Watch yesterday’s blockbuster performance by Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. and Dr. Roy Spencer at Senate climate hearing

Spencer_at_senate

Quite a performance yesterday. Steve Milloy is calling it the “Zapruder film” implying it was the day the AGW agenda got shot down. While that might not be a good choice of words, you have to admit they did a fantastic job of shooting down some of the ridiculous claims made by panelists prior to them. While this may not be a Zapruder moment, I’d say that it represented a major turning point.

Give props to both Roger and Roy.

Marc Morano reported:

‘Senate global warming hearing backfires on Democrats’ — Boxer’s Own Experts Contradict Obama! — ‘Skeptics & Roger Pielke Jr. totally dismantled warmism (scientifically, economically, rhetorically) — Climate Depot Round Up

‘Sen. Boxer’s Own Experts Contradict Obama on Climate Change’ — Warmists Asked: ‘Can any witnesses say they agree with Obama’s statement that warming has accelerated during the past 10 years?’ For several seconds, nobody said a word. Sitting just a few rows behind the expert witnesses, I thought I might have heard a few crickets chirping’

Video link and links to PDF of testimonies follow.

Here is the video link, in full HD:

http://www.senate.gov/isvp/?type=live&comm=epw&filename=epw071813

Dr. Spencer writes about his experience here and flips the title back at them:

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/07/senate-epw-hearing-climate-change-its-happened-before/

The PDF’s of each person’s testimony can be accessed by click on their names below:
Panel 1

Dr. Heidi Cullen
Chief Climatologist
Climate Central
Mr. Frank Nutter
President
Reinsurance Association of America
Mr. KC Golden
Policy Director
Climate Solutions
Ms. Diana Furchtgott-Roth
Senior Fellow
Manhattan Institute for Policy Research
Dr. Robert P. Murphy
Senior Economist
Institute for Energy Research

Panel 2

Dr. Jennifer Francis
Research Professor
Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University
Dr. Scott Doney
Director, Ocean and Climate Change Institute
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Dr. Margaret Leinin
Executive Director, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute
Florida Atlantic University
Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr.
Professor, Center for Science and Technology Policy Research
University of Colorado
Dr. Roy Spencer
Principal Research Scientist IV
University of Alabama, Huntsville
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281 thoughts on “Watch yesterday’s blockbuster performance by Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. and Dr. Roy Spencer at Senate climate hearing

  1. The performance was great; I thought it would be all over the news. Some county papers did report it.

  2. It’s sort of frightening to me, to see exactly how thick our elected government representatives are. I mean, of course we all know this abstractly, but to see those geniuses in action…

    ~wuwghhghgh~

    Does anybody think Whitehouse would have dared to ask Spencer about his views on evolution if Spencer had happened to be muslim? I don’t, personally. Amazing that he’d have the audacity to go there at all in a hearing on climate change. Talk about sleazy lawyer tactics.

    And the sum up point to walk away with according to Whitehouse, that if only we could get our CO2 emissions under control fishermen wouldn’t have to sail so far to fish. I was flabbergasted. I don’t know if Whitehouse honestly believed that or not. I hope he didn’t, some part of me would still like to pretend that he couldn’t possibly be such a simpleton.

    On a different but related note, I wish we had a skeptic authority there on the effects of climate change on the oceans. The stupid 30% more acidic quote comes up and nobody can put it in context. Measurable increase in temperature? Sure, to an extent, but once again it’s misleading.

    Still, Dr. Spencer did as well as anybody could I think, and Dr. Pielke certainly did as well.

  3. Gene Selkov says:
    July 19, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    The performance was great; I thought it would be all over the news. Some county papers did report it.

    =======================================================================
    But it’s here. A 2013 version of the 1776 small town paper. (But with a lot more readers.)

  4. Did you notice that Chairman Boxer said the purpose of the hearing was “to focus on Climate Change and the serious threat it poses to our nation”. I’d hate to be an innocent murder defendant in a trial whose judge starts the trial with something like: “we’re here today to find out why the defendant committed this heinous and vile act against the unsuspecting and innocent victim, and why the jury will convict and hand down the death penalty”.

  5. Link to HD video doesn’t work, it says “Coverage Begins at 10:00 am” and doesn’t play any hearing.

  6. “Did you notice that Chairman Boxer said the purpose of the hearing was “to focus on Climate Change and the serious threat it poses to our nation”.”

    That’s interesting. Lately she has been stumbling to keep the word “warming” coming out of her mouth. It looks like her aides and lobbyist minders have trained her now to stick to “climate change.” If the money can move the drones into believing in significant anthropogenic “climate change” as much as they did AGW in specific, it is a still a win, especially for the insurance industries.

  7. Boxer is just doing her job, that is to be the most biased and partisan that she can be. She does a good job.

  8. “… some part of me would still like to pretend that [Whitehouse] couldn’t possibly be such a simpleton. …,” [Mark Bofill]

    LOL, Mr. Bofill, I think you’re right, for your subconscious graciously edited Whitehouse’s inane remarks. He thinks that the flounder fishermen “DRIVE” to find the fish!!! Wow. I have heard many people, myself included, say, “drive the boat,” instead of “pilot” the boat, but, when “the boat,” is not included in the phrase, EVERYONE I’ve ever heard talk about it says simply “go” or, if more knowledgeable, “sail.” No one says, baldly, “Let’s drive to get some fish,” lol, unless they’re headed out to eat. Whitehouse is out to lunch.

  9. Pielke concedes things that he shouldn’t such as agreeing with Whitehouse that the IPCC reports are credible. Some parts are, but some parts assuredly are not. Spencer’s monologue on Cook’s bogus research sounds like he agrees with it. I’m disappointed in the performance of both witnesses. Whitehouse will take their statements to reinforce his position rather than change his position to a reasonable one.

  10. Great showing, and it’s especially delicious that this push-back occurred in Boxer’s (“Please don’t call me ma’am, General”). What a pompous twit.

    I was especially gratified to read Roger Pielke Jr’s remarks in this kind of forum. He’s spot-on when it comes to defusing the alarmist rhetoric about “accelerating severity, damage, frequency” that is so cavalierly strewn about by alarmists. And yet he continues to argue for “decarbonization of the economy” for reasons that elude me. Carbon-based fuels have done more to raise humanity from poverty, drudgery, disease, and suffering than any other class of chemicals in history.

    But RP Jr will come around.

  11. Heidi Cullen to Senator Vitter’s question about who agrees that temperature around the globe have continued to rise even faster even than was predicted ten years ago: “I think right now I we need to focus on the fact that warming is happening very, very quickly.” [Repeat the mantra over and over ...] … “With to respect to President Obama’s specific statement, I can’t comment on that.” [Avoid answering inconvenient direct challenges] … “Bottom line is, greenhouse gases have continued to move quickly in the atmosphere” [Just blurt out a sound byte however incoherent or comical. Yep, those gases are moving around up there, perhaps even quickly, if there happens to be a big mixer like hurricane or something]

    And dear little Heidi is one of the “experts” in the 98%.

  12. In reply to Miss Cullen’s testimony to congress:

    “2. Global Warming Has Not Stopped (William: Planetary temperature is not increasing, has stopped based on the definition of stopped as opposed to increase, however, Heidi Cullen – who is the Chief Climatologist, Climate Central Senior Research Fellow, Wharton RiskManagement and Decision Processes Center, University of Pennsylvania Visiting Lecturer, Princeton University – appears to be unable to acknowledge a fact.) Global warming has not stopped. It is important that we distinguish between global mean temperature and global warming. While the temperature rise in the atmosphere may have temporarily slowed, the warming continues to penetrate into every component of our climate system. The human impact on our climate system is significant. Current greenhouse gas concentrations are trapping enormous (William: The use of adjectives is not a substitute for data and analysis to support assertion.) amounts of heat into our climate system every day.

    William: There is a factual difference from a wiggly line that is increasing slower than expected and wiggly line that is not increasing at all. A wiggly line that is not increasing indicates the forcing mechanism (solar magnetic cycle modulation of planetary clouds) has saturated. The CO2 forcing mechanism cannot be turned on or off. …. ….Scientists are interesting in understand what is the physical reason for changes and unexplained anomalies, such as the 16 year plateau with no warming or such as the Bond cycles of warming and cooling that captured in the paleo record. The principal concern of an activist as opposed to a scientist is to push an agenda. The fact that Heidi Cullen cannot acknowledge the observational fact that planetary temperature has plateau, stopped increasing supports the assertion that Miss Cullen is an activist first and a scientist second.

    William: Miss Cullen, are you aware the planet has warmed and cooled cyclically before and that the cycles correlate to solar magnetic cycle changes? Are you aware the sun has entered a peculiar unexplained minimum? Are you aware that regions that warmed in the last 70 years are the same regions of the planet that have warmed when the solar magnetic cycle was active and that cooled when the solar magnetic cycle entered into a Maunder like minimum?
    Miss Cullen, have you seen this graph? Are you aware that the general circulation models used by the IPCC cannot reproduce or explain this graph? Are you aware that solar magnetic cycle change correlate with both the past warming and cooling phase in this graph?

    Greenland ice temperature, last 11,000 years determined from ice core analysis, Richard Alley’s paper. http://www.climate4you.com/images/GISP2%20TemperatureSince10700%20BP%20with%20CO2%20from%20EPICA%20DomeC.gif

  13. I have to say, that I wasn’t overly impressed with Pielke Jnr. To me he seemed to be almost crying ‘I’m a warmist but I don’t have the data to support that’? or perhaps, he simply accepts, like most of us – that human co2 is likely to cause some climate effects – but we dont yet know how much?
    Whitehouse seemed keen to brush aside Spencers graph and the major point he made – i.e. that it has warmed, but it is not necessarily ALL human co2 emission induced based on the past best estimated RWP and MWP. Without clear and unequivocal explanantion for these past warming and cooling changes – the ‘sole’ CO2 induced warming claims become very dubious.

  14. Poor Heidi, you can see she really doesn’t believe what she’s spouting. Deer in the headlights. The lack of warming over the last 10-15 years is because ” … the warming has gone into other components of our climate system, notably the deep oceans.” Pure Teflon. And Boxer playing the smarmy yenta from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. Madam Chairwoman, may we enter in the record Senator Vitter’s and Senator Sessions’ material … “Sure, guys, enter anything you want into the record here, Alice in Wonderland, anything you want.” Very dignified and professional, Babs.

  15. Klem said re: Boxer
    “the most biased and partisan that she can be.”

    You forgot “stupid idiot”, as in “the most biased and partisan stupid idiot that she can be.”
    Listening to her is worse than fingernails on blackboard.

  16. I always love the people who say that the heat has gone to the depths of the ocean (which is conveniently a place we can’t measure with any precision whatsoever) but then attribute “extreme weather” of the last 10 years to the warming that is hiding out at the bottom of the ocean.

  17. “I thought it would be all over the news.”
    No mention of it here in Oz.

    @Mark Bofil
    “It’s sort of frightening to me, to see exactly how thick our elected government representatives are. I mean, of course we all know this abstractly, but to see those geniuses in action…”

    Remember that these people need to get the votes of the Homer Simpsons to stay in office. And yes, it is scary to see it in the raw.

  18. Bob Johnston says:
    July 19, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    I always love the people who say that the heat has gone to the depths of the ocean (which is conveniently a place we can’t measure with any precision whatsoever) but then attribute “extreme weather” of the last 10 years to the warming that is hiding out at the bottom of the ocean.

    *
    Now THAT’S the question that should be thrown around a lot. “How do we get these extremes in weather from heat hiding in the ocean?”

    You raised an excellent point there, Bob. This is something that should be waved around, in my humble opinion. Thank you.

  19. I am left wondering where the blockbuster performance was. I thought perhaps that I had selected the wrong video but no, it was Pielke and Spencer so it must be the right one. What I took away from this was that Pielke Jr agrees entirely with the IPCC and that Dr Spencer is a creationist. Sorry, but if this is what passes as blockbuster stuff then we should all start getting our heads around paying carbon taxes.

  20. Sadly, I have to disagree.

    Yes, Pielke did a great job but all else was a landslide win for the catastrophists. They understand well that science is at the service of politics and stopped at nothing to manipulate information, outright falsify, and blatantly slander. If I were a naive observer, the burning question after watching this would be, why is the official mainstream message in the hands of incompetent charlatans when these guys clearly can deliver?

    The only victory for science is that a debate took place, no matter how inadequate.

  21. Calling this a blockbuster and a Zapruder film and a shot over the bow or whatever else you want to call it is nothing more than propaganda. I’m ashamed and disgusted.

  22. In reply to:
    Txomin says:
    July 19, 2013 at 6:07 pm
    Sadly, I have to disagree.
    Yes, Pielke did a great job but all else was a landslide win for the catastrophists. They understand well that science is at the service of politics and stopped at nothing to manipulate information, outright falsify, and blatantly slander….
    William:
    Propaganda does not change physical reality. The warmists cannot conceive, cannot imagine, a scenario where the hypothesis that they have pushed for the last 20 years is completely incorrect. If the planet cools significantly what the warmists have said or believe is irrelevant. The public and media will demand an explanation for the cooling. There is only one explanation.

    The abrupt change to the solar magnetic cycle is causing the cooling due o modulation of planetary clouds. There is 20 years of research supporting that assertion. It is difficult to imagine how the warmists will explain how they ignored past cycles of warming and cooling that correlate with solar magnetic cycle changes that match the regional pattern of warming in the last 70 years.

    The sun has changed. That is an observational fact. In that past when the sun when into a Maunder minimum the planet cooled. That is also an observational fact.

    There are 23 cycles of warming in the paleo climatic record. All 23 cycles of warming were terminated by a Maunder like solar magnetic cycle of warming. It appears based on observations that the sun is entering a very, very, deep peculiar Maunder minimum. What happened in the past happened for a physical reason. There was a cause for the warming and for the cooling, there was a forcing mechanism. Solar magnetic cycle modulation of planetary cloud cover caused the past cyclic warming and cooling and caused the majority of the warming in the last 70 years. The regions of the planet that warmed (high latitude Northern regions) are the same regions of the planet that warmed and then cooled cyclically in the past when there were solar magnetic cycle changes. The CO2 forcing mechanism should warm the planet globally not regionally. The general circulation models cannot explain the past cyclic strongly regional warming and cooling and cannot explain the fact that the warming in the last 70 years was in high Northern latitudes. The Northern hemisphere region, excluding the tropics has warmed twice as much as the earth as whole and four times more than the tropical region 20N to 20S. The general circulation models predicted that the most amount of warming on the planet should be in the tropics as atmospheric CO2 is evenly distributed by latitude and the tropics is the region of the planet that has the most amount of long wave radiation emitted to space prior to the increase in atmospheric CO2.

    The planet was started to cool and will cool significantly due to the current solar magnetic cycle change. If there was not a climate war going on this scientific problem would have been solve five or ten years ago. The observations and analysis fit together analogous to pieces in a physical puzzle.

  23. “Spencer’s testimony was destroyed by his stance on evolution – it made him seem like a lunatic!” [Alberta Lad at 5:39 PM 7/19/13]

    Destroyed in the eyes of whom? Of you? Do you now, knowing that he believes God created the universe, find all of Dr. Spencer’s analysis re: CO2 untenable? From the comments I’ve seen on WUWT over the past 3 months, it appears that the majority of WUWT scientists believe in Darwin’s Origin of Species theory. Yet, the majority of WUWT scientists, from the comments I’ve read over the past 2 days, while they do not agree with his belief in a Creator God, still find his scientific analysis re: CO2 as valid as ever. Why do you not?

    It would not destroy him in the eyes of the average person. Most people, whether they believe in God or not, do not find that a scientist’s belief in God destroys his or her credibility. Most people would find such questions irrelevant — more than irrelevant, such sneeringly slimy badgering of the witness tends to make a jury sympathetic…. hence, it is a really stupid tactic….. .

    To whom did Dr. Spencer come off as a “lunatic?”
    (I mean, except for people such as you who already think that of those of us who find Intelligent Design theory compelling are lunatics)

    Whom did Whitehouse’s characterizing of Dr. Spencer as a “creationist” make look like a jerk?

  24. Naturally Spencer was chosen from among thousands of qualified skeptics precisely because he questions aspects of evolutionary theory. And Pielke, jr because he’s a lukewarmist, at best. This gives the appearance of balance & fairness without endangering the orthodoxy.

  25. milodonharlan, exactly right. Total bag job. Spencer should have declined. Where was Judith Curry?
    Celebrating this as a skeptic victory is pathetic.

  26. Janice Moore says:
    July 19, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    “Intelligent design” as a supposed alternative to evolutionary theory is even more anti-scientific than CACCA, hard as that may be to credit. That the universe is designed is a defensible metaphysical position in the present state of scientific ignorance. But believing on faith in the absence of evidence that a Creator intervened in the evolution of life on Earth to zap into being the flagella of certain pathogenic bacteria is not just unscientific but anti-scientific because this unfounded belief stops a “scientist” holding it from trying to find out the natural as opposed to supernatural pathways through which these structures developed.

    Spencer, solid though he may be on CACCA, & as much as I’ve learned from him, can easily be used to discredit skepticism, & has been, over & over again among the Warmunistas.

  27. Janice Moore says: @ July 19, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    “Spencer’s testimony was destroyed by his stance on evolution – it made him seem like a lunatic!” [Alberta Lad at 5:39 PM 7/19/13]

    Destroyed in the eyes of whom?…..
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    My comment to Dr. Spencer at his site.

    Next time they bring up Christians ask them how many of those who signed the Declaration of Independence were Christians. Ask if we should toss out the works of the following Christians because of their religious beliefs:

    Galileo Galilei, Robert Boyle, Michael Faraday, Gregor Mendel, William Thomson Kelvin, Max Planck, George Gabriel Stokes and James Clerk Maxwell.

    I am agnostic but I see red every time someone uses Christianity as a tool for bashing people.

    • Gail says: “I am agnostic but I see red every time someone uses Christianity as a tool for bashing people.”

      Nobody is bashing them. They simply embarrass themselves when their presumption that their Christianity is somehow universally important or powerful enough to protect them from criticism proves to be false. We would all face fewer problems if they kept their Christianity to themselves.

  28. pokerguy says:
    July 19, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    The sad fact is that the MSM so jealously guard against giving skepticism a platform that any wide exposure might be helpful. Since about half of Americans don’t “believe in” evolution, maybe Spencer even helps convince the public, while allowing elite opinion makers to laugh at him.

    Curry would have been better, I agree, for both personal & professional reasons. Or Lindzen, who could thus have had a chance to defend himself against charges of being bought off by Big Oil.

  29. Thank you, Gail Combs. I needed an intelligently supportive comment like yours to help me to resist the STRONG temptation to hijack this thread and start countering Milodon H.’s nonsense, but, I will refrain.

  30. Gail Combs says:
    July 19, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Sir Isaac Newton wrote an entire book on dating the time of creation. He was however an heretical Unitarian, secretly.

    But still, why give the CACCAlarmists any opening at all on creationism?

  31. Janice Moore says:
    July 19, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    Please by all means counter if you can.

    Leave it to the moderators to decide whether you’ve hijacked or not.

    ID is total, complete, utter garbage. But I’d love to hear why you think otherwise.

  32. @Poker Guy — re: “he’s a liability.”

    To whom? Cite EVIDENCE of this being a significant problem. If you have no such evidence, on what do you base your loud jeering of Dr. Spencer?

  33. And bear in mind, Mr. Harlani and Poker Guy and Alb. Ld, et. al., that sleazeball politicians are very good at character assassination. No matter WHO the truth in science witness is, they will find SOMETHING to use to try to discredit them. Sometimes….. they even make things up…. . Only stealth witnesses like Pielke, who are mostly lukewarm, but who may come out with a zinger or two once in awhile, might pass under that radar. Might. And if all we send in is the third string (to avoid possible character assassination attempts), they have accomplished their goal.

    You never answered my questions posed above. To whom did Spencer come off as not credible? Or, as Albertalad put it, ” a lunatic”?

  34. Who prepped Roy for the debate? Anyone who has ever testified on the witness stand would know that the question on creation would be forthcoming. His response should have been, “Senator, this is a scientific hearing. Do you have a scientific question for me. I will be glad to discuss theology with you over dinner. We could also discuss at that time why you were eyeing that woman in the red dress”. Then grinned.

  35. Janice Moore says:

    You make some good points Janice. I don’t know to whom you’re addressing your question exactly, but I’ll take a crack it:

    “To whom did Spencer come off as not credible? Or, as Albertalad put it, ” a lunatic”?”

    To me, for one. Who am I? I’m completely and wholly representative of the other side, the only exception being that I saw the AGW light post climate-gate. Think about who we need to convince in this PR war? It’s not the conservative, often religious types, it’s the liberals like me. Until you do, this whole debate remains a stalemate. You understand of course, that they chose Spencer for just this reason. He should have demurred, or at the very least had a better answer prepared. Once he concedes his position on evolution, nothing else he says can possibly matter to the Obama voting, NY Times reading, MSNBC watching publicwho you must slowly begin to win over in some degree, before the tide will truly turn.

  36. RP Jr’s testimony was simply devastating to the crowd that loves to talk about how much worse the weather is than it used to be. Really? Show me the numbers. In contrast to some of the commenters, I approve highly of his citing the IPCC statements. Anything other than that is immediately discredited, and it’s plenty of rope to do the hanging.

    But, really, Roy was the star of the show. He was so logical, and so not intimidated, just the kind of witness that AGWers hate, and Whitehouse really hates. It was hard not to laugh when Whitehouse asked about Creationism. It was such an obvious, and irrelevant, attempt to attack the integrity of the witness. And, so crazy, in a nation as deeply religious as the US.

    Whitehouse, in his retreat to ocean issues, is foreshadowing what is going to happen. Heating of the atmosphere is just getting difficult to argue, but ocean heating is so new and exciting. It is also harder to argue against, because the temperature differential is so tiny, and it is hypothesized to happen at a depth that cannot be observed by existing technology. And, the reality is, building the infrastructure to measure it would be horrendously expensive. It just is not going to happen, not with the Argo net freshly done.

    Again, kudos to Roy and JP Jr. Well done!

  37. pokerguy,

    July 19, 2013 at 7:41 pm
    …Think about who we need to convince in this PR war?

    Are we fighting a PR war? I didn’t get the memo. :) If not, should we be? If we are, are we winning? If we’re not but we should, can we possibly win?

    I’ve never really looked at the matter in this light. You’ve given me material to think about anyway, thanks.

  38. albertalad said in part July 19, 2013 at 5:39 pm:

    “Tell the truth that hearing left me wanting – the IPCC never got anything correct in it’s entire history. No emphasis on how much CO2 nature throws into the atmosphere –”

    Nature as a whole is removing CO2 from the atmosphere:

    http://www.tyndall.ac.uk/global-carbon-budget-2010

    It appears to me that the debate should be on what and how much (or how little) the effects of the man-made CO2 increase are.

  39. No mention of the hearing on either NBC or CBS national news – no surprise there.

    I repeat my previous comment that this appears to have been an empty exercise. Right after being shown proof that the last 15 years have been relatively cool, idiot Senator Whitehouse still claims the last 12 years were the hottest ever. I don’t think he even heard Dr. Spencer say that the 1930s were the hottest years of the last 100 – or if he did it went straight in one ear and out the other.

    The only way this madness will be stopped is if the Republicans take the Senate next year, although it may help if the House denies funding for der Fuehrer’s climate agenda.

    The performance of the alarmist witnesses went from shameful to reprehensible. Heidi Cullen obviously got her numbers out of some sphincter somewhere, and Jennifer Francis was even worse. What a black mark on science and education that slugs like these can gat a Ph.D.

    Am I disgusted? You bet.

  40. Mark Bofill – Roy answered a personal question on the witness stand/table. As an expert technical witness he should not have answered a personal question. Any witness preparation person would have made that point to him in spades. He should have taken advantage of the Dean of the Law School in Tuscaloosa to provide him with some guiding principles.

  41. Hey gents, and let me preface this by saying I am a devout atheist of over 30 years – Dr. Spencer has a point when he says evolution all by itself doesn’t plausibly explain everything. This has never fazed me; I never expected evolution to, and I’m sure there are other organizational mechanisms we are as yet unaware of that fill in the blanks, so to speak, without forcing us to the extreme position of having to invoke a Creator to explain the complexity of mechanisms of living organisms. My point is just this – don’t be too quick to bash what he actually said, it wasn’t unreasonable and Spencer very probably could make his case.

  42. The testimony of Ms. Diana Furchtgott-Roth (Manhattan Institute) is also worth reading.

  43. JFD – I personally agree with you. Were I in his shoes, I would have said something like ‘I am not an expert in biology and evolution. On the other hand, I ~do~ hold expertise pertinent to the subject of this hearing, to return to that…’
    Still, who am I to second guess Dr. Spencer. ~shrug~

  44. Why do people trust insurance adjusters on this topic? Their livelihood doesn’t depend on getting the future *right*, their livelihood depends on taking in more money than they pay out. That means it’s in their best interest to have a justification for increasing rates. Of course another company might not increase rates and take their customers, so their interests also include convincing other companies that they should raise their rates as well. One way to look at it would be that insurance companies sending people out to advocate the idea of future warming disasters is somewhat like cartel price rigging, but without the illegal direct collaboration. I’m not saying that I know or believe that’s what’s happening, but it’s just surprising to me that people don’t see the interest insurance companies have in predicting increasing disasters even if they didn’t actually think that they would happen. What circumstances would make an insurance company go out and say they think disasters are going to slow down? They’d be essentially saying they have an obligation to cut their customers’ rates. Why would they do that?

  45. What’s with using creationism to bash Christians or others that believe in God? There are many Christians who believe in evolution. Lots of religious people recognize evolution as having actually occurred. For that matter, God did not write the bible or any other holy books; people did. Just because the book of Genesis seems to most scientists to not say the beginnings well, is not much evidence that there is no God.

    For that matter, it seems to me that Spencer believes Earth is older than most creationists believe. And he appears to me to understand the atmosphere and oceans a lot better than IPCC does.

  46. Ha, as Dr. Roy discloses on his post,,,, he does not know the who or what the “coke” bothers are about. Obviously, they are a path for complaint by those who look for something to, well,,, complain about and attempt to discredit by association.

    To clear things up,,,,, here is just one example of what the Koch brother folks spend money on.

    Judge for yourself how horrible their support for science and environment is.

    Just sayin, watch the initial credits at just less than 3 minutes in.

    Oh Nova! ;-)

  47. I tend to focus solely on the data, and right now that shows the “Global Warming” meme down and out for the count.

    Anybody else get that feeling?

    I mean, if you’re counting points based on political activism, you might give the AGW (or CAGW) crowd a few points. For enthusiasm, or downright nastiness, if nothing else.

    But use logic, data, and the scientific method, and it doesn’t look good for the government’s official position on climate.

  48. Getting back to the PR thing, I think I disagree.
    Was Schneider fundamentally correct when he pointed to the distinction between being honest and being effective? That’s not exactly the right question, but it’s late and I can’t quite nail it right now.
    Is it that we should use PR to manipulate people, and the only question is whether the PR is for a cause you believe is right? I don’t think so. The more practical and obvious problem with this is that you’d lose on these terms; your opponents are masters of the art of manipulating via PR. If this is your strategy, you’re attacking where your enemy is strong and … in my view that’s a good recipe for getting one’s butt whupped.
    The more principled problem is that the ends do not justify the means, and that the issue isn’t merely that the alarmists are incorrect regarding the science. The deeper issue is that they distort, exaggerate, mislead, intimidate, etc.- they play politics and do PR rather than relying on stating the simple truth.
    Like I said, it’s late. I haven’t really thought this through in these terms before, might be I’ll realize I’m full of it come morning. But right this minute, I have to say I don’t think so regarding the PR question.
    Regards,

  49. Mark Bofill says:
    July 19, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    The fight to stop cap & tax, windmill subsidies, the unconstitutional, administrative end runs around Congress by the EPA, Obama’s “climate change” agenda & the other dangerous effects of the watermelon crusade surely must be fought as a PR & electoral war. But the marketplace of ideas is rigged against skeptics.

    IMO most of the 46% of the US adult population who consider themselves creationists (Gallup, 2012) are probably already skeptics. If you’re skeptical of real science like evolution, then you’re likely to be against phony science. Propagandists like Romm, McKibben, Lewandowsky, Johnson, et al make hay among their liberal audiences by tarring all “climate change” skeptics as part of a “war on science” (while conveniently overlooking anti-GM food & anti-vaccine activists, often Left wing). Spencer is one of their favorite whipping boys.

    So, at the very least, he should have been ready for the attack on his religious views, which he has allowed to affect his science, outside of climatology, & handled them better. Better yet, IMO, would have been for GOP members of the committee to find another spokesman, much as I respect Spencer’s work on the atmosphere. He has made honest mistakes, but owned up to & fixed them, unlike the outright lies told by “consensus” champions like Mann & never retracted.

    I’m moderate to conservative politically, but agree with Pokerguy that the persuadable but not yet won-over segments of the population are among voters who are convinced of the validity of evolution, whether liberal, moderate or conservative. This is especially true of opinion-making elites in the mainstream media, judicial & political realms. When Mitt Romney, who tried to have it both ways on the issue in 2012, or officials like federal Judge Jones, for instance, the PA Lutheran, country-club Republican Bush-appointee who ruled based upon overwhelming evidence that Intelligent Design is religion, not science, become convinced that catastrophic man-made climate change is bogus, then real science will be on the road to victory in the PR war.

  50. Janice Moore says (July 19, 2013 at 7:18 pm): “To whom did Spencer come off as not credible?”

    Gallup: “In U.S., 46% Hold Creationist View of Human Origins”.

    Of course using a witness’s views on one subject to discredit his views on another, unrelated subject, is a logical fallacy known as “poisoning the well”. It would be equally fallacious for his fellow believers to assume his religious views increase his credibility on climate science issues. Logically, his climate science stands on its own merits.

  51. Janice Moore says:
    July 19, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    Thank you, Gail Combs. I needed an intelligently supportive comment like yours to help me to resist the STRONG temptation to hijack this thread and start countering Milodon H.’s nonsense, but, I will refrain.

    ======================================================================
    Speaking of hijacking the thread, I got the impression that Sen. Sessions was called away and Whitehouse used Session’s time to open Spencer’s testimony with the attempted “threadjack” question. As I said under another post to our pal “Ryan”, if Dr. Spencer has an expert understanding and knowledge of the natural laws in his field, (and is honest with it) what difference does it make what he believes about the origin of those natural laws?
    (PS Gail, I also thank you.)

  52. Scientists who are Christians have to accommodate evolution. Most have no trouble doing this. Evidence of evolution is clear in every antibiotic we use routinely. The bacteria change and evolve rapidly. The earth is about 4.5 billion years old, not 270,000 years old. Wells are drilled 30,000 feet deep in water that is 7000 feet deep and cost $100 million on the basis of the earth being 4.5 billions year old. The universe is still expanding. For all of these reasons, scientists who wish to testify should adhere to the principle of not answering personal questions on the witness stand when the topic is science. Religion is not a matter of science but theology. Roy screwed up. We need to learn from this episode. Other hearing will be held.

  53. First of all Boxer is a nut job.
    But who keeps voting her in time after time.
    She is in good company:
    Sheila Jackson Lee
    Elizabeth Warren
    Nancy Pelosi
    Maxine Waters
    Debbie Wasserman-Schultz
    What are you guys thinking?

    Secondly, Whitehouse’s question was totally out of order and it is an ‘Inflation Of Conflict’ to try to invalidate his view on global warming (Climate change is just a red herring) because of his personal views on evolution.

  54. Must agree that Dr Spencer should not have gone down the path of debating his religious beliefs – although, it may have won him a few points among devout Christians. He should have just said that his religious beliefs are irrelevant to the science surrounding climate change, and perhaps asked why no other witness was questioned on that topic; surely the only answer would be that grilling every witness about their religion in this context would be grossly offensive (as it was in his case).

    Anyway, while Pielke Jr’s testimony didn’t deliver what many readers here would have liked, his written submission is a devastating, fully referenced critique of a big chunk of alarmist lies, and is well worth keeping at hand for whenever anyone raises the “extreme weather” issue.

  55. John Tillman says:
    July 19, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    …If you’re skeptical of real science like evolution, then you’re likely to be against phony science…

    Look guys, I’m both not interested in hijacking the thread and not prepared to argue this point (literally, because I haven’t looked at the material pertinent to this for some years now), so I’m going to try to make my position clear and shut my mouth after this:
    I was raised among educated religious people who believed in God and creation and had no more issue with the fact of evolution than any secular thinker. I strongly question that Dr. Spencer has any issue with the obvious truth of evolution either.
    There is a case to be made (and I’m not competent to make it, it’s been way too long and I never cared all that much about it anyway, frankly), that evolution does not explain everything. I do not think this justifies invoking an intelligent designer (possibly Dr. Spencer and I part company at this point). Let me repeat this point – evolution is obvious and incontrovertible, but it almost certainly does not embody every mechanism which caused all of the complex features inherent in living organisms. It does not trouble me that we do not understand every mechanism which contributes to the complexity of life; it would astonish me if we DID. I see no reason to rely on an Intelligent Designer to explain this, Occam’s razor shreds this in my view. STILL – perhaps I misunderstood Dr. Spencer’s point, but I understood him to be saying something quite similar to what I’m saying here, that evolution is not the complete answer. Perhaps he believes a Creator supplies the rest where I do not, that’s neither here nor there with respect to the question IMO.
    Thanks, I’ll shup now.

  56. Hey you guys. Ease off on Senator (Box of Rocks) Boxer. If you’re a skeptic, she’s better than a mole in the enemy camp. A mole may eventually be discovered and discredited. “Don’t call me ma’am” Boxer can’t be “discovered” because she genuinely supports the AGW cause. She’s the most effective weapon we skeptics have in the enemy camp. I say promote her to be head of the entire movement.

  57. Reed Coray says:
    July 19, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    Hey you guys. Ease off on Senator (Box of Rocks) Boxer. If you’re a skeptic, she’s better than a mole in the enemy camp. A mole may eventually be discovered and discredited. “Don’t call me ma’am” Boxer can’t be “discovered” because she genuinely supports the AGW cause. She’s the most effective weapon we skeptics have in the enemy camp. I say promote her to be head of the entire movement.

    =================================================================
    So her movement would be called the BM? (Sorry)

  58. Hey, Bob Murphy is on the panel. It’s good to see an anarcho-capitalist on a senate committee hearing.

  59. Excellent testimony from Spencer. He didn’t read from a script but (in his words) ‘winged it’ Demonstrated mastery of his subject, cool under pressure and handled objections well. A few devastating put downs too.

    Dr Pielke also knew his subject and made some good points, but his formal piece would have been even better if he’d been a little less rigid in just reading from his script. His answers to real-time questions was much more persuasive

    It’s called a ‘hearing’ not a ‘reading’. There is an element of theatre involved. Otherwise it could be all done as background reading. Spencer grasped this truth and benefited from it. Other academics should take note.

  60. Sen. Whithouse should read Feser’s -The Last Superstition, before he attempts to character assassinate Spencer. I don’t believe I heard Spencer say that he believes in creationism, but rather, that nature contains causes. Contingency is a seriously important stumbling block for science, in explaining materialism. But there is no tension between science and theism as Whitehouse infers. His question was merely an artifice.

  61. milodonharlani,

    Given your views on ID as “total, complete, utter garbage” and therefore your opinion that anyone espousing its possibility is not a credible scientist, or worthy of debate with the warmists, why did you just put forward Dr. Spencer’s very coherent and compelling essay on “Faith Based Evolution?” Too bad Dr. Spencer didn’t have the time to properly explain his very defensible views on ID and evolution at the hearing with it.

    Dr Spencer definitely does not come across as a lunatic in his essay at all.

    It seems you just fueled the counter- arguement to your point of view, sir.

  62. Read Stephen Meyer’s new book on the Cambrian explosion of animal forms, “Darwin’s Doubt”, if you’d like a scientific demolition of neo-Darwinism’s ability to explain the sudden appearance of the information necessary (in proteins, enzymes, genes, sugar code on cell membranes, developmental regulatory genes, hierarchical control systems, epigenetics, etc) to create what we observe in the fossil record. He goes on to use the same principles that Darwin used, citing a cause (intelligence) known to produce the effect (complex specified functional information). Random variation & natural selection fail miserably to do so.

    And intelligent design ain’t creationism. ID cites scientific findings, not scripture, and does not argue for a young earth. Indeed, Meyer assumes standard geological timescales throughout.

    Darwin explained stuff like antibiotic resistance and industrial melanism in peppered moths brilliantly. But new animal forms? Not so much.

  63. Spencer,and Pielke said nothing interesting. The guys are clowns repeating the same old show.

    More interesting was testimony of Robert P. Murphy:

    “Clearly, the public and policymakers have not been fully informed on what the
    economics profession actually has to say about climate change. Before justifying
    economically damaging regulations by reference to “the” social cost of carbon,
    policymakers must realize the dubious nature of this concept.”

    and even more drastic:

    “In particular, if the White House Working Group had followed OMB
    guidance on either the choice of discount rate or reporting from a domestic perspective,
    then the official estimates of the current SCC would probably be close to zero, or
    possibly even negative—a situation meaning that (within this context) the federal
    government should be subsidizing coal-fired power plants because their activities confer
    external benefits on humanity.”

    ————-

    Yet, all this is irrelevant for the White House.
    The only important thing for them is how much tax they can raise on fuel now.

  64. Lots of “snips’.
    Don’t let Whitehouse’s attempt to threadjack Dr. Spencer jack this thread.
    WUWT has a sometimes fuzzy line that’s been crossed here.
    Whichever side of the “fuzz” you’re on, stick to the topic of the hearing.
    (PS I’m glad I got to read the comment where someone posted the article by Dr. Spencer before it was snipped but I’m sure you can find it elsewhere if you want to read it.)

  65. Anthropoid

    As a counterbalance to Meyer, try Why Evolution Is True by Jerry Coyne. Then try his website for more on evolution.

  66. Gunga Din says:
    July 19, 2013 at 11:35 pm
    Lots of “snips’.

    Yeah, I’m still waiting for my latest comment to be approved. No disrespect to Anthony. No matter what you do to my comment, in my book you’re still the greatest.

    Purely a scientific observation pertaining to the lead picture in this thread, may I modify;

    I wouldn’t drink that Diet Coke in front of Dr Roger Pielke. It has Aspartame made from excrement of genetically modified e.coli bacteria. Google my claim if you don’t believe me.

  67. “RoHa says:

    July 19, 2013 at 5:53 pm”

    Of course there is no coverage here in Australia. What we get here is coverage on the fires, mostly started by arsonists, in the UK and the summer warm weather in the UK and US. Anything that throws doubt on AGW is actively discouraged.

  68. Like Intelligent Design, the CAGW hypotheses is a teleological argument.
    Although not necessarily agreeing with Tim Flannery’s bizarre statement (particularly for a palaeontologist) viz.: “… Gaia is life working as a whole to maintain the atmosphere as it is, so that life can go on …”, climate alarmists generally worry that human CO2 emissions are upsetting a delicate balance that until the last 50 years has been kept ‘just so’.

  69. Pielke jnr is a warmist and always has been. The only scientist there was Roy Spencer and he doesn’t have the forthright character to shoot the idiots down. Sadly it was all just another monkey’s tea party.

  70. Senator Whitehouse appeared to have conceded he lost the atmospheric battle, without saying so, when he shifted to the oceans in his concluding statement.

  71. Does anyone realise that the title of the debate is deliberately misleading?
    I mean – ‘Climate Change – It’s happening now.’ – would be a perfectly valid title for a debate 5, 50, 500, 50000 or 500000 million years ago! Climate is always changing. This is an undisputed fact!

    ALL, and I mean ALL, the real scientists in the debate should have pointed this out at the start of their testimonies to at least demonstrate that they understood the misdirection of trying to imply (via the title) that current climate change is abnormal and may or may not be due to humans.

    As long as the science is allowed to be by-passed due to such deliberate misrepresentation within the political arena – the policymakers will never have the correct ‘start’ point to ask questions and make decisions.

  72. I thought the comment by Jennifer Francis was interesting. When talking about floods, droughts and wildfires etc: she said that this was merely taking an average across all of the United States, and thus smearing out the data, and so the result was meaningless. (see 3:21:45)

    Uhhh, and this is someone who supports a pseudo-scientific scare-story that is based upon one single temperature for the whole Earth, and for the whole Year? Hey, darrlin’, get your story straight before you testify.

    And while we are on that topic, I am surprised that someone has not produced a 3-D full-colour image of temperature that encompasses all latitudes, and all seasons. I’m sure it could be done, and I’m sure it would give us a better picture of climate. And since they have this kind of CGI expertise, perhaps they should enroll Hollywood to make it. Actually, considering the departure from reality that we see in these models – perhaps they already have…..

    .

  73. Patrick says: July 20, 2013 at 12:57 am
    Of course there is no coverage here in Australia. What we get here is … the summer warm weather in the UK and US.
    __________________________________

    Did they also report our coldest spring in 2 generations?

    .

  74. SamG says:
    July 20, 2013 at 1:42 am

    yeah I know – see my comment upthread somewhere. My point is that any genuine and thinking scientist or person working in the climate field would know full well that the title was deliberately misleading (to ordinary folk) and should have said so. Climate change is as reliable as the sun rising and setting (and it’s been doing that on earth for 4.6 billion years).
    The skeptic position (well, mine, anyway) is mostly about scale, cause and effect, and in the end, potential mitigation.
    I wonder, if you put Spencers graph on the front page of every newspaper, with a poll to ask for readers to place an ‘imaginary bet’ on the future climate trend – how many would mentally predict the risk of cooling as higher than the risk of warming.
    I would also like to point out that Whitehouse’ closing statement about Nasa and the last 12 out of 15 years have been the warmest or whatever is also TOTAL bunkum in consideration of Spencers graph. Anyone with half a braincell can work out that if we are at the top of warming cycle, the most recent years will be the warmest (Duh!) – anyone using this argument within the climate change debate is either an idiot, or deliberately trying to obfuscate the issue – personally, that particular line of claims annoys the feck out of me!

  75. “ralfellis says:

    July 20, 2013 at 1:46 am”

    Any weather event that can be labelled extreme, uncommon or otherwise, is reported. Coldest cold, wettest wet, snowiest snow, frostiest frost, driest dry, windiest wind etc etc…the subtext, as always, being AGW driven climate change. Here in Sydney we’ve had a couple of days of 8c or so above average (There’s that comparing an absolute with an average again!), the warmest July since 1922. So it was warmer in 1922?

  76. >>Did they also report our coldest spring in 2 generations?

    P.S. Actually there is something to report here, and that is our changing weather patterns in the UK/Europe.

    The UK’s winter jetstreams (Jan-Mar) have moved south into the Med, and left northern Europe with a blocking Arctic high that excluded Atlantic lows and left us with cold, dry and stable anticyclonic conditions.* But now, in the summer, the main jetstream has just jumped well to the north of the UK and has allowed an Azores high to establish, and bring very warm dry conditions from the Siberian east. So we now have a heatwave.

    So rather than looking at thermometers, our pseudo-scientists of climate should be looking at the changing patterns of the jetstreams, and the resulting changing tropospheric pressure systems in Europe and N America. Take a look at some of these jetstream animations for 2010-2013. Select Jan-Feb-Mar and look at the path of the jetstreams running through the Mediterranean, instead of over the UK. Shame there is nothing here earlier than 2010 (when our recent cold winters started in the UK) for a comparison. Can anyone find a graphic of earlier years for comparison?

    http://squall.sfsu.edu/scripts/jet_atl_archloop.html

    This change makes northern Europe significantly more high pressure than previously, so why has northern Europe gone so anti-cyclonic, instead of cyclonic?** I bet a graph of UK surface pressure for Jan/Feb for 1980 to 2013 would show a rather nice hockey stick, as the pressure increases (but the uptick indicates cold conditions, not warm conditions). Why the obsession with temperature charts in climate research, when in UK temperatures are driven by surface pressure (and not viky-verky).

    The data is out there somewhere, but it would have to be collated and graphed, because I cannot find a decadal graph of UK surface pressure. Plenty of temperature charts, but not one pressure chart.

    http://www.worldclimate.com/cgi-bin/data.pl?ref=N51W000+4102+0367202G1

    .

    * Anticyclonic conditions are no good for windelecs (wind turbines), by the way. We would freeze to death in a renewable economy.

    ** Some say that pressure drives the path of jetstreams, while I think the opposite is true.

    .

  77. As a non-american I can only say: Wat an embarrassing spectacle and what weak performances by, especially Pielke but also Spencer. I was under the impression that they were, well sort of, sceptics. Clearly mild lukewarmers.. What a disappointment. Little better than zero impact from the pair of them. Of course most of the rest of what I watched made me wish for a barf-bag. Could not bear to watch it all, though.

  78. Mark Bofill says:
    July 19, 2013 at 3:40 pm
    “On a different but related note, I wish we had a skeptic authority there on the effects of climate change on the oceans. The stupid 30% more acidic quote comes up and nobody can put it in context.”

    A bit of context, Mark:
    Pure water is more acidic than the oceans.
    Pure water is more acidic than the oceans are forecast to become.
    Even under the most pessimistic predictions.
    Even if they were true.

  79. Chairman Boxer, in the most partisan, shameful way tried to discredit the republician experts right at the start.
    I’m paraphrasing, but hopefully I have captured the main points (from 1.49 on video):

    “the 2 republician witnesses:… there’s nothing wrong with this… but it is important to note where the funding comes from…
    Exxon Mobil foundation where one of the directors is also managing director for federal affairs at the Koch Brothers……

    the manhattan Institute received nearly $2M from the Koch Foundation and large monies from Exxon….

    “It can’t be overlooked…. 98% of scientists are saying one thing and 2% are saying another thing…. there is endless money behind the 2%

    ” The tobacco industry tried this…. they fought it, they took an oath to tell the truth… they lied, and eventually the truth came out, and the truth will come out her

  80. The problem with Pielke and Spencer is that they haven’t yet accepted the fact that all the IPCC heat generation and transfer science is wrong and that the Earth adapts to ensure CO2-AGW is near zero.

    1. The 3x positive feedback is a mistake, or a confidence trick, from 1981_Hansen_etal.pdf Look for the fals claim in para 2 that CO2 blocks 7-15 microns, wrong, also the claim that if there were no ghgs, the -18 deg C virtual emission temperature [it doesn't exist in rarity] would be at the Earth’s surface. No ghgs mean no clouds or ice so 43% increase in temperature hence the real average surface temperature would be 4-5 deg C, a GHE of 11 K.

    2. As the models use 33 k as calibration, they are plain wrong.

    3. The way they are made apparently to work is to add in imaginary back radiation and then claim Kirchhoff’s Law of Radiation applies at ToA. This increases atmospheric heat absorption by 157.5/23 = 6.85. By heating up the sunlit oceans in the model, it increases evaporation. The excess temperature is then offset by double real low level cloud optical depth.

    It’s a clever confidence trick.

  81. PS the Earth operates as a whole to bypass the ‘OLR-bite’. This is the other part of the IPCC con, to implicitly assume that the rest of the OLR spectrum has to remain constant as CO2 level increases.

    So the rest of the spectrum changes as does cloud area, a PID control system that minimises the radiative entropy generation rate as 5500 deg K SW is changed to 255 deg K LW.

    • @ blackadderthe4th No valid scientist should be a creationist as Spencer is! So anything else he claims should be doubted!

      Oh please. I suppose you reject all the scientific work of Issac Newton then?

      Isaac Newton (25 December 1642 – 20 March 1727) was, as considered by others within his own lifetime, an insightful and erudite theologian. He wrote many works that would now be classified as occult studies and religious tracts dealing with the literal interpretation of the Bible.

      Newton’s conception of the physical world provided a stable model of the natural world that would reinforce stability and harmony in the civic world. Newton saw a monotheistic God as the masterful creator whose existence could not be denied in the face of the grandeur of all creation. Although born into an Anglican family, by his thirties Newton held a Christian faith that, had it been made public, would not have been considered orthodox by mainstream Christianity; in recent times he has been described as a heretic.

      Let me make this clear for all the haters out there. I’m not interested in your views about Dr. Spencer’s views on religion here, and I’ll will snip anything further on the subject.

      Argue the science, not the man.

      Anthony Watts

  82. As a Brit unused to watching Senate hearings, a very great surprise to me was the extraordinarily partisan stance of Chairman Boxer who, in that capacity, should be scrupulously impartial. It was unacceptable that she started off with a long, biased statement – “climate change a serious threat”, “overwhelming evidence …” ” predictions (from climate modelling) coming true before our eyes..”, and quoting Trenberth “extremes more frequent..”, “hurricanes more frequent” as if they were uncontested facts, and many other wrong statements. She should have been brought to book immediately by one of the Republican Senators on the panel. Even worse was her response to Sen. Infohe – “It’s the same song you’ve had all along..”, and “I don’t know what it would take to convince you, and the deniers, but I’m going the keep on trying”. Outrageous.
    I was not especially impressed with Roy Spencer’s evidence or his responses, and it was difficult to tell what side Pielke was on.

  83. A Word on Politics

    A hearing in Congress is a political thing. The skeptics went into the Lions Den and did a credible job. The problem being that my paper (Orlando Sentinel) will carry none of it or will misrepresent what happened. Still, we do the best we can to plant seeds of doubt in the minds of the propagandized public wherever we can.

    But let us keep our eye on the ball — discredit every new alarmist meme that comes along. Like the fact we have more Polar Bears than we have had in my lifetime. (and I am very old)

  84. ‘ the Earth adapts to ensure CO2-AGW is near zero’ so there has never been a ‘Snowball Earth’ or ‘Hothouse Earth’, because the Earth ‘adapts’, I think not!

    CO2 300,000 ppm but snowball Earth.

  85. “AlecM says:

    July 20, 2013 at 3:44 am

    It’s a clever confidence trick.”

    And the tricksters are still playing the game, and are winning (For their payroll masters, the Banks).

  86. “Watch yesterday’s blockbuster performance by Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. and Dr. Roy Spencer at Senate climate hearing.”

    Yes. Dr. Roy Spencer was holding a graph, showing the global temperatures of the last 2000 years, but could not give any explanation of the spectra.

    Analysing 14 solar tide functions, the sum tells us that the variation of the climate is mainly related to the Sun:

    V.

  87. It helps to have a start point for those that don’t want to watch the full movie.
    Spencer’s statement begins at about 03:04:45

    If don’t get it after those 5 and 1/2 minutes, then you probably never will.

  88. I have several comments. Firstly Heidi clearly lied about warming in the deep oceans, If average surface atmospheric temperatures are not rising then by exactly what mechanism is more heat than ever going into the oceans, is there not a contempt of parliament law in the USA?

    Secondly, if all this energy is going into a 7% yes SEVEN apparently, rise in water flux through the atmosphere how the hell is there any energy left over to warm the atmosphere so dramatically!

    Finally, @ Leif

    I think you are treading on thin ice, you are on the record in saying that TSI is insufficient to explain temperature correlations with sunspot numbers. I have to ask, do you therefore explicitly deny that here are any other coupling mechanisms between energetics of the Sun and earth climate. It would seem to me that pertubations in magnetic forces, solar wind and even tidal gravitational forces all have the potential to modulate weather on our world. For example I saw a recent paper at a conference that draws a striking correlation between lunar and solar apogee around the wet season and the Great floods of Queensland. It seems clear that there is insufficient information to exclude all the possibilities such as to make the assumption that direct radiation is the only factor directly affecting the temperature of the earths surface. Maybe there are several mechanisms related to sunspots that co-act on the earth to produce the observed minimums.

    I am also don’t think that mankind knows everything there is to know, there may be forces or mechanisms at work about which we as yet have Zero understanding. For example, we know how gravity, and magnetism act but we know almost zero about how they come about. What Drives these forces. We don’t even really understand the redshift, what is powering the acceleration in the expansion of the universe. We are babes in the woods…

  89. bobl says:
    July 20, 2013 at 7:07 am
    do you therefore explicitly deny that here are any other coupling mechanisms between energetics of the Sun and earth climate.
    TSI is where the energy is, but it is simpler than that: There is no good evidence that solar activity is a major driver of climate. If it just a minor contributor, then solar activity is not of interest in the climate debate [in spite of its intrinsic interest as far as the Sun itself is concerned]. For example, we expect a 0.1 degree solar cycle variation and there does seem to be such a variation in climate, but that is not what the climate panic is about.

  90. This was largely a propaganda event. Boxer et al gave their speeches and harangues then fled.
    The room was largely empty when Pielke and Spencer gave their testimony.
    They refuted the lies and misinformation presented by the hot earthers but there was no one there to listen.

  91. David Borth says:
    July 19, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    I posted Dr. Spencer’s now-snipped article because commentators had been speculating about his beliefs. Why not let the man speak for himself? I was surprised that Anthony originally allowed it, since he’s right, it was religion & not science. Dr. Spencer’s religious beliefs are frequently cited by CACCAdvocates, so IMO are relevant, but it’s Anthony’s blog, so he’s free to rule out religion. So I’ll stick to science & public policy.

    Intelligent Design in its current incarnation was hatched to try to sneak creationism into public schools after the courts barred its teaching in science classes, but it is if anything even less scientific than young Earth creationism, since it doesn’t even try to make testable predictions. The evidence to this effect was overwhelming in the Dover case, indeed embarrassing, but ID adherents are apparently shameless.

    While you find Dr. Spencer’s faith-based beliefs about evolution coherent & compelling, they are in fact, to put it politely, easily demonstrated false. Transitional fossils abound. There is no genetic barrier in genomes keeping microevolution from becoming macroevolution, ie keeping fish from becoming tetrapods, for instance, or synapsid “reptiles” from becoming mammals. A single point mutation turns sugar-eating bacteria into nylon-eating microbes.

    I respect Dr. Spencer’s atmospheric observational work & appreciate his drawing attention to the importance of oceanic oscillations in the climate system, for which contributions I thank him. But IMO it’s unfortunate the good doctor hasn’t stuck to the atmosphere in public pronouncements, whatever his private professions of faith. His anti-scientific beliefs about biology only give support to those who claim that skeptics of man-made global warming are participating in a “war on science”.

  92. “Leif Svalgaard says:

    July 20, 2013 at 7:58 am

    There is no good evidence that solar activity is a major driver of climate.”

    Really? I am surprised you have made such a, bold, statement.

  93. Patrick says:
    July 20, 2013 at 8:27 am
    “There is no good evidence that solar activity is a major driver of climate.”
    Really? I am surprised you have made such a, bold, statement.

    If the evidence had been compelling, there would be no more discussion of the solar influence. It would be, like evolution, just a fact [contested only by crackpots and deniers of various stripes] and good science would be built on that firm foundation. However, that is not the case. To stay on topic: how many of the people testifying at the hearing showed the incontrovertible evidence that climate change was mainly controlled by solar activity? As I recall, that number is zero. Granted that there were weak mutterings about ‘natural variation’, but no evidence shown.

  94. I thought everybody knew about natural variability and extreme weather.
    I’ve heard no logical answers about CO2 causing CAGW and changing the climate but it does concern me that seemingly otherwise intelligent people would choose to ignore the benefits of CO2 and lie about the dangers.
    In his own simple mind the senator thought he was ridiculing a real climate scientist for his religious beliefs thinking it would allow him to ignore his data and competing theory. (Wonder what the senator would have said if he had responded: ‘there is but one religion and Allah the one God’).
    The CAGW religion encompasses a sort of witchcraft with a magic gas that is first evenly distributed in the atmosphere, then gets heated by the sun but somehow doesn’t warm the earth evenly but delivers it’s heat to the deep ocean and makes it snow in the UK.
    There are literally hundreds of claimed impacts from CO2 but, where are the climate refugees, increased global diseases, endangered species corpses, 20 ft sea level rise, open Arctic Ocean, increased flooding, increased hurricanes, increased drought, no more snow skiing and any of the other disasters caused by Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming?
    About the origin of life, I don’t know.
    Is there a God? I don’t know.
    But, neither does the enlightened senator.
    I read the Climategate emails and the “harry read me file” so I know the CAGW religious theory is loaded with tricks and hiding evidence and it’s just another fight for the cause.
    cn

  95. I watched the whole video (skipping through the politician’s soliloquies). I was amused by the claim that global warming has left the atmosphere for the last 15 years (despite a significant increase in atmospheric CO2 in the same period) and gone to the deep ocean. Hmmm… I also found amusing the refusal to call a statistical flat line in warming a flat line. It made my head swim with the contradictions and unsupported innuendos from some of the witnesses. Roy on the other hand had a simple message. The climate is always changing, it has always changed and given that natural variability how can we possibly attribute a specific portion, all, none or some to AGW? Simple. We can’t. And yet the politicos still want to develop policies that will harm us and not measurably succeed in modifying the natural variability of our climate.

  96. Moderator -
    So you snipped me for, in essence, saying that the references to Dr. Spencer’s religious beliefs by alarmists are an ad hominem attack? I think you should reconsider.

  97. ‘Oh please. I suppose you reject all the scientific work of Issac Newton then?’ no because that is backed up with checkable calculations and experiments and stood the test of time! Remember they used Newtons laws to get a man on the moon! However ID is not checkable or stood any test of time! And anyhow to come out and say you were not a believer in the bible in his time, you took the risk of being strapped to a stake and burned alive! ‘He wrote many works that would now be classified as occult studies’ correct , as most people at the time believed in witches, goblins, magic, potions, etc, etc. Not to, no doubt meant a trip to the stake. Remember the ‘Witch Finder General’ about this time! Burned some thing like 300 people? For basically no reason at all, except the reward money!

    ‘ Argue the science, not the man’ and that is what I have done, because there is zero scientific evidence for ID!.

    • In arguing the science rather than the man, IMO the point is that a scientist’s conclusions in his area of expertise are not invalidated by his religious-based beliefs about a different discipline.

      ID is indeed not science, but that doesn’t mean that Dr. Spencer’s understanding of the air & ocean are similarly bogus. In fact, quite the contrary with regard to his climate science.

  98. “Leif Svalgaard says:

    July 20, 2013 at 8:39 am”

    You know and understand *ALL* variables in the earth climate system including the single major source of energy input to the Earth system as a whole, the Sun, and yet you exclude it outright as having any influence at all? Patrick Moore would be tuning in his recent grave!

  99. Is it possible to create a video with the ability to increase the volume a significant amount.

    It’s a shame to have a full audio like this and then have such a pitifully inadequate audio, that is hard to hear, via a normal computer output.

    Perhaps those with additional speakers don’t have a problem. But maxing out the audio on this “HD” video and the computer audio, this is very hard to hear.

    Thanks for anyone who can jack up the volume.

  100. Discussion in these comments addresses the problem of finding good spokesmen for CACCA skepticism. Whatever vulnerability, real or putative, that adepts of the orthodox consensus can find or manufacture in opponents will be ruthlessly, shamelessly exploited.

    Skeptics are painted as tools of Big Oil, not versed in the occult arcana of “climate science” (TM), religious whackjobs, Right Wing fanatics, etc, whatever ad hominem slurs it takes to discredit them before the godless, Left Wing, anti-business MSM. And the few “journalists” who are well-educated & independent-minded enough to challenge the orthodoxy, dare not for fear of their own careers.

    OTOH skeptics, as good scientists ought, tend to couch their conclusions in judicious, circumspect, tentative language, leaving the publicity field clear for unprincipled, fire-breathing, apocalyptic profits of doom like Hansen, a certified loon.

    Many skeptics with sound scientific credentials are old, white men, no longer living & working in fear of academic retribution. They’re dying off. Judith Curry is a rare example of a younger, still active certified climate scientist brave enough publicly to state her position after changing her mind on the issue, to whatever extent she has done so. Most young & newly minted PhDs in relevant fields have to tow the Party line, or perish from never publishing.

    Yet from among the thousands (at least) of sufficiently credentialed (for media purposes) skeptics, some of whom have already lost their jobs, there must be suitable candidates to defend science from corrupting influence of the “settled, consensus” scam.

    While many here are pleased with Drs. Spencer & Pielke’s performances in the hearings, I’m sorry to say that I think we can do better. “Science communication” needs effective communicators with unassailable professional & personal authority. While Sen. Whitehouse’s attack on Dr. Spencer’s religious beliefs was slimy, it was only to be expected from no-holds-barred gaseous CACCActivists. Commentators here have offered IMO excellent suggestions as to how to handle such diversionary tactics.

  101. Patrick says:
    July 20, 2013 at 10:53 am
    yet you exclude it outright as having any influence at all?
    No, i point out that no matter which variable you select, none of them show any compelling effect. As I said, if the sun were a major driver [including any and all of the variables you can think of] the effect would be obvious and accepted as a fact and good science would ensue from it [as with evolution or plate tectonics], but this is not happening [much to my chagrin as it would vastly increase the significance of my own field with attendant increased flow of funding]. None of the speakers at the hearing [even Roy Spencer] presented ANY evidence that the Sun is important [for good reason: there aren't any]

  102. Volker Doormann says:
    July 20, 2013 at 5:01 am

    Do you seriously expect us to believe that the ‘tidal functions’ from two trans-Neptunian objects 45 AU from the sun with a combined mass of 0.2% of earth’s mass are going to affect the weather on earth via their gravitational effect on the sun?

    I am talking about the PL/QU couple in your second link. You are just wiggle matching using these concocted ‘couples’ to give you harmonics close the ones you need for the matching exercise.

    Why not come clean and just do the wiggle matching without dressing it up as ‘tidal functions’.

  103. I thought Sen Sessions was brilliant in the way he used his Southern charm to basically insinuate that Whitehouse and the others have deluded themselves with the climate hubris. Whitehouse was trying to argue with facts like the heating of the Gulf of Mexico without actually mentioning that you can’t just assume it’s CO2 because you don’t actually know why.

    I’m a bit disappointed that no-one asked if any emprical measurements of “forcing” had been done. When Roy Spencer mentioned that water vapour feedback doesn’t appear to exist that would have a nice time to mention “well we don’t really understand how efficient Co2 forcing actually is…because we’ve never done the experiments”. That would have been a clanger.

  104. If you watch the coverage on vidio …. go to about the 3 hour time when Roger starts his talk ….. WHERE ARE ALL THE SENATORS …… MOST OF THE SEATS ARE EMPTY !!!!!!!!!!

  105. at rpSorry, it took me until today to have time to watch the portion of the video at the very end in which Pielke and Spencer appear.

    I thought Pielke’s testimony was very strong. He remained narrowly focused on extreme weather events, which was good. He also indicated why they are a poor thing to focus on — even if there were a positive signal to detect there, it will be lost in the noise for decades if not a century or more.

    Poor responses in general were made to the question about whether or not warmer oceans will generate more or more violent storms. Ocean storms (weather in general, in fact) is indeed a heat-driven phenomenon, but heat engines run between a warm reservoir and a cold reservoir. Global warming largely occurs because of a REDUCTION in temperature extremes — because the Stefan-Boltzmann equation scales like temperature to the fourth power, all that it takes to cause warming is better/faster global atmospheric mixing and all that it takes to cause cooling is a reduction of global atmospheric mixing (e.g. confinement of tropical heat to the tropics). [Parentheically, it is entirely possible for CO_2 to increase and the globe to cool (on average); all it takes is a diversion in the Gulf Stream or alteration in the decadal oscillations or Hadley circulation patters that inhibits the convection of tropical heat northward. The tropics would warm a little, but a little warming to the fourth power equals a lot more radiative heat loss from the largest single band of the Earth’s surface area, and the temperate zone and poles would cool much more than the tropics warmed. Similarly, it is entirely possible for CO_2 levels to go down or remain flat and for it to warm, all that it takes is an alteration of global circulation patterns (which are chaotic, very likely not stable at all on long time scales) that increases tropical convection to the temperate and polar regions.]

    It is therefore by no means clear that a reduction of the temperature differential between the tropics and poles would result in an increase in the number or frequency of extreme weather events ever, even theoretically. If we could precisely model the climate, we might well find that they should decrease. But as Pielke noted, detecting any change at all is a matter of decades the centuries, as there is no detectable signal here across a time span that includes a fairly non-controversial increase in global average temperature of at least 0.5 C.

    Spencer’s testimony was strong, but sadly he failed to make certain points that IMO should have been made (Pielke missed this too; I think one question on the point might have been addressed to him). The most important point concerns the interpretation of the GCM spaghetti curves, and the validity of the IPCC AR4 GCM “average” that (as Spencer DID point out) it uses as the suggested basis for policy making in its summary for policy makers.

    No opportunity should ever be missed for pointing out that this curve is a horrendous abuse of every scientific principle I know of, and that the correct application of statistics to these curves should be, as Spencer pointed out but failed to articulate, the rejection of the GCMs one at a time on the basis of failing elementary hypothesis testing and the rejection of the “average” of these failed models as having the slightest meaning whatsoever in any statistical sense.

    In particular, the average of the GCMs is meaningless. The standard deviation of the distribution of GCM results about this average is meaningless, except as evidence that the GCMs collectively suck. The “fit” of GCMs to the period pre-1990 or thereabouts is not evidence that they are predictive as they were initialized TO fit that period — they can no more hindcast the curve Spencer held up presenting global temperatures over the last 2000 years than they can predict the stock market ten years from today.

    Finally, and most damning — the application of hypothesis testing methodology in a statistically permissible way to each GCM, one at a time, to the actual climate data under the null hypothesis “this is a perfect climate model whose results can be trusted” consists of looking at the range of the Monte Carlo results that do form an ensemble and noting what fraction of the individual trajectories match the actual climate. When this is done, the number is very, very small, for nearly every GCM. Indeed, we would be entirely justified in rejecting this null hypothesis for nearly all if not all of the GCMs.

    This makes the AR4 summary for policy makers even worse than a mere abuse of statistics. It’s one thing to average over twenty models each one of which is individually in pretty good agreement with the data and hence passes a basic sanity check as being a valid model and then arguing that the mean “could” — “not has according to the theorems of statistics” to but could somehow average over irrelevant but small errors in the details in the implementation of the same basic physics and hence yield a better average than any single model alone. It’s another to average over twenty models that individually fail a basic internal hypothesis test when compared to reality and worse all fail in the same way, consistently coming in far too hot and then assert that the average is meaningful and that the standard deviation of that average is a valid measure of the probable bounds of the future climate.

    Even small things should have been called. Pielke let pass the assertion that one of the warmist testifiers made that the average temperature of the US isn’t what is important it is the extremes in temperature, that some places are far too hot and others too cold to compensate. First of all, she should have been accused on the spot of cherrypicking and data dredging, and the obligatory reference to the xkcd comic titled “Green Jelly Beans Cause Acne” should have been inserted into the Congressional Record as mandator reading by all congresspersons. Second, Pielke in particular must have studied the second cumululant of temperature distributions (which is basically the variance and/or standard deviation and should have been prepared to point out on the spot that if one cannot detect a signal in the mean, it is quadratically more difficult to detect it in the variance and that in any event there is no statistically defensible observation of greater temperature variability in the weather records of the US or the globe.

    Yes, we have the warmest global temperatures of the last 150 years right now, or at least it is plausible that we do if one buys error estimates on global temperatures from a period when the entire continent of Antarctica and much of the Australian outback and a goodly chunk of Africa and South America and almost all of the world’s oceans were either terra incognita or infrequently sampled with poor equipment and indifferent techniques, or buys the proposition that temperatures in the parts of the globe that were better sampled were proxies for global temperature with some sort of knowable/predictable variation and hence possible error. However, we aren’t getting hotter hots and colder colds or greater variability around/relative to the mean, again no more so than we observed in e.g. the Dust Bowl pre-CO_2.

    Finally, why didn’t any of them call the Rhode Island senator on his concern for the oceans and sinking Rhode Island and point out that whatever is happening to the shoreline in Rhode Island, it is a simple matter of fact that the total SLR from 1870 to the present, inclusive, is 9 whole inches, so his assertions that Rhode Island has suffered from 10 inches of higher ocean levels (if true!) has absolutely nothing to do with actual sea level rise. The ocean is isostatic, is rising currently at somewhere between 2 and 3.5 mm/year, period, and not even Trenberth is asserting that it is going to rise more than a whole foot by the end of the century, and that is predicated on it maintaining at least the same level of rise in the face of at best relatively slowly rising temperatures.

    I didn’t consider either Spencer’s or Pielke’s testimony to be a “home run” for skeptics. They did a good job, of course, but the deck was stacked against them. They went dead last in the progression of events, attendance at their session was poor, most viewers no doubt had long since tuned out with the crap that they (eventually) refuted firmly fixed in their minds. If they had been among the first testifiers their testimony would have had a much greater impact and indeed would have refuted a priori a lot of the crap that preceded them. But they left far too much unsaid.

    What was sorely missed at the hearings was a statistician. In fact, a statistician with a big red button marked “Bullshit!” that goes “Baaaaaaa” when you press it, overriding any speaker, to call each and every testifier when they made a statistically indefensible or misleading statement, such as the implication that the sea has risen 10 inches in 30 years, or that the IPCCs average over GCMs is somehow meaningful or that it is somehow surprising that predictive models fit data from the immediate past of the time the models were built and that it could hardly be so if the models were not valid.

    As Nicholas Nassim Taleb and countless market plungers that lost their shirt on precisely that sort of model would testify (if given the chance), not so. Show me a model built to fit only the data from (say) 1960 to 1990 that predicts the MWP and LIA — then we’ll talk.

    rgb

  106. Dr. Spencer should emphasize that he has chosen the tropical troposphere to illustrate the difference between the models and measurements BECAUSE that is where the theory of greenhouse warming via CO2 is shown to be wrong (or at least incomplete). By not stating that, he is left open to the charge of cherry picking and loses credibility.

  107. Whitehouse throws GCM’s and atmosphere/surface temperature measurements under the bus, retreats to oceans. Fun! Last resort of the common warmist. Trenberth’s Heat Hideout.

  108. I’m not sure I understand the argument that the Sun can have no effect. We’d be a frozen ice-ball without it. All temperature we are concerned with comes from it. A tiny variation in its output would make a tiny difference in our temperature, moderated and smoothed by the climate cycle.

    It’s massive. It’s not going to fluctuate up and down daily in its output. Any variation in how much energy it releases is going to be in long cycles. They are so slow that they are hard to observe. After all, we’ve only been watching it with instruments that can really measure it for a very few years.

    So, I don’t really understand how you can unequivocally claim it has no effect on us at all.

  109. Don’t miss the testimony of Robert P. Murphy, Senior Economist, Institute for Energy Research.

    His evidence that the auditor’s advice was ignored is a political scandal. If the committee does not demand that the studies are repeated with the conditions requested by the auditor then… well.

    Heads have rolled for less!

    Your US EPA has adopted policies on incomplete evidence. That is legally vulnerable. If you do not know about something you should have known about then you are still culpable under US law.
    Wilful stupidity is no defence.

  110. Leif Svalgaard says:
    July 20, 2013 at 11:03 am

    While perhaps not obvious, IMO there is a variable trait of TSI, as opposed to solar magnetic effects so often cited & studied, that arguably does affect climate. The fact that the spectral composition, ie share of UV vs. visible & IR radiation, of TSI fluctuates by a factor of two IMO does & must affect ocean heat content.

    Depending of course upon sea water clarity & precise wavelength, IR normally penetrates no farther than about a meter into open ocean. UV-A (380nm) however in the West Pacific at 30 degrees S penetrates 25 meters at the Z10 level, ie 10% irradiance. UV-B (340nm) reaches about eight meters, IIRC.

    Relatively little UV reaches the oceanic surface relative to IR & visible light, even at the height of the UV cycle, so the differential effect may be small. Yet it still could be significant, since oceanic oscillations appear to modulate climate to some substantial degree.

    You may recall this discussion:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/02/12/uv-shift-in-the-leaked-ipcc-report-more-inversion-of-the-scientific-method/

  111. Tom Jones: “………. Whitehouse, in his retreat to ocean issues, is foreshadowing what is going to happen. Heating of the atmosphere is just getting difficult to argue, but ocean heating is so new and exciting. It is also harder to argue against, because the temperature differential is so tiny, and it is hypothesized to happen at a depth that cannot be observed by existing technology. And, the reality is, building the infrastructure to measure it would be horrendously expensive. It just is not going to happen, not with the Argo net freshly done.”

    Suppose for purposes of argument, the excess energy from the earth’s postulated GHG-driven energy imbalance actually is going into the oceans, and that the current pause in the historical rise of global mean temperature is thus properly explained.

    Has a peer-reviewed narrative been published which plausibly explains in reasonably good detail just how that excess heat will eventually be transferred from the ocean into the atmosphere, thus ending the current pause in the historical rise of global mean temperature?

    Is there any kind of discussion currently underway within the climate science community as to how specifically the general circulation models (GCMs) ought to be revised in order to accurately account for the excess heat now postulated to be going into the oceans?

  112. The funniest part was at the final summing up, in which the democrats tried to reframe the hearing as an “ocean effects” hearing, and complained that Republicans hadn’t invited enough ocean experts.

    If they wanted a conference on “ocean effects”, they should have said so!

    What else could they do though, after the Republican witnesses demolished the warming arguments…

  113. What is interesting is that Sen. Whitehouse keeps referring to the rising level of the oceans. Since Geology is constantly changing (as is climate), sea level is a relative term. Is the water rising or is the land subsiding? I would think more involved GPS measurements may be in order.

  114. Climate sensitivity, in a centuries time will we still have no idea? Many of the “hot topics” around climate change always seem to be those questions that could in fact be impossible to answer in the near future, if ever..

    The greatest weakness in the AGW argument IMO is water vapor feedback. I think the key is the overlap between co2 and water vapor. Arguing that co2, because of its long residence time, keeps the planet from freezing over, is drawing a long bow, since while the impact of net co2 is theoretically significant, when overlapping water vapor is taken in to account, co2 is minimal, hence the unquestioning faith in positive feedback by AGW advocates is not only needed to produce catastrophic warming scenarios, but also to give co2 it’s “net impact” without water vapor feedback, since the water vapor is dependent on co2.

    A precarious position.

  115. @X Anomaly

    Well the CO2 IR absorption bands, may be overlapped by the water bands. That does not mean that the individual lines overlap.

    As for “residence” time; that is a red herring. CO2 and H2O are PERMANENT components of the earth atmosphere. It matters not a jot, that one CO2 molecule goes and sits down on the bench, while another takes its place.

    And in most places, there is always more water in the atmosphere than CO2..

    The feedback comes from the fact, that H2O, and also CO2, to a lesser extent, also absorb incoming radiant energy from the sun; in the case of H2O, starting around 700 nm wavelength; and that solar spectrum energy NEVER reaches the ocean surface to be stored deep in the ocean.

    So more water cools rather than warms. 24 hours a day, water vapor, and clouds continually scatter/reflect incoming solar energy falling on half of the earth surface at all times.

  116. peter says:
    July 20, 2013 at 12:20 pm
    I’m not sure I understand the argument that the Sun can have no effect. We’d be a frozen ice-ball without it. All temperature we are concerned with comes from it.
    What is important is the variation with solar activity of the solar output, and that is tiny [1/1000 of the whole], so the there an effect, but tiny.

    milodonharlani says:
    July 20, 2013 at 1:01 pm
    The fact that the spectral composition, ie share of UV vs. visible & IR radiation, of TSI fluctuates by a factor of two IMO does & must affect ocean heat content.
    UV is but a small part of TSI [The 'T' means 'Total'] so the variation of the energy of UV is mush smaller than that of TSI.

  117. peter says:
    July 20, 2013 at 12:20 pm
    I’m not sure I understand the argument that the Sun can have no effect. We’d be a frozen ice-ball without it. All temperature we are concerned with comes from it.
    What is important is the variation with solar activity of the solar output, and that is tiny [1/1000 of the whole], so there an effect, but tiny.

  118. Discovery has taken on a bad name, since the “science is settled” argument.
    How would one, even begin, to back out of such a statement ?
    Here we go…..

  119. Leif Svalgaard says:
    July 20, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    I know what the T in TSI stands for, & that on average about 45% of it arrives at visible wavelengths, ~54% in the IR spectrum & only a little more than one percent at shorter wavelengths (UV & X-solar radiation). However, & please correct me if wrong, my impression is that about 5% of the TSI reaching the surface is UV. Therefore, it seems possible to me that a variation of, say, around three to seven percent UV could make a difference (don’t know the actual fluctuation, but that it’s about a factor of two). That’s a lot of energy, entering water of different depths, temperatures, salinities & optical properties, enough perhaps to affect how it moves around.

  120. Plus, UV is an even bigger chunk of the TSI that actually penetrates seawater in most cases. Some of the surface-incident IR doesn’t even make it into the water, due to spray, foam, what have you, & that which does rarely reaches even a meter in depth. It seems to me that the small amount of UV in TSI must do a disproportionate amount of energy transfer to the oceans.

  121. Just for the record, during the hearing, Dr. Roy Spencer repeated a claim which is factually incorrect. He claims that his “satellite temperature data” measures the temperature of the entire Earth. But, his best data, the MSU/AMSU TLT set, provides values only between 82.5N and 82.5S. Areas nearer the poles are not measured, these grid points calculated by interpolation. Furthermore, the TLT calculation combines data from only 8 scan positions out of the available 11, leaving out the 3 in mid swath, which are the least affected by stratospheric contamination. Also, the outermost 4 positions are used to positions are used to correct the data from the other 4, the stated intent being to remove the stratospheric cooling influence which was the reason that the raw channel 2 data (the Mid Tropospheric or MT set) is useless for climate assessment. (See Spencer and Christy, 1992b)

    Of course, Spencer repeats his claim that his data represents a “bulk average temperature of the atmosphere” when the MSU instrument actually measures the integrated microwave energy in a narrow frequency band. This emission is compared to the emission from a known thermal source and from deep space, which was originally called “brightness temperature”, but which Spencer and Christy decided to re-name as simply “temperature”. It’s well known that the measurements include effects from the surface and from the stratosphere, but S & C have ignored those effects. I showed that there was a large error in the data when compared to balloon data over the Antarctic, which caused RSS to exclude high altitude areas from their data, especially poleward of 70S. (doi:10.1029/2003GL017938, 2003)

    Furthermore, S & C have never publicly presented the method which they used to produce their TLT algorithm. And, they have not offered any analysis of which I am aware which validates that algorithm, especially at high latitudes where the tropopause varies in height during the year. Until such time as this method is provided, Spencer’s claim to scientific rigor is lacking to my mind.

  122. milodonharlani says:
    July 20, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    Not to mention that UV naturally penetrates ice & snow better, as well.

  123. If nothing else this charade should make skeptics even more sure of themselves. To hear the warmists running from the “settled science” of atmospheric warming to the oceans means the skeptics were right. We said their claims were bogus and now they are basically admitting it.

    It is also important to witness the outright lies and attempts at misinformation by the Heidi and her fellow warmists. They are running scared. I mean come on, the changes in rain fall over New England is the best evidence they can muster? Or, talking about the Arctic while ignoring the Antarctic? These are all easily shown to be worthless arguments.

    And then they bring in an Insurance guy yet harp on the funding of the Energy Institute? How ridiculous is that. The Insurance industry benefits greatly from spreading climate fears.

    Of everything I saw I believe the shredding of the extreme weather lie will turn out to be the most important. Any congressman that starts spewing that nonsense can be pointed to “the record” where the unrefuted scientific position is there have been no increases.

  124. E. Swanson … ignore UAH. Use RSS if you don’t like Spencer. The answer is the same.

  125. @Leif

    Sorry this is so far down, Anthony gets a lot of comments between the time I go to sleep and wake UP – The whole other side of the world gets to comment.

    Doesn’t the magnitude 0.1% or maybe 0.5% even using TSI depend on earth’s response to different wavelengths. So for example could not the change in the UV result in upper atmosphere heating, which by virtue of the laws of thermodynamics, slow down the rate of conduction/Convection from the surface by creating an inversion (Anthony, you’re the Meterologist?) In this sort of case we might have a situation where amplification could occur, by heating a small layer of atmosphere we could markedly change the rate of conduction/convection loss from a lower layer. Has the warming effect of every wavelength been investigated in detail for different mechanisms of interaction? UV ionizes particles, does this have an effect, say on cloud formation , or albedo (yes via Hydroxyl radicals) or even smog (though these are likely cooling effects of increased UV). Even ozone itself has temperature effects since its a greenhouse gas, increased UV means increased ozone, does it not?

    Also, I already pointed out that the Solar and Luna perigee do correspond strikingly to the occurrence of floods in Queensland Australia. Clearly the climate minimums do correlate broadly to solar events, the prima-facie evidence is that the Sun does control earth’s climate. We know the gravitational effect changes the air pressure which controls wind (not much but hey, we aren’t talking about much) and it changes ocean distribution. I think therefore it is very premature to say, there are NO mechanisms other than TSI where the sun can affect the earths climate. Is it not prudent at this point to say we don’t know enough yet about the interactions, rather than boldly “It is not the sun” ?

    Leif, the math says it’s clearly not GHGs, so if it’s not the sun then what is it?

  126. Richard M says:
    July 20, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    I would like to see hearings in the House that reverse the ratio of alarmists to skeptics. And put the skeptics on first, so that the Members & cameras are still there when they testify.

    Oh, & could the committee please grill taxpayer-ripoff artists Trenberth & Schmidt?

  127. milodonharlani says:
    July 20, 2013 at 5:55 pm
    my impression is that about 5% of the TSI reaching the surface is UV. Therefore, it seems possible to me that a variation of, say, around three to seven percent UV could make a difference
    TSI varies 0.1%, 5% of that is 0.005%. A variation of that 0.005% between 0.003 and 0.007% is a variation of total energy from 0.098% and 0.102%, hardly anything to write home about…

  128. Leif Svalgaard says:
    July 20, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    The proportion of UV to longer wavelengths varies by a factor of two. It’s not the variation in TSI that might matter, but the fluctuation in UV. Call TSI invariable for sake of simplicity. IMO, climatically significant differences are plausible at 2% UV, 53% IR & 46% visible vs. 1% UV, 54% IR & 46% visible, translating into at the sea surface, say, 7% UV, 50% IR & 43% visible vs. 3% UV, 52% IR & 45% visible, but more importantly at a meter to 40 meters depth, double the amount of incoming UV (with no IR & hugely reduced visible).

    With ice cover, again the UV component will have most of the energy. Visible light can penetrate clear blue ice surprisingly far, but even more so the higher energy short wavelengths.

    Maybe this has been studied, but I’ve not found it. Experimental climatology has been torpedoed by GIGO modeling. Freeman Dyson is eloquent on this point.

  129. What is frustrating to me is that we have no one in the Senate that can put sentences together that that appears they understand the science. I know that Whitehouse is only regurgitating what he is told, but Sessions looks like he is ready to gaff into a soundbite that would kill the effort. Seeing him quote a Kingston Trio song during testimony makes me hope his family doctor was watching and scheduled a cat scan.

  130. @ milodonharlani

    Excellent point perhaps Leif can enlighten us.

    While UV represents a small part of the insolation, is this in fact the Number of photons or the “Total Energy”. What are the impacts of say X-Ray or Gamma ray photons from a raw energy point of view since they can penetrate as far as the stratosphere. What weather effects do these high energy particles cause? Can they cause inversions suppressing convection?

  131. george,

    Negative cloud feedback is an interesting proposition, but no more interesting then any other potential albedo related negative feedback arising from dust, ice sheets, snow, vegetation, etc.

    Co2 impacts long wave radiation, and so does water vapor. The question is why the two are in the atmosphere at all (i.e. why is it ocean warm enough to emit the two?). Without an alternative explanation, one is restricted to pulling apart the AGW assumptions such as:

    1) The ocean and it’s enormous heat capacity simply has no consequence besides hiding Trenberths heat and causing 15 years pauses in global temperature!

    2) Without Co2 there is no water vapor because the surface is frozen because there is no GH effect without Co2!

    Yes, it’s all very likely ridiculous bullshit. Problem is no one can show it to be so.

  132. milodonharlani says:
    July 20, 2013 at 7:16 pm
    It’s not the variation in TSI that might matter, but the fluctuation in UV.
    Since percentages may be confusing to some folks let us use energy in W/m2 instead.

    7% UV, 50% IR & 43% visible vs. 3% UV, 52% IR & 45% visible
    Since all of TSI varies 1.5 W/m2 over the cycle, UV will [with your numbers which are not correct to begin with] vary between 7% of 1.5 W/m2 or 0.105 W/m2 and 3% of 1.5 or 0.045 W/m2. Compared to total TSI of 1361 W/m2 that is between 0.000077 and 0.000033 of the whole. Still nothing to write about.

  133. On the bright side, no one was actually watching this, which basically means that there isn’t much likely hood of any ground breaking, us destroying new laws going to be created anytime soon. If the CAGW crowd can’t generate any media enthusiasm there it is less likely that any senator is going to waste his/her time creating a new law that wont pass anyhow. Having the voice of reason there in the form of Pielke and Spencer put a serious dent in the “show” as far as new law being generated. The idea in something like this is not to debunk the CAGW crowd but to demonstrate that we aren’t going to die tomorrow and keep things on an even keel. Governments rarely look farther out than 10 years, with most folks sticking to the next election. The best win for a debate like this isn’t that we change someone’s viewpoint but that we rob them of the momentum to get some useless and dangerous laws passed. So BRAVO to Pielke and Spencer for a job well done!

  134. By the way, hasn’t ocean acidification been fully debunked ad nauseum? Seeing it brought up again seems simple alarmist.

    • Alvin says:

      > By the way, hasn’t ocean acidification been fully debunked ad nauseum? Seeing it brought up again seems simple alarmist.

      It has. But being debunked does not seem to cause nausea to anybody at the source of its funding:

      http://www.oceanacidification.org.uk

      See, it’s a new field of research. It is getting some traction among policy makers. But there is still much to be understood. Please send more money.

  135. bobl says:
    July 20, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    I always look forward to Dr. Svalgaard’s comments. As a true man of science, he does my alma mater credit, of which service it is in sore need.

    I like your inversion hypothesis. There is so much to learn about the earth, yet so much time & money has been worse than squandered on GIGO computer models.

    When considering UV, of course that old bugaboo from the ’70s, the ozone hole, rears again its ugly head. Another reason why science cannot truly even assess what is the sign of human effects on climate, if any, net.

  136. Leif Svalgaard says:
    July 20, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    I know the numbers aren’t precisely correct. They were meant to be illustrative. My point is that solar energy effectively delivered to the upper 50 m, let’s say, of the ocean will roughly double from the high to low of UV share of TSI.

  137. PS: Energy in W/m2 is IMO the right way to consider the fluctuation in order to assess whatever its climatic effects might be.

  138. bobl says:
    July 20, 2013 at 7:33 pm
    What are the impacts of say X-Ray or Gamma ray photons from a raw energy point of view since they can penetrate as far as the stratosphere.
    Apart from the fact that they don’t penetrate to the stratosphere, their total energy is minuscule, about one millionth of TSI.

  139. PPS: I don’t need to be highly precise anyway, since the blog is blessed to have Dr. S. here to tell us what the range of observed percentages actually is. Thanks! But mine were close enough for IPCC work.

    BTW, I have a good reason for commenting here on a northwestern quarter hemisphere summer Saturday night. No doubt so does everyone else.

  140. milodonharlani says:
    July 20, 2013 at 5:55 pm
    Leif Svalgaard says:
    July 20, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    I know what the T in TSI stands for, & that on average about 45% of it arrives at visible wavelengths, ~54% in the IR spectrum & only a little more than one percent at shorter wavelengths (UV & X-solar radiation). However, & please correct me if wrong, my impression is that about 5% of the TSI reaching the surface is UV. Therefore, it seems possible to me that a variation of, say, around three to seven percent UV could make a difference (don’t know the actual fluctuation, but that it’s about a factor of two). That’s a lot of energy, entering water of different depths, temperatures, salinities & optical properties, enough perhaps to affect how it moves around.

    The variability in UV is between 200-300nm which is blocked by the atmosphere and therefore doesn’t reach the surface, so there is no variation in the UV energy entering the ocean.

  141. milodonharlani says:
    July 20, 2013 at 7:46 pm
    My point is that solar energy effectively delivered to the upper 50 m, let’s say, of the ocean will roughly double from the high to low of UV share of TSI.
    No, the UV variation will cause TSI to vary between 1361.045 and 1361.105 [using your numbers] assuming that UV was to only things that varied. Then you have to subtract because of albedo and divide by 4 because the Earth is round, so the numbers become from 238.183 W/m2 [min UV] and 238.193 W/m2 [max UV]. Still nothing to write home about.

  142. Leif Svalgaard says:
    July 20, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    As you must know, albedo of UV-A & UV-B is very low. High energy means high penetration.

    Indeed, the Earth is round, but 70% of its surface is saltwater, which UV penetrates farther than visible light & IR. I’d like to see these physical facts studied.

    Also, it’s possible that energetic effects that seem nothing to write home about could have out-sized climatic effects.

    Or it could just be the Margaritas talking.

  143. Leif,

    Still we can’t ignore the high energy particles because they cause actual chemical changes in the atmosphere, the method of action has implications for the climate. It’s not all about energy, it’s also about energy transfer (flow).

    A low energy signal can cause a very large change in an energy flow – it happens every time you turn your lights on. It happens every time there’s a temperature inversion over your city. It happens often when you have a cloudless night (ie lack of clouds change radiation enough to cause frost). It happens every time a cloud floats over you during the day. It’s all about flow.

    Can the sun affect thermal energy flow on planet earth how, what wavelengths could do that?

    You haven’t answered my question, if it isn’t the sun, and it isn’t GHGs then what was the little ice age caused by?

  144. Phil. says:
    July 20, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    But wait! You’re both right. And wrong.

    Remarkably, this important study is only now being accorded the significance it merits:

    http://astro.ic.ac.uk/research/solar-irradiance-variation

    As with TSI, variability and irradiance increases at solar maximum above atmosphere observations have revealed that the 200-300 nm region varies on the order of a few percent, 150-200 nm by 10-20% and shorter regions by over 50%. However, contribution to TSI is tiny in this region: most radiative energy comes from the visible and near-IR and prior to the SORCE mission was a region not well observed.

  145. PS: SORCE craft was launched in 2003. If nothing else, this again shows how preposterous was the baseless assertion in the ’90s that climate “science was settled”. The PDO was discovered by a fisheries researcher in 1997.

  146. What is a more plausible primary (90%) forcing of the climate system: going from three molecules of CO2 per 10,000 dry air molecules to four in 150 years, or small fluctuations in the spectral composition of an only very slightly varying TSI, plus solar magnetic flux? Or something entirely different?

    IMO adherence to the, to say the least, not well supported man-made GHG hypothesis, has short-circuited rigorous exploration of alternative explanations for observed climate change since the end of the LIA, to the extent that observations are real & not anthropogenically “adjusted”.

  147. “””””…..milodonharlani says:

    July 20, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    July 20, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    As you must know, albedo of UV-A & UV-B is very low. High energy means high penetration.

    Indeed, the Earth is round, but 70% of its surface is saltwater, which UV penetrates farther than visible light & IR. I’d like to see these physical facts studied……….”””””””””””

    Dunno who said what here. I believe Dr. Leif did NOT say the latter.

    While 70 % of the earth surface IS water (more or less), somewhat more than 70% of solar energy strikes the water, because of the geography.

    BUT !! where did this notion arise that UV penetrates deeply into sea water; “”” farther than visible or IR “””

    Simply is NOT true.

    So let me cite some numbers from THE INFRA-RED HANDBOOK.

    Specifically chapter 3 page 103 in Properties of Terrestrial Materials. Fig. 3-113

    The actual souce is G. C. Ewing “Oceanography from Space”…Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. WHOI ref No. 65-10 April 1965. Ewing may have been an editor rather than author.

    So.

    Sea water is MOST transparent at about 470 nm (LED blue) Absorption coefficient is 10^-4 cm^-1.

    So 1/e attenuation depth, is 10,000 cm…..100 metres, so 500 metres to 99% absorption.

    For visible from 400 nm to 800 nm.

    At 400 alpha = ~6 E-4

    At 800 nm alpha = ~1E-2 1/e depth = 1 metre

    for the same one metre at short end, go down to 300 nm wavelength (UV).

    So the entire visible spectrum goes deeper than 300 nm UV.

    UV transmission really crashes at about 180 nm, that’s pretty deep UV, maybe vacuum UV. The value of alpha goes from 0.01 to 20 in about 10 nm wavelength.

    UV is VERY STRONGLY absorbed in sea water.

    At longer wavelengths, alpha increases almost linearly on a log log plot. I say almost linear, it has some bumps starting near 1.50 microns, also at a value of 20 cm ^-1

    Maximum absorptance is reached at 3.0 microns; at least 8,000 cm^-1, so 1/e penetration depth is 1.25 microns , only 1% left after 6.25 microns depth. alpha then drops to around 200 at 4 microns, and bumps around til about 7 micron at 800 cm^-1 , increasing to about 5,000 cm^-1 at about 15 microns, the CO2 trouble band.

    From there, the alpha value falls roughly linear on log log ; 5,000 at 15 microns down to about 1.0 cm ^-1 at a wavelengthof 300 cm (one foot); that’s also 100 MHz..

    I need to find some way to convey this graph to Anthony, it is the most definitive water absorption data I know of.

    But it is completely false that UV penetrates deeper than visible or IR. Much of it barely makes it through the atmosphere.

    • george e. smith says:
      July 20, 2013 at 9:15 pm

      Sir, I would draw your attention to the study linked below, which analyzed IR & UV penetration of a comprehensive sampling of oceanic water conditions:

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16613490

      The observed findings are that in open ocean UV penetrates deeply, as one would rationally expect. Also in a wide variety of other seawater conditions. Other studies have found the same, as indeed would be intuitively obvious.

  148. milodonharlani says:
    July 20, 2013 at 8:28 pm
    As you must know, albedo of UV-A & UV-B is very low.
    The albedo that is important in determining what reaches the surface is that of clouds and that is about the same at all wavelengths. UV does not penetrate a cloud.

    Or it could just be the Margaritas talking.
    No, it is being imprecise and throwing around numbers without thinking about what they mean.

    bobl says:
    July 20, 2013 at 8:42 pm
    Still we can’t ignore the high energy particles because they cause actual chemical changes in the atmosphere, the method of action has implications for the climate. It’s not all about energy, it’s also about energy transfer (flow).
    As usual, people stray. The fact is that there is no good evidence that solar activity [with all what is in it] regulates the climate in a major way. So whatever the implications are they are minor, and hence only of academic [but exciting] interest.

    You haven’t answered my question, if it isn’t the sun, and it isn’t GHGs then what was the little ice age caused by?
    Try ocean circulation and add in volcanos at various times. Just because we don’t know does not mean that it must be the sun or GHGs. “if the burglar is not Mr. A and not Mr. B, then who else could it be?” implying that it must be either A or B.

    milodonharlani says:
    July 20, 2013 at 8:47 pm
    contribution to TSI is tiny in this region
    As I said. It doesn’t matter that the percentage variation down there is large. It is like variation of the amount of loose change in Bill Gates’ pockets not having a large impact on his total wealth.

  149. While the variation in Mr. Gates’ pocket change would not be large compared to his net worth, to what’s in the pocket it could be huge. That’s my point.

    I didn’t throw numbers around with thinking about them. The difference between my approximation & actual is trivial.

    Could we please deal with a real world situation. If the energy absorbed by the, say, top 50 m of the world’s oceans due to a doubling in UV of whatever wavelengths at maximum share of UV viz a viz at minimal UV indeed be trivial, then so be it. But it seems to me that this possible climate forcing from solar activity has not been systematically & rigorously pursued, so that it can’t as yet be dismissed.

    If the really big fluctuation be at the highest energy wavelengths, however tiny a share of TSI, then please someone more competent than I do the math & physics on that.

  150. “”””””……
    X Anomaly says:

    July 20, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    george,

    Negative cloud feedback is an interesting proposition, but no more interesting then any other potential albedo related negative feedback arising from dust, ice sheets, snow, vegetation, etc.

    Co2 impacts long wave radiation, and so does water vapor. The question is why the two are in the atmosphere at all (i.e. why is it ocean warm enough to emit the two?). Without an alternative explanation, one is restricted to pulling apart the AGW assumptions such as:…….”””””””

    Well X, I’m not greatly interested in “interesting propositions”.

    Specially trying to debate against “potential” things.

    According to NASA / NOAA, the earth’s (permanent) cloud cover is about 60 % by area, and most clouds are in tropical regions over the oceans, where most of the solar energy arrives. More water/clouds, more solar energy scatter reflected / absorbed, therefore less surface solar energy, and surface cooling, so less water evaporation.
    THAT IS NEGATIVE FEEDBACK.

    Snow and ice is a small percentage of the earth’s projected area facing the sun.

    More snow and ice results in MORE reflected solar energy (not as much as you think), and more reflectance leads to less solar energy absorption, so more COOLING.
    THAT IS POSITIVE FEEDBACK Not negative.

    The atmospheric absorbed solar energy WARMS the atmosphere; but it COOLS the surface. The laws of thermodynamics work AGAINST the warmer atmosphere warming the surface. “heat” aka THERMAL ENERGY tends to flow from hot to cold. That is UP in the atmosphere, NOT DOWN.

    Now yes LWIR radiation goes both ways, but up is favored, because the Temperature and density gradients are negative upwards, so the active spectral lines are narrowed as you go up, so more radiation escapes their net, compared to going down where you encounter greater Doppler and collision broadening, so more recapture.

    But X, you are free to believe whatever you find to be “interesting propositions.”

    I make it a rule, to not get between anybody, and a cliff they are determined to leap off.

  151. Please correct me if wrong, but IMO cloud albedo, ie reflectivity of water droplets vice vapor, differs substantially for UV v. visible & IR. I know that I can get sunburnt on cloudy days & have done so. I’ve looked for actual observational data. Would appreciate any & all real albedo numbers. Thanks.

  152. With regards to overlap, in the tropics, if you negate the impact of co2 due to water vapor, it reduces co2 impact by around 75%. Co2 does a little better in the polar regions, but again its around a 63% reduction. So that was my original point. Of course if you are an alarmist you can argue the exact opposite, that in the tropics, the contribution of water vapor is reduced by around 30% because Co2 is already there.

    So just say your an warming advocate, you believe co2 drives 20% of the GHE directly, and 75% indirectly from water vapor and clouds. There is no empirical evidence which says the opposite isn’t true, that co2 drives a mere 5% at the very most.

    Meh.

  153. milodonharlani says:
    July 20, 2013 at 9:51 pm
    Could we please deal with a real world situation. If the energy absorbed by the, say, top 50 m of the world’s oceans due to a doubling in UV of whatever wavelengths at maximum share of UV viz a viz at minimal UV indeed be trivial, then so be it.
    As i showed you, it is indeed absolutely trivial, and that is why UV absorption by oceans is not a driver of climate.

    But it seems to me that this possible climate forcing from solar activity has not been systematically & rigorously pursued, so that it can’t as yet be dismissed.
    It can be dismissed on account of its trivial forcing. You could also argue that the effect from Jupiter shine has not been pursued, but, again, it is too trivial to consider.

  154. Leif Svalgaard says:
    July 20, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    So, let us assume that all spectra of incoming TSI are equally impeded by clouds, which in the real world clearly is not the case. Still, at the height of the UV ratio v. IR ratio, the oceans are penetrated more deeply by twice as much shortwave radiation. Does it matter how small the total amount may be? Maybe, but maybe not, in a system perched on the edge of stability.

  155. milodonharlani says:
    July 20, 2013 at 10:11 pm
    I know that I can get sunburnt on cloudy days & have done so. I’ve looked for actual observational data. Would appreciate any & all real albedo numbers. Thanks.

    http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2732/are-uv-rays-really-more-powerful-on-cloudy-days

    “Clouds usually block UV rays, particularly UV-B; on a really overcast day they can keep out 70 to 90 percent of the UV-B coming in…”
    On partially cloudy days UV may be scattered in from by the clouds to give you some exposure and cause sunburn.

  156. milodonharlani says:
    July 20, 2013 at 11:19 pm
    Does it matter how small the total amount may be? Maybe, but maybe not, in a system perched on the edge of stability.
    The climate system is very stable and has endured tremendous disasters in the past without run-aways. In addition, there is no evidence that the climate follows solar radiation more than at the 0.1C level, so it does seem to matter how small the variations are. “Size matters”.

  157. @Billy Liar

    You miss and ignore the scientific point. The scientific point is, that there is a significant geometric relation between the reconstructed global temperatures Dr. Spencer has shown, and the sum of the real solar tides with a strength of the square root of the inverse frequency of the tides. The scientific way is to check this relation, and if it would be wrong to refute it with scientific arguments, but not with religious personal sceptic. The measured function of the square root of the inverse frequency of the well known FFT spectra from the last 10000 years suggests that there is a physics function in this phenoma.
    s.http://www.volker-doormann.org/images/fft_stein_solar.jpg

    V.

  158. BlackAdderthe4th …you may not realise this but your comments re ID being uncheckable is also true for ALL the theory of Evolution. Both are theories. None of what is written can be proved. Radiometric dating has certain assumptions. When you look at them and change the beginning assumed value or belief, the whole calculation becomes null and void. So its NOT science. What we have is evidence and all the various groups interpret this through their own filters. Generally to fit their own presuppositions.
    Whoever said there are heaps of transitional fossils in the evolutionary tree please post them somewhere and tell us all. ALL evolution believing scientists will be very interested in your data! They will tell you there is no transition fossils and that’s what stumps them all the time.

    Thanks Anthony for your time on WUWT.

  159. Re Dr. Svalgaard’s and others comments on the ‘sun & natural variability’

    Link between solar activity and the climate changes is tenuous one since there is a geo-catalyst controlling the process The climate change is at the end of the chain, with the Earth in the middle, kind of a ‘dishonest broker’ modifying the solar script within its own time line events.
    Hence, we may never have an exact climate mechanism or correlation to the solar activity, but the geomagnetics is useful proxy, it gives an indication to the ‘earth’s factor’.
    When the climate scientists realise that the solar and earth’s magnetic data are two constituent ‘colours of the same transparency’, than we may get somewhere.
    I do not expect either Dr. Svalgaard or any other scientist with dogmatic or an agenda approach to accept the such ideas as viable
    My calculations are on the record and archived by a science depository:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/GSC1.htm

  160. Atheists crack me up. They can’t even wrap their pea brains around the simple fact that if they can exist so can God! And i thought I was dumb. Meanwhile, that we exist at all, is 99.9% of the argument for an afterlife! Can’t have one w/o the other… Also, that time is not constant leaves open the debate on how old anything is and by whose measuring stick. Anything is possible.

  161. Leif

    You said
    Try ocean circulation and add in volcanos at various times. Just because we don’t know does not mean that it must be the sun or GHGs. “if the burglar is not Mr. A and not Mr. B, then who else could it be?” implying that it must be either A or B.

    This is exactly what I was trying to draw out of you, I am not implying A or B, I was trying to draw out of you that there is a C-Z and that C-Z may in fact have something to do with the sun either directly or indirectly through a mechanism that is either currently thought to be minor, or perhaps completely unknown. I think it pays to always accept that there are possibilities that have not yet been explored or maybe we are wrong about, and thus the best statement that can ever be made in science is “To the best of our current knowledge, It’s not the sun”.

    I certainly agree the possibilities or climatic coupling minor or not are an exciting prospect for scientific discovery, it certainly fascinates me.

  162. Richard M wrote at July 20, 2013 at 6:55 pm
    “E. Swanson … ignore UAH. Use RSS if you don’t like Spencer. The answer is the same.”

    RSS uses an algorithm to calculate their Lower Troposphere which is similar to that of Spencer and Christy’s TLT. Their effort was undertaken as a check of S & C findings and thus one might expect that the results would converge, after all the difficulties with the MSU are taken into account. However, they do not claim that their product covers the entire Earth, as do S & C, in fact they specifically exclude measurements poleward of 70S, which includes the most of the Antarctic.

    Over many years, Spencer, like most successful salesmen, has overstated the utility of his product. Only this time, he did it before Congress and making false statements in testimony is against the law. I think he could be charged with perjury, the result of which might be that his funding would be eliminated.

  163. Gary Hladik says:
    July 19, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    “”The testimony of Ms. Diana Furchtgott-Roth (Manhattan Institute) is also worth reading.””

    Yes, very interesting. Cost based analysis, just like it should be. Doesn’t seem to be holding back either.

  164. E. Swanson says:
    July 21, 2013 at 2:31 am

    Haha. Very funny. You forgot the /sarc tag.

    And you didn’t watch the Cullen bit, did you?

    And, if you can’t tell the difference between the Senate and Congress we should believe your complaint(s) because …. ???

  165. Margaret Hardman says:
    July 20, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Quite right, Anthony, argue the science, not the Mann.

    The ad homs directed at Mann are different from those at Spencer because they criticize his unscientific behavior in the field of climatology. To have a roughly parallel case, contrarians would have to be criticizing Mann for his political behavior–for appearing at radical rallies and pumping his fist and leading a chant “The people untied can never be defeated,” something he’s done, but tht hasn’t been the gravamen of the charge against him here.

  166. I understand the skeptic side has made a good case but…..
    From Spencer’s website:

    “All of the senators were moving in an out of the hearing room for a floor vote, so there were only 2-4 senators present at any given time.”

    So a most important Senate hearing is undertaken and virtually no Senators are present, let alone listening…..???????

    If they don’t attend the hearings, they will not be influenced by the outcome of such a hearings.

    Hell, they don’t even read the Bill’s they vote on.

    In my humble opinion the entire system is wrecked.

    I don’t see how this could end well from any perspective.

  167. Just for the record, I am an optimist but also a realist. You can make the best performance of your life but in a company of cheats and liars with no serious audience attending you could just the same make your performance at the moon.

  168. E. Swanson says:
    July 21, 2013 at 2:31 am
    “Over many years, Spencer, like most successful salesmen, has overstated the utility of his product. Only this time, he did it before Congress and making false statements in testimony is against the law. I think he could be charged with perjury, the result of which might be that his funding would be eliminated.”

    Well it’s the Obama administration, they don’t need any reason to do anything. So that’s a pretty moot point. When you wake up in the morning you know you haven’t been droned in the night.

  169. Since we got into solar variation a few things come to mind.

    1) If one assumes the peak temperatures of the Holocene are the real solar based equilibrium then the periods below that point would have some other cause. Oceans, clouds, volcanoes, etc. So, if we accept this assumption that means the cooler periods like the LIA were due to losses of energy into the planet from these Earth based factors. And, once these systems stop their cooling mechanism the Earth should return to the equilibrium condition. Hence, it is not necessary to invoke changes in the Sun at all. The normal unimpeded energy from the Sun will warm the planet back to the equilibrium temperature whenever cooling mechanisms stop.

    So, the Sun can be the reason we are warming and could account for the warming from the LIA without needing any variations in UV or any other solar mechanism.

    2) While discussing the small amount of UV it got me wondering what the percentage of surface LWIR is available in the frequencies where CO2 absorbs energy. Does anyone have a number? Also, what percentage of that overlaps with water vapor and/or other GHGs?

  170. E. Swanson, why do you care about the polar temperatures? No one lives in the areas that are not monitored. So, even if there are changes it hasn’t impacted the rest of the planet or it would show up in the readings for the rest of the planet. In fact, if the Arctic permanently warmed without affecting other areas why would you care? Wouldn’t that actually be good?

  171. Just another example of placebo politics. The decisions have already been made. The Committee meetings are simply window dressing. w

  172. milodonharlani says:
    July 20, 2013 at 11:19 pm
    Still, at the height of the UV ratio v. IR ratio, the oceans are penetrated more deeply by twice as much shortwave radiation.
    When I said that your numbers were not right in the first place, I was referring to your factor of two. The variation of UV that reaches the surface is not a factor of two, but only a couple of percent.

    bobl says:
    July 21, 2013 at 1:56 am
    and thus the best statement that can ever be made in science is “To the best of our current knowledge,…”.
    This is trivially true for every scientific statement, so is usually simply understood without having to be tediously repeated after every statement made,

  173. If the solar mechanism acts partially through UV it is not likely to be doing so at the surface of the Earth.
    ===============

  174. R. de Haan

    says:
    July 21, 2013 at 5:16 am

    If they don’t attend the hearings, they will not be influenced by the outcome of such a hearings.
    Hell, they don’t even read the Bill’s they vote on….

    The impression I got wasn’t that they were looking to understand or learn anything. My impression was that they were just they looking for ammunition to justify their policies. Of course I could be wrong, of course I hope I am wrong.

  175. Richard M wrote July 21, 2013 at 6:32 am:

    E. Swanson, why do you care about the polar temperatures? No one lives in the areas that are not monitored. So, even if there are changes it hasn’t impacted the rest of the planet or it would show up in the readings for the rest of the planet.

    Well, the people who have built all those GCMs have been saying for decades that the polar regions will warm faster than the rest of the Earth. Therefore, it makes sense to look to the polar regions for the strongest evidence of climate change. The fact that the sea-ice extent has declined the past 15 years and that the resulting area of multi-year ice has crashed is such evidence and this means that the Earth is entering a new climate phase.

    The fresh water released each year by the extensive melt is expected to have a major impact on the global ocean, such as the sinking of waters to the deepest parts of the Atlantic, known as the Thermohaline Circulation. A weakening or shutdown of the THC would tend to cool Northern Europe and change the patterns of atmospheric flows, such as the positions of the Jet Streams. And, a warmer, ice free Arctic Ocean would be expected to become a source of increased atmospheric moisture in winter, leading to increased snowfall over high latitude lands which now experiences little snow in Winter. The Arctic might begin to experience snows like that around the Great Lakes, which produce “lake effect” snow falls that can paralyze transportation in the surrounding cities. I think we may see climate conditions similar to those at the end of the Eemian interglacial, which appears to have been warmer than now, but which then ended with a return to Ice Age conditions. Tell us, what triggered the transition to the last period of Ice Ages, some 120,000 years ago?

  176. On a philosophical note: let us try PD for a change – playful design. Partially good designing, partially bad designing, and a lot of chance and chaos left to happen. Like in climate ;-)

  177. Not much is happening. The facts must not get in the way of the elitists’ global warming agenda. More taxes, more government regulation and control with no real impact on the climate. Who benefits? Who loses?

  178. “””””…..lgl says:

    July 21, 2013 at 1:55 am

    george

    http://omlc.ogi.edu/spectra/water/gif/segelstein81.gif…….”””””

    Now did I, or did I not, describe that graph, almost exactly ?? My graph which dates much earlier, does not have the 10nm to 150 nm region, but it has the rest.

    And I read the pertinent point values, almost to a tee.

    Thanks for that reference

    PS My graph has the 100nm to 10 micron region, on one graph, and a second one for the low frequency stuff, so I have better resolution. It would be nice to have the numericals.

  179. “””””…..milodonharlani says:

    July 20, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    george e. smith says:
    July 20, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    Sir, I would draw your attention to the study linked below, which analyzed IR & UV penetration of a comprehensive sampling of oceanic water conditions:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16613490

    The observed findings are that in open ocean UV penetrates deeply, as one would rationally expect. Also in a wide variety of other seawater conditions. Other studies have found the same, as indeed would be intuitively obvious……”””””

    Well, so I checked YOUR reference, just as you posted it. I found not a word about any penetration depth; in particular the word “deeply” occurred nowhere.

    Come to think of it, exactly no penetration depth numbers were there; as in no numbers at all.

    BUT !!

    I’m far more intrigued by your assertions: “””…as one would rationally expect….”””

    “””…as indeed would be intuitively obvious….”””

    So I’m denser than most folks here; so humor me, and explain in simple terms I can understand, WHY one would rationally expect your belief, make it intuitively obvious for one who doesn’t seem to grasp how any physical data, seldom measured can be intuitively obvious.

    Just offhand, what do you expect (rationally) would be the intuitively obvious UV penetration depth, in say Arabian crude petroleum; just in case anyone wanted to know.

    The actual data numbers I presented from the 1960s, are exactly duplicated in a Masters thesis from 1981, and you now have BOTH of those citations posted here, to compare with your intuitively obvious data, which somehow presents NO numbers at all.

  180. Well, after slogging through this thread, I can only conclude that to many scientists it matters not what your level of knowledge or expertise may be regarding your discipline. Only how you answer the question “are you now, or have you ever been, a Christian?”.

  181. Where is the heat going?
    So what about biomass?
    There was a study done which suggested that 60% of atmospheric water vapour comes from plant transpiration and only 40% from evaporation (www.nature.com/nature/journal/v496/n7445/full/nature11983.html). And given that atmospheric humidity levels have declined despite increasing CO2 levels (http://www.c3headlines.com/2013/01/atmosphere-humidity-noaa-scientists-determine-reality-opposite-of-climate-model-prediction.html) and given that most plants respond to increases in the air’s CO2 content by displaying reduced stomatal conductances, which typically leads to reduced rates of transpirational water loss (http://www.co2science.org/subject/t/summaries/transpiration.php),

    Isn’t it then possible that the expected temperature increase due to the modeled CO2/H20 feedback did not occur because the biomass has decreased the output of water vapor. This may also be related to a solar influence, but what do I know…

  182. blackadderthe4th says:
    July 20, 2013 at 3:51 am

    No valid scientist should be a creationist as Spencer is! So anything else he claims should be doubted!

    ======================================================================
    So if he said your baby was cuter than his we should assume he was wrong? Have you scientifically examined evidence concerning CAGW or ID regardless of “the consensus” as honestly as he has?
    Don’t bother to answer. We already know.
    Again, what does it matter what he believes about the origins of the natural laws that surround us as long as he understands them and is honest with them as they relate to his field of expertise?

  183. Question for Dr. Svalgaard
    In may of 2012 it was activated IHY aerial system instilled in Barajevo near Belgrade, Serbia, which apparently was part of the High-frequence Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP), operated by Dr. Morris Cohen from Stanford University. .
    In subsequent months there was lot of speculation of all kinds in the local press.
    Now it was reported, just over a year later that system is switched off, buildings are locked up and deserted, and electricity supplies disconnected.
    Dr. Svalgaard do you know if this could be a setback to the Auroral Research, assuming such research is important for understanding of interactions between solar and geomagnetic fields ?

  184. Roy Spencer is both a scientist and a gentleman. It is a fundamental principal of what gentleman believe in, that a gentleman shall search for the truth, shall at all times attempt to be honest in discourse with friends, colleges, and with the public.

    Spencer’s presentation, based on my understanding of science and life, to congress was factually correct. Spencer spoke of observations and analysis that supported the lukewarm CO2 forcing hypothesis. In addition Spencer made a couple of comments concerning the origin of life and of ‘god’.

    All of the current planetary temperature observations support the lukewarm CO2 hypothesis. There has been a 16 year period when there has been no warming. The regions of the planet that warmed in the last 70 years are the same regions of the planet (high Northern latitude regions and the Greenland Ice sheet) that warmed in the past when there was a grand solar magnetic cycle maximum. There are 23 warming cycles in the paleorecord with a variable occurrence of 1000 years, 1350 years, and 2000 years between cycles. The 23 warming cycles were all followed by a cooling phase during which time there was a Maunder minimum of solar magnetic cycle activity. The sun has entered into an unexplained drop in solar magnetic activity. Based on observations the sun will be spotless by the end of this year.

    What is currently happening to the sun is related to what causes spiral galaxies to evolve, the spiral galaxy rotational anomaly, and the expansion of the universe.

    Comments:
    There are a set of puzzling connected non random anomalies in astronomy. As I am interested, passionate about anomalies, I have read everything written in the public domain concerning anomalies from all sides of the scientific discussion at great detail. There are an interesting set of observations that have been interpreted to support the hypothesis that the universe formed from a big bang roughly 14 billion years ago. The alternative hypothesis is that the universe is infinite. The infinite universe hypothesis has ‘theological’ implications. If life has had an infinite amount of time super advance life forms will have time to evolve. Super advance life forms are scientific as opposed to an old guy with a beard. What is currently happening to the sun will support/explain how the infinite universe hypothesis is possible.

  185. Lots of discussion of Roy Spencer’s religious beliefs, but those of Jennifer Francis seem more relevant for climate and weather. As stated on Judith Curry’s blog, she opened her remarks at the senate committee hearing “It seems the weather gods have recently gone berserk….”. I’m assuming she is referring to Zeus, the chief weather god I am familiar with (Fantasia movie, throwing lightning bolts), and his minions. Good for her!! A scientist can have religious convictions and do excellent scientific research, too. My take-away from her opening remark is that we can make all the measurements, modeling, and theories we can come up with for climate and weather, still in her belief system, the climate and weather we get in the real world ultimately depends on the mood of the weather gods. As for myself, I am pleased that my planet is recognized as a high ranking member of the heavenly host.

  186. “”Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible concatenations, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion. To that extent I am, in point of fact, religious.””

    Before Googling, guess.

  187. So if CO2 is a trace gas in a vast vast sea of GHG, invisible, odorless, tasteless w/zero signal above natural variability, perhaps “they” do have a God? Just saying. And thanks to the good Dr’s. It takes courage to stick your chin out there w/such religious zealots pressuring them to toe the line (hide the decline). And let’s hope the decline means we can cancel project sackcloth (volcanic winter) plans? You know the brainiacs had to be planning some crazy bs like that?

  188. george e. smith says:
    July 21, 2013 at 11:28 am

    I posted a link to the paper’s abstract. You can access the whole article in .pdf format. Search for its title: Penetration of Ultraviolet Radiation in the Marine Environment. A Review

    When you do so you’ll find many tables showing the penetration of UV-A & UV-B in different bodies & types of water, in great detail.

    For instance, in the Western Pacific at 30S, you’ll see that UV-A penetrates 25 meters, at the 10% level, just as I said.

  189. Leif Svalgaard says:
    July 21, 2013 at 6:58 am

    Re. variation in UV flux at the surface.

    In that case, never mind.

  190. vukcevic says:
    July 21, 2013 at 1:20 pm
    Dr. Svalgaard do you know if this could be a setback to the Auroral Research, assuming such research is important for understanding of interactions between solar and geomagnetic fields ?
    This is an unfortunate thing and will impede progress, although not be a setback to research.

    William Astley says:
    July 21, 2013 at 3:24 pm
    Based on observations the sun will be spotless by the end of this year.
    And if it is not, you ideas are clearly wrong.

    What is currently happening to the sun is related to what causes spiral galaxies to evolve, the spiral galaxy rotational anomaly, and the expansion of the universe.
    Now you are venturing into nonsense-land. I’ll do you one better. It all begins with the 33th prime number: 137. The inverse of the ‘fine structure constant’ is 137/COS(pi/137) = 137.036… The fine structure constant is the Coupling constant characterizing the strength of the electromagnetic interactions [something here for Vuk, even]. Or the ratio of the orbital velocity of the inner-most electron in the Bohr model of the atom to the speed of light and it is also the ratio of the maximum angular momentum allowed by relativity for a closed orbit and the minimum angular momentum allowed by quantum mechanics [something for the Angular Momentum freaks]. Now there are [itself a magic] seven ‘magic numbers’ in the Universe all controlled by this constant. Peter Sturrock of Stanford University observes that the inner core of the Sun rotates 12.85 times in a year. This rotational period and the inverse fine structure constant are the keys to the Universe via the relation Value = Core period * alpha ^ n [where alpha is 137.036] and n runs from 0 by 1 to 6: http://www.leif.org/research/Nonsense-Numerology.png The R^2 coefficient of determination is 0.999995 so the correspondence with observations is as good as it gets. Everything is laid bare and explained. Don’t you agree?

  191. The Earth’s magnetic field has been in decline for many years. The decline is most prominent in the equatorial regions. In particular in the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA) region, and has been spreading around the planet from there. Overall lower field in the entire equatorial regions and spreads north and south. Over the same time period the amount of radiation for those regions would be slowly and incrementally increasing.
    We know that there is a relationship between the SAA and the radiation belts.
    We know that there is a relationship between the radiation belts and the Equatorial Electro Jets (EEJ)
    We know that there is a relationship between the above and ionization anomalies in the equatorial regions.

    If the sun is going into a Maunder type minimum extended lowered period of solar activity..

    How large and how low will the radiation belts become?

  192. Leif writes “No, the UV variation will cause TSI to vary between 1361.045 and 1361.105 [using your numbers] assuming that UV was to only things that varied. ”

    Leif, you’re missing the point big time. Its not UV as a proportion of the TSI change that matters, its UV as a proportion of TSI total. This is because UV is to a large extent caught in the upper atmosphere and doesn’t contribute to the surface warming directly. So if the TSI is made up of more UV and less Visible then there is less surface warming. And the amount of UV is much larger than the proportion of UV in the TSI change.

    The change in TSI is largely irrelevant to this argument.

  193. Ooops yes I did watch the Senate committee on climate change. eeek
    These guys wearing blinders or what. They seem to have narrow points of view.

    Like if you build neighborhoods on a swamp and it floods, whattttttt….Or better yet build on cliffs with an ocean view…..Maybe there should be more pre planning for some of this…

  194. TimTheToolMan says:
    July 21, 2013 at 8:48 pm
    Its not UV as a proportion of the TSI change that matters, its UV as a proportion of TSI total.
    UV makes up only a few percent of TSI. The solar cycle variation of UV is only a few percent of the UV. A few percent of a few percent is a few parts in ten thousand. So that is the change we are talking about. Slide 3 of http://www.leif.org/research/The%20long-term%20variation%20of%20solar%20activity.pdf shows the effect of increasing UV and decreasing Visible [the keep TSI constant]. As you can see in the lower panels the effect on temperature is very small [less than 0.1C].

  195. E. Swanson … ignore UAH. Use RSS if you don’t like Spencer. The answer is the same. Or soundings. He uses six data sets, only two of which are satellite, in the LTT graph. There is excellent agreement between UAH, RSS, and soundings. This is what is called “validation” — two completely different methodologies, consistent results.

    While we’re on the topic, what exactly validates the GCMs? They don’t agree with each other. They don’t agree within themselves — Monte Carlo perturbation into an ensemble of runs produces not a line but a thick braid of future possibility, one that constantly oscillates up and down (with the wrong fourier/spectral decomposition as far as the timescales of the actual climate are concerned). When four GCMs were recently compared on a toy greybody water planet with absolutely no interesting features, they all four converged (so to speak) to completely different temperatures, convection patterns, and climates (and while we’re on the subject of the subject, why is this study only being done now, after humanity has invested order of half of a trillion dollars, precipitated an economic collapse in Europe, perpetuated the millions of annual deaths caused by energy poverty all over the world).

    You cannot validate a model on the training set, yet that is precisely what has been done for GCMs. Worse, we only get to see that validation in averages over the GCMs themselves with an “error bar” dictated by the range of GCM predictions, which is an absolute travesty — an complete misapplication of the methodology of statistics.

    It is easy to build a quantitative model of the stock market that uses simple linearization — expansions and fits to “anomalies” or “market changes” on the basis of state and a few simple market drivers — that will work remarkably well over the training set, and not infrequently will work in the immediate past to hindcast and for some interval into the immediate future to forecast — until the day comes that it fails. And when it fails, it fails completely, changing more in months, weeks, or sometimes a single day than all of the carefully cumulated value of all of the anomaly changes in the “normal” mode that was so cleverly constructed and fit. This is known as a “Black Swan Event”, and if the GCMs worked perfectly we would need to beware such unpredictable nonlinear changes if only because the Earth’s natural climate history is one of perpetual, often “catastrophic” change, none of which can be hindcast or even understood on the basis of existing GCMs.

    Not one of the GCMs can even semi-qualitatively explain the proxy-derived climate variation over the last 2000 years, let alone over the Holocene, let alone over the Pliestocene (including the Wisconsin glaciation, its end, and the Younger Dryas). Climate scientists think that the science is settled because their linearized models have successfully (mis)fit what is very probably natural noise over a narrow time span. Worse, a time span where the climate has been nearly monotonically warming anyway, so that a ten year old armed with a ruler and a pencil could build a “warming model” that would come out approximately correct — until it failed.

    We are observing just such a failure right now, and that is what Spencer is pointing out. By presenting the actual spaghetti produced by the GCMs, his graph at one time demonstrates that they do not agree — they do not even approximately agree. Further, their spread of disagreement around a mean behavior — incorrectly and incompetently used as a reliable statistical predictor of probability in AR4′s Summary for Policy Makers without excuse or explanation — indicates that nature is at the very bottom of the range of the entire pack, and the same ten year old armed with a ruler can see that unless the trend changes (which it could, of course, at any time) it will completely depart from that range this year or next year at the latest.

    Now, if one attempted to actually validate the GCMs one at a time by comparing their internally generated range of predictions post 1990 to reality, how many would survive at the p = 0.05 level? One? Two? Perhaps three? All of them the ones that make the coldest of warming predictions, and they would all still lie above the empirically observed climate. Add to this the simple fact that all of the GCMs get various critical features other than temperature wrong — this one predicts droughts where no droughts occur, this one predicts Antarctic melting where Antarctic ice has been growing, all of them get the LTT wrong. Add to that the recently demonstrated fact that they do not satisfy simple consistency tests — converging to at least similar answers for toy problems (and, I suspect, failing internal consistency checks on those same problems if anyone bothered to try, e.g. doubling the grid resolution on a toy problem and seeing if they get the same results).

    So sure, let’s talk about validation. Next we can talk about the “validation” of the methodology used to generate the land surface record, and how likely it is that every new “correction” to e.g. HadCRUT tends to further exaggerate the warming by at first finding plausible new data transformation rules that “warmed” the present, then when that was no longer possible as the divergence between the land surface record and LTT had grown to where it was embarrassing and was on the verge of giving the game away, finding rules that cooled the “past”, at the same time they consistently underestimate the UHI effect at the primary reporting sites, which are often <terribly sited. Let’s talk about the cavalier treatment of error bars in the figures in AR5, in particular the error bars on the surface temperature record compared to the model predictions, which are all miraculously exactly 0.1 C? Excuse me? There is visible and variable spread in the contributing temperature records. Those records themselves sparsely sample a staggeringly large surface area at a tiny set of UHI corrupted locations. They share much of the same data sources (which I will point out means that they are themselves not independent, greatly complicating adding ANY sort of error bar, but at the very least mandating a clear statement on just how the error bar was computed.

    The answer, of course, is almost certainly that it was not computed — somebody built the graph and decided to put an error bar on the dots because that’s what one does in “science”, isn’t it?

    We are thus sadly left with two choices in the climate modeling world. On the one hand, we have an absolute plethora of GCMs that are supposedly based on physics, but that fail to agree or converge internally, externally, and that are sufficiently diverged from the data in several dimensions that normally one would throw them into the trash can or at the very least try try again to get them right. On the other we have the purely empirical models like Scaffetta’s that leave out the physics and use the moral equivalent of a teenager armed not just with a ruler but with a moog synthesizer to do pure numerology, but numerology that has every bit as good a chance of capturing the near term variation of the climate, until it doesn’t.

    In the meantime, the world is pissing away a staggering amount of its wealth trying to prematurely adopt immature technologies that in ten years or twenty years will come to pass anyway not to save the world, but to save (and hence make!) money. None of this money — in the US — is going to develop the one technology that might actually work now to ameliorate the carbon problem — LFTR — because it is nuclear energy. China, OTOH, has mountains of thorium as radioactive waste produced when it mines rare earth metals needed to build the solar cells and high efficiency magnets for generators and batteries and other electronics that they sell us. They are working hard on LFTR because they need energy and they have enough Thorium to provide it at first world levels plus for several thousand years. As does India. As does the United States — in fact, the state of North Carolina alone has enough Thorium to power the US for well over ten thousand years.

    To be honest, the question of anthropogenic warming is an open one, but open means that:

    a) There is a very good chance that there is at least some warming caused by increasing CO_2 — the physics of this warming is simple enough and very probably correct in general if not precise in specifics.

    b) The feedbacks (if any) from this warming are basically unknown. As we accumulate actual reliable climate evidence, we are gradually constraining the boundaries of the feedback, and the total climate sensitivity (direct plus feedback-linked temperature change) is in the moral equivalent of freefall as the high sensitivity models are now failing by such a huge margin that even people who for whatever reason persist in their faith that the models are reliable are rejecting them (or suggesting that the feedback parameter needs to be adjusted in order for the models to describe the last 15 years of little to no warming).

    c) The timescales and importance of many natural oscillations in the climate cycle — which have timescales ranging from a few years to at least half a century — is only gradually being revealed in the modern era of semi-reliable satellite observation plus a still horribly inadequate but much better coverage of the oceans that cover 70% of the surface of the Earth and that constitute an entire climate system of its own, directly coupled to the atmospheric climate system and indirectly coupled in countless ways to the surface climate system. At this point it is almost beyond question that the ENSO is perhaps the most important single determinant of whether or not the Earth’s climate is warming, cooling, or remaining neutral, and we cannot predict ENSO because we do not fully understand ENSO. Then there is the PDO, the NAO, etc. All of them are important, because convection can completely dominate radiative trapping per se when it comes to whether or not the Earth heats or cools, because radiation rates in the SB equation scale like T^4.

    d) The timescales and importance of the ocean is only just beginning to be revealed. Witness the recent “missing heat” debacle. It is alleged that the missing heat (supposedly trapped by the increase in CO_2) has disappeared into the meso-ocean well below the surface layer, as it has not appeared in the SSTs that conceivably set the thermostat for the atmosphere and land. Even if AGW is occurring, the thermal buffering of the ocean make it very possible if not likely that the warming we have seen since the start of the industrial era is mostly non-anthropogenic and that any anthropogenic warming — if it ever exceeds the natural signal by enough to warrant attention — will be lagged by decades to centuries.

    e) We cannot directly measure the variation of the radiative trapping caused by variation of CO_2 at the current baseline concentration. Our assertion of the value and functional form there even in the physics involve a complex process of band spreading in interaction with the entire convective system that maintains the DALR. We are not certain, certainly not empirically certain, that we even have the physics of CO_2-based warming quite right.

    It might therefore be wise to validate many things in our understanding (or lack thereof) of the climate, especially when we barely understand and can only crudely predict the weather.

    And oh, yeah — f) then there is the sun.

    rgb

    rgb

  196. It seems to me that the star of this particular show was Senator Sessions, ably aided by Roy Spencer (despite Whitehouse’s shameful creationist smear).

    Pielke Jnr made some valid points but they drowned in the accompanying pro-IPPC wibble.

    In no way was this a win for climate realists. The message (in the scandalously short time devoted to it) was lost because the odds were too heavily stacked against the unemotional empirical data. It got buried beneath more than three hours of alarmist hand-wringing. guilt-tripping, think of the cheeeeldren, give all our money to developing countries, the heat is MIA but probably skulking in the ocean depths somewhere bollocks.

    The most shameful moment comes from chairman La Boxer herself. She was the only one to invoke the “D” word. Disgraceful behaviour.

  197. rgbatduke said:

    The standard deviation of the distribution of GCM results about this average is meaningless, except as evidence that the GCMs collectively suck.

    If that ain’t a quote of the year, I’ll eat my hat

  198. “No valid scientist should be a creationist as Spencer is! So anything else he claims should be doubted!”

    Interestingly I remember visiting the Kennedy Space Center and there is a long speech given about the moon landings project that refers to “God”. Obviously man never went to the moon, since it is clear that some of the engineers and scientists that were involved in the project were firm believers.

  199. RE: rgbatduke July 22, 2013 at 4:37 am
    Your long rant failed to mention the rapid loss in Arctic sea-ice over the past 15 years or so, a period during which the UAH TLT has shown little warming over the Arctic. Perhaps that’s because the TLT data over the Arctic is flawed because the MSU/AMSU instruments are impacted by the decline in sea-ice cover. The emissivity of sea-ice is greater than that of the open water or of the melt ponds which form on top of the sea-ice during summer. The result is that the LTT data, with it’s larger surface influence, would show less warming than that which is actually occurring as proven by the loss of sea-ice.

    In Spencer’s presentation, both the written and during the oral, a spaghetti graph of GCM results is shown along with data from the MSU/ AMSU Middle Troposphere set (Figure 2). Spencer claims that this shows that there’s no high altitude warming over the tropics (20N to 20S). Is his graph from a published paper, if so, where is it? Trouble is, as far back as 1992-93, Spencer and Christy have claimed that the MSU measurements include contamination from the Stratosphere, which has exhibited a well known cooling trend. Thus, the TLT (now called the LTT) was created with the claim that the LTT would present a means to remove that stratospheric cooling. Spencer apparently has “forgotten” about his earlier work and now presents the MT data as though it’s the gold standard for assessing climate change. Has Spencer recanted his previous claims that the MT is flawed or has he now become more interested in the adulation of his devoted fans in the denialist camp (perhaps including the Koch Brothers)?

    • E. Swanson says:
      July 22, 2013 at 9:46 am

      Do you have any basis for accusing Dr. Spencer of being in the pay of the Koch Brothers? Or is this simply a libelous lie?

      Explain please how air temperature, which hasn’t warmed statistically for going on 20 years, can cause Arctic sea ice melt now greater than in the 1990s or 2000s. If air is warmer over the Arctic, then it must be colder over the Antarctic, where sea ice has grown.

      Doesn’t it make more sense that natural oceanic oscillations (& storms) account for Arctic sea ice loss, rather than air temperature? Consider that the Arctic also melted to a greater extent the last time the PDO & AMO were in their warm phases.

  200. Ryan Stephenson says:
    July 22, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Belief in God isn’t the same as belief in creationism, as usually conceived.

    Great scientists of the past, such as Newton, have been not just creationists, but young earth creationists. Since the discoveries of the age of the earth, extinction and evolution, among other advances, young earth creationism is no longer scientifically defensible, ie over the past 250 years or more. Darwin’s geology mentor Sedgwick, an Anglican divine, believed in a series of creations. His own field work led him to abandon biblical “flood geology”.

    However even today some renowned scientists remain old earth creationists, or at least are willing to entertain the possibility that our universe was created. Dr. Collins of the Human Genome Project is an evangelical:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Collins#Christianity

    Dr. Spencer’s belief in Intelligent Design creationism is indeed outside the scientific mainstream, but IMO does not discredit his work in atmospheric science & on oceanic contribution to the climate system, nor should it, despite Sen. Whitehouse’s scurrilous behavior. I also don’t think Dr. Spencer is a young earth creationist.

  201. rgbatduke says: July 22, 2013 at 4:37 a ” ….. None of this money — in the US — is going to develop the one technology that might actually work now to ameliorate the carbon problem — LFTR — because it is nuclear energy. ……”

    Mr. Brown, the nuclear power industry in the United States has no interest in pursuing thorium reactors, for the simple reason that the thorium fuel cycle has no cost advantages over the current uranium fuel cycle.

    In the United States, nuclear power is now in a fight for its life for three reasons: (1) competition from cheap natural gas for baseload power generation; (2) extremely high capital costs for building nuclear generation capacity, in comparison with new gas-fired capacity; and (3) the ongoing mismanagement of nuclear construction projects by middle-level and senior-level managers in the nuclear utility industry.

    Over the next decade, it would not be surprising at all if we saw a one-third to one-half reduction in the share of electricity produced by nuclear utilities in the United States, with all of that decline being attributable to the nuclear industry’s inability to manage its costs well enough to remain competitive with natural gas.

  202. Dr. Spencer’s belief in Intelligent Design creationism is indeed outside the scientific mainstream, but IMO does not discredit his work in atmospheric science & on oceanic contribution to the climate system, nor should it, despite Sen. Whitehouse’s scurrilous behavior. I also don’t think Dr. Spencer is a young earth creationist.

    I would cheerfully debate Roy on any form of ID vs natural evolution because whatever his opinions there, they are either question-begging or wrong from the point of view of correctly applying inference and reason. To put it precisely, it is very improbable that ID is correct based on the current evidence. For a very very large value of very. At one point or another he indicated his willingness to debate the issue and as my kids would say, “Challenge accepted…”

    But as noted, that doesn’t credit or discredit his work in climate science, except insofar as that it justifies the observation that he could use a refresher course in probability theory and scientific inference and perhaps complexity theory as well as most of the other workers in climate science.

    Regarding the LTT — it is indeed the gold standard of temperature records regardless of how it is computed if only because it has been measured and computed moderately consistently for roughly 34 years, because it samples the globe as well or better than any other measure (by far!), because it is not corrupted by UHI influences that have been shown to be far greater than any systematic sampling error it is likely to have, and because it hasn’t been subjected to numerous “corrections” that always have the effect of cooling the past and/or warming the future. That is why it is a problem for the land record — a serious problem at that — if LTT (however it is computed) remains nearly stable at its current rate of growth, the divergence between LTT and the land record will for all practical purposes render the latter completely unreliable instead of being merely probably unreliable as it is today.

    Like all such measures, it may or may not be precisely accurate or measure what it claims to measure, like all such measures, it has error bars. But the curve that Roy presented at the Senate hearing is really little different from figure 1.4 (IIRC) in AR5 straight from the mouth of the IPCC:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/14/the-real-ipcc-ar5-draft-bombshell-plus-a-poll/

    It shows the actual mess of sphaghetti where 1.4 does not, the error bars on the black squares are some kind of complex joke (being all the same size and place arbitrarily around actual data points) and the grey area is AFAICT completely irrelevant. If you overlaid LTT on top of this with a similar starting point, it would change nothing — neither one shows any statistically significant growth from the 1998 Super ENSO on, and show little growth from 1990 to the present (order of 0.1 C/decade or less).

    The spaghetti, however, is very instructive, especially when labelled with the individual GCMs associated with each strand. Why do you think the IPCC is backpedalling so hard on climate sensitivity? Because their own figure, not Spencer’s, already is pretty convincing evidence that the high sensitivity models are plain old wrong, the intermediate sensitivity models are still possible but looking less so every day the current neutral temperature trend continues, and the low sensitivity/neutral feedback models are actually fitting the observed temperature trend better than anything else.

    This does not, of course, disprove AGW, CAGW, GW without the A — the data simply speaks for itself. A reasonable person can look at figure 1.4 of AR5 and doubt that the models are correct. A reasonable climate scientist can look at 1.4 of AR5 and ask themselves and doubt that the models are correct. Indeed, I don’t see how this figure could ever stand as evidence for the null hypothesis “The GCMs are correct, based on settled science, so you can bet a trillion dollars and a hundred million lives to be spent right now (not in 100 years) on their predictions and be sure of being a winner”.

    rgb

  203. Mr. Brown, the nuclear power industry in the United States has no interest in pursuing thorium reactors, for the simple reason that the thorium fuel cycle has no cost advantages over the current uranium fuel cycle.

    I categorically disagree with this statement. High pressure Uranium reactors can melt down and require active cooling. They were a stupid design in the first place. LFTR reactor designs cannot melt down — they can be designed to passively shut off by flicking a switch without any active cooling. Finally, they use a liquid fuel. They therefore would require a small fraction of the current money being spent on a high pressure, actively cooled reactor fueled with solid fuel. Indeed, one can go down a rather long list of technical and engineering advantages LFTR has over pressurized water reactors. Add to that the comparative difficulty of nuclear proliferation via thorium, the fact that LFTR reactors can burn nuclear waste while operating, and the fact that thorium is abundant and mixed in with rare earths that we need a domestic supply of anyway (where currently thorium is considered to be a kind of radioactive contaminant of the rare earths, not a valuable metal in its own right outside of e.g. gas lantern mantels).

    As for the other reasons that nuclear is fighting for its life, don’t forget d) the same “green” people that oppose carbon oppose nuclear, as a knee jerk measure, but sure, I agree with the others. They do not constitute any good reason not to invest a fair bit of money, quickly, in developing LFTRs on at least a competitive basis with e.g. solar photovoltaics. Or, of course, we can just wait five years and license the technology from China and pay them forever for stuff we should have developed and own ourselves. Or watch as they take over the world energy market. Even if LFTR should in the end prove unfeasible, it’s a cheap way to cover the bet and frankly, it is a pretty good bet.

    rgb

  204. The Dover, PA trial produced humiliating, hilarious, incontrovertible documentary evidence that ID is just Old Time Creationism repackaged to sound more science-y, so that it can be slipped into public school science classes. Dr. Behe’s concept of “irreducible complexity” is not just unscientific, but anti-scientific. No surprise since by his definition, astrology is scientific.

    As above, Dr. Spencer’s contributions to climatology are significant & I salute him for them, but I’m not surprised he hasn’t accepted your challenge on ID. His argument that observed microevolution in bacteria still leaves them bacteria, ie the same “kind” of organism, is equivalent to saying that amoebae, humans & redwood trees are all eukaryotes, so no macroevolution has occurred. As you know the three currently recognized domains of life are bacteria, archaea & eukaryota. Recent discoveries may require adding giant viruses to that list. Creationists have not & cannot define “kind”.

  205. rgbatduke says: July 22, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Beta Blocker said ….. Mr. Brown, the nuclear power industry in the United States has no interest in pursuing thorium reactors, for the simple reason that the thorium fuel cycle has no cost advantages over the current uranium fuel cycle.

    .
    I categorically disagree with this statement. (…the usual LFTR arguments follow ….)

    =====================================

    The true measure of whether or not a technology for generating electricity is viable technically and economically is whether or not private investors will bet their money on that technology in the absence of government subsidies, direct or indirect.

    In the absence of substantial government subsidies, direct or indirect, private investors in the United States will not invest their money in thorium reactors because they see no cost advantages emanating from your list of theoretical technical and operational advantages.

    As for the anti-nuclear activists, they have a proper role to play in the nuclear regulatory scheme of things. The anti-nuclear activists have never been successful in challenging a nuclear plant on issues of basic reactor safety. Where they have been successful in closing a nuclear plant has been in challenging the quality of the work the licensee performed in building, maintaining, and/or operating the nuclear plant.

    As things stand today, middle-level managers and senior level managers in the nuclear industry are their own worst enemies when it comes to keeping the anti-nuclear activists off their backs.

    Unless the price of natural gas is raised substantially through government intervention in the marketplace, either through taxes or through the combined effects of regulatory actions, then gas-fired generation will continue to drive all other methods of electrical generation out of the marketplace, excepting those methods such as wind and solar that are dictated by public law or by the actions of regulatory agencies.

    • Beta Blocker says:
      July 22, 2013 at 12:44 pm

      How about building the LFTRs in Mexico? Carlos Slim’s cement companies would make sure that the government went along at minimal cost.

  206. In the comments on the Senate hearing last week, I saw, for the second time, Robert Brown’s opinion that the average of the IPCC ensemble is just noise. That seems very logical to me, but I am no expert statistician.
    The contrary opinion comes from a comment made by Gavin Schmidt at RC. The following quotes are from the thread of the RealClimate post Decadal predictions. At comment 49, dated 30 Sep 2009 at 6:18 AM, a blogger posed this question:
    If a single simulation is not a good predictor of reality how can the average of many simulations, each of which is a poor predictor of reality, be a better predictor, or indeed claim to have any residual of reality?
    Gavin Schmidt replied with a general discussion of models:
    Any single realisation can be thought of as being made up of two components – a forced signal and a random realisation of the internal variability (‘noise’). By definition the random component will be uncorrelated across different realisations and when you average together many examples you get the forced component (i.e. the ensemble mean).
    To paraphrase Gavin Schmidt, we’re not interested in the random component (noise) inherent in the individual simulations; we’re interested in the forced component, which represents the modeler’s best guess of the effects of manmade greenhouse gases on the variable being simulated.
    The quote by Gavin Schmidt is supported by a similar statement from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Sometime over the past few months, NCAR elected to remove that educational webpage from its website. Luckily the Wayback Machine has a copy. NCAR wrote on that FAQ webpage that had been part of an introductory discussion about climate models (my boldface):
    Averaging over a multi-member ensemble of model climate runs gives a measure of the average model response to the forcings imposed on the model. Unless you are interested in a particular ensemble member where the initial conditions make a difference in your work, averaging of several ensemble members will give you best representation of a scenario.
    By contrast, Dr. Brown wrote (as rbg@duke) in the comments on the hearing:
    In particular, the average of the GCMs is meaningless. The standard deviation of the distribution of GCM results about this average is meaningless, except as evidence that the GCMs collectively suck. The “fit” of GCMs to the period pre-1990 or thereabouts is not evidence that they are predictive as they were initialized TO fit that period — they can no more hindcast the curve Spencer held up presenting global temperatures over the last 2000 years than they can predict the stock market ten years from today.
    Finally, and most damning — the application of hypothesis testing methodology in a statistically permissible way to each GCM, one at a time, to the actual climate data under the null hypothesis “this is a perfect climate model whose results can be trusted” consists of looking at the range of the Monte Carlo results that do form an ensemble and noting what fraction of the individual trajectories match the actual climate. When this is done, the number is very, very small, for nearly every GCM. Indeed, we would be entirely justified in rejecting this null hypothesis for nearly all if not all of the GCMs.
    This makes the AR4 summary for policy makers even worse than a mere abuse of statistics. It’s one thing to average over twenty models each one of which is individually in pretty good agreement with the data and hence passes a basic sanity check as being a valid model and then arguing that the mean “could” — “not has according to the theorems of statistics” to but could somehow average over irrelevant but small errors in the details in the implementation of the same basic physics and hence yield a better average than any single model alone. It’s another to average over twenty models that individually fail a basic internal hypothesis test when compared to reality and worse all fail in the same way, consistently coming in far too hot and then assert that the average is meaningful and that the standard deviation of that average is a valid measure of the probable bounds of the future climate.
    I am not a credible judge of which opinion is correct. If anyone feels that they are, please educate me.

  207. Leif writes “UV makes up only a few percent of TSI. The solar cycle variation of UV is only a few percent of the UV. A few percent of a few percent is a few parts in ten thousand.”

    A few percent of a few percent is much closer to 1 part in a thousand Leif. And since the sun produces on average about 400W across the entire earth’s surface, that makes the effect about 0.4W

    Its not about attributing ALL the warming to one process, its about understanding all the components of warming. And 0.4W is potentially a significant part of that forcing if the CO2 forcing is around 1.1W per sq meter.

    Furthermore, the ocean forcing is about 0.4W so you see ignoring the suns direct influence because you dont think it could possibly matter, is crazy.

  208. Gail Combs says:
    July 22, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    I am indeed most interested, & have learned a lot from discussions here. This issue among others needs to be explored in greater detail before IMO presently infant climate science can begin to be put upon a sound experimental & observational footing.

    It appears that the two-fold variation in UV which interested me as a possible forcing on oceans in fact could affect climate only via the upper atmosphere & knock-on effects, since that variance is primarily in the higher-energy, shorter-wavelength part of the spectrum. Still, I feel the possibility exists that minor differences in UV at the surface could affect the oceans as well, since IR & visible light penetrate so much less in so many types of seawater & ice.

    Thanks for those links, one of which wouldn’t open directly, a problem I have with some .pdfs.

  209. Beta Blocker says: @ July 22, 2013 at 12:44 pm
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    Nuclear and Natural Gas have the same problem, the luddites WANT us to descend back to the technology 0f the 1800′s. They are very much Anti-technology and that is why Nuclear cost so much.

    Conversation with an anti society antinuclear activist
    I had the opportunity a few days ago of talking to a bright young anti-nuclear activist about the way Fukushima has helped the anti-nuclear cause. Pretty quickly we got into the difference between what actually happened at Fukushima, and what has been reported about it by anti-nuclear lobby groups such as the one he was involved with.

    I braced myself for a debate about how serious the nuclear accident really was, health effects, long term effect, cleanup costs, etc. But I was completely taken off-guard by what he told me right off the bat. He actually *agreed* that the seriousness of the accident was greatly overstated and that the health effects were likely te turn out to be as small as to be nonexistent.

    My response was, of course, to ask how he could align this with the scaremongering and misinformation being spread by the anti-nuclear parties. He then explained to me that the facts about nuclear energy, it’s safety and even it’s positive economic effects were not relevant. He said that scaremongering and misinformation where the appropriate and moral strategy of anti-nuclear groups.

    He said that the ideology of sustainability and anti-nuclearism was so important for the future of humanity that facts should be of no concern. Moreover: if the invention of fake information (i.e. lies) about nuclear energy could bring closer the day of elimination of nuclear power from the earth, then that meant that producing and spreading fake information should (and indeed was) a top priority of all anti-nuclear groups…..

    Finally, I asked him why he thought nuclear power should be eliminated even after he told me that he agreed that nuclear power was good for the economy. His reply was simply that an additional goal of the antinuclear movement (as far as he was concerned) was in fact the reduction of economic activity, since according to him, the greatest cause of ecological damage was increased economic activity.

    So in his mind, the fact that nuclear power was a boon for the economy was all the more reason to try to eliminate it. In closing, I told him that a reduction in economic activity would also reduce his own prospects for a high quality of life and prosperity. But he didn’t agree with me. He said that further economic expansion was of no use to him, because he believed in living a simple life.

    He said that economic expansion was bad for people because it distracted from the true quality of life, which consists of community and social activities that are mostly threatened by improved prosperity, rather than improved by it…..

    I am sure Pascal Lamy the World Trade Organization Director General would applaud this young man’s Luddite outlook.

    …In the same way, climate change negotiations are not just about the global environment but global economics as well — the way that technology, costs and growth are to be distributed and shared. Can we maintain an open trading system without a more coordinated financial system?

    Can we balance the need for a sustainable planet with the need to provide billions with decent living standards? Can we do that without questioning radically the Western way of life?

    http://www.theglobalist.com/storyid.aspx?StoryId=9174

    However I am sure all these painfully ardent young urban environmentalists would be the first to scream bloody murder when their electricity is rationed and their jobs evaporate. Since that will be happening soon we shall see if they live up to their mouths.

    The EPA and Department of Energy drastically underestimated the effects of the new EPA rulings. Many more plants are closing than anticipated. This means electricity prices will sky rocket and the electric grid could become unstable New Regulations to Take 34 GW of Electricity Generation Offline and the Plant Closing Announcements Keep Coming… According to EPA, …. these regulations will only shutter 9.5 GW of electricity generation capacity.

    I am already seeing several power blips a day in NC and it is not due to the weather.

    • Gail:

      Insanity.

      I recall over a decade ago when to my amazement I read a CACCAist claim that nuclear power also contributed to global warming. She gave no reason, but I assume from all the concrete, or maybe the steam from cooling towers. Or just because that’s what she wanted to believe.

  210. TimTheToolMan says:
    July 22, 2013 at 3:22 pm
    A few percent of a few percent is much closer to 1 part in a thousand
    The variation of all of TSI is 1 part in a thousand. You want to attribute that to be only due to a variation in UV? most of the UV doesn’t even make it to the surface. The variability of the near-UV [which does make it to the surface] is lower than 1% of the fraction of TSI that is UV. Now, those details don’t really matter. Variations of 1/1000 does translate to a variation of temperature of 1/4000 which out of 288K is 0.07 deg C, so there should be such a solar cycle variation. Most researchers find about that magnitude of the solar cycle change of temperature, so nobody is ignoring the Sun’s ‘direct influence’. It is there, it checks out, and it’s minor.

  211. TimTheToolMan says:
    July 22, 2013 at 3:22 pm
    And 0.4W is potentially a significant part of that forcing if the CO2 forcing is around 1.1W per sq meter.
    The difference is that the 0.4 W/m2 is cyclic, while the 1.1 W/m2 is cumulative. In other words, the solar influence goes up by 0.4 W, then goes down again by the same amount, then goes up, then down, up down, up, down, …The CO2 forcing only goes up, never down. So it CO2 has any effect at all it accumulates with time.

  212. Leif writes “then goes down again by the same amount, then goes up, then down, up down, up, down”

    The same amount? Really? You’re making all sorts of assumptions to support your own beliefs Leif because there is no solid data to support you. Ionisation as a proxy for UV is a joke. You started underplaying the amount of variation and now you make unsupportable statements because you believe the sun itself essentially plays no part in our climate. You might be right but then again you’re clearly biased so your opinion is worth much less on this.

  213. Leif writes “Variations of 1/1000 does translate to a variation of temperature of 1/4000 which out of 288K is 0.07 deg C”

    Talk in W/m2 Leif. There is no point in talking temperature because we simply dont know what the feedbacks will be.

  214. TimTheToolMan says:
    July 22, 2013 at 7:24 pm
    The same amount? Really?
    Yes, really.

    Ionisation as a proxy for UV is a joke.
    UV creates and maintains the ionosphere. This is a well-understood subject [has been understod for more than a 100 years].

    you believe the sun itself essentially plays no part in our climate.
    The sun creates a solar cycle effect of somewhat less then 0.1C.

    TimTheToolMan says:
    July 22, 2013 at 7:28 pm
    “Variations of 1/1000 does translate to a variation of temperature of 1/4000 which out of 288K is 0.07 deg C”
    Talk in W/m2 Leif.

    Here is to translate that number to W/m2: multiply by 1361 W/m2.
    There is no point in talking temperature because we simply dont know what the feedbacks will be.
    The theoretically expected temperature change matches what most researchers indeed find for the solar cycle effect within about a factor of 2. Two times tiny is still tiny.

  215. Leif writes “UV creates and maintains the ionosphere. This is a well-understood subject [has been understod for more than a 100 years].”

    And yet its only very recently known that UV varies as much as it does and only due to careful precise measurements by a purpose built satellite. So the ionosphere is a poor proxy for UV.

    And then goes on to say “Here is to translate that number to W/m2: multiply by 1361 W/m2.”

    Dealing with theoretically derived values is a poor way to look at the data. Deal with the measured values.

  216. TimTheToolMan says:
    July 22, 2013 at 10:45 pm
    And yet its only very recently known that UV varies as much as it does and only due to careful precise measurements by a purpose built satellite.
    No, it is not ‘known’. There is strong doubt about the calibration of the UV measurements. Different satellites give inconsistent result.

    So the ionosphere is a poor proxy for UV.
    The near-UV [where most of the energy is] is well determined and there is no uncertainty in the role of UV in the ionopshere.

    Dealing with theoretically derived values is a poor way to look at the data. Deal with the measured values.
    The 1361 W/m2 is very well measured by SORCE.

  217. I am not a credible judge of which opinion is correct. If anyone feels that they are, please educate me.

    Sure. Mean and standard deviation apply to ensembles of “independent and identically distributed” (iid) samples. The meaning of both is derived from the Central Limit Theorem, which states basically that the distribution of sample means of iid sample sets will tend towards a normal (the so called “bell-curve”) with a variance or standard deviation that systematically scales with the number of samples so that more samples narrows the width of the normal distribution, resulting in the sample mean becoming a systematically better estimator of the true mean. One can compute the probability of the true mean lying within some distance of the sample mean by using the integral of the probability distribution function (the cumulative distribution function or CDF of the normal) a.k.a. the error function (so named because it is used almost universally to compute probable error.

    Note well the axiomatic conditions for mean and standard deviation to have meaning: The samples have to be drawn from the same distribution — one doesn’t do well predicting the outcome of rolling dice by mixing data from six sided dice with two sided coins or a Gaussian process. That’s the “identically distributed” part. Second, the samples have to be independent. That has a very specific meaning in statistics — it means that they have to be generated by what amounts to a random process. If there is correlation — the opposite of independence — in the process that generates the samples, then two kinds of bias creep in. The first is that the expected scaling of the standard deviation will be incorrect. Suppose you simply double count each sample (that is, you introduce pairs of completely correlated samples) — you will think you have 100 iid samples and you will really have only 50, so when you compute the unbiased standard deviation from the samples you will underestimate the standard deviation by a factor of 1.4 (square root of two). Because the scaling of the error function, this will make an enormous difference in your estimates of probable error in the sample mean. Many processes — Markov chains in particular — tend to produce samples with a rather huge amount of correlation.

    This makes it rather difficult to come of with a valid estimate of error for a SINGLE GCM — they accomplish it by running a Monte Carlo random variation of the inputs and presume (probably incorrectly) that there is an ergodicity theorem similar to the ones one can prove in ordinary statistical mechanics at work. I say probably incorrectly because the underlying models are highly nonlinear and almost certainly exhibit serious broken ergodicity, so they are basically studying one highly linearized branch, setting themselves up for Black Swans where the entire system spontaneously reorganizes into a new mode that is not in any sense a linearization or perturbation of the one they analyze with MC. But at least this is a nominally valid use of statistics (that should be applied with extreme caution as far as expected error is concerned).

    The second problem is even more pernicious. If the model distribution is not the same as the distribution of the physical system being modeled, then even a fully converged, non-internally correlated solution will not converge to the correct value. And of course it is not possible a priori to know that a model is correct. Hence one formulates the null hypothesis — if one has the perfectly correct model and runs your ensemble of samples from it and gets a mean and standard deviation, what is the probability of getting the actual result observed in the physical system? If this probability is very low one usually rejects the null hypothesis that the model is correct, one doesn’t assert that reality is doing something very unusual. The simple fact of the matter is that reality tends to do the usual, not the unusual, so if there is a discrepancy between model/process and reality, it is usually the model that is at fault.

    Now consider the application of this straight up out of stats books theory to averaging over many models. First, show me the hat containing an ensemble of GCMs, that is to say, a probability distribution of GCMs. I would assert rather vehemently that there is no such hat, and that GCMs in general cannot ever be considered to be iid random samples pulled from such a hat. Second, show me — hell, even argue persuasively — for the proposition that the differences between GCMs constitute sampling a random process. I would assert instead that the samples are going to be horrendously correlated, not just in core science but in the so called irrelevant detail and in the computational methodologies and worst of all, in the underlying assumptions. Indeed, many of the GCMs share a common parentage (one could argue that all the GCMs share a common parentage, at least conceptually) and I’m quite certain that shared systematic errors cause dread correlation between GCM results, resulting in erroneous assertions of standard deviation. Third, the models are not validated against reality, so we cannot be certain that the model mean has anything whatsoever to do with reality. You can average ten thousand incorrect models and get a very, very precise incorrect model mean and a tiny standard deviation and it won’t mean a damn thing other than “You should have rejected the null hypothesis that these models are correct long ago” when reality falls ever farther outside of the band of probable states predicted by the models.

    So as I said, this assertion is absolute, indefensible nonsense. It might be nonsense you could get away with if the mean over models was working well to predict the present climate in all ways (although that still would not make it correct or a defensible use of statistics). It is criminal abuse of statistics to use it to assert “certain” knowledge — or even systematically probable knowledge — in a venue where the sampling process overtly violates the most basic precepts of statistics, sampling theory, and predictive modeling. You try doing this sort of crap in the real world of predictive modeling of e.g. the stock market, consumer behavior, or almost anything worth actual money and you’d be out of business in a year wondering what happened to you and why customers won’t pay you for models — no matter how magnificently they predict the past — that fail to predict the future.

    rgb

  218. I forgot to mention the third requirement of internal correlation. If the sampling process is not independent, it mandates the use of Bayesian analysis, not simple computation of mean and standard deviation. And at that moment the error estimates go through the roof, because one has to assess objective priors probabilities for all of the assumptions. This too is what the Monte Carlo is trying to manage without doing the actual Bayes Theorem computation (with its many unknown priors and joint/conditional probability distributions). This cannot be done with “Monte Carlo” over GCMs as if they are samples drawn from a hat.

    Finally, as I pointed out in both this and other venues. there is direct evidence that the individual GCMs are not, in fact, sampling the same distribution in any sense whatsoever. Four GCMs were recently applied to a very simple toy planet with the simplest of structure, and converged to four completely distinct results. Not similar ones, COMPLETELY DIFFERENT ones. This is the “last straw” for GCMs — they are dead to the world, only they don’t know it yet. Until GCMs can satisfy the SIMPLEST of validations — converging to the same answer for a toy problem — why should we believe their answer for our very, very complex real planet?

    rgb

  219. Gail,

    He said that scaremongering and misinformation where the appropriate and moral strategy of anti-nuclear groups.

    He said that the ideology of sustainability and anti-nuclearism was so important for the future of humanity that facts should be of no concern. Moreover: if the invention of fake information (i.e. lies) about nuclear energy could bring closer the day of elimination of nuclear power from the earth, then that meant that producing and spreading fake information should (and indeed was) a top priority of all anti-nuclear groups…..

    Thanks. This is what I was trying to get at in saying earlier I’m not interested in fighting a PR war, and that it’d be a bad idea to do so. Maybe ‘PR’ is the wrong word; maybe there is a way to do PR that doesn’t involve manipulation and deceit.
    I don’t care what policy is ultimately best, these are evil means. No way.

  220. Leif writes “No, it is not ‘known’. There is strong doubt about the calibration of the UV measurements. Different satellites give inconsistent result.”

    There is always doubt about measurements that questions long held beliefs. But those long held beliefs are based on poor proxies such as the ionosphere. It is quite obvious that the changes in the ionosphere cant resolve a 0.4W change in UV and you should know better than trying to defend that argument.

    Its still possible the measurements are faulty but at the moment they are the very best results we have so let them be proven wrong before discounting them.

    Leif then writes “The 1361 W/m2 is very well measured by SORCE.”

    And what has that got to do with quoting derived temperatures vs measured energy flux?

  221. TimTheToolMan says:
    July 23, 2013 at 6:55 am
    But those long held beliefs are based on poor proxies such as the ionosphere. It is quite obvious that the changes in the ionosphere cant resolve a 0.4W change in UV and you should know better than trying to defend that argument.
    If one knows what one is doing it is quite obvious that the ionosphere reacts to the solar cycle changes of UV, see e.g. Slide 9 of http://www.leif.org/research/Rudolf%20Wolf%20Was%20Right.pdf

    best results we have so let them be proven wrong before discounting them
    My point is that even if they are correct, the impact on the climate is minute, of the order of less than 0.1C. See Slode 3 of http://www.leif.org/research/The%20long-term%20variation%20of%20solar%20activity.pdf

  222. Leif writes “If one knows what one is doing it is quite obvious that the ionosphere reacts to the solar cycle changes of UV”

    But thats not what I said is it.

    Leif writes “My point is that even if they are correct, the impact on the climate is minute, of the order of less than 0.1C.”

    There you go with your derived temperature value again. And assumptions about what the variation in UV can and cant do based on what you believe to be correct rather than what solid data tells you.

  223. TimTheToolMan says:
    July 23, 2013 at 4:34 pm
    But thats not what I said is it.
    I made your language a bit more amenable to scientific discussion. What you did say was “Ionisation as a proxy for UV is a joke”.

    There you go with your derived temperature value again. And assumptions about what the variation in UV can and cant do based on what you believe to be correct rather than what solid data tells you.People looking for solar cycle effects usually find a measured temperature variation of the order of 0.1C [within a factor of two]. Now, one can, of course, deny that the measured values are ‘solid data’.

  224. RGB
    I always read your comments with interest…in my experience most problems with the application of statistical analysis arise from neglecting concepts like independence, and incorrect assumptions regarding the underlying distributions of the data being sampled. thanks for reminding us again of their importance.
    it’s always a blast to read you..your students are lucky.

  225. Leif writes “People looking for solar cycle effects usually find a measured temperature variation of the order of 0.1C ”

    And how do they do that Leif? How is the variation due to the solar cycle extracted from the rest of the “natural” variation apart from massive assumptions?

  226. TimTheToolMan says:
    July 23, 2013 at 7:37 pm
    “People looking for solar cycle effects usually find a measured temperature variation of the order of 0.1C ” And how do they do that Leif? How is the variation due to the solar cycle extracted from the rest of the “natural” variation apart from massive assumptions?
    Perhaps you should educate yourself about how to do this. One way is called ‘superposed epoch analysis”: You detrend the measured temperatures to remove variations on time scales longer than the solar cycle, then you take 11 years of [yearly] measurements for the fist solar cycle where you have good data and write the numbers in a row. Then you write another row of 11 yearly temperatures for the next solar cycle just below the first row. Then you do that for the next cycle, etc, until you have a row for every cycle. You then calculate the mean of the values of all rows for the first ‘column’ of data, i.e. for the first year of each cycle, then for the next column [i.e. the next year], and so on until your have a row of 11 averages. This beats down the accidental errors but leaves the solar signal [if it is there] undisturbed. Finally you see how much the average temperatures varied from solar minimum [the first and last minimum in the row of averages] to solar maximum [somewhere in the middle of the row of averages].
    This is one [simple] way. There are other sophisticated statistical methods from analysis of signals, but the simple method is enough.

    Now, if you don’t see a signal emerging from the’natural’ variation it just means that the influence of the Solar cycle is too small to be detected, which in turn means that the Sun is not a major driver of climate. Easy enough to understand, right?

  227. Leif writes “You detrend the measured temperatures to remove variations on time scales longer than the solar cycle”

    And there you have the biggest assumption of the analysis. Right there you assume there is no long term solar forcing by say…changes in UV from cycle to cycle.

    Furthermore we just dont have enough solid data to be doing that for any more than a few cycles and so you’re going to be left with a lot of noise anyway.

  228. TimTheToolMan says:
    July 24, 2013 at 3:58 am
    And there you have the biggest assumption of the analysis. Right there you assume there is no long term solar forcing by say…changes in UV from cycle to cycle.
    We were discussing the effect of the solar cycle. And as you point out we have no evidence that UV changes from cycle to cycle, except following the cycles’ ups and downs.

    so you’re going to be left with a lot of noise anyway.
    If you can’t see the signal for the noise, it shows that the sun is not a major driver. Good that you agree. Or do you persist in the assumption that there is a strong effect, we just can’t see it?

  229. TimTheToolMan says:
    July 24, 2013 at 3:58 am
    Right there you assume there is no long term solar forcing by say…changes in UV from cycle to cycle.
    Now, your BIG assumption that there is long-term solar forcing does underlie some of the reconstructions of TSI, namely that variations of TSI can be described as the the sum of straight solar cycle forcing and a long-term trend given by a running mean of the sunspot number. You can see that idea in action of Slide 18 of http://www.leif.org/research/Solar-Petaluma–How%20Well%20Do%20We%20Know%20the%20SSN.pdf and also see how it failed.

  230. Leif writes “variations of TSI can be described as the the sum of straight solar cycle forcing and a long-term trend given by a running mean of the sunspot number.”

    No Leif, TSI is irrelevant. I dont have any assumption about what IS happening. My assumptions are about what could be happening and what the latest data shows did happen. You cant discount the possibility that TSI has remained fairly constant while UV has slowly changed over time by a few tenths of a Watt (and Visible also changed in the other direction)

    You cant do it. You can guess…but, Leif, its a guess.

  231. TimTheToolMan says:
    July 24, 2013 at 9:01 pm
    You cant discount the possibility that TSI has remained fairly constant while UV has slowly changed over time by a few tenths of a Watt (and Visible also changed in the other direction)
    As I have pointed out several times, people have looked into that [remote] possibility, see Slide 3 of http://www.leif.org/research/The%20long-term%20variation%20of%20solar%20activity.pdf
    And found that the effect on temperature is vanishingly small. And that therefore even under your massive assumptions the Sun is still not a major driver.

  232. Leif writes “As I have pointed out several times, people have looked into that [remote] possibility”

    And I think I keep mentioning that is not data, Its a guess. So we are yet again at an impasse. You are certain about your guess and I am certain it IS a guess.

  233. TimTheToolMan says:
    July 25, 2013 at 5:59 am
    And I think I keep mentioning that is not data, Its a guess. So we are yet again at an impasse. You are certain about your guess and I am certain it IS a guess.
    Science is always guesses well-founded on sound physical principles. What we seem to agree on is that whatever the story is, the influence of the Sun is of such small amplitude that it almost drowns in the noise. This is the important point. Neither your guess nor mine contradict that.

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