When somebody hits you with that new ‘IPCC is 95% certain’ talking point on global warming, show them this

People send me stuff.

The IPCC has announced (via a “leak” campaign only to selected media outlets, such as Reuters, NYT, WaPo) that they are now 95% certain. From Reuters:

Drafts seen by Reuters of the study by the U.N. panel of experts, due to be published next month, say it is at least 95 percent likely that human activities – chiefly the burning of fossil fuels – are the main cause of warming since the 1950s.

I’m glad they pinned down “…since the 1950s”, that’s important.

According to this MotherJones report:

According to Jonathan Lynn, who is head of communications at the IPCC, the organization expects that leaks will occur because report drafts wind up in so many different hands. Lynn cautions that “there’s no question that the final report will not be the same as the drafts.”

I’ve been in touch with IPCC secretariat Mr. Jonathan Lynn, and while he’s glad to point out issues on WUWT, neither he nor any of the media outlets that have the “leaked” report are willing to provide WUWT with a copy. No matter, we’ll simply go with what we know.

Here is the statement again, emphasis mine:

Drafts seen by Reuters of the study by the U.N. panel of experts, due to be published next month, say it is at least 95 percent likely that human activities – chiefly the burning of fossil fuels – are the main cause of warming since the 1950s.

OK, so here’s the 64 thousand dollar questions for IPCC cheerleaders:

  1. Which side is which time period?
  2. What caused the warming before CO2 became an issue to be essentially identical to the period when it is claimed to be the main driver?
  3. How is the IPCC 95% certain one side is caused by man and the other is not?

1895-1946_1957-2008_temperature-compare

h/t to Burt Rutan, but I believe the original comparison concept was by Warren Meyer.

BTW, the answer should be obvious which is which due to the telltale 1997-1998 El Niño signature in one graph.

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146 Responses to When somebody hits you with that new ‘IPCC is 95% certain’ talking point on global warming, show them this

  1. milodonharlani says:

    The null hypothesis wins.

    No reason to imagine that the more recent warming is any less natural in origin than the prior.

  2. MattN says:

    This is why I’m not buying the whole “Brightening” theory presented yesterday all that much…

  3. richardscourtney says:

    Anthony Watts:

    This has often been pointed out on WUWT and I have often seen dbstealey post the graph with two trend lines showing the same trend for the two twentieth century warming periods.

    Perhaps he could post it again here?

    Richard

  4. Bob Tisdale says:

    Ooh ooh, I know the answer.

  5. omnologos says:

    95% is a figure provided by the politically naive to the numerically ignorant – just like the rest of the IPCC report, that is…

  6. milodonharlani says:

    Obviously there needs to be a whole lot more adjustin’ goin’ on.

  7. Scute says:

    Why are you using Hadcrut 3? I know it’s probably more accurate and I presume it proves your point better than Hadcrut 4. But the warmists will be onto it in a flash.

  8. OldWeirdHarold says:

    The one that looks like a hockey stick.

  9. dbstealey says:

    richardscourtney,

    Was this the chart you asked about?

    And here is another chart based on Phil Jones data.

  10. fibonac1 says:

    That is a most telling comparison. It requires a great deal of concentration to pick which is which. It is a clear example of history repeating itself. Only the Warmistas could say there is a difference.

  11. Robin says:

    Let’s not forget that these IPCC models are considered to be the antithesis of the “physics-based notion that sound science equals reductionist, high control, high precision science.” That quote was supporter Briane Wynne in a 1994 book.

    When you read my sources they pretty consistently say that the ‘science’ involved at the IPCC is actually sociology. Which many of us do not believe deserves the label.

  12. Robin says:

    The argument is that the traditional definition of scientific knowledge “tacitly reflects and reproduces normative models of social relations, cultural and moral identitie, as if these were natural.”

    Can’t have that even if it takes a hockey stick to be the wrecking iron.

  13. The only “evidence” the IPCC has are their models which allegedly show only natural + anthropogenic forcing can explain the latter 1957-2008 warming.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/syr/en/fig/figurespm-4-l.png

    Of course, they conveniently leave out of the models ocean oscillations, global brightening, accumulated solar energy anomaly [the "sunspot time integral"], etc. which can more than explain the 1957-2008 warming.

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2013/08/natural-climate-change-has-been-hiding.html

  14. BarryW says:

    CNN was touting this and emphasizing the Greenland glacier melt causing massive sea level rise. Of course they didn’t mention that the temps haven’t gone up in over 15 years and sea level rise has not changed.

  15. Harold Ambler says:

    @ Bob, lol.

  16. milodonharlani says:

    dbstealey says:
    August 20, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    The slight difference in warming per decade on Jones’ chart during the 1975-1998 period as opposed to 1975-2009 implies cooling since the end of or some point in the shorter period.

  17. MattN says:

    Just wondering, why was CRUT3 used? Aren’t they on 4 or 5 by now?

  18. MattN says:

    I’d recommend going back and using CRUT4 data. I just went over to woodsfortrees and plotted it and the shapes still remain the same. Using CRUT3 data just allows it to be completely dismissed by the other side.

  19. William Astley says:

    The 95% percent confidence is a politically derived number. It has no scientific basis.

    Odd that the IPCC would ignore the fact that there are nine (9) cycles of warming and cooling in the paleo record. The warm periods correlate with grand solar magnetic cycle maximums and the following cold periods correlate with Maunder like minimums.

    The regions of the planet that warmed during the nine (9) Dansgaard-Oeschger cycles are the same regions that warmed in the last 70 years.The nature vs man question as to the cause of the warming will likely be answered as solar cycle 24 progresses.

    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
    http://www.solen.info/solar/images/comparison_recent_cycles.png

  20. David L. Hagen says:

    Nicola Scafetta provides a model that accounts for both warming periods and the “pause” since then.

    REPLY: I no longer assign any credibility to Scafetta’s model, its seems little more than hindcast curve fitting – Anthony

  21. Robert of Ottawa says:

    The leak to Reuters was a test flight of their next excuse. I think it safe to say it crashed and burned on contact with a truth missile.

    Expect AR5 to come up with some other slogan … as a student of rhetoric, I will not help them.

  22. RACookPE1978 says:

    Be “funny” if you plotted the decline in temperatures (from the 1890’s into 1920’s), the static temperature curve between 1965-1978 (as it curved back into the 1975-1998 heating), and the decline (between 198-45 into 1968) and the recent 15 year static period as well.

    Then, just to be “honest” mix them up with a “CO2 rising” under the “wrong ones” ….

  23. Reblogged this on Power To The People and commented:
    The weather was more extreme in 1913. https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/how-extreme-was-us-weather-in-2012/

    The Climate models being used by the IPCC to justify “skyrocketing” fuel costs to “save the earth” have no relationship with reality and harm the poor the most who cannot afford to pay for the high fuel costs. High fuel costs = more poor people = more children dying. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/15/james-hansens-policies-are-shafting-the-poor/

    “When the climate models do not agree with the reality”, Vahrenholt thundered, “then reality is not what’s false!” http://notrickszone.com/2013/08/15/vahrenholt-thrashes-leading-ipcc-former-ncar-scientist-in-hamburg-debate-the-wound-of-climate-science/

  24. thingadonta says:

    There were few climate change jobs before 1950.

    I think one might find that climate change attribution to humans corresponds with the number of paid climate change alarmists. But the good side is this, once the temperature fails to warm, the number of employed alarmists will fall, and so will the general attribution of climate change to humans.

    As Al Gore himself said, ‘it’s difficult to get someone to understand something, if their salary depends on them not understanding it’. This sort of thing has always been a thorn in those who advocate social change, they never seem able to apply their principles and criticisms of others to their own arguments, people, and agendas.

  25. Gail Combs says:

    The actual quote should be:
    “The IPCC is now 95% certain the Climate Model Ensembles are crap do not reflect reality.”

    IPCC GRAPH of Models vs global temperature.

  26. Eric Simpson says:

    Right, and they were 95% certain that in the 1970s that we were heading for an ice age, or in the ’80s they were 95% certain that we were headed for much of the world being under water by now. Their own words:
    “If present trends continue, the world will be about eleven degrees colder by the year 2000.” -Kenneth Watt, Earth Day 1970
    “Entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.” -Noel Brown, ex UNEP Director, 1989
    “[in twenty years {2008}] the West Side Highway [and thus much of Manhattan] will be under water.” -James Hansen, 1988, NASA
    “[Inaction will cause]… by the turn of the century [2000], an ecological catastrophe which will witness devastation as complete, as irreversible as any nuclear holocaust.” -Mustafa Tolba, 1982, ex Executive Director of the UN Environment Program
    Enough with the never ending predictions of doom!

  27. tomtre says:

    If 95% confidence doesn’t force people to do what they want then in the next report they will be 120% confident.

  28. LdB says:

    You were too kind Anthony Lubos did a much more scientific dissection on it

    http://motls.blogspot.com.au/2013/08/95-percent-confidence-in-hep-vs-ipcc.html

    There is going to start being a chasm opening up between climate science and science itself if they keep doing this. I hope they really rethink this whole idea before any release and have the intelligence to leave the confidence levels alone.

  29. Eric Simpson says:

    CO2 is doing nothing..
    And that’s huge, from the graph we see the rate of temperature change — in time of low & higher CO2 concentrations — is the same. Exactly the same. This doesn’t jive with the theory of how the “established physics” on CO2 should be affecting things. Because, as far as temps, CO2 is obviously not affecting anything. Nothing. Nada. Nil. Zilch. On and on. It don’t jive!!
    I know some will say, look, there’s a slightly steeper slope for the second half of the 20th century. Well, that would be like some kind of sleight of hand or chartsmanship. And to think also that the chart for the second half of the 20th century is a product of the warmists’ data manipulations and has been influenced by the urban heat effect. CO2 isn’t doing squat. Time to retire the GHE as (obviously incorrectly) postulated over a century ago.

  30. Fred says:

    100% of climate models do not work.

    Now that is a consensus and a certainty anyone can live with.

  31. John West says:

    Yea, I see the El Niño but where’s Mt. Pinatubo?

  32. Bill says:

    I would guess they are 95% sure of human influence since the ’50s and some number less than that (maybe 90% sure?) for warming before the 50’s. The difference probably owes to less reliable data.

  33. Manfred says:

    Lubos Motl wrote a magnificent article about that thin air guess

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2013/08/95-percent-confidence-in-hep-vs-ipcc.html

  34. milodonharlani says:

    George Carlin on human responsibility for saving the planet (warning: R-rated for language):

  35. Ian says:

    At 2220 ADT I just watched NBC TV news repeat the whole litany of 95% certainly, three feet of sea level rise by the end of the century, CO2 emissions are at fault and emissions must be reduced, etc., etc. etc. What we are seeing is a battle of press releases, and the warmists obviously have a team of experts at work, actively supported by believers in the MSM.

    IanM

  36. The other Phil says:

    I agree with Bill.

  37. dp says:

    I believe I’ve read on these very pages that natural reasons account for 96% of all CO2 while human CO2 is 4% (unless someone has compelling reasons why that 4% is the only contribution that can possibly push us to a tipping point). That being the case, even if we quit adding CO2 to the system the CO2 level would still have risen above 400ppm through natural causes in the not so distant future. Has anyone plotted a curve set of catastrophic apocalypses with and without the human contribution? I think it would make a great doomsday calendar to count down the days when there’s nobody left to feed the dog or feed the hysteria, which ever comes first.

  38. Rattus Norvegicus says:

    You know, I watched that Carlin piece a few nights back. I like Carlin, his social commentary is generally quite good and even when it is wrong, it is funny. This one started out with ignorance and just got worse and it never got funny. Rather ironic for someone who was generally so perceptive.

  39. Richard M says:

    If one looks at ocean warming (HADSST3) over the latest 60 year cycle of the PDO it comes out to .35C. That is .06C/decade. The total warming in the previous 120 years (2 cycles) comes out to about .01C/decade. If one assumes this is a recovery from the LIA then we are left with .05C/decade. Interestingly, if we extrapolated this out for 200 years (the next doubling of CO2 at current emissions) we end up with 1C. That is the base warming calculated by the physics for the GHE of CO2 without any feedbacks. Hmmmmmm.

  40. John Norris says:

    Not every warming claim the IPCC makes is erroneous; just 95% of them.

  41. Randy says:

    95 seems to be coming up frequently. Didn’t observed temps recently fall outside the 95% confidence range of the models per the Silver Fox, Dr. Roy Spencer.

  42. davidmhoffer says:

    Rattus Norvegicus;
    This one started out with ignorance and just got worse and it never got funny. Rather ironic for someone who was generally so perceptive.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Yeah, that’s why the audience broke into cheers several times and gave him a standing ovation at the end. Rather an obtuse comment for someone who is generally so…. oh wait, you were being true to form. Never mind.

  43. milodonharlani says:

    Rattus Norvegicus says:
    August 20, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    I thought that it was perceptive & surprisingly well informed. Alarmist humans give our species credit for far more power than we in fact possess. Nor does it really matter it the planet what we actually might be able to do, since it’s doomed anyway, or at least life on its surface.

    The rock itself might survive if the sun loses enough mass for the planet’s orbit to move farther out before our star goes red giant, but odds are against that. But in any case, it will lose its surface water long before that time.

    Humans are puffed up with pride, which goes before a fall. For our species to survive, it will have to move out to artificial habitations in the asteroid belt or beyond. Maybe we’ll find a way to engineer the solar system & possibly even the galaxy to thrive, but it’s a long shot.

    We’re basically no different from any other organism, over 99% of which have gone extinct.

  44. R. de Haan says:

    We can show the all we want but it won’t stop them because of the money flow that rewards them for their BS. Eureferendum just reported about one of the EU money sources aimed to protest (and ban) shale gas exploration in the EU.
    Read Energy, the new Battle of Britain

    http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=84268

  45. Steve in Seattle says:

    Milodon

    thanks for that great clip … i’m gonna keep the URL for that one !

  46. Noah Zark says:

    Rattus, that Youtube clip has almost 600,000 hits. I suspect many of those viewing it found it very funny. Faced with your your sour comment, I’m pretty sure the late Carlin would reply that Copernicus proved a long time ago that the Sun does not shine from your fundament.

  47. gloccamorra says:

    Doesn’t the chart based on Phil Jones data linked by dbstealey show the 30 year ups and downs of the 60 year ENSO cycle? How did humans produce that?

  48. TimTheToolMan says:

    Re “it is at least 95 percent likely that human activities – chiefly the burning of fossil fuels – are the main cause of warming since the 1950s.”

    Dont lose sight of what they’re actually saying here. “main cause” means 50% or more of the warming and so prior to the 1950’s they can argue that say 49% of the warming was anthropogenic and keep their story consistent in that way.

    However…if they do that, then they’re explicitely putting the “main cause” at around 50% and not 90%+ which is what the likes of SkS likes to argue.

  49. OssQss says:

    You just can’t stop the truth, can you?

    Reminds me of a song……..

    Enjoy,,,,,,,,,!,,and how many hits did this one get? ;-)

  50. Chad Wozniak says:

    @Ian –
    CNN also repeated the lies this morning (as I noted in an earlier post on another thread). No question about it, the MSM are political campaigners, not news reporters. Only Fox seems to have not taken this low road, but even they could do a lot more than occasionally having Marc Morano on Cavuto.

    @dp, Richard M –
    How easy it is to blow holes in AGW with the simplest of observations. Good work.

  51. milodonharlani says:

    Steve in Seattle says:
    August 20, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    You’re welcome. I’ve kept it since the dawn of YouTube time, but felt that the hubris of 95% certainty of man-made Armageddon finally warranted sharing it, however marginally apropos.

    Glad you enjoyed it. Carlin was more politically liberal than I, but that didn’t stop me from being a fan since Wonderful WINO & the voice from nowhere days. A sensible funny man.

  52. TomRude says:

    95%… so there are at least AR6 96%, AR7 97%, AR8 98%, AR9 99% and AR10 100% for UN bureaucrats although they may not stop there… AR12 102%?

  53. Mike Bromley the Kurd says:

    600,000 Carlin hits…..and I’ll bet that….wait for it….95% found it funny. Except that nobody would be sceptical about that, nor forced to toe the line about it.

  54. milodonharlani says:

    TomRude says:
    August 20, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    In 2033, the UN will be sure that humans were responsible for warming the planet from 1977 to 1996, keeping it even until 2013, then cooling it for the next 20 years. No matter what happens, it’s 100% our fault & it’s 100% bad. No other option is possible, since it’s all unprecedented, worse than we thought & can only be fixed by expanding government, preferably the UN, but if need be, then the regimes of all those member, primitive nation-states.

  55. FThoma says:

    Willis wrote an append a while back about oil on the water, that during WW2 there was an incredible amount of oil dumped on the ocean surface. He hypothesized that that caused the unusually cold winters during that time period. Coming from that artificial cold, as the oil was consumed by organisms, would look like an unusually fast rate of warming.

  56. milodonharlani says:

    Mike Bromley the Kurd says:
    August 20, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    At least 95% of viewers found the clip 95% funny at the 95% confidence level, at least 95% of the time. Its incontrovertible humor is settled, by consensus.

  57. Day By Day says:

    Rattus Norvegicus says:

    You know, I watched that Carlin piece a few nights back. I like Carlin, his social commentary is generally quite good and even when it is wrong, it is funny. This one started out with ignorance and just got worse and it never got funny. Rather ironic for someone who was generally so perceptive.

    Rattus, obviously you support laws against plastic bags. Only those who fear the plastic could not find this funny.

  58. Clyde says:

    dbstealey says:
    August 20, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    richardscourtney,

    Was this the chart you asked about?

    And here is another chart based on Phil Jones data.

    —————————

    Using the Phil Jones data one could make a WUWT escalator. I’m sure it would be a nice addition on the right side of the site. :)

  59. Rob says:

    Human give themselves “way too much” credit for everything.

  60. milodonharlani says:

    Day By Day says:
    August 20, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    The Earth…plus plastic.

  61. milodonharlani says:

    Rob says:
    August 20, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    You want to talk organisms effecting climate change on Earth, how ’bout them microbes?

    Our atmosphere went from practically no oxygen to a little bit to a few percent to 10% to 20% to 35% (dangerously combustible) back down to 21%, all without benefit of human activity.

    Ditto from oceans of molten lava to oceans of water ice covering the planet, with little or no effect from organisms of any kind, but certainly not very complex.

  62. Rob, Milodon,

    To give ourselves too much credit is to claim we know more than we do. That is Comtism (of Auguste Comte). Comte pushed this thinking and called it “positivism”, inspiring Hegel and Marx. It’s an exaggerated sense of knowing without humility, a resisting, a suppression of the discomfort of our vast not-knowing. The not-knowing that is basic to science. This error that triggered the imbalance and arrogance of the European “Enlightenment” and led to mass deaths of the twentieth and soon the twenty-first century. Taken up by fascists and pro-agressives, today it fuels every idealistic world movement, continuing to be incredibly dangerous, still gaining in strength. Quack environmentalism is but one way to express of positivism’s motivation. If it was just pseudo-environmentalism we could probably knock it down, but it’s much more integrated into society than that.

    Positivism means that science and philosophy are literally a thing of the past, that there more important things at hand. It’s why there’s so little traction with proper science.

  63. Mike McMillan says:

    MattN says: August 20, 2013 at 4:26 pm
    I’d recommend going back and using CRUT4 data. …

    I agree. With Hadcrut 4 it’s even tougher to tell them apart because they kicked up the post 1998 temps, which makes the el nino much less prominent.

  64. John Trigge (in Oz) says:

    dbstealey’s chart from Phil Jones could be (ab)used thus:

    The identical increases in temperature are natural BUT, they are on top of a steadily increasing man-made, catastrophic-if-it-continues, have to go back to the dark ages, man-made-CO2-induced global warming.

    If the chart goes much higher perhaps it will prop up the sky and stop it falling.

    should be assumed

  65. NikFromNYC says:

    In February of 2010 I posted a version of this comparison to various forums and news sites, based on the NOAA’s Climate.gov plot of the global average T:

    http://s22.postimg.org/h73fr7elt/NOAA_Update_B.gif

    I just fixed a typo too (“vertical” -> “horizontal”).

  66. richardscourtney says:

    dbstealey:

    Thankyou for the graphs you provide at August 20, 2013 at 3:53 pm.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/20/when-somebody-hits-you-with-that-new-ipcc-is-95-certain-talking-point-show-them-this/#comment-1395684

    Yes, those are what I meant, And I suggest everybody needs to look at them.

    Richard

  67. Go Home says:

    From an article out today…

    http://theweek.com/article/index/248472/4-shocking-findings-from-the-uns-latest-climate-change-report:

    “The biggest headline from the report is that scientists are now more convinced than ever that humans are causing climate change. In a shot to climate change deniers, the report says that not only is the phenomenon real, but that there is a 95 percent certainty human activity is driving it.”

    Now contrasted that with other findings in the IPCC report…

    “While temperatures are still climbing, they have been doing so at a slower pace since about 1998, the report says. Previous research has suggested that this is the case, lending fuel to climate change skeptics who cite it as a proof that the crisis is overblown. The reasons behind the slowdown are unclear. The report cites several possibilities with “medium confidence,” such as an increase in volcanic ash lingering in the atmosphere, changes in the sun’s solar cycle, and a theory that oceans are now absorbing more energy in the past.”

    How does medium understanding of the last 15 years translate to 95% confidence over the last 50 years? No reply required of course.

    I have even read 95-100% confidence in some articles. The gloves are coming off.

  68. Christopher Hanley says:

    If you swap the above graphs over and join them you get a rough idea how the temperature trend for the past ~120 years would look if James Hansen had stuck to astronomy and Phil Jones to hydrology.

  69. David says:

    William Astley says:
    August 20, 2013 at 4:28 pm
    The 95% percent confidence is a politically derived number. It has no scientific basis.
    ===============================================================
    Of course it does. However, I am 97 percent certain they are wrong, which leaves them with only a -2 percent chance of being correct.

  70. Mike Jonas says:

    I’m not claiming to be the originator, but I posted the question a long time ago, with the graph of Hadcrut3 temperatures from 1858, 1978 resp.
    http://members.iinet.net.au/~jonas1@westnet.com.au/Comparison_1858_1978.jpg
    The graph is dated September 2009. Can’t find the link to where I posted it.

  71. Mike Jonas says:

    PS. Note the dates. We have three time periods matching, not two.

  72. Brian H says:

    95% confidence is worthless. Once out of twenty times, you will ‘prove’ green jelly beans cause acne (xkcd). Can we get back to 5-sigma science, please?

  73. Tom Harley says:

    Scientists in Australia say they have developed a new way of measuring CO2 in stalactites in this article, but does not actually report them. http://www.sciencewa.net.au/topics/technology-a-innovation/item/2342-stalagmites-unveil-past-environments-and-climate.html
    The link to the paper is pay-walled, which is a bit above my ‘pay grade’ …

  74. richard verney says:

    FThoma says:
    August 20, 2013 at 8:58 pm
    ///////////////////

    I do not recall his article, but it sounds implausible to me.

    During the war (just as in peace time) shipping is confined to narrow lanes. Ships do not cross even 1% of the oceans. So if there was spillage from ships (one presumes predominantly due to being attacked), on a global basis, not much of the ocean surface would be covered with oil.

    Heck even the large spillages these last 40 or so years Torrey Canyon (about 120,000 tonnes) Exon Valdes (about 100,000 tonnes), Braer (about 85,000 tonnes), Sea Empress (about 75,000 tonnes) etc, had no impact on a global basis even if the spill covered hundreds of square miles. Those ships were carrying so much oil that they would have been the equivalent to a loss of hundreds of wartime convoys.

    Since I did not read the article, I do not know whether he looked into the effect of those ships, and whilst I do not like joining isse with an article that I have not seen, my gut tells me it is rather implausible.

  75. Ian W says:

    thingadonta says:
    August 20, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    There were few climate change jobs before 1950.

    I think one might find that climate change attribution to humans corresponds with the number of paid climate change alarmists. But the good side is this, once the temperature fails to warm, the number of employed alarmists will fall, and so will the general attribution of climate change to humans.

    You miss the point, like others here.

    This is a political campaign and they intend to win now and the fact that you can show in 2018 that their arguments were wrong when they closed down all the power stations in 2012/2014/2015 and imposed stringent rules on industry, will not bring those powers stations back online, remove regulations, laws, governances and taxes. The entire reason for all the softening up of the populace with National Geographic stupidities and Reuters and CNN is that they need to get all their regulations and taxes in quickly as they know there is limited time.

    The scientific arguments on what is meant by “95% certain” are similarly misjudged. Climate science never uses the correct units/metrics for anything. The AGW hypothesis is based on ‘trapping heat’ yet the climate ‘scientists’ use atmospheric temperature as the basis for their scare stories despite the fact this is not a measure of heat content. The climate ‘scientists’ use tree rings as indicators of heat content – despite the fact that there is no provable relationship, and on and on and on. But all these ‘colloquial’ metrics are used by the man in the street and they are effective with focus groups in a way that a scientific argument is not. The National Geographic front page of flooded Statue of Liberty will have huge effect on the public that have been similarly convinced that Sandy was a ‘superstorm’ when it was less than the 1938 Long Island hurricane. It is the PR campaign that they are winning hands down and correcting what they mean by 95% certainty in scientific terms will not have any effect because to the man in the street 95% certain means only 5% less than absolutely certain. That means that EPA regulations closing down industry and power stations will have more public (and therefore congressional) support ‘as we need these regulations or there will be more storms like Sandy and the floods will be half way up the skyscrapers next time’.

  76. Jimbo says:

    Now I want to see a number from the IPCC telling me the cause[s] of the temperature standstill with 95% certainty. Can they do this? If temps start to fall can they admit that co2 is NOT the main driver of climate?

    Now see this graph showing 2 distinct warming periods.

    There has been a 0.8C rise in global surface temperature since around 1880. Now take out the rise up to 1950 and what do you have left? Now take out the natural component since 1950 and what do you have left?

    Now see this question from the BBC and the reply from Dr. Phil Jones at the Climate Research Unit.

    BBC Q&A: Professor Phil Jones
    13 February 2010

    [Q] A – Do you agree that according to the global temperature record used by the IPCC, the rates of global warming from 1860-1880, 1910-1940 and 1975-1998 were identical?

    [A] …..So, in answer to the question, the warming rates for all 4 periods are similar and not statistically significantly different from each other….
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8511670.stm

    The IPCC are a bunch of climate clowns.

  77. To Anthony who writes:
    I no longer assign any credibility to Scafetta’s model, its seems little more than hindcast curve fitting – Anthony
    **************************

    If you try to understand the meaning of the “little more” you would change opinion.

    For example, you may understand that the “little more” includes careful hindcast tests that cover up to 10,000 year of data, the entire Holocene. A fact that was not fulfilled by any climate models.

    Moreover, the methodology that I use is essentially equivalent to the models used to predict ocean tides.

    Finally, you need to propose a credible scientific alternative to well justify your belief, if not, you simply express a personal belief which is only what it is, a personal “religious” belief based on lack of your imagination and scientific knowledge.

    Let your reads to decide by themselves. A summary of my research is here:

    Scafetta N., 2013. Solar and planetary oscillation control on climate change: hind-cast, forecast and a comparison with the CMIP5 GCMs. Energy & Environment 24(3-4), 455–496.
    http://people.duke.edu/~ns2002/pdf/Scafetta_EE_2013.pdf

  78. Berényi Péter says:

    The proposition leaked is this one:

    “It is extremely likely that human influence on climate caused more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951-2010″

    note: In the IPCC vocabulary “extremely likely” means to have a 95% chance.

    Now, according to GISTEMP the Global Land-Ocean Temperature Index has increased by 0.73°C in the half century between 1951 and 2010. However, there is a marked endpoint effect here, because 2010 was unusually warm (the next 2 years being about 0.1°C cooler). Therefore it is a bit more correct to calculate trend during this period, which turns out to be 0.111°C/decade, that is, 0.56°C for the entire period.

    With this, we are ready to transform the statement above to another, logically equivalent one.

    “There is a one in twenty chance that according to observations human influence on climate caused no more than 0.28°C increase in global average surface temperature from 1951-2010″

    Please note that “human influence on climate”, beyond GHG emissions includes land use changes, a sharp decrease in sulphate emissions (a.k.a. “global brightening” due to clean air acts all over the developed world) and increasing black carbon (soot) production (mainly from ill maintained diesel engines and incomplete biomass burning) as well. All these influences tend to increase surface temperature, so the part due to GHGs can’t be more than 0.15°C. In the same period CO₂ content of the atmosphere increased by 33% of a doubling. Which means climate sensitivity to CO₂ doubling is less than 0.5°C. And that implies strong negative feedbacks, absolutely inconsistent with any computational climate model the IPCC relies on.

    Even if all anthropogenic temperature increase is attributed to GHGs, observed sensitivity is still no more than 1°C, which rejects any positive feedback whatsoever.

    Now, in a sane world conceptual models inconsistent with observations would be dropped immediately. Are they?

    The only way out is to suppose an extremely long equilibration time (e-folding at ~ 1 century), that is, high effective heat capacity of the climate system. In that case the slow warming rate observed becomes consistent with a ~3°C equilibrium climate sensitivity. However, this escape route comes at a price. Effective heat capacity so high as to be able to make observations consistent with strong positive feedbacks (needed to raise long term climate sensitivity sufficiently) is inconsistent with both observations (ARGO measurements of Ocean Heat Content) and computational climate models. On top of that a long lag time would severely limit warming rate due to GHGs on multi decadal scales, which is not alarming enough, even if one chooses to deny both observations and theory.

  79. Keitho says:

    TomRude says:
    August 20, 2013 at 8:50 pm (Edit)
    95%… so there are at least AR6 96%, AR7 97%, AR8 98%, AR9 99% and AR10 100% for UN bureaucrats although they may not stop there… AR12 102%?
    ————————————————————————————–

    We could get Spinal Tap to play some theme music for the IPCC and we could turn up the volume all the way to 11

  80. Steven Hill from Ky (the welfare state) says:

    Does Global warming increase welfare?, if so, Ky is doing very well. 25% on it here.

  81. Michael Jennings says:

    If man is powerful and smart enough to trash the planet, then we will be poweful and smart enough to fix it. Problem solved

  82. Kevin K. says:

    “Drafts seen by Reuters of the study by the U.N. panel of experts, due to be published next month, say it is at least 95 percent likely that human activities – chiefly the burning of fossil fuels – are the main cause of warming since the 1950s.”

    Shouldn’t that read:

    “…it is at least 95 percent likely that human activities – chiefly placing weather stations near asphalt and cooling vents within urban heat islands, and massaging past temperatures to make them cooler – are the main cause(s) of “warming” since the 1950s.”

    Re: massaging – see many of my earlier posts, or go to NWS BWI (or other stations) and add up any month’s means 1981-2010, divide by 30, and see that it somehow comes out higher than the 30 year climatic “normals”. Funny how that happens.

  83. Pamela Gray says:

    Neither. Both graphs demonstrate the well-known land temperature teleconnections with ENSO events in the Pacific.

  84. Brian H says:

    The experts are 95% convinced that their expertise is worth paying for. Quelle surprise.

  85. Svend Ferdinandsen says:

    You may have missed an important detail in the leaked draft. They are now 95% sure that 50% of the warming is manmade. They could have made it 100% if they had turned down the man made percentage.

  86. MLCross says:

    Keitho says:
    August 21, 2013 at 6:29 am

    TomRude says:
    August 20, 2013 at 8:50 pm (Edit)
    95%… so there are at least AR6 96%, AR7 97%, AR8 98%, AR9 99% and AR10 100% for UN bureaucrats although they may not stop there… AR12 102%?
    ————————————————————————————–
    We could get Spinal Tap to play some theme music for the IPCC and we could turn up the volume all the way to 11
    ___________________________________________________
    Thanks Keitho for giving me the opening for, once again, posting absolutely the greatest single thing that Global Warming has produced to date: Spinal Tap and Every Bassist in the Known Universe at Live Earth.

  87. Magic Turtle says:

    So the IPCC has found that the probability of at least half of the global warming that has occurred since the 1950s being man-made is at least 95%, has it? I shall believe that when I see the proof and not before!

    I do not expect the IPCC to produce any real scientific proof of its claim though of course. That’s not just because I believe the IPCC is an incorrigibly dishonest and corrupt political organization that would solemnly declare that it is 95% likely that the Moon is made of green cheese if it thought that doing so would advance its political agenda in some way. It is also because I think no human organization of any kind would have a snowball’s chance in hell of being able to prove it at the infantile stage of development that modern climate science has yet reached.

    I got a sense of the vastness of the scientific challenge of proving man-made global warming recently when I contemplated the IPCC’s proposition and saw that it actually consists of four component propositions that are independent of one another and which would all need to be proved beyond reasonable doubt separately. Because of their independence, their individual probabilities of being correct must be multiplied together to produce the likelihood of their overall correctness, which the IPCC is ostensibly claiming to be over 95%. This means that their individual probabilities must each be over 95% to begin with. (If the individual probabilities were equal they would have to be over 98.7% each.)

    The four component propositions that I identified were:

    1. That a specific amount of global warming has occurred since the 1950s;

    2. That at least half of this specified amount of global warming has been caused by a specific increase in the magnitude of the atmospheric greenhouse effect;

    3. That the perceived increase in the magnitude of the greenhouse effect has been caused by a specific increase in the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide;

    4. That the specified increase in atmospheric CO2 is mainly the result of human CO2 emissions.

    Now although these four component propositions are logically independent of one another, in another sense they are hierarchically dependent because each proposition can only be True if all of the ones that precede it are True first. That is to say, if (1) is False then (2), (3) and (4) are automatically False also; if (2) is False then (3) and (4) are automatically False too; and if (3) is False then so is (4) likewise. But it only takes any one component proposition to be False for the whole proposition to be False.

    To me this situation appears to present the IPCC with a Herculean scientific challenge and easy pickings for AGW-sceptics, especially when you consider that each component proposition must be proven to at least the 95% level of statistical significance and that at least three of them would need to be proven to a higher level. Take the first component proposition for example. How could the IPCC prove to the 95% level of probability that a specific amount of global warming has occurred since the 1950s when the global temperature records do not provide accurate recordings of the global mean temperature to that level of confidence to begin with? And each of the other component propositions is fraught with other similarly-intractable problems of a disturbingly fundamental kind too. I think the IPCC would be extremely hard put to produce proof at, say, the 99% level for any one of them, let alone proof at the 95% level for the whole set.

    However the IPCC appears to be going for broke over this so I look forward to examining the scientific grounds for its astonishing claim when the first part of AR5 is finally published. (I shall have popcorn at the ready too.)

  88. Anna says:

    Either an idiot did the statistical analysis or a P.O.S. pawn of the political make money on global warming bandwagon who calls him/herself a scientist (prostitute) did the work. What a ship of fools.

  89. What is the source of information for the graphs? Annual HadCRUT3 shows the ~2008 La Nina as having warmer temperature overall than the ~2000 one.
    Also, why is the latter one stopped very near depths of a roughly decade-class Lina (or a worse one according what you show), and the ~2005 height of the heat was followed by less cooling than the WWII warm period (according to smoothed annual HadCRUT3)?

  90. Kiwi Sceptic says:

    Here’s another such scientific “consensus” that sounds wonderfully similar: The Inquisition’s “panel of experts” was 100 percent certain, based on Ptolemy’s models and righteous thinking, that the earth occupied the center of the universe, whereas Galileo, a seventeenth century ‘denier’, supported the Copernican view of a heliocentric system based on actual observation.

  91. Smoking Frog says:

    Kiwi Sceptic August 21, 2013 at 10:12 pm
    Here’s another such scientific “consensus” that sounds wonderfully similar: The Inquisition’s “panel of experts” was 100 percent certain, based on Ptolemy’s models and righteous thinking, that the earth occupied the center of the universe, whereas Galileo, a seventeenth century ‘denier’, supported the Copernican view of a heliocentric system based on actual observation.

    That’s unfair to Ptolemy and to those who used his model. It was actually useful! Would you say that the climate models are actually useful? What’s this “righteous thinking”? Are you suggesting that Ptolemy was a Christian? That’s not likely. He died in 168 AD.

    Galileo’s relevant observation was that the moons of Jupiter orbit Jupiter, which showed that not all “heavy” objects orbit the earth. This only made it possible that the earth orbits the sun; it came nowhere near proving it. One objection to heliocentrism was that the fixed stars didn’t show parallax. Obviously that’s formidable. The reason they didn’t show it was that astronomers could not measure it finely enough, but the astronomers could not have known that. It was first observed in the late 1830s, more than 200 years after Galileo had done his work.

  92. barry says:

    3. How is the IPCC 95% certain one side is caused by man and the other is not?

    It would be from tallying the relative contibutions of various forcings, wouldn’t it?

    (Now checking the leaked draft report)

    The guidance note defines attribution as ‘the process of evaluating the relative contributions of multiple causal factors to a change or event with an assignment of statistical confidence’.

    Ch 10: Attribution

    Which includes observed natural (eg, solar, volcanic) and anthropogenic (eg, GHG, aerosol) drivers.

    Delving further into question 3 – AR5 attaches no particular confidence to pre-1950 attribution (data is sparser for that period), but posits a combination of solar and GHG forcing (both positive). Solar forcing has been insignificant for the post-1950s period, which may be partly why they attach high confidence to anthropogenic causes since then.

    Both AR4 and AR5 (leaked draft) concur on anthropogenic forcing being the main driver the since the mid-20th century.

    AR4 SPM – “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.”

    AR5 SPM – “It is extremely likely that human activities have caused more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature since the 1950s.”

    Very little has changed between drafts, except that confidence is a bit higher for the claim.

  93. richardscourtney says:

    barry:

    re your post at August 22, 2013 at 6:57 am
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/20/when-somebody-hits-you-with-that-new-ipcc-is-95-certain-talking-point-show-them-this/#comment-1397047

    The IPCC attribution studies are anti-scientific nonsense.

    In an attribution study the system is assumed to be behaving in response to suggested mechanism(s) that is modeled, and the behaviour of the model is compared to the empirical data. If the model cannot emulate the empirical data then there is reason to suppose that the suggested mechanism is not the cause (or at least not the sole cause) of the changes recorded in the empirical data.

    It is important to note that attribution studies can only be used to reject hypothesis that a mechanism is a cause for an observed effect. Ability to attribute a suggested cause to an effect is not evidence that the suggested cause is the real cause in part or in whole.

    But the IPCC assumes that an ability to attribute an anthropogenic effect to explain what is not known is evidence that the anthropogenic effect is real.

    This is similar to assuming that an ability to attribute an effect of witches to explain what is not known is evidence that the effect of witches is real.

    In reality, all the IPCC’s attribution studies show is that either
    (a) the putative anthropogenic effect cannot be rejected as being a possible cause of what is not known
    OR
    (b) the models (i.e. the understandings of climate built-in to the models) are wrong.

    As you say of the AR4 and AR5

    Very little has changed between drafts, except that confidence is a bit higher for the claim.

    except that “confidence” should be “the unjustifiable stated confidence”.

    Richard

  94. barry says:

    Richard,

    Attribution studies apply observed forcings and physics to modeling and compare to observed responses (like temperature). There is no empirical basis for the supernatural powers of witches. I am a little unclear of some of your argumentation. If you are saying that models fail to take into account unknown unknowns, then yes, obviously. But invoking such is uncomfortably similar to mystical arguments. We don’t know what causes gravity, but we make sufficiently useful models of it to navigate spacecraft to asteroids and planets in the solar system. Our understandings of things is always limited but that does not make them useless. As far as i can make out, IPCC has determined that that of all the known knowns, the dominant cause of global warming since 1950 is anthropogenic GHGs. Put another way, they are saying that it is extremely likely that anthropogenic GHGs have caused >50% of the warming since the mid-20th century. That doesn’t seem overly-confident on the surface. That still leaves nearly half of the warming to potentially have been caused by natural forces. It isn’t the sun, it isn’t volcanic activity, and long-term ocean atmosphere fluctuations (like the AMO) appear to lag global temperature rises, indicating that either those systems are responding to global temperature, or that the effects are local. In this light, the IPCC claim doesn’t seem so extreme. They are not saying, for example, that 95% of the warming since 1950 is anthropogenic in origin, only more than half.

  95. science works says:

    These two graphs are actually two parts of one continuous graph that shows a clear warming trend. Someone cut the graph in two and slid the right half “down” to make it appear that they’re identical. They conveniently erased the temperature scale on the left, because obviously it wouldn’t match. This is purposefully misleading, akin to a lie, and calls into question the veracity and agenda of this website. Check the original graph yourself.

    REPLY: Nope, sorry, neither misleading nor a lie. It shows that warming trends decades apart are identical, the only difference being the amount of Co2 in the atmosphere. That’s the point, feel free to be as upset about it as you wish. – Anthony

  96. Kiwi Sceptic says:

    Smoking Frog says: August 22, 2013 at 5:44 am

    “That’s unfair to Ptolemy and to those who used his model. It was actually useful! Would you say that the climate models are actually useful? What’s this “righteous thinking”? Are you suggesting that Ptolemy was a Christian? That’s not likely. He died in 168 AD.”

    You’re missing the point. No I’m not saying Ptolemy was a Christian, nor am I saying his models weren’t useful for the purposes of describing what they thought were seeing. I’m saying that the “consensus” view of the universe at the time, based entirely upon Ptolemy’s ungainly models and religious attitudes, was wrong. Hence the “righteous thinking”. The Roman Church at the time insisted that this view of a geo-centric universe was not only right, but that it was blasphemous even to argue the opposite. The Inquisition enforced acceptance of this “consensus” view while flying in the face of clear observable evidence presented by the likes of Copernicus and Galileo that it wasn’t.

    THAT is the point.

    Not much has changed since the time of Galileo because these attitudes are clearly still prevalent.

  97. barry says:

    science works @ here.

    The two graphs show similar amounts of warming for two different periods. Anthony is asking how the IPCC are confident anthropogenic GHGs are the main driver for the latter period but not the earlier period. A simple explanation is that the earlier period has less greenhouse forcing but more contribution from other sources, like solar, with a caveat that the data is not as clear for the early 20th century. IPCC cannot be sure that GHG forcing is responsible for more than half of the early period, so they attach no particular confidence to attribution for that period, whereas solar, volcanic and other forcings appear to be dwarfed by a greater accumulation of GHGs in the latter period. When they model observed forcings, they do not get the temperature rise of the 2nd half of the 20th century without including GHG forcing in the models.

  98. RACookPE1978 says:

    barry says:
    August 22, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    The two graphs show similar amounts of warming for two different periods. Anthony is asking how the IPCC are confident anthropogenic GHGs are the main driver for the latter period but not the earlier period. A simple explanation is that the earlier period has less greenhouse forcing but more contribution from other sources, like solar, with a caveat that the data is not as clear for the early 20th century.

    Hmmn. Seems that Dr Sval – and many others – have established through Be10 measurements, and other real world/non-IPCC-invented-on-the-fly-proxies that solar changes could account for no more than 0.1% deviations form today’s average solar constant. The worldwide increase in global temperature in early 20th century must have been natural.

    Oh. And there have been no volcanoes the past 16 years either. The worldwide pause in global temperature in the early 21th century must have been natural.

    And no one has actually produced any “measured” world-wide aerosol count increases sufficient to “stop” that mid 20th warming between 1940 and 1975. The worldwide pause in global temperature in the mid 20th century must have been natural.

    And no one has actually produced any “measured” north hemisphere-wide aerosol count increases sufficient to “stop” the recent 20th warming. The worldwide pause in global temperature in the early 21th century must have been natural.

    Gee. do you wonder why I claim the late 20th century warming was Mann-made?

  99. barry says:

    RACookPE1978,

    Seems that Dr Sval – and many others – have established through Be10 measurements, and other real world/non-IPCC-invented-on-the-fly-proxies that solar changes could account for no more than 0.1% deviations form today’s average solar constant. The worldwide increase in global temperature in early 20th century must have been natural.

    The conclusion doesn’t follow from the premise. If solar effects are small, then this discounts that natural source as being a main driver. But regardless of the magnitude of impact, solar influence has been flat or slightly declining since the mid-20th century. Different to the early 20th century when a positive forcing is estimated.

    Oh. And there have been no volcanoes the past 16 years either. The worldwide pause in global temperature in the early 21th century must have been natural.

    Single events do not cause long-term change. The Pinatubo effect lasted less than 5 years. Volcanic forcing on climatic scales is measured by series of events. There has been little change in long-term volcanic activity over the past century, with a small number of single events, so volcanoes are not a signficant driver.

    And no one has actually produced any “measured” world-wide aerosol count

    Yes, data is limited on aerosols. Satellites have been able to capture world-wide aerosol bulk amounts since the 1980s, but not individual species. Downwind inventories are sparse, but the total of estimates points to a negligible contribution or slight warming inlfuence in the last quarter of the 20th century, even allowing for error bars. You can check for range estimates and confidence intervals in AR4 or the leaked report.

    We have good estimates on volcanic solar, and GHG contributions since the 1950s. Clouds and aerosols remain areas of significant uncertainty, but these IPCC posits the range is constrained sufficiently to estimate that the combined contribution to warming is less than 50%. Check report/s for details.

    (Note, I’m not saying these figures are the final truth, merely reporting what the IPCC says in answer to Anthony’s question, and your points. For example, there *is* world-wide measurement of aerosol influence from satellites, contrary to your blanket assertion, but prior to that data is much more limited. Gaps in knowledge are not the same as knowing nothing)

    It is strange that you point to uncertainty in the data, and then confidently espouse causes for climate change. How is that not contradictory?

    “We don’t know enough to say whether recent climate changes are man-made or natural, therefore they must be natural.”

    Huh?

    From a purely neutral point of view, I’d have more confidence in conclusions derived from years of research by numerous researchers looking at these issues in great detail, even while maintaining reasonable doubt, as honest skeptics must.

  100. richardscourtney says:

    barry:

    In reply to my explanation at August 22, 2013 at 7:24 am
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/20/when-somebody-hits-you-with-that-new-ipcc-is-95-certain-talking-point-show-them-this/#comment-1397076
    of your misunderstanding of IPCC attribution studies you have writen your post at August 22, 2013 at 8:27 am
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/20/when-somebody-hits-you-with-that-new-ipcc-is-95-certain-talking-point-show-them-this/#comment-1397155

    Your post begins by saying to me

    Attribution studies apply observed forcings and physics to modeling and compare to observed responses (like temperature). There is no empirical basis for the supernatural powers of witches. I am a little unclear of some of your argumentation. If you are saying that models fail to take into account unknown unknowns, then yes, obviously.

    True, “There is no empirical basis for the supernatural powers of witches.”
    But there were seemingly good reasons to assume what had no empirical basis when effect of witches was attributed.

    It is also true that “There is no empirical basis for AGW.”
    Now there are seemingly good reasons to assume what has no empirical basis when effect of AGW is being attributed.

    In both cases, the attribution is an assumption. And the attribution study provides no evidence of any kind that the assumption is correct.

    The remainder of your post displays your failure to understand that attribution studies are meaningless nonsense because they merely state that the IPCC assumes AGW is discernible (i.e AGW has an empirical basis). But there is no empirical observation of AGW as there was no empirical observation of the effect of witches.

    Richard

  101. rogerknights says:

    TimTheToolMan says:
    August 20, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    Re “it is at least 95 percent likely that human activities – chiefly the burning of fossil fuels – are the main cause of warming since the 1950s.”

    Don’t lose sight of what they’re actually saying here. “main cause” means 50% or more of the warming and so prior to the 1950′s they can argue that say 49% of the warming was anthropogenic and keep their story consistent in that way.

    Another pea-watch alert: They are now saying “since the 1950s, not “since 1950.” I.e., it’s now since 1960, IOW. I’ll leave further exploration of the meaning of this to others.

  102. richardscourtney says:

    rogerknights:

    re your excellent post at August 23, 2013 at 1:51 am
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/20/when-somebody-hits-you-with-that-new-ipcc-is-95-certain-talking-point-show-them-this/#comment-1397959

    It is worse than you say.
    As you say, there is an implicit change of start date (from 1950 to 1960) of the period to the present. Importantly, in addition to that, there is the ambiguity of the phrase “main cause”.

    You quote TimTheToolMan’s comment

    Re “it is at least 95 percent likely that human activities – chiefly the burning of fossil fuels – are the main cause of warming since the 1950s.”

    Don’t lose sight of what they’re actually saying here. “main cause” means 50% or more of the warming and so prior to the 1950′s they can argue that say 49% of the warming was anthropogenic and keep their story consistent in that way.

    It may or may not be true that ““main cause” means 50% or more of the warming”.

    It may be that “main cause” means the largest single cause of the warming.
    So, if a variety of natural causes of warmings together provide e.g. 80% of the total warming then “main cause” causes 20% of the warming.

    The statement is open to many interpretations.

    Richard

  103. Magic Turtle says:

    Barry

    I was interested by your comparing a sceptical argument with belief in the “supernatural” powers of witches above.

    I think the attribution of supernatural powers to witches was based on the grandiose assumption of prior knowledge of all possible natural causes of the unusual phenomena being observed. Anyone who actually studies witchcraft soon finds out that witches maintain that their powers are inherent in the natural universe and are in no way extraneous to it as the term “supernatural” implies. Such abilities are deemed “supernatural” by those people who wish to pretend that they already possess complete knowledge of all of nature’s mysteries. But unless they possess a god-like omniscience (in which case they would have no need of science) that would be an unscientific delusion.

    Your report of the IPCC’s rationale above gives me the impression that it is falling foul of the same fallacy of delusional false omniscience as are those who dismiss the “supernatural” powers of witches out of hand. It is not logical or valid for the IPCC to claim that because it has eliminated all the natural causes of warming that it can think of, the amount of warming that’s left outstanding must be caused by humanity. The problem is that all the natural causes that it can think of might not exhaust all the possibilities that exist in nature, but its purported argument assumes that they do. That argument is in implicit denial of the logically inescapable problem of the ever-present “unknown unknowns”. In simple terms, the IPCC seems to be making a sweeping assumption of omniscience here.

    In science the attribution of causes to phenomena is always a theoretical act and never an empirical one of direct observation. Causes must be inferred from phenomena; they can never be observed directly. Science is always looking for the best theory to explain the observed phenomena at the time and up to now the IPCC’s theory of AGW through the enhanced greenhouse effect has not demonstrated that it can explain modern global warming any better than the default theory of natural causes can do. Also, by requiring the existence of an extra, unnecessary causal principle to explain the alleged warming (ie. human carbon emissions) it violates Occam’s Razor. For at least these two reasons it has failed demonstrably as a candidate for the best available scientific theory up to now.

    What is new in AR5 that would enable the IPCC’s theory to pass the rigorous tests of honest science this time?

  104. barry says:

    Richard,

    It is also true that “There is no empirical basis for AGW.”

    The absorptive properties of greenhouse gases have been long inventoried. Upwelling radiance in the spectral bands pertinent to CO2 have been observed to darken over time from satellites. Your opinion is at odds with even the skeptical climate scientists and popular bloggers, like Roy spencer, Roger Pileke senior, and Anthony Watts, who to their credit eschew the notion that increased GHGs in the atmosphere will have no effect on global temperatures. Surely you’re not one of those Sky Dragon Slayers?

    The capacity for CO2 and other GHGs to absorb long-wave radiation is not an assumption, it is a well-verified fact, and the absorptive properties for various gases at thousands of spectral wavelengths have been observed and calculated through spectroscopy since at least the 1960s and the information stored in databases, like the HITRAN database. This is a fundamental, empirically derived component of modeling for attribution studies, which include line-by-line calculations for the gases in the atmosphere.

    Not all processes in attribution modeling are empirically derived, but to claim that there is no empirical basis is flat out wrong.

  105. barry says:

    Magic Turtle,

    I was interested by your comparing a sceptical argument with belief in the “supernatural” powers of witches above.

    The notion of witches was not brought up by me.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/20/when-somebody-hits-you-with-that-new-ipcc-is-95-certain-talking-point-show-them-this/#comment-1397076

    I was unsure of what the poster was arguing, but I did say that attributing cause to unknown unknowns is akin to saying mystical forces cause things to happen. That may be so, but fortunately we are not a species that becomes paralysed by eternal speculation.

  106. barry says:

    Another pea-watch alert: They are now saying “since the 1950s, not “since 1950.” I.e., it’s now since 1960

    I don’t see why IPCC should not update their figures in line with better understanding, but let’s quote the Summary for Policy Makers.

    AR4 SPM – “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.”

    AR5 SPM – “It is extremely likely that human activities have caused more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature since the 1950s.”

    Mid-20th century is equivalent to 1950s, isn’t it?

  107. richardscourtney says:

    barry:

    I am addressing the gross scientific errors in your post addressed to me at August 23, 2013 at 8:00 am
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/20/when-somebody-hits-you-with-that-new-ipcc-is-95-certain-talking-point-show-them-this/#comment-1398174

    The issue is empirical evidence for AGW and NOT who thinks what about AGW.
    As it happens I think some AGW is very likely but AGW sufficient to be discernible is extremely unlikely because the feedbacks are negative (n.b. observation of a discernible effect of AGW would be detection of AGW).

    Yes, as you say, CO2 is a greenhouse gas, but that empirical fact is NOT empirical evidence for AGW.

    There is NO empirical basis for AGW: none, zilch, nada. And you cite none.

    There will not be any empirical evidence for AGW unless and until there is observation of a climate behaviour which is definitively known to be an effect of AGW.
    And this is the importance of the missing tropospheric Hot Spot which is predicted by AGW as it is emulated by climate models.

    The absence of the tropospheric Hot Spot is empirical evidence that either
    (a) AGW as emulated by climate models is NOT happening
    Or
    (b) The climate models don’t work

    Both points are pertinent to consideration of IPCC attribution studies. If one assumes (a) is correct then there is no AGW for the studies to attribute. If one assumes (b) is correct then the models don’t work so their indications cannot be used to attribute anything.

    Importantly, the IPCC attribution studies use the logical fallacy of ‘argument from ignorance’: i.e. it is not known so it must be “X”.

    This is what I explained in my factual post at August 22, 2013 at 7:24 am
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/20/when-somebody-hits-you-with-that-new-ipcc-is-95-certain-talking-point-show-them-this/#comment-1397076
    which you did not like because the truth hurt. I wrote there

    It is important to note that attribution studies can only be used to reject hypothesis that a mechanism is a cause for an observed effect. Ability to attribute a suggested cause to an effect is not evidence that the suggested cause is the real cause in part or in whole.

    But the IPCC assumes that an ability to attribute an anthropogenic effect to explain what is not known is evidence that the anthropogenic effect is real.

    This is similar to assuming that an ability to attribute an effect of witches to explain what is not known is evidence that the effect of witches is real.

    In reality, all the IPCC’s attribution studies show is that either
    (a) the putative anthropogenic effect cannot be rejected as being a possible cause of what is not known
    OR
    (b) the models (i.e. the understandings of climate built-in to the models) are wrong.

    Richard

  108. barry says:

    There is NO empirical basis for AGW: none, zilch, nada. And you cite none.

    The evidence that the contribution to increased CO2 in the atmosphere is primarily from fossil fuels is incontrovertible from many lines of emiprically measured evidencde (isotopic ratios, fossil fuel inventories etc).

    The empirical evidence that increasing the amount of CO2 in a column of air has been known since the 1860s.

    Radiance changes anticipated from occlusion of upwelling infrared radiation in the spectral bands associated with CO2 have been empirically measured by satellites.

    The globe has warmed.

    None of these are derived from climate models. They are some of empirical bases for the well-known understanding that increased GHGs should cause some warming.

    And this is the importance of the missing tropospheric Hot Spot which is predicted by AGW as it is emulated by climate models.

    Enhanced tropical tropospheric warming is not a signature of greenhouse warming. It is the expected effect from warming of the atmosphere by any source (solar, volcanic etc). It is a function of atmospheric heat ransfer, not greewnhouse gases. Lack of observed enhanced heating in this zone says nothing about AGW.

    There will not be any empirical evidence for AGW unless and until there is observation of a climate behaviour which is definitively known to be an effect of AGW.

    .

    Lowered temperature of the lower stratosphere is a signature of greenhouse warming and has been observed by satellites.

    Same goes for global winters warming faster than summers over the long-term.

    Same goes for reduction of the diurnal range over the long-term (observed over the period from the mid-20th century).

    These effects are not anticipated to be evident on shorter time scales. These are long-term climate predictions which become evident with enough data.

    These are not anticipated signatures of warming from non-GHG sources.

    All these are empirically based observations.

    I will be happy to provide reference material.

    Attribution is not based on assumptions.

  109. barry says:

    Unfinshed sentence:

    The empirical evidence that increasing the amount of CO2 in a column of air will cause the air to heat has been known since the 1860s (Callendar) and demonstrated countless times since. It is a logical consequence of the absorptive properties of GHGs. It is not an assumed understanding.

  110. Keitho says:

    It has become apparent from the empirically derived data that the previously used climate models underestimate the damping effects that nature has on the rate and sign of climate change. Whilst it is true that increasing levels of atmospheric CO2, which it is thought to be caused by man burning fossil fuels, will nominally warm the atmosphere the actual outcome does not indicate anything to be concerned about thanks to the effect of these poorly understood damping factors.

    As a consequence more research is needed , should government still be interested, to find out what the damping factors are and why they have the magnitude and sign they do.

    ( No losers and it would work today . . . as the MBA’s would say, it’s a win win.

  111. Jose_X says:

    The two graphs show natural variability had not disappeared or changed that much — we get ups and down at a similar rate — but the second is offset at a higher temp because of the steady rise of the average value that CO2 has created.

  112. Jose_X says:

    Why are people not using the BEST data for the graphs? That is the most comprehensive analysis. Or if we are going to use the likely inferior HadCRUT, why not use the most recent version? [Of course, it's only a detail because these are all similar.]

  113. Jose_X says:

    richardscourtney>> There will not be any empirical evidence for AGW unless and until there is observation of a climate behaviour which is definitively known to be an effect of AGW.

    What the heck does “no empirical evidence for AGW” mean? Can you define that?

    Facts are that climate scientists have a model that predicts many things much more accurately than any competing theory or that other theory would have more sway. Do you have a competing theory that gets more correct? Specifically, do you have a competing theory that within some high confidence interval matches most of the historical temperatures?

    The IPCC states that some parts of the models are less certain than others (it’s a model that aims to cover a lot of ground and gets some things much better than others). The main point of discussion here is about average global surface air temperatures. Again, do you have an alternative interpretation of physics or any model at all that comes close to the performance of AGW models in matching historical temperatures and being consistent with widely accepted physical principles?

    The best science can offer today by a wide margin is AGW as generally defined by the IPCC. [But again I extend my invitation to provide an alternative you think does a better job.]

  114. Jose_X says:

    Keitho:
    >> It has become apparent from the empirically derived data that the previously used climate models underestimate the damping effects that nature has on the rate and sign of climate change.

    What study are you referring to?

    The oceans dampen the rate (but not the final value reached) and that dampening is believed now to be a little greater I think, but the sign of any dampening (regardless of the source), by definition, is always negative in some sense (eg, to the forcings).

    Factoring in all improvements in our understanding, the predicted direction of future (equilibrium and multi-decade) global surface temperatures is to a significantly higher level than our current levels. That is clearly reflected in each IPCC report so far. The predictions of this have not changed that much.

    >> increasing levels of atmospheric CO2, which it is thought to be caused by man burning fossil fuels

    Can’t argue there. The history is clear: very stable rates for millions of years and then a surge in the last century that took it to levels not believed to have existed on earth in millions of years.

    >> the actual outcome does not indicate anything to be concerned about thanks to the effect of these poorly understood damping factors.

    That’s not what the data says. That’s what you believe perhaps. Despite the uncertainties, it is becoming more and more certain (but not perfectly so, never) that if we don’t slow down significantly our fossil fuel burning, future generations of our descendants will have to deal with an environment humans and most of the species we depend upon have never seen. Further, it will imply significant changes to many major existing metro centers.

    We will need to have major breakthroughs in farming, disease fighting, water conservation, and many other areas (like carbon sequestering) if we hope to avoid mass deaths. Or we can mitigate this by more quickly moving to the energy sources that future generations will eventually rely on since fossil fuels will be significantly more so depleted for them at our current rates of consumption.

  115. RACookPE1978 says:

    Jose_X says:
    August 23, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    We will need to have major breakthroughs in farming, disease fighting, water conservation, and many other areas (like carbon sequestering) if we hope to avoid mass deaths. Or we can mitigate this by more quickly moving to the energy sources that future generations will eventually rely on since fossil fuels will be significantly more so depleted for them at our current rates of consumption.

    Lie. Exaggeration. Half-facts. Propaganda.

    Corrected:
    We will need to have major breakthroughs in farming, disease fighting, water conservation, and many other areas BY REDUCING THE PRICE OF ENERGY and INCREASING ITS AVAILABILITY and RELIABILITY if we hope to avoid mass deaths. Or we can MAKE THESE DEATHS FASTER AND MORE CERTAIN by more quickly MANDATING only those energy sources that current “green industrial” political donors DEMAND as payment for their emotions, votes and money.

  116. RACookPE1978 says:

    Jose_X says:
    August 23, 2013 at 11:40 am

    No, what the “data says” is that when CO2 is constant over a 15-25 year period,
    Surface temperatures rise,
    Surface temperatures remain steady,
    Surface temperatures fall,
    No, what the “data says” is that when CO2 is steadily rising over a 15-25 year period,
    Surface temperatures rise,
    Surface temperatures remain steady,
    Surface temperatures fall.

    There is NO “data” that says an increase inCO2 causes an increase in surface temperatures.

    There is NO “model” which has been proven correct within even a 5% accuracy band. Further, 97% of the models now running have already failed within 15 years of any given start date and condition.

  117. Jose_X says:

    Ian W

    >> The scientific arguments on what is meant by “95% certain” are similarly misjudged. Climate science never uses the correct units/metrics for anything. The AGW hypothesis is based on ‘trapping heat’ yet the climate ‘scientists’ use atmospheric temperature as the basis for their scare stories despite the fact this is not a measure of heat content.

    Do you know what temperature is?

    Do you know what happens when you keep adding heat to most any container? That’s right the temperature goes up.

    Have you ever diverted the straight path sun’s rays from a large area onto a smaller area to observe a stronger rise in temperature in that small area (eg, via mirrors or lenses)? Maybe you should try that trick some day.

    Have you ever closed the oven door or the house door or increased any insulation on anything and observed a rise in temperature — even without changing at all the source of power into the system? You should try that some day.

    >> The climate ‘scientists’ use tree rings as indicators of heat content – despite the fact that there is no provable relationship, and on and on and on.

    The association with tree rings is as a proxy for temperature (ie, rather imperfect substitute for a thermometer), and, as I wish your elementary school education had taught you, increasing the heat content into a container tends to correlate very well with an increase in temperature.

    None of the data used by the BEST study is of tree-rings, yet those results (which already were known with less precision) are fundamental to AGW.

    Tree-rings are a small fraction of all the proxy studies, btw. Tree-rings are important because of their observed tight relationship to temperature except in certain regions of the forest (that’s where “hide the decline” came from), but they aren’t necessary to the conclusions of AGW about temperature.

    Take the tree rings out of Mann’s study, and I think you still get that most of the past proxies of the last 2000 years, taken together resemble red noise and so their average value will tend near zero. Then create a bridge between that and modern instrument data by using, eg, the most comprehensive study on temperatures since 1750 ever done (BEST), and you get a hockey stick like effect.

    Or look at the changes in CO2 since 1700 (keelingcurve.ucsd.edu) and note how it matches the rise in average temp that we observe. Eg, look at 50 year consecutive periods and you’ll see that each such period more or less consists of natural variability centered at zero plus a displacement in temp upwards that matches the percent change in CO2 levels.. roughly. CO2 is superimposing onto the natural weaving and bobbing of temperatures a rising baseline.

    >> Sandy was a ‘superstorm’ when it was less than the 1938 Long Island hurricane.

    It brought more water into that region than did Sandy?

    And what about the frequencies of powerful storms we have observed in the last couple of decades relative to the past?

    Sandy is not blamed on global warming, but global warming very likely increased the damage Sandy did.

    It’s great how you have no set of comprehensive studies to support your anti-AGW view coherently and usefully (eg, to “predict” temperatures of the past as well as the current models do), yet you are sure so many professionals of all walks of life are wrong. [If you do have support, sorry, and I'll be happy to look it over some if I can access it freely.]

    >> to the man in the street 95% certain means only 5% less than absolutely certain.

    You are right. I find the majority of experts in the field a lot more believable the hold-out ones. You guys lack credible alternative theories to AGW.

  118. Jose_X says:

    Sorry, RACookPE1978, I think my version is more accurate.

    You can’t make energy cheaper as supply runs out while demand remains high. That is basic economics.

    You are aware that fossil fuels don’t grow on trees right? They aren’t renewable. Meanwhile the sun keeps shining its colossal amount of energy upon us daily without end in sight.

    So you advocate pushing harm onto future generations and ignore taking action that can make their loss of fossil fuel a little easier to take.

    “Thanks, great gramps. Now I know why I love you so much. Thanks.”

  119. Jose_X says:

    RACookPE1978

    >> No, what the “data says” is

    Thanks for supporting my point.

    When you look at short term, natural variability hides the CO2 effect. You gave a very rough version of that (mind you, without any measurements or statistical analysis as do the scientists studying that problem).

    When you look at long term as I said, you see the upward drift. That is what the data says, no matter how many times you say “No”.

    Look at the CO2 data found on keelingcurve.ucsd.edu and at the BEST data. Do you still insist there is no upward drift in temperature that correlates well with the upward movement of CO2 during that time?

    Of course, we are both amateurs who have hardly studied this topic and associated physics in any great detail. What do the pros say? Oh, that’s right, they support AGW. But I’m supposed to believe the amateur skeptics over the pros, over the academic and scientific bodies. Sure. Whatever.

  120. Jose_X says:

    I said >> Have you ever closed the oven door or the house door or increased any insulation on anything and observed a rise in temperature

    To make it clear, I am talking about a house in Winter.. generally any case where the temp on the outside is cooler than the temp on the inside (note the reference: outer space is cold, planet’s surface is warm).

  121. Jose_X says:

    >> There is NO “model” which has been proven correct within even a 5% accuracy band. Further, 97% of the models now running have already failed within 15 years of any given start date and condition.

    Can you be more specific what you mean?

    Can you also summarize the AGW models with the absolute absolute absolute best skeptic models that you know about?

    For the last point, what I want to see is that if we put in past historical data randomly, say going back 100 or 1000 or 1 million years, that we measure the error range somehow of that model with our best understanding of what the temp was in those time periods.

    Can you provide us with a good head-to-head? I mean, the “skeptics” have known about “global warming” for decades now, so they have probably, feeling AGW was so wrong and considering how many there supposedly are, have come up with something competitive… by now.

    Pretend I am a simple layman. I want a head-to-head contest. Can you help me?

    If not, will you yield you cannot provide anything resembling a good contender to AGW?

    PS: “natural variability” or the “null hypothesis” is a great model, but you need to provide the equations or a program that can answer my question. I don’t really care about philosophy. I just want the model that does the best job. Think of it as survival of the fittest in my mind. Or supply-demand with there being a lot of demand for the best model.

  122. RACookPE1978 says:

    When you look at short term, natural variability hides the CO2 effect. You gave a very rough version of that (mind you, without any measurements or statistical analysis as do the scientists studying that problem).

    When you look at long term as I said, you see the upward drift. That is what the data says, no matter how many times you say “No”.

    Look at the CO2 data found on keelingcurve.ucsd.edu and at the BEST data. Do you still insist there is no upward drift in temperature that correlates well with the upward movement of CO2 during that time?

    No.

    NO “model” has ever attempted your “million year” , 100 thousand year, or 10,000 year range of CO2 vs temperature. See, in the past (several times) the CO2 has regularly been far above today’s mere 400 ppm. And temperatures ALWAYS increased AFTER CO2 rose. The models cannot duplicate those results In layman’s terms, as you requested above.

    No “model” can re-create the “natural rise” of temperature from 1650 through 1850 through today.

    No “model can re-create the Roman Warming Period, the Dark Ages, nor the Medieval Warming Period: That’s why the latest IPCC coverup only states its 50-50 conclusions to stop at the year1200. Worse, those “models” you so highly favor can generate their “mimic” results from even today’s 1950-1975 25 year timeframe ONLY by manually re-adjusting their aerosol feedback. But, once each of 21 different models has re-adjusted its hindcast, then NONE can duplicate that hindcasting past the 1975-1998 time frame.

    No, these so-called “experts” are not credible: They are, more properly, “incredible at getting tens of billions to maintain their payrolls and their expensive laboratories – all at taxpayer expense for political goals.

    Instaed, you prefer to kill millions NOW by denying them clean water, better roads, better bridges and railroads, sewage control and treatment, and better food, clothing and shelter. YOUR policies of fear and despair ARE responsible for those innocent deaths YOU are causing now with your CAGW propaganda and hero-worship of the Inquisition by Authority.

  123. Magic Turtle says:

    barry (August 23, 2013 at 8:14 am) says:

    ‘The notion of witches was not brought up by me….(etc)’

    Thanks for clarifying this. My apologies for misunderstanding your point about witches. I have been having trouble tracking the comments here (something on this site seems to be slowing my computer down to a crawl) and I wasn’t able to check whose comments said what about them properly before posting my own.

    However, your reply to me (here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/20/when-somebody-hits-you-with-that-new-ipcc-is-95-certain-talking-point-show-them-this/#comment-1398186 ) seems to repeat the error that I was trying to draw to your attention with my points about the powers of witches, since you say:

    ‘… but I did say that attributing cause to unknown unknowns is akin to saying mystical forces cause things to happen.’

    I think it is not akin to saying that at all. “Attributing cause to unknown unknowns” is merely a form of words to say “We don’t know what the cause is” and it means that we are not attributing the cause to anything in particular. That is quite different, surely, to positively attributing cause specifically to “mystical forces”. Yet you appear to be conflating them together.

    Isn’t that a trick of the mind, whereby something that is totally unknown is subtly and irrationally converted into something known and familiar that can be dismissed without further ado? Such intellectual tricks have no place in honest science, do they? Real science is about finding out what it is that you don’t know surely, not about deluding yourself into believing that you already know it.

    Isn’t this the same intellectual trick that the IPCC is playing with its positive attribution of modern global warming to man-made GHGs in the absence of a comprehensive knowledge of how the complex global climate system actually works? In trying to understand it we are like schoolboys trying to comprehend the workings of a Swiss watch while its up and running and without being able to take it apart to examine its components individually. If I understand you correctly, you are saying that the IPCC claims it can safely eliminate all the unknown unknowns from its calculations without its even knowing what they are, let alone knowing what their possible contributions to global warming might be. That claim sounds highly pretentious to me I’m afraid.

    To propose AGW as a testable hypothesis is one thing but to assert it as a probable fact that has already been proven at the 95% level is quite another. I think rational-minded people would need to see sound proof of that claim before they could accept it. That is why I asked what is new in AR5 that would enable the IPCC’s theory to pass the rigorous tests of honest science this time. So far I haven’t seen anything of that nature in your report of what it intends to say in AR5.

    [By the way, HITRAN is a theoretical radiative transfer model, ie. a computer programme. You cannot take an observation of the actual state of the real climate system by reading the output of a computerised model, no matter how good a substitute you might believe it to be. Therefore statements about the real climate system that are based on such computerised theorising are not authentic and they are not empirical. To conflate empiricism with computer modelling is a corruption of the scientific method in my view, since it replaces true empiricism with a deceptive counterfeit that separates the observer from direct contact with reality via observation and isolates him in an imaginary, virtual reality that has been manufactured artificially on a computer.]

  124. richardscourtney says:

    barry:

    I am replying to your post in reply to me which you provide at August 23, 2013 at 9:50 am
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/20/when-somebody-hits-you-with-that-new-ipcc-is-95-certain-talking-point-show-them-this/#comment-1398277

    Firstly, I offer you some kindly advice. When you are in a hole, stop digging.

    My post you are answering was a genuine attempt to correct serious scientific errors you had made. You did not learn from that, you have iterated your mistakes, and you have presented additional (and worse!) mistakes.

    I explained what would constitute empirical evidence for AGW in my post at August 23, 2013 at 9:07 am
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/20/when-somebody-hits-you-with-that-new-ipcc-is-95-certain-talking-point-show-them-this/#comment-1398231
    My explanation told you

    There will not be any empirical evidence for AGW unless and until there is observation of a climate behaviour which is definitively known to be an effect of AGW.

    You have ignored that and expanded on irrelevancies which I explained to you are NOT empirical evidence for AGW.

    You not understanding the nature of empirical evidence is merely ignorance which can be forgiven. But you choosing to ignore information which removes your ignorance and then continuing to display that ignorance is deliberate stupidity.

    And I said of my explanation for you as to what would constitute empirical evidence for AGW

    And this is the importance of the missing tropospheric Hot Spot which is predicted by AGW as it is emulated by climate models.

    The absence of the tropospheric Hot Spot is empirical evidence that either
    (a) AGW as emulated by climate models is NOT happening
    Or
    (b) The climate models don’t work

    Your response to that is wrong and is so stupid it beggars belief that anyone could make such a statement.

    You have replied

    Enhanced tropical tropospheric warming is not a signature of greenhouse warming. It is the expected effect from warming of the atmosphere by any source (solar, volcanic etc). It is a function of atmospheric heat ransfer, not greewnhouse gases. Lack of observed enhanced heating in this zone says nothing about AGW.

    Barry, think about what you have claimed there.
    You have asserted that there has been NO GLOBAL WARMING FROM ANY SOURCE INCLUDING AGW because enhanced tropical tropospheric warming is the expected effect from warming of the atmosphere by any source and that enhanced warming has not happened.

    But – fortunately for your claims of AGW – you are completely wrong about that, too. Let me help you by telling you the truth.

    The AGW hypothesis as exemplified by climate models predicts that temperature at ~10 km altitude in the tropics will rise by between 2X and 3X the rate of temperature rise at the surface. So, a region of elevated temperature (i.e. the Hot Spot) will occur at altitude. This effect is an effect of the water vapour feedback (WVF) which the AGW-hypothesis requires for AGW to be discernibly large.

    This Hot Spot is induced by warming from greenhouse gases and NOT by warming from any other source. This is shown by Figure 9.1 and the associated text of the most recent IPCC Scientific Report (AR4) and its associated text which can be seen and read here http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch9s9-2-2.html

    Clearly, the indication is that the Hot Spot is only visible in the Figure as 9.1 (c) showing effect of “well-mixed greenhouse gases” and Figure 9.1. (f) “the sum of all forcings”.

    But no such enhanced warming at altitude has been observed by radiosondes mounted on weather balloons since 1958 or by microwave sounding units mounted on satellites since 1979.

    Hence, the absence of the Hot Spot indicates
    (a) The AGW hypothesis emulated by the climate models is wrong
    OR
    (b) There has been no discernible global warming from “well-mixed greenhouse gases” since 1958
    OR
    (c) There has been no discernible global warming from any cause since 1958.

    The next IPCC Report (AR5) will need to explain this absence of the Hot Spot if the AGW hypothesis – and scare – is to be continued.

    This problem is so serious a problem for the AGW hypothesis that Allen & Sherwood published a paper which attempted to claim wind speed was a better indicator of temperature than calibrated temperature sensors on weather balloons!

    Barry, I could go on but your wilful ignorance and stupidity are so great that I am embarrassed to be revealing them in public. Therefore, I request you to read each of my posts addressed to you and try to learn from them.

    Richard

  125. richardscourtney says:

    Jose_X:

    At August 23, 2013 at 11:40 am
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/20/when-somebody-hits-you-with-that-new-ipcc-is-95-certain-talking-point-show-them-this/#comment-1398367

    You write

    richardscourtney>>

    There will not be any empirical evidence for AGW unless and until there is observation of a climate behaviour which is definitively known to be an effect of AGW.

    What the heck does “no empirical evidence for AGW” mean? Can you define that?

    I DID “define that” in my post you have quoted. It is at at August 23, 2013 at 9:07 am
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/20/when-somebody-hits-you-with-that-new-ipcc-is-95-certain-talking-point-show-them-this/#comment-1398231
    My explanation said

    There will not be any empirical evidence for AGW unless and until there is observation of a climate behaviour which is definitively known to be an effect of AGW.

    Can you read that?

    If so then try to also read my answer to Barry at August 23, 2013 at 3:55 pm
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/20/when-somebody-hits-you-with-that-new-ipcc-is-95-certain-talking-point-show-them-this/#comment-1398547

    And I do not need a competing theory to the hypothesis of AGW. My duty as a scientist is to falsify that hypothesis. If I do that then it alters the value of other hypotheses concerning causes of climate change; e.g. Svensmark Hypothesis, ocean thermal redistribution, etc..

    Richard

  126. barry says:

    See, in the past (several times) the CO2 has regularly been far above today’s mere 400 ppm. And temperatures ALWAYS increased AFTER CO2 rose.

    Is that a typo (asking the question genuinely)? It is well-known that CO2 changes follow temperature changes during the quaternary ice ages – the famous lag that many people point out here. You appear to be arguing that CO2 fluctuations cause temperature changes – which is correct – but seems at odds with your general thrust.

    [True. Typo. Mod]

  127. barry says:

    MT,

    I think it is not akin to saying that at all. “Attributing cause to unknown unknowns” is merely a form of words to say “We don’t know what the cause is” and it means that we are not attributing the cause to anything in particular.

    The argument is that CO2 warming is rejected, and in support the notion of unknown unknowns is invoked. It’s a bit like intelligent designers saying that we have not observed a mechanism for evolution, which leaves the door open to supernatural forces having created all species in their current, unchanging form.

    I do not think that anyone here is proposing witches or G*d or some other supernatural force is responsible for changing the climate, but the argumentation for rejecting CO2 is similar. Intelligent designers look for any uncertainty or gaps in knowledge and elevate it in order to reinforce their point. “You can’t prove it is NOT (x, y or z), so (x, y and z) remain possible.”

  128. barry says:

    This Hot Spot is induced by warming from greenhouse gases and NOT by warming from any other source. This is shown by Figure 9.1 and the associated text of the most recent IPCC Scientific Report (AR4) and its associated text which can be seen and read here http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch9s9-2-2.html

    Panel a) shows the amount of solar forcing over the previous century. You can see the enhanced tropospheric warming in that panel quite clearly. The reason it is not as pronounced as the CO2 panel is that the forcing is much weaker. But the enhanced heating is there.

    I’m afraid you have been misinformed by popular misinterpretations. You can also see the opposite effect (enhanced cooling of the tropical troposphere) in panel e), which shows overall cooling from aerosols.

    The most marked spatial difference between the panels is the pattern of stratospheric cooling with tropospheric warming.associated with GHG changes. None of the other panels has this pattern (whether warming or cooling). The cooling of the stratosphere is unique to GHG warming, not from other sources. That is the signature of GHG warming, for which there is plenty of reference in the literature. There is none that posits enhanced tropical tropospheric warming is a unique signature of GHG warming.

    It’s a furfy, Richard.

    The basis of the issue is that models produce an enhanced warming in the tropical troposphere when there is warming at the surface. This is true enough. Whether the warming is from greenhouse gases, El Nino’s, or solar forcing, trends aloft are enhanced. For instance, the GISS model equilibrium runs with 2xCO2 or a 2% increase in solar forcing both show a maximum around 20N to 20S around 300mb (10 km):

    (images at source)

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/12/tropical-troposphere-trends/

    The two panels for solar and GHG heating in the graphs there show what happens when the amount of forcing is roughly equivalent. The hotspot appears in both, and also in the solar panel in the IPCC graphs. The tropospheric enhancement is not as pronounced for non-GHG forcings in the IPCC charts, because they were estimated to have been small or cooling over the period 1890 to 1999. But you can see the enhanced changes in the tropoical troposphere for forcings that were non-negligible.

  129. richardscourtney says:

    barry:

    Are you a real person or just some computer program?

    I ask because I fail to understand how a person could write a post as stupid as your most recent reply to me. It is at August 23, 2013 at 6:13 pm
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/20/when-somebody-hits-you-with-that-new-ipcc-is-95-certain-talking-point-show-them-this/#comment-1398547

    It purports to be a reply to my having again written to correct more of your untrue, illogical and anti-scientific nonsense which – that time – was at August 23, 2013 at 3:55 pm
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/20/when-somebody-hits-you-with-that-new-ipcc-is-95-certain-talking-point-show-them-this/#comment-1398547
    I concluded that post saying

    Barry, I could go on but your wilful ignorance and stupidity are so great that I am embarrassed to be revealing them in public. Therefore, I request you to read each of my posts addressed to you and try to learn from them.

    You have ignored that and your reply consists solely of yet more untrue, illogical and anti-scientific nonsense.

    To recap how we got to your most recent outpouring of idiocy.
    1.
    Barry, you claimed the Hot Spot is caused by any warming and you stated a wrong mechanism for it.
    2.
    I pointed out that you were wrong and if you were right then the absence of the Hot Spot indicates there has been no warming from any cause (including AGW).
    3.
    I explained to you that the Hot Spot is a factor of 2X to 3X greater rate of warming at ~10 km altitude than at the surface in the tropics and that it is an effect of the putative WVF.

    4. I gave you the IPCC explanation of the Hot Spot – both text and illustration (Figure 9.1) – and to enable you to see that text and Figure I provided this link
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/20/when-somebody-hits-you-with-that-new-ipcc-is-95-certain-talking-point-show-them-this/#comment-1398547
    Barry, the Hot Spot is the big red blob in Figure 9.1(c): it is ONLY for “well mixed greenhouse gases”.
    Don’t take my word for this, look for you self.
    5,
    I explained that the Hot Spot is missing.
    Warming in the tropics has NOT happened at altitude at more than double the rate of surface warming.
    Measurements using weather balloons since 1958 and measurements using satellites both show there has bee no such enhanced warming at altitude.

    All that was clear information for you, Barry. It helped you out by explaining the absence of the HOT Spot is not an indication of no global warming (which you had mistakenly claimed). It told you what the Hot Spot is and what it – and its absence – indicates. And it provided a link for you to check the matter for yourself.

    But your reply shows you did not read it, understand it, or check it.
    Instead, your reply cites untrue and misleading irrelevance from a propaganda blog; i.e. RC.

    And you could have discerned the propaganda was wrong had you thought about it before copying it to here.

    You say of Figure 9.1

    Panel a) shows the amount of solar forcing over the previous century. You can see the enhanced tropospheric warming in that panel quite clearly. The reason it is not as pronounced as the CO2 panel is that the forcing is much weaker. But the enhanced heating is there.

    Don’t be an idiot! YOU DON’T NEED A MICROSCOPE TO SEE AN ELEPHANT.
    There is no Hot Spot in (a) but there is in (c). The Hot Spot is the big red blob.
    The Hot Spot is enhanced warming at between two and three times the rate of surface warming. As I told you it is an effect of the putative WVF which must occur if AGW is to be sufficiently large to be discernible.
    And you follow that nonsense with a statement which is completely daft, saying

    I’m afraid you have been misinformed by popular misinterpretations. You can also see the opposite effect (enhanced cooling of the tropical troposphere) in panel e), which shows overall cooling from aerosols.

    No, Barry, I have NOT been “misinformed by popular misinterpretations”:
    the IPCC’s account IS THE TRUE EXPLANATION .

    And I know Figure 9.1(e) does not show the Hot Spot:
    I keep telling you that only Figure 9.1(c) for “well mixed greenhouse gases” shows the Hot Spot.

    But your post continues digging its hole deeper into a midden saying

    The most marked spatial difference between the panels is the pattern of stratospheric cooling with tropospheric warming.associated with GHG changes. None of the other panels has this pattern (whether warming or cooling). The cooling of the stratosphere is unique to GHG warming, not from other sources. That is the signature of GHG warming, for which there is plenty of reference in the literature. There is none that posits enhanced tropical tropospheric warming is a unique signature of GHG warming.

    The Hot Spot is necessary for AGW to be sufficiently large to be discernible and it occurs in the troposphere. It does NOT occur in the stratosphere.

    So, Barry, you have got everything wrong about the Hot Spot.
    You have made completely wrong statements of its effect, its cause, its nature, and its location in the atmosphere.
    And you obtained your complete misunderstanding from propaganda blogs when you could have read what the IPCC actually says.

    Then, having got everything wrong, you say to me

    It’s a furfy, Richard.

    NO! The IPCC AR4 is not a rumour (I wish it were).
    Quotations from RC are less than rumour: they are untrue propaganda.

    Stop spouting nonsense. Read the information I have taken the trouble to give you and think about it. Unless, of course, you can’t because you are a computer program.

    Richard

  130. richardscourtney says:

    Barry:

    In my above post at August 24, 2013 at 1:45 am
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/20/when-somebody-hits-you-with-that-new-ipcc-is-95-certain-talking-point-show-them-this/#comment-1398803
    I copied a wrong link to the IPCC Chapter 9.1.

    I intended at Point 4 to again link to IPCC AR4 WG1 Chapter 9.2

    This is the correct link
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch9s9-2-2.html

    Sorry, for this mistake which derived from my annoyance and frustration at needing to iterate the matter.

    Richard

  131. Magic Turtle says:

    barry says (August 23, 2013 at 5:52 pm):

    ‘The argument is that CO2 warming is rejected, and in support the notion of unknown unknowns is invoked.’

    I don’t know whose argument you are referring to there Barry, but it isn’t mine. My argument is simply that because the IPCC does not have a complete knowledge of all the factors that may affect the global mean temperature it cannot logically attribute modern global warming to the one that it prefers (ie. anthropogenic CO2) arbitrarily. To do so is not just unscientific; it is also irrational!

    ‘It’s a bit like intelligent designers saying that we have not observed a mechanism for evolution, which leaves the door open to supernatural forces having created all species in their current, unchanging form.’

    One does not have to be a believer in intelligent design in order to say truthfully that a mechanism for evolution has not been observed. That is simply an empirical fact. I agree that it leaves the door open for supernatural forces being responsible for the creation of all current species, but it also leaves the door open for many other possibilities as well, including biological evolution. I think real science rejects the hypothesis of intelligent design as it is presently formulated for basically the same reason that it rejects the hypothesis of (anthropogenic) CO2 causation of modern global warming, ie. Occam’s Razor. The hypothesis of a supernatural intelligent designer requires the existence of an extra causal principle that the hypothesis of evolution does not. Similarly, the aCO2 hypothesis of global warming requires the existence of an extra causal principle – human carbon emissions – that the hypothesis of natural causation does not.

    But it is important to note, perhaps, that Occam’s Razor applies only where the empirical information that is available to us at the time is insufficient to decide the case. Hence real science plumps for evolution in preference to intelligent design on the basis of Occam’s Razor’s requirement for theoretical simplicity, but if new empirical information of a supernatural intelligent designer’s existence was to come to light science would be duty-bound to abandon the theory of evolution in favour of the theory of supernatural intelligent design. Similarly, real science has also rejected the aCO2 hypothesis of modern global warming in favour of the natural causes explanation up to now because of Occam’s Razor’s demand for theoretical simplicity. But if new empirical information should come to light that showed human CO2 emissions to be the true cause beyond reasonable doubt, then science would be duty-bound to reject the natural causes hypothesis in favour of the aCO2 one.

    To summarise, my argument is that you cannot prove aCO2 has caused modern global warming merely by a process of elimination as the IPCC has been claiming to be able to do up to now, but instead some decisive new empirical information in favour of the aCO2 hypothesis would be required before it could displace the default “Null” hypothesis of natural causation in real science.

    “You can’t prove it is NOT (x, y or z), so (x, y and z) remain possible.”

    I’m afraid that is perfectly true. And if you groan at the thought of what it implies for theoretical climate science, just consider what it implies for theoretical physics! Perhaps the physical world of our daily waking experience really is a holographic simulation inside some super-being’s supercomputer somewhere. Modern physics cannot disprove that possibility any more than it can disprove the existence of God.

  132. barry says:

    Richard,

    the IPCC does not describe the cause of the hotspot. It does not refer to it at all. If you look at the solar panel a), it is pretty clear that warming at the surface produces an enhanced warming in the tropical troposphere. It is not as pronounced as the panels for GHGs, simply because the forcing is weaker. But unless one is colour blind, the enhanced warming is difinitely there.

    Did you examine the two graphs at my link, where roughly equal amounts of forcing for solar and CO2 are side by side, and the hotspot enhanced warming in the tropical troposphere is equally pronounced? These are results from ModelE, the same model used for the graphs in the IPCC charts, but this time giving solar and CO2 equivalent forcing values.

    But perhap you would give more credence to a WUWT post on the subject.

    Based on theoretical considerations and simulations with General Circulation Models (GCMs), it is expected that any warming at the surface will be amplified in the upper troposphere. The reason for this is quite simple.

    More warming at the surface means more evaporation and more convection. Higher in the troposphere the (extra) water vapour condenses and heat is released. Calculations with GCMs show that the lower troposphere warms about 1.2 times faster than the surface. For the tropics, where most of the moist is, the amplification is larger, about 1.4.

    This change in thermal structure of the troposphere is known as the lapse rate feedback. It is a negative feedback, i.e. attenuating the surface temperature response due to whatever cause, since the additional condensation heat in the upper air results in more radiative heat loss.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/16/about-that-missing-hot-spot/

    The enhanced warming in the hotspot is not a result of increased GHGs. It is a result of the change in moist adibiatic lapse rate when the surface warms.

    Richard, can you explain why the physics that makes the enhanced tropical tropospheric warming a unique property of GHG warming? What’s the mechanism? The mechanism described in the literature has nothing to do with GHGs, (other than discussing GHG as a dominant forcing).

    Other comments from well-known, qualified scientist skeptics.

    Judith Curry:

    Here is why I don’t think the tropical tropospheric temperature trends is a good litmus test for AGW. The physics underlying the amplified tropical tropospheric warming in the models is the decreasing slope of the saturated adiabat as temperatures warm. Deep convection throughout the tropics will therefore result in saturated adiabat having a dominant influence on the vertical temperature profile, and hence result in the upper tropical troposphere warming faster than the surface. In climate models, it is the convective parameterization that determines this vertical transport of heat.

    Richard Lindzen:

    The moist-adiabatic lapse rate (or saturated-adiabatic lapse rate) is the rate of decrease of temperature with height along a moist adiabat. …
    The response is characterized by the so-called hot spot (i.e., the response in the tropical upper troposphere is from 2–3 times larger than the surface response). The models are likely correct in this respect since the hot spot is simply a consequence of the fact that tropical temperatures approximately follow the moist adiabat. This is essentially a consequence of the dominant role of moist convection in the tropics.

    And from other scientists quaified on the matter;

    Carl Mears:

    Because the MALR decreases with temperature, this means the any temperature increase at the surface becomes even larger high in the troposphere. This causes the so called hot spot, a region high in the troposphere that shows more warming (or cooling) than the surface. Note that at this point, I haven’t said a thing about greenhouse gases. In fact, this effect has nothing to do with the source of the warming, as long as it arises near the surface. Surface warming due to any cause would show a tropospheric hotspot in the absence of other changes to the heating and cooling of the atmosphere. Never the less, the tropospheric hotspot is often presented as some sort of lynchpin of global warming theory. It is not. It is just a feature of a close-to-unstable moist atmosphere.

    Isaac Held:

    The change in CO2 itself has very little to do with this moist adiabatic response; you get essentially the same temperature response if you just just prescribe and then warm the surface temperature [in a model]

    Chris Colose:

    Tropospheric warming in the tropics is a signature of greenhouse warming, but it is more accurate to say that it is not a unique signature (i.e., you get this “hotspot” with all types of forcings). The ‘hotspot’ arises due to the moist adiabat.

    Stephen Sherwood:

    The regulation of lapse rate changes by atmospheric convection is expected to work exactly the same way whether global temperature changes are natural or forced (say, by greenhouse gases from fossil fuel burning).

    This blogger gets it right;

    A great deal of the confusion surrounding the issue of temperature trends in the upper troposphere comes from the mistaken belief that the presence or lack of amplification of surface warming in the upper troposphere has some bearing on the attribution of global warming to man-made causes.

    It does not.

    Attribution of anthropogenic origins of the current climatic changes can be tested from many different directions. On of the most clear examples for those with some familiarity with the Earth’s atmosphere is the issue of stratospheric cooling. If the sun were to suddenly increase its output by 2%, we would rightfully expect the atmosphere as well as the surface to warm up in response. This can be examined, for instance, by looking at the response in a GCM like GISS ModelE:

    This furfy is a slightly more complicated version of the canard that had traction for a couple of years that 1934 was the warmest year in the global record. Even today you can see the odd comment to that effect. But 1934 was the warmest year (at the time) in the US, not the global record.

    Now, different data sets show either the enhanced warming or they do not (Spencer, Pielke and other skepticfs allude to this in various peer-reviewed papers). The matter is still controversial. but the notion that the hotspot is a unique signature of GHG warming is just wrong. The hotpsot is a function of the moist adibiat in response to warming (from any source) at the surface. It is not a unique function oy GHG warming.

    But I am curious to know if you have lit on any actual physical mechanism that would explain the hotspot as a feature unique to GHG warming. Do you have a peer-reviewed or creditable cite that explains the physics which isolates this effect to GHGs? I can’t imagine what it might be.

    (Eventually we may get back to talking about attribution)

  133. barry says:

    MT,

    By the way, HITRAN is a theoretical radiative transfer model, ie. a computer programme.

    That is incorrect. HITRAN is the database that supplies radiative transfer models. It has many applications, not just for atmospheric studies. The data is spectral analysis (via spectroscopy) of the absorptive properties of gases at any wavelengths. The values given are based on the gas in a vaccum, not air. Some of the work is done by observation, most derived by mathematics.

    From their site:

    HITRAN is a compilation of spectroscopic parameters that a variety of computer codes use to predict and simulate the transmission and emission of light in the atmosphere.

    http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/hitran/

    HITRAN is a database, not a “simulation” code. It provides a suite of parameters that are used as input to various modeling codes, either very high-resolution line-by-line codes, or moderate spectral resolution band-model codes….

    The parameters in HITRAN are sometimes direct observations, but often calculated. These calculations are the result of various quantum-mechanical solutions.

    http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/hitran/FAQ.html

    HITRAN began life in the 60s when the US airforce wanted detailed information about infrared properties of various gases in the atmosphere in order to detect aircraft. It is analogous to the human genome project. They currently have assessed absorption properties for 7 million spectral lines. This database is one of the empirical components applied for modeling the atmosphere.

  134. Magic Turtle says:

    barry says (August 24, 2013 at 9:18 am):

    “That is incorrect. HITRAN is the database that supplies radiative transfer models. It has many applications, not just for atmospheric studies. The data is spectral analysis (via spectroscopy) of the absorptive properties of gases at any wavelengths. The values given are based on the gas in a vaccum, not air. Some of the work is done by observation, most derived by mathematics.”

    Thanks for correcting my understanding of HITRAN. I’m sure it’s a very useful tool to scientists and technologists of diverse kinds. I was, of course, thinking of MODTRAN when I described HITRAN as a “radiative transfer model”.

    However, the point that I made then still applies. My point is that HITRAN is still a computer program and you cannot take an observation of the real climate system by consulting a computer, no matter how good you think the program that you are running on it happens to be. If you do that you are observing a computer’s output, not the climate system. Conflating the two produces confusion and I don’t think anyone wants that in real science. Do they?

  135. barry says:

    MT,

    My calculator will do sums for me, quotients and multiplication. All these are abstract but they can be used successfully to do my tax. Computer programs make it possible for us to converse. HITRAN is not a even a ‘program’ or a simulation. It is a databse of emprical measurements (either observed or derived by mathematics). Analoigsing with my tax, a databse like HITRAN would inventory my income and outgoings.

    Someone above claimed that global climate models – that AGW – has no emprical basis. They do. It does. That does not mean that GCMs accurately model climate. These are two different propositions. All models need some empirical measurements to start off with. This is one emipirical comopnent of climate models.

    Your argument against abstracing phenomena would reject the entire field of physics. I don’t think you would make that argument. I think you are conflating two differtent arguments.

  136. Magic Turtle says:

    Barry,

    I understand what an empirical database is and I am not denying that HITRAN contains empirical components. What I am saying is that a model simulation based on HITRAN is not an empirical observation of the actual climate system itself and it is therefore confusing to present it as being such. That is one argument, not a conflation of two. It is not an argument against abstracting phenomena either: it is an argument against misrepresenting what one is doing as being “empirical” when it is really a work of theory-based computer calculation instead.

  137. richardscourtney says:

    barry:

    At August 24, 2013 at 7:50 am
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/20/when-somebody-hits-you-with-that-new-ipcc-is-95-certain-talking-point-show-them-this/#comment-1398987
    you ask me

    Did you examine the two graphs at my link,

    NO! I did not!

    I repeatedly link you to the IPCC AR4 information
    and
    you want me to look at a climate porn propaganda site which misrepresents the IPCC AR4 information.

    Stop being a clown!
    You claimed

    Enhanced tropical tropospheric warming is not a signature of greenhouse warming. It is the expected effect from warming of the atmosphere by any source (solar, volcanic etc).

    and I pointed out that if that lie were true then the absence of “Enhanced tropical tropospheric warming” indicates there has NO GLOBAL WARMING.

    After I have pointed that out to you then you still try to promote the climate porn site which so misled you! Are you being payed to conduct such promotion?

    And I will not double that site’s ‘hits’ for the day by my visiting it (at least I won’t until they remove their automatic censorship of any comment I post there).

    I am now certain that either you are a brainwashed idiot or a computer program. Whichever of those you are, you are not worth wasting any more time on you and your nonsense.

    Richard

  138. barry says:

    Richard,

    also in my posts was quotes from climate scientists, including skeptic scientists Judith Curry and Richard Lindzen, explaining that the hotspot is a consequence of changes in the moist adibiatic lapse rate from warming at the surface by any cause, and specifically not caused by GHG increases. I also linked to a post from this very site explaining that the enhanced warming of the troposphere is a result of surface warming from any cause.

    If you disagree with the WUWT post, with Judith Curry, Richard Lindzen and the other scientists I cited, could you please explain what mechanism is responsible for the effect that can only be achieved by greenhouse warming? What are the physics?

  139. richardscourtney says:

    barry:

    I see you are still trolling in attempt to get support for your paymasters.

    However, I am replying to your post at August 24, 2013 at 5:40 pm
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/20/when-somebody-hits-you-with-that-new-ipcc-is-95-certain-talking-point-show-them-this/#comment-1399389
    because it is clearly a troll comment intended to pretend that you have been talking sense.

    My failure to reply may imply to onlookers that your nonsense may contain some truth although your posts are complete bollocks.

    You ask me

    If you disagree with the WUWT post, with Judith Curry, Richard Lindzen and the other scientists I cited, could you please explain what mechanism is responsible for the effect that can only be achieved by greenhouse warming? What are the physics?

    I DO NOT “DISAGREE” WITH CURRY, LINDZEN AND THE OTHERS WHOM YOU QUOTED OUT OF CONTEXT.

    The lapse rate is the change in temperature with altitude in the troposphere (i.e. it gets colder as you go up).

    Any warming will increase the temperature where the warming is mostly applied and the warmth will spread from there. Hence, as those you quote say, any input of warming will alter the lapse rate: THIS IS BECAUSE OF THE DEFINITIONS OF THE DRY AND MOIST ADIABATIC LAPSE RATES.
    But the pattern of warming in the atmosphere will differ for different source of the warming.

    This is what the IPCC models show and is – as I keep telling you – as shown Figure 9.1 in the IPCC AR4: see
    ttp://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch9s9-2-2.html
    ONLY “well mixed greenhouse gases” show the Hot Spot which is warming at altitude of between 2 and 3 times the warming at the surface.

    The tropospheric Hot Spot occurs in the troposphere – not the stratosphere as you claimed – and that is why it is called the tropospheric Hot Spot.

    But you assert that any change to the lapse rate is the Hot Spot; it is not.

    Indeed, you wen t so far as to say of the IPCC Figure;

    You can also see the opposite effect (enhanced cooling of the tropical troposphere) in panel e), which shows overall cooling from aerosols.

    But you manage the Orwellian doublethink of also asserting

    Enhanced tropical tropospheric warming is not a signature of greenhouse warming. It is the expected effect from warming of the atmosphere by any source (solar, volcanic etc). It is a function of atmospheric heat ransfer, not greewnhouse gases. Lack of observed enhanced heating in this zone says nothing about AGW.

    So, Barry, which is it;
    the opposite of the Hot Spot is caused by aerosols ?
    or
    the Hot Spot is caused by any source?

    In fact, as I have repeatedly told you, the Hot Spot is a result of the water vapour feedback (WVF).

    The warming from “well mixed greenhouse gases” warms the atmosphere first. That is why the Hot Spot is at altitude in the troposphere: the warming starts there and spreads from there. But the warming from CO2 alone is very small. Indeed, the “basic physics” you mistakenly assert as being empirical evidence for AGW says the warming from CO2 is very small.

    The small warming from CO2 warms the atmosphere which – in turn – warms the surface. This surface warming has two effects; the surface temperature rises and evapouration of water is increased. The air near the surface is now warmed by the surface, and is ‘moist’ with the extra evapourated moisture. So that air carries the moisture up adiabatically (i.e. warm air rises).

    The additional moisture at altitude increases the warming at altitude because water vapour is by far the most powerful greenhouse gas (GHG) being 3 to 4 times more powerful a GHG than CO2.

    Hence, the Hot Spot occurs; i.e. in the tropics the rate of warming at ~10km altitude is between 2 and 3 times greater than at the surface.

    The IPCC says that according to climate behaviour emulated by the climate models ONLY “well mixed greenhouse gases” cause the Hot Spot.
    And this makes sense because ONLY the effect of the most powerful GHG (i.e. water vapour) can cause the Hot Spot. The water vapour feedback (WVF) is the ‘feedback’ of the radiative effect of water vapour that multiplies the radiative effect of CO2, and only “well mixed greenhouse gases” have that radiative effect at altitude.

    The Hot Spot is missing.
    According to the IPCC models this indicates that AGW cannot be large because the WVF is too small for it to generate the Hot Spot.

    The Hot Spot is missing.
    Your claim that the Hot Spot is caused by “any source” is a claim that there has been no warming from any source.

    The Hot Spot is missing.
    If the IPCC models are right or if you are right, there has been no discernible AGW.

    Richard

  140. barry says:

    Richard, we are agreed that the cause of the hotspot is a consequence of changes in the moist adibiatic lapse rate from warming at the surface. We aslo agree that different sources of warming will not have the same pattern of atmospheric warming/cooling. You appear to be saying that an enhanced hotspot is a unique signature of greenhouse warming.

    You said:

    The AGW hypothesis as exemplified by climate models predicts that temperature at ~10 km altitude in the tropics will rise by between 2X and 3X the rate of temperature rise at the surface. So, a region of elevated temperature (i.e. the Hot Spot) will occur at altitude.

    The IPCC graph you cite is modeling for various sources of temperature change from 1890 to 1990. The magnitude for each of them is different, hence the magnitude of enhancement in the hotspot area will be different – but should be about twice the effect at the surface. Let’s look more closely at the panels:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch9s9-2-2.html

    a) Solar

    Surface warming is 0.0 – 0.2 C/century
    Hotspot warming is 0.2 – 0.4 C/century

    The hotspot has warmed twice as much as the surface. Agreed?

    d) Ozone

    Surface warming is 0.0 – 0.2 C/century
    Hotspot warming is 0.1 – 0.3 C/century (the effect is very localised in the centre and to the right of the hotspot)

    e) Aerosol

    Surface cooling is 0.0 – 0.4 C/century
    Hotspot cooling is 0.4 – 0.6 C/century

    The values are colour coded in 0.2C increments, which make it difficult to get absolute values, but for each of the modeled forcings that cause temperature changes in the tropics at the surface (volcanoes being the exception – there is virtually no change in surface temps over the long term), there is an enhanced change in the temperature in the hotspot region aloft The reason this signal is more apparent in the well-mixed GHG panel is that the temperature change at the surface is larger and more persistent than the others.

    As I said before, there is controversy over whether or not the hotspot is apparent in observed data.

    If it turned out that there was no enhancement of warming in the tropical troposphere, this would indicate a flaw in understanding of heat transport in the atmosphere. It wouldn’t suggest that there has been no global warming over the last century or so (we have better records for that). And it wouldn’t indicate that greenhouse gases do not warm the planet. Spencer, Lindzen and Christy (along with Pielke Sr and Jr and Anthony Watts) agree that a doubling of CO2 should cause some warming at the surface.

    And, as Spencer, Christy, Lindzen and others have published in the literature, the data is not certain, and they express caution about leaping to conclusions without more study. That seems like sound advice to me.

  141. Magic Turtle says:

    barry says (August 25, 2013 at 5:12 am):

    “As I said before, there is controversy over whether or not the hotspot is apparent in observed data.”

    Indeed. And there is considerable doubt as to its real existence accordingly.

    Still, there always was, wasn’t there? Right from the start in the 1990s when Sir John Houghton’s IPCC Working Group 1 was dangling it before the eyes of scientifically naive politicians as startling, undeniable evidence of man-made global warming that they had better do something about pronto. And now that it has done its psychological job of misshaping their perceptions of reality to the extent that they committed the countries that they represented to the global political, social, economic, technological and cultural revolution which the IPCC was formed to instigate and oversee, the IPCC is disowning it and washing its hands of it while laughing all the way to the next global climate convention in Malibu or wherever.

    The IPCC’s “climate science” really stinks. You do know that, don’t you?

  142. barry says:

    I think the science is imperfect and that concern amongst the research communies is genuine. I don’t buy into conspiracy theories.

    Indeed. And there is considerable doubt as to its real existence accordingly.

    Richard Lindzen expects the hotspot to be a real feature of moist adibiatic convection, and blames the data for us not having observed it. This is the general opinion of expert researchers. A minority of these doubt its existence. A good number think that the models may exaggerate the moist adibiatic lapse rate change. Roy Spencer posits that no hotspot would mean a lower climate sensitivity.

    Depending where you go in the public blogosphere, there is considerable doubt (outright disbelief) of its existence and sometimes selected papers are cited accordingly, while commentators wishing to urge that there is no signficant discrepancy with models highlight studies that indicate the hotspot is there. Most non-expert commentators pick a side, and a number of experts seem to do so as well (on both sides). I am skeptical of absolutist positions.

    There have been hundreds of papers on tropospheric temperatures. Below is a short list of some of them.

    http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/2009/12/24/papers-on-tropospheric-temperatures/
    http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/2009/09/06/papers-on-tropical-troposphere-hotspot/

    (most of the papers in the second link have been moved to the first)

  143. richardscourtney says:

    barry:

    Having run a gamut of misrepresentation, your post at August 25, 2013 at 9:06 pm enters the delusional where you say

    Richard Lindzen expects the hotspot to be a real feature of moist adibiatic convection, and blames the data for us not having observed it. This is the general opinion of expert researchers. A minority of these doubt its existence.

    If a warming rate of more than double the warming at the surface cannot be observed then the data is so unreliable that it is not possible to determine if there has been any warming.

    And if there has been no warming then there is nothing to discuss.

    Your obfuscations, misrepresentations and propaganda have become so silly that I shall ignore any more of your silly posts.

    Richard

  144. Magic Turtle says:

    barry says (August 25, 2013 at 9:06 pm):

    “I think the science is imperfect and that concern amongst the research communies is genuine. I don’t buy into conspiracy theories.”

    Thank you for summarising your position.

    My position concurs with yours in holding the IPCC’s “climate science” to be imperfect, but since one could say that about anything at all in this world it’s not a very meaningful statement, is it? I also think that concern among the research communities is genuine, but since you haven’t said which specific research communities you are referring to and what you see them as being genuinely concerned about, I cannot tell whether we agree about that or not.

    I also don’t buy into conspiracy theories – unless there is clear and substantial evidence to support them, as there appears to be in the case of the IPCC. However, I am not concerned with any conspiracy theories here. The IPCC is essentially a political organization (even its name gives that away, after all) and it has always been open, and even outspoken, in declaring its political motivations and intentions. So I don’t think there’s anything theoretical about the IPCC having been created to fulfil a political purpose and that its scientific functions are subordinate to that; it’s a matter of empirical fact and historical record.

    Likewise, my saying ‘The IPCC’s “climate science” really stinks’ is also a matter of empirical fact and not of theory for me. As someone who is long familiar with the practice of the conventional scientific method I find the unconventional methods of the IPCC’s “climate science” to be so evidently, so obviously and so crudely false and disingenuous as to be offensive on sight. They stink of political corruption, doublespeak and innuendo. If you cannot smell these things too then I think something could be amiss with your ethical senses, because what the IPCC is doing strikes me as being scientifically unethical. What it is doing is not even real science, let alone the “gold standard” science that it pretends to be doing. I think the affair of the Hot Spot demonstrates this rather luridly.

    The Hot Spot has become an iconic symbol that has been a very effective tool for communicating the IPCC’s message of dangerous man-made global warming, rather like the Hockey-Stick graph in that respect. Of course the IPCC has only ever claimed that the Hot Spot was the product of model simulations and has never actually said that the Hot Spot exists in reality, so its hands are ostensibly clean. But ever since the meeting of IPCC Working Group 1 in 1995 when Ben Santer introduced it, there has never been any empirical confirmation of its existence outside the modellers’ imaginations and inside the real world. Just a year later Santer was reporting on “uncertainties” that remained in the model. (See Santer et al 1996 http://140.208.31.101/bibliography/related_files/bds9601.pdf .) 1995 was eighteen years ago. How could that glaring disparity between model simulation and observed reality go unaddressed by the IPCC for eighteen years while the Hot Spot just went on growing bigger, redder and more threatening in the minds of the scientific illiterati who have done what the leading supporters of the IPCC have advised them to do and taken the word of the “expert” IPCC “climate scientists” on trust? The IPCC’s apparently total indifference to the public confusion that this purely fictitious icon of man-made global warming was being used to generate in people’s minds provides us with an objective index of the IPCC’s true level of “concern” for accurate and truthful public science communication. There is no real science underlying the Hot Spot at all: it is just computerised make-believe and the IPCC must have known this all along if it ever had a grain of true science in it.

    But of course we should not really expect the IPCC to have a grain of true science in it because it is a fundamentally political organization with a fundamentally political agenda to fulfil. It does not exist to do science; it exists to do politics. And in doing its politics by pretending to do science it is doing neither honestly and is corrupting both. This is seriously detrimental to human civilization in my view and it reminds me of the myth of the fall of the Tower of Babel.

  145. Brian H says:

    R. C. Green:

    Comparative empirical studies have routinely concluded that judgmental forecasting by experts is the least accurate of the methods available to make forecasts.
    For example, Ascher (1978, p. 200), in his analysis of long-term forecasts of electricity
    consumption found that was the case.

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