The Climate Sensitivity Dutch Auction

A Dutch auction 1957 in Germany to sell fruits. Photo: Unterberg, Rolf, Creative Commons license

Fitting the data to the theory

Story submitted by Eric Worrall

A Dutch Action is the reverse of a standard auction – instead of the price starting low, with each bid driving the price up, a Dutch Auction inverts this process – the price starts high, and slowly drops until a bid is placed. The winner of the Dutch auction is the first person to make a bid.

Something very similar is happening right now in the world of mainstream climate science, as scientists struggle to fit a growing body of adverse data to their increasingly shaky theories of imminent catastrophic global warming, by slowly ratcheting down their estimates of climate sensitivity, while doing all in their power to avoid conceding that skeptics have been right all along.

The latest bid in the climate Dutch Auction comes from a paper published in Nature. According to authors Markus Huber & Reto Knutti, if you dial down transient climate response to 1.8c / doubling of CO2, and conceded around 0.15c to a combination of bad luck (lack of El Nino events) and the drop in solar activity, and squint really hard, you can just about fit the data to the models.

According to the abstract;

http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2228.html

“Accounting for these adjusted trends we show that a climate model of reduced complexity with a transient climate response of about 1.8 °C is consistent with the temperature record of the past 15 years, as is the ensemble mean of the models in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5).”

Of course, the abstract ends with the customary genuflection to climate alarmism.

“We conclude that there is little evidence for a systematic overestimation of the temperature response to increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations in the CMIP5 ensemble.”

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

Added by Anthony: Here is a grouping of bids, er, transient climate sensitivity values with Huber and Knutti added as a vertical line in bright green:

transient_climate_response

Graphic from a discussion at Climate Dialogue

As you can see, the values have lowered since the IPCC AR4 report.

 

 

 

43 thoughts on “The Climate Sensitivity Dutch Auction

  1. So, a Dutch Auction is essentially a market process to identify and establish a consensus. Whereas an economic market seeks to reconcile supply and demand, a consensus market seeks to reconcile desires and achievement. It is a perfect metaphor for the consensus of opinion construct which is a hallmark of politics and, unfortunately, science.

    Pattern matching or “fitting data to theory” is a notable aspect of politicized science. Scientists have grown increasingly — or perhaps they never changed — predisposed to use induction in order to overcome strict scientific scrutiny. While it may provide guidance for scientific advancement, it has also artificially limited their rational perspective. The reasons are many, but typically include a discomfort to acknowledge what is known, unknown, and impossible to know; leverage over competing interests; and justification for authoritarian redistribution of resources.

  2. Hmm… regarding climate sensitivity… can I still claim the NO CAGW prize? I can make a rational argument that the climate sensitivity to CO2 is well less than 2C.

    Using rational logic, I intend to show that the CAGW supporters are stuck between a rock and a hard place. First the data: Warming 1970-2000 0.4C, or 0.13C per decade. Warming 2000-2014 0.0C (therefore 0.0C per decade). 2nd, what the CAGW side needs at an absolute minimum to claim we have a potential catastrophe in the making: 2C temperature rise per century, or 0.2C temperature rise per decade on average. The climate scientists have been claiming that we should expect a minimum of 2C warming this century under BAU scenarios, and have been claiming that a 4 or 6C temperature rise is possible.

    Using the recent Atlantic Ocean ate the warming paper, the current hiatus in warming is due to the heat going into the Atlantic ocean as the Atlantic ocean is currently in the 30 year cooling phase of it’s ~60 year warming/cooling cycle. Fine let us give them that. Now lets show this mathematically so it is very easy to grasp.

    1970-2000:
    CO2warming + Ocean warming = 0.4C increase in temp (warming phase of ocean)

    2000-2014 :
    CO2 warming + Ocean cooling = 0.0C increase in temp (cooling phase of ocean)

    Rearranging, we have CO2 warming = Ocean cooling, therefore CO2 warming during 1970-2000 = 0.2C. This is over a time frame of 30 years, which results in a value of 0.067 C per decade, or 0.67C per century. Time to call off the Progressive agenda.

    Vs how the CAGW side likes to analyze the data because they absolutely CANNOT have warming less than 0.2C per decade for long term warming.

    1970-2000:
    CO2warming = 0.4C increase in temp (warming phase of ocean)

    2000-2014 :
    CO2 warming + Ocean cooling = 0.0C increase in temp (cooling phase of ocean)

    2030-2060:
    CO2warming + heat stored in ocean during cooling phase = 0.8C

    Even then, this results in only 1.2C warming over 90 yrs. Thus based on data alone,
    there is NO CAGW.

  3. I also notice the width of those bars doesn’t seem to have shrunk much either.

    Aren’t we gaining any understanding as we go on guessing?

  4. Last I heard, even the IPCC was admitting that up till 2C, warming was going to be completely beneficial.
    Does anyone believe that we are going to get up to, much less significantly above 800ppm?

  5. The ordinate of the graphic is mislabelled. As the unit of measure is degrees Celsius to the minus 1 power, the associated quantity must be probability density rather than probability.

  6. “M Courtney says:
    August 22, 2014 at 11:35 am
    I also notice the width of those bars doesn’t seem to have shrunk much either.

    Aren’t we gaining any understanding as we go on guessing?

    ######################

    two fundamental uncertainities.

    Delta T
    Delta W

    that is change in temperature and change in forcing.

    forcing has the widest uncertainties.

  7. It wanes. At one point or another, no matter the field, we eventually go through these tsunamis of random fluff papers published/presented with the sole aim of justifying the continuance of subsidies. I call them “grant noise”.

  8. ”slowly ratcheting down their estimates of climate sensitivity, while doing all in their power to avoid conceding that skeptics have been right all along”

    Once they have our image firmly implanted as flat earther types rejecting the very existence of the greenhouse effect and/or not “believing” in any anthropogenic global temperature influence among the general populace and academia then they can safely admit TCR is about 1 °C and ECS is about 0.5 °C (Yes, feedbacks are negative, IMO) without having to admit we were right in the academic, political, & MSM worlds, only here in the blogosphere will they have to concede to the truth of the matter.

  9. Steven Mosher says at August 22, 2014 at 11:49 am

    two fundamental uncertainties.
    Delta T
    Delta W
    that is change in temperature and change in forcing.
    forcing has the widest uncertainties.

    So are we just getting the temperature right because we are benchmarking closer – predicting shorter ahead?
    And are we still know closer to having any understanding of what drives Temperature?

    We ought to be reducing the uncertainty about the other factors (other forcing) as we learn more. But we don’t seem to be learning more. That’s how it looks to me.

  10. n.n. says:
    “So, a Dutch Auction is essentially a market process to identify and establish a consensus. ”

    Not at all. A Dutch Auction trades off some of the profit of a conventional auction for time. In a Dutch Auction there is only ever one bid, so it goes fairly quickly. The price agreed to would, in theory, be the same as the price in a sealed bid auction, without the necessity of reviewing the sealed bids. In reality, some bidders might read the body language of their competitors and thus bid higher than they otherwise would, or wait and bid lower.

    It’s still about getting the most money.

  11. FTA:

    “…while doing all in their power to avoid conceding that skeptics have been right all along.”

    Otherwise known as “bargaining”. Depression, and then acceptance, to follow.

    Brute says:
    August 22, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    ‘I call them “grant noise”.’

    I am going to expropriate that.

  12. It is simply case that no one has any idea.
    There is a bit of disagreement between two well known scientists on the Climat etc blog.
    I couldn’t resist temptation to point to the futility of their viewpoints:

    A polite note to
    Dr. Curry
    and
    Dr. Schmidt
    Many articles are written by experts and those with less expertise on the subject of the AMO.
    Relationship between the North Atlantic SST and the Reykjavik atmospheric pressure (the north component of the NAO, leading the AMO by number of years) SST vs Atmospheric pressure
    is currently far from being understood, whereby the origins of the atmospheric pressure variability is the important factor here.
    Without such understanding, the AGW/Natural variability attribution cannot be made with any degree of confidence.

  13. The very existence of the “CMIP5 ensemble” show clearly that modelers have no clue about error bounds of their model runs. So they run a model 1000 times, hoping that random errors will cancel out – a reasonable assumption. But how about a systematic errors?

    For example, CAM5 model by NCAR assumes that a latent heat of vaporization of water is independent of temperature. This alone leads to an overestimation of energy transfer by evaporation from tropical seas by 3%. For a perspective, at the Earth surface temperature about 300 degrees Kelvin, a 3% error is 9 degrees K (16 degrees F).

  14. Jimmy Haigh. August 22, 2014 at 11:15 am
    I’ve always said that it’s probably 1.0.

    Steven Mosher August 22, 2014 at 11:49 am
    two fundamental uncertainities.
    Delta T
    Delta W
    that is change in temperature and change in forcing.
    forcing has the widest uncertainties.

    Well how about ZERO (or thereabouts). Willis pointed out a long time ago that an average few minutes difference in the start of daily activity on the equator will counteract any ‘internal forcing’ change. He was right then and he is right now.

    We don’t live on a theoretical spherical black body or have an ideal atmosphere of N2 and CO2. We have H2O – a lot of it.

  15. Minor correction

    I noted “A Dutch Action is the reverse of a standard auction” early in the article. It should be “A Dutch Auction”.

    Ian M

  16. I already have my own dice which I can role to generate some random numbers , does that mean I can easily can a Phd in climate ‘science’ , or do I need to throw darts at a dart board while wearing a blindfold too?

  17. I like Otto et al.

    Take a WAG that spreads outside of the obligatory 3:1 uncertainty, in any climate scenario, and you’re good to go.

    Nice going Otto

  18. Two different people (s) have sent me unsolicited letters, affirming their earnest desire to become the new owners, of my house. My house has not been offered for sale.

    Funny thing is that neither of those letters contained a price the wanted (fervently) to pay for my house. They must be new at buying and selling. Usually, a buyer states what they are willing to pay, or a seller states what they want to get for their merchandise. I’m not a seller, so they evidently aren’t buyers, despite their enthusiastic letters.

  19. I first found out about “Dutch Auctions” from reading about William Bligh purchasing a vessel at a “Dutch Auction” in Timor. I see you can get Bligh’s account at “Project Gutenberg” . I like to refer to the book as,
    “The Mutiny on The Bounty”, by Captain Bligh.

    http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/20337

  20. WTF?

    This is the same paper that was announced by ETH press release a couple days ago, stating:

    In a study published in the latest issue of the journal Nature Geoscience, the researchers conclude that two important factors are equally responsible for the hiatus.

    They then went on to list three factors responsible for the ‘hiatus’ (El Nino, Solar Cycles, Bad arctic temp data) none of which was a reduced estimate of climate sensitivity as presented here.

    That press release also summarized the paper with this zinger:

    If the model data is corrected downwards, as suggested by the ETH researchers, and the measurement data is corrected upwards, as suggested by the British and Canadian researchers, then the model and actual observations are very similar.

    These descriptions of the paper do comport.

    Also note this bit:

    “Accounting for these adjusted trends we show that a climate model of reduced complexity with a transient climate response of about 1.8 °C is consistent with the temperature record of the past 15 years, as is the ensemble mean of the models in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5).”

    “Is consistent with” is weasel talk. “Is consistent with” means it is sitting right on the ragged edge of being ruled out. If, after ad hoc fiddling with the model results, they are just “consistent with” the ad hoc fiddled temp data at a TCS of 1.8, then the actual TCS is “extremely likely” a lot lower.

    And that would put ECS likely to come in under 2, meaning that we are going to need to work hard to increase ‘global warming’ by a bit if we want to get the full suite of beneficial effects that IPCC promised us for warming up to 2C.

  21. Here is my numbers over the last 50 million years.

    I say it is a random number and something else, like Earth’s Albedo, is the main determining factor.

  22. the CAGW reporting gets more bizarre by the day. from Pennsylvania:

    22 Aug: LancasterOnline: David O’Connor: Winter 2014-15 to have more snow than normal, but less than last year … and less cold air
    The factors are lining up to bring us as much as a foot of snow above normal, although it’s not expected to be close to last winter’s 60-plus inches…
    The average winter brings us 26 inches of snow, and for now the meteorologist would expect 2014-15 to have anywhere from 26 to 38 or 39 inches.
    (Millersville University meteorologist Eric Horst) “That’s a decent winter in terms of snow, nothing lame like the 11 of two winters ago. But I think it will be very surprising to surpass the 60 of last winter.”…
    But the way things look now, the much-discussed Pacific Ocean weather phenomenon known as “El Nino” indicates Lancaster County could have a little more snow than usual.
    “When you’re going from neutral into the warm phase, that tends to be a winter (here) with a Southern storm track, and with cold air, that increases the chance of now,” Horst said.
    As for what temperatures to expect, the MU meteorologist noted, “Last winter was the coldest winter in 20 years, so it’s very, very unlikely we’re going to have a repeat of that.”…
    Both meteorologists agree the so-called “polar vortex,” while it was responsible for some of last winter’s bitter cold, is being overused as a term and is getting blamed unfairly for the current cooler-than-normal summer.
    Said Horst, “Unfortunately, people this summer are using the ‘polar vortex’ as the excuse for some of these cool spells that we’ve had, and that’s completely wrong.
    “It’s meteorologically impossible for a polar vortex to drop down here in the summer. That has never happened.”…
    Horst cautioned that his winter forecast is not chiseled on a stone tablet: “This is just a first look at the winter outlook. You shouldn’t be placing bets on this or anything.”

    http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/winter—to-have-more-snow-than-normal-but/article_4cf8cd22-2a2e-11e4-8047-0017a43b2370.html

  23. Well how about ZERO (or thereabouts). Willis pointed out a long time ago that an average few minutes difference in the start of daily activity on the equator will counteract any ‘internal forcing’ change. He was right then and he is right now.

    cant be zero.

    We don’t live on a theoretical spherical black body or have an ideal atmosphere of N2 and CO2. We have H2O – a lot of it.

    beside the point

  24. Steven Mosher says:

    cant be zero.

    Can be zero. Might be negative. Extremely likely™ to be usefully small in magnitude, whatever it is.

    beside the point

    Nope.

  25. @JJ The way the atmosphere works automatically reduces the warming effect of all well mixed GHGs to zero. The IPCC’s juvenile ‘enhanced GHE physics’ is not accepted by any professional scientist or engineer taught standard physics. Unfortunately, Carl Sagan poisoned the well of atmospheric science 49 years ago and his misplaced ideas have led to the present science failure.

    In time the truth will out but remember well the comment by Max Planck: ‘Science advances one funeral at a time.’. Sagan departed us a long time ago but his two major mistakes in analysing the atmosphere of Venus created the careers of others.

  26. MarkW says:
    August 22, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Last I heard, even the IPCC was admitting that up till 2C, warming was going to be completely beneficial.
    Does anyone believe that we are going to get up to, much less significantly above 800ppm?

    Estimations by the IPCC for co2 ppm is partly based on population growth.

    IPCC – Emissions Scenarios
    “Global population reaches nine billion by 2050 and declines to about seven billion by 2100.”

    The UN has ratcheted the number up to 10 billion people. Others strongly disagree – see here and here. There is currently a disturbing decline in the world’s fertility rate since the 1960s. World Bank Data shows 2.6 in 2004 to 2.5 in 2012. I’ll go with those who strongly disagree.

  27. If you want get a paper published on climate change just tyoe this into your wordprocessor.

    ‘Our observations show that the climate models are correct.’

    Your paper will be published as soon as you press Send

  28. ***
    Bill Illis says:
    August 22, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Here is my numbers over the last 50 million years.
    ***

    That’s interesting. Maybe it’s a data issue, but looks like the freezing of Antarctica ~25 mya screwed up any sensitivity-relation to CO2. Like you said, maybe albedo.

  29. That seemingly disconnected post of mine just above, is from the “Who needs numbers ?” genre.

    As in if you don’t give a number (range) for your climate sensitivity, nobody will notice. Any number ,is consistent with model predictions ; excuse me, that’s projections, leading in any case ,to thermal runaway.

  30. It was noted recently that the GCMs in the ensemble are generally versions of each other, spun off to generate a master’s thesis or some such. Basically a zoo of WAGs about parameters whose relevance is presumed, never proven.

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