Adjusting Temperatures for the ENSO and the AMO

NOTE: Zip file downloads of models with data have been fixed, see end of this post – Anthony

Source: Mantua, 2000

The essay below has been part of a back and forth email exchange for about a week. Bill has done some yeoman’s work here at coaxing some new information from existing data. Both HadCRUT and GISS data was used for the comparisons to a doubling of CO2, and what I find most interesting is that both Hadley and GISS data come out higher in for a doubling of CO2 than NCDC data, implying that the adjustments to data used in GISS and HadCRUT add something that really isn’t there.

The logarithmic plots of CO2 doubling help demonstrate why CO2 won’t cause a runaway greenhouse effect due to diminished IR returns as CO2 PPM’s increase. This is something many people don’t get to see visualized.

One of the other interesting items is the essay is about the El Nino event in 1878. Bill writes:

The 1877-78 El Nino was the biggest event on record.  The anomaly peaked at +3.4C in Nov, 1877 and by Feb, 1878, global temperatures had spiked to +0.364C or nearly 0.7C above the background temperature trend of the time.

Clearly the oceans ruled the climate, and it appears they still do.

Let’s all give this a good examination, point out weaknesses, and give encouragement for Bill’s work. This is a must read. – Anthony


Adjusting Temperatures for the ENSO and the AMO

A guest post by: Bill Illis

People have noted for a long time that the effect of the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) should be accounted for and adjusted for in analyzing temperature trends.  The same point has been raised for the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO).  Until now, there has not been a robust method of doing so.

This post will outline a simple least squares regression solution to adjusting monthly temperatures for the impact of the ENSO and the AMO.  There is no smoothing of the data, no plugging of the data; this is a simple mathematical calculation.

Some basic points before we continue.

–         The ENSO and the AMO both affect temperatures and, hence, any reconstruction needs to use both ocean temperature indices.  The AMO actually provides a greater impact on temperatures than the ENSO.

–         The ENSO and the AMO impact temperatures directly and continuously on a monthly basis.  Any smoothing of the data or even using annual temperature data just reduces the information which can be extracted.

–         The ENSO’s impact on temperatures is lagged by 3 months while the AMO seems to be more immediate.  This model uses the Nino 3.4 region anomaly since it seems to be the most indicative of the underlying El Nino and La Nina trends.

–         When the ENSO and the AMO impacts are adjusted for, all that is left is the global warming signal and a white noise error.

–         The ENSO and the AMO are capable of explaining almost all of the natural variation in the climate.

–         We can finally answer the question of how much global warming has there been to date and how much has occurred since 1979 for example.  And, yes, there has been global warming but the amount is much less than global warming models predict and the effect even seems to be slowing down since 1979.

–         Unfortunately, there is not currently a good forecast model for the ENSO or AMO so this method will have to focus on current and past temperatures versus providing forecasts for the future.

And now to the good part, here is what the reconstruction looks like for the Hadley Centre’s HadCRUT3 global monthly temperature series going back to 1871 – 1,652 data points.

Click for a full sized image
Click for a full sized image

I will walk you through how this method was developed since it will help with understanding some of its components.

Let’s first look at the Nino 3.4 region anomaly going back to 1871 as developed by Trenberth (actually this index is smoothed but it is the least smoothed data available).

–         The 1877-78 El Nino was the biggest event on record.  The anomaly peaked at +3.4C in Nov, 1877 and by Feb, 1878, global temperatures had spiked to +0.364C or nearly 0.7C above the background temperature trend of the time.

–         The 1997-98 El Nino produced similar results and still holds the record for the highest monthly temperature of +0.749C in Feb, 1998.

–         There is a lag of about 3 months in the impact of ENSO on temperatures.  Sometimes it is only 2 months, sometimes 4 months and this reconstruction uses the 3 month lag.

–         Going back to 1871, there is no real trend in the Nino 3.4 anomaly which indicates it is a natural climate cycle and is not related to global warming in the sense that more El Ninos are occurring as a result of warming.   This point becomes important because we need to separate the natural variation in the climate from the global warming influence.

Click for full sized image
Click for full sized image

The AMO anomaly has longer cycles than the ENSO.

–         While the Nino 3.4 region can spike up to +3.4C, the AMO index rarely gets above +0.6C anomaly.

–         The long cycles of the AMO matches the major climate shifts which have occurred over the last 130 years.  The downswing in temperatures from 1890 to 1915, the upswing in temps from 1915 to 1945, the decline from 1946 to 1975 and the upswing in temps from 1975 to 2005.

–         The AMO also has spikes during the major El Nino events of 1877-88 and 1997-98 and other spikes at different times.

–         It is apparent that the major increase in temperatures during the 1997-98 El Nino was also caused by the AMO anomaly.  I think this has lead some to believe the impact of ENSO is bigger than it really is and has caused people to focus too much on the ENSO.

–         There is some autocorrelation between the ENSO and the AMO given these simultaneous spikes but the longer cycles of the AMO versus the short sharp swings in the ENSO means they are relatively independent.

–         As well, the AMO appears to be a natural climate cycle unrelated to global warming.

Click for full sized image
Click for full sized image

When these two ocean indices are regressed against the monthly temperature record, we have a very good match.

–         The coefficient for the Nino 3.4 region at 0.058 means it is capable of explaining changes in temps of as much as +/- 0.2C.

–         The coefficient for the AMO index at 0.51 to 0.75 indicates it is capable of explaining changes in temps of as much as +/- 0.3C to +/- 0.4C.

–         The F-statistic for this regression at 222.5 means it passes a 99.9% confidence interval.

But there is a divergence between the actual temperature record and the regression model based solely on the Nino and the AMO.  This is the real global warming signal.

Click for full sized image
Click for full sized image

The global warming signal (which also includes an error, UHI, poor siting and adjustments in the temperature record as demonstrated by Anthony Watts) can be now be modeled against the rise in CO2 over the period.

–         Warming occurs in a logarithmic relationship to CO2 and, consequently, any model of warming should be done on the natural log of CO2.

–         CO2 in this case is just a proxy for all the GHGs but since it is the biggest one and nitrous oxide is rising at the same rate, it can be used as the basis for the warming model.

This regression produces a global warming signal which is about half of that predicted by the global warming models.  The F statistic at 4,308 passes a 99.9% confidence interval.

Click for full sized image
Click for full sized image

–         Using the HadCRUT3 temperature series, warming works out to only 1.85C per doubling of CO2.

–         The GISS reconstruction also produces 1.85C per doubling while the NCDC temperature record only produces 1.6C per doubling.

–         Global warming theorists are now explaining the lack of warming to date is due to the deep oceans absorbing some of the increase (not the surface since this is already included in the temperature data).  This means the global warming model prediction line should be pushed out 35 years, or 75 years or even 100s of years.

Here is a depiction of how logarithmic warming works.  I’ve included these log charts because it is fundamental to how to regress for CO2 and it is a view of global warming which I believe many have not seen before.

The formula for the global warming models has been constructed by myself (I’m not even sure the modelers have this perspective on the issue) but it is the only formula which goes through the temperature figures at the start of the record (285 ppm or 280 ppm) and the 3.25C increase in temperatures for a doubling of CO2.   It is curious that the global warming models are also based on CO2 or GHGs being responsible for nearly all of the 33C greenhouse effect through its impact on water vapour as well.

Click for larger image
Click for larger image

The divergence, however, is going to be harder to explain in just a few years since the ENSO and AMO-adjusted warming observations are tracking farther and farther away from the global warming model’s track.  As the RSS satellite log warming chart will show later, temperatures have in fact moved even farther away from the models since 1979.

Click for larger image
Click for larger image

The global warming models formula produces temperatures which would be +10C in geologic time periods when CO2 was 3,000 ppm, for example, while this model’s log warming would result in temperatures about +5C at 3,000 ppm.  This is much closer to the estimated temperature history of the planet.

This method is not perfect.  The overall reconstruction produces a resulting error which is higher than one would want.  The error term is roughly +/-0.2C but the it does appear to be strictly white noise.   It would be better if the resulting error was less than +/- 0.2C but it appears this is unavoidable in something as complicated as the climate and in the measurement errors which exist for temperature, the ENSO and the AMO.

This is the error for the reconstruction of GISS monthly data going back to 1880.

Click for larger image
Click for larger image

There does not appear to be a signal remaining in the errors for another natural climate variable to impact the reconstruction.  In reviewing this model, I have also reviewed the impact of the major volcanoes.  All of them appear to have been caught by the ENSO and AMO indices which I imagine are influenced by volcanoes.  There appears to be some room to look at a solar influence but this would be quite small.  Everyone is welcome to improve on this reconstruction method by examining other variables, other indices.

Overall, this reconstruction produces an r^2 of 0.783 which is pretty good for a monthly climate model based on just three simple variables.  Here is the scatterplot of the HadCRUT3 reconstruction.

Click for a larger image
Click for a larger image

This method works for all the major monthly temperature series I have tried it on.

Here is the model for the RSS satellite-based temperature series.

Click for a larger image
Click for a larger image

Since 1979, warming appears to be slowing down (after it is adjusted for the ENSO and the AMO influence.)

The model produces warming for the RSS data of just 0.046C per decade which would also imply an increase in temperature of just 0.7C for a doubling of CO2 (and there is only 0.4C more to go to that doubling level.)

Click for a full sized image

Looking at how far off this warming trend is from the models can be seen in this zoom-in of the log warming chart.  If you apply the same method to GISS data since 1979, it is in the same circle as the satellite observations so the different agencies do not produce much different results.

Click for larger image
Click for larger image

There may be some explanations for this even wider divergence since 1979.

–         The regression coefficient for the AMO increases from about 0.51 in the reconstructions starting in 1880 to about 0.75 when the reconstruction starts in 1979.  This is not an expected result in regression modelling.

–         Since the AMO was cycling upward since 1975, the increased coefficient might just be catching a ride with that increasing trend.

–         I believe a regression is a regression and we should just accept this coefficient.  The F statistic for this model is 267 which would pass a 99.9% confidence interval.

–         On the other hand, the warming for RSS is really at the very lowest possible end for temperatures which might be expected from increased GHGs.  I would not use a formula which is lower than this for example.

–         The other explanation would be that the adjustments of old temperature records by GISS and the Hadley Centre and others have artificially increased the temperature trend prior to 1979 when the satellites became available to keep them honest.  The post-1979 warming formulae (not just RSS but all of them) indicate old records might have been increased by 0.3C above where they really were.

–         I think these explanations are both partially correct.

This temperature reconstruction method works for all of the major temperature series over any time period chosen and for the smaller zonal components as well.  There is a really nice fit to the RSS Tropics zone, for example, where the Nino coefficient increases to 0.21 as would be expected.

Click for a full sized image

Unfortunately, the method does not work for smaller regional temperature series such as the US lower 48 and the Arctic where there is too much variation to produce a reasonable result.

I have included my spreadsheets which have been set up so that anyone can use them.  All of the data for HadCRUT3, GISS, UAH, RSS and NCDC is included if you want to try out other series.  All of the base data on a monthly basis including CO2 back to 1850, the AMO back to 1856 and the Nino 3.4 region going back to 1871 is included in the spreadsheet.

The model for monthly temperatures is “here” and for annual temperatures is “here” (note the annual reconstruction is a little less accurate than the monthly reconstruction but still works).

I have set-up a photobucket site where anyone can review these charts and others that I have constructed.

http://s463.photobucket.com/albums/qq360/Bill-illis/

So, we can now adjust temperatures for the natural variation in the climate caused by the ENSO and the AMO and this has provided a better insight into global warming.  The method is not perfect, however, as the remaining error term is higher than one would want to see but it might be unavoidable in something as complicated as the climate.

I encourage everyone to try to improve on this method and/or find any errors.  I expect this will have to be taken into account from now on in global warming research.  It is a simple regression.


UPDATED: Zip files should download OK now.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFO NOTE: Bill has made the Excel spreadsheets with data and graphs used for this essay available to me, and for those interested in replication and further investigation, I’m making them available here on my office webserver as a single ZIP file

Downloads:

Annual Temp Anomaly Model 171K Zip file

Monthly Temp Anomaly Model 1.1M Zip file

Just click the download link above, save as zip file, then unzip to your local drive work folder.

Here is the AMO data which is updated monthly a few days after month end.

http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/Correlation/amon.us.long.data

Here is the Nino 3.4 anomaly from Trenbeth from 1871 to 2007.

ftp://ftp.cgd.ucar.edu/pub/CAS/TNI_N34/Nino34.1871.2007.txt

And here is Nino 3.4 data updated from 2007 on.

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov:80/data/indices/sstoi.indices

– Anthony

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Pamela Gray
November 25, 2008 6:42 pm

Isn’t water vapor a greenhouse gas? Is there a chart of water vapor changes at different atmospheric levels during this same time span that might coincide with increased temperatures? And if CO2’s affect on water vapor were removed, would that leave us with a correlation that more closely matches water vapor changes than CO2 changes? One more question, what does a changing ocean cycle do to water vapor? Is there a lag? Is there a point at which the climate becomes more sensitive to water vapor? In other words, is there a tipping point for water vapor? I can surmise that when ocean cycles go the other way, water vapor would start to change as well and could stall climate changes or even reverse them.

MattN
November 25, 2008 6:54 pm

“There appears to be some room to look at a solar influence but this would be quite small.”
I am no expert, but I suspect the oceans are being driven by the solar influence. It is becoming increasingly clear that the oceans are running the climate show on this planet.

pizzachef01
November 25, 2008 6:58 pm

Thanks. Anthony, I am having trouble with the two spreadsheets. I have tried to download them both in open office and excel and I get a message that they are corrupted
REPLY: Try now I’ve added a ZIP file. – Anthony

crosspatch
November 25, 2008 7:02 pm

There is also a chicken/egg question of warmer water outgassing or at the least not absorbing as much CO2. When oceans warm they take in less CO2 and when soils warm, they produce more CO2 due to increased rates of biological decomposition of organic matter. A recent (in the past week) paper figures that soils produce 10x more CO2 than all human activities combined. While a few degrees doesn’t make much difference in tropical regions, it can make a HUGE difference in temperate regions where a degree or two in local temperature might mean the difference between “frozen” and active biological decomposition. Also, a warmer year will result in a longer period above freezing and just a couple of weeks of additional time is again more than 10x human caused emissions over those two weeks. So an extra frost-free week could be equal to 10 weeks of additional human emissions from natural sources.
So CO2 may still not be a cause and is still quite likely to be a result of warming.

November 25, 2008 7:03 pm

Bill: I’ll have to delve deeper into your post tomorrow, but until then, here’s something to ponder. Why does a running total of the Trenberth NINO3.4 SST anomaly data create a curve that mimics the global temperature anomaly curve?
http://i36.tinypic.com/mttvfq.jpg
I can scale that running total with a coefficient from a Trenberth paper on ENSO and come up with a very reasonable correlation between the running total and global temperature? WHY?

David L. Hagen
November 25, 2008 7:10 pm

For a approach, fitting the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and CO2 to temperature trends, see: Roy W. Spencer’s model, Global Warming as a Natural Response to Cloud Changes Associated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO)

The “PDO-only” (dashed) curve indeed mimics the main features of the behavior of global mean temperatures during the 20th Century — including two-thirds of the warming trend. If I include transient CO2 forcing with the PDO-forced cloud changes (solid line labeled PDO+CO2), then the fit to observed temperatures is even closer.
It is important to point out that, in this exercise, the PDO itself is not an index of temperature; it is an index of radiative forcing which drives the time rate of change of temperature.

Would Bill Illis’ fit above improve by using a combination of PDO, ENSO and AMO with ln(CO2)? Or are PDO, ENSO and AMO sufficiently interrelated as to not be independent?
Can the effects of the Urban Heat Island effect be quantitatively separated from CO2 forcing on temperature trends?

November 25, 2008 7:19 pm

Anthony, only Java -type URLs come up at the links. Can you provide non-Java URLs for the data? Thanks, Steve
REPLY: Hi Steve, I’m not sure what you are seeing. I have no java involved in any of this, like you I dislike it. I noted some previous CA comment where you mentioned something similar. I think whatever version of the Java engine you have installed on your PC may be intercepting links.
My advice, uninstall java from your machine, reboot, then reinstall it.
Anthony

November 25, 2008 7:22 pm

IT would also be helpful if Bill added original sources for the data (as URLs to the ENSO version and AMO version as used, for example.)

Bill Illis
November 25, 2008 7:23 pm

Regarding water vapour Pamela, there isn’t really good data to show changes in water vapour over time. The only non-confirmed data that there is shows there has been a very slight decline in relative humidity.
The global warming models are based on relative humidity staying more-or-less constant as temperature fluxuates up and down. Some studies show this is the case while others show there is some variation that we don’t understand right now.
The water vapour question is the big remaining question in global warming and how big the impact will be.

Bill Illis
November 25, 2008 7:32 pm

To Steve
Here is the AMO data which is updated monthly a few days after month end.
http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/Correlation/amon.us.long.data
Here is the Nino 3.4 anomaly from Trenbeth from 1871 to 2007.
ftp://ftp.cgd.ucar.edu/pub/CAS/TNI_N34/Nino34.1871.2007.txt
And here is Nino 3.4 data updated from 2007 on.
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov:80/data/indices/sstoi.indices

Jeff L
November 25, 2008 7:40 pm

This is very interesting, well thought out work on first blush. Since this is largely a statistical analysis, I would really like to see CA / Steve McIntyre take a hard look at it & render his opinion on the statistical validity (and comment here if possible). If it appears to hold up, I would encourage Bill to try to get it published, perhaps as a co-author with one or more names that could lend weight & credence to the publication.
I have taken a similar approach for seasonal forecasting of front range snowfall here in Colorado with pretty good success. Interestingly enough, I also found my best correlations with ENSO & AMO and poor correlation with solar activity & volcanic activity / optical thickness data. I think that not only do the oceans rule our long term climatic trends but also largely rule our seasonal trends.
Something to consider – we know the ocean has thermohaline circulation cycles of up to 1000+ years. If the ocean circulation has cycles of 1000 + years, could it also have heat content cycles up to 1000 + years & could that be a significant driver / component of even longer cycles of climate change we observe? Are there proxies out there that could assess this in a manor similar to what Bill just did for the last 130 years? – isotope data possibly?
I personally think that Bill is just scratching the surface of what this general multi-variate technique could bring to the table for climate data analysis.

Bill Illis
November 25, 2008 7:41 pm

To Bob Tisdale,
There is no logical/physical reason to include a running total for the Nino 3.4 anomaly which extends over years. I could be persuaded for a running total of a few months but one just needs to examine the up and down of temperatures in the 1997-98 El Nino, for example, to see there is no accumulating impact. The direct and continuous impact appears to work better and is more logical from a physical perspective in my mind.

deadwood
November 25, 2008 8:02 pm

Great detective work Bill. Now we await the pitbull (Gavin) to see if he takes a bite!

Alan S. Blue
November 25, 2008 8:26 pm

Good work Bill Illis.
One lingering issue I kept running into in my own (non-climate) empirical fitting work is trying to avoid adding parameters I’m not certain are needed. And at each step, trying the simplest possible influence from a factor before assuming a more complex relationship.
What that boils down to is:
What happens to your fit if you just regress on a monotonically increasing line instead of ln(co2)?
Is the fit substantially better or worse?
Because a fair number of papers split “the warming” into a slice due to humans (AGW), and a slice that isn’t necessarily. Being able to differentiate the two would be excellent.

Steve Hempell
November 25, 2008 8:36 pm

Still can’t get spreadsheets with zip file. Lots of #VALUEs (using Excel 2007).
Only get this on the link – no way to download anything.
“ndex of ftp://ftp.cgd.ucar.edu/pub/CAS/TNI_N34/Nino34.1871.2007.txt/
Up to higher level directory
Name Size Last Modified”
Anthony:
Have you read this:
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/view.php?id=35952
On reading seems like NASA gobbly-gook and makes statements like this:
“With new observations, the scientists confirmed experimentally what existing climate models had anticipated theoretically” and
“Because the new precise observations agree with existing assessments of water vapor’s impact, researchers are more confident than ever in model predictions that Earth’s leading greenhouse gas will contribute to a temperature rise of a few degrees by the end of the century.” What’s a “few”?
What’s your take on this “News”?

davidsmith1
November 25, 2008 8:37 pm

Bill, I have some plots somewhere which suggest that ENSO and global temperature are correlated with about a 3 month lag and then correlated again, weakly, with about a 15 month lag.
My thinking was that the results reflected either an odd flaw in my approach or, if real, a secondary impact of ENSO on Indian Ocean SST.
I’ll see if I can find, or reconstruct, those plots during the upcoming US holiday.

Steve Hempell
November 25, 2008 8:42 pm

Still having problems with zip file. Getting lots of #VALUE.
Also problems with ftp://ftp.cgd.ucar.edu/pub/CAS/TNI_N34/Nino34.1871.2007.txt
Can’t seem to download anything.
Anthony:
Have you read this:
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/view.php?id=35952
Any comments?

Bill Illis
November 25, 2008 8:44 pm

To Alan S. Blue
The theory of global warming is based on a logarithmic relationship of CO2/GHGs to temperature impact.
A linear model works fine until you move far away from the current CO2 levels of 387 ppm. In fact, right now, CO2 levels are increasing at a slightly exponential rate (0.8% acceleration) per year and the warming trend would go ballistic exponential in no time if you didn’t use the log formula.
It doesn’t make much difference for short periods of time but what would Earth’s temp be when CO2 levels were 3,000 ppm 350 million years ago – 8 times the current average of 15C or about 116C – it was only about +5C.
http://img396.imageshack.us/img396/9346/co2tempgeotij2.png

Bill Illis
November 25, 2008 8:52 pm

To Steve Hempell.
Regarding the water vapour study by Dessler – I read the paper and the results are not exactly as indicated in the news releases. The study examined the change in water vapour from DJF 2007 to DJF of 2008 when the La Nina (and the AMO) reduced temperatures by 0.4C.
The study found there was a 1.5% (percentage points) decline in relative humidity in the very lower levels of the troposphere and a 1.5% increase in relative humidity in the upper layers of the troposphere. The middle layers were constant.
Given there is more water vapour in the lower levels of the atmosphere, the study really found that there was a decline in overall relative humidity when global warming theory suggests it should stay more-or-less stable.
To be fair, the models do produce results which are similar to this as temperatures go up (but not when they go down as happened between 2007 and 2008.)

Bill Illis
November 25, 2008 9:00 pm

To davidsmith,
I think there is room for further optimization of this model, especially with the lags and trying other indices. I’ve seen your stuff before and would welcome any further thoughts.
To be honest, I built this model because I got tired of asking people to just try this or try that and then not seeing it done. I am just a layman and others need to pick this up and run with it now.

November 25, 2008 9:15 pm

It makes me uncomfortable to look at the graph Hadley Plus Constant Versus Nino and AMO Model Only and see a hybrid of actual data and modeled data going back in time. Plotting anything that comes out of a computer on a chronologic baseline from the past is an inherently unsettling strategy, one that to my eyes appears to have been heavily influenced by AGWers’ love of GCMs.
The word “warming” on the graph, again, appears to have the ring of authority, as though there were only a single possible explanation for the divergence. That would appear to my eyes to be an argument, rather than a fact. Could the length of solar cycles have anything to do with temperatures? Could the intensity of solar cycles have anything to do with the rising temperatures? Could the PDO be at play here? Could, as someone else pointed asked, energy in the deep ocean that got there hundreds, or thousands, of years ago have raised atmospheric temperatures in the 20th century?

KW
November 25, 2008 9:17 pm

I’d be curious to know if the AMO has peaked on its latest cycle, and if so, what happens from here through the next 30 years? A repeat of of 1945-1975 – ala stagnant or a minor drop in temperatures – like the Western WA Professor’s paper as of recent?
temps.
2008—>..
.. …. …… .. 2038(?)
…… … .. …..

Mike C
November 25, 2008 9:28 pm

Okay, I see partions of two oceans discussed here… many more to go.

Terry
November 25, 2008 9:49 pm

Steve Hempell and Pamela
Re water vapour questions, it seems to me that with this kind of analysis, it is irrelevant. Temp increases are logarithmically tied to CO2, and H20 is essentially logarithmically tied to temperature. So a log dependence on CO2 will take care of the H2O in this type of correlation. Only the exponent of the log changes, ie the constant in front of the log term becomes a proxy for all the other parameters that change with CO2. In essence, it is perfectly acceptable to use the CO2 level as the proxy for most of the other variables that are tied to it. This is a nice piece of work.

kim
November 25, 2008 11:30 pm

I wish I could remember who said that the climate is the continuation of the oceans by other means.
=======================================

peter_ga
November 26, 2008 12:28 am

The assumption that for time scales longer than el-nino and multidecadal oscillations the climate naturally is essentially static forms an essential, but unjustified, foundation of the AGW hypothesis. It is not possible to prove unambiguously that the warming from 1970 to 2000 was not part of some natural variation. Hence the defense of the undefensible concerning the hockey stick charade.

steven mosher
November 26, 2008 12:51 am

kim: Von Cloudswitz

Flanagan
November 26, 2008 1:37 am

To me, it really looks like the AMO/nino model diverges compared to observations since the 70ies, and that the difference keeps increasing with time.

November 26, 2008 1:42 am

Bill Ellis: You wrote, “one just needs to examine the up and down of temperatures in the 1997-98 El Nino, for example, to see there is no accumulating impact.”
Take a closer look. Note the step change in the pre-and post-1997 global temperature trends that should be attributable to the 97/98 El Nino in the:
RSS MSU Data:
http://i34.tinypic.com/o9j0v5.jpg
GISS Data:
http://i35.tinypic.com/2ajs8ib.jpg
NCDC Data:
http://i36.tinypic.com/2ijhvdw.jpg
UAH MSU Data:
http://i36.tinypic.com/14scl08.jpg
and the HADCRUT Data:
http://i36.tinypic.com/1emam9.jpg
Or looking at data sets of smaller areas, notice the remarkable step changes in the Mediterranean Sea SST after the 97/98 El Nino:
http://i33.tinypic.com/6rpjzm.jpg
and the Gulf of Mexico SST:
http://i33.tinypic.com/2hyexwj.jpg
and the Atlantic Ocean SST:
http://i35.tinypic.com/9fmneo.jpg
and the western Pacific Ocean SST:
http://i34.tinypic.com/10pr9cm.jpg
Arctic temperatures shifted, too:
http://i38.tinypic.com/2cpx63c.jpg
Note the differences in response of the east and west Pacific Ocean SSTs (divided at 180deg longitude) to the 97/98 El Nino:
http://i34.tinypic.com/5tx6qg.jpg
Note also the differences in the responses of the Indian Ocean to significant El Nino events:
http://i38.tinypic.com/iejmtk.jpg
versus La Nina events:
http://i33.tinypic.com/15ofb41.jpg
I discussed the above in the following posts:
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/08/did-9798-el-nino-cause-step-change-in.html
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/07/hurricane-breeding-grounds.html
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/10/atlantic-indian-and-pacific-ocean-ssts.html
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/11/another-look-at-saw-tooth-trends-in.html
Bill: I don’t have the background that would allow me to delve into the data further and pull out an accumulating impact of ENSO. But maybe someone else reading this thread does. The fact that a running total of the Trenberth NINO3.4 SST anomaly data mimics the global temperature anomaly curve hints that there is an accumulation.
Regards.

Stephen Wilde
November 26, 2008 1:54 am

A good start in unravelling the oceanic effects on atmospheric temperatures.
Now we need to ascertain the net global effect at any particular time of ALL oceanic oscillations combined.
Sometimes they combine in the same phase to affect temperatures rapidly and at other times they offset one another.
Then tie them in with solar changes over several solar cycles and that should account for all observed temperature changes without having to involve CO2 at all.
See my various articles at :
http://co2sceptics.com/news.php?tag=stephen+wilde

Stephen Wilde
November 26, 2008 1:56 am

Kim,
The oceans should be regarded as a continuation of the atmosphere as regards maintenance of global temperature and being so much more substantial the oceans are by far the greater part of the mechanism.

November 26, 2008 2:15 am

Bill Illis: Sorry about misspelling your last name. It’s early here. I was apparently more concerned that I had the right links.
Regards.

November 26, 2008 2:27 am

kim (23:30:28) : I wish I could remember who said…
“Climate is the continuation of the oceans by other means”
http://navalwarchangesclimate.wordpress.com/
That’s one link, kim. It seems to be all over the web.

Alan Chappell
November 26, 2008 2:39 am

Bill Illis says,
“I am just a layman” I ask Bill, where can i get a degree in Layman ?

Richard S Courtney
November 26, 2008 3:24 am

Bill Illis:
Thankyou for this cogent analysis. I have one comment on your method and its effect on your conclusion.
I understand your article to say your analytical method has the following steps.
1.
The effect on temperature of AMO and ENSO within the time series is calculated by simple regression (this is possible because AMO and ENSO exhibit several cycles within the temporal range of the data set).
2.
The temperature effect of AMO and ENSO is deleted from the time series to reveal a residual temperature trend in the time series.
3.
The residual trend is assumed to be an effect of changed atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration over the temporal range of the data set.
4.
The assumption in step 3 is used to calculate the climate sensitivity to changing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration.
This may be correct, but the assumption in step 3 is the logical fallacy of ‘argument from ignorance’. The assumption amounts to, “The cause of the residual trend is not known so it must be changing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration”. (If this ‘logical fallacy’ is not clear then consider, “The cause of crop failures is not known so it must be witches”.)
Of course, the residual trend may be a result of changing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration.
However, the assumption in step 3 does not concur with the implicit assumption of steps 1 and 2 that natural cycles are affecting the temperature trend.
Other natural cycles may also be affecting the trend, and the method is not applicable to cycles with lower frequency than the time series. Such a very low frequency oscillation does seem to exist. There is an apparent ~900 year oscillation that caused the Roman Warm Period (RWP), then the Dark Age Cool Period (DACP), then the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), then the Little Ice Age (LIA), and the present warm period (PWP).
There is no known cause of this apparent low frequency oscillation: some people suggest it could be solar influence, but it could be the chaotic climate system seeking its attractor(s), and it could be … . However, there is no known cause of the AMO and ENSO, either.
Therefore, the implicit assumption of your steps 1 and 2 suggests that the residual trend determined by your steps 1 and 2 could be recovery from the LIA that is similar to the recovery from the DACP to the MWP.
Indeed, since the method adopted the implicit assumption of your steps 1 and 2, consistency suggests that all the observed rise of global temperature in the twentieth century is recovery from the LIA that is similar to the recovery from the DACP to the MWP.
Hence, the calculated climate sensitivity to changing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration obtained by your method should be assumed to be a maximum value until this possibility of recovery from the LIA is assessed.
I hope these thoughts are helpful.
Again, thankyou for your superb work that I trust will soon be published.
Richard

Bill Illis
November 26, 2008 3:42 am

To Richard,
The steps you outlined are correct and there is a step 3 where there may be opportunities to find other variables/indices to explain some of the variation.
There is a fairly consistent trend going up however and the biggest explanation for that would be increasing GHGs.
But you’re right, other variables should be tested in this model.

John W
November 26, 2008 3:43 am

I also am having problems opening the excel files. Excel tries to repair (unsucessfully) the annual model, and I get a “cannot be accessed” error on the monthly.
Excellent analysis. I look forward to delving deeper over the holiday.

kim
November 26, 2008 3:59 am

Arnd Bernaerts, yes, it was, and thank you, Roger.
==============================

Norm Kalmanovitch
November 26, 2008 4:06 am

No matter what scientific facts are presented to challenge the AGW ideology it is impossible for scientists to sway public opinion on this issue because the issue is political. It is very easy for high profile people who quote a scientific consensus that is supported by sophisticated computer models to convince the general public of anything that they want.
Even though the computer models have never yielded a single result that matches observations, any criticism of the models is met with some sort of complex justification that is beyond the comprehension of the general public so it is readily accepted by the masses and those questioning the validity of the models are vilified by the promoters of the AGW agenda as skeptics and deniers who are in the pockets of big oil.
The sole support for AGW is the climate models, and the sole support for the climate models with respect to CO2 is the forcing parameter. There is no actual physical rational for the forcing parameter, because it was simply contrived from the assumption that observed warming of 0.6°C was due entirely to a 100ppmv increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration. There was never any verification of this parameter either by theory or observation. There is no justification for this parameter based on the physical properties of CO2, because the molecular configuration of the CO2 molecule precludes any significant effect from CO2 beyond a concentration of 300ppmv, and the current concentration is 386ppmv.
There is no justification for this parameter based on observation because the observed notch in the spectrum created by CO2 is virtually identical for both the Earth and Mars and Mars has over 9 times the physical concentration of CO2 in its atmosphere than the Earth has in its atmosphere.
Even the reference temperature value for the parameter is faulty because the maximum temperature increase possibly attributable to human CO2 emissions is 0.1°C per century; not the 0.6°C that is used in the forcing parameter.
The climate models use a forcing parameter based on the equation:
CO2 rf = f * ln([CO2]/[CO2]prein)/ln(2)
where f= rf for CO2 doubling
In further documentation according to the IPCC, the “Radiative Forcing” ÄF, in watts per square meter, due to additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, can be calculated from the formula:
ÄF = 5.35 ln C/Co
The value 5.35 in this equation and the term [CO2]prein in the generalized equation demonstrate that the forcing parameter is based on the 100ppmv increase from the preindustrial value of 280ppmv and the 0.6°C of measured temperature over the time period that this 100ppmv increase occurred.
Further documentation in the IPCC reports states that the forcing of each watt/m2 raises the global temperature by 0.75°C + 0.25°C.
The Nimbus 4 satellite measured the thermal radiation spectrum of the Earth in 1970, when the CO2 concentration was 325ppmv as measured at Mauna Loa.
Mars has an atmosphere that is 95% CO2 with virtually zero water vapour and the remaining 5% of the atmosphere is comprised of O2 N2 and Ar, so CO2 is essentially the only “greenhouse gas”.
The atmosphere on Mars is so thin that the 950,000ppmv concentration of CO2 only represents about 9 times more actual CO2 than is in the Earth’s atmosphere in absolute terms.
Recent measurements of the thermal radiation spectrum from Mars should show a spectral notch from CO2 that represents an increase in forcing representing the 9 times difference in CO2 according to the equation:
ÄF = 5.35 ln C/Co
Considering that this formula gives a forcing value of 3.708watts/m2 for just a doubling of CO2, this value of 11.755watts/m2 for a 9-fold difference should be readily visible on the two measured spectra.
The spectral notch is virtually identical on both the 1970 Earth spectra with a 325ppmv and the Mars spectra from at least 9 times the concentration indicating that there is virtually no effect increases in CO2 beyond 325ppmv.
This clearly falsifies the equation and the numerical values used to determine the forcing parameter of the climate models that support the AGW hypothesis.
In addition to this physical evidence of an invalid assumption forming the basis for the forcing parameter, there is a blatantly obvious error in the actual values used in determining the magnitude of the forcing parameter. The temperature record shows that the global temperature has been increasing naturally at a rate of about 0.5°C/century since the Little Ice Age. The forcing parameter is based on the full measured 0.6°C/century without subtracting the natural warming of 0.5°C/century giving a forcing parameter that is 6 times larger than can be attributed to the measured increase in CO2.
Far less obvious, but the major fatal flaw of the forcing parameter is that it is based on an observation of temperature and CO2 concentration without taking into account the actual physical properties of CO2 and its limited effect on thermal radiation as defined by quantum physics.
As you are aware, certain gases can be caused to rotate and vibrate by thermal radiation. The rotation mode is relatively independent of wavelength but the vibration mode is limited to specific resonant wavelength bands. The rotation mode results from the interaction between the thermal energy and the dipole moment of the gas molecule. The carbon dioxide molecule is formed from two oxygen atoms equidistant from a central carbon atom and all three atoms are in a perfectly straight line. This configuration and symmetry eliminates any dipole moment, limiting the CO2 molecule to vibration modes only.
There is only a single vibration mode of CO2 that resonates within the thermal spectrum radiated by the Earth (and Mars). This bend vibration resonates with a band of energy centred on a wavelength of 14.77microns (wavenumber 677cm-1) and the width of this band is quite narrow as depicted on the spectra from Earth and Mars.
It only takes a minute amount of CO2 to fully “capture” the energy at the resonant wavelength, and additional CO2 progressively captures energy that is further and further from the peak wavelength. At the 280ppmv CO2 preindustrial level used as reference in the forcing parameter, about 95% of the energy bandwidth that could possibly be captured by CO2 has already been captured. There is only 5% of this limited energy available within the confines of this potential “capture” band left to be captured.
The greenhouse effect from CO2 is generally stated as 3°C, so an additional 100ppmv above the 280ppmv level is only capable of generating a maximum 5% increase or 0.15°C. The forcing parameter is based on a full 0.6°C which is four times the 0.15°C absolute physical limit of warming from CO2.
Furthermore if this 0.15°C increase has used up the full 5% of the remaining possible energy as the concentration reached 380ppmv, there is zero warming possible from further increases in CO2.
This is why the CO2 notch is virtually identical in the two spectra; the CO2 band was virtually saturated at the 325ppmv concentration level, so even nine times more CO2 has almost no appreciable effect.
Norm K.

John W
November 26, 2008 4:12 am

Richard C
You make good points. However, for your ‘logical fallacy’ example of the cause of crop failures to be analgous, there would need to be a corresponding increase in the population of witches.
And while we wouldn’t expect crop failures to “force” an increase of witches,
does the same hold true as to whether >CO2 is a cause or effect? After reading Jim Hanson’s paper where he tries to explain away the 700 or so yr. lag of CO2 following temperature changes in the Vostok data, I remain unconvinced that CO2 is, in the words of someone who’s name I can’t recall, “driving the bus or just sitting in the back”.

November 26, 2008 4:33 am

Bill Illis: Sometimes a change of perspective is needed. Your analysis also doesn’t account for the disparity between the magnitude and frequency of El Nino events and those of La Nina events. This can readily be seen by smoothing NINO3.4 data. I used a 7-year filter for the following graph. (Actually an 85-month filter for the monthly NINO3.4 and Global Temperature anomaly data.)
http://i38.tinypic.com/2v9ay69.jpg
Other notes about the graph: Since the source of your data (Trenberth and Stepaniak) remark in the accompanying paper that the NINO3.4 data is questionable prior to the opening of the Panama Canal, 1914, I deleted the data before 1915. I also prepared this graph for an upcoming post that I haven’t gotten around to writing up, which is why it ends in 2005.
Note that the NINO3.4 data is predominantly positive from 1918 to 1944 and from 1977 to 2005 (periods when global temperatures rose) and that the NINO3.4 data is predominantly negative from 1943 to 1959 and from 1970 to 1977 (periods when global temperatures for the most part declined). There are some exceptions, but, in whole, it holds true. During the positive NINO3.4 period of 1959 to 1970, global temperatures started to rise but were suppressed by volcanic aerosols.
Regards.

JimB
November 26, 2008 5:17 am

Norm,
Thank you for that great post…I’ve read it 3 times, and will read it several more, I’m sure. Each time I understand a little bit more of what you’re saying.
Bill Illis,
What great work. I hope I get to see it put to good use, and provide yet another set of points that get added to the debate which we so desperately need.
JimB

Richard S Courtney
November 26, 2008 5:23 am

John W:
I hope this posting will clarify what I meant by my comment, and I apologise if my use of an imperfect illustration caused confusion.
To begin, I want it to be very clear that I think Illis has provided a good, useful and important analysis which warrants publication.
My witches illustration was intended to aid understanding, and it was not intended as direct analogy. However, your comment brings attention to quality of data. (The records show that the number of detected witches did increase at the time when witchfinders were appointed. But it is not clear how many witches were detected and how many witchfinders existed.)
I stress that I think Illis has provided a superb analysis, but the quality of any analysed data should always be questioned because GIGO applies to all analyses.
Also, your comment concerning “driving the bus” illustrates the importance of ascribed causality. Which was causal; did increase to the number of detected witches induce increase to the number of witchfinders, or did increase to the number of witchfinders induce increase to the number of detected witches?
In the context of the analysis Illis provides, ascribed causality has great importance. Which is causal; did increase to atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration cause increase to the residual temperature trend, or did rising temperature cause increase to the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, or were the temperature and carbon dioxide changes caused by some other effect(s)?
My comment was intended to explain the importance of ascribed causality on the analysis Illis provides.
I am an extreme sceptic on matters of man-made global climate change. I do not know the cause(s) of the recent rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, and I do not know what – if any – effect that rise is having on global climate. But I want to find out.
The absence of any empirical evidence for anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) global warming (AGW) leads advocates of AGW to rely on the logical fallacy of ‘argument from ignorance’ and outputs of computer models.
History is replete with examples of politicians being guided by advisors who used the ‘argument from ignorance’ fallacy to justify their advice. The advisors have always presented an appealing case based on accepted theory, and they have always ignored – or rejected – alternative possible explanations for the effects which they have asserted as justification for their advice.
In ancient times such advisors said, “We do not know what causes lightening to strike so it must be the actions of Gods and people should make sacrifices to appease those Gods.” And, as my illustration said, in the Middle Ages such advisors said, “We do not know what causes crops to fail so it must be witches and we must eliminate the witches.”
Now, advocates of AGW say, “We do not know what causes global climate change so it must be emissions from human activity and we must eliminate those emissions.” Of course, they phrase it slightly differently: they say that they cannot match historical climate change with known climate mechanisms unless an anthropogenic effect is included. But this “anthropogenic effect” is an assumption with no more empirical evidence to support its existence than the empirical evidence for ancient Gods and witches.
My comments tried to say that the final part of Illis’s analysis adopts the same ‘logical fallacy’ that is used by AGW advocates. It is an assumption – not a fact – that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is the cause of the residual temperature trend his analysis reveals. Indeed, his demonstration that natural oscillations cause some of the temperature trend adds credence to the possibility that other observed natural oscillations may also be significantly contributing to the trend.
But, as I also said, increased atmospheric carbon dioxide may be the cause of the residual temperature trend Illis’s analysis reveals.
I hope what I intended to say is now clear.
Richard

John M
November 26, 2008 5:48 am

davidsmith1 (20:37:23) :
Will this or this help you track it down?

Flanagan
November 26, 2008 5:51 am

two rapid comments on the reply just above:
“the computer models have never yielded a single result that matches observations”
This looks to me like a very strong statement. Too bad it is completely false… In particular when you think many models biuld their internal set parameters based on reproducing observations over the last century.
“There is only a single vibration mode of CO2 that resonates within the thermal spectrum radiated by the Earth. This bend vibration resonates with a band of energy centred on a wavelength of 14.77microns (wavenumber 677cm-1)”
again, a very convincing argument, except that it is obviously incorrect:
http://www.globalwarmingart.com/images/thumb/4/4e/Atmospheric_Absorption_Bands.png/700px-Atmospheric_Absorption_Bands.png
There is more than just one asymetric vibration mode in CO2.

Noblesse Oblige
November 26, 2008 6:09 am

Bill
This analysis is very promising. It is similar to but extends the work of Douglass and Christy (Limits on CO2 Forcing From Recent Temperature Data of Earth, Energy and Environment, to be published) which considers only UAH data (1979+). Both your analysis and Douglass/Christy attempt to remove “unforced” natural effects from the climate signal and ascribe the residual to “the real global warming signal.” However, solar variability remains an untreated “forced” natural effect. You may wish to consider incorporating the work of N. Scafetta and B. West (J. Geophysical Research, Vol 112 D24S03, Nov. 2007, and their previous papers cited therein) who treat solar variability phenomenolgically via a simple thermodynamic model using various reconstructions of Total Solar Illuminance and the historical temperature over longer time periods. They find a major fraction, but not nearly all, of 20th century warminng ascribable to solar variability. It should be possible to incorporate their approach in your regressions.
The point is that no one that I know of has included both “unforced’ terrestrial cycles and solar variability in an integrated analysis.

Pierre Gosselin
November 26, 2008 6:22 am

Now that’s a good post. Keep ’em coming!
0.4°C more warming with a doubling of CO2 – hardly catastrophic. Certainly does not warrant expensive mitigation programs demanded by many.
“…adjustments of old temperature records by GISS and the Hadley Centre and others have artificially increased the temperature trend… ”
Now why doesn’t that surprise me? I’m curious how the other side will respond to this.

Bill Illis
November 26, 2008 6:31 am

To Bob Tisdale,
I tried just plugging a higher coefficient for the Nino 3.4 region because it does seem like there are periods when its impact is greater than the reconstruction allows.
However, there are many other time periods when the increased coefficient just puts the reconstruction far off the actual temperature trend. These time periods then extend out over many years, decades even, versus the very short periods when the reconstruction is off by a small amount.
So, I just decided to trust the regression and go with it. I wanted this to just be a straight-up, simple model with no plugging or smoothing in any event because there is a danger in playing around with the data too much, as Mann’s hockey sticks show.
You are the expert on analyzing ocean temps and circulation of course and I have been to your site quite often before.
In terms of the Trenberth data being questionable in earlier periods, I just decided to just go with what’s available. If we are to build a model of temperatures, we have to use what is available.
What I would like to see however, is if the raw Trenberth data would provide a better fit as this index is a five month smoothing. It is probably too variable, hence the need for the smoothing but what I’ve seen in this building this reconstruction is that information is lost as the data is smoothed or averaged. Just look at the spikes in the temperature data, the climate can move very fast.

November 26, 2008 6:32 am

I just returned from a climate change conference in Amsterdam organised by the Royal Geological and Mining Society of the Netherlands on the 20th of November http://www.kngmg.nl/
Two speakers: Prof Jurg Beer (physicist) of Zurich and Prof Kees de Jager of Utrecht University and founder and first director of the Utrecht Space Research Laboratory showed some remarkable correlations between temperature variations and solar activity over the last 400 years or so. They concluded that no anthropogenic signature could be detected. They purely concentrated on the statistical significance of the observations. Yet they realized that the changes in solar forcing are not enough to cause the temperature fluctuations, but they didn’t want to speculate about the possible causes. Obviously some other mechanism must explain the amplified effect on temperature. They knew about Svensmark et al but didn’t want to comment on it as they felt not qualified to do so, but they were eagerly awaiting the outcome of the forthcoming CERN experiments.
If ENSO and AMO are also correlating with the past temperature fluctuations, I can only conclude that the sun ( via clouds? ) is responsible for the frequency and strength of the various oceanic oscillations.
De Jager’s paper has just appeared in the September issue (Volume 87, no 3) of the Netherlands Journal of Geosciences.

Jeff L
November 26, 2008 6:43 am

In thinking about it overnight, I came to the same conclusion that some of the other posters did. What you have done is residualized the long wavelength trend not directly related to ENSO / AMO out of the signal. Over the time scale of investigation, a linear trend or logarithmic trend could be fit – I am guessing with similar r^2’s. I would agree that temps & CO2 have a logarithmic trend, but there isn’t enough spread in the data to say the residual has a logarithmic trend. SO, with that being said, if you make the ASSUMPTION that the residual trend is purely due to CO2 – the 1.85C per doubling of CO2 is a MAXIMUM effect end member – assuming any other forcing mechanisms at play are positive & not negative.
Question for the group to consider : What other long wavelength forcings are out there that could drive this residual (ie positive forcings, with CO2 being an even smaller positive forcing) & what other possible long wavelength negative forcings are out there that would make this an underestimate of CO2 forcing?
One more IMPORTANT comment for group: This little exercise here is a good example of collaborative science – not unlike the concept behind linux. As a community, there should be some consideration of a way to formalize this concept (not that I have time to do this, but someone reading might). I think the over-riding concern with the “skeptics” community is that we want the science done right – science as science, with everything considered, not as dogmatic political science. I would bet that if a web-based mechanism was set up for collaborative research, that scientifically sound progress could be made on many different aspect of climate change by the skeptic community. It could have different threads investigating specific questions, a compilation of all important publicly available datasets, a compilation of pertinent publications, as well as all research done by the group to date for others to build upon. Bill’s paper above would be a good example of a starting point for a thread of research. Questions brought up by posters could be investigated further, the model / hypothesis refined with those answers. New questions such as the causation behind the residual could start as a new thread of research. As long as no one lets their egos get in the way (looking for glory) & the goal is simply getting the right answer, it could be a powerful tool.

Rick W
November 26, 2008 6:52 am

Anthony, still having problems opening the excel sheets, even in zip format. Says they are corrupted.
REPLY: I tried a download from another machine that I didn’t write the post from and had the same result. I’ll see if I can figure out this nuance. – Anthony

Pamela Gray
November 26, 2008 7:03 am

Maybe we just have warm or cold air blowing on our temp gauges. What patterns does the jet stream take on with oceanic oscillations? At least in the upper part of the US we either freeze or save on fuel when the jet stream dips or not. The winter of 07/08 experienced plenty of cold temps because the jet stream looped down into our territory many times. The more times in a season it stays up above the 45 parallel the more fuel we save. Is there an oscillation to the predominant jet stream pattern that coincides with oceanic cycles? And what do we know about the jet stream in relation with solar cycles? Plus, wouldn’t the jet stream move water vapor along to somewhere else?

kim
November 26, 2008 7:06 am

Chris S. (06:44:32)
Whose reconstruction of solar activity did your speakers use? Where’s Leif to comment on this latest?
========================================

kim
November 26, 2008 7:07 am

Uh, that’s (06:32:44) for Chris S.
===========================

Pamela Gray
November 26, 2008 7:14 am

re: web based research collaboration. Scientists need to feed their families too. Who will fund such an effort? Scientists don’t make a product that you can buy at Walmart. What funding sources could be accessed for such an endeavor that does not have, or can set aside, a vested interest in the outcome? And how long would they be willing to fund before answers are forthcoming?

November 26, 2008 7:24 am

Damn it, everybody! I am in the middle of writing several articles, a policy paper and a book, and I can’t make time for this post……but will have to! Thank you Bill and all other contributors – it is one of the most informative and challenging posts yet – and very hard for me to digest because I am really bad at stats.
Others have picked up the issue of long term trends and recovery from the Little Ice Age, PDO cycles, and even longer ones – and not assuming the divergence is doe to CO2 until these are factored in – and the post on CO2 saturation is great stuff – I need to revisit that….and so little time!
One request – of the IPPC’s 0.6C, how much are you knocking off? Bill – You said it was a large amount, but I can’t see it on the graphs. What simple proportion do you ascribe to carbon dioxide?

November 26, 2008 7:25 am

Bill Illis, one last thing. With respect to your statement and graph about the NINO3.4 anomaly data trend or lack thereof, there is a significant difference between the Trenberth NINO3.4 SST anomaly data (The ultimate source is HADSST) and the Smith and Reynolds (ERSST.v2) version. Here’s a comparative graph of the monthly data:
http://i36.tinypic.com/2s76q02.jpg
Here’s a graph of the difference with a linear trend line:
http://i37.tinypic.com/2q33dcz.jpg
That trend is substantial and the dip in the early 20th century is consistent with the ERSST.v2 version of the Pacific Ocean. I don’t think the Trenberth (HADSST) NINO3.4 data has been detrended, though it looks like it might have been, because the difference also shows up in the annual NINO3.4 SST data of the two data sets:
http://i33.tinypic.com/orl1tc.jpg
And the difference in the annual SST data:
http://i38.tinypic.com/20zw7bb.jpg
I discussed it here:
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/11/nino34-data-comparison-hadsst-and.html
Who knows, maybe the guys at the Hadley Centre didn’t like the pesty SST dip in the early 20th century, so they smoothed it out. Stranger things have happened.
Regards

Jeff Alberts
November 26, 2008 7:39 am

Chris Shoeneveld: “Yet they realized that the changes in solar forcing are not enough to cause the temperature fluctuations, but they didn’t want to speculate about the possible causes. Obviously some other mechanism must explain the amplified effect on temperature.”
I’m not convinced there even has been an “amplified effect on temperature” any more than normal.

November 26, 2008 7:57 am

Thank you, Bill Illis, for this very nice post.
May I, nevertheless, ask the following questions:
1) the weight of ENSO is considerably less than that of AMO (0.06 or +/- 0.2 Celsius variation vs 0.5-0.7 or +/- 0.3-0.4 C variation).
ENSO represents tropical pacific, while AMO represents northern atlantic – not including tropical atlantic. The total area of pacific ocean is approx. 180 million km2, thereof tropical/subtropical area approx. 90 million km2. The atlantic ocean has 80 million km2, thereof the AMO area is approx. 30 million km2. The ratio is 3:1 while the weight factors ENSO vs AMO have roughly 1:2.
Why do you not use pacific decadal oscillation instead of AMO? PDO represents the total pacific, with, maybe, too little weight for the tropical pacific, which then would be compensated by ENSO.
2) The logarithmic dependence on CO2 concentration. Could it be replaced by just a linear dependence on time, without spoiling the agreement? After all, it can be claimed according to IPCC that 1/3 of the global warming arises from solar influence, which to a very first approximation has been linear in time (probably no longer).
3) The Hadcrut global data CO2 logarithmic prefactor of 2.73 yield 0.1 C per decade warming (since 1958), while the RSS global data give a CO2 logarithmic prefactor of 1(or 0.046 C/decade, since 1978). The difference to some extend seems to arise from the heavier weight of the last decade in the RSS analysis, but mainly may arise from inadequate land surface data (see UHI etc discussion a few days ago). Do you share this view?
A logarithmic ansatz for the CO2 dependence ignores any negative feedback due to enhanced latent heat transport at higher temperatures (the Lindzen argument).

November 26, 2008 8:15 am

Bill: As soon as the glitch in the download is fixed, I’ll try to replace the Trenberth data with ERSST.v2 and see what happens with your model. I’ll post the results.
BTW, how’d you answer my comment about the differences in the data sets before I posted it?

Jeff L
November 26, 2008 8:17 am

Pamela Gray (07:14:29) :
“Scientists need to feed their families too. Who will fund such an effort?”
That is why I made the Linux analogy – built collaboratively by a community of intensely interested individuals – with nothing more than sweat equity. I assume Bill Illis did not get paid for his little research work – yet he has put together a potentially very interesting piece of science. Anthony puts this blog together, which furthers the science and doesn’t get paid. This is not unrealistic to think that it could work. We clearly have a large group of technically competent people out here with the skills & the knowledge to address many of these problems. Just as with Linux, one person didn’t write the whole OS, the community did it together. Same could apply here – those who have the skills to contribute can contribute as they are able. As a side benefit, no one could say it is an effort funded by an agenda – no grant money funding the AGW’s, no “big oil” money (as the AGW’s like to think the “skeptics” are funded by) – just people motivated by finding the truth.

November 26, 2008 8:21 am

Bill Illis,
Very nice article. On my first reading I am impressed that the climate signal at least occurs in the visually correct time frame for CO2.
Please be careful not to over conclude that because you don’t have other explanations for the temp rise it must be CO2. IMHO you should strike those comments from the article or make strong caveats. Your graph makes a convincing enough argument for it by itself I think.
Also, although you were careful to point out data quality issues in your comments I need to mention that the corrections in the GISS data are nearly as large as your signal. While the corrections may (or may not) be entirely reasonable, errors in the data will have a large effect on the total rate of warming in your results. The same is true for the ENSO and AMO measurements.
I will spend some time over the next two days reviewing the rest of your work. It really is an interesting calculation. Tamino did something similar but didn’t publish any of his calculation methods so it was impossible to review. Also, he is stuck on the idea that climate change was linear for a hundred years and that makes it hard to take him seriously.
Great stuff though.

Ric Locke
November 26, 2008 8:32 am

Have you, or anyone, attempted to apply a Fourier transform to either the raw data or the residual error data?
“Eyeballing” residual frequencies in a graph like that is fraught with observation errors. If there are regularities in the data, a Fourier transform will exhibit spikes at various frequencies, and you can then go looking for things that happen on those time scales.
Regards,
Ric

LarryOldtimer
November 26, 2008 8:40 am

As I have stated before, if it is known what forces cause change, then change can be predicted. If the forces which cause change are not known, then projecting future changes from historical data is nothing more than extrapolation, and extrapolation is sure to be wrong, and sometimes far wrong.
It is clear from historical data that the equation (increased CO2 levels) = (global warming) is simply not true. What these people doing the extrapolation of historical data keep saying is, “If it weren’t for all of these factors which happen quite often and naturally, it would have gotten warmer.” But these events, the oscillation of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, volcanoes erupting, sunspots changing, varying amounts of water vapor in the atmosphere and the like occur frequently and are quite natural events.
It is much like the old sort of joke, “If the dog wouldn’t have stopped to take a crap, the dog would have caught the rabbit.” But if the dog always stops to take a crap, the dog will never catch the rabbit.
We humans simply can’t affect the volcanic eruptions, nor the oscillations of the oceans, nor the appearance (or not) of sunspots, nor the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. Thus, we humans can’t have any sort of control over the “climate”. The climate has never been under any sort of human control, and isn’t going to be under control of humans in the future.
All this “smoothing” of historical temperature data is simply ignoring what actually happened in history. All this “adjusting” of historical temperature data is nothing more than changing actual data to fit a hypothesis which clearly has failed the test of verification by actual observation.
It is long since time to toss out this hypothesis which has clearly failed, stop using extrapolation of historical temperature data (which itself has been adjusted that is, finagled to fit a false hypothesis) and stop using this pseudo science and begin using scientific method again. If one doesn’t know the actual causes, and the proportion of effect of each cause, then there are no such things as “trends”. These “trends” exist only in the minds of imaginative people.

Jeff Alberts
November 26, 2008 8:42 am

Pamela Gray wrote: “re: web based research collaboration. Scientists need to feed their families too. Who will fund such an effort? Scientists don’t make a product that you can buy at Walmart. What funding sources could be accessed for such an endeavor that does not have, or can set aside, a vested interest in the outcome? And how long would they be willing to fund before answers are forthcoming?”
Of course the funding has to be from “proper” sources, otherwise the results are suspect for some unknown reason.

Willi McQ
November 26, 2008 9:01 am

Pamala, re # 26,
And I thought they were all being funded by the big oil companies!
Can that be an error?
Willi

November 26, 2008 9:05 am

Kim,
De Jager considered both the equatorial and the polar activities. The latter is, apparently, often neglected.
He referred to the “smoothed maximum sunspot numbers; a proxy for the maximum toroidal field strength over the centuries” and the “smoothed values of the geomagnetic aa index at sunspot minimum; a proxy for the maximum poloidal field strength” (Duhai& De Jager, 2008). Since 1000 AD they named the following minima: Oort, Wolf, Sporer, Maunder and the Dalton.
By the way, they predict the next solar cycle, #24 to have a maximum strength of 68 +/-17 sunspots to be reached in 2014.

November 26, 2008 9:07 am

Kim,
Sorry, it is Duhau & de Jager

November 26, 2008 9:10 am

Title:
The Solar Dynamo and Its Phase Transitions during the Last Millennium
in: Solar Physics, Volume 250, Issue 1, pp.1-15.
Duhau, S.; de Jager, C.

November 26, 2008 9:23 am

Equally important is: what temperature proxy data did they use?
For the 400 years tropospheric temperature oscillations they used Moberg et al. 2005. Nature, 433: 613-617. Obviously, they didn’t use the hockey stick.

Bill Illis
November 26, 2008 9:31 am

To the posters who are suggesting trying other series etc., that is why I have done this. Just to show that it can be done. Like I wrote, it could certainly be improved on.
When we get the spreadsheets up and running, they are set-up so that one could try just about any other variation. All the charts etc. are in there as well.
I really did this so we could actually start adjusting for these things rather than just noting “if you adjust for …”
That and it was clear to me that increased temperature trend of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s was in part just a reflection of the ENSO and AMO and was not global warming. realclimate even has a GISS temp chart up right now showing temps going straight up like it will reach the moon. This analysis method says the GISS trend per decade since 1979 is only 0.058C per decade far, far less than 0.2C per decade it is projected to be.
http://i463.photobucket.com/albums/qq360/Bill-illis/GISS1979Warming.png?t=1227720573

Robert Wood
November 26, 2008 9:46 am

The coefficient for the Nino 3.4 region at 0.058 means it is capable of explaining changes in temps of as much as +/- 0.2C.
Is it 0.058 or a typo for 0.58?

jae
November 26, 2008 9:48 am

Great post, Bill, and some great comments, too. I agree with some others that a natural warming since the LIA could explain the gradual increase in temperatures; it doesn’t have to be CO2-related. We know there are some very long-term cycles at play. The current lull in solar cycle 24 will probably help us understand the effects of the sun better. I’m buying more long-johns.

evanjones
Editor
November 26, 2008 10:09 am

Some of those outside factors might include other ocean-atmospheric cycles. From 1976 – 2001 not only the PDO and AMO, but also the NAO, IPO (which overlap), and the AO and AAO went from cool phase to warm. Could that possibly fill in the gap ascribed to CO2?
Then there are McKitick, Michaels, LaDochy, etc., who claim the recent historical trend has been been exaggerated. I would sure like to know why the raw data is adjusted upwards when what common sense I can bring to bear tells me it should be adjusted downwards.
And, by definition, the sun is the primary power source. What is at issue is if CHANGES in the sun might be affecting ocean, atmosphere, etc. My current take on that is that the small stuff may not matter, but the grand minimums probably do matter – a lot. And if they don’t, then some other natural force (quite apart from Milankovic cycles) would be able to create “little” minimums and optimums.
Leif tells us that TSI seems more constant than previously believed. Using the questionable old figures, one will note that TSI increased c. 0.02% over the last century while temperatures (using questionable NOAA or GISS historical figures) increased c. 0.04% from absolute zero. Just a side-by-side look, and using old figures.

November 26, 2008 10:18 am

Nice job Bill but your treatment of the logs needs attention.
Physically the argument of the ln() should be non-dimensional i.e. the expression should have the form:
∆T=C*ln([CO2]/[CO2]o)
which can be expanded to: C*ln([CO2])-C*ln([CO2]o)
so rather than treat the constant term as a free variable in your fit it should be a constant with [CO2]o=285.
In this case at the start when [CO2]=285, ln(1)=0 therefore ∆T=0
In your case the two curve fits give ~306 and ~326 and you can see this by looking at the graph and seeing where the two lines cross 0. I would suggest that you try the fit with this model instead.
Secondly you attach significance to the ‘intercept’ of the graphs this is in error mathematically, the ln(x) function approaches -∞ asymptotically as x->0.
Physically this is in error because at small values of [CO2] the dependence becomes linear.
It’s interesting to see that a simple lumped parameter model using basically the variation of the two ocean basin SST anomalies (detrended) and a greenhouse term gives such a good agreement.
I hope WordPress can handle the math symbols, apologies if it can’t.

November 26, 2008 10:37 am

In 2005, I did a similar research, but using yearly data and including a wide variety of parameters. The results were published on http://www.junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/J_Janssens.htm , where one can also find a early model-to-play. Early 2007, I updated the data and improved the model using statistical tools. The methodology and results were published on my website at http://users.telenet.be/j.janssens/Climate2007/Climatereconstruction.html .
Though these are just statistical approximations, they do provide insight in the factors influencing the temperature data, and in the weaknesses of the professional climate models. I for one learned that the influence of the oceans was much bigger than expected, and because these variations (AMO,…) existed long before any anthropogenic “pollution”, the current global warming -to me- seems much more due to these factors than to e.g. manmade CO2.

Bill Illis
November 26, 2008 10:46 am

To Phil,
Thanks, but isn’t the formula really (I can’t do the symbols).
— Change in T x–>y = C Ln(CO2x) – 26.9 – [C ln(CO2y) – 26.9]
— the constants cancel each out when you are talking about a change in T so they are not represented but the proper formula would still include them.

John Philip
November 26, 2008 10:59 am

The essay says there is no GW trend in the AMO, yet most other studies have found a
positive trend
of around 0.5C over 120 years. The statement seems to be based on a graphing of this dataset …http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/Correlation/amon.us.long.data
But if we look at the
NOAA description
of the dataset it tells us that the index is derived by detrending the SST data. So is the essay bringing us the startling conclusion that a detrended dataset contains no trend?
If the detrended AMO dataset was used in the regression analysis then this will tend to alias any non-linear forcings, so any conclusions based on the residuals from that regression may be simple artifacts of the detrending.
It does not seem legitimate to simply assign any residual to CO2 warming, and not any other factors, also – as alluded to in the text but not the analysis, the GHG forcing does not act instantaneously or even on an annual timescale – there a lag in the climate response which means that there is estimated to be around
0.6C of warming ‘in the pipeline’
, any extrapolation needs to include this, not to mention the additional forcing from non-GHG feedbacks, which tend to be exponential …
For a peer-reviewed analysis along the same lines see http://holocene.meteo.psu.edu/shared/articles/KnightetalGRL05.pdf

November 26, 2008 11:21 am

One interesting thing about Jan Jannsens analysis compared to this one is that it only uses 3 variables to create the fit which I think is pretty much as good as Jan’s. Jan … do you agree? Jan,for example modelled volcanoes direct whereas this analysis suggests AMO/ANSO is directly impacted by Volcanoes so ” we dont need it”
If this analysis is right C02 is overplayed as a climate influence, and I for one agree.
We are left with the open question of what mechanism drives AMO and ENSO. Well perhaps volcanoes are part of the answer but CO2 driving global warming isn’t. I haven’t found anything in the literature which suggests a plausible cause of OMO/ENSO variation – its a natural cycle – i.e we don’t know.
Anybody seen a plausible explanation?
This and Jan’s model do make predictions on temperature but we will have to wait a long time to test them

November 26, 2008 11:25 am

However Bill — you could do a hindcast by say using data up to say 1978 and seeing how well it forecasts the last 30 to 2008 ( 30 years being everybodies favourite minimum climate interval.
I notice you say the correlation look different since 79 ( RSS keeping GISS/HADCRUT honest ) so perhaps 1900 to 1980 and seeing how it predicts 1870 to 1900 and the last 30 years?

Willis Eschenbach
November 26, 2008 11:36 am

Bill Illis, a very interesting piece of work. However, what is missing to my eye is a comparison of your use of CO2 to represent the trend, and just using a straight line to represent the trend.
To make the case that CO2 is involved, you need to show that the fit using CO2 plus ENSO 3.4 plus AMO is significantly better than the corresponding fit using a linear trend plus ENSO 3.4 plus AMO.
My best to you,
w.

Richard M
November 26, 2008 11:37 am

Is there a place to read about the current assumptions about the oceans impact on climate? How does it relate to the above article? How are underwater volcanos and rifts factored in or are the effects too small to matter?
I couldn’t find anything at realClimate but maybe I didn’t know where to look.

George E. Smith
November 26, 2008 11:40 am

There’s a lot of interesting stuff here. I am glad that Norm Kalmanovitch dropped in with some information on CO2 IR activity.
One thing I see constantly in papers, without anybody ever justifying the mechanism, is the claim that the warming due to CO2 is a logarithmic function. This then leads to talk of a “climate sensitivity” parameter being the mean global temperature rise due to a doubling of CO2.
But if you get into the details of infrared absorption by CO2 following the notes that Norm left us up above; I don’t see any justification for the assumption of a logarithmic relationship between CO2 concentration in the atmosphere and the temperature rise (mean globally).
Now I don’t doubt that you can take some sets of data, and curve fit them to a logarithmic currve. Everybody knows you can hide all kinds of pestilence by simply plotting data on a log-log plot. The ability to curve fit data, and calculate correlation coefficients between sets of data doesn’t prove that there is any cause and effect relationship whatsoever.
You wouldn’t believe the total mayhem that scientists have wreaked by simply messing around with numbers, in the belief that you couldn’t possibly closely match real data to the results of just messing around with numbers.
Well if you believe that, you need to review the history of the “Fine Structure Constant” which has the value e^2 / 2 h c e0 where e is the electron charge; h is Planck’s constant; c is the velocity of light, a e0 (epsilon zero) is the permittivity of free space, and is approximately 1/137. The 1/137 form is intimately linked to that sordid history. The first chapter of the great fine structure constant scandal involved Sir Arthur Eddington who one proved that alpha (TFSC) was EXACTLY 1/136; but when nature didn’t comly with his thesis, and the measured value became much closer to 1/137, the good Professor Eddington thereupon proved that alpha was indeed EXACTLY 1/137. Well it isn’t, it’s about 1/ 137.0359895 and has been measured so accurately that it was used as a method for measuring the velocity of light (which IS now specified as an EXACT number (2.99792458E8 m/s) ).
Dear deluded Professor Eddington, became known as Professor Adding one !
Well that was only the first episode of the FSC scandal. In the mid 60s someone derived the 1/FSC number as the fourth root of (pi to some low integer power times the product of about four other low integer numbers raised to low integer powers). I’ll let you university types search the literature for the paper. It computed 1/FSC to within 65% of the standard deviation of the very best experimental measured value of 1/FSC which is 8 significant digits. And the paper included ZERO input from the physical real world universe; it was a purely mathematical calculation. But of course it had to be correct because everybody knows you can’t get the right answer just by mucking around with numbers. The lack of observational data input phased nobody in the science community who embraced this nonsense; well for about a month. That’s how long it took some computer geek to do a search for all numbers that were of the same form; 4th root of the products of low integers to low integer powers and pi to a low integer power.
The geek turned up about a dozen numbers that were equal to 1/FSC within the standard deviation of the best experimental measurments; and one of those numbers was actually within about 30% of the standard deviation; twice as accurate as the original paper. A more sophisticated mathematician developed a multidimensional sphere thesis where the radius of the sphere was the 1/FSC number and a thin shell that was =/- one standard deviation fromt hat radius contained a number of lattice points thatw ere solutions to the set of integers in the puzzle. So he computed the complete set of answers that fit the prescription; the result of doing nothing more than mucking around with numbers that was accepted as correct because it so accurately fitted the observed data.
So watch out what you go for, just because some fancy manipulations fit your data; particularly noisy like data that can hide real errors from the predictions.
One can model the optical transmission of absorptive of materials as a logarithmic function. If a certain thickness transmits 10% of a given spectrum, twice the thickness will transmit 1%, and so on; BUT such materials absorb the radiation and convert it entirely to thermal energy.
Not so with water vapor or CO2 or any other GHG. Some absorption processes may convert some of the energy to heat energy; but mostly the absorbed IR photon is simply re-emitted, perhaps with a frequency shift due to Doppler effects, or even Heisenberg uncertainty. Subsequent re-absorption by other GHG molecules, may face totally diffrent results due to temperature and pressure changes in between successive absorption-re-emission events. The likelihood that such processes follow any simple logarithmic function is rather remote, and the possibility that the global mean surface temperature change due to such porocesses also follows a logarithmic function; even more so.
I know all the books and papers say it’s logarithmic; how many of them derive the specific logarithmic function based on the molecular spectroscopy physics ?

DaveE
November 26, 2008 11:54 am

How, (if at all), does this dovetail with Spencers hypothesis regarding the PDO?
DaveE

Bill Illis
November 26, 2008 12:03 pm

John Philip says … “the GHG forcing does not act instantaneously or even on an annual timescale -”
What is the physical/physics basis for saying the GHG forcing does not act instantaneously or certainly within a year. We are talking about photons of light here. Where is the energy going?
and “… there is a lag in the climate response which means that there is estimated to be around 0.6C warming in the pipeline”
I noted the theory is now the deep oceans are absorbing some of the increase and it might them take us longer to reach the doubling temperature. How long then? Because I think global warming researchers have a duty to tell us that now. Does the temperature reach the doubling level 35 years, 75 years or 100s of years after CO2 reaches the doubling plateau?
The points about the construction of the indices is well-taken. Where can we find the raw data before it is detrended?

November 26, 2008 12:10 pm

Bill Illis (10:46:40) :
Thanks, but isn’t the formula really (I can’t do the symbols).
– Change in T x–>y = C Ln(CO2x) – 26.9 – [C ln(CO2y) – 26.9]
— the constants cancel each out when you are talking about a change in T so they are not represented but the proper formula would still include them.

No the formula is: ∆T=C*ln([CO2]/[CO2]o)= C*ln([CO2])-C*ln([CO2]o)
So if you fit a function of the form ∆T=C*ln([CO2])-B
B=C*ln([CO2]o) in your one case C=2.73 and B=15.8
so in your fit ln([CO2]o)=B/C=5.79, therefore [CO2]o=326 ppm. (Which if you look at your zoom-in graph is exactly where the red line crosses zero)
My suggestion is that you should do the regression on ∆T=C*ln([CO2]/285)
I expect that would give you a slightly lower C with the line crossing zero at 285 ppm.
REPLY:Unfortunately I can’t install LATEX for symbol translation here on this blog, but if you want to display the formula, you could spell it out with appropriate symbols, do a screen cap, and post it up to a picture website like flickr etc and link to it here. Just trying to help. – Anthony

crosspatch
November 26, 2008 12:31 pm

“That is why I made the Linux analogy – built collaboratively by a community of intensely interested individuals – with nothing more than sweat equity. I assume Bill Illis did not get paid for his little research work – yet he has put together a potentially very interesting piece of science.”
Things like that generally get started by someone who is curious and wanting to see if they can make something themselves. That was how Linux got started when Linus Torvalds sat down to play with his 386 and decided out of simple curiosity if he could make an unix-like OS. Others got interested and began adding pieces so initially it was sort of a “stone soup” effort.
But then things changed and in a very important way. To give an example, we used Linux at work. We made some changes to some programs to better support our particular environment. Over time as the “upstream” versions of these programs were released, we would have to fit our changes into the new code release. Sometimes it was easy, other times it was more difficult depending on what changed in that upstream release. One day I saw someone asking about a feature on a mailing list for one of these programs and it was a feature we had actually implemented in our environment. I made a decision to provide our changes to the software developer as a “contribution” and they were adopted and incorporated into the standard package. We never had to experience that pain of patching our changes into the code after that. The “upstream” maintainer adopted the maintenance of those changes and a lot of other people benefited from the new features we added. But overall the motivation was self-interest. It was to our benefit to have someone else maintain that code and offload the job of having to merge our changes with every new code release.
So while things often get started out of curiosity, and people will often take an interest in almost a “hobby” sense, what really gets something rolling is when it actually becomes useful in a “real world” sense. And while people will sometimes gift some work out of the goodness of their hearts, often the biggest returns are from people in whose interest it is to get their changes into the broader code base than to have to hack at it every time something changes. It becomes more efficient to open the source than to keep it closed.
Same with projects here. People whose livelihood depends on accurate weather data might find it in their interest to help with the surface stations project or to share what information they have more generally. A firm in the agricultural industry, for example, might make better long term decisions if they knew that growing seasons were actually shortening or flat and not lengthening. If there is no warming, then making economic decisions based on the assumption that growing seasons will get longer in the future can cost someone a fortune. And if I am selling something and if I have the right information, nobody is going to buy it unless they also have the right information so it pays both parties (it is in their self-interest) to get accurate information out there so the producer provided the right thing and the market demands the right thing.
What is going on now with our government data is practically criminal in the economic sense. Because of politically-based bias, real economic damage is potentially being done. I am all for “open source” science models.

November 26, 2008 12:38 pm

But if you get into the details of infrared absorption by CO2 following the notes that Norm left us up above; I don’t see any justification for the assumption of a logarithmic relationship between CO2 concentration in the atmosphere and the temperature rise (mean globally).
That’s because Norm’s exposition falls way short of what really happens!
In our atmosphere the absorption spectrum of CO2 is a very close packed series of absorption lines (so many and so closely packed together that they look like a broad band unless viewed at high resolution). At very low pressures and temperatures (like on Mars) the individual lines are very sharp and separate as pressure and temperature are increased to the values seen in our atmosphere the individual lines are broadened by collisional and Doppler effects and eventually will overlap each other. As a consequence the absorbance dependence changes, at very low pressures and temperatures it will be linear, at very high pressures it will be √[CO2], in between there is a transition, for CO2 in our atmosphere it’s in the intermediate region and is best described by ln (and this can be measured).
Astronomers have used this for a long time, they term it the ‘curve of growth’, usually applied to atomic spectra in interstellar space.
BUT such materials absorb the radiation and convert it entirely to thermal energy.
Not so with water vapor or CO2 or any other GHG. Some absorption processes may convert some of the energy to heat energy; but mostly the absorbed IR photon is simply re-emitted,

No, in our atmosphere up to the tropopause or so virtually all of the energy absorbed by CO2 is converted to the thermal motion of colliding molecules, primarily N2 & O2. The emission lifetime of the excited CO2 is much longer than the mean time between collisions and so is rapidly quenched. As you get up into the stratosphere the situation changes and the CO2 has time to emit.

Bill Illis
November 26, 2008 1:01 pm

To Phil,
okay now I see what you are saying.
I was modeling the ln(280ppm or 285ppm) to be at -0.4C rather than Zero.
This whole model is based on the anomaly (from the baseline) so it crosses Zero when the particular temperature series baseline anomaly passes Zero. Now each series has a slightly different baseline and when you are comparing series you have to match up the baselines but I wanted ln(280ppm) to be at -0.4C.

George E. Smith
November 26, 2008 1:15 pm

Phil,
I’m curious about your statement that the CO2 spectrum consists of a whole bunch of closely spaced lines (in the IR ?) . Do you know of any link to a high resolution spectrum for CO2. I have looked and never been able to find any good spectra for the common GHG culprits. Yet I would have thought that with all the climate interest in those gases, that the spectra would have been studied to death. The only data of much use I’ve been able to find comes from The InfraRed Handbook, from the Infrared Information Analysis Center, (ERIM) and I presume that is somewhat dated.
What is the physical basis for the many fine lines in the IR region ?
It would seem to me that in the earth atmosphere at least at ground level, that you must have a pretty continuous absorption from around 13-17 microns; but I’m puzzled as to why a molecular spectrum has many fine lines (I am not a chemist).
George

John Philip
November 26, 2008 1:53 pm

Bill – Thermal inertia of the climate system is pretty uncontroversial, see for example this
write up
of a paper by Meehl et al which
quantifies the relative rates of sea level rise and global temperature increase that we are already committed to in the 21st century. Even if no more greenhouse gases were added to the atmosphere, globally averaged surface air temperatures would rise about a half degree Celsius (one degree Fahrenheit) and global sea levels would rise another 11 centimeters (4 inches) from thermal expansion alone by 2100.
“Many people don’t realize we are committed right now to a significant amount of global warming and sea level rise because of the greenhouse gases we have already put into the atmosphere,” says lead author Gerald Meehl. “Even if we stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations, the climate will continue to warm, and there will be proportionately even more sea level rise. The longer we wait, the more climate change we are committed to in the future.”

So the ‘physics’ explanation is that the heat largely goes into the oceans which take years to decades to warm in response, 70% of the surface is ocean and it takes around a decade for the surface layer to mix with the deep ocean …
The paper concludes with a cogent statement by Meehl: “With the ongoing increase in concentrations of GHGs [greenhouse gases], every day we commit to more climate change in the future. When and how we stabilize concentrations will dictate, on the time scale of a century or so, how much more warming we will experience. But we are already committed to ongoing large sea level rise, even if concentrations of GHGs could be stabilized.”

The inevitability of the climate changes described in the study is the result of thermal inertia, mainly from the oceans, and the long lifetime of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Thermal inertia refers to the process by which water heats and cools more slowly than air because it is denser than air.

There is a discussion of the length of time to equilibrium in
this paper
[may need a free subscription to access].
The AMO data before de-linear-trending is here … http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/Correlation/amon.us.long.mean.data
but see the caveats on the NOAA page linked earlier. Hope this helps.

November 26, 2008 2:20 pm

The logarithmic response to C02 is straightforward physics and nothing to do with any climate theory.
Put simply CO2 absorbs light at specific wavelengths. As CO2 levels increase more and more of these wavlenths are absorbed. However the law of diminishing returns applies in that once CO2 has absorbed some there is less left to absorb so an increase from say 280 to 300 has less effect than an increase from 380 to 400. It turns out this “law of diminishing returns” follows a log function.
This was covered on this website on 4/9/2008 in an article on this topic

November 26, 2008 2:26 pm

Fine lines and CO2 absorbtion spectra
As I recollect A photon reacts to a CO2 molecule by changing its excitation state, either by changing the vibration mode of the atoms or by raising an electron’s energy going round one of the atoms to a higher level. I think IR absorbtion is in the latter category. Anyway there a a very large number of possible vibration modes and it requires different amounts of energy to move from one to the other. Each possible mode change creates an absorbtion line so there are lots of them

Bill Illis
November 26, 2008 2:33 pm

John Philip can you just tell us what Hansen said in 1985 in the Science article. Most of us do not have a subscription.
I note he published a temperature forecast just a few years later which did not include any ocean absorption that we can tell of since his Scenario B forecast temps are about twice as high as they are currently.
The temperature trend since 1979 indicates we can never reach the 3.25C doubling level no matter how much the oceans absorbs or how much lag time there is. It would take a thousand years.

Don Keiller
November 26, 2008 2:38 pm

Great analysis, Bill. Just one question. given that the temperature response to increased CO2 is logarithmic, why do we only see a warming signal post 1970 or so? One would expect a greater warming signal early in the rise of CO2, rather than later. Or am I missing something?

George E. Smith
November 26, 2008 2:39 pm

Well according to the official NOAA global energy budget, of the 390 W/m^2 emitted from the earth’s surface, only 40 W/m^2 escapes to space, so that means that GHG are already absorbong 90% of the total available IR, so only 10% is left to capture no matter how much GHG gets up there.
By the way if CO2 has such a long lifetime in the atmosphere (200 years they say), how come NOAA has plots shwing that at the north pole the CO2 in the atmosphere drops 18 ppm in just five months. That doesn’t sound like it would take 200 years, or even 10 years to remove all of it.

George E. Smith
November 26, 2008 2:57 pm

One other quick question; if we are already committed to gross sea level rise and temperature rise because of GHG already emitted, and the ML data certainly shows that CO2 keeps on going up unabated despite everybody’s Kyoto committments; then why has the earth been cooling for the last ten years? We should have had about 1/10 of the ten degrees or so predicted for the year 2100 in temperature rise, instead we have had a very sizeable temperature fall; so much for the effect of thermal lag times.
Some people may buy Meeh’s thesis (I do agree there are thermal lags) but why would the temperature go the wrong way, when the “forcing” continues to climb in the same direction.
As to the multiple fine lines in the CO2 IR spectrum; I’m familiar with the so-called symmetrical stretch mode which is not IR active, and the asymmetrical stretch mode which is IR active around 4 microns or so, and the degenerate bending mode which I believe is the 14.77 or 15 micron mode that everyone talks about (haven’t been able to get a definitive value for what wavelength that is.
But anything involving elecron levels in the atoms; as distinct from molecular vibrations, would seem to involve much higher photon energies than required for the molecular effects, so one would expect them to be visible light or shorter wavelengths.
Since CO2 is a linear molecule with no dipole moment, it would not be too active in rotation about the molecular axis, and other rotation modes say about the carbon atom and other axes, would seem to be much longer wavelengths.
But i’m eager to learn, so if someone can explain the energy level foundation for the many fine lines in the IR spectrum of CO2 I’m all ears.

Bill Illis
November 26, 2008 3:01 pm

To Don Keiller,
Really good question, I’m going to have to look at the rate of change here too, something I missed. I’ll post back when I can go through it all. Going by experience with this model, I’ll need to double-check everything before responding.

November 26, 2008 3:25 pm

Bill Illis: The following link is to a google spreadsheet with the ERSST.v2 version of NINO3.4 SST and SST anomaly data. It’s the monthly data fresh out of NOAA’s NOMADS system from January 1854 to October 2008. I tried to replace the Trenberth data with it, but ran into the following problem.
I entered annualized ERSST.v2 NINO3.4 data into the Annual Temperature Anomaly Model, starting at 1871, at column C, row 44. It created a host of #VALUE errors. I thought the difference in climatology (The ERSST.v2 base years are 1971 to 2000) was putting the data was out of a working range for the model, so I recalculated the anomalies based on the same base years as the Trenberth NINO3.4 data (1950-1979). That didn’t help.
http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=p4p8emYTQFThxsDz4aQ05NA
Please try the ERSST.v2 data and see if it works for you.
Regards

Richard S Courtney
November 26, 2008 3:38 pm

John Philip:
I would be grateful for an explanation of your statement saying;
“So the ‘physics’ explanation is that the heat largely goes into the oceans which take years to decades to warm in response”.
Please explain how liquid water absorbs heat but does not warm until some time later. My understanding is that – in the absence of latent heat exchange – any warming would be instantaneous.
This is important for two reasons.
Firstly, the oceans have been measured to be cooling over recent years and, if my understanding is correct, then the ‘thermal inertia’ you espouse is not happening.
Secondly, there is a need for large energy storage capacity to assist smoothing of electricity grid supplies. So, a mechanism that allows water to absorb heat but not warm until later would solve a major industrial problem.
Richard

November 26, 2008 3:38 pm

evanjones (10:09:47) :
Leif tells us that TSI seems more constant than previously believed. Using the questionable old figures, one will note that TSI increased c. 0.02% over the last century while temperatures (using questionable NOAA or GISS historical figures) increased c. 0.04% from absolute zero. Just a side-by-side look, and using old figures.
First of all, don’t use ‘old’ stuff [and note: no please here]. Second, there has been some doubt as to what degree my ideas are met with general acceptance. A very new book [Sunspots and Starspots (Cambridge Astrophysics Series) by Thomas and Weiss, 2008, ISBN 978-0-521-86003-1] summarizes the ‘textbook’ consensus as follows [page 214]:
“Reliable measurements of solar irradiance extend only over the past 30 years. The success of models involving only sunspots and faculae in reproducing these measurements has encouraged researchers to attempt to reconstruct the variations in TSI over a much longer period based either on the historical sunspot record or on the proxy record from abundances of cosmogenic isotopes, or even on models of cyclic activity in the solar photosphere (e.g. Lean 2000, Froehlich and Lean 2004, Wang. Lean, and Sheeley 2005, Krivova, Balmaceda, and Solanki 2007). The upper panel of Figure 12.3 [Figure 3 of http://www.leif.org/research/CAWSES%20-%20IMF,%20EUV,%20TSI.pdf ] shows the most straightforward reconstruction, relying only on the measured correlations between sunspot numbers and irradiance since 1978 (Froehlich and Lean 2005). Other reconstructions (e.g. Lean 2000, Wang, Lean, and Sheeley 2005) differ in the inclusion or omission of an arbitrarily varying contribution from ephemeral active regions, on on the basis of a questionable difference in Ca II emission between active and inactive stars, in assuming [emphasis added – me] that there was a long-term increase in TSI, as shown in the lower panel of Figure 12.3. In reality, sice we know that cycles persisted through the Maunder Minimum (Beer, Tobia, and Weiss 1998), it seems unlikely that the average value of TSI could have dropped significantly below its level at a normal sunspot minimum.”
Third, because of TSI = a T^4, we have dTSI/TSI = 4 dT/T, so the percentage increase in Temperature will be only 1/4 of the percentage increase of TSI, not twice as you have it

AnthonyB
November 26, 2008 3:54 pm

I notice the article included ENSO and AMO, representing effects from the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. No factor from the Indian Ocean. Living in Melbourne, in South East Australia the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) has a major effect for temp and rainfall over SE Australia (on the other side of the continent to the Indian Ocean). I wonder if a complete model for oceanic effect on temperature can be completed without considering the Indian Ocean. (Cynically I could say that the AMO may have the greatest impact because it effects areas where the greatest amount of temp measurement is done.)

Fernando (in Brazil)
November 26, 2008 4:05 pm

George E. Smith (14:57:31):
See the animation on:
http://www.atmosphere.mpg.de/enid/1__Oxidants___Observation/-_observation_spectroscopy_l6.html
I have the same questions.
Perhaps, I need to understand the interaction
H2O + CO2> H2CO3
in the atmosphere.

Steven G
November 26, 2008 4:18 pm

This is an interesting study.
Looking at your charts, I suspect that you may have stationarity issues with y our temperature data, which is common when working with time-series data. You should conduct some stationarity tests (such as Augmented Dickey-Fuller or Philips-Perron) and make the necessary transformations to your data if required.
Regressions using non-stationary data can be very misleading, and sometimes worthless. That’s why you should do these tests to be safe.

Bill Illis
November 26, 2008 4:32 pm

To Bob Tisdale,
I got your ERSST.v2 data in and working. I have to say google docs does do a mess of things so we probably shouldn’t use it again until they get the bugs out.
On the good side, this data certainly works and produces a greater coefficient for the Nino 3.4 region (lagging it by 3 months seemed to work better again). The warming signal against CO2 also drops to about 1.65C per doubling.
On the downside, the r^2 falls from 0.783 to 0.745 and the errors are a little larger and/or show more consistently above or consistently below characteristics.
But it does not look bad at all. This dataset more consistently catches the spikes for example. Here are the two charts you would want to see.
http://img265.imageshack.us/img265/3814/btisdalehadcrut3oe1.png
http://img383.imageshack.us/img383/4695/btisdalewarmingqg8.png

November 26, 2008 5:04 pm

George E. Smith (13:15:16) :
I’m curious about your statement that the CO2 spectrum consists of a whole bunch of closely spaced lines (in the IR ?) . Do you know of any link to a high resolution spectrum for CO2. I have looked and never been able to find any good spectra for the common GHG culprits. Yet I would have thought that with all the climate interest in those gases, that the spectra would have been studied to death. The only data of much use I’ve been able to find comes from The InfraRed Handbook, from the Infrared Information Analysis Center, (ERIM) and I presume that is somewhat dated.
What is the physical basis for the many fine lines in the IR region ?
It would seem to me that in the earth atmosphere at least at ground level, that you must have a pretty continuous absorption from around 13-17 microns; but I’m puzzled as to why a molecular spectrum has many fine lines (I am not a chemist).

OK George, here goes.
The IR absorption arises because of transitions between vibrational and rotational energy levels. ( I’ve linked to some webpages below).
A molecule can vibrate and rotate but can only exist at certain energy levels, the separation between vibrational levels is much larger than rotational, in the case of the CO2 667 cm-1 vs less than 1 cm-1. A CO2 molecule in the ground state can absorb radiation by jumping up one energy level in vibration (∆v=1) while at the same time staying at the same relative rotational level (Q-branch, ∆j=0), increasing one level (R-branch, ∆j=+1) or decreasing one level (P-branch, ∆j=-1). Since there are a great many rotational energy levels there are a great many possible lines.
See here for example, down as far as isotope effects: http://www.chemistry.nmsu.edu/studntres/chem435/Lab9/intro.html
in the case of CO2 bending the Q-branch is allowed.
Here’s one specifically for CO2:
http://www.phy.davidson.edu/StuHome/jimn/CO2/Pages/CO2Theory.htm
I hope that helps?

John Philip
November 26, 2008 5:20 pm

Bill. This link
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/ijlink?linkType=ABST&journalCode=sci&resid=229/4716/857
Should get you to the Hansen(1985) paper without the need for a paid subscription. His results are summarised in the 2005 paper referenced earlier:
The lag in the climate response to a forcing is a sensitive function of equilibrium climate sensitivity, varying approximately as the square of the sensitivity (1), and it depends on the rate of heat exchange between the ocean’s surface mixed layer and the deeper ocean (2–4). The lag could be as short as a decade, if climate sensitivity is as small as 0.25°C per W/m2 of forcing, but it is a century or longer if climate sensitivity is 1°C per W/m2 or larger (1, 3). Evidence from Earth’s history (3–6) and climate models (7) suggests that climate sensitivity is 0.75° ± 0.25°C per W/m2, implying that 25 to 50 years are needed for Earth’s surface temperature to reach 60% of its equilibrium response (1).
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/308/5727/1431
I note he published a temperature forecast just a few years later which did not include any ocean absorption that we can tell of since his Scenario B forecast temps are about twice as high as they are currently.
Not so. Hansen’s scenarios were based on an early version of the NASA climate model, of course this includes the physics of ocean heat takeup. What is your source for the claim that Scenario B is currently a 100% overestimate?
The temperature trend since 1979 indicates we can never reach the 3.25C doubling level no matter how much the oceans absorbs or how much lag time there is. It would take a thousand years.
The trend in the UAH data, which shows the least warming of the various global datasets, is approx 0.17C/decade, so a linear extrapolation takes just 200 years to reach a highly dangerous 3.4C increase. In fact the warming is more likely to be exponential, due to thermal inertia and the impact of positive feedbacks, notably absent from this analysis. One example of a positive feedback: as the Arctic ice melts, the reduced albedo raises the local temperature and causes melting of the permafrosts, releasing trapped carbon. The Arctic permafrost contains twice as much carbon as the entire global atmosphere. See these recent papers
http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/dlawren/publications/lawrence.grl.submit.2008.pdf
http://www.bioone.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1641%2FB580807&ct=1
Moving on,
Richard Courtney: Please explain how liquid water absorbs heat but does not warm until some time later. My understanding is that – in the absence of latent heat exchange – any warming would be instantaneous.
Tell me Richard, last time you made coffee, when you switched on your kettle, applying a positive energy transfer, did the water boil
(a) Instantaneously, or
(b) A few minutes later ?
Now imagine your kettle is ocean-sized and the energy flux is measured in a few W/m2. Are you seriously arguing that a such huge body of water will warm ‘instantaneously’?
George Smith why has the earth been cooling for the last ten years? We should have had about 1/10 of the ten degrees or so predicted for the year 2100 in temperature rise, instead we have had a very sizeable temperature fall; so much for the effect of thermal lag times.
George – which of the four major global temperature indices shows a ‘sizeable temperature fall’ over the last 120 months please? Here’s the data:
http://tinyurl.com/563bmc
They all appear to show an increase. Please explain.

John Philip
November 26, 2008 5:23 pm

Bill. This link
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/ijlink?linkType=ABST&journalCode=sci&resid=229/4716/857
Should get you to the Hansen(1985) paper without the need for a paid subscription. His results are summarised in the 2005 paper referenced earlier:
The lag in the climate response to a forcing is a sensitive function of equilibrium climate sensitivity, varying approximately as the square of the sensitivity (1), and it depends on the rate of heat exchange between the ocean’s surface mixed layer and the deeper ocean (2–4). The lag could be as short as a decade, if climate sensitivity is as small as 0.25°C per W/m2 of forcing, but it is a century or longer if climate sensitivity is 1°C per W/m2 or larger (1, 3). Evidence from Earth’s history (3–6) and climate models (7) suggests that climate sensitivity is 0.75° ± 0.25°C per W/m2, implying that 25 to 50 years are needed for Earth’s surface temperature to reach 60% of its equilibrium response (1).
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/308/5727/1431
I note he published a temperature forecast just a few years later which did not include any ocean absorption that we can tell of since his Scenario B forecast temps are about twice as high as they are currently.
Not so. Hansen’s scenarios were based on an early version of the NASA climate model, of course this includes the physics of ocean heat takeup. What is your source for the claim that Scenario B is currently a 100% overestimate?
The temperature trend since 1979 indicates we can never reach the 3.25C doubling level no matter how much the oceans absorbs or how much lag time there is. It would take a thousand years.
The trend in the UAH data, which shows the least warming of the various global datasets, is approx 0.17C/decade, so a linear extrapolation takes just 200 years to reach a highly dangerous 3.4C increase. In fact the warming is more likely to be exponential, due to thermal inertia and the impact of positive feedbacks, notably absent from this analysis. One example of a positive feedback: as the Arctic ice melts, the reduced albedo raises the local temperature and causes melting of the permafrosts, releasing trapped carbon. The Arctic permafrost contains twice as much carbon as the entire global atmosphere. See these recent papers
http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/dlawren/publications/lawrence.grl.submit.2008.pdf
http://www.bioone.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1641%2FB580807&ct=1
Moving on,
Richard Courtney: Please explain how liquid water absorbs heat but does not warm until some time later. My understanding is that – in the absence of latent heat exchange – any warming would be instantaneous.
Tell me Richard, last time you made coffee, when you switched on your kettle, applying a positive energy transfer, did the water boil
(a) Instantaneously, or
(b) A few minutes later ?
Now imagine your kettle is ocean-sized and the energy flux is measured in a few W/m2. Are you seriously arguing that a such huge body of water will warm ‘instantaneously’?
George Smith why has the earth been cooling for the last ten years? We should have had about 1/10 of the ten degrees or so predicted for the year 2100 in temperature rise, instead we have had a very sizeable temperature fall; so much for the effect of thermal lag times.
George – which of the four major global temperature indices shows a ‘sizeable temperature fall’ over the last 120 months please? Here’s the data:
http://tinyurl.com/563bmc
They all appear to show an increase. Would you please explain why you claim a sizeable cooling?

November 26, 2008 5:35 pm

Bill: Thanks for the update. I forgot to note earlier that the output of your model appears to generate a global temperature anomaly curve that comes much closer to the instrument data than at least one high-priced GCM. It will remain nameless so not to start a battle on this thread.
Question: At what cell did you paste in the ERSST NINO data and did you use the revised NINO data starting at Jan 1871? I want to make sure I’m looking at the same spreadsheet that you are when I include it.
Thanks again.

November 26, 2008 5:48 pm

John Philip said:

The trend in the UAH data, which shows the least warming of the various global datasets, is approx 0.17C/decade, so a linear extrapolation takes just 200 years to reach a highly dangerous 3.4C increase.

Well, that’s one possible conclusion — if you cherry pick your beginning/ending dates.
Instead, let’s look at the big picture, from the very same UAH: click
Your claim that we’re headed for a ‘highly dangerous’ rise in temps looks silly. Why continue digging, when the planet is laughing at your hubris?

John Philip
November 26, 2008 6:00 pm

Smokey – the figure I gave is a simple linear fit to all the available UAH data,from Spencer and Christy, so there can really be no question of cherry picking. Your graph OTOH is a highly dubious polynomial fit widely condemned as misleading on this, of all, websites.

DocMartyn
November 26, 2008 6:09 pm

I would like to know the algorithm used to plot ‘average’ temperature vs. ‘heat’.
I can understand the logarithmic relationship between absorbance of photons with increaseing concentration; but for the life of me I have never seen an expression which explains how this energy give rise to temperature, give that we are dealing with a three phase system, ice, liquid water and vapor and the fact that changes in energy input could manifest themselves in pressure and in expansion of the atmosphere. You could for instance fill a balloon or a glass sphere with CO2 and irradiate it, the steady state temperature of the balloon would be lower than the glass sphere.

Bill Illis
November 26, 2008 6:20 pm

Don Keiler had asked earlier if there was any change in the rate of warming over time.
The changes are actually very hard to decifer.
My model based on ln (CO2) shows a gradual increase over time (not dissimilar to the very slightly exponential growth in Co2 levels) to where it is 0.15C per decade in the 2000s.
However, the actual observation data (after adjusting for the ENSO and the AMO) shows much more variation.
There is a very slight cooling trend from about 1890 to 1915. In the 1920s, warming jumps to about 0.2C per decade, then it falls to 0. From 1933 to 1945, it jumps to about 0.25C per decade and then falls rapidly to a negative value of -0.2C per decade from 1946 to 1955. From 1955 to 1975, warming is about 0.1C per decade. But from 1975 on, there is a gradual deceleration in the warming rate so that is very close to 0.0C per decade right now.
Complicated.
There is obviously more going on here than the model shows.

Bill Illis
November 26, 2008 6:27 pm

To Bob Tisdale,
The data showed it started in Jan 1854 so I pasted it into April 1854 (and Jan 1854 originally which didn’t produce as good a fit.)
I did the regression model starting in 1856 and also starting in 1871. It didn’t make much difference on the starting point.

Bill Illis
November 26, 2008 6:34 pm

To John Philip
The UAH unadjusted temperature trend is just 0.13C per decade (not 0.17C).
The UAH data adjusted for the ENSO and the AMO produces a warming trend of just 0.03C per decade which is probably a little low but would produce no warming to worry about at all.

Richard S Courtney
November 26, 2008 6:39 pm

John Phillip:
You ask me:
“Richard Courtney: “Please explain how liquid water absorbs heat but does not warm until some time later. My understanding is that – in the absence of latent heat exchange – any warming would be instantaneous.”
Tell me Richard, last time you made coffee, when you switched on your kettle, applying a positive energy transfer, did the water boil
(a) Instantaneously, or
(b) A few minutes later ?
Now imagine your kettle is ocean-sized and the energy flux is measured in a few W/m2. Are you seriously arguing that a such huge body of water will warm ‘instantaneously’? ”
I answer:
Yes, I am saying that water (in the kettle or in the ocean) increases its temperature as – not after – heat is added. If you don’t believe me then try turning off the kettle before the water boils and see if it does boil.
And the water cools as – not after – it looses heat. The oceans have been cooling in recent years and, therefore, the ‘thermal inertia’ you espouse is not happening.
I repeat my question to you that you have not answered: i.e.
Please explain how liquid water absorbs heat but does not warm until some time later.
And I repeat that you could make a fortune from a mechanism that would permit water to store heat without warming because it would solve the problem of needed large energy storage capacity to assist smoothing of electricity grid supplies.
I will not answer any response to this from you other than an exposition from you of the mechanism that you suggest would permit water to store heat without warming.
Richard

November 26, 2008 6:40 pm

John Philip:
You specifically referred to UAH:

The trend in the UAH data, which shows the least warming of the various global datasets, is approx 0.17C/decade, so a linear extrapolation takes just 200 years to reach a highly dangerous 3.4C increase.

Are you actually claiming that global temperatures are continuing to rise? Is that what’s happening on your planet?
On Earth, temperatures have fallen. Unless, of course, you still believe the “adjusted” temperatures provided by the science fiction writers at GISS.
If GISS was prepared to stand behind its clearly fictional press releases, it wouldn’t be afraid to publicly archive the raw data. Would it? But the fact that GISS adamantly refuses to disclose their taxpayer-funded raw data, or the methodology they use to ‘adjust’ the temperature record ever upward, tells people all they need to know about GISS’ probity.
Bill Illis is correct: we don’t know enough about the climate. Readjusting raw data isn’t helping the science; it’s a deliberately deceptive agenda.

Phil
November 26, 2008 7:44 pm

@ John Philip (17:23:37) :
“Richard Courtney: Please explain how liquid water absorbs heat but does not warm until some time later. My understanding is that – in the absence of latent heat exchange – any warming would be instantaneous.
Tell me Richard, last time you made coffee, when you switched on your kettle, applying a positive energy transfer, did the water boil
(a) Instantaneously, or
(b) A few minutes later ?
Now imagine your kettle is ocean-sized and the energy flux is measured in a few W/m2. Are you seriously arguing that a such huge body of water will warm ‘instantaneously’?”
I just made some coffee in a kettle. Here are the temperatures:
start: 78°F
1 min: 94°F
2 min: 116°F
3 min: 133°F
4 min: 151°F
5 min: 170°F
6 min: 193°F (boiling at 6,200 feet above sea level)
7 min: 194°F (still boiling)
Made coffee.
From this experiment it would appear that warming was instantaneous (and measurable) after applying a “positive energy transfer.” Since the issue isn’t how long it takes the oceans to boil, but rather to warm up measurably, it would appear that warming of the oceans would be measurable without a significant lag. Considering the mass of the oceans, I would agree that it would take a considerable amount of time to warm them a given number of degrees, but such warming would be detectable as it took place as with the water to make my coffee. Although I can understand mathematically how there could be a lag in a given output with respect to a given input, I do not understand what real life physical process could take place (i.e. the “pipeline”) that could result in significant warming of the oceans that would not be measurable as it happened, as in making my cup of coffee. Please explain.

kim
November 26, 2008 8:30 pm

Phil. (19:44:42)
It seems that each instant after heat was applied the temperature rose. Looks pretty instantaneous to me.
====================================

kim
November 26, 2008 8:33 pm

kim (20:30:16)
Phil., on further reflection, it looks like I got your point.
===================================

Bill Illis
November 26, 2008 8:36 pm

To Phil and John Philip
Note we are talking about deep ocean temperatures here versus the sea surface (since the sea surface temps are already captured in the global temperature series.)
The data does show there is some warming in the deep oceans. There is a 0.1C increase in some latitudes (about 30% of the oceans) down to 1,000 metres and about 0.05C in some latitudes (about 15% of the oceans) down to 2,000 metres. So it appears there is, indeed, some warming of the deep oceans.
During the ice ages when surface temps fell by 5C, the deep oceans appear to have decreased in temp from their current 3C to about 0C. So the deep oceans are affected by the surface temps.
Water, however, is one of strangest chemicals around. When it solidifies as ice, it gets less dense and floats. Warmer water, however, rises to the top and colder water sinks to the bottom. If it freezes, it rises to the surface. Hence, any change in the surface sea temps takes a long, long time to influence the oceans at deeper levels. The very cold water stays at the bottom, the warmer water rises to the surface.
It almost takes a complete circulation of the oceans to make much difference at all, which can be a thousand years or more. The lag between surface temps and CO2 in the ice ages indicates we could expect 800 years for the deep ocean to be really influenced by the surface.
My issue with this is that global warmers refuse to say how much lag there is. None of Hansen’s papers that I could find (including the one linked to by John Philips) say anything about it.
More importantly, in a physical sense, the deep ocean absorption just means that more mass needs to be heated up by the increased greenhouse effect provided by increased CO2. We don’t warm to +3.25C, we only get to +1.85C and then an equilibrium is established. The deep oceans will continue to absorb energy from the surface continuously and it will start cooling again if that energy doesn’t continue rising. Once we get to a doubled CO2 level (and let’s say we stay there) there is no more warming to come once the deep oceans catch up.
That is my perspective on it. And I firmly believe the warmers need to be clear about this for once.

Phil
November 26, 2008 10:58 pm

@ Bill Illis (20:36:25) :
I think an important distinction needs to be made between temperatures and heat content and which of the two is being referred to by the term “warming.”
From http://climatesci.org/2008/11/25/is-global-warming-spatially-complex/:
“Unlike surface air temperature by itself (that has been the main climate metric used to assess global warming), in which there is a lag between a radiative imbalance and an equilibrium temperature …, there is no lag between a radiative imbalance and the amount of Joules in the climate system.”
From http://www.climatesci.org/publications/pdf/R-247.pdf:
“The concept encapsulated by the term “unrealized heating” more appropriately refers to storage of heat in a nonatmospheric reservoir (i.e., primarily the ocean), with the “realization” of the warming only occurring when heat is transferred into the atmosphere.”
and:
“Unlike temperature, at some specific level of the ocean, land, or the atmosphere, in which there is a time lag in its response to radiative forcing, there are no time lags associated with heat changes.”
The “warming in the pipeline” would seem to reflect heat storage in the oceans that later is or can be transferred to the atmosphere, thus affecting weather at the surface where human beings live. However, it does not seem as if heat from the Sun could be stored on Earth in a place where that heat cannot be measured as it is accumulated. Nor would it seem possible that sea levels could rise due to thermal expansion of the oceans with a lag of decades, if heat is being stored in the oceans themselves and later transferred to the atmosphere.

John Philip
November 27, 2008 1:25 am

Bill – you’re right 0.13C/decade for UAH since 1979 is correct, I was confusing UAH with the RSS analysis, apologies for the confusion. However taking the regression analysis as published and extrapolating it forward suffers from these flaws:-
– It ignores the thermal inertia of the climate system, assuming that all the forcing applied is reflected in the temperature rise already observed. This is not the case, it is uncontroversial that the heat stored in the ocean will continue to cause a rise in surface temperatures for several decades.
– It uses detrended data for the AMO regression but (nearly) raw data for the ENSO regression. The analysis should be repeated using the same source data for both oscillations, the incorrect statement that the AMO data shows no trend should be addressed.
– It does not handle feedbacks correctly, more sophisticated models find that as water vapour increases (to choose just the most significant single feedback), the resulting greenhouse warming increases exponentially, acting to offset the logarithmic declining effetcs of additional CO2.
The question of the size of the lag between a radiative imbalance and the corresponding temperature increase does not have a simple single answer – some feedbacks, for example the disintegration of large ice sheets, operate on a scale of centuries, the IPCC’s figures for a doubling of CO2 use a definition of climate sensitivity that includes ‘fast’ feedbacks only, sometimes called the Charney sensitivity which assumes that the land surface, ice sheets and atmospheric composition stay the same.. See Chapter 10 of AR4 WG1.
Richard, later on in our thought experiment the kettle is switched off. The temperature as measured some distance from the heat source continues to rise for some time as the heat is distributed through the body of water. Same thing, but on a planetary scale.

Richard S Courtney
November 27, 2008 2:38 am

To Bill Illis and to Phil:
Thankyou for your points. I agree with both of you, and add the following.
Bill Illis, you suggest the stored heat that may induce ‘delayed’ AGW may be in the deep ocean. In that case,
(a) As Phil says, very little of the stored heat could return to the atmosphere until the deep ocean water returned to the surface (i.e. ~800 years after the heat entered the ocean) because there is little thermal exchange across the thermocline (and please see my comment on magnitude below). This could not be a problem worthy of consideration (at least, not worthy of consideration by our civilisation). And – in the context of this debate – it is not relevant to your model (but please see my final comment below).
(b) The lack of accelerated sea level rise in recent decades suggests that such deep ocean storage of AGW heating has not been significant.
(c) The heating from AGW of the ocean is (i) mostly direct radiant IR input that is absorbed within the top few meters of the ocean, (ii) conductive heating of the ocean surface by contact with warm air, and (iii) addition of warmer water to the ocean surface layer from precipitation, rivers and runoff from the land.
Phil, I agree with you that the list of heat transfer mechanisms of AGW into the oceans that I provide in (c) indicates transfer of heat (from AGW) to the deep ocean occurs via the ocean surface layer. Therefore, in the absence of any other known thermal transfer mechanism from the surface to the deep ocean, it has to be agreed that recent cooling of the ocean surface layer indicates the transfer of heat has not occurred recently.
However, there is a possibility that heat from AGW has been conveyed to the deep ocean because warming of the ocean surface layer occurred in previous decades. This raises the issue of how much AGW will be returned to the atmosphere when that deep ocean water returns to the surface (~800 years in the future, see above).
The Second Law of Thermodynamics says that the atmospheric temperature rise induced by return to the surface of that AGW stored in deep ocean cannot be more than the temperature rise that put it into the ocean. Therefore, it threatens “our children’s children” (in ~800 years time) with no more AGW than we experienced in the twentieth century. And that warming is so small that we cannot discern it from natural variation.
Additionally, the water that went into deep ocean ~ 800 years ago is returning to the surface now. This could be affecting ocean surface layer pH, ocean surface layer temperature, and – therefore – atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration (mostly by the pH change). It could be expected to affect the magnitude of the residual trend detected in the analysis provided by Bill Illis.
Richard

EW
November 27, 2008 3:05 am

“Would you please explain why you claim a sizeable cooling?”
That’s all only a play with the starting point. I just did the same with the last 80 months and here we go with a sizable cooling:
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/last:80/plot/hadcrut3vgl/last:80/trend/plot/gistemp/last:80/plot/gistemp/last:80/trend/plot/uah/last:80/plot/uah/last:80/trend/plot/rss/last:80/plot/rss/last:80/trend

John Philip
November 27, 2008 3:27 am

Bill – another little feature of the analysis, in the spreadsheet you are using the natural log of the CO2 concentration, in fact the forcing due to an increase in CO2 is proportional to the log of the difference between starting and ending concentrations, in fact it is estimated to be
Delta F = 5.3 x ln(C1/C0) where C1 is the end concentration and C0 the start concentration.
By taking the log of the total concentration you will get a curve that is proportional to the theoretical forcing that would have occurred if concentrations were zero at the start of the period!

kim
November 27, 2008 4:03 am

Phil (22:58:19) That’s an excellent explication of a nice nuance. This is why the Jason measure of sea level are so important. Since Argos buoys only go down about two miles, if Trenberth’s ‘extra heat’ is being stored deep in the oceans, there should still be thermal expansion of volume of the oceans.
I particularly worry about the halt in the reported Jason data stream until very lately, and the attempt to jigger the Argos readings of the last four years back to warming. The evidence that the oceans are cooling is truly of more import than the recent atmosphere cooling.
===============================================

Jeff K
November 27, 2008 4:33 am

If I may offer a critique – I don’t know who chose it but the image at the top of the page is…well…IMO, a poor choice. As I see it, yes, it does show a El Nino and a La Nina – however – it is showing an El Nino during a PDO warm phase and the La Nina is shown during a PDO cool phase. Your apples & oranges are getting mixed together. The ENSO cycle (12-18 months or so) does not switch with the PDO cycle (20-30 years) & the image is not an accurate representation of the Pacific-wide basin during an ENSO cycle…correct?
*very* interesting write-up though.
Reguards,
Jeff

Bill Illis
November 27, 2008 5:37 am

Earlier John Philips had linked to the unadjusted untrended AMO data. I have put this data into the model now. It is exactly the same data I used before except it has very slight trend in it, about 0.002C per year or about 0.02C per decade GW impact potential.
It produces some interesting results.
The coefficient for the AMO goes back up to 0.75 as we has seen in other times. The r^2 falls somewhat to 0.74 but the F-statistic jumps to by far the highest number I have seen at 738.
More importantly the warming residual left over falls to the infamous 1.24C per doubling (which the actually physics calculations say the number should be.) Interesting.
It also allows one to see better some of the changing over time warming signals I was seeing before. There is certainly a peak then fall-off starting in the late 1970s for example and other variations at other times.
Here is the Warming modeled chart.
http://img73.imageshack.us/img73/4331/hadwarmusinguntramorr6.png
I will have to think about if it is valid to use an AMO index which has a slight trend in it. The point about this regression method is to remove the natural variation from the climate. if the AMO is rising due to warming, then it can’t really be used for this purpose (although the untrended data could be). Other studies have shown that the AMO is a natural climate cycle that even has longer cycles lasting hundreds of years.
Any thoughts?

November 27, 2008 6:30 am

John Phillip,
“In fact the warming is more likely to be exponential, due to thermal inertia and the impact of positive feedbacks, notably absent from this analysis.”
Positive feedback is a bit of a pet peeve of mine which is a regular theme of the AGW guys. The earth clearly has a large number of negative feedback mechanisms as well which are poorly understood. I can make that statement because our climate would have gone over this huge evil tipping point dozens of times by the ice core data and it hasn’t happened. Also there is endless data that the ice has melted well beyond today’s levels in the last 6000 years and yet there was still no massive overwhelming flood. The tipping point is a theory with no foundation in the data.
Most of the tipping point arguments are based on massive releases of CO2, melting ice, increased CO2 release until the earth turns into whatever horror story they can make up. What Bill Illis has shown shifts the equations for the limit to the amount of warming created by CO2 to a much lower level so even if there is massive amount of CO2 released the oceans are less likely to flood the earth.
When you say warming is more likely to be exponential, you are going way too far.

Phillip Bratby
November 27, 2008 7:46 am

The quote from the Hansen 1985 paper includes “Evidence from Earth’s history (3–6) and climate models“. Since when have climate models been able to produce evidence? I always thought evidence came from measurements, not from predictions!

TomVonk
November 27, 2008 8:32 am

Phil.
No, in our atmosphere up to the tropopause or so virtually all of the energy absorbed by CO2 is converted to the thermal motion of colliding molecules, primarily N2 & O2. The emission lifetime of the excited CO2 is much longer than the mean time between collisions and so is rapidly quenched.
That is only a half of the story and therefore wrong .
While vibrationnaly excited CO2 transfers energy to N2&O2 by collisions , so N2&O2 transfers energy to CO2 exciting its vibrationnal levels by collisions .
As we are in LTE , the rates are equal .
The Planck’s distribution of the excited vibrationnal levels of CO2 demands that the proportion of excited levels stays CONSTANT for a given temperature .
Consequence is that CO2 simply must radiate away what it absorbs because else we have no more LTE .
The proof is trivial : look at a CO2 spectrum anywhere in the troposphere .
The CO2 radiates as expected .
So it is not because the relaxation time is much longer than the mean time between collisions that CO2 only absorbs , collides and never radiates .
That’s why the quenching that works both directions does NOT say that the CO2 is “heating the atmosphere” because it’s doing simultaneously both – cooling by radiation AND heating by absorption .
In equilibrium because of the already mentionned Planck’s distribution constraint both actions are equal .
Remember , in equilibrium one has always “Anything that is absorbed must be emitted but not necessarily by the same molecule .”
On the other hand the original poster you commented on got most of the QM processes wrong (like the dipolar momentum , energy “storage” , “saturation” etc) .
To John Philipp
There is no “pipeline” .
Thermal inertia indeed exists but I am afraid that you did not understand what it means .
Like R.Courtney says , any heating is instantaneous by definition .
Any molecule that increases its energy by absorption or collision (aka it “heats”) does so instantaneously .
And it doesn’t matter if you take them by trillions of trillions . The bulk will still heat as the sum of heated molecules which do so instantaneously .

Stephen Wilde
November 27, 2008 8:35 am

Those points about the interplay between sun, atmosphere, ocean surface and ocean depths are critical to the whole issue.
I have heard it said that the ocean height continues to rise despite the ocean surfaces cooling and so the global system is still warming even though SST and atmosphere seem to be cooling.
My explanation would be that when the ocean oscillations are negative then less heat energy is being released to the atmosphere but solar input to the oceans continues so that there is an increase of energy in the oceans despite a cooling of atmosphere, land and so climate. During such periods solar energy gets tucked away in the depths and is denied to the atmosphere so that energy radiates to space faster than it is replenished by energy released from the oceans.
Conversely a period of positive oscillations causing atmospheric warming would normally involve enough release of energy from the oceans to warm the atmosphere but reduce the total energy in the system. That should result in a fall in ocean height and normally would.
However it appears that even during the 25 year warming spell from 1975 to 2000 there was nevertheless a slow increase in ocean height which appears to falsify the above BUT at the same time there was a so called grand solar maximum. Thus it is possible that the energy in the system continued to increase during the warming spell despite a full set of positive ocean oscillations. All that is needed for that to happen is for the historically high solar input (not necessarily reflected solely by TSI) to be putting more into the system than the positive oscillations are releasing.
Any consideration of multidecadal movements of energy between ocean surfaces and depths and variable and intermittent releases of that energy to the atmosphere is currently missing from the whole debate but in my view it is critical.
Combine those energy flows with solar changes over several cycles and I suspect that all the changes we have observed so far will be fully explained without involving CO2 at all.

John S.
November 27, 2008 8:55 am

The strong point of Illis’ study is the demonstration that a linear combination of AMO and ENSO indices can account for much of the variance seen in the standard “global temperature anomaly” compilations. The weak point is the naked presumption that the remnant is a physical “climate signal,” to which the logarithmic increments of temperature seen in vitro with rising CO2 concentrations can be applied . Given the multiple “adjustments” of actual data made by compilers such as GISS and Hadley and their failure to avoid UHI effects, any trend in their anomaly series is of dubious validity. And the surface temperature control in actual climate is provided by moist convection adjusting the vertical lapse rate in the atmosphere, not by the marginal radiative effect of trace gas concentrations.

Richard Sharpe
November 27, 2008 9:33 am

John S says:

And the surface temperature control in actual climate is provided by moist convection adjusting the vertical lapse rate in the atmosphere, not by the marginal radiative effect of trace gas concentrations.

This brings to mind something I cannot understand with respect to AGW claims about the marginal effect of CO2.
That is, what mechanism do they propose will actually cause thermal runaway as CO2 levels increase?
They seem to hint that increasing CO2 will cause more of the outgoing LWR to be absorbed, thus heating up the atmosphere, and then? Causing more water to be evaporated and thus heating up the atmosphere more?
However, for that to occur, the extra heat/energy in the atmosphere has to be transferred to water, ie the oceans. But this would depend very much on timing, since hot air rises, and only the small portion in contact with the sea can transfer that energy by conduction. Of course, radiative transfer could also occur, but that would depend on the mean free path at the frequencies involved, and the probability that a molecule of CO2 transfers its energy to another molecule in the atmosphere before it radiates that extra energy away.
So, it would seem to me that the effect of an increase in CO2 would be to increase the convection effect that John S refers to, although only marginally.

evanjones
Editor
November 27, 2008 9:36 am

I still ask:
–What about the other cycles? NAO, IPO, AO, AAO, and the Indian Ocean temperatures (which follow 20th century variations fairly well).
–What about the Mckitrick and LaDochy papers which indicate that global temperature trends are exaggerated?
Leif: Thanks. I’ll have to be content with the 30-year measures, then.

Bill Illis
November 27, 2008 9:43 am

To John Philip,
Regarding the proper log formulas, I am really modeling all the GHGs here (using CO2 as a proxy for all of the them.) And I am modeling Temperature response.
The 5.35 ln (CO2/CO2o) is the formula for the “Forcing” of CO2 only (and there is a bunch of other formulas for the other GHGs and other forcings such as aerosols as well). In the most recent IPCC, the coefficient for CO2 was changed from 5.35 to 5.0.
With the 5.0 or 5.35 formula, one then gets a 3.45 Watts/m^2 impact from the CO2 forcing only which when multiplied by 0.75C /w/m^2 estimated temperature response to a forcing results in 2.6C per doubling of CO2 only.
When you add up all the forcings from all the GHGs and other feedbacks – the estimated forcing per doubling is 4.33 w/m^2 * 0.75C /w/m^2 = 3.25C per doubling.
In effect I am just regressing to find out how much forcing change there has really been to date (assuming forcings result in 0.75C per watt per metre although it really doesn’t matter what the number is). In effect, I am skipping all these steps and just regressing for the actual temperature response.
The warming models are really based on (using the anomaly C basis rather than Kelvin):
— 4.7 * ln(280) – 26.9 = -0.42C
— 4.7 * ln(560) – 26.9 = +2.84C
and the change is +3.25C per doubling
The regression returns
— 2.7 * ln(280) – 15.8 = -0.42C
— 2.7 * ln(560) – 15.8 = +1.44C
and the change is +1.85C per doubling
I was hoping I wouldn’t have to get into this discussion because it is very messy. I fell for this trap too a couple of times when I was designing it (as Anthony Watts can attest to). There are a lot of coincidences in these numbers.
And perhaps the modelers, in trying to nail down every little impact in “forcings” which may be based on calculations that are not correct to start with (where did the 5.35 come from anyway) , they have lost a little perspective on what they are trying to do which is model a Temperature response. Is the climate actually responding in “Temperatures C” rather than in “minute forcings in watts per metre squared”, the way it is supposed to.
I got quite a few “Watts” into that post.

November 27, 2008 9:48 am

Fernando:
“Perhaps, I need to understand the interaction
H2O + CO2> H2CO3 in the atmosphere”
That is a key question:That reaction is endothermic.

Richard Sharpe
November 27, 2008 10:02 am

Tom Vonk says:

The Planck’s distribution of the excited vibrationnal levels of CO2 demands that the proportion of excited levels stays CONSTANT for a given temperature .
Consequence is that CO2 simply must radiate away what it absorbs because else we have no more LTE .

Bear with me here as I am trying to understand this, and may have to go away and read a physics text book.
However, what says that the temperature must stay CONSTANT? When the atmosphere, via CO2 increases, absorbs more energy, wouldn’t its temperature shift upwards and reach a different LTE point?

evanjones
Editor
November 27, 2008 10:34 am

And I ask yet again, what about the influence of other cycles?
Here are my links:
PDO:
ftp://ftp.atmos.washington.edu/mantua/pnw_impacts/INDICES/PDO.latest
AMO:
http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/Timeseries/AMO/
Arctic Oscillation:
http://jisao.washington.edu/data/aots/
Antarctic Oscillation:
http://www.lasg.ac.cn/staff/ljp/data-NAM-SAM-NAO/SAMI1948-2007.ascii
North Atlantic Oscillation:
http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/jhurrell/indices.data.html#naostatann
http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/jhurrell/indices.data.html#nam
Indian Ocean Temp.Anomalies:
http://www.jisao.washington.edu/data/indiansat/
And what about the possibly spurious adjustments to the historical record?
All that might make the curve fit even better.

November 27, 2008 10:44 am

Richard Sharpe (10:02:53) :
Tom Vonk says:
The Planck’s distribution of the excited vibrationnal levels of CO2 demands that the proportion of excited levels stays CONSTANT for a given temperature .
Consequence is that CO2 simply must radiate away what it absorbs because else we have no more LTE .
Bear with me here as I am trying to understand this, and may have to go away and read a physics text book.

I don’t know what context this was said but if it’s intended to describe the situation in the earth’s troposphere it’s wrong. It should read:
Consequence is that CO2 simply must radiate away or lose by collisional transfer what it absorbs because else we have no more LTE.
In the stratosphere where CO2 is responsible for cooling and collisions are few then CO2 does predominantly lose energy by radiation.

Bill Illis
November 27, 2008 10:51 am

To evanjones
I’ll try these out tonight. It would be preferable to have a series which is continuously updated with monthly data, a series which is a natural cycle unrelated to global warming and one that has a long enough time series (back to at least 1900 for example.)

Basil
Editor
November 27, 2008 12:16 pm

Bill,
I’m impressed. I also haven’t had the time to look into it carefully. One thing that stands out to me, though, is your 4th figure, where you show the “warming” in the divergence between the temperature series, and the Nino+AMO only model, after ~1970.
I wonder if the “warming” would not be as dramatic, or even noticeable, if you used a tropics only temperature series, rather than the global series. I’ve done enough temperature trend analysis to know that most of the “warming” we’ve seen in the past 2-3 decades occurred in the northern extra-tropics, and over land. Before I attributed the gap you see in your 4th figure to rising CO2, I’d want to see what kind of gap exists just in the tropics. Then, if it is indeed localized primarily to northern extratropics, over the Asia land mass, I cannot help but wonder how much of that is due to quality issues with respect to the surface stations in that part of the globe.
I have raised the question several times, but have never received a cogent answer: why would warming from CO2 be localized in the northern extratropics, and over land? (And, for that matter, primarily over Asia; the USA has not been warming.)
While your results are intriguing, I think you should see how robust they are to hemispheric/tropical differences in long term temperature trends. If the “warming gap” diminishes, or goes away, if you use only tropical temperature trends, how would that affect your analysis?
I’m sure you know, but you can get the HadCRUT series specifically for tropics (it is 30N-30S, rather than the more common 20N-20S, but it will do for what I’m thinking about) here:
http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcrut3/diagnostics/regional/30-30/
Basil

phil
November 27, 2008 12:54 pm

@ kim (04:03:59) :
Jason 2 has now been handed over to NOAA:
“The handover is a major step in Jason-2 operations. NOAA will now carry out routine operations on the satellite and, by the end of November, process the operational data received by its ground stations and interface with users.”
See http://www.eumetsat.int/home/main/media/news/708051

Bill Illis
November 27, 2008 1:08 pm

To Basil,
I did do the RSS tropics and the RSS northern hemisphere. (There is a nice fit to the Tropics).
http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/1222/rsstropicslz2.png
http://i463.photobucket.com/albums/qq360/Bill-illis/RSSNorthHemisphere.png
The warming in the Tropics for RSS is about 0.045C per decade which is basically the same as the global number. The Northern Hemisphere is higher at about 0.07C per decade.
I, as well, have not seen a very good explanation for why the temperature in the northern hemisphere is rising faster.
One little explanation might be that the AMO has been cycling upward since 1975. The reconstruction shows the AMO is much more important in the northern hemisphere than it is for the global temp series or for the Tropics. In the Tropics, the ENSO becomes dominant and the ENSO doesn’t really have long cycles of consistently up or down – just a lot of short sharp swings.
And thanks for the link to the regional Hadcrut3 data series. I have not used these specific breakdowns yet and will try them out.

Steve S
November 27, 2008 1:39 pm

Can someone help me understand something?
How is it that the global warming issue became a liberal vs conservative issue? I am blown away by how is sometimes seems more a political issue than a scientific one. Everyone with a political ideology has self-appointed himself a scientific expert on the topic. Does anyone really think he is smarter or knows more than the real experts? I say leave the scientific debate to the scientists and out of politics.
Personally I am more concerned with the truth than my beliefs. It seems that (other than people who don’t know or care about the issue) everyone has a prejudiced belief and will only pursue evidence of their viewpoint.
I have liberal leanings (though I am much too independently minded to agree with most Democratic or American liberal perspectives). I believe global warming is occurring, but not because of anything any pundit or politician has said, but because of what scientists have written. That being said, I am not afraid to look at evidence from the “opposition”, because I am so much more interested in the truth than in being right.
I am busy, so I don’t have time to read everything that interests me, but I plan on reading “Red Hot Lies” soon. I only hope that everyone, liberal or conservative, will keep an open mind and not be afraid or looking at evidence from both sides.

Steve S
November 27, 2008 1:44 pm

Moderator:
Sorry, I clicked on the wrong page before I submitted this. I reposted on the correct page. Please remove the above comment as it is not on topic here.
REPLY: It’s the holiday, not to worry – Anthony

mcates
November 27, 2008 3:20 pm

“How is it that the global warming issue became a liberal vs conservative issue? ”
The scientists who were/are pushing the theory of global warming started pushing liberal ideology and solutions, while talking about global warming.
“I believe global warming is occurring, but not because of anything any pundit or politician has said, but because of what scientists have written.”
I don’t think I have ever read a post here that stated global warming is non-existant.
Also, your statement is vague. Do you believe man-made global warming exits? That would be one of the points of discussion.
What about the scientists that do not think man has caused the planet to warm or that man’s effect is small? Being scientists does there opinion influence you?
“I only hope that everyone, liberal or conservative, will keep an open mind and not be afraid or looking at evidence from both sides.”
That would be my hope also. I would argue that you have just described the far majority of people at this site. I don’t think anyone here believes others should be prosecuted or jailed for disagreeing with another over a scientific issus as complex as climate change.

Richard S Courtney
November 27, 2008 4:07 pm

I trust the Moderator will not post this if it is straying too far from the important point of Bill Illis’s analysis, but it concerns the natures of ‘evidence’ and ‘modelling’ (the analysis is a model).
Phillip Bratby says:
“The quote from the Hansen 1985 paper includes “Evidence from Earth’s history (3–6) and climate models“. Since when have climate models been able to produce evidence? I always thought evidence came from measurements, not from predictions!”
I agree. One my peer review comments for the IPCC AR4 (which it is not surprising was ignored) said the following:
Page 2-47 Chapter 2 Section 2.6.3 Line 46
Delete the phrase, “and a physical model” because it is a falsehood.
Evidence says what it says, and construction of a physical model is irrelevant to that in any real science.
The authors of this draft Report seem to have an extreme prejudice in favour of models (some parts of the Report seem to assert that climate obeys what the models say; e.g. Page 2-47 Chapter 2 Section 2.6.3 Lines 33 and 34), and this phrase that needs deletion is an example of the prejudice.
Evidence is the result of empirical observation of reality.
Hypotheses are ideas based on the evidence.
Theories are hypotheses that have repeatedly been tested by comparison with evidence and have withstood all the tests.
Models are representations of the hypotheses and theories.
Outputs of the models can be used as evidence only when the output data is demonstrated to accurately represent reality.
If a model output disagrees with the available evidence then this indicates fault in the model, and this indication remains true until the evidence is shown to be wrong.
This draft Report repeatedly demonstrates that its authors do not understand these matters. So, I provide the following analogy to help them. If they can comprehend the analogy then they may achieve graduate standard in their science practice.
A scientist discovers a new species.
1.
He/she names it (e.g. he/she calls it a gazelle) and describes it (e.g. a gazelle has a leg in each corner).
2.
He/she observes that gazelles leap. (n.b. the muscles, ligaments etc. that enable gazelles to leap are not known, do not need to be discovered, and do not need to be modelled to observe that gazelles leap. The observation is evidence.)
3.
Gazelles are observed to always leap when a predator is near. (This observation is also evidence.)
4.
From (3) it can be deduced that gazelles leap in response to the presence of a predator.
5.
n.b. The gazelle’s internal body structure and central nervous system do not need to be studied, known or modelled for the conclusion in (4) that “gazelles leap when a predator is near” to be valid. Indeed, study of a gazelle’s internal body structure and central nervous system may never reveal that, and such a model may take decades to construct following achievement of the conclusion from the evidence.
Richard

November 27, 2008 6:44 pm

From Basil (12:16:49) :
“One thing that stands out to me, though, is your 4th figure, where you show the “warming” in the divergence between the temperature series, and the Nino+AMO only model, after ~1970.
“I wonder if the “warming” would not be as dramatic, or even noticeable, if you used a tropics only temperature series, rather than the global series. I’ve done enough temperature trend analysis to know that most of the “warming” we’ve seen in the past 2-3 decades occurred in the northern extra-tropics, and over land. ”
In some ways, see only the arctic heat up makes sense w/r to the liberals’ “rising-CO2-causing-rising-global-temperature” theory.
One of Hansen’s premises is that a 1x increase in CO2 GHG function is “forcing” a 10x increase in water vapor’s GHG function. He expects to see this effect most strongly where water vapor is limited (colder climates) and where the air itself is very dry (again, colder, arctic climates.) Where water vapor is higher (warmer areas and ocean/island areas) he doesn’t expect to see much GHG increases.
Thus, Hansen MUST show an increase in Arctic temperatures. Even though he cannot explain why only the ten Siberian thermometers are going up, when the more numerous Candian and Alaskan and Swedish temperatures are NOT rising.

Bill Illis
November 27, 2008 6:47 pm

Okay, here is the problem with the reconstruction and why it doesn’t work really, really well.
The Southern Hemisphere temps (as linked to by Basil) are not matched up by the ENSO or AMO indices. I tried the Antarctic oscillation linked to by evanjones and this gets one closer but it is still off by quite a bit.
Does anyone know of a good Southern Ocean Index to try?
The Southern Oscillation Index is more related to the El Nino and La Nina phenomenon rather than southern ocean temps as the name would indicate so that one doesn’t work – in fact the ENSO is negatively correlated with southern hemisphere temps which is a little strange I guess except when one considers that the ENSO develops out of the ocean circulations from the southern oceans sometimes and, in fact, lags the southern ocean temps versus leading global temperatures as it does. A little counter-intuitive but nonetheless.
Here is the problem.
http://img122.imageshack.us/img122/7797/shtempanomalybq1.png
Any ideas for a southern ocean index which matches this?
And Richard, I agree with you completely. Empirical evidence is king and should always overrule any theory. It is the basis for science and medicine and the reason why civilization has advanced in recent centuries. I don’t know why theory overrules evidence in the global warming field however.

Editor
November 27, 2008 7:01 pm

John Philip (17:20:45)

George – which of the four major global temperature indices shows a ’sizeable temperature fall’ over the last 120 months please? Here’s the data:
http://tinyurl.com/563bmc
They all appear to show an increase. Please explain.

Oh dear, the cherry-pick the 1998 El Nino has passed the decade mark.
If you add one more year, to 132 months, then only good ol’ GISSTEMP is
going up. Of course, that El Nino was followed by a La Nina as often happens,
and that forces the trend positive.
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/last:132/plot/hadcrut3vgl/last:132/trend/plot/gistemp/last:132/plot/gistemp/last:132/trend/plot/uah/last:132/plot/uah/last:132/trend/plot/rss/last:132/plot/rss/last:132/trend
Of course, the trend over the past two years can’t continue, but see http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/last:132/plot/hadcrut3vgl/last:24/trend/plot/gistemp/last:132/plot/gistemp/last:24/trend/plot/uah/last:132/plot/uah/last:24/trend/plot/rss/last:132/plot/rss/last:24/trend
That period has the most recent El Nino and the PDO flip. It makes for a good cherry pick, but it does have useful information you can read between the lines.

Basil
Editor
November 27, 2008 7:21 pm

Bill,
It would be very significant, I think, if separate out the temperature of the tropics and the temperature of the northern extratropics, and can show that the AMO is more important to the latter, and can explain some (a lot?) of the anomalous behavior in temperature trends in the northern extratropics since the 1970’s.
Basil

Bill Illis
November 27, 2008 8:43 pm

Basil,
I have the tropics and the northern hemisphere pretty much nailed. The tropics is driven by the ENSO (but has an AMO influence as well) and the northern hemisphere is driven mainly by the AMO (but has an ENSO influence as well.)
Which itself is a significant development I think.
But I’m really looking to pull the natural variation out of the total global temp anomaly so it appears I need something for the southern hemisphere.
The reconstruction was already very close so I don’t need a perfect correlation, just something that is reasonably close.

John Finn
November 27, 2008 11:59 pm

Just catching up with all the discussions on this thread so I could easily have missed or misunderstood something but, with regards to the “ocean warming”
Richard Courtney writes
(c) The heating from AGW of the ocean is (i) mostly direct radiant IR input that is absorbed within the top few meters of the ocean,
Shouldn’t that be millimetres – or even fractions of mm. I was under the impression that IR only penetrated the top ‘skin’ of liquid water. I’ve seen Doug Hoyt demonstrate this using transmission formula with appropriate absorption coefficients for typical IR wavelengths.
This raises the question (for me at least) as to how increased GHGs warm the ocean. Some AGWers seem to be arguing that, rather than warming from the direct downward IR effect, increased GHGs actually slow the rate of ocean cooling.

TomVonk
November 28, 2008 1:32 am

R.Sharpe
The Planck’s distribution of the excited vibrationnal levels of CO2 demands that the proportion of excited levels stays CONSTANT for a given temperature .
Consequence is that CO2 simply must radiate away what it absorbs because else we have no more LTE .
Bear with me here as I am trying to understand this, and may have to go away and read a physics text book.
However, what says that the temperature must stay CONSTANT? When the atmosphere, via CO2 increases, absorbs more energy, wouldn’t its temperature shift upwards and reach a different LTE point?

The temperature stays constant for a given concentration – that is the LTE condition .
Indeed when the CO2 concentration changes , the equilibrium temperature changes but very slightly .
Yes the atmosphere will absorb more but it will also RADIATE more . Absorption and radiation always go hand in hand .
The Planck’s distribution of the energy levels has a very low sensibility to temperatures – around the room temperature only about 5 % of the CO2 molecules are excited . At lower temperatures even less .
The main point which Phil has got wrong is that he imagines that for a given CO2 concentration CO2 only absorbs and transfers the absorbed energy by collisions to N2&O2 .
Or in other words that the CO2 doesn’t radiate in the troposphere .
Of course that is not what happens because :
a) CO2 radiates as any tropospheric spectrum shows .
b) The collisional reaction CO2* + N2 CO2 + N2* where the symbol * means high energy species (it can be either translationnal energy or vibro/rotationnal energy) is an equilibrium . From that follows that for every CO2* that transfers energy to N2 , there is an N2* that transfers energy to CO2 .
Obviously if it was not the case , the reaction would not be an equilibrium .
The constraint is that the energy distribution of both CO2 and N2 must stay constant because by definition we are in LTE and the temperature is constant .
c) From b) above follows that as the collisional reaction is an equilibrium , the CO2 molecules must radiate approximately the same energy as the one they absorb because N2 can radiate only a small amount .
This is a trivial consequence of energy conservation .
So the naive vision in which CO2 is a kind of “pump” which absorbs IR , never radiates and heats the air is simply wrong .
What CO2 absorbs is radiated away (and reabsorbed and reradiated etc) .
If the CO2 concentration changes , the processes described above don’t change but the equilibrium temperature will slightly change with negligible impact on the energy distribution .

TomVonk
November 28, 2008 1:40 am

I forgot the problems with the “arrow” symbols .
In the above collisional reaction it shoud read :
CO2* + N2 (-) CO2 + N2* where the “(” and “)” are left and right arrows .

November 28, 2008 2:08 am

Re Colin Aldridge (11:21:51) and Richard M (11:37:18)
Anyone seen a plausible explanation for ENSO?
Try http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/2008/11/21/the-enso-driver/
All the discussion of carbon dioxide and its supposed effect on surface temperature should be tempered by observation of the reaction of ozone to the strong seasonal increase in radiation from the Earth each northern summer. This is due to the distribution of land and sea with 40% of the northern hemisphere land by comparison with only 20% in the southern hemisphere. A mid year burst of OLR (continents heat the atmosphere and cloud cover declines with relative humidity) produces an increase in temperature at the tropopause (100hPa) in the southern tropics of something like 4-5°C in August every year. The pattern of seasonal change of temperature at 150hPa or 200hPa (peaking in April – May in the southern tropics) is unaffected. Conclusion: there is no effective transfer of energy from the heated tropopause down into the atmosphere immediately below. Convection cancels the effect of down welling radiation. Full exposition at: http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/2008/11/08/earth-laboratory-tests-the-greenhouse-theory-once-a-year-every-year-and-finds-it-wanting-every-time/
The convection dynamic in the troposphere where temperature falls with elevation is very strong. ‘Tropos’ is Greek for turning. It is less vigorous in the stratosphere (‘stratos’ = layered) where temperature increases with altitude. Strangely, the strong effect of OLR on atmospheric temperature via ozone falls away long short of peak ozone concentration at 30hPa. I suggest that this is due to increasing ease of emission to space as atmospheric density declines with elevation. Thus the pattern of evolution of temperature within the year reveals the relative strength of the forces that are in operation. Here is the observational evidence of the irrelevance of greenhouse theory in the real world of atmospheric dynamics.
Bill, congratulations on what appears to be, from a non statistician’s point of view, an advance in attributing effect to cause. However, I want to point out that all of the oceans acquire heat in tropical zones and emit more energy than they receive from the sun, pole wards of 40° of latitude. The North Atlantic has a much larger swing in temperature than the other oceans but this may have something to do with the ratio between the relatively small surface area of the Atlantic in relation to the large cloud free tropical zone where the solar energy is absorbed. Additionally, the relatively closed circulation of this ocean due to the particular arrangement of the coast of Brazil in relation to the push of the warmed waters means that little of the surface circulation of warmed water is lost to the southern hemisphere where the water volume is vast and temperatures depressed by the presence of Antarctica and its constant all season downdraft of air at minus 80°C or thereabouts. So, the AMO expresses the evolution of global temperature with a vigor that is not seen in the Pacific with its vast southern component.
The tropical oceans absorb energy from the sun. A useful index of the amount of energy received might be the temperature of the water at 0-10°N latitude where the warmest waters lie. However since, after a certain point, the energy received by the ocean is resolved via evaporation rather than increase in surface temperature and much of that energy is released as latent heat at 850hPa, a useful index could be temperature at 850hPa (over the ocean) between the equator and 10°N. That might come close to expressing the the power of the solar driver that works via cloud cover change in the ozone rich high pressure zones of subsiding, relatively cloud free air in the tropics. Despite there being little low altitude cloud there is a strong flux in cirrus above 500hPa depending upon local temperature. To see this mechanism in action on an hourly basis in the Pacific east of South America see Fulldisk Satellite Image from GOES8 at http://www.intelliweather.com/imagesuite_specialty.htm This blog provides a permanent reference point to current images in the header above.

John Philip
November 28, 2008 3:03 am

There is a key assumption here, i.e.
The ENSO and the AMO are capable of explaining almost all of the natural variation in the climate. and
The coefficient for the Nino 3.4 region at 0.058 means it is capable of explaining changes in temps of as much as +/- 0.2C.
The coefficient for the AMO index at 0.51 to 0.75 indicates it is capable of explaining changes in temps of as much as +/- 0.3C to +/- 0.4C.

That is, the essay assumes that correlation demonstrates causality. This is a logical fallacy, without considering the underlying physics it is impossible to conclude whether the oscillations are driving the temperature or the oscillations are modified by the changing temperatures, As Trenberth and Hoar (2001) found
Both the recent trend for more ENSO events since 1976 and the prolonged 1990-1995 ENSO event are unexpected given the previous record, with a probability of occurrence about once in 2,000 years. This opens up the possibility that the ENSO changes may be partly caused by the observed increases in greenhouse gases.
If this is the case then simply subtracting the ENSO index from the observed temperatures will not give the ‘real’ residual global warming signal.
From an eyeball of the first chart it seems the good correlation starts to break down in the second half of the 20th century as GHG warming becomes dominant. The model attempts to plug this gap with a formula based on the multiple of the natural log of CO2 plus an arbitrary constant, which gives a reasonable match. The expected global warming from theory is given as:
When you add up all the forcings from all the GHGs and other feedbacks – the estimated forcing per doubling is 4.33 w/m^2 * 0.75C /w/m^2 = 3.25C per doubling.
In effect I am just regressing to find out how much forcing change there has really been to date (assuming forcings result in 0.75C per watt per metre although it really doesn’t matter what the number is). In effect, I am skipping all these steps and just regressing for the actual temperature response.

And this is expressed as the formula:
The warming models are really based on (using the anomaly C basis rather than Kelvin):
— 4.7 * ln(280) – 26.9 = -0.42C
— 4.7 * ln(560) – 26.9 = +2.84C
and the change is +3.25C per doubling
The regression returns
— 2.7 * ln(280) – 15.8 = -0.42C
— 2.7 * ln(560) – 15.8 = +1.44C
and the change is +1.85C per doubling

In other words the ‘regression’ simply uses lower values for the multiplier and constant.
This is not legitimate, the 0.75C/W/m2 figure is an expression of the climate sensitivity, that is the expected temperature rise produced by a given forcing. However the IPCC define climate sensitivity as
the equilibrium change in the annual mean global surface
temperature following a doubling of the atmospheric equivalent
carbon dioxide concentration.

The key point being that there is thermal inertia in the climate system and so the observed temperatures are only expected to match the modelled temperatures once equilibrium is reached (this is a convenient construct, in fact equilibrium is never reached, but it is a useful concept), Hansen et al (2005) finds :
Evidence from Earth’s history and climate models suggests that climate sensitivity is 0.75° ± 0.25°C per W/m2, implying that 25 to 50 years are needed for Earth’s surface temperature to reach 60% of its equilibrium response.
In other words in the half century following a change in forcing as the climate system is still responding, it is unsurprising that a simple logarithmic model with reduced coefficients gives a reasonable match to observed temperatures, but it is not valid simply to extrapolate this forward.
Some of the forcing goes to increasing the ocean heat content, this figure from the same paper shows how the models’ estimate of the increased OHC in the top 750m compare with observations. Any model that assumes all the extra forcing goes purely to increasing surface temperatures must explain the origin of this extra heat.
As explained above the statement …
As well, the AMO appears to be a natural climate cycle unrelated to global warming. is incorrect because the dataset chosen had already had the trend removed, the trend is described as
It is exactly the same data I used before except it has very slight trend in it, about 0.002C per year or about 0.02C per decade GW impact potential.
Actually slightly over 0.025C/ decade. Given that the data cover 15 decades, the difference over the dataset is approx 0.375C, equivalent to more than 50% of the 20th century warming. The fact that a change of this magnitude has an apparently minor impact on the model tells us something very interesting about its robustness.
Let us take a brief look at what the IPCC models which include the ocean physics and feedbacks actually projected for recent decades. The figures from the TAR are here. Taking Scenario A2 as a reasonable midrange choice and a good match to the actual forcings trajectory the temperatures were projected to increase by 0.35C from the baseline year of 1990 to 2010, a linear trend of 0.175C/decade. The actual trend in the monthly HADCrut dataset over the period since January 1990 to 3dp is 0.176C/decade.
Not bad.

Richard S Courtney
November 28, 2008 3:43 am

John Finn:
Thankyou for correcting me. You say:
“Richard Courtney writes
(c) The heating from AGW of the ocean is (i) mostly direct radiant IR input that is absorbed within the top few meters of the ocean,”
Shouldn’t that be millimetres – or even fractions of mm. I was under the impression that IR only penetrated the top ’skin’ of liquid water. I’ve seen Doug Hoyt demonstrate this using transmission formula with appropriate absorption coefficients for typical IR wavelengths.”
Yes, of course you are right.
My error was to say “direct radiant IR input” when I should have said “direct radiant IR and visible input”. Visible wavelengths penetrate to tens of meters before being absorbed, and they provide a significant energy input (i.e. heating) to the ocean surface layer.
Again, thankyou for pointing out my mistake.
Richard

Richard S Courtney
November 28, 2008 4:02 am

Bill Illis:
You ask;
“But I’m really looking to pull the natural variation out of the total global temp anomaly so it appears I need something for the southern hemisphere.”
OK, I understand what you want and I cannot provide real help. However, there is a possibility that – I think – warrants mention if – as I hope – you publish your work.
I remind that I wrote above:
“Other natural cycles may also be affecting the trend, and the method is not applicable to cycles with lower frequency than the time series. Such a very low frequency oscillation does seem to exist. There is an apparent ~900 year oscillation that caused the Roman Warm Period (RWP), then the Dark Age Cool Period (DACP), then the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), then the Little Ice Age (LIA), and the present warm period (PWP). ”
And I later wrote above:
“Additionally, the water that went into deep ocean ~800 years ago is returning to the surface now. This could be affecting ocean surface layer pH, ocean surface layer temperature, and – therefore – atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration (mostly by the pH change). It could be expected to affect the magnitude of the residual trend detected in the analysis provided by Bill Illis. ”
In other words, there is an apparent natural cycle with too great a frequency to be analysed by your method that could be expected to provide warming which was stored in the oceans during the MWP and is now being returned to the atmosphere.
Indeed, this possibility is proclaimed by those who advocate “AGW in the pipeline”.
However, as I also said;
“The Second Law of Thermodynamics says that the atmospheric temperature rise induced by return to the surface of that AGW stored in deep ocean cannot be more than the temperature rise that put it into the ocean. Therefore, it threatens “our children’s children” (in ~800 years time) with no more AGW than we experienced in the twentieth century. And that warming is so small that we cannot discern it from natural variation.”
Therefore, this postulated ‘warming from the MWP’ cannot provide a temperature rise greater than the temperature rise from the Dark Age Cool Period (DACP) to the Medieval Warm Period (MWP). But, conservatively it could be assumed to have provided 0.2 deg.C to observed recent Southern Hemisphere temperature rise.
I repeat that I know this fails to answer your need, but I do think it merits at least a footnote in the publication I hope you will provide.
Richard

John Philip
November 28, 2008 4:23 am

Actually, although IR only penetrates less than 1 mm an important part of the mechanism by which GHG forcing heats the ocean is IR absorbtion in the surface skin layer which reduces the temperature gradient across the layer, causing more of the heat from sunlight absorbion to be retained in the water below.

Bill Illis
November 28, 2008 5:10 am

John Phillips says – “In other words the ‘regression’ simply uses lower values for the multiplier and constant (for the warming reconstruction). ”
No, I’m saying they ARE lower so far. Not simply uses, they are lower.
I can perhaps adjust the global warming model’s log formula to include a “Time” component which is missing so far as follows:
— 2.7 * ln(560) – 15.8 + (Another up to 1,000 years of additional not-really-well-defined-or-explained warming in the pipeline) = 3.25C
So far, the pipeline has some leaks in it.
—-
And I had read the paper you linked to earlier about the AMO when it was discussed on realclimate a week or so ago.
I note the abstract states the AMO is a natural climate cycle independent of global warming.
“The results imply the AMO is a genuine quasi-periodic cycle of internal climate variability persisting for many centuries, and is related to
variability in the oceanic thermohaline circulation (THC). This relationship suggests we can attempt to reconstruct past THC changes, and we infer an increase in THC strength over the last 25 years. Potential predictability
associated with the mode implies natural THC and AMO decreases over the next few decades independent of anthropogenic climate change.”
And they did forecast (so far correctly) that it would weaken in the next decades.

John Finn
November 28, 2008 5:11 am

Actually, although IR only penetrates less than 1 mm an important part of the mechanism by which GHG forcing heats the ocean is IR absorbtion in the surface skin layer which reduces the temperature gradient across the layer, causing more of the heat from sunlight absorbion to be retained in the water below.
Wouldn’t the IR “heated” skin just evaporate?

Richard S Courtney
November 28, 2008 5:12 am

John Philip asserts:
“Actually, although IR only penetrates less than 1 mm an important part of the mechanism by which GHG forcing heats the ocean is IR absorbtion in the surface skin layer which reduces the temperature gradient across the layer, causing more of the heat from sunlight absorbion to be retained in the water below.”
Really? Prove it.
The assertion assumes little mixing of the ocean surface layer. Indeed, it assumes a “surface skin layer” that is “less than 1 mm” thick and is independent of the underlying water. But the entire surface layer is turbulent and it is very turbulent near the surface.
While the possibility of the assertion cannot be rejected, it is so implausible as to be worthy of rejection until supporting evidence is provided.
As a postscript, I add that I spent the first 3 years of this decade living on a boat in an attempt to quantify energy interactions at sea surface. My endeavour was defeated – so the project was a failure – by effects of surface ripples (n.b. ripples, not waves) that I do not think had been previously detected. Hence, having wasted those three years of my life, I am extremely sceptical of any simplistic assertions concerning energy interactions at sea surface.
Richard

Mike Bryant
November 28, 2008 5:25 am

Richard,
“While the possibility of the assertion cannot be rejected, it is so implausible as to be worthy of rejection until supporting evidence is provided.”
It seems that in climate science, any assertion supporting AGW is immediadely accepted as truth. The effect is then added into the models, and if actual data is found to disagree with the models, then the data is “corrected”.
Mike

John Philip
November 28, 2008 5:32 am

Jeff Id, re feedbacks … published just last month, Dessler et al found …
Between 2003 and 2008, the global-average surface temperature of the Earth varied by 0.6C. We analyze here the response of tropospheric water vapor to these variations. Height-resolved measurements of specific humidity (q) and relative humidity (RH) are obtained from NASA’s satelliteborne Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS). Over most of the troposphere, q increased with increasing global-average
surface temperature, although some regions showed the opposite response. RH increased in some regions and decreased in others, with the global average remaining nearly constant at most altitudes. The water-vapor feedback implied by these observations is strongly positive, with an average magnitude of lq = 2.04 W/m2/K, similar to that simulated by climate models. The magnitude is similar to that obtained if the atmosphere maintained constant RH everywhere

and concluded …
The existence of a strong and positive water-vapor feedback means that projected business-as-usual greenhouse gas emissions over the next century are virtually guaranteed to produce warming of several degrees Celsius. The only way that will not happen is if a strong, negative, and currently unknown feedback is discovered somewhere in our climate system.
(My bold).
cheers,
JP

Bill Illis
November 28, 2008 6:10 am

Thanks John Philips for linking to a public version of the Dessler paper.
I note Dessler had published a study earlier which indicated water vapour response was not keeping up with climate model’s predictions (but this study did not use all of the troposphere).
In this paper (funded by NASA – GISS I presume), water vapour response was measured across the whole troposphere as temps declined from DJF 2007 to DJF 2008 (due to the La Nina and the AMO as I have been saying all along – temps declined by 0.4C, very close to the predictions of the reconstruction).
In the very lower troposphere, relative humidity decreased by 1.5% (percentage points) and it increased in the very upper troposphere by 1.5% (the middle was constant).
Give there is much more water vapour in the very lower troposphere than in the top, the study really found there was a decline in the overall weighted-average relative humidity as temperatures declined.
So how does that support global warming? Relative humidity is supposed to stay more-or-less constant.
To be fair, the models do produce results similar to this when temps are increasing, but not when they are decreasing.
These results imply a runaway greenhouse or runaway ice planet. The models would never work if there a decline in relative humidity as temps fell and an increase in relative humidity as temps increase.
I think the study just shows there is still a lot of variability in relative humidity that we do not understand yet.

Stephen Wilde
November 28, 2008 6:14 am

For a discussion of the ‘ocean skin’ issue please see my article here:
http://co2sceptics.com/news.php?id=1645
I would add that natural swings in the power of the atmospheric greenhouse effect are likely to occur routinely as a result of natural changes in the total amount of water vapour in the atmosphere.
As the Earth warms for whatever natural reason the atmosphere will hold more water vapour and if it cools for whatever natural reason then the atmosphere will hold less water vapour.
Either way the natural water vapour variations will dwarf by orders of magnitude any changes in the power of the greenhouse effect that could be attributed to human CO2.
Furthermore those natural water vapour swings have never caused us to cross a tipping point so why should a tiny variation induced by any effect from human CO2 do so ?

John Philip
November 28, 2008 8:01 am

…it is so implausible as to be worthy of rejection until supporting evidence is provided.

This guy
(who seems to understand a thing or two about ocean surface thermodynamics, judging by his publication record) did the research and it was published in

Linking thermal skin gradients at the sea-surface to the radiative coupling of the atmosphere and ocean: a mechanism for heating of the oceans by atmospheric greenhouse gases

From the abstract … The heat flux to the atmosphere is achieved though conduction though the skin layer of the ocean, within which a temperature gradient exists, so that the interfacial temperature of the ocean is cooler than the bulk temperature below. The thickness of the conductive skin layer is of comparable size to the emission (and absorption) depth of infrared radiation in water. The differences in the skin SST and the subsurface bulk temperature are typically a few tenths of a degree, an amount that is important in terms of attempting to detect oceanic warming caused by climate change. Given that the ocean absorbs the infrared radiation emitted by the atmosphere, including by greenhouse gases, within the radiative skin layer, concern has been expressed about how the increasing levels of greenhouse gases can heat the ocean. However, the skin temperature gradient is believed to be responsive to the intensity of the incident infrared radiation at the surface, and this modulates the heat flow from ocean to atmosphere. Empirical evidence to support this hypothesis will be presented, based on measurements taken at sea using the Marine-Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (M-AERI).
Cheers,

The Diatribe Guy
November 28, 2008 8:12 am

This is a great analysis. My only issue with it is the apparent assumption of no cross biases for unevaluated parameters.
For example, suggesting that the remaining trend may have some small, but basically minimal room for influence on the temps is a bit mesleading. It may well be true that there is little additional explanation in the temperature variations or trends in addition to what’s been looked at simply because ENSO and AMO are proxy measures for these otehr things, but that is different from suggesting a lack of solar influence. To the extent that the ENSO and AMO occur precisely from other influences means that they are really a proxy measure for something else. It would be similar to saying that age as an insurance rating parameter isn’t really the risk factor, but it is a proxy for experience.
This doesn’t necessarily change the analysis at all, but it may shift the question. Does the sun influence the El Nino and/or AMO cycle? And how much? Is the relative magnitude of El Nino affected by GHGs?
I am also curious as to why the PDO is not considered. Even with a good fit, I’m just uncomfortable with the assumption that global temps so easily boils down to three parameters. I personally suspect that some of the attribution currently given to GHGs in the analysis may even yet be overstated if other things were considered.
It may seem like I’m being too critical, I suppose. I don’t mean to be. All in all, I find it to be a very intriguing study.

John Philip
November 28, 2008 8:26 am

[snip] John stop that, nothing was claimed – Anthony

John Philip
November 28, 2008 9:02 am

Moderator – Fair enough, however FYI the first line of the article linked to and authored by Stephen Wilde states
Stephen Wilde has been a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society since 1968. however I counted half a dozen factual errors in the first few paras of the piece, which I thought odd for someone claiming to be a FRMetS.
The RMS lists those entitled to use the FRMetS title on its website
http://www.rmets.org/about/people/fellows.php
There is no Stephen Wilde listed. It also lists the requirements …
Becoming a Fellow normally requires a formal qualification (eg. a first degree in a science subject and/or post-graduate degree or an NVQ in a relevant discipline) and at least five years of professional experience within or directly related to meteorology. Exceptionally, long experience and performance at a high professional level, suitably attested by peer review, can replace the requirement for a formal academic or vocational qualification. MSc or PhD study in a relevant subject counts as one or two years experience respectively.
which contrasts with Mr Wilde’s profile which states he runs a Law firm and follows Meteorolgy in his spare time
http://co2sceptics.com/contributors.php
Now there may be some innocent explanation, misunderstanding or administrative error, but given the recent post about Karl’s phantom doctorate perhaps we could ask Mr Wilde to explain, as it appears to be a primae facie case of someone impersonating a meteorologist
😉
REPLY: My initial issue was with claims (or lack thereof) made in comments, however it appears that you aren’t the first one to notice this regarding articles outside of this blog.
See
http://petesplace-peter.blogspot.com/2008/05/myth-of-man-caused-global-warming.html
I agree that he is not on the list. But let’s hear why. Perhaps there is a valid explanation.
Mr. Wilde, what say you?

Richard Sharpe
November 28, 2008 9:04 am

Richard S Courtney says:

The assertion assumes little mixing of the ocean surface layer. Indeed, it assumes a “surface skin layer” that is “less than 1 mm” thick and is independent of the underlying water. But the entire surface layer is turbulent and it is very turbulent near the surface.

Doesn’t that then provide a mechanism for the transfer of energy (heat) from the surface layer to lower layers, and thus reduce the opportunity for its removal via evaporation?

Richard Sharpe
November 28, 2008 9:45 am

Tom Vonk says:

The Planck’s distribution of the energy levels has a very low sensibility to temperatures – around the room temperature only about 5 % of the CO2 molecules are excited . At lower temperatures even less .

Does this mean that at any one instant, only 5% of the CO2 molecules are able to heat the atmosphere by transferring energy to other species?

Stephen Wilde
November 28, 2008 9:54 am

I’ve made the position quite clear elswhere.
There is a small error in that I was a student member from 1968 to 1971 but I have been a Fellow since then.
I cannot use the letters FRMetS since a rule change in 1973 but I can continue to refer to myself as a courtesy title within the rules of the RMetS.
I make my position as an amateur enthusiast perfectly clear in the Contributors section at CO2sceptics.com and in my introduction to my part of the forum there.

John Philip
November 28, 2008 9:57 am

Hmmmm … a seems the RMS rules changed in 2003, the new stringent requirements were introduced, and Fellows elected before that date may continue to describe themselves as a such purely as a courtesy title but not use the formal FRMetS appellation as a sign of professional competence.
Still, most people are not aware of this distinction and would be bound to conclude that someone describing themselves as a Fellow of the RMS was indeed a FRMetS and a professional meterologist, rather than an enthusiastic amatuer.
Incidentally, the Code of Conduct for Fellows (FRMetS) states they must use the name of the Society only when duly authorised.

Stephen Wilde
November 28, 2008 10:09 am

Whoops, I meant a rule change in 2003.
As regards my article it is expressed to be a discussion piece, not a definitive exposition.
It provides a starting point from which lay readers can consider the facts and relate them to different theories.
The points I raised have never been answered to my satisfaction and the ocean skin theory remains unproven on a global scale.
Even if it happens the scale of the phenomenon may be insignificant in the face of natural forces.
The ocean skin theory is at present merely a helpful speculation for the AGW lobby which has problems convincing anyone that slightly warmer air can heat oceans on a meaningful time scale.
I take it as a compliment that some consider my article good enough to justify attacking me on personal grounds.

John Philip
November 28, 2008 10:44 am

Mr Wilde – Thanks for clearing that up, as I said, it was quite possibly a misunderstanding – which turns out to be the case. Most people will find it a little odd that someone with no professional meteorological qualifications, publications or experience, and who is ineligible to use the title FRMetS can legitimately describe themselves as a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society, but I accept that this is indeed the case.
Anyway, this is drifting both off-topic and ad-hom, as it is meant as a ‘discussion piece’ I may add a few thoughts and corrections later if I get time, but probably not here. …
JP (B.Sc) 😉

Stephen Wilde
November 28, 2008 10:48 am

John Philip,
Of course most people would not be aware of the distinction which is why the first sentence of my first article made it clear that my Fellowship predated the requirement for a professional qualification.
Please do be more careful in jumping to conclusions.
By now my true status is widely known and unlikely to mislead anyone who is interested enough in my stuff to actually read it.

Bill Illis
November 28, 2008 10:59 am

After examining the AMO index issues more thoroughly, I have decided it is still valid to use the AMO index as a natural climate variable which is not related to global warming.
It is apparent the untrended index should be used, however, given the AGW community would not accept using the raw untrended data (given it does have a trend.)
Earlier in developing this model, I had downloaded a Long-Term AMO reconstruction by Stephen Gray et al which goes back to 1572. I decided not to use it since it is just annual data and has greater variability than the current AMO index method. There are a few inconsistencies in the time periods when the indices overlap but agree on the general up and down swings.
Here it is.
http://img510.imageshack.us/img510/1639/ltamoindexxr2.png
This reconstruction shows that the AMO appears to be a natural climate cycle that even has greater swings in temperatures in the past than the current index shows. Some of these swings match up with the climate changes we know about in history such as the onset of the Little Ice Age for example.
Here is what the Raw Untrended AMO Index looks like.
http://img357.imageshack.us/img357/900/trendedamoindexkq9.png
While it does have what seems to be a pretty rapid trend upward, some of this is just a result of the scale and the time period covered. The trend upward over the past 140 years would not be inconsistent with what is seen in the longer reconstruction.
The increase is only 0.024C per decade and, in terms of the regressed coefficient for the AMO, it would have just a 0.018C per decade GW impact (the models predict about 10 times as much).
Other studies conclude the AMO is a natural cycle, so therefore, I believe it can continue to be used.
Furthermore, it clearly impacts monthly temperatures so any reconstruction should use it. The untrended data does not contain a global warming signal. What may be a completely natural increase in the AMO over the past 140 years, can be left for the global warming residual.

John Philip
November 28, 2008 10:59 am

Oh, and by the way…
The ocean skin theory is at present merely a helpful speculation for the AGW lobby which has problems convincing anyone that slightly warmer air can heat oceans on a meaningful time scale.
is not an accurate description of the process. The heating occurs as a result of solar irradiance penetrating the surface, the IR radiation reduces the temperature gradient at the surface layer slowing the release of that heat back to the atmosphere. In fact on average the ocean surface is warmer than the air above so there is no proposal that the ocean warming is a result of heating from ‘slightly warmer air’.
HTH

Bill Illis
November 28, 2008 11:01 am

I kept saying “Raw Untrended” in the above and that should say “Raw Trended”.

Richard S Courtney
November 28, 2008 12:17 pm

Richard Sharpe:
You ask me:
Richard S Courtney says:
“The assertion assumes little mixing of the ocean surface layer. Indeed, it assumes a “surface skin layer” that is “less than 1 mm” thick and is independent of the underlying water. But the entire surface layer is turbulent and it is very turbulent near the surface.”
Doesn’t that then provide a mechanism for the transfer of energy (heat) from the surface layer to lower layers, and thus reduce the opportunity for its removal via evaporation?”
I agree, it must do that. However, I made no mention of evaporation because I think is not pertinent to the assertion that was made.
I was addressing a specific assertion of John Philip; viz.
“Actually, although IR only penetrates less than 1 mm an important part of the mechanism by which GHG forcing heats the ocean is IR absorbtion in the surface skin layer which reduces the temperature gradient across the layer, causing more of the heat from sunlight absorbion to be retained in the water below.”
My statement that you quoted says that such a “surface skin layer” is very unlikely to exist and, therefore, the hypothesis of that “surface skin layer” inhibiting upward loss of “sunlight absorbion” (sic) is very unlikely.
And I concluded from this saying:
“While the possibility of the assertion cannot be rejected, it is so implausible as to be worthy of rejection until supporting evidence is provided.”
(Since then no such supporting evidence has been provided in this discussion, but an attempt at “argument from authority” was attempted.)
We could discuss evaporation elsewhere if that were desired. (Evaporation provides a much greater thermal transport from ocean surface than IR which is involved in the GH effect). However, such discussion would be a distraction from the important assessment of Bill Illis’s analysis which is the subject of this debate.
Richard

John Finn
November 28, 2008 12:36 pm

is not an accurate description of the process. The heating occurs as a result of solar irradiance penetrating the surface, the IR radiation reduces the temperature gradient at the surface layer slowing the release of that heat back to the atmosphere.
JP
what about the mixing? or if there’s no mixing – evaporation?
Though we’ve been talking about 1 mm penetration isn’t the true value more like 1/20 mm, i.e. ~99% is absorbed within 0.05mm.
I too find the AGW explanation for ocean warming (or lack of cooling) totally implausible – and certainly within the timeframe of decades.

Sean Houlihane
November 28, 2008 12:59 pm

The question of physical process and causality was my concern with this work, after all, you seem to be saying that global temperature can be expressed predominantly as the sum of two localised temperature measurements. I don’t think this ought to be a great surprise. (given the accepted effect on weather that ENSO and AMO have)
After reflecting a little, I now wonder if, given the presence of this coupling, can any model which does not incorporate the coupling be relied upon to demonstrate the underlying forcing effect?
Sean

Bill Illis
November 28, 2008 1:58 pm

To Sean
Underlying the ENSO and the AMO is the thermohaline ocean circulation.
The AMO is where the once warm ocean water sinks to the depths and becomes part of the deep ocean. The energy transfer between the ocean and the atmosphere as a result of this process creates the forcing/temperature change – sometimes warm, sometimes less warm.
The ENSO is not normally thought to be a node of the ocean circulation but has similar characteristics in that deeper and colder ocean water is sometimes brought to the surface when the Trade Winds are stronger than normal for an extended period of time. Colder water wells up and there again is an energy exchange. When the Trades slow down for an extended period of time, there is less up-welling and more surface heating from the Sun in the Nino region and again there is then a warm energy exchange rather than a cooling energy exchange.
Now if there were an ocean circulation index, we wouldn’t the two measures.

eric
November 28, 2008 2:23 pm

John Finn
says,
“JP
what about the mixing? or if there’s no mixing – evaporation?
Though we’ve been talking about 1 mm penetration isn’t the true value more like 1/20 mm, i.e. ~99% is absorbed within 0.05mm.”
If the surface skin, which absorbs the downwelling radiatio,n is mixed into the ocean below, than the bulk of the ocean below is certainly being heated by the downwelling radiation.
Actual measurements have been made supporting this specific mechanism by which the downwelling radiation absorbed in the surface skin suppresses the transmission of heat from the ocean bulk to the surface. The temperature gradient between the surface and 5 cm below the surface has been shown to depend on the difference between downwelling and upwelling radiation.
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/09/why-greenhouse-gases-heat-the-ocean/
http://www.realclimate.org/images/Minnett_2.gif
You might want to revise your belief that the surface skin mechanism is not working on the basis of real data.

John Philip
November 28, 2008 2:27 pm

For those unconvinced about the existence of the ocean surface skin layer and its role in the increase in OHC here’s another blatent appeal to authority, NASA this time. It’s got figures and charts and references and everything …
Over the surface of the ocean, there frequently exists a very thin layer called the surface skin layer in remote sensing sciences (Schluessel et al., 1990) (Figure 2). The existence of the surface skin layer can be demonstrated both in theory (Hinzpeter, 1967, 1968) and in observations (Ewing and McAlister, 1960; Saunders, 1967; Clauss et al., 1970; Schluessel et al., 1990) by the need to regulate the long wave radiation and the sensible and latent turbulent heat fluxes across the sea surface. Above and below the thin skin layer, turbulent eddy fluxes enhance heat flux in the ocean and/or atmosphere across the interface. However, the eddy cannot transport heat across the ocean surface by itself. The heat balance in the skin layer must be accomplished by molecular processes, hence the thin skin layer. The actual thickness of the skin layer depends on the local energy flux of the molecular transports, which is usually less than 1 mm thick and can persist at wind speed up to 10 m/s. For stronger winds, the skin layer is destroyed by breaking waves. Observations indicate that the skin layer can re-establish itself within 10 to 12 seconds after the dissipation of the breaking waves (Ewing and McAlister, 1960; Clauss et al., 1970).

Richard S Courtney
November 28, 2008 3:01 pm

John Philip:
The discussion of a hypothetical ‘ocean skin’ is a distraction from the purpose of this debate; viz. the analysis by Bill Illis.
Believe in the existence of this mythical ‘skin’ if you want. But do not expect others to believe in it until there is some – any – empirical evidence for its existence.
Such evidence is not provided by papers that say,
“The existence of the surface skin layer can be demonstrated both in theory (Hinzpeter, 1967, 1968) and in observations (Ewing and McAlister, 1960; Saunders, 1967; Clauss et al., 1970; Schluessel et al., 1990) by the need to regulate the long wave radiation and the sensible and latent turbulent heat fluxes across the sea surface.”
They merely state the hypothesis in the absence of knowledge of how the sea/air interface really operates.
I have had my say in this distraction concerning the hypothetical ‘ocean skin’ and will say no more on it whatever ‘hooks’ are dangled.
Richard

evanjones
Editor
November 28, 2008 3:14 pm

Bill, I don’t have a southern Ocean index, but one of those links is to the Indian Ocean temps, monthly, going back well before 1900.
It’s not a IO dipole index, though, just temperature anomaly.

November 28, 2008 3:35 pm

John,
The paper your referenced is AGW extremeism based on pre-existing AGW work. It is an on topic reference for your point but it is a weak paper because of it’s simplified method for calculation of water feedback and overreaching conclusion. Here’s a quote which rubbed me wrong.
“We use a conventional definition of the strength of
the water-vapor feedback:
Soden et al. [2008] provide pre-computed values of
@R/@q(x, y, z). We then multiply @R/@q(x, y, z) by the
observed Dq(x, y, z)/DTs between two climate states and
then sum over latitude, longitude, and altitude to obtain an
estimate of lq. Soden et al. also provide @R/@q(x, y, z)
broken down into longwave (LW) and shortwave (SW)
components, allowing us to separately compute the LW
and SW water-vapor feedbacks, lq,LW and lq,SW.”
They use previous estimates to calculate the water vapor feedback. These calcs are based on further estimates of the feedback mechanisms for water. Again, I don’t make the claim that AGW is false, just that this kind of work does not help.
The paper itself references numbers from 0.94 to 2.69 W/m^2. This doesn’t do a good job supporting you claims of exponential out of control warming and I think scientists would do well to examine our real knowledge of historic temperatures before making such claims.
We know for certain that people and plants are being uncovered from glaciers that lived only a few thousand years ago yet there is no evidence of floods. We also have the distinct possibility that temps “globally” may have spiked above today’s temps only 1000 years ago. Again, there was no major flood which would indicate exponential temperature rise!
Where I have my problem with this study, is in the reliance on simplistic equations which are fine but they are followed with unreasonable conclusions. The authors give their motives away completely with this over-conclusion:
“The existence of a strong and positive water-vapor feedback means that projected business-as-usual greenhousegas emissions over the next century are virtually guaranteed to produce warming of several degrees Celsius. The only way that will not happen is if a strong, negative, and currently unknown feedback is discovered somewhere
in our climate system”
The feedback magnitude is clearly not correct as demonstrated by Bill Illis’s work above amongst other things. But the real evidence should be the multiple climate reconstructions such as Crag Loehle which use reasonable methods and demonstrate significantly warmer temps only 1000 years ago with no great flood.
My final point is NOT that you cannot be right, you might be. But rather that you cannot claim you are correct with the current state of science.
We just don’t know!
It is an amazing thing in this science where so many scientists make overreaching conclusions from their calculations. Such simple stuff too, Bill removed known factors from GISS and made the conclusion the rest is CO2 warming (without presenting evidence). Not that you are wrong Bill but no evidence was presented to support this conclusion. I am very pleased with the rest of the work, you are on the right track.
Mann 08 makes a complete disaster (IMHO intentionally) of the math in their paper and makes the conclusion that we are warmer than ever.
Dessler 2008 does simplistic calcs and determines exponential growth is a done deal yet it is unsupported by any historic temperature measurement.
Will it ever stop?
How backward is this science, Here is a quote from CA by Esper 2003 paper
“this does not mean that one could not improve a chronology by reducing the number of series used if the purpose of removing samples is to enhance a desired signal. The ability to pick and choose which samples to use is an advantage unique to dendroclimatology.”
Really gorgeous quote I think.
If we don’t know history, we don’t know the future.

Brendan H
November 28, 2008 3:44 pm

Richard Courtney: “4.From (3) it can be deduced that gazelles leap in response to the presence of a predator.”
What you are describing is induction, not deduction. In this instance you have argued from the particular to the general.
“Gazelles are observed to always leap when a predator is near” is a particular observation, or observations, that is, limited to a finite set.
“Gazelles leap in response to the presence of a predator” is a general conclusion. Therefore, the argument is inductive. A deductive argument would be:
– Gazelles leap in response to the presence of a predator
– This animal leaps in response to the presence of a predator
– This animal is a gazelle.
Scientific hypotheses/theories are deductive. A general case is stated, then particular observations/tests made for or against the general claim. These observations/tests are evidence. Climate models can act as evidence because they test the theory.

John Philip
November 28, 2008 4:03 pm

To Richard Courtney
Apologies for wasting your time with peer-reviewed papers and irrelevancies about Fellows of learned societies who turn out to be amateurs, and so forth.
But perhaps I could crave your indulgence for just one more moment and ask you to remind us – what was the title of your PhD thesis?
Thanks.

Richard Sharpe
November 28, 2008 4:14 pm

Brendan H says:

Climate models can act as evidence because they test the theory.

That would be the case if climate models faithfully implemented the theory, however, that would seem to be far from the case.
They contain, as far as I can tell, all sorts of ad-hoc forcings to get them to conform to the actual temperature record.
Who was it who said give me five parameters and I can model an elephant.

John Philip
November 28, 2008 4:58 pm

Moderator –
WUWT recently saw fit to post about Tom Karl’s honourary doctorate.
[snip]
John while I agree with you in principle, you’ve missed an important distinction. People such as Karl who are public servants who abuse such titles have no expectation of privacy by virtue of their public employment.
Private citizens do have an expectation of privacy.
I will not allow you to turn this blog into a PERSONAL LEGAL LIABILITY FOR ME by posting such things as your personal opinion. I do not have time to verify such things, for all I know the letter could be fabricated. By allowing you to post such things on my blog the liability shifts to me.
Cease and desist or be banned. Your welcome is just about worn out. No dissent, no further discussion, just stop. Not one more peep from you on this issue.
– Anthony Watts

November 28, 2008 5:24 pm

Brendan H:

Scientific hypotheses/theories are deductive. A general case is stated, then particular observations/tests made for or against the general claim.

Is that why climate alarmists won’t defend their ‘runaway global warming/CO2/AGW is gonna getcha’ hypothesis in a formal, moderated debate?
Or are they, like, too busy modeling to defend their [repeatedly falsified] AGW hypothesis?
Because the challenge to formally debate AGW in a neutral setting has been out there for a lo-o-o-ng time now.
What are they afraid of?

Fernando (in Brazil)
November 28, 2008 5:32 pm

Adolfo Giurfa (09:48:27)
Thank you, but remember, I am speaking of an open system.
I think that any model that considers CO2 and H2O, as noble gas, is doomed to failure.
…. 2 H2O> (H2O)2 dimer
…. 3 H2O> (H2O)3 trimer
…. 2 CO2> (CO2)2 dimer
…. H2O + CO2> H2CO3
…. H2CO3> H+ + HCO3 –
…. H2CO3> 2H+ + CO3 —
I can get more exotic structures:
…. 3 H2O + 2 CO2> (H2O)3(CO2) 2
I can imagine any structure to 4ºC and pressure equal to 100 atm. (In the deep ocean)
FM

Bill Illis
November 28, 2008 7:11 pm

To evanjones,
I put the Indian Ocean SST index into the reconstruction and it certainly helps with the southern hemisphere reconstruction and it also helps with the overall global temp reconstruction.
Three problems, however. The data ends in 2004 and doesn’t seem to be updated anymore. Second, I tried other Indian Ocean Indices including the dipole and these other ones don’t provide an improved reconstruction. Thirdly, the Indian Ocean SST index covers the whole Indian Ocean and I don’t want to use indices that cover really large sections of the oceans – the complete ocean index would be the best reconstruction of course but then it would be like trying to reconstruct a dataset when you are already using 70% of the dataset as your independent variable. It is one of the reasons I used just the Nina 3.4 regions.
So, back to the drawing board again.
I’ve been thinking about the question Sean Houlihane asked and what is the underlying forcing (or let’s say rationale) with the ENSO and the AMO which makes them good choices to reconstruct climate variations.
And the answer really is that these two regions are the most active regions where the Oceans are exchanging energy (heat and cold) with the Atmosphere. There is far, far more energy being transferred back and forth in these two regions than any other …
… Except for the third big region which is the opposite of the AMO in the southern hemisphere and that is the downwelling region in the Weddell Sea off Antarctica.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4c/Thermohaline_Circulation_2.png
So this is the missing piece of the puzzle. No index for this region however. Any ideas by anyone? Bob Tisdale or David Smith still around?

Brendan H
November 28, 2008 7:12 pm

Richard Sharpe: “They contain, as far as I can tell, all sorts of ad-hoc forcings to get them to conform to the actual temperature record.”
Sorry, that’s above my pay grade, but if you think you have a case, write it up and see how it runs.
Smokey: “Because the challenge to formally debate AGW in a neutral setting has been out there for a lo-o-o-ng time now.”
A while back I watched a television debate between warmers and sceptics. My local newspaper features pro and con AGW views when the issue arises. There’s plenty of debate across all sorts of media, from scientific journals to the MSM to internet venues such as this one.
But ultimately it’s the scientists who will decide for or against AGW, so the scientific journals and related media are the ultimate arbiter of the facts about human-induced climate change.

eric
November 28, 2008 7:18 pm

Richard S Courtney (15:01:43) :
Says,
” John Philip:
The discussion of a hypothetical ‘ocean skin’ is a distraction from the purpose of this debate; viz. the analysis by Bill Illis.
Believe in the existence of this mythical ’skin’ if you want. But do not expect others to believe in it until there is some – any – empirical evidence for its existence.
Such evidence is not provided by papers that say,
“The existence of the surface skin layer can be demonstrated both in theory (Hinzpeter, 1967, 1968) and in observations (Ewing and McAlister, 1960; Saunders, 1967; Clauss et al., 1970; Schluessel et al., 1990) by the need to regulate the long wave radiation and the sensible and latent turbulent heat fluxes across the sea surface.”
They merely state the hypothesis in the absence of knowledge of how the sea/air interface really operates.”
You are wrong about that. The basis is actual experiments. In my post there is a link to a graph,
http://www.realclimate.org/images/Minnett_2.gif
which shows the temperature difference between the surface of the ocean, and 5cm below the surface, to demonstrate how the flow of heat toward the surface of the ocean from below responds to the IR radiation balance at the surface.
” I have had my say in this distraction concerning the hypothetical ‘ocean skin’ and will say no more on it whatever ‘hooks’ are dangled.”
That is OK. Then I have had the last word.
Richard
28 11 2008

November 28, 2008 7:28 pm

TomVonk (01:32:30) :
The temperature stays constant for a given concentration – that is the LTE condition .
Indeed when the CO2 concentration changes , the equilibrium temperature changes but very slightly .
Yes the atmosphere will absorb more but it will also RADIATE more . Absorption and radiation always go hand in hand .
The Planck’s distribution of the energy levels has a very low sensibility to temperatures – around the room temperature only about 5 % of the CO2 molecules are excited . At lower temperatures even less .
The main point which Phil has got wrong is that he imagines that for a given CO2 concentration CO2 only absorbs and transfers the absorbed energy by collisions to N2&O2 .
Or in other words that the CO2 doesn’t radiate in the troposphere .
Of course that is not what happens because :
a) CO2 radiates as any tropospheric spectrum shows .
b) The collisional reaction CO2* + N2 CO2 + N2* where the symbol * means high energy species (it can be either translationnal energy or vibro/rotationnal energy) is an equilibrium . From that follows that for every CO2* that transfers energy to N2 , there is an N2* that transfers energy to CO2 .
Obviously if it was not the case , the reaction would not be an equilibrium .
The constraint is that the energy distribution of both CO2 and N2 must stay constant because by definition we are in LTE and the temperature is constant .

That’s the problem Tom, you’re discussing a physical abstraction rather than a real atmosphere. Your circular argument says “it’s in LTE (your initial assumption) therefore the atmosphere can’t heat up”. The point is that the atmosphere does heat up therefore your assumption in your model is not valid!
So the naive vision in which CO2 is a kind of “pump” which absorbs IR , never radiates and heats the air is simply wrong .
What CO2 absorbs is radiated away (and reabsorbed and reradiated etc) .
If the CO2 concentration changes , the processes described above don’t change but the equilibrium temperature will slightly change with negligible impact on the energy distribution .

It’s not that it never radiates, just that it’s far below equilibrating with the absorbed radiation. Tom’s atmosphere would never warm up, also he forgets about the other gases present, for example if water has a shorter emission lifetime than CO2 then it will be the preferential emitter (check out the HeNe or CO2 lasers). The IR is absorbed by CO2 (and H2O) the gas heats up until either it gets hot enough so that emission (by either or both species) equals absorption, or convection occurs the gas expands and the temperature drops. Either way you get a lapse rate, on our planet the convective lapse rate predominates in the troposphere.

P Norman
November 28, 2008 8:03 pm

Richard Sharpe
I believe that was von Neumann.

P Norman
November 28, 2008 8:16 pm

Tom Vonk, Phil
If I understand the argument, the truth is somewhat between the two sides arguing:
If you increase the CO2 concentration, the radiation balance of Tom Vonk will be temporarily disturbed such that the air heats up, until a new, higher steady-state temperature is reached where the radiation balance is once again restored.
So, in many ways, both are correct: the radiation balance is usually valid, but can be temporarily disturbed, so as to attain a new steady-state temperature.

Jeff L
November 28, 2008 9:11 pm

To all posters: This has been great debate – it has brought out the best in the bunch as far as technical debate. Both sides have done good job presenting their points…. without either side clearly serving a death blow to the other side. ….. which is of course the basic point of the skeptic community – the science is not even close to settled & solid scientific research & debate (vs political debate) needs to continue. Why are skeptics skeptical? Because they know enough about the science to know there is a lot we don’t know & aren’t arrogant enough to pretend that we do know.
Smokey (17:24:06) : asks : What are they afraid of?
A debate exactly like this one is what they are afraid of – because when it all comes out, what is clear is we really don’t have all the answers & the science isn’t settled – and that is a very hard position on which to sell major sacrifices to the general public.
Along those same lines, if there are any journalist types out there lurking – who are objectively looking at this – please report on this specific debate because the public deserves to know what’s really going on behind the scenes.

November 28, 2008 10:27 pm

Norm posted the following earlier, however because Norm is a geophysicist with some experience his opinion was felt by some to be authoritative. Here’s some data to refute his handwaving.
There is only a single vibration mode of CO2 that resonates within the thermal spectrum radiated by the Earth (and Mars). This bend vibration resonates with a band of energy centred on a wavelength of 14.77microns (wavenumber 677cm-1) and the width of this band is quite narrow as depicted on the spectra from Earth and Mars.
Here it is for earth conditions:
http://www.spectralcalc.com/calc/plots/1227930543.png
It only takes a minute amount of CO2 to fully “capture” the energy at the resonant wavelength, and additional CO2 progressively captures energy that is further and further from the peak wavelength. At the 280ppmv CO2 preindustrial level used as reference in the forcing parameter, about 95% of the energy bandwidth that could possibly be captured by CO2 has already been captured. There is only 5% of this limited energy available within the confines of this potential “capture” band left to be captured.
The greenhouse effect from CO2 is generally stated as 3°C, so an additional 100ppmv above the 280ppmv level is only capable of generating a maximum 5% increase or 0.15°C. The forcing parameter is based on a full 0.6°C which is four times the 0.15°C absolute physical limit of warming from CO2.
Furthermore if this 0.15°C increase has used up the full 5% of the remaining possible energy as the concentration reached 380ppmv, there is zero warming possible from further increases in CO2.

Here are the spectra for a single line at 380ppm and 760ppm, note the absorbance increases (transmission decreases).
http://www.spectralcalc.com/calc/plots/1227931967.png
http://www.spectralcalc.com/calc/plots/1227932570.png
This is why the CO2 notch is virtually identical in the two spectra; the CO2 band was virtually saturated at the 325ppmv concentration level, so even nine times more CO2 has almost no appreciable effect.
Norm K.

Here’s the spectral line for Martian conditions:
http://www.spectralcalc.com/calc/plots/1227934327.png
A bit more than “almost no appreciable effect”!

Stephen Wilde
November 29, 2008 1:42 am

Just one more thought on that ocean skin.
If the water skin is warmed up so as to slow down the release of heat energy from ocean to atmosphere will that not reduce the heat energy available to the atmosphere which will then cool down so as to terminate the process and reinstate the ‘normal’ flow of energy from ocean to atmosphere to space ?
I think this is relevant to the initial article from Bill because it deals with processes that may affect the data used there.

John Finn
November 29, 2008 2:08 am

Apologies to all for pursuing this but Eric says
You might want to revise your belief that the surface skin mechanism is not working on the basis of real data.
Eric
This from the links you provide
The slope of the relationship is 0.002ºK (W/m2)-1. Of course the range of net infrared forcing caused by changing cloud conditions (~100W/m2) is much greater than that caused by increasing levels of greenhouse gases (e.g. doubling pre-industrial CO2 levels will increase the net forcing by ~4W/m2), but the objective of this exercise was to demonstrate a relationship.
Note the “object of the exercise was to demonstrate a relationship” because it certainly did not demonstrate that the forcing ( ~1.6 w/m2 ) from CO2 increases to date had resulted in a warming of the world’s oceans. Although, of course, the ocean “skin” temperature might be 0.003 K warmer than it was in 1850.
So No, Eric, I don’t wish to revise my belief. In fact, I’m staggered that someone is getting away with this nonsense.

Richard S Courtney
November 29, 2008 3:23 am

Brendan H:
You assert:
“Scientific hypotheses/theories are deductive. A general case is stated, then particular observations/tests made for or against the general claim. These observations/tests are evidence. Climate models can act as evidence because they test the theory.”
Sorry, but No!
Climate models describe the theory: they do not “test” it.
Comparison of the model’s output with empirical data is a test of the theory. If the output and the data do not agree then this indicates
(a) the theory is incorrect,
Or
(b) the description of the theory (i.e. the model) is incorrect
Or
(c) both the theory and the description of the theory are incorrect.
These indications remain true until the data is shown to be wrong.
A major problem with climatology is modelers who seem to think ‘models can act as evidence because they test the theory’. Such a thought as tantamount to a claim that the climate does what a climate model says.
A theory is an idea, a model is a representation of an idea, and reality is something else.
Richard

November 29, 2008 3:39 am

I feel proud to be in the company of lay-persons here. Sorry to post so late. Bill Illis, Fellow of the Royal Society of Amateurs (those who do it for the love of it); Willis Eschenbach, another FRSA who has been demolishing the shiny new hockeystick; Jeff Id, FRSA (if I remember right) who has demolished the very mathematical basis of all hockeystick lookalikes; Stephen Wilde FRSA; who else? I’m another layperson, another blog-contributor noob; the thing I couldn’t find was an adequate primer on Real Climate Science for my needs, so I studied the science, wrote my own, and try to keep on improving its clarity for lay readers as well as its scientific adequacy.
Jeff L (26/11, 06:43:41) : “This little exercise here is a good example of collaborative science – not unlike the concept behind linux. As a community, there should be some consideration of a way to formalize this concept”.
I’ve recently had thoughts, again, along these lines, and if Anthony would like, I would be happy to draft an article for this blog. But meanwhile, to catch bright ideas now, I’ve set up a thread on our forum here. Jeff L please get in touch if this speaks to you!

John M
November 29, 2008 8:53 am

Bill Illis (10:59:02) :
Thanks for your hard work, and for the trended AMO plot.
Just to confirm, is this from the link John Philip (13:53:42) posted corrected for “climo”?
Would be great to add that link to the “Resources” page. I’ll post it over on the comments of that page if you can confirm.
Thanks again.

Bill Illis
November 29, 2008 9:19 am

Okay, I have solved my problem with modelling the Southern Hemisphere temperatures and have a better global temperature reconstruction now.
Based on my thought from above that there is a third active region where the Oceans are exchanging energy with the atmosphere, the Antarctic Downwelling region, about where the Weddell Sea is, I have created an new index from the Smith and Reynolds ocean SST dataset. This region is effectively the southern version of the AMO where the warmer ocean water, cools and sinks to become part of the deep ocean circulation.
Bob Tisdale always uses this dataset, so I thought I would as well. It goes back to 1854 on a monthly basis and is updated to October 2008. I downloaded the monthly anomalies for this box which is the Antarctic downwelling region. It has similar characteristics to the AMO with some longer cycles but only a +/-0.6C variation.
http://maps.google.ca/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&msa=0&ll=33.137551,-49.921875&spn=164.593939,360&z=1&msid=110686680343951250375.00045cd66a477c08c6d08
The data then provides a pretty good reconstruction for the southern hemisphere – not perfect but certainly covering the changes. The Nino region now ceases to provide any info for this reconstruction (but it is at least not negatively correlated as it was before). The AMO stays significant (coefficient is 0.216) and the Antarctic DownWelling region is 0.545.
Southern Hemisphere
http://img127.imageshack.us/img127/2889/shantdwmodelim8.png
Putting this new index into the global reconstruction results in an overall better model in my opinion but the r^2 falls to 0.724. The Nino coefficient rises now to 0.07 (providing +/- 0.2C to the reconstruction), the AMO coefficient rises to 0.59 (providing +/- 0.36C to the reconstruction) and the ANT DW coefficient is 0.36 (providing up to +/- 0.2C to the reconstruction).
Global Temp Reconstruction
http://img240.imageshack.us/img240/749/antdwhadcrut3modelid5.png
Its a little hard to see what is going on here because the Red Line model is covering up the Blue Line Hadcrut3 temp anomaly for lots of the time period – which would be the goal I guess.
Global Warming now falls to 1.35C per doubling and there is a better match to the residual over the record.
http://img78.imageshack.us/img78/9020/antdwwarmingjm8.png
Any thoughts?

Bill Illis
November 29, 2008 9:51 am

To John M,
Yes the data for the AMO raw trended data is from John Philips link. It comes from the exact same dataset and page I was using.
The description of the data on that page is a little clumsy and you can’t really tell it is the raw data which is why I didn’t look at it before.

Richard Sharpe
November 29, 2008 10:26 am

Phil,
I was really keen to try to understand what you are saying, but I found two problems:
1. I found it hard to differentiate between what you wrote and what you were quoting,
2. The links you provided do not work.
Can you try to use <blockquote> and </blockquote> around material you are quoting?

Richard S Courtney
November 29, 2008 10:39 am

Bill Illis:
You ask:
“Global Warming now falls to 1.35C per doubling and there is a better match to the residual over the record.
http://img78.imageshack.us/img78/9020/antdwwarmingjm8.png
Any thoughts?”
I offer a few.
Firstly, congratulations. This is a remarkable analysis that deserves publication.
On face value, the analysis could be accused of assuming ‘correlation indicates causation’, but it is not guilty of that and any such accusation should be rejected.
The analysis removes known natural effects from the time series to reveal a residual trend. Of course, there could be other natural effects that may be contributing to the time series. And one assumption of the analysis is that all natural effects are providing a positive contribution to the trend: this assumption may not be correct: for example, volcanism lowers temperatures (at least, for temporary periods).
However, it can be said that the residual trend of your analysis shows the warming that has happened independent of AMO, ENSO and Antarctic Downwelling.
And it can be assumed that this residual indicates a maximum of the warming that may have happened as a result of AGW over the analysed time period. Using this assumption the analysis suggests that climate sensitivity has a maximum value of 1.35 deg.C for a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
The obtained maximum climate sensitivity of 1.35 deg.C is less than half the IPCC “best estimate” of 3 deg.C for a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide, and well below the range of the IPCC AR4 estimates (2 to 4.5 deg.C) for a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Indeed, 1.35 deg.C is below 1.5 deg.C, and the AR4 says the climate sensitivity is “very unlikely” to be below 1.5 deg.C for a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
But, of course, 1.35 deg.C is more than three times the 0.4 deg.C that Sherwood Idso obtained from his 8 “natural experiments” to determine the climate sensitivity for a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
A very fine piece of work and I look forward to seeing it in print.
Richard

Bill Illis
November 29, 2008 11:25 am

To Richard
Just a short comment about volcanoes. The large ones clearly impact temperatures but for whatever reason, the impact is picked up by the ocean indices I am using.
I had charted these before (linked below) with the previous model and have now zoomed into the specific periods in question with the newer one as well and I can’t see there is an adjustment required for the large volcanoes.
http://img372.imageshack.us/img372/3685/volcanoehadleyxs2.png

Basil
Editor
November 29, 2008 12:06 pm

Bill,
As you may know, I’ve done a lot of analysis of the HadCRUT3 series from the standpoint of its spectral characteristics. It would be interesting to examine how well your model preserves the spectral characteristics of the raw data. If you are interested, let’s take this up in email. I’ll send you what I’ve done, and tell you what I’d need from you to do a comparable spectrum analysis.
If interested, email me at blcjr2 at gmail dot com, and I’ll respond.
Basil

John M
November 29, 2008 12:11 pm

Bill Illis (09:51:19) :
Thanks Bill. I’ll add a comment to the Resources thread.

John F. Pittman
November 29, 2008 12:22 pm

Bill Illis, don’t you have an implicit assumption that the “heat in the pipeline” from start to finish of your data is similar to the heat that was put into the systems from X(i) pipelines in Y(i) years starting with x(i), y(i) before your data starts? I only point it out for completeness. I do not know of any proof of “heat in the pipeline” since such a phenomena should be measurable.

Bill Illis
November 29, 2008 2:44 pm

Just to maybe convince myself further (I am a natural skeptic after all) and from the comment by Richard Courtney about volcanoes where I had to squeeze down the period covered in the charts to have a look, I created little 10 year chucks of the chart so that we can see if it is actually working or not.
And I’ll be ___. There is no way this is a fluke. Now keep in mind there is little 0.1C to 0.2C and even 0.3C errors in this reconstruction, but this model really does follow the Hadcrut3 trend/cycles very closely.
There are a few periods where it is off by too much for my liking – 1955 to 1957, some parts of 2000-2003, and a section from 1920 to 1926 where the reconstruction is consistently about 0.1C below the temps, but other than that it is not bad.
Have a look, (there is a lot of them but in order I believe.)
http://img509.imageshack.us/img509/4858/7180modelxb6.png
http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/9788/8090modelzt4.png
http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/1627/0010modelpe4.png
http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/535/1020modelfa6.png
http://img366.imageshack.us/img366/8895/2030modelgs9.png
http://img366.imageshack.us/img366/6363/3040modelqt1.png
http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/4554/4050modelva1.png
http://img366.imageshack.us/img366/8308/5060modelaf9.png
http://img366.imageshack.us/img366/2155/7080modelft9.png
http://img509.imageshack.us/img509/9771/198090modelci1.png
http://img366.imageshack.us/img366/4530/19902000modeloy1.png
http://img366.imageshack.us/img366/5065/20002008modelsq1.png

Steven G
November 29, 2008 3:38 pm

Bill Illis:
This is an interesting piece of research.
I hate to sound like a nagging statistics prof, but I haven’t read anything that suggests that you have examined the issue of stationarity in your time-series data. As I mentioned in an earlier comment, if your data is not stationary but that you haven’t corrected for this problem, your estimated coefficients could be severely biased or outright wrong.
Most of the comments on the paper have focused on issues related to climate theory. This is well and good. But if you are applying a statistical method such as regression analysis, you also must make sure that the method is applied properly. Regression analysis only works if your data respect specific conditions. Stationarity tests are a must in this case.
Otherwise, you might end up like the infamous Michael Mann and his “hockey stick”, which resulted from an incorrect application of statistical techniques that he did not fully understand.
All the best.

Brendan H
November 29, 2008 6:23 pm

Richard: “If the output and the data do not agree then this indicates
(a) the theory is incorrect,
Or
(b) the description of the theory (i.e. the model) is incorrect
Or
(c) both the theory and the description of the theory are incorrect.”
A fourth possibility is that the data is faulty.
“Comparison of the model’s output with empirical data is a test of the theory.”
Yes, I was speaking in shorthand. Climate models are part of the procedure that is used to test the theory, so in that sense form part of the body of evidence. In principle the procedure is similar to the use of laboratory experiments to test a theory in other fields.
“Such a thought as tantamount to a claim that the climate does what a climate model says.”
If a climate theory is a claim about what the climate does, and if the model describes the theory, then by your own logic the model attempts to show what the climate does.

Carl Wolk
November 29, 2008 7:02 pm

Bill Illis – I agree with Bob Tisdale that the treatment of ENSO ignores the physical reality of the situation. I’ve documented how the oceans have responded to ENSO here: http://climatechange1.wordpress.com/2008/11/29/how-enso-rules-the-oceans/

November 29, 2008 7:24 pm

Tom Vonk is missing an important point. When a local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) is established the amount of radiation absorbed per second by greenhouse gases (GHG) at a point in the atmosphere equals that emitted. If the amount of GHGs at that point increases, the amount of IR light absorbed increases and then the amount of radiation from the GHGs must increase to reestablish the LTE. In order for that to happen the temperature of the atmosphere at that point increases.
It is only through this increase in temperature that the average kinetic energy of collisions can increase and thus the rate of exciting the greenhouse gases GHGs so that they can radiate (The energetic increase could also be in the average vibrational/rotational energy of the collision partners, but again, the only way to raise that is by increasing the temperature).

Richard Sharpe
November 29, 2008 7:41 pm

Brendan H says:

If a climate theory is a claim about what the climate does, and if the model describes the theory, then by your own logic the model attempts to show what the climate does.

I suspect you do not know what it means by a model matches the theory nor do you understand the opportunities for errors in the model that cause it to depart from reality and the theory.

Mike Bryant
November 29, 2008 8:15 pm

Can someone explain what this means with respect to surface temps lagging ocean temps? Do these lag times seem less than what was previously supposed? Does this model have any forecasting ability? I have always thought that the lag would be much smaller than was previously supposed since the oceans are so shallow when compared to Earth’s diameter. Does this work bear out that assumption? What does this work mean as far as heat being “in the pipeline”? Have you found the hiding place of the “missing heat”?
Thanks,
Mike Bryant

evanjones
Editor
November 29, 2008 11:34 pm

Yes, it’s crazy the Indian ocean data goes only to 2004. I’m sure it has been tracked since then.

Jeff Alberts
November 30, 2008 4:37 am

Brendan H wrote:

If a climate theory is a claim about what the climate does, and if the model describes the theory, then by your own logic the model attempts to show what the climate does.

Except that there’s no way to know if a model reached the “right” conclusion for the “right” reasons. There are probably thousands of ways one could theoretically match the known temperature record, but you’d never know which was the “right” way without fully understanding, and being able to perfectly model, ALL the parameters. And then you have to know ALL the causes and effects. Running 47 different models hundreds of times and picking the ones that “match” isn’t evidence of anything except chance.

John F. Pittman
November 30, 2008 6:08 am

Bill Illis http://holocene.meteo.psu.edu/shared/articles/MannLees1996.pdf The version I saw was scanned in. It has some interesting points you may wish to look at.

Bill Illis
November 30, 2008 7:03 am

To Carl Wolk,
I noted in my write-up that there is some interaction between the AMO and the ENSO.
When you use the higher frequency figures over longer time periods without smoothing, however, (which I need to use to build a monthly model), you see that the longer-term cycles of the AMO and this new Antarctica DW index are reasonably independent of the ENSO.
There are some periods where the ENSO seems to have a lasting impact on the AMO, the 1997-98 El Nino for example. But there are many more periods where the two series are moving in opposite directions and where there is no impact or no lasting impact from a La Nina or an El Nino.
Here is a scatter plot of the higher frequency data with the ENSO regressed on the AMO. Obviously the relationship is much more complex than this scatter indicates but it does give you a general idea of why I am concluding they are independent.
http://img296.imageshack.us/img296/8033/ensoversusamoub1.png
The ENSO on AMO regression also leaves an error term which mostly preserves the original AMO cycle. (It is not quite the same, however, as some of the spikes are slightly reduced and the 1997-98 El Nino moves out a few months versus the original series.)
http://img296.imageshack.us/img296/6748/amoerrorrz7.png
There is less interaction with the other index I created/just made-up/have no basis to actually use/but does actually explain SH temps.
http://img296.imageshack.us/img296/3463/antdwerrorly1.png
I wonder if Bob and yourself could try damping down the smoothing and use a longer time series to see if there is a higher frequency more definitive relationship.
As some have noted I need to run some autocorrelation tests on the independent variables but I think relationship is too complicated to address properly and I need to do stationarity tests. There are 1652 data points, how many lags do I have to test? Do I need to do that for the Hadcrut3 observation dataset? GISS, RSS etc? I am running this method on all the temp series and the only issues to come up so far is the SH temps which I believe I have addressed and there is too much variation in the US lower 48 and the Arctic to produce reasonable results. I took quite a few statistics classes but it has been a long time since I have used any of it.

phil
November 30, 2008 7:09 am

@ Jeff Alberts (04:37:16) :
Fair enough, but by the same token, you can or should eliminate those models that don’t “match” the observed data or whose “match” is significantly poorer than others and that is what I find so interesting about Bill Illis’ efforts in that his simple and elegant model appears fit the observed data better than the “consensus” models.

Bill Illis
November 30, 2008 9:44 am

To John Pittman
Thanks for the link to the Michael Mann paper. He did better work before he got into tree rings. I think he might have got into them as a result of the work he did on this paper. He needed check to see if the frequency repetitions occur farther back in time as well and he had to use “proxies” for that.
Well, I tried some of this out on my data and, sure enough, it is in here as well. (I saw some of this before when I was trying to test the lags and when I got to about 25 years, a cycle started appearing but I thought it was just a fluke. Nope, Mann got the same thing.)
These cycles show up in the Hadcrut3 dataset and in my residuals as well when I adjust out the impact of the ocean variables.
Since the numbers are so close to what would occur with the solar cycle, I played around with 5.5 year lags, 11 years, 22 years and 44 years. All these are in both datasets.
My skill set does not allow me go much beyond this.
Applying the rest of the techniques in Mann’s paper are in the same boat.

November 30, 2008 9:48 am

Fair enough, but by the same token, you can or should eliminate those models that don’t “match” the observed data or whose “match” is significantly poorer than others and that is what I find so interesting about Bill Illis’ efforts in that his simple and elegant model appears fit the observed data better than the “consensus” models.
But in that sense Bill’s effort isn’t a model (certainly not a predictive one). What he’s trying to demonstrate is that the temperature history can be fitted by a collection of observed anamolies for the ocean basin oscillations plus a warming trend which he accounts for by GHG. That basically doesn’t allow prediction, after all he’s just taken the anomalies without assigning cause (volcanos for example), if he were able to predict the ENSO, AMO etc. then that would be a model. It does suggest that the system could be modelled with a rather small number of regions though. It begs the question of what is left out, for example what happens if aerosols/albedo are added?

Stephen Wilde
November 30, 2008 10:23 am

Looks like a very high sensitivity to solar changes despite the fact that we are very puzzled as to why that should be so.
Then combine solar with oceanic variation and who needs CO2 ?

Stephen Wilde
November 30, 2008 10:28 am

Interesting that Bill sees episodes when ENSO and AMO are moving in opposite directions.
Just what I suggested in my various articles but additionally one has to consider all the global oceanic oscillations simultaneously and then work out the net effect.
Granted that most of the time the netted out effect of just ENSO and AMO would be sufficient (but not always).
Bill’s good work is a substantial first step in the right direction. Incorporate his numbers into the models and perhaps a little predictive skill might emerge.

Bill Illis
November 30, 2008 11:04 am

To Phil and everyone.
The model does have a little predictive power.
First, there is the 3 month lag in the ENSO.
The ENSO had been cycling up from the La Nina depths until August but now it has gone neutral to slightly negative. This should provide for stable temps over the next three months (there is a slight decline but its too small to get into).
And the AMO might be cycling down now (the forecasts that are available show this as well). This would be a 20 to 30 year down cycle so it worthwhile watching the data as it comes out.
The Antarctic DW area is definitely cycling down now and it has been since 1990 or so. There is quite a bit of variation in this index so it would have to be tracked for several months at a time to see a trend though.
And well, CO2 is still increasing at a slightly exponential rate (although Methane and CFCs appear to have flatlined now) so there could continue to be increasing temps from global warming (0.00066C per month) but the rate will be a little slower than past numbers. That is an interestingly small number isn’t it.
This model says 0.455C anomaly for Hadcrut3 in November (up from 0.440C in October but the model was over by 0.013C in October so it could just stay at 0.440C). That is without an AMO or Ant DW change.

Don Keiller
November 30, 2008 11:13 am

Thanks for the reply, Bill. If I interpret what you are are saying, the rate of change of temperature does not relate to rate of cgange in atmospheric CO2.
This suggest to me that CO2 is not a major climate forcer:-)
Don

Stephen Wilde
November 30, 2008 12:36 pm

Hi Bill,
It was the consensus models that I think need your numbers. I accept that your model now has some predictive value.
As regards the more or less neutral ENSO at present you still detect a small downward movement notwithstanding that.
Assuming that other negative oceanic influences are not the reason I would guess that the residual small decline is solar induced one way or another but I accept that the mechanism for such sensitivity to small solar changes is currently a puzzle.
I spoke to the Chief Exec of the RMetS recently and he agreed that a continuing fall in global temperatures notwithstanding a neutral ENSO might be significant. Although he did not say so I took that to mean that such a continuing fall would point to causes other than CO2 as the primary climate driver.

Richard S Courtney
November 30, 2008 1:07 pm

Brendan H:
There are several flaws in your reasoning, but one is so clear that I think an explanation of it is sufficient to enable you to understand that your argument is not correct.
You say to me:
“If a climate theory is a claim about what the climate does, and if the model describes the theory, then by your own logic the model attempts to show what the climate does.”
Yes, a climate model “attempts” to show what the climate does. But there can be no way of knowing if the model does “show what the climate does”. At best, all that can be said is the model seems to provide outputs that compare to “what the climate does”.
What the climate does is reality. And what the model does is what it has been designed to do.