoules of energy that the TOA imbalance creates.
    It is more to do with the fact that the data and observations make sense when scientists apply their best understanding of the underlying physics of the system.
    The value of this paper is the finding that physics that researchers use to explain how thermal energy is distributed in the climate can ‘retrospectively predict’ the actual observed data. That helps validate the physics used to analyse the climate.

  52. Re: Levitus et al 2000, see “Yes, the Ocean Has Warmed; No, It’s Not “Global Warming” by Dr. Robert E. Stevenson”, http://www.21stcenturysciencetech.com/articles/ocean.html

    “These large vertical movements occur in polar seas, where accelerated radiation makes the surface waters greatly colder than the deeper waters.

    In these waters, surface water temperatures are about -1.9°C, the normal salinity of the water keeping it from freezing into ice. The deep waters, being warmer than such surface waters, rise to the surface, as the upper layers sink slowly into the dark ocean depths. Because only very cold surface water is able to sink, it is simple to understand that the deep ocean can never warm up,
    regardless of how warm the surface ocean around the world may become. No deep lying “thermal lag” is going to take place. It is clear that there’ll be no Phoenix rising as a haunting specter.”

  53. Phillip Bratby says:
    April 8, 2013 at 10:52 pm
    I can predict retrospectively the winner of last weekend’s Grand National.
    ========================================
    I bucked a decades-long wallet-cooling trend and predicted it in advance :-)

    I therefore have no chance of making it as a climate scientist but, on the plus side, I do have a nice wad of cash in my pocket

  54. “…the Earth’s mean near-surface temperature paused its rise during the 2000–2010 period.”

    How much longer will it be before they notice there’s been no warming in this decade, either? Perhaps by 2023 they’ll be able to retrospectively predict what the Earth’s mean temperature was for the 2010-2020 period (unless they’re too busy retrospectively predicting the stock market by then).

    Too bad the paper is pay-walled. I’m curious to find out where exactly they found Trenberth’s missing heat, and why it only shows up in modeled data and not in real-world measurements. I would also like to know why it took so long for them to predict the past decade-long pause in warming given that “the science has been settled” for some time now. They aren’t trying to claim they’ve discovered something new in climate science, are they? Al Gore will want to remove their heads for blasphemy.

  55. Question 1 is english the first language of these people ?
    Question 2 if english is their first language what diabolic school did they graduate from?
    Question 3 what did they major in ?
    Question 4 was it climate science ?
    Question 5 how did they get passing grades with retrospective predictions ?
    AAHHAAA now I understand how they passed, retrospective predictions [ last time I looked it was called cheating]

  56. The comparison between retro-proactiveness and globalist behaviour is obvious and there is a lack however that the land mass equivalent is direct in proportion to sea temp anomalities respective of the mean temperature. This is one of the most obvious signs that the thermal lag is getting into place. However this could indicate the source of data with a very small percentage of thermal energy absorption and the nucleus-effect is stronger where the temp/molecular structure compares directly to the hydrological cycle straight in line with ozone temperatures. But lets get it straight. The distibuted climate trends can be narrowed to the NODC data which implies strong flux behaviours? Would this be the et-al nino behaviour?

  57. “Despite a sustained production of anthropogenic greenhouse gases, the Earth’s mean near-surface temperature paused its rise during the 2000–2010 period. To explain such a pause, an increase in ocean heat uptake below the superficial ocean layer has been proposed…”

    Do they have any empirical data that supports their proposal?

  58. “retrospective prediction”. This is the very essence of pseudo-science.

    Its EXACTLY the same as someone reporting a premonition after the event.

  59. Historically, retrospective predictions are always more accurate.
    What maroons.

  60. I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me how the ocean can be significantly warmed either by the atmosphere, or downwelling radiation, which Bob confirms only penetrates a few mm below the surface.

    The only logical explanation is the sun.

  61. There are a number of comments on this post that are mockingly dismissive of “retrospective predictions”. It is, however, an entirely reasonable thing to do. If one has a model that one wishes to use to predict the future it is sensible to ask the question “what would my model have predicted in the past”. Consider only data up to some previous point in time, use that data in your model and compare what your model predicts with what actually happened. As far as I can tell, there is nothing unreasonable about doing such a thing. To mock such a process either indicates a level of ignorance or a fundamental bias against any kind of climate science with which you disagree.

  62. Thomam

    Congrats – can you buy us all a drink?

    I’m going to go to Ladbrookes this lunch time and see whether they will accept my retrospective prediction on the National – £100 quid on Aurora’s Encore to win (at 66-1, and some people got 80-1)

  63. dp says:
    April 8, 2013 at 9:41 pm
    ///////////////////////////////////
    That is exactly the point.

    Why are the oceans now sucking up heat (energy0, but did not do so during the 1920s-1940s warming, or during the late 1970s – late 1990s warming?

    What is the process involved? How can it switch on and off? These questions relating to the mechanism need to be answered before the latest claim to explain away the lack of recent warming can be taken seriously.

    If there is some unknown mechanism whereby the oceans at times will suck up this energy, but not at other times then this raises the interesting prospect, namely: perhaps the the late 1970s – late 1990s warming was not caused by CO2 but was simply caused by the oceans notsucking up the energy and sequestering it to depth.

  64. Paul Homewood says:

    April 9, 2013 at 3:36 am
    ////////////////////////////
    Paul

    Since DWLWIR can only penetrate matters of microns (not millimeters) only the sun heats the oceans. It is probable that such DWLWIR as is absorbed by the oceans in the top few microns, if the DWLWIR has the ability to perform sensible work in the ocean environ, largely goes to drive evaporation.

    However, the claim is that because of DWLWIR, the atmosphere above the oceans is warmer than it would otherwise be, such that the rate at which the oceans cool is less, thereby resulting in a warmer ocean. In otherwords because of the warmer atmosphere above the oceans, the oceans retain more of the warmth which has been generated from the absorption of solar energy.

  65. One point to think about.

    If the ocean has the ability to sequester this ‘energy’ to depth, why after approximately 4.5 billion years is the deep ocean only about 2 to 3 degC?

    Lets face it, at some 320 W m^-2 the oceans have these past 4.5 billion years received an awful lot of DWLWIR back radiated energy, and yet it does not appear to have heated the ocean to any significant extent.

  66. To the left of centre:

    Your post at April 9, 2013 at 3:43 am is ridiculous.

    It says in total

    There are a number of comments on this post that are mockingly dismissive of “retrospective predictions”. It is, however, an entirely reasonable thing to do. If one has a model that one wishes to use to predict the future it is sensible to ask the question “what would my model have predicted in the past”. Consider only data up to some previous point in time, use that data in your model and compare what your model predicts with what actually happened. As far as I can tell, there is nothing unreasonable about doing such a thing. To mock such a process either indicates a level of ignorance or a fundamental bias against any kind of climate science with which you disagree.

    No!
    Science says that a prediction of a model is compared to reality. Any difference between observed reality and the prediction is an indication of a flaw in the model. This is because a model is a representation of an understanding of reality.

    Therefore, the difference between the model prediction and observed reality is a demonstration of a flaw in the modeled understanding of reality.

    The flaw may be in
    (a) the understanding
    or
    (b) how the model is constructed to represent that understanding
    or
    (c) both (a) and (b).

    There are no other possibilities. And it is pure pseudoscience to imagine a not-measured effect and to feed that into the model to determine if it can be used to adjust the model prediction to agree with observed reality.

    Such a practice is pseudoscience because there are an infinite number of not-measured effects which can be imagined, but none of them add to understanding of what was modeled. Addition of such an effect pretends the modelers have an understanding which they do not have.

    The model failed its empirical test. Using “retrospective-prediction” of the kind reported by Guemas at al. is pure pseudoscience and cannot be thought “an entirely reasonable thing to do” except by pseudoscientists.

    Richard

  67. Yet another demonstration proving that ‘bullshit baffles brains’!

    ‘To the left of centre’ does make a valid point; but we can hardly be expected to trust *any* of the data used, on previous form; and hasn’t it already been proven that Mannian datasets can be used to prove *anything*?

    Btw speaking of ‘form’, in racing parlance this kind of retrospective prediction is called ‘after-timing’ and attracts the utmost scorn and disbelief from serious punters

    As a matter of semantics, I believe ‘Natural Climate Change Deniers’ should read ‘Deniers of Natural Climate Change'; the first phrase is capable of too many meanings ; )

  68. Trenberth commenting on Guemas:

    “”Global warming is continuing but it’s being manifested in somewhat different ways,” said Kevin Trenberth, of the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research. Warming can go, for instance, to the air, water, land or to melting ice and snow.

    Warmth is spreading to ever deeper ocean levels, he said, adding that pauses in surface warming could last 15-20 years.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/07/us-climate-oceans-idUSBRE93608420130407

    So now the pause could last up to 20 years according to Trenberth! Didn’t the Team say that 16 years was the marker?

  69. Given the wonderful NCAA Champianship game last night it is interesting how basketball illistrates a guiding principle of my life. Consider this sequence: 1-Coach calls time out, 2- play is drawn up in the huddle, 3-play resumes, 4- Defence does something unpredicted, 5-Chaos ensues. This sequence applies to football too.

    My guiding principle is “Planning is figuring out what’s NOT going to happen. Obviously we can add the corolalary [sp?] “Predicting and forecasting for the climate scientist [?] is figuring out what you WISH will happen.” Retrospective predictions are figuring out what you WISH had happened.

    ps: I played alot of basketball in my misspent youth.

  70. The “science” of CAGW hangs by a thread and it must be rescued somehow. Quite apparent is the fact that the “science” is not “settled”, but rather than admit this, the alarmists now present us with a new paradigm… one sufficiently cryptic to prolong (or stifle) the debate a while longer. Maybe I am oversimplifying this, but if the oceans are warming, then at what point would a thermal equilibrium be established between the oceans and the atmosphere? My guess is “long enough” to continue the charade. There were two general possibilities to explain the current (and ongoing) lack of warming: a) the CO2 greenhouse gas theory needs just a wee bit of tweaking or b) the theory is flat-out wrong. The evidence (and Occam’s razor) points strongly to “b”, but that won’t get your grant funded and it does not justify increased government control of energy policy.

    To “to left of center” I would ask why the previous models, back-tested as they surely should have been (by “retrospective prediction”), failed to account for this? And why should we now accept the new model(s) as being any more accurate?

  71. “The only logical explanation is the sun.”
    =-=================================================
    I am an ignorant journalist, not a scientist. Even with a Fourier Transform, I couldn’t distinguish my ass from a hole in the ground. So I hope someone can enlighten me as to the role undersea volcanism plays in ocean heating. It would seem to be large, and unquantifiable: If it can’t be quantified, it can’t be modeled. And if it is large, the role of “climate change” in warming the oceans would seem to be pretty much moot. Please advise.

  72. Okay, the abstract says

    Most of this excess energy was absorbed in the top 700 m of the ocean at the onset of the warming pause,

    Bob’s graphs says that’s not the case. So the interesting thing will be to see how the authors determined that the missing heat is in the top 700 m.

  73. Oh come on guys, “retrospective prediction” (or calibration, etc) doesn’t warrant the frothing around the mouth posters here have given it. If you don’t like term, suggest a better one, perhaps Bill Gray’s tests of new tropical storm forecast techniques has a good hint.

    At the very least it doesn’t have the screwed up mathematical conotation that “4X less energy input” is the same as “75% less energy input”. Or is it 80% less enegy input? Just where is that 4 supposed to go, anyway?

  74. To the left of centre says:
    April 9, 2013 at 3:43 am

    There are a number of comments on this post that are mockingly dismissive of “retrospective predictions”. It is, however, an entirely reasonable thing to do. If one has a model that one wishes to use to predict the future it is sensible to ask the question “what would my model have predicted in the past”. Consider only data up to some previous point in time, use that data in your model and compare what your model predicts with what actually happened. As far as I can tell, there is nothing unreasonable about doing such a thing. To mock such a process either indicates a level of ignorance or a fundamental bias against any kind of climate science with which you disagree.

    “Predict” is the wrong word. “Hindcast” or the more clumsy “postdict” would be a more accurate term for the type of model testing you propose. The mockery results from the authors failing to recognize and acknowledge how silly their terminology sounds as well as the general failure of models to actually estimate future conditions accurately. Being able to tell you where you’ve been when you know where you’ve been is a really small accomplishment — absolutely required if you hope to predict where you’re going, but nothing to brag about.

  75. Richie says: “So I hope someone can enlighten me as to the role undersea volcanism plays in ocean heating.”

    Richie, you’re not the first to ask the question, and you will not be the last. I do recall papers and blog posts that attempted to quantify this and if memory serves, the impact was negligible.

  76. When will the CAGW team ever admit that evidence such as this is showing us that anthropogenic CO2 is playing a very minor role in slowing down energy lost to space and that the cyclical processes of evaporation, condensation, freezing, and thawing are the rate controlling factors? Also, very likely, these processes are controlling the atmospheric concentrations of CO2 rather than CO2 controlling the rate of energy loss.

  77. @- Louis Hooffstetter
    ”Do they have any empirical data that supports their proposal?”

    Yes, the measured thermosteric component of sea level change, as well as the other data that shows OHC increasing down, and probably beyond 2000m

    http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

    Note graph 6.

    @- Paul Homewood
    “I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me how the ocean can be significantly warmed either by the atmosphere, or downwelling radiation, which Bob confirms only penetrates a few mm below the surface.”

    Downwelling thermal radiation is absorbed by CO2 and water vapor in the micrometer above the water surface. That is energy gain from a photon by an absorbing molecule which is then thermalised by collision with other air molecules in the vicinity and by collision with the water surface. A significant amount of the water vapor in the saturated layer immediately above the water surface is in continual exchange with the liquid water evaporating and condensing back into this surface at the nanoscale.
    That enables a process of thermodynamic partition that transfers those Joules into the liquid ocean.

    Science of Doom goes into more detail if you are really wanting to know more about this, and not just declaring your ignorance as somehow representative of what science actually knows. I think he makes the point that this surface effect can be regarded as a form of energy transport that limits the rate at which a liquid water surface can shed energy by evaporation.

    http://scienceofdoom.com/category/ocean-physics/

  78. Lots of people have picked up on the apparent absurdity of the phrase “retrospective prediction”, so I Googled(tm) it. I got “about 5,170″ hits, many from articles about this paper, but also from other references which suggest the phrase is not unprecedented in the modeling discipline.

    At a (very) course glance, it appears to mean model validation by successful hindcasting.

  79. “To explain such a pause, an increase in ocean heat uptake below the superficial ocean layer2, 3 has been proposed” … reminds me of the increasingly complex models of cogs and wheels they were forced to use to retain the earth as the centre of the solar system.

    The only certainty, is that sooner or later even the maddest scientist will realise that it is far simpler to accept the simpler model: that the sun is the centre of the solar system, just as now the same troglodytes are being forced to accept that with all the extra wheels and cogs they are being forced onto their climate models … there are so many wheels … they are falling off the bandwagon.

  80. John Trigge (in Oz) says:
    April 8, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Brilliant post! And you didn’t use the word ‘Orwellian’.

    We need a game. What is analogous to a “retrospective forecast?”

  81. Oh come on guys, “retrospective prediction” (or calibration, etc)

    Ric

    What follows calibration is test and validation. Don’t see that here. What they did is still inexcusable and not scientific.

  82. The paper is really so over the top that it occurred to me that it would be a perfect April Fools Joke from Willis to the warmistas.

  83. The warmers have a really good misdirection going on with this Ocean Heat Uptake spin. Its showing up everywhere now.

    The followers feel better after seeing that there is warming continuing. They assume it was the amount forecast all the time but that is false. They are left with this mistaken impression and they are never corrected by the authors of pieces like this.

    They are never told it is just a fraction of that forecast and a fraction of the total radiative forcing which is occuring. I’ll write this up when I have some free time but I don’t right now.

    72% of the energy is missing or has been emitted back to space at an increased rate.

  84. Bob Tisdale says:
    April 9, 2013 at 6:08 am
    “Hmmm. Lots of people jumping on the term “retrospective prediction”.

    Seems to me it’s the same thing as a hindcast.”

    What is annoying is that they retain the term ‘prediction’ in their newly minted phrase ‘retrospective prediction’. The standard practice is to distinguish “predictions into the past” from prediction or forecast by using a term such as ‘postdiction’ or ‘hindcast’. The distinction is important because prediction is about the future.

    At best, ‘retrospective prediction’ is a confusing substitute for ‘prediction into the past’. The value of ‘prediction into the past’ is that it says right up front that this is not prediction.

  85. News Flash: A new era in clairvoyant prediction is upon us. What used to be back alley business has now bloomed into Wall Street penthouse business suites thanks to recent research proving the accuracy of Retrospective Prediction. The Enquirer has now overtaken the New York Times in prominence and believability. Our future is safe because of the science behind the most important discovery since penicillin.

    These authors must be so proud, so proud.

  86. @richardscourtenay Hmm, so my comment is ridiculous! Interesting! I’ll say no more.

    @Gary I’ll attempt to respond as your response is at least reasonable.

    You say

    Being able to tell you where you’ve been when you know where you’ve been is a really small accomplishment — absolutely required if you hope to predict where you’re going, but nothing to brag about.

    Well, this seems to be the point that I think most are missing. If you apply this process properly then you use your model without “knowing where you’ve been”. Imagine I have a model that I think can predict the future evolution of something (let’s say surface temperatures) using past data. The year is 2013 and I have data from 1950 till today. If I only consider data from 1950 till 1990 and then use my model to predict what will happen between 1990 and 2013, this will give me an indication of how well my model works. The point is, if this is done properly, the model doesn’t know what happened between 1990 and 2013. I don’t see why this is in any way an unreasonable thing to do. I also don’t quite see why the term “retrospective prediction” also isn’t a reasonable way to describe such a process. I’m not specifically commenting on this paper or whether or not the authors applied this correctly or whether or not there results suggest their model works well. I’m simply commenting that it seems odd that so many comments are mockingly dismissive of something that is fairly common practice in many areas of science.

  87. It’s not whether an explanation is ad hoc that matters, or whether it is intended to bolster a “retrospective prediction.” What matters is whether it is well-supported by the evidence. If the evidence does not support oceanic warmth hiding, then that’s what counts. Don’t pounce on the explanation for being ad hoc, because ad hoc is no vice.

  88. If their model now ‘works’ then predicting future events should be a doddle . . . so where are the REAL predictions?
    It’s all academic really, because according ot the BBC News this morning the increasing Co2 in the atmosphere is effecting the wind, so it will make air travel far TOO expensive for the ordinary person to even contemplate flying anywhere in the near future.
    Presumably a side effect will be the impact on wind turbines too! (probably why they never reach their stated maximum output – air too thick with CO2).

  89. Another problem with “retrospective prediction” is that it allows the authors to smuggle in the term ‘prediction’. But they are using models and models cannot predict. They should use a term along the lines of “retrospective tuning.”

  90. Bob Tisdale says:
    April 9, 2013 at 6:08 am

    > Hmmm. Lots of people jumping on the term “retrospective prediction”.

    > Seems to me it’s the same thing as a hindcast.

    Ah yes, that was the term I was trying to recall. People haven’t squawked about that much.

  91. To Paul Homewood,Richard Verney and others:
    About 90% of back radiation does go into the ocean.To correctly discuss this heat transfer problem one must first formulate the surface energy balance,for which it is sufficient to assume that the LWR is absorbed at the interface.See, for example,Mills “Basic Heat and Mass Transfer” Eq.9.54. When properly evaluated it will show that the effect of the LWR is to reduce the heat transfer(loss) from the water to the interface—thereby “heating” the ocean.

  92. “Retrospective prediction”
    yeah, let’s see them try to get away with that at the blackjack tables in Vegas.

    But really, I knew I was going to get that hand, so you should let me double my bet.

  93. izen says:
    April 9, 2013 at 5:57 am
    @- Louis Hooffstetter
    ”Do they have any empirical data that supports their proposal?”

    Yes, the measured thermosteric component of sea level change, as well as the other data that shows OHC increasing down, and probably beyond 2000m

    http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

    How do the graphs at this site square with those presented by Bob Tisdale above?

    /Mr Lynn

  94. I have a question I need help with:

    The paper states that at the top of the atmosphere there is a net energy imbalance of +0.5 to +1 W/msq. If this is true, and accurate, then this implies to me that whatever redistributions of heat may be happening within the system, (oceans etc), the system itself is failing to emit as much energy as it gains. Which in turn implies that by worrying about how this translates into observed temperature, or how heat is distributed in the oceans and atmosphere, we are missing the point. The system overall is still gaining energy, which surely can’t be sustainable without unpleasant consequences?

  95. izen says:

    “The value of this paper is the finding that physics that researchers use to explain how thermal energy is distributed in the climate can ‘retrospectively predict’ the actual observed data. That helps validate the physics used to analyse the climate.”

    No, it doesn’t.

    At best, it provides a hypothesis as to how a part of the climate system might work. Validating that hypothesis requires testing that hypothesis. That is accomplished by making rigorous predictions that prove out. Actual predictions. You know, of the future.

    This new “ocean heat” prophecy of the global warming religious movement is simply a reboot of the failed surface temperature portent. For the last twenty five years, we have had hindcast based hypotheses about the effect of CO2 on surface temperature thrown at us by people who were claiming that those hypotheses “validate the physics used to analyze the climate”.

    “We have these models”, we were told, “and they accurately hindcast the surface temperatures – but only when we include the awesome power of the God Compound, CO2. This proves that our eschatology is the One Truth.”

    And we kept hearing that crap, even as the actual predictions made by the methods of those hindcast-based hypotheses began to fail. Miserably.

    Doomsday was foretold. Great Trials and Tribulations! Repent!!! Purchase your Climate Indulgences before Judgement Day! But it did not happen.

    A decade of no warming was shrugged off, and the High Priests of the Church of the IPCC told us that the augurs had assured them that under no circumstances would Lord CO2 forsake his promise of warming the believers for so long as 15 years. As 15 years of no warming neared, Reverend Santer reread the entrails, and pushed out the Holy Hiatus to 17 years. Now that many surface temp datasets (despite the fiddlings of the faithful) are but a few months shy of 17 years of no warming, Pope Kevin I has placed the Second Coming of the Warmth “20 years or more” into the future.

    Meanwhile, the climate equivalent of the Great Disappointment is beginning to be interpreted by some warmists in exactly the way that the Millerites dealt with their crisis of faith – the predicted Second Coming of the Heat did happen, just as we predicted! It just happened on an invisible plane! His Warminess is there! Just hidden from the sight of the mortals, down in the third decimal place of the Great Deep. The true believer KNOWS this, because:

    “We have these models and they accurately hindcast ‘retrospectively predict’ the surface temperatures ocean heat content – but only when we include the awesome power of the God Particle, CO2. This proves that our eschatology is the One Truth.”

    Freaking witchdoctors. Learn how science works. Hint: this ad hoc gnostic bullshit ain’t it.

    Models are hypothesis. Models don’t validate anything. Models get validated. Sometimes. Other times, they fail. Make some actual predictions with your “new and improved” models (Now, with Ocean Heat Accounted For!), and phone us back in thirty or forty years to tell us how well ya did. And do it on your own dime, thanks.

  96. A “retrospective prediction” only makes sense when you divide the data you have in a training set that you use for training your model and a validation set that MUST NOT be used for training the model but only for validating whether your model has any skill.

    I don’t know whether they did this and am not inclined to buy the paper. If they didn’t, the validation of their model is still missing and therefore it should be considered conjecture.

  97. Retrospective prediction. Imagine if they had worked “teleconnection” in there too.

    I keep coming back to the bouys. In order for the heat to get to the 700-2000m layer, it has to pass through the 0-700m layer first, and the bouys would see it. The bouys just haven’t seen it…

  98. FrankK says:
    April 9, 2013 at 12:19 am
    “What is probably meant by “retrospective prediction” is actually “calibration” or “validation”. ”

    No, calibration and validation are two separate things. We know they calibrated – you always do when training a model – ; what we don’t know is whether they made any effort at validation; and we also don’t know if any such effort, if undertaken, was honest (think double blind trials – did they REALLY not use their validation data during the training).

  99. Hobbit says:
    April 9, 2013 at 7:40 am
    “I have a question I need help with:
    The paper states that at the top of the atmosphere there is a net energy imbalance of +0.5 to +1 W/msq. If this is true, and accurate, ”

    Do you think they measured that? Why do you think this? How do you think could they have measured it?
    Usually these imbalance claims come, as amazing as it sounds, directly out of climate models – yes, climate scientists have no shame, and think their audience is as dumb as a box of bricks.
    You know, they make a computer say this – there’s an imbalance. From there the next step is to get funding.

    If izen or any other warmist can prove me wrong by showing the measurements that show such an imbalance, please bring it on.

  100. So… after this analysis the climate models will be adjusted to take into account heat going in to the ocean. Good. And if the air temp goes down then the models can be adjusted to increase the heat going into the ocean. And if the air temp starts to climb again the models can be adjusted to account for that too. But if we just stay on this plateau we make our adjustment and stick with it. I get it. And if the ocean heat data conflicts in anyway some other adjusted metric can always be waved at to justify the process. Sea level rise or fall for example. It’s almost magical how that ocean sops up or releases the extra heat to support the theory. You can’t argue with magic. Especially retrospective magic.

    By the way, this has encouraged me to now know that my bracket prediction of Kansas winning the NCAA tournament was actually robust. No more busted brackets for me. I won’t go into all the details, but it’s clear that with some proper retrospective adjustments to scoring and defensive statistics Kansas actually won the tournament. Too bad for you Louisville.

  101. To the left of centre:

    My post at April 9, 2013 at 4:31 am explained why your post at April 9, 2013 at 3:43 am is ridiculous, pseudoscientific nonsense.

    You have replied to that at April 9, 2013 at 6:34 am without referencing my post and by saying in total

    @richardscourtenay Hmm, so my comment is ridiculous! Interesting! I’ll say no more.

    I understand why you say nothing in response to my explanation. And everybody who reads that explanation will understand, too.

    I write to thank you for providing me with this opportunity to draw attention to my explanation of your ridiculous nonsense.

    Richard

  102. RoHa’s Retrospective Prediction Company.
    Retrospective predictions GUARANTEED 100% accurate !!!

    Not so fast. Mann can’t even get retro-active preditions right. He “predicts” no medieval warm period, which is pretty damn robust.

  103. @Hobbit Exactly. If the measured energy imbalance is correct, then we are gaining something like 0.5 Joules per square metre every second. If correct, then this energy has to be going somewhere (a fundamental property). It can heat the oceans, melt polar ice, increase surface temperatures. If the oceans appear not to be gaining heat, if the ice appears not to be melting and if the surface temperatures appear not to be rising then either our measurement of the energy imbalance is wrong, or our understanding of where this energy is going is wrong. I can’t really see an alternative.

    Of course there are many who argue that the ice is indeed melting, the oceans are indeed gaining energy and we can’t yet tell if the surface temperatures have risen since the mid 1990s because of the natural variations in the temperature anomaly data. If so, then maybe we already know where this energy is going.

  104. “To explain such a pause, an increase in ocean heat uptake below the superficial ocean layer 2, 3 has been proposed to overcompensate for the Earth’s heat storage.” However, Bob has shown that the temperatures have not increased. If the heat uptake has been traced to the oceans and the temperatures have not increased, where did the heat go? I suggest the invisible elephant in the room is chemical storage of heat in the ocean. The climate analysis world has disregarded the effect of endothermic reactions on the heat content of the oceans. There are several chemical processes including the production of hydrocarbon compounds, calcium carbonate, hydration of calcium carbonate and hydration of other chemicals including methane that remove heat in the form of thermal energy and convert it to chemical energy. Chemical energy stored in the ocean is removed from the active climate system.

  105. DirkH,
    Thanks for the response. I think I recall Dr Spencer saying in his book that they have satellites measuring the energy imbalance at the top of the atmosphere, but I may be wrong. Is that not the case? Naturally if this is an output from computer models, as well as an input, then there is a problem with their approach…!

  106. HINDSIGHT: The Journal of the American Retrospective Prediction Society
    Coming in the next issue:
    * Late season snows predicted for Northeast USA in Spring 2013 by novel weather model.
    * A financial analysis method that would have predicted the banking crisis of 2008 as early as 2006.
    * A new model of thalidomide’s mechanism predicts widespread birth defects if given to large numbers of pregnant women.
    * Re-analysis of archived British intelligence documents shows Hitler actually was preparing to invade Poland in 1939.

  107. “The ability to predict retrospectively this slowdown not only strengthens our confidence in the robustness of our climate models,……………”
    April Fool’s Day was 8 days ago. Anthony, please re-date this post.

    I will be impressed when they can make a projection prediction about future standstills and get it right because right now it’s a case of we have a robust climate model because we can now predict the past. Climastrology.

  108. @DirkH There was a satellite called the Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS) and there is an instrument called Clouds and Earth’s Radiation Energy System (CERES) which has been on a number of NASA satellites. Measurements from ERBS and CERES are consistent with a long-term energy imbalance of about 0.5 W per square metre. It’s noisy data and they’ve only operated for a few decades, but there are indeed measurements and it is not just based on models.

  109. Here is the Warmists’ next line of defence in the face of any continued lack of warming or cooling. Over at ThinkProgress I read this:

    One of the more popular recent arguments among climate change deniers is that temperatures have not increased since roughly 2000, even as we’ve continued dumping carbon emissions into the atmosphere. The claim falls apart in several different ways. But one of the main ones is that it simply fails to account for the fact that the oceans are themselves part of the planetary ecological system being affected by global warming. And as Reuters reported, one of the findings of the study is that surface temperatures could begin accelerating again if that heat moves back out of the oceans:…………

    In other words hidden heat can be used as a thermometer and will in future represent global mean temperature.

  110. @-To the left of centre
    “The year is 2013 and I have data from 1950 till today. If I only consider data from 1950 till 1990 and then use my model to predict what will happen between 1990 and 2013, this will give me an indication of how well my model works. ”

    Interesting example.
    If you do that and use a straight linear extrapolation it under-estimates the actual warming by a significant amount. The ‘null hypothesis’ of no net future trend would fail by double that. Try it at woodfortrees or any climate data graphing system of your choice.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1950/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1950/to:1990/trend

    Let us hope that the recent 12 year trend is not as misleading as the 1950-1990 trend!

  111. Friends:

    This is off-topic. I write to provide an aside for amusement and do not intend to deflect the thread from its subject..

    In his attempt to pretend my post (at April 9, 2013 at 4:31 am) had not rubbished his nonsense, ‘To the left of centre’ mis-spells my family name.

    The mis-spelling does not offend me in any way. And it raises the subject of the meaning of my family name which may amuse some who do not know it.

    (Incidentally, I assume the mis-spelling may have been a simple error because there are several spelling of my family name in current usage and, therefore, it was not intended to hinder people finding my post which exposed his fallacious nonsense.)

    I use the spelling of Courtney but ‘To the left of centre’ used the alternate spelling of Courtenay.

    That alternate harps back to the Norman-French origin of my family name which was
    ‘Coure de nez’ (pronounced cor-de-nay). This is an insulting reference to the family nose and it literally translates as “short of nose”.

    Some Americans give their children my family name as their given name.
    I assume they see the infant, say, “That child has a stubby nose so we will call him/her Courtney”.

    Richard

  112. @- DirkH says:
    “If izen or any other warmist can prove me wrong by showing the measurements that show such an imbalance, please bring it on.”

    Brung.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2009JD012105/abstract

    ” We examine the Earth’s energy balance since 1950, identifying results that can be obtained without using global climate models….We explicitly consider the emission of energy by a warming Earth by using correlations between surface temperature and satellite radiant flux data and show that this term is already quite significant. ”

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v5/n10/full/ngeo1580.html?WT.mc_id=TWT_NatureGeosci

    “Climate change is governed by changes to the global energy balance. At the top of the atmosphere, this balance is monitored globally by satellite sensors that provide measurements of energy flowing to and from Earth. ”

    http://science.larc.nasa.gov/erbe/

    “The radiation budget represents the balance between incoming energy from the Sun and outgoing thermal (longwave) and reflected (shortwave) energy from the Earth. In the 1970’s, NASA recognized the importance of improving our understanding of the radiation budget and its effects on the Earth’s climate. “

  113. My retrospective prediction: Louisville 82, Michigan 76.

    Please send boatloads of prize money to: The Right Honourable Brad Crawford, 527…

  114. I predicted, over a year ago, that this study like this would be done by someone. I bet many other readers of this most excellent blog (were else can one engage in a conversation regarding the mathematical underpinnings of cross-correlation) have made similar predictions.

    BTW, I don’t trust anyone who would use a sentence like ” … but also enhances the socio-economic relevance…” in a scientific paper!

  115. coalsoffire says:
    April 9, 2013 at 7:58 am

    “It’s almost magical how that ocean sops up or releases the extra heat to support the theory. You can’t argue with magic. Especially retrospective magic.”

    Very well said. Their models are magical. At some point, they really should admit that their models cannot substitute for scientific theory.

  116. Jim Ryan says:
    April 9, 2013 at 6:39 am

    Sorry, but all hypotheses worthy of the name “science” can be used for prediction. Some will generate false predictions and are rejected. Others generate true predictions and are partially confirmed by them.

    Prediction and retrodiction (hindcast) are symmetric. If you can predict then you can retrodict and vice-versa. If you cannot predict then you cannot retrodict. See, in science, it all comes down to prediction.

    We know in principle that models cannot predict. In addition, we know from Alarmists behavior that models cannot predict. Everytime an Alarmists claims to make a prediction about climate that prediction turns out to be conclusively falsified. But Alarmists will not agree that their models are falsified; therefore, one can only conclude that Alarmists believe that their models do not predict.

  117. Considering the paper Guemas et al (2013), it appears that the credibility of climate science peer review has been lessened somewhat of late in the house that the journal Nature built.

    John

  118. izen says:
    April 9, 2013 at 8:23 am

    @-To the left of centre
    “The year is 2013 and I have data from 1950 till today. If I only consider data from 1950 till 1990 and then use my model to predict what will happen between 1990 and 2013, this will give me an indication of how well my model works. ”

    Interesting example.
    If you do that and use a straight linear extrapolation it under-estimates the actual warming by a significant amount. The ‘null hypothesis’ of no net future trend would fail by double that. Try it at woodfortrees or any climate data graphing system of your choice.

    1950 to 1990 is only 40 years, that’s less than the period of important cycles like the PDO and AMO (caveats acknowledged about their cyclic nature).

    I strongly recommend you use multiple cycles of data and don’t use a linear extrpolation.

    In http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/07/in-china-there-are-no-hockey-sticks/ the author claims to have used 2500 years of data and in figure 5 he has “Prediction of temperature trends on the central-eastern Tibetan Plateau for the next 120 years. Blue line, initial series; orange line, calibration series, 464 BC–834 AD; purple line, verification series, 835–1980 AD; red line, forecasting series, 1980–2134 AD.”

    The verification series verifies extremely well. The forecasting series says there will be (was) a temperature peak at 2006 and the next local minimum is at 2068. If it verifies, the warmists should give up well before then.

  119. @richardscourtney My misspelling of your name was purely a mis-type. I’m happy that you’re not offended, but no offense was intended.

    I suspect that you do not understand why I chose not to really respond to your earlier comment. If you think it’s because I can’t think of a suitable response, you’d be mistaken. It was more based on my interpretation of what your earlier comment said about you, than any inability on my part to respond suitably.

  120. @- MattN
    ” In order for the heat to get to the 700-2000m layer, it has to pass through the 0-700m layer first, and the bouys would see it. ”

    Could you define what the ‘IT’ is that you claim the ARGO buoys will see.
    I know it is ‘heat’, but do you think that will show as a temperature pulse with the shallower ocean warming first and then the deeper layers slowly catching up? Or a change in salinity as that affects density driven convection more than temperature in the deep ocean.

    @-“The bouys just haven’t seen it…”

    What is the fingerprint of the passing heat that you think they SHOULD have seen if, as the mainstream believe, this energy is in the deep ocean?

  121. I haven’t reall all 100+ comments, so this may have been said already. If the ocean is currently absorbing heat, what changed from when it wasn’t absorbing heat. It seems if it absorbs heat now, it would have been absorbing heat all along.

  122. Jim2: sun shines, ocean absorbs hear. clouds and other factors affect whether the water warms or cools more… such as evaporation, cloud cover during day vs night. The oceans seem to be cooling somewhat not warming now. Some predict oceans will cool further as sun continues its current solar cycle 24 which is the weakest in 75 to 100 years. It’s more complex than this.. but it’s a start, I think.

  123. @izen I’m a little confused by your comment. I don’t mention how my hypothetical model works and the time period I’ve chosen is purely illustrative. I was simply trying to illustrate how one could use past data to make “retrospective predictions” to test how a hypothetical model would have worked had you used it at some point in the past and to then check how the results from that model compared with what actually happened. I don’t even mention the term linear regression.

  124. Oh good, then the next 20-year IPCC forecast will be dead on! I have total confidence they’ve solved all the problems with predicting climate.

    Seriously, when they can predict the regional anomaly for the next year within .1 degrees for 9 out of 10 years I’ll consider the possibility of someday taking their long-term forecasts seriously.

  125. To the left of centre:

    Thankyou for your post at April 9, 2013 at 9:54 am. Please be assured that I was sincere in saying I was not offended by your mis-spelling of my name.

    You also refer to my post at April 9, 2013 at 4:31 am. I note that you again do not state where my post is, and I understand that because it explains why your post at April 9, 2013 at 3:43 am is pseudoscientific nonsense.
    You say to me

    I suspect that you do not understand why I chose not to really respond to your earlier comment. If you think it’s because I can’t think of a suitable response, you’d be mistaken. It was more based on my interpretation of what your earlier comment said about you, than any inability on my part to respond suitably.

    Please be assured that your suspicion is misplaced because I am fully aware that you do not lack an ability “to respond suitably”. However, you chose not to apologise for writing misleading, pseudoscientific nonsense, although you do have the ability to apologise.

    And, yes, my post did say of me that I am willing to call-out anonymous trolls who post untrue nonsense as you did.

    Richard

  126. So to validate this paper they should be able to predict what hasn’t happened yet, ie what does their model say will happen to the earths temperature over the next five to ten years?

  127. @- To the left of centre says
    ” I don’t mention how my hypothetical model works and the time period I’ve chosen is purely illustrative. ”

    I know.
    I was stretching the hypothetical past its Young’s limit…..

    I just found it amusing that following your numbers and using very simplistic models of ‘no change’ or ‘linear trend’ both retrospective predictions would have been way off.
    It seems to need a rather better physic based model to correctly hindcast the actual changes.

  128. @richardscourtney I don’t know what evidence you have to accuse me of being a troll. Anonymity in itself does not make it so. As far as I can tell, there are many posting here who are anonymous. I am commenting as an individual and am, I believe, avoiding any kind of personal insults. My reason for not responding fully to your initial comment about by comment is that I typically engage with those who I think I may learn something from or who appear to be willing to learn something from me. Since neither of these conditions appear to be satisfied in your case, I see no real point in engaging in any kind of debate or discussion. I see no evidence in your most recent comment to suggest that this characterisation isn’t reasonable.

    I see no reason to apologise for my comment. It was a perfectly reasonable comment that I would be happy to debate/discuss with anyone who was willing to refrain from referring to what I say as pseudo-scientific nonsense.

  129. @- jim2
    ” If the ocean is currently absorbing heat, what changed from when it wasn’t absorbing heat. ”

    The amount of downwelling longwave radiation from rising CO2.

  130. If you were to plot the SST vs the ocean heat content for the same area, you would see an increase in heat content beyond the temperature. That would be the deeper than surface heat energy. However, you would have to see the data for that.

    Sea temperature below surface vs oceanic heat content would show if this deeper heat content makes sense. If it doesn’t, then there (probably) has been even deeper heat content added. For which you would have to see the data.

    Going deeper changes the salinity and pressure, which on a time period of only 10 years I would think are stable (unless overturn is going to be a really rapid process, which I doubt considering the mass of the oceans). For a CHANGE you still have to have temperature to rise.

  131. To the left of centre:

    Your post at April 9, 2013 at 11:04 am asserts:

    I see no reason to apologise for my comment. It was a perfectly reasonable comment that I would be happy to debate/discuss with anyone who was willing to refrain from referring to what I say as pseudo-scientific nonsense.

    I call BS on that!

    Following your evasion of providing a proper response to my comment in rebuttal of your nonsense, I have repeatedly goaded you in attempt to obtain a proper response. And you have persistently refused to provide one.

    I remind that my comment you are evading was as follows.

    Richard

    ================
    richardscourtney says:
    April 9, 2013 at 4:31 am

    To the left of centre:

    It says in total
    Your post at April 9, 2013 at 3:43 am is ridiculous

    There are a number of comments on this post that are mockingly dismissive of “retrospective predictions”. It is, however, an entirely reasonable thing to do. If one has a model that one wishes to use to predict the future it is sensible to ask the question “what would my model have predicted in the past”. Consider only data up to some previous point in time, use that data in your model and compare what your model predicts with what actually happened. As far as I can tell, there is nothing unreasonable about doing such a thing. To mock such a process either indicates a level of ignorance or a fundamental bias against any kind of climate science with which you disagree.

    No!
    Science says that a prediction of a model is compared to reality. Any difference between observed reality and the prediction is an indication of a flaw in the model. This is because the model is a representation of an understanding of reality.

    Therefore, the difference between the model prediction and observed reality is a demonstration of a flaw in the modelled understanding of reality.

    The flaw may be in
    (a) the understanding
    or
    (b) how the model is constructed to represent that understanding
    or
    (c) both (a) and (b).

    There are no other possibilities. And it is pure pseudoscience to imagine a not-measured possibility and to feed that into the model to determine if it can be used to adjust the model prediction to agree with observed reality.

    Such a practice is pseudoscience because there are an infinite number of not-measured possibilities which can be imagined.

    The model failed its empirical test. Using “retrospective-prediction” of the kind reported by Guemas at al. is pure pseudoscience and cannot be thought “an entirely reasonable thing to do” except by pseudoscientists.

    Richard

  132. Virginie Guemas is a model student of Codron, Cassou, Meteo France who also signed the petition that Valerie Masson Delmotte started against Claude Allegre and Vincent Courtillot back in 2010. The WWU call against Easterbrook participates of the same idea.
    Her presentations in which Azores anticyclones and other niceties of the statistical climatology are prominently featured suggests a she’d be in pain to figure out what’s the weather doing.

  133. To the left of centre:

    I apologise that I made two errors in copying my post that you are evading. Sorry.

    The corrected copy is as follows.

    Richard
    ============

    richardscourtney says:
    April 9, 2013 at 4:31 am

    To the left of centre:

    Your post at April 9, 2013 at 3:43 am is ridiculous.
    It says in total

    There are a number of comments on this post that are mockingly dismissive of “retrospective predictions”. It is, however, an entirely reasonable thing to do. If one has a model that one wishes to use to predict the future it is sensible to ask the question “what would my model have predicted in the past”. Consider only data up to some previous point in time, use that data in your model and compare what your model predicts with what actually happened. As far as I can tell, there is nothing unreasonable about doing such a thing. To mock such a process either indicates a level of ignorance or a fundamental bias against any kind of climate science with which you disagree.

    No!
    Science says that a prediction of a model is compared to reality. Any difference between observed reality and the prediction is an indication of a flaw in the model. This is because the model is a representation of an understanding of reality.

    Therefore, the difference between the model prediction and observed reality is a demonstration of a flaw in the modelled understanding of reality.

    The flaw may be in
    (a) the understanding
    or
    (b) how the model is constructed to represent that understanding
    or
    (c) both (a) and (b).

    There are no other possibilities. And it is pure pseudoscience to imagine a not-measured possibility and to feed that into the model to determine if it can be used to adjust the model prediction to agree with observed reality.

    Such a practice is pseudoscience because there are an infinite number of not-measured possibilities which can be imagined. Such a practice is pseudoscience because there are an infinite number of not-measured effects which can be imagined, but none of them add to understanding of what was modeled. Addition of such an effect pretends the modelers have an understanding which they do not have.

    The model failed its empirical test. Using “retrospective-prediction” of the kind reported by Guemas at al. is pure pseudoscience and cannot be thought “an entirely reasonable thing to do” except by pseudoscientists.

    Richard

  134. @- mwhite
    “So to validate this paper they should be able to predict what hasn’t happened yet, ie what does their model say will happen to the earths temperature over the next five to ten years?”

    The models predict a continuing warming trend a little faster than the trend from 1980 till now. Say around 0.15degC/decade. with a wide margin of uncertainty.
    None predict cooling.
    Most include a prediction range that covers a trend the same as that seen over the last 20 years.

  135. In computer science we have:
    exponential time algorithms e.g. O(2^n)
    polynomial time algorithms e.g. O(n^3)
    linear time algorithms e.g. O(n)
    constant time algorithms e.g. O(1)
    And evidently Guemas et al. have now discovered an O(-1) algorithm which knows the answer before it is run.

  136. From Church and White 2011, here is your Ocean Heat Uptake in the Red and Dark Blue areas in comparison to all the components we should be talking about.

    Big farking deal. Why so much focus on these tiny little areas.

    Because it can be shown this way instead in Guemas 2013 (just ignoring the other 90% of the Earth’s Heat Budget).

    Or SkepticalScience’s version (ignoring 90% of the relevant components)

    Or another version (ignoring 90% of the relevant components).

    These are just lines going up. GHG radiative forcing is 6 times bigger.

    Have a read of Church and White 2011 and just ignore the sea level budget discussion and focus on the Earth Heat Budget part.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2011GL048794/full

  137. Izen claims the reason the oceans are now absorbing excess heat is … “The amount of downwelling longwave radiation from rising CO2.”

    Let’s assume he is correct and we hit a “tipping point” where the oceans start absorbing ALL the energy from now on. The current models predicted an atmosphere rise of 3C/doubling. That means by the time we get to 800 ppm in about 200 years the average global temperature would rise from 15C to 18C.

    However, due to this tipping point all the excess energy will now enter the oceans. Since the heat capacity of the oceans is 1000x the atmosphere we should see a 3/1000 increase in average ocean temperature. Since the oceans now average 3.9C that means it would go up to 3.903C. Oh wait, I bet that 3.9C is already rounded. In other words, the warming would not be detectable.

    Thank you Izen for pointing out the there is no longer any looming catastrophe. Can we now quit pouring trillions of dollars into re-inventing our energy infrastructure and killing the poor people of the world?

  138. Let me see, the ocean is the largest repository of CO2 out there, yet its ability to hold CO2 is dependent on temperature. My question: if the oceans were to warm, wouldn’t the CO2 levels have spiked at a much higher rate as the CO2 boiled out of the oceans?

    Another smell test not quite right.

  139. Bob, this is off-topic, but I think you (or Willis) might find this paper interesting:

    http://www.tau.ac.il/~colin/courses/AtmosElec/ChenISUAL08.pdf

    I had been wondering this morning about how much power might be transported electrically within the atmosphere, through thunderstorms and higher. Turns out that regular lightning tops out around 10 km, but blue jets reach 2-4 times that height, and Sprites occur at 8-10 times that height.

    Note the paper’s connection between oceanic thunderstorms and Sprites. They’re much more likely over water and with higher SSTs. ENSO reaches into space?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upper-atmospheric_lightning

  140. JJ says:
    April 9, 2013 at 7:40 am: “…this ad hoc gnostic bullshit ain’t it….” Heh. Funny and well said, but it phases not at all.

    Now that we know their model is “robust” how about putting out a real prediction – you know, of the future? I can’t wait to see how the next few years shape up. I want to know whether or not to invest in pinot noir production from Greenland – the next “Burgundy” if things go warmer.

  141. The problem with model validation by hindcasting or “retrospective prediction” or whatever the term of the day happens to be, is that it is imagined to work like this:

    1. Build a model.
    2. Calibrate the model with data from 1900-1950.
    3. Test the model by comparing model predictions for 1950-2000 to data from 1950-2000.
    4. Accept or reject the model based on Step 3, and publish the results whatever they may be.

    But in practice, it really works like this:

    1. Build a model.
    2. Calibrate the model with data from 1900-1950.
    3. Test the model by comparing model predictions for 1950-2000 to data from 1950-2000.
    4. If Step 3 indicates that you should accept the model, publish the results.
    5. If Step 3 indicates that you should reject the model, then make changes to the model, and return to Step 2. Rinse, repeat.

    The first method uses the first subset of the data for calibration, and the second subset of the data for validation. The second method uses all of the data in a multi-step calibration, without any validation. Often, that is not how the results of the second method are reported, or even understood by the people doing the work.

    In practice, the only way to reliably avoid that pitfall is to insist on validation by data that cannot have been part of the calibration, as it cannot have been known to anyone involved in the process. Future data.

  142. T Control says: “I just skimmed the paper- can someone fill me in on how reliable ORAS4 should be?”

    It’s a reanalysis, which makes it part data and part computer model. Because there’s so little source ocean heat content data prior to ARGO, it’s likely primarily computer model.

  143. izen says: “I notice you use the NODC data for the ocean heat content. does this mean you accept their finding of a gain in OHC of around 5×10^22 Joules in total down to 2000m over the last decade.”

    Apparently you didn’t read the post and the links, because, if you had read the links, izen, you’d have discovered that I don’t find any ocean heat content dataset to be credible.

  144. @richardscourtney Somehow you think I’m obliged to respond to your comment. Why would that possibly be a reasonable expectation? As I mentioned, I am more than happy to engage with people who are willing to remain civil and who refrain from accusing me of being a troll and from referring to what I say as pseudo-scientific nonsense. Why would I possible want to engage with someone who appears to have already made up their mind about the relevance of my views? If you already know the answer (as you seem to think you do) you don’t need me to be involved at all.

  145. @- Richard M
    “Let’s assume izen is correct and we hit a “tipping point” where the oceans start absorbing ALL the energy from now on. The current models predicted an atmosphere rise of 3C/doubling. That means by the time we get to 800 ppm in about 200 years the average global temperature would rise from 15C to 18C.”

    That is with the oceans absorbing 90% of the extra energy as at present.

    @-“However, due to this tipping point all the excess energy will now enter the oceans. Since the heat capacity of the oceans is 1000x the atmosphere we should see a 3/1000 increase in average ocean temperature. Since the oceans now average 3.9C that means it would go up to 3.903C. Oh wait, I bet that 3.9C is already rounded. In other words, the warming would not be detectable.”

    You are quite right that the rise in the AVERAGE temperature might not be detectable (except by expansion) if this thermodynamically impossibility occurred.

    But as we can see in the present with 90% of the energy going into the oceans the surface warms only a little slower than the land. About 0.7degC/century?

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadsst2gl/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1913/trend

    There is no reason to suppose that if 100% the energy went into the oceans it could all stay there. The percentage partitioning of the energy is an emergent property of the physics. Unless you invent ice nine to prevent any energy exchange between the oceans and the atmosphere it is difficult to envisage how the phase changes of water would not distribute that energy in climate altering ways.

    @-“Thank you Izen for pointing out the there is no longer any looming catastrophe. ”

    I never claimed there was one.
    But if you think that an increase in global temperatures from 15C to 18C is potentially catastrophic, then I fear your concept of an ocean with a single fixed temperature from its surface to its depth from pole to pole is an unconvincing alternative.

  146. izen says: “The amount of downwelling longwave radiation from rising CO2.”

    Unfortunately, the data disagrees with the hypothesis, because the data indicate the oceans warmed naturally.

    Regards.

  147. @- Bob Tisdale
    “Unfortunately, the data disagrees with the hypothesis, because the data indicate the oceans warmed naturally.”

    There is nothing unnatural about DWLR. The oceans would quickly freeze over without it.

    I would suggest that they warmed ‘naturally’ because increasing CO2 and thereby increasing DWLR slows the net rate at which the ocean surface layer can shed energy.
    It gains more during the energy absorbing La Niña part of the ENSO fluctuations.

  148. JJ, you got it right on the button. In practice, they’re going to continue adjusting the model until it accurately “predicts” 1950 to 2000 using 1900 to 1950 data. I’ve made that error when trying to “predict” horse races.

  149. @ izen April 9, 2013 at 11:12 am said:
    “The amount of downwelling longwave radiation from rising CO2.”

    Izen: I can see how shortwave radiation from the Sun gets aborbed into the ocean, but downwelling IR does not penetrate the skin of the ocean. This means that more CO2 can’t be the cause. More surface mixing could be the cause, but that hasn’t been demonstrated to be the case.

  150. To the left of centre:

    Thankyou for your post at April 9, 2013 at 1:42 pm which I and any other rational person can only understand to be saying.
    1. You made a post.
    2. I explained why and how your post was pseudoscientific nonsense.
    3. You cannot refute or even dispute my explanation.

    That seems pretty clear and I thank you for it.

    Richard

  151. izen says:

    There is no reason to suppose that if 100% the energy went into the oceans it could all stay there.

    But that is precisely the assumption upon which the “global warming” scare was built. We have been told for twenty five years that the ONLY way to explain any rise in atmospheric surface temp was to invoke the wrath of Almighty CO2. A fine fairy tale that supports the desired conclusion of high climate sensitivity via positive feedbacks (and the leftist political “solutions” to that “problem”), but one that rather inconveniently ran into the Truth: Surface atmospheric temps stopped rising, while CO2 decidedly did not.

    NOW we are told that the oceans are actually a part of the clmate system, and that heat that was modeled to go to the atmosphere may inexplicably go into the ocean depths instead. A nice ad hoc adjustment to the catechism, but it has an undesirable side effect. No one gives a rats ass about an infinitessimal “problem” buried under hundreds of meters of water. So the mythology must allow for the soggy fire and brimstone to be able to dry itself off, and at some point in the future come roaring back into the atmosphere where it may harm us unrepentant sinners.

    But if it is a legitimate threat that “missing heat” will come back in the future, then it is a legitimate supposition that it has done so in the past. Like 1980-2000, for example … This is a big gaping hole in the “global warming” narrative, that we skeptics have been talking about since the beginning. Welcome to the club.

  152. izen says: “There is nothing unnatural about DWLR. The oceans would quickly freeze over without it.”

    Really? Please advise how you’ve come to that conclusion. Are you forgetting that the downwelling shortwave radiation penetrates the oceans to depth but can only release that heat at the surface? In other words, are you forgetting that the oceans have their own “greenhouse effect”?

  153. @- Bob Tisdale
    “Are you forgetting that the downwelling shortwave radiation penetrates the oceans to depth but can only release that heat at the surface? In other words, are you forgetting that the oceans have their own “greenhouse effect”?

    No.
    It is the change in energy balance at the oceanic equivalent of the tropopause that Is the point.
    Are you forgetting that without DWLR we would have a snowball Earth?

  154. izen says: “I would suggest that they warmed ‘naturally’ because increasing CO2 and thereby increasing DWLR slows the net rate at which the ocean surface layer can shed energy. It gains more during the energy absorbing La Niña part of the ENSO fluctuations.”

    Grand assumption, izen. But downward longwave radiation anomalies over the western equatorial Pacific decrease during La Nina events–the 1995/96 La Nina for example, which is the La Niña that created the warm water for the 1997/98 El Nino–while downward shortwave radiation increases:

    In other words, downward longwave radiation varies in the wrong direction for it to be the cause of the warming. Or aren’t you aware of that simple fact?

    Also, please provide links to the multitude of climate model-based studies that confirm your ENSO-related assumptions. What’s that? There aren’t any?

  155. @-“But if it is a legitimate threat that “missing heat” will come back in the future, then it is a legitimate supposition that it has done so in the past. Like 1980-2000, for example …”

    Yes, the obvious example is the way in which the ENSO cycle which historically has been a climate neutral fluctuation over twenty year timescales has recently become a rachet, step-change process. El Nino periods when the ocean is absorbing less net energy warm the surface faster, but in the following La Nina period (greater ocean net energy absorbtion) things do not cool down to the previous temperature range. Although the warming may ‘pause’.
    Compare the temperature trends in ENSO cycles for a few decades before 1920 and after 1980.

    @- Bob Tisdale
    “In other words, downward longwave radiation varies in the wrong direction for it to be the cause of the warming. Or aren’t you aware of that simple fact?”

    I am aware that a lower sea surface temperature results in a lower air temperature above so DWLR is reduced. BY around 1.5% from your graph? I agree the dominant source of the warming is solar shortwave, I am speculating on the influence of the reduced net cooling rate being a continuous, shifted threshold and cumulative effect.

    @-“Also, please provide links to the multitude of climate model-based studies that confirm your ENSO-related assumptions. What’s that? There aren’t any?”

    None at all!
    It was just a ‘Grand assumption’ I though you might appreciate.
    {or is it Easterbrook who thinks its all ENSO?}

  156. The 0-700M and the 700M to 2000M ocean heat uptake was already FULLY accounted for despite this new study trying to pretend that the math works somehow.

    GHG Forcing 2012 +2.86 W/m2
    Aerosols Negative estimated -1.1 W/m2
    (Increased OLR from surface) ~ -0.3 W/m2

    Net Forcing Which Should be Apparent = +1.46 W/m2

    Ocean Heat Content Uptake (0-700 metres) 0.129 W/m2
    Ocean Heat Conent Uptake (700-2000 metres) 0.331 W/m2
    Ocean Heat Content Uptake (below 2000 metres) ~Zero
    Land Atmosphere Ice Melt 0.03 W/m2

    Missing = 0.97 W/m2

    The above are per year (and can be quoted in 10^22 joules/year if one wants – it can be done either way).

    http://www.pik-potsdam.de/~mmalte/rcps/index.htm#Download

  157. I was trying to resist the temptation, but I have to join the chorus of negative reaction to their “retrospective prediction”.

    They are not calibrating or validating their model. Calibration would be reducing the error in their model so that they could match reality. Validation would be using data from the past and accurately, or at least reasonably accurately, recreating the results from that date up to the present.

    What they are doing is changing the model by adding a new mechanism so that their model matches the present data and then using that as validation of their model – the obvious problem is that they can’t validate their model until their predictions are reasonably accurate, so they won’t know if the mechanism that they added is valid or not until they achieve accurate predictions. The mechanism, and the idea behind it, are pure speculation.

  158. @richardscourtney To illustrate how your reasoning suffers from some failures in logic, I will respond to your comment of April 9, 2013 at 3:28 pm.

    You said.

    1. You made a post.

    I agree, this is indeed true.

    2. I explained why and how your post was pseudoscientific nonsense.

    I disagree. You have no evidence for this. What I read where a bunch of statements made by someone who appeared uninterested in actually engaging in a meaningful discussion.

    3. You cannot refute or even dispute my explanation.

    This is even easier to refute as you clearly have no evidence for this. You cannot possible know whether I can or cannot refute or dispute your explanation. You believe this to be true, but that doesn’t make it so. Ever heard of confirmation bias. I choose not to for the reasons I’ve already given.

    Now I should probably retract one of my earlier comments. I implied that I would learn nothing from you. This is clearly not true as I have learned something, or at least I believe I’ve learned something. It’s not about science though.

    I’ve probably said all I wanted to say. I commented on this post with the genuine intent to engage with others who might have interesting things to say or who may be interested in what I had to say. It’s unfortunate that there are some – or at least one – who think that the appropriate manner in which to engage is to use language and terminology that certainly makes it seem that the intent is not to learn but to simply attack anyone whose views they disagree with.

  159. izen says:
    April 9, 2013 at 2:26 pm
    “There is nothing unnatural about DWLR. The oceans would quickly freeze over without it.”
    —————————————————————————————————————
    The false claim that incident LWIR can heat or slow the cooling rate of liquid water that is free to evaporatively cool is easily refuted by the simplest of empirical experiments.

    Experiment 1. Effect of incident LWIR on liquid water that is free to evaporatively cool.
    Incident LWIR can slow the cooling rate of materials. Climate scientists claim that DWLWIR has the same effect over oceans as it does over land, and this is shown in many Trenberthian energy budget cartoons. Does the ocean respond to DWLWIR the same way as land?
    – Build two water proof EPS foam cubes 150mm on a side and open at the top.
    – Position a 100mm square aluminium water block as LWIR source 25mm above each cube.
    – Position two small computer fans to blow a very light breeze between the foam cube and the water blocks.
    – Insert a probe thermometer with 0.1C resolution through the side of each cube 25mm below the top.
    – Continuously run 80C water through one water block and 1C water through the other.
    – Fill both EPS foam cubes to the top with 40C water an allow to cool for 30 min while recording temperatures.
    – Repeat the experiment with a thin LDPE film on the surface of the water in each cube to prevent evaporative cooling.
    You will find that water that is free to evaporatively cool does not have its cooling rate significantly changed by incident LWIR. LWIR radiation from CO2 does not trap heat in the oceans.

    And no, a hotter atmosphere will not hide AWG in the oceans so the hoax can survive.

    Experiment 2. Effect of heated air on liquid water that is free to evaporatively cool.
    Some claim that a hotter atmosphere can heat the oceans or slow their cooling rate. CO2 acts to cool the atmosphere at all concentrations above 0.0ppm, but you can check the effect on the oceans of heated air for amusement purposes.
    – Fill a small plastic bucket with cold water.
    – stir the water and measure the temperature.
    – Direct the hot air from a hair drier at the surface of the water from distance that prevents splashing for about 5 minutes.
    – Stir the water again and measure the temperature.
    – Repeat the experiment but this time direct the hair drier at the side of the bucket.
    You will find that trying to heat liquid water that is free to evaporatively cool with hot air in contact with the skin evaporation layer is ineffective.

    If you like I can also give you some easy empirical experiments to build so you can understand the critical role that radiative gases play in convective circulation in the troposphere. The “basic physics” of the “settled science” also got that wrong. They never correctly modelled a moving atmosphere. The atmosphere is provably not 33C warmer than it would otherwise be without “greenhouse” gases. Radiative gases cool our atmosphere at all concentrations above 0.0ppm. AGW is not hiding in the oceans. AGW due to emissions of CO2 is a physical impossibility.

  160. Friends:

    I strongly assert that science is important and I oppose attempts to return society to pre-Enlightenment thought. I encourage all others to join in that defence of science.

    The AGW-scare is part of the attempts to destroy science which I oppose. Indeed, the practice of “retrospective prediction” reported in the Guemas et al. paper is an example of pseudoscience displacing the scientific method.

    In that context, I now write to draw attention to the post in this thread at April 9, 2013 at 10:58 pm from the troll who has posted in this thread under the alias of ‘To the left of centre’. The post consists of nothing except falsehoods and innuendo. But, it is an important example of the behaviour of those attempting to destroy science and all the benefits society has gained from application of the scientific method.

    It concludes with this paragraph.

    I’ve probably said all I wanted to say. I commented on this post with the genuine intent to engage with others who might have interesting things to say or who may be interested in what I had to say. It’s unfortunate that there are some – or at least one – who think that the appropriate manner in which to engage is to use language and terminology that certainly makes it seem that the intent is not to learn but to simply attack anyone whose views they disagree with.

    Every statement in that paragraph is a demonstrable falsehood. Every statement without exception.

    WUWT is a science blog. Indeed, it has won the award for being ‘Best Science Blog’ outright by being voted the best for three successive years.

    Science consists of seeking the closest approximation to truth, and pseudoscientists – especially those who promote AGW – deliberately attempt to distort science.
    That deliberate distortion is what ‘To the left of centre’ did with his post at April 9, 2013 at 3:43 am. I replied with my post at April 9, 2013 at 4:31 am which explained why his post is ridiculous, pseudoscientific nonsense. The troll attempted to demean my promotion of science at April 9, 2013 at 6:34 am without referencing my post and by saying in total

    @richardscourtenay Hmm, so my comment is ridiculous! Interesting! I’ll say no more.

    And I then started to demand a proper answer to my post and/or an apology for the troll’s attack on science.

    In common with all trolls, ‘To the left of centre’ came here to mislead, to misinform and to disrupt. When shown to be wrong he pretended to be above rational discussion, and he complains that people who reveal his errors do not “engage” with him as he wants (clearly, he claims he did not get enough hugs as an infant).

    I will and do promote science. I will and do expose pseudoscientific nonsense whenever it is used as a method to attack science. And the feigned pretence of hurt feelings from anonymous trolls will not inhibit me from doing that.

    Richard

  161. I have copied the above coment to ThinkProgress, with the additional paragraph –
    “I understand many posting at this site are convinced that AGW hypothesis is correct, but I would suggest it is high time you considered the consequences of years of promoting an environmental scare based on a physics hypothesis that can only be wrong or right. Global warming has become synonymous with “environment”. The environmental movement is now permanently linked to AGW advocacy and vilification of sceptics. Right now the developing world is facing real environmental issues on a scale the developed world has never seen. I wonder if those posting here have any idea of the full extent of the damage the inevitable implosion of the AGW hoax is about to result in.”
    – We will see just how open Joe is to alternate view points. Not holding my CO2 though.

  162. @-Konrad
    “The atmosphere is provably not 33C warmer than it would otherwise be without “greenhouse” gases. Radiative gases cool our atmosphere at all concentrations above 0.0ppm. AGW is not hiding in the oceans. AGW due to emissions of CO2 is a physical impossibility.”

    Skydragon !!

    In Creationist circles they advise against using some arguments because they make you look so stupid to the scientifically well informed. I know Roy Spencer, Judith Curry, Richard Lindzen and even Anthony Watts here have run posts explaining the basics of radiative transfer and why it is right in an attempt to dissuade people from making the farcical claim that AGW is impossible.

    Your sort of nonsense just makes all skeptics look bad.

  163. Does this mean that the oceans could suddenly reverse this process and cause a signifiant increase in global temperatures?
    I suggest an “Ocean Tax”.

  164. @richardscourtney Wow, that is a remarkable comment. To be honest, I’m amazed. I might have expected some robust discussions if I posted on this blog, but nothing like what you are doing. Let’s go back a step. I wrote a comment. You responded in a manner that I felt suggested that you were unwilling to actually engage in a open and honest debate. I choose not to respond to your comment – as is my right. My original comment is available for others to read. Your response is available for others to read. They can make up their own minds about the validity of those comments. How you can suggest that my comment is a troll attacking science is a remarkable accusation. Let’s be clear, I’m not being trying to stop you from doing anything. I’m just choosing to not engage in a scientific discussion with someone who appears to have already made up their mind. I quite could easily throw similar accusations at you, but choose not to do so.

    I’ve been asking myself why I’m even responding to your comments. I should probably just ignore them as that is what they – in my opinion – deserve. I think I retain a sense of optimism that maybe something positive could come of this. This sense is vanishing rapidly.

  165. izen says:
    April 10, 2013 at 3:16 am
    “Skydragon !! [..] Your sort of nonsense just makes all skeptics look bad.”
    ———————————————————————————————
    Izen,
    nice try, but it won’t wash. I have nothing to do with “skydragons” or “slayers”. Your smear is without basis. My claims against the radiative atmospheric greenhouse hypothesis however do have a solid basis. A basis in repeatable empirical experiment.

    I have given you a simple experiment to explain the effect of incident LWIR on liquid water that is free to evaporatively cool. I note you have not addressed this in your somewhat unscientific response. I gave you a clear description of a simple repeatable experiment, you responded with an ad hom argument, a call to authority and disparaged my understanding of radiative physics without evidence.

    Anthony may trust Dr. Spencer, however “trust but verify” is always a good rule. Dr. Spencer has made the same mistake that most AGW believers made in their radiative transfer equations. There is no problem with radiative physics, just how they have been applied to atmospheric modelling. Just like the AGW believers, Dr. Spencer failed to correctly model an atmosphere in which the gases move. Running linear flux equations on a static model of the atmosphere gives the wrong result. To get the correct answer, the flux equations would need to be run for individual discrete moving air masses on an iterative basis.

    When you correctly model an atmosphere with moving gases you find two very important things. Firstly, radiative gases provide energy loss to space at altitude, which is critical for continued convective circulation below the tropopause. Without this circulation rising gases cannot lose buoyancy and descend and the atmosphere heats dramatically. Hence radiative gases cool our atmosphere at all concentrations above 0.0ppm.

    Secondly you find that moving gases in an atmosphere in a gravity field bias conductive flux from the surface to the atmosphere. The surface is better at conductively heating a moving atmosphere than it is a conductively cooling it. Land surface with a lower Tav under a non radiative atmosphere will not result in a cooler atmosphere.

    The AGW hypothesis fails not because radiative physics is wrong, but because it has its basis in modelling the atmosphere as a static body. It is that simple.

  166. @-richardscourtney
    “I strongly assert that science is important and I oppose attempts to return society to pre-Enlightenment thought. I encourage all others to join in that defence of science.”

    I dont think you can oppose attempts to return society to pre-Enlightenment thought, AND support the fourth ‘Belief’ of the Cornwallis alliance.
    The two are mutually incompatible.

  167. What’s Science got to do with Green Gang prognoses, that is anything whatever propagated by Briffa, Hansen, Jones, Mann, Trenberth et al.?

    As a high-performance Hedge Fund manager, basing short-term reversals on quant model algorithms, may I suggest that climate researchers’ “retroactive projections” are absolute, prima facie evidence of fraud.

    Big Government/New Order/One World ideologues may genuflect before AGW Catastrophist apostles, but no-one with anything to lose would ever bet a penny on these fools.

  168. @richardcourtney: Um, To the left of centre is not saying what you think he is saying.

    He (?) says: “Consider only data up to some previous point in time, use that data in your model and compare what your model predicts with what actually happened.”

    To which you reply: “And it is pure pseudoscience to imagine a not-measured effect and to feed that into the model to determine if it can be used to adjust the model prediction to agree with observed reality.”

    Left is just saying that it’s common practice to use known data to test an algorithm by holding out some of the data to see how well it predicts the data that was held back. My field calls this training and testing data. Nothing wrong with that procedure.

    I think you are thinking of how climate models fit via back-casting, which is something else entirely. There, they think they are holding out data but they are not and the “hold out” data’s information leaks into their model fooling them into thinking they’re doing a great job.

    But you’re reading a lot more into Left’s statement than what he said. And I think you owe him an apology.

  169. @To the left of center: While richardcourtney is wrong in what he says about your posting, you do have to understand that there are two things going on here: 1) text, and 2) context. Richardcourtney misunderstood your text because of the context of how climate models have been tuned by back-casting in ways that violate the whole principle of retrospective prediction. Perhaps that’s why the phrase “retrospective prediction” was used, to differentiate it from what has been done in this field.

  170. izen says: “or is it Easterbrook who thinks its all ENSO?”

    Nope, Easterbrook is the PDO, but there’s no mechanism for the PDO to vary global temperatures.

    Regards

  171. To the left of centre:

    re your post at April 10, 2013 at 5:13 am

    Your falsehoods and evasions are becoming tiresome.
    Like all trolls your only purpose is to distort and/or deflect a thread.

    You have made NO attempt at any discussion: “robust” or otherwise.
    Your claim that you have is a falsehood.

    You made a post which was pseudoscientific drivel and I explained what was wrong with it.

    You have avoided ANY discussion of my rebuttal of your nonsense but, instead, have replied with a series of posts containing nothing except falsehoods and innuendos.

    The fact that you adamantly refuse to discuss my rebuttal of your nonsense is tacit admission that you know you presented nonsense.

    Provide ANYTHING substantive and I will address it, but your posts are wasting space on the thread.

    If you send any further posts of the kind I am answering then my reply to each of them will consist solely of
    “Noted, and laughed at.”

    Richard

  172. @Wayne2 Thanks, I appreciate your comment. Your interpretation of what I said is indeed what I was trying to suggest. I have no in-depth knowledge of climate modelling so cannot really comment on whether or not their “back-casting” is robust or not. I was simply commenting, as you say, that testing models by using data up to some point in the past and then comparing what your model predicts with what is actually observed is a fairly standard practice.

  173. Wayne2:

    Thankyou for your post at April 10, 2013 at 7:33 am.

    If that were what the troll intended then his context does not agree with your interpretation. However, as you say, he may have meant that and – if so – all he had to do was say so.

    Also, my rebuttal of his argument would still hold if that were what the troll intended. This is because the data on ocean thermal absorbtion is an assumption and not empirically derived information.

    Anyway, your attempt to intercede is genuinely appreciated. Thankyou. But my experience with trolls id that their purpose is disruption and I suspect this one is pleased at his success.

    Richard

  174. izen says:

    @-”But if it is a legitimate threat that “missing heat” will come back in the future, then it is a legitimate supposition that it has done so in the past. Like 1980-2000, for example …”

    Yes, the obvious example is …”

    … a refutation of the “global warming” narrative, whatever you hold that obvious example to be. “Gloabal warming” does not account for historic heat returning from the depths to have contributed to late 20th century warming, any more than it predicts that the currently modeled early 21st century warming would end up in the Deep now, hidden behind the third decimal place, causing a multi-decade hiatus in “global warming”. To the contrary, “global warming” explicitly denied those very things … until it became necessary to assert them in order to protect “global warming” from the relentless hammering of the facts.

    Thus, contrary to your previous statement from yesterday… “That helps validate the physics used to analyse the climate.” … what this is actually doing is invalidating the physics used to “analyze”the climate. And that ought to be written “anal yze” so as to appropriately emphasize where “global warming physics” originate. “Global warming” is an elaborate pseudoscience, with no comprehensive and and testable (let alone comprehensively tested) theory of climate to back it up. Instead it is a religious/political expedience, propped up by a handful of “scientists” furiously pulling ad hoc arguments out of their collective anus.

  175. izen says:

    I dont think you can oppose attempts to return society to pre-Enlightenment thought, AND support the fourth ‘Belief’ of the Cornwallis alliance.

    The two are mutually incompatible.

    LOL. Do tell. How is it again that the Principles of the Enlightenment hold that the poor do not disproportionately suffer the negative effects of bad energy and environmental policies, that in fact the poor are immune to such effects? Please quote your sources – was it Voltaire that made such a statement, or perhaps Spinoza?

    Or maybe you were just trying to perform a guilt by association thing against Richard, without really paying attention to what you were saying. Naw, that couldn’t be it.

  176. @richardscourtney Not pleased in the slightest. It has been a most unpleasant series of exchanges. Quite what I managed to disrupt is slightly beyond me; unless you consider simply commenting on this post as being disruptive. If so, the moderators could have dealt with that easily. My suspicion (and of course I cannot know this for certain) is that your goal was to encourage me to consider not commenting here again. In that you may have been successful. We shall have to wait and see.

  177. Izen says,

    ” but do you think that will show as a temperature pulse with the shallower ocean warming first and then the deeper layers slowly catching up? Or a change in salinity as that affects density driven convection more than temperature in the deep ocean.”

    Uh, definitely yes and definitely no.

    Perhaps you wish to argue that your downwelling IR increases surface salinity? Yes, until it rains, but temperature is a stronger factor than salinity in water density.

    The mainstream is expostulating the deep ocean heat sink without any data and with no plausible mechanism for the “heat” to get there.

  178. @To the left: Yes, climate models are routinely adjusted in ways that make no sense. For example, the effect of clouds has been neglected for decades because prominent climate researchers — who control the purse and journal strings — have declared that they have a small positive feedback and people should be studying CO2. The way the simplistic climate models calculate the effects of clouds, as I understand it, is to throw in a coefficient for clouds then tweak it until they best fit the past.

    Which is the opposite of what you say. No holdout, just training. Which is why the models still do so poorly in actually predicting, you know, the future.

    (It’s my impression that back-casting is the same as “testing” or “retrospective prediction”, but I use the term back-casting to distinguish what they do from what should be done.)

  179. Here is Trenberth’s Climate Model (CCSM4) forecast for OHC from 2005 to 2100.

    The trend for the 0-700M Ocean is 0.89 10^22 joules/year

    Actuals from 2004 to 2012 is 0.146 10^22 joules/year (or just 15% of that forecast).

    The trend for the 0-Bottom is 1.63 10^22 joules/year

    Actuals from 2004 to 2012 is 0.52 10^22 joules/year (or just 32% of that forecast) (2000M to the Bottom is Zero).

  180. Ian W wrote: April 8, 2013 at 10:24 pm Well having proven the model capability to their satisfacton by ‘retrospectively predicting’ – they should now predict the future 24 – 36 months using the same model and assumptions and parameterizations. Should be simple for climate modelers.

    No problem at all. They will publish the results (peer reviewed of course) in 38 months.

  181. @Bill Illis
    Your posts are always worth reading. Is it possible for you to do a guest post and/or do a more complete report with references and citations so others can use the material to prove the point?

  182. CAGW-supporter language:
    stopped, stalled = slowdown!
    Rule nr 22: always torture the language such way not to tell anything that is damaging to your position.
    I must admire the way how the CAGW-supporters control the language game.

    “Here we show successful retrospective predictions of this warming slowdown up to 5 years ahead”
    ok, this is a heavy one. “retrospective predictions” – does this mean they have successfully fudged a model to mask the warming up to 5 years? And this is the “retrospective prediction”? And where is the “retrospective prediction” of 16 years an no warming?

    Physics Major says:
    April 8, 2013 at 9:31 pm
    A “retrospective prediction” must take the prize for the world’s greatest oxymoron.
    agree, this is a pearl of CAGW-science

    To the left of centre says:
    April 10, 2013 at 8:36 am
    ….I have no in-depth knowledge of climate modelling so cannot really comment on whether or not their “back-casting” is robust or not. I was simply commenting, as you say, that testing models by using data up to some point in the past and then comparing what your model predicts with what is actually observed is a fairly standard practice.

    As explained by Bill Illis and Bob in the original post. Fudging the model to show no warming and assuming it went in the oceans is not supported by data from the real world.
    Here again the posts of Bill Illis:
    ( Bill Illis says:
    April 11, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Bill Illis says:
    April 9, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    So fudging models but ignoring reality will not bring science forward.
    “The ocean ate my global warming” is really one of the sentences that starts to stick with climate science.

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