New study says ‘robust modeling’ predicted Antarctic sea ice to decrease, but the ice defies modeling

For those of you that have been looking for that point of reference about Antarctica’s increasing sea ice in contrast to the shrinking ice in the Arctic, look no further.

A new study recently published in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society says robust modeling evidence that the ice should melt (their words) predicted that Antarctic sea ice would decrease in response to increased greenhouse gases and the ozone hole. Only one problem in defiance of the “robust modeling”,  the current Antarctic sea ice has been booming.

This graph from Cryosphere today via the WUWT Sea Ice Reference page shows what I’m talking about:

Cryosphere Today – Arctic Climate Research at the University of Illinois – Click the pic to view at source

Here is the paper title and abstract:

Climate System Response to Stratospheric Ozone Depletion and Recovery

Michael Previdi1,*, Lorenzo M. Polvani1,2

DOI: 10.1002/qj.2330

Abstract

We review what is presently known about the climate system response to stratospheric ozone depletion and its projected recovery, focusing on the responses of the atmosphere, ocean and cryosphere. Compared to well-mixed greenhouse gases (GHGs), the radiative forcing of climate due to observed stratospheric ozone loss is very small: in spite of this, recent trends in stratospheric ozone have caused profound changes in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) climate system, primarily by altering the tropospheric midlatitude jet, which is commonly described as a change in the Southern Annular Mode. Ozone depletion in the late twentieth century was the primary driver of the observed poleward shift of the jet during summer, which has been linked to changes in tropospheric and surface temperatures, clouds and cloud radiative effects, and precipitation at both middle and low latitudes. It is emphasized, however, that not all aspects of the SH climate response to stratospheric ozone forcing can be understood in terms of changes in the midlatitude jet.

The response of the Southern Ocean and sea ice to ozone depletion is currently a matter of debate. For the former, the debate is centered on the role of ocean eddies in possibly opposing wind-driven changes in the mean circulation. For the latter, the issue is reconciling the observed expansion of Antarctic sea ice extent during the satellite era with robust modeling evidence that the ice should melt as a result of stratospheric ozone depletion (and increases in GHGs).

Despite lingering uncertainties, it has become clear that ozone depletion has been instrumental in driving SH climate change in recent decades. Similarly, ozone recovery will figure prominently in future climate change, with its impacts expected to largely cancel the impacts of increasing GHGs during the next half-century.

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88 Responses to New study says ‘robust modeling’ predicted Antarctic sea ice to decrease, but the ice defies modeling

  1. aelfrith says:

    Bl**dy Nature!

  2. A.D. Everard says:

    “Robust modeling evidence”.

    Gee, I think I see what their problem is.

  3. M Courtney says:

    Either reality or the model is wrong.
    We can’t do anything about reality so we have had to work on the model.
    Therefore the model will be closer to perfection than reality.
    QED: Reality is wrong.

  4. Ian W says:

    Were the authors of the study advisors to the recent ‘Spirit of Mawson’ tourist (cough) cruise to the Antarctic that got trapped in the ice that wasn’t there?

  5. Katherine says:

    For the latter, the issue is reconciling the observed expansion of Antarctic sea ice extent during the satellite era with robust modeling evidence that the ice should melt as a result of stratospheric ozone depletion (and increases in GHGs).

    Modeling is evidence. :facepalm Only in an alternate universe, eh?

    And pish on ozone depletion and ozone recovery. What proof do they have that what’s happening with ozone isn’t part of a natural cycle?

  6. ConfusedPhoton says:

    “Robust modeling evidence”???? If the models do not work how can they be evidence? Since when was climate modeling robust????

    “it has become clear that ozone depletion has been instrumental in driving SH climate change in recent decades” – and the evidence for this assertion?

    Blah, blah, blah

  7. GregK says:

    ..robust modelling evidence…?????

    Ay, there’s the rub

  8. R. de Haan says:

    It’s all modeling for the sake of modeling and …. propaganda.

    It would be better and much cheaper to let nature do what it has to do.

    We don’t have any influence on on the amount of ice in the arctic and Antarctic anyhow and when it snows and freezes in the place we live all we can do is shovel.

  9. James (Aus.) says:

    Isn’t that a wonderful word, “robust”. Sort of guarantees reliability, accuracy, careful adherence to the Scientific Method, all hypotheses supported by solid evidence surpassing the statistical tests …
    What a pity for its proponents none of it can be applied to this little piece of unsupported rubbish.

  10. Ken Hall says:

    Modelling != evidence. Modelling != experimentation. Modelling is only a way to demonstrate what the hypothesis predicts, it is utterly incapable of testing the hypothesis.

    The biggest mistake Climate scientists make, is believing that their models are a suitable replacement for real experimentation and observation.

  11. Lewis P Buckingham says:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/apology-as-antarctica-rescue-bill-to-top-24m/story-e6frg6nf-1226808012010#mm-premium
    In this Professor Turney says about being trapped in pack ice;
    ‘It was an extreme event and it caught us.’
    No doubt the insurers will be puzzling about this, particularly when in his video he warned of the dangers of pack ice and the music became more sinister in the backing track.So why the ‘extreme’.
    On the positive side he did not blindly expect the sea ice to be bad because of this model.

  12. David A says:

    Ken Hall says:

    January 23, 2014 at 12:46 am
    The biggest mistake Climate scientists make, is believing that their models are a suitable replacement for real experimentation and observation.
    ==============================================================
    Ken, they done did their misdeed on purpose, so it wernt no mistake.

  13. David A says:

    …and neither was my spelling of wernt.

  14. Ian Bryce says:

    My understanding is, if the tropics are warming due to less cloud cover, then the Antarctic will cool due to reflection of the incoming radiation by the snow and ice. It appears that any global warming is due to a lack of cloud cover, rather than increased cloud cover due to the GHG affect.

  15. vukcevic says:

    Antarctica is the globe’s area with the strongest coupling between the sun’s and the Earth’s magnetic fields
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/TMC.htm
    (In the Arctic it is less prominent because of the bifurcation of the magnetic field along the line Hudson Bay – Central Siberia )
    What has that to do with the sea ice anomaly?
    I don’t know, but I thought it is worth noting that at the time of the solar magnetic activity decline there is an increase in the sea ice anomaly.
    It is also worth mentioning that the Antarctica’s 8 year (with 2 positive and 2 negative rotating spokes) circumpolar wave oscillation produces 4 year periodicity and would mask weaker 11 year solar oscillation, but the longer term up/down trend may indeed be related to the sun’s behaviour.

  16. hunter says:

    I would question their assertion that ozone is somehow responsible for what the Southern Hemisphere is doing with its weather patterns.
    I think this is likely more post hoc rationalization for the failure of yet another AGW prediction.

  17. Ken Hall says:

    I understand what you mean David.

  18. graphicconception says:

    “Were the authors of the study advisors to the recent ‘Spirit of Mawson’ tourist (cough) cruise to the Antarctic that got trapped in the ice that wasn’t there?”

    http://tinyurl.com/p83o6vb

  19. hunter says:

    Sorry, hit “post” button too quickly.
    Here is the tell that this is more AGW promoter excuse making:
    “Similarly, ozone recovery will figure prominently in future climate change, with its impacts expected to largely cancel the impacts of increasing GHGs during the next half-century.”
    Think on this: There is now a new magical climate control mechanism, stratospheric ozone. The ozone layer is amazingly tenuous, very diffuse, and concentrated at the very top of the region we call the stratosphere. Yet now we find controls the jet streams at the bottom of the stratosphere.
    So the absence of the ozone in the SH- which historical evidence suggests is at least partially historic in nature- caused conditions for Antarctic ice pack to grow. But the ozone recovery will offset GHG for the next 50 years, implying that ice could continue to grow.
    So ozone is nearly as magical as CO2 for the AGW believers. But more importantly we once again see that the AGW promoters do not understand how the climate works, or how powerful or weak GHGs behave in the atmosphere.

  20. Stephen Richards says:

    Despite lingering uncertainties, it has become clear that ozone depletion has been instrumental in driving SH climate change in recent decades. Similarly, ozone recovery will figure prominently in future climate change, with its impacts expected to largely cancel the impacts of increasing GHGs during the next half-century

    Where does this cr$p come from ? I have never seen convincing evidence for that statement for for the fact that CFCs deplete the O3.

  21. Phillip Bratby says:

    “Robust modeling evidence”. Is it 1st April?

  22. Brian H says:

    Another Nature article composed almost entirely of falsehoods. It’s getting boring.

  23. Mr Green Genes says:

    M Courtney says:
    January 23, 2014 at 12:16 am

    Either reality or the model is wrong.
    We can’t do anything about reality so we have had to work on the model.
    Therefore the model will be closer to perfection than reality.
    QED: Reality is wrong.

    ==========================
    Douglas Adams recognised that in H2G2:-

    “The Editors of the Guide were sued by the families of those who had died as a result of taking the entry on the planet Tralal literally (it said “Ravenous Bugblatter Beasts often make a very good meal for visiting tourists: instead of “Ravenous Bugblatter Beasts often make a very good meal of visiting tourists”), they claimed that the first version of the sentence was the more aesthetically pleasing, summoned a qualified poet to testify under oath that beauty was truth, truth beauty and hoped thereby to prove that the guilty party in this case was Life itself for failing to be either beautiful or true. The judges concurred, and in a moving speech held that Life itself was in contempt of court, and duly confiscated it from all those there present before going off to enjoy a pleasant evening’s ultragolf.”

  24. Gail Combs says:

    Phillip Bratby says: @ January 23, 2014 at 1:43 am

    “Robust modeling evidence”. Is it 1st April?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    No, I think we are now living in Orwell’s superstate Oceania and the Ministry of Truth has been busy again.

    After all given the amount of truth we see in the MSM we would never know if the USA or the EU has ceased to exist.

  25. Berényi Péter says:

    Models are refuted by observations. Full stop. Calling falsified models “robust” is plain silly. Full stop. Citing them as “evidence” is beyond sanity. Full stop.

    Antarctic sea ice is 30% above its 1979-2008 mean, which is just huge, deviation is more than 2 sigma. It is enough to make global sea ice cover linger above average for most of this year. The story is not about accelerating ice loss in the Arctic vs. moderate gain around Antarctica any more. With a change in general wind direction and the associated decrease in rate of sea ice loss through the Fram strait both sea ice extent and volume has increased dramatically in the Arctic this year, although it is still below average (by less than 2 sigma, one should add). However, the gain around Antarctica is more than enough to make up for it.

  26. Adam says:

    Mother nature is in the pay of Big Oil.

  27. NotTheAussiePhilM says:

    Surely this is a very important paragraph:

    “Despite lingering uncertainties, it has become clear that ozone depletion has been instrumental in driving SH climate change in recent decades. Similarly, ozone recovery will figure prominently in future climate change, with its impacts expected to largely cancel the impacts of increasing GHGs during the next half-century”

  28. Jimmy Haigh. says:

    Denialist ice.

  29. Old England says:

    I suspect that weasel words are in play when describing the model as ‘robust’. If called to account, the authors will no doubt explain that what they meant was that the model runs smoothly without glitches i.e. it is robust ….. It is just unfortunate if readers misunderstood this and took it to mean that the output of the model was scientifically robust and meaningful. Just unfortunate and unintended ……….. we are climate ‘scientists’ and would never set out to mislead …..

  30. Eric Worrall says:

    Maybe they fed the computer a really strong cup of tea… :-)

    http://hitchhikers.wikia.com/wiki/Infinite_Improbability_Drive

  31. Gail Combs says:

    hunter says: @ January 23, 2014 at 1:21 am

    I would question their assertion that ozone is somehow responsible for what the Southern Hemisphere is doing with its weather patterns.
    I think this is likely more post hoc rationalization for the failure of yet another AGW prediction.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Actually the solar changes- ozone-weather pattern connection is not too far fetched. Changes in the amount of solar UV and E-UV wave lengths as well as the solar winds changing the Cosmic Ray flux lead to destruction or formation of ozone.

    Here are a few papers/articles on the subject:

    CHARACTERISTICS OF THE GENERAL CIRCULATION OF THE ATMOSPHERE AND THE GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION OF TOTAL OZONE AS DETERMINED BY THE NIMBUS III SATELLITE INFRARED INTERFEROMETER SPECTROMETER
    Ozone is an important atmospheric trace constituent. The depletion of solar radiation between approximately 2000 and 3000 A is the result of strong absorption by ozone in the ultraviolet wave-lengths. The energy absorbed in this process is the prime source of thermal energy in the stratosphere. Because of this, ozone plays an important role in the large-scale motions of the atmosphere….

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/Ozone/ozone_2.php

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/31/ozone-depletion-trumps-greenhouse-gas-increase-in-jet-stream-shift/

    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/ozone-holes-shifting-winds-may-be-sapping-major-carbon-sink-15530

    06 May 2012 Nature Geoscience | Letter Regional atmospheric circulation shifts induced by a grand solar minimum

    ABSTRACT
    Large changes in solar ultraviolet radiation can indirectly affect climate by inducing atmospheric changes. Specifically, it has been suggested that centennial-scale climate variability during the Holocene epoch was controlled by the Sun. However, the amplitude of solar forcing is small when compared with the climatic effects and, without reliable data sets, it is unclear which feedback mechanisms could have amplified the forcing. Here we analyse annually laminated sediments of Lake Meerfelder Maar, Germany, to derive variations in wind strength and the rate of 10Be accumulation, a proxy for solar activity, from 3,300 to 2,000 years before present. We find a sharp increase in windiness and cosmogenic 10Be deposition 2,759  ±  39 varve years before present and a reduction in both entities 199  ±  9 annual layers later. We infer that the atmospheric circulation reacted abruptly and in phase with the solar minimum. A shift in atmospheric circulation in response to changes in solar activity is broadly consistent with atmospheric circulation patterns in long-term climate model simulations, and in reanalysis data that assimilate observations from recent solar minima into a climate model. We conclude that changes in atmospheric circulation amplified the solar signal and caused abrupt climate change about 2,800 years ago, coincident with a grand solar minimum.

    Atmospheric ionization and clouds as links between solar activity and climate, in Solar Variability and Its Effects on Climate

    “In a winter cyclone the primary driver of the dynamics is the baroclinic instability in the winter circulation, with the storm extracting vorticity from the latitudinal shear in the circulation, and converting it to the vorticity of the cyclone. The effective diabatic heating associated with precipitation and reduced cooling of entrained air amounts to an increase in potential vorticity and uplift in the air mass, and is likely to concentrate the vorticity near the cyclone center. In addition, by enhancing the feedback processes inherent in the baroclinic instability, it can increase the overall vorticity of the cyclone. It has been demonstrated analytically by van Delden [1989] and from numerical storm simulations by Zimmerman et al. [1989] and Mallet et al. (1999) that a positive feedback exists between the storm dynamical configuration and the diabatic processes. Thus precipitation changes explain the many reported examples of correlations of the vorticity area index (VAI) with GCR flux change and Jz reviewed by Tinsley [2000].”
    http://www.utdallas.edu/physics/pdf/Atmos_060302.pdf

  32. son of mulder says:

    Robust = Really ‘orribly bust

  33. cedarhill says:

    If you buy my Y10K insurance policy you’ll be eligible for a 99% reduction in the premium to protect against the greenhouse gas explosion of 2100.

  34. RichardLH says:

    Don’t you know. All the ice is slipping off Antarctica into the Ocean. More and more rapidly according to this model over here. That’s the only possible reason that explains both the models and what we see. /sarc

  35. Paul Carter says:

    “Robust modelling evidence” i.e. authoritative climate theologians have deemed that the models are robust sources of truth.

    “the issue is reconciling the observed expansion of Antarctic sea ice extent “. If the precedents set by other climate theologians are followed, then ‘reconciliation’ means that the bad data will be improved until it matches the robust model truth.

  36. wayne Job says:

    Idiots et al peer reviewed, and published, another excuse, this time it is ozone hiding global warming. So is the missing heat hiding in the deep ocean? or has it been overcome by ozone.
    These people some how have no logic, or capacity to think out side a cocoon of their own making. Maybe they are just a few sheep short in the top paddock.

    Just thinking out loud here, but when the climate castle crumbles people like these will need help to cope with reality.

  37. londo says:

    The climate business has its own scientific terminology: modelling evidence, computer experiments. You’d think that once you grow up and maybe do a little science it would dawn no you that there is a difference to that and real evidence and actual experiments.

  38. William Astley says:

    A physical observed change requires a physical explanation. The Antarctic sea ice extent abruptly changed post 2007 and again post 2011. The following is an explanation as to what is happening and what will happen in the immediate future.

    For the entire 35 year period for which there are detail observations of Antarctic sea ice, sea ice extent oscillated about the mean. Post 2007 the Antarctic sea started to increased during Southern hemisphere winter to a record maximum but then melted to normal during the Southern hemisphere summer.

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.antarctic.png
    Post 2011, the Antarctic sea ice extent is now reaching record levels (two sigma above the 1981 to 2010 average) for every month of the year.
    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/S_stddev_timeseries.png

    http://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/figure-72.png
    The warmists and media have screamed from the roof tops the fact that the planet has warmed. They have completely hidden the fact that lower latitudes have not warmed which disproves catastrophic AGW. They have hidden the failure of CAGW theory by focusing on the polar warming (Arctic) and calling the polar warming amplification with no comment that the polar warming is not predicted by the general circulation models (GCM) and Antarctic ice sheet with the exception of the Antarctic peninsula has cooled rather than warmed. The warmists also remained silent concerning the fact that this same peculiar pattern of warming has occurred cyclically in the paleo record. The past warming events were not caused increases in CO2. There are two puzzles. 1) Why does the increase in CO2 not cause warming? and 2) What caused the peculiar pattern of warming? (Solar magnetic cycle changes is the answer to both 1 and 2. The explanation for 1 is the same explanation as to what causes the spiral galaxy rotational anomaly, the abrupt geomagnetic field anomaly, and so on. More on that when we start to experience unequivocal cooling.)

    Latitudinal Warming Paradox
    As CO2 is more or less evenly distributed in the atmosphere the potential for CO2 warming is the same for all latitudes. The actual warming due to CO2 is linearly dependent on the amount of long wave radiation at the latitude in question before the increase in CO2. As most amount of long wave radiation that is emitted to space is in the tropics the most amount of warming due to the CO2 increase should have occurred in the tropics. That is not what is observed as shown in Bob Tisdale graph. The following is a peer reviewed paper that supports the above assertions.
    http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0809/0809.0581.pdf

    “These effects do not have the signature associated with CO2 climate forcing. (William: This observation indicates something is fundamental incorrect with the IPCC models, likely negative feedback in the tropics due to increased or decreased planetary cloud cover to resist forcing). However, the data show a small underlying positive trend that is consistent with CO2 climate forcing with no-feedback. (William: This indicates a significant portion of the 20th century warming has due to something rather than CO2 forcing. Hint it’s the sun.)” …. …. “These conclusions are contrary to the IPCC [2007] statement: “[M]ost of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.”

    To explain the warming in the last 70 years requires a mechanism that can warm the Arctic and warm the Southern ocean and cool the Antarctic ice sheet. That mechanism is solar magnetic cycle modulation of the cloud cover.

    See Svensmark’s paper for an explanation of the polar see-saw where the Antarctic ice sheet warms when the Arctic cools and vice verse. The paleorecord shows this occurs cyclically which indicates there is a cyclic forcing mechanism. i.e. What the pattern of warming that we observed in the last 70 years has happened before and CO2 did not cause the past warming.

    http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0612145v1
    The Antarctic climate anomaly and galactic cosmic rays

    Based what has happened before, the mechanisms, and the fact that the solar magnetic cycle is undergoing the most rapid slowdown in 8000 year the high latitude warming is over. The planet has started to cool. The most amount of cooling will occur at high latitudes. The solar magnetic cycle change will also inhibit El Niño events. We truly live in interesting timesm

  39. James Bull says:

    Maybe they need to get a sense of perspective on their place in things.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSnJl7B_TVs
    and I don’t think they have egos as big as Zaphod Beeblebrox so they may not do very well in it.

    James Bull

  40. Gail Combs says:

    Mods can you fish my last post out of the ether? (It has been an hour)

  41. Joel says:

    The term “robust” might be used here in its technical sense, a computer algorithm that is relatively insensitive to errors in the input data. In that case, its use might be justified and not a reason for scorn.

    However, like everybody else, I find this abstract to be beyond parody.

    Now that Europe is bailing on its green initiatives to save the world from CO2, the desperation must be palpable in the climate catastrophe industry. The politicians also seen to realize that global warming is pretty much played out with the voters. Our president now wants to raise awareness of rape on campus, and our AG wants to prevent persons of color from being suspended from school. Would you be shocked to see articles suggesting that global warming leads to higher rates of campus rape and higher rates of school suspensions?

  42. Ronald says:

    A model is as good as the input but always need a reality check.

  43. Patrick says:

    They must have had a “poker face” on when these scientists (Is that the right term to use?) published these results?

  44. jones says:

    Now I personally think that the models are, in fact, all spot on…cos,

    Bits of the Arctic are actually breaking off as it melts and are slipping down the world to the Antarctic which explains perfectly why the top bit is shrinking and the bottom bit is growing…..

    Wotufink?…eh?…eh?

  45. sherlock1 says:

    Will someone please get out there and tell the bloody ice to do what the models tell it to..?

  46. hunter says:

    Gail,
    That is interesting food for thought. However, I would question the linkage of solar minimum and UV, for one thing. And the ozone hole relates to winter more than anything. Winter, when very little light is reaching the area anyway.

  47. Clayton Wrobel says:

    As an engineer, one quote I often remind people of is:

    “All Models are wrong, but some models are useful.” George Box.

    When the model doesn’t match reality, the model is WRONG. EVERY SINGLE TIME.

  48. Kelvin Vaughan says:

    Gail Combs says:

    January 23, 2014 at 3:51 am

    Mods can you fish my last post out of the ether? (It has been an hour)

    You’ll find it next to the missing heat.

  49. Gail Combs says:

    hunter says: @ January 23, 2014 at 5:24 am

    Gail,
    That is interesting food for thought. However, I would question the linkage of solar minimum and UV, for one thing….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Although TSI is pretty constant the distribution of wave lengths changes. SEE:
    NASA: SORCE’s Solar Spectral Surprise

    NASA: SOLAR IRRADIANCE

    NASA: UV Exposure Has Increased Over the Last 30 Years, but Stabilized Since the Mid-1990s
    (Most UV is blocked in the upper atmosphere)

    NASA: Solar Wind Loses Power, Hits 50-year Low

    NASA: Quiet Sun Means Cooling of Earth’s Upper Atmosphere

    NASA: Solar Variability, Ozone, and Climate

    NASA: Ozone Production and Destruction

    WUWT: NASA on the sun: ‘…tiny variations can have a significant effect on terrestrial climate.”

    And here is a real goody:
    NASA: Giant Breach in Earth’s Magnetic Field Discovered

  50. Gail Combs says:

    wayne Job says: @ January 23, 2014 at 3:05 am
    … These people some how have no logic, or capacity to think out side a cocoon of their own making. Maybe they are just a few sheep short in the top paddock.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    So THATS why I get all these extra sheep showing up every spring. I wonder which ones I should return to Mikey Mann, Gavin and Hansen…. :>)

    Mean while another comment is visiting with Trenbeth’s missing heat. (That heat must be magnetic or something.)

  51. Leon Brozyna says:

    Reality trumps fantasy no matter how robust the fantasy.

    Or, to be less kind, if your model fails to match reality, then you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  52. Corey S. says:

    Climate System Response to Stratospheric Ozone Depletion and Recovery
    http://www.columbia.edu/~lmp/paps/previdi+polvani-QJRMS-2014-inpress.pdf

  53. Steve from Rockwood says:

    Maybe they should switch to non-robust models.

  54. Clif ' says:

    “Similarly, ozone recovery will figure prominently in future climate change, with its impacts expected to largely cancel the impacts of increasing GHGs during the next half-century.”

    Wow, there is their CYA. As we get colder, they can say, “Yeah, we knew that…”

  55. Jason Calley says:

    @ Ronald “A model is as good as the input but always need a reality check.”

    At its very best a model is as good as the input — and that is assuming that the model is both complete and accurate.

    A model is nothing more than a thought experiment. For most models the thought experiment is so complicated or requires so many bits of data that a human cannot do the experiment in his head — hence the computer program. Imagine how the CAGW cultists would respond to a sceptic with this claim: “I have developed a thought experiment that proves CO2 is not a major factor in climate. The experiment is so complicated that no one can understand all of it, but I have written a program to do the hard parts. My thought experiment is very robust and conclusive.”

    Computer modeling = automated thought experiment

  56. Phil. says:

    hunter says:
    January 23, 2014 at 1:33 am
    Sorry, hit “post” button too quickly.
    Here is the tell that this is more AGW promoter excuse making:
    “Similarly, ozone recovery will figure prominently in future climate change, with its impacts expected to largely cancel the impacts of increasing GHGs during the next half-century.”
    Think on this: There is now a new magical climate control mechanism, stratospheric ozone. The ozone layer is amazingly tenuous, very diffuse, and concentrated at the very top of the region we call the stratosphere. Yet now we find controls the jet streams at the bottom of the stratosphere.

    hunter you have this wrong, the ozone layer is concentrated at the bottom of the stratosphere not the top!

    So ozone is nearly as magical as CO2 for the AGW believers. But more importantly we once again see that the AGW promoters do not understand how the climate works, or how powerful or weak GHGs behave in the atmosphere.

    The misunderstanding appears to be yours.

    hunter says:
    January 23, 2014 at 5:24 am
    Gail,
    That is interesting food for thought. However, I would question the linkage of solar minimum and UV, for one thing. And the ozone hole relates to winter more than anything. Winter, when very little light is reaching the area anyway.

    No it doesn’t, the ozone depletion is caused by the increase of sunlight in the spring not the winter.

  57. Ed Zuiderwijk says:

    Not so robust, then?

  58. Jeff says:

    “Despite lingering uncertainties, it has become clear”
    Hmmm, either they don’t understand the meaning of “lingering” or “clear”.

    Keeping with the HHGTTG theme,
    “the average Vogon will not think twice before doing something so pointlessly hideous to you that you will wish you had never been born — or (if you are a clearer minded thinker) that the Vogon had never been born. In fact, the average Vogon probably wouldn’t even think once. ”

    It appears they didn’t even think once. And that’s not even considering their, erm, thoughts on the
    ozone hole……

  59. rgbatduke says:

    Actually, this is good news. Didn’t anybody notice the last line? Ozone recovery will largely cancel AGW over the next half-century! Perhaps this is the “missing heat”! Maybe Ozone has started to recover, causing the pause. Or perhaps it is other probably ignored stratospheric changes, such as its sudden 10% depletion in water vapor content, making it considerably more transparent in the water band.

    But yes, in the end it is just one more nail in the coffin of the GCMs, still more evidence that they omit or do not get key physics components right and/or do not have the spatiotemporal resolution at accessible model granularity to get the climate right. Since stratospheric Ozone is actually plausibly connected to solar magnetic state and the prevalence of upper-atmosphere ionizing radiation, this might even be one of the missing links to a causal link between the Sun and the climate.

    I don’t see anything particularly bad about this paper or abstract. Indeed, it is basically consistent with observation. The GCMs predict something that isn’t observationally happening, so they have a problem. We knew that; it is good to see it in print. The resolution of the problem suggests that AGW previously attributed to GHGs was in part attributable to ozone depletion instead, and that as ozone recovers, it will largely cancel the residual warming due to increasing GHGs for a period of several decades. We didn’t know that, but it makes some degree of sense (and note well, I haven’t attributed any cause for the ozone depletion in the first place) and is great news! It should be reprinted as a headline on the front page of the New York Times! Of course if it were, the authors would be eviscerated by their colleagues for inadvertently breaking ranks and putting all of that funding at risk. All that is missing is a causal model for the ozone and its incorporation into repaired GCMs, which will presumably have substantially lower GHG forcing (because stratospheric ozone will have to take on a larger role in the past, CO_2 will have to take on a smaller one to describe the same data) and completely different feedbacks. Natural variation will likely play a larger role, because humans were not the sole cause of the ozone hole in the first place — there is (IIRC) isotopic evidence that ozone follows a natural cycle of variability that may or may not be linked to solar state. We may have exacerbated or overdriven a natural cycle with our stratospheric jets and CFCs (or not, I don’t care to get into that debate) but there is little doubt that a natural cycle exists and is probably driven by some sort of atmospheric chemistry beyond our control.

    By the way, I do so wish that people wouldn’t bad-mouth modelling in general. There are many, many systems in the world that can be successfully modelled and modelling those systems is of enormous value to humanity. We model jets before we build them. We model nuclear bombs as part of the design process before we build them. We model the spread of disease in epidemics, we model phase transitions and critical phenomena in physics, we model chemical reactions. These days no electric circuit is ever built (for mass production, not by hobbyists) without being modelled first. There is absolutely nothing wrong with modelling and using models to predict the future of complex systems.

    The problem is that in all of the cases cited above, the models in question are validated, and the process of model validation basically never ends. Even a model that has worked in the past is subject to scrutiny if it fails to work in the future, and its future predictions are very much subject to doubt to the extent that it does so fail. There is nothing whatsoever wrong with trying to build GCMs — indeed variations of GCMs work pretty well nowadays to model the weather up to two weeks in advance, which is (given the difficulty of the process) a tremendous achievement and one that is critically valuable. I know, for example, that the current cold weather we are having in NC this morning (temperatures in the mid-teens, bitter cold for this time of year) is very probably going to last for two weeks or more, thanks to models. They could be wrong, of course, but they are probably right, right enough for me to “expect” to need to de-ice my car windshield in the mornings and allow for the extra time.

    The problem with GCMs used to predict the climate isn’t that “modelling is bad”, it is that “these particular models are bad”. Not bad in intent, maybe not even bad in execution — they best we can do is never “bad”, although it may be “inadequate”. Bad in the specific sense that the GCMs are not working to predict the climate.

    This isn’t really that surprising. Predicting the climate one lousy year out is an enormously difficult problem, arguably the most difficult computational problem the human species has yet attempted. It may quite literally not be solvable given our current computational resources. It may be solvable, but may require the substantial rewrite of the code being used, and the solution may have such a broad range of possible future climates that we cannot resolve the probability of any particular future from the spaghetti snarl of butterfly-wing perturbed possibilities, so that the solutions may not be useful.

    In any other field, that is just science as usual, nobody would say “models are bad” just because models were not yet useful or any particular model failed to work. In climate science, because these unproven models have been elevated to the status of some sort of modern Oracle and corrupted to the dual purpose of a political agenda and the preservation of climate science funding, it is a problem.

    rgb

  60. Owen in GA says:

    Models: A great way to figure out what to measure to check a physical theory. Any other use is not fit for purpose.

    The only reason engineering models are trusted is because they have been tested against reality and found to agree to some safe level of error. (Note: “some safe level of error”: not the same as “exactly like reality” and the differences are well explored and documented and if an effect lies within model weakness areas, the model is deemed not fit for purpose and another model is found and tested.) The real world is always the final arbiter of “fit for purpose”,

  61. catweazle666 says:

    The science is settled!

    Honest!

  62. Peter Chapman says:

    Why does everything have to be robust these days? We get robust policies, robust responses, robust this, robust that. Robust has become a meaningless adjective. And what is “modelling evidence”? Is modelling in this context an adjective, a verb or part of a compound noun?

  63. Gail Combs says:

    rgbatduke says: @ January 23, 2014 at 6:29 am
    …. By the way, I do so wish that people wouldn’t bad-mouth modelling in general….

    In any other field, that is just science as usual, nobody would say “models are bad” just because models were not yet useful or any particular model failed to work. In climate science, because these unproven models have been elevated to the status of some sort of modern Oracle and corrupted to the dual purpose of a political agenda and the preservation of climate science funding, it is a problem.
    rgb
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    The problem is the climate models are not fit for use but they have been used to direct policy around the world. As a result there are 30,000 extra deaths a year in the EU due to foolish government policy based on Bad Climate Models.

    In general the man on the street is only going to know the politicians made a really big error that directly affects him and scientists and their models are to blame.

    Do not expect people to stop bad-mouth modelling because it is only going to get worse.

    As a chemist, I hate the fact people say ‘Chemicals’ are bad/evil but there isn’t much that can be done. All we can hope is that the name of ‘Science’ isn’t too badly trashed. There are Luddites on both the right and the left who want to ump on the name of science with both feet.

  64. DD More says:

    James (Aus.) says: January 23, 2014 at 12:40 am
    Isn’t that a wonderful word, “robust”. Sort of guarantees reliability, accuracy, careful adherence to the Scientific Method, all hypotheses supported by solid evidence surpassing the statistical tests …

    Or they have not added the 2 o’s and 2 -’s, which they want everyone else to say.
    See (oo) + ( – - ) + robust = rob – us – too.

  65. vukcevic says:

    rgbatduke says:
    January 23, 2014 at 6:29 am
    Ozone is actually plausibly connected to solar magnetic state and the prevalence of upper-atmosphere ionizing radiation, this might even be one of the missing links to a causal link between the Sun and the climate.
    A conjecture: Geomagnetic storm’s proton shower increase the ionisation to considerable degree. On such occasions polar vortex due to bifurcation of the Earth’s magnetic field
    http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/geomag/data/mag_maps/pdf/Z_map_mf_2010.pdf
    eventually breaks down radically altering the jet-streams path.
    http://eoimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/images/imagerecords/36000/36972/npole_gmao_200901-02.mov

  66. Boyd says:

    Another axiom to add to your list; anytime the word “robust” is used to describe something the chances that it isn’t approach 100%

  67. lurker, passing through laughing says:

    @ Phil. says:
    January 23, 2014 at 6:21 am
    RE: Your assertion the ozone layer is concentrated at the bottom of the Stratoshpere.
    Please tell NASA to update their explanation .
    http://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/facts/SH.html
    “The total mass of ozone in the atmosphere is about 3 billion metric tons. That may seem like a lot, but it is only 0.00006 percent of the atmosphere. The peak concentration of ozone occurs at an altitude of roughly 32 kilometers (20 miles) above the surface of the Earth. At that altitude, ozone concentration can be as high as 15 parts per million (0.0015 percent). “

  68. M Courtney says:

    Gail Combs says:
    January 23, 2014 at 7:13 am

    The problem is the climate models are not fit for use but they have been used to direct policy around the world.

    Very good point.
    But not restricted to computerised climate models (GCMs).
    The whole conceptual edifice of attributing changes to the fault of man without first discerning what is natural… that is not fit for use when the use is directing policy.
    GCMs could help dicern what is natural and what is manmade – they could – but these models are being used in policy making before we have even got that far.

  69. lurker, passing through laughing says:

    Sorry, hit submit again too quickly.
    Phil,
    You are of course correct regarding when the “hole” is at its greatest extent. Thank you for correcting the seasons.
    The question that still comes to mind is why the 1950′s Internatinal Geophysical year talked about noticing the intensification of UV prior to CFC’s becomins so prevalent?

  70. goldminor says:

    vukcevic says:
    January 23, 2014 at 1:14 am

    Antarctica is the globe’s area with the strongest coupling between the sun’s and the Earth’s magnetic fields
    ——————-
    My first strong impression of a possible interaction of magnetic fields between the Sun and Earth came from watching the daily jet stream changes. That is why I made that comment last year, although at the time I did not state why I had the thought. I still have the impression that there is an influence there. The thought also ties in with my wondering ‘why did the magnetic north pole start shifting in the beginning of the 1900s and then continue to accelerate it,s movement in recent decades?’. Four years ago that made me ask the question ” Can the shifting magnetic north pole alter weather patterns?”. I still wonder about that, although I have learned through dialoguing here that there are others who hold this thought and are actively looking for clues.

  71. Taphonomic says:

    I guess they failed to provide the model with the data that indicated Antarctic sea ice has been setting records for greatest area:
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/antarctic.sea.ice.interactive.html

  72. G. Karst says:

    Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society says robust modeling evidence that the ice should melt

    How does unvalidated modelling evidence ever become robust?! That ice is increased dramatically, seems irrelevant to their claim.

    I guess that just shows how ignorant of true climate science – I really am. GK

  73. DS says:

    NO, No, No, No, No, No, No!

    Nearly ten years ago, NASA was soo on this one! They concluded
    http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/environment/sea_ice.html

    See there, “Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming” = MORE Antarctic Sea Ice.

    The growing Ice isn’t their problem.

    …now they do have a problem though. And that problem is, Antarctica hasn’t seen the, you know, “Warming” part since at least 1957
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/tmp/gistemp/STATIONS/tmp_700890090000_14_0/station.txt
    http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2013/08/20/polar-amplification-at-the-south-pole/

    Of course, if we were merely talking about their “models” though – well then yeah, Models are 0 for 2 (huge swings and misses for both -Ice and +Warming)

  74. Alec Rawls says:

    “robust modeling evidence”

    Model projections are hypotheses, to be tested against evidence. How did this field ever get so screwed up?

  75. vukcevic says:

    goldminor says:
    January 23, 2014 at 8:58 am
    ……
    Hi
    See my comment above related to the Dr. Browns post. Actually N.H has two ‘magnetic poles’ with continuously variable intensities but very little movement, which creates impression for the surface wandering deep-needle’s automatically averaged magnetic pole. Only at the magnetosphere’s magnetopause two ‘poles’ merge into a singular one.

  76. New paper says climate models ‘robustly’ predicted Antarctic sea ice to decrease, but Antarctic sea ice now near record highs [posted 1/20/14]

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2014/01/new-paper-says-climate-models-robustly.html

  77. Tom in Florida says:

    “robust modeling evidence”

    There are two opposite definitions of “robust”:

    1) robust – strong enough to withstand or overcome intellectual challenges or adversity

    2) robust – rough and crude

    So take your pick. I choose #2 it just makes more sense in this case.

  78. goldminor says:

    vukcevic says:
    January 23, 2014 at 9:26 am

    goldminor says:
    January 23, 2014 at 8:58 am
    ————————————–
    Good morning…what was with the story of the magnetic pole and it,s rapid movement from Canada towards the Russian side of the Arctic? I remember reading about that about 4 years ago.

  79. Andrew Hamilton says:

    If only there was a proxy for ozone layer thickness. Prior to my good friend Peter Hall first measuring the ozone thickness above Antarctica, how big was the ozone hole?

  80. Tim Clark says:

    [ Despite the absence of any observational evidence supporting this hypothesis, it has become clear that ozone depletion has been instrumental in driving SH climate change in recent decades. ]

    Fixed…….

  81. hugh says:

    Antarctica is a huge continent, the SIZE of the continental United States. While high altitudes in Antarctica are gaining more snow & ice the vast West Antarctic ice sheet is melting. Models are not needed to see the reality of a rising ocean. Antarctica’s melting is now beginning to contribute to this rising ocean. THIS is taking place right now. Whereas in the Dakotas it can be 20 below zero with a good deal of snow one can go to Arizona, New Mexico and California where there is no snow and a multi-year drought is in progress.

  82. F. Ross says:

    Ro-”busted”

  83. rgbatduke says:

    ‘In any other field, that is just science as usual, nobody would say “models are bad” just because models were not yet useful or any particular model failed to work. In climate science, because these unproven models have been elevated to the status of some sort of modern Oracle and corrupted to the dual purpose of a political agenda and the preservation of climate science funding, it is a problem.’

    In principle, you are right – models as such are not evil. However, I see some misplaced confidence in models, and a lack of rigour in comparing them to reality in other fields of science also. This is something that puzzled and worried me even before I learned and understood anything about the global warming question.

  84. Write on the blackboard one thousand times, models aren’t evidence, models are theories.

  85. RoHa says:

    The models show that the temperatures around Antarctica are pleasantly warm, and yet the observations suggest that the ice isn’t melting as it should. Clearly, then, something is raising the melting point of the ice. It might be a side effect of the atmosphere being half-full of CO2, but my guess is that the Koch brothers are spraying some weird chemical onto the ice

  86. FrankK says:

    With well known few exceptions so called “climate scientists” have become a case of the blind leading the blind. Its becoming quite easy to cobble together a “model”, put up shingle that you are a Professor, write some BS in a an accommodating “prestigious” journal and put your hand out for another grant.

    While we are on the subject, I note that Turney was a lecturer in the School of Geography at Exeter University in the UK, came to Australia, wrote some novels about climate and suddenly became a Prof of Climate Change.

  87. Jimbo says:

    How do we know that the ozone hole hasn’t always been there?

  88. Alec, aka Daffy Duck says:

    I think some have missed the ‘CO2 point’

    1. Ozone WAS the main driver of SH climate change over the last 50 years(emphasis on past tense)
    …. and therefore…
    2. CO2′s contribution must have been really, really puny!
    “…ozone depletion has been instrumental in driving SH climate change in recent decades. Similarly, ozone recovery…expected to largely cancel the impacts of increasing GHGs during the next half-century.”

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