The pause that cools: No more warming until 2015?

You may recall the previous post where Basil Copeland and I looked at correlations between HadCRUT global temperature anomaly and sunspot numbers. This is similar, but looks at the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and uses the same Hodrick-Prescott (HPT) filter as before on the HadCRUT global temperature anomaly data and the PDO Index.

click for a larger image –

NOTE: the purple line is a monthly warming rate, to get decadal values, multiply by 120

This graphic provides some context to what may be happening with the PDO. In the upper panel we’ve plotted the PDO (in red), a smoothed PDO (in light blue), and our analysis of the bidecadal variation in warming rates.

From the PDO data itself, it is just too soon to be able to tell whether the current cool phase is just one of the shorter cycles, or whether it is the beginning of a longer term cycle like we saw back in the 1950’s and 1960’s. It is tempting, when looking at the warming rate cycles, to believe that we’ve just come out of a 60-66 year “Kerr” climate cycle, and are on the cusp of a cool phase like we see for the 1950’s and 1960’s.

But if you look closely at the end of the purple curve for our warming rate cycle, it seems to be about ready to turn back up. Now we do not want to put too much stock in the end values of a series that has been smoothed with HP filtering. So it could still be on a downward trend.

Then, to make it all the more interesting, we have solar cycle 23 lingering on. Considering that also, confidence is higher that we will continue to see a relative respite in the rate of warming and that we’re not likely to see our warming rate cycle jump back to where it was during solar cycles 22-23. But whether we see a full blown interlude between two strong warming trends, like we saw during the 1950’s and 1960’s, remains to be seen.

In other words, as we saw with Easterbrook’s analysis, we can be reasonably confident in projecting at least no further warming for a while. For that to happen, the purple warming rate curve must not only turn back upwards, it must rise into the region of positive values, and continue to rise for several years. If solar cycle 24 turns out to be a weak solar cycle, and there are historical precedents for cycle length suggesting it is likely to be weak, that probably isn’t happening.

I’ll have more on solar cycles 23 and 24 coming up in the next day or so.

So, in summary; probably no net warming for awhile, and maybe a period of extended cooling as in the mid 20th century. It all depends on whether this current PDO shift is a short term or longer term event such as we saw in the mid 20th century.

This is inline with the article in today’s UK Telegraph, saying:

“Global warming will stop until at least 2015 because of natural variations in the climate, scientists have said. Researchers studying long-term changes in sea temperatures said they now expect a “lull” for up to a decade while natural variations in climate cancel out the increases caused by man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

The average temperature of the sea around Europe and North America is expected to cool slightly over the decade while the tropical Pacific remains unchanged. This would mean that the 0.3°C global average temperature rise which has been predicted for the next decade by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change may not happen, according to the paper published in the scientific journal Nature.”

There’s a similar article in Yahoo News.

The paper by Keenlyside et al entitled “Advancing decadal-scale climate prediction in the North Atlantic sector” from the Nature website

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Robert Wood
April 30, 2008 4:31 pm

The AGW is being masked by natural occurances.
I can already see Hansen’s press conference.

Graham H
April 30, 2008 4:45 pm

The citation states:
“Note: the purple line is a monthly warming rate, to get decadal values, multiply by 144”
Do you mean “multiply by 120”?
REPLY: Fixed thanks

April 30, 2008 4:53 pm

Now a German group are predicting a flip of the NAO. That would hurt.

Jet Stream
April 30, 2008 5:05 pm

Now a German group are predicting a flip of the NAO. That would hurt.
Hi, do you have a link ?

Evan Jones
April 30, 2008 5:15 pm

Am I reading the chart right? Is the global temperature effect in tenths of degrees Celsius or hundredths as on the chart?
I’ll have more on solar cycles 23 and 24 coming up in the next day or so.
Never fear. I’ll provide more lyrics.
REPLY: hundreths

pablo an ex pat
April 30, 2008 5:32 pm

Live link to Hansen Press Conference:
“Now as we all know….”
Aside to Noises Off “err sorry Al but the cover is blown, keep quiet and I’ll do what I can”
“…the Planet hasn’t warmed one bit since 1998. And I know that we claimed it at the time it happened then because of CO2 but that was because we needed a big win, but in the end as you all now now that was an El Nino year, which is a Natural Variation, is that funny or what ?”
“Well after ten straight years of nada, guess what ? Now don’t laugh now, I’m serious, yes you guessed it, we have some more Natural Variation only this time, and this is the funny part, really it is, it’s pointing the other way”
” Now some of you might say, why is Natural Variation suddenly so important ?
“And that’s why I can stand here today resplendent in my suit of transparent clothes and tell you unequivocally that this Natural Variation masks a significant problem”
“The problem is that my research funding is likely to dry up. But there’s no reason to worry about that because in seven years the warming will come back. Yes it will folks, believe me, I pinky swear that it will”
“And luckily when it does my friend Al has an answer for it, so if you could be so kind as to give $x Billion to Al and each of his friends, he can make it go away, really he can, I know that because I have been behind the curtain and seen him twiddling his controls”
“Thank you for your attention, and now I’ll take questions about the color of my transparent suit”

Chuck L
April 30, 2008 5:34 pm

Colder water will increase carbon dioxide absorption by the ocean. An additional feedback which may accelerate global cooling.

April 30, 2008 5:40 pm

A naive question perhaps, but what does the PDO actually measure? If it is a temperature index, then a correlation with global temperature is not surprising (the Pacific is very very large) and tells us little.
REPLY: See more here:

Jim Arndt
April 30, 2008 5:52 pm

The big difference this time is that we might be going into a grant minimum for the sun and that would not be good. On the other hand I would like to see the faces of the greenie crowd when 2015 rolls around we are 2C cooler.
Anthony, I just want to respond about rice, my wife and I eat a lot of rice. We buy it in 50 pound bags. 3 months ago it was about $15.00 a bag, now it is almost $35.00. This is not about bio-fuel it is about climate and rice crops in the US are getting hit hard, and this is only the beginning.

Frank Ravizza
April 30, 2008 5:59 pm

So climate can cool naturally, um excuse me “lull”, but it can not warm naturally. Interesting.

Robert S
April 30, 2008 6:02 pm
Is this the paper you were looking for?
REPLY: That looks like it, unfortunately, it’s behind a green wall ($) of Nature, so we can’t read the entire paper, only the abstract. Thank you!

Robert S
April 30, 2008 6:06 pm
The IPCC predicted no warming over the next 20 years?

April 30, 2008 6:09 pm

Of course once again its only a model and published in Nature so even the AGW crowd is listening. What will be the story in 2015 if it cools even more (or just flatlines?) and so on and on and on… LOL. At least IPCC, Governments will not headlong into crazy ideas that are already beginning to cost billions (biofuels) and starve millions and may in fact affect climate through altered land use (re Pielke and company only version of Global warming that is credible)

Neil Fisher
April 30, 2008 6:17 pm

More weather stats from the SH.
In Eastern Australia:
In NSW, coldest was Charlotte’s Pass with a minimum of -10C – not a record but close.
Both Braidwood (NSW south coast) and Tenterfield (North) had minimums of -5C, previous records were -3C at both.
Armidale -3C – previous record -0.3C, while Armidale Airport reached -6C, (grass at -9C)
Glen Innes was at -6C and fell below 0C at 8PM.
Richmond in Sydney’s outer west re-broke the record low set on Tuesday with 2.1C
In Queensland, Roma fell to -0.2, previous record +0.5, while St George fell to +1.1C, previous record +3.3, and Gympie fell to +3.8C, previous record +4.8C.
It’s getting COLD down here! When you add wind chill, it makes for an unpleasant autumn.

Jet Stream
April 30, 2008 6:24 pm

After read all commentaries in the last post’s about the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, my question is: Can we really look to this index as a pattern ? With only 2 irregular occurrences in one hundred years and no records before 1900 ?

April 30, 2008 6:28 pm

Your postings are being appreciaed on the following forum, this guy is really up on putting your information into the political context and a very good read. It is nice to see serious blogs working off each other to move the arguments forward against the GW hysteria in the media

April 30, 2008 6:31 pm

Anthony: With the interrelationship between ENSO and the PDO, this looks like an appropriate time for me to raise the cumulative effect of NINO3.4 data and its correlation to global temperature anomaly.

April 30, 2008 6:35 pm

Your postings are being appreciated and put into political contexts on other forums, in particular
I hope you agree a really good read and very good to see serious blogs working off each other to combat junk science and junk politics

April 30, 2008 7:26 pm

Here is a set of questions that should be put to the California OES, FEMA, and every other similar agency world wide:
1) What is your contingency plan for a 10 year cold period?
2) What is your contingency plan for another Maunder Minimum like event?
3) What is your contingency plan for the end of the interglacial?

Harold Morris
April 30, 2008 7:57 pm

UN begins CYA on coming cooling-
Sorry- posted in wrong thread earlier.

Evan Jones
April 30, 2008 8:26 pm

REPLY: hundreths
Oh, right. Monthly warming RATE. That makes all the difference! (I thought at first it was an absolute measure. My bad.)

April 30, 2008 8:41 pm

The significance of any correlation between temperature and the PDO would not be in the correlation itself, but in the fact that the PDO is perceived as having defined cycles, and can switch from a warm phase to a cool phase. If the PDO can do that, then why not temperature itself. Or better, if the recent warm phase of the PDO was just a phase, then could the recent warming have been just part of a phase, and not the evidence of alarming “global warming” that the alarmists are always saying?
Jet stream,
Andrew left out, probably because it was overly technical, a spectrum analysis I did of the PDO. It shows that the long phases are “statistically significant,” but not necessarily “harmonic,” meaning that we do have to be cautious about projecting them into the future. I’ve started looking into the Aleutian Low, which is part of the overall climatological environment of the PDO, and it seems to show much better defined cycles. I don’t have the data in front of me, but I think the cycles are roughly 5, 10, and 20 years in length. The index shows a weakened Aleutian Low in 2007 (it is an annual index). The notion that the PDO has long cycles is based on a variety of factors, besides just the PDO index itself.

George M
April 30, 2008 8:42 pm

I am entertained by the various Hansen speculations by Pablo and others. But, just remember, all he has to do is say: “See, I was right the first time.” and refer back to his coming ice age predictions of the 60s. Apparently from the same model(s), just tuned differently. Must need more funding to sort it all out.
BTW, does anyone else find it odd that Hansen is at NASA Space Sciences, and there is an entirely separate NASA agency responsible for studying and reporting terrestrial weather and climate?

Evan Jones
April 30, 2008 8:45 pm

“Today I adjusted all the family business. PDO. Gone. AMO. Gone. PSI. Gone. AO. Gone. UHI. Gone. SHAP. Gone. FILENET. Gone. Now you’re gonna have to answer for TOBS.”
“It wasn’t me, I swear. Don’t do this, Jim!”
“Atmoz, you’re my student and I love you. But don’t tell me you never heard of Lampasas station. Because that would insult my intelligence. And that makes me very angry . . .”

Evan Jones
April 30, 2008 8:49 pm

its only a model
Perhaps we shall not go there. It is a silly place.

Evan Jones
April 30, 2008 9:01 pm

The IPCC predicted no warming over the next 20 years?
The tipping point of no return is 2008. (The proof will be no warming.)

Jeff C
April 30, 2008 9:05 pm

I am amazed at the sudden stampede of the AGW crowd to embrace the PDO affects global temperatures theory. Over the last few days has been like the breaking of a logjam. Not only the study and articles referenced above, but a sudden willingness of formerly belligerent pro-AGW blog commenters and authors to acknowledge what seemed obvious. The PDO Index and the global temp profile correlate.. It is almost as if the NASA announcement about the PDO phase flip has removed the scales from their eyes.
But that can’t be, can it? It seems pretty clear that as long as the PDO was positive, the game plan was to deny any correlation with the hope their agenda would be firmy in place before the inevitable flip. Gaia didn’t cooperate so they are being forced to acknowledge “natural variation” in order to not be completely discredited.
Folks like Joe D’Aleo and others must feel pretty good right now as it seems clear the pro-AGW crowd knew he was right long ago and are finally being forced to admit it.

Evan Jones
April 30, 2008 9:59 pm

What is amazing is how gobsmacked they all seem to be. We ignorant flat-earthers have been blathering on for nigh-on a year about how the PDO was cruising for a bruising (being, what, 31 years into a 30-year cycle?) and how there had to be a downturn.
Yet all these pro-AGW types are SO taken aback, even folks like Trenbreth, who, one would think, would have known better.
Yes, Joe D’Aleo will be having his yuks. And so he should.
But let’s give a shout-out to our most excellent sea-witch, good old “Axe” Mörner! He was yelling bloody murder over the IPCC sea level and ocean current issues since around 2001, but no one would listen to him. (Remember the “Freedom Tree”!)

Brian D
April 30, 2008 10:17 pm

Here’s a useful source to keep up on the ENSO status. It’s in PDF format and is updated weekly. Bookmark it for future reference.(if you don’t already have it)

May 1, 2008 12:21 am

Jeff C, you are right. The likes of Hansen and the rest of the AGW crowd genuinely believed CO2 driven AGW was real and inevitable and all that had to do was wait and the data would prove them unequivocably right. They are now waking up to the fact the data aint going to cooperate any time soon.
I don’t think there is any general realization by these people that CO2 isn’t the dominant climate driver claimed. It’s more that it isn’t the slam-dunk they thought it would be.
Anyway, watch the attempts to shift attention away from the rapidly increasing SH sea ice. If it continues to increase through 2008 (and I expect it will) it will become the elephant in the room that no one can ignore and will trample AGW to death.

May 1, 2008 12:37 am

Role of the Sun, etc
Visitors to this web log might find the talk I gave on Wednesday April 16 to the EGU Assembly in Vienna relevant.
The Abstract of the presentation is here
and the program here
Attached is the set of ppt slides I used.
As I only had 15 minutes to talk, I limited my presentation to slides 8 to 11 inclusive and 14 to 20 inclusive. I went through slides 8 to 11 rather quickly and concentrated on the interaction effects in slides 14 to 19.
I presented the framework for understanding the role of the Sun in the Earth’s climate dynamics in this very simple way:
in the language of experimental design, the Sun is the independent variable, the Earth is the dependent variable.
More specifically, I explained that there are three classes of solar variables, namely 1. gravitational; 2. what I class together as ‘heliospheric topology, the Sun’s electromagnetic field and material output’; and 3. irradiance. I quickly outlined all the classes of dependent (ie climate dynamic variables) that I listed in the Abstract + the other factors I mentioned there. I also mentioned that this presentation is best understood as a footnote to the science of Rhodes W Fairbridge and referred people to the Wikipedia entry about him.
My argument is that the variables in the class ‘heliospheric topology, the Sun’s electromagnetic field and material output’ have the greatest climate change effects, followed by the gravitational ones, followed by the irradiance ones, but that the amplification effects of the interaction between the solar variables in the way they affect climate vbariables, dominate.
Slides 14 to 19 contain some examples of interaction effects, but there are many more.
I spent about 90 seconds on slide 20 which summarises the central argument about time series analysis, namely that
The Sun-Earth system is a complex, electrodynamically and gravitationally coupled system dominated by nonlinear interactions and nonstationary processes.
The Sun, as a complex dynamic system, generates a wide range of complex perturbations affecting the climate system as a complex non-linear, non-stationary system.
I am now preparing a paper for a referred scientific journal based on the slides. I should point out that the statements in the slides are not carefully argued, they are merely assertions. But they are all anchored to the scientific literature. Of course, all this means is that they stand until falsified by subsequent work.
Amongst other things, I hope this presentation, and the subsequent published paper, goes some way to addressing the key theme that to understand the role of the Sun in our climate dynamics, you need to look at the totality of solar phenomena.
I emphasise in the attached that when you do so, the interaction effects between the various solar variables (the independent variables in the language of experimental design) dominate.
Here is the power point set of slides as a pdf
The pdf is a large file (6.6mb) so takes a little while to download – you may have a blank browser window that appears as if nothing much is happening while the file downloads, before it displays.
Please keep in mind that it is a power point presentation, so nothing is carefully argued and linked to the published papers that are the primary sources. I’ve included a bibliography, but it is very incomplete. For example, I have not cited the papers of the two distinguished Japanese meteorologists Kunihiko Kodera and Yuhji Kuroda who have published extensively about the role of the Sun in regulating to some extent the major atmospheric/oceanic ossicilations such as NAM, QBO, ENSO.
I get the sense that the the immensely complex climate system is finely balanced. Solar effects may require the conjunction of several factors. If some are absent or not at the requiste level, nothing much might happen. Different processes seem to function around solar max and solar min. There are other proceeses apart from radiant heating at work. For example, chemical and dynamic. In this regard, the two Japansese scientists have developed the elements of a dynamic theory featuring the planetary waves. As I read all of the work summarised in my ppt slides, it is work-in-progress, could not be regarded as settled (is science ever settled?) and as good as the last published paper that reported the finding.
Richard Mackey

May 1, 2008 1:41 am

Anthony – just to point out that the cooling phase from 1943 through the 1960s kicks off with a 10Be anomaly indicating low solar and or terrestrial magnetic activity.
With the Sun quiet now I wonder if Earth is currently exposed to higher cosmic ray flux?
I can’t get 2008 data on cosmic ray activity to download from Climax. The 2007 data don’t appear to show anything unusual – but I’m not much of an expert here.
It would be interesting to know what is going on in that department. I am not wedded to Svensmark’s cosmic cloud theory but past correlation between solar / terrestrial magnetism (d14C) and temperature variations appears convincing which suggests to me there is likely some link.
If you send me an email I’ll send you some charts – but I’m away for 5 days?

May 1, 2008 1:44 am

Anthony: I didn’t notice anyone answering your question about a link to the letter in “Nature”. Roger Pielke Jr has it attached to his unfavorable opinion on climate models:
The Nature link:
Based on the blurb it appears to deal primarily with the AMO and ENSO,

May 1, 2008 2:02 am

And here’s a link to the Supplementary info on the Nature paper:

Matt Lague
May 1, 2008 2:44 am

Just one slightly bemusing thought – many of the current AGW crowd may not live long enough to see any resumption of warming, depending on the length of this cycle! Sorry if that’s a bit morbid, but sobering nonetheless. Will Al still be trying to trad carbon with a fur coat on? On a rocking chair perhaps? Matty

Pierre Gosselin
May 1, 2008 3:17 am

The Germans are by no means reversing their views. But they are beginning to cover their Hinterns.
It is indeed highly amusing to watch them scramble and modify what they have been claiming up to now as “settled science”.
Mojib Latif, a professor at the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences in Germany is by no means objective. I’ve heard enough of his interviews on radio, etc. He’s right up there, right at home, with the science-propogandists of Schellnhuber and Ramstorf, obstinately, arrogantly claiming everything is known and the science is settled.
The Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg has also been guilty (in my view) of practising the same type of pig-headed, obstinate, politically correct science. Now they risk making these formerly highly respectable and esteemed institutes look like the laughing stocks of science.
Some people simply refuse to learn the lessons of the past.

Pierre Gosselin
May 1, 2008 4:01 am

You can read the English version of the Leibnitz Institute’s press release here:
In this release they admit much what we’ve been trying to tell them for years:
1. The models are inadequate
2. They’ve lacked data
3. The models have not taken oceans enough into account
4. Other factors (still not taken into account) have substantial effects on climate.
LOL! Read at the end how Prof. Latif installs a giant garage-sized back door:
“Of course, always with the assumption that no other unforeseen effects such as volcanic eruptions occur, which can have a substantial effect on our climate as well”. LOL!

Rob R
May 1, 2008 4:09 am

I notice on “Umbrella Blog” in a recent posting by John Page that he refers to the AGW crowd as “Theologically Correct” rather than Politically or Scientifically correct. I think that is quite apt. The theology may need to be expanded a bit in light of global weather patterns of late.
Although some of the AGWers are now beginning to better recognise the significance of natural cycles like the PDO I suspect it will be some time before they begin any serious rexamination of the shortcommings of the standard Greenhouse Gas theory. With luck a few of the more prominent members of the Team may at least cool the rhetoric for a while.
I suspect that we could be in for a substantial long term increase in basic energy and food prices If this eventuates it will see the public begin to ask some very hard questions of the Politicians (votes really do count) who in turn may apply the blow torch to some elements of the AGW crowd, the eco-extremeists and the IPCC. Nobody will want to be seen to be responsible. So I predict we will also see a few notables ducking for cover.
Rob R

Pierre Gosselin
May 1, 2008 5:37 am
Pierre Gosselin
May 1, 2008 5:39 am
pablo an ex pat
May 1, 2008 6:01 am

The BBC have published an article on line, it is of course well sanitized. It wil be interesting to see how many revisions this one goes through as they receive pressure from the zealots.

May 1, 2008 6:32 am

I’ve added the PDO Index to if anyone wants to play with it… For example, here’s a 12-month running mean and a Fourier low-pass to show the overall signal:
and here’s a comparison with HADCRUT3 global temperature:
finally, here’s a similar idea to Anthony’s graph above, with differentation of the temperature signal:
… but note that Fourier is very sensitive to edge effects, especially when differentiated – the sudden drop at the end is not real, it’s an artefact of the Fourier process (which is expecting a repeating signal) trying to make the opposite ends join up.
REPLY: Thanks Paul, if you haven’t visited this site, give it a try. Online interactive climate analysis an totally free. Paul has done a wonderful job here.

May 1, 2008 6:50 am

When asked the question “What has to happen to discredit AGW predictions”, I’ve seen Gavin Schmidt, on Realclimate, type the words “at least 1 decade of non or negative temperature trend.”
What rationalization will he and the rest of his lackeys come up with in 2018 when it’s been 20 years without eclipsing the 1998 record?

May 1, 2008 6:53 am

Dear Ms. Marohasy,
I deeply regret to observe that, despite your reporting of the “global cooling to 2015” story, you have failed to make any mention in your blog of Heartland Institute’s recent list of scientists who have cast doubts on global warming. Here is a sample of the list, available via :
… Rahmstorf, Stefan, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany; Randall, David, A., NASA; Ratto, N., University of Buenos Aires, Argentina; Raymo, Maureen, MIT; Reeh, Niels, Technical University of Denmark; Reynolds, C.P., University of Waikato, New Zealand; Richard, Y., University of Cape Town, S. Africa; Richter, D.K., Ruhr-University, Germany; Rietti-Shati, M., Weizmann Institute, Rehovot, Israel; Rind, David, NASA; Ritz, C., French National Center for Scientific Research; Roberts, Neil, Loughborough University of Technology, UK; Rodrigo, F.S., University of Almerla, Spain; Roth, Kurt, University of Heidelberg, Germany; Rouault, M., University of Bourgogne, France; Ruddiman, William F., University of Virginia; Running, Steven E., University of Montana; Sabade, S.S., Indian Institute of Meteorology; Sagarin, R.D., University of California/Santa Barbara; Salinger, M. J., National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, New; Zealand; Sanchez Goni, M.F., University of Bordeaux; Sarnthein, Michael, University of Kiel, Germany; Sass, Louis C., III, Colorado College; Sawada, Michael, University of Ottawa; Saxe, Henrik, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural School of Denmark; Schilman, Bettina, Geological Survey of Israel; Schmidt, Gavin J., University of Virginia; Schmith, Torben, Danish Meteorological Institute; Schoell, Martin, Chevron Petroleum Technology Co.; Schuster, P.F., USGS; Schweingruber, F.H., Swiss Federal Research Institute; Servant, Marie, Orstom, France; Servant-Vildary, Simone, French National Museum of Natural History; Severinghaus, Jeffrey P., Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Shaviv, Nir, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Shemesh, Aldo, Weizmann Institute, Rehovot, Israel; Shen, Pu Yu, University of Western Ontario; Shindell, Drew T., NASA; Shoji, H., Kitami Institute of Technology, Japan; Showers, William, North Carolina State; Siddoway, Christine, Colorado College; Sidorova, O.V., Sukachev Institute of Forest, Russia; Sigman, Daniel M., Princeton University; Simmons, A.D., University of Leeds; Slingo, Anthony, Hadley Centre, UK; Smith Ronald Lewis, British Antarctic Survey; Smith, Raymond C., University of California/Santa Barbara; Soden, Brian, J., NOAA; Sohlenius, Gunnar, Swedish Royal Institute of Technology; Sonechkin, Dmitry M., Hydrometeorological Research Centre of Russia;
Soon, Willie, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Atmospheric Research; Sousa, A., University of Sevilla; Southward, A.J., Marine Biological Association; Spaulding, W. Geoffrey, University of Arizona; Stammerjohn, Sharon, University of California/Santa Barbara; Steffenson, J.P., University of Copenhagen; Stockton, Charles W., University of Arizona; Stone, John, University of Washington; Street-Perrott, Alayne A., Oxford University; Stuiver, Minze, University of Washington; Sturm, Matthew, U.S. Army Cold Regions Research; Sud, Y.C., Goddard Institute; Sugden, David E., University of Edinborough, Scotland; Sun, Weizhen, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Susskind, Joel, Goddard Institute; Sveinbjornsdottir, A.E., University of Iceland; Svenared, O., University of Stockholm; Svensmark, Hendrik, Danish Space Research Institute; Tape, Kenneth, U.S. Army Cold Regions Research; Tappa, Eric, University of South Carolina; Thomas, Chris D., University of Leeds; Thompson, L.G., Ohio State; …
As a concerned citizen and defender of freedom and all that it stands for, I have a few questions I need to ask. May I know why you are being silent on the Heartland 500 list, and the oppression from the scientific inquisiton against the academics that are mentioned on the list? Has your good self been intimidated by the forces of the Left into keeping quiet as well? Is your blog now selling out to the freedom-destroying agenda of Al Gore?
I would appreciate it if you can offer me answers to my humble questions. Thank you.
— Frank Bi, International Journal of Inactivism,
REPLY: This isn’t Ms. Marohasy’s blog, I think maybe you are confused as to who runs this one?

Bill Illis
May 1, 2008 7:00 am

You know, the slight temperature decline caused by shifts in the PDO (a few tenths of a degree either way) can not actually cause the world to cool (like it did in 2007 and predicted to in the near future now) …
… if the climate models are correct about the CO2 sensitivity estimates being 3.0C per doubling +/- 1.5C. Increasing CO2 should overwhelm the the PDO signal.
The sensitivity estimate is by far the most important figure in the global warming debate. If the sensitivity is a low number like 1.0C to 1.5C per doubling, then global warming will not be a problem at all. If the sensitivity is on the high end of the range, 4.5C, then global warming will be a very significant problem.
But if the PDO can mask the CO2 impact for any significant period of time, the actual sensitivity number is on the low end and might even be as low as 1.0C per doubling. 1.0C of warming by 2100, another 1.0C over the following 1000 years, big deal.

May 1, 2008 7:24 am

RE: Robert Wood (16:31:44) :
“The AGW is being masked by natural occurances.
I can already see Hansen’s press conference.”
Perhaps Hansen, in his creative formula’s for a warming trend, regardless of what is actually happening, will calculate his GISS to include an “adjustment” to compensate for PDO cooling?

Pierre Gosselin
May 1, 2008 7:37 am

Hurry up and read it before it changes!

Dave Andrews
May 1, 2008 7:40 am

“Warming Antarctic waters begin to cool”

Diatribical Idiot
May 1, 2008 7:55 am

I have read a number of the links provided where AGW proponents are being forced to explain the anticipated cooling of the next decade or two. Have a missed, in their explanatory reference to the natural variation dampening the impact of AGW, any acknowledgment that the warming of the past 20-30 years has been exacerbated by the warm cycle of the PDO, and therefore it is likely that the assumed trend line for AGW has been overstated?
I seem to have missed that. It seems so obvious and logical that I can’t see how they can get around that question. And it seems somewhat disingenuous to not address that point if you’re going to be arguing about natural variation on the cooling side of things.
All this just further points to my contention that the real trend line is just the long-term half-degree per century warming that we see when we slap a trend line on the data that goes back into the 1800s. And even that is likely a longer term natural and cyclic variation. But I’m sure that idea would be dismissed as well.

May 1, 2008 7:57 am

Oh, Ye of little faith! The hockeystick crowd will simply keep revising older temperature records downward, then say: See! It’s still warming.
Meanwhile, the media will faithfully type this up and print it while wearing parkas and mukluks.

May 1, 2008 7:59 am

Wow. There has been a tremendous amount of articles in the last week that must have the AWG-crowd absolutely reeling…

Dave Andrews
May 1, 2008 8:15 am

If you read the Leibnitz press release linked by Pierre above, you will see the following from Dr Jungclaus
“In some years trends of both phenomena, the anthropogenic climate change and the natural decadal variation will add leading to a much stronger temperature rise.”
Of course he is only referring to events in the future – the past is a closed book!

Pierre Gosselin
May 1, 2008 8:30 am

Really, this Nature report is a huge watershed event!
It stems from one of the world’s most prestigious institutes, a big believer in AGW. Something must have spooked them into saying something that is, in essence, contrary to what they’ve previously believed.
Nature, Latif and the Leibnitz Institute now admit for the first time that even natural ocean oscillations alone are indeed strong enough to cancel out and drown the much ballyhooed AGW. Who knows, the cooling situation may be worse than we think.
And they now have left the door open for the other even more powerful factors like the sun, clouds or Lindzen’s iris effect. These doors are all open now.
Again Latif’s statement here says a lot.
“…Of course, always with the assumption that no other unforeseen effects such as volcanic eruptions occur, which can have a substantial effect on our climate as well”. See:
Could this be the start of the domino effect? Are we about to see other scientists change their tunes as well?
I must say I’m a little bit in disbelief that these folks have put something out that will surely upset the AGW activists.

Pierre Gosselin
May 1, 2008 8:35 am

Think about it!
They’re saying:
“Sorry activists – you’ll have to wait 10 years for any new warming. But we promise it’ll be back!”
Just a few months ago they were telling us it was all settled, that warming was here to stay!

May 1, 2008 8:39 am

“This isn’t Ms. Marohasy’s blog, I think maybe you are confused as to who runs this one?”
You see, she’s coercively suppressing my comments, so I have to find a different venue.
REPLY: Sorry, I’m not buying that excuse, you didn’t even edit her name out of your post here. I know Jennifer personally. If your coments aren’t getting through there are two possible reasons:
1) Your comments are gettign caught in the SPAM filter, given the size of the one above, not surprising. Looks a lot like SPAM to some systems.
2) You are in some way violating site policy.
In this case, the comment you posted was off-topic. OT comments routinely get deleted by moderators. I do it myself. I genuinely thought you were simply confused, now I see you have an agenda.

May 1, 2008 8:42 am

Funny stuff: I’m listening to NPR yesterday and they are interviewing two guys from “Deadliest Catch”. NPR, of course, just HAD to ask the question “how is global warming affecting your catches?” Their response was basically “What global warming? We’re not seeing it. It’s 40 below out there on that sea…” Which mirrors virtually word-for-word what the guys on Ice Road Truckers stated last year: “Need to get Al Gore up here to show me the global warming. It’s minus 40…..”

May 1, 2008 8:44 am

the activists simply see this as validation of what happens when minor melt from Greenland occurs, along with the arctic sea ice (nevermind that the melting sea ice’s contribution to the ocean is small.)
meaning, in AGW Activist World, No More Warming until 2015=Global warming is accelerating and it’s Just Like the Day After Tomorrow! (A movie so bad I walked out on it. Couldn’t get my 6 bucks back though.)

Pierre Gosselin
May 1, 2008 8:45 am

I like a reader O.K Manuel’s reaction to the report you cite:
” Yes indeed, God has a sense of humor! Why else would He tweak solar cycle #24 and expose the fraudulent committee of climate fortune-tellers that predicted global warming? Too bad.” Oliver K. Manuel,

May 1, 2008 9:08 am

For those who haven’t seen the relationship between NINO 3.4 and PDO data using monthly data:
They correlate quite well.
Keep in mind that PDO DATA IS STANDARDIZED, which might amplify the PDO signal significantly. Without raw North Pacific SST data, it’s impossible to tell. For illustrations of the effects of Standardization, here’s a comparison of the raw AMO versus Standardized AMO…
…and raw global temperature anomaly (HADCRUT3GL) versus the same data Standardized:

May 1, 2008 9:50 am

Super DBA you are right on the money! The AGW industry will not go quietly but will be kicking and screaming the whole way. This morning I tried to set up a chart for an evaluation of the latest NOAA temperature outlook for Bangor, Maine. Their prediction for Summer (JJA) is for a 60% probability to exceed the “norm” with the “norm” being 1/2 degree F above average, that is – their average.
Seems our local climate has undergone some serious cooling in the past decade since the “new” figures have adjusted our summer temps downward 1.7F or greater than a standard deviation. It’s going to be hard for them to miss their forecast unless the next ice age arrives real soon. It appears that NOAA will be forecasting above normal temperatures and verifying them with regularity… and they’ll have the data to prove it!

May 1, 2008 9:53 am

In all the excitement over the Nature article suggesting that the AMO will stop global warming (at least for a while), is it unreasonable to ask what has stopped it already?
I don’t want to rouse the Tamino crowd from their current slumber, but there has been no “net warming” now for the past ~6 years. These changes — first in the PDO, and now possibly in the AMO — will merely perpetuate, or intensify, something that has been going on already for several years now.
What could that something be? Could it be the Sun?

James Chamberlain
May 1, 2008 9:53 am

Sorry for all of you Cubs fans out there. (I actually am one as well.) The current AGW state reminds me of Cubs fans (or choose another sports team if it makes you feel better.)
“The cubs have the best team in baseball this year. If it weren’t for so-and-so having a slump, or all of those darned losses, we would be in the world series!!”
The theory sure looks pretty. Too bad the actual results don’t.

Russ R.
May 1, 2008 9:55 am

This all points back to the “positive feedback”, that was supposed to amplify the effects of increased CO2 and other GHGs. They knew that, by themselves, the increasing GHGs did not create much of a problem, and on net, it may be beneficial. So they had to increase the effects, by approx. 300%, of the initial forcing, and say it would happen, due to increased water vapor in the atmosphere. What evidence is there for “positive feedback”? The same amount of evidence that AlGore is saving the planet, by selling carbon credits.
It looks like we will have at least another decade, until the “tipping point” that roasts us with fire and brimstone occurs 😉

May 1, 2008 10:41 am

A few quotes from the Telegraph article, but the Global Cooling Deniers:
“However, the effect of rising fossil fuel emissions will mean that warming will accelerate again after 2015 when natural trends in the oceans veer back towards warming, according to the computer model.”
“Writing in Nature, the scientists said: “Our results suggest that global surface temperature may not increase over the next decade, as natural climate variations in the North Atlantic and tropical Pacific temporarily offset the projected anthropogenic [manmade] warming.”
So they are already in the Nature journal article and this article, trying to spin it as a temporary cooling or offset.
But the major falacy in that logic is that if the current cooling phase of the PDO, which is part of normal natural cycles, is creating a “temporory cooling trend”, then conversly wouldn’t that mean that the 30 year warm phase of the PDO that occurred between the mid 70’s till 1998, would account for a “temporary warming trend” during that time?

Pierre Gosselin
May 1, 2008 10:46 am

Looking at all them sunspots…I’d say you’re on the right track.
Looking forward to your next solar post. Don’t keep us waiting too long.

May 1, 2008 11:16 am

Positive feedback was the only way that the modelers could get the models to match the temperature rise in the latter half of the 20th century. Did they ever consider that their models were wrong? No way, that would be too scientific. Did they consider the impact of the sun, ocean currents, lower emissions of man-made aerosols, etc.? I think we all know the answer to the last question. As soon as these non-CO2 phenomena are properly introduced into the models, you will see the role of CO2 reduced by an order of magnitude. Mark my words!

May 1, 2008 11:21 am

“I genuinely thought you were simply confused, now I see you have an agenda.”
Actually, I’ve already admitted in my very first post that I do have an agenda: to promote freedom and democracy and to bring down the freedom-destroying forces of Al Gore.
By the way, why are you trying so hard not to talk about the “Heartland 500” list as well? Are you in Al Gore’s pocket too?
— bi, International Journal of Inactivism
REPLY: “why are you trying so hard not to talk about the “Heartland 500″ ” well I mostly deal with weather stations and weather/climate data here, and the list just hasn’t been as interesting as what’s been happening in the real world lately.

May 1, 2008 11:39 am

I’ve got a .pdf of the Nature paper. Drop me an email if you’d like a copy.

May 1, 2008 11:56 am

Before all get too giddy, please remember we need quite a few more data points before we can feel more confident in a cooldown. And like I said yesterday, this may be a small burp in the recovery from the MWP. If so, GW could resume in later years as it inches back to where it was during the MWP.
Regardless which way it falls, I’ll have plenty of fodder for the “Mysterious Climate Project!” Now if I can only figure out how I can get paid….
Jack Koenig, Editor
The Mysterious Climate Project

May 1, 2008 12:50 pm

If I was a guessin’ man, I’d say that they are validating their models against a short and recent time frame (1~5 years?). Then they apply a constant fudge factor to make the model match current temperatures. That doesn’t help because it’s the slope that’s wrong. This forces the model’s temps for older periods to be way lower than the measured temps.
They can’t change the current temps to match their models because they would be caught, but since they are the record keepers, they can certainly “correct” the older records to match their models. This can go on for a long time since the temps get moved a little at a time, but it will eventually get absurd.
This is sheer speculation, I’ll leave the math to CA since it’s waaaaay over my head.

May 1, 2008 2:05 pm

Is the red ‘Observations’ curve on Figure 4 of the Nature paper correct? They claim it’s HadCRUv3 although it’s clearly been smoothed. They also don’t show any error bars on the ‘Observations’ curve. It’s not the same Global Temperature plot the Nature paper team gave to the BBC Science website which has a similarly odd ‘Observations’ curve extending out to 2008.
REPLY: It looks correct but yes, HEAVILY smoothed

May 1, 2008 2:28 pm

None of the models work…. heating or cooling. Just drop’em I say

May 1, 2008 2:58 pm

Given the latest circumstances, one has to wonder if we’ll ever learn the identities of the IPCC scientists now that they might have more than just a bit of egg on their faces. Is this the reason they didn’t want their names known… because of the fragileness of their arguments?
Just something to ponder….
Jack Koenig, Editor
The Mysterious Climate Project

Dave Andrews
May 1, 2008 3:21 pm

Pierre and others
I too would like to urge some caution.
This is a single paper based on a model that is surrounded with caveats. It’s going in the right direction and certainly the comments being made by the scientists involved can come back to haunt them. But if cooling trends don’t continue it won’t amount to much. So lets wait a bit and see

Jerker Andersson
May 1, 2008 3:26 pm

While we have had almost 11 years of no temperature increse this is not as unnormal as you could think. During the last 30 years there have been another 2 periods of ~10 years with 0 trend.
Even though there is no doubt there have been a temperature increase during the last 30 years it is still possible to produce long 0-trends during that period.
I have read quite often that we now have a 10 year period without increase so I decided to check if that argument is valid as a proof that the increase of temperature has stoped.
This diagram shows what I found using RSS satellit data.
It shows for each month the longest period that a 0-trend can be produced for.
Current 0-trend
This is the 3rd time the last 29 years we can produce a 0-trend for about 10-years even though the temperature has increased over the whole period.
What is interesting now is that we seem to be in middle of a downward trend or no increase period which probably will make this 0-trend grow quite fast as it will be able to “embrace” even older temperature data and still produce a 0-trend.

Jeff C
May 1, 2008 4:48 pm

Yes we should exercise restraint and not get too giddy regarding the paper. However, there has been an amazing side story. Many of the usual supects are saying, yes – we should expect no warming (or even cooling!) for the next 5 to 10 years. Of course it is followed with statements assuring us of phenomenal warming after that.
I can’t ever remember the alarmist camp making statements like this. Their usual M.O. is to belittle or ignore studies that don’t agree with the party line.
I think the flip of the PDO and apparent impending flip of the AMO along with obvious cooling over the last year has them running scared. They have been denying PDO/AMO has *any* connection to global temps. Suddenly, they have changed their tune. I think this is a watershed moment.

May 1, 2008 4:56 pm

No warming until 2015? Their model doesn’t say that. Look at figure 4. There is about 0.2C of warming between 2010 and 2015. There is no net warming in their forecast from 2005 to 2010, but there is a warming of about 0.1C relative to the fixed greenhouse gas hypothesis. By 2035, the temperatures are the same as the IPCC A1B scenario.

Evan Jones
May 1, 2008 5:30 pm

So they had to increase the effects, by approx. 300%, of the initial forcing, and say it would happen, due to increased water vapor in the atmosphere. What evidence is there for “positive feedback”?
I am sure that you already know that AquaSat has busted the positive feedback equation all to hell. The increase in water vapor does not go to GH vapor, instead it forms low level clouds which increase albedo. So instead of a positive feedback, it’s a negative feedback resulting in homeostasis.
Re modeling: Models, like some wargames can be legit. indicators. But only if you design them simply, from the top down, NOT from the ground up.
For example, you can do a reasonable model for the German invasion of Russia from and Army/Army Group perspective and get crude, but plausible results. But if you “improve” the model so you are trying to do it on a squad-level, you get totally lost in the statistical snow and your results are utterly meaningless and useless.
All too often when modeling a complex system (such as climate) less is more. But it takes a hardbitten sim veteran to realize this; and those amateur climate modelers may have Ph.Ds in their subject, but they are babes and boobs when it comes to the dynamics of practical simulation.
And like the rank amateurs they are (in the simulation arena), they haven’t got a clue as to what makes a good sim and what makes a bad sim.
As for me, yes, I’ve been in the biz for many years.
Remember that Blue Vs Gray game I handed off to you, Rev? If you like, I’ll email you “the war according to the game”. My storyboard. It includes every card pick, every supply point, every step loss, every die roll form 1st Bull run to Appomattox and Durham. All of it. Historical commentary included. When I design a simulation, I really MEAN it. I can achieve that level of accuracy only by top-down design method. (And I’m well aware of its inherent limitations in predictive ability.)

May 1, 2008 5:58 pm

Jeff C said: “I think the flip of the PDO and apparent impending flip of the AMO along with obvious cooling over the last year has them running scared. They have been denying PDO/AMO has *any* connection to global temps. Suddenly, they have changed their tune. I think this is a watershed moment.”
Although I commented about getting to “giddy,” I also agree with you at the same time. In fact, there may be more going on than we are even aware of at this moment!
Jack Koenig, Editor
The Mysterious Climate Project

May 1, 2008 6:10 pm

Atmoz just doesn’t get it.. the goal posts could be moved again come 2015? Thats why its no longer credible… These are just the first few papers that will continue to come out.. Nature (magazine) has in fact decided to take a starting position to cover themselves for the near future when the AGW will be thrown out completely

May 1, 2008 6:14 pm

BTW these are again models.. and as R Pielke Jr implies may not have any meaning (although I admit, this one could, because its based on PREVIOUS sea data). Temperatures could in fact go up until 2015 etc… and so on then down etc..

May 1, 2008 6:49 pm

Does the phrase “Paradigm Shift” ring any bells? What’s happening now reminds me of the shift that occured from the steady-state universe hypothesis to the Big Bang hypothesis, eventually the facts got in the way of the steady-state universe theory and rendered it obsolete. That process took nearly 40 years though. Even now there are people who cling to that theory despite a lack of evidence. The same is happening here – reality is slapping the AGW proponents in the face. I wonder how many more years of data it will take to convince them that their hyptohesis is obsolete.

May 1, 2008 7:51 pm

Firstly, Anthony, this “Bi” guy is doing the same inanity on several other sites such as Lubos’ Reference Frame. I have no idea what he is trying to do, but obviously neither does he given the sites he is posting his stuff on.
Also, I tend to think there is a serious movement towards cooling at hand. I think it is a “Perfect Storm” type scenario with all of these normally independent (or seemingly so) factors all lining up in proximity to one another as they switch to their cool, or low, cycles.
I am not happy at all about the prospect of being able to say “I told you so” to the Warm-mongers. First of all, they will not listen as the cognitive dissonance arising from their religious beliefs will not allow these evidential facts to penetrate their minds. Secondly, if it is indeed cooling we are all in for some difficult times. Despite the platform it provides to the lunatics, I much prefer warming.

George M
May 1, 2008 8:30 pm

Julian has brought up a point about the slowness of change of a scientific paradigm. I like to use Plate Tectonics as another example. Look how long it took for that to be accepted, and go back and read the bad names the proponents were called for years before acceptance. It makes the AGW proponents look friendly by comparison.
One point which has not been discussed in this thread. If CO2 lags temperature instead of leading, as several have proposed, then the downturn in rate of accumulation will even further confound the gorebull warming proponents. And did I not see a curve a couple of weeks back showing Mauna Loa concentration failed to reach expected concentration on the last peak?
REPLY: Yes you did, and of course it was ridiculed over there in Hansenland by his pet bulldog. Here it is again:
It will be interesting to see if CO2 from Mauna Loa changes or continues the short trend in April 2008. The number are due any day now.

May 1, 2008 11:12 pm

Terry is right to sound a note of caution on how the alarmists will spin this. Just this week the ABC (down here in the SH) ran a piece about monitoring of oceans adjacent to the Antarctic ice sheets using sensors carried by seals. Started out quite a cute piece, but we were soon told that this was revealing a trend (yes, a trend) to reduced salinity, caused by increased glacial melt due to you-know-what, which could have grave impacts such as.. There it stopped, but I predict that soon one of these grave impacts will be said to be a flip in the PDO, perhaps leading to a new glacial, and thus we were right about a tipping point.

May 1, 2008 11:12 pm

I concur with Dave Andrews and Rex (and possibly others). We should taken caution and not read too much out of the paper yet. Like Rex said, it is just a model and not the real world.
This model (and paper) is an excellent opportunity to check the model results with the actual data in the next 10 to 20 years. This may be the actual litmus test. If the model itself doesn’t contain any flaws and future data are in line with results the model has predicted, the model might have predictive capabilities. If not, …?

Pierre Gosselin
May 2, 2008 12:04 am

Dave Andrews,
Certainly you’re correct in urging caution.
But I just never expected Dr. Latif, AGW proponent, having to say: “Hold your horses with the warming for 10 years. There are new factors we did not previously understand. It’s going to get cooler.”
This is the kind of message you’d expect from “deniers”, and not from them. It had to have been hard for them to make the admissions they’ve made. I’D LIKE TO HEAR FROM OTHER SCIENTISTS HERE IF THEY VIEW THIS LIKE I DO.
Latif & Co. have had to make a U-Turn, at least for the next 10 years (by then he’ll be retired). These folks just don’t make such U-Turns unless there’s some pretty damn convincing serious data. My guess is the data they have is pretty strong, but the Nature report has been watered down. Look for more cooling trends to pop up everywhere. I suspect in a few years they’ll be reluctantly adding the solar factors to their climate equations and models as well.
I’m just speculating, but human behaviours have trends to.

Jeff B.
May 2, 2008 1:04 am

Speaking of predictive capabilities, what about the failure of all of the AGW models to date to predict the cooling we’ve seen since 1998. If the models are so great, then how come they don’t predict anything other than CO2 Apocalypse?

Sean Houlihane
May 2, 2008 3:51 am

If the graph shown by the bbc is the same as the one in hte nature paper, why has noone noted yet that the ‘old model’ and ‘new model’ are symmetric about the observations, and will be seen by the average reader, providing support for the models. The convenience of this says ‘bluff’ to me, real science is never that convenient. Why has current temperature diverged so much from the new model?

Dave Andrews
May 2, 2008 4:56 am

Here’s an interesting comment from Willem de Lange over on CA ‘Ice Ages#2’
One of the reasons I got annoyed with the IPCC when I was involved, was an almost universal dismissal of the contribution of natural forcing to the observed warming – particularly the role of decadal-scale climate variability such as the PDO. In discussions with one of our Nobel Peace Prize winning meteorologists back in the 1990s, their position was that the greenhouse effect had overwhelmed natural variability and it just would not be possible for the PDO to switch.

May 2, 2008 5:23 am

Jim Arndt,
When corn gets more expensive, people shift to eating other things. This increases the demand for other things, and they in turn get more expensive.

May 2, 2008 5:45 am

Don’t forget that many people are predicting that solar cycle 25 will be very weak.

Gary Gulrud
May 2, 2008 5:50 am

I agree with the line Pierre, Jeff C., McGrats, Rex, Timo, et. al., see emerging. This paper is a hedge featuring a misdirection: AMO, although wild, shouldn’t even flip before 2015.
What the hedge tacitly acknowledges is this La Nina and minmal solar input are with us thru 2009; cycle 24 max in 2013 will be felt only after about a 4 year lag, QED warming post 2015, thank Gaia!
If AMO then flips, corn belt drought could be enhanced, but will follow in any scenario.
But the Atmoz happy ending in 2035 cannot obtain. Cycle 24 min. circa 2022 will be deeper still and with PDO and AMO negative, Europe will not be a winter vacation destination.

Bob B
May 2, 2008 6:44 am

Timo, I agree this is only a model and time will tell whether the cooling continues. But I believe this is a major change from the CO2 is the only reason for the recent warming crowd at RC and Open mind. It is good that moders are looking at local ocean temperatures and ttrying to hindcast using that data. I suspect though that Tamino the cherry picker will be trying to curve fit a warming trend for some time even after it is clear to every one of the cooling trend.

James Chamberlain
May 2, 2008 8:05 am

Pierre, I agree that it took much activation energy for some of the strongest warmers to acknowledge natural variability, PDO shift influence, etc. But, this is simply a hedge bet to say, “don’t worry, our catastrophic warming is still happening, you just can’t see it at all currently.” Hopefully the common public is smart enough to see through such nonsense.

May 2, 2008 8:56 am

The term Paradigm Shift rings very loudly here. I’m coming to this party (climate change) somewhat late, after a long career doing some other things. I received my graduate education in environmental economics back in the 1970’s, when the debate between Kuhn and Popper was going strong, and this is much of what we read and discussed in my graduate philosophy of science seminar. While I think Popper had the right idea about how science ought to progress, I think Kuhn had it right in how it often progressed in practice. And I see the marks of it all over modern climate science. Since getting interested in this, I’ve read several hundred papers or abstracts, and I can predict with near certainty that an article on climate science written in the past two decades will always say something about AGW even when it has little or nothing to do with the subject under discussion. And especially if the conclusions of the paper might be construed to question AGW, there is almost invariably a qualifier as to how it doesn’t. It is like a litmus test: you don’t get it published unless it fits within the reigning AGW paradigm.
Kuhn called it “normal science” where anomalies to the reigning paradigm are ignored, or explained away. The paradigm shift comes when the anomalies become so great, it is hard to ignore them, and a theory is proposed that does a good job explaining them. The anomalies — there’s an interesting play on words here — are building up, but the theory that could produce a paradigm shift is not here yet. I’m persuaded, from the evidence I see, that the Sun will ultimate be recognized as a substantial “forcing” driving terrestrial climate, but there is still not enough consensus about how it happens to unseat the current paradigm.
A graduate student in the philosophy of science could write a masterful thesis on modern climate science as a perfect example of Kuhnian “normal science.”

Don B
May 2, 2008 8:57 am

Here is a prediction unrelated to a model: James Hansen’s NASA will have to adjust future temperature data downward. They have worked themselves into a box; by adjusting to make global warming more apparent, in contrast to the other authoritative graphs, they will have to show much cooling during the next few years, so they can once again prove AGW after 2015!

May 2, 2008 9:21 am

RE: Europe will not be a winter vacation destination.
It will be for me … I keep my skis waxed constantly. LOL!

May 2, 2008 9:26 am

“All too often when modeling a complex system (such as climate) less is more. But it takes a hardbitten sim veteran to realize this; and those amateur climate modelers may have Ph.Ds in their subject, but they are babes and boobs when it comes to the dynamics of practical simulation.”
This reminds me of what Milton Friedman maintained about economic models: the validity of a theory or model is not in how “realistic” it is, but in whether or not it produces reliable predictions. I imagine that this philosophy is probably more acceptable in a “social” science, where it is difficult, if not impossible, to explain behavior with anything more than rudimentary heuristics. It flies in the face, though, of how “physical” sciences view themselves. I.e., they are all about understanding “reality.”
What I think you are calling attention to is how little we know about the “reality” of complex systems. In this sense, climate is not much different than a human being — both are complex systems which exhibit behavior that may better be modeled by heuristics even if the heuristics lack “realism.” This doesn’t mean that we do not try to understand the “reality” as best we can, but when it comes to prediction you are right on: less is more.
I think this explains why I look at all the evidence for Hale cycle periodicity in climate parameters and think “you know, there’s got to be something there, and even if I cannot explain the physical basis of it, I can still make use of it.” The climate scientist, on the other hand, says “well, there may be lots of evidence of bidecadal periodicities in nature, but we are not going to use them to predict future climate because we do not understand what physical mechanism could produce them.” In climate science, ignorance trumps practicality every time.

May 2, 2008 10:31 am

This recent prediction is very interesting in that it is completely opposite the one made by Smith, et al and published in Science on Aug 10, 2007 under the title Improved Surface Temperature Prediction for the Coming Decade from a Global Climate Model.
This bad-boy of a paper got an incredible amount of play in the press and blogosphere.
The abstract reads:
Previous climate model projections of climate change accounted for external forcing from natural and anthropogenic sources but did not attempt to predict internally generated natural variability. We present a new modeling system that predicts both internal variability and externally forced changes and hence forecasts surface temperature with substantially improved skill throughout a decade, both globally and in many regions. Our system predicts that internal variability will partially offset the anthropogenic global warming signal for the next few years. However, climate will continue to warm, with at least half of the years after 2009 predicted to exceed the warmest year currently on record.
It will be interesting to see how much attention beyond the NYT the Nature paper draws. A quick Google search indicated it has had a fair bit of press in the UK and Australia, but not in the US. CNN has not mentioned it in their “Science” category, now have they added it to their “Planet in Peril” website.
At any rate, we will know in a very short period of time just which set of scientists were correct!

May 2, 2008 10:46 am

The Salmon run has cratered. This matches what one would expect due to a negative PDO.
All salmon fishing banned on West Coast
Salmon fishing was banned along the West Coast for the first time in 160 years Thursday, a decision that is expected to have a devastating economic impact on fishermen, dozens of businesses, tourism and boating.
It followed the recommendation last month of the Pacific Fishery Management Council after the catastrophic disappearance of California’s fabled fall run of the pink fish popularly known as king salmon

May 2, 2008 10:57 am

Just this week the ABC (down here in the SH) ran a piece about monitoring of oceans adjacent to the Antarctic ice sheets using sensors carried by seals.

So, Lazlo, when the seals are eaten by a polar bear, does it show the water temperatures as being 37 C, 98.6F?

May 2, 2008 11:36 am

I’m imagine the recent period of stagnant temperatures is influenced by the trough of the solar cycle, declining PDO since 1998, and perhaps other factors. No self-respecting climate scientist will deny that natural factors are the significant drivers of year-to-year and even decadal variation. The long term trend in natural forcings vis a vis anthropogenic forcings is to some extent a separate question.

May 2, 2008 11:58 am

Basil said: “This reminds me of what Milton Friedman maintained about economic models: the validity of a theory or model is not in how “realistic” it is, but in whether or not it produces reliable predictions.”
I guess one could respond to that in several different ways, but it seems to me that what is getting lost in the discussion is why the discussion itself is deemed important. It seems to me its importance lies in developing an energy policy for the future — because, after all, GHG emissions are not only intimately tied, but almost exclusively so to the generation of energy. So the bottom line question is… are predictions of whether or not the earth will heat or cool in the near term, medium term, or long term both necessary and sufficient to address our future energy needs? Certainly some consider them necessary, but they sure as heck aren’t sufficient. And in fact, I think that when you concentrate on the sufficiency issue, the necessity argument begins to significantly diminish in importance.

Russ R.
May 2, 2008 12:42 pm

This site says the cold PDO is good for salmon. I can believe it, since I think many of these type of fish do poorly in El Nino years. They could be suffering from too many years of warmer weather, and will start to recover now.

May 2, 2008 2:12 pm

No polar bears in the Antarctic.

Bob B
May 2, 2008 4:33 pm

Where is Tamino the cherry picker on this?

May 2, 2008 8:29 pm

Nice one swampie. But just to re-emphasise my original point, here is a quote from a blog posted to The Australian within the last two hours from a known AGWer: “Changes to the average global temperature and increasing flows of fresh water into the oceans from melting ice are believed to be disrupting the natural thermo-haline circulation patterns which give rise to the El Nino and La Nina weather cycles. Climatologists believe this is leading to longer and more frequent El Nino events than were previously known-and that this will get even worse.”

May 2, 2008 8:46 pm

Swampie: i forgot to say that it is more likely the seal would eat the bear, because the bear would be exhausted after the long swim.

May 3, 2008 5:06 am

I think we all, or surely most of us, agree on the need for a more coherent energy policy. I just as sure that we will have disagreements about what that policy should be, and especially what its goals should be. A simple, but probably telling example, would be to ask whether we should — or whether we want to — reduce our dependence upon oil for geopolitical reasons, or for environmental reasons. Now maybe one, such as myself, would think we ought to take both into consideration, but one reason is more vital or urgent than the other. Depending on which one comes first, this can alter how what we view as a more coherent energy policy.
As for temperature predictions for the future being necessary or sufficient for a good energy policy, I’m not sure I see where you are going with that. Do you care to elaborate?

Gary Gulrud
May 3, 2008 6:29 am

Loved Basil’s discursis into Epistemology, Kuhn & Popper.
Our energy problems would be greatly diminished if we allowed drilling again. The Bakken formation has 3Gbbl recoverable w/current technology.
Feed the bears locally available eco-fascists, not SH seals!

May 3, 2008 12:19 pm

That sound you hear is the slow trickle of Kyoto UNFCCC confederate money getting unloaded quicker than you can say “carbon credits.” Brings new meaning to the phrase “Tilting at windmills….”

May 3, 2008 12:26 pm

Gary – I’m imagining someone rolling up in a bearskin rug the great algorean profit hisself & droppin’ him off on an ice floe full of drowning, starving Ursi Maritime. As a public service, of course, it’d be in keeping with befriending charismatic megafauna. They’d become (break)fast friends.

old construction worker
May 3, 2008 6:57 pm

rico says
“It seems to me its importance lies in developing an energy policy for the future — because, after all, GHG emissions are not only intimately tied, but almost exclusively so to the generation of energy. So the bottom line question is… ” As I have said CO2 induce globel nothing has little to do with science and more to do with money.
We stopped using wood for lighting when candles proved to be less costly and more efficient than wood. No government mandate.
Micosoft gave us the ability to have personal computers that were cheaper than IBM and Apple. no government mandate.
But now we are into Government mandated tech which maybe less efficient and always more costly than what we have on the market. This happens in the building trade each year. (Not all building codes are improvements.)
The only people who will make money on CO2 induced global warming are the guy operating the hedge funds at the expence of the consumer. (Then again the government had to bail out bears & strean.)
No good can come from something built on a lie.

May 4, 2008 2:42 pm

Basil, thanks for replying. I think this might be a first. With regard to your question, As for temperature predictions for the future being necessary or sufficient for a good energy policy, I’m not sure I see where you are going with that. Do you care to elaborate?
My point is that most of the energy the world over is currently generated with fossil fuels: oil, gas or coal. In terms of traditional pollutants (sulfates, nitrogen compouds, particulates, etc.) gas is cleanest, coal the dirtiest. They rate that way as far as GHGs emitted per unit energy as well, but for the sake of argument let’s concentrate on only the health and environmental effects, the economic impacts, and the national security impacts they generate. Oil is a problem because most of it has to be imported. And even if drilling were allowed to proceed in ANWR and offshore the effect on prices and imports wouldn’t be very great. Neither would it significantly impact the global geopolitical situation. Unconventional sources of oil (e.g., tar sands, oil shale, or coal to liquid conversion) are problematic because they are difficult, energy intensive, and expensive to extract and/or produce. They also increase the health and/or enviromental impacts over conventional sources. So, regardless of what their effects on climate are, continued reliance on fossil fuels will continue to drive prices of all three higher, increase the energy intensity of their generation, and accelerate traditional pollution.
You say, “I think we all, or surely most of us, agree on the need for a more coherent energy policy.” I’m afraid I don’t share your optimism. Rather, at least among participants of this blog, it seems to me the more pervasive opinion is that we don’t need an energy policy. My impression is that the predominant opinion is… Let the market take care of it. As if it were that simple. The fact is, the market forms around policy, not the other way around. Thus, unless the policy is changed, it stands to reason that it will be difficult for alternative energy sources to compete effectively unless they: (1) exactly duplicate the consumption patterns of existing sources, (2) exactly duplicate the capitalization/cost structure of existing sources, and (3) be cheaper than them even within those constraints. And that’s close to impossible. It’s difficult to summarize in a short sound bite (you’re the economist, so I assume you appreciate that). But let me ask: if all farm subsidies were eliminated, and all subsidies for corn ethanol were eliminated, what do you suppose would happen? My guess is bioethanol would get even more competitive while food prices would skyrocket. Needless to say, that experiment isn’t likely to happen, because no one would allow it for a variety of reasons. So much for letting the market take care of itself, huh?
Perhaps a more realistic example is this: the way policy is currently set up in many localities promotes the construction of power plants that are relatively inexpensive to build but cost more to operate — in other words, they favor gas or coal plants rather than something else. The reason is that utilities aren’t required to (or even allowed if they wanted to) levelize their costs over the lifetime of the plant. They can pass on increases in the cost of operation to their customers, but not the cost of construction. The cost of operation of a gas or coal plant is much higher than a wind farm, a solar farm, a geothermal plant, or even a nuclear plant, because the fuel prices of the former are considerable whereas the “fuel” prices of the latter are negligible. Thus, there is no incentive to build a relatively expensive plant even when its levelized cost over its lifetime is likely to be cheaper. On top of that, it is also the case that in most localities the more energy a utility produces the more money it makes. Thus, there is no incentive to economize or conserve.
You mentioned Friedman’s comment that “the validity of a theory or model is not in how “realistic” it is, but in whether or not it produces reliable predictions.” That sounds good in theory, but in practice the reasoning gets a little circular. In other words, how do you know whether the predictions are reliable until the model is put into practice so you can generate some data? And how do you put them into practice without making the necessary policy? You can’t. By the same token, why on earth would you implement a set of policy decisions (in order to put a model in place) if it/they had no apparent reality status? You can’t do that either. The examples I mentioned above bear directly on this point. I don’t really know what the outcome of eliminating farm subsidies or ethanol subsidies would be on the cost of food or corn ethanol. But as Friedman implies, we’ll never know until we try it. So what do you think… should we give it a shot? If so, why? If not, why not? My guess is however you answer those questions they very much depend on how “realistic” you feel your assumptions are in the face of little evidence. After all, it may be that the food crises that are developing around the world simply represent a temporary supply shock which can be easily resolved by redistributions in the supply chain — kinda like the response to the Arab oil embargo in the 70s. Then again, maybe not. How lucky do you feel? And no matter how you answer THAT question, the fact of the matter is, we’ll never know for sure until Monday morning.
On the other examples I think I stand on firmer ground (as firm as it gets, anyway). I think so because there is more evidence. California, for example, now has a decades long history of tinkering with energy policy. It hasn’t been completely stellar (they’ve made some mistakes), but in balance it’s been pretty good. CA is number 1 among all states in terms of energy efficiency per capita GDP. And that’s in spite of the fact that CA is generally considered the traffic capital of the nation, if not the world, and produces more oil and has more refineries than all but a handful of other states. They did it largely because they implemented policies that emphasize energy efficiency rather than production. And until very recently they did THAT not in the name of reducing GHGs, but in the name of reducing traditional pollutants. I think it’s important to stress the fact that CA did not do what they did in an attempt to address global warming, they did it for another reason — wasteful use of fossil fuels were killing people. I’ve lived in CA now for the better part of 25 years. And I have to say, the air quality is a whole lot better than it was, even though the population is a whole lot higher than it was. In the mean time the economy has grown.

Gary Gulrud
May 5, 2008 1:42 pm

Brevity, the ‘soul of Wit’.

Gary Gulrud
May 5, 2008 2:58 pm
May 5, 2008 4:47 pm

Warming pushed out to 2020 now.
5 years in as many days.

May 6, 2008 1:02 am
29 april 2008
Ten-year forecasts produced by the Met Office Hadley Centre capture this levelling of global temperatures in the middle of the decade; effectively La Niña has been masking the underlying trend in rising temperatures. These same forecasts also predict we will experience continued and increased warming into the next decade, with half the years between 2009 and 2014 being warmer than the current warmest on record, 1998.
my god do these people get paid for looking in there glass sphere and flipping tarrot cards or what?

May 6, 2008 8:26 am

Gary Gulrud (14:58:58), I think the article you cited left a few germane facts out. For example, although the article you cited correctly stated that the price of electricity is higher in CA than the rest of the country, but not nearly twice the national average (according to the EIA, CA residents paid 12.82 cents/kWh in 2006, the national average was 8.90 cents), it’s also true that the average American burns 12,000 kWh a year of electricity, the average Californian burns less than 7,000. In the interest of brevity, I’ll let you do the math. But I don’t think the result is what you would expect by reading the article you cited.
I realize it’s hard to get an accurate read on the true state of affairs — even government agencies are likely to have their biases. But I don’t think solely relying on you favorite think tank (or any single think tank) is the best way to go. So, in the interest of a more balanced view, I suggest you read this as well:

August 29, 2008 7:55 am

[…] Keenlyside Paper and HP filtering of HadCRUT […]

September 15, 2008 10:37 am

is it true that global warming is making hurricanes more storonger??!??!??!?

September 15, 2008 10:41 am

There’s a somewhat declining trend of Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) since around 1958, through cooling and warming, alike. No one can say why.

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