Can The IPCC Do Revolutionary Science?

ipcc[1]Guest Essay by Barry Brill

The timing couldn’t be worse.

On 23-26 September, scores of representatives of the world’s Environment Ministries are scheduled to meet in Stockholm to wordsmith the final draft of the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) of the key WG1 (physical science) portion of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC).

The draft SPM, sent to governments on 2 August, is a 22-page condensation of 14 chapters comprising 1,914 pages of material discussing scientific papers that were published between 2006 and 15 March 2013.

This SPM is (or could be) a document of world-shaking importance. As Bloomberg points out – “it is designed to be used by ministers working to devise by 2015 a global treaty to curb climate change”.

The timetable for the global treaty was deferred at the Durban COP because developing countries (particularly China and India) felt that the 2013 SPM was an indispensable input to the negotiations. Governments need an authoritative up-to-date assessment of both the extent and the causes of the climate change threat, present and future.

But the SPM has been sidelined by momentous climate change events that occurred after its March cut-off date – and even after the date the draft was circulated.

Climate sensitivity

The “extent of warming” issue turns on how sensitive the planet is to increasing CO2 concentrations. Equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) was crudely estimated by Charney in 1979 at 3.0 ±1.5°C and that range remained more-or-less constant through all four previous IPCC reports.

During 2012, several groups of researchers noted that recent data and modern diagnostics now showed that the 30-year old 3°C mid-point had been grossly over-stated. Peer-reviewed journal papers included:

Ring et al: estimates of climate sensitivity ranged from 1.5 to 2.0°C.

Van Hateren: millennium-scale sensitivity found to be 2.0 ±0.3°C.

Aldrin et al: the 90% credible interval ranges from 1.2°C to 3.5°C, with a mean of 2°C

This, of course, led to great dissension and became the major challenge faced by the lead authors of WG1. Although we don’t yet know how they finally reacted, a leaked copy of the SPM draft suggests that they mainly held to the longstanding orthodoxy.

In January 2013, the British media reported that the UK Met Office was projecting a 20-year standstill in global warming by 2017. This ‘pause’ had not been predicted by climate models. In February, IPCC chairman Pachauri admitted that the temperature data had already been flat for 17 years, while opining that a standstill of 30 years would be required to rebut the previous consensus.

Both “cause” and “extent” issues are heavily dependent on the validity of climate simulations by the contemporary Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5), as are all IPCC projections of future planetary temperatures and their impacts. Serious scientific doubts about either ECS-related inputs or the accuracy of temperature outputs would be fatal to the credibility of the AR5.

After the March cut-off date for WG1 papers, the following 2013 papers have strongly reinforced concerns regarding the exaggeration of climate sensitivity:

Otto et al: the best estimate of sensitivity is 30% below the CMIP5 multimodel mean.

Forster et al: analysis of CMIP5 shows that 2/3 are above the Otto ‘likely’ range.

Masters: median estimate of ECS is 1.98°C.

Lewis: improved methodology shows the mode and median to be 1.6K

In congressional testimony, Judith Curry cited the Hawkins graph depicting observed trends below 90% of CMIP5 projections, and notes that warming may not resume until mid-century. James Hansen attributes the ‘hiatus’ to a combination of natural variability and lower sensitivity but predicts “temperature will rise significantly in the next few years with the nex El Nino phase.”

Temperature standstill

The temperature standstill has been apparent in the data for many years, but the tribalism of climate science rendered it unmentionable until the public disclosures of early 2013. Once spoken, it demanded an explanation – and it then became clear there was a great dearth of research on the subject. By the time researchers were ready to fill this gap, the draft SPM had already been dispatched.

During August 2013, a flood of highly influential papers have appeared:

von Storch & Zorita[1] found that observed temperatures 1998-2012 were not consistent with 23 tested CMIP3 and CMIP5 models, even at the 2% confidence level. The inconsistency increases rapidly with trend length and a 20-year trend (ie to 2017) would lie outside the ensemble of all model-simulated trends.

von Storch & Zorita (the same paper) concludes that ‘natural’ internal variability and/or external forcing has probably offset the anthropogenic warming during the standstill. Overestimated sensitivity may also have contributed.

Tung & Zhou[2] reported that the “underlying net anthropogenic warming rate has been steady since 1910 at 0.07-0.08°C/decade, with superimposed AMO-related ups and downs ..”. The sharply increased CO2 concentrations of recent decades has not caused warming to accelerate, as was predicted by the models.

Yu Kosaka & Shang-Ping Zie[3] plausibly found that climate models have vastly under-estimated natural variation. La-Nina-like cooling in the Eastern Pacific throughout the 21st century (since the PDO turned negative) has conquered the projected greenhouse warming. The 0.68°C warming trend during 1975-98 (when the PDO was positive) would have been[4] 0.4°C natural and only 0.28°C anthropogenic.

Katz et al[5] says the critical uncertainty measures used by the IPCC are “out of date by well over a decade”. Modern statistical techniques could improve assessments “dramatically”.

Fyfe Gillett & Zwiers[6] focused on the extraordinary gap between the temperature simulations of 37 CIMP5 models and the observed outcomes. Due to a ‘combination of errors’, the models have overestimated warming by 100% over the past 20 years and by 400% over the past 15 years.

Come the revolution…

These new papers devastate the IPCC orthodoxy that current and future global temperatures are mostly driven by greenhouse gas emissions, and will reach dangerous levels later this century. On the other hand, all older papers are blindsided by their apparent failure to take account of the recent data (standstill).

The IPCC’s 2001 report cautioned[7]: In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions. This reduces climate change to the discernment of significant differences in the statistics of such ensembles.

The “dangerous anthropogenic global warming” (DAGW) hypothesis is based on a clear difference between CMIP5 runs with natural plus anthropogenic forcing, versus natural variability only. That difference now disappears when ensembles are adjusted to reflect current empirical data. It is quite conceivable that natural variabilty (including natural forcing) has historically dwarfed anthropogenic effects and will persistently do so in future.

In his seminal 1962 work, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn persuasively argued that science does not progress through the linear accumulation of knowledge but undergoes periodic revolutions or ‘paradigm shifts’.

In Kuhn’s view, no evidence that is incompatible with the current paradigm will be entertained during long periods of normal science. However, as anomalous results build up, science eventually reaches a crisis which drives the necessary acceptance of a new paradigm, which subsumes both the old and new results into a new framework. Kuhn calls this transformative point, revolutionary science.

2013 is ushering in a long-delayed revolution in climate science. A new paradigm is demanded which recognizes that AGW is but one non-determinative component in a ‘non-linear chaotic system’.

Dealing to the paradigm shift

All of this leaves the IPCC in a terrible bind regarding its September meeting. Should it:

• rubber-stamp a SPM that has been overtaken by events?

• add a major caveat to the state of play in March 2013, promising an addendum will be issued to cover post-cut-off papers? or

• adjourn the meeting to accomodate a crash program to re-write both the WG1 Technical Report and the consequent SPM?

The business as usual course is the worst option. With tense international negotiations riding on this document, it is far better that it be delayed than wrong – or indefensible. No government can make far-reaching policy decisions on the basis of a report which is widely believed to be obsolete before it is released.

An interim report suffers from a similar credibility deficit. Already[8], Environment departments from the USA and the European Union have formally sought more clarity on the “warming hiatus” and have asked the IPCC to include full information in the SPM.

“The recent slowing of the temperature trend is currently a key issue, yet it has not been adequately addressed in the SPM,” said the EU.

Although the draft says the trend has tapered off, the implications are unclear – causing the US to comment “a bunch of numbers are [left] up in the air without a concrete conclusion.”

Several countries, including China, seek information on the heat uptake of the oceans or other natural variances which might have depressed climate change data.

The draft SPM apparently fails to mention[9] that 30-year warming trends have declined each year since peaking in 2003. Or that the latest 10-year period (2003-12) is the coolest decade[10] since satellite records began in 1979.

WG1 has a track record of ignoring inconvenient research on grounds that it is ‘isolated’ or published in obscure journals. That can hardly be the fate of the August papers. All but one have been accepted by Nature Climate Change. Several of the authors are active contributors to IPCC reports, with Zwiers a current vice-chairman of WG1 and Fyfe a review editor.

Revolutionary climate science is under way. The question now is whether the IPCC is up to the challenge.


[1] http://www.academia.edu/4210419/Can_climate_models_explain_the_recent_stagnation_in_global_warming

[2] http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/01/22/1212471110.short

[3] http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature12534.html

[4] See http://judithcurry.com/2013/08/28/pause-tied-to-equatorial-pacific-surface-cooling

[5] http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v3/n9/full/nclimate1980.html?WT.ec_id=NCLIMATE-201309

[6] http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v3/n9/full/nclimate1972.html?WT.ec_id=NCLIMATE-201309

[7] 14.2.2.2 WG1 TAR IPCC

[8] http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-29/global-warming-slowdown-data-sought-in-un-climate-report.html

[9] http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2013/08/if-warmists-would-only-tell-the-truth

[10] http://www.skepticalscience.com/trend.php

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187 thoughts on “Can The IPCC Do Revolutionary Science?

  1. Lets not be naive, it is likely reviewers and editors actually held papers until after the March 15 deadline just so they would NOT be included. This is not paranoia, see Judith Curry’s blog for actual suppression of anti-AGW papers that have excellent science.

  2. Whether they know it or not, the biggest gift to skeptics would be releasing an obviously wrong report. It would prove beyond any doubt that the IPCC was political and not scientific. And, as time goes by, it will become more and more obvious.

  3. I’d question whether the ‘normal science’ of anthropogenic GHG warming was ever real. IMO it was merely the view of a small clique that captured the IPCC and all the rest of the AGW apparatus, and the large revenue streams that ensued, enabled them to control the narrative and subvert opposing views.

  4. “Or that the latest 10-year period (2003-12) is the coolest decade[10] since satellite records began in 1979.”

    Something seriously wrong with that statement. Perhaps you intended to refer to “trend”.

  5. Philip Bradley says:

    I’d question whether the ‘normal science’ of anthropogenic GHG warming was ever real. IMO it was merely the view of a small clique that captured the IPCC and all the rest of the AGW apparatus, and the large revenue streams that ensued, enabled them to control the narrative and subvert opposing views.

    ====

    Indeed. Political machinations by a few.

    The majority of scientists , not being brave of principled characters just went along for the ride. They did not want to upset the gravy train and knew they could continue their work (and up their publishing records) by adding a bit of AGW spin to the abstract and/or title.

  6. I wonder if the writing on the wall was first seen in the tranche of information still hidden from all but a chosen few (and leaked here and there) in Climate Gate 3. Hopefully Mr. FOIA will try again to loose those hounds.

  7. RE: “Richard M says:
    August 31, 2013 at 7:48 pm
    Whether they know it or not, the biggest gift to skeptics would be releasing an obviously wrong report. It would prove beyond any doubt that the IPCC was political and not scientific. And, as time goes by, it will become more and more obvious.”

    I agree. Furthermore, one big thing to boomerang back on them will be their habit of going all misty-eyed and stating that their (now) blatantly-political-distorting of science and truth were (and are) done “for the children.”

    What they have done is give the children nightmares for going on twenty years now. They have done nothing “for the children” but abuse them.

  8. Methinks you all underestimate the insensitivity of the politically correct brain to the antidotes known as facts.

    The basic flaws with socialist economics and collective decision-making have been known since the 1930s – or at least since the 1960s – yet activists continue to espouse the “virtues” of socialized education and medical care, rent controls, union power, minimum wages, etc., etc.

    Decades of research in domestic violence has shown that it is not over-all a gendered phenomenon, yet all we ever hear about in the media and political circles is “violence against women.” In fact, women commit the majority of domestic violence at all levels, up to and including killing: they are equally likely to harangue and hit and abuse and kill spouses, and are more likely to abuse and kill children and the elderly. The ingenuity of the politically correct brain in finding ways to deny these straightforward facts is at least as great as the ingenuity of the deniers of natural variability in climate.

    If you go to blogs where domestic violence and economic policy are debated, you will always find “skeptics” who are puzzled how anyone in this day and age can still believe the politically correct version. (I used to be one of them.) They tend to think their own area of interest is unique in this respect: the “other side” of their particular debate are uniquely obtuse, dishonest, cherry-picking, out-dated, etc.

    No, on the contrary: whenever an issue gets cloaked in righteousness, you should expect that those on their moral high-horse are wrong, often spectacularly so. Righteous indignation does that to the human brain. Belief in those areas has all the marks of a religion – another facet of human life that is impervious to facts.

    In short, there is no “magic bullet” when debunking political correctness. Expect to be still engaging this debate in 10 years, or 20 years.

  9. DAGW?

    These folks are “Deceitful Anthropogenic Genocidal Warmistas”. More personal and accurate than my previous “Catastrophic Anthropogenic Genocidal Warmista” expansion of the old acronym CAGW.

  10. Can left wing mavens do left wing politics?… Of course they can — How did science creep into the discussion and the title???? This is not a science document…

  11. AGW is being driven by emotion and pride, unfortunately for the alarmists nature as no emotion and doesn’t give a damn

  12. Need to fix an error
    “The draft SPM apparently fails to mention[9] that 30-year warming trends have declined each year since peaking in 2003. Or that the latest 10-year period (2003-12) is the coolest decade[10] since satellite records began in 1979.”

    Not the coolest decade but slowest temp trend. Cooling does not equal coolest.

  13. The correctness of the science is becoming irrelevant to the politics. CAGW has now become a religion – call them the religious left. The religious left controls a lot of voters and a big chunk of the news media. They thus have very real political power. They must be appeased with legislation that panders to their beliefs. Reality really does not enter into this equation.

  14. It’s a pity that the, Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) wasn’t call the, Global Intercomparison Model Project (GIMP5)

    We could’ve then channelled Pulp Fiction….. “Hey Zed, what does the Gimp say?”……. “Mmmmmpfff…… Nnnnmmmpfffff.” ;-)

  15. IPCC Says: “In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions. This reduces climate change to the discernment of significant differences in the statistics of such ensembles.”

    1. This is a bizarre statement. It implies that a simple linear system would not result in predictions that are probability distributions but actual prediction of future climate states. It also suggests that in their wisdom, the climate modelers are using–ta da–probability distributions to get around that pesky chaos stuff. Wow. It’s almost as if they have just discovered probability distributions.

    2. If climate is a chaotic system, the researchers should not be assuming a short-tailed, unimodal probability distribution for future temperatures. In chaotic systems, strange attractors like ice ages emerge and go away quickly on all but the shortest geologic time frames. Empirical probability distributions of temperature anomalies since the beginning of the last ice age are likely mulitmodal, with a big bump on the cold end of the distribution and little bumps (or a very very long tail) during the times civilization has flourished. That the ensemble models generate unimodal probability distributions almost certainly means that the models as a group have missed very important drivers of climate change.

    Put another way, what is the probability predicted by the model ensemble for an ice age commencing in the next, say, 500 years? If it is surpassingly close to zero, there is something wrong with the ensemble, unless the modelers have found a way to predict with confidence the beginning of the next ice age and can say that it is more than 500 years away.

  16. “a bunch of numbers are [left] up in the air without a concrete conclusion.”

    Precisely how many numbers are there in a bunch? What is the saturation point for numbers in air (at STP)? Did the formal response of the U.S. EPA to the interim report really contain that tortured phrase?

  17. The ‘revolution’ has already begun:

    “The Author believes that insufficient attention has been given to natural climate variability over the past thirty years and now submits a New Climate Model for testing against reality over the years ahead”

    http://www.newclimatemodel.com/

    We must now start to look at natural variability alone and only if it is shown to be insufficient need we consider GHGs at all.

  18. “James Hansen attributes the ‘hiatus’ to a combination of natural variability and lower sensitivity but predicts ‘temperature will rise significantly in the next few years with the nex El Nino phase.'”

    Well, duh! So what? Has no one pointed out to the self-appointed Climate Messiah that an El Nino is a heat-shedding mechanism? As such, an El Nino is more likely to be a precursor of the next Ice Age, than a sign of runaway global warming.

  19. “‘temperature will rise significantly in the next few years with the next El Nino phase.’”

    El Ninos cool the oceans whilst (temporarily) warming the air don’t they?

    Unless the energy in the oceans is replaced it is a net cooling process.

    Anyhow there have been upward steps from one positive phase to the next since the LIA and no doubt downward steps from MWP to LIA so it is a natural process which is nothing to do with our emissions.

    It is a little early to have finished the recovery from the LIA so I would have expected the next step to be upward but there is the little matter of the less active sun which, if maintained through cycle 25, could make a difference.

  20. The next IPCC report will be just as alarmistic as before and it will be released with a tsunami of media articles trying to restart the whole failed meme again. They will be more sure than ever. And they will ignore any science that contradicts their view. The SPM will be a pile of garbage but they are making sure that it will dictate our life for years to come.

    Anyone wanna take bets on me being wrong?

  21. I do wish that all concerned people would go back to basics, to examine the temperature/time data on which so much is based. Emphasis should be on why so much adjustment, in an arbitrary, subjective and capricious manner has been allowed acceptance, despite the implied insult to many thousands of temperature takers and good thermometers from years long ago.
    It’s not hard to see that for land records, up to 0.3 deg C is taken from early records and falls into the category of questionable adjustment. It makes the global warming trend seem greater than it might be.
    After nearly a decade of studying the topic in some detail, I simply do not believe the GISS data.
    I’m open to reversal if my conclusions are wrong.

  22. Let us not forget that a government policy decision is itself a linear projection based on the SPM, so the liklihood of error is massive, probably even 100%, especially as the IPCC have vastly exceeded their remit of studying the human signal in the climate and pronouncing on the whole climate instead.

  23. Since my last post, I looked at some historic data for the past 25,000 years that used pollen temperature proxies for Alaska and the Yukon. I charted histograms of temperature (faux proabablity distributions using binning). The MATT1, MATT5 and JAN1 series were all unambiguously muliti-modal distributions of temperature. I will send you the charts if you request by email. ff at francone dot com.

    Models that predict a uni-modal distribution have missed some deep details about how climate works somewhere along the line.

  24. Kuhn’s perspective doesn’t get to the essence of science. As a cultural anthropology of academic schools it’s broadly applicable and sometimes illuminating. For the kinds of insight it provides, Erwin Panofsky or Alfred Schutz would serve equally well or better as springboards. To understand science in particular, though, one needs to look at the history of the scientific method, and the history of skepticism which informs it. Francis Bacon’s Novum Organum remains a compelling guide.

    21st Century climate science is remarkable for its hostility to skepticism, and for the abandonment in some quarters of any pretense of following the scientific method. The contradiction is painfully obvious (see e.g. the “Skeptical Science” blog), but basically unresolved. Climate science–as officially represented by the IPCC, AGU and other bodies–asks us to envision a science beyond doubt, skepticism and falsification. *That* is revolutionary, but not in a Khunian sense.

  25. Vieras said at 10:55 pm

    “The next IPCC report will be just as alarmistic as before … Anyone wanna take bets on me being wrong?”

    Nope.

  26. Boom.

    And yet…a field of “science” in which Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann publicly celebrates Marcott’s 2013 re-dating of Ph.D. thesis data to obtain a Science journal worthy hockey stick blade by spurious data drop off at the end of his plot suggests that the biggest new development is revelation that it really was all just a scam in the first place, not merely a sincere paradigm blunder. Add to this Cook’s bizarre 2013 boutique keyword (“global climate change” instead of just “climate change”) “confirmation” of the original 97% consensus, plugged by Obama’s Twitter feed, and a clear pattern emerges from the chaos of debate.

  27. Climate Change means never having to say you’re wrong

    * 35-40 years ago, we were hearing from scientists and their MSM followers about “the coming ice age”
    * then the predictions changed to “the coming greenhouse”
    * when the contradiction was pointed out, the AGW establishment pulled a “Winston Smith” and steadfastly denied ever having predicted an ice age. We’ve always been at war with EastAsia ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H Global Warming. “Ice Age” media articles from that period were dismissed as inaccurate hype.

    Now that RSS is approaching 17 years without warming, how long before the climate establishment pulls another Winston Smith? When will they start denying ever having predicted rising temperatures? We’ve always been at war with EurAsia ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H Global Cooling.

  28. Re HenrikM says: August 31, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    Lines 126-127 of the subject paper imply CO2 residence time of “multiple decades to centuries”. This doesn’t square with measured CO2 residence time on the order of a decade.

  29. lgl

    Where does the energy come from to warm the oceans as fast as El Nino discharges energy to the air?

    The truth is that the sun warms the oceans and then the El Nino periodically releases energy to the air which cools the surfaces leading to La Nina events during which the ocean heat content is recharged again by more solar input.

    See what Bob Tisdale has to say about the discharge / recharge process.

  30. Far too many people’s jobs, careers and comfortable lifestyles are on the line to expect the IPCC to come up with anything other than reasons for its own perpetuation.

    Translated this means:

    1. “Be afraid, be very afraid!”

    2. “We need to be seen to be saving the planet – c’mon gullible and deceitful politicians, let’s be having you.”

  31. Yes, the IPCC does do Revolutionary Science.
    They just go round and round in circles, like ants round the rim of a bucket.

  32. Stephen

    The energy comes from less wind and clouds

    If Tisdale (and Trenberth) claim the global ocean is cooling during Ninos then they are wrong.

  33. The temperature standstill has been apparent in the data for many years, but the tribalism of climate science rendered it unmentionable until the public disclosures of early 2013.

    Here are temperature standstill quotes & papers (15) from ‘climate scientists’ from July 2005 to July 2013. This year it has gone public and is now openly discussed. They tried for a long time to keep it from public view but it looks like the jig is up.

  34. I don’t think that REVOLUTIONARY climate science is underway.

    I just think that after an hiatus of 20 years or so, climate science is returning to its roots of actually doing science.

  35. Or that the latest 10-year period (2003-12) is the coolest decade[10] since satellite records began in 1979.

    Can anyone help explain what this means?

  36. As I understand it….the USA never ratified Kyoto…Canada…Russia…Japan…have withdrawn…the third worlders are not required to reduce CO2 emissions…Australia will withdraw if the govt changes….that leaves just the…Europeans to ‘guided’ by the IPCC.

  37. @- Rhys Jaggar
    “I just think that after an hiatus of 20 years or so, climate science is returning to its roots of actually doing science.”

    Does that mean that between Arrhenius in 1896, through Callander in the 1930s and up until the end of the 1980s you think climate research was doing ‘actual science’?

    The key insight into how rising CO2 would warm the climate emerged after the radiative transfer of energy in the atmosphere was calculated as a result of military research into how the heat signature of missiles and aircraft could be detected. That was carried out in the late 50s and early 60s. Around the same time that the inability of the oceans to absorb and sequester all the extra fossil carbon which human activity generated was discovered.

    AGW is a theory with a long scientific history, as a hypothesis since the 1900 it was subject to strong skepticism from the scientific community until all the objections that were raised over the decades to its predictions of a warming climate were refuted by better understanding of the physics and chemistry involved, as with the ocean buffering and radiative transfer equations. The measurable warming of the climate also helped to strengthen the scientific consensus behind AGW and is why it is no longer regarded in science as a hypothesis, but as a theory.

    The last twenty years of climate science are not a transient aberration, they are the contingent result of over a century of scientific advances in the field. Darwinian evolution and the GHG effect were historical contemporaries and have garnered increasingly strong evidence in the century and a half since they were both first formulated. Throwing out the last 20 years of progress in either field would do little to change the underlying theory in either case, although it might lose some of the more accurate insights into both subjects which have been developed in the last two decades.

  38. “It is quite conceivable that natural variabilty (including natural forcing) has historically dwarfed anthropogenic effects and will persistently do so in future.”

    Conceivable? It’s bloody obvious!

  39. Barry Brill wrote:

    “No government can make far-reaching policy decisions on the basis of a report which is widely believed to be obsolete before it is released.”

    My suggestion is that the statement should read “No government SHOULD make far-reaching policy decisions” etcetera.

    However, governments have been taking decisions based on wishful thinking since time immemorial. Witness the weapons of mass destruction alarmism over Iraq perpetrated by Blair & Bush et al., in order for them to pursue their own agendas.

    Therefore, governments will always continue to make far-reaching policy decisions on the basis of reports which are widely believed to be obsolete before they are released. It’s what they do & the fatal flaws within the SPM will be ignored by the elites.

    Remember last March, Obama authorised the purchase of 1.6 billion rounds ammunition & 2,700 MRAPs. Forget whatever propaganda you hear, the Department of Homeland Security is preparing for civil unrest, when the US economy collapses.

    http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/congress/item/14891-congress-seeks-answers-on-huge-homeland-security-ammo-contracts

    Forewarned is forearmed.

  40. “Pachauri admitted that the temperature data had already been flat for 17 years, while opining that a standstill of 30 years would be required to rebut the previous consensus.”
    Sounds like our favourite railway engineer wants to keep his job for another 13 years.

  41. @- Gamecock
    “It is quite conceivable that natural variabilty (including natural forcing) has historically dwarfed anthropogenic effects and will persistently do so in future.”
    Conceivable? It’s bloody obvious!

    Natural variability is a description NOT an explanation.
    If the last few decades of warming, sea level rise and ice cap melt are ‘natural variability’ then what is the physical mechanism that has caused this rapid rise in temperature, sea level and ice melt?
    Science has reached a strong consensus over the cause, I recognise that many here reject that consensus, but without providing an alternative explanation for the cause of the observed increase in energy in the climate system those rejecting the consensus are left claiming that it is all too complicated for human understanding.
    And all we can do is describe what happens with no chance of human intelligence finding actual causes.

  42. With all the vested prestige the current IPCC will be very resistant to any input that would endanger their reason for beeing.
    Only chance of considering/accepting much lower sensitivity would be a demand from pragmatic, pro-growth countries like Russia, China and India. Immune to Ludditism and facing net costs of CO2 reductions in any meaningful(as in the IPCC understandin) 2015 agreement they will refuse to act on uncertain science.
    Some times there are advantages in being able to disregard NGOs and activists :-)

  43. My expert review of the IPCC’s draft Fifth Assessment Report began with the following comment:

    “Comment #1:

    “To restore some link between IPCC reports and observed reality, the report must address – but does not at present address – the now-pressing question why the key prediction of warming in earlier IPCC reports have proven to be significant exaggerations.

    “Reason: The IPCC’s credibility has already been damaged by its premature adoption and subsequent hasty abandonment of the now-discredited “hockey-stick” graph as its logo; by its rewriting its Second Assessment Report after submission of the scientists’ final draft, to state the opposite of their finding that no discernible human influence on climate is detectable; by its declaration that all Himalayan ice would be gone in 25 years; and by its use of a dishonest statistical technique in 2007 falsely to suggest that the rate of global warming is accelerating. But the central damage to its credibility arises from the absence of anything like the warming it had predicted.

    “Example: In 1990 the IPCC’s central estimate was that warming would occur at 0.3 K/decade and that by now some 0.6 K warming would have occurred. Since then observations show warming has occurred at 0.14 K/decade and 0.3 K warming has occurred. There has been no global warming for 16 years.”

    Have They paid any attention? As the French say, On verra. But I’m not holding my breath.

  44. izen says:
    September 1, 2013 at 2:56 am
    The last twenty years of climate science are not a transient aberration, they are the contingent result of over a century of scientific advances in the field. Darwinian evolution and the GHG effect were historical contemporaries and have garnered increasingly strong evidence in the century and a half since they were both first formulated.
    Oh, puhleeeze, izen. Give us a break. Straw man arguments? Really? That’s the best you can do? The question isn’t whether or not CO2 is a GHG, it is what effect the increased CO2 has had, i.e. the climate’s sensitivity to it. For the past 20 years, climate “science” just assumed the sensitivity was high, and dangerously so. True science doesn’t work that way, though. CAGW was and is just an ideology, with the patina of science slapped on.

  45. Vieras you write “Anyone wanna take bets on me being wrong?”

    I, for one, will not, but that is not the issue. The issue is what happens if the IPCC takes no regard of the recent science, and as you suggest put out a report that is “just as alarmist as before”. What does the scientific community do about it? At the moment, the scientific community, let by the Royal Society and American Physical Society, have published statements which completely support the hypothesis of CAGW. Can these august bodies afford to continue the charade that is currently underway?

    And probably most inportant. Will some heavyweight who now supports the warmist side, change “tribes” and openly, and publicly, condemn the scientific nonsense the IPCC will be putting out with it’s AR5? And might that person be Prof. Judith Curry?

  46. izen says:
    September 1, 2013 at 3:25 am

    Natural variability is a description NOT an explanation.
    If the last few decades of warming, sea level rise and ice cap melt are ‘natural variability’ then what is the physical mechanism that has caused this rapid rise in temperature, sea level and ice melt?
    … without providing an alternative explanation for the cause of the observed increase in energy in the climate system those rejecting the consensus are left claiming that it is all too complicated for human understanding.

    Agree with your initial statement. But the relevant question is, what has caused the rise in land surface temperatures, not reflected in satellite troposphere temperatures? Hint = increased solar surface insolation which can not be a GHG effect.

    Sea levels have been rising for a millenium at least with no evidence of acceleration. Global sea ice is at the satellite era average, and global land ice measurements aren’t precise enough to say whether land ice is increasing or decreasing.

    Do you have any evidence of ‘the observed increase in energy in the climate system’, because I am sure it doesn’t exist. Hence Trenbeth’s ‘missing heat’. And don’t give me ARGO. Free drifting buoys can’t produce reliable trend data.

  47. The IPCC was never a sciemtific body, but a political one. That acquired lots of money with the fight for a better world, the general good against evil people, big oil etc.
    It will be fun to read whatever comes out, one should never expect that they write
    – the models were wrong,
    – the supporting science was falsified inbetween
    And as a consequence the party is over and we dissolve ourselves.
    This will drag on a couple of years, and then go silently down after the key guys are retired with fat government pensions. Great to see Lord Monckton being to the point as always and is not expecting too much. Same to you Anthony – keep up the great work,
    Rgds from Germany

  48. Or that the latest 10-year period (2003-12) is the coolest decade[10] since satellite records began in 1979.

    As otherws have already noted, this seems a very unlikely statement. In addition, the reference given is to a page that has no mention of satelite records or 1979.

  49. The IPPC authors have shown they are very good at writing …

    .. “vague on factual evidence, spotlight on warming speculation”.

    Probably just be more of the same.

  50. In the last couple of years the climate science establishment has been forced to deal with the fact that there has been no net warming since 1997,that the warming trend peaked in about 2003 and that the earth has been in a cooling trend since then .- see Figs 1 and 4 in my blogpost at

    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2013/07/skillful-so-far-thirty-year-climate.html

    Figs 1and 4 are but two examples of an ever increasing number, showing the growing discrepancy between model outputs and reality.This disconnect has been acknowledged by the establishment science community which is now busy suggesting various epicycle like theories as to where the “missing” heat went.Some say its in the oceans (Trenberth) some say its due to Chinese aerosols (Hansen) but the all main actors still persist in the view that it will appear Lazarus like at some unspecified future time.This is like the Jehovah’s witnesses recalculating the end of the world each time a specified doomsday passes.
    In Britain , the gulf between the Met Office expectations for the last several years and the actual string of cold and snowy winters and wet summers which has occurred has made the Met Office a laughing stock-
    to the point of recently holding a meeting of 25 “experts” to try to figure out where they went wrong.
    The answer is simple.Their climate models are incorrectly structured because they are based on three irrational and false assumptions. First that CO2 is the main climate driver ,second that in calculating climate sensitivity the GHE due to water vapour should be added to that of CO2 as a feed back effect and third that the GHE of water vapour is always positive.As to the last point the feedbacks cannot be positive otherwise we wouldn’t be here to talk about it .
    Ms Curry found a recent paper mind blowing.What is really mind blowing is that the IPCC – Met Office model outputs were ever accepted as having any useful connection to the real world.
    Much of the the discussion on this site however still accepts the model outputs as a basic framework for rational discussion and policy guidance. They are not.
    A completely different approach to forecasting is required.One such is outlined in the link above.Others have exposure mainly in the Blogsphere- eg Scafetta and Easterbrook.It is the forecasts of these type of approaches which should be the topics of discussion .The IPCC modellers can only advance by scrapping their basic assumptions and restructuring their models completely.For most of them this is psychologically and professionally impossible.
    Here are the conclusions of my approach based on the recognition of quasi cyclic – quasi repetitive patterns.
    “To summarise- Using the 60 and 1000 year quasi repetitive patterns in conjunction with the solar data leads straightforwardly to the following reasonable predictions for Global SSTs

    1 Continued modest cooling until a more significant temperature drop at about 2016-17
    2 Possible unusual cold snap 2021-22
    3 Built in cooling trend until at least 2024
    4 Temperature Hadsst3 moving average anomaly 2035 – 0.15
    5Temperature Hadsst3 moving average anomaly 2100 – 0.5
    6 General Conclusion – by 2100 all the 20th century temperature rise will have been reversed,
    7 By 2650 earth could possibly be back to the depths of the little ice age.
    8 The effect of increasing CO2 emissions will be minor but beneficial – they may slightly ameliorate the forecast cooling and more CO2 would help maintain crop yields .
    9 Warning !!
    The Solar Cycles 2,3,4 correlation with cycles 21,22,23 would suggest that a Dalton minimum could be imminent. The Livingston and Penn Solar data indicate that a faster drop to the Maunder Minimum Little Ice Age temperatures might even be on the horizon.If either of these actually occur there would be a much more rapid and economically disruptive cooling than that forecast above which may turn out to be a best case scenario.”

  51. These attempts to rationalize the IPCC science is futile. We can not forget that the IPCC is driven by political objectives, and science, is in the background just to justify the policy previously outlined. The aim of the report is “impact” on society. People will press politicians to “act now” and adopt policy measures that favor large corporations and banks that profit from the situation. The goal is to make people ask the measures they want to take. This is large-scale corruption. Remains the largest social construction already carried out against society and science. Then no. The IPCC can not do revolutionary science. Not even those who are behind the alarmism have your return on investment guaranteed. They have an agenda, they have a cause. They have power and money to take forward their agenda. And they will. The real world is just a small detail that, at the moment, is not helping their goals previously outlined. But they are doing everything to roll the reality, waiting that the temperatures start to rise again. At the moment, seems to be the strategy.

  52. izen:

    At September 1, 2013 at 2:56 am

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/31/can-the-ipcc-do-revolutionary-science/#comment-1405312

    you make the assertion

    AGW is a theory with a long scientific history,

    No! At most AGW is a hypothesis with a long scientific history, and arguably AGW never became more than a conjecture. For AGW to have become a theory it would have needed to provide successful predictive ability, but it has completely failed in its predictions.

    In other words, AGW of sufficient magnitude to be discernible is a conjecture which has been refuted by empirical evidence.

    However, the conjecture was widely adopted as an article of faith by Lysenkoists and others who were duped by the Lysenkoists. Some of them still cling to their belief in AGW despite the reality of discernible AGW having been disproved.

    Richard

  53. Sorry about the egregious mistake regarding decadal temperatures. The sentence should, of course, have referred to TRENDS as follows:
    “Or that the latest 10-year trend (2003-12) is cooler than any other decade since satellite records began.”
    In fact, it is the only decade in 40 years to produce a cooling trend:
    1973-82 0.295°C/decade
    1983-92 0.256°C/decade
    1993-2002 0.282°C/decade
    2003-2012 -0.045°C/decade
    The figures are from HadCRUT4. The periods are obviously too short to have statistical significance, but they do strongly suggest a change of direction.

  54. Our Meteosat derived planetary temperature data show the earth surface (“skin”) temperature has decreased on average by 1 K/decade since 1982. We believe this to be due to increased cloudiness. The publication “Meteosat derived planetary temperature trend 1982-2006″ may be downloaded from http://ears.nl/plantemp.php.

  55. Izen continues to be in denial of oceans. You know, those big watery things tht cover 70% of our planet. As the recent Nature paper admitted, the current flat temperature trend cannot be explained without factoring the cooling from the oceans. Of course, the flip side of that admission is that the warming from 1975-2005, in perfect correlation with the +PDO, was also primarily driven by the ocean. That leaves only a small residual for GHGs. And, much of that residual is likely recovery from the LIA and UHI.

    Sorry Izen, the gig is up. Better find another horse to ride.

  56. Let us add to Barry Brill’s excellent list another paper that the IPCC will not wish to reference. Monckton of Brenchley (2008), in Physics and Society for July, concluded thus: “it is very likely that in response to a doubling of pre-industrial carbon dioxide concentration global mean surface temperature will rise not by the 3.26 K suggested by the IPCC, but by less than 1 K.”

    The literature has been moving in the direction of low climate sensitivity ever since this trail-blazing, trend-setting paper. Yet the American Physical Society, furious that one of its journals should have dared to question the Party Line, sacked the editors who printed it and falsely stated a) that it had not been peer-reviewed, when its own review editor, a professor of physics, had reviewed it in detail; b) that the entire scientific community disagreed with it (they are now catching up with it); and c) that the APS Council disagreed with it (except that the Council had never met to discuss it).

    If the APS and other organized-crime rackets masquerading as scientific institutions had done more science and less politics, the extremist projections of the IPCC would have been ridiculed into oblivion long ago. As it is, governments that were too credulous are now finding it hard to admit they were wrong. The sooner they admit it the better. The bankrupt nations of the West cannot afford the self-indulgence of subsidizing hopelessly uneconomic “renewable” energy any more.

  57. Izen says: The key insight into how rising CO2 would warm the climate emerged after the radiative transfer of energy in the atmosphere was calculated as a result of military research into how the heat signature of missiles and aircraft could be detected.

    The military research never claimed that exhaust from missiles or aircraft would rise in temperature because of CO2 in the atmosphere.

  58. This is a good article and the author has correctly pointed out that the IPCC face almost insurmountable problems.

    Of course, there inevitably has to be a cut off date to the research papers for inclussion in their publications (to use the word ‘reports’ may give the impression that their output is objective). There will always be new papers appearing after the imposed cut off date, and the IPCC would never be able to publish anything if it had to keep extending the date for publication of the final tome just to include new papers that have appeared since the draft.

    That said, the author is correct to point out that there are a number of ‘new’ papers which strike at the very heart of AGW, namely Climate Sensitivity. If Climate Sensitivity is low, then there is no need to radically address ther CO2 issue, and the response would be to adapt locally as and where there was a particular local/regional issue. There would be no requirement for global solutions. AGW is only a real problem if Climate Sensitivity is high. So these new papers are about as fundamental as it gets.

    The problem that the IPCC has is that the negotiations are not going to take place until 2015. So there is much time before these negotiations to take in this new line of research. If warming continues to stay on hold, one can expect a growing body on this theme and the longer the standstill to the temperature anomaly, the more likely it is that future papers will suggest low and lower Climate Sensitivity.

    This might not be a problem for the IPCC if all countries sing from the same hymn sheet. But they are not, and will not. The choir is in practice in discord. It is clear that many of the developing countries are not going to go along with curbs on CO2 which adversely curb their development, at least not without being paid substantial sums. But presently, the developed countries have not got spare cash to give to the developing countries so an impasse is almost a certainty.

    To add to the problems, the financial cost of the surge towards renewables is just beginning to dawn on countries (Germany is very concerned about the effect of this on thier industry and its competitiveness) and consumers are just beginning to wake up to higher energy bills which bills are going to rise rapidly over the next few years and all of this puts pressure on the politicians to justify the position that they are taking.

    At one time, this change in world governance was happening without anyone noticing. People were sleep walking towards it, but people have become aware that warming seems to have stopped, and they will certainly notice should the globe begin to cool. Governments can no longer expect that their plans will slip unnoticed under the radar. Insead, one can expect more MSM scrutiny of energy policies (we have already seen some articles appearing in respected MSM outlets), and this scrutiny will question AR5 if it is out of step with the latest research. In the UK we have already seen one TV interview of the UK energy minister that focused on the recent pause in temperature anomaly and the lack of prediction thereof. I expect to see more of this type of interview and AR5 will quickly become discredited if it fails to address the ‘new’ papers that the author has identified.

    In the 2015 negotiations some countries will wish to undermine AR5 and will seek to tear it apart. They will do this by suggesting that it is out of date, there is a substantial body of new research that suggests that Climate Sensitivity is lower than claimed, that the models are not reliable etc. So I fully agree with the author when he states; “The business as usual course is the worst option. With tense international negotiations riding on this document…” and IMO it will quickly fall apart should it simply close its eyes, covers its ear etc and ignore the papers that have been published in the last 6 months or so, on the basis that they came in too late. AR5 cannot be allowed to be so out of touch if it is to play a serious part in the 2015 negotiations. It needs to at least address these issues, and put its spin on them, failing which it will have no weight in the forthcoming negotiations.

    I am far from convinced that the 2015 negotiations will achieve anything of substance since I seem to recall reading (at around the time of the Rio jamboree) that China indicated that it would do nothing before 2020. China is of course, the biggest CO2 emitter so if China will niot play ball, everything tumbles. I cannot recall whether China was alone in this. If China kicks the ball into touch (ie., out to 2020) then matters could become very interesting if there is no return to rising temperatures before 2020. And, what if global temperatures begin to fall slightly as we head to 2017 and beyond?

    The game is far from over, but it does appear that the players are running around the field rather out of breath with a game plan that is beginning to fall apart as their opponent, nature, seems to be playing a rather more subtle and sophisticated game,

  59. “Sensitivity” is the key fudge factor in the what if models. Why not put different sensitivities into the models and pick the one that best fits observation? I would expect that the best fit would be closer to zero than 3 degrees. CO2 follows temperature and is not a controlling force.

  60. Perry says:

    However, governments have been taking decisions based on wishful thinking since time immemorial. Witness the weapons of mass destruction alarmism over Iraq perpetrated by Blair & Bush et al., in order for them to pursue their own agendas.

    In 2003, a major flood of transport trucks, tankers, and missile trucks were captured by satellite imagery heading into Syria. A fascinating set of claims regarding this and other conjectures regarding Saddam’s WMDs, or his belief that he had WMDs, or his lies about having them, is here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WMD_conjecture_in_the_aftermath_of_the_2003_Iraq_War

    In actual fact, there is no possible way for any of us to KNOW what really happened in 2003,. Your claim that the WMDs were “alarmism” simply made up by Bush and Blair is ridiculous and cannot be ignored. You’re wrong. However, what the actual truth is neither I nor you will really know until decades from now when someone credible writes the “what really happened” book.

    Meanwhile, Syria has now used a chemical agent to kill about 1400 civilians, and the dimwitted powers that be are blindly fumbling around for guidance regarding a proper reaction. Here you go. Syria has used the WMDs that you don’t think ever existed or were to be used. There’s no way for the left to chastise or punish Syria for using something that they’ve been hollering for a decade don’t even exist.

    But they do exist. And Assad is as willing to use them as Saddam was.

    Sounds like a bit of a pickle for you guys, hey? But it’s okay, a complicit and left-leaning media will continue to cover up the facts for you.

  61. fhhaynie says:
    September 1, 2013 at 6:11 am
    “Sensitivity” is the key fudge factor in the what if models. Why not put different sensitivities into the models and pick the one that best fits observation?
    =====
    because it will still be wrong….
    Past temps have been adjusted to show more warming…a steeper slope
    When you hindcast to tune the model….it will always show faster warming

  62. “In Kuhn’s view, no evidence that is incompatible with the current paradigm will be entertained during long periods of normal science. However, as anomalous results build up, science eventually reaches a crisis which drives the necessary acceptance of a new paradigm, which subsumes both the old and new results into a new framework. Kuhn calls this transformative point, revolutionary science. ”

    Ain’t that all a bunch of big words for the simple discarding of one theory and the appreciation of a new one. I see how it was very fashionable in the 60ies to call everything “revolutionary”; or rather how a generally cultural marxist media would give amplification to anyone who uses the R-word; but it means nothing; not even the violent death of 30% of the old scientists like in any real revolution.

  63. As opposed to that; consider a real scientific revolution; Lysenkoism in the USSR, which entailed the violent death of all geneticists who wouldn’t hide.

  64. If what is being leaked is going to be stated in the final SPM document that they are now 95% sure that human activity contributed with most of the warming since the 50ties then one can only conclude one thing. And that is that in this era of post modern science that they now are applying an inverse type of logic.

    They become more certain the lesser empirical evidence there is for the conclusion that they make.

  65. For all of you with objections to Hansen’s El nino comment: It apparently does not matter to them when they speak to the media. If there is an El nino they will be alarmist about atmospheric temperatures and if it does not warm in the atmosphere, they will find some other “hot spot” to be alarmist about.

  66. The four fundamental flaws in AR4 were knowable at the time, not just with hindsight. They all arose from classic selection bias in what is the IPCC meta analysis.
    1. Biased data. (UHI, faulty and undocumented homogenization)
    2. ‘Constant UTrH’ isn’t, likely because of Lindzen’s adaptive iris hypothesis. So Positive water vapor feedback os overstated.
    3. Cloud feedback is likely neutral or negative, not positive as assumed. And clouds inherently cannot be accurately modeled with today’s supercomputers at GCM grid scales.
    4. Independent of pause revisions, the ECS estimates were biased high. This is apparent from the text itself ( likely range 2-3, most probable 3). And the Baysian methods were faulty; using only uninformed priors.
    All documented in last years book chaper.
    The reason there is little hope for the SPM is not only mementum and ‘religious’ fervor inside the AGW community. It is that AR5 WG1 leaked SOD perpetuated all four errors. Foe example, the executive summary to Chapter 7 (clouds) said feedback was positive (most likely 0.46 w/m2) despite great inherent uncertainty, their confidence based on ” unknown contributions from factors yet to be identified”. They said it with a straight face. And that says it all.

  67. Boil and Brew a tempest in a Teapot is not new. We toil to decide how to divide the riches inside. Double, double your efforts science for governmsnts must decide.

  68. Perry says:
    September 1, 2013 at 3:11 am
    ////////////////////////////

    I agree with your observation, but this only holds true whilst there is a common agenda. As soon as players emerge with different interests/agendas, then whitewashes begin to crumble.

    I hope you are mistaken on the civel unrest point.

  69. dp says:
    August 31, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    I wonder if the writing on the wall was first seen in the tranche of information still hidden from all but a chosen few (and leaked here and there) in Climate Gate 3. Hopefully Mr. FOIA will try again to loose those hounds.
    —–

    Can we not ever get a status update on what is going on with Climate Gate 3? Or, have the lawyers so completely shut down discussion of this topic that I’m in legal jeopardy for even asking about it?

  70. This isn’t revolutionary science at all. It is a crowd of opportunistic gullible scientists so in love with their shadows they are willing to talk up a gravied shaky premise. No hard science need be done. No hard statistics need be completed. Significance is no longer required to publish. Controlled studies no longer essential to get funding. We will not learn something new here. We will learn yet AGAIN that for the public, it is buyer beware.

  71. Why, exactly, do they call this a Summary for Policymakers? Corporations have policies. Hospitals and fraternal organizations have policies. Nation States, however, have laws. Why don’t they call this thing exactly what it is: a Summary for Lawmakers? Let’s take the flower off the rose and show the thorns. I really think SPMs should forever more be referred to as Summaries for Lawmakers. There’s no deceit to that, no slander, no invective. In the end it’s the unarguable truth. And it paints the true picture.

  72. Tom J says:
    September 1, 2013 at 7:28 am
    “Why, exactly, do they call this a Summary for Policymakers? Corporations have policies. Hospitals and fraternal organizations have policies. Nation States, however, have laws. Why don’t they call this thing exactly what it is: a Summary for Lawmakers? ”

    Because marxist nations have a problem with the word Law. Law is an old anglo saxon concept derived from Natural Law. Marxism holds that all such law serves to protect the capitalist powers; and that in socialism, no laws are required.

  73. izen says:
    September 1, 2013 at 3:25 am

    You wrote:
    Science has reached a strong consensus over the cause, I recognise that many here reject that consensus, *but without providing an alternative explanation* for the cause of the observed increase in energy in the climate system those rejecting the consensus are left claiming that it is all too complicated for human understanding.

    We don’t have to provide any alternative explanation. The onus is upon the warmists to prove their hypotheses, not upon us to prove them wrong.

  74. “No gov. Can make far reaching policy decisions…..” They already have….ask a builder about the new energy codes. Windfarms,total joke caleb you are right on .imo this was and always will be political..

  75. Why all this noise? There are already papers out which say that the human-made warming will begin again when the cooling (caused by the decreasing insolation) is over. Don’t underestimate the faithful.

  76. @- Richard M
    ” As the recent Nature paper admitted, the current flat temperature trend cannot be explained without factoring the cooling from the oceans. Of course, the flip side of that admission is that the warming from 1975-2005, in perfect correlation with the +PDO, was also primarily driven by the ocean.”

    the problem with that idea is why the PDO has never in the past caused a similar rapid warming as seen at present. Its the same problem Bob Tisdale has with invoking the ENSO cycle, why in the last 6000 years ahs the PDO or ENSO cycle not caused rapid warming for decades, and if they are the ’cause’ at present, when will the warming stop?

    @-“That leaves only a small residual for GHGs. And, much of that residual is likely recovery from the LIA and UHI.”

    The observed and theoretical pattern of the climate since the Holocene optimum ~8000 years ago is gradual cooling as in all the other interstadial periods. If there were no other factors in play then there is no reason to expect any ‘recovery’ from the LIA, the climate should have continued to cool. The only way it could warm is if more energy is retained by the climate system, and that requires a causal explanation.
    There is one very obvious source for this extra energy in the rising CO2. You need to both find an alternative explanation for the source of the energy, AND an explanation for why the energy from CO2 is NOT a factor if you wish to reject AGW theory.

  77. @- Philip Bradley
    “… But the relevant question is, what has caused the rise in land surface temperatures, not reflected in satellite troposphere temperatures? Hint = increased solar surface insolation which can not be a GHG effect.”

    I am not sure what satellite data you might be referring to here. Both the UAH and RSS data sets show lower troposphere warming that matches the surface warming with a transition from warming to cooling as the altitude increases from lower troposphere to the stratosphere as predicted from AGW theory. And satellite data on solar insolation shows no increase, in fact there is a significant decrease in TSI since the 1950s. As you may be aware we are at present in a solar minimum comparable with the Maunder minimum, but without any sign of an accompanying LIA.

    “Sea levels have been rising for a millenium at least with no evidence of acceleration. Global sea ice is at the satellite era average, and global land ice measurements aren’t precise enough to say whether land ice is increasing or decreasing.”

    Could you provide any links to substantiate these claims?
    There is very strong evidence from geology and archaeology that there was very little sea level rise after the main melt period during the transition from glacial to interstadial ~9000 years ago. The recent rise is almost certainly an order of magnitude greater than anything in the last six thousand years. Otherwise historical records of solar and lunar eclipse times would be affected.

    @-“Do you have any evidence of ‘the observed increase in energy in the climate system’, because I am sure it doesn’t exist. Hence Trenbeth’s ‘missing heat’. And don’t give me ARGO. Free drifting buoys can’t produce reliable trend data.”

    The rise in sea level is very difficult to explain without invoking thermal expansion and melting ice-caps. You would have to hypothesis that additional water is being added to the oceans frrom some unknown source. A postulate as ridiculous as claiming that water is disappearing from the oceans as has been suggested here in another post.
    But there are also direct measures of the energy imbalance made by ground based observations of the downwelling LWR and satellite measurement of the outgoing LWR.

    P.S. – I had included links to papers substantiating my replies, but several tries at posting were blocked until I removed the links. Please ask if you want the published research that supports my claims here and I will try to post them again.

  78. How come the IPCC is still getting a lot of attention when it is shown to be a contrived set of papers grey and published that are not meeting the forecast still needed to follow the scientific method with?

  79. @climatologist
    I agree. The only way the “faithful” will be come faithless, is when the global temperatures start to decline, and decline dramatically in the next 10 to 15 years. The terms given to the temperature trend in the last 15 years, “pause” or “stall,” imply that the temperatures will rise again as atmospheric CO2 levels keep climbing.
    This truly is a religious mentality that the warmists have wrapped themselves in. Their prophets are anticipating the potential scenarios and are preparing for them.

  80. @- Babsy says:
    “We don’t have to provide any alternative explanation. The onus is upon the warmists to prove their hypotheses, not upon us to prove them wrong.”

    NO. As was established a few weeks ago, ‘proof’ is for maths and liquor.Science works by refutation and providing theories that best explain the observed data.
    If you are unwilling or unable to provide a strong refutation or an alternative explanation then you are not engaged with the science.

  81. We are all going to die eventually, but anthropogenic climate change isn’t going to feature on any of the death certificates.

  82. >>> Grant A. Brown says:
    August 31, 2013 at 9:05 pm <<<

    Absolutely spot on! You've managed to exchange the words 'politically correct' for the word 'liberal' to describe the awful dysfunction apparent in too many modern brains. Bravo!

  83. izen said:

    “Science works by refutation and providing theories that best explain the observed data.”

    Not much hope for AGW then is there?

    It fails to explain the observed data so no need to propound any alternatives.

  84. Jimbo says:
    September 1, 2013 at 2:24 am

    Or that the latest 10-year period (2003-12) is the coolest decade[10] since satellite records began in 1979.

    Can anyone help explain what this means?

    Follow the link in [10], it goes to a trend reporter, enter 2003, 2012, click calculate and it gives the trend of 0.005 +/- 0.288 C°/decade.

    This is likely the lowest trend in the satellite record. Obviously it can’t be the coolest decade as others have noted.

    If you go 2012-2013 and ignore the error range, you get a negative trend.

  85. The basic reason for a continuation of the SPM’s alarmism is that it is edited by a majority of national governments, and that majority consists of developing nations that expect large transfer payments from a treaty on climate change.

  86. izen says:
    September 1, 2013 at 9:07 am
    Science works by refutation and providing theories that best explain the observed data.
    Yes, but unfortunately for you and your fellow True Believers, that has not been done by the CAGW camp. The “human fingerprint” on the warming has not been found. It is mere conjecture. Since the case for CAGW has not (and can’t be) been made, the null hypothesis, meaning natural variation stands.

  87. izen:

    In your post at September 1, 2013 at 9:07 am

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/31/can-the-ipcc-do-revolutionary-science/#comment-1405504

    you say

    If you are unwilling or unable to provide a strong refutation or an alternative explanation then you are not engaged with the science.

    Izen, anyone who has read your numerous posts on WUWT knows that science is difficult for you, but your point I quote here is scientifically illiterate even by your standards.

    The Null Hypothesis applies. Therefore, nobody needs to devise an alternative unless and until the Null Hypothesis is overcome.

    I explain the matter as follows.

    The Null Hypothesis says it must be assumed a system has not experienced a change unless there is evidence of a change.

    The Null Hypothesis is a fundamental scientific principle and forms the basis of all scientific understanding, investigation and interpretation. Indeed, it is the basic principle of experimental procedure where an input to a system is altered to discern a change: if the system is not observed to respond to the alteration then it has to be assumed the system did not respond to the alteration.

    In the case of climate science there is a hypothesis that increased greenhouse gases (GHGs, notably CO2) in the air will increase global temperature. There are good reasons to suppose this hypothesis may be true, but the Null Hypothesis says it must be assumed the GHG changes have no effect unless and until increased GHGs are observed to increase global temperature. That is what the scientific method decrees. It does not matter how certain some people may be that the hypothesis is right because observation of reality (i.e. empiricism) trumps all opinions.

    Please note that the Null Hypothesis is a hypothesis which exists to be refuted by empirical observation. It is a rejection of the scientific method to assert that one can “choose” any subjective Null Hypothesis one likes. There is only one Null Hypothesis: i.e. it has to be assumed a system has not changed unless it is observed that the system has changed.

    In the case of global climate no unprecedented climate behaviours are observed so the Null Hypothesis decrees that the climate system has not changed.

    Importantly, an effect may be real but not overcome the Null Hypothesis because it is too trivial for the effect to be observable. Human activities have some effect on global temperature for several reasons. An example of an anthropogenic effect on global temperature is the urban heat island (UHI). Cities are warmer than the land around them, so cities cause some warming. But the temperature rise from cities is too small to be detected when averaged over the entire surface of the planet, although this global warming from cities can be estimated by measuring the warming of all cities and their areas.

    Clearly, the Null Hypothesis decrees that UHI is not affecting global temperature although there are good reasons to think UHI has some effect. Similarly, it is very probable that AGW from GHG emissions are too trivial to have observable effects.

    The feedbacks in the climate system are negative and, therefore, any effect of increased CO2 will be probably too small to discern because natural climate variability is much, much larger. This concurs with the empirically determined values of low climate sensitivity.

    Empirical – n.b. not model-derived – determinations indicate climate sensitivity is less than 1.0°C for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 equivalent. This is indicated by the studies of
    Idso from surface measurements

    http://www.warwickhughes.com/papers/Idso_CR_1998.pdf

    and Lindzen & Choi from ERBE satellite data

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/Lindzen-and-Choi-GRL-2009.pdf

    and Gregory from balloon radiosonde data

    http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/OLR&NGF_June2011.pdf

    Indeed, because climate sensitivity is less than 1 .0°C for a doubling of CO2 equivalent, it is physically impossible for the man-made global warming to be large enough to be detected (just as the global warming from UHI is too small to be detected). If something exists but is too small to be detected then it only has an abstract existence; it does not have a discernible existence that has effects (observation of the effects would be its detection).

    To date there are no discernible effects of AGW. Hence, the Null Hypothesis decrees that AGW does not affect global climate to a discernible degree. That is the ONLY scientific conclusion possible at present.

    Richard

  88. izen says…
    Science works by refutation and providing theories that best explain the observed data.
    ======================================================================

    The current theories posit that human generated CO2 is causing global warming at a catastrophic rate. The models are based on that theory and they are failing to track observations.

    Therefore a better theory might be that human generated CO2 is a minor contributory factor in the changing climate and the sharp increase in temperatures observed in the 1990s was an anomaly for which we should be seeking a different explanation.

    Do you agree?

  89. Bruce Cobb says:
    September 1, 2013 at 4:26 am

    “Has the IPCC ever done science?”

    No sir. The IPCC is a political body,agenda driven. They seek and subsidize the “science” that serves the agenda. They have many friends These friends consider themselves the “elite” among us They represent much but not all of”the Political Class”. They are bent on creating a social order that leaves them in charge.
    With the rest of us minding our carbon footprints while heating stones in a backyard fire to take to bed for warmth.
    In my view, these “Progressives” (read communists) do not care about the Earth. They only strive for power. They lead droves of toady do-gooders who know how to change the climate and they also know what’s best for you and me, for all of us Prols
    I highly recommend Donna Laframbois’s book The Delinquent Teenager.
    It’s an informative look at that august body, The IPCC.

  90. Tom in Texas says:
    September 1, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Then it should be released for crowd sourcing. If there is nothing there, it should not be a problem to release it in it’s entirety.

  91. “On 23-26 September, scores of representatives of the world’s Environment Ministries are scheduled to meet in Stockholm to wordsmith the final draft of the Summary for Policymakers”

    And if there WAS a global warming crisis – the first thing these guys would be doing is cancelling their flights and arranging a conference call.

    But where’s the fun in that….

  92. izen says:
    September 1, 2013 at 8:46 am
    /////////////////////////////////////
    Izen

    The sartellite data (which spans some 33 years) shows no first order correlation between CO2 and temperature.

    It shows that there has been no steady temperature rise, but instead a one off and isolated temperature shift in and around the Super El Nino of 1998. Unless that Super El Nino was in some way caused by the then prevailing CO2 emissions, one is left to conclude that based upon the satellite data Climate Sensitivity is zero or so close to zero that it cannot be measured/observed with the limitations imposed by the sensitivity, resolution and errors of our current best measuring devices.

    The advantage of the satellite measurements is that they are not adversely affected by UHI and poor siting issues (although just like all data sets in Climate Science they have some issues of their own).

    I think that the point being made is that between 1979 and say about 1996/7 temperature anomalies are essentially flat by Satellite measurement, ie., that there was no warming see http://woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1979/to:1996
    whereas the land based thermometer record such as Hadcrut4 suggests that there was some warming during this periodhttp://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1979/to:1996

    One possible exoplanation for the difference between these two sets of records is that the land based thermometer record during this period has become polluted due to UHI, poor siting issues, and screen maintenance issues and/or it has become basterdisation due to biases and errors creeping in incidental to station drop outs and countless adjustments/homogenisation the need for which and accuracy thereof being moot..

    In other words, it may well be the case that in truth (ie., reality) there was very little (if any) global warming between the late 1970s and 1996/7 and that the impression that there was some warming during this period is due to problems with the land based thermometer record which has resulted in apparent warming which is an illusion not reality.

  93. izen says:
    September 1, 2013 at 9:07 am

    I hate to bust your bubble, bud, but what you describe ain’t how it werks….

  94. Joel, you write “A bit off topic, but, can somebody tell me whatever happened to methane.”

    I dont understand you question, but nations all over the world are using as much methane as they possiby can, subject to normal economics

  95. izen says:
    September 1, 2013 at 9:07 am
    “Science works by refutation and providing theories that best explain the observed data.”

    Since nature is refuting the AGW theory all by itself, why should anyone outside of proponents get in the way. There is no need to offer alternative theories to the null hypothesis. An explanation by skeptics for the fact it is not warming anymore would only be necessary if we believed the “A” to be a significant factor in the warming. Indeed, it is unfolding correctly (if belatedly) with proponents running around trying to shore up what they, the creators of the theory, have come to realize is a failing theory. Would the UK Met Office be holding pow wows of the committed to explain why their forecasts, even of quarterly weather are so dismally opposite to what actually transpired. Would Trenberth be looking for the missing heat lurking in the deep oceans if there was no missing heat? Or his latest “unpredictable” hotspot that caroms from one continent to the other across the grain of the planets weather (USA today, Australia tomorrow) as patchwork repair of the CAGW theory? No, my friend, the ones you are cheering for are in this panic for a good reason without skeptics’ help. We did our full job dismantling the bad science. Or perhaps there are some facts that you want skeptics to explain – comon’ out with them.

  96. Izen;
    If there were no other factors in play then there is no reason to expect any ‘recovery’ from the LIA, the climate should have continued to cool.

    Don’t be daft. The world has been both warmer and cooler than the present, long before any human activity could have been a factor. There is no more reason to expect cooling post LIA than there is to expect warming. What we do know is that it has warmed since the LIA, and more or less at the same pace despite dramatically increased levels of CO2 in the last few decades.

    The only way it could warm is if more energy is retained by the climate system, and that requires a causal explanation.
    There is one very obvious source for this extra energy in the rising CO2. You need to both find an alternative explanation for the source of the energy, AND an explanation for why the energy from CO2 is NOT a factor if you wish to reject AGW theory.

    For someone who insists that the physics behind AGW theory is well known, you exhibit a startlingly poor understanding of same. In the brief sentences above, you managed to conflate energy, energy flux, and heat as if they were one and the same thing and called them all “energy”. They are not the same thing at all. Further, the physics which you claim is well known in regard to AGW theory refutes, rather than supports the concept of any catastrophic or even (the new buzz word) dangerous levels of sensitivity.

    1. At equilibrium, the amount of energy flux coming into the earth system and exiting the earth system are exactly the same. For a doubling of CO2, the amount of energy coming into the system changes by exactly zero. Hence, at equilibrium, doubling of CO2 changes the outgoing energy flux by…. exactly zero.
    2. There is an increase in energy retained in the system as heat stored in CO2 molecules as after doubling there would be twice as many of them storing such energy. At 400 parts per million in an atmosphere that itself has a heat capacity less than 1/1000 of the rest of the system, this is a rounding error at best, too small to even measure.
    3. What does changes is the temperature profile from earth surface to TOA (Top of Atmosphere) with the top becoming cooler and the bottom becoming warmer. However, the magnitude of this change is defeated entirely by the very physics you claim are so well known:

    a) CO2’s effects are logarithmic. Beyond 400 ppm, the effect diminishes so fast that any additional CO2 at this point is immaterial.
    b) Temperature does not have a linear response to increased CO2 which can be measured in w/m2 (watts per meter squared). P(w/m2) varies with T raised to the power of 4. Hence, when we speak of “average” temperature increases, we are glossing over the fact that most of the warming across the globe will be exhibited by increased night time temperatures in cold regimes, and very little by increased day time temperatures in warm regimes. As an example, the 3.7 w/m2 putated increase from CO2 doubling would increase temperature at -40C by 1.3 degrees, but at plus 40C, the increase would be less than 0.6 degrees.
    c) Given the well known physics of a) and b) above, the only way for anything dangerous to occur is if feed backs are highly positive, which is the assumption of the IPCC. The physics demands the opposite to be true. Positive feed backs are extremely rare in natural systems. Further, if feed backs were high, the climate would be incredibly unstable due to natural variability alone, and it isn’t.
    d) Beyond that, the bulk of the positive feed back assumed by the IPCC is based on increased water vapour. All the data we have to date suggests that the increase in water vapour is absent, the accompanying feedback is absent, and the combined feed backs are in fact negative.

    So by all means Izen, let’s bring the actual science back into the discussion. An understanding by the public of the basics would bring down the CAGW meme faster than any other mechanism I can think of. Which is precisely why the alarmists refuse to discuss the physics, and instead wave it away as being settled science.

  97. Go Fever</b – – Wikipedia:
    “In the US space industry, “go fever” is an informal term used to refer to the overall attitude of being in a rush or hurry to get a project or task done while overlooking potential problems or mistakes. “Go fever” results from both individual and collective aspects of human behavior. It is due to the tendency as individuals to be overly committed to a previously chosen course of action based on time and resources already expended (sunk costs) despite reduced or insufficient future benefits, or even considerable risks. “

    Unless the IPCC takes Path Three (and more), adjourn to rewrite/redesign WG1, and revise accordingly the WG2, WG3, and SPM, they will be suffering “Go Fever”

    They will not take Path Three, for the anti-carbon climate change social and political activists DO suffer Go Fever. Complete the project, meet the schedule, ignore the data warnings, hang the risks. Go Fever explains the advocacy in the AGU statement. Go Fever is behind “Carbon Pollution” in the administration. Go Fever is behind the “95% confidence” in the leaked AR5.

    Go Fever was elemental in the Apollo One fire.
    It caused the Challenger failure.

    “Go Fever” is a charge that can and should be leveled at the authors of AR5. I think it is label that can stick and be understood by a large swath of the public in the coming debates

  98. Go Fever – – Wikipedia:
    “In the US space industry, “go fever” is an informal term used to refer to the overall attitude of being in a rush or hurry to get a project or task done while overlooking potential problems or mistakes. “Go fever” results from both individual and collective aspects of human behavior. It is due to the tendency as individuals to be overly committed to a previously chosen course of action based on time and resources already expended (sunk costs) despite reduced or insufficient future benefits, or even considerable risks. “

    Unless the IPCC takes Path Three, adjourn to rewrite/redesign WG1, and revise accordingly the WG2, WG3, and SPM, they will be suffering “Go Fever”

    They will not take Path Three, for the anti-carbon climate change social and political activists DO suffer Go Fever. Complete the project, meet the schedule, ignore the data warnings, hang the risks. Go Fever explains the advocacy in the AGU statement. Go Fever is behind “Carbon Pollution” in the administration. Go Fever is behind the “95% confidence” in the leaked AR5.

    Go Fever was elemental in the Apollo One fire.
    It caused the Challenger failure.

    “Go Fever” is a charge that can and should be leveled at the authors of AR5. I think it is label that can stick and be understood by a large swath of the public.

    [Mods: please delete my badly formatted 11:06 am above. Thank you.]

  99. The science is settled. The great Railway Engineer has recently said the ‘pause’ will need to be 30 years before it means anything. Where did he get that, out of the same hat Trenbeth pulled his 2°C tipping point out of. The current 17 year hiatus is almost as long as the increase years.

    Reality shows even the Warmistas aren’t in agreement, worse than we thought ‘peer’ reviewed papers continue to contradict each other many, many times over even when both claim to prove AGW.

    My first thought when I heard about AGW was that a few millionths of CO2 could never affect the climate (common sense), then when you realize the planet makes many times more CO2 than people what does that say, they never talk about that, just the human cause yet do not subtract the natural CO2 from the reports of who much the (overall) CO2 has increased.

  100. @- richardscourtney
    “Izen, anyone who has read your numerous posts on WUWT knows that science is difficult for you, but your point I quote here is scientifically illiterate even by your standards.”

    Numerous seems a little overstated, if my posts are ‘numerous’ how would you characterise your posting record?
    But as you know I always welcome your fulsome help in clarifying the science for me.

    @- “The Null Hypothesis applies. Therefore, nobody needs to devise an alternative unless and until the Null Hypothesis is overcome.
    I explain the matter as follows.
    The Null Hypothesis says it must be assumed a system has not experienced a change unless there is evidence of a change.”

    That begs the question of what qualifies as a ‘change’.
    Was the LIA a change? How about the glacial cycle that has radicaly changed the climate every few 10,000 years for the last several million?
    Does a measured change in the TOA energy balance qualify as a change in the system… or not? But I see that you are restating the null hypothesis again…

    @- “In the case of global climate no unprecedented climate behaviours are observed so the Null Hypothesis decrees that the climate system has not changed. ”

    Ah, that helps, so you define a system change as unprecedented behavior. Any changes in the system that have happened before, no matter how large or whatever the present and past causes, are discounted.
    Hmmm….

    The problem with that definition of the null hypothesis is that given the very wide range of changes that the climate exhibits on all timescales I doubt there is any climate change that could be described as unprecedented.

    I am afraid that we differ on what the null hypothesis is in this instance. I suspect that every climate behavior has a precedent. The present might be comparable with the PETM. As I result I would suggest that the inclusion of unprecedented is a logical error in this case. The climate behavior may change in ways that have historical parallels, but the cause may be different. For instance a rapid cooling of the climate may be the result of changes in the solar output or changes in the Earth albedo from volcanic eruptions or increasing ice albedo.

    And of course the ice-age cycle is strongly mediated by the changes in CO2 levels that amplify the insolation changes from the MIlankovitch cycle.

    I think the inclusion of ‘unprecedented’ in your version of the null hypothesis is a strawman. Climate science is not claiming that the climate is going to do something unprecedented, just that the cause of the present changes in the climate is unprecedented. Past increases in CO2 causing warming have not been anthropogenic.

    Perhaps we could agree that a rather more sensible version of the null hypothesis would be the original one you wrote –
    “The Null Hypothesis says it must be assumed a system has not experienced a change unless there is evidence of a change.”

    Well there is abundant evidence of change –

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2005GL024826/abstract

    ” Here, we extend the reconstruction of global mean sea level back to 1870 and find a sea-level rise from January 1870 to December 2004 of 195 mm, a 20th century rate of sea-level rise of 1.7 ± 0.3 mm yr−1 and a significant acceleration of sea-level rise of 0.013 ± 0.006 mm yr−2. This acceleration is an important confirmation of climate change simulations which show an acceleration not previously observed. If this acceleration remained constant then the 1990 to 2100 rise would range from 280 to 340 mm, consistent with projections in the IPCC TAR.”

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0033589497919001

    “Most Arctic glaciers have experienced predominantly negative net surface mass balance over the past few decades. There is no uniform recent trend in mass balance for the entire Arctic, although some regional trends occur. Examples are the increasingly negative mass balances for northern Alaska, due to higher summer temperatures, and increasingly positive mass balances for maritime Scandinavia and Iceland, due to increased winter precipitation. ”

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/MWR-D-13-00046.1

    “The tripole wind pattern, however, has displayed significant trends since the late 1980s. The negative phase of the tripole wind pattern corresponds to an anomalous anticyclone over northern Eurasia during winter, as well as two anomalous cyclones respectively occurring over southern Europe and in the mid-high latitudes of East Asia. These anomalous cyclones in turn lead to enhanced winter precipitation in these two regions, as well as negative surface temperature anomalies over the mid-high latitudes of Asia. The intensity of the tripole wind pattern and the frequency of its extreme negative phase are significantly correlated with autumn Arctic sea ice anomalies”

    What we are in dispute about is whether these changes are the result of the increased CO2 or whether there are other explanations for the empirical observations.
    And of course what the eventual magnitude of the climate changes might if the rising anthropogenic CO2 is a cause of the observed climate change.

    The sensitivity of the climate to a doubling of CO2 might be indicated by how sensitive it is to other past changes. Given the very wide variations seen in the historical record I think it is difficult to make a strong argument for a very low sensitivity unless you can show that the explanation, the cause of those past climate changes were much larger in terms of energy imbalance than the present measure TOA imbalance from the anthropogenic rising CO2.

  101. “In Kuhn’s view, no evidence that is incompatible with the current paradigm will be entertained during long periods of normal science. However, as anomalous results build up, science eventually reaches a crisis which drives the necessary acceptance of a new paradigm, which subsumes both the old and new results into a new framework. Kuhn calls this transformative point, revolutionary science.”

    I can understand why an author who is not a professional philosopher of science would find the Kuhnian conceit attractive. However, the more important problem is explaining why the earlier IPCC positions diverged so radically from the empirical data and explaining why some important climate scientists are now taking empirical data seriously.

    The fixed point in the mess that is climate science is Dr. Lindzen. Notice that recent developments are bringing climate science back to Lindzen’s position. It seems to me that Lindzen has always seen that climate science is immature and that he has been willing to drive that immature vehicle as well as possible. By contrast, the vision of climate science held by mainstream climate scientists is a wholly idealized vision that compulsively substitutes “what might be someday” for the immature vehicle of today.

  102. richardscourtney say:

    the Null Hypothesis says it must be assumed the GHG changes have no effect unless and until increased GHGs are observed to increase global temperature.

    Sorry Richard, but it is impossible to observe causality.
    We can only observe correlation, and then set up a theory about causality. This theory will be strengthening as long as the correlation continue and weaken when the correlation is missing.

  103. @- davidmhoffer
    “3. What does changes is the temperature profile from earth surface to TOA (Top of Atmosphere) with the top becoming cooler and the bottom becoming warmer. ”

    May I say how refreshing it is to find a poster here who clearly understands the underlying process behind the GHG effect!
    Yes, the temperature gradient increases when the amount of insulation between the surface and tropopause is increased.

    @-“However, the magnitude of this change is defeated entirely by the very physics you claim are so well known:
    a) CO2′s effects are logarithmic. Beyond 400 ppm, the effect diminishes so fast that any additional CO2 at this point is immaterial.”

    Logarithmic in this instance means that a doubling always has the same effect. Venus rather refutes the claim that anything beyond 400ppm is an immaterial effect.

    @-“b) Temperature does not have a linear response to increased CO2 which can be measured in w/m2 (watts per meter squared). P(w/m2) varies with T raised to the power of 4.”

    Not quite, radiative emission varies with the fourth power of the temperature. That is the dominant negative feedback to temperature increase which constrains the effect of the positive feedbacks that I see you go on to mention.

    @-” Positive feed backs are extremely rare in natural systems. Further, if feed backs were high, the climate would be incredibly unstable due to natural variability alone, and it isn’t.”

    Multiple feedbacks both positive and negative are actually very common in natural systems, biology is stuffed with them, it is that very complexity of interaction between the various numerous factors that confers the incredible stability seen in many natural systems.

    @-“d) Beyond that, the bulk of the positive feed back assumed by the IPCC is based on increased water vapour. All the data we have to date suggests that the increase in water vapour is absent”

    Not quite all !

    http://www.pnas.org/content/104/39/15248.full.pdf

    Data from the satellite-based Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) show that the total atmospheric moisture content over oceans has increased by 0.41 kg/m2 per decade since 1988.

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2007JCLI2142.1

    Satellite measurements from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) in the upper troposphere over 4.5 yr are used to assess the covariation of upper-tropospheric humidity and temperature with surface temperatures, which can be used to constrain the upper-tropospheric moistening due to the water vapor feedback. …Results indicate that the upper troposphere maintains nearly constant relative humidity for observed perturbations to ocean surface temperatures over the observed period, with increases in temperature 1.5 times the changes at the surface, and corresponding increases in water vapor (specific humidity) of 10%–25% °C1.

  104. . This theory will be strengthening as long as the correlation continue and weaken when the correlation is missing.
    =====
    and totally fail when there’s no correlation at all

  105. @- Theo Goodwin
    “In Kuhn’s view, no evidence that is incompatible with the current paradigm will be entertained during long periods of normal science. However, as anomalous results build up, science eventually reaches a crisis which drives the necessary acceptance of a new paradigm, which subsumes both the old and new results into a new framework. Kuhn calls this transformative point, revolutionary science.”

    Kuhn was hoisted by his own petard.
    His ideas were a passing paradigm, abandoned when evidence of how ideas and concepts actually evolve in science were found to be incompatible with his hypothesis. Try D. Shapere for a devolution of Kuhn. (grin)

  106. izen:

    I am replying to your post at September 1, 2013 at 11:22 am

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/31/can-the-ipcc-do-revolutionary-science/#comment-1405605

    in reply to my post at September 1, 2013 at 9:57 am

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/31/can-the-ipcc-do-revolutionary-science/#comment-1405531

    Several people gave curt rejections of your post but I tried to inform you of your error by explaining the Null Hypothesis to you. Sadly, my attempt failed because it seems you were determined to misunderstand.

    As I took the trouble to explain for you
    The Null Hypothesis says it must be assumed a system has not experienced a change unless there is evidence of a change.

    We are discussing the present global climate system which has been recovering from the Little Ice Age (LIA) for centuries. Any alteration to that system would be a change.

    And the recovery from the LIA seems to have been a steady rise with periods of ~30 years of warming interrupted by periods of ~30 years of lack of warming or slight cooling. There is no evidence of any kind that the climate system which is recovering from the LIA has changed; none, zilch, nada.

    As I said to you

    Please note that the Null Hypothesis is a hypothesis which exists to be refuted by empirical observation. It is a rejection of the scientific method to assert that one can “choose” any subjective Null Hypothesis one likes. There is only one Null Hypothesis: i.e. it has to be assumed a system has not changed unless it is observed that the system has changed.

    In the case of global climate no unprecedented climate behaviours are observed so the Null Hypothesis decrees that the climate system has not changed.

    We are discussing the present climate system. The possible “unprecedented climate behaviours” of interest pertain to the present climate system which has been recovering from the LIA for centuries.

    The Earth has had several climates in the past; e.g. global and interglacial.
    Your talking about those is simple evasion. We are NOT in those climate systems.

    However, on the basis of your history, I am willing to accept that your inability to understand was stupidity and not egregious.

    Richard

  107. One point that Barry Brill did not make is that whilst all these ‘new’ papers/studies may not find their way into AR5 because of late publication (ie., being published after the cut off date), these ‘new’ papers will have been read by those writing and finalising AR5 and these ‘new’ papers ought from an objective standpoint make the claim that man is primarily responsible for the late 20th century warming less certain, not more certain.

    Irrespective as to whether these ‘new’ papers find their way into AR5, the certainty behind AGW should not be increasing up to the 97% band, but should in fact (by which I mean based on an objective view point) be decreasing from the level of certainty that was expressed in AR4.

    this follows from the fact that model projections are departing increasingly from real observational/ empirical evidence and the fact that we do not know what has brought about the pause, and why and how this has occurred, makes AGW less certain not more certain. the pause was not predicted by the models, and prima facie runs contrary to AGW if that theory rests on the bedrock that increasing levels of CO2 results in warming.

    To summarise, I am saying that even iif the IPCC choses not to comment on these new papers, their very existence ought to have an effect on the conclussions drawn by the IPCC. Personally, I do not see how they expect to get away with the claim that AGW is happening is more certain than it was when AR$ was published and before such time that there was a lengthy pause in the warming..

  108. I have been surprised to find very little data about the magnitude of the century-to-century variation in global temperatures. I have submitted a paper giving an estimate from ice core records of the past 8000 years showing a standard deviation of 0.98+/-0.15 deg C per century, which means that any anthropogenic temperature signal is probably buried in the natural noise. The IPCC in early drafts of the SPM made a significant change – whereas previously (AR4) it had said AGW was “most likely” responsible for most of the observed global warming, in draft AR5 it said AGW was “extremely likely” to have caused at least half of the observed warming. The subtle difference between these two statements may confuse many commentators, as I am sure it was intended to do.

  109. Jan Kjetil Andersen:

    Your post at September 1, 2013 at 12:06 pm is wrong on two counts.

    It is at

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/31/can-the-ipcc-do-revolutionary-science/#comment-1405642
    and says in total
    richardscourtney say:

    the Null Hypothesis says it must be assumed the GHG changes have no effect unless and until increased GHGs are observed to increase global temperature.

    Sorry Richard, but it is impossible to observe causality.
    We can only observe correlation, and then set up a theory about causality. This theory will be strengthening as long as the correlation continue and weaken when the correlation is missing.


    Firstly, I did NOT say causality could be observed.
    I said causality cannot be assumed when there is no discernible effect resulting from a putative cause. That is a fundamental scientific principle which I explained.

    Secondly, it is not true that we “can only observe correlation”. We can also observe coherence.

    Both correlation and coherence can each and both provide information pertaining to causality.

    Correlation is a mathematical relationship between two parameters. If the correlation is known over the length of the data sets, then their correlation indicates the magnitude of a change in one parameter that is expected when the other parameter changes by a known magnitude.

    Correlation does NOT indicate a causal relation between two parameters.
    But
    Absence of correlation indicates absence of a direct a causal relation between two parameters.

    Coherence of two parameters indicates that when one parameter changes then the other parameter changes later.

    Coherence can disprove that change of one parameter causes change in the other; i.e. if change in parameter A follows change in parameter B then the change of A cannot be the cause of the change of B (because a cause cannot occur after its effect).

    So,
    1.
    absence of correlation indicates absence of a direct causal relationship
    and
    2.
    when there is a direct causal relationship then coherence indicates which of the two parameters is causal.

    Furthermore, coherence in the absence of correlation is strongly suggestive that both parameters are affected by another parameter (or other parameters).

    For example, leaves fall off trees soon after children return to school following their summer break.
    The coherence is great; i.e. both effects occur each year.
    But the effects do not correlate; i.e. the number of returning children is not indicative of the number of falling leaves.
    In this example, the time of year is the additional parameter which causes children to return to school and the leaves to fall off trees.

    So, if it is known that there is a causal relationship between two parameters. The coherence between the parameters indicates which is causal.

    Importantly, if there is no correlation and no coherence between two parameters then it has to be assumed that there is no discernible causal relationship between the parameters.

    Richard

  110. The IPCC must be trying really hard to find more than a few scientist and railway engineer that will lend their name to such a farce .Until the IPCC can explain the interrelationship between climate variables the rest of what they claim about humans direct influence on climate is nothing more the misleading speculation..Everything humans do has some signature in the enviroment but claiming humans or CO2 is causing global warming (climate change)is so boguss . Is the doubling of CO2 causing global cooling of the past 15 years ? Fire the IPCC for abuse of the public trust .

  111. izen says:
    September 1, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    You posted to the wrong person. I was quoting the author of the article. Kuhn has become nothing more than an interesting exercise for graduate students.

  112. Frank says:
    August 31, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    Smashingly good post. Alarmist climate scientists constantly mention Chaos Theory but they never use it except as an excuse. No climate scientist presents calculations and reasoning that are typical of chaos theory as they argue for particular conclusions. None of them have offered hypotheses about “attractors” in climate, at least not as “attractor” is defined technically in Chaos Theory. But it seems that all of them, yes even the best, are willing to trot out Chaos Theory as an excuse at the drop of a hat. Whenever they mention Chaos Theory, they should be seriously challenged immediately.

    Climate scientists do not understand probability. They have not a clue about differences between objective and subjective probability estimates. Physicists use probabilities in their ordinary work all the time but climate scientists seem to think that their use of probabilities excuses them from the methodological guidelines that physicists work under.

  113. Joel Hammer says:
    September 1, 2013 at 9:48 am

    > A bit off topic, but, can somebody tell me whatever happened to methane?

    Basically, the methane concentration stopped rising after people started wringing their hands over it. With a nearly level concentration, it no longer portends doom.
    See http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/Atmosphere/images/methane_atmosph_concentr_1984_2004_big.gif

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/originals/atmospheric_methane_concentrations.html

    Some of the leveling may be from changes in rice growing and keeping paddies flooded for less time, but I don’t think it’s confidently known.

    As the links above show, the IPCC overestimated its rise, so they’d probably rather ignore it than explain it.

  114. izen says:
    September 1, 2013 at 12:14 pm
    >>>>>>>>>>>>

    Logarithmic in this instance means that a doubling always has the same effect. Venus rather refutes the claim that anything beyond 400ppm is an immaterial effect.

    Yeah, you can’t argue the physics so you throw in a reference to Venus hoping that it will distract the reader from the physics. Since you’ve stipulated to the fact that doubling has the same effect, let’s do the math. Direct effects of CO2 doubling are thought to be in the range of 1 degree. So, in order to get 2 degrees of warming from current concentrations at roughly 400 ppm, we’d need 400 x 2 x 2 = 1600 ppm. At current rates of CO2 increases, that’s 800 years from now. To get to Venus type atmosphere we’d need millions upon millions of years, which is why the reference is completely meaningless.

    @-”b) Temperature does not have a linear response to increased CO2 which can be measured in w/m2 (watts per meter squared). P(w/m2) varies with T raised to the power of 4.”

    Not quite, radiative emission varies with the fourth power of the temperature.

    Not quite? That’s exactly what I said!

    Multiple feedbacks both positive and negative are actually very common in natural systems, biology is stuffed with them

    We’re not discussing biology, we’re discussing physics, in which positive feed backs are exceedingly rare.

    Not quite all

    http://www.pnas.org/content/104/39/15248.full.pdf

    Data from the satellite-based Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) show that the total atmospheric moisture content over oceans has increased by 0.41 kg/m2 per decade since 1988.

    Really? How do you stuff 0.41 kg of water into a two dimensional plane?
    You’ve cherry picked the end points in any event, and I’ve spent enough time debunking you for one day. Your grasp of the physics is exceedingly weak, as demonstrated by your clear inability to understand that neither Venus nor biologic systems are of any relevance in the discussion.

  115. richardscourtney say:

    Firstly, I did NOT say causality could be observed.

    Well, you did say:

    the Null Hypothesis says it must be assumed the GHG changes have no effect unless and until increased GHGs are observed to increase global temperature.

    That is a direct quote from your post September 1, 2013 at 9:57 am
    Look at that last part: “GHGs are observed to increase global temperature”

    That is to observe that GHGs are a cause of increase in global temperature isn’t it?

    And that mean the same as to observe causality.

    • Jan Kjetil Andersen says:
      September 1, 2013 at 2:25 pm

      You wrote to Richard:

      That is a direct quote from your post September 1, 2013 at 9:57 am
      Look at that last part: “GHGs are observed to increase global temperature”

      What you failed to see in Richard’s definition of the Null Hypothesis were the words “unless and until” that preceded “GHGs are observed to increase global temperature. Leaving that out kinda changes the meaning, don’t ya think?

  116. Jan Kjetil Andersen:

    I do not know what you are trying to prove with your silly post which quotes me out of context at September 1, 2013 at 2:25 pm .

    I actually wrote

    In the case of climate science there is a hypothesis that increased greenhouse gases (GHGs, notably CO2) in the air will increase global temperature. There are good reasons to suppose this hypothesis may be true, but the Null Hypothesis says it must be assumed the GHG changes have no effect unless and until increased GHGs are observed to increase global temperature. That is what the scientific method decrees. It does not matter how certain some people may be that the hypothesis is right because observation of reality (i.e. empiricism) trumps all opinions.

    You queried my meaning and I added clarification together with information on coherence which you said you lacked. Your response is to knit-pick my choice of words.

    I think my meaning was clear and your knit-picking does not induce me to change my wording.

    I would be pleased to discuss any substantive point you have to make. Knit-picking choice of words and quoting out of context is not making a substantive point.

    Richard

  117. Vieras says:
    August 31, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    “The next IPCC report will be just as alarmistic as before and it will be released with a tsunami of media articles trying to restart the whole failed meme again. They will be more sure than ever. Does anyone want to bet
    I’m wrong.”

    Dear Vieras, I hope and pray you are wrong and will bet $1,000.00*
    that you are. I have lost every bet I’ve made in the last few years and
    hope my string of failed wagers will be reversed and the IPCC will come
    clean. I fear you are right and when I lose the bet I will have to pay
    you in Monopoly Money after I’ve sold Boardwalk and Park Place.

    If you lose the bet you will owe me nothing. We’ll both be too happy
    celebrating together here on WUWT with Anthony and hundreds of
    friends. L8tr, John

  118. 2014: IPCC Report. The world continues to warm from CO2 but natural variability is higher than previously thought. Still the first decade in this century was the warmest on record. More effort on climate sensitivity due to CO2 will help improve future estimates of warming.

    2021: IPCC Report. As previously reported natural variability continues to weaken the long term warming trend due to CO2 although the second decade in the 21st century was the second warmest on record. Progress has been made on CO2 sensitivity to warming and has resulted in a slight downward revision. While hopeful, this revision does little to reduce concern about the future catastrophic trend in warming.

    2028: IPCC Report. As predicted the revised estimates of climate sensitivity are in-line with measured temperature once natural variability is taken into account. It is likely that the decade 2020-2029 will be the third warmest decade on record. We have reached the point at which governments are now fully aware of the impacts of climate change and have made important changes to reduce the future growth of CO2 from fossil fuels. As a result of this IPCC-led effort, this will be the last report as the IPCC has met its goals and its members will now return to grass-roots programs to continue this important work.

  119. @- richardscourtney
    “We are discussing the present global climate system which has been recovering from the Little Ice Age (LIA) for centuries. Any alteration to that system would be a change.”

    Unfortunately in my stupidity I can see no reason WHY the present global system is ‘recovering’ from the LIA. By using the word recovering you make it sound as if the LIA was a pathological condition that the climate system had somehow acquired and it is only now managing to repair and correct itself.
    The history of the Holocene is of gradual cooling since the climate optimum around 8000 years ago. Marcott et al recently produced a robust estimate of the last few thousand years of the state of the climate and it is clearly of a gradually cooling system as predicted by the physics of the Milankovitch cycles and seen in each previous interglacial period.

    @-“And the recovery from the LIA seems to have been a steady rise with periods of ~30 years of warming interrupted by periods of ~30 years of lack of warming or slight cooling. There is no evidence of any kind that the climate system which is recovering from the LIA has changed; none, zilch, nada.”

    So YOUR null hypothesis requires that it assumed without any reference to a cause that the climate system is recovering from previous state, and that process of change from the previous state is the null state. In fact as you claim that part of this miraculous healing or recovery performed by the anthropomorphic climate system involves ~30 years of lack of warming or slight cooling. That implies that you have chosen a definition of the null hypothesis that is incapable of refutation EXCEPT by significant cooling.

    While you and Jan Kjetil Andersen spar over whether causation or only correlation/coherence can be observed, both of you have overlooked the fact that science deals in explanations supported by empiricalobservation, but invoking known physics, chemistry and biology.
    Unless you can explain what this recovery from the LIA is caused by at the level of physics/chemistry/biology, it is null as a scientific explanation, merely descriptive as a hypothesis.

    @-“However, on the basis of your history, I am willing to accept that your inability to understand was stupidity and not egregious.”

    I thank you for the magnanimity of your condescension, and await with anticipation your explanation of why the climate system has been in a state of improving convalescence from the illness of the LIA, and how that state can be distinguished from any other physical process that might be affecting the climate system if significant cooling is the only “unprecedented climate behaviour” that would refute your selected null.

  120. @- davidmhoffer
    -Re; Data from the satellite-based Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) show that the total atmospheric moisture content over oceans has increased by 0.41 kg/m2 per decade since 1988.
    “Really? How do you stuff 0.41 kg of water into a two dimensional plane?”

    It is a satellite measurement of the increase in water vapour as a result of the warming. If you were familiar with the field you would see that the satellite looks DOWN on the atmosphere and only detects the change within an area over the total depth of the atmosphere. Therefore the changes observed are expressed as changes per square metre from the TOA to surface.

  121. izen says: September 1, 2013 at 11:22 am

    “The sensitivity of the climate to a doubling of CO2 might be indicated by how sensitive it is to other past changes. Given the very wide variations seen in the historical record I think it is difficult to make a strong argument for a very low sensitivity unless you can show that the explanation, the cause of those past climate changes were much larger in terms of energy imbalance than the present measure TOA imbalance from the anthropogenic rising CO2.”
    //////////////////////////////

    if one looks at the Paleo record, there are instances of high levels of CO2 and rising, and yet temperatures at the time in question are falling. Given that, it is difficult to make a strong case for high sensitivity unless one also accepts that the bounds of natural variation are extremely high and can even trump the high positive forcing of CO2 which at that time prevailed.

    If one looks at any temperature record (whether thermometer or paleo) the take home conclusion is that natural variation can and does trump the forcing from CO2 and accordingly the dominant driver of temperature is natural variation.

    Indeed, this has to be so since according to the so called basic physics whenever there is an increase in CO2 levels there must always be an increase in temperature and thus for each and every year that CO2 emissions rise but there is no corresponding rise in temperature an explanation for the lack of warming consistent with the AGW theory is required. Maybe there is an obvious possible explanation, eg., a volcanic eruption, but usually there is not and it is the warmists who are forced to fall back on natural variation explaining why there was no rise in temperature. This is illustrated by the present pause which contradicts the theory and without a convincing explanation falsifies the theory as presently drawn. There have been no volcanos of note these past 17 years, there is some farcical suggestion that somehow the mssing heat has found its way down into the deep ocean but even that fanciful explanation does not account for all the missing heat and the warmists are therefore left to suggest that presently natural variation is trumping the CO2 induced warming that arises from the increase in CO2 emissions these past 17 or so years. The same applies to the 1940s to mid/late 1970s cooling..

    Thus the position is that either natural variation is very powerful such that it can trump high climate sensitivity to CO2, or natural variation is not particularly powerful since climate sensitivity to Co2 is low. Either way, natural variation is the dominant player and of course, this is consistent with the null hypothesis that starts from the position that all changes in the temperature record are the result of natural variation unless someone can demonstrate some other cause being responsible for the change in temperature.

    When discussing climate sensitivity I frequently note that one cannot determine climate sensitivity from observational data until such time as natural variation is fully known and understood, what it comprises of, the direction of each and every constituent forcing and the upper and lower bounds of each and every constituent forcing. It is only once one can seperate temperature changes which have been brought about by natural variation from those which natural variation does not explain that one can begin to seperate the signal of sensitivity to CO2 from the noise of natural variation. or put another way it is only when one can look at the temperature record and examine evry temperature change therein and identify which if any of those changes canot have been brought about by natural variation is one left with the component consisting of temperature chnages brought about by some no natural cause (by which I mean some anthropogenic induced cause which may not necessarily be CO2, it could for example be land use).

    The fact that this cannot presently be done in itself sugggests that climate sensitivity is low. So too, the fact that we are here discussing this issue some 4.5 billion years after planet Earth was formed and the hell, fire and brimstow that it has gone through over the eons and emerged in a benign state conducive to life.

  122. izen says:
    September 1, 2013 at 5:01 pm
    >>>>>>>>>>>

    Thanks for that clarification. I’ll take your word for it.
    Congratulations on scoring a single point in this thread.

  123. If this author had read Kuhn more closely then he would have known that climatology is NOT chemistry or physics. Can someone tell me at what point in climatology has one theory supplanted all others and become the paradigm theory? Does all of climatology operate under an equivalent combustion theory of chemistry or Newtonian paradigm?

    If there is no paradigm theory in climatology then there can be no revolution to overturn the paradigm theory.

  124. My first thought:
    “It would be revolutionary if the IPCC could actually do science.”

    Allen: Climatology doesn’t even obey the law of thermodynamics.

  125. Babsy says:
    September 1, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    What you failed to see in Richard’s definition of the Null Hypothesis were the words “unless and until” that preceded “GHGs are observed to increase global temperature. Leaving that out kinda changes the meaning, don’t ya think?

    No, it does not change that Richard here says that he wants to see an observed causality. I think he must see that it was a mistake, almost anybody do, but I see that he is too proud to admit even that small error.

  126. Jan Kjetil Andersen says:
    September 1, 2013 at 10:26 pm
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Either English isn’t your first language or you simply lack the reading comprehension skills. What Richard said was pretty clear, and there was no mistake.

  127. richardscourtney says:
    September 1, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    I think my meaning was clear and your knit-picking does not induce me to change my wording.

    I quoted you in a direct error and it does not help to add more contexts to that. You start the knit-picking because you, instead of admitting that small but obvious error, you try to defend something that is not possible to defend.

  128. Jan Kjetil Andersen says:

    Yes, Richard clearly stated his case, except that nit picking does not use a “K”. A nit is the egg or larva of a louse or other parasitic insect. The task of removing all the nits from an infected person or animal can be almost overwhelming as it requires a millimetre-by-millimerer examination with a magnifying glass and tweezers. By extension, a pedantic person immersed in minutiae is often called a nit-picker.

  129. izen:

    In your post at September 1, 2013 at 4:47 pm you quote my having said

    We are discussing the present global climate system which has been recovering from the Little Ice Age (LIA) for centuries. Any alteration to that system would be a change.

    And you reply

    Unfortunately in my stupidity I can see no reason WHY the present global system is ‘recovering’ from the LIA. By using the word recovering you make it sound as if the LIA was a pathological condition that the climate system had somehow acquired and it is only now managing to repair and correct itself.

    No. The climate system is not in a “pathological condition”.
    Nobody knows the cause of the LIA and its subsequent recovery.

    It will continue to be impossible for you to think rationally about climate until you recover from your “pathological condition” which is the delusional belief in AGW known as warmunism.

    Richard

  130. Jan Kjetil Andersen says:
    September 1, 2013 at 10:35 pm
    ————————
    Sorry, clearly English is not your first language, time for you to accept you’ve misunderstood.

  131. izen says:
    September 1, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    AND
    davidmhoffer says:
    September 1, 2013 at 5:55 pm
    ////////////////////////////////

    Whilst I understand the way the measurement is expressed, surely the volume point still stands?

    In other words is the satellite measurement suggesting that in a 1 square metre column extending down from the TOA to the surface, then the amount of water vapour contained in that column has increased by 0.41kg per decade?

    If we are talking about such a column, are we using the Karman line for TOA at say 100km, such that the column consists of 100,000 m3?

    If that is so, then it would appear that the measured increase is miniscule and I wonder whether there are issues with resolution, accuracy and errors.

    It seems to me that your point comes from a paper by Santer, which may be based upon model runs. Certainly the paper did not attach a table of the raw data measurements taken each month during the years in question, so I was unable to look at the underlying raw data.

    Of course your observation about increasing moisture content runs contrary to other studies such as by Paltridge, Arking & Pook (see http://www.eike-klima-energie.eu/uploads/media/Paltridge_01.pdf )

    .

  132. Richard Verney says:
    September 2, 2013 at 7:52 am

    Whilst I understand the way the measurement is expressed, surely the volume point still stands?
    In other words is the satellite measurement suggesting that in a 1 square metre column extending down from the TOA to the surface, then the amount of water vapour contained in that column has increased by 0.41kg per decade?
    If we are talking about such a column, are we using the Karman line for TOA at say 100km, such that the column consists of 100,000 m3?
    If that is so, then it would appear that the measured increase is miniscule and I wonder whether there are issues with resolution, accuracy and errors.

    A water increase of 0.41 kg/square meter is not a small amount Richard. The total mass of the air column is approximately 10 000 kg, but that is mostly O2 and N2, the Water content is only approximately 25 kg. A good and easy explanation is found here: http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/watercycleatmosphere.html

    That means that an increase from 25 kg to 25.41 kg is similar to1.6% per decade. It is small, but not negligible.

    However, you show to a report by Paltridge & al. which you claim runs contrary to this, but I cannot see that is right.

    The Paltridge & al. report show reduced humidity in upper troposphere, but increased humidity in lower layers. Figure 3 in the report show that in the NH the decrease at 400 hPa, is approximately 0.04, gram and the increase at 925 hPa is 0,12 gram. That means that we have three times more increase than decrease at those two points. It is approximately the same relation in the tropics and even more in SH.

    Of course, great caution has to be taken in drawing conclusions from only two points; but it is a clear indication of more, rater than less humidity in the atmosphere.

  133. Jan Kjetil Andersen says:
    September 2, 2013 at 9:13 am
    The Paltridge & al. report show reduced humidity in upper troposphere, but increased humidity in lower layers. Figure 3 in the report show that in the NH the decrease at 400 hPa, is approximately 0.04, gram and the increase at 925 hPa is 0,12 gram. That means that we have three times more increase than decrease at those two points. It is approximately the same relation in the tropics and even more in SH.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>

    1. Possibly the largest error made by the alarmist climate science community is repeatedly running a linear trend through cyclical data and attempting to draw meaningful conclusions from it. You repeat that same error in your response above.
    2. The accuracy of the data you cite is no where near what is required for this type of analysis. The error range is larger than the measurement, another common error perpetuated by alarmists pretending to be scientists.
    3. If you are going to cite Paltridge et al, then you are defeating your own argument. The original discussion was about magnitude and sign of feed backs from water vapour. If we accept your point that lower troposphere has increased three times what the upper troposphere has decreased, that still results in a net negative change in forcing, and a net reduction in the altitude of the mean radiating layer. An increase in the lower troposphere has little effect because the effect is already saturated while a decrease in the upper troposphere has a large effect because it is no where near saturation.

    Your understanding of the physics appears as weak as your reading comprehension skills.

  134. davidmhoffer says:
    September 2, 2013 at 10:12 am

    1. Possibly the largest error made by the alarmist climate science community is repeatedly running a linear trend through cyclical data and attempting to draw meaningful conclusions from it. You repeat that same error in your response above.
    2. The accuracy of the data you cite is no where near what is required for this type of analysis. The error range is larger than the measurement, another common error perpetuated by alarmists pretending to be scientists.

    David, I am not using this report to prove anything, I am responding to Richard Verney who claims that this report runs contrary to the increasing moisture claimed by Izen.

    As I clearly say, great caution has to be taken in drawing conclusions from only two points. However, I show that the indication is opposite than that claimed by Richard Verney. The report indicates more moisture, not less.

    I have not said anything of feedback, so I cannot see how you can tell that Paltridge et al defeat my argument on that. I have not made any argument on that. All I have commented is that both the cited reports indicate more moisture in the atmosphere.

    Your understanding of the physics appears as weak as your reading comprehension skills.

    Why not stick to the topic so we may have a fruitful and interesting discussion rather than throwing out personal attacks?

  135. Jan Kjetil Andersen says:
    September 2, 2013 at 10:45 am
    Why not stick to the topic so we may have a fruitful and interesting discussion rather than throwing out personal attacks?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    1. The original point of discussion was about feed backs, you jumped into the middle and ignored the beginning. The topic in fact was feed backs in the first place.

    2. You deliberately and blatantly quoted another commmenter (richardscourtney) by truncating his actual sentence and then attributing to it a completely false statement. If you want to leave personal attacks out of the discussion, then cease the use of such tactics.

  136. davidmhoffer says:
    September 2, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Jan Kjetil Andersen says:
    September 2, 2013 at 10:45 am
    Why not stick to the topic so we may have a fruitful and interesting discussion rather than throwing out personal attacks?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    1. The original point of discussion was about feed backs, you jumped into the middle and ignored the beginning. The topic in fact was feed backs in the first place.
    2. You deliberately and blatantly quoted another commmenter (richardscourtney) by truncating his actual sentence and then attributing to it a completely false statement. If you want to leave personal attacks out of the discussion, then cease the use of such tactics.

    1.The discussion between izen and various opponents here is long and complicated and it did in fact start with a discussion about climate science. Feedback was brought in as one of several subtopics later. It is perfectly normal to comment on just one aspect in a discussion like this.

    2.I quoted as much as I thought necessary to show the context. I am sorry to see that you think I truncated it to give a false impression. I never do that. May be I misunderstood richardscourtney, but I did not intend to do anything unfair.

    I love this site because it has so many knowledgeable people and interesting discussions. I find it both entertaining and educating to contribute, but I always try to play fair.

  137. Jan Kjetil Andersen says:
    September 2, 2013 at 12:02 pm
    I am sorry to see that you think I truncated it to give a false impression. I never do that.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>

    That is exactly what you did.

  138. davidmhoffer says:
    September 2, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Jan Kjetil Andersen says:
    September 2, 2013 at 12:02 pm
    I am sorry to see that you think I truncated it to give a false impression. I never do that.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    That is exactly what you did.

    Hm, no point in going further on that I see.

    So thanks for the debate David

  139. Jan Kjetil Andersen says:
    September 2, 2013 at 12:17 pm
    That is exactly what you did.
    Hm, no point in going further on that I see.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Allow me to remind you of the facts which are easily determined by perusing the thread above. richardscourtney said, and a I quote:

    In the case of climate science there is a hypothesis that increased greenhouse gases (GHGs, notably CO2) in the air will increase global temperature. There are good reasons to suppose this hypothesis may be true, but the Null Hypothesis says it must be assumed the GHG changes have no effect unless and until increased GHGs are observed to increase global temperature.

    Which you then truncated to read, and I quote from your comment at 2:25 of Sept 1:

    That is a direct quote from your post September 1, 2013 at 9:57 am
    Look at that last part: “GHGs are observed to increase global temperature”
    That is to observe that GHGs are a cause of increase in global temperature isn’t it?

    So yes, unless and until you are willing to retract and apologize for your position, your contention that you don’t do what you so blatantly did makes further discourse unproductive. But if you wish to continue, I shall certainly be happy to continue to point out the discontinuity in the written record.

  140. davidmhoffer:

    Thankyou for reporting the facts which you do in your post at September 2, 2013 at 12:57 pm.

    However, as I see it, the important point is that I thought Jan Kjetil Andersen may have misunderstood what I wrote because English is not his first language and, therefore, I explained my meaning to him when I wrote

    Firstly, I did NOT say causality could be observed.
    I said causality cannot be assumed when there is no discernible effect resulting from a putative cause. That is a fundamental scientific principle which I explained.

    But he persisted and did the truncation you mention in reply to my explanation.

    Hence, I cannot accept that his misrepresentation of my words was a misunderstanding and I will also refuse to engage with him until he retracts. At present it can be anticipated that future disruption of discussion will occur from his misrepresenting people.

    Richard

  141. richardscourtney says:
    September 2, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    But he persisted and did the truncation you mention in reply to my explanation.
    Hence, I cannot accept that his misrepresentation of my words was a misunderstanding and I will also refuse to engage with him until he retracts. At present it can be anticipated that future disruption of discussion will occur from his misrepresenting people.

    Richard

    As I see it, you have to consider both not to quote too much, as well as not too little.

    If you quote too much you risk that the reader either does not read the quote at all or miss the critical point you want to highlight.

    If you quote too little you risk misrepresenting the context.

    So you have to weigh those aspects against each other.

    What I wanted to highlight was the sentence part: “GHGs are observed to increase global temperature” which I think can mean to observe causality.

    I quoted some more than that, and in my view, I quoted enough to show the content. If anyone wanted to read your whole posting they could just scroll up to do that.

    I have not intentionally wanted to misrepresent your opinion. I never do that. However, I may have misunderstood you since I see from one of your posts that you seem to have a good grip on understanding correlation and causality.

  142. Barry, the latest 10-year period (2003-12) is actually the hottest decade ever recorded by thermometer and certainly not the coolest since satellite records began in 1979.

  143. Jan Kjetil Andersen says:
    September 2, 2013 at 9:13 am
    //////////////////////////////

    Jan

    Thanks your comments. I fired from the gut, rather than checking the data. Always a bad habit!

    My gut was telling me that there would be more water vapour in a 100km column of air. At around 25kg, I accept your point that an increase of around 0.41kg/decade is not miniscule.

    Of course, there are many studies into the humidity issue such as Miskolczi’s detailed 2010 paper and there appears to much conflicting views on it and many question the accuracy of the measurements data sets (no surprise there then since it appears that in Climate Science there are numerous data sets but almost none are fit for purpose!).

  144. Barry may also have noticed that his home country just had the warmest winter ever recorded. If there was no such thing as global warming, the probability of that occurring would be 1 in 150.

  145. On the issue of the ‘Pause’ and how the IPCC may address this important issue, I make the following observation.:

    Recently, it has been suggested by the warmists that model runs do produce pauses, the precise duration of which they are less candid about. The warmists argue that since model runs produce pauses, there is nothing wrong with the theory, nor with the models.

    However, like most things, the devil is in the detail. It is important to consider when the model run pause occurs, and at what level of CO2 forcing exists in the model at that time.

    If CO2 drives temperature it is easier to have a 17 year pause in temperature rise when CO2 levels in the model are say 310 to 330 ppm than it is to have a similar pause when CO2 levels are say 380 to 400ppm.

    Of course, this all goes to the strength of CO2 forcing verses the forcing from natural variation.

    The IPCC accepts that CO2 did not contribute substantially to the 1920s to 1940s warming when CO2 levels were only about 300ppm. At this stage, they accepted that natural variation was dominant. However, everything changed by the time we get to the late 1970s and the warming that ensued through to the late 1990s. At this stage, the IPCC argue that natural variation no longer had the capability to explain the warming and by this stage CO2 was now the dominant player.

    What had changed between the 1920s-1940s and the 1970s-1990s? The only changes of note were (i) CO2 levels had risen to around 330 rising through to ~370pm, and (ii) there was cleaner air in cities due to better pollution control but whether there was a significant difference in global aerosols is moot since although by the 1990s there were better pollution controls there was also much more industrial activity than there was back in the 1920s-1940s and further the developing nations were beginning to come on stream and they were not applying the same pollution standards.

    The upshot of the above is that the IPCC were essentially concluding that by the time CO2 levels reached about 330ppm (approx CO2 level in the late 1970s), the CO2 forcing dominated natural variability. Accordingly, by the time CO2 levels reached ~330ppm one would no longer expect to see a pause in the rise in global temperatures which MUST follow from the so called basic physics of an ever increasing concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    The only explanation for the pause is that CO2 cannot even at 380 to 400ppm dominate natural variability, and natural variability still remains king. The problem with this is that the IPCC can now no longer assert that natural variation could not explain the 1970s-1990s warming. They can no longer assert that the only cause of that warming is CO2 since by then we had reached a stage (ie., a level of CO2 in the atmosphere) where CO2 was the dominant player.

    It will be interesting to see how the IPCC address the pause since it is not only relevant to what is happening today, but is fundamental to what happened during the late 1970s-late 1990s and the reason for attributing CO2 as being the cause (or the predominant cause) of that warming.

    PS I attach a plot of the accumulated CO2 emissions – see

    http://s1136.photobucket.com/user/Bartemis/media/emissions.jpg.html?sort=3&o=6#/user/Bartemis/media/emissions.jpg.html?sort=3&o=6&_suid=13781862256430152521980639523T6

    There are a number of useful CO2 plots. Have a look at them.

  146. Simon:

    Your post at September 2, 2013 at 11:14 pm says in total

    Barry may also have noticed that his home country just had the warmest winter ever recorded. If there was no such thing as global warming, the probability of that occurring would be 1 in 150.

    Don’t be silly.

    Using your illogical reasoning, I have noticed that my height has just had its highest value ever recorded. If there was no such thing as me growing, the probability of that occurring would be 1 in 68.

    Richard

  147. richardscourtney says:
    September 2, 2013 at 1:21 pm
    ///////////////////////

    Richard

    i do not wish to get involved in this debate, especially since issues of semantics are often just a side track. When commenting on blogs, people inevitably do not give the same care to language as a lawyer would when drafting some legal advice, or interpreting contracts or laws etc. People often comment in a hurry, and this inevitably has an impact on both the way they may express themselves, and also the way in which they may interpret someone else’s comments. I much prefer to stick to the science.

    Whilst I consider that your comment taken as a whole was clear (and a useful exposition of the principles involved), I do see that the wording “…the Null Hypothesis says it must be assumed the GHG changes have no effect unless and until increased GHGs are observed to increase global temperature.” is unfortunate and could lead to confusion.

    I am a keen supporter of your comments and always look out for your views, but in this case, I consider that you are over reacting. Let us not be too critical of each other, on a personal basis, and let’s stick to the science. I consider it would be very unfortunate if we drive people who hold differing views, from those held by ourselves, away from this site because of an over aggressive attitude when responding to them. This site would become poorer were that too happen, and more prone to group think.

    I know I have no real business stepping into this argument, but this is just my view for what it is worth. i am not intending to be critical, merely constructive.

  148. jorgekafkazar says:
    August 31, 2013 at 10:20 pm
    /////////////////////

    Perhaps also of significance, an El Nino is a natural, not a CO2 forced event.

    So Hansen is in effect suggesting that the next rise in temperatures will not be that caused by CO2 forcings, but rather the result of natural variation.

  149. Whilst not directly on topic, but relevant to past climate and whether we are today seeing anything unprecedented see the attached article http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2408825/Melting-ice-reveals-1-700-year-old-woolly-jumper–experts-say-come.html

    “…Scientists believe global warming is leading to an increasing number of archaeological discoveries in cold and icy regions.

    Melting snow has recently revealed a remarkably intact woolly jumper likely worn by a fashion-conscious reindeer hunter some 1,700 years ago….

    ‘Due to global warming, rapid melting of snow patches and glaciers is taking place in the mountains of Norway as in other parts of the world, and hundreds of archaeological finds emerge from the ice each year.’…”

    So 1700 years ago (approx around the RWP) the conditions in Northern Europe were warmer with less ice than today.

    Now of course these may not be global events, but we know as fact that large areas of Northern Europe were warmer than today in the MWP, the Roman Warm Period and Minoan Warm Period (additional to that of the Holocene optimum) and this raises the issue as to how this occurred and what caused the warming (even if it was confined to large areas of Northern Europe as opposed to being truly global – it is difficult to ascertain the global distribution due to the lack of land area in the Southern Hemisphere and there is less archaelogical evidence left behind by those who klived in the Southern Hemisphere)?

    What is the IPCC’s take on all of this? What does this say about the potential forcings associated with natural variation?

    These questions need to be answered if one is to properly deal with the 17 – 22 year pause in global temperature anomaly rise (depending upon data set), and of course, it has a knock on effect in relation to the 20th century warming generally.

  150. richard verney:

    re your comment to me at September 3, 2013 at 12:10 am which concludes

    i am not intending to be critical, merely constructive.

    Thankyou. I appreciate that.

    I have read your view and considered it. However, although I value your thoughts, I do not agree.

    Please note that I had dropped the matter until Jan Kjetil Andersen and davidmhoffer raised it again. I then interposed to say why I am convinced that Jan Kjetil Andersen deliberately misrepresented me: my post explaining that is at September 2, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/31/can-the-ipcc-do-revolutionary-science/#comment-1406214

    That post also said I would not interact with him until he retracted and it explained why.

    Subsequently, Jan Kjetil Andersen posted an excuse but not a retraction. His post is at September 2, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/31/can-the-ipcc-do-revolutionary-science/#comment-1406260

    I ignored that excuse because I saw no point in pursuing the matter.

    I hope this answer demonstrates that I appreciate your comment, I have read it, and I have explained my thoughts about the matter.

    Richard

  151. richardscourtney says:

    Don’t be silly.
    Using your illogical reasoning, I have noticed that my height has just had its highest value ever recorded. If there was no such thing as me growing, the probability of that occurring would be 1 in 68.

    My apologies Richard. I wasn’t aware that surface air temperatures followed a sigmoidal height function.

  152. Izen says:

    “The measurable warming of the climate also helped to strengthen the scientific consensus behind AGW and is why it is no longer regarded in science as a hypothesis, but as a theory.”

    One would think for such a well established “theory” there would be volumes of material published is physics or thermodynamic textbooks. But what one finds is maybe 2 paragraphs of supplemental material explaining the “greenhouse effect”.

    Ahrennius believed the earth’s atmosphere acted like a “hotbox”, or greenhouse. It does not.

    Science is not conducted by “consensus”, but by the well established tenets of the scientific method. “Consensus” is a political term, not a scientific one.

    And while you are at it, you might want to explain the 30 year cooling period from the 1940’s to the 1970’s when CO2 values were exploding. As Feynman stated:

    “No matter how smart a person is, no matter how elegant their hypothesis, if it does not agree with experimentation, it is wrong.”

    The whole AGW movement is what Richard Feynman described as “Cargo Cult Science”. Feynman stated:

    “There is one feature I notice that is generally missing in “cargo cult science.” It’s a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty — a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid — not only what you think is right about it; other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you’ve eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked — to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated.”

    “Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them. You must do the best you can — if you know anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong — to explain it. If you make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well as those that agree with it. There is also a more subtle problem. When you have put a lot of ideas together to make an elaborate theory, you want to make sure, when explaining what it fits, that those things it fits are not just the things that gave you the idea for the theory; but that the finished theory makes something else come out right, in addition.”

    “In summary, the idea is to try to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another”

    Is the “science” of AGW conducted in any way shape or form in the manner Feynman describes above? No. It’s all about “hiding the decline”, hiding data, hiding emails, etc.

    One more Feynman quote:

    “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool”

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