Claim: Odds that global warming is due to natural factors: Slim to none

UPDATE: a response to this paper has been posted, see below.

From McGill University , who blows the credibility of their science by putting the word “deniers” in it.

Statistical analysis rules out natural-warming hypothesis with more than 99 percent certainty

An analysis of temperature data since 1500 all but rules out the possibility that global warming in the industrial era is just a natural fluctuation in the earth’s climate, according to a new study by McGill University physics professor Shaun Lovejoy.

The study, published online April 6 in the journal Climate Dynamics, represents a new approach to the question of whether global warming in the industrial era has been caused largely by man-made emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. Rather than using complex computer models to estimate the effects of greenhouse-gas emissions, Lovejoy examines historical data to assess the competing hypothesis: that warming over the past century is due to natural long-term variations in temperature.

“This study will be a blow to any remaining climate-change deniers,” Lovejoy says. “Their two most convincing arguments – that the warming is natural in origin, and that the computer models are wrong – are either directly contradicted by this analysis, or simply do not apply to it.”

Lovejoy’s study applies statistical methodology to determine the probability that global warming since 1880 is due to natural variability. His conclusion: the natural-warming hypothesis may be ruled out “with confidence levels great than 99%, and most likely greater than 99.9%.”

To assess the natural variability before much human interference, the new study uses “multi-proxy climate reconstructions” developed by scientists in recent years to estimate historical temperatures, as well as fluctuation-analysis techniques from nonlinear geophysics. The climate reconstructions take into account a variety of gauges found in nature, such as tree rings, ice cores, and lake sediments. And the fluctuation-analysis techniques make it possible to understand the temperature variations over wide ranges of time scales.

For the industrial era, Lovejoy’s analysis uses carbon-dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels as a proxy for all man-made climate influences – a simplification justified by the tight relationship between global economic activity and the emission of greenhouse gases and particulate pollution, he says. “This allows the new approach to implicitly include the cooling effects of particulate pollution that are still poorly quantified in computer models,” he adds.

While his new study makes no use of the huge computer models commonly used by scientists to estimate the magnitude of future climate change, Lovejoy’s findings effectively complement those of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), he says. His study predicts, with 95% confidence, that a doubling of carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere would cause the climate to warm by between 2.5 and 4.2 degrees Celsius. That range is more precise than – but in line with — the IPCC’s prediction that temperatures would rise by 1.5 to 4.5 degrees Celsius if CO2 concentrations double.

“We’ve had a fluctuation in average temperature that’s just huge since 1880 – on the order of about 0.9 degrees Celsius,” Lovejoy says. “This study shows that the odds of that being caused by natural fluctuations are less than one in a hundred and are likely to be less than one in a thousand.

“While the statistical rejection of a hypothesis can’t generally be used to conclude the truth of any specific alternative, in many cases – including this one – the rejection of one greatly enhances the credibility of the other.”

###

“Scaling fluctuation analysis and statistical hypothesis testing of anthropogenic warming”, S. Lovejoy, Climate Change, published online April 6, 2014. http://link.springer.com/search?query=10.1007%2Fs00382-014-2128-2

http://www.physics.mcgill.ca/~gang/eprints/eprintLovejoy/neweprint/Anthro.climate.dynamics.13.3.14.pdf

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

Christopher Monckton has posted a rebuttal to this paper, see here

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186 Responses to Claim: Odds that global warming is due to natural factors: Slim to none

  1. R. Shearer says:

    They need to go back to 1450.

  2. Chris B says:

    I bet he’ll wish he could take that one back once he’s had a year or two under his belt as a professor.

  3. JimS says:

    Gee, if he went back 18,000 to 10,000 years, he might find that the world went from a glaciated one to one wherein the massive continental glaciers in North American and Eurasia melted almost completely. I wonder how that happened, since CO2 levels did not rise above 280 ppm during all that time period?

  4. Athelstan. says:

    “Statistical analysis rules out natural-warming hypothesis with more than 99 percent certainty”

    “Statistical analysis”

    of what exactly?

    Of course silly me……….. yeah, “statistical analysis” of ‘homogenized data’ – oh that’s alright then?!

    GIGO.

    Do these clowns [Lovejoy et al up at McGill........ Gull?] proof read the stuff they regurgitate?

  5. JBirks says:

    Chris B sez: “I bet he’ll wish he could take that one back once he’s had a year or two under his belt as a professor.”

    Not if he has or gets tenure. He can probably rationalize anything, including redefining “natural factors.”

  6. majormike1 says:

    This is what you get when you take ignorance of climate history and add religious-like zeal. If this professor does not get a blank look on his face when asked about the Holocene Optimum, Minoan, Roman, and Medieval warm periods, that would indicate that he is being willfully ignorant.

  7. Rob Dawg says:

    The dear professor needs to brush up on confirmation, selection and survivor bias.

  8. “We’ve had a fluctuation in average temperature that’s just huge since 1880 – on the order of about 0.9 degrees Celsius,”

    And if they had just gone back 2 more years they might have noticed that Feb 1878 was warmer than Feb 2014:

    HADCRUT4 Feb 1878 0.403C

    HADCRUT4 Feb 2014 0.299C

  9. Roger Dewhurst says:

    Consider the past 12,000 years not the last 500.

  10. Peter Brunson says:

    He appears to be more about getting funded than what he is asking to be funded.

    http://www.physics.mcgill.ca/~gang/eprints/eprintLovejoy/neweprint/IPC10.challenges.23.6.10.pdf

  11. I wonder what William M. Briggs, Statistician to the Stars, will have to say about this methodology.
    Will Dr. Lovejoy show the data?

  12. Otter (ClimateOtter on Twitter) says:

    Never heard of McGill university. Probably will never hear of it again.

  13. Bob Tisdale says:

    “Statistical analysis rules out natural-warming hypothesis with more than 99 percent certainty”

    Statistical analyses cannot be used to attribute global warming to natural or anthropogenic factors. The only way is with a total understanding and audit of the complex coupled ocean-atmosphere processes….which still elude the climate science community.

  14. A complex statistical analysis must be based on a statistical model of some type which itself is based on a series of assumptions. The multiple proxy reconstruction you choose will also likely determine the assumptions in the model. Given one’s degrees of freedom here you can produce nearly any conclusion you wish.

  15. O. Olson says:

    We don’t need no stinking statistics. One look with the naked eye of a graph of just 20th century temperatures alone says otherwise. Common sense isn’t very common any more.

  16. Greg says:

    His study predicts, with 95% confidence, that a doubling of carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere would cause the climate to warm by between 2.5 and 4.2 degrees Celsius. That range is more precise than – but in line with — the IPCC’s prediction that temperatures would rise by 1.5 to 4.5 degrees Celsius if CO2 concentrations double.

    Which has not mirrored measurements.

  17. Roger D PGeol says:

    Otter, not Canadian I take it…
    McGill is located in downtown Montreal, one of the top Canadian universities in many areas, probably best known for their law faculty. And statistics….;-)

  18. Bill Illis says:

    The paper assumes that natural variability is only solar and volcanoes.

    And then after that, it finds a residual of natural variability of +/- 0.3C.

    Then it confidently finds that the 0.7C increase in temperatures cannot be caused by natural variability at the 99% confidence level.

    Let’s see -0.3C changing to +0.3C = 0.6C

    Since natural variability can only explain 0.6C of the 0.7C, it is ruled out at the 99% confidence level.

    This is what climate science has become. It is a joke. It is actually un-natural in how obscene it has become.

  19. Goldie says:

    Tell him, he’s dreaming!

  20. Adam says:

    This actually interests me as the only reason I’m a skeptic is that I don’t have trust in models. I’m specifically interested in how he uses statistical analysis to attribute global warming. I have a math background and a prior this seems either impossible or so difficult that you cannot have 99% certainty except in extreme cases. Although, I did not emphasize in statistics so I do not know.

    I intend to devote some time this weekend to going over the paper and seeing what method he used, however I would like to see a post dedicated to this subject – perhaps from someone more knowledgeable in statistics than me?

  21. RACookPE1978 says:

    Reading the script read by the publicist, looks like the “study” gathered the same ole proxies (tree rings, lake sediments, etc.) that Mann used to create his hockey stick. Then add in a mix of CO2 as “a proxy for everything (all industrial effects) and dash in particulate changes as required to make the numbers come out right.

    The climate reconstructions take into account a variety of gauges found in nature, such as tree rings, ice cores, and lake sediments. And the fluctuation-analysis techniques make it possible to understand the temperature variations over wide ranges of time scales.

    For the industrial era, Lovejoy’s analysis uses carbon-dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels as a proxy for all man-made climate influences – a simplification justified by the tight relationship between global economic activity and the emission of greenhouse gases and particulate pollution, he says. “This allows the new approach to implicitly include the cooling effects of particulate pollution that are still poorly quantified in computer models,” he adds.

  22. Rob Ricket says:

    An unreliable statistical analysis of unreliable proxy data has determined that warming in the past 100 years (using unreliable station data) indicates that a global temperature increase of 0.6-0.8 deg C is unprecedented at a 99% confidence level.

    In the words of Joe Biden…”is this a joke?” We are lost if this is what passes for Science these days.

  23. RobertInAz says:

    Doesn’t Hansen create empirical estimates of climate sensitivity using temperature data? I believe their claim they are the first to do this is incorrect.

  24. Natural variability?

    This from Phil Jones and Keith Briffa.(in the public domain) This extract below was interesting as in the period 1700 to 1745 AD there was a remarkable non co2 warming (with the exception of winter 1740) It shows the largest Hockey stick in the entire CET record

    “The year 1740 is all the more remarkable given the anomalous warmth of the 1730s. This decade was the warmest in three of the long temperature series (CET, De Bilt and Uppsala) until the 1990s occurred (warmer by 0.3C and has since dropped sharply back). The mildness of the decade is confirmed by the early ice break-up dates for Lake Malaren and Tallinn Harbour. The rapid warming in the CET record from the 1690s to the 1730s and then the extreme cold year of 1740 are examples of the magnitude of natural changes which can potentially be recorded in long series. Consideration of variability in these records from the early 19th century, therefore, may underestimate the range that is possible.”

    tonyb

  25. Dr Burns says:

    How ridiculous. Smooth 100 years’ temps till it’s as smooth as the CO2 curve … so one must cause the other … oops the latter must cause the former.

  26. RobertInAz says:

    I did not find a clear statement of the null hypothesis they were testing. I think it might be “…the temperature record since 1880 is entirely natural.” If they have established this hypothesis is false to the 99% confidence level, then they have achieved agreement with most of Anthony’s readers.

  27. milodonharlani says:
  28. HGW xx/7 says:

    I love how confident le petit proffesor is in saying this should “silence any remaining” climate realists, as though he’s exterminating a home, riding it of some pest. Not surprising, though, since I’m sure that’s how he views those who disagree with him.

    It also gives the air that he truly thinks there must only be a few of us left. The five or six of them huddled around the dying embers of a campfire, knowing some day, they would be dealt a “blow” from from most-esteemed, tolerant, worldly and unassailable minds of McDonalds University.

    This guy isn’t a narcissist at all. Nope. Not one bit.

  29. RobertInAz says:

    Another point to examine is their assertion that the natural variation is stochastic. I skimmed their rationale and am not satisfied it addresses all natural variation drivers. Many skeptics, myself included, consider the 20th century to have been in a natural warming trend. So, IMHO, the assumption of stochastic has not had enough time to fully address centuries long natural processes.

  30. Bob Jarrett says:

    If you ignore the MWP and Little Ice Age and use the Mann (98) tree ring proxy and … the CO2 and the temperature time series both look like hockey sticks. QED the correlation is perfect! This is the same tired story for the past 15 years.

    Is it any coincidence that as soon as we have a reliable set of global satellite temperature data that the “blade” of the stick falls off? Time to beat the drum about another predicted CAGW calamity.

  31. Graeme W says:

    My concern would be as to which multi-proxy reconstructions were used, and how the author addresses the generally low resolution nature of those reconstructions. I tried reading the paper, but it was too far above my head to make detailed sense of it.

  32. fhhaynie says:

    I’ll wait for William Briggs or Steve McIntyre to teach him a few lessons in statistics. He starts by buying the IPPC garbage as to the “science” and assumes what is left (residual) is natural.

  33. Beginning to wish thermometers had never been invented. Perhaps they could be outlawed? I know, I know. Then only outlaws would have thermometers.

  34. pat says:

    anthony –

    why didn’t u tell us u were appearing on the MSM constantly?

    11 April: Guardian: Dana Nuccitelli: Climate imbalance – disparity in the quality of research by contrarian and mainstream climate scientists
    Contrarian papers tend to be rebutted quickly in peer-reviewed literature, but receive disproportionate media attention
    A new paper has been published in the journal Cosmopolis entitled Review of the consensus and asymmetric quality of research on human-induced climate change. The paper was authored by John Abraham, myself, and our colleagues John Cook, John Fasullo, Peter Jacobs, and Scott Mandia. Each of the authors has experience in publishing peer-reviewed responses to flawed contrarian papers.
    Despite the 97% expert consensus on human-caused global warming supported by peer-reviewed research, expert opinion, the IPCC reports, and National Academies of Science and other scientific organizations from around the world, a large segment of the population remains unconvinced on the issue…
    This ‘consensus gap’ is in large part due the media giving disproportionate coverage to climate contrarians. In our paper, we sought to evaluate whether that disproportionate media coverage was justified by examining how well contrarian hypotheses have withstood scientific scrutiny and the test of time. The short answer is, not well…

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/apr/11/climate-change-research-quality-imbalance

  35. dbstealey says:

    From the article:

    Lovejoy examines historical data to assess the competing hypothesis: that warming over the past century is due to natural long-term variations in temperature.

    Well, no kidding! If that isn’t a circular argument, what is?

    Lovejoy needs to look at this chart, and explain how current temperatures are different from past temperatures.

    If assertions were science, Lovejoy would be another Einstein. But just claiming that he sees the ‘fingerprint of AGW’ in current temperatures is nothing but grant-trolling.

    Show us the scientific evidence, Lovejoy. So far, you haven’t.

  36. skience says:

    This is just a rehash of failed science.

    The way to determine whether the recent change was human is to determine the normal variation of the climate – something that is familiar to anyone determining the background noise level of any signal analysis.

    And then we apply simple statistics to determine if the presumed “signal” is greater than could be expected given the background noise.

    What this researcher has done is the equivalent of going to the beach – watching the waves and deciding on a model akin to that of “every sixth wave is the biggest” from which he has determined that his deckchair is 99% safe from any wave … and he has set himself down to sleep … ignoring the known variation i the sea level from the tides.

    So, let’s apply some simple statistics.

    CO2 was first measured rising from 1958. Before that time most of the variation was natural. From 1910-1940 the temperature rose by 0.48C over 30 years. In the 1970s Hansen was talking of global cooling. From 1970-2000 there was a rise that led to all this concern?

    How unusual was this rise from 1970-2000 of 0.48C?

    A) It has never happened before
    B) Less than once a millennium
    C) Around about once every century – and so that type of rise would be expected within a sample period of 150 years.

    Based on this answer, what is the probability the recent rise was human?

    A) less than 99%
    B) less than 90%
    C) lower than 50%

    Based on this answer above how would you describe someone suggesting a figure of more than 99% that it was human?

  37. Janice Moore says:

    Any assertion’s being “directly contradicted by this [bogus] analysis” is evidence for that assertion’s being correct.
    ***********************************************************

    “His study predicts, with 95% confidence, that a doubling of carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere would cause the climate to warm … .”

    And yet, observed data says:

    CO2 UP. WARMING STOPPED.

    Dr. Murry Salby’s work more accurately reflects REALITY:
    — Net CO2, from both human and natural sources and sinks,
    LAGS TEMPERATURE INCREASE by a quarter cycle:

    Would LOVE to see ol’ Lovejoy in a head – to – head debate with Salby…

    Heh, heh, heh.

  38. lsvalgaard says:

    JimS says:
    April 11, 2014 at 4:02 pm
    Gee, if he went back 18,000 to 10,000 years, …I wonder how that happened
    Jupiter did it: changed the Earth’s orbit just enough.

  39. Bill H says:

    We have checked our models and we are 99.9% certain that our models are crap…

    Professor Lovejoy, Would you mind sharing how you determined CO2 was THE ONLY DRIVER?

    More of the same alarmist crap backed up by crap they are purporting to be science.

  40. LamontT says:

    Oooohhh Statistical Analysis. I am so waiting for the Audit on that. :)

  41. Generic Geologist says:

    Looks to me that he’s just a Canadian Marcott. I wonder how long it will be before Mann claims him as a long lost child?

  42. Bruce Cobb says:

    Oh noes! We’ve been undone! He’s discovered our achilles heel, and our best-kept secret – just cherry-pick the year 1880, and boom, skepticism is kaput. Well, we,ve had a good run, and some fun times, but now it’s time to pay the piper. Silly us, the jig is up.
    Here’s some odds for Lovejoy: the chance that you used, or even attempted to use the scientific method in your “analysis”: none.

  43. Christopher Hanley says:

    The warming 1880 — 1945 could not have been caused by man-made emissions, http://3000quads.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/global_carbon_emission_by_type.png?w=500&h=362&h=362
    or if it was, one would expect a vast acceleration in warming since ~1945.

  44. It sounds like just another version of the hockey stick. Sure, if you show flat temperatures for about 500 years and then sharply rising temperatures for 100 years, then you can argue that it is not likely that the increase is due to natural variability. But to establish the flat temperatures, the analysis would have to assert a ridiculous level of accuracy and precision for the 500 years of temperatures derived from proxy data. If you put realistic error bars on it, how in the world could you claim to be sure the temperatures were that flat? They could be going up and down all over the place and still be within the error. Even with our current coverage with thermometers, the government experts claim they have to do significant adjustments to get it right. It seems preposterous to suggest that one could get the necessary accuracy and precision from proxy data. Of course, as most readers of this blog are aware, with the right techniques it is not that hard to manufacture hockey sticks.

  45. Mark Johnson says:

    Did he use all 200 of the Yamal Trees or just the 12 that showed warming? Was the Upside-down Tiljander proxy included? Seems like the same fruit smoothie…just made in a different blender.

  46. Janice Moore says:

    Re: “Canadian Marcott” (Generic Geologist at 5:11pm) — lol.

    Bet you’re right!

    Mann: “Oh, my dear little long-lost son. I’ve been missing you so much. How’s your mother? What’s that? You wrote a paper?! Oh, joy, let me see it (read, read, read, read). (BIG GRIN).. My, my, you’re just a chip off the ol’ pine block (wink — leer). Now, come on outside and I’ll, uh, teach you a little trick.”

    FYI re: Marcott

    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2013/03/fixing-marcott-mess-in-climate-science.html

  47. Janice Moore says:

    This came to mind… . #(:))

    Yeah, sure, rIIIggghht, Baghdad Bob Lovejoy.

    YOU ARE WEEEENING!!

    NOT!

    Desperation: not a pretty sight.

    (but pretty darn funny, lol)

  48. Col Mosby says:

    Shaun Lovejoy’s biggest blunder is his mistaken belief about what the “deniers” actually believe.
    He claims they believe that only natural forces have caused the warming. He’s creating a strawman here. I claim he won’t be able to name any serious “deniers” who actually believe that humans haven’t caused at least some of the warming. Exactly why is Lovejoy so dumb about this?

  49. philjourdan says:

    As someone said before, GIGO. But I am sure alarmists will be happy. As they freeze to death.

  50. james says:

    I’m 99% certain that this stinks

  51. hunter says:

    Yeah, this is like the eugenicists “discovering scientifically” that their own racial characteristics just happened to be the ideal characteristics for humanity, and that they needed to help make certain the inferior races were eradicated, all for the science, of course.

  52. Jim s says:

    Before you tell me with 95% certainty that the recent (modest) warming is due to man you must tell me how the vastly greater temperature swings both up and down happened. Crickets

  53. Gary Pearse says:

    Otter (ClimateOtter on Twitter) says:
    April 11, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    “Never heard of McGill university. Probably will never hear of it again.”

    Oh dear, we better fix this. Don’t say this too loudly:

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

    “McGill is one of two member-universities of the Association of American Universities situated outside the United States.[10]

    McGill was ranked 1st in Canada among all its major/research universities in the Maclean’s 23rd annual rankings (2013-2014 school year), maintaining this position for the ninth consecutive year.[11] Internationally, McGill ranked 21st in the world and 2nd in Canada in the 2013 QS World University Rankings.[12] Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s 2012 Business Schools Ranking ranked McGill’s Desautels Faculty of Management 10th in the world among non-US business schools, referring to McGill University as “the #1 university in Canada and among the top 20 worldwide.”[13] McGill was ranked 33rd in the world and 2nd in Canada by the 2014 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.[14] In the 2011 Emerging/Trendence Global Employability Ranking, McGill was ranked the 19th finest in the world, and 1st in Canada, for popularity among major employers.

    Oh and: Notable alumni include nine Nobel Laureates, 135 Rhodes Scholars (the most in the country),[7] three astronauts, two Canadian prime ministers, twelve justices of the Canadian Supreme Court,[8] four foreign leaders, twenty-eight foreign ambassadors, nine Academy Award winners, three Pulitzer Prize winners, and twenty-eight Olympic medalists. McGill alumni were instrumental in inventing or initially organizing football, basketball, and ice hockey.[9]”

    But yeah, climate research/physics (these days), nothing to rave about even though Ernest Rutherford, Einstein’s pa taught their!!

  54. Gary Pearse says:

    Oops, Einstein’s pal, not “pa”

  55. Kevin Hilde says:

    Like Batman seeing a modified Klieg searchlight …..

    Soon will appear McIntyre.

    Yay! This should be entertaining!

  56. Alan Robertson says:

    Current Global sea ice anomaly has today moved greater than 1 million Km2 above the 30- yr. avg.
    Nature is offering a rebuttal, eh?

  57. davidmhoffer says:

    His study predicts, with 95% confidence, that a doubling of carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere would cause the climate to warm by between 2.5 and 4.2 degrees Celsius. That range is more precise than – but in line with — the IPCC’s prediction that temperatures would rise by 1.5 to 4.5 degrees Celsius if CO2 concentrations double.

    Here’s the thing. If they come up with a sensitivity in line with the IPCC’s, “b>then they have the exact same problem that the IPCC has!

    They’ve calculated a sensitivity that should have over whelmed natural variability as CO2 emissions accelerated. Instead, the opposite is true. They can’t argue that sensitivity absolutely dominates natural variability and then explain the last two decades of no warming due to natural variability dominating the sensitivity to the highest levels of CO2 ever.

  58. james says:

    These people will never play on an equal playing field . Its about demonizing your opponent.

  59. Dave Percival says:

    SImple. You have the truth. Then you have lies, damn lies and after that comes statistics.

  60. Pat Frank says:

    The study depends on equating paleo-temperature proxies to physical temperature. That means the crockology of statistical proxies pretending physical meaning applies to Lovejoy’s work as well.

    Looking at the paper, the proxies in his Figure 5 are plotted at an accuracy of 0.1 C, implying 1-sigma = (+/-)0.05 C, for a paleo-temperature proxy that has no known physical relationship with temperature (except dO-18, which is never used in its physical sense in paleo-temperature reconstructions).

    Figure 5 also plots the surface air temperature record without any error bars.

    Figure 7 is plotted with an implicit claim of temperature accuracy of (+/-)0.02 C, and in the same figure Lovejoy claims to be able to detect a paleo-temperature natural variabilty of (+/-)0.2 C.

    None of it is connected to physics. The entire study is a complicated exercise in false precision.

    The first sentence of the Introduction is amusing, in an ironic sense: “Well before the advent of General Circulation Models (GCM’s), (Arrhenius 1896), proposed that greenhouse gases could cause global warming and he even made a surprisingly modern quantitative prediction. (my bold)”

    The proper meaning of the sentence is that modern GCMs make surprisingly primitive predictions.

    And look at this, the Lovejoy raison d’etre: “But there is yet another reason for seeking non-GCM approaches: the most convincing demonstration of anthropogenic warming has not yet been made—the statistical comparison of the observed warming during the industrial epoch against the null hypothesis for natural variability.

    He says that a statistical comparison will provide “the most convincing demonstration of anthropogenic warming“!

    Earth to Prof. Lovejoy: the only demonstration of physical causality is provided by a falsifiable physical theory. Causality is never, ever provided by statistics or statistical correlations. No wonder he’s so confident in his pronouncements: he’s got no understanding of the source of physical knowledge. Like everything else AGW, we have certainties expressed by people who don’t actually know what they’re talking about. But, hey! the math is complicated.

  61. policycritic says:

    dbstealey says:
    April 11, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    Smart comments.

  62. Kevin Hilde says:

    First there was a 95% meme ….
    Recently followed by a 97% meme ….
    And now they’re spawning a 99% meme …

    If the pattern continues we’ll soon see the hyperventilating hyperbole of sports stars …

    They’ll soon be giving us a 101% meme!

  63. Latitude says:

    Lovejoy’s study applies statistical methodology to determine the probability that global warming since 1880 is due to natural variability. His conclusion: the natural-warming hypothesis may be ruled out “with confidence levels great than 99%, and most likely greater than 99.9%.”

    moron….

  64. davidmhoffer says:

    What this comes down to is:

    1. The models calculate a sensitivity that has been falsified by observations.
    2. This is a statistical analysis that calculates a sensitivity that has been falsified by observations.

  65. Hoser says:

    I could statistically analyze the incidence of toe fungus and be 99.9% certain that it has an impact on dog food consumption, with the same level of validity in this paper. No models needed either.
    See: Magnus H, et al. (2013) The incidence of tinea pedis and correlation with canine caloric intake. J. Virt. Nonsense 1: p. 23.

    Tinea pedis is a significant fungal infection common in adolescent males in the United States. Observations of juveniles between the ages of 12 and 15 were conducted both at education institutions and residential areas. Normal ambulatory activity at the beginning of the academic year was measured for a test group of individuals participating in physical education at their educational institution and who also engaged in regular canine evacuation duties in the vicinity of their residence (N = 12). A control population did not participate in physical education activities (N = 10). Canine weight was estimated from photographic data. The mass of faecal material deposited by each animal per daily circuit was determined. We observed a marked chaotic decline in the frequency of ambulatory activity in the physical education group versus the control population. The control population maintained a regular schedule over the course of the year. Furthermore, faecal mass increased in the test group, however, faecal mass was nearly constant among the control group subjects. We conclude the reduction in ambulatory activity (p < .0005) is most consistent with episodic cases of tinea pedis in test subjects not occurring in control subjects; furthermore, the increase in faecal mass among test canines versus control canines (p < .001) is supportive evidence of lethargy leading to increased caloric intake.

    I’ll hurry up and write that, then go back in time to publish it for you. Does anybody want to be a coauthor? Do we need to say it was caused by climate change?

  66. David L. says:

    “If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.”
    Ernest Rutherford

    (Baron Rutherford of Nelson. New Zealander born British Chemist who laid the groundwork for the development of nuclear physics by investigating radioactivity. Nobel Prize in 1908. 1871-1937)

  67. Steve from Rockwood says:

    Good old McGill. Going to heck in a hand-bag.

  68. Dave the Engineer says:

    I keep telling you AGW is a religion, a cult. Some people are hard wired to be religious. And with religions like Christianity off the table as not hip, not cool, not acceptable in The Capitol (Hunger Games) they have to invent one or join one. I’m an atheist, and a conservative, I think all religions are at best questionable, this one especially so. I want a dull life. I do not want to live in “interesting times”. Do I fear change? No but I want useful, usable, change. Not change just to have change. Not this… this mental masturbation wrapped in angst and guilt seeking salvation in a make believe “saving the world” fantasy. Come on guys, grow up!!!

  69. David L. says:

    skience on April 11, 2014 at 5:04 pm
    “This is just a rehash of failed science.”

    ———
    Right!

    In order to calculate an F statistic, one needs to know the mean sum of squares attributed to the noise. Having at best 100 years of instrument records (globally), I doubt the error term is robust, considering the planet is 4.5 billion (with a “B”) years old.

    I don’t think a lot of scientists really appreciate “scale”. Given the planet is 4.5 billion years old, proportional to a long human life of 100 years, the past 100 years of instrument record would be akin to 12 minutes of human life.

    Imagine a person using 12 minutes of his life to observe something and then claiming he understands everything about it and can project infinitely into the future.

  70. drumphil says:

    “Shaun Lovejoy’s biggest blunder is his mistaken belief about what the “deniers” actually believe.
    He claims they believe that only natural forces have caused the warming. He’s creating a straw
    man here. I claim he won’t be able to name any serious “deniers” who actually believe that humans haven’t caused at least some of the warming. Exactly why is Lovejoy so dumb about this?”

    Lol, there are a lot of people here who are very serious about denying that the planet is warming at all, or denying that humans are responsible for any warming if it is happening. Calling Lovejoy dumb about this, is having yourself on about what a lot of people here believe.

  71. james says:

    Ridicule is the only effect [weapon] against demonization that why this site is so effective.Keep hammer them or its the killing fields for you

  72. alcheson says:

    Almost laughable……. basically, it would appear they are cherry picking hockey stick data and coming to the conclusion that only CO2 can explain it. Michael Mann’s hockey stick showed exactly the same thing, problem is… the Hockey Stick was shown to be fraudulent. They obviously aren’t applying this type of analysis to the Central England temperature records. They know that without validation of Hockey stick temperatures for the past 100 yrs their CAGW case falls completely flat.

  73. F. Ross says:

    An analysis of temperature data since 1500 all but rules out the possibility that global warming in the industrial era is just a natural fluctuation in the earth’s climate, according to a new study by McGill University physics professor Shaun Lovejoy.

    [+emphasis]
    I note the author left himself a little bit of wriggle room.
    Perhaps McGill University physics professor Shaun Lovejoy would gain some insight into “certainty” if he conversed with physics professor at Duke R. G. Brown.

  74. jaypan says:

    “This study will be a blow to any remaining climate-change deniers,”

    This is the disgusting language of an activist, not a scientist. Not worth to read any further.

  75. Katabasis says:

    “An analysis of temperature data since 1500″

    – He *can’t* be serious. Can he?

  76. alcheson says:

    Indeed, their Figure 5 shows the whole story. As I learned in college, when giving a seminar in front of people who don’t know as much about the topic as you do, if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with BS. They use a period of 500 yrs worth of cherry-picked flat-line data to derive their NATURAL temperature variation and of course the 1900-2000 temperature rise doesn’t fit with natural causes. Didn’t need to do any of the math in the rest of the paper to see that.

  77. james says:

    the killing fields is what happen under the regime of pol pot.Where anybody with classes were sent to die because the might be smart.

    [Think, proofread, edit first. Mod]

  78. MrX says:

    “We’ve had a fluctuation in average temperature that’s just huge since 1880 – on the order of about 0.9 degrees Celsius”

    Before or after adjustments? In the US, the 30’s is still the hottest decade. But the adjustments try to hide that away. Much talk of odds. These are mostly on models and flawed reconstructions. How about cold hard facts from measurements?

  79. davideisenstadt says:

    james says:
    April 11, 2014 at 6:51 pm
    yeah… no that they may be smart, but because the only reason for glasses was to read, which was unnecessary.
    point well made.

  80. One of the serious problem and flaw with Lovejoy’s analysis is that it starts in 1500 (!), the middle of the Little Ice Age.

    To test how much the warming since 1880 was natural and how much it is human-induced, one needs to see much older records. At least there is a need of starting with the medieval warm period or the Roman Warm Period.

    One this is done, according modern global surface temperature proxy records, about 50% of the warming since 1880 is natural and the left over may be human induced.

    Everything is already published in my papers many times.

    E.g. look here:

    http://people.duke.edu/~ns2002/#astronomical_model

    and here for the latest update of the models

    http://people.duke.edu/~ns2002/#astronomical_model_1

    If Lovejoy’s model is extrapolated in the past before 1500, it will never recover the medieval warm period.

  81. TRM says:

    He must be looking at the first graph here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/09/hockey-stick-observed-in-noaa-ice-core-data/

    May he should look at the rest and apply his “stats” to them …..

    PS. That link is one of (if not THE) all time favourite WUWT posts by the way.

  82. Sean says:

    McGill University should have its charter to grant degrees revoked.

  83. chris y says:

    ““This study will be a blow to any remaining climate-change deniers,” Lovejoy says.”

    Lovejoy references MBH 1998 as one of his canonical sources of ‘natural’ temperature changes.

    MBH 1998 is an incompetent exercise in mining stick-shaped noise from noise.

    In fact, this study is a blow to any remaining credibility of Lovejoy’s climate science.

  84. dp says:

    I’ll have to take a closer look at their write off of the pause and the complete lack of skill shown by the models. The good news is reality does not agree with them.

  85. Greg Goodman says:

    ” It was therefore replaced by the [Ammann and Wahl, 2007] update of the original [Mann et al., 1998]”

    So their idea of assessing natural climate variability is to re-use the discredited Mann hockey-stick.
    Volcanoes are regarded as being statistically “stationary” which is hardly the case for the 20th c.

    I was curious as to why the selected 1880 as the starting point but then found the answer in fig 3b. It allows misleading the reader by distracting from the fact that the early 20th rise was just as strong as the late 20th c. rise.

    Had they run it further back we would have seen that the CO2 “forcing” diverges from the temperature record, so they cropped it at 1880. The data also gets conveniently cropped at around 2000 so as to hide the pause.

    This is just a wild mix of spurious assumptions, discredited proxies and cherry picked time intervals all hidden behind a bit statistics that is suppose to impress and confuse the reader enough that he doesn’t argue.

    Frankly bullshit.

  86. DR says:

    OT sorry, but why isn’t the Nevada land grab by the BLM not reported on WUWT since it centers around installment of a solar farm?

    [Because it IS off-topic in this thread. Mod]

  87. u.k.(us) says:

    It is publish or perish out there.
    The weak lexicon pays in the short run.

  88. Greg Goodman says:

    “This study will be a blow to any remaining climate-change deniers,” Lovejoy says.

    What is a “blow” is that we have to waste time reading this kind of garbage and that it get printed in the first place. However, that comment clearly displays bias of the author and his intent to mislead. He says “any remaining” like there are fewer and fewer people questioning AGW alarmism, when polls clearly show less and less people regard it as problem.

    He misleads in his press comments as he misleads in his published work.

    Yet more abdication of scientific objectivity in a crusade to “save the planet” . The end justifies the means.

  89. gymnosperm says:

    “Does anybody want to be a coauthor?”

    Count me in. Let’s send it to the same journal.

  90. james says:

    you are our white knights fight with everthing you have because they would turn us into serfs and you into corspes

  91. SAMURAI says:

    Oh, my…

    Post hoc ergo propter hoc…

    We’re witnessing the death of logic, reason and science…

    More leftist fallacies based on this logic fallacy: US taxes were high during the 50’s, GDP grew in 50’s, ergo, higher taxes cause economic growth….

    Lovejoy’s nifty understanding of statistics would make him a star at the Bureau of Labor and Statistics…

    Embrace the stupid…

  92. TomRude says:

    Love Hockey
    Joy Stick
    Mann square

  93. Robert of Texas says:

    Statistical analysis where they used proxies for temperature, and guessed at emissions, and guessed at feedbacks…and have a 99% certainty? I am about 99% certain his analysis is flawed.

  94. Magma says:

    A list of some of Lovejoy’s ~500 publications since 1981:

    http://www.physics.mcgill.ca/~gang/reference.list.htm

    It includes a preprint of the Climate Dynamics paper, in case one or two people here might bother to look at it before giving their opinions of it.

  95. AJ says:

    Gary Pearse says: April 11, 2014 at 5:39 pm
    ——————————
    One of those 135 Rhodes Scholars was my uncle. Also his brother (a.k.a my dad) graduated from McGill circa 1933. My wife was flown there when she was a kid after shattering her jaw back in the 70’s. I have nothing but praise for that institution.

  96. Joel O'Bryan says:

    Prof Lovejoy will likely get to endure a couple of more gdecades of global warmings winters like this past one. Unless he retires to FL to escape global warming disguised as global cooling.

  97. james says:

    if you go 180 for what the say you will find the truth .Carbon is plant food it will increase yield s of food growps and help all peoples they don’t want this because they a cult of death

  98. Oracle says:

    They need to have a close look at previous interglacial peaks eg:

    The current warming appears quite mild compared to previous interglacial peaks!

  99. Greg Goodman says:

    More than “one or two” people have clearly read the paper and none of them seem too impressed.

  100. noloctd says:

    You know what they ay about lies, damned lies and statistics. Lovejoy seems to have worked all three into his paper. Personally, I’m 99% confident that he pulled both his conclusion and his methodology from whence the sun doesn’t shine.

  101. Tom In Indy says:

    I sincerely appreciate the effort that the likes of Anthony, Bob Tisdale, Willis, etc put into debunking the CAGW hype. Unfortunately, public opinion is shaped by the headlines that a CAGW biased media feeds them. The headline from the study above is the only thing 99% of the public will see.

    Has anyone been to the San Diego zoo recently? It’s littered with man-made-CO2-climate change propaganda. For example, my kids noticed a Goreish/Mann hockey stick near the polar bear exhibit. Thousands of patrons from around the world are indoctrinated each day. I asked my kids if they realized that there had been zero global warming in their lifetimes (last 15 years) even though CO2 continued to climb.

    They thought I was joking.

    Tit for tat arguments regarding natural vs man-made CO2 causes of global warming will not win the battle. The climate nazis control public education, public policy and the media.

    Does anyone have a strategy to bend the policy curve away from the statists? If they control the media, the EPA, the IRS and Health Care, then liberty is lost.

  102. “We’ve had a fluctuation in average temperature that’s just huge since 1880 – on the order of about 0.9 degrees Celsius,” Lovejoy says. “This study shows that the odds of that being caused by natural fluctuations are less than one in a hundred and are likely to be less than one in a thousand.

    So a change of 0.9 C in 130 years is “huge” and almost cannot be caused by “natural fluctuations”. Yet GISS for March just came out and it jumped from 0.45 to 0.70 or a jump of 0.25 in one month. And this was presumably natural?

  103. I remain skeptical of binning all of the warming as a linear function of greenhouse gas emissions (even as a surrogate the other forcings are on a different time scale). First other human contributors exist (e.g. black carbon; land cover/land use change).

    More fundamentally, by blending in the in-situ surface observations at the end of the record introduces a systematic warm bias that compromises, in my view, the analysis. As we have shown there is a warm bias in the land surface part of the surface temperature trends; e. g. see

    Klotzbach, P.J., R.A. Pielke Sr., R.A. Pielke Jr., J.R. Christy, and R.T. McNider, 2009: An alternative explanation for differential temperature trends at the surface and in the lower troposphere. J. Geophys. Res., 114, D21102, doi:10.1029/2009JD011841. http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/files/2009/11/r-345.pdf

    Klotzbach, P.J., R.A. Pielke Sr., R.A. Pielke Jr., J.R. Christy, and R.T. McNider, 2010: Correction to: “An alternative explanation for differential temperature trends at the surface and in the lower troposphere. J. Geophys. Res., 114, D21102, doi:10.1029/2009JD011841″, J. Geophys. Res., 115, D1, doi:10.1029/2009JD013655. http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/files/2010/03/r-345a.pdf

    McNider, R.T., G.J. Steeneveld, B. Holtslag, R. Pielke Sr, S. Mackaro, A. Pour Biazar, J.T. Walters, U.S. Nair, and J.R. Christy, 2012: Response and sensitivity of the nocturnal boundary layer over land to added longwave radiative forcing. J. Geophys. Res., 117, D14106, doi:10.1029/2012JD017578. Copyright (2012) American Geophysical Union. http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/r-371.pdf

    I recommend that the 1979-onward lower tropospheric temperature analyses from RSS and UAH,
    as well as the Levitus et al longer term and Argo (post 2003) ocean data be compared with the analyses used for the surface temperatures, to see how they correlate. If there are major differences in the trends using this different sets of data, it raises questions on his conclusions. While these do not permit the analysis of the longer time period as with the surface multi-proxy analyses, one should see how these data sets match with the in-situ surface analyses.

  104. Mike Jonas says:

    CO2 is currently raising the global temperature by 0.2 deg C per decade.
    In this millenium the global temperature has increased by zero. http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:2000/plot/rss/from:2000/trend [not a cherry-pick, try 1998, 2002, 2004, eg.]
    Therefore natural forces are decreasing the temperature at a rate of 0.2 deg C per decade.
    Lovejoy’s paper says natural forces can’t do that much.
    Therefore … CO2 can’t be raising the global temperature by 0.2 deg C per decade.

  105. lee says:

    “This study will be a blow to any remaining climate-change deniers,” Lovejoy says. “Their two most convincing arguments – that the warming is natural in origin, and that the computer models are wrong – are either directly contradicted by this analysis, or simply do not apply to it.”

    Ahhh, struck down by a powder puff.

    He also seems to be saying that his methodology excludes the possibility of the output of computer models applying to it, so that the models being wrong is irrelevant.

  106. gymnosperm says:

    Ah yes, the Pause That Refreshes. The Pause means with 99.9999 percent statistical certainty that natural “forcing” can at least equal “nastygas” (trademark applied for) “forcing”.

  107. Mac the Knife says:

    Argh! Another fine university’s reputation impugned by a cherry picking activist that doesn’t have the statesticles to provide honest analyses.

  108. Mike Wryley says:

    Sorry to step on toes here, Rhodes Scholars, funded by a trust originating from Cecil Rhodes, a thug and despot, an original Fabian socialist

    Not much of a pedigree in my book, especially since the left seeks the economic destruction of the developed countries by means of CAGW scare tactics

  109. milodonharlani says:

    Mike Wryley says:
    April 11, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    Cecil Rhodes was many things, but Fabian socialist is most assuredly not among them.

    Milo D. Harlani
    Rhodes Scholar

  110. I have just read the paper. The model itself does not provide for auto-correlation of the time-series of data. Also, the model does not allow for non-stationarity of the variables.

    The data represent time-series, so spurious correlation must be excluded. At the very least an ARIMA model would be advisable. Econometricians test for stationarity and if present apply the method of cointegration rather than correlation.

    Since this is a statistical model and not a physical model, I would make the same suggestion that Professor Wegman made in reference to the “Hockeystick” model of Michael Mann and his colleagues: physical scientists should obtain the support and advice of statisticians while preparing papers that rely on statistics.

    The relevant question is the following: Does CO2 concentration polynomially cointegrate with global temperature during the period 1880–2007 and thus support the anthropogenic interpretation of global warming during this period?

    An Israeli group concluded, “We have shown that anthropogenic forcings do not polynomially cointegrate with global temperature and solar irradiance. Therefore, data for 1880–2007 do not support the anthropogenic interpretation of global warming during this period.”

    The authors of this paper added a disclaimer,

    ” Also we have experimented with a variety of model specifications and estimation methodologies. This means that our rejection of AGW is not absolute; it might be a false negative, and we cannot rule out the possibility 25 that recent global warming has an anthropogenic footprint. However, this possibility is highly improbable, and is not statistically significant at conventional levels.”

    Dr. Lovejoy has made the claim that human activity is more important driver of climate than natural variability and supported this view with statistical analysis. However, the statistical methodology that Dr Lovejoy has used to support this hypothesis is useless for this purpose. The paper should not have been accepted. .

    Reference: Beenstock, Reingewertz, and Paldor Polynomial cointegration tests of anthropogenic impact on global warming, Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss., 3, 561–596, 2012.

    URL: http://www.earth-syst-dynam-discuss.net/3/561/2012/esdd-3-561-2012.html

    http://www.earth-syst-dynam-discuss.net/3/561/2012/esdd-3-561-2012.pdf

  111. David Shaw says:

    I’d like to see the data that result in this 99% confidence figure? Flying pigs chance?

  112. Louis says:

    “This study shows that the odds of that being caused by natural fluctuations are less than one in a hundred and are likely to be less than one in a thousand.”

    Based on just 500 years of climate reconstruction, the results of which have a greater margin of error than 1%? They’re just making stuff up!

    “This allows the new approach to implicitly include the cooling effects of particulate pollution that are still poorly quantified in computer models,” he adds.

    So I’m assuming that this study blames particulate pollution for the current decade and a half of zero warming. Is there any evidence that particulate pollution is much higher now than it was prior to 2000? If not, then why haven’t global temperatures continued to rise with the rise in CO2? Lovejoy is 99.9% certain that natural fluctuations are not powerful enough to do the job, so something else must have countered the effects of CO2. What was it?

  113. Martin C says:

    lsvalgaard says:
    April 11, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    JimS says:
    April 11, 2014 at 4:02 pm
    Gee, if he went back 18,000 to 10,000 years, …I wonder how that happened
    Jupiter did it: changed the Earth’s orbit just enough.

    Leif, if Jupiter changed the earth’s orbit just enough to bring the earth OUT of an ice age, could it go the other way (Jupiter change the earth’s orbit so it goes back to an ice age). And where were the 2 planets (and all the rest too) in relationship to one another? is that something predictable by orbital analysis?

  114. Streetcred says:

    For the industrial era, Lovejoy’s analysis uses carbon-dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels as a proxy for all man-made climate influences – a simplification justified by the tight relationship between global economic activity and the emission of greenhouse gases and particulate pollution, he says. “This allows the new approach to implicitly include the cooling effects of particulate pollution that are still poorly quantified in computer models,” he adds.

    LOL ! Africa sure blows that right out of the water … FAIL !!

  115. stargazer says:

    @ Frederick Colbourne says:
    April 11, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    “Dr. Lovejoy has made the claim that human activity is more important driver of climate than natural variability and supported this view with statistical analysis. However, the statistical methodology that Dr Lovejoy has used to support this hypothesis is useless for this purpose. The paper should not have been accepted. .”

    Except for the fact that it supported ‘The Cause.’ (Great reply to the Lovejoy article, Frederick….)

    And I am not sure the reviewers read past: “This study will be a blow to any remaining climate-change deniers,”

    This statement would have been enough for any warmer-mystic true-believer to give the paper a pass for inclusion in their publication. No need to ready any more of the paper.

    Lovejoy says. “Their two most convincing arguments – that the warming is natural in origin, and that the computer models are wrong – are either directly contradicted by this analysis, or simply do not apply to it.”

    Here all along I believed that the *measured* non-warming of the last 17+ years contradicted CAGW. How silly of me.

  116. crosspatch says:

    The problem I have with statements like this is that the warming from 1912 to 1937 is nearly IDENTICAL in rate and magnitude as the warming from 1976 to 2001. Human CO2 emissions could not possibly have been the cause in the former period. So we have two nearly identical periods of warming nearly 40 years apart. (NOTE: That was using HADCRUT3 which was what I had available when I did that comparison some years back, NCDC data can not be used for that comparison because they fiddle with the data and continually adjust the past colder so if you use NCDC’s data set, what might be true this year might not be true 5 years from now because the data will have changed. NOAA constantly re-adjusts their database and their data can not be relied on).

  117. crosspatch says:

    I should have said 65 years apart.

  118. Somebody says:

    I have a particular rock which I studied by statistics. I learned that the particular arrangement of atoms in the rock is highly improbable. The one in a hundred they are talking in the article is hugely probable, almost certainty, by comparison.
    So, using the same argument as the one in the article, I conclude that the rock is man made. Al Gore himself put the atoms in the rock in that particular arrangement.

  119. jauntycyclist says:

    you can see why they are so keen to decontextualise climate analysis from the ice age cycles

    if he has proven co2 is THE cause of THE warming that changes climate and is the the driver of ice ages then he will be able to explain the rest of the charts and create models that recreate past climate and predict the current ‘pause’? If we are going in for meaningless quantification then i am 99% sure they cannot do that.

    the warmers like to leaver out the term ‘inter glacial warming’ as if the ice age cycles do not exist.

    To keep the taxation and grants going they have to link everything to man made co2 as the ‘control knob’. So we can expect a lot more of these decontextualised ‘proofs’. that can predict and explain nothing outside of their narrow parameters. One sees this sort of thing everyday in the world of financial markets but those who do it never become rich through it from placing bets on the predictions coming from their ‘correlations’ [unless they sell it to someone else dumber than they are].

    if a system is 99.9% sure then it is rational for people to bet their house and wifes savings on it. No? why the hesitation? Do people need more confirmation? lol.

  120. Janice Moore says:

    Any scumbag who would bet his wife’s savings on such a waterfront-property-in-the-middle-of-a-desert scam…

    raided that account a looong time ago.

    So, an inherent impossibility.

    However, NEVER FEAR…. he will get the TAXPAYERS (or a teachers retirement fund) to fund it!

    **************
    Just having a little fun, Jaunty Cyclist — very good comment.
    #(:)) (lol)

  121. Janice Moore says:

    Note to self: spell “sc@m” like this. Grr.

  122. charles nelson says:

    If Michael Mann is the J***y S********y of Climate Science,
    Shaun Lovejoy must surely be its Kanye West.

  123. ..this paper will be a good indicator of the state of belief in the theory of Global Warming. Lets see how quickly it is taken up as gospel by Politicians and Media.

  124. thingadonta says:

    …used “multi-proxy climate reconstructions” developed by scientists in recent years to estimate historical temperatures, as well as fluctuation-analysis techniques from nonlinear geophysics.

    In other words they probably looked at the contaminated and selective proxy data that e.g. Mann and co and others have used. If you do an analysis on a hockeystick you will just get a hockeystick. Its the same thing over and over, they need to look at the hockeysticks again, they are invalid to begin with.

  125. clivebest says:

    The analysis described in the paper only applies for natural variation behaving like Brownian motion. As far as I know no-one has ever claimed that natural processes are stochastic. Instead natural variation is proposed to be cyclic with time periods of 60 years and larger. His paper does not address this hypothesis at all. Instead the “research” reproduces high school physics showing that the probability of a dust particle in a gas following a path similar to the anomaly data is very small.

    I don’t see any new insights at all in this paper.

  126. George says:

    “This study will be a blow to any remaining climate-change deniers,” Lovejoy says
    Correction: should read “This study is not likely to stem the growing number of climate change sceptics”

  127. Stephanie Clague says:

    And the whole proposition is founded upon CO2 having the attributes the alarmists side claims, however if CO2 is not the climate driver it is theorised to be then the entire proposition is built on a foundation of quicksand. If CO2 is the result of natural cyclic warming and not the primary cause then this paper is just so much junk to be added to the gigantic pile of CAGW trash. These people are going to look very silly and many are going to bitterly regret the work they do now.

  128. David L. says:

    BTW, what global warming? Doesn’t he know that even Mann recognizes the so-called ” Pause” (i.e. no warming).

  129. Dr. Strangelove says:

    “We’ve had a fluctuation in average temperature that’s just huge since 1880 – on the order of about 0.9 degrees Celsius,” Lovejoy says. “This study shows that the odds of that being caused by natural fluctuations are less than one in a hundred and are likely to be less than one in a thousand.”

    Baseless statement. Good global thermometer records dates back to 1880. How can Lovejoy say the fluctuation is big or small by just looking at one data set? Big or small compared to what? Older temperature fluctuations? But these are tree rings and ice cores. Not comparable to the resolution of thermometers. The odds cited are meaningless. The said “fluctuations” follow the normal distribution which is true of random variables. In short, the fluctuations look random. The challenge is to prove they are not.

    “His study predicts, with 95% confidence, that a doubling of carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere would cause the climate to warm by between 2.5 and 4.2 degrees Celsius.”

    Since this statement is based on computer models, what it really means is the models output 2.5-4.2 C 95% of the runs. It doesn’t tell us anything about reality since all the models could be wrong. They can even output wrong temperatures 100% of the runs.

  130. Dr. Strangelove says:

    Since Lovejoy says he didn’t use huge computer models, maybe he used excel spreadsheet or manual calculations. It doesn’t matter. To assert 95% confidence he must have data generated from calculations by computer or by hand. Paleoclimate empirical data will not give 95% confidence since temperatures and CO2 varied widely in the past 600 million years.

  131. RichardLH says:

    Well as the data shows that the global temperature figures are made up of short term cycles that have an approximate +-0.2c range over periods of 12 months to ~60 years and just those two accounts for the majority of the variation in the data to date the data alone refutes this suggestion.

  132. AGW since 1880? Or since 1979?

    It’s funny how they switch and choose when it suits them!

  133. J Martin says:

    “Jupiter did it: changed the Earth’s orbit just enough.”

    Leif, it’d be great if you would do one of your very good .ppt’s on that. It’s worrying that Jupiter can throw planet Earth around that much, good job we got moved nearer the sun instead of further away.

  134. J Martin says:

    Or perhaps Leif missed the /sarc tag off the end of his comment.

  135. F.A.H. says:

    His hypothesis is that the global temperature is given by the following function Tg = Tanth + Tnat + eps, where Tanth is the anthropogenic CO2, Tnat is a stochastic natural variation, and eps is an error term. He assumes that Tanth is the ONLY deterministic, i.e. non-random, variable in the time period. In fact there are several deterministic variables involved in natural variability over these time frames in the sense that such variables as solar index, land use, etc are not stochastic, but deterministic functions of time. By that I mean that if one tested to see if solar index for example was stochastic over this time interval one would find a strong indication that it was not. If he had included a few other climate variables he would have found that indeed they also were strongly correlated to the global temperature. To his chagrin, he would also have found (if he had looked) that all of the climate variables are correlated strongly with each other and that by using various subsets of them his correlation constants would have bounced around hopelessly as the remaining variables incorporated effects of the deleted variables. Climate is a classical case in which statistics is difficult due to cross correlation of virtually all variables of interest.

    So if we restate his hypothesis: If one tests whether global temperature over a time period varies randomly over that period or whether it is correlated with one of a set of cross correlated climate variables that change non randomly over that time period, then one should find that any climate variable does better than the random assumption. A much more honest appraisal would have been to include a few other deterministic variables from the climate set such as solar cycle, TSI, land use, ice cover, the temperature of the martian landscape, etc. and do the same analysis. It is guaranteed that the same test would find that virtually any individual non-random climate variable would do better compared to the assumption that the climate varies randomly. It is also guaranteed that it would be impossible to argue statistically that any particular subset of the climate variables was preferred over another since they are all strongly cross correlated.

    This is yet another example of the need to expose physical scientists to much more classical statistics, even better, for them to work closely with one or two pure statisticians whose areas of work cover a broad range of data analysis, not just trying to find a way to prove something one already believes.

  136. eric1skeptic says:

    Magma (April 11, 2014 at 7:48 pm) “A list of some of Lovejoy’s ~500 publications since 1981:…”

    For a list of 491 postings by the troll Magma on WUWT, Google: site:wattsupwiththat.com magma -volcanoes

  137. Tom J says:

    Is that McGill University or McGoo University?

  138. Ralph Kramden says:

    Dr. Lovejoy starts with the assumption that global warming is either natural or man-made and is not a combination of the two. This assumption suffers from major bogusness.

    As the global temperature continues to plummet any theory on global temperature must explain both rising and falling temperatures. Assuming the global temperature is controlled solely by CO2 does not meet this criterion.

  139. Jason Calley says:

    Wow! What an amazing result! I can hardly wait for Dr. Lovejoy’s follow up paper where he refines his statistics and rules out natural variation with a greater than 342% confidence level. Excelsior!

    :)

  140. MikeUK says:

    I guess they missed the April 1st deadline for this one.

    I’m pretty sure that even most “consensus” climate scientists will wince.

  141. DirkH says:

    ““We’ve had a fluctuation in average temperature that’s just huge since 1880 – on the order of about 0.9 degrees Celsius,” Lovejoy says. “This study shows that the odds of that being caused by natural fluctuations are less than one in a hundred and are likely to be less than one in a thousand.”

    Oh. So he’s one of the last remaining MBH 98 defenders and claims that the climate was eternally stable before the combustion engine.

    No Roman Warm Period, no MWP, no holocene climate optimum.

    He probably does not believe in Marcotte & Shakuns temperature reconstruction either.

    How is this guy at a university?

  142. DirkH says:

    Space Aliens must have created the Younger Dryas, McGill university researchers leave as only logical explanation.

  143. DirkH says:

    Onset of glaciations too fast to be natural, McGill finds out.

    WHO ICED OVER THE PLANET? Film at 11.

  144. Unmentionable says:

    Did anyone ask them what global warming?

    Because how can one deny something that instrumentally isn’t happening in the data?

    Maybe they meant denial of CO2 rise?

    Do we have any CO2 rise deniers?

  145. Mike McMillan says:

    “We’ve had a fluctuation in average temperature that’s just huge since 1880 – on the order of about 0.9 degrees Celsius,” Lovejoy says.

    0.9 degrees in 134 years – wow.
    Frank Lansner did a chart on that a while back.

  146. Joe Born says:

    I got stuck on Fig. 5, where the authors purport to show that the global trends in three contiguous past 125-year intervals were minimal, whereas that in the 125 years just ending was significant.

    If you look at the Central England index, you do indeed find a high trend (~0.9 deg./ century) for the most-recent 125 years. Since that trend is less then twice that (instrumental) index’s trend (~0.5 deg./ century) for the 125-year period that ended in 1796, though, I think we can be forgiven for questioning the authors’ (proxy-based) conclusion that the pre-industrial era lacked significant secular trends–or the corollary that man caused most of the recent trend.

  147. Mike McMillan says:

    ““This study shows that the odds of that being caused by natural fluctuations are less than one in a hundred and are likely to be less than one in a thousand.”

    That’s about right. One part in a thousand is roughly the length of the instrumental temperature record compared to a total glacial-interglacial cycle.

  148. Jimbo says:

    “This study will be a blow to any remaining climate-change @#$%$&*,” Lovejoy says. “Their two most convincing arguments – that the warming is natural in origin, and that the computer models are wrong – are either directly contradicted by this analysis, or simply do not apply to it.”

    But the surface temperature standstill is natural?

    I maybe mistaken but I thought the IPCC never attributed man’s greenhouse causing most of the 1910 to 1940 warming.

  149. Damian says:

    Ok fine. Then where’s the heat been hiding for nearly the last 2 decades? Idiots.

  150. Jimbo says:

    “We’ve had a fluctuation in average temperature that’s just huge since 1880 – on the order of about 0.9 degrees Celsius,” Lovejoy says.

    What should I expect at the end of the Little Ice Age? There are many ‘huge’ things.

    Abstract
    Richard B. Alley
    Ice-core evidence of abrupt climate changes
    …..As the world slid into and out of the last ice age, the general cooling and warming trends were punctuated by abrupt changes. Climate shifts up to half as large as the entire difference between ice age and modern conditions occurred over hemispheric or broader regions in mere years to decades…….

    http://www.pnas.org/content/97/4/1331.full

    —————————————————-
    Abstract
    Pierre Deschamps et al
    Ice-sheet collapse and sea-level rise at the Bølling warming 14,600 years ago
    …..Controversy about the amplitude and timing of this meltwater pulse (MWP-1A) has, however, led to uncertainty about the source of the melt water and its temporal and causal relationships with the abrupt climate changes of the deglaciation. Here we show that MWP-1A started no earlier than 14,650 years ago and ended before 14,310 years ago, making it coeval with the Bølling warming. Our results, based on corals drilled offshore from Tahiti during Integrated Ocean Drilling Project Expedition 310, reveal that the increase in sea level at Tahiti was between 12 and 22 metres, with a most probable value between 14 and 18 metres, establishing a significant meltwater contribution from the Southern Hemisphere. This implies that the rate of eustatic sea-level rise exceeded 40 millimetres per year during MWP-1A.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v483/n7391/full/nature10902.html

  151. JP says:

    I skimmed the paper and then went to the bibliography. I wanted to find what data set Lovejoy used as a foundation point for his paper. The only one I could find was MBH9x – ie the Hockey Stick. Keeping in mind the well documented problems of MBH9x, it is not difficult to say that Lovejoy’s paper should be taken with a grain of salt. What he has done is to take an incorrect picture of the past climate and say that humans are the cause of this false reconstruction. It would be like someone Photoshopping a beard on the Queen of England, and then another person coming along saying that they are 99% certain that the Queen’s beard is caused by her addiction to gin.

  152. richard says:

    is anything so different in the Arctic.

    2013- Earlier this month, the ice-strengthened bulk carrier Nordic Orion was loaded with coal at a Vancouver terminal. From there, it headed to Finland via the Northwest Passage, undertaking a voyage that could make it the first commercial bulk carrier to traverse the route since the SS MANHATTAN broke through in 1969.

    SS MANHATTEN -115,000 deadweight -Tonne When the SS MANHATTAN was built in 1962 at Bethlehem Steel’s Fore River Shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts, she was the largest ship in the United States merchant marine.

  153. @njsnowfan says:

    The higher you confidence Number on a paper the more $$$$ you get.

    Simple Math..

  154. Juice says:

    The problem is that they said that “THE warming” is not due to natural factors and due to human emissions. It’s not all or nothing, but that’s the way it’s stated. I think that some part of the warming is due to human emissions, but definitely not all of it. It’s hard to dispute that the globe is still on its warming path coming out of the little ice age. That’s the underlying warming trend. Human emissions have most likely enhanced this warming but it’s not the underlying cause for the warming that’s been observed over the last few centuries.

  155. Bill Sticker says:

    Could we have discovered a new scientific principle here? Any study using politically pejorative statements like ‘deniers’ is automatically invalidated? We could call it the ‘Lewandowsky effect’.

    Any other suggestions?

  156. Bill H says:

    Lovejoy – “Their two most convincing arguments – that the warming is natural in origin, and that the computer models are wrong – are either directly contradicted by this analysis, or simply do not apply to it.”

    Now lets think about this from a basic earth cyclical pattern level. When did the earth stop cycling and man take over the driver of climate?

    This paper would make birds in a cage go nuts just from the shear ridiculous position he takes.

  157. Espen says:

    Good grief, this is the most embarrassing case of climate GIGO science so far this year. And unfortunately, it shows that the hockey game is far from over :-(

  158. I read the paper at http://www.physics.mcgill.ca/~gang/eprints/eprintLovejoy/neweprint/Anthro.climate.dynamics.13.3.14.pdf. Like the many similarly argued papers, this one assumes each change in the global temperature to be the sum of two components. One is the “natural variation.” The other is the “anthropogenic warming.” In the argument that is made by the paper, the natural variation plays a role that is similar to that of the noise in a communications channel whereas the anthropogenic warming plays a role that is similar to that of the signal.

    For the purpose of regulating the climate through curbs on CO2 emissions, one needs an estimate of the strength of the signal contingent on the concentration of the CO2. In this paper and in others like it, this estimate is provided through the presumed existence of a climate sensitivity through which every change in the CO2 concentration is mapped to the corresponding change in the anthropogenic warming. This part of the argument falls flat, however, for the supposed signal would have to travel at superluminal speed to reach the present from the future but this speed is outlawed under Einsteinean relativity. Thus, this signal cannot exist under relativity.

    While the propagation of a signal from the future to the present is prohibited by relativity, the propagation of information from the future to the present is not prohibited by it. Unfortunately, the propagation of information from the future to the present was prohibited through the actions of climatologists in structuring their inquiry into global warming. They did so by failing to identify the events underlying their climate models. It is the counts of observed events which are called “frequencies” that carry information to us from the future but for global warming climatology there are no such events.

  159. Alan Robertson says:

    milodonharlani says:
    April 11, 2014 at 9:14 pm
    ___________________
    Oh good. You’ve finally come clean. For a while there, it seemed like you were mimicking that late Nebraskan chap, Blancan Glosso.

  160. faboutlaws says:

    Robert Bissett, 4-11-14@5:00 pm:
    “only outlaws would have thermometers”

    Yep. Got a drawer full of thermometers. If anybody wants to confiscate them, they’re going to have to pry them from my cold, dead hands. Except the rectal one which they will have to pry from somewhere else.

  161. Janice Moore says:

    “Or perhaps Leif missed the /sarc tag … .” (J. Martin at 3:54am today)

    I think….. that Dr. Svalgaard didn’t think he needed one.
    #(:))

    Dr. Svalgaard gave Lovejoy the only type of response his work deserves.

  162. Sure, Americans feel strongly about their thermometers. But look what unrestricted use has led to…climate alarmism! Even the NTA (Nat’l Thermometer Asso.) is supporting reasonable regulation. Right now any untrained person can pocket carry in any country, any city, any building, even schools, taking random temps as they please. We need to start now by banning assault thermometers, the ones used by warmist. I could go on.

  163. Stephen Richards says:

    His conclusion: the natural-warming hypothesis may be ruled out “with confidence levels great than 99%, and most likely greater than 99.9%.”

    This is the most non-mathematical, non-scientific statement I have read in my 50 years of study, research and writing. It is the classic sh1t that has been generated through and by the IPCC and UKMetOff wordology. It is disgusting rubbish and should be retracted immediately. It won’t of course. Like Nutticelli’s 97% crap this is usefull fodder for the religious leaders such as “Dave”.

  164. Janice Moore says:

    ***************************************************************
    ***************************************************************
    MY — OH — MY!! What a SUPER performance by the WUWT heavy hitters above.

    One — after — another, you stepped up to the plate and….
    …. BAM!CRACK!BAAAAMMM!

    HOME RUN AFTER HOME RUN HOME RUN AFTER HOME RUN HOME RUN AFTER HOME RUN HOME RUN AFTER HOME RUN HOME RUN AFTER HOME RUN.

    Scientists for truth, you guys ROCK!

    #(:))

    Way — to — take — those — AGWers — to school…

    One of the best comment threads EVAH!

    *******************************************************************
    *******************************************************************

    That calls for a song!

    All you men and women scientists-for-TRUTH,
    dominators like YOU should walk with a little swagger…
    like this…
    Strut your super-brain stuff!

    yeeeeeoooowwww!!!
    #(:))

    “St. Louis Blues” — Glenn Miller orchestra

    Bottom line:

    TRUTH WINS — EVERY TIME.

  165. Thanks, Janice

    Those of us who labor in the scientific trenches need and appreciate having a cheerleader.

  166. george e. smith says:

    “””””””…….To assess the natural variability before much human interference, the new study uses “multi-proxy climate reconstructions” developed by scientists in recent years to estimate historical temperatures, as well as fluctuation-analysis techniques from nonlinear geophysics. The climate reconstructions take into account a variety of gauges found in nature, such as tree rings, ice cores, and lake sediments. And the fluctuation-analysis techniques make it possible to understand the temperature variations over wide ranges of time scales…….””””””

    OK Professor Lovejoy.

    I’ll settle for your demonstration of your assertion as applied to just the most recent 17 years and 8 months of experimentally observed data.

    I don’t need you to prove it for times scales of nano-seconds, or time scales of hundreds of millions of years.

    Just give me, the last 17 years and 8 months, and then I will buy you a pint of ale at your favorite pub.

  167. george e. smith says:

    “””””…..David L. says:

    April 11, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    “If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.”
    Ernest Rutherford

    (Baron Rutherford of Nelson. New Zealander born British Chemist who laid the groundwork for the development of nuclear physics by investigating radioactivity. Nobel Prize in 1908. 1871-1937)…..”””””

    Slight correction there David.

    Lord Rutherford, was a New Zealand Born, New Zealand Scientist. Working in England does NOT render anyone “British.”

    Lord Rutherford also said:

    “We haven’t the money, so we have to think. ” or words to that effect.

    We don’t have a lot of Nobel Prize winners, so we don’t rent them out to others.

    And for the legal disclaimer; NO ! I am NOT the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics, winner.

  168. george e. smith says:

    And for the record, Rutherford’s contribution to science was simply to show that atoms must be nuclear, rather than plum puddings; which he did by studying the wide angle scattering of alpha particles by thin gold foils. A plum pudding atom would not be able to scatter energetic alpha particles over virtually a 4pi pattern.

    And in the interest of credit where it is due, Rutherford had a “lab technician” who made the experimental observations. I don’t remember his name, but it is well documented in history, and he deserves credit for HIS excellent experimental prowess. Google experts, can easily look him up for themselves. Yes I have it in books, but first I would have to find those books. I don’t know if it is in George Gamow’s book or not.

  169. Janice Moore says:

    Why, Terry Oldberg, thank you for saying so! My pleasure. Glad to see you again.

    And

    HURRAH FOR NEW ZEALAND, Mr. Smith! #(:))
    Good for you to correct the record on behalf of your fine country. Hope all is well.

  170. Janice Moore says:

    Mr. Smith,

    Re: yours of 2:41pm today, there are several “assistants” of Rutherford mentioned in this biographical article: http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/1908/rutherford-bio.html

    Perhaps your “lab technician” is named.

    Thanks for sharing,

    Janice

  171. SIGINT EX says:

    Rope-A-Dope !

    Ah Ha !

    From Wikipedia:
    The rope-a-dope is performed by a boxer assuming a protected stance (in Ali’s classic pose, lying against the ropes, which allows much of the punch’s energy to be absorbed by the ropes’ elasticity rather than the boxer’s body) while allowing his opponent to hit him, providing only enough counter-attack to avoid the referee thinking the boxer is no longer able to continue and thus ending the match via technical knockout. The plan is to cause the opponent to “punch himself out” and make mistakes which the boxer can then exploit in a counter-attack.

    “cause the opponent to make mistakes” !

    An army’s marching orders I’d say. :-)

    Ha Ha.

  172. guido says:

    No wonder this paper void of any scientific method (no probability analysis and no experimental modeling involved, just secondary-school formulas) was published on Climate Dynamics, a strenuous supporter of CAGW. The peering was done by A.K. Schneider, the one and only peer reviewer of that journal.

  173. JP says:

    From the head lines of November 2014 New York Times

    El Nino 2014, THIS TIME IT IS PERSONAl

  174. jeremy890 says:

    Dee Deeniers are all shook up! So FUNNY!

  175. AlexS says:

    “99% certainty”

    That seems like a Communist “election” result.

  176. justsayin says:

    Glad I found these posts, I was hoping I wasn’t the only one who thought his claims were stupid.

  177. Leo Smith says:

    There seem to a rash of these. Similar one I read was ‘14000 dead in US because of Fukushima sort of things.

    The prniciple; is simple sleight of mind. Its a complex straw man exercise:

    1/. Decide what you want to ‘prove’
    2/. Find some unrelated issues, and propose them as the only alternatives.
    3/. Show that they cant possibly explain the thing you want to ‘prove’
    4/. Thereby deduce that the only issue left standing PROVES the thing you want to prove.

    ” There were seven suspects in this case m’lud: Mr Carbon D’oxide, Mr Industrial Emission, Mr Solar Variability , Ms Random variability, Mrs Volcano eruption, Young master Chlorinated Fluoro-Carbon and the pet cat Random Supernova: All had alibis, except Mr Carbon d’Oxide, so he is guilty as hell.”

    “Did you look elsewhere for another suspect”

    “No M’lud, we only interviewed the others because Mr D’Oxide claimed he was innocent’

    “And how did you pick the other potential suspects”

    “From a tattered list of the ‘usual suspects’ we keep for cases like this m’lud”.

    “So, let’s get this straight, from all the possible people in the world, at least 70 million of whom probably don’t have alibis, you decided this one man was guilty Why was that?”

    “Because everybody knows he is M’lud”.

  178. prjindigo says:

    Validity of such an argument when there ISN’T any “global warming”? None.
    “It was the CFCs, stupid!”

  179. george e. smith says:

    “””””…..Janice Moore says:

    April 12, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Mr. Smith,

    Re: yours of 2:41pm today, there are several “assistants” of Rutherford mentioned in this biographical article: http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/1908/rutherford-bio.html

    Perhaps your “lab technician” is named……”””””

    Janice, I can’t say I recognize his name in that bio; I should look it up, because his contribution was not minor. And “lab technician” ; is just a label and was in no way, a downgrading of his careful work

    The prevailing view of the “atom”, was like a plum pudding with electrons embedded in the surface like raisins (and thruppenny bits inside the pud). So all the nuclear material was supposed to be the pudding, consisting of protons plus some electrons to explain the atomic weight being larger than the atomic number.

    Classical electro-magnetic theory, would have a charged particle like an alpha (He 2-) getting deflected while charging through the pudding, but only over a small angle because of the size of the atom. So Rutherford expected to find alphas deflected only in a small angle spread.

    Instead his assistant found a wide angle spread, including alphas coming completely backwards.

    Rutherford deduced that this was only possible (under classical Maxwell electromagnetism), if the charge of the atom core (pudding) was in fact contained in a very tiny central region, (nucleus) that occupied almost no space in the atom, so the alpha could go right through and pass very close to that nucleus, and thus the 1/r^2 force would be much higher giving a much greater deflection angle.

    It was in 1938 (I think) that Chadwick discovered the neutron, and it was realized that the difference between atomic weight, and atomic number, was in the number of neutrons in the nucleus, and not a surfeit of protons plus the difference in electrons. Well a neutron behaves not too unlike an electron squished onto a proton, cancelling the charge, and increasing the mass.

    By anybody’s measure, Rutherford’s discovery of the nuclear atom, was a very big deal for physics, as big as Bohr’s atomic structure explanation of the hydrogen spectral lines was.

    That was a golden age of physics, and science in general.

  180. Edohiguma says:

    When I look at history I see a roughly 1,000 year cycle.

    Roman warming period -> Medieval warming period -> “Post-WW2″ warming period.

    Apart from that, his methodology with using data going back to 1500 is utterly flawed. We don’t have enough measured data from those years. Large parts of the world didn’t have thermometers or temperature records.

    The “study” is already wrong simply because of that.

  181. Trevor says:

    First, Lovejoy has reversed the null hypothesis:

    “Lovejoy examines historical data to assess the competing hypothesis: that warming over the past century is due to natural long-term variations in temperature.”

    That’s not a “competing” hypothesis. It’s the NULL HYPOTHESIS. You don’t get to just take the null hypothesis and put it up to the same scrutiny as what you’re trying to prove. Alarmists have been trying to convince everyone for years that the null hypothesis should be THEIR assumption, and it hasn’t flown, so this guy just ignores the fact that the scientific method doesn’t allow him to do it and does it anyway.

    Second, he says “the probability that global warming since 1880 is due to natural variability … may be ruled out ‘with confidence levels great than 99% …’. But everyone, even the alarmists, agree that any warming prior to 1950 WAS natural. So he’s “proven” the alarmists wrong too. (Actually he’s only proven that there’s something wrong with his own methods)

    Third, as far as I can tell, this guy’s analysis appears to be nothing more than an Ordinary Least Squares regression model. As such, it is highly dependent on which explanatory variables he CHOSE to include in the regression. The only explanatory variable explicitly mentioned in the story is carbon dioxide levels. I wonder if he included any “natural variation” explanatory variables, like solar activity or cloud cover. If not, then he didn’t even get the reversal of the null hypothesis right, because if you’re “trying to prove” that natural variation caused the warming, then you should have some explanatory variables that represent natural variation.

    Fourth:

    “Their two most convincing arguments – that the warming is natural in origin, and that the computer models are wrong – are either directly contradicted by this analysis, or simply do not apply to it.”

    Of course the fact that “computer models are wrong” doesn’t apply to this study, because this study doesn’t use computer models. But how do we know that the computer models wrong? Because 1) they fail to accurately simulate a plethora of natural factors, and 2) they have failed to predict anything remotely accurately so far. As far as I can tell, Lovejoy’s analysis didn’t even include natural factors, and even if it did, I’m quite sure, in this sophomoric attempt at analysis, he didn’t do a better job of quantifying cloud cover than the model-builders. Furthermore, I didn’t see any reference to what his regression analysis “predicted” for the last 17 years, but if he predicted anything at all, I guarantee you he didn’t get any closer to the real world than the models did.

  182. Mark says:

    Graeme W says:

    My concern would be as to which multi-proxy reconstructions were used, and how the author addresses the generally low resolution nature of those reconstructions.

    How these proxies are “calibrated” against both instrument data (some of which is of dubious quality) and each other?

    All too often the issue of the “noise” being much larger in magnitude than any possible “signal” is handwaved away by warmists too.

  183. Mark says:

    Col Mosby says:

    Shaun Lovejoy’s biggest blunder is his mistaken belief about what the “deniers” actually believe.
    He claims they believe that only natural forces have caused the warming. He’s creating a strawman here. I claim he won’t be able to name any serious “deniers” who actually believe that humans haven’t caused at least some of the warming.

    There are a whole set of human activies which could have an effect on climate. Including some which have little or nothing to do with “fossil carbon”.

  184. Mark says:

    Pat Frank says:

    Looking at the paper, the proxies in his Figure 5 are plotted at an accuracy of 0.1 C, implying 1-sigma = (+/-)0.05 C, for a paleo-temperature proxy that has no known physical relationship with temperature (except dO-18, which is never used in its physical sense in paleo-temperature reconstructions).

    Figure 5 also plots the surface air temperature record without any error bars.

    Figure 7 is plotted with an implicit claim of temperature accuracy of (+/-)0.02 C, and in the same figure Lovejoy claims to be able to detect a paleo-temperature natural variabilty of (+/-)0.2 C.

    Would accuracy (and precision) in the centi-Celsius range be credible even using 21st century instruments? Both the Celsius and Fahrenheit scales originated in the 18th century so are there any useful temperature records as far back as the 16th?

    The other issue with proxies is that they tend to indicate some sort of average over a period of time, Thus would completly miss any “spikes”.

  185. I went back to reread the paper … and let’s be quite frank it is appallingly written.

    However, the argument appears thus:

    CO2 is expected to rise 1C for doubling.
    This is a good proxy from manmade changes.
    We think mankind has caused the equivalent of 2.3C I think is his figure.
    If we scale up the CO2 by 2.3x the curves (vaguely) fit.
    Therefore because (he can hammer a square peg into a round hole with a sledgehammer) it must mean all the 2.3 is manmade.
    When he excludes as much natural variation as he can from climate models in what is clearly akin to the hockeystick handle approach (he may even use the same data) … he proudly announces that his results is unique.

    “Unique is the word” … appallingly bad is also another.

    If were Cinderella — and he were the ugly sister, yes he would be fitting the shoe to his foot …. but only by using a hacksaw to trim the foot to fit the shoe. (Or in this case blowing up the foot with botox).

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