Stalking the Rogue Hotspot

[I’m making this excellent essay a top sticky post for a day or two, I urge sharing it far and wide. New stories will appear below this one.  – Anthony]

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Dr. Kevin Trenberth is a mainstream climate scientist, best known for inadvertently telling the world the truth about the parlous state of climate science itself. In the Climategate emails published in 2009, it was revealed that in private he had said:

The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.

This from a spokesman for the folks who have been telling us for years that the science is settled …  

However, the problem seems to be solved. Kevin Trenberth, Distinguished Senior Scientist, (as he is described on his web page) has emailed Joe Romm, Distinguished Senior Climate Alarmist, about the status of Dr. Trenberth’s tireless quest to find the missing heat, stating (emphasis in Romm’s post):

dr. kevin trenberthWe can confidently say that the risk of drought and heat waves has gone up and the odds of a hot spot somewhere on the planet have increased but the hotspot moves around and the location is not very predictable. This year perhaps it is East Asia: China, or earlier Siberia? It has been much wetter and cooler in the US (except for SW), whereas last year the hot spot was the US. Earlier this year it was Australia (Tasmania etc) in January (southern summer). We can name spots for all summers going back quite a few years: Australia in 2009, the Russian heat wave in 2010, Texas in 2011, etc.”

I’ll return to the serious question of Dr. Trenberth’s missing heat in a moment. But first, let’s consider Dr. Trenberth’ statement, starting with the section highlighted in bold in Joe’s post, viz:

“We can confidently say that the risk of drought and heat waves has gone up and the odds of a hot spot somewhere on the planet have increased but the hotspot moves around and the location is not very predictable.”

That single sentence contains all the required elements of a good novel—unpredictability, increasing risks, a dangerous moving “hotspot”, confident experts, a planet in peril … all the stuff that goes into an exciting story, it’s perfect for a direct-to-DVD movie.

The only problem with Dr. Trenberth’s statement is that like all novels, it’s fiction. To start with, Dr. Trenberth is very careful not to claim that droughts and heat waves and “hotspots” have actually increased. Did you notice that? You need to watch statements about climate very closely. He didn’t say that the number of droughts or heat waves have gone up. That’s a falsifiable statement, and one which is decidedly not true, so he prudently avoided that pitfall. The IPCC itself has said that we have no evidence of any increases in drought, in heat waves, or in any other climate extremes, despite a couple of centuries involving a couple of degrees of warming. But then, Dr. Trenberth didn’t say droughts or heat waves have gone up, did he?

He said the risk of droughts and heat waves has gone up. He said theodds of a hot spot somewhere on the planet” have gone up. Presumably, this deep knowledge of the probability of future climate catastrophes has been vouchsafed to Dr. Trenberth by means of the climate models … the same climate models that are part of the “travesty” because they can’t account for the missing heat. He’s citing risks and odds based on climate models that were unable to forecast the current hiatus in warming which has gone on for fifteen years or so now, despite continuing increases in CO2 and methane and black carbon and the like …

The part that I particularly enjoyed is the foreboding, menacing quality of his claim that there is now some roving “hotspot”, whose location “moves around” and “is not very predictable”. Dang, what if the dreaded “hotspot” comes to my town? Does he mean we might be faced with the much-feared phenomenon known locally as “a really hot summer”. We know those summers, when  bad things happen, like the time when Jimmy Fugate punched out the eleventh guy, by Jimmy’s actual count, who had said “Hot enough for ya?” to him on that fateful August day … but although I digress, we know the danger is real, because as Dr. Trenberth warns us, the hot spot is on the move, viz:

It has been much wetter and cooler in the US (except for SW), whereas last year the hot spot was the US. Earlier this year it was Australia (Tasmania etc) in January (southern summer). We can name [hot]spots for all summers going back quite a few years …

I gotta admit, this is stunning news. Dr. Trenberth is giving us inside climate information, full of extra scientificity, that every summer some places are extra-hot, while you’d be amazed to find out, other locations have extra-cool summers. We’re in one of the latter where I live. Around here, this has been one of the coolest summers in recent years.

So following in Dr. Trenberth’s trail-blazing footsteps, here’s my new climate theory. It revolves around the dreaded “coldspot”. You may be shocked when I tell you that every summer there’s a “coldspot” somewhere in the world, a place where the summer is much colder than usual. Last year the coldspot was Russia. This year it has moved to Northern California where I live. Here’s what makes coldspots so dangerous, as highlighted by Dr. Trenberth. The coldspot “moves around and the location is not very predictable” … so you should be very afraid, because science.

I mean … are we supposed to take this talk of “moving hotspots” seriously? Is this how desperate the alarmists are  getting?

Joe Romm’s quote of Dr. Trenberth closes with this suitably ominous line, which I assume is preparing us for the sequel …

Similarly with risk of high rains and floods: They are occurring but the location moves.

Ahhh, Dr. Trenberth is referring to the dreaded “wetspot”, and he doesn’t mean the one the baby leaves on your shoulder. Did you know that every year during the rainy season there’s a “wetspot” somewhere in the world, a place where it rains more than usual? And did you know the wetspot moves around the world and the location is not very predictable? There’s no end to the insights available in Dr. Trenberth’s concepts …

I have to say, I find Dr. Trenberth’s claims both very depressing and very encouraging. They’re depressing because they are a million miles from science. It’s just a frightening tale for children around the campfire, about how the risks of bad things are rising, and it’s worse than we thought.

But it’s encouraging, because when the intellectual leaders of the climate alarmism movement sink to peddling those kinds of scare stories, it’s a clear indication that they’re way short of actual scientific arguments to back up their inchoate fears of Thermageddon.

In any case, let me move on to the more serious topic I mentioned above, regarding Dr. Trenberth’s infamous “missing heat”. Let me suggest where some of it is going. It’s going back out to space.

One of the main thermal controls on the planet’s heat balance is the relationship between surface temperature on one hand, and the time of day of cumulus and cumulonimbus formation in the tropics. On days when the surface is warmer, clouds form earlier in the day. The opposite is true when the surface is cooler, clouds form later. This control operates on an hourly basis. I’ve shown how this affects the daily evolution of tropical temperature here and here using the TAO moored buoy data. Here’s a bit of what I demonstrated in those posts. Figure 2, from the second citation, shows how cold mornings and warm mornings affect the evolution of the temperature of the ensuing day.

tao triton all buoys warm cold

Figure 2. Average of all TAO buoy records (heavy black line), as well as averages of the same data divided into days when dawn is warmer than average (heavy red line), and days when dawn is cooler than average (heavy blue line) for each buoy. Light straight lines show the difference between the previous and the following 1:00 AM temperatures.

The control of the surface temperature is exerted in two main ways: 1) in the morning, cumulus cloud formation reduces incoming solar radiation by reflecting it back to space, and 2) in the afternoon, thunderstorms both increase cloud coverage and remove energy from the surface and transport it to the upper troposphere. We can see both of these going on in the average temperatures above.

The black line in Figure 2 shows the average day’s cycle. The onset of cumulus is complete by about 10:00. The afternoon is warmer than the morning. As you would expect with an average, the 1 AM temperatures are equal (thin black line).

The days when the dawn is warmer than average for each buoy (red line) show a different pattern. There is less cooling from 1AM to dawn. Cumulus development is stronger when it occurs, driving the temperature down further than on average. In addition, afternoon thunderstorms not only keep the afternoon temperatures down, they also drive evening and night cooling. As a result, when the day is warmer at dawn, the following morning is cooler.

In general, the reverse occurs on the cooler days (blue line). Cooling from 1 AM until dawn is strong. Warming is equally strong. Morning cumulus formation is weak, as is the afternoon thunderstorm foundation. As a result, when the dawn is cooler, temperatures continue to climb during the day, and the following 1AM is warmer than the preceding 1 AM.

Regarding the reduction in incoming solar energy, in a succeeding post called “Cloud Radiation Forcing in the TAO Dataset“, I provided measurements of the difference between the shortwave and longwave radiation effects of tropical clouds, based on the same TAO buoy data. The measurements showed that around noon, when cumulus usually form, the net effect of cloud cover (longwave minus shortwave) was a reduction of half a kilowatt per square metre in net downwelling radiative energy.

In addition to that reduction in downwelling radiation, there is another longer-term effect. This is that we lose not only the direct energy of the solar radiation, but also the subsequent “greenhouse radiation” resulting from the solar radiation. In the TAO buoy dataset, the 24/7 average downwelling solar radiation reaching the surface is about 250 W/m2. Via the poorly-named “greenhouse effect” this results in a 24/7 average downwelling longwave radiation of about 420 w/m2. So for every ten W/m2 of solar we lose through reflection to space, we also lose an additional seventeen W/m2 of the resulting longwave radiation.

This means that if the tropical clouds form one hour earlier or later on average, that reduces or increases net downwelling radiation by about 50 W/m2 on a 24/7 basis. This 100 W/m2 swing in incoming energy, based solely on a ± one-hour variation in tropical cloud onset time, exercises a very strong daily control on the total amount of energy entering the planetary system. This is because most of the sun’s energy enters the climate system in the tropics. As one example, if the tropical clouds form on average at five minutes before eleven AM instead of right at eleven AM, that is a swing of 4 W/m2 on a 24/7 basis, enough to offset the tropical effects of a doubling of CO2 …

Not only that, but the control system is virtually invisible, in that there are few long-term minute-by-minute records of daily cloud onset times. Who would notice a change of half an hour in the average time of cumulus formation? It is only the advent of modern nearly constant recording of variables like downwelling long and shortwave radiation that has let me demonstrate the effect of the cloud onset on tropical temperatures using the TAO buoy dataset.

While writing this here on a cold and foggy night, I realized that I had the data to add greatly to my understanding of this question. Remember that I have made a curious claim. This is that in the tropics, as the day gets warmer, the albedo increases. This means that we should find the same thing on a monthly basis—warmer months should result in a greater albedo, there should be a positive correlation between temperature and albedo. This is in contrast to our usual concept of albedo. We usually think of causation going the other way, of increasing albedo causing a decrease in temperature. This is the basis of the feedback from reduced snow and ice. The warmer it gets, the less the snow and ice albedo. This is a negative correlation between albedo and temperature, albedo going down with increasing temperature. So my theory was that unlike at the poles, in the tropics the albedo should be positively correlated with the temperature. However, I’d never thought of a way to actually demonstrate the strength of that relationship at a global level.

So I took a break from writing to look at the correlation of surface temperature and albedo in the CERES satellite dataset. Here’s that result, hot off of the presses this very evening, science at its most raw:

correlation between albedo and temperatureFigure 3. Correlation between albedo and temperature, as shown by the CERES dataset. Underlying data sources and discussion are here.

Gotta confess, I do love results like that. That is a complete confirmation of my claim that in the tropics, as the temperature increases, the albedo increases. Lots of interesting detail there as well … fascinating.

My conclusion is that Dr. Trenberth’s infamous “missing heat” is missing because it never entered the system. It was reflected away by a slight increase in the average albedo, likely caused by a slight change in the cloud onset time or thickness.

My regards to everyone,

w.

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387 thoughts on “Stalking the Rogue Hotspot

  1. … so you should be very afraid, because science.

    Indeed. At first I thought there was a word or two missing, but then I realised that is because science.

  2. Perhaps Mr Trenberth should study historical weather records of the Dalton Minimum. He will see a lot of similarities with today. in his terms then there were hot spots, cold spots, dry spots, and wet spots. The problem then was that their locations weren’t very predictable – just as today. But how different is the predictability now compared to 10 and 20 years ago?

  3. The moving hotspot. I believe there is a term for this. It’s called the Texas sharpshooter fallacy.

  4. It was reflected away by a slight increase in the average albedo, likely caused by a slight change in the cloud onset time or thickness.

    Ahhh – you lose, ‘cos the IPCC claims range from very likely to extremely likely but your claim is only likely.

  5. Opps, I forgot to mention giant bubbles of CO2, plus water feedback amplificaiton. It would be silly to suggest CO2 could do that on its own , wouldn’t it.

  6. Willis, could you explain this: ” the net effect of cloud cover (longwave minus shortwave)”?

  7. Its actually an inspired fib – it evokes image like that ghastly moving anti-cyclone in “The Day After Tommorow”, your town could be next. I think Trenberth is slime, but you’ve got to admire his creativity on this one.

  8. If temperature falls fast in the second half of the night, it is probably because the air is dry and clouds do not form, hence the heat is being radiated away. If clouds do form, it is because the air temperature at which they are forming has reached dew point, and there is enough dust, etc, to enable water vapour to condense. So your blue line is equivalent to dry air, and the red line to humid air. A dry day means then that tomorrow will be warmer, and a wet day means it will be cooler. Until the usual sequence of depressions and anticyclones sweeps the humid air or the dry air away.
    You might as well rely on your bits of seaweed. As it tends to be hygroscopic, when it is soggy, tomorrow will be cooler. And if it is crispy, tomorrow will be warm.
    QED, something or other!

  9. Why is the correlation negative over the tropical rainforests of Africa and South America?

  10. I didn’t see a good explanation of the hot spot. Does that mean temperatures above average? Or, like the case of Richmond weather it has been cooler than normal for several days and warmed up to about normal yesterday. So, was that retreating cool spot and then hot spot or just hot spot? And now Willis wants hot spots, cool spots, wet spots, dry spots, cold spots. It’s all so confusing.
    I’m glad the science is settled and so solid it cannot be questioned. It’s all so confusing to the laity and common folk.

  11. Willis:

    Thankyou for your comment which is wiity and accurate.

    I agree with your opinion that

    My conclusion is that Dr. Trenberth’s infamous “missing heat” is missing because it never entered the system. It was reflected away by a slight increase in the average albedo, likely caused by a slight change in the cloud onset time or thickness.

    However, I write to point out another problem with the quoted Statement from Trenberth.

    He talks about a ‘hot spot’ as being a region of high temperature which moves around.
    This is NOT what is meant by the missing Hot Spot when considering AGW.
    Trenberth’s phrase of “hot spot” quoted above – either deliberately or inadvertently – confuses discussion of the missing Hot Spot.

    For the benefit of those who do not know, the AGW hypothesis as exemplified by climate models predicts that temperature at ~10 km altitude 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 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.

    The above quotation from Trenberth inhibits clear discussion and understanding of the missing Hot Spot by the public.

    Richard

  12. Brilliant, Willis, as always. And this time very funny too! It was quite hard to avoid starting to laugh out loud here in the office with the misteriously moving hotspots, coldspots and wetspots!

  13. Whatchoo talkin’ ’bout, Willis? The missing heat is in the deep oceans, having been transported there via teleportation. Star Trek was all about science.

  14. “Full of extra scientificity”….Brilliant, Willis. I’m still wiping coffee off my Macbook. It’s a travesty, all right….that Trenberth’s ego is so large it obscures the view of his mirror, and he cannot see just how really how lofty he looks, if ‘lofty’ be the appropriate term. Hey Kevin, Your missing heat? It’s roving around roasting different places, just before Willis’ Cold spot comes a-cryovanting along.

  15. So my theory was that unlike at the poles, in the tropics the temperature should be positively correlated with the temperature.

    Presumably a typo?? Otherwise stating the obvious.

    [Thanks, Murray, fixed. -w.]

  16. Trenberth’s main problem is his climate model which is as far from reality as is possible to get. Anyone who believes that the planet is flat, zero rotation, 24/7 weak sunshine will always come up with the wrong answer about planetary heat gain and loss.

  17. Gotta confess, I do love results like that. That is a complete confirmation of my claim that in the tropics, as the temperature increases, the albedo increases. Lots of interesting detail there as well … fascinating.’
    Interesting too that the Arctic shows higher albedo. Maybe this from wiki indicates why.

  18. Maybe the movement of that hotspot caused a partial vacuum that sucked in the record-low high temperature in Atlanta last week. Maybe he could find it if he looked in Alabama.

  19. Apologies for my ignorance, but I don’t understand what the correlation picture is saying. Any chance of spelling it out for the uninitiated?

    Also, is this essentially the same basic premise as Dr Roy Spencer advocates?

  20. It’d be nice if this was broken into two seperate posts.

    I’d like to share the part about the missing heat, but no one I know wants to sit through talk about rhetoric.

  21. The true brilliance, is it get us talking about their rhetoric, which makes us seem like cranks. He also gets to rederfine “the hotspot” away from the finger-print.

  22. I get it, there are also windy spots, snowy spots…hey, this could indicate that climate is chaotic. Now there’s a concept. One more thing discovered here: the alarmist bloggers and news media don’t have to to any research at all for their articles. They just sit by the computer or phone and the distinguished senior scientist contact them whenever they have a vision.

    Man, Willis, you are getting climate science stuffed into a nutshell and it is readily understandable. I am impressed. I hope you are considering broadening this idea broadly to higher lattitudes. The ocean and sky don’t know where they are, they just respond to the temperature at any given time to counter swings. The the temperate zones’ heavy thunderstorms (and tornadoes -this zone’s additional sun blockers and heat chimneys) also respond to the summer heat.

    One excellent example of the large effect of small changes (your 1/2 hr differences in the onset of clouds) is the double rainy season in eastern Tanzania and Kenya. The border between them is roughly 4 degrees South. When the ITZ moves south through Tanzania it creates the “little rains” (called vuli) in October to December and when it comes back and N into Kenya and beyond, it creates the big rains (called Masika). The duration of these rains tells us that the onset occurs when the sun’s angle is only a few degrees off vertical. Very small changes indeed for such a response. I think a data set here would fine tune the model showing small differences. Willis, you have a lot of work to do – I certainly don’t trust the synod of climate science with this stuff.

  23. Willis is clearly right about the tropical response to any additional energy in the air of those regions.

    Now extend it globally and factor in variable ocean cycles in each ocean basin altering the rate of energy release from oceans to air and add to that variable solar activity altering stratospheric temperatures so as to change the tropopause height gradient between poles and equator.

    The interaction between top down solar and bottom up oceanic effects gives us climate zone shifting which alters the amount of energy entering the oceans and the tropical events noted by Willis are part of the negative global response to any forcing elements other than mass gravity or ToA insolation.

  24. “I have to say, I find Dr. Trenberth’s claims both very depressing and very encouraging. They’re depressing because they are a million miles from science. It’s just a frightening tale for children around the campfire, about how the risks of bad things are rising, and it’s worse than we thought.”

    Exactly. The alarmist hand-waving is getting more and more desperate in the convolutions they employ to avoid the oncoming train of actual data.

  25. Now the hot spot moves around…but only in the summer
    …and the cold spot doesn’t count
    because up to now, we were looking really stupid

    …and we’re only going to count and promote those places where the hot spot is…because the cold spot doesn’t fit our agenda

    Nothing has changed

  26. “the dreaded “wetspot”,”

    goddammit its all over my keyboard and screen – thanks dude – best laugh I’ve had in a while

  27. So Trenberth’s mystery of the missing heat has turned into the mystery of the moving hotspot. I suppose summers in the past were never variable.

    I wonder if the current pause in temperature has made alarmists start to worry about the effect that a LACK of climate change will have on sea levels, coral reef growth, ocean acidity, biodiversity, etc. After all, they have devoted their careers to worrying about something, so if there is nothing to worry about, they will have to make something up. If climate change stops, won’t there be all sorts of problems with the earth’s systems being unable to adapt back fast enough to the lack of change? (One thing they might start to do is see the natural variation in summers as moving climate-change induced ‘hotspots’…….)

  28. aaron:

    I write to emphasise the important points you make in your succinct post at August 21, 2013 at 4:48 am which says in total

    The true brilliance, is it get us talking about their rhetoric, which makes us seem like cranks. He also gets to rederfine “the hotspot” away from the finger-print.

    For those who do not understand “the finger-print” I provide a link to my above post which explains the matter

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/21/stalking-the-rogue-hotspot/#comment-1395986

    Trenberth has obfuscated that and made us “seem like cranks” with one statement.
    As you say, that is very clever.
    Those above who think this is only about rhetoric have missed the point.

    Richard

  29. I’m extremely worried that with all these hotspots and coldspots that we are going to have an awful lot of tepidspots and all the catastrophe that might entail.

    Anyone want to lay odds?

  30. Dr. Trenberth is a warmist who retains some of the doubt of a true scientist. Joe Romm, James Hansen and Michael Mann are beyond doubt….. .

  31. I assume that for Dr. Trenberth to claim “missing heat” he must be making some sort of extrapolation of measured incoming and outgoing energy and concluding that there is an imbalance. Can anyone tell me how these data are collected and a ‘budget’ calculated?

  32. Willis, you have outdone yourself. It is so enjoyable to get up in the morning and find something really funny waiting on your computer. The saga of people who desperately want to be taken seriously but are so silly continues.

  33. The Uncertainty Principle. This Hot-Spot follows the same rules. The very act of looking at it causes it to move.
    See also Scarlet Pimpernel and The man Who Was Not There.

  34. Somebody should draw Trenberth’s attention to Psalm 148 verse 8 (King James version). “Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word:”. Sorry Kevin, King David published first.

  35. Its crap science , but its right in-line for the guy that wanted to reverse the null hypotheses because that is the only way he could get this claims to make ‘any sense ‘
    Even after all time I am still amazed that the standards seen in this area of ‘science’ are so shockingly low. Perhaps that is the only way they can actual work.

  36. So what we’ve been calling natural variability is the result of greenhouse gas emissions?

    That explains everything.

  37. Dr. Trenberth is correct when he says:

    We can confidently say that the risk of drought and heat waves has gone up …

    It all depends on how you define “risk”. Now I bet because the above fragment came just in front of:

    … and the odds of a hot spot somewhere on the planet have increased …

    you thought that “risk” and “odds” are different words used to mean the same thing — not so fast. As Steve McIntyre continually reminds us, you have to watch the pea under the thimble.

    In the context of losses, “risk” means the total exposure in dollars, i.e., the cost of making good on damages. “Odds” means the likelihood of some loss occurring. So Dr. Trenberth is absolutely right to say that the “risk” of drought and heat waves has increased, because basically the risk (cost) of everything has increased, what with inflation, new regulatory compliance cost, etc. This is true even if the odds of droughts and heat waves decline.

  38. will we be seeing these climate scientists jetting around the globe trying to keep up with this elusive roaming (romming) hot spot and what if it bifurcates, what then ?

  39. Australia has a hot spot every year. It’s called ‘Summer’, and I’m sure these environmental people should already be aware of it…

  40. Greg says:
    August 21, 2013 at 3:53 am
    I wonder what is driving this devilish hot spot around the planet. Giant bubbles of CO2, no doubt.
    ===================================================================
    Wrong. Ideology, I think you will find, is driving the hot spot hither and thither.

  41. STUDY: Climate change causing climate models to become less reliable

    A groundbreaking new study has shown that climate change is the underlying cause of increasingly frequent and severe climate model failures. Researchers at Pennsylvania State Community College have discovered a critical link between atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration and general circulation model errors.

    “Climate change has made it increasingly difficult to predict climate change,” says Dr. Manyard Michael, the lead scientist behind the study. “The current 16 year pause in global warming illustrates just how serious this situation has been; if not for climate change, we now know that we would have been able to accurately predict the current break in warming and clearly show that climate change is actually accelerating faster than forecast – not stopping as climate change is making it appear to those outside of the climate science community.” Dr. Michael also noted that they stumbled on this important finding almost by accident. “We just happened to notice that the higher carbon dioxide concentrations climbed, the more we had to adjust the data to get the results we knew to be right, and the more we adjusted the data, the bigger the error in the models. It’s a very strong positive feedback.”

    This research has been quietly in the works for several years, and was almost compromised by the 2009 research theft known as “climategate.” For example, one particular email that has been cited repeatedly said in part, “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.” Skeptics have misrepresented this quote to suggest that climate scientists can’t explain why the climate is not behaving as forecast and thus there is no climate change happening when in actuality, the researcher was lamenting exactly the opposite. He knew the fact that climate models did not predict a lack of warming meant climate change had progressed much faster than previously thought, and he was expressing sadness that man has brought the climate to this point.

    Climate change deniers and anti-science websites have long grasped at the seemingly endless string of model failures and ever increasing forecast error as a way to argue the theory that humans are causing global warming is somehow falsified. Noted climate modeler Dr. Hans Jameson of the National Model Rocket Association commented, “thanks to this research, we can say with certainty what we in the climate research community known all along, that the bigger the climate model errors, the more confident we can be that manmade climate change is happening.” Because climate change continues to accelerate faster than at any time since before the dinosaurs, the scientific consensus is that that there will be some truly stunning model failures on the horizon.

    The researchers also stressed that mainstream climate science has demonstrated a remarkable ability to hindcast. As Dr. Michael points out “we can now predict the lull in warming of the past 16 years with surprising accuracy.” He further remarked that “given how well we can predict the past, the only thing that explains the difficulty of forecasting the future with equal success is the increasing concentration of greenhouse gasses. This research changes everything.” And while they are yet unable to fully explain the exact mechanics behind the correlation, the researchers expressed 99% confidence in their conclusion.

    The study which is set to be published in every scientific journal is expected to open up new areas of unprecedented spending in the emerging field of climate research research.

  42. The hunt for AGW evidence is like the great quests for the Holy Grail,or the True Cross are not about the objects but the faith involved and tested in the search.

  43. High-res July land temperatures look about as normal as it can get with no substantial hotspots or coldspots anywhere. Looks like Trenberth’s latest theory is missing again.

  44. jones @ 21 August 5:21 AM:

    “Does anyone want to lay odds?”

    Depends; what does she look like?

    (Sorry, couldn’t resist — — a highly mobile hotspot hit me, and I lost control … … … )

  45. Willis, can you do the same correlation graph with to absolute forcing change. I’ve seen some fuzzy descriptions of abledo and I’m never quite sure how the angle of light is treated. Is it a percentage of the light for that geographic location or a percentage of the average for the whole surface? There is a lot of blue over land and green in the mid latitudes, how does this compare to the energy of the red and orange in the tropics?

  46. Willis

    Thank you, several laugh-out-loud at climate science moments, Trenberth is the travesty

    MattN

    I don’t think this hotspot is the droid he is looking for

    Cough, splutter, 9½ out of 10. Congratulations, you created a localised keyboard & screen coffee spot

  47. There is an old story about the Emperor’s New Clothes. The key line in this story is said by a child who yells out: “But the Emperor has no clothes.” This story should be updated for modern times, and still with a child yelling out the truth, but given the revised story, this is what the child says: “But the scientist has no brains.”

  48. ….or it is like “The Hunting of the Snark”

    http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/173165

    “”He had bought a large map representing the sea,
    Without the least vestige of land:
    And the crew were much pleased when they found it to be
    A map they could all understand.

    “What’s the good of Mercator’s North Poles and Equators,
    Tropics, Zones, and Meridian Lines?”
    So the Bellman would cry: and the crew would reply
    “They are merely conventional signs!

    “Other maps are such shapes, with their islands and capes!
    But we’ve got our brave Captain to thank
    (So the crew would protest) “that he’s bought us the best—
    A perfect and absolute blank!” “

  49. Willis, excellent post, (sarc) but it’s not the summer cold spot that is worrisome, it’s the winter roaming unpredictable cold spot that should scare us (be afraid, very afraid). (/sarc)

    @ richardscourtney
    A phrase involving a hammer, nail, and head comes to mind. I can almost already hear the remarks of the alarmist drones in response to a skeptical comment about the missing tropical tropospheric hotspot with something like: it shows up every year somewhere. God help us.

  50. I must confess that when Willis mentioned “the dreaded wet spot”, my mind took me to a completely different place than the article.

    BTW, spot on again Willis.

  51. For this gross heresy daring to suggest anything other than CO2 levels are responsible for changing global temperatures, the inquisitors will be coming to get you and make you atone for your apostasy.

    The Climate Inquisition is here to enforce the true teachings of the IPCC and its devout followers. Everything is settled, there shall be no further discussion or debate.

  52. Kevin writes “Earlier this year it was Australia (Tasmania etc) in January (southern summer). ”

    Well I live in Tasmania and I can tell you that it was touch and go there for us for a while. It was like some god had a giant magnifying glass and was turning ordinary “minding their own business” people into little puffs of smoke in the streets!

  53. JimS, we already have something like that, it’s Monckton shouting out “but there’s been no warming for 16 years”. But they just counter it by saying “but it’s been the warmest decade everrrrrrrr in the entire time the planet has been around”…

  54. Seriously though, Dr. Trenberth may be onto a new science here; the science of Spotology. They are sneaky, wild things, those weather spots, and someone needs to keep an eye on them. He could affectionately be known as “Dr. Spots”, and could voyage around looking for them. It’s the new frontier, you know.

  55. @CodeTech:
    “JimS, we already have something like that, it’s Monckton shouting out “but there’s been no warming for 16 years”. But they just counter it by saying “but it’s been the warmest decade everrrrrrrr in the entire time the planet has been around”…”

    LOL! Yes, but in the old story, the Emperor admitted it, so what is wrong with these scientists?
    Oh scratch that – the Emperor was not motivated by acquiring government grants, since he was the government.

  56. @Pamela Gray
    Only someone of your gender could get away with such a statement as above. I am still chuckling. Thanks.

  57. So how come physicists have not been able to quantify and measure this new found function of heat, which I now label, ‘sneaky’. This function, apparently, renders heat able to hide away from satellites and even has the ability to sink in water, to depths of deeper than 700 meters, without being detected as it descends. What is the distinctive atomic or molecular mechanism, derived from CO2, which can transform ordinary, rising heat, into first the very sticky heat, (which does not leave the top of the atmosphere, (thus warming the planet according to models)) and then through to this new ‘sneaky’ heat, which can also sink and hide?

    I ask because in spite of the alarmists claiming that there are the equivalent of n thousand Hiroshima nuclear blasts worth of heat being added to the atmosphere, the heat is stubbornly refusing to make itself known to all attempts to find it.

    Yet trenberth STILL refuses to even contemplate the notion that the theoretical expression of a theory (as demontrated by models) could ever be …. wrong? He would rather believe the models than the actual, real data.

    Does Trenberth really, seriously consider himself to be a scientist? Really?

  58. Jim, I immediately related to this article. Being clearly on the last half of a century of life, this elusive hunt for spots of ANY temperature and dewyness is a topic of past-50 female discussions everywhere.

    Willis, I simply adore this article and all the following comments. We all rose to new heights with this one. Haven’t uncontrollably laughed out loud this much in months! As for Trenbreth, my heart goes out to him. Poor man can’t find any hot or wet spots. He must not be doing it right.

  59. We had a Wind Spot here the other day, but fortunately its moved on. The scary part is not knowing where it will move to next.

  60. Actually, I think this moving hot spot has been well documented by scientists and weather men. The technical term for it is weather.
    Chris

  61. Mark Hladik says:

    August 21, 2013 at 6:14 am

    jones @ 21 August 5:21 AM:

    “Does anyone want to lay odds?”

    Depends; what does she look like?

    Fussy are we?

  62. Ken Hall says:

    August 21, 2013 at 7:03 am

    So how come physicists have not been able to quantify and measure this new found function of heat, which I now label, ‘sneaky’

    No Ken No, as with quarks and their ilk it has be a ‘ness’. Like sneakiness, movieness, slinkiness. See what I mean – ness.

  63. aaron says:
    August 21, 2013 at 4:44 am
    ———————————————-
    Rhetoric: you mean that stuff that fills today’s “scientific” journals? They have the bullhorn, let us have a little fun.

  64. lurker, passing through laughing says:
    August 21, 2013 at 6:16 am
    ….or it is like “The Hunting of the Snark”
    ———————————————————————
    And mayhaps Kevin “Thingumbob” has just found and met the snark and it’s a “boj…” /sarc

  65. Somewhere there’s a moving risk of a hot spot? Wow, reminds me of that bad fantasy movie Krull, the black castle of the evil overlord moved to a different, random spot every day. So now climatogists are copying bad fantasy movies?

  66. Regarding Trenberth’s “except for the SW” comment, I would love to know which part of the US SW he is talking about… Here in “sunny” SoCal we have been having a summer that has averaged 2-3 degrees below normal (if John Coleman is lurking maybe he can confirm). I do not ever remember waking up to low clouds every morning in August like we are having this year. My MIL lives in AZ, and my parents live in NV, they both report a summer with below average temperatures.

    So, Kevin, is the “hot spot” over the SW centered somewhere near Roswell,NM?

  67. Jim are you kidding me? He won a prize for “understanding” river discharge but still can’t find the elusive “spot”. I bet he has a big engine in his pickup.

  68. Trenberth says “We can name [hot]spots for all summers going back quite a few years ….

    How many? 17 (since warming paused)? 34 (satellite record)? Since the Little Ice Age? I bet we could find hotspots for every year we have marginal records.

    I think this work can be extended. Trenberth says excess heat is in the deep ocean. Maybe that shows up as a mobile hot spot too! It would certainly help explain why we can’t find it. In fact, why stop at the seafloor? I bet this year the hot spot is hiding under the Hawaiian Islands.

  69. Trenberth has no sense of the absurd or he would not talk in such a fashion. Now we have the famous Mexican jumping hotspot, thanks to Trenberth.

  70. Willis you have two posts in one.
    The first appropriately ridicules Trenberth’s nonsense, itself refutes by the IPCC’s 2012 SREX. Romm’s echo chamber merely shows the deliberate in thinking meme that increasingly self destructs.
    The second is a brilliant follow on. It adds a major piece to the puzzle of how and why all GCM’s get it wrong (so there is not missing heat). You have adduced satellite proof of Lindzen’s adaptive iris hypothesis.
    And, AR5 SOD itself admits clouds are poorly modeled. See chapter 7. That is inherent, since these convective processes take place on scales much smaller than the minimum GCM grids enabled by the newest, fastest supercomputers. So there is no way possible (in the foreseeable future) for such models to ever produce accurate results. So we should stop wasting money trying.

  71. This is the type of article that should only be available on a Monday morning when people need the biggest laugh. And there should be a warning attached – “do not read with a mouthful of coffee”. I knew these individuals were desperate – what with hiding heat in deep oceans and all. But now the illusive hotspot and all the other spots (thanks Pamela – my wife is encountering those too) indicates the “OMG how are we going to get out of this” situation the alarmists have gotten into. They must be glad the English language has so many qualifier words in it so that can’t be pinned down for the garbage they spew. Its also sad that you really can’t have an actual DEBATE on the facts. But then, there are only one set of facts and they ain’t going their way. Thanks Willis

  72. Greg says:

    August 21, 2013 at 3:53 am

    I wonder what is driving this devilish hot spot around the planet. Giant bubbles of CO2, no doubt.

    Now I know what went after Number 6 and others whenever they left the village. The bubbles that chased them were giant bubbles of CO2.

  73. Anyone tracking the dreaded “perfect weather spot?” I’ve noticed it around a lot in the spring and fall but it has even been hanging around this summer. Climate dice, hot spots, and man-bear-pig…this sounds like a wonderful novel indeed.

  74. Didn’t someone in the news say that they were contemplating naming hotspots like they do hurricanes? I’ll bet the first name will be either Betty or Carmen. How about Mae? Heck, let’s just go with Marilyn. I can’t even type wetspot names. Even my fingers are laughing!

  75. Last night the cold spot moved through while I was away from home and created the rogue wet spot. However, the rogue wet spot was accompanied by the rogue hard spot, which luckily grazed by my house but dumped golf ball sized hail on a neighbouring community, which was unlucky for them but lucky for me since I’d left a vehicle parked outside and you should see what that kind of hail can do to a steel automobile roof.

    The rogue cold spot was plowing up and displacing Dr. Trenberth’s rogue hot spot (~34 C. Well it’s hot for us here, ok?) that had been hanging around here for the last week.

    And all along I just thought it was August dog days weather. Shows what I know. Now I’m really alarmed.

  76. “We can name spots for all summers going back quite a few years: Australia in 2009, the Russian heat wave in 2010, Texas in 2011, etc.”

    How long until the until the Weather Channel starts giving these hot & wet spots appropriate female names?

  77. I’m sure that once upon a time this unpredictable variability had a name.

    It was called “weather”.

  78. Right, at the risk of provoking a dirty joke from the exquisite Pamela, where have you Evil Deniers hidden Kevin’s Hot Spot?

  79. Is it April 1 somewhere on the planet? Could this be Kevin Trenberth’s April Fools day draft that leaked and Joe Romm doesn’t realize how FUNNY this is? What a gift !!! Great post Willis.
    SPOTOLOGY – love it. Hot spots, Cold spots, Windy spots, Wet spots, Dry spots. This clearly ratchets up the level of climate science. Are there more ‘spot’ types to find like ‘cloudy spots’ and ‘sunny spots’ and ‘normal spots’?

  80. Looks like a good project for a student. Steve Goddard regularly post historical reports of heat waves and droughts etc from all around the world. My guess is careful tracking would locate the whereabouts of the roving “hotspots” for most years. Paying attention to history might turn up some interesting things- or not! Where are all the physical geographers who used to love this type of project?

  81. aaron says:
    August 21, 2013 at 4:44 am
    It’d be nice if this was broken into two seperate posts.

    I’d like to share the part about the missing heat, but no one I know wants to sit through talk about rhetoric.
    ==========================================================================

    Well they should. A classical education would include the study of rhetoric.

    O tempora, o mores.

  82. Tom in Florida says:
    August 21, 2013 at 4:05 am

    So do we have a moving cloud/albedo spot and where is it now?
    —————————————-
    That might be a tough one Tom.
    They’re not sure where it is at this particular moment and I believe they’re unable to predict where it will be next but, they can tell you where it was before now…..or maybe it’s after then.
    Are they’re trying to confuse me?
    cn

  83. Terry says:
    August 21, 2013 at 6:02 am
    “parlous” or “perilous”?
    =======================
    Same thing. Parlous is somewhat archaic but perfectly legit.

  84. Trolls:

    Where are you?
    For once we have a thread we want you to join, but you are not here.

    We know you are reading this, so join in.
    Come on, we want you to play.

    Richard

  85. jeremyp99 says:
    August 21, 2013 at 7:49 am (replying to)

    Terry says:
    August 21, 2013 at 6:02 am

    “parlous” or “perilous”?
    =======================
    Same thing. Parlous is somewhat archaic but perfectly legit.

    Much depends, of course, on jest how sharp the needles are: Surely you remember that old phrase “Knot one, parlous two”?

  86. That guy is such a scientific dufus that I think he might actually believe the crap he spouts

  87. Chris Schoneveld says:
    August 21, 2013 at 4:08 am
    Why is the correlation negative over the tropical rainforests of Africa and South America?
    ============
    it isn’t. it is negative over the NH continental land masses. which is interesting. there is much to be learned from this graphic that is not accounted for in GHG theory. namely that the increased albedo due to increased moisture overpowers the assumed positive feedback due to increased moisture. in other words, that clouds are poorly understood by mainstream climate science, so they are assumed to have little effect.

    in effect climate science takes the position that since we don’t understand clouds, they must not be very important. the things we do understand are what are important.

  88. Hmm, One of the hallmarks of CAGW is that nighttime low temps are rising. The nightspot covers half the planet, of course, should I be seeking out hotspots in the nightspot? Are there any hotspots that climate scientists frequent?

  89. I’ve FOUND IT – The Hot Spot. It starts out at about 2PM on any point of the planet and moves westward 15 degrees every hour until it comes back to you about 24 hours later !

    Amazing ….

  90. Tremberth’s excitement over roving, “Hotspots”, with soon reach a climax and morph into the inevitable, “Wetspots” of the CAGW by CO2 pulpy novel inspired by the IPCC’s Pauchauri.

  91. If Trenberth persists in his quest to find the “lost” heat, he no doubt will eventually find it hidden in the windmills.

  92. richardscourtney says:
    August 21, 2013 at 4:11 am
    The above quotation from Trenberth inhibits clear discussion and understanding of the missing Hot Spot by the public.
    =============
    agreed. i also had the feeling that Trengerth was seeking to hide the fact that there is no observed Tropospheric Hot Spot, which is one of the many failed predictions of climate science.

    rather than admit that GHG theory is falsified by its failed predictions, Trenberth seeks to hide this fact through confusion by suggesting the hotspot is moving around. even though he knows full well this is not the same hot spot and at the same time seeks to explain the failed prediction of continued warming by suggesting the warming is now occurring in places we cannot measure.

  93. Then there’s the “stupid spot”, which seems to show up wherever the IPCC happens to be meeting…

  94. Pamela Gray says:
    August 21, 2013 at 7:37 am

    … I can’t even type wetspot names. Even my fingers are laughing!

    The wetspot always lies about the other side of the bad.

  95. Love the humor here; kudos to Craig 8/21 6:04!!!

    Seriously, seasonality should figure into things too, as snow/ice albedo in fall and spring sends out reflected solar radiation at the same wavelengths as incoming, and 70%+ cannot be captured and re-radiated by the GHGs and thus leaves the planet (unwarmed), goes out into space, and doesn’t come back.

    The combination of tropical cloud albedo and snow albedo is a great start towards explaining the temperature “standstill” of the last 16 years. The simplistic focus on CO2 is the real travesty performed by politicians pretending to be climate scientists!!!

  96. The ABC theory of religion states that Climate Science is a religion if it satisfies 3 criteria:

    1. Absolution – you will be saved if you stop burning fossil fuels.
    2. Belief – CO2 from humans is the cause of climate change
    3. Conversion – if you don’t believe, you are an evil denier and deserve to be punished.

  97. I think this is what I have been looking for. If you go back to the Senate testimony on CAGW that was posted here a few weeks ago, one of the two female scientists (I can’t remember which one) stated something to the effect that you “couldn’t look for a warming signal GLOBABLLY. Rather one has to look REGIONALLY.

    Now the distinguished scientist suggests something very similar. We are now looking for regional hotspots as opposed to looking for a warming planet.

    Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, I submit to you that the goal posts have once again been moved!

  98. After re-reading the post, I came to realize the “hot spot” is not about climate. It is referring to the “global warming, climate change, climate disruption, carbon pollution” conferences. We know where they have been but are not sure where they might be in the future.

  99. Mann has been SOOOOOOOO excited today! He is racing back to that bristle pine tree to show Trenbreth the missing hotspot! Good boy! Here…have a prize from the treasure box.

  100. RACookPE1978 says:
    August 21, 2013 at 8:11 am
    Pamela Gray says:
    August 21, 2013 at 7:37 am
    … I can’t even type wetspot names. Even my fingers are laughing!

    “The wetspot always lies about the other side of the bad.”

    There is another side to bad? And wetspots lie? Wow! This is complicated climate science for sure! I see Nobel Prizes in Trenbreth’s future.

    Don’t change a thing about your post. It was perfect!

    Ladies and Gentleman of the jury, we now have wetspotgate.

  101. Surely the hotspot can be followed around as a lump in the TOA (top of atmosphere) visible from satellite.

  102. craig ,that was seriously funny,and very apt. lets hope trenberth himself does not read wuwt comments,he would be quite happy to pursue that line i am sure.

    • New explanations from the Air Force are likely forthcoming.

      “No ma’am, that wasn’t a flying saucer, it was a Rogue Hotspot flying about. We’ve been trying to track it for years. It’s nothing to worry about.”

  103. Don’t the GC models always show a hot spot at a particular tropospheric altitude in the tropics, not over Russia?

    I wish that YouTube had the brilliantly acted scene from “A Bridge Too Far” with the late, great Denholm Elliott as a RAF meteorologist describing fog as “shifty stuff”.

  104. The sad part of the quest the Dr. Trenberth and his fellow searchers are undertaking is that it is done with our money,and their goal is to impose their ever failing demands on all of us.

  105. Bob Greene says:
    August 21, 2013 at 4:10 am
    I didn’t see a good explanation of the hot spot.
    ============
    exactly, how does well mixed CO2 create a roving hot spot? The climate models predict it will remain stationary in the tropical troposphere. Dr T appears to have conjured up a demon that even the all seeing, all knowing climate models don’t know about.

  106. The temperature is falling.
    I think the Cold Spot just traveled through here.
    No wait, it was a cloud.
    Sorry, I didn’t mean to cry wolf.
    Climate Science is hard.
    cn

  107. Stephen Richards says:
    August 21, 2013 at 7:15 am
    Mark Hladik says:

    August 21, 2013 at 6:14 am

    jones @ 21 August 5:21 AM:

    “Does anyone want to lay odds?”

    Depends; what does she look like?

    Fussy are we?

    Box of Rocks says –

    Well it also depends – are you wearing beer goggles and does the hot spot show up?

  108. johnmarshall says:
    August 21, 2013 at 4:24 am
    “Trenberth’s main problem is his climate model which is as far from reality as is possible to get. Anyone who believes that the planet is flat, zero rotation, 24/7 weak sunshine will always come up with the wrong answer about planetary heat gain and loss.”
    John, is it really true that these assumptions (flat planet, zero rotation, constant sunshine instead of night and day i.e. ’24/7 weak sunshine’?)
    are used in the climate models? I am not doubting you, but it is very hard for me to believe anyone would make these assumptions in their huge climate models. Do you have some quotes or citations? These would help blow up the entire scam. Thanks,

  109. Can Boulder retrieve its village idiot?

    The only spot I care about is cold and wet and is contained in a glass down at BJ’s.

  110. Trenberth needs to produce data showing trends for his “drought and heat waves” going up. He also needs to stop fooling around. In the quoted passage he says:

    …..This year perhaps it is East Asia: China, or earlier Siberia? It has been much wetter and cooler in the US (except for SW), whereas last year the hot spot was the US. Earlier this year it was Australia (Tasmania etc) in January (southern summer). We can name spots for all summers going back quite a few years: Australia in 2009, the Russian heat wave in 2010, Texas in 2011, etc.”

    This is the weather and not the climate. A few years back sceptics were told that the weather is not the same as the climate. Now Trenberth moves his motorized goalposts to keep himself well employed, useful and well funded. It is a travesty.

  111. See Spot Run.
    Run, Spot, Run.

    – this probably only resonates with the 60+ crowd. And Josh has a new meme for cartoons.

  112. Ken Hall says:
    August 21, 2013 at 7:03 am

    So how come physicists have not been able to quantify and measure this new found function of heat, which I now label, ‘sneaky’

    Ken I think you are really onto something here. All this time we thought that heat was, well, just plain heat. Thanks to Dr. Trenberth, we now know there are several different kinds of heat.

    There’s normal heat, which is easy to find because it’s hot.
    Then there’s inverted heat which is often missed because it usually appears cold.
    Then as you say there’s sneaky heat which moves around to avoid detection.
    Finally there’s heat which binds itself to unlikely locations like the deep ocean where it can remain undetected for years or decades. I call this fourth type chained heat.

    Boy, there sure is a lot to learn about this hotspot business.

  113. Trenberth is beginning to sound like this weatherman. :-)

    First, I asked Stephen Belcher, the head of the Met Office Hadley Centre, whether the recent extended winter was related to global warming.

    Shaking his famous “ghost stick”, and fingering his trademark necklace of sharks’ teeth and mammoth bones, the loin-clothed Belcher blew smoke into a conch, and replied,

    “Here come de heap big warmy. Bigtime warmy warmy. Is big big hot. Plenty big warm burny hot. Hot! Hot hot! But now not hot. Not hot now. De hot come go, come go. Now Is Coldy Coldy. Is ice. Hot den cold. Frreeeezy ice til hot again. Den de rain. It faaaalllll. Make pasty.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/19/hump-day-hilarity-big-kahuna-warmy/

  114. As one reads this piece of spoofology regarding Trenbeth’s frustrated mumblings, one must recall that still accurate wail by Dr. Paul Jones of the Brit’s CRU, “…there has been no statistically significant temperature increase since 1995.” In which case, Willis’ scurrying coldspots cbasing Kevin’s hotspots are well balanced and nullify one another – zip, nada. A comforting nihilistic ballet across the weather charts.

  115. Leonard Lane:

    Re your post at August 21, 2013 at 9:00 am

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/21/stalking-the-rogue-hotspot/#comment-1396196

    in response to the points from johnmarshall.

    As you imply, the climate models don’t have the faults he suggests.

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

    I recently again explained this (with quotations and references) on WUWT, and this is a link to that recent post

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/19/shocker-global-warming-may-simply-be-an-artifact-of-clean-air-laws/#comment-1395914

    I hope this helps.

    Richard

  116. Chris Schoneveld says:
    August 21, 2013 at 4:02 am

    Willis, could you explain this: ” the net effect of cloud cover (longwave minus shortwave)”?

    Sure, but it’s better explained the the citation. Clouds affect the shortwave (solar radiation), they decrease it. They also affect the longwave radiation, but that, they increase. So their net effect is the difference in the absolute values of those two effects.

    w.

  117. Mike Bromley the Kurd says:
    August 21, 2013 at 4:20 am

    “Full of extra scientificity”….Brilliant, Willis. I’m still wiping coffee off my Macbook.

    Thanks, Mike, I do love being a wordsmith of little brain …

    w.

  118. Tim says:
    August 21, 2013 at 9:32 am
    Perhaps it could be called the T Spot. It is what makes global warming alarmists go wild!

    I should have mentioned that they also have a hard time finding it.

  119. Willis said “So my theory was that unlike at the poles, in the tropics the temperature should be positively correlated with the temperature.”

    Did you meant to say “…in the tropics the albedo should be positively correlated with the temperature.” ?

  120. Perhaps Josh could come up with a new mascot, a dog named “Hotspot” with a wanderlust and we’re all trying to find him like “Where’s Waldo?”

  121. Terry says:
    August 21, 2013 at 6:02 am

    “parlous” or “perilous”?

    Actually, both …

    w.

  122. Let’s see. the Hot Spot moves around, it’s location can’t be predicted – just like the pea under one of the three shell.

  123. @Wilis: Does your correlation get better if you just plot summer in NH & summer in SH instead of the yearly average?

  124. Willis You might want to fix a glitch in the post.- You say “temperature should be positively correlated with the temperature” Otherwise a great piece.You might extend this line of investigation to climate. by integrating the tropical radiation balance due to orbital variations (mainly the precession of the equinoxes – see http://journalofcosmology.com/JOC22/Steel_PPPIGW.pdf )
    with the changing solar radiation spectrum see the latest SORCE data.
    and the changes attributable to the change in incoming GCRs.
    That would just about wrap up the the whole climate question. I can ook forward to a post from you along these lines in a couple of weeks – no doubt.

  125. To continue where Jimbo left off:

    Hurling the still-beating heart of the chicken into a shallow copper salver, Professor Sutton inhaled the aroma of burning incense, then told the Telegraph: “The seven towers of Agamemnon tremble. Much is the discord in the latitude of Gemini. When, when cry the sirens of doom and love. Speckly showers on Tuesday.”

    …climate science. ☺

  126. dbstealey says:
    August 21, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Surely the entrails of a starved to death polar bear cub are the One True Prognosticatory Sign.

  127. While many have focused on the humorous “spotology”, the real spear into the AGW elephant is the CERES graph. Nice find Willis, it is clear evidence that clouds are a negative feedback where it matter most … in the tropics. I should also note that CERES data also verifies the RSS data showing a clear regime shift from warming to cooling around 2005. CERES is a skeptics best friend.

  128. I love Family Circle, especially when Billy tries to walk a straight line through the neighborhood. Replace Billy with Hotspot and we have the makings of a … wait for it … cartoon! Climate Science reduced to a cartoon. And that’s the end of THAT story!

  129. I know where Trenberth’s “hot spot” is–he couldn’t find it in the atmosphere, so he looked down on Earth and found multiple hot spots! They just happen to coincide with every coal-fired power plant.

    And that explains Obama’s war on coal.

  130. SteveV says:
    August 21, 2013 at 3:50 am

    The moving hotspot. I believe there is a term for this. It’s called the Texas sharpshooter fallacy.
    ______________________
    Brilliant. However, it surely applies to much more than the moving hotspot.

  131. Eschenbach is right. It would make a great b-movie. One of those scifi movies that are so bad they’re funny. “The Hotspot That Baked Chicago”.

  132. choey2 says:
    August 21, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Eschenbach is right. It would make a great b-movie. One of those scifi movies that are so bad they’re funny. “The Hotspot That Baked Chicago”.
    ——————

    Since sharks are out, maybe the roving hot spot carries with it buzzards & vultures.

  133. One cannot claim the “odds” of drought have increase if there is no shift in the sampled set.

    One cannot claim loaded dice when the sampling to date shows an unloaded distribution. If we start with a hypothesis of “loaded die”, and look at the rolling history of that die and see even distribution (within expected sampling errors), then we can invalidate the hypothesis.

  134. Ken Hall says:
    August 21, 2013 at 7:03 am

    “So how come physicists have not been able to quantify and measure this new found function of heat, which I now label, ‘sneaky’. This function, apparently, renders heat able to hide away from satellites and even has the ability to sink in water, to depths of deeper than 700 meters, without being detected as it descends. What is the distinctive atomic or molecular mechanism, derived from CO2, which can transform ordinary, rising heat, into first the very sticky heat, (which does not leave the top of the atmosphere, (thus warming the planet according to models)) and then through to this new ‘sneaky’ heat, which can also sink and hide?

    I ask because in spite of the alarmists claiming that there are the equivalent of n thousand Hiroshima nuclear blasts worth of heat being added to the atmosphere, the heat is stubbornly refusing to make itself known to all attempts to find it.”

    Perhaps an entirely new field of study? Combine ‘sticky heat’ and ‘sneaky heat’ in the new field of ‘Black Heat’? or perhaps ‘Anti-Heat’- since Dr. Trenberth and colleagues can’t seem to find it?

  135. Dear God let us NOT get into another row of exactly what is the definition of the “heat” in the illusive hotspot. Keep that hatchet BURIED!

  136. Dr. Kevin Trenberth, Distinguished Senior Scientist says:
    “We can confidently say that […] the odds of a hot spot somewhere on the planet have increased.”

    It is supposed to be a scientific proposition, is it? In that case it should be falsifiable, that is, we can unequivocally describe a hypothetical state of affairs, which, if observed, would make its negation true. Something along the lines “It is not the case we can confidently say…”. Or, somewhat more directly and ridiculously:

    “We can diffidently say that the odds of a hot spot somewhere on the planet have increased.”

    Now, what kind of proposition is that? Its subject matter is not even climate, but the mental state of some climate scientists, that is, their confidence or the lack thereof. As such, it is surely not a scientific proposition, or if it was, it did not belong to the natural sciences, but to sociology, psychology, whatever.

    However, we are not interested in those disciplines right now, are we? So, let’s proceed with the kernel of Trenberth’s proposition, which relates to objective reality, not his pals’ stance concerning a certain proposition.

    “The odds of a hot spot somewhere on the planet have increased.”

    Much better. We only need a clear cut definition of “hot spot” to make it falsifiable. Or rather, a definition of “hot spot (B)”, because there is already a technical term in climate science under the very same name, with a completely different meaning. Ouch. A Distinguished Senior Scientist is surely aware of this inconvenient fact. Anyway.

    1. Hot Spot (A): A hypothetical layer high up in tropical troposphere where rate of warming is much faster than close to the surface (not observed).
    2. Hot Spot (B): A region close to the surface anywhere on the globe, which happens to be much warmer than its surroundings. Or something to that effect.

    We have some 24 years of continuous satellite observations in digital format with reasonable resolution, therefore it should be possible to identify all occurrences of “Hot Spot (B)” in channel TLT (Temperature Lower Troposphere) under any reasonable technical definition of the concept using a simple script. I am not aware of such a study, nevertheless it looks quite feasible.

    Its result would either confirm or reject Trenberth’s proposition.

    The only question remaining is what fuels the confidence of a Distinguished Senior Scientist in the absence of such study. But that’s a question for psychology and has nothing to do with climate science as such.

  137. and when they got home they found a hook dangling from the car door handle … the hooked killer had just missed 2 more victims …

  138. First the “hotspot” was the relatively rapid warming of the upper troposphere that would be seen if warming were caused by increased CO2, but that hotspot went missing. Then there was Trenberth’s Loch Ness deep ocean hotspot, where the missing heat was supposedly slipping into the abyss, too far down for us to find it. Now he’s claiming that for gauging climate it is weather that matters, not climate. From the upper troposphere to the deep oceans to rank disinformation, and he will probably find a way to go lower still.

  139. P.S. to Willis: awesome albedo correlation discovery. Any speculation on how the tropical albedo effect is likely to change as the world warms or cools? That is, any speculation on the second derivative of albedo with respect to temperature? I’m curious because the second derivative is dramatic in the case of polar albedo effects, making cooling inherently much more dangerous than warming, but what really matters is the planetary second derivative, which requires putting the polar second together in an appropriately weighted sum with the tropical second.

    In the polar case the albedo effect gets weaker as the world warms and stronger as the world cools. In the cooling direction, snow and ice descend to latitudes that cover much larger swaths of surface area (which in the northern hemisphere are mostly land, which only needs freezing temperatures to hold snow cover). These lower latitudes also receive more direct insolation, so the albedo effect rapidly increases by both area and the amount of energy reflected per area. In the warming direction the marginal polar albedo effect decreases for the same reasons. There is not much snow and ice left to melt and it is only reflecting away a very oblique insolation anyway.

    Thus from our present starting point the polar albedo feedback in the warming direction would seem to be benign in terms of having little power to create any runaway temperature change, but in the cooling direction the albedo feedback is increasingly “vicious,” confirmed by fact that it regularly throws the planet into hundred thousand year long glacial periods. For figuring out what we should be worried about, the second derivative is huge. It marks a strong asymmetry where there is little to worry about in one direction and much to worry about in the other.

    But the polar albedo effect is only part of the picture so I’m curious what the tropical second derivative of albedo with respect to temperature might be.

  140. Maybe we should call it “dark heat”, similar to dark matter. Our instruments don’t see it, but AGW theory says it’s supposed to be there. So observations-be-damned, we’re going to pretend it’s there.

  141. Eureka!! I’ve found it!! The MISSING HOTSPOT!! It’s painted squarely on the middle of Trenberth’s back!! No wonder he can’t find it! A dog never catches its tail when chasing it.

  142. jones says:
    August 21, 2013 at 5:21 am

    I’m extremely worried that with all these hotspots and coldspots that we are going to have an awful lot of tepidspots and all the catastrophe that might entail.

    Anyone want to lay odds?

    Global Tepidity is my greatest fear. Children won’t know what a good cup of tea is.

  143. So the hotspot “moves around and the location is not very predictable,” like a cockroach in a kitchen? Does it leave its ‘footprints’ on the thermometers?

  144. Another reality disconnect: heat waves and drought are very different. Drought comes mostly from atmospheric cooling and drying, not heat.

  145. A Forest Gump misquote is in order here:

    “We been through every kind of heat there is. Little bitty stinging heat, and big old FAT heat, heat that flew in sideways, and sometimes the heat seemed to come straight up from underneath. Shoot, it was even hot at night.”

  146. RACookPE1978 says:
    August 21, 2013 at 8:11 am
    Pamela Gray says:
    August 21, 2013 at 7:37 am
    … I can’t even type wetspot names. Even my fingers are laughing!

    “The wetspot always lies about the other side of the bad.”
    ————————————————————————————————————-

    I think “bed” is simply misspelled.

  147. BTW, Trenberths hotspot reminds me of UCS’s Brenda Ekwurzel’s Turbocharged Weather Patterns.
    New York. 2011 – how Global Warming is causing more snow

  148. August 21, 2013 at 4:44 am
    It’d be nice if this was broken into two seperate posts.
    I’d like to share the part about the missing heat, but no one I know wants to sit through talk about rhetoric.

    How dare you diss “mainstream” Climate Science! It’s rhetoric is its “science”. The farther away its rhetoric is from reality and science, the better! Aka, the Ivory Tower in very high orbit, maybe even unprecedented! NOAA has already erected some kind of post-modern/post-normal science fetish to it, the” Four Pillars of Climate Science,” while the rest of us only need take some LSD.

  149. Clinton. Parse anything he [or she] says very carefully.
    Obama. dittto
    Trenbirth: sadly, ditto.
    Mann: fuhgedaboudit!

  150. “mkelly says:

    August 21, 2013 at 7:35 am

    Greg says:

    August 21, 2013 at 3:53 am

    I wonder what is driving this devilish hot spot around the planet. Giant bubbles of CO2, no doubt.

    Now I know what went after Number 6 and others whenever they left the village. The bubbles that chased them were giant bubbles of CO2.”
    _______________
    Am I the only one that caught mkelly’s reference to the classic show “The Prisoner”? Come to think of it, there are many characters in the show that remind me of certain personalities in the climate debate. Perhaps we can cast Willis in the roll of Number 6. Funny how the warmist crowd always seem to be trying to keep folks in the village of AAGW Doctrine.

  151. Craig says:

    August 21, 2013 at 6:04 am

    STUDY: Climate change causing climate models to become less reliable
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Absolutely brilliant Craig…..LMAO

  152. So funny, thank you Willis

    The part that I particularly enjoyed is the foreboding, menacing quality of his claim that there is now some roving “hotspot”, whose location “moves around” and “is not very predictable”. Dang, what if the dreaded “hotspot” comes to my town? Does he mean we might be faced with the much-feared phenomenon known locally as “a really hot summer”.

    Gosh Eric Worrall, could you be any meaner? For no apparent reason?

    Also funny Bruce Cobb:

    He could affectionately be known as “Dr. Spots”

    Ken Hall,

    No Ken No, as with quarks and their ilk it has be a ‘ness’. Like sneakiness, movieness, slinkiness. See what I mean – ness.

    You mean Nessie?

    and Stephen Wilde :

    We need money for Spotographs and Spotometers. Billions will be necessary.

    I keep laughing anew–this is all so hilarious.

    And funniest of all. Gary says:

    See Spot Run.
    Run, Spot, Run.

  153. Walter Dnes says:
    August 21, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Maybe we should call it “dark heat”, similar to dark matter. Our instruments don’t see it, but AGW theory says it’s supposed to be there. So observations-be-damned, we’re going to pretend it’s there.
    ——————-

    It’s worse than we thought. The missing dark heat is actually cool heat. Unprecedented!

    And the dark energy is anti-energy.

  154. What do the tree rings say? C’mon all you dendrospotometrists… there’s PAPERS to publish!

  155. Day By Day says:
    August 21, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    So, Richard Muller’s BEST is now Spotted Dick Pudding?

  156. Willis your reasoning makes sense as far as it goes, but when the tropics have had La Nina Periods in the past there was still no evidence of even a hint of a tropical hotspot..

    I predict if the tropics cool going forward due to greater La Nina activity going forward that the hot spot will still be missing in action.
    Meanwhile relative humidities keep falling at all levels of the atmosphere over the past many years further showing a lack of a positive feedback between co2 and water vapor.

    Willis is also admitting that cloud coverage acts as a cooling agent overall in stark contrast to what the global warming models predict.

    I agree with that Willis.

  157. While the levity is interesting – I thought I would see why a hotspot was thought to exist. So I went to the fount of all knowledge on that SKS:
    “The tropospheric hot spot is due to changes in the lapse rate (Bengtsson 2009, Trenberth 2006, Ramaswamy 2006). As you get higher into the atmosphere, it gets colder. The rate of cooling is called the lapse rate. When the air cools enough for water vapor to condense, latent heat is released. The more moisture in the air, the more heat is released. As it’s more moist in the tropics, the air cools at a slower rate compared to the poles. For example, it cools at around 4°C per kilometre at the equator but a much larger 8 to 9°C per kilometre at the subtropics.

    When the surface warms, there’s more evaporation and more moisture in the air. This decreases the lapse rate – there’s less cooling aloft. This means warming aloft is greater than warming at the surface. This amplified trend is the hot spot. It’s all to do with changes in the lapse rate, regardless of what’s causing the warming. If the warming was caused by a brightening sun or reduced sulphate pollution, you’d still see a hot spot. “

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/What-causes-the-tropospheric-hot-spot.html

    (my bolding)

    I have no way of knowing if the explanation above has been slavishly transcribed into code in the various GCMs, but I think I can see an error in the logic of the explanation that would explain a missing hot spot.

    Humid air has higher enthalpy than dry air as the water molecules hold heat until state change condensing or freezing. There is no doubt that water changing state from vapor to liquid on condensation then from liquid to ice on freezing releases latent heat. If you look at the GOES satellite imagery the outgoing infrared can be seen – see http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/natl/flash-rb.html

    Note that the infrared is from latent heat of state change and therefore is temperature independent thus not subject to Stefan Boltzmann’s equations.

    The assumption made in the SKS description above is that this ‘warms’ the atmosphere. However, what is released is Electro Magnetic Radiation (EMR). EMR of itself has no ‘temperature’ it needs to be incident on and absorbed by a gas molecule that is sensitive to that particular frequency of radiation to ‘raise its temperature’ i.e. increase the molecule’s kinetic energy. Well we can see some EMR on the satellite imagery so a fair amount is directly radiating to space. The EMR travels in all directions. The non-radiative gases Oxygen and Nitrogen will not be affected they are transparent to the long wave EMR. Carbon Dioxide may scatter some of the long wave EMR in one of three very narrow bands but at height in the tropopause there is little carbon dioxide to scatter the infrared anyway. Those few Carbon Dioxide molecules that do absorb the EMR and which collide with an Oxygen or Nitrogen molecule before re-emitting the energy may raise the kinetic energy of the molecule they collide with – raising the temperature of the atmosphere at that point. However, what is guaranteed to absorb the EMR will be water molecules close to the radiating molecule as it changes state and radiates the EMR. Those water molecules are likely also about to change state or have changed state on cooling; receiving another EMR photon may delay its change of state or reverse its change of state. BUT it will not raise the temperature of the water molecules. That is It will increase the molecule’s energy content rather than the molecule’s kinetic energy.

    So there is more energy in the high level tropical troposphere – but it is held by the water molecules not changing state as rapidly not as a ‘hot spot’ with higher temperature i.e. gas molecules with higher kinetic energy. When these water molecules do eventually change state condensing or freezing the EMR mainly escapes to space.

    Climate ‘science’ lax use of terms may have led to this, as heat radiation is not equivalent to temperature; carbon dioxide and water vapor are both called ‘green house gases’ but their behavior is fundamentally different.

    Am I down a rat-hole – or does that explain the lack of a ‘hot’ spot.

  158. Well, Jupiter has its Hot Spot the Earth needs one too. It is not the hot spot forecasted by the models but it should do, the running Hot Spot.
    Maybe it is running to catch the Cold Spot?
    Thanks Willis for the good laugh!

  159. So, what Dr Trenbeth is saying is that during the summer months some part of the globe will have a drought/ heat wave conditions? That is, some part of the globe will be very hot and very dry? Could it be that his “roaming hotspot” is nothing more than seasonal variations determined by synoptic level oscillations in our atmosphere? That is, this magical hot spot is in fact a normal atmospheric condition known as summer? I bet there is an +80% chance of some location on the globe going through a drought/heat wave at any given time. Sheesh.

  160. Ian W:

    Re your post at August 21, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/21/stalking-the-rogue-hotspot/#comment-1396416

    Sorry, but the SkS explanation you quote is plain wrong.
    Indeed, if it were right that

    It’s all to do with changes in the lapse rate, regardless of what’s causing the warming. If the warming was caused by a brightening sun or reduced sulphate pollution, you’d still see a hot spot.

    then the absence of the Hot Spot would be clear evidence that THERE HAS BEEN NO GLOBAL WARMING FROM ANY CAUSE since 1958 when measurements began.

    The true reason for the tropospheric Hot Spot is Water Vapour Feedback (WVF).

    Please read my above post at

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/21/stalking-the-rogue-hotspot/#comment-1395986

    and read its link to the pertinent IPCC text for a proper explanation of the Hot Spot.

    The absence of the Hot Spot indicates that the WVF is so small as to have no discernible effect. Hence, anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) global warming (AGW) is too small for it to be discernible.

    Your explanation of the absence of the Hot Spot is wrong because it is based on information from SkS which is wrong. But you could do worse than going to SkS when researching AGW by going to RC.

    Richard

  161. But fortunately for everyone, the stupidspot is rapidly moving away from the centres of power and gradually shrinking as it goes.

  162. I’m going to withhold judgement until I hear what the tree rings say. Does dendro-spotometry verify Trenberth’s claim?

  163. Well it looks like we have a cold spot forming over Northern Russia.
    A high has formed of the type l have been posting about that is sitting on the Arctic circle.
    Because its northern edge is deep into the Arctic. Its drawing a lot of cold air down (with the help of a area of low pressure to the east) across northern Russia. Bringing a early start to winter with the temps up to 5C below average.

  164. richardscourtney Do you concur with the 3 scientists on climate dialog’s web site that the warming can’t be found in the tropical troposphere?

  165. BBould:

    At August 21, 2013 at 2:51 pm you ask me

    Do you concur with the 3 scientists on climate dialog’s web site that the warming can’t be found in the tropical troposphere?

    Sorry, but I do not understand the question as it is stated.
    What is meant by “the warming can’t be found in the tropical troposphere?”

    I stated the facts in my above post at

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/21/stalking-the-rogue-hotspot/#comment-1395986

    where I said

    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.

    For an explanation of why please read what I wrote in that post and use the link in that post to access the IPCC AR4 and associated text which provides detail.

    If this answer is not what you wanted then please rephrase your question so I can understand what you do want.

    Richard

  166. richardscourtney – “Climate models show amplified warming high in the tropical troposphere due to greenhouse forcing. However data from satellites and weather balloons don’t show much amplification.” Quotes from climate dialog. I’m still learning the jargon so I can understand if I was being obtuse. I did read you other post as well.

  167. As Pamela Gray has noted above, the pursuit
    of hotter “hotspots” and wetter “wetspots” goes better when the
    two types of spots are combined.

    I have just started writing a grant request for $5M funding to allow
    me to extensively research the phenomena mentioned above.
    Now, where do I submit this request….

  168. BBould:

    re your post to me at August 21, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    You quote a statement from ‘climate dialog’ that says

    Climate models show amplified warming high in the tropical troposphere due to greenhouse forcing. However data from satellites and weather balloons don’t show much amplification.

    Actually, that is not correct. It should say;
    Climate models show amplified warming high in the tropical troposphere due to greenhouse forcing. However data from satellites and weather balloons don’t show ANY STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT amplification.

    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!

    I hope this additional information answers what you want from me.

    Richard

  169. Craig
    Brilliant, love it, or I would, except that I understand it is now in pal review in Nature. :-(
    Pamela, Naming hotspots after women is sexist, I propose Popeye, Tom, (Cruise), Richard, (Gere) and Brad, (Pitt), as alternatives.
    Coldspots, I can only think of Angela, (Merkel).
    Wetspots, Retaining the gender neutral theme…
    Dick & Fanny. (May require transatlantic translation.)
    DaveE.

  170. Folks, you’re missing the point. This is just the opening PR gambit for the first truly Global Warming Global Lottery!

    Place your bets where will the next “Hot Spot” land?

    Round and round its goes, where it stops nobody knows!

    Place your bets!

    Form, rating data and offers are available from the usual online gambling sites. For example, at present the UKMO have an offer to refund all losing bets on a whole continent! Fine print – (Antarctica)

  171. I think the “wetspot” is wherever Mann happens to be when he has a hissy fit. Depends…

  172. Ahhh, Dr. Trenberth is referring to the dreaded “wetspot”, and he doesn’t mean the one the baby leaves on your shoulder.

    No, he means the one left by the continual bed-wetting of the CAGW protagonists … including himself.

  173. And just think…suppose a year goes by and no Hot Spot is observed…Trenberth can say that it still happened. It’s just that the Hot Spot coincided with a Cold Spot that year…

  174. bobl says:August 21, 2013 at 8:00 am

    I’ve FOUND IT – The Hot Spot. It starts out at about 2PM on any point of the planet and moves westward 15 degrees every hour until it comes back to you about 24 hours later !

    Amazing ….

    You beat me to it. I was going to say it actually doesn’t move, the earth rotates around the sun, not vice versa. I think that is settled science.

  175. What I got out of Willis Eschenbaughs fine presentation is that Dr. Trenberth is not a practicing scientist following the Scientific Method because he is busy pushing disjointed propaganda about a “roving” SURFACE hotspot which is clearly different from the conjectured 10 KM high in the tropics atmosphere for a hotspot that is never seen.

    Thus he finds the WEATHER based roving hotspot easily in his addled mind but fails to realize that the conjectured hotspot is based on climate trend as pointed out even in their own published paper.

    The man is a mess.

  176. TomR,Worc,MA,USA says:
    August 21, 2013 at 6:22 am
    I must confess that when Willis mentioned “the dreaded wet spot”, my mind took me to a completely different place than the article.

    I’m sure that place crossed Willis’s mind as well, but in a rare moment of delicacy, he opted for the baby.

    /Mr Lynn

  177. Gary says:
    See Spot Run.
    Run, Spot, Run.

    I can tell you mid to late 40s is enough to ROTFLMFAO about that :-)

  178. Ferd says:
    “We are now looking for regional hotspots as opposed to looking for a warming planet.
    Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, I submit to you that the goal posts have once again been moved!”

    GRW – Global Regional Warming – the new tagline

  179. Nice clear explanation Willis. Makes me glad to live on a wet planet.
    BTW: “Scientificity” is a good word–until I tried to say it out loud. One false move on the syllable accent and it’s all over. :)

  180. Could someone please move the hotspot back to Brisbane? It’s got cold again here, and I’m beginning to have doubts about Global Warming.

  181. Day by Day I think Trenberth is slime, because while confessing to mates there were serious problems with their heat budget, he maintained a facade of absolute conviction in the science, and helped foster the myth that it was “settled”.

    Trenberth has helped and continues to help facilitate the squandering of horrendous amounts of money on green cr@p, money which could have been spent on medical care or education or simply been left in people’s pockets, so they could decide how to spend it.

    All for what? Because his ego is too big to admit in public that he might be wrong? Because he’s on a good thing and doesn’t want to let it go? Because he is prostituting his credibility as a climate scientist to further a personal political agenda? We might never know the real reason he does what he does – but what he is doing is in my opinion very, very wrong.

  182. Ian W says:
    August 21, 2013 at 1:36 pm
    This amplified trend is the hot spot. It’s all to do with changes in the lapse rate, regardless of what’s causing the warming. If the warming was caused by a brightening sun or reduced sulphate pollution, you’d still see a hot spot. “
    ==============
    SKS argument means the neither co2 nor sun nor sulphate caused warming, because there is no tropospheric hotspot.

  183. but of course the sks argument leads to nonsense, because there reasoning is nonsense. co2 warms from the atmosphere to the surface. the sun and sulphates warm from the surface to the atmosphere. in the case of co2, the surface lags the atmosphere. in the case of the sun and sulphates it is the atmosphere that lags the surface.

  184. Willis’ Eagle soars ever higher.

    I have been reading this blog for five years. The WUWT community have outdone themselves.

    You have hit my funny spot.

  185. pick anything you like, for example the odds of finding a $100 bill lying on the ground. you can definitely say that there is a place on earth right now where the odds of this happening have increased. and also that this spot will move around and it is hard to predict where and when it will happen next.

    And it is all caused by increased CO2.

  186. The hotspot is quite predictable: it is the locational reciprocal of Al Gore’s current location.

  187. memo to Dr T

    if climate never changed, the odds that this year will be hotter than any other on record increases every year for every place on earth. this is a result of a change in the length of time you have been keeping records and has nothing to do with climate change.

    what you call your rogue hotspot was discovered year ago. it is called the laws of chance. seriously dude, get a grip.

  188. Dr. T’s rogue hotspot is no different than a rogue wave on the ocean. the longer you travel on te ocean the greater the odds you will encounter a rogue wave larger than any others you have seen previously. which of course means that co2 powers the ocean. before we had SUV’s the ocean was flat calm.

  189. Jean Parisot says:
    August 21, 2013 at 10:06 pm
    Here’s a hint, the hotspot will generally be facing the sun – the cold spot, not.

    Would that be a wet hot-spot and should I be alarmed?

  190. Well done Willis. Random hotspots do not explain how the average temperatures stay the same unless there are corresponding cold spots of equal magnitude which maintain the average at the same temperature – this is the fundamental problem with Trenberth’s current explanation. In other words, if the average daily temperature remains the same, a record high temperature must be matched by a corresponding record low.

  191. Eric Worrall like Mann Dr T has no choice but to keep doubling up on this ‘bet’ has he knows his academic ‘dead meat ‘ when the cause falls . Without AGW these guys have nothing they could not get a job teaching physics in poor high school when it falls . All they have to look forward to is public ridicule.

  192. You’re a clever chap Willis. So is Trenberth. The difference is that his belief system – or is it funding system – acts like a straight-jacket on his mind, channelling his thoughts in one direction only. You’re a free thinker. If the funding went to free thinkers we’d crack this climate conundrum in jig time.

  193. Interesting – not a single troll comment.

    I think the conclusion in this post of Willis may have touched a very raw nerve.

    “My conclusion is that Dr. Trenberth’s infamous “missing heat” is missing because it never entered the system. It was reflected away by a slight increase in the average albedo, likely caused by a slight change in the cloud onset time or thickness.”

    Mother Nature’s clouds versus CAGW theory. No doubt who’s the winner here.

  194. After Dr T eventually finds the ‘hot’ spot, which I fully expect him to do even if he has to torture, homogenise, adjust and statistically contort the ‘data’, perhaps he could assist all of us males in finding the elusive ‘G’ spot.

  195. Would someone please point out to Kevin Trenberth that the record maximum temperature in Hobart last summer was caused by the very same factors that caused the previous record to be reached c1982: strong northerly airstreams bringing down air from central Australia that was not unusually hot for central Australia.

    The whole explanation seems on a par with a wonderful (so bad it is good) movie set in Hobart, ‘Arctic Blast’. Plot summary from IMDB:
    ‘When a solar eclipse sends a colossal blast of super chilled air towards the earth, it then sets off a catastrophic chain of events that threatens to engulf the world in ice and begin a new Ice Age.’
    The more observant will have noticed that it’s a bit difficult for an Arctic blast to begin in the oceans south of Tasmania. Rent it for a good laugh. It won’t have quite the same appeal it does for us Hobartians seeing familiar sights in a climate catastrophe schlock-fest, but it still contains gems (Including CSIRO’s Division of Marine and Atmospheric Research vessel ‘Southern Surveyor’ in a cameo role).

  196. “Craig says:
    August 21, 2013 at 6:04 am
    STUDY: Climate change causing climate models to become less reliable”

    Hilarious stuff.

  197. jones says:
    August 21, 2013 at 5:44 am

    What about the G-spot?
    ==========================
    Ah! Would that be the cause of Frank Zappa’s G-Spot Tornado?

    FZ strikes again!

  198. Ah Trenberth’s version of Heisenberg’s “Uncertainty Principle”
    We can predict the temperature of the “hotspot, but not its position:-)
    What a whack-job!

  199. “In addition, afternoon thunderstorms not only keep the afternoon temperatures down, they also drive evening and night cooling. As a result, when the day is warmer at dawn, the following morning is cooler.”

    Something that the Silver Lining Project should take not of.

  200. LOL Willis you really shouldn’t mix good science with bad. I hope there is a follow on essay on your cloud theory.
    v/r,
    David Riser

  201. Willis Eschenbach says:
    August 21, 2013 at 9:33 am
    Chris Schoneveld says:
    August 21, 2013 at 4:02 am

    Willis, could you explain this: ” the net effect of cloud cover (longwave minus shortwave)”?

    Sure, but it’s better explained the the citation. Clouds affect the shortwave (solar radiation), they decrease it. They also affect the longwave radiation, but that, they increase. So their net effect is the difference in the absolute values of those two effects
    ==================================================
    I would like to add that the “net” affect should not be related just on a direct comparison, of watts per sq M. The residence time, of the energies involved must be calculated. It is clear that the residence time of SWR in the tropics penetrating the ocean surface is imense compared to LWIR.
    Therefore the SWR entering the ocean may still be there for a very long time (potentially decades) where as the LWIR is rapidly escorted back to the atmosphere. In such an example 1/10th the W/M2 SWR may, OVER TIME, add far more heat to the earth then a ten fold larger W/M2 increase in LWIR, if that is daily exited from the planet.

    (The short version, “Tomorrows SWR may well be additive totodays, and the day before, whereas tomorrows LWIR will be gone tomorrow.”

  202. Funny stuff. Thank you Willis and everyone. After all their years of well-funded scientific research, the UN, the Nobel Peace Prize … a tiny mouse’s squeak of fear. We need the late Terry-Thomas to conduct an interview; I’ll give it a try.

    Dr. T: The future is hard to predict.
    Me: Thank you Dr. T for that acute observation. I know we can all learn a great deal from someone of your … credentials. But just one thing: the so-called skeptics are pointing out that your observations have gone downhill over the years, and now you seem a bit less acute than any blowhard in any bar.
    Dr. T: The so-called skeptics are deniers. They don’t recognize the truth of the consensus.
    Me: But you’ve always had these outbursts of honesty where you admit that the consensus isn’t particularly persuasive, and now there seems to be nothing but a vague fear that something bad might happen.
    Dr. T: You don’t seem to recognize the significance … IPCC … hmph hmph … alphabet soup of scientific credentials and, er, journalistic credentials and, er, quite a few bachelor’s degrees in something or other.
    Me: But what has actually been learned from all this?
    Dr. T: We apply our huge intelligence, our acute judgment, and our scientific understanding in order to constantly refine our conclusions so we can tell the world what the consensus is.
    Me: The future is hard to predict?
    Dr. T: Not just that. Many years ago, in our first massive tome, we said the future is hard to predict. The media swooned over our insight. A few years later, we said the future is very very hard to predict, and we had a lot of bogus hockey stick graphs. In the report that is about to come out, we say the future is triple hard to predict. The blowhard in the bar is correct, but unlike us with our superb training and insight, he doesn’t know just how correct he is.

  203. Well written, well explained, thank you for writing in a way that opens up the science for us non scientists to understand. In the end it is mostly common sense.

    Which brings one to the main point of this article, at what point does a man like Trenberth admit that what he is saying has no common sense? We all know we can see patterns in anything because the mind is designed to pick out patterns, and statistics can be used to prove anything, but at some point integrity has to kick in.

    Belief has a role in science, it guides you towards targets which can be tested and falsified, but there comes a point where you have re-engage with those believes and change direction, surely Trenberth has reached such a moment. Or does he have no integrity?

    One feels that Climate science has reached a point where the advocates have to choose between admiting they are on the wrong side of the debate, or lose their reputations as scientists of integrity. It is not good enough to clutch at straws.

    Love the preview mode! Now can we have a spelling checker?

  204. Let’s cut to the chase, no matter what is happening in climate, if it’s hot or cold, dry or wet, whenever, wherever, it is due to anthropogenic global warming…so saith the vainglorious overlords,,,

  205. “Dr. Trenberth’s claims both very depressing and very encouraging. ” It’s also encouraging that he claims the key “proof” for AGW is sea levels. If that’s the best he can come up with, the IPCC is clearly lost at sea.

  206. on the face of it Figure 3 seems to indicate that there is overall greater negative correlation (based on surface area) but does anyone know what the relative heat energy levels are given that the tropics receive proportionally far more solar insolation than other latitudes?

  207. Willis, I’ve re-read this brilliant piece of very concentrated science and I’m blown away with its elegance and simplicity. Following your stuff is like eavesdropping on the birth of climate science. How can card-carrying climate scientists stand to be in the wings also only eavesdropping on the birth of what is supposed to be their child. It was good narrative to begin with the desperate, bankrupt, disoriented extinguished “Senior Scientist”, but I fear many of your readers were a bit blinded by mirth and seem to have missed out on something very big in this post.

    From your insights over many posts I’ve come to the idea that when there is a lack of fundamental understanding of phenomena, we appeal to chaos theory to ease the stress of not grasping the nub of the science – it must be chaotic. Man, climate is becoming more and more deterministic as your probing continues. Why already, I think we can predict that if on August 20th, 2050, equatorial ocean water will reach a maximum temperature of 31C, it will be a very cloudy and rainy afternoon and if its much cooler than that, it will be a bright sunny day! How good is that?

  208. Pamela Gray: Dinner with you would be a hoot.
    Chris R: Your grant application should be sent to Eliot Spitzer. (A NY joke- in every sense of the word!)
    Rattus, Rattus, wherever you are, I was looking for a balancing argument. There being none, to quote Charlie Brown, “Rats!”

  209. Willis,

    Your excellent essay/lecture seems to have lost out on much of the serious discussion it deserved in the comments.

    You brought up the clown and the class erupted in laughter (me too). The thread took its own course. I hope you can find the opportunity to bring it up again, perhaps with the thermostat hypothesis and related links, for more discussion.

    Now is that hot/wet spot located somewhere between a hard spot and a sweet spot?

  210. I’m unconvinced on the hotspot theory, but I’m living in one of this year’s wetspots in Western North Carolina. Every time I drive past NOAA’s National Climate Data Center, I imagine them crouched over a huge bank of monitors, trying to locate the antipodean dryspot. Most people don’t realize that for every wetspot there is a paired dryspot somewhere on the opposite side of the world.
    .

  211. From Trenberth…
    “We can confidently say that the risk of drought and heat waves has gone up and the odds of a hot spot somewhere on the planet have increased but the hotspot moves around and the location is not very predictable. This year perhaps it is East Asia: China, or earlier Siberia? It has been much wetter and cooler in the US (except for SW), whereas last year the hot spot was the US. Earlier this year it was Australia (Tasmania etc) in January (southern summer). We can name spots for all summers going back quite a few years: Australia in 2009, the Russian heat wave in 2010, Texas in 2011, etc.”

    Two points:

    (1) Does Trenberth really talk like this?? He has a very incoherent style of explaining anything, especially science (and this is not the first example where I have observed this).

    (2) So the people who have spent enormous amounts of U.S. tax dollars on climate modeling research (at NCAR) can’t predict where this mythical “hot spot” will be NEXT YEAR?? This is incredible! They are making climate predictions as far out as 100 years, and yet they have NO way of predicting regional climate NEXT YEAR?? So this begs the question: is the “hot spot” a random weather phenomenon or a (unpredictable) climate feature?

  212. Should add: “As greehouse gas concentrations and global average temperatures increase, temperatures fall further and futher outside of projections. Just a small amount of warming over the recent half-century has caused temperatures to fall far outside of expectations, and it’s getting worse. The high temperatures which have persisted the past two decades have caused temperatures to fall further outside confidence ranges than earlier years, despite almost no measurable warming.”

  213. Excellent post indeed, Willis! And very funny!

    You know I don’t agree with you on the DLR issue, but that is of trivial importance here. Thanks for the TAO and CERES data and analysis. Very enlightening!

  214. “Hotspotting” – with Ewan McGregor, Kevin Trenberth, James Hansen.

    Soon in a cinema near you.

    /sarc

  215. I keep waiting for Trenberth to break out in song and sing, “Yes we have trouble. Right here in River City. With a capital T that stands Temperature hotspots somewhere. Yes we’ve got trouble….

  216. Tornado chasers soon to be replaced with hotspot chasers. Not to be outdone by the competition, we will soon see entire caravans and their sequal movies for wetspots, dryspots, windspots, snowspots, hailspots, coldspots, tepidspots (loved that one) and the far more elusive -as in children will not know what it is- perfectspot. And there you have it folks. The next horrible climate change outcome. A reduction -nay- extinction, of the perfectspot.

  217. I made the following comment at Climate ‘&’ but it did not get much feedback. I’ll try it here.

    A focus on the physical domain in order to avoid discussions of mathematical modeling with the continuous equations, the discrete approximations to these, numerical solution methods used for solution of the discrete approximations, coding of all aspects of the models and methods, and application procedures and users.

    The following are well-established.

    1. Gaseous CO2, and the gaseous phase of H2O, both are interactive media with respect to radiative energy transport in the wavelengths of interest to the earth’s climate system.

    2. The earth’s climate system is an open system relative to radiative energy transport: the systems can both gain and reject radiative energy. Some portion of the planet is rejecting energy out of the earth’s climate system for some portion of every day.

    3. The earth’s climate system has never been in the past, is not now in the present, and will never be in the future in thermodynamic equilibrium. In particular, radiative energy transport at the top of the atmosphere has never been in exact balance between the incoming and outgoing energy. Thermodynamic equilibrium between components within the climate system is an impossibility.

    4. The liquid phase of water, and, to lesser extent, the solid phase, and various other radiatively interactive solid particulate matter are present in the earth’s atmosphere. Some of the non-gaseous matter in the atmosphere reflect a portion of the incoming radiative energy back out of the earth’s climate system.

    5. Relative to the postulated energy imbalance assigned to increases in CO2 concentration, convective transport of energy into the atmosphere from the surface and energy transport / exchange issues associated with the phase changes of water are not minor.

    Disregarding any and all possible effects due to human activities other than addition of CO2 into the earth’s climate system, on what basis is it known with absolute certainty that the energy content of the earth’s climate system shall increase over time as the concentration of CO2 increases? That is, what aspect(s) of the earth’s climate system ensures with certainty that over time the energy content of the system must remain above the level associated with a previous state having lower CO2 content.

    Corrections of incorrectos will be appreciated.

  218. As others have noted, so far there is not a single comment trying to directly defend Trenberth’s claim. It’s so laughable even the usual alarmists don’t dare.

  219. I think it’s the humour which has proved too much for the trolls. They can manage a sort of clever smug thing, but that doesn’t work against both barrels of 12 gauge laughter… I like the dark heat best.

  220. I think those of us living in Boulder should play a light-hearted prank on the good doctor Trenberth. Perhaps taping a large brightly colored spot on his office door labeled “Missing Hotspot” or slapping same onto his back. Or perhaps standing him a round of beers as reward for his entertainment. C’mon, dare us!

  221. If there is any justice in the world (questionable assumption I know), the thermostat mechanism Willis outlines will become known as the “Eschenbach Effect.” Perhaps if WUWT contributors start using the phrase both science and justice will be served.

  222. “We can confidently say that the risk of drought and heat waves has gone up and the odds of a hot spot somewhere on the planet have increased but the hotspot moves around and the location is not very predictable.”

    Apparently the use of the Precautionary Principle makes some people very “wild and crazy guys”. While some other people with an uncommon amount of common sense – wink wink to “Willis The Merciless” – actually use the data to try to help everyone understand what the hell is going on back here in reality. “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

  223. Dear Willis,

    Excellent post: Science as science should be: the inquisitive mind, undisturbed by politics, status and money. My compliments: And with reference to reader Ole sandberg: THE ESCHENBACH MECHANISM controlling the climate. Thanks.

  224. Trenberth forgot the critical “idiot spot.” If you take the names of all the big CAGW prophets, and put them in a row, a little white spot bounces around above the names, like over the lyrics of “Auld Lang Syne” on New Year’s Eve.

  225. Another way to look at this is the energy released through latent heat. 1 kg of H2O vapor converted to vapor is the same as 627 Wh/kg heat released to the atmosphere. 1 kg will cover 1m^2 in 1mm depth. At least 50% of that (and most likely much more than that depending on altitude) will go directly to space. So an inch of rain will shunt 25.4*627*0.5 or 7.96kWh/m^2 minimum directly to space. Assuming with 3.7W/m^2 per doubling of CO2, a good rain will counteract 2152 hours or 89 days of that forcing. And it will do it at the drop of a hat.

    So, kids, let’s make sure we stay focused on the factor that is 4.6E-4 times as important as H2O.

  226. I think a debate about the essential differences between the idiotspot and the stupidspot is in order! Yes, there is a teleconnection. Stupidspots follow idiotspots. But they are not the same thing.

  227. And did I read this correctly? Since the heat must be in the planet somewhere, research is now being done to find darkspots?

  228. Well, let’s just give the good Dr. T the benefit of the doubt and assume he forgot to add the “/sarc” tag to his comments.
    That would explain EVERYTHING!

  229. I predict that Trenberth will, after his reirement (I believe he is 69 or so) express doubts about CAGW.

    Don’t know the man ……… just a feeling I have.

  230. <blockquote.This from a spokesman for the folks who have been telling us for years that the science is settled

    IIUC, Trenberth is referring to short-term fluctuations and the capacity of monitoring systems to account for that.

    My question is: what particular parts of the science is claimed to be settled? I think the difference will likely be to do with the topic. I’m pretty sure those ‘folks’ have said the science on short-term variability is not settled, just long-term, large-scale understanding (like continued GHG increase will cause the planet to warm in the long-run, or most of the warming since 1950 is caused by anthor GHGs). Proponents advise that cloud feedback is uncertain, so I know they don’t claim every component is settled.

    What of the science of climate change is claimed to have been settled in your understanding? It would be good to nail that down.

  231. To Richard Lyman:

    Your suggestion about sending the grant application to Eliot Spitzer
    is a good one. I was considering Playboy….

  232. There are 3 classes of researchers in this world:
    1. Those who make things happen
    2. Those who watch things happen and
    3. Those who wonder what-the-f*** is happening

    and the right honourable is now well established in the last category.

  233. Point to Willis for getting to the roving “cold spot” more quickly than I did.

    As for Trenbeth’s missing heat having never arrived, I thought that we all knew that already and were just gaping in amazement as Trenbeth dove overboard into the Drake Passage without a life preserver pursuing it on its way down.

    Another point to Willis on the positive correlation of albedo at the tropics. Well done.

    W^3

  234. Gary Pearse says:
    August 22, 2013 at 4:52 am

    Excellent post. Also, every hypothesis that Willis puts forth and every criticism that he makes of others’ hypotheses or explanations is perfectly in accordance with scientific method. The Eschenbach Effect pleads to be investigated and tested. It is highly falsifiable, which does not mean that it is likely false. The general statements that make it up offer first rate explanations for the heating and cooling phenomena that it purports to explain. Genuine scientists with serious research budgets would be all over it. “Big Climate Science” will studiously ignore it.

  235. Galane said August 21, 2013 at 10:34 am:

    A randomly roving hot spot? Sounds like a kid with a magnifying glass and an anthill…

    The aliens hiding in the clouds of Jupiter are researching the best target zone for maximal effect, playing the beam across Earth’s surface as the death ray idles between “irritate” and “radicalize“.

    Humans are getting closer to having non-terrestrial bases capable of possible retaliation. They’ll have to act soon…

  236. On the cloud thermostat hypothesis, Roy Spencer observes:

    But you have to be careful about what you use as evidence, and cloud formation over warm areas (e.g. at the end of this post at WUWT) is simply not evidence. Even climate models with strong positive cloud feedback (decreasing clouds with warming) are going to form clouds over warm areas of the oceans. That’s the way atmospheric circulation systems work.

  237. FrankK said on August 22, 2013 at 9:39 am:

    There are 3 classes of researchers in this world:
    1. Those who make things happen
    2. Those who watch things happen and
    3. Those who wonder what-the-f*** is happening

    and the right honourable is now well established in the last category.

    The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not “Eureka” but “That’s funny…”
    —Isaac Asimov (1920–1992)

    Wondering WTF is happening, is scientific. It’s part of the discovery process. Watch, wonder WTF, figure out the why and how, then make it happen (replication).

    Did you just accidentally accuse Trenberth of doing science?

  238. I know one thing the “Rogue” cold spot this summer has been in the SE USA.
    Atlanta, Georgia and surrounding states have had 56 out of the last 72 days average below normal. incredible that you don’t here much about this cool SE summer on the news.
    But then again it doesn’t feet the global warming narrative.

  239. In addition to no tropical hot spot which in itself invalidates AGW theory, there are other basic atmospheric processes that the global warming models have completly wrong.

    The models said a more zonal atm. circulation going forward ,the reality is a more meridional atm. circulation pattern has evolved.

    The models said the difference between temperatures in the polar stratosphere versus lower latitudes would increase with an overall stratospheric cooling, reality is the stratosphere in the higher latitudes has warmed relative to the lower latitudes while overall stratospheric temperatures have changed little. Applies mainly to N.H.

    Models said more El Ninos reality is more La Ninas. This was suppose to tie into the fable hotspot.

    The upshot of this is IF the models can’t get the basic atmospheric circulation patterns and basic atmospheric temperature profiles correct going forward, how in the world can they make an accurate climaic forecast going forward.

    One last note, the models assume wrongly that cloud feedbacks are positive. Wishful thinking.

  240. This whole subject brings up a lot of questions. Could there be more than one hotspot? Do hotspots ever divide? into 2… or 3… or more? Are they then micro hotspots? How does THE hotspot get from one spot to another spot? Plane? Ship? Jet stream? Deep ocean current? Does it get hotter the faster it goes? How DO you spot a hotspot? How do you know it’s THE hotspot? Maybe the REAL hotspot is – – over there… where it’s REAL hot! What is the temperature of a hotspot? Or is that relevant to the spot it’s in? Can THE hotspot go to the Antarctic? Would it survive if it did? Can we have a permanent hotspot? Like Death Valley? Is there a law of physics that says THE/A hotspot has to move? Why doesn’t it stay in one place? If I see/find/feel a hotspot, how would I know it’s THE hotspot? And, should I report it to someone? To – – Trenbeth? To – – Willis?

    To many questions…. I think I need some chocolate… or maybe wine… Hmmm, better yet, maybe I’ll start a company – HOTSPOT Wines! ‘Wines from where THE hotspot has been!’ Or a tour company – GLOBAL HOTSPOT TOURS! ‘WE know where it is, and ONLY WE can get you there – – before it moves!’ Wouldn’t even have to find the REAL hotspot, I’ll just send everyone to Key West.

  241. The truthiness of Trenberth’s hotspot speaks for itself. His hindcasting is uncannily accurate. The scientificity is settled.

  242. As much as sunspots may become invisible due to the so called L&P effect, perhaps the hotspot may also be invisible do to the ICM effect.

  243. The Moving Hot Spot heats, and having heated, Moves On; : nor all your Piety nor Wit
    Shall lure it back to cancel half a BTU, Nor all your tears reduce a Watt of it.

  244. David L. Hagen says:
    August 22, 2013 at 11:12 am
    “On the cloud thermostat hypothesis, Roy Spencer observes:”

    I read Dr. Spencer’s short post on this question. He states the following:

    “The RC91 Thermostat Hypothesis paper, written by experts in radiation but not so much in atmospheric dynamics, was quickly attacked for neglecting the fact that, for all of that rising cloudy air over the warm pool, there has to be sinking air elsewhere which suppresses cloud formation.”

    One wants to ask Dr. Spencer if we have empirical studies which confirm the implicit generalization in his claim. The fact that rising air and sinking air have to balance strikes me as a rule of thumb that is not up to the level of empirical research needed for the Eschenbach Effect. A balance between rising and sinking air surely does not cause a similar balance between increased and suppressed clouds. And rates of cloud formation and suppression are likely to be the key. Dr. Spencer is one great scientist but I think he is asking a rule of thumb to do the work of serious empirical research in this case.

  245. So the MWP was just a localized hot spot that hung over Northern Europe for a 100 years or so ? Can anyone explain the meteorological/atmospheric conditions for the MWP to exist only over one part of the globe while the rest of the global temperatures continue on at a cooler rate for a century plus. Maybe Kevin T. has found the secret to this mystery that explains the unmoving MWP hot spot (but it obviously was not caused by CO2).

  246. Milwaukee Bob says:
    August 22, 2013 at 11:47 am
    Hmmm, better yet, maybe I’ll start a company – HOTSPOT Wines! ‘Wines from where THE hotspot has been!’ Or a tour company – GLOBAL HOTSPOT TOURS!

    Milwaukee Bob,
    GLOBAL HOTSPOT TOURS! – I think you’re onto something there, Bob! Better trademark that name – quick!

    Perhaps, if you put a GPS tracker on Al Gore, you could predict the Hot Spot reliably as always being at the polar opposite position from Al! If the correlation holds true, travel to the HOT SPOT would have the added benefit of never having to meet Al’s sour puss face-to-face or ever having to hear one of his droning, pendantic lectures on climate fantasy, his 5th chakra that still hasn’t been released, the family zinc mine, or how he planted/ hoed/cut/hung/graded tobacco on the family farm.

    It’s a Win-Win situation Bob! I’ll bet there are a LOT of WI, MI, and MN natives that would really go for the HOT SPOT TOURS, between the months of November and April!
    MtK

  247. I am with the good doctor…I have a moving hotspot on my pillow at night when I am sleeping. First it is on the side of the pillow that is touching my head, then a short time after I flip the pillow over to find that much sought after “coldspot” , the hotspot re-appears on the opposite side. I am so glad the Doc has this figured out…he is worth ever million dollar bill he is paid.

  248. @barry,

    “My question is: what particular parts of the science is claimed to be settled?”

    Simply repeating the PNAS’ holy ‘”tenets” settles them: that “CO2 is a greenhouse gas” and “We’re all gonna die if we don’t do something really stupid like committing suicide or going back to the Stone Age Utopia…before it’s too late!” You, my child, may also add, “We nearly fingered the Hot Spot, but it took off like a Warming Model on PCP!” QED – abridged

  249. ..risk of drought and heat waves gone up … odds of a hot spot somewhere on
    the planet? Monte Carlo Methodology, ‘Mesdames et messieurs, faites vos jeux.’

  250. I think we know where to look for a permanent “wet spot” – Herr Trenberths bed. “Move over Joe you’re expanding the wet spot again”.

  251. But the alarmists are right, we must act immediately!

    I found the spot solver, and the same advice is there in the first lines:act quickly! The longer the delay, the higher the probability of a spot becoming a permanent stain.

    So we must get our spotology right and act now!

  252. I noticed that moving hot spot too, years ago. There seem to be two: a lesser and a greater hotspot. The lesser hotspot seems to come around on a daily basis, typically mid afternoon and then vanishes later in the evening. The greater hotspot seems to show up around June in the northern hemisphere and then disappears in October but then magically appears in the Southern Hemisphere a short time later. I’ve nailed down this general trend pretty precisely, but can ‘t really pinpoint the exact timing. And it seems to be less predictable these days as a result of too much CO2 in the atmosphere because years ago I could nail it down much more accurately. Just trust my hindcasting computer model.

  253. David L. Hagen says:
    August 22, 2013 at 11:12 am
    On the cloud thermostat hypothesis, Roy Spencer observes: …

    ________
    I looked over Spencer’s post, and like some others I would look for an empirical rather than a theoretical test of Eschenbach’s idea. The turning over of the atmosphere by tropical thunderstorms reminds me of the turning over of a body of water such as a lake. Clearly such an event leads to heat exchanges with the atmosphere even though all the upward circulation is balanced by downward circulation. What Eschenbach has added in other posts is that warmer atmosphere in thunderstorms can rise to the point where it can emit LW radiation into space, bypassing the “insulation” by greenhouse gases. The fact that those rising air masses must eventually come down would not negate the fact that in the process they lose energy to space. If observation confirms this, it’s a big deal.

  254. Theo Goodwin says:
    August 22, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    “A balance between rising and sinking air surely does not cause a similar balance between increased and suppressed clouds.”

    More to the point, it’s an unfair comparison because it leaves out the elephant in the room.

    It’s not just a matter of comparing the “SW-LW” effect of the increased albedo in the tropics with that of the decreased albedo it causes at higher latitudes. Spencer advances that comparison in a comment to his post: “Clouds become highly reflective with relatively little thickness, so large areas of marine stratocumulus have a greater cooling effect than all of that cloud water gathered into a deep, narrow tower.”

    The higher tropical albedo is also a marker for increased convective activity. Which means more warm air sent aloft to shed its heat into space.

    So on one side of the ledger you have the direct tropical albedo effect *and* the increased convection, on the other you have subsidence induced suppression of clouds.

    I think the very fact that the pattern *exists* and *persists* is self-evident proof that it is governed by negative feedback processes.

  255. The Hotspot bloweth where it listeth, and thou canst not hearest the sound thereof, nor tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth. Believe it. Because mysticism.

  256. “The Hotspot listeth where it bloweth, and thou canst not hear the sound thereof, nor tell whence it cometh nor whither it goest”. Believe it. Because mysticism.

  257. The observational fact that there has been no warming for 16 years supports the assertion that the planet resists forcing changes (negative feedback) rather than amplifies forcing changes (positive feedback).

    The warmists are running out of explanations and excuses to explain a plateau of no warming for 16 years.

    Lindzin and Choi’s two papers both support the assertion that planetary cloud cover, for the planet as a whole (strongest negative feedback is in the tropics) increases or decreases to resist forcing changes.

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

    On the Observational Determination of Climate Sensitivity and Its Implications
    Richard S. Lindzen1 and Yong-Sang Choi2

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

    We need cooling global temperature and a recovery of Arctic sea ice to put pressure on the warmists to acknowledge that there are multiple fundamental errors in the extreme AGW hypothesis and the general circulation models to get the conversion to the next base. There is no extreme AGW problem to solve.

  258. It seems to me that there must always be a hot spot and a cold spot, so that odds of those occurring somewhere on the planet are always 100%, and therefore the odds can’t increase.

  259. We are about to get hit with a hot/cold/dry/wet/hail/windyspot. There must be a spotsucker here in NE Oregon.

  260. Blocking high pressure leads to warm and dry weather in the summer and cold and dry weather in the winter. Outside the high pressure you will find the low pressure stacking up giving others wet and cool weather in the summer and wet and mild weather in the winter.

    So the claim is that humans are to be blamed for changing the jetstreams and blocking high pressures?

  261. A most amusing and perplexing problem, this moving, elusive hotspot; like a phantom whose whereabouts are forever hidden from all but the most discerning among us, the climate investigators. Sounds like a job for Holmes and Watson. What do you think? Maybe they can help Trenberth in his quest.

  262. I’ve noticed there are more and more places that are not hot spots or cold spots. This is the most alarming trend. We are seeing more and more mediocre spots. What’s worse is that those spots move around a lot even though they are becoming more numerous. And then there is this tendency for mediocre spots to change to either cold or hot spots intermittently. Its devastating. The end of the world is nigh. Prepare to meet thy doom,

  263. NEWSFLASH – Boulder, CO
    By Hugh Gottaby-Jokin

    Before a hushed audience of admiring Green persons, Dr Kevin Trenberth of NCAR has announced a startling discovery.

    ‘As a result of many years of intensive and expensive research by some of the finest minds in climatology, including my own of course, we have found evidence of a new phenomenon previously unknown to climate science, and we have decided to call it “WEATHER”.

    ‘Whereas we had clearly established – by innumerable computer models and a certain Siberian tree – that climate in every location around the world had been ideal and unchanging up until about 1950, when mankind’s fearsome depredations began to screw things up for Gaia and her pet polar bears, new information has come to light that casts uncertainty on this conclusion.

    ‘It now appears that occasionally there may be variations from these established ideals, whereby, often for days at a time, various places get hotter than they are supposed to, or colder than they are supposed to, or wetter, or drier, or windier, or cloudier.’

    (Mr Trenberth is forced to pause at this point to allow his audience to shriek and wail their disbelief, with much gnashing of teeth and rending of woven organic hairshirts.)

    ‘Frankly, it’s chaos out there,’ he continued, an obvious tear glistening in the corner of one eye. ‘This weather thing is a moving target. Last year, we organised a 50-man expedition to one of the hotspots, but when we got there a week later, it was snowing.

    ‘The good news is, we have received word of a certain butterfly in the Amazon. Apparently, every time it flaps its wings it causes an effect that ripples through Earth’s entire climate system and messes everything up. So, me and a bunch of guys are going to go down there and nail the ba***rd, because it’s a travesty.’

    Donations may be sent to Dr Trenberth, ex-Vice-President Gore, or the tree-hugging, people-hating organisation of your choice.

  264. I remember some years ago reading about a mega hotspot over Central Europe about 500 years ago. The river Rhein dried up. Maybe one of the reasons they started burning people at that time? And after burning enough the rain came?

  265. Aristotle would be proud. We have reduced “climate science” to “hot spots”, “cold spots”, “wet spots” and “dry spots” that move according to the dictates of Olympus; that is, erratically and unpredictably. When can we put these people in jail? Or at least fire them with cause, so that they don’t earn their future incomes from taxpayers?

  266. FTA: “The coldspot “moves around and the location is not very predictable” … so you should be very afraid, because science.”

    This is a riot. I laughed ’til my sides ached.

  267. Hot spots are random, but cold spots are predictable. All you need is a copy of Gore’s travel itinerary.

    Those of you familiar with the comic strip Lil Abner may remember a character named Joe Btfsplk who always had a dark cloud over his head. I imagine Gore walking around with a cloud snowing over his.

    Could Trenberth be setting himself up for a research grant to find a spot remover? Maybe Josh could create a spotoon of this.

    Frankly, though, I don’t think Terberth’s latest ideas are worth a bucket of warm spots. Just one more spot on his record.

  268. Tremendous post Mr. Eschenbach! Elegant. Hilarious. As for Trenberth and his peers… it would seem their problems have more to do with Blind Spots.

  269. David L. Hagen says:
    August 22, 2013 at 11:12 am

    On the cloud thermostat hypothesis, Roy Spencer observes:

    But you have to be careful about what you use as evidence, and cloud formation over warm areas (e.g. at the end of this post at WUWT) is simply not evidence. Even climate models with strong positive cloud feedback (decreasing clouds with warming) are going to form clouds over warm areas of the oceans. That’s the way atmospheric circulation systems work.

    Thanks, David. I have great respect for Dr. Roy. However, what I have shown is increasing clouds with warming in the tropics

    He says that even climate models with decreasing clouds with warming will show increasing clouds with warming … I fear that makes no sense to me at all.

    w.

  270. Willis: I quickly looked at your link regarding the CERES data, read a bit, and then ask this question (presently after some explanation). I love your tropical thermostat hypothesis, and now, your concept of waxing/waning albedo. Now the question: In El Nino – hot water across the breadth of the equatorial Pacific, albedo should be really high in the equatorial band. In La Nina – cold water exposed as hot, less dense water is blown to the west and piled up – albedo should be relatively low so that lots of solar energy is being absorbed by the equatorial ocean. Do the data show any such fluctuation? I know they don’t cover many years.

  271. I’ve posted the following over at Roy Spencer’s blog, where he is discussing inter alia this post of mine.

    An interesting post, Dr. Roy. However, I fear I don’t understand your criticism of my work.

    What I have shown is a positive correlation between temperature and albedo in the tropics. In other words, increasing clouds with warming. I’d never seen that mapped out before. Had you? I’d be interested in any links if someone’s done that before.

    In response, you say:

    But you have to be careful about what you use as evidence, and cloud formation over warm areas (e.g. at the end of this post at WUWT) is simply not evidence. Even climate models with strong positive cloud feedback (decreasing clouds with warming) are going to form clouds over warm areas of the oceans. That’s the way atmospheric circulation systems work.

    How is a climate model with decreasing clouds with warming going to show increasing clouds with warming? I’m not following that.

    I discussed in the same post how a combination of the cumulus cloud formation threshold and the cumulonimbus formation threshold act to control the surface temperature on an hour by hour basis. This is not “clouds form over warm oceans” as you allege.

    Instead, this is a sequence of emergent climate phenomena which act in concert to control the temperature.

    What I realized was that the action of this control system should be reflected in an overall positive correlation between albedo and temperature in the tropics. I found that … but not as “clouds form over warm areas of the oceans”. I found it as varying levels of correlation, with a whole lot of information in the map. And when you look at my map you can see that in some of the warmest areas of the ocean, like the Pacific Warm Pool, the correlation was less than in cooler areas. So I certainly didn’t show that “clouds form over warm areas of the oceans”.

    Regarding your citations that you say back up your claim:

    Hartmann and Mitchelson say that the average cloud coverage in cumulus fields is not particularly temperature dependent. My own work shows the same thing, with the exception of a slight increase in albedo in cumulonimbus versus cumulus fields.

    What I have said from the start is that the timing of the onset of the clouds is the albedo regulating mechanism, not the average cloud coverage of the cumulus field. I know that doesn’t change much. So H&M93 is not to the point.

    Lau et al. 1994 is a critique of the cirrus-cloud thermostat hypothesis. Again, not to the point. I have proposed an entirely different mechanism is at work.

    You close by saying:

    If the cloud feedback problem was that simple, it would have been solved long ago. But it ain’t that simple.

    I agree that it’s not simple feedback that keeps the temperatures in line. So you’re right, the problem is not that simple.

    Instead, what we are looking is a governor, or rather a number of governors, and subtle ones. In general the temperature is regulated through the timing and location of the appearance of emergent climate phenomena that work in a host of ways to keep the planet’s tropical surface temperature within a fairly narrow range. These phenomena include:

    Cumulus clouds forming to regulate incoming energy.

    Thunderstorms emerging from the cumulus to cool the surface and the planet in a host of ways, including driving the Hadley circulation.

    El Nino/La Nina alterations pumping warm water from the tropics to the poles, and in the process exposing the atmosphere to the cooler subsurface water.

    Thunderstorms taking a large-scale emergent form with long rows interspersed with canyons, which more efficiently moves heat aloft.

    Dust-devils emerging to move surface heat straight upwards.

    Cyclones (hurricanes, typhoons) forming up and cooling vast areas of the ocean by several degrees.

    The Pacific Decadal Oscillation alternately impeding and enhancing heat flows from the tropics to to poles.

    None of these, as you point out, have anything to do with simple feedback, or even complex feedback. They are independent, and in some cases independently mobile, emergent phenomena. Attempting to conceptualize the appearance of emergent phenomena as “feedback” is part of the problem with the current climate paradigm.

    Anyhow, that’s how I see it. What am I missing?

    My best to you,

    w.

    PS—I’ll cross-post this on my thread.

  272. JimF says:
    August 22, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    Willis: I quickly looked at your link regarding the CERES data, read a bit, and then ask this question (presently after some explanation). I love your tropical thermostat hypothesis, and now, your concept of waxing/waning albedo. Now the question: In El Nino – hot water across the breadth of the equatorial Pacific, albedo should be really high in the equatorial band. In La Nina – cold water exposed as hot, less dense water is blown to the west and piled up – albedo should be relatively low so that lots of solar energy is being absorbed by the equatorial ocean. Do the data show any such fluctuation? I know they don’t cover many years.

    The CERES data only covers about five years, from memory 2002-2006 or something like that. I haven’t done any year-by-year analyses because the data is so short. I’ve stuck to analyses like the one above, of the correlation of albedo with temperature for each 1° gridcell.

    w.

  273. Willis

    Nice article. We have had a whole generation of climate scientists in thrall to their higher profile peers and afraid to say about such key pieces of the AGW narrative as the Hockey Stick ‘Tree rings as thermometers DR Mann how does that work then? (similarly with Trenberths moving hot spot) That deferential silence can be summed up by this Moroccan proverb

    “ if at noon he says it is night, will you say; behold, the stars?”

    Add in the vested interests of politicians, NGO’s and green campaigners who seem to adhere to this saying;

    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
    H. L. Mencken

    And we have an explanation for the bizarre nature of post normal climate science where up is down and down is up
    tonyb

  274. I have always thought that the real telling phrase in that CG email from Trenberth was not the “travesty” bit, though that’s worth consideration. No, it is his flat assertion that “… but the data are surely wrong….” just few words later. This unbridled confidence (faith) in theory is what separates him from good science. He can’t consider that the theory may be wrong. So, it must be the data. NOAA data adjustments follow this identical pattern. They HAVE to be systematically wrong which permits systematic “adjustments.”

  275. Thanks to all of the comments I have not laughed this hard after reading some of the comments. At my age having a “wet” spot will make my nurse happy.

  276. “Thanks, David. I have great respect for Dr. Roy. However, what I have shown is increasing clouds with warming in the tropics

    He says that even climate models with decreasing clouds with warming will show increasing clouds with warming … I fear that makes no sense to me at all.”

    I agree when talking about tropics over sea. But it might also be applicable over tropic rainforrests

  277. Reblogged this on luvsiesous and commented:
    Friends,

    I read WattsUpWithThat on a regular basis.

    They dispel the bad science around global warming, I mean climate change, I mean the missing ozone layer.

    I do not remember what they called it before that.

    But, this blog entry looks at the rhetoric, the language used, by these so called climatologists.

    Have we been warming? Yes, since the last ice age. And we have warmed a lot. But, I really doubt CO2 from my car had anything to do with the ice age ending.

    Do you agree or disagree?

    Wayne
    PS either way, enjoy reading Watts.

  278. The missing Hotspot is in the aether. What hope has Trenberth in finding it? Michelson and Moreley couldn’t find the aether, even though the “science was settled”:

    (1903)The most important fundamental laws and facts of physical science have all been discovered, and these are now so firmly established that the possibility of their ever being supplemented in consequence of new discoveries is exceedingly remote.
    A A Michelson (1852-1931)

  279. JimS says:
    August 21, 2013 at 6:15 am

    There is an old story about the Emperor’s New Clothes. The key line in this story is said by a child who yells out: “But the Emperor has no clothes.” This story should be updated for modern times, . . .

    The emperor’s new clothing is a lab coat.

  280. Please unstick this article already. It is so ridiculous that even Dr. Spencer had to post a rebuttal on his blog. Now, really. Please. This is not worth being a sticky. It is not science. It is just another reason to stop taking anything posted on WUWT seriously.
    I really wonder how deep is WUWT going to sink. Where are the times when real and serious scientific works were presented on these pages?

  281. Where’s the hotty spot??!! It seems elusive.

    Funding is needed! And research! And researchers!

    Barkis is willing.

  282. w.w.wygart says:
    August 22, 2013 at 10:18 am

    As for Trenbeth’s missing heat having never arrived, I thought that we all knew that already and were just gaping in amazement as Trenbeth dove overboard into the Drake Passage without a life preserver pursuing it on its way down.

    Ahab redux.

  283. Wasn’t there an old comic strip with a character who was always followed/covered by a rain cloud?

    I want a federal grant to investigate!

  284. Willis,

    Have you just illustrated a probable example of valid application of Occam’s Razor?

    Seems that way to me.

    Be careful. As an extreme Heretic, there are those who would do you ill.

  285. I don’t post here much but I learn a lot from everyone that posts here. This a terriffic site. My question is as follows:

    I magine a thesis statement that says something along the lines of, Science has become politicised.” Assume that one were to submit a series of 100 pro-CAGW American NSF grant requests and then a series on 100 anti-CAGW grant request then compare the funding rate. Has such a study ever been done? If so, what was the outcome?

    My thinking goes like this, we all know that enviromental research funded by oil companies is biased. If that is the case then enviromental research, or any other research for that matter, funded by a governmental entity is not biased how?

    Thank you all in advance for your patience in considering this post. This is a most enjoyable company of people. Please continue!

  286. milodonharlani! Ambulatory T!

    Again with the coffee on the computer screen!

    I suggest T~. Since the other way around it would mean approximate T.

  287. Milwaukee Bob says:
    August 22, 2013 at 11:47 am

    This whole subject brings up a lot of questions. Could there be more than one hotspot? Do hotspots ever divide? into 2… or 3… or more? Are they then micro hotspots?
    =====
    Can’t say, but rogue climate hotspots appear to decay into other dastardly and evil isotopes: “Security experts warn of dangers of rogue Wi-Fi hotspots”.

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/science/08/11/wifi.security.hackers/index.html?_s=PM:TECH

    Worse than we thought?

    – and –

    Milwaukee Bob says:
    August 22, 2013 at 11:47 am

    If I see/find/feel a hotspot, how would I know it’s THE hotspot? And, should I report it to someone? To – – Trenbeth? To – – Willis?
    ======
    I’d check with Pamela first. 8^)

  288. Roy and Willis speak of day to day and even hour to hour phenomenon (as does Trenberth it seems but he gets upset about it). While that discussion continues with much hilarity, the trend over long periods of time are likely oceanic, and at solar-penetrating depth, in my opinion.

    An increase in clear sky tropical conditions over an extended period of time allows the full amount of solar radiation to get to the ocean surface and at depth, warming it (think La Nina-like metrics). Eventually this warming moves West and piles up against land surfaces. It then begins to move around the globe, eventually ending up at the Arctic where a lot of it is released and some of it sinks where overturning happens. It takes a very long time to release all of this built up heat as it rides the global overturning circulation system. The good news is that the very fact that we have warm land temperature trends and melting ice trends at the Arctic pole means that the ocean is getting rid of heat. It is a sign that things are working as they should be.

    Trenberth’s missing hotspot is right in front of him.

  289. From The Independent today:
    Warm weather could destroy Britain’s coastal wildlife: Puffins, Cliff Tiger Beetles and Little Terns among those in danger becoming extinct …

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/warm-weather-could-destroy-britains-coastal-wildlife-puffins-cliff-tiger-beetles-and-little-terns-among-those-in-danger-becoming-extinct-8780930.html

    “… the risk of droughts and heat waves has gone up. He said theodds of a hot spot somewhere on the planet …”

    Are climate alarmists the new weasel-word political class? And as for the hot-spot suddenly popping up somewhere; this is the Harry Potter school of magical science with the mythical “hot-spot” playing the evil villain.

  290. harkin says:
    August 23, 2013 at 5:57 am
    “Wasn’t there an old comic strip with a character who was always followed/covered by a rain cloud?”

    Lil Abner, Joe Btfsplk, by Al Cap…

  291. Kasuha says:
    August 23, 2013 at 4:25 am

    Please unstick this article already. It is so ridiculous that even Dr. Spencer had to post a rebuttal on his blog. Now, really. Please. This is not worth being a sticky. It is not science. It is just another reason to stop taking anything posted on WUWT seriously.
    I really wonder how deep is WUWT going to sink. Where are the times when real and serious scientific works were presented on these pages?

    If you want something that is “not science”, Kasuha, consider your comment. Other than an appeal to authority (Dr. Spencer) it doesn’t contain one specific objection to my work. It doesn’t have any citations to back it up. It contains no new ideas. It doesn’t make clear what you think is wrong with my work.

    In short, it is nothing but the puerile opinion of some anonymous internet popup, backed up with nothing but mudslinging.

    Now, I’ve answered Dr. Spencer’s criticisms, point by point, both above and on his blog. He has not yet responded, but I suspect he will. That’s science, Kasuha. One scientist makes a claim, another scientist disputes the claim, the first scientist explains where he thinks the second scientist is wrong.

    Now, you can stick around and watch the science happen.

    Or you can stick around and bitch about the fact that sometimes scientists disagree, engage in ad hominem attacks, contribute nothing to the conversation, throw more mud at the wall in a vain attempt to blacken both my name and the name of WUWT, and generally make a fool of yourself.

    Your choice, but I’d consider that people are already starting to point and laugh at you …

    w.

  292. From Willis Eschenbach on August 23, 2013 at 12:18 am (cross post of reply posted at Roy Spencer’s blog):


    The Pacific Decadal Oscillation alternately impeding and enhancing heat flows from the tropics to to poles.

    None of these, as you point out, have anything to do with simple feedback, or even complex feedback. They are independent, and in some cases independently mobile, emergent phenomena. (…)

    But per Bob Tisdale’s contention, which I’ve found convincingly presented but that could just be me, the PDO is actually a pseudo-cycle that’s an effect of ENSO.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/28/misunderstandings-about-the-pacific-decadal-oscillation/

    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2010/08/08/an-introduction-to-enso-amo-and-pdo-%E2%80%93-part-1/

    With the PDO fluctuating like the balance of a bank account receiving ENSO commission check deposits, as it swings between periods of austerity and extraneous spending based on the balance, how much impeding and enhancing of flows can the PDO really be doing, directly and indirectly?

    Is it the actual PDO (a compiled index) doing this, or things incidental to ENSO like the strength of the Pacific Warm Pool?

  293. Wow, as some have already pertinently observed it is looking like trolls are afraid of spots. (just imagine a troll running in panic away from a rogue hotspot). This almost 400 posts thread is virtually “trollless”.

    I wonder would it be general all spots that they fear, rogue spots or wet spots? cold spots? funny spots? irony spots?
    I need a grant to study trolls behaviour in spotless, spotful and various spotnessed environments, and we need from time to time other spots-posts to make the comparison.

  294. Willis Eschenbach says:
    August 23, 2013 at 12:18 am

    This is very important and should become a new post by Willis. Can you do that, Anthony? Pretty please?

    It is important not just for Willis’ take on clouds and albedo but for the excellent use of scientific method by Willis.

    Willis, please ask Anthony to make this a new post.

  295. All these spots! There has to be a Linda Lovelace analogy here somewhere………..if only I could find it ;-)

  296. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    August 23, 2013 at 9:40 am

    From Willis Eschenbach on August 23, 2013 at 12:18 am (cross post of reply posted at Roy Spencer’s blog):


    The Pacific Decadal Oscillation alternately impeding and enhancing heat flows from the tropics to to poles.

    None of these, as you point out, have anything to do with simple feedback, or even complex feedback. They are independent, and in some cases independently mobile, emergent phenomena. (…)

    But per Bob Tisdale’s contention, which I’ve found convincingly presented but that could just be me, the PDO is actually a pseudo-cycle that’s an effect of ENSO.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/28/misunderstandings-about-the-pacific-decadal-oscillation/

    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2010/08/08/an-introduction-to-enso-amo-and-pdo-%E2%80%93-part-1/

    I’m not clear what you are calling a pseudo-cycle, how one would tell such a beast from a real cycle, or how it would be an “effect of the ENSO”.

    With the PDO fluctuating like the balance of a bank account receiving ENSO commission check deposits, as it swings between periods of austerity and extraneous spending based on the balance, how much impeding and enhancing of flows can the PDO really be doing, directly and indirectly?

    Is it the actual PDO (a compiled index) doing this, or things incidental to ENSO like the strength of the Pacific Warm Pool?

    The actual PDO is not a “compiled index”. It is a bi-stable pattern of the Pacific currents. When it goes from one state to the other, it ends up changing the overall heat balance for the entire North Pacific basin and surrounding lands, and to a lesser extent the South Pacific as well. It has a period that is typically around forty years. And obviously, one of the two states of the PDO must pass energy through it to the poles more efficiently than the other state. It turns out that it can do lots of impeding and enhancing, which is why it has such a huge effect on the polar temperatures in the surrounding lands.

    The actual El Nino/La Nina is not an index either. It is a pump, which pumps warm water from the tropics to the poles. It typically goes through a pump cycle every three years or so.

    I have no idea about the following:

    1) how a 40-year long cycle in the North Pacific ocean currents could be an “effect” of an equatorial pumping stroke that happens every three years or so, or

    2) why the PDO would be a “pseudo-cycle” and not an actual cycle, since it’s seen in proxies going back hundreds of years, or

    3) even if the PDO actually were an effect of the El Nino/La Nina alteration, how you would go about establishing the truth of that hypothesis. I don’t see even a theoretical mechanism, so what data could you use to support the hypothesis?

    My best to you,

    w.

  297. Kasuha says:
    August 23, 2013 at 4:25 am

    Please unstick this article already. It is so ridiculous that even Dr. Spencer had to post a rebuttal on his blog. Now, really. Please. This is not worth being a sticky. It is not science. It is just another reason to stop taking anything posted on WUWT seriously.
    I really wonder how deep is WUWT going to sink. Where are the times when real and serious scientific works were presented on these pages?

    Kashua, I have been a daily reader of this blog since 2007, your comment displays all the ignorance, stupidity, blindness of all the trolls that have appeared in the past 6 years.

    I have learnt more than I ever expected, or needed to know, from people such as Leif Svalgard, Richard Courtney, Willis, Anthony, Pielke Snr, from all the other actual scientists.

    The people that frequent this blog can be harsh adjudicators, if it smells like BS, it has a high probability of being BS. And the original poster will be told so, in no uncertain terms.

    If Willis had been so far wrong with his theory (?), it would have been pointed out with citations, facts and proof, not some short rant that sounds like a spoiled child that has been told he can’t have another sweetie.

    Come back anytime, armed with facts, citations, and evidence. Until then, go and sit in the *quiet corner* again.

  298. ___ kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    August 22, 2013 at 11:36 am
    FrankK
    Did you just accidentally accuse Trenberth of doing science?
    __________________________________________________________________________
    Ha! That’s stretching it!! – Its actually post-normal science. Fitting the data to your theory rather than fitting a theory to the data. Clearly Dr T is in a quandary he can’t explain where his beloved heat has gone (“it’s a travesty that we can’t” i.e. WTF is going on!) and now pulls out of mid-air another “explanation”. No my friend he’s definitely in the third category.

  299. “I’m not clear what you are calling a pseudo-cycle, how one would tell such a beast from a real cycle, or how it would be an “effect of the ENSO”.”

    Willis,

    It is a real cycle. But it seems somehow to be derived from the SOI which with decades in between changes more or less abruptly the gradient of the thermocline from east to west in the tropical Pacific, inducing relative warming (cooling) or cooling (warming) in the western (eastern) parts.

    It is clearly what happened in 1976/77. There was also an apparent reversal in 1998, though only partly it seems, the final switch arriving around 2007:

    You can readily observe the impacts of this in the OHC evolution of the western vs. the eastern tropical Pacific:

    As you can see, the level in the east is now on par with what it was back in the early 70s. In the west we’re even a bit above … according to the NODC (Levitus et al.) at least.

  300. Here are two studies that look into this issue:
    Stephens and Levitus on changes in Pacific OHC
    ftp://ftp.nodc.noaa.gov/pub/data.nodc/woa/PUBLICATIONS/g11627w1.pdf
    Evans et al. suggesting a tropically driven Pacific variability

    http://iceman2.umd.edu/www/preprints/pdv.pdf

    Already back in 1997 Mantua and Hare (the ones originally coining the term PDO) pointed out that their index really described a pan-Pacific phenomenon:
    “(…) we find that signatures of a recurring pattern of interdecadal climate variability are widespread and detectable in a variety of Pacific basin climate and ecological systems. This climate pattern – hereafter referred to as the Pacific (inter)Decadal Oscillation, or PDO (following co-author S.R.[Hare]’s suggestion) – is a pan-Pacific phenomenon that also includes interdecadal climate variability in the tropical Pacific.

    and from 2002 (same authors):
    “The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) has been described by some as a long-lived El Niño-like pattern of Pacific climate variability, and by others as a blend of two sometimes independent modes having distinct spatial and temporal characteristics of North Pacific sea surface temperature (SST) variability. A growing body of evidence highlights a strong tendency for PDO impacts in the Southern Hemisphere, with important surface climate anomalies over the mid-latitude South Pacific Ocean, Australia and South America.

    PDO is simply the North Pacific expression of the PDV (Pacific Decadal Variability).

  301. Other things have happened in the Pacific basin as well, most notably in 1988-90, a clear regime shift in the extratropics of the northern hemisphere (both the Atlantic and the Pacific), but with only faint impacts in the tropics and the southern hemisphere. This shift, then, might not be tropically driven (at least not by the SOI), but most likely directly related to the massive turnaround of the Northern Annular Mode (the Arctic Oscillation) during that time, allowing tropical heat to flow northward in an unprecedented fashion. The heat itself, though, was still mainly generated in the tropical Pacific , during the on-and-off La Niña of 1983-86, the El Niño of 1986-88 and the gigantic La Niña of 1988/89.

    Here’s a description of a different Pacific SST pattern emerging from the shadow of the PDO in the 80s, called the Victoria Pattern or Mode:

    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/foci/publications/2008/overN667.pdf

    and here (same people):

    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/bond2613/bond2613.shtml

    where they state:
    “The structure of EOF2 [Victoria pattern] is similar to the SSTA field for the recent years (…). Thus the recent SSTA pattern is nearly orthogonal to the standard PDO SSTA pattern; it is not consistent to consider this recent period as being on the continuum of states between PDO+ and PDO-. In fact, the strongest shift in recent years is a strongly negative phase of PC2 in the 1990s followed by a positive phase beginning in 1999.

    They compile their findings on the Pacific regime shifts since the 70s here:

    http://www.pices.int/publications/pices_press/volume12/Jan04/pp_16_17_PDO.pdf

    among other very interesting points made stating:
    “# It is now clear that mode shifts (changes in pattern) must be distinguished from phase
    shifts (sign reversals of a particular pattern) as they are different species of the genus
    regime shift.
    [# 1976/77 was a PDO phase shift.]
    # 1989 was a mode shift, not a phase shift (of the PDO).
    # 1999 was a phase shift between the negative and positive phases of the Victoria Index.”

  302. From Willis Eschenbach on August 23, 2013 at 9:09 pm:

    I’m not clear what you are calling a pseudo-cycle, how one would tell such a beast from a real cycle, or how it would be an “effect of the ENSO”.

    Pseudo-cycle as it gets teased out after much math, then lacks the regularity of a real cycle. Some time is spent loading, some unloading, then loading starts again. There is alteration, but alteration does not make for a cycle. Might as well tease out the cycle of the bathroom light switch.

    I had forgotten about your PDO post, and from my poor viewpoint this is a disagreement between you and Tisdale. He tried to address some issues in the comments. Searching on his last name, I can’t find any replies from you to him.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/08/decadal-oscillations-of-the-pacific-kind/#comment-1330898

    From his comment:

    Third, because the PDO represents the spatial pattern of the sea surface temperature anomalies of the North Pacific north of 20N, it is dependent on ENSO, which is the dominant process in the Pacific.

    I gave you the Part 1 link, the Part 3 link is found there which is where the PDO was discussed. But there’s a jump from Tisdale’s site move, so here’s the current one:

    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2010/09/03/an-introduction-to-enso-amo-and-pdo-part-3/

    I’ve been having a heck of a time following it as it’s Tisdale thus lots of graphs, I’m on dial-up and there’s a time limit before pages stop loading. On WUWT I simply View Image, then it’s there and loaded in cache when I go back to page, repeat as needed.

    But Tisdale used Tinypic which is redirecting direct links, View Image loads a (Photobucket Inc) page with the image, breaking the chain. This page’s graphs shall never fully load for me. Thankfully wordpress stored its own copies, the URL’s are in the “meta” at the start of the page code, so I can save them for an image gallery.

    I’m saying this as I just discovered that, I’m saving them now, so I haven’t yet “read” all of the piece. But PDO as effect of ENSO has come up before on WUWT.

    The actual PDO is not a “compiled index”. It is a bi-stable pattern of the Pacific currents. (…) It has a period that is typically around forty years. (…)

    Hopefully I’ve addressed the first part. But to the second, since first hearing about the PDO here on WUWT, I had heard it was about a 60-yr cycle, some reading later I found each phase is about 25-30 yrs.

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

    You used the same JISAO PDO graph in your post as is found there, which a generous eyeball (that wants to see a regular cycle) confirms is about 30 yrs per phase to somewhat less. Why are you saying it’s “typically” around a highly improbable ultra-low amount?

    I noticed in your post you started with the sea level pressures, the North Pacific Index, to derive the regime changes. You stated in that post:

    The reversals in the state of the PDO can be definitively established in Figure 4. They occurred in 1923, 1945, 1976, and 2005. One thing that we do NOT see in the record is any reversal shorter than 22 years (except a two-year reversal 1988-1990) … and we’re about eight years into this one. So acting on way scanty information (only three intervals, with time between reversals of 22, 31, and 29 years), my educated guess would be that we will have this state of the PDO for another decade or two.

    I still don’t see the 40 years.

    Tisdale says at the end in “Additional Discussions”:

    Additionally, I examined the difference between NINO3.4 SST anomalies and the PDO in the post Is The Difference Between NINO3.4 SST Anomalies And The PDO A Function Of Sea Level Pressure? and showed that a North Pacific sea level pressure dataset appears to correlate with the difference between the PDO and NINO3.4 SST anomalies. This very simple analysis indicates that the additional natural factor that exaggerates the decadal variability of the PDO MAY BE sea level pressure.

    Tisdale finds the pressures as “something else” which affects PDO, you find the PDO in the pressures. From Tisdale’s comment at your PDO post:

    Fourth, the reason the PDO has a different pattern in time than ENSO is because the spatial pattern of the sea surface temperature anomalies in the North Pacific is also impacted by the sea level pressure in the North Pacific. The sea level pressure of the North Pacific, and the wind patterns associated with it, can resist or enhance the poleward migration of warm water poleward from the tropics.

    You’ve ascribed to the PDO what Tisdale ascribes to sea level pressures. Which apparently makes sense to you as you’ve found the PDO in the sea level pressures.

    This just in, as I’m reading further while composing, bold added:

    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2011/06/30/yet-even-more-discussions-about-the-pacific-decadal-oscillation-pdo/

    A more recent paper, Shakun and Shaman (2009) “Tropical origins of North and South Pacific decadal variability” also confirms that the PDO is an aftereffect of ENSO. In addition to the PDO, they use the acronym PDV for Pacific Decadal Variability.

    The Shakun and Shaman (2009) Conclusions read:

    “Deriving a Southern Hemisphere equivalent of the PDO index shows that the spatial signature of the PDO can be well explained by the leading mode of SST variability for the South Pacific. Thus, PDV appears to be a basin-wide phenomenon most likely driven from the tropics. Moreover, while it was already known PDV north of the equator could be adequately modeled as a reddened response to ENSO, our results indicate this is true to an even greater extent in the South Pacific.”

    These papers confirm my statements from past posts that the PDO is an aftereffect of ENSO.

    You didn’t reply to Tisdale before. Can’t you two come to an agreement what really is the PDO and how to derive it?

  303. My favorite part was when he said that they had to adjust the data to get the results they expected. Is that how scientific tests are done now?

  304. James Strom and RokShox,

    That is exactly the missing finger-print/hot-spot problem. They strongly suggest that is what is happening.

  305. I just realized something important. I asked earlier about the difference in the positive and negative correlations in the tropics vs land and mid-high latitudes.

    The mid-high latitude correlation is probably far more seasonal and due entirely from the state change when temperatures hit freezing.

  306. I take that back. In addition, the high aerosol content in those regions probably mean clouds for more readily when temperatures fall.

  307. Willis, how about adjusting for seasonality? Also, how about looking at albedo vs global average temperature on a short timescale?

    What about looking at derivatives. As suggested earlier, temp decreases may mean a big change in albedo, but increase might not mean so much particularly over land outside of nh winter.

  308. Linked at Drudge: “”Farmers’ Almanac” predicts a “bitterly cold” winter” … I’m thinking VASTLY more reliable than Traveling Hotspot Producer, Post Normal Science Scientificians such as Trenberth.

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